Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Was Lindsay Lohan Watching Glenn Beck While under House Arrest?

Lindsay Lohan just finished her house arrest. And what does it look like she was doing all cooped up in her house. Yes, there was that rooftop party. But it seems Lindsay was engaged in that favorite pastime of unemployed Americans stuck at home with nothing to do, watching Glenn Beck.

At least that is what I got from what she Tweeted (6/27/2011):

Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money! #ad
In case you thought this was just an add someone paid her to tweet, this came a little later:

@younghanky i actually do care about gas and food prices, so whether it's an #ad or no, it's important for people to be aware of it.
Or maybe she was watching one of those TV ads about how you can make millions of dollars by placing tiny classified ads from your one bedroom apartment.

Lindsay does not become eligible to run for President until 2021.

Yes, Mr. President, That's Why They Are Called Leaders

Congress got the "no Fourth of July recess unless you finish your homework" lecture from Barack Obama today:

And I've got to say, I'm very amused when I start hearing comments about, "Well, the president needs to show more leadership on this."

Well, hey, let me tell you something, that right after we finished dealing with the government shutdown, averting a government shutdown, I called the leaders here together. I said, "We've got to get this done."

I put Vice President Biden in charge of a process that, by the way, has made real progress. But these guys have met, worked through all the issues.

I met with every single caucus for an hour to an hour and a half each: Republican senators, Democratic senators, Republican House, Democratic House. I've met with the leaders multiple times.

At a certain point, they need to do their job, you know.

And so this thing, which is just not on the level, where we have meetings and discussions and we're working through process, and when they decide they're not happy with the fact that at some point you've got to make a choice, they just all sit back and say, "Well, you know, the president needs to get this done."

They need to do their job. Now's the time to go ahead and make the tough choices. That's why they're called leaders.

And I've already shown that I'm willing to make some decisions that are very tough and will, you know, give my base of voters further reason to give me a hard time.

But it's got to be done. And so there's no point in procrastinating. there's no point in putting it off. You know, we've got to get this done.

And if by the end of this week, we have not seen substantial progress, then I think members of Congress need to understand, we are going to, you know, start having to cancel things and stay here until we get it done.

You know, they're in one week, they're out one week, and then they're saying, "Obama's got to step in." You need to be here. I've been here. I've been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis and ... You stay here. Let's get it done.
We saw this on the health care debate two years ago. That time it was Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who were getting lectured. This time it is Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

First the President will demand they get the deal done before the July recess, then he will demand they get it done before the August recess. In this case the big deadline is August 2, but I'm sure John Boehner can show up in the last week of July with a piece of paper that tides things over a bit. Sometime in December, maybe, there will be an unsatisfactory deal.

President Obama says he is looking to reduce the deficits by $4 trillion over the next the next decade but seems to only have agreement on $1 to $2 trillion. But let's tote up his actual leadership:

(1) Put Joe Biden in charge.
(2) Met with the 4 caucuses for no more than an hour and a half each. That's six hours.
(3) Played golf with John Boehner.
(4) Met with "the leaders" multiple times, which could just be twice, including the golf match.

Now, if he comes out of these talks with $4 trillion in deficit reduction, that's leadership. If he comes up short, I guess we need to look to the other leaders.

Girl Fight in the Republican Presidential Primary?

Michele Bachmann says no to a mud-wrestling fight between herself and Sarah Palin. Still, a guy can hope.

Why can't two women with the same hair color run in the same Presidential primary? Just because it has never been done before doesn't mean there is anything wrong with that. Right now we have a bunch of men and one woman in the race. Why not two women? Why not a bunch of women?

Google mud-wrestling images, you know you want to.

Daughter Bristol Announces Sarah Palin Has Made Her Decision

According to Bristol Palin on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, Sarah Palin has made her decision on running for President in 2012:

You know, she definitely knows. We've talked about it before. Some things just need to stay in the family.
According to Sarah Palin later Tuesday, she is still thinking about it:

I texted Bristol, I said honey what did you say this morning on some news program. She said, 'Oh, mom, you've got to watch the interview. You know how they take everything out of context.' I said you remember Bristol what we talk about on the fishing boat stays on the fishing boat. I don't know what she said. She said I have to watch it myself. I don't know what she said but still thinking about it.

I am still thinking about the decision and you know a lot goes into such a life-changing, relatively earth-shattering type of decision and still thinking about it.
But "what we talk about on the fishing boat stays on the fishing boat" sounds like a decision. And "I am still thinking about the decision" doesn't necessarily mean the decision hasn't been made. Sarah could be thinking about the decision she has made.

This matches the recent reporting by Robert Stacy McCain that Sarah Palin was going to be making her decision in this past week. Now we seem to have comfirmation, we just don't know the decision.

I will bet Sarah Palin is running. I didn't think she was going to run, but now I do. There will be more of her One Nation bus tour this July and August. The announcement will come around Labor Day.

Because why would you send your daughter out to do this if you weren't running for President:

Bristol Palin did a very good job, both at promoting her new book and at humanizing the Palin family.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Michele Bachmann Presidential Campaign Announcement Fail

Michele Bachmann announced her Tea Party candidacy Monday for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination from the steps of the old Waterloo Women's Club in Waterloo, Iowa.

Some have labeled her gaffe-prone and Fox's Chris Wallace went so far as to ask her Sunday morning, "Are you a flake?" I imagine that Wallace's wife threatened to feed him Corn Flakes for a couple of weeks. He did apologize.

Michele was interviewed by another Fox reporter on the eve of her announcement speech:

Michele told Fox, "Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too."

Problem: American actor and icon John Wayne was from Winterset, Iowa. Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was from Waterloo, Iowa. And which spirit of John Wayne is Michele channeling? The one from Waterloo!

In her announcement speech, Bachmann was doing great, rejecting the usual labels and party affiliations and reaching out to the spirit of pragmatism:

Americans agree that our country is in peril today and we must act with urgency to save it. And Americans aren't interested in affiliation; they are interested in solutions, and leadership that will tell the truth. And the truth is that Americans ARE the solution and not the government!
I am here in Waterloo, Iowa to announce today: We can win in 2012 and we will. Our voice has been growing louder and stronger. And it is made up of Americans from all walks of life like a three-legged stool. It's the peace through strength Republicans, and I'm one of them, it's fiscal conservatives, and I'm one of them, and it's social conservatives, and I'm one of them. It's the Tea Party movement and I'm one of them.
Back up the tape, let's count the legs on that three-legged stool:

(1) peace through strength Republicans
(2) fiscal conservatives
(3) social conservatives
(4) the Tea Party movement

Now I wouldn't call that flaky, but it is hard to not to think Michele Bachmann is a little stupid. It's one thing to be hit with an unfair stereotype. It's another thing to validate that stereotype.

