Monday Reads

Good Morning!

The Twitterati were all aTwit about the Romney’s really really rough “struggle” in life yesterday.  It was a pretty funny hashtag thread in response to Ann Romney trying to list the Romney “struggles”.   You know, it must’ve been tough waiting for that fourth draft deferment for Vietnam while Mitt lived in a palace in France. Then, you know, we all have that problem of having to dip into the stock portfolio our parents gave us while trying to go to Harvard. So, it goes with out saying, life is just one struggle to keep up with the Vanderbilts, the Astors, and the P-Diddys.

Ann Romney pushed back Sunday against detractors whom she said have called her husband “heartless,” emphasizing that she and Mitt Romney have struggled, even if not financially.

“Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives,” Ann Romney said in an interview with Mitt Romney that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.”

President Obama leads Mitt Romney in the polls when it comes to which candidate has more empathy for people struggling in the economy. At the Republican convention last month, the campaign tried to combat that narrative. Ann Romney tried to humanize Mitt Romney in her address, calling their life together a “real marriage” that began by eating “a lot of pasta and tuna fish.” The campaign also enlisted several of Romney’s friends from his congregation in Massachusetts to paint the candidate as compassionate.

All of us “you people” just don’t understand.  That would include the Fact Checkers at The Atlantic.

Ann Romney 2012:  “I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work. Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.”

The Real Romney, by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman: At Bain & Company, founder Bill Bain treated Romney “as a kind of prince regent at the firm, a favored son.” He selected Romney to start  and run Bain Capital. “It would be Romney’s first chance to run his own firm and, potentially, to make a killing,” they write. “It was an offer few young men in a hurry could refuse. Yet Romney stunned his boss by doing just that.” They continue:

“He explained to Bain that he didn’t want to risk his position, earnings, and reputation on an experiment. He found the offer appealing but didn’t want to make the decision in a “light or flippant manner.” So Bain sweetened the pot. He guaranteed that if the experiment failed Romney would get his old job and salary back, plus any raises he would have earned during his absence. Still, Romney worried about the impact on his reputation if he proved unable to do the job. Again the pot was sweetened. Bain promised that, if necessary, he would craft a cover story saying that Romney’s return to Bain & Company was needed due to his value as a consultant. “So,” Bain explained, “there was no professional or financial risk.” This time Romney said yes.”

Yeah.  All of us should be blessed by THESE kinds of struggles.

Okay, it’s time for another kat’s adventure in historical grave stuff item.  This time it’s on the search for the grave for Richard III in the UK.

An archaeological dig searching for the grave of Richard III has uncovered evidence of a lost garden, organisers said.

Experts from the University of Leicester who are leading the search discovered paving stones which they believe belong to the garden of Robert Herrick where, historically, it is recorded there was a memorial to Richard III.

Work by the “time tomb team”, as they have become known, has so far involved the digging of two trenches at a Leicester city centre car park – and this week a third was excavated – thought to cover the site of a Franciscan friar where the former king is believed to have been buried in 1485.

Working alongside members of the Richard III Society, archaeologists also confirmed they had found the church of the Grey Friars.

Research at the site, which is owned by Leicester City Council, began on August 24 with archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar equipment to mark out the trenches.

Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said: “This is an astonishing discovery and a huge step forward in the search for King Richard’s grave.

“Herrick is incredibly important in the story of Richard’s grave and in potentially helping us get that little bit closer to locating it.”

In the early 1600s, Alderman Robert Herrick, a mayor of Leicester, bought the land of the Grey Friars and built a large mansion house with a garden on the site.

In 1612, Christopher Wren, father of the famous architect, was visiting Herrick and recorded seeing a handsome three foot stone pillar in Herrick’s garden.

Inscribed on the pillar was: “Here lies the body of Richard III sometime King of England.”

No mention of Richard III would be complete without a h/t to Shakespeare

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.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

Since I’m waxing poetic, philosophical, and political, here’s a quick music break.

