Monday, December 31, 2012

For Republican pols, no place like home

Just saw a report that the Republican lunatics in the U.S. House are planning to go home without voting on any Fiscal Cliff deal passed by the Senate, thereby guaranteeing  most Americans  an unhappy New Year.  I want my country back.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How Renacci links Newtown and 9/11

We shouldn't let the year end without recalling the voice of Rep. Jim Renacci, Wadsworth, Oh., Republican, who found a way to join gun control, which he opposes, with  9/11.  Although the logic leaps, it at least shows you the evasive ways  of the pro-gun politicians who object to  the calls for even modest controls following the Newtown tragedy while pretending to be responsibly thoughtful about the issue.

In a statement reported by the Beacon Journal, Renacci argued that although 9/11 was carried out by religious extremists, there was no outcry to "erase our First Amendment right to free exercise of religion".  Funny that no one thought about it that way at the time.

You can see where this is going.

The same Constitutional standard, he says, should be applied to the Second Amendment. In other words, don't tinker with  the right to bear arms.  Rather, he opines,  the nation's collective  mental health should be the No. 1 priority because the massacres of  9/11 and Newtown's kids were carried out  by "madmen,  not by our Founding Fathers  or our Constitution."

The comparison was invidious, but we're getting used to such high-minded obscurities by the Renaccis  on Capitol Hill.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

When friends meet to ring in the new...

The guy on the left was a Christmas gift from a 47 percenter;  the one on the right was a gift at an Akron Aeros baseball game. President Obama and Akron Mayor Plusquellic, both of whom are ending  the year as winners.  It was only fitting that they should be together  in this photo-op. Nancy also has a bobblehead of Omar Vizquel, a winner, too.  But for this historic photo,  three would be a crowd.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mitt's painful role as the reluctant dragon to save America

As if Republicans aren't  suffering enough blowback from their whining ever since they lost the election, Tagg Romney has  set more tongues a-wagging by declaring that his dad never really wanted to be president anyway. So there!

Even the overseas media are quoting him these days.  The Daily Mail of London, for example, screamed:  "Tagg Romney makes shocking revelation".   Some Brits complained that Mitt had only succeeded in wasting a lot of conservatives' time.

Shocking?  Well, yes and no.  Tagg, after all, is the same son who once declared that he felt like punching President Obama during the course of the presidential debate with Dad Mitt. As the hostile action of some conservatives goes, that remark was good enough to downgrade the fury of Rick Santorum's disclosure that a speech by President Kennedy made him want to puke.

For anyone caught up in holiday shopping or gift returns,  the critical secret revealed by Tagg went like this:
"He (Papa) wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life.  He had no desire  If he could have found someone else to take his place...he would have been ecstatic to step aside.  He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his  country, but he doesn't love the attention."
"Yeah, right," declared blogger Daily Kos, which further noted that Mitt Romney was "preparing  to run for President of the United States even before he took the oath of office as Governor of Massachusetts 10 years  ago."

Tagg  blames himself and Mom Ann for pressing Mitt onto the painful martyr's  path to save the country from the Obama menace.  And as far as Mitt's failure to find  "someone else to take his place"  there was a phalanx of eager others on the GOP  debate stage who would have gladly accommodated  his hunger for privacy.

NOTE:  Grumpy's column  on the state of today's  newspapers is posted on Plunderbund.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stop misnaming Republican Lincoln Day dinners

While viewing Steven Spielberg's compelling film, "Lincoln",  I couldn't avoid  thinking of the wide gulf between the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln's age and the impostors that have kidnapped the GOP of today. In the 1860s, Republicans were the good guys who supported their president's efforts to preserve the Union and free the slaves.  Lincoln had little hope that he would be reelected.   The Democrats were the bad guys clinging to slavery while engaged in a war of secession.

But in a dramatic reversal of roles,  the capture of the Republican Party by the Tea Partyers and their wealthy enablers has openly abused the Lincoln of wisdom, courage and patriotism (so sensitively  revealed by Daniel Day-Lewis).  There is still silly talk of secession within wacko groups.
And few will deny that racism kept Barack Obama's victory closer than it might have been.  For confirmation, simply check the figures of white-guy voters.

