Thursday Reads

Good Morning!!

I have a potpourri of great reads for you this morning, so let’s get started.

First up, people in the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy have barely begun to recover. CBS News/AP report that: The scale of post-Sandy challenge in NY, NJ is unprecedented.

Two major airports reopened and the New York Stock Exchange got back to business Wednesday, while across the river in New Jersey, National Guardsmen rushed to feed and rescue flood victims two days aftersuperstorm Sandy struck.

For the first time since the storm slammed the Northeast, killing at least 63 people and inflicting billions of dollars in damage, brilliant sunshine washed over the nation’s largest city — a striking sight after days of gray skies, rain and wind. The light gave officials and residents a true glimpse of destruction on a scale that the region has never seen before.

At the stock exchange, running on generator power, Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave a thumbs-up and rang the opening bell to whoops from traders on the floor. Trading resumed after the first two-day weather shutdown since the Blizzard of 1888.

New York’s subway system was still down, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said parts of it will begin running again on Thursday. And he said some commuter rail service between the city and its suburbs would resume on Wednesday afternoon.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie and his new BFF Barack Obama toured the devastation. From The New York Times: An Unlikely Political Pair, United by a Disaster.

President Obama toured the storm-tossed boardwalks of New Jersey’s ravaged coastline on Wednesday, in a vivid display of big-government muscle and bipartisan harmony that confronted Mitt Romney with a vexing challenge just as he returned to the campaign trail in Florida.

The scene of Mr. Obama greeting his onetime political antagonist Gov. Chris Christie in Atlantic City was a striking departure from what has become an increasingly bitter campaign, marked by sharp divisions between Mr. Romney’s more limited view of the federal role and Mr. Obama’s more expansive vision. The president placed a hand on Mr. Christie’s back and guided him to Marine One, where the two men shared a grim flight over shattered sea walls, burning houses and a submerged roller coaster.

Speaking to storm victims at a community center in the hard-hit town of Brigantine, Mr. Obama said, “We are going to be here for the long haul.” Mr. Christie thanked the president for his visit, saying, “It’s really important to have the president of the United States acknowledge all the suffering that’s going on here in New Jersey.”

The tableau of bipartisan cooperation, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s highly visible role in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, has put Mr. Romney in an awkward position…

As for Mitt Romney, he was getting hammered by the media in Ohio for two ads in which he falsely implied that Chrysler and GM were planning to ship American jobs to China. It looks to me as if Romney has given up the ghost in Ohio, because he headed to Florida yesterday, where a new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama leading by one point.

And last night the NYT editorial board slammed Romney for “cross[ing] a red line.”

When General Motors tells a presidential campaign that it is engaging in “cynical campaign politics at its worst,” that’s a pretty good signal that the campaign has crossed a red line and ought to pull back. Not Mitt Romney’s campaign. Having broadcast an outrageously deceitful ad attacking the auto bailout, the campaign ignored the howls from carmakers and came back with more.

Mr. Romney apparently plans to end his race as he began it: playing lowest-common-denominator politics, saying anything necessary to achieve power and blithely deceiving voters desperate for clarity and truth.

I think Romney may have finally sunk his campaign with those lying ads about the auto bailout. I wonder if that has contributed to polls that show Obama widening his leads in Michigan and Wisconsin?

In the Nebraska Senate Race, Bob Kerrey has been moving up in the polls, and last night broke some exciting news that could put him over the top: Chuck Hagel to endorse Bob Kerrey.

A spokesman with Kerrey’s campaign says Hagel – a former Nebraska U.S. Senator and a Republican – will back Kerrey in his race against Republican Deb Fischer.

Hagel’s endorsement comes as polls have shown the race between Kerrey and Fischer tightening down the home stretch.

Hagel’s backing could go a long way with independents. And, it clearly underscores Kerrey’s contention that he is the person in the race who can win Republican and Democratic support.

If Kerry, Claire McCaskill, Tammy Baldwin, and Elizabeth Warren, and perhaps Joe Donnelly can win their races, the Democrats should at least hold their majority in the Senate.

In Massachusetts, Liz Warren began making her final arguments.

As both Massachusetts Senate candidates deliver their final messages to voters, Warren is drawing on one major advantage she has in the state: demographics. According to the Secretary of State, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in Massachusetts by a more than a three to one margin. As the race remains close, Warren and her supporters are using a partisan argument to rally the Democratic base, and encourage activists to turn out the vote on Warren’s behalf. Elect Brown, Warren and her supporters argue, and Republicans will control the U.S. Senate.

