Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last Call

Stanley Kurtz at NRO demands that Robot/Zombie '12 play even dirtier, dammit or the Kenyan usurper commie ni-CLANG will WIN or something!

I can’t say for certain that Romney’s strategy is wrong. But I do think it’s far riskier than we realize. Treating Obama as a nice guy in over his head, rather than a smart leftist who knows exactly what he’s doing, leaves the Democrats’ bogus narrative about government unanswered. America is changing, and Republicans are naive to rely on the public to simply recognize the problems in the Democrats’ claims without significant help from our nominee.

Republicans won big in 2010 by defining Obama as an overweening ideologue. Yet that was the Tea Party’s doing, not the Republican establishment. In those days, Romney even jumped on the tea-party bandwagon with some surprisingly cutting observations about Obama’s leftism. Obama may not have pivoted after the 2010 election, but Republicans did. They toned down their attacks on the president’s ideology, and to some extent helped to build up the very wall of “likeability” they now fear to scale, even as the president rejected the Clintonian way and stayed to the left. Were Republicans smart to hold their fire? Romney did try out the argument that Obama is moving us toward European-style social democracy during the primaries, but he’s dropped that now in favor of the kinder and gentler “break up” approach.

Translation:  GET IN THE MUD LIKE A PIG, SON.  And I hope Romney takes Kurtz's advice.  It'll be a disaster for him, because nobody likes the guy.

On the other hand, BooMan points out that if Obama really was more like Clinton, he would have cracked by now and he would have caved on everything instead of setting the GOP up for a huge failure this fall.

Remember that the Republicans won big in 1994 by defining Clinton as an overweening ideologue. And Clinton responded by bringing in Dick Morris, signing a horrible welfare reform bill, the Balanced Budget Act, the Iraq Liberation Act, and disastrously deregulating the banks. The Republicans attempted to bully Barack Obama in a similar manner, but so far they have got nothing. Had they been willing to make some concessions on revenue, they probably would have found some willingness on Obama's part to emulate Clinton, at least to a point. But they weren't, and he didn't. So, as a result, conservatives like Mr. Kurtz see Obama as having "rejected the Clintonian way." He didn't pivot after suffering catastrophic losses in the midterm election.

I find this less interesting for its literal truth that for the way it shines a light on the Republicans' strategic thinking. There is a bit of a meld. On the one hand, regardless of the Democratic president in the White House, the playbook says to refuse cooperation and to paint them as a far-left ideologue. On the other hand, the Republicans in charge of executing this play have a strong tendency to come around to believing it's true and real. They didn't stop thinking Bill Clinton was a far-left ideologue when he started signing their legislation. They only acknowledge a "Clintonian way" in retrospect.

So yes, I think we're going to get to the ni-CLANG moment really soon now, especially now that it appears Obama is going to win.

Food For The Heart And Soul

Republicans, complain all you want to about the President moving his acceptance speech Friday indoors due to storms, what the Democrats did afterwards for Charlotte is outstanding.

All the fancy catered food intended for the VIP suites and club rooms at the stadium – and perhaps even for the president himself – was redistributed Friday to local soup kitchens and shelters, via Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

On the menu: thousands of pounds of pecan-fried chicken, baked orzo, fresh crudités, three-bean bake, fresh-cut fruit and something called short rib cobbler.

And that’s only a partial list.

It had all been prepared in advance by chef Jon Morey and the kitchen staff of Delaware North Inc., the official food provider for the stadium. A dollar value for the food was not immediately available.

“It’s really a wonderful order,” said Kay Carter of Second Harvest, which got 7,500 pounds of the food.

“None of this food will go to waste. We contacted every shelter and soup kitchen in town and asked them how much refrigeration capacity they have and how many are they feeding. It will all be gone at the end of the day.”

Second Harvest has a history of redistributing fresh food at a moment’s notice, she said, including leftovers from major golf tournaments.

However, the Democratic National Convention’s gift is different, if only for the inclusion of enough popcorn for 70,000 people, popped and stuffed into bags. It will go to the community’s various children’s programs, including low-income day cares. “At least it doesn’t weigh a lot,” Carter said.

This is outstanding, and more people need to know about it.   Spread the word.

Read more here:

Well, Somebody's Definitely Smoking Something

Paul Ryan came out this weekend in favor of states being able to decide if they want to legalize medical marijuana or not.

In a pre-taped interview based on questions submitted by viewers of KRDO in Colorado Springs, Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) endorsed the view that states — like Colorado — should be able to decide their own laws on medical marijuana.

Anchor Eric Singer asked Ryan, “In Colorado we have medical marijuana. Under a Romney Ryan ticket, what happens?” Ryan replied, “It’s up to Coloradans to decide.”

In response to a follow-up question from Singer, Ryan elaborated: “My personal positions on this issue have been let the states decide what to do with these things. This is something that is not a high priority of ours as to whether or not we go down this issue. But I’ve always believed is the states should make the right to decide.”

To recap, the federal government must decide who who can and can't marry because it might offend people and the federal government must override state's rights to decide, they must control every aspect of a woman's reproductive system because it might offend people and they federal government must override a woman's right to decide about her own body, but bogarting a joint is a "state's rights" issue.  

In other words, Ryan's playing for the GOLD WEED END THE FED vote.  Surprise!

Dear America:

"I can't believe the incestuous relationship between MSNBC and the Democrats.  It was on full display at the Democratic National Convention.  The MSNBC hosts totally failed in their duties to savage the President's failed everything of failure!  Also, I've never heard of FOX News.  What does that have to do with anything?"

