Sunday Open Thread

The Mississippi Mass Choir is an American gospel choir based in Jackson, Mississippi.

Musical career Serving God Through Song” is the motto and the mission of The Mississippi Mass Choir. Although striving to succeed in the gospel music industry, the choir’s purpose is to help establish the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Since its formation in 1988, the choir has won numerous honors and awards for its contributions to gospel music. The group has traveled extensively throughout the United States, toured Japan and appeared in Nassau, the Bahamas. When you consider the level of success enjoyed by this relatively novice group of singers, it becomes evident that serving the Lord pays off.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. Ametia says:

    Believe it or not on ABC’s This Week, it was actually pointed out that the Constitution is not a religious document.

    Here is the video:

  2. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, July 03, 2011

    Trouble in bipartisan paradise

    by digby

    Gosh, it turns out that the bullying, thuggish Governor of New Jersey isn’t a man of his word. Who ever could have guessed?

    Senate President Stephen Sweeney went to bed furious Thursday night after reviewing the governor’s line-item veto of the state budget.

    He woke up Friday morning even angrier.

    “This is all about him being a bully and a punk,” he said in an interview Friday.

    “I wanted to punch him in his head.”

    Sweeney had just risked his political neck to support the governor’s pension and health reform, and his reward was a slap across the face. The governor’s budget was a brusque rejection of every Democratic move, and Sweeney couldn’t even get an audience with the governor to discuss it.

    “You know who he reminds me of?” Sweeney says. “Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ the mean old bastard who screws everybody.”

    This is not your regular budget dispute. This is personal. And it could have seismic impact on state politics.

    Because the working alliance between these two men is the central political fact in New Jersey these days. If that changes, this brief and productive era of bipartisan cooperation is over.

    “Last night I couldn’t calm down,” Sweeney said. “To prove a point to me – a guy who has stood side by side with him, and made tough decisions – for him to punish people to prove his political point? He’s just a rotten bastard to do what he did.”

    You can certainly see why the national Republicans and the Villagers all love Christie so much.


  3. This is a totally stellar action diary from Zizi at WSY. Please pass on the link.

  4. Ametia says:

    Hat tip Angelar@ JJP

    Obama daughters are handling spotlight with grace and poise.

    As Malia celebrates 13th birthday, Sasha, 10, prepares to join her at private school campus
    For teens and parents, decisions big and small loom. Michelle Obama, appearing on ABC’s “The View,” said she was on the road recently and Malia called and said: “Ma, I need to talk to you.”

    The two spoke, about makeup, until 10:30 p.m.

    She also revealed that Malia was all dressed up for a recent party, with her hair done, leading her father to do a double take. Said Mrs. Obama: “I was like, ‘Easy, Dad, it’s only beginning.'”

    Sports, clearly, is an outlet. Both girls play tennis and exercise to Wii Fit, the first lady has said. Malia relishes soccer and Sasha, basketball. The president told People magazine, in a Father’s Day essay in which he recalled his childhood without a father, that he’d become assistant basketball coach for Sasha’s team.

    “I’ll admit that this was a little nerve-racking, and I’m sure this was true for Sasha as well, who may have winced when her dad would voice his displeasure with a particular call made by the referee,” he wrote. Still, having the president as a coach has perks. One day, Alana Beard, a star player on the Washington Mystics, showed up.

    Farther afield, they have encountered other celebrities. In South Africa, the girls met former President Nelson Mandela. They also read a Dr. Seuss book to children cheek-by-jowl in a shantytown, toured a museum on South Africa’s apartheid era and thrilled to a safari drive. (Though Dennis Ramokgau, 31, with Mokolodi Nature Reserve, said the girls turned down the chance to pet two old cheetahs — a big hit with tourists, and generally safe — while visiting with Robinson.)

    “You know how grandmothers are: She loves the kids and they love their grandmother,” he said. “And she’s very protective.”

    Another African, Nkau Onkarabile, 18, an orphan who makes and sells beaded jewelry through the nonprofit Stepping Stones International told a reporter that he and five other young people spent half an hour visiting privately with five other teens and the Obama girls and their cousins, Avery Robinson, 19, and Leslie Robinson, 15.

    “I loved them,” he said of the Obama girls. “At first I thought they would not enjoy making business with us. But they inspired me. They told me that what I am doing was great.”

