Serendiptiy SOUL | Friday Open Thread

Wiki: Brotherhood of Man are a British pop group who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1976 with “Save Your Kisses for Me“.

The group was created by songwriter and record producer Tony Hiller in 1969 and scored a worldwide hit with “United We Stand” the following year. By 1974 the line up had changed to the quartet Brotherhood of Man would become best known for. The group became successful in Europe, before returning to do the same in the UK. After winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1976, Brotherhood of Man enjoyed three years of hit singles and albums.

Following a decline in sales, the group split, but reformed two years later and are still performing shows throughout Europe and have occasionally released independently produced albums.

Happy FRY-day; Everyone!  I’m going to be in Iowa this weekend.  If I run into Bachmann; I’ll offer her a cure for those migraines; helping her hubby out of the closet.

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149 Responses to Serendiptiy SOUL | Friday Open Thread

  1. opulent says:

    Who were the 22 GOP that voted against this bill today?

  2. creolechild says:

    GOP Sen. Thune: Tweaked Reid Plan Probably Won’t Be Filibustered, Could Pass House

    Appearing this afternoon on Fox News, Sen. John Thune (R-SC) said that if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brings his debt ceiling plan up, it will get a vote in the Senate. In other words, enough Republicans would support Reid to prevent a filibuster. Thune also suggested that, if the Reid plan was “strengthened” it could collect 216 votes in the House, enough for passage. Watch it: [Click on link to view video.]


  3. @ Lawrence:Going to announce the banning of a Republican Congressman from @TheLastWord tonight.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 29, 2011 7:00 PM House passes Boehner bill over bipartisan opposition

    By Steve Benen

    Four days and three revisions later, House Republicans narrowly passed a debt-ceiling proposal that will be killed later this evening.

    House Republicans muscled through a revised debt limit plan without a single Democratic vote on Friday night and headed toward a confrontation with the Senate, where Democrats were anxiously awaiting the newly passed measure so they could reject it. President Obama has also threatened to veto it.

    About 24 hours after the first Republican proposal backed by Speaker John A. Boehner stalled, the House voted 218 to 210 to approve a plan that would increase the federal debt ceiling in two stages, with the second installment of $1.6 trillion contingent on Congressional approval of a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. The Constitutional amendment provision was added to attract conservatives who balked Thursday.

    In all, 22 House Republicans ended up opposing the measure, along with every House Democrat. Here’s the roll call in case you wanted a list of the 22 opponents.

    The Senate, which may remain in session around the clock through the weekend, will reportedly take up the Boehner bill tonight, quickly dispatching it and beginning work on a compromise measure. The Senate vote could come within the hour.

    Why’d the House waste nearly a week on a doomed right-wing plan that House Republicans didn’t much care for? Especially after wasting last week on a similarly doomed right-wing plan that was immediately rejected by the Senate? The point had something to do with giving Boehner “leverage,” though the end result is a weakened Speaker, a divided GOP, and a nation perilously close to the most dramatic, needlessly destructive, self-inflicted wound imaginable.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 29, 2011 4:35 PM
    Why the fuel-efficiency breakthrough matters

    By Steve Benen

    On a normal day, when congressional Republicans aren’t pushing the economy towards a catastrophe, the deal the White House struck on fuel-efficiency standards would be a pretty major story.

    President Obama and his team reached an agreement with the Honda, Hyundai, and the Big Three domestic automakers today to nearly double fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles sold in the United States. Michael Grunwald had a good piece on this today, explaining that the deal represents “a big victory in the fight to reduce our foreign oil addiction, our carbon emissions, and our gasoline costs.”

    The final deal will require vehicle fleets to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, which will reduce fuel consumption by 40% and carbon emissions by 50%. That is real change. Before Obama took office, fuel-efficiency standards hadn’t really budged since the Reagan era; now he’s ratcheted them up twice.

    Yes, environmentalists had pushed for 60 m.p.g. And the White House had floated a compromise of 56.2. But 54.5 is pretty close, considering that last year’s standards were only 28.3. And the carve-out that the White House agreed to for pickup trucks sounds reasonable; pickups are often used to pick up heavy stuff. SUVs, despite their cheetah guards and rugged Dakota/Yukon/Expedition-style branding, are generally used to pick up the kids at soccer practice. […]

    Obama was right to cut a deal with the Big Three, along with Honda and Hyundai, up front. Every U.S. President since Nixon has talked about ending our dependence on Middle East oil, but these standards represent the most significant effort to do something about it in a long time.

    Everything about this deal strikes me as major step in the right direction. The new standards are good for consumers; good for the environment; good for U.S. energy policy; and probably even good for the manufacturers themselves. For all the talk about how we can start reducing carbon emissions and combat global warming, these new fuel-efficiency standards will make a real difference — by some measures, this new agreement will reduce carbon dioxide pollution by over 6 billion metric tons.

    And from a political perspective, what’s the best part of this? It doesn’t require Congress to intervene and screw it up. No filibusters, no hostage strategies, no Tea Party tantrums. The Obama administration compromised with the auto companies, and the resulting agreement will benefit all of us, whether Republicans like it or not.

    • creolechild says:

      rikyrah~ thanks for staying on top of this. I read something about the POTUS and fuel efficiency standards earlier today on-site. Not sure if it was you that posted it; think it was either Ametia or SG2. Nevertheless, this is a HUGE accomplishment for the President, the environment, and us!

  6. President Obama on the Status of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

  7. @Breaking News:The House is voting on the GOP debt plan now. Live video, updates:

  8. @NancyPelosi:Love seeing so many #compromise tweets post-POTUS request! You can also email me your views at

  9. July 29, 2011 – Rep. Doggett on the Balanced Budget Amendment, Boehner Plan

    My Congressman!!!!!!!!

  10. creolechild says:

    The Reason Why Obama Will Not Invoke the 14th Amendment: The Supreme Court
    Submitted by mark karlin on Tue, 07/26/2011 – 3:57pm.

    There’s a simple reason that President Obama will not invoke the 14th Amendment to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis: the Supreme Court. Yes, there is speculation that Obama is too risk averse to assert that the Constitution gives him the power to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling – and that may be true. But Obama and his advisers know that if he bypasses Congress by using the 14th Amendment, it will immediately be challenged in the federal courts – which are loaded with partisan Republican judges – and fast tracked to the Supreme Court.

    With Scalia having led a partisan majority time and time again – including his stopping of the State Supreme Court-ordered presidential recount in Florida in 2004 so as not to harm the reputation of the presumed winner, George W. Bush, (Scalia wrote in justification of his infamous opinion) – it is a given that five members of the Supreme Court have no compunction about leaving the Constitution in the dust.

    As BuzzFlash has argued before, despite calling themselves “strict constructionists,” the five majority votes on the Supreme Court are anything but. In fact, they often interpret the Constitution to justify their political outlook as they did in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, and a host of other rulings that have dramatically affected the direction of this nation.

    Thom Hartmann views the 5-4 majority record as being so significant that they have become a de facto arm of the Republicans in Congress. Hartmann calls the GOP majority on the court the “Five Kings.”

    The 14th Amendment is pretty clear when it comes to the debt ceiling: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

    That’s about as strict constructionist as you can get in prohibiting Congress from limiting the debt ceiling, even though it has been their tradition to vote on increasing it – as they frequently have done under Republican and Democratic presidents alike.

    But the “Supreme Court Five” aren’t going to really enforce the Constitution as it is written, should Obama invoke the 14th Amendment. They will rule against presidential authority and side with the Republicans in Congress. Because their motivation in high-stakes partisan issues like this is not the law as it is written; it is scoring a victory for their political beliefs and sponsors.

    That is why President Obama will ultimately not assert the 14th Amendment to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis. The “Five Kings” won’t allow him, in the end, to do so.

    • opulent says:

      Ordinarily I would agree with how The Five Kings would act. But I doubt they would rule with Congress because of how it will result in economic armaeggadon.

      those justices don’t want wall street to collapse they also have personal portfolios

      after all the corporations that they rule for want the debt ceiling raised.

      So I disagrree. The Court will uphold the POTUS because they are capitalists!

      And remember it is the tea party group that is causing havoc not the ordinary smutty GOPs

  11. John Conyers Owes the President an Apology

    This morning we heard that Congressman John Conyers – whom I have a lot of respect for and who has done wonderful things on behalf of the American people – let loose on President Obama at an event held by the House Out of Poverty Caucus. He is calling for White House protests because he claims that the President put Social Security “cuts” on the table in the debt limit talks, not the Republicans. In fact, Conyers went on to pretty much absolve the Republicans of their responsibilities. He has had it with the President. Well, Congressman, some of us out here have had it with you and your pals talking out of whack.

    First of all, let’s be clear what we are talking about. It is a dastardly lie that “Social Security cuts” were proposed or even accepted by President Obama. I have covered the issue of the Social Security reform and the COLA calculation adjustment before, and suffice it to say that there are no cuts to the basic social security benefit being proposed by President Obama or anyone else. None. That is a fact.

    The antics of Congressman Conyers trying to “educate” this President at an Out of Poverty Caucus event
    is as rich as it is shameful. Before trying to school President Obama on poverty and jobs, maybe Congressman Conyers needs to be reminded of some things:

    •President Obama’s health reform is the greatest anti-poverty program in a generation. It will help millions poor Americans gain health coverage through Medicaid, and subsidize the private health plans of millions in the middle class. It also invests $11 billion in community health centers, where Americans of limited means (or really, anyone) can go to get primary and preventive care regardless of ability to pay. Conyers should know about this – after all this is a law featured on his Congressional website.

  12. creolechild says:

    Intelligent Street Lighting Saves Up to 80% On Energy

    Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is currently testing an intelligent street lighting system on its campus, which uses up to 80% less electricity than the current systems and is also cheaper to maintain. The system consists of street lights with LED lighting, motion sensors and wireless communication. This enables the installation to dim the lights when there are no cars, cyclists or pedestrians in the vicinity. Wireless communication between the street lights and a control room is also possible. The system was developed by TU Delft alumnus Management of Technology, Chintan Shah, who won a competition in 2010 with this concept for improving energy efficiency on the university campus.

    The Netherlands spends more than 300 million euros a year on electricity for street lighting. The network of street lighting also emits over 1.6 million tons of CO2 a year. The lights are always on at full power, regardless of whether there is anyone in the area. Compared with the current street-lighting system, Chintan Shah’s intelligent system can reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission by up to 80%, is cheaper to maintain and can also help solve the problem of light pollution.


