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October 05, 2012


I've already enjoyed testosterone "release" regarding the debate on the "shiny toys" thread, but now we also have the erstwhile former GE CEO Jack Welch becoming an employment statistics "truther" via Twitter.

If you Google "Jack Welch massages quarterly earning numbers at GE", you'll find plenty about Welch's close knowledge and extensive experience of funky numbers.

I imagine Welch will be on Joe Kernan's morning show this week on CNBC to double-down on his charges, and Kernan no doubt will be happy to play Mary Jane Reed, the Monkey, to Alexander Portnoy Welch's right-wing ejaculations.

Didn't Jon Stewart once joke that "Portnoy's Complaint", and not the Old Testament or the Talmud, was the fundamental Jewish text?

Yes, I should have gotten this up sooner.

I just caught one thing on MSNBC where one commenter said that Romney came across like the alpha dog and Obama's was less in your face which might make a difference with those mythical undecided women voters. Any thoughts on that?

I saw that nth dimensional chess was referenced, but I never had the impression that Obama was a super debater and the only reason people were predicting a rout was because it looked like mitt was going to trip over his d**k.

I should have gotten this up sooner


What's a "super debater", exactly?

Anyone who's had the misfortune to watch Ann Coulter "debate" would surely agree that her ... uhm ... vivacity is more like Debate Romney's than Debate Obama's. Should Obama have been more Coulter-like in the debate?

Does truth -- or even Truthiness -- factor into the "super"-ness of a debater's performance? Or does enthusiastic prevarication outweigh sober explanation every time?

Or does it take a good zinger to make a great debate? If so, does "... now, 5 weeks before the election, his big idea seems to be 'Never mind'" count?

I understand that the working definition of superiority in political debates is such that Romney out-debated Obama on Wednesday night. But I suspect that the same working definition, applied to a debate over global warming between the lissome Ms Coulter and some dorky PhD physicist, would lead to a similar conclusion: the PhD was a lousy debater.


Good point, Tony. It was just that as I was leaving for this retreat, I saw the bashing of teeth over the debate. I should also note that this is on my new iPhone which is why the post got doubled. God, my fingers are fat…


It seems to me that Obama's pattern is to let the other side go first. This is a strategy that has its dangers, but (I wish I could remember where this quote comes from...)

In every enterprise there is a certain element of risk.

"Obama's was less in your face which might make a difference with those mythical undecided women voters. Any thoughts on that?"

Umm, which way? In fact, the question occurred to me.

If we want to be scornful of low-information voters, then maybe the ladies will all be overawed by the SOB's sheer aggressive maleness. And it would have worked that way 40 or 50 years ago.

Take a concrete example: You could surely count on nearly all the Catholic women to embrace, pardon the expression, the givers of commands. Back then. Today? Hey, do think Mitt won over the nuns by this performance?

Just guessing, but I think the swing among all undecideds may not be strongly plus.

Thanks Porlock, I thought it was a interesting point but wondered if anyone else did

Brett and I watched in dismay as our candidates tacked to the black hole known as "The Center" where the magic pixie dust of zero marginal rates raises economic output to infinity and shattering the New Deal is the sin qua non of Liberalism. Breaching the event horizon leads inevitably to the singularity of The Grand Bargain.

Via Balloon Juice -- Rick Santorum, yesterday:

“I’ve voted to kill Big Bird in the past. So, I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird. I mean, you can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don’t know.”

Setting aside that slaughtering Big Bird and feeding his carcass to the 47% as a sort of "free cheese" transitional measure as the New Deal is dismantled IS Rmoneys deficit reduction plan (Matt Taibbi said he didn't understand why conservatives didn't hurl bags of dog sh*t on stage at Rmoney for pulling out the old "cutting NPR will solve the deficit" chestnut), I am at one with bobbyp's dismay in noticing Barack Obama in the background preparing Big Bird gravy from the Bowles-Simpson CookedBooks.

More seriously, the prospect of an Avignon Presidency is being raised by some wags. Certainly the groundwork of doubt in the legitimacy of a second Obama term is being laid (end to end; no surprise) in the voter fraud arena by the ever-victimized Republican Party (despite THEIR remarkable success at stealing elections) and if you throw in the ever-present specter of Strom Thurmond's now completely unsheathed Mandingo obsession which has invaded the very bowels of the vermin, racist Republican Party, that would seem a logical next step in the developing second American Civil War.

This is where I begin to like Barack Obama's growing facility with armed drone technology.

General Sherman with a domestic Drone Air Force.

I think that for many people, the sound might as well be off during the debate. "Winning" is determined by body language. I'd put a lot of reporters and pundits in the cartagory of those who dod not need to hear nythig to determine the winner except they do sometimes listen for tow things: obvious gaffes and zingers.

I think Romney's attack oon Big Bird is a gaffe that will over time nutralize any votes he got by appearing to be macho. What's macho about attacking Big BIrd? It's just ...ridiculous.

Wel this shows how deeply cynical I am about politica discourse in the US of A.

Considering how much trouble Romney made for himself over the past six months, just by running his mouth, Obama may have been using a "give him enough rope" strategy.

It might be working, too.

"What's macho about attacking Big Bird?"

The part where Rmoney and the entire swaggering machismo Republican clown show and bullsh*t caucus cancels Big Bird's unemployment insurance and health insurance and then rolls down the window at the stop light in their stretch mini-Cooper clown car and tells Big Bird to get a minimum-wage job at the poultry farm.

Firing Jim Lehrer mid-debate was a deft touch too to somehow prove the macho bona-fides.

It's a species of sadism endemic to the hormonal type. It's not enough to do the supposed job on the Other for these scum, but some trash-talking sand in the face action is required to be part of the towel-snapping in the locker room afterwards.

NPR, for these tough guys, is just the meek faggot in the high school locker room who gets the first goosing.

You see it in male sports particularly.

I can always tell when I'm in a game against a Republican baseball player or players.

There's the sneering trash talk right up front with these people. You could almost see Ann Coulter grabbing her package and spitting at the catcher's feet in appreciation of Rmoney's plucking of Big Bird's tail feathers.

