Thursday Morning Open Thread: Down in the Sawdust

(Pat Oliphant via
Remember the endless Republican debate season, when Willard Romney was sold as the Very Serious Moderate in a cavalcade of clowns? Well, nobody joins the circus who won’t play the fool. Gail Collins explains “Mitt’s Major Meltdown” in simple terms for the breakfast reader:

Mitt Romney broke our deal….He could do anything he wanted during this campaign as long as he sent out signals that once he got in the White House he was not likely to be truly crazy…

It didn’t seem to be a lot to ask, but when the crisis in the Middle East flared up, Romney turned out to have no restraining inner core. All the uneasy feelings you got when he went to London and dissed the Olympic organizers can now come into full bloom. Feel free to worry about anything. That he’d declare war on Malta. Lock himself in a nuclear missile silo and refuse to come out until there’s a tax cut. Hand the country over to space aliens..

A few social conservatives did unveil a hitherto-unnoticed passion for the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom to make fun of religion. “It was disheartening to hear the administration condemn Americans engaging in free speech that hurt the feelings of Muslims,” said Senator Jim DeMint.

And, let’s see, who else. Donald Rumsfeld tweeted support. Party chairman Reince Priebus chimed in: “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt. Sad and pathetic.” Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona said the embassy’s comment “is like the judge telling the woman that got raped, ‘You asked for it because of the way you dressed.’ That’s the same thing.”

On this side: Mitt Romney, a totally disgraced former secretary of defense, a person named Reince Priebus, and a new Republican rape comment.

Two months to go and we’re rethinking our presumption that the Republican primary voters picked the most stable option.

Meanwhile, Professor Krugman drags out inconvenient historical memory to explain “Why the Vileness Matters”:

… I’ve seen some comparisons between Mitt Romney’s position right now and that of George W. Bush after the Democratic convention in 2000, and by the numbers there is some resemblance. But what really happened in the final months of that election? The answer — not a popular one with journalists, but very obviously true to anyone who lived through it — was that the press took sides. Reporters liked Bush and didn’t like Gore, and as a result they treated Bush with kid gloves while gleefully passing on every smear against his opponent (“Gore says he invented the internet!” No, he never did).

That probably wasn’t going to happen this time in any case. But now Romney has really ensured that everyone in the news media, the GOP propaganda organs aside, is going to view him with distaste and alarm — as well they should.

Romney could still win, but he has just made it even harder for anyone to consider him suitable for the job.

Apart from watching the clown show, what’s on the day’s agenda?

121 replies
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    Since you ask what’s on the agenda, I’m going to look at this as an open thread, even though it doesn’t specifically say it is.

    I have something to ask everybody: How do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to your dog? I have a 15 year old spaniel I love dearly. She’s pretty healthy, especially for being 15. But she can’t hear or see too well, and she can’t hold her pee in any longer. She still gets jazzed when it’s time to eat, and she goes wild when I give her watermelon, but still…

    She has trouble getting up out of her bed sometimes, and when she’s lying in bed sometimes, she’ll kind of groan, not like something hurts, but more like something just isn’t comfortable to her, and I don’t know what it is.

    I’ve never had to deal with this before; with the other dogs I’ve had to say goodbye to, they were really at the ends of their lives. It was easy to tell. This time, I don’t know. I don’t want to do this too soon, if it’s still worth it for her to be here, but I don’t want to let her go on if she’d be better off–well, you know. Who has thoughts about this? I don’t know what to do here. I know nobody can tell me authoritatively, “Do this, don’t do that,” but, well, I need help on this…

  4. 4
    amk says:

    @Geoduck: Thanks. Don’t know how the linky fuck up happened.

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    raven says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly Horrendo Slapp, Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.): Raven was our 14 year old cocker that we lost almost 5 years ago. We went through two years of cancer treatment with the little fella. Much of that was agonizing for him and us but we decided to go through with it and we did. We made the decided to let him go when he stopped easting and was obviously really hurting. It sounds to me like your baby is doing ok for her age. The pivotal question we had to keep in mind was “are we keeping him alive for him or for us”? I let my first dog go too long and I swore I’d never do it again. There obviously no rules on this. I would say for you to work with a vet that you trust. Let him or her know how you feel and use their medical advice to inform you. Here’s a link to The Sr Dogs Project, there is a great deal of helpful info here.

    I’ll say one more thing. Letting a dog go, euthanizing them, when it is time is the second best thing you will ever do for the pup. You are already doing the first, you love her.

  6. 6
    MikeJ says:

    Did they ever release the names of the other two killed, besides Stevens and Smith?

    I feel like shit because I’m hoping I don’t see specific names, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? There are people I knew when I lived in DC who could have wound up there, but I haven’t talked to any of them in years. I would hate to think that any of them were killed, but it’s not very nice to wish death on somebody else just because they weren’t lucky enough to have met me.

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly Horrendo Slapp, Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):You know her best; how much of the day is she happy? They hide their pain; it’s instinctual. So we have to look for it.

