Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you’re enjoying time this weekend with family and friends.

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20 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. December 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    President Obama Will Win In An Overwhelming Landslide in 2012 and Will Deserve the Victory

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/president-obama-will-win-_b_906104.html

    America is a one party state. The Democratic Party is the sole political party in the US now.

    The Republican Party is no more. It is not a political party; as David Brooks noted “the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party.”

    It has become a clearing house for religious fanatics, Ayn Rand groupie weirdos and angry white racists driven literally mad by seeing a black man in the White House, a black man more articulate and intelligent — not to mention annoyingly even tempered — than they or their bizarre leaders are.

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  2. rikyrah says:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/11/the-gops-conspicuous-silence-about-entitlement-cuts.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

    The GOP’s Conspicuous Silence About Entitlement Cuts

    Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

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    Brian Beutler-November 23, 2012, 3:33 PM19413
    Republicans are coming to terms with the fact that they will have to cede real, higher tax revenues to President Obama if they want to avoid the full expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

    But while Democrats have been explicit about what they want from the GOP — a higher top income tax rate on high earners — Republicans have been vague about what they want in return.

    When asked, Republicans insist that Democrats will have to accept “structural reforms” to support programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security if Republicans are to relent on taxes. But neither Democratic nor Republican aides can publicly say what would pass the GOP’s “structural reform” test.

    “What do you think they mean by structural changes?” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked rhetorically at a Capitol press conference last week. “Do they mean reducing benefits to our — to America’s great middle class? What do we mean? I mean, let’s define our terms. What do they mean by structural changes? … Is that a euphemism for I am going to cut your benefit if you are a middle‑aged senior? Is that what structural change means? No, I don’t support that.”

    Asked Friday what the House GOP’s terms are, a top aide to Speaker John Boehner said, “Republicans’ willingness to support additional revenue via tax reform is conditional on it being accompanied by significant entitlement reforms that begin to address the problem of the debt. There are a variety of ways in which this can be accomplished. As the Speaker has indicated, we’re open to talking with Democrats about any and all serious and responsible entitlement changes they’re willing to discuss. Without such spending controls, any plan to avert the fiscal cliff is not a balanced approach,” but provided no specifics or approach preferences.

    In the recent past, Republicans have proposed dramatic reforms to all three of those programs — partial privatization of both Medicare and Social Security, and dramatically reduced federal spending on and authority over Medicaid.

    But their ideas lack popular support, and a majority of the voting public rejected them on Election Day. Even if Republicans continue to advocate these plans, they don’t have the leverage to force Democrats to accept them.

    Privately, some Republicans hope to return to the kinds of proposals Obama and Boehner nearly settled upon last summer during their failed debt ceiling negotiations — including a higher Medicare eligibility age, and a less generous formula for calculating Social Security cost of living adjustments.

    These proposals constitute de facto benefit cuts, and enjoy little support among rank and file Democrats — though despite a new post-election political reality some leading Dems have left the door open to accepting ideas like these.

    Publicly, Democrats have proposed both using Medicare’s purchasing power in various ways to reduce spending on the program, and lowering reimbursements to Medicare providers — either directly, or by strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a Medicare cost-cutting panel created by the Affordable Care Act.

    But even if Republicans broadly endorse cutting Medicare spending, they get nothing from demanding reforms Democrats already support as the “price” of accepting higher taxes on top earners.

    That means whichever pound of flesh Republicans hope to extract will be politically vital — and it’s why they’re dancing around the issue, and pressing Obama to speak up first.

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  3. rikyrah says:

    A Deep Nerve

    Josh Marshall-November 24, 2012, 4:36 PM

    From TPM Reader KE on reaping the whirlwind …

    I am sure that many people (like me) took the insults and disrespectful behavior towards President Obama in a very personal way.
    Many of us have experienced racism from “non-racists” all too frequently. As an Asian-American, the questioning of Obama’s American-ness really strikes a raw nerve.

    (This is perhaps the one experience that unites Asian-Americans — being treated as a foreigner in our homeland). I see in Barack Obama a smart man who worked hard to get an education and to achieve a better life, only to be questioned about his credentials and his authenticity. I identify with that. So do many other people.

