take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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« Karel to be fired again from KGO? | Main | See you next week, dear »

August 10, 2012



Rumors are circulating that Paul Ryan is Mitten's choice for VP.

Arty Ziff

1. Screw Romney and his latest sycophant.

2. The problem with newspapers today is that they are owned by people that think they should, like other corporate blood suckers, have a contently rising profit. The are simply that: a profit source, and it it isn't constantly growing at an aggressive rate, they'll kill it.

But that's just not a sustainable model for newspapers, and news media in general. I some corporate holding company thinks that local newspapers can be a source of huge an contently growing profits, they haven't done their homework and thought it through.

The idea that nobody buys newspapers anymore is simply bunk. It's just that many people NEVER bought newspapers, and at a certain point, readership simply isn't going to grow much and will level out.

Newspapers *ARE* sustainable, they just will never be as profitable as ripping people off with cheap Chinese made junk.

Arty Ziff

Oh, and if the Oregonian passes into history (print to web never works out well, eventually it simply dies as the PI almost certainly will), it simply means a young nimble LOCAL paper will take its place.

When the Oregonian goes Tits Up, I give it a year - max - before another print paper debuts. Also I predict that the Portland Tribune will start printing (it's currently web) and tak the Oregonian's place.

Mike Barer

The newspaper cemetary already has the Oregon Journal and the Spokane Cronicle.


He went with Paul "Throw Granny off the cliff" Ryan hahaha. Obama/Biden are the ones who project themselves and are really going to throw granny over the cliff.

A pretty sound choice. Here come the scare tactics and the smoke and mirrors from the radical and corrupt scaremeisters themselves. Bring it on...


Release the name 12hrs in advance?
Can the Mittwitt cabal be this incompetent?

Hedge Fund Hal

hahaha ..best ya gto nameless???...hhahahahaha Ryan choice was smart....he weill energize and bring fully into the camp the conservative base.......very early pick in major party nomination history... this morning R and R are already up and running with the campaign bus tour well before the convention starts........watch and learn libbers....


Well it's over.If you are under 55 years old today, the decision of who to vote for is obvious.

Scraping Obama-care and replacing Medicare with a coupon isn't gonna fly. Privatization of Social Security is a another lead balloon too.Most people trust the government more than the banksters.

Wonder how many years of Taxes we get to see for Ryan!


Romney's the guy who fires you. Ryan's the guy who denies you unemployment insurance or health coverage.

Well let's see..Ryan wants to ban all abortion even in the case of incest or rape or the health of the mother, wants to end the existing programs for foodstamps, WIC, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Yes, yes, I can see why America will go for this.
I think I will buy stock in Alpo.


"The most important thing to know about Mitt Romney’s running-mate choice is this: It’s not the move he would have made if the campaign was going the way he hoped it would.

Until now, the Romney strategy has been relentlessly single-minded. He’s had no interest in articulating or embracing specific policy proposals and has generally shied away from saying or doing anything that anyone might find at all unsettling. More than any other candidate in recent history, he has strained to be generic, someone positioned to serve as a protest vehicle for swing voters who are inclined to vote President Obama out. The toxicity of the Ryan budget has been tested (on a small-scale, granted) before, and the results weren’t good for the GOP. Which is why, more than anything else, this is a huge risk for Romney – a risk he wouldn’t be taking if this summer hadn’t gone so poorly for him."


The difference between 2008 and now? Most didn't know Palin was a hypocrite yet - we already know that about Paul Ryan.

Hedge Fund Hal

nothe diffeence McCain thought he was energizing the conervative base with a righty, instead he got a buffoon who drained votes away from the ARepubs in droves. Sory guys. Despite the chorus of cackling crows here yukking it up over the Ryan picjk, this time it's the real deal, the conservative base is already jacked, energized and ready to go vote . Even the Wahington Post said thst this pick has a lot of pros going for it, as well as the obvious risks.


