Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

Here’s to ALL the LADIES who LUNCH!

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118 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Obama Vacation House Struck By Fire

    The Martha’s Vineyard vacation home of President Barack Obama and his family during the summers of 2009 and 2010 caught fire in the early morning hours today.

    Obama is expected to vacation there once again next week, as an advance team of Secret Service Agents are camped out on the Island and the White House Press Corps. has booked a block of rooms at the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven—a sure sign to Islanders their famous guest will be arriving soon.

    At approximately 3:31 a.m. today, members of the Chilmark Police Department, Chilmark Fire Department, Tri-Town Ambulance and West Tisbury Fire Department responded to a report from an alarm company of a fire at the Blue Heron Farm, located at 41 Cobb’s Hill in Chilmark.

  2. Ametia says:

    Sandy Pasch (D ) Alberta Darling (R) votes still pending in Wabasha County, WI
    I smell FISH

  3. rikyrah says:

    Bill filed to pay FAA workers for time missed during partial shutdown
    By Keith Laing – 08/09/11 01:32 PM ET

    The measure would take back pay funds from the Aviation Trust Fund that was at the center of the shutdown.

    A bill has been filed to pay Federal Aviation Administration workers for time they missed from work as a result of the partial shutdown of the agency. A total of 4,000 workers were furloughed for nearly two weeks.

    The bill, dubbed the “Furloughed FAA Employees Compensation Act,” was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee officials said. The measure is co-sponsored by Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Jon Runyan (R-N.J.).

    The measure would take the back pay funds from the Aviation Trust Fund, which was at the center of the controversial shutdown because the taxes from airline ticket purchases that would normally go to the FAA were unable to be deposited into the trust fund without congressional authorization.

    LoBiondo said Tuesday paying the employees for the time they missed during the congressional wrangling was the right thing to do.

    “For the past two weeks it was important to get these workers back on the job. Now my focus is to get them back pay and to ensure this avoidable situation never happens again,” he said in a statement.

    Mica, who was criticized by Democrats during the shutdown for what they said was his placement of airline wishes over FAA employees, agreed.

    “This legislation is the right thing to do to ensure that the thousands of hardworking FAA employees who got temporarily left behind by the unnecessary partial shutdown of the agency will not be financially penalized,” Mica said in a statement. “The House and Senate must now work to ensure the end of a 4½ year delay in passing a long-term FAA bill.”

    The shutdown, which lasted 13 days, was estimated to have cost the federal government $30 million per day. In addition to the FAA workers, transportation observers say about 70,000 workers were put out of work by canceled airport construction projects.

    The bill that was approved to end the shutdown last week only funds the FAA through Sept. 16, so the debate about the agency’s funding will likely resume as soon as lawmakers return from their traditional August recess.

  4. creolechild says:

    Look what I found, courtesy of Angry Black Lady! Thank you for transcribing this ABL~

    Steve Harvey Slams the Smiley/West “Poverty Tour”… runteldat!
    By Angry Black Lady on August 9th, 2011


    If you do anything today, listen to these clips. [Click on link to listen to audiotape.]

    Steve Harvey questions the motives behind Tavis Smiley and Cornel West’s Poverty Tour and in the process sets straight the CBC and the Soul Patrol, and (by implication) firebaggers, and PUMAs. Even if you think you don’t like Steve Harvey, take the few minutes to listen to the clips. There are three links on the page. Listen to each of them. I transcribed the clips as best as I could, but you really have to listen to them to get the full effect.

    Here’s my transcript:

    STEVE: Hey Morning Crew! Because you are not as deep into politics as I am, I think that there’s something you should know. Some members of the Republican party are not the only ones wanting President Obama to fail. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are doing a so-called Poverty Bus Tour under the guise of highlighting that issue — because we all know that poverty didn’t exist before January 20, 2009.

    If you check their records, you will see that they have done a lot of poverty-pimping through book sales, TV appearances, speaking fees, and promoting the “woe is me” mindset among the disenfranchised and discouraged. This has been their hustle for a long time, and now President Obama has threatened that with his message of hope and self-empowerment. Just think of what would happen if more people made the effort to tap into their God-given abilities. These jokers would be out of business. Their plan is to discourage a large voting bloc of the president’s base so that their lucrative hustle will once again be secure. Just thought you might want to inform your listeners. Obama/Biden 2012.


    STEVE: I’m really surprised, and, to be honest with you, I was a huge fan of Cornel West. Tavis Smiley? I see him coming a mile away. Tavis Smiley’s anger started when he was having a town-hall meeting. President Obama was supposed to come; he couldn’t come because of the campaign trail, and he sent Mrs. Obama. He has held that grudge ever since.

    CARLA: And then Professor West was upset because he wasn’t invited to the inauguration, as we understand it. Is that correct? To the presidential inauguration?

    STEVE: Hey, I wasn’t there either!

    CARLA: Are you upset?

    STEVE: For what?!

    CARLA: Do you have a poverty bus tour?

    STEVE: Hold up, hold up, have you ever been invited to the damn inauguration?

    CARLA: Oh-kay…

    STEVE: Did Bush send for you? Did Clinton send for you? Did Reagan send for you? So what’re you mad for? Because President Obama, who does not fill out the guest list ain’t got time to tend to that. Do you know how many people wanted to be at the inauguration?

    CARLA: It’s very petty. That’s what it’s about.

    STEVE: The disguise is — the disguise of it all — is he’s not doing for black America what he should be doing. But let me hip everybody to something… and understand this — and this is in layman terms: You are so wrong when you make that statement. He is the President of the United States. He is not the President of The Hood. He is the President of the United States. But if you look at what he’s pushing, no one could benefit greater than our community. Healthcare? Who is lacking in healthcare overwhelmingly than anybody else? Who is that? Who is lacking in education overwhelmingly than anybody else? And who—who do you know could stand a tax break above anybody else? So all you gotta do is fit yourself into the equation and you’ll see that he’s doing everything that he can. But, it’s not for us – it’s for the American people. And the moment we quit saying, “gimme gimme gimme,” and just plug yourself into the already existing system – which ain’t gonna change just ‘cause you want it to – then we can move on with this thing. The man is doing a great job.

    Tavis Smiley was behind Hillary Clinton when she first came out. As was quite a few African-Americans. I can name ‘em. I understand that. But now that Hillary Clinton is not your candidate, the anti-Barack Obama movement… what sickens me is that you don’t have any real basis behind your dislike for this man. You’re not basing it on anything.

    You all, please look at the facts of what this man’s platform was about and see if you don’t fit into the platform. How can he raise a flag for black people and be the President of the United States? It’s utterly ridiculous. Y’all – do you know that that would be the death to his second term, if he was standing up talking about “I’m gonna do this for black people.” He’s gotta do it for the country. We all live in this country. I would be disappointed if he did that. I really would.

    CARLA: Absolutely. Just because he’s black, you know, doesn’t mean that we have to vote for him if he’s not doing the right thing for this country – we all live in this country.

    STEVE: Too many nonblacks voted for this man.


    STEVE: Can you read what you just read the quote was.

    CARLA: This is from an article called The Root on the Internet – from “If anyone thinks this is a hate campaign,” Tavis said, “They don’t understand this really. If the President wants to call a roundtable for two or three days on poverty. Why not a White House conference on poverty?”

    STEVE: See? right there? Once again to Smiley: You are demanding center attention with the President of the United States which is what stemmed this whole problem, brother; when he didn’t come to your townhall meeting because of campaign obligations, and he asked his wife, Mrs. Obama – who graciously came. You’ve been pissed off ever since. Now, “if you think it’s a hate tour, then let’s have the White House sit down for two or three days.” Who in the hell got two/three days for yo’ ass?

    I – I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for no two/three damn days, let alone the President of the United States. We got three damn wars out here, economy crashing, and he gonna sit with Tavis’s ass for two/three days.

    Now you gonna get mad again, ’cause guess what? The man ain’t got time to do this. See, once again you keep masking it all talkin’ ‘bout “if you think this is about hate, you’re wrong.”

    Well what is it ’bout? Because poverty existed before January 20, 2008. [sic]

    TOMMY: Yessir.

    HARVEY: It existed. Where was your damn bus then? Where was your poverty bus when Clinton was the President? Or Reagan. Or the Bush Administration when we were being driven to this new level of poverty. It’s called a recession now Tavis, and it got started over eight years ago. And it started when they started rescinding all of the good things that president Clinton had done. See that’s what’s happenin’ here. So where was your bus tour back then?

    Where was your crying and moanin’?

    TOMMY: Yeah, Tavis.

    Steve: One more time, I want to know this: Is anybody paying you?

    TOMMY: And is it the tea party?

    Anybody? And where are you getting the money for these buses?

    TOMMY: Who owns the buses?

    STEVE: I jus wanna know who he’s getting the money from for the buses. I just really can’t see you digging into your own pocket for the love and welfare of poor people, when you and I both know that we write books and show up on TV for money.

    TOMMY: Is Cornel driving the bus?

    STEVE: If they’re buying the bus, it’s a van.


    Right on, brother.

    Looks like Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington, the New Progressive Alliance, and the rest of you silly white people who think you’re going to convince us not to vote for Barack Obama by vigorously waving black unemployment numbers in our face, (or talking about “I haz a big sad that so many black men are in jail” ::coughAriannacough::) are gonna need a bigger boat.

    When I was growing up, my father always used to say to me, “Life is a constant struggle.” For many people — black, white, Asian, brown — my father’s statement rings true.

    Life is a constant struggle for a lot of people in this country. And it seems to me that those who aren’t struggling are the ones who rarely — if ever — have a positive word for Obama.

    And yes, it really pisses me off.

    You know what? I would honestly like to see a poll taken of the left. An Obamabot/Firebagger poll, to use terms from the Great Obama Wars. I want to know how many firebaggers are employed, have health insurance, or are having an easy time paying their bills and putting food on the table. (The Professional Left need not participate in the poll, because I know without question that you are lining your pockets with the anti-Obama/PUMA/libertarian crap that spews from your fingertips and sconeholes.)

    But for you “regular” political junkies — do you have health insurance? Do you rely on unemployment checks to feed yourself or your family? Now ask yourself whether your support for Obama would vary depending upon the answer to those questions.

    I challenge anyone to find me a person collecting unemployment who isn’t grateful for the Bush tax cut compromise.

    I challenge anyone to find me a single person who is uninsured or has a preexisting condition who isn’t grateful for the healthcare bill.

    Find me one person who isn’t rich enough to buy health insurance on the market, or one person who doesn’t have employer-provided insurance and stable employment prospects, and ask that person if she was screaming “KILL THE BILL!” Ask that person if he is participating in this ongoing “Obama Caved! He Sold Us Out!” public option pathos.

    I’ll bet you can’t find me such a person.

    Oh, and here’s a tip to those white folks who have latched onto Corny as some progressive savior who will help spread the “PRIMARY HIM!” message to The Blacks™: African-Americans in this country have been struggling since silly white people dumped our ancestors’ black asses on these amber-waved and grainy shores.

    We have been struggling since we fucking got here.

    This is not “playing the victim” or “playing the race card.” It’s a simple fact.

    Now, maybe you don’t understand that because you’ve never wanted for an overpriced half-caf soy chai tea latte with whip. Maybe you’re too damn privileged to even contemplate what struggle might feel like. Maybe you have no capacity for empathy with respect to the struggle of others. Maybe you’ve deemed yourself “post-racial” and entitled to ignore the existing racial realities and inequities because “Hey, I didn’t do nuffink! Get over it! I’m colorblind! Stop playing the victim!” Or maybe you think we really are a bunch of dumb motherfuckers who don’t know what time it is.

