To Moscow With Love

Mitt Romney, interview with Wolf Blitzer, March 26, 2012:

I’m saying in terms of a geopolitical opponent, the nation that lines up with the world’s worst actors, of course the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran, and nuclear North Korea is already troubling enough, but when these terrible actors pursue their course in the world and we go to the United Nations looking for ways to stop them, when [Syrian President] Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people, we go to the United Nations and who is it that always stands up for the world’s worst actors? It is always Russia, typically with China alongside, and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is of course a massive security power — Russia is the geopolitical foe.”

Mitt Romney, Republican National Convention acceptance speech, August 30, 2012:

President Obama … He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia’s President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

Mitt Romney, final presidential campaign debate, October 22, 2012:

“I’ll respond to a couple of things that you mentioned. First of all, Russia I indicated is a geopolitical foe. Not … Excuse me. It’s a geopolitical foe, and I said in the same — in the same paragraph I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.

Matt Romney, as reported by Peter Baker in The New York Times, today, November 2, 2012:

…While in Moscow, Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.

The rest of this post, I think, writes itself.

 

Images:  M. Minard, Chart depicting the change in size of Napoleon’s army during the Russian campaign of 1812-13, 1869

Cecco de Caravaggio, Christ Expels the Money Changers from the Temple, 1610. (attribution fix per commenter Morzer)

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223 replies
  1. 1
    Napoleon says:

    I love that chart. Before seeing it a year or two ago I had no idea just how badly my army had been destroyed in the Russian campaign.

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    President Obama … He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia’s President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone.

    What? Has Romneybot been talking with half gov Palin again?

  3. 3
    PreservedKillick says:

    Romney: steadfast in his ability to change his position.

  4. 4
    horatius says:

    So, this is just like Tagg Romney taking a swing at the President. What a bunch of fucking pansies.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    I was somewhat baffled by Romney’s Russophobia, so I guess I’m somewhat relieved to know that it was just another lie.

  6. 6
    rlrr says:

    He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments

    A missile defense which never had a successful test that wasn’t rigged…

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It’s early, but I’m going to get this one in:

    “We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”

    Obscure central European political and self-styled military leader, 1941.

  8. 8
    danielx says:

    Minard’s map – possibly the most ingenious map/graph/chart ever created. Difficult to be envious of a man who’s been dead for 142 years, but I’d be happy with a tenth of his graphic abilities.

  9. 9
    red dog says:

    Nations will not tolerate Mitts “what I meant to say” language and his “I’m in charge” attitude. Sadly he does not understand diplomacy. Oh well, he will not be a factor next week anyway.

  10. 10
    MazeDancer says:

    Is Mitt thinking his five sons would serve missions, for their Dad. Like Saudi princes? Five of them all over the globe, like mini-Mitt’s? Unelected power spots? Ick.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rlrr:

    Aye, indeed. SDI is the greatest boondoggle in the long history of DoD boondoggles.

    Besides, Poland is less concerned about missiles than it is by armored divisions.

  12. 12
    djork says:

    He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments

    So, he forgot Poland?

  13. 13
    burnspbesq says:

    One of the supposed rational conservatives, David Frum, has come out for Romney, for reasons that defy logical explanation.

    Dear Canada,

    If you keep sending us goods of this quality, we may have to consider abrogating NAFTA and closing the border.

    Very truly yours,

    Your Biggest Trading Partner

  14. 14
    bjacques says:

    I love that map. I remember it from Edward Tufte’s The Display of Quantitative Information.

    But what about Novi Pazar and the Bessarabian Question? Whither the Kingdom of Hatay?

    Who controls the world’s supply of gutta-percha stands on the world’s throat.

  15. 15
    nitpicker says:

    Someone should show that infographic above to Matt Stoller and his whiny followers, pointing out that, by working to elect Romney, they’re just opening up another, domestic front on which they’d have to fight.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack says:

    Whenever I see that graph I think of Edward Tufte.

  17. 17
    Chyron HR says:

    “If nuclear deterrence makes us stronger, why aren’t we building more Metal Gears?” – Momthink.org

  18. 18
    amk says:

    so a mittlet on a mittbot apology tour? fucking coward.

  19. 19
    redshirt says:

    I forget the details, but isn’t there some SUPER MEGA Church being built in Texas that has mall like stores inside it, including a Bank Of America branch?

    Moneychangers are people too, folks!

  20. 20
    Culture of Truth says:

    And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.

    Hey guess what – Romney’s lying. Again.

  21. 21
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @PreservedKillick:
    @Villago Delenda Est:

    So long as it’s Throwback Quote Day, reminds me of an evergreen Churchill quote, “So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.”

    The ‘Locust years’ speech, Nov. 1936..

  22. 22
    R.W.R. says:

    Unemployment edges higher, worse than when Obambi took office.

    Obambi’s “heckuva job” moment? Staten Island suffers, New Yorkers scrounge for food in dumpsters, New Jersey residents wait in line for gas and tempers flare as Obambi campaigns.

    And only FOUR DAYS LEFT until President-Elect Romney!

  23. 23
    Mike in NC says:

    China and Russia don’t like those Mormon missionaries (and who could blame them?). End of story.

  24. 24

    I just can’t believe some of the dumb-shit things Romney says. A guy who’s been running for Prez as long as he has could have at least read up on things a bit.

    No, Russia’s not a foe. They’re not an ally, but they’re not a foe, either. They’re a pretty important country that we’re on semi-decent terms with (and much better terms than 30 years ago, thank goodness!), but we have very different geopolitical interests, so sometimes we’re operating at cross purposes in the UN, etc.

    If that’s too complicated for Mitt to understand, then he is not ready for prime time.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @R.W.R.:

    The stupid. It still burns.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    I actually thought this post was going to wrap up with quotes from Romney and Ryan bashing Obama for failing to get Russian cooperation on Iran, Syria, and N Korea, which they have done recently, I believe.

  27. 27
    Hill Dweller says:

    @R.W.R.: Hold on a second. You were saying the local/state government deserved all the credit/blame earlier this week. Now it’s Obama’s fault?

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @R.W.R.: Unless you actually include the words UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH you might not be recognized — or paid.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    Another thing Romney doesn’t and never will get: Russia’s on our side, if we’d only lose the attitude. Americans lost four thousand lives to Muslim extremists eleven years ago. Russia loses at least that many to the exact same group of assholes every fucking year.

    Romney wants to talk about Syria? The choice in Syria is brutal but very clear: you can either keep the brutal dictator who keeps Syria a secular society, or you can turn it over to the same murdering, raping gang of thugs we’ve just handed Egypt to. Romney just wants to make money off the ensuing trade in burkas, I’m betting.

    So far Russia and China have by and large stopped our neocons from doing more far damage than they’ve already done. Romney’s blather about their actions is just like that guy you knew in college who started bitching you out because you stopped him from punching out some cops.

  30. 30
    gene108 says:

    I don’t know, I think we could take Russia. Russia’s big advantage is they (a) are bigger and more populace than the other European countries they’ve tousled with and (b) they kept getting invaded on the European side and fled back to the part of the country in Asia.

