Thursday Open Thread

Sugar Ray is a band from Orange County, California. The band, starting off more as an alternative metal band, first gained fame in 1997 with their release of the song “Fly“. This song’s success, coupled with its pop rock sound that was quite different than the rest of their material at the time, led the band into changing into a mainstream, pop music style. Subsequent albums shared this similar style, and the band landed a number of hits with “Every Morning“, “Someday“, and “When It’s Over“.

Prior to Sugar Ray, in the late 1980s, Rodney Sheppard and Stan Frazier had been together in a band under the name The Tories. Later additions Murphy Karges and Mark McGrath changed the band’s name to “Shrinky Dinx”. After signing with Atlantic Records, the name was changed to Sugar Ray upon threat of lawsuit from the Milton Bradley Company, maker of the Shrinky Dinks toy.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. creolechild says:


  2. Michelle Obama chat thrills and inspires youngsters

    Michelle Obama arrived at Oxford University yesterday with all the pizazz you’d expect of a wife of the President of the United States.

    Armed police watched from the spires as her motorcade swept by, while secret service men talked into lapel mics.

    But once indoors she immediately put a group of starstruck schoolgirls at ease.

    America’s mom-in-chief chatted away, telling them she fell for her “cute” husband because of the way he loved his mum – and revealing she still can hardly believe she lives in the White House.

    She was showing the 35 students from a North London school why they could aspire to great things like her.

    And the smiles on the faces of the 12 to 15-year-old girls as she hugged them proved why this First Lady is her husband’s most formidable secret weapon in his battle for re-election next year.

    In an astonishingly candid and relaxed hour-long visit, Mrs Obama, 47, opened her heart to the girls whose achievements had so caught her imagination.
    In April 2009 on her first official UK visit she had toured the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in a hard-hit area of London.


    The girls, who come from 40 different ethnic groups and speak 59 different languages, have achieved astonishing exam results – putting them in the top 10% of schools in the country.

    Mrs Obama was so impressed she has kept in touch with the college.

    And she personally arranged for the girls to get a special taster day at one of the country’s top universities.

    The daughter of working-class parents from the South Side of Chicago, Mrs Obama had gone on to study at Princeton and Harvard ­universities.

    And she told the girls at the end of their visit: “I want you to dream big.”

  3. Mitt Romney 2012 Campaign For President Announcement Coming Next Week: Report

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is expected to formally launch a campaign for president of the United States next week in the key early primary state of New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports.

    A spokesman for Romney confirms to CNN that the Republican hopeful will declare his candidacy in the Granite State next week.

    Last month, the 2008 presidential candidate formed an exploratory committee to test the waters for making another run for the White House in 2012. He announced that move in New Hampshire. HuffPost’s Jon Ward reported at the time:

    The location was also carefully chosen. New Hampshire will be the prize for Romney in the first three states’ worth of nomination contests, since the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina’s primary come before and after the Granite State, respectively. Both of those states have voting populations heavy with socially conservative evangelical Christians — Romney struggled with those types of voters and those states in 2008, in part because he is a Mormon.

  4. Air Force One Landing Dublin Airport
    May 23, 2011

  5. Motorcade of President Obama with Secret Service Suburbans Leaving the World Trade Center New York

  6. creolechild says:

    Ametia~ You had the right idea a little while ago. I think we need a musical interlude to get us through the rest of the day. Here’s one of my favorite songs.

    • Ametia says:

      Nice… Thank you.

    • So nice! I love it!

    • creolechild says:

      You may find this interesting but you have to click on the link to see the actual graphics.

      “Ever visualized $87 billion, the amount President Bush announced on national television that he was going to ask the Congress to grant him to continue the fight on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush asked for this money on September 7th, 2003, for the fiscal year, beginning October 1, 2004. Since before then, to the end of September, 2007, the United States has dedicated approximately $315 billion dollars to the cause.”

      “Have a visual representation of this huge amount of money after the jump
      It is impossible for anyone to visualize such huge amounts of money. Lets have a look…..

      – One dollar … it’s roughly 6 inches long, and 2½ inches wide. It’s roughly as thick as a regular piece of paper. $1 will buy you a chance to win up to $3000 with a Connecticut scratch-off lottery ticket called the “Emerald Green Tripler.”

      – Six dollars … set side by side, roughly 12 inches long, and 7½” inches wide. Very roughly, a little longer, but narrower than a sheet of paper. $6 will buy you about than 2 gallons of gas (at $3.00 a gallon), but you could only buy 1½ gallons of milk, which sells for $3.99 a gallon in Charlotte, NC.

      – Three Thousand dollars … roughly the thickness of a ream of paper, 2 inches thick or 500 sheets. If you made a single stack, it would be a foot high.
      You could buy a 50″ Widescreen, Flat Panel, HD-Ready Plasma TV for this amount of money.

      – Seventy-Two Thousand dollars … is about the size of a whole box of copier paper. This is roughly what it would cost you to buy a 2007 Jaguar XK8 2dr Convertible.

      Three-Hundred-and-Sixty Thousand dollars … A stack 5 feet tall. Shorter than the average American man. If you made a single stack, it would be 120 feet high. You can buy a 3-bedroom, 2 bath, 1973-sq. foot condo in Las Vegas, Nevada for this amount of money.

      Nine Million dollars … The pile is 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, and 6¼ feet wide. A single stack of dollar bills in this amount would be 3,000 feet high. This horde is comparable in size to a single compact car. You could buy 489 of them for the amount, though, with enough cash left over to fill up the gas tanks of 162 of them. But this amount of money is more than four times what you can expect to earn in your entire life, if you are an American with a college degree.

      Nine-Hundred Million dollars… The mound of cash is now 20 feet tall, 50 feet long, and 31¼ feet wide. The single stack of dollar bills is now climbing to 300,000 feet, or 56.8 miles. It is about half as long as a conventional tennis court. This is the dollar amount for the damage caused by a natural disaster, according to insurance claims filed by victims in four states that were affected by a category 3 hurricane, (Dennis) in July, 2005. This amount of money is what an ideal elementary school class size (400 students) can expect to earn in their lifetimes, combined.

      – Fifteen billion dollars … This pile of money is 60 feet high, 150 feet long, and 62½ feet deep. This is the amount of money that the US Army has paid to Halliburton (a company once led by Vice President Dick Cheney) since late 2001 in no-bid contracts to perform services such as delivering food and fuel and constructing housing for U.S. Troops around the world, and has been persistently dogged with allegations for fraud, poor quality, overpricing, and other abuses. (On July 13, 2006, the US Army announced that it would end its dealings with the company.)

      – Eighty-Seven Billion dollars … This is what the President asked for on September 7th, 2003. It is 100 feet tall, 250 feet long, and 125 feet wide. A stack of singles would be 28,998,000 feet, or over 5,492 miles, or a round-trip between Washington DC and Los Angeles, California. (2,650 miles, one-way). A Boeing 737-200 jet is 100 feet long. You could fit 2 of those jets nose to nose along the length of this pile, and have room to spare. If we spread the $87 billion over an American football field, we would not be able to see much of the game. The players would be buried in 55 feet of money. $87 billion is more than all of the states’ current budget deficits, combined. $87 billion is more than twice the amount we’re spending on Homeland Security.

      – One-Hundred-Sixty-Six Billion dollars … this represents the total amount of money President Bush spent in Iraq & Afghanistan by the beginning of fiscal year 2004 : the $87 billion he asked for, plus the $79 billion he’d already spent. You can barely see the man down in the corner.

      This pile is 500 feet long at its longest point, which is quite a bit longer than an American football field. The roof opening of the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, is 500 feet long. This pile of money is still 100 feet tall, and 125 feet wide. If you stacked the bills in a single column, it would be 55,333,200 feet tall, or almost 10,500 miles, or 1.68 times the distance between Washington DC and Baghdad, Iraq.

      $166 billion is $568 for every man, woman and child in the United States. It’s $3,269 for every person in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      – One-Hundred-Ninety-One Billion dollars … April 17, 2004 : “The President wants Congress to grant him another $25 billion to continue the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, but members of both parties in Congress indicated strong reservations about giving the Pentagon the free hand it is seeking to spend the money.”

      “Responding to tough questions from senators in both parties, (Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D.) Wolfowitz acknowledged that, with war costs running about $4.5 billion a month, far more money will be needed next year than is now on the table. ‘There will be a request for a full year supplemental early next year. It will sure be much larger than $25 billion,’ he said.”
      UPDATE : April 25, 2005
      Senate OKs $81B In Spending for Iraq, Afghanistan

      WASHINGTON | The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved $81 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a spending bill that would push the total cost of combat and reconstruction pas$300 billion.

      Both the Senate and House versions of the measure would give President Bush much of the money he requested but the bills differ over what portion should go to military operations.

      The Pentagon says it needs the money by the first week of May, so Senate and House negotiators are expected to act quickly to send the president a final version of the spending bill. (AP)

      – 272 Billion This pile is 250 feet long, and 125 feet wide. It’s 320 feet high at the tallest point, which is as tall as St. Steven’s Tower, the clock tower that houses Big Ben at Parliament, in London, England.

      – Three-hundred-fifteen billion dollars …

      Update : July 21, 2006

      This is the amount of money the US has allocated for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to be spent by September 30, 2006, the end of the fiscal year. And the Senate is working on a spending bill that will add another $50 billion more in spending for 2007.

      This pile is 125 feet wide, 200 feet deep, and 450 feet tall. 450 feet is the height of a 38-story building. It’s the h[ei]ght of the Millenium Wheel in London. It is also the height of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas and the Louisiana State Capitol Building.

      If you were to stack the money in a single stack, your stack would be 19,887 miles tall, enough to wrap the Moon at its equator almost 3 times.

      It’s 2011 and we’re still engaged in these wars…

  7. Ametia says:

    Ride or Die VP Joe Biden sticks it to the Ryan/GOP-Voucher Care!

    Biden Keynote Speaker at Annual NH Democratic Dinner

    Vice President Joe Biden has attended several fundraisers to build up the campaign spending chests of the President and the Democratic Party for the 2012 elections. Tonight, he headlined the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual 100 Club Dinner.

    In addition to the Vice President’s keynote address, Governor John Lynch also spoke before attendees.

    The annual event was originally created to promote the candidacy of John Kennedy and has continued as a celebration of the state party efforts. This year, the dinner will honor former Senator Tom McIntyre and Senator Jeanne Shaheen for their contributions to the Democratic Party.

    “We are excited to welcome Vice President Biden to this year’s event,” said Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Working with President Obama, Joe Biden has played a key role in turning our economy around and getting America on the right track.”

    Video here:

  8. creolechild says:

    YES! YES! YES! This is a good start…now make them do the same for all the homeowners who were ripped off and whose homes were foreclosed due to fraud, shady paperwork, and deceit by mortgage lenders and banks.

    “Two lenders who wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty members of the military without obtaining court orders will provide more than $22 million in million in monetary relief under settlement agreements with the federal government.”

    “BAC Home Loans Servicing LP — formerly known as Countrywide — will pay at least $20 million in the agreement to resolve allegations they foreclosed upon about 160 servicemembers between January 2006 and May 2009 without seeking court orders, said DOJ. They also agreed to pay any servicemember wrongfully foreclosed upon during that period.”

    “Saxon Mortgage Services Inc. will pay $2.35 million to resolve allegations they foreclosed upon about 17 servicemembers between January 2006 and June 2009 without court orders, according to DOJ. They also agreed to pay any servicemember who was wrongfully foreclosed upon from July 2009 through 2010.”

    “The men and women who serve our nation in the armed forces deserve, at the very least, to know that they will not have their homes taken from them wrongfully while they are bravely putting their lives on the line on behalf of their country,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said in a statement.

    “The Civil Rights Division is committed to aggressively enforcing those laws that protect the rights of servicemembers,” Perez said. “All lenders have an obligation to do their part to work with servicemembers while these brave men and women focus on keeping us safe.

    • Ametia says:

      This is the kind of news that the cable stations could blast out on the airwaves, but NAW, we can’t have folks entertaining the idea that POTUS is actually serving the needs of Americans.

  9. creolechild says:

    Send in the clowns…

    “Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who has been exploring a run for president, is set to officially announce his candidacy on June 6 in his old stomping grounds of southwestern Pennsylvania.”

    “This location is significant because when Sen. Santorum’s grandfather left fascist Italy, he came to this country for America’s freedom and the opportunity our nation afforded him,” a source told NBC News.

    “Santorum has been campaigning heavily in the key early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, so that an announcement isn’t happening in any of those places seems notable. It is also interesting to point out that Santorum lost in southwestern Pennsylvania in 2006, when he was defeated for re-election by a statewide margin of 59%-41%.”

  10. creolechild says:

    WOW! I could use a good swear right about now…

    “Until today, Tim Pawlenty’s been an expert at weaving between the political liabilities that come with supporting Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to end Medicare (see: Corwin, Jane L.) and the liabilities that come with opposing it (see: Gingrich, Newton L.).”

    “After weeks of praising Ryan personally and the general specifics of his plan — while also promising to offer up his own completely different plan to fix Medicare sometime in the future — Pawlenty has chosen a side. If he had anything to say about it, Ryan’s plan to eliminate medicare and replace it with a voucher system would be the law of the land.”

    “The end of Pawlenty’s fence-sitting came in a tweet from the Washington Post’s Amy Gardner. Politico’s Ben Smith posted this quote from Pawlenty:”

    “If I can’t have my own plan — as president, I’ll have my own plan [but] if I can’t have that, and the bill came to my desk and I had to choose between signing or not Congressman Ryan’s plan, of course I would sign it.”

    “Pawlenty will still bring out his own plan — one that likely won’t eliminate all of Medicare and replace it with a voucher as Ryan’s plan does. But now he’s on record saying he’d sign a law that voters seem to hate.”

    • “If I can’t have my own plan — as president, I’ll have my own plan [but] if I can’t have that, and the bill came to my desk and I had to choose between signing or not Congressman Ryan’s plan, of course I would sign it.”

      Bye Pawlenty!

    • Ametia says:

      BWA HA HA Tim Paw’s our former governor who left the state of MN with a $5 billion deficit. GTFOH We’ve had Plenty of Pawlenty.

  11. I love this song. Brings back some good good memories…

    Bobby Hebb – Sunny

  12. Laura Ingraham Responds To Ed Schultz ‘Slut’ Comments

    UPDATE: Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter that she had accepted Ed Schultz’s apology.

    “Ed Schultz: Apology accepted,” Ingraham tweeted on Thursday morning.

    Ingraham also addressed the controversy on her radio show.

    “I thought so little about it, I didn’t even mention it yesterday,” she said, calling his comments “not all that nice, to say the least.” But, she continued, “he apologized, and I accept his apology. It seemed heartfelt, it seemed like he really wished he hadn’t said it, and I accept the apology… I wish him the best. I wish his family the best.”

    • Ametia says:

      This here is why I’m boycotting cable networks and talk radio. When these folks start making it all about themselves, instead of bringing unbiased information, news, you know fact… If I want to be entertained with drama, I’ll take in a movie.

      • creolechild says:

        Here’s another good reason. Thank you, Winning Progressive!

        “I’m sitting in an airport in Cleveland and for some reason Sarah Palin is back on television, with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer breathlessly talking about Palin as a potential candidate for President in 2012. Besides reminding me why I no longer watch cable “news” (with the exception of Rachel Maddow, of course), Palin’s reappearance is a reminder of how sad today’s Republican Party has become.”

        “Over the past few weeks, a number of potential Republican candidates for President have decided not to run including, most significantly, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. On the flip side, not-so-stellar candidates such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have launched what are bound to be failed campaigns. With no shining lights having announced so far, the field is looking about as hapless as the Chicago Cubs trying to win a World Series.”

        “Given this situation, it is perhaps not surprising that the media has decided to try to revive Palin’s career. Not only is she appearing all the time on CNN again, but even the New York Times and a Room For Debate feature about What a Palin Bid Would Mean For the GOP. One of the five essays in that feature is entitled The Party Needs Her, and contends that:

        “Like a shot in the arm, Sarah Palin would enliven the presidential race and engage the Republican base as no one else could.”

        “The thought that a Sarah Palin candidacy is what Republicans need pretty much says it all about the unseriousness and lack of ability to lead of today’s GOP. Ms. Palin is a person who struggles to offer even a single coherent thought on policy issues, cannot name a newspaper that she reads, was unable to hack being Governor of one of the smallest (population-wise) states in the country for even one whole term, and couldn’t find it in her to offer even a smidgen of apology or contrition after a Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – who Palin had targeted with violent imagery and language – was almost assassinated.”

        “Our nation and world face serious issues that require serious adult leadership to address them. Ms. Palin is plainly not prepared to offer such leadership and the fact that the Republican base and conservative media chearleaders see Ms. Palin as a legitimate leader is yet further evidence that today’s Republican Party is not prepared to offer leadership either.”

      • Ametia says:

        Add MSNBC to the list. Tweety bird Matthews has a woody over Palin this evening. Playing up this woman as if she’s the second coming, PUN INTENDED of JC. The media is not serious about America’s ills. all sideshow circus acts and ratings.

        They’ll continue propping up Palin & WHITE mediocrity. They’ve got nothting else. Heaven forbid they cover our president and his trip abroad.

      • Tweety bird Matthews has a woody over Palin this evening


  13. creolechild says:

    “Say what you want about President Barack Obama’s Middle East speech last week—that he didn’t address Jerusalem and the Palestinians’ right to return, and that he merely restated what has long been US policy in regard to Israel’s 1967 borders—at the very least the president has changed the subject, and in a positive way.”

    “Since 2009, in US-Israeli relations, most of the talk swirled around Iran. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, rather than address the core issue of what a peace deal with the Arabs might look like, constantly fought to shift the discourse to Iran.”

    “‘In 2009 when Netanyahu visited Washington, Bibi and Barack clashed openly on that topic, too, but Netanyahu succeeded for the most part, in making Iran, not Palestine, the central issue, by making hyperbolic, alarmist comments about Iran’s nuclear program and its support for Hamas and Hezbollah. And since, whenever ‘Palestine’ emerged as a subject, Netanyahu crossed it out and replaced it with ‘Iran.'”

    “That isn’t working this time. (In his speech to Congress, on Monday, Netanyahu tried his best at Holocaust-mongering over Iran, but it didn’t resonate.) Instead, Obama has put the focus where it belongs: on Palestine, Israel’s borders and the need for a Palestinian state.”

    “Netanyahu didn’t help his case by displaying a stunning set of bad manners. He was rude, boorish and recklessly arrogant. Pocketing the support of the Israel lobby, neoconservatives, hawks and the Republicans (including the 2012 presidential candidates), Netanyahu decided that rather than deal with the issue at hand, he’d instead play American politics, rallying opponents of Obama in a challenge to the president’s political future.”

    “That won’t work. While Netanyahu’s boisterous obstructionism might attract support from deluded Christian evangelical voters who see Israel as the path to the End Times, Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ and from some right-wing Republicans who see Israel as the enemy of all things Muslim, he isn’t likely to find much support among American voters at large—not even from American Jews, who will once again overwhelmingly support Obama in 2012.”

    “In contrast to Netanyahu’s bullying veneer, Obama looks smart, statesmanlike and—especially—a defender of American interests.”

    • creolechild says:

      Listen to the BULLSHIT that is coming out of Harry Reid’s mouth. Here you are doing exactly what you’re criticizing the President for! If Israel doesn’t want interference in their peace talks with the Palestinians, then why are we sending them billions of dollars in aid each year? Why is THEIR leader addressing the U.S. Congress? And why are politicians allowing their ethnic ties and religious ideology rule the day? Unbelievable…

      • Ametia says:

        *FACEPALMS* When is this windbag going to retire? I’ve about had it with Harry Reid.

      • creolechild says:

        He was re-elected remember? He beat Sharon Angle so he has at at least 4 – 6 more years in office. (sigh)

      • Ametia says:

        I know, was it just last year? *sigh* I’m so sick of retreads of the Washington establishment. We need young, fresh, forward thinking elected officials. Time to bury some of these old bones. Oh wait, take away Harry’s healthcare, stick him in a wheelchair and ride him off the cliff like old grandma in that Democratic video ad.

      • creolechild says:

        Check out this commentary! I’m moving to Montreal–as soon as I learn to speak French! This country is getting screwed over but good… Sick of this shit! [Will have to deduct that from tomorrow’s allotment of curse words.]

  14. rikyrah says:

    May 25, 2011 08:30 PM
    Fox Freaks Out Over Obama Rapid Response Group
    By Heather

    Well, it appears that Fox has another fabricated non-issue to get worked up about this week: the Obama administration creating a rapid-response team to debunk falsehoods and respond to unfavorable stories in the media. Of course the talking heads at Fox — being the leading purveyors of those falsehoods — weren’t happy.

    Monica Crowley was asked about the new staffer, Jesse Lee, and what role he’d be playing for the Obama administration — and of course she just had to get in a reference to the supposed “Chicago way” they play politics, think gangsters… wink, wink… and claimed that they were just trying to “intimidate their political opponents.”

    Sadly Fox proves every day why such a response team would be necessary since telling lies all day about Democrats is pretty much their stock and trade.

    Media Matters has more — Fox Accidentally Justifies Obama’s Online Rapid Response Group:

    Fox & Friends this morning reacted to a new effort by the White House to respond to reports that the White House had created an online rapid response team to debunk falsehoods about the administration, among other things, by doing what they do best: freaking out. Yesterday, the Huffington Post reported that White House staffer Jesse Lee would be filling a new position “for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.” Huffington Post further reported that “the White House will be adopting a more aggressive engagement in the online world in the months ahead.” Fox, the leading cable news source for anti-Obama smears, did not care for this development. Read on…

  15. rikyrah says:

    House GOP Escalates Attack on Elizabeth Warren, Consumer Bureau
    Ari Berman

    Congressional Republicans have frequently attacked Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) she’s setting up, which officially launches on July 21. The House GOP escalated its anti-Warren, anti-CFPB campaign at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee today, chaired by Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

    McHenry was once known as Tom DeLay’s “attack-dog-in-training,” a title he more than earned today. Before the hearing had even begun, McHenry went on CNBC and brazenly accused Warren of lying to Congress. He claimed that Warren had misrepresented her role in advising state attorneys general who are seeking a multibillion-dollar settlement with the country’s largest mortgage service providers, who stand accused of massive and widespread foreclosure fraud. As evidence, McHenry pointed to a leaked internal document prepared by the CFPB that laid out different settlement options for the state AGs. McHenry claimed this went beyond the scope of the “advice,” that Warren had already admitted to providing, at the behest of the Treasury Department, in earlier testimony to Congress in March. “We’ve given advice when asked for advice,” she reiterated this afternoon.

    The subcommittee hearing devolved into a linguistic discussion of the true meaning of the word “advise,” as the Merriam-Webster definition (“to give [someone] a recommendation about what should be done”) flashed on large TV screens in the hearing room. But given that Warren had already copped to giving such advice, it was difficult to find any meaningful contradiction in her remarks. Nor has she or the CFPB played a leading role in the settlement talks. “It’s simply not accurate to say the CFPB has masterminded this,” Geoff Greenwood, spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who’s leading settlement talks for the AGs, told me recently.

    Despite his thin paper trail, McHenry was intent on making Warren look bad. The Western North Carolina Congressman frequently interrupted her answers and accused the CFPB of possessing “virtually unchecked” power. Near the end of the hearing, Representative John Yarmouth (D-KY) apologized to Warren for the “rude and disrespectful behavior of the chair.” Incidentally, McHenry has accepted generous campaign donations this year from big banks and industry trade associations opposed to bureau, including $1,000-plus checks from the American Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, American Express, American Financial Services Organization, Cash America International, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

    Ed Mierzwinski, the consumer program director at US PIRG, said the hearing was just another attempt by the GOP “to try to weaken Warren’s credibility.” He invoked an old saying from law school: “If the law is on your side, argue the law. If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If you don’t have either, just argue.”

    The hearing was titled “Who’s Watching the Watchmen? Oversight of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” but Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) argued that it should be dubbed “Let’s Pretend the Financial Crisis Never Happened.” Indeed, Congressional Republicans spent no time on the lax oversight and corporate deception that led to the financial crisis—and how a consumer agency dedicated to policing the murky financial services sector might have prevented or mitigated a prolonged recession. “Too often consumer protection was the second thought, third thought, or not even thought of at all,” Maloney said. That’s why Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration created the CFPB as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act.

    “I’m begging you to keep the fire,” Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) told Warren. “I’ve had constituents who’ve lost so much they don’t even know why…. We need your passion and concern. Thank you for syncing your conduct and conscience.”

  16. Ametia says:

    Posted at 01:57 PM ET, 05/26/2011
    John Boehner: Only Dems have voted to cut Medicare
    By Greg Sargent

    John Boehner made some comments to reporters today about the results in New York’s 26th Congressional district, and the quote that’s getting most of the attention is his claim that Medicare played only a “small part” of the Dem victory on Tuesday night.

    But I think this Boehner quote, buried in Dave Weigel’s report on today’s presser, is the more interesting one:

    “The only people in Washington, DC who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats,” said Boehner, “when they voted to cut $500 billion in Medicare during Obamacare.”

    Only Dems “voted to cut Medicare”? Of course, House Republicans did vote to pass the Ryan budget back in April; only four House Republicans voted against it. The only way for Boehner’s claim to be true is if the Ryan plan doesn’t cut Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Ryan plan cuts the amount of Medicare spending on seniors in relation to overall health care costs. It also reduces the amount of annual Medicare spending as a share of GDP. For it to be true that only Dems have voted to cut Medicare, neither of those would have to count as cuts.

    The claim that only Dems have voted to cut Medicare has previously been used as a Senate GOP talking point, before the Senate had voted on the Ryan plan. As Marco Rubio put it recently: “The only people in this town that have voted to cut Medicare are the people that supported Obamacare.”

    You can see why Senate Republicans were cool to the idea of voting on the Ryan plan. It makes it harder to attack Dems as the only ones who have actually cast a vote to cut Medicare. Indeed, Politico quotes sources claiming that Mitch McConnell privately warned John Boehner of the political perils of including a major Medicare overhaul in the budget Republicans passed.

    That aside, Boehner’s comments today take the GOP plan to attack Dems from the left on Medicare — which Senate Republicans have openly signaled is their strategy — to its logical conclusion. It isn’t just about muddying the waters by persuading voters that both sides want to cut Medicare and that the argument is over the details. The claim is that only Democrats have ever voted to cut Medicare

  17. rikyrah says:

    Black Chatter, Not Leadership
    Jill Nelson has had enough of the irrelevant, privileged-class debate about Cornel West’s criticism of Barack Obama.
    By: Jill Nelson | Posted: May 25, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    I’m about as disgusted with Cornel West’s political and personal attacks on President Obama and the ensuing back and forth among the academic punditocracy as I am with hearing about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fornication, everything to do with any Kardashian and Oprah’s never-ending farewell. Frankly, it’s both boring and appalling that this verbal battle has taken center stage, now joined by various supporters on either side and by media that love a Negro brawl just as much as the sponsors of the battle royal did in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. The protagonist thought he was there for intellectual reasons, too, until he was pushed into the ring and heard voices shouting, “Get going in there!” and “Let me at that big nigger!”

    Given the dismal economy, the political and cultural landscape, the rise of the New Confederacy, and the general air of depression and malaise pervading the country, there are many more important issues to discuss and things to do than listen to West, his supporters or his detractors.

    If anything, the conversation over who’s right and who’s wrong in his or her assessment of President Obama merely serves as a heartbreaking reminder of how lacking in serious leadership black communities (as opposed to the nonexistent monolithic “black community” that hucksters pretend they represent) are when we so desperately need it. Where there are effective local organizers, they’re too busy doing the work to become talking heads, or are drowned out by the voices of the professional commentariat.

    This spectacle also shows how out of touch those academics are — and how easily distracted they are from the issues of unemployment, poverty, mass incarceration and a failed education system when offered the opportunity to attack another member of the self-anointed class of public intellectuals.

    Too bad West didn’t get tickets to the inauguration for his family, but neither did most of us. And what about the millions who wouldn’t have had the means to go even if they had been invited? West exposes his privileged-class roots when he sneers that “the guy who picks up my bags from the hotel has a ticket to the inauguration.” This from the man who proclaims himself the great defender of the Ray Rays and Jamals of the world — both iconic and suspect names to be trotted out as needed to evoke the downtrodden and conveniently speechless black masses.,0

    • creolechild says:

      Here is yet another article on this issue. Draw your own conclusions!

      “There are levels upon levels of complexity and nuance in the Cornel West vs. Barack Obama fracas. As I hinted at on We Are Respectable Negroes, there is some serious inside baseball going on here that will inevitably come to light–especially as more public intellectual academic types join the rumble.”

      “Some have suggested that the election of Barack Obama was a moment wherein the old guard of the Afrotocracy was forced to face their obsolescence. From Jesse’s desire to crush Obama’s nuts, Reverend Wright’s powerful truth telling, to Dr. West’s hurt feelings and wanting to son the President for “not being a free black man,” divides between the Civil Rights and post-Civil Rights generation are inevitable. The question remains unanswered if these differences are either healthy and/or helpful to the long, glorious Black Freedom Struggle.”

      “Moreover, the West vs. Obama episode does not signal the end of “identity politics” as some have over-reached in suggesting. As long as there are White people there will be identity politics in this country. As long as there are Black people there will be black politics, black political interests, and a black agenda. And with the “browning” of America race will remain salient, precisely because it is a cognitive map that we use to navigate the world. Ultimately, the still compelling gravity of the “race business” is really a reflection of how deeply white supremacy continues to structure this country’s social and political institutions.”

      “Preeminent Professor of Sociology Joe Feagin has some words of wisdom and measured reflection on President Obama’s challenge in navigating the perilous straits of being the first President who happens to be black. On his site Racism Review, Dr. Feagin makes the sharp observation that:

      “Over at The Nation, Melissa Harris-Perry, also a Princeton professor, is very critical of West for his personalizing attack on Obama’s heritage and whitewashed background, even as a hypocritical West himself has lived in a mostly white world since adulthood, especially as a professor at elite white universities. However, like several others, her critique is almost entirely about West’s own life and personal situation, but she mostly ignores West’s on-target structural critique of Obama’s (obligatory?) selling out to corporate America.”

      “Indeed, West is correct that working class and strong progressive, especially independent and forthright black, Americans have very few prominent voices in the top ranks of the Obama administration, including just one cabinet member not from the political or economic establishment. What the critiques of West leave unsaid is that what West is focusing most on how individual black success in U.S. politics, as for Obama, has not meant significant advances for black Americans as a group, nor for Americans of color collectively.”

      “Indeed, what is missing from West’s own critical analysis is the next obvious question: Why does the “not independent” Obama play up to the interests and issues of the dominant white elite and larger white population? This is not a character flaw, but rather about the foundational reality and continuing strength of the white racist system. That is the elephant in the room that not even West calls out.”

      “‘As I and my colleagues have argued before, black candidates for state and national political offices, like President Obama, cannot adopt, even occasionally, a black counter-framed perspective on the action necessary to deal with the extensive discrimination and severe socioeconomic problems faced by black communities and other communities of color, and expect to win. Even in part, black candidates cannot articulate what they will do to deal with extensive racial discrimination and related racial problems if they are elected, yet when white candidates tell white communities what they will do for them, almost no one accuses them of ‘playing the race card.'”

      “In contrast, black candidates need only to touch on issues of developing anti-discrimination and desegregation programs for black Americans and other people of color, and they are often called out as biased or extremist…”

      “White candidates and elected politicians regularly take action openly benefiting white communities. Although Obama has not ignored the needs of communities of color in his presidency, he has had to take modest action, and that quietly, to benefit the black community, such as on improving funding for black colleges.”

      “The questions surrounding race, identity, group interests, loyalty, and the symbolic power of America’s first Black President–and his obligations (if any) to the African American community–are not going away anytime soon. At times, it is necessary to state the obvious. President Obama is not perfect. He is a man who happens to be both black and the President of the United States. He is not a magical salve or a superhero. And as hard as this is for some to hear, Obama’s blackness and his presidency are coincidental–and given America’s history, almost mutually exclusive to one another.”

      “I have thought much on the following point and am surprised that more have not signaled to it: Obama as a “first” carries the burdens and dreams of so many on his shoulders. Sadly, realpolitik demands that he disappoint even as he blazes a trail forward. Obama is a consummate politician. His success in that milieu is a twisted sort of progress, for in a way he is just like all the others. That my friends is the unintended (or was it intentional?) consequence of the triumph of “colorblind” politics in the post-Civil Rights moment.”

      “In total, disappointment knows no boundaries of color, race, or creed, for disappointment and compromise are the cement of politics both before and after the Age of Obama. That is a reality which will not change anytime soon. We should learn to accept it, even as we push Obama to be more true to the progressive vision he offered during the campaign.”

  18. creolechild says:

    LOL! Watch’s hilarious!

    • creolechild says:

      I’m re-posting this article from yesterday’s thread:

      BOYCOTT THESE PRODUCTS! “But that’s not all: Koch Industries also profits from Cordura nylon, and Lycra fabric is produced by the Koch-owned textile company Invista. From ranching to fertilizers to chemicals and energy, the Koch brothers have their hands in a very wide range of goods and services. But though these products may seem bland, they’re putting billions of dollars into the coffers of one of this country’s most politically destructive corporations. For more on the Koch brothers, read Mark Ames and Mike Elk’s recent report for The Nation, “Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch.”

      • creolechild says:

        It just occurred to me that some people may not be aware of who the Koch Brothers are, and what they represent. Here’s an excellent 10-page article that will give you an introduction. After reading it you’ll understand why the Tea Party was able to spread so rapidly and how its candidates managed to get the funding which enabled them to get their message out and become elected–and wreak havoc upon all Americans who don’t share their views about the role of government, and who aren’t wealthy.

        “….With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge.”

        “The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.”


        “The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests.”

        “In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States.”

        “And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups.”

        “Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.”

        Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”


        “The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections represents a political triumph for the Kochs. By giving money to “educate,” fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, they have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement.”

        “Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, “The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who give a crap about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.”

        “With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, “everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there—people who can provide real ideological power.” The Kochs, he said, are “trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies.”

    • Ametia says:


      • creolechild says:

        I probably could come up with something BUT I’ve used up my self-imposed allotment of profanity for the day! (:

      • Ametia says:

        BWA HA HA We don’t advertise as a “cuss” free zone here. Nice that you’re gok with self-discipline, though. LOL

      • creolechild says:

        Ametia, I’m not going to lie. There are days when it’s truly a struggle to abide by the limits that I’ve set. Today is one of those days…but I’m trying. LOL!

      • creolechild says:

        Hold on…here’s another Koch “disciple”:

        Our guest blogger is Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress Reporter/Blogger. (Thank you, Stephen!)

        “New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to kill New Jersey’s participation in the nation’s first successful carbon trading program. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a ten-state climate and clean energy program that has reduced emissions and brought tens of millions of dollars to New Jersey ratepayers. Following a multi-million-dollar campaign to derail RGGI by the Koch front group Americans for Prosperity, Christie today called RGGI a “gimmicky” program that is “nothing more than a tax on electricity.”

        But in a 2008 campaign ad, Christie said, “I will be New Jersey’s number-one clean-energy advocate.” He explicitly embraced President Obama’s climate and clean energy goals, which included a national cap-and-trade system for clean energy investment:”

        Christie has now joined Tea Party opposition to Obama’s clean-energy policy to the detriment of programs he once supported. In his press conference today, Christie said he didn’t want to “overplay” the benefits to ratepayers because “we’re not talking about a huge difference.”


        “In fact, in addition to reducing New Jersey’s emissions by around 80,000 tons per year, this “gimmicky” program brought back $29.6 million to New Jersey ratepayers in 2010, supporting enough clean electricity to supply 20,000 homes. A new progress report out from RGGI shows that for every dollar invested by the program, states have gotten $3 to $4 in benefits.”

        “There’s only one thing you need to do in order to pull out of RGGI – ignore all the tangible, clean energy benefits. That’s it,” said the Conservation Law Foundation’s Seth Kaplan to Think Progress. “Christie’s had a good record in the past. The only reason to pull out now would be to score some ideological political points.”

        “New Jersey follows three other states – Delaware, Maine and New Hampshire – that have considered pulling out of RGGI. Resisting the polluting influence of Koch-backed lobbying and media campaigns, all those states decided to remain in the program because of the proven, positive benefits to ratepayers and businesses.”

  19. creolechild says:

    Apparently, the folks over at Faux have their boxers or thongs in a twist–whichever one applies in this case–over this:

    “Well, it appears that Fox has another fabricated non-issue to get worked up about this week: the Obama administration creating a rapid-response team to debunk falsehoods and respond to unfavorable stories in the media. Of course the talking heads at Fox — being the leading purveyors of those falsehoods — weren’t happy.”

    “Monica Crowley was asked about the new staffer, Jesse Lee, and what role he’d be playing for the Obama administration — and of course she just had to get in a reference to the supposed ‘Chicago way’ they play politics, think gangsters… wink, wink… and claimed that they were just trying to ‘intimidate their political opponents.'”

    “Sadly Fox proves every day why such a response team would be necessary since telling lies all day about Democrats is pretty much their stock and trade.”

    Cross-posted at Media Matters:

    “So to Karl Rove, arguably the king of smear campaigns, the Obama administration’s attempt to push back on the many lies and distortions about him, his administration and his record is tantamount to “the most vicious, negative, re-election campaign that we’ve seen.” Forgive me for laughing. Ironically, in reporting on Lee’s new post, Fox justified the position’s entire existence.”

    You can view the segments in question by clicking on the links. Personally, I simply refuse to post a FAUX video on this site.

    • Ametia says:

      Well since CNN & MSNC have decided to take on some of Fox’s style of reporting or lack there of, the Dems are going to have to double down on calling out the bullshit lies wherever and whenever necessary.

      So Fox, get over yourselves.

  20. creolechild says:

    For real?!!

    “‘During his campaign for Congress last year, freshman Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) called for a complete repeal of President Obama’s stimulus program. ‘I hope that Congress will admit they made a mistake and vote to repeal the Stimulus Act in order to reduce our deficit,’ he said confidently at the time. Once he got into office, Long’s opinion did not change. On the second annivsary of the bill’s signing, Long sent out a press release claiming that the stimulus had ‘failed.'”

    “However, Long was singing a different tune last week when he stood with officials at a ceremony for a new health clinic in his district. On Friday, Long appeared with other community leaders to break ground for the new Access Family Care clinic in Cassville, Missouri. The construction was made possible with a $635,000 grant from the stimulus, secured in part by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who unlike Long supported the stimulus. View a picture from Access Family Care’s website showing Long at a groundbreaking to spend stimulus money in his district….”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Oprah’s Final Dress was L’Wren Scott Design
    by Lindsay Mannering (Subscribe to Lindsay Mannering’s posts)
    Posted May 25th 2011 at 6:11PM

    Oprah’s final show has come and gone and as far as we can tell, the Earth is still spinning. We were legitimately afraid it might stop — without Oprah on the air, we were worried that our planet would come to a standstill, the animals would take higher ground and we’d all freeze to death. But so far, so good!

    While we’re all still alive let’s talk about Oprah’s last outfit.

    The inimitable icon went with a custom coral silk L’Wren Scott dress with a degrade chiffon belt, nude heels and gorgeous diamond (or topaz, but we assume they’re diamonds, it’s Oprah after all) drop earrings. We think it was a great choice and right in her lane, she wore a Scott design for the final-farewell episode, but some designers might disagree.

  22. creolechild says:

    Think about the women who serve in the military when you read this article. Maybe you have a mother, sister, aunt, cousin or friend who is enlisted. How does this make you feel about what is NOT being done by to provide the services they may need?
    No words…just no words for this!

    “I was deeply disappointed to learn that on May 24, the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives shut down debate on an amendment that would have provided abortion services to military women who become pregnant as a result of rape.”

    “Under current law, the Department of Defense is barred from providing coverage for abortion except where the pregnant woman’s life is endangered. Unlike other federal bans on abortion coverage, the military ban provides no exception for cases of rape or incest. The current policy is shameful. Our military women, who serve and sacrifice for their country, should not have worse health care benefits than civilians who rely on the government for their insurance coverage.”

    “As Chief of Medical Operations at the Air Force’s European Headquarters, I was significantly involved in the initial development of the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention program (SAPRO) for our bases throughout Europe. Improvements in the area of prevention and reporting of assaults, and in the provision of emergency contraception, are commendable. However, military sexual assaults remain unacceptably high.”

    “While the Department of Defense maintains a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault, this crime has reached crisis level in the military. It is estimated that one in three women are sexually assaulted during their military service. This figure is especially staggering when taken into account with under-reporting of sexual assault. The climate of fear and intimidation leading to under-reporting remains an intractable problem, with the FY2010 SAPRO report estimating that only 14 percent of victims of sexual assault report this crime.”

    “This report also shows that the vast majority of victims are female, 25 or younger, and from the junior enlisted ranks. These young women usually serve far from home, with no close family and friend support systems to help them through such a traumatic experience. When a servicewoman is raped, becomes pregnant, and chooses to end the pregnancy caused by an act of violence, she should not have to scramble to find the funds to pay for the care she needs. She should have access to the same medical benefits that other women insured by our government already have.”

    “I stand with Service Women’s Action Network, the ACLU, and many other organizations working to protect the women who have dedicated their lives to protecting us, by supporting the Davis-Andrews-DeGette-Maloney-Sanchez-Slaughter Amendment. If passed it would have repealed the current ban on coverage for abortion care for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.”

    “Our military women, and the wives and daughters of active duty troops, deserve more comprehensive reproductive health care than the current policy provides. They have demonstrated their commitment to the country they are willing to die to protect. Congress should demonstrate its commitment to their service and sacrifice.”

    About the author of this article: “Dr. Katherine Scheirman. served as an officer in the United States Air Force as a physician for 20 years. As Chief, Medical Operations Division for the Headquarters, United States Air Forces in Europe (HQ USAFE) her assignments included oversight of the quality of care provided at Air Force hospitals and clinics in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Turkey. Dr. Scheirman retired as a colonel in 2006.”


  23. creolechild says:

    “….Today, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) joined the fracas, slamming Obama as “not pro-Israel” in an op-ed for the Daily Caller. The “1967 border insult,” he said, proves that Obama be “pro-Israel first and pro-peace second,” Walsh — who is Catholic — lashed out at “most American Jews” for siding with “vague notions of ‘peace’” over “Israel’s wellbeing [sic] and security.” Thus, Walsh asserted, “Too many American Jews aren’t as pro-Israel as they should be“:

    “So, where is the outrage from the American Jewish community? Don’t they understand that the president is not pro-Israel? Aren’t they troubled by his history of pro-Palestinian writings, speeches, and actions? The short answer is that most American Jews are liberal, and most American liberals side with the Palestinians and vague notions of “peace” instead of with Israel’s wellbeing and security. Like the president, the U.N., and most of Europe, too many American Jews aren’t as pro-Israel as they should be and too many share his belief that the Palestinians are victims of Israeli occupation. Nothing could be further from the truth.[…]”

    “If we want peace in the Middle East, we have to publicly choose a side and defend that side. We have to stand with Israel. We must be their advisor [sic] and protector.”

    “Curiously, many American Jews are none-to-pleased with Walsh’s patronizing delusion. Hadar Susskind, Vice President of Policy and Strategy for J Street (who also served in the Israeli army) explained to ThinkProgress how Walsh is completely divorced from reality. He noted that the 1967 border policy is “unequivocally and publicly” the policy of the U.S. presidents “going all the way back to Jimmy Carter, including Ronald Reagan,” and has been supported by numerous Israeli administrations. “American Jews are the most engaged community on this issue and the debate” and “actually disagree with extremely radical positions like Walsh’s that would jeopardize Israel’s security,” he added.”

    • creolechild says:

      Update: National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David A. Harris released this statement to ThinkProgress:

      “I am positively astonished at Walsh’s offensive statements and deeply disturbed by his assertions. He knows precious little about anything he speaks about and he embarrasses himself in the extreme with his comments. Mr. Walsh owes the entire Jewish community an apology for his patently absurd and atrocious statements about our commitment to Israel.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Cain Breaks From GOP Script, Praises Ryan Plan As ‘Voucher’ Program (VIDEO)

    Herman Cain appeared Thursday on Fox & Friends, and spoke strongly in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) controversial proposal to privatize Medicare. And Cain quite proudly called the proposal a “voucher” program — a word that Republicans are trying to avoid.

    Fox host Gretchen Carlson asked Cain what he thought of the fact that none of the various budgets in Congress can pass.

    “Well what’s going on is, they’re not being honest with the American people,” said Cain. “The fact of the matter is, Ryan’s plan represents giving people a choice — but if you’re 55 years of age or older, you’re not gonna be affected. Nobody’s talking about that.

    “Secondly, nobody’s talking about the fact that the centerpiece of Ryan’s plan is a voucher. Now, a lot of people don’t like to use that term because it has a negative connotation. That is what we need.”

    The GOP talking points on the plan have carefully eschewed the word “voucher” in favor of the friendlier “premium assistance” or “premium support.” Cain, on the other hand, is apparently ignoring that particular memo.

    • Ametia says:

      SMGDH@ Herman COON. His purpose to the GOP will be short-lived.

    • creolechild says:

      Stop your lying! Here are the COLD, HARD FACTS. Check the list to see if someone in your family will be affected…given that seniors usually live on fixed incomes. Ask yourself why they’re so willing to increase the burden on the elderly but can’t find the resolve to tax the wealthy and corporations so that they pay their fair share? Why do they get a pass? There’s something to be said about individuals who don’t care about the well-being of the most vulnerable members of its society: children, seniors, and the disabled…
      Think about this: one day you’ll be a senior too! Would you want to be treated this way after working hard your entire life?

      “Since passing their reckless budget plan last week, Republicans nationwide have continued to make the false claim that their plan protects today’s seniors. But seniors need to know the facts about the GOP plan. The Republican-passed budget will force nearly four million seniors to pay an additional $2.2 BILLION for prescription drugs next year alone.”

      Wisconsin: On Sunday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said, “And Medicare, let me just tell you, no change would occur to anybody fifty-five years of age or above.” Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) claims, “The fact is, this plan does not affect today’s seniors, or anyone on the verge of retirement, 55 years or older.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 69,167 Wisconsin seniors will pay $39 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Virginia: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Friday, “To be clear, our plan will not touch benefits for today’s seniors and those nearing retirement.” Cantor ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 91,377 Virginia seniors will pay $51 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Kentucky: Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) “says the proposed changes to Medicare in the House bill will not affect anyone currently 55 or older.” Guthrie ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 74,669 Kentucky seniors will pay $42 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      North Carolina: Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) said, “This budget does not cut Medicare funding. It makes no changes to Medicare for anyone 55 or older.” Ellmers ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 122,598 North Carolina seniors will pay $69 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Pennsylvania: After voting for the budget on Friday, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said, “Under our proposal, seniors are safe, with no changes to the current program for those 55 and older.” Rep. Glen Thompson (R-PA) asserted, “Contrary to the misinformation, this plan keeps our current commitments to seniors, while ensuring the longevity of our social safety net programs for future generations.” And Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) said, “It’s extremely important that people 55 years and older know that there will not be one dime of change to what they’ve been promised.” All three ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 266,342 Pennsylvania seniors will pay $149 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      New York: Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) said, “What I like about Ryan’s plan is that if you’re 55 and over — so if you’re about to become a senior or you are a senior — this will not affect you.” Grimm ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 273,223 New York seniors will pay $153 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      West Virginia: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said the GOP budget “does not affect anyone currently on Medicare or anyone 55 and older.” Capito ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 42,114 West Virginia seniors will pay $24 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Illinois: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said, “Those 55 years and older will see absolutely no change in their current Medicare plan.” Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) claimed, “There will be no changes to Medicare for those who are 55 and older.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 163,630 Illinois seniors will pay $92 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      New Hampshire: Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) said, “The two most important things that I want seniors to be aware of is that if you’re 55 and older, there is no change in Medicare or Medicaid benefits.” Guinta ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 15,222 New Hampshire seniors will pay $8.5 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      California: Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) said, “First of all, let’s make it clear, if we’re talking about someone 65 and older — anybody 55 and older will not be affected by any changes whatsoever.” Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said, “Americans now age 55 and older will not see a change.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 381,298 California seniors will pay $214 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Washington: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) said, “I’m not going to touch current seniors.” Herrera Beutler ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 67,379Washington seniors will pay $38 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Georgia: After voting for the House GOP budget on Friday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) said, “if you are age 55 or over, these changes will not affect you at all.” Westmoreland ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 114,974 Georgia seniors will pay $64 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Arkansas: After voting for the House GOP budget on Friday, Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) said, “If you are 55 or over, there are no, zero changes to Medicare.”Rep. Donald Young (R-AK) stated, “If you are 55 and older your benefits are preserved.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 2,503 Alaska seniors will pay $1.4 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Ohio: Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) said, “The budget plan secures Medicare without making any changes to those currently 55 and older.” Renacci ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 159,403 Ohio seniors will pay $89 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Florida: After voting for the House GOP budget on Friday, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) said, “Make no mistake, those who are 55 years or older would see no changes to Medicare whatsoever.” After voting for the budget on Friday, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) argued, “This is a bold plan to save Medicare for future generations without affecting seniors and anyone 55 and older.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 275,927 Florida seniors will pay $155 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Idaho: Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), said, “The House Republican plan reforms our ailing Medicare program so that it will be there for future generations without impacting the current benefits of anyone 55 or older.” Simpson ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 17,805 Idaho seniors will pay $10 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Indiana: After voting for the budget, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) argued, “Persons that are 55 and older will not see changes to their Social Security and Medicare benefits.” Stutzman ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 96,422 Indiana seniors will pay $54 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Oklahoma: On Friday, after voting for the budget, Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) stated, “This plan would not affect current Medicare beneficiaries, and those approaching retirement age – changes would apply only to people currently 54 years of age and younger.” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said, “The Ryan plan ensures these programs will be available for our children and grandchildren — without making any changes for those age 55 and above. That’s an important point that bears repeating: The Ryan Budget passed last week will not affect benefits for anyone 55 or older.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 61,466 Oklahoma seniors will pay $34 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Texas: After voting for the budget, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) stated that the Ryan plan, “Makes no changes to Social Security and Medicare benefits for those who are 55 years old or older.” Thornberry ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 238,072 Texas seniors will pay $133 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Minnesota: After voting for the budget on Friday, Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) said, “This budget also strengthens the senior safety net by preserving Medicare for future generations without any disruptions for those at or nearing retirement.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said, “So really, in a lot of ways, it should be called the ‘55 and under’ plan, because anybody 55 years of age or older will not be touched.” Both ignore the fact that, under the Republican budget, 71,867 Minnesota seniors will pay $40 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      Nevada: After voting for the budget on Friday, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) argued that the budget made, “no changes to those over 55.” Heck ignores the fact that, under the Republican budget, 26,767 Nevada seniors will pay $15 million more for prescription drugs next year alone.

      • Ametia says:

        Lying liars and the LIES they tell, creolechild. Keep posting the facts. GOP refused to vote on reining in drug companies costs, and want to decimate medicare, privitize it with vouchers, and have senior citizens fend for themselves when making up the cost of their healthcare from use of proposed vouchers.

        The GOP want to push granny and grandpa off the cliff!

    • creolechild says:

      I guess Cain is the GOP’s answer for people of color who don’t believe that President Obama is doing anything for them. Good luck with that if you think the GOP gives a flying fuck about people of color or anyone who isn’t wealthy!

  25. rikyrah says:

    May 26, 2011 10:10 AM

    Where things stand with the GOP field
    By Steve Benen

    Gallup has a new poll this morning, asking Republicans who they prefer among their GOP presidential hopefuls. It’s the first national poll taken after several prominent figures — Huckabee, Daniels, Trump, etc. — withdrew from consideration.

    I found the results rather interesting:

    1. Mitt Romney — 17%
    2. Sarah Palin — 15%
    3. Rand Paul — 10%
    4. Newt Gingrich — 9%
    5. Herman Cain — 8%
    6. Tim Pawlenty — 6%
    7. Michele Bachmann — 5%
    8. Jon Huntsman — 2%
    8. Gary Johnson — 2%
    8. Rick Santorum — 2%

    First, the obligatory caveat. National polls, at this early point in the process, are lacking in predictive value. The surveys in states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are probably worth keeping a closer eye on, since winners and losers there will see their national numbers rise and fall accordingly.

    That said, there are a couple of noteworthy things to take from these new results from Gallup. Herman Cain, for example, has a lot more support than I would have expected. Generally, these polls are largely driven by name recognition, but with Cain largely unknown as a national figure, and getting next to zero press coverage, this doesn’t explain his relatively strong showing.

    The conventional wisdom is that Cain — a former pizza company executive with no experience in public office at any level — is better left ignored, no more credible that Johnson or Roemer. A couple of more polls like this one, though, and those assumptions will be need of some major revisions. Campaign reporters are closely following Pawlenty and Huntsman, but Gallup shows Cain’s support matching Pawlenty’s and Huntsman’s totals combined.

    Also note Palin’s second-place showing, nearly matching Romney. Dave Weigel argues that she should be faring better, but I don’t quite see it that way — after all of this time as a national laughingstock, the former half-term governor is still one of the top GOP presidential candidates at the national level. The American mainstream may consider her a ridiculous punch-line, but she maintains a sizable base of right-wing support, and if she were to run, Palin would likely be able to compete as a top-tier challenger.

    I suspect she’d have a fairly modest ceiling and couldn’t actually win the nomination, but Palin still has a following, ridiculous though it may be.

  26. rikyrah says:

    GOP Attacks Women’s Health, Again
    by BooMan
    Thu May 26th, 2011 at 09:27:50 AM EST

    I know people don’t really like to think about unpleasant things like miscarriages, but they happen all the time. And, unless they happen fairly early in the pregnancy, they require a medical procedure.

    Most of the time, a surgical management of miscarriage will be a procedure called a D&C, or dilation and curettage. In a D&C, the woman checks into the hospital and after a pre-surgical workup, she gets either local or general anesthesia. Then the doctor dilates the cervix and scrapes away and/or vacuums the uterine lining. Afterward, she usually is discharged the same day with a prescription for pain medication and a recommendation to see her doctor for a follow-up appointment a few days or a week or two later.
    Some doctors will perform a D&C in the office so that the woman does not need to check into the hospital.

    A D&C may be necessary for a miscarriage that poses an immediate threat to the woman’s health, such as if a woman is hemorrhaging or if she has tissue retained in the uterus after a natural miscarriage.

    Earlier miscarriages may be treated with vaccum aspiration, although this is not too common. These two procedures, D&C and vaccum aspiration, also happen to be the the most common ways to perform an abortion. A gynecologist needs to know how to perform the procedures in order to properly care for women who have miscarried even if they never provide abortions to their patients. If we don’t have doctors who know how to do these procedures then women’s health will suffer badly.

    So, just keep that in mind when reading this:

    The House has passed legislation that would bar teaching health centers that receive federal funds under the new health care act from using the money to teach abortion techniques.
    Rep. Virginia Foxx, the sponsor of the measure, says she wants to make it “crystal clear” that taxpayer money is not being used to train health care providers to perform abortions.

    The North Carolina Republican’s proposal was offered as an amendment to a bill that puts funding restrictions on a teaching program in President Barack Obama’s health care act.

    The amendment passed 234-182, over the objections of some Democrats who said it would prevent medical residents from learning a basic procedure in women’s health care.

    It’s not like these objections are one side of the argument. The same procedures used to perform abortions are used to treat miscarriages. That’s just a simple fact that can’t really be in dispute.

    As an aside, this fact is also an important reason why any criminalization of abortion would necessarily invade the privacy and further traumatize victims of miscarriage. Since the procedures are the same for both miscarriage and abortion, treatment for miscarriage would have to be heavily documented and subject to investigation.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Delivering On Gridlock
    by digby

    When the Republicans go all in, they go all in. Here’s Paul Ryan this morning:

    Washington has not been honest with you about Medicare. Medicare is a critical program which helps seniors achieve health security. But the truth is it’s headed for a painful collapse. We can save Medicare, but we have to reform it so that it delivers the high quality we expect, at a price we can afford.
    […] The urgent need to reform Medicare, and the President’s misguided approach, have left us with a serious question to ask: Who should be making health-care decisions for you and your family? A government monopoly and a panel of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.? Or you?

    We have to destroy Medicare in order to save it. I think we’ve been down that bizarroworld wingnut logic road before. It doesn’t make any more sense today than it ever has. But they are going there, presumably trying to convince senior citizens that the only people they really want to screw are people under 55. (Apparently, they have zero interest in ever getting the votes of the second wave baby boomers who are now between 47 and 55 — and just took a major hit in their retirement plans. And why not? They only make up 25% of the voting population. Who needs ’em?)

    This is actually good news because it indicates that the Republicans are so delusional that they will never agree to even the kind of fake tax hikes the corporate Dems are more than willing to give them in exchange for the cuts in “entitlements” so they think they need to sell themselves as “fiscally responsible.” As I’ve been harping for months — with the Republicans having gone completely over the cliff and the Democrats ready to compromise on anything in order that the Villagers finally acknowledge them as “grown-ups” the best thing that could happen is gridlock. Since it’s unlikely that the Democrats will ever draw a real line in the sand we have to depend upon Grover Norquist and Paul Ryan to stay crazy. Looks like that’s not going to be a problem.


    • creolechild says:

      Thank you, Tim Foley! Here’s an article dated September 08, 2009:

      Is Medicare Bankrupt?

      “Well, if you know people on Medicare, the answer is obviously no. The government is still picking up the tab of at least a majority of their health care day in and day out. From what I hear from doctor friends, Medicare even pays more promptly than private insurance. Still, we’ve been hearing the “Medicare is bankrupt” canard on cable and reading it on protesting signs in town halls all summer.”

      “I’m not sure I understand the through-line of the argument, but my guess is that if Medicare is having financial difficulties, it proves we shouldn’t rely on government to solve our health care dilemma and should instead look to salvation from the free market. Except all available data suggests the single best thing we can do for Medicare is not to turn Medicare over to the free market. We tried that. It made things worse.”

      “Call me old-fashioned, but I define bankruptcy as being insolvent — your debts exceed your assets to such an extent that you can never pay them. That’s not the case this year for Medicare, nor the next, nor the next. Based on the actuarial projections of the Medicare Trust Fund, which is tasked with annually reporting to Congress on how the bottom line looks, the point where Medicare will pay out more than it takes in — even by a penny — won’t occur until somewhere between 2014 to 2028. But that presumes no changes in how Medicare income or spending. Either could be adjusted well before that point. Both have been adjusted at various times in the past well before the point of insolvency. Put another way, the Department of Defense budget is raised every year, usually in lieu of asking it to cut its budget substantially, but when’s the last time someone said the DOD was bankrupt?”

      • creolechild says:

        Sheesh…THIS is from Medicare’s official site. I’m going to keep posting it until it finally sinks in that MEDICARE IS NOT GOING BANKRUPT! Okay?

        “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:

        Keep posting the facts, creolechild. The GOP want to dismantle medicare and privitize it for PROFIT.

  28. rikyrah says:

    May 26, 2011
    Underestimating Palin
    University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato reveals a keen political truism when he observes: “Sarah Palin can’t be underestimated.”

    I’m sure Prof. Sabato meant to conceptually convey that Sarah Palin should not be underestimated, for indeed with her there exists no behavior at which low point one can authoritatively say: Yep, that’s it, she’s hit absolute bottom.

    It just can’t be done. One can underestimate her performance with wild and elaborate abandon and yet she’ll beat one’s lowest expectations every time. In that she resembles Glenn Beck, or Robert Mugabe.

    Yet now come flurries of anticipation, if not exactly expectations, however low, about a Palin presidential run after all. What a stunner that Palin’s political stirrings just happen to coincide with the release of a former staffer’s expose — Blind Allegiance — portraying the Harpy Queen as warm as a viper, as devout as Jimmy Swaggart, and nearly as functionally stupid as Sen. James Inhofe (politics’ gold standard of stupidity, never to be out-valued).

