Live Blog and Open Thread: Republican Convention, Day 2

Romney Ryan and Rand © David Fitzsimmons,The Arizona Star,Romney, Ryan, rand, Republicans, Election 2012

Oh, there is nothing like a Randian man to get your juices flowing, except for maybe a Randian Zombie. My question is this, if your average zombie considers brains the breakfast of champions, what the hell does an Ayn Rand zombie eat? Surely the grey matter of fellow Rand followers can’t provide the proper nutrition for a zombie of Ayn Rand’s caliber.

Perhaps that is why the Ryan zombie prefers the brains of the poor, old, and sick? Eureka, that must be the real motive behind the GOP Rand worshipers pro-life stance! The 99%, its whats for dinner.

Few Items of Note…

Hey, as I was reading through my RSS feeds I found some articles and links that I thought would be of interest to you. I still don’t think I can stomach the RNC tonight. I just don’t think I have the energy to process the hate…so if anyone is able to sit through the crapfest, please drop a comment or two.

From Glenn Greenwald: Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Yeah, he is on to something…read the entire post, I will just give you the final kick,

From “All the news that’s fit to print” to “please delete after you read” and cannot “go into detail because it is an intelligence matter”: that’s the gap between the New York Times’s marketed brand and its reality.

On another journalistic topic: Bit by Bit It Takes Shape: Media Evolution for the ‘Post-Truth’ Age – James Fallows – The Atlantic

Over the years, and recently in a few posts this month, I’ve mentioned signs that the mainstream press is adjusting to the realities of “post-truth politics.”

Everyone in the press is happiest, safest-feeling, and most comfortable when in the mode of he-said, she-said. “The president’s critics claim that he was born in Kenya; administration spokesmen deny the charge.” But when significant political players are willing to say things that flat are not true — and when they’re not slowed down by demonstrations of their claims’ falseness — then reporters who stick to he-said, she-said become accessories to deception. This is the problem the Atlantic’s James Bennet discussed in a dispatch from Tampa yesterday, concerning the Republicans’ false-but-endlessly-repeated claim that the Obama administration is coddling welfare recipients by dropping requirements that they work.

My grey matter can’t seem to process this post by Fallows. Maybe y’all can help me out?

Here are the rest of the links I have to share with you, in link dump fashion because I am feeling a little light headed, my blood sugar must be falling. Anyway, think of this as an open thread. After I feed my brain maybe I can tackle that convention down in Tampa…but I am not promising anything.

The 5 Weirdest Bits of the 2012 GOP Platform | Mother Jones

Democratic registration all but dries up since new Florida laws | jacksonville.com

Author Of South Carolina Voter ID Acknowledges Racist Emails

The Two American Flags – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money

Bank of America hasn’t modified one mortgage since settlement | Suburban Guerrilla

The Short Sale Scam: Most Going to Non-Recourse States that Bar Deficiency Judgments | FDL News Desk

Federal judge to permanently lift Florida voter registration restrictions | The Raw Story

This is an open thread…muthafukkerz! Hee…hee…

Tonight at the RNC, Paul Ryan will be nominated and give his big speech.  The audience will also hear from Mike Huckabee and Condoleezza Rice.  Will Huck go off the reservation and defend Todd Akin?  Wouldn’t that be fun?


Wednesday Reads: The King Who Wanted To Be Queen?

Good Morning

Hope everyone is staying dry, and plugged in…by that I mean your electricity is still on and strong!

I could not bring myself to watch the show last night. Even though it looks as if there was plenty to make fun of, and the speeches probably would have got me all fired up…you know, pissed off.

I could not even force myself to read the various pundit’s views on the evening. (Although this one here by Charlie Pierce is supposed to be a good one.) Safe to say this morning’s reads will touch on things that you may have missed the last few days.

This first link is for Dakinikat, I know how fascinated she is with the archaeology of ancient graves: Archaeologists begin dig to uncover grave of Richard III in Leicester

The son of a descendant of Richard III’s eldest sister was on site today as what is believed to be the first ever search for the lost grave of an anointed King of England began in a city centre car park.

Canadian-born Michael Ibsen watched as archaeological experts from the University of Leicester used ground penetrating radar equipment to find the best spots to begin their search today at the car park off Greyfriars in Leicester.

[…]

Richard III was brought to Leicester where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as Greyfriars, after he fell in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

But the exact whereabouts of the church have become lost over time.

While hopes are high at finding the site, which is currently being used as a car park for council offices, the experts are less confident about finding the monarch’s remains during the two-week search.