    Sorry, yo. We do know what time it is.

    It’s Obama-time.

    So take your hate and shove it. We’re not having it. Just look at the polls.

    You’re wasting your time.

    Now, excuse me. This mocha latte isn’t going to drink itself.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Democratic Sens. Murray, Baucus, Kerry Named To Debt Super Committee

    | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has reportedly tapped Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), John Kerry (D-MA), and Max Baucus (D-MT) to join the super committee created by the deal that raised the federal debt ceiling. The super committee is charged with crafting a deficit reduction package by Thanksgiving; seven of the 12 members have to approve the plan to send it to the full Congress.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Koch Sen. Scott Brown Threatens Social Security And Medicare Cuts, Refuses To Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes

    By Brad Johnson on Aug 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    en. Scott Brown (R-MA) continues to defend oil subsidies and tax cuts for millionaires, while now threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare. Because “we’re in a financial emergency,” Brown told senior citizens at the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly in Brighton on Monday, existing programs for seniors are under the axe:

    If anybody’s telling you that ‘Everything’s OK, and don’t worry about it, and you’re going to get all your benefits, and everything’s fine,’ then they’re not really telling you the truth.

    This comes only a few months after Brown attacked Democrats for “scare tactics” over the debt ceiling fight. At the meeting, Brown was asked if he was willing to fight the “financial emergency” by asking oil companies and millionaires to make any financial sacrifice, instead of seniors. Brown said that would be “an absolute job killer“:

    “Would you be willing to support closing tax loopholes on big oil? …Would you be willing to raise revenue on the wealthiest 1 percent?”

    Brown said he had voted to close some loopholes, such as a tax subsidy for ethanol. But he said he was not inclined to support any more taxes.

    “We’re in a 2 1/2- to 3-year recession right now, and raising taxes is an absolute job killer,” he said.

    That’s right: asked about eliminating subsidies that benefit Big Oil, Brown touted his vote to end an ethanol subsidy. His vote helped Big Oil keep its stranglehold on the U.S. economy.

    Brown’s economic math isn’t any better. The recession began in December 2007, over three years ago, and formally ended in June 2009, over two years ago. Even though the private sector has been adding jobs at a steady clip this year, unemployment remains high because of mass layoffs in the public sector. And those are the jobs paid for by taxes.

    While senior citizens suffer, the super-wealthy and the corporations are paying record low taxes while making record high profits, thanks to tax cuts for the rich under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Brown is subsidizing his donor base, like the Tea Party billionaire Koch brothers, on the backs of America’s hard-working middle class and vulnerable senior citizens. Maybe Brown is worried that it would be an “absolute job killer” or a “financial emergency” if he were to work for his constituents instead of his paymasters.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Two George W. Bush Appointees Uphold Ban On Foreign Money In U.S. Elections

    By Ian Millhiser on Aug 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Federal law prohibits foreign nationals who are not lawful permanent residents from funding American political candidates’ campaigns or donating to groups that engage in electioneering. A three-judge panel of federal judges just rejected a lawsuit seeking to strike this law down — with George W. Bush appointees Brett Kavanaugh and Rosemary Collyer both joining the majority opinion:

    [I]t is undisputed that the government may bar foreign citizens from voting and serving as elected officers. It follows that the government may bar foreign citizens (at least those who are not lawful permanent residents of the United States) from participating in the campaign process that seeks to influence how voters will cast their ballots in the elections. Those limitations on the activities of foreign citizens are of a piece and are all “part of the sovereign’s obligation to preserve the basic conception of a political community.”

    While today’s decision is a rare and welcome victory for the proposition that there are limits on people’s (or corporations’) ability to buy elections, it is unlikely to be the end of the road for this case. Federal law allows this case to be appealed directly to the Supreme Court, and it gives the justices far fewer tools to avoid deciding the case than they normally have. So the case will almost certainly be in front of the justices in the near future.

    It’s worth noting however that Judge Kavanaugh is not simply one of George Bush’s judges, he is a former Supreme Court clerk who is widely believed to be on the short list for potential GOP nominees to the high court. Accordingly, his vote to uphold the law suggests that this challenge has a rocky path ahead of it — even in front of this Supreme Court.

  8. rikyrah says:

    House GOP Plans To Exploit Jobs Crisis To Permanently Shut Down The Federal Government’s Ability To Regulate

    By Ian Millhiser on Aug 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Americans depend on federal regulators to keep them safe literally every single day. FDA regulations ensure that our medicines are safe, effective, and reasonably free from toxic side effects. Vehicle safety regulations allow us to buy cars that enable us to survive an accident. Before the federal government started regulating food safety, something as innocuous as a bottle of ketchup could contain a toxic mix of mold, rot, and spices added to cover up the flavor of decay.

    And yet, House Republicans would effectively shut down these regulators’ ability to perform the most basic functions of their job:

    The GOP will make a major push this fall for the REINS Act, which would require all major regulations to get a vote in Congress. […] Unions and consumer groups are outraged over the REINS Act and have been lobbying against it.

    They say it will severely delay regulations, increase corporate influence over health and safety rules through increased lobbying and allow politics to displace science. Especially problematic for them is a provision that if Congress does not approve a regulation within 70 days, it is cancelled and cannot be considered again.

    House Republicans claim that REINS will simply provide an additional layer of congressional oversight before a federal agency can improve vehicle safety standards or reduce greenhouse emissions or streamline the FDA’s process for approving new drugs, but the actual effect of REINS would be to completely freeze much of the federal regulatory structure in place — permanently.

    For one thing, while REINS’ chief sponsor claims that it would prevent new regulations from being filibustered in the Senate, the bill does not account for a loophole in the Senate rules. As a result, all but the most insignificant new federal regulations would be shut down completely unless they could somehow earn supermajority support in the Senate.

    And even if the Senate somehow decided to put aside its partisan differences and start approving rules, it’s not even clear that it would have enough time to do so. Last year, the Senate simply sat on literally hundreds of bills that passed the House — many of them unanimously — because it didn’t have enough time to pass them. In 2010, federal agencies issued more than 90 new rules that would have required congressional approval within a narrow 70-day window if REINS were enacted. It’s anyone’s guess where Congress would find the time to approve all these rules.

    Nor is it even clear how REINS would advance the right’s deregulatory agenda. As Sally Katzen, a former chief overseer of the federal regulatory process, points out, “Agencies sometimes propose eliminating outdated rules. But even these efforts at regulatory streamlining would nonetheless get caught in the REINS Act net, as deregulatory rules are nevertheless still rules.”

    In short, REINS would place every major federal safety regulation, every agency’s major effort to rein in Wall Street, and even every major effort to reduce the burden of federal regulations in the hands of a body that just spent two months trying to decide whether to force America into a catastrophic economic default. If Congress can’t even agree to not blow up the entire U.S. economy, it unclear why anyone thinks that it could pass just one of the dozens of new measures REINS would require it to approve every year.

  9. GrannyStandingforTruth says:

    Check me out. It seems Bill Flax a columnist for Forbes business magazine wants to take us back to Jim Crow. Why would an article like this be in Forbes ?

  10. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Linda H, and WhatISWorking!
    Talking Points > Deficit / Budget
    Posted by Linda H

    Ever find yourself at a lunchroom discussion, party, or church event where someone is slamming the President and predicting the country is broken beyond repair? Not sure what to say? This page gives you short and snappy responses you can store on the tip of your tongue.


    Deficit / Debt Ceiling:

    Job Killing Budget cuts

    Chaos and conflict within the Republican party

    Republican Party has become a circus

    GOP not working for the country, working for Grover Norquist

    Boehner and McConnell are weak leaders

    Republicans walk away from massive budget cuts because of tax pledge
    GOP pandering to Tea Party, lost touch with average American

    GOP giving up power so they don’t have to deal with a messy job

    Obama never intended to cut entitilements, it was a bargaining ploy

    When did it become the President’s job to lead the Republican Caucas?

    GOP tax pledge killing debt deal

    GOP forsakes middle, aids rich

    End Corporate Welfare

    Shared sacrifice -cuts AND revenue

    No kicking the can down the road, GIT ER DONE!

    Leave your rhetoric and ultimatums at the door.

    Republicans underestimate Obama

    When Obama has public support he is willing to call the GOP bluff and push forward

    The President is a better strategists than the Republican Leadership

    President is doing what’s right for the country


    To hate American Government is to Hate America!

    Republican Party:

    Republicans sabotage recovery and blame Obama.

    What has the Republican party ever done for YOU?

    Republican Party, – the single greatest threat to economic growth, prosperity and more jobs in our country

    To want your president to fail is to want your country to fail


    48% of this deficit is from the Bush tax giveaways. Most of the rest of it is revenue shortfall from the Bush Recession.

    Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt

    George W. Bush Doubled the National Debt

    Republicans Voted Seven Times to Raise Debt Ceiling for President Bush

    Federal Taxes Are Now at a 60 Year Low

    Bush Tax Cuts Didn’t Pay for Themselves or Spur “Job Creators”

    Ryan Budget Delivers Another Tax Cut Windfall for Wealthy

    Ryan Budget Will Require Raising the Debt Ceiling

  11. creolechild says:

    Thank you to the Pro President Obama blog for shining a light on this issue!

    “Where were you before you became homeless?”
    By Alex Horton

    We’ve all walked past them—lying in doorways under boxes or bundled up on the corner asking for food and spare change. In the U.S. today, homelessness is a serious issue for Veterans and non-Veterans alike. But all too often, the homeless are invisible—or a nuisance associated with city living. It’s especially troubling to me when I consider each was once an ammo bearer, a radio operator, a team leader, or a rifleman—and that each one potentially once wore the same patch I did. For this reason, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki pledged over a year ago to end Veteran homelessness within five years—and he did it as part of a government-wide effort to find solutions to the problem once and for all.

    As part of that effort last week, volunteers fanned out in 4,000 cities and conducted over 400 point-in-time counts and interviews of the homeless across the country. The effort was led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to get out and record the number of homeless people who’ve taken to the streets. Before the Washington, D.C. count began, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan explained to the volunteer counters the importance of not only knowing how many people are homeless, but how and for how long, among other important factors like previous income and family support. This helps determine changing trends in populations, the effectiveness of existing resources and acts as a measure of success (and failure) of current programs.

    The volunteers emptied out of a downtown church into the freezing night, trudging down snow and ice covered sidewalks and armed with clipboards, bent on collecting demographic information of the homeless. Along for the count was VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould, who took up a stack of surveys and led a group through the center of the city. Government executives at Deputy Secretary Gould’s level usually show up to this sort of thing for a quick photo op, a brief speech, and then head out as soon as the cameras stop clicking. But he stuck around for the entire count, which ended near midnight for his group.

    “Are you a military Veteran?” was one of the most important questions Deputy Secretary Gould and other counters asked of the homeless that night. HUD uses the count as a way to determine the number of homeless Veterans in the country. It’s important to get that number right so that solutions are tailored to the actual number of homeless. A crucial aspect of the count was a card with resources available for homeless Vets to utilize. VA supplies that information not only for those who are currently homeless but those who are at risk of living on the streets. Prevention remains a primary tool in the effort to end homeless for Veterans.

    From what I witnessed during the count, the homeless are often not lazy transients who choose to be on the streets. Many had families and jobs but fell on hard times like many in the country. Veterans are historically more at risk of becoming homeless than civilians, for a variety of reasons: post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and the difficult transition from the military. Some in our society seek to blame the homeless for their plight, but for many Veterans, it’s a matter of dealing with the unique challenges that Vets face after their service both at home and in war.

