(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
Charlie Pierce at Esquire reports that Corporate Raider Willard Romney can’t stop crushing the humble dreams of the local small entrepreneur:
Eric Fehrnstrom… was pivotal in the freak election that put Senator McDreamy in Ted Kennedy’s old seat, and he now he is almost a key player (again) in the presidential campaign of Willard Romney. Along the way, he’s developed a reputation for being rather a dick, especially to reporters, but also to other candidates, including one case in which he got exposed as the world’s clumsiest ratfker…
Anyway, the gossip around the Massachusetts GOP — which is a small enough group that gossip can circulate at speeds at which matter is spontaneously created — is that some people in McDreamy’s re-election campaign have begun to complain that Fehrnstrom is spending too much time with Willard and not enough with their man, who’s in a much tougher fight with Elizabeth Warren than Romney is with the assemblage of second-raters in the Republican primary. It’s hard to see how Fehrnstrom can keep both of those balls in the air at the same time and, if he can’t, my guess is that McDreamy is the loser. This will not be a good thing for that campaign.
Good news for Elizabeth Warren is good news! What else is on the Reality-Based Community agenda tonight?
So, we had classic sci-fi this morning, and now a shift to epic fantasy in the post titles? Nice.
Glenn Greenwald is going all Captain Queeg again-
He’s claiming not only did the US possibly order the hit on a couple of Iranian scientists but that this proves Lindsay Beyerstein, Kevin Drum and Scott Lemieux are hypocrites because they wrote pieces condemning Glenn Reynolds for calling such a hit during the Bush years.
Why Greenwald is taken seriously, I don’t know…
Since it’s an open thread and, hell, I always seem to be able to get answers to random questions here, I have a question about Japanese etiquette. If someone calls me Mnemo-san via e-mail, am I supposed to call her, say, Akiko-san in return? I don’t mind, I just want to make sure it’s not somehow rude on my part to do it.
@Wannabe Speechwriter: I read that thread back when it had a mere 50 or 60 comments. I see it’s at about 250 now. Not going there, but did Greenwald claim to have used ‘geometric logic’ in proving his case and finding the missing strawberries?
Anyone else see commentary on the Supreme Court decision today that “religious” employees of religious groups cannot sue for employment discrimination?
@marcopolo: The Supreme Court’s opinion was carefully limited to official clergy. The limits of the decision will undoubtedly be tested, however.
It’s down the memory hole now, but I really do think that the piece that someone linked and posted about, on Connecticut’s funding reform for elections.
I think we need to really make that a weekly topic here on Balloon Juice. It’s WORKING, right? At least according to that one article.
“Follow the money”. I saw Lawrence Lessig on Daily Show, and he had some other versions of clean money reform, that would get around the ‘money is speech’ crazy Supreme Court decision.
But this is the heart of what will change the political system. THIS is the heart. Until then, we’ll see halfway reforms, until legislators don’t have to spend 70% of their time fundraising.
As such, it would be great if you front page posters, made this an ‘ongoing cause’.
How do we get there?
What are the steps – from step 1 to step 1,000?
Should this be local?
should this be by state?
should this be national?
Of the versions that are out there, which would work the best?
Just like the book club discussion, this could be a continuing weekly series.
EDIT: After all, it’s more practical and effective, then ten thousand more posts about how goofball and crazy the Rethug candidates are.
Don’t know whether this story is true, but if it is, it certainly doesn’t reflect well on Romney.
Yes, that’s fine. -san is used by people who are roughly socially on an equal level, so it would be expectable to reciprocate like that.
That’s not true for -sama or -chan, by the way; those have more connotations that you have to be careful with.
I must say, that is a fetching bustier on that GOP bride. Plus, when you say Lord Bain, I keep seeing the cover of Lord Foul’s Bane. Go figure.
@marcopolo: Sounds like it was properly decided. I’m glad they used the ministerial exception rather than simply saying all religious groups can ignore all laws, which is what I was afraid of. As it stands now churches can not discriminate in hiring of secretaries or janitors or bookkeepers. They can refuse to hire women or married people as priests. I wouldn’t join any church that did discriminate that way, but the court did limit it to religious functions.
