Friday Reads

Good Morning!!

You want a good laugh?  You know how all those Wall Street Banks keep giving bonuses to people that crashed the economy and forced tax payers to bail out their bad investment decisions? How about this one for size?  Romney campaign gives bonuses to top staff. Ever notice how bonuses–which are usually said to be for merit pay–always look more like gifts from slush funds?  Yup, he can’t afford media buys, but he can shower his incompetent staff with big money.

Mitt Romney’s campaign handed out $112,500 in bonuses to four of its top staffers, according to new disclosure records filed Thursday.

Richard Beeson, Romney’s national political director, received a $37,500 payment on Aug. 31, in addition to his monthly salary of $13,750, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

In addition, campaign manager Matt Rhoades, policy advisor Lanhee Chen and communications director Gail Gitcho each received $25,000 payments on the same date, filings show. The trio are also paid at the same rate as Beeson, which works out to an annual equivalent of $165,000.

A Romney spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the payments Thursday.

The bonuses came the day after Romney formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Tampa. Despite strong fundraising since May, new records show that the campaign was struggling badly for money in August because it had run low on primary funds and was unable to tap into contributions collected for the general election until after the nomination. Instead, the campaign borrowed $20 million.

Records show that the campaign still owed $15 million of a $20 million loan from the Bank of Georgetown on Aug. 31. The campaign has since paid off another $4 million of the total by collecting new contributions for its primary account, officials have said.

Romney’s failure to match President Obama’s campaign in television advertising, along with worsening polling numbers and a series of missteps, have prompted grousing among political strategists about the Republican nominee’s campaign and senior staff. Former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan called Romney’s operation “incompetent” in a widely read column earlier this week.

This is what’s called making sure your staff doesn’t abandon you even if they are really bad at their jobs.  Just imagine what he’d do with the federal deficit!

The Princeton Election Consortium believes that Republicans are at risk of losing the House now.  This is good news for those of us that are tired of seeing continual attacks on Planned Parenthood, abortion rights, voting rights,and healthcare reform instead of anything else.

Conditions through August showed a 2% lead on the generic Congressional ballot for Democrats. As of September 20th, in the wake of the Democratic convention, the lead has widened to 4.0 +/- 2.0%. Although it has yet to be appreciated by pundits, this could well translate to a November loss of the House of Representatives by Republicans. Based on the generic Congressional ballot, the probability of a Democratic takeover is 74% with a median 16-seat majority. Whichever party is in control, the seat margin is headed for being narrower than the current Congress. Like any probability in the 20-80% range, this is a knife-edge situation. This picture may change over the coming six weeks as more information, especially district-level polls, becomes available.

As seen in recent articles in Politico and U.S. News, few pundits think the Democrats will re-take the House. However, analysis of a leading indicator suggests to me that transfer of control is a distinct possibility.

Predicting the House outcome is challenging. First, there is the basic problem that we have to estimate how far opinion will move between now and November. On top of that, there is uncertainty in knowing how the polling measurement – generic Congressional ballot preference – translates to a seat outcome.

Here’s more information on  how the folks that should be insulted by Romney’s 47% comment don’t know it’s a comment that applies to them. 

It’s been widely observed that Mitt Romney’s attacks on Obama over Medicare, welfare, dependency and “redistribution” are about driving up Romney’s share of working class white support. Romney — who may need two thirds of that vote to win — is arguing that Obama isn’t really looking out for their interests and wants to redistribute their hard-earned money and medical benefits to those other people.

So today’s report on white working class Americans from the Public Religion Research Institute is a must read. It defines them as ”non-Hispanic white Americans without a four-year college degree who hold non-salaried jobs, and make up one third (36 percent of all Americans,” and it sheds light on what all this stuff is all about.

On “dependency,” the study finds that large numbers of working class whites (46 percent) have received Social Security or disability payments over the last two years; more than a fifth have received food stamps; 19% have received unemployment.

Yet the study also finds that three quarters of working class whites believe poor people have become too dependent on government assistance. There’s obviously overlap there, which bears out what some have already pointed out — many of these voters simply won’t think Romney’s comments about the freeloading 47 percent, or about government “dependency” in general, are about them.

But the findings on “redistribution” are also revealing. White working class voters want to soak the rich, and they agree with key aspects of Obama’s views about capitalism and inequality.

Here’s Sarah Silverman on one of my pet peeves this year.