    Also in Africa, Michelle Obama addressed about 75 young women leaders and said she was humbled, proud and moved to meet them. She heralded them as “beautiful and strong.”

    “I want my girls to be like you,” she added.

    So far, the first lady’s wish seems to have come true.,0,1676326.story?page=2

  5. Ametia says:

    REALLY, George Will; women’s right to vote and slavery EVOLVED via amendments to the cconstitutuon= EVOLUTION

    Crooks and Liars
    Sunday July 3, 2011 11:00 am
    George Will: The Constitution is an ‘anti-evolutionary device’
    By David

    Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson explained to conservative columnist George Will Sunday that the Constitution is not an “anti-evolutionary device.”

    “There’s a retrospective cast naturally built into our politics, but what has happened today is a large number of Americans, this one included, believe that the somewhat promiscuous expansion of government power in recent years, raises questions about whether we still have a government of limited, delegated and enumerative powers,” Will told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour during a discussion about whether the Constitution was still valid.

    “Wow, I think this retrospective cast that George Will refers to is absolutely right,” Dyson replied. “But there are some gaps, some holes, gulfs, abysses. You read the Constitution and the Congress but ‘Oops, I forgot the part about slavery.’ You talk about women and people of color who have been distorted, relegated to the margins and all together seen as marginalia. I think the Constitution is a powerful, living, vibrant document. I think it’s been hijacked by people with narrow, vicious and parochial visions.”

    He continued: “I think the assertion that we, of all people, this generation is somehow vulnerable to rebuff the Constitution is like a regalian problem: You think that your generation is the greatest generation and the apotheosis of history finds its resting place point in you. Slow down. The point is the Constitution is it’s durable, it’s powerful. Because of its flexibility, black people and others are able to argue their way into an American identity in a vision for democracy that initially they were barred from, so I think that it’s powerful.”

    “To say the Constitution is a living, evolving document as you did, is almost oxymoronic,” Will argued. “A constitution is supposed to freeze things. It is an anti-evolutionary device as Justice Scalia said. It is intended to put certain things beyond the reach of transient majorities.”

    “That’s all great on paper, which is where it’s written,” Dyson shot back. “When it makes the transition from parchment to pavement, there again is the rub. The reality is when I talk about the document being living and vital, I’m talking about the interpretation of it. I’m talking about the meaning of it.”


    • rikyrah says:

      the brilliance of the Constitution, for whatever flaws the men who wrote it had is this:

      they were smart enough to know that they didn’t know everything.

      from Barbara Jordan during Watergate:

      Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      Mr. Chairman, I join my colleague Mr. Rangel in
      thanking you for giving the junior members of this committee the glorious
      opportunity of sharing the pain of this inquiry. Mr. Chairman, you are a strong
      man, and it has not been easy but we have tried as best we can to give you as
      much assistance as possible.

      Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the
      Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: “We, the people.” It’s a very
      eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of
      September in 1787, I was not included in that “We, the people.” I felt somehow
      for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by
      mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court
      decision, I have finally been included in “We, the people.”

      THAT is the brilliance of the Constitution

  6. Ametia says:

    Shutdown cost will bring sticker shock
    Article by: BRAD SCHRADE , Star Tribune Updated: July 2, 2011 – 10:25 PM

    Minnesota stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue and get saddled with millions more in new expenses for every week that the widespread shutdown of state government persists.

    In both subtle and stark ways, the shutdown that began Friday will bring new financial pain to the state treasury. Closing many operations will save the state some money, but an array of revenue sources as diverse as the lottery and highway toll lanes have been cut off.

    Significant new costs also are emerging, some of which the state will never recover.

    “It’s not like money stops going out the door because of a shutdown,” said John Pollard, a spokesman with Minnesota Management and Budget.

    One of the biggest new expenditures: unemployment benefits for roughly 22,000 freshly laid-off state employees. In most cases, those workers are entitled to collect 50 percent of their pay while not working, according to a spokeswoman for AFSCME, the union that represents 18,000 state workers.

    Those workers also will continue to receive health insurance at a cost of $4.7 million a week to the state. Altogether, the state could be shelling out $13 million a week to keep all those workers idle, based on the average salary of $38,000 earned by a state union member.

    “We still believe a shutdown costs more than it saves,” AFSCME spokeswoman Jennifer Munt said.

    No one in the state has hard numbers on the total financial impact of the shutdown. Figures likely won’t be tallied until the crisis is over and the state reopens for business.