    Veteran homelessness is a shameful blight on this country that has been allowed to fester far too long. On any given night, approximately 107,000 Veterans across the country go to sleep on benches, in back alleys and under bridges. Roughly twice that number will experience homelessness at some point this year. Drastic action must be taken not only to drive down the amount of homeless Vets, but keep a new generation off the streets. And the action we took on a cold night last week was just one of the many programs we’ve undertaken at VA.

  12. I am so put out with Dylan Ratigan! Always with the freaking drama! And don’t get me started about the blond bee.itch. on his show calling our President a failure. She needs smacking into next week.

  13. creolechild says:

    This is a re-post but a stark reminder of legislation that Republican/Teahadists have managed to block. Thank you, Milt Shook and The PCTC blog!

    A Small Sampling of Bills House Dems Passed, GOP Senate Blocked Last Session

    In addition to the constant trashing of Obama’s actual record with lies and distortions, I’m also sick to death of claims that Democrats “had no spines” and couldn’t pass anything. Republicans held Congress from 1994-2006 and rigged the filibuster rules. If you’ll remember, they pretended to try to kill the filibuster, and in the process, ended up simplifying the rules, making it easier for a single senator to hold up a bill anonymously, and require 60 votes for cloture, to to release that hold.

    Put simply, the SOLUTION to the problem in 2010 would have been to keep the House, and reduce the number of Republicans in the Senate. Instead, we had the Right Wing crying “Democrats can’t get anything done!” and the Left Wing crying, “Democrats can’t get anything done!” THAT is why Democrats lost so badly last year; instead of ofering up an alternate viewpoint, we basically echoed theirs. That’s what drove turnout down, and gave the GOP one of the biggest wins in their history.

    Read these and tell me Democrats weren’t trying really hard to make things better. Again; these are bills that were PASSED by the Democratic House, and BLOCKED by 40-41 solid votes in the Senate. Compare these to the complete SHIT the current Republican-led House is producing, and then tell us again how there’s no difference between the two parties.

    We really have to stop self-destructing. Democrats ARE much better than Republicans, the previous Democratic House, led by Nancy Pelosi, DID try like hell to make this country better.

    Again; this is a partial list?


    Read more:

  14. Just got back from my morning at OFA so I will “lunch” with my favorite Chicas. I spent my time learning how to input some info on our data base and also doing some calling. Our good leader told me that even though I could now be called upon for computer stuff if they were desperate, she would rather keep me on the “muffin detail” This is a joke because I usually bake something for volunteers to snack on while they work. A successful army “marches on its belly” and keeping our good volunteers hydrated and fed is very important to me.

    I am going to spend my afternoon writing LTEs and sending faxes. My local rag has gotten totally poisonous toward PBO the last three days. And Creolechild, you may be interested in this because we talked about it at TPV but there is a series in our rag about four different prison corps competing for contracts to build more prisons here in AZ. One is that outfit still running that prison in LaSalle LA where Jena 6 took place. I am composing a letter to send the guy who is writing this series of articles, giving out the data I got from you and Desert on this issue. The guy’s name is Ortega and maybe it is showing my bias but I hope this means that he wont just trash my letter into circular file #13.

    Have a good day, Ladies ♥

    • creolechild says:

      Aqua~ thanks for the update about LaSalle. Will contact a friend who keeps track of CJ issues to see if there’s anything new on the horizon…

    • Ametia says:

      HI Ya, aquagranny. Thanks for stopping in and sahring your great works for OFA and our POTUS. Boots on the ground, now that’s what is needed. We have enough keyboard warriors to last a milenia.

    • Good work, Aquagranny!

    • creolechild says:

      Aqua, please contact Jordan. He’s good people~ I’m sure he can give you additional information because he covered the Jena 6 incident when it occurred. I’m posting an excerpt from his newsletter so you that you can get his contact information.

      “Jordan Flaherty is a journalist and staffer with the Louisiana Justice Institute. His award-winning reporting from the Gulf Coast has been featured in a range of outlets including the New York Times, Al Jazeera, and Argentina’s Clarin newspaper. He is the author of FLOODLINES: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six. He can be reached at, and more information about Floodlines can be found at

      • Thank you so much. I will contact him and try to hook him up with our reporter here if he doesn’t already know Jordan. You would think these reporters would know and read each other but maybe not. ♥ Kiddo!

  15. creolechild says:

    On the brighter side, here are some words of encouragement from The Fierce Advocate~

    What the President said at that news confrence that just ended….
    August 8th, 2011

    [Click on link to see photo image.]

    Listen, I understand some of us are nervous about the President’s re-election chances with this bullshit going on. But-let’s remember who we’re talking about here. Remember the 2008 campaign? Remember when just about every political pundit out there was making fun of the skinny Black guy with the funny name who had the nerve to challenge one of the most powerful names in the Democratic party? Remember when he won? And-remember when the Republicans went after him with all the racism they could muster? And he won? This is a guy who lands on his feet, like a cat. He’s going to come out of this debt ceiling bullshit smelling like a rose. And he will be re-elected in 2012. Besides, who does the GOP have? Mittens and his magic underwear? Huntsman? Dona Quixote and Sancho Queeny? Cain-who’s not able? Ron Paul? Fred Karger? Princess Shooting Moose-although she hasn’t been stupid enough to throw her hat in the ring, yet-? It’s just a question of by how much. Will he win by the skin of his teeth? Or by a crushing landslide? Nobody knows at the moment. Keep the faith, everyone.

    Thank you, Fierce Advocate!

  16. creolechild says:

    This should provide some interesting reading. Many people don’t think Bachmann stands a chance of winning the Republican nomination, and they could be right because it’s too early to tell. However, she is backed by the Koch Brothers; the MSM is already giving her a pass and not asking hard questions; she has the support of the Teahadists in Congress, and she’s held in high esteem by Christian fundamentalists–who come out in STRONG numbers to vote. The 2012 election is going to be ugly…that’s a fact! What we’re hearing politicians saying now about the POTUS is going to get much, much worse. Don’t kid yourselves…

    Leap of Faith: The making of a Republican front-runner.
    by Ryan Lizza

    Michele Bachmann’s world view has been shaped by institutions and people unfamiliar to most Americans. The transformation of Michele Bachmann from Tea Party insurgent and cable-news Pasionaria to serious Republican contender in the 2012 Presidential race was nearly complete by late June, when she boarded a Dassault Falcon 900, in Dulles, Virginia, and headed toward the caucus grounds of Iowa. The leased, fourteen-seat corporate jet was to serve as Bachmann’s campaign hub for the next few days, and, before the plane took off, her press secretary, Alice Stewart, announced to the six travelling chroniclers that there was one important rule. “I know everything is on the record these days,” Stewart said, “but please just don’t broadcast images of her in her casual clothes.” [WUH?]

    Bachmann, a two-term member of Congress from Stillwater, Minnesota, is an ideologue of the Christian-conservative movement. Her appeal, along with her rapid ascent in the polls, is based on a collection of right-wing convictions, beliefs, and resentments that she has regularly broadcast from television studios and podiums since 2006, when she was first elected to Congress. Often, she will say something outrageous and follow it with a cheerful disclaimer. During the last Presidential campaign, she told Chris Matthews, on MSNBC, that Barack Obama held “anti-American views” and then admitted, “I made a misstatement.” (In 2010, she said that she had been right about Obama’s views all along: “Now I look like Nostradamus.”) In the spring of 2009, during what appeared to be the beginnings of a swine-flu epidemic, Bachmann said, “I find it interesting that it was back in the nineteen-seventies that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat President, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama—I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”


    Bachmann’s campaign was already, for the most part, highly professional. We were joined on the plane by her speech and debate coach, Brett O’Donnell, who has worked for George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin, among other Republicans. He has also led the debate team at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University to the top ranking in the country. Keith Nahigian, who worked for John McCain, was also on board. He serves as a logistics guru, doing everything from retrieving luggage for reporters to holding up a sign during Bachmann’s speeches to remind her to mention her Web site. The only senior member of the team not making the trip was Ed Rollins, Bachmann’s campaign manager. Rollins is famous in Washington for two things: managing Ronald Reagan’s successful reëlection campaign against Walter Mondale in 1984, and developing poisonous relationships with most of his high-profile employers since then.


  17. Ametia says:

    We Are Wisconsin, And We’re Already Winners
    By Isaiah J. Poole
    August 9, 2011 – 8:10am ET

    This morning Wisconsin voters will stream to the polls in a historic recall election that pits defenders of working people against six incumbents who backed a right-wing legislative assault on workers. It is not too late to give those working-class fighters a massive outpouring of last-minute support to counter the torrent of right-wing cash that is buying millions of dollars’ worth of attack ads and robo-calls in defense of the Republican state Senate incumbents.

    Through the “Call Out The Vote” campaign by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, and the “virtual phone bank” set up by the Wisconsin Democratic Party, anyone with a telephone can persuade voters to go to the polls and elect middle-class champions to replace the incumbents who backed an all-out assault on the state’s working people.

    Regardless of where we live, any of us who are either in the middle class or struggling to get into the middle class and are appalled by the right-wing assault on fundamental American values can say, “We are Wisconsin.” Joining a phone bank today is one way to show it.

    Though it may take several hours to determine if any of the challenged Republican legislators have been unseated, it is not too early to declare one important victory for progressive politics: No longer can conservative extremists riding the coattails of a tea party political insurgency assume that they can steamroll over the interests of working-class people without a vigorous grassroots fight from the working class. “They’ve put the oligarchs and their political lackeys on notice, letting them know that it won’t be as easy to trample on the public as they thought,” our own Richard Eskow wrote last week.

    The push-back is energizing other movements around the country taking a stand against the conservative austerity agenda and calling for it to be replaced by a jobs-first economic program. The Rebuild the Dream movement launched by activist Van Jones, today is publishing its “Contract For The American Dream,” a 10-point agenda based on the input of more than 130,000 people who helped rate ideas online and attended hundreds of house parties around the country. The Contract will serve as the manifesto for a series of events, starting with “Jobs Not Cuts” protests being organized Wednesday in congressional districts around the country and will continue through the month of August.

    These efforts countering the right-wing shock doctrine will be able to regroup at the “Take Back the American Dream” conference in October, where activists and supporters will be able to plot the next steps toward ending the tea-party hostage-taking of the government and our democracy. (You can register now at early-bird rates.)

    Here is the magnitude of what has already been accomplished: In six legislative districts—most of which are Republican strongholds—a grassroots uprising faced down a formidable and ruthless right-wing political machine fueled by a seemingly endless torrent of corporate cash.

    That this recall effort could even happen is a minor miracle; as Chris Bowers pointed out Monday on Daily Kos, there have only been 13 successful recall elections in the entire country in the past 100 years, and only two of those have been in Wisconsin. Bowers adds that “Republicans outperform their statewide numbers by 10-15 percent in the key districts we are targeting” and “the days when we could outspend Republicans are gone, possibly forever.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    by John Cole


    And, it starts. Ben Smith and JMart have a gossipy piece (go figure!) in the Politico saying that the Obama campaign plans to destroy Romney:

    A senior Obama adviser was even more cutting, suggesting that the Republican’s personal awkwardness will turn off voters.

    “There’s a weirdness factor with Romney, and it remains to be seen how he wears with the public,” the adviser said, noting that the contrasts they’d drive between the president and the former Massachusetts governor would be “based on character to a great extent.”

    The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm that was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs. Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the great recession — a sort of political Gordon Gekko.

    “He was very, very good at making a profit for himself and his partners but not nearly as good [at] saving jobs for communities,” said David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist. “His is very much the profile of what we’ve seen in the last decade on Wall Street. He was about making money. And that’s fine. But often times, he made it at the expense of jobs in communities.”

