How about an early dinner?

Al fresco dining at Hotel Caesar Augustus, Capri Island | Italy (by Hotel Caesar Augustus | via visitheworld)

I want to go to here

For someone who doesn’t consider herself wealthy, Ann Romney chose an extremely expensive hobby / therapy

While most people with MS (or any other pre-existing condition) would be grateful to have health insurance and / or simple healthcare in general, Marie Antoinette has said she doesn’t consider herself wealthy yet she explains her dressage hobby as a form of therapy for her MS:

Ann Romney and dressage: A pricey private world
[Romney] soon fell in love with dressage, a fussy Olympic sport that is also called “horse ballet.” In dressage, a horse moves in delicate, dance-like steps to music as the rider, formally clad in top hat and tails, imperceptibly guides the animal.

Because it requires tremendous muscle control, dressage also provided Romney unexpected therapeutic benefits.

“Riding exhilarated me; it gave me a joy and a purpose,” Romney told the Chronicle of the Horse magazine in 2008. “When I was so fatigued that I couldn’t move, the excitement of going to the barn and getting my foot in the stirrup would make me crawl out of bed.”

The article says, “Dressage is not for the faint of wallet; it requires healthy outlays of cash for upkeep, training, transportation and veterinary care. It attracts some of the world’s richest people…”  Apparently so:

A spokeswoman for the Romney campaign would not discuss the costs associated with Ann Romney’s horses. “We are not required to disclose this information,” said Amanda Henneberg in an emailed statement.

The woman who bought Super Hit, Catherine Norris, testified that it cost $2,400 a month to board him at the Acres.

Insurance documents in the court file indicate that from November 2006 to November 2007, Ann Romney paid $7,800 to insure five horses against mortality and theft for amounts ranging from $50,000 to $135,000 per horse, which she said was far less than their value. “I self-insure for the rest,” she testified. “Just expensive to have insurance.”

That’s five horses at approximately $100,000 each. A pittance, she’ll assure you! Ann and Mitt not only want to repeal Obamacare on his ‘first day’ if he wins the election, but they want to close all Planned Parenthood clinics which provide multiple health care services for low income women. So you see, Marie Antoinette gets dressage as therapy and you get a bottle of Jack Daniels and a piece of wood to bite on. And? Ann has explained, patiently, that you just need to be wealthy in spirit, because that’s worth more than money (or a job, a car, a home, food, or medicine).

Deal with the cake you’re given to eat.

Freshman Tea Party Republicans are dumbing down the Congressional gene pool

Such a surprise. Congress is collectively stupider, thanks to the Tea Party electing the dumbest politicians available:

American Idiots: Congress Dumbs Itself Down One Full Grade Level: Congress appears to be getting collectively dumber. The Sunlight foundation analyzed Congressional speech and found that over the past seven years they’ve gone from talking like high school juniors to sophomores. While many factors account for the full-grade level drop off, the study found that the 2010 freshman class of Tea Party Republicans are partly responsible for spreading the stupid. As NPR points out: “Of the 10 members speaking at the lowest grade level, all but two are freshmen, and every one is a Republican.”

How did they get voted in? Take a look at their constituency:

redneck-randal12 redneck-randal14
image: thebigster

Of course we should also recall the voters who DIDN’T show up in 2010 — they were so much smarter for helping this to happen, weren’t they?

SpaceX: Falcon 9/Dragon launched successfully at 3:44 AM eastern

Launch ushers in new era of space flight

A first-of-its-kind commercial supply ship rocketed toward the International Space Station Tuesday morning, opening a new era of dollar-driven spaceflight.


Space X launches first mission to the International Space Station – A new era in space exploration began early Tuesday as SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon 9 rocket at 3:44 a.m. EDT at Kennedy Space Center. The launch — the first by a private company — was the second try this week after a glitch in one motor halted Saturday’s launch one second before liftoff. As the rocket headed for the International Space Station with SpaceX’s hopes to begin supplying the orbiting laboratory, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden saw the launch as the first step in bringing space jobs back to the United States.

Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 5.22.2012


On “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked a series of pointed questions to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President Obama, but there was one question in particular that stood out for me. “You know, it’s not just a question of vision, it’s also a question record because of these men have served in office and have records in office. So, let’s take a look at that. Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts for four years, Congressman Ryan. And during that time, Massachusetts ranked 47th of the 50 states in job creation. The only reason the unemployment rate went down [was] because so many people left the work force — more than any other state in the country except Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Is that a record to be proud of?”  […] The larger point, of course, is that we’re looking at a campaign dynamic without a modern precedent, especially for a governor running for the White House. In 2000, George W. Bush said, “Look at what I did in Texas.” In 1992, Bill Clinton said, “Look at what I did in Arkansas.” In 1980, Ronald Reagan said, “Look at what I did in California.” And in 2012, Mitt Romney is saying, “Look at what I did at Bain Capital.” – Steve Benen

