Wednesday Open Thread

The Isley Brothers ( /ˈaɪzliː/ yz-lee) are a highly influential, successful and long-running American music group consisting of different line-ups of six brothers, and a brother-in-law, Chris Jasper. The founding members were O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley and Vernon Isley.

Starting their careers in the gospel performing circuit in the early 1950s, they eventually crossed over to secular music first finding modest success in doo-wop until the release of their first million-selling hit, “Shout”, in 1959. After several flops resulted in them being dropped from their record label, they found success again with sixties hits such as “Twist and Shout”, later covered successfully by The Beatles and the Motown hit, “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” in 1962 and 1966 respectively. The group didn’t find success again until the end of the decade when their 1969 single, “It’s Your Thing”, (with Ernie Isley on bass guitar) was released. The song brought them success in the then-fledgling funk genre.

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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99 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Rep. Tim Scott Floats Impeachment If Obama Invokes 14th Amendment On Debt Limit (VIDEO)

    WASHINGTON — While some have asserted that the debt limit might be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, and therefore President Obama does not need congressional approval to raise it, Republicans have been quick to express skepticism over the idea. On Tuesday, a Republican congressman went a step further, saying that if Obama were to use that argument to bypass Congress on the issue, it would be an impeachable offense.

    “This president is looking to usurp congressional oversight to find a way to get it done without us. My position is that is an impeachable act from my perspective,” said Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) at a meeting sponsored by the Tea Party group LowCountry 9.12 Project on Tuesday, first reported by Lindsay Street on Summerville Patch.

    His comments were met with enthusiastic applause.

    “There are a lot of things people say, ‘Are you going to impeach the president over that?’ — No. But this? This is catastrophic,” continued Scott. “This jeopardizes the credibility of our nation if one man can usurp the entire system set up by our founding fathers over something this significant.”

    Obama doesn’t appear to be looking at ways to “usurp congressional oversight” on the debt ceiling. During his Twitter town hall on Wednesday, the president was asked whether he would consider invoking the 14th Amendment to pay government obligations if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling.

    Obama did not rule out such an option, but he did insist that the situation should not get to a place where such drastic measures would be needed.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has also said he’s not aware of any White House lawyers looking into the issue, although last week, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner mentioned the clause in the 14th Amendment that states U.S. public debt “shall not be questioned.”

  2. Ametia says:

    Breaking News Alert: In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts
    July 6, 2011 10:02:57 PM

    President Obama is for the first time offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security as part of a far-reaching plan to restrain the spiraling national debt, according to people in both parties familiar with the proposal.

    The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from a Republican assault on government spending.

  3. creolechild says:

    Good night, y’all!

  4. creolechild says:

    Read this excellent article which was written by Extreme Liberal.

    “ used to be one of my favorite websites. I would even promote it to my friends and family – back a few years ago. I was always a little annoyed by the ads I had to watch to get a day pass, but I tolerated it. I watched as the site gradually morphed from being anti-Bush to anti-Obama, in many ways they seem to have just replaced the names. I stopped reading them very soon after noticing this shift.”

    “Well it has come full circle now and the main writers for the site are openly antagonizing Democrats and supporters of President Obama. Last night on Twitter, Joan Walsh and Glenn Greenwald both lobbed loaded tweets into the mix, apparently trying to goad some of us into a Twitter brawl. The funny thing is, the circle of folks I travel with on Twitter, for the most part, ignored them. We surmised that they were trying to increase attention and thus traffic for their failing site. Here is a tweet that clearly shows Ms. Walsh’s dislike for all of us who support our president…(emphasis mine)

    @joanwalsh Funny to watch Obamalovers savage Frank Rich. He was one of his most ardent, earliest MSM defenders in 2008.”

    “Personally, I think the “Obamalovers” word is a play on the “n” word version that I was called throughout my early life. My best friend and first “girlfriend” in grade school were black, I heard that slur many times in my young life. But others didn’t necessarily see her use of that word that way. Glenn Greenwald has also used “Obamalover” in referring to us Democrats who support the President.”

    “The “defenders” comment leveled at Frank Rich, who has written a twisted piece of late on President Obama, is almost as bad. It contains that subtle implication that there is something that needs to be defended. A very presumptive framing that basically labels and dismisses the person in one fell swoop. I’m surprised it didn’t include “dear leader”, another favorite of the people on the left who suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome.”

    “The following is a snippet from a great piece that I will probably revisit in future posts, it’s really good. It’s based on a post called “14 Propaganda Techniques that Fox ‘News’ Uses to Brainwash Americans”, except Marion at Addicting Info points the spotlight on the “professional critics” as I’ve been calling them lately. From Marion…(emphasis mine)”

    “Meanwhile, we’ve seen Hamsher and her cronies on the FDL site refer to the President as “the Affirmative Action President,” “Bugaloo Bush,” and even “the house nigger.”

    “It’s not just the President for whom they’re aiming. Olbermann and Joan Walsh, inveterate Twitterers, regularly engage in punching down at followers from the Left who disagree with their opinions. Olbermann’s favourite tack is to address these people as “morons.” Joan tells people to “get help” or she opines that their lives must suck (to be so stupid as to dare disagree with someone so far elevated by appearances on television that they must know the subject about which they discourse).”

    “In fact, quite recently, Joan reckoned that anyone who vigorously defended the President was actually a GOP troll, most likely paid by Andrew Breitbart, and that these people would do more damage to Barack Obama than anyone else.”

    “The other day I Tweeted a snarky comment to Joan Walsh, more as an observation than anything, but I saw a title of a post that Joan Walsh had up at Salon about the death of Clarence Clemons. The title was “How big was the Big Man? ‘Too F-ing big to die.’ Bruce Springsteen remembers the great Clarence Clemons and their early interracial bromance”

    “Here is my Twitter exchange with the one and only Joan Walsh on the above title…

    Me: So @joanwalsh just called Clarence Clemons and Springstein’s relationship an “interracial bromance”…WTF, why did she have to add race?

    Joan Walsh: @ExtremeLiberal Because Springsteen (that’s 2 E’s) added race in his incredible eulogy, which you clearly haven’t read. Sad.

    Me: @joanwalsh I see, so that makes it OK to call it an interracial bromance? He was talking about the racism that the Big Man suffered.

    Me: @joanwalsh What is sad is your lack of self-awareness. At least you didn’t say you were punching down, I’ll give you that.

    Me: @joanwalsh I just read your post, is there more? I could see using bromance, but why add the interracial part, isn’t that kind of obvious.

    Joan Walsh: @ExtremeLiberal I see you still haven’t read the eulogy.

    Me: @joanwalsh I just read the whole thing, still don’t see why you had to characterize their friendship that way? Why?”

    “I really didn’t see it as that egregious, but was just pointing out that for some reason she had to portray it as an “interracial” bromance. I liken it to when people talk about someone and feel compelled to refer to them as black, whereas if they were talking about a white person, they wouldn’t feel the need to say they were white. It’s a subtle thing that annoys me and I make a concerted effort to never do it. Joan justified her use of it by implying that Bruce Springsteen had used it, when all he talked about in his eulogy was the racism “The Big Man” had suffered in the early days of the band. So apparently because Bruce talked about race, then Joan has permission to call it an “interracial bromance”.

    “I used to work for a video rental chain that I learned was quite racist. I was just out of college, working as an assistant manager and was asked to interview some part-time employees. A guy applied who was African American and I sent his resume and application to the home office in Illinois. They liked it and told me to interview him, which I did. I hired him. I never mentioned his race, why would I? Well I remember the first time my boss, the District Manager walked in and saw him. He was clearly irritated and asked me to walk outside with him. I didn’t play his game of innuendo and basically insulted him in a round about way.”

    “It baffles me why these people at Salon, Firedoglake and others, who like to drape themselves with the “progressive” label, are fighting so hard against the most liberal president we’ve had since FDR. Joan Walsh’s out of the blue tweet disparaging us with “Obamalover” and “defenders” was clearly an attempt to goad us into a Twitter brawl or to create some controversy so that people will go to her website. Greenwald does the same thing with the titles of his posts, he’s trying to get traffic by insulting or riling up people who support President Obama. How pathetic is it that they have to rely on negative traffic to keep their advertisers happy.”

    “Don’t give or the clicks they so crave. Resist the urge to click when they try to lure you in to their lair. They are using you for your clicks and want you to link to their bullshit posts for even more clicks. Stop it!”

    For some context on what’s going on, and additional information about several individuals mentioned in the article, refer to:

    Thank you, Extreme Liberal and Angry Black Lady!

  5. creolechild says:

    Stop clowning! What…oh…you’re serious? Dayum…(shaking head in disbelief). I’d laugh but it’s really not funny!

    “According to a new poll by Marist, more than a quarter of Americans couldn’t correctly identify the country from which the United States declared its independence. While 74 percent correctly named Great Britain, 20 percent said they weren’t sure and six percent named other countries. In the South, 32 percent of respondents either responded incorrectly or weren’t sure. The poll comes on the heels of test scores that showed few American students gaining proficiency in U.S. history, a problem presidential candidate Rick Santorum blamed on the “conscious effort” by “the left” to keep Americans uninformed.” (HT: The Hotline’s Steve Shepard)

  6. creolechild says:

    “While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.”

    “As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.”


    • Ametia says:

      Well now, should we also look for more Americans to get locked up in the prison industiral complexes to provide slave labor for 3 square and a bunk? Disgusting!

  7. rikyrah says:

    Updates on the Coming GOP Capitulation
    by BooMan
    Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 04:11:29 PM EST

    As I predicted, Speaker Boehner has to go crawling to Steny Hoyer for votes. Meanwhile, Boehner is sneaking in and out of the White House begging for some way out of the trap he set for himself. As one of the commenters at The Hill said, “To the Republican House…If you need Steny and Nancys votes..we do not want that stinking deal.” Which is true. They don’t want that deal, but that’s the only deal available because too many Republicans are irresponsible lunatics who believe their own bullshit and make promises they can’t possibly keep. Meanwhile, Eric Cantor tries to walk balk his his absolutist stance on tax loopholes by trying to make them conditional on offsetting tax cuts elsewhere. In other words, he’ll consent to eliminating some tax subsidies if it doesn’t raise us any money. Isn’t that brilliant?

    Then there’s Kent Conrad’s budget proposal, which has no chance of passing the Senate but might become a symbolic vote to let people know where these politicians stand. It has a 50-50 split of cuts and tax hikes, it doesn’t touch Social Security, and it trims about $30 billion from Medicaid over the next decade. I don’t know much more about it than that.