I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, somehow never read any David Eddings, but I can recognize a darn good pun when I see one.
It’s like a small consolation for all the puns and some of the humor that Cain’s implosion cost us.
Lemieux’s take on this is, as the English football writers say, inch-perfect. If what Greenwald is alleging is true, it is definitely Not a Good Thing. The problem is that as near as anyone can tell, this is pure, pulled-it-out-of-his-ass speculation on Greenwald’s part.
Greenwald shows up here from time to time. Glenn, if you see this, I’m asking you to make an offer of proof. Tell us what US laws have been violated, and show us how you would prove every element of the offense.
@dmsilev: Between inventing conspiracy theories and then attacking bloggers on the basis of them, I don’t know if he has time to look for his missing strawberries…
Did anyone hear about the Marines who were video’d urinating on dead Afghans? There was a short headline on NPR but so far I haven’t found anything more on line (admittedly, I haven’t looked very hard yet). If it’s true, I do hope quite a few demotions and dishonorable discharges are in store for anyone in the chain of command who might have influenced this juvenile and offensive action. And if it’s not true, I hope the people responsible for spreading such a story just FOADIAF.
Obama gets votes on N.H. GOP ballot
“Apparently not all Republicans dislike President Barack Obama quite so much: Nearly 300 registered GOPers in New Hampshire voted for him to be their nominee.
Indeed, 282 Republican primary voters wrote in Obama to be their candidate for the presidency, according to final results posted by New Hampshire’s secretary of state.
Unfortunately, the nearly 300 votes are not enough to award Obama any delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla.
The New Hampshire GOP primary allows independents to cast ballots.”
Okay, good! I was pretty sure it was okay since we are on the same level, work-wise, but I always have that moment of paranoia.
or any Stephen Donaldson either.
@burnspbesq: Why should he try and present facts? If Salon ever pulls the plug on him, he knows he can get a nice job hacking it out at Reason or Cato…
@Baud: I dunno, I see where the court tried to carve out that exception, but one of the problems with the decision was there were no clear guidelines given as to how to define who are religious hires and who are not. It seems the employee at the center of the suit was mostly a classroom teacher and only marginally a “minister.”
And here is the other takeaway:
I guess going forward, churches (and other religious organizations) will just say that all their hires have some kind of “religious” component to their work. That would exempt them from all that workplace employee right crap, yes?
Edit: Apologies for not successfully block quoting the second paragraphs in both cases above…argh.
The ruling seemed pretty narrow, from what I saw. Apparently the teacher in question had taken some ministerial-type training through the church, taught religion classes, and was considered a para-minister, if you will. The court seems to have ruled that she was a religious employee based on the fact that she had taken that specific ministerial training — it doesn’t seem as though the door has been opened to claim that, say, the math teacher at the school would be “religious staff” just because s/he worked at the same school.
-san is an honorific that is a rough
-san is an honorific that is a rough equivalent of sir or madam. However using the first name shows familiarity while using the last is more respectful. Hope this helps!
I think there will be some attempt to push the envelope, but I didn’t see much in this decision putting a thumb on the scale on whether those attempts will be successful.
The case is more narrow that that. From the story you linked to:
So unless a church or school wants to officially ordain everyone on its staff, this isn’t going to apply. Believe it or not, most religions actually take that stuff pretty seriously and aren’t going to make the janitor an official minister just so they can fire him at will.
@Wannabe Speechwriter: gg is a CT nut. Only peeps like cole feel the tingle whenever he pipes up.
How is warren’s fund raising going ? I saw that the poster boy raised over 3 mil recently.
@amk: She picked up $5.7M.
@Mnemosyne: To add to what Thalarctos says (from my miniscule otaku knowledge storehouse), your Japanese co-worker would understand if you didn’t use the -san honorific (being as Americans are notoriously informal like that), but it’s a nice gesture if you do. It’s like your mom’s rather reserved neighbor — she won’t object to being called by her first name, but if you use “Mrs. Smith”, she has the small pleasure of saying, “We’ve known each other so long, why don’t you just call me Samantha?”
