Sunday, September 30, 2012

Headlines - Sunday Sept 30


"You know, I think my biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being." I know mine sure is. Now.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and surrogate for presidential hopeful former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) John Bolton harshly criticized the Obama administration's response to the violence in Benghazi, Libya earlier this month, calling the U.S. response "limp-wristed."

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton, the'70s-era Plato's Retreat Key-holder who thinks that all diplomacy begins with a bombing, knows his sexual slurs. (Raw Story)


Believing that the debates will come down to a few key sound-bites, Romney has been memorizing and practicing "a series of zingers" that his team has written for him. Romney has practiced delivering these lines on aides since August.

All of Wingnuttia is waiting for the corpse of Saint Ronnie to rise up and bellow, "Where's the beef" or "There you go again."

For those of us who have tried open mic night, or have written jokes for stand-ups already know this: you cannot teach someone to be funny. Either they have a sense of timing, or they don't.

The one thing we know for sure about The Stench is that he has no sense of humor; each time he tries to be amusing, it's another pie in his own face, or pulling someone over while pretending to be a Highway Patrol Officer, or posing with hundred dollar bills coming out of his clothing.

I cannot believe that his campaign is trying this. It must really be a Hail Mary moment for them.

(New York Times)


Top Romney Adviser Criticizes Obama For Not Killing Bin Laden Fast Enough


The Stakes Are High - Hey guys, did you know that a sure-fire way to be thrown into the fiery pit to suffer for all eternity is to vote for Preznint Carebear to be re-elected? It's True!, according to Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois! I musta missed the commandment that says Thou Shalt Not Vote For The Kenyan Usurper Hawaiian Devil Baby. (Raw Story)


Poll Trutherism - OK, so Wingnuttia is re-weighting the polls because everyone knows that the pollsters are in the bag for the Kenyan Usurper and that's why he is polling higher, right? Well, then, how does one explain that the Fox News Poll has The Stench trailing by 5? Or could boring old Eugene Robinson be right:

If a polling sample shows Democrats outnumbering Republicans by, say, 32 percent to 24 percent (with most of the rest calling themselves independents), GOP partisans shouldn't worry about a conspiracy. They should worry that this is a snapshot of how Americans feel about the two major parties.

It's not the polls, it's the policies. Now that's a reason for Republicans to be depressed.

We've been saying for a while that it is not Willard that everyone hates (well, it is Willard), but it is what he is selling: the polcies of the GOP.

(Fox News)


Wow. Fox News accidentally aired a live suicide.

This is obviously bad news for Janet Jackson's nipple.


RNC Caught Lying on Tape.mpg




Megachurch Pastor Jack Schapp yesterday pleaded guilty to federal charges of sex with an underage girl, but denied knowing that taking the teen across state lines was also a federal crime. Early last month Schapp was fired by Indiana's massive 15,000-member First Baptist Church.

U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano scheduled the sentencing for Jan. 15, although Schaap, 54, has already signed a plea agreement stating that he faces at least 10 years in prison for taking a person under 18 across state lines for sex, although the maximum sentence for such a crime could be life imprisonment. The former pastor, described by the Southtown Star as wearing an orange prison garb while standing before the court, admitted to taking three trips with the teen across state lines for sexual activity, and said someone else actually drove the girl to the destinations. The married father of two was removed from his position at First Baptist Church last month after a deacon apparently found a text message on his cell phone that showed the pastor and the girl kissing. Schaap had even been counseling the girl, it was revealed.

Schapp is the author of a dating advice book for young Christian girls in which he cautions them to keep their weight down in order to attract suitors.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Headlines - Thursday Sept 27

"A leak would do too much damage to the image of the company."
Really? What about damage to the wildlife and environment?
Morford: Jesus, I'm married!
Unlike the James E. O'Keefe edited videos that distorted the truth, Republicans like Tommy Thompson are getting caught with their own words, unedited. They're afraid of speaking like this in public because they know they are highly unpopular. We know that the Republicans want to destroy Medicare and anyone who votes for them, better be clear that destruction is their mission.

Via Paul Constant, here's the Brad Blog report:

Firm owned by notorious GOP operative Nathan Sproul, accused of destroying Democratic registration forms in years past, hired 'at request of RNC', still operating in several key swing states…
The Republican Party of Florida's top recipient of 2012 expenditures, a firm by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was just fired on Tuesday night, after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in by the group to the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections.

The firm appears to be another shell company of Nathan Sproul, a longtime, notorious Republican operative, hired year after year by GOP Presidential campaigns, despite being accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in a number of states over several past elections.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Strategic Allied Consulting has been paid some $667,000 this year by the FL GOP, presumably to run its voter registration campaigns in the state. That number, however, does not account for another identical payment made in August. The Palm Beach Post is reporting tonight that the firm received "more than $1.3 million" from the Republican Party of Florida "to register new voters."

