Thursday Reads

North Dakota Badlands--where I'd like to be this morning

Good Morning!!

Like JJ, I’m a little sick of the political news these days. Plus I’m a little under the weather with a cold, so please be patient if I don’t make a whole lot of sense today.

I heard a little of Mitt Romney’s victory speech on Tuesday night, and when I got up yesterday I decided to read the transcript. The speech was every bit as vapid as I remembered.

There is not one specific policy mentioned in the speech, just attacks on Obama and promises that no one could fulfill. Romney begins by playing to the people he has been disrespecting throughout the primaries:

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for grandparents who can’t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren … for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month – to all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight.

Really? A better America with no employer-provided health care, no Social Security, no Medicare, no Planned Parenthood? Romney claims that his “success in business” has taught him how to create jobs and build a booming economy (Even though his business was buying up successful companies and bleeding them dry. And even though he didn’t do those things when he was Governor of Massachusetts.)

…you might have heard that I was successful in business. And that rumor is true. But you might not have heard that I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people. You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons. And I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson. And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!

Really? The only thing I’ve heard him recommend is tax cuts for rich people and more austerity for the rest of us. What am I missing? Then he asks the Reagan question–are you better off now than you were back in 2008?

what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Do you pay less at the pump?

If the answer were “yes” to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements…and rightly so. But because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions. That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time. But not here and not now. It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid.

At least Romney seems to have found a better speechwriter, but as Ezra Klein points out:

Three and a half years ago…Barack Obama wasn’t yet president. The date was Oct. 25, 2008, and Obama hadn’t even won the election yet, much less taken office.

The National Bureau of Economic Research says the recession officially began in December 2007. The worst of it came in the fourth quarter of 2008. Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. The time frame Romney chose, in other words, thrusts the very worst of the recession into Obama’s lap despite the fact that he wasn’t even president yet. It’s like blaming a fireman for the damage the blaze did before he arrived.

As Klein says, the real question should be “are you better off now than you would have been had Mitt Romney been president?” Romney claims Obama wants the government to control our lives.

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

We’ve already seen where this path leads. It erodes freedom. It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help. Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty. Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

That last part is what Romney seems to really need–adoration for his achievement of getting rich at the expense of all the little people who were driven out of work and into bankruptcy while Romney headed Bain Capital. Other than that, it sounds like he’s talking about the Eisenhower-Kennedy years–except in that economy the wealthy and corporations paid their fair share of taxes.

I don’t think Romney has made his case to be President, unless people just want to vote for him because he “loves America.”

The Romney campaign is synchronizing it’s work with the Republican National Committee, so I wonder if this idea came from the campaign or the RNC: Republican National Committee Files Complaint Over Obama Travel

The Republican National Committee has filed an official complaint with the Government Accountability Office over President Barack Obama’s use of official resources for campaign travel.

In a letter to the watchdog agency, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus writes to call attention “to a case of misuse of government funds benefitting “Obama for America” (OFA), otherwise known as the president’s reelection campaign.”

Priebus pointed to Obama’s current trip to North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa — three battleground states — to discuss extending lower interest rates on student loans as examples of this tax-payer funded campaign travel.

“One might imagine that if this were genuinely a government event he might have stopped in a non-battleground state like Texas or Vermont,” Priebus said.

“This President and Air Force One seem to have a magic magnet that only seem to land in battleground states in this country,” Priebus told reporters earlier Wednesday before the complaint was drafted.

And so on… The GAO replied to a request from Buzzfeed:

GAO Spokesman Charles Young told BuzzFeed that the watchdog agency has yet to receive the RNC letter. “But we conduct our work at the request of the Congress.”

That was a pretty good slapdown. I seem to recall George W. Bush making a lot of speeches in swing states back in 2004. I wonder if Priebus was upset about that too? Geeze.

