Progress on the stump

Karoli notes that Mitt has a new stump speech. While I disagree with his point of course, it is important to give his campaign a non-trivial amount of credit for making steps in the right direction. Rather than take “you didn’t build that” out of context like he always does, Mitt’s new argument more or less grants the original point of Obama’s argument. That is a dangerous place for Mitt to go, as most Republicans know better than to try answering their opponents in good faith, but he deserves points for the effort.

As to Mitt’s argument. Yes, the guy who drives the bus did not ace an honor roll student’s tests. She aced them. On the other hand, she would have a hard time making those grades if she had to walk. Most people recognize that bus drivers, and school lunches and other things that government does to support non-wealthy students are all necessary, but not sufficient. To succeed the student herself needs to step up and take advantage of the opportunities at hand. All the same if you want honor roll students whose families cannot afford a maid to drive them to school each day, then you invest in bus drivers.

Does Mitt know that some kids need bus drivers to get to school? Did he ever take the bus? Experiences like that, or the lack of them, very much shape how you see the world.






105 replies
  1. 1
    Culture of Truth says:

    Romney knows plenty of bus boys. Very nice young men. Tips ’em a quarter.

  2. 2
    👽 Martin says:

    The GOP is just trying to provide a market incentive for an alternative energy source powered by pulling up bootstraps.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    Does Mitt know that some kids need bus drivers to get to school? Did he ever take the bus? Experiences like that, or the lack of them, very much shape how you see the world.

    His dad used to sell paint out of the back of his car. So… something something mumble mumble prosperity!

    I think the bigger question might be “How does an honor roll student ace all his/her exams if the public schools are abolished and parents can’t afford to enroll him/her in private school?” Also, “Who gives a shit if you’re an honor roll student from Larry Wilmore’s Discount Learning Barn and Jesus Camp”?

    A lot of his comment hinges on the idea that the US school system both exists and is worth talking about. For a guy that has “abolish the Department of Education” in his party’s plank, that’s going to be a hard argument to make.

  4. 4
    Jewish Steel says:

    I think Mitt just lost the bus driver vote.

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Mitt is still shit.

    He doesn’t understand, or won’t admit to, the fact that we can see as far as we can because we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. To paraphrase well known socia1ist Sir Issac Newton.

    Obama was saying basically the same thing. All of us are working on the efforts of others. It’s a collective (ZOMG, there’s that awful word!) enterprise.

    The most pernicious myth in this country, worse than even “American Exceptionalism”, is the myth of the rugged individual. It is purest horse shit.

  6. 6
    jwb says:

    @Culture of Truth: I thought he tipped them in the leftovers of his hot chocolate.

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    But when she makes the honor roll, I credit the kid, not the bus driver!

    Somehow I don’t think that one’s going to catch fire. You have to think for second to figure out what the fuck he’s talking about, and then you still end up thinking about all the other people (parents, teachers, etc.) who must have helped this student succeed.

  8. 8
    Mark S. says:

    @jwb:

    I forgot about that one.

  9. 9
    Violet says:

    Did he ever take the bus?

    Took it and sold it for parts, leaving the bus riders without transportation? Of course he did.

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    “We celebrate and recognize the success of each individual and acknowledge their success.

    Unless they’re valedictorians who say “what the hell do I know” in their speech. Then it’s blasphemy and we deny them their diploma.

  11. 11
    Culture of Truth says:

    “we don’t divide Americans based on their level of success. We come together.”

    Let me guess: a really rich guy talking.

  12. 12
    Culture of Truth says:

    “We come together.”

    Communist!

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is same pair going around calling poor people lazy, right? Thought so.

  14. 14
    jwb says:

    So Twitter tells me that Biden is going to crash Tampa next week during the GOP convention. Anyone know what’s up with that?

  15. 15
    noabsolutes says:

    Don’t get it twisted: This, too, is a dog whistle.

