I can’t work myself up to writing a real post today for some reason. I’m kind of in a holding pattern waiting for the Republican Convention to start. I’m expecting it to be a complete disaster along the lines of the one in 1992 when Pat Buchanan gave his “Culture War Speech” and ended George H.W. Bush’s hopes for a second term.
Which one of the “Romney Bunch” will play the Pat Buchanan role? Will it be Rick Santorum? Will it be Mike Huckabee? Or Will it be Mitt Romney himself, the birther-in-chief?
Here are a few interesting links I’ve found this afternoon.
Think Progress: Seven birthers to speak at Republican Convention.
1. Donald Trump. The famed billionaire/birther king Donald Trump has been the most vociferous — and most closely connected to Romney — person alleging that the President wasn’t born in the United States.
2. Actress Janine Turner. The Northern Exposure star who has her own conservative radio show wrote a long screed titled “Reasoning ‘Kenyan Born.’” In it, she complains that anyone who questions the president’s citizenship is deemed a racist: “If this were a legal case in court, [Obama’s] book bio stating that Obama was ‘born in Kenya’ would be taken into consideration.”
3. Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. During a town hall captured on video (at 3:5), Olens said, “You know the state of Hawaii says he’s produced a certified birth certificate… so on one hand I have to trust the state of Hawaii follows the laws. On the other hand it would be nice for the President to say, here it is, I have a copy.”
4. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. On one radio appearance during Huckabee’s bid for president, the former governor said, “I would love to know more [about where Obama was born]. What I know is troubling enough.” He later walked back the statement.
5. Florida Gov. Rick Scott. In 2010, the Orlando Sentinel reported than an audience member at one of Scott’s campaign events asked “what he would do about President Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ and whether he could legally appear on the 2012 ballot in Florida.” Scott responded, “I’ll have to look into it.”
6. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). The Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Conference once told reporters “Oh, I’d like to see the documents.”
7. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Jindal was willing to sign a “birther” bill into law. It would have required all presidential candidates to release their birth certificate in order to qualify for a spot on the state’s ballot.
Some of the best known birthers in the nation are scheduled to take the stage at a star-studded event in Phoenix, where they plan to call for Congress to investigate whether President Obama’s birth certificate is real.
There will be singing. There will be speeches. Drinks will be available for purchase. The only question is whether the venue, which features seating in the round, will activate its spinning stage. Promoters are calling it “A Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots Event” but you can call it Birtherpalooza.
The star of the gala is Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the eccentric Arizona lawman and a Republican who is running for his sixth term in office this year. Arpaio has been trying to find his way into next week’s festivities at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., even scheduling an “invitation only” event for Republicans at a nearby zoo. But he will not be part of the convention itself.
Arpaio has positioned himself as one of the leaders of the birther movement. For almost a year, he has been using a combination of taxpayer money and amateur volunteers to try to bolster the conspiracy theory that Obama’s birth records are elaborate forgeries designed to put a foreigner in the White House.
Pat Boone will be there too!
The Economist seems to think Romney should follow his own advice to “run toward the problem,” and release his tax returns as well us let us in on what he really believes in.
Mitt Romney had an interesting article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal entitled “What I Learned at Bain Capital.” In it, he explains how his business experience taught him how to help companies grow—and what to do when trouble arises. “When you see a problem,” Romney says, “run toward it before the problem gets worse.”
After Gawker’s massive release of Bain documents, Various journalists have begun to pore over the material and find instances in which Romney may have played fast and loose with U.S. laws.
Now that the hunt has begun, tax experts have begun to sniff blood. The more adamant that Mr. Romney is that he will not release his returns, the more energetic the search for answers will become.
The political reality is that Mr. Romney’s taxes create a massive distraction for his candidacy and get in the way of serious discussion of the substantive questions facing the country. So why doesn’t Mr. Romney follow his own excellent leadership advice, that he learned so well at Bain Capital, and run towards the problem, not away from it?
From the Post Partisan blog at WaPo: Romney’s Secret Tithe, in which Rachel Manteuffel discusses Romney’s latest excuse for not releasing his taxes–he doesn’t want to reveal how much he gives to his church. Haven’t he and Ann both said frequently that they give 10 percent? So is he afraid the church will find out he’s been holding out on them or what?
Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency. Will the RNC have to be postponed? I hope not.
Scott said the goal was to make sure every local, state and federal agency “has the exact same information” on the storm and preparations in order to make informed decisions. He issued the state of emergency Saturday during a media briefing in Broward County.
