Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

Happy HUMP day, Everybody!  Got to keep it REAL.

Wikipedia:  Lynda Cheryl Smith (born March 11, 1957), known better by her professional name Cheryl Lynn, is a female African-American disco, R&B and soul singer known best for her 1978 disco song, “Got to Be Real“.

Lynn’s singing career began when she was a young girl with her church choir. However, her professional singing career started during 1976 when she obtained a job as a backing singer for the national touring company of the musical drama The Wiz. Eventually she would obtain the role of Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, during the six month national tour.

Prior to her appearance on The Wiz, Cheryl taped an episode of the Gong Show during the early part of 1976. She won the competition while singing Joe Cocker‘s “You Are So Beautiful“. Lynn later told entertainer Dick Clark during her performance on the television program American Bandstand that after the episode was broadcast, during the autumn of 1976, record industry executives were calling to contract her.

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100 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Obama, Democrats Set $60 Million Fundraising Goal For June

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s key fundraisers are being asked to raise $60 million for the president’s re-election campaign and the Democratic Party by the end of June.

    Two people familiar with the fundraising goal said it was part of a presentation in Chicago on Wednesday to top Democratic fundraisers. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private meeting publicly.

    Obama raised $750 million in 2008 and his advisers have privately told donors that they hope to match the amount or exceed it. Some estimates say the 2012 re-election campaign could pull in $1 billion.

    A major donor involved in the re-election campaign’s fundraising said most of the $60 million had already been raised. The donor spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly.

    Obama is expected to headline fundraisers in Miami, Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia before the end of the fundraising quarter on June 30, people familiar with the events said. First lady Michele Obama is expected to hold fundraisers in California in June, they said.

    Obama launched his re-election campaign in April and has headlined several fundraisers around the country, with some of the proceeds divided between the Democratic National Committee and his re-election campaign.

    In April, the DNC collected $12.4 million, with about $7 million going to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama’s campaign. At Victory Fund events, the first $5,000 on a donor’s contribution goes to the presidential campaign and the remainder goes to the DNC, up to a maximum of $30,800 a year.

    The campaign is also focusing on low-dollar fundraising. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters Wednesday that the campaign’s “most committed supporters” would match contributions by first-time donors of $5 or more. He said the small donations would be “an explicit rejection of the money-for-influence game that paralyzes our politics.”

    Oh, Oh…. let me go give him some of my cash. I love giving him my money!


  2. Ametia says:

    The Blue-eyed DEVIL Paul Ryan’s new LIE

  3. Ametia says:

    Gov. Patrick declares state of emergency
    Springfield, Westfield and other towns hit hard by tornadoes

    By Ira Kantor, Joe Dwinell, Christine McConville and Richard Weir
    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 – Updated 3 minutes ago

    Gov. Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency tonight and is calling in the National Guard to help residents dig out after violent storms and apparent tornadoes hit Westfield, Springfield and reportedly in at least five more communities leaving a trail of devastation.

    Patrick said tonight 19 communities have been affected and there is one fatality, still unconfirmed, from a car that was flipped over in West Springfield. The governor also said 1,000 Guard troops have been deployed.

    FEMA has also activated the Massachusetts Urban Search and Rescue Team, which responded to ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001, and for hurricane Katrina. A spokesman for the squad tells the Herald they are being sent to the Springfield area and also the town of Munson.

    It all began after 4 p.m. when an apparent tornado ripped through Westfield then Springfield knocking down trees and tearing off roofs as two storm systems that could produce more twisters moves east, officials and eyewitnesses report. Others report seeing people bloodied and suffering trauma in Springfield.

  4. Ametia says:

    Poll: Conservatives And Republicans Oppose Ryan Budget
    Evan McMorris-Santoro | June 1, 2011, 4:50PM

    More evidence that Republicans are following Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) down a dark path when it comes to Medicare: a new CNN poll shows not even self-identified conservatives are in favor of Ryan’s scheme.

    Like most recent polls, the CNN survey shows a vast majority of respondents less than thrilled with Ryan’s plan to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. Just 35% say they support it, while 58% say they oppose it. The majority stands opposed to Ryan’s plan across all demographic groups, including Republicans.

    Among conservatives, 54% are opposed. Among current seniors — who would not be affected by the changes in the Ryan Medicare plan — a full 74% are opposed, even after they’re told that Ryan’s plan affects Americans 55 years of age and younger.

    Even Republicans break against Ryan’s plan, though only slightly. Fifty percent oppose the plan, while 48% support it.

    The new CNN poll comes on the heels of numbers from Democratic allies showing similar opposition to Ryan’s plan as well as hints that the continuing fight over the Republican Medicare proposal could be giving a boost to Democrats and President Obama.

    The same holds true in the CNN poll. “For the first time since they won back control of the House last November, the number of Americans who say that Republican control of the chamber is good for the country has dropped below the 50 percent mark,” notes the CNN analysis.

    CNN polled around 1,000 Americans May 24-26. The margin of error is 3%.

  5. Ametia says:

    At least two tornadoes hit Springfield, Mass., leaving “many injuries” and extensive damage, Gov. Deval Patrick says.
    Patrick has declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts and called up 1,000 National Guard members due to the severe storms in the central and western portions of the state.

  6. rikyrah says:

    June 01, 2011 4:20 PM

    Pundits should try talking to a Republican sometime
    By Steve Benen

    On “Meet the Press” a few days ago, Ruth Marcus, an ostensibly center-left voice, decried Democratic “Mediscare” tactics when it comes to the House GOP plan to privatize Medicare. She didn’t identify any falsehoods or deceptions in Dems’ rhetoric, but Marcus apparently wants Dems to be more forgiving of the right-wing plan. You know, just becuase.

    Today, Marcus imagines a fictional “adult conversation” between President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

    Paul: Okay, you guys won the first round. Congratulations on that New York House seat. But “Medicare as we know it” can’t continue. Seniors now have little incentive to control costs, and providers, paid by the procedure, have every reason to ramp them up. Medicare costs were 8.5 percent of the federal budget in 1990 — they’ll be 17.4 percent by 2020.

    Barack: The current system can’t go on. I wouldn’t say this publicly, but my party’s wrong to pretend it can. Still, your approach goes way too far. Seniors would get help to buy private insurance but would pay a lot more than they do now.

    And over time, because the vouchers rise only with inflation, not with medical costs, beneficiaries would have to pay even more. They’re not going to be able to afford it, not with median incomes of less than $21,000. And why should they? You’re forced to make deep cuts in Medicare because you won’t agree to raise taxes and that’s the only other way to get to balance.

    Paul: Look, I could maybe support higher taxes as part of an overall deal. I just can’t admit that.

    On substantive grounds, Marcus’ description of the GOP plan is incomplete in important ways. The House Republican proposal doesn’t just fail to raise taxes, it cuts taxes by trillions of dollars.

    Indeed, it’s one of those details the media often overlooks — the Ryan plan doesn’t privatize Medicare to address the long-term debt; the Ryan plan privatizes Medicare; transfers massive financial burdens to families; and applies to the savings to a new round of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

    On political grounds, I just can’t wrap my head around Marcus’ perceptions of Paul Ryan. She honestly seems to believe that he’s willing to raise taxes as part of a grand bargain (David Brooks made a similar suggestion last week.)

    One of the usual complaints about D.C. pundits is that they spend far too much time cozying up to the people they should be covering. Pundits and politicians go to the same cocktail parties, attend the same concerts, drink at the same bars, etc. But occasionally I get the sense that pundits haven’t even met any congressional Republicans.