    I think it’s finally occurring to the Republicans that they’ve run out of time to win any major concessions because there isn’t any time to write the legislation, and they’re begging for an short extension. They’re not going to rewrite the U.S. tax code in the next two weeks.

    It sucks to be in the Republican leadership.

  8. rikyrah says:

    July 06, 2011 3:25 PM

    McConnell: ‘We look a lot like Greece already’

    By Steve Benen

    It’s difficult to say without knowing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) personally, but he either isn’t very bright, or he says dumb things on purpose, in the hopes that we’re not very bright.

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Wednesday that the financial state of the U.S. is similar to bankrupt Greece.

    Making the case for major spending reductions a day before congressional leaders will meet with President Obama, McConnell said, “We look a lot like Greece already.”

    No sane person could believe this. Greece has a debt crisis and an awful credit rating. It’s a small country with a small economy, and a government structure that’s a little shaky.

    To see Greece and its crisis and think the United States looks “a lot like Greece” is the kind of sentiment that should send a pretty loud signal to the political world: Mitch McConnell is someone who doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

    If the Minority Leader meant what he said, he’s a fool. If he didn’t mean what he said, and this is some sort of political game, he’s a cynical con man.

    Either way, the fact that he’s leading the Senate Republican caucus isn’t a healthy development for any of us.

    • Ametia says:

      Tippy Turtle Mitch is a disgusting disgrace. He doesn’t really want to see Americans rioting and destroying their towns because of his and the GOP fuckery; do you Mitch?

  9. creolechild says:

    Aaahhh…I finally found it. This is the information I was looking for when we were discussing Gutierrez’s rant about the Dream Act. I’m sure he has a busy schedule and all but he REALLY needs to get up on some knowledge BEFORE pontificating about what the POTUS should or shouldn’t, can and can’t do, in front of the cameras. It’s not a good look! Just saying…

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    “Did Obama implement the Dream Act via executive order?”

    “”The wingnuts think so.

    “On Friday, the Obama administration issued a memo announcing that federal immigration officials do not have to deport illegal aliens if they are enrolled in any type of education program, if their family members have volunteered for U.S. military service, or even if they are pregnant or nursing.”

    “This new policy of “prosecutorial discretion” was quietly announced on Friday afternoon, and completely ignored by the mainstream press.”

    “What happened is that last Friday ICE Director John Morton issued a memo (pdf) directing his staff to use “prosecutorial discretion” in the “apprehension, detention and removal” of undocumented people based on several criteria.”

    “The following positive factors should prompt particular care and consideration:

    veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces;
    long-time lawful permanent residents;
    minors and elderly individuals;
    individuals present in the United States since childhood;
    pregnant or nursing women;
    victims of domestic violence, trafficking, or other serious crimes;
    individuals who suffer from a serious mental or physical disability;
    and individuals with serious health conditions.”

    “This sounds exactly like what many of us on the left have been asking the administration to do until we get a Congress that will pass the Dream Act. But once again, it looks like yet another tree in the forest fell without anyone noticing.”

    Thank you, SmartyPants!

  10. creolechild says:

    This incident occurred in June but, imho, it’s still newsworthy ‘cuz I mean…like…don’t flight attendants have better things to do with their time, such as making sure the pilot’s not in the bathroom but actually in his seat flying the plane, or that he’s not asleep, or too drunk to function? Step up your game, US Airways, and stop this nonsense! Pfffttt…..

    “This kind of shit just pisses me off. It’s a story about some dude who had baggy sweatpants that were a little too baggy for US Airways, and so they made a big fucking deal about it and finally removed him from the plane because he wouldn’t pull up his pants and had him arrested for trespassing. Trespassing! And now there are all these people insisting that this guy had it coming, because people shouldn’t have baggy pants that are too baggy and we should all respect the authority of airline employees.”

    “But, no. This wasn’t about baggy sweatpants at all. I mean, it’s an airplane. The dude was sitting down. And if they had just left him be, nobody would have noticed that you could see his underwear. And even if they did, so what? It’s just underwear and you see worse than that at any pool, lake, or beach every day. This guy was at least an athlete. I’ve seen a lot grosser dudes than him wearing speedos, and in front of children, no less.”

    “So it ain’t the end of the world. This is America and if some fool wants to wear his pants to the ground, what’s the problem? They’re his pants and he’s the one who looks like a fool. And if you don’t want to look at his underwear, don’t look. That’s what I do with the fat speedo dudes, and it’s worked quite well for me.”

    “….The only problem here is that the US Airways employees decided to make it a problem and demanded that he respect their authority. Sure, he wasn’t hurting anyone and he was being polite towards them, but that’s apparently not enough. And as a full-fledged red-blooded anti-authoritarian, this shit pisses me off. Because I’m sick of control freaks telling me what to do. Schools that dictate what color shoelaces you can wear and employers telling me how to dress. I thought we settled this shit back in the 60’s and the freaks won!”

    “But no, we’re now in 2011 and have a shitstorm of real problems in the world, just like we always have, yet some jerkoffs insist that they get to tell us how to dress and will imprison people simply to prove that point. And that’s just fucked up.”


  11. creolechild says:

    “Women around the world enjoy more rights than ever before but still face discrimination in the workplace and far too often fall victim to violence at home, a UN report said Wednesday.
    Women around the world enjoy more rights than ever before but still face discrimination in the workplace and far too often fall victim to violence at home, a UN report said Wednesday.”

    “The document issued by UN Women, the new agency headed by Chile’s former president Michelle Bachelet, hailed the progress women have made at the ballot box, noting that “virtually universal” suffrage now is the rule around the world, compared to a century ago when just two countries allowed women to vote.”

    “But even as women enjoy greater influence and political rights, restrictions in the personal realm have slowed their progress. ‘Too often women are denied control over their bodies, denied a voice in decision-making and denied protection from violence,’ the report said.'”

    “Some 600 million women, more than half the world’s working women, are in vulnerable employment, trapped in insecure jobs, often outside the purview of labor legislation,” it said.

    “Millions of women report experiencing violence in their lifetimes, usually at the hands of an intimate partner,” the UN study said.

    “Meanwhile, the systemic targeting of women for brutal sexual violence is a hallmark of modern conflicts,” said the report by the group, whose official name is the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The document said there are some 186 countries worldwide that have ratified an international convention endorsing the eradication of discrimination against women and advocating gender equality.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    The Voting Rights Act may be handy to have, after all
    by Kay

    Courtesy of Demos:

    Dear Attorney General Holder:
    We are writing to express our concerns about highly restrictive photo identification requirements under consideration or already signed into law in several states. These measures have the potential to block millions of eligible American voters without addressing any problem commensurate with this kind of restriction on voting rights. Studies have shown that as high as 11% of eligible voters nationwide do not have a government-issued ID. This percentage is higher for seniors, racial minorities, low-income voters and students. Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and we urge you to protect the voting rights of Americans by using the full power of the Department of Justice to review these voter identification laws and scrutinize their implementation.

    Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act vests significant authority in the Department to review laws before they are implemented in covered jurisdictions. As you know, the burden of proof in this preclearance process is on those covered jurisdictions, which must be able to show that legal changes will not have a discriminatory impact on minority voters. New photo identification laws, for instance, must be subjected to the highest scrutiny as states justify these new barriers to participation. In Section 5 jurisdictions, whenever photo identification legislation is considered, the Department should closely monitor the legislative process to track any unlawful intent evinced by the proceedings.
    Restrictive photo identification requirements are also being considered or have passed in states and jurisdictions that are not covered by Section 5. The Department should exercise vigilance in overseeing whether these laws are implemented in a way that discriminates against protected classes in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, federal civil rights law – 42 U.S.C. 1971(a)(2)- prohibits different standards, practices or procedures from being applied to individuals within a jurisdiction. We believe the Department should ensure that these photo identification laws do not violate this statute or other federal voting rights statutes.
    Thank you for your work protecting the civil rights of all Americans.

    Michael F. Bennet, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin Charles E. Schumer, Patty Murray, Jeanne Shaheen, Mary Landrieu, Benjamin L. Cardin, Sherrod Brown Mark Begich, Jeff Merkley,Kirsten E. Gillibran, Ron Wyden,Tom Harkin, Tom Udall, Herb Kohl

    Here’s some basic info on the VRA.

    This has disappeared from memory, but I think it’s important to recall that some Republicans tried to remove certain protections in the VRA in 2005 and 2006. They failed.

    The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act for 25 years, rejecting contentious efforts by Southern Republicans to dilute the landmark law.

    Conservatives introduced four amendments to weaken the act, and all were rejected by large bipartisan majorities. One proposed eliminating the requirement for foreign-language ballots. Another would have created an easier method for states to escape federal oversight.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Will The GOP Force Economic Suicide? Ctd

    You quote Massie: “Reagan, I’m pretty sure, would take the deal and lift the debt ceiling.” Yes, yes he would. In 1983, Reagan wrote a letter [pdf] to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker clearly calling for an increase in the debt limit and practically shuddering at the thought of failing to do so:

    Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.

    So sayeth Saint Reagan 28 years ago. So sayeth reasonable Democrats today.

    Another writes:

    I think it is helpful when conservative columnists like David Brooks write these columns calling out the fiscal irresponsibility of the GOP. But one continuing and crucial problem made by Brooks and most others is to pretend that this Republican behavior is motivated by a quasi-theological desire not to raise taxes, and that this anti-tax position is threatening a debt default or massive spending cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare, the EPA, the SEC, etc. To the contrary, gutting these popular social programs and regulatory agencies is the end goal pursued by Republicans here and insisting on no new revenues (while demanding trillions of spending cuts) is the tactic Republicans have adopted to achieve these specific goals.

    So, as I just heard Chris Mathews incorrectly put it on his TV show, the question is not whether “Republicans are willing to default on the U.S. debt because of intransigence on taxes?” No. Republicans are threatening a disastrous debt default to extract long held goals to gut Social Security, Medicare, the EPA, the SEC, etc. This is “starve the beast” on suicidal steroids.

    The above is not revelatory information, nor does it require a “conspiracy” mindset. These are long held, openly acknowledged political goals of the Republican Party. Ronald Reagan made his early name in part by advocating against Medicare. George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security. Paul Ryan’s budget would end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. A debt default – in Republican eyes – would be “useful” only as a way to push funds away from these programs in the context of a crisis. In the last Republican debate, Michelle Bachmann said that her “jobs program” would be to get rid of the “job killing EPA.” Mitt Romney suggested that it would be good if we privatized FEMA.