Rumours say the monarch’s bones could have been thrown into the River Soar after the dissolution of the monasteries.

Philippa Langley, from the Richard III Society which has been involved with the project, said: “We know he was buried here but the church disappeared after the dissolution of the monasteries as did his grave so today we begin the search for Richard.

“We know his body was led into Leicester and put on display for three days by Henry Tudor before he was buried.

“I hope we do find him because I want to give him a proper resting place and also to explode a lot of myths around Richard III.”

Myths? I wonder…

For more on the dig, you can take a look at these articles:

As for the myths…when I think of Richard III, I think of Shakespeare…Richard III:

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Which makes me think of the movie The Goodbye Girl…specifically the scene where Richard Dreyfus is playing the King who wanted to be Queen…

Goodbye Girl, The — (Movie Clip) Don’t Give Me Bette Midler

The first rehearsal of the Off-Broadway Richard III, director Mark (Paul Benedict) offering his unorthodox theory, Chicago actor Elliott (Richard Dreyfuss), cast in the lead, expressing concern, in Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl, 1977.

I’ve tried to embed the video below, so if it does not work correctly, please be sure to give that link a click and watch the scene. Too funny!

Assistant Director: Act one scene one…
Elliot Garfield: Uh, excuse me. Sorry. Just how far off the diving board do you want me to jump?
Mark: Well, don’t give me Bette Midler, but let’s not be afraid to be bold.
Elliot Garfield: Bold.
Mark: Bold.
Assistant Director: Act one, scene one, enter Richard Duke of Glochester.
Elliot Garfield: Now is the winter of our discontent… Sorry, one minute. Now is the winter…
Elliot Garfield: [Very effeminate] Now ith the winter of our dithcontent… may I have a 5 minute break please?
Mark: Five minutes.

Okay, so Richard, complete with club foot, twisted hand and pink polish on his nails. What a sight that would be…which leads me to our next link. New strain of hand, foot and mouth virus worries parents, pediatricians

Bernard Cohen, M.D., director of pediatric dermatology at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and colleague Kate Puttgen, M.D., have seen or consulted on close to 50 such cases in the last few months and have received countless phone calls from scared parents and concerned physicians. Cohen believes this number may be just the tip of the iceberg with primary care pediatricians seeing the bulk of new cases.

Cohen and Puttgen want to reassure parents that most cases of the disease are benign and that nearly all patients recover in seven to 10 days without treatment and without serious complications.

“What we are seeing is relatively common viral illness called hand-foot-and-mouth disease but with a new twist,” Cohen says.

The culprit is an unusual strain of the common coxsackie virus that usually causes the disease. The new strain, coxsackie A6, previously found only in Africa and Asia, is now cropping up all over the United States.

[…]

The new strain, however, behaves somewhat differently from its homegrown cousin, Cohen says. It carries a slightly higher risk for more serious illness and more widespread rash that can involve the arms, legs, face and diaper area. The new strain also seems to affect older as well as younger children.

I wonder if my kids and husband had this strain of the virus, it may not be a club foot, but for some reason the thing with Richard’s illnesses seemed like a pathetic segue into this foot and mouth article. Yeah, I am reaching…I know. 😉

I have yet another laughable connection to the foot and mouth link, this one about a virus that is transmitted by vermin. (Oh, not that the virus is laughable, but that my attempt at making some kind of themed post this morning. Now that is laughable.)  Second Yosemite National Park visitor dies of rodent-borne illness

A second person has died of a rare, rodent-borne disease after visiting Yosemite National Park earlier this summer and park officials warned past visitors to be aware of some flu-like aches and symptoms.

Health officials learned this weekend of the second hantavirus death, which killed a person who visited the park in June, spokesman Scott Gediman said in a statement.

There is one other confirmed case of the illness, and a fourth is being investigated.

Yosemite officials said Monday that the four visitors might have been exposed while vacationing at the park’s Curry Village, and are warning those who stayed in the village’s tent cabins from mid-June through the end of August to beware of any symptoms of hantavirus, which can include fever, aches, dizziness and chills. An outreach effort is under way to contact visitors from that period who stayed in “Signature Tent Cabins,” which have more insulation and amenities than other tent cabins.

Federal health officials say symptoms may develop up to 5 weeks after exposure to urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents, and Yosemite advised visitors to watch for symptoms for up to six weeks.

Of the 587 documented US cases since the virus was identified in 1993, about one-third proved fatal. There is no specific treatment for the virus.

Geez, scary stuff innit?