    That all seems fine and good to me. In fact, that kind of seems what the point of campaigns is- to point out the opposition’s flaws and make people less comfortable with the candidate so they don’t vote for him. I think strapping a dog to the roof of a car is weird. I think flip-flopping on everything is weird and a character issue. I think using the death of a relative to demonstrate your support for abortion and then deciding, when it is politically expedient, then becoming an anti-abortion zealot is weird and a sign of bad character. I think screaming about auto bailouts and socialism then claiming you rescued the auto industry is weird. And so on.

    Not content to chum the water with several pages of unsourced crap, Smith and JMart add their own opinion:

    None of the Obama advisers interviewed made any suggestion that Romney’s personal qualities would be connected to his minority Mormon faith, but the step from casting Romney as a bit off to raising questions about religion may not be a large step for some of the incumbent’s supporters.

    So pointing out that he is a phony who does weird shit like pretend women pinched him on the ass and strapping a dog to a roof MIGHT MAYBE POSSIBLY COULD SORT EVENTUALLY LEAD TO ATTACKS ON HIS RELIGION. Even though none of the anonymous people even so much as suggested as much. But it could!

    Enter the professional left:

    • creolechild says:

      Here we go! BOO FUCKIN HOO! Where was all that righteous indignation when EVERY aspect of Barack Hussein Obama’s life was dissected and kicked around like a football…crickets.

      It was okay because he was “the other,” “not a real American,” “exotic” “not proud of America,” “a Muslim Kenyan socialist who was determined to destroy America.” And members of the Democratic Party stood idly by and watched–but didn’t open their mouths when he was publicly disrespected by Republicans and some members of his own party. Remember him “not being black enough?”

      Are you tired of it yet? And if you’re not, what will it take? Because the views about him that are being spread far and wide are views that many in positions of power, and elsewhere, have about all POC–black, brown, red, and yellow. Now, think about what they’ll do with that animosity if they somehow manage to win the 2012 election. Think real hard, hear?

  19. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 09, 2011 2:40 PM

    BBA won’t get AOK from S&P

    By Steve Benen

    I’m not impressed with Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade U.S. debt as a matter of political punditry, but at least the agency knows better than to endorse the Balanced Budget Amendment (one of the worst ideas in the history of bad ideas).

    House and Senate Republicans have rallied around the notion of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as a solution to the country’s dire fiscal straits. But over the weekend, the head of Standard & Poor’s sovereign ratings division dismissed the idea, arguing that it would be more harmful than helpful to the country’s creditworthiness.

    “In general, we think that fiscal rules like these just diminish the flexibility of the government to respond” to crises, S&P managing director John Chambers told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Saturday when asked whether it’s important that Congress send a balanced budget amendment to the states in order to restore the country’s AAA credit rating.

    The S&P official did not comment specifically on any of the various versions of the proposed constitutional amendment, but said the idea itself “would just reduce your flexibility in a crisis,” adding that there’s not much to be said for Congress “trying to bind itself with various rules.”

    That’s really just the start of the problems with this proposed amendment, but I’m glad S&P noticed.

    Indeed, John Chambers’ comments have some political relevance. In the wake of the downgrade, some of the less-sensible members of Congress have pushed even harder for the ridiculous idea, using the S&P’s analysis to justify the alleged need for the amendment. It helps to have an unequivocal assessment like “diminish the flexibility of the government to respond” to crises.

    Also note, many Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have prioritized lawmakers “impressing” Standard & Poor’s. Well, Mitch, S&P doesn’t want a balanced budget amendment.

    With this in mind, maybe Republicans can drop the constitutional nonsense and work on meaningful economic policy for a change?

  20. rikyrah says:

    Democrats Look To Turn Paul Ryan Toxic

    In a line of attack usually reserved for scandalized politicians, Democratic officials are targeting Republican lawmakers for accepting donations from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

    The DCCC are sending out press releases highlighting donations from Ryan’s Prosperity PAC to 17 incumbent Republicans who voted for the House Republican budget. The releases include statements going after members for taking a “thank you check.”

    Democrats have made Ryan’s budget, which includes a plan to replace Medicare with a private voucher system, central to their national message in recent months. But the latest effort reflects a broader attempt to turn Ryan himself into a political villain — the DCCC releases include a poll from June showing him among the least popular Republicans in the country, ahead of only Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Romney Irked By Democrats’ Prepared Attacks

    Mitt Romney is condemning Democratic strategists for planning an array of attacks on his character in order to bring him down in a general election.

    The former Massachusetts governor took particular exception with a quote from an unnamed Democrat in a Politico story on the strategy, who said that “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.” The person’s connection to the White House was left vague, however — the article merely described them as “aligned” with the re-election campaign.

    “It is disgraceful that President Obama’s campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to ‘kill’ his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks,” Romney said in a statement. “President Obama will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed. Neither despicable threats, nor President Obama’s billion dollar negative campaign, will put Americans back to work, save their homes, or restore their hopes. On November 6, 2012, this will change.”

    The article in question listed a number of vulnerabilities Democrats hoped to exploit, most of which have already been raised in the press in recent weeks: Romney’s awkwardness on the campaign trail, his reputation for changing positions, and his professional background as a high-powered executive at Bain Capital.

  22. creolechild says:

    Appeals court rules Rumsfeld can be held liable for torture of U.S. civilians in Iraq
    By Eric W. Dolan

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for creating policies that caused American civilians to be tortured by the U.S. military in Iraq. In a 2 to 1 decision, the court ruled that the lawsuit filed by Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, two American citizens who were allegedly tortured at a U.S. military prison in Iraq in 2006, provided adequate evidence that Rumsfeld was personally responsible for their treatment and that Rumsfeld was not entitled to qualified immunity.

    “If the plaintiffs’ allegations are true, two young American civilians were trying to do the right thing by becoming whistleblowers to the U.S. government, but found themselves detained in prison and tortured by their own government, without notice to their families and with no sign of when the harsh physical and psychological abuse would end,” they wrote their decision (PDF). The court did not address the factual allegations made by Vance and Ertel, only the validity of their lawsuit. The former Bush and current Obama administration have tried to have the case dismissed.


    Last week, U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled that another lawsuit against Rumsfeld could proceed to trial. The plaintiff in that case claims he was abducted by U.S. military personnel in 2005 as he was due to return home from Iraq. Over the course of nine months he was allegedly beaten and interrogated about providing classified information to coalition enemies, then was released without explanation. He was never charged with a crime. Rumsfeld, an outspoken and highly controversial secretary of defense who oversaw the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, left his post after President George W. Bush was reelected to a second term.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 09, 2011 12:30 PM

    The easy-to-save jobs we’re losing anyway

    By Steve Benen
    Every month, when the new job numbers come out, we tend to see the same thing: the private sector is faring relatively well, adding jobs, while the public sector is shedding jobs quickly. The former number is generally much larger than the latter, which means the economy is still adding jobs, but the public-sector losses are a significant drag on a weak employment market.

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Nicholas Johnson explained the other day, “Since August 2008, state and local governments have slashed 611,000 positions, and the cuts have been getting worse — 340,000 of those jobs were lost in the last 12 months. July was the ninth consecutive month, and the 29th out of the last 35, in which total state and local employment shrank.”

    This chart, via Ezra, helps drive the point home:

    I know I talk about this a lot, but given the jobs crisis and the public demand that policymakers address unemployment, it’s important to realize one of the key factors dragging down the economy.

    Layoffs at the state and local level were mitigated in 2009 by the Recovery Act, which saved thousands of jobs that would have otherwise been eliminated. Those funds have since been exhausted, and the public sector is back to making severe layoffs. It’s why that column on the right is the most severe.

    This is what David Leonhardt recently described as “an unforced economic error” — with all of the problems we can’t control, this is one problem we know exactly how to prevent. We just choose not to, because the Republicans’ ideology dictates that these job losses are actually good for us.

    No, really, the GOP looks at the above chart and sees this as a positive development. Under the Republican economic model, the public sector is supposed to lose jobs, and as part of the party’s austerity agenda, this is a problem that must get worse on purpose.

    Earlier this year, for example, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked about his spending-cut plans and the fact that the cuts would force thousands of public-sector workers from their jobs. “So be it,” the Republican said.

    In other words, deliberately making unemployment worse wasn’t seen as a problem. This is a feature of the GOP model, not a bug.

    All of this is easily preventable, but our jobs crisis is partly the result of our political crisis. Congress can choose to spend the money to keep these workers on the job, but Republicans find the very idea offensive, so it doesn’t happen.

    The irony, of course, is that when unemployment doesn’t improve, it’s Republicans who complain bitterly and blame Democrats, which in turn leads to more calls from the right to curtail “out of control spending,” which makes the jobs picture even worse still, which leads to more bitter complains from the GOP.

  24. creolechild says:

    Pay No Attention To The Corporations Behind The News: Lost In Media Oz
    By: Janine

    In a recent conversation with Thomas Bishop about the debt ceiling debacle, he wondered where have all the journalists gone? I wondered the same thing. Had they slowly been attritioned, replaced by shiny, smiley faux reporters who report the news from a sensationalistic perspective or an ideological one? Had they become disillusioned and tired from fighting the corporate overlords to get their stories told in their entirety? Or is the profession itself dying a slow agonizing death? Quite frankly something is very twisted wrong when an entertainment show reports on the debt ceiling and a news station reports on the Nikki Minaj wardrobe malfunction.

    It is as if we the people are Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion lost in media Oz, ripped from our homey ranch by the cyclone chaos of the political machine and plunked over the rainbow down in the deadly poppy field of ideology where every dogmatic poppy bloom expects we’ll all stay asleep and drugged by the flowers of mind numbing bickering. We’ve been dusted with doctrinal pollen and pelted with wicked witch misinformation launched from flying monkey paws. Actions which have shoved us off the brick road of individual thought and into the forest of fear and confusion. Instead of being politically poppy complacent we all need to find our way back to the yellow brick road, journey to the Bureaucratic Emerald City and seek an audience with the Wizards of News.

    Or better yet, since the investigative journalist has gone the way of the Dodo, we need to investigate matters ourselves and fight our way through the minefields of lies, outwit the disinformation scandalmongers to form our own opinions instead of those opinions being formed for us by “news” stations whose corporate masters lack brains, courage and heart. Let us travel together down that yellow brick road and seek to decrease the misinformation volume. When we reach the City of News and rip aside the smoke and mirror curtain we shall see the Wizards for who they really are — the propaganda body politic churning the political poppy machine. No magic there.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 09, 2011 1:15 PM

    Public support for GOP plummets

    By Steve Benen
    American voters clearly aren’t happy, and no one in Washington is winning any popularity contests, but support for the Republican Party is deteriorating at a surprising pace. A new CNN poll shows the GOP “had the upper hand” when it came to holding the debt ceiling hostage, but the party has “lost a lot of ground with the public” in the process.

    A lot of that anger seems directed toward the GOP. According to the survey, favorable views of the Republican party dropped eight points over the past month, to 33 percent. Fifty-nine percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican party, an all-time high dating back to 1992 when the question was first asked.

    The poll indicates that views of the Democratic party, by contrast, have remained fairly steady, with 47 percent saying they have a favorable view of the Democrats and an equal amount saying they hold an unfavorable view.

    “The Democratic party, which had a favorable rating just a couple of points higher than the GOP in July, now has a 14-point advantage over the Republican party,” adds [CNN Polling Director Keating Holland].

    To help drive the larger point home, here’s a chart I put together, showing favorability ratings for Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Partiers.

    Again, it’s not as if Dems are suddenly the model of popularity, but given public frustrations, a 47/47 rating really isn’t that bad. But the Republican Party’s support is down to an embarrassing 33% — the lowest either party has seen in two decades of CNN polls.

