Open Thread: Salmagundi Monday

(Mike Luckovich via
Readership capture, from Mr. Charles P. Pierce at Esquire:

Can everybody on both sides of the big political dig please now come to the overdue realization that the president was not elected to fulfill your rosy dreams of what you believe America to be? He was a politician, more ambitious than most, who was handed the biggest dungburger of pre-existing political conditions of any president since FDR. Right now, his primary obligation to himself — and, I would argue, to democracy its own self — is to keep his job out of the well-manicured and grasping talons of Willard Romney. That he is doing so with enough vigor to give the vapors to the country’s lycanthropic financial titans, and to the reporters who worship them, is what he’s supposed to be doing. And, in doing so, I don’t think he’s gone more than a yard out of bounds to make his hits. If that disturbs nappy-nap time for people who thought the country voted for Martin Luther Ruxspin last time around, that’s just going to have to be too bad.

Andrew Sullivan snipes at “Diplomacy, Bain Style”:

Mitt has been a $250 million virtual dictator in his own bubble for decades. He isn’t used to asking people, he is used to telling them. So he told the Brits they were unprepared for the Olympics and he told the Palestinians that their culture is inferior to Israel’s. He’s like a Bain consultant arriving at a new company each time he visits a new country. Generally speaking, the arrival of a consultant is not a source of great joy among a company’s employees. Ditto countries and people.

NYMag‘s Dan Amira points out that Romney may be no diplomat, but he’s run those numbers like a proper management consultant:

Is this actually a bad controversy for Romney, politically? On the one hand, Romney wants his trip to give him foreign policy credibility and to make voters comfortable with the idea of him serving as the country’s chief diplomat, and a constant stream of headlines about him pissing off one country after another doesn’t really communicate that. On the other hand, if he’s going to infuriate someone, it might as well be the Palestinians. You probably don’t need any proof that American voters don’t have an overly fond opinion of Palestinians, but here is a graph anyway:

Mitt can’t afford to be seen practicing ‘diplomacy’ — he’s running for President, for petes’ sake! Just fire a sufficient cadre of the lowest-paid meat-based profit units, and move on to the next client, already!

Apart from easy targets (diced and pickled), what’s on the agenda for the evening?

81 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Mark S. says:

    After this week, I’m not convinced Mitt is any smarter than W. Shit, it took Bush two years for the rest of the world to hate him; Mitt accomplished that in a week.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    Lady Ann sure seems uncomfortable around Jews:

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  5. 5
    gbear says:

    Kay has made me feel guilty about not volunteering so I’m going to spend three hours doing data entry (I’m no good at phone work) for MN United, the group that’s trying to make sure that the constitutional ammendment to ban same-sex marriage fails this fall. I’m trying to make the monday session a regular habit.

    Tomorrow I take my scooter in for an oil change and a 25,000 mile check-up.

  6. 6
    General Stuck says:


    The female mantis is a killing machine (that often includes the smaller male after mating). I saw a pic a few years ago, where a mantis harpooned a hummingbird flying by. Some how.

  7. 7
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    He’s like a Bain consultant arriving at a new company each time he visits a new country.

    Sullivan knows people from Oxford who went into management consultancy; he probably knows people in the US who are in that line of business. I know people who work for the Bain consulting mothership, and I really wouldn’t want them in charge of a country’s government, because they’re paid to engage in creative destruction.

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    General Stuck says:

    great pic. ambush!!

  10. 10
    scav says:

    Trying to amuse myself doing dull handwork by imagining slogans / phrases based on the RomneyShamblesTour 2012. Working on Poland, currently.

    Faced with shortages in local support, RomBot turned to his characteristic method of off-shoring.

    Rombot + Walesa, Who says GOP don’t enjoy Union Support?

    Based on his reception and his wearing stilts in Gdansk, will Rombot insist everyone report on his being clearly a head in the Poles?

    Actually, the Yutsano inspired distraction of where to put the nude Hamlet scene was more enjoyable. Think on it. I’ve got a good one with Horatio (another with Fortinbras) that actually works with themes. Others just make you pee your pants. Keep well away from Yorick.

  11. 11
    gnomedad says:

    @jeffreyw: It’s a trap!

  12. 12
    gnomedad says:

    The cartoon with the Charlie Pierce piece is awesome.

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  14. 14
    handy says:


    Now we know the source of Obama’s 11th dimensional powers–it’s the sunglasses.

  15. 15
    danimal says:

    I’ve coined a new word to describe Willard “Mitt” Romney’s foreign policy prowess: Diplobotomy.

  16. 16
    gogol's wife says:

    @General Stuck:

    That dog needs his own TV series.

  17. 17
    Hal says:

    My official theory on the tax returns is that Mittens is waiting until after the convention to release them so the Republicans are stuck with him.

  18. 18

    @jeffreyw: Clever girl to hang around on the Lantana, I should imagine it is like an all you can eat buffet for her if mine is anything to go by.

  19. 19
    Redshift says:

    I agree that pissing off the Palestinians probably doesn’t hurt him much, but saying that Israel is successful economically because Jews as a culture are good at making money probably isn’t going to do him any good either.

  20. 20
    Geoduck says:

    @Hal: They’re already stuck with him. He’s not going anywhere.

  21. 21
    Redshift says:

    The thing that strikes me about the Israel trip is that Mitt is still trying to prove to the wingnut base that he’s one of them.

    I don’t think any Jewish voters are likely to be impressed by “I will never contradict the Israeli government, and when Bibi says jump, I ask how high,” except for neocon types, who are already firmly in his camp. Instead, that’s clearly directed at the evangelicals (or maybe just Sheldon Adelson), which tells me that he still doesn’t think they’re firmly behind him.

    And to pander to them, he’s added Arab-Americans to the list of voting blocs he’s actively driven away. The base of old white people isn’t enough to win an election. Who else can he get now?

  22. 22
    Redshift says:

    @Geoduck: Yup. If they go into the election with a terrible presidential candidate, they lose a presidential election they didn’t have a great chance of winning in the first place, but all of the congressional races continue on, just without the coattails. If they dump their presidential candidate for the first time in generations, not only will the replacement be in an even worse position, their inability to nominate a candidate and the general chaos will call everything into question.

    The reasons why I would love for them to try to dump Mitt are exactly why they won’t do it, no matter what.

  23. 23
    ericblair says:


    My official theory on the tax returns is that Mittens is waiting until after the convention to release them so the Republicans are stuck with him.

    Fuggetaboutit. It’s about the only thing in his life he’s sticking to his guns for. Paid no tax in one or more years, tithing issues, tax amnesty, something’s in there, and it would be irresponsible not to speculate loudly and widely about it. He could clear all this nonsense up, after all, “it’s already out there”, by releasing his records, but nobody puts Mittster in a corner.

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    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    Well, fuck. Bad news out of Arizona.

    A Clinton-appointed judge just upheld the state’s abortion ban. Apparently, from the judge’s view, it’s ok since it doesn’t actually ‘ban’ abortions. Just restricts them to absurdity and obsolescence.

  26. 26
    russ says:

    Look here’s the deal as far as I see it. You can bitch all you want about how Obama hasn’t given you the pony and the cotton candy you hoped for and he’s doing this and doing that.

    BUT! Do you want THEM in charge.

    I DON”T!

    vote your values not your wishes!

  27. 27
    KG says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: Ninth Circuit should over turn, but it does open the door for a Supreme Court case… would be interesting to see if the Supremes would take a case if the Ninth reverses (thereby upholding precedent).

  28. 28
    Triassic Sands says:

    Mittbot Model 2012 is on a mission to insult the leaders and people of every country on Earth. To sane people, that would be a sure sign he’s not really presidential material.

    To his fellow Republicans Mitt’s insults are like music to their ears. How will other countries know how inferior they are to the US unless the American president (wannabe) is there to remind them?

    Republicans don’t want a diplomat for president; they want a thug and a bully. Admittedly, Mittbot 2012 seems pretty sissified to fill that bill, but his constant insults are probably endearing him to the lunatic fringe.

  29. 29
    KG says:

    @Redshift: they’d have had a better chance of winning if their choices weren’t: insane; asshole; insane asshole; and swarmy asshole.

    In a fairly rational world, Huntsman would have been a frontrunner rather than an also-ran who is now skipping the GOP convention.

  30. 30
    geg6 says:

    Awful horrible Monday. The alarm woke me from a terrible nightmare in which Mittens somehow showed up at our house during a party and WOULD NOT LEAVE. He seemed to think he belonged there and was well-liked, even though we kept telling him we hated him. Then the dog decided to get picky about where he would poop and I was 20 minutes late for work due to us wandering around our two acres until he found a spot worthy of his deposit. Then a screaming student and her mother kept calling me about a past balance from last year that I could do nothing about since I’m student aid and not the bursar and you must apply for aid in a particular academic year and not thirty days after the year has ended. The phones and emails never stopped today and to top it all off, I got an irate phone call from some woman from Selective Service, screaming at me that we have to stop asking students to verify their selective service status by asking them to bring their card to us. I kept telling her that I didn’t make the policy and to call eligibility services at the main campus, whereupon she made the bizarre claim that they don’t issue selective service cards or replacements of such any more.

    I need alcohol and lots of it.

  31. 31
    gogol's wife says:


    The weird thing is, the first time I read this I missed the transition from dream to reality and thought that all of this happened in your dream. That’s the kind of dreams I have.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @David Koch: She looks like she’s picking wallpaper.

  33. 33
    Mark S. says:


    The thing that strikes me about the Israel trip is that Mitt is still trying to prove to the wingnut base that he’s one of them.

    Ding, ding, ding!

    Mitt figures no one is voting based on foreign policy this election so it’s safe to let his freak flag fly.

  34. 34

    I said it in a previous thread, and will say it here: That’s not what he said. He said that the Jews have proven their ability to rise above oppression and succeed. This is one of the oldest and deepest Jewish memes, and it is EXACTLY what his audience of Zionist plutocrats wanted to hear.

    To the rest of Israel, it came off as ‘Just how FAR is Adelson’s arm up your ass, Mitt?’ I seriously think Adelson wrote the speech. It was too tailor-made for the audience.

  35. 35
    feebog says:

    Got every single item and errand on the A list done. Next up, start writing a decision for a civil service commission. Nah, think I’ll take a nap instead.

  36. 36
    Peter says:

    @Mark S.: Or he figures foreign policy is already a lost cause against the guy who killed Osama Bin Laden.

  37. 37
    j says:

    @Mark S.: W had the family name and the bin Laden connections behind him.. The rest of the world gave the little drunken retard some slack because his grandfather lurved the Nazis and his old man ran the CIA, and the Bush family has been business partners with the bin Ladens since 1928.

    Romneybot has a god who lives on another planet with 72 wives backing him up.

  38. 38
    j says:


    And what is lost on the cult of St. Ronnie is that two Pollacks are the ones who eventually “tore down that wall”, Lech Walesa and that Pope that the GOP refuses to talk about. JPII.

    St. Ronny had nothing to do with it.

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    Enjoying the Olympics.

    In the only medal standings that matter, it’s Duke 2, Carolina 0.

    Suck it, Tarheelistanis.

  40. 40
    Violet says:


    The reasons why I would love for them to try to dump Mitt are exactly why they won’t do it, no matter what.

    The MSM has started to figure out that Mitt is a terrible candidate. Plus he doesn’t supply any tire swinging fun for them, let alone any media-peon career-enhancing soundbites. They have little incentive to keep fluffing him and one of them is going to figure out that a chaotic Republican convention is much better for ratings than this sad march to inevitability that Mitt’s planning. There’s Sarah Palin’s booking of a nearby facility, the Paulites are threatening to revolt, the Christianists don’t trust Mittens. There’s a lot there a savvy media person can mine to push the convention toward chaos and in turn amp up ratings.

    Post-Olympics, one of the media outfits is going to figure it out. The horse race narrative is going nowhere. Mitt’s a bomb as a candidate, except for the #MittFAIL entertainment, and a chaotic convention and “Who’s Going To Replace Mitt?” narrative is much better for business. It’s just a matter of time.

