Political Animal


September 12, 2012 1:25 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

This morning a good, if sad, reminder of the power of external events. If anyone saw this coming, he or she is truly clairvoyant.

Here are some mid-day news item that include and transcend the day’s big story:

* BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith has devastating roundup of reactions to Mitt’s press conference today from foreign policy hands representing both parties.

* Sarah Posner questions the identity of the alleged director/producer of the anti-Muslim video that fanned latest series of protests.

* Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson on ballot in 47 states—all but PA, MI and OK.

* Gallup daily tracking poll has Obama job approval at 51%. Latest weekly summary shows approval at 45% among indies.

* Census reports number of Americans without health insurance declined by 1.4 million in 2011.

And in non-political news:

* Notre Dame joins ACC in all sports other than football.

Back after a brief break.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Mimikatz on September 12, 2012 1:48 PM:

    Follow Ed's link above to the Sarah Posner post about the identity of the maker of the anti-Islam film at the heart of the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi and what his motives and the motives of his shadowy backers might be. This is an aspect of the story that bears some scrutiny.

    As someone on MSNBC said this am, there is a whole industry of people in the Middle East who troll for films and other expression that can be used to gin up anti-American sentiment. These things aren't produced in a vacuum.

    It underscores the point I tried to make in an earlier thread about the need of extremists of all stripes for each other to fuel their apocalyptic struggles. And how dangerous it is to have amateurs playing in this arena.

  • schtick on September 12, 2012 2:24 PM:

    I'm willing to bet after this fiasco and the debates, that Gary Johnson will get more votes than Willard. If not, the voting public really is dumber than a box of rocks.g

  • politi-mock on September 12, 2012 3:00 PM:

    Ok--we've totally figured out Mitt Romney.

    Incompetently politicize events such as in Libya, revealing yet a further lack of foreign policy chops--simply to attack a sitting president. This, of course, following his insults to the British on a trip to the Olympics not long ago.

    Flip Medicare over to profit the insurance industry while he pretends to care about pre-existing conditions, later saying the marketplace will take care of that--meanwhile people with such conditions weren't able to obtain medical insurance BEFORE the Affordable Care Act BECAUSE the marketplace wasn't taking care of that.

    And, as with George Bush, flip Social Security to Wall Street's dubious financial services industry for their profit, ensuring the eventual suffering of the elderly, poor, disadvantaged or disabled. Thus satisfying Grover Norquist in dragging government into the bathroom and drowning it in a tub.

    Set policies for his richest friends and corporate donors by seeking monstrous endless tax cuts, and a tax policy he still keeps secret from voters.

    AND, it sure sounds as if he has the same goal as Bush and Cheney --starting a war as soon as possible, enriching military profiteers such as Halliburton.

    And thrusting upon us an obstructionist tea party congressman as his vice presidential running mate who immediately earned the title lyin' ryan while wearing the same smirk we saw from Dubya.

  • Lest we forget on September 12, 2012 3:40 PM:

    Romney continues to dig that really deep pit for himself that it doesn't seem as if debates will be useful at all to him.
    That dear-in-the-headlights look during today's press conference reminds me of instability.

    Any reasonable person knows you can't go literally overnight from moderate governor to severely conservative tea party loyalist, from pro-choice advocate to anti-choice for womens' rights, from the person who excitedly signed into law health care reform to totally impugning the same plan enacted by Democrats, make campaign promises while refusing to share ANY of the specifics, refusing to show tax returns because Democrats will find things to pick at, while alternately telling Parade Magazine it's for religious reasons:

    "Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given. This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church."

    And, you certainly can't have THIS on your resume:

    "…in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics."

    And that vulture capitalist thing...

    "Maybe Governor Romney in the spirit of openness should tell us how much money he’s made off of how many households that have been foreclosed by his investments.”
    ~Newt Gingrich, CNN debate, January 26, 2012

  • Doug on September 12, 2012 6:38 PM:

    re Posner article (and others):
    The various articles are VERY interesting! In one "Sam Bacile" is 52, in another he's 56. He says he's an Israeli Jewish real estate developer living in California, but according to Israeli officials there's no Israeli citizen of that name.
    Whatever, the question still remains: who's stirring up the Middle East and, more importantly, why? It's known that his "film" is being pushed by Terry Jones, best known for wanting to burn the Koran, and some Coptic Christian living in the US, but nothing else.


    Not relevant, but I found it interesting that the last name "Bacile" is a near letter-for-letter transliteration of the Greek/Russian name Vasily, which would be BACILY* in Cyrillic and which we'd see as "Basil". So we end up with a first name, Sam(uel), derived from Hebrew, that could be Jewish OR Christian and a second name that's derived from Greek/Russian and again could be either Jewish or Christian.
    If I'm not mistaken, Samuel was a Prophet of the Old Testament known for making unwelcome remarks to the Kings of Israel. Vasily, in the original Greek means, I believe, "strength/power". Which led me to wonder (apparently I've got 'way too much time on my hands) if the name "Sam Bacile" isn't a word-play for "Speaking (Truth) to Power"?
    Because if someone knew a smattering of Russian, but NOT all the prepositions, endings, etc, they might remember on some words in Russian an "e" at the end would mean "to", as in directing something to someone. Or, as it most likely, it's just a name that should be translated as "Sam Strong" and that last "e" is there to represent the sound "ee".
    Thus ends your official "tin-foil" item for today.

    *Actually, that "Y" would really be a Cyrillic vowel that resembles the number "61".