Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Phyllis Hyman Week

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104 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Phyllis Hyman Week

  1. Justice Rears Her Head in Wisconsin As Kathy Nickolaus is Investigated by GAB

    In case you were wondering where justice was hiding in Wisconsin, she’s reared her head in Waukesha County. County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus will be investigated by the Government Accountability Board, which certified the Wisconsin Supreme Court election in question.

    A former Dane country prosecutor will finally be looking into Nickolaus’ conduct. And by conduct, I mean misconduct, including open ballot bags with no secure chain of custody, voter rolls with tags that don’t match ballot bags, a canvas called a day early which took place with Nickolaus never telling the other canvassers about the “lost” votes for two days during the canvas and much more.

    This particular Nickolaus saga started when she announced that she had left the city of Brookfield off of the totals she initially reported, but this is hardly her first brush with being investigated. Nickolaus has a track record of criminal investigations and reprimands from county officials regarding the failure of security in her procedures, which she chose to ignore, preferring to keep all of the voting data on her computer and refusing to upload it per procedure to the county computers. Under this modus operandi, she suddenly discovered votes she had “lost” by forgetting to press “save” and hence, Nickolaus came under scrutiny. Normally in a canvas, those votes could be accounted for in real ballots by the canvassers, but they were not given an opportunity to verify Nickolaus’s found votes as she did not tell them about the error until minutes before they faced a press conference, long after the canvas was completed.

    In 2005, Ms. Nickolaus was found to have sent out “sample ballots” to the voters that came premarked for a certain candidate. Ms Nickolaus’ many errors always benefit a Republican, but this should be no surprise as she used to be the computer analyst for the GOP assembly, during which tenure she was granted immunity in a criminal investigation resulting from said work.

    The Post Crescent reports:

    The complaint against Kathy Nickolaus was filed with the state’s Government Accountability Board by campaign officials for JoAnne Kloppenburg, who lost the April 5 election to Justice David Prosser.

    Kloppenburg’s campaign manager said Wednesday that Tim Verhoff informed the campaign that he’d be investigating.

    The wheels of justice can be slow and frustrating. It will be even more disturbing if the misconduct of Nickolaus proves to have swung the election results for the incumbent conservative Supreme Justice Prosser, who won after initial results had his challenger Kloppenburg winning. Since then, Prosser was the swing vote reversing Judge Sumi’s void of the bill that killed collective bargaining in Wisconsin and he has been accused of choking a female Supreme Court Justice during those deliberations. The choking incident is currently under investigation.

    The good news is that the GAB did not turn their backs on the logs detailing the problems with the Waukesha County process provided by the Kloppenburg campaign.

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  3. President Obama to meet Dalai Lama at White House Saturday

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has invited the Dalai Lama to the White House Saturday, making time for the Tibetan spiritual leader who is in Washington for an 11-day Buddhist ritual.

    The president last met with the Nobel Peace laureate in February 2010, infuriating Chinese officials. China accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibetan independence.

    Employing a low-key approach, the White House has set the meeting in the White House Map Room, not the Oval Office, which is reserved for visiting heads of state. The White House is keeping the meeting closed to the news media, as it did last year.

    A White House official says Obama will urge that representatives of the Dalai Lama be allowed to engage with Chinese authorities and will call for the preservation of Tibetan culture.

  4. rikyrah says:

    July 15, 2011
    Idiotic, dimitted, insane …
    This morning President Obama pleaded with the GOP to forego party, ideological rigidity, political-point scoring and posturing. So naturally Republican House leaders have raced to the microphones to express disingenuous faith in upcoming legislation related to what Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett has variously called (here and here and here ) “idiotic,” “dimwitted,” “insane,” “stupid,” “shameful,” “dopey,” “dumb,” “absurd,” “irresponsible,” “contemptible,” “silly,” “juvenile,” “ignorant” and “immature.”

    We are going to bring a bill forward next week otherwise known as the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ bill to provide a balanced approach so we can demonstrate that we are getting things under control, that the people who put us here can gain some confidence that we are going to begin to live like they do around their kitchen tables and their businesses.

    Thus slitheringly spoke the satanic Eric Cantor.

    Observes The Hill:

    The plan would authorize a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling after Congress passes a balanced-budget amendment.

    Which is a political impossibility.

    So, added Rep. Jo Bonner:

    We’re once again trying to provide the leadership that the American people sent us here to provide.

    It seems Rome can be unbuilt in a day … or so.

  5. rikyrah says:

    July 15, 2011
    There’s still time: Divorce the Tea Party
    The NY Times’ Timothy Egan draws a discreet but ethically indistinguishable line between the GOP’s ‘Anarchists’ and ‘Tasseled Loafers,’ essentially portraying the party as one of a) passionate bombthrowers and b) cold-blooded weapons suppliers.

    [T]he nihilistic spirit of those [1999 W.T.O.-assaulting Seattle anarchists], whose goal was to bring chaos to a city of passive refinements, seems to have found a home: in the Republican Party.

    Conversely — or correspondingly:

    The loafers may want to retreat to their wine cellars until this thing blows over…. After Aug. 2, the default deadline, the smell will go bad, quickly.

    The stench of miasmic rot will drift before then, of course. But only one other thing seems certain, notwithstanding the debt crisis’ denouement: The GOP brand is shattering to ruins.

    By Election Day, 2012, it’ll be nothing but rubble, which the Loafers can thereafter merely bounce a bit. The party’s inexorable starting point, though? A jettisoning of the Tea Party element — that which is bringing the GOP to its disgraceful and final ruin.

    Which gives cause to wonder: Why not simply eject the Anarchists now? I realize there’s nothing “simple” about it, but a party defrocking ceremony is coming, one way or another, one day or another, and for once the Loafers might wish to get ahead of events.

    The highest-ranking GOP leadership, in both the House and Senate, smell and rightly envision nothing but DOOM with Tea Partiers at the helm, and heaving them overboard would cost not one iota of their mutual love, since there isn’t any. Hence the leadership could, from here on out, declare Eric Cantor, Rand Paul & Co. political persona non grata, mobilize its moderates (they’re there; quivering, yes, but there, praying for a lifeline), and cut a deficit deal with the White House and congressional Democrats.

    The leadership has exhausted its options. Sure, it can postpone the timing of the party’s formalized fracture until post-apocalyptic-election, when the task of brand-rebuilding will have been rendered exponentially more arduous. Or it can do so now; it can proclaim no truck with Tea Party extremists, anarchists and nihilists, and thereby re-identify with the vast majority of Americans who self-identify as moderate-to-conservative — and not as bombthrowers.

    Yet such a dramatic maneuver would demand brains and guts. So I guess we, along with the GOP leadership, will just wait for the rubble.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 15, 2011 8:30 AM

    GOP rejects trading one tax cut for another

    By Steve Benen

    Last week, Democrats in debt-reduction talks focused much of their attention on unnecessary and unpopular tax giveaways. If Republicans want a compromise that cuts the debt without raising tax rates, Dems said, they can start by scrapping tax expenditures that help corporate-jet owners.

    The response from GOP leaders was fierce and unyielding. The only way Republicans would even consider ending these tax breaks, they said, is if the savings were applied to other tax breaks. In other words, Republicans opposed the Democratic effort to apply savings to debt reduction — the issue conservatives pretend to care about — because more tax cuts remain the top GOP priority.

    Yesterday, President Obama reportedly put this to the test.

    Mr. Obama suggested in Thursday’s meeting that leaders end tax breaks for ethanol producers, oil and gas companies and corporate jet owners, and offset those tax increases with an extension of the payroll tax credit for employees, a Democratic official familiar with the meeting said, but Republicans said they would not support it.

    This is fascinating. Obama was willing to trade needless tax subsidies, some of which even Republicans don’t like, for a separate tax cut that benefits private employers. This is, as of last week, exactly the kind of deal GOP leaders said they were inclined to support.

    But when the president put it on the table, and set up the deal exactly as Republicans want it, they still said no. And remember, a payroll tax cut is the GOP’s preferred approach to job creation.

    As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued last week, “If they oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they’re just opposing anything that helps create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.”

    This is the whole point of the “sabotage” question. The argument isn’t that Republicans have conservative ideas about helping the economy. Questioning their motivations on this alone would be foolish. The point, rather, is that Republicans have begun rejecting their own ideas about helping the economy, even after Obama presented their idea in the way they requested it.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Doctored Marcus Bachmann Tape? Nope, Says Blogger Who Posted It

    The blogger who first surfaced Marcus Bachmann’s “barbarians” audio from 2010 says in no uncertain terms that the clip of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) husband saying gays “need to be disciplined” was not altered whatsoever.

    “I didn’t doctor a damn a thing,” blogger Ken Avidor told New York magazine.

    Bachmann and one of the counselors at his clinic are distancing themselves from the controversial remarks by saying, in essence, that they never happened.

    Not so says Avidor, who first posted the audio clip from Christian talk radio show “Point of View” back in May, 2010. It was later picked up by ThinkProgress and went viral.

