So if I'm understanding this right, the Romney campaign's new campaign theme is Bill Clinton is awesome. So vote Romney. [...]
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As the mainstream media and pundits trying to be relevant send waves of ridiculous suggestions to wash over the public--Condoleezza Rice, General Petraeus, Chris Christie--savvy political watchers know that the better place to see who is the veep front-runner is actually Wikipedia.
The Romney campaign wants you to download its mobile app to be among the first to find out who Mitt is going to pick as his running mate, but if past history is any guide, you might want to instead be looking at Wikipedia ? and whether any of the leading contenders' entries are being suddenly brushed up.
Sarah Palin's Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain's favor, had 54 edits on August 28th, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks ? Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison ? saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden's Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post.
According to those with the time to clock the changes, Rob Portman is ahead...way ahead of the other potential candidates. No surprise there, Portman has been leading the list of "safe" veep choices.
But what happens when Portman starts getting the tougher scrutiny that even Sarah Palin's Wikipedia promoters couldn't save her from? Noah Rothman of Mediaite has his tongue firmly in his cheek with the first volley:
With Vice Presidential rumors swirling around Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the media is beginning to ask tough questions about his family?s investments ? specifically, a hotel in which Yahoo! News? Chris Moody opted to spend a night. What he found there was? disconcerting. [..]
If Portman is selected to join Mitt Romney on the GOP presidential ticket, he will have to answer some tough questions about his time as President George W. Bush?s budget director and his prescription for how the Congress can avoid going over the ?fiscal cliff? in January. But the hardest questions to answer may focus on his creepy doll hotel and the rumors that it serves as a gateway to the hereafter.
Actually, Portman needs to worry less about the creepy b&bs and more about the 1,600 pages of oppo research that was just released and his association with the Bush administration and their economic track record. He may be a "safe" choice for Romney, but his record is anything but.
Citizens of any country who hear a high-ranking US official discuss plans to help their country "meet the aspirations of its citizens" and "counter violent extremism that threatens our shared security" should be frightened. Look at Iraq. Two scholars for[...]
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NEIL BAROFSKY is sounding off beyond his new book Bailout and creating a media firestorm along the way. It’s a very good thing.
Barofsky was a former federal prosecutor who became the special inspector general for TARP. He was appointed under Pres. Bush, then Obama kept him on.
He’s run into wall after wall inside government, because his idea of what needs to happen versus the cozy cronyism that keeps people in their government jobs or climbing the Wall Street ladder collided.
Government officials, he says, eagerly served Wall Street interests at the public?s expense, and regulators were captured by the very industry they were supposed to be regulating. He says he was warned about being too aggressive in his work, lest he jeopardize his future career. – Into the Bailout Buzz Saw
More from the an interview with financial writer wizard Gretchen Morgenson, from the end of July:
?So much of what?s wrong with Dodd-Frank is it trusts the regulators to be completely immune to the corrupting influences of the banks,? he said in the interview. ?That?s so unrealistic. Congress has to take a meat cleaver to these banks and not trust regulators to do the job with a scalpel.?
Finally, Mr. Barofsky joins the ranks of those who believe that another crisis is likely because of the failed response to this one. ?Incentives are baked into the system to take advantage of it for short-term profit,? he said. ?The incentives are to cheat, and cheating is profitable because there are no consequences.?
Despite all of this, Mr. Barofsky ends on something of a positive note. Meaningful changes to our broken system may finally come about, he writes, if enough people get angry. His conclusion is this: ?Only with this appropriate and justified rage can we sow the seeds for the types of reform that will one day break our system free from the corrupting grasp of the megabanks.?
The second video below gives you an idea of what’s going on in Washington and inside the big two political parties. It’s yet another example of why I question the idealistic notion that this is a country by and for the people anymore, asking at the top of this site “We the People?”
We simply don’t own our country anymore and neither electing Obama or Romney will change that fact.
The more troublesome question, with no pleasant or easy answer, is what can be done about it?
Plus: A slick cartoon while we wait for some good Christian outrage over the Sikh temple shooting
"I just feel that Chick-fil-A is just part of my gay identity. I was actually at a Chick-fil-A, eating a Chick-fil-A sandwich, when I realized that I was gay."
I couldn't resist sharing this Casual Mafia video, which answers the question: Exactly how many chicken sandwiches does one have to eat in order to be turned gay? Okay, maybe the video doesn't exactly answer the question, but it sure as shit asks it, which is pretty unexpected, wouldn't you say? The gay Chick-fil-A customer is Justin Martindale; the, um, deeply confused interviewer is Josh Macuga.