The firm is not only tied to the FL GOP, but also to the Mitt Romney Campaign, which hired Sproul as a political consultant late last year, despite years of fraud allegations against his organizations in multiple states.

Moreover, the firm is also reportedly operating similar voter registration operations on behalf of the Republican Party, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a number of key battleground states this year, including North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. Strategic Allied has recently taken steps to hide their ownership by Sproul's notorious firm, Sproul & Associates…

Do read the whole thing.

I'll admit my first thought was that animal shelters and rescues groups keep carefully updated "Do Not Adopt" lists of individuals known to be hoarders, abusers, and/or generally unfit to have pets. You'd think political organizations would have an equivalent "Do Not Hire" list for people previously convicted of voter fraud and other chicanery… unless, of course, that's exactly the kind of behavior the GOP/RNC/Romney campaign is hiring Sproul to commit? 


It was fun while it lasted.
Yesterday, Roger Simon wrote an article for Politico in which he stated that Paul Ryan has deemed Mitt Romney "The Stench." Today, Simon wants everyone to know that his article was satire:

Simon told BuzzFeed: "Some people always don't get something, but I figured describing PowerPoint as having been invented to euthanize cattle would make the satire clear. I guess people hate PowerPoint more than I thought."

First of all, I'm not sure why contributors at Politico thinks anyone reads Politico for satire. Leave satire to The Onion and Christwire.

Second of all, when you're dealing with a candidate as flat-out absurd as Mitt Romney, you can't expect anyone to understand that your writings in an online political newspaper are satire. If you're going to try to satirize anything about Mitt Romney, it needs to be palpably clear. In the case of Simon's article, it wasn't—at least not to me (and the multiple media outlets that reported it as fact.)

Get it together, Politico.


Jurassicpork: I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own: A Psychological Profile of Mitt Romney


Mitt Romney: Those People


Shots fired at Mobile, AL Democratic Headquarters


Charles Pierce has a damned good point:

The biggest problem with Romney's campaign is its utter incoherence, which stems from the fact that he had to romance a Republican primary electorate that is clearly demented. The root of the campaign's fundamental dishonesty, which is what has led to its incoherence in the first place, is the fact that the Republican primary electorate forced Romney to renounce the only real achievement he has as an elected politician — the Massachusetts health-care reform. Once you find you have to lie about all the good you did, what does the rest of it really matter?

This is not an accident, though Pierce has the timeframe wrong. The GOP began to pivot to the "book-larnin' is bad" crowd in 1968, when Nixon realized that he could take the southern vote by dog-whistling to the segregation-forever crowd.

Still, Nixon and Reagan could get away with saying one thing to their crazies and then saying another thing to the general population, in that pre-Internet, pre-cable era.
Reagan could kick off his campaign in a town best remembered for murdering civil rights workers and be largely ignored, if not forgotten.

Not any more. Generally, there are a lot more news outlets now. Stupid crap uttered by a candidate anywhere will be recorded by some spectator with a cell phone and then uploaded to YouTube or elsewhere, where it will be picked up and spread faster than an airborne disease. The age-old tactic of running to the base for the primary campaign and then pivoting to the center for the general campaign is harder to do when it is so easy to make a "he said that then, now he says this" clip.

For the GOP, that is compounded by the fact that their base will not tolerate pivoting to the center. They demand adherence to their orthodoxy and, if a candidate doesn't do that, lava comes pouring down on him from the Right, a Right that has become crazier at a stunning rate. The GOP has gone from touting Romneycare as being a good idea to being a form of socialist tyranny. Their base will change their mind as to whether or not something is a good idea based solely on whose idea it is.

Not that Romney isn't absolved of being the author of his problem. He wants desperately to be President. Hell, like anyone with that particular fire in their belly, he wants to win any election. That's why he tried to run to the left of Teddy Kennedy in the early `90s in his Senate bid. That's why he touted himself as a pro-choice moderate in 2002 when he won election as the governor of Massachusetts. That's why he has repudiated everything he stood for in Massachusetts, moving more and more to the right over the last seven years as the GOP base has demanded of him. Romney's slogan might as well be: "Tell me which way my people are going, for I am their leader."

As a result, Romney is forced to run a vacuous campaign. And that is why, at least for now, he is sliding down in the tracking polls.


Romney said that his plan, "...will create 12 million jobs and will cause take-home pay to go up." Looks like he lied about that too: Romney's Budget Plan Could Kill Millions Of Jobs Over The Next Two Years


H/t Dick

Taibbi: This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close


ATTENTION POOR PEOPLE: Pajamas Media blogger Kathy Shaidle would like you to stop being boozy crackheads who spend all your money on weaves and tacky club clothes, at once and now! Let us listen to the good lady's gentle murmurs on the subject, as she has some Bible Science she would like to drop on us:

[To]day's poor are often petulant, entitled, irresponsible, and ungrateful, caught up in a culture of crime and cheap thrills. Jesus ordered us to love the poor because He understood how hard it was to do, even 2000 years ago. But in 2012, I'd take that further: our "poor" have become the "rich" Jesus warned us about.