    The show’s not talking — it didn’t respond to requests from New York or the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which published Bachmann’s quote about it being doctored this morning.

    The show also didn’t immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on the issue.

    Bachmann told the Star-Tribune he was talking about children, not gay people, when he referred to “barbarians” something Avidor — an avid follower of all things Bachmann — told New York could be the case.

    Here’s the original question from the transcript of the clip posted by New York:

    Question: Today The Wall Street Journal came out with an article, “What do you say when your teenager is gay?” What do you say to Christian parents who come up with this?

    Bachmann: Well, I think you clearly say, what is the understanding of God’s word on homosexuality. And I think that this is no mystery that a child or pre-adolescent, particularly adolescents, will question and wonder about sexuality. That’s nothing new under the sun since the beginning of time. But I don’t think we should take that as, because we wonder or we think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality —

    Question: Could you add the word experiment to that?

    Bachmann: Well, certainly, there’s that curiosity. But again, we, like, you know, it is as if we have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And just because someone feels it or thinks it, doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to go down that road. That’s what’s called the sinful nature. And we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps.

  8. rikyrah says:

    July 15, 2011 12:40 PM

    In 18 days, blame will be the least of our troubles

    By Steve Benen

    Far-right blogger and CNN media personality Erick Erickson has an item today that’s making the rounds, which is probably a good thing. It offers a helpful reminder about the perspective of a conservative Republican activist.

    Reflecting on the debt-limit fight, Erickson demands that congressional Republicans ignore the warnings and resist any urge to compromise.

    Now is a time for choosing. Now is your time for choosing. As I pointed out to John Boehner yesterday, despite what the pundits in Washington are telling you, it is you and not Obama who hold most of the cards. Obama has a legacy to worry about. Should the United States lose its bond rating, it will be called the “Obama Depression”. Congress does not get pinned with this stuff.”

    Reading the rest of the piece, Erickson seems unsure of the exact consequences he expects in early August. On the one hand, the post insists that everyone predicting a disaster should be ignored. On the other hand, Erickson believes a “depression” is a possibility. How reassuring.

    Either way, though, the economic effects apparently don’t much matter. As far as Erickson is concerned, what does matter is partisan blame — and in this case, the right-wing pundit is convinced Republicans have nothing to worry about, since the blame will rest on the president’s shoulders.

    What’s more, according to Erickson, House Republicans were reportedly passing around copies of his screed to one another this morning.

    One could note, I suppose, that Erickson’s political predictions could prove to be about as reliable as his understanding of economics. He assumes the White House will get the bulk of the blame, but there’s ample evidence to the contrary.

    But that’s not what’s important here. Indeed, the notion that elected officials should choose, or at least risk, a depression on purpose, based solely on their expectations about blame, is among the more offensive things I’ve seen from the right in this entire debate.

    What actually matters is that Americans will suffer. The economy will get worse. The standing, credibility, and stability of the United States will be negatively affected immediately and for years to come. All of this can be easily avoided.

    That’s what matters. Not polls, not spin, not which soundbite resonates. The principal concern should be over whether the public is forced to endure pain in order to satisfy the ideological whims of madmen who don’t belong in public office, but who nevertheless yield enormous power over our collective future.

    Honestly, the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the right is truly a sight to behold.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Cantor rejects plan to spend less on health care

    By Steve Benen

    Eric Cantor would love to reduce health care costs, right? Wrong.

    An on-again, off-again proposal that forces pharmaceutical companies to essentially discount drugs for Medicare’s poorest seniors is back on-again — despite fierce opposition from the drug lobby and one of their staunchest defenders, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

    The pairing of Cantor and the powerful Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association could prove more than enough to squelch the White House-endorsed proposal, which has emerged as one of many divisive concerns among President Barack Obama and congressional leaders who are trying to hammer out a deal to cut federal spending and extend the nation’s debt limit.

    The conventional wisdom is that Republicans are desperate to reduce the deficit and debt, but we know that’s not true — GOP officials won’t even consider a penny of additional revenue, even if it helps bring the budget closer to balance. The conventional wisdom also tells us Republicans love cutting spending, but this isn’t quite right, either — GOP leaders only like cutting certain kinds of spending, based on who’ll benefit (and who won’t).

    Cantor and the pharmaceutical industry offer a terrific example. For years, the government was able to purchase prescription drug prices through Medicaid at a big discount. Republicans changed the law in 2006 as part of creating Medicare Part D, which privatized the negotiating process.

    Restoring the previous system could save taxpayers more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and in theory, all of those savings could be applied to a debt-reduction deal.

    The problem, of course, is the House Majority Leader, who wants to maintain the status quo, even if it costs billions more, and who just happens to be the beneficiary of enormous campaign contributions from drug makers. As Jonathan Cohn explained, Cantor is reading industry talking points, arguing that (a) this would be bad for the economy; and (b) this sounds like government price controls that would stifle innovation.

    The latter point is highly dubious: The reduction would bring reimbursement levels for these drugs very close to what they were a few years ago. Many experts, including the CBO, think the likely impact on research and development would be negligible. […]

    As for the former suggestion, it’s true that any net reduction in government spending could reduce economic growth, at least at the margins. That’s why it’s not a good idea to be madly slashing government spending right now — and why, perhaps, congressional negotiators should delay implementation of this cut, like the others, so that it would take effect after the economy has more fully recovered.

    But Cantor’s anxiety over the economic ramifications of spending cuts seems highly selective. He hasn’t raised similar concerns about cuts to food stamps, Medicaid, and similar programs that would likely have a more devastating impact, both on the economy as a whole and the people who depend upon them for support.

    How very typical.

  10. rikyrah says:

    July 15, 2011 1:55 PM

    Struggling with the ‘Reality Gap’

    By Steve Benen

    Dave Weigel noted yesterday, “There is a Reality Gap in the negotiations over the debt limit.”

    I not only think that’s true; I think that gap is beginning to define American politics.

    Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) appeared on “Hardball” the other day, and was asked to defend his pro-default approach to governing. Pressed by Chris Matthews for evidence, King replied, “I don’t trust the words of any source.”

    This was amusing, in a soul-crushing sort of way, but it was also predictable. As David Brooks recently noted, the contemporary Republican Party is dominated by those who “do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities.”

    This would include those who believe in arithmetic. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) argued today that if the government raises revenue, it will make the debt worse. Why? Because taxes lead to “fewer revenue dollars.” In other words, having more money in the Treasury would mean having less money in the Treasury.

    He wasn’t kidding.

    Then there’s this gem, that actually managed to surprise me.

    Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), another freshman, said that a much bigger fear was that raising the debt ceiling would enable Washington to spend itself into paralyzing debt in a few years.

    “A debt-ceiling problem, as large as it is, is not anywhere near as a big or as bad as” that, Brooks said. If Aug. 2 arrives without a deal, Brooks said, the federal government could continue paying creditors. He said that a show of tough fiscal self-discipline could actually improve creditors’ confidence.

    “There should be no default on August 2,” Brooks said. “In fact, our credit rating should be improved by not raising the debt ceiling.”

    Got that? Here we have an elected federal lawmaker who believes failing to raise the debt ceiling will be good for the nation’s credit rating. He’s even willing to admit this belief on the record, to one of the nation’s leading newspapers.

    A senior administration official recently noted those who simply choose not to believe any of the warning related to the debt limit. “These are the kinds of people who get eaten by bears,” the official said.

    That’s true, but what happens when these lunatics hold us all back so severely that that the bears get all of us?

    The problem that plagues the nation is not about competing parties, ideologies, or creeds. It comes down to a dispute between those who believe empirical reality exists and deserves to be taken seriously vs. those who don’t. With Republican members of Congress and their supporters choosing the latter, it’s increasingly difficult to imagine the United States thriving in the 21st century.

  11. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Attorney General Says Justice Department Investigating News Corp.
    By Judd Legum on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    On Tuesday, ThinkProgress launched a petition requesting a Department of Justice investigation into potential violations of U.S. law by News Corporation. In the last four days, over 13,000 people signed the petition and eight members of Congress joined our call for an investigation.

    Today, speaking in Australia, Attorney General Eric Holder announced he is starting an investigation of News Corp.:

    “There has been members of Congress in the U.S. who have asked us to investigate those same allegations and we are progressing in that regard using the appropriate federal law enforcement agencies,” Holder told reporters

    A federal law enforcement source told CNN, “We’ll be looking at anyone acting for or on behalf of News Corp., from the top down to janitors” to determine if there have been any violations of U.S. law.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Report: Players reveal secret insurance fund, spur negotiations
    Did the players side have an Ace up its sleeve in labor negotiations Thursday in New York?

    After breaking Wednesday’s talks with no indication of a deal on the horizon, NFL owners and players reached what’s believed to be a monumental step in the right direction towards reaching a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the reported agreement to a rookie wage scale.

    NFL Players Association boss DeMaurice Smith and Ravens’ cornerback Domonique Foxworth attend NFL labor mediation in New York in February.CAPTIONBy Alex Brandon, APSports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter writes Friday that the impetus for the breakthrough was a secret insurance fund set up by NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith more than a year ago, providing for $200,000 in compensation for every player in the event of a lockout in 2011.

    Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth informed owners of the secret fund on Thursday morning, according to Trotter.

  13. rikyrah says:

    July 15, 2011 11:25 AM

    ‘So Be It’ thinking dominates the GOP

    By Steve Benen

    In February, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked about his spending-cut plans and the fact that the cuts would force thousands of public-sector workers from their jobs. “So be it,” the Republican said.

    This kind of thinking hasn’t gone away. Indeed, as the unemployment rate goes up, the GOP desire to make it even worse appears to be intensifying. Marie Diamond flags this quote from Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on CNBC this week:

    Truth is, when’s the government going to sacrifice? Everyone’s been pinching pennies, the government budgets have almost doubled the last couple years. Most companies are laying off workers, especially small businesses, the federal government’s hiring federal workers. So my question is, when is the government going to sacrifice in order to help us get our financial house in order?”

    As a factual matter, Brady’s claims are simply absurd. Government budgets haven’t doubled; government budgets have been shrinking. It’s exactly why the public sector has shed hundreds of thousands of jobs over the last couple of years. Brady has been waiting for governments to “sacrifice,” but he hasn’t paid close enough attention to reality to understand the basics of reality in 2011: they’ve already been sacrificing too much.

    But the larger point is just as striking. We have a 9.2% unemployment rate and a genuine national jobs crisis. Kevin Brady believes Americans will be better off if policymakers deliberately make this worse.

    And it’s not just Brady — this is the kind of approach to policymaking that dominates Republican thought.

    The GOP made gains in 2010 because voters were frustrated with high unemployment. I wonder how many of those voters realized they were choosing candidates who would try to make unemployment worse on purpose.

  14. creolechild says:


  15. creolechild says:

    Here’s Quincy Jones’ Secret Garden that’s chock full of surprises…

  16. creolechild says:

    Here’s some more music for y’all…featuring Candy Dulfer

  17. creolechild says:

    Just To Keep Things In A Little Perspective: National Debt Edition. Thank you, David Poland!

    Listening to the lunatics and liars talk about the current budget battle – my favorite spin is the “if you don’t give us exactly what we want, you’re responsible for the bad result we will force, not us” – and the endless spin about how Republicans care about deficits, I decided to take a look at the cold numbers.

    Year Debt (in billions)
    2001 5,807
    2002 6,228
    2003 6,783
    2004 7,379
    2005 7,933
    2006 8,507
    2007 9,008
    2008 10,025

    Bush Administration – $4.2 trillion increase – 72% increase in the national debt

    2009 11,910
    2010 13,562

    Obama Administration – $1.65 trillion increase – 14% increase in the national debt.

    I won’t even get into the amount of the Obama debt that has been spent trying to dig out of the recession that Bush created or that we’re still paying for the war that Bush starte[d] or that The Republicans blocked almost $100 billion a year in increased revenues by not returning the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to Clinton era levels or… well… just the facts….

    Of course, if you listened to the Republicans talk about it, you would think that Obama had nearly doubled the debt since he took office and that ObamaCare wouldn’t actually save money or that the Republicans are serious about cutting anything other than programs that help The Lower 98.

  18. Ruby Bridges honored at White House

    More than 50 years ago, Ruby Bridges’ small steps helped write a momentous chapter in New Orleans history. On Friday, she’ll walk into the White House, for a meeting with President Obama.

    The woman now known as Ruby Bridges Hall became one of the first four African-American students to integrate New Orleans public schools a half-century ago. She is scheduled to meet with the President on Friday, to mark the 50th anniversary of her role in integrating New Orleans public schools.

    In 1960, Bridges became the first student to attend William Frantz Elementary in the Ninth Ward.

    The iconic Norman Rockwell painting which depicts the event, titled “The Problem We All Live With,” has been chosen for display outside the Oval Office.

    Bridges and members of the Normal Rockwell Museum will meet with the President on Friday to mark the occasion.

    The painting, which was done for the cover of the January 14, 1964 issue of “Look” magazine, will remain on display in the White House through October.

  19. Ametia says:

    hat tip BWD TOAITR. THANKS!

  20. rikyrah says:

    They Never Saw it Coming
    by BooMan
    Fri Jul 15th, 2011 at 10:10:53 AM EST

    Back on April 13th, as Speaker Boehner was being told by the business community not to condition an extension of the debt limit on a deficit reduction package, Sen. Chuck Schumer saw an opening. As Greg Sargent speculated at the time, the Democrats might be able to exploit any such linkage to drive a massive wedge between the Big Business and Tea Party factions of the Republican Party.

    Executives like J.P. Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon are worried that playing chicken with the debt ceiling could be “catastrophic.” Dems are hoping to use the debt ceiling showdown to divide Republicans between their corporate benefactors, who want the debt ceiling standoff resolved with no fuss, and the Tea Partyers, who are demanding that the GOP leadership use the debt ceiling as a hostage in the push for ever more extreme and draconian spending cuts.

    The Democrats could have insisted that the debt ceiling be a clean vote with nothing attached, but they also saw the advantage to allowing the bill to be conditioned on debt reduction. It would freak out Wall Street, kill Republican fundraising, divide the party, and highlight their extremism.

    Obviously, all of those goals have come to fruition. Some Republicans are openly expressing their regret at having pursued linkage on the debt ceiling.

    “Maybe the debt ceiling was the wrong place to pick a fight, as it related to trying to get our country’s house in order,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Thursday. “Maybe that was the wrong place to do it.”

    Maybe if Bob Corker and the Republicans had paid attention to Chuck Schumer’s “please don’t throw us in that briar patch” rhetoric in April, they wouldn’t have thrown the president in the briar patch. Strategy is not the GOP’s strong suit.

    So, now it’s on to Plan B, which is Mitch McConnell’s pass-the-buck plan to raise the debt ceiling by voting not to do so. The president is perfectly happy to let McConnell save a little face:

    During their Wednesday meeting, Mr. Obama commended Mr. McConnell for his proposal, Democratic officials familiar with the meeting said. He also didn’t bristle at the notion of being responsible for raising the debt ceiling. “If Senator McConnell wants me to wear the jacket for that, I’m happy to wear the jacket,” Mr. Obama said, according to the Democratic officials.

    Why would he bristle? He set the GOP up, and they played their parts like unwitting fools

    • Ametia says:

      The GOP will be FOREVER linked to the DEBT-CEILING HOSTAGE DEBACLE!

    • When will they learn not to fk with this President? Idiot ass clowns!

    • rikyrah says:

      e Beast is in Charge of the GOP
      by Steven D
      Fri Jul 15th, 2011 at 12:17:49 PM EST

      James Egan asks some fair questions about the folks who seemingly want a debt default rather than accept the more than generous proposals on the table from President Obama, and they are:

      Who would put at risk, at a time when most people are hurting from a gasping economy, the monthly issuance of life-supporting funds for wounded veterans, disabled children, countless elderly couples living on barely $2,000 a month — all told, over 70 million checks that go out each month?
      Who would risk pushing the livelihoods of businesses small and big off a cliff by an interest rate spike, possibly igniting a second recession as the credit-rating agencies have just suggested — essentially saying “blow your brains out, America,” as Warren Buffett phrased it?

      Who would risk this anarchists’ storm, rather than a pass a formality: extending the borrowing authority of the United States so the country can pay bills from the past?

      The answer is the anarchist wing of the Republican Party, or as I will name them later in this diary, The Beast. What? You’ve never heard of them? Well they go by another name in the media, having something to do with tea parties. What is more, they feel little if any loyalty to the incumbent republicans who hold all the leadership posts in the House and Senate.

      Egan, in his NYT online op-ed from yesterday, divides the Republican party into two groups. One he calls the anarchist wing: these are the people who coalesced around the “Tea Party” banner. It’s a disparate group but at its heart is one simple core principle: Destroy the Federal Government. And by destroy I mean destroy. They want the Federal government to die, except perhaps for the military.

      These people include libertarian extremists and social conservatives, because both have their reasons for an alliance that brings down our current system of national governance. The libertarians want the federal government to go away based upon the ideological principles first conceived by Ayn Rand who never met a large business corporation she didn’t love. Rand believed the elimination of government “tyranny” (i.e., regulation and oversight and taxation) would release the power of the business elites to create a perfect society. And it would, if by perfect you mean a return to feudalism. These are the true believers, and their devotion to their cult of greed and selfishness is absolute.

      Their allies, the social conservatives have their own reasons for wanting to see the Federal government weakened. After all, in their eyes, it was the the federal government that desegregated the South, took God out of the classroom, elevated the rights of women (voting, abortion, divorce) above the rights of men to control them, advanced the causes of racial and ethnic minorities (if intermittently and ineffectually) and (horror of horrors) the rights of homosexuals. It was the federal government that made Darwin’s theory of evolution and science in general a subject that (in their twisted logic) brainwashed the minds of young people to turn away from the one true religion. And the federal government is the only thing that stands in the way of officially designating America as a “Christian Nation” with a mission to dominate the world and impose “Biblical Law.” Besides, what if anything have the social conservatives ever gotten from traditional Republicans on these issues?

      That is not to say that social conservatives oppose a Federal government in principle as do the libertarians, but they do oppose the current version of the federal government, which they view as infested with atheistic secular humanists. They would prefer a federal authority that promoted their agenda, but for the moment they see that an alliance with the libertarians is in their best interests because before they can create their perverted vision of a “Christian Nation” the current federal government must be wiped away.

      I should add eliminating the social safety net is a goal for both of these groups, though their reasons are different. For the libertarians it eliminates a “drain” on the elites by taxing them to pay for people who are “losers” in their view: the disabled and the elderly who couldn’t succeed well enough during their working careers to pay for their own retirements. The social conservatives see the elimination of the federal government’s social safety net as a means to recruit people back to God and the Church, or their version of God and Church. You want a safety net? Join the church and let God’s people take care of you. Or so the theory goes. Of course you will have to accept everything that goes with that “choice” but since when have extremist Christians ever been opposed to coercion to win converts?

      Then we have those Republicans Egan identifies as the “Tasseled Loafer” faction. They love the federal government so long as they control it and can use it to benefit themselves and their friends, large mega-corporations who want government contracts or favors. Sure they want to grind the middle class into dust, but the last thing they want is a federal government drowned in a bathtub. They would much prefer to see federal dollars lavished on private corporations, whether handing your FICA taxes to Wall Street and the Health Insurance companies or your income taxes to defense contractors.

      They had a great gig when Dubya was in office. They have no principled objection to a large federal government so long as they can control it for their financial benefit and the benefit of their incorporeal “friends” the large corporations upon which the Supreme Court has bestowed personhood. Egan identifies Mitch McConnell as a symbolic representative of this faction of the Republican party, but I’m sure you could name a dozen or more Republicans in the Senate and House who fit that definition off the top of your head.

      The problem is that the tasseled loafers buddies created the Tea Party to bring back the heady days of the Bush Ownership Society. The tasseled loafers thought that, as in the past, they could throw the libertarians and social conservatives a few rhetorical crumbs now and then and that would keep them in line, voting the way Boehner and McConnell wanted them to do until they (the tasseled loafers) could regain the Presidency and the good times of massive graft and corruption would roll again just as they had under Bush and Cheney. Unfortunately, they made a grievous error in judgment. 9/11 didn’t change everything half as much as 2008 did.

      All that hateful and fact-free rhetoric the tasseled loafers spouted since Obama was elected wasn’t good enough for their base anymore. All those filibusters and obstruction of the Democratic agenda, and the incessant demonization of Obama and Pelosi only made them angrier. Indeed, it radicalized them far beyond what the tasseled loafer crowd really expected or wanted.

      And now, without the rally round the flag effect of “The War on Terror,” the GOP base no longer is willing to vote for whomever the RNC and its tasseled loafer leader selected for them. The Republicans’ radicalized base primaried the hell out of traditional GOP incumbents and candidates, and managed to elect (with the help of anonymous corporate cash) self-identified Tea Party candidates.

      Yet, still the tasseled loafers in the GOP House and Senate Leadership thought they could pull the strings just as they had in the old days. And it did appear that way — for a while. Boehner and McConnell thought they could play the crazy Nixon card in their dealings with the Demiocrts and Obama and gain concessions from the White House. And the White House was willing to play ball with them.

      But the Tea Party crowd didn’t come to play ball. Not with Obama and not even with their own leadership. They want the whole pie, not 3/4’s of it. And whether out of deep ideological fervor or fear that if they don’t stand firm someone even more outrageous will primary them next year, they are standing firm. They see Michelle Bachman’s rise in the polls as a sign. Hell, even some of the tasseled loafers have seen the signs. That’s why Eric Cantor has become the de facto leader of the Tea Party “Burn it down! Burn it all Down!” faction in the House. He’s looking for the main chance and he believes that aligning himself with the crazies is his best bet to take the Speakership away from Boehner.

      So, that is why the GOP isn’t negotiating and hasn’t been negotiating, in good or bad faith, over the debt ceiling. That’s why the US Chamber of Commerce, The Federal Reserve, and anyone on Wall Street (who isn’t shorting US Treasuries and/or the dollar) are going ballistic. That’s why Standard & Poor is sputtering about downgrading our nation’s credit rating. That’s why McConnell broke ranks and Boehner more or less ceded authority over the Republican caucus to Cantor. That’s probably why Obama has gone so far to alienate his own base to cut a deal, any deal, with the Republicans. They all thought the tasseled loafer wing if the GOP was in control.

      They were all wrong. The Beast is in control. Call them anarchists as James Egan does, or the Tea Party caucus as they named themselves, but they are collectively the Beast. And to date, no one has tamed that Beast. Frankly, I doubt it can be tamed, which means that whatever you hear about any deal on the debt ceiling, whatever you think is likely to happen, is mere speculation. The Beast is on the loose, there is no lion tamer available, and so all bets are off.

  21. creolechild says:

    This article was posted in June 2011…do you know about this? And if PCWorld has a problem with it…you should probably read the article and find out why. Just sayin’…

    I’m not sure if you’ve heard the news, but Facebook is officially getting super-creepy. Facebook announced Tuesday that it will be implementing facial recognition technology for all users in the next few weeks, semi-automating the photo-tagging process. Sure, you can “opt-out” of the service, but it’s a pretty weak consolation. After all, opting out won’t keep Facebook from gathering data and recognizing your face–it’ll just keep people from tagging you automatically.

    The new facial recognition technology, which was announced in December but only introduced to a small test group, is basically Facebook’s way of creating a huge, photo-searchable database of its users. And yes, it’s terrifying.

    Basically, Facebook is using facial recognition technology to “suggest” tags to users who upload photos. In other words, if I upload six photos of my friend Kaitlin, Facebook may “recognize” her face (thanks to other tagged photos of her on the website) and “suggest” that I tag her in those six photos. This makes the tagging process a little easier for me–after all, aren’t I more likely to tag Kaitlin if all I have to do is click a button that says “yes, tag away”?

    Another “benefit” is that I can tag all of these photos of Kaitlin at once–as Facebook said in a blog post, isn’t it a whole lot better to be able to tag all of those photos of Kaitlin at once, instead of having to tag each one individually? Sure, I guess it’s easier. Easier for Facebook to invade my privacy, that is.

    Ok, I know I sound a little melodramatic. But let’s take a look at some facts here:

    – Facebook has 600 million members.

    – Each day, Facebook’s members upload over 200 million photos, and Facebook currently hosts over 90 billion photos.

    – Each time you “tag” a photo on Facebook, its facial recognition technology learns more about what that person looks like.

    – Even if you happen to “opt out” of the facial recognition tagging, Facebook’s technology can surely use the tagged photos of you (hey, perhaps even the tagged photos of you that you end up un-tagging) to figure out what you look like.

    – Right now Facebook is using this technology to help people tag photos. But once they have an accurate facial recognition database of several hundred million people? Hmm.

    At the end of the day, Facebook’s facial recognition technology is downright creepy. Opting out of the service doesn’t mean Facebook will stop trying to recognize your face–it just means that Facebook will stop suggesting that other people tag you. Even Google has noted the utter creepiness of facial recognition technology (though I suspect they’re just waiting for Facebook to get burned).

    Facial recognition technology will ultimately culminate in the ability to search for people using just a picture. And that will be the end of privacy as we know it–imagine, a world in which someone can simply take a photo of you on the street, in a crowd, or with a telephoto lens, and discover everything about you on the internet.

    Obviously, we can’t stop the world of technology from moving toward the development of accurate facial recognition software. But so far, no facial recognition software has really been a threat to our privacy, because nobody has that huge database of people and photos required. Oh wait, except Facebook totally does.

    Yeah. So not only should you opt out of Facebook’s facial recognition technology by going to Account > Account Settings > Privacy > Customize Settings > Things Others Share and disabling “Suggest photos of me to friends,” you should also upload random pictures of trees and animals and stuffed toys and tag them as yourself.

  22. rikyrah says:

    HE was the one who LIED, and now that he’s been called on his LIE,

    he’s whining like a little BABY


    Eric Bolling: ‘I’ll Never Forget 9/11, But Thank You, Liberals, For Reminding Me How Petty You Can Be’

    In an emotional statement on Fox’s The Five Thursday, Eric Bolling shot back at the “radical liberal left” that “pounced” on him after he said on the program Wednesday that “America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time.” The statement about the Bush era resulted in a host of critical comments, including some on this site, asking how anyone could ever forget, you know, 9/11? Today, Bolling responded–and seemed at times close to anger or tears, his co-hosts audibly gasping as he spoke about September 11th. “No, I haven’t forgotten. I happened to be standing there, watching in true terror as radical Islamists slammed planes into the towers that morning. I remember the towers collapsing, killing 3,000 including 16 of my close friends. And I really remember trying to comfort the kids of my friends at their memorial services.”

