Category Archives: Ryan

Fine Fillet Edition

So I have always suspected this: far from being the addle-pated old fool that people like to portray him as, Biden is a shrewd, savvy politician who knows how to play the “gaffe-prone” guy in order to advance a bigger objective.

It is with modified glee, that I point to tonight’s debate performances as evidence. It was a fine filleting of Rep. Paul Ryan, and sent a sigh of relief rolling through the ranks of Demos riled by Romney’s lies and Obama’s apparent indifference  to them in the last week’s debate.

But even before tonight, I had my suspicions about Joe.  Take his so-called gaffe on gay marriage.  Supposedly he just blurted out his support for gay marriage and irritated the president, putting the Obama administration in an awkward position. Know what? I think you don’t get to be a veteran politician with 40 years experience by shooting off your mouth unless it’s calculated. I see Joe in a meeting with the president saying, “Hey, let me just go out there and take the temperature of the water.  If it’s a horrible idea, it’ll just be crazy old Joe shooting off his mouth, but if it’s the right time, then you’ll find out.”

And when Obama’s gay marriage support speech rolled out,  I knew for sure that Joe is one helluva smart political strategist whose greatest advantage is that he doesn’t care what people think about him personally.

But back to the debate at hand. First off, props to Martha Raddatz.  She’s feisty right from the start, “I would like to begin with Libya.”  Whoa, Nellie! No softball question? No inane “what is the difference” queries?  Just, “Good evening, gentlemen, let me set a breakneck pace here by asking you about libyan terrorists assassinating a US Ambassador.” Yeah. I love it. In a tweetshell, as Vanity Fair put it: “Yo, Jim Lehrer, This Is What Killing It Looks Like.”

The NY Times’ Alessandra Stanley observes:

For Mr. Biden especially, the night was his chance to relive past debates and unleash his inner barroom brawler. He had to be contained and courteous when he debated Sarah Palin four years ago, lest he look like a bully. This time he let loose. And unlike the courtly Mr. Bentsen in 1988, Mr. Biden turned his temperature up, singeing the young man across the table with patronizing grins, but mostly withering retorts. His interruptive barrage was as relentless as his silent mugging for the camera.

Mr. Ryan held his own, but did look abashed when Mr. Biden mocked him for opposing the Obama stimulus, yet asking for government funds for his own district. “On two occasions, we — we — we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants,” Mr. Ryan said stiffly.

“I love that. I love that,” Mr. Biden said. “This was such a bad program, and he writes me a letter saying — writes the Department of Energy a letter saying, the reason we need this stimulus — it will create growth and jobs.”

And if Biden looked authoritative and no-nonsense, Ryan often seemed rattled, like a punky, arrogant little kid who’s just been called out on blatant lies and is desperately trying to keep his cool and bluster his way through. His little “heh-heh” chuckle creepily reminds me of GWShrub’s grating little trademark snigger.

Oh, and by the way, these are real photos of Paul Ryan– he posed for Time Magazine, when he was the 2011 runner up for Person of the Year (???). Don’t ask.
But before I leave the topic of Ryan’s appearance, I’m going to say again… Hannover Fiste.  Remarkable. (Thanks, Todd, now I can’t see anything else…)

Anyway, pundits on the right will claim that Biden was unhinged because they can’t refute what he said, and those on the left will  rejoice that FINALLY someone is starting to call out the Romney-Ryan lie machine.

They get to Medicare entitlements and Ryan tries to drag his mom into the discussion. In his response, Biden offhandedly reminds us that he filleted Sarah Palin on the death panel debate and can fillet Ryan just as neatly.

Some favorite Biden lines:

  • “That is a bunch of malarkey!”
  • “Go on our Web site. He sent me two letters saying by the way, ‘Can you send me stimulus money? It will create growth and jobs. Those are his words. And now, he’s sitting here looking at me?”
  • “By the way, any letter you send me, I’ll entertain it.”
  • “Oh so now you’re Jack Kennedy…”

And one of my favorite Biden responses managed to wrap the 47% remark, the GM bailout,  and Romney’s veteran policies neatly into a response on unemployment figures:

Let’s look at the — let’s take a look at the facts. Let’s look at where we were when we came to office. The economy was in free fall. We had — the Great Recession hit. Nine million people lost their job, 1.7 — $1.6 trillion in wealth lost in equity in your homes, in retirement accounts from the middle class.