These are the types for which the high hard one, the spikes-up hard slide, the f*ck you, and if they want to go, the cold-cock kick in the nuts, where both their testosterone and their brains live, were created.

Yes, it's ridiculous.

Until you get the hang of it, like for example John Adams and Thomas Jefferson did back in the day.


That's what Mrs. Lincoln was trying to hear over the gunfire.

Well, this is the testosterone thread, right?

To belabor the baseball analogy, Obama needs to lose the Pumpsie Green* act and bring on his Jackie Robinson game.

Was he just dancing off third during this first debate.

It doesn't count if you don't score.

Ignore Branch Rickey's counsel regarding the angry black man improprieties and go into home with spikes flying and, for good measure, on the way back to the dugout flip the bird to white trash Solly Hemus in the other dugout, who's leading the racist chorus in the cheap seats.

*Completely unfair to Pumpsie Green, who was a solid ballplayer and a good man. It's just that Pumpsie, or Rochester, or Sabu, is the kind of name that Dinesh D'Souza fancies for himself, the punk.

I suppose basketball would fit better, wouldn't it?

Maybe Obama is biding his time down court and planning on passing the ball to himself late in the game for his patented three pointer at the buzzer.

Ignore Branch Rickey's counsel regarding the angry black man improprieties and go into home with spikes flying..

Absolutely. The whole "Don't be an Angry Black Man" business is very annoying. I don't know who started that, but it's a mistake.

I'd love a President, black or white, who got angry at some of the crap going on.

I think there are two flavors to that argument. The first, as above, counsels that Obama not be angry. The second, I think, simply acknowledges that this stricture operates on the way the president comports himself. I suppose that the two arguments could be seen to overlap, but the latter one is more like noting it as a frame rather than a recommendation.


I don't understand your comment, really.

Could you clarify?



Completely unfair to Pumpsie Green, who was a solid ballplayer and a good man.

Whether Green was a good man or not I don't know, but "solid ballplayer" is a stretch. Give him credit though, for being the first black player on the Red Sox (in 1959!!) and enduring the extraordinary stresses that no doubt entailed.

If I didn't know better, and I don't, I'd think Romney did a couple lines before the debate.

Well, I guess I should say, given the logic of that statement, which leads to my thinking that Romney was powdering his nose, that I don't actually think Romney did any blow, whether I have any way of knowing that or not, but that he definitely acted like someone who was zooted, maybe not to the nth, but to some non-zero degree, what with the red face and bulging blood vessels and sweaty upper lip and the I-can't-shut-up-so-fnck-you-Jim-Lehrer, rapid-fire, talking-out-his-ass sort of verbosity that often precedes by only a few short hours the oh-sh1t-it's-starting-to-be-daytime-and-I'm-nowhere-close-to-being-able-to-fall-asleep-and-I'm-out-of-weed-and-beer heebie-geebies that I don't imagine him experiencing but do wish upon him because that sh1t's no fun and I don't like him a little bit.

I mean, right?

This is from my iPhone so I can't do much right now. I'll try and get a comment explaining this evening.


I guess I should supply context, in this case, any guy who can play major league ball for four years is a solid ballplayer in my book, though error-prone defensively.

But, yeah, he wasn't Brooks Robinson, or even Lenny, Dick, or Gene Green.

But he had a decent on base percentage in his four years. I could see Billy Beane picking him up for today's Oakland A's based on that stat alone.

Then, of course, he accompanied pitcher Gene Conley off the team bus for one of the great drunks in baseball history, with Conley gone for 68 hours and even trying to catch a plane to Israel.

Google that. ;)


Maybe Romney spent his debate practice time with Hunter Thompson and William F. Burroughs.

Then there was that odd, simpering, condescending smile he cast at Obama while the latter was speaking, like maybe Romney had broken down and given his houseboy some book-learning and then the boy had become uppity and now was being sold at auction below the market rate because of his contrary nature and insistence on being called Mista Tibbs when what the hedge fund groupies really wanted was to be served another plate of canapies.

The Big Bird comment is already generating some responses. Of which, I must confess that I find this one, comparing taking out Big Bird with taking out bin Laden, quite biting.

Big Bird, and Ernie, and Miss Piggy are much greater enemies of the American Volk than bin Laden was.

Mark Steyn, on the editorial page of today's Investors Business Daily, which gesticulates like a cartoon Mussolini from its First Amendment balcony every day, said that Sesame Street is responsible for the "infantilization of America".

Kermit the Other brought out the inner child in all of us and taught our children to spell and share --- grievous, never to be forgiven sins.

But bin Laden made men of the down-trodden filth on the American Right.

He gave them a Homeland Uber Puppetry.

Keeping bin Laden alive was important to the Right, much like they still disinter Ronald Reagan periodically to refresh the dye in his hair.

If Jim Henson had not died a natural death, Dick Cheney would have mobilized the Navy Seals.

This is why I've always believed puppets should be heavily armed.

The victim right, the flaccid dummies between their legs unresponsive to self puppetry, haven't been so victimized since Charley Horse mounted Sari Lewis' hand and in a rare children's TV editorial moment, told the John Birch Society to go f*ck itself, back when they were a ragtag lumpen mob of scum instead of the clear and present danger they are now.

Lewis would have been banned from TV but the American Right, ever vigilant, was too busy taking Soupy Sales off the air for causing our bananas to cream, which Portnoy took to heart.

Puppets have had to lay low ever since, with the exception of Republicans in the House and Senate who have the busy, soiled hands of Grover Norquist, Rush Limbaugh, and Ralph Reed up the backs of their brownshirts, when they aren't down the front of their pants.

Ayn Rand ventriloquized some wonderfully wooden puppets.

They f*cked each other selfishly for thousands of pages and called it architecture, or industry, or job creation ...or something.

What's macho about attacking Big Bird?


just got back from the retreat and am about to crash (tomorrow is a holiday here), so I'll try to explain.

