Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

Hope y’all are enjoying Ms. Streisand.  Happy Birthday, Nicole! :-)

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182 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

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  3. The GOP 2012 Candidates

    What A Joke!

  4. US President Barack Obama (C) walks on the tarmac as he arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on August 11, 2011 where he will be attending two Democratic National Committee events.

  5. Member of the US Secret Service Counter Assault Team (CAT) arrive at the Wall Street landing zone as US President Barack Obama prepares to land in Marine One in New York City on August 11, 2011 where he will be attending two Democratic National Committee events.

  6. President Barack Obama salutes as he steps off of Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, in New York, to attend Democratic National Committee events in New York City.

  7. rikyrah says:

    hat tip- a poster at Balloon Juice that sent me to Washington Monthly:

    Tom on August 11, 2011 10:54 AM:

    The predominately white progressive intelligentsia don’t see Obama clearly because of our racial blind spot. We don’t see the role of race in how he seems to understand himself and how other perceive him.

    First of all, we think that he understands himself as one of us. A progressive activist, heir to the radical and New Left movements most of us were raised in. He is not; I think that he understands himself (and certainly his real base understands him) as the first African American President. We’re thinking Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. We should be thinking about Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago. Washington was elected and immediately faced a solid wall of opposition from most white aldermen in the city. Washington understood his role as breaking down that wall of opposition and assembling a governing majority, which he finally did after his re-election. Unfortunately, he died shortly thereafter. By the way, one of Washington’s political strategists was David Axelrod.

    How does Obama break the iron unity of the GOP opposition to assemble a governing majority in the US Congress?

    If we progressives were not blinded by our own assumption that our history is the only history, we might see how Obama may be seeing his situation.

    White progressives often think that African American elected officials are politically naive. We will far more credit to Cornel West, who has never been elected to anything, than to an elected state senator, or even the President of the United States. We think that Obama does not understand the nature of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell or Eric Cantor, as though he has not sat across the table from them. He doesn’t understand how mean they are, we think.

    Obama acts entirely within the tradition of mainstream African American political strategy and tactics. The epitome of that tradition was the non-violence of the Civil Rights Movement, but goes back much further in time. It recognizes the inequality of power between whites and blacks. Number one: maintain your dignity. Number two: call your adversaries to the highest principles they hold. Number three: Seize the moral high ground and Number four: Win by winning over your adversaries, by revealing the contradiction between their own ideals and their actions. It is one way that a oppressed people struggle.

    Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said “There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults. That is what people expect us to do and that is why we have entered into public service.” That is the moral high ground.

    Honestly, I have been reminded more than once in the last few months of those brave college students sitting in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter, back in the day. Obama sits at that table, like they did at the counter. Boehner and McConnell and Cantor clown around, mugging for the camera, competing to ritually humiliate Obama, to dump ketchup on his head.

    I don’t think those students got their sandwiches the first day, but they won in the end.

    Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him. Even some Republicans are getting disgusted with their Washington leaders. Obama is not telling us about lack of seriousness of the Congressional GOP; he is showing us the vivid contrast between what we expect of our leaders and their behavior. The last two and half years have been a revelation of the essential conflicts in our society and politics.

    If white progressives understood much about the politics of the African American struggle in the United States, we would see Obama in the context of that struggle and understand him better. And you don’t have to be African American to know something about the history of the African American struggle. The books and the testimony is there. It’s not all freedom songs. But you have to be convinced that it is something that can teach you something you don’t already know.

  8. T-paw calls Bachmann a liar.

  9. opulent says:

    What is the probability that the Presidential ticket is

    Obama/Clinton 2012?

    in direct response to the likely GOP ticket


    • It Ain’t gonna happen! The President is not kicking Joe Biden aside. Ride or Die Joe all the way!

      Obama/Biden 2012!

      • opulent says:

        I see your points Agranny…and I hear you too SG

        just speculating.

        cause of all that progressive poutrages….

        and you know a lot of these white women have buyer’s remorse and want a female in the WH especially since a black man was first

    • No figging way! PBO and “BFD” Biden is “da bomb!” Hillary is totally great as SOS and I think she likes it there. Plus could you just picture old Bill in heels trotting around with Michelle,eating carrots and secretly pinching women’s butts? I sure can’t!

      • opulent says:

        I am not wishing for this to be the ticket.
        I just don’t know if Biden is gonna want a second term
        I am thinking that Obama has to trump the female on the GOP ticket

        but WJC would still be an issue.

      • Ride or Die Joe isn’t going anywhere! No one wants Bill Clinton’s ass anywhere near the White House.

