Mitt Romney Is Going To Lose And You Can Read His Political Obituary Right Now

People keep telling me not to jinx it, but look: Romney is going down, and he knows it. His campaign keeps talking about “expanding the map” to Minnesota and Pennsylvania (markets where they’re now, in the last push, running five or six negative ads in every commercial break, which has to have some diminishing returns.) Meanwhile they’re visiting the many swing states they’ve failed to lock down, like Florida and Virginia—where they’ve also been text-spamming with messages about how Obama approves of same-sex marriages and wants your tax dollars to pay for Planned Parenthood abortions. Turns out gay people and parents of thirteen-year-old girls with cell phones don’t take kindly to that sort of tactic!

And that’s all Romney has ever been: tactics, not strategy. There’s been no consistency, not only in his principles, but in the very approach of this six-year bid for the best, most prestigious, corporate executive Fortune 500 job on the planet. That’s the thrust of Baffler article by consistently astounding authority on American political conservatism Rick Perlstein, which begins like this:

Mitt Romney is a liar. Of course, in some sense, all politicians, even all human beings, are liars. Romney’s lying went so over-the-top extravagant by this summer, though, that the New York Times editorial board did something probably unprecedented in their polite gray precincts: they used the L-word itself. “Mr. Romney’s entire campaign rests on a foundation of short, utterly false sound bites,” they editorialized. He repeats them “so often that millions of Americans believe them to be the truth.” “It is hard to challenge these lies with a well-reasoned-but- overlong speech,” they concluded; and how. Romney’s lying, in fact, was so richly variegated that it can serve as a sort of grammar of mendacity

The essay is a must-read, and terrifying in its bluntness, but luckily it will also somewhat soothe your anxiety about election day. For while half the country would still coronate a sad husk like Mitt Romney, it’s getting harder and harder for them to do so.

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Mitt Romney Gets The All-Important Cartoon Billionaire Endorsement

Barack Obama may have gotten an endorsement from a real billionaire yesterday—New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who cited the destruction of Hurricane Sandy and the highly unnerving real threat of climate change as swaying his decision—but not to be outdone, Mitt Romney countered with another well-recognized American billionaire. Yesterday, shocking no one, Fox released a video in which The Simpsons‘ C. Montgomery Burns, the eccentric, insanely wealthy, sort-of-evil tycoon owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, endorses Romney from the dark and stormy headquarters of the Springfield Republican Party. 

Although Mr. Burns’ lackey Smithers begins listing off all the headlines that could cost Romney the election, Burns is still preoccupied with one in particular—that of him strapping the family dog, Seamus, to the roof of the car while on a road trip—and decides to "release the hound" to prove his point. The poor pup is subjected to a Pavlovian test, having to choose between "Meat Romney" and "Broccoli Obama." This is all incredibly fitting, especially since earlier this year when Mad did their "Who Said It: Mitt Romney or Mr. Burns?" quiz. 

Watch, and be sure to look for the strategically-placed reading materials on the nightstand next to Burnsie’s armchair. As Homer would say, "Mmm… aging meme."

You May As Well Watch This Four-Year-Old Girl Crying About The Election

We’re all pretty sick of the nauseating fog known as our political climate, particularly when it reaches peak stench and viscosity one week out from the day on which we cast our votes for president. But at least many of us understand what’s going on. Not so poor little Abigael, who is at her wits’ end.

Something in the tone of the horserace, one would think? Except apparently mom was listening to NPR in the car, which on any other day may would put a kid straight to sleep, where they’d dream about the color gray. Anyway, yes, this circus is almost over—at this point we can look forward to the conspiracy theories that will inevitably crop up around Obama’s decisive win.

Oh, and over at YouTube, already some adults have proudly proclaimed themselves to share Abigael’s stance on the polarized electorate. Congratulations, folks! You just admitted to being the lowest-info voters to ever elude interview on a CNN post-debate panel. I trust your nuanced understanding of governance and policy and am honored to share this country with you. 

