Sunday Open Thread

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30 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    THANK YOU, RICK SCOTT!!!

    Police Officers, Fed Up with Rick Scott, Leave Republican Party En Masse
    By Stefan KamphFri., Jun. 10 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Next month the Broward County Police Benevolent Association is holding a “Party to Leave the Party” — an event coordinated with the Supervisor of Elections where police officers and the general public can switch their voter registrations from Republican to Democratic or Independent.

    The reason for the switch? The association, which serves as the bargaining union for the county’s law enforcement officers, is unhappy with the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and the results of the past legislative session, including changes to the Florida Retirement System that will require the workers to pay more of their own wages into retirement savings.

    The PBA may be a union, but it’s not traditionally a bunch of liberals. “You’d be surprised,” says Broward PBA President Patrick Hanrihan. “I think most of our police officers and stuff are Republicans.” Well, until the party-switching party, that is.
    We’ve been supporting Republican governors for the past 20 years,” Hanrihan continued.

    But this one’s antics may be too much for the traditionally red-voting, gun-wielding, meat-eating, hippie-busting (OK, we’ll stop) cops to stomach.

    “[Governor Scott's] union dues deduction bill is a flat-out union-busting bill,” says Hanrihan. “Under the law, a government agency wouldn’t be allowed to collect union dues if it was involved in political campaigns.” He notes that Scott had “no problem” taking money from the police union in the past election. Scott did get significant pushback on the bill from some Republican representatives, but the House eventually passed it.

    http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2011/06/police_benevolent_association_leave_the_party_republicans.php

  2. rikyrah says:

    June 09, 2012 12:07 PM
    Concern Trolling in the Times

    By Ryan Cooper

    On Twitter Bill Keller, former executive editor of the New York Times, flagged a piece by Steve Almond titled “Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One,” saying it was “Must-read liberal introspection.” Boy, I thought to myself, I bet this is going to be terrible.

    Yup:

    This, to be blunt, is the tragic flaw of the modern liberal. We choose to see ourselves as innocent victims of an escalating right-wing fanaticism. But too often we serve as willing accomplices to this escalation and to the resulting degradation of our civic discourse. We do this, without even meaning to, by consuming conservative folly as mass entertainment…

    Of course, not all right-wing pundits spew hate. But the ones who do are the ones we liberals dependably aggrandize. Consider the recent debate over whether employers must cover contraception in their health plans. The underlying question — should American women receive help in protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancies? — is part of a serious and necessary national conversation.

    Any hope of that conversation happening was dashed the moment Rush Limbaugh began his attacks on Sandra Fluke, the young contraceptive advocate. The left took enormous pleasure in seeing Limbaugh pilloried. To what end, though? Industry experts noted that his ratings actually went up during the flap. In effect, the firestorm helped Limbaugh do his job, at least in the short term.

    So, liberals are entirely to blame for the popularity and influence of conservative hate-mongers. Check. Anything else?

    Media outlets like MSNBC and The Huffington Post often justify their coverage of these voices by claiming to serve as watchdogs. It would be more accurate to think of them as de facto loudspeakers for conservative agitprop. The demagogues of the world, after all, derive power solely from their ability to provoke reaction. Those liberals (like me) who take the bait, are to blame for their outsize influence.

    Even programs that seek to inject some levity into our rancorous political theater run on the same noxious fuel. What would “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” be without the fulminations of Fox News and the rest of the right-wing hysterics?

    Got it. And the cure, of course, is for liberals to simply ignore the likes of Limbaugh, so they’ll be locked into the echo chamber. Problem solved.

    Let’s set aside the fact that the premise here is stale. This argument has been hashed and re-hashed in the blogosphere for the last ten years—are we hurting the cause by giving attention to the demagogues, or helping it by drawing attention to their craziness?—the consensus being: well, it depends. Let’s also set aside that blaming liberals for the influence of Limbaugh totally ignores the agency of conservatives, who have been paying fealty to him and his ilk for years, and is barely a whisker shy of blaming the firefighter instead of the arsonist.

    Nope, the most interesting part is that it’s just straight-up wrong. Almond is so invested in his narcissistic victim-blaming that he didn’t seem to consider the idea that the very project of drawing attention to The Crazy is working out quite well recently. He says Limbaugh’s ratings are up, which seems to be wrong (no link, so I can’t check his numbers), but he also lost advertisers in unprecedented numbers. Backlash from the Heartland Institute’s climate denier billboard campaign featuring Ted Kaczynski crippled the organization. Komen’s attempt to cut funding to Planned Parenthood was a massive failure and has badly tarnished their brand and their donations, probably irreversibly. The shadowy conservative group ALEC took a major hit from being the author of the “stand your ground” laws in Florida and elsewhere, also losing lots of corporate support. And so forth.

    In short, giving conservative hatemongers a little push onto their own swords seems to be working like magic. Might have been something to consider in the piece, or at least address, but apparently not.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/concern_trolling_in_the_times037848.php

  3. Ametia says:

    In the aisles of Wal-Mart, Bain is a four-letter word

    By Alister Bull

    WASHINGTON | Fri Jun 8, 2012 3:39pm EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has been battered by bad news dimming the outlook for his re-election, but he might find hope in an unlikely place: the aisles of Wal-Mart.

    Female shoppers at the big-box superstore are viewed as crucial swing voters in the closely fought 2012 election, and a pair of recent focus groups suggest that Obama’s attempts to portray Republican rival Mitt Romney as a ruthless corporate raider might bear fruit.

    Obama’s attacks on Romney’s private equity career at Bain Capital have been widely panned by pundits and even some prominent Democratic allies, like President Bill Clinton. But the blame-it-on-Bain approach might be hitting its mark with Americans outside Washington.

    “The main thing I’ve heard that kind of scares me is … the whole Romney thing, where all these people, the factories that have been shut down where they’ve worked over 30 years and then they are left with nothing,” said Rebecca W., a participant in the Virginia focus group whose last name was not given. “That concerns me.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/08/us-usa-campaign-moms-idUSBRE85717G20120608?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Reuters/PoliticsNews+(Reuters+Politics+News

  4. rikyrah says:

    June 10, 2012 10:37 AM
    Health Care Race to the Bottom

    By Ed Kilgore

    By now we should all understand that if you put together GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and also “block-grant” Medicaid, tens of millions of Americans would quickly lose access to affordable health care. If you buy the conservative health care philosophy, and/or believe Republican claims of interest in something approaching universal health coverage, some of these unfortunate people might regain access to minimal levels of care via high-risk pools and tax credits. But that’s obviously not a very high priority for the GOP, which according to its own rhetoric is more interested in holding down health care costs by encouraging “individual responsibility” (i.e., paying your own medical bills) for health treatments and outcomes.

    But aside from the issue of the Republican Party’s “market-based vision” of the overall health care system, its commitment to a devolution of responsibility for public health care programs affecting low- and middle-class Americans who have not reached retirement age has its own destructive dynamics. At The Incidental Economist, my friend Harold Pollack makes the essential but rarely understood point on this subject:

    States have long worried about becoming “welfare magnets,” attracting poor people to make similar moves. There is a lively empirical debate about how often this actually occurs. Poor people are less mobile than you might think. As a political matter, no state wants to become a magnet for such inflows. From a national perspective, this dynamic promotes a “race to the bottom,” in which states seek to offer less generous benefits than they otherwise would. This race to the bottom is reinforced by deep ideological and economic differences across state lines.

    Before Social Security and Medicare, these same debates once occurred regarding state efforts to help impoverished or sick elderly people who could no longer care for themselves. Today, no politician would self-immolate by suggesting the block-granting Medicare or otherwise devolving supports for seniors to state governments.

    We have not achieved the same consensus regarding health care for poor people or the disabled. In 1965, Medicaid established national minimum benefits, and provided national resources. ACA expanded these national commitments, devoting federal resources to finance near-universal coverage. On the surface, the health reform fight includes technocratic disputes over budget estimates and over which level of government is best-equipped to provide needed services. The real fight is much deeper than that.

    There’s a remarkable historical inversion going on in this GOP effort to unravel a national commitment to low-income health care, by the way: what ultimately became “Medicaid” began as the Republican Party’s alternative to the universal, national health care system first promoted by Harry Truman and eventually established, for seniors only, in Medicare. Now Republicans claim to be championing Medicare (although simultaneously unraveling it via various efforts to cap or voucherize benefits and privatize its insurance function) by pitting it against ACA and Medicaid.

    There is a natural partisan-political and ideological affinity for today’s Republicans to pursue this old folks versus poor folks strategy, of course. With the two parties increasingly polarized by age and race/ethnicity, GOPers have every political reason to place the vitiation of Medicare (and for that matter, Social Security) on the back burner, and treat health care for non-seniors as “welfare,” designed for those improvident and/or darker people, to be devolved to the tender mercies and inflexible budgets of state goverments. (Yes, a big portion of Medicaid spending goes to long-term care for the elderly, but not necessarily the elderly who vote Republican).

    But beyond the brutal generational politics of the matter, Republican efforts to treat Medicare and Medicaid so very differently relies on the belief of many seniors that the former is an “earned benefit” or a self-funded program (via payroll taxes and premiums, which only cover about half of Medicare benefits) while the latter is a “redistribution” program or “welfare.” This is the flaw in the conviction of some progressives that “Medicare for all” is the winning magic formula for achieving universal health coverage: few conservative seniors will support “Medicare for all” if it includes those people who haven’t “earned” it or paid for it.

    In any event, Republican fiscal and health care proposals would decisively decouple health care treatment of the elderly and the poor/disabled (along with the middle-class uninsured that would be covered via ObamaCare) and send the latter straight into a race-to-the-bottom negative competition among states that is sure to ratchet down coverage, particularly as federal cost-sharing is steadily reduced (as the Ryan Budget would guarantee). It’s an aspect of the health care and budget debates that deserves vastly more attention than it has yet received from either party.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/health_care_race_to_the_bottom037852.php

  5. rikyrah says:

    adept2u @adept2u

    The media wants to call PBO’s statement a gaffe because they are part of the crowd that is sitting on 2 trillion in profits #complicit

  6. rikyrah says:

    Jonathan Chait explains it all: the GOP’s all-in gamble for 2012
    June 10, 2012 ·

    The last sentence of Jonathan Chait’s must-read article in the New Yorker is just the beginning:

    The deepest effect of Obama’s election upon the Republicans’ psyche has been to make them truly fear, for the first time since before Ronald Reagan, that the future is against them.

    Cair explains how Republicans responded to the election of President Obama and the demographic nightmare awaiting them; and why they are gambling everything on 2012.

    Read the whole thing here.

    • Ametia says:

      Good to keep reding this in print, but we already know the Republican Party is NO MORE. They are going DOWN, but not with out kicking & screaming.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The #Doingfine Smear Against Obama: What’s Behind the Media Obsession
    Friday, June 08, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 3:13 PM

    Republicans apparently had a field day today because the President said, in a press conference, that “the private sector is doing fine.” At least, that is the cut-quote you will see in the media and from Republicans ad infinitum from now on till the Sunday talk shows and probably beyond. But there’s a reason why. And it’s not the one the media is telling you. The reason the media is going to be obsessed with that cut-out of the president’s press conference is not, as they would like you to think, that it was Obama’s ‘big gaffe.’ It’s what came before and after those words, that the Republicans and the right-wing-lapdog media doesn’t want you to hear or pay attention to.

    Luckily, we have access to the transcript.

    THE PRESIDNET: [...] What I’ve said is, let’s make long-term spending cuts; let’s initiate long-term reforms; let’s reduce our health care spending; let’s make sure that we’ve got a pathway, a glide-path to fiscal responsibility, but at the same time, let’s not underinvest in the things that we need to do right now to grow. And that recipe of short-term investments in growth and jobs with a long-term path of fiscal responsibility is the right approach to take for, I think, not only the United States but also for Europe.

    Q What about the Republicans saying that you’re blaming the Europeans for the failures of your own policies?

    THE PRESIDENT: The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.

    And so, if Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is, how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry. Because the recipes that they’re promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result, I think most economists estimate, in lower growth and fewer jobs, not more.

    Read that again. 4.3 million private sector jobs. Nearly 900,000 alone this year. Contrast with this: even today, Mitt Romney is going around saying that people who lost jobs as teachers, firefighters and public safety officers – thus putting our children and community at a greater danger – deserved what they got.

    In the context of severe public sector job losses – that is, job losses for teachers, police officers and firefighters – ushered in by Republican governors and doubled down by DC-Republican refusal to send additional federal help to keep teachers employed and construction workers working and building our infrastructure – the private sector is in fact doing relatively fine. So much so, in fact, that an analysis by that liberal oasis Wall Street Journal shows that the unemployment rate would be at 7.1% without the public sector job losses that the Republicans forced.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/06/doingfine-smear-whats-behind-media.html

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mounting Debt Suddenly a Problem
    By Jonathan Salant

    For Karl Rove, now the debt’s a problem.

    Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit co-founded by the former Bush White House political adviser that keeps its donors secret, announced today that it will spend $7 million attacking President Barack Obama for failing to tackle the growing national debt.

    Against a backdrop of a ticking stopwatch, a narrator warns that Obama is adding $4 billion in new debt every day.

    Rove, of course, experienced first-hand a sharp increase in the national debt. The day his former boss, George W. Bush, was sworn in as president in 2001, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. When Bush (and Rove) left the White House, the debt had grown to $10.6 trillion, an 86 percent increase, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter” at a meeting of the president’s economic team, according to an account by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

    On June 1 of this year, the debt was $15.7 trillion, a 48 percent increase over what Obama inherited. And yes, it does grow in mulitbillion-dollar leaps each day.

    (You can track the debt day by day yourself at the Treasury’s Web-site.)

    Now the deficit matters to Rove and Crossroads.

    “While Europe is in the throes of debt-fueled economic crisis, President Obama keeps spending and charging more on the nation’s maxed-out credit cards,” said Steven Law, president of Crossroads GPS.

    While the debt rose under Obama, almost half of it can be attributed to two Bush policies, his tax cuts and deficit-funded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington.

    For all the talk about the debt, Rove’s group wants to continue all of the Bush tax cuts, as well as eliminate the estate tax on multimillionaires. Crossroads GPS doesn’t offer any specific spending cuts to pay for these policies.

    http://go.bloomberg.com/political-economy/2012-06-05/mounting-debt-suddenly-a-problem/

  9. Ametia 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.

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

  10. rikyrah says:

    Republican Governor calls for abolition of public sector unions. |

    Appearing this morning on Fox News Sunday, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels called for the elimination of public sector unions. Huffington Post reports: “Wallace… asked whether Daniels would like to see public-sector unions disappear entirely. ‘I think government works better without them, I really do,’ Daniels replied.” In 2005, Daniels signed an executive order that “eliminated collective bargaining rights for government workers.” As a result, workers in the state “receive lowers salaries and must pay higher health care costs.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/10/496956/republican-governor-calls-for-abolition-of-public-sector-unions/

  11. rikyrah says:

    I found this comment over at TOD:

    cat48
    June 10, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Good Morning TOD;

    I thought you might be interested in this summary of a Pollster’s Focus Group of Walmart Moms. They’re all Swing Voters; also known as low information voters:

    1.. Don’t underestimate the power of the first family’s image with female voters. More women discussed the first daughters more than some of President Barack Obama’s most pronounced policy initiatives aimed at female voters (no mention of Sandra Fluke, the Violence Against Women Act, even the administration’s contraception coverage policy). A young Richmond mother of one simply said, “Michelle is hearing what we have to say.” Another Richmond mom even remarked she believed the president watched out for her because he’s “surrounded by women” at home.

    2. The females in the focus groups were surprisingly risk averse — to the point it evoked thoughts of FDR’s 1944 re-election slogan “Don’t swap horses midstream.” More than one Richmond participant cited “maybe three years isn’t enough” to turn things around. Another particpant warned of a “learning period” if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is elected. And a Las Vegas mom argued of Obama, “He’s already in place.” On the other hand, hardly a hand was raised when the Las Vegas women were questioned if they were better off economically than they were three years ago. These voters were generally disappointed in Obama, but they weren’t ready to make the switch yet.

    3. Romney remains largely undefined among these two groups. Millions of dollars later on the Nevada and Virginia airwaves, most of these women only knew a couple of things about the presumptive GOP nominee: He’s a businessman, family man and, per one Richmond participant, “a nice looking man.” It’s also worth noting that ads casting Romney’s former private equity firm, Bain Capital, in a negative light did ring a bell with a few women. As one Richmond woman described it, “Romney cut jobs when he was in charge of a factory.”

  12. Ametia says:

    Tiffany Rent, Pregnant Chicago Woman, Tasered By Police During Parking Dispute

    The family of a pregnant woman who was reportedly Tasered by police Tuesday says they plan to file complaints against the officers who arrested her.

    Tiffany Rent, 30, was approached by Chicago Police in the parking lot of a Walgreen’s in Roseland late Tuesday night, who ticketed her for parking in a handicapped space, according to WGN. The police report says that Rent tore up the ticket and threw it at the officer, and in the ensuing altercation between police, Rent and her boyfriend Joseph Hobbs, a Taser was discharged.

    Police News Affairs told NBC Chicago that they had no information about whether Rent was pregnant, but relatives say Rent is eight months pregnant. Rent was taken to a nearby hospital Tuesday night and released, but her family drove her to the University of Illinois Hospital Wednesday morning after she reported pain during her court appearance.

    Rent and Hobbs were each charged with resisting arrest and simple assault, and Rent was ticketed for parking in a handicapped space, according to NBC Chicago.

    VIDEO

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/06/tiffany-rent-pregnant-chi_n_1574402.html

  13. rikyrah says:

    Today in Wanton Malevolence

    by BooMan
    Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 07:55:26 AM EST

    As if the Citizens United ruling were not malvolent enough, the House Republicans are seeking to make it worse. According to the Supreme Court in Citizens United, corporate spending does not distort the political process, give rise to the appearance of corruption, or undermine the people’s faith in democracy. Obviously, they are out of their minds, but a big part of their reasoning is that disclosure requirements should allow the people to see who is sending them a political message. To further that end, the FCC released new guidelines in late April.

    A new FCC guideline that would have forced the nation’s top television stations to list the funders behind political advertisements online.
    But the House Appropriations financial services subcommittee voted along party lines to prohibit the FCC from implementing their proposal to add another layer of transparency to the political ad process.

    We’re entitled to the information. According to the High Court of Antonin Scalia, this information protects us so much from the corrupting influence of corporate money that we should probably consider it to have superpowers. It’s this information that is keeping corporations and politicians honest, after all, and also allowing us to make informed choices.

    But, no, you can’t have it in a nice easy to search online form. No, you need to go down to the television stations on your own and request the records. You can see how easy that is here.

    This is the worst kind of collusion. The billionaires want to give anonymously. The Republicans want to protect the billionaires. The television stations want to keep it difficult to figure out what they’re charging for their ads. So, even though the law says this information must be publicly available, they work together to make it extremely burdensome for anyone to see it.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/6/10/75526/2755

  14. rikyrah says:

    Just Dine With Sally Quinn Already

    by BooMan
    Sun Jun 10th, 2012 at 11:34:51 AM EST

    Not that they deserve it, but Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee are so desperate to throw a party for the Obamas that maybe Barack and Michelle should relent and go along. Let me tell you how bad it is. Here’s Sally Quinn contemplating the idea that maybe it isn’t so bad after all that she can no longer “attend…five-course dinners a couple of nights a week, with a different wine for each course, served in a power-filled room of politicians, diplomats, White House officials and well-known journalists.” Read it and weep.

    Washington has become a community of small groups of people, mostly staying within their circles, occasionally making a foray out into the bigger world to large events, only to be turned off by the endless corporate “fundraiserness” of it all. How special can you feel when you know you have to pay to go to an event and then get a bad seat on top of that?

    Could it be that the Obamas, not knowing Washington, think that’s all there is to the social life here? Who wouldn’t want to stay away? On the other hand, he is the president of the United States and, whether he likes it or not, the leader of social as well as political Washington.

    But maybe this small-group trend is not such a bad thing. Maybe, as in one of those post-apocalyptic movies where the planet has been destroyed by war, people will begin to make their own lives.

    Every time a Democrat comes into the White House, Sally Quinn says that they “don’t know Washington.” I thought that maybe she had a point when Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton arrived on the scene. I mean, Jimmy Carter only spent five months (in 1952-53) living in the Washington area, which is hardly enough time to “know” the town. And Clinton interned with Senator Fulbright while earning his undergraduate degree from Georgetown. But, you know, what do college students know about power circles in Washington? As for President Obama, he only spent four years as a U.S. Senator before moving into the Oval Office. Being a senator doesn’t help you “know” Washington, either. Obviously.

    Sally Quinn’s planet has been destroyed by war. Maybe we should rename the Beltway as “Alderaan.” And I’d be more willing to credit her touching conclusion (about her smaller more meaningful dinner parties where people celebrate something other than money and power) if she didn’t compare her fate to that of Princess Leia. How many more times will Sally Quinn humiliate herself with complaints about her own irrelevance?

    To the Obamas, I say, please make it stop. Call up the Bradlee/Quinn house and invite yourselves over. Invite your kids, too. Stop the pain.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/6/10/113451/103

  15. rikyrah says:

    Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

    Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama

    So why does the US economy stink?

    Why has job creation in America slowed to a crawl? Why, after several months of economic hope, are things suddenly turning sour? The culprits might seem obvious – uncertainty in Europe, an uneven economic recovery, fiscal and monetary policymakers immobilized and incapable of acting. But increasingly, Democrats are making the argument that the real culprit for the country’s economic woes lies in a more discrete location: with the Republican Party.

    In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country’s economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama’s key political adviser, David Axelrod.

    For Democrats, perhaps the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell:

    “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically. Considering that presidents – and rarely opposition parties – are held electorally responsible for economic calamity, it’s not a bad political strategy.

    Then again, it’s a hard accusation to prove: after all, one person’s economic sabotage is another person’s principled anti-government conservatism.

    Beyond McConnell’s words, though, there is circumstantial evidence to make the case. Republicans have opposed a lion’s share of stimulus measures that once they supported, such as a payroll tax break, which they grudgingly embraced earlier this year. Even unemployment insurance, a relatively uncontroversial tool for helping those in an economic downturn, has been consistently held up by Republicans or used as a bargaining chip for more tax cuts. Ten years ago, prominent conservatives were loudly making the case for fiscal stimulus to get the economy going; today, they treat such ideas like they’re the plague.

    Traditionally, during economic recessions, Republicans have been supportive of loose monetary policy. Not this time. Rather, Republicans have upbraided Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve, for even considering policies that focus on growing the economy and creating jobs.

    And then, there is the fact that since the original stimulus bill passed in February of 2009, Republicans have made practically no effort to draft comprehensive job creation legislation. Instead, they continue to pursue austerity policies, which reams of historical data suggest harms economic recovery and does little to create jobs. In fact, since taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011, Republicans have proposed hardly a single major jobs bill that didn’t revolve, in some way, around their one-stop solution for all the nation’s economic problems: more tax cuts.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

  16. rikyrah says:

    Crazy Talk: Racism Reporters Are ‘Troublemakers’

    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: June 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    What’s worse than racist treatment on the job? Being disciplined or even fired for bringing it up. But that, according to the National Black Police Association, is what’s happening to the United Kingdom’s black and Asian officers, the BBC reports. Apparently those who complain about discriminatory treatment have been labeled “troublemakers,” but a new report should help get to the bottom of who’s really causing problems within the force:

    Speaking to Radio 4’s File on 4 programme, President of the NBPA Charles Critchlow said:

    “I think the worst aspect is it appears that even senior officers are prepared to use instruments within the service, for example the disciplinary process, to put pressure on these officers and ultimately force them out of the organisation and that’s something that we’re very, very concerned about.”

    He added: “I think there still exists within the police service a pattern of behaviour where officers, particularly junior officers, who make a complaint or challenge inappropriate behaviour – particularly if it’s got anything to do with race – seem to be labelled as troublemakers.”

    The BBC has also seen an internal draft report, which shows police disciplinary procedures being used disproportionately against black and Asian officers in some forces.

    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/crazy-talk-racism-reporters-troublemakers

  17. Ametia says:

    “Understand what’s in a woman’s head not what’s on it”. I hear you Melissa.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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