Tuesday Open Thread

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (also known as God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen) is an English traditional Christmas carol. The melody is in Aeolian mode. It was published by William B. Sandys in 1833, although the author is unknown.[1]

Like so many early Christmas songs, this carol was written as a direct reaction to the music of the fifteenth century church, in Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas. However, in the as-yet earliest known publication of the carol on a circa 1760 broadsheet, it is described as a “new Christmas carol,”[2] suggesting its origin is actually in the mid-18th century. It appeared again among “new carols for Christmas” in another 18th-century source, a chapbook believed to be printed between 1780-1800.[3]

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About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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96 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. One more time, 3Chics!

    Please sign the petition for the Obama Administration to “Investigate George Zimmerman for Civil Rights violation in his killing of Trayvon Martin”. It’s open season on young black men in this country. If we don’t stand up, who will?

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/investigate-george-zimmerman-civil-rights-violation-his-killing-trayvon-martin/1Sdc30VN?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    Do this for your sons, grandsons, brothers, dad, uncles.

    Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    On ‘Fatal Vows,’ the bizarre story of Angelo and Elizabeth. Elizabeth thought she loved Angelo, but Angelo was also very abusive. He hit her, threatened her with guns and violated her with a metal pipe. He threatened to kill her family and also once beat her so badly her lung collapsed. One day, Angelo started attacking Elizabeth, and she stabbed and killed him. But what she found out after was even more shocking: Angelo was actually a woman wearing a prosthetic penis.

    http://www.aol.com/video/fatal-vows-woman-discovers-abusive-lover-was-actually-a-woman/517567545/?ncid=webmail27

    Like

  3. rikyrah says:

    Still Not Getting It…

    By Betty Cracker December 4th, 2012

    Three middle-aged-to-elderly white conservative men recently discussed ways to broaden the GOP’s appeal. Here’s a key insight from their confab:

    I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans.

    Oh. Ma. Ga. I don’t think they can hear themselves, friends. Bless their hearts.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/12/04/still-not-getting-it-7/

    Like

  4. rikyrah says:

    Better-Looking, Spunkier Senator From Kentucky Now a Possibility
    Paul Waldman

    December 4, 2012

    Could Ashley Judd beat Mitch McConnell?

    Ashley Judd vs. Mitch McConnell? It might not be as far-fetched as you think.

    The Hollywood movie star and eighth-generation Kentuckian is seriously exploring a 2014 run for the Senate to take on the powerful Republican leader, four people familiar with the matter tell POLITICO. In recent weeks, Judd has spoken with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about the possibility of a run, has discussed a potential bid with a Democratic pollster and has begun to conduct opposition research on herself to see where she’s most vulnerable in the Bluegrass State, sources say.

    Whether Judd jumps into the race remains far from certain. She’s reportedly also weighing whether to wait until 2016 to instead take on freshman Sen. Rand Paul, sources say.

    I’ve always thought that celebrity endorsements are next to useless, despite the millions of votes Kid Rock no doubt brought in for Mitt Romney this year. But it’s extremely rare for a celebrity to actually run for office, not least because being a politician isn’t nearly as much fun as being a movie star. Kentucky Republicans are primed and ready to run Judd through the ringer (“We’re going to make sure that you don’t come out with your nose clean. We’re going to drive your negatives up and very aggressively and publicly litigate your record before the citizens of Kentucky,” says one quoted in the article), and there’s no telling how she’d stand up to that. But Minnesota Republicans tried that with Al Franken, rummaging through his career as a comedian to find embarrassing tidbits, and it didn’t really work. On the other hand, Franken had spent a few years as a radio host, talking about politics for hours every day, so he was well-versed in the issues. And when he became a candidate, he did the hard work of going to every VFW hall, fish fry, and coffee klatch he could find, diligently meeting voter after voter to make his case. It isn’t all that glamorous, but it’s what you have to do if you want to win.

    Being a celebrity doesn’t make you a good candidate, but it shouldn’t disqualify you either. Though acting doesn’t really prepare you for the hard work of legislating, neither do many of the other things people put up as relevant experience when they run for office. I’m hopeful that the recent failures of candidates like Romney, Carly Fiorina, and Meg Whitman will make people skeptical of the absurd, “I’m a businessman, not a politician” argument (imagine if you wanted a plumber to install a new water heater for you, and he said, “I’m an accountant, not a plumber, which is why I’m the best person for this job”), but that probably won’t happen. In any case, by all accounts Judd is reasonably smart and knowledgeable, so she wouldn’t be anything near the least prepared person serving in that august body. And she presumably has plenty of her own money to put up, and would be able to raise plenty more.

    So why not? It’s a long shot anyway—liberals don’t do too well in Kentucky. On the other hand, McConnell may be more vulnerable than you’d assume. In his last race he spent double what his opponent did, but only won by six points. Also, Ashley Judd was once on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and how many senators can say that? Kentucky Democrats could do worse.

    http://prospect.org/article/better-looking-more-spunky-senator-kentucky-now-possibility

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Warren tapped for Senate Banking panel

    By Vicki Needham and Peter Schroeder

    Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the harshest critics of the financial sector, is being tapped to serve on the Senate Banking Committee.

    The Harvard law professor is expected to join Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on the committee in the next Congress, according to a Democratic Senate aide.

    The decision is pending final approval from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), but would mean that Warren will play a lead role in overseeing the financial firms that have sparred with her for years over consumer protections and regulations.

    Warren originally came to Washington as head of the government’s official bailout watchdog, and later served as President Obama’s architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

    She butted heads with congressional Republicans as an adviser to the CFPB, and Obama ultimately selected one of her top deputies, Richard Cordray, to serve as its first director. Warren was recruited by Democrats to run for the Senate from Massachusetts, where she defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R) last month.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/270809-warren-tapped-for-spot-on-senate-banking

    Like

  6. Ametia says:

    Poll: Public Will Blame Congressional GOP For ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Failures

    Source: TPM
    TOM KLUDT 8:35 AM EST, TUESDAY DECEMBER 4, 2012

    Nearly half of Americans doubt that President Obama and Congress will strike a deal on the so-called “fiscal cliff” before the year-end deadline but a majority is prepared to blame Republicans on Capitol Hill for such a failure, a poll released Tuesday shows.

    The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 49 percent of Americans do not think an agreement will be reached before January 1, 2013, when self-imposed automatic spending cuts and tax hikes are slated to take effect if a deal is not produced.

    But the poll also shows that 53 percent believe that the congressional GOP will be more blameworthy if an agreement isn’t ironed out, while 27 percent believe Obama will be more to blame. Twelve percent said that both sides should share the blame equally.

    Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/poll-public-will-blame-congressional-gop-for-fiscal

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  7. Ametia says:

    FAUX NOISE Is Taking Karl Rove Off The Air

    Last edited Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:08 PM USA/ET – Edit history (1)

    Source: Business Insider

    Sources told Sherman that Fox News chief Roger Ailes has ordered his staff to bench Rove and his fellow GOP pundit Dick Morris, two of the network’s most vocal partisan voices whose predictions turned out to be spectacularly wrong. According to Sherman, producers must now get permission before booking Rove or Morris on Fox shows.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fox-news-karl-rove-2012-12

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  8. rikyrah says:

    Jay-Z Rides the Subway, Adorably Explains Who He Is to an Adorable Old Lady

    Today (which happens to be Hova’s 43rd birthday), a 24-minute documentary on Jay-Z’s 8-show stint that opened Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in September was released via YouTube. One highlight of Where I’m From occurs when Jay takes the subway en route to his last show and sits next to a kind-faced older woman named Ellen who has no idea who the fuck she’s talking to. The ensuing conversation is infinitely sweeter and more humble than if she had.

    http://gawker.com/5965706/jay+z-rides-the-subway-adorably-explains-who-he-is-to-an-adorable-old-lady

    Like

  9. Nancy Pelosi‏@NancyPelosi

    House Dems just filed a discharge petition to bring the middle class tax cuts to the floor for a vote. Keep track here: http://1.usa.gov/SvcxHI

    Like

  10. rikyrah says:

    Top Pennsylvania GOP Lawmaker Proposes New Election Rigging Scheme

    By Ian Millhiser on Dec 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Last year, Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) was one of the leading proponents of a plan to rig the Electoral College for Mitt Romney by allocating the state’s electoral votes by congressional district rather than awarding them to the overall winner of the state. Had Pileggi’s election-rigging proposal been in effect last month, Romney would have likely received 13 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, despite losing the state by more than 5 percentage points. The election rigging plan eventually died, however, due to concerns from House Republicans that it might cause the Obama campaign to shift resources to their districts and cost them their seats.

    Pileggi is not giving up, however, and he’s now backing a slightly modified scheme to rig the 2016 election for Republicans:

    Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says frustrated Pennsylvania supporters of Mitt Romney deserve a more equitable way of counting presidential votes. He’s pushing once again to break up the state’s electoral college vote.

    But instead of determining the votes by congressional district, they would be allocated according to percentage of the popular vote, plus two for the statewide winner. . . . Under that system, Barack Obama would have won 12 of Pa.’s electoral college votes and 8 for Romney. That’s a net advantage of 4 EC votes for Obama versus the net 20 advantage Pa. gave him on election day.

    The reason for this proposal is clear. Pennsylvania is a blue state that voted for the Democratic candidate in every single presidential race for the last two decades. So Pileggi’s plan is nothing more than a proposal to steal electoral votes that are overwhelmingly likely to be awarded to the Democratic candidate under the current system and give them away to the Republican candidate.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/04/1277821/top-pennsylvania-gop-lawmaker-proposes-new-election-rigging-scheme/

    Like

  11. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare Has Saved Seniors $5 Billion On Prescription Drugs

    By Tara Culp-Ressler on Dec 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Despite the fact that the cost of brand name drugs has skyrocketed over the past few years, one Obamacare provision is helping seniors on Medicare save billions on their prescription drug costs.

    Over the summer, data from the Centers for Medicare And Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that the Affordable Care Act had already saved 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities nearly $4 billion on their prescriptions by closing the “donut hole” coverage gap and ensuring that more prescription drugs are covered under Medicare. And today, the Obama Administration announced that their updated data shows seniors’ savings have now surpassed $5 billion, as nearly 2.8 million Americans have saved an average of $677 on their prescription medications so far this year.

    And recent figures from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggest that the cost of closing the donut hole and extending coverage for additional prescription drugs won’t be as high as initial estimates predicted. Making drugs more affordable means that more people will take their medication, ultimately saving the government money in the long run by stabilizing their medical conditions and reducing medical costs. Taking that into account, the CBO’s report estimates that the net cost of closing the donut hole will actually be $51 billion — significantly less than the previous $86 billion estimate.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/12/03/1272461/obamacare-saved-seniors-5-billion/

    Like

  12. rikyrah says:

    Norquist To MSNBC: Obama ‘Thinks Somebody Made Him King,’ Doesn’t Know ‘Where He Stands In The Universe’

    by Noah Rothman | 12:50 pm, December 4th, 2012

    Americans for Tax Reform chief Grover Norquist joined Alex Wagner on MSNBC’s NOW to discuss the current status of negotiations between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans to avoid the upcoming fiscal cliff. Norquist told the MSNBC host that he thinks President Obama is overplaying his hand in these negotiations, as he did in his first term, and Obama will cede the political advantage to Republicans because he “doesn’t have the mandate he thinks he does.”

    Wagner asked Norquist if he supported the plan put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Norquist replied that Boehner’s plan is “amorphous,” and said that there is danger in projecting revenues through closing deductions. He advocated for a plan that would focus on growth in order to reduce the nation’s debt burden.

    Norquist slammed the White House’s fiscal cliff proposal, which includes new spending and stimulus proposals and counts savings from ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    He warned that President Obama is in danger of providing the Republicans in Congress with more leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations than they entered them with. He says that a similar condition occurred in Obama’s first term.

    “Why? Because Obama overplayed his hand,” Norquist said. “He’s doing it again, just as he did in 2008. He thought that the country had given him a blank sheet of paper to work on. He did the stimulus spending. He went from 70 percent support down to below 50. He lost the house.”

    Norquist said that, because Obama won reelection, he must think “somebody made him king.”

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/norquist-to-msnbc-obama-thinks-somebody-made-him-king-doesnt-know-his-place-in-the-universe/

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    • Ametia says:

      WHO DAT NEGRO THINK HE IS?!

      Like

    • Grover Norquist, there is help available for your delusions. Obamacare would be good here!

      Like

      • Ametia says:

        He’s losing his GRIP on his owned hyped up kingdom. How dare that negro actually preside over our country. And all the networks are showcasing this fool, who hasn’t been elected to any political office. It’s basically a pledge for white rich men twho got rich by corporate tax cut loopholes, stash the loot offshore accounts to stay rich, at the expense of working Americans

        Like

  13. Please sign this petition. It’s open season on young black men in this country. If we don’t stand up, who will?

    Investigate George Zimmerman for Civil Rights violation in his killing of Trayvon Martin.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/investigate-george-zimmerman-civil-rights-violation-his-killing-trayvon-martin/1Sdc30VN?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    Like

  14. rikyrah says:

    Ghana will soon be home to the largest solar farm in Africa

    By Philip Bump

    The marker on this map shows the location of Aiwiaso, Ghana, a town small enough that one could count the number of buildings within it in short order. And, if all goes according to plan, it will in 2015 be the location of the fourth-largest solar photovoltaic plant in the world and the largest in Africa.

    From The Guardian:

    Blue Energy, the renewable energy developer behind the $400m project, which has built a solar farm 31 times smaller outside Swindon, [England,] said the 155MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant will be fully operational by October 2015. Construction on the Nzema project is due to begin near the village of Aiwiaso in western Ghana by the end of 2013, with the installation of some 630,000 PV modules. …

    The company said it expects to create 200 permanent jobs and 500 during the construction phase, which already has the go-ahead from planning authorities.

    Why the investment? Because Ghana, unlike some countries, set a national renewable energy target last year, including a feed-in tariff. Ghana aims to get 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

    http://grist.org/news/ghana-will-soon-be-home-to-the-largest-solar-farm-in-africa/

    Like

  15. Attention Media: Bloomberg DIDN’T Get The First Post-Election Interview With Obama

    http://bit.ly/QFDLwM

    I was surprised today to see Bloomberg correspondent Julianna Goldman’s interview with President Obama trumpeted as the first post-election interview the President has given. It still says on Bloomberg’s website that it is “his first interview since winning re-election.”

    Why was I surprised? Because something like 5 hours before Bloomberg aired and streamed the interview, Obama had already called in for a live interview on comedian Steve Harvey’s nationally syndicated radio show.

    You can hear the audio of Obama on Harvey’s program here:

    Like

    • President Barack Obama was on The Steve Harvey Morning Show today expressing his gratitude for the determination, hard work, political maturity and volunteering of his supporters during the 2012 Presidential Election.

      President Obama also explained the looming fiscal cliff crisis that he’s working to avoid.

      Like

  16. Luvin Lena

    I’m passing this on because it worked for me today.

    A doctor on TV said that in order to have inner peace in our lives after this election, we should always finish things that we start. Since we all could use more calm in our lives, I looked around my house to find things I’d started & hadn’t finished.

    I finished a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiuminun scriptins, an a box a choclutz. Yu has no idr how fablus I feel rite now.

    Sned this to all ur frenz who need inner piss. An telum u luvum.

    ____________________

    Crying with Laughter

    Like

  17. rikyrah says:

    No, more Latino votes wouldn’t have helped Romney win
    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Was Mitt Romney’s conservative turn on immigration responsible for his defeat? During the Republican primary, the former Massachusetts governor used the issue to distinguish himself from other candidates, and bolster his right-wing bona fides. Over the weekend, at a Harvard post-election forum, Romney campaign chief Matt Rhoades acknowledged that was a mistake:

    When asked directly whether Mr. Romney regretted tacking to the right on immigration to appeal to conservative primary voters, the room fell silent.

    Stuart Stevens, a senior strategist to Mr. Romney, shook his head no. But after pausing for several seconds, Mr. Rhoades said, “I regret that.”

    He went on to explain that the campaign, in hindsight, had been too worried about a potential threat from Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, who jumped into the race to challenge Mr. Romney as the jobs-and-economy candidate.

    The obvious counter factual is that if Romney had kept a more moderate course on immigration — and avoided policies like “self-deportation” — he might have improved his standing with Latino voters, who made a crucial difference in key states like Colorado, Florida and Nevada. And of course, it’s this counter-factual which animates the new Republican effort to find an acceptable medium on immigration reform.

    But how important were Latino voters in making the difference between victory and defeat for Romney?

    So far, Obama leads the popular vote by 3.6 points, 50.9 percent to 47.3 percent. And overall, according to exit polls, Latinos represented 10 percent of the electorate, or just over 12 and a half million voters. For Romney to make his popular vote gap through Hispanics alone, he’d have to win an additional 4.5 million votes on top of his current share, for a total of 7.9 million votes, or 63 percent of the Latino vote.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/04/no-more-latino-votes-wouldnt-have-helped-romney-win/

    Like

  18. rikyrah says:

    The illusion of GOP leverage

    Monday, December 03, 2012 | Posted by Liberal Librarian at 2:12 PM

    From TPM this morning, there is reporting that the GOP may surrender on letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, in order to regain leverage for the fights of 2013. From the article:

    The bill would come to the floor, and Republicans would vote ‘present’ to register their disapproval with letting the top marginal rates go up, allowing Democratic votes to carry it to passage. Having already cleared the Senate, the bill would be sent to the White House and signed into law. Over and done, middle class tax increases averted.

    But the last-ditch plan has other important advantages for Republicans. Come 2013, Obama will need to raise the debt limit and pursue other goals such as raising $600 billion in further revenues by limiting tax deductions for people with high incomes, extending unemployment benefits, averting a pay cut for physicians who treat Medicare patients, and avoiding indiscriminate federal spending cuts.

    It’s being touted on TPM as the “doomsday plan”. But the idea that this plan would then shift momentum to the GOP for the fiscal battles of 2013 is flawed.

    First of all, the GOP, if it does accede to this plan, wants massive cuts to “entitlement” programs as part of its negotiating stance in 2013. Its basic plan will be to enact the Ryan budget for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Yes, the Ryan plan, the plan against which President Obama ran and the plan he used to beat Mitt Romney over the head with on his way to victory. Whether the House leadership pushes for Ryan’s ideas in the lame duck session or in 2013, it still remains as popular as botulism. Even a majority of Republican voters don’t want drastic “reform” of entitlements. These reforms are anathema now, and will not be rehabilitated in the public’s mind just because the GOP allowed top tax rates to return to what they were under President Clinton.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/12/the-illusion-of-gop-leverage.html

    Like

  19. rikyrah says:

    Discharge Petition: Nancy Pelosi Closes off GOP’s Escape Route

    Monday, December 03, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 6:26 AM

    So on Friday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi threw down the gauntlet on putting Republicans on the record on the middle class tax breaks, one way or another.

    She re-iterated the threat on Sunday in a press release.

    If Speaker Boehner refuses to schedule this widely-supported bill for a vote, Democrats will introduce a discharge petition to automatically bring to the floor the Senate-passed middle class tax cuts.

    Hmm? What is this discharge petition she’s talking about? In the House, the Speaker may be king, but the minority does have one way to force an issue: a discharge petition. If 218 members sign a petition, a bill can be brought to the floor without the Speaker’s consent. Of course, since the Speaker usually controls the majority, discharge petitions are usually not a threat to his power.

    Usually. Except in circumstances when public pressure mounts and some members of the Speaker’s party can be snatched away to sign a discharge petition.

    That’s what Pelosi is counting on. She is counting on the fact on something that’s a win-win for the Democrats. Either enough Republicans will sign the petition to make their leadership’s position on taxes moot, or they refuse the Democratic offer en masse and the Democratic members of Congress and the President take that on the road to the American people.

    Imagine the President holding up the discharge petition with 20 or so signatures away from reaching a vote – 20 or so missing Republicans, to be exact. Now imagine further the optics of Nancy Pelosi going door to door to the offices of Republican members of Congress, with a slew of media and cameras going with her. Let’s put it this way: whatever the outcome of the discharge petition, Democrats can’t lose.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/12/this-sucks-for-republicans.html

    Like

  20. rikyrah says:

    Amanda Terkel✔
    @aterkel

    Elizabeth Warren wins Senate Banking Committee seat huff.to/R4q0t4 via @ryangrim

    Like

  21. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP kills disabilities treaty
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Dec 4, 2012 1:00 PM EST.

    Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message.

    It didn’t work. The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon, with a final vote of 61 to 38, which seems like a lopsided majority, but which fell short of the two-thirds necessary for ratification. Eight Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in support of the treaty, but the clear majority of the Senate GOP voted to block it.

    The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, for those who’ve forgotten, is a human rights treaty negotiated by the George H.W. Bush administration, which has been ratified by 126 nations, including China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

    But most Senate Republicans saw it as a threat to American “sovereignty,” even though the treaty wouldn’t have required the United States to change its laws. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the treaty with bipartisan support in July, Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) explained the proposal simply “raises the [international] standard to our level without requiring us to go further.”

    In other words, we wouldn’t actually have to do anything except say we like the treaty — and then wait for other signatories around the world to catch up to the United States’ Americans with Disabilities Act.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/04/15675104-senate-gop-kills-disabilities-treaty?lite

    Like

  22. rikyrah says:

    The plan the right is pretending not to like
    By Steve Benen-
    Tue Dec 4, 2012 9:58 AM EST.

    House Republican leaders presented a debt-reduction “plan” to the White House yesterday, which GOP officials insist is a “serious” offer. To help underscore why it’s so very difficult to take the Republican proposal seriously, I put together this image, showing what each side would get as part of this attempt at “compromise.”

    If you’re thinking this looks a little tilted in one direction, and that no sane person could characterize this as a balanced attempt to reach a bipartisan agreement, we’re on the same page.

    But here’s the kicker: conservative activists are criticizing the GOP offer, or at least, they’re pretending to.

    Scoot over Democrats. The far right is launching its own attacks against Speaker John Boehner’s “fiscal cliff” counter proposal — a sign that unrest could be brewing within his House GOP Conference.

    “Sadly this plan leaves conservatives wanting,” declared Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group partially backed by billionaires David and Charles Koch, in a statement Monday.

    Meanwhile, Heritage Action, the Heritage Foundation’s lobbying wing, alerted its members in an e-mail: “Not only are Republican leaders asking their members to go back on their promise not to raise taxes on the American people, but they appear unwilling to fight for the bold entitlement reforms that won them the House in 2010.”

    So, as far as the right-wing GOP base is concerned, a debt-reduction deal in which Republicans make no concessions at all represents an enormous sellout.

    Except, in this case, I don’t really believe the base is sincere.

    ——————————————————————————–

    We’ll probably never know for sure what leading far-right activists are thinking, but by complaining about a deal in which GOP gives up nothing, they seem to be engaged in some political theater.

    In other words, the Koch brothers’ operation and the Heritage Foundation’s lobbying wing are trying to offer some cover for House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership — if the left and right both claim to oppose the GOP’s so-called “counteroffer,” then maybe it’s the moderate solution between two extremes.

    Don’t believe it. The offer from Republican leaders yesterday is a silly, far-right fantasy.

    Like

  23. rikyrah says:

    Sharpton, Leaders Deliver Black Agenda For Obama’s Second Term

    Dec 4, 2012

    By Sheila Stewart, Radio One News Director

    More than 60 of America’s leading civil rights, social justice, business and community leaders gathered today in Washington, DC to discuss how to provide positive solutions to “key” issues in the Black community as President Obama embarks upon his second term.

    The meeting was convened by Marc H. Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League, Rev. Al Sharpton of The National Action Network, Ben Jealous, NAACP National President; Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and numerous others.

    “We leaders in the African American community are gathered here today to convey our priorities for an agenda that moves our community towards economic empowerment and prosperity,” said Morial.

    “We embrace our historic role as the conscience of the nation. We are united in our mission to support and protect the well being of the African-American community.”

    The leaders outlined steps to develop a public policy agenda for Black America. The communique was as follows:
    ■*Achieve Economic Parity for African-Americans
    ■*Promote Equity in Educational Opportunity
    ■*Protect and Defend Voting Rights
    ■*Promote a Healthier Nation by Eliminating Healthcare Disparities
    ■*Achieve Comprehensive Reform of the Criminal Justice System

    “The plight of the African-American community underscores the urgency of our demand. The African-American community was disproportionately battered by the Great Recession, and has benefited the least from the fragile economy recovery. Unemployment remains unacceptably high; income inequality and the ever-widening wealth gap threaten to relegate the black community to perpetual underclass status. Those who wish to curtail investment education and career preparation further dim the prospects for upward mobility for our young people,” the leaders wrote.

    http://newsone.com/2095116/sharpton-leaders-deliver-black-agenda-for-obamas-second-term/

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  24. rikyrah says:

    December 4, 2012, 7:45 am

    Three-Card Budget Monte

    It goes without saying that the Republican “counteroffer” is basically fake. It calls for $800 billion in revenue from closing loopholes, but doesn’t specify a single loophole to be closed; it calls for huge spending cuts, but aside from raising the Medicare age and cutting the Social Security inflation adjustment — moves worth only around $300 billion — it doesn’t specify how these cuts are to be achieved. So it’s basically the Paul Ryan method: scribble down some numbers and pretend that you’re a budget wonk with a Serious plan.

    What I haven’t seen pointed out here is the longer arc of GOP strategy. Does anyone recall how the Bush tax cuts were passed? The 2001 cut was passed based on the claim that the government was running an excessive surplus; the 2003 cut on the claim that it would provide an economic boost. Then the surplus went away, and the economy did not, to say the least, perform very well.

    And the GOP says that because of that deficit we must raise the Medicare age and cut Social Security!

    Oh, and for all the seniors or near-seniors who voted Republican because you thought they would protect Medicare from that bad guy Obama: you’ve been had.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/three-card-budget-monte/

    Like

  25. Ametia says:

    Report: Benghazi ‘Talking Points’ Watered Down By CIA, Not White House
    Source: NPR

    by MARK MEMMOTT
    December 04, 2012 8:00 AM

    “A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.’s own intelligence” led to the controversial “talking points” that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

    In a story based on interviews of “officials from a cross-section of agencies who had direct knowledge of the deliberations,” the Journal adds more reporting to the picture of why Rice on Sept. 16 said on Sunday talk shows that “extremist elements” may have been involved in the attack — but did not refer to them as terrorists or say they were connected to al-Qaida.

    Rice’s words have led several prominent Republican senators to say they would oppose her nomination to be secretary of state if President Obama puts her name forward for that post. They question whether the Obama administration deliberately tried to downplay the role of terrorists in the attack because of the rapidly approaching presidential election.

    According to the Journal:

    “The officials said the first draft of the talking points had a reference to al Qaeda but it was removed by the Central Intelligence Agency, to protect sources and protect investigations, before the talking points were shared with the White House. No evidence has so far emerged that the White House interfered to tone down the public intelligence assessment, despite the attention the charge has received.”

    Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/12/04/166467881/report-benghazi-talking-points-watered-down-by-cia-not-white-house

    Like

  26. rikyrah says:

    December 02, 2012

    The GOP’s end game?

    For those of us who were hoping to see at least some post-election maturation occur among congressional Republicans, this morning’s talk shows were disappointing to the point of exasperation and near disbelief–even if anticipated.

    Their infantilization of the political process continues. Today, as throughout the last several days, Republicans’ whining about President Obama’s opening salvo–and that’s all it was, an opening shot–was simply embarrassing. They whimpered, they moaned, they brooded with extravagant flourishes about that mean, unreasonable chief executive in the Oval Office, yet not once did any of them utter … oh, a counterproposal?

    OK, so the profound prepubesecence of the Republican Party is decided and its negotiating strategy is fixed. For the next two years, it seems, the biggest, boldest manifestation of the pseudoconservative machinery will be carpet-chewing.

    Yet this does represent a shift of sorts, which might actually reflect a sort of end game.

    Prior to the election, Republican pols were quite bold in their calls for essentially dismantling the welfare state (as evidenced, chiefly, in their proposal for Medicare’s voucherization). In less than a month, however, they’ve grown timid, and intimidated. The cause of their twitching silence on a counterproposal to President Obama’s initially proffered deal is self-evident: They’re terrified. They’re paralyzed with at-large electoral dread at even the notion of now furthering their pre-election obsessions; yet, for localized electoral reasons, they can’t let go of them.

    I don’t see a way out. Republicans persisted in overreaching farther and yet farther when they still had a chance to rein in the madness. At some undefined point, though, they passed that critical point of fundamental sanity’s retrievability. Now, as a national party, they aren’t. They’ve marginalized themselves. They’re regionalized. And how they break out, I just don’t know, I can’t see it.

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2012/12/the-gops-end-game.html

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    Today’s sermon, from Mr. Charles P. Pierce, “Why No Deal Is Better Than A Bad Deal“:

    … Nothing has so illustrated the distance between the courtier press, and the elites that they have come to serve, then the ongoing mock-horror from both camps that politics can be messy and angry and frustrating. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the mock-horror has its roots in the acceptance of the lunatic notion that government should be run “more like a business.” You would think that, with the resounding defeat handed to an MBA automaton last month, this argument would go into eclipse for a while. But it is the clear basis for almost all of the anguish and garment-rending inside the Beltway.

    There may not be a “deal.” Smart people have speculated that we may not need a “deal” and, in any case, a “deal” is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of “governing.” I have said more than once that it is not the president’s job to tame John Boehner’s crazy-ass caucus for him. The president was re-elected on a slate of policies that the country wanted. He has no affirmative obligation to water these down just to “get a deal done” for the sake of appearances, just as he is under no affirmative action to offer up Medicare and Social Security as blood sacrifices just so that John Boehner and his crazy caucus will be placated. The country must be governed, It does not necessarily have to be governed efficiently, as long as the manifest will of the people is somehow expressed through it. Perhaps the people would like it to run more smoothly, but they want most for it to run in such a way that it responds to their expressed wishes. For example, there is not clamoring in the country — or any real need — for the kind of austerity agenda to which all the fiscal cliffies seem to be trying to accustom us. If inefficiency is all that saves us from a damaging set of policies, then god bless inefficiency. (And remember old Dan Webster’s warning that the simplest governments in the world are despotisms.) If that inconveniences the mandarin class, well, that’s just going to have to be too bad.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/morning-joe-debt-deal-120312

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Love Mr. Pierce. While the media jackals are pushing the PBO’s over-reaching bullshit, instead of the John Boehner and his infantile nutjobs are dangerous to our democracy. TREASONOUS SONS OF BITHCES.

      Like

  28. Ametia says:

    So WaPo and a few of the other rags are spewing Obama” overreaching, heavy-handed” on fiscal cliff? REALLY?!!

    Obama’s overreach

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-obamas-overreach-on-the-budget/2012/12/03/d9f38a60-3d76-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

    Democrats headed for a dIsaster

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-in-cliff-talks-obama-on-brink-of-disaster/2012/12/03/b3ed6aec-3d5e-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

    SHORT; Who does this negro think he is? YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!”

    Like

  29. GOP Senator Gets Schooled On Obamacare: ‘You Lost The Election, Buddy’

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/12/04/1277181/ron-johnson-schooled-obamacare/?mobile=nc

    Political consultant Bob Schrum gave Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) a lesson in post-election politics on CNN Tuesday morning, when Schrum told the Senator to give up the dream of repealing Obamacare.