    The Republican attacks on Obama reminded many people of their own personal experiences with sexism and racism. Too bad (or maybe it was for the better) that the Republicans living in their bubble of whiteness couldn’t see that.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/11/a_deep_nerve.php?ref=fpblg

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  4. rikyrah says:

    TPM Editor’s Blog

    Reaping the Whirlwind?

    Josh Marshall-November 24, 2012, 3:12 PM

    TPM Reader JB says they shouldn’t be surprised …

    Following up on JT’s email, I think there is one point to remember when Republicans keep saying that they are so surprised that core groups in the Obama electoral coalition, like African Americans, young voters, etc., were able to match or even exceed their 2008 turnout: Republicans did some pretty unbelievable, disrespectful and frankly unconscionable things to this President that JT’s cites: shouting “You Lie!” to him during the middle of his State of the Union address (something that was frankly never contemplated to be done to Clinton or Bush, despite rapid opposition), challenging his birthplace and religion, or Governor Brewer pointing her finger in his face on the tarmac, much of which was repeated nightly on places like Fox News.

    Regardless of whether these things were done because of the President’s race (and I think that a pretty convincing argument could be made that a lot of what happened was at least partially due to his race), the fact of the matter is that Republicans who engaged in this type of behavior honestly shouldn’t be surprised now that there was some consequence to their actions, and by this I mean that the President’s supporters, who felt and understood this disrespect, would be extra-motivated to support him in response to these antics.

    I’m not sure Republicans realize or understand this, but it seems pretty clear that people who admire and look up to this President, particularly those who share the same race as him, were not going to take this disrespect lying down. The lesson here may be is that there is always some consequence for actions in politics; it may not be readily apparent immediately, but there was always going to be a price to be paid for indulging and encouraging the most outrageous and irresponsible voices on the right. It just wasn’t until Election Day that it was clear how dear a price that was.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/11/reaping_the_whirlwind_1.php?ref=fpblg

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mitt
    Josh Marshall-November 23, 2012, 8:39 PM

    TPM Reader JT has a few thoughts on Mitt getting the old heave-ho

    Honestly, I find this a bit disturbing. I mean, two weeks ago all these people were defending everything Romney said. He lost the election in part because of some of those criticizing him now.
    I can’t remember any Democratic presidential nominee being so vilified after a losing election, even Dukakis.

    Sure, some candidates are better than others but Romney was by far not the worst candidate the GOP has ever put up. In fact, he was not the worst to run against Obama, if you get my drift. (Hint: he didn’t choose Sarah Palin as his running mate.)
    To me this says a great deal more about the GOP than about Romney. If you think a guy like this is so bad, don’t nominate him. Don’t spend a BILLION DOLLARS trying to get him elected then a week later say…’Oops, we goofed. He was a mistake.’

    The Republican Party has a problem, but it is not one candidate; it is not packaging or branding; it is not messaging that is sinking the GOP. It is the core beliefs of the vast majority of Republicans.

    Their problem is their war on women; war on gays; war on minorities. It is their war on science and math and logic and education and reality. It is listening to nuckle heads like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter and Donald Trump. It is allowing entertainers to determine the direction and policy positions of a major political party. It is following the teaching of extremist religions leaders like the US Catholic Bishops.

    But most of all, it is the GOP’s utter lack of respect for anyone who is not like them; supporting an idiot obscure congressman who shouts “You lie” at the President of the United States during the State of the Union Address. Not repudiating truly crazy people who cling to the thumbless notion that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. It is supporting an insane governor who waves her finger publicly in the face of the President because he rejects her lunatic positions. When the GOP allows or supports these actions, they are condoning disrespect for the majority of Americans who are not aging white men.

    Ultimately the Republicans now show Romney the same disrespect and loathing it has for anyone they don’t believe is part of the “Real America.”

    That is why the GOP is failing. Not because Romney ran an unsuccessful campaign.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/11/wham_bam_thank_you_mitt_1.php?ref=fpblg

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  6. rikyrah says:

    State of War

    The Republicans have thrown down the gauntlet over the possibility that Susan Rice will replace Hillary Clinton. But the winner is already clear.