In February, or a little later,  Republicans will stage their traditional Lincoln Day Dinners, often showing preference for right-wing GOP speakers.   The trend by the Summit County GOP, for example,  has featured   such conservative icons  as Mike Huckabee (whom, it says in the invitation, is a "leading favorite to top"  the 2012 presidential ticket;  Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the party's very very conservative Study Committee;  and Rick Santorum, who needs no further introduction.  I have occasionally referred to these misnamed "Lincoln" events as identity  thefts.

 Although I don't expect happier results, may I suggest that now that they have lost the election, the  sponsors of these political stage shows find a new name for the dinners .  The  Norquist Day Dinner?  The LaPierre Day Dinner?  At least this would be a more honest approach and not slander Lincoln in his grave.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Dispatch endorses Kasich for reelection!

The Columbus Dispatch, the bellwether of conservative chatter in Upper Arlington and other spiffy  Republican enclaves, sent a Happy New Year greeting  to Gov. Kasich on Sunday that could easily pass for an endorsement for  the guv's reelection campaign of 2014.

You might ask, "What's the hurry?" Well, in the Dispatch's case, it's never too early to safely  ferry home its politician of choice in a major editorial -  long before anybody even knows the name of his eventual Democratic opponent.

Actually the paper's  enthusiasm for Kasich,  the fellow it endorsed the last time, covered so many positives that we can only conclude that it would take the Wright Brothers to invent any new ones that would rise to greater heights.   Rather than wade through a series of exclamatory compliments in the Dispatch's stargazing passages, you  can quickly get the point in the opening paragraph:
"For Ohio and the governor, 2012 has been a transformative year.  John Kasich sped through his second year with his trademark zeal for getting done the big and difficult things, hardly skipping a beat after  his 2011  reforms stabilized the state."
"The man who once balanced the federal budget, line by line, took a scalpel to the Buckeye spending plan and erased the deficit without raising taxes.  He launched reforms of Medicaid, prisons and job-killing red tape."
It goes on with goose-bumping accolades for Kasich's  education reforms and initiatives for roadbuilding, job growth and balanced budget.

On that last point it was never mentioned the teeniest that part of the balancing act was the  convenience of stripping the school budget by more than $1 billion and, reports  Plunderbund, cutting 50 pct. of the local government fund in his 2013 budget. Public school cuts in teaching staffs, and local school tax levies,  have become commonplace.

Finally, the greatest excision from the governor's  fanfare for his jobs record is acknowledgement of any credit to a growing  national economy and the Obama administration's revival of the auto industry that saved  saved thousands of jobs in Ohio.

The Dispatch did concede  that none of the governor's good deeds rank as highly as the fact that his "most critical accomplishment...rests in the hearts of the many Ohioans who again have hope"  that happier days are here again.

Is it gross to mention that the Dispatch also endorsed George W. Bush and Mitt Romney?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

LaPierre, worse than a bad hair day

Wayne LaPierre, the voice-over for the National Rifle Association, may consider himself an expert on guns,  but he appears to have shot himself in both feet with his news conference that called from armed officers  in every school in America.

Not even the New York Post, owned by world conservative Rupert Murdoch, was comforted by what the NRA had billed as as a "meaningful" solution to such massacres as the  one in Newtown.
The pictured front page speaks for itself.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bolton prepares to head off Hillary at the pass

Dashing all fear that the world would vanish on Friday,  far-sighted Republicans have locked on to a new  calamitous challenge  to them  that could occur  four years from now:  A presidential candidacy by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

With all of the media chatter that Hillary is da first lady-to-be of Democrats, the GOP's ever-vigilant Hard Right is already gathering its battered  forces to deny her of any hope of leading a parade that she has yet to say she would do anyway.

One of the party's leading gorillas,  John Bolton, has thrown down the gauntlet by accusing her of faking a concussion to avoid an appearance before a senate committee probing the Benghazi attack. (He doesn't really know that to be true,  but you can see how this goes..)