    Indeed, the lunacy of framing this debt ceiling standoff as being about Republican “intransigence on taxes” is demonstrated by the fact that no meaningful proposal to raise taxes is even on the table for Republicans to oppose. So, David Brooks is left to scratch his head in puzzlement about the Republican approach, but only because he pretends that this stand-off is really about taxes and not the Republican’s long stated goal to gut social programs and regulatory agencies.

    Republicans ability to frame the media debate around their tactics, rather than their goals, has been doubly effective. Not only has it obscured what is really being fought over, but the average person who is not a political junkie just hears that Republicans are really hard-assed about keeping taxes low. That sounds reasonable, no?

  14. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: Robert Epstein
    by BooMan
    Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 11:41:45 AM EST

    May I nominate Richard Epstein of the Hoover Institute as the first to go on the pyre when the plebes finally revolt and pick up their pitchforks?

    The last thing we want to do is tax corporate executives and make them pay more for their business comfort…
    …The big mistake in this area, therefore, is to assume that further restrictions on corporate jets necessarily result in more revenue for scholarships or food programs, as the president has claimed. The calculations are parallel to those made for the president.

    Take a chief executive officer who earns ten times as much as the president does per hour. What is gained by stranding him in an airport, having him wait with countless other travelers—whose time is not worth one percent of his time—to catch a plane that might not get him to his final destination?

    The tougher tax treatment of jet owners will inevitably lead to less use of these corporate jets. What the nation gets in direct taxes against corporate CEOs it loses in the reduced profits of the businesses that no longer use corporate jets as they once did. For a variety of reasons, this method of transportation is a lot cheaper for corporate officials, who have the option of chartering out the services of corporate jets from sites such as Luxury Jets, which offers “empty leg” specials that help boost the productivity of its own air fleet. Corporations look to their bottom line far more efficiently than the United States government looks to its. Thus, corporations seek out low cost solutions that are not possible for a presidential entourage for whom security is the highest and best good.

    We can now see the primitive economics that lie behind the presidential rhetoric. First, it is not possible to gain more money for the public treasury by taxing heavily those practices that are efficient for a firm. Putting a special tax on corporate jets will cut corporate profits, leaving nary a dime to fund the worthy causes that the president promotes.

    Dishonest argument is standard from the right, but this is really impeccable form. Obama has not proposed taxing corporate jets on a per flight basis. He’s proposed changing how corporate jets are treated as depreciating assets. If you really care about how to treat your corporate jet on your tax forms go here. It’s a bit complicated, but you can figure it out.

    The depreciation schedule for a new corporate aircraft is determined after its first year of use and doesn’t change even if the primary use of the aircraft shifts from, say, business to personal travel. The favorable tax treatment CEO’s are currently receiving encourages them to buy new aircraft, but it has no impact on existing aircraft. It will cost no more and no less to fly existing jets.

    It’s no surprise that this paid hack has created a strawman argument, but the shamelessness of it is quite impressive. Surely he is aware that only Iceland has lower corporate taxes than the United States, and that many corporations pay no taxes at all, even when they are quite profitable. This tax break might spur some growth in jet manufacturing by encouraging sales, but it’s not going to do much at all to the bottom line of corporations, and it certainly won’t eliminate their profits and dry up the government’s coffers.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The galactically stupid
    From Politico:

    A [deficit] deal now that includes substantial Medicare savings — and thereby diffuses that political issue in 2012 — could be a real asset for Boehner. Democrats have put options on the table representing close to $500 billion in 10-year savings from Medicare and Medicaid.

    Any deal that even smacks of Medicare cuts would go down in political annals as perhaps the dumbest concession ever made. Republican media consultants would gleefully launch into demagogic hyperdrive, Boehner would be cork-popping to California and back, and the Dems could kiss their return to a House majority good-bye.

    There is in politics the colossally stupid and then there’s the “Few Good Men” galactically stupid, and it doesn’t take a genius to know into which category Medicare cuts would fall.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Loss of 180,000 black residents will complicate Chicago ward remap
    By FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter July 6, 2011 10:26AM
    Chicago’s loss of 200,000 residents — more than 180,000 of them black — will make the process of crafting a new ward map “as challenging as it’s ever been,” a powerful aldermen warned Wednesday.

    With Hispanics demanding more City Council seats and blacks determined to hold onto what they’ve got, the once-in-a-decade political sweepstakes to accommodate the 2010 U.S. Census will get under way on Aug. 1.

    The City Council’s Finance and Rules Committees plans to hire consultants and set up a war room to begin the process of redrawing the city’s 50 wards, each with a population of 53,000 residents, down from 57,000 a decade ago.

    It’s not going to be easy.

    “We’re gonna try to, hopefully, keep ’em more compact and coherent [than last time], but you never know,” said Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), the chairman of the City Council Rules Committee. “It’s gonna be challenging — probably as challenging as it’s ever been. And I’ve been through the ’80s, ’90s and … this one.”

    After the 1990 Census, Chicago taxpayers spent $20 million in legal fees — and tens of thousands more on a costly referendum — only to end up changing just a handful of blocks in the 18th Ward, which resulted in the re-election of then-incumbent Ald. Tom Murphy (18th).

    Ten years later, it was the opposite. With only one dissenting vote, the council wrapped up the most tranquil remap process in recent history by approving a “coalition” ward map that protected incumbents, preserved black representation and offered Hispanics a small reward for their impressive population gains.

    That map included 20 black wards, 13 white wards, 11 Hispanic wards and six wards with a “majority minority” mix of Hispanics, blacks and Asians: the 11th, 39th, 40th, 46th, 48th and 49th. Only two of the new Hispanic wards — the 14th and 30th — had “super-majorities” of more than 65 percent. Incumbent powerhouse Ald. Edward M. Burke has been unopposed for re-election in the 14th Ward ever since.

    This time, Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) has demanded as many as five new Hispanic wards, urging his colleagues to “do the math” posed by Hispanic population gains and black and white losses.

    Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), newly elected chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, is determined to hold the 20 black wards, even after the city lost 180,000 African-American residents over the past decade.

    The bottom line is something’s got to give.

    “I want everybody to come in here with an open mind and understand that, even though your ward may be statistically almost right, the ward next to you could be statistically way off, which will affect everyone,” Mell said.

    “Nobody’s ward is gonna remain exactly the same — except the 33rd,” he joked.

    Munoz has questioned why the remap process isn’t already well under way and why Mayor Rahm Emanuel hasn’t already given the City Council marching orders.

    But Mell insisted that the timing is about the same as it was 10 years ago.

    “I remember being here Thanksgiving Day … and we didn’t pass [the remap] until, probably, December sometime,” Mell said.

  17. rikyrah says:

    July 06, 2011 1:20 PM

    Cantor points to a process going backwards

    By Steve Benen

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), talking to reporters two weeks ago:

    “We are not opposed to revenues.”

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), talking to reporters this morning:

    “We’re not for increasing revenue.”

    Putting aside the fact that oft-confused Majority Leader doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about, what this shift also tells us is that House Republicans appear to be moving backwards. Whereas the GOP was open to accepting some additional revenue as part of a debt-reduction deal, Cantor is now say Republicans expect a 100-0 agreement in their favor.

    As for Democrats seeking the elimination of unnecessary (and unpopular) government handouts — oil industry subsidies, an acceleration of the depreciation on private jets, etc. — Cantor said the tax breaks are “talking points” and “not substantive.”

    I’m not sure what that means. Democrats want to scrap these giveaways in order to save a few billion dollars, all of which would be used to reduce the deficit — the goal Republicans pretend to care about. What makes this “not substantive”?

    Echoing Paul Ryan’s comments from yesterday, Cantor added, “Any discussion about loopholes must be offset by tax cuts.”

    Got that? Policymakers can end unnecessary tax subsidies, but if they do, the money has to go to more tax cuts, not towards reducing the debt Republicans pretend to find important.

    I’ve run out of synonyms for “ridiculous.” Instead, I’ll just quote David Brooks, who explained yesterday that Cantor’s Republican Party “has separated itself from normal governance” and may no longer be “fit to govern.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Legendary Baltimore Businessman Dies at 97
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: July 5, 2011

    William Lloyd “Little Willie” Adams, who began his career as a number runner on the streets of Baltimore and eventually became the city’s first prominent African-American venture capitalist, bankrolling numerous black-owned businesses, died last week from pneumonia. He was 97.

    “Little Willie was an institution in Baltimore. And as far as the black community was concerned, he brought black entrepreneurs into the formerly all-white business community,” former Mayor Thomas J. D’Alesandro III said. “He was also a political power in his own right and had a tremendous network.”

    Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke described him as a “major force in the city and its politics and economic development,” adding, “For many years he was the most ‘reliable bank’ that African Americans could go to in order to start and continue to operate businesses. For years he was the lender. When I got into office, he was less of a power, but to the Harry B. Coles and the Mitchells [pioneering black officials], he was the indispensable power.”

    In the segregated 1950s and 1960s, Adams owned Carr’s Beach, the area’s most popular black amusement park, located on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis. He also owned Parks Sausage, which, in 1969, became one of the first black-owned companies to be publicly traded on Wall Street.

    “I was too young and concerned with making a dollar,” Adams told the Baltimore Sun in a 1966 interview, reflecting on his number-running days. “I was always working for one object — to make myself some money and go into legitimate business.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011
    Bachmann surging, signs of weakness for Romney
    When PPP polled New Hampshire in April Michele Bachmann was stuck at 4%. She’s gained 14 points over the last three months and now finds herself within single digits of Mitt Romney. Romney continues to lead the way in the state with 25% to 18% for Bachmann, 11% for Sarah Palin, 9% for Ron Paul, 7% for Rick Perry and Herman Cain, 6% for Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty, and 4% for Newt Gingrich.

    Bachmann’s surge in New Hampshire is being built on the back of the Tea Party. Among voters identifying themselves as members of that movement she’s leading the way at 25% with Palin and Romney tying for second at 16%, and Cain also placing in double digits at 11%. Only 33% of Republican primary voters in the state identify themselves as Tea Partiers though and with the remaining folks Romney’s way ahead with 33% to 13% for Bachmann, and 10% for Huntsman and Paul.

    Romney’s starting to show some signs of weakness in New Hampshire. His support is down 12 points from 37% on the iteration of our April poll that didn’t include Mike Huckabee or Donald Trump. His favorability numbers are headed in the wrong direction as well. He’s dropped a net 18 points from +49 at 68/19 to +31 at 60/29. He’s certainly still the front runner in the state but he’s not looking as inevitable as he did a few months ago.

    Usually a 12 point drop would qualify you as the biggest loser in the poll but Romney’s still in first place so that designation probably deserves to go to Gingrich, who’s at 4% and in 9th place now after being at 14% and tied for 2nd place on our previous poll. He’s the only candidate besides Romney who’s seen a double digit drop in his net favorability. It was +9 at 45/36 in April and it’s now gone down 27 points to -18 at 33/51, making him the least popular out of 17 people we polled on.

    Another big loser on this poll is Tim Pawlenty. His name recognition has sky rocketed from 48% to 72% with New Hampshire primary voters over the last three months. But his horse race support has only gone from 5% to 6%. And if his strategy is to be the anti-Romney this data point can’t be seen as good news- if voters had to choose straight up between the two of them they’d go for Romney by a 59-25 margin over Pawlenty.

    It’s hard to really identify any ‘winners’ on this poll other than Bachmann. Paul and Palin’s support has dropped from our previous poll. Cain debuts in our New Hampshire polling at 7%, but that’s worse than he was doing in most of our polling throughout June across the country. Huntsman enters at 6% and that is at least a little bit of a good sign for him- it’s better than he’s done anywhere else we’ve polled. If there’s a winner on the poll besides Bachmann it’s probably Perry, tied for 5th at 7% despite not actually being in the race.

    A Palin free field doesn’t make much of a difference in New Hampshire at this point, mostly because she doesn’t have that much support to begin with. If you take her out of the mix Romney maintains his 7 point advantage with 28% to 21% for Bachmann with no one else getting into double digits.

  20. rikyrah says:

    GOP Sides with Food Companies Over Obama
    By: Nsenga Burton | Posted: July 6, 2011

    News One is reporting that House Republicans are resisting President Obama’s attempt to stop food companies from advertising junk food to children.

    The Associated Press reports that some food companies say the government is going too far with guidelines proposed earlier this year by several government agencies. The guidelines would attempt to shield children from ads for sugary and fatty foods – think colorful characters on cereal boxes – on television, in stores and on the Internet. Companies would be urged to market foods to children ages 2 through 17 only if they contain specific healthy ingredients and are low in fats, sugars and sodium.

    Even though the guidelines are voluntary, many companies are aggressively lobbying against them, saying they fear the government will retaliate against them if they don’t go along.

    Republicans are attempting to delay the guidelines by including a provision in next year’s budget that would require the Federal Trade Commission to study the potential costs and impacts of the guidelines before implementing them. Seriously.

    By now, we’ve all figured out that House Republicans are going to vote against anything the President tries to accomplish. With the rate of childhood obesity in this country, asking advertising companies to voluntarily self-regulate how much junk food they advertise to children sounds like a reasonable request. The cost of saving children’s lives should far outweigh the cost of attempting to adhere to those guidelines. Clearly this would be good for the kids. The fact that the GOP is rallying against this proves a.) they will go against anything the president suggests even when it makes sense, and b.) the needs of children are not on their agenda.

  21. rikyrah says:

    U-Conn Rescinds 13-Year-Old’s Acceptance
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: July 6, 2011

    Autum Ashante, a highly academically accomplished 13-year-old from the Bronx, N.Y., planned to start her freshman year at the University of Connecticut this fall. Now, her father says the school has rescinded their acceptance, the New York Daily News reports.

    Batin Ashante said his daughter was “devastated” after university officials called him yesterday to deliver the bad news.

    “They said they now feel she’s not academically ready,” he said. “That’s B.S.!”

    When the story was first reported in mid-June, UCONN Spokesman Richard Veilleaux confirmed Autum had been accepted to the school but said university officials were still waiting for the family to formally enroll. Autum — a homeschooled student widely described as a “prodigy,” who speaks three languages and has an IQ of 149 — was widely praised by the media and blogosphere.

    “I’ve got nothing but positive feedback,” her father told the Daily News. “I’m her dad and it just bothers me to see her go through this.” He said the family had notified the school she’d be attending, raised funds for tuition, and planned to move to Connecticut. They’ll still go after receiving this news, but will explore other academic options. “I’m fed up. They have insulted us and the work that we’ve put in,” he added. “I’m not sure I want her to be involved with an institution that treats her like that.”

    Aren’t decisions about college preparedness generally made during the admissions process, not after? It sounds like someone connected to U-Conn obviously wasn’t “ready” to do the task assigned to them, and it wasn’t Autum.

  22. rikyrah says:

    JPMorgan Chase unit to buy stake in Johnson Publishing

    By Robert Channick

    Tribune staff reporter

    6:37 a.m. CDT, July 6, 2011
    After nearly 70 years as a family-owned business, Johnson Publishing Co., the Chicago-based publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, is taking on a partner.

    Johnson plans to announce Wednesday that JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s special investments group has acquired a “substantial” minority stake in the company.

    The media empire, which has long served a predominantly African American readership, has struggled in recent years with declining circulation and advertising sales. The partnership will accelerate a strategic initiative under new Chief Executive Desiree Rogers aimed at boosting revenues, stabilizing circulation and expanding the company’s digital footprint.

    “We’ve had to take these very iconic brands and get them up to speed quickly,” said Rogers, the former White House social secretary and head of Peoples Energy, who joined the company last summer. “It allows us to do that much quicker.”

    The company’s flagship monthly, Ebony, has recently regained its circulation base of 1.25 million, after dropping to about 997,000 last year. Jet, a newsmagazine, has a weekly circulation of about 800,000. The publications rank first and third, respectively, among magazines aimed at a black readership, according to company officials.

    “We’ve never had a partner in the business before. It’s always been 100 percent family owned,” Rogers said.,0,1839058.story

  23. rikyrah says:

    Compton Student Splits $40,000 Basketball Contest Prize Among Runners-Up
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: July 5, 2011

    Allan Guei, a star player on the Compton High School basketball team in California, won $40,000 toward college expenses in a foul-shooting contest for top students in March. Now, after learning that he’s been awarded a full basketball scholarship to Cal State Northridge, he’s announced that he’ll give his contest winnings to the seven runners-up, who he says need the money more than he does.

    “They were all smart and wanted to pursue their dreams but were having financial difficulties,” the 18-year-old told the Los Angeles Times. “I felt it was the right move to help the others, especially when everything else was taking off for me.”

    The event was organized by Court Crandall, a partner at a Southern California advertising firm and a Hollywood screenwriter, who hoped that it could bring positive attention to a community with a troubled reputation and create a sense of community spirit. “I thought the free throw is a good metaphor in a world where there’s a bunch of lines that are kind of dividing us,” Crandall said. “The focus became, how do we show the world another side of Compton, that’s more positive, beyond the stereotypical guns and crime stuff.”

    To participate in the contest, students were required to have a GPA of 3.0 or above. Eight contestants were chosen at random from a group of 100 applicants. Thanks to Guei, each of the seven runners-up, some of them the first in their families to attend college, will now receive roughly $5,500 toward their expenses.

    “I’ve already been blessed so much, and I know we’re living with a bad economy, so I know this money can really help my classmates,” he said in a release from the school. “It was the right decision.”

    “My hope was that what started as a competition would become a collaboration with the kids supporting each other,” Crandall told the Times. “They did, but in the end they did that to a much greater extent than I ever could have anticipated.”

    The students participating in the competition were filmed as part of a documentary that is scheduled to be released this fall. In a story about a contest designed to teach kids about community spirit, it’s clear that one of the young stars was already an expert.

    • creolechild says:

      THIS–right here is what we need more of…looking out for each other. I’m so proud of Allan Guei, and the seven contestants that he helped out! Congratulations to them all!

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Lighter the Skin, the Shorter the Prison Term?
    A recent study of women convicted of crimes shows that dark-complexioned blacks serve more time in jail.

    Colin Powell said it, Sen. Harry Reid hinted at it about President Barack Obama and black folks have known it for hundreds of years. There are advantages to being a light-skinned black person in the United States.

    Research on those advantages isn’t new, but with the release of a recent study by Villanova University, the breadth of quantitative studies that examine colorism, or discrimination based on skin tone, continues to increase. From housing opportunities to employment chances to which women have a good shot at getting married, the lighter-is-better dynamic is at play, research shows.

    Villanova researchers studied more than 12,000 cases of African-American women imprisoned in North Carolina and found that women with lighter skin tones received more-lenient sentences and served less time than women with darker skin tones.

    The researchers found that light-skinned women were sentenced to approximately 12 percent less time behind bars than their darker-skinned counterparts. Women with light skin also served 11 percent less time than darker women.

    The study took into account the type of crimes the women committed and each woman’s criminal history to generate apples-to-apples comparisons. The work builds on previous studies by Stanford University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and other institutions, which have examined how “black-looking” features and skin tone can impact black men in the criminal-justice arena.

    But researchers say this is the first study to look at how colorism affects black women and how long they may spend in jail. Part of the reason may simply come down to how pretty jurors consider a defendant to be, and that being light-skinned and thin (also a factor studied in the research) are seen as more attractive, says Lance Hannon, co-author of the Villanova study.

    Racism gets all the headlines, but colorism is just as real and impacting, Hannon explains. How “white” someone is perceived matters. “Colorism is clearly not taken as seriously or is not publicly discussed as much as racism, and yet these effects are pretty strong and the evidence is pretty strong,” he says. “It’s a very real problem, and people need to pay attention to it more.”

  25. creolechild says:

    This is an excellent article entitled, “Retribution, which was written by Joseph C. Markowitz. It explores the reasoning behind claims on both the Right AND Left about President Obama’s “failure” to hold Wall St. accountable.

    [NOTE: Due to COPYRIGHT issues I do not have the author’s permission to post the entire article, but he does make allowances for brief excerpts, with appropriate attribution.]

    “Here’s the latest in Obama-bashing from the left: Frank Rich’s article in this week’s New York magazine. Rich takes the president to task for the sin of failing to take stronger action against the Wall Street bankers who caused the financial crash of 2008. I guess Frank must get up in the morning and decide that it’s just not worth his time to go after the people who are right now engaged in a concerted effort to destroy any chance of meaningful financial reform: namely, the legislators who are trying to water down Dodd-Frank as much as possible. Why waste time on that real, ongoing battle when you can beat up the president again for failing to pass stronger legislation?”