"Romney's the guy who fires you. Ryan's the guy who denies you unemployment insurance or health coverage."
Posted by: sparky | August 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM

You've tapped right into the Obamazombie talking points. So, you approve of continuing with $570 billion gutted out of Medicare by Obamacare in an entitlement that is unsustainable. Real smart ! Get hysterical and go buy yourself some Alpo. That is a distortion and just a sample what the Democratics will throw against the wall and see if it sticks. It is based on lies, scare tactics and smoke and mirrors. As the guy in the car commercial once said; "you can pay us now or pay us later" (later will be much worse).

Stop your whining !

"The toxicity of the Ryan budget has been tested (on a small-scale, granted) before, and the results weren’t good for the GOP. Which is why, more than anything else, this is a huge risk for Romney – a risk he wouldn’t be taking if this summer hadn’t gone so poorly for him."

Posted by: sparky | August 11, 2012 at 01:07 PM

Poorly ? HA he is even steven with the incumbent based on Gallup daily tracking poll. A pick like Pawlenty or Portman (former Bush admin) would have been less effective. FYI - The Ryan budget goes out 10 years + but the fact is that budgets for the following year are the only budgets that matter - the rest of them can be tweeked the following year. It is not an edict or Gordian knot that will stick like Obamacare if it isn't repealed next year.

The left should be scared and the seniors should also be able to see through the left's scare tactics and will, once Ryan/Romney explain what the Democrats are trying to do to make this country a welfare state and what he and others propose to do to fix our economy and deficit, their house of phony arguments and sky is falling tactics will fall down.

Face it, the conservative base and the Tea Party are energized and if the progressives/statists want full out war as they appear to - war it will be. Obama is an empty suit, duplicitous and divisive whiner !


Keep spinning KS and Tommy. This pick shows that Romney is an obedient Koch minion. Did you know that Ryan went to college on Social Security benefits due to his father's unfortunate death? SS is fine for him but not for other people. He has been in Congress since his 20's and has lived off what Chuckles likes to call "the government tit" for 20 years. And like a Walla Walla sweet, there is much more to come as we peel back the layers. Bwahahahahahah!


Paul Ryan is just Sarah Palin with a penis.

Hedge Fund Hal

Ryan sleeps in his office, because he doesnt work an 8 hour day like our First Dude, Obama ( 4 to 6 hours a day when it's a golfing day). With Ryan it's 16 to 20 hour work days. He doesnt even have an apartment in D.C. , just the cot in his office. He goes home to Wisconsin every weekend. Big family man. He's Catholic, by the way, for all you libber Catholic haters on the blog. hahaha libbers heehee libbers i think your derisvie bluster and chorus of forced laughter, like so many cawing , cackling crows, masks a very real , growing unease you have with the Ryan pick. Dare i say fear? Yes. Fear.

Hedge Fund Hal

Sarah Palin is lazy, stupid and a clown . Oh and shes also a quitter when the going gets a little rough. Paul Ryan is jus the opposite of all those four things. Next?

R-R 2012. Real Change For Real Progress

It's a bit too warm to dialogue with a bunch of liberals that believe in taking all you can from the people that earn it without and consideration for where their money comes from or what those people do to earn it and sharing it with the non-producers.
Ryan is a good choice. He does understand where money (real capital) comes from and how it is made. Ryan understands budgets and priorities. The currant hacks have been unable to put together the most basic of budgets over the past three years.
It is time for real honest change and to put away the hopey-changey guy that is without a clue as to what to do to put the economy back to work for all of us.


He has been in Congress since his 20's and has lived off what Chuckles likes to call "the government tit" for 20 years. And like a Walla Walla sweet, there is much more to come as we peel back the layers. Bwahahahahahah!