The state is also focusing on preparations ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Scott said delegates were being information on how to remain safe during a storm. Officials in the Tampa area were also being kept informed of issues that may occur due to Isaac, such as storm surge and bridge closures.
Tampa airport remained open Saturday.
First up, McCain announced that Romney wasn’t chosen for his vp slot because Snowflake Snookie was a “better candidate”. I’m wondering if he’s decided to help Obama?
Mitt Romney’s tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain’s decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a “better candidate.”
McCain received more than two decades worth of Romney’s tax returns as the former Massachusetts governor was undergoing the vetting process four years ago, far more than Romney has released publicly in the 2012 campaign. Democrats have questioned whether McCain saw something untoward in those tax returns and decided to choose Palin instead.
But on Tuesday, McCain flatly rejected that assertion and grew angry at questions over his decision to choose Palin over Romney.
“Of course not,” McCain told POLITICO when asked if the contents of Romney’s tax returns disqualified him from the selection process. “I don’t know what depths these people won’t reach. Obviously, it’s just outrageous. That’s just outrageous. It shows the – it’s so disgraceful for them to allege something that they have absolutely no knowledge of.”
Asked why he chose not to go with Romney, McCain said: “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. … Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”
Then, New Hampshire ickster John Sununu raises the volume to 11 on “the president isn’t a real American” stupidity.
In a brutal campaign conference call Tuesday organized by Mitt Romney’s campaign, several of the candidate’s surrogates went after President Obama with fiery attacks accusing him of socialism, and being un-American.
“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” said former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said toward the beginning of the call. Asked later to explain his comment, Sununu said he was referring to Obama’s economic philosophy, and apologized for not being clearer.
Fox News raised the specter that Obama believed small business people owed everything to the federal government yesterday by mangling an edit. They continue to do anything to prove Obama some how has an anti-business agenda and is a socialist.
The right-wing is desperate to change the subject from Romney’s recent Bain pain—Fox News joined in by selectively editing a speech President Obama gave in Roanoke, VA to make it seem as if he insulted small business owners by saying “If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it happen.” Of course, the conservatives went wild. We’ll show you their deceptive edit AND the clip in context
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
“The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together…. We say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”
Fox News took the quote, carefully edited out the context, and soon after, Republicans decided they had a new talking point on their hands. Paul Ryan, the right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee, helped lead the way.
A conservative writer ran this item last night.
It was Rep. Paul Ryan’s wife, Janna, who first saw — via Twitter — President Obama’s recent comments about American entrepreneurs, that “if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
And the Wisconsin Republican — thought to be on Mitt Romney’s running-mate short list — couldn’t believe it. He thought someone must “have been putting words in the president’s mouth.”
But Obama said it all.
Well, no, actually he didn’t. Ryan argued that Obama “slipped” and accidentally mentioned his radical leftist ideology, but that only makes sense if you deliberately feign ignorance and ignore the context.
Meanwhile, Bachmann is still seeing secret infiltrating Muslim radicals everywhere. She’s doubled down on it. BB covered this some in the morning post but it seems Bachmann won’t back down. The Muslim Brotherhood is taking over the State Department!!!
Can we get a sane minority party for a change?
Originally I was going to do a light airy post for tonight’s evening news reads, but instead I’m doing a batshit crazy thread.
We heard Rush’s rationalization yesterday, that because Newt asked to cheat, is shows a “mark of character.” Well, according to Fox News Dr. Ablow…yeah the guy who has a problem with little girls pretending to breast feed their baby dolls, Newt Gingrich’s Three Marriages Mean He Might Make A Strong President
I want to be coldly analytical, not moralize, here. I want to tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s behavior could mean for the country, not for the future of his current marriage. So, here’s what one interested in making America stronger can reasonably conclude—psychologically—from Mr. Gingrich’s behavior during his three marriages:
1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.
2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.
3 ) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.
Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.
4) Two women—Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives—have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.
Conclusion: I can only hope Mr. Gingrich will be as direct and unsparing with the Congress, the American people and our allies. If this nation must now move with conviction in the direction of its heart, Newt Gingrich is obviously no stranger to that journey.
5) Mr. Gingrich’s daughters from his first marriage are among his most vigorous supporters. They obviously adore him and respect him and feel grateful for the kind of father he was.
When I want to know who in a marriage (or, for that matter, a series of marriages) is the one who actually was aligned with their best interests, I never dismiss evidence of who the children gravitate toward and admire. In this case, they have judged the father who left their family, then remarried twice. And they judge him 10 out of 10. I only hope my own children love me and respect me as much when they are adults.
