Tuesday Open Thread

Albert Greene (born April 13, 1946),[1] better known as Al Green, is an American gospel and soul music singer. He reached the peak of his popularity in the 1970s, with hit singles such as “You Oughta Be With Me”, “I’m Still In Love With You”, “Love and Happiness”, and “Let’s Stay Together”.[2] In 2005, Rolling Stone named him #65 in their list of the ’100 Greatest Artists of All Time’. The nomination, written by Justin Timberlake, stated that “people are born to do certain things, and Al was born to make us smile.”[3] The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Green in 1995, referring to him as “one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music.” Green has sold more than 20 million records.[2]

About these ads

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. U.S. President Barack Obama walks out to deliver remarks to the press in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, August 2, 2011.

  2. US President Barack Obama speaks from the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC, August 2, 2011. The US Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a disastrous debt default and cut trillions in government spending, sending the contentious bill to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Lawmakers voted 74-26 to pass the measure — which cleared the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 269-161 margin a day earlier — with just hours to spare before a midnight (0400 Wednesday) deadline.

  3. Ametia says:

    MILLER: Obama’s grand slam
    Republicans fold as U.S. continues on path toward economic disaster
    By Emily Miller
    -The Washington Times
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/1/obamas-grand-slam/#.TjhO2FzQCLw.twitter

    President Obama wanted three things from the debt-ceiling fight: trillions in new borrowing authority, status quo on spending and no more drama before his shot at re-election. He got everything.

    Republicans in control of the House could have refused to raise the debt ceiling, but their leaders were afraid. They believed failing to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a default and a disastrous reduction in America’s credit rating.

    So the leaders struck a final deal that will drive the nation’s debt up to $16.7 trillion, and rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are poised to downgrade U.S. credit anyway.

    GOP leaders claim they cut the best deal possible in a divided government.

    “This is very important for our fiscal future, but it’s also important for the fact that our economy needs to get going,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said on Monday. “Beginning to take steps toward fixing our fiscal problems will, in fact, provide more confidence for employers in America.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday night that the deal “will ensure significant cuts in Washington spending.”

    That’s an exaggeration. The bill would cut a minuscule $7 billion in 2012 and $3 billion total in 2013 – the only enforceable years. Meanwhile, the nation will continue to borrow at a rate of $100 billion a month.

    The second tranche of “cuts” will be left up to a new bipartisan committee tasked with finding up to $1.5 trillion in savings. There are a bunch of gimmicks involved, but essentially we’re supposed to believe that even though Congress can’t cut a days’ worth of spending now, it’s somehow going to have the fortitude to reduce spending by far greater amounts down the road.

    It’s likely to be the opposite, as Mr. Obama is already eyeing this “super committee” to fast-track tax hikes, saying on Sunday night, “I’ll continue to make a detailed case to these lawmakers about why I believe a balanced approach is necessary to finish the job.”

    Worst of all for conservatives is that there will be no Balanced Budget Amendment. The deal sets a token vote in the fall and a trigger if the joint committee fails to complete its work. Without the leverage of the debt ceiling, it’s simply not going to get enough Democratic votes.

    Mr. Boehner arguably put his speakership on the line last week to get a bill passed that increased the debt ceiling only until early 2012. Two days later, the president walked away with a deal that lets him get through the next election.

  4. Ametia says:

    LOL come on Rev. Al, SCHOOL the fools on PBO’s base.

    • Ametia says:

      3 Chics is soooo seing MSNBC’s game. They’re stepping up the parade of blacks on their network.

      • vettte says:

        So Halperin is coming back after one months vacation for calling the POTUS a “dick”. On yesterday, Colorado Congressman called the POTUS “tar baby” and today Rev Al admonishes Pat Buchanan for calling the Potus “your boy”. How long will it be before “those people” out and out call the POTUS a “niqqa” WITH NO RAMIFICATIONS? Am I missing something here…don’t I too sing “America”. Is racism just so blatant among “those people” that they just can’t help themselves. SO YOU BETTA GET USED TO IT!

      • opulent says:

        Of course they are Rev Al made the deal on diversity
        and
        he
        is
        delivering!!

  5. Ametia says:

    Margaret, religion and politics are suffering from the same thing – Certainty.

    Neither should have any and yet if you listen to the yahoos in the Tea Party you’ll quickly learn that they are full of certainty. Full of shit is more like it.

    Religion is simply a matter of faith. Nothing more. You believe even without certainty. Therein lies the true beauty of religion.

    And politics requires compromise. A politician acting with certainty is a politician representing a constituency of one. Once you have two or more, compromise must eventually come into play.

    Michele Bachmann can keep on talking to God. Rick Perry can get down on his knees. Neither will make a difference because neither knows anything about faith or compromise. And they sure as hell don’t know a damn thing about the constitution.

    Those fools can keep on mixing politics with religion. I’ll stick to mixing gin with tonic. Ten bucks says my way is better.

    You get what you vote for. I mean it. Really.

    http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/

  6. Ametia says:

    MSNBC Inks New Deal With Rachel Maddow
    Source: Broadcasting & Cable

    MSNBC has signed primetime host Rachel Maddow to a new multi-year contract, network president Phil Griffin confirmed at the Television Critics’ Association press tour in Los Angles Tuesday.

