Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

Happy Tuesday, Everyone.  3 Chics just want to have FUN!                                

Wiki:  Cynthia Ann StephanieCyndiLauper (born June 22, 1953) is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She achieved success in the mid-1980s with the release of the album She’s So Unusual and became the first female singer to have four top-five singles released from one album. Lauper has released 11 albums and over 40 singles, and as of 2008 had sold more than 30 million records worldwide.

The daughter of Fred and Catrine Lauper, Cyndi Lauper was born and raised in Ozone Park in a Catholic family, in the borough of Queens in New York City.[3] Her mother uses the stage name “Catrine Dominique” for the music videos in which she has appeared.[4] Her father was of German and Swiss descent and her mother is Italian American (from Sicily). She has an older sister, Ellen, and a younger brother, Fred (nicknamed Butch).[5]

What are some of your favorite FUN songs?  Please feel free to post a link and share it with 3 Chics.  Thanks!

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151 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

  1. creolechild says:

    I think we need some music…Let me see, how about this?


    3:57pm | The influential Cut Cap Balance Coalition slamed the Boehner bill today: “It is both bad policy and a violation of the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge.”

    3:36pm | Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) the chairman of the House budget committee has endorsed the Boehner plan. HIs support will help Boehner rally his caucus to support his plan for raising the debt limit. [link]

  3. creolechild says:

    I find it interesting that so many individuals in the public and private sector are intertwined like the snakes on Medusa’s head…

    Michelle Rhee and Rupert Murdoch: Thick as Thieves?

    When Rupert Murdoch gave his testimony earlier this week in London, former New York City School Chancellor Joel Klein was sitting directly behind him. After a stormy tenure in New York City where he fought teachers unions and closed schools according to the Michelle Rhee School Destruction Model, he left and took what looked to be a cushy job at News Corp helping Murdoch launch his for-profit education products.


    But Klein doesn’t just have ties to Rupert Murdoch. He’s also “like this” with Michelle Rhee from his time in New York., in 2009: Michelle Rhee touted her red-track/green-track teacher pay proposal last night at Pace University, saying it’s made such a splash that Mayor Bloomberg asked Chancellor Joel Klein if they could bring a similar model to New York. The proposal, which is being negotiated with the D.C. teachers union right now, would award some first-year teachers nearly $40,000 raises in exchange for giving up their tenure rights — while others could choose a “red” path where they retain tenure but are paid less. Rhee said the model came up in a recent chat with Klein, who she said she speaks to regularly to share “best practices” and to commiserate. Klein told her that Mayor Bloomberg had asked if they could bring the red/green plan to New York….

    Rhee’s plan, if passed, will be financed by private philanthropy for the first five years, she said. See that private philanthropy claim there at the bottom? This is a Rhee hallmark. She rides into school districts on promises of private benefactors if only those schools will just clean up their acts and get it together the way she envisions. She doesn’t name the private benefactors, so let me name a few who spend millions of dollars on Rhee’s enterprises: Devos, Walton, and the Friedman foundations, whose sole goal is to turn public school districts private. She’ll deny that, of course, but as was reported over at Daily Kos, she slipped up and let it out with regard to Tennessee:



    3:30pm | The Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the Boehner bill, as the GOP and conservative interest groups fracture over the plan.

  5. Talking Points Memo:VIDEO: Watch Nancy Pelosi rip into the GOP for its ulterior motives in deficit reduction

  6. Think Progress:BREAKING: Rep. Joe Walsh (R) on MSNBC now, says he won’t vote for Boehner plan.

    Joe Walsh = Punk

  7. creolechild says:

    Why Are Rich Companies Laying Off Poor Workers?

    With an economic recovery like this, who needs a recession? Several major corporations have been announcing layoffs in recent weeks, despite their fattening coffers. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIMM) revealed this week that it will cut 2,000 jobs. Last week it was Cisco (CSCO) eliminating 6,500 posts, including 2,100 employees that had opted for early retirement. Campbell Soup (CPB) and handset maker Nokia (NOK) have also gone public in recent months with their pink slips showing.

    Consumers don’t applaud layoffs. Investors who may initially cheer cost-cutting moves eventually realize the gravity of the situation. The American Management Association reports that 88% of businesses going through layoffs report declining employee morale, so it’s not as if those who survive the cut aren’t busy firing off copies of their resumes elsewhere. However, the real shocker here is that many of these companies executing layoffs aren’t exactly in dire financial straits….Analysts following these four companies expect profitability to continue in the coming quarters. With the exception of leveraged soup maker Campbell, the other three companies have billions of cash on their balance sheets:

    * Nokia has billions in cash and no long-term debt.

    * RIM closed out its latest quarter with nearly $2.9 billion in cash and investments but also with no long-term debt on its balance sheet.

    * Cisco is saddled with $16.2 billion in long-term debt, but it’s one of the richest companies on the planet with $43.4 billion in cash and equivalents.

    Why are companies that clearly have the money to keep their employees as stress-free and productive as possible endangering that stability with sharp job cuts in the middle of this alleged recovery? The answer — at least in Cisco’s case — may have something to do with the illusion of its cash-rich balance sheet….Cisco has a problem that is all too familiar with many multinational giants based in the United States. The tech bellwether can’t bring back profits earned overseas without facing steep taxable consequences. Most of Cisco’s $43.4 billion in cash is waiting to be repatriated. Like a minor eyeing a juicy trust fund, the money’s there — but it can’t be touched. There is an estimated $1 trillion in profits locked up this way, and legislation was introduced in May to help bring some of that money back home. The government has to decide whether it wants to allow companies to repatriate overseas cash at a nominal tax rate 5.25%, well below the top corporate tax rate of 35%. The bill would penalize participating companies that stray from historical hiring standards after repatriating profits, an important provision that should sway legislators that normally wouldn’t vote for a corporate tax break.


    See full article from DailyFinance:

  8. LIVE COVERAGE: House GOP Revolts Against Boehner Plan

    2:42pm | The White House formally issued a veto threat on Speaker of the House John Boehner’s plan to raise the debt limit. In a Statement of Administration Policy from the Office of Management and Budget, officials said if the bill “is presented to the President, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.” [Link]

    2:37pm | McConnell highlights that Americans for Tax Reform endorsed Boehner plan. Says “we’re doing everything to help our friends in the House to pass it”.

    2:33pm | McConnell did not address the Boehner proposal, but his call to renew working with Obama differs sharply from Boehner’s contention that a solution will come out of Congress.

    2:31pm | McConnell also says it is “time to reengage” with President Obama — “the only person who can sign a bill into law.”

  9. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Karoli!

    Boehner Two-Step: Brief Boss Limbaugh First, Then Caucus

    You seriously cannot make this stuff up. It’s just too bizarre. First, we have the Boehner two-step, as he has dubbed his latest Unserious Deficit Reduction/Debt Ceiling increase bill. Then there’s this, via The Hill: Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined the GOP’s debt-ceiling plan to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on Monday before showing it to his conference.

    On Monday during his radio program, Limbaugh talked about the call he received from Boehner. Limbaugh’s support of the plan would be advantageous to Republicans because it might help rally the conservative base.

    Poor John Boehner. He can’t please everyone, so he can’t please anyone. Boss Rush might not even be able to help him with this.

    • The Bonehead has become increasingly pathetic. When all this is over, expect to see Cantor try to take over the speakership which should be fun for days. Bonehead might be an orange alcoholic but he does have a few brain cells left that haven’t been pickled. Cantor is an ignorant twit who has already had his butt smacked hard by PBO.

      I just realized that stupid Cantor is one I haven’t faxed yet. I got to get on that!

  10. creolechild says:

    House spending bill slashes environmental protections

    Environmental groups are aghast at proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, which they claim is “larded up with giveaways to polluters and corporate donors.” The U.S. House of Representatives began debate Monday on the Fiscal Year 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The House Appropriations Committee approved the legislation by a 28 to 18 vote on July 12, allotting $27.5 billion in spending for the Department of the Interior, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, and various related agencies. The legislation includes an 18 percent funding cut for the EPA and a 7 percent cut for the Department of the Interior.

    “The House of Representatives, led by anti-environmental Republicans, are sharpening their knives to gut key health and wildlife protections that could benefit millions of Americans,” Marty Hayden, Vice President of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice, said in a statement. “These are no small cuts; this is a complete butchering of environmental safeguards.”

    “Riders attached to the EPA spending bill decimate protections for air, water, lands and wildlife,” he continued. “Even before this bill reached the House floor for a full debate, Appropriations committee members attached 38 riders that shred our safety net for protecting against pollution in our air and water, saving imperiled wildlife, and protecting iconic places like the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.” In its current form, the legislation would prevent the EPA from regulating a number of pollutants by gutting the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The bill would restrict EPA’s authority to regulate coal ash disposal, exempt the timber industry from pollutant discharge permit requirements, allows pesticide applicators to spray chemicals directly into waterways, cut off funding for EPA to implement limits on mercury and other air toxics from power plants, and restricts the scope of “Waters of the U.S.” protected by the Clean Water Act. The bill would also blocks EPA oversight of mountaintop removal mining.

    Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (R-ID) said the committee drafted the bill to “reduce spending, create more certainty in the marketplace, and promote an economic environment conducive to job growth.”


  11. rikyrah says:

    July 26, 2011 12:25 PM

    Public answers POTUS call to action

    By Steve Benen

    In his national address last night, President Obama said, “The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.”

    I guess I’m jaded, because I didn’t really expect large numbers of Americans to respond to the presidential call to action. I’m glad I was wrong — a lot of people are taking the president’s advice.

    Tuesday morning, the congressional switchboard sent an email to congressional offices that read: “Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals.” The 225 exchange is the one used by members of the House. In spot calls to six House offices Tuesday morning, a busy signal was often found.