    Once the book is no longer a political sensation and literary cause celebre, Palin’s stirrings will subside. In this prediction I hope, I pray, I beg every god of political fortune that I’m wrong. The Republican Party needs Sarah Palin. It needs her as its presidential nominee in 2012 and there’s not a minute to spare or a legitimate doubt to raise. With Palin at the helm, defining all things GOP, the party would go up in a phantasmagoric fireball of electoral devastation it would never forget — and never revisit.

    So I’ll pray for the GOP’s guidance under Presidential Nominee Palin, but such a prayer request I doubt even God can grant; He’s too busy trying to underestimate her, right along with the rest of us.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Cornyn On Senate Vote To End Medicare: We’re Not Ending Medicare
    Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has taken issue with the media’s coverage of Wednesday’s Senate vote on the GOP’s Medicare-privatizing budget.

    On the Senate floor Wednesday, Cornyn claimed “I will say that Republicans do not want to end Medicare as we know it. That is an intentional falsehood. That is a lie.”

    In response to two people who tweeted TPM’s write up of the vote, Cornyn called the headline — “Senate Republicans Vote Overwhelmingly To End Medicare” — a “lie.”

    As Democrats are fond of pointing out, an early Wall Street Journal article about the GOP budget made the same claim. And the facts bear it out.

    To reiterate, the plan 40 GOP senators voted for Wednesday night would do the following:

    1). Over the first 10 years, it would make relatively small changes to Medicare by repealing most of President Obama’s health care law. That would re-open the Medicare prescription donut hole, and deep-six new wellness benefit guarantees for seniors.

    2). After 10 years, it would begin phasing out traditional Medicare hospital insurance and replace it for newly eligible beneficiaries with a subsidy to buy regulated insurance on an exchange. The value of the subsidy would shrink over time relative to health care costs leaving seniors holding the bag for more and more of their own medical bills. Still, this is a policy Cornyn himself agreed has a lot in common for with the health care law, for people under 65. Nobody claims that the health care law is anything like Medicare.

    3). After that 10 year window is closed, those who already have Medicare would be allowed to retain traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Republicans argue that they’d see no disruption. But as explained here, over time that pool of people would age and shrink, leaving the traditional Medicare program without the purchasing power to entice providers to care for Medicare patients. Over time, that plan would erode until it disappeared altogether, leaving us with a fully privatized insurance program for all eligibles.

    • creolechild says:

      Thank you for posting this, rikyrah. The Republicans are doing everything they can to convince the public that it has their best interests at heart. That would a FIRST! Especially since this bill would do exactly the opposite of what they claim and negatively impact seniors.

    • creolechild says:

      “‘Senator Mike Johanns Argued that That The GOP Budget Maintains Benefits for Today’s Seniors. Johanns emphasizes that the Republican budget, ‘… protects the benefits for every American over age 55.'” [Politico, 5/25/11]

      “…But That Just Isn’t True. The GOP Plan to end Medicare Would Re-Open the Donut Hole, Forcing Millions of Seniors to Pay More for Prescription Drugs From Day One.”

      “Nationwide, nearly four million seniors would pay $2.2 billion more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone under the Republican plan.” [DPCC Report]

      “In Nebraska, more than 28,000 seniors would pay $16 million more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone under the Republican plan.” [DPCC Report]

      “The Republican plan could force at least 6,200 Nebraska seniors to pay over $660,500 more for annual wellness visits in 2012.” [DPCC Report]

    • Ametia says:

      So basically the GOP want to DECIMATE MEDICARE, ok, got it, Senator John Cornyn!

  30. creolechild says:

    Is there something in the water?!!

    “America’s kids don’t know jack about the Constitution, and according to a national Tea Party group, the only way to save them is to have school’s teach the nation’s founding document with materials provided by a controversial conservative group whose founder is one of Glenn Beck’s favorite historians.”

    “‘Tea Party Patriots, the Georgia-based organization that counts around 1,000 chapters nationwide, is asking its members to pressure schools to teach the Constitution during Constitution Week in September, as they are required to do by a 2004 law. And when schools do teach the founding document, the group is suggesting that they use materials provided by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a group that claims the country and Constitution were, ‘established by the hand of God.'”

    “NCCS’s founder, W. Cleon Skousen, became a tea party favorite in recent years when Glenn Beck touted him on his program as an exemplary constitutional scholar. But Skousen’s past is marred by accusations that his work is far from accurate, and at times rife with racism.”

    • creolechild says:

      “….If the U.S.A. was founded on the Judeo-Christian religion, the Constitution would clearly say so; but it does not. When the Founders wrote the nation’s Constitution, they specified that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article 6, section 3).”

      “This provision was radical in its day– giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike. They wanted to ensure that no single religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention religion, except in exclusionary terms. It mentions “We The People”. The words “Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, and God” are never mentioned in the Constitution– not once.”

      “The Declaration of Independence gives us important insight into the opinions of the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of
      the government is derived from the governed. Up until that time, it was claimed that kings ruled nations by the authority of God. The Declaration was a radical departure from the idea of divine authority. It was a letter from the Colonies to the English King, stating their intentions to sep[a]rate themselves. The Declaration is not a governing document. It mentions “Nature’s God” and “Divine Providence”– that’s the language of Deism, not Christianity.”

      “The 1796 treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was “in no sense founded on the Christian religion” (see below). This was not an idle statement, meant to satisfy muslims– they believed it and meant it. This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams.”


      “None of the Founding Fathers were atheists. Most of the Founders were Deists, which is to say they thought the universe had a creator, but that he does not concern himself with the daily lives of humans, and does not directly communicate with humans, either by revelation or by sacred books. They spoke often of God, (Nature’s God or the God of Nature), but this was not the God of the bible. They did not deny that there was a person called Jesus, and praised him for his benevolent teachings, but they flatly denied his divinity. Some people speculate that if Charles Darwin had lived a century earlier, the Founding Fathers would have had a basis for accepting naturalistic origins of life, and they would have been atheists. Most of them were stoutly opposed to the bible, and the teachings of Christianity in particular.”

      “Yes, there were Christian men among the Founders. Just as Congress removed Thomas Jefferson’s words that condemned the practice of slavery in the colonies, they also altered his wording regarding equal rights. His original wording is here in blue italics: “All men are created equal and independent. From that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable.” Congress changed that phrase, increasing its religious overtones: “All men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” But we are not governed by the Declaration of Independence– it is a historical document, not a constitutional one.”

  31. creolechild says:

    “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the national Tea Party star and potential presidential candidate who has mastered the art of rhetorical bomb-throwing, still hasn’t quite gotten the art of the money-bomb quite right.”

    “On Wednesday, Bachmann launched a money-bomb fundraising event entitled, “Make Barack Obama a One-Term President,” tying the event to her own potential candidacy and the hopes of her supporters that she might get in the race.”


    “At time of writing Thursday morning, the counter on Bachmann’s campaign site indicates that she has raised…$165,151, far short of the $240,000 goal. Compare that to Mitt Romney, who recently staged a one-day fundraising bonanza, utilizing a nationwide phone bank, which took in a whopping $10.25 million.”

    “As TPM has previously noted, the problem with Bachmann’s money-bombs has been a matter of execution. Bachmann is in fact a very strong fundraiser, especially when one considers that she is only a third-term House member, bringing in small and large sums from all over the country in the course of any given quarter.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    see, I don’t agree with her on all the issues, but like I’ve been telling you…


    she will be cramming it down their throats until November 2012

    this, ladies and gentleman, is what you call FLIPPING THE SCRIPT



    DNC Chair On Top 2012 GOPers: ‘I’m Concerned About Their Commitment To American Exceptionalism’

    Speaking to reporters today, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took a page from the Republican playbook when talking about three of President Obama’s top potential rivals in 2012.

    Speaking of former governors Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty, Wasserman Schultz said, “I’m concerned about their commitment to American exceptionalism.”

    It’s a line you hear often from Republicans on the trail when they’re speaking about Obama, and it’s usually read as a thinly-veiled attack on the president’s patriotism or his respect for “traditional American values” and the like. Responding to a followup question from TPM, Wasserman Shultz said that’s not exactly what she meant.

    What the chair of the Democratic party questions, she said, are the support for America’s middle class and other core facets of the national identity coming from three of the GOP presidential field’s most-hyped names:

    The way i would explain that statement is why aren’t they supportive of closing tax loopholes to make sure that we can not incentivize companies to ship jobs overseas? Why aren’t they supportive of making sure that we can strike a balance and not pile all the pain on top of people that can least afford it in the middle class and working families? Why do they only care about tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Why would they say they oppose bailing out the auto industry and rescuing the auto industry so that we can make sure we can have a strong and vibrant American automobile industry and then run from it? I mean why would they not want to make sure that everyone has access to health care? I mean these things — without them it would have prevented us from out-educating, out innovating and out competing our competitors in the global economy. So I just say that because it’s a reaction to their policies.

    • Ametia says:

      That a girl, Debbie! Give the GOP a taste of their own medicine. And while you’re at it, pass the bottle to your fellow Democratic Party cohorts. They need to get on board with the POTUS and get busy legislating for the American people and not the corporations.

      • creolechild says:

        And I think everyone who comes across information that shows what the GOP is up to should pass it on to their friends, families, and co-workers. This nonsense won’t stop until we make it! Sitting back and doing nothing is no longer an option… because there’s too much at stake.

        Please help us to spread the word!

      • @ Ametia: check-mark

  33. Breaking News:

    Judge strikes #Wisconsin union-stripping law

    This just in from AP:

    Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi ruled Thursday that Republican legislators violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law during the run up to passage. She says that renders the law void.

    Which means that, at least for today, State Representative Peter Barca was right. The State Supreme Court will hold arguments on June 6 to decide whether it takes up the case. At issue here is not the contents of the law as the way it was jammed through as hastily rewritten bill in a hastily convened committee. Wisconsin Republican lawmakers could try to pass the bill again, this time with more advance notice. Whether they’d want to do that as six Republican senators face recall votes and a new poll says the public wants the Democrats to be in charge is another question.

    The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel posts Judge Sumi’s ruling (pdf). I recommend starting on page 23. “Our form of government depends on citizens’ trust and confidence in the process by which our elected officials makes laws, at all levels of government,” Judge Sumi concludes. The decision merits — and rewards — reading.

  34. Actor Peter Fonda Said He’s Training His Grandsons to Shoot President Obama

    At the Cannes film festival, actor Peter Fonda may have said some words that he will eventually come to regret. During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Fonda stated that he is training his grandchildren to assassinate the president, which some argue would make him guilty of a federal crime.

    “I’m training my grandchildren to use long-range rifles,” he said. “For what purpose? Well, I’m not going to say the words ‘Barack Obama,’ but …”

    Some argue that Fonda broke the law with his ill-conceived remarks.

    “Clearly, there is a federal law that prohibits threatening the president,” said attorney Ross Nabatoff . “Now, the question is, is that a threat as opposed to him expressing his First Amendment rights? But you could conceivably construe that as a threat—he names the president. It’s a federal offense. He could be incarcerated.”

    Fonda has referred to President Obama as a “traitor” for the way he handled the BP oil spill last summer. The “Easy Rider” actor is a strong environmentalist and has taken public issue with the president. During Cannes, he attended the premier of “The Big Fix,” a documentary discusses the BP explosion and all of the consequences of the subsequent spill.

    Arrest this mofo! Throw his ass in jail!

  35. Raw Video: Obama Arrives France for G-8

  36. creolechild says:

    “‘Last Saturday, the Florida GOP-led legislature finalized the state’s $69.7 billion budget — and business won big. In this case, the victor was the private prison industry as the GOP’s budget deal includes — at Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) suggestion — ‘one of the biggest prison privatization programs’ in a state with ‘the third largest state prison system’ in the U.S. Indeed, ‘no other state has sought to privatize so many lock-ups at any one time.'”

    “This lucrative victory for the private prison industry is not surprising given how much they paid for it. As ThinkProgress reported last week, the prison industry — which includes the nation’s second largest private corrections company GEO Group — has doled out hundreds of thousands to Scott and the GOP in Florida since 2003. But not all Republicans are happy about the undue influence. State Rep. Paige Kreegel (R) and state Sen. Mike Fasano (R) both defied GOP leadership by voting against the bill because they viewed it as an abdication of government responsibility for public safety…”

    • creolechild says:

      Here’s the deal”

      “What happens if you privatize prisons is that you have a large industry with a vested interest in building ever-more prisons.” — Molly Ivins (Pulitzer prize-winning Reporter and author), 2003

      “I have never cared much for the stock market. I am usually more concerned with ERAs than IRAs, and Fox Sports than Fox Business. However, two things piqued my sudden interest in that otherwise dull subject: crooked lobbyist Ron Book lobbying for expanding private prisons in South Florida, and seeing billboards in Texas advertising for GEO Group.”

      “What is GEO Group? GEO Group, once known as Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, is a private prison business. A for-profit industry. A private prison with stock you can buy. Amazingly enough, GEO Group’s stock is actually on par or higher than many other high-profile companies that many of us actually use every day….”

      “First off, in any industry, there are businesses available that compete for your money. Now, I admit economics is not my forte. However, I know that Wal-Mart has been given a reputation of being the big bully company that wipes out small town businesses and imposing a monopoly in many small towns across the USA. GEO Group is growing. It has acquired Correctional Service Corporation in 2005, Cornell Corrections in 2010, and Behavioral Interventions (an electronic monitoring company) in 2011.”

      “Being the lowest bidder generally means cutting corners. GEO Group has amassed over half a million in fines alone while maintaining a severely understaffed facility and paying guards just a cut above minimum wage. There have been been numerous complaints of inmate abuse and poor conditions in the private prisons, but since they are “just prison inmates, who cares, right?”

      “Getting back to Ron Book’s South Florida, when GEO Group was known as Wackenhut, the state was overcharged by millions, which all came out of taxpayer wallets. In fact, the former Florida head of Wackenhut was recently arrested for racketeering. Considering Ron Book’s track record of corruption and controversy, it is no surprise he lobbies for such a group. What’s next?….”

      “Who cares, right? Think about it. The US has the largest prison population in the world in terms of numbers and per capita rates. An astounding 3.1% of adults in the US have criminal records, and one out of every 99 US adults are incarcerated right now. It is little wonder why prison is a big industry; after in, in many states, spending on prisons compete or exceed the funding for education.”

      “Most of these people are going to get out only to be socially ostracized to the point where committing crimes become almost a necessary survival component. There is no incentive to rehabilitate the offender, because no repeat customers is bad for the industry. You merely make a prisoner a better criminal. That, my friends, is Capitalism at its finest.”

      And while you’re at it think about the laws that strip people who have gone to jail of their voting rights. Then, think about who is primarily targeted by the criminal justice system…blacks and Latinos. Connect the dots people!

      • creolechild says:

        “’More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,’ Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation.”

        “Alexander, currently a law professor at Ohio State, had been brought in to discuss her year-old bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness More Black Men Now in Prison System than Enslaved in 1850.”

        “Interest ran so high beforehand that the organizers had to move the event to a location that could accommodate the eager attendees. That evening, more than 200 people braved the pouring rain and inevitable traffic jams to crowd into the library’s main room, with dozens more shuffled into an overflow room, and even more latecomers turned away altogether. Alexander and her topic had struck a nerve.”

