Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

Hello my peeps, let’s show some love and gratitude for ALL LIFE.

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170 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

  1. opulent says:

    Forgot the link:


    … just gotta ask how you gonna do a week on Smooth Jazz and not include the FIRST Smooth Jazz album to go Platinum…George Benson’s Breezin…just askin

    • creolechild says:

      Opulent~ that song brings to mind a story that I read earlier today about the White House. You might find it amusing (or not)! I thought it was pretty funny…

      Someone at the White House is keeping their sense of humor through the dismal debt-ceiling negotiations that have been dragging on. When David Wiggs — known as @wiggsd on Twitter — tweeted on Wednesday that the White House correspondence briefing wasn’t “nearly as entertaining as yesterday’s”, the White House fired back in short order, sending him the following tweet:

      “@wiggsd Sorry to hear that. Fiscal policy is important, but can be dry sometimes. Here’s something more fun: #WHChat.”

      The link, via YouTube, is the oft-mocked music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” White House staffer Brian Deese is behind the “Rickroll”, an internet meme that leads unsuspecting link recipients to the unintentionally funny 1987 video.
      The meme has been around for a few years — a 2008 SurveyUSA poll found that 18 million Americans had been Rickrolled — and could experience a resurgence after the White House nod.


      • opulent says:

        CC I was being snide with this!! hatin on another site!

      • creolechild says:

        Opulent~ like what you like! It really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. Just so you know, I had never heard that song or of Rick Astley until today, which is why I posted the article about the White House that coincided with the video you dropped.

        Now, you’ve got me curious about the other site that you were “being snide with and hatin’ on,”…especially since you confused it with this one…

    • Ametia says:


  2. opulent says:

    Likin me some Ron Astley!! He got a voice like Hall&Oates..we all remember when we thght they were black..hahahahah

  3. creolechild says:

    Keith Ellison Responds to King’s Refusal to Allow Him to Testify in His Upcoming Muslim Witch Hunt – By Heather

    Rep. Keith Ellison talked to Keith Olbermann about Rep. Peter King refusing to allow him to testify during his upcoming Homeland Security hearing, which is shaping up just to be another witch hunt, scapegoating Muslim Americans. After Ellison’s emotional testimony during the last one, it’s not all that surprising. As Dave noted in his post on the media’s terrible coverage of the terrorism in Norway: It might actually be a good idea if Peter King wants to hold hearings on domestic terrorism. But it needs to tackle the whole threat, and not just the one our xenophobic myopia readily identifies.

    The Minnesota Star Tribune gave their take on the upcoming hearings and King’s refusal to allow Ellision to testify here — Short take: Peter King vs. Keith Ellison:


    Read more:

  4. creolechild says:

    Clinton vows to fight Republican aid cuts

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned Congress that she will fight to block a Republican push to restrict aid for Israel’s Arab neighbors and Pakistan and cut off climate change funds. An Egyptian protester waves his national flag in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square to demand political change as anger grows over the slow pace of reform in the north African country. Two panels in the Republican-led House of Representatives have approved billions of dollars in cuts in foreign affairs spending and imposed a range of new restrictions concerning issues from the Middle East to abortion.

    Clinton voiced “profound concern” about a bill approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She told its chair, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, that she would ask President Barack Obama to veto the measure if it came to his desk. The restrictions in the bill “would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy, and to use foreign assistance strategically to that end,” Clinton wrote Ros-Lehtinen in a letter Tuesday. “Should this bill be presented to the president, I will recommend personally that he veto the bill.”


  5. creolechild says:

    Oh, here we go. I knew it was too good to be true! Let the whining and complaining begin…10…9…8…7…

    Angry House Dems: Obama Is Freezing Us Out of Debt Talks


    Largely missing from the closed-door negotiations and deal-trading in Washington’s acrimonious debt ceiling battle are Congress’ progressive stalwarts, the left-of-center lawmakers who fight for middle- and low-income individuals and families. That includes the House Progressive Caucus and a few dozen members of the Senate. The debt ceiling debate has left many of these lawmakers outraged at the White House for keeping them at arm’s length and out of loop. And make no mistake: After being frozen out of the process, their “yes” votes for a final compromise deal are no guarantee. “If the White House is assuming we will just go along,” says Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the co-chair of the progressive caucus, “they are mistaken.”

    So constricted is the flow of information on the talks that Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) tells Mother Jones his debt ceiling news was coming “mostly from the pages of the Washington Post.” Similarly, Grijalva says of the debt fight, “When we hear things…it’s what we read and hear in the news.” Take the issue of cuts to the entitlement programs Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. For months Grijalva and other Democrats have battled to block any attempt to whittle away at entitlements as part of a deficit deal. Yet Obama’s last offer to the GOP included as much as $650 billion in entitlement cuts. This, Grijalva says, illustrates the disconnect between progressives and the White House in the debt fight. “Those [entitlement cuts] are all things that we would’ve told the White House we can’t support,” he says. “But that discussion is something we haven’t been able to do.”

    The frustration among Democrats at the of communication from the White House boiled over in a meeting between Senate Democrats and White House budget director Jack Lew last week, when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) lit into Lew for the administration’s failure to consult congressional Democrats on a potential agreement to slash the deficit. Feinstein admitted she lost her cool in the meeting, but told MSNBC that she’d never seen fellow Democratic members so flummoxed. “I like to know what I’m doing, and I can’t get any information and it’s very frustrating,” she said.


    • opulent says:

      That’s cuz they are leakers!!

      Obama underSTANDS they don’t contribute TO the msg. He makes sure there are only a few who can speak with FActs!!

      Glad he does that!

      Keep being flummoxed had you been on board you would have been at the mtg!!

  6. rikyrah says:

    Judge: Sherrod Defamation Suit Against Breitbart Can Proceed

    Federal Judge Richard Leon has tossed out two motions to dismiss former USDA official Shirley Sherrod’s defamation suit against Andrew Breitbart, Zoe Tillman reports for Legal Times.

    Leon denied Breitbart’s initial motion to dismiss as well as a special motion to dismiss under Washington’s new statute barring strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs. Leon did not publish a written opinion along with his orders.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi: GOP Goal Is ‘Unraveling’ Of Middle Class
    Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of failing to negotiate in good faith on Thursday, telling reporters that the GOP used debt negotiations as a Trojan Horse to attack the middle class.

    “I believe that the reason that the agreement wasn’t reached is because of the two different reasons to come to the table,” Pelosi said at a press conference at the Capitol. While she said that Democrats legitimately wanted to reduce the deficit, “the real reason they didn’t connect is because Republicans all along have used deficit reduction as an excuse for the unraveling of progress made for the middle class over the past fifty years.”

    She added: “this isn’t about reducing the deficit, we can come to an agreement on that. But we cannot come to agreement on that hardship that they want to place on the middle class by reducing what government does.”

    One reporter noted, however, that the Democrats’ proposal in the Senate was in many ways similar to the bill put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) which Pelosi said was “destructive of the middle class and the aspirations of those who strive to make America great.”

    Pelosi responded that while neither plan raised revenue and that Reid’s cuts were largely in line with past Republican proposals, “the cuts are more drastic” under Boehner’s legislation. She also said that Boehner’s proposal, by requiring a second debt ceiling fight in six months, would do little to end fears that the US could reach a self-imposed default.

    “The idea of short term or a long term is not about a calendar,” she said. “It’s about holding up the process by saying we’re going to wait six months and then we’re going to do it all over again, and, by the way, in order to get this done in six months we’re going to start today. So it’s just an unending hardship for the American people, the uncertainty that they have.”

    Pelosi declined to predict whether any Democrats would defect and vote for Boehner’s proposal, but said that she was “very confident” they won’t provide the margin of victory if Boehner can’t secure a majority on his own.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Flip Flops On Gay Marriage, Backs Federal Ban
    So much for states’ rights.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), one of the country’s most prominent defenders of the 10th Amendment, is making an exception when it comes to gay marriage. After initially telling reporters that it’s “fine with me” if states like New York legalize same-sex unions through their own legislature, Perry is pulling a 180 and calling for a Federal Marriage Amendment.

    Perry, who is flirting with a presidential bid, clarified his position to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview.

    “I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue,” he said. “Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed.”

    Perry said he supported changing the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage, a position that he characterized as supportive of states’ rights even as it would overrule New York’s own decision on the matter.

    “The real fear is states like New York will change the definition of marriage for Texas,” he said. “That is the reason the Federal Marriage Amendment is being offered. It’s a small group of activists judges and really a small handful, if you will, of states and these liberal special interest groups that are intent on a redefinition, if you will, of marriage on the nation for all of us, which I adamantly oppose. Indeed, to not pass the Federal Marriage Amendment would impinge on Texas’ and other states’ right not to have marriage forced upon them by these activist judges and these special interest groups.”

    His latest statement represents a major about-face and may be a preview of how he might court social conservatives should he run for president. At a fundraiser in Colorado last week, Perry was extremely clear in his support for New York’s right to determine their own definition of marriage.

    “Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” he said at the time. “That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”

  9. creolechild says:

    If the Republicans thought the Democratic Party would cave, here’s their answer!

    Reid: Senate Dems Will Defeat Boehner Plan Tonight
    Brian Beutler

    If the House of Representatives passes Speaker John Boehner’s debt limit bill on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’ll take up the legislation right away and, using procedural tools at his disposal, defeat it immediately.

    “Today the House of Representatives will vote on Speaker Boehner’s short-term plan to raise the debt ceiling,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “As soon as the House completes its vote tonight, the Senate will move to take up that bill. It will be defeated. No Democrat will vote for a short-term Band-Aid that would put our economy at risk and put the nation back in this untenable situation a few short months from now.”

    Often scheduling a vote in the Senate requires more than a two day wait. But to expedite the process, and to prove as swiftly as possible that Boehner’s plan is DOA in the Senate, Reid will move to table the bill. All Democrats will vote to table the legislation, Reid has said, and then it’s on to the next step.


  10. rikyrah says:

    breaking news —-Piers Morgan suspended from CNN.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 28, 2011 2:00 PM

    Senate to quickly dispatch Boehner bill tonight

    By Steve Benen
    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will bring his budget proposal to the floor later today, but not until after 5 p.m. eastern. The Republican Speaker doesn’t want the outcome to rattle Wall Street, and he needs all the time he can get to lock up every last vote within in his own caucus.

    As of this afternoon, the margin will be extremely close, and a vote or two in either direction could dictate the outcome.

    The problem, of course, is that all of this drama is for naught. Even if Boehner’s bill passes the House, it will go to the Senate where a clear majority is eager to kill it. In fact, they’re so eager to dispatch the right-wing plan, the Senate intends to do so with unusual speed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) made this announcement today:

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Reid explained, “As soon as the House completes its vote tonight or this afternoon, the Senate will move to take up [the Boehner bill]. It will be defeated. They know that, and the American people should understand that clearly. No Democrat will vote for a short-term Band-Aid that would put our economy at risk and put the nation back in this untenable situation we are in today a few short months from now.”

    Reid added that economists believe a short-term extension carries some of the same risks as a technical default.

    How can the slow-moving Senate move so quickly, killing a bill within hours of it passing the House? Brian Beutler explained, “[T]o expedite the process, and to prove as swiftly as possible that Boehner’s plan is DOA in the Senate, Reid will move to table the bill. All Democrats will vote to table the legislation, Reid has said, and then it’s on to the next step. “

    Suzy Khimm added, “The advantage of tabling is that it’s faster…. The disadvantage of tabling is that Republicans will insist that Boehner’s proposal had a chance in the Senate, and that Reid was simply afraid that it would pass.”