Michelle Bachmann is not ready to be President. If she's not a flake, what is she doing in the race?

(1) She wants the exposure that comes from running. She's now in the #2 slot following Mitt Romney, so that is working.

(2) She is really running for a seat in the Cabinet or for Vice President. Joe Biden has said dumber things.

(3) She wants to speak for the Tea Party in the debates. I think participation in the debates is the only reason Newt Gingrich is running.

(4) Her job is to help marginalize Ron Paul, who has a prior claim to the Tea Party vote. Ron Paul is a fiscal conservative but no social conservative or peace through strengther.

(5) She is keeping a seat warm for Sarah Palin, in case Sarah wants to make a late announcement.

Not flaky or stupid, any of those reasons. But not necessarily to be taken seriously either. Michele will have to earn that. Here's what she told Sean Hannity on Fox Monday evening:

"He fears me. He sees me as a serious, substantive competitor. I think he sees that I have a very clear path to victory for the nomination. And, I think that he wants to do whatever he can to diminish me, because he thinks he will have to see me in the debates."
Who fears her? Chris Wallace, maybe, although I'll bet the Gacy-gaffe got him a reprieve on the Corn Flakes. Mitt Romney, maybe, he may lay awake at night with visions of what she might say as his Vice President. Barack Obama, no, I imagine he sleeps very well with the prospect of facing Micehele Bachmann.

Update 6/29/2011: What Michele told the Charleston, South Carolina Tea Party today about the prospect of Sarah Plain entering the race gives support to reason #5 above:

"They want to see two girls come together and have a mud-wrestling fight, and I'm not going to give it to them. I've got a lot of great respect and admiration for the governor," Bachmann said in the early primary state of South Carolina. "I appreciate her and I wish her well, and I think that this race is wide open."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peter Falk, 1927-2011

The great actor Peter Falk has passed away. You may remember him as Lt. Columbo. That alone would have been a great career. Highlights:

Columbo has a screen moment with William Shatner

You can't lose this, it glows in the dark.

When I was your age television was called books.

Serpentine, Shell, Serpentine!

Do not open these envelopes until you have left the office. ... That's your per diem.

I didn't do anything to a man that I wouldn't do to a woman.

Why do they tell me these things?

Olive or onion? ...

I don't mind you being a lunatic.

Get yourself a good coat.

Long live your chief of police!

Goodbye genius.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Open Letter with Negotiating Points for Eric Cantor

Dear Eric Cantor,

It was a mistake for you to walk out of the deficit talks. You should have stayed in the room, that's what we're paying you for. And if you take the view that you work for Virginians and your Virginia constituents want you to secede from the deficit talks? Stop drawing your salary.

It only makes sense to get up from the negotiating table if you don't need the deal. But the country desperately needs a deficit reduction deal.

Yes, the Democrats want tax increases. "You want tax increases, we want constitutional amendments" is how I would play that. What amendments?

(1) Balanced budget - that may be subject to accounting tricks but still highly symbolic.

(2) Line item veto - time to correct our founding fathers who erroneously thought our representatives would be reluctant to spend our money.

(3) Spending override only by popular vote - the real check on Washington spending will have to come directly from the people.

I like that last one best. You want to increase spending more than 2%, you have to ask us first. No war or recession exemptions either, you ask us. Worried about your spending power being eroded by inflation? I guess we better not have any inflation. Want to make more room for entitlements by leaving more discretionary items to the states? Good.

You see, if we the people have to pay more taxes, we the people should get something in return. A popular veto on excessive spending increases will do it for me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FBI Finally Catches up to Whitey Bulger in Santa Monica, California.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FBI has arrested longtime fugitive gangster Jame "Whitey" Bulger in Santa Monica, California.

Whitey was a real piece of work, informing on the Italian mob to the FBI at the same time he was allegedly killing girlfriends and rivals and running his own rackets in South Boston and Somerville.

His brother was President of the Massachusetts State Senate, and that added a public aura of protection to go with the private one he was getting from the FBI. He got tipped off before an arrest warrant could be served in 1994 and has been on the lam ever since.

Whitey attracted a little too much attention when he set himself up as a Massachusetts Lottery winner. He "persuaded" the real winner to list him as a coowner of the winning ticket. The scam was to provide himself with a legal income.

The FBI had a $2 million reward for information on Whitey's whereabouts. We'll see if anyone collects.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Goldilocks Strategy in Afghanistan

The President announced tonight that our troops are coming home from Afghanistan, too soon for Sean Hannity, not soon enough for Rachel Maddow.

For me, the problem with staying a lot longer is that we are propping up the corrupt Hamid Karzai, and that's incrasingly becoming our only reason to be there. Being gone well before the next scheduled Afghan Presidential election in 2014 means he has to stand on his own.

Our primary beef with the Taliban is that they harbored Osama Bin Ladin. And for that we have decimated their ranks a couple of times over, with 38,000 Taliban killed or captured over the last nine and a half years.

The risk is that this announcement may draw increasing numbers of Taliban fighters into Afghanistan from their tribal bases in Pakistan. But if they move before we fully withdraw, they will expose themselves to attack in Afghanistan, without the restrictions on use of military force we face fighting the drone war against them in Pakistan with two hands tied behind our back.

If Karzai collapses, we can't let the Taliban come back in without credible assurances on human rights and not supporting terrorism. But a collapse might open an opportunity for new Afghan leadership, such as Abdullah Abdullah who lost to Karzai in the 2009 election that was rife with fraud.

That may be the real strategy behind President Obama's decision. It can't be an accident that Abdullah has named his movement the Coalition for Change and Hope. So you know whose support he is trying to get.

The Casey Anthony Weiner Continuity

The segue from the Anthony Weiner twitter affair into the Casey Anthony murder trial has been a little too smooth. All we need is a scandal involving U.S. Senator Bob Casey (Democrat, Pennsylvania) to keep the continuity going. Bob, what have you been up to? Or should I call you Robert? I don't know who would come next.

Casey Affleck can rest easy, his name runs in the wrong direction. But keep your eye on Dwayne Casey, NBA coach of the Toronto Raptors. In my book, everyone with the last name Casey is suspect.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Concord Hymn for Anthony Weiner

I had thought New York Congressman Anthoy Weiner had resigned in his heckled speech last week but come to find his resignation letter does not take effect until this Tuesday midnight.