At least via e-mail, it seems to be a friendly gesture — usually people start off calling me “Ms. Mylastname” and then switch to “Mnemo-san.” I’m assuming I should continue to let them make the switch first rather than barging in and doing it myself!
ows to obama – I hate you, but can I get your picture please?
She raised 5.5 mil.
@Litlebritdifrnt: I am happy that the left is putting up their money where it matters.
Actually, Scott did admit that Glenn had a point. Check the LGM website.
But, screw the nasty old world. The really important news? Schottenheimer no longer works for the Jets! Yippee! This made my day.
I donated to the Warren campaign, so I got the email earlier today. She touts the large number of small donors she has in Mass. I wonder how many out of staters she’s got?
At least via e-mail, it seems to be a friendly gesture—usually people start off calling me “Ms. Mylastname” and then switch to “Mnemo-san.” I’m assuming I should continue to let them make the switch first rather than barging in and doing it myself!
That’s a very good principle in general, like for “Sie/Du” in German or “vous/tu” in French as well. It sounds like you have a good feel for it.
@SiubhanDuinne: The thing on the Marines is certainly at The Guardian: US marines accused of war crimes. Seems to involve a video on Youtube.
@dogwood: Yeah, I noticed that was visibly absent from the email message and from her website. I imagine they are trying to stave off the “all her support is coming from out of state” meme. But I am curious, too!
Do we know how much Scott Brown brought in during the same period?
Never mind, I found it, it’s disgusting, I’m disgusted.
@Svensker: Where on the website does he say Glenn had a point? In the comments? I didn’t see anything about having a point in the first post and in the second post I saw only this
@scav: thanks, yes, just found it. Why do the troops make it so hard to support the troops?
@SiubhanDuinne: There are a few scumbags in every bag of oranges.
Oh, it’s out there alright.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
@SiubhanDuinne: Because when your job is to go out and kill people at the risk of being killed yourself, you tend to lose perspective. It’s a natural, even inevitable, consequence of war. I’m not saying don’t punish the guys, but if you don’t want this stuff happening, don’t go to war. It’s that simple.
Sorry, it was Paul Campos at LGM
Darnell From LA
Great. First we Rick Perry informs us that the Iranian Army has mastered Faster Than Light travel, now this.
@Svensker: Paul wasn’t preemptively accused of possible hypocrisy…
@Wannabe Speechwriter: If Greenwald raped a nun Campos would defend him.
Is it bad if I say I seriously doubt the US was the one who assassinated that Iranian scientist because, frankly, we’re just not that subtle? There’s no way our cowboy wannabes at the CIA would be able to pull something off like that.
Israel, on the other hand, would just love for Iran to declare war on the US …
Not quite. -San is a piece of standard polite language used by people on the same level who haven’t moved to friendship/intimacy beyond the collegial/newly introduced stage.
Friends on the same level might use kun (to men)/chan (to women). Sama is pretty rare these days. Sensei sometimes fills in as a sort of all-purpose deferential form used to “skilled” persons – chefs, yakuza bosses, teachers etc. You might also just use a professional title (-bucho/kacho etc etc) rather than -san etc. -dono only occurs in samurai movies.
Basically, two factors come into play with Japanese titles – what is your relative social level, and, if you are on the same level, what is your relationship with the other person? Are you close, collegial etc? There’s more to be said on the subject, and you really don’t want to start in on the issue of how one talks about family members.
@Mnemosyne: Oh, I think the CIA is capable of being that subtle. It’s just that they don’t have the means to do it, since it requires human intelligence and an embedded support structure, neither of which do I think we have much of there…
@SiubhanDuinne: Read “The Real War” by Paul Fussell.
“In war it is not just the weak soldiers, or the sensitive ones, or the highly imaginative or cowardly ones, who will break down. All will break down if in combat long enough. “Long enough” is now defined by physicians and psychiatrists as between 200 and 240 days.”
