Enough to Make a Grown Man Weep


Just a quick followup on what I was talking about earlier--holy cow!

Mitt Romney has a 2.2% chance of winning, according to 538's Now Cast? No wonder your garden variety wingnut refuses to accept the veracity of polls!

Keep Your Arm Down, Bibi

Reuters knows exactly what it is doing.

Is it associating images with context, and it is trying to increase revenue, hits, outrage, and awareness through these tricks. They are usually more subtle than this, however.

The problem here is, why not criticize Netanyahu? A lifetime spent in politics and in rhetoric and he can't remember to keep his arm down? Please.

A Devastating Ad That Explains Bain Capital Better Than Anything Else


When you ask people, "What is Bain Capital?" more often than not, you're going to get puzzled stares. That's because much of the defining and explaining that went on happened in the early summer.

Bain Capital was Mitt Romney's version of predatory capitalism. It bought companies, it sold companies, it rearranged them, and it tore them apart to make profits. And while Republicans claim that Bain created jobs, here's a testimonial as to what the tearing apart looked and sounded like.

Sonic Youth Gets Their Guitars Back


This is too cool to believe.

I remember when this happened, and it was a devastating loss for the band (one they overcame by simply starting over with new gear, by the way). The customized guitars that Sonic Youth used were incredibly important for their sound and for the innovation they achieved. Many of these guitars were Jazzmasters, which is one of the most interesting and versatile instruments to play.

Fans rule.

MItt Romney Is Going to Run on Romneycare


That sound you hear is the collective explosion of thousands of little pinheads, all of them bloggers who think Mitt Romney isn't extreme enough or conservative enough. Right now, they are howling and screaming because Romney has, finally, grasped one concept few thought he would ever take a hold of--you cannot run as an ideological extremist and win the Presidency. You have to be mushy and in the middle of the road (which is why Conor Friersdorf simply cannot bring himself to vote this year--alas).

Romney has finally decided to hold up Romneycare as an example of one aspect of his record that people might like. Damn straight they like it. They liked it so much a few years ago, they christened it Obamacare and that's what you have right now.

Congratulations, wingnuts. You might actually win the Presidency, provided you can all hold your nose and vote for the liberal in the race, which is Mitt Romney.

UPDATE:

Adam Serwer rightly notes that Romney has been running away from Romneycare for years. His message discipline seems to be completely and utterly off the rails at this point.

Why Does UC-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Still Have a Job?


Each student gets about $30,000, but UC-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi gets to keep her job?

She should have the decency to resign once the autopen hacks off on her apology letters.

Are You Kidding Me?


These numbers, via 538, are astonishing.

Given the state of the American economy, the massive effort to destroy President Obama, and a lengthy political season, it's no wonder the Republicans are flailing about like a drunk in an aisle full of non-alcoholic beer.

Each and every time Romney speaks, tries to get on message, and make his case to the American people, people run for the exits and express their support for the President.

It is certainly going to be closer in November, and this is by no means "locked up," but, wow. There is no popular support for a Republican for President, is there?

Crazy Ann Althouse Strikes Again


After Scott Brown's staffers were caught imitating Native American war whoops and making tomahawk chops, it fell to poor Ann Althouse to make a few interesting backflips and try to dismiss this as being a "celebration" of some kind.

You would have to travel through several armpit-high bullshit tanks in order to arrive at a statement along the lines of "The Indian is his hero." If your intention is to support your baseball team--the Braves, in other words--then the Tomahawk Chop has a specific connotation for supporting the efforts of your baseball team on the field (it is patently offensive, but people still do it).

If your intent is to mock Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry claims, it's denigrating and sad.

Harvey Updyke Needs to Go Away


One of the first shots from the Toomer's Corner Webcam...

I have to say, I really don't care what happens to this sick old bastard:

His "not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect" is ridiculous, and it speaks volumes to the man's inability to admit what he did was wrong. You have a 64 year-old man who made a childish, twisted mistake and instead of being adult enough to own up to it, he's flailing through life, terrorizing people.

What a disgrace.

Reuters is Spreading More Nonsense


This worthless article goes on to say that Mitt Romney is beating the President when it comes to Veterans and my reaction to this is, so what?

In 2008, Veterans voted for John McCain over President Obama 55 to 45; if you're telling me that those numbers haven't changed, then a collective shrug is in order. In other words, Reuters has manufactured and anti-Obama story out of absolutely nothing.