        “Growing crime rates over the past 30 years don’t explain the skyrocketing numbers of black — and increasingly brown — men caught in America’s prison system, according to Alexander, who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun after attending Stanford Law.”

        “In fact, crime rates have fluctuated over the years and are now at historical lows.”

        “’Most of that increase is due to the War on Drugs, a war waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color,’ she said, even though studies have shown that whites use and sell illegal drugs at rates equal to or above blacks. In some black inner-city communities, four of five black youth can expect to be caught up in the criminal justice system during their lifetimes.”

        “As a consequence, a great many black men are disenfranchised, said Alexander — prevented because of their felony convictions from voting and from living in public housing, discriminated in hiring, excluded from juries, and denied educational opportunities.”

        “’What do we expect them to do?’ she asked, who researched her ground-breaking book while serving as Director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California. ‘Well, seventy percent return to prison within two years, that’s what they do.'”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011
    No Dice
    by digby

    I have long felt that it was unlikely that the President would allow substantial cuts to health care programs, since it is his signature issue. But since everyone in DC has come down with Deficit Fever, I’ve become a little bit worried that he might be coerced into cutting Medicaid since it’s seen by many people as a “welfare” program and who likes that? (This was why I was always more worried about Social Security — it’s not a health care program and so less likely to be protected by the president in a Grand Bargain.)

    If Gene Sperling’s words this morning are any indication, the White House is not going to use health care as a bargaining chip:

    He said Mr. Ryan has “put himself in a box” with his unwillingness to raise tax revenue. He said this forced Republicans to call for “very severe cuts” that if “explored” by Americans “they would not be proud of.”

    Mr. Sperling attacked the House Republican proposals to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, saying that the $770 billion in savings Republicans wanted from changing Medicaid would be unneccessary if Republicans would agree to roll back certain tax cuts.

    “You can’t say to anybody who would be affected by that, that we have to do that, that we have no choice,” he said. “The fact is that all of those savings would be unnecessary if you were not funding the high income tax cuts.”

    He also said that Mr. Ryan was wrong when he said that raising taxes as part of a broader package would hurt economic growth.

    “Everything he said I heard nine million times in 1993,” said Mr. Sperling, who was NEC deputy director in the Clinton administration and later became Mr. Clinton’s national economic adviser.

    This is really important. Sperling has ben one of the foremost proponents of the Grand Bargain and this pretty unequivocally takes Medicaid cuts off the table.

    It will always be vulnerable — whenever the Republicans get the chance they will try to cut Medicaid, especially once it is expanded to cover more people. They will be desperate to call it a welfare program that somehow is keeping people from being productive members of society. But if the Dems can at least protect what exists now and get the expansion enacted it will be harder. Sperling’s comments were terribly important in that it positioned it as a safety net program that helps the middle class as much as the poor and I’m not sure most people know that.

  38. Ametia says:

    U.S. Supreme Court upholds Arizona law punishing businesses that hire illegal immigrants.
    The 5-3 ruling is a victory for supporters of a crackdown on illegal immigration. Opponents of the law, including the Obama administration, say it steps on traditional federal oversight over immigration matters.

  39. rikyrah says:

    May 26, 2011 8:35 AM
    It’s the policy, not the rhetoric
    By Steve Benen

    If accountability in media actually mattered, Karl Rove should have some explaining to do. After all, just last month, the former Bush Svengali assured his fellow Republicans that the American mainstream would be receptive to GOP efforts to gut Medicare and other entitlement programs.

    “People are getting it that these things are unsustainable,” Rove said in April. “For so many people, debt is no longer abstract. It’s more concrete. I don’t know if it’s seeing Greece on TV or what. It’s still tough, but it’s not the political loser it used to be.”

    That perspective is not serving Rove’s party well — by trying to end Medicare, Republicans are flailing. In his new Wall Street Journal column, however, Rove urges the political world not to believe their lying eyes — the public really will just love Medicare privatization, just as soon as the GOP and its allies learn to sell it better.

    Next year, Republicans must describe their Medicare reforms plainly, set the record straight vigorously when Democrats demagogue, and go on the attack. Congressional Republicans — especially in the House — need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform. They have to become as comfortable talking about Medicare in the coming year as they did in talking about health-care reform last year.

    There needs to be preparation and self-education, followed by extensive town halls, outreach meetings, visits to senior citizen centers, and the use of every available communications tool to get the reform message across.

    Republicans continue to misunderstand the nature of the public backlash. Rove, like many GOP leaders, believe they are simply burdened by a communications problem — and that with more effective public relations and outreach efforts, turning Medicare into a privatized voucher scheme will come to enjoy broad support. Those silly Americans just don’t understand how great right-wing policies are, and it’s up to Republicans to get the “message across” more effectively.

    Once in a great while, politicians are more or less justified in thinking this way. During the fight over health care reform, for example, polls showed Americans rejecting the Democratic plan, but strongly approving of the ideas within the plan. Large numbers of Americans had been convinced the reform agenda was awful, without knowing what it was they were against.

    The GOP Medicare plan isn’t one of those cases. The public knows what Medicare is, and they like it. Americans know what vouchers are, and they don’t like them. Republicans don’t need “a political war college” to tell them how to “explain, defend and attack”; they need a new policy that isn’t a callous, ridiculous plan built on fraudulent data.

    I’d also note, by the way, that Rove’s column includes a few more howlers. He describes Medicare privatization as “populist” — yes, making the elderly pay more for health care, while giving millionaires tax cuts, is now “populism” in GOP circles — and describes his right-wing attack operation, American Crossroads, as “independent.” If he typed that with a straight face, I’d be very impressed.

    And finally, Rove assures Republicans that losing a New York special election this week in one of the region’s most reliably “red” districts is unimportant, and certainly not a reason to back away from a far-right agenda.

    I suspect Democrats hope the GOP takes Rove’s advice.

    • creolechild says:

      This should be the “kiss of death” for Paul Ryan. But never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups…

      “Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave the afternoon keynote address at the KPMG Global Energy Institute conference in Houston yesterday. While his remarks were focused on energy and the oil markets, Cheney also opined on other popular current events. During the question-and-answer period, Cheney gave a ringing endorsement of embattled Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), author of the Republican Medicare-killing budget:

      “I worship the ground the Paul Ryan walks on,” he said referring to the Republican congressman from Wisconsin. “I hope he doesn’t run for president because that would ruin a good man who has a lot of work to do.”

  40. creolechild says:


    “Last month, the Vermont Senate passed legislation, approved earlier by the House, that would establish a single payer health care system in the state. The legislation would make Vermont the first state in the nation to, as Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said, make health care “a right and not a privilege.”

    “The governor’s office just confirmed for ThinkProgress that Shumlin signed the legislation into law this morning, making the state the first in American history to pass legislation that will establish a single payer health care system to provide care to all citizens. Now that the law is signed, Vermont will spend the next four years setting up the system and preparing it for implementation.”

    “In order to actually enact the system, the state needs a waiver from the Affordable Care Act health reform law. Currently, the federal government will start handing out state waivers in 2017 — three years after Vermont wants to implement its system. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) has introduced an amendment that would move the waiver date up to 2014, an idea that President Obama has endorsed.”

  41. creolechild says:

    Let’s do a RECAP shall we?

    Remember when Cornel West made the claim, which was roughly paraphrased by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “That Obama, whom West supported as a candidate to be Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military in the world, who throughout his candidacy repeatedly said he would kill Bin Laden if given the chance, has lately mutated into the proud “head of the American killing machine.”

    You with me? Now, let’s compare that statement with these actions:

    “Wow! Late this afternoon, the Obama White House threatened to VETO the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill that the House of Representatives is debating and voting on this week, if it includes a new law for worldwide war without end, or any of the bad Guantánamo detention and limitation of prosecution provisions that Chairman Buck McKeon of the House Armed Services Committee slipped into the bill.”

    “The statement is the strongest and most principled stand the White House has taken on these kinds of provisions. The Obama administration is saying no to the proposed worldwide war law. A veto threat is a very big deal. The president is making clear where he stands, and is backing it up with his veto pen, if Congress doesn’t fix the bill.”

  42. rikyrah says:

    May 25, 2011
    Cory Gardner, a Republican congressman whose Colorado district is — hello — demographically akin to NY’s 26th, defiantly told Politico today that “We were sent here on November 2 to do the right thing…. We actually have leadership we are trying to pursue, leadership for our country.”

    Fine. But have you noticed what Republicans haven’t been saying since November 2, before which date they belched and bellowed it every second?

    Yep, you got it: that they were Washington bound to be The Voice of the People, something so long ignored by brutish Congressional Democrats, what with (claimed the GOP) their unpopular healthcare reform and all. The People, said pre-November Republicans, needed their unassuming voices heard and their humble wishes honored, and they were just the populist pols to satisfy the bubbling demand.

    No longer. No, now we hear not a peep about simple, humble, representative government. We instead hear that Republicans are courageous leaders — meaning they give not one damn about, for instance, public opinion polls expressing near uniform opposition to political profanities like RyanCare.

    But, it just goes to what I’ve routinely said of these boys: Integrity, always integrity.

  43. LONDON – MAY 26: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and First Lady Michelle Obama (C) speak with Louis Susman (R), U.S. Ambassador to Britain, at Stansted Airport , on May 26, 2011 near London, England. Obama is leaving Britain for the G8 Summit in Dueville, France, following a two day state visit. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle were in the UK at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

  44. US First Lady Michelle Obama (C) kisses goodbye her husband US President Barack Obama (L) as he boards Air Force One on the tarmac of Stansted airport near London May 26, 2011. The White House offered no details of Michelle Obama’s programme, but she sometimes drops off portions of her husband’s overseas tours to return home to be with her daughters Malia and Sasha. Obama left Britain today at the end of a three-day state visit and headed for a G8 summit in the French resort of Deauville.

    • Ametia says:

      FLOTUS is likely headed back to the states. The girls must miss her too.
      You did us proud First Lady Michelle! Thank you.

  45. LONDON – MAY 26: U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at Stansted Airport, ON May 26, 2011 near London, England. Obama is leaving Britain for the G8 Summit in Dueville, France, following a two day state visit. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle were in the UK at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

  46. U.S. President Barack Obama walks with first lady Michelle Obama before he boards Air Force One at London’s Stansted Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2011. President Barack Obama, having made his case for the historic and vital role of shared U.S. and European intervention around the world, will press allies for further commitments in the Middle East and North Africa during two days of meetings in France.

  47. LONDON – MAY 26: U.S. Secret Service officers stand on duty as Air Force One taxis on the runway at Stansted Airport, on May 26, 2011 near London, England. US. President Barcak Obama is leaving Britain for the G8 Summit in Dueville, France, following a two day state visit. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle were in the UK at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

  48. creolechild says:

    “May 11, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ — Incarceration of individuals convicted of non-violent crimes comes at a great cost to society. In the case of a person found guilty of a drug-related offense who would be best served by treatment for addiction, the criminal justice system often just perpetuates a problem. But the Florida legislature is giving strong consideration to getting rid of mandatory minimum sentences for defendants convicted of sale of controlled substances.”

    “Senate Bill 1334 also seeks to encourage the Department of Corrections to place non-violent offenders into paid community service employment and develop reentry programs for inmates. The bill recently received unanimous approval from the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.”

    “While the measure is opposed by Florida law enforcement, it has bipartisan support as well as support from conservative business groups. “We are all looking at ways that we can save money while enhancing public safety and adding justice back to the idea of a criminal justice system,” Robert Weissert of Florida TaxWatch told The Miami Herald.”

  49. rikyrah says:

    May 25, 2011
    The would-be half-screwed
    A reader emails a good point about this passage of mine, from earlier today: “Those ‘scared seniors’ who’ve been showing up at town hall meetings in fits of outrage are not by and large scared for themselves; they’re petrified that their children will be be left to the untenderest of the GOP’s mercies.”

    He observes:

    Yes, but it’s not just that. I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere… but what about individuals over-55 who are married (or otherwise committed to for the long haul) to people under-55? So Adam, 56, has single-payer for life… but Eve (or Steve), 54, is left to the vagaries of the market? Thus exposing Adam to the very same vagaries?

  50. rikyrah says:

    May 26, 2011
    Officially cooked
    We now know the precise number of safe Republican pols in these here United States, and that number comes in at less than double digits. It is, precisely, nine: four now sit in the House — Ron Paul of Texas, Walter Jones of North Carolina, David McKinley of West Virginia and Denny Rehberg of Montana; and five are in the Senate — Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and another Paul, this one Rand, of Kentucky.

    This is not to say that all the above are guaranteed reelection or further elevation; only that these nine Republicans, and these nine alone, are unassailable when it comes to villagers protesting what is now not merely the Ryan plan, and not just the House Plan, but yea, verily, the Republican Plan to abolish Medicare.

    Pundits are racing hither and yon to cover their forecasting butts: “Remember, folks,” or so goes the new conventional wisdom, “that New York district means a 2012 Republican pounding not.” Which would be true, if that New York district weren’t redder in registration than a New Orleans whorehouse.

    No, Republicans are unquestionably the poundees; the only question remaining is the skill with which the Democratic pounders perform said pounding. Just as unquestionable is that 2012 has already contoured as a national election — even more so than 1994 or 2010 — yet there’s the perilously atomistic mind of Democratic incumbents and challengers: they — or so they so often believe — can do better on their own, with their localized message, even though rescuing the nation’s federal safety net is as national a message as a presidential election year could ever hear.

    Some hearts quiver and quake when Congress convenes; my heart does the same only when Democrats campaign for it.

    Meanwhile, we’ve always the GOP presidential guessing game to amuse ourselves. No, not the one about the eventual nominee — which will be Romney, Pawlenty or Huntsman, all essentially indistinguishable — but the one about where, from day to day, the current crop of contenders stands on the official Republican plan to abolish Medicare.

  51. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Gov. Kasich Would Lose Do-Over Election By 25 Points
    Since signing a bill earlier this year to strip public unions of most of their collective bargaining rights, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) approval rating has plummeted, bottoming out at a new low in a PPP poll released Wednesday. As if that weren’t bad enough, the poll also found Kasich losing a theoretical do-over election — by an enormous 25-point margin.

    Kasich narrowly defeated incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) last November, and almost immediately set his sights on rolling back public sector collective bargaining rights through a bill known as S.B. 5. That drive was deeply unpopular with his constituents, prompting large protests and sending the governor’s approval rating into a nosedive.

    In the latest poll, only 33% of registered voters said they approve of Kasich’s job performance, compared to 56% who said the disapprove of it. That result ties Kasich with Florida’s Rick Scott (R) as the most unpopular of the 38 governors PPP has surveyed.

    The current TPM Poll Average shows that 52.5% of Ohioans disapprove of Kasich’s job performance, while 35.5% approve of it.

    Kasich is now so unpopular that in a hypothetical do-over election, PPP found him getting shellacked by Strickland 59% to 34%. Kasich eked out a win last year by just a two-point margin.

    Back in March, PPP also showed Kasich losing in a do-over contest. But in that poll, he lost by a relatively modest 15-point spread, 55% to 40%.