    But the costs will be both routine — maintaining and securing government buildings and computer systems not in use — and extraordinary.

    Not coming in

    Consider the state’s Revenue Department, where just 53 of 1,504 employees are still on the job. While voluntary tax payments will continue, the audit section has been mothballed. That means the state stands to lose about $52 million in uncollected payments per month.

    “Because auditors are not working on new audits, that money is not coming in,” Revenue Department spokeswoman Lynn Andrews said. “We do not expect to recoup that.”

    Another lost revenue stream — commuters. Normally, motorists pay the state $40,000 to $50,000 a week for MnPass privileges, which allows them to beat the traffic by using express lanes on parts of Interstates 35W and 394.

    More significant, perhaps, will be the interruption in highway construction. MnDOT shut down more than 100 road projects.

    “There is a cost, but I can’t tell you what that will be,” MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said. “It’s very disruptive. It’s the middle of the construction season.”

    Gamblers will be another source of lost cash. Minnesota will lose about $2.3 million in profits from weekly lottery sales, according to Dale McDonnell, the lottery’s assistant director and general counsel.

    Retailers have pulled all their scratch-off tickets and stopped selling weekly draw tickets for various promotions. McDonnell said people with winning tickets will not be able to cash in for a while.

    “We are suggesting that if you have a winning ticket, you should sign it with your signature and put it in a safe location, and when we’re up and running we’ll gladly give you your prize money,” he said.

    Losing park revenue

    July 4th is typically a big draw for state parks. At Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore, one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions, 5,000 people visit on a normal July 4th weekend, according to park manager Lee Radzak. If each of those visitors paid the full $8 adult admission, that would amount to $40,000 in lost revenue.

    Altogether, the shutdown could affect as many as 90,000 state park campers and visitors daily, with daily losses to the state approaching an estimated $200,000. For the entire month of July, state parks generated more than $4 million last year, or about a third of total annual receipts.

  7. Rep. Michele Bachmann to Obama: “Go back to Hawaii

    Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told supporters Saturday that she is working hard to defeat President Obama and that she will “help him find a job” after she wins the 2012 race and “We think that there is a certain Hawaiian president who should go back to Hawaii!”

    Touting job creation and revamping the nation’s economy, Ms. Bachmann told supporters that her campaign will focus on lowering unemployment and promoting innovation.

    “I want you to know, as president of the United States, I look forward to creating real jobs for both the Treasury secretary and the president of the United States,” Ms. Bachmann said.

    The Minnesota Republican, who continues to skyrocket in a series of polls released last week, traveled to Iowa over the holiday weekend, meeting with supporters and delivering a series of speeches.

    Ms. Bachmann, in an attack that is quickly becoming part of her campaign message, slammed President Obama’s relationship within the African-American community, questioning his administration’s commitment to creating jobs.

    “The president promised the African-American community, he promised the Hispanic community that he would make their lives better. And that is what we want for every American,” Ms. Bachmann said. “This president isn’t working. He’s failing the Hispanic community. He is failing the African-American community. He’s failing all of us.”

    • Is she crazy? Wait a minute…strike that. Yes, the bee itch has lost her ever loving mind!

    • TrumpDog says:

      “The president promised the African-American community, he promised the Hispanic community that he would make their lives better. And that is what we want for every American,” Ms. Bachmann said.

      Funny how Republicans want to concentrate on us ALL being Americans and want to stop people being divided into groups. Yet here Bachmann is suggesting the president should concentrate on certain groups to make their lives better. Why is she playing the race card? I thought that was a no-no.

      By the way, when, exactly, did Obama specifically promise African Americans and Hispanics that he would make their lives better? Just curious.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi Trumpdog; this is what Bachman & her ilk do; focus narrowly on a small group of Americans, mainly the RICH top 2%. It’s the old switch the vile GOP behaviors onto the Dems ploy.

      • Trumpdog, what a pleasure to see you! Welcome to 3 Chics.

        By the way, when, exactly, did Obama specifically promise African Americans and Hispanics that he would make their lives better? Just curious.

        Thank you! Thank you! It’s Bachmann own assumptions. And you know what the saying is about assumptions! lol

      • rikyrah says:

        just ask her to point out the speeches of POTUS to prove her point.

      • TrumpDog says:

        But I’m sure if she was asked when Obama made such promises, she’s lie and insist he said that – just like she did with her John Q/founding father and John Wayne/Gacy BS.