Congratulations, Kathy Shaidle! "Jesus: What a Fucking Idiot That I Know So Much More Than" is a very bold premise! READ MORE »


Hey, there, fellow leftists! Hope you're all having a great day eating organic arugula, liberating lab animals from a university research facility, and withholding your children from getting vaccinated! Because it turns out that, despite the fairly well-documented dislike of science facts by many on the right, it's really libruls who hate science, as the Moonie Times discovered when it spoke to Dr. Alex Berezow, a microbiologist and science blogger who just happens to have co-authored a book on that very subject, Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left. It's apparently a kind of reply to Chris Mooney's 2006 The Republican War on Science; we will happily admit to not having read either one. So is this another case of Both Sides Do It, then? Let us "examine" the "evidence" and "form" a "conclusion"! READ MORE »


Samuel L. Jackson Reads A Pro-Obama Bedtime Story: Wake The Fuck Up!


Now Appearing In Swing State Papers

The above full-page repulsive ad from the Government Is Not God PAC has been appearing in newspapers in Florida and Ohio. The Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Florida ran the ad but then published an apology:
The Sunday, September 23rd edition of the Herald-Tribune contained an opposing political advertisement against President Obama. After reviewing our political advertising policy we have concluded that the advertisement did not meet the Herald-Tribune standards for fairness and accuracy and we apologize to our readers for the advertisement appearing in the newspaper.
The group's leader is furious:
Virtually every lying radical rag that calls itself a news outlet in the United States has begun attacks on Government Is Not God- PAC, including Huffpost. The attacks are more because of the name of the PAC than anything else. Liberals want government to be God. GING-PAC's name says what all conservatives believe: Government Is Not God! The very name of the PAC infuriates liberals.
Not incidentally, the above-quoted GING-PAC leader is William J. Murray, the born-again son of famed atheist Madalyn Murray. 

On CNN, Jim Acosta asked Romney about his welfare reform lie and Romney said his campaign always corrects the record. Acosta asked if that included the welfare lie and Romney replied, "Absolutely!"

And then Romney proceeded to tell the same lie, and added a new lie about food stamps.

So he admitted to correcting a lie that he subsequently repeated — with a side dish of Southern Strategy race baiting.

Here's the video. This is one for the Election 2012 time capsule. 






Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Headlines - Wednesday Sept 26

"Mitt Romney reminds me of the guy in high school who only has friends because his parents have a swimming pool. I agree with Ann Romney. We are VERY lucky to have Romney as the GOP candidate. It could have been someone competent."  Chris Rock
How very patriotic of them.As the article mentions, can you imagine being a young, poor student and receiving a legal-looking document challenging your voter registration? If you're a student, you're probably wondering how you could afford legal counsel to defend your registration, which is already legal.

The Teabaggers, like the rest of the GOP, can't win on issues so they're determined to disrupt the vote. Remember what John always say: The Republicans accuse us (read: ACORN) of things we're not doing, but they are.
So Mitt Romney is now admitting that President Obama didn't raise taxes during his four years in office, even though up until now he's been telling everyone he did raise them. 

Oh, man, Allen West gave us one helluva knee-slapper yesterday. The president addressed the United Nations, so logically West had to address Facebook. And he decided to give us a treat! Not only did he offer some commentary on the speech, but he also did a rip-roaring impression of himself that is such a good joke we only need to give it to you.

Allen West's proposed revision to Obama's U.N. address:

"The future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors. The Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle will visit you and wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence."

Take THAT, diplomacy! READ MORE »


Here is a pressing question that might be keeping you up nights, particularly if you live in whatever district in Missouri Todd Akin (R-Ladiesman) represents: What if you want to tell Todd Akin how much he sucks? How do you know he will listen to you and absorb what is sure to be thoughtful and nuanced commentary about how much he sucks? Well, your Wonkette is here to help! It's very easy to get in touch with Todd Akin and tell him how much he sucks, you just write a check, preferably for a "substantial amount," and this will get his attention. Here, watch him explain to you in this video about how you get your Congressman's attention (hint: send him muneez.)

West-Akin 2016?

Scott Brown Supporters Mock Elizabeth Warren With Native American Stereotypes - The strategy to keep hitting Warren on her questionable Native American ancestry may have gone a bit far.
Mittens: GOP magic fairy dust and NASA
Romney and Ryan are still selling those good old GOP magic beans: That the government can do all manner of fantastic things with just a little bit of reorganization.
The GOP ticket says it would refocus NASA, providing it with "practical and sustainable missions" rather than increasing funding. The agency said it spent over $18.4 billion dollars in fiscal year 2011, though its 2013 funding request was slightly lower - about $17.8 billion.
So we should keep trying to expand space exploration, but not pay anything more to do it, because Mittens will do what-- close down the research centers and send NASA's jobs offshore?