--The usually better than this Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

Bonus Verbatim Stupid:

But perhaps one of the most obvious and potentially embarrassing examples comes from the broadcast news coverage itself. The video below is from Joe Scarborough’s show on MSNBC from Friday morning when the new jobs numbers came out. Disclosure: I watch Morning Joe pretty much every day and enjoy Joe’s exchanges with people from both sides of the aisle. But knowing what we know now about exactly how the unemployment rate managed to drop, this is pretty sad.

To be fair, I've been saying Joe Scarborough is an idiot for years now.   But I've also been saying with millions of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age or taking early retirement (forced or unforced) as the oldest of them are hitting 67 this year,  labor force participation dropping is now going to be structural for a very long time.  The same thing would be happening if McCain was President, and I'd be making the same exact argument.

And let's not forget in January 2009, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month, nor should we leave out the fact that that we continue to have positive job growth despite the Republicans blocking any and every stimulative measure proposed in the last two years.  There's a reason why Congress has an approval rating of about 12%, Jazz.  They're not exactly doing anything about jobs either.

And really, man...FOX News.  All I'm going to say.

There's A Dimensional Cross-Rip Around Here, Be Careful

The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan has a bit of a problem with reality.  Her seemingly endless mendacity is only matched by her complete denial of the actual political landscape in favor of her own bizarre dimension she resides in, a universe where Democrats are the extremists and Republicans are the logical, reasonable centrist types.

Barack Obama is deeply overexposed and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he's thinking. His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There's too much buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and his message was essentially banal: We've done better than you think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

There were many straw men. There were phrases like "the shadow of a shuttered steel mill," which he considers writerly. But they sound empty and practiced now, like something you've heard in a commercial or an advertising campaign.

It was stale and empty. He's out of juice

You ever notice that when Barack Obama is effective in a speech, he's considered Angry Black Man by the assholes on the right.  But when he really hits one out of the park, he's a bloodless, boring intellectual.  But Obama wasn't alone in receiving scorn and derision from Noonan's schizoid episode here.  Being a Republican wingnut woman, she reserves special rancor for the symbol of all things wrong with Those Awful Liberal Hussies, Sandra Fluke.

The sheer strangeness of all the talk about abortion, abortion, contraception, contraception. I am old enough to know a wedge issue when I see one, but I've never seen a great party build its entire public persona around one. Big speeches from the heads of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, HHS Secretary and abortion enthusiast Kathleen Sebelius and, of course, Sandra Fluke.

"Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception," Ms. Fluke said. But why would anyone have included a Georgetown law student who never worked her way onto the national stage until she was plucked, by the left, as a personable victim?

What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think—and her party apparently thinks—that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they're not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That's not a stand, it's a non sequitur. She is not, as Rush Limbaugh oafishly, bullyingly said, a slut. She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool.

And she was one of the great faces of the party in Charlotte. That is extreme. Childish, too

Peggy Noonan really is one of the great projectors of our time.   She not only completely repeats the right wing lies about the President health care plan that she's paid to parrot out of her empty head, she uses them as the basis of her attacks on anyone who dares to tell the truth around her.  The truth about regulating birth control for insurance companies simply means that being a woman can no longer be considered a pre-existing condition, and that insurance plans need to offer coverage.

This does not mean that government is paying for birth control.  Noonan doesn't care about the truth, but she sure loves to go personally after a Georgetown Law student who made the mistake of speaking up for women from my generation.  (Mark Steyn too is greatly offended that Sandra Fluke is allowed to speak, apparently she should know her place and shut it because the menfolk like Mark are talking about the national debt which will kill all of us any second now.)

That's the awful dimension Nooners lives in.  Careful, don't fall in.

Called Out On The Carpet, Part 2

The saga of Ohio GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted continues, as his quixotic quest to deny early voting rights to Democrats in particular ran into a buzzsaw this week of a federal judge named Peter Economus.  The Judge ordered Husted to show up to explain this whole "I don't have to comply with your court order" thing to restore early voting to all Ohioans, and Friday, Husted's office replied with "We're really sorry about that, I had a cold.  Yeah, that's it."

Ohio Secretary of State John Husted said in court documents filed Friday that he’s really, really sorry for refusing to allow early voting preparations in Ohio, and promises not to do it again unless another court gives him permission.

That was the result of Judge Peter C. Economus’s ruling Friday, which concluded a hearing that saw Sec. Husted rebuked by attorneys for the Obama campaign in a stinging victory over Republican voter suppression efforts.

Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury if in-person early voting is not restored the last three days before Election Day, and there is no definitive evidence before the Court that elections boards will be tremendously burdened,” Judge Economus wrote. “Certainly, the public interest is served by restoring in person early voting to all Ohio voters.” He added that letting all Ohioans have access to early voting meets the standard of keeping voting “uniform, accessible for all, fair, and secure.”

Yeah, that's the sound of a Republican getting smacked the hell down for trying to so obviously stack the voting deck in favor of the GOP.   Husted's office ran away like a bunch of kids trying to toilet paper the school gym.

“The Secretary’s intention was not to create a stay of this Court’s Order,” Husted’s attorneys explain in a court filing obtained by the Election Law Blog. “The Secretary intends to pursue his differences with this Court’s judgment only through the expedited appeal process put in place by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. To the extent that Directive 2012-40 could be read to imply any different compliance disposition, the Secretary apologizes to the federal district court for creating that misimpression”.

Yes.  Because outright voter suppression is "a misimpression".   We're sorry you thought we were trying to rig the Ohio vote.  We're sorry you decided to actually stand up to our efforts to take the vote away from thousands of urban minorities.  We're sorry you misunderstood us


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