The first openly gay rock star, Jobriath--who died from AIDS in 1983--was for decades a lost cult figure beloved by the underground cognoscenti, a whispered name, his songs listened to and played by those in the know. With Jobriath A.D., director Kieran[...]
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The people at Ring of Fire Radio have made a nice YouTube video of my recent conversation with host Mike Papantonio about the climate criminals ? who they are, why they act like they do. There's an excellent set of graphics in this interview. Do click if you're inclined.For those who've followed this climate discussion, thanks to you all. We're winding to a smashing finish. Just...
The art of short-selling is inextricably tied to the direction of the market. If the market has sold off for a number of sessions, then it's risky to short stocks. This is because . . . → Read More: Now is the Perfect Time to Short These Stocks
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Mitt Romney canceled one of his events in Florida today. The reasons why are unclear, and either have something to do with Mitt being literally too damn tired to manage even one more stupid bus ride to meet with the damn commoners in yet another stupid town, or not at all that thing I just said.
Following reports that he had cancelled a campaign event in Orlando due to exhaustion, Mitt Romney hit the gym this afternoon. [...]To be fair, gym muscles and brain muscles aren't the same muscles. In any event, the campaign is now saying that Romney is not "exhausted," so he's just blowing off the people in Orlando for the hell of it, and not for any other particular reason. I'm sure that'll make his Orlando supporters feel better.
A Florida newspaper had reported Monday morning that Romney was ?too exhausted to make the trip? to Orlando, which was to be sandwiched in between two other campaign events in other parts of the state. His campaign said earlier that the newspaper report was wrong in regards to Romney being exhausted.
Mitt doesn't seem to do particularly well when he's tired. When he botched the difference between "Sikh" and "sheik" in his condolences to the recent Sikh temple shooting victims, his spokesman said it was because "it was the end of the day." He called Paul Ryan the next "president of the United States" when introducing him this weekend, which is either a misstatement or a terrifying movie premise or both. All in all, it looks like Mitt Romney would be the kind of president who needs his crises to be carefully scheduled and happen only during normal business hours.
There could be another reason Mitt cancelled his event, though I can't say it would reflect any better on him:
Romney originally was scheduled to visit the home of Orlando attorney Adams and her fiance, Jeff Lawson. [...] One spokesman for the campaign said the cancellation in no way reflected any concern about Romney, who has positioned himself as a champion of the institution of marriage, appearing at the home of an unwed couple.Yeah, um ... no. I'm pretty damn sure that even the ridiculous Mitt Romney campaign would be so institutionally prudish as to dodge an event because some folks are livin' in sin. I'm gonna give them credit on that one.
Reports are that Mitt will still be attending his $50,000-per-person fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale tonight, presumably because money.
For nearly two years, House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa has been trying to use a series of deeply misguided “gunrunning” operations that began in 2006 under President George W. Bush in an unsuccessful effort to embarrass Attorney General Eric Holder politically. Issa eventually pressured a reluctant House Republican leadership to allow a vote on his measure to hold Holder in contempt of Congress, although the House leadership buried the vote on the same day that the Supreme Court handed down the Affordable Care Act case when it was likely to have no impact whatsoever on the newscycle. Today, Issa took this seemingly endless campaign for attention to the federal courts, filing a lawsuit seeking to force Holder to disclose documents that the Justice Department says are either subject to executive privilege or concern ongoing law enforcement actions that are not subject to congressional subpoena.
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?What kind of country do we want to have?? That was the question asked by Mitt Romney's new running mate Paul Ryan during his speech this Saturday morning aboard the USS Wisconsin. It was also the question asked by Chris Matthews when he played the clip of Ryan on Hardball this Saturday. And it was a question met with some terrible answers from one of Matthews' guests, FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe.
Eugene Robinson pointed out that Ryan's budget doesn't balance anything and has draconian cuts to the poor while asking the rich to do nothing. After he stated that he didn't understand how Republicans were going to win based on a slogan of 'I've got mine, you get yours' approach, Matthews brought up Ayn Rand and the GOP mimicking her philosophy.
