Saturday Morning (Cartoons) Open Thread


(h/t J. Michael Neal)
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Looks like Willard’s terrible, horrible, very bad, no good week remains a hot topic, praise Murphy. Some more gems, for your pass-it-forward delection:

Matt Taibbi, in his Rolling Stone blog, on Romney’s “new low“:

Romney can’t even be mean with any honesty. Even when he’s pandering to viciousness, ignorance and racism, it comes across like a scaly calculation. A guy who feels like he has to take a dump on the N.A.A.C.P. in Houston in order to connect with frustrated white yahoos everywhere else is a guy who has absolutely no social instincts at all. Someone like Jesse Helms at least had a genuine emotional connection with his crazy-mean-stupid audiences. But Mitt Romney has to think his way to the lowest common denominator, which is somehow so much worse.

Most presidents have something under the hood – wit, warmth, approachability, something. Even the most liberal football fan could enjoy watching an NFL game with George Bush. And even a Klansman probably would have found some of LBJ’s jokes funny. The biggest office in the world requires someone who buzzes with enough personality to fill the job, and most of them have it.

But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations. He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair. Instincts like those are probably what made him a great leveraged buyout specialist, but in a public figure? Man, is he a disaster. It’s really incredible theater, watching the Republicans talk themselves into this guy.

Alex Koppelman, at the New Yorker, complains that “Mitt Cries Condi“:

Political campaigns don’t, as a rule, tend to show much respect for the collective intellect of the media that cover them. They think we’re lazy and sloppy and more interested in noise than policy, and that we can, like babies and cats, be easily distracted by shiny objects. They’re not totally wrong.

Even by those standards, though, the stunt that Mitt Romney’s campaign pulled Thursday evening was almost insulting in its lack of subtlety. Scrambling to divert the media’s attention from the question of when, exactly, Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital really ended, as compared to when he says it did, they decided to leak the shiniest object of them all: a veepstakes rumor about a “surprising name” emerging as a frontrunner, floated directly to Matt Drudge…

Forget that Romney’s base doesn’t particularly like Rice, whether because of her pro-choice views or because she was too much of a realist for the neo-conservatives in the Bush foreign-policy establishment. There are dozens of possible running mates out there—for what possible reason would Romney pick the one person guaranteed to give President Obama the chance to take some focus off the economy and make the election into a referendum on George W. Bush’s foreign policy? (If you don’t think Obama’s reëlection campaign has done enough crowing about the fact that he did what Bush couldn’t and got Osama bin Laden killed, wait until the Biden-Rice debate.)

And so it’s hard to see this as anything but a cynical, desperate calculation that if floating a minority or a woman as a possible running mate would get some buzz, and serve to distract the media to some extent, then naming someone who’s both a minority and a woman must be twice as good. The Romney team surely realized how desperate their ploy would look. But they went for it anyway. Combine that with their decision to send the candidate himself out for a round of interviews with just about every television network that would have him this evening, and the picture that emerges is of a campaign in panic. They know the damage the Bain attacks are doing, but they can’t figure out a way to make them stop. Too bad for them, then, that crying “Condi” only works so many times.

To demonstrate just how much “Romney’s base doesn’t particularly like Rice”, Jim Newell at Wonkette shares “Let Us Memorialize This Fake One-Day Condi Boomlet Thing With a Wingnut Chain Letter”:

It’s Condi Fever everywhere! And we don’t mean the kind where little Middle Eastern children get bomb shell infections during the arbitrary “eh what the hell, sure” American occupation du jour. We mean the hot new Vice Presidential sensation sweeping the land, for a pretermined narrative duration of ~48 hours! And while Mitt Romney is only pretending to be considering the tenured Stanford warlord for vice president as a stunt get the reporters yappin’ about things unrelated to his personal finances and employment history, some on the Right are taking the occasion to share their sharp anti-Condi stand while they can. How old is this story, 20 hours? Because yeah, we’ve already received a comical wingnut forwarded chain email.

Let’s give the floor to “Liz in Ohio.” She writes a list of furious grievances against Condolleezza Rice, who could be the nation’s first black female vice president, and appends a link to a popular white nationalist website. Who knows? Her politics are really anyone’s guess…

Also from the New Yorker, James Surowiecki on “the real scandal“:

…[W]hat this constant drip-drip of revelations about S.E.C. filings and tax returns and overfunded I.R.A.s underscores is how adept Mitt Romney has been at gaming the system, and how easy it’s been for him to play by rules that most Americans simply can’t play by.

What Romney’s career shows, after all, is that once you’re at the top, you can keep being called C.E.O. even if you’re not even working at the company. You can get paid a hundred grand a year—chump change for Romney, to be sure, but twice the U.S. median income—while doing, by your own account, nothing at all for the company. You can build up an I.R.A. worth tens of millions of dollars when the maximum annual contribution is four thousand dollars. (Henry Blodget suggests here that Romney’s ownership of Bain Capital shares may explain how that I.R.A. could have legally gotten so big.) And, above all, if you manage a private-equity firm, you can reap the benefit of the carried-interest tax loophole and pay a much lower tax rate on your income than the vast majority of Americans, and you can continue to reap the benefit of that loophole even after you stop working for the firm. None of these things is illegal, but none of them are things that ordinary Americans can benefit from, and that’s the real scandal of Romney’s career at Bain.

And finally (to continue the cartoon theme) Gail Collins snipes:

[G]iven the hysteria with which the Romney campaign is defending this 1999 termination marker, you would think that in the next few years Bain had embarked on a new and lucrative path involving the slave labor of My Little Ponies.

***********

Apart from making a big batch of popcorn, what’s on the agenda for the day?






149 replies
  1. 1
    freelancer says:

    Work, work, work. Hello Boys!

  2. 2
    craig says:

    first? really?

  3. 3
    craig says:

    dammit

  4. 4
    amk says:

    Too bad for them, then, that crying “Condi” only works so many times.

    .

    What “so many times” ? It cried once, then curled into a fetal position and died within a day because of all the pointing and laughing.

  5. 5
    hells littlest angel says:

    I’m saving my popcorn for the convention, when Ron Paul’s Army lays siege to Castle Romney as armed and angry teabaggers mill outside the convention center. Stand your ground, boys — it’s Florida!

  6. 6
    amk says:

    Repost from earlier thread

    “There is no whining in politics,” chided John Weaver, a veteran Republican strategist. “Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.”

    Romney seemed unlikely to find any contrition from the Obama campaign — a spokesman said there would be no apology — as the president’s aides dug in on a storyline they see as a win for them.

    Romney acknowledged that he would have benefited financially from Bain’s operations even after he left management of the firm to others. That could open him up to criticism that he gained from investment in companies that sent jobs overseas.

    Bain Capital issued a statement earlier saying that Romney “remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999.”

    Obama aides went to work to raise doubts about that, as well. “I don’t think it takes three years to clear up a technicality or a clerical error,” spokesman Ben LaBolt told Univision.

  7. 7
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Even the most liberal football fan could enjoy watching an NFL game with George Bush.

    Bullshit, Matt. Bullshit. Not in box seats. Not on the 50. Not if you paid me.