Introducing Warren to a crowd of volunteers and activists at Warren’s Haverhill field office on Wednesday, Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini said he came from a Halloween party. “Everyone was dressed up in really scary costumes, so I was going to dress up as (Republican Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell,” he said, to laughter. “Because can you think of anything scarier than (Republican House Speaker) John Boehner in the House of Representatives or Mitch McConnell in the Senate?”

“There’s only one vote that counts and that’s the vote about which party is going to control the United States Senate,” Fiorentini continued. “We know which way Scott Brown is going to vote.”

Warren also released a great new ad that may serve as a closing argument: For All Our Families.

Right now in Indiana Joe Donnelly is leading Richard Mourdock by 7 percentage points.

I’ll end with a couple of powerful long reads.

From Truthout: What Does Romney’s Campaign of Lies Say About Our Country? Here’s the first paragraph:

Last week Mitt Romney delivered possibly the most dishonest presidential campaign speech in American history. It contains lie after lie, distortion after distortion, and trick after trick. The fact that a person capable of giving such a speech has reached this level suggests that it may be too late to salvage the country. Our institutions may be corrupted beyond repair.

Please check it out.

At Alternet, Matthew Fleisher writes: Why I Infiltrated One of the Most Secretive and Powerful Republican Organizations in the Country. This one is really long, but well worth reading. Here’s the teaser:

The Lincoln Club is the real deal. And if they have their way, Citizens United is just the beginning of their political ambitions for the country.

That’s it for me. I hope you found something to your liking. Now what are you reading and blogging about today?

35 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. Eric Pleim says:

    Nice job, BB. You distill what should be the demise of Mitt down to a pithy post.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Thanks for the good reads this morning BB.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Four years ago John McCain suspended his campaign and rushed back to DC asking for a meeting with all concerned about the financial collapse. It was during that meeting that included George W. Bush that Obama arrived and took a “cool” approach to the event, offering suggestions and asking pointed questions while McCain – from the reports that came out later – sat mute. Even to the extent that even Bush was perplexed by is lack of engagement, giving some form of praise to Obama’s approach. The “October surprise” seemed to have lossened McCain’s grip on the issue judging by his unpreparedness concerning what was about to happen to the nation as a result of the Wall Street debacle.

    Fast forward to another “October surprise” with Sandy showing Obama completely in charge of the situation even to the point of finding Chris Christie in his corner as the East Coast reels from the disaster, leaving Romney scratching for relevancy with some of the lamest attempts to do so.

    It’s striking how these two major events happen just prior to a national election. The more I see of Romney struggling to remain viable only raises the question of whether this man should ever be placed in a position where he finds himself in charge.

    He only appears more pathetic in trying. The reference to cleaning up the football field is one of the sorriest and ridiculous comparisons ever heard out of the mouth of a candidate who asks that we “trust him” going forward.

    Good grief!

  4. janicen says:

    Very interesting reads, bb. Thank you.

    From the truthout article by Dave Johnson,

    Lying is a form of abuse. It is a form of battering. It shows incredible disrespect to the people you expect to believe your lies. People who are lied to repeatedly lose their sense of what truth is, their grounding and their faith. They can become cynical, and no longer even able to trust those they should trust.

    The analogy helps explain the denial on the part of those who continue to believe the lies. I’ve often wondered about the Romney followers and seeing them as victims of abuse, whose most powerful weapon of survival, in their eyes, is denial of what is really happening, helps me understand some of their motives. Maybe it’s not only racism, maybe it’s that stubborn refusal to see what is in front of them, that we have all recognized in abuse victims that is helping to fuel the perplexing behavior of the Republican faithful.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      An interesting point.

      Because for the life of me I am unable to understand the support Romney continues to pile up even when exposed for the liar that he is. You would think it would be the other way around and that the support would erode over time but not so much in this case. Just look at the amount of donations that continue to come in even when the latest lie is debunked and he is held up for ridicule.

      And when he “triples down” as he did in Ohio just this week alone the poll numbers barely shift. Which probably explains the analolgy of this thesis that liars are no longer held in contempt as much as admiration.

