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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1774   The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concludes in Philadelphia.
1795   When General Paul Barras resigns his commission as head of France's Army of the Interior to become head of the Directory, his second-in-command becomes the army's commander-Napoleon Bonaparte.
1825   The first boat on the Erie Canal leaves Buffalo, N.Y.
1881   Three Earp brothers and Doc Holliday have a shootout with the Clantons and McLaurys at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.
1905   Norway signs a treaty of separation with Sweden. Norway chooses Prince Charles of Denmark as the new king; he becomes King Haakon VII.
1918   Germany's supreme commander, General Erich Ludendorff, resigns, protesting the terms to which the German Government has agreed in negotiating the armistice. This sets the stage for his later support for Hitler and the Nazis, who claim that Germany did not lose the war on the battlefield but were "stabbed in the back" by politicians.
1942   Japanese attack Guadalcanal, sinking two U.S. carriers.
1942   U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Hornet is sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island, in the South Pacific.
1950   A reconnaissance platoon for a South Korean division reaches the Yalu River. They are the only elements of the U.N. force to reach the river before the Chinese offensive pushes the whole army down into South Korea.
1955   The Village Voice is first published, backed in part by Norman Mailer.
1957   The Russian government announces that Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the nation's most prominent military hero, has been relieved of his duties as Minister of Defense. Khrushchev accused Zhukov as promoting his own "cult of personality" and saw him as a threat to his own popularity.
1958   The first New York – Paris transatlantic jet passenger service is inaugurated by Pan Am, while the first New York – London transatlantic jet passenger service is inaugurated by BOAC.
1970   Gary Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury first appears.

Non Sequitur


Plotting against America

That's what the a good number of repugican leaders, including Paul Ryan, did. 
On January 20, 2009 repugican leaders in congress literally plotted to sabotage and undermine U.S. economy during president Obama's inauguration. - daily kos
Isn't plotting against your own government, treason?

Pro-Romney firm buys voting machine company, raises alarms

This news may raise alarms, but it shouldn’t surprise … it’s what these guys do. Dan Froomkin at the Huffington Post:
A private equity company run by fervent supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney bought the third-largest voting machine company in the country last July, raising concerns about the appearance of impropriety, if not the possibility of impropriety itself. Apprehension that Romney supporters could be literally buying votes has been burbling on left-wing blogs since Freepress.org, an alternative website based in Columbus, Ohio, reported late last month about H.I.G Capital’s purchase of Hart Intercivic [sic].
H.I.G. Capital is a Miami-based private equity fund that manages $8.5 billion in capital. Hart Intercivic is a company exclusively in the business of manufacturing and programming voting systems.
Because the names are so similar, here’s a scorecard. Hart InterCivic is a manufacturing company; it’s all they do. H.I.G Capital is a private equity fund that purchases companies; it’s all they do. (Hm, a buyer of companies and a maker of things. Guess who’s king in that world?)
After the expected (and totally necessary) disclaimer from the H.I.G. ”crisis communications consultant” — already? think they’re gearing up for a fight over this? — that H.I.G. is not up to no good, Froomkin tells why they might be (up to no good):
H.I.G. Capital’s co-founder, Anthony Tamer, previously worked at Bain & Company…. Eight of the company’s managing directors came from Bain as well. Tamer and his wife are major Romney donors … And Tamer has plenty of company at H.I.G. Although it isn’t a particularly big firm, H.I.G.’s directors have collectively given so much money to Romney that their company is the sixth biggest contributor to all Romney committees, as calculated by opensecrets.org.
Why does this matter? Aside from the obvious reasons, Ohio:
One of the jurisdictions with Hart Intercivic equipment is Hamilton County — which includes Cincinnati, the third-largest city in the hotly contested swing state of Ohio.
There’s plenty more; do read on. A number of experts are interviews for this rather complete article.
vote fraud
How to think about this? Of course, this could just be your innocent dinosaur-eats-dinosaur deal, corp-on-corp feeding, in which the only motive is the feast (i.e., making more money). And there are a number of sources in the article that do raise the “don’t jump to conclusions” flag.
Still, others are quite suspicious. Think about it — repugicans. Voting machines. Bain. Ohio. Cause for concern? Many say yes.
Me, I start wondering — at what tipping point will the toxic combo of repugican cheating, a narrow Romney win, and much suspicion, cause the real left to be told by our faux-left Democratic friends, “Don’t you dare think of Romney as not the rightful president”? Not that I don’t think the election isn’t still in the bag; it’s just that the bag has gotten smaller.
About this last point, more later. For now, watch the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) vote total on election night. And if Obama’s vote count is low enough to pull his state-wide total into the loss column, watch the media say a whole lot of nothing about the possibility of a ballot-box fix.

