Serendiptiy SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Jazz Week!

Marsalis is the surname of an American family of jazz musicians including (from eldest to youngest):

Ellis Marsalis, pianist; father of the others listed here:

Branford Marsalis, saxophonist Marsalis Music, a record label founded by Branford Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis, trumpet player

Delfeayo Marsalis, trombone player and producer

Jason Marsalis, drummer and percussionist

Swinging At The Haven / Marsalis Family – hat tip Rashad

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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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58 Responses to Serendiptiy SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Jazz Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    President speaking live in Philly now

    Watch it live streaming here: http://edition.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=4

  2. rikyrah says:

    The Wind Cries Koch Brothers
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:36 PM EDT

    .Karl Rove, of all people, voiced support for federal tax credits in support of wind energy last week. “We’ve got a growing economy that’s increasing energy consumption and wind energy should be part of the solution,” he argued.

    Any chance this might represent a larger shift in conservative opposition to alternative energy? Perhaps not — Dave Roberts notes today that the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity is organizing protests in New Jersey against wind energy. AFP posted this message online:

    Would you believe that this Friday is “Global Wind Day”?

    You heard that right! Friday is “Global Wind Day” and environmental extremists throughout New Jersey will be celebrating by flying kites at beaches along the Jersey Shore and calling for more and more of our tax dollars to be used to subsidize their crazy offshore wind pipe dreams!

    Now, it’s up to you and me to combat their global wind nonsense! AFP will be going toe to toe with the environmental extremists to combat their radical agenda and tell the truth about the costs of offshore wind!

    This does not appear to be a parody.

    Americans for Prosperity is comfortable with tax subsidies for oil companies, but is nevertheless organizing protests against “environmental extremists” who support public investment in a growing clean-energy industry.

    Whether AFP includes Karl Rove among the “environmental extremists” who support “global wind nonsense” is unclear.
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12189492-the-wind-cries-koch-brothers?lite

  3. rikyrah says:

    Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:04 AM PDT.

    When he talks about education, Mitt Romney leaves out the most important word in his plan

    Mitt Romney’s real education goal is described by the New York Times’ Trip Gabriel as “overhauling the federal government’s largest programs for kindergarten through 12th grade into a voucherlike system.” Yet on his website’s education page and in his recent speech describing his education plans, Romney never used the word “voucher.”
    Romney’s pro-voucher position is so extreme that Margaret Spellings, a Secretary of Education under George W. Bush, has stepped back from his campaign:

    “I have long supported and defended and believe in a muscular federal role on school accountability,” Ms. Spellings said. “Vouchers and choice as the drivers of accountability — obviously that’s untried and untested.”

    Untried and untested at improving schools, maybe, but that’s not what vouchers are about. This is an effort to privatize public education, not to improve it. In 1955, Milton Friedman wrote that “Vouchers are not an end in themselves; they are a means to make a transition from a government to a free-market system.” In 1997, the president of the Heartland Institute said that “Like most other conservatives and libertarians, we see vouchers as a major step toward the complete privatization of schooling.” These aren’t fringe voices in the voucher movement; they are what Mitt Romney is moving toward, forcefully in his policy if euphemistically in his language. He has to be euphemistic because when he actually says directly what he means, such as that we should have fewer teachers, firefighters, and police officers, it tends not to go over so well.
    Diane Ravitch sums up the American education system Romney is proposing:

    In the vision presented by Mitt Romney, public dollars would flow to schools that teach creationism. Anyone could teach, without passing any test of their knowledge and skills and without any professional preparation. Teachers could be fired for any reason, without any protection of their freedom to teach. In some states and regions, teachers will be fearful of teaching evolution or global warming or any controversial issues. Nor will they dare to teach books considered offensive to anyone in their community, like Huckleberry Finn.
    To Romney, every single one of those things is a feature, not a bug, of the “choice” he would introduce to education.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/12/1099369/-When-he-talks-about-education-Mitt-Romney-leaves-out-the-most-important-word-in-his-plan

  4. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: George Zimmerman’s wife arrested on perjury charge | Shellie Zimmerman is accused of lying under oath at her husband’s bail hearing.

    • Ametia says:

      Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of George Zimmerman, has been arrested on a charge of perjury, authorities said.

      A Florida judge earlier this month revoked bond for George Zimmerman, a Florida man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

      At the time, Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. accused George Zimmerman of having misrepresented how much money he had when his bond was set in April. Prosecutors said he had $135,000 when Shellie Zimmerman told the court, under oath, that they were indigent.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Gingrich: Romney admin will lead to ‘fewer teachers’
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:11 PM EDT.

    Mitt Romney argued this morning that it’s “completely absurd” for Democrats to argue that, if elected, he’ll allow more layoffs of school teachers, police officers, and firefighters, just because he said on Friday he opposes President Obama’s plan to prevent layoffs of teachers, cops, and firefighters. Oddly enough, as Igor Volsky noted, Newt Gingrich, a high-profile Romney supporter, thinks Democrats are right.

    Asked about Romney’s opposition to using federal resources to protect teachers and first responders, Gingrich said Americans have to “come to grips” with the policies a Romney administration would pursue: “Does that mean there will be fewer teachers? The honest answer is yes.”

    This is consistent, by the way, with the Romney campaign’s stated position: if Romney’s elected, he intends to slash education spending, leading to fewer teachers.

    It crystalizes the 2012 race in a straightforward, unambiguous way: President Obama believes the country will benefit if we hire more teachers; Mitt Romney believes the country will benefit if more teachers are laid off. There’s not much in the way of gray area — Romney tried to obscure his position this morning, but both he and his surrogates are making the candidate’s position plain. Will be fewer school teachers if Romney has his way? “The honest answer is yes.”

    Greg Sargent added a good take on the larger political salience: “This underscores again why Romney’s original cops/firefighters quote was so problematic and revealing. He singlehandedly reframed this debate as one over whether we should spend federal money specifically on protecting the jobs of cops, firefighters and teachers in order to help alleviate the unemployment crisis. Romney and Republicans need this debate to be about spending on generic Big Bad Government and parasitic bureaucrats, not culturally sympathetic figures that Americans widely identify with and rely upon daily for their safety and the education of their children.”
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12188451-gingrich-romney-admin-will-lead-to-fewer-teachers?lite

  6. rikyrah says:

    Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM PDT.

    Mitt Romneybot: I’m ‘in touch’

    Mitt Romneybot tries on a new message:

    People across America are having a hard time. The president doesn’t understand how his policies have made things so hard for the American people. It’s finally time to have a president who’s in touch with what’s happening in America, and I am.

    Sure Mitt Romney is in touch, except for the part about how he opposes President Obama’s plan to help prevent more layoffs of state and local government workers like firefighters, teachers and cops. And except for not recognizing that the reason we need Congress to pass that plan is that even though we’ve created 4.3 million private sector jobs in the last 27 months, more than 500,000 public sector workers have lost their jobs, hurting the economy as a whole.
    And sure Mitt Romney is in touch, except for the part about opposing President Obama’s plan to put construction workers back to work by accelerating spending on bridges, roads and airports.

    Yes, this is the same Mitt Romney who jokes about being unemployed. He’s really in touch, isn’t he? The guy who thinks it’s funny to talk about firing people. The guy who says corporations are people, my friend. And let us not forget making fun of people who wear ponchos—which, according to Mitt, are really garbage bags.

    Mitt Romney is so out of touch he thinks the fact that he was CEO of Bain Capital qualifies him for the presidency, even though it seems the biggest lesson he learned at Bain Capital is that instead of rescuing the auto industry, we should have let it go bankrupt. Or that the best way to deal with the foreclosure mess is to “let it hit bottom” so that rich people can buy up foreclosed homes and rent them back to the previous homeowner.

    Look, there’s no question that Mitt Romney was a phenomenal moneymaker at Bain. But he’s not in touch with regular Americans. And if he were in touch, if he really had a clue about what America needs, he wouldn’t be doubling down on the miserable failure of the Bush years.

    .

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/12/1099415/-Mitt-Romneybot-I-m-in-touch

  7. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 06/12/2012
    TheWashingtonPost
    The Romney camp’s muddled message about cops and firefighters
    By Greg Sargent

    This morning, Mitt Romney responded to the Obama campaign’s charge that he thinks we need fewer cops, firefighters and teachers by arguing, well, something:

    “Well, that’s a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd.
    “[Obama’s] got a new idea, though, and that is to have another stimulus and to have the federal government send money to try and bail out cities and states. It didn’t work the first time. It certainly wouldn’t work the second time.”

    Steve Benen counters:

    Well, actually, the federal government can provide resources to states and municipalities to either hire new teachers and first responders, or prevent layoffs that would otherwise be made. If Washington would do this, we’d see an immediate drop in the unemployment rate, but Republicans refuse to even consider the idea.

    That’s true, and I would add a couple more points. Note that Romney is decoupling the argument over whether we should spend more federal money specifically to staunch layoffs among cops, firefighters and teachers from the more general argument over whether we should spend more federal stimulus money on the states. Of course, these two arguments are over exactly the same thing! But Romney is simultaneously claiming that he couldn’t possibly be in favor of cutbacks to cops, firefighters and teachers, since they aren’t paid by federal funds, even as he’s claiming he opposes more federal money to the states, which of course would be used to … protect the jobs of cops, firefighters and teachers who are getting laid off.

    This underscores again why Romney’s original cops/firefighters quote was so problematic and revealing. He singlehandedly reframed this debate as one over whether we should spend federal money specifically on protecting the jobs of cops, firefighters and teachers in order to help alleviate the unemployment crisis. Romney and Republicans need this debate to be about spending on generic Big Bad Government and parasitic bureaucrats, not culturally sympathetic figures that Americans widely identify with and rely upon daily for their safety and the education of their children. That’s why Romney again tried today to obscure the accidental specificity of his original quote.

    What’s more, Romney’s new pushback is undermined by quotes from his own surrogates. As Dems were quick to note, last night, Newt Gingrich flatly admitted that, yes, Romney’s prescription will in fact mean “fewer teachers.” And top Romney surrogate John Sununu recently defended Romney’s comments by claiming that taxpayers would, in fact, like to see fewer teachers in classrooms where there are fewer students, implicitly suggesting that this is what Romney’s policy would help accomplish. It’s hard to see how those defenses square with Romney’s claim that it’s “absurd” that he supports cutbacks to these jobs. The response here is completely incoherent.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/romney-surrogates-step-on-his-message-about-cops-and-firefighters/2012/06/12/gJQARGHyXV_blog.html

  8. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:07 PM ET, 06/12/2012
    TheWashingtonPost
    Sherrod Brown: Government does create jobs, and we Democrats need to say so
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s good to see the two presidential campaigns squaring off over the real causes of the ongoing unemployment crisis, but let’s face it: When it comes to whether we are actually going to do anything to create jobs, we’re stuck in a holding pattern — even as the jobs numbers continue to show the recovery is sputtering.

    Is there anything Obama and Democrats can do to change this? I put the question to Senator Sherrod Brown. He suggested that the President and Dems need to get behind a strong message about government’s very real role in creating jobs — and to use that message to pressure Republicans for legislative action immediately.

    “Everybody knows that government creates jobs,” Brown said, citing the highway bill that has passed the Senate but is bottled up in the GOP-controlled House, which Dems say would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    “Government creates jobs in highways,” Brown said. “We hire private contractors. That creates other jobs. It builds an economic foundation for job creation.”

    “During the fifties, the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, the United States had great infrastructure programs,” Brown continued. “We were the envy of the world. Those are clear formulaic job creating strategies that we know.”

    Right now, Obama has again called on Congress to pass the parts of the American Jobs Act that Republicans blocked by filibuster in the Senate, such as infrastructure spending and aid to states for hiring of first responders and teachers.

    But is that really enough? Should Obama reintroduce a whole new jobs package — drawing on those ideas, but packaging them anew in order to launch a new campaign for their passage?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/sherrod-brown-government-does-create-jobs-and-we-democrats-need-to-say-so/2012/06/12/gJQAQwNmXV_blog.html

  9. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:48 AM ET, 06/12/2012
    TheWashingtonPost
    This election is really a matchup between Obama and Bush
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    The big federal report on cratering middle class wealth in 2007-2010 is really a reminder of something that has gotten lost in the daily back and forth: This presidential election is highly unusual, and both campaigns are, in a sense, making it up as they go along.

    It’s actually rare for a new president to take office during a recession, and rarer still for one to take office amid a horrific crisis, as Obama did. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter took office soon after recessions technically ended. But Obama’s case was different; his inauguration was right at the deepest point of the downturn. And of course it was a far deeper recession than any of those others. That’s not all: the Obama recovery, although real, is a lot less impressive than most comparable periods after recessions.

    Here’s one way to think about this: Obama’s chances for reelection are going to depend heavily on whether the American people hold Obama or George W. Bush responsible for the economy. In effect, this is essentially a matchup between Obama and his predecessor in a way we haven’t seen in presidential elections before.

    The highly unusual nature of this election means that there will be whole lot of uncertainty about how economic “fundamentals” play, and they may play in a new way. One political scientist finds that election prediction based on the fundamentals finds that the first year’s economic performance works backwards, with a worse economy in year one helping re-election. If that’s true, it makes Barack Obama a likely winner this year…but then again, there’s really no way to know for sure whether it is true.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/this-election-is-really-a-matchup-between-obama-and-bush/2012/06/12/gJQAStjcXV_blog.html

  10. rikyrah says:

    House GOP threatens Holder with contempt
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:00 AM EDT.

    For weeks, House Republican leaders were reluctant to push a political fight against Attorney General Eric Holder too far, but as of this week, it looks like House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is calling the shots.

    To briefly recap, Issa wants more information about the “Fast and Furious” controversy. Holder and the Justice Department have said they’ve already made over 7,600 pages of documents available, and continue to provide more, but are cautious about the public release of materials that could undermine ongoing criminal cases. (This is a position endorsed by a Reagan-era Office of Legal Counsel memo.)

    Yesterday, the seriousness of the dispute intensified a bit.

    House Republicans on Monday signaled that they would take the first step toward citing Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. with contempt of Congress if he does not turn over more Justice Department documents related to the botched gun trafficking investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

    Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House oversight committee, announced on Monday that the committee would meet on June 20 to vote on whether to recommend that the full House hold Mr. Holder in contempt.

    Though House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have generally been quiet about Issa’s tantrum, yesterday they both expressed their support for Issa’s position.

    So, what happens if Issa follows through on his threats and successfully pushes a contempt measure? This has the potential to get a little … messy.

    ——————————————————————————–

    As we discussed in May, Issa is trying to act quickly — presumably to maximize the election impact — but even if House Republicans seriously pursue this, the mess “would take years to sort out.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12184260-house-gop-threatens-holder-with-contempt?lite

  11. rikyrah says:

    June 12, 2012 12:35 PM

    Romney’s Educational Tax Raid

    By Ed Kilgore

    I was remiss in not writing earlier about Mitt Romney’s big K-12 education initiative, which basically just involves taking all the existing federal money spent for this purpose and tossing it out there as a hand grenade designed for the destruction of public schools.

    While the Obama administration has committed itself (to its own political peril) to the standards-and-accountability movement aimed at using federal dollars to leverage measurable improvements in low-performing public schools—a movement once championed by Republicans—Romney is moving in the opposite direction, proposing to turn over all those highly conditional taxpayer dollars to parents for use however and wherever they want, with zero accountability for results other than via abstract market forces. The primary beneficiaries, of course, will be private schools that will pocket public subsidies and do whatever they choose.

    I know a lot of people, on the Left as well as the Right—think of “school choice” as a unitary philosophy, and consider the sharp distinctions drawn by Obama and many other Democrats between charter public schools and private schools as fairly meaningless. To them Romney is just going the logical next step beyond current law.

    But the whole idea of charter schools is that they contract with public authorities to educate all students free of charge and be held accountable for specific levels of student achievement. Voucher systems like that proposed by Romney would eliminate any and all specific expectations. Both approaches are often considered threats to traditional public schools. But while public school choice is intended to challenge “traditional” schools to compete on a level playing field, voucher systems simply move the money elsewhere and abolish the “playing field” and most of the rules. It is a prescription for the destruction of the very idea of public education, other than as a mechanism for subsidizing private education.

    Were Romney’s proposal to be implemented, it would place the power and the resources of the federal government against every state and local effort to improve public schools other than by their virtual abolition. Before long you’d doubtless see tax revolts against spending any tax dollars on education at any level; after all, why should any jurisdiction bother to tax itself simply to subsidize the private decisions of individual families to secure a service that is no longer viewed as public in nature?

    Romney’s proposal is, of course, catnip to the Christian Right, which tends to view public schools as secularist reeducation camps designed to brainwash good God-fearing kids into accepting gay people and non-Christian religions and all sorts of nefarious modernism. Why not divert those tax dollars to the local Church of the Final Thunder Academy, free of those scary people of color, or better yet, to parents themselves for home-schooling? Next time you hear someone say Romney is a non-ideological technocrat who should be given a chance to see if he can somehow tune up the economy via those skills he deployed at Bain Capital, direct them to Romney’s education plan and ask how “moderate” it looks.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/romneys_educational_tax_raid037902.php

  12. rikyrah says:

    Win or lose, Obamacare has changed the game
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:39 PM EDT.

    The past few Monday mornings, at 10 a.m., those of us who obsess over such things wait with bated breath to see if the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act has been issued. Obviously, it hasn’t happened yet.

    But there’s still plenty of “Obamacare” news, and some of it’s rather encouraging. We’ve seen, for example, a growing number of Republicans who’ve fought to kill the law grudgingly concede they intend to keep many of its most popular provisions around. This week, we also learned that some of the nation’s largest insurers will leave in place many key Obamacare benefits, even if the Supreme Court destroys the work that’s already been done.

    United Healthcare, which covers about 26 million people in plans that could be affected by the regulations, was the first to make the move. The company said it would allow young adults to stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26, wouldn’t reinstate lifetime limits on coverage and would continue to offer cancer screenings and other preventive services without co-payments. It also would maintain a third-party appeals process for treatment denials and wouldn’t cancel policies retroactively.

    Later Monday, Humana said it would continue those same provisions. Aetna, too, said it would retain the young adult provision, the preventive care benefits and a third-party appeals program. Aetna’s announcement didn’t include a reference to lifetime limits on coverage or retroactive cancellation.

    The continuation of these policies will bring peace of mind to millions of Americans. Even if the Republicans on the Supreme Court kill every letter of the law, and bring the entire health care system back to the dysfunctional mess we had before March 2010, key elements of the Affordable Care Act will remain in place — with the GOP’s and insurers’ blessing — leaving the country in a better place than we were before.

    Indeed, it’s not just the insurance companies. Obamacare also brought reforms to hospitals that have changed the way they do business, and these measures will also remain intact no matter what Republicans do.

    As it turns out, GOP lawmakers, many of whom are worried about a public backlash if millions of Americans start losing benefits they’ve come to want and expect, see these developments and take comfort. “See?” Republicans are effectively arguing, “we don’t need the reform law after all.”

    That’s where they’re wrong.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Jonathan Cohn had a smart piece on this today, explaining that the recent steps from insurers and GOP policymakers don’t negate the need for the law.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12186553-win-or-lose-obamacare-has-changed-the-game?lite

  13. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s top energy adviser: subsidize Big Oil
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:54 PM EDT.

    We talked last week about Harold Hamm, one of the planet’s wealthiest billionaires, who was named Mitt Romney’s top adviser on energy policy right around the time he contributed nearly $1 million to Romney’s super PAC.

    Today, the conservative oilman was on Capitol Hill, making the case for — what else? — tax subsidies for oil companies.

    The U.S. must retain tax breaks that help independent oil and gas producers, said Harold Hamm, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc.

    Companies should continue to be able to expense intangible drilling costs rather than deduct them over time, said Hamm, who also is an energy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

    Sure, we could let the free market operate on its own, but Hamm — who said he was speaking today in a personal capacity — prefers a system in which taxpayers offer breaks to oil companies, giving them an edge other companies in other American industries don’t enjoy.

    Romney, who’s convinced President Obama opposes the principles of free enterprise, made Hamm the chairman of his “Energy Policy Advisory Group,” putting Hamm in a position to shape a new “pro-jobs, pro-market, pro-American” energy agenda, which Romney would presumably pursue if elected.
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12187526-romneys-top-energy-adviser-subsidize-big-oil?lite

  14. rikyrah says:

    June 12, 2012 10:58 AM

    Rick Scott, Cartoon Villain
    By Ed Kilgore

    I realize that everyone’s understanding of political good guys and bad guys is almost totally determined by ideology, partisan affiliation, and so forth, but some pols just beg to become cartoon villains to their opponents. Florida Gov. Rick Scott comes to mind right away.

    There is no “voter fraud” problem in Florida so far as anyone can tell. Most of the hijinks involving Florida elections in the recent past have emanated from Scott’s own party. Local election supervisors, many of them Republicans, have been leery of Scott’s recent effort to “purge” voter rolls to get rid of people with those funny surnames who might be noncitizens. The Justice Department has warned him to back off. But still, he is obsessively pursuing his purge, now suing the Department of Homeland Security to gain access to a database that may or may not be useful in detecting noncitizens.

    Maybe some Florida reader can explain Scott to me. As I vaguely recall from 2010, Scott, a man who became filthy rich running a for-profit hospital chain and managed to avoid personal liability for said chain’s gigantic Medicare fraud bust which led to his firing, won the Republican gubernatorial nomination by posing as a Tea Party zealot and spending a gazillion dollars to beat a dim party hack. He narrowly won the general election by spending the rest of his gazillions and riding the largest GOP wave since maybe 1946. He’s been increasingly unpopular from practically the moment he was elected, but that has had little effect on his behavior.

    Is he some sort of Scourge of God sent to punish Floridians for their sins? I dunno. But the wiggy SOB seems determined to find some way to throw his state’s electoral votes to Romney this November come hell or high water, and unlike his famous 2000 predecessor in this ambition, he’s not even related to the candidate.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/rick_scott_cartoon_villain037895.php

  15. rikyrah says:

    Ladies, Pay Attention
    by BooMan
    Tue Jun 12th, 2012 at 10:37:18 AM EST

    A new scientific study has discovered that men who have “traditional” marriages (i.e., their wife does not work) have negative attitudes about women in the workplace, don’t like organizations with female leaders, think organizations with lots of women are inefficient, and tend not to promote qualified women to positions of greater responsibility. And they largely do this unconsciously. In other words, they don’t necessarily articulate the above views, or even rationalize them. Many consider themselves as very woman-friendly. They often feel that they are protecting women by not putting them in high pressure situations.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with ‘traditional’ marriage. I don’t like their definition, but whatever. If you’re fortunate enough to make enough money that your spouse doesn’t have to work and can stay home with the kids, that’s great. But it’s interesting that men in those scenarios take certain prejudices into the workplace and that those prejudices are detrimental to the interests of working women.

    This may explain why Mitt Romney needs to ask his wife what women care about instead of learning that for himself. His wife has never worked a day in her life (and, no, I will not apologize for saying that). So, what does Romney think when he goes to work?

    The studies showed that personal views and the domestic architecture of male leaders’ private lives helped shape women’s professional opportunities. This held true in both surveys and lab experiments, including one that tested whether candidates with identical backgrounds, but different names — Drew versus Diane — should receive a spot in a sought-after, company-sponsored MBA program. According to the research, men in traditional marriages gave Diane “significantly poor evaluations” compared to Drew. It seems that husbands with wives working at home imprinted that ideal onto women in the office.

    Michelle Obama had a very successful career before she had to shut it down to be First Lady. Jill Biden has been teaching courses at a community college even though she is the Second Lady. What do you want to bet that Romney picks a man for his running mate who has a stay-at-home wife?

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/6/12/103718/737

  16. rikyrah says:

    Romney still stumbling on teachers, first responders
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:38 AM EDT.

    Four days after Mitt Romney endorsed layoffs of school teachers, police officers, and firefighters, the Republican and his campaign are struggling to keep their story straight.

    The first sign of trouble came over the weekend, when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) distanced himself from Romney’s argument. The second stumble came yesterday when one Romney surrogate doubled down on the candidate’s argument, only to be contradicted a few hours later by a different surrogate who said Romney had been taken out of context.

    This morning, Romney visited with “Fox & Friends” to try to put things right.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s what the former governor said, when asked about cutting teachers and first responders.

    “Well, that’s a very strange accusation. Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd.

    “[Obama's] got a new idea, though, and that is to have another stimulus and to have the federal government send money to try and bail out cities and states. It didn’t work the first time. It certainly wouldn’t work the second time.”

    I have a sinking suspicion that Romney believes voters aren’t terribly bright.

    ——————————————————————————–

    The main problem with Romney’s new line is that it doesn’t make any sense. “The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen”? Well, actually, the federal government can provide resources to states and municipalities to either hire new teachers and first responders, or prevent layoffs that would otherwise be made. If Washington would do this, we’d see an immediate drop in the unemployment rate, but Republicans refuse to even consider the idea.

    What’s more, when Romney says President Obama’s “new idea … didn’t work the first time,” that’s the exact opposite of reality. Obama’s new idea isn’t exactly new — the last three Republican presidents strengthened the national economy through public-sector hiring — and it worked perfectly when Obama protected these jobs in 2009. Here’s a possible follow-up question for Romney: when you say public-sector hiring didn’t work the first time, what in the world are you talking about?

    And finally, Romney’s position from Friday hasn’t changed. He sees President Obama fighting for school teachers, police officers, and firefighters, and Romney’s still convinced the economy will be better off if those teachers and first responders are unemployed.

    That’s not “completely absurd”; that’s just Romney’s stated position.
    .

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12185087-romney-still-stumbling-on-teachers-first-responders?lite

  17. rikyrah says:

    Romney Confirms He Will Deny Insurance To Millions With Pre-Existing Conditions If Obamacare Is Struck Down
    By Igor Volsky on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Mitt Romney confirmed on Tuesday that he would allow insurers to deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare later this month. During a speech at Con-Air Industries in Orlando, Florida, the former Massachusetts governor said that Americans who have not been “continuously insured” would not be protected from discrimination if they suffer from pre-existing conditions


    ROMNEY: So let’s say someone has been continuously insured and they develop a serious condition. And let’s say they lose their jobs or they change jobs or they move and go to a different place, I don’t want them to be denied insurance because they have some pre-existing conditions. So we’re going to have to make sure that the law that we replace Obamacare with, ensures that people who have a pre-existing condition, who have been insured in the past, are able to get insurance in the future so they don’t have to worry about that condition keeping them from getting the kind of health care they deserve.

    While the Affordable Care Act would prevent insurers from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition beginning in 2014, Romney’s provision is far more limited — and would only protect Americans who already have coverage.

    As The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn has pointed out, the federal government already forbids insurers from denying coverage to the continuously covered through the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But the measure has been seen as a failure because “there is no limit on what insurers can charge under HIPAA” and the law does “little to regulate the content of coverage, leaving the door open to insurers to offer bare-bones policies. In addition, HIPAA notice requirements are weak, making it hard for people to know about this protection.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/06/12/498156/romney-confirms-he-will-deny-insurance-to-millions-with-pre-existing-conditions-if-obamacare-is-struck-down/

  18. rikyrah says:

    Justice Department to Monitor Elections in South Carolina

    WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it will monitor primary elections on June 12, 2012, in Fairfield and Williamsburg Counties in South Carolina to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.

    Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to send federal observers to jurisdictions that are certified by the attorney general or by a federal court order. Federal observers will be assigned to monitor polling place activities in Williamsburg County based on the attorney general’s certification. The observers will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in these counties, and a Civil Rights Division attorney will coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.

    In addition, Justice Department personnel will monitor polling place activities in Fairfield County. A Civil Rights Division attorney will coordinate federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.

    Each year, the Justice Department deploys hundreds of federal observers from OPM, as well as departmental staff, to monitor elections across the country. To file complaints about discriminatory voting practices, including acts of harassment or intimidation, voters may call the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at 1-800-253-3931.

    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/June/12-crt-737.html

  19. rikyrah says:

    Obama up 6 points in Pennsylvania, poll finds
    By Meghashyam Mali – 06/12/12 07:38 AM ET

    A new poll finds President Obama maintaining his lead over rival Mitt Romney in the key state of Pennsylvania.

    Obama has the support of 46 percent of Pennsylvania voters to Romney’s 40 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

    The results, though, show a slight slip for Obama from a 47-to-39 percent edge in the same survey taken in early May.

    Obama is holding his lead over Romney thanks to strong support among female and independent voters.

    Women back the president 51 to 36 percent, while independents break for Obama 43 percent to 35.

    The poll mirrors others finding Obama more popular, but Romney holding an advantage on the most important issue to voters: the economy.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/232173-obama-up-6-points-in-pennsylvania-poll-finds

  20. rikyrah says:

    Fed Says U.S. Wealth Fell 38.8% in 2007-2010 on Housing
    By Jeff Kearns – 2012-06-12T04:01:02Z

    The financial crisis wiped out 18 years of gains for the median U.S. household net worth, with a 38.8 percent plunge from 2007 to 2010 that was led by the collapse in home prices, a Federal Reserve study showed.

    Median net worth declined to $77,300 in 2010, the lowest since 1992, from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said in its Survey of Consumer Finances. Mean net worth fell 14.7 percent to a nine- year low of $498,800 from $584,600, the central bank said yesterday in Washington. Almost every demographic group experienced losses, which may hurt retirement prospects for middle-income families, Fed economists said in the report.

    “The impact has been a massive destruction of wealth all across the board,” said Lance Roberts, who oversees $500 million as chief executive officer of Streettalk Advisors LLC in Houston. “What you see is an economy that’s really very, very stressed for the bottom 60 to 70 percent of the population that’s struggling just to make ends meet.”

    The declines in household wealth in the course of the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression have held back the consumer spending that makes up about 70 percent of the economy. Fed policy makers led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke meet next week to consider whether the central bank needs to add to its record stimulus after employment grew at the slowest pace in a year in May.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-11/fed-says-family-wealth-plunged-38-8-in-2007-2010-on-home-values.html

  21. Ametia says:

    Joe Biden headlines Sidwell Friends graduation

    If the 2012 graduates of Sidwell Friends School were hoping for a presidential commencement address, they’ll have to settle for the next best thing.

    Vice President Joe Biden will be delivering the keynote address at a graduation ceremony Tuesday at the private Washington D.C. Quaker school attended by first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama.

    Biden has grandchildren that attend Sidwell. When Chelsea Clinton graduated from the school in 1997, her father President Bill Clinton delivered the commencement address.

    Malia and Sasha still have a few years to go until graduation from the upper school — Sasha is 13 and Malia celebrated her eleventh birthday on Sunday.

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/06/joe-biden-headlines-sidwell-friends-graduation-125890.html

    • Ametia says:

      UMMMM Politico; Sasha is 11 and Malia is 13. And has it ever occured to you fools (**POLITIOC) that Sidwell invited VP Biden to speak. What does Bill Clinton have to do with Sasha and Malia at Sidwell? Just asking.. Taking a dig a PBO. Classless hacks!

  22. rikyrah says:

    U.S. Employers Plan to Add Jobs in Third Quarter, Manpower Says
    By Lorraine Woellert – Jun 11, 2012 11:01 PM CT

    Employers in the U.S. said they planned to boost hiring in the third quarter, a survey showed.

    Manpower Inc. (MAN)’s employment index for the period from July through September climbed to 11 percent, the highest reading in four years, from 10 percent in the second quarter, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based, staffing company reported. The measure was at 8 percent a year earlier.

    For the first time since 2008, employers held positive outlooks on hiring in consecutive quarters in all four regions of the country and in all industries. The figures may ease concern that the job market is faltering after Labor Department data showed employment rose in May at the slowest pace in a year.

    “We’ve been climbing out of this slowly,” Manpower Chief Executive Officer Jeff Joerres said in an interview. “It’s nothing fantastic, but it’s a hand-over-hand rappelling up the hill

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-12/u-s-employers-plan-to-add-jobs-in-third-quarter-manpower-says.html

  23. rikyrah says:

    Democratic groups join forces to fight right

    By ALEXANDER BURNS | 6/12/12 4:43 AM EDT Updated: 6/12/12 10:21 AM EDT

    Faced with overwhelming financial firepower on the right, Democratic-aligned super PACs and advocacy groups are increasingly joining forces in a collaborative effort to bolster President Barack Obama and a select number of House and Senate candidates for the 2012 general election.

    From newly formed super PACs to unions, environmentalists and women’s groups, Democratic-aligned organizations are forming short-term partnerships to advance their most immediate goals — whether that means rallying behind a chosen candidate or gunning for a shared Republican enemy.

    There’s been cooperation in past cycles between outside groups on both the left and right. Operatives involved in these organizations’ 2012 efforts say there’s a new level of intensity this time, and fresh urgency for liberal advocacy groups trying to protect their interests against a Republican air war that could total $1 billion.

    So for the heavily outgunned collection of allies attempting to keep Obama in the White House, there’s some strength in numbers.

    “The partnerships are a critical part of our strategy here. We have no doubt that the Koch brothers and Karl Rove are going to have more dollars than us. We knew we could leverage every dollar we have three or four times if we team up,” said Bill Burton, the former White House spokesman now helping steer the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. “It’s a lot more deliberate this time, definitely.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77313.html#ixzz1xawrGbIG

  24. Ametia says:

    Romney’s Long Assault On Firefighters – Salon

    Romney’s long assault on firefighters
    Mitt Romney has a long history of attacking firefighters and their unions, going back to his days in Massachusetts>

    BY ALEX SEITZ-WALD – Salon
    MONDAY, JUN 11, 2012 11:11 AM PDT

    snip>

    Mitt Romney came under fire this weekend from Democrats after he suggested that we shouldn’t hire more firefighters. Then top Romney surrogate John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, doubled down on Romney’s firefighter comments today, telling MSNBC they were not a “gaffe.” This is hardly the first time the presumed GOP nominee has tangled with firefighters.

    In fact, he has a long, bitter history with them. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney often ended up sparring with firefighters and their unions. He proposed stripping collective bargaining rights for firefighters and police officers in a city that needed a state bailout, and cut funding to a fire station to be built on the site where six firemen died. He also proposed tripling the state police budget to deal with homeland security concerns in the years after 9/11, but didn’t offer a dime for firefighters, angering many at the time.

    In 2004, when the city of Springfield was facing bankruptcy, Romney proposed a $52 million bailout package that included suspending collective bargaining and civil service benefits for the city’s unions, including public safety officers. “He hates us,” Robert McCarthy, the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, told the Associated Press at the time. “Unions are what made this state what it is,” he said, but Romney “won’t even talk to us.” Romney spokesperson Nicole St. Peter defended the suspension of union benefits, telling the AP that the “control board” the governor appointed to oversee the city’s finances “needs maximum flexibility to restore Springfield’s financial footing.” The Democratic-controlled state Legislature eventually overrode Romney and preserved the bargaining rights, though the control board remained controversial in the city.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/06/11/romneys_fight_against_firefighters/

  25. Ametia says:

    President Barack Obama talks with Betty White in the Oval Office, June 11, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  26. Ametia says:

    Today’s Schedule- PBO

    All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    11:00 AM: The President receives The Presidential Daily Briefing

    11:45 AM: The President departs the White House en route Baltimore, Maryland

    1:20 PM: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event

    2:35 PM: The President attends a campaign event

    3:45 PM: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event

    4:45 PM: The President departs Baltimore, Maryland

    5:20 PM: The President arrives Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    6:10 PM: The President attends a campaign event

    7:45 PM: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event

    9:05 PM: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event

    10:20 PM: The President departs Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    11:05 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews

    11:20 PM: The President arrives the White House

  27. Ametia says:

    June 10, 2012 11:22 AM
    Bob Schieffer: How I bungled Watergate

    CBS News) The weekend the Watergate break-in came to light, I had a slightly different take than Woodward and Bernstein. I tried to get out of town before I got assigned to the story!

    The reason was my boss Bill Small had just assigned me as part of the CBS team covering the Democratic and Republican conventions, both of which were being held in Miami – the assignment I had dreamed of all my life.

    But I was still fairly junior at the Washington bureau, and I had the sinking feeling that Small would pull me off the conventions and assign me to the break-in, a story that made absolutely no sense to me.

    Why would anyone break into a political headquarters? What secrets could possibly be found there? That’s where you kept the yard signs and such.

    Someone said it was just a bunch of crazies, and that was good enough for me. Why would anyone – especially anyone as far ahead in the polls as Nixon was at that point – break in to a campaign headquarters?

    ***I wonder if Bobbie Schieffer would have thought the break in was crazy, had Barack Obama been president during Watergate, hmm?

    So I laid low, got on down to Miami, had a great summer, and that led to a long career covering politics here.

    Still, I had made the WORST mistake a reporter can make. I just ASSUMED it didn’t amount to anything.

    Better, as Woodward and Bernstein showed us, to check it out – which they did, and what journalism is all about.

    And jounalism is worst today then it was during Watergate, Bob!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57450062/bob-schieffer-how-i-bungled-watergate/?tag=nl.e875

  28. Ametia says:

    Will be interesting to see who Arizonians vote in today.

    Special election to replace Gabrielle Giffords set for Tuesday in Arizona
    By Paul Kane, Published: June 11

    Voters in southeastern Arizona will decide Tuesday whether to continue the legacy of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D) by electing a former aide who was among those injured with her in a tragic 2011 shooting or to punish President Obama for his handling of the economy by supporting a tea-party-backed Republican.

    In a special election to fill the remaining six months of Giffords’s term, Democratic former aide Ron Barber is matched against Republican Jesse Kelly, a Marine veteran who narrowly lost to Giffords in a bitter 2010 showdown. A win by Barber would offer reassurance to Democrats that they can triumph in swing districts, while a Kelly victory would be the latest blow to Obama’s political standing in what has been a bad couple of weeks for him and could end the recent Democratic speculation that the president might be competitive in Arizona this fall.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/special-election-to-replace-gabrielle-giffords-set-for-tuesday-in-arizona/2012/06/11/gJQA2V51VV_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics

  29. rikyrah says:

    June 11, 2012 5:20 PM

    Heads We Win; Tails You Lose

    By Ed Kilgore

    Gotta say, the endless profusion of concern-troll “advice” to President Obama from Republicans is beginning to fascinate as well as baffle me. I mean, here’s this man whom they’ve demonized from the day he was elected, relentlessly calling him a crypto-Marxist who hates the private sector and religion, and is seeking to bribe and steal his way to re-election, and also a buffoon who got through life as an affirmative action baby and couldn’t find his own butt with both hands. Yet they somehow appear to believe he is going to (a) take their advice to (b) change everything he’s saying and doing.

    The latest concern troll is the often-wrong, never-in-doubt lifetime achievement award winner, William Kristol, who has a long Weekly Standard post telling Obama in detail what to do to win re-election. He identifies five major “problems” Obama is facing. Four of them can be boiled down to: he is not governing and campaigning as a Republican (you know, supporting permanency of the Bush tax cuts, abandoning “class warfare” rhetoric and criticism of Republicans, yadda yadda). The fifth, and I love the way it is formulated, is that Obama has “[t]urned his most leftwing backers into heroin addicts in terms of the demands they are making on him.” In other words, his base is disgruntled (never mind his current 89% job approval rating from self-identified “liberal Democrats,” according to Gallup), and it’s all Obama’s fault.

    Kristol offers Obama six things he could do to turn things around. Three involve governing and campaigning more like a Republican. Two require big mea culpa firings (of “senior campaign aides” and of the Vice President). And one is composed of cheerleading for the eurozone, which is presumably what Kristol would expect a President Romney to do.

    Maybe the whole idea here is simply to encourage scenarios where Obama either loses or helps move the entire political system to the right—which again, makes no sense if you are simultaneously describing him as hellbent on erecting a dictatorship of the proletariat. Or maybe people like Kristol are pulling an even dumber stunt by offering Obama advice they know he won’t take so that they can then encourage the “objective” parts of the MSM to describe him as blindly following a sure political death spiral. I really don’t know.

    But I sure don’t see any Democrats wasting time offering Mitt Romney constant advice to abandon his many promises to conservative activists. If anything, they’d prefer he be more honest about his agenda instead of complaining about “distractions” any time his own plans as president are mentioned, as though it’s unfair to compare the two candidates instead of treating the election as a up-or-down referendum on the performance of the economy under Obama.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/heads_we_win_tails_you_lose037884.php

  30. rikyrah says:

    Polling the sabotage question
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:16 AM EDT.

    To varying degrees, the question of whether congressional Republicans are hurting the economy on purpose has been bandied about for a couple of years now, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) bringing it back to the fore last week. But what do voters think?

    There aren’t many polls on this, but there’s some evidence to suggest much of the public finds the “sabotage question” argument credible.

    Nearly half of voters believe that Republicans are deliberately hamstringing efforts to resuscitate the economy in order to bolster their chances of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

    The latest survey from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted in conjunction with Daily Kos and SEIU, shows that 49 percent of registered voters nationwide think Republicans are “intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy” to ensure Obama’s defeat in November. Half of all independents surveyed feel the same way.

    This is largely in line with a Washington Post/ABC News poll released in November that found 50% of Americans nationwide agree with the statement that President Obama is “making a good faith effort to deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals.” That’s not exactly the sabotage question, but it’s close.

    At first blush, this seems like a pretty big deal. If the polls accurately reflect public attitudes, nearly half the country believes Republicans are so craven, so devoid of a sense of duty to their own country, that they’re holding back the economy on purpose because they hate Obama more than the care about the rest of us. This should, in theory, give the president a significant boost.

    But I’m not sure it will.

    ——————————————————————————–

    The level of national cynicism is so intense, many Americans may simply assume Republicans are undermining the national economy deliberately, but take their frustrations out on the president anyway.

    Voters’ understanding of the political process is quite limited, and many Americans may very well fail to appreciate the role Congress must play in policymaking — no matter how hard the president fights for job-creation proposals, he needs the approval of lawmakers who are eager, if not desperate, to see him fail.

    As a result, there are no doubt plenty of voters thinking, “Sure, Republicans are sabotaging the economy, but why can’t Obama just go around them?” unaware of the fact that, on a grand scale, this isn’t an option.

    On a related note, Michael Cohen has a good piece on the sabotage question this week.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/12/12183904-polling-the-sabotage-question?lite

  31. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    June 12, 2012 8:58 AM

    No Substitute For ObamaCare

    By Ed Kilgore

    In terms of the real lives of many people, it’s good news that a few of the improvements enacted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will be maintained by private health insurers no matter what the Supreme Court does later this month. It’s particularly helpful that UnitedHealthcare, Humana and Aetna are promising to continue covering key preventive care measures without copayments.

    But the really big reforms just ain’t happening without something very like ACA, as Jonathan Cohn reminds us:

    [T]he really big changes in health care are the ones that come in 2014. That’s when the law makes it possible for anybody, at any age, to get insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions. That’s when the law makes it possible for people making up to four times the poverty line, or about $90,000 a year for a family of four, to get subsidies if they buy coverage on their own. That’s when the law makes it possible for anybody making less than 133 percent of the poverty line, or around $30,000 a year for a family of four, to enroll in Medicaid. That’s when the law establishes a minimum set of benefits that all plans must eventually cover.
    These changes will mean financial security and access to health care, not just for the 25 to 30 million people slated to get coverage but for many others with inadequate coverage. But these changes will only happen if the law stays in place, because insurers can’t provide them on their own.

    Politically, of course, the private insurer actions mean that an invalidation of ACA by the Supreme Court would create less of an immediate shock, less of a backlash, and less pressure on Republicans to tell us what they would do (their plans range from “nada” to “market-based reforms” that would make the status quo ante look like paradise) if they gain control of Congress and the White House this November. We’d drift into 2013 with many Americans really having little or no idea what had been taken away from them, and what sort of health care dystopia they may soon face.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_06/no_substitute_for_obamacare037892.php

  32. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:33 PM ET, 06/11/2012
    TheWashingtonPost
    Dems grapple with endgame in Bush tax cut fight
    By Greg Sargent

    As you’ve heard, Senate Democrats are reported to be divided and uncertain about how they will approach the coming standoff over the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts. With that whole “fiscal cliff” looming, some Dems are disagreeing over the proper threshold for the high end cuts ($250,000, or $1 million?) and others are skittish about whether to let them expire at all — even the ones on the rich.

    But a few progressive Dems seem to be quietly floating another scenario entirely: letting all the tax cuts expire, coming back and voting on recutting middle class tax rates, and challenging Republicans to vote against the Dem-proposed tax cuts.

    Remember: If Democrats do nothing, all of the Bush tax cuts will expire. And Dems recognize that their leverage turns heavily on whether they appear willing to let them all expire. So progressives like Sheldon Whitehouse and Jeff Merkley are suggesting, in interviews with David Dayen, that perhaps it should come to that, if necessary.

    As Merkley put it, “you can’t give up your leverage in advance.” Whitehouse added that if the tax cuts were allowed to expire, it would break the hold that Grover Norquist’s anti-tax fundamentalism has on large swaths of the GOP:

    “After January 1 creates a real benchmark moment for the Republicans who are sworn to Grover Norquist. Because once January 1 happens, his theory that the Bush tax cuts are going to be extended indefinitely begins to look pretty foolish when they’re actually not there … What was a god-awful tax increase becomes a wonderful tax decrease, and it’s the same thing.”
    Interestingly, some Republicans have quietly come to a similar conclusion, according to the New York Times:

    Other Republicans have quietly suggested that all of the Bush-era tax cuts would have to lapse temporarily. That way, reinstating most — but not all — of them would be scored as a tax cut, both by the Congressional Budget Office and by Americans for Tax Reform, a group led by Grover Norquist that is the keeper of the “no new taxes” pledge virtually every Republican has signed.
    There are, of course, plenty of reasons to doubt any of this will happen this way. It’s unclear how much support this idea, even tentatively, has among Senate Democrats, if any. Dems and the White House adamantly do not want to be seen as supportive of letting the tax cuts expire on the middle class. And while there are reasons Dems have more leverage this time than usual, Dems have not exactly revealed themselves to be willing to risk high stakes brinkmanship on this issue in the past. Still, it’s an interesting dynamic that’s worth watching.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/dems-grapple-with-endgame-in-bush-tax-cut-fight/2012/06/11/gJQAzlWUVV_blog.html

  33. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 06/12/2012
    The Morning Plum: The Romney mythology
    By Greg Sargent

    For some time now, Mitt Romney has been claiming that if Obamacare is not repealed, government will ultimately “control” or “reach” half the economy. The assertion has been completely debunked. Romney cheerfully continues to make it, anyway.

    Today the Post’s Glenn Kessler offers a definitive takedown of the assertion. Read the whole thing, but this is key to the absurdity of it:

    In essence, Romney has taken a debatable assertion — that government “consumes” 37 percent of the economy — and then hyped it with a nonsensical non sequitur — that the health care law extends the “reach” of government to 50 percent of the economy.
    Clearly the Romney campaign does not want to abandon this claim, despite the poor reviews it has received from various experts. But it makes little sense and is frankly a bit foolish — especially for a candidate whose signature legislative achievement as Massachusetts governor was to enact a health care law that at the state level included insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion, an individual mandate and other provisions that he now claims extends the “reach” of government.
    Romney should drop this line from his speeches.
    He won’t, of course. And that’s because this claim is of a piece with a much larger falsehood, a narrative that’s central to Romney’s campaign: That Obama is attempting a radical transformation of our free enterprise system into something no longer recognizably American — and that this is what’s holding the recovery back.

    That falsehood has taken many forms, whether it’s Romney’s insistence that Obama favors “equal outcomes,” that Obama wants a society in which everyone gets the “same rewards,” his assertion that we are on the verge of ceasing to be a “free enterprise society,” or the latest claim, that Obamacare means that government will “reach” half the economy, whatever that even means.

    In this mythology, government is solely to blame for the economic crisis; roll it back, and the recovery, released from Obama-bondage, will roar foward. That’s why Romney tells us that firing 145,000 government workers will put Americans back to work. And yet, Romney’s narrative is the inverse of the truth. Government jobs have declined, and that’s proven a key drag on the recovery. Some economists believe Romney’s vow of more austerity would make the crisis still worse.

    Romney’s political strategy may work. Perhaps the experience of the last three years has (understandably) left swing voters so disillusioned with government and the failure to fix the economy quickly enough that they’ll be receptive to any alternative explanation of what’s gone wrong and how to fix it, without paying close attention to the details.

    The true nature of the relationship between government and the economic crisis should be central to the presidential campaign. In the wake of Obama’s gaffe about the private sector “doing fine” in relation to the public sector, and in the wake of Romney’s subsequent claim that we don’t need any more cops, firefighters or teachers, we really need more serious scrutiny of the core questions that this presidential race is about

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line

  34. rikyrah says:

    Poll: 49 Percent Believe GOP Stalling Economic Recovery In Order To Beat Obama

    Nearly half of voters believe that Republicans are deliberately hamstringing efforts to resuscitate the economy in order to bolster their chances of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

    The latest survey from Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP), conducted in conjunction with Daily Kos and SEIU, shows that 49 percent of registered voters nationwide think Republicans are “intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy” to ensure Obama’s defeat in November. Half of all independents surveyed feel the same way.

    The results are sure to embolden Democrats, who have long maintained that Republicans are actively rooting for economic failure to undermine Obama politically.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/poll-49-percent-believe-gop-stalling-economic-recovery

  35. Ametia says:

    Ameican Idol star/winner

    Carrie Underwood Speaks Out For Gay Marriage, Cites Christian Faith As Influencing Her Liberal Views

    Add Carrie Underwood to the list of stars who’ve come out in support of marriage equality.

    The country songstress, who was raised Baptist, spoke at length about the topic in an interview with The Independent, noting that her Christian upbringing is at the core of her attitude toward same-sex marriage.

    “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” Underwood is quoted as saying. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”

    The British publication also notes that while the 29-year-old Underwood was raised Baptist, she now attends a nondenominational “gay friendly” Christian church with her husband, pro hockey player Mike Fisher.

    “Above all, God wanted us to love others,” she noted. “It’s not about setting rules, or , ‘Everyone has to be like me.’ No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/carrie-underwood-gay-marriage-interview_n_1587250.html?ref=mostpopular

  36. Ametia says:

    14 Million Seniors Are Already Benefiting From Obamacare

    | Medicare reports that 14.3 million seniors in America have already received important preventive benefits under President Obama’s health care law. In the first few months of 2012, seniors were able to take advantage of a number of preventative health services, including an annual checkup, without paying any deductibles or co-pays. “Thanks to the health care law, millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms, and other preventive services for free,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “These preventive services are helping people in Medicare stay healthy and lower their health care costs.” –Angela Guo

    Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/06/11/497453/14-million-seniors-are-already-benefiting-from-obamacare/

  37. Ametia says:

    LOL Loving this…

  38. Ametia says:

    Reposting it here too

    • Ametia says:

      Romney’s going on a bus tour!

      Today, Obama for America released a new television advertisement titled “Number One” that highlights Mitt Romney’s failed economic record as Governor of Massachusetts. As governor, Mitt Romney added $2.6 billion to the state’s debt, leaving Massachusetts more than $18 billion in debt and number one in per person debt of any state in the country. At the same time, Massachusetts plummeted to 47th out of 50 in job creation – one of the worst economic records across the nation.

      As president, Romney has promised to do the same thing. He’ll explode the deficit with $5 trillion in tax breaks weighted to millionaires and billionaires that he refuses to say how he’ll pay for and do nothing to grow our economy. America can’t afford the same results. The bottom line is simple – Romney Economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

      In stark contrast to Mitt Romney, the President has a balanced and detailed plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion dollars — including $2 trillion in deficit reduction already signed into law — while still making smart, responsible investments to strengthen the middle class and grow our economy over the long term.

      “Number One” will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

      I hope the teachers, police, and firefighters are waiting to greet you in these states, Mittens.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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