Saturday Morning Cartoons (with a little news thrown in)Posted: November 19, 2011
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!
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?