Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today -100: November 30, 1911: Of ultimata, turkeys, and corn

Russia says that if Persia doesn’t give in to its demands within 48 hours, Russian troops will march on Teheran and add the cost of that to the indemnity. Not only must Persia’s American treasurer be fired, but no more foreigners may be hired without the permission of Russia and Britain.

Revolutionaries fail to take Nanking. The US offers the emperor 2,500 troops currently stationed in the Philippines to keep open the Peking Railway and protect foreigners.

Headline of the Day -100: “Women Howl Down Asquith.” Suffragists, of course, prevent the prime minister delivering a speech on settlement work. Another speaker, future prime minister and class traitor Ramsay MacDonald, describes the heckling as an insult to the prime minister and a degradation of English public life.

Thanksgiving Headline of the Day -100: “40-Lb. Turkey for Taft.” Insert your own Taft-is-fat joke here.

Evidently competitive eating is not a recently created sport. One Charles W. Glidden of Lawrence, Massachusetts is betting $25 that he can eat... well, a whole disgusting menu I won’t repeat here. Glidden “broke into fame not long ago by eating 58 ears of corn in 115 minutes.” Piker. The current corn-eating record is 46 ears of corn in 12 minutes, set by Joe LaRue in 2010.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today -100: November 29, 1911: Of Greek, the other yellow peril, and bulls

Oxford University rejects a proposal to allow math and science students to skip the Ancient Greek requirement.

Harvard University rejects British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, denying her the use of any Harvard building in which to make a speech, on the grounds that Harvard is a man’s college, and women should not be allowed to speak in it.

A national anti-women’s suffrage association has been formed. Its slogan will be “Down With the Yellow Peril, Women’s Votes!” (yellow being the color of the suffrage movement.) It will be led by a Mrs. Arthur Dodge, who says that the heavy voter registration of women in California does not indicate that women really want the vote. Rather, it was discovered that “the lower element among the women” were registering in order to vote Socialist; naturally, men of the better sort responded by “sen[ding] their wives and daughters” to register.

Russia is demanding that Persia fire its treasurer-general, the American W. Morgan Shuster, and pay an indemnity to compensate Russia for the cost of sending its troops to threaten Persia.

Headline of the Day -100: LAT: “BULL FIGHTS AEROPLANE.” Broke both its wings, too.

The plane’s wings, not the bull’s.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It’s probably an infinite number of people who could come forward with a story

Gov. Brownback has apologized for his staff going ballistic on Emma Sullivan’s tweet, and her high school decided she won’t have to write a letter of apology after all – after she refused to write one. Does anyone doubt that if she’d caved to all the pressure they put on her, they’d simply have made a show of accepting her apology “gracefully” (by which I mean smugly) rather than be forced to acknowledge her First Amendment rights?

Herman Cain was on Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Comedy Room tonight.

On Pakistan Army Chief of Staff General Kayani: “I have faith in him because I’ve actually talked with someone who went to school with him.”

On the newest accusation of a 13-year affair: “it’s going to be proved that it was probably something else that was baseless.” Probably.

Also, he’s met a lot of people, so “A hundred thousand people could possibly come out. ... it’s probably an infinite number of people who could come forward with a story.” Probably.

“As long as my wife is behind me, and as long as my wife believes that I should stay in this race, I’m staying in this race”. Is it at all creepy that the man accused of all sorts of sexual improprieties always refers to his wife as “my wife” (7 times in the course of this interview) and never by her actual name? Is he afraid he’ll accidentally call her by some other woman’s name?

What is he doing next? “When I go to this fundraiser that I’m permitted to go with supporters, I am going to have a nice steak dinner. When you’ve done nothing wrong, I’m going to continue my routine as normal as planned.” So is having a nice steak dinner proof that he’s done nothing wrong, or is it a euphemism for... something? Answers in comments, please.

Today -100: November 28, 1911: Of burning halibut capitals, un-Roman behavior, sedatives for political alcoholism, and radioactive love letters

Canadian Headline of the Day -100: “A Canadian Capitol in Ruins.” All the government buildings in Prince Rupert burned down. Wikipedia says Prince Rupert was the Halibut Capital of the World until the early 1980s, so this is a pretty big deal.

A Brooklyn judge offers one Antonio Scarrello a suspended sentence on a knife charge if he’ll return to Italy, join the army and go to Libya to fight the dreaded Turk. Scarrello thinks not. The judge sentences him to one year, commenting, “Evidently your blood is not the same as that of the old Romans.”

Rep. Victor Berger (Socialist-Wisc.) says he will introduce a bill for women’s suffrage, although women “probably will make a frightful botch of the ballot at first”.

Germany removes its gunboats from Morocco, officially ending the crisis.

British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey gives a statement to Parliament relating the history of negotiations with Germany about Morocco. He hopes, he says, that the speech will be “a sedative to a world which has been indulging in a fit of political alcoholism”. He claims, as does PM Asquith later, that British has no secret treaties. They are lying. He says “I do not believe that Germany has aggressive designs”. Er, okay then.

In the debate that followed, Irish Nationalist John Dillon points out that in Grey’s hour and a half speech, there was no word of sympathy for the people of Morocco.

Riots in Lisbon, with exchanges of gunfire between troops and rioters, leading to at least two deaths. Is this a royalist counter-revolution or, as the NYT claims, were the riots caused by the expulsion of two Chinese women for selling phony blindness cures?

The NYT reprints Marie Curie’s love letters at surprising length.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

The Bachmann: “This type of amnesty will only encourage other illegals to enter our country illegally.”

Today -100: November 27, 1911: Of denials, Marxes, heavenly spirits, and executions

Teddy Roosevelt again denies that he’s running for president in 1912, or that he’s supporting Taft, La Follette, or anyone else.

Karl Marx’s daughter Laura commits suicide along with her husband, French socialist (and Karl Marx translator) Paul Lafargue, because they were all old and stuff. Some dude named Lenin will speak at their funeral.

The regent for the Chinese boy-emperor takes an oath to uphold the new revolutionary Constitution, organize a new parliament and exclude nobles from administrative posts. “I and my descendants will adhere to it forever. Your heavenly spirits will see and understand.”

Man Bites Dog -100: A white man will be executed in Georgia for killing a black woman and her daughter. First time a white person has ever been executed for killing a black person.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Today -100: November 26, 1911: Of secession, bathtub trust, duels, suffrage babies, unnecessary lynchings, and un-naked savages

Oaxaca state secedes from Mexico, or at any rate its Legislature and governor refuse to recognize the Madero government.

There are great plans to celebrate 100 years of peace between Britain and the US in 1915. I predict that 1915 will be all about peace.