Moving away from the deformed body of a closet queen, and various viruses…I come to an article that shows the twisted irony involved with the religious right…or should that be better phrased as the fucked up hypocrisy that parades around as the anti-gay right wing? Anti-LGBT Prop 8 activist confesses to molesting young boys

A Yucca Valley, California man associated with the anti-LGBT ballot initiative Proposition 8 has confessed to the molestation of multiple young boys over the course of decades.  According to the Wisconsin Gazette, Caleb Edward Hesse, 52, a first grade teacher and youth volunteer, has been arraigned on 4 felony counts of lewd conduct upon a child.  The San Bernadino District Attorney’s office has said that more charges are pending as the case develops and more victims come forward.

“The crimes are believed to have occurred between the early 1980s and as recently as one week ago,” reads a report from the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Office.  ”Some of the victims may now be 30 (to) 40 years old.”

Hesse allegedly molested the boys on “countless overnight outings that took place throughout California” and were sponsored by the church where he volunteered, Yucca Valley’s Evangelical Free Church.  Hesse has been a first grade teacher at Friendly Hills Elementary School since 1987.

The Gazette has found that Hesse donated in 2008 to the campaign supporting the anti-LGBT ballot initiative Proposition 8.  He was also the owner of ProtectMarriage.com, a now-defunct Prop 8 fundraising site, according to LGBT news service Gayopolis.

You just can’t make this shit up!!!

And speaking of the twisted right…I have a couple of articles to share with you on the Republican Party.

Lawrence Wittner: The Republican “Small Government” Fraud –  This one deals with the kind of hypocrisy we have talked about so many times on the blog.

One of the most widely-advertised but falsest claims in American politics is that the modern Republican Party stands for “small government.”

In the distant past, leading Republicans were sharp critics of statism. And, even today, a few marginal party activists, like U.S. Representative Ron Paul, have championed limited government — even libertarian — policies. But this is not at all the norm for the contemporary GOP.

For example, the modern Republican Party has stood up with remarkable consistency for the post-9/11 U.S. government policies of widespread surveillance, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and extraordinary rendition. It has also supported government subsidies for religious institutions, government restrictions on immigration and free passage across international boundaries, government denial of collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, government attacks on public use of public space (for example, the violent police assaults on the Occupy movement), and government interference with women’s right to abortion and doctors’ right to perform it.

And this barely scratches the surface of the Republican Party’s “big government” policies. The GOP has rallied fervently around government interference with the right of same-sex couples to marry, government provision of extraordinarily lengthy imprisonment for drug possession (for example, in the “war on drugs”) and numerous other nonviolent offenses, government curbing of voting rights (for example, “voter suppression” laws), and government restrictions on freedom of information. Where, one wonders, is the Republican outrage at the U.S. government’s crackdown on people like Bradley Manning who expose government misconduct, or on whistle-blowing operations like Wikileaks and its leading light, Julian Assange?

Oh yeah…preach it baby!

If the Republican Party were a zealous defender of civil liberties, as it claims to be, it would laud civil liberties organizations. But, in fact, the GOP has adopted a very hostile attitude toward them. During the 1988 presidential campaign, George H. W. Bush, the Republican presidential candidate, publicly and repeatedly ridiculed his Democratic opponent as a “card-carrying member of the ACLU.”

Of course, the biggest arena of U.S. government action is the military. Here is where 57 percent of U.S. tax dollars currently go, thereby creating the most powerful national military machine in world history. A Republican Party that wanted to limit government would be eager to cut funding for this bloated giant. But the reality is that the modern GOP has consistently supported a vast U.S. military buildup. Today, its presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, assails his Democratic competitor for military weakness and champions a $2 trillion increase in U.S. military spending over the next decade.

Moreover, the Republican Party is an avid proponent of the most violent, abusive, and intrusive kind of government action — war. In recent decades, as U.S. military intervention or outright war raged in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and other nations, the GOP was a leading source of flag-waving jingoism, as it is today in the U.S. government’s confrontation with Iran. This is not a prescription for creating limited government. As the journalist Randolph Bourne remarked in the midst of U.S. government mobilization for World War I: “War is the health of the State.”

Read the rest at the link…

Then we have this, a sort of logistical view of the exception rules for abortion…COLUMN: How would a woman prove rape to qualify for Romney’s abortion exception?

In the wake of the Todd Akin firestorm, Mitt Romney and a flip-flopping Paul Ryan have emphasized that their anti-choice stance excludes rape. In a Romney administration, abortions would be outlawed except in the case of women who have been raped, the Republican ticket has promised.

