First a plug for the theHumble ebook Bundle – thirteen books by authors like Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, Lauren Beukes, Kelly Link, Randall Munroe and (my favourite) Zach Weiner. Choose your own price and how much goes to the authors and to charity. Only available for two more days. Ad ends.
Second, if you haven’t read the Balloon Juice comment thread in the Artists in the Mist thread, then you’re missing out on a treasure trove of interesting stuff. There are dozens of talented writers, musicians, cat whisperers and artists of all kinds. I particularly liked the beautiful image above by commenter Fuck ALL the chickens! (né Studly Pantload, t.e.u.u.), a delightfully odd poem by Aaron Baker and the lovely ceramics by Peter at Acookblog:
I’m also going to plug this song by Applejinx because he asked so nicely, because he has a sexy voice and because I’m hoping some brony will explain to me what the fuck it is about.
I’ve been leading a double life. Some of you know that I blog at Balloon Juice most of the time. Last Saturday night I got a little bit excited and posted a thread over there that was a little bit rude. Well, actually quite rude. I have since then edited the post over there to take out most of the rudeness and linked it to here with a NSFW warning. Here is the unexpurgated version of my original post.
It’s late on Saturday night, and the kiddies should all be in bed, so here (by special request) we go. Let no one ever say this isn’t a full service blog
I like looking at pictures of strapping young men or (on occasion) nubile young women (although you won’t be surprised that my tastes run mainly the other way). I blame my father who had, stashed in his study where the servants and mummy couldn’t find it, a library of porn of all kinds. He had a thing for a little bit of sodomy and the lash – learned first at Rugby where he went to school (he always said that the British Empire was built on a foundation of buggery and lumpy porridge) and perfected in the Araby where he spent several months tying T.E. Lawrence to a chest of drawers and whipping him ’til he cried for his mummy.
I have continued to build on Daddy’s collection throughout the years. I have, for example, discovered, of late, a taste for shopping on eBay for random snapshots. I love the candor, these beautiful young men caught in their prime, now perhaps long dead, but caught forever for my delectation.
The first image above (click most of these images for embiggening) is one for which I was, sadly, outbid. That chest, those little shorts. It makes Grammy feel quite warm.
I am not alone in my devotion. The internet may be 90% porn, but there are some aficionados who bring some class to the dirty picture trade. A particular favourite is Callum James, whose website is a delightful mix of bookish paraphernalia and hot young things, and from whence come the second and third images.
They put the lie to the wingnuts’ fantasies of a long ago more innocent age. The sight of a hint of stocking may have been more alluring than nudity, but the reality is that most of these young people were at it like drunken ferrets whenever they had the chance. Read the rest of this entry »
You won’t be surprised that the fainting couches got some pretty heavy duty use at the Corner last night. I do hope they put the plastic covers on first because I imagine it’s hard to get the stains out after 15 wingnuts have crapped themselves.
Over there there is very little about Ryan and his arguments. Rather they have post after post about how Biden was an oleaginous demagogue (Charles R Kesler), bizarrely impertinent (Michael Knox Beran), buffoonish (Victor Davis Hanson), a bully (Kathryn Jean Lopez), disgracefully rude (David Limbaugh – there’s another fucking Limbaugh? Why the fuck wasn’t I told?) and appalling and sophomoric (Rich Lowry).
All they have is screeching about how Uncle Joe had the gall to actually engage in debate in a fucking debate. Well, that and the CNN poll they are all trumpeting – a national poll with a grand total of 381 respondents, a higher than usual number of Republicans and a margin of error of 5%, which Congressman, sorry, Mr Ryan still only managed to win by 48% to 44%.
While the Village will almost certainly enable the wingnut freak-out, the reality as shown in the transcript is that Ryan sat there and spluttered and dissembled like a smug teenager who’s been caught puffing on a joint, while Biden hit him with facts on topic after topic, in between taking every opportunity to stick on the shiv (Sarah Palin and Jack Kennedy, anyone?). Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday I was reading the lovely blog of Mr Lawrence Miles, because he’s always good for a laugh or a crossly-worded diatribe.
For those of you who are not ming mongs, Mr Miles is a gentleman of the crabby and outspoken persuasion who has written some rather excellent Doctor Who novels, and who co-authored About Time, a Doctor Who guide so compendious that it makes The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire look like Listverse’s Top Ten Whacky Romans.