  8. 8
    amk says:

    Bloomberg

    President Barack Obama has gained an advantage over Republican Mitt Romney in a Pew Research Center Poll showing public confidence in either one’s handling of the economy shifting toward the president in the past month.

    Obama leads Romney by 50 percent to 43 percent among registered voters surveyed, Pew reports, with the Republican Party’s presumed presidential nominee losing 3 percentage points of support since its previous poll in early June.

    “Romney has not seized the advantage as the candidate best able to improve the economy,” the Pew Research Center states in its Web-site report on the survey. “In fact, he has lost ground on the issue over the past month.”

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Fact..Romney was CEO of BAIN until 2002
    Fact..Romney takes no responsibility for BAIN after 1999
    I’m not sure how this helps Romney…
    The buck stops with the other guy is not a campaign slogan.

  10. 10
    Scott says:

    I’m with Mr.Pierce on the Condi thing. I could sit and watch her testimony with Richard Ben-Veniste on an endless loop and enjoy it every time.
    I recall watching it in real time and feeling the need for a cigarette afterwards.
    Not that it changed anything, though.
    Incompetent bitch.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    I agree with Taibbi: Romney doesn’t know how to connect with that primal, visceral thing in the conservative base’s gut that doesn’t give a damn about Obama’s economic policies and utterly loathes him and everyone who voted for him basically just for existing.

    That’s not necessarily a bad thing for him, because a guy who fulfilled all their fantasies would have trouble winning elections – hence the convoluted performances like this week’s (it’s a show for the mushy moderates as much as the fascists). But it sticks out just the same.

  12. 12
    David Koch says:

    Mitt Romney gave a round of television interviews late Friday in an attempt to beat back the escalating firestorm over when he actually stopped running Bain Capital, a sign his campaign was reluctantly acknowledging the potential political damage from the issue. But despite getting asked more or less the same question by interviewers from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC, Romney didn’t have a simple answer as to what his role at Bain was between 1999 and 2002.

    The Atlantic

    Also too: even the libuerl Michael Steele said Romney’s interviews only made matters worse.

  13. 13

    I’m trying to work up the nerve to watch one of those interviews. Forget the topic, this is the first time most Americans have heard Mitt Romney speak. Was his performance stilted and desperate as usual, or did he rise to his height of generically friendly? That question may be more important than Bain ever will be to the election.

  14. 14

    I’m trying to work up the nerve to watch one of those interviews. Forget the topic, this is the first time most Americans have heard Mitt Romney speak. Was his performance stilted and desperate as usual, or did he rise to his height of generically friendly? That question may be more important than Bain ever will be to the election.

  15. 15
    David Koch says:

    Taibbi is just an awful writer. Just a sad kindergarten school rip off of Hunter Thompson. God awful.

  16. 16
    Todd says:

    A few observations on Rmoney:

    1. I used to see him as a dull, yet relatively inoffensive Republican of a bygone era, who would be unlikely to make major policy lurches from the status quo on his own initiative. Any changes would come about due to him placating the wilder, weirder congressional wingnuts, who would give him plenty of stupid shit to sign.

    2. Thanks to these revelations, I now see him as a craven, entitled, whiny bitch sociopath with daddy issues, a compulsive liar with no core. Ironically, wingnut conservatives have long held this opinion of him.

    3. His fellow kajillionaire vulture capitalists can’t be loving him too much right now, as it must be dawning on them that Mitt is causing people to focus on what it is that they do.

    4. The public is ultimately likely to see him as the guy who buys your employer, guts it, lays you off and pulls out of your town and grins as he steps into his limo while saying “no hard feelings, OK? It’s only business”, just to keep you from gutting him with a spade as he drives off.

    5. I’d call him a Ferengi, but that would be unkind to Ferengi.

  17. 17
    amk says:

    A LOL ad from OFA with that awful mittbot’s singing in the background.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: He tried to appear confident but he said little of substance. Legally as CEO, he is responsible but would not even admit that.
    The buck stops some place else..

  19. 19
    the Conster says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I watched. He was barely able to keep the contempt from literally dripping out of his mouth before he caught himself. He did something with the set of his mouth and jaw and had an arrogant affectation in his voice for a fleet second, but it was visceral to me and I glimpsed how he does what he does so successfully- he’s a bully. I wrote in my notebook, game over. The debates are going to be…. interesting.

  20. 20
    JPL says:

    @amk: WOW.. Obama can save his money and just run that ad alone.
    Any day the repubs are going to bring out Rev. Wright.

  21. 21
    the Conster says:

    @amk:

    Holy shit. That’s gonna leave a mark. Now, the screws need to be tightened about what else he’s hiding in his tax returns.

  22. 22
    Maude says:

    @the Conster:
    If he makes it to the debates.

  23. 23

    @JPL:
    So he came off as generic and personalityless? That’s about the best he could hope for. A shame. If a broad swathe of America’s first look at Romney was of him doing his ‘Oh god, get me off the stage, there are commoners looking at me!’ schtick this election would be over.

    @the Conster:
    Almost as good for him. That’s at least ‘strong’. There’s no GOOD option for Romney, but I was hoping for panic. Humans are pack hunters. They know weakness when they see it.

  24. 24
    tjmn says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    I would have brought the pretzels.

  25. 25
    the Conster says:

    @Maude:

    Word. Right now, I’d say that’s a 50/50 proposition.

  26. 26
    the Conster says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Well, he didn’t look comfortable. That bullying pose was dropped quickly. It struck me after watching him that his demeanor was like the turning point in every Hollywood movie where the bully starts to doubt his ability to control his victims, which never turns out well for the bully. Mitt has found himself in uncharted territory, because he’s never been seriously challenged by anything or anyone before. It’s not going to be pretty for him anymore.

  27. 27
    amk says:

    because he’s never been seriously challenged by anything or anyone before.

    welcome to the big boys ‘world, mitt.

  28. 28
    Frapalinger says:

    @amk: Romney can’t release his tax returns because they will confirm that he was at Bain until 2002 and thus has been very publicly lying. He’s going to just keep lying and let the villagers defend him, Soledad obrien did last night when she asked Paul Begalla “what if these allegations turn out to be false?” Now Paul pointed out that these aren’t allegations, they’re bona fide legal documents contradicting Romney’s statements and other legal documents he signed, but it just shows how both-sides-do-itism will keep the media from holding Romney accountable even though they’ve got him dead to rights caught in a lie.

  29. 29
    Frapalinger says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I would love to an Eagles game with Bush – as long as he wore Dallas Cowboys gear.

  30. 30
    R. Porrofatto says:

    The company Romney founded and ran drove thriving businesses into the ground and destroyed thousands of jobs and livelihoods just to line their own pockets. Bain is the poster biz for what equity parasites do. Isn’t that bad enough? That Bain began outsourcing jobs just makes them typical of most American companies, and when Romney “retired” is a pointless defense against only one of their many crimes against American workers. Besides, Romney was not only titular head of Bain with a $100k salary after 1999, he continued to reap huge profits from all Bain activities and does so right now.

  31. 31
    amk says:

    @Frapalinger: methinks the days of lazy and corrupt corporate msm setting and driving the narratives are over. especially the cable noise.

  32. 32
    Elizabelle says:

    @amk:

    Thank you.