Headline of the Day -100: “Against Bathtub Trust.”

Another duel related to Marie Curie. This time, at last, one of the duellists is the dude alleged to be having the affair with her, Prof. Langevin. Pathetically, both parties fired their pistols into the air. (Headline: “Curie Duel a Fizzle.”)

Members of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association will hold a “suffrage baby show” at the county fair, to show that suffragists can raise pretty babies, or something. There will also be a cooking contest. This must be some definition of feminism with which I am not familiar.

Kaiser Wilhelm II catches a cold driving an open automobile. He likes driving fast. Mrs. Kaiser can’t stop him, but she did stop him going up in a dirigible or down in a submarine, because she never lets him have any fun.

The NYT Sunday magazine section has a lengthy article about Alabama Governor Emmet O’Neal’s views about the current state of the South, under the headline “Lynching Unnecessary, Says Alabama’s Governor.” He says that whites used to be “compelled” to use violence to maintain “law and order” (Define law. Define order.) before the state’s 1901 constitution, whose literacy tests and poll taxes effectively disfranchised most blacks (and a lot of poor whites) in the state, leaving almost no voters at all in the 14 Black Belt counties. O’Neal says that blacks’ failure since then to acquire the education and cash necessary to vote in Alabama shows they really aren’t interested in voting, and indeed their failure to pay the poll tax just proves them “unfit to vote” (or that they know that “literacy tests” administered by racist fucks like yourself will mean it would just be a waste of $1.50.) He bemoans that blacks are leaving agriculture, where they are “more contented and freer from crime” and “most easily controlled.” He says the South went prohibition to keep booze away from blacks, not because blacks are natural alcoholics, but because the quality of the alcohol sold to them was so bad. He says lynching has died out in Alabama because of a provision in the 1901 constitution allowing governors to remove sheriffs who allow lynchings to take place (O’Neal has used this provision once). Mob violence is “no necessity in any Southern state,” he says.

The LAT reports the great news out of our newest colony, the Philippines: “A million naked savages are putting on dresses or pantaloons. Gory head-hunters are washing their hands and going to work.” They’re even wearing shoes and tucking in their shirts now. So conquering them was totally worth it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today -100: November 25, 1911: Of non-lynchings, aerial warfare, and duels

In Spring Hill, Kansas, a black man accused of attacking a 14-year-old white girl is saved from lynching by her father, who says that the law should be allowed to take its course.

The Chinese revolutionaries are said to be purchasing 13 airships in the US for their attack on Peking.

Another duel in France over Marie Curie’s alleged sex life, this time between a writer in Gil Blas and an anti-Semitic editor.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today -100: November 24, 1911: Of blockades and duels

Italy, annoyed and bewildered by Turkey’s continued refusal to give in over Libya, plans to blockade the Dardanelles. Russia will not be best pleased.

The editor of French literary journal Gil Blas and the editor of the far-right newspaper L’Action Française duel over whether Madame Curie is fucking a professor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I mean, jurors are human beings

The Arkansas Supreme Court is hearing an appeal for a death penalty case in which one juror was found to be using Twitter – from the jury box – and another was asleep. Neither were bounced from the state, a practice which the state of Arkansas is defending. The assistant attorney general says the first guy only tweeted a few times, and only about his feelings about the trial, not about its substance (he was caught doing it during the trial, was questioned by the judge, and went right back to doing it from the deliberation room).

The other juror had his eyes closed. Asked by the judge if he’d missed anything, he said, “Not really.” Which was good enough for the judge. And for the assistant attorney general, who points out that it was after all a long trial, and he seems to have heard “the vast majority of the evidence.” “I mean, jurors are human beings.”

Further, the judge told the jury that the state supreme court would automatically review any death sentence, suggesting that they didn’t have to worry their little heads too much about making a mistake. They used to pull that shit pretty regularly in Texas. I thought the Supreme Court had stomped on that practice, but I may recollect incorrectly.

Liberty is ugly, and also media-savvy

Forgot to mention that the high school students who raised the pardoned turkeys gave them media training, exposing them to loud noises and flash bulbs, so they wouldn’t embarrass the president. In Nixon’s day, they just nailed the turkey’s feet down (true story, I think G. Gordon Liddy must have been in charge).

Man, is Liberty ugly

President Obama pardoned two turkeys today, making his total pardons 6 turkeys and 22 human beings.

The turkeys are named Liberty and Peace, and once again Obama has discontinued the practice of the Bush years, in which the American people voted on the turkeys’ names, as is our constitutional right. It is therefore up to this blog to take up the slack (okay, I’m a little late this year). NAME THOSE BIRDS! Some suggestions to start you off:
  • Occupy and WallStreet
  • Pepper and Spray
  • 99 and Percent
  • Robot and Drone
  • Super and Committee

The face of Liberty, the ugly, ugly face of Liberty

Republican Foreign Policy Debate: All of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives

Tonight’s debate was brought to you by the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and Satan. Some of the questions came from Ed Meese, Paul Wolfowitz, and David Addington, a reminder that as bumbling, inept, proudly ignorant, and tongue-tied as this bunch of candidates might be, their party has behind them a talent pool of some of the most evil bastards in the world ready to staff their administration.


“I’m Wolf Blitzer and yes, that’s my real name.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CLUE?: Ron Paul’s opening statement: “I am convinced that needless and unnecessary wars are a great detriment.”

WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, WILLARD? Romney: “I’m Mitt Romney and yes, Wolf, that’s also my first name.”

AN HONEST UNDERSTANDING: Gingrich wants to extend the Patriot Act forever, and strengthen it, “building an honest understanding that all of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives.”

Ron Paul responds, “you never have to give up liberty for security,” and is immediately pepper-sprayed by Lt. Pike.

WHAT WE HAVE TO REALIZE: Bachmann: “We have to realize we’re in a very different war”. She repeats her line from two debates ago about Obama “hand[ing] over our interrogation of terrorists to the ACLU. He has outsourced it to them. Our CIA has no ability to have any form of interrogation for terrorists.” Because it doesn’t count as interrogation if there’s no waterboarding.

SOMEONE WE’LL LOOK AT: Perry wants to privatize the TSA and eliminate unions. Ditto Santorum, who also wants to profile Muslims, especially young male Muslims. “I think Muslims will be someone we’ll look at.” Cain wants “targeted identification.” “If you take a look at the people who are trying to kill us it would be easy to figure out.” Because they look all terroristy, if you know what I mean. About 30 seconds later he calls Blitzer “Blitz.” So much for targeted identification.

