Monday Open Thread

Edgar Holland Winter (born December 28, 1946), is an American musician. He is famous for being a multi-instrumentalist. He is a highly skilled keyboardist, saxophonist and percussionist. He often plays an instrument while simultaneously singing. He was most successful in the 1970s with his band, The Edgar Winter Group. He has albinism.

Edgar Holland Winter was born to John Winter II and Edith Winter on December 28, 1946 in Beaumont, TX. Both he and his brother Johnny are albino, and both were required to take special education classes in high school. Edgar states, “In school I had a lot of friends. I wore a lot of white shirts to, like, blend in I guess. No one really gave me a hard time about being albino or taking special education classes. Then again, I wasn’t really popular.” After recording with his brother, Johnny Winter, Edgar was signed to his own Epic Records contract in 1970 and recorded two R&B flavored albums, Entrance and Edgar Winter’s White Trash.

Where U @ Shadygrady? Hear that guitar? I love it so much! :)

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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191 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    hat tip -catch tonight’s repeat of House Hunters International later on tonight. it’s a young Black couple buying in Botswana.

    • Ametia says:

      I’ve never watched this show. I might give it a try though. I’ve started watching “Breaking Bad.” I watched the first 3 season on DVD and the season premier last night. BAD.CHOICE. it was so bloody violent. i can’t watch this stuff before bedtime. Will have to record it.

  2. rikyrah says:

    I’ll say it again,

    nothing is more true…


    if someone WROTE this in a screenplay, it’d be call a ‘ dramatic device’.

    as it is…

    this is HILARIOUS.

    it’s just falling, domino by domino


    Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 05:19 PM PDT
    Rebekah Brooks’ husband ‘accidentally’ has computer thrown out+*

    This. Is. Hilarious.

    Detectives are examining a computer, paperwork and a phone found in a bin near the riverside London home of Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International. […]

    It is understood the bag was handed into security at around 3pm and that shortly afterwards, Brooks’s husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it. […]

    Wilson said Charlie Brooks had left the bag with a friend who was returning it, but dropped it in the wrong part of the garage. When asked how the bag ended up in a bin he replied: “The suggestion is that a cleaner thought it was rubbish and put it in the bin.”

    Now, I don’t know if anything will come of this or not. I just love the incredible story. Your wife has just been arrested in a case involving, among other things, covering up evidence. And a computer, phone and “paperwork” from your house just happens to get thrown into the trash soon afterward.

    So the excuse is, some cleaning person saw your computer, phone and papers, and they just happened to be in a bag (no further definition on what the word “bag” means, in this context), because that’s how you always move your computer, phone and papers around … and so the cleaning person mistook it for trash and threw it away. Oops!

    Oh—and into someone else’s garbage. You know, not your bin, but a bin belonging to a nearby shopping center.

    Yeah. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Police are looking at security footage to see who dropped the computer off: no word yet on what they found. Maybe her husband’s story will turn out to be true; maybe it won’t. All I know is that this is either one of the more unfortunate coincidences in recent police history, or a crime-and-punishment Darwin award in the making.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Here’s the thing…..when there has been NO OBJECTION to raising the debt ceiling the other 70 some times that it has been done in American history….

    WHY is raising it NOW, such a momentous thing to do?

    Race isn’t everything?

    But, sometimes, it is what it is.

    Arcenaux, if Black, has been Black in America longer than 3 days.

    and, if he can point to where a President has been so fundamentally disrespected as President Barack Obama, then show me the way.

    sometimes, the ‘ RACE CARD’ is used, because IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES SENSE.

    AND NO, it’s not up to 44 to tell it. It’s up to those in the trenches to tell the truth.


    Are we too quick to blame race for Obama attacks?

    By Michael Arceneaux

    8:21 AM on 07/18/2011

    There should come a point in a politician’s career when they learn to abandon knee jerk reactions in order to make more credible statements that might actually advance their causes.

    Unfortunately, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) has yet to reach such a political epiphany. The Houstonian took to the House floor on Friday and openly opined on what she thinks is the main culprit behind largely Republican obstruction in the debt ceiling debate.

    The congresswoman said, “I am particularly sensitive to the fact that only this president — only this one, only this one — has received the kind of attacks and disagreement and inability to work, only this one.” She asked that her colleagues “read between the lines.”

    Not that they needed to, given she did so for them.

    “Why is he different?” She asked before adding, “and in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully?”

    She also highlighted Sen. McConnell’s (R-KY) comments that his job is to bring President Obama down in the next election.

    Jackson Lee’s declaration that race is to blame for President Obama experiencing unmatched levels of political opposition is a notion many cling to. Strength in numbers may help spread such a belief, though that doesn’t necessarily lend credence to it. Jackson Lee and others with this opinion seem to have formed it via revisionist history, paranoia, and a dash of dramatics.

    • Ametia says:


      We had this discussion on the Sheila Jackson Lee thread this weekend.

      For me, RACE IS EVERYTHING. I get up in the morining, I’M BLACK. I go to work, to the store, to the movies, on vacation, etc, I go to bed at night, , I’m STILL black. Get me.

      As to RACISM, I cloak and sheild the racism 24/7, 365.

      I’ve got the antennnae to detect the racist shit. I’ve had it for 55 YEARS.

      I don’t need some writer from the grio or other white folks to tell me what the fuck is or isn’t racist, never have and never will.

      i deal with racism, my way, dude from the Grio can deal with it his way.

  4. creolechild says:

    Why We Need President Obama — A Critical Moment
    Monday, July 18, 2011 | Posted by TiMT

    Writes Deepak Chopra:

    One of the virtues of being on the liberal side of politics is that total obedience isn’t required. There are no hidden agendas. Ideology doesn’t lead to unreason. In a political climate where it feels as if the inmates are running the asylum — as in the current Republican threat to default on America’s debt — the prevailing sanity of President Obama is something that others and I have taken for granted.

    We cannot afford that luxury any more, I’m afraid. For many reasons, this is the moment when loyalty is going to count the most. That’s a hard sentence to write. Liberal politics is based on a non-regimented, all-inclusive approach to democracy. Freedom of thought is paramount. But certain harsh realities must be faced. For thirty years and more, the progressive tradition has been severely undermined, dating back to Nixon’s “Southern strategy” (coddle the racists) and Ronald Reagan’s smiling reactionary agenda (AIDS victims deserve what they get), through the first President Bush’s Willie Horton strategy (another boost for racism) and the second President Bush’s deceptive “compassionate conservatism.”

    Deepak’s piece points out the partisan nature of past politics from the bully pulpit and how President Obama has changed politics into a “humane” and a “non-ideological governance” while trying to reverse what had taken decades of Republican indoctrination to build the right-wing frenzy making taxes cut on the rich a sin, “blatant favoritism toward Christian groups” a fad, packing the DOJ office with Jerry Falwell’s law school graduates a prerequisite, and more rubbish ideological partisanship that has damaged the way our country is governed.

    President Obama in the last two and half years has faced the most fierce opposition than any past president has faced. Being a Black man sure has not helped advance our big tent agenda. However, with all the racist vile and a non stop condescending attitude he has been dealt with (case in point, the debt ceiling posturing), he has tried on many occasions to reach out consistently without showing despair while he has gotten fierce push backs that would make any leader lose it and punch back hard. However, President Obama is not just any leader. He is an exceptional leader who is not hot headed, reactionary or emotionally driven who understands politics requires talking to people who not only he agrees with but also those that he disagrees with because our system requires it to get anything done. In fact, at times playing wimpy to pull many last minute hair raiser victories is also astute political maneuvers our President has played to get things through against the fierce opposition of the right and the easily destructed and impatient left who nonetheless would say his victories are defeat.

    Deepak continues from his article about what this President is facing and why it is imperative to stand behind the captain:

    When Lincoln was assassinated, an anguished Walt Whitman wrote “O Captain! My Captain!” whose theme was that the ship of state had reached a great victory — the end of the Civil War — just as the captain lay dead on the deck. We all know that this victory was unfulfilled, followed by a reactionary period that destined America to a hundred more years of virulent racism. Without being melodramatic, I think the work of undoing decades of reactionary policies has barely begun.

    Which is to say that all of us who have taken advantage of our liberal heritage to question and criticize President Obama need to step back and consider the radical nature of the opposition, from the Supreme Court down to the local precinct. The current debt ceiling crisis is proof that sensible, sane responses are not going to be automatic anymore.

    Sometimes or shall I say most often now a days, the disgruntled Left seems to forget the kinds of opposition the President faces top to bottom and has become just “a mirror image of the loony embittered far right” with the likes of Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald leading the pack, not to help with shaping the future but furthering their personal crusade for self promotion being a professional Obama hating clan who will never agree with anything President Obama does. I sometime feel like some good folks in the Professional Left are being duped by some nasty libertarian, condescending, bigoted, ex-Nader voting and disloyal Professional Left who are interested in seeing the defeatism of President Obama by promoting the “Obama has lost my vote in 2012” meme within progressive circles.

    However, Deepak’s article yet again reminds us of who our real enemies are. It is indeed the Right wing nuts. Those “who got us into this forlorn tangle of wars abroad, financial collapse, out-of-control spending, and massive bonuses for the rich, you have not felt the power that fear exerts.” Moreover, I would add the Obama hating wing of the Professional Left contribute in a major way to dragging us toward self destruction and defeatism thought a self denial nature of their superior intellect to understand the reality our President must function in.

    Deepak concludes his piece with this:

    If ever there was a time to stand behind the captain, this is it. Not because pluralism and free expression are wrong. They aren’t and never will be. But like Churchill calling upon a coalition cabinet in the depth of the war years, it’s paramount that we see the greater danger for what it is. Attention was drawn to the cover of a recent issue of the Economist, which showed a tall President Obama towering over a squabbling handful of pygmy Republican rivals for the presidency. The headline read, “He Could Still Lose.” We need to remember that if that were to happen, it wouldn’t be because President Obama made too many mistakes or failed to pass a sufficiently liberal agenda. The reason would be that all of us forgot the 30-year reign of reactionary administrations (minus the Clinton years) and the power of debased politics to keep coming back, again and again.

    It is our choice to stop the “30-year reign of reactionary administrations and the power of debased politics to keep coming back, again and again” and it is the responsibility of any progressive community to defeat the powers that are trying to drag us right down into the same ole tired ass union busting, war mongering, anti-immigration, anti-women’s right, anti-equal right, anti-working class and religious right controlled America. We can only do that as this stage of the game with only one leader and that is with President Obama. We must get back to work reaching out to people to register to vote for anyone with a “D” next to their name because anything less is as good as giving that same ole 30-year of Republicans inhumane and ideological governance another chance.

    We Americans are very lucky people. A sane and compassionate president is in charge. Over an 8 year period he will change American history for the better. Only president Obama’s dimwitted and/or hate-filled opponents are unlucky: they are betting against a political genius who also happens to be a very good human being.
    ~Frank Schaeffer

    Let’s go to work folks.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Tom Coburn’s $9 Trillion Deficit Reduction Scam

    by Steven D
    Mon Jul 18th, 2011 at 05:19:33 PM EST
    Yes, the Senator from the great state of Oklahoma has decided to save America with a Nine Trillion Dollar Deficit Reduction Plan to be unveiled tomorrow. Guess what’s in it?

    Among the proposed cuts in Coburn’s plan include $974.1 billion in cuts from the general government, as well as billions from Congress and the Executive Office of the President. Those reductions would be achieved partially by cutting 300,000 jobs from the federal workforce, and imposing a three-year pay and bonus freeze for federal workers and Congress members.

    Because nothing would be finer than upping the unemployment rate.

    And then there is this: He proposes rising the age when you can receive Social Security and Medicare Benefits:

    Coburn’s plan – the most expansive such proposal put forth so far – also calls for major reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security that would amount to more than $2.5 trillion in cuts over the next ten years.

    Some of the reforms to Medicare and Medicaid include raising the eligibility age for Medicare recipients, tracking high prescribers and prescription drug users to detect abuse, enrolling low-income seniors in Medicaid managed care programs, and reducing subsidies to teaching hospitals for graduate medical education.

    For Social Security, Coburn proposes restraining benefits for high earners, raising the retirement age, and adjusting cost-of-living calculations to more accurately reflect inflation.

    Change the COLA to more accurately reflect inflation? They’d have to raise the COLA to do that. Something tells me that’s not what Coburn has in mind.

    He also want to cut some tax loopholes and subsidies. Does that mean he will close loopholes that profit the oil and gas industry? Not exactly:

    Among the proposed tax reforms include the elimination of breaks that are duplicative of government funding for local economic initiatives, the elimination of special interest corporate tax breaks, and cutting what Coburn describes as “misguided subsidies” for some clean energy initiatives.

    Yeah, those crazy clean energy subsidies have got to go all right. Oh and he wants to repeal the Health Care Reform Act, raise the age for getting Medicare and Social Security benefits to 67 and ultimately 69, dump the full cost of Medicaid on the states (which means you can wave goodbye to healthcare fro poor people). He’d also raise premiums on Medicare so that those who use it more than others would have to pay more. In total his cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would equal 2.64 Trillion Dollars.

    But hey, he’d cut Defense spending by $1 Trillion and closing off tax loopholes (like eliminating the mortgage tax deduction on home equity lines and homes with values in excess of $500,000) would generate almost a Trillion Dollars in savings. So the sacrifice would be shared, sort of.

    Hey, Grover Norquist already hates it so that means it must be good.

    Yeah, right. All this simply to keep tax rates for the richest 1% of our population low.

    • I have a question that’s been bugging me for awhile, and I would like to get a black blogger’s perspective on it. Of course, I am AA:

      I read today where Congresswoman Nancy Peolosi held a press conference to push back on Republicans’ attack on the “middle class.” I understand that VP Biden heads a “Middle Class” taskforce. And of course, President Obama–since the start of his campaign to become president—has continued to push his overriding message of protecting the “middle class.” What I want to know is this: When PBO uses the term “middle class,” is he using the term broadly so as to be inclusive of middle class working families, the working poor, and the nonworking poor?

      If given the chance the be in his presence (albeit, a slim chance) the question stated above is probably the first question I would pose to him (in a non confrontational manner, of course). We all know that our President is a kind and compassionate man—and a master rhetorician—who puts a lot of thought into each and every word that he uses. I don’t think I’ve ever heard President Obama refer to a segment of the population as “poor.”
      I personally think this might be his way of NOT labeling or classifying economically challenged Americans with a negative label. After all, who really wants to be called or referred to as “lower class” or “working poor” or just plain “poor”? What do you guys think?

      • I’m Latina so I don’t know how much what I say here will count but I think your last paragraph pretty much sums it up. A lot of people who might call themselves “middle class” are probably one or two pay checks away from losing most of what they own.

        The erosion of peoples’ incomes, the financial collapse and loss of jobs for people who may have thought they had some security have shown us harshly that we are a now a nation of haves and have nots. The middle ground has eroded, the so called “middle class” are poorer. I think PBO is projecting into the future when he uses the term “middle class.” He wants to secure a better future for all of us.

        I really do hope you get to ask him your question and I, too, would like to hear his answer. I hope this helps you some.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi NCW, I can’t begin to speak for POTUS, bu I think you’ve summed up fairly well what I have observed about how PBO operates. His actions are deliberate.

        I think his policies that help Americans are more far-reaching than we can see right now. He porbably knows all to well how limiting labels can be to the human psyche.
        I think he’s speaking for and making the tough choices to help the 98% Americans.

      • Of course what you say counts here and anywhere else, Aquagranny! 3 Chics values our communities’ thoughts, ideas and opinions. I think you all have pretty much summed it up. I concur that the President actions are deliberate and he is very careful with his words in not labeling anyone. He’s always thinking as he speaks.

      • Thanks for the affirmation, 3chics minus one, plus aquagranny. :) I’m glad we’re all pretty much in agreement that the President always looks at the big picture. And his motivation always seems to be centered around his desire to improve the condition of all Americans.

        Thanks too for each of your blog posts/ comments (ametia and southerngirl2 & your comments too aquagranny ). I stumbled on this blog a month or so ago after watching that wonderful video featuring our President’s “swagger.” Since then, I’ve checked out your blog just about each day, but sometimes it takes a while for the site to open up. (I have slow internet service in my rural Deep South hometown).

        I like the fact that your 3chics blog brings a unique perspective but at the same time it is one of the few (but fortunately growing number of sites) that’s become a haven for supporters of the President like me who want to get away from the madness called “the Professional Left.” Keep up the good work!

      • Ametia says:

        Thank you for your encouraging words, NCW. We appreciate your thoughtful question and your perpectives. Please do visit often, when you can. Your presence on 3 Chics is valued.

      • NCW, Ralph Nader must have been reading your post? :) I was listening to Democracy Now and Ralph Nader was on and stated to Amy Goodman if she notices the President doesn’t ever mention the “poor”. Ralph Nader is a jealous hater and he doesn’t get it why the President doesn’t use labels. Nader was bashing the President about Elizabeth Warren not being picked. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t want the job. When will these folks get it through their heads?

  6. rikyrah says:

    they thought Maxine was gonna fold….

    oh, how they shoulda asked somebody who wasn’t White.



    Waters Attorney To Ethics Panel: Dismiss Case — Or Else

    An attorney for Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) is calling on the Ethics Committee to dismiss immediately the charges against her in the wake of an unprecedented leak of secret internal committee documents providing a blow-by-blow account of the panel’s alleged bungling of the case.

    The scores of Ethics Committee e-mails and memos, reported by Politico Monday with links to the documents, paint a picture of a committee consumed by partisan dysfunction and accusations of professional misconduct surrounding Waters’ case.

    “Today’s Politico story, and accompanying documents, leave no doubt that the House Ethics Committee violated both its own rules and Representative Waters’ constitutional rights during its investigation of her matter last Congress,” Waters’ attorney Stan Brand said in a statement. “Its behavior also demonstrates that the Committee was driven to bring a flawed case and to ignore Committee rules imposed to insure fairness and due process.”

