Click here to view this media
Thanks so much to UP with Chris Hayes, and especially the graphics PA @hrmelcher, for showing off my photoshop of Oprah running with Cary Grant. A compilation of these photoshops are at Run Oprah Run! .
Open thread below....
Justin Elliott, at Salon:
A reviewer for the official National Park Service bookstore at Ford?s Theatre has recommended that Bill O?Reilly?s bestselling new book about the Lincoln assassination not be sold at the historic site ?because of the lack of documentation and the factual errors within the publication.?
Rae Emerson, deputy superintendent at Ford?s Theatre, which is a national historic site under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, has penned a scathing appraisal of O?Reilly?s ?Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever.? In Emerson?s official review, which I?ve pasted below, she spends four pages correcting passages from O?Reilly?s book before recommending that it not be offered for sale at Ford?s Theatre because it is not up to quality standards.
For example, ?Killing Lincoln? makes multiple references to the Oval Office; in fact, Emerson points out, the office was not built until 1909.
I think the only appropriate response to this is hysterical laughter. I admit I never figured Bill O'Reilly to be the type to pen an attempted "history" book, primarily because of the general conservative loathing of (1) historians and (2) looking stuff up, but I suppose it saves a step. Glenn Beck had to look far and wide (well, under the floorboards, but the same principle) for a right-wing historian willing to make history sound like a good conservative thinks it should sound, then promoted that historian: Bill here is just cutting out the middleman, and producing the stuff directly. A history book from Bill O'Reilly is considerably less terrifying-sounding than a children's book from Bill O'Reilly (also done), so maybe we should take that as comfort. The "bestselling" part is less comforting.
O'Reilly is going to react to this review of his book the only way he reacts to anything: he's going to declare it a conspiracy against him. Just watch. The National Park Service is trying to dodge selling a book from a brilliant conservative mind, and so are "making excuses" for not wanting Bill's history-bending, make-crap-up tome on their shelves. Because they're liberals, damn it. This proves we shouldn't have a National Park Service at all!
Conservatives have an odd relationship with intellectualism. By "odd" I mean overtly hostile, mostly, but they also take stabs at intellectual endeavors themselves, such has "historian" or "economist" or "climate scientist" or "biologist" or what have you. Because they inherently distrust people with too much knowledge, however, the conservative version is to learn a little and then make the rest up. History is told with an eye for ideological storytelling, but the details of actual history are unimportant, and boring. DNA exists, and evolution exists to a limited extent, but then comes the part that's too hard to understand so it all gets crossed out and replaced with "and then God did some magic that completely ignored all the rest of it because he got bored." Economic expertise is by far the most easily faked; assert whatever ideologically-based plan you want, make up numbers wholesale, and if someone actually follows your advice and it turns out to, say, destroy entire economies, just say they didn't implement it right (that damn George W. Bush. If only he was legitimately conservative, none of this would have happened!)
If the Oval Office didn't exist when Lincoln was president, then shut up you damn hippie. If you think it's important to point it out, then it rises to the level of conspiracy: you are trying to discredit the author by pointing out, well, that stuff that ought to discredit them.
Frankly, however, I don't care that much, because this new half-hearted endumbening of history is precisely what I need to launch my new conservative bestseller. In it, Abe Lincoln teams up with Jesus, who was sent via time-travel device invented by Sarah Palin to free the slaves. Lincoln, Jesus, and Paul Revere singlehandedly turned the tide at Gettysburg, where North and South combined their armies to hand a devastating defeat to Stalin and his communist forces. Then the South freed the slaves even though those assholes in the North really didn't want them to, because in reality the war wasn't about slavery, it was about States' Rights. Then a bunch of other stuff happened, and Narnia was saved forever.
Mark my words, though: conspiracy. It's a conspiracy against Bill O'Reilly. It's always a conspiracy against Bill O'Reilly.
Top Comments for today are here.
I love it when the Teahadists rip each other off ? when the OWS protesters start doing this to each other, let me know, OK? And yes, CNN, you are truly dopes for going along with this (?Newt-mentum,? bitches! And by the way, the beat goes on)...
Last night, Portland television viewers were treated to wall-to-wall, all-local-channels, helicopters-hovering coverage of the approach -- and uneventful passage -- of Mayor Sam Adams' three-day deadline of 12:01am to close the public parks where[...]
Read The Full Article:
Title: At The GateArtist: Madame Edna Gallmon Cooke
(Blogger’s Note–Time for the thaw a turkey post. It’s updated a bit, but is for the most part a rerun . Thawing a turkey does not change very much over the years. ) Thanksgiving Day is almost here and you need to know how to thaw your turkey. Thanksgiving Day in 2011 is Thursday, November [...]
Read The Full Article:
The Occupy movement in Minnesota seems to have unleashed a lot of pent-up energy, frustration, and creativity. One example of the latter is a ?bake sale? held for US Bank by the Twin Cities faith-based social justice movement Spirit of Truth, whose[...]