    And that’s just the phone lines. House web servers have also been overwhelmed.

    Obviously, there’s no way to know for sure what those reaching out to lawmakers are saying, or what the ratio is of pro-compromise folks to anti-compromise. That said, if the calls are roughly equivalent to all the recent national polls, most of those contacting the Hill agree with the White House, not congressional Republicans.

    What’s more, the volume is likely to increase — Organizing for America will reportedly use its lists today to encourage more outreach, nearly all of which will likely be in opposition to the GOP.

    Following up on an earlier point, it’s safe to assume that most of the hard-line conservatives are immune to public pressure, and won’t care about any of this. But for GOP members who are on the fence, and are perhaps worried about their re-election prospects in competitive districts, could a sudden flood of calls, letters, emails, and faxes move a few House votes? Absolutely.

    If you’ve been trying to reach Capitol Hill to weigh in with your own concerns, you can keep trying the main switchboard; you can contact your representative’s local offices, and there are some online tools to help people contact Congress that still appear to be working.

    • Ametia says:

      Really Steve; it’s not surprising, and nor am I jaded when it comes to people responding to POTUS’ call to action. Black folks know the drill, and when it comes to white folks and their welfare, well, let’s just say, they scream the loudest, or are heard first.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 26, 2011 2:35 PM

    An ‘economic justification’ for raising the limit once, not twice

    By Steve Benen

    As truly ridiculous as this may be, one of the key sticking points in the debt-ceiling crisis is the sudden Republican insistence that we go through this process twice, instead of once. As GOP leaders see it, the only legitimate solution is one debt-limit increase now, and another early next year. Democrats and other sane people prefer to just go through this once, taking default off the table until 2013.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been championed the two-step process, and today, he was backed up by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “There’s absolutely no economic justification for insisting on a debt limit increase that brings us through the next election,” McConnell said, adding that Democrats are only concerned with politics.

    Republicans said the opposite as recently as last month, but let’s put that aside for now.

    Instead, let’s just look at McConnell’s argument on the merits. Is there an economic justification for extending the debt limit through the end of next year? Of course there is. Here, for example, is the chief executive officer of NASDAQ, testifying to the Senate this morning.

    If you can’t watch clips online, CEO Robert Griefeld told lawmakers, “Markets certainly want to feel certainty…. [T]he longer the deal the Congress makes, in agreement with the president, the better markets will feel about it.”

    He’s not alone. Standard & Poor’s is threatening a credit-rating downgrade if there’s a short-term extension and the CEO of PIMCO warned against such an approach.

    I have no idea if Mitch McConnell believes his own nonsense. I also can’t say why in the world he’d want to go through this entire mess all over again early next year. But if he thinks there’s “absolutely no economic justification” for a longer debt-limit extension, McConnell need only call one of the many Wall Street lobbyists he keeps on speed dial to get a very different opinion.

  13. rikyrah says:

    July 26, 2011 1:40 PM

    Boehner’s budget plan: the policy and the politics

    By Steve Benen

    The House Republican leadership is spending much of the day trying to rally GOP support for Speaker John Boehner’s (R) new budget proposal. It’s worth pausing to consider the plan from two very different angles: the policy and the politics.

    On the more substantive front, the political world needs to understand that Boehner’s measure is a disaster. Bob Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and one of nation’s leading experts on these issues, published an important analysis of the Speaker’s plan late yesterday.

    House Speaker John Boehner’s new budget proposal would require deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, the repeal of health reform’s coverage expansions, or wholesale evisceration of basic assistance programs for vulnerable Americans.

    The plan is, thus, tantamount to a form of “class warfare.” If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history. This may sound hyperbolic, but it is not. The mathematics are inexorable.

    Remember, Greenstein isn’t some unhinged polemicist. If anything, he’s generally understated and cautious in his rhetoric.

    There are a handful of conservative House Democrats — including members like Jim Matheson and Jim Cooper — who haven’t yet decided whether to support the Boehner measure. Here’s hoping they see the CBPP report before the vote.

    And then there’s the politics. The key to Boehner’s larger plan is passing his budget proposal tomorrow, then daring Democrats to defeat it. If Dems balk, the likelihood of a disaster next week inches closer to 100%. If Dems cave and accept the Speaker’s plan, Boehner does severe damage to the economy, working families, and seniors, which apparently is his main goal.

    The question, then, is whether Boehner can get to 217 votes and set his plan in motion. There’s reason for skepticism.

    One of the most influential conservatives in Congress says he’s confident his own Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will lack the votes to pass his plan to raise the debt limit in the House of Representatives.

    Complicating matters further for Boehner — the Dems’ top vote counter wryly suggested at a simultaneous press briefing that few, if any, Democrats will vote for the GOP’s bill, since there is a preferable Democratic plan waiting in the wings. That suggests House conservatives are holding the line against any debt limit increase that can plausibly pass the Senate — and that Democrats will have added leverage to muscle their own plan through both chambers.

    “I am confident as of this morning that there are not 218 Republicans in support of the plan,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told reporters at a Tuesday morning press briefing.

    Right-wing activist groups are still against it, and in fact, the Heritage Foundation began lobbying against it today. Also, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), inexplicably a leading presidential candidate, announced her opposition today as well. [Update: The Club for Growth has announced it also wants GOP lawmakers to reject Boehner’s plan.]

    If Boehner’s plan can’t get to 217, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D) $2.7 trillion package may be the last plan standing. It would, quite possibly, set the GOP up with a simple proposition: pass Reid’s $2.7 trillion in cuts with no revenue, or cause an economic catastrophe.

  14. rikyrah says:

    NAACP Chief Focuses on Voting Laws at Convention

    Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 4:43 am
    The NAACP plans to spend the next year fighting against a slew of voting laws that it says disenfranchise huge swaths of minority voters, the civil rights organization’s president said at the group’s convention on Monday.

    Benjamin Todd Jealous said legislation promoted by what he called racist elements in the tea party has surged in 47 states as Barack Obama faces re-election in 2012, with 30 states passing some type of limitation on voting.

    Jealous, the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, likened the new legislation to Jim Crow laws, which sought to disenfranchise and segregate blacks prior to the 1960s.

    Among the latest laws are mandates for a photo ID to vote, a copy of a photo ID attached to the voter registration application as well as restrictions on ex-felons’ rights to vote.

    “We broke the color line in this country. That was followed by a great backlash,” said Jealous, who addressed about 1,500 people at the convention in Los Angeles. “These are the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow.”

    Jealous pointed to Wisconsin’s law that requires a photo ID at the polls, saying it will disqualify half of black and Latino voters in that state. “People too poor to own a car generally don’t have a driver’s license,” he said.

    Another new law in Florida, which requires a waiting period of five to seven years before ex-felons can vote, will disqualify 250,000 black voters, as well as 250,000 others, he said.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Fox Host: Free Birth Control Is Liberal Conspiracy To ‘Eradicate The Poor’
    By Marie Diamond on Jul 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Public health officials and women’s rights groups are cheering the recent recommendation of the Institute of Medicine that “health insurers should pay for a range of services for women at no cost, including birth control, counseling on sexually transmitted diseases, and AIDS screening.”

    But unsurprisingly, many on the right immediately lashed out at the decision, denouncing it as “feminist pork” or tantamount to government-sponsored abortion. Some particularly vile reactions came from Fox News, where host Greg Gutfeld said eliminating birth control co-pays was part of a much more sinister leftist plot:

    GUTFELD: If you’re talking about free birth control, who’s going to use free birth control? The people who can’t afford it. So the left has figured out a way to eradicate the poor, and it’s by eradicating the poor!

    Watch it:

    On another Fox News segment, the contributor and host decided that birth control wasn’t necessary if women would “just stop having irresponsible sex.” Fox News’ America’s Newsroom’s Heather Childers discussed the IOM recommendation with Sandy Rios, president of Family-PAC Federal. Rios personally attacked a female physician who supported the decision as “a disgrace to our gender.” She then proposed that women don’t really need birth control, saying, “Let women stop having irresponsible sex. […] Let’s stop making excuses and providing a way to get women out of trouble when they should be responsible in their behavior.”

    Childers quickly agreed that it’s “not too much to ask for everyone to stop having irresponsible sex.”

    In the U.S., 15.3 million women use hormonal birth control, which is one of the most frequently-prescribed medications in America. Rios’ accusation is ironic given that most women think they are behaving responsibly precisely by using birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. But Fox News apparently believes those 15.3 million just need to stop sleeping around.

    Contraception improves women’s health and reduces the need for abortions, but the cost is often prohibitive for low-income women. The IOM’s ruling opens the door for government-subsidized birth control, which a recent national poll found 78 percent of Americans support

  16. rikyrah says:

    Chris Matthews Slams Sen. Mike Lee for Demanding Constitution be Rewritten to Pass Debt Limit
    By Heather

    Chris Matthews did a good job of making Utah Sen. Mike Lee look like the obstructionist he is on Hardball tonight. Here’s more from Think Progress — Mike Lee: I Want America’s ‘House To Come Down’ Unless Congress Votes To Rewrite Constitution:

    In an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball this evening, tenther Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) admitted that he is using the threat of a catastrophic default to extort the nation into rewriting the Constitution to force a permanent era of conservative governance:

    CHRIS MATTHEWS: How many days do you think we have, on the outside, to get this debt ceiling through before we have a problem? How many days?

    LEE: I don’t know, maybe ten days.

    MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.

    LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.

    MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?

    LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.

    Go read the rest for more details on Lee’s hostage taking. Someone wake me up when this debt ceiling kabuki is over. I can barely stand watching any of it any more.

    • Ametia says:

      Re-writing the constitution, voter suppression, creating new laws to suit their whims; it’s what the RETHUGS do; don’tcha know!

