Tuesday Open Thread

Joe Simon (born September 2, 1943, Simmesport, Louisiana[1]) is a chart-topping, Grammy Award winning, soul and R&B artist.

Like many other African-American artists from the era, Simon began singing in his father’s Baptist church. He pursued his vocal abilities full-time once the family moved to Richmond (near Oakland, California) in the late 1950s. There Simon joined the Golden West Gospel Singers and became influenced by Sam Cooke and Arthur Prysock. With this, the group decided to turn secular and recorded “Little Island Girl” as the Golden Tones in 1959.

Hush Records label owners Gary and Carla Thompson urged Simon to record on his own, and in 1964 Simon scored considerable success on the Vee-Jay label with “My Adorable One”. Simon scored again in 1965 on the Chicago based label with “Let’s Do It Over”, which landed a #13 spot on Billboard‘s R&B chart. However, the Vee-Jay label folded soon after the latter song’s release and Simon found himself traveling across the country singing.

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.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

122 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Breaking News:

    Democrat Kathy Hochul wins NY 26 Election

    • Ametia says:

      LOL via Twitter. “Houchul wins; yeah , it’s probably Obama’s fault for drinking that 40 in that Irish pub.” BWA HA HA

  2. Ametia says:

    Tim Pawlenty: Another Motherfucker for America:

    What is it with Republican governors of the upper Midwest? Tim Pawlenty, for instance, and Scott Walker both have the soulless, inbred, half-mast eyes of pedophiles staring at a school playground and masturbating inside a van. Seriously, if you saw one of these bastards in the woods, you’d fuckin’ run because you’d feel sure that he’d saw off your head and skullfuck you.

    Pawlenty announced yesterday that, no, really, seriously this time, he’s a-runnin’ for president (or, in the popular parlance, “losing to Barack Obama”). In a short video with choral music, like angels want him to be in the White House, Pawlenty tells us all about how he’s not going to tell us he’s running for president, except in the way that he’s telling us he’s running for president, and, boy, doesn’t Obama suck, and, hey, look, he used Google to tell him how to announce. Go, Team T-Paw, go.

    It’s easy to dismiss Pawlenty as mind-thuddingly dull, but that doesn’t give him near enough credit for how much of a typical Republican motherfucker he actually is. Not only was he elected governor twice with less than 50% of the vote (that’s right: Tim Pawlenty couldn’t even get half his own state to vote for him), but when it comes to taxes and budget cuts, the safety of rich people’s wallets is more important than the safety of the lives of his citizens.

    ‘Cause T-Paw (and that ain’t mocking – this motherfucker calls himself that idiotic nickname, as if he’s a rapper straight outta Eden Prairie) is goddamn proud of his budget-wrangling prowess. His website declares, “Tim set a record for vetoes and for using executive power to force necessary spending cuts.” And what kinds of bills did he veto? Well, shit, ones that affected public works, like, you know, bridge repair.

    See, Pawlenty was governor in August 2007, when the I-35 Mississippi River bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, killing 13 people and creating a huge economic headache for the region. As has been well, well-documented, the bridge was one of hundreds in Minnesota that were ranked as “structurally deficient” by inspectors.

    So, no, Pawlenty couldn’t have known that it would be that bridge that would collapse. But when a thousand or so bridges in one’s state are fucked up, you’d think repairing them might be something you wouldn’t scrimp on (and Pawlenty’s not the only politician that sees infrastructure as a waste of money that offers no dividends in the next election). T-Paw, though, either spent way too little or just outright vetoed shit. In January 2007, Pawlenty proposed a budget for transportation needs that borrowed millions of dollars and contained no new gas taxes (which hadn’t changed in 20 years). Hell, even after the bridge went underwater, Pawlenty vetoed a new gas tax.

    There’s lots of reasons Pawlenty’s a motherfucker, like his pardoning of a child molester because the guy later married his victim. And there’s a telecom bribery scandal that could bite him in the ass.

    But, instead, the Rude Pundit just wanted to concentrate on the actual governing that Pawlenty did. If Pawlenty’s major accomplishment is that he saved his state’s citizens some coin while the infrastructure literally crumbled, then perhaps it says something about the craven, greedy Republican establishment that, at this moment, Pawlenty is one of the only viable candidates they have.


  3. Ametia says:

    Israeli Prime Minister Addresses Congress
    Willing to give up land for peace
    Washington, DC
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Capitol Hill today meeting with members of Congress and delivered an address to a Joint Meeting of Congress.

    During his speech to Congress P.M. Netanyahu stated, “As President Obama said, borders will be different than 1967. Israel will not return to ‘indefensible’ borders.” He added “It’s absolutely vital that a Palestinian state be demilitarized.”

    He suggested that Israel is “willing” to advance the negotiations but must “make painful compromises” for peace.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Netanyahu and Congressional Leaders also held a briefing with reporters following the joint meeting.

    To members of AIPAC last night, Netanyahu said, “Israel cannot return to the indefensible 1967 line,” which President Obama said is the foundation for negotiation.



  4. rikyrah says:

    May 24, 2011 10:45 AM

    At the intersection of candor, callousness, and conservatism

    When President Obama criticizes the Republican plan to end Medicare, he has some pretty standard rhetoric.

    “It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors,” Obama has said more than once. “It says that 10 years from now, if you’re a 65-year-old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck — you’re on your own.”

    What’s interesting, though, is when congressional Republican effectively respond, “Damn straight.”

    In general, GOP officials like to keep up a certain pretense. They’re not “ending” Medicare; they’re “saving” Medicare. They don’t want to screw over the elderly; they want to give seniors “choices.”

    It’s so much more refreshing when Republicans just say what they believe.

    Rep. Rob Woodall, a Georgia Republican, made a vigorous ideological defense of ending Medicare as it currently exists, telling seniors at a local town hall that they ought not look to the government to provide health care for the elderly just because their private employer doesn’t offer health benefits for retirees.

    A Woodall constituent raised a practical obstacle to obtaining coverage in the private market within the confines of an employer-based health insurance system: What happens when you retire?

    “The private corporation that I retired from does not give medical benefits to retirees,” the woman told the congressman in video captured a local Patch reporter in Dacula, Ga.

    “Hear yourself, ma’am. Hear yourself,” Woodall told the woman. “You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, ‘When do I decide I’m going to take care of me?’”

    At the same event, when another constituent suggested the voucher may be inadequate in covering growing health care costs, Woodall suggested she leave the United States to go to one of the other industrialized countries that offer coverage for everyone.

    This is important rhetoric. Woodall is obviously something of an extremist, but at least he’s presenting the Republican agenda in stark, cold terms. His remarks come at the intersection of candor, callousness, and conservatism — seniors who worked for companies that don’t offer benefits to retirees are out of luck. If they didn’t save enough to cover their own medical bills, they’ll just have to suffer or go to some other country.

    The last thing Woodall wants to do is “save” Medicare. He prefers a system in which Medicare doesn’t exist and seniors fend for themselves.

    I congratulate the right-wing congressman for being so straightforward in his presentation of the Republican agenda, and can only hope others in the GOP are as truthful and candid in their own rhetoric. Americans deserve a real debate about competing visions of the future, and Rob Woodall, as ridiculously conservative as he is, has presented an agenda the public deserves to consider.


    • creolechild says:

      Remember this?

      “Speaking to a town hall audience last week, freshmen Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) cautioned his constituents against raising taxes on wealthy Americans. As he made his case, he meandered into an explanation of his own personal wealth, which he said was not particularly noteworthy, saying he was “just like the rest of you folks.” The small crowd was made up of police officers, public school teachers, a city council member, and about fifteen others from the Tusayan area:

      GOSAR: In the last election I was labeled a millionaire. Seriously. I ain’t wealthy. I built my own house, I wouldn’t do it again. I own my building, I have a dental practice. I live just like the rest of you folks. It’s all on paper, it’s not in cash.


      “Reliable wealth data is unavailable for Arizona’s first congressional district, the vast, largely rural area represented by Gosar. However, the median income is about $32,900 — a far cry below Gosar’s approximate $174,000 a year gig as a member of Congress. As Gosar mentions, he also owns substantial real estate, including a building worth up to $1 million, a dental practice worth up to $500,000, an antique store worth up to $500,000, and other assets.”


    • Ametia says:

      This is exactly what REPUBLICAN ROB WOODALL wants for Grandma & Grandpa!

  5. Ametia says:

    McHenry is a DOUCHEBAG!

  6. rikyrah says:

    Olympia Snowe Will Vote ‘No’ On House GOP budget

    Add Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to the list of Republicans who plan to vote against the Paul Ryan budget when it comes up for a vote in the Senate this week.

    “I am going to vote no on the budget because I have deep and abiding concerns about the approach on Medicare, which is essentially to privatize it,” Snowe told The Portland Press Herald on Tuesday.

    She added that the House GOP budget’s proposal to block grant Medicaid and let states decide how to distribute the funds was also troubling.

    “The states are the great laboratories,” Snowe said. “But we also have an overall obligation to serve specific populations under Medicaid. We don’t want to encourage a race to the bottom.”

    The Maine lawmakers joins Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Scott Brown (R-MA), and Rand Paul (R-KY) who have all declared their “no” vote early. Snowe, Collins, and Brown have cited its impact on seniors’ Medicare benefits as their chief disagreement while Paul wants its overall cuts to go even further. Collins and Paul have made their position known for some time. Brown announced his position on Monday with an op-ed in Politico.


  7. rikyrah says:

    More Solid Proof That Obamacare Is Working
    Recent data provided by the nation’s largest health insurance companies reveals that a provision of the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is bringing big numbers of the uninsured into the health care insurance system.

    And they are precisely the uninsured that we want– the young people who tend not to get sick.

    The provision of the law that permits young adults under 26, long the largest uninsured demographic in the country, to remain on their parents’ health insurance program resulted in at least 600,000 newly insured Americans during the first quarter of 2011.

    Wellpoint, the nation’s largest publicly traded health insurer with some 34 million customers, reports adding 280,000 new members in the first three months of 2011.

    Add in the results of some of the other large health insurers including Aetna, who added just short of 100,000 newly insured to their customer base, Kaiser Permanente’s additional 90,000, and Highmark’s 72,000 new customers, and we begin to sense our health insurance pools are filling up with some badly needed young blood.

    The Health & Human Services Department had estimated that the changes in the law would result in about 1.2 million new enrollees in 2011. However, according to Aaron Smith, the executive director of a Washington based non-profit that advocates for the young, it now looks as if that number will be exceeded.

    This is very good news – particularly for those in the individual and small group markets that tend not to ‘self-insure’ as the larger corporations tend to do.

    It is also very good news for those of us who write a large check every month for our health coverage.

    For starters, every one of the young immortals we add to the rolls of the insured is one less young adult who will turn to the emergency room to fix a broken leg and then find themselves unable to pay the bill – leaving it to the rest of us to pay the tab.

    And it gets better.

    Because the under 26 crowd tends not to get sick, adding them to the insurance pools helps bring the very balance that was intended by the new law. The more healthy people available to pay for those in the pool who are ill (translation- the older people), the better the system works and the lower our premium charges should go.

    One cannot help but notice that the health insurance companies turned in record profits for the first quarter of 2011 due, according the insurance companies, to fewer people seeking medical treatment.

    When you add into their customer base a large number of people who are paying premiums but are less likely to get sick (the young adult demographic), this would be the expected result.


    • Ametia says:

      BAM! Thanks for posting this on the open thread. I posted it in the “President Obama’s Accomplishments” Pages this morning. We had a troll drop in on our page and bash “OBAMACARE.”

    • creolechild says:

      (Thank you to TiMT at The People’s View for writing this article, and last but not least to Deaniac for providing a great site!) Here are excerpts from TiMT’s article:

      “….In the article, Obama Is Now and Will Be a Great President , Schaeffer speaks of the incredible leadership qualities of our President, his effectiveness, how in the face of so much adversity from the Left and obstructionism from the Right and the Racists, how he has threaded carefully to succeed in a job that can break the soul of anyone by outsmarting his opponents including the MSM that is always interested in creating drama than reporting honest and intelligent news.”