    Ryan has said, repeatedly, that he refuses to consider any tax increase on anyone by any amount at any time. Marcus seems to think that he’s secretly reasonable when no one else is looking, but all available evidence suggests Ryan is entirely sincere about his ideological agenda — he won’t accept a plan that increases any tax. Period. Full stop. It’s not an act; it’s an “economic doctrine thing.”

    As David Stockman, Reagan’s first budget director, recently explained, his party has gone “off the deep end” with “religious catechism about taxes.”

    The sooner pundits understand this, the sooner contemporary debates will make sense.

  7. rikyrah says:

    June 01, 2011 2:45 PM
    When the truth leads to ‘eye-rolling’
    By Steve Benen

    President Obama talked with congressional Republican leaders in the East Room for over an hour this morning, and by all accounts, the two sides aren’t exactly getting along. I’ll have more on this as more details emerge, but there’s a point about taxes that’s worth emphasizing.

    ABC’s Jake Tapper reported that Obama reminded GOP lawmakers that “the U.S. has the lowest tax rate as a percentage of GDP since the 1950s. We’ve been on an experiment of low tax rates for the last decade, and growth has been anemic, he said. He noted that cutting taxes is smart to do politically, but the question is whether it is sustainable.”

    The Hill added that Republicans found all of this rather annoying.

    Republicans attending a White House meeting on Wednesday didn’t take kindly to President Obama telling them tax rates were higher during the Reagan administration.

    GOP members engaged in a lot of “eye-rolling,” according to a member who was on hand to hear Obama, who invited House Republicans to the White House for discussions on the debt ceiling. The White House and Republicans are trying to reach a deal on spending cuts that could allow the $14.3 debt ceiling to be raised.

    “[The President] made a comment like the tax rate is the lightest, even more than (under former President) Reagan,” Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) told The Hill following the meeting.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) joked that during the meeting, “We learned we had the lowest tax rates in history … lower than Reagan!”

    Yeah, that’s hilarious. The “eye-rolling” notwithstanding, I’d remind Republicans that the president happens to be right about this.

    Americans really are paying the smallest share of their income for taxes since 1958. Even Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who isn’t exactly a New England moderate, acknowledges the historically low tax rates.

    Sure, this is inconvenient for Republicans. After all, their little experiment failed miserably. Reagan raised taxes and the economy grew; Clinton raised taxes and the economy grew; and Bush slashed taxes, the economy crashed, and we lost a decade. The jobs and growth Republicans assured us would be the inevitable consequence of these lower rates never materialized, and all we’re left with is a tax-cut driven debt these same GOP officials now pretend to care about.

    Republicans got the tax policy they wanted and it failed. Instead of rolling their eyes, maybe they should roll up their sleeves, own up to their mistakes, and work on a new policy.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Both sides do it
    by Doug Harlan J

    How many ways can these fuckers find to say “both sides do it”? The always awful David Von Drehle:

    Change is urgently needed. ObamaCare envisions change within the existing structure of the health care industry, while Republican Paul Ryan’s proposal would impose change by having elderly patients buy their own coverage, using government vouchers. Both of these represent huge departures from the status quo. If this election educates voters to make an informed choice between these options, we’ll be a stronger country for it.

    But we certainly didn’t see that sort of informative campaign in the special Congressional election in New York’s 26th District last week. Instead, we saw candidates accuse each other of trying to destroy Medicare.

    The Ryan plan ends Medicare. It is that simple. A voucher program is not Medicare. Telling voters that the Ryan plans ends Medicare is a statement of fact. We have reached a point in our discourse where Villagers think that it is sad and unfortunate when voters are told the truth.

    Ruth Marcus:

    Barack: You make some reasonable points.

    Paul: So do you. We should do this again.

    I get tired of saying this over and over but Medicare is a reasonably functional component of an otherwise dysfunctional health care system. That is all there is to this debate, when one looks at numbers. It’s cheaper than private insurance and its cost is growing more slowly than the cost of private insurance.

    With each passing day, I became more sympathetic to Robespierre

    • Voters: Wake up and take note!

      The Paul Ryan plan ends Medicare as we know it.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “It’s cheaper than private insurance and its cost is growing more slowly than the cost of private insurance.’

      And this is why the GOP want to gut MEDICARE, it cuts into the CORPORATIONS CONTROL & SLICE OF THE PIE!

  9. Heads up, 3 Chics!

    Breaking News:Major Cities In U.S. Northeast Under Tornado Watch

    A system of strong storms is headed straight for the northeastern United States, prompting a National Weather Service alert for a tornado watch for a wide area until 8 p.m. Eastern Time tonight.

    The tornado watch extends from New Jersey to Maine, and it includes the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, as well as Newark, Hartford and Providence.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 05:08 PM ET, 05/31/2011

    Conservative commentators refuse to accept public’s verdict on Ryancare

    By Greg Sargent

    To get a sense of just how difficult it is for some conservative commentators to accept the public’s verdict on Ryancare, take a look at Marc Thiessen’s diagnosis of the political problem Republicans face in the wake of NY-26. Thiessen rejects the notion that Republicans should now distance themselves from the GOP plan to end Medicare as we know it, and instead recommends that Republicans go on offense:

    Why on earth have Republicans allowed Democrats to define the Ryan proposal as a plan to “end Medicare” when it is the Democrats who risk ending Medicare though a policy of neglect? Even the New York Times editorial page warned after the New York vote, “Sooner or later, Democrats will have to admit that Medicare cannot keep running as it is — its medical costs are out of control, and a recent report showed its trust fund running out of money in 2024, five years earlier than expected.”

    Democrats have put forward no plan to deal with this fiscal crisis. Quite the opposite, they made it worse by taking $500 billion out of Medicare to help fund the president’s health-care law — robbing Medicare to pay for Obamacare. The time has come for the GOP to take the gloves off. When liberal groups put up an ad showing Ryan pushing Grandma off of a cliff, Republicans need to counter with an ad showing Obama, Pelosi and Reid pushing Grandma off the cliff — because that is where Medicare is headed if we follow their policy of inaction. The message should be: If we do nothing, Medicare will collapse — and millions of retirees will be left without health coverage. Democratic neglect will kill Medicare; Republicans are trying to save it.

    So Republicans can reverse their fortunes if they start claiming that Democrats are the ones who would really destroy Medicare? That’s a great idea. Indeed, it’s such a good idea that Ryan himself tried it way back in September of 2010, claiming that Dems hostile to his approach were “standing idle with icy indifference as the social safety net implodes.” As Jon Chait notes, the arguments Thiessen wants Republicans to make have been a staple of GOP rhetoric for years.

    In the current context, Republicans have been making the case for over a month that the Dems don’t have a plan and that their do-nothing approach guarantees benefits cuts to future generations. And last week, Republicans even took this argument a step further, claiming that not only do Dems lack a plan, but also that Democrats are the only ones who have ever voted to cut Medicare — despite the House GOP vote for the Ryan plan.

    Indeed, if anything, Democrats have succeeded in spite of the GOP’s already-frequent use of this strategy in framing this debate on their own terms, as one pitting Medicare’s saviors (them) against its would-be destroyers (Republicans). As much as Thiessen wishes otherwise, it’s going to be very hard to reverse these roles in the public mind.

