Category Archives: editorial

So where are we with General Petraeus?

What on earth is happening when an American who has been trusted as much as General Petraeus has his little love affair exposed (which doesn’t seem to have effected his CIA leadership at all) and feels the need to resign?

This article is from Truthdig… I’m putting it all here:

How the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell Affair Was Uncovered

 

AP/Cliff Owen
Former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Modern technology apparently cost ex-CIA Director David Petraeus his job. The retired general’s affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was discovered by the FBI while it was investigating harassing emails she sent to Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old woman who serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. A former associate of Petraeus says he and Kelley are just friends.

After news of the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stepped in and asked Petraeus to resign.

The Associated Press:

Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

…Concerned that the emails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.

Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.

Read more

In the wake of Petraeus’ resignation, members of Congress are asking for more information about the investigation, including why they weren’t alerted sooner and whether the probe had any impact on national security.

Now here are my thoughts. Given the world situation, why in hell are we letting a man with this amount of military and foreign policy and management experience leave this job over a little penis stimulation? You can’t tell me that the Congressfolk who would sit over his situation if he hadn’t resigned haven’t been involved in the same kind of stuff.

If I were Obama, I would have, at least temporarily, refused Petraeus’ resignation and let him go ahead with his testimony about Libya (which he should do anyway, whether he has resigned or not.)

If we really let him go we are more stupid than I already think.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – It’s all over. Where are we?

Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer:

Perhaps we can start on getting religion out of politics. What are we, the Taliban?

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Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

At least we know now that America is more than old white men…

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Joel Pett in The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Of course, some Republicans will probably continue their uncooperativeness. It will kill them later.

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Mike Luckovich in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Of course, this may make at least one news organization reevaluate it’s strategy…

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Adam Zyglis in the Buffalo News:

And now forward into the second term (thanks, in part, to General Motors.)
 

 

 

 

 

Live Election Returns Map

The LA Times is running a live Election Returns Map which will be ongoing until the voting is over nationwide.

To keep track of it, Bookmark this page:

http://graphics.latimes.com/2012-election-results-national-map/

It will be a long while before a lot is up there (right now there is only a teeny bit of New Hampshire), but this will be a helpful track keeper.

 

Here’s a video treat from ALL HAT NO CATTLE…

…the one blog I try to view every day. This is a video that Lisa put together Called “Back in the Good Old Days” which is a good indicator that Romney will bring Bushiness back to us.

 

Hope you enjoy it. I sure did!

 

Tell Mitt Romney: Climate Change Isn’t A Joke

Much of the nation is reeling from Superstorm Sandy. As families rebuild from Sandy’s destruction, our thoughts are with the victims of this horrific, fossil-fueled storm.

When Gov. Mitt Romney made climate change a punch line at the Republican National Convention, he mocked a real threat to the lives of Americans.

We can’t let Mitt get away with his laughing dismissal of the threat of rising seas caused by the carbon polluters who fund his campaign. Share this ad with friends and family to tell Romney: climate change isn’t a joke.

Ref: Three Ways Climate Change Made Hurricane Sandy Worse

 

Thanks to Climate Silence.org.

The Economist endorses Obama…

This is a surprise, but The Economist, primarily a business publication, has endorsed Obama over businessman Romney. Here’s the statement:

“As a result, this election offers American voters an unedifying choice. Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Election is crawling toward it’s end. I am sooo thankful.

I’ll be so glad when all this election brouhaha is over. I’ll be so depressed if Romney captures a majority of American votes… in other words, I will think so much is wrong with this country’s education policies.

Bob Englehart in the The Hartford Courant:

So how likely is it that doing tax favors for the top 1% will raise the job totals?

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Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer:

At least Romney makes it clear who his support base won’t be…

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Joel Pett in The Lexington Herald-Leader:

One day women might disable the positions of Romney and his buddies…

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David Fitzsimmons in The Arizona Daily Star:

Some time accusations reverse themselves to define the accuser.

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Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Foreign policy requires a lot of basic knowledge. Romney doesn’t seem to have any.