Comedian Sarah Silverman’s has a new video saying exactly what she thinks of the GOP effort to suppress Democratic votes with their new voter ID laws. Take a few minutes to watch it. Make it a viral hit.

And then make sure your voter registration is up to date. If you moved since you last voted, you need to update your address before your state’s registration deadline. In Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nevada, that’s two weeks away.

Here’s some new information on how women still face a stubborn wage gap.

The gap between women’s and men’s pay remained about the same for the fourth straight year in 2011, as both genders got slammed by lower wages.

Women earned 77 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2011, the Census Bureau said this week as part of its extensive annual report on income and poverty.

The female-to-male earnings ratio for full-time workers has been little changed for four years, after hitting a record high of 78 percent in 2007.

Experts say the latest figures show that women aren’t making significant gains in terms of earning power – but men aren’t either.

“It’s not that gap is not closing,” said Katherine Gallagher Robbins, senior policy analyst with the National Women’s Law Center. “It’s that wages are sort of flattening.”

For men who work full-time and year-round, inflation-adjusted median earnings fell about 2.5 percent between 2010 and 2011, to $48,202, according to the Census Bureau. For women working full-time, the median, or midpoint, of annual earnings also fell by about 2.5 percent, to $37,118.

Dahlia Lithwick writes in October’s The Nation on  “One Nation by and for the Corporation”.

But how does one measure the ways big business is faring at the Roberts Court, and whether it’s happening at the expense of ordinary citizens? We can start with a study in late June by the Constitutional Accountability Center showing that the US Chamber of Commerce, the powerhouse business lobbying group, had seven straight wins this past term at the Court—a vastly better record than it had during other recent periods of stability in the Court’s membership. When Lewis Powell wrote his famous 1971 memorandum urging the Chamber to press its agenda in the courts, in academia and in the media to give the business community a larger and more unified voice in the legal system and society at large, he could hardly have dreamed of the gains made by the Chamber and other pro-corporate entities in the decades since [see William Yeomans, “How the Right Packed the Court”].

Another measure of the Supreme Court’s favoritism for corporations over ordinary people lies in the ways it has eroded access to the courts for ordinary litigants in recent years. It’s worth recalling that the courts exist as the one branch of government intended to be immune from the kind of concentrated and wealthy influence contemplated by the Powell memo. The judicial branch was conceived as the one above-the-fray realm where ordinary people—those without lobbyists, Super PACS or position papers—might still find a fair hearing when they were wronged. But one of the central projects of the conservative legal movement in recent decades has been to recalibrate that balance, allowing big business to throw up roadblocks to the courthouse doors and make the courts less and less accessible to the people it has harmed.

Can we please put Rush Limbaugh in a straight jacket in some nice facility some where–like Gitmo–and off the air? Limbaugh: “Male Private Parts Are Shrinking” Because Of “Feminazis” And “Chickification”.  You can go listen to it.  I don’t even want to print it here.

You know how BP swears it cleaned things up down here?  Well, it appears Isaac uncovered a heckuva lotta oil that’s still here.

Coast Guard Capt. Duke Walker told the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority that officials would investigate as many as 88 segments of the coast requested by state officials in the aftermath of Isaac in areas that are not still part of the existing BP cleanup.

But Garret Graves, chairman of the authority, failed to gain assurances from Walker that the joint Coast Guard-BP response will expand its search for BP oil at locations other than those requested by the state or where the public has reported oil.

Walker said BP contractors have removed 44,000 pounds of tar mat uncovered on Elmer’s Island, and a large amount of tar balls at neighboring beaches. They haven’t completed a survey of known oiled areas in interior wetlands, however.

Graves said the state has found a combination of tar mats and liquid oil at Keelboat Pass in St. Bernard Parish, and at a variety of locations between there and Elmer’s Island on the west side of the river. He said BP should search all beach and wetland areas in between.

So, that’s an offering of things that I think are important to know. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


99 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Excellent roundup, Dak. So Romney is running his campaign like a profligate Wall Street CEO. And that goes along with his arrogant, condescending CEO personality. Just what we don’t need as president. It makes me so happy to see him going down in flames.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Krugman on the Republicans’ “disdain for workers.”

    Should we imagine that Mr. Romney and his party would think better of the 47 percent on learning that the great majority of them actually are or were hard workers, who very much have taken personal responsibility for their lives? And the answer is no.