    That OFA ad is brilliant.

    I hope it runs in all 50 states.

  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I just watched the CNN and ABC interview again but muted the sound.
    An unbiased person would say his mannerisms are those of a confident person. A biased person might want to wipe that smirk off his face, just sayin. I think we all know what category I fall into.

  34. 34
    gelfling545 says:

    A little revolutionary inspiration for the day.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K1q9Ntcr5g

  35. 35
    Nina says:

    The 100k is just a minimum. They don’t have to report exact numbers on his salary to the SEC.

  36. 36
    amk says:

    mitt romney – A man who can’t keep his stories straight. End of story.

  37. 37
    WaterGirl says:

    @amk: I think that’s their best ad yet. Seriously brilliant in its simplicity.

    That’s an ad that even my smart-but-completely-disengaged-low-information-voter-sister would connect with.

    Edit: JPL, I see that great minds think alike this morning. :-)

    Edit 2: I am only to comment 20, but I see that we are all having the same reaction. Go Team Obama!

  38. 38

    OK. So I’ve been at Comic-Con the last couple of days. Yesterday was good. I went to a Battlestar Galactica panel. Only half the panel showed up because the other half were stranded by a car accident on I-805, but they called in via cell, so it was still pretty good. I also got into the panel for “Dexter”. That was really good.
    Soonerdaughter got to see her Twilight panel. She stood in line for about an hour and a half and got a great seat. There were a huge number of people who held places in the line for a couple of days, and one of them was killed when she ran across the street in traffic to keep her place when the line moved. Luckily the kid didn’t witness that. I would’ve done a panel for “The Walking Dead” but Soonerdaughter wasn’t interested, and it was her first con, so I hung out with her on the exibit floor and we did some t-shirt shopping.

    Side note here–a couple of days ago, some wags suggested that what I really needed to do was post a picture of me in a Twilight-themed t-shirt. Well, we’ll see. We might run a little charity/act blue fundraiser or something. My dignity will come at a price, if at all.

    Soonerson met both Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi from “Chuck”. He’s over the world about that.
    I met Colin Ferguson, Wil Wheaton, and Felicia Day from the cast of my favorite show, “Eureka”. I also was given an AMD quad core 3gHz CPU just for walking in a room and tweeting about it (on my semi-private twitter, not my soonergrunt twitter).
    Today, we have my wife’s family reunion and her parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. We all pitched in and bought them a month in Australia. We started planning and setting aside money a couple of years ago.
    Tomorrow is more Comic-Con.

  39. 39
    amk says:

    @Nina: Those are the exact kinda secret bullshit that has got to change.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Soonergrunt: What a nice gift.
    Your vacation sounds like fun. Tbogg supposedly is wandering around comic-con also.

  41. 41
    PeakVT says:

    @Soonergrunt: Don’t tell Cole about the Strahovski thing.

  42. 42
    PaulW says:

    Questions:

    1) If Romney was no longer with Bain Capital after 1999, who was CEO of Bain from then until 2002? Wouldn’t there have been a press announcement in the Wall Street Journal about it at least? Wouldn’t that CEO be standing up right now on Fox News saying “Hey, that was me! Story over”?

    2) If Romney was no longer involved with Bain Capital after 1999, as he claims in his 2011 candidacy filing forms, why was he getting $100k a year in 2000, 2001 and 2002 from Bain Capital?

    3) Did Romney lie to elections officials in Massachusetts back in 2002 that he was still involved with Bain Capital in some capacity in order to qualify his residency to run for governor? (He is, after all, saying today he ended his relationship with Bain in 1999) If so, isn’t that illegal? Do state officials have the authority to file a criminal charge of making false statements, or is there a statute of limitation here since it’s been 10 years?

    4) If provable that Romney was still involved with Bain Capital until 2002 even though he claims on his federal candidacy forms it was 1999… Just what is the penalty for perjury in signing a false candidacy form? Just fines, disqualification from the election, or does it include jail time?

  43. 43

    @PeakVT: She’s going to be a guest star on next season’s “Dexter”.

  44. 44
    Jay C says:

    IIJM, or is Mitt Romney’s candidacy in 2012 already setting some sort of record-new-low in terms of generating enthusiasm? Either among his own party, or even the opposition?

    Creaky old geezer Veteran observer that I am, I can’t recall the last time one of the major Parties ran a Presidential candidate with such a large degree of active dislike among his own partisan base. Michael Dukakis in 1988 and Bob Dole in 1992 come to mind, but even then, I think, it was more a matter of just plain lackluster-ness; I get the sense though, that a nontrivial percentage of the GOP “base” really do hate Mitt, and it shows.

    Of course, they hate Obama and Democrats more: but I really wonder what the chances are that the Republicans will be able to mount a successful national based on hate alone? It’s pretty much all they have: but sadly, all that UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH can go a long way towards masking that essential lack.

  45. 45
    Mino says:

    Condi is not stupid enough to step on that ship.

    Watch for all that sloshing campaign cash to be diverted down stream.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    For those who may not yet have seen it, the trailer for next year’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” is up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyywumlnhdw

    Movie is NOT in 3-D; was filmed in IMAX format.

  47. 47
    amk says:

    @PaulW:

    If Romney was no longer with Bain Capital after 1999, who was CEO of Bain from then until 2002?

    cole was found wandering around twitterdom last night asking that question to all those strangers. poor guy.

  48. 48
    PaulW says:

    @R. Porrofatto:

    The company Romney founded and ran drove thriving businesses into the ground and destroyed thousands of jobs and livelihoods just to line their own pockets. Bain is the poster biz for what equity parasites do. Isn’t that bad enough? That Bain began outsourcing jobs just makes them typical of most American companies, and when Romney “retired” is a pointless defense against only one of their many crimes against American workers.

    Well, the thing is Romney has been making conflicting statements about when he left Bain: telling Mass. officials he was still with the firm by 2002 in order to qualify to run for governor; filing a legal document in 2011 saying he left Bain by 1999. That legal document – the candidacy registration – carries with it a penalty of perjury. Mitt can’t be prosecuted for destroying companies and firing workers: he CAN be prosecuted for perjury. That’s why this is a BFD.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    One suggested change to the OFA ad:

    last lines, along the line of: “Mitt Romney’s not the solution. He’s the problem.”

    Could be spoken, in a gentle, non-sneering voice.

    I say that only because people who can hear the ad, but not see the TV, would know what it’s about.

    Whatevers.

  50. 50
    beltane says:

    @PaulW: Just a note, Romney was paid AT LEAST $100,000 by Bain from 1999-2002. The actual figure could have been, and probably was, quite a bit higher. Since he won’t release the tax returns that would let us know what the actual amount was, we should assume it was much higher than $100,000.

    This is quite the big salary for a company that was not being managed by anyone at all as Mitt is trying to have us believe. Perhaps the Mittbot was able to buy a hologram version of himself to run Bain from ’99-’02.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @the Conster:

    Haha, good analogy.

    Shorter Mittens: “You let ONE ant stand up to us, then they ALL might stand up! Those puny little ants outnumber us a hundred to one, and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life! It’s not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line!”