Read The Full Article:
I cried uncle on the GOP debates weeks before John did. What else do we need to know about the candidates? Bachmann, Perry and Cain are all so clearly out of their depth it is impossible to tell if the next stupid thing they say is a real policy position or just something they made up on the spot to bluff their way out of a difficult question. Romney is a transparent fraud who simply says whatever it will take to make him popular with whatever audience he is speaking to. Gingrich? What needs to be said?
With a field this bad, is the rise of Newt or Cain's ability to weather the allegation he is a serial sexual harasser really so surprising? It is not just progressives who find the GOP field to be an uninspiring lot.
Surely the Koch bros and the other 1%-ers could find some better standards bearers for their alleged $200 million investment in the 2012 election. Can't they see that their efforts to push the GOP beyond the hard right to the lunatic fruit-bat crazy right has made their party unelectable?
Well maybe they can and maybe they don't care because every time the GOP has shifter to the right, the Democrats have followed. It wasn't the GOP that ended 'welfare as we know it', that was Bill Clinton. And now the 1% is licking its chops at the idea of turning our pensions into their tax cuts they know that their only chance to get it through Congress is if Obama does their work for them.
Former U.S. Marine Scott Olsen, whose injury during clashes between Oakland police and protesters last month galvanized the Anti-Wall Street movement, has been released from the hospital, friends said on Friday.
From Adele Carpenter of Veterans for Peace:
"I had a chance to visit Scott this evening. He is very present, alert, and has a lot of energy. He is still struggling with speech, but is attempting conversations without having the writing instrument out. He also is doing an amazing job of staying patient with himself and didn't seem to get frustrated with himself or need to rush when trying to work out thoughts in speech. Personally, it was a huge relief to see him after last having seen him while he was sedated and in critical condition."
Read the rest here, including updates on his legal support and housing needs
Our solidarity fundraiser for Scott also is still going strong, and details on how to contribute are here if you still wish to donate.
Here's hoping for a speedy and full recovery for Scott.
(Eric Thayer/Reuters)For those scoring at home, it has now been roughly two weeks since news broke that Herman Cain had a rather disturbing array of sexual harrassment (and, if some the allegations are legit, sexual assault) charges being levelled against him.
When the story broke over Halloween weekend, political commentators of all ideological stripes rushed to Twitter and other outlets to fix the time of death of the Herman Cain for President campaign.
As the editorial board of the Newark Star-Ledger opined:
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain won?t admit it yet, and maybe he can?t even see it, but his 15 minutes are up.
To be sure, allegations of sexual improprieties of this nature have doomed candidates in the past, from city council races to bids for the presidency. The chattering classes could be forgiven for assuming that the same fate was destined to befall Herman Cain. Cain's scandal (and boorish response, of which this was a notable example), led many to wonder if the clock was ticking on the Cain train.
But some pundits were more skeptical about the impending doom of Cain. At the height of the scandal, Dana Milbank offered the following observation:
Evidence that he has said something dumb, or offensive, only confirms to his supporters that he is not another polished pol like Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. And so Cain doesn?t need to know what a neocon is, he can weather campaign-funding irregularities, he can have his campaign manager blow cigarette smoke in a campaign ad, he can skip the early primary states in favor of a book tour of the south, and he can sing about pizza to a John Lennon tune. If Herman Cain were found to be a serial killer, his supporters would take this, too, as reassuring evidence that he is not just another career politician.
It has been two weeks, but there is some evidence to suggest that Milbank is not far off. While Cain has experienced some erosion in his support, the erosion has been, for all intents and purposes, slight. Which is potentially disastrous news for the Republicans.
Because when I say the data shows slight erosion for Cain, I mean in the Republican primary. In the general election, his numbers have taken a distinct turn for the worse in the wake of the allegations against him.
Consider the data:
If one looks at the half-dozen GOP primary polls taken since the scandal broke, Mitt Romney indeed does have an edge over Herman Cain. That edge, however, is pretty minimal.
Average of polls, GOP primary, October 31-Nov 10
Mitt Romney: 22.5
Herman Cain: 22.0
Newt Gingrich: 14.2
Rick Perry: 9.8
Ron Paul: 8.2
Michele Bachmann: 3.7
Rick Santorum: 1.5
Jon Huntsman: 1.0
Compare that, however, to the half-dozen polls that were conducted before the scandal broke, and you gain an appreciation for how minimal the change has been.
Average of polls, GOP primary, October 12-31
Herman Cain: 26.5
Mitt Romney: 24.8
Rick Perry: 9.8
Newt Gingrich: 9.5
Ron Paul: 7.7
Michele Bachmann: 3.8
Rick Santorum: 1.8
Jon Huntsman: 1.0
So, while there has been some movement away from Cain, it has been only about two points on the margin. Interestingly, Cain's slippage (4.5 percent in raw percentage) has not resulted in any coalescing around Mitt Romney, whose numbers have slipped marginally, as well (2.3 percent). Instead, welcome in Newt Gingrich as the latest GOP incarnation of that all-important character in Campaign 2012: "Not Mitt".
The question now is whether Cain can survive this recent barrage of negative publicity. And while his numbers have ebbed a bit, there are two reasons why there is every reason to believe he can weather this self-inflicted political storm:
1. His (weak) defense is tailor-made for the GOP base
Cain's primary response to the scandal, besides having his team issue thinly veiled threats to his accusers, has been to attack the media.