Public Policy Polling finds that Obama leads in Ohio by 5 points.  Ohio is an important swing state.

PPP’s first post-conventions poll in Ohio finds Barack Obama with a 5 point lead over Mitt Romney, 50-45. This is the largest lead PPP has found for Obama in an Ohio poll since early May. Last month Obama led 48-45.

Both candidates have seen their images improve with Ohio voters in the wake of the conventions. Obama now breaks even in his approval rating at 48%, after being under water with 46% of voters approving and 51% disapproving of him a month ago. Romney’s numbers are up from a 41/52 favorability rating a month ago as well, but he still remains unpopular. Only 44% see him favorably to 49% with a negative opinion.

Romney actually leads 46-44 with independents but Obama has the overall advantage thanks to a more unified party base. He leads 86/11 with Democrats, compared to Romney’s 83/13 advantage with Republicans. Obama’s 75 point lead within his own party is up from 70 points a month ago, suggesting that his party has coalesced around him a little bit more in the wake of a successful convention. By a 47/35 margin Ohio voters say they think the Democrats had a better convention than the Republicans.

ETHAN BRONNER writes about how the legal battles on voting may prove critical to the election in November for the NYT.

In the last few weeks, nearly a dozen decisions in federal and state courts on early voting, provisional ballots and voter identification requirements have driven the rules in conflicting directions, some favoring Republicans demanding that voters show more identification to guard against fraud and others backing Democrats who want to make voting as easy as possible.

The most closely watched cases — in the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania — will see court arguments again this week, with the Ohio dispute possibly headed for a request for emergency review by the Supreme Court.

In Wisconsin, the home state of the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, the attorney general has just appealed to the State Supreme Court on an emergency basis to review two rulings barring its voter ID law. But even if all such cases are settled before Nov. 6 — there are others in Florida, Iowa and South Carolina — any truly tight race will most likely generate post-election litigation that could delay the final result.

“In any of these states there is the potential for disaster,” said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. “You have close elections and the real possibility that people will say their votes were not counted when they should have been. That’s the nightmare scenario for the day after the election.”

In the 2000 presidential election, a deadlock over ballot design and tallying in parts of Florida led the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, to stop a recount of ballots, which led to George W. Bush defeating Al Gore. Since then, both parties have focused on voting procedures.

The Obama campaign, for example, brought suit in Ohio over its reduction of early voting weekends used more by blacks than other groups.

Denying people their constitutional rights appears to be the Republican Party priority these days.

So, Chicago’s Teachers are on strike.  It’s been awhile since we’ve seen anything quite this big.  Guess Rahmbo likes his schools chartered instead of completely public.

Why are these 29,000 teachers and school workers going on strike in the nation’s third-largest public school district?

Because they want what all workers want: fair pay and decent working conditions. They also want what all teachers want — to serve their students to their best of their abilities.

Here’s a few things you need to know about the strike, and why the CTU is right and Mayor Rahm Emanuel — who has failed to fairly bargain with the union — is wrong:

