Saturday Morning Cartoons (with a little news thrown in)

Good Morning!!

Herman Cain made another wacky comment about Libya yesterday. First up, he tried to “clarify” his recent brain freeze on Libya at a press conference in Florida. Think Progress has the transcript.

Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Qadhafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government? … Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to — which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn’t be specific.

And then there’s this from the same Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel interview in which Cain appeared not to know anything about Libya, also from Think Progress:

JOURNAL SENTINEL: Would you favor a military strike against Iran to stop that country from developing a nuclear capability?

CAIN: That is not a practical, top-tier alternative and here’s why. If you look at the topography of Iran. Where are you going to strike? It’s very mountainous. That’s what makes it very difficult. Secondly, that would be a decision that would need to be coordinated and discussed with our friends in that part of the world like Israel. But for the United States to unilaterally go in and attack Iran to try and stop them, I would want to consult with the intelligence community, the commanders on the ground in that part of the world, which I have stated before. But we should — I don’t have all the information necessary to make that decision.

Mountains? As Think Progress explains,

But yes, Iran does have mountains. However, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta noted the other day, the principle reason that an attack on Iran would be a bad idea is not because it is mountainous, but because it won’t achieve the objective of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition to that, a strike would all but end the reform movement in Iran, spark a wider regional war and incentivize the regime to weaponize its nuclear program.

As everyone knows by now, Cain has been provided with Secret Service protection, and he’s been telling audiences that he got it because of his high poll ratings and because he’s being “hounded” by the press. From the NY Daily News:

The media horde hounding Herman Cain was not the reason the U.S. Secret Service gave him a security detail, a federal official said Friday.

“Media coverage or the number of media covering is not a factor in the decision of whether or not a candidate needs USSS protection,” a Department of Homeland Security official told the Daily News.

The GOP presidential hopeful — who has been a walking headline in recent weeks due largely to claims he sexually harassed at least four women — has faced threats and racially-fueled rhetoric, The Associated Press reported.

Cain refused to answer questions about the threats.

“The thing about Secret Service is ‘secret,’ so it would not be appropriate to discuss anything about it,” Cain said. “We wanted to move to that next level because of my ranking in the polls and the additional scrutiny I’ve been getting.”

“We’re not scared of you guys…and gals,” an exuberant Cain told reporters.

Is it just me, or are other people beginning to feel like they’ve gone down the rabbit hole and smoked some of whatever that caterpillar was smoking?

There was that recent recent remark from Cain, “We need a leader, not a reader.” It turns out that was a quote from The Simpsons movie. And what about the quote he used at the end of a debate in August:

“A poet once said, ‘Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it’s never easy when there’s so much on the line.'” (Aug. 11 Republican debate)

That was a direct quote from the Pokemon theme song, sung by Donna Summer!

And the 999 plan came from Sim City IV?

Well, I guess I’m going to have to start watching more TV, because apparently Rachel Maddow explained the whole thing to her audience about a week ago. She says it’s performance art.

Is is possible that Cain could really be scamming the Republicans just to show how stupid they are? Exactly what’s going on here anyway? Actually even some Republicans are getting confused by Cain’s antics. (Warning: link goes to Hot Air)

I can’t tell if he’s joking or not, which is a recurring theme lately in some of his pronouncements about foreign policy. He was joking, I think, when he said he’d offered to make Kissinger secretary of state again. He wasn’t joking, I thought, when he answered a question about whether his grasp of foreign policy is too slight with “9-9-9,” although the Standard’s John McCormack theorized last night on Twitter that maybe he was actually saying, “Nein, nein, nein,” in which case he was joking. The fact that we’ve reached the point where no answer is too goofy to be instantly ruled out as non-serious seems … problematic.

Cain brought up the GOP debate on foreign policy two days earlier.

“That’s a tough subject. You don’t want to get your facts mixed up,” he said.

He defended his view that presidents and presidential candidates don’t need to be immersed in the fine print of world affairs – they simply need to be leaders who can surround themselves with the right people and sift through their advice.

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out,” he said, a dig at his critics.

“I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president (people say) you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t! That’s not good decision-making,” said Cain.

Mitt Romney isn’t as practiced a joker as Herman Cain, but some very weird stuff has been coming out about him. The Boston Globe had an article that I’m not allowed to read, because they’ve locked everything behind a pay wall worse that the one at the NYT. Luckily, some other sites did get access to the article, so I’ll link to them. From Alternet:

On their way out of the governor’s office and onto the presidential campaign trail, aides to Mitt Romney almost completely obliterated their electronic records, deleting emails, purchasing hard drives, and replacing computers, a investigation by the Boston Globe found. “The governor’s office has found no e-mails from 2002-2006 in our possession,’’ an aide to the current governor, Deval Patrick, told the Globe. Meanwhile, 11 Romney aides — many of whom went on to work on Romney’s 2008 campaign — purchased their state-issued computer hard drives as they left state employment.

