Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Disco-Funk-Dance Week!

Happy Monday, Everyone.

WE’VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE

This week 3 Chics’ featured artists are HEAT WAVE. It’s about to get HOT up in here.

Wiki: Heatwave was an international funk/disco musical band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder (vocals) of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton (keyboards), Swiss Mario Mantese (bass), Czechoslovak Ernest “Bilbo” Berger (drums), Jamaican Eric Johns (guitar) and Briton Roy Carter (guitar).

They were known for their successful songs “Boogie Nights” and “Always and Forever” (from their 1976 debut album, Too Hot to Handle), and “The Groove Line” (from their 1978 follow-up album, Central Heating).

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About Ametia

I am a Spiritual traveler, a devoted wife, mother, sister, lover of dream study, reading, theater, music, dance, and thought-provoking discussions on love, life, humor and service.
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62 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Disco-Funk-Dance Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    What the fuck is wrong with these fake Democrats who are pushing this Hillary Clinton for president , Cumo, Biden, O’Malley nonsense? *looking@uEdRendell* HOW ABOUT BACKING PRESIDENT OBAMA NOW!!!! I will not be voting for any Democrat in 2012 who is stabbing this president in the back. PERIOD.

    L.O. I’m disappointed in you for pushing this meme with Jonathan Capehart and Karen Finney.

    it’s 2012, and PBO has to go through HELL to get re-elected this year.

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Tee hee hee. Stay on message, Bubba Clinton, STAY.ON.MESSAGE.

      He is hammering Romney on his MA Governorship record. 47TH OUT OF 50 on jobs. !

      BAM!!!

      Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:47 PM ET, 06/04/2012
    Dems push for national debate on whether GOP is sabotaging economy
    By Greg Sargent

    Harry Reid, on the Senate floor today speaking about GOP opposition to the the Paycheck Fairness Act (transcript per his office):

    “Unfortunately, it seems Paycheck Fairness may have two strikes against it. It would good for women and good for the economy.”

    Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, on CBS yesterday, discussing the bad May jobs numbers and Republican obstruction of Obama’s job creation policies:

    “Instead of high-fiving each other on days when there is bad news, they should stop sitting on their hands and work on some of these answers.”

    And on Friday afternoon, in the wake of the release of the bad jobs numbers, Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard went on MSNBC and accused Republicans of “cheerleading for failure.”

    There was a time when charges like these were approached with a bit more caution by Democratic leaders. Now top Obama and Dem officials are going out into every conceivable forum and repeating the claim that Republicans are actively rooting for widespread economic misery and are doing all they can to block solutions designed to alleviate it.

    I don’t really know how effective this strategy will be. Paul Krugman writes today that Obama has no choice at this point but to run with this argument as aggressively as possible. The bad jobs numbers mean Obama no longer has the option of running on claims of economic success. Better to admit that the policies he was able to get passed weren’t enough, and that we’d be doing better today if it weren’t for determined GOP obstructionism.

    Ed Kilgore counters that swing voters can never be persuaded to hold anyone but the president’s party wholly accountable for the state of the economy. I’ve made a similar case, arguing that even if swing voters are fully convinced that the GOP is deliberately blocking Obama policies they believe would help the economy, they may not care, and may simply ask themselves why Obama isn’t getting his policies through despite the opposition.

    But all this aside, let’s face it: If Dems want a national media debate over whether the GOP is deliberately sabotaging the economy or is actively rooting for economic failure, they aren’t going to get one. This is not a topic that will get sustained media attention or discussion, no matter what Dems do.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/dems-push-for-national-debate-on-whether-gop-is-sabotaging-economy/2012/06/04/gJQAVnW1DV_blog.html

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  3. rikyrah says:

    McConnell denies GOP ‘rooting’ for economy to fail
    By Daniel Strauss – 06/04/12 03:20 PM ET

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down Democratic accusations that Republicans want the economy to fail.

    “It’s been suggested by some on the president’s political team that Republicans are rooting for failure,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday. “That is absolutely preposterous. If Republicans wanted failure we would support this president’s misguided policies.”

    McConnell’s comments are a defense against an attack Democrats have repeatedly made — most recently, Obama campaign deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and top Obama strategist David Axelrod said Republicans were hoping for the economy to suffer so Obama and Democrats could be voted out of office.

    http://thehill.com/video/senate/230747-mcconnell-responds-to-preposterous-dem-accusations-on-economy

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  4. rikyrah says:

    Romney Would Save $5 Million In Taxes If He Wins The Election

    By Pat Garofalo on Jun 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    ccording to an analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would save himself $5 million in taxes in 2013 by winning November’s election (assuming he could get his tax plan enacted into law).

    Under his plan, Romney’s tax rate would fall from its current 14.7 percent to 13.1 percent, while under Obama’s tax plan, Romney would pay a 34.3 percent rate. The difference in these rates means about $5 million for Romney’s tax bill. The Associated Press laid out what causes that divide:

    Romney wants to lower current tax rates for everyone by 20 percent. This benefits the wealthy most: Dropping the highest bracket from 35 percent to 28 percent, for example, yields a much bigger savings for those at the top than lowering the 15 percent bracket to 12 percent brings for taxpayers in that group.

    Romney also would eliminate the much-despised alternative minimum tax, which hits the rich and some middle-class taxpayers, too. He wants to repeal Obama’s health care law and its taxes.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/04/494686/romney-would-save-5-million-in-taxes-if-he-wins-the-election/

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 11:17 AM PDT
    A Mitt Romney Presidency Could Mean a Hostile Takeover Of The Federal Courts

    by RH Reality Check

    With a federal judicary already in crisis, a Mitt Romney presidency could spell the end of the federal judiciary as we know it.

    Written by Jessica Pieklo for RH Reality Check

    As it stands the state of the federal judiciary is one of crisis. More than 160 million Americans live in a community with a federal court vacancy. Additional funding cuts threaten to shut down courts or suspend trials in some areas which means individual seeking justice for claims must wait longer, if they have access to the courts at all. Judicial vacancies not only stress the functioning of the federal judiciary, they threaten the ideological stability as well. A significant reason the federal judiciary is chronically understaffed is because Congressional Republicans refuse to act on nominees out of partisan and ideological spite. The result is a federal bench significantly lacking in any diversityrendering judgments over an increasingly diverse population. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? It is, and if Mitt Romney wins the presidency, it will only get worse.

    Early in his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, Romney developed a reputation as a man with an eye toward good governance and transparency. His early judicial appointments reflected a wide array of ideologies and experiences and Romney even undertook more substantive structural reforms to combat the practice and perception of political cronyism in judicial nominations.

    But it quickly became clear that in order to advance his political career Romney would have to embrace a harder-line conservatism in both ideology and approach to the courts. Chronicles of Romney’s political evolution from moderate to hard-right plutocrat are not difficult to come by, but it is his approach to the courts, their independence and their function that deserves much closer scrutiny. And that scrutiny shouldn’t be limited to simply the kind of judges a President Romney would appoint to the federal bench, but how his administration would help or hinder the function of the courts in its entirety.

    If Romney’s early judicial selections as governor of Massachusetts illustrate a belief in the necessity of an independent and ideologically diverse judicial system, his later selections show an embrace of rigid conservatism and the benefits of political payback. In Massachusetts Romney went from nominating openly gay judges to beneficiaries of Bain capital and from embracing oversight of the judicial nomination process to openly working against it.

    Fast forward to Romney’s current presidential run. Under any other political climate than the current one, having failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork as a judicial advisor would be considered a political liability at best and the end of any serious presidential wish at worst. After all, Bork’s political and legal career first drew attention back in 1973 when as solicitor general and under direct order from then-President Nixon, he fired Archibald Cox as special prosecutor in the Watergate cover-up. Bork’s views on civil rights, including the idea that because women make up a majority of the population gender discrimination is an impossibility, and his belief that integrating public accommodations under the 1964 Civil Rights Act was an “unsurpassed ugliness,” would eventually go on to shape a belief that the judiciary must bend its will to that of the people unless expressly prohibited by the Constitution.