  17. rikyrah says:

    Charters get $55 million for upkeep, other schools get zero
    By Dave Weber, Orlando Sentinel

    12:11 p.m. EDT, July 25, 2011
    Traditional public schools in Florida will get no money from the state this year for additions or needed repairs to thousands of aging buildings, but charter schools will score big.

    All of the state cash budgeted for school construction and maintenance is going to the independent, tax-financed charters favored by the Republican-dominated Legislature and Gov.Rick Scott.

    The charter school operated for children of employees of The Villages, the Republican stronghold in north Lake County frequented by Scott and former President George W. Bush, is expected to receive about $1 million.

    School district officials across Florida are bemoaning the Legislature’s decision to cut traditional public schools out of PECO — the Public Education Capital Outlay program. The state’s 350 charter schools will share $55 million, while the approximately 3,000 traditional schools will go without.

    Every cent allocated for school construction went to charter schools,” complained Lee Swift, a Charlotte County school board member who heads the Florida School Boards Association.

    Swift said lawmakers should focus on “properly funded traditional schools” instead of pressing for more charters that drain resources from the traditional schools.

    But Sen. David Simmons, a Maitland Republican who chairs the Senate’s subcommittee on school appropriations, said the reason the traditional schools aren’t getting any PECO cash this year is simple: They don’t need it.

    “We did a whole lot of building a few years ago,” Simmons said. “Growth has stagnated, and there has been some overbuilding of schools in some areas.”

    He pointed to Seminole, which has more than 9,000 vacant seats after a decade of school construction. The School Board recently closed Longwood Elementary in an economy move and is considering closing other schools next year.

    But Seminole Superintendent Bill Vogel counters that Seminole and other districts still need cash for roofing and air conditioner repairs, painting, plumbing work, carpeting and other maintenance projects.

    “We desperately need the PECO money,” Vogel said. “It is essential for maintenance of our buildings.”

    And not all districts have stopped growing and needing more classrooms, either. While overall enrollment in Florida public schools fell by 19,305 students over the past five years, districts such as Lake and Osceola have continued to grow.

    The state has never been overly generous with money for school repairs, forcing school districts for the past 30 years to raise local property taxes to cover maintenance expenses.

    But each year every school district in the state got a modest sum from the Legislature for school repairs, and many years there was an extra allocation toward school construction.

    This past year, for example, Orange County schools got about $6.7 million for maintenance and repairs, and Seminole schools received $2.4 million.

    “This year we get nothing,” said John Pavelchak, finance director for Seminole schools for the past 20 years. “This is the first time I remember getting nothing.”

    Lack of PECO money will pinch school districts whose other main sources of revenue for repairs — property taxes — have dwindled because of the poor economy.

    Lake schools had hoped to get about $1 million in state maintenance funds toward an estimated $6 million in needed repairs such as school air conditioning units that maintenance director Mike Corr has characterized as “just a heartbeat away from catastrophic failure.” Officials are considering borrowing money or bumping other projects to cover costs of the air conditioner repairs.

    PECO funding for traditional schools varied from year to year, peaking in the 2007-08 school year at just over $500 million, with more than half for new construction.

    But for the last three years, the state has given no money for construction, and maintenance money has fallen off. The traditional schools shared $122 million for maintenance in the school year that just ended in June,0,6959553.story

    • Ametia says:

      yep that’s what these charter schools do; ROB from the public schools- disadvantaged, POC, etc., and give to the rich familes of YT.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republican Leaders Voted for Debt They Blame on Obama
    House Speaker John Boehner often attacks the spendthrift ways of Washington.

    “In Washington, more spending and more debt is business as usual,” the Republican leader from Ohio said in a televised address yesterday amid debate over the U.S. debt. “I’ve got news for Washington – those days are over.”

    Yet the speaker, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all voted for major drivers of the nation’s debt during the past decade: Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug benefits. They also voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, that rescued financial institutions and the auto industry.

    Together, a Bloomberg News analysis shows, these initiatives added $3.4 trillion to the nation’s accumulated debt and to its current annual budget deficit of $1.5 trillion.

    As Congress nears votes to raise the $14.3-trillion debt ceiling to avert a default on U.S. obligations when borrowing authority expires on Aug. 2, both parties are attempting to claim a mantle of fiscal responsibility. They both bear some of the blame: Many Democrats contributed to the expenses that are forcing lawmakers to boost the nation’s debt limit, as have Republican leaders at odds over how much borrowing authority to hand President Barack Obama and when.

    “There’s plenty of blame to go around,” for the debt, said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, an Arlington, Virginia-based group that advocates for balanced budgets. “If there had been no Barack Obama, we would still be bumping up against the debt limit.’”

    Debt Has Doubled
    Since 2001, the debt has grown from $5.8 trillion.

    Republicans say the long-term growth of entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, along with depressed tax revenues due to the worst recession since the Great Depression, drive the current debt level.

    “Blaming Bush for the structural deficits we’ve known would come since the early 1990s is beyond irresponsible.” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Cantor.

    In his address yesterday, Boehner accused Obama of going on the “largest spending binge in American history.”

    Obama’s 2011 annual budget, Republicans note, drove federal spending to a record $3.8 trillion. Non-defense discretionary spending also grew by 24 percent during the first two years of the Obama administration, they say, adding $734 billion in spending over the next 10 years.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Rick Scott Trying To Protect Insurers From Paying Rebates To 340,000 Florida Policy Holders
    By Igor Volsky on Jul 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) dogged insistence on rejecting federal funds associated with the Affordable Care Act may cause some 340,000 Floridians to “miss out on an estimated $60 million in health-insurance rebates next year,” Carol Gentry of Health News Florida reports. The money is part of the law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provisions, which aim at tamping down industry profits by requiring insurers that don’t spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on health care to reimburse policy holders. Florida’s insurance department (OIR) initially requested “a waiver of the rebates for companies operating in this state,” but is now calling for a phase in of the rule:

    Consumer groups are angry, accusing OIR of protecting insurers at the expense of the public. In a May 25 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, five of them asked for a public hearing . […]

    If the waiver is granted, limits on MLR in Florida’s individual market would be 68 percent for this year, 72 percent next year and 76 percent in 2013. Not until 2014 would companies have to comply with the provisions of the 80-percent spending rule in the act. […]

    Customers who have the most riding on the HHS decision are the 118,000 individual policyholders of Golden Rule Insurance Co., a subsidiary of the giant United Health Group. Estimates based on data from 2009 and 2010 indicate that if the Obama administration doesn’t grant a waiver, Golden Rule would owe Floridians $32.8 million next year.

    Scott has turned down millions of health care funds, arguing that Florida would not accept federal grants from a law that he sees as unconstitutional. But this time, “the money doesn’t come from taxpayers, but from insurers. Those who would receive the money are self-employed workers and others who don’t have access to a group plan.”

  20. @Justoneblackman:Members of Congress flooded with calls after Obama, Boehner debt speeches – 2chambers – The Washington Post

    I’m reading The GOP and phones don’t work on Capital Hill!

    Call! Call! Call!

  21. creolechild says:

    Another UK news group launches review after hacking row

    Trinity Mirror, one of Britain’s largest newspaper publishers, said Tuesday it was conducting an internal review of its editorial controls following the phone-hacking scandal. However, a spokesman insisted that the review was not an investigation, nor was it in response to any allegations against the group’s newspapers, which include the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and more than 160 regional titles. Nick Fullagar, director of corporate communications for Trinity Mirror, told AFP: “It is a review of editorial controls and procedures. “This follows our previous review post the Hutton report into the death of Dr David Kelly. It is not an investigation into phone hacking or any allegation.”

    Kelly was a government weapons inspector who was found dead in 2003 after being exposed as the source for a BBC story that alleged Tony Blair’s government had “sexed up” intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. A subsequent inquiry by Brian Hutton criticised the BBC’s editorial practices. In the wake of those criticisms, Trinity Mirror conducted an internal review of its own practices in February 2004, and Fullagar said it was right that it carry out another one following the phone-hacking scandal. It will also examine the authorising of editorial payments.


  22. creolechild says:

    What next?!!…

    Thousands of Post Offices Face Budget Ax

    The Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the Postal Service, has suggested that the USPS will release a list Tuesday of 3,653 post offices it will consider shuttering, according to a number of media outlets. A message on the commission’s website from Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway read, in part: “The Postal Service has indicated that it intends soon to file a request for an Advisory Opinion on a nationwide plan to review post office facilities for closure.”

    UPDATE, 12:30 p.m.: Around midday Tuesday, the USPS formally announced its proposal to examine about 3,700 of its 32,000 post offices for closure. The Postal Service also proposed a retail-replacement option for affected communities. In the press release, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said: “Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and, open 24/7. Our customers’ habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

    In the last reported quarter, the USPS lost more than $2.2 billion, and it expects to run out of money in September — hence, the possible closures. Most of the post offices at risk are in rural areas, which makes sense. Rural post offices are expensive relative to the number of people they serve, and rural delivery routes are longer because of the number of homes and businesses which must be served in sparsely populated areas.


    Read more: DailyFinance:

    • Ametia says:

      The postal service is no longer a public service. It’s being privatized and corporations are loving it. groceries chains are corporate owned BTW.

  23. creolechild says:

    Fingerprint analysis tech aims to revolutionize drug testing

    A new technology that analyzes the sweat from a person’s fingertips looks to revolutionize the drug testing market, providing on-site results in minutes with a test so advanced it can even detect marijuana intoxication. Using gold nanoparticles and special antibodies, the tech produced by British firm Intelligent Fingerprinting latches on to metabolites on the fingerprint and turns a specific color depending on which drug byproducts are detected. While it can be configured to search for drugs like nicotine, methadone and cocaine, it also presents another innovation: helping to determine if someone is actively intoxicated on marijuana.

    Marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient is fat soluble, so it stays in the body for weeks locked in fat cells. This means that traditional drug testing using urine analysis can detect whether a person has used marijuana up to a month afterwards, but it doesn’t actually reveal if the person was intoxicated at the time the test was taken. The fingerprint test, on the other hand, can detect minuscule amounts of broken-down drug compounds in metabolites in just minutes, pointing to whether that person was stoned or not. The development leads to a breakthrough that could result in more accurate testing to determine whether a person is driving while drugged. The device was first announced last week, during the UCL International Crime Science Conference.

    (H/T: New Scientist)

  24. creolechild says:

    Taxing The Poor: The Only Tax Increase Republicans Support

    Throughout the debate about raising the federal debt ceiling, Republicans have denied deal after deal because Democrats insist on adding new revenues to trillions of dollars in spending cuts. Republicans have opposed repealing oil and gas subsidies, removing a tax loophole for corporate jet owners, letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and all other forms of revenue Democrats have suggested. Raising taxes in a weak economy, they argue, is unthinkable — even if conservative patriarch Ronald Reagan did just that. But there is one tax increase some Republicans seem to favor: raising taxes on the working poor, senior citizens, and other low-income Americans.

    While they fight the expiration of the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, Republicans have continually cited a report that shows that 51 percent of Americans don’t pay income taxes, even admitting that middle- and lower-class Americans need to shoulder a larger burden in deficit reduction efforts. Here is a sample of Republicans who have made that argument:

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): In a May 5 appearance on MSNBC, Hatch said, “The place where you’ve got to get revenues has to come from the middle class,” saying the poor needed to understand “that there’s a civic duty on the part of every one of us to help this government to, uh, to be better.” On the Senate floor July 7, Hatch said the poor “need to share some of the responsibility” for deficit reduction.

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): Cornyn also cited the report on the Senate floor July 7, when he said Congress needed to address tax reform to make the system “flatter, fairer, and simpler.” He then cited the report, saying, “51 percent — that is — a majority of American households — paid no income tax in 2009. Zero. Zip. Nada.”

    Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN): Coats echoed the talking point last weekend, saying “everyone needs to have some skin in the game.” He added: “I realize that some with low incomes and not much money are not paying much in taxes. Nonetheless, we all have a stake in this country and what needs to be done. I think it’s important that this burden not just fall on 50 percent of the people but falls on all of us in some form.”

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA): Cantor was among the first Republicans to begin hitting this particular talking point, doing so in April on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “We also have a situation in this country where you’re nearing 50 percent of people who don’t even pay income taxes,” he said.

    Republicans, of course, ignore why most of the 51 percent do not pay income taxes and the myriad ways in which they are subject to other forms of taxation. The majority who do not pay federal income taxes simply do not make enough money to qualify for even the lowest tax bracket. But they do contribute through payroll, state, and sales taxes. Less than a quarter of
    Americans don’t contribute to federal tax receipts, and the majority of those are students, the elderly, or the unemployed. Meanwhile, the richest Americans are paying less than they were a generation ago, leaving the United States with one of the largest income gaps in the industrialized world.

    • opulent says:

      Class WARFARE!! 20% of the people control 85% of the wealth in America. The top !% control 15%

      That means only 15% of wealth is divided by EIGHTY percent of americans!!

  25. creolechild says:

    U.S. takes on Iraq pullout ‘one bite at a time’

    From flyers warning troops the post office will shut soon to disused housing units waiting to be dispatched to their new destination, the signs are everywhere: US forces are packing up to leave Iraq more than eight years after they first arrived. The scale of the operation is unprecedented in the army’s history — preparing to transfer dozens of bases to the Iraqis, and handing over, disposing of or shipping out thousands of vehicles, generators, air conditioners and other materiel.

    Under the terms of a bilateral security pact with Iraq, the 47,000 US soldiers currently in the country must leave by the end of the year. “Every time you pack up your place, (you think) where did this stuff come from?” said Colonel Steve Cook, the top logistics officer for American forces in north Iraq, likening the process to moving house. “It seems to be a lot more than you bargained for,” he said in an interview at Contingency Operating Base Speicher on the outskirts of Tikrit, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north of Baghdad. Cook and other senior officers who arrived at COB Speicher, the US northern headquarters, toward the end of 2010, estimated that the majority of their task of moving soldiers, contractors and equipment out of Iraq had yet to be done.

    From the end of last year, around $30 million worth of non-military items on US bases in the north, such as generators and air conditioners, have been given to Iraq at no cost, under a programme authorised by the US Congress. Cook, 44, estimated that the monetary value of the items handed over would at least double by the end of the year as more is transferred. Overall, 105,000 such items have been transferred, having been deemed too expensive to ship back either to the United States or to other American military operations, such as in Afghanistan. And of the 4,500 military vehicles such as trucks and Humvees that the US held in October 2010 in the north, 2,800 have yet to be shipped out. Sixteen bases in the north have been handed over to Iraq, but 23 remain.


  26. Talking Points Memo: A fired-up Pelosi tears into GOP budget plan: “We get the sacrifice, they get the wealth.”

  27. Ametia says:

    From RonnieB @ JJP!

    Sub-prime mortgages. Wall Street shenanigans. Debt ceiling theatre. All issues that, while they may technically exist, are simply contrived TV topics intended to avoid what is glaringly obvious: that White Americans have accomplished their mission to control the means of knowledge, information and power in our society. Sound like a conspiracy? Look not only at people in front of the camera or on the magazine cover, but the managers and producers and directors behind the scenes who decide what is to be the national narrative.

    Our economy is debt-driven. You can’t acquire personal or corporate wealth without it. But since the inception of consumer credit, Black people have always been cheated and treated unfairly. Think White media will ever talk about this?

    A household of seven working Blacks or Latinos might generate the same income as a White household of three. But we can’t have that kind of parity, right? So along comes the great neutralizer: consumer credit, and more importantly, consumer credit scoring. Somehow, we Blacks and Latinos developed genetically “bad credit” while White Americans’ good credit allowed them to buy beyond their means and establish a superior net worth that they can and will pass along to future generations. Good credit and bad credit is hereditary and it’s been that way for decades. And mark my words: when the economy turns around, it will only be because banks have gone back to the old ways of making sure that White Americans are creditworthy while Blacks and Latinos are not. Think White media will ever talk about this?

    Fundamental economic unfairness is no surprise to us. It’s as old as physical violence perpetrated against us. But while news media gleefully covered us being fire hosed and dog-bitten, media could never be bothered to cover the economic violence we have had to fight for decades. And now that it’s more obvious than ever, they still won’t.

    We gain access to and more control of news and information, and we begin to change the way we are treated and how we treat ourselves.

  28. creolechild says:

    See…THEY GET IT!

    Japan passes second recovery budget

    Japan’s parliament on Monday enacted a $25 billion extra budget to pay for relief and rebuilding after the March 11 quake-tsunami, as Prime Minister Naoto Kan faced mounting pressure to resign. Earlier in the day a ruling party heavyweight suggested Kan could be closer to stepping down with the budget enacted. The upper house approved the two-trillion-yen second extra budget for fiscal 2011 following its passage through the lower house on Wednesday, a parliament spokesman said.

    The budget, seen as a stop-gap measure between the initial 4 trillion yen package passed in May and a third extra budget estimated to be around 10 trillion yen, was supported by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and its partner New Komeito. The government has estimated costs resulting from damage from the disasters at 16.9 trillion yen, but this does not include expenses associated with the crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The budget sets aside 800 billion yen in reserve for reconstruction and 275 billion yen for the nuclear crisis, including compensation for victims and health checks for local residents. The government will use surplus funds from last year to pay for the budget to avoid having to issue new bonds, as Japan already faces the industrialised world’s largest public debt at around 200 percent of GDP. Kan’s administration has faced heavy criticism for not acting swiftly enough to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northern Pacific coasts, with his approval ratings limping below 20 percent.


  29. creolechild says:

    All 50 States Have Set High Temperature Records This July | With the East Coast heat wave this weekend, every state in the union has seen record high temperatures this month — Delaware was the last to fall to the heat. Record highs have outpaced record lows by a ratio of five to one: There have been 2,068 record high daily maximum temperatures in the United States, 1.5 percent of all the measurements. There have been only 380 record low minimum temperatures, 0.3 percent of the readings. More remarkably, and consistent with the expected effect of higher greenhouse gas concentrations, nights have been even warmer — 4,638 record high daily minimum temperatures were recorded, 3.4 percent of all readings. There have been only 638 record low daily maximum temperatures, 0.5 percent of all readings:

    [Click on link to view map.]

  30. Ametia says:


    Pat Buchanan: Norwegian Right-Wing Terrorist ‘Breivik May Be Right’
    By Tanya Somanader on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Today, in a World Net Daily op-ed, failed presidential candidate and conservative pundit Pat Buchanan offers an example of the ethnic bigotry and racial insensitivity that has come to define him.

    Offering his take on the horrendous terrorist attacks in Norway, Buchanan joined the Wall Street Journal and the Jerusalem Post in arguing that the far-right extremist perpetrator Anders Breivik may have had a valid point. Arguing that Breivik was bringing attention to his cause, “a Crusader’s war between the real Europe and the ‘cultural Marxists’ and Muslims,” Buchanan declares that, on the “climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world…Breivik may be right“:

    But, awful as this atrocity was, native-born and homegrown terrorism is not the macro-threat to the continent.

    That threat comes from a burgeoning Muslim presence in a Europe that has never known mass immigration, its failure to assimilate, its growing alienation, and its sometime sympathy for Islamic militants and terrorists.

    • I despise that figging goat head. I just sent MSNBC an email telling them to get that racist mutant off TV!

    • MSNBC need to get rid of the nasty racist prick, Pat Buchanan. When has it become ok to condone killing innocent children? Enough already!