      • Opulent, there is no reply button after your comment so I’m replying on my comment. Hope you get this.

        1) PBO and Biden already “trumped” the female on a gop ticket in 2008.
        2) PBO trumped Hillary for the nomination in 2008
        3) PBO and Biden make a great team. They respect and genuinely LIKE each other.
        4) Joe Biden is an old war horse who has been through personal and public fires and not only survived but thrived. He still has a lot of energy left and would never desert his CIC and good friend. PBO would never abandon such a loyal compadre.

        Just my take and you may agree or not.

      • opulent says:

        I see your points Agranny…and I hear you too SG

        lol @ nobody wanting his ass anywhere near WH…lol

        just speculating.

        cause of all that progressive poutrages….

        and you know a lot of these white women have buyer’s remorse and want a female in the WH especially since a black man was first

      • Ametia says:

        I got you, Opulent. These women who want a White woman in the WH, take a number.

      • I wanted to say something else about Joe Biden and Barack Obama. They both share the same real “family values” Joe had to be there for his motherless boys and he was. When he remarried, he found a woman who would be his partner and a ‘mother’ to his children. He is devoted to his family. Barack Obama is a stellar example for every man in America of what a husband and father should be. These two men truly know what is important and valuable and respect each other for it.

        This country is blessed to have these two men leading us now.

    • Ametia says:

      OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

  10. rikyrah says:

    Chase Forecloses On Home Even After Woman Scrounges To Make Up Nearly $50,000 In Mortgage Payments

    By Guest Blogger on Aug 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    To keep her home, Mardee Jerde scrambled to meet her bank’s demand that she pay almost $50,000 in overdue mortgage payments immediately. After a car accident kept her from working for 11 months, she was forced to mail in to the bank the entire settlement that she won from a lawsuit over the crash, leaving the Minnesota resident with practically nothing to live on.

    Two days after receiving her $49,825 in the mail, Jerde learned that she would lose her house anyway because Chase Bank had rejected her application for a permanent loan reduction–for the second time. Merde, who had done everything Chase asked of her, felt betrayed:

    “If I had known that [the bank would foreclose anyway], I never would have sent that money. I would have been out of my mind. That was given to me to live on. Now I have nothing…The only thing I’ve got bought and paid for is a lot in the cemetery. And I might be camping on it.”

    Jerde can reclaim her house if she can somehow pay off her outstanding mortgage balance of over $200,000 by Aug. 23.

    Sadly, Jerde’s story is not uncommon. In June, the Obama administration announced that JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America would no longer receive federal funds from its Making Home Affordable Program after the three banks “failed to meet basic program requirements.”

    One Making Home Affordable Program — the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) — is meant to help struggling homeowners like Merde by arranging for permanent loan reductions. But as of June, less than 700,000 housing loans have been permanently modified, out of the 3 to 4 million projected. June saw the fewest loan modifications under the program since April 2009.

    Minnesota real estate lawyer Carl E. Christensen blames the low numbers on the banks. “The banks put out their hand and say, ‘We’re going to help you,’ and then stab people right in the back,” Christensen said. “Nobody ever gets loan mods. I meet with up to a dozen people a week and have been doing this for two-and-a-half years. I’ve only seen five modifications, and only one that ever gave any substantive benefit.” Yesterday, Chase Bank sold off the home of a U.S. soldier who had returned from Iraq that very same day.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Perry Calls RomneyCare ‘A Failure,’ Invites Unflattering Comparison To Texas Health Record

    By Igor Volsky on Aug 11, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Potential presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) slammed Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network last week, calling the effort a failure that he doesn’t wish to duplicate in Texas. “If some state decides to do something like pass a health care plan that, you know, is kind of like this Obama thing and it’s a failure then we kind of go, ‘ooh, we don’t want to do that,’ and that state may have been harmed by it, but the whole nation was not,” he said:

    PERRY: On the other side of the coin, Massachusetts is free to experiment with state run healthcare. If federalism is respected, the people of Massachusetts are free to try it while the rest of the nation sits back and watches to see if they have any success, and whether any success they do have is worth the price of losing liberty. Now, we in Texas are not too excited about the prospect of government-run anything, much less health care, and the federal legislation – known to most as Obamacare – is a direct result on the principle of federalism.