    The latter isn’t a concern — 58 senators, including every Democrat in the majority caucus, are already on record against the Boehner plan.

    This clarity should also remind House Republicans that they’re sticking their necks out, voting for a right-wing plan that will fail later tonight, even if it passes the House.

    Boehner seems to believe Dems are somehow bluffing, and that his plan has a real shot in the upper chamber. I hate to disappoint him, but Democrats are lousy poker players. They’re not kidding. If the Speaker’s measure passes the House, it will meet a swift end very soon after.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Logic for Teabaggers
    by BooMan
    Thu Jul 28th, 2011 at 11:34:33 AM EST

    Speaker Boehner has scheduled a vote on his debt ceiling bill for 5:45 PM, well after the stock exchange closes for the day. If no Democrats vote for the bill, he can only afford to lose 23 members of his own caucus. There are currently 22 members openly pledged to oppose the plan, with a couple dozen more saying they’re still undecided. Seems like heavy lifting to me, especially because Boehner and his leadership team have sworn off the kind of strong-arm tactics used by Denny Hastert and Tom DeLay.
    And, really, it’s very hard to see the upside for voting for this bill if you are a teabagger. Yes, an ‘aye’ vote is a vote of confidence in the Speaker, but why would a teabagger want to show confidence in John Boehner? His record is one of unremitting support for running up the deficit. He has no credibility on the most important issue to the Tea Party. I have no idea why they consented to let Boehner be the Speaker in the first place. The Reid bill isn’t all that different, so it seems to me to make sense to vote against all plans and let the RINOs and the Democrats take responsibility for passing the Reid plan.

    If this destroys Boehner’s political career, all the better, as he will be replaced by someone who didn’t vote for Medicare Part D, a half dozen unfunded supplemental war appropriations, and TARP.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 28, 2011 12:35 PM

    Joe Walsh and the virtues of fiscal responsibility

    By Steve Benen
    Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), an ignominious right-wing freshman, loves to talk about the importance of fiscal responsibility and meeting one’s financial obligations. He’s equally fond of incorporating his own family into his talking points, saying things like, “I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!”

    With this in mind, it’s worth noting that Walsh, already something of a laughingstock, is still capable of looking even worse.

    Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

    After a series of missteps and bad decisions, Walsh reportedly struggled with financial problems, which in turn led to a nine-year child support battle with his ex-wife. Walsh’s argument was that his inability to hold steady employment made it impossible for him to make child-support payments.

    This caused some trouble, however, when Walsh loaned his 2010 campaign $35,000 of his own money, and took foreign vacations with his girlfriend, which suggested he wasn’t quite as broke as he’d led his children and ex-wife to believe.

    Walsh’s attorney conceded that the congressman owes unpaid child support, but added Walsh has “had no more problems with child support than any other average guy.”

    I have no idea what this means. The “average guy” talks about looking out for his children’s financial well being while simultaneously refusing to pay child support?

    On CNN this morning, Walsh acknowledged his “financial troubles” and argued, “This is where real America is.”

    Real America is made up of deadbeat dads? I shudder to think of what happens in Fake America.

    Alex Pareene added, “You know how bad pundits and annoying politicians like to pretend the Federal government is like a household when they talk about how we need to balance our books? If we take that flawed analogy seriously, it does not really make a lot of sense to trust the budget to someone Joe Walsh, a private sector failure who is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, whose condo was foreclosed on, and who is unable to make his child support payments. On a six-figure salary!”

  14. rikyrah says:

    July 28, 2011 1:10 PM

    When the pressure’s on, Romney shrinks

    There’s a fairly intense debate underway within Republican circles on the merit of House Speaker John Boehner’s (R) budget proposal, to be voted on this afternoon. All of the major players and institutions are weighing in, and there are some real powerhouses on both sides of the intra-party divide.

    And then there’s Mitt Romney, who doesn’t want to talk about it.

    Republican presidential candidates are, not surprisingly, routinely asked to weigh in on the major stories of the day. It’s not just campaign reporters — activists and voters want to know how would-be presidents feel about pressing national developments.

    Initially, the GOP field was reluctant to weigh in, and that hardly came as a surprise. Picking a side meant alienating a significant chunk of the party base. By yesterday, however, many Republican candidates started falling off the fence, with Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann announcing their opposition to Boehner’s plan, and Jon Huntsman announcing his support.

    And yet, the frontrunner is apparently too afraid to pick a side.

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) finds himself facing greater scrutiny for not having staked out a position on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt-ceiling plan, hours ahead of a planned vote on that proposal in the House.

    Romney’s assiduously avoided commenting directly on the proposal put forth by the Speaker, all while an increasing number of his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination have made their positions clear.

    The campaign’s putative frontrunner has said he “applauds” Boehner for his efforts to craft a plan to rein in spending. But that doesn’t mean he supports it, per se.

    Voters looking for leadership can turn to Mitt Romney — who will tell them to keep looking elsewhere.

    Ben Smith noted Romney’s reluctance to pick a side “doesn’t exactly project strength.”

    No, it doesn’t. Like flip-flopping on practically every issue, every time the winds change direction, it projects a degree of cowardice.

    NBC’s “First Read” added some worthwhile questions: “How does someone who wants to be the leader of the Republican Party not have a position on one of the biggest issues facing Washington, especially after the dueling primetime speeches by Obama and Boehner? It’s actually quite surprising; this isn’t just another Washington fight. Is the lack of a position proof of how fragile Team Romney believes its front-runner status is right now?”

    Romney was never likely to be nominated for a Profile in Courage award, but this is just pathetic. Does Romney not realize part of being president is making tough decisions and taking firm stands, even if some people will disapprove?

  15. Tell MSNBC: Fire Pat Buchanan!

    This week Pat Buchanan wrote, astonishingly, that Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik “may be right” in his perceptionof a Crusades-like conflict between Christians and Muslims.1

    So why is MSNBC paying Buchanan to broadcast his extreme views on air?

    Buchanan should be able to say just about anything he wants. But MSNBC — a network that is now working to positionitself as the progressive alternative to FOX News and CNN — doesn’t have to give him a platform.

    Tell MSNBC: Fire Pat Buchanan! Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    MSNBC President Phil Griffin considers the network “the place to go for progressives.”2

    But promoting bigotry and racism is anything but progressive. Buchanan’s laundry list of unabashed white-supremacy includesdownplaying slavery,3 writing a book in which he advocated shutting down our borders to maintain white dominanceand espoused the genetic superiority of whites,4 complaining that confirming Elena Kagan would put too many Jewson the Supreme Court,5 and even defending Hitler. Repeatedly.6

    Now, Buchanan is validating Breivik’s radical, anti-Muslim ideology — the ideology Breivik wrote about extensivelyin his 1,500 page manifesto, citing numerous prominent American right-wing voices of Islamophobia,7 especiallyregarding the Park51 Islamic Community Center. Buchanan himself likened the center to the Nazi’s trying to march in Skokie,Illinois 3 decades ago.8

    Whatever MSNBC’s new slogan Lean Forward might mean to them, it’s the exact opposite direction of the rhetoric thatBuchanan stands for. If the network wants to maintain any credibility, it’s time to leave Buchanan behind.

    Tell MSNBC: Fire Pat Buchanan! Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    Thank you for fighting hate.

    Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

  16. News Of The World Hacked Into Another Murdered Girl’s Family Phone

    The News of the World hacked into the phone of Sara Payne, the mother of Sarah Payne, an abducted and murdered 8-year-old girl, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

    It was the hacking of 13-year-old Milly Dowler’s phone that turned the long-simmering phone hacking scandal into a full-blown crisis for the News of the World, Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. Yet the news of Payne’s hacking is, in some ways, even more shocking, because it was her daughter’s murder by a pedophile in 2000 that led News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks to launch a crusade for a sex offender’s law in Britain known as “Sarah’s Law.” Brooks repeatedly mentioned the campaign in her testimony to Parliament, calling it an example of the good that the News of the World had done.

    Payne grew so close to the paper, and to Brooks, that she wrote a column for its final issue, paying tribute to its campaign.

    “The NOTW team supported me through some of the darkest, most difficult times of my life and became my trusted friends,” she wrote. “One example of their support was to give me a phone to help me stay in touch with my family, friends and support network, which turned out to be an absolute lifeline.”

    According to the Guardian, it is that phone—personally given to Payne by Brooks—which may have been hacked. The disclosure raises, yet again, the question about what Brooks knew or did not know about the extent of phone hacking. Though she has claimed to have been in the dark about the extent of criminal activity at her newspaper, Brooks has already resigned as head of News International and is under a criminal investigation.

    Scotland Yard reportedly found materials referring to Payne in the notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was jailed for phone hacking in 2007

  17. creolechild says:

    Time for some music. Here’s an example of ‘vocal excellence’ featuring the legendary Temptations!

    • creolechild says:

      Easy up! This is for the men out there who are handling their business, taking care of their families, and trying to remain positive while holding it down. We may not always show it or tell you what that means to us–but believe me it’s definitely appreciate! We realize that ain’t easy…That said, carry on! Here is Heather Headley, singing HE IS!

      • creolechild says:

        Here’s guitarist, Norman Brown, playing That’s The Way It Goes…

      • creolechild says:

        I agree with you, Metia. Norman Brown’s’ super talented unfortunately he’s often mistaken for George Benson.

        Here’s Frankie Beverly and Maze with Happy Feelings. Thank you to formomproductions for the Lightrhythm Visuals and for uploading this!

      • creolechild says:

        LOL! One of my sisters used to play this over and over and ..until it “mysteriously” disappeared… Here’s Keith Sweat, singing How Deep Is Your Love.

      • opulent says:

        Lovin me some Norman!! Thank YOU CC!!

      • opulent says:

        Hey CC at least you had Keith Sweat to ‘mysteriously” disappear!!

        Grrrl my roomie had Rod Stewart..Maggie MAY!!

        To this day I am awesome at Karoke for that song!!


    • opulent says:

      OMG!! CC! this is one of my most favorite songs!!

      Love you for being so attuned!!

    • opulent says:

      oops given where my comment shows up? I was speakin of the Temptations!

  18. Van Jones68: Live at the US Capitol right now. Holding a big rally to resolve this default crisis w/o cuts to SS/Medicare/Medicaid

  19. Ametia says:

    Nancy Pelosi is hammering the GOP on NO JOBS in their defict bill. no JOBS since they gained the HOUSE MAJORITY.

  20. creolechild says:

    This is a re-post from yesterday which some people may have missed. It was blended in with a video of a young black male who went to the WI DMV to get his voter ID. He had to jump through all kinds of hoops including showing his bank statement(?). Fortunately, his mother was with him and she recorded the incident and questioned the staff about their tactics and not letting people know the ID was free. (If you didn’t specify that the ID is specifically for voting they would charged you $28!)

    After Signing Law Disenfranchising ID-less Voters, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Closes 10 DMV Offices – By Ian Millhiser

    Earlier this year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became one of the many GOP governors to sign a law disenfranchising voters who do not have a photo ID — a law that disproportionately affects elderly voters, young voters, students, minorities and low-income voters. Having disenfranchised tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters, Walker is now making it harder for many of these voters to obtain the ID they need to regain their right to participate in the next election:

    Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is working on finalizing a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver’s licenses in order to expand hours elsewhere and come into compliance with new requirements that voters show photo IDs at the polls.