    Having a border on the Pacific and a state, Alaska, a mere 12 miles from Asiatic Russia, we could successfully launch our invasion from their Asian border and since “retreating” into the Ukraine, Poland, etc. will have its own issues for Russia, we could would be well positioned to take them.

    Look at what the Mongol hordes did to them, when they invaded from the Asiatic border or Japan in 1905.

    I’m saying history’s given us a template the French and Germans couldn’t take advantage of.

    Also, too we have more than twice their population, so we can lose more people than they could, which is something they’ve never had to deal with, when being invaded; their classic strategy of a war of attrition won’t work against us.

  31. 31
    EconWatcher says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Frum is a reasonable centrist on days when he’s sure the Republicans are losing. He’s a brazen shill on days when he thinks he has some chance of a perch in a Romney Administration.

    He’s a smart guy, but he gives shameless opportunism a bad name. He and the Mittster are soulmates.

  32. 32
    Scott S. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m still betting he blows himself up with pipe bombs three days after the election. Though I guess the Repubs are generally too cowardly to act on their big talk…

  33. 33
    amk says:

    Idiot troll is here.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @burnspbesq:

    One of the supposed rational conservatives, David Frum, has come out for Romney, for reasons that defy logical explanation.

    Frum said on Twitter ages ago that he was going to vote for Romney. Logic need not apply.

  35. 35
    some guy says:

    @R.W.R.:

    UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH sure seems to have limited effectiveness for Candidate 19.1% Chance, eh?

  36. 36
    kindness says:

    How come they painted Jesus as a white guy? I wonder how many fundies would be happy to know they are worshiping a Sephardic Middle Eastern guy who is not caucasian. I know, I know…those southern fundies would have blown minds if the pics had a black Jesus up there to worship.

  37. 37
    rlrr says:

    @Mike in NC:

    China and Russia don’t like those Mormon missionaries

    Who does?

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @R.W.R.:
    Another nym change? And just hours after giving yourself Willard Mitt Romney’s initials? Now that’s what I call keeping the faith.

    Hmm. I wonder whose initials you’ve borrowed this time.

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    A guy who’s been running for Prez as long as he has could have at least read up on things a bit.

    That’s why there’s staff.

    CEO is something you be, not something you do

  40. 40
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Is Mitt thinking his five sons would serve missions, for their Dad. Like Saudi princes? Five of them all over the globe, like mini-Mitt’s? Unelected power spots? Ick.

    He likes to think of them as “Daddy’s little bagmen.”

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @burnspbesq:

    One of the supposed rational conservatives, David Frum, has come out for Romney, for reasons that defy logical explanation.

    Once a neocon hack, always a neocon hack.

  42. 42
    Tom Levenson says:

    Memo to all: Do not feed trolls.

    Just clutters up the thread to no discernable porpoise.

  43. 43
    PreservedKillick says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Another thing Romney doesn’t and never will get: Russia’s on our side

    I wonder if he’s taken a look at how much Russian money is kicking around South Florida right now…

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gene108:

    gene108, that’s a pretty good summation of the Palin plan for the conquest of Russia. By all means, let’s invade from Alaska and march across untracked forested wilderness for say 7000 miles (with the logistical challenges that implies, if you know anything about logistics, at all, which explains why Palin thinks this is doable) to get to their nearest…not major, mind you, but nearest population centers.

    BTW the only successful winter invasion in the history of Russia was indeed executed by the Mongols.

  45. 45
    rlrr says:

    @kindness:

    I wonder how many fundies would be happy to know they are worshiping a Sephardic Middle Eastern guy who is not caucasian.

    Who didn’t even have the common courtesy to speak English…

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gene108:

    gene108, that’s a pretty good summation of the Palin plan for the conquest of Russia. By all means, let’s invade from Alaska and march across untracked forested wilderness for say 7000 miles (with the logistical challenges that implies, if you know anything about logistics, at all, which explains why Palin thinks this is doable) to get to their nearest…not major, mind you, but nearest population centers.

    BTW the only successful winter invasion in the history of Russia was indeed executed by the Mongols.

  47. 47
    EconWatcher says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    That’s a lost cause, my friend. Balloon Juice is like a soup kitchen for homeless, underfed trolls.

  48. 48
    some guy says:

    [Syrian President] Assad, for instance, is murdering his own people,

    did anyone catch the news about how our Al Qaeda allies in Syria have begun posting youTubes of their executions of unarmed prisoners?

  49. 49
    hueyplong says:

    What happened to the first string trolls? Are they pulling resources out of balloon juice on the eve of the election?

  50. 50
    jibeaux says:

    The odd thing is, Romney kind of reminds me of Putin, if Romney were more willing to go about Wahlberg/McConaughey style more.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    amk says:

    @Tom Levenson: Can the troll and boot it.

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    From David Frum’s Twitter feed on August 11, 2010:

    The issue is not whether I’ll vote for Romney – I will – but about the rest of under-55 America.

    He already said he was going to vote for Romney. His article today is nothing new. I bet he doesn’t even remember he said that and figures his article today is all new. Idiot.

  54. 54
    Linnaeus says:

    I think Mitt, like a lot of other conservatives, wants another Cold War. It would not only justify (in their minds) the kind of spending regimes they favor, but would also provide an organizing principle around which he could create another very right-wing set of policies. Not that he wouldn’t try to do that otherwise, but Cold War, The Sequel would make it easier for him to do so.

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @kindness:
    Old tradition in European religious art. The palefaces could never bring themselves to accept that Jesus wasn’t one of them. So they always depicted him as vaguely resembling Blythe Danner’s son-in-law, but with longer hair. The other key biblical figures got much the same treatment.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @R.W.R.:

    I think R.U.R. would have been a better choice for your new nym. Just sayin’.

  57. 57
    jibeaux says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Blythe Danner’s son-in-law

    Focker?

  58. 58
    PreservedKillick says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I think Mitt, like a lot of other conservatives, wants another Cold War.

    Not “another” one, they are still stuck in the 1950’s across the board, on just about all issues. You half expect Romney to blame Obama for not responding to Sputnik.

  59. 59
    catclub says:

    @The Moar You Know: “we’ve just handed Egypt to”

    WE did not hand over Egypt. It is THEIR country.
    Other people actually have some choice, independent of what the US may prefer, in what happens in their countries.

  60. 60
    Scott S. says:

    @rlrr: I’ve always said the reason Christianity still exists in America is because the fundies have never read the Bible. If you gave ’em the Sermon on the Mount and told ’em to read it, most of ’em would want to string the longhaired hippie up.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    OK, I see what you did there…

  62. 62
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne: How about RUS from Princess Bride?

  63. 63
    Tom Levenson says:

    @amk: I don’t ban much, and never for mere stupid — even crush the stone and harvest the lithium dumb.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    R.W.R.

    Ronald Wilson Romney?

  65. 65
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @gene108: The biggest land battle ever fought in history took place just about where you suggest invading Russia. Guess who won?

  66. 66
    some guy says:

    Russia stood up to the jihadis in Afghanistan, they stood up to the jihadis in Chechnya, and now they are standing up to the jihadis of Al Qaeda in Syria.

    what’s not to like?