Vanity Fair has posted video of a memorial service held for Christopher Hitchens on April 20th. Hitchens died on December 15, 2011. In his honor, I’d like to quote from one of his Slate pieces that is very relevant to the 2012 presidential race: Mitt Romney and the weird and sinister beliefs of Mormonism.

The founder of the church, one Joseph Smith, was a fraud and conjurer well known to the authorities of upstate New York. He claimed to have been shown some gold plates on which a new revelation was inscribed in no known language. He then qualified as the sole translator of this language. (The entire story is related in Fawn Brodie’s biography, No Man Knows My History.* It seems that we can add, to sausages and laws, churches as a phenomenon that is not pleasant to watch at the manufacturing stage. Edmund Wilson wrote that it was powerfully shocking to see Brodie as she exposed a religion that was a whole-cloth fabrication.) On his later forays into the chartless wilderness, there to play the role of Moses to his followers (who were permitted and even encouraged in plural marriage, so as to go forth and mass-produce little Mormons), Smith also announced that he wanted to be known as the Prophet Muhammad of North America, with the fearsome slogan: “Either al-Koran or the Sword.” He levied war against his fellow citizens, and against the federal government. One might have thought that this alone would raise some eyebrows down at the local Baptist Church.

Saddling itself with some pro-slavery views at the time of the Civil War, and also with a “bible” of its own that referred to black people as a special but inferior creation, the Mormon Church did not admit black Americans to the priesthood until 1978, which is late enough—in point of the sincerity of the “revelation” they had to undergo—to cast serious doubt on the sincerity of their change of heart.

Read the rest at the link and see if you think Romney’s religion is relevant. Ross Douthat is concerned about it.

I’m going to wrap this up, because I’m really not feeling well, but I want to share a story with you from Boston. It’s a week or so old, but still worth highlighting: ‘She-Hulk’ collars alleged T creep after lewd act. It’s a about a young woman (who didn’t want her name used) riding the MBTA, minding her own business and then suddenly finding herself the object of–to put it mildly–unwanted attention.

“This guy was just being a real creeper,” she said. As she shuffled along the train, he followed her. She zoned out, listening to music, only to look up and see him standing over her.

“I looked up and felt awkward, so I looked down,” she said. She said the man was exposing and touching himself, but tried to cover himself with his shirt.

The woman — not someone to meekly let an alleged creep get away with it — shouted out what he was doing, but no one stepped in to help. She said one male passenger even shrugged. So, she said, she went into “She-Hulk” mode, lunging as the man tried to bolt at Packard’s Corner in Brighton.

She said she held the man with one hand and “berated” him while she waited for the cops to arrive. She said he looked frightened.

“He kept saying sorry, but he was just sorry for himself,” she said.

The Boston Globe had an account of the arrest of the perp, Michael Galvin, 37, of Hudson St. in Somerville.

Officers found Galvin being dragged by his apparent victim, who grabbed him by his sweatshirt as he attempted to leave the train at the stop….When she caught up to him, he allegedly said, “I think I need help, I think something is wrong with me.” The woman held him until police arrived, according to an MBTA Transit Police report released by the agency.

Police arrived and spoke to Galvin, who said his shorts fell down accidentally on the packed and jostling train, the report said.

But the woman told a different story. Galvin allegedly approached her slowly on the crowded train. She told officers that she “got a weird vibe from the guy and tried to move away but couldn’t because the trolley was so packed.”

When Galvin was near her and she looked down, she said she saw that his shorts were pulled down “just enough to have his penis exposed, and he was stroking it.”

It’s just one small win for women, but a very satisfying one, IMHO.

So what are you reading and blogging about today?

72 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Romney as president is an unsettling idea but even worse is a GOP congressinal majority in both Houses of congress regardless of which mediocrity manages to pull out a presidential win.

    A full GOP congress could quite easily vote the Ryan Plan into law and hold up any Dem nomination for SC unless those candidates come from the far Right.