 

 

Educator and Cultural Critic Jacques Barzun Dies at 104;

 

Historian, essayist, cultural gadfly and educator Jacques Barzun, who helped establish the modern discipline of cultural history, was probably best known for viewing the West as sliding toward decadence. He died Thursday night at his home in San Antonio.  He was 104.

His remarkable curiosity and manifold interests and accomplishments, encompassed both Berlioz and baseball (and many other subjects.) He stood with Sidney Hook, Daniel Bell and Lionel Trilling as one of  the mid-20th century’s most wide-ranging scholars. He tried to reconcile the achievements of European philosophy and culture with the very different American intellect and culture.

He wrote dozens of books across many decades, demonstrating that old age did not necessarily mean intellectual decline. He published his most ambitious and encyclopedic book at the age of 92 (and credited his productivity in part to chronic insomnia). That work, “From Dawn to Decadence,” is an 877-page survey of 500 years of Western culture in which he argued that Western civilization itself had entered a period of decline.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Barzun showed little interest in taking political positions. This was partly because he became a university administrator and had to stand above the fray, and partly because he approached the world with a detached civility and a sardonic skepticism about intellectual life.

He traced periods of rise and fall in the Western saga, and contended that another fall was near — one that could cause “the liquidation of 500 years of civilization.” It looks like he won’t be around to see it.

 

Friday Morning Humor – What if Men were treated like Women?

I found this yesterday and, believe me, this is a clear statement:

There you go, Ladies… pass it around.

This was in the NY Times this morning and it left me horrified…

This morning’s NY Times had this article which I found both disgusting and horrifying. After talking about the anti-woman proclivities of Republican candidates today, seeing what attitudes against women can turn into can be mortifying. If you can’t stomach anything as bad as the title suggests,  avoid reading it now.

Officer Held in Plot to Cook Women and Eat Them

By

The police officer referred to the woman as Victim-1, recording details like her date of birth, height, weight and bra size. He made note of certain materials, like chloroform and rope.

And then the officer, Gilberto Valle, a six-year veteran of the New York Police Department, saved the document on his computer, titling the file “Abducting and Cooking (Victim-1): A Blueprint.”

In one of the most disturbing and unusual arrests involving a police officer, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation took Officer Valle into custody on Wednesday after they uncovered several plots to kidnap, rape, cook and eat women.

“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus,” he wrote to a co-conspirator in one electronic communication intercepted by law enforcement authorities. “Cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”

When the co-conspirator asked how big the officer’s oven was, Officer Valle replied, “Big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”

Two law enforcement officials familiar with the inquiry said the officer’s estranged wife recently contacted the F.B.I. to report that Officer Valle, 28, viewed and kept disturbing items on his computer. The couple has a daughter, age 1.

The criminal complaint suggests that Officer Valle, who worked in the 26th Precinct in Manhattan and lives in Forest Hills, Queens, never followed through on any of the acts he is accused of discussing.

His lawyer, Julia L. Gatto, said the officer committed no crime. “At worst, this is someone who has sexual fantasies,” Ms. Gatto said at a hearing on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

“There is no actual crossing the line from fantasy to reality,” she added.

But a federal prosecutor, Hadassa Waxman, said Mr. Valle had communicated with three co-conspirators about his plans to commit a crime, and at one point used a police car while dressed in uniform to conduct surveillance of a woman, approaching her in “an intimidating fashion.”

Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman ordered Officer Valle to be held without bail on charges of federal kidnapping conspiracy.

The evidence consists largely of e-mails and instant messages in which Officer Valle was “discussing plans to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and eat body parts of a number of women,” according to the complaint, which describes two episodes in which Officer Valle discussed abducting women. In each case, it appears that the women knew the officer vaguely. And in at least one case, the officer used the National Crime Information Center to get information about a third woman.

In a search of the officer’s computer, federal investigators discovered “files pertaining to at least 100 women,” according to the complaint. Some of them were his classmates from high school, a law enforcement official said.

“The F.B.I. has identified and interviewed 10 of these women, each of whom has confirmed to the F.B.I. that Valle is known to her,” the complaint said.

A law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said investigators feared that Officer Valle might soon carry out one of his plots.