  52. 52
    hueyplong says:

    There are probably a lot of reasons why Romney is better off not disclosing his tax returns even if 100% of the country eventually comes around to the position that he needs to do so.

    One of them is that they would probably show that the “over $100,000” listing for his salary as CEO is A LOT more than $100,000, which would (1) make even more offensive his statement that it was a “token salary,” and (2) make it even harder for people to believe that he didn’t do anything for that money.

    The schadenfreudelicious best case scenario would be if that were true and it were also true that he really DIDN’T do anything for that money, so that he could spend enternity cursing the unfairness and class envy that caused his downfall.

    A person can dream,right?

  53. 53
    Steeplejack says:

    @Frapalinger:

    Romney can’t release his tax returns because they will confirm that he was at Bain until 2002 and thus has been very publicly lying.

    I don’t disagree with that, but I think Romney’s real problem with his tax returns is that they would show what a miniscule amount of taxes he pays (if any). And it would be something that every voter could understand, based on his own pitiful tax return.

    All of the “outsourcing vs. offshoring,” “when did he leave Bain,” “how much control did he actually have” stuff pales into insignificance against “He paid what in taxes?!”

  54. 54

    @NotMax: looks awesome.

    To everyone: I’ve been off-grid more or less with more important things like sci-fi, comics, family, and so forth, so I don’t know exactly what is going on. I understand that some documents have come to light that state basically that Romney was at Bain long after he said otherwise, but other than that, I don’t really know. What exactly is the problem, and how is this playing in the real world? We at Balloon-Juice have already made up our minds. How is this working with the undecideds?

  55. 55

    From @jawillie on Twitter, this is the best comment I’ve seen so far about Mitt:

    John McCain saw 23 years of Mitt Romney’s tax return, and we wound up with Sarah Palin. ‪#justsayin‬ ‪#EdShow‬ ‪#p2

  56. 56
    beltane says:

    @hueyplong: One more thing to add to your best case scenario: Mitt was paid a huge amount of money for doing nothing and he didn’t have to pay a penny on taxes for it. Sort of like, you know, free stuff.

  57. 57
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Nina:

    The 100k is just a minimum. They don’t have to report exact numbers on his salary to the SEC.

    So he could have been taking home several hundred thou a year. Do you think that’s the terrible stuff in the tax returns? How much he was actually making?

    If Romney had released the tax returns months ago, all this SEC stuff would’ve probably remained hidden. What’s he protecting? There must be something horrid in those returns.

  58. 58
    Jay C says:

    @Mino:

    Watch for all that sloshing campaign cash to be diverted down stream.

    Word.

    For Democrats, I think that this is the biggest danger this fall: while the top of their ticket may lack somewhat in national appeal, if the GOP is smart, they will bolster their support of down-ticket races nationwide and make sure that they (at the absolute least) retain control of the House and gain some Senate seats. Unfortunately, I don’t think President Obama’s coattails are all that long in a lot of the country, so even if he is reelected, the Administration is still going to have to deal with (to put it mildly) a hostile Congress (more and better Teabaggers!)…

  59. 59
    PeakVT says:

    I wonder if Romney managed to pay no taxes for a couple of years. Though that would endear him to the Replicant base, it would also piss off just about every swing voter.

  60. 60
    JPL says:

    @PeakVT: Since we will never know, it is only fair to speculate.

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    One thing not mentioned or just glossed over about Romney’s attendance at board of directors meeting of Bain holdings such as Staples, LifeLike, etc., is that it is common and general practice to pay directors an attendance fee – a significant chunk o’ change when they show up for meetings.

    And this I did not know: Bain Capital is one of the primary owners of Clear Channel Communications and its subsidiaries. Among many other things, that includes the radio programs of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage and many others.

    On November 16, 2006, Clear Channel announced plans to go private, being bought out by two private-equity firms, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners for $18.7 billion, which is just under a 10 percent premium above its closing price of $35.36 a share on November 16 (the deal values Clear Channel at $37.60 per share). The new ownership of Clear Channel has also announced that all of its TV stations were for sale, as well as 448 radio stations that were outside of the top 100 markets. All of the TV stations and 161 of the radio stations were sold to a Providence Equity Partners, a private-equity firm, on April 23, 2007, pending FCC approval.

    On July 24, 2008, Clear Channel held a special shareholder meeting, during which the majority of shareholders accepted a revised $36-per-share offer from Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The company announced on July 30 that it would offer shareholders either $36 in cash or one share of CC Media Class A common stock for each share of Clear Channel common stock held. Source

  62. 62
    amk says:

    @PeakVT: That’s what harry reid said on senate floor. harry wouldn’t lie, would he ?

  63. 63
    PeakVT says:

    @Jay C: Right now the GOBP is projected to hold the House and pick up 2-3 seats in the Senate. I hope somebody comes up with a way to change that, because the country really can’t afford more legislative stagnation.

  64. 64
    WereBear says:

    @Linda Featheringill: There must be something horrid in those returns.

    Yes. Lots and lots and lots of money, and very very very little in taxes.

    I don’t think anything would illustrate what the ultra-rich have been up to better than Romney himself.

    The truth is what they fear.

  65. 65
    Gypsy howell says:

    I’ll repeat what I said in a thread below – no way Romney makes it out of the convention as the nominee. The toxicity of his finances, the ongoing exploration of what “private equity” really does to American workers, plus his general squicky mendaciousness, is not going to be good for our MOTUS overlords.

    It’s going to be JEB! 2012, I tell ya.

    Hope the Obama campaign is ready with the oppo research water cannons, because sadly, JEB! might actually be able to win.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PeakVT: The top of the ticket matters. If Romney implodes (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease), there will be knock on effects.

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    someone here yesterday gave the interviews what he/she called the Lie To Me (tv show) treatment. Watch the whole thing without sound. He comes across like what he is. Lying asshole.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Gypsy howell

    JEB! might actually be able to win.

    Only if he changes his surname to something warm and fuzzy, like Snuffleuppagus.

  69. 69
    Linda Featheringill says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

    Mentioned on dkos, this article ends with:

    With few exceptions, the men who become president are very good at politics; it’s generally not wise to assume otherwise. But it seems that some in Romney’s camp have done just that about their competition — Obama and his campaign — and it has left them floundering in the face of 18-year-old attacks that should have been obvious to anyone paying attention.

    Several months ago, while I was observing right wing confidence about the upcoming election, I wondered about this. They really weren’t worried about Team Obama.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gypsy howell: I don’t think the Bush surname is going to be nationally electable for a while.

  71. 71
    Gypsy howell says:

    @Jay C:

    You are so right. We can only hope that the top of their ticket hurts their downstream races way more than the top of our ticket does or doesn’t help ours.

  72. 72
    the Conster says:

    @PeakVT:

    His tax returns would also have more information about the Swiss bank account(s) he had to close during that amnesty period before UBS’s clients got the banhammer. Nothing good (for him) is in there, especially since he’s advocating policies that will directly benefit him. If he were advocating policies that benefited the middle class and that would tax his buddies, he might be able to use his own returns as an object lesson and say “see how unfair the system is”, but that’s why it looks so bad for him.