    If that sounds a bit obtuse let’s ground it in the current debate on women’s reproductive rights. At least one sitting U.S. Senator is calling on conservatives to simply ignore the mandates of Roe v. Wade and establish fetal personhood via the 14th Amendment. That call to ignoring the rule of law because it is an affront to the will of the “people” is directly out of the Robert Bork playbook.

    Combine Bork’s ultraconservative orthodoxy when it comes to the federal courts, his shared religious conservatism with Romney and add Romney’s deep ties to the private equity world and we could expect most judicial nominations would fit the mold of Samuel Alito – social conservatives with deep and loyal ties to the monied world.

    Declaring that a President Romney would appoint staunch conservative judges and practitioners to the federal bench is admittedly not much of a declaration. Place those ultra-conservative justices in a system already structurally strained and stressed from a decade of political attacks and suddenly the federal courts start to look an awful lot like those businesses Romney the private equity baron would take over and kill off.

    The obvious problem with that scenario is that we’re talking about the federal courts and not a private company on the verge of bankruptcy and prime for a hostile take-over.

    Romney may have started his political career in Massachusetts as an advocate of judicial reform, but he did not end it as one. And with the state of our federal judiciary already in crisis the last thing this country can afford is an administration that drives the law further right while dismantling the courts from within.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/04/1097293/-A-Mitt-Romney-Presidency-Could-Mean-a-Hostile-Takeover-Of-The-Federal-Courts

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  6. rikyrah says:

    Found this at The Obama Diary in the comments:

    Ladyhawke
    June 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    THINGS PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT ALLOWED TO DO FOR THE 2012 ELECTION

    This is just hilarious. I have been trying to keep track of all the things that the Romney campaign and the mainstream media feel President Obama just should not be doing for the 2012 election campaign. The attempts to muzzle, handicap and restrict everything PBO does is really laughable. I guess this falls in line with Ann Romney’s pronouncement that “It’s Our Turn Now”. And Mitt Romney saying PBO should pack his bags. This election is such a bother.

    President Obama is …..

    – Not allowed to talk about Bain and Romney’s job creation claims.
    – Not allowed to talk about Romney’s dismal record as governor of Massachusetts.
    – Not allowed to talk about the 2004 Winter Olympics.
    – Not allowed to talk about Romney’s wealth and Caymon Islands.
    – Not allowed to ask questions about Romney’s tax returns.
    – Not allowed to talk about RomneyCare because it was the model for ObamaCare.
    – Not allowed to talk about Romney’s family.
    – Not allowed to talk about Romney’s Mormon faith.
    – Not allowed to run negative campaign ads (ever). Bob Schieffer of CBS is especially concerned about this one.
    – Not allowed to take vacation, especially in Hawaii.
    – Not allowed to play golf (ever). The Romney campaign is really concerned about the optics of this one.
    – Not allowed to do fundraisers with (gasp) celebrities like George Clooney, Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour.
    – Not allowed to talk about the OBL mission. Because of course, Romney would have done the same thing.
    – Not allowed to talk about ObamaCare benefits since implementation.
    – Not allowed to talk about Dodd-Frank. Romney wants to repeal it. He just doesn’t like regulations.
    – Not allowed to run on PBO’s large volume of accomplishments.
    – Not allowed to talk about foreign policy achievements. Romney gives PBO and “F” anyway.
    – Not allowed to talk about the wreckage left by President George W. Bush.
    – Not allowed to talk about first dog “Bo” because it will remind people of that horrifying ordeal with Romney’s dog Seamus.

    I’m sure I missed a few.

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  7. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    Blog
    June 04, 2012 5:59 Pm

    A Very Special Kind of “Race to the Bottom”

    By Ed Kilgore

    No matter what happens in Wisconsin tomorrow, the conservative assault against unions is now open and unrelenting, and increasingly part of national Republican orthodoxy. In the once-heavily-unionized northeast and midwest, the prime target is public-sector unions, more susceptible to attacks on grounds ranging from taxpayer resentment to the common belief that much public-sector work isn’t “real,” or isn’t hard (an accusation rarely levied, of course, against unionized police and firefighters). But as former union organizer Josh Eidelson explains today at Salon, there’s a more nefarious “divide-and-conquer” strategy going on in places like Wisconsin in the assault on public-sector unions: resentment and envy among private-sector workers who never had or have lost their own unions:

    While resentment toward unions has grown since the 1950s, it’s not because they got too big. It’s because they got too small. A multi-decade drop in unionization left fewer Wisconsinites who are union members or live in union households. Meanwhile, because governments are less prone than businesses to terrorize workers or shut down facilities to avert unionization, public sector unionization has remained more stable. In 2009, for the first time, there were more total U.S. union members in government employment than in the entire private sector.

    [S]ome non-wealthy Wisconsinites side against public workers – not a majority, but perhaps enough to keep Walker in office. “I hear it a lot online,” Madison elementary school teacher and union activist Kati Walsh said Friday. “It’s, ‘You get more than I do.’” Meanwhile, said Walsh, “I know that I can’t support a family on this.”

    So unionized public-sector workers are resented by non-unionized private-sector workers who then back the very politicians who want to keep them non-unionized, and for that matter, insecure and underpaid to the extent that job security and decent wages and benefits are an inconvenience to “job creators.” And the whole vicious cycle exposes the lie behind Republican claims that they are only upset by public-sector unions. As Eidelson notes, it’s no accident Scott Walker has been joined on the campaign trail in Wisconsin by the Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who makes no bones about her desire to rid her state of all unions once and for all. Walker and Haley are part of a very special race-to-the-bottom focused on reducing employees, public and private, to the atomized “independent contractors” they imagine to represent the ideal “partners” for business owners and executives: disposable at a moment’s notice, and deserving no more than a national deunionized labor market demands.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/a_very_special_kind_of_race_to037737.php

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  8. Ametia says:

    Romney aid cashes in on Obamacare

    Mitt Romney has repeatedly vowed that on his first day in office, he’ll “begin replacing Obamacare,” as he said in his first TV ad. But the man who will have helped him prepare for this is someone who has also profited off the law and praised some of its provisions.

    Former Utah governor Michael Leavitt, who appointed Romney to turn around the 2002 Olympic games, has already started leading the would-be Romney administration’s transition team and is a front-runner for the all-important gig as White House chief of staff, according to Politico.

    But Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under George W. Bush, leads a firm that has positioned itself as a leading consultancy to help implement the Affordable Care Act, and it’s already won contracts to do so.

    Read more: http://www.salon.com/2012/06/04/romney_aide_cashes_in_on_obamacare/singleton/

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  9. Ametia says:

    Five Numbers that Add Up to “Dump Walker”
    By Paul Buchheit

    Half of America has been deceived into believing that union employees and government workers are the problem in our country. The following five facts all send the same message to voters: wealthy individuals and corporations, not middle-class wage earners, have taken your money.

    (1) $430 billion: The total payroll for federal and state employees in 2010. This is less than the amount of untaxed cash being held overseas by non-financial corporations. Local government payrolls bring the total up to about $1 trillion, still less than the total amount of cash being held by non-financial corporations.

    (2) $800 billion: The total earnings of unionized employees in 2011. Even though union members make up about 12% of the workforce, their total pay amounts to just 10% of adjusted gross income as reported to the IRS.

    (3) $900 billion: The total salaries of corporate executives and financial industry employees. CEOs and managers and finance workers made more than ALL 16 million unionized employees in the United States. They made almost as much as ALL 17.5 million full-time government workers in the United States.

    (4) $1 trillion: The 30-year redistribution of income to the rich. Since 1980 our country’s productivity has steadily risen, with total income doubling approximately every 10 years. If the bottom 90% of America had shared in this prosperity at a level consistent with 1980 incomes, they would be making $45,000 a year instead of $35,000. Instead, the richest 1% TRIPLED their share. That’s an extra trillion dollars a year.

    (5) 22 cents: What corporations are willing to pay to support government. For every dollar of workers’ payroll tax paid in the 1950s, corporations paid three dollars in income taxes. Now it’s 22 cents. Despite a doubling of corporate profits to $2 trillion in less than ten years, the corporate income tax rate, which for thirty years hovered around the 20-25% level, suddenly dropped to 10% after the recession, and has remained there for three years.

    All over the country we’re led to believe that cutbacks and taxes on wage earners are required to balance the budget. Big business victimizes average Americans while blaming them for all our problems. Starting in Wisconsin, we need to make it clear that we won’t take it anymore.