    “First we have to wade through some hyperbole about how there has been absolutely “no legal, moral or financial reckoning” for the most powerful Wall Street interests whose misdeeds got us into the financial mess from which we are still trying to extricate ourselves. Curiously, in the very next paragraph, Rich lets slip that Bank of America is paying $8.5 billion (that’s billion with a B) to settle investor claims arising out of that crash. I guess that doesn’t count as any sort of legal reckoning. In addition to no reckoning, Rich states that there have been no “meaningful reforms” of the system to prevent another crash. I guess that means we are pronouncing the whole financial reform legislation a failure before it has even been implemented…..”


    Read more:

    Thank you, Joseph!

  26. creolechild says:

    I posted an article about this trial a few months back. It’s no surprise that the media ignored the story, which involved a house invasion and the cold-blooded murder of nine-year-old Brisenia Flores, and her father, Raul. Her mother survived the attack. And I think there was another sibling who survived because he or she wasn’t home at the time.

    Shawna Forde, the leader of a group of vigilante MinuteMen, was found GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS! Next up is another member of this group…who was also found GUILTY!

    “While cable channels like Fox have been paying attention 24/7 to the largely meaningless Casey Anthony murder case, we’ve instead been following the trials in the case of Shawna Forde and her killer Minutemen, which has considerably more social significance — and thus has, of course, been largely ignored in the media. Indeed, the clip above was the only video I could find of the final verdict, which came down Friday:

    “An Arivaca man was convicted today of being behind a May 2009 home invasion that resulted in the death of a former friend and the friend’s 9-year-old daughter. It took a Pima County jury five hours to convict Albert Gaxiola, 44, of first-degree murder in the deaths of Raul Junior Flores, 29, and Brisenia Flores. He was also convicted this afternoon of attempting to murder Flores’ wife, Gina Gonzalez, and one count each of burglary, armed robbery and aggravated robbery; and two counts of aggravated assault.”

    “Jurors must now decide if the circumstances of the case warrant consideration of the death penalty. If they say “Yes,” defense attorneys will present mitigation evidence over the next several days.”

    Dave Ricker has much more at his blog:

    “Now that the jury has found Gaxiola guilty of the two counts of first-degree murder the trial will move to the aggravation phase starting on Wednesday, July 6. If the jury finds one of the alleged aggravators, multiple murders and a victim under the age of 15, to have been proven then the trial will move to the penalty phase where the burden lies with the defense to persuade the jury to grant the defendant leniency.”

    “During closing arguments in the trial, Thursday, the jury was reminded of a text message sent on May 30, 2009, by the defendant just hours after the a deadly home invasion in Arivaca. that message sent by Gaxiola read “Sweet dreams.” Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay paused for a moment. “They had just killed a 9-year-old. They had just killed her father. They had just wounded Gina,” he said. “And, Albert Gaxiola’s text message back to Shawna Forde was ‘Sweet dreams.’ Shawna Forde’s reply was: ‘You’re one of my minutemen.’”

  27. Ametia says:

    Obama outperforms the economy
    By Mark Mellman – 07/06/11 11:43 AM ET

    Whatever obstacles President Obama will face as voters head to the polls in November 2012 — and at this moment the magnitude of those obstacles remains uncertain at best — he will enjoy at least one striking advantage. Americans want to like Barack Obama, holding him in higher regard than other presidents who faced economic straits less severe than our own.

    We somehow never tire of saying this is the worst recession since the Great Depression — and it is. Gross domestic product has shrunk 12.8 percent, the biggest slump in that indicator since the Depression (which was much worse, with GDP declining by almost 27 percent and unemployment reaching 25 percent). By contrast, the recession that afflicted Ronald Reagan’s presidency in 1981-82 resulted in a peak level of unemployment similar to the one we experienced recently, but GDP only declined by a far lesser 2.7 percent. In the Bush recession of the early ’90s, unemployment peaked at a far lower level and GDP shrank by just 1.4 percent. The most recent recession also lasted longer than any other, engulfing the economy for 18 months, during which 8 million people lost their jobs.

    Read on

    • creolechild says:

      Here’s a little refresher for folks to drive your point home, Metia.

      “As I wrote in an earlier post, the Congress and the White House haven’t been communicating the job data very well to the general public. People have forgotten that the current recession started in 2007, over a year before Obama was elected. And somehow people have not noticed that the economy and the jobs front has gotten better since Obama took office and the stimulus package went into effect.”

      Here’s a graph based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
      (See graph below.)

      “The red shows the growing job losses by month from the end of 2007 through January of 2009. There were over 4.5 million jobs lost during that period, all of which occurred BEFORE President Obama took office. And the trend was getting worse, big time.”

      “The blue shows the job losses AFTER Obama took office on January 20, 2009. Immediately the number of jobs lost started to decrease (we even got a job increase in November 2009). Obviously there is more work to be done. But considering that the economy was racing downhill into what economists say was a likely depression rivaling the “Great Depression” of the 1930s, the current administration has clearly put us the right track toward recovery. Since jobs are a lagging indicator, meaning that private industry (you know, the “free market”) likes to put money in the bank before they hire new people and so job growth always takes a while to catch up to the recovered economy.”

      “It would be nice if this graphic had been displayed at the tea party convention this weekend, the one where everyone is complaining about being “taxed enough already” despite the fact that likely 100% of the attendees got a tax break in 2009 from President Obama and the stimulus package.”


      “It would be nice if people would open their eyes and see the reality and not just the ones that are ranting the loudest without knowing the facts of which they rant.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    July 06, 2011 12:35 PM

    How to lose the future

    By Steve Benen

    About a year ago, the New York Times reported that schools that used to simply require students to bring in glue, scissors, and crayons are now demanding that families provide everything from paper towels to garbage bags to liquid soap. Budget cuts had pushed schools so far, they couldn’t afford paper for printers or plastic cutlery for cafeterias.

    In May, this looked even worse, with public schools forced to charge steep fees for classes and activities — AP classes, chess club, school choir, Honors Society — that always used to be free to students and their families.

    Still squeezed for cash, many schools are slashing the time students are actually in classrooms.

    After several years of state and local budget cuts, thousands of school districts across the nation are gutting summer-school programs, cramming classes into four-day weeks or lopping days off the school year, even though virtually everyone involved in education agrees that American students need more instruction time.

    Los Angeles slashed its budget for summer classes to $3 million from $18 million last year, while Philadelphia, Milwaukee and half the school districts in North Carolina have deeply cut their programs or zeroed them out. A scattering of rural districts in New Mexico, Idaho and other states will be closed on Fridays or Mondays come September. And in California, where some 600 of the 1,100 local districts have shortened the calendar by up to five days over the past two years, lawmakers last week authorized them to cut seven days more if budgets get tighter.

    Welcome to Austerity in America. We can afford tax breaks for millionaires, but can’t afford five-day school weeks.

    I often think about a story President Obama told a while back, after he returned from a trip to East Asia. He shared an anecdote about a luncheon he attended with the president of South Korea.

    “I was interested in education policy — they’ve grown enormously over the last 40 years. And I asked him, what are the biggest challenges in your education policy? He said, ‘The biggest challenge that I have is that my parents are too demanding.’ He said, ‘Even if somebody is dirt poor, they are insisting that their kids are getting the best education.’ He said, ‘I’ve had to import thousands of foreign teachers because they’re all insisting that Korean children have to learn English in elementary school.’ That was the biggest education challenge that he had, was an insistence, a demand from parents for excellence in the schools.

    “And the same thing was true when I went to China. I was talking to the mayor of Shanghai, and I asked him about how he was doing recruiting teachers, given that they’ve got 25 million people in this one city. He said, ‘We don’t have problems recruiting teachers because teaching is so revered and the pay scales for teachers are actually comparable to doctors and other professions. ‘

    “That gives you a sense of what’s happening around the world. There is a hunger for knowledge, an insistence on excellence, a reverence for science and math and technology and learning. That used to be what we were about.”

    Yes, used to be.

    Now, however, it’s more common to see voters electing Republicans who cut education funding as an alternative to tax increases.

    Maybe education can be a sleeper issue in 2012?

  29. creolechild says:

    WHAT THE?..doesn’t this look like something out of a sci-fi movie? Only this is real!

  30. rikyrah says:

    July 06, 2011 10:40 AM

    Remember ‘Repeal and Replace’?

    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) was pressed by some constituents about his vote to eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including the popular parts. Duffy suggested he’d been misled by his own party leaders — they’d “committed” to him that the GOP would have a “replacement proposal” by the Spring, but failed to follow through.

    Republican leaders made that promise to a lot of people, and at this point, they would prefer that we just forget all about it.

    When they took control of the House, Republicans could barely stop talking about their plans to “repeal and replace” the health care reform law.

    Six months later, they hardly talk publicly about those plans at all. And they’re nowhere close to “replacing” the law.

    House Republicans haven’t held a floor vote on a bill or amendment trying to repeal, defund or even nick the law for six weeks, after a dozen attempts earlier this year. The stream of committee hearings to pick apart the law’s policies — held back-to-back-to-back earlier this year — has slowed to a trickle.

    And not a single element of their “replace” agenda has gotten a House floor vote.

    Going into the 112th Congress, more than a few Republican leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, said the party’s top goal wasn’t job creation or deficit reduction, but rather, repealing “Obamacare” and replacing it with a GOP alternative. It was always a rather pointless endeavor, since the Democratic Senate and Democratic White House would never go along, but Republicans launched a repeal crusade anyway.

    And now, of course, that crusade is just fizzling out.

    The key takeaway from all of this, to my mind, isn’t just that the repeal push was a fool’s errand, but also that congressional Republicans were always blowing smoke on the “replace” part of their campaign promise. The GOP finds it easy to tear down, but building up requires policy chops that Republicans frankly don’t have.

    Sure, the GOP could come up with some kind of health care reform alternative, but they know perfectly well that it would be awful compared to the Affordable Care Act — rival Republican plans have always failed to cover the uninsured, failed to bring down costs, and failed to protect consumers against insurance-industry abuses.

    What’s more, Republicans also realize that many ideas that have traditionally been part of the GOP health care agenda — most notably, the individual mandate — have already been adopted by Democrats.

    The result is a party that talked a good game on “repeal and replace,” but couldn’t even try to deliver.

  31. creolechild says:

    “Minnesota lawmakers took the holiday weekend to cool off from the heated budget negotiations that led to the state’s government shutdown last week. But the time apart hasn’t eased the deadlock. Lawmakers are grappling over how to close a $5 billion projected budget deficit. Republicans — who control the state’s legislature — want to balance the budget with spending cuts, while Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is looking to combine spending cuts with a tax increase on Minnesota’s millionaires.”