If my fellow vets think they can get a better deal with Romney and Ryan, oh well. It's the standard Republican trick--talk up vets when there's a war on, cut their benefits when the war is over because of "fiscal responsibility." There was no fiscal responsibility to be heard from these people when they were creating hundreds of thousands of Veterans during the Bush Administration. To date, many of those guys and gals are either on their way home or looking at an extended tour stateside, and not their fifth, sixth or seventh tour in the slums of Baghdad.

Reuters is a worthless new organization, and this article helps reinforce that fact.

And, for the record, the President is Commander in Chief of the active duty armed forces only; not the country, and not of the people who no longer serve. Unless they are on a status where they can be called back to active duty, the President is no longer their "Commander in Chief" because they are now retired and released from further Federal obligations.

Where Did All of the Money Go?


You can add this to the tsunami of bad news for the Rmoney campaign, which is, of course, a rolling clusterfuck of #romneyshambles proportions.

The money is fleeing the building. The money is leaving. The money is running for the hills and the prospect of 2016. Romney is not a man who will be able to call himself President of something he does not already own. And his attempt to buy the Presidency has fallen flat with the general public.

All of the predictions about how someone could purchase office and ride on a gravy train full of false and phony pronouncements did not come to fruition this year.

But, hey. Bonuses for the hired help? That's what makes a donor tickled pink, right? The notion that you're paying out bonuses for shoddy work always makes the donors happy.

Romney's Summary is Worthless


In case you didn't know, Mitt Romney has decided to dump a bunch of disclosures on the American people on a Friday afternoon. They relate to his taxes. No, you're not getting his tax returns. You're getting a summary. Big deal.

A very dishonest act such as this should not be rewarded by the media, but it will be. I suspect that they will say that Romney has, in advance of the Presidential debates, finally disclosed everything. Well, a summary isn't disclosure. A summary is used to hide things.

Specifically, where did Romney hide his money? Which overseas tax shelters were used to hide money? From the looks of a summary, that information isn't available. A summary is perfect for showing that he paid some taxes, but it won't detail how Romney and his accountants arrived at a tax rate between 13 and 20 percent. I suspect that if Romney hadn't kept so much money in overseas accounts, his effective tax rate would have been, ahem, more along the lines of 30 to 35 percent, which is where it should have been.

Should have been, but clearly was not. At no point did Romney, who made millions every year, approach the tax rate for millionaires in this country. But, let's face it. Millionaires on the dole never pay their fair share. That's why they scream when someone talks about raising the tax rates to fifty or sixty percent. It would mean that, after tax shelters, they might have to pay 30 or 40 percent.

Romney's summaries are a joke. Will the media see through them? Don't count on it.

Dan Froomkin is the first to catch the fact that the Romneys overpaid taxes in 2011 to keep from being seen paying only NINE PERCENT of their income in taxes.

NINE PERCENT.

That's amazing.

With Everything Going South, Hand Out More Bonuses


The Romney campaign is, to put it in terms of hash tags that I love, a complete and utter #romneyshambles. It is imploding. It is coming apart at the seams. The supporters of Mitt Romney are reduced to juvenilia and screeching. Many are jumping ship or refusing to endorse the campaign.

Now, we see this, and it is time to wonder--what would you do if the campaign was really in trouble? How can you justify handing out bonuses BEFORE the election is over? The thing that you would maybe want to do with a bonus is use it to motivate people to go a great job so that you can win the election, not the nomination.

The nomination was sewn up months ago. And you're handing out $200,000 in bonuses for a campaign that is trailing by as many as 7 points?

Wow.

Lynching Chairs


The modern sentiments of your Republican Party involve paying tribute to the lynchings of the 20th Century for a damned good reason--that's what these people want to return to. A time when blacks were kept in their place through terror.

America has a number of problems, but chief among them is the idea that this is not "racist" and that it is just a matter of politics. Our politics are broken, our country is crumbling, and the hateful rhetoric of the right continues unabated. When President Obama wins in November, get ready for four more years of this kind of thing.

Do you think it's bad now? Guess what? It will get worse, not better. Much, much worse.

How Fair is it to Call Baltimore an Ugly City?


I don't know how fair it is to call Baltimore an ugly American city.