    One Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts. […] Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Fort Atkinson, called on the state Department of Transportation to reconsider its plants to close the Fort Atkinson DMV center. The department plans to expand by four hours a week the hours of a center about 30 minutes away in Watertown. […] “What the heck is going on here?” Jorgensen said. “Is politics at play here?”

    . ~snip~

    • opulent says:

      I still cannot figure out that bank statement piece…especially the ‘no activity’

      Since when do you reveal such private financial information to a state licensing agency that is non-financial? That is a huge security risk.

      I hope that this is something that Holder jumps on because it is appalling!

    • rikyrah says:


  21. Thw Washington Post:

    NJ Gov. Chris Christie taken to hospital for tests after having difficulty breathing

  22. rikyrah says:

    July 28, 2011
    The impossible dream: reasoning with a Tea Partier
    In today’s Washington Post, Judson Phillips, the Tea Party Nation’s founder, stakes out his organization’s historic commitment to ineffable ignorance:

    We do not have a debt crisis. We have a spending crisis. There is only one way you get to a debt crisis — you spend too much money.

    Let us review with haste: No debt crisis here, just a spending crisis; however we to got to this debt crisis — the one he just declared nonexistent — by spending too much money.

    But let’s review in another way, shall we? Let’s say you, Mr. Phillips, have $100, and you spend that $100, perhaps imprudently, even recklessly. Do you have a debt crisis? No, of course not. You’re just broke.

    The crisis, Mr. Phillips, comes when you borrow $100 for a tax cut, and borrow another $100 for another tax cut, and then borrow another $100 for a new entitlement program, and then borrow another $100 for a war, and then borrow yet another $100 for yet another war.

    And then you skip town, you retire, let’s say, to Texas, on a government pension, and you leave your entire, misbegotten indebtedness to your unfortunate successor.

    In a way, Mr. Phillips, you’re quite correct. You don’t have a debt crisis. He does.

    You see, Mr. Phillips, we can quibble from now till next week’s apocalypse about the wisdom of all your spending; we can argue and differ and do both rather violently about the fiscal smarts or ideological stupidity behind all of it; we can both haul out charts and graphs and think-tank propaganda to defend our respective positions — but after all of that, one thing and only one thing will still be standing with a magnificent terribleness: We still owe all that money you borrowed.

    This isn’t like your world, Mr. Phillips, which is to say, it’s not make-believe. These are real debts that we really owe. And beginning next month, unless we borrow more, we simply cannot repay them all. And that’s called default, defined by Webster’s as “a failure to pay financial debts.”

    Catch that, Mr. Phillips? Webster casts no moral or partisan or ideological judgment here; he doesn’t on p. 300 of his tome point a finger at us and add: “because you spent too much money.”

    • opulent says:

      The problem is that the Tea Partiers do believe in default. They thing that default is better when you overspend than paying your payings!

      someone needs to start looking at all these folks personal finances and seeing how much they defaulted in their privated lives.

      Joe Walsh, the infamous ‘mr. president you lie’ video has been shown to not only be $100K behind deadbeat dad for child support BUT also foreclosed on property.

      So, these folks just believe they should take nation into default just like they have defaulted in their personal lives.

      That is what is going on here. White males who get away with being fiscally irresponsible get to land on their feet and start over, unlike black folks…so bottomline they do not carry. They want the entire nation to wallow in the financial pitts they have had to endure cause they have faith the nation will rebound just as they have.

      IOW’s their motto is I’ve done it, you can too, we will survive.

      Friggin assholes..

  23. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 28, 2011 10:45 AM

    Would Democrats ever pull the same stunt?

    By Steve Benen
    Last week, after renewed talk that the debt-ceiling law itself needs to be eliminated, I suggested a way to make the argument appealing to Republicans. It’s a straightforward pitch: there may come a point in the near future when a Republican president has to govern alongside a Democratic Congress (a divide last seen just three years ago). Do Republicans want those Dems to have leverage over the GOP White House, threatening to crash the economy unless progressive demands are met?

    Fred Bauer imagined just such a scenario the other day, envisioning an emboldened Speaker Pelosi confronting a Republican president in August 2015 with demands for tax increases. “And what could Republicans say to this?” Bauer wrote.

    How realistic is this? I’m afraid Jon Chait’s take on this is probably the right one.

    I could imagine a Democratic Party holding the debt ceiling hostage, but not this Democratic party. It would have to be a far more left-wing party, in which activists have gained greater control and which has largely severed itself from any business influence.

    The current democratic party lacks anything like the will to power to threaten economic catastrophe in order to force a government mostly controlled by elected members of the opposition to accept its contested policy agenda. And it would require a substantial coterie susceptible to the argument of the default denialists — a natural fit for the party of supply-siders and climate change deniers, but not a good fit for the moderate coalition that forms the current Democratic party.

    As hostage strategies go, the current crop of congressional Republicans are pulling an unprecedented stunt, which only works because most sincerely believe they really are dangerously crazy. It’s critical to making the strategy work — those holding the hostage have to convince everyone that they’re ready to follow through on their threat.

    In this case, that means a fairly radical assumption — Democrats have to be convinced that the congressional GOP is willing to hurt the nation, ignore their constitutional obligations, and undermine our credibility, stability, and global reputation. In other words, Republicans have to tell the political world they love a right-wing agenda more than they love the country, and convince everyone they mean it.

    Democrats, in this case, are persuaded. It’s why the debt-ceiling negotiations have occurred, and why Dems have been willing to concede so much — Democrats genuinely believe Republicans are as radical and dangerous as they appear to be.

    But what would happen if/when a Democratic Congress started making comparable threats to a Republican president? Probably nothing. It’s a question of credibility — GOP leaders and everyone else knows that Democrats aren’t crazy; they’re not irresponsible; and they’re not indifferent to the nation’s needs and future.

    They wouldn’t, in other words, be perceived as folks who would shoot the hostage. Republicans play this game far more effectively because they satisfied the political world’s skepticism — few question the notion that they’re stark raving mad.

  24. Ametia says:

    Come on folks let’s get down with some LTD!

  25. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:02 PM ET, 07/27/2011
    Ten things that happen if the Boehner bill gets through
    By Jennifer Rubin
    We know what happens if the Boehner bill fails in the House. There is no alternative plan. We suffer whatever shock to the U.S. and world economies that will follow a default. The president will go to the country, claiming the Republicans endangered the country’s economy and global standing. But what happens if the House passes the Boehner bill?

    1. The Boehner bill becomes the inevitable solution to the crisis. As Keith Hennessey explains, we also make progress in restoring fiscal sanity:

    •As initially drafted, CBO projected the plan would cut spending by $850 B over the next decade. That is less than was anticipated, so the Speaker is retooling the bill to meet his dollar-of-spending-cuts-for-dollar-of-debt-increase principle. . . .
    •These savings come from discretionary spending cuts and a bit from student loans.
    •It would create statutory caps on discretionary spending and a sequester to enforce those caps.
    •The Secretary of the Treasury would be authorized to increase the debt limit by $900 billion upon enactment.
    •It would create a new Joint Select Committee of 12 members of the House and Senate, with three each appointed by Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell. The committee’s goal is to reduce the deficit by $1.8 T over the next decade. . . .
    •IF seven members of that committee recommend legislation by November 23rd of this year, then that legislation enjoys an expedited “fast track” legislative process in the House and Senate, with votes in both bodies required by December 23rd of this year.
    •If that fast track legislation resulting from the new committee is enacted into law and it reduces the deficit by more than $1.6T, the Secretary of the Treasury can raise the debt limit by another $1.6 T.
    •The House and Senate would be required to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment in the fourth quarter of this year . . . .
    2. The House would have done its job without violating the core promises the speaker made: more spending cuts than dollars increased in the debt ceiling. And no tax hikes.

    3. President Obama, after decrying the plan, will almost certainly have to sign it. This in no sense will be looked upon as a victory by Democrats. To the contrary, by ignoring the president’s veto threat, the House will have shown that its views (and those of its Tea Party freshmen) can’t be ignored by the White House.

    4. Congress will rebuff Obama and Reid’s efforts to slash more than $800 billion in defense spending. It is for this reason that former ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton has endorsed the plan.

    5. The rap on the Tea Party that it is incapable of governing will be proven false.

    6. The rap that the Republicans are divided between the Tea Party and everyone else will be disproven as well.

    7. The most shrill voices in the GOP will take one on the chin, and thereby reveal that the gap is actually between a few loud voices in the blogosphere and Congress, on one hand, and the bulk of the conservative movement, on the other. The Tea Party, however, will show it can move opinion and govern.

    8. Obama won’t have any excuse for the rotten economy.

    9. The left will be demoralized. The left demanded a clean debt bill, railed against spending cuts, and pleaded for tax hikes. They will have failed, and Obama, by signing the Boehner bill, will be the object of their ire.

    10. The Senate Democrats, who failed to do their job in passing budgets in two successive years, will be forced to take a tough vote, which will either displease their base or, for certain senators, critical red state voters.

    At some level you wonder why this is even controversial in Republican ranks. Perhaps with time for consideration the vast majority of the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will realize this is not just the only game in town but a very decent one.

    • creolechild says:

      Just curious but is this the same Jennifer Rubin who was so quick to blame the Norway bombing on Muslims? If so, why would anyone be interested in what the f***k she has to say about given her history of race baiting….especially since she didn’t bother to correct her story AFTER THE FACTS WERE OUT. And if she did eventually do so she took her own sweet time about it…

  26. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 28, 2011 10:05 AM

    Romney inadvertently backs Obama’s agenda

    By Steve Benen
    Given that Mitt Romney is the apparent frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, it’s often surprising how awful his campaign really is.

    The former Massachusetts governor was in central Ohio, visiting a rock-crushing-equipment factory called Screen Machine Industries. As Romney argued, the business would be thriving if it weren’t for that rascally President Obama and his liberal agenda.


    [I]t’s been the government — and Obama’s policies in particular — that has helped propel Screen Machine’s growth at its sprawling new headquarters here, even during the recession. The company, which builds heavy-duty crushing and screening machines used in construction, mining and recycling, received four stimulus awards totaling $218,607. It is also benefiting from a 10-year deal with local and state governments to not pay taxes on its property, equipment or inventory, according to public records.

    And Screen Machine, which is expanding its global sales, recently won a federal contract to deliver its machines to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

    I see. So, Romney would have us believe the federal government is holding Screen Machine Industries back and preventing it from growing. In reality, the federal government in general, and the president’s agenda in particular, is boosting Screen Machine Industries and helping it thrive.

    And that’s just under Obama. This same company received government aid — from federal, state, and municipal agencies — seven years ago to help expand its Ohio headquarters.

    Remember, Mitt Romney considers Screen Machine Industries an example of government intervention hurting the private sector.

    What’s more, this keeps coming up. Romney recently visited a closed-down facility in Pennsylvania, and inadvertently made the case in support of Obama’s agenda. Soon after, he traveled to a dilapidated California shopping center, without realizing the project failed before Obama took office, and was actually shut down by a major Romney donor.