    .By John Heilemann
    Published Nov 22, 2012

    It was Tuesday morning in Phnom Penh when Barack Obama decided to dispatch Hillary Clinton to the Middle East to try to help defuse the mounting conflict in Gaza. Clinton had been traveling at Obama’s side on his swing through Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia—but now duty called, and she was off to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Cairo. So peripatetic has Clinton been as secretary of State that it seemed perversely fitting that what was billed as her final foreign trip with her boss would be cut short this way. And while news of cease-fire talks in Gaza came hours before she touched down in the region, the sequence of events was a vivid reminder of the stature that Clinton has gained in the job: For the past four years, she has been Obama’s go-to gal in any global crisis.

    Clinton’s impending departure, in other words, presents the president with a massive pair of pumps to fill—and a domestic political skirmish far less bloody than, but nearly as bloody-minded as, the one in the Mideast. At the center of this conflagration is U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, one of the prime candidates to replace Clinton, and a series of Sunday-show appearances she made after the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, in which she declined to call it a terrorist incident but instead deemed it a “spontaneous” protest that had been “hijacked” by “clusters of extremists.” For this, Rice is being flayed by John McCain, who has called her “not … very bright” and “not qualified” to be secretary of State, and pledged to do “everything in my power” to block her from the post, as well as being denounced by 97 House Republicans, who in a letter to Obama declared that Rice’s “misleading statements” about Benghazi “caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.”

    Beyond the spectacle of gratuitous spleen-venting, does any of this Republican fulmination matter in the least—or, as the headline of a recent Maureen Dowd column in the Times put it, “Is Rice Cooked?” As a rule, your columnist avoids predictions, but in the spirit of holiday indulgence, I will make an exception here: Not only will Obama appoint Rice to succeed Clinton but she will be confirmed. And though I offer this forecast without the aid of polling averages to lend a patina of statistical certainty to the endeavor, I do believe there are at least five sound reasons to think it will come true:

    1. Because every piece of available evidence suggests Obama wants her in the job. Among all his senior foreign-policy hands, Rice has always been the one with whom the president has shared both a strong personal and policy-related bond. “There’s a real similarity to the relationship between George W. Bush and the other foreign-policy Rice, in that they’re close and they share a common view of the world and America’s role in it,” says Jonathan Prince, who served as a senior adviser to Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and who argues that Obama’s fiery defense of Rice in his postelection press conference made clear his inclination to give her State. “I don’t know how you could see the way he reacted and not think that.”

    Rice has a number of other factors weighing on her side. Unlike John Kerry, the likeliest alternative, she has vocal champions inside the White House—in particular Valerie Jarrett. At the same time, few believe that Obama would want to have a less diverse Cabinet in his second term than he did in his first one, which means at least one of the Big Four departments being presided over by a woman. With Eric Holder now indicating that he will stay on as attorney general and current chief of staff Jack Lew likely taking over for Tim Geithner at Treasury, that leaves only State and Defense to fill—and a paucity of obviously qualified females to run the latter. Hence Rice at State with either Kerry, Rhode Island senator Jack Reed, or former senator Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon would seem a logical outcome.

    2. Because Rice is manifestly qualified for the job.

    Though the résumé she would bring to the job is not nearly as accomplished as Clinton’s, the comparison is more than a bit unfair to a woman seventeen years younger. Over the course of the past two decades, she has been a rising celestial body in the Democratic foreign-policy firmament, serving on the staff of Hillary’s husband’s national-security council and as his assistant secretary of State for African affairs. As U.N. ambassador, she has sometimes ruffled feathers with her bluntness, but at the same time earned high marks for her tangible achievements: helping to secure unprecedented U.N. sanctions resolutions against Iran and North Korea and playing a pivotal role in persuading a wary Obama to intervene militarily in Libya.

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/powergrid/susan-rice-secretary-of-state-2012-12/

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  7. rikyrah says:

    Good Afternoon, Everyone :)

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  8. McCain backs off Susan Rice smear campaign: http://thkpr.gs/Taw3Hr

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  9. magentmama says:

    I love gospel music, here in Sicily it is very popular, of course they sing it with a not-so-great accent:)

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