    ….In Shah’s system, all surrounding street lights light up if anyone approaches. And the lights never go out completely; they are dimmed to approx. 20% of the standard power. Passers-by move in a safe circle of light as it were. An added bonus is the fact that the lights automatically communicate any failures to the control room. This makes maintenance cheaper and more efficient than it is now.


    Read more:

  13. creolechild says:

    FBI Recommended ‘Complete Idiot’s Guide,’ Anti-Muslim Books To New Agents
    Ryan J. Reilly

    The FBI was telling new bureau recruits as recently as Jan. 2009 that Islam “transforms [a] country’s culture into 7th Century Arabian ways” and recommending a book written by one of Norwegian terrorism suspect Anders Behring Breivik’s favorite authors as well as the Complete Idiot’s Guide To Understanding Islam. That’s the type of information included in a 62-page slideshow (PDF) produced by the FBI’s Law Enforcement Communications Unit, which was obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Asian Law Caucus thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last year.

    Spencer Ackerman first reported on the slides at Wired’s Danger Room. Some of the books included on a “Recommended Reading” slide are The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam and The Truth About Muhammad by anti-Muslim blogger Robert Spencer, who was cited 64 times by the Norwegian bombing suspect Breivik in his manifesto. In a statement to Ackerman, the FBI said that the presentation “was a rudimentary version used for a limited time that has since been replaced” and said that Robert Spencer’s book was no longer on the recommended reading list.


  14. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2011 3:25 PM

    How big is the House GOP’s sane contingent?

    By Steve Benen

    House Speaker John Boehner (R) will, in all likelihood, finally pass a debt-ceiling bill later this afternoon. I was going to say “his” debt-ceiling bill, but we all know Boehner’s bill was effectively killed last night, and the revised version today is a different animal.

    Today’s measure will finally clear the House in an entirely partisan way: no Democrats were involved in writing the bill; no Democrats will end up voting for the bill.

    And then what? If Boehner has learned anything from this week, it should be this: if the House is going to prevent a global economic crisis next week, the Speaker is going to need to embrace a bill that can get at least some Democratic support. There’s really no way around this basic truth. The arithmetic is unforgiving.

    With this in mind, Kevin Drum said something last night that got me thinking.

    If Boehner can’t get the tea partiers in the House to support his proposal, and if Harry Reid can’t find 60 votes in the Senate for his, then pretty shortly they’ll figure out that there’s only one way to pass something: forge a compromise that can get substantial support from both Democrats and non-tea-party Republicans. Such a compromise is almost certainly available, and all it takes to get there is for Boehner to be willing to admit the obvious: the tea partiers just aren’t willing to deal, period. They want to burn the house down so they can build something better from the ashes. They’re insane.

    So walk away from the tea partiers. Instead, strike a deal that a hundred non-insane House Republicans and 20 or 30 non-insane Senate Republicans can support. Add that to a majority of the Democratic caucus and you’re done. You’ve saved the country.

    I strongly agree with all of this. By most estimates, there’s a group of House Republicans — I call it the “Suicide Squad” — that just don’t want to raise the debt ceiling and would gladly pursue default. They’ll vote for right-wing measures such as CC&B, or something close to it, but anything else is simply out of the question.

    Exactly how big is this contingent? That’s unclear. There are 240 House Republicans, though, and it’ll take 217 votes to prevent a total disaster. Does the Suicide Squad include more than 23 members? Almost certainly, yes. This, again, makes it necessary for Boehner to embrace a plan that can garner some Democratic support.

    For me, the most pressing question, which I don’t know the answer to, is, how big is the Republicans’ sane contingent? Kevin envisions 100 or so non-insane House Republicans joining a similar number of House Democrats to save the country. Sounds good. But are there 100 sane House Republicans? I honestly have no idea. Is there a reliable count of such things?

    I should also note that there are 193 House Democrats, and if they could all (or nearly all) be convinced to support a deal, Boehner would really only have to deliver a few dozen House Republicans to prevent the catastrophe.

    This won’t happen — it would surely mark the end of Boehner’s career — but if preventing a recession is a priority, the Speaker should at least keep the numbers in mind.

    • opulent says:

      Boehner could have struck the deal Drum talks about WEEKS ago! the votes were there for the POTUS plan all along.

      The problem is that Boehner knew he would lose his speakership if he passed the bill wthout the tea party folks.

      IOW’s Boehner is the issue…craven politics!!

  15. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2011
    They’ve now left our solar system
    We are way, way beyond mere political polarization. House Republicans can’t even see Earth from wherever they are. It’s expected that Iowa’s Steve King would appear, as he did moments ago on MSNBC, to reeducate us about a default not really being a default, or that Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn would have appeared earlier to deny that Speaker Boehner’s plan yesterday wasn’t actually “in trouble.”

    But this, from The Hill, suggests a whole new plateau of abject, otherworldly self-delusion:

    Despite vows by the Senate to defeat Boehner’s plan, many House Republicans, including Boehner, had thought a strong vote on the Speaker’s initial debt measure would have forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to accept the plan and send it along to President Obama [italics mine].

  16. creolechild says:

    Emergency Team Of 8th-Grade Civics Teachers Dispatched To Washington

    WASHINGTON—With lawmakers still at an impasse over increasing the debt ceiling, a special team of 40 eighth-grade civics teachers was air-dropped into Washington earlier today in a last-ditch effort to teach congressional leaders how the government’s legislative process works. “We started them off with the basics, like the difference between a senator and a representative, and then moved on to more complex concepts, like what a resolution is,” Bozeman, MT social studies teacher Heidi Rossmiller told reporters as all 535 members of Congress copied down the definition of “checks and balances” from a whiteboard in the House chamber. “It’s been a bit of an uphill battle, since most of them seemed to have no real sense of how or why a bill is passed, and Sen. [Harry] Reid [D-NV] had to come up to me during a break and ask, ‘Ms. Rossmiller, what happens if Congress can’t reach a compromise?’ But hopefully it will all start to sink in soon.” At press time, an unruly House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had noisily stormed out of a lecture on bipartisan cooperation, claiming it was “too hard.”,21023/

    • opulent says:

      lol lol…that’s about the size of it!!

      middle schoolers running the nation…they failed civics and they are failing the nation

  17. creolechild says:

    The 400 Richest Americans Pay An 18% Tax Rate

    The 400 richest Americans used to pay 30% of their income on the average to Uncle Sam. Today, they pay 18% on the average, according to Steve Rattner, a Wall Street financier, who just presented these figures on Mornings With Joe,MSNBC.

    The main reason for the drop in their tax rate of some 40% is the tax cuts by George Bush in 2003, taking the rate paid on dividends and capital gains down to 15%. This reduction in the investment class’s taxes powered the bull market in stocks from the fall of 2003 until the fall of 2007.

    Shockingly, the plan to raise the debt ceiling collects nothing from the wealthiest Americans to reduce our budget deficit. The Republican right wing holds the Obama White House hostage. It’s a sad day for the principle of sharing the pain equitably.

  18. creolechild says:

    Big Oil Hits a Gusher With Taxpayer Subsidies in DC Despite Record Profits

    A big reason why the federal government is “broke” is because the oil industrialists have had a free pass on paying taxes. They haven’t paid their fair share of taxes for nearly 15 years. And here’s why: Lobbyists make their dirty deals with the legislators by essentially writing the laws that work in their favor and then the legislators add these dirty deals into the bills.

    For example, while House Republicans are well aware of the intolerably hot temperatures from global warming right now, they’re getting ready to vote on amendments that increase global warming: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), “among the most egregious amendments, or riders, are ones that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from setting first ever limits on global warming emissions from power plants and oil refineries and undermine new administration fuel efficiency standards for vehicles manufactured between 2017 and 2025.” The vote comes just days after a severe heat wave that set record temperatures in many U.S. cities.

    And that’s the way it works in D.C. for just about everything regarding benefits for billionaires while at the same time, slashing funding for highways, schools, bridges, libraries, health care, police, firemen and so forth. In other words, Republicans want to funnel our tax dollars to war profiteers and billionaires instead of responsibly funding what taxes are supposed to be used for: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and basically the money that is needed to maintain a country’s infrastructure. The Republicans’ message to the President and to the American people is: How dare you ask millionaires and billionaires to pay taxes! And that’s the central reason why both sides are mired in mud.


  19. creolechild says:

    Legislation to Phase Out Private Military Contractors is Filed in Senate and House
    Submitted by BuzzFlash

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) today introduced legislation that would phase out private security contractors in war zones. The legislation recognizes that the United States increasingly has relied on private contractors to wage our wars, wasting taxpayer money, damaging military morale and hurting our reputation around the world. “The American people have always prided themselves on the strength, conduct, and honor of our United States military. I therefore find it very disturbing that now, in the midst of two wars and a global struggle against terrorism, we are relying more and more on private security contractors – rather than our own military – to provide for our national defense,” Sanders said.

    “Our continued reliance on private security contractors endangers our military, damages our relationships with foreign governments, and undermines our global priorities,” said Schakowsky. “Though we have the finest military in the world, we continue to outsource our security to private contractors, who answer to a corporation rather than a uniformed commander. When Senator Sanders and I introduced this legislation last year, we had 22,000 armed private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, we have 28,178. We need this bill now more than ever. ”

    There are 155,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan today, but only 145,000 uniformed service members. About 28,000 of the contractors are performing mission-critical functions such as training troops and police, guarding convoys, repairing weapons, administering military prisons, and performing military intelligence. The Stop Outsourcing Security Act would restore the responsibility of the military to perform such functions. The bill also would require that all diplomatic security be undertaken by U.S. government personnel. The White House could seek exceptions, but those contracts would be subject to congressional oversight.


    Read more:

  20. creolechild says:

    EBay stock value plunges over $1 billion amid ‘Anonymous’ boycott
    By Stephen C. Webster

    Following the announcement of a boycott by hacktivist groups “Anonymous” and “LulzSec,” shares in PayPal parent company eBay plunged by over $1 billion in value before perking back up as opportunistic investors bought into the company in hopes of a deal. Still, as the day wore on, shares in eBay took a beating, down more than three percent to finish the day.