Like other states and the federal government, Massachusetts has a law that requires such files be preserved for the state archives. Moreover, Secretary of State William Galvin, who oversees the state Public Records Law, “said it appeared odd” that aides could purchases state property. “I don’t sell things to people who work for me,’’ Galvin said.

WTF?! Okay, my guess is they didn’t want the citizens of Massachusetts to find out that they did nothing while Romney was Governor except work on their boss’s future presidential campaign. Plenty of people are trying to find out what they’re covering up though. Romney and his aides claim everything they did was legal–although they haven’t provided any evidence that’s true.


Next to these two nutcases, Newt Gingrich just looks like a normal corrupt politician.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A confident and at times defiant Newt Gingrich defended himself Friday against growing questions about his lucrative consulting career, and he acknowledged that how he handles the vetting process will determine whether he can be “a legitimate front-runner” for the Republican presidential nomination.

Calling his recent surge toward the top of the polls “almost disorienting,” Gingrich fielded questions at a news conference here about his myriad money-making ventures in the decade since his tenure as House speaker ended. They include consulting contracts with Freddie Mac, the quasi-public mortgage company, and millions of dollars from health-care corporations seeking access to him.

“Somebody who’s a front-runner for the presidency of the United States should get a full vetting,” Gingrich said. “It’s the nature of the process. If I’m able to answer them [questions] in a way that the American people feel comfortable, then I’ll be a legitimate front-runner.”

Enjoy it while you can, Newt. It won’t last. But for now, the other four crazies in the clown car–Bachmann, Perry, Paul, Santorum–have been virtually eclipsed, and of course Huntsman was never even in the car.

And then there are those jokers on the so-called Super Committee. According to The New York Times, they’re still at a “deep impasse.”

Just 72 hours before a deadline to present Congress with a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the nation’s deficit, members of a joint Congressional committee remained at a deep impasse on Friday after Democrats rejected a new Republican proposal devised with the help of Speaker John A. Boehner.

Pessimism mounted among members of the committee about their ability to strike a deal by Monday and avert a high-profile failure that would demonstrate anew the inability of the two parties on Capitol Hill to reach consensus about how to attack the nation’s mounting public debt. The partisan divide was also showcased Friday by a vote in the House to reject a Republican-backed constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

Despite time running out on the committee created by the summer agreement to raise the federal debt limit, negotiations were in disarray, with Republicans and Democrats even disputing what precisely divided them. One panel member said that he still had slim hope for a deal but that it would take an extraordinary development to end the stalemate and avoid a series of automatic cuts in 2013 that would reduce federal services and make substantial reductions in Pentagon spending.

Whatever. I hope they fail and have to explain to the American people why they’re drastically cutting Medicare and Medicaid.

And now for some real earthshaking news. I don’t have the ability to explain it to you, but even I know it’s big. From the Journal Nature:

At the heart of the weirdness for which the field of quantum mechanics is famous is the wavefunction, a powerful but mysterious entity that is used to determine the probabilities that quantum particles will have certain properties. Now, a preprint posted online on 14 November1 reopens the question of what the wavefunction represents — with an answer that could rock quantum theory to its core. Whereas many physicists have generally interpreted the wavefunction as a statistical tool that reflects our ignorance of the particles being measured, the authors of the latest paper argue that, instead, it is physically real.

“I don’t like to sound hyperbolic, but I think the word ‘seismic’ is likely to apply to this paper,” says Antony Valentini, a theoretical physicist specializing in quantum foundations at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Go read it. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much much more about this once the paper is published. That’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today?


30 Comments on “Saturday Morning Cartoons (with a little news thrown in)”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    I am beginning to feel mightily insulted by these GOP candidates. Do they think we are all dumb enough to swallow their swill?

    Bad enough they are soft on facts, change positions without batting an eye, and tell us they are “historians” while lobbying for big bucks in DC. Talk about lowering the bar!

    Michele Bachmann maintains she has never committed a gaffe. Are you kidding me? Every time she opens her mouth nothing comes out but gaffes. And Herman Cain is as big a joke as I have ever encountered in any presidential race and this includes MIke Gravel who was pretty much “out there”. Rick Perry? Come on!