    There’s plenty of speculation about what the 2012 elections have in store, and whether President Obama can win given the larger headwinds. It’s worth remembering that it matters what voters think of the opposition party, and if the recent trends pick up, the much of the public might balk at the idea of handing a wildly-unpopular Republican Party control of the White House and Congress.

  26. HuffPostPolitics:

    Tea Party-backed state Senate candidate compares welfare recipients to raccoons:

  27. creolechild says:

    Tens of thousands turn out for back-to-school help
    Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle
    Aug. 7, 2011, 11:14AM

    A good seven miles from Gov. Rick Perry’s much-anticipated prayer rally, an even larger crowd of Houstonians gathered in preparation for another sacred event: the first day of school. Some families camped out for hours to gain admittance into Houston’s first-ever, citywide back-to-school event at George R. Brown Convention Center, where free backpacks, school supplies, uniforms, haircut vouchers, immunizations and fresh produce were provided.

    Others were turned away. “It was getting beyond capacity,” HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said. “If nothing else, it shows the need.” Maribel Martinez and her five children ages 8 to 13 arrived around 7 a.m. to receive backpacks stuffed with supplies including paper, pencils, a pencil sharpener, glue and a compact disc of songs. They also got uniform shirts. “This is a help, given how the economy is,” said Martinez, an East End homemaker whose husband works full-time.

    Beatrice Jones, who has two children in the Spring school district, arrived about 10:15 a.m. with her daughter and niece, only to find the doors closed and a police officer announcing the event was over. “They were supposed to have school supplies, but all we got was sweating and paid parking,” Jones said. School Superintendent Terry Grier posted a Twitter message Saturday morning that security personnel had estimated the crowd at 100,000. At about 10 a.m., officials made the call to close the doors. Although planners didn’t know how many people would attend, they expected to serve at least 25,000 children, officials said. Paid for with corporate funding from Shell Oil Co. and Motive Enterprises, dental and health checks were also available, as well as lunch and live entertainment.


    Read more:

  28. Talking Points Memo:

    Looks like Sen. McCain had some troubles at his AZ townhall:

  29. rikyrah says:

    I wish a muthafucka would…..

    August 09, 2011 1:50 PM

    Texas congressman raises specter of impeachment

    By Steve Benen

    Last year, before the midterm elections, I took an interest in the variety of Republican officeholders and candidates who said they’d like to impeach President Obama. There were, alas, quite a few.

    Every time I’d write about this, the question was always the same: what exactly would the GOP use as grounds for presidential impeachment? And my response was: it doesn’t really matter; Republicans are a creative bunch and aren’t that picky.

    Seven months into the new Congress, GOP officials obviously aren’t pursuing an impeachment crusade — at least not yet — though some Republicans whisper about the idea from time to time. But in his district yesterday, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) went a little further than most in talking openly about the idea. (via ThinkProgress)

    When one attendee suggested that the House push for impeachment proceedings against Obama to distract the president and keep him from getting things done, Burgess was immediately receptive. […]

    “It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up,” Burgess said. “No question about that.”

    Pressed by a reporter after the event, Burgess added, “We need to tie things up.” And what, pray tell, would Republicans use as a justification for impeachment? The right-wing lawmaker said, “The articles would have to be drafted. They would have to be substantial. Right now, I don’t know that you have that substance behind them.”

    But who needs a substantive reason to draw up articles of impeachment against a sitting president? Congressional Republicans impeached the last Democratic president, and don’t much care about norms or propriety, so why not just impeach every Democratic president?

    It would certainly “tie things up.”

    Also note, Burgess isn’t just some wild-eyed freshman; he’s currently in his eighth year as a member of Congress.

    For the record, no, I don’t really expect the House to impeach the president, at least not unless Obama gets a second term, at which point anything’s possible. But the fact that a member of Congress is comfortable speaking like this, out loud and on the record, is a reminder of just how far gone Republicans really are.

  30. creolechild says:

    Poll: GOP more unpopular than during Clinton impeachment
    Posted by Paddy

    Hmm, someone needs to tell the R’s that their current stance isn’t working. h/t to @drgrist

    Voters are more unhappy with the Republican Party now than they were when the Republican-led House voted to impeach then-President Clinton, according to a new CNN poll released Tuesday.

    Fifty-nine percent of voters polled said they had an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party, with 33 percent calling their opinion favorable. The Tea Party did not poll well, either, with 51 percent saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the movement.

    The last time CNN polled the GOP out of favor with more than 50 percent was in 1998. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton on Dec. 19, 1998, and a survey taken between Dec. 19-20 that year found 57 percent unfavorable toward the Republican party. In January, that number fell to 52 percent, and has not been that high again until this month.

    Although the GOP fared worse than Democrats as a party, the poll found that respondents had a stronger unfavorable opinion of Democratic leaders than Republican. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received an unfavorable opinion of 51 percent, while Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) earned 40 percent. Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were tied, with 39 percent separately responding they have an unfavorable opinion of each.

  31. rikyrah says:

    The Rev. Al Sharpton has been guest-hosting in MSNBC’s 6 p.m. time slot. (Credit: MSNBC)

    Activist Says Black Journalists Would Be Part of His Show
    The Rev. Al Sharpton said Tuesday that if his show on MSNBC is made permanent, black journalists will be a part of it.

    In a telephone call to Journal-isms, Sharpton said he understood that only a few had complained that journalists, not Sharpton, should have received a bid to host a show, but that the same people who distorted the issue into one of black journalists vs. Sharpton would have done the same had he appeared on a panel at the National Association of Black Journalists last week. Therefore, he decided to cancel.

    “They were going to play it for confrontation,” he said.

    Sharpton devoted most of the call to a refutation of hints by Daily Beast writer Wayne Barrett, who wrote July 27, “Eight months after Al Sharpton signed a pivotal agreement that helped Comcast and NBC secure Federal Communications Commission approval for their $30 billion merger, MSNBC appears poised to reward him with a prime-time news show.”

    The next week, Barrett added, “Al Sharpton wasn’t just pleasing prospective employer MSNBC when he became the first major black leader to endorse the controversial Comcast/NBC merger. It turns out he was also enriching his current employer, Radio One, the largest black-owned radio company in the country, which has paid him more money than he’s made anywhere else in his life.”

    Sharpton answered several points in the articles, criticizing journalists for repeating the charges without investigating them. He asked, why would TV One support creation of potential rival stations, as Comcast committed to do when it signed memoranda of understanding with African American and other groups? And why would other civil rights groups settle for a television show for Sharpton in exchange?

    “That is trivializing the commitment made to black people,” Sharpton said. “Do they really think we’re that stupid?” He also noted that Comcast was a major supporter of the NABJ convention in Philadelphia last week and that NABJ, like Sharpton, had given MSNBC President Phil Griffin an award. Yet “no one sees that as a conflict of interest.”

    Sharpton said he and Griffin, whom he said he has known for 15 years, were scheduled “to sit down and have a serious discussion” next week about the show. He said he has made it clear that “I’m still leading the National Action Network and civil rights work is what I do,” regardless of whether he gets a show. As a 501(c)(4) corporation, his National Action Network does not make political endorsements, he said, answering critics who said his political activity might present a problem.

    Asked whether black journalists would benefit from his show, the activist said he did not know what role they would play, but “whatever I do,” black journalists participate. On Sharpton’s radio show, veteran journalist George E. Curry appears on Friday, and Elinor Tatum, editor and publisher of the New York Amsterdam News, does a media segment on Thursdays.

    “If Bernard Shaw,” former CNN anchor, “was not threatened by Jesse Jackson having a show” on the same network years ago, Sharpton asked, why are some journalists complaining now? “We ought to be helping each other.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Leaders Dream of Misery For Their Medicare Using Foot Soldiers

    The phenomenon of suicide bombers is seared into the world’s memory from the terror attacks on 9/11 and there is little any agency can do to interdict a fanatic who is willing to die for a cause. In recent memory, suicide attacks are primarily attributed to radical Islamic extremists who cause death and destruction for a cause or to create terror in a population. Suicide attacks are not a novel occurrence though, and during World War II Japanese Kamikaze pilots flew bomb-laden airplanes into American warships knowing they would die on impact but were willing to die to cause damage to their enemy. In Iraq, disenfranchised Muslim youth were manipulated into strapping explosive vests on and walking up to crowded markets and traffic checkpoints before detonating the bombs to kill as many innocent bystanders as possible and although they died, the more damage they inflicted the better for their cause.

    In America, Timothy McVeigh, a homegrown terrorist caused massive casualties but did not stay around to harm himself because he wanted to see the fruits of his labor in destruction and innocent deaths. The newest homegrown terrorists have not yet began blowing up buildings, but they have watched with great joy at the devastation they are wreaking on Americans, and like Muslim extremists are promoting a cause. However, the damage this new group is causing is unique to American terrorists because they are causing as much devastation to their members as they are innocent bystanders and they are doing it voluntarily exactly like an extremist Muslim suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    For the past year-and-a-half, some political observers have commented that teabaggers and Republicans have voted and advocated for policies that are against their own self-interests and have wondered if their actions are out of abject stupidity or blind faith that no harm will ever come back on them. There is little doubt that although teabaggers are stupid to the extreme, they apparently know and take pleasure in harming innocent Americans.

    Last month, two of the teabagger groups’ leaders, Jenny Beth Martin and co-founder Mark Meckler said that if the teabaggers they represent are hurt in an elimination of government programs, the members are willing to take the hit. Martin in particular said, “If it (government default) injures the people that we represent, but it’s benefiting the whole country, that’s what we need to be concerned about.” Martin’s comment is not unlike the Muslim extremists they hate and it also shows the abject stupidity the country has learned to associate with teabaggers. They are willing to harm their members for a cause but are also harming the rest of America who does not share the suicide mentality that is rampant in GOP and teabag circles.

    Meckler claimed that politicians were lying about the dangers of a default and that the government would still pay its “sovereign debts,” but would have to eliminate programs like Social Security and Medicare once and for all. Martin also said that default would be good for the country because it would force America to sell off its assets and slash the social safety nets a majority of her fellow teabaggers depend on. Martin advocates for the government going bankrupt because she defaulted on her debts and wants the rest of the country and her fellow teabags to feel the pain she went through; whether Martin knows it or not, she is doing the bidding of the Heritage Foundation that advocates selling America to private enterprises.

    A poll on the teabaggers’ Facebook page showed that members approved of a government default and supported losing their Social Security and Medicare benefits. However, a Facebook poll is self-serving for malcontents like Martin and Meckler but a real poll showed that by a 2-1 margin teabaggers opposed any cuts to Social Security or Medicare breaking with Republicans who advocate eliminating those programs.

    Maybe the teabaggers who are subsisting off of Social Security and Medicare remember working 30-40 years and paying into the retirement and healthcare system and object to losing their hard-earned retirement benefits. In fact, a New York Times/ CBS poll results showed the average teabagger demanded Social Security and Medicare be left out of any cuts and instead parroted President Obama’s position that government waste needed to be trimmed; not so-called “entitlement programs” because they paid for them and demanded their benefits. Their leaders are like the Mullahs and radical clerics who say that all Muslims want to die for their cause, but are too cowardly to take action themselves. Retired teabaggers are not funded by the Koch brothers or promoted by the Heritage Foundation like tea party leaders and are not willing to take “hits and injuries” for the Libertarian cause despite what Martin and Meckler claim.