This last day of public officialhood absolves me of any previous promise to have said my last word on this subject. With apologies to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

By the crude bulge that arched his crotch,
His flag to yFrog’s breeze unfurled,
Here Anthony Weiner did debauch,
And sent the tweet heard round the world.

The blogs have since in laughter wept;
Alike the Twitterer silent weeps;
And Time the ruined bulge has swept
Down the broadband which never sleeps.

On this wide web, with this freeware,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory of his deed beware
Those who follow be not so prone.

Spirit, that made his spirit dare,
To tweet, and set his package free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to Anthony.
This can be sung, if you are so imbibed, to the tune of Old 100th, "The Doxology" also known as "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow".

If Jon Huntsman Fell in the Forest Would Anyone Hear the Sound?

Jon Huntsman is scheduled to annunce that he is running for President on Tuesday, June 21. That's a little comical in itself. If you announce that you're going to anounce haven't you announced?

The big question is why? I have four theories:

(1) Swelled head. One should never underestimated the importance of a swelled head in politics. But this guy doesn't seem to have one.

(2) Obama campaign plant. The idea would be to disrupt the groundswell forming around fellow Mormon Mitt Romney. The problem with this theory is there is no Romney enthusiam to disrupt.

(3) A play for VP from the Anyone but Romney crowd. That might work like this. Sarah Palin gets nominated, and it can be assumed Mitt Romney is too proud to take the VP slot. So she picks Huntsman to assuage the disappointed Mormons.

(4) A play for 2016. Huntsman may think Obama will be reelected and the real chance is to gain exposure for 2016. But why quit your China ambassadorship now?

(5) An excuse to quit the China ambassadorship. I remember when Bill Weld quit as Governor of Massachusetts in mid-term to pursue a nomination for an ambassadorship to Mexico that he had already been told he was not going to be confirmed.

Jon Huntsman has only 4,686 friends on Facebook of which only 381 have confirmed to listen to his live announcement. I know folk musicians with more fans.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Worst Person in the World Returns to TV

Yes, Keith Olbermann is back, starting today on Current TV, channel 107 on the local Comcast, a channel I have never watched and never plan to watch. It's not available in high definition, just low definition, which is more than Keith deserves.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Make Music Harvard Square June 18, 2011

No, there were not 76 trombones catching the morning sun in Harvard Square on Saturday, but there about that many guitars for the Make Music festival in the afternoon.

The music was briefly interrupted with rain around 3pm, but then the skies cleared and the music resumed. In all, around 76 musical groups and solo artists took the stage at 16 corners around Harvard Square (and you thought a square had only four corners). Here's a sampling.

Jamie Lynn Hart at Stage 1: The Pit
Check out Shame on Me.

Christa Gniadek at Stage 4: Harvard Bookstore

Rob Carlson at Stage 5: Finale

Rob Carlson at Stage 5: Finale

Rob Carlson at Stage 5: Finale

Nikolas Metaxas at Stage 5: Finale

Kev Grey at Stage 6: Winthrop Park

Kev Grey at Stage 6: Winthrop Park

Old Jack at Stage 11: Brattle Square

Sultans of Sax at Stage 11: Brattle Square

Ashley Jordan at State 12: Harvard Coop

Chatty Maddie at Stage 13: Body Shop
Check out Green with Envy.

Sarah Wallis at Stage 14: Palmer
Check out the studio recording.

Sarah Wallis at Stage 14: Palmer

Doug Kwartler at Stage 16: Dado

The other street performers were out in the Square too.

Mitt Romney Reaches 1,000,000 Friends While Herman Cain Catches Newt Gingrich

Mitt Romney reached a social networking milestone this weekend, with 1 million people friending him on Facebook. That's just 2.15 million friends behind Sarah Palin and 20.7 million friends behind Barack Obama. The Romney campaign social media director is so lame that nothing has been posted on Romney's wall yet to acknowledge the milestone, even though they are now 5,000 over.

The battle for the second tier is between Ron Paul, the Texas Congressman who virtually invented the Tea Party, and Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Congress woman who leads the Tea Party caucus in the U.S. House. She may lead in the halls of Congress, but trails by 35,000 on Facebook.

Michele, you may win more friends and influence more people if you kill that annoying annuncement that runs automatically on your Facebook page about how you have "filed the necesary paperwork" to run for President.

Meanwhile, in the third tier, Herman Cain has all but caught up with Newt Gingrich, with each having just over 140,000 friends on Facebook. Neither has crossed the Biden Line of poliical relevancy.

Jon Hunstman, who will announce this week, has yet to clear the Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High line.

Weiner Holder for President and Vice President

No, Anthony Weiner did not get to caddy for Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Saturday. The word from Netroots Nation is that left-wingers upset with President Obama are mounting a primary challenge to his reelection.

Hat tip: The Looking Spoon, which also reports that the biggest panel at Netroots Nation was called "What To Do When The President's Just Not That Into You." Daily Kos editor Joan McCarter summed it up, "It's like the president's not our boyfriend anymore."

This will be my last Anthony Weiner posting, I promise, although I can't say that with certitude.

The Boston Globe Is Ready for Entitlement Reform

A Boston Globe editorial today tries to move along the deficit talks wthout really getting why they are necessary.

"There are, indeed, serious problems with the federal budget. The structural deficit is projected to explode due to increased spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and, to a lesser extent, Social Security. This deficit must be curbed. But that’s not what’s keeping people out of work today. It’s not what’s keeping companies from hiring. It’s not what’s keeping people from buying homes and cars and electronics.
Oh, I think the deficits are what got us into this mess, just like the Reagan-O'Neil deficits in the 1980s brought on the 1987 crash and the ensuing recession which cost George H.W. Bush his reelection in 1992.

That concern for the structural deficit leads to this bit of wisdom:

"That means enacting a combination of modest payroll-tax increases and benefit adjustments for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Those should include raising the retirement age for young workers, indexing Social Security benefits to inflation rather than the more generous formula currently in use, and grappling intelligently with ways to curb unnecessary medical procedures that nonetheless get charged up to Medicare."
If the Globe wants to get behind entitlement reform, I won't argue with that. But is that enough? The Globe admits its entitlement reforms "won't necessarily boost the short-term economy."

The effect of the 2008-2009 financial crisis was to undermine the federal tax base. There just isn't as much tax revenue coming in as there used to be. The shortfall has been made up by borrowing, which for the short term of the last couple of years may have been necessary but is not sustainable much longer. That means the federal government needs to reset to a lower level of spending, across discretionary and defense accounts too.

Here are my ideas:

(1) U.S. Tax revenue fell about 20% from a high in 2007 to 2009, while revenue may have recovered somewhat in 2010, that needs to be the starting point for budget cuts.