  67. 67
    jimmiraybob says:

    Well, clearly if Mitt becomes president [shudders] we can save a fortune by eliminating ambassadors and embassy infrastructure and staff.

    And, with five clones….sons speaking for him and all America who needs the additional hassles of independent actors.

    And think of the cost savings in simplicity – all diplomatic stationary can be the same with the opening already pre-printed: What my dad meant to say was ___________.

  68. 68
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Aye, indeed. SDI is the greatest boondoggle in the long history of DoD boondoggles.

    For serious.

    If only because even if we can finally get the damn thing to work as required, all anyone has to do if they want to nuke America is smuggle a nuke in the old-fashioned way.

  69. 69
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jibeaux:
    No, I mean Gwyneth’s husband. Singer. His band’s called Frigid Recreation, or something like that.

  70. 70
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The people of Vladivostok would be surprised to learn that they don’t live in a population center.

  71. 71
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @hueyplong: My theory is it’s like the Austin/Eliot era Anglican church. Each blog has its incumbent troll, who can occupy the manse himself, or hire a curate.

    It might be necessary to have plural troll-livings to make enough money, and that could entail a veritable tidal wave of curate-trolls.

  72. 72
    PreservedKillick says:

    BTW, I do wonder if Romney has taken a close look at *just how much* Russian money is sloshing around South Florida right now. We spend a fair amount of time in Sunny Isles beach and it’s practically a Russian Riviera.

  73. 73
    jibeaux says:

    @Amir Khalid: Ah, Apple’s dad.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq:

    They’re down the coast…quite a ways…from Alaska.

  75. 75
    Culture of Truth says:

    The issue is not whether I’ll vote for Romney – I will – but about the rest of under-55 America.

    Is that age or IQ?

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    @Chris: “in the old-fashioned way.”

    Submarine launched cruise missile?

  77. 77
    dmsilev says:

    Nitpick for the sheer love of nitpicking: “Mission To Moscow” might have been a better title.

  78. 78
    Culture of Truth says:

    They should name the next kid Pi

  79. 79
    sherparick says:

    If the models are wrong and we do get the Mittser as President, one game that we can play while he destroys the country (Bainize it, you could say) will be counting the promises or statements he walks back on. About the only thing I am sure about with him is that he will cut taxes on rich people, screw over the poor, and try his best to dismantle Social Security and Medicare while demanding Democrats to work with him on that destruction in “the spirit of bi-partisanship.” He and Ryan will put some charts and magic numbers that say the “Budget Balance in 2050” and say it all “on-track.” But a promise such as naming China a “currency manipulator” I expect he will quickly flush down the memory hole as no longer “operative” after the first phone calls from Wallmart’s CEO and the Chamber of Commerce.

  80. 80
    catclub says:

    @some guy: “Russia stood up to the jihadis in Afghanistan, they stood up to the jihadis in Chechnya, and now they are standing up to the jihadis”
    … in Moscow! Progress!

  81. 81
    handsmile says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Three weeks ago I had the immense pleasure of attending Edward Tufte’s monthly lecture/presentation at his gallery ETModern in NY’s Chelsea arts district. Opened about two years ago, the gallery displayed small-scale sculptures created by Tufte, in addition to selling his several books on the design of quantitative information. At his home in Cheshire, CT, Tufte is designing a many-acred sculpture park for his monumental works in stone and metal (the topic of the afternoon lecture).

    Sadly, his gallery was destroyed (many other galleries were badly damaged and will likely close) by the Hudson River tidal surge from Hurricane Sandy. His gallery was located on Eleventh Avenue, only a few hundred yards from the river.

    http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Careful. Judging by Chechnya, having Russia “on our side” in the war on terror may be about as valuable as having the fascist regimes of Central America “on our side” during the Cold War. Potentially quite counterproductive, and conducive to thoughts like “are we sure we’re on the right side here?” I don’t know as much about the Chinese in Xinjiang, but I suspect the same is true there.

    Of course, as long as we’re unconditionally backing Israel, anything else is kind of a drop in the bucket in that respect…

  83. 83
    EconWatcher says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Out of principle, I would never respond to one of his comments, but I must say I’ve grown rather fond of our resident troll, with his UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!! There’s something kind of earnest and endearing about his efforts.

    I do hope he’s not doing it for free, though. That would be just sad.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    I don’t know, I think we could take Russia. Russia’s big advantage is they (a) are bigger and more populace than the other European countries they’ve tousled with and (b) they kept getting invaded on the European side and fled back to the part of the country in Asia.

    No, Russia’s biggest advantage, strategically speaking, is the oil and natural gas they export and can use to pressure European countries up to a point, IMO.

  85. 85
    dmsilev says:

    The intertubes are telling me that Obama is now even with Romney on the Rasmussen tracking poll.

    Heh.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @Chris: Yes. The latest fighters may be $300M a pop, and only fly on sunny thursdays, but at least they do fly.

  87. 87
    Mark B. says:

    If you’ve ever taken a seminar with Edward Tufte, or read one of his books, you’re familiar with that chart. It’s a great chart.

  88. 88
    dslak says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Balloon Juice is like a soup kitchen for homeless, underfed trolls.

    This very much needs to be added to the rotating taglines at the top of the page.

  89. 89
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @gene108: This had better be snark or you’re Dan Senor, because it’s the most Palinesque thing I’ve heard (thanks Villago Delenda Est).

    Vladivostok to Moscow is approximately 4000 nautical miles (approx 9 hr flight). To put that in perspective – it’s the same distance as Miami to Anchorage, Alaska. Moscow-Vladivostok is only 600 nautical miles less than NYC to Moscow and only 900 nautical miles less than NYC to Honolulu.

    Good luck trying to advance across a distance larger than the continental US without encountering a bit of resistance.

  90. 90
    Chris says:

    @Linnaeus:

    I think Mitt, like a lot of other conservatives, wants another Cold War. It would not only justify (in their minds) the kind of spending regimes they favor, but would also provide an organizing principle around which he could create another very right-wing set of policies. Not that he wouldn’t try to do that otherwise, but Cold War, The Sequel would make it easier for him to do so.

    No one remembers this, but George W. Bush came into office fully intending to start a new arms race by going ahead with SDI research and “bunker-busting” tactical nuclear weapons, despite the complete lack of any challenge from Russia or China in that department.

    9/11 gave them something else to feed the DOD contractors with, but that was the original plan.

  91. 91
    some guy says:

    @dmsilev:

    Assmussen always starts adjusting his numbers back to reality about a week before election day, so one could say he’s right on schedule.

  92. 92
    catclub says:

    @Chris: Interesting that all those nuclear weapons the Russians have provide very little (apparent) leverage compared with control of NG pipelines.

    Too bad many of our leaders, and Iran’s, cannot see the obvious parallels.

  93. 93
    max says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: gene108, that’s a pretty good summation of the Palin plan for the conquest of Russia.

