Late Night Open Thread: Tweaking the Grifter

From Rebecca Schoenkopf at Wonkette, more Konspiracy Kabuki:

Oh cool, Anonymous (we think it is Anonymous?) says Karl Rove was gonna vote fraud all the Machines, and that’s why he was so flabbergasted and refused to believe it when Fox called Ohio for Bamz, but they stopped him from stealing all the Machines by jamming up ORCA, because it was not actually a GOTV system but a “steal the vote” system, but they stopped him, we are pretty sure that is what the following letter, which we guess is from Anonymous probably, says. Seems legit! But here is our question! If Anonymous hacked ORCA and caused it to explode miserably on Election Day, how could Anonymous ever prove that ORCA was actually a vote-thieving program? If they hacked in, couldn’t they have planted code to make it look like Rove was gonna fraud the election? (Not that we believe for a second that Rove wasn’t trying to fraud the election, we are just saying, it seems like “logic.”) …

There is, of course, video (and the complete text of Anonymous’ letter) at the link.

Do I believe Anonymous saved Ohio by hacking ORCA? Almost certainly not! Do I believe that the conviction that Anonymous might have hacked into ORCA was part of Rove’s epic election-night meltdown on Fox? Almost certainly yes!

Rove, whatever his true beliefs or actual talents, is first & foremost a grifter, a con artist, someone who’s been cheating and misleading and stealing from everyone around him since his Young Republican college days. Just as Nixon’s “merry pranksters” first burgled those files at the Watergate Apartments because they simply could not believe that Daniel Ellsberg and the Democratic Party weren’t as crooked as the Republican CREEPsters, Rove cannot believe that the Obama campaign isn’t pulling all the dishonest, unethical, criminal stunts he’d use in David Axelrod’s position. Anonymous wouldn’t even have had to access ORCA, much less fiddle with the code — just the announcement that they’d done so would be an irresistable torment to a “professional” of Rove’s caliber.

Open Thread: No Value for GOP Money

(Ben Sargent via
I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the Sunlight Foundation‘s calculation of ROI (return on investment) for Karl Rove’s donors:

… Turns out some of the smart money wasn’t so smart after all when it came to making political bets. This year, the pro-business GOP Crossroads fundraising combine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce weren’t as good at picking winners as the labor movement, which appears to be one of the surprise winners of Election Day.

Using Follow the Unlimited Money, Sunlight calculated returns on investment for the outside groups that gave the most during this year’s general election campaign. This includes super PACs, non-profit organizations and political party committees. We left out the big committees focused solely on helping presidential contenders — Restore Our Future, which backed Mitt Romney, and Priorities USA, which supported President Barack Obama — because their won/loss percentage will be obvious from the election results. The groups listed below all played in more than one contest….

ROI — 1.29%
Total spent campaign 2012: $104,710,472

1.29% of $103,559,717 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
Opposed 2 losing candidates; 1.29% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

ROI — 14.40%
Total spent campaign 2012: $70,709,963

14.40% of $70,709,963 spent in the general election and ending in the desired result.
Supported 0 winning candidates; 0.00% of money went to supporting winning candidates.
Opposed 7 losing candidates; 14.40% of money went to opposing losing candidates.

It’s not just that the ROI was so much better for “left wing” progressive groups like SEIU (84.65% and 74.94%) or Planned Parenthood (97.82% and 98.59%) than Turdblossom’s sinkhole — it’s just that those self-styled Masters of the Universe could’ve gotten better odds at any of Sheldon Adelson’s casinos. So it looks like the Kochs and their business buddies actually chose to throw their money away, purely for the right to insult Demoncrats in all available media. Kinda brings a new meaning to the phrase “mad money“…

Hear Lee explain the core Conservative world view


Jimmy Carter IV (Jimmy Carter’s grandson) has found another bit of tape that explains how modern Conservatives/Wingnuts/Republicans view the world. This artifact dates back to the Reagan years. It is audio of the 42 minute interview with Lee Atwater where he explains how the Southern Strategy works and why it is the core of the conservative movement. His words are fresh and he could have been talking about 2012 campaign conservatives ran against President Obama.

The folks over at The Nation have published the audio. Folks around here have often pointed to Atwater’s quote, but it is something to hear him say it (and more) in context.

The current Republican Party and conservative movement has not strayed very far from Atwater’s playbook–ever. I do not think they are capable of doing so. Division, fear, race-based politics and code talking are the only tools they know. Without them, they have nothing.

They have suffered a defeat, but they could regroup and be back. That is what they did with the Tea-Bagger marketing ploy in 2009. Now is the time to take the fight to them. It is way past time for their Southern Strategy to die. Their CONservative movement is based on structural racism and sexism. They hate it when that is pointed out. They squeal, whine and fuss whenever the truth of their movement is mentioned, but now is a great time to mentioned it. They are down and we should kick them as hard as we can.