    Watch it:

    Perry’s argument is hard to swallow, particularly since Massachusetts enjoys the highest insured rates in the country and has actually expanded private coverage as a result of the 2006 reforms. But the comments also invite a fairly unflattering comparison of Perry’s own health care record in Texas, where, under his watch, the number of uninsured residents grew by approximately 2 million people. In fact, Rick Perry’s Texas is in many ways the exact opposite of Romney’s Massachusetts:

  12. rikyrah says:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott May Ask Legislature To Accept Federal Health Reform Funds

    By Igor Volsky on Aug 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has built up a reputation for refusing to accept almost all of the grants made available by the Affordable Care Act because he believes that the health care reform law to be unconstitutional. Recently, Scott accepted $2.5 million for abstinence programs and is now considering asking the Republican state legislature to approve additional funds to prevent child abuse:

    Scott, 58, is deciding whether to ask the Republican- controlled Legislature to allow $2.1 million of U.S. grants to be spent on home care for the elderly and needy that it voted down in June, said Lane Wright, a spokesman in Tallahassee. He also may seek its approval to disburse $3.1 million of U.S. aid for child-abuse prevention lawmakers failed to allocate, Wright said.

    Scott, a former hospital-chain executive, started Conservatives for Patients’ Rights in 2009 to object to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which became law last year. As governor since January, he has had no objection to using U.S. funds for programs in place before they became part of the Affordable Care Act, said Wright.

    He remains opposed to “implementing any part of Obama-care that didn’t already exist,” he said. The governor turned down three grants worth a combined $4.1 million to set up a health- insurance exchange, regulate increases in rates and help residents appeal denial of care, said Wright.

    The money is sorely needed. In 2010, the state legislature cut a staggering 43 percent of the budget for its Healthy Families Florida program, which provides home visitation services to both expecting parents and parents with newborn children in order to prevent future instances of abuse. As a result, Healthy Families was forced to scale back, dropping services for 5,800 children in 3,500 high-risk families.

    Florida has the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, second-highest rate of people without insurance, and a $3.7 billion budget gap this year.

  13. Ametia says:

    The white boys are pumping up the secessionist Rick Perry on MSNBC


    Perry strong on jobs
    Oama weak on jobs


    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!

    • Ametia says:

      Of course Chris Matthews, Mark DICKIE BOY Haperin and that other game change freak are sayng Perry’s clever for” hiding out “and coming in late, meaning AVOIDING he PRESS from questioning his crazy, selfish, ideology and secessionist views


      • I despise Matthews. I only go to MSNBC to watch Rev Al. I turn it off immediately after because I can’t stomach that two faced little white bitch Matthews (can I talk like that here? You can send me to the naughty chair) He bashes PBO all the time and even if he says anything remotely positive, he has to kill it by saving something evil. I’m sure he was gloating all over his fig ass about Perry. Fig him and the figging horse he road it on!

    • The media is ignoring Rick Perry’s claim to secede from the Union. IF you’re white, then it’s alright. Rick’s just a good ole boy! No harm , no foul! /snark!

  14. Angry Protestors March to Congressman Lewis’ Office

    More than 40 people wave signs and cheered at a Redlands intersection to push for a start to solving the big unemployment problem.

    On Wednesday, Bobbi Joe Chavarria and about 40 people made it clear: they’ve had enough congressional nonsense.

    Residents across the Inland Empire are suffering, yet they see their conservative representative taken no real action, said Chavarria, a longtime peace activist.

    The protest was led by the local council as part of the national MoveOn effort encouraging Americans around the country gather at congressional offices to ask their elected officials, “Where are the Jobs?

    Members of the Democratic Club and Citizens Action for Peace joined MoveOn members at the intersection of Brookside Avenue and San Mateo Street near Congressman Jerry Lewis’ Redlands office.

    For just over an hour, they waved signs, chanted and cheered as vehicles honked. Members spoke and then the group delivered a jobs contract with a list of demands for the congressman that included: Invest in the country’s infrastructure, offer Medicare for all, and fix Social Security.

    The congressman was not at his office on Wednesday.

    “I think we need to make this town bluer,” Chavarria told the crowd during her short address. “I think we need to make this area bluer so that folks like Jerry Lewis who have been riding the public (gravy) train for a long time, does not get to do that anymore. So that he doesn’t become a millionaire on the back of the hard working people in our community.”

    Chavarria pleaded for the group stay involved. She pleaded they get out, talk to neighbors and get them out the vote. Council Coordinator for Redlands, Zoe Lane, said the idea for the contract was partially inspired by those used by Republican legislators.

    • I’m loving this! Rev Al showed a clip of McCain being blasted at his town hall here. What he didn’t show was that nasty old man getting really pissed and walking out. Too bad he isn’t up for re-election next year, I think he would actually LOSE!

  15. My friend Marion posted this. Thought I’d share it with you guys!

    I’ve always liked how nature imitates people…

    • Ametia says:

      *******HOLLERING******* DEAD, DEAD, DEAD***

      ———–FLATLINES____________- I.CAN’T.BREEVE…….