    Unlike the U.S. judicial system, Brand explained, the House Ethics Committee process does not provide a mechanism for filing complaints about the way the investigation was conducted or violations of internal committee rules by attorneys and lawmakers serving on the panel. Nevertheless, the panel should dismiss the case against Waters as soon as possible, Brand said, warning that Waters and her legal team would “explore all of our options to bring this matter to a conclusion.”

    Waters may have no formal way to file a complaint against the committee, but throughout the investigation and after the formal charges were filed, she did not shy away from using her status as a high-profile member of Congress to try to exert pressure and sway members to her side. At the very least, Waters could call on Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL), who chairs the panel and was implicated in the leaked memos, to step down from the position and could repeatedly raise the issue of dismissal and her allegations of mistreatment on the floor of the House and capture the attention of the media and many of her peers already wary of the ethics committee’s policing power.

    “Unfortunately, as would happen in prosecutorial misconduct of this nature in the judicial system, there is no federal judge to order dismissal,” Brand said. “Nonetheless, based on the facts of the case and the record of Committee misconduct, the only remedy that vindicates the principals of the quasi-judicial functions of the Committee is immediate dismissal with prejudice.”

    “No other remedy exists to cure this misconduct,” he continued. “Given that both current Members and staff are implicated in these documents, any other suggested remedy would lack legal credibility and would confirm an unprecedented level of bias against my client. Given this sample of damaging evidence of the Committees misconduct, we fully expect the Committee to act in good faith in this matter. If need be, we will explore all of our options to bring this matter to a conclusion.”

    Earlier, Waters issued a lengthy statement arguing that the allegations “fly in the face of objectivity and should concern every member of the House.”

    “Even more troubling is the committee’s refusal of my and numerous ethics watchdogs’ requests to investigate their own misconduct,” she said. “Given what appears to be politically motivated and gross misconduct by the committee, the committee must immediately conclude this seemingly manufactured case.”—-or-else.php?ref=fpb

  7. Ametia says:

    Grover Norquirst’s position NO TAXES 41 SENATORS signed that pledge. American people didn’t sign shit. YOU WROTE it.and your sheep in congress have signed it.

  8. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 4:50 PM

    Club for Growth lays down the law

    By Steve Benen

    I suspect it’d be a little awkward trying to explain tomorrow’s developments in the House to Americans who don’t follow politics closely.

    There’s a law they’ve probably never heard of that sets an arbitrary limit on the amount of debt the nation can accrue. Republicans have always wanted to raise this limit, until this year, when they decided raising the ceiling is an “existential” crisis. If they don’t do what they’ve always done within two weeks, the economy will crash.

    Tomorrow, the same people threatening to crash the economy will spend all day on a competing plan they know will fail, but which will make Republicans feel better about themselves. They could spend the day preventing a crisis, but that won’t help Republicans feel better about themselves, and therefore, won’t happen.

    And then, of course, there are the interest groups. On the one hand, we see Republican allies, desperate for GOP officials to create a friendly business climate, demanding they raise the debt ceiling. On the other, we see other Republican allies, also desperate for GOP officials to create a friendly business climate, demanding that they not raise the debt ceiling unless it’s in a way that ideologically pleasing.

    “Cut, Cap, and Balance will fix our fiscal mess. The McConnell-Reid plan does not,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement accompanying an alert that these votes will be counted on the group’s scorecard. “McConnell-Reid simply punts our budget problem further down the road and is everything that’s wrong with Washington. Congress has proven that they are unable to balance the budget without reform. Cut, Cap and Balance is the only plan that permanently handcuffs politicians from spending more money than they take in.”

    If you’re a Republican, voting for Plan B means you’re that much likelier to face a primary. By holding the test votes on Cut, Cap, and Balance, and the Balanced Budget Amendment, they can at least meet the Club for Growth, and similar groups half way.

    Just for added fun, let’s not forget that when Club for Growth President Chris Chocola was in Congress he — you guessed it — voted to raise the debt ceiling without conditions.

    The far-right group is led by a far-right politician who’s now urging other far-right politicians not to vote the same way he did.

    And his demands are one of the reasons House Republicans will spend a great deal of precious time on a series of legislative stunts tomorrow, which everyone, including them, already knows will never become law.

    Sometimes I wonder why most of the public doesn’t share my fascination with political current events. And other times, I can’t blame the public at all.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM PDT
    Mitt Romney’s fundraising ceiling+*

    by Jed Lewison

    I’ve written about Mitt Romney’s polling ceiling—how he never seems to be able to build on his lead in public opinion surveys—and now that his FEC reports are in, it also appears he has a fundraising ceiling:

    49% of Obama’s $46.3 million came in donations under $200, and 26% were maximum $2,500 donations. By comparison, however, just 6% of Romney’s were under $200, while a whopping 70% were the maximum. In other words, Romney appears to have already maxed out his base of donors. (Where is the rest going to come from?) The other small-dollar percentages of campaign contributions under $200: Bachmann 67%, Cain 58%, Paul 54%, Gingrich 46%, Santorum 25%, Pawlenty 11%

    So the vast majority of Mitt Romney’s donations have come from people who can’t give him another dime. It’s a problem that reflects the core weakness of his campaign: outside of an elite group of donors, there’s just no enthusiasm for his candidacy. And the only reason he’s doing well in polls is that more people know his name than that of any other candidate. Over time, that advantage will wane.

    Romney’s solution to the problem is to tap outside groups to raise unlimited sums from the same donors who have already maxed out for his campaign. The main such group has already raised $12 million. But in a state-by-state campaign where you’re trying to win support from the party faithful, having an independent PAC dump money into an air war isn’t nearly as valuable as it would be in a general election.

    The main thing Romney has going for him is that his Republican rivals haven’t done any better, at least on paper, but the entrance of Michele Bachmann into the race will change that. She’s only raised $3.6 million, $2 million of which came from her Congressional campaign fund, but that total is based on just a few days of fundraising during which she raised as much from small donors as Mitt Romney did during the entire quarter. In 2010, running for the House, she raised over $13 million, and as long as she continues to show well in the polls, her fundraising will soar. Meanwhile, Romney will continue searching for suckers to max out to his doomed campaign.

    Oh, and by the way, neither one of them can hold a candle to President Obama, who reported raising $21 million from small donors in his latest FEC filing.

    • creolechild says:

      Mystery solved…

      The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, spread their money far and wide. They fund free-market think tanks, right-leaning academic organizations, and conservative political advocacy groups, such as the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which helped cultivate the tea party. The political action committee for the Kochs’ massive conglomerate, Koch Industries, has also given generously to big-name conservative politicians throughout the country at both the federal and state level. But when it comes to the 2012 presidential race, the Kochs have been more selective with their giving, with only one presidential candidate so far benefitting from their largesse: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

      In late May, KochPAC, as Koch Industries’ PAC is known, donated $10,000 in one day to Bachmann-linked committees—$5,000 to her 2012 congressional re-election committee and $5,000 to her political action committee, MICHELE PAC, according to the most recent records available. (That’s short for Many Individual Conservatives Helping Elect Leaders Everywhere PAC.) The two checks weren’t KochPAC’s first contributions to Bachmann. According to federal campaign records, the committee has given $25,000 to the Minnesota congresswoman since 2006, excluding the May donation.

      It’s unclear whether KochPAC has also donated to Bachmann’s presidential committee, which was created in June after she officially unveiled her candidacy. Her campaign has yet to report contributions and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. But it is worth noting that Bachmann can, under FEC rules, transfer her congressional campaign funds into her presidential war chest, since she suspended her congressional fundraising operation last month. When Bachmann does reveal her latest fundraising haul, a large chunk of it is expected to come from her congressional campaign.


      • TyrenM says:

        Hello Ametia, SouthernGirl2 and Rikyrah,
        This is my 1st time here and I’m digging the site. I will definitely be back.
        Thanks for showing me this. I’ve been wondering who is giving her all the loot since our local media won’t even say. Though I’ve suspected Koch more than Rove, here ya’ll have it. Thanks.

      • .Hello TyrenM!

        So good to see you on 3 Chics! Welcome! We look forward to you coming back and joining in discussions.

      • Ametia says:

        Sup, brotha, Tyren! Welcome to 3 Chics. Good to see you. Please stop by anytime. Creolechild’s a bringer of the links, dude! LOL

        Glad you found some information you’ve been looking for.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Congressman Who Harassed Elizabeth Warren Showered With Donations From Banks And Predatory Lenders

    By Lee Fang on Jul 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) gained infamy in May when he went on a childish tirade against Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is currently setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a special adviser to President Obama. McHenry, a former College Republican hack, repeatedly accused Warren of lying about the agreed-upon time for testimony she gave before Congress.

    According to a ThinkProgress analysis of new campaign finance data released on Friday, McHenry received $63,800 from lobbyists and executives from banks, mortgage companies, payday lenders, pawn shop executives, and other predatory lenders in the last three months alone. Notably, much of the campaign donations from payday lenders came on a single day, April 20, 2011:

    – Advance America PAC: $10,000 on 4/20/11
    – Dennis Bassford, CEO of the Seattle-based payday lender MoneyTree: $4,600 on 4/20/11
    – Sarah Bassford: $2,700 on 4/20/11
    – Community Financial Services Association of America PAC (trade association for payday lenders): $5,000 on 4/20/11
    – Checksmart Financial LLC PAC, an Ohio-based payday lender: $2,000 on 4/20/11
    – A. David Davis, CEO of Ohio-based payday lender Check-n-go: $2,000 on 4/20/11
    – Jared Davis, CEO of Ohio-based payday lender Axcess Financial: $2,000 on 4/20/11
    – Roger Dean, CFO of Axcess Financial: $500 on 4/20/11
    – EZCORP PAC, a Texas-based payday lender: $2,000 on 4/20/11
    – Natl Pawnbrokers Assoc. PAC: $2,000 on 4/20/11

    The surge of payday lender money to McHenry on a single day suggests the congressman had a campaign party with opponents of Warren. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is tasked with policing and regulating dozens of predatory lending practices. A few weeks after the predatory lending campaign money started flowing to McHenry, he used the hearing with Warren to berate a leading consumer advocate.

    According to his latest financial disclosure, the McHenry household receives an income from the Brattle Group, an industry consulting firm that employs McHenry’s wife. The Brattle Group helps connect powerful industry groups with academics to produce reports that can be used during testimony or lobbying campaigns — the same type of firm highlighted by Charles Ferguson’s investigative documentary Inside Job. In conjunction with the Community Financial Services Association of America, a trade association for predatory lenders, the Brattle Group produced a study claiming that payday lending never results in cycles of debt for its customers. According to its website, the Brattle Group also represents banks, credit card companies, and other businesses in the financial industry.

    Asked by ThinkProgress if the Brattle Group is working for any of its clients on Dodd-Frank implementation or any issues related to the new Consumer Financial Protection agency, a representative said they would not supply such information.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 10:48 AM PDT

    Obama is not your cheating boyfriend+

    so stop treating him emotionally with diaries like “Imagine” that feature a laundry list of promises he never really made.

    Yesterday I wrote a diary that was intended to point how Obama has put the GOP into full disarray and retreat on the debt ceiling issue, how he’s shown the backbone many people have said he didn’t have – however I made two technical mistakes. I briefly included a link that referred to the public option replacement, that was unfortunately broken – and I included the video just before the one I really wanted which was this one.

    Normally those would have fixed almost immediately and the clusterfunk that ensued would have been largely avoided – but I had to leave my computer. So I take the blame for orphaning the diary that way and not testing my link and video. Mea culpa.

    On the other hand what was displayed is something that really does need to be addressed. There is a massive feeling of betrayal and resentment out there. A lot of people apparently feel that they’ve been Hippy Punched more than a few times already, and that yet again they caught Obama cheating on them with that GOP Sl*t from across the aisle once too many times – and while I can sympathies with it that feeling, and understand it – there comes a point where it become self-defeating and self-destructive.

    Obama’s not your boyfriend, but more importantly he hasn’t been “cheating” either. He’s trying to get some shit done, against overwhelming odds and opposition.

    The first and still most raw item of betrayal that is shown and cited is the Lack of a Public Option in Health Reform. Now, I’ve talked about this a ton of times, so much so that I figured one little link as a reminder should have been sufficient because I’ve always felt that redundancy is a flaw of those who have little new to say and/or think what they have to say is way more important than it really is.

    But this is neither of those, it really is important.

    As I wrote almost a year ago before the 2010 Election in a diary I then called “Revealing the Stealth Public Option” the simple truth is that the Original Public Option wasn’t simply dropped and removed during negotiations in the Senate. It was REPLACED with another Option.

    My point was just that CBO Scored the impact of the replacement as being basically the same, and just as good as the Public Option at controlling costs. The difference between the two plans was only $2 Billion (although some other changes were involved as shown below)

    This estimate incorporates the effects of the manager’s amendment, which would make a number of changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as originally proposed. The changes with the largest budgetary effects include: expanding eligibility for a small business tax credit; increasing penalties on certain uninsured people; replacing a “public plan” that would be run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with “multi-state” plans that would be offered under contract with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM); deleting provisions that would increase payment rates for physicians under Medicare; and increasing the payroll tax on higher-income individuals and families. Of the total deficit reduction of $132 billion projected to result from the legislation, the manager’s amendment accounts for about $2 billion, and the act as originally proposed accounts for the remaining $130 billion.

    Let me repeat: According to the CBO the Public Option was Replaced, not removed or deleted, Replaced with a different idea that almost no one, except maybe me, has even bothered to talk about. And they scored it as almost the same in deficit reduction as the PO.

    Now this wasn’t the main point of yesterday’s diary. I only mentioned it in one sentence, but the fact it got such an argument going proves that it’s worth mentioning again and going over in detail.

    The Public Option was a fairly simple idea, but this isn’t so bear with me.

    The original Public Option was a plan run by HHS using public employees similar to the way that Medicare is run. There was a brief moment where Congress flirted with the idea of simply opening up Medicare for younger citizens to buy into which would have been good, but not great as it’s to not clear how that would effect the long term stability of the Medicare Trust Fund. Would those premiums have to be inflated to help close Medicare’s long term viability gap? I don’t know.

    Instead ot National Single Payer, or Medicare-for-All, or a Public Option what we actually have is this Multi-State Non-Profit Option.

    Maybe if it had simple catchy name, people would get it – and maybe not.

    There are only two differences between this Option and the Public Option. 1) Instead of being run by HHS, it’s run by the Office of Personnel Management (who also currently handle the Federal Employee Benefit System that the Exchanges are modeled on) and 2) Instead of government employees handing the plan, it will be government contractors, some of whom will have to be Not-For-Profit.

    Now the goal of the PO was to allow an alternative to For-Profit Private Insurance that would apply downward pressure on the costs that isn’t otherwise available.

    The best we could hope for is that it would be as financially efficient as Medicare with only 4% overhead and run about 28% cheaper than private insurance the way that Medicare Part-A and B are 28% cheaper than Medicare-Advantage which is farmed out to private insurers.

    The PO replacement accomplishes that goal.

  12. creolechild says:

    For Metia…

  13. Rev Al asked Michael Steele if their was anyone in the republicans with a spine! Ka Pow!

  14. Twitter:

    @utaustinliberal: Chris Matthews is nailing @GroverNorquist to the wall!!!!!!!. GO CHRIS!!!!! @hardball is on fire tonite. Chris called out Pat’s lies

    Oh shit! Let me go see…

  15. Ametia says:

  16. Ametia says:

    For creoloechild!

  17. ThinkProgress: BREAKING: Police examine bag with computer and papers found in trash near Rebekah Brooks’s home

    • creolechild says:

      Hmmmm…if the bag was found in close proximity to the Brook’s home, why didn’t the person just drop it there? Who leaves a computer and other articles sitting out in the open like that? And why would cleaning people throw a perfectly good computer into the trash? Most people would check to see if it still worked and if it did would take it home since it was in the trash to begin with.

      Their explanation doesn’t make any sense…

    • rikyrah says:

      uh huh

      truth is stranger than fiction

  18. rikyrah says:

    Red State’s Erickson Wants To Take Down Mitch McConnell

    If you’re wondering just how angry conservative political leaders are about Senate Minority Mitch McConnell’s fallback plan to avoid a debt default, check out the latest bright line from Red State founder — and Tea Party weather vane — Erick Erickson.

    “In the future, as we support candidates for the U.S. Senate in Republican Primaries, we will not support any candidate who goes on the record supporting Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader,” he insists.

    This is not an absolute demand that Republican Senators oust McConnell no matter what. If no preferable alternative emerges, he’ll give them a pass. But it puts the squeeze on incumbent Republicans, and GOP candidates challenging Democratic incumbents, to withhold support from McConnell, or reject him outright.

    In practical terms, this probably doesn’t mean all that much for McConnell, or the rest of the GOP. Most Republican-held seats aren’t in cycle this election, and many of the Democratic seats that are in cycle aren’t in play.

  19. rikyrah says:

    18 Democratic House Members Join GOP To Entrench Corporate Money In Elections
    By Ian Millhiser on Jul 18, 2011 at 9:50 am

    On Friday, the House passed an anti-transparency amendment, which would “prohibit the use of funds to implement any rule, regulation, or executive order regarding the disclosure of political contributions.” This amendment would strip away the Obama Administration’s ability to mitigate the flood of corporate money that started buying American elections after the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC by requiring corporate donors to disclose their contributions.