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Lena Dunham Trolls The Living Hell Out Of Misogynist Conservatives

So Girls star Lena Dunham features in a new web ad for the Obama campaign that seems less about encouraging young women to vote Democratic than to provoke a Republican pundits into admitting that they are afraid of vaginas. Excellent strategy.

There’s an expected reaction to this bit of innuendo—Dunham is talking about your “first time” at the ballot box as though it were losing your virginity, har har—and it’s to foam at the mouth like Kathryn Jean Lopez or Ben Shapiro about why you aren’t entitled to birth control and should shut your slutty mouth.

But there’s something even more fun than usual about this outrage cycle, and it’s that the GOP base whose ire is supposed to be stirred up by all this has no idea who Lena Dunham is or why they should care. Check out how The Blaze struggled mightily to make the video clip relevant for their readers:

The Obama campaign on Thursday released an ad titled “Lena Dunham: Your First Time.”

First: Who? Second: What?

If you’re unfamiliar with the name Lena Dunham, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone (we had to look it up too). Apparently, she’s an up-and-coming actress and the creator of an HBO show called “Girls” (yeah, we’ve never heard of it either).

Never heard of Girls or Lena Dunham, eh? I THINK THE BLOGGER DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH. But hey, any day two weeks out from the election that we’re arguing about women’s sexual freedom in this country and not Benghazi is a win for the good guys. Which, though these bait-taking psychos never paused to think about it, was exactly the point.

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George McGovern, Liberal Firebrand, Dead At 90

Senator George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic nominee for president who stood in opposition to the Vietnam war, has died at 90, his family has confirmed.

His family released a statement, via The New York Times

“We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace.”

The son of a minister, McGovern was a champion of progressive causes, voting for civil rights and antipoverty bills throughout the ’60s.  McGovern won the Democratic nomination for president in 1972 (a young Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton worked on his campaign) only to be walloped by Richard Nixon: he only picked up 17 electoral votes to Nixon’s 520. 

He stood in opposition to the Vietnam conflict and sought to cut defense spending, and therefore was painted by his opponents as a weak peacenik — despite the fact he had been a decorated bomber pilot in World War II.

Among his famous quotes about America and progressivism include “The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain."

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There Is Literally No Issue More Pressing To American Security Than That Fake Apple Store In China

I don’t know if you watched the presidential debate last night—I don’t have TV and so chose to stream it on my fake MacBook, checking fake Twitter the whole time on my fake iPhone, fakeily (haha, you think I actually read Twitter?). After that I watched some fake Chinese DVDs. But they seemed so real. Almost as though they weren’t fake at all. It was cold in the apartment, so I wore my fake fur coat. It got the job done!

Anyway, expert faker Mitt Romney had some weird, whiny, fakeish line about how China always cheats and has a fake Apple store where they sell fake computers that fake the flow of fake code and that’s why you Real Americans don’t have jobs, sorry, you’re just not fake enough. Too many genuine fakes out there! What the fakeness comment misunderstands, however, is that China itself is a fake country. You think there’s really a place that big, with that many people, with that much pollution? Fake, fake, and faker. They even celebrate fake New Year’s Eve.

I’ll give Romney this, though: China is an excellent fake. We could go years forgetting it’s not real, that’s what a stellar fake it is. Plus, we’re so wrapped up in the fake phone numbers and fake email addresses we’re handing out left and right—in our fake IDs, fake bacon, fake sports, fake breasts and fake tolerance for those who are different—that it would hardly occur to us to worry about fakery outside our borders. Yet these fakes exist, really, and are apparently bad. Unless this all some big fake-out.

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Stephen Mosher and Pat Dwyer Take Marriage Equality Fight to the Big Screen

Marriage equality in America is still a state-by-state proposition. Though couples can legally marry in some states—including New York—that doesn’t mean their marriages are recognized as valid elsewhere in the country. The new independent film Married and Counting, narrated by George Takei, gives the marriage-equality movement a face. Well, two of them. Stephen Mosher and Pat Dwyer, a longtime couple who met in Texas and moved to New York in the 1980s, decided to spend the year of their twenty-fifth anniversary getting legally married in every state where it was possible. Each wedding had its own theme, its own ring, and its own officiant. Pat and Stephen talked to BlackBook about their marriages and about everything that came along with them.