  73. 73
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Bingo. Most of the house seats that dems lost last time around are marginal seats and teahadists elected haven’t been exactly setting the house on fire. And the teahadist govnors have been telling the plebes to go eat cake. My prediction, dems regain the house and hold the senate by +2 or +3.

  74. 74

    @Linda Featheringill: Well, you know–“VICTORY!”
    Where is the silly little bastard anyway? I hadn’t seen him around in the last few days before I went on vacation. Has he been around?

  75. 75
    Gypsy howell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @NotMax:

    I don’t know about that. I wish you were right, but I think the Bush Crime Family is a lot like labor pains — you forget that it hurt so bad.

  76. 76
    GxB says:

    @the Conster: Agreed, for us sane types it’s killer – will probably sway some thinking independents too. However, Barack is still near, has a D after his name, and that still gets Rmoney 45% of the vote. But at this pace, maybe climate change denial isn’t the only thing precariously set to crumble soon. Damn shame near half the country has to be a disaster area for these clods to see the obvious.

  77. 77
    PaulW says:

    @Gypsy howell:

    It’s going to be JEB! 2012, I tell ya.

    All Obama has to do is run a TV ad morphing Jeb into his older brother George W. and the Republicans are finished. There is NO WAY another Bush gets elected to national office in our lifetimes.

  78. 78
    scav says:

    And I get a birthday party with two-year olds and lots of ice cream. But, to play on a variation on a theme, look at the contract action in here (Paterno Won Sweeter Deal Even as Scandal Played Out) and think again of the differences between which employment contracts get honored and which get shredded. Also, the board’s still not being told everything it would seem to need does rather give the impression that Penn State isn’t an organization in control of itself, period.

    Still, variation on a theme very much relevant in light of the Pain at Bain and in a section of the paper read by non-poli-junkies.

    I hoping for a solid mocha chocolate myself, or honestly, a sizzling lemon sorbet.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gypsy howell: FWIW, I don’t think Romney is out as the candidate. I think the GOP is stuck with him because he buried everyone else under a mountain of cash. This is what they wanted with Citizens United, so let them deal with it.

  80. 80
    NotMax says:

    Should be well worth a watch:

    This Sunday on MSNBC’s “UP w/Chris Hayes,” Chris will interview Ed Conard, a former partner at Bain Capital from 1993-2007…. During his time with Bain, Conard served as head of the firm’s New York office and led its acquisitions of large industrial companies. Chris will ask Conard to address what presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s role was at Bain Capital from 1999-2002, as well as to discuss his defense of jobs outsourcing. Source

  81. 81
    JPL says:

    @Gypsy howell: That was my initial thought but Jeb is suppose to be pretty smart so he might not want to jump into the hornet’s nest.
    I have a long time bet with a friend who is convinced Santorum is going to be the V.P. Mitt might be desperate enough, to select him.

  82. 82
    Lojasmo says:

    @amk:
    Howard dean also speculated that RMoney probably paid no taxes for a couple of years. Howard is arrow-straight.

  83. 83
    maya says:

    @NotMax:

    Only if he[Jeb Bush] changes his surname to something warm and fuzzy, like Snuffleuppagus.

    Zimmerman would have more base appeal.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Oh, sure, I would do it.

    To get close enough to the deserting shit to break his neck.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lojasmo: In any case, it would be irresponsible not to speculate. My guess is that his tax returns show that he paid virtually nothing, received well into six figures from Bain, and participated in some Swiss shenanigans of dubious legality.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    Next question: Mitt says that those SEC forms filed in 1999-2002 were just pro forma. How do they differ from those filed 1994-1998 when you were in charge? How would the SEC or an investor know the difference? Special handshake? Nod and a wink?

    Also: What is the name of the person who replaced you as Chief Executive and Chairman in 1999? Should trip right off the tongue.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Several months ago, while I was observing right wing confidence about the upcoming election, I wondered about this. They really weren’t worried about Team Obama.

    Well, of course not. They’re not afraid of any teleprompter reading ni*CLANG*! They’re like Jon Lovitz doing Michael Dukakis…they can’t believe that they could possibly lose to that stupid ni*CLANG*.

  88. 88
    amk says:

    @Lojasmo: Only coupla years? reid sez it’s the entire 12 years that mittbot paid jacksquat.

  89. 89

    @JPL: I think this will be the case. He needs to shore up his position with the forced birth crowd. I don’t see him going with either of the Pauls, father or son because their fans only want a Paul at the top of the ticket. I don’t see him putting a minority on the ticket because the group that’s most disaffected with Romney likes their candidates white, male, hyper-religious, and dumb. It’s why they loved Bush, and McCain was most of those things, plus a gen-u-wine war hero, so he passed. But there’s only one guy in the current field of eligibles that meets all their requirements.
    Hence Santorum.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @Lojasmo

    Except when he takes speaking fees from MEK and backs and promotes their leader.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @catclub: Answer: Stop asking these questions; I am running for president, for Pete’s sake.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    It’s OK. He’s white.

  93. 93
    maya says:

    @catclub:

    Also: What is the name of the person who replaced you as Chief Executive and Chairman in 1999?

    It was a management group – Dewey, Cheatem & Howe.

  94. 94
    catclub says:

    @scav: To play on another variation, consider the difference between Penn State and the Roman Catholic Church. No reports, no admissions, no firings, the coverup continues.

    Penn State is a model of openness and repentance by comparison with the RCC over institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

  95. 95
    NotMax says:

    @Soonergrunt

    Also, too, Huckabee.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Too compassionate for the wingnuts. Too Jesusy for the normals.

  97. 97
    GxB says:

    @HelpThe99ers: While a good observation, and no doubt true, don’t forget that harpy was brought in as a Hail Mary to try to grab PUMAs and Indies with a cynical “we can be diverse too” flavor.

    I shudder to think how things would have gone if not for those train wrecks for interviews.

  98. 98
    Jay C says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus:

    There are still two major bumps on Mitt Romney’s road to the WH – though they are less “bumps” and more like entrenched positions defended with flamethrowers – one is the Convention next month, the image of which the Romney crew and the GOP PTB are going to have to manage VERY carefully. The national media have, I think, belatedly smelt the blood in the water over in Elephant Town: if there is the slightest serious dispute over Romney’s candidacy – or, as more likely, the whole circus devolves into an Orwellian hatefest – my guess is that Mitt comes out of the RNC with lower poll numbers than going in: viz. Chicago 1968.

    The second hurdle trench will be the debates: Willard is finally going to have to stand up to the President’s face, and outline some sort of coherent policy alternative to the current Administration. And just shrilling “failure” and “liar” and rote boilerplate about “soshulism” ain’t gonna cut it. Not with Barack Obama on the other side of the podium.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    I agree that both Republicans and Romney were over-confident, but I think it’s worth asking WHY they were over-confident.
    Because actvist Republicans here have been saying for months that Obama is “toast”, and they can’t point to any reason why they believe that.
    They believe it because they never believed he earned it the first time. They think he’s the “affirmative action” candidate. IMO, Mitt Romney bought that bullshit too, because it’s CW in GOP circles.
    So, a real pleasure to watch them get some education. Boo hoo. They made a stupid, insulting assumption based on nothing, and now they’re waking up to reality.

  100. 100
    Ron says:

    @catclub: I think that falls under “damning with faint praise” and frankly PSU was guilty of a serious coverup for many years. The fact that there is investigation now doesn’t make up for what they did to cover it up for over 10 years.

  101. 101
    El Cid says:

    In his absence, the corporation not only became a person, but became sentient. This is one of the reasons Romney stresses that corporations are people — he has been frightened into doing so by the living, breathing spirit of Bain, the Conqueror.

  102. 102
    beltane says:

    @kay: They really believed that “Obambi” nonsense, didn’t they.

    It would be a beautiful thing to see the GOP defeated as a result of their deeply held white supremacist views which prevent them from seeing a Black man as a worthy adversary.

  103. 103
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Too I hate mitt huckster.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay C: No disagreement here. I have never been impressed by Mitt, but, I’ll be damned if he isn’t doing everything even worse than I could have expected (hoped?).

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @El Cid: I think there may be tie-in to Robo-Signing. Mortgage bankers signing things and not meaning it.

  106. 106
    amk says:

    @kay: Yup, they bought heavily into that empty suit rhetoric and are now paying a big price for it.

  107. 107
    NotMax says:

    Original response still in WordPress limbo somewhere, so trying again.

    re: comment #82 by Lojasmo:

    Except when Dean is pocketing speaking fees from MEK and also backing and promoting their leader.

  108. 108
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Damn, can’t catch a break tonight (plus it is coming up on 4 in the morning here).

    Comment #83, not #82.

  109. 109
    Donut says:

    @amk:

    That is one amazingly good ad.

    Thanks to the gods Obama is not flinching from hitting hard and is pulling no punches.

  110. 110
    hueyplong says:

    Corporations are people, my friend. People like me when they’re spun as job creating capitalistic juggernauts and when it’s important to establish MA residency. People other than me when they’re outsourcing and firing people.

    What part of “token salary” do you serfs not understand?

    Now it’s time that uppity Ni-clang apologized to his better. I’ve got a jet ski to side saddle.

    At times sincerely,

    Willard Romney

  111. 111
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I think they made the classic blunder of those in an echo chamber – they believed their own press. I think some of them started to think Obama really did become editor of the Harvard Law review because of affirmative action, and can’t speak in public without a teleprompter, despite the ample evidence that he is an exemplary politician.

    Also I think that some of them make assumptions about Democrats – they assume that, like Gore and Kerry, they won’t stoop to respond to low attacks. As opposed to Obama, who will stoop, pick up that attack, and ram it down your throat. The way Obama has been boxing in Romney on this stuff is not common for Democratic presidential campaigns. Now if you have any respect for Obama, you’d treat him more carefully, but the Republicans don’t respect him. And it’s lovely to see them pay for it.

    ETA: Or basically what Kay said :(

  112. 112
    the Conster says:

    @Donut:

    They just showed the ad on Up with Chris Hayes and discussed its impact. Carville loves it, and they also showed Rendell pooh poohing the attacks on Bain. They made the comment that historically Republicans go for the jugular, and Democrats go for the capillaries, and that the Obama team seems to have decided to go for the jugular and ignore the Democratic nervous nellie punditocracy. It’s fucking awesome.

  113. 113
    NonyNony says:

    @kay:

    They believe it because they never believed he earned it the first time. They think he’s the “affirmative action” candidate.

    This is very true. For the last four years they’ve been running around trying to convince everyone that Obama is actually a sub-par intelligence nitwit who stumbled into the Oval Office. The teleprompter stuff, the “he didn’t write his own autobiography” stuff, all of it is a “framing” of Obama as someone who is stupid and has smarter white people around him to prop him up and make him look smart.

    Over the last four years I figured this really was just “framing” – an attempt to set the narrative. Mostly because Obama is black and the base buys into that thinly-veiled white supremacist “bell curve” bullshit about black intelligence being inferior to white intelligence.

    And I think that’s what we have been seeing in this overconfidence. That Obama is dumb, so any smart white Republican should be able to beat him. I thought that this attitude was just playing to the base and that behind the scenes there would be people taking Obama seriously. But I think the College Republicans running this campaign have bought into that “bell curve” nonsense too – which kind of surprises me given that Obama mopped the floor with the last guy they threw up against him.

    IMO, Mitt Romney bought that bullshit too, because it’s CW in GOP circles.

    On the one hand, I would agree that this could be the case. Romney could very well be in the bubble with the rest of them.

    On the other hand, Romney is an over-entitled elitist douchebag who at least affects an attitude that anyone who makes less in a year than Mitt Romney is worth precisely jack plus shit. So it may well be less a reflection of Romney’s attitude towards Obama personally and more that he sees himself as superior to almost everyone so of course he’s going to win this election.

    I dunno – you’d think a guy who hasn’t managed to win more than ONE election in his life would at least learn from the mistakes of his previous losses. He seems to overestimate himself and underestimate his opposition. Does anyone have a good story about how he managed to win the governor seat in MA?

  114. 114
    WereBear says:

    @beltane:
    It would be a beautiful thing to see the GOP defeated as a result of their deeply held white supremacist views which prevent them from seeing a Black man as a worthy adversary.

    Evil, being non-generative by nature, always sows the seeds of its own destruction.

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    @Todd:

    2. Thanks to these revelations, I now see him as a craven, entitled, whiny bitch sociopath with daddy issues, a compulsive liar with no core. Ironically, wingnut conservatives have long held this opinion of him.

    dude,

    you’re late. this is who Willard has ALWAYS been.

  116. 116
    Donut says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Much as I agree with you on the strength of the ad, they definitely don’t need to run it here in Illinois. Better ROI if they spend those ad dollars in PA, OH and FL, where, for some god-awful reason, enough undecided voters still could cause the electoral votes to fall into the Romney column.

  117. 117
    Ken says:

    @beltane: Another addition to the best case: Do the numbers on the tax returns agree with Mitt’s tithing to the LDS church? They’re very firm on that 10% figure.

  118. 118
    hueyplong says:

    “I now see him as a craven, entitled, whiny bitch sociopath with daddy issues, a compulsive liar with no core.”

    Look at that sentence, standing alone, add “fake cowboy” and see if that doesn’t conjure an image in your head.

  119. 119
    R. Porrofatto says:

    @PaulW:

    That legal document – the candidacy registration – carries with it a penalty of perjury. Mitt can’t be prosecuted for destroying companies and firing workers: he CAN be prosecuted for perjury. That’s why this is a BFD.

    Thanks for the explanation, PaulW, but I disagree that this is a BFD from the standpoint of the presidential campaign. It’s a certainty that this document filing will be framed as nothing more than a technicality and it would never be prosecuted in a million years. (Were the doc in question Obama’s the right-wing noise machine would be in forever mode, but the left doesn’t have one of those.)

    As such, it’s all a distraction from the real Bain issues that the Obama campaign will continue to exploit — the destruction and outsourcing of jobs, and Romney as a paradigm of all that’s wrong with rigged crony capitalism.

  120. 120
    Gypsy howell says:

    @Jay C:
    I thi you are forgetting the 2000 debates, with Bush going up against Gore. Didn’t we all say the same thing then?

  121. 121
    Donut says:

    @the Conster:

    FUCK Ed Rendell. Fuck him so much. What a waste of a human being.

