Announcing the 2012 American Dream!

On the Big Bird constituency:

What Romney, in his adorably out-of-touch way, failed to grasp with that statement is that practically every American under the age of 50 has a powerful childhood association with that goofy oversize lug. An entire generation can trace its first understanding of death to the moment that Big Bird let it sink in that “Mr. Hooper’s not coming back.” And another generation learned about loss and community and resilience after 9/11 when “Sesame Street” had Big Bird’s own nest destroyed in a storm. (The show aired Big Bird’s odyssey again after Katrina.) And I defy even a robotic millionaire to get through Big Bird’s choked-up rendition of “It’s Not Easy Being Green” at Jim Henson’s memorial service and not completely lose it when he says, “Thank you, Kermit.” 

Yeah, Mittens, cutting .00014% of the budget by killing Big Bird, that’ll make your bogus tax-rate numbers make sense!

Flavio Gioia: the inventor that never was? How local pride and a slight mistranslation gave birth to the inventor of the compass in Italy.

Let’s all say it together: Panspermia works better with slow rocks.

Meet  Kulindroplax perissokomosthe earliest known Cambrian mollusk ancestor with an unambiguous combination of exterior shells and a worm-like body.

For your viewing pleasure: Metamorphose, a 1999 documentary on M.C. Escher. He was trippy before it was cool.

More pretty pictures: nano-scale microscopy reveals the hidden worlds within our own.

It’s a sad day for Cromarty and the world: the last speaker of the fisherfolk dialect has died.  It was a legacy tongue influenced by Norse and Dutch. No more.

Nothing says “I ♥ the Old Ones” better than a stylish inflatable Cthulhu beard!

Today’s total crank-conspiracy report: The Gulf Stream has stopped, military bases being evacuated by night!!!

The world’s five largest oil corporations, which include Exxon, receive $2.4 billion tax breaks annually, not the “small drillers” as Romney claims. The public overwhelmingly favors ending these permanent tax breaks, at the same time Republicans claim they don’t exist. While the five largest oil companies earned $137 billion profit last year, and $60 billion for the first half of 2012, they paid relatively low taxes, like ExxonMobil’s 13 percent federal effective tax rate. Hell, I pay more than that!

Romney’s foreign policy chops remain painfully insubstantial, drawing criticism from the right and the left alike. You’d think with his time abroad dodging the draft in France that he’d try less hard to be the embodiment of the “Ugly American” stereotype.

Remember that great Romney campaign ad with all those hard working coal miners standing behind him? That white shirt sure looked great in the middle of the blue collars, right? Those miners worked for Murray Energy,  and  those minors were ordered to be there… without pay.

Murray workers also have the privilege of contributing to the Murray Energy  company PAC… “voluntarily”:

“At the time of hiring, supervisors tell employees that they are expected to contribute to the company PAC by automatic payroll deduction—typically 1 percent of their salary, a level confirmed by a 2008 letter to employees from the PAC’s treasurer. (That letter also assures employees that they would not be “disadvantaged” by not giving.) Employees are given a form to sign, explaining that the giving is voluntary.”

Politicians like M’Lord Mitt of Romney and his corporate owners buddies aren’t going to fix the problem, they create the problem. For years, conservative business interests have promoted “Right to Work” laws through their front groups (ALEC, Americans for Prosperity and others) to destroy unions and make workers more vulnerable. These laws should be called “Work for Less” laws because workers in RTW states end up earning about 20% less.  Since most workers are only a paycheck away from homelessness these days, their families are held hostage by employers who find they can pretty much get away with murder. “At-will employment” has the effect of turning workers into fearful peons that can be cajoled and abused and then fired if they object, without legal recourse.

This is the business model that Romney believes in, and Murray is the type of employer that wants Romney to win in November. There is an ugly word for what happens when a political movement and corporate interests are so closely aligned, and once upon a time it applied to a government in Italy that ruled between 1922 to 1943. That’s the type of government Romney and Ryan and Murray and their cronies want to bring here. This is the GOP/RomneyCorp brand of the American Dream.


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