Republicans have been babbling for the last 32 years about how they can save money by reorganizing the Federal government. For 20 of those years, they have held the presidency. And what have they done? How many Federal agencies have they reformed to make them smaller?

George W. Bush created the most recent Cabinet-grade monstrosity: The Orwellian-named Department of Homeland Security, which is now the government entity charged with making sure that the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments mean nothing. Republicans have been in the forefront of ensuring that continues. They have shown no appetite for cutting off some of the hydra-heads of our national security state.

No, the only Federal agencies that the GOP has ever had a taste for blood about have been those that have tried to prevent banksters from robbing us blind or have tried to prevent corporations from fouling the air and water supplies of the nation.

Which should come as no shock to anyone.
Dancing with the Has-Beens star Brisket® Palin tells her fan (no typo) that American's hatred of her and her family inspires her to dance better: "I think that if I ever hear anything that's being said negatively about me or my family, that has given me motivation to want to do better." Well then, she ought to be ready for the NYC Ballet. (People)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday September 25

Mike Horner, Florida Republican Rep, Resigns After Prostitution Scandal
It's really a shame stupidity isn't edible. This country would never have a hunger problem.
If there's one thing most sentient beings with at least two brain cells to rub together can agree on, it's that Mitt Romney should never, ever go off script. He's got a bad habit of saying awful things when he decides to not hold back. He'll tell you your homemade cookies suck. He'll insult your country. He'll confess that he doesn't care about 47 percent of the country because those people are just a bunch of deadbeat moochers anyway.

So of course, America's favorite moron has some laughably bad advice for Mitt Romney:

"With so much at stake in this election, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should 'go rogue' and not hold back from telling the American people the true state of our economy and national security," says Palin. "They need to continue to find ways to break through the filter of the liberal media to communicate their message of reform."
Pretty sure that isn't their problem, Sarah. See, Romney and Paul have communicated their message of reform pretty well. End Medicare. Get rid of the "collectivist" Social Security. Let Detroit go bankrupt. Speed the housing foreclosure crisis along so more people can lose their houses to predatory investors like Mitt. Make the working and middle class pay even more in taxes so that Romney can pay even less.

But hey, maybe Sarah's right. Maybe what they need to do is be even more extreme. Say even more offensive things. Try demonstrating disdain for more than 47 percent of the country. Surely that will resonate, right?


Mitt Romney earlier this year, speaking about Russia:

This is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They - they fight every cause for the world's worst actors. The I - the idea that he has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed.

Mitt Romney's portfolio:

Romney Invests In "Number One Geopolitical Foe" Russia

Mitt Romney acquired and sold shares last year in the politically powerful Russian gas giant Gazprom. Ann and Mitt Romney's family trust return, released Friday, shows Romney sold his Gazprom stock at a loss last September in advance of election season.

So Mitt Romney, as recently as last year, was a part-owner in what he says is without question America's number one geopolitical foe. And since he hasn't released 2012 financial information, we don't know if he has engaged in any transactions involving Russia this year, so he may very well continue to be invested in the country.

Basically there are two options here. You can either conclude that Mitt Romney is (or at least recently was) in bed with America's biggest enemy. Or you can conclude that when Mitt Romney shot off his mouth about Russia he didn't have a clue what he was talking about.

Given that this is a guy who wonders why you can't roll down airplane windows during in-flight emergencies, I'll go with the latter.


Rape-Rape Update - All is not lost for Notable Lady Bits Scholar and Rape-definer Todd Akin: Missouri's own ancient self-loathing gorgon-harpie-succubus hybrid Phyllis Schlafly is going to campaign for him. (Southeast Missourian)


Oh my...


Why the Romneys shouldn't give interviews.


Probe launched into Polish priest who gets young children to lick whipped cream off his knee in creepy school initiation


Direct From Teabagistan

Buzzfeed reports:
Republicans have taken their complaints about media polls allegedly favoring Democrats a step further this morning, embracing an obscure new polling website that re-engineers public polls to add more Republicans to their samples, and which gives Republican Mitt Romney a wide lead. Some Romney supporters have long complained that public polls suggest higher Democratic turnout, and lower Republican turnout, than they think is likely this year. Pollsters have replied that their samples are dictated by what poll respondents themselves say.
I can't wait to hear what Nate Silver says about this.


Ah, he leads such a hard-knocks life of tuna, pasta and $14 million in purely investment income.

The focus on Romney's tax returns is on how much he pays. But look at the other side of the ledger: how much he makes. In 2011, Romney earned $14 million. But as Romney himself joked in 2011, he was unemployed that year. So he made $14 million without even having a job.