(This is about WWII but I think it applies)
From EB Sledge
Peleliu finally secured, Sledge’s decimated unit was reconstituted for the landing on southern Okinawa. It was there that he saw “the most repulsive thing I ever saw an American do in the war” — he saw a young Marine officer select a Japanese corpse, stand over it, and urinate into its mouth. Speaking of the “incredible cruelty” that was commonplace when “decent men were reduced to a brutish existence in their fight for survival amid the violent death, terror, tension, fatigue, and filth that was the infantryman’s war,” Sledge notes that “our code of conduct toward the enemy differed drastically from that prevailing back at the division CP.” Unequivocal is Sledge’s assertion that “we lived in an environment totally incomprehensible” — not just to civilians at a great distance but “to men behind the lines.”
Google tells me that elephants have two breasts and they are indeed located between the front legs.
Yeah, the bride is kind of cute. Voluptuous, even. :-)
Just read that Israel may be responsible for the Iranian nuclear scientist that was killed. That was my first thought when I read about the event and I wondered why Iran would think it was us when Israel was more likely.
My first thought was “can we blame them?”
Is that wrong?
How crazy is it that I think it’s so wrong to torture someone under any circumstances, but in a case like this I think it might be okay to kill someone?
Maybe I’ve gotten really jaded, because when I read about the marines pissing on the dead bodies of Afghans, I thought it was terrible but I also wondered if stuff like that may happen all the time in these 2 awful wars.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Can certainly agree with this. And I don’t mean to diminish the stresses any troops experience. But this hits me, if not quite as powerfully as Abu Ghraib, at least from the same place.
Darnell From LA
Jesus, has anyone else watched Newt’s documentary on Willard, “King of Bain?” Sweet Christ on sale, Willard is completely unelectable. I mean, wow. How can they nominate this clown?
@SiubhanDuinne: The people at Abu Ghraib were alive and tortured. These people were dead, it didn’t matter to them one way or the other.
@Darnell From LA:
because he is a Republican? And the Village is defending him.
@WaterGirl: I thought it was them too. btw thanks for the inquiry about my back in the other thread. off to sleep though, after 2 months of bed the swimming is now making me exhausted at 9 pm!
@Raven: Thank you, Raven. In a way I feel almost churlish commenting, since I have no military experience either personally or in my immediate family (had an uncle in WWII, a brother who served in Germany and a cousin who was in Nam but not in combat) — and I do get, intellectually at least, that they are under unimaginable pressures. Anyway, thank you for the Fussell suggestion. I’ve heard of it but have never read it and will add to the toppling, towering stack.
@SiubhanDuinne: It’s awful but it’s not a book, it’s a long article.
Sadly, I have just discovered that my tiny, adorable kitteh, is a racist.
Apparently if you are too short, and too brown, he is deathly afraid of you.
I have no idea what do about this. I do not know how to express my extreme disappointment, or instill good values into my otherwise precious kitteh!
Groucho is a bigot. I haz a sad.
Mike in NC
Fussell’s article concludes with mention of Ike’s notebook entry written in the event the Normandy invasion was a failure. That notebook page is on display in the National Archives and is an impressive bit of WW2 memorabilia.
Darnell From LA
@Valdivia: But…but…but, you’re right. But this guy might as well come from Central Casting! The only thing Willard lacks is a spindly mustache and a women in a petticoat tied to the railroad tracks! Seriously, anyone who hasn’t seen “King of Bain” should do so. I knew Willard was a mess, but wow. Obama and Axelrod are doing to destroy this man.
@Raven: Thought about you today and your two friends you talked about last night. Hope you are doing okay. I can’t think of a thing to do except pray for peace for your friend who doesn’t have much hope for making it through.
How do you know this?
@MikeJ: I’m not sure if you win the thread, or fail the thread for opening old wounds.
@Darnell From LA:
totally agree. Today the Village was already trolling that because it came out now it would be totally lack power in the Fall. I am betting this aint going away even if they try to kill it in its tracks. His comment today about the quiet rooms totally amplifies it.
@Svensker: Long story, but basically we moved an immigrant into our place recently.