    Has Romney not hired a research staff? How about an advance team? The former governor can take some solace in the fact that the political world’s focus is on Capitol Hill right now, not on the GOP presidential candidates, or his campaign’s striking incompetence might be a much bigger problem.

  27. AlterNet: White Families Have 20X the Wealth of Black Families:How Racism’s Legacy Created a Crushing Depression In Black America

    • opulent says:

      You know I really have mixed feelings about how this date is being used. Despite all the validity and truth of the stats it is racially polarizing.

      Racial polarizing that once again puts a black face on welfare and government ‘handouts’ that is what I detest about this data.

      The right is going to use this to drive white folks to the polls to vote against government programs for the poor as they will have successfully painted a picture of the majority of the poor, once again, being black.

      secondly, it will also be used by ‘progressives’ to show that POTUS does not care about blacks and that since he went into the office, blacks are worse off economically. This of course is intended to drive away the powerful base of black voters.

      What I would like to see instead of this racial disparity economics is the economics of the nation as a whole, which is the truth they are NOT broadcasting as it does not suit the corporate masters to do so.

      What needs to be shown is that eighty percent of Americans are fighting for 15 percent of the wealth in this nation, as 20 percent at the top control 85 percent of this nations wealth. They need to show income disparity like that. White folks need to see they are not gaining but losing as a middle class and that wealth has indeed been concentrated in the hands of the few…and this has NOTHING to DO with RACE and everything to do with the haves vs the havenots…rich vs poor, corporate vs citizens.

      That is the great hoax…if I never ever see income disparity BASED on RACE again it will all be too soon.

      Someone needs to call this in to RevAl…he needs to juxtapose this and keeep hammering home the point that it is not just blacks who have loss ground economically but the entire White middle class has as well.

      That is where the political gold is in terms of votes!!

  28. creolechild says:

    ThinkProgress Vote Count: 23 House Republicans Publicly Oppose Boehner Plan

    Tonight at around 6 p.m., the House of Representatives will vote on the Boehner plan, which would create another debt ceiling crisis in less than six months and likely lead to a downgrade in U.S. credit. Boehner needs 217 votes to pass the plan. Without Democratic support, Boehner can only afford to have 23 Republicans vote against the bill. The conventional wisdom in the media and in political circles is that Boehner will find the votes to pass the bill. Usually, legislative leaders are able to twist enough arms to get key priorities passed.

    But a careful review of public statements by House Republicans to the media and phone calls to congressional offices by ThinkProgress reveals that 23 House Republicans have already expressed opposition to the Boehner plan. Here’s the list: [Refer to article.]

    Additonally, according to the Hill, two additional members — Michael Turner (R-OH) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) — are leaning no. Thus far, no House Democrats have publicly supported the Boehner plan. This morning, Boehner acknowledged, “We do not have the votes yet.” Unless Boehner is able to switch the stated positions of numerous Republicans or attract substantial Democratic support, it’s likely to be a very close vote.

  29. @Donna Brazile: Can you imagine calling everyone in Washington, D.C. today and urging them to “Get Your Ass in Line?” Calling my Congresswoman. What abt u?


  30. Soldier arrested for possible attack on Fort Hood Texas

  31. creolechild says:

    Hmmm…this is…interesting?!! I wonder what’s REALLY going on here.

    Chinese Regime Has “No Oil Debts” to Iran

    The Iranian Economic Minister announced on Tuesday that the Chinese regime has no outstanding oil debts to Iran. Many speculate that a debt has built up after U.S. sanctions have made it almost impossible for Iran to accept payment in U.S. dollars. The Chinese regime is Iran’s biggest oil customer and uses dollars to pay for the oil it buys. According to the Financial Times, these sanctions have blocked Chinese authorities from paying $20 billion dollars to Iran. Yet Iranian officials say there is no debt….

    The two countries have had talks about using a barter system to trade, where Iran exchanges its oil for Chinese goods and services. But Iranian officials are vague about the exact details of their trade with the Chinese regime. Ramin Mehmanparast, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson:
    “As we have announced in the past—regarding our cooperation in the field of oil with other countries—we view the cooperation in the field of oil within the frameworks of a commercial transaction, and as an economic cooperation, for which our banking and economic officials will seek council. We don’t have any problems with China regarding the sales of our oil.”

    Iran has threatened to cut off oil exports to India, which owes about $5 billion dollars. India exports very little to Iran, whereas the Chinese regime is a dominant force in the Iranian market and has recently been expanding into the country’s oil sector.

  32. creolechild says:

    Free After 12 Years of Persecution in China

    For the past 12 years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been trying to eradicate a traditional Chinese spiritual practice called Falun Gong. The practice rose to popularity during the 1990s. At its peak, more than 70 million people were practicing in mainland China, according to a government survey. In 1999, the leader of the CCP at the time, Jiang Zemin, ordered a crackdown on Falun Gong. Since then, authorities have subjected Falun Gong practitioners to imprisonment, brainwashing and torture. More than three thousand have been killed. Bao Caixia is one of the lucky ones. She made it out of China, but only after years of persecution by the Chinese regime.

    [Bao Caixia, Falun Gong Practitioner]: “When the Communist regime had just started to suppress Falun Gong, we were faced with two choices. The first choice was continue to persevere with our belief, but if we did that it was possible we could lose our jobs, be imprisoned, or even be tortured to death by the communist regime. The second choice was to follow the communist regime and do only what they allowed us to do, confuse black with white, and talk lies. The result of doing that was that we could preserve all the material benefits in out lives, but we would lose our human dignity and the most fundamental morals of being human.”

    Bao and her husband chose the first option. This choice led Bao to be threatened by her workplace and harassed by police. In 2000 she started traveling around with her newborn daughter to avoid getting arrested, but she was still found and sent to a detention center.
    To protest the detention, Bao went on a hunger strike that lasted 20 days – taking her to the brink of death….“The detention center feared taking responsibility for my death, so the police sent me home temporarily. Once I had recovered a little, they arrested me again.” The persecution continued.


  33. creolechild says:

    At Least 25 Die in Philippines Tropical Storm

    Severe flooding on the central Philippines island of Luzon. At least 25 are dead and dozens missing after tropical storm Nock-Ten made landfall on Wednesday morning, bringing heavy rains that triggered flooding and landslides. More than 645,000 people have been affected by the storm, as rising waters force residents to evacuate their homes. And gusts of wind up to 74 miles per hour damage houses and knock down trees and electricity posts….

    Tens of thousands of people have taken shelter in school buildings and public buildings. The country’s major rice-producing provinces have been spared, but some fishermen are afraid to venture out to sea in the unusually strong waves….But some people are enjoying the inclement weather. Nock-Ten is expected to exit the Philippines towards the South China Sea on Wednesday evening.

  34. creolechild says:

    Afghanistan Mayor Assassinated

    A suicide bomber kills the mayor of Kandahar Wednesday. The attack comes as the southern city is still reeling from the assassination two weeks ago of President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother. But while the attacks may be high profile, they do not impact the overall security situation says NATO’s Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, who was made available to Reuters by the Pentagon. “The assassination that we have seen over the past weeks, in particular the two big ones – the brother of the president, and today’s assassination, plus the killing at the rant mosque are serious incidents but they do not really affect the overall security situation in Kandahar.” With an increase in foreign troops in Southern Afghanistan insurgent forces have shifted tactics, adopting different methods in their so-called spring offensives.

    “We expected a spring time offensive this year, in particular with a higher number of troops that we have in there following the surge. We expected an increase in of activities against use out in the field looking at least year we had opening engagements by the Taliban with ISAF troops and with ANSF forces, we have not seen that this year in that respect. And actually, enemy initiated activities are down, and they are down now in successive weeks. So the spring offensive did not materialize. What the terrorist are doing is planting bombs, lining roadside mines, killing innocent civilians.” The attacks come as Afghanistan has assumed control of seven areas in the country, part of a transition that is expected to end in 2014. There is still confidence that that target will be reached.


  35. creolechild says:

    Greed, greed, and more greed…

    Greedy Airlines Take Advantage of Tax Holiday, Raising Prices And Making Millions
    By Kristen Gwynne

    According to ABC News, airlines are taking a tax holiday thanks to Congress’ failure to re-authorize the FAA Friday. To make sure they make the most of the tax breaks, airlines are not passing the savings onto the public, but hiking up ticket prices and watching profits rise.
    While the tax money was, of course, never theirs to begin with, airlines have decided to take advantage of the break, and consumers, by raising prices and pocketing what would have been federal funds. Should they have had a more egalitarian, consumer-sensitive approach, passengers could have saved up to 15 percent on airfare, with no profit losses to airlines.

    American, JetBlue, Southwest/AirTran, and U.S. Airways all raised fees in anticipation of the tax holiday, and Delta, United/Continental, Frontier, and Virgin America upped their prices over the weekend. ABC News said airlines are making $200 million a week, so long as FAA stays shutdown.

    [Click on link to watch video coverage of the price hike on Good Morning America.]

  36. creolechild says:

    YOUCH! Someone, or something just got b****h slapped!

    Deficit Battle: Standard & Poor’s
    by: Robert Reich

    If you think deficit-reduction is being driven by John Boehner or Harry Reid, think again. The biggest driver right now is Standard & Poor’s. All of America’s big credit-rating agencies — Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s — have warned they might cut America’s credit rating if a deal isn’t reached soon to raise the debt ceiling. This isn’t surprising. A borrower that won’t pay its bills is bound to face a lower credit rating. But Standard & Poor’s has gone a step further: It’s warned it might lower the nation’s credit rating even if Democrats and Republicans make a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Standard & Poor’s insists any deal must also contain a credible, bipartisan plan to reduce the nation’s long-term budget deficit by $4 trillion — something neither Harry Reid’s nor John Boehner’s plans do.

    If Standard & Poor’s downgrades America’s debt, the other two big credit-raters are likely to follow. The result: You’ll be paying higher interest on your variable-rate mortgage, your auto loan, your credit card loans, and every other penny you borrow. And many of the securities you own that you consider especially safe – Treasury bills and other highly-rated bonds – will be worth less. In other words, Standard & Poor’s is threatening that if the ten-year budget deficit isn’t cut by $4 trillion in a credible and bipartisan way, you’ll pay more – even if the debt ceiling is lifted next week….

    Who is Standard & Poor’s to tell America how much debt it has to shed in order to keep its credit rating? Standard & Poor’s didn’t exactly distinguish itself prior to Wall Street’s financial meltdown in 2007. Until the eve of the collapse it gave triple-A ratings to some of the Street’s riskiest packages of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations. Standard & Poor’s (along with Moody’s and Fitch) bear much of the responsibility for what happened next. Had they done their job and warned investors how much risk Wall Street was taking on, the housing and debt bubbles wouldn’t have become so large – and their bursts wouldn’t have brought down much of the economy. Had Standard & Poor’s done its job, you and I and other taxpayers wouldn’t have had to bail out Wall Street; millions of Americans would now be working now instead of collecting unemployment insurance; the government wouldn’t have had to inject the economy with a massive stimulus to save millions of other jobs; and far more tax revenue would now be pouring into the Treasury from individuals and businesses doing better than they are now….


    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “Standard & Poor’s didn’t exactly distinguish itself prior to Wall Street’s financial meltdown in 2007.”

      • creolechild says:

        Well, the reason for that as explained in the article is because they’re being PAID by Wall Street. Funny how that works…Now they’re posturing as if they’re some sort of John Q upright-f***king Citizen. Kiss my gumbo!