While I don't know of any pundit types saying that Obama shouldn't be an Angry Black Man (ABM), there was an anecdote from the campaign about Obama's walk and how, at one point in the primary contest after notching up some victories, Obama's walk became a strut and Axelrod was reported to have said that he had to tell Obama to ratchet it down. (trying to find the anecdote with the search terms Obama+Axelrod+strut led to a number of sites that seem to be less than Obama friendly, if you know what I mean)

On the other hand, the other stories I have read are not advising Obama to not be the ABM, but simply noting that this is the dynamic. The best of these is Coates Fear of a Black President

For most of American history, our political system was premised on two conflicting facts—one, an oft-stated love of democracy; the other, an undemocratic white supremacy inscribed at every level of government. In warring against that paradox, African Americans have historically been restricted to the realm of protest and agitation. But when President Barack Obama pledged to “get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he was not protesting or agitating. He was not appealing to federal power—he was employing it. The power was black—and, in certain quarters, was received as such.

No amount of rhetorical moderation could change this. It did not matter that the president addressed himself to “every parent in America.” His insistence that “everybody [pull] together” was irrelevant. It meant nothing that he declined to cast aspersions on the investigating authorities, or to speculate on events. Even the fact that Obama expressed his own connection to Martin in the quietest way imaginable—“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”—would not mollify his opposition. It is, after all, one thing to hear “I am Trayvon Martin” from the usual placard-waving rabble-rousers. Hearing it from the commander of the greatest military machine in human history is another.

Coates' point, I believe, is not that he is advising Obama to not be angry, it is explaining why he can't be angry. Perhaps this is distinction without a difference, but I don't think that the problem is people telling Obama to not act angry, it is a societal fact that if he does do so, he's going to be in trouble. I understand that at some point, explaining it becomes excusing it, but as Coates says

But when President Obama addressed the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, he demonstrated integration’s great limitation—that acceptance depends not just on being twice as good but on being half as black. And even then, full acceptance is still withheld. The larger effects of this withholding constrict Obama’s presidential potential in areas affected tangentially—or seemingly not at all—by race. Meanwhile, across the country, the community in which Obama is rooted sees this fraudulent equality, and quietly seethes.

This comes across as if I am lecturing you and I don't mean to. I'm sure that you are well aware of how many people couch their complaints about the Obamas in a way that suggests a double standard, from complaints about sleeveless dresses, dishonoring the Resolute desk, Obama's tux all of which point to the fact that Obama is, in many ways, hemmed in, which makes me think that many of the people talking about Obama not being an Angry Black Man are actually just pointing to the way things are rather, which is different than saying he has to avoid being an ABM.

I don't know if that is clearer, but if it isn't, I'm happy to make another run at it if you tell me where it doesn't make sense.

"If I didn't know better, and I don't, I'd think Romney did a couple lines before the debate."

Far more likely of his opponent, seeing as Obama is the one with a history of drug use.

If we are to believe PBS, only about 15 percent of their budget comes from the government. Add a day to each pledge drive, and they ought to be able to get that down to zero. Big Bird? I think that avian is actually a profit center for PBS, carrying some of the rest of the load.

So the question isn't whether Big Bird should die, it's whether Big Bird should be kicked off welfare.

I say, yes. Sure, PBS is keen. We're in debt, and getting deeper in debt all the time. Under such circumstances you stop doing a lot of things that are nice.

Under such circumstances you stop doing a lot of things that are nice.

but never, under any circumstances, may you reduce "defense" spending, nor increase taxes to the non-disastrous rates of the past.

show me a "conservative" who would allow for new income and a reduced "defense" budget and i'll have seen my first financial conservative.

That's like the ur-Bellmore comment right there. Starts with a little "I'm rubber, you're glue," goes on to conflate PBS with Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children's Television Workshop) and includes I bunch of "I think" with no cititations whatsoever. Victory!

I'd love to cut "defense" spending, most of which isn't spent on defense. The bipartisan consensus against doing so doesn't imply you have to continue wasting money elsewhere.

So PBS is a waste of money then, rather than being nice? ...just so we're clear.

That, Brett, and one generally doesn't look like he'd rather be taking a nap than debating just after doing a couple lines. Now, if I'd mentioned anything about being up all of the previous night doing lines, you might be onto something.

Here's another go at the Rmoney going gangnam video.


It's funny, and macho.

Even if one thought PBS and Big Bird weren't "nice", it's ridiculous to bring them into a serious discussion about the Federal budget. Romney should be telling people what tax loopholes he'd close and where the serious budgetary savings are supposed to come from.

Not that I think our economic discussions should be centered on the deficit anyway.

Attacking Big Bird as a way of addressing budget problems just doesn't resonate in the electorate like attacking "nig--bums on welfare." Big Bird just doesn't work as the evil Other to blame things on.

And, of course, no Repubican politician has any intention of working toward a balanced budget in the short term or the long term.

If you can't cut the little stuff, how the heck can you ever expect to cut the big stuff?

Ahh, the old economy is like a household budget mistake. Might want to check out this and this

But since this analogy is invoked so often, I hope that the next time you hear it used you will challenge the speaker to explain exactly why a government’s budget is like a household’s budget. If the speaker claims that government budget deficits are unsustainable, that government must eventually pay back all that debt, ask him or her why we have managed to avoid retiring debt since 1837-is 173 years long enough to establish a “sustainable” pattern?

Ah, the old economy isn't like a household budget rationalization for borrowing endlessly for day to day expenses.

A household can, of course, remain in debt indefinitely, if care is taken to keep the debt from growing. Pay the minimum on the card, put a restaurant tab on it once in a while, the balance just sits there, never getting out of hand, and the fact that you never do pay it off entirely does not ruin you. Just leaves you a little poorer. Sometimes the balance goes up quite a bit, when an emergency comes up, and then you live a bit poorer for a few years paying it back down.

A household can also get into the habit of using the credit card for regular day to day expenses, so as to be able to live above it's means. The interest on the Visa is paid with the Mastercharge, and visa versa. This, of course, can NOT go on indefinitely, though it can go for a remarkably long time before the house of cards falls down around you.

Governments do, of course, go bust from time to time. Rather spectacularly. So it's not as though they're immune from getting over their heads in debt. Usually this is preceded by supposedly wise men explaining why government borrowing is fundamentally different from private. More and more vehemently, in fact, as the debt mounts higher. And then, suddenly, everything starts falling apart, interest rates start skyrocketing, the cost of carrying the debt becomes impossible to sustain. When only a few years earlier all the wise men were declaring it was madness to worry.