    For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” a k a employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families — who, it goes without saying, make up the vast majority of Americans.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      This way of thinking brought about the French Revolution. It also led to the demise of the Russian royal family when peasants from both cultures rose up and destroyed the class that openly disdained them from afar.

      Mitt’s awkwardness when finding himself among people he secretly despises is evident and has more to do with his inability to relate, find common ground, share experiences, that prevents him from being able to exhibit compassion or understanding to those he considers inferior.

      Bill Gates seems almost embarassed by his great wealth but has put his money where his mouth is. He works to make the world a better place through his efforts. Mitt has spent his time with tax lawyers who seek to keep him from sharing as little as possible because he does not believe he should.

      The public sees that and his very own words validate that belief. It is less the question of having that much money but of what it does to a person when their existence is based soley on keeping as much for themselves as they can.

      Bill Gates built a product. Mitt shuffled papers. Big difference in how that money is earned.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    You can always tell when things are going badly for the GOP because Rush starts fixating on his penis woes and woman bashing. That’s the only play he has left.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      He is nothing but a big, fat, perverted slob one can find in any sleazy barroom on a Saturday night looking for “company” at last call.

      But it says a lot for his audience and those who come to worship at his feet that a man of such limited intellect is paid to stink up the airwaves at a tune of 40 million a year.

    • bostonboomer says:

      There are some really good comments on Dionne’s column–largely favorable to Warren and calling attention to Brown’s condescending, obnoxious tone.

      • Seriously says:

        Brown’s supporters are also firmly on the fauxrage train and using terms like “fraud.” I just heard somebody say “Fraud? I think I’m from Canada because my grandparents said they were from Canada, how the hell do I know?” lol

      • bostonboomer says:

        Do I need to prove that my ancestors came from France, England, Scotland, and Ireland? Would Brown say I’m not part Irish because I don’t have red hair? I thought it was really offensive the way he kept saying, “Look at her!” like she should have brown skin because her great great grandfather did.

      • Seriously says:

        He may spend most of his time hiding under the bed, but everyone else has enough experience to know that it’s not always possible to determine someone’s ethnicity by sight. That might work with his dunderhead base (shoutout to the Herald comment section!), but you could feel everyone else cringing. Yes, let’s let this dope represent the US and hope he doesn’t create an international incident.

      • Fannie says:

        You are absolutely spot on BB……………………when I heard Scott say, look at her she isn’t native, I thought he was truly nuts…………….that was a bad blow, and he needs a wake up call from

  4. Loved the Silverman video!

  5. Oh, this is something: Mitt Romney’s Son Tagg Signed ‘Abortion’ Clause in His Surrogate Birth Contract |

    TMZ has learned Mitt Romney’s son Tagg — who had twins this year through a surrogate — signed an agreement that gave the surrogate, as well as Tagg and his wife, the right to abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations … and Mitt Romney covered some of the expenses connected with the arrangement … and it may boil down to an incredibly stupid mistake.

    The twin boys — David Mitt and William Ryder — were born on May 4, 2012. We’ve learned Tagg and his wife Jen, along with the surrogate and her husband, signed a Gestational Carrier Agreement dated July 28, 2011. Paragraph 13 of the agreement reads as follows:

    “If in the opinion of the treating physician or her independent obstetrician there is potential physical harm to the surrogate, the decision to abort or not abort is to be made by the surrogate.”

    Translation: Tagg and Jen gave the surrogate the right to abort the fetuses even if her life wasn’t in danger. All the surrogate has to show is “potential physical harm,” which could be something like preeclampsia — a type of high blood pressure that could damage the mother’s liver, kidney or brain, but is not necessarily life-threatening.

    Paragraph 13 goes on:

    “In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents. In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents’ decision.”

    And there’s another relevant provision in Paragraph 13:

    “Any decision to abort because of potential harm to the child, or to reduce the number of fetuses, is to be made by the intended parents.”

    Translation: Tagg and his wife, Jen, had the right to abort the fetuses if they felt they would not be healthy.

    Sources connected with Mitt Romney tell TMZ, Mitt was involved in the surrogate arrangement because he paid some of the expenses connected with the agreement. We do not know if Mitt Romney read the contract or knew the terms.

    Read more:

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Their hypocrisy is outstanding. Willing and eager to prevent others from doing the same thing, these moron ensure that their decisions are covered even so far as to get it in writing.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Very interesting, JJ. The fetuses of the rich can be selectively aborted, but women who aren’t rich must carry their rapists’ offspring to term and then raise them.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Which goes to show that the mega-rich want a two-standard America. An America that tells those who have no power or clout or connections “Do as I say, not what I do”. Hypocrisy on steroids

    • Seriously says:

      That’s insane. Imagine trying to tell somebody “no, we don’t accept your doctor’s excuse, you must continue your pregnancy” or “we’ve decided we don’t want twins, you must continue your pregnancy.” I get that it’s totally unenforceable and it’s about money, ie if you “violate” the terms of your “contract” you forfeit whatever money’s were agreed upon, but Jesus. What a cold-blooded way to treat someone, especially someone who probably doesn’t have a high-powered lawyer and could easily be intimidated by theirs.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    I am not a big fan of Sarah Silverman (although I have to admit loving that video she made with Matt Damon a few years ago when she was dating Jimmy Kimmel) but this one made me laugh out loud.

    It kinds of sums up the issue and I admit I am always “captured” by those who deliver a big slice of “snark” to go along with the topic at hand.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    According to Pierce’s column this morning, our boy Scotty did not bother to hang around after the debate last night to speak to the press. He left that up to his spokesman.

    Even Bobby Valentine meets with the press after each disastrous Red Sox game even when there is little to say beyond “we lost again” which leads me to believe that Bobby is far more courageous than Scott Brown who showed he just could not be bothered.

    I expect Warren will do much better in upcoming debates as she finds her footing in an arena that is not her comfort zone. Besides, she has the facts on her side and did not hotfoot it out the door as soon as the event ended.

    He did.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    O/T but I need to share:

    With the advent of cooler weather I decided to do some Fall cleaning. In washing the dining room windows I eased up the blind which then broke off from the brackets and landed on my head. The blinds have to be replaced.

    With clean windows, this only heightened the dirt in the carpet so I then proceeded to shampoos the rugs. At one point the nozzle broke away from the machine and soaked the carpet which by estimation should be fully dried by Valentine’s Day. Unless of course I do some damage to the furnace when I change the filter.

    It has been my custom from the past – and I guarantee this can work – by inserting 25 watt bulbs into the lamps and telling my guests that I am going for the “grotto” effect. Cobwebs have a way in the dim light to create that ambiance.

    Which just goes to show that “cleaning” has few advantages. These are times when I can fully appreciate where the Collier Brothers were coming from.

    Back to you, Sky Dancers.

  9. Why, why Why! I just don’t get it. Why would Sarah Silverman (or anyone) undermine her message by filling it with unnecessary and not-to-the point vulgarity. It limits its audience (because people like me will not share it with their voting-age children) and puts her in the same camp with the likes of Rush Limbaugh. ok, call me a prude if you want to – it won’t hurt me, but this kind of vulgarity does hurt the democratic party. She has undermined an important message.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Agreed: Sarah Silverman is not to everyone’s taste.

      But her demographic is with younger aged voters who would not feel offended by what she is trying to put across. Her fanbase is somewhere in the range between 20-40 yr olds.

      However, I am less offended by her delivery than in those who would deprive the voter of his guaranteed rights in the voting booth. Or those who choose to redefine rape. Or seek to come between a woman and her doctor in decision making. Or those who want nothing more than an excuse to start another obscene war.

      Her comments may not be for everybody but she is promoting a civil right not attempting to take it away.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I think Silverman’s message was effective for a great many of us. Some of us aren’t polished or refined, we’re just common old heathens who come from environments where being classy is more about saying what you mean than saying it the way others want to hear it. Face it, nothing says fuck you better than, FUCK YOU!! 🙂

        Quick story!!!! I am a senior citizen and recently rode with three of my very-very-very senior citizen aunts to a family function. On the way there a driving boo-boo was made and a woman pulled up next to our vehicle, rolled down her passenger side window and shouted. “if you old women can’t drive, get off the road”. All 3 of my very-very-very Senior Aunts flipped her off, one of them even said, “fuck you!!”. I’ve never seen such a stunned look on a persons face in my life as the look on that woman’s face. That was the last thing she was expecting. I laughed for weeks over that.

      • bostonboomer says:

        That’s hilarious, Mouse!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Feisty old women are a good thing!

    • janicen says:

      It’s her schtick and I happen to think it’s fucking hilarious!