(2) Delay the implementation of Obamacare for two to four years. As Romneycare was the model for Obamacare, get rid of the extra pages Nancy Pelosi added, and let each state decide on the insurance mandate.

(3) Cut military spending as we bring our troops home from overseas.

Is Fox News Hiding the Deficit Solution?

I don't usually watch the Hannity show. But he had an interesting segment Friday night where a series of political figures spoke to a Frank Luntz focus group on how to reduce our huge federal deficits.

Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona doesn't get it.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri sort of gets it.

New Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul showed he gets it and businessman Steve Wynn that he really gets it, but Fox New hasn't posted videos for their segments, or it it has I can't find them. That's curious.

Onward Christian Soldiers Militants

Isn't it comforting to know that Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas is on the case as a member of the United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

Sheila questions Patrick Dunleavy, the former deputy inspector of the criminal intelligence unit, New York Department of Correctional Services.

Lee: "As we look to be informational, we should include an analysis of how Christian militants or others might bring down the country. We have to look broadly, do we not?"

Dunleavy: "I don’t know that Christian militants have foreign country backing or foreign country financing."

Lee: "I don’t think that’s the issue. The issue is whether or not their intent is to undermine the laws of this nation. And I think it is clear that that is the case. So it’s not -- your distinction is not answering the question."

So after we root out and defeat the Al Qaeda remnants and sympathizers, I guess we're being advised to watch out for a stab in the back from Christians seeking to bring down the United States of America.

Sheila Jackson Lee would also like the U.S. to resume selling arms to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. A few F-16 fighter jets would no doubt aid the socialist leader greatly in his fight against Christian militants.

One would think the Nancy Pelosi would put members with some intelligence on important committees like this one. Sheila got her B.A. in political science from Yale.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Romney Leads 2012 Republicans But Michele Bachmann Has New Momentum

Rasmussen Reports has a new poll taken following the GOP Monday night debate:

Mitt Romney39
Michele Bachmann19
Herman Cain10
Newt Gingrich9
Ron Paul7
Tim Pawlenty6
Rick Santorum6
Ron Paul6
Jon Huntsman2

Rasmussen says Romney split the Tea Party down the middle with Bachmann but leads her 2 to 1 with Republicans who don't indentify as Tea Party.

Michele Bachmann moved up to the #2 slot from #9 in a pre-debate poll. It looks like she picked up much of the support that would go to Sarah Palin if she were running.

The good news for Herman Cain in the #3 slot is that in a Presidential primary, #2 is the loser and #3 gets the Vice President slot. OK, maybe that's not always true. In 2008, John McCain gave the VP slot to Sarah Palin rather than #3 Mike Huckabee. In 2000, Alan Keyes was a very distant third and the VP nod went to Dick Cheney. In 1988, George H.W. Bush passed over #3 Pat Robertson for Dan Quayle. In 1980, Ronald Reagan picked #2 George H.W. Bush for VP.

Republicans tend to rally around their frontrunner, with most Presidential primaries won by 60% to 70%. Could the primary be effectively over by fall, before a single ballot is cast? We'll see if Romney can solidify his lead over the summer, or falters.

It could be an interesting summer with rumors Sarah Palin will announce whether or not she is running next week. My take is that for this story to be true, Sarah Plain will announce she is not running. Perhaps she will perhaps play queenmaker and endorse her fellow mama grizzly Michele Bachmann. Or she might give Mitt a big bear hug and maul him on Romneycare.

Sarah has been planning to go to England and other countries in Europe in July. It wouldn't make sense for her to announce she is running and then leave the country, particularly after the recent Gingrich fiasco. But announcing she is not running might clear the way to meet with Margaret Thatcher, something she wants to do.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hamburg Holds Back the Big Muddy

The town of Hamburg, Iowa is holding back the flood waters of the Missouri river. The little town sits in a break in the Loess Hills where the Nishnabotna River joins the Missouri River.

The primary levee broke earlier in the week, and all hope for the town now resides in a temporary levee constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the help of the Iowa National Guard.

I drove through Hamburg just a few weeks ago. It is a pretty little town in the extreme southwest corner of Iowa. The lower part of the town flooded in 1993. Residents have been evacuated and have been removing belongings out of their homes for the last couple of weeks as high waters have risen from upstream dam discharges in the Dakotas.

With farmland between the town and the river already flooded and the high waters not expected to recede for a couple of weeks, Hamburg is stuck waiting out the Big Muddy behind the temporary levee.

Deconstructing Mitt Romney's Weirdness

It starts with Jeff Zeleny on The New York Times blog:

Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.

“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”

He chuckled. The eight people gathered around him, who had just finished talking about strategies of finding employment in a slow-to-recover economy, joined him in laughter.

“Are you on LinkedIn?” one of the men asked.

“I’m networking,” Mr. Romney replied. “I have my sight on a particular job.”
Joshua Green didn't tell the story so funny in The Atlantic:

Having a guy worth between $190 million and $250 million (according to campaign disclosures) joke about his unemployment status with people who lack not only jobs but also Romney's means, seems rather cruel. But I'm certain Romney mean nothing by it, and I doubt he even realized what he'd done.
Did the eight people around him who "joined him in laughter" think he was being "rather cruel?" I guess you had to be there, or maybe it's easier to make this stuff up when you are not.

The Atlantic took another example from Dana Milbank in the Washington Post:

He talks about the weak economy with the proprietors of a feed shop, then abruptly pivots: “Okay, so what do you do about mosquito control? . . . This has been a mosquito-infested year with all the moisture. They flew away with my dog.”
If you have spent any time in swampy New Hampshire in the late spring, you will know exactly what Mitt means. A feed store is one place you might buy pet food dietary supplements meant to ward off bugs. Weird.

The Washington Post did offer this proof of how out of touch Mitt is:

He departed Blake’s with a final plea for support in the New Hampshire primary, scheduled for Feb. 14. “Get out and vote,” he encouraged the diners. “It’s a while, though, I think. What is it, November? . . . It’s not November. It’s January. It’s February!”
Yes, the New Hampshire Caucus is scheduled for February 14, 2012. But New Hampshire is fiercely protective of being the first primary and when other states jockey for that position by moving their primaries earlier, New Hampshire always threatens to go one week earlier, even if that could mean as early as November. In 2008 it was held January 8.

You would get all that from Mitt's little joke if you lived in New Hampshire. And I suspect even a political junkie who came up for the day from Washington, DC would get it too. Not that he'd tell you.