    It’s one thing for a dog to have a handicap and be otherwise healthy, but here the situation is that several systems are going.

    If you love her, you will want to wait until you get “a clear sign.” I have to say that I’ve gone through this many times, and I always regret waiting too long. Now, I don’t push away signals.

    I sit down with them and talk about it and if they seem to be always asking for something I cannot provide… sadly, I then know what it is.

    Hope this helps.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    @MikeJ: I think, because if as reports indicated they were Marines, they go through a different process for releasing that info. Someone has to go to their next-of-kin personally first.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly Horrendo Slapp, Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.): It’s never easy to make that final choice, but in my (limited) experience the Old One will let you know when it’s time for you to part. The day will come when you know, if you’re being honest, that it’s just not worth your girl’s while to keep hanging around in an increasingly painful & limited existence.

    First step, if you haven’t already done this: talk to your vet. Make sure there’s nothing easily fixable (bad teeth, a treatable heart or kidney condition, arthritis). On the other end of the scale, a proper vet exam will tell you if she’s hiding something painful and/or incurable, as small predators will do by instinct. Knowing which geriatric organs are failing fastest can give you a better idea of whether she’s suffering.

    My last vet, for instance, had actually checked human medical records and been assured that kidney failure isn’t painful — people just loose interest in eating, and want to sleep more and more. So as our little dog Candy went into kidney failure, we spent the last few weeks encouraging her to eat whatever she still found interesting (pureed chicken baby food, shreds of beef teriyaki, cheetos) & making sure the other dogs let her sleep wherever & whenever she wanted; one afternoon she just stood there looking at us, and the Goodbye Look was as clear as if she’d spelled it out in alphabet blocks. On the other hand, a big active dog who develops joint issues may be incurably miserable even on painkillers, if they have to be restricted to couch-potato status…

    Whatever happens, it will (eventually) be a comfort to know that you did your best to give your girl a good end to a life well lived. And meanwhile, you’ll be in my prayers (assuming that’s okay).

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    On the topic of Romney, a friend was very worried that Romney would win, and the nation would collapse. I didn’t blame her. I feel the same way; we haven’t yet undone the damage from the last freakishly inadequate President.

    But the last couple of weeks have been an amazing reveal. Mitt Romney is worse than I ever thought. This campaign illustrates how our grueling process has its good side. A short campaign would never have broken down the candidate, and the indifference of the voters, I fear.

    Now, to so many quarters, he’s seen as toxic. Which is exactly right.

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    Triassic Sands says:

    The fact that someone could still say, with a straight face, that Romney could still win in November is just one more indication of how completely moronic the average American voter is. Year after year, we hear politicians say, “Amurkins are stupid,” when, in fact, tens of millions of them are very, very stupid. One only has to listen to interviews in which lower middle class or even low income people explain why they are going to vote for Romney and it is impossible to seriously entertain the notion that many, many American voters aren’t dumb. Worse, it breaks my heart to hear some of these people explain that on election day “I’m going to march into the voting booth and try my best to screw myself royally. I’ll support policies that will set me back decades and do it with a smile on my face, because Obama hates America and he’s nuffum but a big old socialist. Oh, yeah, and he’s a baby killer, too!”

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    raven says:

    @raven: “It’s our neighborhood stimulus package!” resident Diane Dorsey told the Los Angeles Times while she watched the bedlam unfold from her front yard at the corner of Kansas and Vernon avenues.

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    Well, thank you for your thoughts. I’m going to talk to the vet today. I’m torn here. I want to let her keep going for her sake, not for mine, and if I put her down, I want to do that for her sake, too, not for mine. But I’m having a hard time knowing who’s sake I’ll be doing whatever I choose for. I wish they lived longer…

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    raven says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly Horrendo Slapp, Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.): Of course you are.

    “We who choose to surround ourselves
    with lives even more temporary than our
    own, live within a fragile circle;
    easily and often breached.
    Unable to accept its awful gaps,
    we would still live no other way.
    We cherish memory as the only
    certain immortality, never fully
    understanding the necessary plan.
    — Irving Townsend

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    raven says:

    Mornin Joe is going apeshit on Romney’s head.

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    WereBear says:

    @Triassic Sands: It has become increasingly clear to me that we are in a unique situation.

    People hate President Obama based on lies.

    Once upon a time, you could say “I don’t like that policy” and it meant something. But people complain and don’t believe he saved us from a Great Depression, saved so many jobs, will help millions with health care reform, etc.

    It’s not a difference of opinion. It’s that their opinion is based on lies.

    And I fear they will die still thinking that way. Some people just aren’t capable of thinking for themselves.

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    Todd says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly Horrendo Slapp, Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

    Good idea. I had talked to my vet about two months prior – I knew it was getting close. The dog gave me a look about two days before his legs gave out that I knew was “the” look – it was about time.