    By Greg Sargent | 05:08 PM ET, 05/31/2011

  11. Oklahoma City pharmacist Jerome Ersland found guilty of murder in killing of suspect

    CBS/KWTV/AP) – OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City pharmacist now faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after being found guilty of murder for the death of a 16-year-old who tried to rob his store.

    Confronted by two holdup men in May 2009, Ersland pulled out a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. The drugstore’s security camera then filmed Ersland as he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded Antwun Parker as he lay on the floor.

    The 59-year-old had been hailed as a hero for protecting two fellow employees.

    The Ersland jury began deliberations around 1:00 p.m. Thursday and returned with a the guilty verdict around 4:30 p.m.

    The verdict stunned the courtroom. Ersland, who many hailed as a hero, sat emotionless as the guilty verdict was read. People sitting behind him were noticeably upset.

    Parker’s mother and her sisters were inside the courtroom most of the trial, and burst out of the room when the verdict was read. They clung to each other and cried in the hallway in an outpouring of emotion.

    Erlsand was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs with deputies surrounding him. The wife of the Reliable Pharmacy owner was seen crying as she left.

    She was visibly stunned that the jury chose to find Ersland guilty of murder instead of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

    Judge Ray Elliott refused to lift the gag order so the prosecution, the defense, and the jury are not allowed to comment on the verdict. But we do know the jury had asked to see the surveillance video of the robbery and shooting one more time before they went up to deliberate.

    Ersland will be sentenced July 11, the same day Anthony Morrison and Emanuel Mitchell will be sentenced. Morrison and Mitchell were convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy for planning the robbery at Reliable Pharmacy.

    • Confronted by two holdup men in May 2009, Ersland pulled out a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. The drugstore’s security camera then filmed Ersland as he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded Antwun Parker as he lay on the floor.

      That’s overkill and the jury saw it!

      • Ametia says:

        Of course, he had to make sure that nigga was good and dead.

      • Ersland’s attorneys claimed he pumped 5 more bullets into wounded Antwun Parker because he felt threatened. Yeah right, Antwun Parker didNot have any weapon on him. The jury reviewed the tape & didn’t buy his defense. A lot of hate went into that killing. Do your time, Ersland!

      • Ametia says:

        Come on with it, SG2.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal Blog
    June 01, 2011 12:25 PM
    A ‘respectful’ boycott
    By Steve Benen

    President Obama hosted a meeting at the White House this morning with several leading congressional Republicans, for the purpose of exploring debt-reduction ideas. The discussion coincides with an ongoing GOP hostage strategy — Republicans have said they’ll use the debt ceiling to cause a recession on purpose unless Obama agrees to drastic cuts, including cuts to Medicare.

    One of the invited members apparently decided to boycott the White House talks.

    A freshman GOP lawmaker rejected an invitation to the White House on Wednesday, saying he didn’t want to be “lectured” by President Obama.

    “I have respectfully declined the president’s invitation to the White House today,” Rep. Jeff Landry (La.) said in a statement. “I don’t intend to spend my morning being lectured to by a president whose failed policies have put our children and grandchildren in a huge burden of debt.”

    I don’t mean to sound picky, but I’m not sure if Rep. Landry fully appreciates the meaning of the word “respectfully.” If the president of the United States invites a lawmaker to the White House for a policy discussion, and that lawmaker refuses to attend because he doesn’t want to be “lectured” by a president whose policies he thinks have “failed,” he’s not being especially “respectful.”

    But putting niceties aside, Landry also seems confused about the rationale for his little tantrum. As the right-wing Louisianan sees it, Obama is responsible for “a huge burden of debt.” I’m reminded of the recent analysis done by Chad Stone, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ chief economist, who posted this item showing the actual drivers of U.S. debt over a two-decade span. Stone explained:

    The complementary chart … shows that the Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — including their associated interest costs — account for almost half of the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy) if we continue current policies.

    Altogether, the economic downturn, the measures enacted to combat it (including the 2009 Recovery Act), and the financial rescue legislation play a smaller role in the projected debt increase over the next decade.

    I’d “respectfully” suggest Jeff Landry turn off Fox News long enough to recognize reality and stop saying stupid things.

    • Ametia says:

      Jeff Landry’s a coward. I guess he remembers that the president will speak out on the issues to your face*looks@Paul Ryan*

      Come ready to play with the big boys or stay home, Jeff.

    • I have respectfully declined the president’s invitation to the White House today,” Rep. Jeff Landry (La.) said in a statement. “I don’t intend to spend my morning being lectured to by a president whose failed policies have put our children and grandchildren in a huge burden of debt.”

      Translation:I don’t intend to spend my morning being lectured to by a nigga.

  13. rikyrah says:

    What Happens When Voters Start Paying Attention?

    A number of polls have found that the Ryan budget is very unpopular once it is explained to voters. Nate Silver sees trouble ahead for the GOP:

    If these poll results are right, they represent a lot of danger to Republicans because they suggest that voters’ assessments of the Medicare proposal are not yet fully “priced in” to their views of the parties more broadly. Right now, most people aren’t paying all that much attention to the budget debates or to domestic politics more generally. But they will tune in at some point between now and next November, and when they do they may find that the Republicans’ approach to the budget is not to their liking.

    • Ametia says:

      And voters can see that the GOP is trying to hang their Medicare around the neck of the national debt, instead of the GOP addressing the TAX CUTS and the wars, and how they tie in to the debt.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Wed Jun 01, 2011 at 10:07 AM PDT.

    CNN Knew Breitbart Was Lyingby Stranded Wind .

    CNN Spreads Latest Breitbart Smear focused on what we knew about the stalking and set up of Congressman Weiner. That this was another ACORN like ‘sting’ is readily apparent via even a cursory inspection.

    CNN has disingenuously ‘covered’ the story, which is to say they smeared right wing bullshit all over Congressman Weiner, probably motivated by a combination of the beating the GOP took in New York 26 and Weiner’s unflinching handling of the crimes of Clarence Thomas.

    How do we know they were complicit? Simple, they’re running Crimson Hexagon – there is no plausible way they could not have known it was a setup.


  15. Obama, Paul Ryan clash in White House meeting on debt,0,167966.story

    Reporting from Washington— Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and President Obama got into a pointed exchange over GOP plans to overhaul the Medicare system, with Ryan suggesting during a private meeting at the White House that the president had engaged in “demagoguery.”

    Obama met with members of the House Republican caucus in the East Room on Wednesday in an attempt to bridge differences over spending and the debt limit.

    Democrats have gained traction in the debate with Republicans by painting Ryan’s Medicare proposal as a “voucher” program that would harm senior citizens. A TV ad put out by a liberal group depicts a man pushing an elderly wheelchair-bound woman off a cliff. The message is that Republicans wish to privatize Medicare.

    Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, got a standing ovation from his colleagues during the meeting.

    “Hey, I’m that Ryan guy,” Ryan said at the start of his remarks at the meeting, according to a Republican aide.

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told reporters after the meeting that Ryan told Obama “we’re not going to make progress on reforming Medicare unless we cut through the demagoguery on the issue.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Poll: GOP Medicare-Ending Budget Bigger Political Fumble Than First Thought

    It doesn’t take much political savvy to note that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Medicare-destroying budget plan hasn’t panned out all that well for the GOP. But a new poll out from advocates for the Democratic health care law shows that the Ryan budget fail goes even deeper than embarrassed presidential candidates and special election upsets.

    Not only does the poll show huge opposition to Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system, the poll shows Democrats winning the credibility war when it comes to Medicare and “protecting the middle class.” And — in a jolt of good news for the White House and Democrats — the numbers show that when voters are given Ryan budget messaging from opponents, support for the Democratic health care law actually goes up slightly in response.

    The poll was conducted by The Herndon Alliance and Protect Your Care, two groups focused on defending the Democratic health care law from political attack. Full details on the survey will be released later today, but an early look at the numbers suggests the political hay Democrats can make from the Medicare fight is abundant.

    As previous polling has shown, voters in the new survey are overwhelmingly opposed to Ryan’s medicare plan. Here’s how pollsters described it, in what they called a “neutral description of the Republican’s proposed changes to Medicare”:

    The budget proposed by Republicans in Congress would generate much of its savings by making changes to Medicare. For anyone who is now fifty-five or over, traditional Medicare benefits would not change, but for everyone else, Medicare would be turned into a voucher program. This would mean that instead of the government paying doctors and hospitals directly for treating seniors as Medicare does now, the government would provide vouchers to help seniors buy their own private health insurance policy.The results? Just 38% support the plan and 54% oppose it. According to the groups, that opposition shoots up after voters are given some political messaging “about the substance of Republicans’ proposed changes to Medicare.”

    Going deeper, the numbers show President Obama with the upper hand in more than just the Medicare fight. On healthcare, the poll shows voters trust Obama over the congressional GOP by a margin of 48-41. They trust Obama more on Medicare by a margin of 47-39.

    But the most surprising numbers — and possibly the best one for Obama — are the results showing that political messaging against the Ryan budget may actually increase the numbers who support the Obama’s health care law. The legislation is enemy number one for Republicans heading into 2012, who hope to use continuing wariness about the bill to attack the president and Democrats this fall.

    • Ametia says:

      The Ryan bill is a complete fuck up and that’s why the GOP’s trying to move on to the next scam of holding the debt ceiling bill hostage in leiu of medicare.

  17. rikyrah says:

    June 01, 2011 8:00 AM

    Still waiting for the GOP’s ‘adult moment’
    By Steve Benen

    Shortly after voters gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) struck a refreshingly responsible tone about the debt ceiling. “I’ve made it pretty clear to [my caucus] that as we get into next year, it’s pretty clear that Congress is going to have to deal with [the debt limit],” Boehner said after the midterms. “We’re going to have to deal with it as adults. Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations and we have obligations on our part.”

    The House GOP, of course, quickly abandoned this maturity. Following through with American obligations is out; playing chicken with the economy is in. Acting like adults is out; acting like intemperate children is in.

    Late yesterday afternoon, Republicans brought a “clean” debt ceiling bill to the House floor for the express purpose of watching it fail. The point was to let a right-wing caucus thump its chest, telling the White House that the hostage strategy — give GOP lawmakers sweeping cuts or they’ll cause a recession on purpose — is still on.

    But the White House already knew that, making yesterday’s little charade the latest in a series of pathetic displays. When the dust settled, the final vote was 97 to 318, with 7 Dems voting “present,” and 9 members not voting at all. Every Republican voted against their own bill, as was predetermined when it was introduced.

    The GOP leadership is well aware of the dangers in stunts like these, so they “scheduled the vote for after the stock market’s close, and in the preceding days called Wall Street executives to assure them that the vote was just for show.”

    The showdown over the issue is likely to continue well into the summer, with consequences for both parties and, potentially, for the economy and Wall Street, where the bond market in particular is watching the partisan standoff closely. Yet for all the talk of crisis should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says it will run out of room to meet all the government’s obligations without further borrowing, the financial markets are likely to yawn at Tuesday’s proceedings.

    “Wall Street is in on the joke,” said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    Right. It’s all just a big game, which happens to put the global economy at risk. Few seem to believe Republicans would deliberately cause a catastrophe — basic American patriotism should prevent anyone from crushing the country’s economy on purpose — though the “the joke” itself may prove dangerous. As Ezra Klein recently explained, “The danger in this is that as the rhetoric ramps up, the market may not realize this is all just more of Washington’s fun and games. Brinksmanship runs the risk of misjudging what is the last minute, or the maximum amount of uncertainty, that the market will accept before it reevaluates the American government’s capacity to pay its debts back in a timely and smooth way.”

    The question becomes one of whether investors believe Republicans are crazy or really crazy. Yesterday, the GOP’s message was, “We’re pretending to be the latter, but don’t worry, we’re really the former.” The moment the financial industry stops believing that line, there’s cause for genuine alarm.

    As for nervous Democrats, who were split on the House floor yesterday, it’s worth noting that the National Republican Congressional Committee issued two kinds of press releases after the vote: one attacked Democrats who voted for the Republican bill, the other attacked Democrats who voted against the Republican bill. The Dems who sided with the GOP were smeared as cowardly hypocrites; the Dems who sided against the GOP labeled “brazen kings of debt” who want to “make the problem worse.”

    I hope congressional Democrats notice this, because it’s a reminder that appeasing Republicans doesn’t work. The GOP is going to attack no matter what they do, so Dems might as well do the right thing, because Republicans will try to smear them either way.

  18. ….Lord save us from this madness!

    Politico’s Roger Simon spoke with MSNBC Tamron Hall and stated Palin doesn’t need Donald Trump because she could be a very serious candidate for President if she decides to run!


  19. rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell: Putting Party Ahead of Country Every Time
    by Michael Tomasky

    People insist on presuming that Mitch McConnell speaks and acts in good faith. But as Michael Tomasky argues, this is a delusion born of the Senate’s distinguished history.

    The leathery visage of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell never fails to sadden and enrage me. McConnell has made it abundantly clear that his goal is not to help the economy or anything else; his overriding concern is making Barack Obama a one-term president. When he said Sunday that there will be no deal on raising the debt ceiling without substantial Medicare cuts, he made his motives clear again. Others have beaten me to the punch in calling this a hostage situation, and that’s precisely what it is.

    My sadness and rage intensify when I stop to think that McConnell once worked for and now holds the seat of the great John Sherman Cooper. Who? A senator from Kentucky from the 1940s through the 1970s, Cooper was a liberal Republican: not just someone who was kind of liberal for a Republican, but a genuine liberal, and also a genuine Republican, at a time and from a place when and where it was possible to be both. Cooper hailed from southeastern Kentucky, an oasis of Republicanism in what was then an otherwise solidly Democratic state. Remember, in those days and in such places, Democratic meant segregationist, another thing the towering Cooper never was: As a Kentucky circuit judge after the war (he was among the soldiers who happened across Buchenwald) but before his Senate service, he empanelled black citizens as jurors—in 1946.

    How emblematic it is of our benighted times that we’ve had to watch this decline and fall, from one of the noblest senators of his or maybe any era to this gastric partisan. But the real tragedy reposes in the fact that McConnell benefits in his way from the standard set by great senators like Cooper.

    What do I mean by this? I mean that there was a period in the history of this republic, and of the world’s so-called greatest deliberative body, when senators really did, at some crucial point in deliberations, put their partisan differences aside and work out solutions to the country’s pressing problems. I don’t mean to over-glorify the past—always a temptation, and always misleading. The Senate has had its share of scoundrels and partisans and drunks since the beginning. But by and large, they did find ways of conducting the nation’s business. And I don’t secretly mean here that I pine for the time when moderate Republicans rolled over for liberal wish-list items back in the 1960s. Even the Social Security compromise of 1983, when Democrats accepted raising the retirement age and Republicans agreed to an increase in the Social Security payroll tax in order to preserve the entitlement for future generations, an accord signed into law by Ronald Reagan, represented a notch in the belt of good-faith compromise.

    The Senate that was capable of an agreement like that still lodges itself in the minds of many, the high-pundit class to be sure but also senators themselves, who want to believe devoutly in the idea of both sides coming together to work out solutions to our problems. But the hard fact of our politics today is that one side isn’t playing. I suspect everyone knows this—the Republicans most of all, even though for obvious reasons they can’t say so. And yet, everyone wants to believe it’s still true.

    McConnell benefits from the lingering good feeling that still permeates the institution in which he serves—because people insist on presuming that the leader of the minority party speaks in good faith. But there’s no good faith here.

    The only question is whether the Democrats will accede to the hostage-taker’s demands. They’re in a tough position, especially after yesterday’s vote in the House, where nearly half of the Democrats joined all Republicans in refusing to raise the debt limit without deep and permanent cuts. Raising the ceiling is extremely unpopular in polls (of course it always has been, but that fact that didn’t prevent a certain M. McConnell from voting to raise it seven times during George W. Bush’s presidency).

    But whacking Medicare is extremely unpopular, too. So what the Obama people need to be asking themselves is the following. Are Democrats—and is the president—ready to do what it takes to defeat McConnell and his fellow Republicans in their effort to enact ruinous and unpopular changes to Medicare while also risking default on the country’s debt? I think the Democrats can win the fight politically, but only if they’re ready to go to the wall.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Commerce nominee comes with green past

    President Obama’s nominee for Commerce secretary, John Bryson, is good news for the environmental community and his nomination could foreshadow a renewed White House push for cap and trade.

    Bryson has a long history in the environmental community. He was one of the original co-founders of the Natural Resources Defense Council. From 1976 6o 1979, Bryson was chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board. Then, from 1979 to 1982, he was president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

    After that, Bryson led the electric utility company Edison International, until his retirement in 2008. He was at the helm of the company when an energy crisis struck the state of California from 2000-2003. The crisis not only forced competitor PG&E into bankruptcy, it created a slew of political troubles for then-Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.

    Bryson was also present during the 2006 global warming meeting between then-Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two leaders signed a deal to agree to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming.

    During the time he was at Edison, Bryson became a leading proponent of alternative energy, environmental regulations and more specifically, cap and trade. The year before Bryson ended his tenure at Edison, the company spent $1.5 million lobbying for emissions-reducing legislation.

    In 2004, for example, he called for a cap and trade system, saying “Long-term, a reasonable and balanced cap and trade system for reducing carbon dioxide emissions could be adopted once new carbon dioxide removal technology has been developed and becomes commercially available.”

    Even after he left Edison, Bryson continued to push for a cap and trade system. In 2009, when the House passed a bill that would have established such a system, he said, “I regard it as incredibly important that the United States comes forth in this year with federal climate change legislation as a foundation for moving ahead.”

    “I think we in the U.S. have an obligation to assist in significant ways in providing leadership in this community of nations that you represent and addressing energy and climate change,” he added.;_ylt=AgzWPe_Y0iDPgpmb.9QSHn6epsB_;_ylu=X3oDMTE2c2cxYTY4BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bi1yLWItbGVmdARzbGsDZXYtb2JhbWHigJlz

  21. Aquagranny911 says:

    I hope you all don’t mind if I share this here but I read the best article about our Military Service Dogs yesterday. I’m sorry I can’t provide a link because I read it in an actual magazine that’s not on line. Go figure.

    Anyway, these dog type military personal are trained just like our soldiers. They work hard, with great loyalty to their partners. They sniff for explosives and do other work to keep our soldiers safe. Some have been wounded and killed. Sometimes they can get C-PTSD (Canine Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) just like human soldiers and some have to be euthanized because of this. Sometimes they can be treated and rehabilitated. Their service time is limited because they get older and can’t keep up with the work or they have wounds that cripple them.

    There’s actually a group of people who take on the care of these surviving canine soldiers, giving them love, care and dignity in their retirement. I just thought this was so cool because I am a life long animal lover and I was involved in rescue for many years. I was a foster fur parent for abused and neglected animals until severe allergies recently have required me making my house animal and fur free.

    When I was thinking about and honoring our Military, both present and past, on Monday, I didn’t even give a thought to our Military Service Dogs who also served.

    Thanks for letting me share here. ♥ to all.

    • Thanks for sharing, Aquagranny! And they can C-PTSD too? Wow! I didn’t know that.

      • Aquagranny911 says:

        They do. Apparently they get hypersensitive to any noise, odd scents or other stimuli. They can get fearful or too aggressive. The person who wrote the article said not much is known about this because it is different in dogs than humans. The dogs who turn aggressive are just put down. The fearful ones they try to rehabilitate.

        Thanks for responding. I just thought the article was so good and I felt a bit bad not to have known much about this subject.
        I took in a lot of dogs and cats over the years who had gone through some severe trauma. Some got rehabilitated and found homes, a few sadly, could not be helped at all.

    • Ametia says:

      Good information, AG, and thanks for sharing it. Service dogs need and deserve our love too! :-)

  22. rikyrah says:

    In Shift, Justice Department is Hiring Lawyers With Civil Rights Backgrounds
    Published: May 31, 2011

    Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has reversed a pattern of systematically hiring conservative lawyers with little experience in civil rights, the practice that caused a scandal over politicization during the Bush administration.

    Instead, newly disclosed documents show, the lawyers hired over the past two years at the division have been far more likely to have civil rights backgrounds — and to have ties to traditional civil rights organizations with liberal reputations, like the American Civil Liberties Union or the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

    The release of the documents came as a House Judiciary subcommittee prepared to hold its first oversight hearing, on Wednesday, on the Civil Rights Division since Republicans regained the House. It also comes against the backdrop of efforts by conservative activists and media outlets to throw back at the Obama administration the charges of politicizing the Justice Department that were made against the Bush administration.

    While it is routine for any administration to hire ideologically sympathetic people to fill the politically appointed positions that are vacated with each new president, civil service laws prohibit taking ideology into account when hiring for the permanent posts known as “career” positions.

    The Justice Department’s inspector general found that the Bush administration — which changed hiring rules to give its political appointees at the Civil Rights Division greater control over civil service hiring starting in 2003 — had violated hiring rules by screening out liberals and by actively seeking to fill civil service vacancies with conservatives, referred to privately by one Bush official as “real Americans” and “right-thinking Americans.”

    As attention to the hiring changes mounted, the Bush administration partly rolled that policy back for the hiring of rookie lawyers in 2007.

    President Obama’s appointee to supervise the division, Thomas E. Perez, went further in a 2009 policy giving career professionals sweeping authority to choose whom to recommend to fill openings for experienced lawyers, a much larger group. Under the policy, if an assistant attorney general for civil rights wants to overrule a recommendation, he must do so in writing. Mr. Perez has not overruled any recommendations..

    “During this administration, the department has restored the career-driven, transparent hiring process that will produce the most qualified attorneys for the job,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, a Justice Department spokeswoman.

    The New York Times analyzed the résumés — obtained via the Freedom of Information Act — of successful applicants to the division’s voting rights, employment discrimination, and appellate sections. The documents showed that the Obama-era hires were more likely to have had experience in civil rights, and they graduated from more selective law schools, than those hired over the final six years of the Bush administration.

    Specifically, about 90 percent of the Obama-era hires listed civil rights backgrounds on their résumés, up from about 38 percent of the Bush group hires. (There were about 47 Obama-era hires and about 72 in the last six years of the Bush administration.)

    Moreover, the Obama-era hires graduated from law schools that had an average ranking of 28, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Bush group had a lower average ranking, 42.


    By contrast, during the first two Obama years, none of the new hires listed conservative organizations, while more than 60 percent had liberal credentials. They consisted overwhelmingly of prior employment or internships with a traditional civil rights group, like the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

    Those findings were amplified by a report on Tuesday by The National Law Journal, which analyzed the résumés of nearly 120 career lawyers hired since 2009 across the entire division. Of that group, it reported, at least 60 had worked for traditional civil rights organizations.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Vow to Block Obama’s Pick for Commerce Secretary
    President Obama formally nominated John Bryson for Commerce Secretary today saying that he is confident that Bryson will deliver the “growth, prosperity and job creation here in American that we all want.”

    But Mr. Bryson has to go though Senate confirmation. And Republicans have vowed to hold up any confirmation for the new Commerce Secretary until the president submits the trade agreements for Panama, Colombia and South Korea to Congress for approval and commits to signing them.

    In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in March, 44 Republicans said that further delay on the three trade agreements would be unnecessary and inexcusable.

    “The administration has delayed sending up legislation for free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. These agreements were negotiated and finalized more than three years ago,” the letter stated, “until the President submits both agreements to Congress for approval and commits to signing implementing legislation into law, we will use all the tools at our disposal to force action, including withholding support for any nominee for Commerce Secretary and any trade-related nominees.”

    The White House will not send up the free trade agreement treaties until Congress approves more retraining money for a jobs program for laid-off workers, they have said.

    In the State Dining Room today, with outgoing Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who is nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to China, and Bryson by his side, the president said that Bryson will be able to use his business community experience in his new role.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Actually, this is getting old fast…//UPDATE: Piper hits the wall, Sarah runs straight through it

    May 31, 2011

    I was thinking of writing a piece for The Daily Beast about a Palin appearance in New England this week.

    But I’m not going to play hide-and-seek. So, Sarah, you can relax–at least until Sept. 20 when THE ROGUE will be published.

    Seriously, how far does she think this “Close your eyes and count to twenty, then catch-me-if-you-can” approach will take her?

    Actually, knowing her, and knowing MSM, I’m sure she thinks–with some justification–that it can take her all the way to the White House.

    Even still, I feel sorry for the reporters assigned to the bus tour beat.

    And I have an idea for MSM editors: un-assign them.

    There’s a lot of talent out there chasing after ephemera.

    And, as with the dog chasing the school bus, it’s only worse if you catch it.

    Here’s something else, and uglier: Sarah used Trig as her photo-op prop on her Going Rogue tour in the fall of 2009.

    Now, almost two years later, that poor Down Syndrome child is neither so photogenic nor so manageable, so he’s off (or under) the bus.

    So it’s Piper who has to fill in. Do you think that poor girl had a choice?

    Last summer, Sarah complained long and loud that I’d moved in next door because I wanted to peer at Piper through her bedroom window.

    Her hot-to-trot flunkies like Beck and Van Susteren made that slanderous accusation into a right-wing meme.

    But the notion was so silly and sick that I couldn’t even get mad about it.

    I do, however, have granddaughters who are just about Piper’s age.

    Their mothers and fathers have nurtured them since birth, and continue to do so. I can’t wait to see them again in July.

    But what about poor Piper, reduced to a photo-op, and with no chance to opt off the bus?

    The only time I saw Piper—I never laid eyes on her last summer—was at a Sarah book-signing at The Villages, Florida, just before Thanksgiving, 2009, when I reported on the event as part of my research for THE ROGUE.

    I was appalled to see the poor girl ushered up to a FOX News platform for makeup before Sarah brought her on camera during an interview with one of the Fox blondes about what a swell Thanksgiving they were all going to have.

    Trig, at least, was too young and too Down to know how he was being used.

    Piper was being taught to love it.

    And it’s only going to get worse.

    In the end, there are three things to remember about Sarah:

    1) Everything she says and does is fraudulent.

    2) She cares about no one but herself.

    3) She believes that God has told her that 1) and 2) are okay and that any harm she does to her children is merely collateral damage.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The Wrong Way To Oppose Obamacare

    Some GOP governors are refusing to set up their states’ healthcare exchanges. Aaron Carroll thinks they will come to regret this:

    [R]efusing to prepare the exchanges is a real risk. It’s unlikely the law will be repealed soon. Should it not be found unconstitutional and thrown out entirely, the exchanges will still stand. The PPACA clearly says that if a state doesn’t have an exchange, then the federal government will create and run one for it. It’s going to take some time to set one up, and if 2014 rolls around and states don’t have an exchange ready, then it will be the feds, not locals, who will dictate terms.

  26. Ametia says:

    Alito Owned Stock, Voted in Case Involving Disney’s ABC
    Mark Sherman All Articles

    The Associated Press
    June 01, 2011

    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took part in a case over curse words on television involving ABC Inc. and other networks even though he owned stock in ABC’s parent, Walt Disney Co., at the time.

    Alito said Tuesday that he owned around $2,000 in Disney stock when the court heard the case FCC v. Fox Television Stations in late 2008. ABC and the other networks also were parties to the case.

    Alito said his participation was an oversight. He said aides who routinely check for conflicts in high court cases missed the Disney connection when they looked at the Fox case, even though ABC’s brief clearly disclosed Disney’s ownership.

    In any event, Alito voted with the majority, against ABC’s interests. The case came out 5-4, suggesting that Alito’s participation directly affected the outcome in which the court threw out an appeals court ruling favorable to the networks.

    The FCC’s policing of the airwaves is again heading to the high court, also following a ruling for the networks. This time, Alito can take part without any worry as he sold his Disney stock last year.

    The justice thinks he lost a few dollars on the deal. The issue arises now because the stock sale was disclosed in Alito’s annual financial report that was released Friday.

    The federal conflict of interest law for judges says they should not hear a case if they have a financial interest, however small, in a party. The statute does not provide any penalty for violation.

    Stephen Gillers, an ethics expert at New York University, said simply that Alito “should not have participated.”

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Alito conceded as much. “It’s a mistake,” he said.

    Alito owned the Disney shares for many years, after his mother bought $1,000 worth of stock for each of his two children. “My mother decided it would be a cool thing for them to have the actual certificates,” Alito said.

    The justice said he thought about selling the shares many times, but getting rid of actual stock certificates “is a pain in the neck.” He finally made the sale in February 2010.

    He took no part in other cases directly involving Disney before and after the curse-words dispute. He also sat out the court’s consideration of the Exxon Valdez case because he owned more than $50,000 in Exxon Mobil shares.

    Now that he no longer owns Disney, Alito has an apparently clear path to being involved in a sequel to the FCC case. The agency has asked the court to reinstate a policy that allows it to fine broadcasters for showing nudity and airing curse words when young children may be watching television.

    The FCC appeal stems from a court ruling throwing out fines against broadcasters who showed a woman’s nude buttocks on a 2003 episode of ABC’s “NYPD Blue.”

    • rikyrah says:

      I think I’ve read this piece 5 times today. I get angrier everytime I read it.


      • …It’s got damn shame!

      • Ametia says:

        I was wondering if anyone was going to respond to this piece. I work as a paralegal, and the 2 atttorneys I work with are as quiet as church mice.

        although the younger of the two is a pragmatic, and wrote his law dissertation on how a graduating law student could become a potential supreme Court Justice pick of PBO.