    The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Maddow said the new contract is essentially the same as her previous one.

    “There aren’t major new terms in the deal,” she said after MSNBC’s panel session. “There are tweaks here and there, but essentially what I have just agreed to do with MSNBC is keep doing what I’m doing for more years. And that’s exactly what I wanted.”

    Maddow said her current contract was not set to expire this year but she took the chance to renegotiate before the upcoming election year.

    Read more: http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/471899-MSNBC_I

    Refresh | +15 Recommendations

  7. rikyrah says:

    We are ruled by sociopaths
    by Ol’ Dirty DougJ

    If there’s one Very Serious Person I despise, it is deranged sociopath Charles Lane, who today unloads a McCardle-length screed against everyone who has accused the Tea Party of acting as terrorists.

    In light of Gabby Giffords’ vote yesterday, I’d like to revisit his despicable comments about striking workers in Wisconsin:


    If the brave Gabrielle Giffords could speak normally, what would she say about these events? I hope she would agree with me: This is a sad moment for liberalism, for the Democratic Party, and, really, for the whole country.

    Awful. That paper can’t go bankrupt fast enough for me

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/08/02/we-are-ruled-by-sociopaths-2/

  8. rikyrah says:

    Blog
    August 02, 2011 10:00 AM

    The anatomy of a smear

    By Steve Benen
    In yesterday’s White House press briefing with Jay Carney, CBS’s Norah O’Donnell pressed the point that the left is deeply unsatisfied with the debt-ceiling deal struck with congressional Republicans. First she pressed Carney on the non-existent new revenues in the agreement, and followed up asking, “But you have Democrats saying, ‘You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.’”

    That seems like a fair exchange. For those who watch White House press briefings with any regularity, reporters routinely ask spokespersons to respond to various charges from a variety of corners. It’s practically a daily occurrence, and ordinarily, O’Donnell’s question wouldn’t even have been noteworthy.

    That is, except for the way in which the exchange was manipulated by the right.


    At Commentary, Seth Mandel implausibly claimed O’Donnell had harangued White House spokesman Jay Carney during a briefing about the debt deal, complaining “we” got “nothing” out of the negotiations. In other words, Mandel pretended O’Donnell, speaking on behalf of the liberal media, was mad about the debt negotiations. (Not progressive enough!)

    The report in Commentary coincided with a clip at Andrew Breitbart’s site which edited the video to make it say what the right wanted it to say. Viewers saw O’Donnell saying, “You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing,” rather than the full quote: “But you have Democrats saying, ‘You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.’”

    For its part, Commentary’s headline read “CBS’s O’Donnell to Carney: We got nothing.” The piece told readers that O’Donnell’s question offered an example of a reporter “peeling back the veneer of impartiality to reveal the liberal advocacy sitting just beneath the surface of the mainstream networks.”

    In other words, Commentary and Breitbart’s site lied. They took a fair question, removed the words that undermined their political message, and repackaged the question out of context to advance a dishonest agenda. Other conservative sites, including Michelle Malkin’s, ran with this, too.

    Commentary’s John Podhoretz later offered a defense — which still didn’t include the full context from the briefing — insisting that if one focuses on the tone of O’Donnell’s “delivery,” it seems as if she’s expressing her own personal opinion.

    Seriously, that’s his defense. Commentary can imagine what the reporter is thinking.

    It’s often difficult to understand why so many rank-and-file conservative voters seem so terribly confused about reality. Some of this confusion is clearly the result of relying on media outlets that lie to them.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/the_anatomy_of_a_smear031249.php

  9. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 02, 2011 10:35 AM

    Dysfunction obscures the more meaningful problem

    By Steve Benen
    It’s awfully difficult to defend the American political system right now. I suspect if a pollster asked a representative sample, “Do you believe the political process in the United States is effective or badly broken?” the results would be entirely one-sided.

    And the respondents would have a point. Political norms that have existed for generations have been thrown out the window. We’re struggling to pay our bills, not because we lack the money, but because political gridlock won’t let us write the checks. Pressing crises like climate change can’t be addressed because our politics won’t let us act. Faced with an unemployment crisis, many of us have given up on policymakers trying to make things better, and are left to hope they won’t make things too much worse.

    Our federal courts are a mess because new judges can’t be confirmed. Our Senate is a mess because of procedural abuses with no modern precedent. Our House is a mess because it’s been overrun by mad men. Our executive branch is struggling with a series of hostage strategies, in which the president would rather pay the ransom than watch the country burn.

    Given all of this, the conventional wisdom is that the process and the political institutions themselves are a dysfunctional mess, a fear reinforced by the months-long nightmare over the debt ceiling. Jonathan Bernstein makes a compelling argument that the conventional wisdom isn’t paying close enough attention.

    For one thing, as of now it appears that everyone successfully managed to get to a deal. The fact that both sides fought hard up to the deadline isn’t really a sign of a flaw in the system; it’s more or less what you would expect.

