Saturday Open Thread

Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 10 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a Grammy Award winning South African singer and civil rights activist.

In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music in the U.S. and around the world. She is best known for the song “Pata Pata“, first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela.

She actively campaigned against the South African system of Apartheid. As a result, the South African government revoked her citizenship and right of return. After the end of Apartheid she returned home. She died on 10 November 2008 after performing in a concert organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation local to the Region of Campania.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell Says Change Constitution Since Voters Disagree With GOP
    July 15, 2011
    By Hrafnkell Haraldsson

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)is frustrated that things aren’t all going the GOP’s way. It is a surprise to no one that the Tea Party/GOP platform this election cycle revolves around things that have nothing to do with fixing the economy they destroyed in eight years under Bush. And while they claim they are “fiscal conservatives”, what this really means is that we should be spending money on what THEY want to spend it on – generally further enriching the rich and on war.

    McConnell says it’s time for a constitutional amendment forcing a balanced budget. What’s hilarious about this is that President Clinton managed this without an amendment. Democrats since Eisenhower’s presidency have been very careful with the debt and the budget. It’s the Republicans who have repeatedly gummed things up with out of control spending. And while it was Eisenhower who warned against the Military Industrial Complex it is the Republicans who have worshiped at its altar for the past half-century. America won’t forget that it was the Republicans under Bush who declared two wars they couldn’t pay for (wouldn’t pay for) and a tax cut accompanied by increased spending. McConnell wasn’t suggesting this amendment while a white Christian Republican sat in the White House. But damned if he doesn’t say we need it now that a “black anti-colonialist Kenyan Muslim” is sitting there:

    “The time has come for a balanced budget amendment that forces Washington to balance its books. If these debt negotiations have convinced us of anything, it’s that we can’t leave it to politicians in Washington to make the difficult decisions that they need to get our fiscal house in order. The balanced budget amendment will do that for them. Now is the moment. No more games. No more gimmicks. The Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. We’ve tried persuasion. We’ve tried negotiations. We’re tried elections. Nothing has worked.”

    Be sure to follow McConnell’s logic chain here and remember to decode Republican language; i.e. persuasion = “ultimatum” and negotiations = blackmail:

    Republicans ultimatums couldn’t force us into doing what they want us to do;
    Blackmailing the president didn’t force us to do what they want us to do; and,
    Elections didn’t get them the majorities they needed to force us to do what they want us to do and they didn’t get enough votes to suspend democracy in every state (e.g. Wisconsin and Michigan); therefore,
    We need to change the Constitution to force people to do what they want us to do.

    In other words, Democracy did exactly what it is supposed to do; it functioned exactly as it was designed to function. Elections were held, but the GOP doesn’t like the result. They tried picking up their toys and going home but that didn’t work either. The next logical step for the party of totalitarianism is for the Constitution to get changed so we the American people become the serfs the Founding Fathers always wanted us to be and the Republicans rule America as Jesus intended.

    So much for the party that purports to follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers. So much for Democracy. When it doesn’t get you the desired result, they suspend the two-party system and then democracy itself. Pay close attention, America. The Republicans are not even pretending to be American patriots anymore.

    • Ametia says:

      Yes; read this earlier last week. Let’s change the constitution to work in Mitch’s favor. We don’t need no stinkin’ elections! No respect or regard for the voting process, because those darkies got the right via amendment, let’s get our own amendment1 I loathe these people, I really do.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Zombies Push The GOP into Boston Harbor
    July 16, 2011
    By D. L. MacKenzie

    When President Obama dramatically took leave of the theatrics in Wednesday’s futile debt negotiations, news outlets predictably focused on the melodrama. Right wing pundits pounced on the President as churlish and panicky, with Rush Limbaugh painting a cartoonishly dismal picture:

    “So the pressure mounts on the Republicans in the House, and so far they’re standing firm. I think Obama’s cracking, folks, I think he’s cracking up…. I thought this guy was Mr. Calm and Cool, and I thought this guy was the one who was the adult in the room. He’s none of what they told us he is and I believe Obama is starting to crack.”

    Rush opened the segment by pushing his far-fetched theory that rating agency Moody’s is running the show, pushing Obama and Congressional Democrats to terrify voters with debt default doomsday scenarios, although Rush clearly thinks a default is no big deal. He also continues advancing the fanciful narrative of big, strong Republicans hanging tough and manhandling the “man-child” President Obama.

    The truth is precisely the opposite (a handy rule of thumb if you must listen to Rush). Although it was apparently less newsworthy than Obama’s strategic withdrawal on Wednesday, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor reportedly maintained utter silence during Thursday’s negotiations. It’s not entirely clear how and why Cantor was apparently neutered and muzzled before the big meeting with the President, but this development certainly seems to disperse Rush’s whimsical apparition of a rough and ready united Republican front, as do further eleventh-hour developments:

    In a desperate and transparently political maneuver, Mitch McConnell is considering a shameful compromise to hand over to Obama the Congressional authority on raising the debt ceiling. Even anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist has offered a compromise that would permit closing corporate tax loopholes.

    Where is the united front? Doesn’t the Tea Party Taliban realize that they have the upper hand, that President Man-Child is on the ropes? Shouldn’t budget fundamentalists like McConnell and Norquist be stiffening their resolve and preparing to deal Obama a death blow? The solution to this conundrum is that deep fractures are widening within the Republican Party. Furthermore, the true party power brokers may be overtly political ideologues masquerading as macroeconomic gurus, but they’re not complete idiots.

    In terms of economics, there is no question in any sane mind that permitting a default on our National Debt would trigger a catastrophic global economic meltdown. Even if Main Street doesn’t universally grasp the enormity of such a catastrophe, Wall Street most certainly does. It’s only Tea Party crazies who refuse to accept reality.

    For instance, Michele Bachmann has joined forces with fellow congenital idiots Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to propose painting the Titanic’s deck chairs red, white, and blue. They are promoting legislation that would ensure military personnel continue to receive paychecks even if the debt ceiling is not raised. “We cannot go on scaring the American people, and we need to be truthful,” Bachmann said. “I call on the president and (Treasury) Secretary (Timothy) Geithner to tell the truth.” The truth, apparently, is that we can maintain our creditworthiness by cutting off all spending other than military pay and Social Security and Medicare payments, and sending the balance of our tax revenues to China and other creditors. See how easy?

  3. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Blame Obama: Only 6 Democratic Senators Voted To Fund Closing GITMO
    July 16, 2011
    By Jason Easley

    Far left progressives constantly bash Obama for not closing GITMO, but a closer look at the facts reveals that their blame has been misplaced.

    On January 22, 2009 as one of his first official acts in office, Barack Obama signed an executive order to close GITMO within one year. On that day Obama said, “This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard.

    In May 2009 only 6 Senate Democrats voted NO on the amendment to, “To prohibit funding to transfer, release, or incarcerate detainees detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to or within the United States.”