    In the middle of a heated discussion about the fiscal showdown, CNN host Soledad O’Brien asked Johnson to give examples of what kind of spending cuts should be on the table. Johnson put the President’s signature health care reform law at the top of his list, saying that it costs more than people realize. “Not going to happen,” Schrum told Johnson, “You lost the election, buddy”:

    Like

  30. Ametia says:

    Mon Dec 03 2012
    The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe talks with retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) about how he opened up to his House colleagues about his sexuality before he came out of the closet.
    The Washington Post

    Video

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/barney-frank-on-coming-out–exit-interviews/2012/12/03/cd3320aa-3d09-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_video.html

    Like

  31. Ann Romney Can’t Stop Crying, Believed Mitt Was ‘Destined’ For the White House

    http://www.kulturekritic.com/2012/12/news/ann-romney-cant-stop-crying-believed-mitt-was-destined-for-the-white-house/

    While Mitt Romney is licking his wounds in seclusion, Ann Romney can’t stop crying, according to friends. Unlike most ordinary people, who understand that nothing is promised, Ann Romney believed her husband was destined for greatness. This is why, as The Washington Post reports, Ann Romney’s been hardest hit by her husband’s defeat:

    By all accounts, the past month has been most difficult on Romney’s wife, Ann, who friends said believed up until the end that ascending to the White House was their destiny. They said she has been crying in private and trying to get back to riding her horses.

    Like

  32. Jan Brewer Western Governors Association Keynote Speech Draws Only Two Colleagues

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/jan-brewer-western-governors_n_2231125.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) played something of a host this weekend as her colleagues convened for the Western Governors Association’s annual winter meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz. When it came time for her to deliver her keynote address, however, most of her fellow governors were nowhere to be found.

    As 3TV News reports, only two of the 19 governors gathered at the conference were in attendance as Brewer spoke on Saturday night. The two governors present, Colorado’s John Hickenlooper (D) and Utah’s Gary Herbert (R), serve as vice chairman and chairman of the Western Governors Association.

    Earlier at the conference, which was largely focused on energy issues this year, Brewer drew attention for her answer to a question about global warming.

    “Everybody has an opinion on it, you know, and I probably don’t believe that it’s man made,” Brewer responded, when asked by 3TV’s Dennis Welch. “I believe that, you know, that weather and certain elements are controlled maybe by different things.”

    Apparently miffed by the question, she confronted Welch after her answer, asking him, “Where in the hell did that come from?”
    ______________

    Karma, it’s what’s for dinner!

    Like

  33. Bloomberg TV to interview Obama

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/12/bloomberg-tv-to-interview-obama-151000.html#.UL4Gk_T6ve0.twitter

    Bloomberg TV, of all places, has been given the first post-election interview with President Barack Obama.

    The President will sit down with Bloomberg White House correspondent Julianna Goldman today at the White House to discuss the fiscal cliff. The interview begins at 12:30 ET. (Preview here.)

    Obama’s decision to go to a financial news outlet for the interview is tactical — it allows him to appeal to the business community. The intrigue here is why he chose to go to Bloomberg TV rather than the far more popular CNBC. The answer for that may be simple: CNBC has not always been favorable to Obama — at times, they’ve even appeared anti-Obama — so here’s the snub.

    That’s all conjecture, though. Who knows? Maybe he’s just giving Mayor Bloomberg a small “thank you” for the late-game endorsement.

    Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    Losing in the court of public opinion

    By Steve Benen
    Tue Dec 4, 2012 9:18 AM EST.

    With congressional Republicans and President Obama nowhere near one another when it comes to the ongoing fiscal talks, the likelihood of failure at the end of the month is quite high. Who would the American mainstream hold responsible for the mess? According a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll, it’s not a close call.

    By a nearly two-to-one margin, Americans would blame GOP lawmakers for the failure to reach a bipartisan agreement. Though it’s common for many to reflexively blame “both sides” for every political misstep, in this poll, only about one in 10 people would hold both Republicans and the president responsible.

    What’s more, these perceptions seem pretty stable — a similar poll was conducted three weeks ago, and the results were largely identical.

    The question is whether any of this will have a practical effect. Chris Cillizza reported, “Republicans are well aware of where the public seems ready to put the blame if no deal on the cliff is reached. It’s why House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) offered a counterproposal Monday to the one President Obama laid out last week. Simply letting stalemate stand for the next 10 to 14 days is unacceptable to Republicans who know they have to do everything they can to avoid the cliff — and the blame for it that seems likely headed their way.”

    In recent years, GOP officials have generally ignored public pressure, but it’s worth keeping in mind that both Obama and Republican leaders have made an effort to persuade the public, and at this point, only one of those sides is winning.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/04/15671194-losing-in-the-court-of-public-opinion?lite

    Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    This is a great comment by Camille over at POU in the comments:

    Camille

    In what world do ringing endorsements and gushing testimonials by Bibi Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Henry Kissinger, John McCain etc. constitute anything positive, progressive, peaceful or great for America –or the world for that matter?

    And when as Secretary of State you or your people actually go out of your way to collect and tout these gushing endorsements from these extremely dubious characters together in a specially prepared video as part of a precursor to a potential 2016 presidential run – and as solid proof of your “great ability” and “credibility” and “respect from world leaders”, —–wow, wow, wow!!

    What is most profane, sticks out most and makes this madness unbelievable is not the fact that for so long we have been told that the reason the Secretary of State conveniently stays mum when vicious lies and attacks are lobbed at the President — even attacks about stuff directly related to the agency she oversees and is solely responsible for — is because her position requires that she “stay out of the fray” with regard to anything that could even be remotely construed as “political”;

    But then we have the same Secretary of State prancing around at the behest of Haim Saban – the Clintons very own Sheldon Adelson – while she proudly and crassly touts the effusive endorsement of the vilest of characters who for a long time –and currently– make up the most vocal and most vicious and malicious attackers of the President she serves.

    And nobody blinks an eye???

    I take great comfort in the fact that at the end of the day it will all be for naught.

    Clearly the idea that after all this time, Hillary Clinton and her handlers still fail to get or appreciate even the most basic sense of not just what’s decent and right, but are so caught up in their unhealthily obsessive needs, so arrogant, short-sighted, vindictive, opportunistic and tone deaf they actually think that trotting out Netanyahu, McCain etc. slam in the middle of their very public, unprovoked and raucous one-sided personal wars against President Obama, is somehow a good idea or “politically savvy”, should seriously give every smart, thinking person great pause.