That brings us back to Joshua Green in The Atlantic:

"The broader media is starting to pick up on this, and it looks as though Romney's weirdness is becoming something of a running narrative."
That Josh, always joshing, here with the "running narrative" pun. Get it, he's a candidate, he's running, he has a running narrative. Or as Dana Milbank put it in The Washington Post, "Oh, my goodness gracious! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ten Ways Anthony Weiner Is Looking to Contribute His Talents

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned today, and probably wishes he had emailed it in, with a heckler shouting over his resignation speech "bye, bye pervert" and "are you more than seven inches?".

That leaves Anthony Weiner with the pressing need for a new job. In the spirit of "most importantly so that I can continue to heal from the damage that I have caused" here are a few suggestions for Anthony:

(1) Caddy for Barack Obama at the big golf outing this Saturday. Yes, Joe Biden and John Boehner will also be happy to let you pick up their balls.

(2) Bus driver for Sarah Palin tours. I'm sure she'll let you run over everyone who threw you under the bus, from Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Nancy Pelosi to Barack Obama.

(3) Cohost of the expanded Weiner Spitzer show on CNN. If Elliot won't let you come first, offer to subtitle the show In the Arena with Client Number 9 and the Weiner Tweeter.

(4) UPS online package delivery specialist in Sandy Springs, Georgia. No, you may not name your package Sandy.

(5) Fedex online package deliver specialist. I feel I should tell you this as gingerly as possible, the company headquarters is in Memphis not Nashville.

(6) Delaware high school sex education teacher. Some advice: leave all the children behind.

(7) Whatcom Community College professor. However, you may not call yourself Dr. Weiner and start your classes by announcing "the Doctor is in". Just tell yourself this gets you back to Washington (OK, state not district).

(8) Las Vegas roulette croupier. You already know Weiner Roulette: load all six barrels with sext messages, send to different women, spin the week and repeat. No, you will not be assigned the wheel near the blackjack table.

(9) Feature dancer. You have been a House Dancer, so Feature Dancer is a step up. Work the pole for the tip and don't give your lap dances away for free.

(10) CEO of 1*800*GOT*JUNK. You may have to start at the bottom and with a little manual labor work your way up.

Weiner Did Not Get the Lap Dance He Imagined from Ginger Lee

It has come to this, a stripper porn star feature dancer who in the past has appeared in adult films and is now studying to become a real estate agent credibly and articulately lecturing a member of Congress on ethics and morality.

Some highlights:

"I did not sext Anthony Weiner."

"Anytime he would take our communications in a sexual direction, I did not reciprocate."

"When the tweet regarding his crotch went out, I had already been told by him about a twitter sex scandal on the horizon."

"On June 2 he called me and told he me what to say and do."

"He asked me to lie."

"I think Anthony Weiner should resign."

"If he lied about this, I can't have much faith in him about anything else."
And then the highlights of the messages Weiner sent to her:

"I need to highlight my package."

"You aren't giving my package due credit".

"My package and I are not going to beg."
Anthony Weiner's wife is just returning from a trip Africa, so yes there will be begging.

According to her lawyer Gloria Allred, planned parenthood and health care were the gateway issues that got Ginger Lee interested in Anthony Weiner's politics. The full press conference:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Barack Obama's Popularity Rises Above the Best of a Bad Lot

A recent NBC/WSJ poll taken before this week's debate has some sobering news for Republicans.

First, only 45% of prospective Republican primary voters say they are satisfied with the Republican Party's 2012 presidential candidates. The good news for Mitt Romney is that they rank him highest:

Mitt Romney30
Sarah Palin14
Herman Cain12
Rick Perry8
Ron Paul7
Newt Gingrich6
Tim Pawlenty4
Rick Santorum4
Michele Bachmann3
Jon Huntsman1
Not sure8

The bad news for Republicans is that Barack Obama continues to enjoy a relatively positive imgage, compared to all of them:

Person or GroupPositiveNegativePos-Neg
Barack Obama493712
Chris Christie23149
Mitt Romney27261
The Democratic Party3839-1
Paul Ryan1718-1
Tim Pawlenty1415-1
Jon Huntsman79-2
Rick Perry1215-3
The Tea Party Movement2841-13
The Republican Party3044-14
Sarah Palin2454-30
Newt Gingrich1648-32

Those Republicans who'd like to see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie jump into the Presidential race will be heartened but ought to consider that many voters outside of New Jersey (44%) still don't know him. There are a couple of notable Repuiblican candidates not on that list, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain.

At the root of it is that while Barack Obama's job approval ratings are just middling, approval ratings for Congress are downright abysmal. Congress continues to drag the Republican Party down:

JobApproveDisapproveNot sure
Barack Obama as President49465
Barack Obama handling the economy41545
Barack Obama handling foreign policy54446
Barack Obama handling the war in Afghanistan54397

How will that change? Congress is getting blamed with only 29% believing the country is headed in the right direction and 62% believing we are off on the wrong track.

Can 2012 Republicans Close the Twitter Gap?

Twitter follower counts show a big gap between Barack Obama and the 2012 Republican field, mirroring the previously chronicled Facebook gap.

CandidateFollowers on 6/15/2011
Barack Obama8,628,273
Newt Gingrich1,324,904
Donald Trump615,671
Sarah Palin561,050
Mike Huckabee165,040
Mike Bloomberg99,413
Jim DeMint95,266
Bobby Jindal59,598
Paul Ryan59,094
Ron Paul54,455
Michele Bachmann52,100
Mitt Romney51,580
Rick Perry44,438
Herman Cain43,542
Chris Christie42,041
Tim Pawlenty40,981
Jeb Bush14,937
Rick Santorum10,529
Jon Huntsman704
Total Republican Followers3,335,343

For Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner, it is clear that not everyone is hanging on his every word. He even trails Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann.

Perhaps it's not the wisest strategy to be at the top of the Twitter list. Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich have made themselves over to be national jokes. Sarah Palin is everywhere ridiculed, and Mike Huckabee would be too if he had not dropped out.

Indeed, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner was all over Twitter until he spread a little too much of himself over Twitter.

It's a wonder why anyone bothers to talk about about Jon Huntsman, as he is at the bottom of both the Facebook and Twitter lists. He announced Tuesday that he will announce his candidacy next week, but not on Twitter where his feed still says "@jonhuntsman hasn't tweeted yet." I'm sure all 704 of his followers eagerly await his first tweet.