Mitt Romney’s mortal enemy: Arithmetic

Politico’s Playbook observes that for all of the repugican bluster about an imminent Romney victory, the numbers just don’t add up:
MORNING MINDMELD : As an antidote to the (perhaps) irrational repugican exuberance that seems to have seized D.C., we pause for the following public-service announcement. To be President, you have to win states, not debates. And Mitt Romney has a problem. Despite a great debate and what The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr. on Sunday called a polling “surge,” Romney has not put away a single one of the must-have states. President Obama remains the favorite because he only needs to win a couple of the toss-ups. Mitt needs to win most of them. A cold shower for the repugican cabal: Most polling shows Romney trailing in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Hampshire and Iowa – by MORE than Obama trails in North Carolina. Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin reminded of us of the 2008 primary analogy: Whatever else Hillary Clinton had, Barack Obama had the math. And math, not momentum, gets you the big house, the bulletproof car, the cool plane. We now resume our regularly scheduled Playbook.
And Nate Silver’s latest tally over at FiveThirtyEight backs this up.
Nate shows Romney with 48.9% of the popular vote, to Obama’s 50.0%, but once you factor in the electoral vote, which is how you actually win a presidential election, Romney has a 31.9% chance of
winning and Obama a 68.1% chance.
By looking at the graphs on Nate’s site, you can see that Romney’s “surge” stopped around October 13 or 14, a few days after the VP debate, and a few days before the second presidential debate. From that date on, for the past ten days, Obama and Romney have remained stagnant in the popular vote, each retaining their share of the vote, while Obama’s chances of winning have steadily risen from 61% to 68%.
Jonathan Chait argues in NYMag that Romney’s “I’m winning, I’m winning!” is all a bluff. And let’s face it, it’s not like it would be the first time that Mitt Romney tried to convince folks that the truth has a liberal bias.
Also, this might explain why Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck freaked out after the third presidential debate the other night.
@glennbeck: I am glad to know that mitt agrees with Obama so much. No, really. Why vote?
@AnnCoulter: I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.
I quote them because they’re both egotistical enough to not care if they’re spilling the beans, and hurting their own party, by telling the truth.  And both said things you don’t generally say if you think you’re winning the election.
Also, I’m intrigued that Romney surrogate Marco Rubio, the new darling of the repugican cabal, disagreed publicly the other day with Mitt Romney over his China policy, suggesting that Romney would “hurt American businesses.”
Appearing on CBS’ Face The Nation Sunday, Rubio told Schieffer regarding labeling China a currency manipulator: “A trade war is not the right way to approach it and I think that if you label them a currency manipulator, that’s what it may result in, it would hurt American businesses.”
That’s not the kind of thing you say, two weeks before the election, when you think your guy has a chance at winning. It’s especially not the kind of thing you say, criticizing the business acumen of your party’s candidate whose main argument for the presidency is his business acumen.
It’s the kind of thing you say when you think your guy has already lost, and your setting yourself up as Not-Mitt-Romney for the 2016 presidential elections.

Source confirms Romney using orange spray-on tan

Even Romney’s Tan Isn’t Sincere

Buzzfeed confirms what most of us already knew, but now they have a source: In spite of denials from the Romney campaign, Mitt is in fact using a spray-on tan before big events like television appearances.
So, yes, the Romney campaign even lied about Mitt’s tan.
A knowledgeable source tells BuzzFeed the answer is in a bit of cosmetic technology used commonly by celebrities: spray tanning. The repugican nominee has made a habit of spray tanning before major speeches, debates, interviews, and other events that have a chance of getting wide TV coverage, the source said. He pays for the process out of pocket — sparing his campaign the expense, and the task of masking it on public campaign finance reports — and steers clear of public salons where he could be recognized. Instead, he gets misted down in the comfort of his own home or hotel suite.
The Romney campaign flatly denied that the candidate spray tans: “Not true,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in response to an inquiry….
But Romney’s darker-than-usual complexion at the forum was actually the product of an exceptionally fresh spray tan, the source said.
Buzzfeed goes on to say that for tanning professionals, the fake-tan was obvious.

Violet Beauregarde wants her gum back.
“Oh, for sure he had a spray tan,” Jimmy Coco, a celebrity tanner from Los Angeles, told BuzzFeed while looking at pictures of the candidate. “I just see the sort of red hue that you get from some of the spray tanning places… The ears are white. That is a giveaway. If you look at Obama, he’s all one tone. A lot of times, what they do when they’re giving a spray tan, they’ll put a cap on and their cap will cover the ears.”
It was also obvious to our own in-house tanning expert, Gabe Ortíz, who noted: ”even his tan isn’t sincere.”
That’ll be the last time Mitt tries any of Mr. Wonka’s experimental three-course-meal chewing gum.

Did you know ...

There are hints of a post-debate Obama bounce

The U.S. tax burden lowest since the 1950's

That if Italian corruption were its own country, it would would be the world's 76th largest economy

A dinosaur thief arrested

That Nevada early voting favors Obama

You can love long and prosper: the Trekkie dating site

That Disney decides the Jungle Book will no longer destroy the jungle to be made

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

John Franklin Stephens
The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during the last Presidential debate.
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me.  You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics.  See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia
EDITOR’S NOTE: John has previously written powerful opinion pieces on the R-word. Read one here.

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