      • Ametia says:

        Just despicable, and now the murderer’s lawyer is trying to cop a insanity defense. CNN had that nutcase’s dad on and the usual lone wolf, he was this and that fuckery. They always have an excuse for these white men who run around the world killing innocent people because of their shee HATRED.

        All of a sudden racial hatred =insanity?

        Pat BucKKKLanan NEEDS TO GO!

    • ddannie22 says:

      Buchanan is a sick racist. Nothing else to add.

  31. Ametia says:


    GOT IT!

    • Jeeze Loweeze, the stupid burns! I figging hate the MSM! I would like to send them all a stick of lit dynamite. The Prez can’t do it all. This is why we have a Congress and Senate….Civics 101….You ignorant goat figgers!

    • Ametia says:

      MY gawd; AG. I’m SMGDH at these idiots, and Jay Carney’s got to face these phuckers every single day, with these asinine questions.

  32. creolechild says:

    As Oklahomans Die, Inhofe Mocks Killer Heat Wave

    The heat wave now battering much of the nation is centered on Oklahoma, where record heat and drought have crippled the state for the entire summer. With August on the way, there is no end in sight. The prolonged heat — Oklahoma City has been above 100°F for 30 days this summer — has probably killed over a dozen Oklahoma residents: The sustained heat has taxed local water systems and claimed at least five lives, with another eight deaths possibly being caused by the heat, authorities said.

    The oil-rich state is also the epicenter of global warming denial, led by its senior U.S. Senator, Jim Inhofe (R-OK). The oil-funded senator has a long history of finding humor in the misery caused by extreme weather disturbed by greenhouse pollution, including the record snowstorms of this winter. This deadly heat wave is no exception. In a tweet on Thursday, Inhofe’s press office mocked the killer heat, arguing that Al Gore could cool it off: Perhaps we need to hear a little more from Al Gore to cool things off!

    The tweet links to the Wikipedia page on “The Gore Effect,” which is the climate-denier claim that weather and appearances by Al Gore are linked. The claim, of course, lacks any sense whatsoever, but that’s never been a burden for Inhofe.


  33. creolechild says:

    Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway’s in the US

    The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead. In my new book “Sex, Mom and God” I predicted just such an action. I predicted that right wing Christians will unleash terror here in America too. I predict that they will copy Islamic extremists, and may eventually even make common cause with them.

    There is a growing movement in America that equates godliness with hatred of our government in fact hatred of our country as fallen and evil because we allow women choice, gays to marry, have a social safety net, and allow immigration from other cultures and non-white races. According to the Guardian newspaper, the killer wrote:

    “Today’s Protestant church is a joke,” he wrote in an online post in 2009. “Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like minimalist shopping centres. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic.”

    It seems Anders Behring Breivik longed for a “pure” and ultra conservative religion. He was a man of religious conviction, no liberals with their jeans need apply! Liberals beware. Norway is just a first taste of what will happen here on a larger scale.


  34. Hola Chicas!

    Have you called, emailed, faxed Washington today? I understand the Bonehead’s servers have crashed but I have his fax# if anyone wants it.

    Cindi Lauper! Love her, so did my three daughters. My oldest daughter copied Cindi’s style of dress. It was a riot so colorful. “True Colors” was a great song. I can see why Kodak wanted to use it but I was a bit sad about that.

    She made a movie that I just loved called “Vibes” with Jeff Goldblume and Peter Faulk. It was kind of corny but the three of them together were funny and Cindi was adorable. Seeing Cindi cheered me up today. Thanks.

  35. creolechild says:

    Rick Scott Trying To Protect Insurers From Paying Rebates To Scott Trying To Protect Insurers From Paying Rebates To 340,000 Florida Policy Holders

    Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) dogged insistence on rejecting federal funds associated with the Affordable Care Act may cause some 340,000 Floridians to “miss out on an estimated $60 million in health-insurance rebates next year,” Carol Gentry of Health News Florida reports. The money is part of the law’s medical loss ratio (MLR) provisions, which aim at tamping down industry profits by requiring insurers that don’t spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on health care to reimburse policy holders. Florida’s insurance department (OIR) initially requested “a waiver of the rebates for companies operating in this state,” but is now calling for a phase in of the rule:

    Consumer groups are angry, accusing OIR of protecting insurers at the expense of the public. In a May 25 letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, five of them asked for a public hearing . […] If the waiver is granted, limits on MLR in Florida’s individual market would be 68 percent for this year, 72 percent next year and 76 percent in 2013. Not until 2014 would companies have to comply with the provisions of the 80-percent spending rule in the act. […]
    Customers who have the most riding on the HHS decision are the 118,000 individual policyholders of Golden Rule Insurance Co., a subsidiary of the giant United Health Group. Estimates based on data from 2009 and 2010 indicate that if the Obama administration doesn’t grant a waiver, Golden Rule would owe Floridians $32.8 million next year.

    Scott has turned down millions of health care funds, arguing that Florida would not accept federal grants from a law that he sees as unconstitutional. But this time, “the money doesn’t come from taxpayers, but from insurers. Those who would receive the money are self-employed workers and others who don’t have access to a group plan.”


  36. creolechild says:

    FAA in Partial Shutdown; Air Traffic Unaffected: A political dispute in Congress holds up a funding extension for the agency.

    Reporting from Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration was forced into a partial shutdown Monday after Congress failed to temporarily extend its funding. The agency was ordered to furlough thousands of employees and freeze $2.5 billion in airport construction money.
    The nation’s air travel network remained unaffected, with air traffic controllers and other employees deemed “essential” ordered to work. But nearly 4,000 of the agency’s 32,000 employees were put on abrupt unpaid leave. “The fact that Congress can’t work this out is exactly why the American people are fed up with Washington,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a conference call Monday.

    In California, 206 FAA employees and $131 million in construction funds could be affected, including construction of air traffic control towers at Oakland International and Palm Springs airports. Officials at LAX and Long Beach airports said they would not be immediately affected because their finances allow them to continue projects and be reimbursed by the FAA later.
    “We can up-front the projects now, but we can’t do it in perpetuity,” said Long Beach Airport Director Mario Rodriguez.

    The House passed a version of the funding authorization on Friday, adding two provisions to an otherwise routine extension. One would make it harder for airline and rail workers to unionize. The other sought to limit subsidies to 13 rural airports, including three that exceed $1,000 per passenger. Three of those airports are in the home states of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Transportation Committee chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), and Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Senate Democrats accused the House of using the FAA as a political prop.


  37. creolechild says:

    The Joy of Contracting: Many Employers, No Safety Net

    In today’s stuttering economic recovery, the job market remains at center stage — from President Obama’s urgent meeting with his Jobs Council to spur private sector hiring to a slew of cover stories on career reinvention. But while the traditional hiring remains tepid, there is a sector whose strength isn’t necessarily fully counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that does seem to be experiencing real growth: Independent consulting. At this point, going it alone may not just be a good move, it could be your only move.

    Once you make the switch, you may find yourself smiling: There are indications this growing segment of the workforce may also be the happiest. According to the Gallup Healthways Well Being study showed the highest happiness rates among self-employed people and business owners. The self-employment trend is booming with boomers. A Charles Schwab survey finds as many as 9.5 million Americans are considering coming out of retirement and going back to work in some capacity, and AARP reports 79% of baby boomers say they don’t plan to stop working at age 65.

    When it comes together, self-employment, home-based freelancing or “e-lancing” give people control over both their incomes and their lives. Still, while that can be a recipe for happiness, it’s not a cakewalk. Many professionals making the switch from employee to independent struggle with replacing the safety net their employers once provided, particularly as regards health insurance and retirement plans. They also often don’t know how to address issues like taxes, business liability insurance and contract management.


    See full article from DailyFinance:

    • People going out on their own need to tap all resources such as SBA for setting up a business plan. It is actually worth the money, sometimes up to $500 or more to get a tax consultant or accountant to show you how to set up your book keeping. This is usually simple and straight forward unless you have paid employees. It’s really worth having a pro do your taxes at the end of the year. Most people can manage the quarterlies themselves which saves money on accounting.

      Liability insurance may not be an issue for some but for those who need it, check out going through groups that support your expertise. For example, therapists need malpractice insurance. I bought mine through Mental Health Counselors Association. It was very reasonable.

      Contracts may be more complicated for some businesses and might require some legal help. SBA and other groups come in handy for that. Keep it simple, spell it all out in plain language.

      Granny’s advice for the day. Nice to think about something else besides the debt crisis.
      I was up half the night emailing congress. I think my brain is on melt down.

  38. creolechild says:

    Tea Party Protest the NAACP in Los Angeles – Little Talk about Fiscal Issues

    Almost 100 Tea Partiers and anti-immigrant activists mounted a small and sometime languid protest of the NAACP, at the venerable civil rights organization’s 102nd national convention in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 24. The dress for the day was Tea Party casual: No colonial era garb and wigs. Several Surf City Tea jackets and some yellow “We the People” t-shirts. One large Gadsden flag, three large American flags and smaller individually hand held flags for anyone who wanted one. From the speakers there was little patter about the Founding Fathers, and just a tad more discussion of taxes and debt. The topic of the day was the NAACP, how it might once have had a “noble” purpose, but its failure to stop violence by black mobs and Latino gangs rendered it just another cog in the Obama liberal-socialist-communist machine. The principle organizer of the event, Jesse Lee Peterson, told the crowd he wanted to “end the NAACP.” He received great applause.

    Supposedly organized by Patterson’s newly formed South-Central Tea Party, most of the crowd looked decidedly Orange County rather than inner-city Los Angeles. There were about twenty black and a few Latino faces in the crowd. The South-Central Tea Party banner, inscribed with the slogan, “Power to the People,” and a video camera and speakers gave the event a professional pre-set character. The speeches attracted a couple of avid supporters of President Obama, who were passing by, stopped to have their say from the sidelines and resumed their walk down the street. A couple of television news trucks pulled up. Some noticeable old hands from the anti-immigrant universe were there.