Frankly, "If the speaker claims that government budget deficits are unsustainable, that government must eventually pay back all that debt,", then the speaker is a straw man. Since a real world speaker will assert that the government will more likely repudiate the debt eventually, either openly or by hyperinflation.

But go on helping the administration rationalize buying votes today by piling up debts to impoverish our children. Maybe you'll be lucky, and get hit by a car before it all falls down.

But go on helping the administration rationalize buying votes today...

name a decade in which that wouldn't apply. feel free to go as far back as the word "administration" has a meaning in the English language.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. At some point, frugality becomes idiocy. Picking some small, isolated part of the budget like PBS to prove how serious you are about reducing the debt is BS to me, but to you, it proves that Mitt means what he says. Whatever.

If you can't cut the little stuff, how the heck can you ever expect to cut the big stuff?

Isn't this just transparently silly? Just because I spend a few extra bucks each day buying a slightly fancier lunch than the minimum I can tolerate (say, tossing some rice and beans into a rice cooker), it doesn't follow that I have absolutely no control of my finances and that I'll empty my life savings to buy a ferarri tomorrow just because I drove by a ferarri dealer.

I mean, some sentences seem contradicted by the most basic observations of human beings around us.

Yes, Turb, reality has a well-known...

Ah, never mind. You already know it.

By the way, trying to get to LJ's new post about crooked timber vs LGM just gets me a blank page. Is that just me?

Shane, I got a blank page initially, when I posted it, but reloading made it come up, so there might be some funkiness there. I've just made a few small changes and republished it. Please let me know if you still get a blank page.

Subsidies are something one can discuss in a serious way but I think it shows total lack of seriousness to start with something completely insignificant. If one is talking about deficits in the trillion $ range, any discussion below the billion $ level is silly. You may say that taken together the small stuff adds up too but then please lump together the small stuff first. It's like the cliche that the first step a company facing bankruptcy takes is to investigate the overuse of paperclips by the office staff. If there is an indication that there is massive theft of office supplies that may be a point worthy of discussion but otherwise it looks more like the management trying to shift the blame for catastrophic performance away and down on those with the least power to resist. A discussion of subsidies is necessary and should play a part in a presidential debate but it should be a) concentrating on relevant sums and cases and b) honest. The case of PBS violated the first and that of energy the second.

It's not like we're dismantling the military, you know. This isn't a case of not sweating the small stuff while going after the big stuff. This is a case of not even being able to do the small stuff. Not even being able to get started on cutting.

"Men who had voted for the losing presidential candidate, John McCain, suffered a big drop in their testosterone after hearing of his defeat.The scientists reported that the male McCain voters “felt significantly more controlled, submissive, unhappy and unpleasant.” The testosterone effect was “as if they directly engaged head-to-head in a contest for dominance” and lost, one researcher told a reporter when the study was published in 2009. The men who voted for Obama fared better. The researchers speculated that there might be an Obama baby boom."

Via Washington Monthly.

The results of too much master debating.

Portney .... horns up on a dilemma.

Our mothers warned us, having done our laundry.

I suppose I should go read the original study because I fear what I'm going to learn about its methodology.

After all, Erick Erickson et al seemed to maintain a maximum frequency level of jagoffery and wankery throughout with one hand tied behind their backs.

Since a real world speaker will assert that the government will more likely repudiate the debt eventually, either openly or by hyperinflation.

Argument by assertion, and an incorrect one at that. Major double fault.

Also, debt does not "impoverish our children". We carried a tremendous debt burden following WWII....were we "impoverished" during the 50's and 60's? If you give your kid a T-bill is that an asset or a liability?

"Were we impoverished during the 50's and 60's?"

We had 91 to 93 percent marginal tax rates at the high end for the entire 1950s and 70% at the high end after Kennedy, with marginal rates even at the lowest levels of income far above where they are now.

That burden, combined with the debt hangover from World War II, caused our annual GDP to crater by double digits every year, given the enervation of the job creators and the cutting and finally the removal of allowances from the children of that time.

I know this, because my Dad sat us down at the kitchen table and gave us a choice of receiving our weekly allowance OR making up the shortfall by removing our troops from West Germany.

We compromised by sending our two sisters into prostitution, the men being required at home for the hard productive work of whining and wankery.

Nevertheless, we lost the Cold War to the Russkies and Chinese restaurants proliferated on both coasts.

Black anchor babies of suspicious and uncertain provenance eventually found their way today to the highest levels of our government when we weren't looking.

By God, man, read your alternative history!

Via TPM, this is funny:


The footage was later altered by elements of the Christian Right by photo-shopping out the females in the Big Bird situation room.

Well, the Dems were willing to agree to quite large cuts to the social safety net (remember the cat food commission?) but the GOP refused to take yes for an answer (which made many on the left rather happy since it blocked the massive sell-out of the spineless to the Right). Just a few years ago the Right would have opened the champagne bottles for a double (or even triple) victory: a step forward to dismantle the New Deal, the Dems cutting into their own flesh (and sticking it to the poor while being able to at minimum share the blame because it was bipartisan not just GOPism).

Sorry to go back to the original question of the post. I didn't read any "alpha male" into the debate performance nor do I think the "tone" of Romney's performance hurt him in any way with the voters both are going after. Maybe since I "debate" a lot as an attorney confidence and command of the message doesn't seem necessarily "alpha male" to me?

Interestingly (to me at least), I didn't think the difference was as great as most observers. Yes, I thought it was a clear win for Romney. Cleek's "Completely disinterested" is a description of Obama I'd mostly agree with but I don't know if I would have gone with "completely," frex. Did Obama's campaign not watch the primary debates? Did they think this was going to be an easy walk?

And, IMO, trying not to be the "angry black man" had nothing to do with the debate except to show that race is going to be brought in by some no matter what happens. See Countme-in's interpretation of Romney's "smile." Really? Obama's performance had nothing to do with him trying not to be "angry black."

As for Big Bird, the fact that the statement can be read so different means it wasn't the best analogy. lj has it right about budget cutting seriousness. Good argument. And Belmore has it right, too. So IMHO, Romney shouldn't have made his point using Big Bird, not to mention it's a program that could actually survive in a free market. Antiques Roadshow would have made a better target (but what do I know?).

BTW, I did appreciate what seemed to me to be some genuine engagement after the debate by the families. The President showed a lot of class in engaging beyond the usual "good job see you next time."

"Obama's performance had nothing to do with him trying not to be "angry black."

For the record, in another comment on this thread I also counseled Big Bird and his fellow puppets to carry concealed weaponry and try to be "angry Muppet", when the occasion arises.

I know it's counter-intuitive when I'm deadly serious with an accompanying laugh track.

I would also note that Allen West's crazy angry black guy act has gone over swimmingly among the Redstate crowd.

He makes the anti-Semite Al Sharpton look like Urkel.

Given West's dicey murderous behavior while serving in Iraq, believe me, if he were a Democrat and expressed himself as he does now, you'd be seeing right-wing ads profiling him as a swarthy gangbanger.

I haven't seen Democrats go after West's slutty mother either, because we've been brainwashed all these years by Big Bird to be too f*cking "nice".

I want Obama to be "angry liberal", as in sneezing "Bullsh*t" into his hand as Romney is mid-sentence into some crapulous policy caterwauling and whipsawing.

Fox News ridiculed the Obamas for not bringing their daughters on stage after the debate, as the Romney's did with theirs.

I'd like to think it was because the Obama kids told their parents they would take the face time opportunity to ask the Romney's to tell their Republican surrogates publicly to stop characterizing their grandmother as a slut in a sling and their father as a Commie Kenyan.

The kids stayed home, to their credit.

If I were one of the Obama daughters, I'd have gotten all up in there on stage with Mr. Romney.

Jim Lehrer and Big Bird would have quit PBS right then and there, because they would seen that the era of "niceness" is over.

No more federal taxes poured down the rat hole of niceness.

Nope, from now on we're subsidizing a**kicking and taking names.

We have seen muppets with guns: Meet the Feebles.

Got it. Thanks for the clarification countme-in. You actually had me laughing with the "bs" under-the-breath angry liberal picture. Oh, wait, you were serious?

Erick Erickson admits to attempting credit card fraud and impersonating a Russian as part of his ratf*cking operation.

via Eschaton:


I wish I had shot Erickson in self-defense when he waved his wife's shotgun in my face during the 2010 Census.

I turned the other cheek, feeling sorry for white trash.

That's what I get for watching too much Sesame Street with my son when he was a kid.

Then I could have married Erickson's desperately neglected wife and raised his little cracker vermin children as Americans.

We could have Justice Souter and goat f*cker Moe Lane over to dinner and see how that goes, the punk.

As a debate prep, President Obama should watch this video of the liberal Australian Prime Minister tearing a new one in the lying vermin conservative leadership in her country.

Watch the smirking piece of sh*t's face as his expression changes as the Prime Minister wields her verbal machetes.

The Aussie Prime Minister's speech is worth a link

"Erick Erickson admits to attempting credit card fraud and impersonating a Russian as part of his ratf*cking operation."

I think the technical term for this is "investigative journalism". At least, that's what they used to call it, back when journalists were interested in actually verifying whether stuff like this was true, instead of taking a campaign's word for it.

And, as it turns out:

The donation ultimately did not go through.

Only Erickson could try to present the story of how his fraudulent donation to Obama's campaign *failed to go through* as proof that the campaign fundraising operation is corrupt.

The man is a clown.

And back in the day, when they "used to call it" investigative reporting, the report would be "Hey, guess what, we tried to catch them out in fraud, and we failed".

Brett, don't hitch your wagon to the clown car.

the report would be

the report would be canned by any self-respecting editor because what the hell kind of publication wants to be associated with that kind of nonsensical nonstory?

come on guys, Erickson had to get come cover story for the russian porn download sites he put on his credit card. Or at least be able to take them as a business expense...

Yes, yes, I know: Any time an allegation of easily verified criminality on the part of a Democrat surfaces, it's madness to lift a finger to check it out. The only reasonable thing to do is to dismiss it out of hand.

His point was that the donation wasn't blocked by Obama's campaign, it was blocked by his own bank. While it never would have gotten that far at Romney's site, the CVS check would have halted the transaction immediately.

But you're right, most editors would can that story, because most editors are Democrats, and stories that make Democrats look bad get routinely spiked.

it's madness to lift a finger to check it out.

and once the conspiracy theory is disproven, there is no story - well, not the story the intrepid investigative journalist / partisan hack wanted to tell, at least.

His point was that the donation wasn't blocked by Obama's campaign, it was blocked by his own bank.

odds are, Romney's bank is blocking the transactions, too; but they're processing the transactions in real time instead of batch processing them like Obama is apparently doing.

but yes, more attention should be paid to foreign money in our elections.

odds are, Romney's bank is blocking the transactions, too; but they're processing the transactions in real time instead of batch processing them like Obama is apparently doing.

Yes, well, Romney being A FISCAL CONSERVATIVE!!11!! he wants to be sure he can waste his donors' money as quickly as possible on the most expensive and inefficient television ad buy strategy:

Voters in Columbus, Ohio, saw 30-second television ads for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney while watching “Wheel of Fortune” on their CBS affiliate over three days in September. For Obama’s team, the order per spot cost $500. For Romney’s, the price tag on the order was more than five times steeper at $2,800 per ad.
That gap – found in data filed with the Federal Communications Commission — is an outgrowth of an unusual TV-buying strategy by the Romney campaign. Media strategists on both sides of the political aisle, along with station managers who handle ad placement, expressed puzzlement to POLITICO about the way Romney’s TV operation does business.

Unlike other presidential campaigns, which typically outsource their ad reservations and placement to specialized firms with large teams that know how to make the most of the complicated FCC payment procedures, Romney does all his TV buying in-house through a lean operation headed by a single chief buyer.