In February, Officer Valle offered to kidnap a woman on an unnamed person’s behalf for a price: “$5,000 and she is all yours,” the officer wrote to that person, according to the complaint.

Officer Valle appeared to be under the impression that the person he was communicating with intended to rape the woman, according to the complaint.

“She will be alive,” he wrote. “I think I would rather not get involved in the rape. You paid for her. She is all yours, and I don’t want to be tempted the next time I abduct a girl.”

While the complaint does not identify the woman in question, F.B.I. agents later learned that cellphone tracking devices indicated that Officer Valle had made or received calls on the block in Manhattan where the woman lived.

On July 19, Officer Valle sent an instant message to the co-conspirator, indicating that he was meeting with Victim-1 three days later, according to the complaint. The victim, who was interviewed in October by the F.B.I., said she had met the officer that day “at a restaurant for lunch,” according to the complaint. What happened during or after the lunch was not disclosed.

A dating profile, which a law enforcement official confirmed belonged to Officer Valle, suggested an engaging and gregarious young man. He wrote that he had attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the University of Maryland, College Park. (At the court hearing on Thursday, the officer wore a red T-shirt affiliated with the university.)

“I can find the humor in any situation,” he had written, adding that he had “an endless supply of hilarious short stories from work that can’t be made up.”

@ NY Times 2012

 

So what does the world think of the USA?

Remember what Romney said during the foreign policy debate? Think about this:

“I look around the world, I don’t see our influence growing around the world. I see our influence receding. […] But unfortunately, in nowhere in the world is America’s influence greater today than it was four years ago.”

Well, I wonder what the influence of America is in the real world? Here’s a chart by Ezra Klein evaluating 16 countries we deal with:

Gee… looks like they like us. As a matter of fact, some countries like us very much… and they really like Obama:

 

Pakistan, however, seems to go more for Romney. Why? Because he criticizes Obama’s mid-east accomplishments?

Very Interesting.

 

Some words about this blog and me…

I often get e-mail from folks out there in the web world who want to know about Under The LobsterScope and why I keep it going and put a major part of each day into it. It is for that reason that I’ve decided to say a few things that will clarify my relationship with UTL and, perhaps, encourage you to get involved as a commentor.

I started this blog through another editing site, Blogspot, during the 2004 presidential election year. I did several thousand entries over five years or so and then something happened. For some reason, someone got into my blog at Blogspot and did some fairly confusing stuff leaving it impossible for me to post on. I cancelled my relationship with Blogspot and over 4000 posts ago I started UTL up again through WordPress where it remains today.

While I was interested in electoral politics (originally in Maryland before my wife and I moved to West Virginia), my biggest interest at the time – and even now, a little – was in theatre directing. I got to do a couple of musicals and some plays at local community theatres and spent a lot of time attending theatre events (one of the reasons we moved to the Shepherdstown, WV, area was to be closer to the Contemporary American Theater Festival which we attend every year.

I also have a great interest in the visual arts… Elly’s background is as a painter and visual artist. That means heading off to galleries locally, in DC and other places. Add to the visual stuff an interest in music and poetry and dance. The arts in general are very important parts of my life.

As to politics, during the past couple of years beginning with the election of Barack Obama, I have become more and more an active Democrat and have felt it is my obligation, since this is a published item read by thousands of people a week, to expose the really awful things Republicans and extreme conservatives are trying to pull off.

Several of you have also noted that I often expose dangerous things being done by religious organizations. As you probably know I am a non-believer… an atheist, a humanist… and cannot understand how people with developed intellectual capacity can believe this stuff. I have no problem exposing things that might make readers see what I see. I am, however, as opposed to pushing my atheism on others as I am of them pushing their religious beliefs on me.

Now that my current age and health keeps me in the house most of the days of the week, I have much time to read other web sites, magazines and other publications, many of which I quote or comment on in the blog. On an average day I do at least 5 posts.

I have established some regular features in this blog that I hope you enjoy. Cartoon(s) of the Week is the one people think of first when I talk about regular features. I have been interested in editorial cartoons for many years. During the current election I have regularly been posting poll results which I see by the search term roundups many of you are looking for. And, of course, there is my regular posting of celebrity obituaries.