To some, this defense mechanism is a bit revolting. As one Newark Star-Ledger editorial (referred to earlier) noted:
The Republican base has shrugged this off. Cain has taken only a small hit in the primary polls, and is raising more money than ever. He gets applause when he pins this scandal on the media, which makes you wonder if the party?s base voters are so thick-headed they don?t want to know if a potential president happens to be a sexual predator.
There's really no need to wonder, given the fact that there is actually data on the question.
Our polling partners at PPP polled several states last weekend, in anticipation of the off-year elections on Tuesday. With that in mind, they hit Ohio, Mississippi, and Iowa's 18th Senate district. And what they found, as it related to Cain, was telling. Only 17-22% of Republicans in those three locales believed the allegations to be "mostly true." What's more: between 65-72% of Republicans thought the media had been "mostly unfair" to Cain.
The most stunning stat in the poll: only between 14-18% in each of the locales had a more negative view of Cain in light of the wave of allegations, and 11-14% actually had a more positive view of Cain after the scandal broke. If it was a net loss, in these three very different locales, it was a decidedly small one.
With data like this, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Cain can ride the victim train for a good long while, at least on the GOP side.
2. Someone has to be the anti-Mitt
With all of the peaks and valleys of a campaign season, there has been one amazing constant: the stunning consistency of Mitt Romney's semi-mediocre tenure as "leader" of the Republican field.
A year ago, Mitt Romney stood as the undisputed leader of the GOP field, but with support that stood in the low 20s. Today, Mitt Romney still is the leader of the GOP field, but now in nothing better than a "co-favorite" position. What is telling, however, is that despite the tightening focus of the electorate and a slightly smaller field, the support for Romney is still in the low 20s.
The succession of campaign boomlets, ranging from Trump to Bachmann to Perry to Cain (and to non-candidate Chris Christie, briefly) has proven time and again that the GOP electorate is not close to being sold on a Mitt Romney nomination.
The simple fact of the matter is that it is almost certainly past the point of no return for a new candidate to enter the fray. So, someone has to be the consensus choice to be "not Mitt Romney." A second Perry boomlet, after last week's debate catastrophe, seems a longshot. A first Gingrich boomlet has definitely materialized in polling over the last two weeks, so perhaps he can be that guy. But Cain still lingers on as the primary "non-Mitt" in the field, and a Quinnipiac poll this week showed that Cain would beat Romney head-to-head in both Florida and Ohio.
The bottom line is this: despite all that has happened in the past two weeks, Herman Cain could still easily emerge as the Republican nominee.
The bad news for the Republicans: because of all that has happened in the past two weeks, it is tougher to see how Herman Cain emerges as the President-elect.
While there hasn't been much movement since the scandal in the GOP primary, there has been quite a bit more in the general election. And the clearest evidence for that comes from a pollster rarely cited here: Rasmussen. But it is their polling that shows the clearest evidence of a Cain swoon vis-a-vis the president. In late October, a Rasmussen poll gave Cain a two-point edge over Obama (43-41). A Rasmussen poll last week, meanwhile, showed Cain now trailing the president by double digits (48-37).
Only one other pollster has measured the match-up pre- and post-announcement. That was NBC/Wall Street Journal, and their latest poll showed Obama leading Cain by fifteen points (53-38). While this is a change of only four points off of their previous poll, it is worth noting that NBC's poll came just as the Cain media boomlet was starting. A week later, it was in full bloom, which was when Rasmussen took their poll on the race.
To be sure, Cain has never been as strong as Romney in a general election trial heat against the president. But having said that, the gap between their performances has moved markedly in the last couple of weeks. Whereas Cain's performance in previous weeks would be 1-4 points worse than Romney's, Cain did nine points worse than Romney in the NBC/WSJ poll and ten points worse in Rasmussen's poll. Similarly, last weekend's poll by ABC/WaPo found a similar (six percent) gap between Romney's margin and Cain's margin when paired with Obama.
Divining why this is the case is actually pretty simple. Republicans are ready-made to buy a media victimhood defense, but it is less likely that Democrats or Independent voters will play along. In a Pew Poll taken in the wake of the scandal, just 18% of those polled thought the media was being too tough on Cain. Meanwhile, a majority either thought the press was being fair with Cain, or even too easy on him.
Furthermore, whereas the Republican electorate was relatively split about whether they were more or less likely to support Cain after the scandal broke, the general electorate was more clearly aligned. According to last week's CBS poll, only 4% were more likely to vote for him in the wake of the scandal, and 30% were less likely to do so.
Therein lies the dilemma for the GOP, though it is essentially the same dilemma they have had since the cycle began. The electorate for a general election might be willing to consider a Romney presidency, but is the Republican primary electorate? Or is the GOP base so lukewarm on Romney that they might be willing to discount even sexual harrassment in order to find an alternative?
If they are, conservatives might be setting up for a national repeat of the 2010 dynamic that introduced the nation to Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell, and helped save the Senate for faltering Democrats. Only this time, their lust for ideological fealty might ignore more than political common sense. It might ignore something far more grave.