    This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/five-numbers-add-dump-walker-1338815323. All rights are reserved.

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  10. rikyrah says:

    The Elephant in Scott Walker’s Courtroom: A John Doe Investigation, a Rise to Power, and a Crazy Case
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 1:41PM

    Lon Robinson sat down at the defendant’s table in Room 634 of the stunningly un-air-conditioned Milwaukee County Courthouse with Waupun already in his eyes. He was a junkie who’d stolen an old lady’s checks from her mailbox, clumsily erased the payee’s name, and replaced it with his own. He got away with it once, for eight bucks. But then he’d gone back to the same bank, twice, for over a grand each time. He’d even helpfully supplied his fingerprints to the bank officer who, neither having been born a fool nor worked hard to become one in later life, called the cops. So Lon Robinson sat in Judge David Hansher’s courtroom and got himself sent away for two years for what Hansher kept calling, with admirable understatement, “a crime that was truly lacking in sophistication.”

    (While reading Robinson the list of rights he would surrender with his guilty plea, Hansher explained that Robinson would lose the right “to vote in any election… or any recall election.” This got something of a laugh from the assembled suits. Robinson didn’t seem to get the joke.)

    Then, the next defendant got up. The crimes with which is charged are a lot of things, including hilariously venal and awfully illustrative of the kind of governance of which Wisconsin has a chance to rid itself here on Tuesday. But unsophisticated, they are not. The reason you know they’re not is that Tim Russell, his lawyer, the prosecutors, and Judge Hansher immediately went into chambers to talk while, outside Room 634, on the benches in the hall, all the other defendants sweltered and waited their turn. While it may be true, as Lenny Bruce once said, that in the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls, but, even in the halls, there are two different justice systems. You and your drug case will have to wait an hour or so, because an important guy is inside giving up the governor. Maybe.

    It is no exaggeration to say that, without Tim Russell, Scott Walker would just be another Marquette drop-out working nights in Wauwatosa. Russell was a strange mixture of Gordon Liddy and H.R. Haldeman to Walker’s Nixon. Russell used to brag to the state’s Democrats about stealing yard signs and knocking down banners. (Walker always has had a sweet tooth for this kind of thing; he got disciplined by the university for dirty tricks when he was running for student government at Marquette.) It was Russell who used to poke political opponents in the chest and yell at them, “Where will you be in two years?” That’s an interesting question right now for Tim Russell, because it is entirely possible that he’ll be sharing a cell block with Lon Robinson.

    At the same time, Russell was a close political confidante as Walker rose to be Milwaukee county executive and then into the state capitol in Madison. Walker promoted Russell eight times during Walker’s time as county executive. He kept promoting him even though, in 1993, Russell got bounced from the state’s Housing And Economic Development Office for improperly billing the state for over $1100 in expenses, and for providing false information to investigators. They stayed close; at one point, Russell was the only person working for Walker’s website. When Walker was elected governor, he named Russell to be his deputy chief of staff. Then, last year, Walker mysteriously removed Operation Freedom — a fund set up to provide for the orphans of Wisconsinites killed in Afghanistan and Iraq — from the supervision of the American Legion, and handed it over to Tim Russell. This, the prosecutors said, was tantamount to letting Lon Robinson rummage through the state payroll department.

    Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/scott-walker-tim-russell-case-9423213#ixzz1wqu34Ajh

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  11. rikyrah says:

    June 04, 2012 11:35 AM

    The New Mouth of the South

    By Ed Kilgore

    So Herman Cain, one-time Republican presidential front-runner, has been given his reward: he will replace long-time Atlanta-based right-wing talk radio warhorse Neal Boortz, sometimes called the Mouth of the South, as the host of a widely syndicated show. The transition will officially occur on Inauguration Day, 2013, when Cain will either be celebrating the victory of his on-again off-again buddy Mitt Romney or continuing his practiced rant against the socialist, racist Barack Obama.

    You’d probably have to be from the Atlanta area to understand the long reign of snarky error Boortz has conducted for 42 years on the local, regional and national air waves. He was doing political talk when Rush Limbaugh was still a music DJ and sportscaster, the very prototype of someone who read Ayn Rand as a teenager and never recovered. For decades, I tried to convince my father that listening to Boortz—who invariably enraged him—was bad for his health. And I have to wonder if a tiny segment of the health problems that have landed my stepfather in the Piedmont Hospital intensive care unit was attributable to his own addiction to Boortz, with whom he never, ever agreed, but could never ignore.

    In any event, Cain was a frequent guest host for Boortz during the hiaitus between his failed 2004 Senate race in Georgia and his failed presidential campaign, so the announcement is no big surprise. Becoming a radio talk show host requires none of the vetting that would likely bar his ascension to an administration job if Romney were to win. And it’s the perfect perch for him to peddle his cranky tax ideas, hustle books, and boost his “personal appearance” fees. Maybe he’ll get a Fox gig as well, but I suspect this is the ideal job for the Pizza Man, who, like Boortz, is often wrong but never in doubt.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/the_new_mouth_of_the_south037721.php

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Florida Official Behind Gov. Rick Scott’s Voter Purge Linked To $1 Billion Campaign Effort Against ObamaBy Lee Fang posted Jun 4th 2012 at 8:00AM

    On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice asked officials in Florida to suspend the controversial voter purge conducted by Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) administration, citing possible violations of voting rights law. Florida officials had been purging a list of suspected non-citizen voters, estimated at one point to include at least 180,000 people, despite evidence that the list is riddled with errors. Thousands of targeted voters are in fact American citizens. As ThinkProgress and the Miami Herald have reported, a great deal of the individuals also happen to be Hispanics and Democratic-leaning voters, suggesting the effort is deeply partisan.

    The plan for the purge, according to a story from the Associated Press, was initiated last year by then-Secretary of State Kurt Browning after a meeting with the governor. Browning said he was motivated by a “Spidey sense tingling” to undergo a massive project to develop the list now being used to send letters to registered Florida voters informing them that they have been flagged as non-citizens. Although both Gov. Scott and Browning have downplayed accusations that the purge is political, a donation from a secret money group may fuel growing suspicions that the effort is partisan.

    Just before Browning was selected in 2011 by Scott as Secretary of State, Browning led a group called “Protect Your Vote Inc,” which was set up to oppose fair redistricting. One of the biggest checks to Browning’s organization came from the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights, which gave $100,000 in 2010. At the time of the donation, the source of the money was shrouded in secrecy. View a screen shot of the disclosure

    http://www.republicreport.org/2012/rick-scott-official-1billion/

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  13. rikyrah says:

    What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days?
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 10:12AM

    Welcome back to our weekly survey of Our National Dialogue, which, as you know, sounds like what Mozart would have produced if he’d written a Concerto For Table Saw And Seagull.

    Before moving along to the Sunday palaver-palooza, we should pause and congratulate Maureen Dowd for producing what, to me, anyway, was the shining, glorious quintessence of her entire career as a political commentator, to say nothing of loosing finally every bat that’s been bouncing off the walls of her peculiar belfry for the past 20 years. Combining Stuff I Read This Week with a bit of discreet gay-baiting, a dollop of material that she first tried out while smoking in the Girls Room at Our Lady, Queen Of Clairol, and a whole lot of her unique ability to project her own Daddy neuroses on every Democratic politician within a 20-mile radius — it looks like Ed Rendell gets to stand in for her sainted Irish pops these days, and, I swear, you can almost hear the phlegm ringing in the spitoon — MoDo apparently has decided that the president is no longer man enough for her. He is weak on foreign policy because Willard Romney (!) said so. He is too aggressive overseas because the Times says so. He is a character out of Walker Percy who nonetheless dreams of being Spider-man, but doesn’t have the guts to pull on the mask and swing from tall buildings. He failed to use his awesome hypnotic powers to make Mitch McConnell, and Jim DeMint, and Ben Nelson, and Eric Cantor stop being assholes. One of his old girlfriends said he was unsure of his place in the world. (Daddy always knows his place in the world. It’s in the recliner, half-hammered on PBR’s, watching the Redskins.) He is on a “voyage of self-discovery,” which is not what presidents do. Presidents lead and, after a hard day of leading, they come home and say grace over the Friday tuna casserole. Do I have to go on with this? Seriously? Okay, let’s just take one paragraph from this magnum dopus and see where it takes us:

    The president who started off with such dazzle now seems incapable of stimulating either the economy or the voters. His campaign is offering Obama 2012 car magnets for a donation of $10; cat collars reading “I Meow for Michelle” for $12; an Obama grill spatula for $40, and discounted hoodies and T-shirts. How the mighty have fallen.

    Maureen is… not stimulated, so, therefore, neither is the nation. The president is sinking on the all-important Campaign Tchotchkes Index. The Souvenir Spatula Average has fallen through the floor. Let’s dip into the psychological freaky-deaky one more time, shall we?

    Covering a humorous W. at the unveiling of his portrait, the White House press actually seemed nostalgic for the president who bollixed up Afghanistan, Iraq, Katrina and the economy — a sure sign that the Obama magic is flagging.

    He screwed up the entire country. He’s still screwing up the entire country, but the man is entertaining. One might even say stimulating. Because the White House press corps “seemed nostalgic” for those glorious days of being lied into wars and watching entire cities drown. This is the same White House press corps which is presently touting this outbreak of Hibernian menopausal horse-hockey as an important moment in the presidential campaign. My lord, we are so screwed.

    Over at Dancin’ Dave’s Disco Dance Party, where they are truly nostalgic to times like this, on the weekend before Wisconsin decides whether or not to rid itself of an extremist Republican governor, they exhumed John Kasich, the remarkably unpopular governor of Ohio who got his balls kicked through the roof of his mouth last year by an angry citizenry. Kasich was all about uncertainty, and about waiting for the return of the Confidence Fairies. And about being a Man Of The Heartland!

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/maureen-dowd-superhero-9423082#ixzz1wqskvayS

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  14. Ametia says:

    IGNORE THE POLLS, PLEASE!

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  15. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Scott Walker’s Closest Aide Revealed in Court as Source of Damaging Leak; Flips on Embattled Governor

    Scott Walker’s closest political aide has just been named in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Monday as the source of damaging revelations that undermine Walker’s claim that he has cooperated with the John Doe criminal corruption probe into his current and former administrations.

    Tim Russell, who was hired or promoted by Scott Walker even after he was fired for stealing from a state agency, was said in court Monday to have given Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice information that showed that, contrary to Walker’s claims, Walker was stonewalling investigators all along.

    The shocking revelation that Scott Walker’s closest aide sought to damage Walker on the eve of Tuesday’s historic recall election indicated that Russell was cooperating with a prosecution against Walker himself.

    “If Republicans are wondering who is leaking information about crimes that Scott Walker may have committed, they need only look into their own house. That Scott Walker’s longtime and closest political aide, who is charged with stealing from veterans, is the source of information undercutting Walker’s self-serving claims of cooperation shows with crystal clarity just why Wisconsin must remove Scott Walker from office tomorrow,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday.

    “Today’s revelation removes any doubt that Scott Walker is the target of a criminal prosecution.”

    http://www.wisdems.org/news/press/view/2012-06-breaking-scott-walkers-closest-aide-revealed-in-cour

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  16. rikyrah says:

    Kris Kobach’s descent into self-parody
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 2:04 PM EDT.

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) has made quite a name for himself. He’s not only the architect of harsh, right-wing immigration measures, including Arizona’s notorious law, Kobach has also worked his way up to being a leading advisor on immigration policy for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

    But to appreciate the perspective this guy brings to policy debates, consider what Kobach told a Kansas radio show this morning.

    Kobach, Kansas’ chief elections official, specifically singled out Justice Department actions relating to the Arizona immigration law and voter identification laws in Texas and South Carolina. He said that he is pleased that Kansas is not subject to the terms of the Voting Rights Act, which outlaws discriminatory voting practices, and could therefore implement its voter I.D. law without approval from federal officials.

    “I believe the Obama Justice Department uses the law and laws like the Voting Rights Act unevenly,” Kobach said. “They punish their political enemies. They don’t go after their allies like the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party is a radical left organization.”

    For the record, the Obama administration’s Justice Department is enforcing the Voting Rights Act the way it’s supposed to be enforced and the Black Panther Party, such as it is, isn’t an “ally” of the White House. As right-wing rants go, this is some pretty ridiculous nonsense.

    He went on to say about arguments that voter-ID laws discriminate against minorities, “I find it a strange claim and almost racist. Why should someone’s skin color prevent them from walking down to the office and getting a photo I.D.?”

    So, in Kobach’s mind, it’s “almost racist” to note that voter-ID laws disproportionately keep minorities, the elderly, and young voters from participating in elections?

    Remember, this isn’t just some random far-right activist, sharing strange ideas on Twitter; Koback is the author of anti-immigration laws; he’s Kansas’ Secretary of State; and he has Mitt Romney’s ear on immigration policy.
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/04/12051515-kris-kobachs-descent-into-self-parody?lite

    Like

  17. rikyrah says:

    Misperceptions about 2012 attack ads
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 1:00 PM EDT.

    Several major media figures have already complained about the tone of the 2012 presidential race, with much of the criticism directed at President Obama’s re-election campaign. For example, Karl Rove, without acknowledging the irony, has frequently condemned Team Obama for relying on “fear”-based attack ads.

    Among more mainstream media figures, CBS News’ Bob Schieffer has been especially critical, complaining to Robert Gibbs last week, and doing so again with David Axelrod yesterday.

    Perhaps now would be a good time for a quick reality check. Josh Green cited research from Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, which found that 63,793 presidential campaign ads have been broadcast since the start of the general election campaign on April 10. As Green noted, the data uncovered a noteworthy trend: “Democrats are running a largely positive campaign, while Republicans are running a mostly negative one.”

    As is my wont, I put together a chart on the available data:

    Which side of the aisle is running more attack ads? At this point in the process, there doesn’t appear to be much of a contest.

    Green added, “So why, if Obama is running overwhelmingly positive ads, does the media coverage leave the impression that the campaign has been overwhelmingly negative? Axelrod provided a clue. He said that the positive ads have been running mostly in the battleground states — where national media bigwigs like Bob Schieffer don’t see them.”
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/04/12050753-misperceptions-about-2012-attack-ads?lite

    Like

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republican Comes Unglued When Asked to Provide Examples of Voter Fraud
    By: Jason EasleyJune

    When a so called expert on voter fraud was pressed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd to give specific examples, he babbled James O’Keefe and ACORN then ran for the hills all the while ignoring the rampant plague of Republican voter fraud.

    Video clip courtesy of Think Progress:

    The right’s reasoning is that it is hard to catch voter fraud and even without any proof that it exists they still need these laws to prevent something that they have no proof is actually occurring. The only thing that the Heritage Foundation’s Brian Darling was expert in was repeating Fox News talking points.

    Darling may have been stumped when pressed for examples, but here are a more than a few instances of voter fraud that Republicans don’t want to talk about.

    GOP officials in Arizona hopped on the birther train, but have ignored a ring of organizations paid by the Republican Party to engage in voter fraud in the state. In California, Republicans are being investigated for intentionally filing thousands of invalid voter registration forms. Wisconsin Republicans engaged in fraud to get voters to sign petitions opposing the recall of Scott Walker.

    There was the high profile case of Mitt Romney committing voter fraud when he voted for Scott Brown in 2010. In Wisconsin, the legislative aide who worked for the architect of the state’s voter ID bill was charged with voter fraud, and in Indiana, the Republican chief election officer for the state was charged and convicted of voter fraud.

    Darling was right. There is voter fraud being committed before elections, but what he omitted is that it is Republicans who are engaging in the fraud. The truth about voter fraud is that it literally occurs as often as being struck by lightning. The reason why the Heritage Foundation expert couldn’t provide any specific examples of wide ranging Democratic voter fraud is because they don’t exist.

    The voter fraud claims are a smokescreen to cover up Republican efforts to suppress the vote, while engaging in their own voter fraud. The only voter fraud problem we have in this country is Republicans denying citizens their right to vote.