I found Mr Miles musing about wormholes and perpetual motion machines. Now, dear Lawrence does like to hear the sound of his own fingers typing, but I can’t criticise him for that, particularly when he muses so charmingly about the history of scientific thought and entropy. As I often do, I suggest you may wish to read the whole thing.
We can be sure, at least, that wormholes work. Which is to say, we can be sure we won’t look stupid if we bring them up in conversation. We know this because Carl Sagan told us so. Needing a way to bring humans and aliens into Contact, and not wanting to resort to anything silly like spaceships travelling faster than light in real-space, he concluded that the most feasible method of travelling bbbillions and bbbillions of miles in order to meet one’s own dead dad was to interpret General Relativity in a rather dynamic way. This idea wasn’t new, and the w-word had been used by a rather apologetic John Wheeler in the ’50s, but it’s informed every generation of nuts-and-bolts sci-fi since 1985. Nobody has yet proved wormholes impossible. In theory, they’re still the fastest way to get from A to A-but-on-the-other-side-of-space.
Note the sentiment buried in that logic, though. It’s a sentiment – perhaps in more than one sense of the word – that’s found even in Sagan’s own musings. Not wanting to resort to anything silly like faster-than-light travel. Current Scientific Thinking is an awkward, chimerical thing, always slippery, always mutable, but mutable in surprising ways. Thankfully, and despite the best attempts of creationists to suggest otherwise, it’s well aware of its own nature: yet even so, there are principles for which even the most flagellantly self-analytical physicist feels an attraction stronger than reason. You don’t mess with the speed of light, even if the Standard Model is incomplete. And you don’t try to outwit the Laws of Thermodynamics, especially not the second one.
The thing I particularly wanted to point out, because I suspect you lot would enjoy it, is Mr Miles’ proposal for a perpetual motion machine.
It’s really very simple. The core of the device is a vertical tube, within the gravitational field of a planet (or any other sizeable body). A projectile, let’s just call it a metal ball, is dropped into the tube. It turns the “water wheel”, and the energy is stored in whatever medium suits you. After that, the ball falls to the bottom of the tube and enters your wormhole. The wormhole has been arranged, and space-time carefully folded, so that the “exit” of the wormhole is at the top of the tube. Travelling from bottom to top without actually being lifted, the ball begins its journey again. The wheel keeps turning. Infinite energy is produced.
No, I couldn’t see the problem either. But I’m one of the half-learned.
The obvious difficulty – I say difficulty, not flaw – is that entropy strikes at the heart of the machine. The ball will wear down the wheel; the machinery will fall apart. But this ceases to be a problem when you realise the vast amounts of energy being produced out of nowhere, more than enough to fuel a self-repair system. Vast energy permits the replacement of matter, so it’s an engineering problem, not a problem with the physics. (And if you’re prepared to countenance the wormholes, then something clever involving nanites is probably going to be on the cards.) This aside, it all looked moderately rational.
Given my background, however, it seemed… a little unlikely that I’d found a way of punching entropy in the face.
Have at it. My immediate thought (and I stress that my book learning on science is pretty much restricted to what you get from Doctor Who novels and Buffy, so I believe all sorts of weird shit) was that the machine works (if it works) because it is not, in fact, a perpetual motion machine (assuming we define perpetual motion as motion that continues indefinitely without any external source of energy) so much as a way to harness gravity on an ongoing basis.
The ball is in free fall and continues to accelerate at a constant rate due to gravity (assuming (again) a uniform gravitational field). The machine captures energy from the ball roughly equal to the amount of the acceleration when hits the waterwheel, and siphons it off to run flying cars and time machines.
So while the machine might run until gravity runs out, it can’t run perpetually and would be extinguished, as us all, in the final heat death of the universe.
[Image copyright: Lawrence Miles]
I’m not writing about the election until the next time Romney opens his mouth and says something stupid (which could be ten minutes from now, so you never know). A book thread (along with physics puzzler), a foodporn thread and a realporn thread are on their way.
How goes it with you all?
Oh, and eye candy for your Friday night:
I, like the lovely Soonergrunt, am pretty damn confident about this election. I admit that something could go wrong and six weeks can be a long time. However, I read Nate and Sam and I study their tables and I play with the odd interactive electoral map, and at the moment those all seem to be saying that, provided Obama manages not to call Mitt “honky underpants man” in the debates or start a war with Israel and wins either Florida or North Carolina, there’s a pretty damn good chance he will win the election.