"I just want to say, thanks, Chick-fil-A, for letting me realize what I can be -- gayer than I ever intended to be, and, uh, every time I eat a chicken sandwich [takes bite and groans with pleasure] it just makes me want to do all of the gayest stuff I could ever think of. Like, all of it."
MEANWHILE, GOOD CHRISTIAN OUTRAGE OVER THE
SIKH TEMPLE SHOOTING COULD COME, ER, ANYTIME
As I pointed out on Monday, we know how important "freedom of religion" is to those Christian blowhards. Why, when the creepy little voices they hear echoing in the empty hollows of their heads tell them that Christianity is under attack, that's just the importantest thing in the world, unless you count denouncing the dastardly War on Christmas (which exists in those same empty heads and nowhere else).
I know some people are saying that Christianity in America has been reduced to a cult of sociopathic fascist doodybrains. (Not, by the way, that an outrage like what happened in Oak Creek would be a whit more acceptable if the targets had been Muslims, but the grim fact remains that American Christian haters are so screechingly stupid, they don't know that Sikhs aren't Muslims.) However, I can feel in my bones that we're going to hear some red-hot Christian outrage over the violent disruption and murder of innocent Sikh worshippers . . . um, any week now.
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Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast think so. There?s a secret lurking behind everything you?re reading about the upcoming election, a secret that all political insiders know?or should?but few are talking about, most likely because it takes the drama out of the whole business. The secret is the electoral college, and the fact is that the more you look at it, the more you come to conclude that...
And so it began with a series of bangs and ends with a whimper. Jared Lee Loughner, having been pronounced fit to stand trial, pled guilty to 19 charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with his rampage in Tuscon. The final plea agreement, via Huffington Post:
Loughner pleaded guilty to 19 counts, including attempted assassination of a member of Congress, murder and attempted murder of federal employees, and causing death and injury at a federally provided activity. As part of the agreement, the federal government dropped 30 other counts.
Washington Post had a little more detail on his affect, and the reactions of the victims:
Wearing khakis, Loughner sat quietly throughout the hearing and smiled at one point when a psychologist testifying about his competence remarked that he had bonded with one of the federal prison guards.
After the hearing, Loughner?s parents cried and embraced. The victims mostly just watched without expression.
?He?s a different person in his appearance and his affect than the first time I laid eyes on him,? said Judge Larry A. Burns, who then accepted the plea agreement and added that he found it to be in the best interest of everyone involved.
The outcome was welcomed by some victims, including Giffords herself, as a way to move on.
?The pain and loss caused by the events of Jan. 8, 2011, are incalculable,? Giffords said in a joint statement with her husband, Mark Kelly. ?Avoiding a trial will allow us ? and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community ? to continue with our recovery.?
Ron Barber, a former Giffords staffer who was wounded in the attack and later won election to her seat after she stepped down, said he hoped the plea will help the victims and their families ?move forward and continue our healing process.?
?I truly believe that justice was done today,? he said after the hearing. ?It is important to me that this individual never again is in a position in which he can cause harm to anyone else.?
Susan Hileman, who accompanied slain 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green to the gathering outside a supermarket and was wounded in the attack, said nothing would return her life to what it was before the shooting.
?This is so sad ?a 23-year-old who?s going to spend the rest of his life in a box. I feel empty. What I want, I can?t have,? she said, adding that she was relieved the case ended. Still, ?it?s like a Band-Aid that keeps getting ripped off.?
Experts had concluded that Loughner suffers from schizophrenia, and officials at a federal prison have forcibly medicated him with psychotropic drugs for more than a year.
My brain understands that he was mentally ill. But emotionally, I'm frustrated by the fact that he was able to snap, get his hands on guns, and shoot people up, just like James Holmes did, who had a freaking arsenal at his disposal despite his obvious slipping grip on reality.
And we're already not talking about Wade Page. Why not? A white supremacist hater known to the Southern Poverty Law Center, he was behaving erratically and irresponsibly ahead of last weekend's rampage. Yes, he's dead. There is that. But so are six other people who would be alive if he hadn't been able to put his hands on guns and walk into a temple and start shooting people up.
So when, exactly, do we get to start talking about gun control and mental health services in this country? Because as far as I can see, it's way out of control right now.