    Just that nightmare scenario alone causes sleepless nights as we would have no choice but to try and survive living under those dire circumstances. A full GOP congress spells even more doom for women.

    Since Romney is probably the least liked and least acceptable presidential candidate ever, the only reason I can see anyone voting for him would be the visceral hatred of Obama but a fully enabled GOP congress is more frightening to behold.

  2. Feel better BB, I hope you get some rest today. You are right about being sick of the news lately. There is a big mouth PLUB governor in Miss. who is talking crap and getting headlines.

    Miss Gov. says left’s mission is to abort children –

    It is this kind of ridiculous rhetoric that is pissing me off.

    Oh, and one more thing:

    US Senate passes postal bill that would end Saturday mail –

    I have a friend who works for the post office. She ran rural delivery and worked two days a week…Weds and Sat. A couple months ago she was one of many who were laid off or “furloughed.” Just this week her husband was told he would be laid off after Mother’s Day, he is a chef at a country club in Jax FL. People are still losing jobs and struggling to survive, when I hear stories like what is happening to my friend it makes all the bullshit spewing from both parties even more disgusting.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Well Mittens is promising “a new day in America”. Straight out of a Dickens novel.

      Obama is giving some really great speeches as of late but the caveat is that he is untrustworthy when push comes to shove. He cannot be relied upon to stand up against these vultures which makes the exercise so frustrating.

      The road to “privitization” is being forged for every public service and none of us will be immune. My private nightmare is a majority GOP congress with Obama signing anything they shove in front of his face as we drift even more toward a Right Wing agenda upheld by a Right Wing SC with a Right Wing leaning POTUS delivering us into their clutches.

      At the rate we are going now, if anyone thinks 2012 is a sorry political season, just wait until 2016 when they have become firmly entrenched.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      sorry to hear that.

  3. Oh and I forgot to mention, the picture with the horses is beautiful.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Reading some portions of the testimony in the John Edwards court case, it is difficult to choose which one of the players is the sleaziest.

    The egomanical candidate, his equally morally bereft aide, or the greedy ditz mistress who thought she was the future FLOTUS if she just hung in long enough, waiting for the wife to pass away. And what better way to solidify that position than by producing a “love child”?

    The delusions that these three lived with would be hilarious if not for the tragedy that befelled the wife and the children left behind to witness this mess being played out in public.

    The mystery is in how Edwards thought he could get away with this subtrafuge, thinking he may become a VP choice or at least Attorney General. Are you kidding me?

    Meanwhile, they were flying the New Age mistress all over the country in first class accommodations trying to buy her silence as her due date approached. And apparently she saw herself as the future next Mrs. Edwards while the aide saw himself taking advantage of his position when Mr. Glorious reached his goal of the Oval Office.

    Even Danielle Steele would be at a loss to come up with as tawdry a novel as is what these three were fooling themselves into believing.

    To think this guy had a shot at one time to become the leader of the free world. A sinister bunch of morons to be sure.

  5. How did I miss this, from yesterday: Sanford Commissioner Explains Her Lengthy Speech Refusing Police Chief’s Resignation To Megyn Kelly | Mediaite

    Mahany explained her reaction to Kelly, who was skeptical of her response:

    I do feel like he’s been unfairly maligned and I’d like to tell you why. I said the other night Chief Lee was guilty of a bad press conference. Beyond that he’s also guilty of making the unpopular but legally correct opinion. Megyn, if you look at our Florida state statutes, in particular, 776.032, if an individual has a qualified defense of self-defense and the investigators thought he did that night, under Florida law they may not arrest him. They actually cannot arrest him, but yet the popular opinion was and I think almost all of us shared it, but this doesn’t seem right. He needs to be arrested. The chief and our officers had to follow the letter of the law, the Florida statutes and not the popular opinion. And I think all Americans should be glad that they did that because the same legal rights that had to be afforded to George Zimmerman had to be applied to all of our citizens.

    Kelly pointed out that the Governor and Attorney General stepped in and told them it wasn’t the right action.