    Bizarrely, 18 Democrats joined nearly every Republican to pass this amendment 259 to 169. The 18 Democrats who voted to protect corporate America’s power to secretly spend unlimited amounts of money influencing elections are:

    Jason Altmire (PA-4); John Barrow (GA-12); Dan Boren (OK-2); Ben Chandler (KY-6); Gerald Connolly (VA-11); Jim Cooper (TN-5); Jerry Costello (IL-12); Mark Critz (PA-12); Henry Cuellar (TX-28); Peter DeFazio (OR-4); Michael Honda (CA-15); Jim Matheson (UT-2); William Owens (NY-23); Edward Pastor (AZ-4); Colin Peterson (MN-7); Nick Rahall (WV-3); Mike Ross (AR-4); and Heath Shuler (NC-11)

    It’s anyone’s guess why these members of Congress choose to place corporate interest groups ahead of the integrity of American elections, but it is possible that they were influenced by a massive corporate PR and lobbying campaign against transparency in campaign finance. After news broke that the Obama Administration is considering issuing an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their campaign donations, industry groups responded by ginning up paranoid fantasies claiming that the administration would use these disclosures to create a “pay to play” scenario where only contractors who donate to Democratic causes could receive contracts.

    But, of course, this scenario is actually the opposite of what would actually happen if disclosure were mandated. During the Bush Administration, former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned in disgrace after he was implicated in widespread scandals involving cutting President Bush’s opponents out of the contracting process and awarding contracts to his personal cronies. Had a disclosure rule been in effect, however, it would have been possible to compare the donation patterns of all government contractors against who was awarding them contracts, and systematically uncover examples of political corruption.

    Transparency is the enemy of corruption — not the means to implement it. It is very sad that a majority of the House chose to ignore this simple and obvious fact.

    • Ametia says:

      Jason Altmire (PA-4); John Barrow (GA-12); Dan Boren (OK-2); Ben Chandler (KY-6); Gerald Connolly (VA-11); Jim Cooper (TN-5); Jerry Costello (IL-12); Mark Critz (PA-12); Henry Cuellar (TX-28); Peter DeFazio (OR-4); Michael Honda (CA-15); Jim Matheson (UT-2); William Owens (NY-23); Edward Pastor (AZ-4); Colin Peterson (MN-7); Nick Rahall (WV-3); Mike Ross (AR-4); and Heath Shuler (NC-11)

      Keep these Democratic House members in mind, come voting season.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS Attacks Dems Over Debt
    Benjy Sarlin | July 18, 2011, 10:24AM

    The Conservative anonymous-money giant Crossroads GPS is spending $1.4 million on ads targeting Democrats on spending, part of a $20 million summer ad blitz.

    The TV spots are running in 10 districts and vary slightly from lawmaker to lawmaker, although they mostly focus on the 2009 stimulus bill and past debt limit votes. Notably, the ads do not stake out a specific position on the current debt limit fight, which is proving increasingly divisive for the party as Republicans in the House and Senate struggle to find a unified voice.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Obama Threatens Budget Bill Veto
    QBy Brian Faler and Laura Litvan – Jul 18, 2011 3:03 PM CT

    The Senate’s top leaders said today the chamber will remain in session until lawmakers hammer out an agreement to raise the U.S. debt limit as President Barack Obama threatened to veto a proposal to require the government to balance its budget as part of a debt deal.

    “We’re going to stay in session every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, until Congress passes legislation that prevents the United States from defaulting on our obligations,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said on the floor.

    His Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, called it a “mutual decision” for the Senate to stay in session “until we resolve this crisis confronting our country.”

    Both sides talked through the weekend in an effort to resolve the stalemate by an Aug. 2 deadline the administration has set for raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, held an unannounced meeting yesterday with Obama at the White House.

    The discussions were aimed at reaching an agreement on a deficit-cutting deal that Republicans have made a prerequisite for approving a debt increase.

    House Measure
    The House is slated to vote tomorrow on a proposal known as the Cut, Cap and Balance Act that calls for a deal to include future caps on government spending and a constitutional amendment to require the government to balance its budget.

    The proposal is certain to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate, meaning it wouldn’t reach Obama’s desk. Still, the administration outlined its objections to the idea today in its veto threat, saying “neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    A Scene From Our Unshared Sacrifices:
    The old lady at the pharmacy counter obviously wore an adult diaper. That tell-tale sharp urine scent half-masked by sweet-smelling chemicals emanated from her, and the Rude Pundit stood right behind her yesterday, waiting to pick up the pills that prevent him from going on a five-state killing spree. She was getting three prescriptions. The total was $6.00. This puzzled the old lady. She had never paid anything before, and even this seemingly small amount was obviously causing her consternation. The cashier checked with the pharmacist, who said that there had been a minor change to her plan, and now she had to pay a little for the scrips, a buck-fifty, three bucks. She apologized and put aside the couple of other things she was going to purchase to pay for the medicine.

    The Rude Pundit didn’t know if the change had been to Medicare or to a supplemental plan, but, either way, she was being asked to contribute more than she had before, which she did. He also thought of another story, one that he thinks about a great deal these days.

    A few years back, the Rude Pundit was at dinner with a really, really, really rich friend – we’re talking in the half-billion dollar range – and he reached for the bill when dinner had arrived. The friend put out her hand. The usual kind of argument ensued over who was going to pay. Finally, she said, “Look, I live like a princess. $100 to me is like 50 cents to you. Give me the bill.” Now, the Rude Pundit could have been pissed off, he could have insisted as a point of pride on paying his fair share, he could have resented her wealth. Instead, he let it go, realizing that, at the end of the day, he was dining with someone for whom most of his notions of money were absolutely worthless. (By the way, she gives a ton of money to charities and good, liberal causes and works with at-risk kids, so, really, it’s hard to get mad at her.)

    At his press conference last Friday, President Obama said, “If you’re a senior citizen, and a modification potentially costs you a hundred or two hundred bucks a year more, or even if it’s not affecting current beneficiaries, somebody who’s 40 today 20 years from now is going to end up having to pay a little bit more. The least I can do is to say that people who are making a million dollars or more have to do something as well.” It’s probably the closest he’s come to making an emotional, non-political case for higher taxes. But it still misses the point.

    A drug benefit cut for an old lady in a diaper and a closed tax loophole on private jets is not balance. That six bucks cut into that woman’s limited income in profound ways. To use the friend’s equation in reverse (times ten), $6 is like $3000. And even that’s not a big deal to the wealthy because you can bet that the woman is living paycheck to paycheck. The millionaire has shitloads of money that don’t even count as taxable income.

    Our savage economic inequality in this country is coming to a head. We talk about “spending cuts,” as if what we’re not really talking about is “making the poor pay more for stuff.” We talk as if the services that are cut will be picked up by the aching states and cities. And we talk about nonsense like “shared sacrifice,” as if that’s the rational position in any of this. When the wealthy actually sacrifice something, we can talk about sharing.

    At this point, any Americans earning above, say, to be generous, $500,000 a year who don’t believe that they should be paying more in taxes are just goddamned greedy assholes who deserve a real Marxist revolution to take it all away. They have benefited from a country that generously gave them decades of low taxes in the hopes that they would help make this a better place. They fucked it up, and it’s time to give back. If your parents supported you through college in order for you to get your MBA and get rich, then you take care of them if they go through hard times. You don’t say, “Sorry, Mom, but how can I create jobs if I have to help you avoid losing your house?” Unless you do, in which case, you are a dick and deserve to be put up against the wall in the aforementioned revolution.

    Back at the pharmacy, the old woman walked away from the counter, putting back the cheap socks and orange juice she was going to buy, leaving with her prescriptions, her sacrifice far from shared.

  23. Obama’s 2012 Campaign Reports Monster Haul, Romney Reigns Above GOP Hopefuls

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama set a high bar for 2012 presidential campaign fundraising after reporting a haul of $46 million in his second quarter campaign finance filings released on Friday. The president’s campaign is, yet again, relying on a mix of small-dollar donors and big-dollar bundlers to pay for a campaign that experts project will raise a total of close to $1 billion. Obama’s closest competitor in the money race is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who raised $18 million in the second quarter.

    Obama’s campaign pulled in 47 percent of its contributions from donors giving less than $250, an indication that the president still has the support of the donor base that drove him to victory in 2008.

    This doesn’t mean that the Obama campaign is shunning big money. The campaign also relied on a stable of 244 bundlers, donors who collect checks to deliver to the campaign. Those bundlers delivered at least $37 million, according to campaign’s report of the minimum amount each bundler produced. This total was for both the Obama campaign and the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising vehicle, according to campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

    The campaign also relied on a joint fundraising vehicle that forwarded $20.5 million to the Democratic National Committee and $12.75 million to Obama for America. The Obama Victory Fund raised more than 50 percent of its total from donors maxing out at $35,800 and more than 90 percent from donors giving $10,000.

    According to a HuffPost analysis of the campaign’s money, no single company or institution emerged as a big source of donations for the Obama campaign. In 2008, the campaign raised $1.5 million from employees of the University of California, $994,795 from Goldman Sachs employees, $854,747 from Harvard employees, $833,617 from Microsoft employees, and $803,436 from Google employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This time around, the campaign has not yet raised more than $100,000 from the employees of any single company or institution.

    The 2012 campaign with the second biggest quarterly haul, that of Mitt Romney, is currently tapping only the institutional, big-donor money while failing to raise money from small-dollar donors.

    Romney’s primary campaign raised only 6 percent of its total money, or $1.1 million, from donors giving less than $250. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), by comparison, raised 66 percent of her total haul of $1.6 million from small-dollar donors.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 06:22 AM PDT.

    Debt-limit ransom: $1.5 trillion in cuts, no new revenue, and another panel+*by Jed LewisonFollow .

    Washington Post:
    A bipartisan effort in the Senate to allow President Obama to raise the federal debt ceiling in exchange for about $1.5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years gained momentum Sunday, as leaders agreed they would have to act in the next two weeks to avert a potential default by the U.S. government.
    The growing sentiment for raising the federal limit on U.S. borrowing sets the stage for a week of largely scripted actions on Capitol Hill, where leaders in both chambers are looking to build support for the plan being crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). […] The plan would also create a new congressional panel that would, by the end of the year, seek to come up with a way of reducing the deficit potentially by trillions more through cuts in entitlements and other new tax revenue.

    Uh, that’s not a balanced deal. In fact, like Ezra Klein, I can’t imagine Republicans getting a better outcome.

    Not only would they get significant cuts without tax increases, they also get a process that will place the entire political burden for raising the debt limit on President Obama. Moreover, they force him to request three separate debt limit extensions, and would require Democrats to sustain vetoes of Republican rejections of each of those extensions. Because the commission could theoretically suggest revenue increases, Republicans could claim to the chattering classes that they aren’t totally in Grover Norquist’s grip. And to top things off, they would get all this for something that they have already publicly said they want: a higher debt limit.

    The only potentially attractive thing* about this is that it would avoid the catastrophe of failing to raise the debt limit, at least for now. But it’s not like they weren’t other ways to achieve that goal. Using the debt limit as a hostage to force sharp spending cuts without raising revenue is exactly what Republicans have been fighting for. And if this is the plan, they may well be close to getting it.$15-trillion-in-cuts,-no-new-revenue,-and-another-panel?via=blog_1

  25. rikyrah says:

    Club For Growth To Republicans: Trigger A Default, Or Else!

    To understand why Republicans won’t raise the debt limit until after they hold a symbolic vote on a plan to squeeze the government down to a size that would require it to gut popular entitlement programs, it’s important to realize it’s not just because of the political perks. Powerful conservative interest groups are demanding they vote for it. And at the same time they’re warning the GOP against voting for the only viable option currently on the table for avoiding a catastrophic debt default.

    “Cut, Cap, and Balance will fix our fiscal mess. The McConnell-Reid plan does not,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement accompanying an alert that these votes will be counted on the group’s scorecard. “McConnell-Reid simply punts our budget problem further down the road and is everything that’s wrong with Washington. Congress has proven that they are unable to balance the budget without reform. Cut, Cap and Balance is the only plan that permanently handcuffs politicians from spending more money than they take in.”

    If you’re a Republican, voting for Plan B means you’re that much likelier to face a primary. By holding the test votes on Cut, Cap, and Balance, and the Balanced Budget Amendment, they can at least meet the Club for Growth, and similar groups half way.

  26. rikyrah says:

    It’s A Trap! The Hidden Pitfalls Of GOP’s ‘Cut, Cap, And Balance’ Plan
    Tuesday, the House of Representatives will vote on, and likely pass, a conservative Republican plan called “Cut, Cap, and Balance.” The package will include some immediate, as-yet unspecified spending cuts, a statutory cap to keep spending below 18 percent of GDP, and a promised separate vote on a Constitutional amendment that requires Congress to maintain a balanced budget, but essentially forbids any future tax increases.

    It would also raise the debt ceiling through 2012 — an ancillary benefit for Republicans who are looking for any way to pin the consequences of a debt default, should one happen, on Democrats. Indeed, the GOP feigned shock and anger Monday when the White House, as expected, issued an official veto threat — turns out President Obama’s the one threatening to wreak havoc on the country.

    Of course, later in the week, the Senate will follow suit, and there Cut, Cap, and Balance is expected to fail.

    For Republicans, it’s the perfect alignment of popular sounding policies — “spending cuts” a “balanced budget” and, finally, an end to this debt limit brinksmanship — minus the a scintilla of accountability or transparency. And for Republicans trying to make nice with conservative activists, it will give them cover to later vote for a much more modest plan to cut some spending, raise the debt limit, avoid default. But the details have been intentionally obscured by most conservatives, and they reveal the plan to be the most radical fiscal policy the GOP has aligned behind in years — one that makes the Republican’s current budget proposal to phase out Medicare appear moderate by comparison.

    Indeed, it’s likely that Republican leaders would never push for such a package if they thought it stood a chance of becoming law, or of changing the Constitution. But it doesn’t. So this week’s efforts come with great political upside for the GOP and none of the peril that would entail actually complying with Cut, Cap, and Balance. It gives them an opening to sucker punch vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election in 2012, who’ve articulated support for a balanced budget amendment in the past but will oppose this one.

    Monday morning, NRSC communications director Brian Walsh explained the strategy. “Interesting – Today Show anchor called the House vote on a [balanced budget] amendment a ‘tea party backed plan,'” he said in the first of a series of tweets. “Really? Its not just the tea party. Every single Senate Republican – moderate and conservative alike, is cosponsoring a Balanced Budget Amendment. And Dems like Brown, Nelson, Stabenow, Tester etc. all campaigned on a BBA in ’06. Now they’re flip flopping. Will have to explain.”

    The ads write themselves, but will require bamboozling the public into believing that all things called Balanced Budget Amendments are identical.

    As conservative anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist acknowledged on MSNBC Monday, “That’s why the present Republican Senate, every Republican Senator has agreed to a Constitutional amendment that requires a two-thirds vote to raise taxes and doesn’t simply allow you to get around the balanced budget amendment, because there’s an emergency. . This is — this has teeth.”

    Even a simpler Constitutional requirement that the government maintain a balanced budget would be fraught with risk. What happens in an economic or foreign policy emergency? What happens if Congress recognizes the need to spend more money, but lacks the will to raise the revenue needed to pay for it.

    The version of the BBA Republicans are pushing now goes much further. It would impose supermajority requirements — two-thirds of both the House and Senate — to raise taxes. That means it’s really a formula for slashing spending at an epic clip, and, invariably, for devastating key safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It just doesn’t say so explicitly.

    And to meet a spending cap frozen at 18 percent of GDP, the government would have to shrink itself to the size it was in 1966, one year after the creation of Medicare, when life expectancy was lower, health care was cheaper, and the country was younger, and smaller in just about every way.

    Democratic leaders have explained Cut, Cap, and Balance as a Trojan Horse to end Medicare, and that’s basically fair. But their vulnerable incumbents will have to be vigilant about explaining that they weren’t simply “for a balanced budget amendment before they were against it.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    July 17, 2011 2:25 PM

    The pattern that ‘puzzles’ the president

    By Steve Benen

    At his press conference the other day, President Obama noted the recommendations of the bipartisan deficit-reduction commission (which, by the way, failed to reach an agreement). He mentioned in passing that his White House set up the structure for the commission: “As you will recall, this was originally bipartisan legislation that some of the Republican supporters of decided to vote against when I said I supported it — that seems to be a pattern that I’m still puzzled by.”

    It is, to be sure, quite a pattern. For two-and-a-half years, Obama has run into congressional Republicans who not only refuse to take “yes” for an answer, but routinely oppose their own ideas when the president is willing to accept them.

    This seems especially relevant in the context of the current debt-reduction talks. At a certain level, it’s almost comical — here we have a Democratic president agreeing with a conservative Republican House Speaker on a massive deal that would lower the debt by over $4 trillion over the next decade. It would tilt heavily in the GOP’s direction, and address the problem Republicans pretend to care about most. Obama is even willing to consider significant entitlement “reforms,” which should be music to the ears of the right.

    And yet, in the latest example that “puzzles” the president, Republicans aren’t interested.

    Now, part of this is obviously the result of Republicans adopting a faith-based approach to revenue, which happens to be wildly disconnected to reality. But that’s not the only angle that matters. Matt Yglesias had a good item the other day that raised a point that’s often lost in the shuffle.

    [H]ere we get to the problem that’s recurred throughout Obama’s time in office. If members of Congress think like partisans who want to capture the White House, then the smart strategy for them is to refuse to do whatever it is the president wants. The content of the president’s desire is irrelevant. But the more ambitious his desire is, the more important it is to turn him down.

    After all, if the President wants a big bipartisan deal on the deficit, then a big bipartisan deal on the deficit is “a win for President Obama,” which means a loss for the anti-Obama side. When Obama didn’t want to embrace Bowles-Simpson, then failure to embrace Bowles-Simpson was a valid critique of him. But had Obama embraced Bowles-Simpson, then it would have been necessary for his opponents to reject it.

    For weeks, many have marveled at the priorities of the Republican policy wish-list — given a choice between the larger debt-reduction plan in American history and preserving some tax breaks for the wealthy, GOP officials at nearly every level strongly prefer the latter. Indeed, for nearly all Republicans, it’s such a no-brainer, this question is almost silly.