      • TrumpDog says:

        Oh and thanks for the welcome, SouthernGirl! I found this link via It’;s great to be here :-)

      • @ Trumpdog, don’t forget she still insist the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery!

        BWA HA HA HA HA…Just send in the clowns!

      • Hola, TrumpDog!

    • rikyrah says:

      last time I checked, POTUS pays property taxes on a home in Hyde Park, Chicago.

    • OMG! That woman is so guano crazy. At least she isn’t telling the Prez to go back to Kenya but she probably believes Hawaii is part of Africa. If she thinks Latinos will give her the time of day or even “piss on her gums if her teeth catch fire” (thanks ABL!) she’s in for a rude shock. She’s voted against every bill that would help us and our immigration issues. Speak to my hand, you sorry excuse for a woman….

  8. rikyrah says:

    June 29, 2011
    Rita Wilson: The Queen and I
    It was a dream invitation: dinner at Buckingham Palace. Now all Rita Wilson needed was the gown — not to mention a crash course in royal protocol. Read her story below.
    By Rita Wilson

    It may have been the first state banquet at Buckingham Palace for our president and first lady, but the first state I was in was panic. My excitement that my husband and I had been invited to join the leader of the free world and his wife at this historic event gave way to something else entirely when the very strict protocol for attire arrived (with only days to plan). White tie and tails for the men. Very formal attire for the women. To me, this was equivalent to finding a perfect wedding gown in two days. And, oh yeah, you’ll be meeting the queen of England. No pressure.

    The palace dress requirements say that women’s gowns must be “structured.” Huh? The bodice must have some sort of foundation in it, and the skirt must be full. Belle in Beauty and the Beast immediately comes to mind. Women must wear closed-toed shoes — and get this: stockings! Sheer disbelief — I don’t even own a pair of sheer hose.

    Who is inspecting what’s on under all those layers anyway? I knew the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, would be attending, so I wasn’t taking any chances that my unstockinged legs would be called out. I could just imagine being introduced to the queen: “Ms. Rita Wilson. Not wearing hose.”

    Then there are the gloves. If your gown is strapless, then over-the-elbow 12- to 18-button gloves are typical. If your gown has a sleeve, then a glove to the elbow is acceptable. (Ladies, do you know how hard it is to find white kid gloves anywhere in 2011? A European friend found mine in Italy.) At the palace, hair is usually worn up but not required to be. The way they say it, though, makes you think that if you don’t, you might be sent to the tower.

    Thankfully, my dress arrived, and it was perfect. A Monique Lhuillier, it had sheer sleeves with sequins, a structured bodice, and a long, full tulle skirt. It had a slightly high waist, but I had a quick alteration done to lower it. (I am making this sound like it happened effortlessly. It didn’t. There were probably 25 gowns I tried on in a cold sweat as Big Ben was ticking.)

    Because men also have to follow royal protocol for attire, my husband called Tom Ford. White tie and tails were put immediately into the works. The vest of the man’s ensemble has to be a certain length. It cannot be too long or too short. (There’s also a certain shoe and a certain cuff length.)

    Read more: Rita Wilson Buckingham Palace Dinner – Rita Wilson on Dinner with Queen Elizabeth – Harper’s BAZAAR

  9. rikyrah says:

    Crowds cheer Monaco’s Prince Albert and new bride

    With a wink and a smile, Monaco’s ruler Prince Albert married South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock on Saturday in a ceremony attended by a who’s who of European royalty and the international elite.

    The 53-year-old married Wittstock, 33, in the courtyard of his palace at the foot of a vast white-marble double staircase lined with white flowers. Some 3,500 guests sat outside to watch the service on giant TV screens.

    Albert’s sisters, Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, both dressed in pink, smiled as they watched the couple marry in front of a crowd that included French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and opera singer Renee Fleming.

    The long white train of Wittstock’s Giorgio Armani duchess satin gown, encrusted with thousands of tiny crystals, spilled over the red carpet. The groom wore the white dress uniform of Monaco’s Carabinieri royal guard.

    “It was very elegant, very moving,” supermodel Naomi Campbell, in a one-shouldered pale green dress, told TFI television.

    After they exchanged vows, Albert winked at his bride, who smiled shyly. Sitting on red velvet chairs, they held hands as a South African singer sang the Click Song, made famous by the late Miriam Makeba.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Billions worth’ of treasure found in Indian temple
    A treasure trove of gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones said to be worth billions of dollars has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India, officials said..

