09/01/2012 archive

The Mitt Romney Story

A person who built that (:30)

A person who built that (Full)

Part 1

Part 2- Ann

There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.

Post News

This weekend I’m going to be featuring some of the analysis and interviews from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report related to the Republican National Convention.

You may think it’s odd that an old greezer like me (and at 120, I’m much older than Clint Eastwood) gets his news online from a basic cable comedy show.  Well let me tell you Emily and Richard are so old that they got their news from the Post Office Gazette.

In colonial times overland communications was just beginning to get established and even before Ben Franklin an enterprising man named John Campbell had set up a delivery service from Boston to New York.  Local Postmasters, who were frequently Innkeepers too, would scan the letters before passing them on and print up the juicy bits which they would sell as newspapers.

The sudden popularity of sealing wax led to more formal arrangements for obtaining content, but the tradition was well established.  Indeed one of the onerous (and intended) effects of the Stamp Act was to penalize the publication of information and restrict communication as well as raise revenue.  Fortunately the alternative press had not been forgotten and soon ‘British’ Postmasters were under a serious commercial threat.

Oh and sometimes the boys at the bar would get all liquored up on Sam Adams and bust the place up a bit just for fun.  Our founders were Revolutionaries, dont forget that.

So yeah, I consider it as newsy as anything else on basic cable.

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits — a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.

There are 3 basic divisions in content- Interviews, Commentary, and Correspondant Reports.  I’m going to try and highlight some of the web-exclusive material, but I’ll not attempt to be comprehensive.  Visit their sites for complete episodes.

Tampa- The Greatest City In America

Who knows? If there is in fact, a heaven and a hell, all we know for sure is that hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix & a clean well lighted place full of sunshine and bromides and fast cars where almost everybody seems vaguely happy, except those who know in their hearts what is missing… And being driven slowly and quietly into the kind of terminal craziness that comes with finally understanding that the one thing you want is not there. Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Vaya con dios. Grow up! Small is better. Take what you can get…

I have always believed that a man can fairly be judged by the standards and taste of his choices in matters of high-level plagiarism.- Stockton

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Summer Fruit Galettes


As long as there are still peaches, plums, apricots, berries and nectarines to be had, I’m buying them up and making pies and galettes. A galette is a free-form pie, more rustic than a tart. Although they’re usually made with classic buttery pie dough or puff pastry, I’ve been working at developing a dough recipe that is delicate and tasty but not too rich. I decided that a yeasted dough could work, and came up with a formula that yields enough for two galettes but has only 60 grams of butter (about 4 tablespoons). The flavor is nutty and rich because of the whole-wheat flour, but the dough isn’t heavy. The trick is to roll it very thin, then freeze it right away so that it doesn’t continue to rise and become too bready, and also so that it’s easy to work with when you are ready to assemble the tart. The dough works beautifully for these free-form galettes.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Dessert Galette Pastry

This yeasted dough is a cross between a pizza dough and pie crust dough.

Nectarine or Peach and Blackberry Galette

Almond flour spread over the crust before baking adds flavor and absorbs juice to keep the crust from getting soggy.

Apricot, Cherry and Almond Galette

Baking deepens the flavor of even less than perfectly ripe apricots.

Plum, Almond and Orange Galette

The plums’ deep color and the perfume of orange zest give this tart extra appeal.

Mixed Red Fruit, Apricot and Hazelnut Galette

Use whatever stone fruits and berries you like for this delicious odds-and-ends pie.

What We Now Know

What we have learned this week is discussed with Up with Chris Hayes guests Josh Barro (@jbarro), writes Bloomberg View‘s “The Ticker“; David Sirota, (@davidsirota) writes a nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column and hosts a radio show, “The Rundown with Sirota and Brown“; Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox), columnist for “The Guardian” and founder of the political blog Wonkette; and Bob Herbert (@bobherbert), distinguished senior fellow at Demos and former New York Times columnist.