    But there’s a separate challenge — Republicans have a choice between advancing policies they ostensibly agree with and Obama scoring a legislative victory. And as it turns out, that’s a no-brainer, too, since GOP lawmakers don’t really care about governing so much as they care about denying the president political victories. It might make them appear ridiculous — why would anyone reject their own ideas? — but looking foolish isn’t a major concern for congressional Republicans.

    Obviously, this makes compromise literally impossible, and all but guarantees the least productive legislative session in many years. But it also suggests the president needs to adapt to an awkward set of circumstances: given Republican beliefs, Obama must realize his support for a legislative idea necessarily means it’s less likely to happen.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 18, 2011 2:00 PM

    Did McCain read the Krugman column he endorsed?

    By Steve Benen
    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said something odd today, telling his Twitter followers, “It may surprise you to know that I completely agree with Paul Krugman’s column” in today’s New York Times.

    Actually, yes, it would surprise me, since McCain’s record points in a very different direction.

    Krugman makes the case that in the wake of 2008 crash, bankers have had it way too easy.

    This principle was on display during the final months of the Bush administration, when a huge lifeline for the banks was made available with few strings attached. It was equally on display in the early months of the Obama administration, when President Obama reneged on his campaign pledge to “change our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for families to stay in their homes.” And the principle is still operating right now, as federal officials press state attorneys general to accept a very modest settlement from banks that engaged in abusive mortgage practices.

    Why the kid-gloves treatment? Money and influence no doubt play their part; Wall Street is a huge source of campaign donations, and agencies that are supposed to regulate banks often end up serving them instead. But officials have also argued at each point of the process that letting banks off the hook serves the interests of the economy as a whole.

    It doesn’t.

    Now, McCain may like this column, or at least pretend to, because Krugman casts a wide net against an unpopular financial industry.

    But McCain has a lot of nerve presenting himself as a consumer ally, supporting a liberal column calling for tougher crackdowns on Wall Street. It was, after all, a year ago this week that the Senate voted on a major Wall Street reform bill, bringing new safeguards and layers of accountability to the system. McCain knew the legislation would pass, but voted against it anyway. Indeed, McCain was so opposed to the legislation, he tried to prevent the Senate from even voting on it at all.

    Indeed, as recently as May, McCain joined a group of Republican senators in writing to the White House (pdf), insisting they would block any nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the agency was stripped of at least some of its powers.

    In other words, McCain wants to make it easier for the financial industry to get away with recklessness and anti-consumer misdeeds, and he’s willing to abuse Senate rules until he gets his way doing Wall Street’s bidding.

    So, sure, I’m surprised that McCain liked Krugman’s column. But here’s the follow-up question for the senator: did you read it?

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:22 AM ET, 07/18/2011
    The case against nominating Elizabeth Warren
    By Ezra Klein

    There’s a fair amount of disappointment over the White House’s decision to formally nominate Richard Cordray rather than Elizabeth Warren to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Paul Krugman, for instance, writes that “Obama has passed up a chance to symbolically align himself with the public and against the banksters. Sad.”

    I don’t really understand this. Whoever is nominated to lead the CFPB is going to spend the next year of his life being filibustered by Republicans. The very best he can hope for is a recess appointment, in which case his tenure in the position would be relatively swift. So the question isn’t who you want leading the CFPB for the foreseeable future. It’s who you want spending his or her time being stopped from leading the CFPB for the foreseeable future. And it’s not clear that the answer to that question is “Elizabeth Warren.”

    Warren, after all, has another option that she appears to be taking seriously: challenging Scott Brown in the 2012 election. For reasons I’ve outlined here and Bob Kuttner elaborates on here, there’s reason to think she would be a very effective candidate. But if she wants to do that, she can’t spend the next year being blocked from leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She has to spend at least part of it preparing for her candidacy.

    Now, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Warren would prefer to lead the agency she’s built than launch a Senate campaign that may or may not succeed. But launching a Senate campaign that may or may not succeed seems like a clearly more effective way to protect her agency and further her ideas than being blocked from leading the agency she’s built.

    Meanwhile, Richard Cordray is actually in a very good position to spend the next year or two being blocked from running the CFPB. Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general with a great reputation in consumer-protection circles and Warren’s blessing, doesn’t have anything to run for until Ohio’s governorship opens in 2014. By all accounts, he’s a good choice to lead the agency now, if he can somehow get past the Republicans, and spending a few years publicly fighting to protect consumers is unlikely to hurt him back home.

    All of this could end up collapsing in on itself, of course. Warren might just go back to Harvard, or she might lose to Brown. Cordray might be blocked from the position and Obama might never go for a recess appointment. But given the information we have now, it seems like a fairly smart way to deploy the talents and preserve the future options of the various consumer protectors whom Republicans plan to filibuster.

    • Jesus loves me! Elizabeth Warren said from the very beginning that she did not want to be director, that she would set things up and help choose a leader. Her treatment by some members of congress was shameful, rude and despicable. Why would any sane person want to deal with the BS she would get in confirmation hearings, especially since they would block her confirmation.

      I’ve read her books. I know she wants a break now, time to be with her family. She talked a lot about the importance of family time in her book: “The Two Income Trap” She is an amazing woman. I hope she will choose to run against Scott Brown. Having a Senator who actually understands economics and finance would be so great and she is a great champion of working families.

  30. rikyrah says:

    How To Be a Hack
    by John Cole


    For months, I had assumed that the Republican leadership would be able to find support within its caucus for option No. 2. Based on John Boehner’s brief flirtation with a “grand bargain” that would have included tax reform, the speaker of the House thought so as well.

    But based on how quickly he abandoned that flirtation, it appears we were both mistaken. The result was a hanging curveball for President Obama, who spent last week posing as the Last Reasonable Man in Washington, contrasting his willingness to compromise on entitlements with the House Republicans’ intransigence on taxes.

    To conservatives, this has been a galling spectacle. A president who spent his first two years in office taking spending to a historic high is accusing them of fiscal irresponsibility? A president who spent the spring demagoguing House Republicans for their willingness to restructure Medicare is citing a much more modest set of cuts as evidence of his fiscal seriousness?

    But this fury misses the point. Obama has been playing the reasonability card so successfully because his opponents won’t (or can’t) play one of their own.

    Did you see the sleight of hand? Obama’s not really reasonable, he’s just pretending to be, and Obama is to blame for the economic disaster created by Republicans, and no mention of the fact that the GOP was eased into power by… demagoguing Medicare in 2010 then immediately voting to end it. Once again, Dave Leonhardt (really Ross, he works in the same building. I’m sure he could fill you in on this stuff):

    The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

    You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

    The first category — the business cycle — accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It’s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists’ assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

    About 33 percent of the swing stems from new legislation signed by Mr. Bush. That legislation, like his tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, not only continue to cost the government but have also increased interest payments on the national debt.

    Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

    About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

    Back to Douthat- that is how it is done. Lie through omission about the cause of our financial woes, claim the President’s policies aren’t really reasonable and that he is just pretending to be, and completely ignore the fact that the Republicans are batshit insane. Last week’s Ross Douthat, still fluffing the crazy party, assured us this was all GOP strategery. Today’s Ross Douthat, while continuing to apply unflinching suction to the GOP, wonders what went wrong.

    What went wrong? Maybe they listened to idiots like Douthat, or maybe they feel unconstrained by reality because they always know Ross will be there for them to give them a wet sloppy one. And he knows he will always get a check for his services, be that at the NY Times, or if that doesn’t pan out, there is always the Heritage Foundation or the Pacific Institute or some other wingnut welfare pub to push his drivel.

    It’s all in the game.

  31. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011
    An A.D.D. amendment
    Last week the wretched jackass Eric Cantor said of his party’s preposterous Balanced Budget Amendment: “We want to be able to go home to the people who elected us and show them that we are not going to allow this kind of spending to continue.”

    Were I a House Democrat I would go to the floor and agree to vote for Cantor’s amendment, but only if he first agreed to vote for my recently proposed Anti-Dumbfuck Demagogue Amendment. This serious legislation and evidently necessary Constitutional add-on would not criminalize demagoguery — for that would exterminate politics — yet it would ban its extreme practice by conspicuously wretched jackasses.

    There was a time when the American electorate and even the United States Congress were perspicacious enough to recognize, condemn and effectively catapault the most wretched of political jackasses from the public arena; one thinks, most prominently, of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, left to finish off his censured butt with a final, liver-blowing jug of hooch — just about the only friend he had left. Today? The American electorate indeed recognizes these jackasses, but only episodically, such as in 2008, and woefully temporarily, in view of 2010.

    I realize that such an amendment — i.e., the A.D.D. amendment — would essentially obliterate our two-party system of governance: absent the Constitutional right to practice political jackassery in its most perniciously ruinous incarnations, whole platoons of congressional Republicanism would surrender and retire overnight, literally speechless. I also realize that once we arrive at the execrable point of having to outlaw the most egregious stupidity of political jackassery merely because we ourselves aren’t smart enough to vote against it, then all is lost. In fact, my argument is but a benign counterpart to Hermann Goering’s, who, shortly before his last pill, much like Joe’s last bottle, rather logically argued against unfettered democratic rule, if such rule meant national suicide. There remains however some legitimate gist of my reductio ad absurdum, notwithstanding Herr Hermann.

    So how about it? you jackasses. Are you willing to risk your reactionary wretchedness against even more reactionary outrage? You may not be willing, but you’re sure forcing the issue.

  32. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011
    Righteousness vs. pragmatism
    It is instructive that as Politico implicitly blasts the GOP for pausing during these desperate debt-crisis hours merely to grovel to its Hay Market rioting crowd …

    [A]t this late hour, the House [balanced-budget] bill represents a major political escalation … [a]nd going into 2012, congressional Republicans seem focused on driving their conservative base …

    … E.J. Dionne pauses to incite President Obama to fight, fight, fight for a public works program and multistate bailout to rescue at-risk “teachers, police, firefighters, librarians and other public servants” …

    Excuse me, Mr. President, but if you believe in this policy, why not propose it and fight for it?

    Although he rejects it, Dionne courteously provides Obama’s answer, from a July 11 press conference: “I’m operating within some political constraints here, because whatever I do has to go through the House of Representatives.”

    Though only a guess, mine is that if Obama weren’t otherwise occupied with delivering the nation from the acute idiocy of nihilistic congressional Republicans, he might indeed make some noise — however useless — about saving librarians. But, being the executive fussbudget that he is, Obama first wants to pull us from the abysmal precipice.

    My apologies upfront: this brings to mind a historical analogy.

    During the late 1930s, as Franklin Roosevelt witnessed the escalating and obviously inescapable and quite possibly existential threat of global fascism, his mind turned to military assistance abroad and a buildup at home. How to accomplish it was the question. Eleanor argued privately to her husband that the vast numbers of small American manufacturers who had suffered for a decade were the first, natural enlistments in such a war-materiel program. They could retool and flourish from defense contracts; this would enact a kind of democratization of government attention and a reflowering of small industry. The president, though, was brutally fixated on the urgent objective of survival; just get the buildup done, which could be done more efficiently through major industry, not only because of its preexisting scope and scale, but because of the internal politics of least resistance.

    Presidents are forever pulled by exalted forces agitating on behalf of longer-term actions of supreme righteousness, just as the immediate crisis — and there always is one — demands shorter-term actions of supreme pragmatism. On occasion this means nothing short of national survival; this in turn complicates considerably the debate over righteousness vs. pragmatism.

    Perhaps I’ve stacked the deck a bit, but I’ll leave it to you to determine which, in reality, is superior.

    • Eleanor Roosevelt would have made a much better President than her husband. She was an amazing, brilliant and accomplished woman who was much maligned and trivialized by the media and public. Franklin should have listened to her because we did ultimately have to depend on those smaller businesses in the war effort.

      My approach would have been to harness both big industry and the smaller enterprises from the outset but President Roosevelt was a privileged scion of the big money elite.

  33. rikyrah says:

    ok, this is funny….LOL

    But, on the real tip, he seems gayer than Gay Gayerson.

    Claiming Marcus
    by mistermix

    Here’s Dan Savage’s response to the pearl clutching about Marcus Bachmann:

    Gay people who point out how fruity Bachmann is aren’t saying there’s something wrong with being fruity, or gay, or with guys who look, speak, walk, or dance the way Bachmann does. A lot of us look, speak, walk, and dance that way. And we don’t think there’s anything wrong with us for looking, speaking, walking, or dancing that way—I’ve never met a gay man who objected to Modern Family’s Cam. And we certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay. But Marcus Bachmann sure does. He thinks there’s a whole lot wrong with being gay. When we point out that this same Marcus Bachmann acts like a huge homo—like a messy, married, dishonest, closeted version Cam—we’re hoisting that pansy on his own hateful petard.

    Marcus Bachmann is attacking us and we’re we’re claiming him. We’re embracing him, we’re saying that we recognize ourselves in him, and that turns the stigma Marcus Bachmann promotes back on Marcus Bachmann.

  34. rikyrah says:

    since they use the old

    ‘ these schools are failing’ excuse to set up the sham that are charters schools in Urban America, what excuse do they use in school districts THAT ARE WORKING?


    Charter School Battle Shifts to Affluent Suburbs

    Matthew Stewart believes there is a place for charter schools. Just not in his schoolyard.

    Mr. Stewart, a stay-at-home father of three boys, moved to this wealthy township, about 20 miles from Midtown Manhattan, three years ago, filling his life with class activities and soccer practices. But in recent months, he has traded play dates for protests, enlisting more than 200 families in a campaign to block two Mandarin-immersion charter schools from opening in the area.

    The group, Millburn Parents Against Charter Schools, argues that the schools would siphon money from its children’s education for unnecessarily specialized programs. The schools, to be based in nearby Maplewood and Livingston, would draw students and resources from Millburn and other area districts.

    “I’m in favor of a quality education for everyone,” Mr. Stewart said. “In suburban areas like Millburn, there’s no evidence whatsoever that the local school district is not doing its job. So what’s the rationale for a charter school?”

    Suburbs like Millburn, renowned for educational excellence, have become hotbeds in the nation’s charter school battles, raising fundamental questions about the goals of a movement that began 20 years ago in Minnesota.

    Charter schools, which are publicly financed but independently operated, have mostly been promoted as a way to give poor children an alternative to underperforming urban schools — to provide options akin to what those who can afford them have in the suburbs or in private schools.

    Now, educators and entrepreneurs are trying to bring the same principles of choice to places where schools generally succeed, typically by creating programs, called “boutique charters” by detractors like Mr. Stewart, with intensive instruction in a particular area.

    In Montgomery County, Md., north of Washington, the school board is moving toward its first charter, a Montessori elementary school, after initially rejecting it and two others with global and environmental themes because, as one official said, “we have a very high bar in terms of performance.”

    Imagine Schools, a large charter school operator, has held meetings in Loudoun County, Va., west of Washington, to gauge parental interest in charters marketed partly as an alternative to overcrowded schools.

    In Illinois, where 103 of the current 116 charter schools are in Chicago, an Evanston school board committee is considering opening the district’s first charter school.

    More than half of Americans live in suburbs, and about 1 in 5 of the 4,951 existing charter schools were located there in 2010, federal statistics show. Advocates say many proposed suburban charters have struggled because of a double standard that suggests charters are fine for poor urban areas, but are not needed in well-off neighborhoods.

    “I think it has to do with comfort level and assumptions based on real estate and not reality,” said Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform in Washington, which studies and supports charter schools. “The houses are nice, people have money, and therefore the schools must be good.”

    Ashley Del Sole, a founding member of one of the rejected charters in Montgomery County, said that regardless of how well a district performed, children benefited from choice because not everyone learned the same way. She added that competitive pressure would invigorate schools that had grown complacent.

    “There’s sort of this notion that if it’s not broken, why fix it,” Ms. Del Sole said. “But there are people who are not being served.”

    With high test scores and graduation rates to flash around, suburban school officials have had an easier time than their urban counterparts arguing that charters are an unnecessary drain on their budgets. In some states, including Virginia, where only local school boards authorize charters, suburban boards have all but kept them out.

  35. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 1:10 PM

    A persistent but misguided analogy

    By Steve Benen

    Some talking points linger, no matter how wrong they are.

    “The American family has to balance its budget; companies that are trying to create jobs have to balance their budget; why wouldn’t we expect that a great nation can continue on indefinitely without balancing its budget?” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the chairman of the House Republican Conference.

    In general, Hensarling has a bad habit of saying dumb things, but given the ubiquity of this argument, it’s worth occasionally reemphasizing why the family/business/government analogy is so very wrong.

    As we’ve discussed before, families and businesses borrow money and run deficits all the time. This is a positive, not a negative, development.

    When a family goes to buy a home, its members don’t simply write a check; they take out a mortgage. Almost no one can afford to simply and literally buy a home, so we take out very large loans, and make payments, with interest.

    The same is true when a family wants a car, tackles college tuition, or thinks about starting a small business. American families, in other words, take on debts, some of them huge relative to their incomes, all the time. There’s nothing wrong with any of this — these are just routine examples of people investing in themselves, as they should.

    Businesses to do this, too, borrowing money to make capital improvements, expand locations, buy smaller companies, etc. “Companies that are trying to create jobs have to balance their budget”? Actually, companies that create jobs often run deficits, with Wall Street’s blessing.

    The government’s debts aren’t identical, but officials take on debts to invest in things they consider worthwhile, too. A family that relies on student loans to pay for college should be able to relate to a government that relies on loans to pay for public services. The family thinks it’ll be worth living in the red for a while, so long as it can make the payments and afford the interest, because they’ll be better off in the long run — and the government believes the exact same thing.

    And they’re both correct.

    Indeed, maybe Jeb Hensarling could answer a straightforward follow-up question: If Mr. and Ms. America take on debts they can afford to improve their position in life, why is it outrageous for their government to do the same thing?