So here’s an idea, first suggested by my daughter and one of her friends: Who’s going to be the first reporter to ask Romney or Ryan how that would work? How would they implement that exception?

Would a woman’s rapist have to be convicted in court? How would that work, given that in most criminal cases it takes longer than nine months from when the crime is committed to catch the criminal (assuming the criminal is caught), prepare charges and reach a verdict. In fact, the window would be significantly less than nine months; it would start from when the pregnancy is discovered and end somewhere around the 16 to 20 weeks left during which abortions can be performed most safely.

I won’t even go into the way these exceptions could become a disgusting bureaucratic mess that makes the woman jump through so many hoops,   getting that abortion becomes impossible…all in the name of pro-life fanaticism.

And that brings me to this last article for you, in a world where women are having to fight for their basic rights…elephants are getting birth control for free! And that ain’t the GOP Elephants…we are talking African Elephants. South Africa goes big on birth control for elephants

A South African province home to thousands of elephants is planning a birth control campaign for the pachyderms to prevent a population explosion that could threaten plants and wildlife.

Unlike other parts of Africa where elephant stocks have dwindled to dangerously low levels due to poaching and a loss of habitat, South Africa has seen its populations steadily grow through conservation, with the country pressed for room to house the massive animals with hefty diets.

KwaZulu-Natal province, in the southeast, is looking to expand a project running for more than a decade where elephants populations have been controlled by injecting cows with a vaccine that triggers an immune system response to block sperm reception.

Yup, I say it again, you just can’t make this shit up!

So, what are you reading about today? Feel the urge to rant about the GOP crapfest? Well…by all means…please do.


Late Night Open Thread: RNC Cartoons

Good Late Evening!

Tonight the GOP started their crapfest, a day behind schedule…so tonight I wanted to bring you a few cartoons, and a few laughs.

This first cartoon makes me think of the Right pandering to “women.” As Christie stated earlier today: Chris Christie: Republicans shouldn’t have to ‘cater’ to women | The Raw Story

Cagle Post » GOP ALLEY

GOP ALLEY © Steve Greenberg,VCReporter, Ventura. CA,<br /><br />GOP,GOP,Republicans,women,abortion,platform,convention,rape,legitimate

Then we have a few on Akin…which partnered with Paul Ryan on that Forcible Rape bill, oops, I mean stock language bill: Paul Ryan redefining rape as ‘forcible rape’ was just ‘stock language’ | The Raw Story

Cagle Post » Todd Akin

Todd Akin © Tim Campbell,Indianapolis,akin,comments,rape,legitimate,brain,women,akin-comments

Cagle Post » Akin’s Gift to the DNC

Akin's Gift to the DNC © Rick McKee,The Augusta Chronicle,Akin,legitimate,rape,pregnant,Joe Biden,gaffes,DNC,Democratic National Committee

Back to the big man on the RNC campus…

Cagle Post » Hurricane Christie

Hurricane Christie © Christopher Weyant,The Hill,		Governor Chris Christie,Hurricane Isaac,GOP,Republican,National Convention,weather,Florida,delegates,Mitt Romney,Paul Ryan,Katrina,New Orleans,Tampa,elections,blustery

On that thing they call the GOP Platform:

GOP Platform Changed To Now Target All Forms Of Pornography | Mediaite

Cagle Post » planks

planks © David Fitzsimmons,The Arizona Star,planks,party,convention,republicans,womens vote, Mitt Romney, GOP, plank

Cagle Post » Republican Convention

Republican Convention © Jimmy Margulies,The Record of Hackensack, NJ,Republican Convention, Mitt Romney, Romney, Romney personality, Romney lacks charisma

Now, a little comment on the next cartoon. Last week my mother was on the phone with my aunt who kept calling Obama “that black man.” My aunt kept repeating that phrase, and after she said to my mother “Why would you vote for that black man, he is a socialist and communist…” and then she ended her Fox news/Drudge rant with, “I’m not a racist or anything.” To which my mom said to her, it sounds like you are. My aunt hung up on her. After a few days she called my mom back to apologize,  it seems my cousin put my aunt in her place. She had been saying the same thing to him and he told her…”why don’t you just call him that n*gger?” …so with that here is the cartoon that made me think of my Aunt.

Cagle Post » Romneycare

Romneycare © Milt Priggee,www.miltpriggee.com,Mitt Romney, president, 2012, gop, republican, Obama, birthers, birth certificate,

Of course my aunt is still pushing the anti-Obama message, but she is making sure to keep the “black man” talk out of it. I just got an email from her about the Obama 2016 movie. Ugh…

And we will end with this one, a good one too.