He tends to work when when my wife and I sleep, and he’s pretty solitary – well of course, I’d be surprised if I knew half a dozen words in mixtec, so that’s certainly part of it.
His wife, and my wife are bestest buds, and she comes over quite a bit, especially now that hubby is here. She brings her several children in tow.
We’ve known for sometime that groucho is terrified of children, and we weren’t really clear on how he regarded our new roomie.. cuz we weren’t really ever in the position to observe.
But we’ve now experienced groucho’s reaction to both of the adults, and as it happens – he’s terrified of them as well.
He does not react this way to most adults. Nor does he act this way to my taller friends – mexican or otherwise.
Because the U.S. is a bigger bogeyman than Israel for the revolutionary mullahs and ahmedinijad.
BTW, who’s going to do the first rework of “King of Pain” lyrics for PRomney and King of Bain?
Maybe they’re accusing us because it’s politically expedient, rather than out of a sincere belief that we’re responsible. We’re the ones orchestrating the sanctions that are apparently having some real effect on their economy. Making it look as if we’re going beyond the sanctions to the point of covert war may be their best chance of getting the other countries involved to back off. It would certainly give Russia and China a plausible excuse for refusing to participate, which may be what they’re really after.
Interesting. Did he have bad experience with kids?
@arguingwithsignposts: That makes complete sense. OT, I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how you are.
@Roger Moore: I see that your answer supports that theory, as well.
As with most animals, Groucho is probably responding to something that happened to him when he was younger as though it just happened recently. I’m not sure there’s much you can do to convince an animal that people who look like the people who hurt or frightened him aren’t going to hurt/frighten him other than just be patient and ask your friends not to make any sudden moves if they can help it.
@WaterGirl: I am hanging in there, starting up again after the holidays and trying to get my “mojo” back. Thanks for asking.
@Svensker: I’m pretty sure he did. We rescued him from a family that rescued him. heh. The original rescuers had a ton of kids, and zero experience with cats – the only reason they took them in was because they found a guy trying to lock them in a storage unit…
He was pretty young, and we don’t know the family that rescued them first, other than the short time we spent there picking up the cat – but from our brief observations – the kids ran wild. The kids clearly loved the kittens, but they were small, and the family really had NO CLUE what to do – I doubt they ever owned a cat or a dog. They meant well though.
@Roger Moore: Also, from what I understand, there’s a perception in Iran that Israel is the “51st U.S. state” — that, at the very least, the government of Israel feels empowered to pull stunts it wouldn’t dare attempt if its American “older brother” wasn’t understood to be backing it up. I think this perception is overplayed, at least as long as a sane person is sitting in the Oval Office, but it’s not just the American neo-cons who think this way.
A not unreasonable assumption.
@Mnemosyne: Yeah. I was being about 50% serious.
If I tally up all of the “character defects” of this cat, racism would have to be added to a laundry list of other unsavory traits (jealous, self-absorbed, bites the hand that feeds, etc =) Any attempt at really helping him evolve and grow into a more well rounded kitteh (Tunch?) would probably take years – and large amounts of psychotherapy (not sure if for the cat, or for us!)
On the other hand, he’s small, fluffy, precious – extra precious actually, because he’s slightly cross-eyed – uber-adorbs!, and he plays fetch – which is cool. so there’s that.
@Darnell From LA:
I just finished watching it. Brutal. I hope it goes viral.
If your friend and her husband are sufficiently short, it may be less “oh noes scary brown people!” and more “oh noes scary children!” going through Groucho’s tiny walnut-size brain.
Though I swear to God I had a friend in jr. high/high school whose mother was such a gigantic asshole, she told an Indian friend of ours that their dog didn’t like her because it could smell the melanin in her skin.
God, I hated that woman. Anyway.
ETA: Also, “jealous”? “Self-absorbed”? “Bites the hand that feeds him”? Welcome to cat ownership. Those aren’t bugs, those are features!
So I see Sarah “starburst” has called for Romney to release his tax reports and listing from Bain to prove his “100,000” job creations at Bain.
So are the knives gonna come out against Palin like they did for Gingrich?
@JC: You’re right about this:
While I sorta enjoy what Newt is trying to do Williard, the very idea that some millionaire out in Las Vegas can legally donate 5 million to Newt’s SuperPac just to run these attack ads is just so fundamentally wrong. Imagine what the next 40 weeks are going to be like and by the time we get to post convention late summer, most of us will have to put our TV’s on mute just to remain somewhat sane.
This truly may be the election that takes that pendulum so far off center that the force of gravity will return it to a sane place.
@Mnemosyne: Yes. features. I like large birds for pretty much the same reason =)
Mike in NC
Flabbergasting. She must stand by her man, who endorsed Noot.
@burnspbesq: Glenn Greenwald reverse-engineering a premise and then acting as though the premise is proven? Well, I never!
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
IIRC, Sledge defined “behind the lines” as about 100 yards. That’s all the distance it took.
Thanks for the clarification; you explained it better than I did.
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
@Raven: Is that the Fussell book where he wrote “Life is short and almost always ends messily.”?
Don’t much care about gossip. Don’t much care about somebody treating other candidates with disdain. And reporters who complain that a candidate is mean to them are probably not worth reading.
Pierce is vamping, and the primary campaigns have just begun. This is not a good sign.
The last thing Sarah Palin wants is a Republican in the White House. She makes money bashing Obama.
I don’t see either the Iranians or the Israelis as being that stupid. Iran declaring war on the US would be an empty gesture. Israel would lose the protection of their allies in the US, even the Republicans, if there were proof that they were trying to engineer a military confrontation between Iran and the US.
This is not to say that countries don’t do stupid stuff. If Obama is re-elected and Iran gets nukes during his second term, the Republicans would almost be guaranteed a victory in 2016. And that president would be given free rein to to anything to Iran that he or she wanted.
(Your correction is noted).
But maybe she’d get to be ambassador to Russia. She can see her house from there, y’know.
@SiubhanDuinne: Siubhanduinne — seriously, bump Fussell to the top of your stack. He’s a thousand kinds of awesome. He was a WWII vet who left no illusion un-punctured about what war was really like. Much in the vein of Vonnegut, but a cultural historian. His _First World War and Modern Memory_ was absolutely sublime; only later did he write about his own experiences in WWII.
Fussell is one of the best inoculations against jingoistic, war-mongering propaganda you’ll ever encounter.
If Dear Leader Greenwald has any proof for his conspiracy theory, he really ought to provide it. Otherwise, his credibility is utterly gone.
@patroclus: He’ll just do one of these: “I’m not saying it _is_ true, I’m merely suggesting that if it were true it would be the kind of thing my many enemies would disregard on account of their being incapable of facing the kind of fact it would surely turn out to have been, unlike myself, because I’m principled and thoughtful at all times.”
a/k/a, “is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.”
He could also pull his usual multi-paragraph “anybody who criticizes me is not only guilty of stunning slimy hypocrisy and is definitively the very epitome of moral depravity but is also personally and proximately responsible for dead Muslim children everywhere” shtick together with a brief clause saying it might not be true thereby giving him plausible deniability.
@Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: I concur. Using -san would never be rude. -chan or -kun might be a bit to chummy and informal for some situations and relationships and -sama is very formal and impersonal. And there really is no need for paranoia. Japanese people aren’t nearly as uptight about such protocol as they are made out to be in guide books and such.
I had a bizarre and disturbing experience at a Romney event on Monday. I was removed from a Romney campaign event in Hudson, NH, and then arrested. The police – who were working for the Romney campaign – told me that I’d been ‘identified’ as a protester from a protest at Romney’s office in Manchester. This was bizarre – I hadn’t attended any such protest (and based on my subsequent web research, it’s not even clear to me that such a protest took place).
Once at the police station, the police displayed open contempt for First Amendment protections.
@Mnemosyne: You should call her “san” only if you’re using her last name. And don’t include the dash. So: call her Akiko. Her use of “san” as an honorific is a little in jest coupled with your nom de plume.