WITH THEIR PARTIES AND THEIR LOUD MUSIC, I’M GUESSING: Huntsman says Pakistan is “the country that ought to keep everybody up at night.” He calls Pakistan “a haven for bad behavior.”

Bachmann, who does not know what the word epicenter means, calls Pakistan “the epicenter of dealing with terrorism.” So which is it, a haven or an epicenter? She says the possibility of Al Qaida getting Pakistani nukes “is more than an existential threat. We have to take this very seriously.” She doesn’t know what the word existential means either. She says Pakistan is “kind of like too nuclear to fail.” Perry says he would cut off all aid and send Pakistan to its room until it proves it can be trusted, and then Bachmann calls him naive, so yeah, that happened.

Perry thinks the answer is to get Afghanistan, India and Pakistan into a free-trade zone, which would get “Pakistan to understand that they have to work with all of the countries in that region.”

HEY, MITT, DON’T LET THE PITH HELMET MESS UP YOUR HAIR: “We need to bring Pakistan into the 21st century, or the 20th century for that matter,” just like “what happened in Indonesia back in the 1960s, where -- where we helped Indonesia move toward modernity with new leadership.” And gave them names of people to be killed as part of the genocidal slaughter of a million people. You know, modernity.

Romney says “This is not time for America to cut and run” from Afghanistan. I’m sure he’ll tell us when it is time for America to cut and run.

Gingrich stopped in the middle of talking about killing bin Laden to ask whether he had 30 seconds or longer to give his answer, because “I’m happy to play by the rules, I just want to know what they are.” Which I thought was amusing because he meant play by the rules as far as answering within a given time-frame, not play by the rules against sending troops into a country secretly to kill people. He says Pakistan was furious with us about that, but we should have been furious at them, because Gingrich likes pretending to be furious about things.

Some Heritage Foundation douche asks if we should help Israel attack Iran.

MOUNTAINOUS: Herman Cain reminds us that “when you talk about attacking Iran, it is a very mountainous region.” But “in some instances, depending upon how strong the plan is, we would join with Israel for that, if it was clear what the mission was and it was clear what the definition of victory was.”
victory >noun (pl. victories) an act of defeating an opponent in a battle or competition.
-ORIGIN Latin victoria.
Hope that helps.

Ron Paul says he wouldn’t, because Israel has several hundred nuclear missiles and “they can take care of themselves,” if by take care of themselves you mean turn the Middle East into a radioactive hellscape.

Herman Cain again wants to remind us that Iran is very mountainous. He does not like heights. Hell, he won’t even sexually harass tall women.

It’s like he learns one new fact for each debate, and this one was that Iran is mountainous.

SERIOUS: Perry wants to sanction the Iranian Central Bank and put a no-fly zone over Syria. “And in that moment, they will understand that America is serious.” But then they’d realize it was “President Perry” ordering these things, and understand that America is not serious.

Blitz, as he will no doubt forever henceforth be known, asks if cutting off all Iranian oil wouldn’t wreck the European economy. Gingrich says that his energy program would actually produce an energy surplus in the United States, which would evidently be large enough to “literally replace the Iranian oil.” So the US would suddenly become a huge net exporter of energy with what, dilithium crystals?

The Newtster goes on: “But if we were serious, we could break the Iranian regime, I think, within a year, starting candidly with cutting off the gasoline supply to Iran, and then, frankly, sabotaging the only refinery they have.”

Bachmann says that Obama “met with [Iran] with no preconditions. It’s the doctrine of appeasement.” When did that happen?

Santorum says he supported AIDS assistance to Africa because “Africa was a country on the brink.” Santorum says that “America is that shining city on the hill.” No word from Cain on whether the “country” of Africa is mountainous, but the “city” of America definitely sounds mountainous.

Blitz keeps having to repeat the questions for Cain.

Ron Paul says “the [foreign] aid is all worthless.”

Romney thinks a trillion dollars is being taken out of the defense budget and put into Obamacare. Paul says nonsense, and is immediately pepper-sprayed by Lt. Pike.

Romney says “The right course in America is to stand up to Iran with crippling sanctions” – if I were a psychoanalyst, I’d have hours of fun analyzing Twitt’s notion of “standing up” to someone by “crippling” them. And we should indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Genocide Convention, because why not.

OR MAYBE A NICE CARD: And once he’s president, “my first trip -- my first foreign trip will be to Israel to show the world we care about that country and that region.”

Gingrich says “if we were a serious country,” “we would open up enough oil fields in the next year that the price of oil worldwide would collapse.” Collapse? If we had that as much oil under our feet as he seems to think, well, nobody better light a match. Also, “Lean Six Sigma,” which sounds like the name of one of his crappy novels.

Gingrich says he would bomb Iranian nuclear facilities “only as a last recourse and only as a step toward replacing the regime.” Bombing our way to a friendly regime in Iran, because what could go wrong.

Rick Perry says the supercommittee failed – “it was a super-failure” – because Rick Perry is hilarious. And if Leon Panetta is an honorable man, he will resign to protest the sequestrations. So obviously that will happen, because Little Leon wouldn’t want Rick Perry to think he wasn’t an honorable man.

WHAT HER VOICE(S) SAID: Bachmann: “Let me answer that in the context of the super committee, because I was involved in the middle of that fight as a member of Congress this summer. And my voice said this. I said it’s time for us to draw a line in the sand.”

I KNEW JIMMY MONROE; JIMMY MONROE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE; AND YOU, SIR... Rick Perry: “I think it’s time for a 21st century Monroe Doctrine.” Evidently “We know that Hamas and Hezbollah are working in Mexico, as well as Iran, with their ploy to come into the United States.”

Ron Paul calls for an end to the war on drugs, and is immediately pepper-sprayed by Lt. Pike. He says we should eliminate the entire welfare state, which is just an incentive for illegal immigrants to bring their families.

Gingrich calls for a “humane” immigration policy, with “something like a World War II Selective Service Board that, frankly, reviews the people who are here.” He’d consider letting people who’ve been here 25 years and have grandchildren and are in a local church (he mentioned that twice) stay. “[A]s somebody who believes strongly in family” – why, I’ve had several! – “you’ll have a hard time explaining why that particular subset is being broken up and forced to leave”.

Bachmann, selectively listening to Gingrich, or just not understanding, keeps saying he wants amnesty for 11 million people and a federal DREAM Act. “We need to move away from magnets, not offer more.” Magnets, as we know, scare our Michele, for some reason.

Next up is Romney, who doesn’t like magnets either, because they might get too close to his robotic CPU; he wants to “turn... off the magnets of amnesty”.

Perry is also anti-magnet (they mess his hair up somehow? I got nothin’.)