    It is becoming obvious to rank-and-file teabaggers who are predominately in the baby-boomer generation that they cannot give up their only means of income if Social Security and Medicare are privatized, cut, or eliminated altogether. Their leaders, though, are willing for their members and the rest of the population to suffer and lose the benefits they paid for to see the government collapse. It is not clear if the leaders actually comprehend what government default means or if they are so evil that they will cause the greatest harm to the greatest majority of Americans just to make a point for their cause, but whatever their dysfunction, it definitely is bad for America. Remember, the teabaggers want the government to collapse to install a Christian family-values government with a preacher as dictator.

  33. creolechild says:

    FOOLS…just FOOLS…who are hoping the people forget what actually happened. And the sad thing is that most folks probably will–since everyone is so eager to jump aboard the “Bash Obama-For-Anything-And-Everything Bus.”

    Deadbeat dad Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) Tuesday rejected the notion that tea party Republicans’ brinkmanship and refusal to raise taxes contributed to S&P’s decision downgrade U.S. credit.
    Both Obama adviser David Axelrod and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) had referred to S&P action as “the tea party downgrade” Sunday. “If it wasn’t so pathetic, I mean, it’s almost comical,” Walsh told CNN’s Kyra Phillips. “We were told months ago that a downgrade was likely, because this economy is falling off a cliff, and we have a debt crisis. That’s all on the door of the president. His policies are responsible for this. And for him here at the last minute, him and his minions, to trot out this thing called the tea party downgrade, is comical, and it won’t work, because most Americans see right through it.”

    When he asked to explain why congressional approval was at an all-time low, Walsh again attacked the president. “This president never ceases to not provide leadership. Why is he focused on name calling now?” the congressman wondered. “But this downgrade has happened because of how the debt deal turned out,” Phillips noted. “It is a reaction to what happened among lawmakers during the debt deal. So, are you saying that the trillions of dollars that have been lost now in the stock market, you know, has been worth all that back and forth and that bickering? I mean, is partisan politics helping this country move forward at all?”

    “Kyra, folks in the market are a lot smarter than you and I are,” Walsh insisted. “It had nothing to do with an August 2 deadline. It had to do with our debt crisis. We’ve known about this for ages. And I got to tell you something, thank God for all these troublesome House Republicans who came to this town. Can you imagine what life would be like if we hadn’t? We would have raised the debt ceiling without thinking about it last February or March. We’d be spending money every single day. We would have been downgraded months ago.”

    “These House Republicans have forced this town to finally get serious about spending. That’s a good thing.”

  34. Ametia says:

    OH, OH, OH,! Steve Harvey & Crew are on to Smiley and West

    Listen here:

  35. creolechild says:

    Huckabee: Hopefully ‘They Passed One of Those Great Big Old Hats That One of the Hip-Hop Pals Wore’ at Obama BBQ – By Heather

    Apparently Mike Huckabee wasn’t done making a fool out of himself this weekend after his appearance on Fox & Friends touting Donald Trump for Treasury Secretary. Heaven forbid he could make it through the day without throwing a little racism in to boot as well.

    After slamming President Obama for the fundraiser held on his birthday that Fox Nation attacked as “Obama’s Hip-Hop BBQ” which our friends at Media Matters wrote about here — Fox Nation: Obama’s Hip-Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs — Huckabee took a page right out of their playbook on his show this past Saturday night:

    HUCKABEE: I’m glad that the President had such a large time with his friends. And by the way, they think that they all ought to pay more in taxes. So hopefully while they were gathered, they passed one of those great old big hats that one of the hip-hop pals wore, so that way everyone could empty their pockets and open their checkbooks, so they could give more to our ever responsible Federal government, so the fine folks at the party can bail out, our government. Well, I’m sure that happened.

    So, let’s give back Jack. Let’s cut the Prez some slack. His birthday gig might just bring our economy back.

    As Media Matters has documented and we have as well, but not to the extent that they have, this sort of race baiting is all too common over at Fox and at their blog, Fox Nation — Fox’s Race-Baiting “Nation”. I don’t like the fact that we’ve got all of this money corrupting our politics and that it takes raising massive amounts of money to get elected to any national office, but somehow Fox only seems to have a problem with it when it’s a Democrat raising the money, or heaven forbid the Kenyan usurper who never had any business getting elected in the first place in their view. Glenn Beck may be gone, but the clown show at Fox continues despite his departure.

  36. creolechild says:

    Anti-Government Spending Crusader Rick Perry Accepted More Than $80,000 In Farm Subsidies
    By Guest Blogger

    Falling into line with the Tea Party rhetoric against “out-of-control” government spending, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is now supporting a move away from direct subsidies to the agriculture industry in favor of an incentives-driven model. But Perry himself has benefited from over $80,000 in farm subsidies over the years and publicly declared his support for farm subsidies when running for Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 1990. After his opponent accused him of wanting to terminate price supports for farmers, Perry was quick to deny the claim:

    “[Former Commissioner Jim Hightower] says I support eliminating our farm program payments. That’s not true. I’ve participated in the program as a producer. My neighbors participate. I know what would happen to rural areas of Texas if these programs were discontinued. I do not support such an action.”

    Perry certainly has benefited from the nation’s proclivity toward farm payouts; his 40-acre farm — which he finally sold in 1998 — brought him $72,687 in farm payments between 1987 and 1989 and even made him an additional $9,624 for leaving his land lying fallow. Perry’s father has also received $6,443 from cotton and wheat subsidies in 2002 and 2003. When asked to comment on the subsidies, Perry’s office defended his record. “The governor is proud of his years in the farming industry, which he believes is an important part of the nation’s overall economy,” spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said.


    • Ametia says:

      Farm subsidies and payouts for whitey good, Farm subsidies and payouts for blackie, bad. /snark

    • Ametia says:

      Folks like Perry & Bachman who scream that anti-government bullshit, yet are so-called servants of government and now want to proceed further into the GOVERNMENT by running for POTUS. Please! The stupid really BURNS.

  37. creolechild says:

    Follow-up to a previous post~

    Poor People Own Appliances Because They’re Cheap
    By Matthew Yglesias

    My colleagues Melissa Boteach and Donna Cooper have a great piece on the Heritage Foundation’s “poor people aren’t actually poor because they own cheap electronics” theory of poverty. This infographic nicely highlights the silliness of looking to basic appliance ownership as a standard of material welfare in an advanced capitalist country:

    [Click on link to view chart.]

    The relative price shift this reflects is an astounding fact about economic history. Back in the late 1920s, a refrigerator would be worth a lot more than eight days’ worth of food. And a microwave wouldn’t exist at all. But in the modern day, these appliances don’t represent meaningful levels of accumulated wealth. What’s more, they’re not luxuries. They’re actually thrifty things to own. If a single mom raising three kids sold her fridge, she’s be making a very imprudent call from a strictly financial point of view. Buying food at the grocery store and saving it thanks to the miracles of modern refrigeration is sound household budgeting. Given the dynamics of a modern economy, it would be pretty irresponsible for a poor person not to own basic household appliances. Or think about the market wages a person might have to forego in order to handwash all her family’s clothing and compare that to the price of a low-end washing machine.

  38. creolechild says:

    U.S. invests more cash into solar power
    Published: Aug. 9, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) — The U.S. Energy Department announced it was offering a $967 million loan guarantee to back a 290-megawatt solar plant in Arizona. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the loan for Aqua Caliente Solar to support the construction of a solar generating facility in Yuma County, Ariz. The Energy Department said that when the facility is completed, it would be one of the largest plants of its kind in the world. “The Agua Caliente Solar project will bring hundreds of jobs to Arizona, while helping increase the reliability of renewable solar power,” Chu said in a statement.

    The Energy Department said the United States had a dominant position in the solar energy sector in 1995, manufacturing 43 percent of the world’s solar panels. That market share slipped to 7 percent last year, however. The so-called SunShot program by the U.S. government aims to spur American innovations to reduce the cost of solar energy. U.S. President Barack Obama in a January address to the nation laid out a clean-energy target of meeting 80 percent of U.S. energy needs with clean sources by 2035.

    Read more:

  39. Ametia says:

    News Alert: Obama pays respects to troops killed in Afghan helicopter crash
    August 9, 2011 12:53:39 PM

    President Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base by helicopter on Tuesday to pay his respects to the 30 U.S. troops who were killed Saturday when their Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

    The president canceled a scheduled appearance in Northern Virginia to be present for the arrival of the troops’ remains, which was closed to the media.

    The crash killed 22 Navy SEALs, and eight other U.S. troops, in what became the deadliest day for the United States in the decade-long war against Afghan insurgents.

  40. Ametia says:

    Warren Jeffs, convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a child, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday after a Texas jury deliberated for only 30 minutes.
    The trial, during which Jeffs represented himself, included sermon-like speeches about religious freedom from the polygamist sect leader and an audio recording that prosecutors allege documents Jeffs’ sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl in the presence of three other “wives.”
    The jury sentenced him to life in prison for the first count of aggravated sexual assault and 20 years for the second count of sexual assault plus a $10,000 fine.

  41. Talking Points Memo:

    Nebraska AG Jon Bruning Compares Welfare Recipients To Scavenging Racoons

  42. Obama Plans A Full Assult on Romney’s Business Ties and Character via @pwire

  43. Obama Headed To Dover To View Returning Bodies Of SEALs Killed In Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

    President Barack Obama is headed to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Tuesday to view the returning bodies of Navy SEALs killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan over the weekend, National Journal reports.

    Troops killed in the deadliest day of the Afghan war are coming home today — traveling in death much the same way they did in life — shrouded in secrecy.

    Pentagon officials said that remains of the 30 killed in a weekend helicopter crash are scheduled to arrive Tuesday at Dover.

    But three days after the downing of the aircraft by insurgents, the Defense Department hasn’t released their names. Officials said it’s taking time because there were so many killed. Others say privately there also is hesitancy to release the names because the majority were from secretive special operations forces.

    A ceremony later Tuesday will be closed to the press. Top civilian and uniformed leaders will attend along with some family members.

  44. rikyrah says:

    August 09, 2011 8:00 AM

    Cantor pushes intransigence, hopes to prove S&P right

    By Steve Benen

    Midday yesterday, commenting on the downgrade decision, President Obama told the public that fiscal “reforms” don’t require “any radical steps.” What’s needed, he said, is “common sense and compromise.” The problem, Obama added, is “a lack of political will in Washington. It’s the insistence on drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what’s best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology. And that’s what we need to change.”

    Around the same time the president was making these remarks, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was sharing a message of his own with his fellow GOP caucus members. As one might imagine, Cantor had a very different objective in mind

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Republican lawmakers to expect, and resist, increased pressure to raise taxes following the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard and Poor’s.

    “Over the next several months, there will be tremendous pressure on Congress to prove that S&P’s analysis of the inability of the political parties to bridge our differences is wrong,” Cantor wrote in a memo Monday to House Republicans. “In short, there will be pressure to compromise on tax increases. We will be told that there is no other way forward. I respectfully disagree.”

    In the same statement, Cantor added that this position — no tax increases on anyone at any time by any amount — is “what we must demand from the Joint Committee as it begins its work.”

    Soon after, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a statement endorsing this line, declaring that “raising taxes is simply the wrong approach.”

    The rhetoric isn’t surprising, but the context is critically important. Standard & Poor’s downgraded American debt just a few days ago and raised some specific concerns to justify the decision. Namely, the S&P analysis pointed to, among other things, the partisan gridlock in Congress caused by Republicans, and the fact that “the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.”

    This, in turn, has led the top two Republicans in the House to urge their allies to prove S&P right. GOP officials caused this mess, and as of yesterday, they’re apparently eager to make it worse. This isn’t something they’re especially embarrassed about — hell, they’re proud of it.

