Quick hits

Washington Monthly:

This identification of “success” (i.e., wealth) with virtue, ancient as it is, has always laughably defied common human experience. The hardest working people on earth are those who are literally working to keep from starving. Relatively few of them live in the United States to begin with, and those who do are rarely Republicans. And pride over one’s “success,” particularly if it is expressed via conspicuous wealth, has been the target of stern warnings in virtually every major religious tradition.

The American Prospect:

 The would-be first lady has a Junior League likeability—she’s sweet and charming, if a bit removed from the average life of most Americans. The random cry of “I love women” was at least overt and obvious in its effort to close the gender gap the GOP currently faces. Even her nervousness had its appeal Tuesday night—she delivered her speech a little too fast, proving once again that she’s human.

But Ann Romney had one job to do: Give us some reason—any reason—to believe her husband isn’t some cold-hearted automaton. On that count, the speech failed entirely.

Elizabeth Warren at DKos:

Coming out of the Great Depression, America was at a crossroads. The future of our economy – and our democracy – was at stake.

We made a decision together as a country: To invest in ourselves, in our kids, and in our future. For nearly half a century, that’s just what we did.

And it worked. For nearly 50 years, as our country got richer, our families got richer – and as our families got richer, our country got richer.

And then about 30 years ago, our country moved in a different direction. New leadership attacked wages. They attacked pensions. They attacked health care. They attacked unions. And now we find ourselves in a very different world from the one our parents and grandparents built. We are now in a world in which the rich skim more off the top in taxes and special deals, and they leave less and less for our schools, for roads and bridges, for medical and scientific research – less to build a future.

Gaius Publius at Americablog:

But back to this one — crossing lines of conscience. At what point does a generally good office-holder lose your support? What if they*:

  • Stole from the office lotto pool?
  • Had sex with a colleague in the back room?
  • Had sex with an intern in the back room?
  • Tortured frogs?
  • Hit a spouse?
  • Committed murder?

At the lesser “crimes” you overlook the bad for the good. But at some point in that list, if your candidate were guilty, you would not be able to support them*. He or she has crossed your “line of conscience.”

The Democratic Strategist:

Things didn’t use to be this bad. They became radically worse when Republican Governors and Republican state legislatures in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and a number of other Republican states (and not a single Democratic one) began passing bills that were publically and proudly described by their authors and supporters as being designed “to make life so miserable for illegals that they would pack their bags and go back where they came from.“

They succeeded spectacularly in making life miserable. In Alabama, Mexican and other Latino parents who did not have papers became afraid to send their children to school even when their children had been born in the U.S. Many became afraid to go downtown to pay their water bills, and began to get along without running water. They became afraid to go to work in many of the jobs they previously held where document checks and local police visits have become extensive. Many Latino parents, both legal and illegal, have became afraid to take their kids to a park or a museum or a library for fear they would be harassed.

This “make their lives miserable”  strategy has filtered up from the Republican-controlled states to become essentially the official national Republican agenda.  It is now enshrined in the Republican platform with the delicate euphemism “humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily.”  Romney (the so-called “moderate” Republican candidate) came up with the cynical phrase “self-deportation” to describe it.  “Self-deportation.”  What a charming little phrase. By including the muscular word “deportation” it suggests a macho, “get-tough” kind of attitude but is at the same time so much nicer than saying “we’re gonna make their lives so miserable that they leave” even though, in practice, it means the same thing.

 Finally, from All Things Democratic:

By no means am I denigrating the work done by the Salvation Army, nor any not-for-profit providing such services. However, conservatives need to acknowledge not only the breadth of government-run assistance programs but their efficiency, as well.

SNAP versus the Salvation Army is a microcosm of the larger debate about the role and proper function of government – a debate in which one of the sides believes that the free market always wins.

Well, in this case, as in many others…Atlas Debunked.


  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on August 29, 2012 - 5:28 pm

    “Give us some reason—any reason—to believe her husband isn’t some cold-hearted automaton.”

    It didn’t help when the automaton was wheeled onstage at the end.

    Next, Gov. Chris Christie gave a speech about himself, only name-checking the presidential ticket after 16 minutes.

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on August 29, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    The Republicans are still – hilariously – trying to portray a “large tent”.

    They were all there; the niggers, japs, bitches, spics, savages, ect…

    Not an environmentalist in sight.

    Lot’s of rock music.

  3. #3 by brewski on August 29, 2012 - 7:42 pm

    Where is your venomous hate of the lazy inherited wealth of John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Mark Warner, Jared Polis and others? Never mind JFK and FDR.

    Intellectual weakness of the left.

  4. #4 by Larry Bergan on August 29, 2012 - 7:49 pm

    Today’s “conservatives” are about two things:

    War and division. The costs never come up.

  5. #5 by brewski on August 29, 2012 - 7:52 pm

    Today’s liberals about blame and shift. Responsibility and a solution never come up.

    ““You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say ‘we have a definitive solution to that long term problem.’ What we do know is, we don’t like yours.””
    Tim Geithner

  6. #6 by Larry Bergan on August 29, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    Mike Huckabee just said that Mitt Romney has given 16% of his wealth to the Mormon Church: six percent more then he was required to.

    Releasing his taxes would clear that up, but I’m not holding my breath.