    Read it again. I think Gene was being satirical. (That is, he was engaging in classic trolling, not the usual degraded sloped-headed flamebait bullshit that people tend to wrongly call trolling.)

    rlrr: A missile defense which never had a successful test that wasn’t rigged…

    Doesn’t matter. While we’re patting ourselves on the back for ‘helping’ Poland (against Iran! {snork}), what the Russians see (on their recon flights, and satellite pictures) is that we’re trying to park a missile installation a few miles from their former border, and ~500 miles from Moscow.

    We can *say* that’s they’re defensive missiles, but that doesn’t mean we can’t replace the loaded conventional warhead with a nuclear warhead overnight and convert the ‘defensive’ missile into an offensive missile targeted square at the Kremlin. Or Petrograd. Or Pskov. (I seem to remember we weren’t too thrilled with a missile installation on a certain island in the Caribbean back in the day.) Stupid or evil? You make the call!

    I read an interview with Putin a couple of weeks ago, and authoritarian assholery aside, he seemed to be the only world leader I’ve heard lately who had a sensible appreciation of the world we actually live in.

    max
    [‘Oy.’]

  94. 94
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Violet: Another fraud, just like the totebagger favorite, Brooks. They will always find a
    way to support the Republicans no matter what.

  95. 95
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    rwr=the sainted one, Retard Wilson Reagan

    someone this clown knows nothing of truth about other than he was once the warm body meat puppet used by the 1% to begin the destruction of America

  96. 96
    danimal says:

    @gene108:

    Having a border on the Pacific and a state, Alaska, a mere 12 miles from Asiatic Russia, we could successfully launch our invasion from their Asian border and since “retreating” into the Ukraine, Poland, etc. will have its own issues for Russia, we could would be well positioned to take them.

    All I can say is, I want to play Risk with you. While the North American armies bog down as they reach the Ukraine, the Chinese horde, using exactly your same logic, uses its population advantage to overrun the remnants of both the Russian and North American armies, giving them an overwhelming base of support.

  97. 97
    JPL says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: The also, too line was a hint.

  98. 98
    jl says:

    Excuse me, Mr. TL, don’t you mean ‘Soviet Union’?

    If you would listen to Romney’s foreign affairs advisers, you would know, you deluded liberal, that the problem is the Soviet threat.

    Edit: And that map is defeatist, and implies the US would do as poorly as the Frogs in the next Great Patriotic War of Self Defense waged, reluctantly and with great regret (sure you do…) by the US.

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    @Chris: Abrogating the ABM treaty is just one of his smaller fuckups.

    About April of 2001, a US sub sank a Japanese fishing boat. It was showboating with VIP’s on board. ‘High speed surfacing maneuver.’

    Then a US P-3(?) was captured by the Chinese.

    George W Bush was an UNLUCKY man. Then he compounded it with idiocy.

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kindness:

    Pier Paolo Pasolini probably got closest to the actual appearance of Jesus and his friends and family when he cast assorted southern Italians and Spaniards in The Gospel According to St. Matthew.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @max:

    Oh, I know he was being satirical.

    But, in the land of Poe’s Law, some idiot Rethug has probably seriously proposed such an incredibly stupid thing.

    These are the idiots who said that Iraq would be a cakewalk, you know. Expensive cake. 4k lives lost, thousands more seriously wounded, billions and billions spent (much recycled back to Darth Cheney’s cronies) to give Iran a strategic victory without firing a shot.

  102. 102
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @burnspbesq: On behalf of Canada, I apologise for David Frum. Having said that, we’re not taking him back. It’s bad enough that we have Conrad Black back in our midst. Perhaps if you were to follow that example and throw Frum in jail for a few years, we would change our minds.

  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    to give Iran a strategic victory without firing a shot.

    Another one of Bush’s finer moments that absolutely no one in Very Serious People-land cares to talk about. Eliminating the Taliban and Saddam Hussein = eliminating Iran’s two most immediate regional threats, and doing it while ratcheting up the rhetoric against them guaranteed that they were going to use that newfound maneuvering room in a way we didn’t like.

    God. It’s been four years and I’m still not over what a mind-boggling fucking disaster that presidency was, on every possible level.

  104. 104
    danimal says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Balloon Juice is like a soup kitchen for homeless, underfed trolls.

    Please, sir, may I post another comment?

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    @max: “we weren’t too thrilled with a missile installation on a certain island in the Caribbean back in the day.)”

    Less well known is the missiles we had in Turkey, back in the same day, and agreed to remove them (I think) without telling the US populace that we were backing down also. ah the sainted JFK, except for Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and who knows what else.

  106. 106
    EconWatcher says:

    @jl:

    True story: My wife, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, got one question wrong on her citizenship test: She was asked what country was the most important foe of the US from the 1950s through the 1980s, and she said she didn’t know. I slapped my forehead when she told me, but she said, “we didn’t have any problem with America!”

  107. 107
    Culture of Truth says:

    Also Rembrandt based his depictions of Jesus on Jews of Amsterdam. they have an amazing human quality to them.

  108. 108
    Eric U. says:

    @Chris: I recall that Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to give a speech about SDI on 9/11. They really were the most clueless administration possible, although Rmoney would no doubt make us wish for their return

  109. 109
    Eric U. says:

    @Chris: I recall that Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to give a speech about SDI on 9/11. They really were the most clueless administration possible, although Rmoney would no doubt make us wish for their return

  110. 110
    Jeff Spender says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I slapped my forehead when she told me, but she said, “we didn’t have any problem with America!”

    I dated a girl from Belarus for a while. I had a very interesting conversation with her parents. Her father went on a very righteous rant about how the Soviets never really disliked Americans and how most of what they taught to us (and still teach us) is patently untrue.

  111. 111
    rlrr says:

    @Eric U.:

    After 9/11, Todd Akin said the attacks demonstrate a need for missile defense…

  112. 112
    gene108 says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    The Jap’s were looking to defend their position in China and not invade Russia. That’s a big diff in what I’m proposing versus what happened in August 1945.

    Defending territorial holdings in China from the Russian Army is a non-starter for me.

  113. 113
    dr. bloor says:

    OT, but Cilliza doubles down on the stupid. Shorter Chris: GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU DAMNED DIRTY NUMBERS!

  114. 114
    jl says:

    @danimal:

    ” Balloon Juice is like a soup kitchen for homeless, underfed trolls. ”

    Commenters with gardens can offer them garden duty.

    I have a dinky little garden in my recently occupied luxe Euro styled (and spaced) studiolette. I will gladly take in a troll. Will provide red cap and overcoat. Must grow grey beard and have cute little pot belly, and should be short.

    Will pay in cheap beer, and slightly aged predead crabs from the beach. The seagulls are slow out on Ocean Beach, I assume due to ambient effects of the wide spread use of patchouli (?, yeah, probably it’s patchouli) out there.

  115. 115
    Comrade Mary says:

    @handsmile: But did Tufte smell good? Did he have lackies?

  116. 116
    Bokonon says:

    Mitt Romney – projecting strength and resolution through weakness! YES!

    [Facepalm]

  117. 117
    rlrr says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Numbers suck, there’s just too many of them…

  118. 118
    gene108 says:

    @Chris:

    Another one of Bush’s finer moments that absolutely no one in Very Serious People-land cares to talk about.