Cagle Post » The Million Mitt March

The Million Mitt March © Tim Eagan,Deep Cover,romney,pro,life,romneycare,,march,million,choice

This is an open thread…


Live Blog: Republican Convention Speeches

Screen displays “Over The Top” as Mitt Romney reaches the total number of delegates needed for the nomination (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Good Evening!!

Well, the deed is done. Mitt Romney is finally the official nominee of the Republican Party. We thought it might be fun to live blog the speeches tonight.

First up will be Rick Santorum, scheduled for 7PM. Santorum’s speech will focus on Work and Welfare, according to Real Clear Politics.

It’s not the timeslot he would have preferred, but Rick Santorum’s speech to the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night is being touted as “particularly good” by the Romney campaign.

That was the praise issued by senior Romney strategist Russ Schriefer, who said that he has seen a copy of Santorum’s speech, which is slated to open the evening session in Tampa at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

In keeping with themes that he often homed in on during his own presidential run, Santorum’s convention speech is expected to touch upon his blue-collar roots and social conservatism, but the hot-button issue of welfare reform will be at the center of his remarks.

Doesn’t that sound delightful? He’ll probably say something like this:

Seriously, the Christian Science Monitor explains why Santorum’s speech is so important to the Romney campaign.

Tuesday night in Tampa, Santorum brings to the stage his newly won star power as a leading voice of social conservatism – and an unspoken message that Romney, who governed Massachusetts as a moderate, can now be trusted.

Santorum’s appearance represents “another piece of the mosaic they’re trying to put together of a united Republican Party and conservative movement,” says Gary Bauer, a social-conservative leader who endorsed Santorum for president. “Republicans only win when they bring together social, economic, and foreign policy conservatives. I think it’s happening.”

Here is the full schedule for tonight, from the Houston Chronicle:

7 p.m. Reconvene
Remarks by Speaker John Boehner
Remarks by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Video and remarks by Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, UT), U.S. congressional candidate
Remarks by Janine Turner
Remarks by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
Remarks by Host, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
8 p.m. Remarks by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), accompanied by Jack Gilchrist
Remarks by Governor John Kasich (OH)
Remarks by Governor Mary Fallin (OK)
Remarks by Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), accompanied by Bev Gray
Remarks by Governor Scott Walker (WI)
9 p.m. Remarks by Governor Brian Sandoval (NV)
Remarks by Sher Valenzuela (small business owner, candidate for DE Lt. Governor)
Remarks by Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX)
Remarks by Artur Davis
Remarks by Governor Nikki Haley (SC)
10 p.m. Remarks by Mrs. Luce’ Vela Fortuño
Remarks by Mrs. Ann Romney
Remarks by Governor Chris Christie (NJ)
Benediction by Sammy Rodriguez
Adjournment

I’m guessing Ann won’t speak until at least 9:00, maybe later. Then Chris Christie will give the keynote. In between Rick and Ann, we’ll see such charming personalities as Bob “Vaginal Probe” McDonnell and Scott Walker, representing the Koch Brothers. What? No Todd Akin?

If we fill this thread up, we’ll start another one. Have fun documenting the atrocities!


Ohio Coal Miners Forced to Attend Romney Speech while Losing a Day’s Pay

Century Mine workers and families waiting in line to see Mitt Romney (photo by Scott McClosky)

Conservative values on display: Via Mother Jones, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today that employees of the Century Mine in Ohio were told that attendance at an August 14 speech by Mitt Romney was “mandatory.” They couldn’t work that day because the mine shut down to accommodate the Romney campaign’s “safety and security” concerns.

The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.

A group of employees who feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore.

Moore told Blomquist that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows.

Maybe not, but workers who were there said that managers called the roll and noted who attended and who did not.

Moore said he didn’t see anything negative in attending Romney’s campaign appearance with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.

“We are talking about an event that was in the best interest of anyone that’s related to the coal industry in this area or the entire country,” Moore said in the radio interview.

Murray Energy is owned by Robert Murray, one of Romney’s high dollar donors. From Wikipedia:

Murray and his companies received national attention in August 2007 when six miners were trapped at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah, of which Murray Energy independent operating subsidiary UtahAmerican Energy had been a part-owner for 12 months. Prior to the collapse, the Crandall Canyon Mine had received only 64 violations and $12,000 in fines, magnitudes similar to other mines of this size in the United States. He says that the safety violations were trivial and included violations such as not having enough toilet paper in the restroom.  However, some news agencies reported troubling violations at other of Murray’s operations; CNN, for example, found that seven of Murray’s 19 mines were underground and 4 of them had accident rates above the national average. CNN specifically cited Murray’s Illinois Galatia mine, which had almost 3,500 safety citations in the prior two and a half years

The Plain Dealer also noted that according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the coal mining industry has donated more than $900,000 to Republicans in the past two years.