    The boycott, popularized by the “#OpPayPal” hashtag on Twitter, called for PayPal users to close their accounts. It was launched in response to the company’s refusal to send donations to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. PayPal suspended all transactions headed toward WikiLeaks last year, in the weeks following their groundbreaking publication of secret U.S. diplomatic cables. MasterCard, Visa and Bank of America followed suit shortly thereafter, freezing the majority of WikiLeaks’ funds. In response, the anti-secrecy site pointed out that PayPal still accepts donations for the Ku Klux Klan hate group, and a group connected to the mass murderer in Oslo, Norway.


  21. creolechild says:

    Charter Schools Outsource Education to Management Firms, With Mixed Results
    by: Sharona Coutts, ProPublica

    Since 2008, an Ohio-based company, White Hat Management, has collected around $230 million to run charter schools in that state. The company has grown into a national chain and reports that it has about 20,000 students across the country. But now 10 of its own schools and the state of Ohio are suing, complaining that many White Hat students are failing, and that the company has refused to account for how it has spent the money. The dispute between White Hat and Ohio, which is unfolding in state court in Franklin County, provides a glimpse at a larger trend: the growing role of private management companies in publicly funded charter schools.

    Contrary to the idea of charters as small, locally run schools, approximately a third of them now rely on management companies — which can be either for-profit or non-profit — to perform many of the most fundamental school services, such as hiring and firing staff, developing curricula and disciplining students. But while the shortcomings of traditional public schools have received much attention in recent years, a look at the private sector’s efforts to run schools in Ohio, Florida and New York shows that turning things over to a company has created its own set of problems for public schools.

    Government data suggest that schools with for-profit managers have somewhat worse academic results than charters without management companies, and a number of boards have clashed with managers over a lack of transparency in how they are using public funds. White Hat has achieved particularly poor results, with only 2 percent of its students making the progress expected under federal education law. The company declined comment on the performance of its schools.


  22. President Obama Calls on the American People to Make their Voices Heard

    This morning, President Obama spoke on the status of the debt ceiling negotiations from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. The President urged Republicans and Democrats in Congress to find a bipartisan solution to avoid default that he can sign by Tuesday. Though we are almost out of time, the President made it clear that there are multiple ways to resolve this problem:

    Now, keep in mind, this is not a situation where the two parties are miles apart. We’re in rough agreement about how much spending can be cut responsibly as a first step toward reducing our deficit. We agree on a process where the next step is a debate in the coming months on tax reform and entitlement reform –- and I’m ready and willing to have that debate. And if we need to put in place some kind of enforcement mechanism to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, I’ll support that too if it’s done in a smart and balanced way.

    So there are plenty of ways out of this mess. But we are almost out of time. We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time, as we always have — bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses. Keep in mind, if we don’t do that, if we don’t come to an agreement, we could lose our country’s AAA credit rating, not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills — we do — but because we didn’t have a AAA political system to match our AAA credit rating.

    And make no mistake -– for those who say they oppose tax increases on anyone, a lower credit rating would result potentially in a tax increase on everyone in the form of higher interest rates on their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards. And that’s inexcusable.

  23. creolechild says:

    WHOA! What’s going to be next “book burnings?”….

    On Monday at the Republic, MO school board meeting, four Republic School Board members reviewed a year-old complaint that three books are inappropriate reading material for high school children. In a 4-0 vote, the members decided to ax two of the three books from the high school curriculum and the library shelves: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was spared. The resident who filed the original complaint targeted these three books because “they teach principles contrary to the Bible“: Wesley Scroggins, a Republic resident, challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible. “I congratulate them for doing what’s right and removing the two books,” said Scroggins, who didn’t attend the board meeting. “It’s unfortunate they chose to keep the other book.”

    Speak is an award-winning novel that describes a high school date rape victim’s personal struggles. This novel was approved because, as school superintendent Vern Minor said, only one page is used to “tastefully, not graphically” describe the rape and there were only three instances of profanity. But Twenty Boy Summer, a book about a young girl who struggles with loving another after her boyfriend suddenly dies, apparently focused too much on “sensationalizing sexual promiscuity” and featured “questionable language, drunkenness, lying to parents and a lack of remorse.” “If the book had ended on a different note, I might have though differently,” said Minor. [WUH? PLEASE BUY A CLUE…IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!]


    While the books will be removed from the curriculum and the library, students desiring to read these books can get parent permission to use them for a school project. “If the parent thinks ‘For Johnny, it is age-appropriate,’ then we’ll let the parent make the call,” Minor said. It is important to note that, out of the four School Board Members, only one has actually read all three books. [SIGH!!!!!]

    • Ametia says:

      Isn’t it something that folks like Minor would try and deny others the right to broaden their consciousness. What a narrow-minded, fearful, small, petty, intolerant little man.

      • creolechild says:

        You know how it goes, “Misery loves company.” Not enough that this individual is mentally and emotionally constipated; he wants everyone around him to be the same. Just pathetic…

  24. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2011 2:05 PM

    Reid poised to move in the Senate

    By Steve Benen

    For several days, the political world’s attention has been focused on the House, where the Republican majority has struggled badly to do much of anything except waste valuable time.

    And what of the Senate? The first order of business will, apparently, be the defeat of Speaker Boehner’s (R) latest proposal. The outcome is not in doubt, though the schedule is still unclear. If the House moves this afternoon — it will reconvene any minute now — the Senate should kill the Boehner bill by dinner time.

    And then it’s Harry Reid’s turn.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would go ahead and move to end debate on legislation to raise the debt limit, describing it as “the last train.”

    Reid implored Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to join him in negotiating a bipartisan agreement that could pass the Senate with 60 votes.

    Reid said if the Senate begins Friday to move legislation to raise the debt limit, it would take four days to pass it through the upper chamber. That means the Democratic plan to raise the debt limit would pass no sooner than Aug. 2 — the deadline set by the Treasury Department for avoiding default

    McConnell, perhaps not paying close enough attention, this morning pushed for a six-month extension, so the nation could go through all of this again. Reid, naturally, declined.

    The Majority Leader did, however, once again urge McConnell to reengage in talks — Reid would gladly make some additional changes to his extremely generous offer to pick up some additional GOP support. Indeed, it’s probably going to be mandatory — all signs suggest Senate Republicans will filibuster the Democratic compromise, which in and of itself, is rather insane.

    For his part, McConnell has suggested he’s unwilling to talk until after the fate of the Boehner bill is resolved.

    Regardless, given the Senate’s procedural hurdles, we’re looking at a schedule that will be cutting things way too close. Reid’s bill may not be able to reach the floor until Aug. 2, and if that date seems familiar, it’s because it’s the default deadline. If things go very smoothly, Dems might be able to get a vote the morning of Aug. 1, though Senate Republicans are unlikely to help make that happen.

    Tick tock.

  25. rikyrah says:

    uly 29, 2011 2:50 PM

    The importance of an ‘enforcement mechanism’

    By Steve Benen

    There’s a reason congressional Republicans are pushing for a two-step process on raising the debt ceiling, and it’s not just about objecting to the one thing President Obama has requested. It’s also about leverage.

    Both the Boehner and Reid plans would include a massive spending cut, totaling about $1 trillion. Both plans would also then begin a process tackling tax and entitlement “reform,” but with different strings attached. Under Boehner’s approach, success on this second would be a prerequisite for the next debt-ceiling increase. Under Reid’s approach, the debt ceiling would already be raised through 2012.

    And that’s what worries Republicans. Under the Reid plan, if the tax and entitlement “reform” process fails to reach a solution, nothing horrible happens. Failure, the GOP argues, has to come with some kind of dramatic consequence, or policymakers won’t have an incentive to succeed.

    As Jonathan Cohn explained, that’s where “triggers” enter the picture.

    Specifically, [Republicans] want a guarantee that the cuts will actually take place. Boehner’s bill would accomplish this by increasing the debt ceiling in stages — first by enough to carry the government through 2011, and then by enough to carry it through 2012. The second increase would be conditional upon approval of the commission’s savings recommendations. And, with Boehner promising his colleagues that no Republican member would recommend new revenue, the savings would have to come entirely from cuts, the bulk of them from some combination of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. […]

    Democrats obviously won’t go along with that

    President Obama didn’t make a lot of news in his remarks this morning, but there was one line that stood out for those keeping an eye on this part of the process:

    “We agree on a process where the next step is a debate in the coming months on tax reform and entitlement reform — and I’m ready and willing to have that debate. And if we need to put in place some kind of enforcement mechanism to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, I’ll support that too if it’s done in a smart and balanced way.”

    “Balanced” is the key word there. It’s pretty easy to set this “enforcement mechanism” up in a way that would require sacrifice from both sides. Indeed, it’s obvious — craft the policy so that if the next round of talks doesn’t produce an effective solution, deficit-cutting measures would kick in automatically in the form of spending cuts and tax hikes. If this is about creating an incentive for both sides, it would do the trick nicely: Dems wouldn’t want the cuts, and Republicans wouldn’t want the taxes.

    But Republicans, so far, have refused to consider this approach, because it creates the possibility that someone’s taxes might go up. They’re open to triggers as an idea, but GOP leaders have said they only want automatic deficit-reduction measures that include cuts without revenue. They’re comfortable with creating an incentive for success, so long as it doesn’t affect their priorities if the talks fail.

    In other words, GOP leaders are not only reluctant to compromise, they’re also against a smaller compromise that could help lead to a larger compromise.

    I’m starting to think tax cuts are the priority Republicans take seriously

  26. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2011
    Impeachment may be the objective
    This thought does occur.

    It may be that congressional Republicans privately have removed brinkmanship from the table; that their revised plan is to ensure that no default-avoiding bill, under any circumstances — not even their own — shall emerge from Congress; and that a guaranteed default will thereby force President Obama to reluctantly exercise the Constitutional option next week, thus creating the grounds for another year-long distraction: impeachment

  27. creolechild says:

    Iraqi Kurdistan bans female genital mutilation
    By Agence France-Presse

    Human Rights Watch on Tuesday welcomed a draft law banning female genital mutilation by the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Family Violence Bill approved June 21 by the autonomous government includes several provisions criminalising the practice in Kurdistan, HRW, said, adding that prevalence of FGM among girls and women in Kurdistan “is at least 40 percent.”

    “By passing this law, the Kurdistan regional government has shown its resolve to end female genital mutilation and to protect the rights of women and girls,” said Nadya Khalife, Middle East women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But the government needs a long-term strategy to deal with this harmful practice because criminalising it is not enough,” she said in a statement.