I am strengthened in this belief by several things, including my faith in Obama as a canny politician; the fact that Mitt and his entire royal court seem to be incapable of opening their mouths without telling an easily disprovable lie or a ridiculous half-truth, telling the unpalatable truth on video, having a hissy fit at journalists, using the words “you people” or calling attention to the stupid thing they said three weeks ago that everyone had almost forgotten about; and the fact that Dick Fucking Morris, the anti-Sibyl, a man who couldn’t predict it if his own arse was going to fall off, says that Obama is going to lose because (says Dick) he has to win young, black and latino voters at historic levels and (says Dick) they aren’t going to show up to vote.
Frighteningly, there is a whole world of Dicks out there, all of them believing that Romney absolutely will win.
For example, the other day someone on Balloon Juice (I can’t recall who because I am old and drunk) pointed to Unskewed Polls where polls are “unskewed” by “re-sampling” them based on Rasmussen’s “Partisan Trends” report which says that the number of Republicans in the US is at a record high.
There is a wonderful post here, where someone called Dean Chambers will explain to you how the method works, using an extended and ineffably tortuous “Student Government Association (SGA)” metaphor that has to be read to be believed.
A political science major who is known to be conservative points out most of the polls are skewed because they included far more than 33.3 percent education majors in their polls, and for that reason, get results “skewed” in favor of the education major who is the incumbent president. This conservative political science major points out if the samples are weighted to accurately reflect the student ratio between the enrollment in the the three colleges, the polls would report more accurate results. So by applying this weighting, the polls are “unskewed” and they all show the business major challenging the SGA president to be in the lead 56 percent to 44 percent. They call him crazy and he says the real poll on election day will prove him right.
Unsurprisingly, you might think, these resampled polls show Obama having an approval rating averaging about -8, and Romney massively ahead in the popular vote:
I feel for Mitt. My tax returns are complicated too.
I have investments scattered all over the globe, the odd bit of this and that, here and there – two box factories in Chicago, a couple of floors in the One57 (Bob Costas wanted to buy one of the apartments off me for twice what I paid, but I told him to go fuck himself in the ear (it’s going to be bad enough living next to the fucking Beckhams)), a couple of ad agencies, cattle ranching and wool in Argentina, gold and uranium mining in Australia (I pay my workers three times market rates, just to piss off that bitch Gina Rinehart), a little discreet organ harvesting in China, a pile of gold in a safe in George Town (along with some very salacious photographs of Joe Biden and a ski bunny, complete with two sets of bunny ears), three coffeshops in Amsterdam, assorted trusts (family, blind and “going on”) and a nifty little Swiss Verein that owns more Apple shares than I am allowed to admit – all of them with their various profits and deductions and capital losses and tax amnesties, across seventeen tax jurisdictions with 92 different filing dates.
Then there’s my charitable and political donations – my church (we’re trying to rebuild the steeple after Father Eustace drove a dumptruck into it three weeks ago while under the influence of too much altar wine), the greenies, the godbotherers who want to go to Africa, the saving of various endangered fluffy things, no less than fifteen young men in Brazil and Botswana whose villages have access to clean drinking water and modern gymnasium equipment on my purse, sundry donations and purchases for local council members, two mayors, three governors, fifteen reps, seventeen senators, two cardinals, one president and a sizable annual bequest to the St Filbert’s Home for Wayward and Orphaned Boys in New Orleans, of which I am the founding patron.
Each month, when I get to the Spokane offices of my accountants, Bumble, Curtin and Run (an English firm which has handled my family’s finances since just after the Battle of Flodden Field), I have a coffee and perhaps a little eclair in the client drawing room while the young Mr Bumble (the great to about twenty grandson of the original Mr Bumble) tries to find his pants and my file. Each month, I am ushered into his office – the poor man always looks thoroughly flushed – and I am confronted with a pile of about thirty two hundred pages, all of which I am supposed to have read, all of it festooned with red and purple and yellow stickies denoting various levels of importance, bound together with a summary file which has a summary memo clipped to the front, which has a section marked “Conclusions” right at the very top, which is printed in big print and short soothing words, and which essentially reads just like Mitt’s PWC memo.