    The fact that Mitt is still considered the “front runner” when it is pretty clear that no one can stand him, finds him credible, and beg for another choice sums up this field of underachievers.

    It’s getting impossible to ignore that these “brain dead beauties” are running for the highest office in the land when all they do is lie, spin, obsfucate without showing an ounce of ability that one would look to in a leader.

    If I were a Republican I would be outraged at having to make a choice for any one of them.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I feel like my head is spinning from all the craziness. I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to be a reasonably intelligent Republican and have to deal with this selection of candidates.

  2. mjames says:

    Glenn G must have read my comment here last night (lol). He writes today about the co-opting of the Occupy movement by the Dems, specifically the Obama-loving SEIU leadership. Their ham-handed attempts to fold the Occupy movement into Obama’s reelection campaign is transparent and disgusting. Please go read. I see this co-option as analogous to copyright infringement, that is, knowingly stealing ideas and writings created by someone else.

    • quixote says:

      I was waiting for that. The Occupy movement has had a lot of trouble speaking with a single voice (sexism, as usual, was the canary in that coal mine) so I’m not too hopeful they’ll be able to get that monkey off their backs.

      (A two party system turns out to be only one party away from a one party system. Not much of a buffer.)

    • bostonboomer says:

      I don’t think the co-opting efforts will work. I think it’s much more likely that the co-opters will be overrun and eclipsed by the genuine rebels. But I’m basically an optimist.

      • mjames says:

        You may be an optimist, but I think you’re right on this one. I’d be very surprised if the Dems can successfully claim this group as one of its backers.

  3. quixote says:

    Okay, now I’m going to display my ignorance. Is Kissinger still alive? ??

    Not only is there the quantum wave function thingy, but the recent faster-than-light neutrinos have been confirmed at Gran Sasso. Now, if they get the same result on different equipment….

  4. While I completely agree that the Republican candidates are not presidential material, I felt the same way about GW. It never entered my mind that anyone with even a few functioning brain cells would vote for him – well, I was wrong. it’s frightening, at least to me, that there are people out there who will support whoever gets the Republican nomination, regardless of how unprepared and unqualified they are. I despair that this is the state of our political system.

    A long time friend, who I thought was intelligent until I saw a Bush bumper sticker on her car, sent me a link to this site: http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&load=6158&mpid=56 Are any of you aware of PJTV? This segment on OWS is ridiculous, but ya’ll see what you think. It amazes me that anyone thinks this makes sense. This “friend” said that if this doesn’t change my mind about OWS then I’m hopeless. Guess I am – and the rest of us – might well be hopeless. Politics in America is quickly becoming the real horror story.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I felt that way about GWB and I also thought Obama was completely unqualified. But this crop makes Bush look brilliant, and Obama’s looking better every day in comparison.

      • Totally agree with your first statement. But, there isn’t anything that I can think of that would make GWB look brilliant to me. I was, and still am, embarrassed that he was “my” President. This new crop takes embarrassment to new heights.

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Never heard of PJTV but I’ve heard this line of argument–that Americans in general [not merely the OWS protesters] are spoiled and ungrateful, that any criticism of corporate malfeasance, financial and/or political corruption is unwarrented, so shut up and go back to sleep. Mentioning BP is real mistake after what happened and was covered up in the Gulf. It’s also a viewpoint that gives rise to viewing the poor and struggling in this country as hanger ons, moochers because in comparison to a farmer in India making $2 a day, our poor and elderly have it good. But we aren’t living in India. We live here in the US in the year 2011 and the corporate, transnational lust for power and control over all resources is never ending and completely irresponsible.

      To me, the whole spiel is a cynical, paternalistic viewpoint–we’re all children who should be seen and not heard. Daddy knows best.

      I guess I’m hopeless, too. Thanks for the link.

      • I had never heard of this PJTV before myself. I can’t make myself watch any other videos – especially the one with The Dick – Cheney – interview. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would believe the argument that ALL (fill in the blank) ARE (fill in the blank). According to Willett all OWS protesters are spoiled brats, apparently in their early 20s, complaining about paying back student loans. There was a good interview with the retired police captain that was arrested in NY on the 17th on MSNBC this morning. He was protesting in his dress blues – no mistaking that he wasn’t a whiny 20 something. And there is the 84 year old woman who was pepper sprayed in Portland, who was a bystander, not a protester. I loved her comment to the press – “In the women`s movement, there were signs which said, `Screw us and we`ll multiply`.”