If there is any kind of post I do that you would like to see become a regular feature, just let me know and it’s likely to happen.

- Bill

 

A Quote for the Day – On the success of Obama

This was released in the new issue of The New Yorker as its Editors announced their endorsement for Barack Obama:

“The President has achieved a run of ambitious legislative, social, and foreign-policy successes that relieved a large measure of the human suffering and national shame inflicted by the Bush Administration. Obama has renewed the honor of the office he holds.”

- Editors of The New Yorker

You can read the whole endorsement right HERE.

 

A quote for the day… from 68 Nobel Prize Winners

68 former Nobel Prize winning scientists have endorsed Barack Obama for the Presidency. Their feelings were published in “An Open Letter to the American People.” Here is a quote from that letter:

“America’s economic future, the quality of our health, and the quality of our environment depend on our ability to continue America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention. As winners of the Nobel Prizes in science, we are proud of our contribution to the extraordinary advances American science has made in recent years. But we’re deeply concerned that without leadership and continued commitment to scientific research the next generation of Americans will not make and benefit from future discoveries.

“President Obama understands the key role science has played in building a prosperous America, has delivered on his promise to renew our faith in science-based decision making and has championed investment in science and technology research that is the engine of our economy. He has built strong programs to educate young Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and programs to provide Americans the training they need to keep pace with a technology-driven economy.

If you believe, as we do, that America’s future is bound in essential ways to science and innovation, we urge you to join us in working to ensure the reelection of President Obama.”

You can find the entire letter here. I would urge you to read it… and pass it around.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – OK, the campaign is almost over but Romney has made an impression…

Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News:

And Monday night we’ll hear his foreign policy ideas…

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David Fitzsimmons in the Arizona Daily Star:

Then again, Romney seems to present the Voter’s Right To Choose.

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David Horsey in the L. A. Times:

Is there anything Romney won’t switch positions on?

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Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune

Winning and Losing causes great party differences…

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Matt Bors in the Portland Mercury:

And he keeps up his attempt to get women’s votes…

 

 

Wow! The Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Obama over Romney!

Here’s a surprise… the biggest Mormon area newspaper is endorsing Obama… here’s part of their editorial:

Obama has earned another term

Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state.

But it was Romney’s singular role in rescuing Utah’s organization of the 2002 Olympics from a cesspool of scandal, and his oversight of the most successful Winter Games on record, that make him the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son.

In short, this is the Mitt Romney we knew, or thought we knew, as one of us.

Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.

 

So what is Romney and his bunch thinking after this editorial? Certainly he must feel betrayed… or maybe he will start seeing himself the way the rest of us see him as he switches from character to character.

Romney elected would mean the end of Roe v. Wade and the criminalization of abortion…

From this morning’s editorial in the NY Times:

Mr. Romney has called for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to make her own childbearing decisions and to legalized abortion nationwide. He has said that the issue should be thrown back to state legislatures. The actual impact of that radical rights rollback is worth considering.

It would not take much to overturn the Roe decision. With four of the nine members of the Supreme Court over 70 years old, the next occupant of the White House could have the opportunity to appoint one or more new justices. If say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member, retired and Mr. Romney named a replacement hostile to abortion rights, the basic right to abortion might well not survive.

The result would turn back the clock to the days before Roe v. Wade when abortion was legal only in some states, but not in others. There is every indication that about half the states would make abortion illegal within a year of Roe being struck down, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenges abortion restrictions around the country, puts the number at 30 states. For one thing, abortion bans already on the books in some states would suddenly kick in. And some Republican-controlled state legislatures would outlaw abortion immediately.

Even with Roe and subsequent decisions upholding abortion rights, more than half the states have enacted barriers like mandatory waiting periods, “counseling” sessions lacking a real medical justification; parental consent or notification laws; and onerous clinic “safety” rules intended to drive clinics out of business.