    I always thought it was sitting back and posturing, while North Korea got nukes in 2006.

  119. 119
    dr. bloor says:

    @some guy: Yeah, vaguely curious to see how the twit at unskewedpolls deals with this.

  120. 120
    Valdivia says:

    @handsmile:

    been meaning to ask: how did you and your family brave Sandy. All ok?

  121. 121
    dmsilev says:

    @dr. bloor: Christ. It’s like he takes pride in being ignorant.

  122. 122
    jl says:

    @dr. bloor:

    The study of numbers leads one to become an rabid ideologue. Everyone knows this.

    When I learned how to do singular value decompositions and eigenanalysis on damn dirty nummers, the real agenda was Marxism, obviously. Why has this agenda not obvious to everyone from the get go?

  123. 123

    @burnspbesq:

    One of the supposed rational conservatives, David Frum, has come out for Romney, for reasons that defy logical explanation.

    I saw that yesterday.

    His rationale seems to be ‘Mitt Romney won’t really repeal the ACA like he keeps saying he will, and he’ll be better at implementing it with cost-cutting measures!’

    Translation: Frum can forgive the occasional white lie, as long as he gets his tax cut.

  124. 124
    rlrr says:

    @dmsilev:

    It’s like stupidity gets rewarded in this country…

  125. 125
    Violet says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: Frum said back in early August that he was going to vote for Romney. Anything he says now by way of justification or explanation is meaningless because his mind has been made up for months.

  126. 126
    jl says:

    Why is my comment that the BJ commenters should offer our trolls wholesome low pay jobs on garden duty in moderation?

    Was there something in my request for a short troll with a gray beard a cute little pot belly a tad too close to a personal ad with a perhaps questionable ulterior motive, or what?

    I assure WP and BJ that I will not touch the damn troll, I just want him or her to just stand in the garden and earn an honest living.

  127. 127
    Michael says:

    OT: I just turned on the TV to Romney at a rally in WI, where he was apparently just getting started and the crowd was applauding loudly. Then they spontaneously started chanting “4 more days! 4 more days!” and I laughed, because they’re exactly right: his political career is over in 4 more days.

  128. 128
    catclub says:

    @jl: Linear algebra is sharia mathematics.

  129. 129
    gene108 says:

    @danimal:

    U.S. Navy will wipe out the Chinese before they get off their coasts to try to invade us.

    There are 22 active aircraft carriers in the world. China has 1. The U.S. has 11.

    EDIT: With plate tectonics in play, the Chinese just need to wait for the Pacific ocean to disappear and our west coast slams into their east coast, making our naval superiority at the moment moot.

    Also, too via plate tectonics oil is a renewable resource. We just have to wait 500 million years for it to be renewed.

  130. 130
    rlrr says:

    @gene108:

    And the US Navy has 90 years of experience with carrier operations…

  131. 131
    Culture of Truth says:

    China should stock their aircraft carrier with thousands of innocent smartphones. The US would be paralyzed with indecision.

  132. 132
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @rlrr: Oh yeah? What about the King James Version, you doof!

  133. 133
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:
    It’s amazing how many people are endorsing Mitt on the grounds that they don’t believe what he’s saying.

  134. 134
    Culture of Truth says:

    @rlrr: Whe have the best disco songs honoring our navy

  135. 135
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @EconWatcher: Why would he think Romney’s going to win anything on Tuesday? All the polls show that Romney will lose the electoral college (even if he wins the popular vote).

  136. 136
    Culture of Truth says:

    Romney is a walking inkblot

  137. 137
    Culture of Truth says:

    Mitt Rorshach

  138. 138
    LanceThruster says:

    Is it true Mitt Reagan is touring disaster sites and reminding the victims that, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘We’re from the government and we’re here to help.'”?

  139. 139
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Comrade Mary: /sigh LACKEYS, not lackies. I’m sure Tufte lacks for nothing.

  140. 140
    Violet says:

    OT–Have you all seen this video of Romney being forced to explain/defend his stance on abortion? It’s at radio station WHO-Iowa, and is apparently after the interview. I’m unclear if Romney new he was being recorded.

    Romney loses his cool when questioned on his church’s doctrine and his beliefs. There’s another “I’m running for President!” in there (without the “for Pete’s sake”). He accuses the talk show guy of trying to trap him (more or less, he doesn’t use that exact word).

    He’s really animated. I don’t think Romney likes being challenged. At all.

  141. 141
    Redshift says:

    @Eric U.:

    They really were the most clueless administration possible, although Rmoney would no doubt make us wish for their return

    Hmm. I think there’s a difference between cluelessness and active resistance to any information that contradicts what you want to believe.

  142. 142
    LanceThruster says:

    @Violet:

    This from the side that thinks that, “What publications do you read?” is a ‘gotcha!’ question.

    [sigh]

  143. 143
    Culture of Truth says:

    Also, in fairness to Caravaggio, historical accuracy was not his chief concern – he making art for the people of his time and did so with great effectiveness. Give him a break, it’s not like he ever killed someone like he was a serial killer.

  144. 144
    jibeaux says:

    @Michael: Now that is funny.

  145. 145
    Chyron HR says:

    Forced to watch Mitt on CNN declaring that his campaign is a “family affair”.

    Presumably little Cindy Lou Romney tugged on his jacket one morning and said, “Gwampa, tell them that Jeep is moving aww of its factowies to China.” D’awww.

  146. 146
    bcinaz says:

    As a former officer of the KGB, Putin probably knows more about Mitt Romney than Mitt Romney and is…not surprised.

    One has to wonder though, would Romney be for or against Russia in a Syrian intervention? Putin probably knows even if nobody here does.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    gene108 says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl:

    So you’re saying we should start off by invading Canada as a practice run?

    I hope so.

    They burned the White House down to the ground AND they sent us David Frum.

  149. 149
    geg6 says:

    @catclub:

    The missiles in Turkey, at the time, were outmoded and unneeded. Kennedy gave up nothing he wasn’t going to do with or without the missiles in Cuba.

  150. 150

    @Violet:
    Oh, I know: Your typical low-info Romney voter is like arguing with a two year old who wants a cookie.

    The actual argument is almost meaningless. They just want want want that damned cookie.

  151. 151
    geg6 says:

    @catclub:

    The missiles in Turkey, at the time, were outmoded and unneeded. Kennedy gave up nothing he wasn’t going to do with or without the missiles in Cuba.

  152. 152
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s amazing how many people are endorsing Mitt on the grounds that they don’t believe what he’s saying.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of this on talk radio and from people talking about the election. They rationalize this with cynicism and a certainty that Romney will govern like a moderate:

    “All politicians lie. Romney will say whatever he has to do to win. But I know in my heart that he is a pro-business moderate.”

    And when I asked one guy spouting this stuff why he didn’t like Obama, he said, with a straight face, “Obama is a liar. You can’t believe anything he says.”

    ETA:

    Images: M. Minard, Chart depicting the change in size of Napoleon’s army during the Russian campaign of 1812-13, 1869

    Great chart. Absolutely great. And obliquely, it brings to mind the scenes depicting the Russian campaign in Ridley Scott’s The Duellists. You could feel the cold in your bones while watching some of these scenes.