    The answer from Republicans, I suspect, is that our current debt is simply too large and we can no longer afford it. (They weren’t thinking this way when they inherited a national debt that was $5 trillion and shrinking, and turned into a debt that was $10 trillion and growing, but let’s put that aside.) But we can afford it; that’s the point. Like a family making its monthly payments, the government is doing the same. Indeed, we’re doing so well on this front that others keep loaning us money at low interest rates, confident that we’re good for it.

    It’s one of the most remarkable aspects of the debt-ceiling debate. Families and businesses face debt crises when they run out of money and have exhausted all loan options. The federal government hasn’t run out of money and has all kinds of borrowing options, but Republicans, led in part by Hensarling, nevertheless want to create a debt crisis, on purpose.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Murdoch struggles to control News Corp. as scandal escalates
    By Carol Hymowitz, Jeffrey McCracken and Amy Thomson, Updated: Monday, July 18, 10:54 AM
    July 18 (Bloomberg) — News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch is struggling to control the destiny of the company he began building six decades ago after a trusted deputy was arrested and Scotland Yard’s top official quit over ties to a suspect in the phone-hacking probe.

    Independent directors of New York-based News Corp. have begun questioning the company’s response to the crisis and whether a leadership change is needed, said two people with direct knowledge of the situation who wouldn’t speak publicly. Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief who Murdoch backed until last week, was arrested yesterday in London.

    “The shell of invulnerability that Rupert Murdoch had around him has been cracked,” said James Post, a professor at Boston University’s School of Management who has written about governance and business ethics. “His credibility and the company’s credibility are hemorrhaging.”

    Murdoch and his 38-year-old son, James Murdoch, are spending most of their time with advisers preparing for tomorrow’s hearing before a U.K. parliamentary committee. They will face questions over their role in and responsibility for phone hacking that took place at their now-defunct News of the World tabloid. The company took out advertisements in national U.K. newspapers this weekend to apologize for the scandal.

    Shares Slump

    News Corp. fell 66 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $14.98 on the Nasdaq Stock Market at 11:18 a.m. New York time. Before today, it had lost 13 percent since July 4, when the Guardian reported that News of the World employees had intercepted the voice mail of Milly Dowler, a schoolgirl who was later found murdered. The tabloid is also alleged to have hacked into the phones of terror victims and dead soldiers, as well as politicians and celebrities.

  37. rikyrah says:

    GOP to lay marker down on debt-ceiling as public sounds disapproval
    By James Oliphant

    Washington Bureau

    July 18, 2011, 8:31 a.m.
    With the deadline swiftly approaching for a deal to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis, the volume on Capitol Hill is about to be cranked up to “11.”

    House Republicans are pushing ahead with votes this week on a proposal backed by chamber conservatives that would raise the debt ceiling the required $2.4 trillion but would ultimately cap government spending at 18% of the nation’s gross domestic product, require Congress to pass a balanced budget each year, and slash more than $110 billion from the 2012 fiscal year budget.

    The measure, which may pass the House by a majority vote but is expected to go nowhere after that, is either a final, defiant — albeit symbolic — stand by House Republicans before acceding to a compromise on the debt ceiling or a formal show of intransigence that illustrates how difficult it will be for the House to sign off on any deal that includes President Obama’s signature.

    The White House Monday wasted no time twisting the dial, with the president threatening to veto the House bill, even though there’s little chance it can pass the Senate.

    At any rate, it appears that with the Aug. 2 deadline for a debt-limit increase looming, things will slow down for a bit before they speed up. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have indicated that they want to fold in time for a floor debate in order to mollify conservatives on both ends of the Capitol, who are certain to squawk long and hard about any final deal that does not include the kind of significant spending cuts they seek.

    That doesn’t mean both sides have stopped talking. Senate leaders are working on a budget proposal that would cut $1.5 trillion, while other reports have House Speaker John Boehner and the White House still working on some version of the “grand bargain” that could wipe out $4 trillion or more from the budget over the next decade but would also likely include some elements of entitlement-program reform as well as a some accord on modifying the tax code.

    Then there is the in-case-of-emergency-break-glass option that was floated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week, which involves a dose of procedural flim-flammery that would provide the White House with a debt-ceiling increase to stave off economic calamity while handing the GOP some political cover by voting on the record against the increases.

    But the attention, at least for the next couple of days, will fall on the House. The proposal being offered would force federal spending to fall below 20% of GDP by 2021, which would require massive spending cuts, likely including the Pentagon or entitlement programs or both. (Federal spending currently accounts for about one-quarter of GDP.),0,3752903.story?track=rss

  38. Rupert Murdoch’s Control Of News Corp Under Threat

    Independent directors of News Corp. are beginning to discuss whether or not Rupert Murdoch can stay on as the CEO of the company he founded and has almost completely dominated, Bloomberg is reporting.

    Murdoch has been at the head of News Corp and its Australian predecessors since 1952, and he and his family have maintained an iron grip on the company ever since. Yet, citing two anonymous sources, Bloomberg writes that people within the company “have begun questioning the company’s response to the crisis and whether a leadership change is needed.”

    Despite his making move after move to contain it, the phone hacking scandal surrounding Murdoch shows no signs of letting up. If anything, the scandal has only gotten worse, as it has engulfed Scotland Yard and threatens Murdoch’s American holdings. In addition, Murdoch, his son James and his former top British deputy Rebekah Brooks all face what is sure to be a highly uncomfortable session before Parliament on Tuesday, in which their collective claim not to have known about the massive phone-hacking operation at their biggest British newspaper will be put to the test.

    Murdoch himself seemed to personify the puzzlingly slow response to the scandal when he claimed that News Corp had only made “minor mistakes” in its handling of things. Since then, the company has hired a top PR agency and quickly set about making far more public displays of contrition. However, it may not be enough to save Murdoch.

    One scenario that has been discussed in the press recently is for him to become chairman of News Corp, with COO Chase Carey assuming the mantle of CEO. This would sideline James Murdoch, who many see as too tainted by the hacking scandal to credibly become the new CEO of the company.

  39. creolechild says:

    Here’s Eric Marienthal performing Flower Child…

  40. Think Progress:

    Reporter who blew the whistle on News Corp phone-hacking found dead. (Not being treated as suspicious)

    • creolechild says:

      WOW! That’s really sad news. I hope they conduct a THOROUGH investigation into the matter…

      • News of the World phone hacking whistleblower found dead

        Death of Sean Hoare – who was first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson knew of hacking – not being treated as suspicious.

        Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

        Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.
        Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: “At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

        “The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

      • Ametia says:

        Murdock & Co are so deep in shit, they’d kill to keep it buried.

    • TyrenM says:

      Not being treated as suspicious – now that’s gangsta. EXCUSE ME. That’s GANGSTER GOVERNMENT… have a good night.

  41. creolechild says:

    Next up, are R&B icons from back in the day–namely, The Dells singing Stay in My Corner.

  42. creolechild says:

    How about some afternoon music? I have this “must see” video of Ms. Anita Baker giving a *hellacious* performance, which I’m going to step out on a limb and say, that I KNOW you will enjoy.

  43. President Obama makes a Personnel Announcement

    Now streaming..
    July 18th 2011 1:05pm EDT

  44. White House says POTUS would veto House GOP’s bill “Cut, Cap and Balance”…

    …Better ask somebody! Note to the GOP: Potus ain’t playing with you mofos!

  45. Breaking News: US Senate to stay in session every day until debt limit legislation passed, Sen. Reid says.

    • Ametia says:

      This is LAUGHABLE. Breaking news? Shit, the US Senate has been elected to serve the American people. Staying in session every day? SO. FUCKING. WHAT. Do your jobs, CONGRESS! It’s your job; YOU GET PAID. DO IT.

  46. creolechild says:

    Speaking of eggheads…I mean eggs. This is some interesting news:

    Twice in 2010, the Humane Society of the United States snuck undercover, camera-toting investigators into factory-scale egg facilities, and both times they revealed savage animal-welfare and public-health abuses: everything from unpackaged eggs exposed to rotting hen carcasses to “trapped birds unable to reach food and water.”

    Meanwhile, the industry put a bunch of egg on its own face by releasing a cool half-billion salmonella-tainted eggs. They turned out to have emerged from the fetid factories of a shadowy magnate named Jack Decoster, who has a decades-long history of violations. Congressional investigators found that the Decoster operation’s own testing had detected salmonella on its conveyor belts no fewer than 73 times before the outbreak, and did nothing to remedy the situation.

    Perhaps chastened by these revelations, the industry is now playing ball with its most prominent critic. In what could prove to be an historic deal, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP) have joined forces to push for federal legislation that would transform industrial egg production. According to their joint press release, the proposed legislation would be the “first federal law addressing the treatment of animals on farms.” Among other things, it would nearly double the amount of space allotted each hen—making conditions less cramped and thus more humane and hygienic—and provide the birds “with environments that will allow them to express natural behaviors, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas.”


  47. creolechild says:

    “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men…couldn’t put Humpty together again.” As things stand, Rupert Murdoch is now being investigated in 3 countries: the UK, Britain, and the US. CLEAN-UP ON AISLE 7!

    BREAKING: U.K. Fraud Watchdog Opens News International Probe | Britain’s Channel 4 News is reporting that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the agency charged with investigating and prosecuting large and complex fraud cases, has begun a preliminary investigation into News International, the parent company of News Corp’s UK newspapers. The probe comes after Labor MP Tom Watson wrote a letter to the SFO, in which he called News Corps alleged payments to police a “gross misuse of shareholders’ money.” This latest revelation in the ongoing scandal comes just hours after former News International executive Rebekah Brooks was arrested in London.

  48. creolechild says:

    On Fox’s Bulls & Bears, after having a really ridiculous discussion about whether President Obama was “fearmongering” or not when he said he could not guarantee that Social Security checks would go out if our members of Congress were actually irresponsible enough to allow the United States government to default on our debt guest Caroline Heldman points out that it would more likely be things like unemployment, housing and food stamps that would end up getting cut. To which we got this screaming reply by one of their regular guests, Tobin Smith.

    SMITH: Well Caroline, I can’t believe I’m saying this now, but I’m so fed up with this, cut it! I mean, give people the sense, the visceral sense of what it is to be spending, of having 40% of our spending coming from real money and borrowing the 60% of it. Cut it! Let the chips fall where they may. And then we’ll find out what really important in this (inaudible).

    Of course getting rid of the Bush tax cuts that were sold as being acceptable at the time because we had a budget surplus must be kept in place along with spending on the military industrial complex, but hey, if the poor have to feel some pain to see how much our country is borrowing now because Republicans decide we don’t want to pay for busting the budget under the Bush administration and after bailing Wall Street out, that’s just fine and dandy.


  49. creolechild says:

    Well, ain’t this some sh*t?!!

    As of July 13, 29 public companies had more cash on hand than the U.S. Treasury Department, according to the site Zero Hedge based on numbers from Capital IQ. It’s a stark reminder that if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, the government won’t have nearly enough money to continue funding essential services and programs. In the first half of July alone, Treasury cash balances were depleted from from $130 billion to just $39 billion. That means the most powerful nation on earth currently is tied with Google for the amount of cash that it has, and is less flush than Bank of America, JP Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, among others.

    [Click on link to view chart. American companies are highlighted in yellow.]

    Two of the top three companies are Chinese, while Bank of America comes in third. The numbers effectively rebut Republican claims that the government has plenty of money to keep funding essential services while paying down its debt. It also belies GOP claims that companies are in need of lower corporate taxes. American corporations have a record amount of cash — they are just refusing to invest domestically while lobbying for tax breaks.

    Several Republican candidates have called for drastically lowering the corporate tax rate, while congressional Republicans are refusing to concede in debt ceiling negotiations that corporate tax loopholes should be closed to give the government more much-needed revenue.

    The Treasury’s cash balances will go back up once more revenue comes in, but on Aug. 3, the government’s savings account will be nearly empty and President Obama would be relying on daily tax revenue to pay the nation’s bills. But there won’t be enough — in fact, there would be a $134 billion shortfall in August alone. The small amount of money available to the Treasury will leave the government facing impossible choices about what to cut.


  50. creolechild says:

    Will all of the people who are surprised by this “news” please raise your hands…(crickets)

    The Sarah Palin documentary, The Undefeated, officially opened this weekend. Time magazine reports that the movie was a disappointment at the box office:

    Box Office Weekend: Harry Potter Rakes In $168 Million, While Palin Doc Barely Registers

    […] Meanwhile, the Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated, playing on about a dozen screens… in such conservative bastions as Grapevine, Texas, and Orange Country, Cal., amassed perhaps $75,000 — though it’s hard to tell at the moment because the film’s distributor hasn’t released actual or estimated totals. Raw or real, the weekend take for the Palin doc — which may reach $8,000 per theater — is underwhelming, given the star quality of its subject, the ardor of her admirers and the exposure The Undefeated gleaned on right-wing websites.

    The Wrap, a website that covers Hollywood, confirmed Time’s numbers, reporting that the movie “got off to a soft start… grossing somewhere between $65,000-$75,000, according to estimates confirmed by distributor ARC Entertainment.” By way of comparison, the biopic “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” opened on seven screens last year and averaged $23,479 per theater.

    Nevertheless, Fox News is touting the opening as a smash hit, leading their “Fox Nation” website with the following:


    LOL! Well, at least she’ll recover the cost of “pimping out” her tour bus…

  51. ThinkProgress: Rep. Louie Gohmert suggests Obama chose debt ceiling deadline to coincide w/his birthday party

  52. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 10:45 AM

    Underestimating what the House GOP is capable of

    By Steve Benen

    In his NYT column today, Ross Douthat sketches out how congressional Republicans expected the debt-ceiling fight to go. Phase One involved setting the terms of the debate in their favor, tying massive spending cuts to a step that has always been considered routine housekeeping. This, obviously, has gone exceedingly well for the GOP.

    Phase Two was the endgame, which included public relations, forcing Dems to give Republicans everything they want, and making the other side appear unreasonable. The GOP not only failed to think this part through, they’ve actually managed to screw it up so badly, Republicans are the ones losing the public and looking unreasonable.

    Douthat expected a better outcome.

    For Republicans, this would have required one of two maneuvers: either modestly scaling back the size of the spending cuts they were seeking, or finding a few places in the tax code (the ethanol tax credit? the carried-interest loophole? those corporate jets the president keeps talking about?) where they could live with raising revenue by eliminating a tax break or capping a deduction.

    For months, I had assumed that the Republican leadership would be able to find support within its caucus for option No. 2. Based on John Boehner’s brief flirtation with a “grand bargain” that would have included tax reform, the speaker of the House thought so as well.

    But based on how quickly he abandoned that flirtation, it appears we were both mistaken.

    I feel like this comes up quite a bit. Observers who tend to watch political developments very closely assume Republican tactics include a fair amount of posturing, and that GOP officials don’t really believe their own rhetoric. ‘These guys are right-wing and inflexible,” the argument goes, “but they’re not that right-wing and inflexible.”

    But they are. Most of the Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t posturing; they’re just genuinely crazy. It’s time for the political world to adjust its expectations accordingly.

    Paul Krugman noted the other day how amusing it is to see so many observers “suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy.”

    T]his isn’t something that just happened, it’s the culmination of a process that has been going on for decades. Anyone surprised by the extremism and irresponsibility now on display either hasn’t been paying attention, or has been deliberately turning a blind eye.

    And may I say to those suddenly agonizing over the mental health of one of our two major parties: People like you bear some responsibility for that party’s current state…. [T]here has been no pressure on the G.O.P. to show any kind of responsibility, or even rationality — and sure enough, it has gone off the deep end. If you’re surprised, that means that you were part of the problem.

  53. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 11:20 AM

    Cain’s shamelessly bigoted platform

    By Steve Benen

    Adam Serwer noted last week that Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain is “winning the anti-Muslim primary hands down.” This came before Cain took this ugliness to new depths yesterday.

    On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked about Cain’s opposition to Muslim Americans building a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The area has been home to an active Muslim-American community for decades without incident, but recent right-wing hysteria has made the construction of a new house of worship a point of national controversy.

    Cain argued that all Muslims want to merge religion and government — a false claim — which somehow makes discrimination permissible. It led to this startling exchange.

    WALLACE: [C]ouldn’t any community then say we don’t want a mosque in our community?

    CAIN: They could say that. Chris, let’s go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying that they are objecting to. They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and of set of laws, Sharia law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes. The people in the community know best. And I happen to side with the people in the community.

    WALLACE: So, you’re saying that any community, if they want to ban a mosque.

    CAIN: Yes, they have the right to do that. That’s not discriminating based upon religion — against that particular religion.

    Asked whether he supports restricting Americans’ right based on religion, Cain added, “I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists. That’s what I’m saying.”

    It’s hard to even know where to start with such garbage.

    Cain seems to suggest law-abiding Muslim Americans should necessarily be considered terrorist suspects, based on nothing but their faith, an idea so transparently bigoted it should have no place in our civil discourse.

    Cain also believes Islam is unique because it has its own laws (Sharia), which necessarily makes it less deserving of First Amendment protections. What Cain clearly doesn’t realize is that plenty of faiths have similar laws for adherents.

    What’s worse, as Adam explained today, “Sharia is a set of Islamic principles whose application varies based on interpretation. Ironically, by implying otherwise, Cain is insisting that the most draconian interpretations of sharia are the ‘real’ ones, Cain is supporting the religious arguments of Islamic extremists.”

    But even putting all of that aside, Cain seriously believes our First Amendment rights should be open to popularity contests — if a community doesn’t like your religion, then your faith community can’t expect to build a house of worship. In this case, most of the people in Murfreesboro don’t want to prohibit the mosque, but even if 99% of the community did, Americans don’t base our rights on polls or public approval. Cain has to know this.