      “It was rather a fascinating read that pretty much sums up the last two years especially considering what this President was faced when he assumed the Presidency. Losing 700,000 jobs a month two January ago, “two wars, the worst economic crisis since the depression, America’s standing in the world at the lowest point in history, a country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war, a health care system in free fall, an educational system in free fall, a global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions”, an auto industry in shambles, a skyrocketing debt owned by foreign Countries that can easily create a hostage situation of our constitution giving them foreign veto power over us and so many other challenges.”

      “So many problems, so much adversity, so much impatience, so little time to fix everything to please everyone, so much criticism, but how did he do it all so far despite the fact that he had so many desperate forces both from the Right and the Left taking any potential momentum away from him?”

      “Frank Schaeffer eloquently lays it all out without holding back and if you have not read the whole article, you won’t be disappointed….”


      • creolechild says:

        That said, I want to also state my unadulterated appreciation to Ametia and SouthernGirl2 for allowing me to post material here.

        I think this site is important and provides a valuable service for those who don’t have the time, or energy, to wade through the Internet trying to find information that’s relevant to our daily lives.


      • Ametia says:

        Thank you for posting this commentary from TiMT at The People’s View, creolechild.
        We’re in this together, and 3 Chics appreciate sharing of good facts and solid truths about what is happening in our world and all the good things our president is doing.

        Keep it coming!

  8. rikyrah says:

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    The Real Deal

    by digby

    So I’ve been hearing that conservatives can’t be racists because some of their best candidates are black. I wonder how this fits into that thesis. Here we have a major social conservative on the subject of Obama’s trip to Ireland:

    He can’t talk enough about how white he is and how white his heritage is. And you compare that to, say, Herman Cain – you know, Herman Cain was just joking around about being the real Black man in the presidential race and President Obama kind of helping reinforce what Herman Cain has said in jest.

    President Obama is half-white, and half-black; Herman Cain is all black; he’s authentically black; he is the real black man in the race.

    So we’ll see how all of that plays out. I mean, President Obama celebrating his Irish heritage, I mean there is just something about that I just find, I just find that comical, frankly.

    That’s an interesting twist.

    Here’s the thing. Racist types always like the “good ones”, the ones who “know how to behave” and do all the right things. They always have. Unfortunately “most of them” aren’t “good ones.” (You know how “they” are.) Nothing racist about that at all.



    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “Here’s the thing. Racist types always like the “good ones”, the ones who “know how to behave” and do all the right things. They always have. Unfortunately “most of them” aren’t “good ones.” (You know how “they” are.) Nothing racist about that at all.”

      Yepper, the shuckin, buckin dancin’ coons like Herman Cain.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    One step to the left

    by digby

    Greg Sargent has a very interesting analysis today which I hope is being read by the Democrats. If Greg is right, the Republicans may end up pushing the Democrats to the left on “entitlements”. I can’t remember the last time that the actual center of gravity moved in my direction on this issue and I’m almost afraid to believe it.

    Democrats would do themselves a favor if they paid close attention to this report from Ben Smith, which says that Republicans will respond to the Dem offensive on Medicare by going hard at Dems from the left:
    Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed yesterday to make the Medicare changes in Paul Ryan’s budget a defining campaign issue for Senate Republicans in 2012 — but Republicans plan to respond by reviving criticism of cuts to the Medicare Advantage program that were built into the 2010 health care bill…

    “He and every other Senate Democrat went on to vote for it.” one Republican staffer emails. “We’d agree with Schumer that in races such as this Medicare will be a key issue.”

    Republicans ran hard on the issue of Medicare cuts during the 2010 campaign — and it was part of the reason that senior citizens swung so hard towards GOP candidates.

    Of course, Republicans are already pursuing this strategy. In the special House election in New York’s 26th district, where the GOP candidate is in trouble over her support for Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it, Republicans are fighting back by accusing the Democrat of wanting Medicare cuts because she said Medicare should be on the table.

    This strategy — attacking Dems from the left on Medicare, just as Dems are doing to Republicans — amounts to an admission that Dems are winning the argument over Ryancare. It’s an effort to muddy the waters by persuading the public that both parties agree on the need to cut Medicare and even change it in a fundamental way — and that the only argument is over the details.

    They can try that. But the Democrats have 60 years of built up credibility on this — and the elderly are the most aware of that of any demographic in the country. If the Dems don’t lose their nerve and start frantically negotiating for no reason they are in the driver’s seat. As Greg concludes:

    Putting aside the argument over the merits of the GOP and Pelosi policy approaches, the political dynamic here could not be clearer. Dems, you have now been put on notice: If you agree to deep cuts in Medicare in the Biden-led talks, Republicans will see to it that you lose the political advantage you have built up by attacking Ryan’s plan. You may even lose the general advantage you have built up over the generations by positioning yourselves as defenders of signature Democratic policy achievements on entitlements. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

    They have been warned. From the sound of Pelosi’s rhetoric, she gets this: “we have a plan, it’s called Medicare.” This is how to do it. Seniors are old enough to remember which party signed it into law — and which one has been fighting it for decades. It’s a Democratic plan and they know it.

    And what’s the downside in terms of policy? The Republicans have been backed into a wall and are now in the process of negotiating with senior citizens about how they are the better protectors of Medicare. True, they are completely disingenuous — they don’t believe in any government safety net programs. But the more they have to pander to seniors for votes, the more they’re finding out that seniors will not stand for any cuts to these programs. This is good news for the safety net. It is already pushing the Democrats away from the precipice (if they value their own hides at all) and could eventually lead to sane reforms such as raising the cap on social security and overall cost controls in health care generally.


  10. rikyrah says:

    May 24, 2011 2:10 PM

    Time for another victory lap

    By Steve Benen

    White House officials have made no secret of the fact that they want more credit for successfully rescuing the American automotive industry, one of President Obama’s biggest but under-reported success stories. The president’s team not only wants to help get the word out, but also intends to use this to boost Obama’s standing in states like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.

    Fortunately for the White House, all of the news related to the bailout continues to be good.

    Chrysler said Tuesday that it had paid back $7.6 billion in loans from the American and Canadian governments, marking another significant step in the revival of the company, the smallest of the Detroit automakers.

    Chrysler said it made payments of $5.9 billion to the United States Treasury and $1.7 billion to Export Development Canada in a series of transactions completed Tuesday morning. The payments retired outstanding loans and covered interest on the debt.

    Chrysler’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, planned to formally announce the move at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at an assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Mich…. “The loans gave us a rare second chance to demonstrate what the people of this company can deliver,” Mr. Marchionne said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to those whose intervention allowed Chrysler Group to re-establish itself as a strong and viable carmaker.”

    The Obama administration is hailing the repayment as proof that its policy worked — an argument that has the benefit of being true. Indeed, Obama’s policy has proven so effective, Chrysler is paying back American taxpayers six years early.

    Remember, when the loans went out, most believed we’d never see that money again, and that Chrysler would fail anyway. Indeed, it was one of the main Republican talking points in 2009 — the rescue would fail, so it’s better to let the industry die.

    As E.J. Dionne Jr. recently noted, “Far too little attention has been paid to the success of the government’s rescue of the Detroit-based auto companies, and almost no attention has been paid to how completely and utterly wrong bailout opponents were when they insisted it was doomed to failure.”

    With this in mind, Democrats are on the offensive, calling out Republican presidential candidates who saw the crisis and said officials should do nothing. This video was released by the DNC this morning

    At a certain level, this is a double-whammy for the GOP. Not only did Obama’s policy work when Republicans guaranteed the opposite, but this also serves as an example of the federal government working effectively and competently to rescue the backbone of American manufacturing.

    It’s no wonder the White House wants another victory lap.


    • creolechild says:

      After you look at those photos remember that Eric Canto said this:

      “In recent days we have talked a lot about Rep. Paul Ryan and his band of House Republicans championing a draconian and disastrous budget plan that will end Medicare as we know it. It is not very difficult to discern how cruel this plan is. Ryan’s plan will force seniors to pay more than twice as much out-of-pocket, and slash half a trillion in benefits and services through Medicaid, putting insurance companies back in charge of health care and nursing home benefits for tens millions of seniors and families.”

      “The word that comes into mind when you read about this plan is an old-fashioned one: HEARTLESS.”

      “It’s the word that comes to mind when you hear the latest from Republican Leader Eric Cantor, who is out there saying Congress will not pay for the heart-breaking and unprecedented tornado disaster relief in Missouri unless spending is “cut from somewhere else…”:


      Thank you, murshedz!

      • Ametia says:

        I’m overcome with sadness for a dear friend who lives in Joplin. He’s 87 years old, and I’ve been trying to reach him since Sunday without success. I want to remain hopeful, but as each day goes by….

        So folks like Eric Cantor, can just go fuck themselves.

      • creolechild says:

        I hope that he will be found in time and is okay, Ametia. It may take a while for everything to get sorted out. Keep your head up!

      • Ametia says:

        Thank you, creolechild. We’ e gotten word that his house and car was flattened. Only one death reported on his street so far, and it’s not him. Prayers to the families who have lost their loved ones.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi Creolechild, I just got word that my friend is alive. He rode out the storm in his bath tub. He’s staying with aquaintances for now. God is Merciful and GOOD.

      • Thank you, Jesus, for Ametia’s friend!

  11. Ametia says:

    Will Dems Give Up Their Political Advantage On Medicare In Debt Limit Fight?
    Brian Beutler | May 24, 2011, 1:48PM

    Is it possible that Democrats will squander the political advantage on Medicare that they just regained over Republicans? It could happen.

    At his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters Tuesday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) confirmed what aides in both parties have been telling reporters: Cuts to Medicare will be on the table in deficit and debt limit negotiations, led by Vice President Joe Biden.

    After arguing that Democrats made significant headway toward extending Medicare’s solvency with the health care law, Hoyer said, “Do I believe that there are other things we can do related to Medicare? The answer is I do. I’m not going to get into articulating each one, but my expectation is they will be under discussion by the Biden group.”

    As explained here, there’s little or no common ground between the parties on the question of how to make Medicare fundamentally sustainable. That’s why House Republicans voted to privatize Medicare, while President Obama wants to give Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board more power to change the health care system, and neither party wants anything to do with the other’s prescription.

    But there are any number of ways to cut Medicare spending without “fixing” the Medicare debt problem — from means testing, to raising the retirement age, to reducing reimbursement rates, and so on. Not all of them constitute benefit cuts, but many of them do.

    If a grand bargain on spending includes Medicare benefit cuts that both parties buy into, it will further expose the shambolic nature of the last two years’ politics. But more to the point, it will blunt Democrats’ ability to run against the House Republican vote to privatize, and, yes slash Medicare. And it will hurt Senate Democrats, many more of whom will be up for re-election in 2012 than will their Republicans colleagues. Their opponents won’t have Paul Ryan’s budget to answer for — but they will have the Dems’ vote for the deficit grand bargain, and the Medicare cuts therein.

    As Greg Sargent points out, and Republican congressional aides are happy to confirm, Republicans are eager to keep attacking Democrats from the left on Medicare, just like they did in 2010. The NRSC is pushing poll numbers from a progressive group showing Democrats remain vulnerable on Medicare cuts. And a number of Republicans are reissuing their attacks on Democrats for supporting Medicare cuts in the health care law, even though those cuts are preserved in the House GOP Budget.

    If Democrats sign on broadly to more Medicare cuts in the Biden talks, it’ll give the guys who want to privatize Medicare plenty of ammunition.


    • creolechild says:

      “One of the major strategies that Republicans have used to try to undermine support for the recently passed federal health care law is to claim that it made huge cuts to Medicare for America’s senior citizens. This claim is misleading, because the cuts were primarily made to Medicare Advantage, a Medicare program administered by private insurers which is far less efficient than traditional Medicare. It is also somewhat hypocritical, given the fact that Republicans have declared themselves steadfastly opposed to government health care programs yet portrayed themselves as defenders of the world’s largest single payer health care system.”

      “Current GOP Conference Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is one of those conservatives who blasted the health care law for cutting Medicare. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last month, Hensarling noted that the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission had few health care recommendations. He called this a “bow to the left and the White House, which cut Medicare by $500 billion to finance a corner of ObamaCare”:


      “Needless to say, it is incredibly cynical for Hensarling — and any of the other Republicans who support the Ryan plan — to complain about cuts to Medicare Advantage under Obama’s health law while simultaneously backing a proposal that would essentially end the program as we know it and leave millions of seniors on their own to contend with the health insurance industry.”


  12. Ametia says:

    Thanks, creolechild!

  13. Ametia says:

    Poll: Majority unlikely to back Klobuchar if she votes to cut Medicare, Social Security
    72 percent of Minnesotans oppose budget balancing through retirement cuts

    By Paul Schmelzer | 05.24.11 | 10:21 am
    Don’t mess with Medicare and Social Security: That’s the message that progressive groups are gleaning from a new poll of swing state voters. Commissioned by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), Democracy for America, MoveOn.org and Credo Action, the survey’s results show overwhelming opposition to cuts in both areas. In fact, in Minnesota, 72 percent of respondents were opposed to Social Security cuts, while a majority of Minnesotans polled said they were less likely to back Sen. Amy Klobuchar next election if she votes to reduce Social Security benefits.

    The Minnesota poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, questioned 1,000 likely Minnesota voters on May 2 and 3. Results sent to the Minnesota Independent by the groups show that 55 percent of those surveyed said they’d be less likely to vote for Klobuchar if she voted to cut benefits or raise the retirement age. Sixteen percent were more likely, while 29 percent said it made no difference.

    When asked about what a vote by Klobuchar to cut Medicare or Medicaid benefits would mean come November, the percent of voters less likely to support her jumped to 57 percent. Seventeen percent said they’d be more likely to back her, while 26 percent said it didn’t matter. The poll’s margin of error is 4.4 percent.

    Yesterday, the same coalition of groups released results that showed overwhelming opposition to balancing the budget through Social Security cuts. Conducted in states where incumbent Democratic senators are up for re-election next year, the survey asked:

    In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Social Security, which is the retirement program for the elderly?

    Ohio: 16% support, 80% oppose
    Missouri: 17% support, 76% oppose
    Montana: 20% support, 76% oppose
    Minnesota: 23% support, 72% oppose

    The findings show that supporting Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan’s plan to change Medicare may come with considerable electoral risk, the poll’s commissioners say.

    “Any Democratic incumbent who votes to reduce Social Security benefits or cut Medicare will be walking the plank,” says PCCC co-founder Adam Green. “Democrats need to take programs like Social Security and Medicare firmly off the table and fight hard to pass popular investments in jobs and popular tax increases on oil companies, Wall Street, and the rich.”


    THIS: ““Democrats need to take programs like Social Security and Medicare firmly off the table and fight hard to pass popular investments in jobs and popular tax increases on oil companies, Wall Street, and the rich.”

    • creolechild says:

      Klobuchar should get her mind right because the President has clearly indicated where he stands on this issue. That is all.

      “To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”


      -President Barack Obama in the State of the Union Address, January 25, 2011

      • Ametia says:

        Here’s the video of PBO’s address to the nation on the budget/deficit. It REALLY needs to be revisted.

      • Ametia says:

        Excerpts from video:

        “We recognize that, no matter how responsibly we live our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff may strike any one of us. “There but for the grace of God go I,” we say to ourselves.
        And so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, those with disabilities.
        OBAMA: We’re a better country because of these commitments.
        I’ll go further: We would not be a great country without those commitments.
        And for much of the last century, our nation found a way to afford these investments and priorities with the taxes paid by its citizens. As a country that values fairness, wealthier individuals have traditionally borne a greater share of this burden than the middle class or those less fortunate; everybody pays, but the wealthier have borne a little more.
        This is not because we begrudge those who’ve done well. We rightly celebrate their success.
        Instead, it’s a basic reflection of our belief that those who benefited most from our way of life can afford to give back a little — a little bit more.
        OBAMA: Moreover, this belief hasn’t hindered the success of those at the top of the income scale. They continue to do better and better with each passing year.
        Now, at certain times — particularly during war or recession — our nation has had to borrow money to pay for some of our priorities. And as most families understand, a little credit card debt isn’t going to hurt, if it’s temporary.
        But as far back as the 1980s, America started amassing debt at more alarming levels, and our leaders began to realize that a larger challenge was on the horizon.
        They knew that eventually, the baby boom generation would retire, which meant a much bigger portion of our citizens would be relying on programs like Medicare, Social Security and possibly Medicaid.
        Like parents with young children who know they have to start saving for the college years, America had to start borrowing less and saving more to prepare for the retirement of an entire generation.
        To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit — three times. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush, then made by President Clinton, by Democratic Congresses and by a Republican Congress.
        All three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice, but they largely protected the middle class, they largely protected our commitments to seniors, they protected our key investments in our future.
        Most of us, regardless of party affiliation, believe that we should have a strong military and a strong defense. Most Americans believe we should invest in education and medical research. Most Americans think we should protect commitments like Social Security and Medicare.


        THIS: OBAMA: Who are these 50 million Americans?
        Many are somebody’s grandparents, maybe one of yours, who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid.
        Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some are these kids with disabilities are — the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care.
        These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.
        And, worst of all, this is a vision that says even though Americans can’t afford to invest in education at current levels or clean energy, even though we can’t afford to maintain our commitment on Medicare and Medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy.
        Think about that.
        In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of all working Americans actually declined. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. That’s who needs to pay less taxes?
        They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors to each pay $6,000 more in health costs.
        That’s not right, and that’s not going to happen as long as I’m president.

  14. Ametia says:

    AP-GfK Poll: Medicare doesn’t have to be cut

    Posted on 5/23/2011

    A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows most Americans don’t believe Medicare or Social Seurity has to be cut to balance the federal budget.

    54 percent polled said it’s possible to balance the budget without cutting spending for Medicare.

    59 percent polled said the same about Social Security.

    Extremely Important
    70 percent in the poll said Social Security is “extremely” or “very” important to their financial security in retirement, and 72 percent said so for Medicare.

    84 percent of those 65 or older said both programs are central to their financial security.

    One-Third of Government Spending
    Combined, Social Security and Medicare account for about a third of government spending.

    Read the AP story

    • creolechild says:

      About Medicare…

      “It’s been a little more than a year since the Affordable Care Act became law, but seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare are already reaping its benefits. Thanks to the new law, seniors have access to free preventive care and a free annual wellness visit. People who hit the Medicare prescription drug donut hole are getting a 50 percent discount on their prescription drugs. We have protected and expanded guaranteed benefits for all 47 million Americans on Medicare. And estimates indicate that the new benefits and services provided to seniors by the Affordable Care Act will save the typical senior over $3,500 over the next decade.”

      “Today, we are releasing State-by-State charts that provide more detailed information on how seniors in your State are benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. Check out the data for your State below.” [CLICK ON LINK TO SEE DATA.]

      “Unfortunately, some in Congress want to undo this progress and take us backwards. Under the Republican Medicare plan, a typical 65-year-old who becomes eligible for Medicare would pay an extra $6,400 than what he or she would pay if the plan were not adopted. You can learn more about the Republican plan here.”

      “President Obama is committed to strengthening Medicare and building on the Affordable Care Act. As the new charts show, millions of seniors are already receiving better health care and paying less thanks to this landmark law – and, each year, these benefits will get even better.”


    • Ametia says:

      Tee hee hee

      Dems take victory lap, jab Republicans, on positive Chrysler news
      By Michael O’Brien – 05/24/11 05:00 AM ET

      Democrats took a victory lap Tuesday to celebrate Chrysler’s repaying of its bailout, and hit the Republicans who opposed the rescue of the Detroit automaker.

      As Chrysler prepared to pay the remaining $7.5 billion in loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) celebrated, arguing that Detroit would have gone bankrupt if not for the actions of President Obama

      The DNC released a new Web video containing clips of Republican presidential contenders publicly opposing the administration’s bailouts for Chrysler and General Motors (GM) in early 2009.

      The U.S. granted billions to Chrysler in early 2009 to finance its acquisition by the Italian automaker Fiat, while GM received tens of billions from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Each company received the billions in exchange for a quick bankruptcy that involved its restructuring.

      Both GM and Chrysler have shown signs of health since their bailouts, and have made strides toward repaying their loans. But the DNC sought to hammer the Republicans, who, at the time, had opposed the assistance. The video singles out former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) for opposing the bailouts. Romney’s opposition was especially significant, since he was raised in Michigan, where his father was governor for three terms and served as CEO of American Motors.

      “Two years later, after President Obama made the tough choices to put the American auto industry on firmer financial footing and save millions of American jobs … it’s important to remember that Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and other leading Republicans would have simply ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’ ” the DNC said. “Put simply, Republicans got it wrong — and had they had their way, millions of additional Americans would be unemployed and car-making states would have been devastated.”

      Democrats appear set to get as much political traction as possible out of the positive news for the auto industry, hosting a conference call on Tuesday with former Govs. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) and Ted Strickland (D-Ohio), along with the head of the United Auto Workers (UAW), to promote the Chrysler revival.

      The celebration also has political significance across the Midwest, especially in Michigan, where the auto industry made its home for generations. Democrats have performed well in the state in recent years, especially in Detroit, before giving up some Republican gains in 2010, which the GOP is hoping to sustain through 2012.


    • creolechild says:

      Thank you, Deaniac, at The People’s View! Excellent analysis…as usual. The entire article is worth a read…

      “Chris Hedges is the Truthdig author who published Cornel West’s racist, antisemitic screed last week. After the liberal and progressive voices were out there took Prof. West to task and summarily condemned the nasty racism and bigotry that Prof. West displayed, Hedges was apparently unhappy that his attempt to hide behind Cornel West’s race baiting to cover his own had been a flop. So in his Truthdig column yesterday, he doubled down, calling West a “prophet” and delving in a self-congratulating pathetic diatribe of bitter, angry and false complaints against the Democratic party and what he calls the “liberal class.”

      “Hedge’s argument, in a nutshell, is that you can’t be considered to be on the Left unless all you do is oppose “the state.” He manages to trash every cornerstone of a free and democratic society, along with any organized group that has ever made progress in the long history of this country.”


      “Hedges is now doing two monumentally dumb (and dumbfounding things): (a) irony of ironies, lamenting how horrible this press is (you want to talk about establishment press, you will hardly find a better example than the New York Time) that he worked for and made money in all his life, and (b) spreading the stupendous myth of a liberal bias in our press, educational institutions and – oh, no – culture! Why doesn’t he just say teh gays are trying to recruit your children in our public schools by making them read the Washington Post? With friends like Hedges spreading right wing propaganda so freely, who needs the Tea Party?”

      Chris Hayes: “The state, now the repository of the hopes and dreams of the liberal class, should always have been seen as the enemy. The destruction of the old radical and militant movements—the communists, socialists and anarchists—has left liberals without a source of new ideas.”

      “Yes, let’s all be radical militants. The top of the Tea Party food chain could not have put it any better. The government is the enemy, and stateless anarchism is the great source of new ideas. Insanity at its best.”

      “But this quote also makes something else rather clear as to the mindset of Chris Hedges, his pal Cornel West, and their numerous admirers on the supposed “Left”: they see the government as incurably corrupt, and believe that change cannot be affected by public policy. This is why Barack Obama is such a threat to them: he is proving that axiom wrong and useless.”

      ” While the President has always maintained that the lion’s share of the work to bring change is done by everyday citizens, he has proven that properly managed and lead, government can be an able partner in making change happen. He has shown that public policy is an indispensable tool to building a more perfect union and a more just society. He has shown that the state, as Hedges puts it, by nature is neither good nor bad but that it can be an agent for either depending on leadership and governance.”

      “In other words, Barack Obama has proven that government matters. He has proven who is in power matters. He has showed, beyond any doubt, that democracy calls for an informed citizenry, eternal vigilance, hard work, and citizen involvement – and that when these factors are present, Americans (and really, any free people) can affect positive change through public policy. Barack Obama has proven that the choice of progress vs. regress, equality vs. bigotry and responsibility vs. laizzes faire matter in government. And so, he is as much a pariah to Dick Armey as he is to Chris Hedges. From Dick Armey’s perspective, the rouse of how government is an evil liberal plot to take away all your money and therefore can never be on your corner has been taken away. And from Hedges’ perspective, the equally frivolous shtick that government is an evil corporatist plot to keep the peasants in check and therefore can never be in your corner has been decimated. While Armey is busy describing Obama as a communist, Hedges calls him a fascist (i.e. the head of what he calls a “corporatist state”).”


  15. Ametia says:

    Let’s remind folks of what some of their states might experience if their governors don’t work with their local officials to take care of INFRASTRUCTURE!

    ***LOOKING @ Former MINNESOTA Governor Tim Pawlenty, now presidential candidate***

    Excerpt: I’ve lived in Minneapolis for 12 years, and there has been no other event in this city that have I witnessed that was so heartbreaking and preventable than the I-35 W Mississippi River Bridge collapse.


    • creolechild says:

      Thank you for posting this, Ametia. I think people have to really start seeing what’s going on around us, the causes behind it, and resolve to work together to take this country in a new direction. How much more evidence is needed that Republicans and some Democrats are not interested in doing what’s best for Americans….

      • Ametia says:

        Creolechild, folks here are still reeling from the 35 W Bridge collaspe. Istill hear stories from friends who’d just driven across the bridge before it fell into the Mississippi River, and from folks who lost loved ones to that tragic disaster.

        It’s easy to look back and say it could have been avoidable, but it definitely behooves us all to stay on our LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS to DO THE RIGHT THING for our STATES, CITIES, AND COMMUNITIES.

        Yes, some Repubs and some Dems are not supportive of our POTUS and his administration’s efforts to move us into the
        21ST CENTURY!!!


  16. Ametia says:

    Just plain NASTY

    Evidence Said to Tie Ex-I.M.F. Chief to HousekeeperBy WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
    Evidence from the work clothes of a hotel housekeeper matched DNA samples taken from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund who has been charged with sexually assaulting her, a person briefed on the matter said Monday.

    The test results were consistent with what law enforcement officials have said about the account provided by the woman, the person briefed in the matter said.

    They are also consistent with what Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have suggested would be his defense — that a sexual encounter had indeed occurred when she came to clean his room at the Sofitel New York on May 14, but that it was consensual.

    Other test results, including ones on samples taken from the hotel suite’s carpet, were pending.

    The results described by the person briefed on the matter represented the first forensic evidence confirming that Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, had indeed engaged in a sexual act with the housekeeper, a 32-year-old woman from Guinea who was granted asylum in the United States and is raising her 15-year-old daughter. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the results had not been released.


  17. creolechild says:

    Keep an eye on this legislation, and ask yourself why these companies feel that YOU don’t have a right to limit how much of your personal information is divulged?

    “Internet behemoths Facebook, Google, Skype, and Twitter have joined forces to oppose an online privacy bill in California that would prevent the companies from displaying users’ personal information without explicit permission.”

    “The bill, SB 242, introduced by Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-California) last February, initially served to create strict safeguards for minors who wanted to utilize the websites’ social networking apparatus. But the legislation was amended to focus on all users after Facebook argued that the bill would encourage minors to lie about their age.”

    “The most recent version of the bill would also require users to choose their privacy settings while creating an account with one of the social networking sites. If a user wants information removed, the site would be required to delete it within 48 hours of the request. Failing to do so, according to the bill, would result in fines of up to $10,000 for each charge.”

    “You shouldn’t have to sign in and give up your personal information before you get to the part where you say, ‘Please don’t share my personal information,'” Corbett said of the bill, also known as the Social Networking Privacy Act.

    “In a letter to Corbett, the coalition of opponents said that the legislation was unnecessary and unconstitutional, and could potentially harm California’s technology industry.”


    • creolechild says:

      “It’s April 21, and another Dodd-Frank deadline has come and gone. Today was the day the Fed’s regulations on debit card transaction fees, also known as interchange fees, were supposed to be finalized. Hasn’t happened.”

      “Controversy over the regulations caused the Fed to postpone finalizing the rules. But that win alone wasn’t enough for the banks, which have rallied behind legislation to delay the rules by at least another year.”

      “Today they took to Twitter to continue the push, launching a “Save My Debit Card” campaign and asking people to “tell us why you love your debit card today—and why you don’t want that to change!”

      “The strange thing about this campaign is that debit cards aren’t in danger—not from the proposed regulations, at least. Some consumers participating in the #savemydebitcard campaign don’t seem to know that.”


      “Banks have warned they may end debit card rewards, increase ATM fees, get rid of “free” checking, or limit the size of debit purchases, as we’ve noted. These threats have caused some consumers to rally against rules that could lower the costs of the goods they purchase.”

      “Big banks also have made timely contributions to the campaign coffers of Sen. Jon Tester, the Montana Democrat who proposed the legislation to delay the rule. Here’s The Hill:”

      “Six days after Tester introduced his legislation, which would delay implementation of the regulations by between 12 months and 18 months, executives at TCF Financial gave his campaign nearly $16,000 in contributions, including $9,000 from the company’s political action committee.”

      “That same day, Tester received $500 contributions from two executives at Wells Fargo; $2,500 from Richard Davis, president and CEO of US Bancorp, as well as $1,000 from the company’s political action committee; $1,000 from Bank of America’s PAC; and $1,500 from Discover Financial Services’ PAC. A few days later, the American Bankers Association delivered a $5,000 contribution.”

      “The banking industry and the merchants coalition have each hired more than a hundred former government officials to lobby for their interests, according to Sunlight Foundation. All the lobbying has resulted in a good amount of spin. Some consumers still seem utterly confused about the regulation and about who would benefit.”

      “Keep the Government from taking more of our good hard earned money,” wrote one Twitter user. Wrote another: “I love my debit card because I am able to use my money for things I need rather than pay for all those bank ceo ‘bonuses.’

      “Sounds like they could use an explainer or two.”


    • Ametia says:

      These companies bare watching; they’re trying to put the squeeze on consumers to submit, hoping they’ve become addicted to their services. Trust, I’ll drop all these mofos like a hot poker.

  18. Ametia says:

    What say you to this Tim Pawlenty?

    New home sales at 4-month high, supply drops
    WASHINGTON | Tue May 24, 2011 11:57am EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New single-family home sales rose for a second straight month in April and supply was the lowest in a year, but an overhang of previously owned homes on the market will stifle any housing market recovery.

    The Commerce Department said sales increased 7.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 unit annual rate, the highest level since December, while prices also rose. Economists had expected a 300,000-unit pace.

    All four regions recorded gains in sales, with the West reporting a 15.1 percent rise. However, compared to April last year sales were down 23.1 percent.

    “Although the headline figure has moved sharply on a month-to-month basis, reflecting in part the impact of harsh weather in earlier months, the bottom line is that the new home market continues to bounce along the bottom,” said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut.

    An oversupply of used houses and a relentless wave of foreclosed properties are curbing the market for new homes, even as builders are keeping lean inventories.

    There were a record low 175,000 new homes available for sale last month, down 2.8 percent from the prior month.

    Data last week showed a steep drop in new home construction in April and a dip in sales of previously owned homes.

    “There’s still a tremendous overhang in the housing market, and while new home sales are starting to percolate, that doesn’t change the fact that we still have such huge inventory,” said Michael Yoshikami, chief investment strategist at Ycmnet Advisors in Walnut Creek, California.

    Stocks on Wall Street were little changed, while prices for U.S. government bonds fell ahead of new debt sales later in the week. The dollar fell against a basket of currencies.


    While the report cast a positive light on the housing market, it did little to change perceptions the economy remained mired in a soft patch.

    That view was reinforced by a Richmond Federal Reserve survey showing manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region stalled in May, after expanding during the previous seven months.

    The Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index came in at -6, a sharp contraction from the reading of +10 in April, dragged down by declining shipments and new orders.

    It added to a raft of other data ranging from retail sales to industrial production that have painted a picture of an economy struggling to regain momentum as the second quarter started, with employment only the bright spot.

    The government is expected to report on Thursday that the economy grew at a still tepid 2.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, according to a Reuters survey, rather than the 1.8 percent pace it estimated last month.

    The upward revision will most likely reflect a slightly faster pace of inventory accumulation than initially thought.

    The Commerce Department report also showed the median sales price for a new home rose 1.6 percent last month to $217,900. Compared with April last year, the median price increased 4.6 percent.

    At April’s sales pace, the supply of new homes on the market dropped to 6.5 months’ worth, the lowest since April last year, from 7.2 months’ worth in March.


  19. creolechild says:

    U. N. B. E. L. I. E. V. A. B. L. E. To the readers out there, please pass this on to as many people as possible!

    “Firefighters and rescue workers who arrived in Joplin, MO, found that the deadly tornado that hit the state Sunday had left a “barren, smoky wasteland” in its path. Rescue workers worked through more storms in an effort to find potential survivors, even as the death toll rose to at least 119. President Obama pledged full support to the state Monday, telling survivors, “We’re here with you. We’re going to stay by you.”

    “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), however, said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs. The Washington Times reports:

    “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.”

    “If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.


    • Ametia says:


      • creolechild says:

        “As ThinkProgress previously reported, a handful of billionaires and right-wing think tanks and foundations are pushing school voucher legislation nationwide, with the effect of undermining public education. These schemes funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools with the promise of better education for students — a claim that has never been backed up with actual evidence.”


        “Indeed, it is a stunning statement on Walker’s priorities to have championed nearly $900 million in education cuts in his budget proposal while at the same time proposing a $750 million expansion of the state’s voucher system. Yet Walker isn’t alone in cutting back funding for public schools while expanding it for private schools. ThinkProgress has assembled a list of other states that are conducting a similar tradeoff….” [CLICK ON LINK FOR DATA.]

        “By slashing funding for public schools while rapidly expanding funding for private, even religious, schools, these conservatives are showing their true colors. Their aim appears to be undermine public education and Americans should arm themselves with the facts.”


    • creolechild says:

      “Madison – Senate Republicans approved requiring people to show photo ID at the polls amid a cacophonous vote Thursday, with eight Democrats not even voting on the measure in protest and because of confusion over how the proceedings were conducted.”

      “Immediately after the 19-5 vote was tallied, the crowd in the viewing gallery thundered with chants of “Shame!” as senators exited the chamber. Later, they chanted “Recall!” and sang “We Shall Overcome.”

      “Republican Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign the bill Wednesday in a ceremony at the Capitol. “Requiring photo identification to vote will go a long way to eliminate the threat of voter fraud,” Walker said in a statement. “If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, it’s reasonable to require it to vote.”

      But Democrats decried the measure, saying it would do little to prevent voter fraud while disenfranchising thousands of minority, elderly and rural voters.

      • creolechild says:

        “Madison – Gov. Scott Walker gained the power to block rules written by state agencies and other elected state officials, under legislation he signed Monday.”

        “The Republican governor also signed into law a bill at the Capitol allowing the City of Milwaukee to sell vacant public school property held under the city’s name, something that could open up opportunities for voucher or charter schools that have been trying to expand in Milwaukee.”

        “The rules measure, which cleared the Legislature this month, allows the governor to reject proposed administrative rules used to implement state laws. Previously, the administrative rules were written by state agencies and reviewed by the Legislature. Under the measure – put forward as part of a special legislative session on jobs that Walker called in January – the governor will sign off on rules before sending them to the lawmakers.”

        “This is just one more way that we’re making it more appealing to do business in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.

        But Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said the law weakens the Legislature and gives Walker “unprecedented authority” while doing little to boost businesses. “It will limit our ability to perform our duty as a separate but equal branch of government,” Barca said.

        “Most state agencies are already controlled by the governor, making this new oversight less important in those cases. But the bill would give the governor a say for the first time in rules written by agencies such as the Department of Justice and Department of Public Instruction, which are overseen by independently elected constitutional officers.”


      • Ametia says:

        Manufactured trouble to double down on their need to suppress voters; nothing more, nothing less.

  20. Ametia says:

    Our former MN governor is a LIAR! More goodies to digest on this POSER.

    May 24, 2011 04:15 AM
    Tim Pawlenty’s ‘Truthful’ 2012 Campaign Rollout Jam Packed With Lies
    By Heather

    Ed Schultz talked to former Republican Governor of Minnesota Arne Carlson about the record Tim Pawlenty actually had as the state’s governor compared to the rhetoric we’re hearing from him on the campaign trail now.

    You can read more in the Carlson’s op ed here — The Presidency: A Bit Short is Pawlenty:

    One thing is certain about Monday’s Presidential announcement by former Governor Tim Pawlenty: he will not bring up the fact that he presided over one of the larger tax increases in Minnesota’s history. Yes, that is quite correct.

    During his two terms as Governor, property taxes rose a stunning $2.5 billion – more than the previous 16 years combined (see note below).

    To further amplify this enormous growth consider this fact: in the 8 years prior to Governor Pawlenty, property taxes rose some $716 million. Compare this to the $2.5 billion increase during the Pawlenty years. That is an approximate 250 percent increase.

    But this data also illustrates the close relationship between state and local spending in Minnesota. All too often, state budget cuts simply translate into increased local costs. This is particularly true when considering school financing and local government aids. […]

    Further evidence of this can be seen in the fact that from 2003 to today, Minnesota has been rolling from deficit to deficit and in spite of warnings from Moody’s concerning the folly of short-term fixes, Governor Pawlenty continued to achieve budget balance by employing the following:

    ➢ Borrowing over $1 billion from the tobacco settlement – money designated for health care.
    ➢ Taking over $2 billion from the federal stimulus funds.
    ➢ Borrowing over $1.4 billion from K-12 education funding.
    ➢ Borrowing over $400 million from the Healthcare Access Fund for low-income families.
    ➢ Accelerating tax payments.
    ➢ Delaying bill payments.
    ➢ Engaging in accounting shifts.

    In the process, Moody’s lowered Minnesota’s bond rating.

    Go read the rest and Think Progress’ The Wonk Room has much more on Pawlenty here — FACT CHECK: Pawlenty’s ‘Truth’ Campaign Is Already Littered With Lies:

    This morning, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) formally announced his candidacy for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination in Des Moines, Iowa, promising Americans “a different approach” to his campaign and potential presidency. “I am going to tell you the truth. The truth is, Washington’s broken,” Pawlenty declared. “It’s time for new leadership. It’s time for a new approach. And, it’s time for America’s president – and anyone who wants to be president – to look you in the eye and tell you the truth.”

    From there, Pawlenty preceded to list various “truths” about the state of the nation, many of which appear — on closer examination — to be either completely untrue or grossly exaggerated:

    They’ve got a long post there I don’t want to just copy and paste, so go read the rest as well.


  21. creolechild says:

    File this under breathtaking stupidity and proud of it! Then again, maybe she’s too stupid to be aware of the fact that she should be embarrassed… Still can’t get over the fact that voters rejected here and her running partner and elected Barack Hussein Obama. Get over it, Palin! You lost and continue to be a loser…

    “Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro Saturday that she shouldn’t get used to the idea of Barack Obama being president.”

    “We the people need to rise up say we’ll take a stand for Israel,” Palin said. “We’ll be on their side, even if our, I’m going to call him our temporary leader, because my goal is to make sure that President Obama isn’t reelected in 2012.”

    The former Alaska governor also responded to the news that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had Abba’s “Dancing Queen” for a ringtone. “I think the mood that I am in today and the venue that I am in, I’d pick Gretchen Wilson’s ‘Redneck Woman’ and I’d be proud to have that as my ringtone,” she said.


  22. creolechild says:

    No words for this tragedy:

    “It looks like TIm Pawlenty may not be as squeaky clean as he’d have you think.”

    City Pages:

    “Jeremy Giefer served time in jail in 1994 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. But you wouldn’t know it to look at the record of the man now charged with sexually molesting his daughter more than 250 times over the last eight years.”

    “That’s because two years ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and then-Chief Justice Eric Magnuson unanimously voted to wipe Giefer’s record clean, granting him a pardon extraordinary.”

    “One reason Giefer wanted his record cleared? His wife wanted to open a childcare center in the house where they live–the same house where Giefer allegedly molested his young daughter throughout the six years prior.”


    “Giefer served 45 days in jail for the transgression, and 15 years later asked for a pardon extraordinary, the term for a pardon granted to someone who has already served the sentence for the crime they committed. With a pardon extraordinary, Giefer would no longer have to report his conviction, except in special circumstances.”

    “Pawlenty and the board granted the Giefer’s request, citing the fact that Giefer was still married to the woman he had statutorily raped, and was raising their children together. It’s an odd rationale–that statutory rape is more acceptable if you marry your victim–but Pawlenty bought it hook, line and sinker and pardoned the sex offender.”

    “Flash forward to this month, when Giefer was charged with another sex crime, this time for allegedly molesting the daughter he conceived with the underage girl he statutory raped and married.”


  23. Ametia says:

    President Obama on Devastation Throughout the Midwest: “We Are Here For You”
    Posted by Kori Schulman on May 24, 2011 at 06:39 AM EDT

    Ed. Note: You can help people affected by disasters like the recent floods, tornadoes and wildfires, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world, through American Red Cross Disaster Relief. If you are in the affected areas, you can also register as “Safe and Well” to let your friends and family know you are OK.

    Before starting the day in London, President Obama took a moment to discuss the devastation in Missouri, Minnesota and across the Midwest. On Sunday, the President will travel to Missouri to talk with people who’ve been affected and local officials about response efforts to offer his assurance that the entire country is behind them. “The American people are by your side,” President Obama said, “We’re going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet. That’s my commitment, and that’s the American people’s commitment.”

    Here are President Obama’s remarks:

    Like all Americans, we have been monitoring what’s been taking place very closely and have been heartbroken by the images that we’ve seen in Joplin, Missouri, in particular. The devastation is comparable and may end up exceeding some of the devastation that we saw in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, just a few weeks ago.

    So far we know that over 100 people lost their lives. Others remain missing, and hundreds more are injured. And obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with the families who are suffering at this moment. And all we can do is let them know that all of America cares deeply about them and that we are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure that they recover.

    These storms often strike without warning, as we saw a little further south over the last couple of weeks. And it’s going to be important for us to make sure that we are sustaining our efforts at rebuilding after the news cameras leave. We can make sure that the families and communities upended by these storms have everything they need to pull through. And in that regard, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as well as I have spoken with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. We’ve offered him not only our condolences, but we’ve told him that we will give him every ounce of resources the federal government may have that we can bring to bear on this situation.

    At my direction, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Deputy Administrator Rich Serino have traveled to Missouri to make sure our federal government is working hand in hand with state and local officials to give them the help that they need. And on Sunday, I myself will travel to Missouri to talk with folks who’ve been affected, to talk to local officials about our response effort and hopefully to pray with folks and give them whatever assurance and comfort I can that the entire country is going to be behind them.

    Now, these storms that came this weekend obviously compounded what has already been an extraordinary storm season throughout the Midwest and in the South. We understand that there are more storms that are forecast today, so the thing I think I want to emphasize more than anything else, it is critical that Americans in affected areas heed storm warnings and take the lead of your local officials.

    I know that a lot of people are wondering how they’ll get through the coming days or months or even years, but I want everybody in Joplin, everybody in Missouri, everybody in Minnesota, everybody across the Midwest to know that we are here for you. The American people are by your side. We’re going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet.
    That’s my commitment, and that’s the American people’s commitment.


  24. rikyrah says:

    May 23, 2011
    ‘I [can’t] believe these idiots’
    The only word of his I’d change is “couldn’t” to “still can’t.” Former governor Ed Rendell:

    I couldn’t believe these idiots — I don’t know what else to call them — they’re idiots…. They actually made their members vote on it. It was completely stunning to me.

    Rendell was speaking, of course, of Paul Ryan’s indescribably idiotic Medicare plan, and all but four House Republicans’ vote for it, at the leadership’s request. Even if one subscribed to its unnecessary carnage in terms of policy, there remained the insurmountable hurdle of the plan having no place to go, no means of advancement, since the Senate wouldn’t pass it and the president would never sign it; hence politically it was as dunderheaded as it was a policy disaster.

    So why did the House do it? That’s the focus of a fascinating Politico story, which, try as it might, still can’t explain the inexplicable — beyond, that is, the unsatisfactory explanation of a charging herd mentality stemming from immense tea-party pressure.

    immense tea-party pressure.

    “The tea party itch has definitely not been scratched, so the voices who were saying, ‘Let’s do this in a way that’s politically survivable’ got drowned out by a kind of panic,” a top GOP consultant involved in the debate said, on condition of anonymity. “The feeling among leadership was, we have to be true to the people who put us here. We don’t know what to do, but it has to be bold.”

    Gives one a feeling of confidence, does it not? … Hey, we here in the House leadership haven’t the vaguest notion of how to placate a ferociously ideological caucus that represents maybe 30 percent of the American electorate — tops — so how about we destroy Medicare? Think that would perk ’em up some?

    “Idiotic” doesn’t come close. Hence my modifier: indescribably idiotic.

    Observes Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Jake Sherman:

    Time will tell whether the Medicare vote, the most politically significant legislative act of the 112th Congress thus far, will be viewed by 2012 voters as a courageous act of fiscal responsibility — or as an unforced error that puts dozens of marginal GOP seats and the party’s presidential candidates at serious risk. That question might be answered, in part, this week during a special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District, in which Republican Jane Corwin appears to be losing ground to Democrat Kathy Hochul.

    Listen up, Messrs. Thrush and Sherman. Time has already told. Even if Corwin wins, the GOP has lost. New York’s 26th should never have been competitive: even the presence of Tea Party candidate Jack Davis, who is draining votes from Corwin, would never have drained sufficient votes to convert a Democrat into plausibility had it not been for Corwin’s support of Ryan’s Medicare plan.

    Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of the GOP’s life, which will seem like a living hell for the next 18 months, until it’s effectively over, in November, 2012.

    All this assumes, naturally, that the Dems will know how to exploit the GOP’s monumental misstep in swing districts across the country. But that’s another story.


    • Ametia says:

      LOL The GOP are sending out the trolls, sock puppets, and losers to infilitrate our blogs with this hog wash. GTFOH!


    • creolechild says:

      (Thank you, No Limit, at Left Underground!)

      “There is nothing like waking up to a nice morning, smelling that fresh coffee brewing, and as you get ready for work hearing some rich asshole on TV talk about how good the poor have it and the only way to balance the budget is to cut benefits for them while giving him and his rich buddies a tax cut.”

      “Responding to a comment by Harold Ford about how people like medicare Joe Scarborough says:

      “I like chocolate cake. You know what else I like? I like steak. And I don’t just like the lean steak, I like the steak that has the fat…and I will actually carve off the fat first and eat it and watch it go down my face. Now, I would like to have that every lunch and dinner. I would love to wake up with chocolate cake and wash it down with a big milkshake. My point is simple. I like medicare too. I like sunshine…I like a lot of things. But you can’t have sunshine everyday.”

      “Yeah, you tell them Joe! Those damn spoiled social security and medicare recipients. How dare they expect that average benefit of $1,000 a month to live on and how dare they expect to get healthcare once they turn 65?”

      “He went on to say that this country is going bankrupt and went on a tirade against Harold Ford that he must tell the truth. The truth according to Scarborough? You can’t raise taxes, the only way to balance the budget is to cut entitlements.”

      “At no point during this entire conversation did anyone on the panel point out to this asshole that the majority of our debt for the next decade will not be because of social security or medicare, it will be because of the tax cuts Bush gave to people like him. In fact Scarborough said all you need to do is show a chart and Americans will understand that medicare and social security must be cut. That would have been a great time to show this chart:”



      • creolechild says:


        “I keep hearing that Social Security isn’t going to be there for my generation. Is that true?”

        “When it comes to the question “will Social Security be there for me?” the first thing to remember is that, it is there for you today in the form of disability and survivor’s insurance.”

        “But as far as the long term solvency of the program and whether Social Security is “going broke,” it is really important to understand that when people use the term bankruptcy when talking about the Social Security trust funds, it is not bankruptcy in the same sense as when a person goes bankrupt.”

        “Without any changes to the program, according to the most recent Social Security Board of Trustees Report, Social Security will be able to pay full benefits until 2037.”

        ” After 2037, again, without any changes to the program, Social Security will still be able to pay about 75% of the scheduled payments we would normally pay to each eligible person. While 75% is not ideal, the fact is that Social Security will not be broke nor will it be insolvent in the way most of us think of those terms.”

        “Social Security will still be able to pay 75% after 2037 because millions of people will continue to work and pay payroll taxes. The payroll taxes of today’s workers fund the benefits of today’s retirees. When today’s young workers reach retirement age, and are ready to collect benefits, their kids and grandkids, the workers of tomorrow, will fund their Social Security benefits.”

        “The Social Security program is still strong and will be for decades to come. Social Security has successfully adapted to
        the changing needs of the American public over the course of its 75-year history and we will continue to adapt to the changing needs of the people we serve. Any changes to Social Security will need to be worked out between congress and the administration.”