Our campaign suffered a major gaffe today. This is almost unthinkable, since both my campaign and myself have been known for our astonishingly gaffe-free behavior to date, but I suppose it was bound to happen.
Supporters of my opponent had released an ad in which one of the countless people my investment company fired (I have many anecdotes related to firing people, most of them humorous, but now is not the time) noted that he had lost his health insurance after being fired, and soon afterwards lost his wife to cancer. My press secretary, whom I have not yet fired, responded by noting that if that person and his wife had lived in Massachusetts, he would have still had health insurance because of the law I signed as governor intended to help families such as that.
This is quite a blow. Our base does not react well to suggestions that people with cancer ought to receive treatment regardless of their employment status, and the implication that that law I signed in Massachusetts may have actually helped someone in such a situation, even theoretically, could be a fatal error if not dealt with immediately. Our full staff has assembled in order to determine how best to recover.
While various suggestions have been made, such as coming out with a strong pro-cancer statement or vowing to use my own business connections and expertise to spread as much cancer as possible, the consensus is that I must at least condemn the notion that people with cancer should receive treatment if they do not live in Massachusetts, and that I need to make it clear that treating people who have cancer is a choice best left to the states, as not all states will wish to treat people who have cancer, and that if elected I will ensure that as few people with cancer as possible receive health care, regardless of locale or employment. I have directed the staff to craft language to that effect.
I am despondent, Mr. Diary. Things were going so well, and heaven knows I have tried at every juncture in my own business career to provide as little help to commoner units as possible?only now to be accused of providing substantive assistance to sick people. I believe my press secretary knows the severity of her error. My only hesitation as to firing her is the thought that she would probably get better health insurance working for another employer, and that seems too much reward to give someone who has botched things so badly.
Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River. It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate[...]
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Previously: Sen. Claire McCaskill at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City - 8/8/12 (August 8, 2012)
After her opening remarks this morning at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City Senator Claire McCaskill (D) took questions from the media.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) speaking on the shop floor at Standard Sheet Metal in Kansas City, Missouri this morning.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Yes, yes. Uh, Truth, Truth About Akin. Um, you know, I think that a lot of these negative ads are full of lies and distortions and we're gonna try to be very old fashioned about this. I'm gonna run this campaign like I used to run my cases as a prosecutor here in Jackson County. Just the evidence, folks, just the evidence.
And most of the things that we will put on the web site about Truth About Akin, it will be his votes, it will be his words, not our words, but his words. Uh, the things he's said about student loans being like the third stage of cancer of socialism. Um, very, very out of the main stream ways of looking at something basic like, uh, a young person having a federal guarantee on a student loan...
...Question: Senator, you, Senator, uh, he's the one, uh, who's already saying you're the one who's out of the main stream when it comes to health care reform. He says you backed health care reform, Missourians clearly don't want it, you're the one out of the main stream, not Todd Akin. What do you say to that.
Senator McCaskill: Well, I, I think everybody in Missouri knows that I believe that the health care reform will make things better for Missouri families if they will give it a chance. I continue to believe that is the case. They've gotten a lot of misinformation about this reform. Um, and, and Todd Akin still can't answer the question, what do we do with the young man that shows up at the emergency room with traumatic injuries, that has chosen not to buy insurance? Um, do we turn him away? Or do we continue to pay his bills for him? Uh, Todd Akin liked the idea of a mandate when it came from the Heritage Foundation. Um, he just doesn't like the idea of a mandate when it comes from a Democratic president.
Question: Actually, Senator, he said that he looked at a mandate in terms that it was unconstitutional, not that he liked it.
Senator McCaskill: Well, um, it, it's interesting because he clearly talked to a reporter and said that that's something that, that should be considered. So, may, I think he changed his mind because he put his finger in the, in the wind. Um, I'm, you know, this is Harry Truman's seat and I really do believe that sometimes it's important to not just poll what you believe. I really do believe that, like Medicare and Social Security that were very unpopular when they were passed, if Missourians will just give this a chance they're gonna be very pleasantly surprised.
Question: Senator, almost the first words out of Congressman Akin's mouth last night was he was thanking God for his good fortune. What kind of role do you anticipate religion playing in this campaign?
Senator McCaskill: Oh, I, I, um, I'm a woman of faith. And I, um, I respect Todd Akin's faith. I don't think anybody should ever question anyone's faith. I do think it is, um, unfortunate that Todd Akin would say that in the heart of every liberal is a hatred of God. While I'm proud to be a moderate I certainly know a lot of liberals that worship Jesus Christ and believe very much in their religion. And I think to cast aspersions on anyone because of their faith would be, uh, something I would never be comfortable with. I respect Todd Akin's faith, and I know that he is sincere.