    One of the speakers was Barbara Coe, founder of the so-called California Coalition for Immigration Reform. Well known in California because of her role in starting the Proposition 187 debacle in 1994, Coe’s membership in the Council of Conservative Citizens puts her on the white nationalist side of the anti-immigrant movement.


  39. Ametia says:

    Democratic Rep. David Wu will resign from the House of Representatives after being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a fundraiser’s daughter, his spokesman said Tuesday.
    Wu’s spokesman said Monday Wu would not seek re-election and was “considering all options” regarding the rest of his term.

    On Friday, The Oregonian newspaper reported that the daughter of a fundraiser of Wu’s accused him in May of unwanted sexual advances that allegedly occurred in November.

  40. creolechild says:

    More wildfires will transform U.S. national park: study

    Climate change is likely to cause more frequent wildfires and may transform the forests and ecosystem of the iconic Yellowstone national park in the coming decades, a US study said Monday. Dense forests dominated by narrow lodgepole pines trees are currently a dominant feature of the picturesque tourist destination which straddles Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
    But more open spaces, grasslands and forests populated by different kinds of fir trees and shrubs could characterize it in the future, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Years when no wildfires break out will become rare by 2050, and fires like the historic one in 1988 that ravaged 1,200 square miles (311,000 hectares) will become the norm by 2075.
    US university researchers made the forecasts by examining climate data from 1972 to 1999 and creating statistical patterns by combining those data with figures on the size and frequency of Rocky Mountain fires in the same period.

    The study authors then projected how climate change of up to one degree Celsius annually, combined with the snowmelt which is arriving earlier each spring, would affect fires in Yellowstone through 2099. “What surprised us about our results was the speed and scale of the projected changes in fire in Greater Yellowstone,” said professor Anthony Westerling of the University of California, Merced. “We expected fire to increase with increased temperatures, but we did not expect it to increase so much or so quickly. We were also surprised by how consistent the changes were across different climate projections.”


  41. rikyrah says:

    Waiting for the knife in his back
    by Dennis G.

    I almost feel sorry for the Orange Man.

    If you listened to his rhetoric since becoming Speaker, it was clear that he wanted to get something done. That he wanted to legislate. It was even clear that he understood compromise had to be part of the solution. At one point in the process, I even think he approached negotiation in good faith, but that is all in the past. Today, John Boehner is a lost and frightened man.

    He came to Washington as an old school big bidnizz grifter. Back in the 1990s he was passing out checks from lobbyists on the House Floor. He smokes, drinks and likes to play the game the way it was played back in the day when things were decided in smoked filled rooms. He likes to pretend he’s in charge, but he knows it isn’t true. When the wingnuts swept into Washington he became the Speaker because he was next in line, but from day one he was viewed as a squish (a wingnut term of art coined by Grover Norquist and jack Abramoff back when they ran the College Republicans in the early eighties). He was never trusted by the Teabaggers. They let hold the Speaker’s Gavel, but they kept him on a short leash.

    When Boehner moved to make a grand bargain compromise with the Democrats—and especially President Obama—his leash was yanked and yanked hard. Holding that leash in one hand is Eric Cantor and in the other, Eric holds a knife waiting for a clean shot at the Orange Man’s back.

    Over the weekend I went to a dinner in Washington. There were quite a few folks there from both Parties. And it was not a big surprise to find out that some of them were involved in negotiations about the debt ceilings and other matters. It was an topic of conversation. When I asked what was happening and what might happen, several folks mentioned that the key to understanding debt fight and John Boehner was to understand that he is fighting with Cantor for his political life.

    The Orange Speaker on the teevee tonight sounded like a broken man trying to puff himself up with tough sounding word strings. He sounded like a man desperate to appease the folks who view him as a squish and convince them that he can bring the crazy and the irrational hatred of Obama as well as any nutter. It was a plea to the radicals who have captured his Party to let him keep his job, but it is too late for that.

    If a last minute compromise is made and the debt level is raised, they will blame Boehner and stick in the knife. They may even decide to not give Boehnor’s latest effort enough votes to pass just to hasten his exit from the stage. And if their antics lead to a default, downgrade, damage to the economy and more harm to the wingnut brand, they will blame Orange John for that and stick in the knife. And if Obama invokes the 14th Amendment at the eleventh hour or finds another way to free the hostage and save the Nation—that will be another reason to stab Boehner in the back and be done with him.

    If Boehner survives this manufactured crisis, a new one will begin the moment it is resolved and fresh knives will be sharpened. Orange John walks with an expiration date and a target stamped on his back. Whatever happens, I expect that Boehner will resign to spend more time with his family in the near future.

    And then we will have Speaker Cantor and the fun can really begin.

    I almost feel sorry for Boehner, but not really. He has put his ambition and Party ahead of the Nation and when Cantor sticks in the knife with a twist to the right, Orange John will be getting just what he deserves.

    Too bad this intra-Party power struggle has to take out the global economy as collateral damage, but so it goes.

  42. creolechild says:

    Unemployed and Seeking Shelter from the Storm

    Kyle and Desiree Bates face a financial double whammy. Kyle, 39, is on long-term disability to recover from brain surgery that resulted from hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. Desiree is struggling to find a job, and the income from her small cake-baking business is not nearly enough the couple and their three children. But their $1,100 monthly mortgage bill keeps coming, along with medical expenses. With help from extended family, they have fended off foreclosure on their Fort Worth, Tex., home, and are down from four months to two months on late payments.

    Last Tuesday, they reached out for a lifeline. Their mortgage lender encouraged them to work with the Business and Community Lenders of Texas to complete an application for an interest-free loan of up to $50,000, made available though a new program, the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program or EHLP. The $1 billion program is available to distressed homeowners in 32 states and is the latest government initiative from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks. It is the first program to specifically target those who are unemployed or who have had medical emergencies.

    The high unemployment rate, which edged upward to 9.2% in June and is now at its highest level since last December, continues to deeply affect where and how millions of Americans live. To create more relief for unemployed homeowners, the Obama administration announced on Thursday that the Federal Housing Administration will require mortgage servicers to extend forbearance for another year to borrowers with FHA-insured loans. Servicers who are part of Making Home Affordable will also be required to extend the forbearance for another year for unemployed homeowners.


    See full article from DailyFinance:

  43. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 26, 2011 10:45 AM

    The drivers of our debt

    By Steve Benen

    A leading House Republican recently proclaimed recently that policymakers should be focusing on “the drivers of our debt.”

    GOP officials ought to hope that doesn’t happen. Bloomberg News has a piece today reminding folks of a point that’s too often forgotten in Washington: the biggest drivers of our debt are Republican policies.

    House Speaker John Boehner often attacks the spendthrift ways of Washington.

    “In Washington, more spending and more debt is business as usual,” the Republican leader from Ohio said in a televised address yesterday amid debate over the U.S. debt. “I’ve got news for Washington — those days are over.”

    Yet the speaker, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all voted for major drivers of the nation’s debt during the past decade: Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug benefits. They also voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, that rescued financial institutions and the auto industry.

    Together, a Bloomberg News analysis shows, these initiatives added $3.4 trillion to the nation’s accumulated debt and to its current annual budget deficit of $1.5 trillion.

    It’d be amusing if it weren’t so ridiculous. Literally the exact same people whose fiscal irresponsibility created the deficit mess are the ones whining constantly about the problem they’re responsible for. Worse, they keep blaming everyone but themselves. Worse still, they’re prepared to crash the economy on purpose unless the solution to their own fiasco meets their approval.

    This isn’t in the realm of spin or opinion. The numbers are unambiguous: Republicans took a large surplus, turned it into massive deficit. Republicans could have paid off the debt within a decade, but they instead chose to pursue an ambitious agenda without paying for it.

    And now they don’t want the nation to pay the bills.

    I suspect there’s a school of thought that says none of this matters right now. We’re a week from a catastrophe, and finding a solution is more important than assigning blame. I can appreciate why this sentiment sounds appealing.

    But it’s mistaken. Accountability and credibility matter a great deal. Policymakers must find a resolution to a pressing crisis very quickly, and those who know what they’re talking about deserve to be taken more seriously than those who don’t.

    So, when Republicans call for us to focus on “the drivers of our debt,” I’d suggest taking them up on the idea.

  44. creolechild says:

    In 200+ Days The House GOP Has Voted To Kill 1.9 Million Jobs And Created 0

    It has been 202+ days since Republicans took back control of the House and promised to create jobs. During this time they have passed legislation that killed 1.9 million jobs and created 0. Instead of creating jobs, House Democrats contend that the GOP has passed legislation that would kill 1.9 million US jobs: [Refer to chart.]

    Before you get the wrong idea, the GOP has passed legislation since they have taken control of the House. Here is a partial list of House Republican accomplishments:

    Voted to repeal health care reform on behalf of the health insurance industry;

    For big polluters, Republicans passed a bill to undermine our ability to provide a healthier environment for our children, eliminating every tool EPA has to address serious public health threats from carbon pollution, including increased childhood asthma;

    Voted to protect taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil and speculators driving up gasoline prices, and against gasoline anti-price gouging legislation for consumers;

    Voted to provide more tax cuts for millionaires, and protect tax breaks for corporations shipping jobs overseas;

    Voted to strengthen the role of special interests in our elections (by ending the Presidential Election fund that promotes small campaign donations) and against disclosure of foreign countries, companies, or individuals donating to presidential campaigns;

    Voted to cripple public radio stations, particularly in rural areas, while not saving taxpayers one dime;

    Voted to cut off key federal funding for Planned Parenthood — devastating the primary source of health care, especially preventive services like contraception, cancer screenings, breast exams, and HIV testing, for millions of women across the country; and

    Voted for an unprecedented, radical assault on women’s health care – for the first time restricting how women with private insurance can spend private dollars in purchasing health insurance.