    The valuables have an estimated preliminary worth of over 500 billion rupees ($11.2 billion), said Kerala Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar, catapulting the temple into the league of India’s richest temples.

    The thousands of necklaces, coins and precious stones have been kept in at least five underground vaults at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is renowned for its intricate sculptures.

    “We are yet to open one more secret chamber which has not been opened for nearly 140 years,” Jayakumar told AFP.

    The actual value of the treasure haul can be ascertained only after it is examined by the archaeological department, said Jayakumar.

    The temple, dedicated to Hindu lord Vishnu, was built hundreds of years ago by the king of Travancore and donations by devotees have been kept in the temple’s vaults since.

    A necklace found on Thursday was 18 feet (six metres) long. Thousands of gold coins have also been found.

    Since India achieved independence from Britain in 1947, a trust managed by descendants of the Travancore royal family has controlled the temple.

    But India’s Supreme Court recently ordered that the temple be managed by the state to ensure the security of valuables at the shrine.

    Until now, the Thirupathy temple in southern Andhra Pradesh state was believed to be India’s richest temple with offerings from devotees worth 320 billion rupees.

    The revelation about the huge riches in the Padmanabhaswamy temple has forced police to sharply step install security cameras and alarms.

  11. rikyrah says:

    “The Obama campaign poised to hit or exceed their Q2 goal of $60 M”

    Hi guys,

    I hope you’re all having a great holiday weekend. Here’s some nice campaign details from Jake Tapper, believe it or not:

    COUNTING THE CASH: After a month of 11 fundraisers – from Miami to Puerto Rico, DC, New York and Philly – the Obama campaign seems poised to hit or exceed their Q2 goal of $60 M raised jointly with DNC. At this point in 2007, Obama alone raised $33.1 million from 180,000 contributors.

    While spokesmen are mum on when they’ll drop the top line number, the campaign website says they closed out the quarter with more than 490,000 individual contributors who made 660,000 contributions. (During the entire 2007-2008 campaign, OFA received contributions from 3 million supporters.)

    // snip

    SWING STATE SPOTLIGHT: NH – A top state Democrat says to expect Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to assume a high-profile surrogate role for Obama in 2012, particularly if former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney becomes the nominee. They say Patrick has a “compelling case” against Romney, refuting his economic record on job creation and defending the state’s health care law, and strong appeal in battleground New Hampshire. Patrick will be back in the Granite State on July 19 for a fundraiser for state Dems.

    // snip

    TALKING TECH TOOLS: The 2012 campaign will be defined by “mobile social, hyper-local, grassroots community organizing,” says Jonathan Askin, who was a member of Obama’s technology task force in 2008.

    “It’s harnessing tools like 4-Square and Places, or tied into Google maps, so people know and can conveniently access real moments of campaign activity – events, calls, phone banks – in real time and real places,” he said. The campaign’s website has already begun to integrate many of these features. “If 2008 was geometry, we’re now in calculus mode. … If geometry is imperfect and edgy, calculus smoothes out the curves so every void is filled. They are going to figure out how to use analytics, time and place identifying information to maximize the value of every person related to the campaign,” he said.

    One cautionary note on micro-targeting from Askin: “The campaign is going to have to be very careful to make it seem like people aren’t being used and oppressed by constant communications. How will they use our personally identifiable information? Will it seem like Big Brother is following us for the benefit of Barack Obama?”

    TWEETER IN CHIEF: Potus will hold his first Twitter townhall next week, the White House announced Thursday with much fanfare. The discussion will be moderated, with handpicked questions from Twitter users limited to those on jobs and economy. The president will respond in 140-character replies.

    // snip

    Obama added 102,000 Twitter followers this week (8.9 million total) and 78,000 Facebook fans (21.8 million total).

  12. rikyrah says:

    July 03, 2011 8:30 AM
    Herman Cain and the ‘color road’

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain chatted with the New York Times’ Andrew Goldman, and the two talked a bit about race — most notably Cain’s recent comments about President Obama’s race.

    Goldman: Before you announced your campaign, you said that the liberal establishment is scared that “a real black man might run against Barack Obama.” Are you suggesting Obama isn’t really black?