        • Ametia says:

          Yes, this meme about Social Securtiy not bein around was created and pushed to set up the GOP’s attemtps to DESTROY SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE. Social Security is NOT an ENTITLEMENT program for the millions of Americans who’ve worked and paid into this system.

          It is the GOP who want to pilage and destroy SOCIAL SECURITY for their own selfish gains. Just like Medicare, they want to privitize it for their gain and leave seniors (EMPOWERING them as they’re now calling it) to fend for themselves with any extra $$ owed for their care.

          Yes, the GOP will attempt any and everything they can to get their hands on hard working Americans MONEY & BENEFITS, so they don’t have to PAY TAXES , which will help get AMERICA’s deficit house in order.

      • Ametia says:

        come on now, creolechild.
        We’ve got to post that video of MORNING MURDERER JOEY SCAR mocking Americans who’ve worked and earned their social securty benefits. FUCK HIM!

  25. rikyrah says:

    May 23, 2011
    The Biggest Lie

    What will the GOP’s Biggest Lie of 2012 be?

    Tim Pawlenty previews it:

    We’ve tried President Obama’s way … and his way has failed.

    If the effort of having “tried President Obama’s way” encompasses the Senate minority’s relentless obstructionism and mechanical filibustering, the House’s reckless negligence of any sort of jobs bill, and the right’s hyperaggressive media machine of attack, attack, and attack again — and if necessary, just make stuff up — then, yes, I suppose we have tried Obama’s way.


    • Ametia says:

      Yes, because the GOP way is?…… We have a Democratic President in office, and these muthafuckas want it their way by obstructing, race-baiting, and lying. ummm ok. GTFOH Tim Pawlenty, a former governor of MINNESOTA who left our state with a $5 billion DEFICIT!

    • creolechild says:

      “Republicans have, for the last several weeks, been lambasting President Obama for the nation’s high gas prices, while promoting so-called solutions — like authorizing more offshore oil drilling — that won’t bring down gas prices. At the same time, House Republicans are actively undermining the agency charged with policing manipulation in the oil markets.”

      “ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson admitted earlier this month that, according to traditional supply and demand, oil should cost about $60 or $70 per barrel, instead of hovering around $100. Analysts at Goldman Sachs estimated that speculation was adding roughly $27 per barrel earlier this month. Instead of addressing this clear problem, House Republicans have proposed cutting the budget of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — which oversees trading in energy markets — by 15 percent from its 2010 level:”

      ” The CFTC’s budget would fall to $172 million from $202 million under the plan to be considered tomorrow by the agriculture subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. It “provides the necessary resources” for the CFTC to fulfill its duties, Representative Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican and subcommittee chairman, said in a statement. President Barack Obama had requested $308 million in his 2012 budget proposal.”

      “Since 1990, speculators have more than doubled their share of the oil futures market. Back then, they composed roughly 30 percent of the market; they make up nearly 70 percent today. According to the CFTC, speculative positions in energy markets — oil and otherwise — are at an all-time high.”

      “As Mike Masters and Dennis Kelleher of the nonprofit Better Markets wrote in Politico today, “excessive speculation defeats the purpose for the commodity markets, which have been largely taken over by new speculators from the capital markets gambling on future price moves. If this practice stops, prices for commodities such as oil — and gasoline — will fall.” However, House Republicans are more interested in scoring cheap political points off of unworkable solutions than actually allowing regulators to police the marketplace and protect consumers.”


      • creolechild says:

        “Comcast has violated the conditions of its merger with NBC by failing to air certain types of programming as required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a new study has found.”

        “As part of the arrangement with the FCC, Comcast-NBC agreed to increase local and Spanish-language news programs for five years and produce an additional 1,000 hours annually of original news programs for a number of its stations. But media watchdog group Free Press found that the cable company deliberately counted commercials toward its local news hours and aired less than an hour of local news per day on many of its Telemundo stations.”

        “The FCC required Comcast to file localism reports for its 25 stations to ensure that the company would comply with the stipulations. Free Press’ study, “No News Is Bad News: An Analysis of Comcast-NBC Universal Compliance with FCC Localism Conditions” found that Comcast used those reports to give the FCC misleading information on its programming and what it labeled as local news.”

        “According to the study, Comcast reported more than 1,000 hours of local news programming that were actually commercials the company aired during broadcasts. And while NBC stations showed an average of four hours and 42 minutes of local news every day, the Spanish-speaking and NBC-owned Telemundo stations aired approximately 48 minutes. Comcast also failed to include program descriptions in its localism reports, which hampered attempts by the FCC to determine whether the programs sufficiently met the merger conditions, and did not specify whether the programming tallies included reruns.”


    • creolechild says:

      “Last week, in a speech on the Middle East, President Obama reiterated long-standing US policy that there should be a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is based roughly on the pre-1967 borders and mutually agreed land swaps.”

      “Despite the fact that Obama’s declaration was nothing new, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the idea of pre-1967 borders, even using a news conference with Obama to call the proposal “indefensible.” His chief political rival, Kadima’s Tzipi Livni, disagreed, noting that the pre-1967 borders is already American policy.”

      “Now, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is announcing that he plans to introduce a resolution condemning Obama’s advocacy for pre-1967 borders. Hatch sensationally claiming that Obama is “rewarding those who threaten Israel’s very right to exist”:


      “”Yet what Hatch, Netanyahu, and their allies in the U.S. Congress are not saying is that most Israelis and Palestinians actually support a settlement based around 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps that result in a safe, secure, free, and prosperous independent Palestinian and Israeli states.”

      Here is a roundup of some of the recent polling on the issue:
      – PALESTINIANS SUPPORT PEACE: It a common refrain among those who would deny rights to the Palestinians that they are militantly opposed to Israel’s very existence and would never support a peaceful resolution. Yet the facts do not support this assertion. Polling conducted in 2009 indicated that 74 percent of Palestinians support a two-state solution based around the contours of the international consensus. Polling conducted in 2010 found that 71 percent support peace negotiations with Israel and that a majority of Palestinians oppose rocket attacks on the country. Last month, the top Palestinian diplomat at the UN asked that the international community support a solution based on the pre-1967 borders and mutually agreed land swaps.

      – ISRAELIS SUPPORT PEACE: While the pre-1967 borders were portrayed as primarily a Palestinian demand by the mainstream media and conservatives, the truth is that most Israelis are actually in favor of withdrawing settlements and establishing roughly these borders in exchange for peace. In a 2010 Brookings Institution poll, a plurality of Israelis supported this border arrangement along with mutually agreed land swaps. More recent polling from the Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll conducted by the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University and the Palestine Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 52 percent of Israelis support a peace agreement based roughly around the elements of the Saudi peace plan and Clinton Parameters, which would incorporate the pre-1967 borders, and that most Israelis support negotiating with Hamas. A 2011 poll conducted by a major Israeli newspaper shows that 53 percent of Israelis want Netanyahu to seriously engage in peace talks that includes significant concessions.


  26. rikyrah says:

    May 23, 2011
    They get dumber every day

    One aggravating attribute of liberals today is that they dismiss, as too fussy and old-fashioned, conservatives’ traditional interpretations of American history, our nation’s exquisite exceptionalism, and, when you get right down to it, the wholesome value of the ‘three Rs.’

    For instance, who but pompous liberals in striped pants would argue with Herman Cain’s reading of the U.S. Constitution — something once nobly taught to eagerly patriotic schoolchildren, yet, these days, honored only by old-school conservatives?

    I quote Herman:

    We don’t need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, we need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution…. [F]or the benefit of those who are not going to read it because they don’t want us to go by the Constitution, there’s a little section in there that talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    “You know, those ideals that we live by, we believe in, your parents believed in, they instilled in you…. [D]on’t stop there, keep reading. Cause that’s when it says “when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals [or, “of these ends”], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” We’ve got some altering and some abolishing to do!

    OK, OK, you’re way ahead of me. Both hallowed phrases are from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Still, we really should listen to what conservative morons like Herman Cain have to say, since, unlike liberals, they’re so splendidly — nay, spiritually — informed about true Americanism.


    • creolechild says:

      “Harold Camping said it had “dawned” on him that God would spare humanity “hell on Earth for five months” and the apocalypse would happen on 21 October. Mr Camping said he felt “terrible” about his mistake. But he said he could not give financial advice to those who spent their life savings in the belief the end was nigh.”

      “Mr Camping had predicted that on 21 May, true believers would be swept up to heaven while a giant earthquake would bring destruction for those left behind. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions of dollars on broadcasts, billboards and campaign vehicles to publicise the prediction.”

      “Some followers donated their life savings or simply gave away their worldly possessions as the day approached. Many expressed bewilderment and shock as the day came and went with no sign of the global cataclysm.”


      “Asked if he had any advice to offer those who had given away their material wealth in the belief the world was about to end, Mr Camping said they would cope. “We just had a great recession. There’s lots of people who lost their jobs, lots of people who lost their houses… and somehow they all survived,” he said.
      “We’re not in the business of giving any financial advice,” he added. “We’re in the business of telling people maybe there is someone you can talk to, and that’s God.”


      Hmmm…..maybe it’s just me but should any type of “spiritual guidance” be considered a “business?”

    • creolechild says:

      “Last year, Oklahoma became the first state to ban the non-existent threat of Islamic Sharia law, jeopardizing Native American rights, Oklahoma businesses, and even the Ten Commandments to do it. But state Republicans’ fervor for this “preemptive strike” — known as the “Save Our State” amendment — hit an inevitable snag of constitutionality, compelling a federal judge to block the law’s implementation. Nevertheless, Oklahoma election authorities appealed the judge’s injunction to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

      “Regardless of what Oklahoma Republicans may think, numerous religious groups view the law as a clear infringement on the First Amendment and are now taking a stand. Last week, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) signed on to an amicus brief urging the 10th Circuit to invalidate the law as it has “the unambiguous effect of communicating official disapproval of Islam”:

      “The BJC’s brief argues that the Oklahoma amendment violates the Establishment Clause for two separate and distinct reasons. First, “the amendment’s purpose plainly is to disapprove of the Islamic tradition.” Secondly, “the amendment’s dual specific references to Shari law – and to no other religious tradition – have the unambiguous effect of communicating official disapproval of Islam.”

      Both reasons put the Oklahoma amendment in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Lemon Test which is used to determine whether a law is in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.”

      “The American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Interfaith Alliance, Union for Reform Judaism, and several civil liberties groups joined BJC in signing the brief. Viewing fear as the “driving force” behind state Sharia bans, Texas Baptist pastor Bob Roberts Jr. urged Christians supporting anti-Sharia laws to put their faith in God rather than in legislation. “When we fear to that degree, then we start pushing laws because somebody else’s beliefs make us nervous,” said Roberts.”


    • Ametia says:

      I posted the video of this ignorant coon’s constitution debacle yesterday.

  27. rikyrah says:

    May 24, 2011
    A Republican burlesque

    That the current, snooze-inducing slate of Republican presidential candidates will neither sizably expand nor significantly improve is — using today’s “Arena” as a yardstick — beginning to dawn on those who would prefer both.

    “If not Romney/Pawlenty/Gingrich etc., then who?” asks Politico, and some of the answers are smothered less in relish than resignation. Because there is no “If not … then who.”

    If, for example, he’s serious, then Republican consultant Alex Castellanos provides the best conceivable reason for no Republican to ever hire him as a consultant: “I’m not sure I understand the disappointment with the Republican field” — which is almost vintage, lipstick-on-a-pig strategery.

    Almost, but not quite. Were I a Republican consultant, I’d probably dismiss the regnant disappointment altogether and rally whatever known enthusiasm there is instead; and if no such enthusiasm were known, I’d simply make it up, that being something Republicans are naturals at.

    But no, Castellanos’ implication is that he wants to “understand” the disappointment — a task so enormous, given this GOP field, it would consume all his waking hours.

    So he shifts to a kind of offense: “[Obama] has to create a George Bush. He has to create an unacceptable Republican. As long as the Republicans don’t give him that, we’re in the hunt.”Damn, Alex, it’s a trifle late for that.

    Look north, look to New York, look to Buffalo. Read it and weep.Ford O’Connell, another Republican consultant, asks and answers: “Is the current 2012 GOP crop weak? Compared to what, I would ask.” No, that’s not a joke. I know, it sounds like one, but it’s not … really.