Romney says “The answer is we’re going to have a system that gives people who come legally a card that identifies them as coming here legally.” Hey, I know, we could make that card yellow, no wait, green, yeah green. “Employers are going to be expected to inspect that card, see if they’re here legally.”

The Blitz helpfully prefaces a question: “Herman Cain, you may not know this, but today Governor Perry called for a no-fly zone, for the U.S. to participate in a no-fly zone over Syria.” He actually did that in this very debate, but yeah, Herman Cain probably doesn’t know this.

You know, I could analyze what Cain and Perry said about Syria, but why?

Oh wait, somewhere in the middle of his answer, Perry started talking about how Syria and Iran are linked, so a no-fly zone over Syria is one of the ways we stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Asked about the Arab Spring, Huntsman is talking about the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Paul notes that a no-fly zone would be an act of war. “I would say why don’t we mind our own business?” He is immediately pepper-sprayed by Lt. Pike.

Romney, perhaps after exposure to a magnet, started gibbering: “President Obama’s foreign policy is one of saying, first of all, America’s just another nation with a flag. I believe America is an exceptional and unique nation. President Obama feels that we’re going to be a nation which has multipolar balancing militaries. I believe that American military superiority is the right course. President Obama says that we have people throughout the world with common interests. I just don’t agree with him. I think there are people in the world that want to oppress other people, that are evil. President Obama seems to think that we’re going to have a global century, an Asian century. I believe we have to have an American century, where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.” He does, however, point out that a no-fly zone in Syria is silly because there’s no bombing.

Someone asks what security issue they’re worried about that nobody has asked them about. Santorum says “militant socialists” in Central and South America “bonding together” with radical Islamists. Paul worries about overreaction and getting into more unnecessary wars, and is immediately pepper-sprayed by Lt. Pike. Perry worries about Communist China which “is destined for the ash heap of history because they are not a country of virtues,” with the forced abortions and cybersecurity. Romney says Hezbollah in Latin America. Cain says cyber attacks. Gingrich says WMD attacks on an American city, electromagnetic pulse attacks, and cyber attacks. Bachmann says Al-Shabaab in Minnesota. Huntsman says the American economy and the trust deficit.

Today -100: November 23, 1911: Of jury duty

The California attorney general rules that the state’s introduction of women’s suffrage does not mean that women are allowed on juries.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today -100: November 22, 1911: Of broken windows, more aerial bombing, and lost feet

In Britain, suffragette protesters, turned back from Parliament by the police, smash windows. Lots of windows. “A visitor to London to-night, unaware of the previously announced plans of the suffragettes to storm the Houses of Parliament, might have imagined that the Germans had come at last.” 220 women and 3 men are arrested. In the meeting preceding the “deputation” to Parliament, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence of the Women’s Social and Political Union said, “We who are on this deputation to-night are already outside our body. We know that our hands, our feet, and all that we have are being used by the great Spirit to carry out the great purpose of His will. It is that which destroys any possibility of anxiety or fear or consciousness of pain. We know that here we offer and present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a living sacrifice for all those great sins of the world whose taproot is in sex domination.”

An Italian “airship fleet” (5 planes) bombs and supposedly destroys a Turkish camp in Libya (according to observers in, what else, a balloon).

Headline of the Day -100: “Loses Foot to See Taft.” 15-year-old Edward McMahon, hopping a train with a friend to go to the White House to talk with Taft – about what, we do not know – falls under a train. His left foot is crushed, but not his plucky, indomitable spirit, I’m guessing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oh well

I’ll do a write-up of Saturday’s I’m Not Holier Than Thou, I’m Holier Than You debate if, and only if, a transcript ever appears. If anybody sees one, please leave a link in comments.

Today -100: November 21, 1911: Of assassinations and moral protection

Santo Domingo’s president, Ramon Caceras, is assassinated. His coach was attacked, possibly by relatives of the former president, killed by Caceras in 1899.

British suffragette leader Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence of the Women’s Social and Political Union explains that they scheduled their demonstration today (see tomorrow’s post for coverage) for night time “for the express reason that decent, honest workingmen will be in the streets. We have found that their presence affords women moral protection against violence by the police and hooligans.”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today -100: November 20, 1911: Of borders, demographics, and sugar

US troops will start patrolling the border with Mexico to prevent any more attempts to form revolutionary armies on the American side of the border.

In the first six months of 1911, the number of French deaths exceeded the number of births.

Dr. Alpheus Woodman of MIT says that people who eat lots of sugar are better-nourished, better-looking and more energetic.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shouldn’t this be the day after Thanksgiving?

Today is World Toilet Day. All day. Celebrate accordingly.

This is the official World Toilet Day logo:

This is the official World Toilet Day song, bringing the WTF to WTD:

Today -100: November 19, 1911: Of ultimata, plots, and campaign hats

Russia is demanding that Persia fire its treasurer-general, the American William Morgan-Shuster, or else.

US Secret Service agents arrest Mexican Gen. Bernardo Reyes for plotting on US soil against Pres. Madero and planning to launch a military expedition against Mexico from the US. This may not stop a new revolution.

Headline and Hat of the Day -100: “Taft Orders Campaign Hat.” It will be a derby with a a crown 6 inches deep and a brim 2 3/8 inches wide, size 7 5/8. “It is no ordinary affair, and, according to local politicians, could not be meant for other than campaign purposes.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today -100: November 18, 1911: Of suffrage, rope, and old dudes

British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith receives a deputation of suffragists from several suffrage groups which are divided in tactics but uniformly believe that his maneuver of pushing a Liberal-favoring universal manhood suffrage bill to which Parliament might (or might not) accept a women’s suffrage amendment (he tells them that the government will be neutral on the subject and that it is up to them to persuade Parliament) is intended to scupper the chances of a non-party settlement of the women’s suffrage issue (a London Times editorial agrees). Christabel Pankhurst tells Asquith that he “can go.”

Headline of the Day -100: “Duel to the Death Over a Bit of Rope.” A dock watchman accused a guy of stealing some rope and shot him twice. The man returned fire and killed him. Both men, who were strangers and unrelated, were named William Scott.

One Abraham Kalinsky dies in Baltimore, supposedly 117 years old. He served in the Prussian army at Waterloo and helped burn Moscow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today -100: November 17, 1911: Of combinations doing mischief, Persia, and assassinations

Theodore Roosevelt writes an editorial criticizing the Taft administration policy towards trusts as inadequate, being overly reliant on the courts to punish bad corporations rather than, as TR advocates, based on regulation and oversight by an independent federal agency. As it is, there are no clear set rules for the behaviour of large corporations, just long court cases which might eventually result in them being declared trusts and dissolved.