  5. dakinikat says:

    “During a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa Friday afternoon, Rick Santorum argued that Americans receive too many government benefits and ought to “suffer” in the Christian tradition. ”

    Okay, I was raised Presbyterian and have read the new testament a lot of times. Totally reject the entire thing now after reading 3rd and 4th century roman historical documents describing the Nicene council where the entire thing was made up, but please, where is the text about being made to suffer by your fellow human beings being a good thing? Did I miss that? I thought the new testament Jesus was all about the opposite?

    • Peggy Sue says:

      There’s so much of the so-called evangelical viewpoint [at least expressed by the Santorums of the world] that fly in the face of Christian doctrine, which in my mind is summed up beautifully in the Beatitudes. I’ve actually heard some of these people say that Jesus would be on the side of war. Hello? Blessed are the peacemakers . . . And now the call to celebrate suffering in the most vulnerable among us? Sounds as if Santorum and his ilk have confused Christian charity with Tough Love Philosophy because . . . Tough [stingy] Love a far better ideological fit.

      • dakinikat says:

        I think Santorum is Catholic.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The Catholic Church teaches that the only way to salvation is through faith AND GOOD WORKS. Nothing about making the poor suffer. On the contrary.

        • dakinikat says:

          Do you suppose it’s okay to get an abortion as long as you tell folks god told you to do it? Afterall, God told Abraham to kill his son and these guys say God talks to them and tells them to run for political office… guess that didn’t work for andrea yates, though … it seems these Republican politicians sure get some big passes on interpreting things their way

      • Peggy Sue says:

        Santorum is a Catholic but his outreach is to the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist crowd [whether they’re willing to accept a Catholic viewpoint is another matter–Catholics and Masons are often viewed very dimly]. Even within the RC world there are differing stances–the traditionalists, moderates and liberals. But Santorum’s perspective? Is the reason I left the Church long ago. The distortion makes my skin crawl.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      You have to just “love” these people who are able to tell us how god thinks.

      According to Sharron Angle giving birth to a baby via rape and incest is god’s way of conferring a “blessing”. A blessing of a forcible act that is criminal but acceptable for you if you just overlook the obsenity that goes with it..

      Obviously Rick has not tuned into another asshat evangelist, Joel Osteen, who tells us god wants us all to prosper as he does, living in a mansion and flying in a private jet so his wife can take advantage of jewelry sales and antique furniture buys.

      Is it me or are these people complete morons? The absurdity is phenomenal.

  6. dakinikat says:

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/11/dramatic-portland-pepper-spray-photo-was-total-accident/45186/

    As mentioned above, the girl in the photo is not Rodriguez, as we initially thought, but Elizabeth Nichols, a 20-year-old originally from Arkansas who moved to the West Coast about six months ago and made her way from Seattle to Portland a month later. Her mother, Annie Nichols, said after the photo was taken, police threw Elizabeth to the ground and arrested her. Annie, who is housebound with multiple sclerosis, said Elizabeth joined Occupy Wall Street because of her parents’ dire situation. “I have no medical care. I’m not eligible. My husband’s disabled … We live on one disability check. No, we don’t live. We exist. Lizzie knows this. That’s why she’s doing this.” Elizabeth, whose mug shot is posted at left, wasn’t always an activist, Annie said. “She never took part in anything like this. Of course, it’s Arkansas. There isn’t a lot of that here.” The Portland Police Bureau website says Elizabeth was charged with second-degree trespassing.

    • northwestrain says:

      There is a long youtube video of the UC Davis protesters — sitting down — arms joined and a pig cop walks along and sprays the students full in the face. I’d like it if this pig cop were sentenced to be tied to a chair, have his eyes taped open and his mouth forced open and then sprayed full force with pepper spray. But that would never happen because that would be TORTURE. That can’t legally be done to prisoners (tied to a chair) convicted of assault.

      The pig cops also forced open mouths and blasted the pepper spray into the open mouths.

      My degree is from a CA University — and the cops when wild beating students who where marching peacefully against the Vietnam war. Cops are pigs — from generation to generation the same evil personality types are drawn to the same jobs and repeat the same disgusting behavior has the previous generations. Cops are pigs — with few exceptions.

  7. foxyladi14 says:

    I completely agree that the Republican candidates are not presidential material,
    RUN HILLARY RUN!!!!! 🙂

  8. dakinikat says:

    Survey Finds Clear Message: Occupy Protestors Unhappy With Obama, Want Gay Marriage, More Taxes for the Rich

    Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/17/4062972/survey-finds-clear-message-occupy.html#ixzz1eBxs2XNN