You must understand that with guys like Bolton, the former UN ambassador appointed by Condoleezza Rice,  there's never room for professional  courtesies in sickness and in health.   He's a long-time cold warrior, militaristic poker player, Fox News favorite,  and gadabout in conservative think tanks.  He is obviously now the point man in his assault on Clinton to spare the world of another Mayan assumed catastrophe.

 Frankly, it sounds like the GOP is recycling the immodest words  of Sen. Mitch McConnell on Day One of Barack Obama's first presidency that his first duty was to make Obama a one-term president. (We all know how that worked out!)  May we  now assume that  the GOP's most noble vow will be to make Hillary a no-term non-president?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

With Scott, GOP ship of state sails on...

If you happened to read beyond the first paragraph the reports on South Carolina Rep. Tim Scott's appointment to the U.S. Senate, you will learn that (1) he is the first black Republican to serve in that role from the south since 1881 and (2) he is virtually a political clone of retiring conservative Tea Party Sen.  Jim DeMint.

Not only that, we are informed by the New York Times that Scott "first earned his Republican credentials by serving  as a campaign co-chairman  in 1996 for Sen. Strom Thurmond, a onetime segregationist, in his final campaign."

With the defeat of Rep. Allen West of Florida in the November, and the departure of Scott, the GOP House will be without a single black.  But Republicans will now have a single African-American in the Senate.

We can only add that for Republicans, who were wiped out by black voters in November,  it's a start.

Monday, December 17, 2012

And now, the Louie Gohmert awards of 2012

For the past year, I've been building a file  dedicated to  Rep.  Louie Gohmert.  A Texas Republican, he's the congressman least likely to be considered for a Rhodes scholarship.  Not even an invitation to appear on Jeopardy, if you know what I mean.

The file is bulging with tributes to odd and quirky antics and quotes - many of them not elegantly stated, as Mitt would say -  that littered the 2012 political landscape. Shall we begin with the honors?

Most useless right-to-work stunt in the 2012 presidential campaign:  To Paul Ryan, for washing pans that had already been washed in  a soup kitchen run by the St. Vincent De Paul Society during a stop near Youngstown.

Most forgettable  moment in the Republican debates: To Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who  conceded that he could  only remember two of three U.S.  departments he would abolish if he were elected president.

Most stupendous  medical malpractice by pro-life white guys:  The award goes to three  Republican non-physicians:  Rep. Todd Akin, who said a female body would prevent pregnancy from "legitimate rape";  Indiana treasurer Richard Mourdock,  who allowed that pregnancy from rape was God's will; and Foster Friess, a major contributor to Rick Santorum's campaign, who said that in his day, one way to avoid pregnancy was for the ''gals  to put an aspirin  between their knees".

Most spaced-out comment of  the year:  Candidate Newt Gingrich, promising a permanent base station on the moon in his second term in the Oval Office.

Most prolonged ego-trip by a pain-in-the you-know-what birther:  Donald Trump, who was left running in place at the starting gate.

Most detached flag-raiser by a state official:  Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's deepest concern that  restoring early voting was "un-American".

Most insightful political reprieve of the downside of Mitt Romney's wealth:  House Speaker John Boehner's conclusion that Americans  are supportive of rich folks and would vote for Mitt because "they don't want to vote for someone that hasn't been successful."

Most cognitive dissonant statement of the presidential campaign:  Mitt Romney's repeated contention that "the economy is getting it better but Obama made it worse."

Most  in urgent need of a hearing aid in  House of Representatives: Soon- to- exit Rep. Allen West of Florida,  who said he "heard" that there were 80 Communists posing as Democrats in the House.

Most errant description of the Republican comeback team: Michelle Bachmann, describing Romney and Ryan as a "brilliant combination" to carry the GOP banner.

Most ignored warning from a GOP conservative:  Rick Santorum,who described Mitt Romney  as the "worst" possible candidate to get the Republican nomination.

Most Houdini-like escape from his party's exile:   George W. Bush, last mentioned when he flew off to  the Cayman Islands to give a talk on investments.

Most audacious definition of "fair and reasonable":   Doug Preisse, Franklin County GOP chairman, who asserted: "I guess I really actually feel we shouldn't contort the voting process to accommodate the urban - read African-American - voter-turnout machine. Let's be fair and reasonable."