    Kasich’s union-busting bill is the driving force behind his falling approval rating. In the poll, 55% of voters said they would vote to repeal S.B. 5, while 35% said they would let it stand. A Quinnipiac poll released last week presented a similar finding, with a majority of registered voters in that survey also saying they would like to see the law repealed.

    • Ametia says:

      And I’ll bet Dannie’s one voter who did not vote for Kasich from day one.

    • creolechild says:

      More evidence about why Kasich’s approval rating is plummeting:

      “A deal struck by Gov. John Kasich (R) could cost Ohio taxpayers as much as $15 million over the next year, according to the terms of a state contract with a Los Angeles-based consulting firm that is advising Kasich on his policies regarding the state’s casinos.”

      “Despite forcing widespread cuts on various state programs — including education and children’s health programs — Kasich entered into the agreement with Moelis & Co. in order to help the state “maximize its gaming revenues,” the Columbus Dispatch reports:”

      “Moelis, which along with Spectrum Gaming was hired to advise Kasich on casinos and other gambling-related issues in Ohio, will be paid a monthly retainer fee of $200,000 over the year-long contract. Additionally, the Los Angeles-based company can earn up to $13 million in incentives fees.”

      “According to the contract, which was provided to The Dispatch by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Moelis is owed 3.25 percent of the state’s added estimated revenue from gaming – capped at $13 million.”

      • creolechild says:

        AND this…

        “Republican-controlled state houses across the country appear to be touting a new motto: Allow guns everywhere. At the urging of the gun lobby, state legislatures are welcoming firearms into parks, schools, government buildings, university campuses, churches, and day-care centers. Last week, Ohio’s GOP-led house contributed to the nonsensical effort with a bill that allows Ohioans with concealed-carry permits to bring a gun into a bar, restaurant, or “open air arena” like a sports stadium that serves alcohol. The reasoning? Ohioans should be able to protect themselves:”

        “Republican Representative Danny Bubp, a sponsor of the legislation, said the bill is necessary to make sure law abiding citizens have equal footing with criminals.”

        “You can’t always count on law enforcement to be there to protect you,” Bubp said. “You have to be able to protect yourself.”

        “The bill does allow restaurants to put up signs barring guns and does prevent a person carrying the gun from drinking alcohol at the same time. This, however, is a barely enforceable caveat that fails to assuage the bill’s evisceration of common sense. A fact that is not lost on the people this bill would directly affect — Ohio bar owners:”

        “It’s not a good idea,” said Lacy Williams, owner of Lacy’s Sport Stop, 150 Mitchell Blvd. “I don’t want them here. People drinking and guns don’t mix.”

  52. rikyrah says:

    The Real Special Relationship: Obama and the Queen
    “Ours,” said two middle-aged men yesterday, “is not just a special relationship. It is,” they said, “an essential relationship.” To be honest, I’m not sure how much anyone cares. Does it matter if it’s special? Or quite special? Or really special? Does it matter if it’s the kind of relationship where knees go weak, or the kind where one person pats the other on the head? Do people in good relationships talk about their relationships? Isn’t talking about a relationship a bit like a doomed double-page spread in Hello!?

    Whoever ghost-wrote the piece by Barack Obama and David Cameron in yesterday’s Times was keen to point out that the President of the world’s only superpower and the Prime Minister of a medium-sized country in Europe had an awful lot in common. They both “came of age during the 1980s.” They both “look at the world in a similar way.” They both (he or she didn’t quite say, but might have) wear nice suits and ties. One, the author of the piece didn’t say, believes in fiscal stimulus, and the other believes in austerity. One believes in expanding the state. The other believes in cutting it. But you don’t use joint bylined pieces in national papers during state visits to talk about your differences. You use them to cheer your hosts up.

    There is a special relationship, but it isn’t between Barack Obama and David Cameron. It isn’t between America and Britain. It emerged in an interview on Sunday when Andrew Marr, whose eyes were shining in the way you might expect someone’s eyes to shine if they were on a date with Angelina Jolie, said the word “chemistry.” Suddenly, Obama’s eyes were shining, too. Obama smiled. It was like the sun coming out. They were talking about Obama’s “chemistry” with the Queen.

    “They are,” said Obama, of the Queen and her spouse, “extraordinarily gracious people.” She could not, he said, “have been more charming.” She is,” he said, “the best of England.” “We are,” he said, “very proud of her.”

    If I’d been the Queen, I think I’d have fainted with joy. I think I might even have broken my rule about boasting on Twitter. But the Queen tends not to faint. She tends not to boast. The Queen, who yesterday welcomed Barack and Michelle Obama to Buckingham Palace, and hosted a state banquet for them, and put them up in the suite where her grandson and his new bride spent their wedding night, but with specially bomb-proof double glazing installed by the secret service, chose instead to greet them with a 41-gun salute.

    They have both had quite a week. The Queen braved some of the tightest security the country has ever seen to visit, for the first time, Ireland. Obama braved some of the tightest security the country has ever seen to visit, for the first time, Ireland. The Queen went down a treat. Obama went down a treat. The Queen talked about history. Obama talked about history. The Queen, it’s true, didn’t drink her Guinness but, when you’re a queen, apparently, you don’t. When you’re a queen, the Guinness, like the emerald outfit, like the bow in the Garden of Remembrance, like the visit to Croke Park, like the dress embroidered with 2,091 shamrocks, and like the crown, is just a symbol.

    The Queen won over 95 percent of the population of a country that has very good reason to resent the country of which she’s head of state because she was respectful and polite. She won them over, including quite a few members of Sinn Fein, because she took the trouble, at 85, to learn a few words of Gaelic, and because she said the right things at the right time, and because she made the effort, as she does almost every day of her life, to show an interest in the people she met. But she won them over, most of all, because they could see who she was. They could see that she was a dutiful, hard-working, intelligent woman who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and who smiles when she wants to, and doesn’t when she doesn’t. They could see, in other words, that she was the real McCoy.

    Obama is, if not O’Bama, also the real McCoy. He doesn’t smile when he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t, or at least he doesn’t seem to, say things he doesn’t mean. He doesn’t go for big displays of emotion. (When he tried to, over the BP disaster last year, he hit a rare wrong note.) Like the Queen, he is careful and steady. Like the Queen, too, he’s magnetic. He’s handsome. Of course he’s handsome. He’s the most powerful man in the world. But he has the quality that she has, too. It has something to do with knowing who you are, and something to do with calm.

    It can’t be all that easy to know that when you want to make a trip to London, you have to do it with 200 secret service agents, and six doctors and several hundred aides. It can’t be all that easy to have to travel in a car that’s like a tank (which can withstand any form of attack except, it seems, a little ramp) and to know that you can’t walk down a street unless it’s lined with police. But Obama accepts this, and he doesn’t let it turn him into a foot-stamping, bottom-grabbing alpha male. He understands, as the Queen does, that these are the trappings of office, and that what really matters isn’t the trappings of office, but its responsibilities.

    During her 58 years on the throne, the Queen has had weekly meetings with 12 British prime ministers. She has met every American president, apart from Lyndon B. Johnson, since Truman. She has visited more than 120 countries. She has been to every corner of what used to be an Empire and then became a Commonwealth. She has watched 82 territories of the former Empire make the initially joyous, sometimes difficult, and occasionally bloody, transition from colonialism to independence. This is a woman who knows about history. This is a woman who knows that change takes time.

    Barack Obama also knows that change takes time. “Once the transition process is complete,” he said to Andrew Marr, on the subject of Afghanistan, “you get into politics, and it’s going to be messy, it’s going to be difficult.” When Marr asked him about the mismatch between the man who said “we can”, and the man sitting in the White House now, he said this. “What I did,” he said, “was project a vision of where we need to go. I was very clear on election night that this was going to be a steep climb.”

    It certainly is going to be a steep climb. You can’t take an economy that was near collapse, and suddenly turn it into one that gives all your citizens a living wage. You can’t suddenly revive industries that have died. You can’t suddenly cut your gas-guzzling voters off from the black stuff that keeps the show on the road. You can’t suddenly rewrite the politics of the Middle East.

    But you can, if you’re very, very determined, pass a bill that means that 32 million Americans who didn’t have access to healthcare now do. You can stimulate the economy. You can create jobs. You can reform Wall Street. You can cut the world’s stock of nuclear weapons. And you can track down, and kill, a mass murderer.

    You may, however, not be able to do all that much about a revolution that’s sweeping the Middle East. You may want to, but you can’t bring military intervention everywhere and when you have, it hasn’t always gone all that well. You may, in fact, do best to stick with what you’ve started, and get on with what you have to do at home.

    “Most politicians,” said Obama to Andrew Marr, “spend their time talking, rather than listening. That,” he said, “is a habit that I try to break.” I’m sure the Queen would agree. I’m sure she’s also proud of him.

  53. rikyrah says:

    Demonizing the Poor for being Poor .
    In the 1960s, we had the War on Poverty. In 2011, we’re now seeing a War on People Who Live in Poverty.

    One of the most callous examples of this occurred on – you guessed it – Fox News. Charles Payne, in a business segment, acknowledged that anti-poverty programs, food stamps, and unemployment insurance were “good programs”, but then went on to attack recipients of those programs.

    “I think the real narrative here, though, is that people aren’t embarrassed by it,” Payne said. “People aren’t ashamed by it. In other words, there was a time when people were embarrassed to be on food stamps; there was a time when people were embarrassed to be on unemployment for six months, let alone demanding to be on for more than two years… No longer is the man being told to look in the mirror and cast down a judgment on himself; it’s someone else’s fault. So, food stamps, unemployment, all this stuff is something that they probably earned in some indirect way.”

    The host of the business show, Stuart Varney, called food stamps, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit “a form of welfare, income redistribution” benefiting people with an “entitlement mentality.”

    Varney and Payne, in effect, dismissed the findings by the National Bureau of Economic Research that showed that such programs keep 1 in 6 Americans out of poverty, mostly the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, without those programs, the poverty rate would double.

    As states continue to struggle to balance their budgets, as required by their constitutions, some state lawmakers are directing their anger at the poor.

    In Kentucky, a Republican state representative has introduced a bill that, if passed, would require random drug testing for all adults receiving welfare, food stamps or Medicaid.

    Rep. Lonnie Napier, of Lancaster, Ky., introduced Kentucky House Bill 208 that would immediately terminate benefits to recipients who fail a drug test. He told the Huffington Post, “This program is gonna save us a lot of money, because there’s gonna be a lot of people showing up on illegal drugs and they will lose their assistance.”

    There is no evidence that people benefiting from anti-poverty programs are any more prone to becoming drug addicts than those who do not receive such aid. Professor Harold Pollack, of the University of Chicago, pointed out that Michigan implemented a mandatory drug testing program 10 years ago at three of its welfare offices. Of the 258 welfare applicants tested, only 21 tested positive for illegal drugs. Of the 21 failing, 18 tested positive for marijuana.

    Newt Gingrich, who is testing the GOP presidential waters, has tried to indirectly inject race into his campaign. Speaking to a group of Republicans in his home state of Georgia, he said: “President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history. I would like to be the most successful paycheck president in American history.”

    When asked about the comment on Meet the Press, Gingrich denied his comment contained racial overtones. He asserted, “…I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist.”

    Perhaps not overtly, but certainly covertly. That point was not lost on Adam Serwer of the Washington Post. “I don’t think Gingrich lacks the sophistication to understand how it sounds when he calls for poll tests and refers to the first black president as ‘the food stamp president,’” Serwer wrote. “…He gets to play the victim of a politically correct world where liberals try to stifle all criticism of Obama by characterizing any such criticism as racism.

    His dog whistle is thus amplified by enraged liberals, while conservatives get to play up their own form of racial grievance politics.”

    Nearly 12 percent of Americans are beneficiaries of the Food Stamp program – 28 percent of Blacks, 15 percent of Latinos, and eight percent of Whites.

    Recipients, who are at or below the poverty line, are given a plastic card to purchase food, seeds, and food plants. The card cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, paper goods or pet food. Despite those restrictions, the users of food stamps are still used as a political football.

    “If people buy fresh vegetables or other relatively expensive though nutritious foods, they are considered to be living high on the hog at the taxpayers’ expense,” the New York Times observed in 2009. “But if they buy cheap foods like hot dogs they are criticized for poor health habits.”

    Many people who were quick to criticize the Food Stamp program in the past are now embracing it after they have lost their job. More than 36 million people are food stamp recipients, with an additional 15 million eligible for enrollment.

    “This is the most urgent time for our feeding program in our lifetime, with the exception of the Depression,” Under Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Concannon told the New York Times. “It’s time for us to face up to the fact that in this country of plenty, there are hungry people.”

    And, those hungry people – many of them facing unemployment for the first time in their adult life – should not be stigmatized by candidates for public office seeking to score cheap political points.

    • creolechild says:

      “Just when you think you’ve already witnessed the pinnacle of Republican hypocrisy and stupidity, another daring fellow comes along to prove you w”rong. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) faced criticism this week when video was released of him telling a constituent that she should sponsor her own health care instead of using the government’s Medicare program.

      “The Georgia Democratic Party released more video Wednesday from that same town hall event where Woodall explained why he wouldn’t give up his own government-funded health care program.”

      “You take government-subsidized health care, but you are not obligated to take that if you don’t want to,” Democratic activist Ilene Johnson told Woodall. “Why aren’t you going out on the free market in the state where you are a resident and buy your own health care?”

      “It’s because it’s free,” Woodall replied. “It’s because it’s free. The same reason I went out to Walgreens and bought Activon when I don’t have any arthritis pain. Because it’s free. Folks, if you give people things for free, don’t blame them for taking them.”

      It’s free! It just falls from the sky!

      • creolechild says:

        Thank you to Winning Progressive and to Fay Paxton! Excerpt from an excellent article which should be read in its entirety:


        “In 1976, Reagan told the story of the “Chicago welfare queen who had 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards, and collected benefits for “four non-existing deceased husbands.” It was a gross exaggeration of a minor case of welfare fraud, but a story Reagan persisted in telling for years. He emphasized how upset “workers” must be to see an able-bodied man using food stamps. The food-stamp user became a “strapping young buck” buying T-bone steaks.”

        “Perhaps you even agree with Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino who said he would transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, “where they could work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in personal hygiene…the personal things they don’t get when they come from dysfunctional homes.”

        “Earlier this week Newt Gingrich called President Obama “the most successful food stamp president in history”. It’s tacit race-baiting that has the effect of polarizing the electorate along racial lines. It’s dog whistle politics and you hear the whistle. You’ll probably be shocked to learn that most welfare recipients are White.”

        “Here’s another newsflash: If you live in America, in some way you are directly or indirectly dependent upon government aid. You may not receive a monthly stipend from Medicaid, but maybe you work for a firm that receives government contracts, received a grant to go to school or you attend a state college.”

        “Perhaps you serve in the military, put out fires or serve and protect your community. Maybe you’re on Medicare or your doctor receives it. Perhaps you eat corn-on-the-cob from a government supported farm or put subsidized gasoline in your car. Maybe, like millions of other people in this nation, you receive unemployment.”

        “Nearly 40 million people are receiving food stamps, 50% of those recipients are children. I’d rather have a dozen undeserving people receive them than 1 deserving person denied and one child go hungry.”