That money, of course, all came from investments. But Romney didn't even manage those investments. Someone else took charge of the decisions. Romney basically made $14 million in 2011 — putting him way, way above the top 1 percent, which starts at around $350,000 a year — because Romney was very rich in 2010, too. That's the nice thing bout being rich: It makes you richer.

Since all of his 2011 income was made via investments, I wonder how much of that investment income came from his ownership stake in a Chinese sweatshop?

Romney defended his low tax rate on 60 Minutes last night:

CBS' Scott Pelley pressed Romney on the issue during an interview that aired Sunday night on "60 Minutes."

"Now you made, on your investments, personally, about $20 million last year," Pelley said. "And you paid 14 percent in federal taxes. That's the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did?"

"It is a low rate," Romney said.

No shit.



Was Haley's 14 year old daughter really the most qualified for the job?

I never understand how the Republicans can so often criticize government and government workers yet so easily provide jobs for their family inside government. Dick Cheney was no stranger to it, having his daughter Mary run his re-election campaign, and now the Tea Party and Sarah Palin hero, Nikki Haley, is doing the same.

unemployment rate in South Carolina remains above the national average, so why is the governor giving a job to her daughter when so many others need work?

Gov. Nikki Haley's 14-year-old daughter having a summer job at the State House gift shop is a tad more unusual than some may have thought.

Haley's daughter was, in fact, the only 14-year-old to hold a state job as of July 2012. And no 14-year-olds were employed by the state in either July 2011 or July 2010, according to data from the State Budget and Control Board.


Did Romney close his Swiss account to evade prosecution?


Who will Mitt Romney offend next?

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came to the Golden State for a two-day series of high-profile fundraisers and reportedly took a shot at California in front of a $25,000 a ticket crowd in Del Mar.

Romney "took a pretty big shot at California," according to a pool reporter.

"He said that under President Obama we're becoming a lot more European and that the state of California was something he didn't want to see the rest of the U.S. look like in a few years," a pool reporter related.


Mitt Romney also thinks cold fusion is a solved problem if only we could duplicate the results at the University of Utah. (For those of you too young to remember, cold fusion was debunked 22 years ago.)


Almost $465 million of outside money has been spent on the US presidential election campaign so far, including $365m (78%) that can be attributed to the supreme court's landmark Citizens United ruling.

Well, we are finally at Part Six of Vice's foray into the wilds of Me-hee-co, about the Mexican branch of Mitt Romney's family, and how they and the cartels are just totally kidnapping each other all the time, and this part is really interesting! Why is it interesting when there hasn't even been a beheading in four whole installments? Because Mitt's cousin thinks there should be AMNESTY for illegal immigrants in the US, AND a guest worker program, and probably, like, food and shelter and not starving to death too! Sorry, Mitt Romney's cousin, but obviously you are a terrible Christian. READ MORE »


Here is a video from a nice lady who attended a Romney roundtable all interested and optimistic about the whole thing until Romney asked, "Which one of you is the teacher?" and being a teacher, this nice lady raised her hand. Then Romney began lecturing her about teachers unions and how we need to privatize everything and have charter schools, and how we suck as a country compared to Other Countries. Kind of tired of being lectured, this nice lady said "Oh I have an answer for that." Romney, being the gentleman he is, responded "I didn't ask you a question."




Monday, September 24, 2012

Headlines - Monday September 24

I am starting to enjoy this election far more than I ever thought possible. I don't want to get complacent, but boy this thing is unfolding about as well as I could have ever imagined. Watching various Republicans take pains to distance themselves from their standard bearer -- from George Allen to Tommy Thompson to Linda McMahon to Scott Brown -- is a real pleasure. Watching campaign co-chair Tim Pawlenty leave the campaign for a lobbying job just 45 days before the election is mind boggling. And we have a guy on our side who knows how to close -- who sees the bleeding brow of his opponent and can snap a quick jab right on target.

I do wish I had a completely comfortable sense of the polls -- if Nate Silver is perplexed, it goes without saying that so am I. But I get the sense that the Gallup and Rasmussen surveys really are going to be shown to be deeply flawed in this cycle and that their methodological weaknesses will have understated the likely Democratic vote in the election.

The bad thing is that even if the election goes well and Obama pulls off a victory of the same magnitude in 2008, the Dems keep the Senate -- and it includes stalwarts like Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin -- and make gains in the House, I think there is zero chance of any moderation among conservatives. The bad results are all going to be laid at the feet of Mitt Romney, who will achieve a special pariah status within his party that will be somewhere beyond that achieved by the likes of Michael Dukakis or George W. Bush. As a result, I think Republicans will continue to double down on extreme right wing ideology for at least several more election cycles -- especially if they get rewarded again in the off years in 2014.

