Dateline: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The first of the Presidential Debates between Invisible Obama and Invisible Mitt will take place in Brodie, California. Brodie is a Ghost Town, a holdover from the glory days of the California Gold Rush, where such towns sprang up overnight, and were abandoned just as quickly when the ore ran out. Brodie was selected for its remoteness and lack of a living population.
Tweeter: Before we get going on tonight’s topics, which include the economy, health care and the role of government and governing, I want to ask each of you what you’ve done to prepare for tonight’s debates. Mitt?
IM: I’ve been doing a lot of aerobics. It really helps shake things up, so I can get a new position on everything.
IO: Me? I’ve just been doing a lot of leg lifts to stay in shape. (chuckles)
Tweeter: Mitt, I see you’re beginning with a blank slate. Any comment?
IM: I am fully prepared to take any position on anything you ask.
Tweeter: With that, let’s get started. First up is the economy. We had a booming economy when President Clinton left office. The budget was balanced, and we were even paying down the national debt. Eight years later, we were running massive deficits, the floor was falling out from under the stock market. hundreds of thousands of workers were being laid off each month. Invisible Obama, what have you done in the past three and a half years to turn this country around?
IO: Not enough, Tweeter. Yes, I got a stimulus bill through, but it was barely enough to keep the country from sliding into a Great Depression. But I had to agree to letting the very same people who drove the economy over the cliff keep their massive Bush Tax Cuts…that’s the only way I can ever get anything past the Republicans in the Senate.
IM: There you go, blaming Republicans for your failed policies. The stimulus didn’t work because it didn’t cut taxes enough, it didn’t cut regulations enough. If you really want to stimulate the economy, you have to stop taxing the job creators and get rid of wasteful government regulations. Now I’m all for children. God knows Ann popped out enough of them. But why keep them out of the labor force? Why not let them, if they’re industrious enough, go out and get a job and start taking advantage of all the opportunities this Great Country has to offer to get ahead in life. I’m a prime example of pulling myself up by my own bootstraps and making a name for myself.
IO: As I was saying before my illustrious opponent interrupted me, I have had to deal with Republican obstructionism in the Senate since Day One. That’s why I need to be re-elected, so I can continue to do the same things, only this time, I hope the voters toss out the ten Republicans that are up for re-election this year.
IM: (chuckling) Good luck with that! Zing! Oops, wasn’t supposed to say that.
IO: And I suppose you can do better?
Someone sent me this link to an article where anonymous claims to have “hacked the IRS database” and retrieved Romney’s tax records. It is really funny.
Here’s a few excepts that caught my eye:
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul stated last week that “there has been no year in which Romney paid zero taxes”. In 2008, this was true. He earned $23,425,316 and paid $412.18 in federal income taxes. This calculates to a federal tax rate of 0.0018%. How did Romney get his tax burden so low? According to his return, he had approximately $23,407,000 in itemized deductions. These deductions ranged from $78,923 for “Toupee Creators Unlimited” and $41,826 for “Spray-on tan services” to a $3.8 million dollar write-off for a trip to Las Vegas with potential campaign donors. The Romney family also paid salaries to their numerous employees including, two yacht captains, three pilots for their private jets, two professional dog walkers, one toupee stylist and a “live-in contortionist”. What someone does with a live-in contortionist, one can only speculate. However, the $891,064 Romney spent on an “EWS Donor Party at the Pennsylvania Mansion” might give us a clue. While the return does not indicate what “EWS” stands for, given that the deducted supplies for the party included “Venetian masks, alcohol, lubricant and various Egyptian leather accessories” it was most likely an “Eyes Wide Shut” party.
And then there is this part:
In addition to his wild nights, Romney also deducted health related expenses. These included $127,000 for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for a condition termed “Pseudologia fantastica” also known as Compulsive Liar Syndrome. This may explain why the Republican nominee’s views seem to change dramatically depending on his audience. In fact, his recent string of political gaffes may be the direct result of his inability to keep up with the many competing “truths” he has spoken over the past year. According to noted Psychiatrist Bryan King, “Pathological liars seem utterly sincere about their lies, but if confronted with facts to the contrary, will often just as sincerely reverse their story.” According to Politifact, a news organization that researches the veracity of politician’s statements, only 16% of Romney’s examined statements were found to be completely true.