Kibbe responded by saying Matthews needs to spend some more time reading Ayn Rand, even though Matthews already professed to having read her books and having long outgrown them, a common trait among people who employ critical thinking skills and age-appropriate maturity levels. I guess Kibbe wants Matthews to get back in touch with his inner fifteen-year-old if he seriously thinks he should be picking Rand's novels up again for a refresher now.
If this is the right's response to just how radical Paul Ryan and his proposals have been, I'm flabbergasted. Read more Ayn Rand. Really? Karoli already posted Kibbe and his organization going nuts over the pick of Ryan just after it was announced.
The Plum Line's Greg Sargent posted on just how radical the pick of Ryan is and his post got a mention during this segment, which I was happy to see. Letting Kibbe spew his Libertarian nonsense, not so much.
In picking Ryan, Romney is confirming his commitment to full-flown economic radicalism ? something that he had kept well disguised until the Tax Policy Center study unmasked it. The central idea driving the GOP ticket is not just that tax hikes on the rich must be avoided at all costs. It?s that dramatically reducing the tax burden on the wealthy ? coupled with deep cuts to social programs and a quasi-voucherizing of Medicare ? is the route back to prosperity.
Call it the ?Ryan/Romney vision.? Not the ?Romney/Ryan vision.? The ?Ryan/Romney vision.? The Ryan pick was urged upon Romney by conservatives who wanted him to ?go bold,? i.e., to confirm beyond doubt that he will govern from the Ryan blueprint. ?We want the Ryan budget,? Grover Norquist said recently, adding that the paramount requirement in the next president is that he have ?enough working digits to handle a pen? to sign it. The Ryan pick is a triumph for this wing of the party.
After all, we already know Romney has the skills to handle a pen. He is now confirming what he intends to sign with it.
The Ryan pick is also a break with Romney?s previous theory of the race. He had previously intended to make the campaign about nothing more than a referendum on the economy and Obama?s stewardship of it. Now it will be a choice between two starkly different ideological visions, one that drags the race onto the turf of tax fairness and entitlements ? which is much more in line with the debate Dems wanted.
Go read the entire post, but here's a bit more on how the media is going to play into this election and how this debate is framed:
Which raises a question: How aggressively will the news media scrutinize the true substantive nature of his vision? The press has done a great job pinning Romney down on the real implications of his tax plan, largely thanks to that unsparing Tax Policy Center study. Ryan, by contrast, has been widely accorded the presumption of fiscal ?seriousness," mainly because he looks so earnest and genuinely despairing in those videos that show him stalking the halls of Congress in the grip of existential deficit angst.
But now that he is the vice presidential pick ? confirming that his worldview will be the one that animates the approach to governing the GOP presidential ticket would adopt ? here?s hoping the press gets equally serious about pinning down the true implications of his vision, too.
After all, the entire premise of the Ryan pick is that it is supposed to show how deadly serious the Republican ticket is about getting our fiscal problems under control. Indeed, in his announcement speech, Ryan is supposed to say this: ?We won?t duck the tough issues?we will lead!? It?s time to pin Ryan down on what he means by ?lead,? and to explain it as clearly as possible to the American people. And if Ryan won?t meaningfullly tell us what he means by it, we need to say so.
Exactly. And anyone on the right telling anyone in the media to read more Ayn Rand isn't going to cut it. Kibbe's extremism might go over well with the wingnut base of the Republican Party, but it's not going to necessarily sell so well for the general election. I don't think insisting news anchors read books that anyone with an ounce of sense should have outgrown when they were in their teens is a great start for any policy debate, but that's what Kibbe resorted to over the weekend to defend the pick of Ryan.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have spent the better part of their young campaign hitting President Obama and the Affordable Care Act for cutting an estimated $716 billion from Medicare.