I think the polling should be a little clearer by the end of next week. And then I think the debate on October 3rd will be the last event of consequence in the campaign. If that leaves the situation unmoved, everything else will be anticlimax, including the purported advertising blitz that the right is supposed to unleash in Rocktober -- I think it will be too much too late.
Ted Koppel: Fox News 'Bad for America' 
Germany's Catholic bishops have declared that they will no longer perform sacraments or burial services for those that opt-out of paying church taxes. Germans who officially declare themselves members of major denominations pay an additional 8% of their annual tax bill which is then granted to their church. The Vatican has approved the new decree.
Alarmed by a wave of dissenting Catholics quitting the faith, the bishops issued a decree on Thursday declaring such defection "a serious lapse" and listed a wide range of church activities from which they must be excluded. The annual total of church leavers, usually around 120,000, rocketed to 181,193 two years ago as revelations about decades of sexual abuse of children by priests shamed the hierarchy and prompted an apology from German-born Pope Benedict. "This decree makes clear that one cannot partly leave the Church," a statement from the bishops conference said. "It is not possible to separate the spiritual community of the Church from the institutional Church." Church taxes brought in about 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) for the Roman Catholic Church and 4.3 billion euros for the Protestant churches in 2010, according to official statistics."

In addition to being denied the sacraments, those that refuse to pay church tax can no longer be named as godparents and must request special permission to be married in the Catholic Church.

If Romney is trying to have a "I have a big penis" moment in order to win over the many Republicans who don't like him or trust him (like the NASCAR voters who now prefer Obama), he's failing to see how dangerous the war talk really is. By promoting another expensive war it only shows how ill prepared he is to lead. Romney's pro-war talk is not productive for any reason.
President Barack Obama hit back hard in a "60 Minutes" interview broadcast Sunday at Mitt Romney's criticisms of his handling of Syria and Iran, saying that if the Republican standard-bearer "is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so."

Obama also brushed aside talk that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pressuring him to take a harder line on Iran's suspicious nuclear program — source of some of Romney's sharpest campaign-trail criticisms.

"When it comes to our national security decisions-- any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people. And I am going to block out any noise that's out there," the president said.
Romney on 60 Minutes last night:
(PELLEY) Now you made, on your investments, personally, about $20 million last year. And you paid 14% in federal taxes. That's the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did?

(ROMNEY) It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as 35%.

( PELLEY) So you think it is fair.

(ROMNEY) Yeah, I-- I think it's the right way to encourage economic growth-- to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.

Mitt said this last night on 60 minutes:
Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance," he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night. "If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

There's nothing new here. Other than demanding an immediate repeal of Obamacare, this is the sum total of the current Republican position on health care. Mitt showed that he's in touch with the poors by saying "apartment" instead of "house", but otherwise it's been the same line since Bush's first term.

We had an election four years ago where the winning candidate promised healthcare reform, he and his party delivered something far from perfect but a hell of a lot better than what we have now, and this is the Republican response. Strip away the flat-out lies like death panels, the false outrage at the massive loss of freedom caused by the mandate and the right-to-life hyperventilation about contraception, and this is what's left. Go to a fucking emergency room if you're dying.

Also, too: Romney has less money than Obama and he's not going to be raising a lot more from the maxed-out rich people who fund his campaign.


I'm sure this is going to give Dan Senor and the idiots at the Weekly Standard an aneurysm, but tell me how this is the wrong position for the President of the United States to take:

Obama, interviewed for Sunday's edition of "60 Minutes" on broadcaster CBS, said he understands and agrees with Netanyahu's insistence that Iran not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons as this would threaten both countries, the world in general, and kick off an arms race.

But Obama added: "When it comes to our national security decisions—any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people. And I am going to block out—any noise that's out there."

What a crazy position for an American President to take- to actually focus on American security concerns and American foreign policy goals. It's almost like Obama understands we are not an Israeli client state.

Call me an anti-Semite, but I guess I just have no problem with my President looking out for US foreign policy goals. Crazy, that.


Last week Chick-fil-A announced that they would no longer donate money to groups fighting marriage equality. (I wrote about it here.)

Welp, turns out there's a huge loophole in their new policy.

Rather than directly donate money to bigoted assholes itself, Chick-fil-A is asking supporters to bypass Chick-fil-A and send money to bigoted assholes in support of Chick-fil-A. If it sounds confusing, it's not really.

See, Chick-fil-A is organizing a 200 mile bicycle race, 2012 WinShape Ride for the Family. The minimum fee for entering the race is a cool 3500 bucks. Chick-fil-A is asking entrants to send checks not to its own foundation, the WinShape Foundation, but to the Marriage and Family Foundation at 5200 Buffington Road in Atlanta, Georgia. And in case you're wondering whether or not the Atlanta address for the Marriage and Family Foundation is the same address as the one listed Chick-fil-A headquarters, it totally is.

[read-full post at ABLC]


Science works bitches!  -J-

Photo: (M) Let's be honest...


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Headlines - Sunday September 23

The party of voter ID laws may need to clean up their own house first when it comes to election fraud.