    Progressive heroes Chuck Schumer, Byron Dorgan, and Russ Feingold all sided with the Republican minority and voted to deny Obama the funding that he needed to close GITMO and relocate the detainees. Only six Democrats stood with the president on closing GITMO, Durbin, Harkin, Reed, Levin, Leahy, and Whitehouse. The rest of them caved to fear tactics and voted with the Republicans.’

  4. rikyrah says:

    Saudi Moneyman Forces Rupert Murdoch to Grovel and Rebekah Brooks Out
    July 15, 2011
    By Sarah Jones

    In case you were wondering who calls the shots at News Corporation, it’s not Rupert Murdoch when push comes to shove. It’s Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud, the second largest shareholder in News Corp, who demanded that former News of the World Editor and current chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks resign.

    Rebekah Brooks lost the protection of Daddy Murdoch on Friday as prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud insisted that she had to go as chief of News International. He said “(T)hat if there was evidence of Brooks’s “explicit” involvement in the alleged illegal activity, “for sure she has to go, you bet she has to go. Ethics to me are very important. I will not deal with a lady or a man that has any sliver of doubt on her or his integrity.’”

    The Prince’s statement does little to explain his dealings with Rupert Murdoch, but in any case, Brooks’ resignation may leave the younger James Murdoch even more exposed that he was previously.

    The Telegraph reported that Murdoch’s eldest daughter was fed up with Rebekah and said she had “fucked up the company”. This accusation was met with outraged denial by “a source close to Elisabeth (Murdoch’s eldest daughter). Maybe someone will hack Rebekah’s phone now, while she’s down?

    This is the same Rebekah who just a week ago fired the entire staff at News of the World while she was promoted. Clearly the culture of privilege extended beyond corruption and lawlessness and was so inbred for the Murdochs and Brooks that they thought they could blame a few rogue reporters, put hundreds out of work and go on to make a financial killing with BSkyeB. As we now know, fate had other plans.

    The BSkyeB deal is dead and Murdoch may be compelled to give up his remaining stock in the company. Brooks has resigned and this time the Murdochs accepted her resignation. They all face the MPs next week. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s office was forced to publish a list of guests to Chequers, upon which reside the names of Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and even “disgraceful” former News of the World turned Prime Minster’s PR fellow Andy Coulson, months after the Prime Minister had to let him go.

    And here in America, the FBI is investigating the alleged phone hacking of 9/11 victims’ phones. As has happened in Britain, one question will lead to another, so the FBI investigation may soon broaden its search. The Guardian suggests that America is the real source of Murdoch’s financial power. I doubt that hubris of Murdoch level is pierced easily, so I would be surprised if they are even aware of what this could mean but perhaps the Prince will weigh in and force an apology here as well. The “apology” will run this weekend.

  5. Ametia says:

    Cats Crash Hillary Clinton’s Interview in Turkey
    US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Turkey had a different kind of interruption Saturday when two stray cats appeared to “crash” the interview Clinton was taking part in.

    As Clinton was taking questions from audience members in Istanbul, two cats appeared near her chair, causing her to stop and coo, “Oh, hi!”

    “Do you like cats?” the moderator asked.

    “I do, I do yes,” Clinton answered.

    Video here:

  6. Ametia says:

    Dam, I’m watching “Boomerang” Eartha Kitt had a body that a 20 year old would envy.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:32 AM PDT
    FALL OF HOUSE OF MURDOCH VI: Elisabeth actually said “James and Rebekah F*cked the Company”+

    After Bloody Friday, and the late but inevitable resignation of Rupert Murdoch’s two closest personal lieutenants – Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton – News Corp are trying to run damage limitation: apologies in the British Press, denials of hacking 9/11 victims.

    But despite the best attempts of their PR firm Edelman, this will not wash, and there’s already enough known and proven in the public domain to turn our attention to the Newscorp Executive who took over from Hinton as head of Newscorps European arm, and who supervised the payout of millions in hush-money to the victims of phone hacking two years ago: a certain man by the name of James Murdoch.

    As Michael Wolff – the Vanity Fair writer and biographer who knows the ins-and-outs of the family court – tweets:

    (can’t capture the screen captures of the tweets – click on the link to read them)

    Wolff also corrects the rumours yesterday that Elisabeth Murdoch said “Rebekah fucked the company” at a book party last Sunday. No, she didn’t say precisely that. James’ sister said:

    “James and Rebekah fucked the Company”

    So here’s a little more about the crass libertarian ideology that has driven her brother – and potentially the company – over the cliff.

    James Murdoch: The Rand Paul of Media

    Unlike his father (who was merely the son of a millionaire) and was an outsider with an Australian twang when he came to the snooty UK newspaper scene of the late 60s, James Murdoch is the son of a billionaire, speaks with a horrible Blair-like transatlantic twinge, and has the smug permatan look of the new apparatchiks – the MBA/Kinsey/Davos set who run the world without roots in any particular county.

    But two years ago he announced his plan to destroy my country’s freedom of speech. His father had already nearly destroyed our press after 30 years of downmarket sleaze and broadsheet censorship. But our broadcasting media were still relatively intact. In his now infamous McTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Film and TV Festiival 2009, James Murdoch set out his vision.

    A radical reorientation of the regulatory approach is necessary if dynamism and innovation is going to be central to the UK media industry.

    Er… Sounds boring I know. But after the speech writer had padded out the jargon and thrown in some obtuse and irrelevant quotations of Darwin, Murdoch Jnr announced his real target – the global and domestic brand of the BBC.

    There is a land-grab, pure and simple, going on – and in the interests of a free society it should be sternly resisted. The land grab is spear-headed by the BBC. The scale and scope of its current activities and future ambitions is chilling.*cked-the-Company?via=siderec

  8. Stain From Tabloids Rubs Off on a Cozy Scotland Yard

    LONDON — For nearly four years they lay piled in a Scotland Yard evidence room, six overstuffed plastic bags gathering dust and little else.

    Inside was a treasure-trove of evidence: 11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid newspaper.

    Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page, said former and current senior police officials.

    During that same time, senior Scotland Yard officials assured Parliament, judges, lawyers, potential hacking victims, the news media and the public that there was no evidence of widespread hacking by the tabloid. They steadfastly maintained that their original inquiry, which led to the conviction of one reporter and one private investigator, had put an end to what they called an isolated incident.

    After the past week, that assertion has been reduced to tatters, torn apart by a spectacular avalanche of contradictory evidence, admissions by News International executives that hacking was more widespread, and a reversal by police officials who now admit to mishandling the case.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 16, 2011 10:35 AM

    In line with popular opinion

    By Steve Benen

    All recent polling shows the same thing: Americans want a debt-reduction agreement that combines less spending and more revue. This is a fact President Obama was eager to promote during his press conference yesterday.