    So far the big signature achievement of this GOP majority was the vote to kill Medicare, but they may soon top themselves if they do not vote to raise the debt ceiling and allow the US to default. The House GOP has also vote against 10 Democratically proposed job creation bills including:


    Read more:

  45. rikyrah says:

    July 26, 2011 11:20 AM

    David Brooks rediscovers his bad habits

    By Steve Benen

    It’s been quite a July for David Brooks.

    It started with a bang three weeks ago with an important column that received (and deserved) an enormous amount of attention. The New York Times columnist offered a scathing perspective on congressional Republicans’ tactics, and questioned whether GOP officials are even “fit to govern.”

    It continued last week, with Brooks, still angry at GOP madness, condemning the party for deliberately ignoring an opportunity to do something meaningful on debt reduction. The columnist was especially critical of the party’s unyielding right wing: “They believe that politics is a cataclysmic struggle. They believe that if they can remain pure in their faith then someday their party will win a total and permanent victory over its foes. They believe they are Gods of the New Dawn.”

    I’d actually started to think that Republican extremism had finally pushed Brooks away. He certainly seemed to be disgusted with the party’s radicalism.

    Alas, it was a short-lived flirtation with reality. Brooks argued today that the debt-reduction Grand Bargain he wants died, in part because “the president lost his cool.”

    [T]here has been an outbreak of sanity since Congress took control [of the search for a solution to the debt-ceiling crisis]…. This should be a humbling moment for the White House, and maybe a learning experience. There are other people who have been around Washington a long time. They know how to play this game.

    I don’t know what process Brooks is watching, but it doesn’t bear any resemblance to the real one. It’s not even the process Brooks saw as recently as last week, when he realized GOP insanity was pushing us closer to a catastrophe, before he reverted to form and decided President Obama didn’t negotiate in a way that appealed to Republicans’ sensibilities.

    I kind of liked Brooks’ new-found appreciation for reality in recent weeks. It was bound to disappear eventually, but it’s still sad to see it go so quickly.

    • Ametia says:

      David Brooks can NOT help himself. He’s White; and that makes his illusions and delusions right, no matter how CRAZY they are.

  46. As predicted, impeachment of Obama is on the table

    Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Monday that President Barack Obama “would be impeached” if the nation falls into default. … King isn’t the first Republican to suggest that Obama should be impeached over the debt crisis. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said earlier this month it would be “an impeachable offense” for Obama to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval.

    Here’s what I predicted last November, on the eve of the GOP’s midterm victory:

    One glaring difference between Democrats and Republicans, left and right, is that the former is trying to win a debate while the latter is aiming for political annihilation.The White House’s baffling message in recent days that if Republicans gain seats they’ll be more cooperative, is emblematic of that divide.

    The reality is this: impeachment, not cooperation, is on the table if the GOP takes the House. I’ve been arguing for months that the level of anger and hate on the right, stoked by millionaire radio blatherers and fueled by a well-oiled rightwing attack machine, has created a fertile atmosphere to move impeachment from the fringes to the mainstream.

    Democrats are constantly flabbergasted by Republican audacity. Republicans will say and do things that Democrats won’t; they’ll endure the initial outcry over outrageous comments to move the national discourse to the right, a process I described in a recent post:

    There is a simple formula for rightwing dominance of our national debate, even when Democrats are in charge: move the conversation as extreme right as possible, then compromise toward the far right. Negotiation 101. And it’s completely lost on Democrats. It’s no accident that in 21st century America, torture has been mainstreamed, climate denial has taken firm hold, book burning, racial dog whistles and brazen religious intolerance are part of our discourse and par for the course. This is how the right plays the game, using Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox, Drudge, blogs, chain emails, talk radio, etc. to shamelessly and defiantly drag the conversation as far right as possible. … Democrats run away from the left like it’s the plague while Republican run to the right. The net effect is that the media end up reporting far right positions as though they were mainstream and reporting liberal positions as though they were aberrations. And you wonder why America is veering off the rails?

  47. creolechild says:

    Connect the dots…

    New Court Filing Reveals How the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election Was Hacked

    A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio’s 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush.
    The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio’s vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush’s unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash.

    Additionally, the filing contains the contract signed between then-Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Connell’s company, GovTech Solutions. Also included that contract a graphic architectural map of the Secretary of State’s election night server layout system. Cliff Arnebeck, lead attorney in the King Lincoln case, exchanged emails with IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore. Arnebeck asked Spoonamore whether or not SmarTech had the capability to “input data” and thus alter the results of Ohio’s 2004 election. Spoonamore responded: “Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data but probably did not.”

    Spoonamore explained that “they [SmarTech] have full access and could change things when and if they want.” Arnebeck specifically asked “Could this be done using whatever bypass techniques Connell developed for the web hosting function.” Spoonamore replied “Yes.”
    Spoonamore concluded from the architectural maps of the Ohio 2004 election reporting system that, “SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle.”


  48. creolechild says:

    UN to start airlifting food to Somalia

    The UN World Food Programme was set on Tuesday to start airlifting food to Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya after an emergency meeting in Rome on the drought-stricken Horn of Africa region.
    An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia — around a third of the population — are on the brink of starvation and millions more in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been struck by the worst drought in the region in 60 years.

    WFP chief Josette Sheeran said her organisation would begin food airlifts to the Somali capital Mogadishu, as well as aid flights to Dolo in Ethiopia on the border with Somalia and to Wajir in northern Kenya, which has been badly hit by drought. The plight of children in Somalia is “the worst I have ever seen,” she said, after visiting Mogadishu and the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya over the weekend. “What we saw is children who are arriving so weak that many of them are in stage four malnutrition and have little chance — less than 40 percent chance — of making it,” Sheeran said.


    Officials said at Monday’s meeting the UN has received about $1 billion (696 million euros) since first launching an appeal for the region in November 2010 but needs a billion more by the end of the year to cope with the emergency. The World Bank on Monday pledged more than $500 million, with the bulk of the money set to go towards long-term projects to aid livestock farmers while $12 million would be for immediate assistance to those worst hit by the crisis. But charities voiced disappointment at the international response.


  49. creolechild says:

    Amnesty International website blocked in Saudi Arabia

    LONDON — Rights group Amnesty International said on Monday that its website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia after the group criticised a draft Saudi anti-terrorism law. “Access to Amnesty International’s website has been blocked in Saudi Arabia… following the organization’s criticism of a draft anti-terror law that would stifle peaceful protest in the kingdom,” it said in a statement. Amnesty had on Friday called on Saudi King Abdullah to make changes to the law, criticising provisions of a leaked copy of the law it said it had obtained.

    Amnesty said that under the Draft Penal Law for Terrorism Crimes and Financing Terrorism, the authorities could detain people “potentially indefinitely” without charge or trial. The legislation would also give the authorities power to imprison for at least 10 years anybody who questions the integrity of King Abdullah or Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, it said. “Instead of attacking those raising concerns and attempting to block debate, the Saudi Arabian government should amend the draft law to ensure that it does not muzzle dissent and deny basic rights,” Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East and north Africa director, said in Monday’s statement. While Saudi Arabia has not seen protests on the same scale as some other countries in the Middle East, activists have held demonstrations calling for reforms and the release of prisoners, especially in the kingdom’s east, where most of its minority Shiite population lives.


  50. creolechild says:

    Promotions Without Raises? What’s Up With That?

    When you dream about getting a promotion, you have visions of a better office, more responsibility, bigger perks, a more prestigious title, and — best of all — a substantial raise, right? Unfortunately, times have changed, and an increasing number of employers are ducking out on the latter — giving promotions without raises. According to a new OfficeTeam survey, a surprising one in five (22 percent) of responding employers revealed this practice is at least somewhat common.

    “Some companies may want to reward employees for taking on heavier workloads but aren’t able to offer immediate raises due to budget constraints,” said Robert Hoskins, executive director of OfficeTeam. “In those situations, the intent may be to provide a higher salary as soon as the firm is more financially stable.” But not always. Still, a promotion is a promotion, according to most American workers. Fifty-five percent of employees polled said that they would be willing to accept a promotion that doesn’t include a raise. “Professionals should think carefully about taking on increased responsibilities if a raise isn’t in the offing,” Hoskins added. “Before accepting a new role, workers may consider requesting a compensation review in six months or discussing other perks.”

    Some other incentives workers might be able to negotiate, aside from pay, when offered a promotion include:

    1. More vacation time. Consider asking for a few extra days or weeks off each year.

    2. Bigger bonuses. It may be possible for your company to increase the percentage of your annual bonus or give you a spot bonus.

    3. Flexible schedules. The ability to work from home or commute during off-hours may save you time and money.

    4. Professional development. Pursuing training or continuing education can increase your marketability, which could pay off in the long run.

    5. An equity stake. Perhaps you can negotiate restricted stock in the company based on your performance.

  51. Le Chele says:

    I always thought 90’s hip and hop and r&b was generally more fun and adventurous.

  52. creolechild says:

    Pressure on James Murdoch Is About to Intensify

    After his testimony in Parliament was challenged by two former senior employees and referred by a lawmaker to Scotland Yard for investigation, James Murdoch has come under rising pressure in Britain’s phone hacking scandal that is likely to intensify this week. The board of British Sky Broadcasting, the satellite broadcaster of which Mr. Murdoch is chairman, convenes on Thursday for the first time since the scandal erupted, as regulators continue their inquiry into whether the hacking scandal means the broadcaster should continue to be considered “fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting license. A day later, members of the parliamentary committee investigating the scandal are to meet to consider whether to ask for more information from Mr. Murdoch and whether to call him and former executives back in front of them to answer additional questions.

