Runnin’ With the Devil (just not the details)

Turns out DougJ’s spidey sense about Ryan running a marathon in under three hours was correct:

Slate and Runner’s World investigated. Questions were raised, given the questions about Ryan’s honesty in his convention speech. This evening the terrific running journalist, Scott Douglas, figured out that Ryan had actually run a 4:01 in Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1991, when he was a college student. This is not quite so fast. A 2:55 would have put Ryan 130th out of 3277 men in that race. A 4:01 put him 1990th. It’s the difference between racing and running.

I contacted the campaign this evening about the discrepancy. Ryan, through a spokesman, responded that he’d just mixed things up. “The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight.”

It’s an easy mistake to make. Just like saying that when you want to gut Medicare and turn it into a radically underfunded coupon system for the elderly you actually are preserving Medicare for future generations. He was probably just using Megan McCardle’s calculator. Nothing to see here.

These people will lie about anything and everything. Period. There is no other way to describe people like this other than sociopaths.


I don’t care what you think about Bill Maher, but what he did to that lying sack of shit Dinesh D’Souza tonight on Real Time was fucking amazing. I’ve never seen someone so thoroughly pantsed in American media. It was actually like watching foreign media, where the media takes an adversarial position with the people they interview.

Maher ended the interview abruptly with “Good luck with your movie,” but I swear all I heard was go fuck yourself.

*** Update **8

Video here.

Friday Evening Open Thread: Post-Con Droop

(Jim Morin via
Mr. Pierce wraps it up, and he’s not completely happy:

I have to give the man credit. Romney on Thursday night came as close as he ever has in his political career to being thoroughly human. He worked so damned hard at being empathetic that, even if I didn’t buy a word of it, the sweat equity was positively profound. Really, at times, he looked like a guy trying to push a truck up a hill…

I think that, somewhere along the trail, it occurred to him that, really, all he was doing was conducting another sale, and that, if there was one thing he can do, it’s that he can sell. And he has learned very well how to sell an indictment of this administration that is not going to be as easy to parry as this president’s people seem to think it’s going to be…

I was moved by the couple for whose dying son Romney wrote a will. I was moved by the woman whom the Romney’s helped through a difficult childbirth. Wasn’t there room for one family from Massachusetts who could have come out on the stage and explained how much easier their lives have been since Governor Romney worked with the Democrats in the legislature to pass comprehensive health-care reform? When Healey talked about his gift for compromise and bipartisanship — which were largely illusory, especially when he stopped giving a fk about being governor — couldn’t she have spared a mention for the most monumental achievement that gift produced? Couldn’t Jane Edmonds have mentioned how hard his cabinet worked to make sure that we would have the system we have today, with 93 percent of the people in Massachusetts, and almost all the children, covered by health insurance?

What do you make of a man who runs away from the good he’s done, who won’t let the people who most benefitted from his presence in our politics share his finest hour? This is not a mistake Bill Weld would have made, because he is the person Willard Romney is trying to manufacture out of himself. This is the Willard Romney in whom I choose to believe. A man who will bring “backbone” to our dealings with Russia, but who can be talked out of his justifiable pride in his greatest accomplishment because his party has lost its mind on the subject. But that’s just me, and I’m one guy, and something of a provincial at that. On Thursday night, Willard Romney may have come as close to humanity as he needs to come. The rest is all just waiting for him out there — 8-percent unemployment, and a Democratic Party that may well spend a week talking about how much they’re willing to cut and how serious they are about The Deficit. I felt a pulse on Thursday night, and I saw a certain vigorous color come to his cheeks. I think Romney’s alive now, and it bothers me, because I think he’s a lot closer to becoming president than he was at the beginning of the night.


Apart for preparing, in spirit, to share next week’s Big Democratic Adventure with Cole and Imani, what’s on the agenda for the start of the long holiday weekend?

Open Thread

By this time tomorrow, Angry Black Lady and I will have had our second fist fight. I hope I win one of them.

Marathon man

There’s something weird about Paul Ryan to me. Maybe some of the P90X 6% bodyfat bow-hunting bullshit is true, but it seems at least partly made-up, as if they’re covering for something. Could be the fact he’s a spoiled rich shit not an up-by-the-bootstraps Randian superhero, could be he’s dating a guy named Elliot. I’m not sure. Anyway, this (via):

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt last week, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said he’s run a sub-3:00 marathon.