Having lived near Baltimore for the better part of the last ten years, I can tell you that it is a city with its own special character. It's not an attractive city, nor is it an awful one. It's an old Mid-Atlantic city that has a lot of strikes against it.

In the first place, Baltimore's problems are easy to identify. Money has always been short. Corruption, misplaced priorities, and a dwindling tax base have hurt the city.

In the second place, what about American's overall economy? Doesn't that have a lot to do with what is ailing cities like Baltimore? And, let's be honest--Baltimore is no Detroit, that's for certain.

In the third place, aren't these rankings misleading? You can live in an aesthetically pleasing place, but if you can't find the services you need and if you can't get around, you're not really experiencing quality of life, are you?

The shock of seeing Baltimore for the first time in a few years has settled in with me, and I remember what I liked and didn't like about the city. I really, really like the Fell's Point area, and I'm glad to see the waterfront revitalization that is underway. Times are very, very tough, but there are some great places to visit down near where they used to film the old Homicide television series. Baltimore needs another show like that--one that shows the grit and reality. It needs another Wire. It needs to be seen, every week, to be understood.

Fells Point looks like it has really started to become viable. Downtown didn't look too bad either, and with the Orioles looking good and Ravens football underway, you have to come back to the phrase, "why the hell not?" Are you going to get robbed or shot? Well, deal with it. You can get robbed or shot anywhere.

As the nation's economy starts to rebound, look for the coffers to start to refill in places like Baltimore. When that happens, the downturn in city projects and improvements should slowly start to reverse. Once we get through this, cities will start spending money again because that's what moves things forward. You have to hope they can hang on until things turn around.

I keep trying to explain this to people--what would Mitt Romney do for a city like Baltimore? Nothing.

Muddling through is tough, but that's what it is going to take until the economy can be brought back to a reasonable level of sustainment and growth. We need to put people back to work, and we need to get on that now. So, if your town is ugly, ask yourself this--is it because it has always been ugly or is it because there aren't any jobs?

The End of the NHL is at Hand




Let's be honest. There are four major sports now. Football, baseball, basketball and auto racing. Hockey is a distant fifth, if that.

If the people running the NHL think that they can cancel another season and treat everyone to months and months of nonsense, they are sadly mistaken. I predict that if this an extended lockout, the damage to hockey will be severe. Numerous franchises might disappear.

And, again. Few, if any, will care. You have great followings in a lot of cities. But you can only piss people off so much and then, that's it. They'll vote with their feet and stay away. I mean--can you even get hockey on TV without paying for it anymore? Come on.

Conservatives Are Desperate and Craven


Wingnuts have taken a photo tweeted by Jim Messina and are going exactly junior high on it. This is the kind of thing you would get if you were reading Tumblr after following exactly the wrong Tumblr users. What a disgrace.

If you're losing, if you're craven, if you're desperate, and if you have nothing--nothing--to support, nothing to believe in, and a juvenile mind, what you're left with is using a photo of someone so that you can ridicule someone--anyone--and assuage the pain. This is hillbilly heroin for losers--a derp-fest at the expense of others. What is this obsession with child molesting? Oh, that's right. It's really the only thing they can laugh at.

Hey, you voted for Romney. Or, rather, you voted for the guy or gal who couldn't beat Romney. Why can't you deal with that and move on?

So, you have to ask the question. Who hates best? Conservatives hate best. They hate with the intensity of a thousand suns right now. They'll go with the child molester material as if it didn't matter because, well, that's how they've been rolling this year. Straight down the hill and into the gutter. Their candidate sucks, their argument is lost, the country they want to have--complete with everyone of color living exactly the way they are told to live--is a fading dream and there's nothing left to do but go for the lulz.

Congratulations, wingnuts. You've reached the bottom.

About Those Cell Phone Only Polls


There are a lot of things that can be learned from this data, which comes from Nate Silver at 538. This is some of the most important statistical information I've seen in a long time.

If you have a cell phone, you seem to be more likely to give an answer to pollsters that favors one position over another. You seem to be at odds with those who have land lines. What gives?

More importantly, what does this say about the demographic makeup of American society? What could be learned from properly analyzing and interpreting data that includes cell phones in polling?

From the looks of it, a great deal can be learned, if this data holds up in the final results in November. It's too bad that we have to wait that long to see if this data is really going to be significant. It does indicate to me that older people who have clung to their land lines are over-represented in current polls that eschew cell phone users.