      • opulent says:

        The credit ratings agency have a conflict of interest with WallSt ..Wall St funds their existence, so who is going to lower ratings on the very hand that feeds them?

        Same thing happened with the big 8 accounting firms and why Anderson went under, remember, they were paid to do the balance sheets for companies that paid them, so they made it their business to keep those companies books in such a way that they would not suffer financially themselves.

        • Ametia says:

          yes and standards and poors= GMAFB they’re the last agency i’d trust to provide us with any insight into the debt ceiling debacle.

  37. creolechild says:

    Six Extreme Right-Wing Attacks by ALEC in State Governments
    by: Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischer, PRWatch

    “Model” bills voted on by corporations through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) touch almost every aspect of American life. The Center for Media and Democracy has analyzed and made available over 800 ALEC model bills to allow other reporters and the public to track corporate influence in state legislatures across the country (and in Congress) at Here is a quick summary of six of the many “hot” topics on the ALEC corporate-politician agenda this year.

    Disenfranchising American Citizens Through Voter ID

    In the wake of the highest general election turnout in nearly 60 years in the 2008 presidential election (particularly among university students and African-Americans), ALEC’s “voter ID” legislation has been rapidly moving in state legislatures. Shortly after the election of the nation’s first black president, “Preventing Election Fraud” was the cover story on the Inside ALEC magazine, and ALEC corporations and politicians voted for “model” voter legislation in 2009. Voter ID is a hot issue this year, in advance of the 2012 presidential election.


    Out of the forty-seven states where Voter ID bills have been introduced, twenty states had no voter ID requirement at the beginning of 2011 but legislation to require it was introduced this year; it became law in three. Of the remainder, twenty-seven had voter ID (but not photo ID) requirements at the beginning of 2011; fourteen of these states saw legislation that would require photo ID at the polls, and the proposals became law in four states. This disproportionate focus on the specter of voter fraud belies the statistical reality that such fraud in the U.S. is exceedingly rare, even though such legislation will have a statistically significant effect of depriving many American citizens of their right to vote. The idea of limiting the number of people who vote is closely associated with ALEC’s founder, Paul Weyrich.

    Among the many statements of Weyrich over the years that were tailored to advance the agenda of white fundamentalists, in 1980 he gave a particularly illuminating and disturbing speech on voting. He expressly told a group of religious conservatives: “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”


    To read more on the summary of issues on ALEC’S agenda:

  38. 2011 Wounded Warriors Basketball Game

  39. creolechild says:

    How Social Recruiting Is Revolutionizing the Job Hunt: A Q&A with the CEO of JobFox
    By Barbara Thau

    When it comes to finding your next employer, online job boards are out and social recruiting is in, says Robert McGovern, the chairman and CEO of, a free website that enables job seekers to tap into private hiring networks at companies where they want to work. JobFox debuted in 2006 as a traditional online job board, but relaunched in February as a social recruiting site. The shift reflects the changing hiring landscape: Employers are increasingly finding job candidates on what’s being called “social job boards” like JobFox and LinkedIn, rather than traditional online job sites, McGovern says….JobFox aims to connect job seekers with the people at companies actually responsible for hiring — a far more effective strategy than sending a resume down the digital “black hole” of online job sites, he says.


    See full article from DailyFinance:

  40. creolechild says:

    From Benetton to Murdoch: The Culture of Money, Shock and Schlock
    by: Henry A. Giroux


    What C. Wright Mills once termed “the cultural apparatus” matters even more 50 years later.(1) At the dawn of the 21st century, this apparatus has grown into a vast web of media monopolies, which serve to entertain global audiences, set fashion standards, provide information about the world, promote celebrity culture, create consumer desires and occasionally offer insights about existing social problems while holding powerful individuals and institutions accountable. But they do more.

    They also function as teaching machines, producing and legitimating particular modes of identity while providing the framing mechanisms that drive the questions, interests and values that shape a society. Through the sheer power of their size and ubiquity, the media and its digital extensions influence major institutions, influence the larger culture and reproduce particular social values; they also set standards, exert influence upon politics and often privilege the trivial over the substantive, the consumer over the citizen and the narrowest of interests over larger ethical and social considerations.

    As the old and new media take over the space of the public and private, they have become a more insistent and aggressive anti-democratic force corrupting politics, demeaning public goods, trading in campaigns of fear, substituting opinions for legitimate argument and turning news outlets into spectacles of pain and perversion, if not worse…..


  41. creolechild says:

    Prison Sentence Handed Out for Environmental Activist Tim DeChristopher

    On March 3, 29 year-old Tim DeChristopher was found guilty of 2 felonies for bidding on oil and gas leases (that he didn’t have the money to pay for) in an attempt to save public land from oil and gas drilling. Today, a judge in Salt Lake City handed down a sentence of 2 years in prison and $10,000.

    The Salt Lake Tribune reports: Defense attorney Ron Yengich said at trial that DeChristopher sought to give people hope in the face of environmental degradation, though the judge did not allow him to argue that his actions were necessary to save the planet. Before jury deliberations that some described as emotional, Yengich told jurors they would have to decide “whether a spur-of-the-moment desire for hope is a federal crime.”

    Prosecutors said after trial that they wouldn’t seek the maximum — 10 years for violations of federal onshore leasing law. However, they filed a sentencing motion last week rejecting leniency. A probation officer’s presentence report had suggested a lighter sentence because DeChristopher had taken responsibility for his actions. But prosecutors noted DeChristopher’s post-trial defiance, including an impassioned speech on the courthouse steps saying others would have to follow him to prison “if we are to achieve our vision.”


  42. creolechild says:

    Memo to Tea Party: The US Government’s Budget is Not Like a Family’s
    — By Stephanie Mencimer

    Tea party activists and members of Congress have a story they like to tell about the fight over raising the federal debt ceiling. It goes like this: If American families ran their households like the federal government, we’d all be bankrupt. It’s a pretty common line. So when the Tea Party Express took to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a hastily arranged (and sparsely attended) rally to urge Republicans to “hold the line” in the debt ceiling fight, it was no surprise that the family-government comparison was on everyone’s lips.

    “I really equate it to the family,” Cindy Chafian, a mother of five who recently moved to Virginia, told me after speaking at the rally, which also drew tea party luminaries like Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Jim DeMint (S.C.). Chafian, who founded a new organization called the Mommy Lobby, acknowledged that government spending cuts can be painful—just like when a family that has to cut expenses, or when she tells her kids they can’t go to the movies because they can’t afford it. But over the long run, Chafian said, things work out and get better.


    The tea partiers, though, don’t seem inclined to view the debate that way, or even to acknowledge that most families have tons of debt they never pay off, namely in the form of big mortgages. They also don’t seem willing to acknowledge that sometimes even a family strapped for cash will seek out a revenue solution, like a second job, akin to the government raising taxes. None of the tea partiers I spoke with was willing to entertain the idea of, for example, letting the Bush tax cuts expire. One man, who was volunteering for a tea party candidate running for a Virginia Senate seat and declined to give his name, even expressed deep cynicism that raising taxes would even do any good. Big companies like GE don’t pay taxes now, he said, so why would they pay taxes if they went up?


  43. rikyrah says:

    Rep. Broun Trivializes Massive Spending Cuts: It’s Just Like Having To Drop Out Of A Country Club
    By Marie Diamond on Jul 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), the congressman who proposed a preposterous bill to lower the debt ceiling, today trivialized enormous cuts to government services by comparing them to someone having to drop out of a country club because of the bad economy. Broun is opposing the deficit reduction plan put forward by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) because he believes it doesn’t go far enough. When MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell confronted him on the absurdity of trying to lower the borrowing limit on money Congress has already spent, Broun insisted that government has to act like a person who is “overextended” would:

    BROUN: The thing is, when someone is overextended and broke they don’t continue paying for expensive automobiles. They sell the expensive automobiles and buy a cheaper one. They don’t continue paying for country club dues, they drop out of the country club.

    Watch it:

    Broun clearly doesn’t understand the magnitude of the cuts being considered, and how dramatically they will affect average Americans. Dropping out of a country club may be his idea of sacrificing, but it’s tragically out of touch with the reality of millions of families, who are struggling to pay their bills and have to choose between paying for food or electricity.

    Boehner is currently revising his original plan, which cut $850 billion and called for a committee of lawmakers to recommend an additional $1.8 trillion in deficit cuts, because conservatives like Broun complained that it didn’t go far enough. That original plan was described by Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget Policy Priorities as “tantamount to class warfare” for its draconian cuts, which he says “could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.”

    Boehner’s plan would force at least $1.5 trillion in cuts to entitlement programs, while leaving tax breaks for the wealthy untouched (and, in fact, ignoring new revenues altogether). According to Greenstein, it will make policymakers choose among “cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor.” But apparently, Broun thinks that’s akin to having to skip a few rounds at the golf course.

  44. creolechild says:

    How Tim Pawlenty Clobbered an Anti-Bullying Bill
    — By Stephanie Mencimer

    The former Minnesota governor promised to sign legislation to combat harassment in public schools. Then he vetoed it. As Minnesota’s governor, Tim Pawlenty earned a reputation for his prodigious use of veto power. In 2008, he even set a state record by out-vetoing all of his predecessors. Even so, one bipartisan bill he killed stood out, shocking even members of his own party. The legislation, which passed the Minnesota Legislature in May 2009, was intended to curb bullying in public schools.

    Specifically, the measure would have required school districts to train staff to address bullying and harassment. The bill was supported by a host of education groups in the state, as well as gay rights activists and advocates for the disabled. It had gained unexpected momentum following the highly publicized death of an 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who’d hanged himself in April 2009 following months of intense bullying by kids who thought he was gay.

    Pawlenty had initially promised to sign the bill, with some modifications. But after months of haggling over small details, and dragging out negotiations, Pawlenty abruptly vetoed the bill. According to the Minnesota Independent, he said the bill was unnecessary, duplicating “current law relating to school board policies prohibiting bullying, intimidation, violence, and pattern of harassment in schools.” In fact, the bill would have added 14 different student characteristics that the new anti-bullying training would be required to address, including sexual orientation and gender identity.


  45. rikyrah says:

    Boehner: ‘A Lot’ Of Republicans Want To Force Default, Create ‘Enough Chaos’ To Pass Balanced Budget Amendment
    By Alex Seitz-Wald on Jul 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said
    today that some members of his own caucus who are refusing to agree to a compromise debt ceiling deal are hoping to unleash “chaos” and thus force the White House and Senate Democrats to make bigger concessions than they’re already offering. As many as 40 House Republicans, especially Tea Party members and freshmen, have demanded nothing short of changing the Constitution to include a balanced budget amendment before they would vote to raise debt ceiling, even though that has zero chance before the U.S. faces potential default on Aug. 2.

    Speaking on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show this morning, Boehner agreed that failing to raise the limit before the deadline would be devastating, and said the “chaos” plan won’t work when asked by Ingraham what’s motivating the recalcitrant Republicans:

    BOEHNER: Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get past August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I’m not sure that that — I don’t think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.

    Listen here:

    Boehner offers only political calculus for why this Tea Party plan wouldn’t work. He completely ignores the devastating effect a downgrade in U.S. debt and potential default would have on the American people and the global economy, who happen to be innocent bystanders to this high-stakes hostage negotiation.