Roosevelt is not opposed to huge corporations (combinations) per se, only to those that “do mischief,” and he attacks his Progressive buddies who are opposed to them on principle for their “rural toryism.” As long as we have steam, electricity, bit cities, etc, we can’t go back to the competitive climate of 60 years ago, he says.

One reason for TR criticizing his successor now is that the government case against US Steel claims that Roosevelt was “deceived” by US Steel over the monopolistic tendency of its acquisition of the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company in 1907. The dude does not take criticism well.

While some people view this article as a break with Taft, presaging an endorsement by Roosevelt of La Follette in 1912, the NYT thinks he won’t endorse La Follette or Taft, but will “keep as quiet as he can” until the convention, and then support the party nominee. And the Times strongly discounts the possibility of him running himself. They don’t know him very well, do they?

Russia is sending troops to occupy parts of Persia, as per its ultimatum.

Mexico arrests a Spanish dude who was allegedly going to assassinate President Madero for $10,000.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Not unlike the stuff twirling around in his toilet

Today -100: November 16, 1911: They want to burn him now

The Post Office is experimenting with delivering mail (in D.C. to start with) by newfangled automobiles.

There’s supposedly a reign of terror going on in Nanking, where any Chinese who have cut their queues (those pigtails) are being beheaded.

At an NAACP meeting in NYC to protest lynching, Rev. John Hanyes Holmes says that lynchings are getting more frequent and more cruel. “A few years ago, the mobs needed the excuse of an attack upon a woman. Now they do not wait for that excuse. It used to be considered enough to hang the negro. They want to burn him now.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today -100: November 15, 1911: Let us have white men in this country

NYC Mayor Gaynor addresses the annual convention of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs, and tells them that no more than 2% of women want the vote (he soon finds out that pretty much 100% of the women in the audience want the vote). He then goes on at length about the unity of man and woman. And he assumed they all had the permission of their husbands to be here. It was a rather odd speech, during which he kept saying that he was distracted by the ash & garbage can situation (there’s a strike going on).

The premier of British Columbia, Richard McBride, asks the Canadian PM to ban Asiatics (Japanese, Chinese, and Indians) from BC. Says BC Attorney General Bowser, “Let us have white men in this country.”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Obama at APEC: The United States is, and always will be, a Pacific nation

Obama held a press conference following the APEC summit in Hawaii.

OF COURSE THE STAMPS WILL BE MADE IN CHINA: “Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers are beyond our borders. I want them to be buying goods with three words stamped on them: Made in America.”

DUDE OWNS A GLOBE: “As I’ve said, the United States is, and always will be, a Pacific nation.”

He said of sanctions on Iran, “And they’re having an impact. All our intelligence indicates that Iran’s economy is suffering as a consequence of this.” He’s applauding making the Iranian people suffer. Swell.

“TECHNICALLY”: “the recent IAEA report indicates what we already knew, which is, although Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon and is technically still allowing IAEA observers into their country...”

IT’S NOT A RACE – ISRAEL WON THE RACE 50 YEARS AGO: “all three of us [Hu & Medvedev] entirely agree on the objective, which is making sure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power and that we don’t trigger a nuclear arms race in the region.”

IN WHICH ONE WORD EQUALS THE SAME WORD: On Chinese currency over-valuation: “But the United States and other countries, I think understandably, feel that enough is enough.”

MAKES YOU WONDER WHY WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE POLITICAL PARTY (NOW SOMEONE’S GOING TO WRITE IN COMMENTS THAT WE DON’T – AREN’T YOU, ELI?): “I’ve been very frank with Chinese leaders, though, in saying that the American people across the board -- left, right and center -- believe in trade, believe in competition.”

He calls on China to become “a responsible leader in the world economy.” Evidently being a responsible leader like Obama means getting to talk to everyone else like they’re unruly teenagers: “But that requires them to take responsibility, to understand that their role is different now than it might have been 20 years ago or 30 years ago, where if they were breaking some rules, it didn’t really matter, it did not have a significant impact. ... Now they’ve grown up, and so they’re going to have to help manage this process in a responsible way.”

ACT LIKE DICKS AND SCREW OVER THE POOR?: On the “super-committee” and the deficit: “I still hold out the prospect that there’s going to be a light-bulb moment where everybody says ‘Ah-ha! Here’s what we’ve got to do.’” If it’s a compact flourescent light-bulb, Michelle Bachmann is going to throw a fit, you know.

ACT LIKE DICKS AND SCREW OVER THE POOR?: “Do I anticipate that at some point they [Republicans] recognize that doing nothing is not an option? That’s my hope.”

On the Sarkozy-Obama open mic moment re Bibi “The Liar” Netanyahu: “I’m not going to comment on conversations that I have with individual leaders”.

Obama ditched the hallowed tradition of making APEC leaders dress up in funny “native” costumes, because he has no sense of whimsy.

Here was Ponchopallooza ‘04 in Chile:

Bar Girls in Hanoi, 2006:

(Click here for my favorite of my APEC pics posts.)

Whatever the fuck this was supposed to be in Australia 2007:

Ponchopalooza ‘08 in Mexico:

Chinese Restaurant Waiters in Singapore 2009:

Next year, Vladivostok. I wanna see some damn Cossack costumes.

Today -100: November 14, 1911: Of copyrights and transplants

The Supreme Court rules that movies based on copyrighted books infringe those copyrights (to wit, the 1907, 15-minute Ben Hur) (which you can watch on YouTube).

A kidney transplant is successfully performed in Philadelphia.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Republican foreign policy debate: If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon

Another debate, which CBS calls the Commander in Chief Debate, which would be appropriate if the subject were confined to military issues but is not because it was also about foreign policy.

Transcript part 1, part 2.

Twitt Romney said Iran’s nuclear program (which he calls “their nuclear folly”) is “of course, President Obama’s greatest failing, from a foreign policy standpoint”. He should have encouraged Iranian dissidents with covert aid and threatened military action against Iran. “Look, one thing you can know-- and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney... they will not have a nuclear weapon.”

Gingrich agrees that Obama “skipped all the ways to be smart” about Iran. Maybe Gingrich shouldn’t talk about skipping. In fact, I want everyone to close your eyes and picture Newt Gingrich skipping.

Anyway, Newton says that the smart thing to do is “maximum covert operations,” including murdering their scientists – Republicans just do not like science – “covertly, all of it deniable,” to team up with Israel, undermine Iran’s government and if it fails to collapse, go in militarily.

Ron Paul is against going to war with Iran.

They weren’t going to ask Perry about Iran, but he insisted on telling them anyway. He would “sanction the Iranian Central Bank right now and shut down that country’s economy.”

Santorum says we should work with Israel to let them bomb the nuclear program out of existence “before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and then the world changes.” Sounds familiar.

Huntsman wants to bring US troops home from Afghanistan, because we’ve won.

Romney says he would never negotiate with the Taliban.

Gingrich, playing the history professor, badly, says, “the Taliban survives for the... very same reason that historically we said guerillas always survive, which is they have a sanctuary. The sanctuary’s Pakistan. You’re never gonna stop the Taliban as long as they can sort of hide.” Which is why Nixon bombing Cambodia defeated the Viet Cong, right Newt?

Major Garrett, who is not a major, quotes Herman Cain that the US needs to be clear about who its friends and foes are. Are you clear about which one Pakistan is, Mr. Cain? No, Herman Cain is not. Because bin Laden and because Karzai said he would side with Pakistan in a US-Pakistan dispute (which actually raises questions about Karzai, not Pakistan, obviously). “Will they make commitments relative to the commitment of their military, if we have to make commitments?” I’m guessing Newt Gingrich squirmed each time Cain used the word commitment.

Asked about Afghanistan, Rick Perry talked about foreign aid instead. And “The foreign aid budget in my administration for every country is gonna start at zero dollars. Zero dollars. And then we’ll have a conversation. Then we’ll have a conversation in this country about whether or not a penny of our taxpayer dollar needs to go into those countries. And Pakistan is clearly sending us messages, Mitt.” Are you sure that’s not the voices in your head sending you messages? “It’s clearly sending us messages that they, they don’t deserve our foreign aid that we’re getting, because they’re not bein’ honest with us.”

Bachmann says Iran is plotting a “worldwide nuclear war” against Israel.

Gingrich agrees about starting foreign aid at zero “and say, ‘Explain to me why I should give you a penny.’” Clearly the problem with foreign aid is that foreign countries aren’t made to humiliatingly beg President Newt nearly enough. And Egypt should be cut off too, if “the Arab Spring become[s] an anti-Christian spring”.

Santorum says we have to give aid to Pakistan because they have nukes. Oddly, this statement is being treated as a sign of his relative sophistication. He is, admittedly, the only one willing to suggest that the US has to work at friendship with other nations, rather than seeing every other nation on earth as supplicants for our favor.

Gingrich says for the second time that he would “adopt the Reagan/John Paul II/Thatcher strategy towards Iran.” And towards North Korea.

Asked to demonstrate his famous outside-the-box thinking, Gingrich says he would repudiate Agenda 21 and apply Lean Six Sigma to the Pentagon. Okay then.

Asked when he would overrule his generals, Cain says he would surround himself with the right people. “You will know you’re makin’ the right decision when you consider all the facts and ask them for alternatives. It is up to the commander in chief to make that judgment call based upon all the facts. And because I’ll have mult-- a multiple group of people offering different recommendations, this gives me the best opportunity to select the one that makes the most amount of sense.” Isn’t a leader supposed to set the agenda, not tick a box?

Drink it in, ladies, drink it in.

Ah. Asked the same question, Santorum says he’d come with a clear agenda, just like I said, and, will only hire people who share his approach. Suddenly Cain listening to different recommendations and ticking a box sounds more appealing than the ideological bubble Santorum plans to live in. The American people, he says, would be “electing someone who’s gonna be very crystal clear.” Not just crystal clear. Very crystal clear.

Speaking of being very crystal clear, Santorum says about the murdered Iranian nuclear scientists: “I hope that the United States has been involved with that.”

Perry says being “commander in chief” of the Texas National Guard is just like being president. “I’ve dealt with generals.”

Cain: “I do not agree with torture, period.” Please no one tell Cain about his little tell until I get a chance to play poker with him. Cain: “Wow, look at these cards, I’ve got a really great hand here, period.” Me: “Raise.”

“However, I will trust the judgment of our military leaders to determine what is torture and what is not torture.” And waterboarding isn’t torture, it’s enhanced interrogation, and he’d bring it back.

Bachmann also loves her some waterboarding. She says “I think it was very effective.” And Obama “is allowing the ACLU to run the CIA,” adding “according to the voices in my head which are running my mouth.” Indeed, “when we interdict a terrorist on the battlefield, we have no jail for them.” Um, what? “It is as though we have decided we want to lose in the War on Terror under President Obama. That’s not my strategy. My strategy will be that the United States will be victorious in the War on Terror.” See, and you didn’t think she had a strategy.

Ron Paul says waterboarding is torture, illegal under international law, and immoral, and uncivilized, and doesn’t work. Huntsman agrees.

Can a president simply order the killing of an American citizen suspected of terrorism? Absolutely, says Romney. Then he says that “this century must be an American century where America has the strongest values, the strongest economy, and the strongest military.” Nice to invoke “strongest values” right after advocating lawless executions. And a couple of seconds after that he said, “And I will stand and use whatever means necessary within the law to make sure that we protect America’s citizens and Americans’ rights.” Law? Rights?

Gingrich denies that Awlaki was a “terrorist suspect. He’s a person who was found guilty under review of actively seeking the death of Americans. ... He was found guilty by a panel that looked at it and reported to the president.” He even says that that is the rule of law. “Waging war on the United States is outside criminal law.”

Perry says China needs “to change their virtues.”

Romney calls for a trade war against China, because there’s a trade war going on now.

Huntsman points out that Romney is wrong that we can take China to the WTO on currency manipulation charges.

A question for Perry from Twitter. Would Israel also start at zero? Yes, but they’d jew us up (as they say in Texas).

Cain says the Arab Spring has “gotten totally out of hand” because the protesters were really the Muslim Brotherhood in disguise. Obama “has been on the wrong side in nearly every situation in the Arab world”.

Gingrich complains that Mubarak “was dumped overnight by this administration”. He also says he would defeat Syria through covert means. You know, Newt, it’s not covert if you guys keep talking about it. He thinks getting rid of Bashar al-Assad is simply a matter of will: “if the United States and Europe communicated clearly that Assad was going to go, I think you would find Europe, there’s a very tiny faction. And I think you would find him likely to be replaced very rapidly.”

And then, the questioning is turned over to South Carolina’s senators Lindsay Graham and Jim DeMint, because the debate took place in South Carolina and they wanted to remind us why South Carolina is awful.

Graham (“Three-part question. I hope I can remember all three parts”) asks about torture and Guantanamo. Cain is in favor of both because “pampering terrorists isn’t something that we ought to do.” Ditto Santorum. Paul says “We’re pretending we’re at war. We haven’t declared the war, but we’re at war against a tactic. And therefore, there’s no limits to it.” Perry says “these techniques” help save American soldiers’ lives, and “that’s what happens in war” and “I will be for it until I die.”