Enjoy the laughs.
Guest host for this episode of Saturday Night Live was Alec Baldwin.
This is far more enjoyable to watch than the real thing… It will make you laugh, it will make you squirm.. Pretty much like the actual debates!
Lyrics by Insidiousprophet and posted with permission.
Hail, hail America,
Land of such greed,
Owned by corporations,
The bankers and Wall Street….
Unemployment in the millions,
Our jobs shipped overseas,
Wage war on the middle class,
The homeless fill the streets….
Represent the lobbyists,
Bailing out the banks,
Throw money at the war machine,
To wage war instead of peace….
Hail, hail America,
Land of the deceived,
Send our troops to foreign lands,
To die for corporate greed….
Tax cuts for the wealthy,
Austerity for the rest,
Pushed to the brink of poverty,
They cry out in protest….
Death to democracy,
The black robes have decided,
The fascists smile with glee….
Hail, hail America….
Hail, hail America….
Hail, hail America….
Hail, hail America….
The Zoo has obtained an advance copy of President Obama’s upcoming 2011 State of the Union Speech from an anonymous source. After vetting the copy using the same thorough vetting processes employed by renowned Fox News, we found it to be an authentic original draft of Obama’s intended remarks penned by his own hand on cocktail napkins from The Founding Father’s Bar and Grill.
STATE OF THE UNION, JANUARY 25, 2011
My Fellow Americans, Members of Congress, Members of the Press Corps and The Supremes Supreme Court Justices,
It is my obligation and duty under the Constitution of the United States to tell you all the State of the Union. And, as I stand here today, I can honestly tell you, the Union is fucked. We’re broke. We can’t pay our bills. And the only tax package Congress will pass is one that puts us further in the shithole.
Ten years ago, our country was in the black. We not only had a balanced budget, but we were actually paying down the National Debt. Now, I’m not usually one to talk smack about anybody, but President Bush blew it big-time. The first thing he did was to cut taxes for his wealthy buddies and put this country in the red. Then he attacked two countries, and paid for those wars with money he borrowed from Red China. Red China!
So, here we are, the Greatest Free Country in the World, and we owe our asses to the biggest Communist Country in the World. Like I said, we’re fucked.
And don’t get me started about education. Ten years of No Child Left Behind has cranked out the stupidest voting population ever. I mean, how else can you explain putting Republicans in charge of the Nation’s purse strings when it was the Republican Party who bankrupted this country in the first place? Now they want to take Jefferson out of American History and put a Calvinist Preacher in. They want to replace our science curriculum with a faith-based science education, so that when our kids ask ‘what makes this work’ or ‘what causes that’, the answer will always be “God.” Well God isn’t going to save our asses when we run out of oil and don’t have the technology in place for alternative energy sources. God isn’t going to clean up the pollution we create that’s slowly cooking our asses. We have to. But we don’t have the will to. We’re fucked.
And finally, I have to talk about the rise in violent rhetoric these past couple of years. You can’t put gun-sights on the districts of your opponents and not expect that some deranged nutbag isn’t going to act on your suggestion. You can’t talk about “Second Amendment Solutions,” about resorting to the Bullet Box instead of the Ballot Box, without knowing that there are crazy people out there, crazy people with access to assault rifles and 30-round clips of ammo, crazy people who, if they don’t get their way, would just as soon shoot everyone in sight. But you-all voted to end the ban on assault rifles, end the ban on these mega clips of ammo, then you go and talk this crazy-assed shit about targeting your opponents. Then you get all defensive and fake-horrified if someone actually does what you instigated. We’re fucked because we’ve got no system in place to keep crazy people from getting their hands on killer assault rifles. Now let me tell you something. I can give a good speech and talk about toning it down, and about coming together and have a Kum Bye Ya moment. But sooner or later some nutbag is going to seek revenge, and it’ll be YOUR house with the “Surveyor’s Marks” on it. Maybe then you’ll realize: you’re fucked.