    Darling was whole line of reason came unglued and he was reduced to using James O’Keefe’s debunked and discredited edited videos as evidence. Republican reasoning falls apart at the slightest push from the media. It’s too bad that they are too lazy to do their jobs and expose this cocktail of mental illness and voter suppression that Republicans are disguising as public policy.

    http://www.politicususa.com/republican-slithers-asked-provide-examples-voter-fraud.html

    Like

  19. rikyrah says:

    Scott Brown’s fine print
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 11:17 AM EDT.

    In Massachusetts’ closely-watched U.S. Senate race, incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) frequently boasts that he was “the tie-breaking vote on Wall Street reform.” There are a few problems with the claim, including the fact that when a bill passes 59 to 39, no one cast the “tie-breaking vote.”

    But the point of the claim is that Brown wants voters to perceive him as someone who’s willing to challenge the financial industry, and who won’t do Wall Street’s bidding. What the campaign claims don’t include, however, is the fine print.

    Senator Scott Brown has trumpeted his role in casting the deciding vote in favor of the 2010 Wall Street overhaul, but records show that after he voted for the law, he worked to shield banks and other financial institutions from some of its tough provisions.

    E-mails between Brown’s legislative director and US Treasury Department officials show that Brown advocated for a loose interpretation of the law so that banks could more easily engage in high-risk investments.

    While the law, known as Dodd-Frank, sets broad parameters for how the financial industry must behave, the interpretation of the law, and the rules that follow, will govern Wall Street’s daily business.

    Brown, who has benefited from the remarkable generosity of Wall Street donors, took a particular interest in the Volcker rule, which the Massachusetts Republican weakened in the Senate before the vote, and then urged the Treasury Department to loosely enforce after the reform package became law, urging regulators to interpret the rule “broadly and to offer banks some leeway to invest in hedge funds and private equity funds.”

    Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and now a professor at MIT, told the Boston Globe the positions outlined in Brown’s e-mails amount to a “significant loosening of the regulations and absolutely serving the interests of people who do not want to have meaningful reform.” Johnson added, “This is a treatise on how to gut the thing.”

    Pat Garofalo recently added, “According to the Center for Responsive Politics, employees from the securities and investment industries have given more money to Brown than those of any other industry. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, which just lost billions of dollars on the sort of trading that the Volcker Rule was originally meant to curtail, are amongst his top ten donors.”
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/04/12049392-scott-browns-fine-print?lite

    Like

  20. Ametia says:

    Here’s an awesome interactive timeline of progress so far for the LGBT community

    Together we’ve fought for equal rights for LGBT Americans. From President Obama announcing his support for same-sex marriage to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” take a look at the progress we’ve achieved over the last three years.

    http://www.barackobama.com/lgbt/progress?source=em12_20120601_jc_tl&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obama&utm_campaign=em12_20120601_jc_tl

    Like

  21. Ametia says:

    The Obama campaign’s newest ad, airing in nine states, hammers Mitt Romney’s economic record as governor and makes the case that if Romney economics didn’t work for Massachusetts, it won’t work for the nation.

    The ad targets the Bay State’s weak jobs growth under Romney, when it fell to 47th in the nation and lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs, twice the national average. It also calls out Romney for lowering taxes on the millionaires “like him” while raising fees on everyone else yet adding $2.6 billion to the state’s tax burden.

    The ad explicitly ties Romney’s record in Massachusetts to the 2012 campaign with video clips from both campaigns of Romney claiming his private sector experience as CEO of Bain Capital taught him what it takes to create jobs. That claim was the centerpiece of his 2002 campaign just as it is today. “Remember, we’ve heard it all before,” the ad warns. “Romney economics. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.”

    The Obama campaign says it is airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/04/1097201/-New-Obama-ad-Romney-economics-didn-t-work-for-Massachusetts-and-won-t-work-for-the-country

    Like

  22. Ametia says:

    Facts About The Massachusetts Economy Under Mitt Romney
    By Travis Waldron on Jun 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign whipped out a new number over the weekend to dispute federal government data that ranked Massachusetts 47th in job creation during Romney’s time as governor there. Three campaign surrogates used the Sunday morning news circuit to claim that the state was actually 30th in job growth in Romney’s final year in office.

    Of course, moving the state to 30th would still mean it was in the bottom half of the nation, a fact that would seem to fit assertions from local experts that the state’s economy was “below average and often near the bottom” while Romney was governor. Here are five facts about the Massachusetts economy from Romney’s 2003-2007 tenure:

    Read them here: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/04/494282/5-facts-about-the-massachusetts-economy-under-mitt-romney/

    Like

  23. rikyrah says:

    A tale of two standards
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 9:20 AM EDT

    .Mitt Romney’s failure to create jobs in Massachusetts during his one term is becoming an increasingly important point in the 2012 campaign, with the Republican campaign struggling to think of an excuse, and President Obama’s re-election team eager to shine a spotlight on Romney’s record.

    Indeed, Obama’s campaign released this new ad this morning, slamming the former governor’s failures on what’s supposed to be his top issue.

    This is not, by the way, just some web video — the ad will run in Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as part of a “significant” ad buy.

    And what does Team Romney have to say in response? Well, it’s a funny story, actually.

    Romney has been running for president pretty much non-stop for six years. He and his aides have, in other words, had a very long time to come up with compelling explanations for all of the shortcomings in Romney’s record.

    With that in mind, Romney’s staffers had to know that when they appeared on the Sunday shows yesterday, they’d hear questions about Massachusetts being 47th out of 50 states in job creation during Romney’s tenure. And what was their explanation? Romney inherited a bad situation, and when he left, things were marginally better.

    Seriously, that’s their defense.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Eric Fehrnstrom told ABC, “Can I just say, on the jobs question, because this comes up repeatedly that Massachusetts was 47 out of 50 in terms of jobs growth. Actually, when Mitt Romney arrived, Massachusetts was an economic basket house.” Kevin Madden, naturally, took the same line on “Meet the Press.” On Fox News, Ed Gillespie went so far as to suggest the job losses in Romney’s first year shouldn’t be held against him.

    He wasn’t kidding.

    This comes on the heels of Fehrnstrom arguing 10 days ago that Romney inherited a “recession” and an economy that was “losing thousands of jobs every month” in 2002, and a Romney campaign press release last week that argued, in all seriousness, “Governor Romney inherited an economy that was losing jobs each month and left office with an economy that was adding jobs each month.”

    David Axelrod’s response seemed wholly appropriate given the circumstances: “They’re kidding, right?”

    Look, this isn’t complicated. Romney is trying to create a standard for success that only he’s allowed to use. After all, what’s President Obama’s defense on the economy? He inherited a disaster but helped turn things around. After one term, conditions weren’t excellent, but they showed clear improvement after four years. An economy that was losing jobs was, finally, adding jobs.

    And what’s Romney’s defense of his jobs record in Massachusetts? He inherited a mess but helped turn things around. After one term, conditions weren’t excellent, but they showed clear improvement after four years. An economy that was losing jobs was, finally, adding jobs.

    Can Romney have it both ways? If Romney’s to be congratulated for inheriting an economy that was struggling but then turning things around a little, by that identical standard, he ought to be patting Obama on the back for a job well done. Indeed, the Romney campaign talking points practically sound like an Obama endorsement.

    What’s more, this isn’t some tangential point in 2012 — it’s the central argument of the entire presidential campaign.
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/04/12047948-a-tale-of-two-standards?lite

    Like

  24. rikyrah says:

    This Republican Economy
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: June 3, 2012

    What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams

    So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.

    For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con.

    What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.

    How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.

    Over all, the picture for America in 2012 bears a stunning resemblance to the great mistake of 1937, when F.D.R. prematurely slashed spending, sending the U.S. economy — which had actually been recovering fairly fast until that point — into the second leg of the Great Depression. In F.D.R.’s case, however, this was an unforced error, since he had a solidly Democratic Congress. In President Obama’s case, much though not all of the responsibility for the policy wrong turn lies with a completely obstructionist Republican majority in the House.