Can you talk to me about the timeline of the film a little bit, starting from when you first met Allan [Piper, the director of Married and Counting] to when the weddings took place?
Pat Dwyer: The idea started for the wedding tour. We were coming up on our anniversary, and we were trying to think of how we wanted to celebrate in 2011. We said, “Maybe by then New York will have marriage equality,” but since it didn’t pass we thought we’d have a ceremony in New York and then go somewhere else where there was marriage equality and get married there. Because of that original seed had been planted, we decided to go everywhere that marriage was legal and get married. We were in our living room with our friend Marci [who officiated the Iowa wedding] and we were musing about traveling and how most of the places we would go were on the eastern seaboard. In about 45 minutes, Marci had a pad and paper and we had the whole tour mapped out—which places, when, how to make it happen. April 26, 2011 was our 25th anniversar,y and we started to plan the tour in October 2010. Then we started thinking that [the tour] might be an interesting film on marriage equality. I said to Stephen, “What if we got a camera from the store and started filming ourselves and we could make a documentary?” We began to tell our friends about our plan and told them that we were going to film it as a documentary.
Stephen Mosher: Allan is a good friend of ours and was engaged to be married to our friend Jennifer. He was so busy and was editing two or three TV shows, and I didn’t want to bother him, but we called him.
PD: We said, “Allan, we have this idea for a documentary…” and he said, “I’ll do it.” We find out that that very day he had gone to Jennifer to ask if it would be presumptuous if he could ask if he could get involved with our documentary.

The film ends with your hometown New York wedding. How would the film have ended if same-sex marriage had not passed in New York?
SM: We would have made the end of the movie the wedding in Washington, DC, in front of the Supreme Court, saying, “We are going to continue to fight the good fight.”

Are you involved in any activist groups or organizations in NYC?
SM: We went to rallies, gave money to HRC and other organizations. Other than the usual stuff like making phone calls, we were armchair activists. Making the movie changed all that for us. Now we are die-hard, hardcore activists.
PD: During the movie we worked in a phone bank to call state senators in New York and get people to call their representatives in favor of marriage equality.

But do you consider the film a form of activism?
SM: Right now, all our time is spent promoting this film. My job let me off of work so I can do some traveling for the film. We keep supporting those organizations, but as soon as things calm down we intend to get right back to work.
PD: Traveling to support this film is part of the work. Now, we are following the film and traveling the country. There will be a screening in Baltimore to get support for the marriage equality referendum happening in Maryland. We also had [a screening] in North Carolina.
SM: People are more likely to attend a film if the filmmakers are more likely to be there. When we premiered the movie in Rhode Island, there was an elderly woman in the lobby who came up to me and said, “We were at the movie that showed before yours, and someone told us to stay,” so they did, and she hugged me and said, “That movie changed my life.”

If same-sex marriage becomes legalized in other states like Washington, will you get married there, too? Or have you had your fill of weddings?
PD: Yes. Absolutely. Our plan is to keep going. Fortuitously, we’re going to both Tacoma and Seattle for a film festival one month before the vote. They are building a larger event around the screening of the movie.

There are several scenes in the film where you confront family members, including Pat’s parents, who don’t approve of your relationship. Only one of your parents—Stephen’s mom—attended any of your weddings. Have any of your relatives seen the movie?
SM: None of them have seen it, but here’s an interesting thing. A few months ago I had planned to be in Dallas for a wedding, but we got accepted to the Austin LGBT film festival during the time I had already planned to be there. So my mom and some of my relatives are coming to attend the Texas premiere of the film. None of them have seen it, so they don’t know how significant my mom’s part in the film is. I am really looking forward to seeing their reactions.
PD: I had a cousin who attended the Coney Island screening—first cousin once removed. She’s a costumer in the theater, so she’s very cool.
SM: And a roller derby queen!

