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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,179

Journal Archives

The Making Of Romney's Storm Relief Event (if you thought it couldn't get worse, you're wrong)

The Making Of Romney's Storm Relief Event
A scramble to depoliticize a political campaign, and $5,000 in supplies from Wal-Mart. “Just grab something.” (JUST GRAB SOMETHING??? - me)

McKay Coppins
BuzzFeed Staff

The last-minute decision by Romney high command Monday to suspend politics while Sandy raged sent aides in Ohio scrambling to convert a scheduled victory rally into an apolitical "storm relief event" — a process that tested the campaign's agility, and left a few threads of partisanship inadvertently hanging.


The plan was for supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies to the event, and then deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman. To complete the project and photo-op, Romney would lead his crew in carrying the goods out of the gymnasium and into the Penske rental truck parked outside.

But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it "did donate supplies to the relief effort," but would not specify how much it spent.)


But even as Romney, clad in blue jeans and rolled-up sleeves, hustled around his area of the gym, shaking hands, thanking supporters, and stacking cases of bottled water on top of each other, signs of stagecraft remained. As supporters lined up to greet the candidate, a young volunteer in a Romney/Ryan t-shirt stood near the tables, his hands cupped around his mouth, shouting, "You need a donation to get in line!" Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, "What if we dropped off our donations up front?" The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. "Just grab something," he said.

The rest: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/the-making-of-romneys-storm-relief-event

"The last time we saw anything like this was never."

Bill McKibben on Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change: "If There Was Ever a Wake-up Call, This Is It"


Say hello to leadership, GOP mouth-breathers.

President Obama will tour the New Jersey damage zone with GOP Gov. Chris Christie.

Someone needs to hand out duct tape on the studio floor of Fox News, so they can hard-wrap skulls to keep them from exploding.

You know, or not.

Say hello to leadership, GOP mouth-breathers. Christie gave the keynote address at the RNC convention, and said all kinds of harsh, ill-informed, vicious shit about Mr. Obama...but Mr. Obama ain't care. New Jersey needs its president and its governor, and New Jersey will get exactly that.

Period. End of file.

Leadership. Look it up...or look here.

Obama Will Visit Hurricane Sandy Damage with Gov. Chris Christie

Fuck you.

Mitt Romney holds a "relief effort" rally...in Ohio.

Fuck you. I'm sorry. That's all I have. Fuck you. Just fuck you.

No shame. No shame. No shame. Absolutely no shame: "Romney Expands False Jeep-China Ad Campaign"

Romney expands false Jeep-to-China ad campaign
By Greg Sargent

Mitt Romney’s new television ad suggesting that the auto bailout will result in American jeep jobs getting shipped to China has been widely pilloried by news organizations, both nationally and in Ohio. The Romney campaign’s response: It is expanding the ad campaign.

A Dem source familiar with ad buy info tells me that the Romney campaign has now put a version of the spot on the radio in Toledo, Ohio — the site of a Jeep plant. The buy is roughly $100,000, the source says.

The move seems to confirm that the Romney campaign is making the Jeep-to-China falsehood central to its final push to turn things around in the state. The Romney campaign has explicitly said in the past that it will not let fact checking constrain its messaging, so perhaps it’s not surprising that it appears to be expanding an ad campaign based on a claim that has been widely pilloried by fact checkers.

The move represents a gamble on Romney’s part. The audacity of this falsehood makes it easier for the Obama camp to raise doubts about Romney’s character, integrity, and honesty — and to make the case that Romney not only failed to support the bailout when Ohio needed it; he’s now lying extensively to cover it up. Yesterday in Ohio, Joe Biden slammed the Romney camp by saying: “Have they no shame?”

The rest: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/romney-expands-false-jeep-to-china-ad-campaign/2012/10/30/89e8a986-229d-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_blog.html

What a pluperfect asshole.