This is from Romney's campaign website. Note that he lists the US as a foreign country on his tax returns....
Professor Krugman spots another Romney con:

I've coined a few successful turns of phrase over the years, but none, I think, as successful as the confidence fairy — a term I used to refer to the belief that things like austerity in the face of depression would actually be expansionary, because of … CONFIDENCE

As O'Brien notes, here's how Romney described his economic strategy:

If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see — without actually doing anything — we'll actually get a boost in the economy.

In effect, Romney was saying, "I am the confidence fairy!"...

Professor Krugman goes on to establish that this bit of Romney strategery is working every bit as well as all Willard's other recent tactics—which is to say: badly. Guess it's time for the True Believers to remind each other to Clap Louder!


Interesting story:

Mitt Romney's campaign took a hard line with the Spanish-language network Univision, making last-minute demands in the run-up to last week's town hall that helped insure his success in the forum, sources familiar with the broadcast told BuzzFeed.

When the Republican took his place Wednesday night in the first of two back-to-back candidate forums televised on the mega-network, he was greeted by an adoring, raucous crowd that cheered his every word, and booed many of the moderators' questions. The next night, President Obama was treated to stone cold silence from the audience as he was aggressively grilled on his lackluster immigration record.


In any case, Romney's team was allowed to bus in rowdy activists from around southern Florida in order to fill the extra seats at their town hall.


What you're looking it is one of the more histrionic of the many, many rightwing headlines calling out Harry Reid. Earlier this year, Reid said a Bain investor told him that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes for ten years. Now, Mitt's released his 2011 tax returns and it turns out he paid almost $2 million that year.

You do see the problem here, right? Yeah, it turns out that 2011 wasn't a decade-long year. Here's the specific conversation from the Huffington Post who first reported the charge:

Saying he had "no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy," Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

"Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years," Reid recounted the person as saying.

"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," said Reid. "But obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?

"You guys have said his wealth is $250 million," Reid went on. "Not a chance in the world. It's a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don't pay taxes for 10 years when you're making millions and millions of dollars."

Notice where Reid said which ten years he was told constituted Mitt's free ride? Yeah, you didn't because he didn't. Romney's release of his 2011 return proves absolutely nothing on this point.

Look, I don't really believe Reid either. But I'm not going to claim I've got proof when any idiot can see that I don't. This triumphalism is completely unsupported by any fact. This is lazy-assed bullshit and anyone who had any interest in even appearing to be serious would be ashamed to pull this crap.

If you're a rightwing blogger and you wonder why we all think you're idiots, look no farther. We're just taking you at your word when you pretend to be idiots.

At least, I hope for your sake that you're pretending.


Gallup finds that the odds are you don't trust the media. Good for you.


Mormons Want to Excommunicate Romney Critic


Gitcher lurid rightwing character smears right here


Georgia Republican's anti-abortion bill would require investigations of miscarriages


The Family Research Council and Focus On The Family have issued a joint congressional scorecard which rates members of the House and Senate on ten "values votes." The categories, unsurprisingly, are abortion, school vouchers, Obamacare, and same sex marriage. Five Senators and 102 members of the House received a 100% score. Most amusingly, the only perfect score in the New York delegation was granted to former Rep. Christopher Lee (R), who resigned in disgrace after being exposed for soliciting adulterous hook-ups on Craigslist. Hit the top link and check out how your reps are rated.


New Satanic Flag For Obama Campaign





Saturday, September 22, 2012

Headlines - Saturday Sept 22

I don't think anybody is really sure why Mitt Romney decided to reveal his average effective tax rate over the past 20 years, but one thing is for sure: it's given the Obama campaign an opportunity to release a statement questioning why he won't release the raw tax returns and calling on him to open the books:
STATEMENT: Romney Pays Lower Rate than Middle Class, Hides Wealth and Income

Chicago, IL—Obama for America released the following statement from Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter on Mitt Romney's 2011 tax returns:

Today's release of Mitt Romney's 2011 tax returns confirms what we already knew – that people like Mitt Romney pay a lower tax rate than many middle class families because of a set of complex loopholes and tax shelters only available to those at the top. Yet, Mitt Romney still wants to give multi-millionaires an additional $250,000 tax cut at the expense of middle class taxpayers who will see their taxes go up. While the tax return for the one year released today continues to mask Romney's true wealth and income from Bain Capital, leaving the American people in the dark about critical details about his finances, it does confirm that he continues to profit from millions of dollars invested overseas. These types of investments, the use of tax loopholes, and the resort to foreign blocker corporations enabling him to reduce his U.S. tax obligations, all raise basic and still unanswered question – why does Mitt Romney not just release the full returns , instead of the bare summary he has provided of the last 20 years, so voters can make their own judgments about Mitt Romney's finances? As Mitt Romney's father said, candidates should release several years of returns, because one year could be a fluke. President Obama, Vice President Biden and nearly every other candidate in recent memory has met that test, but Mitt Romney continues to fail it.