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    Waldo says:

    But now Romney has really ensured that everyone in the news media … is going to view him with distaste and alarm — as well they should.

    Hope and Change vs. Distaste and Alarm.

    Well played, Mitt.

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    Schlemizel says:

    You are correct sir. But I have no fear of their dieing believing those lies (the sooner the better AFAIC). What I do fear is that they will kill the rest of us while believing those lies.

  22. 22
    Schlemizel says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly, et al.):
    We have had to make this decision and will be too soon making it again. There are no easy answers but at least you can always vent here and know you have people who will listen & offer sympathy. Good luck

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    Thlayli says:

    Two months to go and we’re rethinking our presumption that the Republican primary voters picked the most stable option.

    They did. That’s the really scary part.

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    WereBear says:

    @Thlayli: I agree, and I also don’t see what up-and-comers the Republicans could not persuade to run, either.

    They are all unpopular in their home states, have some huge hurdle to electability, and would have a similar problem that Romney has: when they explain their policies, people don’t like them.

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    danielx says:

    What’s on today’s agenda…freelance work and tearing out/ replanting the burned dead patches in my yard. I’m informed by reliable sources that Mitt Romney’s campaign staff is hauling him to a specialty hospital today for a specialty operation: extraction of his cranium from his rectal orifice.

    The desperation is palpable….

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    Narcissus says:

    There are still 50 some days left, right?

    So what happens if a campaign just disintegrates this far out?

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    Valdivia says:

    I hope Krugman is right. Last night Chuck Todd was trying pretty hard to make Romney seem steely instead of deranged.

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    WereBear says:

    @Narcissus: So what happens if a campaign just disintegrates this far out?

    The denial becomes a floodtide, except for the smart ones, who jump in with the finger-pointing early.

    My hopes for a Goldwater/Mondale stye shaming blowout becomes reality!

    C’mon people, feel the dream!

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    mothra says:

    What do you make of Rmoney’s smiles-they did not match the message at all

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    danielx says:


    All too true – the most stable, which is not exactly setting a tall bar when you consider the rest of the Republican field. The Marquis was also considered to be the most – hell, the only – electable one of the bunch and at the moment that’s not looking to be much of a great bet either. It’s amazing; Romney seems to have a real talent for stepping in shit and then inserting his foot firmly in his mouth.

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    Ash says:

    Can someone please explain why the hell this is going on in laymen’s terms? I admittedly haven’t been paying much attention to what we’ve been doing in the middle east since last year. This isnt over a god damn movie, is it?? Muslim Brotherhood? WHAT IS GOING ON?

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    Todd says:


    I hope Krugman is right. Last night Chuck Todd was trying pretty hard to make Romney seem steely instead of deranged.

    He may be the last one. Everybody on Morning’ Ho is uncharacteristically playing “Smear the Republican”.

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    Todd says:


    What do you make of Rmoney’s smiles-they did not match the message at all.

    Dukakis in a tank.

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    JoyceH says:


    People hate President Obama based on lies.

    And even the lies aren’t always enough. I read an article the other day, think it was in the Post, about the attitudes of downstate rural Virginia voters. One woman was convinced that Obama is a Muslim and lying about it – but she’s going to vote for him anyway because at least he hasn’t been rich all his life, so he knows what it’s like for the non-rich.

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    amk says:

    bill keller at grey lady takes it to mittbot and nut n yahoo.

    When the situation became clearer, Romney could have tempered his remarks, and offered the president a hand of American solidarity. That would have been the right, the classy, the traditional and, incidentally, the politically popular thing to do. (It’s what virtually ever other senior Republican official did.) Instead, at a press conference, Romney doubled down, recycling his baseless charge that Obama was “apologizing for American principles.”

    Romney has excuses for this kind of blunder: he is a foreign policy naïf, and he is desperate. But, like Netanyahu, he is not helping himself. The polls show that American voters trust Obama more than Romney on foreign policy. Romney’s ham-handed handling of this episode confirms their judgment.

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    Valdivia says:


    oh that is very good to hear. I thought I was going to have a coronary when I heard his intro and closing comments of the news story last night.

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    MikeJ says:


    So what happens if a campaign just disintegrates this far out?

    He’ll still get at least 47%.

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    greennotGreen says:

    Not everyone who hates Obama is basing their hate on lies. He *is* black, after all.

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    kay says:


    Romney started the foreign policy attacks after the Dem convention. I don’t think they’ve had much luck nudging the numbers on domestic issues, so they switched tactics. Romney/Ryan in Ohio are ALL “Obama wants to cut defense spending” now.
    I think Romney is risk-averse, so I was surprised
    he went so big on the Egypt-Libya lie, but it makes more sense if he’s just rigidly following a schedule “continue attack on foreign policy, this piece fits in HERE”. He just didn’t anticipated how big it would get.
    The lie about Ryan not voting for the defense cuts, the lie about the Prez not having daily briefings read to him, the lie about refusing to meet with Israel, it was Foreign Policy Lie Week before this happened.
    Events didn’t move Romney off the economy and onto foreign policy. He was already there. I think it means they know they can’t budge the numbers on domestic issues. We’ll see if they can knock him down five points on national security, because they’re losing the economic argument.