    So I’ll give Mr. O’Connell a serious answer, starting with merely the postwar era: 1952, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004. Some would add to this list.

    There are also Republicans, such as former congressman Pete Hoekstra, who take the blunt approach, knowing that any extended analysis would only sink them deeper: “This field is better than what the critics give it credit for.” So shove it. I like that.Yet, there are the delirious and delusional, too, such as the Ripon Forum’s editor, Lou Zickar, who, hands down, is my favorite commentator: “I wouldn’t be surprised to see some additional names added to the list – someone like John Kasich, perhaps.”

    Zickar concedes with Alpine realism that “Skeptics will point to the fact that his disapproval rating currently stands at 49 percent,” although he fails to observe that Kasich’s approval rating rivals only that of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The other 50 percent of Ohioans have never heard of John Kasich.Don’t you love it? And just think, we’ve an entire 18 months of this Republican burlesque.


    • Ametia says:


    • creolechild says:

      “As ThinkProgress has reported, former Republican Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman has strong progressive streak that he may prefer people forget as he considers pursuing the GOP presidential nomination. On immigration, for example, Huntsman has supported a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants and something akin to the DREAM act, breaking with the nativists who have come to dominate Republican immigration thinking after President Bush’s reform effort collapsed.”

      “When asked about immigration at a town hall event in New Hampshire on Friday, Huntsman said he “hates the thought” of a border fence because “it’s not consistent with” American ideals:”
      “Ultimately, Huntsman concluded in the town hall, a fence may be necessary as he said it’s important to secure the border. But Huntsman’s tone on the fence — which has become somewhat fetishized on the right, most explicitly in Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) infamous “complete the danged fence” ad — may be a problem for Huntsman among GOP primary voters.”

      “‘Already, a message board hosted by the anti-immigrant ALIPAC is brimming with fury over Huntsman’s comments, such as warning of ‘Idiot Alert’ and ‘do not trust this person.’ Another poster adds: ‘Well then, Huntsman repulses me.'”


  28. creolechild says:

    “The head of the Oklahoma Banker’s Association — a one-time Elizabeth Warren skeptic who believed she was “akin to the Antichrist” — is now asking President Obama to provide her a recess appointment to direct the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

    “I write to encourage you to appoint Elizabeth Warren as the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and to do so with a ‘recess appointment’ at the first opportunity,” wrote Roger Beverage — President and CEO of the OBA — in a May 19 letter to Obama, provided to TPM. “In light of the action taken by the forty-four senators who have stated they will oppose any nominee to serve as Director of the new Bureau unless certain changes are made to the Bureau’s structure, I encourage you to wait no longer and give Elizabeth a recess appointment before the July 21st transfer date.”

    The CFPB was created as part of the Wall Street reform bill enacted into law last year to protect consumers from predatory financial actors. Though the bill had bipartisan support, Republicans have been eager to weaken the bureau, and recently threatened to block anybody Obama nominates to head the bureau unless Congress passes new legislation to weaken its rule-making and enforcement powers.


    “[A]s an advocate for “banks, I’ve not always agreed with some of her statements,” Beverage wrote. “I have come to know her since her current duties began last September, and I am convinced she clearly recognizes the importance of community banks and small credit unions to the nation’s economic recovery and how they fit into her vision to protect American consumers and their families. … In my view she is far and away the best qualified person to lead it as it begins its historic mission.”


    • creolechild says:

      “Republicans oppose Elizabeth Warren because she is too good at her job. Since when is being too good at your job–too qualified, too committed–a bad thing? Well if you are a conservative, bankrolled by Wall Street and beholden to their interests, these are all bad qualities because what you really want is to destroy all financial regulation.”

      “The CFPB was a key part of the 2010 Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that sought to rebuild the regulatory framework established as a response to the Great Depression that had been slowly dismantled by conservatives over the years. All honest observers, even many prominent conservatives, have acknowledged the role of financial deregulation in contributing to the financial collapse and subsequent recession. Wall Street reform and the CFPB were an attempt to make sure such an economy-devastating collapse never happened again. Wall Street had to be reined in. No more playing roulette in the Wall Street casino with the US economy. What could be more sensible than that?”

      “Jump back to now–the CFPB has been without a director at the helm since it was established, and it is legally mandated to fill that position by July. During this time, Elizabeth Warren has proven “her value as an advocate and as an administrator” while setting up the “only financial bureau dedicated to the protection of consumers.” Meanwhile, Wall Street lobbyists and the best minority party they can buy have been hard at work trying to cripple the bureau, to make sure the financial sector remains the dangerous and lawless Wild West that made a handful of people incredibly rich while it wrecked the economy for the rest of us. In short, they want to make sure there is no sheriff in town.”


  29. creolechild says:

    “Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are teaming up to introduce an amendment to the PATRIOT Act that would phase out some of the most controversial components of the national security law.”

    “Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reached a deal on extending the PATRIOT Act last week, and a procedural vote took place on the floor of the Senate Monday evening. The motion to debate the PATRIOT Act passed the upper chamber just after 5 p.m. by a vote of 74-8. There will be more debate tomorrow, with a final passage set for Wednesday.”

    “‘Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said on the floor of the Senate that he would vote against the bill ‘in the name of freedom and privacy.'”

    “The Leahy-Paul amendment introduced by the Kentucky Republican and the Vermont Democrat would have National Security Letters expire on Dec. 31, 2013. It also requires the Justice Department inspector general to audit the issuance of NSL letters and expands public reporting on the use of such letters under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

    “We were so frightened after 9/11 that we readily gave up these freedoms,” Paul said. “Not only would I let these expire, but I think we should sunset the entire PATRIOT Act.”

    “You can be opposed to terrorists … but we can do it with a process that protects the innocent,” Paul said.

    “‘After the vote, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said that there was a ‘whole court system set up to protect rights and the grant a warrant.’ She said the three expiring provisions were essential to protecting the United States.'”

    “Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the CATO Institute who has closely followed the PATRIOT Act debate, called the Leahy-Paul amendment a “good start,” but said he would prefer some of the standards for NSLs return to the pre-PATRIOT Act standards.”


    Obviously, Diane Feinstein either hasn’t read the bill or doesn’t appreciate the magnitude of powers given to the government with this law in place. It’s clear from the information that we posted last week that citizens would have very little, if any, protection if targeted.

    • Ametia says:

      Thanks for posting this. It’s no surprise to me that Rand Paul would be apart of getting the government out of our hairs.

      Diane Fienstein is a RELIC, and needs to rethink her position on the Patriot Act. Actualy, she needs to BEGONE!

  30. creolechild says:

    “LONDON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he will visit a devastated section of Missouri on Sunday where 116 people were killed by a monster tornado. Obama, making a statement from the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London as he begins a state visit to Britain, said his message to those affected by storms in the Midwestern United States is that the federal government stands by them.”

    “All we can do is let them know that all of America cares deeply about them and that we are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure that they recover,” he said. Obama is on a week-long, four-nation Europe tour and is to return to Washington on Saturday.

    “Like all Americans, we have been monitoring what’s been taking place very closely and have been…heartbroken by the images we’ve seen,” Obama told reporters.


  31. creolechild says:

    Whoa….Cynthia! You have a reputation for being a controversial figure but please do not take it upon yourself to “speak” for African-Americans. You’re certainly entitled to your own opinions, but given some of the statements that you’ve made here on U.S. soil, you certainly don’t speak for me!

    “The regime of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya received a boost from a special guest over the weekend, in its television propaganda against the country’s rebels and the NATO force opposing the government: Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.”

    “CNN reports: The station is fiercely loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and her interview was spliced with what appeared to be rallies in support of the embattled Libyan leader.

    “I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war … are not what the people of the United States stand for and it’s not what African-Americans stand for,” she told state TV. The former Georgia representative also slammed the economic policies of U.S. President Barack Obama and said the government of the United States no longer represents the interests of the American people.”


    • Ametia says:

      Cynthia’s still a few slices shy of a loaf, I see. *sigh*

      • creolechild says:

        Yeah, she’s been downsized to the equivalent of a bagle now but she’s just asking for trouble if she’s linking herself with Qaddafi. There’s no way she’ll be able to stuff that genie back in the bottle.

      • creolechild says:

        “WASHINGTON — Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.”

        “Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in a 5-to-4 decision that broke along ideological lines, described a prison system that failed to deliver minimal care to prisoners with serious medical and mental health problems and produced “needless suffering and death.”

        “Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr. filed vigorous dissents. Justice Scalia called the order affirmed by the majority “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history.” Justice Alito said “the majority is gambling with the safety of the people of California.”

        “The majority opinion included photographs of inmates crowded into open gymnasium-style rooms and what Justice Kennedy described as “telephone-booth-sized cages without toilets” used to house suicidal inmates. Suicide rates in the state’s prisons, Justice Kennedy wrote, have been 80 percent higher than the average for inmates nationwide. A lower court in the case said it was “an uncontested fact” that “an inmate in one of California’s prisons needlessly dies every six or seven days due to constitutional deficiencies.”

        “”Monday’s ruling in the case, Brown v. Plata, No. 09-1233, affirmed an order by a special three-judge federal court requiring state officials to reduce the prison population to 110,000, which is 137.5 percent of the system’s capacity. There have been more than 160,000 inmates in the system in recent years, and there are now more than 140,000.


      • Ametia says:

        About time, now let’s get to the rest of this country’s prisons and clean them out too!

      • creolechild says:


        “The President signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduces the disparity in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine required for the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences and eliminates the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine.”


        “The President will lead the fight to build a more fair and equitable criminal justice system. He will seek to strengthen federal hate crime legislation and will work to ensure that federal law enforcement agencies do not resort to racial profiling. He supports funding for drug courts, giving first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, if appropriate, in drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than prison terms in changing behavior. President Obama will also improve ex-offender employment and job retention strategies, substance abuse treatment, and mental health counseling so ex-offenders can successfully re-join society.”


      • creolechild says:


        “The President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs.”


        “President Obama’s urban policy agenda is grounded in the recognition that our nation’s cities and metropolitan areas are vital engines for economic growth, innovation, and opportunity. To maximize economic productivity and opportunity in a 21st Century economy, federal policy must reflect the new metropolitan reality—that strong cities are the building blocks of strong regions, which in turn, are essential for a strong America.”

        — Break Through Traditional Barriers
        “President Obama believes that the federal government must break from the siloed approach to urban policy development – where each facet of policy operates independently from all others – and replace it with an interdisciplinary approach that appreciates the interdependent nature of issues affecting urban communities. The President’s urban agenda will promote cross-cutting plans to revitalize urban areas, considering housing, transportation, energy, labor, education, and criminal justice policy as a system rather than independent of each other.”

        –Take a Regional Approach
        “President Obama will also take a regional approach that disregards traditional jurisdictional boundaries, setting policy that takes into account how cities, suburbs, and exurbs interact. President Obama’s urban policy agenda will use this integrated approach to enhance economic competitiveness, sustainability, and equity in our cities and metropolitan areas.”

        –Promote Inclusive Growth
        “President Obama believes that for our nation to thrive, the federal government must make and promote coordinated and strategic investments in our regions, cities, and neighborhoods that result in inclusive economic growth. The President’s urban policies will therefore seek to avoid creating winners and losers from his urban agenda, but rather will aim to lift up and revitalize urban areas holistically and invest in community development.”


    • creolechild says:

      “While Focus on the Family (FOTF) is still working hard to mislead women away from having abortions and mislead young people into bullying their LGBT peers, Jim Daly, FOTF’s CEO and President, admitted this week that they’ve “lost” on same-sex marriage:

      WORLD MAGAZINE: We’re winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage?

      DALY: We’re losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

      “Both World and Daly are presumably using “we” to speak on behalf of all evangelical Christians, but perhaps they should be more careful in doing so. Besides the fact that the latest Gallup poll shows “they” might not even have the momentum on abortion that they think they do, FOTF is struggling with marriage across all age groups as well. A new poll from HRC/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows that people who identify as Christian overwhelmingly support LGBT equality, regardless of age…”


      • creolechild says:

        “The anti-choice tidal wave stemming from the 2010 elections has produced nearly 1,000 anti-choice bills this year alone. When Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) took office last year, he called on the state legislature to create “a culture of life” and, in the last 15 minutes of their annual session, they delivered. The Republican majority passed a law to ban insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in their general health plans, except when a woman’s life is at risk.”