    Many on the left have been arguing all along that some Republicans are more interested in extorting concessions than addressing the debt issue, and are willing to blow up the economy if they don’t get their way — it’s refreshing, if troubling, to see that their leader agrees.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney, president might have Rock-y run-in
    GOP fund-raiser planned during Obama trip
    By Hillary Chabot | Thursday, July 28, 2011 | | U.S. Politics

    Photo by Christopher Evans
    Former Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney, in a heated contest to become the Republican presidential nominee, may get a one-on-one bout with President Obama a lot sooner than he bargained for.

    Both are expected to be on Martha’s Vineyard on Aug. 27 — Romney’s campaign has a $2,500-per-person fund-raiser there while Obama is reportedly due to be vacationing on the celebrity-rich island.

    “Maybe they can have a water polo match,” joked Thomas Whalen, a professor of political history at Boston University. “These candidates say they’re one with the common man, but then they end up at these elite playgrounds.”

    Romney, who has continued fund-raising throughout the country as he campaigns, sent out an e-mail this week alerting supporters to three high-priced events on the Cape and Islands. Billionare Bill Koch, brother of conservative activists David and Charles Koch, is hosting an event at his Osterville home Aug. 14. Romney has an event in Nantucket on the same day.

    Romney’s Vineyard fundraiser is in Edgartown — on the opposite side of the island from Obama’s expected Chilmark pad. Obama and his family have stayed in the 28-acre Blue Heron Farm the past two summers when they’ve vacationed on the island.

    If the two do run into each other, it could make for some awkward moments over wine spritzers. Romney has been pummeling Obama on everything from job creation to relations in China.

    “They could have a ‘This island isn’t big enough for the two of us’ moment,” said Whalen, who added that the expensive fund-raisers don’t jibe with Romney’s new image.

    “Here’s Mitt Romney going around the country without a necktie, but he’s still hitting these very exclusive locations,” Whalen said. “I guess it just comes down to following the money.”

  47. creolechild says:

    Now, ain’t this some *ish*?

    GOP Demands $55 Million Taxpayer Dollars For 2012 Convention Security
    By Jason Easley

    Republicans have been telling us that America can’t afford Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment, but they want taxpayers to foot the bill for $55 million worth of security at the 2012 GOP convention. This is what the GOP’s fiscal conservatism really looks like.

    [Click on link to view video from My Fox Tampa Bay]:


    In typical Republican fashion, they want the money RIGHT NOW!!!! The RNC host committee’s Ken Jones said, “We need the money soon. We can’t wait until next year. We have to have it this year. That’s very important.” Sadly, Bob Buckhorn is a Democrat. Mayor Buckhorn does have some legitimate concerns. In the current economic environment, no US city could afford to foot the bill for such an event. The mayor is worried that DC is going to leave him high and dry and his city will lose the convention.

    However, I disagree with both Mayor Buckhorn and Ken Jones that the only way for the 2012 GOP convention to be able to afford security is if the taxpayers get stuck with the bill. Why can’t the RNC show us how effective the private sector can be and raise the money themselves? I am sure the Koch Brothers would be glad to cut a check to get the ball rolling.

    Republicans are always telling the American public that the big government is a waste, so instead of paying Tampa police for security, why don’t they just award a no bid contract to Xe? Before we let Republicans privatize our schools, prisons, and every other public asset that isn’t nailed down, they should use themselves as a case study. Find a private contractor that will provide top notch comprehensive security for less than $55 million, then we’ll be glad to discuss privatization.

    Republicans have been telling us that we can’t afford Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Veterans benefits, public education, unemployment benefits, and even in some extreme cases police and firefighters. If we can’t afford basic public services, then where is the money supposed to come from for us to pay for security at the GOP convention? If we are too broke to take care of seniors, vets, the disabled, and the poor, then we are also too broke pay for people to work the door at your self-congratulatory four day kegger.

    Sorry GOP, but we’re broke. Remember?

  48. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 28, 2011 8:35 AM

    The differences between the Reid, Boehner plans

    By Steve Benen
    At this point in the process, there are effectively two competing plans to resolve the Republicans’ debt-ceiling crisis: House Speaker John Boehner’s (R) proposal and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D) plan. A third alternative may come together — with five days to go, it would have to come together very quickly — but for now, two options are on the table.

    This week, there’s been some worthwhile discussion about whether the differences between the two are really that great. There’s clearly something to this — both plans include massive cuts, both plans include effectively nothing in new revenue, and both would raise the debt ceiling. I heard someone say the other day that, from a progressive perspective, both plans are like going to the dentist to have wisdom-teeth removed — Reid’s plan would yank three of them; Boehner’s would yank four. Both are wildly unpleasant, though one is slightly worse.

    There are differences, though, and the details matter.

    The most obvious, and the one you’ve no doubt heard the most about, is the duration of the extension. Under Boehner’s approach, Congress would raise the debt ceiling for six months, and then force us to go through the process all over again early next year. All available evidence suggests this would undermine the economy significantly. Under Reid’s plan, the extension would go through the end of next year, putting a lot of minds at ease. Obviously, this matters.

    But Jonathan Bernstein goes further, noting that for the left, Reid’s plan is “much, much better” than Boehner’s.

    The first difference is the total cuts. Everyone is emphasizing that Reid’s front-line totals are very similar to Boehner’s. But bookkeeping cuts, which analysts are ignoring, buy Reid an extra year of debt-limit extension in exchange for, basically, nothing at all, meaning that Reid slashes government far less than Boehner does. […]

    The second set of differences is harder to see from the details that have been reported so far, but they’re about timing and location of the cuts. By all accounts, the revamped Boehner plan is going to be more frontloaded than was his initial offer, because Republicans (to some extent with good reason) don’t trust future Congresses to be bound by decisions made now. Liberals prefer backloaded cuts, partially because they’re less real, but especially because liberals believe that up-front cuts will hurt the economy more while it’s still fragile at best. This is another way that the Reid plan is superior.

    Also note the way in which Boehner sets up the second vote in six months. The problem isn’t just the uncertainty that comes with a needless short-term extension; it’s also the fact that under the Speaker’s scenario, policymakers are supposed to spend the next several months in negotiations on how to “reform” the tax code and entitlement programs.

    This matters, of course, because if Republicans refuse to accept a compromise, as seems to be their nature, the crisis begins all over again. With no deal, Dems would be told in January, “Accept another $1 trillion in cuts or the GOP will crash the economy.”

    In contrast, Reid’s plan would also begin the process on tax/entitlement “reform,” but failing to come up with an agreement wouldn’t undermine the full faith and credit of the United States.

    And then there’s the small question of what, exactly, will be cut as part of the larger plans. As Jonathan added, Reid seems focused on military spending, which can afford a few reductions, while Boehner hasn’t offered much in the way of details, which isn’t a good sign.

    To be sure, I don’t like Reid’s plan. It’s far too conservative; it concedes too much, and it includes effectively nothing in new revenue, failing to meet the “balanced” test. Under sane circumstances, a Democrat would never propose it, worse yet support it.

    But our current circumstances are anything but sane, which is why Reid unveiled this approach, and why the White House and Nancy Pelosi support it. When compared with Boehner’s plan, it’s clearly the smarter way to go.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 28, 2011 8:00 AM

    With five days to go

    By Steve Benen
    Watching House Republicans yesterday, it’s hard not to have a sense of deja vu. Early last week, with a deadline looming, the House majority invested time and energy in a right-wing debt-reduction plan (“Cut, Cap, and Balance”) that absolutely no chance of becoming law. Republicans knew this, but felt compelled to waste a few days anyway.

    This week offers a replay. With the deadline even closer, the House GOP could be working on a serious plan that could end the crisis they created. Instead, they’re spending three straight days on Speaker John Boehner’s (R) budget proposal, which, just like last week, is bound to fail.

    Indeed, it’s only a matter of time. The House vote, scheduled for 5:30 eastern this afternoon, is expected to be quite close, but even if Boehner can keep enough of his caucus together, it won’t pass the Senate. The majority in the upper chamber put it in writing yesterday.

    Fifty-three Democratic senators have signed a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner saying they intend to vote against his plan for an increase in the debt ceiling, virtually assuring its defeat in the Senate even as the speaker lines up Republican votes to pass it in the House on Thursday.

    Votes are not final until they are cast. But if the Democrats hold to their promise in the letter, Mr. Boehner’s plan for a six-month increase in borrowing authority will not make it to President Obama’s desk.

    “We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill,” the senators say in the letter. “We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why.”

    In the letter, the senators argue that a short-term extension of the debt ceiling would “put America at risk” and “could be nearly as disastrous as a default.”

    The Senate Democratic caucus isn’t united on much, but they’re united on this: Boehner’s plan is D.O.A. in the upper chamber. Everyone from Bernie Sanders to Ben Nelson agrees. What’s more, as many as five Senate Republicans are also on record opposing the Speaker’s plan.

    Some far-right activist groups pleaded with Senate Dems the other day not to filibuster Boehner’s plan. What the activists didn’t understand is that a filibuster isn’t necessary — at least 58 senators are already on record in opposition to the proposal.

    But Boehner & Co. are moving forward anyway. In fact, instead of trying to find a solution that can resolve the crisis, the Speaker is bragging about pushing a proposal he knows the Senate and White House don’t support.

    And what of the analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, which helped derail plans for yesterday’s vote? Boehner was forced to make a few touch-ups, but this only served to make it worse. To “improve” the score — i.e., to make it cut the deficit more — the Speaker added some additional up-front cuts, undermining the economy further in 2012. This, of course, is intended to make the package more appealing to the House GOP.

    The revised Boehner plan still only raises the debt ceiling long enough to force us to go through the process again in six months. And why does the Speaker want this? He hasn’t said.

    In the meantime, with the real possibility that there is no viable solution to the crisis — the Boehner plan won’t pass the Senate; Harry Reid’s plan would struggle in the House — Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are reportedly still engaged in ongoing negotiations. Something to keep an eye on.

    The bottom line, meanwhile, remains the same: five days before the Aug. 2 deadline, the House will spend yet another day rallying support for a plan that can’t pass the Senate and won’t get President Obama’s signature. We don’t have time for such nonsensical games, but if Americans wanted responsible governance, they shouldn’t have elected far-right clowns to run the House of Representatives.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Editorial: Joe Walsh has a loud voice, but nothing to say
    Editorials July 26, 2011 8:08PM
    Joe Walsh is what’s wrong with Washington.

    The Republican freshman congressman from Chicago’s northwest suburbs is the poster child for the uncompromising and vitriolic style of politics that’s about to send our nation over a cliff.

    This is a fellow who could not manage his own finances in the past, even failing to pay his income taxes, yet he lectures the nation on any cable TV show that will have him about the unassailable rightness of his extreme stand on the debt ceiling crisis.

    This is a fellow who likens President Barack Obama to a “10-year-old over his head.”

    This is a fellow who accuses the president of “lying.”

    In a democratic republic, where people will disagree and nobody can dictate anything, compromise is the only path forward. Yet this is a fellow would rather lose a mile than give an inch.

    If reasonable Americans wonder why House Republicans would rather pass on an opportunity to cut trillions in federal spending than agree to raise taxes by a penny on millionaires, look no further than Walsh.

    “I came here figuratively to scream from the mountaintop,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet last week.

    There is no “figuratively” about it.