  27. Ametia says:

    Daley taking advisory post with Chicago law firm
    5:36 a.m. CDT, June 1, 2011

    Former Mayor Richard M. Daley is joining the Chicago-based law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman, the firm announced this morning.

    Daley will be “of counsel” to the firm, an advisory position in which the firm can “draw on his vast knowledge, experience and relationships globally to contribute to the continued growth of the firm,” it said in a news release.

    He won’t participate in any work involving the City of Chicago of any affiliated agencies, the firm added.,0,5866658.story

  28. rikyrah says:

    Fla. Gov. Scott bashed Obama’s stimulus but kept $370 million of it in budget
    By Marc Caputo | The Miami Herald

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott campaigned against President Obama’s “failed stimulus” program — yet the freshman politician kept nearly $370 million of the federal cash in the Florida budget he signed last week.

    Scott’s decision to keep the stimulus money stands out in a year when the governor touted record budget vetoes of up to $615 million. He emphasized the vetoes of “wasteful” spending at a Thursday event that featured a campaign-style “Promises Made, Promises Kept” banner.

    But as he ran for office last summer, Scott said he “would fight all the stimulus money.” He also told reporters “I would have figured out how to balance the budget without it.”

    When asked Tuesday why he appeared to reverse himself by keeping stimulus money, Scott didn’t specifically answer.

    “I think the stimulus was not good for our state, made us more dependent on the federal government,” he said, echoing a budget-signing letter he issued last week. “I think that we’ve got to watch how we spend money. As you know, in the budget, I focused very much on how we spend our money, stopping the growth of debt in our state and making our state less dependent on the federal government.”

    The stimulus money Scott and Republican legislators approved touch every corner of the state: $290 million to improve electronic medical records, $4.2 million to aid disadvantaged children, $3.2 million for fighting wildfires, $12.5 million for drug courts, $8.6 million for county health departments, $1 million to fight infectious diseases, and $4.4 million to help public defenders and prosecutors.

    The bulk of the stimulus, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was appropriated by the Legislature in previous years. The act is specifically referenced 66 times in the budget.

    For 61 of the line items, the Legislature appropriated a specific amount of stimulus money that totals almost $343 million.

    Read more:

  29. rikyrah says:

    Al Gore is Fat
    by mistermix

    But Chris Christie is a serious, small government conservative:

    Gov. Chris Christie arrived at his son’s baseball game this afternoon aboard a State Police helicopter.

    Right before the lineup cards were being exchanged on the field, a noise from above distracted the spectators as the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field.

    I hope this hothouse flower runs, because he’ll be crushed by any serious media attention.

    • Ametia says:

      BWA HA HA HA Oh dear LORD, save us from these clowns, PLEASE.. That fat punk couldn’t walk across the baseball field. SMGDH.

    • Ametia says:

      And I love this comment too:

      Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car (*dump*) truck with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field. There I fixed it!

  30. rikyrah says:

    May 31, 2011
    One more time

    As I wrote on May 12 (and earlier, too, but I was too lazy to locate and link to it):

    [T]his nation’s most towering manifestations of socialism — Social Security and Medicare — are by now splendid examples of, in reality, conservatism writ large.

    And finally, a conservative gets it. Michael Gerson:

    Conservatives should understand that much of the opposition to Medicare reform is conservative, at least in form. It is rooted in a fear of change and a resentment of meddling officials…. In a choice between the status quo and major change, a center-right country generally will choose the status quo.

    Gerson got little else right in his Medicare-muddling column today, but the above are lessons in political philosophy that progressive Democrats need to learn well.

  31. rikyrah says:

    May 31, 2011
    That’s about right

    I love it and ask myself, How did I miss it? This, from Eugene Robinson, on Michele Bachmann’s impending announcement:

    [I]s it a good idea to launch a campaign of conquest in a place called Waterloo?


  32. rikyrah says:

    May 31, 2011
    For Huntsman, a new low

    This is pathetic. Just pathetic. More evidence that no low is too unthinkably low when it comes to “getting right” with 2012’s increasingly isolated pseudoconservatives.

    According to RealClearPolitics’ Erin McPike, “the two living Republicans” the congenitally moderate Jon Huntsman says he “most admires” are — ready ? — Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee. One, an exuberant vendor of fiscal fallacies and other intensely unpleasant ideological mumbo-jumbo; the other, a bottom-feeding exploiter of hayseed ignorance and religious bigotry. And those are the positive profiles.

    Mr. Ambassador, by selling your soul now you’re only creating your own demons for 2016; they’ll come back to haunt you at the most inopportune time — that is, when the GOP has rendered the likes of Ryan-Huckabee scurrility to the flaky, untouchable margins of third-party Tea Partyism. I simply cannot see how the GOP survives its imminent thrashing in any other way: a massive, ideological cleansing is in the cards, just as surely as the GOP will lose the House next year, as well as all hopes for the Senate and White House. By 2016 even the patina of ‘RyanCare’ and contractual Fox propaganda will carry a political toxicity of near lethal dosage.

    A fresh, uncontaminated, authentic conservatism will be in demand, from which you, Mr. Ambassador, are presently removing yourself.

    Doubtless I go too far, but I do so only to emphasize the rather inescapable logic of the GOP’s coming moderation. For now, the party is trapped in a concentrically tightening ideology of self-righteous suicide, but at some pragamtic point it’s bound to rediscover the liberating grandeur of just plain self-survival.

    As a rather comic aside, here’s irrefutable evidence that at any rate Mr. Huntsman hasn’t yet the knack for appealing to the right’s primary base of the infinitely slackjawed. “You cannot extrapolate our current spending levels on current assumptions that underlie Medicare and Social Security,” says Huntsman, “and expect to be in a good place for future generations.”

    Dear Jon, you lost them on the third word.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Free Speech For Dummy

    by digby

    Why am I not surprised that the alleged libertarian Rand Paul is just a tad uhm … incoherent?

    PAUL: I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.

    Think Progress goes on to note all the praise Paul has been receiving from libertarians and liberals alike for his courageous support for constitution principles. And they also note how many of those constitutional principles he has ignored. What explains this?

    How shall I put this delicately? The man isn’t playing with a full deck. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s a few tacos short of a fiesta platter. His jogging trail doesn’t go all the way round the lake…He’s an idiot.

    The fact that we have to count on him to be the guardian of the constitution in the US Senate says everything you need to know about the state of civil liberties in this country.


    • Ametia says:

      Let me continue… all his marbles aren’t in the sack, he’s 2 slices shy of a loaf, his elevator doesn’t stop on all floors…

    • Aquagranny911 says:

      Yes and he is conveniently forgetting just how many of his dingbat supporters and members of his own House of Reps who have also mouthed off about overthrowing the government, seceding from the USA or using “second amendment solutions.”

      How soon they forget the crazy that spews from their own mouths! Oh, I forgot it isn’t sedition, treason or crazy when they say it.

  34. rikyrah says:

    June 01, 2011
    Groucho Camp, Harpo Cantor, and Chico Boehner
    Well, that’s it. We’re now in a Marx Brothers movie.

    Or at any rate we can no longer distinguish the Marx Brothers’ ‘Duck Soup’ — in which fictional Freedonia is governed, so to speak, by a tiny and newly installed consortium of misfits and nincompoops — from the U.S. House of Representatives, a regrettably nonfictional institution governed, so to speak, by a tiny and newly installed consortium of misfits and nincompoops.

    Let’s try a blind comparison test.