    • RalphB says:

      A new Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally, 50% to 43%.

      Key finding: When asked if they were better off than you were four years ago, likely voters responded “almost exactly in thirds: in the poll, 31% say they are better off than four years ago, while 34% say they are worse off and 34% say they are about the same.”

      Also important: “Overall, 48% say they believe the country is better off because Obama won in 2008, while 41% say the nation would be in a stronger position today if another candidate had won.”

      Meanwhile, a Reason-Rupe/Princeton Survey shows Obama leading 52% to 45%.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Wow, this one is a big surprise!

      At one time they more of less took as a “given” that Mitt had this state in the bag.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Two new polls show Obama up by 7 nationally.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    DailyKos diary collects reviews of Warren-Brown debate, and the consensus of Boston writers is that Brown looked petty and Warren held his feet to the fire. Lots say she won.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I mentioned last night that one of their debates will be held here in Springfield and there is not a ticket to be had.

      They sold out almost immediately when it was announced.

      I’m glad to hear that the press gave her the edge since I thought she came across a little soft and unsure against his arrogance and dismissive attitude.

      I’ve a feeling she will do better next time out.

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    Like I told you guys, this summer I read 3 books that all credited the stimulus act with having a huge effect on the economy even though the suggestion was that he should have “gone bigger”. One reason was he knew he did not have the votes to do that.

    Two Dems held him up in trying to overcome the filibuster: Max Baucus and Kent Conrad.

    But without the stimulus in 2009 we would have been in a major recession that would have taken decades to overcome. FDR had WW2 to thank for a faster economic surge than does Obama at this time in history and let’s hope he never has to face something similar to urge it along.

    I fault Obama for not going after Wall Street and making those thieves pay. By not breaking up the “too big to fail” corporations that have a stranglehold on the nation. By not forcing congress to hold hearings after the Bush administration left office. By not doing more on easing the housing crisis.

    I stand with bb in that I am optimistic that Obama has finally “got it” and the next 4 years will allow that opportunity to flourish.

    But if not, my opposition will be heard loud and clear since I find that most of us who comment here have no fear of holding back when we feel he has let us down.

    But he did give us Hillary Clinton. He did find bin Laden. He refuses so far to “rush” us into another mideast war. He appointed Kagan and Sotomeyer to the court. And damn it, once again I repeat : the stimulus worked!

    • bostonboomer says:

      I just heard a clip from Obama talking to Univision yesterday. He said he had learned some lessons in the past four years. What a contrast to “no apology” Mitt.

      • RalphB says:

        That’s one of the things I like about him this time. He doesn’t sound overly optimistic but seems to know the hard work that will have to be done. A lot different. and better, than 2008 from my viewpoint.

      • NW Luna says:

        Obama has matured if he can now say he’s learned some lessons. I am very, very, cautiously optimistic for his second term — if the Ds can gain more seats in the House & Senate.

        And if one of his lessons is you don’t negotiate by giving something away at the start.

  13. RalphB says:

    By tomorrow, voters in half the states will begin casting ballots either by absentee or early voting.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Fingers crossed, ralph. (Unless I lose one during my Fall cleaning purge!)

      • RalphB says:

        National Journal: Iowa looks very good and NC sure isn’t out of reach.

        Democrats Far Outnumber GOP in Iowa Ballot Requests

        With absentee and early voting set to begin next week in Iowa, a battleground state in the presidential race, Democrats have a 6-1 edge in ballot requests so far, The Wall Street Journal reported.

        Democrats requested roughly 100,000 ballots, compared with 16,073 ballots requested by Republicans, the newspaper said. Absentee voting and in-person early voting begins on Sept. 27.
        In North Carolina, however, Republicans have requested nearly 7,000 more absentee ballots than Democrats out of almost 50,000 requests, state officials said.

  14. RalphB says:

    BB, This goes with your post yesterday. Looks like you were dead on correct.

    WaPo: Romney campaign hits a financial snag

    • bostonboomer says:

      Obama’s campaign account, by contrast, had nearly $90 million on hand going into September, even after spending $83 million in August. Officials said Obama had 1.19 million donors last month — more than a third of its total for the 2012 cycle.


      • ANonOMouse says:

        Brghahahaha! Could it be that ordinary citizens donating to Obama are outpacing the Adelson’s and the Rove Pac? Maybe Mitty needs to pull some money out of his Cayman accounts

      • Beata says:

        But Mouse, Ann and Mitt are living on the edge, not entertaining now! Do you want them to sacrifice even more?