      I guess I come fromt the “old school” belief that once a liar, always a liar and those who tell them should never be trusted.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “Because for the life of me I am unable to understand the support Romney continues to pile up even when exposed for the liar that he is”

        You do understand Pat, and you’ve written about it quite eloquently many times. There is so much ODS on the right and so much Obama hate being spewed by right wing talking heads at Fox and talk radio, that those who are so inclined will believe anything negative about Obama. The truth isn’t relevant, hatred is all consuming, as is winning at any cost. Truth be damned is their motto.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I remember when the press went to town about Hillary and the Bosnian claim. They then served up even more when she suggested her “love” of the NY Yankees as if this were enough to prove her to be a liar of huge proportions.

        But this guy holds the record in every department imaginable! He lies, and lies, and lies and it seems to have little effect if you believe the polls. This is something I am unable to grasp since it appears to be a daily feature,not some isolated comment that could be miscontrued without the usual “spin”.

        It is all out unforgivable lying and this is who these people wish to place their trust, in a man who is unable to tell the truth? Not only untruthful, but incapable of standing for anything.

        He has “no comment” about women’s rights, no specifics on his questionable tax plans, no statements regarding his plan to undo FEMA, yet his poll numbers remain close enough to actually propel him into the WH.

        He stands for nothing and they area willing to “trust” him even when caught with egg on his face when he appears to know nothing.


      • NW Luna says:

        Romney’s male; he gets away with more.

      • Ron4Hills says:

        There is no support for Romney. There never was. Romney “voters” want to beat the Democrats. When Romney loses (fingers crossed) watch how quickly they turn on him. They will pick over his bones and point out every single thing that is wrong with him…but the biggie will be that he lost.

        It is the right wings best and worst quality. They will do whatever it takes to win. Including supporting a guy that deep down they neither love nor trust.

        When they talk bout Mittens reaching across the aisle and finding common ground will the 85% Dem legislature in MA, what they are really saying is that a mature and sober MA legislature tried to do what was best for their state. The Repugs in the US congress have been single minded and disciplined in their obstructionism. They would rather see the house burn down than give Barack Obama a bucket of water!

        The ODS virus is just a mutation of the CDS virus. I don’t think we can ever cure it, we just have to treat the symptoms (beat them at the ballot box) and get on with it!

      • peggysue22 says:

        One of the differences in the Ohio tumble is that Romney was called out on the lie. The car manufacturers stepped out to say ‘we must be living in a parallel Universe.’ The Ohio newspapers slammed Romney for his outrageous lie and deception. This absolutely supports the Dave Johnson piece–when lies and obfuscation are not called out by the media, the public is swamped with confusion and contradiction, particularly those who do not follow the issues closely. Add to that the hate talk rodeo that goes by the name of Fox News, the idiotic claims and accusations of right-wing talk radio and you have a perfect storm of propaganda, the purpose of which is to make it impossible to tell truth from falsehood.

        The GOP depends on this garbage because its ideology has turned so toxic. If they told the truth, actually exposed what they have in mind, the vast majority of voters would run for the hills. Instead, they use and abuse religiosity, appeal and spark racial and ethnic suspicion and are always quick to bring out images of dead babies, dead ambassadors and the hyped up fear of all things Muslim.

        They have nothing to offer but fear, hate and lies. And yes, it is a sick, cynical ploy. The appalling thing is that it has worked in the past. But in truth? They don’t have anything else. Mittens is the perfect vessel for this party–empty and duplicitous.

        Btw, that’s a great ad from Elizabeth Warren. When she says she’ll work her heart out, I absolutely believe her. She’ll make a great senator. And although I just slammed all things Republican, I have to give a shout out to Chris Christie. The man is not my favorite politician but I give him chops for being willing to put the politics aside, work with POTUS [who has also stepped up to the plate] and reach out to the citizens of NJ. It’s good to see government actually working.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s all part of Romney’s personality–the bully.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Yes it is BB. He’s that kid from the playground who threw his weight around and his influence around until someone he considered inferior, slapped him down. Mitt’s slap coming.

    • Fannie says:

      Word, you got it.

  5. pdgrey says:

    BB, thanks for the links, that last one is a doosy! Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted may get his wish of disenfranchisement after all.