We knew we had to act for the middle class. We immediately went out and rescued General Motors. We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class. And in addition to that, when that — and when that occurred, what did Romney do? Romney said, no, let Detroit go bankrupt. We moved in and helped people refinance their homes. Governor Romney said, no, let foreclosures hit the bottom.

But it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives. My friend recently, in a speech in Washington, said 30% of the American people are takers. These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Governor Romney pays in his federal income tax. They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security. They are veterans and people fighting in Afghanistan right now who are, quote, not paying any taxes.

I’ve had it up to here with this notion that 47 percent — it’s about time they take some responsibility here. And instead of signing pledges to Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, we’re going to level the playing field. We’re going to give you a fair shot again.

Says Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast: “Biden’s affect is the most important thing tonight. He seems like the elder statesman but also a pitbull.”

And at the Economist, reaction was: “Joe Biden was easily the more memorable debater in every way; he was louder, more emotional, lucid, detailed, garrulous, grinning, teary-eyed and just Joe Biden. He sank some real barbs into Romney-Ryan. The Biden that Mr Obama hired in 2008 to excite lower-middle-class types from Scranton showed up and did his job. Ryan was cool, impressively calm given his unpredictable opponent, and detailed, but seemed reactive much of the night. He could have put Obama-Biden on the spot for their deficit failures more effectively; as it was, more time was spent on how Mr Romney’s numbers don’t add up (a potential future deficit) than the actual deficit itself.”

Sam Youngman of Reuters on PBS: Joe’s message was “Hey, welcome to my turf, rookie.”

And I won’t deny that Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker pretty much gets it right: “In a poll of Democratic voters taken immediately following Thursday night’s Vice-Presidential debate, a wide majority said they wanted Vice-President Joe Biden to appear in all remaining 2012 debates,” adding, “Obama should crush a little bit of Joe Biden into a joint and smoke it.”

So, how did Joe do? If you must know my opinion, he cleanly filleted Ryan before the guy even knew what was going on, and  then he packaged him up with a wine sauce to cover that off-flavor of hypocrisy and put a few nice clean chives on the top.

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So early voting began in California last Tuesday, and we realized that in order to vote at this juncture, we would have to wade through our positions on nearly a dozen ballot measures and another handful of local propositions. So, Californians, we are now prepared to reveal our recommendations on everything from gross receipt taxes to GMO labeling to the human trafficking.  Interested?  Send me a message and I’ll be happy to share our snarky take on this year’s props.  And when you know which way you want to vote on your local and state props,

GO VOTE. 

In-person early voting has commenced in South Dakota, Idaho,  Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Indiana,  California, and beginning today, Arizona.

You can vote by absentee ballot already in Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas,Maryland, South Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Mississipi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas,Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, North Dakota, Illinois, Washington DC, New York and Florida.

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GROUSEY CAT SEZ: 
 “Sometimes I leave malarkey in the litterbox…
and sometimes I leave malarkey on the carpet…”

 


Top Bill-ing Edition

DNC Day Two.

Okay, I’m ready. I’ve got my cat next to me, my laptop  fired up and my hand on the pause button so I can blog as we go….  bring it on!

Firstly, yes, there are just as many boring speakers at the DNC as at the RNC last week. Yes, their ideas are more in line with my views generally, but if I’m being honest, these conventions are really tedious, far too predictable and far too carefully scripted. Except for Bill Clinton.

Hold that thought. We’ll come back to that.

If you were watching CBS or ABC you would have missed one interesting thing:  Sandra Fluke’s speech. It’s a not-funny non-irony, because as you might remember, she was the Georgetown Law student who was prevented from testifying on the importance of birth control to a House committee. You know, the woman Rush Limbaugh labeled a “slut” for speaking up about how insurance companies need to cover birth control.

After Sandra, there are a few more good, but not notable speakers. And then, Elizabeth Warren–yes! You know why I love this woman?  Because she’s PROGRESSIVE and not apologetic about it.  There are days I want Obama to be so much more progressive, days when I want Dems to stand up and yes, have a frickin’ backbone. And on those days, I watch the YouTube video of Elizabeth Warren going off, just to make me feel better, to remind me that I ain’t so crazy, and that there are leaders out there who are share my lefty-liberal, socially responsible viewpoint.

Warren’s speech isn’t a barn burner, but she makes a lot of good points and she doesn’t sound like a crazy person. Nice and calm. I can appreciate that after listening to people shout into the microphone all night.

But now… it’s time for Bill Clinton.  Everyone sit up, grab your drinks and pay attention. This–THIS is what we’ve been waiting for. Freakin’ brilliant.  I’m thinking it’s one of the best speeches we are going to see here in Charlotte and wondering if Obama can top that. Of course, I thought that same thing back in 2008 too.

As I’m watching it, I’m looking at the transcript, meaning his prepared remarks, and noticing the little differences, the extra facts that he sprinkles throughout brilliantly. I love his digression from the text to talk about National Security and Hillary’s work as Secretary of State. Man has a mind like a steel trap. As Huffpo says, Bill kills it.

Here are some of my “Thank you!” lines–you know, the ones where you slap the couch and shout, “Thank you! Finally someone said it!”:

I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside.  A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

The Republican narrative is that all of us who amount to anything are completely self-made.  One of our greatest Democratic Chairmen, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants you to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, but it ain’t so.

Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24.  In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs.  What’s the jobs score?  Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!

I understand the challenge we face. I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy. Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don’t feel it. I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995. Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn’t feel it yet. By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history. President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you’ll renew the President’s contract you will feel it.

There were two other attacks on the President in Tampa that deserve an answer. Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the President for allegedly robbing Medicare of 716 billion dollars. Here’s what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None. What the President did was save money by cutting unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that weren’t making people any healthier. He used the saving to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program, and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. It’s now solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare, they strengthened it.

When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama’s “biggest coldest power play” in raiding Medicare, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget. [Then Clinton ad libs] You got to admit, it takes some brass to attack a guy for what you did.

People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets. What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.

Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left, because it defied arithmetic. [and he ad libs]It was a highly inconvenient thing for them in our debates that I was a country boy from Arkansas and came from a place where people thought  two and two was four.

Clinton has always had this uncanny ability to make complicated policy stuff comprehensible, he can make people LOVE hearing budget numbers. At 48 minutes, he runs overtime by about half an hour, and nobody even cares. He must be the only politician I’ve ever seen who can keep an audience in rapt attention while quoting jobs figures to them.  How does he do it?? The spell he has over the crowd is awe-inspiring. Paula Poundstone tweeted, “I want a Bill Clinton backpack, a Bill Clinton lunchbox, Bill Clinton toothpaste, Bill Clinton curtains, and a Bill Clinton beach towel…” (Paula, let me know where I can order those–call me!)

Oh, and after a three-day GOP convention in which everyone tiptoed around the very mention of any Bushes, how ironic is it that the only shout-out heard in either convention comes from Bill Clinton at the DNC? Hah.

Says US News &World Report: “Clinton’s mournful recounting that extremist elements of the GOP had driven “two distinguished Republican senators” out of office was also not in his prepared remarks. It was part of a brilliant riff where Clinton adopted a post-partisan tone—speaking fondly of GOP presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Reagan, and even both Bushes—while effectively doing the very partisan work of demonstrating that the Republicans have become hostage to rigid and uncompromising ideologues.”

Joe Klein at Time Mag says, “Bill Clinton talks about policy–about the substance of governing–better than any other politician I’ve ever heard. He keeps it simple and he keeps it accurate. He can make Medicare as dramatic as warfare. He did a major demolition job on the Republican Party’s economic policy tonight. He held it to the light of the facts. And it crumbled, as those of us who follow these things knew it would.”

And Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast is equally enthusiastic: “Holy smokes. That was the best political speech more or less ever. There wasn’t a thing he didn’t touch on, and there wasn’t a thing he didn’t just blast out of the park. His carriage and delivery nailed it for partisans and for persuadables. He hit Republican obstructionism. He slammed the Romney and Ryan plans on virtually every point they’ve raised in the last six months, from the welfare ads to the tax cuts to the Medicare “cuts” to so much more, and he did it in detail.”