    The Republican base is against school buses.

    Remember? That’s in the old-fashioned Lee Atwater quote we’re always bringing up– the busing thing and god forbid the “forced busing” thing is nothing but a proxy for bringing Those People into the schools. I read an earnest newspaper article a couple years ago about a suburban community somewhere or other still feeling “the sting of forced busing.” How often do you hear predominantly-black, Latino, Asian-American communities complaining about school buses? Why is the school bus driver the discredited party in this situation? Who the heck else thinks the school bus is a bad thing?!

  16. 16
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mark S.:

    But when she makes the honor roll, I credit the kid, not the bus driver!

    But do you credit the teacher? No? What about that ‘teacher salaries based on performance’ thing you keep talking about?

    At what point to we ask the question “Does the GOP believe that anyone receives fair assistance in life apart from their parents?”

  17. 17
    Kane says:

    Our greatness as a nation is dependent on self-reliance and individual initiative, and a belief in the free market. But it’s also dependent on our mutual regard for each other; our sense that we have a stake in each other’s success. Most Americans understand this. Romney does not. Romney is attempting to sell Social Darwinism by way of you didn’t build that.

  18. 18

    @Mark S.:
    It’s just another example of privatizing the benefits and socializing the costs. Romney wants to give 100% of the credit to the successful student and none to the teacher, bus driver, principal, or tax payers who footed the bill. Similarly, he wants to give 100% of the credit and the profits to the business owner and none to the employees, customers, and social environment that made the business possible. He’s not making a new argument against “you didn’t build that”, he’s just doubling down on the old one.

  19. 19
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    But when she makes the honor roll, I credit the kid, not the bus driver!

    Really? I thought we credited affirmative action.

  20. 20
    General Stuck says:

    Progress is relative, and stump speeches are cheap. And yes, Virginia, we are a half a third world country.

    AKA The South

  21. 21
    Culture of Truth says:

    Another reason among many why this is a bad example (I mean that literally, it’s not just bad, it’s not good for Romney) is that kids by their nature don’t make it on their own. If they did they wouldn’t be kids.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    This brings back fond memories of the recently concluded Olympic Games. Who among us didn’t tear up when our Olympic heroes told Bob Costas how they succeeded all on their own and owed nothing to anybody else? That’s exactly what America needs right now.

  23. 23
    Culture of Truth says:

    When we won WWII, I credit the paratroopers, not the pilots!

  24. 24
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    Tying two of my least favorite people together, I’d like to tell you more about the Todd Akin platform. In light of the article above, school lunches and buses and that sort of help do make things a little easier for kids who need them and depend on them. I am more offended that Todd Akin wants to kick the school lunch subsidies back to the state because he really knows what will happen there. He knows, or should know that money is tight for the overburdened states and that they will cut back on such programs if they inherit the cost. Or they will make it so difficult for low income families to qualify that some won’t bother. Or it will become such a humiliating experience that the kids will prefer to go hungry. And going hungry is what happens, as much as we’d like to turn our heads and deny it. Friend of mine who was a principal at a school tells the story of a child who came late on a Monday and missed the subsidized breakfast and got hysterical because the kid had so little to eat over the weekend at home that he was starving. That’s what the Todd Akins and the Mitt Romneys don’t want to know. They would prefer to just dismantle the program and not think about those things.

  25. 25
    👽 Martin says:

    @General Stuck: Ha! Jokes on you! Mississippi and the rest of the south isn’t fat because of too many Super Sized meals, they were just planning ahead this whole time!

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    But when she makes the honor roll, I credit the kid, not the bus driver! Whe she doesn’t, I blame teachers’ unions!

  27. 27
    amk says:

    Bullshit. This is the infamous etch-a-sketch aka dishonest moment in mittbot’s ever lying campaign. Typical of libruls trying to find a silver lining in the clouds of a despicable campaign.