  153. 153
    geg6 says:

    Oh, and FYWP.

  154. 154
    Northern Observer says:

    Russia is Europe’s cultural, religious and political shield protecting it from the East. Looking back we now see that we made a strategic error in not letting Russia manage Afghanistan in 1980. Romney want to simply compound the error further, weaken a Christian country and open the West to further destabalization by Islamic interest.
    Bad move.

  155. 155
    handsmile says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Yes, it was quite a worshipful affair: lackeys and acolytes both in attendance. To be fair, the lackeys were very pleasant and helpful in providing chairs (not designed by Tufte) and handouts. Tufte’s demeanor was more rambling and self-aggrandizing than at a seminar I attended some years ago. I never did get close enough on either occasion for a good sniff. Thanks for that amusing link!

    @Valdivia:

    How very thoughtful and kind of you!! :)
    Here in Astoria we fared surprisingly well: no power loss, little debris. I might even say embarrassingly well, given the state of other neighborhoods in the city. For the past two evenings I’ve been wandering throughout Manhattan south of 40th Street. The darkness engulfing these streets of tall buildings is astounding! The mood is fretful; not a great deal of pedestrians, but many acts of random kindness and helpfulness.

    Con Edison has released a statement this morning that power will be restored to much of Manhattan by tonight. Given its fully deserved woeful reputation, I am skeptical but it must be soon: it’s getting cold here and the situation stopped being plucky last night.

    Also too, do check your email later today. :)

  156. 156
    handsmile says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Yes, it was quite a worshipful affair: lackeys and acolytes both in attendance. To be fair, the lackeys were very pleasant and helpful in providing chairs (not designed by Tufte) and handouts. Tufte’s demeanor was more rambling and self-aggrandizing than at a seminar I attended some years ago. I never did get close enough on either occasion for a good sniff. Thanks for that amusing link!

    @Valdivia:

    How very thoughtful and kind of you!! :)
    Here in Astoria we fared surprisingly well: no power loss, little debris. I might even say embarrassingly well, given the state of other neighborhoods in the city. For the past two evenings I’ve been wandering throughout Manhattan south of 40th Street. The darkness engulfing these streets of tall buildings is astounding! The mood is fretful; not a great deal of pedestrians, but many acts of random kindness and helpfulness.

    Con Edison has released a statement this morning that power will be restored to much of Manhattan by tonight. Given its fully deserved woeful reputation, I am skeptical but it must be soon: it’s getting cold here and the situation stopped being plucky last night.

    Also too, do check your email later today. :)

  157. 157
    handsmile says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Yes, it was quite a worshipful affair: lackeys and acolytes both in attendance. To be fair, the lackeys were very pleasant and helpful in providing chairs (not designed by Tufte) and handouts. Tufte’s demeanor was more rambling and self-aggrandizing than at a seminar I attended some years ago. I never did get close enough on either occasion for a good sniff. Thanks for that amusing link!

    @Valdivia:

    How very thoughtful and kind of you!! :)
    Here in Astoria we fared surprisingly well: no power loss, little debris. I might even say embarrassingly well, given the state of other neighborhoods in the city. For the past two evenings I’ve been wandering throughout Manhattan south of 40th Street. The darkness engulfing these streets of tall buildings is astounding! The mood is fretful; not a great deal of pedestrians, but many acts of random kindness and helpfulness.

    Con Edison has released a statement this morning that power will be restored to much of Manhattan by tonight. Given its fully deserved woeful reputation, I am skeptical but it must be soon: it’s getting cold here and the situation stopped being plucky last night.

    Also too, do check your email later today. :)

  158. 158
    Violet says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s amazing how many people are endorsing Mitt on the grounds that they don’t believe what he’s saying.

    Even more amazing since Chris Christie said on Tuesday that the President “means what he says.”

  159. 159
    Chris says:

    @Northern Observer:

    Hmm, yes. Not as critical as Bill Clinton’s mistake in not allowing Milosevic to Final-Solutionize all these Lousy Stinking Hajjis, though.
    /PJM commentariat

  160. 160
    Violet says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s amazing how many people are endorsing Mitt on the grounds that they don’t believe what he’s saying.

    Even more amazing since Chris Christie said on Tuesday that the President “means what he says.”

  161. 161
    handsmile says:

    Apologies for the inexplicable multiple posts!!

    A rousing chorus of FYWP!

  162. 162
    danimal says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    Translation: Frum can forgive the occasional white lie, as long as he gets his tax cutneocon war.

    FTFY. Know your pundits…

  163. 163
    TexasMango says:

    Details from the OFA call with the POTUS

    Mostly a pep talk with some good numbers. Some numbers out of swing states
    Wiped out lead in FL in 48 hours in absentee ballots
    60,000 ballot lead in IA same as in 2008
    NV 60,000 vote lead in Clark County (80% of the state lives in Clark County)
    NC 340,000 new registered voters about 1/3 have already voted
    OH ahead in early voting and consistent lead in the polls
    VA Democratic precincts are outperforming Republicans in early voting
    WI Democratic precincts are outperforming Republicans in early voting

    President (He sounded a little hoarse, but upbeat): Right now we should win if the organization just keeps going and doing what needs to be done.
    Vote will be closer than 2008, but he only won 52.9% of the vote in 2008
    Been out raised badly over the first half of October
    Everybody should early vote if possible and encourage others to do so
    Said he’s proud of everybody an thanked people for their hard work.

    Axelrod: Discussed voter suppression efforts and efforts to confuse voters with false mailers and advertising. Said campaign needs to be funded to combat all false ads and deploy people to states to respond to problems on Election Day.
    Its crunch time: Talked about what’s at stake. What has been achieved and what could be lost.

  164. 164
    ThresherK says:

    I can’t tell you how long I’ve geekloved that chart. About 5 years ago I wished someone with the skillz I lack would have done one for GWB’s plummeting popularity.

    Then four years ago, when everything was SuchGoodNewsForRepublicans, for McCain’s campaign.

    Maybe next week someone can do this for Romney; we’ll see.

  165. 165
    Paul says:

    @R.W.R.:

    Unemployment edges higher, worse than when Obambi took office.

    Hey Political Observer, last month when the numbers didn’t go your way you claimed the numbers were cooked. Now, you treat them as bible…

    Can you see why people laugh at you and the gullible FoxNews crowd?

  166. 166
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    That’s a troll? I thought it was the urinal.

    Oops, my bad.

  167. 167
    catclub says:

    @geg6: My point was that Kennedy was putting forward an image that he had made the Soviets back down by removing their missiles from Cuba, but did not tell the US populace that he was also removing missiles from Turkey. He could have told us and said the missiles removed from Turkey were outmoded and unnecessary, but instead he covered up the withdrawal.

    The quality of the missiles has very little to do with the secrecy about removing them.

  168. 168
    Violet says:

    @TexasMango:

    Wiped out lead in FL in 48 hours in absentee ballots

    What does this mean? Who wiped out whose lead?