Let me tell you, that fucker is the only bit I have ever read. I pay five hundred bucks an hour for Senior Clerks to read that shit for me. I just flip to the “sign here” stickies and sign away.
Still, small sympathy aside – after all, I am not running for President – I am filled with a feeling not too dissimilar to schadenfreude (if I weren’t 93 I could get away with a Mittelschmerz joke here) seeing Harry the honey badger getting his teeth right back into Mitt’s trouserleg.
Reid has been quick to dismiss the PwC letter, calling for Romney to release the full returns and saying in a conference call with Nevada reporters that an “outline by some accountant about his blind trust, that’s not going to do it.”
The lovely Imani (is that what we’re calling you now, dear?) has picked on one of my favorite bits – that Mitt admits on the record that he didn’t claim $1.75 million in charitable deductions in his 2011 return, with all of the contradictions and ability to get his money back that that entails.
Benjy Sarlin at TPM (via Sullivan, I think) goes even further:
Did Romney artificially inflate his tax rate using the same strategy in other returns? That’s the biggest question raised by the disclosure of his move to take fewer deductions in 2011.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to questions over whether Romney amended any of his previous returns
Ryan Grim at Hufflepuff (from whence that first quote came) has a great round up of other glaring holes in Mitt’s letter. For starters, Grim notes:
According to the letter from PwC avowing the number, it is based on Romney’s adjusted gross income. That means that, for instance, if Romney made investment profit of $20 million, but had losses of, say, $19.9 million, his adjusted gross income would only be $100,000. Paying 20.2 percent of $100,000 would cost Romney just over $20,000.
If Reid’s comment is interpreted strictly — that Romney paid literally $0 in taxes over 10 years — then the PwC letter undermines that charge. But if Romney paid only a very small amount — say, $20,000 on $20 million — it would be hard to award Reid many pinocchios for calling that nothing.
Hee. Glenn Kessler will forever be a punchline. Life is just sometimes.
Grim (who is doing sterling work) notes that:
Romney’s claimed rate is misleading in another way. Boston College tax law professor Brian Galle noted that Romney’s IRA has grown since 1999 at a rate of roughly $9 million to $10 million per year. Yet he pays no taxes on those gains. Adding $10 million to his 2011 income of $13.8 million, for instance, nearly doubles it, meaning his tax rate is roughly half of what his real gain was.
while over here Grim quotes Mr Galle on Mitt’s takes backsies charity bit.
Grim points to Greg Sargent, who has an interview with Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center about PWC’s claim that “Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.”
“Let’s say you have 10 years in which you paid 13 percent in taxes, and 10 years in which you paid 27 percent,” Williams told me. “If you average those rates, you’ll get an overall rate of 20 percent. But if the 13 percent years were high income years, and the 27 percent years were low income years, then his total taxes paid as a share of total income over the 20 years would be less, perhaps significantly less, than 20 percent.”
I warn you, don’t click on these next links. This sums up the mood at the Corner:
Mitt Romney’s tax release shows that he is rich, that he makes most of his money from investments, and that he gives a lot of it to his church. Politically aware people knew all of these things already. So unless there is a big surprise in the fine print (e.g., a contribution to the National Association of Puppy Stranglers), the release is unlikely to have much impact on the race.
while there’s radio silence on the whole thing at Red State, although Erick who was Begat by Erick does have time to point out that Hopey McChangeburger is a loser and a crook and a terrorist, and to solicit funds to buy
Mountain Dew and porn and paintball billboards.
The time has come for us to launch our National Billboard Campaign. We have invested in the printing of 24 “Get Hope, Fire Obama” billboards, 2 per swing state; we just need you to find a home for them. For $1,500 you can put up one of these billboards. You get to pick which key swing state you would like your billboard to go in. We are targeting these 12 key swing states:
SELECT HERE TO PUT UP YOUR BILLBOARD!
Florida Ohio Virginia
North Carolina Pennsylvania Wisconsin
Iowa Colorado Missouri
New Hampshire Nevada New Mexico
And Mr Krugman hasn’t even posted about Mitt’s tax returns yet.
I suspect this is another Romney fail. Oh, happy day.
Why do I do it to myself? The other night, foolish but fortified by several shots of whisky, I set out to read the Corner.
For those of you who may not have heard of it, o lucky souls ye, the Corner is the blog attached to National Review Online, which means that it is the piss-filled kiddie pool of the internet. It’s where Kathryn Jean Lopez takes her ovaries out for a dip and some sun; where you can hear multiple Pulitzer Prize nominated author Jonah Goldberg pontificating upon the jobs figures while he floats around in an inflatable ring, like some unspeakable and undercooked donut hole; and where the finest brains of the right hang out behind the changing rooms and smoke doobies and congratulate each other on their bravery in saying what needs to be said in slightly different ways and swap the occasional blowjob.
Essentially, it’s where you go if you want to know what stupid people think about politics. It’s kind of like Balloon Juice, but without the jokes and the animal pictures.
I read the Corner because it’s important to know what the stupid people are thinking. And so I can point and laugh, but that’s in the way of a bonus. I suffer this for the same reason I receive fifty seven emails every day with titles like “Morning Briefing: Enemy Collaborators” or “American Soil Has Been Attacked”, not to mention at least one email every day from either Marcus or Michele (and often both).
I read them, so you don’t have to. And then promptly ignore most of them – these people are incontinent loons, after all.
Anyway, I set out to read the Corner the other night, foolish and fortified etc., and woke up nine hours later with a mouth like a nun’s nasty, the imprint of a portable keyboard on my face and seven messages from various lawyers asking me not to drunk dial the members of the RNC again. Sadly, my notes of the evening seem to consist of the words “A strong smell of excrement prevails throughout” followed by the word “fuck” typed over and over, so that was a bit of a waste. Smashing scotch though.
Slightly chastened, I ventured over there again last night and this morning to see what they were saying about Mitt’s little video catastrophe as it happened. I’m afraid this post is a little long, and doesn’t really have a point. You have been warned.
Let me take you back to yesterday afternoon. 2.50pm. Michael Walsh writes about how the Politico article about Stuart Stevens is almost too depressing to contemplate, and then notes that:
Meanwhile, it’s a good thing for Romney that absolutely nothing of any interest has been going on in the world this past week, and steady-as-he-goes Mitt can keep reminding the American public, when he bothers to emerge from the foxhole into which the media has driven him, that President Obama’s a nice guy, but by golly he’s in over his head, and gee whiz I saved the Olympics and, dadgummit, a CFO is just what this country needs right now. (Although even that’s not working any more.)
Has anyone — well, since John McCain — ever made a more dispassionate case for himself or his candidacy? Here the anti-Obama commercials practically write themselves, and we’ve all seen the photographs of an American citizen taken into custody by the Thought Police, and yet Romney’s not even a hologram of a candidate at this point.
I think Walsh is a bit disappointed. Is there anyone who likes Mitt? Anywhere? Walsh writes well, I think:
This should be the most winnable election since Reagan crushed Mondale, but it won’t be, and not for any of the reasons Karl Rove and his krack kadre of GOP kampaign konsultants (who, like baseball managers with losing records, continue to be re-hired) think. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Boston, this election is not going to be decided strictly on jobs, tax policy, 59-point plans, economic issues, or managerial competence (Romney’s sounding more like Mike Dukakis every day). Unfortunately, it’s clear that Romney thinks it is, and that he’ll have the upper hand in that argument.
It’s not. Instead, it’s about one thing and one thing only: What kind of “America” is this country going to be? The constitutional republic of sovereign states founded by patriots in the 18th century, or the 20th century’s European-imported “progressive” dream of a federal leviathan? A nation of self-reliant yeomen or a country of beggars, supplicants, and bums? The Enlightenment’s dream or the Frankfurt School’s Communist nightmare?
If the “strategists” would pull their heads away from Rove’s chalkboard for a moment, they might see the larger picture, turn the tables on President Hopenchange, and reveal what his “change” was really about all along — the fundamental transformation of the United States of America, with the results we now see all around us. Indeed, that should be the salient issue of the campaign. But Romney doesn’t appear to be the guy who can explain that.
Romney was a well-financed weak candidate in a field of weak candidates, an ’08 retread who successfully exploited his rivals’ vulnerabilities during the primaries, but has since done almost nothing to convince the broader electorate that he ought to be president. It’s as if, having won the nomination, he’s essentially vanished. He’s (so far) squandered the Ryan veep pick and retreated in the face of hostile, partisan media criticism over his Libya statement. Some pushback, properly applied, might have done wonders for his image as a leader, instead of a bloodless McKinsey & Co. efficiency expert, the kind of clipboard-wielding, grinning chap who fired you in an effort to make your company leaner and meaner, just before it went out of business.