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Why’s he bitching? The bus driver used to be a district employee, and belonged to the local ESP union local. Not a great job, hours-wise, but ok. — even some benefits.

    But then the district outsourced its transportation, and now the driver’s working for a fly-by-night outfit that even lowballed Laidlaw. Less pay, no bennies at all, but hey, your boss is listed on the FTSE 250.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    Since Romney is such a rugged individualist, I’d like to see him become President without any help from American voters.

  30. 30
    LanceThruster says:

    It takes a prep school village.

    Do you know how hard it is to cut your own hair?

    Fortunately, some kids were lucky enough to have someone else shear their hair in a manly hazing ritual to motivate them to bigger and better things (or at least be more butch…or at the very least, less visible).

  31. 31
    Keith G says:

    Did he ever take the bus?

    Did FDR? Did JFK?

    I bring this up just to indicate that this type of argumentation might be the weakest arrow in our quiver. I don’t care what his background was. I care what his ideas are and what their implementation means to this country.

    That is where I hope this battle shifts.

  32. 32
    LanceThruster says:

    @Baud:

    That comes after when the White Horse Prophecy kicks in (which will of course require destroying the Constitution to save it).

  33. 33
    rlrr says:

    @Baud:

    Since Romney is such a rugged individualist, I’d like to see him become President without any help from American voters.

    So would he.

  34. 34
    LanceThruster says:

    @Keith G:

    He probably took the tweet advice of #badbanana

    I find the best way to avoid having to talk to other people on the bus is to drive my own car.

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @Baud:

    This brings back fond memories of the recently concluded Olympic Games. Who among us didn’t tear up when our Olympic heroes told Bob Costas how they succeeded all on their own and owed nothing to anybody else? That’s exactly what America needs right now.

    That’s why P&G spent all that money on TV commercials where the athletes thank their Moms extol the virtue of their own selfishness and how they had no help getting where they are.

  36. 36
    ChrisNYC says:

    This struck me as grosser than the original nonsense (but still a poor attempt to keep it going). So typical that he would settle on a bus driver as the lowly worm. “We DON’T credit the BUS DRIVER harumppph.” Yesterday, when I heard it live, I thought, “Oh fuck you Mitt.” Sorry if you refuse to see anyone who doesn’t earn a million dollars a day as building anything or contributing but all those ants are out there and they waaaay outnumber you. The bus driver gets up, goes to work, gets the kids to school and back each day in one piece. Hooray for the bus driver!

  37. 37

    @Zifnab:

    I think the bigger question might be “How does an honor roll student ace all his/her exams if the public schools are abolished and parents can’t afford to enroll him/her in private school?” Also, “Who gives a shit if you’re an honor roll student from Larry Wilmore’s Discount Learning Barn and Jesus Camp”?

    Exactly. Getting into an in-the-weeds argument about the importance of bus drivers is a distraction. You can’t make honor roll if there’s no damned school. The taxpayers do in fact deserve most of the credit for those honor roll students, because good schools are going to produce honor roll students deserving of the name, and the only question then is which students will be the ones on the honor roll.

  38. 38
    Valdivia says:

    Sorry to go a bit of OT and sort of post and run (crazy hospital week, again) but this post by Sargent this morning (with an assist by Tomasky at DB) is the best description of how the ‘debate’ is unfolding. Worth re-tweeting and posting on the Book of faces.

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

  39. 39
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @rlrr: Yes, I think that’s the whold point of disenfranchising left leaning voters.

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @Keith G: Horseshit. You make it about whatever wins. If it takes painting poor Queen Anne as a psychotic, she-devil, c you next tuesday, then you do that. You win. We can feel good about ideals later….after we win.