So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president. And I think that is exceedingly unlikely.
Oh, giggle…giggle…that Dr. Ablow is such a cheeky bastard. Believe me, if there was a country out there with appealing tits and a nice ass, I can guarantee Newt would be all over it.
Another bit of crazy from Fox News: Neil Cavuto Gives John King A Strong Pat On The Back For ‘Open Marriage’ Question | Mediaite
Fox News’ Neil Cavuto defended CNN’s John King for opening Thursday’s debate by asking Newt Gingrich a question about his alleged “open marriage.” “Enough! Enough with making a big deal out of a question that was fair and an issue that was and is germane. Enough with making CNN’s reporter a villain and Newt Gingrich a hero for dodging it. He was perfectly in his rights trying to make him the issue, for even discussing the comments, but the reporter would have been derelict if he did not raise this. I respect Speaker Gingrich for the energy and intelligence that he brings to this race, but, frankly, his pile on the questioner because you do not like the question, is getting a little long in the debate tooth in this race,” Cavuto scolded.
“The reporter is an excellent journalist — Newt Gingrich is an excellent politician. The excellent politician swats away an embarrassing question by trying to embarrass the guy who asked it. That is to be expected. The excellent journalist nevertheless asked knowing full well a crowd and a big one will frown on him because he did ask it. That, too, is to be expected. That doesn’t make him bad for raising an issue that has become the elephant in the room,” Cavuto continued. “Fair is fair! Now, argue all you want, that the media is unfair to Republicans on this kind of issue but if memory serves me right, when this stuff happens for pure ratings, they love this kind of issue. Gingrich is free to swat it away and say he has made peace with god for past transgressions but save the piety.”
One more 2012 Primary link for you tonight, Colbert and Cain: Absurdist Politics in South Carolina – Josh Kraushaar – NationalJournal.com
How about this as a sign of how strange things have become in the Republican presidential race?
Newt Gingrich, the candidate with all of the momentum in the South Carolina primary, canceled a morning appearance on Friday because of concerns about sparse attendance. But just a few blocks away and a few hours later, comedian Stephen Colbert packed a crowd of more than 3,400 students into the College of Charleston quad – with another thousand or so waiting outside the perimeter — to see his mock campaign rally with Herman Cain, who suspended his actual campaign in December.
“Mr. Colbert could not get on the ballot,” Cain joked. “I could not get off the ballot.”
In the days before Saturday’s primary here, the GOP race has taken on a circus-like aura. Gingrich’s second ex-wife aired her grievances about his affairs on late-night television, as her husband thundered against the media for asking about her comments at Thursday night’s debate. Cain reappeared on the campaign trail to make a much-anticipated endorsement -– not of a candidate, but of “We, the people!” Sarah Palin, the original politician-turned-celebrity, emerged from the political diaspora, on television, to say she would support Gingrich — just to extend the primary. And on Friday, macho actor Chuck Norris endorsed Gingrich.
Welcome to the freak show.
Welcome? No…No my friend, this years GOP primary season was a freak show from the very beginning.
And since we are on the subject of freaks, check this out: Ga. judge orders president to appear at hearing – Boston.com
Yup, one of “them thar birthers” (my best redneck accent) has actually got a feather in his cap now…
A judge has ordered President Barack Obama to appear in court in Atlanta for a hearing on a complaint that says Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen and can’t be president.
It’s one of many such lawsuits that have been filed across the country, so far without success. A Georgia resident made the complaint, which is intended to keep Obama’s name off the state’s ballot in the March presidential primary.
An Obama campaign aide says any attempt to involve the president personally will fail and such complaints around the country have no merit.
The hearing is set for Thursday before an administrative judge. Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi on Friday denied a motion by the president’s lawyer to quash a subpoena that requires Obama to show up.
And finally, this last link is more news worthy than all the other crap I posted up top, h/t Maddow Blog: How much energy would the Death Star require to destroy Earth?
As iconic as the spherical death-bringer is, the inner tinkerings of the Death Star still remain a great mystery. For example, if the Death Star suddenly materialized in the Solar System, how much energy would the vessel require to pulverize the Earth into bloody gravel?
