Let’s just put these out there again, shall we?
We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while.
We’re going to win by a landslide. It will be the biggest surprise in recent American political history. It will rekindle a whole question as to why the media played this race as a nail-biter, where in fact I think that Romney is going to win by quite a bit. My own view is that Romney is going to carry 325 electoral votes.
Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals.
Brian S. Brown:
Romney wins the Electoral College with room to spare — somewhere around 300 electors. All four marriage votes in the deepest of blue states (Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine) will be won by traditional-marriage supporters. This will happen even though supporters of same-sex marriage have outspent us by gargantuan amounts.
In a fair and just society, political pundits who got things this fucking wrong would never be listened to again. When their names were mentioned, people would mutter embarrassedly and try to change the subject. If they ever tried again to appear on television or write a column about politics, people would point and laugh at their cluelessness until stuff came out their noses. Children would throw turds at them in the street and pin “Kick Me” signs to their backs. The sheer shame engendered by their own stupidity would trap them at home forever, dressed in the tattered rags of their reputations, wearing only one shoe and constantly revisiting the rotted ruins of a table laid with celebratory cake and Romney/Ryan How to Vote cards.
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:
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 »
I’m trying to understand.
I managed to put my back out somewhere in Portugal, then picked up a dread lurgy in Amsterdam, and have therefore spent the last week making my way home to Shady Pines, swathed in a haze of Tiger Balm, vaIium, codeine and champagne, while alternately lying on the floor of hotels and groaning, lying on aeroplane seats and groaning, or sitting on toilets and groaning while squirting from every orifice. It was like a Katharine Hepburn movie, except one where Katharine knees Tracy in the balls in the first five minutes and is handcuffed to her seat for the rest of the film. My fond regards to the staff of KLM and Singapore Airlines for their sterling service and their heavy hands with the gin.
Having arrived home, I have been appropriately cleaned and medicated, and now the world is like a big, warm ball of pink marshmallow with me in the middle like a particularly unpleasant (although exquisitely perfumed) jammy filling.
I know there are important events going on outside. I’m reading my blogs and trying to take it all in but, with the bucketsful of painkillers I am on, my brain has self-deported.
As far as I can tell, lots of people are complaining because the President made a speech in which he talked about creating jobs and improving education and the unremarkable (yet rarely spoken of) idea that the rich should pay at least the same rate of tax as the non-rich, while sounding like a calm, responsible adult.
This after a week which the chosen exemplars of Republicaniness (a morally-compromised blowhard, a rich herbert with the likeability of a sanitary napkin full of blue ink, an insane gnome and an obnoxious wowser whose name is inextricably linked to lubey, shitty suds) spent flinging poo at each other, fellating the rich and otherwise saying dumb shit, while arguing about how little tax they all pay.
President Obama clearly has no idea what he is doing.
Also, Nancy Pelosi. No idea. Why on earth would she say of Newt that:
I think he’s done plenty of dumb things and there’s stiff competition for what is the dumbest thing he’s done, of course, including his violations of the ethics rules of the House of Representatives.
when she knows that it will make the 27 percent squeal at her for the next week like piggies in a sack about how unfair it is for Nancy to mention stuff for which God has personally forgiven Newt?
I tried reading Mitch Daniels’ reply but as far as I can tell he just went “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Why won’t you do what we want you to?” for ten minutes, crapped his pants and fell off his chair.
None of it is making sense.
Perhaps I need another drink….
Hello, kiddies. I’ve finally recovered from a New Year’s Eve which involved several thousand happy Portuguese dancing in the streets of Porto, a visit to a gay bar where I was plied with champagne while watching buxom naked ladies swinging on swings to the music of Boney M., and the inhalation of veritable drifts of good cocaine. I hope yours was of a similar nature.
I have been reading the National Review. After a big weekend, one sometimes needs a little purge, and there’s no finer emetic than spending fifteen minutes reading anything by that vile Goldberg putz. After I had wiped my face clean and tottered back from the bathroom, I found myself reading an article by John Yoo.
Now, I admit that much of the last decade is a blur, but I was quite sure that Mr Yoo had been tried for war crimes years ago and locked up in a prison near the Hague somewhere, where he was denied access to writing implements and where two stern Dutch women waterboarded him and beat his testicles with golf clubs every morning.
No such luck, apparently. Instead he is free to tout that the Republican presidential candidates should all be preparing for military action against Iran:
President Obama has done more than merely delay the inevitable day of reckoning with Iran. He has left the public uninformed about the nature and possible consequences of military action, which must be serious and sustained enough to destroy complex, protected, and dispersed facilities — pinpoint bombing of a single facility will not end Iran’s nuclear program. Iran might respond by attacking Israel, Arab allies such as Saudi Arabia, and oil shipments in the Persian Gulf. President Obama has also failed to explain the heavy costs of containment, which would involve a constant, significant conventional and nuclear military presence on Iran’s perimeter. …
Military action need not go so far as an invasion or even a no-fly zone. Our forces would have to destroy Iranian air-defense sites, but otherwise, thanks to precision-guided missiles and drones, they could concentrate on a few links in the Iranian nuclear chain: the centrifuge facilities where uranium is enriched, the assembly points for weapons, and perhaps missile and air-delivery systems.
The surgical nature of such strikes would make them proportional to the military objective, which would be not the overthrow of the Iranian regime but the destruction of its nuclear capability. Nuclear-weapons infrastructure is a legitimate military target, even if some strikes may kill civilians. If casualties result because facilities are located beneath cities, the fault rests with the Iranians for deliberately using civilians to shield its military — a move long forbidden by the laws of war. Unlike Iranian-supported terrorist groups, the United States will assuredly do everything possible to keep civilian loss of life to a minimum.
The United States has assumed the role, once held by Great Britain, of guaranteeing free trade and economic development, spreading liberal values, and maintaining international security. An attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, though it would impose costs in human lives and political turmoil, would serve these interests and forestall the spread of conflict and terror. The Republican presidential candidates should begin preparing the case now for this difficult but unavoidable challenge.
John Yoo and psychopaths like him will not be satisfied until the world is a smoking ruin.
I, for one, will not be happy, not least because those chain mail dresses that Tina Turner wore chafe like a bitch.
Gnoot has a post up about his proposal to prepare kids from poor families for the low paying, menial jobs they will often be forced to take after leaving school by giving them low paying, menial jobs while they are at school.
Wouldn’t it be great if New York City schools served their students as well as they serve some of their custodians?
Students–especially those from very poor families–would be better served if they had the opportunity to earn money part-time at school by doing some of the tasks custodians are now performing so expensively.
Dozens of poor students could have part-time, paying jobs for the $100,000 a year New York schools pay some custodians. For that amount, more than 30 children could work just two hours each school day and each take home $3,000 a year by the time they are 12 or 13 years old.
Some of this work could be clerical; other tasks could be janitorial, such as cleaning the cafeteria, or emptying the trash, or vacuuming the classrooms. These are similar to the chores many parents require their kids to do at home, and it would allow 12- and 13- year olds to make money they desperately need. Giving children the opportunity to earn money would help teach work habits, and letting them do so in their schools would build a stronger commitment to that community.
Here’s the thing, Gnoot, you crap-filled, sociopathic blowhard.
I may be a fictional, sweary old lady who knows two fifths of fuck-all about poverty and the challenges facing inner city kids, or about how we could improve their financial position while increasing their self esteem and encouraging them to learn.
However, I’d be willing to bet quite a lot of money that the answer is not making them stay back after school to clean up other students’ shit for six bucks an hour.
My favorite moment on Hannity last night came during an interview with Sarah Palin: “If voters start shifting gears and deciding they want ideological consistency, then they’re going to start paying attention to say, Rick Santorum.”
I put the former senator and governor together in a column this week, as it happens. …
By the way: When Sean pressed her on whether or not she would be endorsing someone in the primaries, when it might matter to someone, she dismissed her influence at this point, calling herself a mere “pundit” whose endorsement wouldn’t amount to “a hill of beans.”
Jesus. Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum meeting at K-Lo’s place, to sup her bitter tea and nibble at her cupcakes of regret, is the kind of cosmic dumbness event that flattens small cities and makes the sunsets red for months.
God is not kind enough that he would grant me, before I conga from this vale of tears, the sight of Santorum on the convention stage clasping the hand of his Vice Presidential pick, Two Time Sarah.
A girl can dream.
[Image: The First Foolish Virgin - Martin Schongauer (c1430-1491)]
I tried to write a proper analysis of Peggy Noonan’s latest emission. I labored through her evocation of a red and white and purple-prosed America that I suspect only ever existed in Peggy’s wildest gin-dreams:
…The things that divide us are not new, yet there’s a sense now that the glue that held us together for more than two centuries has thinned and cracked with age. That it was allowed to thin and crack, that the modern era wore it out.
What was the glue? A love of country based on a shared knowledge of how and why it began; a broad feeling among our citizens that there was something providential in our beginnings; a gratitude that left us with a sense that we should comport ourselves in a way unlike the other nations of the world, that more was expected of us, and not unjustly—”To whom much is given much is expected”; a general understanding that we were something new in history, a nation founded on ideals and aspirations—liberty, equality—and not mere grunting tribal wants. We were from Europe but would not be European: No formal class structure here, no limits, from the time you touched ground all roads would lead forward. You would be treated not as your father was but as you deserved.
I chuckled at the bit where she called Obama a negative, self-obsessed, divisive hater of the rich:
Where is the president in all this? He doesn’t seem to be as worried about his country’s continuance as his own. He’s out campaigning and talking of our problems, but he seems oddly oblivious to or detached from America’s deeper fears. And so he feels free to exploit divisions. It’s all the rich versus the rest, and there are a lot more of the latter.
then was entirely discombobulated when Peggy
became seemed briefly coherent*:
Specifically it is the story of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage insurers, and how their politically connected CEOs, especially Fannie’s Franklin Raines and James Johnson, took actions that tanked the American economy and walked away rich. It began in the early 1990s, in the Clinton administration, and continued under the Bush administration, with the help of an entrenched Congress that wanted only two things: to receive campaign contributions and to be re-elected.
The story is a scandal, and the book should be the bible of Occupy Wall Street. But they seem as incapable of seeing government as part of the problem as Republicans seem of seeing business as part of the problem.
but then realized it was all an excuse to insert her tongue slowly into Paul Ryan, and then gently pull it out and wiggle it around a bit, tickling the little hairs with the tip the way he likes:
Which gets us to Rep. Paul Ryan. Mr. Ryan receives much praise, but I don’t think his role in the current moment has been fully recognized. He is doing something unique in national politics. He thinks. He studies. He reads. Then he comes forward to speak, calmly and at some length, about what he believes to be true. He defines a problem and offers solutions, often providing the intellectual and philosophical rationale behind them. Conservatives naturally like him—they agree with him—but liberals and journalists inclined to disagree with him take him seriously and treat him with respect.
My brain didn’t really start to hurt until the end, where I discovered that Paul Ryan thinks the rich and politicians are evil too:
“Why have we extended an endless supply of taxpayer credit to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, instead of demanding that their government guarantee be wound down and their taxpayer subsidies ended?” Why are tax dollars being wasted on bankrupt, politically connected solar energy firms like Solyndra? “Why is Washington wasting your money on entrenched agribusiness?”
Rather than raise taxes on individuals, we should “lower the amount of government spending the wealthy now receive.” The “true sources of inequity in this country,” he continued, are “corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.” The real class warfare that threatens us is “a class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society.”
although apparently it’s not negative, divisive or rich-hatey when he says it.
I tried to read the whole thing again, and pick it apart in detail for your delectation. And frankly, I just gave up. I’m neither sober enough, nor drunk enough, to care.
So, in lieu of that, I bring you my new favorite biscuits (cookies, for those of you not of Blighty born):
Who doesn’t like a nice fruity cock or two with their morning tea?
* ETA: Yes, I know that Peggy is only coherent here for a particular value of coherent, namely “not very”. As commenter geg6 noted at Balloon Juice: “To blame everything on Freddie and Fannie, as she does in the paragraph you highlight, is not coherent. It is the babbling of every Teabagging, conspiracy nut, Grover Norquist knob gobbling asshole on the right.” At least Peggy got all the words in the right order. That must count for something.
I do love Michelangelo Signorile, perhaps most because he manages to be civil with people who would reduce me to a spluttering bundle of rage and/or have me breaking out the Ex-lax, and he therefore has the opportunity to slip in the knife so politely that I suspect many of his interviewees don’t realize how badly they have been cut until a long time afterwards.
I’ll let Michelangelo tell you the tale:
Today I interviewed North Carolina GOP state Sen. James Forrester (below is full audio, as well as a video clip), who sponsored a bill that put a measure on the ballot in that state for May that if passed would ban marriage for gays and lesbian in the state constitution. Forrester, who is also a doctor, had made outrageous, defamatory claims in a town hall weeks ago, saying that gay people die 20 years earlier than other people because of their supposed “lifestyle.”
This interview has to be heard to be believed: Forrester not only could not back up his claims with any evidence — after first trying to source the Centers for Disease Control, only to be debunked by me — but he actually acknowledged that he could be wrong. He eventually credited a Christian activist named Frank Turek (who is associated with Maggie Gallagher and the National Organization for Marriage) as his source of this bogus public health information. Forrester had said in his town hall some of his patients were gay men who died early deaths, yet didn’t seem to know anything about public health, including that, on a global level, AIDS drastically affects heterosexuals more than gay men. Later, he couldn’t answer why he wasn’t proposing a divorce ban if his goal is to save marriage, and couldn’t explain why gays harm marriage. He accused me at that point of trying to “trip” him up, after I asked some basic questions, and even said he wasn’t going to answer any more questions — though he stayed on the line when I said it would be cowardly of him to leave.
“Well, I want to thank you for speaking to me. I’m sorry that you couldn’t answer the questions. I think it speaks to your own lack of education about this and your lack of answers, which is pretty appalling for a legislator, and I think the entire country is now seeing you embarrass yourself and embarrass the state of North Carolina. Thankyou for coming on today.”
These people are appalling. Read the rest of this entry »