The campaign rarely buys cable ad time, focusing overwhelmingly on broadcast television. Romney places his commercials on a week-to-week basis, rather than booking time well in advance, and typically pays more so that his ads don’t get preempted and to spare his campaign the hassle of haggling over time as prices rise.
For those “Wheel of Fortune” ads in Columbus, for example, Obama bought the airtime on Aug. 29, according to the FCC data. Romney bought the time on Sept. 11, the day before his ads aired.

The Romney media operation is organized under the umbrella of a firm called American Rambler, which includes top Romney advisers Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, the campaign’s chief media consultants, as well as Stephanie Kincaid, the campaign’s top buyer and a longtime employee of the Stevens and Schriefer Group. Press accounts have also named senior Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom as a Rambler partner, and Romney aides said other top officials’ work is handled through the firm.

The most recent Federal Election Commission data showed that the Romney campaign paid $85,258,006 to Rambler this cycle through August 2012, much of which represents ad buys with primary-election dollars.

Meanwhile I notice that all the choads who spent last election bleating "ACORN ACORN ACORN!!!11!"! didn't appear to have a word to say about this.

Caputo manages to mention that this voter-registration contractor has been fired by the RNC while managing to pretend for the rest of the article that it hasn't.

Baffling article. Republicans are playing defense...by performing an apparently (as far as you can tell from this shoddy article, which is not far at all) universal disassociation from and disavowal of the firm in question. That sounds a lot like circling the wagons to me. Not.

Voter-registration fraud is just as illegal and immoral when done by Republicans as when it is done by Democrats. No one should have to say this, but there it is.

Actually, I think all the people who fought for and passed what was essentially an unconsitutional bill of attainder against ACORN -- who, lets recall, were the ones who pointed out all the probably-fraudulent registration forms to elections officials in the first place -- should, in fact, have to say it. Out loud, on television, at gunpoint if necessary.

Republicans are playing defense...

after getting caught. the RNC knew exactly who they were hiring (Sproul was the former head of the AZ GOP), and they knew his reputation (hence the request for Sproul to create new company(s) to DBA).

but they got caught, red-handed.

OK, so I did the Erick Erickson experiment. Went to both Obama's and Romney's websites, made a donation to both in the name of Rufus T Firefly, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, in a real city but not the one I live in.

The donation was made with my personal credit card.

Romney's campaign required the CVV, Obama's did not.

Romney's website kicked the donation out immediately, Obama's did not.

More signficantly, IMO, Romney's campaign included the following legalese, which Obama's did not:

1. This contribution is made from my personal funds and is not drawn on an account maintained by a corporation, labor union, or national bank; and 2. I am a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident and this contribution will not be reimbursed by another person.

So, I agree with Erickson that Romney's verification procedures are tighter than Obama's.

Above and beyond Erickson's statements, I strongly suggest that the Obama campaign add the legal sign-off to its donation page.

So, so far, no strong disagreement.

To go from there to a claim (which is the claim that Erickson is seeking to prove) that Obama is actively accepting and/or soliciting illegal donations from non US nationals is a pretty big jump. Something a little stronger than "you didn't use CVV verification on your website" seems in order.

Because, as it turns out, Obama's verification procedures were sufficient to *actually tag the donor as bogus*.

I have no problem with Erickson doing the legwork to see what was what, and I have no problem with him writing up what he found.

I have a very large problem with Erickson presenting what he found as evidence of illegal or unethical activity. Because no illegal or unethical activity appears to have occurred.

In fact, the results Erickson saw are consistent with the policies and procedures described by an Obama spokesperson in this piece, cited in Erickson's article.

I won't cut and paste, if you are interested click through, it's paragraphs 11-13.

Long story short, Erickson's donation was not accepted, and no evidence of illegal activity has been shown.

Long story even shorter, once again Erickson is full of crap.

russell, that legalese (and much more) is at the bottom of the final page of the Obama donation form:

By submitting the form above you confirm that the following statements are true and accurate:

I am a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.
This contribution is not made from the general treasury funds of a corporation, labor organization or national bank.
This contribution is not made from the treasury of an entity or person who is a federal contractor.
This contribution is not made from the funds of a political action committee.
This contribution is not made from the funds of an individual registered as a federal lobbyist or a foreign agent, or an entity that is a federally registered lobbying firm or foreign agent.
I am not a minor under the age of 16.
The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution.

also, i'd like to thank Erick Erickson for spurring me to donate another $50 to Obama.

i'll take russell's word that Romney's page works as described :)

Erickson is committing journalism like I'm committing Olympic ski-jumping by commenting at Obsidian Wings.

That the profession of journalism is shot through these days with crapola (at the behest of the hallowed market) doesn't in any way give me the impression that my commentary at Obsidian Wings is practicing journalism.

I was trained and worked in journalism for awhile and this ain't it. My first editor was a free-market straight-arrow Republican and a solid editor, but liable to bias creep. My second editor was a hippie freak and a solid editor, but liable to bias creep.

But, neither of them were creeps on the scale of Erickson, who gives professional creeps a bad name.

No doubt Erickson and others of his ilk would, in a fabulous leap of the imagination (I'm committing citizen politeness with that wording), call themselves citizen-journalists, in which case they should have their heads examined by citizen-psychiatrists named Lucy in a van down by the river.

The term for what Erickson does is political ratf*cking. The term for what Daily Kos does is political ratf*cking.

Andrew Breitbart was merely a rat and a
f*cker, and a dead one at that.

You may believe Dan Rather engaged in political ratf*cking and not professional journalism too, but that doesn't make Erickson a journalist anymore than medical malpractice by one professional brain surgeon accords you a medical degree.

I will give Erickson, the thick-necked, red-faced citizen ratf*cker cracker c*cksucker poseur, credit for consulting an attorney (citizen as*s-covering is what that is called) before his credit card fraud stunt, though a citizen-skeptic might wonder, in a purely unprofessional sense, whether his "attorney" is credentialed in any way whatsoever, given Erickson's penchant for citizen reverse elitism.

I would ask who Erickson's editors were, but who gives a f*ck, because his mother doesn't count.

Brett, the frequent exchanges regarding Constitutional law on this site are interesting and your input is valued but you do know that McTX, and Sebastian, and Von and others here are professional attorneys and you're not, right.

The First Amendment gives you and me the right to play attorneys on the internet. The professionals humor us, and I thank them for their gentleness, though they pretty much have to be polite given your interpretation of the Second Amendment.

I mean, you don't really think that political internet blogging of the Erickson variety is any more that amateur bullsh*t artistry, do you?

Now, if you have any engineering advice you'd like to proffer, I'm all ears.

Slart, I have a few words to say about the specifications on your latest aeronautical payload project, if you'd like to step into my office.

the RNC knew exactly who they were hiring

Sure, of course they knew who he was. They hired him.

Whether they hired him to commit fraud is a claim of yours that you could substantiate if you felt the need. I'd be happy to read any link you might post to that effect.

Slarti: Whether they hired him to commit fraud is a claim of yours that you could substantiate if you felt the need.

Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?

russell, that legalese (and much more) is at the bottom of the final page of the Obama donation form:

I stand corrected, and my measure of the load of crap contained by Erick Erickson has just increased by a hundredweight.

Whether they hired him to commit fraud is a claim of yours that you could substantiate if you felt the need.

the benefit of the doubt can really only cover so much. Sproul has long had a reputation of unsavory practices w/r/t voter registration - the very job they hired him to do.

the surprise one experiences when discovering that someone like Nathan Sproul is playing fast and loose with voter registrations is the same kind of surprise one experiences upon learning that the documentary you hired James O'Keefe to produce is not actually an accurate portrayal of his subject.

i mean, come. on.

the benefit of the doubt can really only cover so much

Sure. But there's some difference between building a bridge to conclusions and jumping to them that you might want to examine some more. Or: what the hell; you don't need to convince me, after all.

Isn't this the same crowd that drubs Brett for argument by assertion? Imagine if Brett had made that kind of statement.

the same kind of surprise one experiences upon learning that the documentary you hired James O'Keefe to produce is not actually an accurate portrayal of his subject


But there's some difference between building a bridge to conclusions and jumping to them that you might want to examine some more.

based on everything i've read, he's a crook. i haven't seen much to the contrary.

and my guess is that the RNC knows there's serious trouble ahead should more of his shenanigans come to light. they'd be defending him and making money off the "liberals are trying to deter our vote sanctity efforts!" fauxrage, if they didn't.

in other words: i see nothing in this that points to innocence on anyone's part.



err.... s/you/one

I think that if someone hires a person with a history of a certain kind of behavior it is reasonable to assume that they approve of the behavior. Either that or the individual that did the hiring is pretty incompetent.

I have the same opinion about an organization that hires a business with a well established negatie history.

Why don't they make him piss in a cup?

Pissing hot is a prerequisite for that job.

Or should be.

Erickson is committing journalism like I'm committing Olympic ski-jumping by commenting at Obsidian Wings.

I couldn't comment all day for whatever reason, so it took me until now to mention how fncking funny I found this. So thanks.

Based on everything I've read, ACORN was acting criminally through several election cycles before the Democratic party finally cut loose from them. Sure, they had an excuse for turning in the fraudulent registrations, but nothing required them to keep generating them, election after election. (And, remember, fraudulent registrations weren't the only election crimes ACORN was involved in, they also got convicted of vote buying, among other crimes.)

Whereas this guy gets dropped almost instantly after he's caught. Big contrast, and it's not a contrast in which the GOP looks bad. Except in the eyes of Democrats, who see an excuse for anything a Democrat does, and nothing a Republican does.

In the meanwhile, I see O'Keefe has drawn blood again. Quite entertaining watching the response.

ACORN was acting criminally through several election cycles


they also got convicted of vote buying


Whereas this guy gets dropped almost instantly after he's caught.

Uh, no, he got HIRED after he got caught. He got FIRED after doing it again.

Cites would be good.

It's a long way down.


But, I'd venture to guess, Brett, based on my own ski-jumping warm-up on the intertubes this morning, that you could even cite the New York Times in support of some of your thesis, if you can bear to admit that it was among "everything that I've read".

It may be true that most "editors" are registered Democrats, but I suspect O'Keefe has registered his video tape editing machine as a Republican.

We may even find more gaps from Nixon's tapes on his cutting room floor.

In the meanwhile, I see O'Keefe has drawn blood again.

With all due respect, seriously, who gives a crap?

O'Keefe is a professional ankle-biter. Anything he does or says is immediately suspect. He has been caught out as a straight-up liar on every festering turd he has ever put in front of the public.

To say nothing of being, personally, a creepy weirdo.

There must be somebody, somewhere making an intelligent case for the conservative point of view. Larison's pretty good. There must be some others.

O'Keefe is a punk.

Don't hitch your wagon to the clown car.

"Anything he does or says is immediately suspect."

With all due respect, (A great deal more than is due, since I don't want to violate the civility rules here.) that's just epistemic closure speaking.

Somebody on your side produces a secret recording with a gaping hole in it right at a crucial point, and it's all, "Just a few seconds, an unavoidable accident, couldn't be anything important in the gap."

Somebody on my side produces recordings of multiple DNC employees facilitating felonies, and it's a "clown show".

Only the clown got somebody fired, because not everybody on your side is so drunk on the koolaid that they ignore what's in front of their faces, and think they don't have to respond to evidence of this nature.

... Somebody on my side ...

Heh. Brett The Libertarian calls the loony right wing of the GOP his "side". No surprise to anybody, I suppose -- Brett himself possibly excepted.


So why did the keefer supposedly discover now? No one seems to be willing to say.

Somebody on your side produces a secret recording with a gaping hole in it right at a crucial point,

you can tell it's crucial by the way Romney goes on and on about it, over and over, in interview after interview, even as it tanked his numbers, insisting that it puts all the rest of the video into context, right?

and what's with all the "side" shit? i thought "conservatives" believed in moral absolutes ?

So why did the keefer supposedly discover now?

apparently he has a vid of some voter registration worker registering a person who says he wants to vote in two states, or something.

"you can tell it's crucial by the way Romney goes on and on about it, over and over, in interview after interview, even as it tanked his numbers, insisting that it puts all the rest of the video into context, right?"

As I recall, he did go on for a bit about it, demanding the entire tape be released, then moved on when it became obvious Democrats were never going to release a complete version.

And O'Keefe has vids of multiple voter registration workers doing this.

A great deal more than is due, since I don't want to violate the civility rules here.

Hey man, don't hold back.

that's just epistemic closure speaking.

No, it's a freaking simple observation about O'Keefe's history as a "journalist".

Serial lying and misrepresentation earns immediate suspicion.

Seriously, O'Keefe is the guy you're going to go to the mat for?

I don't think there is much point in discussing things with Brett. He's quite right about his epistemic closure.

But for thhe record for voting fraud to be effective at the state level it has to amount to thousands of votes in very close elections. Like the five thousand votes "found" by a Republican elections offical who used her personal computer to process voting data, the five thousand being just waht was needed to change the outcome of a Supreme Court election in WIsconsin.

Or thousands of robocalls to block the Democratic voter turn out efforts in New Hampshire. Or the thousands of illegal robocalls in multiple states in the 2008 election.

Or the multiple state effort to make it hard for people who don't have cars to vote.

Or True the Votes organized efforts to intimidate people and keep them away from the polls.

But Brell will rationalize that all away. The rest of us need to see it for what it is: thuggery with the intention of undermining democracy on behalf of a political party.

And O'Keefe has vids of multiple voter registration workers doing this.

i would be willing to believe that O'Keefe has videos of people who may or may not be who he claims they are edited to look like they're doing what he claims they are doing in a nonetheless completely artificial situation.

that's all the trust he deserves. maybe more.

"i would be willing to believe"

Like I said, epistemic closure. What's a better guide to reality, film footage, or what you feel like believing?

Are DNC employees double registering enough people to swing the election? Frankly, I'd be shocked if they were.

Are they offended by the idea of ballot fraud, if they think it's fraud by their side? Evidently not, and that doesn't trouble you?

Here is O'Keefe's video.

Click through, take a look, and decide for yourselves if you think it presents iron-clad proof of voter registration fraud by OFA.

It shouldn't need pointing out, but O'Keefe has been caught out, repeatedly, editing his video 'gotchas' in creative ways to misrepresent the actual exchanges he claims to be documenting.

And for "repeatedly", please read "every freaking time".

And guess what? These videos are *obviously* edited. Not even smoothly.

In only one of the videos do we even see the "investigative reporter" speaking the words we hear.

Do the words "voice over" mean anything to you?

But by all means, assume that my or anyone's disinclination to take anything the man chooses to publish seriously is nothing but "epistemic closure".

Seriously, I rarely agree with you on matters of substance, but you usually show more sense than this.

O'Keefe is a clown. An ankle-biter. A penny-ante jerk. A smart-ass punk milking his 15 minutes for whatever nickels he can con out of the Breitbart fan club.

Contra the Count, he is not even a ratf**ker, real ratf**kers are better at it than O'Keefe is.

But by all means, feel free to get his back.

Enjoy your ride in the clown car.

O'keefe's a sex pervert, too.

"What's a better guide to reality, film footage, or what you feel like believing?

Which film footage?

That presented for public consumption or the many minutes, probably hours, of footage that ended up on the cutting room floor, which presumably, together with Erick Erickson, the two of you making up the internet version of the Columbia Journalism Review, have viewed.

I'm a little surprised, given O'Keefe's/Breitbart's known history of funky, prevaricating sound and visual editing, AND the hard-headed grasp on reality you portray in your commentary here, that your eyes grant the word "reality" so readily to their product.

I read the New York Times on occasion, but my opinion of the reality they "report" took a header during the Judith Miller fiasco regarding her reporting on Iraq leading up the war.

Here's how it worked. Her anonymous sources regarding what turned out to be non-existent weapons of mass destruction all turned out to have the last name "Cheney". Then "Cheney", when asked by other reporters to defend his intelligence about weapons in Iraq, would wave around the Judith Miller articles and ask "What's a better guide to reality, the New York Times, or what your lying eyes choose to believe?"

I'm wondering, at the time, what took a bigger hit, Brett, your epistemic closure regarding the monolithic evil of Saddam Hussein or your epistemic closure regarding the monolithic liberal Democratic bias of the New York Times.

All within, of course, your context of apriori libertarian beliefs regarding the wisdom of intervention of any kind abroad.

In case you're wondering if I'm changing the subject, ask Shirley Sherrod which is a better guide to reality?

Her own words, or her words edited by a political operative?

If you decide the latter, than you're as clueless as the cowardly political operatives in the Obama Administration who fired her.

When whomever the female public figure was who boarded that boat that O'Keefe Enterprises had festooned with sexual toys, etc., if I recall correctly, for an "interview", she made a wise decision upfront about possible "footage" (you and Erickson have the journalistic lingo down, I'll give you that, like a couple of boy reporters) that might result and decided to believe what she wanted to believe about what was about to transpire, and it wasn't journalism.

I see Russell has mentioned, better than I, other instances of O'Keefe's pathetic malpractice.

But let me ask you this: political advertising contains hundreds of minutes of craftily edited "footage" of words pouring out of candidate's mouths.

Do you believe this footage, or do you believe your ears, or does your latter source of reality calibrate and edit the degree of believability according to your apriori beliefs about the candidates?

I'm assuming you are completely objective, free of all bias, a slate wiped clean between each "data" point that enters your sensory field?

Right? Right?

Well, than I don't know how it is that James O'Keefe became your standard for journalism?

You must make quite a mark for three-card monte and the pea under the cup while walking the streets.

I don't really believe that about you though.

Despite your crack reporting (when Breitbart called O'Keefe his crack reporter, what he meant was "Jim, here, is on the case, and will report just about anything that emerges from his crack"), here, I think you're more like me.

I think your favorite broadcast reporter is the guy who told it like it is -------
Howard Beale.

He was the best guide to reality.

He had a fully open epistomy and it killed him.

O'Keefe's editing habits remind me of Professor Irwin Corey's professorial lectures from the dias at comedy clubs, wherein he would start his lectures in the middle or near the end.

Opening words:

"Furthermore, .."


"In closing ..."

All conclusions with no context.

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