    I am really worried, they are going to steal Ohio again.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      If this is “democracy” than it is chilling to think what lies ahead.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I don’t think so. The Obama campaign has massive numbers of workers on the ground, plus they are far enough ahead that it could be hard to steal enough votes without it becoming obvious.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        We all still have 2000 in our rearview mirror and we know how easily a theft can “be arranged”, but I’m still confident that Obama will win. I know Ohio is going to be a struggle, but that’s not something we didn’t anticipate. I also know that the big money people are behind Romney, but the Obama campaign is getting record numbers of small donations from individual citizens. That, to my mind, is a very good barometer of how average Americans are with this POTUS.

        Hold strong!!!

      • NW Luna says:

        In 2008 those record #s of small donations turned out to be mostly small donations over and over again from the same people. I’m curious to see how different the statistics are this time. Obama’s more the choice of the average American when he’s compared with Romney. He’s still a moderate Republican in his policies.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        NWLuna…..I don’t know what the donation breakdown per individual is for 2008, but I read that Obama had 3.95 million individual donors in 2008 and raised $750 million ( I don’t know how much of that was from the small donor). According to the Obama campaign he had over 4 million individual donors by mid October 2012. Both Obama and Romney have raised over $1 billion dollars this election. I think Romney leads Obama by about $100 million. I read somewhere that almost half of Obama’s donations come from small donors $200 or less. About 35-38% of Romney’s come from small donors. I’m sure all the info is floating about on the intertubes somewhere, but I’m feeling to damn lazy to do the research today. 🙂

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “NWLuna…..I don’t know what the donation breakdown per individual is for 2008”

        Good grief, you can tell my brain is on idle today. I think what i was trying to write was, I don’t know what the average individual donation was in 2008.

    • Fannie says:

      He’s spent 4 days in Ohio, and he’s rolling………..

  6. bostonboomer says:

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I saw this last night and it is adorable! Poor little Abigail has had enough!

      • RalphB says:

        I’m with Abigail! I have a question about Florida. WTF is up with all those retirees and them throwing Medicare under the bus for Romney. If they do that, I can’t imagine why.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Ralph, a lot of those retirees are well heeled to begin with. And many of them are Republican. So for the future of this program, it really does would have little effect on them either way.

        This may be a harsh “generalization” but many of them, my ex mother in law included, live very, very well with or without a social security check and in her case, she uses it for greens fees and a golf club membership.

        She lives quite well with a condo in Boca Raton and another condo up here in the NE that she visits for 3 months out of the year when the humidity becomes too unbearable in FL.

        Her friends are all in the same category. She is healthy for a woman of 90, still drives a car, and is often found on the golf course. So it is likely that for her and others like her, the social safety net issues are of little future concern. They have it made.

        The real burden rests with those much younger who may someday discover when it becomes their turn that there is nothing there to protect them in their old age.

      • RalphB says:

        I guess I understand Pat, and the policy changes probably won’t hurt them as much as younger people, but don’t they care about their children and grand children? There seems to be a lack of basic empathy that I can’t understand.

  7. pdgrey says:
    The BBC takes a look at the numbers behind voting registration in the US and who is most likely to be impacted by stricter rules.

  8. pdgrey says:

    I think this will come close to bottom of the barrel test. WTF, and after the 47% shit!

  9. RalphB says:

    HuffPo: Allen West’s Primary Opponent ‘Embarrassed’ By West, Endorses Democrat Patrick Murphy

    WASHINGTON — Bob Crowder, the Republican who ran against Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) in the primary, announced Wednesday that he is endorsing Democrat Patrick Murphy in the congressional race. And he didn’t mince his words.

    “As a Republican for over 30 years, I’m embarrassed by the radical fringe that has taken over the party. Sadly, Allen West is their poster child, and the hateful, divisive comments he’s made throughout this campaign make it clear to me he’s the wrong choice for our district,” Crowder said in a statement.

    Crowder, who is the Martin County Sheriff, said he is backing Murphy because “he has the right temperament and respect for others — including people he doesn’t agree with.”

    Crowder said Murphy can work with both parties and will be a congressman that Florida’s 18th District can be proud of, “unlike his opponent.”

    Hope they get rid of this teahadist prick!

    • pdgrey says:

      Ralph, maybe Chrisite, Hagel and now Crowder are having a “moment” in the good part of the brain. 🙂

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Or maybe they’re trying to wrestle their party away from the teanuts.

      • RalphB says:

        Whether they have a “moment” or want to wrestle the beast, it’s still good that some are willing to do it. 🙂