    And remember, this clown isn’t just some random crackpot; he’s a presidential candidate saying all f this nonsense on national television. It’s genuinely pathetic, even for the right.

    When was the last time Americans saw a major-party presidential hopeful spewing such transparent bigotry? Pat Buchanan? Earlier?

    • Ametia says:

      Herman Cain’s a self-loathing, ignorant, shameless, biogted, racist coon.

      • creolechild says:

        Why would anyone take seriously anything that comes out of this man’s mouth–after he made this statement. He lost ALL credibility right here:

        GOP presidential primary candidate Herman Cain has often spoken of his economic bonafides, bragging that he will “jump start the economy” with a slew of drastic tax cuts on corporations and the richest Americans if he is elected in 2012.

        But during a radio appearance alongside fellow Atlanta radio hosts Neal Boortz and Clark Howard in May of 2008, Cain revealed exactly how little economic sense he has. Moderator Jeff Hullinger asked the three hosts if they thought the United States was in a recession. Howard said he thought it was, while Boortz and Cain disagreed.

        Cain went on to explain that “liberal leaders have demagogued” the idea that the United States in a recession, but in reality there are only individuals in “personal recession”


      • X’s 10!

        Herman Cain….go sit your black ignorant racist ass down! The gall of this mofo to accuse Jon Stewart of racism when he’s the one so nasty and vile. He needs kicking to the moon.

  54. creolechild says:

    What the…

    The United States has one of the highest diabetes rates in the developed world—and the malady is spreading faster here than it is in most other rich nations, a recent Lancet study (registration required) found. I’ve always associated our diabetes problem with the steady rise in sweetener consumption since the early ’80s, triggered by the gusher of cheap high-fructose corn syrup that opened up at that time. But another culprit may be contributing, too: exposure to certain pesticides and other toxic chemicals. A new peer-reviewed study published in the journal Diabetes Care found a strong link between diabetes onset and blood levels of a group of harsh industrial chemicals charmingly known as “persistent organic pollutants” (POPs), most of which have been banned in the United States for years but still end up in our food (hence the “persistent” bit—they degrade very slowly).

    The ones with the largest effect were PCBs, a class of highly toxic chemicals widely used as industrial coolants before being banished in 1979. Interestingly, the main US maker of PCBs, Monsanto, apparently knew about and tried to cover up their health-ruining effects long before the ban went into place. Organochlorine pesticides, another once-ubiquitous, now largely banned chemical group, also showed a significant influence on diabetes rates.


  55. rikyrah says:

    Sinking Ship? Waters Seizes On Leaked Secret Ethics Committee Docs
    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is contemplating her next move in response to a game-changing Ethics Committee leak of hundreds of documents detailing the alleged internal mishandling of her case.

    Waters is expected to demand copies of the documents from the panel as early as today, a spokesman told TPM Monday morning after a report in Politico quoted internal Ethics Committee e-mails and memos that paint a picture of a committee consumed by partisan dysfunction and accusations of professional misconduct surrounding her case.

    “I have long since lost faith in the committee’s ability to be fair and transparent,” Waters said in a statement to POLITICO after learning of the memos. “If true, these accusations fly in the face of objectivity and should concern every member of the House. Even more troubling is the committee’s refusal of my and numerous ethics watchdogs’ requests to investigate their own misconduct. Given what appears to be politically motivated and gross misconduct by the committee, the committee must immediately conclude this seemingly manufactured case.”

    Waters has been engaged in an intense battle with the ethics committee, which last year charged her with three ethics violations for intervening on behalf of a minority-owned bank in its request for bailout funds in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. Her husband owned more than $350,000 worth of stock in the bank at the time.

    Waters has vigorously denied the charges but her case has been on hold since last November, when the Ethics Committee abruptly postponed her public trial indefinitely. At the time, the panel said only that it had uncovered new evidence forcing a delay, but in the days following the announcement, reports surfaced that the lead attorney on the Waters’ case and an assisting attorney had been placed on administrative leave.

    Ethics watchdogs called on the panel to explain the decision to discipline the attorneys amid partisan infighting and charges and countercharges that they bungled the case. But the panel was in transition after Republicans regained control of the House in November. Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL), the ranking member of the ethics panel, was preparing to chair the committee while Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the chairwoman during the Waters’ turmoil, stepped down to the ranking position and eventually left the panel entirely. Blake Chisam, Lofgren’s chief counsel, also left the panel last fall and returned to private practice.

    In the intervening eight months, Waters’ case was stalled with no public explanation for the action taken against the attorneys on her case, who also have since left the panel. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) took over for Lofgren as the ranking member, and the panel struggled to find a qualified chief counsel to replace Chisam and finally made the hire a month ago.

    Ethics watchdogs have repeatedly called on the panel to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case, but other longtime ethics experts have said the new chief counsel and the team of additional attorneys he has tapped to fill vacancies on the panel are independent enough from the panel’s problems last fall to handle the case.

  56. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 10:00 AM

    No one likes the GOP’s reckless tactics

    By Steve Benen

    When it comes to public opinion and the debt-ceiling fight, Republicans assume that the public is with them, and voter support bolsters the GOP’s refusals to negotiate.

    The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.

    Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their intransigent resistance to raising taxes. […]

    Even half of the Republican respondents (51 percent) voiced disapproval of how members of their own party in Congress are handling the talks.

    Got that? Most Republican voters think their own party’s officials are wrong.

    To be sure, the public doesn’t seem especially impressed with anyone in Washington right now, and that’s not surprising. But I put the CBS poll’s results in a chart to help drive the larger point home

    The columns on the left show support for President Obama’s handling of the fight, with critics slightly out numbering supporters. The middle columns show support for congressional Democrats, who only draw 31% support.

    But it’s congressional Republicans who bear the brunt here, with only 21% approving of their tactics, as opposed to 71% who disapprove.

    Also note, this poll comes on the heels of four separate national surveys, all of which showed most Americans agree with Democrats that a debt-reduction agreement should include a combination of cuts and new revenue.

    Under sane circumstances, Republicans would see results like these and think, “Maybe we ought to shift gears, since the American mainstream is turning against us.” But congressional Republicans assume none of this matters — the 21% who are still with them is the base that shows up on election day, and Super PACs will spend gajillions to convince everyone else that Democrats are demonic communists anyway.

  57. creolechild says:

    David Leonhardt explains the roots of our lousy economic recovery today: “We are living through a tremendous bust. It isn’t simply a housing bust. It’s a fizzling of the great consumer bubble that was decades in the making.” True enough. And in the short term, debt overhang and unemployment explain perfectly well why Wal-Mart is increasingly noticing that its customers are running out of money at the end of each month. But I think Leonhardt skates over our real dilemma too hastily when he tries to turn this into a broader lesson about the economy:

    In past years, many of those customers could have relied on debt, often a home-equity line of credit or a credit card, to tide them over. Debt soared in the late 1980s, 1990s and the last decade, which allowed spending to grow faster than incomes and helped cushion every recession in that period.

    ….The notion that the United States needs to begin moving away from its consumer economy — toward more of an investment and production economy, with rising exports, expanding factories and more good-paying service jobs — has become so commonplace that it’s practically a cliché. It’s also true. And the consumer bust shows why. The old consumer economy is gone, and it’s not coming back.


    This is fine as far as it goes, but it’s basically a Band-Aid. I know this is too simplistic to be taken seriously, but here’s my version of what happened over the past few decades:

    1. The economy grew just fine, but rich people got most of the money.
    2. They couldn’t spend it all, and investment opportunities were limited, so they ended up loaning it out to the middle class in increasingly baroque ways.
    3. That worked fine until it didn’t.

    This problem metastasized during the aughts and ended in the Great Collapse of 2008. And I don’t know how to fix it. But Leonhardt is too quick to dismiss the “old consumer economy.” Modern mixed economies fundamentally depend on consumer spending growing over time, and that only happens if middle-class incomes are also growing over time. If we don’t figure out a way to make that happen again, it’s hard to see anything we do today producing durable economic growth in the future….

  58. creolechild says:

    LOL! Liz Cheney is suffering from Selective Memory Disorder…

    Apparently Fox News thinks that the daughter of mister deficits don’t matter Dick Cheney who helped to break the bank on our spending for two invasions of countries that were never a threat to us and the Bush tax cuts that they justified as being okay because we had a surplus under Bill Clinton is somehow now qualified to weigh in on our problem with the deficit and this very dangerous game of kabuki theater we’re watching now on raising the debt ceiling.

    Naturally, Cheney claimed that our current problems with the deficit are all the fault of the Obama administration and John Podesta called her out for what some of the true drivers of that deficit are.

    PODESTA: Every, every, independent analysis.

    CHENEY: There is no way that you can claim that he has been a responsible fiscal steward of this economy

    PODESTA: Says 60 percent of that run up goes to Bush tax cuts-


    WALLACE: Wait, wait, Liz.

    PODESTA: Medicare part D and the two wars.

    Jon Perr pointed out here back in June why Cheney is of course full of it with what’s driving our deficit — 10 Inconvenient Truths About the Debt Ceiling. Naturally the Fox News host Chris Wallace didn’t happen to have this chart handy from Jon’s post to counter Liz Cheney instead of telling Juan Williams to shut up while she was repeating her bullshit right wing talking points.


  59. creolechild says:

    For real?…

    Tea party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) Sunday dismissed calls for Congress to hold hearings to find out if Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. had broken U.S. law by hacking phones or bribing police. “We need to let law enforcement work here,” DeMint told NBC’s David Gregory. “Congress has got a big issue in front of us. We need to handle our own business for a change. And the focus this week is on the only plan we’ve got, and that’s cut, cap and balance.”

    But Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) disagreed. “I can tell you that there are questions about whether the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been violated by Rupert Murdoch and his news empire, and what’s going on in England is startling,” Durbin said. “To think of the extent that they went to break the law to try to report a story. We need to follow through with the FBI investigation and also with congressional investigations.”

  60. Ametia says:

    COME ON AND TAKE A FREE RIDE! Killer guitars. :-)

  61. creolechild says:

    As policymakers at the state and national level struggle with rising entitlement costs, overwhelming numbers of Americans agree that, over the years, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have been good for the country. But these cherished programs receive negative marks for current performance, and their finances are widely viewed as troubled. Reflecting these concerns, most Americans say all three programs either need to be completely rebuilt or undergo major changes. However, smaller majorities express this view than did so five years ago.

    The public’s desire for fundamental change does not mean it supports reductions in the benefits provided by Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Relatively few are willing to see benefit cuts as part of the solution, regardless of whether the problem being addressed is the federal budget deficit, state budget shortfalls or the financial viability of the entitlement programs.

    The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 15-19 among 1,502 adults, finds that Republicans face far more serious internal divisions over entitlement reforms than do Democrats. Lower income Republicans are consistently more likely to oppose reductions in benefits – from Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid – than are more affluent Republicans.

    On the broad question of whether it is more important to reduce the budget deficit or to maintain current Medicare and Social Security benefits, the public decisively supports maintaining the status quo. Six-in-ten (60%) say it is more important to keep Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are; only about half as many (32%) say it is more important to take steps to reduce the budget deficit.

    Half (50%) of Republicans say that maintaining benefits is more important than deficit reduction; about as many (42%) say it is more important to reduce the budget deficit. More independents prioritize maintaining benefits over reducing the deficit (by 53% to 38%). Democrats overwhelmingly view preserving current Social Security and Medicare benefits as more important (by 72% to 21%).


  62. creolechild says:

    During the 2010 midterm election campaign, virtually every hard-charging candidate on the far right took a moment to trash a Muslim, a mosque, or Islamic pieties. In the wake of those elections, with 85 new Republican House members and a surging Tea Party movement, the political virtues of anti-Muslim rhetoric as a means of rousing voters and alarming the general electorate have gone largely unchallenged. It has become an article of faith that a successful 2010 candidate on the right should treat Islam with revulsion, drawing a line between America the Beautiful and the destructive impurities of Islamic cultists and radicals.

    “Americans are learning what Europeans have known for years: Islam-bashing wins votes,” wrote journalist Michael Scott Moore in the wake of the 2010 election. His assumption was shared by many then and is still widely accepted today.

    But as the 2012 campaign ramps up along with the anti-Muslim rhetoric machine, a look back at 2010 turns out to offer quite an unexpected story about the American electorate. In fact, with rare exceptions, “Islam-bashing” proved a strikingly poor campaign tactic. In state after state, candidates who focused on illusory Muslim “threats,” tied ordinary American Muslims to terrorists and radicals, or characterized mosques as halls of triumph (and prayer in them as indoctrination) went down to defeat. Far from winning votes, it could be argued that “Muslim-bashing” alienated large swaths of the electorate — even as it hardened an already hard core on the right.


  63. Has Roger Ailes Hacked American Phones for Fox News?

    “Has Roger Ailes been keeping tabs on your phone calls?”

    That’s how began a post back in 2008, when a former Fox News executive charged that Ailes had outfitted a highly secured “brain room” in Fox’s New York headquarters for “counterintelligence” and may have used it to hack into private phone records.

    All this week people have been looking for links between the Murdoch empire’s burgeoning phone-hacking scandal in Britain and News Corp.’s sprawling political/communications juggernaut in the United States. The links so far include a former New York City cop alleging that Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World offered to pay him to hack into 9/11 victims’ phone records, and a News Corp. US shareholders’ suit in Delaware already targeting the company for nepotism adding British phone hacking as evidence of a corporate culture “run amuck.”

    But rumors have floated in the press and on the Internet about possible phone hacking in that special-security-clearance-only bunker at Fox HQ for years.

    Dan Cooper was one of the people who helped create the Fox News channel with Roger Ailes, and was fired in 1996. In 2008, Cooper wrote on his website that David Brock (now head of Media Matters) had used him as an anonymous, on-background-only source for an Ailes profile he was writing for New York magazine. Before the piece was published, on November 17, 1997, Cooper claims that his talent agent, Richard Leibner, told him he had received a call from Ailes, who identified Cooper as a source, and insisted that Leibner drop him as a client–or any client reels Leibner sent Fox would pile up in a corner and gather dust. Cooper continued:
    “I made the connections. Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview. Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”

  64. creolechild says:

    Mike Hoyt, executive editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, has an op-ed in the L.A. Times that discusses the power of newspapers and questions how they have used and will use that power. Honest, responsible investigative journalism is imperative to a healthy democracy, and newspapers often provide the most thorough, most effective reporting that has and can change our lives. See: Watergate. However, that power is all too often abused. See: Murdoch, Rupert.

    While good journalists inform us of misuse and abuse of power, bad ones often practice it. With any luck, the News Corp. scandal will encourage the former and rid us of the latter. In a strange way, Murdoch has done newspapers — those beleaguered products of the past — a large favor. He has reminded us all of their singular power. Even in their weakened form compared with a few years ago, newspapers are simply better than any other part of our vast and rapidly changing media system at the job of digging and finding things out. […]

    All newspapers have power, if they report in any depth at all. Even small weeklies in small communities can have great power within their communities. They should use it.

    But for what? One lesson of the great scandal unfolding in Britain is that newspapers can choose to use their power for bread and circuses, like the News of the World, and to accumulate more and more power. That works, at least until it doesn’t. Or they can use their power for public service — to explain, to encourage and shape honest debate, and best of all, to expose the abuse of power of any kind, even of other news outlets. In the end, the public will appreciate that, and perhaps repay the kindness with loyalty.

    Please read the whole thing here:

  65. MSNBC Looking To Replace Cenk Uygur At 6PM…Possibly With Al Sharpton?

    Reports surfaced this weekend that MSNBC is looking to replace Cenk Uygur at 6PM and are looking to make a rather noteworthy switch at that time slot by bringing in Al Sharpton to host his own at that time. Those paying close attention may note that Uygur was never named the official host at the 6PM slot, never having shed the “interim” qualifier to his spot.

    Roughly a month ago Rush Limbaugh mocked MSNBC host Cenk Uygur by saying “”I don’t know what a Cenk Uygur is,” before adding “I don’t know where a Cenk Uygur works.” And while most would see those as unkind words, he was actually doing the former YouTube star of the Young Turks series a favor, by single handedly giving Uygur much needed relevance in the dog-eat-dog world of opinion media wars. Alas, it looks like it was too little, too late for the Young Turk, as his days hosting the 6PM may very well be numbered.

    Chris Ariens reports for TVNewser:

    Now TVNewser hears Uygur may be moved out of the 6pm hour, possibly to be replaced by Al Sharpton. When the host changes happened earlier this year, the 6pm hour was simply known as “MSNBC Live,” a telling sign that MSNBC was trying out Uygur.
    Sharpton has hosted the 6pm show for the last two weeks. This past week, the hour was second, to Fox News, in A25-54 viewers Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

    It many ways this move makes sense. Sharpton is a known, if controversial, quantity, who’s not shy of confrontation. Uygur hosted a show on YouTube, and while he certainly enjoyed some nice moments hosting the 6PM show, he never made the impact that MSNBC executives were likely hoping for.

  66. creolechild says:

    This is an EXCELLENT example of the point that I try to make when on occasion I make remarks about not allowing others to define who we are, what we represent, or are capable of achieving! A few years back I read about Misty and a person made comments in the blog section about the fact that she “called herself black but was biracial” –in attempts to challenge HER self-identification as an African-American woman. Misty’s mother submitted a post in defense of her daughter stating that although Misty is biracial (her mom is black/Italian) “she was raised as an African American because that’s what she is and considers herself to be.”

    I’m not sure why the question was raised given the fact that anyone who is familiar with the world of ballet understands (or should) that training is grueling and physically challenging, requires hard work, and total dedication to reach the point where you’re even considered to work with ANY well-known ballet company. On top of which, it’s not as though racism doesn’t exist in this field too. Misty put in the work to get where she is–that is unless people are going to now claim that she’s some sort of “affirmative action” ballet dancer. Note that she is also doing what she can to encourage and help young black women in her community who are interested in ballet. This is a HUGE accomplishment, which I hope paves the way for more young black women who aspire to become professional ballet dancers. YES.WE.CAN…do ballet too! BRAVO, Misty Copeland…

    Nearly one month ago at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Misty Copeland, the first African-American soloist in the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), shared an evening in conversation with Raven Wilkinson, the first African-American dancer hired as a permanent member of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1954. The conversation was moderated by writer and performer Brenda Dixon-Gottschild.

    This meeting, Copeland notes, was an opportunity that she will cherish. She confesses, “I’m so happy to have Ms. Wilkinson as part of my life.” This truth about being the “first African-American soloist with the American Ballet Theatre” sits just fine with Copeland because she is proud to carry this charge. “I’m proud to represent Black ballet dancers; it motivates me, it pushes me to give more to young dancers who look up to me.”

    And indeed, young dancers look to her for guidance. In fact, Copeland mentors a group of young dancers with whom she meets as regularly as possible to proffer advice, give private lessons or to motivate them to stay in ballet. She explains, oftentimes “teachers tell them to do contemporary work,” circuitously directing them away from ballet because they are led to understand that “ballet exists only in a white world,” and they would not fit in. “I welcome them into the world of ballet,” she insists.



    WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders are giving tea party-backed Republican freshmen the run of the House this week with a plan to let the government borrow another $2.4 trillion – but only after big and immediate spending cuts and adoption by Congress of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

    This “cut, cap and balance” plan is set to pass the House on Tuesday but is sure to stall in the Senate, where majority Democrats say it would lead to decimating budget cuts and make it harder to pass tax increases on the wealthy. And even if the scheme could pass, there’s no way Congress will adopt a balanced budget amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate.

    But tea party lawmakers are insisting on the effort to try to put their stamp on the debate over the so-called debt limit, and GOP leaders – lacking other ideas that might win a majority in the Republican dominated House – were quick to give their OK at a spirited closed-door meeting on Friday.

    Tuesday’s House vote on the cut, cap and balance plan comes after more than a week of White House talks with congressional leaders failed to produce a breakthrough. The tally will be held exactly two weeks before an Aug. 2 deadline to avoid a potentially devastating default on U.S. obligations like payments to bondholders and senior citizens receiving Social Security.

    “Let’s let the American people decide,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on “Fox News Sunday.” “Do they want something common sense as cutting spending, capping the growth in government and requiring a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution?”

    • Waltfl of HP stated:

      The dishonesty of the Tea Party becomes immediatel­y evident if one has a closer look at these people. At least 50% of them, if not more, must be receiving money from some sort of government plan, be it Medicare, Social Security, VA, Triad, Foodstamps­, or Disability­.

      Yet, they fight tooth to nail against these plans, which they call Read More… “entitleme­nts”. The first conflict any sane person would experience is simple fact that if the government were indeed to do away with these “entitleme­nts”, half of the Tea Party members would starve within a six months time-span. So, why are they still pushing against these plans, if they themselves depend on them?

      I had several conversati­ons with Tea Party sympathize­rs in my own family and neighborho­od, the most predominan­t of which is my retired Father-in-­law, who receives full SS, and Veteran’s benefits, as well as Triad health care. Yet, he can argue for hours why we should do away with these programs.

      The paradox is: He is for doing away with them as long as nobody touches his own. As soon as someone says, “OK, let’s do away with all government­-entitleme­nts for everybody right now”, he is suddenly against it, and comes up with reasons why he deserves his Social Security, namely because he paid in, but why it is OK to do away with the program for everyone below 55. Guess what? Everybody that gets SS or VA paid in or served, just like you did.

      So, the Tea Party is not really for doping away with entitlemen­ts, they are only for doing away with entitlemen­ts as long as it doesn’t affect their own entitlemen­ts. One way to get these people out of our system would be to suggest to do away with all government entitlemen­ts for everybody NOW, and the Tea Party would fold like a cheap law chair.

  68. creolechild says:

    With the GOP-waged wars on women, middle-class workers and poor families in full swing and steadily whittling away at women’s status in the US, it’s obvious that we have a long way to go in terms of equality of all kinds. But a new report sheds light on some surprising numbers highlighting that imbalance.

    Without the right to abortion, or the ability to prevent and prosecute rape, or the ability to support one’s family, a woman cannot be a full human being, a citizen exercising her rights. This is a given. But did you know that many Americans–16 percent–still think it’s okay for a man to hit his wife? And did you know just how massive the wage gap remains between black and Latina women and white men? What about the fact that until recently, it was almost impossible for native American women to file rape charges if they were assaulted on reservations or that we’re positively the worst “developed” country on parental leave, bar none?

    The list goes on, thanks to a recently released global report, “Progress of the World’s Women.(pdf), which focuses on the access to justice of women worldwide. The report comes from the dynamic new group, UN Women. Headed by Michele Bachelet, former president of Chile, the group is hopefully a nascent force for accelerating global gender equity. UN Women has released individualized information on all regions, and the North American fact-sheet (pdf link) highlights some fascinating, surprising and disturbing statistics that background our current climate.


    Read more:'s_ok_for_a_man_to_hit_his_wife_5_shocking_facts

  69. creolechild says:

    Halliburton Co (HAL.N), the world’s second-largest oilfield services company, reported a forecast-topping 54 percent jump in quarterly profit on Monday as a U.S. drilling boom showed no signs of cooling off.

    High oil prices have prompted energy producers to plunge billions of dollars into developing liquids-rich fields such as Texas’ Eagle Ford shale rather than gas fields, a move that allowed Halliburton to push through price increases in the quarter.


  70. creolechild says:

    Hispanics of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban origin or descent remain the nation’s three largest Hispanic country-of-origin groups, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. However, while the relative position of these three groups has remained unchanged since 2000, the next four Hispanic sub-groups grew faster during the decade.

    Hispanics of Salvadoran origin, the fourth largest Hispanic country-of-origin group grew by 152% since 2000. The Dominican population grew by 85%, the Guatemalan population by 180% and the Colombian population by 93%. Meanwhile, the Cuban and Puerto Rican populations grow more slowly—44% and 36% respectively.

    Despite their No. 1 status, Mexicans are not the dominant Hispanic origin group in many of the nation’s metropolitan areas. Among the Miami metropolitan area’s 1.5 million Hispanics, half are Cuban. In the New York-Northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area, 29.4% of Hispanics are of Puerto Rican origin and 19.7% are of Dominican origin. In the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Salvadorans are the largest group, comprising one-third of the area’s Hispanics.

    However, in many metropolitan areas, Mexican origin Hispanics are by far the dominant group among Hispanics. In Chicago, nearly eight-in-ten (79.2%) of the area’s Hispanics are of Mexican origin. In the San Antonio, TX metropolitan area, Mexicans make up 91.3% of all Hispanics. And in Atlanta, GA, nearly six-in-ten (58.1%) Hispanics are of Mexican origin.

    Country of origin is based on self-described family ancestry or place of birth in response to questions in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and on the 2010 Census form. It is not necessarily the same as place of birth, nor is it indicative of immigrant or citizenship status. For example, a U.S. citizen born in Los Angeles of Mexican immigrant parents or grandparents may (or may not) identify his or her country of origin as Mexico. Likewise, some immigrants born in Mexico may identify another country as their origin depending on the place of birth of their ancestors.


  71. creolechild says:

    Just over one year out from the BP oil spill that wreaked havoc up and down the Gulf Coast, the tourism industry there is so far having one of its best summers in years. BP is latching on to the good news, using it to argue in a court filing recently that “there is no basis to assume that claimants, with very limited exceptions, will incur a future loss related to the spill.”

    But with so little time having passed, is it too soon to make such assumptions? Could the good fortune of the tourism industry this summer be a fluke, or more likely yet, an effect of the upward swing of the U.S. economy in general since 2009?

    Furthermore, while BP is fighting for the right to pay Gulf-area claimants less for possible future losses, the issue of whether or not to remove underwater mats of oil, discovered even recently sitting just off shore, keeps residents worried for their future. In the event that a tropical storm or hurricane passes through the Gulf, those submerged mats of oil and tar could wind up sitting on the beach yet again. —BF


  72. creolechild says:

    Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

    CNN provides today’s Headline-O’-The-Day:

    Cain: I’m more qualified than Bachmann

    Um, Herman? My cats are more qualified than Bachmann. I dare him to make the same claim substituting the name Bachmann with Obama. And once again, thank you for playing “Republicans Eating Their Own.”

    Thank you, GottaLaff and The Political Carnival!

  73. creolechild says:

    Recapping Last Week in Congress

    Not an especially productive week last time around, but not the worst we’ve seen. The House made it through the Energy & Water appropriations bill, which is no small thing to get done when it comes to the floor under an open rule. But other than that, there just wasn’t room for much more action. The biggest news of the week was probably their failed “attempt” at passing the “I’m Scared of the Newfangled Light Bulbs” bill, which initially failed under suspension of the rules, but later squeaked by as an amendment to the Energy & Water bill. Less noticed was what they were calling the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act,” essentially a bill blocking the EPA’s ability to pre-empt state water quality laws, and rightly viewed as a sop to polluters.

    The Senate, it should surprise no one to learn, spent the bulk of the week waiting out cloture motions—first on the Reid “shared sacrifice” sense of the Senate bill, and later on the motion to proceed to the MilCon/VA appropriations bill. That left them with the better part of the week to debate the debt ceiling and the budget, as had been demanded by Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). Naturally, no one expects them to acknowledge that they had that opportunity. Rather, most anticipate still more generalized obstructionism from them.

    This Week in Congress

    This week’s crown jewel in the House will be H.R. 2560, the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act,” a bill taking the horrors of the earlier-passed Ryan budget and combining it with the sort of terrible and virtually irreversible ideas that have more or less ruined California’s ability to govern itself, most notably the “conservative” pipe dream of supermajority requirements for tax increases. Better yet, if you’ve got 90 seconds, you’ve got time for a 90 Second Summary of the bill:


    Read more:

  74. creolechild says:

    Indian detectives “have good leads” on the three blasts which rocked the country’s financial hub Mumbai, a top official said on Saturday, as the death toll from the coordinated explosions rose to 19. Indian detectives trawled for leads on Saturday to the triple blasts which rocked the country’s financial hub, Mumbai, as the death toll from the coordinated explosions rose to 19.

    Two men who were seriously injured in Wednesday’s rush-hour bombings died in hospital, a home ministry statement said. Twenty people remained in a serious condition in hospital as a result of the blasts in which a total of over 130 were hurt, the ministry said.

    There have been no claims of responsibility for the latest attacks in Mumbai, located in the western state of Maharashtra, but police say their investigation is making headway. “I can very confidently say that we have got good leads,” Rakesh Maria, head of the Maharashtra state anti-terrorism squad, said at a news conference in the city. “We have a reasonable assumption as to what happened at the three locations.”


  75. creolechild says:

    Public interest in the presidential campaign is about as high as it was four years ago, despite the fact that only one party currently has a competitive nomination contest. And while the focus this year has been on the GOP’s race, Democrats express about as much interest in 2012 candidates as do Republicans. Overall, 21% of the public say they followed news about the potential presidential candidates very closely last week, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey conducted June 30- July 3 among 1,001 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

    Interest has been at about this level for the past several months. At a comparable point in the presidential race four years ago, 20% said they were very closely following news about the candidates hoping to represent their parties in the 2008 election. As is the case today, the level of interest fluctuated only slightly week to week in 2007.

    News coverage of the 2012 campaign, which has increased in recent weeks, also is about the same today as it was at this point in the previous campaign, according to data collected by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). Last week, coverage of the campaign accounted for 13% of the newshole; only the economy – combined with the debate over whether to raise the national debt limit – drew more coverage (a total of 19%). Michele Bachmann was the top campaign newsmaker last week, according to PEJ.


  76. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 9:20 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s future

    By Steve Benen

    The bad news is, Elizabeth Warren has not been nominated to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The good news is, President Obama has nominated an excellent an official, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray — and we probably haven’t heard the last of Warren.

    Mr. Cordray came to national attention for his aggressive investigations of mortgage foreclosure practices while he was attorney general. He is already an employee of the watchdog agency, which starts formal operations on Thursday, as the leader of its enforcement division.

    “Richard Cordray has spent his career advocating for middle-class families, from his tenure as Ohio’s attorney general to his most recent role as heading up the enforcement division at the C.F.P.B. and looking out for ordinary people in our financial system,” Mr. Obama said in a written statement.

    Of course, choosing a strong nominee is encouraging — by backing Cordray, the president is clearly siding with consumers and their leading advocates — but the political realities on Capitol Hill remain ridiculous. Senate Republicans had vowed to kill Warren’s nomination under any circumstances, and the likelihood of finding 60 votes was effectively nonexistent. Obama could consider a recess appointment, but Republicans haven’t allowed any recesses to occur.

    But the GOP’s problem wasn’t with Warren alone. The party believes the very existence of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is outrageous.

    To briefly recap, the CFPB is a pretty terrific idea. The whole point is to have a separate agency that would look out for our interests — banks and other financial institutions have had little oversight when it comes to consumer credit and fees, and the CFPB will exist to serve as our advocates. Warren has compared it to having a “cop on the beat.”

    Republicans, as is their wont, intend to make it impossible for that cop to exist. They committed to blocking a vote on Warren, and it’s a certainty that Cordray will meet the same fate. With no director, the CFPB will not be able to exercise its full powers.

    That said, Cordray is a fine choice, and quickly received Warren’s enthusiastic backing. If we can’t have her at this post, her enforcement deputy is the next best option. Cordray’s record in Ohio — featuring strict accountability for financial and insurance companies — offers hope for those who take consumer advocacy seriously.

    As for Warren, there have been quite a few hints recently that the Harvard scholar is interested in running for the U.S. Senate next year, eyeing the race against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Democratic leaders have been urging her to run, and as of last week, Warren certainly seemed to be leaning in that direction.

    If Warren runs and beats Brown next year, I wonder how much Senate Republicans will come to regret the decision to block her CFPB prospects.

  77. creolechild says:

    Well, Albert Gaxiola may have been convicted of first-degree murder in the killings of Brisenia Flores and her father, Raul at the hands of Minuteman leader Shawna Forde, but unlike Forde and the gunman in the case, Jason Bush, it appears that Gaxiola will not be sent to death row — at least for now (via Kim Smith at the Arizona Daily Star):

    Albert Gaxiola will not be joining Shawna Forde and Jason Bush on death row for his involvement in the May 2009 death of Raul Junior Flores, but the jury could not reach a unanimous decision as to the death of 9-year-old Brisensia Flores. The Pima County Attorney’s Office must now decide whether they want to empanel a new jury to comtemplate a possible death sentence for Brisenia’s death or let Pima County Superior Court Judge John Leonardo sentence Gaxiola to life with or without the possibility of release. The jury deliberated around 11 hours before sentencing Gaxiola to life in prison for Junior Flores’ death, but were at a stalemate as to the sentence pertaining to Brisenia.

    Gaxiola is also facing additional time for the attempted first-degree murder of Flores’ wife, Gina Gonzalez, and a variety of other charges. He will be sentenced on those charges Aug. 15.


  78. rikyrah says:

    Americans on Debt Ceiling Solution: Just Do It
    Kyle Leighton | July 18, 2011, 5:46AM

    When it comes to the polling around a debt ceiling deal Americans are clear: they want the government to…you know…fix it.

    Even the concept of avoiding default is colored by how public polling questions are asked, and whether a solution is proposed. A recent Pew/Washington Post survey showed that 75% of Americans were concerned that not raising the ceiling would lead to default and hurt the nation’s economy. But when Gallup asked whether a voter’s congressperson should actually vote to raise the debt ceiling, only 22% said yes, with 42% giving a firm no.

    What the government should do to address the situation is somewhat murky, but some trends have appeared. Gallup showed, in a very general question, that 62% favor addressing the debt with either mostly spending cuts or an equal balance of cuts and new revenue. And when it comes to taxes as part of the deal, it depends on how you ask the question.

    When Rasmussen simply asked “As part of legislation to raise the debt ceiling, should congress and the president raise taxes?”, 55% of Americans, predictably, said no. But when Quinnipiac asked “Do you think any agreement to raise the national debt ceiling should include only spending cuts or should it also include an increase in taxes for the wealthy and corporations?” then 67% said yes, showing a swing when there was a clear definition of who’s taxes would actually be raised.

    But past any solution to the immediate problem, multiple polls showed that future spending is a major concern. The same Pew/Washington Post poll showed that a plurality of Americans are actually more concerned with the consequences of raising the debt ceiling, i.e. allowing the government borrow more money, rather than the immediate concern about default. The Quinnipiac survey showed a similar result: 43% responded that “raising the debt limit would lead to higher government spending” was a bigger concern than “not raising the debt limit would force the government into default and hurt the nation’s economy.” Gallup produced the same, with only 32% saying averting disaster was the key component of a debt ceiling deal, and 51% saying raising the ceiling without a plan to cut spending is more worrisome.

    So Americans want a deal. And most want a balanced deal with more cuts than new revenues. But the debate has clearly seared an aversion to future spending, and looks as though raising the debt ceiling will never truly be a formality again.

  79. creolechild says:

    The Sunday afternoon news that the White House would not be nominating Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) certainly has the potential to trigger outrage from progressives who believe President Barack Obama too often declines to confront Republican extremism. Warren, the populist Harvard professor who birthed the idea for a government agency that would protect consumers from tricks and traps perpetrated by banks, mortgage firms, and credit card companies, was the right person for the job. So much so that congressional Republicans have been howling about the prospect of her leading the agency even before the bureau was created last year by the Wall Street reform legislation. Which is why Obama’s decision not to fight for her—and it would have been a titanic fight—may disappoint. But there’s an up side to the move: the possibility that Warren will end up in the US Senate. And there’s this: The fellow Obama picked for the position, Richard Cordray, can be expected to do a fine job pursuing abusive financial firms.