Most descriptive profile of a Republican candidate:  Summit County GOP chairman Alex Arshinkoff, describing  Josh Mandel as a "Jew with balls".

Most chilling statement by a GOP official about an apparent zombie attack:  Maine Republican Chairman Charlie Webster, who said he was astounded by the "dozens,  dozens of black people who voted"  because he personally did not know anyone in town who "knows a black person."   He said he didn't know how that  happened but promised to find out.

And finally, there's ol' Louie Gohmert himself, a right-wing Lone Star  gun-loving operative who  believes that the only solution to gun massacres is to arm all school faculties.  In the wake of the unspeakable Newtown shootings, Louie said if only a fatally wounded teacher had had a gun in her desk, she could have blown off  the head of the shooter.

Or maybe not.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Huckabee plays God card in school massacre

How delusional!

While the nation searched into the deep night for answers to the numbing tragedy that murderously claimed 20 children and seven adults, a prominent preacher who once aspired to the presidency insisted that he can explain it.

Speaking from his favorite pulpit at Fox News, Mike Huckabee unhesitantly played the God card.

By his reasoning, a young man went into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn, armed to the teeth because America has banned God from public schools.

The former Republican presidential candidate put it this way:  "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools.  Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

As the Huffington Post noted, Huckabee has debased rational discourse in the past when such massacres occurred.  "We don't have a crime problem, a gun problem or even a violence problem,"  the preacher said. "What we have is a sin problem" by denying God in our daily lives.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

PolitiFact: Here lies the biggest 2012 lie

Despite his poor showing on Election Day, Mitt Romney has bounced sideways with a national award:  PolitiFact cited him for  spreading the 2012 "lie of the year".  In a business where exaggeration and embellishment are common tools of the trade, Mitt's sin was that he continued to repeat it  even after it was repeatedly shown to be untrue.

In short, he claimed that Chrysler would cost American workers their jobs by moving its Jeep production to China.  PolitiFact described his campaign ads as "brazenly false". So did Chrysler's front office. (An Italian company that has controlling interest in Chrysler said that although China will  start building Jeeps, it would have absolutely no effect on Jeep production in the U.S., which, in fact, is expanding.)

That wasn't good enough for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, one of Romney's top advisors, who's waving to you in the above photo.  He went on CNN just before the election to defend the political handiwork.  "I thought it was an important ad to run,'" Portman said in an effort to convince Ohio voters that President Obama was destroying  the company in America.

But he added:  "It doesn't mean that we'll have fewer jobs here, because hopefully our market will improve here as well, particularly under Mitt Romney if we get an expanding economy"

While we're at it, Talking Points Memo listed  all of the Republicans on Capitol Hill who have pulled away from the Grover Norquist tax pledge.  There is only  one Ohio Republican , retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette, who originally signed it, then backed off.    Portman remains firmly on the signers list.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hooray: Husted says vote fraud is rare

Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Jon  Husted offered his scintillating version of the Husted Hustle to a Washington forum  on Monday to defend his inspired antics to restrict voting in last month's election.    

The Plain Dealer quoted him on the perils of his job, which, in the spirit of the holiday season, I could only respond with a "Ho, ho, ho"  over my morning coffee.    Speaking from his Olympian experience as the state elections chief, Husted  cautioned the panel that controversy comes with a gallant effort to assure maximized access and accuracy in voting. (Others in the GOP have openly declared the whole ugly process was invented to help Mitt Romney.)

Still, Husted  sought the sympathy vote, saying: "If you want to find that balance and run a good controversy-free election, don't become a secretary of state in a swing state."

As one who claims he fought the good fight through the courts all the way to the Supremes, who decided not to hear the case,  Husted said he is simply guilty of defending the law. However, in the Cincinnati Enquirer report, Husted did manage to concede that "vote fraud is a very rare occurrence."

But now that he's mentioned his job as a bad career choice for people   who can't suffer the pain of  controversy, we can only add that we hope he doesn't become the Ohio secretary of state a second time.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dowd: Can anybody love the white guys?