    It’s enjoyable to watch right wingers losing their shit over these ads. There’s a certain German word that describes the feeling I have about it.. Oh yes.

  122. 122
    kay says:

    @NonyNony:

    For the last four years they’ve been running around trying to convince everyone that Obama is actually a sub-par intelligence nitwit who stumbled into the Oval Office. The teleprompter stuff, the “he didn’t write his own autobiography” stuff, all of it is a “framing” of Obama as someone who is stupid and has smarter white people around him to prop him up and make him look smart.

    It’s baked in at this point, because their pundits and political leaders put it there. The teleprompter is actually a good example. It’s difficult to speak in such a way as to reach people. Romney can’t buy that, whatever it is. It’s not the teleprompter, chumps. It’s the speaker. NOT everyone can do it. Mitt Romney can’t do it, and Mitt Romney has the magic teleprompter!

    They gave him credit for nothing, that’s why the teleprompter is such a good example, and now they’re reaping the rewards of that stupidity and arrogance.

    Democrats didn’t do this with Bush in 2004. I never once thought Bush was “toast” based on my own sense of entitlement or inherent superiority. I knew he was a very good politician. I knew he had a really strong campaign. I knew he had supporters who were devoted. I thought he was a terrible President, but I never doubted his political skills.

  123. 123
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I don’t think that’s the case. If it were simply bad optics about his total tax rate, you can’t make me believe the governor of Mass. would still be gaming the system. I assume he realized that the next step would be national office.

    No, this post-hoc excuse making seemed to be a dodge concocted for the primaries when it became clear that the Stericycle story could be the final, booming nail in his “severely conservative” coffin.

    He knows he needs the bible-thumpers, if he has to spend months trying to make them feel better, he knows he can’t win. And not just can’t win, but Mondale level can’t win.

  124. 124
    tamiedjr says:

    @Jay C: This is the first time I have ever looked forward to watching the Republican Convention coverage. I’m stocking up on popcorn!

  125. 125
    hueyplong says:

    Isn’t today the Ron Paul-Mitt Romney Nebraska convention thing?

    You might have to hit the popcorn right away.

  126. 126
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Soonergrunt:
    You are at Comic-Con? I’m kinda jealous.

    If you are a fan of Eureka, you should watch Wil Wheaton’s YouTube series Tabletop; there’s an episode where Colin Ferguson plays Ticket To Ride with Wil, his wife, and a fourth person I forget. Colin seems like a genuinely fun guy.

    Niall Grayston (Fargo) is in another episode but I haven’t gotten around to watching that one.

  127. 127
    WereBear says:

    @Arm The Homeless: And not just can’t win, but Mondale level can’t win.

    You speak my dream aloud!

    And each day, this animatronic candidate makes it seem more real. Because Republicans elect some real sob’s; they even like pig-eyed mean.

    But nobody wins in politics when their main personality trait is a facade. Somehow, no one likes that.

  128. 128
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @WereBear:

    I like to think of American politics as a Thanksgiving table. You gather out of obligation, or tradition, with people you barely remember, to make small talk about their lives and current events. Everyone is invited, even when they have been known to get belligerently drunk and piss in nana’s flower garden.

    What we will not stand is the guy who shows up in the $200K motorhome, parks on your lawn, runs his generator all night, then comes in to grab a plate and takes it back with his wife and kids to watch the regatta on the 70″ LCD screen, while everyone else is crushed on the couch trying to catch the Dallas game.

    Bush understood this need to relate. Kerry was less good at it. That was a major difference that could be leveraged, and Rove knew it. Mittens doesn’t have that instinct, whether it’s inability to sympathize, or sheer hubris I do not know for sure.

  129. 129
    danielx says:

    @Gypsy howell:

    One can always hope. ‘S why House Bush got so pissed at W – he pretty well screwed the family franchise on big league electoral politics for the next, oh, two decades or so. It’s not by accident that one name is conspicuously absent from Republican campaign rhetoric this season.

  130. 130
    Nutella says:

    Commenter Allan Drebin on Collin’s article sums up the Bain issue well:

    Voters do not understand SEC regulations. But they do understand W-2 forms. Mitt could end this controversy by simply releasing his tax returns for 2000-2002. If there are no wages from “Bain entities” he proves his point. But if he got a W-2 from Bain he has been lying to the voters.

  131. 131
    rikyrah says:

    @NonyNony:

    This is very true. For the last four years they’ve been running around trying to convince everyone that Obama is actually a sub-par intelligence nitwit who stumbled into the Oval Office. The teleprompter stuff, the “he didn’t write his own autobiography” stuff, all of it is a “framing” of Obama as someone who is stupid and has smarter white people around him to prop him up and make him look smart.

    Over the last four years I figured this really was just “framing” – an attempt to set the narrative. Mostly because Obama is black and the base buys into that thinly-veiled white supremacist “bell curve” bullshit about black intelligence being inferior to white intelligence.

    And I think that’s what we have been seeing in this overconfidence. That Obama is dumb, so any smart white Republican should be able to beat him. I thought that this attitude was just playing to the base and that behind the scenes there would be people taking Obama seriously. But I think the College Republicans running this campaign have bought into that “bell curve” nonsense too – which kind of surprises me given that Obama mopped the floor with the last guy they threw up against him.

    He’s a BLACK MAN who got ELECTED

    PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    that Barack Obama is smarter than all of them put together is what kills them.

    that, and that he and and his beautiful Black wife are everything THEY SAY they want in Family Values.

    they hate that Obama understands he is Black, which is why there are no scandals.

    they believe he got a Harvard Law Degree in crayon

    and that Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law Degree doesn’t mean MAGNA CUM LAUDE.

  132. 132
    rikyrah says:

    @Ken:

    @beltane: Another addition to the best case: Do the numbers on the tax returns agree with Mitt’s tithing to the LDS church? They’re very firm on that 10% figure.

    I’m willing to say this.

    I think the tax returns reveal a lot of things, but this included:

    He paid more in TITHES TO THE MORMON CHURCH

    than he did in TAXES to the Country he wants to be elected President of…

    BET.ON.IT.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gypsy howell: It turns out that Bush had some charm and, since he was seen as “one of us” by the fundies, he had some room to move toward the center. Romney lacks both of those advantages.

  134. 134
    ruemara says:

    @Soonergrunt: I. Am. So. Jealous.

  135. 135
    Nutella says:

    Speaking of the different rules for rich people in this country: Here’s a story about a guy who was fired for cause, subjected his employer to public shame and legal jeopardy, and then died, but still got big bucks and major privileges given to his estate.

    It’s a different world at that level.

    And anyone who’s been feeling sorry for his poor unfortunate wife and family can stop now.

  136. 136
    danielx says:

    @Todd:

    2. Thanks to these revelations, I now see him as a craven, entitled, whiny bitch sociopath with daddy issues, a compulsive liar with no core. Ironically, wingnut conservatives have long held this opinion of him.

    Which makes him pretty much like most other Wall Street assholes; it certainly doesn’t distinguish him from them in any way. Kind of a sign of Republican political and intellectual bankruptcy – if their best shot at the Presidency is a rich Wall Street asshole with a whole graveyard of skeletons in his closet, they’re pretty much toast. Aside from their chances of outright buying the Presidency, of course.