    But I do think there’s something broken, and it isn’t the system: it’s the GOP. The problem isn’t that they’re very conservative. Even a party with policy preferences to the right of Rand Paul could, in theory, manage to bargain with even a very liberal Democratic Party. The problem, rather, is that the GOP’s incentives are skewed. Rather than caring about policy, they appear to care more about symbolism, such as a Balanced Budget Amendment, than about actual policy. Rather than caring about cutting the best deal they can get, they appear to care more about proving their loyalty to the cause (they refused to deal on health care even though so doing might have gotten them more of what they wanted). This requires them to oppose Democratic presidents regardless of what it means in substantive gains or losses.

    The result is that Republicans wind up following the lead of hucksters and talk show hosts, even when it leads them to strange places. And that, not anything inherent in Congress even in polarized times, winds up yielding a dysfunctional legislative process.

    I’m very much inclined to agree. American politics can be exasperating, a characteristic that’s defined the system since its inception, but it’s still perfectly capable of functioning and problem solving. Indeed, it’s capable of doing great things, even when power is divided between the parties, as has been common, off and on, for several decades.

    The institutions, in other words, don’t necessarily have structural flaws. With competent, well-intentioned officials in place, the process can be entirely effective. It’s worked before, and can work again. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with how the United States does its business.

    But the system breaks down when one of the parties goes berserk. We’re not in a broken-down car; we’re in a perfectly good car with a crazy person in the passenger seat recklessly grabbing the steering wheel at inopportune times.

    To be sure, the parties are supposed to disagree, and there’s nothing wrong with Democrats and Republicans fighting for very different principles and agendas. In some respects, it’s helpful to voters to have sharp distinctions between the parties, better clarifying the directions available to the country, and ideally making the electorate’s choices easier.

    When one of two major parties, however, succumbs to madness — say, threatening to crash the global economy on purpose without a multi-trillion-dollar ransom — the basic political norms that oil the political machine becomes impossible.

    As Bernstein concluded, “It’s only now, and during the years of unified Republican control, that we are seeing long-time observers complain about a broken Congress or the worst Congress ever. But it’s not Congress that’s broken. It’s the Republican Party.”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/dysfunction_obscures_the_more031251.php

    • opulent says:

      It’s the Believers vs the Infidels!!

      Make no mistake.

      The majority of thos teabaggers are from the Confederate States.

      They are believing the South has rose again!!

      Everybody else better make like Sherman
      and
      march
      all the
      way
      thru the
      South

      burning
      and
      torching
      everything
      in
      sight

      while
      shouting

      NEVER AGAIN!!!

      Never

      Never

      EVER

      AGAIN!!

  10. rikyrah says:

    August 02, 2011
    Might makes the right
    I read the Post’s Jennifer Rubin as one would a weather vane and a hospital vitals chart. Her public pathology reveals not only the symptomatic, gangrenous rot that defines our modern era’s pseudoconservatives, but acts as well as a kind of wind-blown sewer from which we can smell the right’s next, malodorous tranche of nation-screwing frenzy.

    Her latest is a bittersweet paean to what could not be, for now, but might still be:


    More was not possible [in the debt deal]. You can’t get Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform bill with only the House. You can’t insure an adequate level of defense spending with only the House. You can’t get Medicaid and Social Security reform with only the House….

    [A]t least we are moving in the right direction.

    It’s thoughtful of Ms. Rubin to send a pre-ransom note, about which just a couple of observations should be made. First, why do I get the feeling that her editorial “we” is far more exclusive than the usual “we” as a people? Why do I get the feeling that she is writing for the “we” of hers only; a narrow, shocktroop brigade whose revolutionary public-policy tactics stand foursquare opposed to authentic conservatism’s primal requirement of broad social acceptance? Hence my above “pseudoconservative,” by which the Post’s editors should require Ms. Rubin to identify herself.

    As notable is her implied confidence that we or you or a bicameral assembly of radical rightists will yet balance our books by breaking the coddled backs of the insanely privileged on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. But the topper is her handwringing over an adequate level of defense spending — the current level of which outpaces all the advanced world combined, plus the Klingons.

    Thus we can see — smell — the right’s next unholy creation of national hysteria: its righteous defense of defense and national security, which will play nicely into the right’s need to compensate for — meaning, more plainly, its desire to launch a vicious assault on — President Obama’s rather admirable national security record.

    The NY Times’ Joe Nocera smells what I do:


    [T]he threat of defense cuts is supposed to give the Republicans an incentive to play fair with the Democrats in the ["supercongressional"] negotiations. But with our soldiers still fighting in Afghanistan, which side is going to blink if the proposed cuts threaten to damage national security? Just as they did with the much-loathed bank bailout, which most Republicans spurned even though financial calamity loomed, the Democrats will do the responsible thing. Apparently, that’s their problem.

    And ours. The deeper problem is that one cannot honorably negotiate with dishonorable people.

    In the last 24 hours I’ve read several distinguished commentators observe that although the debt deal was perhaps execrable in many ways, wasn’t it delightful that the system worked? — that those tea partiers showed everyone how to do it? — that they agitated and campaigned and got themselves elected and then toiled for change? — that that is how representative democracy is supposed to work?

    No, not really. Representative democracy implies honor and good faith on the part of its representatives; and threatening to butcher one’s violently seized captive is neither honorable nor faithful. It’s just gangsterism

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2011/08/might-makes-the-right.html

  11. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi: My Deficit Committee Members Will Oppose All Entitlement Benefit Cuts
    The debt limit fight is over, but the fight over entitlement programs will continue for months. In the weeks ahead, the leaders of both parties in both the House and Senate will name three members each to a new committee tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.

    The ultimate makeup of that committee is key. It will determine whether this Congress will pass further fiscal legislation, and, thus, what the major themes of the 2012 election will be.

    At a pre-recess press conference Tuesday afternoon, TPM asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whether the people she appoints to the committee will make the same stand she made during the debt limit fight — that entitlement benefits — as opposed to provider payments, waste and other Medicare spending — should be off limits.

    In short, yes.

    “That is a priority for us,” Pelosi said. “But let me say it is more than a priority – it is a value… it’s an ethic for the American people. It is one that all of the members of our caucus share. So that I know that whoever’s at that table will be someone who will fight to protect those benefits.”

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will also appoint three members to the committee. And if even a single one of them is willing to cut into Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits, then this doesn’t really matter — the committee’s report can be approved by a bare majority of its 12 members.

    But this is an important part of any potential firewall. And that’s especially true if Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appoint people to the committee who pledge not to allow net revenue increases.

    So far Republican leaders have not responded to inquiries about whether that will be a requirement.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/pelosi-my-deficit-committee-members-will-oppose-all-entitlement-benefit-cuts.php

    • Ametia says:

      I am soooo not down with appointing all these fucking committees to do the job of the already elected officials in the house and senate. Congress needs to do their effing jobs and quit hiding out behind committees to do their work, so they don’t take a hit before elections. That’s how I see this.

  12. rikyrah says:

    August 02, 2011 11:25 AM

    Congress’ 14% approval rating

    By Steve Benen

    The new CNN poll was conducted yesterday, the day after the debt-ceiling agreement was announced. Did congressional Republicans come out of the process with a policy win? Yes. Did they come with an improved public standing? Not so much.

    For example, take Congress’ approval rating


    Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

    Approve: 14%
    Disapprove: 84%

    Poking around the internals (pdf) of the poll, there’s a chart showing Congressional approval ratings from previous CNN, Gallup, and USA Today polls, going back more than 30 years. I don’t see any point in which Congress’ approval rating was even close to 14%.

    This Congress isn’t just unpopular, it’s breaking new ground in levels of unpopularity.

    Now, I suspect some on the right might suggest Congress is widely hated, but there’s no reason to assume that’s a reflection on Republicans or their agenda. It’s a fair point. Democrats are ostensibly in the majority in the Senate, after all.

    But the GOP probably shouldn’t push this spin too hard. For example, while President Obama isn’t exactly soaring with a 45% approval rating, his level of public support is currently more than triple that of Congress.

    There was also this question:


    Next, please tell me whether you approve or disapprove of the way each of the following has handled the negotiations over the debt ceiling in Washington over the past few days.

    President Obama
    Approve 46%, Disapprove 53%

    Congressional Democrats
    Approve 35%, Disapprove 63%

    Congressional Republicans
    Approve 30%, Disapprove 68%

    No one’s popular, but the GOP is feeling the brunt of the public backlash.

    As for the debt agreement itself, public attitudes are all over the place. On the one hand, most respondents in the CNN poll disapprove of the deal and don’t like the fact that it includes no new revenues. On the other hand, most also believe the deal will help the economy, and believe neither Republicans nor President Obama made too many concessions.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/congress_14_approval_rating031253.php

  13. rikyrah says:

    Assessing The GOP Controlled House: Where Are The Jobs?
    August 2, 2011
    By Rmuse

    When Americans vote for their representatives in Congress, they assume each member will work to make America stronger and look out for their constituents’ needs and interests. Now that the debt ceiling deal is finished, there should not be any doubt that Republicans are not concerned about a strong country or the people’s interests. The teabaggers and Republicans held the country hostage in order to get spending cuts they wanted, so it is a good time to assess the value of a Republican controlled House and just how far Republicans have went to show their concern for Americans. During the campaigning for the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans promised voters they would repeal the Affordable Health Act and create jobs even though repeated requests for how they would create jobs fell on deaf ears.

    Since the 112th Congress has been in session, the Republicans voted to repeal the health law like they promised, and if they were not liars, they should have immediately began work on job creation. Instead, they followed the burgeoning theocracy’s mandate and immediately launched a concerted attack on women’s reproductive rights that has not let up. The Republicans also worked tirelessly to defund Planned Parenthood as part of the religious war on contraception and cancer screening even though defunding Planned Parenthood will never create one job. It is also true that if the GOP had repealed the health law and President Obama signed the repeal into law, there would not be one job created

    Now that Republicans have cut spending on crucial programs for the poor and elderly, gutted regulatory agencies, and attempted to pass a Medicare privatization scam at the behest of the Heritage Foundation, it should be easy to measure the millions of jobs they have created. After all, the refrain during the 2010 campaigns was jobs, jobs, jobs so it makes sense that to Republicans, cutting spending and important social programs should translate into creating jobs. It is unclear how cutting spending and services translates into job creation, but after a month or so the Republicans should have figured out that spending cuts hamper job creation; but they did not. In fact, it is looking more and more like Republicans never intended to create jobs and instead, have killed millions of American jobs with their spending cuts.

    Earlier in the year when House Speaker John Boehner was told that the spending cuts Republicans proposed would cost one million jobs, he said, “So be it.” Apparently Mr. Boehner thought it was more important to cut essential aid programs than create jobs, and it was flippant of him to say in effect, so what. Republicans have no intention of ever creating any jobs even though they lied in 2010 and promised it would be their highest priority. Jobs are still on Boehner’s mind though because when President Obama proposed a balanced approach to addressing the nation’s deficit, Boehner accused the president of attempting to “raise taxes on the job creators.” For most Republicans, the only time jobs are important is when they can make a reference to tax increases on the filthy rich and corporations.

    Last year when Democrats attempted to pass a jobs bill, Republicans in the Senate blocked the measure for no other reason than it was not their bill. The bill gave tax breaks and incentives to small businesses for new job hires, but Republicans were anxious to deny Democrats any more legislative accomplishments before the midterm elections. When President Obama and Democrats attempted to eliminate tax breaks for companies that move Americans’ jobs to Korea, India, and China, Republicans blocked the bill because it did not reward corporate outsourcing. Prior to a vote on the outsourcing bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president made the rounds on news programs to tout the benefits of shipping Americans’ jobs overseas to corporations. Republicans said that removing tax breaks from companies that outsource jobs would stifle job creation. Yes, they said it and it is proof there is no sense of shame with these job-killing Republicans; why any American voted for them in 2010 is a mystery unless one figures in the racial element. It is becoming more evident every day that Republicans cannot stand the fact that there is a Black man sitting in the Oval Office and if hurting the President means eliminating more Americans’ jobs, then as John Boehner says, so be it.

    http://www.politicususa.com/en/gop-house-jobs

  14. rikyrah says:

    August 02, 2011
    Punching ourselves in the face
    Greg Sargent sums up the decidedly non-theoretical disaster:


    Democrats have effectively given up on trying to make the case for further government spending. The result has been bipartisan agreement to marginalize that argument to the point where it’s entirely vanished from the conversation. It’s only in this context that the bizarre bipartisan celebration of a deficit deal that managed to avert total implosion of the economy — while doing nothing to help solve the current problem with additional stimulus measures — makes any sense.

    That both parties are asking us to view the current deal as an achievement … only reveals the degree to which lawmakers, especially Democrats, have given up on making the case for sustained government action to help the economy.

    That we must now operate a battered and limping 21st-century economy in accordance with 19th-century economic theory only intensifies the likely political consequences: a still-brutally battered, still-limping economy in 2012, for which virtually every incumbent will risk having to pay the price.

    For the first time since January 2009 I’d wager that President Obama has at best 50-50 odds of reelection, and perhaps even an uphill battle. Mitt Romney — probably — will demagogue the living bejesus out of a wretched economy that his party, especially, has locked in.

    The Senate? Democrats hold a 2:1 disadvantage in seats open or up for reelection, many of which sit in the economy’s sorest spots.

    The House? Democrats’ best shot is at out-demagoguing (on Medicare) Republicans, who unquestionably will nationalize the election over the body politic’s supreme economic concerns, which likely will have deepened by 2012’s end because of government’s spending retractions.

    But, who knows. This is only a speculative snapshot, and to each his or her own. All guesswork is valid — or unvalid, as the case may be — at this point. It’s what political junkies do.

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2011/08/punching-ourselves-in-the-face.html

  15. rikyrah says:

    TPM LiveWire
    Jon Stewart Rails Against The Tea Party’s Refusal To Compromise On Debt Deal (VIDEO)
    Jon Stewart doesn’t understand what the tea party is so angry about. The conservative faction of Congress successfully demanded huge spending cuts without tax revenue in a deal to increase the debt ceiling.

    “Go ahead tea party congress-people,” Stewart said last night. “Put on your tri-corner hats, play your fifes and dance the minuet. Tea party like it’s 1799.”

    But many tea partiers insisted the spending cuts didn’t go far enough. “What the fee-fi-fo fuck?” Stewart said. “Take the win. What are you so angry about? Yes, government still exists. We still have traffic lights, we’re sorry. Not everybody defines freedom as the ability to not pay taxes.”

    “Government isn’t perfect,” he added. “But some people wish it was better, not gone.”

    Watch the video:

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/jon-stewart-rails-against-the-tea-partys-refusal-to-compromise-on-debt-deal-video.php?ref=fpb

  16. rikyrah says:

    August 02, 2011 1:20 PM

    The end of a nightmare, a template for another

    By Steve Benen

    The Senate this afternoon voted 74 to 26 to approve the debt-ceiling agreement, following last night’s 269 to 161 vote in the House. The bill will head to President Obama, who will sign it with less than half a day remaining before the official deadline is reached.

    That is, I suppose, the good news, insofar as avoiding default was the principal goal. The bad news, in addition to the legislation’s much-discussed flaws, is that the relevant institutions have established a dangerous precedent.

    Center on Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein explained this morning, “Those who have engaged in hostage-taking — threatening the economy and the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury to get their way — will conclude that their strategy worked. They will feel emboldened to pursue it again every time that we have to raise the debt limit in the future.”

    There’s no need to consider this speculative. Leading Republicans have already made their intentions clear. Consider what Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Fox News last night about the deal:

    “It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction. I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.”