Frankly, if you ignore the Ferawferaw School’s Transformationalist nightmare guff, he’s pretty much got Mitt’s problems down, although he immediately descends into full wingnuttery again:
Mitt Romney would make a very competent, Coolidge-like president, and one who would be blissfully absent from America’s airwaves for much of his term as he went about dismantling the odious rules of engagement that currently hamstring America both militarily and economically. He’s clearly a good man and a nice guy — but nice guys finish last.
Yeah. Calvin Coolidge was cool, man, and a hardass.
Then, an update. That video is out there.
UPDATE: The Left apparently thinks this hidden-camera video of Romney speaking candidly is going to hurt him, but more blunt talk like this would only help.
Apparently the answer is for Mitt to go on air and tell the nation they are self-entitled moochers who have been sucking on Mother Liberty’s tit for too long. By 6.09pm, at least, that seems to be the argument that Patrick Brennan is going for.
Even more damning, after the CBO released its report in July about the distribution of federal tax payments and household income, Harvard economics professor (and Romney adviser) Gregory Mankiw did a little back-of-the-envelope math to look at how transfers received by various quintiles compared to the amount people pay in taxes. Below is their net income either received in transfers or paid in taxes, expressed as a percentage of market income earned by each quintile:
Bottom quintile: -301 percent
Second quintile: -42 percent
Middle quintile: -5 percent
Fourth quintile: 10 percent
Highest quintile: 22 percent
That is, looked at as a whole, even the middle quintile of Americans receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes to the federal government. Romney’s comments may still strike many Americans as ill-advised or offensive, but they’re not entirely detached from reality. A disturbingly large share of Americans do rely on government entitlements, and their protectiveness toward them is of immense political importance.
You’re all fucking leeches, essentially, and by 8.42pm John O’Sullivan knows how Mitt should sell this.
If Romney responds to the Mother Jones story by backing off from his basic argument that far too many Americans are dependent upon the government and that this dependency skews their votes, he will weaken his campaign enormously. This audio revelation does not destroy his chance of winning in November, as over-excitable commentators have argued. There are inaccuracies in it, as Patrick Brennan points out, but the basic argument is reasonable. (If over-deterministic — many people receiving welfare and other forms of government aid dislike their situation and would much prefer to be self-reliant.) But Romney cannot make that and other arguments if he begins by withdrawing his remarks or, worse, by apologizing for them. An apology, moreover, would confirm the still-latent suspicion that he is unduly nervous and a flip-flopper.
I like that “many people receiving welfare and other forms of government aid dislike their situation and would much prefer to be self-reliant.” So caring and understanding about the leeches.
So Mr O’Sullivan lays out his 8 point plan for a Mitt press conference. It involves charts, and this magnificent incoherence:
3. Many people receiving benefits are getting back from the government some or all of what they paid in through hidden taxes. But government takes a heavy service charge from us when it circulates our money back and forth to us. [Picture of one of those GSA parties at this point.]
4. Those voters who pull the Democratic lever because of what the government gives them are not just being bribed, they’re being bribed with their own money. Don’t be a sucker — especially not a two-time sucker.
5. Most people receiving tax-funded benefits are the victims of excess government (point 4) or of the Obama economy and large-scale long-term unemployment. What they want is not a life on the dole but a chance to get a decent job to support their families. Excess government threatens that chance — and Obama believes in excess government.
and ends with this, presumably step 9:
Romney should then leave without taking questions, perhaps issuing a detailed statement of these points later.
A fine plan. Let me know how that works out for you.
9:06pm and Jonah is heard from. I’m only going to quote a little bit of Jonah because his writing can induce seizures and I’m not having any of you bloodsuckers falling off your chairs and trying to sue me.
No, I don’t think this video is good news for Romney. But if Romney showed a little more of the spirit he shows in this video, I’m not sure it wouldn’t help.
10:30 pm EST – Mitt gives a press conference during in which he babbles while looking like he spent the last six hours shouting at people, and then inserted a gerbil just before he went on air.
11.19pm – Daniel Foster is underwhelmed. However, when needed he can call on a great American hero for hope.
Romney doesn’t exactly do it as elegantly (which is why they pay me the big bucks) but he does gesture at some of this. I found the presser not horrible, which is about as much praise as I can muster right now.
I don’t think there is any way to spin the release of this video as a positive for Romney, but I do think — and I said as much on Twitter — that now that it has happened, Romney’s only play is to turn into the approaching torpedoes at flank speed, Marko Ramius style.
In other words, the more fully Romney owns these comments the less the press can report them as a “gaffe.” Romney is now in a position that he has to bring the fight to Obama on the entitlement state. He can’t coast on poor economic indicators. Which, I think, is to the good, since the polls are showing that that is not a guaranteed winner, anyway.
Do you think these men ever read 538 or Mr Wang, or ever play with an election map to see what Romney actually has to do in order to win? Or do they genuinely believe that the election would be a lock if Mitt could only sell the evil of the welfare state to poor welfare trash?
Then, night and silence, a silence broken at 7.11am by Michael ‘Mitt crapped in my weeties” Walsh, who still hates Mitt, but hates everyone else more, particularly anyone named Carter:
Milk-Carton Mitt’s surprise turn upon the stage — did you know he was running for president? — came courtesy of the currently unemployed James Earl Carter IV, son of James Earl Carter III and grandson of the ineffable James Earl Carter, Jr., and a big fan of Barack Hussein Obama II, who found and relayed a surreptitiously recorded video in which Romney sounded remarkably like . . . a real conservative.
He ought to own it.
For sure, even Team Romney knows what’s coming next. The barrage of media criticism. The shrieks of “how dare you?” The tsk-tsking of ostensible friendlies. The constant press corps demands for clarification or, better yet, groveling abnegation. And more video’s on the way — be sure to read this story by David Corn for the full details. It’s going to get very, very ugly very, very quickly.
Walsh makes fun of David Brooks (see, he’s not all bad), and then there is this:
But let’s move on to some Brit or other:
When was the last time a president fighting for re-election was handed such a gift? Remind me, someone: how did the GOP end up with this idiot as their candidate?
Hey, buddy — he’s our idiot, so don’t get this Irish-American started on your idiots, the House of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, the family of Germans who’ve been ruling your country since Queen Victoria snuggled up with Prince Albert and produced Edward VII and, thanks to a family squabble among Georgie, Willie, and Nicky, drove your country right into World War I — a disaster from which it’s never recovered.
Um. OK. Some unresolved issues there. Moving quietly on.
Well, as Jonah has famously said, the hell with them. This is Mitt’s time, this is his moment. As at the Battle of Gettysburg, neither side was really looking for this fight at this time and in this place, but here it is. And that means going all in.
Sure, Mitt might have phrased things more elegantly — and certainly would have had he known there was a rat in the audience. (Every candidate — hell, everybody — simply must assume henceforth that their every word and email, thanks to technology and the Bush administration’s overwrought defensive reaction to 9/11, is being monitored, taped and weaponized, if need be.)
But now he has a choice — to back away from the implication of his off-the-cuff remarks, and try to blame his sentiments on infelicity, or to embrace the stark dichotomy he laid out and go with it. This chance encounter should be the thing that forces Romney out of his crouch, away from his krack kadre of kampaign konsultants, and fleeing from his over-reliance on conventional wisdom and polls.
When Lee — on his way to Harrisburg or even Philadelphia — collided with Union troops while searching for shoes, he precipitated the biggest battle of the Civil War. It was not a battle he sought, but once started it was a battle he had to win. And he lost. Similarly, Meade — fresh to his command of the Army of the Potomac — was taken by surprise, but organized a skillful defense in the face of the Confederate onslaught and emerged victorious. For three days, the fate of the nation hung in the balance.
Will Romney rise to the occasion and fight? Or will he retreat? Only one path can lead to victory in November.
The fate of his candidacy will hinge on the answer.
Sadly for Mr Walsh, the answer is that Mitt is going to spend the next seven weeks looking like that gerbil has taken up residence in his colon.
Now the rest of the morning on the Corner is a bit of a washout, as they seem to want to talk about anything but Romney. I’d give honorable mentions to Victor Davis Hanson for asking if Obama has been Carterized (duh, yes, but not enough), and to Mark Krikorian for finding evidence of widespread voter fraud:
I saw up close how serious the problem of ballot integrity is just this weekend, when I was out door-knocking with voter-registration lists — at least one of the registered voters listed hadn’t lived at that address for decades.