    To explain his comment about the eight years when George W. Bush was in office, Bolling was blunt. “Yesterday I misspoke when I said there were no U.S. terror attacks during the Bush years. Obviously, I meant in the aftermath of 9/11. But that’s when the radical liberal left pounced on us and me.” And to those who suggested he’d amazingly–or conveniently–forgotten the attacks of 9/11, he said “I’ll never forget 9/11, but thank you liberals, for reminding me how petty you can be.”

    It’s worth watching.

    See it here, from Fox News:

    • Ametia says:

      I don’t want to click on that link and see that MOFO’s sniveling face. In grand fashion, Boling deliberately omits any trace of the most tragic attack to occur on American soil in the 21st century and then when called out, BLAMES any and everyone except his lying, pathetic self. FUCK’EM!

    • creolechild says:

      Interesting that he chose to focus his anger only on “liberals.” If you look at the article further downthread from Media Matters, it seems that for him and his colleagues “mis-speaking” about this particular subject is contagious! (smirk).

  23. rikyrah says:

    Braun: Advocates of privatized education want to end public schools
    Do supporters of privatized schooling — including Gov. Chris Christie — really want to destroy public schools? Is even asking the question an exercise in political hyperventilating?

    It’s a charge frequently made by NJEA President Barbara Keshishian who said, “Chris Christie has one objective: to destroy New Jersey’s public schools in order to pave the way for their privatization.’’ He declined to comment for this article, but Christie — through spokesman Michael Drewniak — has insisted he likes public schools, just not their unions.

    “The Governor’s issue is with a union that opposes reform,’” Drewniak said.

    There was a time when advocating the elimination of public schools was so politically toxic that even those who harbored the desire stayed in the closet. That may be changing.

    “We think public schools should go away,’’ says Teri Adams, the head of the Independence Hall Tea Party and a leading advocate — both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — of passage of school voucher bills. The tea party operates in those two states and Delaware.

    They should “go away,” she says, because “they are hurting our children.’’

    Adams’ group — and its political action committee run by her brother Don — lobbied for voucher bills in New Jersey and campaigned for south Jersey political candidates. One of those candidates, Republican Jon Runyan, last year captured the 3rd Congressional District seat held by Democrat John Adler, who died months later. Runyan also wouldn’t comment.

    This spring, she concentrated most of her organization’s efforts on passage of a comprehensive voucher bill in Pennsylvania. The state already has a limited “scholarship” program — much like the one now under consideration in the New Jersey legislature and advocated by Christie — but the new bill would have extended vouchers to all students in Pennsylvania.

    Adams says the current voucher program “discriminates” against wealthier students by providing public subsidies only to inner-city children in allegedly failing schools. Her group’s e-mails pushing vouchers caught the attention of James Kovalcin of South Brunswick, a retired public school teacher who asked Adams for clarification. She responded via email:

    “Our ultimate goal is to shut down public schools and have private schools only, eventually returning responsibility for payment to parents and private charities. It’s going to happen piecemeal and not overnight. It took us years to get into this mess and it’s going to take years to get out of it.”

    “I was shocked she was so open about it, but her view didn’t surprise me,’’ says Kovalcin, an award-winning physics teacher honored by The Star-Ledger Scholars, a now defunct program, that identified the best New Jersey students and teachers for 22 years.

    In a phone interview, Adams acknowledged she sent the e-mail and made the comment that public schools should “go away.” After the interview, she called back to say her position “now” was the elimination of failing urban schools with the decision of what to do with more successful suburban schools to come later.

    Can other — more mainstream — political figures agree with the aims or privatization without embracing the motivation? George Norcross, the Camden County Democratic political boss who is helping Republican Christie push vouchers in New Jersey, says he supports the Pennsylvania efforts but quickly adds, “This is not about the destruction of public schools.”

    What would motivate anyone to destroy public schools? Kovalcin believes it is a legacy of the banning of prayer in the public schools. “They became the enemy of the religious right,” he says. James Harris, the head of the New Jersey NAACP, has traced anti-public school sentiment back to the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision banning racial segregation.

    Others see commercial motives in wanting the schools shut down. “It’s one of the really big pots of money,’’ says Paul Tractenberg, a Rutgers law professor in Newark. “We spend $630 billion a year on education and many want it for private profits.’’

    So many reasons exist for wanting public schools — as Adams puts it — “to go away.’’ Maybe, with efforts like that of her Independence Hall Tea Party, a debate can begin on whether we really want the uniquely American experiment of universal, local and free public education.

    Julia Rubin, of Princeton, a spokeswoman for Save Our Schools-New Jersey and an opponent of privatization, paid Adams what might be seen as a back-handed compliment:

    “It’s refreshing to see a vouchers promoter who is honest about her real intent — to destroy public education. Fortunately, most New Jersey residents understand how devastating vouchers would be for our excellent public schools.’’

    • Ametia says:

      We think public schools should go away,’’ says Teri Adams, the head of the Independence Hall Tea Party and a leading advocate — both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — of passage of school voucher bills. The tea party operates in those two states and Delaware.

      “They should “go away,” she says, because “they are hurting our children.’’


  24. rikyrah says:

    July 15, 2011 8:00 AM

    All eyes turn to McConnell’s Plan B

    By Steve Benen

    After a tense discussion on Wednesday, White House and congressional leaders reconvened yesterday for another 80 minutes of talks. The negotiations were less confrontational — Eric Cantor literally didn’t say a word — but no more productive. By the end of the session, President Obama told lawmakers to talk to their caucuses and each other to “figure out what can get done” over the next 36 hours.

    And at this point, “what can get done” appears to be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) fall-back plan, which folks are now calling “Plan B.”

    Putting aside, for now, the byzantine procedural steps, McConnell’s plan would empower Obama to raise the debt ceiling on his own, while suggesting possible budget cuts, which Congress could then ignore. This plan, unveiled Tuesday, has been described as “Clean McConnell” because it’s a stripped down, straightforward plan.

    As of yesterday, McConnell was in direct talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and the two appeared to be working on details that would make the plan far less clean.

    Details of the Senate approach were sketchy…. Reid confirmed, however, that discussions are focused on what McConnell has called “Plan B”: an elaborate legal framework to raise the debt limit by $2.5 trillion that would place the entire political burden for the unpopular move on Obama.

    Unveiled earlier this week, McConnell’s plan included no mechanism to force the sharp spending cuts that Republicans have demanded in exchange for voting to lift the debt limit. But in a sign of the unusual political times, Democrats said they were reluctant to go along with that proposal and are pressing to add roughly $1.5 trillion in cuts to government agencies to the measure.

    Now, it seemed odd that McConnell would unveil a plan Dems could support, only to have Harry Reid make it deliberately worse. As I understand it, though, Reid is principally concerned with crafting an agreement that can pass. The odds of “Clean McConnell” quickly passing the House are awful, so the Reid/McConnell discussions are about threading the partisan needle.

    And what about Dems, who aren’t likely to approve of a Plan B that includes $1.5 trillion in cuts but nothing in the way of new revenue? Rumor has it the plan will include a few sweeteners for the left, including a possible extension of unemployment benefits, while shielding entitlements from the list of cuts.

    It’s easy to imagine Plan B gathering some momentum very quickly today. Indeed, if there’s a solid bipartisan Senate majority on board with its details, the White House signals its gruding support, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gives it his seal of approval (as appears likely), the plan would start to look like the life-preserver Washington has been waiting for.

    But that doesn’t answer questions about the radicalized House Republican caucus, much of which doesn’t consider drowning to be dangerous. They’d get $1.5 trillion in cuts and the opportunity to whine incessantly about the Obama White House raising the debt limit, while saying they were able to kill “Clean McConnell,” which the GOP base finds offensive. Whether that’s enough will come into focus over the next 36 hours.

  25. creolechild says:

    What is the [Federal Trade Commission] doing to oversee Google+ and the new service that apparently there’s some problems with?” demanded Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “What is the FTC doing in regards to Facebook and the facial recognition technology? Does that pose a threat to privacy?”

    The heads of the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and the National Telecommunication and Information Administration were called to answer to a House Energy and Commerce hearing about their efforts to curb improper data collection, use, and sharing often taken advantage of by marketing and advertising companies. FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez offered no specific details into her agency’s investigations but did reassure the members of the panel that the FTC was monitoring privacy issues.

    “I’m afraid I can’t comment on specific private companies but what I can tell you is that the agency is looking very closely at the social networking arena,” said Ramirez, pointing to the investigation subsequent settlement of a case regarding Google Buzz, one of the company’s previous, unsuccessful attempts at social networking.


  26. creolechild says:

    The New York Times Doesn’t Like Medicare

    That’s what readers of the NYT’s box on “issues holding up debt ceiling agreement” would conclude. The box tells readers that:

    “Officials have said that the program, which provides health care to people 65 and older, is not sustainable in its current form.”