    • Ametia says:

      Joe Wilson set the stage for these white guys to call the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A LIAR on national TV

      Grover Norquist was on morning murderer saying President Obama is lying about the debt ceiling debacle, Joe Walsh and the other teabagging scumbags in congress. Nothing but a bunch of ignorant,disrepectful, racist, greedy CaCs.

      • Joe Walsh doesn’t pay child support! What a wicked teabagging slug! He loaned his campaign $35,000 but didn’t give any money to support his own kids. Deadbeat mofo!

        • Ametia says:

          LOL @ dead beat mofo! politicians aren’t angels by any stretch, but these days, you don’t need morals, values, or class to get elected. It’s known up front or ignored that you’re MEDIOCRE. But if you’re white man, well… it’s ok.

          I want our youth to take a hard look at what America is propping up as good, kind, smart, thoughtful people in high places. So far, I’m seeing our president and a true role model, and yes, HE’S BLACK FOLKS!

      • dannie22 says:

        I saw that panel. I almost vomit up my coffee. And, um, who elected grover to anything?!?!

  51. creolechild says:

    I have one question: WHAT TOOK THEM SO LONG?

    House Dems Join Senate In Urging DOJ To Fight Voter ID Laws
    Ryan J. Reilly

    A coalition of 115 House Democrats have signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the Justice Department to vigorously oppose voter ID laws that are sweeping state legislatures across the country. “Many of these bills only have one true purpose, the disenfranchisement of eligible voters — especially the elderly, young voters, students, minorities, and low-income voters,” they write in the letter. “Restrictive voter photo identification legislation has the potential to block millions of eligible American voters, and thus suppress the right to vote. We urge you to exercise your authority to examine these laws so that voting rights are not jeopardized,” the members write.

    The letter was sent about a month after 16 Democratic Senators urged DOJ to use its full power to scrutinize voter ID laws. Several members of the House held a press conference earlier this month slamming the voter ID laws as “racist” and “Rovian.” Last week, several Democrats took to the floor of the House to denounce the restrictive measures. In an interview with The Root, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) — chair of the Democratic National Committee — said that DOJ’s top civil rights official Tom Perez had assured members of Congress that the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section is looking at the laws closely.


  52. rikyrah says:

    It’s About Our Country, Not John Boehner
    by BooMan
    Thu Jul 28th, 2011 at 01:09:55 AM EST

    There is just a deep, deep strain of crazy that’s developed within the Republican culture. The debate that’s going on among House Republicans right now is so disconnected from reality. They’re debating whether they need to vote for Boehner’s bill because they’re a team and giving a no-confidence vote to Boehner will basically destroy his speakership. My first response to this is, why did you make him the Speaker? He voted to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then voted repeatedly to borrow the money to wage those wars. He voted for the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit and also voted to borrow the money to pay for it. He voted for the TARP program, too, like a good little Bush acolyte. If you want to get technical, he also voted for Bush’s tax cuts in both 2001 and 2003. In other words, Boehner voted to create this deficit at every single point along the way. He is 100% guilty for our debt. Yet, you won the midterm elections after running campaigns about fixing the debt and deficit problem and then made this idiot your leader? WTF?
    But that’s kind of ancient history at this point. What’s more important is that every Democratic senator has vowed to vote against Boehner’s bill anyway. The president has promised a veto. What’s the advantage in voting for something you’ve pledged not to vote for if it won’t even matter? All you’ve done is screw yourself, and the Speaker will still be on the hook to produce a bill that can pass the Senate and get the president’s signature. Yet, they seem to be telling themselves that the Democrats don’t really mean it.

    What’s totally absent is any sense of concern that this delay is already damaging the economy and the country’s reputation. This compulsion to hold out for ever-more concessions is frankly insane. If the game is to save the taxpayers of this country’s money, you could hardly do worse than causing a downgrade in our credit rating and an increase in all of our interest rates.

    The White House long ago conceded that the House of Representatives has the power to compel them to give up on stimulating the economy and focus on cutting down on the debt. In that sense, the budget hawks won. But they don’t want that kind of victory. The idea that they might throw away everything that Boehner has extracted and chew him up and spit him out is astonishing. But also astonishing is that they’re still having that debate about a bill that has no chance of going anywhere. You can’t absolve yourself of responsibility for the coming fiasco by passing the buck now. Pass or fail, Boehner’s bill isn’t the end of the line for the House. A teabagging Republican might as well kill Boehner’s bill in its crib. At least that way, they won’t have to explain why they broke their pledges for a stillborn bill.

  53. creolechild says:

    British Panel Wants to Hear From Three Men Who Dispute Murdochs’ Testimony
    by: Robert Mackey

    The chairman of the British parliamentary panel that questioned Rupert and James Murdoch last week about phone hacking wants to hear from three men who claim that the Murdochs gave inaccurate testimony. John Whittingdale, a Conservative member of Parliament who chairs the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, told The Evening Standard of London on Tuesday: “It is somewhat frustrating to keep hearing media reports about people wishing to correct evidence. If they have doubts about any testimony they should get in touch with us immediately.”

    Mr. Whittingdale was referring to statements released in recent days by three men who all held senior positions at News International, the Murdochs’ British newspaper division, until earlier this month. Colin Myler, who was the editor of The News of the World, the British tabloid at the center of the hacking scandal, and Tom Crone, who was the chief legal adviser to News International, said in a joint statement on Thursday that James Murdoch “was mistaken” when he told the committee that he had not been made aware of an incriminating e-mail in 2008, when he agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a phone hacking victim. The e-mail, from a News of the World journalist, strongly suggested that phone hacking was more widespread at the paper in 2005 than the company had previously acknowledged.

    Then on Friday, Jon Chapman, News International’s director of legal affairs until this month, said in a statement that he wanted to cooperate with the committee to correct “serious inaccuracies in statements made” at last week’s hearing. Mr. Whittingdale told The Standard, “If Mr. Chapman has information which he believes calls into question the evidence provided by James Murdoch, then we would be very keen to speak to him.”


  54. rikyrah says:

    Dems Pounce On ‘The Town’ Clip: ‘Who Are They Planning To Hurt?’
    DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) strongly chided the GOP today for using a movie clip from the film “The Town,” in which two criminals agree to a revenge attack, in order to rally lawmaker support for Speaker Boehner’s new debt bill currently being rewritten in the House.

    The playing of the clip, organized by members of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) staff, happened in a closed-door caucus meeting on Tuesday. It features Ben Affleck’s character asking for a friend’s aid in order to “hurt some people.”

    “Who are they planning to hurt?” demanded Wasserman Schultz, adding: “Unfortunately that short clip from ‘The Town’ tells you everything you need to know about their approach to the negotiations over the debt ceiling,” she said, after showing the clip to the attending media.

    Washington wouldn’t be Washington without a little Hollywood thrown in. And what better way to decide the future of our economy than by dressing up the debate with and eyebrow-raising movie clip to drive your point home. But with tensions running high and less than a week to go before a looming Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, it seems lawmakers are eager to utilize any means by which to out-elbow the other side.

  55. Ametia says:

    Debt crisis question: Where are the former presidents?
    By Ruth Marcus, Published: July 27
    Only four men alive truly understand the exquisitely Solomonic dilemma facing President Obama on the debt ceiling.

    The fate of the economy — or at least the blame for it — rests more with him than with anyone else. He cannot let the baby be cut in two.

    But the potential costs of being forced to accept draconian cuts or to endure a repeat of the debacle six months from now are as painful as giving up the child to the imposter mother.

    All this may explain the diffidence of the presidential veto threat. The president won’t sign a short-term, can-kicking extension, the White House says. Yet the president shied away from that threat in his no-real-news prime-time address Monday.

  56. creolechild says:

    Not feeling this…The use of tasers was supposed to be a “game changer” too…and look what happened with that!

    Law enforcement to use iPhone face scanner app

    Law enforcement agencies around the country will soon be able to use their smartphones to identify subjects. BI2′s Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS) attaches to an iPhone or other smartphone and uses biometrics from an iris, facial or fingerprint scan to determine a person’s identity. Plymouth County, Massachusetts Sheriff Joseph McDonald told Fox News that the technology was a “game changer.” But privacy advocates worry that technology may constitute a warrantless search.

    “We think that there should be some rules and regulations in place that govern exactly how the police use these things so that they can be used when it’s appropriate, when the police have probable cause that, you know, you have committed a crime, but that they don’t start using them all over the place as sort of a generalized surveillance tool,” ACLU’s Jay Stanley said.

  57. Ametia says:

    White House warns on debt limit, says Obama regrets vote
    By Alister Bull and Jeff Mason
    WASHINGTON | Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:38am IST

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Monday urged Republicans not to tie an increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to spending cuts and admitted that President Barack Obama’s own vote against an increase in 2006 was a “mistake”.

    “He realizes now that raising the debt ceiling is so important to the health of this economy and the global economy that it is not a vote that, even when you are protesting an administration’s policies, you can play around with,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

    Obama was a senator from Illinois when he voted against raising the U.S. debt ceiling while George W. Bush was president.

    Now his own government could hit the current $14.3 trillion limit on its borrowing authority by mid-May and it will need Congress to approve another increase in that debt ceiling.

  58. creolechild says:

    Orwell Rolls in His Grave at the Misleading Spectacle of the Corporate Media
    Submitted by mark karlin

    Ignorance isn’t bliss, or so we are learning as political discourse based on misinformation plays itself out in the corporate mass media and the halls of Congress. As the narrator/director of the cult classic documentary, “Orwell Rolls in His Grave,” asks: “Could a media system, controlled by a few global corporations with the ability to overwhelm all competing voices, be able to turn lies into truth?” The answer, of course, is yes.

    The corporate media and right-wing-backed think tanks dispense what essentially are lies – often initiated by the right wing or the government (think weapons of mass destruction etc., under Bush) – and then drumbeat a public policy discussion based on the false perceptions held by many Americans, because this is the “information” provided by the media, particularly television.
    For example, most Americans don’t understand how inequitable the income distribution is in the US because the corporate press doesn’t correctly inform them – or much discuss – the disparity.
    In short, much of our public policy is made based on the propaganda that benefits corporate profits and the super wealthy – and is disseminated through television, radio and, to a slightly lesser degree, print media.

    “Orwell Rolls in His Grave” – produced during the Bush administration – provides a detailed examination of how the US debates public policy based on the mistruths that are passed off as “news” and “facts” by a media that is a mouthpiece for the oligarchy and the elite status quo, not an objective conveyor of information that is needed to decide public policy. Have we reached the level of thought-control government and media imagined by Orwell in “1984”? Watch “Orwell Rolls in His Grave” and find out how chillingly close we are. It is the Truthout Progressive Pick of the Week, and being offered as a gift with a minimum contribution through special arrangement with the director.

  59. creolechild says:

    Arizona Republicans lash out at Democrats to defend tax loophole for corporate jets
    By Eric W. Dolan

    Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Andrei Cherny riled the feathers of the state’s Republican Party by suggesting that those who can afford corporate jets should have to make sacrifices, not just seniors and middle-class families. “What (President Barack Obama) is saying is (that) we need a balanced approach, and if we are going to ask seniors and our military and others to sacrifice, we should be able to ask people who are getting a tax loophole to pay for corporate jets to sacrifice a little bit as well,” he told the East Valley Tribune. “I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
    Current tax law allows owners of jets to write off the depreciation over the course of seven years.