    They have not learnt a damn thing. Not one darned thing. And this is who we are now yet again being force-fed the meme of being the “most qualified” and “most prepared to be president”. You just can’t make this shit up!

    But they are about to get their feelings very, very hurt.

    Hurry Karma.

    p.s-

    When I wrote a couple of weeks ago that they weren’t really expecting President Obama to win but in the last weeks hedged their bets all the same so they could potentially take credit and make demands of him and Michelle, I know some of my family here thought I was being harsh and cynical. This past Sunday, Bill Clinton invited Terry Macaulife along to “play golf” with President Obama. LOL.

    Let me be clear, if these people persist with their shenanigans and attempts at strong-arming the President, they’ll not only be the losers for it, they’ll completely destroy whatever carefully recreated and managed but largely fragile image-repair and re-invention President Obama essentially helped facilitate after they thoroughly disgraced and exposed themselves in their crass and vicious displays of desperation in 2008.

    But for now, at this very defining moment, they’re once again in yet another bout of desperation, dancing dangerously on the edge.

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Camille deserves a cabinet position for this essay. The Clintons are sooo transparent to the discerning eye. Yesterday, all day, on MSNBC were either speculating or pushing Hillary Clinton for 2016! That rat Ed Rendell an Joan Walsh were going on with Joan Walsh. They’re not even trying to hide it.

      I’ve said it before, and will again. NO MORE CLINTONS OR BUSHES, OR KENNEDYS IN THE WHITE HOUSE! Sick of the dynasties.

      Like

      • X’s 10!

        I see you Ed Rendell, Chris Matthews, Joan Walsh, Ed Shultz. We’re not buying what you’re trying to sell. GTFOOH! We’re not going to dance with you anymore. Those days have passed on. Change has come to America and we’re not going back.

        Like

      • majiir says:

        Rendell, Walsh, and the other Clintonistas are as out of touch with the American people as Romney was. They can push Hillary Clinton for POTUS #45, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to vote her into office! Hillary Rodham Clinton is no Barack Hussein Obama, and the Clintonistas had better recognize it. She is the beltway choice NOT our choice.

        Like

      • Hillary Rodham Clinton is no Barack Hussein Obama, and the Clintonistas had better recognize it. She is the beltway choice NOT our choice.

        Tell it! We say who we want. She can’t win without votes.

        Like

  36. rikyrah says:

    Wisconsin anti-union law draining unions as planned

    By Laura Conaway

    Mon Dec 3, 2012 1:25 PM EST

    The idea of anti-labor laws at the state level is to make belonging to unions less attractive. In Wisconsin, for example, the anti-union law that passed there in 2011 took away the rights of unions to collectively bargain for better pay and benefits for their members, while also eliminating automatic deductions for union dues. As a result, union members each month had to decide whether to write a check for a union that was no longer allowed to do much for members’ bottom lines.

    Since that law passed, membership in Wisconsin’s two main teachers unions has fallen by a third. Over the weekend, the members of one union voted to consider merging with its rival. From the Wisconsin State Journal:

    “It’s about building local union power,” Kenosha teacher Michael Orth said. “That’s what we need to do.”

    You can see the unions’ lost power is a few ways: declining membership, requirements that teachers pay more for their benefits, and the decimation of their ability to give money to candidates. The last part comes with direct political gain for Republicans, which helps to explain why Republicans like anti-union laws. Consider the biggest contributors nationwide in this cycle. The money from labor doesn’t start to keep up with the money from business (read: Sheldon Adelson), but without it, the Democrats almost get shut out of the top 10.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/03/15646203-wisconsin-anti-union-law-draining-unions-as-planned?lite

    Like

  37. rikyrah says:

    Boehner plays a weak hand

    By Eugene Robinson,
    Dec 04, 2012 12:40 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: December 3
    How dare he? President Obama, I mean: How dare he do what he promised during the campaign? How dare he insist on a “balanced approach” to fiscal policy that includes a teensy-weensy tax increase for the rich? Oh, the humanity.

    Republicans are having conniptions. Witness the way House Speaker John Boehner reacted when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented the administration’s proposals on taxes and spending:

    I was flabbergasted,” Boehner told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “I looked at him and said, ‘You can’t be serious.’ I’ve just never seen anything like it. You know, we’ve got seven weeks between Election Day and the end of the year. And three of those weeks have been wasted with this nonsense.”

    The “nonsense” in question is a set of perfectly reasonable measures that Obama wants Congress to approve. Nothing in his package should be a surprise — except, perhaps, that the president has opened this negotiation by demanding what he really wants, rather than what he believes would be convenient for Boehner to deliver.

    “The president’s idea of a negotiation is, roll over and do what I ask,” Boehner groused.

    Hmmm. Where do you imagine the president might have learned this particular bargaining technique? Might his instructors have been Boehner’s own House Republicans, who went so far as to hold the debt ceiling for ransom — and with it, the nation’s full faith and credit — in order to get their way?

    Obama’s proposals include effectively taking away congressional authority over the debt ceiling, which would preclude a repeat of last year’s hostage crisis. Boehner called it “silliness” to think that Congress would willingly surrender a power it can use to “leverage the political process.” So it’s fine when Congress uses muscle to get its way but not when the president does the same?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-boehner-plays-a-weak-hand/2012/12/03/227b41da-3d70-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html

    Like

  38. rikyrah says:

    Charitable deduction is indispensable but shouldn’t be sole motivation for giving

    By Michelle Singletary,
    Nov 25, 2012 12:56 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: November 24
    My husband and I tithe to our church, meaning we give 10 percent of our income. We also donate money to various charities.

    Our giving results in a tax break because we itemize on our tax return.

    Would we give less if we didn’t have the tax deduction? I’m confident we wouldn’t. We give because we believe it’s the right thing to do for folks who are fortunate enough to have money to give. Having the tax deduction is a bonus, but one that has never driven us to give more or less. I’m actually a bit turned off when a charity tries to persuade us to give by overly emphasizing the standard phrase, “Your donation is tax deductible.”

    But having said this, many people are motivated by tax breaks. And some do give more because of the charitable deduction.

    Our country is deeply in debt, and our leaders are struggling to find ways to balance the federal budget. We are facing a “fiscal cliff” — the expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts, along with spending cuts — that could trigger another recession. One strategy that has been proposed to avoid the cliff is to reduce or eliminate the deduction for charitable donations.