  169. 169
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Scott S.:

    Though I guess the Repubs are generally too cowardly to act on their big talk

    Yep. But their big talk gets the least rational, least stable and most impressionable of our society to act for them. Talk up the crazy, amplify and repeat through the rightwing echo chamber, and get others to do the dirty work. It’s worked a number of times already.

    David Neiwert noted “certain right-wing movements are highly prone to attracting psychopaths and mentally ill, unstable personalities, because their rhetoric and appeals so closely replicate the discontents of these people’s interior lives.” He included the Tea Party among these movements.

    Fox, am radio, media shills, wingnut blogs, and re-emitters on the floor of Congress, all echo and mainstream the rhetoric, but they leave the violence to the inspired crazies. It’s Tuchman’s ‘The Word and the Deed’, basically.

  170. 170
    Chris says:

    @catclub:

    He could have told us and said the missiles removed from Turkey were outmoded and unnecessary, but instead he covered up the withdrawal.

    In an era of Cold War hysteria, not a good idea. He was already being hammered by the right for “disarming our nuclear force” by transitioning from nuclear bombers to ICBMs. Imagine the outrage if it had been revealed that he’d agreed to remove missiles from Turkey for the Kremlin. Even if it was a more than even trade, people would’ve flipped a shit.

  171. 171
    Calouste says:

    We know that you can trust Romney to tell the truth if you ask him what time it is, and Putin surely knows that as well. Besides, as a strongman with a more than slight authoritarian bend, he just can’t let Romney’s insults go by without comment without appearing weak, and he indeed hasn’t.

  172. 172
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Matt Romney does business with our biggest geopolitical foe. That sounds kind of treasonous. What’s next, a trip to Iran and Syria?

  173. 173
    LanceThruster says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Our trolls are like a “The Trouble With Tribbles” episode.

  174. 174
    amk says:

    @Violet: The repubs were leading consistently by five points (44 to 39) when early voting started and now dems have taken the lead by 42.8 to 40.6

    http://elections.gmu.edu/early_vote_2012.html

  175. 175
    Violet says:

    @amk: Thank you! I didn’t understand the shorthand.

  176. 176

    @burnspbesq:
    Frum hasn’t changed. He’s an old style Republican – a technically sane asshole. He likes screwing the poor to teach them responsibility, and unnecessary wars. He only doesn’t like the screeching, poop-flinging monkey madness that has made the GOP give up these asshole principles in favor of being against whatever Obama is for today. I would expect him to find Romney tacky for being such an obvious liar, but otherwise entirely to his taste.

  177. 177
    ThresherK says:

    @johnny aquitard: It’s like listening to a blowhard making threats in a bar: Some people know whom to take seriously, and some people don’t.

    And I love the passive aggressiveness of every chickenhawk who’ll do to China what they did to Bin Laden, or in Vietnam.

  178. 178
    KG says:

    @Violet: Rueters/Ipso has this for Florida early voting (and a few other states…

    37% of registered voters in the poll have cast early ballots, Obama leads among them 53-44. That’s fairly in line with yesterday’s results, which had 35% of respondents saying they voted early and that they went 53-45 for Obama.

  179. 179
    KG says:

    @Calouste: I’m not sure we can trust Romney on the time…

  180. 180
    Valdivia says:

    @handsmile:

    so glad to hear you and yours are safe. I can only imagine what the city looks and feels like.

    And I will :)

  181. 181
    Eric U. says:

    @KG: what time do you want it to be?

  182. 182
    KG says:

    @Eric U.: heh…

    Mitt Romney stated that it was midnight at a lunch time rally in Dayton, Ohio. While it was clearly noon, local time, the fact that there are 24 time zones, globally means that Mr. Romney was correct in that it was midnight somewhere in the world. We rate this statement as mostly true.

  183. 183
    jeffreyw says:

    @KG: It’s 5:00 at one of his houses…

  184. 184
    Morzer says:

    Your attribution of that ghastly painting to Caravaggio is wrong, Mr Levenson. The painter is the vastly less talented and original Francesco Boneri- aka Cecco (i.e Francesco) del Caravaggio.

    In the name of the Brotherhood of Pretentious Art Douches, I implore you to mend your mislabeling ways!

  185. 185
    amk says:

    @KG: Thx for that.

  186. 186
    KeithinOhio says:

    Just finished up conference call with PBO and a representative from OFA headquarters in Chicago. We are in a winning position, but it appears like it will be very close. They are optimistic, but very cautious. No one is talking landslide or coasting to victory. Hard work must be done in these last 4 days in order for us to come out on top. The Rightwing is throwing everything and the kitchen sink at us and outspending 3 to 1 in attack ads in most battleground states. This is why PBO and OFA has URGED and PROMOTED early voting during this entire election cycle. They recommend not to pay attention to polls and for everyone to work on GOTV this weekend.

    In conclusion the tone of the conference call was optimistic but cautious and they are saying a tight one like in 2000 and 2004, which isn’t hyperbol, but facts according to the representative at OFA Headquarters in Chicago. Time for me to get ready for work. I will be volunteering this weekend at our Ohio State Buckeyes football game (also attending the game) and will be canvassing up to election day. Another donation is going to the good guys as well this weekend. All I can do to help. Stay on board folks. This it!!!! FOWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  187. 187
    Chyron HR says:

    @KG:

    Q: Are the early voting figures the actual results, or are they based on exit polls or some other secondary source?

  188. 188
    gogol's wife says:

    @Napoleon:

    I love that chart too!

  189. 189
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Morzer: Thanks Fixt.

    Not dreadful, IMHO — I wanted the crush of figures retreating from pissed off Jeezus. Sometimes it helps to remember the word “cartoon” was applied to studies by working painters, back in teh day.

    (

  190. 190
    Brachiator says:

    @Northern Observer:

    Looking back we now see that we made a strategic error in not letting Russia manage Afghanistan in 1980.

    Yes, because there is nothing that liberals and conservatives agree on so much than that the West can do whatever they please to lesser nations. Of course this goes back even further than Britain and Russia jousting for controlover the region as they played their “Great Game.”

    But more recently, the Soviets were not “managing” Afghanistan at all. They got sucked into getting more deeply involved in the country when their supposedly compliant Marxist clients in Afghanistan decided to slip their leash and exert more control over the country. The Soviets tried to prop up their lackeys, only to get sucked into a military abyss.

    And as is usually the case, the real losers are the ordinary people in the region.

  191. 191
    amk says:

    @Tom Levenson: Heh, what did you do to the posts from some of us who were intrepid enough to get into the magic rabbit hole ? No fair.

  192. 192
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The Romney campaign understands that if there’s anyone who appreciates empty nationalist rhetoric, it’s Putin and the Russians

    Captain America (2011) was renamed simply “The First Avenger” there

    Romney has little to fear by speaking belligerently about Russia and then quietly informing the most powerful man there that he doesn’t really mean it, it’s How It’s Done; using a family member for extra credit is a nice nod to the Russian flavor of corruption

    The real problem is the idiot American press which, liberal and conservative alike, believes everything the State Department tells it about Russia

  193. 193
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @kindnessPainting the money-changers as 17th century Italians is, on the other hand, apparently not such a problem.