DeMint asks what programs they’d cut. Bachmann says the entire Great Society: “If you look at China, they don’t have food stamps.” Well, sure, because an hour later you’d want food stamps again (sorry). “If you look at China, they’re in a very different situ-- they save for their own retirement security. They don’t have pay FDC. They don’t have the modern welfare state. And China’s growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with The Great Society, and they’d be gone.” That’s why China built the Great Wall: to keep out Americans fleeing to China to escape from the Great Society.

Romney says we don’t need to invade Pakistan to clear the safe havens, because Pakistan is “comfortable” with our using drones. I’d make fun of that word choice if it weren’t sadly appropriate.

Today -100: November 13, 1911: Of lynchings

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease gives a speech to a bunch of farmers, but rather than the speech they expected about the falling price of cotton they got one about the lynching last month in Honea Path of a black man accused of attacking a white girl by a mob led by State Legislator Joshua Ashley and the editor of the local newspaper (the story didn’t make it into the NYT at the time). In his speech, Blease said the sheriff had warned him there might be a lynching in the offing and asked the governor to send the national guard. Instead, Blease wired back telling him to send a further report... the next morning. “Sheriff King received that telegram,” Blease said, “and he understood its meaning. Next morning I received his report, and it was exactly what I expected. As a matter of fact, if it had been any different I would have been greatly disappointed.” Indeed, he says, rather than using the power of his office to deter white men from “punishing that nigger brute” (who was hung upside down by his feet and shot repeatedly), he would have resigned and gone to Honea Path (motto: “The Little Town With a Big Heart”) to lead the mob himself. The NYT says that no one in the audience of 1,000 cheered Blease’s remarks. “Most of them thought the negro met a deserved fate, but they were not prepared for the Governor of the State to laud the work of lynchers in a public address.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Today -100: November 12, 1911: Of child viceroys

Some Swiss are worried that when Italy is done absorbing Libya, it will come after the Swiss canton of Ticino.

The king and queen of the United Kingdom and also, lest we forget, emperor and empress of India, are on their way to India. During the long voyage, King George will be in constant wireless contact with London at all times, just in case they need him to make a vital decision about, I don’t know, table settings or something. George has hatched a plan to regain some relevancy and power for the monarchy by making members of the royal family viceroys of various colonies. The 11-year-old Prince Henry (son #3) would start training for the post of viceroy of India immediately (spoiler alert: that never happened, although he did become governor-general of Australia in 1945).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today -100: November 11, 1911: Of massacres

Manchus slaughter thousands in Nanking.

Andrew Bonar Law is chosen as the new leader of the British Tory party, which will push that party further in the direction of opposition to free trade.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In my mind I was there to take the antlers off the deer

Quote of the Day: Staff Sgt. Calvin Briggs, convicted for running a “kill squad” that killed civilians in Afghanistan (other than the civilians they were ordered to kill, that is), said of cutting off fingers and other body parts of his victims as trophies: “In my mind I was there to take the antlers off the deer. You have to come to terms with what you’re doing. Shooting people is not an easy thing to do.” So he mutilated the dead in order to make it psychologically easier for him to kill people. So that’s okay then.

Republican Debate: Commerce, education and, uh.... Oops


Naturally, the questioning began with Herman Cain: how do we save Italy’s economy [insert stupid pizza joke here]. He tries not to say anything about Italy, but on a follow-up, says that Italy is too far gone to save. Sorry, Italy.

OH, I AM SO NOT TOUCHING THIS ONE: Cain: “This administration has done nothing but put stuff in the caboose, and it’s not moving this economy.”

Romney insists that Europe can take care of its own problems, in spite of the evidence of centuries of history to the contrary.

ROMNEY: “I’m a man of steadiness and constancy,” adding, “unless you don’t want me to be.” He offered as proof of this steadiness and constancy that he has been married to same woman for 42 years. Which is one year less than Herman Cain.

Perry: “The next president of the United States needs to send a powerful message not just to the people of this country, but around the world, that America is going to be America again”. He didn’t say what country America is now.

PERRY: “And it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s Wall Street or whether it’s some corporate entity or whether it’s some European country. If you are too big to fail, you are too big.” So should Italy be broken up and sold off? Oh wait, Berlusconi’s already pretty much done that.

Bachmann says we have to “legalize American energy.”

Cain: “The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations.” Well, if you hadn’t made those settlements that kept the cases out of courts of law...

NONE OF THAT ACTIVITY: Cain: “And for every -- one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably -- there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.”

Gingrich blames Occupy Wall Street on the media, which fails to explain how the economy works. For example, “I have yet to hear a single reporter ask a single Occupy Wall Street person a single rational question about the economy that would lead them to say, for example, ‘Who is going to pay for the park you are occupying if there are no businesses making a profit?’” Dude, you just blew my mind.

A minute before that, Romney had also laughed at how stoopid protesters are: “I remember asking someone, ‘Where do you think profits go? When you hear that a company is profitable, where do you think it goes?’ And they said, ‘Well, to pay the executives their big bonuses.’ I said, ‘No, actually, none of it goes to pay the executives. Profit is what is left over after they have all been paid.’” Well, I’m sure that made them feel very silly indeed.

Bachmann continues to insist that the problem with the tax code is that some people are considered too poor to pay taxes. “So even if it means paying the price of two Happy Meals a year, like $10, everyone can afford to pay at least that.” Maybe they could just mail two Happy Meals to the IRS. “And what it does is create a mentality in the United States that says that freedom is free. But freedom isn’t free. We all benefit. We all need to sacrifice. Everybody has to be a part of this tax code.”

Interestingly, the transcript CNBC provides leaves out the only part of the debate anyone will remember:

Dude remembers his own policies like Cain remembers the names of the women he groped.

Gingrich, asked what exactly Freddie Mac paid his firm $300,000 to do for them in 2006, says they asked for his advice as a historian. I assume they wanted him to explain the Peloponnesian War to them.

Cain complained that some health care bill (HR 3000) was killed by “Princess Nancy.” Oh he treats all women with respect, does Herman Cain.

Gingrich says it’s “absurd” to answer a question about health care in 30 seconds, since he’s been working on that since 1974 (and hasn’t accomplished anything), and that is why he wants seven Lincoln-Douglas debates with Obama, and also because he’s so very very lonely.

Finally, the moderator said, fine, the rules don’t apply to you, take aaall the time you want, Gingrich said: “One, you go back to a doctor-patient relationship and you involve the family in those periods where the patient by themselves can’t make key decisions. But you re-localize it.” Whatever the fuck that means. And he wants (as several others have already called for), Medicaid to be given to the states to “allow the states to really experiment” because what you really want to hear when people are talking about your health care is “Hey, let’s really experiment!”