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    Kirbster says:

    I think the President’s “shoots first, aims later” comment is going to leave a mark.

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    aimai says:


    Yes. And Romney’s “embargo” on releasing the first attack “because it was Sept. 11th” and then release of it just before end of day fits this model as well–not to mention the Cheney assist. They were planning to find something to use that would “stand in” for the apology tour and so they leapt at this without realizing or considering that it could get uglier. Its really clear from the first press conference with Romney that they figured it was “just” going to be a low level staffer who had been killed. The entire thing blew up in their faces and then they just doubled down because that is who Romney and his people are.

    BTW I just explained the 27 percent crazification factor to my 80 year old mother. She laughed till she cried. She feels better now being able to read the polls.


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    maurinsky says:

    Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says that the Libyan attacks call Obama’s foreign policy into question. Umm, a propaganda film was somehow introduced to an area that has been going through huge upheavals, and Obama is responsible for this?

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    xian says:

    @Narcissus: 40 states, baby!

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    xian says:

    @Valdivia: ginger balls is increasingly useless

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    JPL says:

    Norah just called Portman a liar.. haha
    She gave him a chance to correct a lie and he repeated it. She was polite because she said you are mistaking.
    Portman is struggling trying to defend Mitt.

    The video should be up at CBS news shortly

  47. 47
    Todd says:


    Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says that the Libyan attacks call Obama’s foreign policy into question. Umm, a propaganda film was somehow introduced to an area that has been going through huge upheavals, and Obama is responsible for this?

    Death rattle of a doomed campaign.

    Citizens United may prove to be the catalyst that causes people to spit with contempt every time they hear the word “conservative”.

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    Valdivia says:


    brain bleach! :) I really really didn’t want to have that image in my mind…

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    Valdivia says:


    I am increasingly impressed with her. She is pretty relentless without being rude and pompous.

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    IowaOldLady says:

    It’s been a couple of days now, and I’m still astounded over Romney’s stupidity on this. I shouldn’t be. But good lord. If you created a movie character like that, critics would say you were ridiculously over the top.

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    kay says:


    “Obama’s defense cuts will mean thousands, hundreds of thousands, of JOBS” is their new line in Ohio.

    Never mind all that bullshit about job creators and the private sector, never mind that Ryan voted for the cuts. They’re traveling to areas where there is reliance on defense spending and warning they’ll be getting less money. They’re losing the economic argument.

    Romney was in an Ohio county that went 57% for McCain in ’08, and Romney and Rob Portman described it as a “swing county”, a must-win. If 60/40, R/D counties are “swing counties” they must be in trouble.

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    JPL says:

    @Valdivia: She is becoming the Joe Friday of morning reporters. Just the facts, sir…

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    1badbaba3 says:

    @greennotGreen: OMG, the President is Black? ! ? !

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    jibeaux says:

    @IowaOldLady: No, it’s really pretty astounding. He could’ve copied my facebook status from yesterday verbatim and everyone probably would have thought that response was just fine, and all I did was spend two minutes on condolences and wishing all our other courageous state department personnel stay safe. It just shouldn’t be that difficult to at least publicly focus on that before your career aspirations.

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    Valdivia says:

    So I was just wacthing that except from the Telemundo interview that Maddow showed. And Obama was great as always, but what a dick that Diaz Balart is (I already knew this but seeing him in action just makes it blatant). Every question was loaded with Republican talking points. I particularly loved how he got in the ‘Black Jimmy Carter’ line by saying this was the first time since 1979 that american diplomats got killed. Jerk.

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    Humanities Grad says:


    I’m probably getting some of this wrong, but I’ll take a shot at this.

    The answer appears to be that there are several different things going on at once.

    Step 1 seems to be the production of some hackish, third-rate anti-Muslim film, possibly in the U.S. There’s some debate over the extent to which this is even a real thing, or if it was just a series of badly-mashed-together trailers that was dubbed into Arabic and dumped into the Arab world in the hope of provoking a reaction.

    Unsurprisingly, there were many Islamic radicals who were infuriated with the films, and they started whipping people up into protest mobs. This _seems_ to have happened more in Egypt than in Libya, and apparently it’s spread to Yemen now.

    But the really serious violence in Libya, where the Americans were killed, looks to be more of a planned terrorist attack, because the attackers weren’t a mob, and they were very well-armed. The attack may have been timed to correspond with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

    That’s the international side of things. When the U.S. embassy in Egypt got word of building resentment, they issued a press release trying to calm the situation down. Despite the fact that this statement was released by the local embassy staffers (not Washington) and that it happened before the protests turned violent, Mitt Romney declared the statement to be another example of the Obama administration “apologizing” for America, and he doubled down on that statement even after he knew that U.S. diplomats had been killed in Libya.

    And since then, he’s been getting roundly hammered by a majority of national media figures, including a surprising number of Republicans, though a lot of them aren’t going on the record.

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    IowaOldLady says:

    Re the smirk. Some people have a nervous smile they flash when they’re under pressure, Jimmy Carter among them. He’d get on TV and talk about economic disaster and then look up from his notes and smile. Subconsciously, it made some people distrust him, but he at least had some principles.

    Betty White used to play Sue Ann Nivens, The Happy Homemaker, on the old Mary Tyler Moore Show. One time, Sue Ann auditioned to do the news, and as I recall, she reported an earthquake in this upbeat, cheery tone and then grinned at the camera. It was hilarious.

    In real life, not so much.

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    Emma says:

    I just watched the clip from the Telemundo interview. How can anyone prefer Mitt over Obama is beyond me. He fielded every question, and they were loaded, with a calm dignity that is astounding to me. At this point I would be holding a bloody machete going “who’s next, you M……….f………..s?”

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    S. Holland says:

    @Waldo: I have to ask again…seriously, how, how could this stumbling fool, who surrounds himself with equally stupid advisors, ever ever have run Bain?? There is a serious lack of competence…someone this totally incompetent could not have run any business!!

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    greennotGreen says:

    @1badbaba3: Who are you, Stephen Colbert?

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    Elizabelle says:

    Michael Lewis on Morning Joe about his Vanity Fair profile of Obama.

    Won’t say “being interviewed” by MoJo, because Joe’s skills there are non-existant. LOL projection.

    Maybe catch it online later.

    Lewis deserves better. He’s an observant human among … bonobos?? Magpies without socks?

  62. 62
    hep kitty says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (formerly Horrendo Slapp, Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.): My brother had to do this with his cat who was born deaf and eventually became blind and then completely incontinent, both ways. He had to clean up behind him everyday.

    I finally said, you know, his body is failing. He has never been quite normal and he has lived much longer than anyone expected because you loved and cared for him all these years in spite of all his numerous problems.

    My mom always says, just remember how much love you gave your pet over its lifetime, focus on how good you made her life on this earth! That is all you need to do and then you will know what to do when the time comes. It may be next week or next year.

    Will be thinking of you. It’s hard, oh I know only too well. It just hurts like hell.

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    hep kitty says:

    @Emma: Saw that too. Sober mature expression of foreign policy – I was so impressed and so relieved at his thoughtful, measured, RATIONAL response. It made me want to cry to think how different things could have been had we taken such an approach after 911 instead of whipping people into a frothing frenzy of blood-thirsty animals.

  64. 64
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    The fact that someone could still say, with a straight face, that Romney could still win in November is just one more indication of how completely moronic the average American voter is.

    If Krugman wrote that with a straight face then he’s the moron here. But there’s a good chance he didn’t. He is a pundit. Romney never really had a chance and now he’s got less than no chance.

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    Morgan Warstler says:


    Embassy stormed because of Obama SD in ME not armed to teeth with marines on 9/11.

    50 marines sent AFTER THE FACT.

    Get over it, it is a Obama Royale Fuck Up.

  66. 66
    chopper says:

    @Morgan Warstler:

    You know that Morgan Warstler kid – the kid who delivers papers in the neighborhood? He’s a fine kid. Some of the neighbors say he smokes crack, but I don’t believe it.

  67. 67
    Morgan Warstler says:

    “I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”

    Let’s say this correctly: “I totally shat the bed and we are all going to have to sleep in it.”

    This is IMPOTUS acting like POTUS.


  68. 68
    Morgan Warstler says:


    nothing to see here… move along.

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    debit says:

    And I have another lover of delicious pie. Mmmmm. Pie.

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    scav says:

    Memorable and useful little quote from ABL’s linked article about the Four former Army soldiers plus civilian charged with connections to an anti-government militia:

    “I’m a proud Republican,” Joiner said. “I will not make any comments about this on the record until I am in court.”

    Suitable for needlepointing, framing and hanging above the fireplace in many fine homes.

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    Svensker says:

    @Morgan Warstler:

    Bet you voted for Bush, dintcha? You know,the guy who allowed no terrorist attacks on the U.S. Well, except for that one in 2001.

  72. 72
    1badbaba3 says:

    @greennotGreen: Now that would be telling, would it not?

  73. 73

    This story has been completely ignored by the media. Peace activists expose severe security lapses at private contractor-run nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee …

    Enjoy. Remind me again why private contracting is so much awesomer than having the government do something?

  74. 74
    pattonbt says:

    @Morgan Warstler: “Yay! Dead Americans overseas so I can make a cheap (and baseless if one looks at facts, but as we know they have a liberal bias) political score (thats really more like an own goal, but my neurons dont fire right anyway, so there).” Way to celebrate dead Americans schmuck.

    Seriously dude, I always wonder if people like you actually believe any of the crap you spew or are just trolling for simple giggles. If its the former, get help, if its the latter, get better.