  194. 194
    KG says:

    @Chyron HR: those are polling results. this close to the election they tend to ask if you voted and if so who you voted for. My understanding is that they don’t usually start counting absentee or early voting results until election day. Probably because they’re worried that leaks of early results could affect later results.

  195. 195
    danimal says:

    @amk: It’s getting harder and harder to tell the rabbit holes from real life these days.

  196. 196

    @gene108:

    I don’t know, I think we could take Russia. Russia’s big advantage is they (a) are bigger and more populace than the other European countries they’ve tousled with and (b) they kept getting invaded on the European side and fled back to the part of the country in Asia.

    Of course, there is the minor, almost insignificant problem of the few thousand nuclear missiles they have at their disposal which would mean the end of most life on the planet, but you know… eggs, omelet…

  197. 197
    Joel says:

    @dr. bloor: He already made his “final prediction” so that’s somethin’.

  198. 198

    @rlrr: Or that the early Christians and leadership of the church was exclusively Jewish.

    Which was one of the primary reasons I have never understood the period in church history when antisemitism arose.

    I suppose it was likely simple racism, politics, and envy.

  199. 199
    scav says:

    ‘Scuse me I need a brief yet concentrated rant. I will phrase it graphically, although I borrow more from Sherlock than Tufte. Look at a small multiple of photos documenting the devestation from Sandy. Much is missing and that is indeed a tragedy.. No question.
    This is day five, many things aren’t happening as fast as we might have wished. Again, No question. What Is Still Missing From All Those Photographs?
     
     
    floating dead bodies.
     
     
     
    I really better not get near any trolls or fervent republicans today. I think I’d go all Superdome WiFi hotspot on them.

    thanks.

  200. 200
    Yutsano says:

    WILL SOMEONE FEED THE GODDAMNED GERBILS??

  201. 201
    Cassidy says:

    So, yeah….great time for a new thread.

  202. 202
    trollhattan says:

    Willard will teach those Russkeys a lesson they’ll never understand.

    Also, too, and the coveted Monte Burns endorsement goes to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  203. 203
    Joel says:

    @Violet: Not much content in the video. However, Romney’s behavior is a tell. It indicates (to me, at least) that the guy is panicking right now. He’s normally thin-skinned, but not like that. He knows he needs a disaster (miracle in his eyes) to win this.

  204. 204
    Joel says:

    Because deletion won’t work, an edit will suffice.

    Oh and FYWP.

  205. 205
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: New thread, then gerbil food. Or get Rosie on the power wheels. Good gravy.

  206. 206
    catclub says:

    @scav: Yep.
    Total death toll from katrina was about 1000? 2000?
    not sure. Sandy looks more like 100, 200 at most.
    With a MUCH higher affected population.

    I think a ‘number of houses flooded’ statistic would also
    be factor of ten different also, but not sure. Even 50 flooded houses all in one place looks like vast devastation.

  207. 207
  208. 208
    MikeJ says:

    @Yutsano: Don’t worry, it only happens once every four years.

  209. 209
    quannlace says:

    Assmussen always starts adjusting his numbers back to reality about a week before election day, so one could say he’s right on schedule.

    Rassmussen has grudgingly put the race back to a ‘tie.’ I’m just flummoxed by Gallup. They still have Romney up by five points. The same unchanged number for the past two or three weeks.

  210. 210
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Antsy Conserva-Dems ITT

  211. 211
    mamayaga says:

    @catclub: Not sure it’s really comparable. Sandy had the potential for massive damage because of the population density and breadth of the storm, but Katrina was a much more powerful storm (category 4 vs not quite category 1). NOLA was at a huge disadvantage because it sits in a geographic bowl, so once the water got in it didn’t just drain away. In NYC the flooding from the surge started dissipating almost right away. So, when looking at flooding and deaths it may be apples to oranges. That said, the Keystone Kop quality of Bush ‘n Brownie’s handling of Katrina is in stark contrast to the level of preparation and seriousness of the Obama admn this time. In other words, the apt comparison is between govt response then and now, not in deaths or damage.

  212. 212
    PreservedKillick says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Mitt issues an ultimatum.

    “The United States does not negotiate with terrorists.”

  213. 213
    Geoduck says:

    @Joel:

    Not much content in the video. However, Romney’s behavior is a tell. It indicates (to me, at least) that the guy is panicking right now. He’s normally thin-skinned, but not like that. He knows he needs a disaster (miracle in his eyes) to win this.

    That interview evidently took place a few years ago.

  214. 214
    trollhattan says:

    @mamayaga:
    To be fair, Sandy didn’t give Obama the inconvenient choice of dealing with a ginormous hurricane or celebrating John McCain’s birthday. Folks seem to forget Bush had to multitask.

  215. 215
    Joel says:

    @Geoduck: Well then.

    Nevermind.

  216. 216
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Amir Khalid: I haven’t read through the whole thread yet, so someone else may have already made this point. Reagan’s middle name was Wilson. Hence our troll’s latest nym, R.W.R.

  217. 217
    sharl says:

    @Amir Khalid: Ah, that is reminiscent of a classic magazine cover.

  218. 218
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @catclub: The Soviets had requested that the Italian Jupiter and British-based Thor missiles be removed and JFK had said “No dice.” The Soviets then upped the ante and he folded after blustering about killing millions of people for no particular reason, given the deployment of Atlas ICBMs on American soil and the first-generation Polaris missile boats had started patrols in the Atlantic a year or two before, each carrying more deliverable megatonnage than the Thors and Jupiters combined.

  219. 219
    Original Lee says:

    They were saying on the radio that the actual voting won’t be the end – they are predicting it will be a battle of the lawyers again, similarly to 2000. I hope OFA has hundreds of really good lawyers ready to jump in and do their best to save our votes. I also hope Unlimited Corporate Cash hasn’t bought too many judges.

    /feeling cynically depressed

  220. 220
    Michael says:

    There are 3 types of early voting numbers:

    (1) Most pollsters will ask whether or not a respondent has voted and, if so, who they voted for.

    (2) Some states keep track of the registration status (including party ID) of everyone who has voted. The Florida numbers are an example of this: 42% of all earlvy voters are registered Dems, 40% registered Repubs

    (3) Some states don’t keep track of voter ID status, so you’ll see precinct or county level reports. For example, in Ohio, lots of votes have come from traditional Democratic strongholds like Cleveland and Cincy, so that’s what pundits are talking about if they refer to a Dem advantage there. Similarly with Nevada and Reno/Las Vegas.

  221. 221
    Cmm says:

    @catclub: @Chyron HR: Not an argument I would want to make with memories of the monumental failure of the last Republican dynasty.

  222. 222
    Cmm says:

    @rlrr:

    There is no need for a missile defense. If it is a legitimate forcible attack, the victim will automatically shut it down.

  223. 223
    Hob says:

    @handsmile: Aw CRAP, I’m sad to hear about Tufte’s place. I realize how ridiculous it is for me to say so given the amount of destruction all over town, but that was such a unique little cave of whimsy. I saw his tour there, and also got to talk to him without a tour on another occasion, and he seemed like a really nice and funny guy.

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