    “‘As the Star Tribune reports, politicians on both sides of the aisle are digging in their heels.
    ‘It’s a deadlock,’ Republican state Sen. Mike Parry told the Star Tribune. ‘And I’m telling you, the majority party in the Senate, we’re strong. And we’re going to stay strong.'”

    Democratic State Sen. John Marty urged Dayton to “hang tough,” saying the spending cuts Republicans are calling for would be “way too brutal.”

    “Negotiations picked back up Tuesday when Dayton met with Republican lawmakers. While Dayton called the meeting “constructive,” it wasn’t enough to reach a deal. More negotiations are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.”

  32. creolechild says:

    “During the negotiations regarding raising the nation’s debt ceiling, congressional Republicans have gone to the mat to defend all manner of unwarranted tax breaks, including those for oil companies and corporate jet owners. Despite the drain on the Treasury caused by these tax breaks — and the negligible benefit they provide — Republicans have threatened to allow the nation to default on its obligations rather than abandon them.”

    “One of the tax breaks upon which President Obama has focused is a provision that allows hedge fund managers — who make billions annually — to receive a substantial tax break. This particular tax break, known as the carried-interest loophole, allows hedge fund managers to treat the money they receive from investors as capital gains, subject to a 15 percent tax rate. Though this money is a paycheck received for services, just like a movie star receiving a bonus if her movie does well, it’s treated as investment income.”

    “Since hedge fund managers are some of the richest people in the country, this tax break actually causes a significant loss of revenue. In fact, according to calculation by RJ Eskow, closing this loophole would raise more than $4 billion per year just from the 25 richest hedge fund managers:

    “The top 25 hedge fund managers in the United States collectively earned $22 billion last year, and yet they have their own cushy set of tax rules. If they operated under the same rules that apply to other people — police officers, for example, or teachers — the country could cut its national deficit by as much as $44 billion in the next ten years.”

  33. creolechild says:

    This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.

    “”Like the country it governs, Washington, DC, is a city of extremes. In a car, you can zip in bare moments from northwest DC, its streets lined with million-dollar homes and palatial embassies, its inhabitants sporting one of the nation’s lowest jobless rates, to Anacostia, a mostly forgotten neighborhood in southeastern DC with one of the highest unemployment rates anywhere in America. Or, if you happen to be jobless, upset about it, and living in that neighborhood, on a crisp morning in March you could have joined an angry band of protesters marching on the nearby 11th Street Bridge.”

    “They weren’t looking for trouble. They were looking for work.”


    “DC’s divide is America’s writ large. Nationwide, the unemployment rate for black workers at 16.2 percent is almost double the 9.1 percent rate for the rest of the population. And it’s twice the 8 percent white jobless rate.”

    “The size of those numbers can, in part, be chalked up to the current jobs crisis in which black workers are being decimated. According to Duke University public-policy expert William Darity, that means blacks are “the last to be hired in a good economy, and when there’s a downturn, they’re the first to be released.”

    “That may account for the soaring numbers of unemployed African Americans, but not the yawning chasm between the black and white employment rates, which is no artifact of the present moment. It’s a problem that spans generations, goes remarkably unnoticed, and condemns millions of black Americans to a life of scraping by. That unerring, unchanging gap between white and black employment figures goes back at least 60 years. It should be a scandal, but whether on Capitol Hill or in the media it gets remarkably little attention. Ever.”

  34. creolechild says:

    “‘The White House on Tuesday said time was running short for Iraq to issue a request for U.S. troops to stay in the country beyond the end of this year. ‘We are waiting … to see whether or not the Iraqi government makes a request of us. That has not happened. We are obviously now in July,’ White House spokesmanJay Carney told reporters.'”

    “He said U.S. troops were on track to leave Iraq by December 31, in accordance with a bilateral security pact, unless the government asked soon for troops to stay.”

    “Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in April that Iraqi had only weeks to make the request to avoid a “physics problem” of moving 47,000 troops and related equipment.”

    “There is only so much time here available for the Iraqi government to make such a request,” Carney said on Tuesday.

    “If they do we will consider it, otherwise we are keeping on schedule.”

  35. creolechild says:

    Hello, everyone! Answer this question for me: What is going on in Texas?

    “Crime is on the rise in one small Texas city because the police department has been padlocked and the officers sent home. The city of Alto laid off its entire police force about two weeks ago because the city council completely cut the department’s budget.”

    “They put a bulls-eye target on law enforcement — police department — and police department only,” police chief Charles Barron told CBS News.

    “We had to do something drastic,” Councilman Jerry Flowers explained to Forbes. “The police department being a non-money-making entity, was the easiest to get rid of while we catch our breath and build up some cash.”

    “‘The city is facing a $185,000 budget deficit due to declining property and sale tax revenues. To make matters worse, the town hasn’t saved up to make the necessary repairs to a natural gas distribution plant.’There have been accusations that the police department is not generating enough revenue,’ Barron said.’Well, police departments are not revenue generators.'”

    The 1,300 residents will now have to wait up to 15 minutes for county sheriff deputies to respond to 911 calls. The five police officers dedicated to Alto had been able to respond in less than three minutes on average. There is evidence that criminals are already targeting the city.

    “In the last 24 hours, we’ve answered 18 calls in the county; seven of them were in Alto,” Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell remarked. “When you’re sitting there needing help, it’s a lifetime.”

    • Ametia says:

      Hi Creolechild. Have some tea, as we ponder the insanity of the GOP’s assault on AMERICA.

      • creolechild says:

        Hi Metia~ Thank you for the tea!

        What is wrong with the Republicans? They have proposed absolutely nothing, by way of legislation, that would help this country–and they’re PROUD OF IT? Do members of their party understand what is happening? Or are they so dead set on opposing anything that the Democratic Party offers that they’ll continue to support politicians who DO NOT not have their best interests at heart? Aren’t they aware that what effects the rest of America will touch impact them as well?

        I. don’t. get. it!

  36. rikyrah says:

    I was watching TV
    by Libby Spencer

    I haven’t watched a bobblehead show in at least three years, but the other night I had access to HBO so I caught Bill Maher. His guests were Tweety, Russ Douthat and one of the interchangable blondes from some GOP front group who go on teevee to parrot the latest con talking points. Never saw Russ live before. Good Lord. He’s infinitely more irritating in person than he is in print. That pudgy little smug grin is so George W. Bush-x11.

    But Tweety was hilarious. He was slurring so much, I thought he might be drunk. An impression reinforced by his admission that Michele is his hero. He boldly predicted she’s going to win the GOP nod. His theory is even though she’s batshit crazy, her authenticity will win over the base and she’ll tromp all over Mittens.

    Not sure I’d bet money on that. Romney raised $18.25 million in the last quarter while Minnesota’s favorite regressive won’t be releasing her numbers until the last possible moment.

    Suppose it’s possible they’re so good she’s releasing them last to get the most juice from the news cycle, but the blitz of fundraising emails I’m finding in my inbox from “Gun Alerts” sound a little desperate. They all lead with the heading, “Finally, a Constitutional Conservative Announces Candidacy for President!”

    Funny. I had no idea she was the only one. I thought they were all “constitutional conservatives.”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Pulls in $18.25 Million, Easily Leads GOP Field
    Easily moving to the front of the GOP pack, Mitt Romney raised $18.25 million over the last quarter for his presidential campaign.

    While Romney, whose team now has $12.6 million cash left on hand, is in a strong position, the latest numbers were somewhat below expectations. At this point in 2007, Romney had collected $23 million despite being less established as a top tier candidate. But he’s essentially competing against himself at this point: none of his rivals are expected to even crack the $10 million barrier.

    Romney is further boosted by an independent Super PAC loyal to his campaign, Restore Our Future, which can collect unlimited corporate donations and raised $12 million this quarter. The combined $30 million is more than seven times the size of rival Tim Pawlenty’s $4.2 million and Jon Huntsman’s $4.1 million, which included a large donation from the candidate himself. Romney’s top Tea Party rival, Michele Bachmann, has yet to report her fundraising numbers.

  38. Ametia says:

    The International Olympic Committee chose Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

    The other two bid cities were Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France.
    Pyeongchang narrowly failed in its bids for 2010 and 2014, losing by three votes to Vancouver, Canada, for last year’s event and by four votes to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 event.
    South Korea has never hosted the Winter Games, though the capital city of Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Games.

  39. Man detained over threat to kill Obama family
    ‘I may have to get in touch with al-Qaida … and blast my way into the White House,’ voicemail message said

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon man has been detained for a mental health evaluation after appearing in federal court Tuesday to face charges that he threatened to kill President Barack Obama and the president’s family.

    The Secret Service arrested Darryl James Swanson, of Portland, on Friday.

    Prosecutors said Swanson made threats in numerous phone calls to federal prosecutors’ offices in Oregon and Washington, a county government office in Florida, and The Associated Press.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer told a federal judge in Portland that he considered Swanson, 45, a flight risk and a safety risk. Swanson’s arraignment was set for next month, when he’ll enter a plea.

    “I do consider him to be a threat to the community,” Peifer told the AP afterward.

    According to the criminal complaint, Swanson made threatening calls to a series of government offices, including three to the county commissioner’s office in Palm Beach County, Fla., 44 voicemail messages left June 19 with the U.S. attorney’s office in Portland, and three calls to the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle on June 30. He was arrested the following day.

    He also had called the AP bureau in Seattle on May 2, prosecutors said, leaving a message that said he would seek weapons to shoot the president and his family.

    The day after the call to the AP, Swanson told Secret Service agent Ronald Brown that he made the call because he was frustrated that the president has not sent him a check for $70 million, which he claims he is owed from a trust fund set up at his birth, court documents show. Brown told him that no trust fund exists.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Michele Bachmann’s Foster Care Contradiction
    Benjy Sarlin | July 6, 2011, 5:45AM

    Michele Bachmann’s extended family of 23 former foster children have become the unexpected stars of the Republican primary even though few details are known about them individually. The Minnesota Congresswoman brings them up frequently in debates, speeches and interviews as a showcase for her commitment to family values.

    But Bachmann’s personal devotion to disadvantaged youth may be at odds with her public record on foster care. Critics warn that her zeal for budget cuts threatens vulnerable youngsters, while a leading Congressman on the issue says she’s been AWOL on foster care policy.

    Bachmann arrived at Congress right as the House was working on its first major legislation on foster care in over a decade, the Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. The brainchild of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and then-Rep. Jerry Weller (D-IL), the bill sought to improve life for foster children by encouraging placement with relatives, improving their access to health care, and keeping students in the same school when possible.

    McDermott, who had worked as a child psychiatrist and had long advocated for reforming child welfare laws, was glad to see Bachmann testify at hearings on the legislation given her own extensive experience with the system. Speaking before McDermott’s subcommittee, she delivered a brief and moving account of her difficulties finding a quality education for her foster children. Bachmann also pitched her own legislation that would allow states to use vouchers to move foster children into private or home schools, injecting a hot-button partisan issue into the mix of what had been a mostly apolitical process (McDermott’s bill would end up passing unanimously on a voice vote).

    McDermott appreciated her testimony, but he says that’s the extent of her involvement on the issue beyond her own voucher bill.

  41. Ametia says:



  42. rikyrah says:

    July 06, 2011 9:25 AM


    By Steve Benen

    Jon Chait noted yesterday that the moving goalposts for what constitutes the mainstream just isn’t healthy.

    The GOP’s willingness to undermine the full faith and credit of the Treasury in pursuit of anti-tax fundamentalism is shocking now, but eventually it will come to be seen as simply part of the process.

    Kevin Drum added that the “new normal kind of sucks.”

    In the same way that Wall Street hoovering up a third of all corporate profits is the new normal. Or that 9% unemployment is the new normal. Or that obstruction, rather than legislation, is the new normal for Congress. Or that massive spending cuts during a recession is the new normal. Or that conducting three overseas wars at the same time is the new normal.

    I mention this, not only because I agree with Jon and Kevin, but because it’s part of how I approach my work — I hate to see the political world desensitized to what often strikes me as madness.

    A couple of years ago, Senate Republicans decided they would filibuster literally every measure of any significance, and the political world simply yawned, as if it were normal. It wasn’t. The Senate didn’t used to work this way, it wasn’t designed to work this way, and it can’t work this way, but the tactics were just accepted as routine. An outrageous abuse was simply the new normal.

    It’s become a nearly-daily problem. We have prominent figures — presidential candidates, governors, high-profile members of Congress — saying and doing all kinds of scandalous things, like calling for the elimination of the EPA, condemning the Civil Rights Act, going after child-labor laws and the minimum wage, voting to end Medicare, threatening to crash the global economy on purpose, and yet, shrugged shoulders are a fairly common response, especially with the political elite.

    Growing inured to the new normal is kind of depressing.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Will The GOP Force Economic Suicide?
    by Patrick Appel

    McArdle echos Brooks:

    If the GOP doesn’t cut a deal sometime pretty soon, we’re either going to default on our debt (hello, financial crisis, unemployment spike, substantial and immediate drop in GDP, followed by an angry mob of voters descending on their polling places with pitchforks), or we’re going to cut a bunch of programs that beneficiaries are very attached to. (Hello, angry mob of seniors descending on their representatives with machetes.) There is no deal that they can cut which does not include raising more revenue; the Democrats aren’t going to be the only people offering compromise, and I don’t blame them.

    Frum asks the GOP establishment to deliver a message to GOP politicans:

    Republicans in Congress need to understand that there will be a political price to them, not only to the president, if they force the United States into reneging on its contracted obligations. They need to hear that message from inside, from donors and supporters. That’s not a “pro-Obama” message as some hot-heads charge. It’s a pro “full faith and credit” message.

    But Jonathan Bernstein believes Republican politicians “are convinced that their main vulnerability is primary challenges from the right” and that such establishment pleas will therefore fall on deaf ears. Alex Massie invokes Reagan:

    Reagan, I’m pretty sure, would take the deal and lift the debt ceiling. Maybe that would be wrong – though I doubt it – but yet again we see that many of those who profess their unswavering devotion to all things Gipper worship a corrupted version of their god that cannot withstand much comparison with the reality of the man himself.

    And Ryan Avent fears disaster even if a deal is reached:

    In all probability, America won’t default; it’s still difficult to imagine that it cold come to that. The bigger danger, I think, is that the Republican strategy will either lead Democrats to accept short-term cuts large enough to endanger recovery or will result in a short period of “prioritisation”, in which spending is suddenly and dramatically cut back to prevent a default once the money runs out (on or about August 2nd). America may make it through this episode with its credit rating intact and still sustain significant economic damage.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 06, 2011 8:00 AM

    A tale of two deadlines

    By Steve Benen
    President Obama offered a status check on debt-reduction talks yesterday, and while he didn’t announce any breakthroughs, a couple of things jumped out.

    What struck me as the most noteworthy were his comments about the process’ schedule. We are, after all, talking about a tale of two deadlines: one is August 2, when the nation loses its ability to pay its bills, while the other is the harder-to-define point at which policymakers have to strike a deal.

    A month ago, Democrats and Republicans looked to have this worked out before the 4th of July. At a press conference on June 29, the president said he hoped to see “substantial progress” by the end of last week.

    Yesterday, however, Obama pointed to a new schedule.

    What I know is that we need to come together over the next two weeks to reach a deal that reduces the deficit and upholds the full faith and credit of the United States government and the credit of the American people.”

    Two weeks from yesterday is July 19 — which is also exactly two weeks before the far-less-flexible August 2 deadline. If a deal is in place by then, lawmakers would barely have time to debate, write, and vote on the agreement.

    It’s also worth keeping in mind that cutting it this close is dangerous in its own right. A month ago, Last week, Moody’s Investors Service said the nation’s AAA credit rating is at risk of being downgraded by mid-July — before default — if it looks like failure is even a possibility. Would waiting until July 19 to craft a compromise — one that lawmakers may be tempted to oppose — risk serious economic consequences?

    And all of this assumes a deal is, in fact, going to happen, which is far from a certainty.

    The New York Times reports that the president and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met secretly on Sunday in the hopes of advancing the talks, though it’s unclear if they made any progress. The Washington Post noted a tidbit I haven’t seen elsewhere, quoting a Republican aide saying the two sides have already agreed on “as much as $2.3 trillion in potential savings, including more than $300 billion in interest payments averted through lower borrowing.” If true, it would suggest a deal may be within reach, though it would still come down to Republicans’ willingness to accept additional revenue.

    There will be a “summit” on Thursday at the White House in the hopes of keeping the process on track.

    Tick tock.

  45. rikyrah says:

    I still say that the real money men have already locked him in a closet without his Jack Daniels, and told him what had to happen.


    Boehner Will Capitulate
    by BooMan
    Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 09:09:52 AM EST

    Desperate to make a deal, Speaker Boehner met secretly with the president on Sunday. Then the president called for a summit at the White House on Thursday. The Republicans don’t want to get lectured and they hope the president will take several valiums. Meanwhile, Boehner seems to be painting himself into a corner.

    We’re not dealing just with talking points about corporate jets or other ‘loopholes.’ The legislation the President has asked for — which would increase taxes on small businesses and destroy more American jobs — cannot pass the House, as I have stated repeatedly,” Boehner said in a statement. “I’m happy to discuss these issues at the White House, but such discussions will be fruitless until the President recognizes economic and legislative reality.”

    Boehner will have to capitulate. It’s his responsibility to pass something that the Senate Democrats will endorse and that the president will sign. That’s his job. Unless he wants the U.S. to default on its debts, he has no choice.

    • Ametia says:

      Boehner will have to capitulate. It’s his responsibility to pass something that the Senate Democrats will endorse and that the president will sign. That’s his job. Unless he wants the U.S. to default on its debts, he has no choice.


  46. rikyrah says:

    You Think the GOP is Bad Now?
    by BooMan
    Tue Jul 5th, 2011 at 10:03:33 PM EST

    Let me say up front here that I’m not sold on this reporting by Eve Conant of The Daily Beast. Maybe David Duke is going to run for the Republican nomination but, by her own reporting in this article, it seems like the White Nationalist movement is more interested in an insurrectionary strategy. Anyway, here’s her lede:

    Add to the growing list of candidates considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 America’s most famous white-power advocate: David Duke.
    A former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Republican executive-committee chairman in his district until 2000, Duke has a significant following online. His videos go viral. This month, he’s launching a tour of 25 states to explore how much support he can garner for a potential presidential bid. He hasn’t considered running for serious office since the early ’90s, when he won nearly 40 percent of the vote in his bid for Louisiana governor. But like many “white civil rights advocates,” as he describes himself to The Daily Beast, 2012 is already shaping up to be a pivotal year.

    Now, I can believe that Duke is considering an independent bid. But going for the GOP nomination doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Or, maybe it does. Here’s how it could work. With Duke on the ballot during the primaries and caucuses, every racist asshole in the country will turn out in support of a bunch of insurrectionist white nationalist candidates for, e.g., positions on the water board and in the state assembly. When he loses the nomination, Duke declares as an independent to make sure the racist assholes come out in the general election to vote for downticket Republicans from the white nationalist movement. Voila!! Now, all of a sudden, the GOP has a bunch Nazis in positions of low to moderate power who can then move up the ranks over time.

    Most of these candidates will lose. But some of them will win by simple virtue of having an (R) at the end of their name. An independent bid by David Duke would create some interesting dynamics in the Electoral College and in lesser races. Duke would drive up turnout on the right, but at the expense of the Republicans’ presidential candidate. His mere presence in the campaign would also scare the crap out of a lot of people from all spectrums of life, and probably help the left rally itself to the polls.

    Duke would certainly chew into the Republican nominee’s numbers, but it’s hard to say if he’d change the outcome in any states. I suppose he could draw enough support to throw the outcome of his home state of Louisiana into question. More likely, he’d put Mississippi and Georgia into play. He might even have the potential to throw Montana and the Dakotas in Obama’s lap, depending on how effectively he appealed to those voters.

    Remember, President Clinton won Montana, Louisiana, and Georgia in 1992, based on the appeal of H. Ross Perot. So, any right-leaning candidate has the potential to do some damage to the Republicans in some otherwise unlikely places.

    And if the White Nationalist goal isn’t to help the GOP win the presidency, but to successfully infiltrate their lower ranks, this strategy can further that goal.

    • Ametia says:

      Hey Boo, sorry to inform you, dude, but the white nationalist have already successfully infiltrated the lowest ranks of the GOP.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Pretty Much This
    by John Cole

    This comment at Gawker made me very upset because it is true:

    Let’s say there’s this person called America. Now, there’s a person standing next to America named Gop. Gop is holding a loaded gun to the side of America’s head, and is demanding that you hand over fifty puppies, or he’s going to shoot America in the head.