We hope Maureen Dowd got home from the office OK after her scathing attack on white guys in her latest column. More specifically Republican white guys.  Having written earlier about them myself as a peculiar breed of Rambos in a less than complimentary way,   we were happy to find Dowd in an especially hissy state when she wrote:
"The Mayans were right, as it turns out , when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world:  the GOP universe of arrogant, uptight , entitled, bossy,  retrogressive white guys."
I would have added "pugnacious" and "dyspeptic'', but under deadline pressure you can't think of everything.

Dowd was writing about the consequences of Mitt Romney's  disastrously produced presidential campaign that ran aground long before Election Day. (By the fateful day, it is always too late to do anything about it!)  Along the way, Mitt & Co. seemed to go out of the way to satisfy the predominant Caucasion brand of the party  while the GOP stagehands like Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted were enlisted to shrink the Obama turnout by minorities.

While all of this was going on, did no one in the GOP camp notice that Obama was surging ahead with  the same campaign organization that had earned him his  earlier triumph.  Within a year or so, his organizers were setting up shop in Ohio to replicate the first campaign.  So confident of winning was Team Romney that  it didn't come close to catching up with Obama's  textbook  ground organization when Mitt's operatives arrived in the Buckeye State a couple of years later.

(And didn't they make fun of Obama's community organizing work in Chicago?)

Aside to Maureen Dowd:  Save your breath.  White guys, unlike more socially adjusted white males, never listen to anybody anyway.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kasich sees Adelson during visiting hours

Well, the pilgrimage has resumed to the knees of Sheldon Adelson, the impossibly wealthy  Las Vegas casino baron.  It has been reported that even Ohio Gov. John Kasich, hoping for a fast $$$ launch of  his reelection campaign, visited Adelson recently so that everybody on Kasich's side will soon be on a first-name basis with  everyone in the Adelson family.

For political practitioners, it hasn't gone unnoticed that Adelson dropped $150  million into  Mitt Romney's collection plate and millions more to Republican candidates that included another loser, Newt Gingrich.   But when you're worth many billions and are that generous, who's counting anyway?

So far, Adelson's beneficiaries haven't been that fortunate on Election Day.  He may have to reserve some good fortune for his own  challenge by the Feds who are looking into his casino enterprises in Asia.  Undeterred, Adelson  is said to be prepared to unload another $100 million on 2014 midterm House and Senate candidates who could do him some good.  Just one more way for Adelson to shoot craps these days after a bad night at the table.

Friday, December 7, 2012

For McConnell, an odd day at the office

We never dreamed  something like this could happen, but on the other hand we are talking about a  Republican U.S. senator named Mitch McConnell. If you turn your computer upside down, you'd  get a better look at him, although we sort of like the upside down photo after what he did this week on the Senate floor.  The Senate minority leader filibustered his own call for a vote on President  Obama's plan to increase the debt ceiling.  It was pure gamesmanship that was exposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who called McConnell's bluff to embarrass the Democrats and said the vote would proceed immediately. Caught by surprise  for an instant vote that he hadn't expected (check your nearest parliamentarian for the insidious details), McConnell  objected  and moved to filibustering his own proposal.  Let's let it go at that.  It's giving me a headache.

Sorry, folks on the right....

Here's one to enclose in your Christmas cards to all Tea Party friends.  An example of a paraprosdokian:  A victory center that doubles as a loser's rental:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How can a non-existent agency steal an election?

How can it be that the greatest nation on earth can be the home of a major political party with so many half-wits?  For today's Exhibit #1, we call your attention to a Public Policy Polling Survey reporting that 49 pct. of  the Republican voters believe ACORN, the former urban community organizer, stole the election for President Obama.   That would have been quite difficult inasmuch as ACORN was disbanded two years ago.  But the PPP pollster said there was still a very modest sign of progress  among people who expressed that belief because 52 pct. of the R's polled earlier believed ACORN was guilty of theft in Obama's first election in 2008.

Rob Portman heading for the Twilight Zone?