We do not need to guess about the brutal consequences of overturning Roe. We know from our own country’s pre-Roe history and from the experience around the world. Women desperate to end a pregnancy would find a way to do so. Well-to-do women living in places where abortion is illegal would travel to other states where it is legal to obtain the procedure. Women lacking the resources would either be forced by the government and politicians to go through with an unwanted or risky pregnancy, attempt to self-abort or turn to an illegal — and potentially unsafe — provider for help. Women’s health, privacy and equality would suffer. Some women would die.

…and women still have the ability to get Obama re-elected and protect their right to choose. I’m always amazed at middle-class Republican women who support Romney. Essentially they are making themselves potential victims.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – What do the Republican Candidates do to communicate their positions?

David Horsey in the L.A. Times:

So Biden kept his presence and Ryan kept up his lies…

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Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News:

It is clear Biden chewed him up…

Joe Heller in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

And, of course, the lowering of the jobless rate throws a scare into Republicans for Halloween…

Lee Judge in the Kansas City Star:

And more numbers are getting into the election confusion…

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Do you wonder why Ryan wants to take away our government support and replace it with advertising?

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Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

But we are left with a candidate who can be anything we want…but with no substance.

When Romney questions Obama’s achievements, remember what the Congress did to most of his proposals.

 

No Congress has ever done to a President what the Republicans in the Senate and the House have. Given the House’s Republican majority and the Senate’s need for 60% of votes to avoid filibuster, the President has been a victim of politicians who put their party ahead of the needs of Americans.

Take a look:

 

And if you listen to Romney accuse Obama for not making enough happen, wonder why he is not aware of the stance taken by his fellow Republicans in elected office.

 

Why Obama Now…

An animation by Simpsons/Family Guy animator Lucas Gray:

Pass it around. It sums up the issues very well…very understandably. Entertaining, too.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Does Big Bird sum up the Debate?

 

Jeff Danziger in the L. A. Times:

So what is memorable from the debate?

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Robert McKee in the Augusta Chronicle:

Are the issues food or labor?

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Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

Did you see them serve up their achievements or potentials?

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Clay bennet in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

As displayed by his announcement to cure the deficit by dropping PBS and Big Bird.

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Gary McCoy for Universal Press Syndicate:

Oh well… Halloween is coming. Do you think we can forget politics for a while?

We don’t have Frank Zappa to advise us anymore… but we do have Gail

Records on wheels, Toronto, sept. 24 1977

 

 

This is for all folks getting involved in politics and for women in particular. Gail Zappa calls up the spirit of her late husband, Frank Zappa:

 

 

Many of us have missed Frank for years and celebrate Zappadan every year. It’s nice to hear from Gail in this season of political madness.

 

 

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – As Romney gets closer to the debates…

Tony Auth of Newsworks.org:

Romney plans health care for the 47%…

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Rob Rogers in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:

Is Romney sure he wants to cut off about half the contributors?

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Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

Isn’t Romney the king of mixed messages?

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Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

At least he has Ryan to depend on…

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David Horsey in the L.A. Times:

Now if he could avoid the bad dreams…

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Romney had a bad week…

 

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

Elegance does not equal mistaken idea…

 

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Adam Zyglis in The Buffalo News:

The major element of this one speech brought Romney’s campaign to a halt…

 

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Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

And Romney’s image is that of a horse’s ass…

 

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Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

Unlike previous wealthy candidates, Romney ignores the average American…

 

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Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

So, his image even makes the rich lose hope in his campaign.

 

 

The next time Romney says Obama did nothing to create jobs, introduce him to Mitch McConnell…

 

Thanks To Connecticut Against Linda McMahon

The President’s Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 would have spent $1 billion over five years to put veterans to work tending to federal lands, and in the nation’s police and fire departments. Created by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), it was based on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Republicans say they opposed the bill because there is no proof that it would work. Forty Republican members of the United States Senate betrayed veterans when they decided that denying President Obama a victory was more important than spending $1 billion to create jobs for vets.

It doesn’t matter to most Senate Republicans that the CCC put 2.5 million people to work. When confronted with an actual jobs program for America’s vets, including the 220,000 who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority of Republicans claimed the plan, which was already offset, was too expensive.

This is all part of Mitch McConnell’s stated goal to let Obama accomplish nothing. In so doing, he has made America worse. Here’s hoping vets in Kentucky make sure he loses the election.

 

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