Even Scott Galupo at American Conservative says, “The case he made against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan was devastating. The speech was chockfull of soundbite-ready takeaways: “There they go again.” “We can’t afford to double down on trickle-down.” “One word: Arithmetic.” And there were substantive segments on Medicare, welfare, student loan reform, energy policy, etc.”

And Andrew Sprung at xpostfactoid offers what I can only hope is a truth: “What a giant enterprise. He set himself singlehandedly to counter a billion dollars in attack ads, to break through the core Republican lies and obfuscations.”

Anyway, after Bill’s speech, I quietly turn off the TV to absorb. And then I turn it back on and rewind it to watch again. It’s just that good.  Go on. Watch it again.

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Notes from elsewhere

And in the “Are You KIDDING ME?” Department, this from HuffPo: “On December 10, 2010, Ryan penned a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services to recommend a grant application for the Kenosha Community Health Center, Inc to develop a new facility in Racine, Wisconsin, an area within Ryan’s district. “The proposed new facility, the Belle City Neighborhood Health Center, will serve both the preventative and comprehensive primary healthcare needs of thousands of new patients of all ages who are currently without healthcare,” Ryan wrote. The grant Ryan requested was funded directly by the Affordable Care Act, better known simply as healthcare reform or Obamacare.”

Yeah. Uh-huh. Ad that to the list of hypocrisies.

And in other fascinating news, Gallup reports that Mitt Romney got almost no “bounce” from last week’s convention.  Which either says that there’s no shifting to be had, or that was a pretty sucky convention.  Guess which one I think is the case….

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GROUSY CAT SEZ:

“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”


“Damned Lies 2012” Edition

Good evening, and welcome to the Republican National Convention…

Please relax, and enjoy. I’ll give you a moment while you center your Temple of Positivity.

Yep. That picture pretty much sums up my posture throughout Day One–or is it Day Two–of the RNC  Salute to Duplicity, Misinformation and Overblown Rhetoric.

I feel for the Republicans– really, I do. Poor old GOPpers–they need to convince the nation that Obama did nothing, and that they successfully obstructed him–but look at everything that got done for my state. They need to say that the economy sucks, but look at all the jobs I brought in. Things are awful because of Obama–except they’re great because of me. This takes more gymnastic maneuvers than we saw in two weeks of Olympics– and I’m talking rhythmic gymnastics here. And for the most part, in order to get where they want to be rhetorically, these guys have to…well…lie, to put it baldly.

“Conventions are always full of cheap applause lines and over-the-top attacks, but it was startling to hear how many speakers in Tampa considered it acceptable to make points that had no basis in reality,” was the comment in a NY Times editorial this evening. And as Bill Keller noted yesterday, “Why just rip things out of context when you can go the whole hog and make stuff up?”  (Thanks, Sandy, for pointing me to that!)

How well is it all playing?  BOR-ing. Thank heaven we’re on the West Coast so networks can air the obligatory twenty seconds of coverage before primetime and still not have to miss “NCIS.”

So we get a light rotation that includes conservative recall-survivor Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and — hey, where is celebrity of the moment, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri)?

Oh, and there’s Republican nutjob presidential wannabe Rick Santorum  totally using his children as cliches and applause lines. Santorum gives a shoutout to the amazing work that single mothers do — really? Oh yeah, that’s right, those are the women who had to have a baby due to a legitimate rape, but didn’t marry their rapist.  Hmmm, is that next?  Women who have been legitimately raped must marry their rapist to maintain core family values? Wait for it, it’s coming.

Interestingly Gwen Ifill noted something that became glaringly obvious throughout the evening.  The speeches were not so much pro-Romney as anti-Obama.  The man at the center of the convention remains a mystery. He’s hanging around Tampa someplace, not doing any public events, you understand, but just hanging about.  And my sense is that overall, this whole production isn’t going to make the man any more likable — possibly because he can’ be made more likable,  or perhaps because the Republicans don’t actually like him.

But back to our convention coverage. Are the governor of Wyoming Matt Mead and Kentucky congressional candidate Andy Barr really going to tout coal mines as a fabulous way to generate “new energy jobs”? COAL MINES, PEOPLE!!! These are COAL MINES– not those hot, sexy coal mines where chicks in wifebeaters gently wipe picturesque beads of sweat off their brows. I mean that place where you get black lung, where  people are poisoned by stinkdamp acid , where 8-year old children died a miserable death in the darkness. Are you freaking kidding me??

Okay, okay, Temple of Positivity. Let’s skip on to the only speaker of any interest, The woman who aspires to one day redecorate the White House.

Ann Romney’s opener, “This is going to be soooo exciting!!!! [Applause] Just to let you know, Hurricane Isaac has made landfall….”  Excuse me? Right. Anyway. The nervously cheerful Ann is here to humanize the Mittster, bless her soul. With a smile that is so wide it may better be defined as a grimace, she pours forth the heartwarming story about her profound love for the cipher that is Mitt. Love, love, love… are you catching the theme? The love she has for her husband, for her kids, the love we have for our brothers and sisters…she goes on so long about those brothers and sisters and how much she loves “you women,” it makes me wonder why she isn’t pro gay marriage. She is pro-mom, pro gals, frankly, it’s making me — a graduate from a politically active women’s college — feel a little uncomfortable, because she’s sounding really condescending to men.

Oh, and did I mention the part where Ann explains that she’s the daughter of a Welsh coal miner who was “determined that his children get out of the mines.”  Her Dad saw in America a chance to get out of poverty, because, you know, HE WORKED IN COAL MINES. Just sayin’.

Ann has stories about the days when Mitt knew the price of milk back in the 1970s, how he makes her laugh. But again, the talk is about Ann, her struggles, which have been considerable, but you know what? I still don’t have a sense of the man — and maybe I don’t want one. I am reminded of the adage “Show, don’t tell.”  Everyone is doing a lot of telling us Mitt would be great, would work hard, (hilariously, a glitch in the feed sent the screen to black right after Ann delivered this applause line). But it all rings of desperation because no one can seem to tell us anything more about him.

If you’re expecting Chris Christie to somehow seal some deal with his awesome keynote speech, O, Republicans. How hilarious you are. I think Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast got it right when commenting on Christie’s remark:

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth. Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.

Sullivan says snarkily, “So Christie is presumably for Obama.”

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Journalists being Journalist-y

Apparently, I was not the only one outraged by Mitt Romney’s non-funny remark about Obama’s birth certificate. Watch Chris Matthews rip RNC chairman Rence Priebus a new one over the “race card.”  It will warm the cockles of your heart.   As Andy Ostroy of Huffpo says, “Bravo to Matthews. His cross-examination of an obnoxious, defiant Priebus was unrelenting. Like O’Brien last week, he had the balls to challenge the lies and rebuke the liar.”

And if you’re wondering what Ostroy is talking about when he refers to the Soledad O’Brien smackdown  of John Sununu on Medicare, watch it here. Favorite part? When Soledad rides over Sununu’s insults and name-calling to skewer his claims on Medicare cuts with this: “There’s independent analysis, fact check.com, the CBO and CNN has already done its own independent analysis, and name calling to me and somehow acting as if by repeating a number of $716 billion that you can make that stick when that figure is being stolen from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.” Soledad, I love you.

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Superb Super PAC App

This one’s for you, Randi, since you asked me for something that cuts through all the BS of political ads.

Are you drowning under ads from Campaign for this, Americans United for That, Concerned Zombies for Freedom Fries?  Want to know who is RESPONSIBLE for all this idiocy? Well, there’s an app for that.  Seriously. It’s called Super PAC by Glassy Media, and it uses audio identification technology to quickly ID the ad, tell you who sponsored it, who they’re supporting and how much money they have raised and spent. They also let you drill down into the claims made by the ad, and link to factcheck.org to help you evaluate the truth or truthiness of each one.  Brilliant.

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GROUSY CAT SEZ: “O, Republicans!  I must to smite you with my left paw.”