Posted by: Walt | August 11, 2012 at 04:08 PM

Enough of the scare tactics and baseless screed. You don't have any room to talk supporting the duplicitous whiner in chief and their unsustainable welfare rip-off policies. Bwahahahaha


The GOP loves to trash Obama by bringing up Saul Alinsky. Mitt & Ryan better get used to hearing Ayn Rand, the reason Ryan entered politics

Hedge Fund Hal

hahahaa Romney made the same mistake this morning that Obama made in 2008 when Obama introduced Biden as his pick. Both men introduced their picks as "the next President of the United States".....Romney had the stage presence, humor and grace to come back on stage, to briefly interrupt Ryan's speech and correct himself. The audience loved it. Romney Showed some real skills there . He wasnt the "strapped to a board", rigid dweeb that the libbers have been trying to cartoon him as. I don't believe stiff, pompous, prideful Obama ever deigned to "lower" himself by correcting his identical gaffe. No, i don't believe he did.

Hedge Fund Hal

hahaahah "YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT !!" was the centerpiece of Romney's speech this morning. It's really the gift that keeps on giving.


Five things that Obama and the left does not want you to know about Romney and Ryan;

Remember, Politifact is a Left-leaning outfit, yet even they felt compelled to slam Democrats for their egregious distortions of Paul Ryan's Medicare plan. This debate is just getting (re) started, so here are a few key points to keep in mind as the "kill Medicare" falsehood gets spread far and wide:

(1) The Republican reform plan totally exempts anyone over the age of 55 from any changes. When President Obama promised Americans "if you like your plan, you can keep it" to push Obamacare, he didn't tell the truth. The Ryan plan explicitly, in black and white, protects current and soon-to-be seniors. No changes.

(2) The Democrats' non-plan does the opposite. It has already slashed more than half-a-trillion dollars (Update: $741 Billion, according to the latest CBO score) from Medicare to fund Obamacare, and it has established an unaccountable and extremely powerful bureaucratic board to ration care in order to keep costs down. To repeat, current seniors have already seen their Medicare cut by President Obama, not Republicans.

(3) Medicare's own accountants have calculated that Medicare will be insolvent within 12 years. As Democrats claim that Romney and Ryan want to "kill Medicare" or "end Medicare as we know it," they fail to mention that the calendar and basic arithmetic will do that in the face of inaction. Doing nothing is President Obama's plan because it tempts voters with the illusion that everything is going to be just fine, and that he's protecting them from "draconian cuts." He hopes this charade will get him through the election cycle. But reality is gaining on us. Medicare "as we know it" will be obliterated for generations to come unless we start making changes for the future, while shielding people currently at or near retirement from any switch. Between items two and three on this list, the truth is revealed: Democrats' plans cut Medicare, and Democrats' calculated inaction will result in its ultimate demise. The Republican plan is an urgently necessary move to save the program.

(4) After his plan was criticized for being too partisan in the first "Path to Prosperity" budget, Paul Ryan adjusted his reforms in the FY 2013 version. He updated his Medicare reform to embrace a bipartsian solution he co-crafted with progressive Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), which maintains the original "premium support" model, but includes traditional Medicare as an option for future seniors. Again, the Medicare reform plan for future seniors is bipartisan, and co-authored by a committed liberal who understands that the clock is running out to save the program. The updated version's provisions are also means-tested, meaning they entail more federal assistance to poorer and sicker future seniors than richer and healthier ones.

(5) The Romney/Ryan plan does not impose "draconian and radical cuts." In fact, the Republican budget increases spending. Every year. It simply slows the rate of increase. The most recent House-passed budget increases spending from $3.53 Trillion to $4.88 Trillion within the next ten years. This does, however, spend trillions less than President Obama's unanimously-defeated budgets envisioned. In case you hadn't noticed, we're broke, and it's getting worse.


It's a interesting strategy that the GOP has. Change the name of something that people have worked their entire life for into "entitlement". Then say basically fvck you, the rich (job creators) need more tax cuts

Romney must have decided to forgo Florida, with all the seniors there he couldn't win with Ryan's wipe-out of the social safety net. Rick Scott will be toast too next time.

Tommy, Ryan might be RC but the Church is totally against his proposed budget!

R-R 2012. Real Change For Real Progress

It is happening all over the nation. It has started with cities and counties. Overspending and over promising and ignoring the problem, hoping it will go away. At the very least, leave the problem for the next guys.
Eventually the money runs out and bankruptsy is the only option.
At least we have a couple of adults that understand money and see the problem. They are offering up solutions.
Harry Reid, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Barry Obama and the rest of the Democrat Senate can't even come up with a budget to see what we have and what is coming in and going out. They are in complete denial and keeping the truth from us.
It really is time for the kind of change that we can all believe in. Get rid of the Democrats. If in 4 years the mess is still with us, get rid of the Republicans and start anew.
We are overspending, over promising and unable to deliver it all.


Here’s the one thing Rmoney doesn’t want you to know about, did you hear about the “Son of Boss” situation?
Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, declined to answer written questions about Romney’s role at Marriott. “For details of Marriott’s tax planning, we refer you to Marriott,”she said.
“Tax planning is conducted by the company’s management and is, like all aspects of our business, subject to board oversight,” said Thomas O. Marder, a Marriott spokesman.“Marriott only engages in transactions that we believe are in accordance with the tax code and that we think will create shareholder value.”

“During Romney’s tenure as a Marriott director, the company repeatedly utilized complex tax-avoidance maneuvers”


Romney's the guy who fires you. Ryan's the guy who denies you.

Sparky, 2012

Sounds catchy to me.


Is that all you have ? Lame. That pales compared to the crony capitalism of Owebama spending several billion dollars on his crony capitalism schemes of picking winners in the solar industry and is also 20 years ago.Try defending that for the first time.
Did this allegation go to litigation ? Why not ? Seems like flimsy evidence of any legal wrongdoing- tax loophole(s) were likely used there.

With the tax code as convoluted as it is, there are many more situations like this. The tax code needs to be overhauled and flattened to lessen the occurrence of loopholes being used and abused.

I am surprised Saul actually declined to put her foot in her mouth.

Hedge Fund Hal

hahahah, BR, you guys are absolutley comical, turning yourselves into pretzels tryign to find all of the arcane, ancient details of Romneys various employments, with hopes of "shocking" people with some sort of tax chicaneries or inhumane. brutal acts of employee firings. Everyone knows that however lttle or how much taxes Romney paid over the years, the payments were never less than what the law, in the hands of very clever but legal tax attorneys, technically,legally allowed. One libber on here admitted he respected Romney for knowing how to pay low taxes legally but he was too much of a priss and a goody -two-shoes to ever vote for a man like that. Unfortunatley for him, and for BR, TS and gang here the American electorate simply doesn't care about that stuff to the degree they do, and they certainly dont care about it enough to make them turn away from Romney if they beleive he can fix the economy and Obama can't. As for the inhumane , brutal firings issue, apprently your side is so desperate that they had to manufacture a Romney firing out of whole cloth, citing a woman who died of cancer whose husband was fired by Bain years after Romney had left the company.

Hedge Fund Hal



Can anybody here explain how Harry Reid got rich as a government employee?
Is there anybody here that does not take advantage of any deduction that they qualify for, like mortgage interest or charitable contributions?
Why do people and businesses have to pay billions of dollars for accountants and tax preparers every year to make certain they deduct all that they are entitled to? Could it be the messed up tax system is so convoluted that it has created its own history?


Sure Chuck S, can you say Ol’ Harry skirted his tax responsibilities? If ol’ Rmoney didn’t do anything wrong, why not show his tax returns?

Hedge Fund Hal

Can you imagine how infuriated T-S is right now, looking at the two white men over 40 running on the Repub ticket? Can you imagine being in T-S 'es living room on election night, when R and R finally win in the late night hours>?..... Romney didn't even kowtow to the politically correct "racial sensitivity" card by picking Rubio or Condi.

Gentlemen Rouge

Ahhhh, race baiting flaunts its ugly head.
Thanks Thomas.


Gee - I just heard this week that is was estimated that 30 million people WILL NOT be covered by Obamacare. Before this despicable POS legislation was passed, there were an estimated 33 million without health insurance. Another lie about Obamacare from the liar in chief.

"Harry skirted his tax responsibilities? If ol’ Rmoney didn’t do anything wrong, why not show his tax returns?"