  7. #7 by Larry Bergan on August 29, 2012 - 8:24 pm

    brewski says:

    Where is your venomous hate of the lazy inherited wealth of John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Mark Warner, Jared Polis and others? Never mind JFK and FDR.

    Don’t know who Mark Warner or Jared Polis are/were, but I’ve never made any secret of my outrage at John Kerry walking away from an election he won. Jay Rockefeller is just another “democrat” who always folds where push comes to shove.

    JFK and FDR were extremely rich people who stood up for hard working people who were poor.

    What’s your point.

  8. #8 by Richard Warnick on August 29, 2012 - 8:50 pm

    Shorter Paul Ryan: “President Obama didn’t do a good enough job of clearing up our mess– it’s his responsibility now, after all.” No acknowledgement of GOP sabotage.

    Remember Rep. Ryan voted for all of the Bush administration’s catastrophic policies. Where is his sense of responsibility?

  9. #9 by brewski on August 29, 2012 - 9:37 pm

    All of those people are multi-millionraires who don’t get demonized for being multi-millionaires since they have a (D) after their names.

  10. #10 by brewski on August 29, 2012 - 9:38 pm

    John Kerry won the election about as much as the Cubs won the 2011 World Series.

  11. #11 by Larry Bergan on August 29, 2012 - 11:12 pm

    I’m not into sports at all. I wasn’t good at them. I’m confused about what sports has to do with this conversation.

    I was always irritated when Tim Russert ended his giant forum with “What About Those Bills?”

    What does sports have to do with politics, or our lives?

  12. #12 by cav on August 30, 2012 - 7:27 am

    Just another game with highly paid players willing to grab a helmet, throw an elbow, blow out an opponents knee, or slide into home with cleats elevated – all so their corporate owners hit some bottom line?

    True sportsmanship in other words.

  13. #13 by brewski on August 30, 2012 - 8:24 am

    I know, I said that for your benefit.

  14. #14 by cav on August 30, 2012 - 8:33 am

    Proxy war with a modified component of entertainment, but with different uniforms and rules packages.

    Refer, also, too: Roman Colosseum.

    See how quickly we can get back to BEER? While you’re up.

  15. #15 by Richard Warnick on August 30, 2012 - 9:52 am

    Lyin’ Ryan: Top 5 Fibs In Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech

    The guy who wants to bankrupt Medicare to finance tax cuts for the wealthy claims President Obama is a threat to Medicare. And the Janesville GM Plant closed down during the Bush administration!

    The most exciting part of Ryan’s speech on TV was the glimpse of CodePink hecklers being hustled away by security.

  16. #16 by cav on August 30, 2012 - 10:57 am

    It seems to me, that as per some emerging GOP operating system, we’ll be offered a package where the top spot (the more ceremonious) is occupied by a nominally religious white dude who’s favorite philosopher might be of the order of Jesus or Brigham – and in the second spot (and ALL of the supporting actors), the truly evil, follower of the dark side, who will actually do the lying and other unpleasant work of pulling the bloody levers of imperial power.

    IOW Ryan is the new Cheney.

  17. #17 by Richard Warnick on August 30, 2012 - 11:16 am

    Fox News’ Sally Kohn: Paul Ryan’s RNC Speech ‘Was Attempt To Set World Record For Blatant Lies’

    Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care.

    All I can say is, wait until tonight. Willard’s lie-to-word ratio is unmatched in politics.

  18. #18 by cav on August 30, 2012 - 11:25 am

    You may be jumping the gun there Richard. I anticipate blather and A-grade gobbled-y-gook, so much so there may be no time left over for lies.

    But it now occurs to me that Lies of omission might fit the bill to which you refer.

    I’ll let the more masochistic among us watch and hopefully report back.

  19. #19 by cav on August 30, 2012 - 11:32 am

    Here’s http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-29/donors-invest-millions-in-romney-for-billions-in-returns.html pretty much how it’s going to go down.

    Names names, chapter and verse.

  20. #20 by Richard Warnick on August 30, 2012 - 11:43 am

    Think Progress: 6 Worst Lies In Paul Ryan’s Speech

    1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”

    2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.

    3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.

    4. Obama “did exactly nothing” on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.” In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.

    5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.

    6. “The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak.” Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan’s budget plan as “cruel,” and “an immoral disaster” because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.

  21. #21 by Richard Warnick on August 30, 2012 - 11:54 am

    Jonathan Cohn: The Most Dishonest Convention Speech … Ever?

    Ryan said “President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him” and proclaimed “We need to stop spending money we don’t have.” In fact, this decade’s big deficits are primarily a product of Bush-era tax cuts and wars. And you know who voted for them? Paul Ryan.

  22. #22 by Richard Warnick on August 30, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    Condi Rice Can’t Name A Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure

    Condi was the worst National Security Advisor Ever and the Worst Secretary of State Ever, quite an achievement. But she’s modest about it: “It’s not a time to look back, it’s a time to look forward.”

  23. #23 by cav on August 30, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    Condi, Rmoney, rAyn, Cheney, the Bushes…really need a planet of their own to ruin.

    Leave ours alone.

  24. #24 by brewski on August 31, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    “There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working. Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”
    – Gina Rinehart, woman

  25. #25 by brewski on August 31, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    I am in moderation.
    Apparently even the word “socializing” is blocked by the Kommissars and Politburo.

  26. #26 by cav on August 31, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    Word Press doesn’t like you.

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