Late Night Open Thread: Last of the Schadenfreude

(Jim Morin via
… probably. Unless something really delicious pops up, of course.

Doghouse Riley tells the usual suspects, “Buck Up. You’re The Party Of Tradition. So Wait Two Months And Then Act Like Nothing Happened, The Way You Always Do.”:

LEAVE us dispense with “Pulitzer” Parker first: the idea that Poor Mitt was driven too far right by the crazies in the primaries is, by now, an old man with a long beard. Not ten or eleven months old; four years and eleven months old. After 2007’s Most Blatant Pandering Operation Ever Seen in American Politics almost got him the prize in spite of himself, and 2010’s midterms, which proved once and for all time that the country is one big seething Teabag, was there really some expectation that Mitt Romney was going to be anything else this time? If moving toward the Even Less Hinged end of the Republican spectrum was such an awful idea, then Mitt Romney was twice an awful candidate. Similarly, if pointing out something this trite, at this late a date, constitutes Republican punditasting, then your party is even awfuller. I’ll be happy to agree that the Republican primaries may’ve cost Mitt Romney the election. Except it was the 1980 primaries that did it.

Rubin, we need not mention, is eminently disposable, sorry that the Brilliant CEO’s people let him down, and eager that we all know that the Obama campaign ran “really nasty ads in Spanish” which were apparently too shocking to translate and too numerous to need citation. Plus, there was a hurricane which lasted eight or nine days, and threw the challenger off so much more than the incumbent, who might’ve lost instantly had he been one-quarter as incompetent as the last Republican president. Whatever his name was.

[And, by the way, how many Republicans now complaining that Obama “unfairly looked good” after Sandy complained when George W. Bush finally crawled out from under his desk on 9/15, and posed with a bullhorn and a prop fireman? Answer: zero.]

Rubin is, or was, a Romney campaign stovepipe, merely, though she has some helpful advice for Paul Ryan there at the end, and, no, it’s not “find another line of work”. But George Eff Will, of course, is our leading right-wing intellectual…

Mr. Charles P. Pierce took off for a well-earned vacation leaving us with this happy thought:

You apparently could convince this guy of anything. I’m surprised they haven’t convinced him that he actually got elected. (Maybe they have by now, and he’ll show up in morning clothes on the steps of the Capitol next January. Hilarious hi-jinx ensue!) Let me be the first to point this out: By the available, and continuously emerging evidence, Willard Romney was a dumber politician than Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin combined.

(Let’s just say I fully expect the Secret Service to lock down Belmont, La Jolla, Lake Winnipesaukee, and possibly the SLC Temple precincts on Inauguration Day. For everybody’s peace of mind.)

Finally, Billmon is a better person than most of us:

I realize how easy it is to make fun of those people (our those people), but for me the images posted there call up — somewhat to my surprise — decidedly mixed emotions. Spite and sympathy, it seems, can co-exist, and even lay the groundwork for something that begins to resemble empathy.

It’s an involuntary reflex, to be sure, after the bile, racism, and sheer deranged hatred those people have flung at us these past four years — not to mention their cocksure arrogance (up until about 10:00 pm Tuesday night) that “real” Americans were going to rise as one and send the Kenyan usurper packing…

I also know that they have been lied to, with ferocious intensity and relentless dedication, by the conservative propaganda machine and its political masters. If we must have demons to hate, better to seek them among the con artists who have turned Rwandan-style hate speech into an industry profitable enough to rival the porn business.

Go read the whole thing, it won’t take but five minutes. And there’s video!

“Let’s Not Make A Deal”

Capsule summary of the latest skirmish, from Dashiell Bennett at the AtlanticWire:

Both President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner have revealed their opening gambits in the great fiscal cliff debate and they are basically starting from the same spot they’ve been in forever. Boehner held a second press conference on Friday morning to reiterate his position that raising taxes is not acceptable. Obama followed it up with a short White House speech in the afternoon reiterating his position that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes. The president basically admitted that not only should this news not be surprising, it’s basically what the entire election was fought over. An election that he won, by the way: “On Tuesday, night we found out the majority of Americans agree with my approach.

But a deal still has to be made, so Obama also announced that he’s inviting Congressional leaders (as well as other business and community leaders) to the White House next week to get the ball rolling on negotiations. Obama said, “I am not wedded to every detail of my plan. I’m open to compromise. I’m open to new ideas.”…

My emphasis. Professor Krugman, another certified winner, has this strong reminder:

It’s worth pointing out that the fiscal cliff isn’t really a cliff. It’s not like the debt-ceiling confrontation, where terrible things might well have happened right away if the deadline had been missed. This time, nothing very bad will happen to the economy if agreement isn’t reached until a few weeks or even a few months into 2013. So there’s time to bargain.