    When that happens, it’s not only up to the Republicans to figure out What To Do About Mitt. The media has a dog in that hunt and they’ll do what they can to push ratings.

  41. 41
    Soonergrunt says:

    So the A/C repair cost $140. It is currently 105*F outside, having reached a high of 107*F and it is currently 81*F inside and cooling.

  42. 42


    Until the next time it goes out, at which point you should really consider window units. My system died two years ago and I figured that window units was the way to go. One in the living room, one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, and one in the guest room for when my mother is visiting. The money I have saved on electric bills since then has paid for the units themselves three times over. When it was over 100 degrees last month my electric bill was $80.00, compared to $400.00 when I was cooling the entire house. The guest room unit is used for four weeks in the fall. The kitchen unit is only used when I am in the kitchen cooking. The living room and bedroom units are pretty much on constantly right now, and still my electric bill is still just $80.00.

  43. 43
    geg6 says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Heh. You’re right. That was some stream of consciousness venting I was doing. Not my most coherent. And I haven’t had a drink yet. Probably should not post if I do.

  44. 44
    joes527 says:

    @Hal: So, they are stuck with him _already_. There is no way in hell that they can get rid of him now.

    … unless the Paultards start a food fight at the convention, and someone uses the chaos as cover to knock all the chips off the table.

  45. 45
    realbtl says:

    I know a lot of us think Mitt is not human. Is it possible he is Wowbagger The Infinitely Prolonged?

  46. 46

    As far as I know, they don’t have the votes. They can’t even insist Paul gets to speak.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    I have a jar of coconut oil. Next task: figuring out what to do with it.
    @Soonergrunt: you got off easy soldier.

  48. 48

    I only even pressed the button once. That’s how fucked up Word Perfect is. I didn’t reboot or nothin’.

  49. 49
    evodevo says:

    Ayup – we are in KY but it got up to 103 here and has been +90 pretty much constantly for the last month. Cool 1800 sq ft with one 220 and 2 110 window units (+ ceiling fans), no problem. Much cheaper than a central AC. And still people keep asking why we don’t have a heat pump.

  50. 50
    jwb says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Maybe that’s how the Paul delegates will find the votes so that he can speak!

  51. 51
    Anoniminous says:


    Is FaceBook ripping-off their customers?

  52. 52
    evodevo says:

    Oops – that was a reply to Litlebritdifrnt.

  53. 53
    muddy says:

    @Yutsano: Eat it on a spoon like PB.

  54. 54
    jp7505a says:

    It looks like Mitten’s solution to everything is talk about it in a closed room. The US should not express any difference, not even a dimes worth, with our every so special ally Isreal on matters such as the settlments. I say we cut out the mitten-man and just elect BIbi as president. It would save all of those long distance phone calls asking Bibi what to do next.

    I think it’s time to think about moving to Canada(sigh)

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    hep kitty says:

    @MikeJ: Isn’t it kind of disrespectful not to take off your sunglasses at that moment?

  57. 57
    Anoniminous says:


    Edible or inedible coconut oil?

  58. 58
    SBJules says:

    From Talking point memo:

    full-throated endorsement in regards to his administration’s committment to the security of Israel on Monday.

    In an interview scheduled to air this evening on CNN’s ‘The Situation Room,’ Barak told Wolf Blitzer that the Obama administration was even surpassing previous administrations in their backing of Israel:

    “I think that from my point of view as defense minister they are extremely good, extremely deep and profound. I can see long years, um, administrations of both sides of political aisle deeply supporting the state of Israeli and I believe that reflects a profound feeling among the American people,” said Barak. “But I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.”

  59. 59


    High Five! I am almost sick to think how much money I threw down the rat hole of central heat and air for ten years. I was literally flushing boat loads of cash down the toilet every single month. I will never go back to central heat and air.

  60. 60
    Elizabelle says:



    Re Romney’s foreign policy skills (or lack thereof)


  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    I don’t understand why Lech Walesa would endorse Mitt Romney.


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    gVOR08 says:

    Sullivan has it completely wrong when he says, “He isn’t used to asking people, he is used to telling them.” Romney is a real kiss up, kick down businessman. He can abuse the little people, but he has to suck up to investors. In this case he can have fun abusing Palestinians, but mostly he’s being completely obsequious to Sheldon Adelson.