  • Powerful Outside Interests Worked With Rahm To Cripple CTU’s Ability To Strike (They Failed): Last year, outside groups education privatization groups like Stand for Children worked with the city council and mayor to raise the strike threshold limit to 75 percent — meaning that 3/4 of teachers had to vote to strike. Jonah Edelman, who works for the group, bragged during the Aspen Ideas Festival that they had essentially eliminated teachers’ ability to strike. But in June, nearly 90 percent of CTU members voted to authorize a strike, easily surpassing the barrier that the city and education privatization groups had placed on them. But outside groups haven’t stopped taking aim at union rights. They’ve even paid protesters to demonstrate against CTU.
  • Rahm Refuses To Pay Teachers What They Were Promised: Being a teacher takes hard work, and it’s one of the most most poorly-paid professions relative to the work load. The leadership of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) had agreed to offer teachers a four percent raise last year, but Mayor Emanuel canceled this agreement. The district has refused to address this raise in negotiations. While gutting teachers’ pay increases, CPS is calling for longer school days. Would you want to work more hours without being fairly compensated for it?
  • The City Won’t Agree To Limit The Number Of Kids In Classrooms: Over-crowded classrooms are bad for students, teachers, and parents. That’s why 32 states have limits on classroom size. Illinois does not. CTU wants to see limits on class sizes in its contract, but the city refuses to discuss it.
  • Rahm Is Intent On Shifting Funds To Untested And Unproven Charter Schools: Rahm has been laying the groundwork for a rapid expansion of charter schools, and wants to create nearly 250 more within five to ten years (this would amount to half the system). This massive diversion of funds from the public system is not based on the facts of what actually works for students. The most comprehensive study of charter schools in the United States found that most deliver results similar to those of public schools. Not surprisingly, Chicago’s charter schools are largely devoid of unions and the benefits they provide for students and teachers alike. Charter school teachers tend to earn 8 percent less than normal public school teachers — which makes them an attractive tool for austerity-prone conservatives. CTU wants a more fair distribution of funds.

I can’t honestly say that I’d want to teach there for $42,000 a year.  I could make more money than that tending bar in the French Quarter and live much
more cheaply.

Anyway, I’ve had another lost week trying to catch up from Isaac.  I’ve been visited by FEMA and my insurance agent and I seem to have myself situated into a start up media production company on its way to challenging a well-known cable TV channel.  I shall be interviewed this week–actually about this blog–and will send you the link later.  Life is always interesting down here in the Big Easy, that’s for sure.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

62 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. I’ve got some catching up to do from this weekend, looks like you and BB were busy. Ann Romney may have had struggles with health issues. And I do feel that is something she can relate to. However…and that is a big however, health issues are a lot easier to handle when you have unlimited funds at your disposal to pay for doctors, medicine and horses. Did you see this?

    Within Hours, Mitt Romney Takes Back Everything He Said About Preexisting Conditions | Mother Jones

    • bostonboomer says:

      Exactly. She never had to worry about how she would pay for her medical treatments or whether she could buy both food for her kids and medication. She’s the one who is “ridiculous” in claiming she can understand what people without health insurance and lots of money go through.

      Besides, if she and Mitt want to show how compassionate they are, they should do it–not just talk about it. Her husband’s policies are going to hurt the people she supposedly feels for.

  2. ecocatwoman says:

    Great roundup, kat. I was pleased to hear last night that Chicago’s teachers had decided to strike today. I am re-posting a link I had shared yesterday morning, in the event some hadn’t read it:

    As debilitating budget cuts gnaw at core programs in public school districts across the country, the showdown in Chicago will have reverberating effects. It’ll set a precedent for whether we, as a country, are willing to prioritize the rights and opportunities of the next generation of Americans, and of the people who serve them day in and day out. CTU president Karen Lewis wasn’t hyperbolizing when she said at Monday’s rally, “This fight is about the very soul of public education, not just in Chicago, but everywhere.”

    If ya’ll haven’t already figured it out, I am a Cat Woman. On Friday night, ABC’s 20/20 did a story on a recent study that had fitted owned cats with kitty cams. The purpose was to find out what these cats did after they were put outside by their “caretakers” (a term I use loosely because I don’t believe allowing cats to roam outside unmonitored is “taking care” of one’s cats). They featured a person from The American Bird Conservancy, a group who has been diligently working to shut down Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) programs around the country for over 20 years. Their mantra, based on BAD science, is that free-roaming cats kill over a billion birds a year in the US. The story was one-sided, against cats. The blog Vox Felina (, penned by Peter Wolf is IMHO the best site to understand the TNR issues and the studies often cited by the opposition. If you click on the title of his latest blog post you can sign the petition to ABC network. PLEASE take a moment & sign this petition. This story is just another incident of not questioning the “facts” and failing to seek The Truth.