Un-Convention-al Edition

I’m tired.  Are you tired?  Yeah, I thought so.
There’s a lot going on right now, you know what I mean? Life just feels more complicated these days, from the personal to the global, and an election is just about the last thing I want to pay attention to, because my mind is packed with about a million other concerns.
But here’s the thing: If we don’t shake it off and pay some damn attention to what’s going on and gear ourselves up for the next few months, we will end up with a vapid, selfish bully of a dilettante for president, backed by a flood of knee-jerk, know-nothing, do-nothings in Congress.  And so I must rant.  We all must rant.  Constant vigilance, folks. Constant vigilance.
It is sad, but seems clear to me that with somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion being poured into this election, Barack Obama is going to be outspent. The Koch brothers and Karl Rove have  opened up the maw of their bank accounts and unleashed an obscene amount of money to convince the American people (and by that I mean the people in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Iowa where Rove’s spending 65 million tax-exempt dollars) of things that never happened.
People in hot spots are already being strafed daily with ads created by shadowy “independent”  organizations, and we’re all being pummeled with a constant low level barrage of TV, radio and internet noise that I suspect most people are trying desperately to tune out.
I see two missions this election. Get the truth out there the way we did in 2008, with a social media ground game that harnesses the free airwaves (or relatively free) on Facebook, on Twitter, on blogs, by email, on Tumblr– on freaking Pinterest if we have to. And we need to get everyone out to vote.  Because when everyone votes, sanity does prevail, I truly believe that. But if we’re all too tired, if we turn our attention away, then one fine November day we will turn around to discover that our world is changed by people who don’t even know what they are voting for.
Okay, you really want to know what got me started on a rant today? This little comment from Mitt Romney last weekend:

Speaking in Commerce, Mich., about his Michigan roots, Mr. Romney said: “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

Know why it pisses me off? I’ll tell you why, because this is racism, pure and simple.  The whole stupid birther flapdoodle is a thinly disguised way of saying, ” Hey, look at the brown guy– he’s not American.  Look at me and the other white guy on my ticket. We’re American.” Yes, it’s been going on for all four years of Obama’s presidency. Yes, it’s veiled in “joking” remarks. And yes, it is pissing me off.
Democrats are going to be accused of playing the race card,” but you know what? This is called “playing the truth card.” Deal with it.
Did Mitt Romney say “Hey, Vote for me, I’m white?” No, but what’s worse is that he probably didn’t even for a second think that what he was saying highlighted an unconscious racism that is just part of his everyday vernacular. Romney does a heckuva lot of this “open mouth, insert foot stuff.”  And a heckuva a lot of it reveals that he is not at all conscious of how overprivileged, how selfish, how mean- spirited and rude he is.
Salon has a running master list of his gaffes, and it’s really quite striking how many of his verbal missteps betray a graceless lack of empathy for the person in front of him, how many of them reveal a rich guy, who doesn’t have the faintest idea of what life without obscene amounts of money might look like.
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Convention Blues
But if all of this depresses you, at least take comfort in the knowledge that God is on our side. I mean, the Good Lord must be, because S/He has sent a hurricane to interrupt the Republican convention for TWO presidential elections in a row. If Tropical-Storm-Soon-to-be-Hurricane Isaac is not a clear sign, I don’t know what is. God does not want to deal with everyone live-blogging Jeb Bush, and I heartily concur.
The convention resumes on Tuesday with lots of stuff that will probably  make me apoplectic with fury.  Mercifully, the networks are not indulging in the spectacle for more than a few hours tops, so you’ll have to watch for highlights via livestream. Check back with me this time tomorrow to see if my head has exploded yet by the time Ann Romney takes the stage… Here’s the official schedule for the condensed convention.
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If you’re a betting fool, or just feeling depressed and paranoid, know that whatever the polls may say, the magical machinations of Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com now calculate that Obama has a  69.3% chance of winning this election.
People, expect the numbers to fluctuate, expect the GOP to get a bounce, expect there to be handwringing and paranoia ahead, but know that the only thing that counts in the end is getting out there to vote.
Plan to vote early, and plan to get everyone you know to vote. I’m looking at you folks in the swing states especially. If you’re not already registered, register to vote now!
The deadlines to register for each state are here, and I’m going to warn you now, many states have a deadline to register of 30 days before the election. That means your registration must be postmarked October 8, but the alert among you will note that that is also Columbus Day. So some states have moved the deadline BACK to October 6. Check your local registration deadline carefully!
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GROUSY CAT SEZ:
                “Must I explain everything to you humans?
                  GET OUT THE VOTE!”  

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