  41. 41

    @Keith G:
    If “he never took the bus” were the whole of the argument, I might agree with you, but it isn’t. The major thrust of the argument is that Romney isn’t working to solve the problems of ordinary Americans. His privileged background is brought up only to explain why: he can’t solve ordinary Americans’ problems because he doesn’t understand them, and he can’t understand them because he has no empathy and no personal experience. It’s a very common pattern for a political argument, and that can make it effective because so many people are already familiar with its basic outline. You only have to show how out of touch Romney is with ordinary Americans, and most voters will jump straight to the intended conclusion without needing any explanation of the intermediate steps- though whether they accept that conclusion or not is an open question.

    Note that this is basically the mirror image of Romney’s biggest point against Obama. Romney says that our biggest need to to solve the problems of America’s businesses, and Obama can’t do it. Why? Because Obama has no empathy for businessmen and no personal experience running a business. I think that’s also a big driving force behind attempts to portray Obama as a scary outsider. It’s not just to create fear of outsiders but to show that Obama won’t be able to solve our problems because he doesn’t understand people like us.

  42. 42
    Pen says:

    @Keith G: Pretending that an entitled rich asshole’s worldview wasn’t shaped by growing up rich and entitled does nothing but help legitimize entitled, rich assholes. The moment he started talking about taxes and cutting public programs both his tax rate and upbringing became part of the public discussion.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    OT, but this could be hilariously awful for Romney and the Republicans. From Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground, regarding Tropical Depression 9:

    Both of these models predict an eventual landfall for TD 9 over Florida, and TD 9 is a threat to affect Tampa during the Republican National Convention, August 27 – 30. I blogged about the climatological chances of a hurricane causing an evacuation of Tampa during the convention in a post last week, putting the odds at 0.2%. The odds in the current situation are higher, somewhere in the 1% – 3% range. It would take a “perfect storm” sort of conditions to all fall in place to bring TD 9 to the doorstep of Tampa as a hurricane during the convention, but that is one of the possibilities the models have been suggesting could happen.

    Imagine the chaos if the convention has to be evacuated.

  44. 44
    Culture of Truth says:

    Rafalca didn’t thank anybody. But then horses don’t get medals.

  45. 45
    Real American says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    Hail to the bus driver,

    Bus driver man.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    It would be if some angry sky buddy were trying to tell the scum of the GOP something, wouldn’t it? After all, New Orleans was smited by Katrina for its wanton ways, was it not?

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Keith G:

    FDR and JFK never rode the bus, but they had enough empathy to understand those that did.

    They demonstrated it, repeatedly, through their policies.

    OvenMitt has no empathy. He’s a soulless sack of shit.

  48. 48
    Hoodie says:

    @amk: I have to agree. He picks the person with probably the most tangential tie to the person’s academic success, and one that, in Mitt’s world, evokes stereotypes of overpaid unskilled people on the public payroll (Mitt would likely love to outsource that bus driving to China to bring down labor costs). There is another thing that gets overlooked in these discussions — maybe that student is on the honor roll largely because she’s just smart. These guys often get blessings confused with virtues. Shits like Romney are the antithesis of “To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.”

  49. 49
    AA+ Bonds says:

    As to Mitt’s argument. Yes, the guy who drives the bus did not ace an honor roll student’s tests. She aced them. On the other hand, she would have a hard time making those grades if she had to walk. Most people recognize that bus drivers, and school lunches and other things that government does to support non-wealthy students are all necessary, but not sufficient. To succeed the student herself needs to step up and take advantage of the opportunities at hand.

    This is Obama’s claim

    And both of them are wrong insofar as capital is theft; that is, small business owners never “build” their businesses

    Petty bosses are still bosses and the value they “create” is stolen from society at large and their workers in particular

  50. 50
    Kane says:

    One of the many reasons why we celebrate the greatest generation is that individual Americans made incredible sacrifices at home and abroad out of a sense of pride and love of country for the sake of the nation.

    What Romney is proposing is the antithesis of this ideal. He rails against the very government that has provided the foundation and structure for him to accumulate his massive wealth, and he condemns the very notion of shared sacrifice even though he has gained considerab­ly from the shared sacrifice of others.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I would never suggest such a thing. Never. Heh.