    Mahany disputed Kelly’s interpretation.

    “Under the Florida prevailing law [the special prosecutor] also understood why he wasn’t arrested, I want to be clear,” she said. “If there’s something egregious that happened then absolutely he should be gone,” Mahany added. “Until that time, and I think Megyn, you’re not going to see that.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Based on quotes from Bill Lee that I have read, he assumed Trayvon Martin was a criminal from day one. He took Zimmerman’s word that Trayvon attacked him. He should have been fired long ago. The only good thing about the chief staying suspended is that after the Justice Department investigation, Lee may be actually be fired and lose his pension. I hope that happens. He’s a racist and incompetent to even wear a uniform much less be chief.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Quote from Bill Lee: “If someone asks you, ‘Hey do you live here?’ is it OK for you to jump on them and beat the crap out of somebody?” Lee said. “It’s not.”

        There’s no evidence Zimmerman asked Trayvon that and no evidence that he “jumped” Zimmerman or “beat the crap” out of him.

        There IS evidence from the phone call that Zimmerman followed Trayvon, because Trayvon’s dead body was found yards and yards away from Zimmerman’s truck, where he claimed Trayvon attacked him.

        Read more here:

      • bostonboomer says:

        Good Grief! She thinks her city has been invaded? Get over it, lady. If your police chief had bothered to investigate even a little bit, you wouldn’t be having this problem of feeling “invaded.” Cripes, they didn’t even look for Zimmerman’s priors!

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    bb: Are you following the “baby washed out to sea” case?

    • bostonboomer says:

      You mean the one in Rockport? Is there anything new?

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Yes, and no, they are resuming the sea search today.

        Not sure what I believe about the circumstances. Perhaps I am getting much too jaded with these stories of kids being “stolen” from their homes in the middle of the night with a household of people sleeping unaware in the next room.

        Baby Lisa, Haleigh Cummings, the baby in Maine, the little girl in Arizona, and now this baby being washed out to sea as her mother retrieves a ball.

        Possible? Sure but probable? I don’t know.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m wondering why none of the news stories explain what the older daughter was doing while the mother’s back was turned.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        How close was she to the waterline when she left to retrieve the ball?

        If she was only gone for the two minutes she claims, though it is possible, it just makes no sense that you would leave two little girls unattended that close to the water’s edge for fear that something like that could happen.

        The story so far is that they were supposedly on a bridge throwing the ball with the dog when the ball went over the side of the bridge. How close is the bridge to the water that would allow a child that small – and in only two minutes of the mother retrieving the ball – to disappear into the waves?

        The other theory is that she may have been abducted. Who else was there on the beach that may have witnessed it? They did say they questioned the 4 year old but aren’t giving out any details.

        Tragic if I am being cynical but it just seems riddled with holes when examining what we have been told so far.

        It would just seem that with all the responders on hand that her body at least has not been washed to shore at this point.

        Again, possible but with all these kids “disappearing into thin” air it does raise speculation.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t know what to think, Pat. But IMO cynicism is often warranted. We do know that kids do get stolen from their homes in the night, though. I can think of several cases off the top of my head. Elizabeth Smart for one, that little girl down in Florida a couple of years ago.

      • bostonboomer says:


        Doesn’t it seem like the mom would have heard the child scream or cry?

  7. Pilgrim says:

    I went over and read the Douthat column re his distaste for Romney’s religion. But it didn’t give any real explanation about why it would be “relevant,” other than the suggestion that a discussion of it could help make Romney seem “weird” and “alien.”

    I don’t think the religion card will work very well. I never was more shocked than when I viewed the sermonizing of Rev. Wright repeatedly yelling “God damn America!” and yet the electorate swallowed that bitter pill and elected Obama.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I don’t think Douthat has any “distaste” for Romney’s religion. He just said that Romney should address the issue before someone else does.

      The column you read may have been the one by Christopher Hitchens.