    That same obstructionist House majority effectively blackmailed the president into continuing all the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, so that federal taxes as a share of G.D.P. are near historic lows — much lower, in particular, than at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

    As I said, for all practical purposes this is already a Republican economy.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/opinion/krugman-this-republican-economy.html?_r=1

    Like

  25. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s inaccurate claims about government workers
    Posted by Glenn Kessler at 06:02 AM ET, 06/04/2012
    TheWashingtonPost

    “That stimulus he [President Obama] put in place — it didn’t help private sector jobs, it helped preserve government jobs. And the one place we should have shut back — or cut back — was on government jobs. We have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work.”

    — Mitt Romney, in Craig, Colo., May 29, 2012

    There’s a lot going on in this quote by the presumptive Republican nominee, which a reader asked us to fact-check. Romney disparages President Obama’s $830 billion stimulus bill for allegedly not helping to create private sector jobs. He also dings government workers, suggesting that the president’s policies have led to a bloat of government workers — and that this is a bad thing for other workers.

    Let’s take a deeper look at his claims.

    The Facts

    We have to admit that the statement is bit confusing, because it appears to mix different thoughts. The stimulus bill included payments to states to help save “government” jobs, such as those of teachers, firefighters and the like. But then Romney refers to “145,000 more government workers,” which is correct only if he is referring to federal workers, not state workers.

    As we have noted before, Romney has previously used the 145,000 figure in a misleading way, but in that instance he clearly said he was referring to federal workers. In this context, since the first part of his statement suggests he is talking about state government workers, the second part would be wrong, because the number of government workers overall has dramatically declined under Obama.

    The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that nearly 610,000 government jobs have been lost since January 2009, with much of the loss coming since 2010, as the stimulus funds have begun to run out. Just in the past few months, about 30,000 government jobs have been lost, even as the number of private sector jobs has increased by more than 300,000. (Overall, since January 2009, the number of private sector jobs has increased by 55,000 because the numbers plunged deeply in 2009.)

    If we assume that Romney was actually referring to federal government jobs, not all government jobs, then the claim of a 145,000 increase since January 2009 is accurate. (The May data released on June 1 dropped the figure slightly, from 146,000 to 143,000.)

    But as we have written, much of that increase has come in areas that Romney says he wants to bolster as president, such as defense (80,000 additional jobs), veterans affairs (38,000) and homeland security (20,000). Presumably he would think such increases are a good thing — not jobs he would want to eliminate.

    Whether or not the stimulus was a success is certainly debatable. Our colleagues at Wonkblog summarized the results of the nine best surveys attempting to gauge the economic impact of the stimulus bill. Their conclusion: “Six find that the stimulus had a significant, positive effect on employment and growth, and three find that the effect was either quite small or impossible to detect.” But all have potential problems, and no one knows the real answer with any certainty. (Any politicians who claim they do know are misleading you.)

    We asked the Romney campaign for the basis of his claim that the stimulus did not help private sector jobs and whether he was referring to federal or all government workers when he said there had been an increase. We did not get a response.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/mitt-romneys-inaccurate-claims-about-government-workers/2012/06/02/gJQAv8nJ9U_blog.html

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  26. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s entitlement: Winning for losing
    By Robyn E. Blumner, Times Columnist

    Mitt Romney, who secured the number of delegates needed for the Republican nomination last week, said early on that this election is a choice between President Barack Obama’s “entitlement society” in which people are dependent on government benefits, and his “opportunity society” where business is free to flourish.

    But if you take Romney’s own life as representing a governing philosophy, he has the dichotomy backward. Romney is the one who has taken advantage of government entitlements — the ones that flow to the wealthy. And his interest in opportunity lies with rich investors who exploit government rules, often to the detriment of Main Street. Romney’s use of the federal bankruptcy courts to extinguish debts owed to suppliers, shops and service providers is a perfect example — more on that later.

    For starters, let’s tick off some of Romney’s favorite government entitlements:

    • Special tax rules allow him to pay federal income taxes of just 15 percent on his millions in “carried interest” profits, capital gains and dividends. The rest of us pay a rate of up to 35 percent on income from work.

    • Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded and ran from 1984 to 1999, only succeeded due to a major tax loophole. Bain was able to deduct the interest on the massive loans taken out to finance the purchase of its takeover targets — loans secured with the companies’ own assets. In 2008, Germany put limits on this kind of tax shenanigans, but don’t expect anything that enlightened to happen here.

    • Romney’s firm also enjoyed government largess in the form of job creation tax breaks. Just the year before Dade Behring, a Bain company, closed its operations in Puerto Rico in early 1998, with nearly 300 workers losing their jobs, the company received federal tax break of $3 million for promoting jobs there and a $4.1 million tax exemption from Puerto Rico.

    But there is no big government entitlement as magical or beloved by Romney and Bain than the get-out-of-debt-free card bestowed by federal bankruptcy court.

    Dade Behring went bankrupt, leaving Main Street creditors empty-handed, but not before Romney’s firm took $242 million out of it. In fact, of Bain’s 10 top business investments that made up 70 percent of the $2.5 billion Bain made for investors, four eventually went bankrupt, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    That’s called winning for losing, a game perfected by top 1 percenters.

    http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/mitt-romneys-entitlement-winning-for-losing/1232944

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    Louisiana’s bold bid to privatize schools
    Louisiana is embarking on the nation’s boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children.

    Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools.

    The following year, students of any income will be eligible for mini-vouchers that they can use to pay a range of private-sector vendors for classes and apprenticeships not offered in traditional public schools. The money can go to industry trade groups, businesses, online schools and tutors, among others.

    Every time a student receives a voucher of either type, his local public school will lose a chunk of state funding.

    “We are changing the way we deliver education,” said Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican who muscled the plan through the legislature this spring over fierce objections from Democrats and teachers unions. “We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”

    BIBLE-BASED MATH BOOKS

    The concept of opening public schools to competition from the private sector has been widely promoted in recent years by well-funded education reform groups.

    Of the plans so far put forward, Louisiana’s plan is by far the broadest. This month, eligible families, including those with incomes nearing $60,000 a year, are submitting applications for vouchers to state-approved private schools.

    That list includes some of the most prestigious schools in the state, which offer a rich menu of advanced placement courses, college-style seminars and lush grounds. The top schools, however, have just a handful of slots open. The Dunham School in Baton Rouge, for instance, has said it will accept just four voucher students, all kindergartners. As elsewhere, they will be picked in a lottery.

    Far more openings are available at smaller, less prestigious religious schools, including some that are just a few years old and others that have struggled to attract tuition-paying students.

    The school willing to accept the most voucher students — 314 — is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition.

    The Upperroom Bible Church Academy in New Orleans, a bunker-like building with no windows or playground, also has plenty of slots open. It seeks to bring in 214 voucher students, worth up to $1.8 million in state funding.

    At Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, pastor-turned-principal Marie Carrier hopes to secure extra space to enroll 135 voucher students, though she now has room for just a few dozen. Her first- through eighth-grade students sit in cubicles for much of the day and move at their own pace through Christian workbooks, such as a beginning science text that explains “what God made” on each of the six days of creation. They are not exposed to the theory of evolution.

    “We try to stay away from all those things that might confuse our children,” Carrier said.

    Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity; Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory; and biology texts built around refuting evolution.

    TEACHERS WEIGH LAWSUIT

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that vouchers can be used for religious education so long as the state is not promoting any one faith but letting parents choose where to enroll their children.

    In Louisiana, Superintendent of Education John White said state officials have at one time or another visited all 120 schools in the voucher program and approved their curricula, including specific texts. He said the state plans more “due diligence” over the summer, including additional site visits to assess capacity.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-education-vouchers-idUSL1E8H10AG20120601

    Like

  28. Ametia says:

    Mike Tyson
    Broadway Play Will Be
    a Spike Lee Joint

    You can add “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth” to Spike Lee’s legendary resumé … because TMZ has learned the director will helm the one-man show when it comes to Broadway later this year.

    Sources close to the boxing legend tell TMZ … Lee is in final talks to join the production as it gets ready to debut on the Great White Way. Tyson did the show for a week in Las Vegas and we’re told Lee and Tyson have been talking about what changes need to be made as they transition to the biggest stage of all.

    Our sources say Lee brought in theater mogul Jimmy Nederlander Jr. who owns a slew of Broadway venues and is interested in bringing in the Tyson show … hopefully by this summer.

    Tyson was on TMZ Live this week, where he plugged the upcoming show and teased Lee’s involvement.

    http://www.tmz.com/2012/06/04/mike-tyson-spike-lee-broadway/

    Like

  29. Ametia says:

    Monday, June 4, 2012GOP Obstructionism = Slow Job Growth

    I’m following up with more detail on Friday’s post on Republican Obstruction and the Poor Jobs Report. People on the Right/Libertarian side who commented on the post ignored any culpability the GOP has in the sorry state of the unemployment numbers. They conveniently dismissed the fact that President Obama proposed a jobs act. Instead of working with the president to find some common ground to help put Americans back to work, the GOP didn’t even bring the proposed legislation up for a vote in the House, where the GOP is a majority, and the AJA was filibustered in the Senate–thanks to the ongoing abuse of this procedure by the GOP in the Senate.

    http://progressiveerupts.blogspot.com/

    Like

  30. Ametia says:

    REPOST
    Posted at 08:00 PM ET, 06/03/2012
    Stop waiting for and start paying attention to our first black president
    By Jonathan Capehart

    Over the last three and a half years, there have been three silly political storylines that have driven me absolutely nuts because it was plainly apparent that they were not true. One was that author, reality television star and former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin was going to run for president in 2012. Another was that President Obama would swap out Vice President Biden in favor of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And the most irksome of all is the complaint from African Americans that Obama ignores their concerns.

    The latest manifestation of the Obama-doesn’t-care-about-black-people whine comes from Fredrick Harris. In a piece for The Post’s Outlook section headlined “Still waiting for our first black president,”which was adapted from his new book, the Columbia University professor makes a stunningly false argument.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/stop-waiting-for-and-start-paying-attention-to-our-first-black-president/2012/06/03/gJQAxQGCCV_blog.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions_Mon

    Like

  31. rikyrah says:

    folks have been saying for awhile that this is all about G-O-T-V.

    ……………………….

    Posted at 08:48 AM ET, 06/04/2012 TheWashingtonPost The Morning Plum: Wisconsin recall fight tightening?
    By Greg Sargent
    The robopolling firm Public Policy Polling is out with what may be the final survey of the Wisconsin recall fight, and it finds that Scott Walker’s lead over Tom Barrett has shrunk to three points — within the margin of error. As PPP says: “Barrett’s prospects for an upset look better than they have for a long time.”

    Other public polls have shown Walker with a wider lead. But those polls predate Bill Clinton’s visit to Wisconsin, the final Walker-Barrett debate, and new revelations in the John Doe probe. Nevertheless, most commentators and news orgs are essentially proceeding from the presumption that Walker has already won. For instance, see this New York Times piece.

    I’ve said repeatedly that I’m skeptical that Walker will be recalled. But PPP has concluded that Dems can still win this battle. It all turns on PPP’s key finding, which is that Walker’s slim lead is rooted in the fact that Republicans are more excited about the race than Democrats are, meaning that the cliche that it all comes down to turnout is truer than ever this time.

    Here is the bottom line of PPP’s analysis: If the turnout operation Dems and labor insist are superior to that of Walker can make up the difference, and can replicate 2008 Dem turnout, Walker — who’s trailing among core Dem constituencies like women, minorities, and young voters — will be recalled. If not, his lead among men, whites, seniors and Milwaukee suburbanities will enable him to survive.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/the-morning-plum-wisconsin-recall-fight-tightening/2012/06/04/gJQALVtGDV_blog.html

    Like

  32. rikyrah says:

    ‘My message to Congress is, get to work’
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 8:40 AM EDT.

    On Friday, responding to the deeply discouraging jobs report, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) shouted to reporters, “Why don`t they pick up the bills and pass them and help the American people, instead of playing politics over there?”

    “They,” in this context, was in reference to senators who’ve largely ignored small and ineffectual policies approved by the House intended to create jobs. As it turns out, however, President Obama could have repeated the exact same words Boehner used in response to the same news.

    Indeed, in his weekly address, Obama reminded the political world of an economic package — the American Jobs Act — that he presented in September, but which Congress regrettably chose to ignore.

    One of the ironies of the GOP message on Friday was the widespread assumption that the White House’s “policies” were to blame for the struggling job market. That might have made more sense if, for example, Obama’s jobs agenda had been approved but failed to produce.

    But it’s tougher to blame poor results on policies that weren’t tried — or at least, it should be much tougher.

    Is it too late for Congress to act? Actually, no. Independent analysis projected the American Jobs Act, which was fully paid for, could create as many as 2 million jobs in 2012. With the year nearly half over, that’s no longer possible, but if the jobs package were approved immediately, we would see a sharp economic improvement fairly quickly.

    But therein lies the point: Congress isn’t going to “get to work.” Republicans don’t want to.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Bill Maher joked over the weekend on Twitter, “Is it treason to purposefully block any help for the economy so voters blame the president and turn to the other party? Just asking.”

    While the “t” word is obviously hyperbolic, there is an underlying point here about the economic debate. In September, Obama presented a credible, serious plan to boost job creation; his policies were popular with the public and the kind of measures that have traditionally enjoyed support from both parties; the agenda was fully paid for; and the president made clear that his plan was sorely needed.

    When Republicans killed the Americans Jobs Act, they effectively lost the right to blame Obama for the struggling job market. He produced a plan to improve matters; they didn’t produce a plan and they killed the policies that would have helped. With the benefit of hindsight, we know the president was right and the congressional GOP was wrong.

    The Republican line of late has been, “Things would be better if we were doing things our way.” What they don’t seem to realize is that we already are trying things their way, and no one seems to like the results.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/04/12047575-my-message-to-congress-is-get-to-work?lite

    Like

  33. rikyrah says:

    Romney-backed solar firm flops, Dems pounce

    By DARREN SAMUELSOHN | 6/4/12 7:07 AM EDT

    A Massachusetts solar company to which Mitt Romney personally delivered a $1.5 million loan when he was governor has gone belly up, leaving him vulnerable to the same “picking winners and losers” charges that he’s been lobbing at President Barack Obama over Solyndra.

    The president’s reelection campaign wasted no time noting Romney’s support for Lowell-based Konarka Technologies, which announced Friday it had filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to lay off more than 80 workers and liquidate its assets.

    The filing came on the heels of Romney’s unannounced visit last week to Solyndra’s Silicon Valley headquarters, where he accused the Obama administration of a conflict of interest and poor judgment in approving Solyndra’s $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee.

    In January 2003, just less than three weeks into his term as governor, Romney handed a check to Konarka executives during a news conference that also involved giving out subsidies to four other renewable energy companies. One of the other winners announced that day — Evergreen Solar — has already undercut Romney’s Solyndra attacks by filing last year for bankruptcy protection.

    “Every day we see a new example of Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said Saturday. “Just one day after he pulled a political stunt outside Solyndra, we learned even more about his record of picking winners and losers in Massachusetts when one of the companies he gave a loan to went bankrupt.”

    Romney and a super PAC supporting him were on offense last week over Solyndra with attack ads and Thursday’s visit to the company’s headquarters, which are still draped with a red “for sale” sign. On Saturday, Romney’s team bristled as Obama’s campaign pushed back over Konarka.

    The GOP campaign noted that Massachusetts officials approved Konarka’s loan application for a new pilot production assembly line in December 2002, the month before Romney was sworn in. And even if Romney had been in office then, the agency that greenlighted the loan wasn’t under the direct control of the governor.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77011.html#ixzz1wpUZO6lL

    Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    found these over at POU – they got these from the comments from crazy ass Maureen Dowd’s latest column:

    A post from someone I assume is white in response to the crazy NYT bitch with an unrequited fatal crush on President Obama:

    Kenny Gannon Raleigh

    I do not think it fair to lay all the blame on President Obama’s personality. His race has been a defining factor in his presidency. I thought we were a better country than we have shown ourselves to be.

    He has been demonized from day one of his presidency by the Right. Resentment of him has revealed a sad and destructive flaw in the American character. Analyze that.

    The Democratic Party has been ineffectual in his defense as an egotistical Bill Clinton demonstrated this past week.

    I watched that interview with an overly reverential and deferential Harvey Weinstein. Mr. Clinton definitely was enjoying himself. Seeing himself as nuanced and wise I suppose.