But Romney and Ryan have offered a proposal that would voucharize the Medicare program and significantly reduce the government’s contribution. Romney has pledged to balance the budget by the end of his second term and would have to cut as much as $2 trillion from Medicare to achieve his goal, spending the money on tax breaks for the rich. Seniors, meanwhile, would be stuck with higher premiums:
The National Journal continues its long history of detailed convention coverage with a new app:
Political professionals and junkies alike have a new way to keep the conventions at their fingertips. National Journal has launched National Journal RE:CON, a comprehensive app for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. RE:CON for iPhone can be previewed and downloaded at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/re-con-conventions-2012/id526515781
RE:CON is free and provides everything convention-goers and followers need to know about the latest developments. RE:CON users will have access to:
- The most up-to-date schedules for events, forums, and parties
- Breaking news from the convention floor
- Photos from all the convention action
RE:CON also features detailed city information for both Tampa and Charlotte, including:
- Local business and restaurant listings
- Delegation hotel locations
- Event locations and maps
- Contact information for key personnel and campaign offices at each convention -NationalJournal.com
It was cloudy in Downtown Chicago today. It was a great day for a boat ride on Lake Michigan. The boat I was on when I took this picture leaves a number of times each day from Navy Pier in Chicago.
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Although Paul Ryan has only been on the Republican presidential ticket for two days, the punditocracy's opinions on how he will influence the race this fall have already solidified. Republicans think he is the saving grace of a candidate wounded by chronic awkwardness, a schizophrenic policy history, and, well, just being filthy rich. Democrats, meanwhile, have been chortling non-stop for the past 48 hours, relishing the chance to tell all those elderly swing voters in Florida about Ryan's evil plot to dismantle Medicare.
However, Democrats' entrenched evaluations fail to include an essential variable in the equation of how the Wisconsin representative will play with voters: however strident his policy proposals, you can't fault the packaging. When Paul Ryan was a young twenty-something working at the conservative think tank Empower America, Jack Kemp taught him that conservative talking points could be "delivered with a smile" instead of apocalyptic threats, and Paul Ryan is a master at delivering doomsday with a wink of his baby blues and a cherry on top. This radical vice-presidential pick, already written off by many Democrats and pundits, has been on his best behavior on the trail too. Sticking mostly to stock speeches lifted from the political ether instead of delving into the nuts and bolts of the Ryan plan, sharing his biography with his so gosh-darn cute kids waving in the foreground, being bromantic with his new running mate?if Henry Fonda's Abe Lincoln had been scripted by a born-again Tea Party Aaron Sorkin, he'd have no choice but to cast the Paul Ryan we've seen on the stump the past few days.
And it's working so far. Voters?if they even know who he is yet?aren't quite sold on Ryan (See Poll of the Day), but they are mesmerized by the presentation. On the day of the announcement, most Paul Ryan searches on Google were coupled unsurprisingly by the word "vice president." In second-place, though? "Shirtless." "Budget" doesn't even make the podium, coming in fourth place. News outlets across the board can't mention his policies without a brief nod to his charisma and handsomeness. Even those who deeply disagree with his policies concede his political gifts. Are these superficial things to consider? To be sure, but their absence has plagued Mitt Romney's campaign this far, and have been an unquestionable boon to Barack Obama's entire political career. As Priorities USA and the Obama campaign train their fire on Ryan's radical policy proposals (which are also, especially now, Romney's), the candidate's charms will fade. But we're only two days into an election metamorphosed from its previously anemic state into a truly consequential high stakes stand-off between economic visions. It's foolish to assume a "shiny object" vice-presidential pick is going to get Romney the gold, but it would be equally misguided to shrug-off the potential of a Romney/Ryan ticket this early in the game.
"It?s gotten downright weird in the last couple of days. There?s a lot of attention all of the sudden to the fact that the congressman has used P90x ... I had a sense there would be some attention to it, but I?m actually blown away by how many people want to talk to me.?
?Tony Horton, the founder of the P90x exercise regimen popularized by new vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, on how Saturday's news has been a big boon.
Although conservatives are swooning over Mitt Romney's vice-presidential pick, Americans' first reaction isn't quite so ebullient. A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 42 percent of Americans think Paul Ryan is a "fair" or "poor" choice, while 39 percent think he is an "excellent" or "pretty good" pick for the ticket. However, the Wisconsin represenative is an unknown quantity for most of the electorate; those mixed opinions are likely to swing one way or the other as Ryan becomes a familiar face on the trail.Mitt RomneyThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsPratt?Romney familyBain CapitalLatter Day Saint movementPolitics of the United StatesPublic image of Mitt RomneyMitt Romney presidential campaignPolitics