  75. 75
    S-Curve says:

    @chopper: That is one very fine Dead Milkmen reference!

  76. 76
    Morgan Warstler says:


    Sorry, but the frame of Obama’s apology tour will continue.

    The views on Obama in 2016 are reality. You can get mad or shrug them off, or laugh, but the US doesn’t need to be taken down a few notches, and other countries are not owed a turn a more fossil fuels.

    This is basic nation-state theory 101, ours over others.

    Last night I had a chat with a smart Muslim lawyer who truly believes we have to reign in free speech so that we don’t offend Muslims – or else there will be what Obama calls “senseless” violence.

    It seems impossible to her that instead we’d just do what we want, say what we want, because sooner than later the Middle East:

    1. will enjoy a higher standard of living and be less violent when their god is laughed at. (I’m saying this rudely here, you can convert it mentally to niceties)

    2. we will re-install puppet regimes if they can’t control their democratically elected crazies. this is again standard historical reality, which isn’t nice.


    Look, we got hit again on 9/11. That’s the story.

    Obama Fail.

    The election doesn’t change the fail.

    You are all just trying to deny the fail.

    Own up. Fail.

  77. 77
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Morgan Warstler: Pancakes rule!

  78. 78
    1badbaba3 says:

    ‘Cos the military has these rilly cool like super powers, and like never die, and can stop bullets, and grenades, and RPGs, all while helping old ladies stuck in trees, and kitties who have fallen and can’t get up. Maybe if they hadn’t all been working on the FEMA death panel camps they could have used Obama’s time machine and gone back 11 years and…


  79. 79
    Morgan Warstler says:


    you don’t mean 11 years, you mean 1979, and before. Regional instability, surrounded by enemies.

    We got hit again on 9/11.

    Obama Fail.

    Sazerac rulez!

  80. 80
  81. 81
    1badbaba3 says:


    that is all

  82. 82
    Matt McIrvin says:


    So what happens if a campaign just disintegrates this far out?

    That happens a lot, actually. It happened in 2008, with McCain’s ridiculous “campaign suspension” in response to the Lehman Brothers collapse, and Sarah Palin being publicly revealed as a complete ignoramus.

    The difference is that it happened at McCain’s absolute best moment during the campaign, in the wake of the RNC and the initial wave of interest in Palin, so he probably had further to fall. For Romney the equivalent moment would have been about three weeks ago.

  83. 83
    Morgan Warstler says:

    @Southern Beale:

    I’ll trade you Navy overseen nuke facilities for as many Thorium reactors as the private sector can build…

    As long as the public sector delivers 2-5% YOY productivity gains, they’ll be upholding their end of bargain.

    Right now it’s <1%

  84. 84
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …Also, the Dukakis tank incident Todd mentioned was on September 13th.

  85. 85
    smintheus says:

    Hmmm…the very same people who think the government should mandate prayer in public schools, however offensive an endorsement of religion may be to some Americans (and the Constitution), also demand that the government back every screed published by anyone hoping to offend others’ religious beliefs (because of the Constitution).

  86. 86
    Randy P says:

    Today is the day of the hearing set by Judge Economus that he ordered Jon Husted (Ohio Secretary of Vote Suppression) to appear at, right? Is that hearing happening or did it get cancelled when Husted backed down?

    Here in PA the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on our own Voter Suppression law. Too early for news there I guess.

  87. 87
    Chinn Romney says:

    One of the comments on Krugman’s blog said that debates matter and cited Bush vs Gore. Sorry, but no, debates matter no one bit. I’ll cite Bush vs Kerry, round 1, in support of that. A sane society would have put ole George on an ice berg and pushed him out to Sea after that performance.

  88. 88
    Marc says:

    Why does Morgan Warstler celebrate when terrorists kill US diplomats? Why does he hate America?

  89. 89
    gbear says:

    This motel seems to have picked up a rather horrid bedbug infestation. Best to not open the suitcases and just get out.

  90. 90
    Yutsano says:

    @Marc: Becuz WINNING!! Or something.

  91. 91


    Bank robbery suspects hurl cash from speeding SUV during chase in L.A.

    Fear not: According to Matt Yglesias, this has no effect on the money supply.

  92. 92
    gbear says:

    Steve Benen to Morgan Warstler:

    Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — remember him? — shed new light on the right’s thinking yesterday, arguing that the events in Libya and Egypt were the result of “perceived American weakness.”
    It’s a ridiculous argument, but at least I understand the train of thought. That rascally Obama, after ordering the strike that killed bin Laden, decimating al Qaeda, and helping topple the Gadhafi regime, has signaled American “weakness” abroad, which in turn encourages anti-American protests at our diplomatic facilities. After all, the argument goes, people wouldn’t dare protest if they perceived America as strong, right?
    This line of attack has a certain child-like charm, which may appeal to those who don’t think too much about the details and overlook Rumsfeld’s tragic lack of credibility.