Posted by: BlackRhino | August 11, 2012 at 08:53 PM

Another distraction - If Obama won't show us his college records, why should he ?


Nice try KS, but as I suspected, no answer. You can try to change the subject all you want, but everyone wants’ to know what’s in his tax returns.


Call John McCain and check with him. He has copies of all the tax returns Mitt Romney showed him in 2008. Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats are too stupid and asanine to not do that in the first place.
Nice try, BR - no sale.


"If Obama won't show us his college records, why should he?"

In all seriousness, I think Rolls/Royce Romney/Ryan should run on this - preferably this alone. Whoops, I misspoke: R/R should broaden their scope and seriously discuss Obama's Kenyan connections, Marxio-Fascism and phoned-in Hawaii birth announcements.


Really KS? Someone has already leaked it to ol’ Harry. Chuck S is having a conniption due to this leak. Why not release the Tax returns Mittens? Unless you have something to hide…

Hedge Fund Hal

the word is that that First Dude, or BO, was a student at Columbia under foreign student status as a student from Indonesia...hence no release of college records. Just saying..the word is out on this...isn't that what Harry Reid said about Obama paying zero taxes for ten years? "the word is"?..yeah that's it..."the word is"..thats what harry said.......

Hedge Fund Hal

romney paying zero taxes, not obama

Finis Hominis

Romney's the guy who fires you.

Ryan's the guy who denies you.


False narrative - is that all you have ? No substance as usual.


"Call John McCain and check with him. He has copies of all the tax returns Mitt Romney showed him in 2008. Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats are too stupid and asanine to not do that in the first place.
Nice try, BR - no sale."

McCain won't comment on Romney's tax returns, nor will any of the people who vetted Romney for McCain's VP and chose Palin instead because she was more qualified. Interesting isn't it.

Wonder if he still has copies. McCain probably doesn't want to step in this pile of poo.


Once again, if Obama releases his college records, as Romney already has, then Mitt should release his tax returns. Do you think the community organizer in chief would go for that ?

Hell NO ! I don't trust Owebama any more than a rogue dictator. The left is trying to manipulate this and McCain already has seen Romney's tax returns going back 12 years. Romney/Ryan need to fight this battle on their own terms. This is just another bogus issue meant to distract from the idire issues of this campaign that Owebama wants to obfuscate as much as possible.


"McCain already has seen Romney's tax returns going back 12 years."

And what did McCain say about them KS?

Maybe something like "Hey this guy managed to write off 78Gs a year for a fvcking pet horse". Let's go for Sarah instead!"


Stop trying to change the topic away from what this election is about. An old stale Rahm talking point which was found to be bullshit...

It's four more years of President Deadout/Zero throwing future generations under the bus vs. restoration and real hope for the future. The choice is clear !


In the 50s and 60s, the middle class in America was strong, because unions were in the mix. People made the cars, and the washing machines, and the steel. They paved the highways, patroled those same highways, and hauled the freight up and down those highways, as union employees. Our economy was as strong as its ever been, because those people took their good pay and bought homes. Then they bought those union-made cars and washing machines. And those purhases built sales tax revenue that built the schools and firehouses, and bridges and waterlines. A lot of people in America today are actually hoping we never return to that era, and I hope they don't succeed. The solution for America isn't in any politcal candidate, or even in any party. It's always been right in front of us- our hard-working people. The real hope to save this economy rests in unionized labor- the only job creators this nation has ever known.


I remember the morning host on KPOJ based on the measure 66/67 debate of early 2010 and how a new publisher at the paper was campaigning against them with ads above the fold, above the banner trashing the tax measures that would fund among other programs, education. Then the publisher ran an editorial saying the paper endorsed Citizens United. On that one, Carl Wolfson(I don't know if it he spells it with a C or a K), said after the show, he was asking his partner about dropping their subscription. They got a call a few days later from a person who knew somebody that said the Sunday run was few thousand short. I thought that was not even a dent. That was 2 years ago. By the way, if they do go to printing a few days a week, it sounds ironic, one of the ways they cut schools when funding is short in Oregon? Eliminating a few days from the school year. Anyway, the 2 measures passed. The irony, was the Oregonian, when the debate was going on over the tax measures in Salem, endorsed them. They changed publishers in the time before the passage in Salem, and the measures going to referendum.