According to John McCormick at Bloomberg Business Week, as Massachusetts governor, Romney denounced coal energy, saying “it kills people,” but now that Murray is funding his presidential campaign, Romney has changed his tune.

Romney, who as Massachusetts governor vowed to close an aging coal-fired power plant because it “kills people,” has embraced the coal industry in his presidential bid, with Murray proving a key ally. He touts coal development as central to his aim of achieving “North American energy independence” at the end of a second term in office…

He also highlights the issue as defining a major difference between himself and President Barack Obama. At an Aug. 14 speech at a mine in Ohio owned by a Murray subsidiary — and with the energy executive again joining him — Romney said Obama is “waging war on coal” through over-regulation and that the president has broken promises he made to the industry to aid its transition to newer, cleaner technologies.

“If you don’t believe in coal, if you don’t believe in energy independence for America, then say it,” Romney said of Obama.

Here’s a clip from Romney’s remarks on August 14.

After the Plain Dealer story appeared, Robert Murray defended the “no pay” day to a Plain Dealer reporter. Murray was in Tampa, naturally.

We caught up with Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray a little while ago, after he exchanged pleasantries and small talk with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine before breakfast was served. Murray is a substantial Republican donor. Asked about the claim that workers feared for their jobs if they didn’t attend, a claim that President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign has seized on, Murray said, “I think that is a lot of ridiculous nonsense.”

He added:

“What you people are suggesting is that I pay somebody to attend a political function that they attended voluntarily. You don’t pay somebody to attend a political function, and that is what you are advocating by making an issue out of this.

“I had 3,000 coal miners there – wives, children. They enjoyed it very much. It was a great day. And you people in the media are trying to make something negative out of it because some radio personality tried to make an issue out of it. Would you rather I paid people to attend a political event, because that is what you are saying. The answer is you don’t.

“My people have their own minds. They have their own desires. Nobody was ordered to attend. Nobody knows who attended and who didn’t. But I can tell you this: We had 3,000 people there, it was a great day, our people enjoyed it. Barack Obama is destroying their lives, their livelihoods. These people ae scared, and they came out in droves to see Mitt Romney and that’s what it was all about. A great day.”

Wow. Two “you people” references! That even tops Ann Romney’s defense of Mitt’s secret tax returns.


Tuesday Reads: “Winds of Fanaticism”

Good Morning!!

I’m writing this on Monday night, but I’ll update in the morning if there is breaking news about either Isaac or Mitt and the gang. The Republicans appear ready to loose the hounds of hell in the next few days. We can only hope they will decide to cancel the rest of the hatefest if the hurricane does a lot of damage. For now, liberal writers are suggesting this could be the most racist convention in history and conservative writers are pretending liberals are imagining things.

There was much talk yesterday about Chris Matthews’ outburst at RNC Chair Reince Priebus on the Morning Joe Show, with liberals cheering him on and Conservatives terribly shocked by his supposed rudeness. I don’t usually like to link to right wing blogs, but I’m going to do it just this once. The National Review reported on Priebus’ reaction:

“When someone wants to grab the flag and try to be the biggest jerk in the room, sometimes you just let them go,” the chairman said with a laugh.

“We shook hands, but I will tell ya that someone from MSNBC, I don’t know if it’s a producer or somebody, has been trying to call us all day — I’m sure it’s to make amends, but there’s nothing to make amends [about]. When somebody wants to take the prize of being the biggest jerk in the room . . . I mean, he made the case for us. This is the Barack Obama surrogate of 2012. This is what they’re all about. They’re going to be about division, they’re going to be about distraction. And I’ve got to tell you, the brand of Barack Obama, hope and change and bringing us all together, it’s completely broken. When people come to realize that you’re not real anymore, you’re not who you said you were, that’s a big problem for Barack Obama.”

Sorry, Reince. The only reason you weren’t the biggest jerk in the room is that Joe Scarborough was there.

Here are three good reads on the Republican race-baiting issue.