During the RNC Convention, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney partied with millionaire and billionaire donors on a yacht registered in the Cayman Islands.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told the Washington Post: “The demographics race, we’re losing badly ….

We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term

90% of the GOP is white.

Projected US White Population in 2050: 50.1%

NBC/WSJ Poll: Romney has 0 % Of African-American Vote.

Only 2% of the delegates at the RNC Convention were Black.

Federal judges are overturning controversial laws passed by Republican controlled states that discriminate against minority and disenfranchised voting rights.

Texas: Court rejects Texas legislative districts as discriminatory

Federal court overturns Texas law requiring voters to show photo ID

Texas is appealing both of these rulings.

Florida: Federal Court Blocks Florida Early Voting Restrictions

Ohio: Federal court overturns Ohio early voting restrictions

We now know what a gay bar at the RNC Convention looks like: It’s hard to tell who is gay or straight since they’re all dressed like Alex B. Keaton; what really identified it as a Republican Gay Bar was the Go-Go dancers were all wearing t-shirts and long pants.


What’s Cooking: Clambake

Labor Day weekend is here, for some too soon, for others not soon enough. It has been a long very hot Summer. It is still time for celebration and breaking out Summer’s traditional recipes. Many of us have been to the traditional Clambake at the beach when we were kids. But since regulations at most public beaches prohibit open fires, the clambake has been relocated to backyard grills and the stove top. Actually, it’s easier and a lot less work and can be done indoors anytime you get an urge for the taste of Summer.

This recipe is an adaptation one one I found on line. You can modify the ingredients to suit your own taste and budget. The recipe serves four but can be easily doubled for more guests. I use andouille sausage for its spiciness. Kielbasi or pre-cooked Italian sausage are equally good. Lobsters can also be added. This season the market price is at a record low.

To remove the sand out of the clams, take the tightly sealed clams and soak them in water for about 20 minutes. A quick trick to make sure the clams are alive and safe to eat, if the clam is partially open, tap the shell, if it closes, the clam is alive. I go to a market where I can hand pick the clams. After cooking, discard any clams that have not opened.




  • 8 in x 8 in Disposable aluminum pans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs
  • Heavy oven mitts and/ or thick towels



  • 1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 medium red potatoes, halved and sliced into 1/8-inch half-moons
  • 3/4 pound jumbo shrimp (11/15 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on, cold
  • 2 pounds littleneck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1 package (12 ounces) andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 2 ears fresh corn, each shucked and cut into 4 pieces


   1. In a small bowl combine the butter, lemon juice, seasoning, garlic, and thyme.

   2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

   3. Cut eight sheets of aluminum foil, each about 12 by 20 inches. Line an 8×8-inch cake pan with two sheets of aluminum foil, arranged in a crisscross pattern. Layer the bottom of the foil-lined pan with the sliced potatoes (this will help insulate the shellfish and keep them from overcooking). Top the potatoes evenly with the shrimp, clams, sausage, and corn pieces. Drizzle each packet evenly with the butter mixture. Close the packet by bringing the ends of the two inner sheets together, folding them on top of the filling and then bringing the ends of the two outer sheets together, folding them down. Repeat this procedure with the remaining packets.

   4. Grill the packets over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the clams have opened, the shrimp have turned opaque, and the potatoes are cooked, 20 to 25 minutes. To check for doneness, using tongs, gently unfold one of the packets and carefully remove a potato, being careful not to puncture the bottom of the foil. Using a knife, gently pierce the potato to ensure doneness. When everything is cooked, remove the packets from the grill. Carefully open each packet to let the steam escape and then pour the contents into warm bowls. Serve immediately.

For larger crowds, I use the big disposable aluminum pans used for buffets and cook the potatoes, corn and sausage separately from the clams and shrimp.


Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Mark Weisbrot: Raising Minimum Wage Can Yank Millions Out of Poverty and Jump-Start Economy

The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour and hasn’t been raised in three years. But a raise is much more overdue than that. If we look at the minimum wage 44 years ago, and simply adjust it for inflation, it would be more than $10 today.

This is another ugly symptom of what has gone wrong in America over the last 35 to 40 years. From 1979 to 2007, about 60 percent of the income gains have gone to the now infamous 1 percent at the top, with the majority of those gains going to the top 0.1 percent – people who made, on average, $5.6 million per year.

But some of the worst effects of giving more to those who have the most have affected people toward the bottom of the income ladder, and there is no excuse for it.

Glen Ford: US is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers

There’s no getting around the fact that the United States is the Mother of All Police States. China can’t compete in the incarceration business. With four times the U.S. population, it imprisons only 70 percent as many people – about the same number as the non-white prison population of the U.S. Even worse, 80,000 U.S. inmates undergo the torture of solitary confinement on any given day.

When U.S. corporate media operatives use the term “police state,” they invariably mean some other country. Even the so-called “liberal” media, from Democracy Now! to the MSNBC menagerie, cannot bring themselves to say “police state” and the “United States” without putting the qualifying words “like” or “becoming” in the middle. The U.S. is behaving “like” a police state, they say, or the U.S. is in danger of “becoming” a police state. But it is never a police state. Since these privileged speakers and writers are not themselves in prison – because what they write and say represents no actual danger to the state – they conclude that a U.S. police state does not, at this time, exist.

Considering the sheer size and social penetration of its police and imprisonment apparatus, the United States is not only a police state, but the biggest police state in the world, by far: the police state against whose dimensions all other police systems on Earth must be measured.

Paul Krugman: Paul Ryan’s Magic Asterisks

The other day I picked up on something in an op-ed in Slate titled “Why I Love Paul Ryan” by the commentator William Saletan that illustrates the conventional wisdom that has let the essentially ridiculous Paul Ryan rise so far. Today let me pick on William Galston – not a household name, but a good representative of the Beltway gone bad.

In an op-ed in The New Republic, Mr. Galston, a contributing editor, urges Democrats not to “demagogue” Mr. Ryan, but despairs: “Here’s what I fear will happen instead. The Obama campaign will not take the other side in a high-minded debate. Instead, it will relentlessly attack Romney-Ryan for plotting to ‘end Medicare as we know it,’ and for leaving the poor to go hungry without food stamps and suffer, even die, without health insurance.”

What’s wrong with this lament?

How about the fact that the Romney-Ryan plan actually is a plan to end Medicare as we know it? (And why the quotation marks? That’s what it is – replacing the system with fixed-value vouchers.) It is also a plan for drastic cuts in food stamps and Medicaid, not to mention canceling the expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which would mean lost insurance for tens of millions of Americans – thousands of whom would, in fact, die as a result.

Yet pointing out these truths is, in the eyes of Very Serious People, “demagoguery.”

Charles M. Blow: The G.O.P. Fact Vacuum The G.O.P. Fact Vacuum

Honesty is a lost art. Facts are for losers. The truth is dead.

Pick one.

Whatever the term of art, they all signal a dark turn, and, this week, the Republican Party took that turn with reckless abandon.

Lying is certainly nothing new in politics. One could even argue that it’s fundamental to politics. Saying incredible things in a credible way is the art; using math of vapors to sell dreams of smoke is the craft.

But Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech on Wednesday took things up a notch. [..]

Romney long ago demonstrated that he was willing to do anything and take any position – even if they contradicted previous ones – to make it to the White House. And while that may be fine for him, it shouldn’t be fine with us.

We deserve better and should demand better. We deserve better than a weather vane candidacy that doesn’t care whether it’s being candid. We deserve better than a party and a presidential aspirant so wanton that they refuse to let facts get in the way of a fairy tale.