    In response, the Arizona Republican Party issued a statement saying, “Maybe Cherny is okay with cutting manufacturing industry jobs in Arizona, but we are not.” They noted that Arizona is currently home to a number of aviation companies, such as AmSafe Aviation, FlightSafety International, Honeywell Aerospace, Parker Aerospace, and Universal Avionics. “Unfortunately, this is just another example of close minded tax-and-spend liberals believing the only solution to our fiscal crisis is to take money from the rich and give it to the poor,” their statement said.


  60. creolechild says:

    Democratic lawmakers reintroduce Access to Birth Control Act
    By David Edwards

    Two Democratic lawmakers have reintroduced a bill that would prevent pharmacies from denying birth control based on religious beliefs.

    Sen Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) Tuesday introduced the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act in the House and Senate, a week after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report recommending free contraceptives to all women. “This legislation would prevent a pharmacy from interfering in the personal medical decisions made by a patient and her doctor,” Lautenberg said in a press advisory Tuesday. “By guaranteeing access to birth control, we can ensure that women are never denied the right to make responsible decisions about their reproductive health.”

    “This recommendation from the IOM marks an important first step toward near-universal contraceptive coverage in America, but if women are denied the actual contraceptives when they go to their pharmacist, having no-cost contraceptives is rendered meaningless,” Maloney announced as she introduced the bill. The ABC Act would make it illegal for a pharmacist to refuse to return a birth control prescription or for a pharmacist to intimidate, threaten or harass customers or intentionally breach or threaten to breach medical confidentiality.”

    NARAL president Nancy Keenan explained that federal action was necessary because “rogue pharmacists who are opposed to contraception are refusing to fill women’s prescriptions.”
    A recent study by the Guttmacher Institute found that 99 percent of sexually active women — including 98 percent of Catholics and almost 100 percent of evangelicals — have used birth control at some point in their lives.

  61. creolechild says:

    White Families Have 20 Times the Wealth of Black Families: How Racism’s Legacy Created a Crushing Depression In Black America

    The economic crisis has hit most families hard–but since many black families had less wealth to start with, its impact on them has been nothing short of disastrous. Racism is real and measurable, and it definitely impacts economic outcomes. But at a time when overt, in-your-face institutional racism is largely a thing of the past, discrimination alone can’t explain the entire black-white achievement gap – African Americans’ lower average incomes and persistently higher levels of poverty and unemployment. But a large part of that gap can be explained by differences in accumulated wealth. If you look at black and white families with the exact same incomes, the white families will have far more accumulated wealth – cash in the bank, retirement savings, investments, real estate, etc.

    That wealth gap has widened into a yawning chasm in recent years. In 2007, white families, on average, had 10 times the accumulated wealth of black families earning the same amount. That was significant, but then, between 2005 and 2009, the average white household’s wealth dropped by 16 percent, while the average black family’s dived by 52 percent, and, as the New York Times reported, by 2009, the “median wealth of whites [was] 20 times that of black households.” As a result, we now have “the largest [racial] wealth disparities in the 25 years that the [Census] bureau has been collecting the data.”

    It’s crucial to understand the relationship between wealth accumulated over generations and one’s economic prospects today. Central to that relationship is the concept of “intergenerational assistance.” That’s a fancy way of saying that a person’s chances to advance economically are very much impacted by whether his or her family can help get him or her started on the path to prosperity. Think of the difference it makes when a young couple’s parents can give them a down payment on their first home—that couple starts building equity right out of the starting gate, instead of throwing away money on rent. Small businesses don’t begin with a good idea; they begin with an idea and start-up capital. If you’re already established, you can get that cash from a bank or find an investor. Before then, your best chance is to hit up your family for a loan. The wealthy don’t pass on their status to their kids through inheritance alone; they also do it by smoothing the way for their children’s ascent to the top of the pile.


    Read more:

  62. creolechild says:

    Rural Americans face greater lack of healthcare access: report

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rural Americans are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and cancer, and face greater difficulty accessing quality healthcare than urban counterparts, according to a report released on Wednesday.
    The challenges facing healthcare providers for rural areas could be compounded by recent healthcare legislation, according to the UnitedHealth Center for Health & Reform Modernization.
    “This is kind of an opportunity,” UnitedHealth chair and report author Simon Stevens told Reuters. “Expanding coverage will mean that more people will have the ability to access care than before, but it’s also a wake-up call.” The Center projects that around 8 million more rural residents will join Medicaid, state and government-subsidized insurance plans in the national coverage expansions than would have otherwise — a net expansion of some 5 million people. The paper found that there are only 65 primary care physicians per 100,000 rural Americans — 40 or so less than the 105 per 100,000 urban and suburban Americans.

    Already five million rural residents live in “shortage areas” defined by the federal government as counties with less than 33 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents. The number is continuing to decrease. Per capita in rural areas there is less than half the number of surgeons and other specialists. A survey that was part of the study found that among roughly 3,000 patients and primary physicians queried nationwide, those from rural areas were more likely to respond that drug abuse and teen pregnancy are major concerns than were those from urban areas. Those from rural areas also generally thought the quality of care was lower in their communities than in urban ones.


  63. creolechild says:

    What’s a Tea Party if no one shows up? Breaking News on Fox, that’s what.

    Yes, I’m once again watching the most soul-sucking channel on earth. Fox News. Take note of this brief segment with Megyn Kelly clone Martha McCallum where they breathlessly report a Tea Party revolt to strip John Boehner of his speakership. [Click on link to see video.]

    See that “rally”? The one with the spiffy signs and stuff?

    Here’s a photo taken in real time: [Click on link to view.]

    Yeah. And Fox has it as some major revolt., on the other hand, had turnouts at congressional offices all over the country yesterday, and is planning a rally on the Capitol steps Thursday at noon. Will it be covered by any media at all?

  64. creolechild says:

    Piers Morgan appears to have known all about phone hacking at Murdoch rags

    Piers Morgan has been ardently defending Rupert Murdoch as the whole ugly Rupertgate scandal has unfolded, calling him the innocent victim of a witch hunt. It seems maybe there’s a reason for that:

    Former tabloid editor Piers Morgan accused media and bloggers of being “lying smearers” Wednesday after a 2009 interview surfaced in which he appeared to admit that hacking phones for reporting purposes was tolerated on his watch. Morgan, who edited Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World in the mid-1990s and went on to edit rival The Daily Mirror, was asked by the BBC’s Kirsty Young how he felt about “dealing with people who rake through bins for a living, people who tap people’s phones, people who take secret photographs.”

    Morgan, who replaced interviewer Larry King on CNN this past January, began his answer by saying that “not a lot of that went on,” but then acknowledged that newspapers he worked for used information obtained by these methods. “A lot of it was done by third parties rather than the staff themselves. That’s not to defend it because obviously you were running the results of their work,” he said in an excerpt of the 2009 interview posted on the BBC’s website on Wednesday.

    “I’m quite happy to be parked in the corner of the tabloid beast and to have to sit here defending all these things I used to get up to. I make no pretense about the stuff we used to do,” he said.

    My, what a tangled web we weave.

    • Ametia says:

      YEP, and CNN will keep the slimy Brit on their airwaves. Roland Martin would do just as well in Morgan’s slot.

      • creolechild says:

        LOL! The way things are unfolding in Britain Piers should be worrying less about Murdoch’s legal problems and more about the potential ones he may face before this is all over. First order of business would be to ensure that his lawyer’s calendar can be freed up–in the event that he gets served with a subpoena.

  65. creolechild says:

    July 27, 1963 – Talking Taxes In 1963
    By Gordonskene

    Note: This is a repost from last year on this day. Seems the story just doesn’t change.

    In what became the most sweeping set of changes to Tax Cut legislation, House Bill HR-8368 passed by a vote of 271-175. It represented a radical change in the economic structure of the country by basing its operations on the theory of deficit financing.

    President Kennedy: “No more important legislation will come before the Congress this year than the bill before the House to reduce Federal Taxes. In fact, no more important domestic economic legislation has come before the Congress in some fifteen years.”

    A little too radical for some. Most Republicans voted against it as did the bloc of Dixiecrats who warned it would mean fiscal ruin for the U.S. It didn’t and the bill passed the Senate in February 1964 created the largest tax cut in history and it’s still argued about today, as no doubt this post will provoke. History is very often the gift that keeps on giving.

    [Click on link to hear excerpts of President Kennedy’s speech and Republican rebuttals.]

  66. creolechild says:

    This is Your Brain After Listening to Too Many Right Wing Talking Points on the Debt Ceiling

    I try to monitor C-SPAN’s morning call-in show Washington Journal when I get a chance just to see what viewers of that network and the public are saying about the topics of the day and this one jumped out at me this morning as being from someone who’s been watching too much Fox News or for that matter possibly a lot of the rest of our corporate media with the right wing talking points this woman rattled off when weighing in on this debt ceiling kabuki theater.

    How someone comes off thinking that President Obama sounds like a partisan when he has, to the dismay of liberals, bent over backwards to make concessions to Republicans, or says he’s playing the “class warfare card” is beyond me, but obviously this person has no idea what “class warfare” even means, or that they’re probably losing that war.

    She also was informed enough to realize that there was a deficit commission put together that went nowhere and in her defense, the one thing she said here that I agreed with completely is that doing that again may very well be a colossal waste of time, but then she lost me with saying she really didn’t understand this whole concept of the debt ceiling at all, and even though she admitted she was clueless on what they’re debating about, claimed the whole thing is just some scare tactic by both sides.


    Thank you, Heather!

  67. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Paddy and The Political Carnival!

    Tea Bagger “Fiscal Conservative” Rep (R- IL) Joe Walsh sued for $100,000 in child support

    Mr “Chris, Chris, Hey Chris, Chris Matthews” is a bald faced hypocrite. This is sweet beyond belief. (That would be the reason I’m posting when I’m half asleep) h/t @utaustinliberal

    Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

    “I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.

    Walsh starts the video by saying, “President Obama, quit lying. Have you no shame, sir? In three short years, you’ve bankrupted this country.”

  68. creolechild says:

    Boehner’s Debt Plan Rewrite Faces Test In Thursday Vote

    House Republican leaders released a revised debt-reduction bill Wednesday evening after being forced to rewrite the bill so it complies with a promise from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to produce more spending cuts than new borrowing authority. The new Boehner bill will cut the deficit $917 billion over ten years and raises the debt limit $900 billion, a net cost savings of $17 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis. In the next year along, fiscal year 2012, the bill would cut $22 billion in spending. Boehner and company were forced back to the drawing board Tuesday after the CBO estimated his bill cut only $850 billion over 10 years, not the $1.2 trillion he had projected.

    The misstep during a pivotal week for Boehner gave critics on the right more cause for concern as opposition within GOP fiscal conservative circles mounted late Tuesday. The Boehner bill would enact a $900 billion initial increase in the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling with a second increase and additional deficit-reduction savings coming months later, in a second step. With Congress facing down an Aug. 2 deadline to act or send the nation into default for the first time in its history, House GOP leaders plan to bring the revised bill to the House floor Thursday. Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders called Boehner (R-Ohio) to abandon his two-step bill, saying it would not receive a single vote in the upper chamber. Democrats pointed to a CBO score released Wednesday for the plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), which affirmed it would cut the deficit by $2.2 trillion.


  69. creolechild says:

    Good morning, everyone!

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