  64. 64
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Yutsano: It makes for a great conditioner. Warm and massage into your scalp, leave it in for about half an hour to one hour before you wash your hair. Do this once every week.

  65. 65
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @jeffreyw: Handsome kitteh is handsome, how is Bitsy?

  66. 66
    WereBear says:

    @Yutsano: I love frying chuck steak with it. Browns up great. Mind you, I love coconut; but I must say at this point I don’t even taste the coconut.

    It is also uniquely healthy, and works well in baked goods.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:


    Walesa has operated on a diet of mostly sour grapes for many years.

    From 2009:

    Nobel Peace Prize laureate and ex-president of Poland, Lech Walesa, said in Spain this week he would have resigned as president “twenty times” before signing a law that would allow abortion in his country.  source

    From 2000:

    His party, Christian Democracy of the Third Republic, reflects his staunchly conservative and Roman Catholic views. His campaign slogan, “Black is black, white is white”, shows that there remains no room for grey in his world view.
    Like the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Mr Walesa is much more popular abroad than at home. It is hard to find a Pole who will criticise his role in defeating communism, and just as hard to find one who has a word of praise for his five-year presidency – a period that was characterised by his intransigence, belligerence and paralysing disputes with parliament.
    A Western diplomat in Warsaw said: “Walesa is in the odd position of being an unpopular hero. He is a hero for taking on and defeating the old regime, but his presidency left him a deeply unpopular politician. People think he should retire from public life with grace now.”
    Edmund Wnuk-Lipinski, a political scientist, said of him: “No one denies his past merits, but what he did as president lost him his political capital. His personality is very good in a struggle. He is good at destruction, but is much worse at construction.”  source

  68. 68
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Elizabelle: Because he does not understand American politics and does not understand what a disaster a Rmoney presidency would mean for Poland. He just knows that Reagan was a republican, Reagan made a great effort to support Solidarity on the world stage, and Mitt is a republican and therefore Mitt is (must be) good for Poland.
    This of course does not leave out the fact that Poland’s security calculus is quite a bit different than ours.

  69. 69
    j says:

    @Triassic Sands: It’s all part of their plan. When Obama is re-elected he’s going to have to do another world tour apologizing for that GOP asshole. Just like last time.

    But the GOP will spin it as apologizing for America. Because the GOP IS “America:”, and the Democrats aren’t. (Or so they think.)

  70. 70
    JenJen says:

    That paragraph by Charles Pierce is a thing of beauty. It’s like he tops himself every single day. I’m going to pin it to my wall. Really, not virtually.


  71. 71
    SoINeedAName48 says:

    Yet again, Andrew Sullivan is SPOT ON!

    Get over it!

  72. 72
    muddy says:

    Wow, that was bold!

  73. 73
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Oh, jeez, the site’s Dewhurst ads against Cruz (Senate GOP nominees in Texas) are just sweaty with desperation.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @WereBear: Hmm…I may just stir-fry with it some time this week. I’m anxious to give it a go.
    @schrodinger’s cat: Ha! My co-worker wants a jar just for this purpose!

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    burnspbesq says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Oh, jeez, the site’s Dewhurst ads against Cruz (Senate GOP nominees in Texas) are just sweaty with desperation.

    Not getting those. Because I visited from this computer earlier today, I’m getting ads for limited-edition Usain Bolt headphones by Soul by Ludacris. Which, if experience is any guide, sound even worse than Beats by Dr. Dre (hard to imagine, I know, but true).

  77. 77
    tofubo says:

    godwin notwithstanding, would mittens say the jews of the warsaw ghetto were culturally and economically inferior to the anglo-saxon germans of the day ??

  78. 78
    amk says:

    Solidarity sez FU to mittbot and walesa.

  79. 79
    amk says:

    The germans aren’t enamored of mittbot either.

  80. 80
    patrick II says:

    meat-based profit units

    Thought I was reading Pierce for a moment. Nice, and appropriate, turn of phrase.

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:


    Thank you for the Walesa explanations. Make sense.

Comments are closed.