    Said a government official from one of the above:

    This vote, based on legislation I’ve introduced, will and must fail.

    Said another:

    The last man nearly ruined this place, he didn’t know what to do with it.
    If you think this country’s bad off now, just wait ’til I get through with it.

    So which was which, who was who, what was what? Was it Rufus T. Firefly urging his fellow representatives to vote in breathless opposition to his own legislation that he insisted must surely and rightfully die? Or, perhaps more realistically, was it GOP Rep. Dave Camp presaging this country’s fate in the hands of his party’s determined yokels and fools?

    Ah, you’re ahead of me. Trick questions. The correct question is, Does it make any difference? And the answer is self-evident.

  35. Ametia says:

    Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/01/2011
    West Wing Briefing: Obama will meet with House Republicans on deficit, debt limit
    By Perry Bacon Jr.

    President Obama will meet with House Republicans Wednesday as the two sides remain divided on an agreement to increase the federal debt ceiling by the August deadline.

    While the White House and Republicans are expected to reach a deal later this summer both to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit and cut federal spending, the session at the White House comes as some Republicans have argued that a temporary default on its debt by the U.S. government would not be a major problem. The Obama administration has said even a temporary default could be catastrophic.

    House Republicans Tuesday overwhelmingly voted down a largely symbolic proposal that would have raised the debt limit but did not include spending cuts, which the GOP has said must be included in a deficit agreement.

    The meeting on Wednesday is a rare direct intervention in the fiscal policy debate from Obama, who has set up a separate group headed by Vice President Biden to resolve the impasse between the two parties. The group has met four times over the last month.

    In separate meetings last month with Senate Republicans and Democrats, Obama urged both sides to avoid declaring ironclad public positions, arguing that would increase the partisan divide and make it harder to reach an agreement.

    But many Republicans, including Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) have pointedly said they will not back an increase in taxes as part of a deal on deficit reduction.

    Obama will meet with House Democrats on Thursday.

  36. Ametia says:

    Posted at 06:59 AM ET, 06/01/2011
    Ahead of White House meeting, economists write to Boehner
    By Felicia Sonmez

    More than 150 economists have signed a statement supporting House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) call for spending cuts at least equal to the amount by which Congress raises the country’s debt ceiling this year, a figure that could total trillions of dollars.

    The statement, which was released by Boehner’s office Wednesday morning ahead of a 10 a.m. meeting between Obama and the House Republican conference, comes one day after the House overwhelmingly rejected a measure to raise the country’s debt limit without any additional spending cuts. The vote underscored Republicans’ message that significant cuts need to be included in any deficit-reduction deal.

    “An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms to address our government’s spending addiction will harm private-sector job creation in America,” the statement reads. “It is critical that any debt limit legislation enacted by Congress include spending cuts and reforms that are greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority being granted to the president. … An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms would harm private-sector job growth and represent a tremendous setback in the effort to deal with our national debt.”

    Among those signing the statement are economists from Stanford and Carnegie Mellon Universities; former Reagan secretary of state George Shultz; Columbia University economist and Nobel Prize winner Robert Mundell; and former Congressional Budget Office directors Douglas Holtz-Eakin and June O’Neill.

    Wednesday’s meeting will be the first between Obama and the entire House Republican conference since November’s mid-term elections. House Democrats are set to meet separately with Obama at the White House on Thursday.

    The Treasury Department has set an Aug. 2 deadline by which Congress must vote to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. If not, the country will face default. Vice President Biden, who has held four meetings so far with bipartisan congressional leaders to work toward a comprehensive deficit-reduction deal, said last week that he believed the negotiators would be able to exceed $1 trillion in cuts. Republican leaders have indicated that any cuts will likely need to exceed $2 trillion.

    While the parties have found common ground on spending cuts in the deficit-reduction talks, the matters of revenue and Medicare remain the biggest stumbling blocks. Democrats insist that tax increases must be on the table, an idea Republicans reject. Republicans maintain that an overhaul of expensive entitlement programs such as Medicare must be included; Democrats strongly oppose that idea.

    The letter signed by the economists on Wednesday, however, refers only to spending cuts and makes no mention of overhauling entitlement programs.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that Obama will hear out House Republicans’ concerns at Wednesday’s meeting but will continue to emphasize the “calamitous” consequences of default.

    In addition to the White House meeting, new developments in the debt-ceiling debate could come at 10 a.m. Wednesday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner testifies before the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing on “The State of the International Financial System.”

  37. Ametia says:

    State prepares to release Palin emails
    24,000 PAGES: Some will be withheld or partly blacked out.

    Published: May 31st, 2011 10:01 PM
    Last Modified: May 31st, 2011 10:01 PM

    The state is about to release more than 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin’s emails from her time as governor. But officials are also going to withhold another 2,415 pages the state deems privileged, personal or otherwise exempt from Alaska’s disclosure laws.

    News organizations and individuals requested the Palin emails under Alaska’s public records law more than two years ago when she was running for vice president.

    The messages are finally now about to be released as the former governor contemplates a bid for the presidency. State officials expect to send the emails to a commercial printer to be copied this week, a process that is estimated to take about four days.

    Copies of the emails will then be shipped in boxes from Juneau to the people and news agencies who requested them, said Linda Perez, Gov. Sean Parnell’s administrative director.

    It remains to be seen how many of the released emails are going to be at least partially blacked out. State lawyers reviewed printouts of each email and suggested which emails — or which portions of emails — to withhold. Gov. Sean Parnell’s office made the final decisions.

    Perez on Tuesday contacted the organizations and individuals who requested the records and let them know that some emails would be withheld or redacted. She said they have the option of filing an administrative appeal of the decision or seeking an injunction in Superior Court.

    News organizations that requested the records include the Daily News, the Associated Press,, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and CNN. Individuals include Geoffrey Dunn, author of the recently published book “The Lies of Sarah Palin,” and Andree McLeod of Anchorage, who has had ethics complaints against Palin dismissed by the state.

    Read more:

    • Aquagranny911 says:

      My Sis says that Sarah resigned as Gov of Alaska before she could be arrested for graft and other crimes. That woman is a blot on society and I hope the GOP has to hug and hold her hand through the primary for 2012. They deserve everything they get for thawing this disgusting ice cube from out of Alaska.

  38. Ametia says:

    House rejects proposal to raise debt ceiling
    By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, Published: May 31
    With an August deadline looming, the House overwhelmingly refused Tuesday to raise the legal limit on government borrowing, setting the stage for a long, sweaty summer of haggling over the shape of the largest debt-reduction package in at least two decades.

    Not a single GOP lawmaker voted for the measure to raise the limit on the national debt from $14.3 trillion to $16.7 trillion — a sum sufficient to cover the government’s bills through the end of next year. Republican leaders said their troops would reject any increase without a plan to sharply curtail spending and, thus, future borrowing.

    “Tonight’s vote illustrates that there is no support in the People’s House for a debt limit increase without real spending cuts and binding budget process reforms,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement, adding: “The families and business owners throughout the country want Washington to begin to live within its means and stop maxing out the credit card.”

    Polls show that a higher debt limit is extremely unpopular with a large majority of voters, which has left Democrats leery of calling for an increase. On Tuesday, as the House voted 318 to 97 against raising the limit, nearly half of the chamber’s Democrats sided with the Republicans. In doing so, they ignored a long-standing request from the Obama administration to boost the limit before plunging into a complex and politically difficult battle over the size of the federal budget.

  39. Ametia says:

  40. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone at 3CHICS!!

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