Three weeks ago Herman Cain was on track to cross the Biden line and become a serious contender by mid-July but now it looks like it will be late September. That's not too late but he has lost the momentum he had in April and May. His Twitter numbers also lag.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Joe Biden Promises $1 Trillion in Budget Cuts by the Fourth of July

Vice President Joe Biden predicted today that the deficit reduction talks he is leading will have a deal on well over $1 trillion in budget cuts to present by the July 4th Congressional recess. With a goal of cutting $4 trillion over the next decade, that's a good start but a long way left to go.

The catch is that Joe Biden may not know how much $1 trillion is. Let's hope he didn't confuse his billions with his trillions. And that he meant this Fourth of July not some year in the future.

With President Obama scheduled to play golf with Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner this Saturday, it may be match play for the last $100 billion. Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich will team up with Boehner, while Vice President Biden will tee up with the President.

While deficit reduction would seem a Tea Party issue, President Obama needs these cuts to make good on some 2008 election promises. Which raises the question, would Joe Biden have gotten $1 trillion in cuts out of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

Sarah Palin Writes at a Higher Level than Hemingway or Twain

Arianna Huffington sicked her blog hounds on the trove of Sarah Palin emails released by the State of Alaska on 6/10/2011. By midnight on 6/13/2011, this was about all they could come up with to tweet:

"Sarah Palin writes like a 14 year old."
The source for this disingenuous proposition was an AOL Weird News article. If you read the actual article, it is technically true that the two experts consulted placed her emails at the eighth grade comprehension level (8.2, 8.5) but both said Sarah Palin had an "excellent score for a chief executive."

Somehow that didn't come out on twitter as "Sarah Palin writes well" or for that matter as "Sarah Palin writes as badly as Arianna Huffington" or "Our CEO Arianna Huffington also writes like a 14 year old."

You see the Flesch-Kincaid readability test counts how many average words are in each sentence and how many average syllables are in each word. The sentence "Arianna Huffington has two daughters" scores 12.3 whereas the sentence "Sarah Palin has two sons and three daughters" only scores 3.7.

Take a sentence like this from Arianna's own bio:

Both a withering indictment and a hopeful call to arms, "Right Is Wrong" makes the case that America has been hijacked from within by the "lunatic fringe" of the Right that has taken over the Republican Party - enabled by a compliant media that act as if there is no such thing as truth and are more interested in cozying up to those in power than in holding them accountable.
That scores a 28.9, which means it is written like its author wasted 13 years getting through graduate school after high school and college. To be fair, Arianna's bio as a whole scores a 13.7, the level of a third-trimester freshman in college - not quite sophomoric in other words.

If Arianna had studied communications in college, like Sarah Palin did, she might realize that a lower grade level comprehension score makes one easier for others to understand.

The great American author Ernest Hemingway was known for his short, declarative sentences. For example, his short story "The End of Something" scores only a 2.7. Mark Twain's short story "Advice to Little Girls" scores a 4.3 and does have some pertinent advice for this situation:

Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged.
You ought never to "sass" old people unless they "sass" you first.
By the way, a CNN analysis of the October 2008 VP debate found that Sarah Palin spoke at tenth-grade level, while Joe Biden spoke at the eighth-grade level, which supports my contention that Palin is smarter than Joe Biden.

Did Anthony Weiner Get Two Weeks Paid Vacation or Two Weeks Notice?

Two big developments in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal on Monday.

(1) The U.S. House of Representatives granted Weiner's request for a two-week leave of absence on Monday to seek professional help.s

(2) President Barack Obama gave an interview to NBC in whioh he said, "I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign."

With that kind of pressure to resign, from the sitting President in your own party, Weiner may want the professional help of a career counselor rather than the sex rehab therapy he had lined up. Because it sounds to me that he has been given two weeks to find a new job.

Obama gave Weiner a good lashing:

"When you get to the point where, because of various personal distractions, you can't serve as effectively as you need to, at the time when people are worrying about jobs, and their mortgages, and paying the bills — then you should probably step back."
Weiner will earn $6,692.31 on his Congressional salary during his paid two week leave of absence. But the job he comes back to may be much diminished, with a Democratic aide suggesting the Democratic caucus run by Nancy Pelosi, who has also asked Weiner to resign, could strip Weiner of his committee assignments and ban Weiner from their meetings.

President Obama also participated in a job forum Monday where he admitted some of the stimulus projects were "not as shovel-ready as we expected." Burying Anthony Weiner in the hole he dug for himself is very shovel-ready.

Monday, June 13, 2011

People Who Live in Thatched Houses Shouldn't Throw Nuts

First Sarah Palin announced it would be nice to meet her hero former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Then an aide to Baroness Thatcher was reported as responding,

"Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts."
Well, today the news is that Margaret Thatcher will be meeting Sarah Palin. Thatcher earned her reputation in the 1980s as a real nutcracker. No word on the fate of the aide.

Thatcher is a graduate of Oxford University, and in that respect represents the very type of establishment conservative that Sarah Palin lovers hate. So reports of a snub where not well received in certain conservative circles in the United States.

Some theories as to what happened:

(1) Rush Limbaugh, who describes himself as a longtime friend of Thatcher, intervened on Sarah Palin's behalf, and it turns out Thatcher is the original dittohead.

(2) David Cameron, the current Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, realized he would have to meet with Sarah Palin if Thatcher did not and that would be especially awkward as he has pegged Sarah Palin as "hard for us to understand."

(3) Margaret Thatcher's staff was under the mistaken impression that Sarah Heath Palin was the secret daughter of Edward Heath, the Conservative leader who then upstart Thatcher unseated to take power in her party, and now hopes the meeting will bring an end to the "longest sulk in history."

(4) The Conservative Tories resent the Tea Party, in sympathy for their party's forebearer Lord North, who never got paid for the tea dumped in Boston Harbor, but now hope to offset their spilled tea claims with interest against BP's gulf oil spill damage liability.

(5) Thatcher's Tory friends also suspect Sarah Heath Palin of being descended from Massachusetts militia general William Heath, who bloodied the British regulars on their bloody long walk back from Lexington and Concord, but warmed to Sarah Palin's explanation of how Paul Revere sought to "warn the British" on his famous ride.

Actually, despite these competing reports, it is still not clear yet whether Baroness Margaret Thatcher will condescend to meet with Sarah Palin. As for the idea that such a meeting would raise Palin's stature in the eyes of American voters, those Brits have too high an opinion of themselves.

There can be little doubt that Britain and the rest of Europe, both on the right and the left, would not react well if Sarah Palin were elected President of the United States. If you accept their view of the United States as the leader of the free world which should act internationally only for the common interest, then our voters should be acting in trust for the whole free world when we cast our ballots for President.