    The contrast between the statements should be pretty illustrative to anyone paying attention. On Monday afternoon, President Obama said what matters is doing the right thing for the country. The same afternoon, Cantor said what really matters is making sure no one ever has to pay an additional penny in taxes, regardless of the consequences to the country.

    Given this, try to make the case that Eric Cantor is principally concerned with the nation’s best interests, above all else. Go ahead, try. Let’s hear the case that the oft-confused House Majority Leader is putting country over ideology.

    I’m all ears.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 09, 2011 10:55 AM

    Obama campaign team eyes Romney nod

    By Steve Benen
    It looks like one of the more talked-about political stories of the day is this Politico piece on the Obama campaign’s expectation that Mitt Romney will win the GOP nomination — and what the president’s team intends to do about it.

    Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.

    The dramatic and unabashedly negative turn is the product of political reality. Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for reelection in a glum nation. And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.

    Politico’s “slashing” spin on the still-unseen strategy seems a little excessive — running as an upstart challenger in 2008 is necessarily going to be different than running as an incumbent in 2012 — but the basic framework sounds about right.

    When voters are frustrated and discouraged, it stands to reason the incumbent is going to present the electorate with a stark choice. On the one hand, voters will be urged to see President Obama as a principled, honest leader, who’s made tough decisions during trying times, and led crises that weren’t of his making. On the other, voters will hear that Mitt Romney is a weird, unlikable, and unprincipled flip-flopper with no core values, who isn’t comfortable in his own skin, who can’t be trusted, who lacks authenticity, and who got rich by laying off thousands of American workers.

    This message offensive, apparently, will begin before the Republican nomination fight wraps up.

    There was one sentence in the article, however, that seems to be generating the bulk of the attention this morning.

    “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.

    This seems to have caused quite a stir, but it strikes me as a little silly. For one thing, a “prominent strategist” could be anyone; it’s not like the quote came from Axelrod. For another, I’m pretty confident the quote is not to be taken literally, and the Obama campaign has no interest in committing acts of violence against the former governor.

    But also, before the “kill” quote gets anyone too terribly riled up, I have a question: do we really need another day of pearl-clutching over an unsourced quote in a Politico article?

    • creolechild says:

      “The former Massachusetts governor took particular exception with a quote from an unnamed Democrat in a Politico story on the strategy, who said that “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.” The person’s connection to the White House was left vague, however — the article merely described them as “aligned” with the re-election campaign.”

      Notice that the source in this story is UNNAMED~ What does that tell you or rather what should that tell us? With all the mud that was slung at Barack Obama in the 2008 election does anyone remember his campaign resorting to personal attacks? If you recall, he said publicly that if anyone on his staff made remarks about Palin’s children they would be fired! With all the POTUS has endured with the name-calling, ugly remarks about himself, his wife, and his children–he and his staff have NEVER responded in kind! But now we’re supposed to take the word of some UNNAMED source about questionable language concerning Romney.

      REALLY, POLITICO…and whoever else is spreading this nonsense? Anything to create a conflict and generate clicks…

      GTFOH with that! Or better yet produce the person who made the claim–IF you can~

      • Ametia says:

        Politico is a fility RAG. They did not ACURATELY report the S & P report on GOP’s complicity in their decision to downgrade America’s credit. WHY,POLITICO?

      • Cut the freaking crap, Politico. You’re desperate! President Obama doesn’t operate in that way. Stop your blatant lies! Ben Smith, you’re a slithering lying slug!

        • Ametia says:

          Politico and AP are crusin for a brusin at the next WH Correspondence Dinner. Ben Smith’s a lying, filthy rat. They want PBO to drop to their level of anger and racism. He won’t go there. It’s killin’em

  46. rikyrah says:

    August 09, 2011 11:25 AM

    Limbaugh revisits early 2009

    By Steve Benen

    Among his other problems, Rush Limbaugh appears to have a poor memory.

    On Monday’s show, Rush Limbaugh attacked Obama for purposefully ruining the rosy economy he inherited from president Bush.

    No, really “Well, he inherited a AAA credit rating, an unemployment rate of 5.7%. Does anybody doubt that this is on purpose?”

    OK, so in Limbaugh’s mind, President Obama wants a poor economy. I’m sure there’s a very creative explanation for this bizarre argument, but I just don’t much care what it is.

    But more important is the notion that Limbaugh thinks Obama “inherited” a great situation from Bush. Even for the most unhinged right-wing loon, this is just amazing.

    For one thing, the unemployment rate wasn’t 5.7%; it was 7.6% and climbing fast. For another, Obama would have loved to have kept the AAA credit rating, and would have had Limbaugh’s buddies in Congress hadn’t trashed it.

    But in the bigger picture, 2009 wasn’t that long ago, and if the right really wants to talk about what Obama “inherited,” I suspect that would be fine with the White House.

    After all, following eight years of spectacular Republican failures, Obama took office when the nation was in freefall. Arguably no president in American history started his first day with a list like this: the Great Recession, two deadly wars, a jobs crisis, a massive deficit and budget mess, crushing debt, a health care system in shambles, a climate crisis, an ineffective energy policy, an equally ineffective immigration policy, a housing crisis, the U.S. auto industry on the verge of collapse, a mess at Gitmo, a severely tarnished global reputation, an executive branch damaged by corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement, and an angry, deeply divided electorate.

    It was, by most measures, the worst national conditions ever faced by a newly-elected president.

    Limbaugh wants his minions to believe Obama bequeathed a healthy, prosperous nation. That’s insane.

  47. GOP Rep: Obama Impeachment ‘Needs To Happen’

    At a town hall meeting yesterday, a Tea Party member urged Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) to bring impeachment proceedings against President Obama in the House. Burgess replied, “It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up…No question about that.” When asked to clarify, Burgess said he wasn’t sure what the proper charged to bring against Obama would be, but reiterated his support for such a move. “We need to tie things up,” he said. “The longer we allow the damage to continue unchecked, the worse things are going to be for us.” Burgess joins numerous House Republicans in their impeachment-saber rattling.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Breast cancer patient denied coverage since he’s a man
    By Joan Raymond contributor
    updated 2 hours 44 minutes ago 2011-08-09T12:49:38

    Although it’s a well-established medical fact that men get breast cancer, Medicaid, the health insurance program for low income and disabled Americans, won’t provide coverage for some of them. Last month, Raymond Johnson, a 26-year-old single South Carolina man, discovered he was one of the estimated 2,100 men who are diagnosed with the disease each year.

    I didn’t even know men could get breast cancer,” says Johnson, who was diagnosed after he went to a local emergency room for chest pain treatment. “I’m young. I didn’t think anything bad could really happen to me.”

    Johnson, a tradesman who made $9 an hour, worked for a small outfit that did not provide health coverage. With a bad economy, he only worked about 30 hours a week, and couldn’t afford private health insurance.

    Since he didn’t qualify for traditional Medicaid, he was urged by the hospital where he is receiving care to apply for help under The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act.

    This 11-year-old federal law uses funds from Medicaid for breast or cervical cancer patients who otherwise don’t qualify for Medicaid because their income is too high, explains Jeff Stensland, spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

    The eligibility rules for coverage under the Act are complex, but Johnson met all criteria, except one: He isn’t a woman. “We want to cover this guy,” says Stensland, “but we simply can’t.”

    Today, Johnson says he’s feeling “pretty good” but is undergoing chemotherapy and may need surgery to treat his Stage II cancer. He says he doesn’t know how he’s going to pay for his care.

    I just can’t tell you how floored I was when I got that letter saying I didn’t qualify for help,” he says. “The bills are going to be huge. I have breast cancer. I really don’t see how that’s possible.”

    This isn’t the first time the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has tried to get coverage under The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act for male patients. Two other men in the last four years, who have also met the act’s criteria, have been denied coverage because they are, well, men.

    “We’re in conversations with the federal government on this issue,” says Stensland. “It’s clearly discriminatory, and we believe it’s a good example of an overly rigid interpretation of the law, a law that’s designed to help patients with these cancers.”

    In an email, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid spokesperson tells “The law governing this specific program is linked to a CDC screening program. We are working with the CDC and South Carolina to see what options may exist to address this situation. We are committed to ensuring that all individuals who should be eligible for this program have coverage.”

    © 2011 Reprints

  49. Pawlenty likens Obama to ‘manure spreader in a wind storm’

    SULLY, Iowa — Tim Pawlenty (R) continued to cite yesterday’s economic news as proof President Obama is not capable of fixing the economy.

    To a crowd of about 20 people gathered here in the Coffee Cup Cafe, the former Minnesota governor likened the president to “a manure spreader in a wind storm, throwing things in every direction with out focus.”

    It was his first of six stops throughout Iowa today.

    “The president of the United States addressed the country yesterday afternoon,” Pawlenty said. “And we saw in his remarks – both in content and tone – that his call to the nation that he used in 2008 of hope and change became hope and blame. And he began to act like a manure spreader in a wind storm, throwing things in every direction without any real focus.”

  50. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 09, 2011 8:45 AM

    Why the GOP is against the ideas they’re for

    By Steve Benen

    For the last several weeks, President Obama has been eager to demonstrate the fact he has some credible ideas that could help the economy. The problem, of course, is that the president doesn’t want to push ideas he knows will fail in Congress, so he’s left to pursue more modest measures that might have a shot.

    At the top of the list is an extension of the payroll tax cut. From Obama’s perspective, this should be a no-brainer — not only do Republicans love tax cuts like these, but failing to pass an extension would mean a tax increase at a very inopportune time. Even GOP leaders, for their madness, should be able to work with the White House on this.

    But they’re not. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) declared on Fox News over the weekend that he’s opposed to a payroll tax cut extension because “it would simply exacerbate our debt problems.”

    Republicans have declared countless times that allowing taxes to go up when the economy is weak would be a disaster, and yet, here we are.

    Jon Chait noted that Paul Ryan, during the 2001 recession, argued the exact opposite

    To recap: In 2001, we faced a mild downturn, one which monetary policy was more than adequate to address. Ryan was nonetheless enough of an ultra-Keynesian to insist on immediate stimulative tax cuts to boost demand. Now, we face a massive economic crisis and the Federal reserve is almost out of ammunition. Now Ryan has been converted to an odd, economic doctrine that insists on imposing contractionary fiscal policy. I’m sure that in Ryan’s mind, there’s some deeper principle at work than “stimulate the economy under Republican presidents and de-stimulate it under Democratic presidents.” But that is functionally the Republican position.

    As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently argued, “If they oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they’re just opposing anything that helps create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.”

    This is the whole point of the “sabotage” question. The argument isn’t that Republicans have conservative ideas about helping the economy. Questioning their motivations on this alone would be foolish. The point, rather, is that Republicans have begun rejecting their own ideas about helping the economy.

    In the larger context, it’s possible House Republican leaders, in their heart of hearts, actually support an extension of the payroll tax cut, but just aren’t willing to say so. Why not? Because then they lose leverage — GOP officials know the White House wants this, and if they simply agree to pass the measure, they won’t get anything extra out of the deal.

    It’s likely, then, that congressional Republicans will simply hold the payroll tax cut hostage, and demand other goodies from Democrats in exchange for doing what the GOP wants to do anyway. If Dems give in, Republicans get more of what they want. If Dems don’t, Republicans will blame Dems for raising middle-class taxes, even if it’s obviously the GOP’s fault.

    And what kind of ransom would Republicans expect for this? Apparently, they want a tax break for repatriating overseas corporate funds, which didn’t work when it was tried seven years ago, which is fundamentally regressive, and which would worsen the deficit the GOP pretends to care about.

    The 2010 midterms continue to look like the biggest mistake Americans have made in a long while.