    Mr. Weinstein let the King hold forth with cheap shot after cheap shot. Mr. Clinton lied to the American people, remember. Mr. Obama has done nothing so shameful.

    Let’s stop confusing leadership with the abdication of our duties as individual citizens. Mr. Obama’s election was a missed opportunity for our country to reunite.

    Just as President Bush wasted the time after September 11 when the world was with us. We went back to the mall and he invaded Iraq.

    But this missed opportunity to do great things and get our country going again cannot be laid at the feet of the President.

    Prejudice and hatred play a huge role in all this and still he aims high. Despite being undercut at almost every turn, he wants to bring us together. Give him a break. He has withstood a disgraceful onslaught. Let him fight back.

    Like

    • rikyrah says:

      This one is from – surprise- someone in Utah:

      Janet Salt Lake City, Utah

      You seem to want a benevolent dictator. Whether it is President Obama, President H Clinton, President Warren or President Stein in the White House, the President does not write legislation and s/he does not pass laws. S/he can only sign into law and enact (or not enact as Reagan managed to do) the legislation that Congress passes.

      I wish President Obama had the political skills of LBJ, who managed to get Congress to act. But in my history of following politics, I have never witnessed a more solidified Congressional opposition to a president. I don’t think even LBJ could have gotten these Republicans to vote yes on bills he supported.

      The Republicans who vowed in 2008 to take this president down at any cost to the nation are traitors. Yet, like you, most Americans will still blame the President for not doing what he could not do and they will reelect the traitors. Really, do you think President Warren could cut the defense budget?

      Many will choose to support a third party candidate, hoping that by some miracle someone, perhaps a woman, who is neither a Democrat or a Republican will float above the Constitutional restrictions on the office and mandate a better world.

      The reality remains, either a Democrat or a Republican will be elected president.

      A Republican president with a Republican Congress and a Republican Supreme Court will get you to as close as you can get to the dictatorship you seem to want.

      Like

      • rikyrah says:

        This was in response to another “if only Warren or Hillary were president” whine:

        Dave North Strabane, PA

        Whatever you think Obama is cut out for is irrelevant.

        He is president of the United States and he is running against a ruthless capitalist with absolutely no principles and a penchant for the blatant lie.

        As for Elizabeth Warren, let’s hope she can beat Scott Brown first before she “stomps on the military industrial complex and Congress and Wall Street.”

        You have a fevered imagination but no horse sense.

        Like

      • rikyrah says:

        Glenn W Milford

        Sorry but Hillary Clinton was one of the many war hawks that forced Obama’s hand in Afghanistan into doing the ill-advised surge.

        She stood with Patreus and McCrystal and against Biden.

        Why do you think her name keeps coming up as VP as a replacement for Biden? It’s wishing thinking for the neocons and the military industrial complex.

        Obama saw that the effort there was going nowhere but when McCrystal’s plans were leaked to the press, it would have been tough for him to fight both the internal battles with the likes of Hillary and the sycophants of the military industrial complex the make up much of the mainstream media.

        Like

      • rikyrah says:

        aej Corvallis, OR

        There never would nor could have been a President Hillary. She was running as McCain Lite – and without Obama as his opponent, McCain would never have put Sarah Palin on his ticket. Without Palin’s distracting antics, McCain would not have melted down when the economy tanked, and Hillary would have lost.

        President Obama has done a Herculean task of leading this country, against an implacable opposition that often seems practically treasonous in nature.

        I am appalled at the arrogant entitlement exhibited by the current Republicans and would not vote for them because of that, but I am impressed by and proud of President Obama’s leadership. I will definitely be voting for him come November.

        Like

      • rikyrah says:

        One that calls out the PL’s

        mary elizabeth boston,ma

        It is hard to understand how, when up against rules of the Congress that allow filibusters, obstructionism as we have never seen before, an intention by the Repubs to make sure this President fails, how all the fight in the world would make a difference. What would a “good come back” have been? The Constitution is designed to prevent a dictatorship.
        and to achieve through compromise.

        Obama was not helped by the far left’s encouragement of non-voting to make clear their disappoinment his not resolving issues that had been neglected for a generation in a mere half term. This was a huge turning point in the Obama Presidency as the Tea Party took control.

        To say that he “lost the communications war” absolves this extremist group of a grave and far-reaching error.

        It is also true that the “high blown speeches” were made before the crash of 2008 that came full force just as Obama was to take office. Dealing with such a crisis would have to alter any “vague outline”.

        We may never know what an Obama Presidency could have been were he to preside over a governable nation.

        Like

      • rikyrah says:

        This one too:

        Patricia Point Pleasant, New Jersey

        Our President has been faced with a Supreme Court that has unleashed possibly a billion dollars of anonymous donations to influence the outcomes o four elections.

        The resulting Republican governors and state legislature takeovers have begun the coordinated task of breaking up the Democrats greatest allies – the unions. Meanwhile, they are attempting to suppress votes by claiming a non-existent voter fraud scandal. And for good measure, they are systematically staging a war on women’s health to undermine Roe v Wade.

        Meanwhile, while the President has a Democratic Senate, Republicans have used the fillibuster a record number of times in the last 3 years so that Mitch McConnell can fulfill his main purpose – to make President Obama a 1 term President. Meanwhile the “wheelbarrow full of frogs”, known as the House has succeeded in blocking all aspects of the Presidents Jobs Bill.

        What might the unemployment numbers be if they simply passed a clean Transportation Bill?

        Which leaves the third branch of our government – the office of the President. What did he accomplish?

        At a time when we were facing a possible second Depression, he saved the banks, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, ended the war in Iraq, saved the car companies, passed Wall Street Reform, got Osama Bin Laden, and, oh yes, passed the first universal health care reform in our nation’s history.
        And Ms. Dowd is waiting for a superhero?

        Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    After the New York Times uncovered a proposed plan to attack President Obama, conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts is now funding an anti-Obama film. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell explains in the Rewrite.
    .

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755883/vp/47640375#47640633

    Like

  36. rikyrah says:

    McDonnell’s accidental candor credits Obama
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Gov. Bob McDonnell’s audition for the Republican 2012 ticket probably took another hit yesterday when the Virginia Republican accidentally told the truth about the effects of the Obama administration’s economic policies.

    CNN’s Candy Crowley and McDonnell discussed the state of Virginia’s economy, which is actually quite good, and the host pressed the governor on sharing the credit. “Do you credit President Obama at all for the good fortune Virginia has?” she asked. “He’s done nothing at all to help you all?”

    MCDONNELL: Well, I would ask you, what would you point to that would lead you to say that that unemployment — the only thing I can say is he had a nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus, and that was one-time spending. Did it help us in the short run with health care and education spending to balance the budget? Sure. [...]

    CROWLEY: So just a tiny bit of credit to the president?

    MCDONNELL: Well, sure. I think there’s national policies that is have had some impact.

    To be sure, McDonnell made the concession reluctantly, and added that while conditions have improved under Obama, they’d improve even more under Mitt Romney, but the Virginia Republican nevertheless conceded what is plainly true: Obama acted to improve the economy, and in McDonnell’s state, the policies made a positive difference.

    So when Romney travels to Virginia and tells voters Obama “made the economy worse,” it’s worth remembering that Romney’s biggest ally in Virginia — the Commonwealth’s governor and VP wannabe — disagrees.

    And the larger point, as we’ve discussed, is that the trend is common in several key swing states. In Ohio, the jobless rate is down to 7.4%. In Virginia, it’s improved to 5.6%. Even in Nevada, where the unemployment rate is still a crushing 11.7%, the figure has dropped two points in one year, which represents rather extraordinary progress. Bloomberg News reported, “The unemployment rates in a majority of the 2012 battleground states are lower than the national average as those economies improve.”

    Whether conditions will deteriorate or improve in the near future remains to be seen, but for now, McDonnell’s candor is precisely what the Obama campaign wants to hear.
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/04/12046956-mcdonnells-accidental-candor-credits-obama?lite

    Like

  37. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow asks Orange Julius: where are the JOBS?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#47654672

    Like

  38. Ametia says:

    Happy Monday, Everyone! ;-)

    Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow interviews the Attorney General of Montana, our hope in fighting back Citizens United.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#47654599

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Like

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