Former Bain Executive: Romney bears the blame for Ampad layoffs — In 1994 Romney sidestepped questions related to the plant’s layoffs by saying he was on a leave of absence from the company at the time during his run for Senate. Romney’s explanation is similar to that he recently used to deflect recent Democratic criticism of Bain layoffs at GTS Steel, saying he had already left to run the Olympics when Bain acquired the company. But according to a 2002 interview with former managing director of Bain Capital Marc Wolpow, Romney was directly responsible for Ampad’s layoffs. Wopow and a fellow Bain partner sat on the board of directors of Ampad, and were responsible with carrying out the Bain business plan that caused the layoffs. “My job was to maximize the profits to Bain Capital’s partners from the Ampad transaction,” Wolpow told the Globe in 2002. Wolpow said Romney was responsible for the business plan carried out by Bain in Indiana.”Mitt’s employees executed that transaction,” he said. “We carried out the business plan. He was CEO of the firm.” ”I reported directly to Mitt Romney … You can’t be CEO of Bain Capital and say, `I really don’t know what my guys were doing.” Wolpow said that to maximize profits, Bain “implemented an aggressive plant closing and cost-cutting program.” — Buzzfeed

North Carolina pastor: Send LGBT people to concentration camps to die — Pastor Charles Worley of the Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina recently told his congregation that LGBT individuals should be rounded up and detained in camps until they’re all dead. […] “…Build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out, feed em, and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…”Raw Story

Group calls on Kentucky church to give up tax exemptions over anti-Obama sermon — Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a complaint with the IRS over a preacher in Kentucky who told his congregation to vote President Barack Obama out of office this November. “Religious leaders have every right to address public issues, but they cannot turn their tax-exempt ministries into political action committees,” Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, said. “If houses of worship want to be partisan and dive into electoral politics, they ought to give up their tax exemptions.” — Raw Story

Still Palin! The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that robocalls made by Sarah Palin to influence the outcome of the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Texas were actually going to voters in Kansas. The reporter described the call: “Hello, Texas!” she blasted into my ear. “I’m Sarah Palin.”Political Wire

Another dazzling display of Romnesia: Mitch Daniels says we’re in ‘peacetime’ “Well, you know, he’s been the president of this nation for the three years in which we have drifted ever closer to the biggest peacetime crisis we may have ever faced. There’s no doubt it. It’s a mathematical certainty. [...] To me the central question of this election is why such an administration deserves a second chance.” The fact that Mitch Daniels apparently has forgotten we are at war in Afghanistan—even though he served in the White House when we began the war more than a decade ago—is a fitting tribute to the Romnesia that has infested the Republican Party. – Jed Lewison


The President’s ‘to do’ list for Congress / Twitter live chat today — Do you have questions about the President’s plan? On Tuesday, May 22nd at 12:00 p.m. ET, we’re holding a special session of White House Office Hours on Twitter to answer your questions. Here’s how you can join:

So, what’s on the to-do list? Here are the items at a glance. You can learn more and check out videos at

“This is not a distraction, this is what this campaign’s going to be about,” Obama said, contrasting his record with Romney’s record as a businessman and their proposed policies. “I’ve got to think about those workers in that video just as much as I’m thinking about folks who’ve been much more successful,” Obama said in a reference to his campaign ads attacking Bain’s record at two shuttered companies that resulted in laying off workers and closed plants. […] “His main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience,” Obama said of Romney. “He’s not going out there touting his experience in Massachusetts. He’s saying I’m a business guy and I know how to fix it, and this is his business. And when you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits,” Obama said. “Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot.” Obama took yet another dig at Romney. “If your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about,” Obama said. — Roll Call

Paul Krugman: Romney’s business experience wouldn’t help him as president — “Yes, he made a lot of money. He made a lot of money in ways that were often not good for workers… And it is also totally important to point out, as President Obama just did, what a President needs to do is not what you need to do if you’re trying to make a bunch of money for private equity for investors. Slashing spending at times like these is a terrible thing, it makes the economy much, much worse… I think the way to phrase it is, this is not a stimulus — although it is — but as a ‘we need those school teachers, we need those fire fighters, we need those police officers.’ We are starving essential public services. There are potholes in our roads.” – Raw Story

Poll: Americans Want to Eat the Rich — Is President Obama’s populist-tinged contrast with Mitt Romney effective? If you pay attention to today’s Washington Post poll, it probably is. The poll asks which is the bigger problem: unfairness in the economic system that favors the wealthy, or over-regulation of the free market that interferes with growth and prosperity? Fifty-six percent of Americans say unfairness, 34 percent over-regulation. — Daily Intel

Obama Super PAC enlists Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Sarah Palin on Romney’s time at Bain Capital:

  • LOL Hypocrisy: “I’m very surprised that President Obama went down this road.” — Newt Gingrich, in an interview with CNN, on criticizing Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. Gingrich, of course, led the attack during the GOP primary. — Political Wire

Tuesday teamwork

Cat teamwork!