Letterman Unloads


This is one of those moments when David Letterman's crankiness pays off.

Mitt Romney will go down as a failed candidate for the presidency, and he will do so largely because he could not convince a large swath of the American people that he is, in fact, actually an American.

There has never been a candidate more un-American than Romney. And for all of those fools who said President Obama wasn't an American, please. How much contempt does Romney show, every moment of every day, for the basic American values of fairness, honesty, and being grateful for the opportunities created by living in this country?

Mitt Romney is the personification of contempt for American values.

Time For Another Revealing Photo Shoot


After complaining about the lack of an arrest record for Amanda Bynes, this does not look good for Lindsay Lohan. The good news is that she has access to legal assistance and that this happened in New York. The bad news is, she's probably going to have to do a slew of revealing photo shoots in order to make this go away.

It's Over



 David Corn / Mother Jones:
SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters  —  When he doesn't know a camera's rolling, the GOP candidate shows his disdain for half of America.  —  During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told …


I'm just going to post links to all of the coverage on David Corn's video. Pick one--you'll come up with most of the same analysis.

It's over. The 2012 Election ended today. The damage done to Mitt Romney's reputation by this video should effectively end his chances of overcoming the already widening gap between himself and President Obama.

All we need to see now are the ads that will come from it, and Romney's debate performances. I suspect he will not be able to step up his game in any measurable way. I also suspect that a large number of Republicans will begin to abandon him because he has, for all intents and purposes, shit the bed.

You see, that 47% of the American people who don't pay taxes are the elderly, and, while they may have supported him in the past and while they may have been ready to pull the lever for him this November, that's all gone now. Enough of them will be disgusted with this man to render his campaign a race for 100 electoral votes and perhaps 45% of the popular vote, if that.

What I See Out of My Window


If you're tracking movement on the blogs, there's very little to note. Being busy, having things going on, and finishing up two college degrees has meant that my attention has been diverted to a dozen other things.

I have managed to keep up with a fair number of decent posts, and that's why the sidebars are so important. When I set up this site's template, I wanted to feature what's happening on the other fifteen blogs in a more prominent way--by putting that information in the sidebar to the right. Now, I'm thinking, why not shift that to the left and see if that makes a difference?

So, just a few tweaks and there you are. I've flipped the template and moved the items to the left, where they are more prominently displayed. All of my other sidebars are to the right; why not make this minor change and revel in the rebellious nature of blog design modifications?

Angelina Jolie Wore What?


Angelina Jolie wore this gown at an event in Turkey, and I can't get past the fact that it is not really revealing and it is not really conservative all at the same time.

USC Can't Beat Stanford

This was one of those games that you watch with a great deal of trepidation. I really thought that USC was going to be able to win at Stanford and continue holding on to their Number Two rating. As of tonight, are they even a top ten team? Really?

It just did not look good. USC could not get anything going up and down the field. The passing game was awful. They lost two running backs. This is the game where there were three interceptions thrown in a role--something I don't remember ever seeing, although I'm sure that it has happened.

At any rate, USC is going to tumble in the rankings, and so you have to ask--is Stanford that good? Probably not. But, against USC, Stanford has been really, really good. Tonight, it wasn't even close. Stanford should have won by twelve or more, and if they had had a kicking game, they would have.

Stanford's David Shaw outcoached Lane Kiffin, and that's the real story here. You have to give Shaw credit because nobody else will.

No One Appears to Be Helping Amanda Bynes


I would not take any of this at face value, but it is a sad story nonetheless:

Amanda Bynes has much bigger problems than smoking pot and driving illegally ... there's evidence she has serious mental issues. 
TMZ has spoken with a number of people who have had repeated contact with Bynes over the last few months, and the stories are consistent and disturbing.
Several people from her gym -- Equinox in West Hollywood - tell us, she has been showing increasingly alarming signs of delusional behavior. One person says Amanda came to the gym Thursday looking dazed and began speaking with herself -- making comments and then answering back.
 
Another person says when Amanda was on the elliptical, she would stop suddenly and start "laughing hysterically for no reason." She did this periodically throughout her workout. This person says he's seen her dozens of times in the last few months, and says it's apparent her condition is "deteriorating."
The problem is, there is no "journalism" being practiced here. This is just tabloid gossip.