    Again, OT. Steve King is still an asshole and proves the point that Republicans can’t understand anything unless they have direct, personal experience with it:

    Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. On Monday, King signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
    __
    King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
    __
    “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

  52. 52
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Violet: Or if everyone at the convention had to stay there, trapped, until rescuers could bring them food and cots.

  53. 53
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Valdivia:

    Greg Sargent’s post this morning, Plum Line, WaPo:

    How long do you think Greg can hang on to his job if he insists on telling the truth and speaking in plain language?

  54. 54
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s not just about empathy, it’s a factual discussion. Do bus drivers’ do anything worthwhile, or not? Those who have used their services say they do. Mitt Romney says they don’t. Who to believe.

  55. 55
    Nemesis says:

    Tempering the rhetoric going into the convention. Trying to appeal to moderates just a wee bit maybe.

    gawd bring @Violet:

    Imagine the chaos if the convention has to be evacuated

    Depending on the timeframe, the storm may hit on Monday, which would dramatically affect the arrival of many/most delegates and the media. Guess the convention would be delayed a day or two. Why does gawd hate republicants?

  56. 56
    Violet says:

    Ugh. Stupid moderation. Forgot about the bad word. Trying with speshul speling.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I would never suggest such a thing. Never. Heh.

    Again, OT. Steve King is still an asshole and proves the point that Republicans can’t understand anything unless they have direct, personal experience with it:

    Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. On Monday, King signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
    __
    King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or insest.
    __
    “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Lot’s of pregnancies and no “legitimate rapes”.

  58. 58
    Baud says:

    You say to somebody, you shouldn’t go to work before you’re what, 14, 16 years of age, fine,” Mr. Gingrich Romney said. “You’re totally poor. You’re in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I’ve tried for years to have a very simple model. Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors bus drivers, have one master janitorbus driver and pay local students to take care of the schooldrive the bus. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schoolsbuses, they’d begin the process of rising.

  59. 59
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The celebration of the “small business owner” in America is the new version of the late 20th century celebration of the American farmer: a smokescreen to hide the further consolidation of capital into a force that commands legislatures and armies

    Please be aware that this “small business” language is pure demagoguery from both parties

    No enterprise is created without exploitation, and nowadays, that usually means exploitation of workers abroad, even if one has “no employees”

  60. 60
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Violet:

    Shit. Jesus Christ! Where the hell has he been all of his life? Gazing at the mirror inside his head?

    Fuck you, Steve King!

    ETA:
    Or maybe he’s such a bleeping pedophile that he has never thought about victims of incest that are post-pubescent.

    Fuck you, pervert Steve King!

  61. 61
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Real American: I knew there was going to be jokes about that. And I see it! But really, it’s not the topic, but I am so sick of the avalanche of rose petals for the (mostly) rapacious, stupendously boring, usually dumb-as-all-hell bastions of our culture and the background assumption that normal people living normal lives are somehow beneath contempt. For example — Jack Welch/David Brooks/Jon Kyl versus bus driver. Who’s the success? Who would you rather have a beer with?

  62. 62
    kindness says:

    Mitt’s kids had Drivers. What do ‘You People’ expect from Ann & Mitt?

  63. 63
    Valdivia says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I hope he can keep for a long time because he is doing yeoman’s work over there. That post is just perfect. I hope he does a repost as a standalone because it is a point that deserves attention.

  64. 64
    Violet says:

    @Nemesis: Right now the forecast is for the storm to be directly over Cuba on Sunday. Don’t think it could get to Tampa by Monday at that rate, but it could be making things very, very interesting if that area is it its sights.

    Hurricanes don’t always go where they’re supposed to and a jog one direction or the other can make a huge difference. Larger areas need to be prepared, even if they are not eventually affected. Such issues would affect arrivals and departures to Tampa for sure.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or insest.

    I know if I had a child from rape, Steve King is the first person I’d call.

  66. 66
    rlrr says:

    @Violet:

    Are Republicans asking King to resign? If no, then their outrage over Akin‘s statements is less than sincere.

  67. 67
    Violet says:

    @Baud: He’s just appalling. And proves, yet again, that unless Republicans have personal experience with something, it simply doesn’t exist/isn’t possible/is a lie for them. What is it with Republicans and their lack of empathy? It’s like they all take a class or are missing the same gene or something.

  68. 68
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Here is a great article about how “small businesses” exploit their workers from the Raleigh News and Observer:

    Injured worker pays for employer’s gamble

    These are the gambits allowed by bipartisan pro-boss politics; Worrell had a “small business” with “no employees”

    Next time you read how many Americans “work for small businesses”, realize that what you are reading is a partial count of the number of Americans exploited by bosses

  69. 69
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Yes, the Chinese guy they sent in the box to fix my air conditioner was hard to get in the return envelop.

  70. 70
    Violet says:

    @rlrr: I think Republicans saw the Akin mess as a chance to install someone they hand-picked in his place. And from the looks of things, Akin isn’t going anywhere. What are the Republicans going to do if Akin won’t back down? Will the refuse to fun him? That would all but mean they’d concede the state.

    The whole situation is just hilarious wrt Republicans. The subject matter is not hilarious at all.

  71. 71
    Baud says:

    @Violet:

    What is it with Republicans and their lack of empathy? It’s like they all take a class or are missing the same gene or something.

    I think they all take a class. Specifically, they are indoctrinated with the idea that everyone around them is jealous of them and is looking to take advantage of their good nature in some way.

  72. 72
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    OT: I’m taking off in a few minutes on a 300 mile round trip to see a specialist about my recently discovered RA. While the doc visit isn’t going to be much fun, at least the motorcycle ride will be! It’s in the 50’s here on the Oregon coast this AM and temps inland are supposed to be in the 80’s to 90’s, so it should be some nice cruising. See ya kids this evening, don’t burn the place down.

    At least until I get back! :p

  73. 73
    Valdivia says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    good luck and safe travels!

  74. 74
    LanceThruster says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    What’s next? Mitt talking down to the bus drivers like he did to the hospitality staff at that fund raiser where he mentioned how sucky it was getting a sucky wage in a sucky economy and how a vote for him would have them drowning in the trickle down that they couldn’t do themselves?

    Sociopath? Psychopath?

    No matter. Jerk seems to fit qute nicely.

  75. 75
    Baud says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    at least the motorcycle ride will be!

    Who told you you could live my dream?

  76. 76
    LanceThruster says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    RA? Rand, Ayn?

    Boy, I hope that can be removed. Enjoy the crotch rocket ride.

  77. 77
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Violet: Aw, now don’t be so hard on Steve King. After all, he’s “open to discussion of the subject matter” in case someone wants to “bring it to him in a personal way,” which you have to admit is awfully white of him, bless his heart.

  78. 78
    Joey Maloney says:

    @General Stuck: Wow, that map is stark. Straight along the Mason-Dixon line.

  79. 79
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    This honor student has a father who developed epilepsy while he was in the Army, so we partially relied on VA disability benefits along with my mother’s salary, and reduced lunches, sometimes which my siblings and I would “borrow” money from our friends to pay for (when you’re the one honors student on reduced lunch among children of lawyers and doctors, this was easy).

    Mitt can, once again, go fuck himself.

  80. 80
    Flying Squirrel Girl says:

    @Kathy in St. Louis: This is very important. Kicking things like free lunches back to the states will result in them being first on the chopping block, since states are required to balance their budgets. I think a lot of things that Conservatives want taken out of the hands of the federal government and put into the hands of state govs is because they know that they can get rid of these programs in an effort to balance the budget, while saying, “Gee guys, the big bad fed is the reason we HAVE to balance the budget, what are we to do?”