I need a drink, kiddies, so I will leave you with these last two pieces of pure wingnut word on the Romney, glimmering amongst the dross like rancid fat. First, K-LO, Our Lady of the Tiny Innocent Souls (and I note that this is her post this morning in its entirety:
The only reason the Mother Jones leaks have traction is, of course, because of the “Mittbot” narrative. Ironically though, while we pretend not to know Romney, who does have a record as governor, we still seem to continue ignore the radicalism of Barack Obama and his administration, with now near-four years of a record in the White House.
and Peter Kirsanow with… this, which … I don’t even know what this is:
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, proclaiming Mitt Romney’s comments “shocking,” states (with a straight face), “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the population.”
Americans who’ve lost their ambition and imagination and willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge, American soldiers who just air-raid villages and kill civilians, typical white people, the unpatriotic who don’t pay their fair share, Americans who’ve gotten soft, midwesterners who cling to guns and religion, Catholics, the entire state of Arizona, and delusional businessmen who believe they built their own businesses — to name just a few — apparently add up to less than half the population.
Now, fuck off, you leeches.
Christ mambo-dancing buff-carpenter Jesus. What an eejit the Romney is.
The EXCLUSIVE – Romney on Debates: Obama Will ‘Say Things That Aren’t True’ interview with George Aloysius Snuffleupagus is compelling viewing in the same way as is, say, America’s Funniest Home Videos.
There you have babies doing themselves injuries on glass coffee tables or bonking themselves in the eyes with sporks, accompanied by whacky boing noises and a laugh track, which you must admit is prime entertainment.
Over at the ABC, it’s very much the same – George tottering toward the fragile coffee table of journalistic integrity with a determined look*, while the Romney spouts inanities and calumnies, in between bouts of bashing itself very hard over its own head with, in turn, a natty white picnic chair, an ornamental plant and George’s left shoe, with a soundtrack of wingnut tears and Rush-Limbaugh-clutching-at-his-heart noises.
It defies belief. You must go and read/watch the whole thing. I suspect the lefty blogs will be all over it like nuns on a chip, so I’m just going to pick out a few of my favourite bits from George’s blogpost, rather than even trying to lampoon the entire thing…
The former governor told me he’s tempted to use Ronald Reagan’s famous line against President Carter in a 1980 debate, “There you go again” — the same line that Bill Clinton turned on Romney and the Republicans at the Democratic convention in Charlotte.
Do it, Mitt. Try and crack a snappy one liner that only non-Zombie Reagan could get away with, and which only Former President Bubba O’Bill could get away with recycling. Wait for some opportune moment, perhaps when President Obama has said something entirely true and innocuous about Obamacare giving people access to affordable healthcare. When you see your moment, do that smug, stiff turn-to-camera face you always use when you’re about to deliver a quip, and drop it in.
“There you go again.”
Try not to say “nigger” or “boy” or “darkie” at the end of that sentence, by the way. None of those would go down well. Then do your odd little laugh, smirk, cut, print. It will be a hit.
Obama will stagger under the force of your wit and babble incoherently (rather than, say, calmly ripping you a new arsehole in front of the entire world), and the Oval Office will be yours. Read the rest of this entry »
Well dears, the convention is over. I had intended to write so many posts keeping you up to date on what was what, but what with this and that, and that and this, I somehow could not find the time. I’m writing you a long post with all of my adventures, from the minor Paulite revolution I fomented to the rather odd orgy I ended up at in the Bachmann’s suite. It was remarkably like the video above.
I blame grindr. More on all that later.
In the meantime, I note that I also omitted to follow up on my thread to find the best personal ad from the convention. I checked on my gays every day and, frankly, I was a little disappointed. The boys of Tampa just didn’t seem to be putting in much effort to snare some Republican arse, and the Republican Youth seemed to be keeping it indoors at the convention. I popped into one toilet at the Times Forum and all the lightbulbs had been removed. Thankfully I had my little torch. I’ve never seen so many lily white white arses moving quite so quickly before.
Anyway, aside from the Gay Joe Cool that JGabriel found, the only ad that really made me laugh was this one:
Much love. Have a drink on me. I’ll be back to you once I’ve managed to get Michele Bachman out of my closet so I can check out and get on my plane out of this shithole.