    McConnell made a similar comment on the Senate floor this morning, boasting about how policymakers have established an “entire new template” for raising the debt ceiling in the future.

    On ABC over the weekend, uber-activist Grover Norquist echoed the same line.


    “[W]e’ve set the precedent…. We’re going to insist from now on, any time the debt ceiling goes up, dollar for dollar, spending comes down.”

    In case anyone’s forgotten, over the last 72 years, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 89 times. Lawmakers from both parties, working with presidents from both parties, have treated this as routine housekeeping. Preconditions have never been applied to this process, and neither party has ever used the law to hold the nation’s full faith and credit hostage. Clean debt-ceiling votes have never been especially popular, but they’ve been a standard American norm for generations.

    This year, far-right Republicans changed the game, and they apparently have no intention of going back. This wasn’t a one-time hostage strategy, threatening the nation’s well being in a fit of partisan rage; this was the creation of a new norm, to be repeated forever more. Why? Because the dangerous scheme worked — when radicalism is rewarded, the result is more radicalism.

    It sets the stage for the next debt-ceiling showdown, likely to occur in early 2013. Between now and then, the more attention is focused on eliminating this law, the better.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/the_end_of_a_nightmare_a_templ031256.php

    • Ametia says:

      ” Because the dangerous scheme worked — when radicalism is rewarded, the result is more radicalism.”

      Yes, only if folks keep voting for and supporting radicalism.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Black College Alumni Join Forces To Edit Groundbreaking Anthology Detailing The HBCU Experience

    “HBCU Experience – The Book” Will Showcase 101 Essays By HBCU Grads Highlighting All Aspects of Black College Life

    Submission Deadline: September 30, 2011

    In an effort to highlight the history, relevance and impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Black college alumni Dr. Tia C. M. Tyree and Christopher D. Cathcart have joined forces to edit HBCU Experience – The Book, a collection of essays showcasing all aspects of Black college life. The groundbreaking anthology will chronicle undergraduate realities such as dating and relationships, dorm living, road trips, pledging fraternities and sororities, student activism and leadership, athletics and much, much more.

    “While many are familiar with some of the famous Black college graduates like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,Thurgood Marshall, Nikki Giovanni and countless others whose lives have helped shape this nation, we often discount the impact their HBCU experiences had in shaping them. Beyond that, there are thousands of less heralded but equally inspiring stories that deserve to be told; stories about how the Black college experience has impacted lives in ways that still resonate today. Our goal with HBCU Experience – The Book is to help share some of these first-hand accounts with the world,” says Cathcar.

    Tyree and Cathcart will amass 101 stories from graduates of HBCUs (or individuals who attended a Black college for at least four years) detailing these unique, undergraduate experiences while further emphasizing the still vital role these institutions have in our society. Writers may hail from any of the 100-plus HBCUs and be any age, gender or ethnicity. The 250-500 word essays will range in tone from the light and humorous to the serious and insightful, with the common thread being that they are genuine and engaging. The submission deadline is September 30, 2011; and plans call for the book to be available for Black History Month in 2012. Individuals may also submit photographs of their Black college experiences for inclusion in the book.

    “From the ones I attended to the one where I currently work, my life is and has been profoundly shaped by my experiences at HBCUs. I believe in and applaud their abilities to develop and nurture the minds of African-Americans in a way that is unparalleled in predominately white institutions,” Dr. Tyree says. “There are unique experiences and cultures within HBCUs, and I am hoping this book will be a groundbreaking and much-needed firsthand account of how HBCUs have changed the lives of and influenced so many in this country.”

    http://www.blacknews.com/news/hbcu_experience_the_book101.shtml

  18. rikyrah says:

    Main Content
    Gallup: Obama’s not losing his base

    By REID J. EPSTEIN | 8/2/11 7:49 AM EDT Updated: 8/2/11 11:36 AM EDT
    Despite much grumbling from the left in Congress and online, President Barack Obama isn’t losing his base and has largely maintained his liberal support, a new Gallup Poll found.

    Of self-described liberals, 72 percent still approve of Obama’s job performance, down 7 points since the beginning of June but up 2 percentage points from mid-July, the poll found.

    Obama’s support among Americans who identify themselves as both liberal and Democratic was 83 percent last week, little changed from previous weeks and slightly higher relative to Obama’s overall approval rating than it has been historically,” Gallup said.

    “Although President Obama’s job approval rating hit the low point of his administration during the past week and is down among most subgroups, there are no signs yet that he has taken a disproportionate hit among his traditional base of liberals and Democrats. On a relative basis, both of these groups remain as loyal to Obama compared with Americans overall as they have been on average since he took office in January 2009,” Gallup added.

    The president’s overall approval rating is at 42 percent, down from 50 percent at the beginning of June.

    The poll was conducted last week, so the effects of Congress and Obama finally reaching a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avoiding a national default are not measured in the survey.

    Compared with the beginning of June, Obama lost no more support from liberals than he did from self-described moderates, 49 percent of which still approve of his work, or conservatives, from whom he has a 22 percent approval rating.

    The poll is consistent to Gallup’s numbers throughout the Obama presidency, it said. Democrats typically rate Obama 33 percentage points higher than his overall rating, while independents rate him 4 points lower and Republicans 34 points lower than the national average. This week’s approval ratings are largely consistent with the historical trend.