What I would really like to see is a story where someone uses their real name and backs up their opinion. Good luck finding that.

Bynes is in legal trouble, and that's easy to document. There are paparazzi following her around, taking pictures of her doing things she shouldn't be doing. But, since when does someone end up being addicted to pot? How is that the most dangerous drug there is, especially when you can get it if you have glaucoma? I don't get that.

Clearly, her lifestyle choices are wrong right now. Who should be helping her and why aren't they? That's what I would like to know.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp Forgot to Shut Up About the War on Women

Just another day of lies, outrage, and hate: 

A Republican member of Congress equated Planned Parenthood to “slavery forces” and called it a “racist organization” that was “created with the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a congressman from Kansas who made the comments at the 2012 Values Voter Summit this morning, is staunchly anti-abortion rights and said he has adopted four children “each of them either black, Hispanic, native American.”
“Besides slavery, abortion is the other darkest stain on our nation’s character,” Huelskamp told the crowd. “And this president is looking for every way possible to make abortion more available and more frequent, and he wants you to pay for it -- even if you disagree with it. Welcome to another provision of Obamacare.
Now, embedded in all of that is an interesting take on reality. Planned Parenthood has, at its core, a firm commitment to women's health. If you attack Planned Parenthood, then you're attacking the only access of health care that many women in this country have access to. 

And that's racist? Please.

This man is a fool. He represents the extremists in the United States Congress who hate women, hate freedom, and have no business telling anyone how things work. He's a demagogue and he should be thrown out of Congress. Except that he won't because he comes from the virulently anti-everything common sense state of Kansas. 

Gangnam Style is My Style

Well, well, well. It looks like my old friends in South Korea have a cultural meme craze on their hands.
“The video has been incredibly popular. It’s just great — opening doors to people who otherwise may not know or be even interested about learning about this area.”
Gangnam literally means “south of the river,” referring to its location relative to the Han River, which flows through the South Korean capital. The district has often been called the “Beverly Hills of Seoul” for its high-end fashion, fine dining and posh stores selling luxury brands. 
It’s also home to famous cosmetic surgeons, attracting visitors who come to the area to undergo plastic surgery, said Andrea Choi, a researcher at the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, who lived in Seoul for more than a decade.
My own experiences with Seoul range from riding through it in buses or in a military vehicle and in visiting the large complex on Yongsan, which, I believe is closing or is being dramatically reduced as an American military installation. The Itaewon district is the international district; Gangnam  is right across the river from Yongsan District, so I would imagine that I have been through there. If not, then I have been through the parts that are fantastic to see at night--the bright neon signs and the massive outdoor video display screens. What a wonderful area.

Anyway, Gangnam style means being unafraid to get your pony on. Come on, you know you want to strut through the rich part of town on an imaginary horse. Just do it.

Four Wheeler Tricks With Some Dudes


These youngsters known how to do some fairly basic tricks on their four-wheeler. Of particular interest is the fact that, because they are wearing helmets, albeit, a baseball helmet for one of the little guys, they are not hillbillies.

Hillbillies eschew helmets of every kind, save pith helmets, which are important for hunting rats. If you see someone in a pith helmet without a T-shirt, consider yourself lucky that you witnessed a man hunting rats, with or without a crossbow.

America's Scold is On Her Back With One Leg in the Air


Mika Brzezinski lost all credibility when she became America's Scold--a position formerly held by Kathie Lee Gifford and temporarily occupied by Rosie O'Donnell.

I can't imagine either one of them posing next to a smug, seated man in a black cocktail dress, high heels, and with one leg pointing into the air while positioned in a supplicant pose, can you? If you were going to analyze this from the position of a feminist, what would you start with? Her pouty look in the direction of a former Congressman who kills the hired help or would you start with the fact that, here, you have a woman who purports to be a journalist on her back on a coffee table? Or would you just tear it all up and go do something meaningful?

It's a great photo, unless you're in the information business and need your credibility.

Brzezinski and Scarborough represent a tiny minority of people who live in a sheltered enclave and believe that their presence on television gives them a right to lecture other people about how to live. Is this how they live? Wow.

Is It Time to Disengage in North Africa?


All of this over a film being made? Apparently, yes.