BRAAAIIINNNNS! BRAAAAAAIIIIIINNNNSSSS!! “Three,” Gingrich went on, “you focus very intensely on a brand-new program on brain science because the fact is the largest single out-year set of costs we are faced with are Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s, mental health, and things which come directly from the brain.”

Bachmann explained that “The main problem with health care in the United States today is the issue of cost.” And Obama said Obamacare would cut our premiums and “we have Obamacare, but we didn’t have the savings.” Does she not know that it hasn’t come into effect? Sorry, of course she doesn’t.

Romney: “people have a responsibility to receive their own care, and the doctor-patient relationship is, of course, where that -- where that exists -- where that exists.”

Education. Ron Paul says college costs so much because governments inflate the currency.

IT MAKES SENSE BECAUSE THEY ALL START WITH “C”: But how, he is asked, should students pay for college? “The way you pay for cellphones and computers.”

Gingrich says every college should be like the College of the Ozarks (the Harvard of Missouri, as it is probably known). Because those students have to work 20 hours a week, because they’re poor.

Is it okay that California hired a Chinese company to build part of the replacement Bay Bridge? Cain says that the 999 plan would fix that. Romney says China is cheating on WTO rules and stealing intellectual property (that must have been what happened to Rick Perry). Gingrich says 2015 it’ll be cheaper to manufacture in South Carolina and Alabama than in China.

Cain says there are three things wrong with Dodd-Frank. First, insufficient oversight for Fannie & Freddie. Second and third, Dodd and Frank. (See what he did there?)

This was arguably the least coherent debate yet. While some candidates were obviously less informed than others, none gave the impression that they actually understand economics and finance or have actual plans to deal with banking, housing, health care, etc. And to a large extent, they don’t: let the states deal with it, let the market deal with it, let individuals deal with it, let the underpants gnomes deal with it.

Oh, by the way, Perry eventually remembered that it was the Department of Energy that he wants to destroy.

Remember when we were the goofballs in this bunch?

Today -100: November 10, 1911: Of NM

Not-quite-state New Mexico elects a Democrat as governor. The Legislature will probably (pending final results) be an alliance of Democrats and Progressive Republicans. I could swear everyone thought NM would be Republican.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Burning question

If there isn’t a question in tonight’s debate about what the candidates think about Ronald Reagan fucking Piper Laurie, CNBC will have failed America.

In fact, this calls for a CONTEST: How would any (or all) of the candidates answer that question?

Today -100: November 9, 1911: Of Tories and atrocities

A.J. Balfour resigns the leadership of the British Unionist (Conservative) party for “health reasons.”

The NYT counts as Socialist victories in the election in Ohio not only all those mayors but also the election of delegates to the constitutional convention committed to the initiative and referendum. All this is highly embarrassing to Taft, whose home state is Ohio (he too is round on the ends and high in the middle).

The State Dept plans to ignore Turkey’s appeal to it over Italian atrocities (the Italian embassy’s response: “The Arabs are the ones who are guilty of atrocities against our soldiers.”)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period

Herman Cain had a press conference today, which I’m sure cleared up this whole sexual harassment/assault thing once and for all to everyone’s satisfaction. Video:

PERIOD: “I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period.”

Line up behind the rope line, ladies.

He watched yesterday’s Sharon Bialek press conference in a hotel room with a couple of staffers. Way to step up your game, Herman!

HE FORGOT THAT HE FORGOT: “I tried to remember if I remembered that name — and I didn’t.”

HE’S MORE OF A BREAST MAN: “I didn’t recognize the face.”

WHAT HE WILL NOT BE DETERRED BY: “And I will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations.” They’re false AND incorrect. And anonymous.

I THOUGHT HE SAID IT WAS RICK PERRY?? “the Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman to make false statements.” Oh no, the Democrats have a machine for making troubled women now!

I trust people will have noted that word “troubled,” in which Cain suggested mental illness in a woman he claims never to have met. Echoes of “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.”

The accusations “exceed common sense.”

He quotes his wife, “and this is a direct quote.” Evidently he called up his wife yesterday to ask her what she thought of Bialek’s press conference – and he took notes on what she said. After assuring us that his family, none of whom is present, totally believes him, he hastily implores the media not to “drag my family into this.”

He would certainly submit to a polygraph, “But I’m not going to do that unless I have a good reason to do that.” He doesn’t explain what a good reason would be.

TURNED OFF: “It is natural that some voters will be turned off by the mere mention of the accusations.” Maybe with the right music and some wine...

NO FUCKING KIDDING: “In no way have I tried to minimize sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Actually, the question was about whether he’s ever seen sexual harassment, and what he says is that he’s seen instances that could be interpreted as sexual harassment.

He’s even seen women attempting to sexually harass men.

He goes on again about the pay-offs to his alleged victims being “agreements” rather than “settlements,” because a settlement would have legal implications. Er, doesn’t a non-disclosure agreement have “legal implications”?

There’s “a machine to keep a businessman out of the White House.” See, this is why unemployment is so high: the processes of bringing forth troubled women and keeping businessmen out of the White House have been mechanized, putting American workers out of good unionized jobs.

Asked to back up this conspiracy theory, he says he can only “infer” that there are dark forces arrayed against him. Then he says it’s “common sense” to suggest that because Sharon Bialek has had money problems in the past, she’s being paid off to make false accusations. It’s just common sense. Or, you know, slander.

Later in the day, or possibly earlier, he was interviewed by ABC.

He asked, very reasonably, “How can I defend charges when I don’t remember this person by name”? In fact, he doesn’t even remember “this person’s” name from seeing her on the tv yesterday, since he never uses it.

CAIN IS ALWAYS BRAGGING ABOUT HIS “BIG POINT”: “But the big point is, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone.”

DIDN’T CHASING THEM GET YOU INTO TROUBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE? “You know, to constantly be chasing anonymous accusers, baseless accusations, is a distraction from the big issues we oughta be talkin’ about.”

An “element” “really don’t want to see an unconventional candidate that is connecting with the people and putting bold solutions on the table.” Is that what the kids are calling it these days.

BY THE NUMBERS: His wife supports him 200%, his campaign does not have a cajillion dollars, his name recognition is now 99.9.

Reporters trying to get his relatives to comment on this “has no place in politics. It has no place in America.”

NYT: When Karen Kraushaar left the National Restaurant Association after filing charges against Cain, “some staff members were told that Ms. Kraushaar had suffered an injury after falling off a mule”.