    “My hope, though, is that [members of Congress are] listening not just to lobbyists or special interests here in Washington, but they’re also listening to the American people. Because it turns out poll after poll, many done by your organizations, show that it’s not just Democrats who think we need to take a balanced approach; it’s Republicans as well.

    “The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. That’s not just Democrats; that’s the majority of Republicans. […]

    “The bottom line is that this is not an issue of salesmanship to the American people; the American people are sold. The American people are sold…. [Y]ou have 80 percent of the American people who support a balanced approach. Eighty percent of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically into various positions because they boxed themselves in with previous statements.

    “And so this is not a matter of the American people knowing what the right thing to do is. This is a matter of Congress doing the right thing and reflecting the will of the American people.”

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued otherwise, apparently under the impression that the public is on the GOP’s side. As the day progressed, more and more folks on the right became quite agitated about this, insisting that the president is just wrong about public attitudes.

    In fairness, Obama’s “80%” figure is an exaggeration. A Gallup poll this week found that only 20% of Americans agree with Republican demands for a spending-cut-only approach, but that doesn’t mean that literally 80% are on the other side. The results showed 20% support the GOP line, 69% want a plan with both cuts and new revenue, while 4% want an approach that only brings in new revenue and doesn’t cut spending.

    But this still a terribly odd thing for Republicans to complain about. We can quibble on some of the details, but Gallup found 69% want a combination of cuts and revenue, while 20% want only cuts. That means — you guessed it — the GOP’s hard line isn’t popular at all.

    And it’s not just one poll. Greg Sargent explained yesterday, “[I]t’s true that the 80 percent figure Obama cited at today’s presser is inflated. But polls from Pew, Quinnipiac, Gallup, and the Washington Post all find that large majorities do in fact favor a mix of increases and cuts.”

    Indeed, none other than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), of all people, said this week, “If I were Boehner and Cantor, I’d get one of our highly respected Republican pollsters to come over and brief them. Right now, we’re not winning the battle.”

    Whether it’s 80-20 or 69-20 is largely irrelevant in the larger context, since the point is the same. Do Republicans really want to get into an extended debate — right now — over whether Obama’s approach is more popular than theirs or much more popular than theirs?

  10. President Barack Obama meets with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House, Saturday, July 16, 2011.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 16, 2011 12:10 PM

    The ceiling and the damage done

    By Steve Benen

    As congressional Republicans inch ever closer to crashing the American economy on purpose, it’s tempting to start looking at the calendar and wondering when we’ll see the real-world effects. We’re all aware of the Aug. 2 deadline, but we’re also aware of the fact that some credit-rating agencies aren’t prepared to wait that long.

    But even if we’re fortunate, and Congress somehow manages to prevent a calamity sometime very soon, this breathtakingly stupid game of chicken has already made an important statement. Felix Salmon had a piece the other day that continues to linger.

    The base-case scenario is, still, that the debt ceiling will be raised, somehow. But already an enormous amount of damage has been done: the US Congress has demonstrated clearly that it can’t be trusted to govern the country in a responsible manner. And the tail-risk implications for markets are huge. Think of the speed with which the Egyptian government collapsed earlier this year, or the incredible downward velocity of News Corporation right now.

    When you build up large stocks of mistrust and ill will, nothing can happen for a very long time. But when something does happen, it’s much quicker and much worse than anybody could have anticipated. The markets might not be punishing the US government at the moment. But the mistrust and ill will is there, believe me. And when it appears, it will appear with a vengeance.

    I don’t know if Republican lawmakers are aware of any of this. Worse, I also don’t know if they care. But American leadership on the global stage rests on certain pillars that took generations to build and strengthen — credibility, reliability, stability, the integrity of our institutions, sound judgment. The Republican Party severely undermined these pillars in the Bush era, most notably in areas of foreign policy and the use of military force. The Republican Party is now severely undermining them again, this time in the area of global finances.

    No one can say with any confidence what’s going to happen over the next 17 days, but we already know the world is watching. We also know the world sees the actions of congressional Republicans and suspects the sanity of the world’s greatest superpower is very much in doubt.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Message From a Charter School: Thrive or Transfer

    Published: July 10, 2011

    In 2008, when Katherine Sprowal’s son, Matthew, was selected in a lottery to attend the Harlem Success Academy 3 charter school, she was thrilled. “I felt like we were getting the best private school, and we didn’t have to pay for it,” she recalled.

    And so, when Eva S. Moskowitz, the former city councilwoman who operates seven Success charter schools in Harlem and the Bronx, asked Ms. Sprowal to be in a promotional video, she was happy to be included.

    Matthew is bright but can be disruptive and easily distracted. It was not a natural fit for the Success charters, which are known for discipline and long school days. From Day 1 of kindergarten, Ms. Sprowal said, he was punished for acting out.

    “They kept him after school to practice walking in the hallway,” she said.

    Several times, she was called to pick him up early, she said, and in his third week he was suspended three days for bothering other children.

    In Matthew’s three years of preschool, Ms. Sprowal said, he had never missed time for behavior problems. “After only 12 days in your school,” she wrote the principal, “you have assessed and concluded that our son is defective and will not meet your school criteria.”

    Five days later, Ms. Sprowal got an e-mail from Ms. Moskowitz that she took as a veiled message to leave. “Am not familiar with the issue,” Ms. Moskowitz wrote, “but it is extremely important that children feel successful and a nine-hour day with more than 23 children (and that’s our small class size!) where they are constantly being asked to focus and concentrate can overwhelm children and be a bad environment.”

    The next week, the school psychologist evaluated Matthew and concluded he would be better suited elsewhere: “He may need a smaller classroom than his current school has available.”

    By then, Matthew was throwing up most mornings and asking his mother if he was going to be fired from school. Worn down, Ms. Sprowal requested help finding her son another school, and Success officials were delighted to refer him to Public School 75 on the Upper West Side.

    At that point, Ms. Sprowal had come to believe her son was so difficult that she was lucky anyone would take him. She wrote several e-mails thanking Ms. Moskowitz, saying she hoped that Matthew would someday be well-behaved enough to return to her “phenomenal” school.

    Three years later, looking back, Ms. Sprowal said she felt her son had been done an injustice. Matthew, who has had a diagnosis of an attention disorder, has thrived at P.S. 75. His second-grade teachers, Johanny Lopez and Chanté Martindale, have taught him many ways to calm himself, including stepping into the hallway for an exercise break. His report card last month was all 3s and 4s, the top marks; the teachers commented, “Matthew is a sweet boy who is a joy to have in the classroom.”

    Matthew’s story raises perhaps the most critical question in the debate about charter schools: do they cherry-pick students, if not by gaming the admissions process, then by counseling out children who might be more expensive or difficult to educate — and who could bring down their test scores, graduation rates and safety records?

    Kim Sweet, director of Advocates for Children of New York, said she had heard many such stories. “When we look at our cases where children are sent away from schools because of disabilities,” she said, “there are a disproportionate number of calls about charter schools.”

