“Hello, human diary! This is Mitt Romney, your better.” Nine years ago, in what feels like a much simpler time, The Chronicles of Mitt satirized Romney and his presidential campaign. These 120 treasured stories have become part of the Daily Kos canon and a benchmark for sly humor from the writer who recently motivated Community member Gaelsdottir to exclaim, “Dammit Hunter, I laughed so hard I almost fell off my chair, and it’s been a LONG, LONG TIME since I laughed that hard. Why are there no Pulitzers for making people laugh until they cry while reading the regular news!”
In the first edition, Hunter set the tone with his insipid characterization. “My adviser units have advocated that I begin writing a diary of my experiences during this election. They believe the exercise will encourage the development of human-like emotions, which according to focus groups are a desirable quality.”
The fan-favorite feature of the Chronicles, still praised nostalgically nine years later, kicked off with Hunter reporting Mitt’s “Every Town Counts” bus tour. Let’s look back to Romney’s 2012 election campaign to see why one Community member said, “These are cracking me up. Especially the bizarre bus obsession, it plays perfectly to the ‘there's something not quite right’ vibe that the Romneybot emits.”
Hunter described Romney’s tour as “traveling from New Hampshire to Michigan over the course of five days, during which time he will be talking with ‘real Americans,’ which is the single thing that consistently gets Mitt Romney in trouble more than anything else. … For Mitt, this stuff has got to be the campaign equivalent of jumping the Grand Canyon on a rocket-bike … I can't wait. Mitt Romney's return to retail campaigning has the potential to be awesome.”
It was Hunter’s account of the tour through Mitt and Mr. Bus, however, that infused this bland campaign with awesomeness and established it as legendary. In response to one of Hunter’s recent stories, Zack from the SFV exclaimed, “This is brilliant! Almost Mr. Bus level quality.” One month ago, when Community member Cameronprof asked “Who/What was your favorite Daily Kos Person/Unique Event?” aieeai succinctly replied, “Hunter’s Mr. Bus!”
The tour stirred up Romney’s vehicular affection, according to Hunter, who covered the relationship from Day One, June 15. “That Palin person was correct—it is rather satisfying to travel around in a vehicle with your own name plastered prominently upon it ... and I am already beginning to bond with my new mechanical friend.” One day after that first tour ended, the bus was awarded an honorific. “I do miss my new friend, Mr. Bus, but I have been assured that he will occupy the time by touring political rallies organized by my opponent, honking severely at each one in order to let them know who is boss.”
The Mr. Bus stories ended in the last edition of The Chronicles on Nov. 8, along with Mitt’s presidential aspirations. “Hello, human diary. It is I again, Mitt Romney, your better. It seems that the nation has once again failed me. My staff and I had a final meeting, during which I canceled all of their remaining credit cards and we discussed what could have gone wrong. I must confess this result has taken us all by surprise. … As my last act as candidate, I have informed the staff, whom I am no longer paying, that they are to deliver Mr. Bus to my California home.”
Mr. Bus served as a metaphor for Romney, the candidate, and his campaign, traveling with no purpose (no policies), except to drive in circles honking at people (President Obama’s rallies) considered “inferior,” and annoying everyone, even those in Romney’s party.
Hunter’s Mitt-mocking seems gentle now, teasing instead of the annihilating intent of current satire. However, nine years ago the Republican opposition was spearheaded by milquetoast Mitt. In The Chronicles, Hunter captured the comparatively banal essence of the 2012 election, as when Mitt contemplated “vice presidential unit” options. “My advisers are insistent that I select a Caucasian fellow, preferably one that is as dull as possible. … We are certain that we do not want a human female … There was an ethnic fellow in Florida that my advisers were briefly considering, but we all agree that American campaigns have far too many ethnic people involved already, and are loath to add one more.”
Who isn’t wistfully looking back to a time when a Republican could be satirized by bus metaphors, instead of Hitler comparisons?
Ten rescued stories 1 PM PDT Friday, October 22 to 1 PM PDT Friday, October 29, 2021
Community Spotlight’s mission is to ensure that the best stories from the Daily Kos Community aren’t overlooked. We encourage members who write excellent stories with original views to keep writing by promoting work that isn’t receiving enough attention. We further support a healthy Community by not rescuing topics and specific stories designed to provoke bitter comment battles, although we relish strong arguments presented fairly and backed up by credible sources.
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Reminder: The numbers in parentheses after each author’s name indicate the year they joined Daily Kos, how many stories they’ve published, and how many we’ve rescued.
Climate Brief: Using satellite data to verify country-by-country methane emissions by billlaurelMD (2004-174-37)
The author begins by asking, “Ready for some really cool stuff that potentially will help with greenhouse gas mitigation?” Then, he answers by explaining why methane is a greenhouse gas of particular concern, the significance of detecting methane, problems with measurements, and NGOs attempting to resolve the problems.