    Richard III is my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays. I relished the villainy of Richard – such a pure, true villain. I’ve been listening to the NPR stories about the search for his grave. I have to admit that one comment – that Shakespeare had not done a fair portrayal of Richard – was a blow to me. I have been thoroughly invested in the story of just how dastardly Richard was. I often compared him to his modern day counterpart – Dick Cheney. I don’t like an ounce of good in my villains. Oh, well.

    • NW Luna says:

      I’ve never bought into the theory of cats killing enormous numbers of birds. It is very hard for a cat to catch a bird, at least judging by all my cats. When your prey has wings and you don’t, it’s going to be a rare occasion to catch one.

      Richard III’s portrayal has been mostly by his enemies, since he died at the Bosworth field in the last battle of the War of the Roses. “In an unpopular move, Henry later backdated the start of his reign to the day prior to the battle of Bosworth in order to attaint for treason all those who had fought for Richard III.”

      • ecocatwoman says:

        NWL – that # is an extrapolation from a study conducted in Wisconsin farm country of about 100 cats, most of whom were barn cats. The study was not peer reviewed nor published, but has been the basis of every # put forth by the cat haters. Much like Republicans, if you say a lie enough & others pick it up, VOILA it becomes a fact.

        Boo-hoo. Now my only black-hearted villains remain Sauron & his real life persona, Dick Cheney.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    I don’t know that much about Rahm Emanuel but from what I have seem so far he appears to be a “bully” of Chris Christie proportions (without the poundage).

    Teachers have one of the toughest jobs in the world, competing with iPods, cellphones, helicopter parents, wishy washy administrators, and a classroom of kids, many of whom show little respect. Budget cuts are an annual event yet they are expected to perform under conditions in some instances that are not tolerated in the private sector.

    This too seems to be a classic case of “anti union” in extending hours and cutting collective bargaining to the bone.

    Chicago appears to be a place worth watching for the teachers union that could have serious impact across the nation.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Emanuel is acting like Scott Walker, so he shouldn’t have been surprised at the strike. I hope he won’t try to end collective bargaining for all government employees too.

    • dakinikat says:

      People that don’t have teachers in their families have no idea what kind of work and stress is involved. They only look at hours spent in the classroom.

      • RalphB says:

        Sounds like good news on your career front, Best of luck for your interview. Knock ’em over!

        • dakinikat says:

          Oh, I’m doing stuff as a consultant right now and hanging back on the offer to commit. It’s beyond the interview process now. The owner is great and things look good. I’m just trying to figure out if I’m up for the risk and the ride.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        My 10 yr old granddaughter was asked what she wanted for her birthday.

        She had a list: iPod, cellphone, computer, the Nook. She is 10.

        Her parents said no but she insisted that her “friends” have at least one of these items and she was being “left out”. She is 10.

        A Nook replaces the feel of a book. The iPod is loaded with many distractions. The cellphone and computer replace playtime and study.

        This is not as an indictment of technology but it is an example of what a teacher is up against trying to “teach and reach” students far too involved with social connecting and electronic toys. Particularly in that age group when learning skills are being established.

        And surprisingly many parents go along with this trend to ensure their kids are “keeping up” with the Jones’ in buying into that line of theory.

        Unplug the computer, erase the Facebook account, confiscate the cellphones, set aside the iPod and watch the idea of “critical thinking” begin to flourish again.

      • RalphB says:

        Kat, I know what you mean. Some people are after me now to join them to finish up and bring a new software product to market. It looks pretty good but I don’t know if I want to do that anymore. Passing up ownership in something which has a chance to take off is not that easy though.

      • NW Luna says:

        What, isn’t there a guarantee of “no professional or financial risk” for you? (snark)

        Best of luck with all of it!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Actually, the fourth draft deferment was when Mitt was at Harvard. He had that for nearly two years while he was in the Boston area and didn’t become available for the draft until 1970. By that time there was a lottery, and he had a high number. So he avoided the draft from 1965-1970.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Obama raised more than Romney in August.

    The Morning Joe crew were practically suicidal this morning while trying to figure out how Romney could win while losing Ohio.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    The debates will be the determining factor in how this race is won (and finally put to rest).