    There is no more tenacious champion of charters than Ms. Moskowitz, whose students earn top test scores and who has plans to build a chain of 40 schools. She saw Matthew’s experience in a far different light, as her spokeswoman, Jenny Sedlis, explained in two voluminous e-mails totaling 5,701 words.

    “We helped place him in a school that would better suit his needs,” Ms. Sedlis wrote. “His success today confirms the correctness of his placement. I believe that 100 percent of the time we were acting in Matthew’s best interest and that the end result benefited him and benefited P.S. 75, which now has a child excelling.”

    Ms. Sedlis denied that Matthew had been suspended, and said he was not disciplined when he was kept after school.

    • Ametia says:

      Take the money,for the charater school, get the black children in, to prove they aren’t racist, and then ship them out ASAP!

  13. Ametia says:

    Why Obama Has Already Won the Debt-Limit Fight: Jonathan Alter

    I get the feeling that it’s all over but the shouting. We may look back and say that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s convoluted parliamentary “backup plan” marked the effective end of the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis. The winner? President Barack Obama.

    Sure, an agreement this month on reducing the deficit would be preferable for restoring confidence in the economy and for the president’s legacy. Obama has told lawmakers they need to decide by Friday if a bargain is possible. But even if the parties miraculously strike a deal in the Cabinet Room, the votes aren’t there on Capitol Hill to pass it.

    The plan offered by McConnell this week does what Obama and the Republicans claimed they want to avoid: It kicks the can down the road again. Republicans in both houses — not to mention online and on the airwaves — were furious about his proposal, and McConnell even backpedaled from it a bit. But they have nothing else to fall back on.

    If you went into the congressional kitchen to cook up the perfect Washington fudge, this is what you’d get. Instead of “doing something big” about the deficit, McConnell is proposing to do nothing — then blame the other side.

  14. rikyrah says:

    5,000 Poor Dallas Residents Stampede Each Other In Race For Scarce Housing Vouchers

    By Marie Diamond on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Thursday morning, 5,000 Dallas residents in need of housing assistance showed up at the Jesse Owens Memorial complex early in the morning, hoping to be one of the lucky few to get a coveted spot on a waiting list for housing vouchers. Only 100 vouchers were available.

    Some people had camped out since Wednesday night, and the line was at least a mile long. When hundreds of people suddenly sprinted for the doors, at least eight people were injured, and some say they feel lucky not to have been trampled to death:

    When, at 6 a.m., officials said it was time to form a line, a frantic rush ensued — the latest sign of people’s desperation for help in tough times. There were no serious injuries, but video footage of the chaos received national attention.

    “Once they said we could go on the property, it was a stampede, a circus,” said Adelia Frierson, a 24-year-old single mother applying for the federally funded assistance.

    Zachary Thompson, the county’s director of health and human services, said the turnout once again demonstrates the need for the Housing Choice Vouchers, also known as Section 8. By the end of the day, about 5,000 households had applied. […]

    The hard-to-get vouchers pay a portion of the rent based on household income. This was the first time Dallas County had opened its waiting list since 2006, and applicants may have to wait at least two years to actually receive vouchers.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Revitalization of American Cities with the Resurgence of the Auto Industry
    Posted by David Agnew on June 03, 2011 at 11:45 AM EDT

    This week, the White House released a report highlighting the resurgence of the American auto industry. The report discusses the jobs created in the sector, the turnaround of the companies that are now turning a profit, and how entire communities have been revitalized by a strengthened auto industry.

    In advance of the President’s trip to Chrysler Group’s Toledo Supplier Park in Ohio, we heard from local officials around the country on how the recovery of the American automobile industry has impacted their communities.

    Mayor Greg Goodnight of Kokomo, Indiana told us:

    The comeback Kokomo has experienced due to the resurgence of the auto industry can be seen all around the City of Kokomo. Delphi is building a $25 million new state of art facility, Chrysler is investing over one billion dollars in their Kokomo facilities and our local economy is benefitting. Those who called for liquidation of the American auto industry did not have to look into the eyes of the auto industry employees who depend on these jobs to feed their families and send their children to school. They are my lifelong neighbors and friends; I know the impact these jobs have on our community.

    In Flint, Michigan Mayor Dayne Walling explained:

    Flint was named one of Kiplinger’s 11 comeback cities of 2011 because of job growth that is coming from the American auto industry. This is a historic turnaround for our community after more than a decade of net job losses. 750 more workers will be heading into the Flint Truck Assembly to go to work on a third shift because the American auto industry is again leading the world in quality and innovation.

    From Racine, Wisconsin, Mayor John Dickert wrote to us:

    We have several companies in Racine, large and small, who work directly in the automotive field. Without the president’s vision and his ability to make the right, albeit tough decisions, these workers would have been added to the unemployment lines, making our efforts to move Racine forward even more difficult.

    While in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mayor George Heartwell said:

    Like so many Midwest cities, Grand Rapids was slammed by the downturn in automotive manufacturing. The power of the automotive rebound is found in every economic sector from manufacturing to retail to hospitality and tourism.

    Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer expressed the gratitude of his city:

    We firmly believe that this tremendous investment by the Ford Motor Company in Louisville would not have been possible if not for the coordinated efforts by the policies of President Obama to assist the auto industry along with major contributions from Governor Steve Beshear and then Mayor Jerry Abramson to turn an out-dated assembly plant into the best auto manufacturing facility in the world.

  16. Soweto Blues

  17. Dalai Lama White House Visit: Barack Obama Invites Spiritual Leader For Saturday Meeting

    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.

  18. Ametia says:

    Any Potter fans?
    Final Harry Potter film smashes US box office records

    The final Harry Potter film is on course to smash all box office records as it opens in the US this weekend.
    Initial reports on US ticket sales for the last Harry Potter film in the series had, on Friday, passed $80 million (£50m) – it was the most lucrative single day in the history of Hollywood.

    In the last climactic confrontation between the forces of good and evil in the world of wizardry, there was already one clear victor – the studio.

  19. Good morning, Ametia, SG@ and Rikyrah!

    Love the site – I will visit daily.

  20. Ametia says:

    Here’s the Sunday morning lineup

    Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2:13 AM
    WASHINGTON — Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

    ABC’s “This Week” — Jack Lew, head of the White House budget office; Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.


    NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Lew; Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio; David Cote, CEO of Honeywell International and member of the president’s deficit commission.

    CBS’ ”Face the Nation” — Durbin and Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

    CNN’s “State of the Union” — Lew; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.


    “Fox News Sunday” — Herman Cain, GOP presidential candidate; Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.,

  21. Ametia says:

    And the whining, screeching PL are ecploding in 5,4,3,2,….

    Obama Eliminates Warren as Consumer Head
    QBy Mike Dorning and Carter Dougherty – Jul 15, 2011 7:16 PM CT

    President Barack Obama has chosen a candidate other than Elizabeth Warren as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a person briefed on the matter.