    The bill has to be ratified by the regional president, Massud Barzani. The draft law criminalises FGM, penalising medical professionals and midwives who “instigate, assist, or carry out” the procedure. Criminal penalties include prison terms ranging from six months to three years, in addition to fines of up to $8,500. Shortly after HRW issued a June 2010 report about FGM, the Kurdistan Health Ministry surveyed 5,000 women and girls and found that 41 percent had undergone the procedure, and that the practice is more prevalent in some regions than others in Kurdistan, the statement said.


  28. rikyrah says:

    Kabuki to Create ‘Work Product’
    by BooMan
    Fri Jul 29th, 2011 at 02:00:08 PM EST

    I watched Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) chairing the Rules Committee as he reluctantly created a rule to allow a vote on Boehner’s latest plan. He said he was unhappy about having to introduce the crappy bill, but he doesn’t want to take a chance of Social Security checks not getting to his constituents or the country losing it’s AAA credit rating. You had to be able to read between the lines a little bit, but Dreier acknowledged that the bill would be totally unacceptable to the Senate but, he explained, the House had to create some kind of “work product” to give to the Senate so that a compromise could be worked out. He further explained that they had to put Balanced Budget Amendment in to pass anything. They’re basically humoring the Tea Partiers just so they can create a “work product.”
    Now, I’m a little unclear about whether lifting the debt limit technically counts as a spending bill. Under the Constitution, all spending bills must originate in the House. But the debt limit doesn’t spend any money, it only authorizes the spending of money. So, perhaps Dreier is being disingenuous. I’m pretty sure Harry Reid can get around that requirement anyway by hollowing out a bill that has passed the House and replacing the text with his own bill. I guess I should ask David Waldman about this stuff.

    In any case, the Republican leadership is using a scandalous amount of posturing and disingenuousness. They do seem to be fooling the Tea Baggers, though.

  29. creolechild says:

    Rep. Allen West’s (Very, Very) Stealth Jihad
    — By Tim Murphy

    On Monday afternoon, as markets fretted over the possibility of the United States government running out of money to pay its creditors, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) held a briefing on a crisis that could bring the nation to its knees. “This is about the protection of each and every American citizen who ever resides within our borders,” West told the audience in the basement of Rayburn House Office Building.

    West wasn’t there to talk about Congress’ apparent inability to raise the debt ceiling, though. He was there to introduce Peter Leitner of Citizens for National Security, an organization based in Boca Raton, Florida, that is dedicated to raising awareness of the threat of Islamic extremism in American communities. The group, which previously tried to ferret out perceived Islamic bias in Florida public-school textbooks, had been invited by West to present the findings of its latest report: “Homegrown Jihad in the USA: Muslim Brotherhood’s Deliberate, Premediated Plan Now Reaching Maturity.” CFNS claims to have a list of 6,000 members of the Muslim Brotherhood who are living in America and determined to “penetrate the United States and eventually erode its institutions, policies, and sense of self through the creation of a multifaceted Fifth Column movement within our borders.” That’s a serious charge, and in a 45-minute presentation, Leitner backed it up with a series of charts that linked various Muslim organizations, from Hezbollah to the Muslim Students Association, in one giant, overarching conspiracy bent on “destroying the United States as it currently stands.”


    Citizens for National Security’s report was preceeded by a big announcement that the group would be releasing the names of 6,000 active members of the Muslim Brotherhood. But when the big day came, the group stated that the names would actually be kept under wraps and only released to select “responsible parties.” In a response to a query from Wired’s Spencer Ackerman, Leitner conceded that the people on his list had not necessarily been charged with any crimes. Instead, they were just people who are involved with organizations he had connected to the Muslim Brotherhood—like the Muslim Students Association.


  30. rikyrah says:

    The Wall Street Journal’s opportunistic, but provably false, anti-entitlements broadside
    A crisis is a crisis, but also an opportunity.
    The Journal is using the current crisis to launch a full-on attack on entitlements, blaming the New Deal, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for all of America’s fiscal issues. Not the wars. Not the tax cuts. Just entitlements.

    President Obama will deserve much of the blame for the spending blowout of his first two years (see the nearby chart). But the origins of this downgrade go back decades, and so this is a good time to review the policies that brought us to this sad chapter and $14.3 trillion of debt.

    FDR began the entitlement era with the New Deal and Social Security, but for decades it remained relatively limited. Spending fell dramatically after the end of World War II and the U.S. debt burden fell rapidly from 100% of GDP. That changed in the mid-1960s with LBJ’s Great Society and the dawn of the health-care state. Medicare and Medicaid were launched in 1965 with fairy tale estimates of future costs.

    Medicare, the program for the elderly, was supposed to cost $12 billion by 1990 but instead spent $110 billion. The costs of Medicaid, the program for the poor, have exploded as politicians like California Democrat Henry Waxman expanded eligibility and coverage. In inflation-adjusted dollars, Medicaid cost $4 billion in 1966, $41 billion in 1986 and $243 billion last year. Rather than bending the cost curve down, the government as third-party payer led to a medical price spiral.

    LBJ launched other welfare programs—public housing, food stamps and many more—that have also grown over time. Last year, the panoply of welfare programs spent about $20,000 for every man, woman and child in poverty, according to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.

    Social Security’s fiscal trouble began in earnest in 1972 with bills that increased benefits immediately by 20%, added an annual cost of living adjustment, and created a benefit escalator requiring payments to rise with wages, not inflation. This and other tweaks by Democrat Wilbur Mills added trillions of dollars to the program’s unfunded liabilities. Believe it or not, these 1972 amendments were added to a debt-ceiling bill.

    None of these benefit expansions were subject to annual budget review and thus they grew by automatic pilot. They are sometimes called “mandatory spending” because Congress is required by law to make payments to those who meet eligibility standards, regardless of other spending needs or tax revenues.

    According to the most recent government data, today some 50.5 million Americans are on Medicaid, 46.5 million are on Medicare, 52 million on Social Security, five million on SSI, 7.5 million on unemployment insurance, and 44.6 million on food stamps and other nutrition programs. Some 24 million get the earned-income tax credit, a cash income supplement.

    By 2010 such payments to individuals were 66% of the federal budget, up from 28% in 1965. (See the second chart.) We now spend $2.1 trillion a year on these redistribution programs, and the 75 million baby boomers are only starting to retire.

    We suspect that in the 1960s as now—with ObamaCare—liberals knew they had created fiscal time-bombs. They simply assumed that taxes would keep rising to pay for it all, as they have in Europe.

    On Monday night Mr. Obama blamed President George W. Bush’s “two wars” for the debt buildup. But national defense spending was 7.4% of GDP and 42.8% of outlays in 1965, and only 4.8% of GDP and 20.1% of federal outlays in 2010. Defense has not caused the debt crisis.

    Many on the left still blame Ronald Reagan, but the debt increase in the 1980s financed a robust economic expansion and victory in the Cold War. Debt held by the public at the end of the Reagan years was much lower as a share of GDP (41% in 1988 and still only 40.3% in 2008) compared to the estimated 72% in fiscal 2011. That Cold War victory made possible the peace dividend that allowed Bill Clinton to balance the budget in the 1990s by cutting defense spending to 3% of GDP from nearly 6% in 1988. …



    the Republican are mofo’ing LIARS.


    2. The Deficit is made up of 4 things:
    a) Iraq War
    b) Afghanistan War
    c) Medicare, Part D
    d) Bush Tax Cuts [if you want to twist the knife in, point out, that this was the first time in American history that tax cuts were done during WARTIME]

    • Ametia says:


    • opulent says:

      Big time LiES!

      the % of GDP has diddly to do with debt crisis…it is simply DEBT that causes the debt crisis.

      How dare they say the ‘entitlement’ programs are redistribution of wealth.

      americans better wake up..this is CLASS warfare and the HAVES are winning!!

  31. rikyrah says:

    Reid To GOP: You Have Until Midnight

    You have until midnight.

    That’s the message Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has conveyed to Senate Republicans. If they want any further input on his debt limit bill, they need to speak up by then. Otherwise, he’ll touch off a process that could result in passage of his plan on the afternoon of August 2.

    “I have invited Sen. McConnell to sit down with me and to negotiate in good faith, knowing the clock is running down. I hope he will accept my offer,” Reid said on the Senate floor Friday. “I know the Senate compromise bill Democrats have offered is not perfect in Republican’ eyes. Nor is it perfect for Democrats.”

    A Senate leadership aide says McConnell hasn’t taken Reid up on that offer yet. Even if he does, Democrats are counting on Republicans to maximize procedural delays, so have settled on the following process.

    Whether or not Republicans ask Reid to tweak his bill or not, he will file cloture on his plan (or perhaps a slightly amended version) by midnight tonight.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Huntsman Slams Romney For Failing To Take A Stance On Boehner Debt Plan: ‘You’ve Got To Stand Up’

    | As House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) attempts to wring support out of his stubborn GOP Caucus, the leading Republican presidential candidates have all taken clear stances on Boehner’s debt plan — except for Mitt Romney. Though he continues to lead in the polls, Romney remains silent on the number one economic issue that is currently crippling Washington. Last night on Fox News’ On the Record, candidate Jon Huntsman declared his support for the Boehner plan, and took the opportunity to slam candidates like Romney for failing to “even come up with what they support.” In specific reference to Romney, Huntsman said, “You’ve got to stand up. This is a time when leadership matters and you got to stand up and voice where you are.” “This isn’t academics,” he added, “this is the real world.” Watch it:

  33. creolechild says:

    Breaking Down the Lucky Duckies
    By Kevin Drum

    The other day I wrote about the zombie lie that half of Americans pay no taxes. This is something conservatives repeat routinely, somehow forgetting repeatedly to explain that what they really mean is that half of Americans pay no federal income tax but do pay plenty of other taxes. When you call them out on this wee mistake they tend to get offended — though somehow, never quite offended enough to stop saying it.

    But put that aside. Even stated accurately, you might be wondering how it is that so many people end up not paying any federal income tax. Today the Tax Policy Center has the answer for you. In 2011 they estimate that 46% of Americans will pay no federal income tax. Donald Marron breaks this down:

    * 23% pay nothing because they’re poor. A couple making less than $19,000, for example, doesn’t owe anything after their $11,600 standard deduction and two exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero. As Bob Williamson puts it, “The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.”

    * 10% are elderly and pay nothing because their Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes.

    * 7% pay nothing thanks to provisions in the tax code designed to benefit low-income families: the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account.

    And the other 6%? Their taxes are zero for a variety of reasons: above-the-line deductions and tax-exempt interest; itemized deductions; education credits; other credits; and reduced rates on capital gains and dividends. TPC’s report has all the gruesome details.

    But for the vast bulk of nonpayers, the explanation is simple: the federal tax code is designed not to tax either poor families or working class families with children, and there are more of these in America than you’d think. One way or another, it turns out, this accounts for about 40% of the country.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Tacking Right: How John Boehner Convinced Republicans To Back His Debt Limit Plan
    After his members dealt him a stunning defeat Thursday, and forced him, for the second time to pull and amend his plan to raise the debt limit, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has figured a way out.

    Once-reluctant Republicans — including Reps. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jeff Landry (R-LA), and Phil Gingrey (R-GA) — streamed out of a House GOP caucus meeting Friday morning to announce they’d changed their minds, and will now support Boehner’s bill.

    But Boehner didn’t pull it off by cajoling members or twisting their arms. He had to fundamentally change his legislation — to make it even more of a non-starter with Democrats, who have already vowed to kill the plan.

    To lure members, Boehner has dangled a familiar carrot. Though the plan would avoid a default in August, he included in his legislation a new requirement that the Congress pass a constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment before the debt ceiling can be raised in the future, when the government once again runs out of borrowing authority several months from now.

    Amending the constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, so the plan would essentially force reluctant Democrats to vote for the BBA in the coming months or send the country into default.

    One version of the BBA has been lurking on the outskirts of this debate for months, but Boehner’s is different in at least one key way, Gingrey confirmed. Previous versions of the BBA have included a provision holding that Congress can not raise taxes without the assent of a two-thirds supermajority in both the House and Senate. It constituted a de facto requirement that the government balance its budget by cutting or eliminating federal programs en masse.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Sharpton: Debt fight about ‘your mama,’ not Obama
    Rev. Al Sharpton to Urban League: Debt fight isn’t about President Obama, but ‘your mama’

    The fight in Congress about raising the nation’s debt limit isn’t about President Barack Obama, but rather, “your mama,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said Wednesday.

    The New York-based civil rights activist told the National Urban League convention in Boston that efforts to drastically cut spending in exchange for raising the debt limit, as some House Republicans want, would put Social Security at risk.

    “This is not about Obama. It’s about your mama,” Sharpton said to laughter and applause. “Social Security is about our mamas. And if Obama is a way to protect our mamas then I’m not ashamed to stand with Obama.”

    He urged advocates to change the conversation about the debt limit to one about creating more jobs, which are the convention’s theme.

    National Urban League officials say the effects of government default would put more strain on black families.

    Sharpton, a former Democratic candidate for president in 2004 and president of the National Action Network, also attacked “states’ righters” for using the debt crisis to “destabilize” the central government. He said those strong advocates for states’ rights would love to see the federal government destabilized under Obama’s administration.

    In April, Obama addressed Sharpton’s National Action Network and conceded there were times when people “lose hope” over whether national politics will ever change.

  36. creolechild says:

    Wrapping up afternoon music with saxophonist, Pamela Williams.

  37. creolechild says:

    Here’s Cassandra Wilson, singing You Move Me.

  38. creolechild says:

    Here’s Chris Botti, performing Streets Ahead.

  39. @EricBoehlert:Peggy Noonan last wk: Gang of Six are grownups who’ll solve debt crisis: Noonan this wk: Obama’s a “loser”;

    Peggy Noonan = bee.itch.

  40. Think Progress:

    New draft of Boehner plan

  41. creolechild says:

    Here’s the mellifluous Phil Perry, accompanied by Dave Grusin on piano, singling Woman.

  42. @MarkKnoller:WH/Carney turning down appeal from Sen. Orrin Hatch to tell American people now what programs will be funded in event of default.

    • opulent says:

      Good. Don’t tell shyt!

      They are going to spin whatever is said.

      or as usual just make up shyt…like death panels.

      Rev Al said Boehner was no Speaker of house cause he can’t even get his own party to vote on his bill…Al said that is called a Squeaker

  43. @MarkKnoller:WH/Carney rejects updated House GOP plan. Still regards requiring 2nd debt limit increase in 5 months to be “wildly bad idea.”

  44. creolechild says:

    This is for everyone who remembers what it was like back in the day going to house parties. If you didn’t have lots of music by this man, your party would be over quick!

  45. dannie22 says:

    Good afternoon all

  46. vettte says:

    So, the situation in Washington has truly gotten serious now. The ReThug TeaScumBaggers are rouge pirates hijacking this American ship to try and “take their country back(wards).” Can you really believe that “those people” are so threatened about loosing power over “our people” that they would let this country run amuck. With no regard for their own grandmommas. Their so-called creation of a balanced budget doesnt mean that all of their wants and desires would be included. These damned rouge pirates need to be removed from office. Well, we tried to “tell ’em” to vote last November; in 2012 the lines at the polls need to be miles long barring that “our people” won’t have to provide an ID to vote. Ya see the ramifications of NOT Voting is far worse than asking the question “is Obama on the ballot?” FAT MEAT IS GREASY!!

    • Hey Vette!

      All of This! They’re willing and ready to take down a Nation so the black guy can’t be re-elected. They viewed the movie “Town” to get others pumped up to go hurt some people. The mofos need to be charged with Treason for intentionally trying to wreck the country’s economic progress! Take note Michelle Bachmann…the GOP IS gangsta government!

      • vettte says:

        TREASON is right. I think their plot is bigger than Obama.They want their country back(wards) at any expense. This so-called balance budget means taking grandmas check…now that’s pretty low. Them’s fighting words on the 1st of the month and if the checks are late, the teacrackers will get a lot of peoples attention. If this type of behavior goes on throughout the next year, people will be lined up around the voting polls (if they don’t have to have an ID). We tried to tell ’em to go out and vote, now they will see the hard way. OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN HIJACKED.

    • opulent says:

      ‘those people’ always been angry and full of hate especially about blacks.
      they were taught racism every night at the dinner table, as daddy sat down
      and took his cone head sheet off his head.

  47. creolechild says:

    It’s muucchh to late to be trying to put a positive spin on your time in office. So please, just STOP. YOUR. LYING!!!

    Bush says slow reaction on 9/11 was deliberate decision
    By David Ferguson

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former President George W. Bush says his apparent lack of reaction to the first news of the September 11 2001 attacks was a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis. In a rare interview with the National Geographic Channel, Bush reflects on what was going through his mind at the most dramatic moment of his presidency when he was informed that a second passenger jet had hit New York’s World Trade Center.

    Bush was visiting a Florida classroom and the incident, which was caught on TV film, and has often been used by critics to ridicule his apparently blank face. “My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children,” Bush says in an excerpt of the interview shown to television writers on Thursday.

    Bush said he could see the news media at the back of the classroom getting the news on their own cellphones “and it was like watching a silent movie.” Bush said he quickly realized that a lot of people beyond the classroom would be watching for his reaction. “So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn’t want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm,” he said of his decision to remain seated and silent. I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm,” he added.


  48. creolechild says:

    India, Pakistan top diplomats hold peace talks
    By Agence France-Presse

    India and Pakistan’s foreign ministers held their first talks for a year Wednesday, looking to breathe fresh life into a peace process still stifled by the trauma of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. India suspended contacts with its arch-rival after the attacks and the peace dialogue has struggled to gain any real traction since its formal resumption in an atmosphere of mutual recrimination and mistrust. Speaking to reporters before the talks began, Pakistan’s new foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, said it was important that ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours and rivals should “not be held hostage by the past.”

    India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them triggered by their territorial dispute over Kashmir, which has repeatedly eluded previous attempts at reaching a comprehensive peace deal. Khar also stressed the “responsibility both countries have on their shoulders” to bring stability not only to their own relationship, but to the South Asia region as a whole.

    Khar, Pakistan’s first female foreign minister, was appointed just last week and, at 34 years of age, some have questioned whether she is experienced enough to handle one of the world’s most fraught cross-border relationships. At 79, her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna is 45 years her senior. Krishna also stressed the wider regional importance of a stable India-Pakistan relationship, saying they owed it to “succeeding generations” to find a way out of six decades of animosity.


  49. MarineMomof3:

    Republican Accomplish­ments

    Is anyone else surprised that The TeaPottyRe­­­­publica­n­’­t­s failed to
    deliver on their promises?

    Republican­­­’t Party Report Card from 2000 to 2010

    Prevent Obamacare…­­­­­­……………­…­.­.­F­a­­il­ed

    No gays in the military……­­­­­­………….­.­.­F­a­i­­le­d

    Make abortion illegal………­­­­­­………….­F­a­i­l­e­­d

    Catch Bin Laden……………­­­­­­…………F­a­i­l­e­d

    Privatize Social Security……­­­­­­…………F­a­i­l­e­d

    Control immigratio­­­­­­n through r*cist laws………………­­­­……­.­Fa­i­l­e­d

    Protect the USA…………………­­­­­­……..9­/­1­1­/­2­­00­1

    Mission Accomplish­­­­­­ed………­…­…­…­…­F­­ai­le­d

    Find WMD in Iraq………………­­­­­­………..­F­a­i­l­e­­d

    Cut Taxes……………­­­­­­……………­…­…­.­C­h­­ar­ge­d to National Debt of $14 trillion

    Improve US economy………­­­­­­………….­.­W­o­r­s­­t Financial crisis since 1929
    in Sept 2008.

    Keep Free Market “Free”….­­­­­­…..­.­.­.­.­.­­..­..­..­.­.­.­B­u­sh TARP
    Bank Giveaway
    Bailout in OCT. 2008

    Make Vouchers into law……………….­­­­­­.Fail­e­d

    The GOP has failed on every major goal of their f*cist platform.

    What has the GOP ever “Started and Finished since 2000” which is
    Recognized as a success?


    N E X T !!!

  50. creolechild says:

    Global markets sinking in response to failure of GOP vote
    By David Ferguson

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stock index futures fell on Friday after lawmakers in Washington delayed a vote on a Republican proposal to raise the U.S. government’s debt limit. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s failure to round up enough votes for his plan late Thursday exposed a rift in the Republican Party that is hampering efforts to reach a compromise to raise the U.S. debt ceiling before a Tuesday deadline. House Republicans are due to meet at 10 a.m. EDT to discuss a way forward.

    “The fear factor of the debt ceiling crisis is becoming a major one as we near the deadline,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York. “There is a possibility that we might the test the 1,275 level on the S&P”. On Thursday, the S&P 500 fell for a fourth straight day, closing near 1,300 as buyers kept to the sidelines while lawmakers struggled to hash out an agreement on the deficit and debt ceiling. S&P 500 futures fell 5.9 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 57 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 7.25 points.


    (Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

  51. @Breaking News:Obama announces proposed plan to increase fuel economy of cars and trucks sold in U.S. to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025

  52. rikyrah says:

    Obama Calls For Compromise: ‘Time For Putting Party First Is Over’
    As Congress and the country lurch toward an August 2nd deadline for defaulting on its debt, President Obama issued an urgent plea for party leaders to put aside their differences and forge a compromise to raise the nation’s borrowing limits and rescue the country from the brink of economic calamity.

    “The time for putting party first is over and the time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now,” Obama said in a mid-morning address Friday. “For for all the intrigue and drama taking place on Capitol Hill, I’m confident that cooler heads will prevail.”

    Obama thanked Americans who responded to his Monday night call for action with an outpouring of calls and emails to Capitol Hill urging compromise, and asked for voters to keep the pressure on lawmakers.

    “Keep it up. If you want to see a bipartisan compromise, let your Members of Congress know. Make a phone call, send an e-mail, tweet. Keep the pressure on Washington and we can get past this.”

    The President’s message comes while Republicans are regrouping from an internal party meltdown on vivid display when House GOP leaders Thursday night were forced to delay a vote scheduled on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) debt proposal because too many Republicans were refusing to vote in favor of the plan because they believed it did not go far enough in cutting spending.

    The Boehner bill would employ a two-step process, immediately raising the debt ceiling by $900 billion while making $917 billion in cuts over the course of ten years while putting off further increases in the debt ceiling and cost savings for several months.

    Democrats argue that the delay would only produce yet another debtmageddon redux during the important holiday buying season, which would only rattle the economy even more. Even it House Republicans manage to find the votes to pass the Boehner bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared it dead on arrival in the Senate and in the absence of the bill has said he would move forward with a Senate Democratic alternative by the end of Friday.

    Despite the drama, the President and Democrats argue that both the Reid and Boehner plans are fundamentally very similar. Both proposals do not include any revenues or tax increases and would produce roughly $1 trillion over the next decade with a plan for $1.5 trillion more in cuts hashed out by a bipartisan debt committee.

    “This is not a situation where the two parties are miles apart…,” Obama said in his brief address Friday. “We’re in rough agreement.”

    The compromise, Obama said, should focus on an enforcement mechanism, or trigger, that would trigger severe repercussions for both parties if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling in the months ahead.

    Behind-the-scenes negotiations this week have focused on the possibility of imposing severe across-the-board spending cuts in domestic and defense programs and even possibly tax increases, if Congress fails to find the savings. The trigger would include a little something for everyone to resist and would, at least in theory, create enough incentive for Congress to find a solution.

    Obama said he would support some kind of enforcement mechanism, if “it is does in a smart way.”

  53. rikyrah says:

    Harry Reid Moves Senate Debt Ceiling Bill Forward

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just can’t wait any longer. In a frustrated speech on the Senate floor Friday morning, Reid promised to file cloture on his compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling today, before the House GOP (maybe) finishes cobbling together support for Speaker Boehner’s plan.

    “This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default,” Reid said.

    Reid said he had asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to sit down with him and work out a process that can get the bill passed the Senate before the nation defaults Tuesday morning.

    On the floor, Reid called out House Republicans for last night’s failure to pass Boehner’s plan, which is doomed in the Senate anyway. Boehner’s bill (which has been hastily rewritten for the second time and is being presented to the GOP caucus this morning) doesn’t extend the debt ceiling long enough to attract Democratic votes. And it doesn’t make deep enough cuts to attract tea party votes.

    Reid, in what has become a common refrain, said once again that it’s time for compromise. He pointed to the last crisis — the government shutdown — as an example of how things can still be worked out at this late date.

    “As with the battle to pass a Continuing Resolution and keep our government open for business a few months ago, the Republican leadership was unable to get the votes with only Republicans,” Reid said, referring to the debt ceiling bill. “Speaker Boehner had to look to Democrats.”

    “That’s how it’s supposed to work,” he added. “Democrats and Republicans working together.”

  54. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2011 11:15 AM

    ‘A self-inflicted wound of monumental stupidity’

    By Steve Benen

    There are, regrettably, plenty of prominent media voices who insist on characterizing the Republicans’ debt-ceiling crisis as a disaster brought on by “both sides.” Yes, David Gergen, I’m looking in your direction.

    But for all the complaining I do about this, it’s only fair to also note those who get it right, and resist the Village’s agreed upon narrative. Here’s Time’s Joe Klein yesterday, before last night’s breakdown in the House.

    [S]o, here we are. Our nation’s economy and international reputation as the world’s presiding grownup has already been badly damaged. It is a self-inflicted wound of monumental stupidity. I am usually willing to acknowledge that Democrats can be as silly, and hidebound, as Republicans-but not this time. There is zero equivalence here. The vast majority of Democrats have been more than reasonable, more than willing to accept cuts in some of their most valued programs. […]

    The Republicans have been willing to concede nothing. Their stand means higher interest rates, fewer jobs created and more destroyed, a general weakening of this country’s standing in the world. Osama bin Laden, if he were still alive, could not have come up with a more clever strategy for strangling our nation.

    That last line was of particular interest, because it echoes a recent point from Nick Kristof. Indeed, the NYT columnist recently argued that Republicans represent a kind of domestic threat, possibly undermining the nation’s interests from within: “[L]et’s remember not only the national security risks posed by Iran and Al Qaeda. Let’s also focus on the risks, however unintentional, from domestic zealots.”

    Are Klein and Kristof suggesting Republican extremism has become dangerous? It certainly sounds like it.

    This is pretty bold stuff from media establishment figures. It also suggests the “both sides” nonsense hasn’t exactly achieved universal acceptance.

    • opulent says:

      Naw, klein and kristof are not suggesting the GOP extremism is dangerous.

      What they are saying is you assholes are messing with my MOFO money!!

      This is gonna be way bigger than Maddoff,…running off with my senile mothers money.

  55. creolechild says:

    Huge Labor Victory: After IKEA Outsourced Swedish Jobs To Virginia To Thwart Unions, Virginia Workers Vote To Unionize – By Zaid Jilani

    As ThinkProgress reported last April, home furniture giant IKEA has set up shop at a manufacturing plant in Danville, Virginia for the past three years in order to gain access to a non-unionized pool of labor and avoid Swedish unions. Workers at the Danville plant allegedly faced mandatory overtime, frantic hours, and even racial discrimination.

    Yesterday, following an intense union organizing drive by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the employees at this Virginia plant voted overwhelmingly to unionize:

    Workers at Ikea’s U.S. furniture factory voted to form a union, a victory for the labor movement seeking to rebound from record-low membership at private companies. Employees at the plant in Danville, Virginia, voted 221-69 today to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National Labor Relations Board said. The factory, operated by a subsidiary called Swedwood, makes low- cost bookcases and coffee tables for sale in Ikea’s 37 blue and yellow U.S. big-box stores.

    Local news station WDBJ7 covered the workers’ victory. Watch it: [Click on link to view.]


  56. rikyrah says:

    Debt Ceiling Crack-Up
    by BooMan
    Fri Jul 29th, 2011 at 10:13:11 AM EST

    Things are moving too fast for me to keep up. I think it is correct to say that it’s time for Mitch McConnell to step up and save the day. The only way I can see for him to do that is to negotiate with a small rump of House Republicans who share his complete aversion to a default. And he’s also going to have to work with Reid and Pelosi to find something that their caucuses can almost unanimously support. A Republican-majority bill is no longer a possibility, if it ever was. Unfortunately, McConnell is saying that Senate Democrats, not House Republicans, will be responsible if we default. That’s the opposite of what we need.
    Harry Reid is going to try to move something today. The president is going to speak this morning. So, we’ll just have to see if there is a way out of this mess. From all appearances, Boehner is just going to make his bill more unacceptable to the president and the Senate Dems in order to try to blame-shift. No one is going to be fooled.

    Let me know if you learn any news.

  57. You’re rocking & rolling, folks! Keep calling…

    Think Progress:After Obama statement, House phones lines are now over capacity. Outside callers getting busy signals.

  58. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 29, 2011 10:05 AM

    The Pell Grants sticking point

    By Steve Benen
    Congressional Republicans who oppose Speaker Boehner’s budget plan have more than one complaint, but it’s fascinating to see one of the main sticking points GOP leaders ran into last night.

    House conservatives who have stalled legislation to raise the national debt limit are angry that it includes $17 billion in supplemental spending for Pell Grants, which some compare to welfare. Legislation crafted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to raise the debt limit by $900 billion would directly appropriate $9 billion for Pell Grants in 2012 and another $8 billion in 2013. This has shocked some conservative House freshmen who say they were elected to cut spending, not increase it. Some House Republicans think of it as being akin to welfare.

    This isn’t a joke. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) said of the Pell Grant provision, “I really don’t understand why we’re increasing spending in a bill supposed to be cutting spending.” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) conceded the Pell Grants have “been part of the discussion” among conservatives who were debating whether they could support the bill.

    About a month ago, during a different debate, John Cole noted, “If these guys were comic book villains, no one would buy it because it’s just too over the top.”

    It’s an assessment with broad applicability.

  59. creolechild says:

    Bahrain king ‘supports’ political reforms
    By Agence France-Presse

    DUBAI — Bahrain’s king said he supports proposals for political reform submitted to him on Thursday following a “national dialogue” from which the main Shiite opposition withdrew just two weeks after it began. The report on the dialogue “reflects the determination (of the participants) to rise above the latest incidents,” King Hamad said in a televised speech, referring to a month of deadly pro-democracy protests crushed by the authorities in March. The king expressed his “support” for the recommendations that, he said, notably included “reinforcing the independence of the judicial branch and the consolidation of human rights” in Bahrain.

    He also cited the development of standards for the selection of the Majlis Ash-Shura, or consultative council, whose 40 appointed members can block legislation coming out of the lower house. King Hamad said he had given instructions for the implementation of the recommendations in “constitutional institutions” but made no reference of the withdrawal of the main Shiite opposition party, Al-Wefaq, from the dialogue.

    Al-Wefaq, or the Islamic National Accord Association, announced on July 17 it was pulling out of the dialogue on reforms, saying the talks were not aimed at achieving serious results. The talks follow a bloody March crackdown by security forces on Shiite-led protests calling for reforms in the Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority kingdom. Authorities say 24 people were killed in the unrest.

  60. creolechild says:

    (This article expands on the information that was posted by Ametia yesterday.)

    House Republicans are not just do-nothings — they’re spinning their wheels furiously
    By David Neiwert

    Tina Dupuy has an excellent piece in The Atlantic examining how this Republican Congress is on pace to set a modern record for non-accomplishment — while expending endless energy passing bills that have no chance of passing the Senate: One quarter into the 112th Congress’s two-year term, only 14 pieces of legislation originating in the House have become laws (12 bills and two house joint resolutions). Fourteen. Compare that with the House in the 111th, which claimed 254 laws (plus 11 house joint resolutions) over two years. The 110th had 308 (plus 10 house joint resolutions). Even the often-derided do-nothing 109th Congress’s House controlled by the GOP passed 316 (with 16 house joint resolutions).

    If the current House continues with this trend it will have produced a mere 48 laws by the end of the chamber’s full term. Quick math: The last three Houses have by this time in their tenure produced an average of 76 laws each.

    But when House Republicans are actually in session, it’s not exactly like they’re doing nothing. They’ve made a point of passing bills that “send a message.” Over and over, they’ve brought legislation to the floor that was doomed to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Why? To put taxpayer money where Republican congresspersons’ mouths (and votes) are. Yes, the House Republicans of 112th Congress are having a love affair with the symbolic vote.

    Dupuy compiled a list of the many bills that have passed the House with no chance of passage in the Senate, including the health-care repealers, defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR, ending the oil-drilling moratorium in the Gulf, and gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Of course, these are the same people demanding that President Obama devise a debt-ceiling plan … even though that’s a responsibility clearly in Congress’ hands.


  61. creolechild says:

    Well, you HAD to know that “Punxsutawney Phil” (aka Ralph Nader) would briefly pop out of his hole make a prediction about what should be done in the upcoming election season…using his fail-proof strategy which garnered a disproportionate number of…what?….oh…ummm…never mind.

    Nader looks for Obama 2012 challengers
    By Michael O’Brien

    Consumer activist Ralph Nader said Tuesday that he’ll launch an initiative soon to field primary challenges to President Obama in key states. Nader, who waged two presidential campaigns as a third-party candidate, is working with a group of frustrated Democrats who are hoping to turn up the heat on Obama from the left. “It’s an initiative to scan the possibilities of people who may run,” Nader said in a phone interview. “My guess is that it’s almost 100 percent sure there’s going to be a primary challenge to Obama from somebody or somebodies — plural — in some states.”

    Nader’s effort follows comments over the weekend by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), a liberal independent who caucuses with Democrats, that it would be a “good idea” for Obama to face a primary challenge in 2012. Sanders brusquely declined to talk Tuesday about his weekend remarks, saying only that he hadn’t heard from anyone in the White House about the comments.

    Other liberal stalwarts on Capitol Hill acknowledged their frustration toward the president and his handling of the spending-and-debt debate. They expressed worries about how it might tamp down enthusiasm for Obama among the Democratic base in 2012. But they flatly ruled out supporting a primary challenge to the president. [Don’t you just love unnamed sources?]


  62. creolechild says:

    Tea Party groups target ‘defectors’ on debt vote
    By Alicia M. Cohn

    Several Tea Party organizations are working to punish conservative Republicans who plan to vote yes on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) debt-ceiling proposal. Tea Party leaders announced Thursday that they are targeting Republican Reps. James Lankford (Okla.), Allen West (Fla.), Mike Kelly (Pa.) and Bill Flores (Texas), all four freshmen and declared yes votes for Boehner.

    The four represent necessary votes for Boehner, who spent Thursday whipping members of his conference, only to postpone a vote on his proposal because of a lack of votes. One lawmaker told The Hill that fears of Tea Party primary challenges in next year’s election have hurt the GOP whipping operation. The four lawmakers swept into office in 2010, midterm elections in which the Tea Party movement is credited with a significant role in winning back the Republican majority in the House.

    West has been particularly vocal in his support of Boehner’s plan, which many consider a surprise endorsement by the Tea Party firebrand not known for falling into line behind his party’s leadership. However, Tea Party-affiliated organizations Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Founding Fathers and United West indicated Thursday that their members will not tolerate a vote for the Boehner plan. Tea Party leaders want West and the others to know they consider voting for Boehner’s plan “caving in” and it could mean losing the support of the Tea Party in 2012.


  63. creolechild says:

    Boehner out of time, Harry Reid to push forward with Senate bill
    Posted by Paddy

    Way to pull the rug out from under Boehner, he looks more incompetent than ever. Via TPM-

    I have invited Sen. McConnell to sit down with me, and to negotiate in good faith knowing the clock is running down. I hope will accept my offer.

    I know the Senate compromise bill Democrats have offered is not perfect in Republican’ eyes. Nor is it perfect for Democrats.

    But together, we must make it work for all of us. It is the only option.

    The settlement on the table will never give either party everything it wants. But it already meets the Republicans’ demands.

  64. The President needs your help, folks! Please call your Congressmen & Women and tell them you want compromise and bipartisanship to raise the Debt Ceiling. Put the pressure on, folks!

    Call 202.224.3121 & ask for your representive’s office.

    Speaker John Boehner:

    Call! Call! Call!

  65. creolechild says:

    Former Afghan Prime Minister Says Taliban Offer Talks for Pullout Date
    by: Gareth Porter

    Kabul – The Taliban leadership is ready to negotiate peace with the United States right now if Washington indicates its willingness to provide a timetable for complete withdrawal, according to a former Afghan prime minister who set up a secret meeting between a senior Taliban official and a U.S. general two years ago. They also have no problem with meeting the oft-repeated U.S. demand that the Taliban cut ties completely with Al-Qaeda.

    Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, who was acting prime minister of Afghanistan in 1995-96, told IPS in an interview that a group of Taliban officials conveyed the organisation’s position on starting peace negotiations to him in a meeting in Kabul a few days ago. “They said once the Americans say ‘we are ready to withdraw’, they will sit with them,” said Ahmadzai. The former prime minister said Taliban officials made it clear that they were not insisting on any specific date for final withdrawal. “The timetable is up to the Americans,” he said.

    Ahmadzai contradicted a favourite theme of media coverage of the issue of peace negotiations on the war – that Mullah Mohammed Omar, head of the Taliban leadership council, has not been on board with contacts by Taliban officials with the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the U.S. He confirmed that Mullah Baradar, then second in command to Mullah Omar, had indeed had high-level contacts with officials in the Karzai government in 2009, as claimed by Karzai aides, before being detained by Pakistani intelligence in early 2010.


  66. creolechild says:

    Ex-GOP Sen. Voinovich On House GOP: ‘They’re Playing Russian Roulette And All The Chambers Have A Bullet’ – By Alex Seitz-Wald

    Echoing his former colleague Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), former Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) teed off on House Republicans’ brinkmanship on the debt ceiling, saying intransigent GOP congressmen are willing to risk destroying the county’s economy to get what they want. Voinovich told Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson:

    “They’re playing Russian roulette and all the chambers have a bullet.” […] “They’re flamethrowers. ‘We’re going to get what we want or the country can go to hell.’”

    Meanwhile, Bruce Bartlett, a former policy adviser to Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush, lambasted House Republicans yesterday on MSNBC’s Hardball for playing with fire on the debt ceiling:


    Read more:

  67. creolechild says:

    Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann: My husband, “our business” are nobody else’s business – Posted by GottaLaff

    According to Michele O’Bachmann– the same Michele Bachmann who is running for president of the United States, the one who wants to live in the White House and become Commander in Chief– questions about her husband, their business, and her family in general are all off limits. She is playing the Sharron Angle Refuse to Answer Game with the press, apparently not realizing what a hypocrite she is.

    WASHINGTON (AP)– Rep. Michele Bachmann steadfastly refused Thursday to answer questions about her family’s business and finances, saying that she – not her husband – was the one seeking the White House.

    – “I’m running for the presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the presidency. Neither are my children. Neither is our business.” [Wait… your business isn’t running? Oh, well then, our bad.]

    –”I have no doubt that every jot and tittle of my life will be fully looked at and inspected prior to November of 2012.” [Except questionable campaign reimbursements to your husband, questions about his Erase the Gay Therapy biz, things like that.]

    – “Unlike all of you, who I’m sure paid cash for your homes, there are people out there like myself who actually have to go to a bank to get a mortgage.” [Now about that opposition to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Michele …]

    Michele Bachmann: Evasive Hypocridiot-O’-The-Day.

  68. creolechild says:

    Japan will test children for cancer from the Fukushima region forever
    By John Amato

    If a core isn’t near meltdown not much news comes up about about the tragic nuclear crisis of Fukushima. Norman Solomon has kept the pressure turned high on our nuclear safety issues since he began to run for Congress, but not many others have. This is a sad story, but we’ll hear more about radiation damage emitted by Fukushima after the tsunami struck as more time passes by. Children living in the nuclear-hit Fukushima region of Japan are to undergo regular cancer tests for the rest of their lives.

    Fukushima prefectural government plans to carry out regular ultrasound examinations on all residents who were 18 years old or under when the nuclear crisis broke out on March 11. The tests, designed to spot early symptoms of thyroid cancer, will be conducted every two years until the age of 20 and then every five years, according to Japanese news reports. An estimated 360,000 young residents will be entitled to the free medical tests, which will start operating from October this year, with further in-depth urine and blood testing taking places if any abnormalities are discovered.

    News of the lifelong testing follows growing concern surrounding the potential health impact of the still stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant on residents in surrounding regions. Following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the power plant has leaked radiation into the surrounding soil, air and sea, prompting evacuation of the immediate area and a string of food scares relating to local produce.

  69. Ametia says:


  70. creolechild says:

    GOP leader: ‘I believe there will be a vote today’ on debt plan
    By Bob Cusack

    House GOP leaders expressed confidence Friday morning that they would move a vote on raising the debt ceiling one day after they had to pull their Speaker’s measure from a planned House floor vote. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “just a handful of members” had a problem with the bill that was pulled from a scheduled House vote on Thursday. Cantor made the remark before a meeting of the House GOP conference on Friday morning. He said GOP leaders were going to talk to their members when he asked about the possibility that Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) bill would be changed.

    GOP members are meeting against an increasingly turbulent economic backdrop. The nation’s economy grew at a worse-than-expected 1.3 percent rate in the second quarter of the year, and estimates on first-quarter growth were downgraded to 0.4 percent from an already slow 1.9 percent. Stocks tumbled more than 100 points on the Dow Jones Industrial average at the opening bell, before picking up some of those losses in early morning trading.


  71. creolechild says:

    Boeing overcharged U.S. Army nearly $13 million for spare helicopter parts
    By Eric W. Dolan

    The American aerospace and defense corporation Boeing overcharged the United States Army by 131.5 percent, according to an unredacted Department of Defense Office of Inspector General audit released by Project on Government Oversight (POGO). According to the 142-page document, the Army should have only paid $10 million instead of the nearly $23 million it paid for spare parts for Boeing AH-64 Apache and Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

    “The audit report raises significant questions about what the DoD is paying to maintain and operate major weapons,” POGO explained. “For instance, the estimated ‘sustainment’ price tag for the Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is $1 trillion over the next 50 years. The cost of spare parts makes up a portion of that $1 trillion figure. Spare parts overcharges become quite significant when you add up individual overcharges over time, over a number of weapon systems.”

    Boeing has only refunded approximately $1.3 million of the nearly $13 million that the audit calls for and the Army has been hesitant to seek further refunds. The Army awarded Boeing with a contract to provide support for the helicopters in June 2004, instead of obtaining the parts through the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency. Bloomberg reported the Boeing contract intended to reduce the overhaul time for helicopters returning to combat by as much as 50 percent.

  72. creolechild says:

    Debt Ceiling Impasse Rattles Short-Term Credit Markets

    The reverberations of Washington’s impasse over a debt deal are already being felt in the short-term credit markets, a key artery of the economy that daily supplies trillions of dollars of credit. Over the last week, big banks and companies have withdrawn $37.5 billion from money market funds that invest in Treasury debt and other ultra-safe securities, the biggest weekly drop this year. Meanwhile, in the vast market for repurchase agreements, in which many financial firms make short-term loans to one another, borrowers are beginning to demand higher yields.

    These moves underscore how companies and big financial institutions are beginning to rethink their traditional view that notes issued by the United States Treasury are indistinguishable from cash, even though many experts say they think it is unlikely that the government would miss payments on its obligations. The $37.5 billion drop, reported Thursday in a weekly survey by the Investment Company Institute, echoed what other analysts were seeing.

    In the first three days of this week, investors pulled $17 billion from funds that invested only in government securities, a reversal of the daily inflows of $280 million for much of July, said Peter Crane, the president of Crane Data, which tracks money market mutual funds.
    “It’s big, no doubt about it,” he said. “Seventeen billion isn’t a run, but it’s definitely indicative that investors are shifting their assets. If this were to continue for another week or two, it would be very disturbing.”


  73. creolechild says:

    Judge allows defamation suit against Breitbart to proceed
    By Stephen C. Webster

    A district judge in Washington, D.C. ruled Thursday that a defamation lawsuit against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart may proceed to trial, according to Legal Times reporter Zoe Tillman. The suit, filed by former U.S. Dept. of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, had faced a motion to dismiss or relocate, which was struck down. Judge Richard Leon did not issue a written opinion on the case.

    Last year, Breitbart published a video of Sherrod describing to an NAACP conference how she overcame her own racist attitudes. However, a video from that speech was deceptively edited to make it appear that she was describing how she used the power of the government against a white farmer. She was fired from her post at the agriculture department within hours of the clip hitting Breitbart’s website, and for at least a day the world believed Sherrod was a racist who abused her power to harm a white farmer.

    Once it became clear that was not the case, the government offered her the job back, but she declined. Even after a formal apology from the White House and an offer to talk to the president, Sherrod still refused. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took it a step further and offered her a position dealing with civil rights and discrimination issues at the USDA, but Sherrod declined and vowed to sue Breitbart over his deceptive prank. The suit also targets Breitbart colleague Larry O’Connor and one other unnamed defendant. Lawyers for the defense argued that the suit was invalid because it was triggered by a matter of “pure opinion,” not statements of fact.

  74. creolechild says:

    Unions hit Cantor, other vulnerable Republicans on debt ceiling
    By Cameron Joseph

    Liberal group Americans United for Change is teaming up with a trio of large unions to air television ads attacking House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and seven potentially vulnerable Republicans for their stance on raising the debt ceiling. The targets: Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.), Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) and Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.). All are potentially vulnerable members who live in inexpensive media markets. Rehberg is running for Senate.

    The unions participating in the six-figure ad buy are the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the National Education Association. The ads will run from Friday through Monday.

    “If Congress doesn’t act by Tuesday, America won’t be able to pay all of its bills,” one version of the ad begins. “

Social Security checks, veterans benefits, military pay — all could be at risk because Congressman Bobby Schilling and congressional Republicans want to protect tax breaks for millionaires, oil companies and corporate jets. 

So if the check you or your family depends on doesn’t arrive, thank Congressman Schilling. 
Tell Congressman Schilling to stop holding the interests of ordinary Americans hostage.”


  75. Ametia says:

    President Obama to speak on debt ceiling at 10:20 am EDT

    Watch it here:

    • Ametia says:

      News Alert: President Obama says Boehner plan has no chance of becoming law
      July 29, 2011 10:59:43 AM

      Speaking four days before a potentially disastrous U.S. default, President Obama said the plan that House Speaker John A. Boehner is working furiously to pass “does not solve the problem. It has no chance of becoming law.”

      He urged the Senate to move quickly to produce a bipartisan plan to raise the debt ceiling. “The time for putting party first is over,” he said.

  76. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2011 8:00 AM

    With four days to go

    By Steve Benen

    House Republican Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) intended to pass his far-right budget plan on Tuesday, setting up the final phase of the process to raise the debt ceiling, and end the crisis he and his party created. After a discouraging CBO report, Boehner did not have the votes, so he delayed the vote a day.

    Boehner then intended to pass his plan on Wednesday. He still didn’t have the votes.

    The Speaker was convinced that Thursday would finally be his day, and expressed nothing but cautious optimism. The vote would be held at 6 p.m. Make that 9 p.m. Or maybe before 12 a.m.

    Eventually, it became clear Boehner’s Republican opponents wouldn’t budge and his bill still couldn’t pass.

    House Republican leaders delayed until at least Friday a white-knuckle vote on legislation designed to ease the nation’s debt crisis, after hours of scrambling in vain to lock down the last votes needed for passage.

    Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters shortly before 10:30 p.m. that there would be no vote Thursday night on the bill, which would increase the federal debt limit in two stages in exchange for major spending cuts.

    That last line is of particular interest. Even after the past few days, the Republican leadership believes the smartest thing to do would be to force the nation to go through all of this again in December. On purpose. By design. Seriously.

    Now what happens? No one has the foggiest idea. Boehner is scheduled to host a meeting with his caucus at 10 a.m. eastern, but what he’ll say is a mystery. The Speaker could try to twist a few more arms; he could send his bill back for some more changes to make the right a little happier; he could give up on the bill and try to reach a bipartisan deal; he could shout, “So long, suckers!,” toss his gavel to Cantor, and get on the first plane back to Ohio.

    Remember, all of this drama surrounds a budget plan that will die a few hours later. Opposition to the Boehner bill in the Senate is so strong, there is no doubt that the upper chamber will defeat it quickly. Harry Reid kept his caucus around last night, just so he could bury Boehner’s plan in the event it passed the House. The Speaker, in other words, is pleading with right-wing members to cast a vote they don’t want to make in order to pass a measure that stands no chance of becoming law.

    It’s the American political system at its most insane.

    At this moment, we know a few things. One, Boehner’s bill is going to fail, either in the House or the Senate. Two, Boehner is the weakest House Speaker in generations, and his hold on the gavel is tenuous, at best. Three, even if Boehner can squeeze his bill through today, his goal of using the vote to gain leverage and present a united front to Democrats is now laughable.

    And four, the deadline for extension is 4 days and 16 hours away.

  77. Ametia says:

    SC Dems hit gov for saying she’s white on ’01 form
    Originally published Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 4:29 PM
    Associated Press

    South Carolina Democrats on Thursday seized on a 10-year-old voter registration document for Gov. Nikki Haley to claim the Republican uses her Indian-American heritage when it’s convenient because it lists her race as “W” for white.

    South Carolina Democrats on Thursday seized on a 10-year-old voter registration document for Gov. Nikki Haley to claim the Republican uses her Indian-American heritage when it’s convenient because it lists her race as “W” for white.

    Haley was elected the state’s first female governor in November and the nation’s second Indian-American chief executive.

    Her parents emigrated from India and Haley was born in Bamberg County, S.C., a county split between whites and blacks. Born Nimrata Randhawa, she frequently credits her different heritage with helping her get beyond race and finding problems that many have in common.

    South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said the 2001 document the party unearthed shows the 39-year-old Haley plays on her race for political convenience.

    Read on:

  78. Ametia says:

    Obama to speak about vehicle fuel economy Friday and later meet with 4 West African leaders
    By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, July 29, 3:57 AM

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will speak Friday about the government’s fuel efficiency goals for model years 2017-2025 cars and light-duty trucks. The president will appear at the Convention Center in downtown Washington.

    Later, Obama will welcome the leaders of four West African countries to the White House. The White House says the meeting with the presidents of Benin (beh-NEEN’), Guinea, Niger (nee-ZHEHR’) and Ivory Coast provides an opportunity to underscore U.S. support for emerging democracies and to highlight partnerships with them.

  79. Ametia says:

    The 51 Percent Zombie Lie
    — By Kevin Drum
    | Tue Jul. 26, 2011 11:19 AM PDT

    Every morning I take a couple of short breaks from the keyboard to do some stretching exercises that are designed to ease my neck and shoulder pain. I usually turn on the TV while I’m doing this, and that’s pretty much my entire exposure to Fox News. So what were they going on about a few minutes ago while I stretched? The fact that people get really upset when they hear that 51 percent of Americans pay no taxes.

    Well, I’d be upset too. Who the hell are these freeloaders? Answer: They don’t exist, of course. From the Tax Foundation, an organization that even conservatives ought to be willing to credit, here’s a report from a few years ago showing the total tax burden on various income groups in America:

  80. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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