  51. rikyrah says:

    August 09, 2011
    Leadership vs. governance
    Grover Norquist’s notorious maxim of 2003 is as full of holes as his head. “We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.” Who are these “we”; just try defining “Democrat” with any precision; and one notes, Grover, that you said “govern,” not lead, which leads to governing.

    In partial answer to the “we” question, Eric Cantor, like clockwork, told his conference yesterday:

    [T]here will be tremendous pressure on Congress to prove that S.& P.’s analysis of the inability of the political parties to bridge our differences is wrong. In short, there will be pressure to compromise on tax increases. We will be told that there is no other way forward. I respectfully disagree.

    Cantor’s intransigence, in imitation of Norquist’s arrogance, went forth at about the time President Obama was identifying a few unshakable problems:

    It’s not a lack of plans or policies that is the problem here. It’s a lack of political will in Washington. It’s the insistence on drawing lines in the sand, a refusal to put what’s best for the country ahead of self-interest or party or ideology. And that’s what we need to change

    All true, excepting that part about a “lack of political will in Washington.” In reality, there’s an excess of political will in Washington, though it’s monopolized by the right. Nothing, it seems, fazes them; markets can crash, the nation’s credit can be questioned, opinion polls can violently clash with their assorted designs, global doom can lurk around the corner — and they stand pat, like some sort of Nietzschean monster.

    No, Mr. President, there’s no lack of political will; merely a radical imbalance of political will. And that, in itself, in a two-party system, spells calamity for “what’s best for the country.”

    Which leads us back to the critical distinction between leadership and governance. The Grover Norquists and Eric Cantors of this country can gum up the latter through all manner of political tricks and legislative games and downright diabolical truculence, but they cannot dictate your leadership. That ship, O Captain, My Captain, sails poetically and entirely in your waters.

    You need not follow the direction of the deafening commentariat, or even more deafening progressives, or the neoliberals, or the squishy centrists and moderates or the no-labels hallucinators. You need not follow anyone’s direction. That’s the point. You need to be out front, leading. And that, you are not doing.

    Your political tumor is incubating, Mr. President: read virtually any commentary, watch any mainstream media, and you will behold this uniform indictment: “Words, words, words, nothing but words.” And you had best reverse that assessment now, before it metastasizes into a verdict.

    Then later, perhaps, you’ll have the power it takes to govern.

  52. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Be a Dupe
    by BooMan
    Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 08:58:57 AM EST

    Progressives should read Dana Milbank’s piece in the Washington Post today and really ruminate on what it means. The piece amounts to nothing more than a taunting of the president of the United States. The Republicans have the power to deny the president any money to jump start the economy. They have exercised that power. Even more, they have used all their energy to try take money out of the economy, in an effort to stall a weak recovery. In this, they have been only modestly successful. Nonetheless, they’ve destroyed confidence in our government and even harmed our credit rating. Then they went on vacation, leaving the president holding the bag.
    This is the plan. They want to destroy the economy, make the president look powerless, and suggest that somehow their tired and discredited ideas can fix the problem. Whatever you do, please don’t help the Republicans make their case.

  53. rikyrah says:


    August 08, 2011
    Obama’s newser
    The president’s opening remarks at today’s news conference contained these words about Washington: “wrangling,” “gridlock,” “(un)constructive,” “threat[ening],” “self-interest” and “ideology.” He was visibly unpleased.

    Obama then called for an extension of paytroll tax cuts and an extension of unemployment benefits and made another (though veiled) reference to a notional infrastructure bank. He further related his confidence in American confidence (while a split screen showed the Dow at -400+ points, and dropping).

    Let’s take unemployment benefits. Last Friday Jim Cramer appeared on Hardball and said that earlier that day, on his own show, Eric Cantor was his guest. Must do more for the unemployed, said Cantor. Agreed, said Cramer; so then you’ll agree to extend their benefits? Cantor: No.

    If President Obama cannot boost the economy by merely sustaining the status quo, then he might as well not boost the economy through a massive jobs proposal.

    Wrangling, unconstructive gridlock by threatening, self-interested ideology: it makes everything possible.

  54. rikyrah says:

    S&P Blames GOP For U.S. Credit Problem, Associated Press, Politico Cover It Up

    The Standard & Poors’ rating agency decision to reduce the United States’ long term debt from AAA to AA+ was explained in a press release that specifically mentioned “the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” should, itself, make headlines like “Standard And Poors Blames U.S. Credit Rating Reduction On Republicans.”

    But the fact is, some publications, most notable The Associated Press and Politico, are working (thus far) to cover up S&P’s finger-pointing at Republicans. Instead, they appear to be pointing their own fingers at President Obama – someone not mentioned in the Standard and Poor’s press release.

    Take Jonathan Allen in Politico:

    Standard & Poor’s delivered an unambiguous message to investors Friday that has serious implications not only for the nation’s economy but also for President Barack Obama, the tea party and anyone else with skin in the 2012 elections: America’s political system is subprime.

    That was how Allen started off his article. In it, there was zero mention of the two very damaging statements S&P used in its press release, and directly aimed at Republicans:

    The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. As our downside alternate fiscal scenario illustrates, a higher public debt trajectory than we currently assume could lead us to lower the long-term rating again. On the other hand, as our upside scenario highlights, if the recommendations of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction–independently or coupled with other initiatives, such as the lapsing of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners (my emphasis)–lead to fiscal consolidation measures beyond the minimum mandated, and we believe they are likely to slow the deterioration of the government’s debt dynamics, the long-term rating could stabilize at ‘AA+’.
    …Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

    Allen’s Politico article had a lot of Republican quotes, not many Democratic quotes, and in all failed to tell the truth of Standard & Poor’s message.

    And then there’s the Associated Press’ article by Martin Crutsinger. It fails to include, or mention Standard & Poors’ GOP-directed press release quotes, and wrote:

    Another concern was that lawmakers and the administration might fail to make those cuts because Democrats and Republicans are divided over how to implement them. Republicans are refusing to raise taxes in any deficit-cutting deal while Democrats are fighting to protect giant entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

    Which would lead one who didn’t read the S&P press release to think that it was balanced and mentioned “giant entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare,” but the press release mentioned Medicare here:

    It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

    But Standard and Poors does not attack Democrats the way Republicans are addressed.

    It’s purely irresponsible for The Associated Press and Politico to fail to accurately report the contents of the Standard and Poors press release. If The Associated Press and Politico want to damage President Obama, they should just come out and say so. Heck, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that his objective was to make President Obama “A one-term President.”

    Looks like Senator McConnell and the GOP want to destroy the American Economy. And even then, they still will miss their objective.

    Stay tuned.

    Read more:

  55. rikyrah says:

    For Obama, a Record on Diversity but Delays on Judicial Confirmations
    Published: August 6, 2011

    President Obama made history when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. He did it again with his second nominee, Elena Kagan, raising the number of women on the nation’s highest court to three.

    And Mr. Obama has also added judicial diversity further down the federal ladder. His administration has placed a higher percentage of ethnic minorities among his nominees into federal judgeships than any other president.

    So far, Mr. Obama has had 97 of his judicial nominees confirmed — compared with 322 for President George W. Bush and 372 for President Bill Clinton, who each served two terms. So far in Mr. Obama’s presidency, nearly half of the confirmed nominees are women, compared with 23 percent and 29 percent in the Bush and Clinton years.

    Some 21 percent are black, compared with 7 percent under Mr. Bush and 16 percent under Mr. Clinton. And 11 percent are Hispanic, compared with 9 percent under Mr. Bush and 7 percent under Mr. Clinton. Of the nearly two dozen nominees awaiting a Senate confirmation vote, more than half are women, ethnic minorities or both.

  56. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:56 PM ET, 08/08/2011
    How weak Democrats enable hard-line Republicans
    By Ezra Klein
    Ross Douthat argues that the Republican Party’s intransigence on taxes is rendered rational by the Democratic Party’s cowardice on taxes. He’s right:

    During the debt ceiling negotiations, I argued that by passing on a grand bargain today, Republicans were risking a bigger defeat on taxes down the road. The response that I got from more than a few conservatives was telling: They simply didn’t believe that the Democrats would ever muster the political will to actually let the Bush tax cuts expire. And if that assumption is correct, then the Republican refusal to bend on taxes makes all the sense in the world. If you don’t think your opposition can actually pull the trigger and fire the bullets in its gun, then why not wait till after the next election to cut a deficit deal? At best, you’ll have a Republican president and a better final package; at worst, the same basic bargain will still be on the table, because the Democrats won’t have the guts to take it off.
    This is the reality that liberals need to face: Much of the Republican “intransigence” and “hostage-taking” and “terrorism” that they deplore is a direct consequence of the fact that Republicans assume that Democrats will always, always, cave on taxes. And so long as that assumption keeps getting vindicated by events, there’s no incentive for the G.O.P. to accede to sweeping compromises on deficit reduction. Why would you compromise with a party that won’t actually fight for the revenues required to pay for the programs it claims to want to protect? Why would you sign off on tax increases that your notionally pro-government opposition doesn’t want to sign off on themselves?

    The interesting implication of this, which you see clearly in Ross’s post, is that moderate Republicans are being undermined by weak-kneed Democrats. After all, if centrist Republicans can’t credibly argue a hard-line position will lead to much higher taxes, they can’t credibly argue that the Republicans Party needs to compromise.

  57. Ametia says:

    So, you’re a Republican that hates taxes? Well, since you do not like taxes or government, please kindly do the following.

    See the rest here:

    1. Do not use Medicare.
    2. Do not use Social Security
    3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars.
    4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.
    5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.
    6. Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home.
    7. Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home.
    8. Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge.
    9. Do not use public restrooms.
    10. Do not send your kids to public schools.
    11. Do not put your trash out for city garbage collectors.

    13. Do not drink clean water.
    14. Do not visit National Parks.

    16. Do not eat or use FDA inspected food and medicines.

    18. Do not walk or run on sidewalks.

    23. Do not use the judiciary system for any reason.
    24. Do not ask for an attorney when you are arrested and do not ask for one to be assigned to you by the court.

    26. Do not use cures that were discovered by labs using federal dollars.
    27. Do not fly on federally regulated airplanes.

    31. Do not listen to tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake alert systems.

    33. Do not use the internet, which was developed by the military.

    36. Do not ask for FEMA assistance when everything you own gets wiped out by disaster.
    37. Do not ask the military to defend your life and home in the event of a foreign invasion.
    38. Do not use your cell phone or home telephone.
    39. Do not buy firearms that wouldn’t have been developed without the support of the US Government and military. That includes most of them.
    40. Do not eat USDA inspected produce and meat.

    43. Do not buy any vehicle that has been inspected by government safety agencies.
    44. Do not buy any product that is protected from poisons, toxins, etc…by the Consumer Protection Agency.

    46. Do not use Veterans benefits or military health care.

    48. Do not apply for unemployment benefits.
    49. Do not use any electricity from companies regulated by the Department of Energy.
    50. Do not live in homes that are built to code.
    51. Do not run for public office. Politicians are paid with taxpayer dollars.
    52. Do not ask for help from the FBI, S.W.A.T, the bomb squad, Homeland Security, State troopers, etc…
    53. Do not apply for any government job whatsoever as all state and federal employees are paid with tax dollars.
    54. Do not use public libraries.
    55. Do not use the US Postal Service.

    61. Do not ask the Department of Agriculture to provide a subsidy to help you run your farm.

    63. Do not ask for taxpayer dollars for your oil company.
    64. Do not ask the federal government to bail your company out during recessions.

    70. Do not ask the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild levees when they break.
    71. Do not let the Coast Guard save you from drowning when your boat capsizes at sea.
    72. Do not ask the government to help evacuate you when all hell

  58. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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