Disabusing Europe of that trustee notion for once and for all might be the very best reason for a Palin Presidency.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Employment Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Here's a graph that shows the huge loss of jobs during the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and the long way we have to go to get out of that hole despite a year of job creation. You can see that this will take several years.

Here's how the White House Council of Economic Advisors spun the numbers:

Private sector payrolls increased by 83,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent. There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years.

While the private sector has added more than 2.1 million jobs over the past 15 months, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn. The initiatives put in place by this Administration – such as the payroll tax cut and business incentives for investment – have contributed to solid employment growth overall this year, but this report is a reminder of the challenges that remain. We are focused on promoting exports, reducing regulatory burdens and making the investments in education, research and development, and infrastructure that will grow our economy and create jobs. We will continue to work with Congress to responsibly reduce the deficit and live within our means.
Here is how Mitt Romney responded:

President Obama recently responded to last month's unexpectedly high unemployment numbers by saying they were just "bumps on the road to recovery."

Unemployment is not just a statistic. Unemployment means kids can't go to college; that marriages break up under the financial strain; that young people can't find work and start their lives; that men and women in their 50s fear they will never find a job again. Today, 14 million Americans are out of work.

Sign the petition to show President Obama that, for too many Americans, unemployment is real. It will take a real leader to recognize that, and do something about it.
That's fine, but I haven't found signing petitions terribly effective at job creation and a real leader would recognize that. A real leader would also pick up on what the White House offers in the last sentence quoted above: "We will continue to work with Congress to responsibly reduce the deficit and live within our means."

Michele Bachman also has a petition to sign:

With the national debt $14 trillion and counting, Congress' spending frenzy cannot continue. It's time to force our elected officials to stop spending cold turkey, and we can start by making sure they do not raise the debt ceiling.

That's why I'm asking you to personally tell Congress not to increase the amount of money the government can borrow by adding your name to the "Don't Raise the Debt Ceiling" petition.
The stalled deficit reduction talks between the President and Congress are likely the bumps we have hit on the road to recovery. Will this kind of posturing get us over the bumps? Not if it goes on too long.

Deficits can create jobs .in the short term, but they also kill jobs and the extra burden of taxation deficits impose over the longer term makes jobs more difficult to create. That was the real lesson of the Reagan years and the Clinton years.

The priority needs to be on lowering the deficit as we come out of the recession. To my mind, that's going to require both spending cuts and tax increases. I don't like that, particularly the prospect of a tax increase, but it's necessary to pay the bills. What we will probably get is a 3 month summer vacation followed by 15 months of campaigning.

Where will we be at the end of that 18 months? Probably not back to the pre-recession employment levels, judging by the picture. I will blame both the Democrats and Republicans for that. So I will save the remaining 350 words.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anthony Weiner So Sorry U Got Hacked in the Middle of Our FB Threeway

Do you have any dirty pictures of your Congressman? Would you like to google some? I can't imagine how it could get any worse for Anthony Weiner after reading the transcript of his steamy facebook exchanges with his Las Vegas blackjack dealer babe. Skipping the good stuff to the end:

May 31st 2011
omg! are u okay? so sorry u got hacked … i know u would never do anything like have fb sex or take pics of your c*** … who is the b***** who ratted u out? I am the only fb chick u can trust

June 1st 2011
u owe me big time for keeping this all quiet … i am defending u to the death on every blog and to everyone ….telling everyone u would never send dirty messages to women i know u haven't been on here since u were hacked but i NEED to talk to u … someone contacted me about u … call me or something.
You wouldn't be reading this transcript or googling the new photos of the formerly cocksure Congressman if his Vegas baby hadn't turned on him. It seems that her loyalty broke down with the unravelling of the hacker lie. Hell hath no fury like a facebook woman scorned, and what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.

Maybe it can get worse for Weiner, as the transcript for March 3rd 2011 suggests on online threeway, between Anthony Weiner and his Vegas babe LW and another man:

LW: yea..getting drunk and about to bang my f*** friend...till u get here...he will take some dirty pics of me 4 u.
LW: he's finger******* right now while I type this...knows I lve u
AW: off to class. Pics
I left out the really raunchy part of this exchange, so you'll have to click the transcript link and scroll down to March 3rd 2011 to read it. The idea of another "fb threeway" was raised on April 29th 2011.

Update: Bill Maher and Jane Lynch read part of the exhange in a video clip that is definitely not safe for work.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weiner Exposes A Gender Gap at The New Yorker

Ben Greenman, editor of the Goings On About Town section in The New Yorker, finds a teachable moment in the Anthony Weiner press conference:

I made a joke during the press conference, on Twitter, that we shouldn't forget the real victims — the hackers Weiner unfairly accused. But there's a way in which there is a broader class of victims, not only the public officials who have to watch their every step, possibly at the expense of focussing on governance, but also the millions of private citizens who now form some kind of unholy panopticon, watching for a misstep so that we can get in on the conversation (and the spotlight). There's such a thing as legitimate scrutiny, but is this it?
I don't know about you, but I had to look up the word "panopticon" on Wikipedia. Ben Greenman is concerned that the internet now makes it possible for millions of citizens to keep an eye on their politicians. He longs for the good old days when a politician might only have to fear a snarky squib in The New Yorker, or perhaps Vanity Fair.

Hendrik Hertzberg, chief snark, followed up on that theme:

On MSNBC, the cable-news "home page" of my political tribe, one commentator said that one of the things Weinergate shows is that powerful politicians assume they can get away with things that regular people can't. If they do assume that, they're wrong. It would be more accurate to say that they can't get away with things thiat regular people can. Look around you. Consider your friends, your work colleagues, your relatives, maybe even yourself. It's likely that a nontrivial proportion of them have some sexual secret (at least they think it's a secret) in their lives. If their secret comes out, if they get caught in an embarrassing lie about it, the whole world isn't going to hear about it. It won't be national news.
Susan Orlean brought it back around:

"what kind of idiot sends lewd pictures of himself via social media and thinks he won’t get caught?"
Samantha Henig was more succint:

"His Twitter account was not hacked, and that was his underwear."
Lauren Collins asked the really tough question:

"wouldn't it be great if our elected officials could stop inflicting these unsavory screwups on us in the first place?"
Amy Davidson lands the knockout punch:

"taking full responsibility" does not mean resigning, which makes one wonder how abject, as opposed to humiliated, Weiner is.
If you are keeping score, that's two men ruing the sad fate of Anthony Weiner and four women ruing his sick behavior.

Note: Don't think Ben Greenman spent much time worrying about over-scrutinizing Sarah Palin. It is the Summer Fiction Issue.