Question: Do you think relgion's going to be an issue?
Senator McCaskill: I, I, I, I don't know that it will be. I think it's, um, uh, it's not something that, while I hold my faith as very important in my life, it's not something that I typically campaign with. But, I certainly respect his decision to do so.
Question: Claire, Crossroads GPS is going up with another ad today accusing you of voting many times to raise taxes. Are you gonna fight back against this [inaudible]? Do you have a new ad coming out [inaudible]?
Senator McCaskill: Well, um, I, I think that Crossroads is wearing out their welcome in Missouri. Um, if you look at Todd Akin's campaign, I mean, he ran positive ads. Uh, there were no negative ads run, um, uh, for Todd Akin or by Todd Akin. And, I, I think that, um, that Crossroads is distorting my record. I've voted for over a trillion dollars in tax cuts since I've been in Washington, mostly for the middle class. And while Todd Akin didn't support the payroll tax and was conflicted about the payroll tax cut, I believe payroll tax cuts are important because they reach so many Missourians. Ninety-eight percent, ninety-five percent of Missourians enjoy those tax cuts. So, I have voted for many tax cuts, including tax cuts for this, businesses like this. So I am really, really committed to making sure these tax cuts are focused on the middle class and small businesses.
Now, on the other hand, Todd Akin, um, in his architect, he was an architect in the Republican budget, uh, that continues to give big taxpayer checks to oil companies. And he is refusing to lock in tax breaks for ninety-eight percent of America because he's so worried about the two percent mega millionaires at the very top. He and I differ on tax policy. But I think, uh, I certainly have a strong record of cutting taxes for the middle class and for small businesses.
Question: Are you gonna let those ads run unopposed for the next couple weeks or are you gonna counter that on TV?
Senator McCaskill: Well, we will, we will, uh, put advertising back up on TV, um, I don't know that we are gonna bother with a lot of this anonymous money attacks. I, I really think Missourians are smart enough to know if, if somebody is not willing to say they're paying for an ad you probably don't need to believe a word that's in the ad.
Question: Claire, I know you have conference call in a short bit of time so I don't have to get on that as well. Could you tell what action you're taking with the, uh, the, the immigration girl?
Senator McCaskill: Yeah. I, I, um, I have a conference call in just a, a few, I think, in about a half hour, uh, with Lauren Gray and her family and, uh, they have been given a deferral. She has been given a deferral and she will be allowed to stay in, uh, the United States and she will get a work permit. So, as a recent college graduate she now can, uh, go out and get employment and remain in the United States.
Question: And is that a result of a request you put in, that you got [inaudible]?
Senator McCaskill: I certainly worked very hard to help her get the deferral. I, um, I, I, you know, I'm a little uncomfortable taking credit for it. I know that Congressman [Todd] Graves wanted to help, too. But I had a conversation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and said, something's wrong here, if a young lady like this is being forced to leave the country. And, uh, the Secretary of, uh, Homeland Security agreed with me.
Question: Senator, you, you have a [inaudible] today, and secondly, do you have a statewide tour coming up, what, next week, do I understand?
Senator McCaskill: Correct, correct.
Question: Could you tell me what [crosstalk]...?
Senator McCaskill: Um, uh, today I'll be here in the Kansas City area. Uh, and then, uh, back, uh, in St. Louis, uh, tomorrow. Then I will be on the road beginning on Monday and I will be traveling the state for an entire week, including something I'm really looking forward to. I'm hooking up the RV and camping overnight at the State Fair next week. [laughter] And we're gonna invite everybody at the State Fair to come by the RV and, uh, grab a lawn chair, and, um, I'm gonna try to bake some cookies and, uh, hang out at the RV. And we're gonna spend the night, uh, in the camp ground. So, I'm looking forward to that.
Question: That tour is statewide next [crosstalk]...?
Senator McCaskill: Statewide. Statewide. We'll be going to every corner of the state, uh, very small communities and some very large communities. It's going to based on agriculture.
Um, you know, I have a very strong record supporting Missouri's agriculture. Todd Akin has a very poor record supporting Missouri agriculture. So, I believe there's some real contrast to be drawn there.
Anything else? And I want to thank everybody for being here today. Thank you. [applause]
Senator McCaskill received a brief tour of machinery on the shop floor after the media question and answer session.