Now since this is an Open Thread, something I wanted to mention. In October SOund Transit will be opening a SOUNDER Extension, and this might surprise people, it was one I was skeptical would ever happen, as it is over 10 years late. FRA(Federal Railroad Administration) regulations prohibit Light Rail and COmmuter Rail trains from sharing the same track at the same time, so the BNSF line through Lakewood saw it's Tacoma end severed when Tacoma LINK Light rail came on line. A new connection had to be built between the ex-Milwaukee Road Tacoma Eastern line(now owned by the City of Tacoma) and the ex-Northern Pacific Prairie Line(aka Lakeview Sub, Tacoma to Nisqually Junction, now owned by Sound Transit). It took about a decade to figure out the best way to route the roughly a mile of new track. Once they figured that out, construction has been fast, roughly over a year. WHile the planning was going on, SOund Transit was building the two new stations in Lakewood and South Tacoma, and track improvements from Tacoma to Lakewood needed for it. The D-M street connector is now finished, train testing is now underway.(By the way, ST needs a couple new locomotives, being bought from a manufacturer in a Red State, Idaho).


Now are the FRA regs tough? Yes. Are they set in stone and the current FRA refusing to budge? No. Just look at Denton County, Texas and their suburb-to-suburb commuter train, the A-Train. The Swiss-made, light Diesel Multiple Units were re-designed and the DCTA was granted a waiver from the FRA Reg.(The FRA has done the same for San Francisco-based CalTrain on their future electric trains)

By the way, the situation in Tacoma with the two train lines lacking an efficient connection between them all along, those two railroads were built by the private sector. Since ST's proposals for the line originally had it up and running in 2001, they probably assumed that they would have been using the AmShack in Tacoma as the station for Tacoma.(A nickname for cookie-cutter, standardized stations when Amtrak got started).


There is a universal phenomenon called natural localism. The majority of people, wherever they might live, are affected by this condition. It results in limited knowledge – knowledge of what is local, and ignorance (often breeding fear) of what is not local. Unless countered by positive education and tolerance, natural localism can result in aggressive behavior toward the unfamiliar.

In 1849 natural localism was institutionalized in a small nativist party in the United States called the American Party. It was basically an anti-immigrant affair. White men who were ignorant and fearful of outsiders came to see Catholic immigrants of all descriptions as undermining the true character of the US, the party was powerful for a short time, particularly in the northeastern states, electing candidates to local office throughout the region.

Appropriately enough, adherents to the American Party came to be called “know-nothings”. There were two reasons for this: on the one hand, party members tended to be secretive about their political affiliations, giving their party a strong conspiratorial flavor. When asked about the activities of the American Party they would reply, “I know nothing”. On the other hand, they really did know almost nothing of the groups that exercised their passions. They thought all Catholics were under the complete command of the Pope, like religious zombies.

Ignorance was the hallmark of the “know-nothings” and, while they never did capture national power, they never went away. Today you can find their successors throughout the land, fixated on a wide range of issues:

There are Americans who really know nothing about Muslims but are sure they are a mortal threat to the country. They have replaced Catholics as the modern know-nothing’s version of religious zombies.

There are some who know nothing about Mexicans and others from south of our border but are sure that anyone who speaks like they do is a threat.

There are some who know nothing about Iran, cannot even locate it on a map, but are sure it is a threat and should be attacked.

Actually the list is nearly endless. And, given that Americans know so little about so much of what they have strong opinions about, it is inevitable that know-nothingness should contaminate the politics of the nation. For instance, the Republican Party plays the role of today’s know-nothing party. Strong evidence for this conclusion comes from the circus that was the Republican presidential nominating campaign. Since almost all the contenders for the nomination were self-congratulatory know-nothings, it is no surprise that the man who won that contest, Willard Mitt Romney, is one as well.
The know-nothing candidate

Romney affirmed himself as the standard bearer of America’s modern know-nothing party during his recent trip to England, Israel and Poland. Here is how it went:

He came close to being declared persona non grata in England by gratuitously questioning the adequacy of British security for the Olympic games. All security issues had already been addressed. The British papers pilloried Romney for his comments.