    The attention span of the nation is so low that many will have to be reminded of what a total idiot Mitt Romney is as a “future leader” of the U.S.

    People like us who follow this stuff from gavel to gavel have a tendency to “remember” things said and done in the past and it is almost becoming a “lost art”.

    Which is why Mitt can “flip flop” all over hell and creation by changing his positions as he aims these lies at those who show little interest in where he wishes to take us. There are enough voters out there convinced that Mitt can “create jobs” (with no evidence or specifics involved) as there are those who firmly believe that Obama was born in Kenya. This is the audience Mitt relies on.

    For the rest of us who are more pragmatic about the future role of this nation, we have our memories and a sense of history to rely upon. But for those who pay little attention to the issues, it is enough that Mitt is not Obama and that is enough to satisfy them.

    In a conversation with a neighbor, he believes that though Mitt bases his statements on pleasing the Radical Right and the Tea Partiers, “he will govern from the middle” if elected. Which cancels out for him the fact that “Mitt owes” these groups for having to sell his soul for the opportunity.

    Fanciful thinking for a man who has yet to prove he has one core principle left in his bag of lies.

    Mitt could easily campaign on the slogan: ‘Read my lips, I am lying to you!”

  7. ecocatwoman says:

    I can’t thank ya’ll enough for introducing me to Charlie Pierce’s Daily Blog. His insightful commentary would bring me to tears if he wasn’t so darn funny. His names for the talking heads – priceless. Dancin’ Dave is good, but the Stephanopoulis moniker – simply primo. After reading today’s post, I’m convinced that anyone voting for Romney either don’t listen to him speak or that they don’t understand English & think that’s what Romney is speaking. At this point, Romney is almost making W seem coherent.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Don’t discount the “race” factor for those beating the drum for Romney.

      Believe me, I am not “gushing” over Obama by any means, but the contrast in what the GOP will promote is disturbing.

      Beginning with their “war on women” you have to question why any female would find Mitt an acceptable alternative unless the “race factor” leads them in that direction.

      You cannot insist that you are a “liberal at heart” then turn around in support of a V.P. candidate who wrote a law that would grant “personhood” to a clump of cells and rails against contraception.

      There is absolutely no logic involved in making that decision.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Agreed. Race is definitely the main reason so many people HATE Obama. I loved JT’s opening comment – “I’m an old white man & I’m voting for Obama.”

      • janicen says:

        I’m sad to say I think you’re right about the race factor. I would have argued vehemently and did, back in ’08 about the race factor. I knew it had to be ridiculous because I knew I didn’t like Obama and it had nothing to do with race. But I’m seeing it now in some surprising places, people who historically have supported everything Obama has done and promises to do and who would normally wretch at the idea of a Romney presidency will not budge nor will they provide a good justification for why they won’t vote for Obama. I want a female candidate too. I really do and will do anything to see that we get one, but we don’t have one, and not voting for Obama is not going to “send a message” that we want a female candidate it’s only going to send a message that we want more radical right wing policies. That’s what happened in the 2010 midterms. The Tea Party convinced people to “send their messages” by not voting for Democrats and once they got into office they ran amok.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Oops – I forgot the main Romney vote motivater – Obama hate.

    • RalphB says:

      That Bill Bennett can be on TV, talking about anything, and people not laugh at him amazes me.

  8. peregrine says:

    Paul Ryan has a little known section in his budget (FUNCTION 920: ALLOWANCES) of $897 billion in massive, unexplained cuts in education, food and drug inspection, workplace safety, environmental protection and law enforcement, linked here:

  9. Pat Johnson says:

    It amazes me that people would be supporting a party who is focused and determined to take their rights away.

    Voting rights, women’s rights, gay rights,bargaining rights industry protections, etc., then “silencing” those who raise these very same issues.

    You would think that just the denial of healthcare services to the poor and low income would be enough to “rattle their cages” since no one should be forced to suffer when treatment should be made available to every human being on the planet but no.