I think it’s pretty clear that you want marriage equality in the whole country. But what are your other goals for the film?
SM: We want at least one Academy Award. But we want to take this film as far as we can and change as many lives as we can. We want to give young gay people a beacon of hope that they can meet someone and stay with them for a quarter of a century.
PD: We just want to get the movie seen until it lands on big screens or on HBO/Showtime.
SM: I want to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race!

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George W. Bush Has More In Common With Hitler Every Day

Joe Hagan at New York has a lengthy piece up about what we can expect from Jeb Bush in the coming years, but some of the best stuff in it concerns the older brother who may have destroyed his chance for the presidency. W. remains all sorts of weird and denial-ridden: he’s sure that “history will vindicate him,” for starters. But—and I’m not one to fulfill Godwin’s law cavalierly—in many ways, he’s beginning to resemble Hitler.

At first it seems coincidental. The former president has become increasingly “agoraphobic” and contemptuous of the so-called “eastern elite.” Hitler was a paranoiac who died hiding in a bunker and railed against the well-educated bourgeoisie. W. takes the blame for a cratered economy, as did Hitler, if posthumously. There’s a further similarity, though, that’s positively glaring.      

Indeed, George W. Bush, now 66, has spent the past few years living as invisibly as possible, working diligently on his golf game at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, showing up at a Rangers baseball game, or being spotted eating a steak in one of his favorite restaurants. While the rest of the world judges his years in office, he’s taken up painting, making portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes. “I find it stunning that he has the patience to sit and take instruction and paint,” says a former aide.

You know who else liked to paint dogs and landscapes? THAT’S RIGHT: HITLER. (Oh, did you watch the season premiere of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia too?) The Führer, it’s said, had a bit of trouble with the human form, so he tended to favor animals and lifeless mountains. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until Bush’s work goes up for auction before judging him equally talentless. I don’t begrudge him the hobby, though—as Hitler knew, you’ve got to pass the time somehow when you don’t drink. 

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This Is Your Reminder That Roseanne Barr Is Running For President

In any presidential election cycle, with all the money and power and media attention typically split between the two major-party candidates, that there are usually quite a few more people who are also vying for the White House. Sometimes, they show up to debates and sing along to "The Chicken Dance," sometimes, they are ripe for parody but still rake in a suprising number of votes anyway and sometimes, they’re not even human. In a year where plently of people want to discuss the cynicism stemming from the two-party system, there are plenty of candidates trying to be effective alternatives, and one of them just happens to be comedian and American TV icon Roseanne Barr. This is your reminder that Roseanne Barr is running for president.

Barr announced her campaign earlier this summer, vying for a spot on the ballot as the Peace and Freedom Party’s candidate with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan as her running mate. In addition to running ads in California, where the Peace and Freedom Party is based, this week, Barr was able to get on the ballot in Florida as one of 12 candidates on the presidential ballot in that state. 

“Cindy and I are the ‘Throw the Bums Out’ ticket and the ‘Ballot Access’ ticket. The American people are sick and tired of this ‘lesser evil’ garbage they get fed every election year,” Barr said in a speech before the party’s convention vote in Los Angeles, excerpted on her website. “Both the Democrats and the Republicans do the same evils once they’re in office…”

Cornerstone issues for Barr and the Peace and Freedom Party include the legalization of marijuana, equality (including and particularly marriage equality), reform of ballot access laws in all 50 states, forgiveness of student loan debt and bringing down the Federal Reserve. For more on where Barr stands on the issues, you can read her questionnaire for consideration to be the Green Party’s presidential candidate. 

Now, if only third-party candidates could participate in the debates. After the ugliness that was Round One between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, some comic relief would be nice. Of course, someone would also inevitably question Barr’s American-ness and bring up this incident: 

Here’s Barr speaking about her candidacy at a church in Santa Monica, California a few weeks ago: