Serendiptiy SOUL | Monday Open Thread

Crowded House are a rock band, formed in Melbourne, Australia and led by New Zealand singer-songwriter Neil Finn.[1] Finn is the primary songwriter and creative director of the band, having led it through several incarnations, drawing members from New Zealand (his brother, Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner), Australia (Paul Hester, Nick Seymour, Peter Jones and Craig Hooper) and the United States (Mark Hart, and Matt Sherrod).[1][2] Crowded House are referred to as The Crowdies by Australian fans.[3]

Queen Elizabeth II bestowed an OBE on both Neil and Tim Finn, in June 1993, for their contribution to the music of New Zealand.[4]

Originally active from 1985 to 1996, the band has had consistent commercial and critical success in Australia and New Zealand[5][6][7] and international chart success in two phases, beginning with their self titled debut album, Crowded House, which reached number twelve on the US Album Chart in 1987 and provided the Top Ten hits, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong“.[8][9] Further international success came in the UK and Europe with their third and fourth albums, Woodface and Together Alone and the compilation album Recurring Dream, which included the hits “Fall at Your Feet“, “Weather with You“, “Distant Sun“, “Locked Out“, “Instinct” and “Not the Girl You Think You Are“.[3][10]


Don’t Dream It’s Over
Songwriter: Finn, Neil

There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re traveling with me

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Now I’m towing my car, there’s a hole in the roof
My possessions are causing me suspicion but there’s no proof
In the paper today, tales of war and of waste
But you turn right over to the TV page

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Now I’m walking again to the beat of a drum
And I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart
Only shadows ahead, barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and release

Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Well, don’t let them win
Hey now, hey now
Don’t let them win
Don’t let them win, yeah

Happy Monday, folks.  Stay tuned to 3 Chics this week for more great music of the 1980s.

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104 Responses to Serendiptiy SOUL | Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    President Obama will NOT be losing an Ounce of sleep tonight over the Republican debate. What nonsense, and CNN is promoting Bachman. Oh please run that woman.

  2. Ametia says:

    President Obama jumped on the resignation bandwagon Monday.

    Speaking to reporters outside her office on Capitol Hill, Pelosi said that “none of us, not anybody here has the power to force somebody out of office.” But she said that she thinks Weiner should heed the suggestion from his party’s leaders, including Obama, that it’s time to go.

    “I hope that with the President having spoken and some leaders in Congress speaking out, Congressman Weiner will hear this, know this, know that it’s in his best interest for him to leave Congress,” she said.

    Read more:

  3. Ametia says:

    These REthugs have NO PLANS. just smaller government bullshit.

  4. Ametia says:

    Tim Pawlenty is pathetic & Michelle Bachman is a NUT.

  5. Ametia says:

    President Obama Remarks on Jobs
    Durham, NC
    Monday, June 13, 2011

    President Obama announced the details of a program to train 10,000 new American engineers every year. He made this announcement at the Cree Lighting Manufacturing Company in Durham, North Carolina. “I will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a good job that offers some security has a good job that offers security,” he said.

    This engineering training program idea came from the White House Jobs and Competitiveness Council which the President met with earlier in the day at the Cree company, which produces energy efficient LED lighting. The President had previously visited the company in 2008 during his first presidential campaign.

  6. Ametia says:

    Ron Paul is an IDIOT. If less government is better, GET YO ASS OUT OF GOVERNMENT.

    • Ametia says:

      Mitt Romney is a LIAR. Saying the auto bailout was a failure. The private sector according to Mittens has got it going on. Well Mittens, if they did, WHERE ARE THE FUCKING JOBS?

  7. Ametia says:

    Obama, Michelle: Headlining FIVE fund-raisers on Monday
    By Lynn Sweet on June 13, 2011 4:32 PM

    WASHINGTON–President Obama and First Lady Michelle are both headlining events to benefit his 2012 re-election bid on Monday. Obama has three events in Miami on Monday while Mrs. Obama has two events is in the Los Angeles area.

    Pool report from Mrs. Obama Pasadena funder:

    Luncheon fund-raiser in Pasadena. No news.

    About 500 people gathered on the ample lawn behind the Pasadena home of Ann and Robert Hamilton for a lunch-time fundraiser. Outside of the two-story Mediterranean-style home, a fountain spat water from a swimming pool and several women lounged nearby, strumming harps.

    Guests paid $1,000 per ticket to attend the event. They sat at tables draped in white linen and dined on tamales, corn salad and fruit tarts. The majority of the guest were African-American women — the fundraiser was organized by Southern California Women For Obama.

    The First Lady arrived at approximately 12:40 PST and spoke for about 25 minutes. Lena Kennedy, the co-chair of the event, introduced her as “the not-so-secret weapon of the President of the United States.”

    Obama, in a sleeveless blue dress, stood at a podium beneath a tree bursting with lavender flowers.

    She began by recounting her husband’s journey to the White House, beginning with the moment he told her he wanted to run for President.

    “I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea,” she said. “I still had some cynicism about politics, that was my hesitation.”

    But she said she was transformed on the campaign trail after hearing the stories of everyday Americas. She recalled a campaign stop in Iowa before the Democratic primary there, where she grew so comfortable with the people she was chatting with, she kicked off her heels.

    “I was just standing barefoot in the grass, just talking to people,” Obama said.

    She said the moment made her realize that campaigning is “about meeting people one-on-one and learning about what was going on in their lives.”

    And it led to a revelation about Americans: “Whether you grew up on the South Side of Chicago or Iowa, our stories are shared.”

    Obama then listed some of the things her husband has done in office during his first two years. “We’ve gone from an economy that was on the brink of collapse to an economy that is starting to grow again,” she said.

    She also mentioned healthcare reform, the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She praised “justice” in the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the withdrawal of troops from overseas.

  8. Ametia says:

    GSheesh! Is anyone watching this sham of a Republican debate?

  9. rikyrah says:

    A Note to Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels on the Subject of Federal Funding and States’ Rights:

    Let the Rude Pundit tell you a little story from the dark, tormented 1980s. Back in 1984, Congress passed a law that was sponsored by Republicans and Democrats. It was the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, and what it did was say that should a state not raise its drinking age to 21, that state would lose 5% or so of its highway funds. It passed by a voice vote in both the House and the Senate. Grudgingly, President Ronald Reagan signed it because it was better to not be on the wrong side of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And because a veto would have been overridden.

    During the years of the debate, the Rude Pundit was in the sweet spot between 18 and 21, so he was really interested in how the whole thing would play out in his home state. And Louisiana was one of the last holdouts. If you don’t know, the real religion of Louisiana is alcohol. Drugs weren’t an issue at his high school because everyone was just drinking all the time. Fer fuck’s sake, there’s drive-thru daiquiri huts, where a single piece of scotch tape on the plastic lid is enough to indicate a closed container.

    Oh, yes, the Louisiana legislature was filled with rebels then, people not wanting the federal government to boss ‘em around, to tell ‘em what to do. States’ rights, man, that was the cry. Hell, no, the Pelican State wasn’t gonna let Washington say that teenagers couldn’t have a beer. The impeccable illogic of having Mississippi with a 21 year-old drinking age and Louisiana with an 18 year-old one was lost on the deluded Federalists, many of whom had constituents a-feared of losing money. Bloody borders were about individual conduct, weren’t they?

    But, of course, eventually, Louisiana punked out in 1986, as did every other state, faced with the loss of millions of dollars.

    South Dakota, though, decided to sue the federal government to get the law declared unconstitutional. And when the case of South Dakota v. Dole got to the Supreme Court in 1987, well, it was 7-2 in favor of the federal government, with William Rehnquist and John Paul Stevens agreeing, as did noted states’ rights fellatrix Antonin Scalia. Yep, Scalia agreed with Rehnquist’s opinion that affirmed that the Federal Government “does have power to fix the terms upon which its money allotments to states shall be disbursed.” And that “we cannot conclude, however, that a conditional grant of federal money of this sort is unconstitutional simply by reason of its success in achieving the congressional objective.” Which is not to mention that “we conclude that encouragement to state action found in [the act] is a valid use of the spending power.” In other words, you don’t like the conditions, you don’t have to take the fucking money. But if you want the fucking money, you agree to the conditions.

    Yes, history will sodomize your specious ideology righteously. And when history’s done fucking your ass, he’ll turn you over and fuck your face. Mitch Daniels is learning this lesson right now after signing the bill that takes away federal Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood in Indiana. Chris Christie is learning that, too, since he diverted funds that were given to New Jersey for a new Hudson River train tunnel to other transportation projects. In other words, the governors are being dishonorable fuckers. They are breaking contracts, or at least unilaterally changing the terms, essentially, and now they’re gonna have to pay or stop being jackasses.

    So when conservatives get upset about the coercive nature of DC telling states what they can do with money that came from the federal government, they can thank the sainted Rehnquist and Scalia for giving the feds the power to do so.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Drives Around Detroit In Campaign Video, Says It’s Awful
    Execution worshipper Mitt Romney has a strange new campaign video that features Mittens driving around very depressing neighborhoods in Detroit, lost maybe? No, it is Mitt Romney’s Tour of Ruined America, which is not Obama’s fault, says Mitt (ALWAYS BLAME OBAMA, MITT), but Obama isn’t fixing it, either. Blah blah, this explanation is taking too long. What will Mitt do to fix it? He will get to that later, he is busy feeling sorry for Michigan right now. This Obama character has done nothing to help Detroit, because the auto bailout does not count for adding 50,000 jobs, for being socialist. “He made things worse,” Mittens says to some invisible person in the back seat of the car, and for a moment you forget whether he is talking about Obama or just talking in third person about his own campaign, by making this weird, sad video about how sad Detroit is. Watch it after the jump:

    It’s hard to tell what the message of this campaign video is. “Mitt Romney understands that Detroit sucks,” which is a fundamental thing for any presidential candidate to understand. “Mitt Romney hires camera crews to shoot video of boarded up homes and empty lots,” which is another thing we can think about from now on when we remember Mittens, in our dreams at night. [YouTube]

  11. Ametia says:

    Robert Gibbs is giving Wolf Blitzer a mouth full. Wolf’s trying hard to stick to his script.

  12. Don’t Be Distracted by Weinergate: The Scandalous “Judicial Insider Trading” of Justice Clarence Thomas, Wife “Ginni”

    He had inappropriate sexual entanglements with a number of women and lied about it repeatedly to the American people. Yet nobody — save for cone Colorado law school prof— seems to be calling for Justice Clarence Thomas’ resignation for some reason.

    That, even though Thomas, unlike Rep. Anthony Weiner, appears to have actually, and flagrantly, and repeatedly, broken the law.

    As we reported in January, Thomas appears to have “knowingly and willfully” filed falsified Financial Disclosure Forms which withheld disclosure of nearly $700,000 his wife received from the rightwing Heritage Foundation for the better part of the last 20 years. Only once it was pointed out publicly this year did Thomas bother to file “self-initiated amendments” to the forms he had signed just above the legal warning in bold and all caps which reads: “NOTE: ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FALSIFIES OR FAILS TO FILE THIS REPORT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS (5 U.S.C. app. § 104)”

    While there has been little indication that law enforcement is actually investigating the crimes of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice (which, as we pointed out in January, are punishable by up to $50,000 and/or 1 year in jail for each instance of falsification), last Friday when Thomas’ Financial Disclosure Form for 2010 [PDF] was released, the matter appears to have gotten shadier still, leading at least one government watchdog organization to describe what Thomas and his wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas may be been doing as “Judicial Insider Trading.”


  13. Ametia says:

    White House calls Weiner’s sex scandal a “distraction”
    By Thomas Ferraro
    WASHINGTON | Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:57pm EDT

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House Monday ramped up pressure on Democratic lawmaker Anthony Weiner to resign, calling his Internet sex scandal a distraction from the work that needs to be done in Washington.

    “Congressman Weiner has said himself — his behavior was inappropriate, his dishonesty was inappropriate,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

    Weiner, 46, Saturday defied mounting calls from party leaders to resign after his belated admission that he sent online messages and lewd photos of himself to at least a half dozen women and had lied about it.

    The congressman said through an aide over the weekend that rather than immediately step down he would instead seek a leave of absence from Congress and treatment at an undisclosed facility before deciding what to do.

    “We think this is a distraction obviously from the important business that this president needs to conduct and Congress needs to conduct,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One as President Barack Obama headed to North Carolina to talk to business leaders about invigorating the economy.

    With unemployment at 9.1 percent, Obama has been struggling to convince Americans his policies are pulling the economy out of the doldrums.

    Monday’s trip was part of a stepped-up effort by the White House to show voters that Obama remains focused on job creation. But the Weiner story has dominated cable news networks and newspaper front pages.


    With the White House accusing Weiner of being an unwarranted distraction for the president, the fiery liberal may find it difficult to stay on.

    Weiner, who was re-elected last November with 61 percent of the vote, has said his behavior was wrong but that he violated no laws.

    It is unclear what, if anything, Congress can do to force Weiner to step down. A poll last week showed that most of his constituents think he should remain in his job.

    The full House could vote to expel Weiner. But such punishment would be highly unusually unless it found he violated criminal law, not just the chamber’s rules.

    Last year, the House censured another New York Democrat, Representative Charles Rangel, after its ethics panel convicted him of 11 rule violations, including failure to pay taxes on his beach villa in the Dominican Republic.

    Members of the House of Representatives began returning on Monday from a week-long recess, and the chamber’s Democrats were to meet Tuesday, with Weiner likely a chief topic.

    A Democratic aide said they could pass a resolution urging Weiner to resign. While it would not be binding, it would show that Weiner faces a solid wall of opposition in his own party.

    The Democratic caucus could also strip Weiner of his committee assignments and even tell him that he is no longer welcome at their meetings, the aide said. He now serves on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    Traditionally, all it takes to get a leave of absence, as Weiner plans to do, is for a member to formally request one from their chamber’s party leader, in this case, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

    Pelosi has requested an ethics investigation to determine what, if any, House rules Weiner may have broken. Such a probe could take months, even up to a year.

    A veteran congressional aide familiar with the chamber’s rules said he could not recall a case where a member was denied a leave of absence.

  14. Ametia says:

    HA HA HA 3 Chics haz a funny!

  15. rikyrah says:

    It’s Time to Buckle Up
    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 13th, 2011 at 11:43:30 AM EST

    There will be a debate tonight in New Hampshire between frontrunner Mitt Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Georgia businessman Herman Cain. That’s hardly a lineup of heavy-hitters. Considering that Newt Gingrich’s entire staff resigned en masse last week, it’s really a debate between Romney and Pawlenty, with a bunch of also-rans chewing up and wasting everyone’s time.
    According to Gallup, Romney enters this debate with a significant, yet anemic, advantage in the polls. He has the support of just under one in four Republican likely voters. Yet, the person who is in second place (Sarah Palin), with the support of 16% of the GOP electorate, has not announced her intention to run and will not be in attendance at tonight’s debate. No one else can claim the support of even one in ten Republicans.

    As the frontrunner, Romney can expect to receive the most scrutiny and the most criticism from his fellow candidates. As the only plausible alternative to Romney, Tim Pawlenty can expect to benefit the most from tonight’s debate. Yet, perhaps because he has not yet caught fire and captured the support of more than 6% of Republican voters, Pawlenty last week introduced a ludicrous tax plan.

    Pawlenty proposes to reduce the top individual income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, cut the top corporate rate from 25 percent to 15 percent, and allow pass-through corporations to pay taxes at the corporate rate. He also wants to completely eliminate capital gains taxes, taxes on dividends and interest, and the estate tax.
    The Tax Policy Center center says that these cuts would deny the government over $11 trillion in revenues over the first decade. Pawlenty says that is nonsense because the cuts would result in perpetual 5% annual economic growth, and thus pay for themselves.

    Obviously, Pawlenty is setting a marker that all other candidates will feel pressured to match or, more likely, exceed. Who wants to be the candidate to throw cold water on this supply-side ideology?

    I predict that we will look back to this afternoon as the high-water mark for Mitt Romney’s campaign. Tonight he will be cut with a thousand knives. It will start when Pawlenty attacks him for introducing ObamneyCare in Massachusetts and it will continue with countless snipes about his flip-flopping on every issue under the Sun.

    Before long, Pawlenty will be the clear front-runner, and he’ll be running on the most radical and fiscally irresponsible platform in American history.

    Buckle up.

  16. rikyrah says:



    Crazytown: Washington Times Yanks Post Suggesting Anthony Weiner Is A Secret Muslim
    No, that headline is not a joke: There really was a post in the “Communities” section of Washington Times website today suggesting that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) converted to Islam. Even by the ever-increasing standards of right-wing conspiracy theories, this one is truly out there, and the paper appears to have already taken it down.

    The post’s author is “Goodwill Ambassador Eliana Benador,” who works for an organization that represents West Bank settlers in Israel. In her post, Benador claims that because an imam in New York offered unsolicited advice to Weiner’s Saudi-American wife Huma Abedin through a newspaper article, there must be an understanding between Islamic leaders and Weiner that the congressman has secretly converted to Islam. That’s literally the entirety of her evidence: a wildly misconstrued quote in a fluff piece that appeared in a tabloid daily. From her post:

    The Imam of New York has stated: “I would tell her [Huma] to be a little bit patient. In our book, if you think your wife, or husband, is doing something unacceptable, you start by counseling her.”
    Counseling? For whom, Huma or Anthony? The Imam’s statement seems to state that Huma is in need.

    Regardless, those are words of compromise offered by a leading Muslim Imam trying to make us forget that the Koran actually advocates stoning wives for adultery while turning a blind eye toward the sexual mis-deeds of the husband.

    It is also important, when looking at this situation, to remember that observant Muslims practice Taqiyya , an element of sharia that states there is a legal right and duty to distort the truth to promote the cause of Islam.

    (Correction: Paragraph removed for inaccuracies. Apologies are issued and we regret the error. The Communities)

    Given the defense articulated by the Imam, which would be offered only for a Muslim man, we must believe this opportunity to remove this Muslim woman from a union with an non-believer would be quickly taken. Therefore we must consider that Mr. Weiner *may* have converted to Islam, because if he did not, we have to consider the unlikely, that being that Ms. Abedin has abandoned her Muslim faith, even while she still practices.

    Weiner is very open about his Jewish faith, which he discussed in detail for a profile for Jewish magazine Moment last month. He represents one of the most Jewish districts in the country and is known for his vocal support of Israel in the House. He’s also cultivated a reputation as a hardliner against the Saudi Arabian government, calling on the United States to cancel aid to the country over its “propensity for exporting terrorists.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s ‘My Best Friend Is Black’ Strategy

    In a pitiable field of prospective 2012 Republican presidential nominees, Herman Cain has found a way to stand out from the pack. How? He has learned to play the “black best friend” to the GOP (and its Tea Party base). While Cain’s portrayal of this role is deft, it is also old wine in a new bottle. On one hand, Cain’s campaign is ostensibly “colorblind” and has nothing to do with his novelty as a self-described “American Black Conservative.” Yet when given the opportunity, Cain portrays a benign, friendly version of “authentic” blackness that he panders to his white, racially reactionary supporters on the Right.

    The evidence for how racial resentment is the engine that drives the contemporary Republican Party and its Tea Party wing is overwhelming. Public opinion data suggests that the most ideological conservatives are more likely to believe that people of color are lazy and less intelligent than whites, and the anecdotal evidence would appear to bear that out. From the racist signs seen at Tea Party rallies and bigoted emails circulated among some Tea Party types that describe Barack Obama as a monkey, to the enduring phenomena of“Birtherism” and xenophobia, all indicators point to a deep antipathy towards the very idea that a black man is President of the United States of America.But, in the Age of Obama and a post-Civil Rights era multicultural America, naked appeals to white racism are political liabilities that must be couched in dog whistles (the New Right’s addiction to myopic nostalgia, the “good old days,” and a simplistic view of “American exceptionalism”) and subtle appeals (Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen; he is a “socialist,” or most provocatively, “anti-white”). Consequently, even the right-wing in American politics has been forced to embrace a theatrical type of multiculturalism where they are hyper-sensitive to having brown and black faces in high places—see the Michael Steeles, Clarence Thomas’s and Juan Williams’s of the world—and at their political rallies where the number of prominently displayed black and brown folks on stage and in the audience can be counted on one person’s fingers and toes.

    Herman Cain is the latest iteration in the empty symbolic politics of racial inclusion offered by the New Right and the Tea Party GOP. He is a salve and a balm that works because of a facile understanding of racism that emphasizes unkind words, and overt acts of violence and hate (as opposed to institutional power and social structures). In much the same way that whites who are caught in a racial peccadillo can use either the “my best friend is black” defense or say they are not racist because they “have friends who are minorities,” Cain offers the GOP and its Tea Party wing an easy shield against charges that their policies are hostile to people of color, as well as that their overt rage and meanness toward President Obama’s very personhood is driven by a pathological and bigoted white populism.

    Cain’s manipulation of the “my best friend is black” strategy also operates on a deeper level. For example, two weeks ago in the battle royale among the pundit classes over Cornel West’s critique of Barack Obama and his apparent lack of commitment to the black community, America was witness to a powerful debate about race and identity–one that usually occurs within minority communities and not as a spectacle for public consumption. Flying under the radar, Herman Cain has also been participating in a conversation about black authenticity. However, it has been occurring on a parallel track and for the benefit of a quite different audience.'s_'my_best_friend_is_black'_strategy/

  18. rikyrah says:

    I guess someone has been getting those midnight phone calls from Wall Street saying



    Cantor: Despite What I Said Before, Default Would Be BFD
    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) acknowledged Monday that if Congress doesn’t act quickly to raise the debt limit, markets will react poorly.

    His admission is somewhat at odds with a growing line of argument from senior Republicans that a brief default by the U.S. on its payment obligations won’t trigger significant economic consequences. Nonetheless, he continues to insist that Republicans will not raise the national debt limit without also cutting trillions of dollars in spending over the next decade — and he credited Vice President Joe Biden for leading fruitful negotiations over just how to do that.

    “The urgency of the matter is everybody assumes that the markets — we don’t want the markets to make this decision for us,” Cantor said at his weekly Capitol briefing with reporters.

    Less than a month ago, at a job forum in Virginia, Cantor had a different take.

    “What I think is that the markets are looking to see credible progress on changing the fiscal trajectory in Washington,” he said. “The markets are not fooled by some date imposed to say that that is the trigger for the collapse. I think the markets are looking to see that there is real reform.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    June 13, 2011 3:05 PM

    Bumps, roads, and cheap shots
    By Steve Benen

    Mitt Romney’s campaign seems to have generated quite a bit of buzz this morning, releasing an online video called “Bump in the Road.” It’s an early sign of just how dishonest the Romney campaign intends to be.

    The video press release — calling it an ad is a stretch, since the campaign isn’t actually paying for it to run anywhere — shows struggling Americans outraged that President Obama characterized recent economic difficulties as a “bump in the road.” The Romney campaign even has these folks lying down on pavement, making the metaphor literal.

    The message seems to be that President Obama just doesn’t take the suffering of the unemployed seriously enough. We’re supposed to believe Obama’s the heartless jerk who sees a 9.1% unemployment rate and blithely dismisses human suffering as a “bump in the road.”

    The media certainly seems impressed with the attack. The video was Mark Halperin’s lead story all morning, and the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe praised it as the kind of “ad” that “could turn the tide” of the presidential campaign.

    The problem, of course, is that the ad is a lie. Even Romney, with his limited understanding of current events, knows full well that President Obama never characterized the unemployed as a “bump in the road.” Here’s what the president actually said:

    “Now, I don’t want to pretend like everything is solved. We’ve still got a long way to go not just in this industry, but in our economy; for all our friends, all our neighbors who are still feeling the sting of recession. There’s nobody here who doesn’t know someone who is looking for work and hasn’t found something yet. Even though the economy is growing, even though it’s created more than 2 million jobs over the past 15 months, we still face some tough times. We still face some challenges. This economy took a big hit. You know, it’s just like if you had a bad illness, if you got hit by a truck, it’s going to take a while for you to mend. And that’s what’s happened to our economy. It’s taking a while to mend.

    “And there are still some headwinds that are coming at us. Lately, it’s been high gas prices that have caused a lot of hardship for a lot of working families. And then you had the economic disruptions following the tragedy in Japan. You got the instability in the Middle East, which makes folks uncertain. There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery. We’re going to pass through some rough terrain that even a Wrangler would have a hard time with. We know that.”

    No sane person could see these remarks and interpret them as Obama casually disregarding the needs of those looking for work. Romney is pulling a fast one, hoping slick production values and a cheap message fool voters. It’s already fooling some in the media, so perhaps it’s a smart bet.

    But even raising the topic leads to unfortunate follow-up questions: isn’t Romney the guy who succeeded in business by laying off thousands of American workers so he could get rich? And isn’t Romney the guy who failed miserably on job creation during his one term in office? How many of those in the Romney video are unemployed because they were forced from their jobs by Bain Capital?

    Romney didn’t see those workers he forced from their jobs as “bumps in the road.” Indeed, he didn’t see them at all.

    Don’t worry, Romney now says. Those poor folks literally lying on the pavement will be much better off just as soon as he gives the wealthy another tax cut and slashed public spending.

    Why anyone would believe such nonsense is a mystery.

  20. rikyrah says:

    June 13, 2011 2:05 PM

    Taking stock of ‘brute facts’
    By Steve Benen

    E.J. Dionne Jr. today walks right up to a line I’ve approached myself on occasion.

    For the moment, Republicans have no interest in moving the nation’s debate toward investments in job creation because they gain twice over from keeping Washington mired in discussions on the deficit. It’s a brute fact that Republicans benefit if the economy stays sluggish.

    Dionne’s choice of words is a little coy — I suspect deliberately so — but the underlying message is worth considering, even if it’s provocative. Republican policymakers have an enormous influence on economic policy at the federal level, and under the current circumstances, and it’s at least possible, the argument goes, that GOP leaders are using their power in a deliberately destructive way with electoral considerations in mind.

    Kevin Drum wonders whether this will ever be “a serious talking point,” adding, “No serious person in a position of real influence really wants to accuse an entire party of cynically trying to tank the economy, after all.”

    That’s clearly true. As I’ve been reminded more than once after writing items like this one, it’s considered beyond the pale to discuss motives in debates like these. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Republican economic policies would be disastrous for the economy.” But one tends to get in trouble for saying, “Republican economic policies would be disastrous for the economy — which may be why Republicans are pursuing them.”

    But that’s why I find it all the more interesting when credible, well-grounded figures raise the argument at all. E.J. Dionne is known for being a responsible center-left voice, not an unhinged partisan bomb-thrower, and he came close to the “sabotage” argument in his column today. A few months ago, his Washington Post colleague, Eugene Robinson, conceded on national television that “maybe” the Republican approach to the budget “is to depress economic growth to set up the Republican Party for 2012, so people will be angry with President Obama and maybe elect a Republican.” Robinson, incidentally, is a Pulitzer Prize winner, not some wild-eyed activist.

    And reader J.S. alerted me to these recent comments from Daniel Gross, a former senior editor at Newsweek and now an economics editor at Yahoo, who also argued that it’s at least possible that some congressional Republicans are pursuing a destructive economic policy on purpose. Indeed, Gross suggested it’s practically common sense: Republicans believe they will benefit from a weak economy, so it “stands to reason” that the party “would engineer policy to get that outcome.”

    Gross added that there’s “an element” of the Republican Party “that just wants to blow stuff up.”

    To Kevin’s point, I haven’t seen any Democratic officials willing to go this far, at least in public, probably because the accusation would cause a significant firestorm.

    But there appears to be a growing number of credible voices who at least consider this a topic worthy of conversation.

    • Ametia says:

      And they would be telling the TRUTH here: “Gross added that theres an element of the Republican Party that just wants to blow stuff up.

  21. rikyrah says:

    June 13, 2011
    Go Mitt go
    I sense a remarkable prematurity in Politico’s assessment that Mitt Romney

    increasingly looks like the 2012 election’s marathon man, a steady and durable candidate who enters Monday’s New Hampshire presidential debate with a better shot than ever at becoming his party’s nominee.

    But I hope my antennae are mistaken.

    Should Politico be correct, though, and should Romney begin snowballing into an irresistible force — again, far too early for such a prediction, since Tim Pawlenty possesses formidable assets manufactured specifically for the GOP’s immutably demented bloc — his electoral losses could amass to a near unprecedented magnitude.

    One of two developments would almost (this far out, qualifiers abound) guarantee such a beating.

    First, where would the unhinged Palinites and Bachmannesque cranks of Tea Partying lunacy go on Election Day? Nowhere: they’d stay home, there’s simply no way that a former healthcare-mandating Massachusetts governor will ever coax their ideological vote. And since these absolutists constitute such a substantial portion of the modern Republican Party, all those lovely, delicately balanced swing states would obediently drop into Obama’s category.

    The other potential is even more inviting: an internal conservative war, manifested, in short order, by a third party of Tea. I have my doubts that Sarah Palin’s dermatological thinness and deep, enduring personal greed will ever permit her the demanding and costly challenge of a presidential contest. But Michele Bachmann shows no such reluctance; indeed, she seems to be itching for a third-party chance to give the GOP establishment what for.

    If so, then Tea Partiers would of course flock to the polls. And with each of their vampiric votes, the lifeblood of Romney’s hopes for the White House would drip, drip, drain away.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Herman Cain’s Role in Racial Politics
    By Jeffrey Goldberg
    Jun 13 2011, 9:30 AM ET
    A Goldblog reader writes, in reference to my Bloomberg View column:

    Herman Cain plays one role and one role only, to give white Tea Partyers cover to hate Barack Obama. It’s a performance, and the payment will be a show on Fox.

    There is a lot of truth in this; in speeches, Cain explicitly absolves Tea Party members of racism for having hostile feelings about Obama (and, of course, I’m not suggesting that all Tea Party members dislike Obama for the color of his skin), but Cain also has a set of ideas that appeal to small-government types, and to small-business types, in particular. That said, much of his popularity stems from his unique role as a black conservative.

    • Ametia says:

      Herman Cain is a self-LOATHING, skinnin’ & grinnin, shuckin’ & buckin, hankyhead, lawn jockey, slave-catchin COON!

  23. rikyrah says:

    Sun Jun 12, 2011 at 05:46 PM PDT.

    LOL! Elliot Spitzer SCHOOLS Ann Coulter on what “Reality is”
    by MinistryOfTruth .

    On Fareed Zakaria GPS today Kenyesian Economics was the subject and the CNN panel lead by Elliot Spitzer took Ann Coulter to school.

    Normally, Ann Coulter only appears where Conservatives can totally control the message. This is what I call the right wing sound proof echo chamber. Nothing new ever gets in, and you only hear what the Right Wing wants you to hear. This is how propaganda works, with message controlling. This is also why Right Wing commentators and politicians often sound like complete and total jackasses to those of us who see the lying for what it is. When reality doesn’t jive with their narratives they have to change reality since they refuse to change their narratives, so no matter what torture works, tax cuts, spending cuts, deregulation and privatization are the only answers EVER no matter whether the economy is up OR down, and if history says that Paul Revere didn’t warn the redcoats or that Thomas Jefferson stood for Seperation of Church and State then fuck it, Republicans are perfectly happy inventing a new version of history for themselves before they will ever change their failed ideology. In my honest and non expert opinion, this is how a fucking psychopath operates.

    Now, you know that moment when someone says something so absurd the whole crowd laughs in their face? That moment, if there was a studio audience, would have happened 20 seconds into this clip when Ann Coulter attempted to say that cutting taxes lead to a great economy in the 1920’s. One of the guests on the panel, Chrystia Freeland, responded to this in a ‘LOL SRSLY?’ kind of tone.

    Watch as school goes into session

    Ann Coulter: “We’ve run this experiment different times in this country, over and over and over again, and every time nothing is done, there is no Keynesian spending, the economy recovers like that and we have a boom. It did in the 20’s, it did in the 80’s, and every time . . .
    Chrystia Freeland: “It did in the 20’s?”

    Ann Coulter: “FDR and Obama jumps in . . . ”

    Fareed Zakaria: “As I recall, a massive increase in defense spending. . .”


    Ann Coulter: “And massive . . .”

    Fareed Zakaria: “Tax cuts.”

    Ann Coulter: “Cuts in taxes brought more revenue in.”

    Fareed Zakaria: “Which are Keynesian. Keynes was in favor of taxation. He never made a particular distinction between government spending and taxes. His point was you need demand in the economy.”

    Ann Coulter: “Right, but. . . ”

    Fareed Zakaria: “You need to stimulate demand.”

    Ann Coulter: “No. No. No. Ronald Reagan winning the cold war was not part of his Keynesian approach to the economy.”


    Fareed Zakaria: “Tax cuts are a Keynesian approach.”

    Elliot Spitzer: “Your story would be nice if it were true, but it’s not. The reality is, if you look at the economics, and you look at what the impact is of both credit to marginal rates, government spending, the incentives you create for job creation, Keynes has been right at every turn. In terms of understanding, if you actually sat down with or either were a business person making capital allocation decisions, hiring, you’d understand the way you look at is your return. Right now there is a demand crisis of enormous volume. That’s why we need to create demand in this economy so we can generate things that we can buy.”

    Ann Coulter: “And Obama’s been following your policies and that is why we have a crisis.”

    Elliot Spitzer: “The executives are sitting on two trillion dollars of capital. The key to getting that capital back into the economy, to hire people, is demand for the products we made. There is not a whole lot of ambiguity about that.”!-Elliot-Spitzer-SCHOOLS-Ann-Coulter-on-what-Reality-is?via=siderec

  24. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 09:32 AM PDT.

    Feared ‘American-style’ health care, disavowed and denounced by conservative British P.M.
    by nyceve .

    Our health care system is not the envy of the world, not by a long shot. It is so feared–the world over, that even the conservative British prime minister, David Cameron, is going to great lengths to assure the British people that ‘American-style’ healthcare is not going to happen in Britain. His political future depends on him conveying this message over and over.

    So frightening is the Yankee example that any British politician who values his job has to explicitly disavow it as a possible outcome. Twice.

    “We will not be selling off the NHS, we will not be moving towards an insurance scheme, we will not introduce an American-style private system,” Prime Minister David Cameron emphatically told a group of healthcare workers in a nationally televised address last week.

    In case they didn’t hear it the first time, Cameron repeated the dreaded “A”-word in a list of five guarantees he offered the British people at the end of his speech.

    “If you’re worried that we’re going to sell off the NHS or create some American-style private system, we will not do that,” he said. “In this country we have the most wonderful, precious institution and also precious idea that whenever you’re ill … you can walk into a hospital or a surgery and get treated for free, no questions asked, no cash asked. It is the idea at the heart of the NHS, and it will stay. I will never put that at risk.”,-disavowed-and-denounced-by-conservative-British-PM?via=siderec

  25. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 05:43 AM PDT.

    TWO Rick Scott Scandals on SAME DAY!
    by SemDem .

    Scandal #2:

    The newspapers that covered the event showed the same pictures of Rick Scott being surrounded by screaming, uniformed children… many holding signs displaying their “affection” for Rick Scott.

    Creepy pictures LIKE THIS ONE and THIS ONE.

    I immediately knew something was off. Why would kids be crowding a Golem-looking freak like Rick Scott like he was Justin Beiber? Especially one who just fired their teachers??

    This is the guy who tried to cut $3 BILLION in education, but still succeeded in the largest education cut in our state history ($1.35 billion)

    (And to add insult to injury, the SOB actually had the GALL to speak under a massive banner that read LESS WASTE – MORE FOR EDUCATION.)

    Well, turns out the screaming kids weren’t public school kids. Gov. Golem has NEVER visited a public school, and never will. Public schools, by the way, have policies against attending political events.

    They were from two taxpayer-funded charter schools. (Scott wants charter schools to replace public schools.) But not just any charter schools. NO, the nearby Villages charter schools DID NOT ALLOW their children to attend Scott’s “Spit on a Teacher, Kick a Disabled Kid” TEABAGGER Rally.

    No, as usual,
    something was up:

    As it turns out, the kids were from the P.M. Wells and Four Corners charter schools in Osceola County. Both are run by Charter Schools USA, a large charter management firm whose CEO, Jonathan Hage, served on Gov. Scott’s education transition team when Scott took office in January. Scott is a big fan of charter schools and routinely pulls them in for photo opps, although it is uncertain whether as Governor he has ever visited a traditional public school. If he has, the media has not been made aware.

    The kids were bused over 60 MILES back AND forth to attend this event.

    Charter Schools USA had their “public relations consultant”, Colleen Reynolds, defend the trip. (Our public school has to beg for essential funds, but charter schools run by Rick Scott buddies get enough taxpayer money to hire F&**ing public relations personnel!)

    Mz. Reynolds said school funds were used, not taxpayer money, to bus the kids in…which is COMPLETE AND UTTER BS since the school funds ARE THE SAME AS TAXPAYER MONEY!! In fact, those two schools receive MILLIONS in taxpayer funding!

    Mz. Reynolds also had the audacity to say it was a valuable field trip to teach kids about the democratic process.

    So if my kid went to that school, he or she would learn that the democratic process means passing a budget that ruins the lives of the millions of citizens and then keeping out any possible dissenters by force…. not to mention being told to hold up pre-made propoganda signs bemoaning “earmarks” for the less fortunate.

    Nice lesson, jerks.!?via=siderec

  26. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM PDT.

    Supreme Court upholds legislative conflict-of-interest rules
    by Adam B
    for Daily Kos.

    Mike Carrigan is a City Councilman in Sparks, Nevada, and back in 2006 one of the issues he had to vote on was on the rezoning of the “Lazy 8,” a proposed hotel/casino project. Carrigan’s campaign manager happened to also be a business consultant for the project, so Carrigan wanted to know if he was conflicted out of voting on it given the Nevada state law which barred public officials from voting on or advocating for/against “a matter with respect to which the independence of judgment of a reasonable person in his situation would be materially affected by his commitment in a private capacity to the interests of others.”
    Carrigan was told he could vote on the project, voted yes, and lost 3-2. Complaints were filed against him with the Nevada Commission on Ethics, arguing that Carrigan had used his position on the City Council to benefit himself and his campaign manager, and the Commission censured him. Carrigan’s appeal made it to the Nevada Supreme Court, which held that Carrigan’s act of voting is a core legislative function protected by the First Amendment, upon which any restrictions had to withstand strict judicial scrutiny, and as such the ethics provision was vague, unconstitutionally overbroad and enforceable, striking it down.

    Today, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the Nevada decision, holding that the act of legislative voting does not constitute a speech act, and as such has no First Amendment protection. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion of the Court, for everyone save Justice Alito (concurring, but reading like a dissent):

    [H]ow can it be that restrictions upon legislators’ voting are not restrictions upon legislators’ protected speech? The answer is that a legislator’s vote is the commitment of his apportioned share of the legislature’s power to the passage or defeat of a particular proposal. The legislative power thus committed is not personal to the legislator but belongs to the people; the legislator has no personal right to it. As we said in Raines v. Byrd (1997) … the legislator casts his vote “as trustee for his constituents, not as a prerogative of personal power.” In this respect, voting by a legislator is different from voting by a citizen. While “a voter’s franchise is a personal right,” “[t]he procedures for voting in legislative assemblies … pertain to legislators not as individuals but as political representatives executing the legislative process.”
    Carrigan and Justice Alito say that legislators often “ ‘us[e] their votes to express deeply held and highly unpopular views, often at great personal or political peril.’ ” How do they express those deeply held views, one wonders? Do ballots contain a check-one-of-the-boxes attachment that will be displayed to the public, reading something like “( ) I have a deeply held view about this; ( ) this is probably desirable; ( ) this is the least of the available evils; ( ) my personal view is the other way, but my constituents want this; ( ) my personal view is the other way, but my big contributors want this; ( ) I don’t have the slightest idea what this legislation does, but on my way in to vote the party Whip said vote ‘aye’ ”? There are, to be sure, instances where action conveys a symbolic meaning—such as the burning of a flag to convey disagreement with a country’s policies. But the act of voting symbolizes nothing. It discloses , to be sure, that the legislator wishes (for whatever reason) that the proposition on the floor be adopted, just as a physical assault discloses that the attacker dislikes the victim. But neither the one nor the other is an act of communication.

    Justice Alito reasons as follows: (1) If an ordinary citizen were to vote in a straw poll on an issue pending before a legislative body, that vote would be speech; (2) if a member of the legislative body were to do the same, it would be no less expressive; therefore (3) the legislator’s actual vote must also be expressive. This conclusion does not follow. A legislator voting on a bill is not fairly analogized to one simply discussing that bill or expressing an opinion for or against it. The former is performing a governmental act as a representative of his constituents; only the latter is exercising personal First Amendment rights.

    So Nevada (and every other state) gets to keep its conflict-of-interest laws, but we’re not quite done yet. First, Justice Kennedy (again) gets to sing a hymnal to Democracy and The Courts:

  27. Ametia says:

    Herman Cain

  28. US President Barack Obama tours Cree, Inc, a manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting, in Durham, North Carolina, June 13, 2011, prior to speaking about the economy

  29. US President Barack Obama (L) tours Cree, Inc, a manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting, in Durham, North Carolina, June 13, 2011, prior to speaking about the economy. Standing alongside Obama are (L-R): Matthew Rose, Chairman and CEO, BNSF Railway; Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric (GE), and Chuck Swoboda, CEO of Cree, Inc.

  30. President Barack Obama is greeted by North Carolina Gov.Bev Perdue after arriving at Raleigh Durham International Airport at ‘Raleigh Durham International Airport in Morrisville, N.C. , Monday, June 13, 2011.

  31. Herman Cain: Obama ‘Was Raised In Kenya’

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in an interview with Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg last week that President Barack Obama was “raised in Kenya.”

    The suggestion from the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza came in an exchange about why the GOP hopeful doesn’t consider himself an African American.

    “I am an American. Black. Conservative,” he said in explaining his view on the matter. “I don’t use African American, because I’m American, I’m black and I’m conservative. I don’t like people trying to label me. African American is socially acceptable for some people, but I am not some people.”

    Cain said that he considers himself to be “a black man in America” and feels stronger ties to the United States than to Africa. He suggested his perspective has been informed by the fact that he can trace most of his ancestors to the U.S. and it also “goes back to slavery.”

    The presidential contender went on to draw a contrast between himself and the president, who he described as “more of an international,” before suggesting “he was raised in Keyna.”

    In an interview with The Atlantic’s Joshua Green at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, Cain was asked whether he believes Obama was born in the United States.

    “I have no idea,” he said at the time. “The fact that it has become an issue, or a controversy, does raise a question that I can’t say that I feel one way or the other because I have not reviewed all the various ‘proof’ one way or another.”

    A cooning buckdancing conniving jiving boot-licking trifling hanky head lawn jockey!

  32. Ametia says:

  33. President Barack Obama walks from Marine One to board Air Force One, Monday, June 13, 2011, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. , en route to Durham N.C.

  34. U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to depart Andrews Air Force Base aboard Air Force One for a two-day trip to North Carolina, Florida and Puerto Rico, June 13, 2011.

  35. Ametia says:

    At term’s end, Supreme Court opinions anything but brief
    By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

    WASHINGTON — Asked what would happen if the Supreme Court began writing shorter opinions, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “We could all leave earlier in the spring, I guess, than in summer.”

    But then Roberts caught himself and told his interviewer, legal-writing expert Bryan Garner, that that wasn’t really true. “I’m sure that it’s harder to write shorter and crisper than it is to write long and dull,” Roberts said in a 2007 exchange recently published in a law journal.

    The Supreme Court has entered the season of the long opinion. June is finals month of the annual term, when the nine justices finish the toughest cases that have been pending since early fall — including, this term, a dispute over California’s ban on the sale of violent video games to minors.

    “It certainly is a nerve-racking time,” says Washington lawyer John Elwood, a former law clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy and now in private practice, often at the high court. “In some cases, a justice might be writing an opinion and still not have a majority. In some cases, the justices are just having footnote wars.” That’s one version of a tit-for-tat that can delay a case, as draft opinions are circulated, and justices on opposing sides simply cannot stop responding to the other’s arguments.

    MORE: Supreme Court cases left to cram into term
    The longer a case has been awaiting resolution, the longer the decision is likely to be, and the greater the number of justices weighing in with dissenting or concurring statements. One case handed down on the last day of the last term, involving gun-owner rights, ran for more than 200 pages over five separate opinions.

    A total of 23 cases are scheduled to be resolved over the next three weeks. Since the 2010-11 session began last fall, 53 signed decisions have already been issued.

    Read on

  36. First Lady Michelle Obama visits Los Angeles

    Michelle Obama will be in Los Angeles on Monday to boost support for military families and to raise money for her husband’s reelection campaign.

    In the morning, the first lady will attend a discussion moderated by writer-producer J.J. Abrams about how Hollywood can tell stories of today’s military families through film and television, according to the White House.

    The Beverly Hills event is being hosted by several entertainment industry guilds, including the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

    Later, Obama will film a guest appearance on “iCarly,” a Nickelodeon television show whose lead character is the daughter of a military officer serving oversees. It’s part of her effort to bring attention to the families of American servicemen and women.

    The first lady also will attend two fundraisers in Los Angeles, before flying to the Bay Area for more fundraising events.

    Her trip to California is one of her first solo fundraising trips since President Obama launched his reelection campaign in April.

  37. President Obama attends President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness meeting
    Durham, North Carolina

    June 13, 2011 11:40 AM EDT

    • Ametia says:

      Meanwhile, back in New Hampshire the media is going gaga over teh REthugs debate.

      TCB, Mr. President!

  38. Ex-BART officer Johannes Mehserle released after 11 months in prison Unarmed black man was fatally shot at an Oakland train station in 2009

    LOS ANGELES — A white former San Francisco Bay area transit officer convicted of the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man on an Oakland train station platform was released from jail early Monday after serving 11 months of a two-year sentence, officials said.

    Johannes Mehserle was set free from a Los Angeles County jail, where he served his time after his attention-getting trial was moved to Southern California, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

    Whitmore told The Associated Press that Mehserle was released from custody at Twin Towers facility as of 12:01 a.m.

    A judge ruled Friday that Mehserle should be given credit for time served and good conduct.

    Mehserle, 29, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last year in the shooting death of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009. The incident was recorded by bystanders, and video posted online showed the Bay Area Rapid Transit officer firing a bullet into the back of Grant, 22, as he lay face down after being pulled off a train, suspected of fighting.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Know Your Enemies
    by BooMan
    Sun Jun 12th, 2011 at 11:21:32 PM EST

    A lot of police cars have some kind of motto printed on them. A classic example is “To Serve and Protect.” It’s a reminder that police officers are public servants. We have a lot of public servants. Here in Pennsylvania, you have to take a civil service exam to work at our liquor stores. I’m not kidding. Our liquor store clerks are public servants. So are our teachers. And our welfare case officers. And the people who work at the Division of Motor Vehicles. And the stenographers in our courts. Most of these people belong to public service unions. And if you piss them off, it doesn’t matter how conservative they might be in their cultural beliefs, they’re going to react.

    Next month the Broward County Police Benevolent Association is holding a “Party to Leave the Party” — an event coordinated with the Supervisor of Elections where police officers and the general public can switch their voter registrations from Republican to Democratic or Independent.
    The reason for the switch? The association, which serves as the bargaining union for the county’s law enforcement officers, is unhappy with the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and the results of the past legislative session, including changes to the Florida Retirement System that will require the workers to pay more of their own wages into retirement savings.

    The attack on the Florida Retirement System is the least of their worries. Here’s the letter the PBA sent out:

    The Broward PBA wants to send a message to the Republican Party, the governor and the Republican-led legislature– those that are wreaking havoc on the lives of public employees–that we will not sit idly by and take it. Supporting the GOP means supporting those that are working hard against your interests and those who believe that labor unions are bent on destroying America.
    On July 16, we want you, our members, your friends and your family, to leave the Republican Party. Law enforcement, firefighters, teachers and other public employees are invited to join us in switching from the Republican party to the party of their choice. Those who are not registered voters are welcome to come register so their voices can also be heard. Reg- istering or switching parties takes two minutes. All you need is a government-issued ID like a Florida Driver’s License or a Florida ID.

    There is one more legislative session before the 2012 elections–let’s put them on notice.

    A lot of Republican rhetoric is designed to appeal to the average firefighter or police officer, but when confronted with a stark reminder that the Republicans only serve the rich, even firefighters and police officers can react before the pot reaches a boiling temperature.

    Ninety-nine percent of political wisdom in this country involves identifying who is trying to screw you and making alliances with anyone who is also getting screwed by the same people. That’s why cultural conservatives ally with Wall Street and why Wall Street allies with megachurches. It’s why police officers and firefighters should ally with women, gays, minorities, scientists, agnostics, and academia.

    These alliances may seem unnatural. But they make perfect sense.

  40. rikyrah says:

    While GOPers Debate, Progressives Blitz NH With Medicare Message
    The Republicans who gather on stage in New Hampshire Monday night for their first major presidential primary debate are all scrambling to position themselves on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system.

    And thanks to a blanket of advertising in New Hampshire by progressive groups, primary voters in the Granite State watching tonight’s debate will be confronted with the Democratic view of Ryan’s budget — namely, that it forces seniors and the poor to bear the burden of the federal budget woes while making life easier on the rich.

    Major progressive groups are flooding New Hampshire with Medicare messaging, previewing the fight for Medicare they hope to have with the GOP next year. Online or on the air, it will be hard for primary voters tuning in to the debate to avoid the progressive position on the Ryan budget, providing contrast for the Republicans on stage who are expected to heap praise on Ryan, even while the big names try to put at least some distance between them and Ryan’s unpopular proposal.

    Meanwhile, progressives will also pressure New Hampshire primary frontrunner Mitt Romney to confront the near-universal health care plan he championed and signed into law while governor of Massachusetts. It’s a political and policy victory Romney is eager to put behind him, but one that Democrats and the left are intent on keeping in the minds of voters.

    The first round of ads are already running. Protect Your Care, a left-leaning outfit focused on defending the national health care reform law President Obama signed last year, launched this Medicare-focused ad on New Hampshire station WMUR (the station broadcasting the debate there) and the Boston media market Sunday:

  41. rikyrah says:

    ODU student killed was Md. congressman’s nephew
    The Associated Press
    © June 13, 2011

    A Maryland congressman says his nephew was killed in a random shooting near Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

    Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore issued a statement Sunday on the death of Christopher Cummings in his off-campus apartment. He says his nephew’s roommate, Jake Carey, was critically wounded in the attack Friday. Both were students at the university.

    The congressman says authorities “are doing everything in their power to find those responsible.” He urged the community to cooperate with police.

    He says his family remains in shock over the “senseless tragedy.”

    Cummings says his nephew was an “amazing young man who was loved and admired by so many people who had the honor of knowing him.” He had a 3.5 grade-point average and “ambitious plans for his future.”

  42. rikyrah says:

    Video: Karrine Steffans Now Says ‘Video Vixen’ Book Was ‘Fabricated’

    *Currently promoting her newest book “Satisfaction,” Karrine Steffans is suddenly claiming that the stories of her sexual encounters with famous athletes and entertainers detailed in her memoir “Confessions of a Video Vixen” were all untrue.

    Steffans, who has also made headlines for accusing her ex-husband “Family Matters” star Darius McCrary of domestic violence, says the following in the video posted below:

    “I’m a writer. I write sh*t. The vixen doesn’t exist. You can’t tell people that because they don’t believe that. It was all fabricated. I didn’t even name my books. Confessions of a video Vixen is not…I would have never named that book that. Somebody else named that book….I don’t want to be on TV. I don’t want to do any of this. This is ridiculous. I want to be anonymous. I want to be anonymous. Authors are supposed to be anonymous.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Police Officers, Fed Up with Rick Scott, Leave Republican Party En Masse

    Next month the Broward County Police Benevolent Association is holding a “Party to Leave the Party” — an event coordinated with the Supervisor of Elections where police officers and the general public can switch their voter registrations from Republican to Democratic or Independent.

    The reason for the switch? The association, which serves as the bargaining union for the county’s law enforcement officers, is unhappy with the leadership of Governor Rick Scott and the results of the past legislative session, including changes to the Florida Retirement System that will require the workers to pay more of their own wages into retirement savings.

    The PBA may be a union, but it’s not traditionally a bunch of liberals. “You’d be surprised,” says Broward PBA President Patrick Hanrihan. “I think most of our police officers and stuff are Republicans.” Well, until the party-switching party, that is.

    “We’ve been supporting Republican governors for the past 20 years,” Hanrihan continued.

    But this one’s antics may be too much for the traditionally red-voting, gun-wielding, meat-eating, hippie-busting (OK, we’ll stop) cops to stomach.

    “[Governor Scott’s] union dues deduction bill is a flat-out union-busting bill,” says Hanrihan. “Under the law, a government agency wouldn’t be allowed to collect union dues if it was involved in political campaigns.” He notes that Scott had “no problem” taking money from the police union in the past election. Scott did get significant pushback on the bill from some Republican representatives, but the House eventually passed it.

    So here are the details: On Saturday, July 16, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. behind the PBA headquarters on SW 26th Terrace in Fort Lauderdale, the union will have elections officials standing by to register new voters or switch party registrations for anyone with a valid Florida ID.

    Hanrihan says he’s heard remarkably little controversy among the rank and file about the event, though he got one letter saying he had been a little too sarcastic when he wrote in the newsletter, “If you continue to be a registered Republican, you should be happy with what’s going on in Tallahassee.”

    Apparently, the officers didn’t want to be accused of such a thing.

    • Ametia says:

      Well, when did the police figure out that the REpublican Party is not looking out for their best interest, hmm?

  44. rikyrah says:

    Too Big to Fail, or Too Trifling for Oversight?By ERIC DASH and JULIE CRESWELL
    Published: June 11, 2011

    It is not very often that business people head to Washington to explain how unimportant they are.

    But over the last several months, executives from more than two dozen financial companies and their trade groups have paraded into the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and other government agencies to try to persuade top regulators that they are not large or risky enough to threaten the financial system if they should ever collapse.

    Big insurers like the Mass Mutual Financial Group and Zurich Financial Services; hedge funds like Citadel and Paulson & Company; and mutual-fund companies like BlackRock, Fidelity Investments and Pacific Investment Management Company have all been making the rounds, according to documents filed by the regulatory agencies.

    What they are all hoping to avoid is being designated “systemically important” by a council of financial regulators. That would require them to face stricter federal oversight and keep more cash on hand, which they fear would erode profits.

    Jeffrey A. Goldstein, the Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, finds the arguments so familiar that he has opened some meetings by asking the firms if they would like to designate themselves as systemically important. “I can’t recall a firm that came in and said yes,” he said.

    Hedge fund managers, for example, normally pride themselves on being Masters of the Universe. But armed with PowerPoint presentations and financial studies, representatives from some of Wall Street’s most powerful funds, including D.E. Shaw and Company, Elliott Management and Caxton Associates, met with Federal Reserve staff members earlier this year to make one point: We’re too small to matter.

    The hedge funds insisted their activities would not threaten the financial system because they control $1.7 trillion in assets, a drop in the bucket next to the $21.4 trillion overseen by the global mutual fund industry, according to documents they filed with regulators that cited figures from 2010.

    Two insurance giants took even stronger steps. They unloaded savings banks they owned as a preemptive strike against tougher federal supervision.

    Regulators involved in the determination process say they are skeptical. “It is as if they are the Sisters of the Charity,” said one government official who has participated in meetings with financial companies. “They present themselves as if they don’t do anything complicated. They are playing a very interesting strategy game that nobody believes.”

    It’s no secret that big banks with more than $50 billion in assets — Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, among others — are automatically part of the club. But a wide variety of financial companies that are not banks are trying to avoid membership — or at least reduce their burdens. Besides the big insurers, hedge funds and mutual fund companies, major commercial lenders like General Electric have revved up their lobbying efforts.

    There have also been a few surprises, like Boeing, I.B.M. and Caterpillar, which operate large finance businesses for their customers. Student lenders like Sallie Mae, auto finance companies like Ford Motor Credit and even quasi-government enterprises like the Federal Home Loan Banks have raised concerns about the designation process.

    Deciding which firms should be deemed “systemically important” is at the heart of a package of new financial rules that aim to prevent a repeat of the recent financial crisis. But the lack of specific criteria from regulators so far has created uncertainty about who will get tagged.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Wis. Dems Won’t Run Fake GOP Candidates — Will Run Extra Dems Instead
    Wisconsin Democrats have now arrived at a novel solution to the problem of Republicans planting fake Democratic candidates in the recalls against Republican state senators, in order to force primaries and thus delay the general elections for some of the races: The Dems are now going to plant their own extra Democratic candidates — now dubbed “placeholder” candidates by the Dems — in order to delay all the targeted recalls to August.

    Don’t worry if this sounds a bit confusing — because it is. This whole mess began when Republicans declared a strategy to plant fake candidates in the Democratic primaries — in order to delay the general elections from July to August, and make trouble in the Dem primaries while the GOP incumbents run unopposed. (Examples of the fake Democratic candidates include an 82-year old former Republican state legislator, and a 25-year old GOP activist, among others.)

    The key here is that recalls are now tentatively scheduled for July 12, under the state election officials’ proposed timelines, targeting six Republicans. (Three more recalls have been scheduled against Democrats, for July 19.) If there were only one Democrat against each one Republican, then the July 12 date would be the general election. But if there were additional Democrats, the July 12 date would then become the primary, giving the incumbents more time to campaign for a general election on August 9.

    On Friday, the labor-backed progressive group We Are Wisconsin called upon the Dems to retaliate by running fake Republican candidates in the other side’s primaries, in order to defuse the potential for crossover shenanigans. The Dems’ media responses over this question took a while, but later in the evening they told Greg Sargent that they were considering such a path, though no decision was yet made.

    On Saturday evening, state Dem chairman Mike Tate released a statement, explaining that the party would not run fake Republican candidates. But instead, they will run an extra Dem candidate in each of the six primary races, in order to put all the races into August on their own terms — not just the ones where Republicans plant a fake candidate in order to jumble up the calendar.

    In the statement, Tate explains the rationale for the decision:

    “The unprecedented Republican manipulation of these recall elections has compelled a number of people to urge a level playing field by running fake candidates in GOP primaries.

    “We cannot and will not stoop to the Republicans’ level by encouraging candidates to lie about their party affiliation, or recommending that people try to deceive voters. We never have done that, and won’t start now. This is something that every single one of our six challengers has said they adamantly oppose. Fred Clark, Jess King, Shelly Moore, Nancy Nusbaum, Jen Shilling and Sandy Pasch — along with Senator Miller — all contacted the party over the last 24 hours to make it crystal clear this was absolutely the wrong tactic.

    “At the same time, these phony GOP primary candidacies have in essence allowed the Republicans to seize the ability to call these elections at a date of their choosing. They can pick and choose which sham primaries to force. That’s wrong. Selecting an election day is a responsibility that should fall to an independent, nonpartisan agency looking out for the people of Wisconsin — not to a political party gaming the system for partisan gain. This transparent GOP conspiracy has cheated the people of protections against such dirty tricks.

    “That is why we must guarantee these primary and general election dates move forward. The only way to do that in the face of these deplorable Republican tactics is by ensuring Democratic primaries with placeholders.

    “This approach will keep the Republicans honest – an increasingly difficult task given the stunts they’ve pulled. It sends a clear statement that the GOP attempts to exploit the political process won’t be tolerated. It also ensures a much fairer process than what Republicans have concocted with their dirty tricks, as well as reduces confusion among voters about when recall elections will take place.

    “No one likes where Republicans have taken this process. The fight for Wisconsin is too important to have one hand tied behind our back.”—-will-run-extra-dems-instead.php

    • Ametia says:

      I have to LAUGH at this process, to keep from crying, really I do! What on earth is American politics coming to, when the elected officials have to stoop to such degrading and utterly contempable tactics to gain power?

  46. rikyrah says:

    W.E.B. Du Bois scholars prepare for future
    By Elise Hitchcock

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    As a fifth grader, Camara Carter was involved with the EarthFoundation, an international land preservation group. By the time she graduated from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone last month she had helped save more than 31 acres of land worldwide.

    Carter’s community service and academic achievements led her to become a 2011 W.E.B. Du Bois scholar.

    Du Bois’ dedication to academic greatness inspired Etienne LeGrand and her husband Hal Logan to establish the Atlanta-based W.E.B. Du Bois Society in 2004. The group is named for the renowned author and scholar who taught at Atlanta University in the 1930s. The Du Bois society promotes academic excellence and a love of the arts in the African- American community. Thousands of students take part in the group’s activities each year.

    “They are a phenomenal group of young people,” LeGrand said. “They are symbols of what young people should aspire to be.”

    The society offers programs from first-12th grade. One of the programs, The WEB, brings like-minded students together on Saturdays to learn life skills and to meet African American executives. The society also has programs to help students with writing skills and peer studying. All the activities stress academic excellence, especially the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars, LeGrand said. To become a scholar, students must submit SAT scores and participate in a series of interviews.

    Asha Harris, a Parkview High School graduate who will attend Georgia Tech in the fall, said the program gave her confidence “to push through” when she struggled with being accepted as a female working in male-dominated math and science programs.

    During a week of recognition at the end of each school year, scholars participate in a variety of events, including lunch with Atlanta City Council members and a tour of the Alliance Theatre. The activities are aimed at helping the students improve their networking skills. These are the rewards of academic achievement, said LeGrand.

    “Exposure is essential to the formation of all of us,” she said.

    Kevin Smith, a graduate of Redan High School in Stone Mountain plans to attend Boston University. The week of recognition gave him good insight into his future.

    “I met a lot of wonderful and talented people,” he said.

    Smith was a member of his high school drum line and tried to make any organization he participated in more successful. Julia Davis, a graduate of the Carver School of Health Sciences and Research in Atlanta found out that high school was not the “end all be all.”

    “I knew there was bigger competition out there,” said Davis, who plans to attend Spelman College on a full scholarship.

    Danielle Daley, a graduate of The Westminster School in Atlanta who is headed to Georgetown University, said all the scholars want to make a difference. Students who are not members of the scholars program find it inspirational, Daley said, and they want to be involved.

    “They are the new rock stars,” LeGrand said of the scholars.

    • Ametia says:

      This is wonderful news. Anytime our young folks gain in EDUCATION, we WIN. Cognratulations to all the scholars.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Report: Eddie Long’s Wife (Vanessa) Has Moved Out of their Home
    Morris O’Kelly’s Mo’Kelly Report says that Eddie Long’s problems keep getting worse. And if what Mo’Kelly is reporting turns out to be true about the disgraced Atlanta, it certainly wouldn’t or shouldn’t surprise anyone:

    Well-placed spies for The Mo’Kelly Report and long-time members of New Birth are alleging that Vanessa Long, the First Lady of New Birth has moved out of the house, in fact taking one of the children with her due to the scandal.

    These are WELL-placed and trustworthy sources.

    Mo’Kelly has already reached out to New Birth to see if it has any official response or counter narrative. Don’t hold your breath if you expect New Birth to tell the truth and acknowledge any family disarray. Nevertheless, New Birth has been offered equal space here in The Mo’Kelly Report as Mo’Kelly always does.

    One is always welcome to tell his/her side here…you just have to be willing to step up to the plate.

  48. rikyrah says:

    “Viewpoints: Racist Cartoon of Obama Forces Me to Leave GOP”
    by ABL

    Black Republican Ken Barnes confronts his conscience and becomes Black ex-Republican Ken Barnes

    I have always thought that black and/or gay Republicans are odd. Over the last few years, however, I have begun to think that black and/or gay Republicans are fundamentally damaged in some way. I know it sounds wrong, and call me small-minded or partisan, but I do not understand pledging allegiance to a party that despises you for what or who you are. This is the party of Donald Trump. Glenn Beck. Antonin Scalia. Michelle Bachmann. Andrew Breitbart. Fox News. Bobby Franklin. Pat Robertson. Sarah Palin. Clarence Thomas.

    Certainly, the Democrats are no walk in the park, but at least gays, minorities, and women stand a chance by voting blue. I mean, sure, you may get a dick pic via Twitter, but at least the dude sending it to you doesn’t oppose your right to have an abortion.

    Nobody—and I mean—nobody stands a chance with Republicans, and certainly not a bunch of coloreds, ‘mos, and dames.

    Below is a snippet of one black Republican’s realization that the GOP is overrun by intolerance and bigotry:

    I was one of those rare species: a black Republican, the guy willing to spit into the wind of conventional thought, who was often showcased on camera at party events to prove inclusiveness.

    But as a proud black man, I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party.

    Being a Republican has long been a part of my personal and professional identities, so leaving the party is a difficult and emotional decision.

    In 1998, as a young man searching for what I believed were shared values, I cut ties with the Democratic Party and became a Republican. Democrats, in my view, had become unwelcoming to those holding center-right views not in lockstep with the party, and it was my belief that through hard work, the Republican Party could be utilized as a vehicle for improving our community.

    For the next 13 years, I dedicated myself to growing the conservative base of the Republican Party, and in the process bound myself in emotion and deed.

    As of late, however, when I look at myself in the mirror there is one question which perplexes me: Can I, in good conscience, remain affiliated with an organization whose message purveyors of racism and bigotry find attractive?

    Generally speaking, Republicans are decent people, and naturally, many of my closest friends vote Republican. As with any large organization or group, there will always be people at the fringes who hold views that are not representative of the body.

    An organization cannot control the behavior of each individual actor, but it can control its response to abhorrent conduct.

    The latest incident in a string of tawdry, race-based actions was the promotion of a racist cartoon by elected Orange County Republican Party Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport1. The cartoon depicted President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees, while simultaneously implying that the president is not a legitimate American, but rather an African-born interloper.

    While the Orange County GOP chairman and a number of other committee members were quick to condemn the image and Davenport, what’s disturbing is the incredible number of people who continue to defend Davenport’s actions as well as the cartoon itself.

    Had this been an isolated event, it could be set aside as a mere aberration. However, when placed in the context of similar offenses by the same self-identified tea party-conservative Republicans, there emerges a disturbing pattern of extreme intolerance.

    Over the past two years, we have seen Republicans use long-held racist imagery in portrayals of Obama. The president has been depicted as a communist witch doctor, a man inclined to plant watermelons on the White House lawn, and we watched in disbelief as his face was placed on an “Obama Buck Food Stamp” along with stereotyped pictures of fried chicken, barbecue ribs, Kool-Aid and the obligatory watermelon.

    What does any of this have to do with public policy or conservative values? Here is a man who excelled academically at the finest schools in the world, has a wonderful in-tact family, worked hard and rose to become president of the United States. Yet in spite of his accomplishments, the president is still labeled an illegitimate, socialist, African witch doctor and has his face superimposed on a chimpanzee.

    If this can be done to a black man who is the leader of the free world, how long will it be before fellow Republicans insert my face on a chimpanzee?

    These behaviors also raise larger issues for African Americans and other minority groups within the GOP. How can I look my parents in the eye and tell them I’m a Republican in spite of these offenses? If he were still living, could my Latino father-in-law be proud that his daughter supports the GOP, in spite of the constant anti-Latino rhetoric that comes from the party? Can gay family members reconcile my support of a party that seeks to strip them of their basic human rights?

    These are not issues which pit moderate against conservative views, but rather consequential matters which transcend political positioning and speak to universal human values.

    There are a number of Republicans (and Democrats) who will view my switch to “decline to state” as a net gain for the Democratic Party. However, I reject the theory of zero-sum politics which claim we live in a binary world of Democrats and Republicans, where a lack of support for one side works only to empower the other.

    Having now been active in both major political parties, I’ve discovered the common prohibited activity is critical thinking.


  49. Ametia says:

    Republican presidential contenders to debate
    By John Whitesides John Whitesides – Mon Jun 13, 2:58 am ET

    MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Reuters) – Seven Republican presidential contenders meet face-to-face in their first major debate on Monday as the fight for the party’s 2012 nomination enters a new phase.

    The nationally televised forum in New Hampshire will include most of the top-tier contenders in the Republican battle for the right to challenge President Barack Obama, including Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann.

    Romney, Bachmann and Newt Gingrich skipped a lightly attended debate last month, but will appear on Monday with four contenders who participated in the first one — former Senator Rick Santorum, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former pizza executive Herman Cain and U.S. Representative Ron Paul.

    “This marks the start of a new phase for the campaign as more people pay attention and the candidates begin to engage,” said Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.

    The debate on the campus of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire will begin at 8 p.m. EDT and be aired on CNN.;_ylt=Ak.EogngLOh7Q4u2IrTv2hCs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNyN2gwcHN2BGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwNjEzL3VzX3VzYV9jYW1wYWlnbl9yZXB1YmxpY2FucwRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzIEcG9zAzUEcHQDaG9tZV9jb2tlBHNlYwN5bl?om_rid=DRaeQf&om_mid=_BN9gQOB8bscqTD

  50. Ametia says:

    Happy MUN-dane, Everybody! :-)

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