    Cain: A real black man is not timid about making the right decisions, that’s what I meant. Look, I’m not getting into this whole thing about President Obama. It is documented that his mother was white and his father was from Africa. If he wants to call himself black, fine. If he wants to call himself African-American, fine. I’m not going down this color road.

    When someone says they’re not “going down this color road,” the important next step in steering clear of the subject. Cain doesn’t seem to understand this.

    The NYT interview was condensed — in other words, there was plenty that Cain said that wasn’t published — but according to the interview as it appeared in the Times magazine, the candidate went on to say the president isn’t really “a strong black man” that he can identify with, and that there’s nothing necessarily racist about Tea Party activists “calling him a Kenyan.”

    So, to review, Herman Cain isn’t “going down this color road.” Cain is, however, inclined to tell the New York Times that he believes the president is not “a real black man,” is not “a strong black man,” and that racist right-wing placards are perfectly acceptable.

    I wonder what Cain might have said if he were willing to go down the “color road”?

    Postscript: Specifically on the Birther signs at right-wing rallies, Cain added, “I think those kinds of signs have stopped because the leaders of the Tea Party movement have instructed their folks that we don’t need to do that kind of stuff.”

    But something doesn’t add up here. Cain had just said the signs aren’t offensive, and then said Tea Party leaders have sent out word to get rid of the signs. Why get rid of the placards if they’re inoffensive?

  13. rikyrah says:

    July 02, 2011
    The summer of McConnell’s exasperation

    Sweet karma.

    We can only imagine how the Senate minority leader snickered with Kentuckian Schadenfreude throughout President Obama’s exasperated labors to nail down a healthcare bill sans a public option, since, after all, Obama possessed in the Senate the votes for the former yet lacked the votes for the latter.

    Among Democrats’ activist base and throughout the ranks of progressive demagogues, the public option had somehow metamorphosed into the legislative equivalent of Holy Writ; without it, they sermonized, we as a nation would merely exhibit the hideously kakistocratic soul of an Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, or Florida.

    So on they fought, fought, fought, which is to say, they postponed the inevitable, at the cost of far more urgent matters, like jobs.

    Again, it wasn’t that Obama opposed a public option. Quite the opposite. Nonetheless some minds are able to comprehend simple arithmetic and thus accept its senatorial tyranny; other minds, while no doubt capable of comprehending what literally counts as success, are simply indifferent to the unfortunate savagery of anything less than 60. For there’s nothing more exhilarating than the infantile righteousness of a lost cause.

    Back to karma. At once we see Mitch & Aides, in his Senate office, sitting around the crackerbarrel and passing the Jack Daniels and laughing uproariously at Obama’s public-option kindergarten troubles, and now the scene blurs, it shifts, the image flips, the Schadenfreude is reversed. From The Hill:

    Tea Party-backed lawmakers are pushing McConnell to insist on passage of a balanced budget amendment in exchange for allowing an increase in the debt limit.

    McConnell has resisted … argu[ing] that a balanced budget amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers, simply doesn’t have enough votes to pass the upper chamber.

    Somewhere in the calculating recesses of his scheming reptilian brain, McConnell comprehends that not only is the proposed amendment what former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett has suggested is the “dopiest … of all time” — in addition to “especially dimwitted,” “mind-boggling in its insanity,” and a “slapdash POS that was designed solely for the purpose of appealing to ignorant Tea Party types” — but, that, dopey or not, or for that matter even virtuous or not, the bloody thing hasn’t the votes.

    Do the senatorial “Tea Party types” care? Nah. Because there’s that activist base, you see — and it’s summertime and the demagogic livin’ is easy.

    At McConnell’s expense. Gotta love it.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Can Romney Pull It Off?

    by Patrick Appel

    Michael Crowley compares Romney’s 2012 run to Clinton’s 2008 campaign. But he sees no Obama equivalent in the GOP field:

    Exactly one year ago today, Obama gobsmacked the political world by announcing a second-quarter fundraising haul of $32.5 million, outdoing the Clinton juggernaut by several million bucks. … But as Republicans’ second-quarter numbers begin leaking out this weekend, no GOP candidate looks anything like Obama. Romney’s haul may prove less than what he’d once advertised, and will probably come in below the $23 million-plus he raised over the same period in 2007. But it still appears as though his bottom line will blow away those of his rivals.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Crazy Took Over

    by BooMan
    Sun Jul 3rd, 2011 at 12:32:47 AM EST
    It would be a whole lot more fun to watch Mitch McConnell squirm if I didn’t have to worry that he and Boehner are incapable of making a responsible move. They stood by, and even in some respects lent encouragement, as this brand new strand of Crazy metastasized throughout their party. Now they seem shocked to realize that they have the cancer, too.