    The president’s choice is a person who already works at the consumer agency, the person said today. Obama may make the nomination as soon as next week, another person briefed on the administration’s plans said.

    The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process isn’t public, didn’t give the name of the choice.

    Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, was appointed last fall by Obama to set up the consumer bureau until a director was named. Warren previously was head of the congressional watchdog panel overseeing the bank bailout.

    Raj Date, a top deputy to Warren at the consumer bureau, was on a short list of candidates to become director, Bloomberg News reported last month, citing a person briefed on the process.

    The consumer bureau, which is to begin formal operations on July 21, was established by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial- regulatory overhaul to fill what lawmakers said was a gap in oversight of products whose abuse contributed to the 2008 credit crisis, including mortgages and credit cards.

    The bureau’s director requires confirmation by the Senate. After 44 Republican senators announced in May that they wouldn’t vote to approve any candidate to run the bureau without changes in its structure, analysts said the White House might have to resort to a temporary appointment during a congressional recess. Sixty of the 100 senators are effectively required to vote for a nomination due to procedural rules.

    Consumer bureau spokeswoman Jen Howard declined to comment, as did Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman.

  22. Ametia says:

    Repost from yesterday, since David Plouffe decides to send me an email on it.
    The President speaks to a bi-partisan group of college students

  23. rikyrah says:

    The Rout is On

    by BooMan
    Sat Jul 16th, 2011 at 09:46:20 AM EST

    Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey of the Los Angeles Times have a piece on the Republican capitulation. As I predicted repeatedly that he would, the Speaker is now in the process of explaining basic economic and political reality to the Tea Party elements of his caucus. Because they would not believe anyone from the Obama administration, nor any outside experts (a.k.a, economists), nor even their wealthy benefactors, Boehner was forced to have Rep. Paul Ryan give them a presentation

    At a closed-door meeting Friday morning, GOP leaders turned to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to explain to rank-and-file members what many others have come to understand: A fiscal meltdown could occur if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

    House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio underscored the point to dispel the notion that failure to allow more borrowing is an option.

    “He said if we pass Aug. 2, it would be like ‘Star Wars,'” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a freshman from Tennessee. “I don’t think the people who are railing against raising the debt ceiling fully understand that.”

    Perhaps we should all adopt Death Star metaphors to communicate more effectively with Tea Party Republicans. It appears to be somewhat effective. In any case, we’re seeing precisely what I told you we would see. Boehner had to capitulate. Cantor got to play the role of bad cop. Now basic reality kicks in, and Boehner needs to explain to his caucus that if he has to rely on Pelosi for votes, he’s going to have to give on taxes, too, making it that much more painful for Republicans to walk the plank. In an effort to avoid a double defeat, he has scheduled some stupid, pointless votes for the next week that he hopes will satisfy his craziest members.

    At the same time, Republican leaders orchestrated a series of public moves intended to soften the blow for conservatives. They agreed to give the House an opportunity to vote on two top conservative priorities: a so-called cut-cap-and-balance bill, which would order $111 billion in cuts in federal programs for 2012 and impose a cap on future spending, and a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget.

    The Democratic leadership in the Senate is also expected to allow votes on one, and perhaps both, measures.

    It’s more wasted time, but it might do the trick. If it doesn’t, it’s time for Pelosi to step into the limelight and makes some demands on revenue. With the enemy in full retreat, they cannot organize themselves for defense.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Wis. GOP Recall Candidate: ‘I Don’t Smoke Rocks, And That’s The Truth’

    David VanderLeest, the Republican candidate in next week’s Wisconsin recall election targeting Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen, is continuing to rebut stories of his legal and financial problems. Allegations about his personal finances and reports of domestic violence in his former marriage have dogged his campaign.

    “I read a social services report yesterday that says I smoke crack,” said VanderLeest, during an interview on Joy Cardin of Wisconsin Public Radio. “None of it’s true. I don’t smoke rocks, and that’s the truth.”

    To be clear, VanderLeest was not the GOP’s preferred candidate. Instead, Republicans became stuck with VanderLeest after their originally recruited candidate, state Rep. John Nygren, failed to submit the required 400 valid petition signatures. Nygren submitted slightly over 400 signatures for himself — despite the fact that Republicans had been able to gather 18,000 signatures to trigger a recall — with not enough of a buffer for when a few them were disqualified. Nygren initially filed a lawsuit to get onto the ballot, but lost in court and announced he would not further appeal the decision.

    Later in the interview, VanderLeest alleged that he had been mistreated by the police, due to he and his family having opposed police salary increases in local referenda.

    “As far as my past, you know what, I lived it. I’ve been there. I know which — these accusations that were made, I know they’re not true,” he said. “You know, like I said, yesterday I got a report from social services that says I smoke crack. I mean, that’s just not the case, it’s not true.

    “You know, as far as my past goes, you know, I had a bad marriage, and my family voted against police raises above the standard of living for 30 years in Green Bay. You know, cuffs were put on me. When I asked if I could make a statement, I was always told, ‘You give your statement to the judge, we don’t care what you have to say.’ You know, that’s not how the system should work, and you weren’t there, and you didn’t live it.

    “You know, I sleep well at night, and that’s the reality of the situation.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 16, 2011 9:15 AM
    Desperation pushes candidates in ugly directions

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is clearly struggling at this point in the process, trailing in the polls, having trouble raising money, and fighting the perception that he’s not quite ready for prime time.

    The larger problem, though, is that the former Minnesota governor is responding to this in inherently unhealthy ways. The more Pawlenty struggles, the more ridiculous he becomes, convinced that reckless extremism is what the Republican base really wants. It leads to nonsense like this.

    As debt ceiling negotiations race towards their thrilling conclusion, Tim Pawlenty is calling on Republicans to avoid tax increases at all costs, even it means default.

    At a Bloomberg lunch with reporters, Pawlenty compared the debt standoff to his time as governor of Minnesota, in which he shut down the government when negotiations with the Democratic legislature broke down. Asked whether he would be willing to “blow it up” in the debt negotiations with Congress and risk a default, he said “I did blow it up, in Minnesota.”

    TPM asked Pawlenty whether Republicans should raise the debt ceiling if their only two options are default or a deal that includes higher taxes. He replied that the party cannot and will not offer any concessions on revenue and that America may need a “dramatic moment” to effect the “quantum change” the country needs.

    Pawlenty added that the consequences of default may not be that bad, and that if the Obama administration is forced to choose which bills to pay, the president should prioritize foreign creditors over the U.S. military.

    Slate Jacob Weisberg, who was on hand for the lunch, described Pawlenty’s views as ” jaw-dropping, reckless, [and] utterly appalling.”

    DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was quick to condemn Pawlenty’s garbage: “Governor Pawlenty is hardly the only Republican who would prefer that the United States default on its debt, but as a presidential candidate, his words cannot be dismissed lightly. To allow the United States to default on its debt for the first time in our history would be to allow our economy to descend into another crisis — one potentially even worse than the crisis that befell America under the last Republican Administration. America cannot afford the kind of reckless leadership that Governor Pawlenty would bring to the table.”