    Some former senior executives of News International who until recently held powerful positions in the News Corporation’s British subsidiary and were privy to internal deliberations have indicated that they believe Mr. Murdoch knew more about widespread phone hacking at The News of the World than he indicated in his public testimony. If they continue to challenge Mr. Murdoch’s account, it could damage his effort to protect his own reputation and that of the parent company run by his father, Rupert.

    “It now seems to be everyone for themselves,” said Paul Farrelly, a Labour member of Parliament who has been a prominent critic of News International. “The edifice is cracking; they’re all fighting like rats in a sack.”


  53. creolechild says:

    Seldom have we witnessed a more dishonest speech in prime time than that delivered by House Speaker John Boehner last night on the debt ceiling crisis. “The sad truth,” he declared, “is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.”

    The sad truth is that statement is a bald lie, applied to a president who, far from wanting a “blank check,” has endorsed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan for an unconscionable $2.7 trillion in over ten years from discretionary spending as ransom to Republican threats to blow up the economy by not raising the debt ceiling. In a speech cobbling together stale conservative talking points, Boehner claimed to be “Speaker of the whole House,” while talking for and to its lunatic right-wing fringe. In doing so, Boehner introduced Americans into the funhouse hall of distorted mirrors that is the current conservative delusion.

    The “national debt,” the Speaker tells us “has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.” With interest rates on American bonds near record lows, this is a crisis not recognized by investors across the world. So where did this debt come from? No mention of the debts racked up by the Bush administration and Republican congresses with two unfunded wars, repeated tax cuts larded to benefit the top end, and a prescription drug bill that was written by the drug company lobby. No mention of the financial wilding by Wall Street that eventually blew up the economy, causing the worst recession since the Great Depression.


  54. Ametia says:

    hat tip lisalovesobama at TOAITR

  55. Ametia says:

    Russell Simmons comes out of the shadows with some HARD TRUTH
    Republicans are shameful

  56. @breakingnewsusa:Obama Call To Action Crashes Capitol Hill Phone Lines, Websites

  57. Ametia says:


  58. Ametia says:

    Mika B.’s dad on Moaning Joke. Breaks it down
    Wealth Gap addressed

  59. Ametia says:

    The Teen Suicide Epidemic in Michele Bachmann’s District
    Two years. Nine suicides. Why critics blame the congresswoman’s anti-gay allies for contributing to a mental health crisis.
    By Stephanie Mencimer | Mon Jul. 25, 2011 3:00 AM PDT

    The first was TJ [1]. Then came Samantha [2], Aaron, Nick, and Kevin. Over the past two years, a total of nine teenagers have committed suicide in a Minnesota school district represented by Rep. Michele Bachmann—the latest in May—and many more students have attempted to take their lives. State public health officials have labeled the area a “suicide contagion are [3]a” because of the unusually high death rate.

    Some of the victims were gay, or perceived to be by their classmates, and many were reportedly bullied. And the anti-gay activists who are some of the congresswoman’s closest allies stand accused of blocking an effective response to the crisis and fostering a climate of intolerance that allowed bullying to flourish. Bachmann, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent on the tragic deaths that have roiled her district—including the high school that she attended.

    Bachmann, who began her political career as an education activist, has described gay rights as an “earthquake issue,” and she and her allies have made public schools the front lines of their fight against the “homosexual agenda.” They have opposed efforts in the state to promote tolerance for gays and lesbians in the classroom, seeing such initiatives as a way of allowing gays to recruit impressionable youths into an unhealthy and un-Christian lifestyle.

    But in 2008, when Michele Johnson and her daughter, Samantha, moved from rural North Dakota into the 38,000-student Anoka-Hennepin school district, the largest in Minnesota, they had no idea they were landing on ground zero of that culture war. Coming from a rural small town, Samantha barely knew what the word gay meant when she arrived at Fred Moore Middle School (now Anoka Middle School for the Arts [4]) as a seventh-grader. But by the fall of 2009, the 13-year-old was at the epicenter of the public school fight over gay rights.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Both Speeches Were Lame
    by BooMan
    Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 11:29:14 PM EST

    I was surprised tonight by the president’s demeanor. It wasn’t what I wanted or expected. If I were him, I’d be very pissed off with Boehner’s shenanigans that are now threatening the health of the country’s economy. But I guess I was forgetting that this wasn’t a press conference. It was a national address that interrupted people’s normal viewing habits. He was trying to talk to the classic low-information voter, not the people who spend all day watching cable news. Nevertheless, the president’s speech left me angry. I wanted an explicit veto threat and I wanted him to scold Boehner ferociously for his irresponsibility. It’s not enough to be reasonable. We need a bill for the president to sign. Boehner’s bill cannot pass in its present form, and the president already told Cantor not to try to call his bluff about vetoing it. We’re wasting precious time.
    Instead of following my brilliant advice, the president instead asked people to call their representatives in Washington, as if the Republicans give a shit about their constituents. Obama did succeed in overwhelming the congressional telephone system, so that’s something (if you want to contact your representative go here). But I don’t think his performance tonight was strong or adequate.

    Evidence for this is that John Boehner responded with a bellicose and dishonest speech that showed no sign of give whatsoever. It wasn’t a good speech, and it is now clear that Boehner did not relish “going mano-a-mano with the president of the United States”. In fact, his entire presentation was undermined when CNN reported just before Boehner went live that the credit rating agencies would downgrade the US rating if Congress settled for Boehner’s shitty plan.

    Minutes before House Speaker John Boehner delivered a prime-time address in which he framed his latest deficit-reduction deal as a silver bullet for the nation’s economic uncertainty, reports surfaced that the plan being crafted by the Ohio Republican would potentially lead to a downgrading of the United State’s AAA credit rating.
    In an address that immediately followed the president’s own, Boehner argued that if the president were to merely sign into law his latest deficit-reduction bill — which slashes more than a trillion dollars in spending before requiring a second tranche of cuts and a second vote — “the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear.”

    It was a fairly bold selling of a plan that — in terms of both the size of cuts and structural reforms — fell far short of what the Speaker had been negotiating with the White House prior to those negotiations ending this weekend. It also was delivered with an unfortunate backdrop. Just minutes before Boehner spoke, CNN’s Erin Burnett relayed word from her sources on Wall Street that the newest Republican plan would not satisfy the credit rating agencies, which have soured on the idea of a short-term solution to the debt ceiling debate. Rather, it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s approach (padded by counting the savings from the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq) that would calm their nerves.

    So, Boehner was essentially left holding his dick in his hand. But he went through the motions and tried to explain to the American people why his plan, which will kill our credit rating, would actually calm the markets and get companies investing and expanding again. Did I mention that I’ve been very angry this evening?

    As for the promise of a veto, I did find it well hidden in the president’s remarks.

    Either way, I’ve told leaders of both parties that they must come up with a fair compromise in the next few days that can pass both houses of Congress -– and a compromise that I can sign. I’m confident we can reach this compromise. Despite our disagreements, Republican leaders and I have found common ground before. And I believe that enough members of both parties will ultimately put politics aside and help us make progress.

    What he didn’t do is tell the American people plainly what he will not sign. That, really, is what made me so mad.

    But, hey, I’m calm now. I’ll probably stay calm until the next time I have to listen to some Republican ask me to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

    • Ametia says:

      The President’s speech was NOT lame; Booman. If PBO can get congressmen and women’s phones and emails to crash. ENOUGH SAID. BYE BOO!


        Numerous websites for House and Senate members experienced downtime Monday night following a speech from President Barack Obama on ongoing talks to raise the debt ceiling.
        The following websites were among those affected:
        -Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
        -House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
        -Rep. Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.)
        -Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
        -Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
        -Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.)
        -Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
        -Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
        -Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
        …. UPDATE (10:53 p.m. ET): Some of the sites above are now experiencing intermittent issues. They seem to return briefly and go back down. Some say “Server too busy,” others say “Server error,” and some do not load at all.
        UPDATE (11:10 p.m. ET): All the above sites seem to be back now except for Boehner’s, however most are loading slowly.
        UPDATE (11:17 p.m. ET): The website of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is down at this time, as is the site of Nan Hayworth (R-

      • dannie22 says:

        These folks kill me. They just know every fucking thing lol

    • Ametia says:

      Thanks for this, SG2. We need a BYE sign for Boo,Boo!

  61. Ametia says:

    A military plane crash in southern Morocco has killed 78 people, the state news agency in Morocco reports.
    The Moroccan C-130 military plane crashed in the southern part of the country, state-run Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse reported.
    The aircraft, belonging to Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces, crashed in a mountainous area near the city of Guelmim, the report said, citing local sources

  62. Ametia says:

    The Republican WreckagePublished:
    July 25, 2011

    House Republicans have lost sight of the country’s welfare. It’s hard to conclude anything else from their latest actions, including the House speaker’s dismissal of President Obama’s plea for compromise Monday night. They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America’s economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation. They have warped an exercise in paying off current debt into an argument about future spending. Yet, when they win another concession, they walk away.

    This increasingly reckless game has pushed the nation to the brink of ruinous default. The Republicans have dimmed the futures of millions of jobless Americans, whose hopes for work grow more out of reach as government job programs are cut and interest rates begin to rise. They have made the federal government a laughingstock around the globe.

    In a scathing prime-time television address Monday night, President Obama stepped off the sidelines to tell Americans the House Republicans were threatening a “deep economic crisis” that could send interest rates skyrocketing and hold up Social Security and veterans’ checks. By insisting on a single-minded approach and refusing to negotiate,

  63. Ametia says:

    Keep calling and emailing your congressman/women! The media ain’t worth a first class COLONIC.

  64. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Eveverybody! :-)

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