More important, however, is the point that a stalemate would hurt Republican backers, corporate donors in particular, every bit as much as it hurt the rest of the country. As the risk of severe economic damage grew, Republicans would face intense pressure to cut a deal after all.

Meanwhile, the president is in a far stronger position than in previous confrontations. I don’t place much stock in talk of “mandates,” but Mr. Obama did win re-election with a populist campaign, so he can plausibly claim that Republicans are defying the will of the American people. And he just won his big election and is, therefore, far better placed than before to weather any political blowback from economic troubles — especially when it would be so obvious that these troubles were being deliberately inflicted by the G.O.P. in a last-ditch attempt to defend the privileges of the 1 percent.

Most of all, standing up to hostage-taking is the right thing to do for the health of America’s political system.

So stand your ground, Mr. President, and don’t give in to threats. No deal is better than a bad deal.

As for Getting to Yes, I like Gail Collins’ suggestion:

Root for a bipartisan solution that does not involve the White House being hijacked by a guy who keeps babbling about going halfway over a cliff…

If all else fails, strap John Boehner to the roof of a car.

Friday Evening Open Thread: Searching for A New Scapegoat Paradigm

(via Josh Marshall at TPM)
Interesting that the Heritage Foundation has found a younger, blurrier Blue-Eyed Paul Ryan imitator to narrate their Red Dawn: Obama reboot trailer.

What is best in life?… I figure we have until next Tuesday (Monday being a federal holiday) to indulge our tribalist schadenfreude before turning back to the serious, constructive work of governmentalizing (not that Politico isn’t eager to move on to 2016!). Also from Politico:

Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said on Thursday that besides the president’s reelection, the other good news from 2012 is the failure of conservative super PACs.

“If I were one of those billionaires [who donated to them] …I’d be wanting to talk to someone and asking where my refund is, because they didn’t get much for their money,” he said on a conference call with reporters, noting that Democrats gained seats in the Senate and the House as well as the presidency. “Just looking at the results, the heartening news is that you can’t buy the White house, you can’t overwhelm the Congress with these super PAC dollars.”

He singled out Karl Rove and the Crossroads groups…

Alex Pareene at Salon discusses what happens after “Fox discovers constant lying isn’t consistently effective electoral strategy

… Fox knows that the sort of people who clog its airwaves on normal, regularly scheduled programming days — and especially prime time — are liars, phonies, wackos and con men. It knows it’s constantly lying to its audience. In the Bush era this was fine for morale. In the first years of Obama’s term it was good for midterm election turnout. But it’s apparent that it’s clearly bad for the movement in the long term. Counting midterms, the parallel conservative media has now utterly failed to grasp the reality of the American electorate in three of the last four national elections. (And for the record, their counterparts on the left did not spend 2010 furiously pretending that everything would turn out great for the Democratic Party.)

Roger Ailes is as paranoid, hysterical and deluded as Jack Welch, but he does grasp that this is unsustainable. He fired Glenn Beck and replaced him with a dumb panel show because he knew Beck was going too far to be useful. “The Nightly Apocalyptic Death Cult Report” is decent for ratings and great for buzz but it doesn’t help Republicans win elections, or at least doesn’t help them remain able to win many elections in the long term…

Apart from the lamentations of our enemies, what’s on the agenda for the start of the weekend?

Splitting The Buckeye Baby

If you thought Ohio’s GOP Secretary Of State Voter Suppression Jon Husted was done for after Tuesday, the crew at Plunderbund has the goods on his next move at this week’s Impact Ohio conference.

Defending his performance managing Ohio’s election, Husted argued that because of the high stakes involved with being an electoral vote-rich swing state, Ohio’s elections chief is always scrutinized and criticized. (Funny, we don’t remember that happening in 2008, but that’s beside the point).

Husted’s solution to this perceived problem of Democrats and the national media picking on him? He says we should make Ohio less important in the election by dividing up our electoral votes by Congressional district.

This is huge and should raise giant red flags. Under the current winner-take-all system, Obama won all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes. Under Husted’s plan, 12 of those 18 electoral votes would be handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.

Yep, it’s the return of the split electoral vote.  Already reality in Nebraska and Maine, for states with GOP leadership that came up big for Obama on Tuesday, splitting the electoral vote among congressional district lines where Republicans have been able to gerrymander Democrats into just a few urban districts would of course give them the lion’s share of the electoral votes no matter what happens with the popular vote state totals.  Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida are prime targets for this right now.  Husted figures a guaranteed 12 EVs for the GOP is better than zero when it comes to Ohio in 2016.

The plan stinks to high heaven and back, and it’s clear Husted isn’t giving up his quest to turn Ohio red no matter what the people say.

What, you thought the war was over on Wednesday morning or something in Ohio?  It’s just getting started.