    But Pawlenty doesn’t much care. He assumes the Republican base has gone mad, so Pawlenty’s top priority is to pander shamelessly to them, hoping to convince them he’s as crazy as they are.

    Of course, if it works, and Pawlenty wins the GOP nomination, he’ll have to quickly convince the nation he only pretended to be crazy as part of a crude, cynical charade. Good luck with that, Tim.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 16, 2011 8:35 AM

    This Week in God

    By Steve Benen

    First up from the God Machine this week is a closer look at a congregational change for one of the Republicans’ leading presidential candidates.

    Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has long been a darling of conservative evangelicals, but shortly before announcing her White House bid she officially quit a church she’d belonged to for years.

    Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, and her husband Marcus withdrew their membership from Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota last month, according to church officials.

    The Bachmanns had been members of the church for more than 10 years, according to Joel Hochmuth, director of communications for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the broader denominational body of which Bachmann’s former church is a member.

    While a family leaving a specific congregation wouldn’t seem especially noteworthy under normal circumstances, Bachmann isn’t just another politician and Stillwater’s Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church isn’t just another house of worship.

    Bachmann, of course, is a darling of the religious right and a presidential hopeful who incorporates theological extremism into her political agenda. The conservative Lutheran church her family called home, meanwhile, is guided by, among other things, the belief that the Roman Catholic pope is the Antichrist. The Atlantic’s Josh Green had a fascinating report on this just this week.

    If Bachmann remains a top-tier candidate for the GOP nomination, this is a story that bears watching. If Jeremiah Wright was one of the more prominent outside figures referenced in the 2008, we can expect to learn a lot more about the Rev. Marcus Birkholz, whose sermons Bachmann and her family listened to for many years.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 16, 2011 8:00 AM

    Finding someone the House GOP will listen to

    By Steve Benen

    Negotiating with House Republicans isn’t just difficult because they refuse to compromise; it’s also because they don’t even appreciate the point of the exercise. Told, for example, that failure on the debt ceiling would lead to a disaster, the House GOP simply doesn’t believe the evidence.

    It’s challenging enough trying to craft an agreement when the parties have the same goal. But what happens when the crew of the Titanic says, “The captain’s wrong; icebergs are no big deal”?

    The trick is finding someone the crazies find credible. (thanks to T.K.)

    Republican leaders in the House have begun to prepare their troops for politically painful votes to raise the nation’s debt limit, offering warnings and concessions to move the hard-line majority toward a compromise that would avert a federal default. […]

    At a closed-door meeting Friday morning, GOP leaders turned to their most trusted budget expert, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to explain to rank-and-file members what many others have come to understand: A fiscal meltdown could occur if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. […]

    The warnings appeared to have softened the views of at least some House members who, until now, were inclined to dismiss statements by administration officials, business leaders and outside economists that the economic impact would be dire if the federal government were suddenly unable to pay its bills. [emphasis added]

    Right-wing freshman Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said he found the presentation, particularly the parts about skyrocketing interest rates that, “sobering.”

    Oh, now it’s “sobering”? We’re 17 days before the drop-dead crisis deadline, andnow it’s dawning on some House Republicans that they’re not only playing with matches, but may actually torch the entire economy?

    At this point, of course, I’ll take progress wherever I can find it. If some of the House GOP’s madness is “softening,” maybe they’ll be slightly more inclined to be responsible.

    But I can’t help but find it interesting the limited pool of individuals Republicans are willing to listen to. The Treasury tells the House GOP caucus members they have to raise the debt ceiling, and Republicans don’t care. The Federal Reserve tells them, and they still don’t care. House Speaker John Boehner tells them, and that doesn’t work, either. Business leaders, governors, and economists tell them, and Republicans ignore all of them.

    But Paul Ryan warns of a meltdown and all of a sudden, the House GOP is willing to pay attention.

    I guess we should be thankful the radical House Budget Committee chairman is only wrong 90% of the time, and not 100%.

  28. rikyrah says:

    News Corp. Hacking Scandal Claims Two as Probes Widen

    News Corp. (NWSA)’s phone-hacking crisis claimed two top newspaper executives as Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch defended his handling of the scandal and the FBI began a U.S. probe of the company.

    Les Hinton, chairman of News International in the years the alleged hacking occurred, stepped down as head of the Dow Jones division yesterday. That followed the exit of News International CEO Rebekah Brooks. She was editor of the News of the World, the newspaper implicated in the scandal, from 2000 to 2003.

    The spotlight will shift back to Murdoch and his son, James, the deputy chief operating officer, on July 19 when they testify about the phone-hacking scandal before the U.K. Parliament. With the FBI involved and the company facing civil litigation in the U.S., the scandal is likely to grow, said Nell Minow, a board member at GovernanceMetrics, a corporate governance research company.

    “There is going to be a constant drip, drip, drip of more information coming out that is simply going to get worse and worse,” Minow said in an interview. “I have no reason to believe that we’ve seen the worst yet.” Murdoch “has to go,” she said.

    In a statement announcing Hinton’s departure, the 80-year- old CEO downplayed his own importance to the company he built from two inherited Australian newspapers.

    “News Corp. is not Rupert Murdoch,” he said in the statement. “It is the collective creativity and effort of many thousands of people around the world, and few individuals have given more to this company than Les Hinton.”
    FBI Role

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation, prodded by members of Congress, began looking into whether News Corp. employees may have targeted the phones of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    U.S. Representative Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, asked FBI Director Robert Mueller in a July 13 letter to investigate whether News of the World employees tried to access voicemails belonging to the victims through bribery and illegal wiretapping.

    “We’re aware of certain allegations pertaining to a possible hacking by News Corp. personnel and we’re looking into those charges,” Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office, said in a phone interview this week.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Pawlenty Goes Full Wingnut

    by BooMan
    Fri Jul 15th, 2011 at 07:55:16 PM EST
    I thinks it says a lot that Tim Pawlenty has not only come out strongly against raising the debt ceiling, but he has decided to try to use his hard-line stance as some kind of contrast to Mitt Romney. Most of Wall Street, and pretty much every Republican with any real money invested in Wall Street, probably wants to choke Pawlenty rather than vote for him or give him any campaign donations. Pawlenty’s main attraction was that he had a fairly moderate record, that he had executive experience, and that he might have the ability to attract voters in some swing states. There’s a reason that Haley Barbour didn’t run for president, and that’s because running a Good Old Boy from Mississippi against a black president wasn’t going to sell well in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, New England, or the Pacific Northwest. A mind-mannered governor from Minnesota, however, could have been a different matter.