        “However, one pro-choice Republican, state Rep. Barbara Bollier, feared that Republicans were cutting off “a way for women to cover the cost of terminating pregnancies” — particularly when they’re unintended. During the House debate, she “questioned whether women would buy abortion-only policies long before they have crisis or unwanted pregnancies or are rape victims.”

        “But state Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R) was ready with a shocking retort. DeGraaf said women should plan ahead for situations such as rape because, after all, “I have a spare tire on my car:”

        During the House’s debate, Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told [Bollier]: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”

        Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?”

        DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have spare tire on my car.”

        “I also have life insurance,” he added. “I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”


  32. Ametia says:

    Eugene Robinson
    Opinion Writer The GOP’s Medicare headache
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: May 23

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the architect of his party’s radical plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program, gave a lesson Sunday in stating the obvious: “I don’t consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be.” I’d suggest that Republicans with less disdain for public opinion might want to check out the height of the cliff from which Ryan would have them leap.

    What concentrates the minds of GOP strategists and candidates — or ought to — is the spectacle unfolding in New York’s 26th Congressional District near Buffalo. It’s a solid Republican constituency, one that Chris Lee won last year with 74 percent of the vote. Alas, Lee resigned after a Web site published a bare-chested beefcake photo he had sent to a woman he met through Craigslist.

    This meant there had to be a special election, scheduled for Tuesday. The Republican candidate, state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, who has all the right credentials, had been expected to win easily. But she is in a tough battle with a strong Democratic challenger, Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul — and last week, a stunning Siena College poll showed that Hochul had actually pulled ahead, 42 percent to 38 percent.

    What should worry Republicans is that the biggest issue in the campaign — practically the only issue — is Ryan’s Medicare plan. Corwin supports it, Hochul opposes it, and the GOP may well lose a race that shouldn’t even be close.

    Even if Corwin pulls out a victory — the national party has poured in buckets of money, allowing her to outspend Hochul by more than 2-to-1, and grandees such as House Speaker John Boehner have rushed in to campaign on her behalf — the fact that she is in such a tight battle is a dire omen for her party. Have I mentioned that all but four House Republicans have not just endorsed, but actually voted for, the Ryan plan?

    Anyone who enjoys whistling past graveyards is free to note that the Corwin-Hochul contest is complicated by a third candidate, Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party line. The Pollyanna-ish view is that there are effectively two Republicans in the race, splitting the GOP vote. This is mitigated, however, by the fact that Davis has run for the seat twice before, in 2004 and 2006, and come pretty close to winning — both times as the nominee of the Democratic Party. The perhaps more realistic view is that there are effectively two Democrats in the race, and that if Davis were not running, Hochul might be doing even better.

    Is the Medicare issue really that toxic? Newt Gingrich clearly thought it was, or else he’d never have called it “right-wing social engineering” and gotten himself in such trouble with his fellow Republicans. Even now, after a week of rhetorical beat-downs from GOP opinion-makers and busy signals from big-time donors, he’s still trying to find a way to support the Ryan plan while leaving some sure-to-be-needed wiggle room.

    Leading Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, think the Ryan plan is toxic, too. Reid plans to hold a vote this week in which Republican senators will have to go on record as supporting, or opposing, the House-passed budget bill — which includes the Ryan plan to fundamentally transform Medicare as we know it. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, seeing the trap that Reid has laid, says each GOP senator will be free to vote his or her conscience.

    Many Republicans, sensibly, are eager to change the subject. This would be tough to do under any circumstances, given that the party has made the deficit its central issue. Moving along will be much harder with Democrats doing everything they can to keep the Ryan plan in the news — and with Ryan and other true believers still convinced that giving vouchers to senior citizens, putting them at the mercy of the private health insurance market, is a dandy idea that surely will catch on.

    It won’t. Americans oppose Medicare cuts by overwhelming margins.

    There are good reasons to believe the Ryan plan would have little, if any, real impact on the deficit. There are excellent reasons to believe it would do basically nothing to hold down soaring medical costs. And there is no reason to believe it is good politics — except for Democrats who explain to voters what Republicans prescribe for their golden years.


    • creolechild says:

      “Voters in key Senate swing states don’t want cuts to Medicare and Medicaid benefits — and they’re prepared to exact revenge on politicians who vote in favor of them. That’s according to new Public Policy Polling (D) numbers from Ohio, Missouri, Montana and Minnesota, where Democratic Senators face what could be tough reelection fights. The polling, published first by TPM, was sponsored by a coalition of progressive groups.”

      “Numbers from the polls published Monday found voters in the states overwhelmingly opposed to cutting Social Security in the name of balancing the federal budget. Results from the polls are being rolled out all week here.”


      “Each poll surveyed more between around 500 to 700 people and has a margin of error around 4%. Every Senator mentioned is a Democrat up for reelection in 2012.The results:

      If Senator [NAME] voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits, would that make you more or less likely to vote for him, or would it make no difference to you?

      Ohio (Sen. Sherrod Brown): 15% more likely, 65% less likely, 20% no difference

      Missouri (Sen. Claire McCaskill): 10% more likely, 64% less likely, 25% no difference

      Montana (Sen. Jon Tester): 16% more likely, 60% less likely, 24% no difference

      Minnesota (Sen. Amy Klobuchar): 17% more likely, 57% less likely, 26% no difference

      “The progressive groups behind the polls say the political consequences for Democrats who cut entitlement benefits couldn’t be clearer. “Any politicians who ultimately support cutting Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits are tying a big, juicy steak around their necks and throwing themselves into the lion’s den,” said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action.”


    • creolechild says:

      The Party of Family Values?!!

      “WASHINGTON — House Republicans are targeting domestic nutrition programs and international food assistance as they try to control spending in next year’s budget.”

      “In a bill released Monday, Republicans proposed cutting $832 million – or 12 percent – from this year’s budget for the federal nutrition program that provides food for low-income mothers and children. The 2012 budget proposal for food and farm programs also includes a decrease of almost $457 million, or 31 percent, from an international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development dollars to poor countries.”

      “The legislation would provide $71 billion for food stamps, $2 billion less than the Obama administration projected would be necessary for next year.”

      “Republicans who wrote the bill said the cuts in domestic food programs are taken from excess dollars in those accounts, and participants won’t see a decrease in services. Domestic nutrition programs are mined for dollars in tight budget times because they often have extra money sitting in their accounts. Money is allocated for the programs based on projections of need and food costs, and those needs are sometimes overestimated.”

      “Hunger advocates have warned against stripping those programs of those reserves. Two analysts from the liberal research and advocacy group Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Zoe Neuberger and Robert Greenstein, said Monday that the cuts could mean turning away as many as 475,000 people from the Women, Infants and Children program if food prices continue to rise.
      Almost 9 million low-income mothers and children participate in the WIC program, which provides food, health care referrals and nutrition education.”


      • Ametia says:

        Anything but raising those taxes for the wealthy… Keep at it, GOP.

      • creolechild says:

        Yup! In the U.S. some politicians are busy trying to dismantle social safety nets such as Medicare and Social Security, slashing funds for education, and resisting the Presidents goal of modernizing our infrastructure and reliance on oil. While other countries are focusing on modernizing their infrastructure, preparing to compete in the global market, and finding alternatives to dependency on oil from Middle Eastern countries.

        “India’s prime minister and dozens of business leaders began trade talks in Ethiopia on Monday as the Asian giant strives to catch up with China in what has been dubbed “the new scramble for Africa”.

        “Manmohan Singh received a red-carpet welcome as he led a delegation to the India-Africa summit in Addis Ababa, aiming to trumpet historical and cultural links with the continent in an effort to emerge from Beijing’s shadow.”

        “The India-Africa partnership rests on three pillars of capacity building and skill transfer, trade and infrastructure development,” said Singh at the start of the six-day trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania. “Africa is emerging as a new growth pole of the world, while India is on a path of sustained and rapid economic development.” The trade meeting is to be attended by 15 African leaders. On its fringes was an India show comprising business seminars, cultural projects and a trade exhibition.”

        “Bilateral India-Africa trade has grown from about £620m in 2001 to £28.5bn in 2010. India’s commerce and industry minister, Anand Sharma, hopes it will reach £43bn by 2012. Some 250 Indian companies have invested, mainly in telecommunications and chemical and mining companies.”

        “But India remains about a decade behind its Asian rival. China says its two-way trade stands at £75bn, a 43.5% increase on the previous year, and up from just £620m in 1992. It has built roads, bridges, railways and power stations in return for access to markets and resources.”

        “India is especially focused on energy. The country imports 70% of its oil and has turned to new suppliers such as Nigeria, Sudan and Angola to reduce its dependence on the Middle East. It also needs uranium for its ambitious civil nuclear programme.”


      • creolechild says:

        “The job market is admittedly improving for some, but it’s not improving quickly enough for millions of jobless, especially the long-term unemployed.”

        ” In April, the ranks of the unemployed who have been out of work for 99 weeks or more increased by 21,000 to a record 1,920,000. That equates to 14.5% of all unemployed.Other long-term unemployed fared a little better in April compared to March.”

        ” Those out of work for 26 weeks or more decreased from 5.839 million from 6.122 million in March. But their percentage of the overall unemployment rate remained elevated at a near record level of 43.2%. The percentage of those out of work for more and 52 weeks increased from 31.5% to 32.8% of all unemployed.”


  33. U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Queen Elizabeth II as first lady Michelle Obama and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, look on, at Buckingham Palace in London May 24, 2011. Obama is on a four-nation European visit to Ireland, England, France and Poland.

  34. A Secret Service agent holds the door of U.S. President Barack Obama’s car, known as ‘the beast’ at Winfield House, the official residence of the United States ambassador, in Regent’s Park, central London May 24, 2011.

    • creolechild says:

      There’s an interesting article about the steps that are taken to protect the President. Here are some excerpts about “The Beast”:

      “British police cars and motorbikes lead the way, alongside US agents, to secure the route, followed by secret service vehicles, support cars and emergency medical vehicles.”

      “A three to four-vehicle group will hold the president and senior officials, and at its centre is the armoured limousine. Nicknamed “The Beast”, this modified Cadillac has been described as the safest vehicle on the planet, assembled at a cost of $300,000 (£186,000).”

      “It has 20cm (eight inch) armour-plated doors and tyres that still work after being shot through. But no anti-ramp technology, it appears – the limo came a cropper in Dublin when it became beached leaving the US Embassy. A Secret Service spokesman later said “it was a spare limo”.

      “There is also a counter-assault car in the convoy, which has the job of attacking any hostile threat. Officials would have identified vulnerable spots along the route, says Mr Burton, who is vice-president of global intelligence firm Stratfor.


  35. LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 24: US President Barack Obama’s motorcade arrives at Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2011 in London, England. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle are in the UK for a two day State Visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II. During the trip they will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace and the President will address both houses of parliament at Westminster Hall.

    • creolechild says:

      “Thousands of passengers have had their flights cancelled because of drifting ash from an Icelandic volcano. Airports affected include Londonderry, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick, Durham Tees Valley, Newcastle and Carlisle, air traffic services company Nats said.”

      “European air traffic controllers said 252 flights had been cancelled so far.
      However Ryanair said it had made a test flight over Scotland and challenged a ruling some flights should be grounded.”

      The Irish carrier said its 90-minute flight at 41,000ft showed there was “no visible volcanic ash cloud or evidence of ash on the airframe, wings or engines”. A decision on whether permission is given to fly rests with each airline’s national aviation authority.”


      • creolechild says:

        “Barack Obama has been forced to leave Ireland early due to fears Airforce One could be grounded by a new volcanic ash cloud blowing down from Iceland.”

        “The US president flew to London on Monday evening just hours after he received a rapturous reception in central Dublin from more than 25,000 people during a speech in which he pledged that America would continue to stand by peace-makers in Northern Ireland.”

        “A White House spokesman confirmed that concerns over the ash cloud from the Grimsvötn volcano forced the presidential entourage to make a swifter than expected exit from the Republic.”

        “He had been expected to stop off Tuesday morning at Glasnevin cemetery en route to the airport to pay homage at the crypt of Daniel O’Connell, in an acknowledgement of the 19th century Irish nationalist leader’s role in opposing the slave trade.”


  36. Highlights of President Obama’s state visit to Ireland

Leave a Reply