A group of physics students at the University of Leicester took it upon themselves to divine the Death Star’s energy requirements (using many an admittedly radical assumption). From the paper titled “That’s No Moon”:
This planet is going to be modelled after earth with the exception that it is a solid planet. It is then possible to use the gravitational binding energy of the target planet to estimate the amount of energy required to be supplied to the Death Star’s laser beam in order to destroy it […] The energy required to destroy the planet in question is 2.25 ⨉ 10^32 J. However, the destruction of large planets such as Jupiter can require much larger energy demands […] we can estimate this energy to be 2 ⨉ 10^36 J […]
Since the Death Star outputs energy equal to several main-sequence stars, even if the actual composition of Earth is used in equation, the value yielded is only a few orders of magnitudes larger and the Death Star can still easily afford to output that energy due to its tremendous power source. However as mentioned above Jupiter requires much greater energy demands which would put considerable strain on the Death Star. To destroy a planet like Jupiter it would probably have to divert all remaining power from all essential systems and life support, which is not necessarily possible.
I think with Newt’s fondness for space, and those grandiose ideas of his, this information would be key to his diabolical plan to give Obama more than a bloody nose!
Well, that is it for me, have a great Friday night!
President Obama reiterated the same US stance to Israel that we’ve always had today at a meeting of the powerful pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, just as he did in his speech last week. For some reason, the speech at the State Department last week was mislabeled by Mittens Romney and others as “throwing Israel under the bus.” Here’s what the President said today.
[S]ince my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.
By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
If there’s a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance. What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I have done so because we cannot afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades, to achieve peace. The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel would only grow. Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve.
Why the outcry over the past few days to Obama’s maintaining the status quo? Here’s some quotes from SOS Clinton and Ex-prez Dubya that demonstrate this was nothing but manufactured rage on the part of the right wing noise machine.
Even the NY Times is getting into the act. In one sentence they claim that “using the 1967 boundaries as the baseline for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute” is a first by an American president, and just two paragraphs later quote President George W. Bush using the phrase: “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,” another way of describing the 1967 boundaries. Those two statements, by Obama and Bush, convey the same concept.
In 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.
Where was the manufactured outrage then?
In 2008 President George W. Bush, on a middle east trip, said:
I believe that any peace agreement between them will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous.
In 2005 President George W. Bush, at a White House meeting, said:
Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to.
President Obama is following the same policies put forth by George W. Bush. To claim that Obama’s speech represents some departure from previous U.S. policy is absurd.
When not manufacturing right wing rage, Republican Presidential contenders are demonstrating their foreign policy ignorance. Thank goodness we have some one who knows foreign policy at the State Department! Here’s pizza king and right wing talk show host Herman Cain demonstrating his foreign policy ignorance.
Despite his shallow understanding of foreign policy issues, Cain is still trying to go on the attack against Obama and create a partisan divide on Israel. He said last week that an “arrogant” Obama “threw Israel under the bus” in his recent speech on the Middle East. Trying to sound a hawkish note, Cain said his “Cain doctrine” is “You mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America.”
But this morning on Fox News Sunday, Cain showed just how limited his understanding is of the Middle East peace process. Asked by host Chris Wallace what he would be prepared to offer Palestinians as part of a deal, Cain responded, “Nothing.” Just moments later, Cain was dazed and confused when Wallace referenced the issue of “right of return” of Palestinian refugees:
WALLACE: Where do you stand on the right of return?
CAIN: The right of return? [pause] The right of return?
WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.
CAIN: That’s something that should be negotiated. That’s something that should be negotiated.
Wallace then helpfully offered Cain a definition of “right of return” — “Palestinian refugees, the people that were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able to or should have any right to return to Israeli land.”
Other foreign policy nitwits have joined the faux outrage ranks. Quitterella even points to the old testament as some kind of geopolitical playbook. Do you suppose she’s read stories about the Kraken so she can have an opinion on Greece’s Navy?
I can never figure out why the I/P issue causes people’s heads to blow gaskets. I always hesitate to even offer up any news in the area because it’s caused complete meltdowns on blogs in the past. There are some people on each side of the issue who simply can’t seem find any middle ground from. Derailing any peace process appears to be their goal.
I consider the entire topic to be a hell realm. However, this particular kerfuffle reeks of the same kind of derangement we saw during the Clinton years. It’s getting so bad that I’m cracking this particular nut or group of nuts as the case may be. This is like trying to deal with birthers and those who subscribe to the ‘secret Muslim’ meme.
Obama isn’t my favorite President by any stretch of the imagination, but aren’t there enough things to complain about right now–like the sneaky renewal of the Patriot Act–without manufacturing yet another conspiracy theory? SHEESH!
I can’t see the US selling out Israel anywhere in the near future. They are obviously a US ally. Trying to get both Palestinians and Israelis to be reasonable and come back to Peace Talks should be in everyone’s interest. Don’t they still have their copies of the Oslo Accords or has every one forgotten President Clinton’s work already?