An Ordinary Story of Extraordinary Bravery, Brought to You by Union Labor (this happened last night)

An Ordinary Story of Extraordinary Bravery, Brought to You by Union Labor
By William Rivers Pitt


Here in Boston, Hurricane Sandy started winding down near midnight. The wind was still howling, but the rain had slacked off, and you could just feel the pressure in the air lessening…and then, *piff*, the power went out.

I went outside to find the street dark for two blocks in both directions. Down the eastern end of the block, I saw the flashing yellow lights of a power company truck, and went to investigate. The last house on the right had the upper two-thirds of a huge tree lying on its roof, and the tree was draped across the power cables.

That’s when I saw the crane, and the guy hovering in midair.

Our local power company had brought in a crane to move the tree. The tree had not cut the power cables when it fell, but it was lying heavily across them, and the power company had cut the power in those cables in order to safely move the tree. The guy was in a harness, suspended in midair over the tree and the house, maybe three stories up. They maneuvered him into place, and he attached a series of lines to the tree. The engine on the crane revved, and the tree was slowly lifted off the roof.

And the guy went with it, hovering in space, guiding 50 feet of tree through the air. The tree looked like God’s Own Broccoli Floret floating there in the wind, and the guy went with it, up off the power cables, over the street, and slowly, slowly down to the ground.


The guy I saw 50 feet of the ground, guiding that huge tree off the power cables and the house, was a member of the Utility Workers of America Local 369. All over the East Coast, and especially in New York and New Jersey, union workers just like him have been breaking their backs to keep the rest of us safe and to mitigate the damage done by this storm. Firefighters, rescue workers, police officers, utility workers, transit workers, postal workers: you name it, they’re doing it, men and women alike, and they are all members of a union.

Look for the Union label, America. Today, yesterday and tomorrow, we owe Union workers an incredibly large thank you.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17607-an-ordinary-story-of-extraordinary-bravery-brought-to-you-by-union-labor

We Are All from New Orleans Now: Climate Change, Hurricanes and the Fate of America's Coastal Cities

We Are All from New Orleans Now: Climate Change, Hurricanes and the Fate of America's Coastal Cities
By Mike Tidwell
The Nation


The presidential candidates decided not to speak about climate change, but climate change has decided to speak to them. And what is a thousand-mile-wide storm pushing eleven feet of water toward our country’s biggest population center saying just days before the election? It is this: we are all from New Orleans now. Climate change—through the measurable rise of sea levels and a documented increase in the intensity of Atlantic storms—has made 100 million Americans virtually as vulnerable to catastrophe as the victims of Hurricane Katrina were seven years ago.

Arriving atop fantastically warm water and aided by a full foot of sea-level rise during the last century, Hurricane Sandy is just the latest example of climate change’s impact on human society. Unless we rapidly phase out our use of fossil fuels, most Americans within shouting distance of an ocean will—in coming years—live behind the sort of massive levees and floodgates that mark Louisiana today.

The New York Academy Sciences has already begun examining the viability of three massive floodgates near the mouth of New York Harbor, not unlike the Thames River floodgate that protects London today. Another floodgate has been proposed for the Potomac River just south of Washington, fending against tsunami-like surge tides from future mega storms. Plus there will be levees—everywhere. Imagine the National Mall, Reagan National Airport and the Virginia suburbs—all well below sea level—at the mercy of “trust-us-they’ll-hold” levees maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Oceans worldwide are projected to rise as much as three more feet this century—much higher if the Greenland ice sheet melts away. Intense storms are already becoming much more common. These two factors together will in essence export the plight of New Orleans, bringing the Big Easy “bowl” effect here to New York City and Washington, as well as to Charleston, Miami, New York and other coastal cities. Assuming we want to keep living in these cities, we’ll have to build dikes and learn to exist beneath the surface of surrounding tidal bays, rivers and open seas—just like New Orleans.