David Corn at Mother Jones, Mitt Romney and GOP in Tampa: How Low Will They Go? It’s worth reading the whole thing, but here’s the conclusion:

Romney, who once upon a time based his successful political career on a claim to be a no-nonsense, get-things-done businessman, this week officially takes the reins of a party that has embraced an assortment of alternative realities. (Obama is an incompetent naïf but one possessing an intricate and sophisticated plan to fool the American public and remake the United States into a Europeanized secular-socialist state with a mad-with-power government crushing individual liberty; global warming does not exist; rape cannot cause pregnancy.) As a onetime middle-of-the-road governor who had succeeded wildly in the private sector, Romney has always had a compelling case to present in this campaign: Obama has not done enough to repair the economy; I can do better. And there are enough honest policy differences between Romney and Obama—on tax rates, government spending, foreign policy, abortion, gay rights, and more—to fuel a sharp, feisty, and fundamental debate based on a contest of ideas, not a clash of charges.

Yet Romney’s party did not want such a fight. They craved a mudfest, and Romney, a patrician quarter-billionaire, has obliged. So there’s really not much mystery in Florida. The Tampa convention will be a continuation of this cavalcade of sleaze. You dance to the tune that brought you. And not even a driving storm can wash Mitt Romney and his campaign clean.

Elspeth Reeve at the Atlantic: Race Takes Over the Race. Reeve provides a very interesting analysis of Romney’s several welfare ads and how they convey a racial message.

John Judis at CBS News: How Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy could set Republicans back for a decade. Judis compares Romney’s strategy of trying to get as many white people to the polls as possible while ignoring African Americans and Hispanics with George W. Bush’s approach in 2000.

Mitt Romney could not only lose the election, but set back any attempt by the Republicans to re-position themselves as a majority party. Romney has abandoned Bush and Rove’s strategy. He has taken a hard line against illegal immigration, backing measures in Arizona and other states that would stigmatize Latinos; desperate to defeat Texas Gov. Rick Perry, he even opposed Perry’s attempt to provide tuition for the children of illegal immigrants. Little that Romney can do at the Republican convention will erase an impression of hard intolerance toward Hispanics. Romney will be lucky if he wins 30 percent of the Latino vote.

Bush and Rove understood that majority coalitions have never been built on strict consensus. Instead, successful coalitions are heterogeneouos. They include groups (such as Southern whites and Northern blacks during the New Deal) that don’t get along with each other, but still prefer the one party coalition to the other. And a successful candidate will offend one part of the coalition (with the expectation they’ll still vote for him) in order to reach out to parts of the opposing coalition. Bush could support immigration reform and pick off Hispanic votes with the expectation that he would still win white working class votes. But Romney, perhaps because he is not really a Republican conservative, has sought to be all things to all parts of the Republican base — from the Tea Party opponents of any social spending to the nativists worried about a Mexican takeover of America to religious conservatives wanting to ban all abortions. As a result, Romney has closed off opportunities to pick off parts of the Democratic coalition.

Instead of trying to appeal to minority voters, Republicans are doing their best to keep them from voting at all with voter ID laws, efforts to purge voters from the rolls, and reducing the times available for voting.

As of late Monday night, it appears that the convention will go forward tomorrow. Mitt and Ann are going down to Tampa and, according to The New York Times, the roll call vote will go ahead Tuesday night just in case the rest of the convention has to be cancelled. Meanwhile, there was apparently a lot of intra-party bickering during the Monday downtime.

With the vacuum created by the postponement, “everybody who has a reason to be upset about something has time to talk about it,” said Drew McKissick, a South Carolina delegate. And, as seen Monday, to try to do something about it.

Mr. McKissick was busy rallying support to fight Mr. Romney’s legal team over new party rules that he said would hinder the kind of insurgent challenges that Mr. Romney has faced this year — a clash that appeared to have been resolved enough to prevent it from spilling onto the convention floor Tuesday.

A day of closed-door talks between Romney aides and conservative activists ended with a compromise that one person involved said would “result in what we think is a very warm and fuzzy convention.” Some activists announced that they had succeeded in preventing what they called a power grab by the party establishment.

But supporters of Representative Ron Paul of Texas expressed frustration over what they said were efforts by Mr. Romney’s aides and supporters to silence their voices in the convention hall. They were goaded along by Mr. Paul, who has declined a speaking slot, accusing the Romney campaign of trying to control his message.

And supporters of Representative Todd Akin, the Missouri Senate candidate who lost much of the party’s support after his comments on “legitimate” rape and pregnancy, revived Tea Party-infused arguments against the “establishment” wing of the party, saying Mr. Romney and “party bosses” had abandoned him after his remarks.