As even GOP strategists have conceded, Romney's strategy of releasing some of the information about the past 20 years but not all of it is sort of like saying he's "a little bit pregnant," raising more questions than it answers.
And one of those questions is, as Greg Sargent wrote earlier, what Mitt Romney's actual net tax rate was during that 20 year period. Remember, the figure Romney released was the average tax rate per year—not the cumulative tax rate. That means years in which he had lower income but a higher tax rate are weighted the same as years in which he had higher income and a lower rate. It's sort of a like a baseball player hitting .600 as a rookie in five games and then hitting .250 the next year in a full season, and then claiming a .425 lifetime batting average. It just doesn't add up.
Willard has three years to amend his return, so after the election, when presumably he will be the most powerful man in the world, having prevented enough black people from voting to eke out a teeny-tiny win, he will be able to go back and amend his return and pocket another cool 467,000.

How cynical is it to "overpay" your taxes for political reasons (after
claiming that anyone who pays more than he has to isn't qualified to be president), knowing full well that you can go back and amend your tax returns and pocket another half-million dollars?

For that matter, what must it be like to be able to forgo a HALF-MILLION DOLLARS for a few months for the sake of your lust for the presidency?
From Harry Reid's statement:
"When will the American people see the returns he filed before he was running for president?," Mr. Reid said. "Governor Romney is showing us what he does when the public is looking. The true test of his character would be to show what he did when everyone was not looking at his taxes."###

Once a Bain Co. CEO, always a Bain Co. CEO... 

WASHINGTON -- Hamstrung by campaign finance laws, the Mitt Romney campaign sought a $20-million loan last month, a campaign official confirmed Tuesday, of which $11 million still needs to be repaid.

So let's reiterate. The campaign TOOK OUT A $20M loan. It needed money. So of COURSE you're going to pay out bonuses for the most incompetent campaign ever run?

Mitt Romney's campaign handed out more than $200,000 in bonuses last month to senior staffers, according to new disclosure records filed Thursday.

Richard Beeson, Romney's national political director, received a $37,500 payment on Aug. 31 in addition to his salary, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

In addition, records show at least six other top staffers each received $25,000 bonuses on the same date: campaign manager Matt Rhoades, general counsel Kathryn Biber, policy advisor Lanhee Chen, communications director Gail Gitcho, digital director Zach Moffatt and advisor Gabriel Schoenfeld. Two other employees received $10,000 bonuses.

A Romney spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on the payments Thursday.

Guess who's going to get stuck holding the bag when this deal goes south?


Let's take a look at what Mitt's charitable giving goes to, shall we?


Romney's culture of lying for the lord


Oops. Mitt Romney's Son Signed 'Abortion' Clause In Surrogate Birth Contract

Paul Ryan admitted last night in the Friday news dump that he had "overlooked" 20% of his income when he filed his 2011 taxes. The income source was his mother-in-law's living trust.

And that's totally believable. I mean, who among us hasn't forgotten $61,122 that Mom left us?


Mitt Romney Overpays his Taxes; Admits He's Not Qualified to Become President


Funny, how it's always a Republican who finds it necessary to resort to disingenuous tactics and lies to prevent people from voting.


It isn't often that two simple paragraphs in a simple little political fanzine gets me to test the tensile strength of my desk with the center of my forehead.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer sought out Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on the House floor for a talk about fiscal issues late Thursday.

The two men huddled in plain view among the back benches of the Republican side of the chamber and were later joined by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who ranks fourth in House leadership.

There is simply no reason for any Democrat to treat the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin like a congressional savant while simultaneously pointing out (correctly) on the campaign trail that the man is ideologically — hell, theologically — opposed to the very concept of a social safety net. Paul Ryan does not want to reform Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. He wants to kill them. He will do it by baby steps if he has to do it that way, but he is bound and determined to get it done, and he will bring his entire party with him in the effort. Steny Hoyer knows this, but... OMIGOD! FISCAL CLIFF! SAVE US, GRAND BARGAIN. YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE!

The Great Sellout is coming, folks. Believe that.

Get it?
Pathetic waste of skin and neurons Dr. Jerome Corsi, PhD, has in recent months shifted from being a straight-out birther to claiming that Barack Obama is a flaming homosexualist, presumably because being a birther mostly just gets him merely a tired indulgent laugh these days, even from other wingnuts. So now, yeah, Obama is gay and spends all his time gaying up everything, especially the State Department and the diplomatic corps. So therefore, it's perfectly reasonable for Corsi to ask a very simple question: DID OBAMA SEND A 'GAY' AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA? Note that "gay" is in quotes in the headline and throughout the article, presumably because there is either no such thing as gayness, or maybe because it it such a new term that it must be marked as slang, like the many street names for exotic drugs. Or does it have something to do with Dr. Corsi, PhD, constantly being "hopped up" on "goofballs"? WE ARE SIMPLY ASKING. READ MORE »