    This is pretty simple. They need 218 members in the House and 60 members in the Senate to sign off on a bill that will raise the debt limit. There’s no way to get seven Democratic senators to sign off on a bill that is opposed by the president and virtually every Democratic member of the House. Therefore, McConnell and Boehner need to tell their caucus that they either simmer down or they’ll be forced to cut a bill that has more appeal to Democrats than Republicans. Of course, the Crazy response to this will be that, if that’s the case, maybe the Republican Party needs new congressional leadership. So, say goodbye to those big offices and all the perqs.

    It’s almost touching to watch McConnell try to explain to the Crazy that a balanced budget amendment isn’t going to pass, let alone be signed by the president. It’d be even funnier if McConnell told them how bad of an idea he thinks it is. How could they loot the treasury if they couldn’t spend money without raising taxes? At that point, would the GOP even have a soul? A purpose?

    So, here we are with McConnell letting the train run off the tracks and he’s unwilling to do more than make a couple of nudges towards basic reality. He hasn’t prepared his caucus for the coming capitulation at all. And it’s getting very late, even for a game of chicken. Everyone knows that McConnell is bluffing. He doesn’t have the power to do what he’s being asked to do. He can’t do it. And he wouldn’t want to do it even if he could.

    I just hope the White House is right, because they’re convinced that McConnell and Boehner will value their relationship with Wall Street more than their relationship with their Crazy base. But maybe it’s their jobs that are most important. If so, the country is screwed.

  16. rikyrah says:

    July 03, 2011 07:00 AM
    How Grover Norquist Hypnotized The GOP Into Refusing To Raise Taxes
    By Susie Madrak

    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick had an very informative op-ed piece in the Washington Post this week:

    At our 25th college reunion in 2003, Grover Norquist — the brain and able spokesman for the radical right — and I, along with other classmates who had been in public or political life, participated in a lively panel discussion about politics. During his presentation, Norquist explained why he believed that there would be a permanent Republican majority in America.

    One person interrupted, as I recall, and said, “C’mon, Grover, surely one day a Democrat will win the White House.”

    Norquist immediately replied: “We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.”

    In a way, Republicans have accomplished that. This spring, in an effort to reduce the deficit, a Democratic president proposed to cut $2 trillion in spending, much of it from domestic programs Democrats have long championed. Last week, Republican leaders withdrew from talks with the vice president on a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit because, as another part of the solution and like every bipartisan budget deal for decades, the president proposed to raise revenue. Specifically, he proposed to raise $1 in new revenue (through closing loopholes or ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans) for every $2 in spending cuts. In response to that modest proposal, Republican leaders walked out.

    It is now clear that the Republican strategy is to drive America to the brink of fiscal ruin and then argue that the only way out is to cut spending for the powerless. Taxes — a dirty word thanks to Norquist’s “no new taxes” gimmick — are made to seem beyond the pale, even as the burden of paying for our society shifts disproportionately to the middle class and working poor. It is the height of fiscal folly. It is also not who we are as a country.

    Yet, as Gov. Patrick points out, “The only spending Republicans are willing to discuss cutting is spending that helps the poor and vulnerable — meaning anything that does not touch the interests of large corporations and the very rich.”

    Oh, you noticed that, too, Governor?

    I remember sitting in the Dunster House dining hall at Harvard with Norquist when we were sophomores or juniors in college, while he explained his view of government, or lack thereof. It sounded logical — the notion that we could live independently of each other, making our own decisions in our own self-interest. But then who puts out the fires? Who answers the calls to 911? Who educates poor children? Who helps people with disabilities?

    I’d like to think that the most prosperous nation in human history can have both freedom and security. I think we have reached a point where my personal success is not threatened by a program to help our parents retire with dignity. Voters are smart enough to see that taxes are one of the ways we get those things. They are the price we pay for civilization.

    This is something I often point out to Ayn Rand devotees: “Ever notice there aren’t any children in her books? Or old people, or sick people?” Yes, taxes are the price we pay for civilization. Too bad so many politicians have been hypnotized by the despicable Grover Norquist into thinking otherwise.

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