I strongly suggest reading this article by Jon Ward at Huffpo: The One-Termer? Ward managed to get some really interesting information and quotes from Romney campaign insiders. The gist of the article is that Romney may be hoping to do a repeat of what he did in Massachusetts. The model for Romney’s presidency, according to campaign manager Matt Rhoades is President James Polk.

Rhoades and the rest of the members of Romney’s inner circle think a Romney presidency could look much like the White House tenure of the 11th U.S. president.

Polk, who served from 1845 to 1849, presided over the expansion of the U.S. into a coast-to-coast nation, annexing Texas and winning the Mexican-American war for territories that also included New Mexico and California. He reduced trade barriers and strengthened the Treasury system.

And he was a one-term president.

Polk is an allegory for Rhoades: He did great things, and then exited the scene, and few remember him. That, Rhoades suggested, could be Romney’s legacy as well.

Basically, Romney wants to enact the Ryan budget, after which he will be wildly unpopular. But once he gets Congress to eliminate the capital gains and inheritance taxes, Romney will have achieved his goal of paying nothing in federal income taxes and made it likely that his children won’t have to pay taxes on the Romney fortune after he dies.

Multiple senior Romney advisers assured me that they had had conversations with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryan’s controversial budget and entitlement reforms. Romney, they said, was willing to count the cost politically in order to achieve it.

“I think he is looking to get in there and fix some things and get out. I don’t think he cares,” one senior Romney adviser, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told me at the time.

I’ll end with this little tidbit, in case you didn’t hear it on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night or read it in the {gag!} New York Post. According to the Post, Ryan wasn’t Romney’s first choice for VP–Christie turned it down because he believes Romney will lose.

Romney’s top aides had demanded Christie step down as the state’s chief executive because if he didn’t, strict pay-to-play laws would have restricted the nation’s largest banks from donating to the campaign — since those banks do business with New Jersey.
But Christie adamantly refused to sacrifice his post, believing that being Romney’s running mate wasn’t worth the gamble….

The tough-talking governor believed Romney severely damaged his campaign by releasing only limited tax returns and committing several gaffes during his international tour in July.
Certain Romney was doomed, Christie stuck to his guns — even as some of his own aides pushed him to run, another source said.

Bwwwaaaaahahahahahahahaha! And Christie is the keynote speaker!! Hahahahahahahahaha!!

OK, I’m going to end there. I promise to update with any breaking stories in the morning. Now what are you reading and blogging about today?


Monday Storm is Brewing, Spinning, Packing…well you get the idea.

Good Evening!

I have a confession to make…I have not once turned on my TV or looked at the news today, even online. I blame it on my sinus infection, and a combination of cold medicine, antibiotics and utter disgust at the crapfest going on in my home town of Tampa. (BTW, that utter disgust has to deal with the latest shit spewing from the GOP: Tom Smith, GOP Senate Candidate: Pregnancy From Rape Similar To ‘Having A Baby Out Of Wedlock’ If you haven’t seen that link, be sure to check it out!)

Tropical Storm Isaac: Gulf Coast Braces For Possibility Of Storm Strengthening Into Hurricane

Tropical Storm Isaac

Map locates Tropical Storm Isaac and its projected path for the next five days (AP/NOAA)

NEW ORLEANS — With its massive size and ponderous movement, a strengthening Isaac could become a punishing rain machine depending on its power, speed and where it comes ashore along the Gulf Coast.

The focus has been on New Orleans as Isaac takes dead aim at the city seven years after Hurricane Katrina, but the impact will be felt well beyond the city limits. The storm’s winds could be felt more than 200 miles from its center.

Tropical Storm Isaac Photos Capture Storm Looming Over U.S.

As the Caribbean assessed the damage from Tropical Storm Isaac’s deadly hit, the U.S. Gulf Coast braced for a possible hurricane. The storm has already affected plans for the Republican National Convention, oil companies have cut production and governors have issued states of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaac.

The National Weather Service is continuing to monitor the storm — their analysis of Tropical Storm Isaac can be viewed by clicking here. They recommend preparing for storms by having a disaster supply kit ready, establishing a family plan, and staying informed as the weather develops.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE UPDATES)

That link will give you updates on the HuffPo website. But for the latest check this here: Tropical Storm ISAAC[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Of course, this isn’t welcome news for folks who were planning to fly out of NOLA: Isaac leads airlines to cancel New Orleans flights

And New Orleans is not the only one that will be affected: Isaac threat to Gulf Coast well beyond New Orleans

Be sure everyone stays safe, and that is especially true for you Dakinikat.

Oh, this is an open thread…