Midday open thread

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 14-10-2012-05-2008


  • To those in the media who are upset that we Democrats keep calling Romney and Ryan liars, I’ll offer my own personal deal: if they’ll stop lying, I’ll stop calling them liars.
  • The Rude One on the Vice Presidential debate:

    Mostly, though, think of the debate this way: In 2008, Joe Biden, who smiled at Sarah Palin the way one does at a particularly precocious toddler, had to hold his fire for fear of seeming sexist or bullying to the then-governor. He got to unload on Ryan. And all those years in the Senate, all those years confronting presidents, all of it came to bear last night as he beat down Ryan viciously and mercilessly. Ryan is the perfect product of Republican America, someone who grew up in the Reagan era in a protected bubble, who learned at the knee of conservatives and worked for people like Sam Brownback, a man whose philosophy is a synthesis of cruel social conservatism and bastardized Ayn Rand. In other words, he is everything Joe Biden has fought against. Of course Biden was gonna cut off this puffed up punk at the knees. That Ryan asshole brought up a fatal car crash in front of the guy who lost his wife and daughter in one. Shit, when it was done, you half-expected the Vice President to brush his shoulder.

    It is probably Biden’s last time on the big stage. Give the bright-toothed guy his victory lap.

  • digby:

    The Republicans are predictably having a case of the vapors over that horrible Joe Biden’s terrible manners, which is hilarious from the people who had no problem with Newt Gingrich browbeating the moderators to their faces or audience members screaming out “yeah!” when Wolf Blitzer asking if people who don’t have insurance should die. To hear them go on today, fainting couches have sold out all over the country.

    Like all petty little bullies, the Republicans hate most when someone fights back.

  • Krugman:

    Mr. Obama’s camp argues for an active government role; his last major economic proposal, the American Jobs Act, would have tried to accelerate recovery by sustaining public spending and putting money in the hands of people likely to use it. Republicans, on the other hand, insist that the path to prosperity involves sharp cuts in government spending.

    And Republicans are dead wrong.

    The latest devastating demonstration of that wrongness comes from the International Monetary Fund, which has just released its World Economic Outlook, a report combining short-term prediction with insightful economic analysis. This report is a grim and disturbing document, telling us that the world economy is doing significantly worse than expected, with rising risks of global recession. But the report isn’t just downbeat; it contains a careful analysis of the reasons things are going so badly. And what this analysis concludes is that a disproportionate share of the bad news is coming from countries pursuing the kind of austerity policies Republicans want to impose on America.

  • Marcy Wheeler distills Romney-Ryan misogyny into one small headline:

    Corporations Are People, and Beans Are People, But Healthy Women Are Not People

  • Keep an eye on this:

    Mitt Romney’s campaign and its Republican allies are set to outspend the president’s campaign and allied Democratic groups by more than $18 million on the airwaves just this week, according to data provided by a Democratic source.

    The disparity, with Republicans spending $41.7 million and Democrats spending $23.5 million, illustrates a strategic gamble on behalf of the GOP presidential nominee to bury President Barack Obama and burn past him during the closing weeks of the campaign.

  • In praise of Pacific Northwest Indian tribes:

    Many environmental groups and green-minded politicians in the Pacific Northwest are already on record as opposing a wave of export terminals proposed from here to the south-central coast of Oregon, aiming to ship coal to Asia. But in recent weeks, Indian tribes have been linking arms as well, citing possible injury to fishing rights and religious and sacred sites if the coal should spill or the dust from its trains and barges should waft too thick.

    And as history has demonstrated over and over, especially in this part of the nation, from protecting fish habitats to removing dams, a tribal-environmental alliance goes far beyond good public relations. The cultural claims and treaty rights that tribes can wield — older and materially different, Indian law experts say, than any argument that the Sierra Club or its allies might muster about federal air quality rules or environmental review — add a complicated plank of discussion that courts and regulators have found hard to ignore.

    The coal plan could not be more stupid, from the local pollution it would cause to its promotion of the dirtiest form of energy production. Here’s how to get involved.

  • This will work:

    Late last year, the country’s bank regulators launched a massive program to evaluate millions of foreclosure cases and compensate homeowners who fell victim to the banks’ flawed or illegal practices. Regulators dubbed it the “Independent Foreclosure Review” to emphasize that the banks would not be making key decisions about loans they had made or serviced.

    But a raft of evidence — internal Bank of America memos and emails obtained by ProPublica, interviews with two bank staff members who have worked on the review, and little-noticed documents released late last year by a federal banking regulator — throw the independence of the review into serious doubt. Together, they indicate that Bank of America — the financial giant with the largest number of homeowners eligible for the program — is performing much of the work itself.

    The ultimate decision as to whether and how much a homeowner will be compensated is not made by Bank of America, the evidence shows, but is based largely on work that the bank itself performs. One current employee called that crucial judgment “only a matter of double checking” the bank’s work.

  • More fallout from the attempt to smear climate scientists:

    David Schnare is a climate change denier, right-wing activist, and lawyer, and he works for the conservative “free market” think tank American Tradition Institute (ATI). Evidence has come to light suggesting that Schnare acted unethically during the course of a recently settled legal battle over access to private emails exchanged among university based climate scientists. In particular, Schnare may have worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the same time he was engaged with work at ATI, without the required permission.

    As a general rule, when people are so depraved as to deny the basic scientific facts about the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced, they will behave unethically.

  • Lindsay Beyerstein:

    Next time some Republican starts griping about lazy public employees sucking up taxpayer dollars, remind them of Dave Wineland, a 37-year veteran of the Department of Commerce, who shared this year’s Nobel Prize in physics

  • Nothing to see here:

    At a meeting with New England commercial fishermen last December, physical oceanographers Glen Gawarkiewicz and Al Plueddemann from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) were alerted by three fishermen about unusually high surface water temperatures and strong currents on the outer continental shelf south of New England.

    “I promised them I would look into why that was happening,” Gawarkiewicz says.

    The result of his investigation was a discovery that the Gulf Stream diverged well to the north of its normal path beginning in late October 2011, causing the warmer-than-usual ocean temperatures along the New England continental shelf.

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