    In his 2013 budget, President Obama proposed capping the deduction for taxpayers earning more than $250,000 at 28 percent — even if they are in the 33 percent or 35 percent tax brackets. The president argues that most taxpayers don’t get the benefit of the deduction because they don’t itemize. And the tax break tends to benefit the wealthiest citizens the most.

    The charitable deduction is a lucrative target, because “among the many tax expenditures that are in the federal tax code, the tax deduction for charitable contributions is among the largest in terms of its estimated revenue impact,” according to a research paper by Joseph J. Cordes, an economics professor at George Washington University. “The Joint Committee on Taxation (2011) has estimated the five-year revenue cost (from 2010-2014) at just under $246.1 billion, and the charitable deduction has routinely been among the top 10 to 15 federal tax expenditures in terms of its revenue cost.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/charitable-deduction-is-indispensable-but-shouldnt-be-sole-motivation-for-giving/2012/11/24/a5d0d5fa-327f-11e2-9cfa-e41bac906cc9_story.html

    Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    Harry Reid To GOP: ‘Get Serious’
    Sahil Kapur – 5:42 PM EST, Monday December 3, 2012

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) joined the White House and top Democrats in rejecting the GOP’s counter-offer on a fiscal cliff deal, lamenting that it harms the middle class and does not raise tax rates on high incomes.

    He also indicated that an agreemtn must address the debt limit, which will need to be raised again early next year. “Republicans have made an offer,” he said, “but now it is time for them to get serious about forging a balanced approach.”

    Reid’s full statement late Monday:

    To protect millionaires, Speaker Boehner’s offer would force middle class families to pay higher taxes. Raising taxes on the middle class is bad policy and flunks the test of balance. To protect the middle class while reducing the deficit, simple math dictates that tax rates must rise on the top two percent of taxpayers next year. The sooner Republicans grasp that reality, the sooner we can avoid the fiscal cliff.

    “Democrats are willing to compromise, but any agreement must protect the middle class. We have also been clear that we have no intention of kicking the can down the road. Not only does Speaker Boehner’s proposal delay revenues into 2013, it sets up another destructive fight over the debt ceiling first thing next year.

    “Republicans have made an offer, but now it is time for them to get serious about forging a balanced approach.”

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/harry-reid-to-gop-get-serious

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    Samuel L. Jackson: Michelle Obama Is ‘Superwoman’ Who ‘Can Be The President’

    by Noah Rothman | 1:39 pm, December 3rd, 2012

    Actor Samuel L. Jackson lent his star power to President Barack Obama reelection effort during the 2012 campaign. But with the election over, Jackson’s praise is now directed at a new target: first lady Michelle Obama. In an interview with Newsweek, Jackson called Mrs. Obama a “superwoman” and said that she “can be the president.”

    “Michelle is Superwoman. What can’t she do?” Jackson told Newsweek. “That’s why people love her. She can be on the Supreme Court and anywhere else she wants. She can be the president. She’s history and she’ll stay history because she is so amazingly smart and together.”

    The profile also includes South Carolina’s Democratic Rep. James Clyburn saying that Mrs. Obama would be a “breath of fresh air in D.C.” However, the White House told the publication that the first lady does not have “the temperament” necessary to deal with the “b.s in Washington.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/samuel-l-jackson-michelle-obama-is-superwoman-who-can-be-the-president/

    Like

  41. rikyrah says:

    Harvard Club’s New Recruiting Flyer: ‘Jews Need Not Apply’

    2012/12/01
    By Lorraine Devon Wilke

    Ah, the Ivy League. It’s classic architecture, vaunted reputation, stellar academics and…blatant, ugly racism.

    It would seem, in this age of instant and saturated media, that anyone, anywhere, with any brains whatsoever, would know that anything they do that merits attention – whether good or bad – is going to get it. More, likely, than they might even want.

    Which leads one to ponder what the Harvard men involved were thinking when they slipped sealed envelopes under the dorm room doors of select students being recruited to their new club, the “Pigeon.” It’s not the invitation that invites incredulity; it’s the content. As reported by the Huffington Post:

    At the top of the pamphlet, three virtues: Inclusion, Diversity, Love were listed with three respective footnotes at the bottom of the page. Inclusion’s was “Jews need not apply.” Diversity’s was “Seriously, no f***ing Jews. Coloreds OK,” and Love’s was “Rophynol” — probably a misspelling of the date-rape drug rohypnol.

    Must make a parent, teacher, Dean, school community, etc., so proud of these privileged young men for showing such stellar judgment and integrity; clearly a product of their extraordinary education purchased at great cost and wrapped in impeachable regard worldwide.

    Or not.

    While it’s despicable that anyone would not only think this way, but would casually print such idiotic, bigoted trash on a public document being disseminated to others, there is something particularly galling about this sort of base, vile activity coming from a place that is purported to embody the very highest ideals of American thinking and education.

    And for those not schooled on the extracurriculars of the mystical Ivy League, let’s get you up-to-speed. Apparently there are long-running traditions, specifically at Harvard, of clubs defined as “final clubs…so named because they were the last social club a person could join before graduation.” Apparently at Harvard there are eight all-male clubs, originally established over the last hundred years or so, with five all-female clubs more recently, all with names suggestive of animals (hence, likely, this newest clubs assignation of “Pigeon.”) If interested, you can click here to get a run-down of each of the clubs and their history.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/12/01/harvard-clubs-new-recruiting-flyer-jews-need-not-apply/

    Like

  42. Dannie Owens‏@DAOWENS44

    The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2012 http://bit.ly/YJvV8F

    Like

  43. rikyrah says:

    You’re getting me in the Christmas spirit, SG2.

    Thank you.

    Like

  44. NAACP’s Ben Jealous: Koch Brothers Did Us a Favor When They Grabbed for Our Rights and Galvanized Our Community

    http://j.mp/UlY2ph

    ____________

    …Don’t mess with us!

    Like

  45. Potus on Twitter

    President Barack Obama participates in a Twitter live question and answer session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 3, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Like

  46. Mark Knoller‏@markknoller

    Today at the WH: Pres Obama pitches his tax cut extension plan to 6 governors including Markell (D-DE) and Fallin (R-OK) of Natl Govs Assn.

    Like

  47. 2008 Democratic Debate Iowa-Hillary

    Like

  48. Barack Obama’s Coolest Presidential Moments

    Like

  49. Good morning, everyone!

    Holidays image

    Like

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