But that brings me to another point. We’ve just seen the first politically motivated killings in quite some time. A nine-year old girl got shot in the back, because she happened to be at the wrong place. No parent should have to go through what her parents are going through. A federal judge, gunned down. A member of the House of Representatives critically wounded with a bullet through her brain. Six people dead and over a dozen wounded by someone who thought that government was the enemy. And he’s not the only one who thinks that way. That’s been the message from one side of the aisle since Reagan.
I talked to my kids about it. And Joe talked to his kids about it. And we came to the only reasonable conclusion we could: We’re not going to take a bullet for this country. We’re not going to see our kids take a bullet, either. And we’re not going to ask the good men and women in the Secret Service to take a bullet for us either. This country is just too damned fucked for it to be worth it.
Now I’ve spoken with the incoming Republican Majority in the House and they’ve assured me that unless they get their way, they’re going to shut this country down. And they can do it. They’re in charge of passing the budget, and the only budget they’re going to pass will gut the federal government, gut your social security and destroy the economy of the nation so that their rich cronies can take trillions of dollars out of this country and put it into their off-shore trust accounts. And they can do it. Absolutely, without a doubt, they will destroy this country in order to get their way. We’re fucked, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
But there is something Joe and I can do. We can quit. In fact, that’s the only way to keep the Republicans from shutting down this whole country in the next few weeks. So, effective immediately, both Joe and I submit our resignations. By operation of law, John Boehner, the Speaker of the House is now your President. Now you’re really fucked!
This is our Open Thread. Feel free to write on this or any other topic that comes to mind.
The media questions Rolling Stone’s access to Stanley McChrystal, and Gretchen Carlson knows what it’s like to have Obama’s tough job. She makes “executive decisions” on a daily basis. Fortunately for us, her decisions have no impact on governing our nation.
This comedy sketch of Barack Obama being visited by ‘presidents past’ features the talents of comedians Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey, Cheny Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Dana Carvey, Fred Armisen, Darrell Hammond, and Maya Randolph, under the direction of director Ron Howard. Found at Funny Or Die.
This is far too precious to hide away in a comment on an open thread.
In her first trip to the region, the former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin addressed an annual conference of investors in Hong Kong in what was billed as a wide-ranging talk about governance, economics and U.S. and Asian affairs.
The Zoo’s regular contributor and guest-blogger 5thstate has issued a transcript of the speech as it could have been. As no journalists were allowed in at that event, we will have to take 5thstate at his word, you betcha!
It’s really great to be here in this great nation of Hong Kong with all you patriotic Kongans to tell ya about governance, economics and U.S. and the Asian affairs also.
Ya kno Todd is part Eskimo so he’s just like ya, except he’s a much better driver.
I’m going to call it like I see it and I will share with you candidly a view right from Main Street, Main Street U.S.A., from where you can see those pesky Russians from and how perhaps my view of Main Street , how that affects you and your business, because as Governor of Alaska government interference got us into this mess in the first place in the respect that proud Alaskans like me aren’t interested in government fixes, we’re interested in freedom and the Reaganomics also and those things that Margaret Thatcher did in the Kingdom of Britain as well so now 10 months later, though, a lot of Americans are asking: more government? Is that the change we want?
Because that fella said some nebulous utopian sounding things with his health care reforms and death panels that infringe on private enterprise that real Americans aren’t comfortable with and it’s also like the Uighurs and the Han goin’ at-it but ya know ya just don’t seem to have any mechanisms to deal with regional ethnic issues and maybe you should get some of those ethnic mechanics also, too, don’tcha think? So that’s a business opportunity that can affect you in this great state of Asia without government interference interfering with your governance and freedom like I’ve been fighting for in the great state of Alaska also in that respect because it is in the interest of our safety for China to work out its contradictions and ya know we hope for china to rise responsibly because that fella in the White House over there is cutting the defense budget whilst I’ve seen Russia beef up when I go jogging and I bet you’ve seen China doing the same thing because its got to be about jobs also and if it weren’t for America’s commitment to security in this region your economic prosperity wouldn’t be on account of those missiles pointed at Taiwan and we don’t want a one-nation Asia do we?