Update: Judging from Ross Douthat, the men of the New York Times are lining up with the women of The New Yorker:

But he didn’t resign. And this, to me, is the dealbreaker. A confession is just words, so much sound and fury, without an act of contrition, and the act of contrition appropriate to Weiner’s offenses is the resignation of his office. When there are real consequences for a shameful act, there can be a second chance — but the whole idea of a second chance implies that you’ve given up your first one. This is why, to return to an old theme, I’d rather cheer for Michael Vick than cast a vote for Anthony Weiner (or David Vitter, to pick a prominent Republican example), even though Vick’s crimes were far worse than a mere sex scandal. Willingly or not, Vick actually paid for his crime with years in prison (as well as years away from football and millions in lost income). Whereas too many politicians, from Weiner to Vitter to Bill Clinton, seem to think that atonement begins and ends with the apologetic press conference.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sarah Palin Storms through Boston to NH

Whether you think of Sarah Palin as the Good Witch of the North or the Wicked Witch of the West, she certainly stormed through Boston.

Wednesday she was eating pizza with Donald Trump in New York City. Thursday morning she was emerging from the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel for a quick tour of the Freedom Trail and the North End.

In between Massachusetts was hit by the worst series of tornadoes in memory, leaving a track of destruction across western and central Massachusetts. And sometime that evening Sarah Palin came right down the Massachusetts Turnpike riding either the crest or the wake of the tornadoes.

Sarah Palin quickly skipped up the yellow brick road to a clambake in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Even our favorite storm chaser, DaTechGuy, couldn't keep up.

Once she reached the Granite State, she was quick to upstage Mitt Romney, exposing him as just a man behind a curtain and not the great and powerful Republican frontrunner he would like to be seen as.

Sarah Palin is a force of nature, this week's bus tour once again proves.I personally think she would have made a fine Vice President. Smarter than Dan Quayle, Al Gore, or Joe Biden. More interesting that Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, or George H.W. Bush. Less reckless than Lyndon Johnson, Spiro Agnew, or Dick Cheney.

Will she be elected President? I don't think she is running in 2012. I think this bus tour's purpose was to gain material for another book, which she will have written and published by the end of summer. She'll sell the book into the Presidential speculation and then announce she is not running.

Sarah has schooled Mitt Romney on the best revenge being served cold. In 2008 he was disappointed not to be picked for the VP slot. His plants in the McCain campaign threw Sarah under the bus by whispering their complaints to the press. Sarah is now driving the bus and running over anyone she wants. Her fanbase exceeds Romney, the nearest Republican, by a factor of three.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mitt Romney the Cookie Cutter Candidate

Mitt Romney reminded me once again why he is the cookie cutter candidate with his Presidential campaign annoucement speech in New Hampshire:

A few years ago, Americans Massachusetts did something that was, actually, very much the sort of thing Americans Bay Staters like to do: We gave someone new a chance to lead; someone we hadn't known for very long, who didn't have much of a record but promised to lead us to a better place.

At the time, we didn't know what sort of a President Governor he would make. It was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when Barack Obama Mitt Romney came to office, we wished him well and hoped for the best.

Now, in the third year of five years after his four-year term, we have more than promises and slogans to go by.

Barack Obama Mitt Romney has failed America Massachusetts.
I refuse to believe that America Massachusetts is just another place on the map with a flag. We stand for freedom and opportunity and hope.

These last two ten years have not been the best of times. But while we've lost a couple of years decade, we have not lost our way. The principles that made us a great nation state and leader of the world nation have not lost their meaning. They never will.

We know we can bring this country state back.

I'm Mitt Romney. I believe in America the Bay State. And I'm running for President of the United States Governor of Massachusetts.

Tim Pawlenty's Problem is an Empty Parking Lot

Tim Pawlenty's problem can be summed up in this picture he posted on his Facebook page.

This is Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska and no one is there but Tim.

The South Shall Read Again and Again and Again ...

Everyone is bragging about how Cambridge topped's list of best-read cities in America. But no one is breaking it down by region, where New England does not fare so well.

Here are the rankings:


2. Alexandria, Virginia
6. Miami, Florida
8. Gainesville, Florida
10. Arlington, Virginia
11. Knoxville, Tennesee
12. Orlando, Florida
14. Washington, District of Columbia
16. Columbia, South Carolina
20. Atlanta, Georgia

West Coast:

3. Berkeley, California
9. Seattle, Washington
15. Bellevue, Washington
19. Portland, Oregon


4. Ann Arbor, Michigan
13. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
17. St. Louis, Missouri
18. Cincinnati, Ohio

Rocky Mountain:

5. Boulder, Colorado
7. Salt Lake City, Utah

New England:

1. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Where are the readers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Anthony Weiner Joins the Wet Raccoon Club

Now it's bipartisan. First it was Donald Trump, then New Gingrich, now the Wet Raccoon Club has initiated Congressman Anthony Weiner as its newest member. You know you've become a joke when longtime acquaintance and friend of a friend Jon Stewart makes fun of the size of your penis:

Anthony Weiner certainly has a pubic relations pickle on his hands, with an explanation as flimsy as a pair of briefs that rubs up against a whole sextet of suspicions:

(1) Weiner says his Twitter account was hacked but insists on hiring a private law firm and security experts to investigate, instead of asking the FBI to investigate for free.

(2) Weiner wanted to laugh this off as a prank, but that characterization is consistent with him sending a picture of his junk to a follower on Twitter as a playful prank.

(3) Weiner can't say with certitude that the picture is not him, raising the possibility he was using a picture of someone else's junk to pick up girls, something internet pervs are also known to do.

(4) Weiner has an established modus operandi of using the internet to hit on women he has just met and doesn't know too well, his email overture to a DC staffer just a couple of days after 9/11 was reported back in 2001 in Vanity Fair. And a Saturday night in March he tweeted porn star Ginger Lee who replied, "You know it's a good day when you wake up to a DM from @RepWeiner," Lee tweeted. (I'm a fangirl, y'all, he's my trifecta of win.)"

(5) Weiner claims that the @RepWeiner account from which the photo was tweeted was for personal use, begging the question of why he was following so many young women on that account. The young woman to whom the tweet was sent claims someone started cyber-stalking her after Weiner started following her on Twitter. Weiner may just be a serial cyber-stalker.

(6) Weiner had his marriage last July officiated by Bill Clinton, which strikes me as a little like crossing your fingers when making your wedding vows. And we all know men are most likely to be tempted to cheat in the first year of marriage.

This whole Weiner affair is somewhat tamer than many sex scandals, except that this time there is a picture. Which reminds me that former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, client #9, should really be inducted retroactively into the Wet Raccoon Club.