What...What in the world did  Ohio Sen. Rob Portman have in mind when he joined 37 other Republican senators,  a majority of whom were from southern states, in opposing U.S. support for a United Nations Disabilities Treaty?  I mean, even John McCain and a wheel-chair bound ex-Sen. Bob Dole (pitifully rolled  onto the Senate floor for moral support) favored  the measure.

Maybe I read too many articles about Portman being  a calm and deliberative nice guy from Cincinnati who  was Mitt Romney's cupbearer throughout the campaign as a  GOP "rising star".  Maybe I almost believed that  George W. Bush's budget director and trade representative could lend a glimmer of sanity to the Republican side. Or maybe he simply caved under the maniacal pressure from Tea Partyers and homeschoolers who foolishly supposed  the measure would be a blow to U.S. sovereignty as well as curtail  the rights of parents with disabled children.

After all, in June, the  hometown conservative Cincinnati Enquirer, long a Portman booster, had an online story with a provocative  headline asking:  The Loyal Soldier: Is Rob Portman the next vice president?  Not yet, as the November election results told us.

Yet, in the disabilities vote, Portman turned up on the southern conservative roster in a 61-38 tally that failed because a two-thirds vote was required for passage.  We were told that the biggest concern of the 38 aginners was what it might do to homeschooling.  Sixty-one other senators, including all of the Democrats,  considered that hogwash, which, of course, it was.

Oh, my. The drum roll continues anyway in the media.    Now the  Dayton Daily News is  suggesting that  a Kasich-Portman presidential ticket could arise in 2016.  After all, the Columbus Dispatch has reported that the governor's name has "surfaced as a potential" presidential candidate.  Don't clip. Don't save.

Still, that would be perfect match.  Kasich has been known to say silly things.  And Portman has downgraded his own public image with his  crazy swing to the far right in opposing the disabilities measure. It could be harder for this GOP "comeback" team to receive  serious consideration  unless by 2016, the party has decided to move its show to the Twilight Zone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Boehner fountain in Gubbio

In the quaint Umbrian town of Gubbio they tell a somber story of madness.  It is typical of the lore that I've encountered on my many visits to Europe, where every cobblestone is honored in its historical context.

There's a tale about the fountain in Gubbio's Piazza del Bargello  that leaves the tourist with a view of the dark side.  Some of the townspeople take shuddering  delight noting that the fountain has a special effect on anyone who walks around it three times: you go mad.

I have to ask whether John Boehner is one of the fountain's victims as he arrives at the TV cameras each day to foolishly repeat his laps around the  fiscal cliff.

PolitiFact Ohio: It can handle the truth

Robert Higgs is a modest soft-spoken journalist who seems quite unlikely to be managing a hot spot in the undisciplined  world of political  oratory - some of it true and some of it scandalously beyond  Planet Earth.  He's the deputy metro editor of the the Plain Dealer, but more to the point in this instance, the editor of PolitiFact Ohio,  the wide ranging  verifier of truths or  lies showered upon voters in any garden variety election campaign.

As Higgs related in a recent talk to the Akron Press Club, the thoroughly researched  topics  by PolitiFact  can draw as much  attention from the pols and readers as its rating system - from "true" to "pants on fire".  Now that Josh Mandel is gone from the beaten trail of his U.S. Senate campaign, it can be safely reported that he led all other politicians with fiery pants.

Clearly, candidates take great delight in seeing their opponents reduced to ashes from  saying things that would not make it  past a kindergarten  rating system.   PolitiFact's pool of reporters spends hours and days checking every possible shred of information that would confirm or deny  the veracity of  the story line  in question. Ohio had its great share of both.  But non-partisan  fact checkers seemed particularly irritable to the Republican side that indignantly snarled responses to PolitiFact reports, grumbling  that "somebody ought to check the fact checkers."

The Daily Caller, the Washington-based right-wing blog, as well as Media Trackers Ohio angrily accused PolitiFact Ohio of being a tool of creepy media  lefties, which included a Columbus Dispatch writer who referred to the  PD Reports about Mandel.

Come now.  A verifiable  lefty on the Dispatch reporting staff?  Be reasonable!