Robert Reich: Labor Day 2012 and the Election of 2012: It’s Inequality, Stupid

The most troubling economic trend facing America this Labor Day weekend is the increasing concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top — among a handful of extraordinarily wealthy people — and the steady decline of the great American middle class.

Inequality in America is at record levels. The 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together.

Republicans claim the rich are job creators. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to create jobs, businesses need customers. But the rich spend only a small fraction of what they earn. They park most of it wherever around the world they can get the highest return.

The real job creators are the vast middle class, whose spending drives the economy and creates jobs.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Goodbye, Liberty! 10 Ways Americans Are No Longer Free

Our struggle for liberty is a fight against concentrated wealth.

Our most fundamental rights, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are under assault. But the adversary is Big Wealth, not Big Government as conservatives like to claim. Consider:

Life? The differences in life expectancy between wealthier and lower-income Americans are increasing, not decreasing.

Liberty? Digital corporations are assaulting our privacy, while banks trap us in indebtedness that approaches indentured servitude. The shrunken ranks of working Americans are being robbed of their essential liberties – including the right to use the bathroom.  

The pursuit of happiness?  Social mobility in the United States is dead. Career choices are increasingly limited. As for working hard and earning more, consider this: Between 1969 and 2008 the average US income went up by $11,684. How much of that went to the top 10? All of it. Income for the remaining 90 percent actually went down.

These changes didn’t just happen. Wealthy individuals and corporations made it happen – and they’re still at it. Meanwhile, Corporate America’s wholesale theft of your individual liberties has been rebranded as a fight for … the corporation’s individual liberty.

On This Day In History September 1

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

On this day in 1897, the Boston subways opens, becoming the first underground rapid transit system in North America. It was the inspiration for this song by the Kingston Trio.

F1 2012: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Qualifying

Hard to believe it’s already been 5 weeks since Hungaroring but for the first 2 we had the XXX Olympiad to amuse us.  They take their vacations seriously which is why there was a lot of development work just before mid-season most of which they’ve still been unable to test except during racing because of the execrable weather.

Practice at Spa was just like that with very little track time at all and that using the Wets and Inters.  Lotus has a new passive F-Duct (spoils the airflow over the rear wing reducing drag and downforce) they’ve never gone fast enough to use.

So qualifying as always is a crapshoot, Spa itself is considered one of the fastest tracks on the circuit when it’s not raining which it usually is.  Rapid elevation changes can starve the engines of oil and cause failures.  Massa’s engine blew up in P1, but it was race used and there was no penalty.

While it’s fair enough to call this mid-season, the majority of races have already been run and there is a certain urgency for Teams that feel they are in contention to improve their positions or stave off rivals.  To me the story line at the top is whether Alonso can continue to make that piece of junk he’s driving look good and Red Bull will continue its malaise.  McLaren as always could be great if their race management wasn’t so damn stupid and Lotus is putting a ton of work into breaking the top 3.  Mercedes waves it’s hands in the air and just dosn’t care, Force India keeps thinking they can steal one.  The announcers will continue to sentimentally root Williams but they are years away.

Counting this there are 9 races left in 13 weeks before the end of the season on November 25th.  Spa and Monza next week are the last ones in Europe.

The full slate of Speed support broadcasts, Debrief, Practice, and Qualifying will be repeated Sunday morning from 12:30 to 4:30 with the GP 2 race starting at 6 am and the Belgian Gran Prix at 8.

The American Taliban

HBO’s series The Newsroom debuted ten weeks ago. Written by Alan Sorkin it is a fictional behind the scenes look at a cable news network, Atlantis Cable News (ACN), its star, Will McAvoy, the Republican anchor for its premier news program, News Night and his staff. Each episode has focused around a major event in the recent past, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. In the last episode of the season, the News Room took on the issue of voter ID laws and the non-issue of voter fraud.

Sometimes it takes a fictional character to poke the hive.

The American Taliban cannot survive if Dorothy Cooper is allowed to vote