The rest: http://www.thenation.com/article/170894/we-are-all-new-orleans-now-climate-change-and-hurricane-sandy#

The Eye of the Storm That Sees Us All

Floodwaters under the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive in the Manhattan
borough of New York, October 29, 2012. (Photo: Ruth Fremson / The New York Times)

The Eye of the Storm That Sees Us All
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 30 October 2012

It is Monday afternoon in the city of Boston as I write this, and Hurricane Sandy has begun to flex her considerable muscles even here. Atlantic City is awash in many places, Hoboken is flooding, the Esplanade at Battery Park in New York City is basically underwater, and the worst of the storm is still hours away. Farther south, the eastern seaboard is taking a fearsome beating where Sandy prepares to make direct landfall.

I am sitting here with my whiskey and my wife and my fat cat and my upstairs neighbor who almost hit a cop car when he backed out of the driveway to get smokes, we're all listening to the wind shake the house, and contemplating the ruthless sense of humor of Fate.

Crazy weather - the one all-important topic that has been entirely ignored by both major presidential campaigns - is about to cause billions of dollars in damage along the East Coast, and may very well wind up playing merry hell with the upcoming election.

Funny like a kick in the head.

Remember this summer? All the insane weather everywhere that eventually caused even the most strident climate-change deniers to flee for cover and start hoarding canned goods? Remember when Greenland melted? Remember all the articles about the upside of the accelerating climate disaster happening all around us, vis a vis new shipping lanes and mining possibilities in all the places where there used to be ice?

Remember the drought?

Rivaling the Dust Bowl of the Depression era, the 2012 drought has impacted food production in America across the board, causing food prices to spike in a way that has been felt by everyone not rich enough to laugh off the price of a gallon of milk. More than anything else, it was the drought that brought home the reality of climate change to Americans this past summer.

And now? Poof, like it never happened.


The climate is coming down around our ears, and neither big-dollar candidate has felt compelled to date to deign to bring it up, because this is America. We're a funny lot, in that we must be led to the edge of the precipice and then kicked in the back before saying, "Wow, this is dangerous, we should do something about this!"

The lights just flickered, and the wind is picking up, so I have to submit this before everything shuts down.

A metaphor, that.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12404-the-eye-of-the-storm-that-sees-us-all

Pollster: Undercounted Cellphone Users Hide Obama's Lead

Are Obama voters underrepresented in presidential polls because they use cellphones?

That's the argument put forward by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg in a new memo released Monday. Government data shows that an increasing percentage of Americans have ditched their traditional land-line phones and now use only cellphones. A year ago, 32 percent of adults used only a cellphone, according to the Center for Disease Control, which tracks cellphone usage. But more and more Americans are relying solely on their cellphones—Greenberg estimates that that figure is now 37 percent. And government statistics show still larger percentages of hispanics, blacks, and young people—all of whom are more likely to favor Obama, polls show—use cellphones only.

Why does this uptick in cell-only users matter? Because, as Greenberg writes, some polls used to gauge the state of the presidential race don't reach these people—and could therefore be lowballing Obama's standing. (Robocalls are used by many pollsters, but cellphones are blocked from receiving robocalls.) Greenberg went back and analyzed 4,000 of his polling firm's interviews this election season and found that cell-only voters break for Obama in significant numbers. As the following charts show, people who only use a cellphone said they'd vote for Obama by an 11-point margin, and those who mostly use a cell opted for Obama by 9 points. On the other hand, those who said they used a landline and a cellphone backed Romney by 3 points.

Cellphone-only respondents, Greenberg says, are "attitudinally and culturally distinct." They're less conservative, but not necessarily libertarian, either, though they praise both the National Rifle Association and same-sex marriage. They're a crucial piece of the electorate not entirely captured by polls used in the presidential race.

The rest: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/10/polls-cell-phone-obama-voters-undercount

Anatomy Of A Frightened, Desperate Scumbag (curse-free meme edition)

I posted this meme a few days ago, but it had a curse in it, and folks expressed concern about sharing it because of that.

Curse-free version deployed.

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