  81. 81
    Stooleo says:

    Good article on the history of “legitimate rape” at The Guardian. Money quote.

    “This was a long-lived legal argument. Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence contained the same idea as late as 1814:

    “For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.”

    See, if you got raped and then got pregnant, then you obviously enjoyed it and therefore it isn’t a forcible rape. See what I did there.. easy peasy.

  82. 82
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Valdivia:

    Thanks! :)

    @Baud:

    Get one and join in the fun! It’s a nice way to travel and fuel efficient too!

    @LanceThruster:

    I hear that version of RA causes brain damage.

    The bike is warmed up, I’m geared up and it’s time to hit the road (figuratively!).

    See ya all later! :)

  83. 83

    @Joey Maloney:

    Straight along the Mason-Dixon line.

    Actually, that’s the Missouri Compromise line (36° 30′), not the Mason-Dixon line (the border between Maryland and part of West Virginia on the South and West and Pennsylvania and Delaware on the North and East). So it’s not really separating the North from South; it’s coming closer to dividing the Deep South from the Border States.

  84. 84
    wrb says:

    I think Republicans saw the Akin mess as a chance to install someone they hand-picked in his place. And from the looks of things, Akin isn’t going anywhere.

    From his perspective this must look like the people he beat in the primaries now asking him to step aside- for the greater good, of course.

    Right.

    He beat them.

    I doubt he’s going anywhere.

  85. 85
    Someguy says:

    Most Republicans know better than to credit Democratic arguments with proceeding from good faith because to do so is to admit that the Republican arguments are wrong, and they know it.

  86. 86
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Violet:

    What is it with Republicans and their lack of empathy? It’s like they all take a class or are missing the same gene or something.

    I think they just cover up all the mirrors in their homes and offices. Much easier to be deceitful and hacktastic when one does not have to look at himself/herself in the mirror.

  87. 87
    scav says:

    Hey Soccer Moms! Just remember you’re not contributing to your children’s success when just shuttling them around to all those activities! (At least you’re an unpaid non-union driver contributing nothing to same.)

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    That bus driver is an opportunity. So are good public schools. So are good jobs. So are civil rights laws. So is health care.
    Yes you have to take advantage of the opportunity but the opportunity has to be there in the first place. Conservatives don’t get that part. Conservatives like mittens have of course huge opportunities. They have to be absolute fuck ups not to get something out of those opportunities. What kind of an opportunity is 60-100K in student loans with crappy job prospects? What kind of opportunity is an $800,000 home with a job paying $50,000/yr? What kind of opportunity is living the last third of your life on $12,000 per year when rent is $14,000?

    Conservatives talk about taking advantage of opportunities all the while they are trying to steal everything from everyone. And to answer the original question mittens has never had a time when he didn’t have copious opportunities to take advantage of and doesn’t understand anyone not having the same.

  89. 89
    artem1s says:

    @noabsolutes:

    Who the heck else thinks the school bus is a bad thing?!

    I was in high school during the whole busing shakedown, attending a very rural, spread out district. My house was the last stop on the school drivers route and I still had a 45 minute ride to the school. When I heard the spin that busing would subject kids to rides that would last OMG over an hour, my response was, ‘really, that’s not so bad’.

    It was never about the length of the ride, it was who was going to be sitting next to them that mattered to the white flighters.

  90. 90
    artem1s says:

    @Baud:

    Since Romney is such a rugged individualist, I’d like to see him become President without any help from American voters.

    yea, so would the Koch Brothers.

  91. 91
    azrev says:

    Almost everything that makes life possible, good, and comfortable derives from the hidden labor of unseen hands.

  92. 92
    Maude says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    We had Laidlaw in my county. They kept losing drivers.

  93. 93
    lacp says:

    @Stooleo: Well, at least we have a time frame. Wing-nuts don’t want to go back to the Gilded Age; they want to go back to the War of 1812.

  94. 94
    scav says:

    I suppose by extension truck drivers don’t contribute anything to the success of a product. I mean, its not as though being anywhere specific contributes to being a product that sells. Leave ’em lying about anywhere, people will send you money if its a successful product, no? That Man has never worked in a complex team setting, or if he did, sat there in a catatonic state noticing nothing beyond his own paycheck. Jaysus Haploid Krishna, he just doesn’t get infrastructure.

  95. 95
    LanceThruster says:

    @Stooleo:

    I heard also too, if you don’t enjoy the act, you can’t get an STD either. Boy, was that a lie!

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    . It would take a “perfect storm” sort of conditions to all fall in place to bring TD 9 to the doorstep of Tampa as a hurricane during the convention, but that is one of the possibilities the models have been suggesting could happen.

    Just lock the Doors of the Convention center and let them ask their God for Judgement.

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    @Tonybrown74: Actually, they have plenty of mirrors, but vampires don’t have reflections, remember?

  98. 98
    jl says:

    I think Mitt’s new pitch is stupid and it won’t work.

    Middle and working class parent’s don’t understand that hassle of getting their kids to different places?

    Man, every parent and guardian in these great United States will jump on that. Vouchers to take to your local gas pump or auto repair shop, as we hit those magic private toll roads to let free market magic get your kids to school! F the damn big oppressive gummint school bus driver, a traditional focus of loathing on gummint loafing and waste fraud and abuse.

    Yeah, that’s a winner.

    Can Mitt appeal to anyone except the ‘F you, I got mine’ set? Can he even dimly conceive of anything else?

  99. 99
    Original Lee says:

    @Baud: Or if they are Calvinists, the poors are poor because they have sinned in a major way and it’s their own damn fault they are poor.

  100. 100
    rb says:

    @Keith G: Eh, FDR survived polio, JFK was in the Navy. Not saying ‘background’ is the absolute best place to have this fight, but it’s not terribly weak either.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Original Lee:

    IIRC, a true Calvinist would say not that the person is a terrible sinner (because we are all terrible sinners), but that God decided even before that person was born that they were going to be damned to Hell and there was nothing they could do about it. Their poverty is just an outward sign of how much God hated them from the very start.

  102. 102

    Did Mitt really bring up an honor roll student in school as an example of a rugged individualist?

    Would this be a PUBLIC school, Mitt?

    Holy shit, I’m not even paid as a Serious Journalist Person and I thought of that followup pretty much right off (Edit: as did a number of others here). Oh right, followups are rude and gauche and don’t get you invited to the tire swing.

  103. 103
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There are many forms of Calvinism, and the craziest most extreme systems originated after Calvin’s death.

    What you are talking about is Dutch Reformed Church Calvinism, which codified metaphors that Calvin used for a variety of purposes into an insane but perfectly logical system at the Council of Dort, about 60 years after Calvin died.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism

    It is a mistake to think that the current extreme reactionary Xtianist movement in the US is any kind of olde tymey religion at all. It is an incoherent amalgam off all sorts of stuff that meets their fancy (including Great Awakening ideas in US that are radical departures from real historical old time Calvinism, either the (relatively) more liberal and humane John Calvin type, or the insane logical system types that grew up after he died.

  104. 104
    Gian says:

    Back when I rode a school bus, there was a driver. same driver same route every day. long ride. she knew the stops and she knew the kids. She gave about a five minute lecture to a couple kids one morning when they had missed a lot of school. It was about how they would end up with a job like or worse than hers if they didn’t get their acts together.
    I don’t know if they made honor roll, but as a person that bus-driver had more humanity in her little finger than in all the 747s that land on Mitt’s shoulders.

  105. 105
    JoyfulA says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Great detailed article on ghost workers’ comp. Thanks!

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