    Among Democrats overall, 77 percent approve of the president, while only 12 percent of Republicans do.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60471.html#ixzz1TthvsvPS

  19. rikyrah says:

    August 02, 2011 2:15 PM

    POTUS looks pasts debt deal, eyes growth

    By Steve Benen

    What I found interesting about the remarks was the subject matter. I expected Obama to take some time to defend the deal, and point to what he sees as its strengths. And the president did note some of the reasons he accepted the terms of the agreement, while also stressing the need for a “balanced approach” and “fairness” as the process continues to the next step.

    But Obama more or less brushed past all of this, and quickly focused on “what the American people care most about: new jobs, higher wages and faster economic growth.” It was rather reassuring to hear the president note the disconnect between the Washington establishment’s priorities and the priorities of everyone else.


    While Washington has been absorbed in this debate about deficits, people across the country are asking what we can do to help the father looking for work. What are we going to do for the single mom who’s seen her hours cut back at the hospital? What are we going to do to make it easier for businesses to put up that ‘now hiring’ sign?

    “That’s part of the reason that people are so frustrated with what’s been going on in this town. In the last few months, the economy has already had to absorb an earthquake in Japan, the economic headwinds coming from Europe, the Arab Spring and the [rise] in oil prices — all of which have been very challenging for the recovery.

    “But these are things we couldn’t control. Our economy didn’t need Washington to come along with a manufactured crisis to make things worse. That was in our hands. It’s pretty likely that the uncertainty surrounding the raising of the debt ceiling — for both businesses and consumers — has been unsettling, and just one more impediment to the full recovery that we need. And it was something that we could have avoided entirely.”

    Obama proceeded to look ahead, touting “bipartisan, common-sense steps” that will “make a difference,” including an extension of the payroll tax cut, an extension of unemployment benefits, patent reform, trade deals, and most notably infrastructure investments. As he put it, “We have workers who need jobs and a country that needs rebuilding; an infrastructure bank would help us put them together.”

    I agree with just about all of this, and it’s reassuring to see the president keep his eyes on the real prize.

    There are, however, a few nagging concerns. First, we’ve heard about “pivots” to job creation before, but these efforts have been knocked off track, in part because Republicans’ priorities lie elsewhere. Second, and on a related note, by endorsing these economy-improving measures out loud, Obama has probably guaranteed their fate — the congressional GOP opposes whatever the White House is for. In this case, Republican opposition will undermine the economy, but by all indications, GOP officials don’t consider this much of a downside.

    And third, truth be told, even if Congress were to approve all of the measure Obama mentioned, we’re still talking about a limited economic agenda. It will help, but the impact will be modest.

    We need a bolder and more ambitious approach, which became impossible with Americans’ votes in November 2010.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_08/potus_looks_pasts_debt_deal_ey031257.php

  20. Ametia says:

    News Alert: Obama signs debt-ceiling deal into law
    August 2, 2011 2:19:41 PM
    —————————————-

    President Obama has signed into law the bill raising the federal debt ceiling just hours before the Treasury said it could begin running out of money to pay the government’s bills, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

    http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/C7I8XW/267EGG/94XLSE/3FM9CO/OX302/82/h

    For more information, visit washingtonpost.com

  21. CNN Politics:

    President Obama now pushing to restore the FAA budget, which has been stalled by Congress.

  22. Ametia says:

    The Senate approved a last-minute compromise plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, which will impose sweeping new spending cuts and will narrowly avert an unprecedented national default.
    The House of Representatives approved the measure Monday by a 269-161 vote, overcoming opposition from liberal Democrats and tea party Republicans. Passage in the Senate required a supermajority of 60 votes.
    The measure needs to be signed into law by President Barack Obama before the end of Tuesday.
    The agreement – reached Sunday by Obama and congressional leaders – calls for up to $2.4 trillion in savings over the next decade, raises the debt ceiling through the end of 2012 and establishes a special congressional committee to recommend long-term fiscal reforms

  23. Mitch McConnell Vows To Hold Debt Ceiling Hostage In The Future: ‘We’ll Be Doing It All Over’

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/01/285025/mcconnell-vows-to-hold-debt-ceiling-hostage-again/

    While a deal has been struck to raise the debt ceiling for now, many progressives have worried that the damaged has been already been done in that Republicans learned that “raw extortion works and carries no political cost,” as the New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote today. “Irresponsible brinksmanship” is now “a proven effective negotiating tactic,” ThinkProgress’s Matt Yglesias noted.

    This afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confirmed this fear when he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that Republicans will hold the debt ceiling hostage in the future, saying this debate “set the template for the future”:

    MCCONNELL: It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction. I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.

  24. The Tea Party, the debt ceiling, and white Southern extremism

    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/02/lind_tea_party/

    The Tea Party movement takes its name from the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American patriots dumped British tea into Boston Harbor to protest British imperial power. But while New England was the center of resistance to the British empire, there are few New Englanders to be found in today’s Tea Party movement. It should be called the Fort Sumter movement, after the Southern attack on the federal garrison in Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12-13, 1861, that began the Civil War. Today’s Tea Party movement is merely the latest of a series of attacks on American democracy by the white Southern minority, which for more than two centuries has not hesitated to paralyze, sabotage or, in the case of the Civil War, destroy American democracy in order to get their way.

