Monthly Archives: August 2012

Live by the Celebrity; Die by the Celebrity

The whole phony PR stunt was in the works all week, and it turned my stomach. There would be a “mystery guest.” It was suppose to be bait for the press (mostly Faux Nooz­), supposed to build “buzz” for the last day, when Mitt Romney would make the foreordained “speech of his life.” “Foreordained,” because there was never any doubt that would be the headline, no matter HOW bad said speech was. Republicans don’t live in reality; they live in fantasy, as the embarrassing Republican National Convention proved beyond all doubt. But if you need further evidence, consider Byron York’s lying column in the Moonie paper, the Washington Times, which encompasses the entire thesaurus definition of “lie”:

aspersion, backbiting, calumniation, calumny, deceit, deception, defamation, detraction, dishonesty, disinformation, distortion, evasion, fable, fabrication, falsehood, falseness, falsification, falsity, fib, fiction, forgery, fraudulence, guile, hyperbole, inaccuracy, invention, libel, mendacity, misrepresentation, misstatement, myth, obloquy, perjury, prevarication, revilement, reviling, slander, subterfuge, tale, tall story, vilification, white lie, whopper

With the entire mediasphere howling with derision at Clint Eastwood’s astonishing performance today, and, aided and abetted by the Usual Suspects, his dissembling sits atop Memeorandum, with some story about a kid dying of cancer. Eastwood is barely given lip service, because, when the facts get in the way of the narrative, chain an anvil to the facts’ feet and dump them in the bay:

The most extraordinary story of the GOP convention
Byron York / Washington Examiner

Popular in Politics  —  TAMPA — When CNN asked top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom to assess Clint Eastwood’s performance on stage at the Republican convention Thursday night, Fehrnstrom answered simply, “It’s improv.”

And then, praising (without example or quote) all of the other speeches, York slithers into a touchy-feely quote about how Mitt helped a kid with terminal cancer to write a will. And this, saith the York, PROVES that Mitt Romney should be president. Yeah. Right. Sure. Continue reading

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A River Runs Through Her

As the Country Club set partied on Mitt’s
Cayman Islands-flagged yacht

The intersection between advertising, show business and politics is now complete: in an evening utterly devoid of facts, the talking wounded of the dancing eyebrows set were reduced to the station of theatrical reviewers.

Whether this is a higher or lower station than they had occupied as “political pundits” I shall leave to the analysis and conclusions of the reader.

I only say this because “analysis” and rational “conclusion” have been categories utterly lacking in this damned, doomed convention of the preterites, those self-anointed and self-deluded who secretly and openly call themselves the elect. Continue reading

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Literally Smoke and Mirrors

If there is any clear metaphor for the Republican party in this toxic year, it is this: A fat man standing in front of a background of moving smoke, telling America how it has to go on a diet.

Metaphor? More like the entire point of the convention. As noted earlier today, the Romney campaign has decided to throw out those pesky “facts” altogether. After all, what do facts matter when it’s a cracking good story? Continue reading

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First Impressions of the Nomination

Oh. Dear. Ghod.

I have watched political conventions my entire life,  been a delegate to a national convention,  state conventions, county conventions, have put planks in state and county platforms, attended Boys State,  been registered in both parties and as an independent, and seen politics at all the levels to where the rubber meets the road, and this was/is BEYOND pathetic.

I am embarrassed for our country. This was the most incompetent, ugliest nomination I’ve ever seen, in a hall with an astonishing number of empty seats. If they can’t even run their convention, how do they expect to run the country? Even if you hate Republicans, you have to feel abject pity for them, to be associated with this third-rate clown show. I am speechless. Good lord. Continue reading

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Be Very Careful What You Wish For

There is a sudden electoral crisis looming at the RNC in Tampa today…

Damn it, defeat this RINO power grab!
Mark Levin / Facebook:

Conservatives of all stripes, especially Tea Party activists, this is an attempt to destroy your ability to influence the presidential and vice presidential nomination process in the Republican Party.  It is an attempt to eviscerate the input of state parties.

After all the laws passed in the name of voter suppression, it is more than a bit ironic to read this.

But there is an important, if ancient, lesson here: Continue reading

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In The Shadow of John Brown

John Brown mural in Kansas state capitol

I have been warning you about this. And now here it is:

Prosecutor: Ga. murder case uncovers terror plot
Russ Bynum / Associated Press

LUDOWICI, Ga. (AP) — Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday.

I am going to reprint this, because I have already said it, and you will still find it germane. Perhaps even more so.

The Little Blogger Who Cried “Terrorist!” and other Modern Fables
May 23, 2012

Continue reading

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A Secret History of Neil Armstrong

Funny, as in “strange cosmic coincidence”: I was just listening to Tony Bennett’s original version of “Fly Me to the Moon” last night on my mp3 player.

Quincy Jones presents platinum copies
of “Fly Me to the Moon”) to Neil Armstrong (right)
and Senator John Glenn, September 24, 2008.

The sad news comes via Reuters:

First man on moon Neil Armstrong dead at 82: NBC

(Reuters) – Former U.S. astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, has died at the age of 82, U.S. media reported on Saturday.  —  Armstrong underwent a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month, just two days after his birthday on August 5  …

I don’t really have anything clever or profound to say. But I once did something like that. Requiescat in Pace.

From the 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing ….

Continue reading

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I Guess He Didn’t Get The Memo – But Neither Did Custer

It turns out that Republican National Officers are a wee bit tardy on their history.

Paxson: Custer’s Last Stand (detail)

I mean, Europeans have only been “occupying” North America for five hundred years, and you’d think in that time, the 500 nations contained within the US would have been noted as NOT a single monolithic bloc of “indians.” Nope. In an amazing tale of utter cluelessness, TPM Reports:

RNC Official: N.M. Governor ‘Dishonored’ Gen. Custer By Meeting With American Indians
RYAN J. REILLY AUGUST 24, 2012, 5:30 PM 9144

A progressive group called on Republican National Committee leader Pat Rogers to step down on Friday after emails showed him telling New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s staff that meeting with a group of American Indians “dishonored” Gen. George Armstrong Custer, the 19th century commander who killed scores of American Indians.

“The state is going to hell,” Rogers, who is a member of the GOP executive committee and is currently in Tampa for the RNC convention, wrote in a June 8 email released by Progress Now New Mexico. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Col. Allen Weh “would not have dishonored Col Custer in this manner,” he wrote…

Awww. Isn’t that special? Continue reading

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A Ron Pall Descends on Tampa

Now, just shut up and stay still!

Since I already wrote about this there’s very little need to add.

No Ron Paul revolution at convention
By: James Hohmann
Politico
August 23, 2012 06:20 PM EDT

TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican establishment has quelled the Ron Paul Revolution, at least for 2012.

Using a mix of charm and procedural hardball, Mitt Romney’s campaign and his allies who control the Republican National Committee have ensured that the Texas congressman will neither speak nor be formally nominated at next week’s convention. It’s a significant victory for Romney, who could have been faced with a raucous rebellion from the Paul crowd if he hadn’t extended an early, and diplomatic, olive branch to what’s become a key constituency.

The libertarian septuagenarian controls the state delegations from Nevada, Iowa and Minnesota. But a candidate needs five states to be officially recognized on the floor. Paul supporters have made claims to Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Oklahoma and Maine. But Romney’s coterie of lawyers skillfully used the rules and interpersonal negotiations to peel each away.

The 168-member Republican National Committee approved a report Thursday by the Romney-friendly “committee on contests” that invalidated Paul delegates elected in Maine based on irregularities at the state convention. The RNC voted to split the at-large delegation in half, effectively depriving Paul of control…

Ah, but listen to this section from “Smoked and Mirrored” (17 July 2012): Continue reading

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A National Platform and an Oregon Koch

click for larger image

Welcome to Nineteen Sixty Four.  The Republicans held their conservative hoe-down at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and nominated the most conservative ticket the Republican Party had fielded since Calvin Coolidge was president.  Patterns have a way of repeating themselves:

GOP takes tough platform approach
Filled with strict stances, most conservative plan in party history to be unveiled
By Ralph Z. Hallow-The Washington Times Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. — Republicans next week will likely adopt what veteran platform writers said is the most conservative platform in their history after the drafting committee voted to keep strict pro-life, pro-defense and traditional marriage planks intact.

When the national convention’s 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternates assemble Monday, each of them will find a printed form of the document on their seats and they will be asked to vote it up or down. They have always approved it in the past.

“The [Republican National Committee] platform appears to be the most conservative platform in modern history,” platform committee member and tea party organizer Russ Walker* told The Washington Times.

Building on the influences of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and the tea party movements, the GOP’s platform now includes a whole section “dedicated to restoring constitutional government”

Well, a year from now we’ll see just how focused and in tune with what America really cares about this all is.

Oh, and “Russ Walker”?

Russ Walker is second from the right

That’s “Russ Walker of Oregon,” he of Freedomworks, and, before that, of Citizens for a Sound Economy, as the only state salaried “director” of the Koch Brothers’ little astroturf laboratory (when CSE became Freedomworks, they just changed the stationery, not the salary or the office or the staff) that they try out new “initiative” legislation on. I’ve covered him at length, and the fact that he’s now on the Republican Platform Committee OUGHT to tell you something.  More on this later, but for now:

Courage.

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And Now A Word From Our Zygote …

Evidently the zeitgeist has a well-known liberal bias. Keeping identical language from 2004 and 2008 the GOP platform committee was in the wrong place with the wrong platform plank at the wrong moment …

GOP rejects rape exception in platform
By JAMES HOHMANN | 8/21/12 1:20 PM EDT Updated: 8/21/12 11:08 PM EDT
Politico

TAMPA, Fla. — Even as Mitt Romney sought to quash the furor surrounding Todd Akin’s “legitimate” rape comments, the Republican platform committee here approved an abortion plank that includes no exemptions for rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother.

The platform committee instead approved draft language Tuesday, calling for a “Human Life Amendment” that gives legal protection to the unborn. Democrats quickly labeled the GOP language the “Akin Plank,” referring to the Missouri Senate candidate’s statements that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant.

 

Continue reading

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