        “A New York Times article tells the story of a 45 year-old widow who scrapes by on $15,000 a year. She receives $147.00 per month.”

        “And then there’s Alba Catano, who missed work after knee surgery and worried about her ten year-old daughter, “my refrigerator is empty”. She qualified for a whopping $170.00 a month. And you begrudge her that?”

        “Where’s your sense of humanity? That Christian love and concern for your fellow man? Where’s your patriotism? Oh, I know, you struggled, taking whatever job you could find; raised your children without the benefit of food stamps or welfare. And if you could do it so can everyone else. Why should your taxes pay to support someone who isn’t willing to make the same level of sacrifice?”

        “For the same reasons millions contribute to education who are no longer in school or whose children have long since graduated. For the same reason taxes subsidize baseball even though most people will never attend a game. For the same reason your taxes are diverted to the tornado victims in Alabama and the flood victims in Tennessee. Because the government functions for the common good of all its citizens.”

        “I’ve been blessed in my life. I’ve never had to take advantage of a “safety net” program that made a difference in whether or not I could buy groceries or feed my children, but I’ve certainly realized the advantage of programs meant for those who are not in need.”

        ” Call it what you will, but whether it’s a tax credit, a tax cut or a monthly stipend, it’s all a government handout. One final lesson you need to learn as you look down your nose and sneer at those who have met with difficulty… whether it’s a welfare recipient, someone dependent on food stamps; an unemployed person or someone homeless; everyone you pass on the street has a story every bit as compelling as your own.”

      • Ametia says:

        Great read. It’s compassion and epathy that soothes and heals SOUL. Folks like some on the left and right, who don’t have these virtues are dangerous, because they will seek and destroy anyone in their path on their way to claiming power.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Clyburn is too old, and been through too much shyt in his life to care anymore. He’s gonna tell it as he sees it.


    Racism to blame for Obama’s problems, key Democrat says

    House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American in Congress, on Wednesday blamed most of President Barack Obama’s political problems on racism.

    Clyburn, who’s from South Carolina and is a close ally of the president, offered his views in response to a question about Obama’s re-election prospects next year.

    “I think they’re improving every day,” Clyburn said. “I think the president has been a good president, a great commander in chief.”

    Clyburn, who met his wife at a 1960 court hearing after spending a night in jail for having engaged in a civil rights protest in Orangeburg, S.C., then brought up Obama’s race as the first black president.

    “You know, I’m 70 years old,” he said. “And I can tell you; people don’t like to deal with it, but the fact of the matter is, the president’s problems are in large measure because of the color of his skin.”

    Clyburn noted that he himself got hate mail, racist phone calls and offensive faxes on a regular basis. Asked how that relates to the president, Clyburn retorted: “We have the same skin color; that’s how it relates to him.”

    Clyburn described a recent racist image of Obama that received widespread news coverage.

    “When he sees his face being put on a chimpanzee’s body; do you think he didn’t see that?” Clyburn said. “And I suspect they send the same faxes to his office they send to mine.”

    Marilyn Davenport, a member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee in California, forwarded an email to friends last month that displayed a photograph of a chimpanzee with Obama’s face superimposed on its head.

    In response to the immediate uproar, Davenport apologized but rebuffed demands from the California NAACP that she resign her GOP post.

    Clyburn suggested that the “birther” movement of Americans who say Obama wasn’t born in the United States is fueled by racism.

    “I don’t know why anybody didn’t ask for John McCain’s” birth certificate, Clyburn said. “He wasn’t even born in this country.”

    Read more:

  55. creolechild says:

    THIS is why Congress refuses to tax the wealthy, and the fact that we don’t complain about it loud enough and to the people who are responsible:

    “Do we even have to pretend this is a coincidence? There’s a reason why so many politicians vote the interests of the wealthy and retire as millionaires — because they’re playing the system. Maybe it’s time for a new system, one in which their investments are put in a blind trust until the day they leave:”

    “Members of the House of Representatives considerably outperform the stock market in their personal investments, according to a new academic study.”

    “Four university researchers examined 16,000 common stock transactions made by approximately 300 House representatives from 1985 to 2001, and found what they call “significant positive abnormal returns,” with portfolios based on congressional trades beating the market by about 6 percent annually.”

    “What’s their secret? The report speculates, but does not conclude, it could have something to do with the ability members of Congress have to trade on non-public information or to vote their own pocketbooks — or both.”

    “A study of senators by the same team of researchers five years ago found members of the higher chamber even better at beating the market — outperforming it by about 10 percent, an amount the academics said was “both economically large and statistically significant.”

    “Being one of 435, as opposed to one of 100, is likely to result in a significant dilution of power relative to members of the Senate,” the researchers wrote.The researchers, Alan J. Ziobrowski of Georgia State University, James W. Boyd of Lindenwood University, Ping Cheng of Florida Atlantic University and Brigitte J. Ziobrowski of Augusta State University, noted that the circumstances are ripe for abuse.”

    ” […] The House ethics manual clearly states that “all Members, officers, and employees are prohibited from improperly using their official positions for personal gain” and members must disclose their holdings annually.”

    “But the House’s official position is that demanding that members either divest themselves of potential conflicts or recuse themselves when there is a conflict is “impractical or unreasonable” because it “could result in the disenfranchisement of a Member‘s entire constituency on particular issues.”

    “Ever since 2006, a small coterie of Democrats has been trying to officially prohibit members of Congress and their staffs from using non-public information to enrich their personal portfolios.The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act was most recently re-introduced in March by Reps. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Tim Walz (Minn.).”

  56. rikyrah says:

    Hearing the news that the Justice Department might be closing in on John Edwards, and some wondered why not Ensign?

    Well, this is how I think it breaks down:

    Ensign had Mommy and Daddy pay off his HO.
    HE paid off his Ho and her FAMILY with JOBS.

    with Edwards, they are talking about him using the campaign fund as a payoff tool.

    I agree with those who want Ensign, but this is the difference, I think.

    I still shudder when I think back to the time when this mofo was peddled as the ‘ safe, Southern White Male’ in 2007….remember that?

    • Ametia says:

      And I’m soooo grateful the truth came out and this “safe Sothern White Male” is not up in the White Houe.

  57. creolechild says:

    “After reports that Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) is on the verge of being indicted for using campaign funds to cover-up an extramarital affair, his attorney Wednesday issued a defiant statement impugning the legal underpinnings of the government’s case. The statement suggests that Edwards, a onetime presidential contender, is either taking a firm stand in plea negotiations or outright fighting the charges and will opt for a trial instead of agreeing to plead guilty for a lesser charge.”

    “Here’s the statement from attorney Greg Craig (President Obama’s first White House counsel):

    “John Edwards has done wrong in his life — and he knows it better than anyone — but he did not break the law. The government’s theory is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. It is novel and untested. There is no civil or criminal precedent for such a prosecution. The government originally investigated allegations that Senator Edwards’ campaign funds were misused but continued its pursuit even after finding that not one penny from the Edwards campaign was involved. The Justice Department has wasted millions of dollars and thousands of hours on a matter more appropriately a topic for the Federal Election Commission to consider, not a criminal court.”

    “The Federal Election Commission only has the power to fine campaigns and is notoriously weak when it comes to determining whether lawmakers broke the law. For example, the FEC found that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) did nothing wrong by having his parents pay $96,000 to his mistress and her husband, but a Senate Ethics Committee investigation found that Ensign had lied to the agency that the money was a “gift” and not “severence.”

    “When the bipartisan ethics panel’s final report found Ensign’s behavior so egregious that the special prosecutor on the case was planning to recommend expulsion from the Senate, if he had not resigned. The committee then forwarded the new evidence to the Justice Department and FEC for further review.”

  58. Ametia says:

    Where Netanyahu fails himself and Israel
    By Fareed Zakaria, Published: May 25

    Conventional wisdom is fast congealing in Washington that President Obama was wrong to demarcate a shift in American policy toward Israel last week. In fact, it was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who broke with the past — in one of a series of diversions and obstacles Netanyahu has come up with anytime he is pressed. He wins in the short run, but ultimately, he is turning himself into a version of Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, “Mr. Nyet,” a man who will be bypassed by history.

    Here is what Netanyahu’s immediate predecessor, Ehud Olmert, said in a widely reported speech to the Israeli Knesset in 2008: “We must give up Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and return to the core of the territory that is the State of Israel prior to 1967, with minor corrections dictated by the reality created since then.” Olmert, a man with a reputation as a hard-liner, said that meant Israel would keep about 6 percent of the West Bank — the major settlements — and give up land elsewhere. This was also the position of Ehud Barak, Israel’s prime minister during the late 1990s.

    • creolechild says:

      “David Frum, after surveying the wreckage of the decisive Republican loss in New York’s conservative 26th congressional district:”

      “What does the GOP have to say to hard-pressed voters? Thus far the answer is: we offer Medicare cuts, Medicaid cuts, and tighter money aimed at raising the external value of the dollar. No candidate, not even if he or she is born in a log cabin, would be able to sell that message to America’s working class.”

      “Actually, it might be worse than that. Let me rephrase:”

      “What does the GOP have to say to hard-pressed voters? Thus far the answer is: we offer Medicare cuts for you and your children, Medicaid cuts for you and your family, reduced taxes for CEOs and other fat cats, and tighter money aimed at wrecking American industry by making our goods too expensive for anyone overseas to afford. Plus lots of wars and unquestioning support for the Israeli right! Don’t forget that.”

  59. creolechild says:

    All I’m going to say about this is, hmmmm….

    “If Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) keeps holding up the PATRIOT Act by insisting on voting on his amendments, it could have “dire consequences” for our nation’s national security, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) charged on the floor of the Senate Wednesday.”

    “When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we will be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot against our country undetected,” Reid said. “We have to stop him.”

    “Three provisions of the post-Sept. 11 law are set to expire this week unless Congress re-authorizes them. A small number of senators on both sides of the aisle had sought votes on amendments to add additional oversight provisions to the law and have certain provisions expire a few years down the road.”


    “There are only three provisions of the PATRIOT Act that would sunset this week without congressional authorization — the “lone wolf” provision which allows for intelligence investigations of foreigners not connected to terrorist groups; Section 215 which lets the government easily obtain “any tangible thing” deemed relevant to terrorism investigations; and roving wiretaps, which allow the feds to monitor any communications believed to be being used by a terrorism investigation target. Existing investigations using those methods would be grandfathered in.”

  60. creolechild says:

    “Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee for a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, sent a letter to the president a few hours ago officially withdrawing his name from consideration. Liu’s nomination was filibustered in the Senate last week, when Republicans (and one Democrat) refused to give Liu an up-or-down vote.”

    “In his letter, linked here, Liu makes reference to last week’s failed cloture vote and the judicial vacancy crisis at the 9th Circuit, to which he was nominated more than a year ago. “With no possibility of an up-or-down vote on the horizon, my family and I have decided that it is time for us to regain the ability to make plans for the future,” he writes. He then thanks the president for his support.”

    “Liu was caricatured as a left-wing “radical” and “activist” although he had the unconditional backing of conservatives such as Kenneth Starr and Clint Bolick. Yet Republicans who were willing to judge him in print and on the Senate floor were unwilling to put his nomination to a vote.”

  61. creolechild says:

    MEDICAID is on the chopping block too! Here’s why we should all care about that:

    “Medicare gets all the attention, for a lot of good reasons. But as TPM Reader KH argues the cuts to Medicaid are no less devastating, though most people don’t figure it will ever directly affect them”


    It’s the part about turning Medicaid into flat-amount Block grants. Most people go right on by that part – “it’s poor people, has nothing to do with me, so we’ll cut dental and podiatry and vision coverage, etc. for poor people (as California Medi-Cal\Medicaid did a year or two back). That’s too bad, terrible, but we’ll save lots of money.”

    But actually, as the link shows, Medicaid pays the bill for 66% of all nursing home residents. And these aren’t the indigent – most\many of them are the result of middle-income people who have already run through their own money paying for their nursing home costs, and then become eligible for Medicaid. If Medicaid doesn’t pick that up anymore, who’s left? The children of the residents? Who are trying to send their kids to college and saving for their own retirement? Not that Paul Ryan cares, but essentially, states will need to choose between basic healthcare for low-income people and nursing home care for formerly-middle-income people with no money left. Who wins, you think?”

    “Most people have no awareness that Medicare pays nothing for basic Nursing Home care. Most of the family members don’t necessarily know – just the one poor son\daughter who is “taking care of\managing” the parent’s finances. You think people get worked up over the proposed Medicare changes? Imagine their reaction when they learn (too late?) that the Medicaid changes Paul Ryan and the Republicans want to make would mean they have to pay several hundreds of dollars a day to keep their parents in the nursing home they have been in for months\years?”

    “My mother, who eventually developed dementia (sort of like Alzheimer’s but with no awareness of it), was in a Nursing Home for years. But, having had to deal with it when her mother developed it back in the 1960’s, and having the great fortune to have worked for a large employer who offered Long Term Care Insurance many years ago (when almost no company did), she realized the importance of it and signed up immediately. Though she came close, she never had to apply for Medicaid. Her insurance paid for it. The exception, not the rule, I’m afraid, even today.”

    “My point is – we (well, most of us) all “get” how threatening the “voucher” change is for Medicare, but people don’t seem to see the danger of the Medicaid “Block Grant” change is to middle-income people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who have elderly parents who could lose\never be eligible for their Medicaid Nursing Home coverage. They just see “Medicaid” and assume it has nothing to do with them.”

    ” Are we really going to devolve into that sort of country? How sad. And how sad that so many Republicans are determined to make it happen. Hopefully, the reality will wake up the people who can make the difference, as it did in 2008.”

  62. creolechild says:

    Good morning, everyone! Ametia please check your email.

  63. Scott Walker Signs Controversial Voter ID Law In Wisconsin

    MADISON – The Republican governor of Wisconsin signed a bill on Wednesday that will require voters in the state to show photo identification when they go to the polls.

    The measure, which Democrats characterize as a voter suppression effort but Republicans defend as a protection against fraud at the polls, will take partial effect just as nine state senators — including six of Governor Scott Walker’s Republican allies — face recall challenges in mid-July.

    Walker called the law a “common sense reform” that would “go a long way to protecting the integrity of elections in Wisconsin.”

    The law will requires poll workers to immediately begin asking voters to show state-issued IDs before they vote. But voters won’t be required to actually produce the IDs until next year. In the meantime, voters who come to the polls without IDs will be handed a flyer outlining the new requirement.

    Debate over the photo ID proposal highlighted the partisan divisions in Wisconsin following the bruising battle earlier this year over Walker’s campaign to weaken public sector union bargaining rights.

    Wisconsin Republicans had tried to enact a voter ID requirement several times over the past few years but were repeatedly thwarted by Democrats.

    The Republicans’ sweeping victory in last year’s mid-term election cycle, which gave the party control of both houses of the state legislature as well as the governor’s office, made Wednesday’s long-awaited signing possible.

    Eleven states now require a photo ID to vote. Kansas also added a photo ID requirement this year, but it won’t take effect until January 1.

  64. Enda Kenny introduces President Barack Obama at College Green, Dublin. May 23rd 2011

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