    But there’s another problem: “[T]here were twelve terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities abroad during George W. Bush’s tenure — the most of any president in history — and eight of those occurred while Donald Rumsfeld was in office.”
    There were also seven attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities during the Reagan era.
    In other words, by Rumsfeld’s standards, American embassies and consulates were targeted in years past because, during Ronald Reagan’s and George W. Bush’s presidencies, foreigners “perceived American weakness.”
    I realize it’s the height of the campaign season and partisans are prone to say silly things, but Republicans really ought to have better talking points than the nonsense Rumsfeld is throwing around.

  93. 93
    grandpa john says:

    @Triassic Sands: when what they are really thinking and silently saying is “he’s blah”

  94. 94
    Morgan Warstler says:


    There’s crazy local power plays in these countries. Totally unstable.

    Anniversary of 9/11 is upcoming.

    What should SD do?

    Anything done differently today, is a statement of misjudgement yesterday.

    Circumstances did not change. The situation on ground did not change.

    What changed is that we know we failed. We should be assuming far worse, not yammering on like you can chat around the fuck up.

    Irony won’t help. Glib knowing commentary won’t.

    Again, Hillary + Romney vs. Obama

    If you don’t focus on it, it exposes you.

  95. 95
    Morgan Warstler says:


    Nope I’m against God in public schools. Hell I’m also against public schools, unless they deliver on those productivity gains I mentioned above.

    But 100% for sure, the first rule is you get to say whatever the hell you want and pray to whatever god you want – and all the way back then, we made those two things fit together.

    I like you BJers. You have brains. Use them.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:


    Humanities Grad had a good outline of the facts that are currently known, but the investigation is ongoing. What seems pretty clear at this point is that Christopher Stevens was the target of an assassination, not just the accidental victim of a protest gone bad.

    Also, people love to freak out about the Muslim Brotherhood (“their name has ‘Muslim’ in it!”), but they’re the basically Sinn Fein of the Middle East — a political party formerly associated with terrorists who decided to join the political process instead.

  97. 97
    chopper says:


    exactly. all this ‘haha we got hit again” is bullshit. our diplomatic missions have been hit a shit ton of times. this of course is the first in obama’s presidency which is so far a good record. this is what happens when America puts consulates and the like in the middle east. they are, by definition, targets.

    I sure as hell don’t understand the gloating over this tragedy.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Morgan Warstler:

    So when the American embassies in Peru and Syria were attacked, you went online and howled about George W. Bush’s total failure to protect the US, right? Or was that okay because the president was a steely-eyed Republican and not a Democrat?

    Oh, and it wasn’t the American embassy that was attacked in Libya — the embassy is in Tripoli. The ambassador was visiting the consulate in Benghazi.

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    I think I’d better buy some extra stock in Depends given how badly people like Morgan are soiling themselves over this consulate attack. “Oh noes! Working in a country that overthrew its government two years ago is dangerous! I want my mommy!”

  100. 100
    jwb says:

    @MikeJ: I used to think there was a floor to Romney’s support of around 45%, but I’m no longer sure. Now I think Romney’s on the verge of having his support completely evaporate. Not that it will migrate to Obama, but that his supporters will grow sufficiently despondent that they will either vote for a protest candidate or not show at the polls. It’s the latter possibility that has the GOP freaking, and that’s the main reason that Rasmussen places six more thumbs on the scale to put Mittwit back up and the usual media suspects are desperately spinning the close race nonsense.

  101. 101
    Real American says:

    @Morgan Warstler:

    Oh, please. Nobody saw this coming. Unlike, say, 9/11, when our Republican president had ample warning and didn’t do anything.

    But seriously, on a scale of 1-10, how upset are you that the President is going to be re-elected in November?

  102. 102
    hep kitty says:

    @gbear: I was wondering when the other person who belongs in the Hague was going put his 2 cents in.

  103. 103
    hep kitty says:

    @Morgan Warstler: I would agree that point #2 is a realistic assessment of what could happen, given our history as a nation.

    You lost me on your first point, however.

  104. 104
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Chinn Romney: Actually, that’s an example of a debate that worked. Kerry was way down coming into the first debate. He lost the election by a hair. A few thousand more votes in Ohio (properly counted) and we’d be talking about that moment as the turning point.

  105. 105
    hep kitty says:

    we got hit again on 9/11

    I ‘spose utter incompetence and cravenness of the person in charge had nothing to do with it whatsoever.

    Also, the wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments was b/c we were hit on our own soil.

  106. 106
    Morgan Warstler says:

    @hep kitty:

    The entire Arab Spring is really from food price spikes from Ethanol and money printing.

    Starving people rile easily.

    Meanwhile, here in US we have ginormously fat poor sitting in two bedroom apartments with a couple hundred cable channels, food stamps, cell phones and xbox.

    You BJers have hard time getting them riled up to do anything, like vote.