What possible good is it to have embassies in countries that cannot control their population? Both of our embassies in Libya and Egypt should be emptied and whatever money was in the pipeline for these failed states should be allocated to other countries where the rule of law matters.

The Arab Spring is over and this is what's coming.

Every nation has a reasonable expectation that their embassies abroad will be protected by the host nation. When the host nation is a failed state--and Libya is well on its way to that status, as is Egypt--then these embassies should be abandoned. Disengagement is a wonderful concept when applied correctly. No American life is worth a diplomatic mission inside of a country going off the rails.

The Film Business Always Dies After Labor Day


Another day, another example of how nothing can be made into news.

If the trends say that the box office receipts in North America almost always decline after Labor Day, and if it's the week or two after Labor Day and film receipts are down, then, the question is, so what?

If the people who run the film business know that dumping a film on the public in early September is a great way to get some product out the door without anyone noticing, why is anyone surprised when people don't pay to go see this stuff?

Gather Round, Wingnuts


The Romney campaign continues to function as if it really were a shambles; there's no other explanation for such a statement.

Given the fact that the base of the Republican Party regards "Obamacare" as an unconstitutional devil-enabling device that will suck their souls out through their noses and render America a socialist wasteland of Biblical proportions, it's hard to fathom why Romney would enrage his own base and try to run for the "center." 

Oh, wait. He's losing.

Now I got it. Never mind.

Another Violent, Delusional Stalker


It's fair to say that celebrity stalkers are an almost permanent, regular occurrence in society right now, and this story is going to fade with a lot of the other ones that have been cropping up. This man was armed with scissors; what happens when one of these people ends up with an arsenal of weapons and a serious grudge?

I have never thought that the anti-stalking laws go far enough; it's fair to say that the laws that are on the books do skew towards being slightly unconstitutional, but still. Where's the happy balance between protecting celebrities and allowing people to maintain their rights? We have not found it as of yet.

Rick Reilly Goes With Phony Outrage Again


How does Rick Reilly manage to manufacture such a lopsided pile of phony outrage?

That's all he trades in with this column--phony outrage masked behind decade-old Internet snark. What a waste of space.

Nick Saban made a very significant point that should be acknowledged with something other than Reilly's immature belief in the ownership to his own peculiar brand of smarty-pantsedness--no team should ever go into a college football game believing it won't be tested.

If Saban wants to rant at the media for making his game against another team into a joke, he should be free to do so. His players need to be prepared to meet any challenge that comes their way on the football field. It is not outside the realm of possibility that Saban was merely trying to ensure that the appropriate level of urgency would be present when his team went out to play.

That does not mean that Rick Reilly gets to phone in another column full of nothing.

Anybody can beat anybody--and if that's not part of who you are as a coach, you're not going to get anywhere nearly as far in coaching as Saban.

The Platz


A bit of amateur photography, and a great combination of angles, views, and the tree that, I suspect, died and no one quite knew it.

Look What Reuters is Trying to Pull


Steve Holland appears to be carrying water for the Romney campaign. What an incompetent jackass.

With the applause still dying down, of course there is no "bounce" from the Democratic National Convention--it's midnight on the East Coast. Duh.

So, let's look at this piece of hackery.

President Obama is shown in the most unflattering way possible--darkened and shaded and almost impossible to identify. Reuters is, in the most racist terms possible, showing the President in the most despicable terms it thinks it can get away with. There is no way--no way--that this photo was included with this article by accident. If this is the best picture Reuters could get, Reuters should fire their photographers.

The polls cited were taken on Wednesday--BEFORE Bill Clinton spoke, before Joe Biden spoke, and before the President spoke. What bounce are you going to see BEFORE the end of the speakers and BEFORE the end of the convention. Double duh.

As for this notion that Romney was "clinging" to a lead, well, who are you going to believe? The racist, incompetent hacks at Reuters or Nate Silver?


I'll take Silver's methodology over Reuters any day.

Steve Holland should get a dozen pants-on-fires for this one, but he won't. What absolute hackery.


Crazy Gina Rinehart Thinks You Aren't Worth a Nickel


Gina Rinehart is the gift that keeps on giving. She's a billionaire heiress with a tin ear for public relations and a striking inability to understand how ridiculous she sounds every time she opens her mouth.

Bear in mind that the Australian dollar is worth less than the American dollar; her "two dollars a day" isn't even really two dollars at all. It's a bit less than that. And the workers of the world are mere scum who should be happy for the crumbs thrown down by a woman whose sole accomplishment in this world was being born in the correct family.

Food Stamps and the Debacle of Modern Economics


This sort of thing should get people motivated to do something about our economy, but it doesn't.

If you don't get people working, you won't get the number of people using foodstamps to go down. And the economic benefits of getting people back to work are staggering--more money to support state and local governments, more money paid into the system through sales taxes, and more people contributing to the economy in positive ways. This should be the number one goal of government.

Instead, we have lethargy and obstructionism. It's ridiculous. How anyone could vote Republican is beyond me.

The Obama Administration is the only hope for recovery. The Republicans want to throw people to the wolves.

The Eternal Politics of Bill Clinton


Nobody gets it better than Bill Clinton gets it:


“In Tampa the Republican argument against the president's re-election was pretty simple: We left him a total mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in," Clinton will say. “I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a more modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators."
Clinton knows what is at stake this year:
“The most important question is," Clinton will say, "what kind of country do you want to live in? If you want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society, you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared prosperity and shared responsibility -- a we're-all-in-this-together society -- you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”
I don't think there is anyone who can sum it up better than that. This is the message that the Democratic Party should rally behind.

COIN is Dead and Should Not Be Mourned


The demise of John Nagl means that COIN, as a strategy and a fundamental principle of how the United States will fight future wars, is dead. We should celebrate this fact by watching a village somewhere in the dusty part of the world burn to the ground slowly, surrounded by confused soldiers.

In years past, I watched these fights and watched these fools screech about how COIN was the future, how COIN would turn things around in our endless war on the tactic known as terror, and how these "people" would rise to great positions of power. They were left behind and now the last of them has rolled under the tires, forgotten and powerless, discredited and useless. Oh, and those who thought using cultural anthropologists to help should be gone as well.

Does Tom Ricks still have a job? He should be shit-canned with the rest of them. He was the cheerleader for these charlatans, and they should shack up on his couch and wait to be evicted with anyone else who thinks that COIN should be elevated and celebrated.


The Deranged Shyster Known As The Reverend Sun Myung Moon is Dead


The elegant hagiography of the Washington or "Moonie" Times can be found here:
The Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, the leader of the Unification Church and founder of The Washington Times, died early Monday in South Korea. He was 92. 
He passed away just before 2 a.m. local time (12:54 p.m. EDT Sunday) from complications of pneumonia at Cheongshim International Hospital outside Seoul, while surrounded by family, friends and followers, according to Unification Church leaders. 
A comment was not immediately available from Unification Church International President Hyung Jin Moon, his youngest son and appointed successor of the religious movement. But Rev. Joshua Cotter, vice president of the Unification Church USA, said Sunday that “the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, revered by millions as the Messiah and True Parent, who was born in Korea but who lived more than 40 years in America … has ascended.”
Reverend Moon was proof that America is the perfect place to foist a half-baked cult onto people. It's fun, it's profitable, and no one can shut you down because America is where religious fundamentalists are allowed to practice their faiths as if they were corporate businesses.

Unless and until we figure out that religions such as this, and shysters like the Reverend Moon, should be jailed, imprisoned, and fined for their misdeeds and their "churches" taxed like crazy (Scientology, everyone in the room is looking at you), you can expect more of his ilk to pollute society with nonsense, bullshit, and a savvy marketing plan. The weak and the feeble-minded are the low-hanging fruit that these people like to pick. America will always produce these needy, clingy people.

Part of what makes us a great country is knowing that a filthy criminal in sweaty pants can rob them blind by giving them the kind of hope that makes people giggle and pretend to see Jeebus everywhere.

He was no Messiah. He was a crook, and there isn't enough torque built into a commercial grade backhoe to screw his rotted corpse into the ground. They will have to build something from scratch using a bulldozer chassis and a hydraulic rig from a James Cameron film and hope they can work at least 12% of the old bastard into the sod before his maggots emerge and begin begging for change at the airport.

It's a Wonder Anything Ever Gets Made


Gerard Butler's next film probably won't be Motor City; due to the issuance of an impossible drop dead date, the film was halted before it could even start filming.

Stories like this remind me of the fact that movies are tough to make. Finding the money to go forward and keeping everything solvent and happy and functioning is the kind of hard work that should make people appreciate producers.