    Mittens drastic proposals won’t touch the Mittens Family but approving his policies – vague as they are – will affect most of us in one way or another.

    A nation full of sick people told they are essentially “on their own” does not bode well for the future IMHO but then again, I am female so what do I know?

  10. RalphB says:

    Nice CBS video of Obama and the pizza parlor owner in Florida. Super retail politics.

  11. RalphB says:

    Who moved the polling needle? Sam Wang at PEC nailed the 2008 race closer than anyone else, period!

    Princeton Election Consortium: Michelle Obama, the Great Persuader

    Yesterday, Gallup reported a big jump in their three-day rolling average of President Obama’s approval rating. Can we figure out what day it happened? Yes, and it shows how a single speech can move national opinion, even if only briefly.
    Is this even possible? Michelle Obama’s ratings were through the roof. Nielsen estimated the viewership at about 50 million people, outstripping the entire RNC convention. Her speech went viral in China, providing independent verification of her broad appeal. Could it be that a significant fraction of US viewers improved their opinion of Barack Obama after hearing her?

    If you choose to read this, be sure to read the next on the beginning of the post DNC bounce. It has current predictions. 🙂

  12. dakinikat says:

    Krugman on Obstruct and Exploit:

    Does anyone remember the American Jobs Act? A year ago President Obama proposed boosting the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending increases, aimed in particular at sustaining state and local government employment. Independent analysts reacted favorably. For example, the consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers estimated that the act would add 1.3 million jobs by the end of 2012.

    There were good reasons for these positive assessments. Although you’d never know it from political debate, worldwide experience since the financial crisis struck in 2008 has overwhelmingly confirmed the proposition that fiscal policy “works,” that temporary increases in spending boost employment in a depressed economy (and that spending cuts increase unemployment). The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

    But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president’s policies have failed.

    Think of it as a two-part strategy. First, obstruct any and all efforts to strengthen the economy, then exploit the economy’s weakness for political gain. If this strategy sounds cynical, that’s because it is. Yet it’s the G.O.P.’s best chance for victory in November.

    How can any one vote for a party that puts raw political strategy that hurts people above the good of the country?

    • ecocatwoman says:

      IMHO, it isn’t just one reason that can explain why so many people vote against their own interests. However, if a candidate covers all the bases then they are more likely to win the game. We have hate, religion, abortion, love of America, gay marriage, unions, education, big government, taxes, racism, xenophobia, illegal immigration, white privilege – just to name a few. What continues to amaze me is just how little so many people are actually paying attention & listening. I hear the comments from NPR interviews across the country about why people are voting for R/R & my hair catches fire.

    • peregrine says:

      The reason the Republicans voted against the American Jobs Act is because they are a mean, cruel, selfish group of people who only think about their power and material status.

  13. dakinikat says:

    Welcome to Bobby Jindal’s fuck Louisiana Students pogrom.

    LSU Reveille: “Welcome to LSU, where the value of your education is determined by the football team’s success.”

    Welcome to LSU, where the value of your education is determined by the football team’s success.

    That great professor recruited from an Ivy League school? You can thank quarterback Zach Mettenberger for him. The new beakers in your chemistry lab? Props to defensive end Sam Montgomery for those. Don’t forget about the money you now have to do research overseas, courtesy of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

    A decision made Friday by the LSU System Board of Supervisors after the University has been marred by years of budget cuts made the above conversation possible. The Annual Transfer Fund Policy forces the LSU Athletics Department to fork over $7.2 million to the University annually, plus a percentage of surplus money.

    The University set the precedent for the transfer this year when the Athletics Department contributed $5.5 million to help offset budget cuts. Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins said the continued donations from LSU Athletics would give the University “discretionary” income. It’s likely the first round of money would go toward faculty raises, which have not happened in five years.

    Is the University desperate enough to accept money based on the success of LSU Athletics?
    It appears this might have been the only choice to stay afloat amidst repeated cuts. But how is it that the state’s flagship university can’t even uphold its academic reputation without upholding its reputation of dominance of the football field?

  14. bostonboomer says:

    PPP poll found that lots of Ohio Republicans think Mitt Romney was more responsible for killing Osama bin Laden than President Obama.

    • HT says:

      Huh? Do they think that Romney led the seal team? where in the universe do those people come from?

    • RalphB says:

      Bwahahahaha. That’s simply incredible. They are loons!!!!!!!!!!

    • ecocatwoman says:

      I went to the actual polling data & 15% of those who consider themselves very conservative thought Romney deserved the credit, while 34% in that same group said Obama. I think the result that 51% weren’t sure was the most telling. Also those considering themselves very or somewhat liberal, 8% chose Romney over Obama. That’s truly weird. But why would a pollster even ask that question? Is there a discussion out there about this that would lead PPP to think this was an important question to ask? Bush/Obama maybe, but Romney/Obama? I wonder what the results would have been had they asked if Pat Robertson & his prayers were more responsible for bin Laden’s death than Obama.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s a very odd question, but PPP usually leans Democratic. Maybe they had some reason to think there were misconceptions about this. How anyone would think Romney, a private citizen, had the ability to order the military to conduct a mission of any kind I can’t fathom. It’s bizarre beyond belief.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          I’ve been called for polling on many occasions. When the wording of the question seems off or push-poll type of question, my response is CAN’T ANSWER. That probably throws me into NOT SURE. Regardless, I refuse to answer poorly worded questions. But I can’t imagine this question by PPP just materialized out of nothing. But, yes, I agree – why would anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together say yes or I don’t know. After laughing hysterically, the answer is clearly – Obama you dumb f’er. If not that, then lots of respondents were pulling the pollsters legs.

    • peregrine says:

      It’s a strange phenomenon where, if Obama’s political opponents demonize him enough or call him a “failed” president hundreds of times, the listeners can’t give Obama any credit for any good thing he has done for the country. Two conflicting ideas that a foe can actually do something right or tough can’t occur in their brains. They’ve been successfully propagandized.

  15. dakinikat says:

    Forget The Economy — Romney Campaigns On God, NASCAR, And Conservative Values

    After a weekend of touring America’s culture war battlegrounds — rhetorically and literally — Mitt Romney’s campaign is rejecting the perception that it has shifted its focus from economic to social issues in the home stretch of the race.

    In the past 72 hours, Romney has endorsed the controversial conservative Iowa Congressman Steve King, appeared onstage with televangelist Pat Robertson, debuted a revamped stump speech with warnings of encroaching secularism at its center, and devoted substantial time to a hot dog-heavy photo-op at a NASCAR race.

    The weekend also featured several statements from the Obama campaign accusing Romney of joining the ranks of the GOP’s socially “extreme” foot soldiers — a narrative senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom strongly rejected.

    “President Obama is desperate to run a ‘change the subject’ campaign,” Fehrnstrom told BuzzFeed. “The subject has been the economy, is the economy, and will be the economy. Mitt Romney doesn’t want to change the subject, he wants to change the economy and that’s what he’s going to do as president.”

    But if the campaign was hoping to train the national media’s attention on Friday’s unexpectedly weak jobs report, it provided a (broken-down) planeload of distractions.

    The first detour from economic messaging came Friday afternoon, when Romney appeared in a packed college gymnasium alongside Rep. King. There, in the heart of Iowa’s most conservative county, King sought to assure the largely Evangelical crowd that Romney was one of them.

    “Don’t doubt this man’s faith,” King said. “Don’t doubt his conviction. Do not doubt his patriotism or his faith, and his love for Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

  16. dakinikat says:

    Poll: Bachmann in danger of losing House seat; the nation in danger of seeing her every night on Fox “News”: via @Salon

  17. pdgrey says:

    Two great threads I had to miss because of work, damn.
    From suzie: Mitt the twit and dancin’ Dave, cartoon cloud bubbles