In Israel, he made a speech before an audience of wealthy potential donors to his campaign (many of them flown in from the United States for the occasion). He told them that the difference between Israel’s economic achievement and that of the Palestinians was a function of (a) superior Jewish culture and (b) God’s will. Not one word about the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

If you would like to publicly challenge Romney or his campaign staff on any of this, the reply you can expect was set down during his brief stay in Poland. As reporters sought to ask questions, Mr Romney’s press assistant Rick Gorka replied, “kiss my ass.” Mr Gorka is a know-nothing too. His response has not been disavowed by the candidate.

Willard Mitt Romney knows about what has been local in his life. He knows how to be a particularly negative businessman, the kind who takes corporations apart and exports their jobs. He also appears to know how to make a lot of money and not pay taxes on it. As a politician he can glad-hand you in order to get a donation and play the chameleon so you are not sure what many of his positions are. He probably knows the other local things that most of us also know: how to balance a checkbook, drive a car and stay clean, etc.. Beyond this, however, it is a safe bet that he is a know-nothing. Worse yet, he is prone to fill his void of ignorance with magical thinking. For instance, that declaration that Israeli success is not only based on cultural superiority, but is also a function of the “hand of providence”.

Now the know-nothing candidate wants to be president. And he may well succeed, depending on just how many other Americans know nothing in ways that make them comfortable with Mr Romney’s ignorance.

They will vote for him. The infamous 1 per cent, many of whom agree with Mr Romney’s assertion that corporations “are people too” and have the same rights as individuals (more magical thinking) will vote for him. The “American firsters”, many of whom think Barack Obama is a closet Muslim and not a US citizen at all, will vote for him.

But, that is not enough to win unless the election day turnout is exceedingly low. So, how many other Americans, who otherwise might pass for relatively rational individuals of voting age, will successfully be lured into Mr Romney’s know-nothing party? After all, most Americans really know very little about the world beyond their local realm. “Ignorance is as ignorance does”, particularly on election day.

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    pacific nw talk stations

    • KIRO 710ESPN Seattle 710 KHz
      Games and sports-blabber
    • KIROFM 97.3
      Multi-format: news and nearly all local talk. This is where classic KIRO AM news talk radio went... hopefully, not to die. The home of Dave Ross & Luke Burbank, Dori Monson, Ron & Don, Frank Shiers, Bill Radke, Linda Thomas, Tony Miner and George Noory.
    • KUOW FM 94.9
      Seattle's foremost public radio news and talk.
    • KVI am 570 KHz
      Visit the burnt-out husk of one of the seminal right-wing talkers in all the land. Here's where once trilled the reactionary tones of Rush Limbaugh, John Carlson, Kirby Wilbur, Mike Siegel, Peter Weissbach, Floyd Brown, Dinky Donkey, and Bryan Suits. Now it's Top 40 hits from the '60's & '70's aimed at that diminishing crowd who still remembers them and can still hear.
    • KTTH am 770 KHz
      Right wing home of local, and a whole bunch of syndicated righties such as Glennn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larsony, and for an hour a day: live & local David Boze.
    • KPTK am 1090 KHz
      Syndicated liberal talk. Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Norman Goldman fill in the large hole to the left on Northwest radio dial.
    • KLFE AM 1590 kHz
      Syndicated right-wing 2nd stringers like Mark Levin, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dennis Miller and Hugh Hewitt inhabit this timid-voiced neighbor honker for your radio enjoyment (unless you're behind something large like Costco).
    • KOMOAM
      News, traffic, Ken Schram and John Carlson.
    • Washington State Radio Stations
      Comprehensive list of every danged AM & FM station on the dial.
    • KKOL am 1300 KHz
      Once a rabid right-wing talker, except for Lou Dobbs, it's all business....