Crazy People Paid Mitt Romney $50K to Talk for One Hour


As we all surely know by now, the internet isbasically turning off today. Or parts of it at least: the #SOPAblackout protest is actually a pretty good bellwether of which sites are genuinely on board with the cause (Wikipedia), which sites are aware they could potentially cause the entire global economy to crash if they fully jumped on board with a total site shutdown (Google), and which sites are only willing to play a token part in the whole thing because they're too busy whoring for pageviews (The Gifzette).

So the internet going away is very good news for Mitt Romney, who's having himself a rough news cycle today—an "unforced error" as the people on our TV keep relentlessly calling it this morning. While he didn't exactly make news yesterday after revealing that the majority of his income is derived from "carried interest" from prior investments—and thus taxed at a mere 15% rate, because one of the central tenets of Free Market Capitalism is that labor and capital are oh so very different things and can't possibly be taxed at the same rates, something something double taxation of dividends!! —he certainly opened the door to all sorts of problems when he mentioned making "not very much" on the lecture circuit. Except: oops! Turns out he made just shy of $400K last year. From talking! To people. People who are willing to pay him more than $50,000 per hour of talking. That's roughly $17K more than the average South Carolina voter makes in an entire year.

Huge news out of Wisconsin yesterday for all the Scott Walker haters out there (read: anyone with a pulse and/or baseline cognitive abilities), as the movement to recall the monstrous Wisconsin governor finally unveiled its long-awaited signature tally. There's been quite an expectations game going on among those keeping a close eye on this, with pundits placing a lot of weight on the final size of the signature tally, which required 540,000 to sign in order for the recall to move forward. The recall movement has been playing its cards pretty close to its chest, expecting the tea leaf readers to pounce on it just as they do for random off-year special elections in some backwoods part of upstate New York, but yesterday they threw down: ONE MILLION SIGNATURES. As John Nichols points out at The Nation, "the movement to oust Walker will have secured the support of a higher percentage of eligible voters than has ever before sought to recall an American governor." Which makes perfect sense! Because Scott Walker kind of sucks more than any governor ever before in American history (we say this even as former residents of the state of New Jersey).

So wait what is that stat again on childhood obesity? Google is failing us today, but it's something truly terrifying, something along the lines of how one in three children born after the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. Which is just awful! And apparently Chuck Grassley agrees, because he's now attacking the Obamas for being, one the one hand, advocates of childhood exercise and better eating habits, but on the other hand, opposing child labor. “It’s interesting that this child labor bill goes against Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiative,” he said. “How can kids be active if they are limited by this law?“ Right! This is just about the nuttiest thing said about childhood obesity since West Virginia schools installed Dance Dance Revolution in their phys. ed classes. But what is with these guys? Grassley wants to send kids out into the fields, and Gingrich wants to force 13-year-olds into inner city custodial jobs? If this is what the future looks like, we don't want to win it.

So we don't know about you guys, but watching Sarah Palin these days makes us downright sad. It was one thing when she realized that the business of maybe-running for president turned out to be really good business—that made our blood boil—but it's a very different thing now that she's trying to play the same game with her not even all that important endorsement. Palin yesterday stopped short of endorsing Newt Gingrich, but said that were she a South Carolina voter she'd be voting for him. What a sad, pitiful, desperate grasp at relevance. This is either the height of cynicism or else she's just waiting to get her next reality show optioned so she can formally announce her endorsement on the air while shooting skeet in Alaska (two very different things, clearly).

Anyway, did you read today's Times editorial on that kind of very racist thing that happened the other night in South Carolina? No? Well read it. And then stay the hell away from today's Wall Street Journal op-ed page (ed. note: that's actually sound advice for pretty much every day we think).



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