    Moderation is going to be essential if a GOP candidate is going to take down the only adult in the room. Pawlenty could have been that kind of moderate. I think it’s especially important when you consider the Electoral College challenge for Republicans. They need to take back the traditionally red states: North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Nevada. But that’s not enough. They have to swing some of the big swing states. The five most obvious targets are: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. What do those five states have in common? They just elected decidedly immoderate Republican governors who have really pissed people off. None of those governors would be reelected if election day were today.

    Of course, you don’t get the chance to run against Obama unless you win the Republican nomination, and that’s hard to do as a moderate. But Mitt Romney is somehow doing okay in the polls without taking a full plunge into wingnuttery. It’s possible to convince people that you can win while Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul cannot. What Pawlenty is doing is destroying the best argument for his candidacy. His new emphasis on his Christian faith presents a similar problem. Part of the appeal of nominating a non-Southern candidate is that Northerners don’t have to feel all weird about how the candidate wears their religion on their sleeve. If Pawlenty is going to behave like he’s from Arkansas, it further undermines what makes him different and more appealing to the non-Southern electorate. The people of New Hampshire are pretty consistent about rejecting southerners for precisely this reason. Yes, it plays well in Iowa, but when did Iowa ever determine who the Republican nominee would be?

    They chose Poppy Bush in 1980, Bob Dole in 1988, and Mike Huckabee in 2008. They did pick Bush in 2000, but then he went on to get crushed in New Hampshire.

    Pawlenty may figure he needs to catch on in Iowa or he’s finished, but why is it even worth winning there if you destroy your prospects of becoming president in the process.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Adam Green’s Dishonest Attack And Appeal For Cash — Grifters Gonna Grift!

    Adam Green recently sent out a mass email attacking President Obama based on several lies concocted from a press conference on July 11, 2011. These lies were born and reside only in the mind of Adam Green, as well as the rabid Obamahaters who cling to Green’s every word to justify their irrational hatred for our President.

    Green’s group, the PCCC (Progressive Change Campaign Committee), is probably the most organized group of people suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    So what was so dishonest about his appeal? How about EVERYTHING!

    Whether blatant or subtle lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations or selective omissions of reality, they are lies – pure fucking lies.

    Lie Number 1: The lie upon which most of the other lies were derived: Obama “came right out and said” that he’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    Adam Green cherry picked Obama’s statements in order to concoct a lie. He plucked one utterance of the word “benefits” from a general statement by Obama in which he discussed the broader issues of how we get the country’s fiscal house in order. Bear in mind — the word “benefits” does not appear anywhere near the words “Social Security,” “Medicare” or “Medicaid” (the big 3), and considering the President had addressed those issues before and after that question in the press conference, it shows that Adam Green doesn’t give a shit about the truth. If he did, he would have looked at everything the President said and not cherry picked one word and then connected it to previous words in order to manufacture a lie.

    Adam Green is using scare tactics to raise money from his vulnerable and apparently very gullible followers. I’ve been waiting for him to talk about “death panels”.

    The following passage is where Adam Green plucked that word from. Of course, I’m including the context — unlike Mr. Green. The bold type is where he grabs that lone word, “benefits”.

    And if you’re a progressive that cares about investments in Head Start and student loan programs and medical research and infrastructure, we’re not going to be able to make progress on those areas if we haven’t gotten our fiscal house in order.

    So the argument I’m making to my party is, the values we care about — making sure that everybody in this country has a shot at the American Dream and everybody is out there with the opportunity to succeed if they work hard and live a responsible life, and that government has a role to play in providing some of that opportunity through things like student loans and making sure that our roads and highways and airports are functioning, and making sure that we’re investing in research and development for the high-tech jobs of the future — if you care about those things, then you’ve got to be interested in figuring out how do we pay for that in a responsible way.

    And so, yeah, we’re going to have a sales job; this is not pleasant. It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues. But the reason we’ve got a problem right now is people keep on avoiding hard things, and I think now is the time for us to go ahead and take it on.

    As you can see, in the preceding two paragraphs, the president is talking in general about the difficulty of getting our fiscal house in order so that we can do things that progressives, I say liberals, care about. He was talking very broadly. I can just picture Adam Green wetting himself when President Obama said the word “benefits.” And I can also imagine him jumping on his computer and starting to type that dishonest appeal to his listserv for money, even before the President finished his sentence. He must have missed what came after that benign and very general reference to “trimming benefits”.

    And if we analyze that sentence as it was spoken, the president is talking in general about the debt ceiling negotiations, which have included cuts and taxes. He was referencing the process and not talking specifically about any benefits. He did, however, speak very specifically about them elsewhere in the press conference, but Adam wouldn’t want to pull those quotes out, they don’t work quite as well for crafting a completely bogus appeal. What the president specifically said was “It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff …”. So he’s talking about the difficulty of dealing with these issues. He didn’t refer to any specifics of what might be cut, he’s merely talking about the difficulty of getting politicians to do the hard stuff…” that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues.” That is exactly what the debt ceiling negotiations have been about for months. Republicans want to cut benefits (and other things) and Democrats want to increase revenue (taxes on the rich). So the President didn’t say anything about cutting benefits to any of “the big 3″, but he was just talking very broadly about the difficulty of getting politicians to do any goddamn thing — a far cry from what Adam Green wanted his “donors” to believe. He was throwing them their red meat – but it’s really tofu painted red and marble-ized.

    Now let’s take a look at how Green interpreted that use of the word “benefit”…(emphasis mine, throughout)

    BREAKING: Today, in a press conference, President Obama came right out and said it: He’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    You and 175,000 others boldly pledged that if Obama actually cuts Medicare/Medicaid benefits, you’ll take your money and volunteering elsewhere in 2012.

    Is that what you saw or read from the President? It’s a fucking lie. President Obama didn’t say anything even remotely close to that. Sorry to deliver that news to you so “boldly”, Adam.

    That plucking of “benefits” was the basis for most of the other misinformation that followed.

    More from the transcript of the press conference, gotta love context. This was the very next question, if only Adam wasn’t cleaning up after his wetting incident or busy typing on his computer, maybe he would have heard how the president actually feels about Social Security…

    THE PRESIDENT: With respect to Social Security, Social Security is not the source of our deficit problems. Social Security, if it is part of a package, would be an issue of how do we make sure Social Security extends its life and is strengthened? So the reason to do Social Security is to strengthen Social Security to make sure that those benefits are there for seniors in the out-years. And the reason to include that potentially in this package is if you’re going to take a bunch of tough votes, you might as well do it now, as opposed to trying to muster up the political will to get something done further down in the future.

    The president has been very clear that Social Security is not the source of our deficit problems and any changes to it will be to strengthen it. Does Adam not know what the word “strengthen” means or is that the selective omission part of his dishonest appeal. It proves that Adam Green is a grifter, trying to raise money off people who may either genuinely care about liberal policies, but have been led down this road that Adam Green has conned them into traveling or they are libertarians. Many of these people have no desire to be critical of Green’s words, they want to cheer and chant and jump up and down, so it probably doesn’t really matter to those folks if he lies.