      Personally, I do find Romney’s religion “wierd.” I think it is pretty much equivalent to Scientology. But there are much better reasons than that to reject Romney, IMO.

      I understand that you disagree, and that’s certainly your right. It seems you rarely comment here except to defend Romney these days. By all means, if he appeals to you, vote for him!

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m not exactly sure how old you are, but you must not have been very active in trying to get the ERA passed during the 1970s-1980s. One rogue unaffiliated neighborhood preacher doesn’t not equate to a huge, corporate religion that poured tons of money and time into bringing down the ERA. The Mormon church spends tons of time and money keeping women in a subservient role. They are worse that the patriarchy in the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church at least does poverty outreach and other kinds of useful things. Mormons only take care of other Mormons. They excommunicate any one that doesn’t follow the doctrine and give them money to do as they want. That doctrine includes seeing that women and racial minorities are held to chattel status. If you don’t believe me, then you need to do some research. They put a huge amount of money and time into defeating the ERA. A lot of that was Romney money.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Other than his cheating on his wife, I always thought Rev. Wright had a lot of good points. I thought it was crappy of Obama to disown him.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Obama wasn’t a Bishop or President of his church either….

      • dakinikat says:

        The Mormon church has also put a lot of money and effort into defeating GLBT marriage rights around the country too. They’re awful about these things.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Ex-firefighters want Miami captain fired after his racist Facebook rant.

  9. RalphB says:

    Get over your cold soon BB! Love the horses.

    The optional sound track to this post should be mandatory.

    Charles Pierce: Our President Has Soul. Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong with That.

    Much of what the world loves about America was provided by Americans who America didn’t much love for most of its history, and when the music began to batter down the mental walls we’d thrown up between black citizens and white citizens, it was a powerful covert operation that couldn’t be beaten back with police dogs, or fire hoses, or the entire legal, political, and social architecture of American apartheid. And this president knows that, and the people who are sniping at him now know it, too, and it’s driving them around the bend. Because the president knows, as we’ve all come to know, one simple truth that binds us all as Americans, even though it’s not always self-evident — that the blues is about salvage, about a carrying forward, and about recognizing the common hellhounds that stay on all of our trails.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Pierce is a wordsmith genius and a “must read” in my daily round up.

      Anyone looking for a lovely read I highly recommend Anna Quindlen’s latest “Plenty of Candles, Lot’s of Cake”.

      She was another writer I envied for her way with expression back in the day when she wrote for the NY Times.

      She transposes us to quieter times than those we are suffering through today.

      And BTW: I found Rachel’s book a terriffic read as well and would highly recommend.

      • RalphB says:

        I agree about Drift. Though some people seem to think she should have spent more time maligning presidents I think what she did was the smart way to cover a real topic. Making it into a partisan screed would have been self defeating.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Ralphb, Thank you for the link to Pierce, He reaches out and grabs my heart with nearly every word he writes. We can’t all speak or write as eloquently as Pierce, but we can all write and speak out.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Ralph. I can hardly keep up with Pierce. He is an inspired writer.

  10. ANonOMouse says:

    BB. Sorry to hear you’re feeling badly today, but your post is still excellent. Thanks.

  11. dakinikat says:

    Thanks for writing about Hitch. He was one of the most intriguing minds of our times. I didn’t always agree with him on everything (notably the Iraq war) but his writing always made me think. I loved his book that talked about how organized religion did so much damage to humanity. I still use it as a reference when dealing with the holier-than-thous that want me join the flock. Charlie Rose had a great round table discussion of some of his closest friends on the one year anniversary of his death and they all said that no matter how much you disagreed with him on something, it never changed how he treated you. I think that’s a hallmark of some one with a lot of character.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I read that book by Hitchens too, dak, and his comparisons to the Greek myths certainly added weight to the theory of “the Virgin birth” as one example as a copy of one of the myths.

      Greek mythology was written as both stories and metaphors during a time before science took off as a study. Temples were built to “assuage” whatever god they felt ruled over a part of their lives. Reading entrails was an occupation in those days.

      Somehow these myths found their way into a “religion” and though I do not doubt that Jesus walked among us, I do not believe in his divinity. The same for Moses. Leading a flock of exiles who were busily practicing adultery and stealing from one another, what better way to keep them in check than coming down the mountain carrying slabs engraved with “God says” to frighten them into submission.

      Those myths may have served a purpose in their day but to find ourselves 2000 plus years later “honoring” them as the real thing is preposterous.

      The Greeks at least can be credited for having advanced civilization but I have no desire to return to those heady days of yesteryear with Zeus and his thunderbolts.

  12. Pilgrim says:

    Boston Boomer, I sometimes see another side of things, and offer thoughts countering the prevailing opinion being expressed. It is only in the interest of discussion.

    I must tell you that I read your work with particular interest and enjoyment because you are a very good writer, express yourself clearly, on topics that are of interest, often psychological. I often don’t comment but I appreciate what you write.

    I realize my opinion on Romney, such as it is, is less emphatic than yours. My opinions are not too important.

    • RalphB says:

      Speaking for myself, disagreement is not a bad thing. It helps us find our way when we discuss our differences. So thank you.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Pilgrim. I really appreciate that. I also have no problem with disagreement and you can disagree with me as much as you want to! Sorry for being a little defensive.

    • dakinikat says:

      Your opinions are always welcome here. I think folks of good will can disagree. That doesn’t mean we harbor ill will to any one that disagrees. I’m fine with diverse opinions as long as the conversation stays civilized.

  13. Seriously says:

    Feel better, bb! Romney has no shot anyway, but he’s really handing the election to Obama on a plate by bringing up the economy. Maybe he’s forgotten those ads Kennedy produced a zillion years ago that absolutely destroyed his candidacy? Sure, it didn’t work for Shannon O’Brien but that’s because she’s not Sean O’Brien and more serious issues, like her “smirking” took precedence. That doesn’t mean the blueprint itself is defunct. He can’t connect singing the song of how he brought a bunch of minimum wage jobs to the mall with Sports Authority, but those ads are visceral.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Do you really think so? I’ve been starting to get a little worried, but I definitely trust your intuition. MA voters have a sickness when it comes to electing Repub. governors.

      • Seriously says:

        I just don’t see it. Obama and Romney are alarmingly alike in many ways, and it’s very difficult to run against yourself, but Obama has the advantage IMO because the Republican base thinks he’s a RINO and evangelicals think Mormonism is a cult. And if he’s going to compound his problems by trying to make the economy the centerpiece of his campaign, even Obama’s inept political team can’t screw that one up.

  14. SweetSue says:

    I thought most Skywalkers were supporters of the Clintons?
    Hitchens loathed them, particularly Hillary whom he described as a monster.
    Google Hitchens on Hillary Clinton but have a barf bag at the ready.
    He was a revolting misogynist and war monger; I’m sorry that he died young but I’m glad that he’s gone. The air on planet Earth is a little bit sweeter.
    Surprised to see the Hitchens love, here.

    • dakinikat says:

      I thought I made it clear that I disagreed with a lot of what he wrote. I’m not small minded, however. I can appreciate a facile mind and writer with out slavishly adoring him.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Sue, I am no fan of Hitchens but I did think that his work on the origin of religion was a pretty interestng read.

      Some of the stuff he wrote was indeed controversial and his hatred of the Clinton’s sealed the deal for me. But I am willing ot given him credit for some of his observations as they were well researched and informative.

    • Seriously says:

      Hi, Sweet Sue! He was a revolting cretin who made skin crawl wherever he went, but I understand why he’s a hero to the athiest community. Did you read Katha Pollitt’s take on him? They had so many clashes over the years, the way he spoke of his female colleagues was disgusting too, I thought it was quite brave of her to say some of those things when he’s so revered by the young male aggressive journo set.