Runner’s World has been unable to find any marathon results by Ryan. Requests for more information from Ryan’s Washington and Wisconsin offices, and from the Romney-Paul campaign, have so far gone unanswered.

If Clinton had lied about running a marathon, it would have been grounds for impeachment and renewal. Further proof he trashed the place, and it wasn’t his place.

Open Thread: Voters Not Giving Up on Obama

Much to the disappointment of the horse-race-oriented media, eventheliberal NYTimes:

After month after month of disappointing job numbers, poll after poll showing dissatisfaction in his economic performance and hundreds of millions of dollars in negative advertisements, a large portion of wavering voters maintain a personal attachment to Mr. Obama, and a tentative willingness to give him more time to get it right, top strategists with both campaigns agree.

That is a testament, perhaps, to the power of that scene four years ago when Mr. Obama and his family crossed the threshold of the White House as its first African-American tenants, “an inspiring moment that so many have awaited so long” as former President George W. Bush — the man he was so hard on in 2008 — put it then….

Most challengers face the relatively clinical task of persuading voters to fire the incumbent. Mr. Romney faces the more fraught mission of persuading them to break up with the incumbent….

It is Mr. Romney’s job now to convince them that it is beyond repair; that the risks of staying in it are larger than the risks of starting anew with him, that he and Mr. Ryan represent a fresh start akin to a generational change.

But leading these voters — many of them women — to that conclusion takes finesse and delicacy, Republican strategists say. The sort of visceral attacks that conservative talk show hosts are calling for risk sending them into a defense posture on behalf of Mr. Obama and, more to the point, of their own decisions four years ago.

Rather, strategists say, it requires providing a path that gives them permission to make a break. They need to be told that it is O.K. to remain proud of their initial support for Mr. Obama, but that they can be equally at peace with a decision to change their minds now….

… [I]n what amounted to perhaps the most forceful and effective portion of his address, Mr. Romney sought to give Mr. Obama’s wavering 2008 voters a strong nudge from what he portrayed as a reverie, saying they have given the president time enough. “Americans have been patient; Americans have supported this president in good faith,” he said to a roar in the hall. “Today the time has come to turn the page.” …

And that goes to the other part of the equation here: Even if Mr. Romney’s campaign continues to make inroads on the firing part, it has to make up ground on the hiring part, with polls showing him as lagging Mr. Obama on several personal “likability” measures.

“They see this guy as wealthy, disconnected, not like me,” Margaret Spellings, Mr. Bush’s former education secretary, said of wavering Obama voters during an interview here on Thursday. She said those voters were looking for “the humanity side,” of Mr. Romney, which his campaign did so much to present during this convention.

Ms. Spellings suggested that Mr. Romney had so far failed to overcome Mr. Obama decisively among undecided voters only because “some of them haven’t been paying attention.” …

Shorter GOP strategists: Stupid frigging voters! We blew hundreds of millions offering the best simulacra of a ‘new & improved’ presidential-administration-to-be money could buy, and you’re channel-surfing or hitting the can! No fair That Black Man in Our White House should rudely insist on being competent AND charismatic at the same time!

At least they have the consolation of knowing that Willard “Mitt” Romney is going to take the brunt of the post-election abuse, since that guy can’t even sell raw greed and naked prejudice to an arena full of RNC delegates with any success.

Patients over politics bus tour continues

I’ve written about Doctors for America before. They’re a group of physicians and medical students who are taking a bus tour to promote the PPACA.

This is their report from Tampa:

Having a fun, fulfilling, and raucous time here on the Patients Over Politics (a.k.a. Doctors Gone Wild) bus tour. On Monday, I arrived in Tampa in the mid-afternoon and attempted to take a taxi downtown. I got within a mile, but almost all of the streets headed towards the city center were blocked off by police. So, off I walked to meet up with the crew. The streets were eerily quiet yet there were police officers everywhere, wearing tan uniforms and riding mountain bikes in formation. Although the convention’s events had been postponed for the day due to the possible hurricane, the crowd control agents were out in force, so it had a strange police-state feel with 20 or so officers for every citizen I ran into. After a bit of a walk through occasional drizzle, I first found the Patients Over Politics RV.

Read the whole thing. They’re working really hard. Also, open thread.