    Here is the detail and supposed significance, as Adam Green distorts it…

    1) “We’re going to have a sales job. This is not pleasant. It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues.”

    Significance: This is the first time Obama admitted he is pushing “benefit” cuts that would hurt our grandparents, kids, and the disabled — not just “savings” like negotiating lower drug prices.

    That is another massive, fucking lie that comes from Adam Green’s ass. There is no basis for it at all. Show me anywhere in that entire press conference where the President “pushed” for any cuts to the big 3. It ain’t there, you lying sack of shit. Of course Green then goes there with “hurt our grandparents, kids and the disabled”. Wow, utterly fucking shameless.

    Lie Number 2, Adam Green Conveniently Numbered Them For Me

    The President’s second out-of-context, edited words…

    2) “I want to be crystal clear — nobody has talked about increasing taxes now. Nobody has talked about increases — increasing taxes next year.”

    Significance: Polling shows that by 4 to 1, Americans want taxes increased on the rich. The “millionaires tax” proposed by House progressives would raise $1 trillion — helping to take benefit cuts off the table. By his own admission, Obama is not even asking for this!

    President Obama has made it clear for months that he wasn’t going to raise taxes in this fragile recovery and pull money out of the system. He’s carefully trying to keep our economy rolling along, and as anyone who really pays attention knows, businesses and Wall Street freak at the mere mention of the word “tax”. The combination of pulling money out of the economy and making Wall Street freak, would be a bad thing. I felt obligated to educate Adam on that, because he apparently hasn’t been paying attention to anything that doesn’t fit his narrative. One that is coming completely unraveled. Delicious, isn’t it?

    It’s kind of amazing how Adam Green then uses that fact that polling shows that “Americans want taxes increased on the rich” as if that is counter to what President Obama wants, simply because he stated that he wasn’t talking about raising taxes in the near term. That is not counter to what the President wants, it is EXACTLY WHAT THE PRESIDENT WANTS! And he has said it countless times, over and over again. Go watch the Presidents speech from April where he lays it all out, in painstaking detail, how he thinks we should be dealing with our looming deficit problem and budgets. That one is so well known, I’m not even going bore you readers with it, if Adam hasn’t heard the President talk about raising taxes on the rich…well, fill in the blank.

    Lie Number 3

    3) “The vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements; would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems.”

    Significance: The House Progressive Caucus proposed balancing the budget by taxing the rich, making companies like GE pay taxes, ending the wars, and other popular, progressive proposals. By his own admission, Obama didn’t even try for these — and then he attacks progressive Democrats with false, right-wing talking points.

    The President is making another general comment about the culture in Washington of dodging tough votes and the concept that politicians would “prefer” to not do controversial things. No, say it ain’t so. Politicians are never wishy washy and they never kick the can down the road or take the easy path.

    But Adam then goes on to tell about the House Progressive Caucus and their really great proposal that all of us liberals can get behind, except it has no chance of passing. It’s a damn shame that Republicans control the house and won’t even let it get out of the rules committee and onto the floor of the house. At which point I want to say, thanks a lot, Adam Green, for helping Republicans get back control of the House in 2010, you selfish punk.

    So yes, that is a great proposal, supported by many Democrats who know that they will never get a chance to vote on it, which makes it so much easier. If it came down to actually voting to cut defense spending that might affect jobs in their districts, well then you might get a different response from some of these folks.

    So, to the meat of the last lie. He states that the House Progressive Caucus proposed “taxing the rich, making companies like GE pay taxes, ending the wars”, yes, they did. AND SO DID PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    Once again, I refer anyone who doesn’t believe it to President Obama’s speech in April where he laid it all out, very eloquently, seriously and honestly. But then Green throws this out “By his own admission, Obama didn’t even try for these”, which I have no idea what the fuck he’s talking about and I don’t think he does either. He continues with “and then he attacks progressive Democrats with false, right-wing talking points” which is an even bigger, what the fuck are you talking about? There’s no reference, no citation, just a broad statement that has no basis in reality.

    Bonus Lie, The Hits Just Keep Coming – And it is the worst of the worst

    The President’s words, edited and plucked from a much larger context.

    3) ”With respect to Social Security, Social Security is not the source of our deficit problems….the reason to include that potentially in this package is if you’re going to take a bunch of tough votes, you might as well do it now, as opposed to trying to muster up the political will to get something done further down in the future.”

    Significance: Seriously??? Why is a Democratic president going out of his way to help Republicans cut Social Security??? That’s just wrong.

    You fucking lying douchenozzle (Twitter has benefits). That is the farthest thing from the truth, of all the bullshit lies you put in this email. You are the lowest form of pond scum. That one statement alone should land you at the bottom of the stinking, rotting pile of waste that the Professional Left has become. It is so blatantly wrong and an obvious attempt to inflame your readers, that you sealed your fate.

    He did build up to that last lie slowly, building on one lie and then another to end up with that whopper that should ring in the ears of any cable executive who is considering having you on their network to spew your lies. I’ll refer you back to the top of this post where President Obama talked about strengthening Social Security. Or watch Obama’s speech from April; he’s been very consistent for months on Social Security, and has never said anything about cutting benefits.

    The big question we are left with as it relates to Adam Green and his PCCC is — if you are a progressive as you say, then why would you have to resort to lying, distorting and manufacturing in order to pitch to your “supporters”.

    You are a grifter, pure and simple. Here is the definition…

  31. Obama’s campaign haul: Big money from big donors
    List of most productive bundlers is filled with celebrities and the well-connected

    Twenty-seven fund-raisers collected more than $500,000 each in contributions for President Obama and the Democratic Party in the past three months, helping Mr. Obama collect a record haul of campaign cash as he starts his re-election effort.

    The list of Mr. Obama’s biggest bundlers, which was posted on the president’s campaign Web site on Friday, is filled with celebrities and the well-connected, like Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul; Andy Spahn, a close friend and consultant to Steven Spielberg, the moviemaker; and Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue.

    More than 200 other people scooped up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each in contributions for the president. Collectively, they raised at least $35 million for Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee, or about 40 percent of the $86 million he reported for the quarter.

    Jim Messina, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, said this week that the president’s re-election effort was largely a grass-roots affair financed by hundreds of thousands of donors whose contributions averaged just $69 each.

    “Ninety-eight percent of all donations that came in were $250 or less,” Mr. Messina bragged in a video released to supporters.

    Those numbers, and Mr. Obama’s success at tapping small donors using the Internet, mask another skill: the president’s ability to recruit wealthy supporters who have even wealthier friends.

    As he begins his 2012 campaign, Mr. Obama is pushing for even bigger big-time contributions. Former President George W. Bush reported bundlers who raised $200,000 or more. Mr. Obama’s report adds a new top level: $500,000 and above.

    Even so, the extent of the big-dollar contributions flowing into the president’s campaign account is significant.

  32. http://immasmartypants.blogspo

    You 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.

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