But I’m glad the press isn’t here makin’ things-up, like I’m trying to burnish my foreign policy credentials, because I’m just here to benefit my knowledge base and defray some legal bills, you betcha.
So, do you like to fly? (MsJoanne, I had you in mind..) Doesn’t sound like Prague is a great place to fly into if you are traveling around the world…
Does anyone remember CNN’s Bobbi Batista? She was one of CNN’s main anchors during the 1980s and 1990s. She’s now anchoring at The Onion News Network!
She apologizes to Elaine Sutler, who suffered debilitating paper cuts from holding up her message of choice. To Amanda who came down with pneumonia from standing in the rain protesting my marriage. To George Binder whose mind was so tragically blown by the idea of two gays getting married that he has to spend the rest of his life wearing this hat.
Look very closely at the dog that is wrapped in the Prop 8 sign, by his butt is a McCain/Palin Sticker =)
From Raw Story:
The Daily Show’s Jason Jones talked to two pastors who say Barack Obama is not who he appears to be. Rev. Daniel Blair thinks that the President is the antichrist. “Obama is actually going to lead the world to worship him,” explained Blair.
Pastor Dr. James David Manning who disagrees with the idea that Obama is the antichrist. “Obama is indeed Hitler,” Manning told Jones.
Here’s a scene – the lunchtime ‘rap’ - from the film “Bulworth” with Warren Beatty. Classic, brilliant film!
H/T: Crooks & Liars
Beatty put his finger on the sore spot in (American) politics: money corrupts, as does power, and most often the two go hand in hand. Written off by some as “unrealistic” Beatty chose the only format that could work to bring the message home, without preaching: satire.
By letting the story border on the absurd in places, by walking that very thin line between politically correct and politically incorrect he vented his frustrations about the state of politics – even the state of the nation.
I haven’t seen this film in years. It came out in 1998, and yet, it could have come out last week.. Nothing seems to ever really change when it comes to politics and money. Of course this is just a film, but how refreshing (and hilarious) to see a politician break out and just tell it like it is..
Oh, America. Eight years went by so fast, didn’t they? I feel like I hardly got to know you and methodically undermine everything you once stood for. But I guess all good things must come to an end, and even though you know I would love to stick around for another year or four—maybe privatize Social Security or get us into Iran—I’m afraid it’s time to go. But before I leave, let me say, from the bottom of my heart: I can’t think of another country I would’ve rather led to the brink of collapse.
Boy, oh boy, if these Oval Office walls could talk. Seems like it was only yesterday that I started my first term despite having actually lost to Al Gore by more than a half million votes. Hmm. We were all so young and peaceful then. Gosh, gas was still under $2 a gallon! On my watch it peaked at more than twice that. Never getting it up to $6 or ideally $7.50 will be one of my few regrets when I leave office.
It’s just gonna be so hard packing up my things and heading off into the sunset come January. I wish I could go on forever giving massive and disastrous tax cuts to the wealthy, taking the country from a surplus to a deficit—nearly $500 billion this year, likely to pass $1 trillion next year, fingers crossed—and just generally doing irreparable damage to the very underpinnings of our economy, but, well, I’m afraid the Constitution says I can’t. And not even I can overrule the Constitution. Though Lord knows I tried! Initiating blanket wiretaps without warrants, suspending habeas corpus for prisoners in Guantanamo, infiltrating an unknown number of nonviolent civilian antiwar groups without permission… such wonderful memories. I’m going to cherish them forever.
My fellow Americans, I only hope that every time you have your civil liberties encroached upon by the Patriot Act, you’ll think of me.
A history lesson starting back in 1953 to present. Brilliant!