    This is not true. There is no, as in zero, none, official document that says the program is not sustainable in its current form. There are official documents that show the program will need additional revenue at some point. The ACA passed by Congress last year reduced the projected shortfall in the program by more than 75 percent.

    As it stands, the projected shortfall over the program’s 75-year planning horizon is less than 0.4 percent of GDP. This is less than one quarter of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  27. creolechild says:

    Montana’s Gary Marbut wants to sell his homemade rifles, but he doesn’t want to follow federal laws that require him to “to record transactions, pay license fees and open his business to government inspectors.” So Marbut’s come up with an unusual solution — convince state legislatures to pass an unconstitutional law saying he’s free to violate federal law:


    Marbut’s bill, which is now law in eight states, runs headlong into the Constitution. For nearly 200 years, the Supreme Court has recognized that Congress has the power to regulate commerce that “concerns more States than one,” and this includes sweeping authority to regulate local merchants who sell products in the nation’s gun market. Without this power, Congress cannot prevent a barbecue restaurant in Alabama from only serving white patrons, and a long list of laws ranging from “the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Controlled Substances Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act [and] the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregated hotels, restaurants and theaters” are endangered.

    Yet, while Marbut’s bill is clearly and unambiguously unconstitutional, it is not unprecedented. Just as Marbut objects to the Supreme Court’s understanding of the Constitution today, in 1956, Virginia lawmakers objected to a different Supreme Court decision — Brown v. Board of Education. Rather than acknowledging that they are bound by the Constitution, these lawmakers instead enacted a “resolution of interposition” claiming that they were “duty bound” to defy the Supreme Court. That resolution included many of the same attacks on Congress’ power to regulate commerce that Marbut repeats today:


  28. creolechild says:

    Only One Federal Judge Has Been Confirmed In The Last Month | On June 21, the Senate confirmed Judge Michael Simon to a federal judgeship in Oregon. Simon is now the only judge to be confirmed in the last month. Only two additional judges — Judges Claire Cecchi and Esther Salas — were confirmed during the entire month of June. No judge has been confirmed during the month of July. This means that new federal judges are now being confirmed far more slowly than existing judges are retiring — a rate that will eventually drain the entire bench dry.

  29. creolechild says:

    Facing Hard Times: 11 Natural Stress-Busters

    In today’s economy, stress caused by financial hardship may affect one’s health negatively: insomnia, poor diet, lethargy, even depression can strike. If you’re facing this situation, due to a recent layoff or other life event that blindsided you, you might be identifying with Edgar Allen’s Poe’s narrator in his story, The Pit and the Pendulum.

    In the tale, the reader learns that the narrator is strapped to a table underneath a pendulum that swings. The pendulum has a blade and as it slowly descends toward the narrator’s heart, you can sense his fear, helplessness, and emotional turmoil. At the very last second, he is able to break free from the strap and escape the pendulum’s swing, but he isn’t out of the woods yet.
    There are more challenges for the narrator, trapped in his dark prison. The prison walls heat up and begin to close in on him. The reader predicts the narrator will surely fall and meet with death. Then, suddenly, a mysterious person latches onto him and prevents his fall. There is a happy ending after all.

    Like the narrator in Poe’s story, if you’ve lost a job and are struggling to find work it can feel like you’re trapped in a prison. Waiting for the pendulum to swing in your favor takes perseverance and it’s easy to become discouraged and disheartened. The process of waiting to find employment may be slow and painful. So how do people stop their prison walls from closing in?

    According to the experts, there are things you can do to combat stress during challenging life situations. Not every stress-buster will work for every person, but the list provides some excellent strategies that might help someone who is feeling overwhelmed by day-to-day stress.


    Read more:

  30. creolechild says:

    UH UH UH…….



    Media conservatives have done this before.

    In November of 2009, former Bush White House staffer Dana Perino said “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

    Mary Matalin, former counselor to Vice President Cheney, claimed in December 2009 that President Bush “inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.”

    In January of last year, Rudy Giuliani — who was the mayor of New York City at the time of the 9/11 attacks — told Good Morning America that “We had no domestic attacks under Bush.”

    Of course, 9/11 did happen eight months into Bush’s term — after he’d received a memo warning him “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

    In a subsequent appearance on CNN, Giuliani said, “I usually say we had no domestic attacks, no major domestic attack under President Bush since Sept. 11” and “I did omit the words ‘since Sept. 11.’ I apologize for that.”

    But even the standard, and somewhat bizarre, conservative talking point that Bush somehow prevented terrorist attacks from occurring on American soil after 9/11 is false. Here’s a list of terrorist attacks in the U.S. during Bush’s presidency:

    The Anthrax Attacks: In 2001, letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy, as well as to several news outlets (including the NY Post).

    Attack Against El Al Ticket Counter At LAX: In 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet opened fire at an El Al Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport killing two people and wounding four others before being shot dead. A 2004 Justice Department report stated that Hadayet’s case had been “officially designated as an act of international terrorism.”

    DC Sniper: The state of Virginia indicted Washington, D.C.-area sniper John Allen Muhammad — along with his accomplice, a minor at the time — on terrorism charges for one of the murders he committed during a three-week shooting spree across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Muhammad was convicted, sentenced to death, and subsequently executed for the crime.

    UNC SUV Attack: In March 2006, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill graduate Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar drove an SUV into an area of campus, striking nine pedestrians. According to reports, Taheri-azar said he acted because he wanted to “avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world.” Taheri-azar also reportedly stated in a letter: “I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohammad Atta, one of the 9/11/01 hijackers, who obtained a doctorate degree.”


  31. creolechild says:


    Fox host: “We were certainly safe between 2000-2008. I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil.”

    Either Eric Bolling was in a coma during the BushCo years, or he is a complete and utter idiot. I choose the latter. If only he’d checked with Rupert Murdoch’s goons before he opened his big stupid mouth, that might have jogged his memory in that vacuum between his ears. Or perhaps if he’d take some time to visit a few graveyards.

    ClusterFox does it again.

    To view video click on the link.]

  32. creolechild says:

    THANK YOU, GottaLaff and the Political Carnival for providing a dose of reality!

    To those “fed up with President Obama” and think he’ll win without your vote in 2012…
    It’s early in the election season, and polls are nothing but snapshots, and often not very accurate ones, but… I’m posting one anyway, to make a point.

    Many people I’ve encountered in various venues are so bitterly disappointed in President Obama that they have stomped their foot and sworn they will vote for down ticket Democratic candidates only, but hey, the president doesn’t need their vote so they’ll stick by their principles and let the rest of America do their thing. After all, they keep telling me, he’ll win a second term no matter what they do anyway.

    Not necessarily.

    I started to address the anger from the left in a previous post titled If you’re mad at President Obama, this one’s for you.

    As for making a point by withholding an Obama vote, now there are numbers to illustrate why voting against the GOP– while not ideal– is mandatory. Via Taegan:

    A new Gallup survey of registered voters finds that they are more likely to vote for the “Republican Party’s candidate for president” than for President Obama in the 2012 election, 47% to 39%. Preferences had been fairly evenly divided this year in this test of Obama’s re-election prospects.

    A vote against President Obama (whether it’s a vote for someone else or simply not checking any box) is:

    * A vote for even more legislation that would crush our civil liberties.

    * It’s a vote for seeing a President Bachmann or President Romney on your Tee Vee Box regularly, and knowing they call the shots. Yes, a President Bachmann would be in charge. Think about that.

    * It’s a vote for persecuting– and prosecuting– gay Americans.

    * It’s a vote for rolling back what’s left of our environmental laws.

    * It’s a vote for eliminating the few remaining freedoms relating to reproductive health that have survived the War on Women.

    * It’s a vote for teaching Christianity in our soon-to-be-extinct public schools.

    * It’s a vote for altering history to conform with personal bias.

    * It’s a vote for encouraging bigotry and racism.

    * It’s a vote for an even more conservative/corporate Supreme Court.

    * It’s a vote for people who want to crush unions, crush your independence, crush your voice, crush your privacy, crush you, by making your life a living hell.

    Try reversing all of that once it sets like cement.

    Since BushCo put their grimy, sleazy, illegal, stupid little stamp on this country, we find ourselves barely able to eke out reversals of their appalling policies. Hell, we can’t even introduce legislation that begins to do that, let alone pass any, even with a Democrat (albeit not a liberal) in the White House and a Democratic majority in the Senate.

    So give your time and/or money to congressional candidates, and to local ones, and rally around those who you truly believe in, with gusto. Make change happen, get behind a real movement, find a way to use your anguish and anger constructively. Go from feeling powerless to powerful by being pro-active. A Progressive Congress is an effective way to achieve our truly small-d-democratic goals.

    And then hold your nose (if you are one of the seething Dems out there) and vote for a Democrat who could actually win the presidency, because unfortunately, a vote against him will contribute to a President Perry or President Pawlenty.

    And that is truly terrifying.

    Making a statement via a protest vote (or non-vote) is one thing. Unfortunately, reality is quite another.

  33. creolechild says:

    In These Times Publishes Exposé Of Koch-ALEC Plan To Privatize Government And Destroy Public Services | In These Times’s Beau Hodai has published an explosive new exposé of how the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers are conspiring with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to promote and pass legislation nationwide that would privatize key government functions and sell off crucial public goods. The author tracks the effort of both the Kochs and ALEC across the country, including their pivotal role in crafting anti-labor legislation in Florida.

  34. creolechild says:

    Democrats are calling attention to the effect that voter ID laws which have swept through state legislatures this year could have on voter turnout. But voter ID laws aren’t the only restrictive measures imposed on the right to vote which civil rights organizations say are going to hurt voter turnout.

    Take Florida. Voters there are already asked to show a photo ID when they vote. Now thanks to a law passed by Florida lawmakers, they’re less likely to be registered in the first place. The bill, HB 1355, shortened the length of the sunshine state’s early voting period and stopped voters from being able to change their address at the polls. But the law’s restrictions on third-party voter registration groups could do the most damage, and have already forced one of the oldest voter education groups out of the voter registration game altogether. Such groups would face stiff fines unless they turned in voter registration cards within 48 hours of them being filled out.

    The League of Women Voters announced they were dropping their voter registration program just after the law was rushed through by Republicans in the legislature in May. Deirdre MacNabb, president of the Florida League of Women Voters, told TPM in a phone interview this week that they just couldn’t operate under the restrictions.

    “When we looked at the laws, we felt that this would put our thousands of volunteers across the state who have registered voters for 70 years in Florida at a grave disadvantage,” MacNabb said.
    Volunteers would have to have “a secretary on one hand and a lawyer on the other hand as they registered voters,” MacNabb said.

    “We did not feel that we as an organization could ask our volunteers to undergo that kind of vague, restrictive and punitive restriction which the legislature has tried to impose,” MacNabb said. MacNabb said her organization is reviewing its legal options and considering taking action against the law. She was reluctant to say what the motivation was behind the laws, saying she was only focused on what the outcome would be.


    • Ametia says:

      This is the DIRECT consequences of folks who voted for the Rethug Governor-Rick Scott and those who had the power to vote and did not vote at all.

      GOP can’t win elections; they have to STEAL’EM! So now the question is, What are folks going to do about it?

  35. creolechild says:

    Gives new meaning to the saying, when one hand washes the other.”

    On Thursday, the House passed a bill that effectively eliminates federal oversight on water standards. The bill rolls back the Clean Water Act, returning most oversight to the states, and passed with almost all Republicans and a handful of Democrats supporting it. The measure has a title that sounds kind of pleasant—the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011″—but when you read it you realize it’s really just an effort to return us to the days of the Cuyahoga River fire and Love Canal.

    The House passed the bill by a vote of 239 to 184 on Wednesday, but like many of the assaults on EPA authority this year, it’s unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate. Nearly every Republican supported the provision, along with 12 Democrats—most of them from coal states. crunched the numbers and found that interest groups that supported this motion—like the National Mining Association and the West Virginia Coal Association—gave 94 percent more money to House members who voted in favor of the bill than they did to those who voted against it. Those interest groups gave 61 times as much money ($13,588 total) to Democrats who voted for it as they gave to Dems who voted against it (just $224).


  36. creolechild says:

    Led by Color of Change, protesters appeared on the doorstep of Rupert Murdoch’s New York City abode today to call for a congressional investigations of possible phone-hacking and other questionable practices by his News Corporation properties — which in the U.S. include Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. Protesters also sought to deliver 110,000 petitions calling for the ouster of Fox Business Host Eric Bolling, who has consistently made racially-charged statements about President Barack Obama.

    [To view photos click on link.]

  37. Ametia says:

    I know It’s early, but what the HELL

  38. creolechild says:

    With a combined total of $35 million in campaign funds, Republican presidential candidates are still falling behind President Obama’s whopping $86 million fundraising haul, a deficit that no doubt has some campaign managers stressed about their financial futures. Michele Bachmann, however, need not worry, because the Minnesota Representative is the only declared presidential candidate to have received a fiduciary blessing from the GOP’s current financial kingmakers, Charles and David Koch.

    According to Koch Industries’ FEC files, the company’s political action committee has already donated $5,000 to Bachmann’s presidential primary bid, suggesting that pundits, including myself, may be wrong about the Republican’s odds of wooing elite insiders who are jittery over such a radically fundamentalist candidate.


    Looking over Koch Industries’ FEC documents, it becomes clear the Koch brothers have always had Bachmann’s back: the company’s PAC has given her $30,000 in campaign cash since 2006, the year of her first Congressional election. (Note: Bachmann has yet to release her primary fundraising numbers.) In other Koch giving news, the company recently gave the Blue Dog Political Action Committee, a group devoted to electing moderate Democrats, $5,000, bringing their total donations to that organization to $56,000 since 1999, according to the FEC.

    Perhaps Philip Ellender, head of Koch Industries’ governmental and public affairs office, forgot that little tidbit when he tore into Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chair Sen. Patty Murray after she asked for a donation.

    • creolechild says:

      Here’s some context about the Koch Brothers in case you’re not familiar with who they are, and what they represent, as described by the lengthy expose entitled, Covert Operations, which was written by Jane Mayer.


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

      In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups.

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


      Read more

  39. creolechild says:

    Here’s an interesting article about long-term vision, self-reliance, community spirit, and entrepreneurship in action:

    In 1988, we in Detroit were at one of the great turning points in history. Detroit’s deindustrialization, devastation, and depopulation had turned the city into a wasteland, but it had also created the space and place where there was not only the necessity but also the possibility of creating a city based not on expanding production but on new values of sustainability and community. Instead of investing our hopes in GM, Ford, and Chrysler and becoming increasingly alienated from each other and the Earth, we needed to invest in, work with, and rely on each other.


    As Detroiters, we were very conscious of our city as a movement city. Out of the ashes of industrialization we decided to seize the opportunity to create a twenty-first-century city, a city both rural and urban, which attracts people from all over the world because it understands the fundamental need of human beings at this stage in our evolution to relate more responsibly to one another and to the Earth. By giving our children and young people a better reason to learn than just the individualistic one of getting a job or making more money, by encouraging them to make a difference in their neighborhoods, we would get their cognitive juices flowing.


    What has developed through both conscious organizing drives and the actions of many individual residents is a significant urban agricultural movement in Detroit. All over the city there are now thousands of family gardens, more than two hundred community gardens, and dozens of school gardens. All over the city there are garden cluster centers that build relationships between gardeners living in the same area by organizing garden workdays and community meetings where participants share information on resources and how to preserve and market their produce.


    That is what revolutions are about. They are about creating a new society in the places and spaces left vacant by the disintegration of the old; about evolving to a higher Humanity, not higher buildings; about Love of one another and of the Earth, not Hate; about Hope, not Despair; about saying YES to Life and NO to War; about becoming the change we want to see in the world.

  40. creolechild says:

    A hunger strike started by prisoners at Pelican Bay to protest appalling conditions has spread across California as inmates at 13 prisons joined in solidarity. The number of inmates refusing food hit a peak of 6,600, and is now estimated at 1,700. They are now in their 13th day of the hunger strike, and relatives are reporting that many are near death but still refusing medical attention. [I think someone made an error –the numbers don’t add up !]

    Pelican Bay is a maximum security facility where inmates are held in windowless isolation cells for more than 22 hours a day, shower once every three days, and can have little or no contact with other prisoners for years and even decades at a time:

    A core group of prisoners at Pelican Bay said they were willing to starve to death rather than continue to submit to prison conditions that they call a violation of basic civil and human rights.

    “No one wants to die,” James Crawford, a prisoner serving a life sentence for murder and robbery, said in a statement provided by a coalition of prisoners’ rights groups. “Yet under this current system of what amounts to intense torture, what choice do we have?” The hunger strike comes only weeks after the Supreme Court ordered California to dramatically lower its prisons population, because severe overcrowding was exposing inmates to high levels of violence and disease.

    Hunger strike leaders are demanding an end to long-term confinement and collective punishment, access to food and programs, and “an end to the practice of ‘debriefing,’ or requiring prisoners to divulge information about themselves and other prisoners around gang affiliation in order to be released back into general population.”


  41. creolechild says:

    Good morning, 3Chics!

  42. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, July 14, 2011You might be an Obamabot if…
    – You object to the use of blackface at any time under any circumstances.

    – You recognize that the public option NEVER had 60 votes in the Senate.

    – You don’t think it was a good idea to primary Bernie Sanders.

    – You think that “drawing a line in the sand” with hostage takers is not the greatest strategy.

    – You understand the meaning and importance of a north star in politics.

    – You believe that slow and steady really does win the race.

    – You pay attention to what people outside the progressive blogosphere are saying and thinking.

    – You remember enough history to know that FDR and LBJ had their faults.

    – You remember enough history to know that Social Security had some serious flaws when it originally passed.

    – You remember that it was 9 years from the Montgomery Bus Boycott until the Civil Rights Law was passed.

    – You understand what the phrase “we are the one’s we’ve been waiting for” means.