      • ANonOMouse says:

        LOL!!! Poor old Massa, he’ll just have to stay home and watch the help polish the silver.

  15. RalphB says:

    SteveM may have diagnosed the real Romney.


    Romney has no ideological convictions, but — as I’ve said many times — he has a deep reserve of free-floating anger. In this he’s like Nixon, except that Nixon resented certain fixed groups (economic elites, blacks, Jews), while Romney seems to despise … well, anyone who gets in his way.

    That resentment strikes me as absolutely genuine.

    The targets of Romney’s resentment include not just his primary and general-election opponents, but voters themselves.
    Romney isn’t a natural wingnut, but the wingnut idea that people who take government benefits are incorrigible moochers and Democratic voters as a result of that mooching really appeals to Romney’s innate, deep-seated sense of grievance. He feels victimized whenever he doesn’t get what he thinks is his due, and this argument provides him with an explanation of why he’s not getting his due. He may not have believed this nonsense all his life, but once he absorbed it, it stuck.

    It stuck because it gave him someone to hate, which is what he wants.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I read part of that Jack Shafer piece yesterday, but I didn’t buy it. Nixon may have been a criminal, but he had emotions. He wasn’t a psychopath like Romney. BTW, that sense of grievance is characteristic of psychopaths and narcissists.

      • NW Luna says:

        Nixon also grew up without much money, and not the Ann Romney kind of not-much-money. Once in office, he did not despise the poor nor think them incorrigible dumb laggards like Romney.

  16. janicen says:

    Well, I waited long enough. I’m the last person in my family to own a smartphone and I’m going to take the leap today. I never thought it was worth the cost but I found myself envious of the women at protests who can take photos and immediately update them to fb and take movies and live stream and all that stuff. As well, I’m finding that more and more people are sending me texts and I’d like to have an actual keyboard rather than having to press a numeric time once, twice, thrice, or 4 times to create one stinking letter. No, I’m not getting the IPhone 5, it’s just a coincidence that I’ve decided to do it today.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good for you. You’ll love it. I have a Samsung with a big screen. It’s great–way better than my old Blackberry. Who cares that I can’t figure out everything about it. I can get on line and get my e-mail anywhere.

      • NW Luna says:

        Guess I’m still part Luddite. I dislike cell phones. (Except I’ve had a computer since back in 1982.) But for a few years I had a job-issued cell phone and had to be on-call 1 or 2 nights a week. I grew to hate cell phones and associate them with 2 am calls for back pain, lost prescriptions, and earnest medical residents reporting one of my patients was in the ER for flu. Or I think of climbers on a summit who bring the city into the wilderness when they whip out their cellphones and loudly yack to their left-behind spouses (who always seem to be female).

        OTOH, I loved my Palm-type PDA which I could use by simply writing on it! Handwriting/printing recognition! The interface and app was called Graffiti. I could use it to take notes and look up meds etc on reference book apps. Unfortunately apps and upgrades for that software are extinct or not maintained. I find t-y-p-i-n-g 1 letter at a time very slow. My iPodTouch with calendar & med reference book apps (everything iPhone but the phone) is about 2 or 3 times as slow as that old Palm PDA. I’ve timed how long it takes to turn on the device, bring up an app, and look up the same piece of info. Plus the iPod battery runs out much faster.

        It’s mainly the interface that I detest about the smartphones now. Apple was trying so hard to be different than Palm/PDAs back when they designed their iPhone that they threw away a great interface modality — Gloriously easy, simple handwriting recognition! But there is a long-running comment thread on an Apple site from us Graffiti-lovers.

        Call me curmudgeon.

      • janicen says:

        Yep, I got the Samsung S III. I did all the research and was convinced that I was going to get the Droid Razr Maxx because of the longer battery life and I somewhat familiar with the droid because my daughter has a Droid Incredible but once I was in the store and held them both I realized that I could see the Samsung better without my reading glasses (although it’s even better with my reading glasses on) and I was able to navigate it more easily. I’m thrilled with my purchase!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m sure you’ll like it Janicen. I have the S2. I’ve very happy with it. I got it cheaper because the SIII was coming out. Lately I’ve been getting a new phone every year. I hope this one lasts me a little longer. I really love it.