There is the 20-50-30 theory as presented by Price Prichett and Ron Pound in their book “High-Velocity Culture Change”. Translated, it means that 20% of people will buy into change immediately. Another 50%, will be undecided and the remaining 30% will always be anti-change. This piece is about anti-change.
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.
Why was this used?
Because that’s the way they built them in England and English expatriates built the US Railroads.
Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
Why did “they” use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads?
Ready for this one? Continue reading
Jonathan Alter explains Barack Obama wants to redraw the social contract the way FDR did. He also sticks up for Keith Olbermann.
[Alter]: “There’s a place for ranting in America”
Today, Bill Clinton was campaigning for Barack Obama in Florida. During his speech, he mentioned a “post turtle”. Not all of us are from Arkansas and may not know what a post turtle is. Here’s an explanation.
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.
Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.
The old rancher said, “Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.”
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.
The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, it’s a post turtle.”
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain.
Stories literally ripped from the Headlines.
New Report Exonerates White House
In 18 months of searching, JDI General Glenn Fine and OPR chief Jarrett have uncovered absolutely nothing in the new e-mail messages which do not hint at any involvement by the White House lawyers and political aides in the firings of nine federal prosecutors two years ago.They however want to probe deeper because key officials are willing to be interviewed and there is a critical timeline being drafted by the White House. Fred in our situation room has the latest updates on this important late breaking report.
Breaking News: The Onion reports that McCain has a New Economic Plan
The McCain Campaign has released a new YouTube video. Tucker Bounds talked to CNN this morning saying “This important message needs to go viral.” The new Economic Plan video is entitled “Everyone Marry a Beer Heiress”. We have a link to this important campaign announcement.
Don’t Underestimate Palin
Sarah Palin’s aide talked to me this morning in confidence about Palin’s high-level negotiations with Canada and Russia. Nancy also let the cat out of bag when she said “Palin has been brushing up on Foreign Policy issues for the upcoming debate on Thursday.” Nancy alluded to Sarah Palin’s new feisty attitude, can be attributed to the fact now she knows a second Supreme Court case besides Roe vs Wade. I asked what Sarah’s plans were after Thursday’s debate; Ms. Pfotenhauer said she is planning on having tea with Putin on Friday. Topic of discussion will be Palin warning him to stay out of Alaskan airspace. For more details on Palin’s Canadian Negotiations, Tucker Bounds has the latest scoop.
Palin Is Not Being Sequestered
Politico reported today that Palin is being hidden, large chunks of time in Palin’s public schedules have gone mostly unaccounted for since John McCain gave her the nod. According to her handlers, that is just simply not true. They showed me a photo of Republican nominee Palin as she talks to reporters outside of Engine Company 10. Palin’s schedule is heavy on media interviews and fundraisers because she is so popular with the independents, said her campaign-aide. Before the aide hung up the phone I could hear her say to Tucker “that damn liberal media is at it again.” Data in the situation room has more on this story. (We have Data on loan for this week from the cast of Strek Trek Next Generation)
Thanks to DailyKos for the picture.
Urges Comprehensive Debate Bailout Package
Saying that “desperate times call for desperate measures,” GOP presidential nominee John McCain announced today that he would personally bail out of Friday’s scheduled presidential debate.
“As of today, I am officially bailing out of the debate,” Sen. McCain told reporters in Washington today. “And I invite Sen. Obama to join me in this bailout effort.”
Sen. McCain said he would be putting together what he called “a comprehensive debate bailout package,” which could include bailing out of the other two scheduled debates as well.
When asked what motivated his dramatic bailout proposal, Sen. McCain said, “When I woke up this morning and I saw those terrible numbers, I knew that a bailout was necessary to keep those numbers from getting worse.”
Mr. McCain refused to answer a reporter’s question about whether he was talking about economic numbers or poll numbers, saying, “I am bailing out of any response to that question.”
GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said that she would join in her running mate’s bailout effort by bailing out of her debate with Delaware senator Joseph Biden.
In a campaign stop in Michigan, Gov. Palin detailed a series of bold initiatives, including building a twenty-foot-high fence between her and the press.