    The mainstream media have completely missed the story, by portraying the Tea Party movement in ideological rather than regional terms. Whether by accident or design, the public faces of the Tea Party in the House are Midwesterners — Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and Joe Walsh of Illinois. But while there may be Tea Party sympathizers throughout the country, in the House of Representatives the Tea Party faction that has used the debt ceiling issue to plunge the nation into crisis is overwhelmingly Southern in its origins:

  25. Ametia says:

    Just hateful, selfish MOFOS

  26. Ametia says:

    College affirmative action back on Supreme Court’s horizon
    By Robert Barnes, Published: July 31
    When the Supreme Court in 2003 narrowly approved the consideration of race in public university admission decisions, it came with loads of restrictions and a sort of expiration date.

    “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today,” Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote for the majority in Grutter v. Bollinger .

    But, of course, O’Connor is now retired from the court, replaced by Samuel A. Alito Jr., a justice far more skeptical of racial remedies. And two recent decisions in lower courts have raised the prospect that the issue will return to the high court far ahead of O’Connor’s timeline.

    One is from Texas, where a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin. An attempt to have the entire circuit hear the case failed 9 to 7, and dissenters practically invited the Supreme Court to step in.

    The other is from Michigan, where voters in 2006 passed a constitutional amendment to forbid the state’s public colleges and universities from granting “preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/college-affirmative-action-back-on-supreme-courts-horizon/2011/07/28/gIQApXnwlI_story.html?hpid=z11

  27. Ametia says:

    Assessing The GOP Controlled House: Where Are The Jobs?
    August 2, 2011
    By Rmuse

    It is a good time to assess the value of a Republican controlled House and just how far Republicans have went to show their concern for Americans.

    Snip

    Earlier in the year when House Speaker John Boehner was told that the spending cuts Republicans proposed would cost one million jobs, he said, “So be it.” Apparently Mr. Boehner thought it was more important to cut essential aid programs than create jobs, and it was flippant of him to say in effect, so what. Republicans have no intention of ever creating any jobs even though they lied in 2010 and promised it would be their highest priority. Jobs are still on Boehner’s mind though because when President Obama proposed a balanced approach to addressing the nation’s deficit, Boehner accused the president of attempting to “raise taxes on the job creators.” For most Republicans, the only time jobs are important is when they can make a reference to tax increases on the filthy rich and corporations.

    Last year when Democrats attempted to pass a jobs bill, Republicans in the Senate blocked the measure for no other reason than it was not their bill. The bill gave tax breaks and incentives to small businesses for new job hires, but Republicans were anxious to deny Democrats any more legislative accomplishments before the midterm elections. When President Obama and Democrats attempted to eliminate tax breaks for companies that move Americans’ jobs to Korea, India, and China, Republicans blocked the bill because it did not reward corporate outsourcing. Prior to a vote on the outsourcing bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president made the rounds on news programs to tout the benefits of shipping Americans’ jobs overseas to corporations. Republicans said that removing tax breaks from companies that outsource jobs would stifle job creation. Yes, they said it and it is proof there is no sense of shame with these job-killing Republicans; why any American voted for them in 2010 is a mystery unless one figures in the racial element. It is becoming more evident every day that Republicans cannot stand the fact that there is a Black man sitting in the Oval Office and if hurting the President means eliminating more Americans’ jobs, then as John Boehner says, so be it.

    http://www.politicususa.com/en/gop-house-jobs

  28. Herman Cain to appear at Iowa’s African-American museum

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60455.html

    Like all of the other Republicans competing in the Ames straw poll, Herman Cain is heading to Iowa for several days of intense campaigning ahead of next weekend’s vote.

    Like none of the others, he’ll be pulling the bus tour his campaign announced Monday into the African-American Museum of Iowa, in Cedar Rapids.

    The stop might seem like a major occasion for Cain, who’s become the first significant black contender for his party’s presidential nomination while pressing an explicitly non-racial approach and making provocative remarks about race.

    But according to Cain spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael, the August 9 event at the museum is “just another bus tour stop.”

    Carmichael downplayed the significance of the location, and said that despite the venue, no special invitation list is being drawn up for Cain’s appearance.

    “We chose the center for its prominence within the community,” Carmichael wrote in an email, explaining that the event will be open to the public.

    Carmichael pointed out that Cain “enjoyed a fantastic turnout” earlier this year in Des Moines at a celebration for Juneteenth, which commemorates the day in June when Texas slaves learned that the Civil War was over.

  29. Ametia says:

    Today at 1 p.m. EDT: Jobs Council Answers Your Questions

    Today, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness will convene in Palo Alto, California. The meeting will focus on high growth entrepreneurs and businesses. Moderated by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, a panel of leaders such as Steve Case and Sheryl Sandberg will answer your questions about accelerating economic growth and job creation. Learn more about today’s event on our website.

    Submit your questions and stay engaged through Facebook, also tune in to WhiteHouse.gov/live at 1 p.m. EDT to watch the event.

  30. Talking Points Memo:

    President Obama to speak at 12:15 from the White House Rose Garden

  31. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s