  17. bostonboomer says:

    Homer Simpson’s 2012 vote revealed.

    Weighing his options in the voting booth, Simpson says, “Barack Obama, I don’t know. I already got one wife telling me to eat healthy. And, plus, he promised me death panels and grandpa is still alive. Mitt Romney? I hear he wears magic underpants. I expect the leader of the free world to go commando. Plus, his horse totally choked at the Olympics. On the other hand, he did invent Obamacare.”

    Read more:

  18. RalphB says:

    About those bonuses Romney paid his great campaign staff. By Wall Street logic, I guess you have to do that. Wall Street execs need huge bonuses so they don’t run off into the high-flying world of teaching high school business classes, Romney’s top advisers may well bail to the Obama campaign without their bonuses!

  19. RalphB says:

    Uh oh, Ryan was booed repeatedly. People aren’t as dumb as he thinks.

    TPM:Paul Ryan Booed At AARP For Attacking ‘Obamacare’

    • Beata says:

      The Victim Class just doesn’t want to listen to the hard truth. /s

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “TPM:Paul Ryan Booed At AARP For Attacking ‘Obamacare’”

      Which is Senior Citizen speak for, Fuck you Paul”

      I’m telling ya, the ACA has greatly improved Medicare for most of us. It closed the doughnut hole, lowered prescription costs and we get nearly everything we need labeled as “preventive care” without a co-pay, every year. It’s been a big help. Paul better be careful talking it down to those of us who actually KNOW BETTER!

  20. ANonOMouse says:

    News Flash. Romney to release his 2011 Tax Return. The peons are revolting and this is the best he can do? We want the last 10 years, Mitty! We want to know if you’re paying a higher tax rate than THE HELP!!!!

    • RalphB says:

      Pretty pathetic. What an entitled dunce.

    • Check out the “spin” from weekly standard:Romneys to Release Taxes | The Weekly Standard

      The campaign previews a few of the highlights here:

      In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.

      The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.

      The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.

      The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.

      The Romneys’ generous charitable donations in 2011 would have significantly reduced their tax obligation for the year. The Romneys thus limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor’s statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.

      Additionally, the Romney campaign is releasing a summary of 20 years of taxes, between 1990-2009, detailing their tax expenditures during those years:

      In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.

      Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.

      Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.

      Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.

      Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.


    • bostonboomer says:

      He’s releasing a “snapshot” summary of the past 20 years.

  21. Pilgrim says:

    Seems Romney has released 2011 tax returns along with summary of last 20 years, showing he has paid taxes and an average of 13.5% charitable. Will be interesting to observe reactions among those who have needed to know.

    • RalphB says:

      Even more interesting to see what percentage believe the summary or actually care.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I couldn’t care less at this point. If he had released them at an appropriate time it would have been interesting. Now that he basically has no chance to be president, not so much.

      • Pilgrim says:

        Gotta wonder what the next six weeks will be about, since he has “basically no chance” to be president. Might as well cancel the debates, and agree on the status quo. Save all the pother.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      What’s more interesting is why he didn’t just release his tax returns from the last 10 years. A summary of taxes gives no clue to where he’s putting his money or if he got an amnesty during the period when folks hiding money in Switzerland received a “Get out of Tax Evasion Free Card”

      • NW Luna says:

        I’d much rather know just exactly how he got a multi-million $$$ IRA when there’s a legal limit of a few thousand a year in contributions.

    • dakinikat says:

      As Mitt’s Dad says, one year tells you nothing … absolutely nothing …. you need to see the pattern of what was done … plus this one was most likely fluffed because they knew it was going to be released.

      I want to see 10 years worth!!! At least!

    • dakinikat says:

      Nah, I want to see Mitt debate … and I want all that republican crap like the Blunt Amendment, and the privatization of social security and medicare vouchers put out there so there will be a huge backlash against it and neither the Dems or the Rethugs will be able to pull the theocratic shit or the destruction of the safety net

  22. pdgrey says:

    Good reads today! Here is a link I like but I hope she will be safe now.

  23. RalphB says:

    Wow, this could leave a mark on Romney. Arizona may now be a swing state?

    Arizona: Romney 48%, Obama 45% (Purple Strategies)

  24. pdgrey says:

    This study is interesting. And the first comment is funny.

    is the inverse also true?
    are those with great sniffers better ‘people’?
    *looks at my dog*
    yep, I guess so.