    My point #1 is the most obvious long term ME outcome, is that the people there find some basic capitalist creature comforts, the women gain some more rights, that make them far less likely to strap bombs on themselves, rape American infidels and drag our bodies through the streets.

    Note that the truly egregious thing here, seeing the body dragged through the street, that’s just straight up visceral, you should all admit it.

    In the end, we win, not because “we” win, but because the meme that won us first, wins everywhere else.


  107. 107
    chopper says:

    @Morgan Warstler:

    Egypt didn’t flip their shit over corn, bucko. Now wheat prices, that’s a different story. Combined with the general disappearance of oil revenues from depletion, meaning no more money to tamp down energy and food costs, it was bound to happen.

    But yeah, totes ‘money printing’, amirite? Nothing to do with the epic shit year for wheat then, where thanks to climate change Russia was forced to cancel its wheat export. Not at all.

  108. 108
    Morgan Warstler says:

    Wheat and corn market effect one another as close substitutes- you’ll agree?

    And certainly money printing, prices spike almost immediately, wages don’t catch up as quickly.

    And then…

    Obama fail.

  109. 109
    hep kitty says:

    @Morgan Warstler: Still lost, I think you are stuck in 2003 or something. A lot’s changed since then.

  110. 110
    Morgan Warstler says:

    @hep kitty:

    you might want to elaborate to make a point, or not.

  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    Two months to go and we’re rethinking our presumption that the Republican primary voters picked the most stable option.

    The problem is that they did pick the most stable option. This is a good as it gets on the right side of the isle. Look around. Tell me who would be better. Their faults are even more egregious and that’s saying quite a bit.
    We are watching a political party die. It is a big deal and big deal history events take time. IMO too much time will be spend before the funeral. It will probably take lives somewhere in the process. And one will be too many.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    Romney Lied as Americans Died. That’s what is gonna resonate with voters.

  113. 113
    chopper says:

    @Morgan Warstler:

    Egypt was at the time the world’s largest importer of wheat. it was wheat, not corn and ethanol, that was central to their food crisis. it wasn’t the fed, it was climate change.

    seriously, just stop.

  114. 114
    Morgan Warstler says:


    you talk a lot and don’t say shit:

    “While there have been several suggested origins of the food price increases, we find the dominant ones to be investor speculation and ethanol production.”

    from the longer….

    talk down to those not better read than you.


    Look, I’m not going to say there aren’t normal demand and supply shocks, I’m just saying the POINT of money printing is to drive up prices, and that shit hits the third world harder than us. Period. The end.

    Meanwhile ethanol well that IS a close substitute with wheat, so when its price goes up, so doth wheat. And it has had an effect on increasing food prices globally. Also, ethanol is dumb.

    READ the above doc.

  115. 115
    chopper says:

    sorry, still wheat. Egypt, as I said, was the largest wheat importer in the world, and it’s largest source dried up due to climate-change related drought. Egypt’s population lives off of wheat.

    while field corn is useful to feed pigs (I don’t think Egypt cares much about that) or brew into chemicals, it isn’t a substitute for wheat. it isn’t even fit for human consumption.

    I have no idea why you keep tying to make it about corn. this isn’t rocket science.

  116. 116
    chopper says:

    To put it another way, while Egyptians had been getting squeezed by rising food and energy costs for some time (due in part to the loss of their only real export), blaming corn ethanol when the country was watching its primary foodstuff vanish is pretty stupid.

  117. 117
    Morgan Warstler says:

    argue with the scientists…

    or just quiet yourself.

  118. 118
    chopper says:

    yeah, a society that lives off wheat flipped out after wheat prices skyrocketed right after their biggest source of wheat dried up due to a massive drought clearly this is the fault of the corn market!

  119. 119
    Morgan Warstler says:


    1. do you understand “close substitute?” If a commodity’s close substitute ahs demand go through the roof, it does as well.

    2. You get the FIRST SPIKE is in 2008, right? DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE???

    Man, I thought Bjer’s were like wonks er something.

  120. 120
    chopper says:

    yes, inedible field corn is totes a ‘close substitute’ for edible wheat.

    I didn’t say there had been no price spikes before, dummy. but watching a society freak out after their main food source dried up shouldn’t lead you to blame a different commodity that isn’t even fucking edible. just because commodities effect other commodities doesn’t mean your own pet one is to blame every time there are food riots over a different one.

  121. 121
    chopper says:

    besides, if the price of corn spiked in 2008, why didn’t egyptians flip their shit then? maybe it’s because wheat prices weren’t as bad and there was still enough to go around? as opposed to a few years back when their imports of the shit dried up?

    the price of field corn indirectly effects the price of wheat. you know what really effects the local price of wheat? whether there’s any wheat. the price of field corn indirectly effects the price of rice as well, but if the monsoon failed and drought followed and asia’s rice harvest dried up completely and a billion asians starting flipping their shit (because half their fucking diet is fucking rice) and rioting, you’d probably lay the blame on corn ethanol. LOL.

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