    Like any sensible person, you hand over fifty puppies, because you don’t want to see America get shot in the head. Gop takes the puppies and America lives.

    Now, a couple months later, Gop and America are at it again. I guess America is Gop’s mistress or something, I don’t really know. The difference is that this time, Gop has put all the puppies in a cage and wired it with explosives.

    Gop is now demanding five hundred puppies. If Gop doesn’t get five hundred puppies, he’s going to shoot America in the head, and blow up the fifty puppies you already gave him.

    Now let’s say you get all five hundred puppies and deliver them to Gop, and tell Gop that in exchange for these five hundred puppies, you would really appreciate it if Gop would hand over the detonator for the fifty puppies wired with explosives, and the gun he’s holding to the head of America.

    Gop refuses. Gop now has a gun against America’s temple, the hammer is cocked, and he has fifty puppies wired with explosives, with an offer for five hundred more if he’ll just put down the gun and detonator.

    The problem is that Gop can’t do that, because Teaparty, his former partner, is holding his wife, Reelection, hostage too. If Gop doesn’t get all the puppies, and keeps the gun and detonator, Teaparty is going to shoot Gop’s wife Reelection in the head.

    Now, for this to untangle itself, someone has to die. Either Gop blows up the puppies and shoots America in the head because you won’t give in to their completely unreasonable demands, or America and the puppies live because Gop gave you the gun and detonator, but Teaparty killed Gop’s wife, Reelection.

    There is a third and fourth way. Gop turns around and shoots Teaparty, sparing his wife, mistress, and puppies, or Gop shoots himself, thus freeing America and the puppies and leaving Teaparty out in the cold.

    So really, it’s a double hostage situation. The Democrats are offering the world to the GOP to keep them from blowing it all up, but the GOP can’t take the deal because if they do, the Tea Party will go fucking nuts and everyone that votes for it will face a primary challenge.

    The insane people are running the party, and now morons like David Brooks and the “reasonable Republicans” are like “WTF happened” when they were the ones fluffing the nutters for years. Even assuming there are Republicans left in the house that really are not insane enough to default the government, an assumption I am simply not willing to make, they are terrified they will lose their job like the other tens of millions of people suffering from Republican policies, because the teahadists will primary them.

    And anyone who still calls themselves a Republican is just an asshole. Really, you’ve had ample time to figure out your party is run by maniacs. If you’re still sticking around because the “Democrats are worse” or you think the party can turn it around or because you fancy yourself a small “c” conservative or you are a glibertarian or because you hate taxes or you think Dennis Kucinich is weird (he is), you’re just an asshole. And incredibly stupid.

  48. rikyrah says:


    a word from tally….
    By Chipsticks

    The GOP has been a cult for a while, and Grover Norquist is Jim Jones.

    Republicans love to wrap themselves in the American flag, and profess their unending, deep love for their country, yet hate the US Government with every fiber of their being. That, in and of itself, is the ultimate CULT disconnect.

    These people have drunk so much GOPKool-aid™ they think all science is a myth, and the world is only 6,000 years old. How on Earth do you have a rational conversation with people like that?

    Perhaps we need to start with something they can wrap their heads around: JOBS.

    Let me lay down some facts that EVERYONE needs to spread far and wide:

    One of the biggest GOP lies going around is, “The Government doesn’t create jobs.” When, in fact, the US Government (Fed/State/Local) is the largest employer on PLANET EARTH, with more employees world-wide than any privately held company. Not only does “The Government” CREATE jobs, it does it in the most economical/cost-effective way possible, because it is NOT a private company who has $12 million (+ annual bonuses) CEOs to feed and care for (United Health Care), but doesn’t sell stock, and profit isn’t the bottom line, only the QUALITY of it’s services.

    All the Republicans want to do is CUT GOVERNMENT. Think about that for a minute. Why would they want to do that? Because their donors KNOW that the USGov is the largest employer, and they want some of that action.

    One of the main Republican mantras is “Leave it alone and the Free Market will take care of it.” The only thing is, the free market already has, which is why the USGov has all those jobs – they’re the ones who can do it the most cost effective way, and protect the people/give high quality service at the same time, because there is no PROFIT.

    So the GOP wants to cut government spending so it CANNOT do it’s job, and it becomes ineffective at funding those jobs, so some private company can come in and take it over, and MAKE A PROFIT. But then, that leads to shortcuts, outsourcing, DEREGULATION, and a lack of on the job safety in a race to the bottom. Fewer and fewer people doing the work of many, so that corners are cut, people are overworked, all for corporate profit – and the result can be deadly on a massive scale (please see 9/11 and 19 men boarding aircraft with box cutters when airport security was contracted with private companies.)

    The GOP wants to privatize everything so they and their corporate masters can make more money. This is NOT about creating jobs. This is about CUTTING them, and shipping them to India, China, or anywhere where the pay is the lowest.

    FACT: American infrastructure is crumbling. There are millions of people who could go to work tomorrow fixing all of that – and not just construction work, but the administrative workforce that goes along with those jobs locally. Those jobs are in the Government’s purview, but it needs funding.

    FACT: We have a doctor shortage. There are millions of students who would go into the medical field if they could only afford it. The Government could easily fund these students if there was the tax money to do it. However, the GOP is all about privatizing our Universities, and that doesn’t bode well for students, since grants and scholarships are only available to students who can generate cash – mostly athletes.

    FACT: We have fallen behind in the tech and science sectors because of lack of funding. Again, the private sector (PHARMA) has pulled ahead because of lack of funds to government funded programs. This has also resulted in placing money and profit over safety and human lives. It’s more cost-effective to make a drug that kills than test it properly, (made even easier by a Supreme Court that is ruling against being able to even file a class-action suit, and giving corporations more rights that human beings in who they can sue for damages and death.) Manufacture a tire that falls apart, and pay the fine. The profit is more, so where is the incentive to strive for better quality or save lives?

    When profit wins over quality of the product or service, we all lose. But the GOP has been dismantling and underfunding our education system for decades to the point we have one of the highest illiteracy rates of any industrialized nation. Civics and government are no longer taught in schools, only a fraction of a watered-down history ever sees the light of day, and now school books are being printed that inserts Creationism, and Intelligent Design into the curriculum. Mythology taught as fact.

    FACT: People need jobs. We need things fixed. The Government can hire people and put them to work. The more people who work, the more people are spending money thus stimulating the economy and paying taxes. The more tax revenues the Government collects the more money Government has to create programs and services we need to hire more people to run them, who then spend more money into the economy, creating more demand for goods and services – EVERYONE WINS, except the über-greedy who have sold their soul to the highest bidder. They won’t lose anything except perhaps their write-off on their second and third homes. They will however, stop being carried on the backs of the rest of us, and have to pull more of their own weight. Boo-frakkin-hoo.

    If deregulation, tax cuts for the super-rich,tax loopholes, and corporate tax rebates created jobs, we’d have zero unemployment and the most vibrant economy on the planet by now because these policies have been in place for over a decade, yet anyone with a functioning brain stem can see that is not the case, and our folly has melted over into a global crisis. Still the Republicans makes an art form of denial and want to double down on all of it.

    The GOP has no interest in people, or investing in in America’s future. It’s only interested in MONEY, and is not only trashing it’s own house, it’s hell-bent on burning down the entire neighborhood, and surrounding villages, all because of their blinding, personal greed and poisonous hatred for one man.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Rupert Murdoch could meet phone hack victims
    Victims of phone hacking may be given the chance to confront Rupert Murdoch face-to-face, a spokesman for News International said today.
    As pressure continue to grew on the embattled parent company of the News of the World, alleged victims asked for the chance to speak directly to the media owner.

    Graham Foulkes, whose son was killed in the July 7 bombings, was told his phone may have been hacked in the days following the terrorist attacks which left 52 dead across London.

    Speaking on the Today programme, he said: “I’d really like to meet [Murdoch] and have a very in-depth conversation with him about responsibility and the power that he has and how it should be used appropriately. I would very much like to meet him and have that conversation.”

    He added: “It fills me with horror. We were in a very dark place. You think it’s as dark as it can get and then you realise there’s someone out there who can make it darker.”

    Simon Greenberg, director of corporate affairs at News International, said a potential meeting was “certainly something we would consider”.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Jim DeMint to President Obama: You’re an “addict”

    The South Carolina Republican, who is expected to play a major role in the 2012 election, has spent the past several days slamming the Obama administration’s call for raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Mr. DeMint called on Republican presidential candidates last week to sign a pledge opposing an increase of the debt ceiling without the addition of a balanced budget amendment.

    The Treasury Department has warned the country will face default if Congress does not lift the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2, a move would likely rattle world markets and push the U.S. back into recession. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has sent a series of letters to Capitol Hill leaders, urging them to reach a deal by July 22, providing them with ample time to craft and pass a measure raising the nation’s spending level.

    That said, Republicans have said they will push for steep spending cuts in exchange for votes supporting raising the debt ceiling. Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor and Arizona U.S. Senator Jon Kyl have said Republicans will refuse a proposed deal eliminating tax subsidies for oil and gas companies, saying it amounts to raising taxes. House Republicans have instead called on President Obama to support a balanced budget amendment, which could face a vote later this week.

    Read more:

  51. Ametia says:


    Ohio GOP Weakens Election Law By Allowing Poll Workers To Refuse To Inform Voters Where They Can Vote
    By Tanya Somanader posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Jul 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Last week, the GOP-led House passed an election law overhaul without the highly restrictive voter ID provision. However, the House tweaked the bill to weaken a law mandating poll workers to direct voters in the wrong precinct to their correct voting location. Under the new language, a poll worker need not direct a voter to where they are eligible, adding that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”

    Allowing poll workers to refuse to help those who are legitimately confused about where they should vote opens the door for increased voter suppression. As state Sen. Nina Turner (D) pointed out, “Voting in the wrong precinct led to over 14,000 registered voters statewide to lose their vote in 2008.” Rating the statement “true,” Politifact reports:

    [T]he second most common reason the ballot was not counted was because while the person was properly registered to vote in Ohio, they cast the ballot in the wrong county or precinct. In all, 14,335 such ballots were not counted for this reason, according to the Brunner report.

    Of those 14,000-plus ballots, 3,423 were cast in Cuyahoga County, home to Turner’s district and by far the county with the most uncounted provisional ballots during the November 2008 elections due to wrong place filings.

  52. Shady_Grady says:

    I like the Isley Brothers a lot. Hendrix played with them for a while. Jimmy Page played “It’s your thing” in a lot of his live shows.

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