Nice try, but you instantly learned whose noses were turning red. ( I should also mention that the Washington Post awards "Pinochios"  for political lies.)

Higgs  hears from all sides and also is aware that more than a few people are paying attention.  Like the 20,000  hits that PolitiFact got for the second presidential debate.  Or the many requests it gets from the public to check out questionable political statements. If the right-wing doubters are upset by such  admirable public service, their grief is just one more benefit derived from the important work of the PD's Robert Higgs and the reporting staff.

PS: Alas, PolitiFact Ohio  could be a victim of the severe cutbacks in staff next year.  The paper has informed the Guild  that it will slice a third of its news staff, according to Connie Schultz.  That would reduce it to about 110!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Grover's alert to a perfect storm of Tea Party Two

No matter what he tells you, it wasn't  one of Grover Norquist's better weeks.  Not when  some of his anti-tax fraternity pledges  have decided that there might be a life after the Big Bad Wolf has huffed and puffed to blow their vulnerable  house down.

As you have probably heard  a million times  since the election, Grover Norquist is the  self-righteous operative  who runs Americans for Tax Reform, which argues that it really will not put up with a single tax increase for anybody (particularly for the wealthy who subsidize his lobby).

How big of an operative?   For the 2012 election he managed to have 238 of the 242 House Republicans and 41 of 47 R's in the Senate who signed up.   Even the non-congressional sheep like  Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed his stupid handiwork. (It will soon become overwhelmingly obvious that Kasich is already running for reelection and doesn't need the distraction of a Tea Party candidate in the Republican primary, even if the Secretary of State Jon Husted is hungry for the job.) .

Norquist's  only inducement was the threat that if they turned him down he would field  a Tea Party candidate against them in the mid-term elections.   Notice that none of the defectors turned up before the November election.

But don't count on Grover giving up his livelihood that easily.    He was back on Meet the Press on Sunday for damage control , defiantly boasting that if the president  leads America over the fiscal cliff, there will be a second Tea Party that will "dwarf Tea Party  One"   that will seek unmerciful revenge against the taxers.   Nobody knows that more than Speaker John Boehner, who will be back on the biennial ballot.   He is currently acting like the captain of Norquist's ship, the last mortal to abandon it when the sea slaps across the deck.

Imagine that:  A non-elected lobbyist is presiding over a majority of Republican congressmen to set policy for the entire country.  A former newspaper colleague used to refer to him  as the "101st senator" because of his extraordinary influence over the elected ones.  But as Tea Party One failed to prevent Obama Two, will Grover's Tea Party Two  be any more effective against the defectors?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Stark reality: Mitt didn't reimburse either

Recalling the fuss that a Beacon Journal columnist made over  the costs of President Obama'a campaign stop in the  Akron area  that  fell into the laps of local taxpayers, it only seems fair to refer to an article in the Canton Repository that told of a similar free ride by Mitt Romney for his rally at Hoover High school on Oct. 26.

The paper reported that local requests by  Canton  and Stark County for reimbursement of $l4,500 have been rejected by Team Romney.  An additional $600 bill for Paul Ryan's visit to North Canton wasn't paid.  Mayor David Held said he s was "disappointed".

Probably not as much as all of the Republicans in Stark County who voted for Mitt , a Red County that supported him in a losing cause.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A moment of humor with para-somethings

A Columbus reader added some sunshine to the weekend with a list of paraprosdokians that should find a place in Grumpy's blog.  A list of what?  The strange word describes sentences with odd endings.  We're told that Winston Churchill, among others, was quite fond of them.

For example, Yogi Berra was never without them, as when he said the "the restaurant was so busy that nobody goes there anymore".  Or culled from a long list of Jewish references, "Oy, the food at this restaurant is terrible...and the servings are so small."

From my friend's list I've chosen for now:

(1) If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

(2) In filling out an application, where it says, 'in case of emergency, notify:' ... I put DOCTOR"

(3) Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

(4) Women  will never be the equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy"

These can give you an  idea of how paraprosdokians work.  Henny Youngman left a great legacy of these,  as when he told his audiences that when his wife asked him to take her someplace where she's never been, he took her to the kitchen.

Your turn.