40 years by megsk8z (2017-21-7) Rescued to Recommended
Megsk8z describes vividly yet conversationally how she and her husband made it through 40 years of marriage to celebrate their wedding anniversary, through family car trips, traditional gender role assignments, and the inversion of traditional roles following a health scare. “We didn't break. We bent, together, holding tight to each other, riding the storm out.”
A sea story.... by boomheist (2015-8-3) Rescued to Recommended
A container ship is on fire in the Pacific ocean near the city of Vancouver. It’s crippled, shedding containers, endangering other ships that are stacked up waiting to unload, and in the middle of an enormous storm with 30-foot seas. "A ship fire is a sailor’s worst nightmare, bar none," boomheist writes, and explains why firefighting at sea is so fraught and dangerous, and has become more difficult.
Perspective.... by boomheist (second rescue this week)
Boomheist takes readers on a space and time tour of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula,“one of the last settled regions in all of the continental United States … in just the 130 years since this land was first opened, or settled by non-native people, most of the ancient forest has been cut down but then regrown (except for the heart of the peninsula where the million acre park lies), two dams have been built and then removed (and the big salmon seem to be coming back), all evidence of dozens of lumber mills and resorts has been removed … things are tough, out this way, as they seem tough in all out of the way places.”
365 Days of Climate Awareness 75—Uncertainty by agramante (2009-91-9)
“It's a sad fact of life in science and in general that we cannot produce absolute measurements. We can have highly accurate standards … but we can never measure something with perfect accuracy.” As a result, understanding the nuance in these differences between error and uncertainty is important to understanding how we measure weather and climate phenomena. Through examples, including an image depicting the differences between accuracy and precision, agramante explains this nuance.
The American dream: Reflections from the South Side of Chicago by Hyde Park Johnny (2006-343-?)
We’re taught that protecting personal freedom and liberty is the function of the federal government, but is this true? American history as taught in public schools leans heavily on myth and lies, contends the author, who then offers evidence that provides an analytic frame for reviews of three contemporary events: the federal raid on Ruby Ridge, Idaho; the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas; and the Chicago police’s raid on the Black Panthers that resulted in Frank Hampton’s murder. “Even Amnesty International reports that the United States of America is violating peoples' human rights. … Throughout history, many philosophers agree that people need to be controlled or influenced so as to make proper choices in life. I disagree.”
The business of Academia by pastdoc (2011-5-1)
Pastdoc details how the structural issues that plague higher education come from viewing college education as solely a business. Problems arise from “shared governance” that gives faculty putative control of the curriculum, while the Board of Trustees “decides the budget, salaries, promotions, tenure, buildings and maintenance … There are countries where an educated citizenry is valued and people are willing to pay taxes so that everyone can get the education they need. The United States is not one of these.”
Write on: Last minute NaNoWriMo prep! by bonetti (2010-29-?)
Bonetti offers tips on arrangements that help writers meet the challenge of National Novel Writing Month that begins Monday. “NaNoWriMo has a fixed goal of 50,000 words (1,667 per day for 30 days), and undertaking this goal requires making tradeoffs to carve the time out to write. Some people dive in and it Just Works For Them™, others crash and burn on the organizing side.” Bonetti discusses elements that need to be considered when planning out daily writing time, and what other writers have done. “I heard of one participant who saves her Halloween candy and eats one piece every 100 words, which handily disposes of both leftover candy and provides a reward structure.”
How much solar + wind capacity is needed to replace coal + gas electric generation by RustyRobot (2020-26-3)
The author takes on a big question related to climate change, but keeps it simple by addressing just power generation, and excluding “transmission, storage, or any of the other thousand things that need to be handled.” The analysis is presented in a graph that shows the amount of electricity generated by coal plus gas in a recent year alongside various combinations of wind and solar, and how much increased capacity for wind or solar generation is needed to compensate for fossil fuel generation.
Daily Bucket: Photo sequences 1 and 2 by Appy (2016-22-2?)
Nature-lover and photographer Appy has been “trying harder to find stories by taking sequences of photos leading to some type of exciting conclusion. … I consider birds in flight to be a miracle of nature, and what could be more compelling than witnessing a miracle?” This story shows two series of photos showing birds in flight along with a description of the dedication needed to take these photos. “I had to employ the ‘sneak up in plain sight’ strategy. Sneaking up in plain sight is a technique of moving so slowly it is indiscernible. You appear not to be a threat because you don’t appear to be moving. It took me about 45 minutes to gain about 35 yards.”
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT is dedicated to finding great writing by community members that isn’t getting the visibility it deserves.
- Each day’s collection of rescues is reported in the News Roundup published on the front page at 7:30 PM PDT.
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- You can also find a list of our rescued stories by clicking HERE.
An edition of our rescue roundup publishes every Saturday at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) to the Recent Community Stories section and to the front page at 9:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT).