Friday, September 14, 2012

Memo To Michael Steele: Time To Spit The Bit ...

DON'T EVEN TRY GETTING ARGUMENTATIVE WITH JOY-ANN REED, PAL. You're just not in her league. Stick to your little Fred Luntz talking points and your B.S. filibuster sessions with best buddy, Chris. Once a political hack, always a political hack.


AS THE LITTLE PUNK MAKES A JOKE ABOUT THE 71-YEAR OLD RETIRED PLUMBER, WHO WAS ROUGHLY WRESTLED TO THE FLOOR AND HANDCUFFED: "I hope he's taking his blood pressure medication." Are you paying attention, seniors?!
"As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about him, Tom Nielsen found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. The 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan's plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman's only public appearance scheduled during the August recess — a $15 Rotary Club luncheon. Nielsen repeatedly told police that he wasn't fighting them and that he didn't want to make any trouble. He also told them several times that he had a broken shoulder. Police officers ignored his comments as they wrestled him to the ground despite his howls of pain."

Gail Collins Takes A Whack At The Mitt Piñata ...

DON'T YOU LOVE IT? GAIL SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE OF THE FEMALE SUBURBAN "INDEPENDENT" VOTER, millions of whom at this very moment are considering Gail's kitchen table conclusion: "Two months to go and we’re rethinking our presumption that the Republican primary voters picked the most stable option."

Mitt’s Major Meltdown
Mitt Romney broke our deal.

Perhaps he didn’t know he’d made it, although, really, I thought it was pretty clear.

He could do anything he wanted during this campaign as long as he sent out signals that once he got in the White House he was not likely to be truly crazy.

We, in return, were going to be able to continue with our normal sleeping patterns through the fall.

It didn’t seem to be a lot to ask, but when the crisis in the Middle East flared up, Romney turned out to have no restraining inner core. All the uneasy feelings you got when he went to London and dissed the Olympic organizers can now come into full bloom. Feel free to worry about anything. That he’d declare war on Malta. Lock himself in a nuclear missile silo and refuse to come out until there’s a tax cut. Hand the country over to space aliens.

Here is the Republican candidate for president of the United States on Wednesday, explaining why he broke into a moment of rising international tension and denounced the White House as “disgraceful” for a mild statement made by the American Embassy in Cairo about the importance of respecting other people’s religions:

“They clearly — they clearly sent mixed messages to the world. And — and the statement came from the administration — and the embassy is the administration — the statement that came from the administration was a — was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a — a — a severe miscalculation.”

Feel free to reread this when you’re staring at the ceiling at 4 a.m.

This all began on Sept. 11. There were protests in the Middle East, at least some of them involving an anti-Islamic movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a cowardly, drunken torturer of children and old women. I did not see any puppies being dismembered, but then I only watched the 14-minute trailer.

A man identifying himself as Sam Bacile told The Wall Street Journal that he made it in California with $5 million from more than 100 donors. However, nothing Bacile said about himself seemed to hold up in the light of day. And if he did raise $5 million, those donors need to hire a lawyer. The trailer looks as though it was made by a 13-year-old boy with access to a large supply of fake beards.

The film popped up on YouTube dubbed in Arabic, stirring outrage. In response, the American Embassy in Cairo said it deplored “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Does that seem all that bad to you, people? It was definitely a film whose only point was to offend people of the Islamic faith. I would also call whoever made it not well-guided.

It isn’t clear how the movie, the protests in Egypt and the murders of four American diplomats in Libya fit together. That’s the job of intelligence experts. We’re stuck with the task of evaluating Mitt Romney, who went for a cheap attack at a time when any calm, mature adult would have waited and opted for at least a brief show of national unity.

The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded.

Virtually nobody seemed to think this was all that great a plan. The Romney campaign, according to CNN, helpfully passed out suggestions for supporters who might want to defend Mitt. (When asked whether he was too quick on the attack, loyalists were supposed to say: “No. It is never too soon to stand up for American values and interests.”)

But not all that many other Republicans seemed excited about joining in. A few social conservatives did unveil a hitherto-unnoticed passion for the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom to make fun of religion. “It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims,” said Senator Jim DeMint.

And, let’s see, who else. Donald Rumsfeld tweeted support. Party chairman Reince Priebus chimed in: “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.” Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona said the embassy’s comment “is like the judge telling the woman that got raped, ‘You asked for it because of the way you dressed.’ That’s the same thing.”

On this side: Mitt Romney, a totally disgraced former secretary of defense, a person named Reince Priebus, and a new Republican rape comment.

Two months to go and we’re rethinking our presumption that the Republican primary voters picked the most stable option.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quotable, Richard Williamson: Romney's Top Foreign Policy Aide Justifies Mitt's Behavior

"Ty Cobb was the greatest hitter of all time and he batted about .355. And he is still the greatest hitter. There isn’t something in my 63 years I couldn’t have done better except con my wife into marrying me.” ~ Williamson trying to explain Romney's slam of President Obama before the dust had cleared, and the death toll was known.

COMMENT: I kid you not; you can't make this stuff up, folks.

Mark Halperin Redux, Ad Nauseating ...

COMPOUNDING THE SURREAL REACTION OF THE CHATTERING MSNBC CLASS — MARTIN BASHIR WON THE DAY FOR ELOQUENT REPORTING AND COMMENTARY, hands down, while Chris Matthews is back in the DOGHOUSE — the ubiquitous Mark Halperin returned to Hardball to spread more Romney apologist garbage on a very tough day.

Not that Halperin's initial statement from his Time Mag perch wasn't carefully auspicious ... for Halperin. It was probably more of a self-invite to as many MSNBC spots as he could land on this day to spread more Romney crapaganda and disinformation. Sounded good, though:

"[Romney's] doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign." Of course, notice Halperin said, "likely to be seen;" Trans: Not by me. Sure enough, he was invited back on Hardball to put lipstick on this pig. Opposite Halperin was his newly-minted ass-kisser, the Huff Post's Howard Fineman.

Halperin mildly called the Romney statement, "a "mistake politically" and "it's the wrong thing to do." But then, while Chris slumped in his chair under Halperin's famous hypnotic trance, the Romney MEDIA MOLE went on an uninterrupted, uncorrected, typical pro-Romney Halperin riff:

"Mitt Romney feels this incident reveals" something about the President's foreign policy (WHAT, exactly?!); that he's "too apologetic" (AGAIN, A BALD-FACED LIE, REPEATEDLY DEBUNKED AND JUST AS REPEATEDLY ECHOED BY HALPERIN EVERY CHANCE HE GETS, ON MSNBC), the President does not "manage" foreign policy (WHAT? ... A PATHETIC HALPERIN PLOY, TO REPEAT THE BIG LIE AND HOPE SOMETHING STICKS); "there's questions" about the Cairo Embassy statement, "how it got put out," and it's "not the best worded statement" (EXCUSE ME?! — See statement below); as Halperin concludes with the nauseously familiar FALSE EQUIVALENCY: Said Halperin, this comes "from both sides — an unwillingness to back down, a macho, testosterone impulse to not back down."

LIES, LIES, LIES, LIES, LIES! This is so outrageous, it's literally a question of, 'where to begin', every time Halperin shows his ugly mug. The thing that is so infuriating about this expert crapagandist is his ability to make expert-sounding declarative statements WITHOUT A SHRED OF SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. There is NO EQUIVALENCY between the ROMNEY LIES and the Obama campaign. The "macho" and "testosterone" Halperin whines about is that he and Romney CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. The Obama attacks on Romney's evasions, secretiveness about releasing his taxes, and his UTTER FOREIGN POLICY INCOMPETENCE laid bare before us, today, HAPPEN TO BE FAIR GAME BECAUSE THEY'RE TRUE.

Sorry, pal, but your best-laid plans ... Or as Harry Truman famously said: "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."

Memo To Mark Halperin: You may think, with some justification given how easily you can pull the wool over Chris's head or invoke the 'buddy system' with Howard, that you can spread your Romney LIES with impunity. But we've got your number, pal. And we're not the only ones. As long as these scribblings reach someone with a brain, who can connect the dots RE: the FETID media culture you're such an expert at manipulating, we'll continue telling the TRUTH about you.


MORE TO THE POINT: CAN AMERICA SURVIVE A ROMNEY PRESIDENCY? UNLIKE MITT ROMNEY, I'LL stick to the facts commenting on a fluid, incendiary foreign policy crisis. This much is known: Romney launched his despicable political attack on the President (a) before all the facts were in; and (b) BEFORE THE VICTIMS WERE IDENTIFIED AND THE NEXT OF KIN NOTIFIED.

In context, the Cairo Embassy statement, issued by seasoned diplomats with knowledge of the potential inflammatory reaction by the Arab Street to a YouTube film attacking the Muslim religion, was a tactical effort to quell the passions of the crowd and prevent an escalation, which eventually happened, tragically for our diplomats in Libya. Here's the Cairo Embassy statement:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.

Today, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
This statement was made a full six hours before the Embassy walls were breached, as unrest grew outside. Shamefully and irresponsibly, Romney issued a statement attacking the President for "sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions." Only the Cairo Embassy statement was issued before the attacks in a failed attempt to calm the passions of the crowd! Tragically, the attack to our consulate in Benghazi, Libya resulted in the deaths of four U.S. diplomats, including our Embassador. Secretary Clinton and the President issued strong statements condemning the attacks. There is reason to believe the Libya attack was a terrorist operation to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary.

No one seems to want to pull a Romney, but I will: It's not unreasonable to consider whether his jingoistic statement may have further inflamed the crowd as protests continue outside the Cairo Embassy. As far as they're concerned, the American political class speaks with one voice, and it's one huge anti-Muslim conspiracy. They're all connected to the net, twitter and facebook, too, so Romney's bellicose statement almost certainly drowned out the more reasoned, dignified, and respectful statement issued by the Cairo Embassy. When he says America will "not apologize" the mob could interpret it as no apologies for the despicable anti-Islam film by a (alleged?) right wing Israeli hater, which started this tragic train of events.

Mitt Romney should STFU and APOLOGIZE himself, if he's man enough. The lives of Americans abroad, including our diplomats, are at stake in this fluid crisis. As Condi Rice said, "we have one President at a time." Step aside Mitt Romney, you odious, shameful ratbastard, stop nipping at President Obama's heels. It's undignified. American lives are on the line. Is nothing sacred?!

Instead, with a recklessness and stupidity that fundamentally disqualifies Romney from being president (if the MSM do their jobs the voters will perceive this), Romney doubled down on his earlier statement, trying to glean political advantage even after the deaths of four American diplomats. Evidently, with this odious clown — nothing really is sacred.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Memo To Rachel, Producers: Your Timing's WAAAY OFF!

RACHEL, HERE'S A PRETTY BASIC JOURNALISTIC RULE: NO TWO INTERVIEWS ARE THE SAME! Some rather boring folks you've had on for "THE INTERVIEW" got more air time than tonight's interviewee Kurt Eichenwald, who has uncovered new evidence that the Bush administration knew much more about the "imminent" 9/11 terrorist attacks, i.e. they ignored repeated urgent and specific warnings from CIA, and did nothing.

So what do YOU do: You give us a teaser about Ari Fleischer accusing Eichenwald of being a 9/11 "truther" ... Then, having dropped this tantalizing bomb, YOU FUCKING END THE INTERVIEW! ... "Kurt Eichenwald,valedictorian,former New York Times reporter,Vanity Fair contributor,author of X, Y and Z,little league coach ... BLAH-BLAH-BLAH ..." This after you spent an inordinate amount of air time, with those truly ANNOYING breaks, ACTUALLY ANNOUNCING THE INTERVIEW!

Rachel, Rachel, RACHEL ... One would think you might have learned something about good clock management from the Rand Paul interview, or FROM YOUR FAVORITE NFL COACH!

9/11 — A Date To Remember

ELEVEN YEARS LATER, HAVE WE ABSORBED THE LESSONS of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks? To hear the chickenhawk bellicosity of Mitt Romney, to see the stubborn ascendancy of America's fascist ruling class, the neocons, led by Dick Cheney and his PNAC cohorts, like John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky (a PNAC founder), Eliot Cohen, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor, to name a few, all members of Romney's "war cabinet," the answer is a resounding and frightening NO.

At the same time, most Democrats capitulated to the Bush regime's national security state 2.0 — the first version was the establishment of the CIA during the Cold War years, as the secret arm of American empire, the tyranny of the domestic surveillance state under J. Edgar Hoover, the illegal spying on prominent Americans such as Martin Luther King, on the civil rights and anti-war movements, and COINTELPRO, only to be codified today under cover of 9/11. Americans have ceded our freedoms to the national security state as a result of the trauma of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Today's New York Times has a devastating Op-Ed detailing the multiple warnings ignored by the Bush administration of the impending attacks, "The Deafness Before The Storm." Ironically, the CIA emerged as the good guys in this tragic debacle:
"And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else."
But today is a day for remembrance and reflection; a day to honor the victims and give thanks for we, the living; a day to rededicate ourselves to a world without war, strife, and terrorism. And a day to understand the lessons of 9/11/2001, that ultimately security comes not in trading our freedoms and democracy for Fortress America but in striving for a world in which terrorism and war are finally obsolete.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prez Gets Epic Bear Hug From Pizzaman, 'Biker' Joe Does Brando