    Read more:

  80. rikyrah says:

    Perspective from the Political Arena

    A friend within the political circle here in Chicago who I have known for many years wrote a very thoughtful perspective on the role of the African American community during elections. I requested to repost his article here, as I found it very truthful and deserving of conversation.

    Why I like Black Republicans!

    Political Correspondent: Maze Jackson

    Last month, I took a real “job” for the first time in over ten years, and was shocked when I received my first paycheck. I could not believe the amount of taxes the government took OFF THE TOP. As a business owner, I am accustomed to receiving gross checks, paying all business expenses, and then being taxed on the remainder. To realize the amount the government took OFF THE TOP was a real eye opener, and I joked with friends and family that “I might consider joining the Tea Party.” LOL!

    Now, I would NEVER join the Tea Party, I profess to be a life-long Democrat. But I must admit, that if it weren’t for the programs and initiatives that I benefited from personally (and now the fact that they’ve gone completely loony) I would have considered joining the Republican Party. Pause for shock and awe. I only say that because of their position on taxes and the fact I would like to keep more of what I earn. Being a Democrat has been good to me, so I will remain loyal.

    It got me to thinking about why isn’t our generation more open minded to the possibilities of joining other political parties. Make no mistake, I am not advocating for the Republican Party, but just considering our interests. Right now, there are precious few Blacks in power within the Republican Party. And because there are such a limited number, it allows them to form their opinions, policies, and ideologies without even taking us into consideration. At the same time, it allows the Democratic Party to take our vote for granted.

    Advertisement Do you ever wonder why Republicans want to destroy the programs that are so vital to our communities? Do you ever wonder why when it’s time to cut the budget, Democrats are most likely to compromise on programs most vital to us? Do you ever wonder why our community always seems to get the short end of the stick, no matter who is in power? I surmise that it is precisely because of our ABSOLUTE loyalty to the Democratic Party, that we remain virtually powerless politically. It is because we either vote Democrat or don’t vote – leaving us with little to no leverage on both sides. I’ve heard it said by strategists and pundits alike…”What are the Blacks gonna do, vote Republican?”

    So here’s what I say…let’s be a little smarter. Let’s not be blinded by the D or the R behind someone’s name, but by what they can do for us. If there’s a Republican Party, I feel that we should have qualified people in leadership roles within their organization just as we should within the Democratic Party. That way, no matter what party wins, our community wins.

    If the Democratic Party knew there was the possibility of Blacks voting Republican, I bet they’d be a lot less willing to compromise with the Republicans on the social and fiscal issues most important to us. Conversely, I bet if the Republicans thought they even had a chance to win the Black vote, they’d be more willing to compromise on social and fiscal issues most important to us. That scenario – all we do is “WIN, WIN and WIN, NO MATTER WHAT!” See why I like Black Republicans?

  81. rikyrah says:

    Another One Down
    by mistermix

    The Guardian is reporting that John Yates, who was in charge of the Metropolitan Police’s phone hacking investigation, will resign today. That’s two top officials of the most important police force in England gone within two days’ time.

    In related news, someone had better call the waahmbulance for the WSJ, because their latest editorial sounds like a teenage girl’s Facebook status update:

    We also trust that readers can see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics. The Schadenfreude is so thick you can’t cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world.

    Here’s a interview from July 5. After watching it, I agree with the Journal: why would we think that News Corp journalists would be tarnished by being associated with an organization as forthright and forthcoming as this one?

    That last clip is via Jay Rosen, who has an interesting discussion of how a PR firm can keep its reputation while working for a firm with such a deeply entrenched culture of lying.

  82. rikyrah says:

    New Yorker’s Ken Auletta: News Corp. Hacking Scandal Is A “Rotten Barrel Problem,” Not A Few Bad Apples
    July 17, 2011 2:32 pm ET
    From the July 17 edition of ABC News’ This Week With Christiane Amanpour:

  83. rikyrah says:

    Man claims house for $16 as neighbors accuse him of squatting

    Thanks to a little-known law in Texas, a man apparently won ownership of a house for less than $20, but neighbors aren’t happy with his deal and are trying to get him out.

    Flower Mound’s Waterford Drive is lined with well-manicured, $300,000 homes.

    So when a new neighbor moved in without the usual sale, mortgage-paying homeowners had a few questions.

    “What paperwork is it and how is it legally binding if he doesn’t legally own the house? He just squats there,” neighbor Leigh Lowrie said.

    Lowrie and her husband said the house down the street was in foreclosure for more than a year and the owner walked away.

    Then, the mortgage company went out of business.

    Apparently that opened the door for someone to take advantage of the situation, and that person was Kenneth Robinson who said he’s not squatter.

    He said he moved in on June 17th after months of research about a Texas law called “adverse possession.”

    “This is not a normal process, but it is not a process that is not known. It’s just not known to everybody,” he said.

    Robinson said a piece of paper gives him rights to the house. It’s an online form he printed out and filed at the Denton County Courthouse for $16.

    It says the house is abandoned and he’s claiming ownership.

    “I went through and added some things here for my own protection,” he said.

    The house is virtually empty with just a few pieces of furniture and has no running water or electricity.

    But, Robinson said, just by setting up camp in the living room, Texas law gives him exclusive negotiating rights with the original owner.

    If the owner wants him out, he would have to pay off his massive mortgage debt and the bank would have to file a complicated lawsuit.

    Robinson said he believes neither is likely.

    So if he stays in the house, after three years he can ask the court for a title, which he said is his eventual goal.

    “I want to be the owner of the record. At this point, because I possess it, I am the owner,” he said.

    Robinson posted no trespassing signs after neighbors asked police to arrest him for breaking in.

    Flower Mound officers said they can’t remove him from the property because home ownership is a civil matter, not criminal.

    Lowrie and her neighbors continue to look for legal ways to get him out.

    “If he wants the house, buy the house like everyone else had to. Get the money, buy the house,” she said.

    Robinson said he’s not buying anything, and as far as he’s concerned, the $330,000 house is already his and he has the paperwork to prove it.

  84. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 18, 2011 8:00 AM

    With 15 days to go

    By Steve Benen
    This morning, Time’s Jay Newton-Small explained the state of play well: “Washington’s debt ceiling talks have entered a new and desperate phase. With two weeks to go until the U.S. begins to cut government services to avoid defaulting on its credit obligations, negotiators are farther apart on a plan to stem the nation’s deficits than they have ever been.”

    That’s plainly true. It’s also why talk of optimism on the Sunday shows yesterday seemed to misplaced.

    Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), for example, proclaimed, “The country will not default.” There was a lot of that going around.

    Top Republican lawmakers and the Obama administration’s budget director predicted Sunday that an agreement would be reached before the federal government defaults on its debt in early August, but both sides continued to squabble over the details of competing proposals, offering little evidence that a deal was at hand.

    “I do not believe that responsible leaders in Washington will force this to default,” Jacob J. Lew, the White House budget office chief said on the ABC News program “This Week.” “All of the leaders of Congress and the president have acknowledged that we must raise the debt limit. And the question is how.”

    I don’t doubt that officials who’ve been at the negotiating table know more about the prospects for success than I do, but I haven’t the foggiest idea how any of them can feel optimistic right now. Indeed, the Aug. 2 deadline is two weeks from tomorrow, and much of the chatter on the Sunday shows was devoted to different policymakers floating different solutions, none of which appear viable. We should be well past this point by now, but we’re not.

    That said, behind-the-scenes talks continued yesterday, and the focus on the McConnell/Reid “Plan B” was reportedly intensifying.

    One thing to keep in mind is Senate procedural hurdles. By all accounts, there’s some momentum for the McConnell/Reid compromise, which would probably have enough support to pass the chamber. But managing the clock will be tricky — Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), among other right-wing members, has already said he’ll filibuster the agreement. Ordinarily, the question is whether the majority can put together 60 votes. In this case, the 60 votes will probably be there, but the calendar becomes the central problem — given the far-right delaying tactics, it could take a full week for the Senate to consider, debate, and vote on the deal. With the clock ticking, the specific provisions of the agreement would have to come together very soon, if for no other reason, to start the clock on the burdensome Senate process.

    In the meantime, there’s at least a possibility that literally no solution can assemble 218 votes in the House — there are simply too many right-wing Republicans in the chamber with an allergy to reason — in which case, we’re all royally screwed.

  85. rikyrah says:

    Will Jude Law’s claim his phone was hacked in New York mean Murdoch will face court in U.S?
    Actor says his phone was hacked on arrival at JFK airport

    First specific claim of hacking on American soil
    Alleged use of U.S. cell phone network would break federal law
    Murdoch empire already ‘unravelling’ after departure of Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton

    By Daily Mail Reporter

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire could face charges in America over phone hacking scandal after it was claimed that The News of the World hacked into Jude Law’s phone while he was in the United States.

    It is the first specific case of hacking on U.S. soil leaving the company open to prosecution under federal law.

    The alleged hacking of Law and his personal assistant Ben Jackson took place shortly after they arrived at JFK airport, meaning their phones were operating in U.S. mobile networks.

    Prosecutions and costly law suits could be launched in the U.S. regardless of where the hacker was based.

    The company is already facing investigations by the FBI and Attorney General over claims the relatves of 9/11 victims were hacked.

    Murdoch’s American empire is also said to be ‘exploding and unravelling’ as he faces the threat of losing control of his Fox and other cable networks if found guilty of breaching anti-corruption laws.

    One of the tycoon’s most senior deputies Les Hinton has already quit as CEO of Dow Jones, which published the Wall Street Journal. He was chairman of the UK subsidiary News International when the hacking took place.

  86. rikyrah says:

    July 18, 2011 8:35 AM

    Getting to know the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance Act’

    By Steve Benen

    Starting tomorrow, the House will turn its attention to something called the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act,” the House Republicans’ solution to the debt-ceiling standoff. Given the fact the plan has become the centerpiece of the GOP policy agenda, it’s worth taking a moment to consider what’s in it — and what its contents tell us about the extremism of the Republican Party.

    To call this plan “extreme” is almost a comical understatement. Remember the radicalism of Paul Ryan’s budget plan? “Cut, Cap, and Balance” makes Ryan’s plan look centrist by comparison.

    This approach would cap all federal spending at 18% of GDP, and would slash more than $110 billion from the budget this year, a priority that appears designed to make unemployment much worse almost immediately. “Cut, Cap, and Balance” also, of course, includes a constitutional amendment to prohibit deficits, and would make it almost impossible for any Congress to ever raise taxes on anyone ever again.

    The Pentagon budget would be untouched, and the budget wouldn’t bring in so much as a penny in new revenue

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Bob Greenstein explained:

    The “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” that the House of Representatives will vote on [this] week stands out as one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years, if not decades. It would go a long way toward enshrining Grover Norquist’s version of America into law. It is so extreme that even the budget plan of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would not fully satisfy its requirements — the Ryan plan’s budget cuts wouldn’t be severe enough.

    The bill also would threaten the U.S. government with default and would likely cause the loss of roughly 700,000 jobs in the year ahead. In addition, the bill would target programs for the poor for cuts, while protecting tax breaks for the wealthy and powerful.

    The plan is a caricature of Republican priorities — it’s something liberals might come up with as an exaggeration to make the GOP look ridiculous — and yet, it’s all too real. In a practical sense, its passage would guarantee the dismantling of the federal government.

    But its passage is impossible. The Democratic Senate and Democratic White House oppose the entire package, and there’s no way to get a two-thirds majority for a preposterous constitutional amendment in both chambers.

    And yet, the truly ridiculous plan will dominate Capitol Hill this week. The House will take it up tomorrow, and the Senate will go through the motions of bringing it to the floor for a vote this week, too.

    If you’re wondering why Congress would waste valuable time on an insane “Cut, Cap, and Balance” proposal when there’s only two weeks until the nation exhausts its ability to pay America’s bills, the answer isn’t entirely satisfying: Republicans insist upon it. They demand that they get this out of their system — right now — before actual solutions can be considered.

    To be sure, GOP officials know “Cut, Cap, and Balance” will fail. They’re demanding votes in both chambers anyway, basically because the votes will make them feel better about themselves.

    “The Republicans are insisting this debate take place before anything happens,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said yesterday. “We have to check the boxes.”

    Oddly enough, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was surprisingly candid about this point late last week, explaining that his chamber will take up “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” it will fail, and then lawmakers could move on to more viable alternatives. “Let’s get through that vote and then we’ll make decisions about what will come after,” he said.

    It’s tempting to think adults who serve in Congress wouldn’t feel the need to vote on radical symbolism with the economy on the line. The importance of Republicans’ emotional sensibilities just doesn’t seem worth all this nonsense. But that assumes the House Republican caucus still has a few grown-ups. It doesn’t.

  87. rikyrah says:

    Stephenson’s Rocket for David Cameron
    by Alex Massie

    Earlier this week I suggested David Cameron was doing his best to cut Rupert Murdoch free. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister it turns out that this kind of amputation is trickier than it looks (and it looked plenty tricky to begin with).

    Today’s events have been astonishing even by this story’s astonishing standards. First Rebekah Brooks resigned and now the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned. A number of matters contributed to Stephenson’s departure but the most salient – in the present climate – was his decision to hire Neil Wallis, a former executive at, yes, the News of the World, as an advisor.

    On his way out Britain’s most senior copper made sure to slip a knife into David Cameron’s ribcage:

    Now let me turn to the reported displeasure of the prime minister and the home secretary of the relationship with Mr Wallis.

    “The reasons for not having told them are two fold. Firstly, I repeat my earlier comments of having at the time no reason for considering the contractual relationship to be a matter of concern. Unlike Mr Coulson, Mr Wallis had not resigned from News of the World or, to the best of my knowledge been in any way associated with the original phone hacking investigation.

    “Secondly, once Mr Wallis’s name did become associated with Operation Weeting, I did not want to compromise the Prime Minister in any way by revealing or discussing a potential suspect who clearly had a close relationship with Mr Coulson.”

    Ouch. At the Telegraph Damian Thompson suggests all this means:

    There’s a sense now of a tidal wave of scandal surrounding the entire British establishment. The flood waters are slowly rising and it doesn’t seem there’s a damn thing anyone can do about it.

    Perhaps. The uncomfortable question for Cameron is this: if Paul Stephenson has resigned (at least in part) because of his own links with News International, what does this say about Mr Cameron’s judgement and his decision to hire former Screws editor Andy Coulson as his Communications Director? To take it a step further, if Sir Paul thinks his position was ill-fated and untenable then shouldn’t Mr Cameron consider his own position too?

    Now we’ve not reached that stage yet and this may yet prove a Sunday night wobble. Nevertheless there is a sense – though it is hard to be sure of much, so febrile are the times – that almost anything could happen and that more bodies will be found or sacrificed before this scandal has run its course.

    Cameron’s position becomes weaker still if this Daily Mail story is proven accurate:

    Disgraced former News International boss Rebekah Brooks intervened to persuade David Cameron to make ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson his spin doctor, it was claimed last night.

    She is understood to have urged Mr Cameron to scrap plans to give the job to a senior BBC journalist. Mr Cameron was told it should go to someone who was ‘acceptable’ to News International.

    The disclosure increases pressure on Mr Cameron over his close links to Mrs Brooks and the Murdoch empire.

    You think? Of course it does. If true – a qualification of some import – this seems terrible news for Cameron. He had, it is said, been planning to hire BBC journalist Guto Harri before Mrs Brooks made her pitch on Mr Coulson’s behalf. And why wouldn’t she? Though disgraced, Coulson was still family…

    All in all, it’s a dreadful time for Cameron to be leaving the country. Yet, astonishingly, he is, departing on a long-planned trip to somewhere in Africa that cannot be disclosed for “security reasons” (so it must be Somalia or, more probably, Benghazi). 24 hours ago cancelling the trip would have looked like a sign of panic; not anymore. Stephenson’s resignation changes matters and suddenly it does not look very clever for the Prime Minister to be posted Missing in Action.

    Lord knows where it will all end, nor when there’ll be a nice, quiet day during which all and sundry may catch their breath and take proper stock of whatever the hell is going on right now.

  88. rikyrah says:

    July 17, 2011
    A few flashes, some great enlightenment
    On CNN’s “State of the Union,” OMB director Jack Lew said there is no Plan B — that, ahem, reason shall prevail. Sen. Lindsey Graham wanted a creative solution to the debt crisis, such as a “win-win.” Professional campaigner Rudy Giuliani saw “no harm” in same-sex marriage, though he remains against it.

    On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” OMB director Jack Lew said there is no Plan B — that, ahem, reason shall prevail. Sen. Jim DeMint said Republicans “are certainly willing to compromise” and he “hope[s] the president won’t take us through” a default. “Business-friendly” Gov. John Kasich still doesn’t understand that business needs customers; Honeywell Corp.’s chairman reluctantly conceded that consumer demand has a little something to do with the well-being of business.

    On ABC’s “This Week,” OMB director Jack Lew said there is no Plan B — that, ahem, reason shall prevail. Sen. Jon Kyl reminded us of the president’s “absolute obsession with raising taxes”; he cited a Rasmussen invention in support of his anti-tax opinion, but said he hadn’t heard of any actual polling on the subject. He brought a chart.

  89. rikyrah says:

    Happy 93rd Birthday to NELSON MANDELA!!

  90. Tables Turn On Murdoch As Scandal Rocks His Empire

    SAN FRANCISCO — To his many enemies, Rupert Murdoch is getting his comeuppance.

    Murdoch’s tabloid newspapers long have reveled in the misdeeds of others with salacious photos and pun-packed headlines. Now, one of the world’s most powerful media executives is learning what it’s like to be enveloped in his own scandal.

    “There is a feeling that Murdoch has been king of the world for too long and it’s about time that somebody brought him back to Earth,” says Mungo MacCallum, a political journalist and commentator who once worked for a Murdoch-owned newspaper, The Australian.

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