    As to being a Republican of a bygone era…in a bygone era that might have been true. But now, now, the Republican Party is being driven by teh crazy. They were headed off the high side anyway, have been heading that way since the 1970s, and having a black man in the White House sent them right down the rabbit hole. Romney had to make a bunch of promises to followers of Santorum-Gingrich-Alfred E. Neuman, and they will hold his Gucci-shod feet to the fire to make sure he keeps those promises. They don’t like him much anyway, and would no compunctions whatsoever about making his job as near to impossible as they’ve made it for Obama.

  137. 137
    dww44 says:

    @Jay C: In addition to that cash, they’ve got all those voter suppression laws recently enacted in 2012 thanks to their running the tables in 2010. Any objective observer knows that candidate Obama is far superior to candidate Romney. But, the election really is going to hinge on GOTV efforts. I just signed up with that effort in my state, because as of July 1 regulations to obtain a photo id/drivers license, including renewals, is very onerous,time consuming, and just plain ridiculous.

  138. 138
    NonyNony says:

    @kay:

    Democrats didn’t do this with Bush in 2004. I never once thought Bush was “toast” based on my own sense of entitlement or inherent superiority. I knew he was a very good politician. I knew he had a really strong campaign. I knew he had supporters who were devoted. I thought he was a terrible President, but I never doubted his political skills.

    You may not have, but I know plenty of Democratic voters who were constantly underestimating Bush’s political intelligence. I think people still do it – there’s this tendency to mythologize Karl Rove as the brilliant evil mastermind behind Bush’s election. But Rove was essentially James Carville – good at what he does but needs a good candidate to work with or it’s nothing. Rove was willing to sink lower than most professional campaign advisers, but that was it.

    I still know people who pull their hair out wondering how John Kerry could have lost to George W Bush in 2004. They don’t seem to see that Bush had everything in his favor and insist that Bush was an idiot and a liar and that Kerry should have mopped the floor with him. They want to credit Rove with winning that election for Bush. But it wasn’t Rove – it was Bush. He was a genius at running election campaigns.

    We’re lucky as a country with Obama because in addition to being a good campaigner, he’s also a halfway decent executive. Bush was a lousy executive who really wasn’t interested in doing the job (which is why people tend to think of him as stupid – any teacher can tell you there’s a difference between “stupid” and “not interested”, and Bush was clearly “not interested” in most of his job).

  139. 139
    kay says:

    @NonyNony:

    But Rove was essentially James Carville – good at what he does but needs a good candidate to work with or it’s nothing. Rove was willing to sink lower than most professional campaign advisers, but that was it.

    What’s interesting to me is that Rove doesn’t underestimate Obama. He phones in the teleprompter bullshit to fill space in the WSJ, but after the “race speech” (Rev Wright) Rove was all stunned admiration.

  140. 140
    kay says:

    @NonyNony:

    It also comes up again and again and again, this “everyone but white men are affirmative action hires”. Who in their right mind thought Sarah Palin was some sort of replacement for Hillary Clinton? Bill Kristol, that’s who. Bill Kristol truly believed women would flock to Palin simply because she was female. To him, the fact that Palin was female made her exactly like Hillary Clinton. It’s fucking insane. They are so wedded to the idea that The Other are benefitting from some sort of inherent advantage that they can’t see past gender or race. It doesn’t matter that Rice is pro-choice and has all that Bush baggage. She’ll be a GREAT pick, because she has that AA/woman thing!

    They personify exactly what they accuse liberals of. Identity politics.

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    dww44 says:

    @beltane: Sometimes I’d like to be able to “like” comments. Thanks for speaking the simple truth. Both you and Kay.

  142. 142
    Chris says:

    @NonyNony:

    I think it’s just payback for Bush. He was widely mocked as an ignorant jackass who couldn’t speak without a teleprompter, so Obama must be accused of same. They’ll admit as much whenever Obama makes a mistake (or is reported as making one) and they start whining “if BUSH had done that the liberal media would’ve been so MEEAAAN about it!”

  143. 143
    gvg says:

    The GOP voters are not all racists, but the ones that are, think almost everyone white is too. The real full racists didn’t know that so many other whites were really going to vote for Obama even though the polls showed it. They think the democrats pulled some fraud off and changed the votes. Really. As a white person I overheard stuff just before the last election that most of the time is kept hidden. This type bought that Bradley effect with confidence ( you know, where people change their vote from their poll answer in the privacy of the voting booth)
    They think that political correctness is a kind of politeness, not that people get mad at you for saying something because we actually think its wrong. It doesn’t matter about the evidence to this kind of mind. They aren’t very observant, so they were totally surprised by the 2008 results. Sure McCain got the majority of the white vote, but he didn’t get a huge majority or the minority wouldn’t have been enough. I also think that is the real reason they keep doing all this useless voter fraud stuff-they think we did steal the last election, because it must be true….If the GOP pols don’t do something they would look weak.

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    NonyNony says:

    @kay:

    They personify exactly what they accuse liberals of. Identity politics.

    Well yeah. They’re master projectionists and that’s been true for a long time. I’ve recently come to the realization that it is directly related to two characteristics of modern US conservatism that I’ve observed for years – lack of empathy for anyone different than them and a limited imagination. They cannot imagine themselves in situations that they don’t have direct experience with, and they cannot imagine people behaving in a way that is much different from how they themselves behave.

  145. 145
    jheartney says:

    What’s really delicious about these Bain shenanigans is that, in practical terms, it’s way too late for the Pubs to pick another candidate. The money, the organization, and the state elections paperwork are all lined up for Mitt, and the convention is just a big infomercial they are scheduled to produce. It’s as if the Dems had picked Edwards in 2008 and then Rielle had gone public in July.

    In any case Jeb is too smart to sign on for this trainwreck, and the rest of the field was certifiable. No way to call a mulligan at this point.

  146. 146

    @Jay C:
    The GOP is not smart. They have outsourced their decision making to dozens of independent PACs, run by A) grifters, B) rich people who are only in this because they hate Obama, or C) both. If this were a traditional election where all that money went to the RNC, someone moderately smart like Karl Rove would make this decision. Instead, it’s being made by Teabaggers. Lots of separate Teabaggers who have no legal obligation to ever spend the money on anything useful at all.

  147. 147
    Jay C says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Maybe you’re right, but on the “retail” voting end, I don’t think it matters all that much whether the spending direction is centralized or diffuse. The end result will still be a Niagara of pro-Republican (or, more likely, the more-attractive anti-Obama) ads directed to down-ticket local and/or State races where Tea Party types have the most appeal (again, if only on a negative basis). Yeah, the Teabaggers may not spend their share of UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH on anything useful, but it’s still there to be spent. And in more than few districts, it will make a difference.

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    Jay C says:

    @Gypsy howell:

    @Jay C:
    I thi[nk] you are forgetting the 2000 debates, with Bush going up against Gore

    Yes, but who really won that election??

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    […] Anne Laurie blogged on this general topic this morning, quoting Taibbi on how most presidents have some capacity for engaging other human beings — a liberal could enjoy watching football with George Bush and so on. […]

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