YUP, THEY'RE THE WILD ONES, THIS DEMOCRATIC DYNAMIC DUO. Romney and Ryan can't connect with THE PEOPLE, like this:

Incidentally, the Pizza owner is a Republican who voted for the President in 2008 and will do so again, this year, obviously. And here's 'Biker' Joe, um, courting the biker vote:


OF COURSE IT HAS, WITH THE ELECTION APPROACHING, AS THE SENSE OF URGENCY to get Mitt Romney's message out to the corporate MSM, beyond the right wing FOX echo chamber (have you seen their ratings, lately?), grows stronger. The culprits, the facilitators, the principals at MSNBC, by their own admission and actions are Phil Griffin (who actually mentioned that execrable "a star is born" nonsense about Paul Ryan to make his point about MSNBC being so fair and balanced), Steve Capus who is a corporate Griffin lackey, and the two most egregious violators of providing a forum, or platform, for the false Romney Beltway Media narrative, Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell.

They're gone. Andrea, or as our sometime corporate collaborator Rachel says, "our beloved Andrea," is a willing co-conspirator. Chris Matthews, I'm convinced, is clueless about the circles he moves in; the D.C. political class is too intertwined and incestuous to escape the POLITICO groupthink. The Andrea-POLITICO connection is well known. As is the POLITICO Romney-Republican false narrative, willingly promoted by Andrea and perhaps unwittingly by Chris.

Today, in Hardball's opening segment, the theme was a "sweet" Democratic convention versus a "sour" Republican one. Chris hosted a real journalist, the Huff Post's Howard Fineman, and a Romney crapagandist, chief POLITICO RATBASTARD, Jim Vandehei. Immediately, Vandehei began pushing back with Romney trash talk:
  • The Repugs had successfully sold the electorate on the need for a change. Oh really? Then why have the polls not moved ONE IOTA for Romney beyond the Repug electoral base?! Even Vandehei had to reluctantly admit the Romney campaign "internals" in Ohio have Obama ahead by 8. 
  • Then he sought to diminish the FABULOUS Democratic convention, first, by denying the obvious, that Republicans weren't enthused for Romney, trying to build a TOTALLY FALSE case that they were; then he made another excuse, that the Democrats went second; SO WHAT!? That has NOTHING to do with putting on a great, well-managed convention. 
  • Then Vandehei dismissed the Democratic "bounce" which was significant to Chris in one poll, because it placed Obama for the first time above 50% approval, at 52%, saying he agreed (naturally) with the Romney pollster who characterized it as a "sugar high."
Let's pause here to look at the BIG PICTURE. What Vandehei, and that RATBASTARD ROMNEY SNAKE Mark Halperin working the Andrea beat, are doing with these specious, false/sophistic arguments is to build, brick-by-brick, a pro-Romney corporate Beltway narrative, almost subliminally influencing their subjects (which is a little harder to do with Chris, now that we read him the RIOT ACT; but not much) to repeat it on-air, hence spreading the false "message" for adoption by the MSM lemmings. Finally, for the Vandehei misinformation coup de gras:
  • He began claiming Romney's supposed debate prowess, while diminishing the President's. The aim here is to build false a priori expectations for who has "won" and "lost" the debate. It goes something like this: If the President wins, but Romney more or less holds his own, according to POLITICO's spin, then the debate goes to Romney. If the President creams Romney, then he has won "on points" but Romney connected with some dubious points. If the debate is perceived by the viewing public as more or less even, or a draw, then Romney has "won" because the diminished expectations, suddenly elevated, were so much higher for the President.
Such is the game the Vandeheis and Halperins of this world play. Speaking of Mark Halperin, he was  on Andrea's show making all sorts of false assertions, saying the President's speech was about the "fourth or fifth" best and didn't include any "specifics," then proceeded to riff on totally specious, sophistic points that sounded plausible but were completely false. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any transcript to rip this RATBASTARD's Romney crapaganda to shreds. Andrea, rather sheepishly, said to her other guest Obama's speech had more "specifics" than Romney's. UM ...YEA-AH.

Here's the thing, Chris. (Andrea, I'm not talking to you.) I don't care, or mind, if you have SELF-IDENTIFIED Republicans on your show to make their case for Romney. Good journalists, like Howard Fineman and Gene Robinson among many others, no matter their politics, leave their ideology at the door, and give us the benefit of their professional expertise and insights. Jim Vandehei and Mark Halperin are 'journalist' poseurs — and to host them on false pretenses on a news and commentary network is completely unacceptable.