      • SweetSue says:

        Seriously, I read Polliitt’s piece when he died, but it didn’t stick. I’ll have to revisit that.

      • Seriously says:

        His scathing piece on Paul Johnson’s transition from left to right (and how intellectually lazy and reliant on cheap rhetorical tricks Johnson became) in For the Sake of Argument is spooky, too. Reading it in the post 9/11 landscape after he became a Bush apologist and warmonger, almost all of his observations of Johnson applied equally to himself.

  15. So, this is interesting: Paul Ryan Flip Flops on Ayn Rand: ‘I Reject Her Philosophy’

    In 2005, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) heaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue”. The New Republic wrote:

    “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”

    Ryan also noted in a 2003 interview with the Weekly Standard, “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.”

    But today, Ryan is singing a far different tune.

    From an interview with National Review’s Bob Costa this week:

    “I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand,” he says.

    It’s understandable why Ryan would back off his former political muse. She described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Whoah! Good catch, JJ! I really don’t think Rand is “antithetical to” Ryan’s “worldview,” though. And why did he make everyone in his office read Atlas Shrugged then?

      • Pilgrim says:

        Maybe he’s clubbing with the “family” at C Street, although I really don’t think the otherwise secular world-view of that bunch differs greatly from Ayn Rand. They somehow have married their fundamentalist Christianity with the Randian gospel of selfishness.

        • dakinikat says:

          C Street’s brand of christianity is closer to Rand’s gospel of selfishness than it is to new testament’s story of what Jesus actually taught.

    • Seriously says:

      Oh, boy. How could he actually read Atlas Shrugged yet be unaware of Rand’s views on religion? He can’t look any more ridiculous than he already does, maybe he should find a way to find a way to blame the whole thing on Alan Greenspan. The Jesuits and NETWORK certainly seem to have put the fear of god in him (no pun intended).

      • I just think it is funny that for months Dak and BB and others here have been bringing that exact point up… about the irony of glorifying Rand while preaching to your constituents. And now this revelation…it is too damn funny.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I guess it scared him when the Catholic Bishops started firing off letter after letter objecting to his budget plan. LOL

    • dakinikat says:

      These snakes will sell out all their “values” whenever it conflicts with staying in power.

  16. RalphB says:

    Maybe some people won’t hate Obamacare so much if they know it wasn’t a total sellout. I’ve been waiting to see if this amounted to anything.

    TPM: ‘Obamacare’ To Yield $1.3 Billion In Rebates For Consumers

    A lesser-known but important provision in “Obamacare” that regulates how health insurance companies spend their money is yielding benefits for consumers, a new study finds.

    By this August, insurers are projected to send consumers a total of $1.3 billion in rebates, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis released Thursday — $541 million to large employers, $377 million to small businesses and $426 million to people with their own insurance plans.

    The rebates are the result of a rule in the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent or 85 percent of premium earnings on health care — as opposed to marketing and administrative activities — or otherwise provide rebates to their consumers.

  17. janey says:

    All these accusations of the repubs against liberals remind me of the predictions of the 50s that the ‘commies’ would take over the government and make everyone give up their homes,jobs, salaries and everything else. Now just substitute Obama or liberals for commies and you have exactly what they said.

  18. RalphB says:

    This should probably be helpful to Edwards. It certainly taints the credibility of the star witness against him FWIW.

    Ex-Edwards aide: Donors’ cash went into NC house

    GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — John Edwards’ ex-aide acknowledged Thursday that much of nearly $1 million in campaign supporters’ cash went to build his North Carolina dream house, not to buy the silence of the presidential candidate’s pregnant mistress.

    Andrew Young testified for a fourth straight day at Edwards’ campaign finance fraud trial, peppered with questions from Edwards attorney Abbe Lowell about the money from two donors that flowed into personal accounts controlled by Young and his wife.