    – You can acknowledge that Medicare will need to be reformed in order to be fiscally sustainable in the future.

    – You know that Congress is the body the Constitution enabled to pass legislation.

    – You value reasoned argument and thoughtful strategy over emo rants.

    – You think there might actually be some Republican and Independent voters left who can still be reasoned with.

    – You doubt that all public policy issues can be solved through use of the bully pulpit.

    – You know that change takes more than “yelling louder.”

    If you want to add to the list – please feel free to do so in the comments. I might update as others come to mind.

    Of course, if you believe ALL of those things, we know what a certain firebagger thinks you are.
    Posted by Smartypants at 7:45 PM

  43. rikyrah says:

    Murdoch protege Rebekah Brooks resigns in phone hacking scandal, company promises apology

    By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, July 15, 8:04 AM
    LONDON — Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch’s loyal lieutenant, resigned Friday as chief executive of his embattled British newspapers, becoming the biggest casualty so far in the phone hacking scandal at a now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

    Murdoch had defended the 43-year-old Brooks in the face of demands from British politicians that she step down, and had previously refused to accept her resignation. He made an abrupt switch, however, as his News Corp. company struggled to contain a U.K. crisis that is threatening his entire global media empire.

    Brooks was editor of the News of the World tabloid between 2000 and 2003, when the paper’s employees allegedly hacked into the telephone of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler when police were searching for her in 2002. That has raised allegations of interfering in a police investigation.

    That allegation last week provoked outrage far beyond previous revelations of snooping on celebrities, politicians and top athletes, and knocked billions off the value of News Corp. In quick succession, Murdoch closed the 168-year-old News of the World and abandoned his multibillion-pound attempt to take full control of the lucrative British Sky Broadcasting, while Prime Minister David Cameron appointed a judge to conduct a sweeping inquiry into criminal activity at the paper and in the British media.

    Brooks said the debate over her position as CEO of News International was now too much of a distraction for parent company News Corp. and she would concentrate on refuting allegations in the scandal.

    “I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate,” Brooks said in an email Friday to colleagues that was released by News International. “This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavors to fix the problems of the past.”

  44. rikyrah says:

    Kentucky Republican files complaint over homeless voter registration

    Bill Johnson, Republican candidate for secretary of state, filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Secretary of State Elaine Walker and the State Board of Elections over voter registration of homeless people.

    Johnson, a Todd County businessman and educator, contends Walker and the board are violating the Kentucky Constitution by allowing people who don’t have addresses to register to vote.

    He says the elections board was wrong June 30 when it notified county clerks they could register voters who have no addresses.

    The board said applications should be approved if they have “homeless” or “place to place” listed as addresses.

    Walker, who is chairwoman of the elections board, was not available for comment.

    “The homeless, like all Americans, have the right to vote,” Johnson said in his complaint. “However, to exercise that right to vote, all persons must register using the voter registration form and meet residency and precinct requirements.”

    Johnson said during an interview that he does not oppose voting by the homeless but said they should have to list addresses, even if those addresses are of shelters.

    If all voters aren’t required to have specific addresses, Johnson said, elections could be open to fraud.

    Read more:

  45. rikyrah says:

    Obama Recession Symbol Elkhart Mends as U.S. Manufacturing Grows
    Indiana’s Elkhart County became a symbol of what was wrong in the U.S. economy when President Barack Obama traveled there in February 2009 to make an appeal for more federal spending during a “deep and dire” recession.

    Today, the county’s rebound is evident in the “Employment Opportunities” sign at truckmaker Utilimaster Corp., the return of laid-off workers at recreational-vehicle producer Jayco Inc., and the restoration of a downtown theater. The manufacturing community, which was losing jobs faster than anywhere in the U.S. as its unemployment rate soared to 20.3 percent in March 2009, is now a leader in the year-over-year drop in joblessness.

    Elkhart’s turnaround, largely a result of the revival of its main industry, recreational-vehicle production, reflects a nationwide strengthening in manufacturing, one of the few bright spots in a U.S. economy whose growth has slowed.

    “What’s happening in Elkhart is typical of what’s happening across America,” said Morton Marcus, an Indianapolis economist and former Indiana University professor. “It’s just noticeable in Elkhart because the unemployment rate was so high.”

    U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly accelerated in June as factories rebuilt inventories, a report this month by the Institute for Supply Management showed. The group’s measures of production, new orders and employment also climbed.

    “With the recovery has come a rebound in RVs and autos, so now you are seeing places like Elkhart doing much better, as are towns like Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio, where the auto industry is the dominant influence,” said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics LLC in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

  46. rikyrah says:

    If News Corp hacked the phones of 9/11 families, Fox News is finished

    The FBI investigation into the News Corp 9/11 hacking allegations could endanger the company’s broadcast licences in the US

    There are few universally sacred cows in American politics these days, but the families of the victims of 9/11 are among them – conservative pundits Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck notwithstanding.

    So with the bombshell that News of the World reporters may have sought not only to hack into their cell phone records and voice mails but to bribe a former NYPD officer to help, the US government finally got engaged in doing more than posturing.

    Of course, a fair bit of posturing – some of it deserved – was clearly going to be the end result of the News Corp scandal here, even if the scandal itself remained confined to British soil. After all, News Corp is the parent company of the politically-divisive Fox News, and any whiff of scandal was going to be red meat for an exhausted and increasingly demoralised Democratic base in need of something else to think about.

    And from early adopters Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat, West Virginia) to Senator Frank Lautenberg (Democrat, New Jersey) to the plethora of House Democrats who joined in the chorus to investigate News Corp for hacking Americans, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which prohibits the payment of bribes abroad by any company with any American operations) and for possiblly violating the accounting rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (by paying bribes abroad and covering them up), it was clear that the interest had far more to do with News Corp. (and its subsidiary Fox News) than any real interest in the virtually unknown-to-Americans News of the World.

    There it might have stayed, what with some Republican Congress members like Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (Republican, Florida) initially satisfied with NewsCorps assurances that the problems were confined abroad. That is until the 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters & World Trade Center Victims came out in favor of an investigation into whether they were hacked. With that, House homeland security chairman Peter King (Republican, New York) proved himself far less likely to rely on News Corp’s statements alone and called for an investigation, given his constituents’ close connections to 9/11 and his own reputation as their biggest defender in Congress.

    King, a frequent guest on Fox News programs whose hearings on Muslim radicalisation earlier this year garnered him more than a fair share of criticism on every other network, was apparently the last crack in the proverbial dam at the Department of Justice, which announced only a day later that they were beginning a probe into whether News Corp. employees attempted to hack 9/11 victims’ phones or records.

    The investigation, of course, will be just more ammunition for those who hardly need an excuse to bash Fox News, especially after some of its talent made their names questioning the patriotism of various liberal political figures (including President Obama).

    Any proof that News Corp did try out its phone hacking here could jeopardise more than an as-yet incomplete acquisition or one newspaper. As the LA Times noted, convictions among News Corp employees could potentially endanger the company’s broadcast licences in the US and, as King’s call for an FBI showed, endanger the company’s reputation among once-loyal conservatives. That would likely be a bigger loss to the company than even News of the World, given Fox News’ near-monopoly on conservative viewers these days.

  47. rikyrah says:

    For now, polling favors Obama in debt debate
    By Michael A. Memoli

    July 14, 2011, 11:17 a.m.
    As Americans more closely monitor the negotiations in Washington over the debt ceiling, new polling suggests that President Obama may have a narrow advantage over Republicans in the debate over spending and taxes, though it may be fleeting.

    A new Quinnipiac survey released Thursday showed that, 48%-34%, voters would blame Republicans instead of Obama if the debt limit is not raised and the nation defaults. Voters also support his call for a “balanced package” that includes both new revenues and spending cuts.

    The president’s approval rating has remained remarkably stable even in the high-profile dispute with Republicans. Quinnipiac found 47% of voters approved of his performance, unchanged from a June survey and up slightly from his pre-Bin Laden showing.

    Meanwhile the approval rating for congressional Republicans dropped to 26%, lowest since the party assumed majority status in January, and now below the similarly poor rating for their Democratic counterparts.

    “The American people aren’t very happy about their leaders, but President Obama is viewed as the best of the worst, especially when it comes to the economy,” Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown said.

    Only 38% approve of how Obama is handling the economy, and 33% approve of his handling of the budget deficit. But 45-38%, voters trust Obama more than Republicans in Congress to handle the economy.

    The survey was conducted from July 5-11. Obama has since continued to use the presidential bully pulpit to press his case to the American people, including a morning news conference on Monday, a nationally televised interview Wednesday night, and interviews scheduled with local television affiliates Thursday.

    Another metric no doubt pleasing to the White House: by a two-to-one margin, voters say they blame President George W. Bush over Obama for the economic recession. Fifty-four percent say Bush is more to blame while 27% point the finger at Obama; the split is 49%-24% among self-identified independents.,0,193201.story

  48. Ametia says:

    PBO holds presser at 11 am.m EDT/ 10 am.m CT in the James Bradly Room

  49. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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