    • We have a large pet Turtle, born with a deformed shell and with the handicap of no mate because (big SIGH) so many girl turtles are so shallow. He has some real issues with that disgusting McConnell being compared to turtles. He thought that pic on the left was extremely handsome but that one on the right made him puke. He has been discussing forming a league for turtles to combat this negative comparison. He feels it is an unfair discrimination to turtles everywhere.

      Just saying….and we do have a really cool turtle who lives with us.

  16. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Marion, and Planet POV!

    We Are Aiding and Abetting Republicans
    By: Marion


    After having spent the first two years of the Obama Administration, nit-picking, finding fault, gratuitously criticizing, and, when all else failed, inventing reasons to despair of the Democratic President, in the run-in to another general election, various people, pundits and politicians are still calling for this President to be primaried.


    In 1976, Gerald Ford was primaried by Ronald Reagan, then considered the scourge of the Right and far too conservative ever to be considered seriously. Ford retained the nomination and lost to Jimmy Carter, who was primaried, himself, by Ted Kennedy four years later, losing the election to Ronald Reagan. So much for being too far to the Right to be elected. Reagan got two terms.

    Then, in 1992, George H W Bush was primaried by lovely, cuddly Pat Buchanan – he, who still wishes he were in the land of cotton, sitting on the verandah watching the slaves frolick in the fields. Buchanan wasn’t a joke. He came close enough in some primaries to make the Brahmin Poppy Bush distinctively uncomfortable. Result? Bush lost the chance of a second term.


    Since the Midterms, we’ve had media voices, as well as Democratic politicians refer to the President, variously, as a quisling or a Nazi collaborator, regarding the temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts. We are still hearing from them how the President caved to the Republicans on this measure, never mind the fact that the Republicans had effectively shut the door to any negotiations regarding the repeal of DADT, or the passing of START or the First Responders’ Bill, until the tax cuts were extended.

    As things went, the so-called “cave-in” accomplished an entire year’s extension of unemployment benefits and a moratorium on payroll tax, amongst other things, as well as DADT being repealed and the other two bills enacted. Funny, how the Democrats and their well-heeled punditry neglect to mention the compromise which effectively bettered the plight of the working class.


    Primary Obama, and he’ll still get the nomination; but he won’t be stronger, nor will the Democratic party. In case they haven’t noticed, there’s a very real chance they might lose the Senate, this time around. The sheeple on the Left, and some politicians from safe Democratic districts, seem to forget that the only thing, at this point in time, separating us from a Republican Armageddon, is four Senators and the President.

    Primary Obama, and he will lose the general election. It doesn’t matter if his Republican opponent be Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin or Donald Trump, he’ll lose. A primary challenger to a serving President tells the voting public that the President and his party are weak, shallow, vapid, divided and unfit to govern; and whilst that might be true of the Democrats, in general, it’s not true of the President. He really is the only adult in the room.


    The irony of this peculiar situation will be the fact that many within the President’s own party willfully aided and abetted not only his downfall, but the political suicide of the Democratic Party, itself. Many of us are doing the Republicans’ work for them. I guess many of us really have moved that far to the Left, that we’ve now found ourselves on the Right.

  17. creolechild says:

    Don’t let the title of the article prevent you from reading what the author wrote. Imo, it’s a good article which makes important points that should be considered…Oh, thank you, Doctor Biobrain!

    Acting Like Chumps

    As you may have noticed, I really haven’t been posting much. But it’s not because I don’t have anything to say, but because I respect your time too much for me to post just anything on this blog, and it takes too long for me to perfect these posts to my liking as I’ve really become a busy man. (As I mention on my Facebook page, I’m so busy lately, I don’t even have time to bleed.) And so I’ve been posting lots of stuff elsewhere, and nothing much here.

    So I figured I’d share a comment I left at WaMo. Carpetbagger wrote a post expressing dismay that so many progressives denounce Obama more than they do Republicans, even though they themselves realize that Republicans are far more to blame than Obama and that this, in fact, is their strategy: To obstruct Obama at every turn in order to rally their base while depressing ours.

    And yet these people play right into that, knowing that it only hurts us. For this, we should be considered Chumps. Naturally, I agreed with all that, and wrote the following comment:

    What bothers me so much is that these people all INSIST that there’s a straight forward path for Obama to take which would assure victory, and he’s not doing it. And were that true, I’d agree with them completely. But it’s not. In fact, there’s no obvious path for him at all.

    Their advice is for Obama to ratch up the rhetoric and insults, as if he can talk his way out of this and force Republicans to back down. But it wouldn’t. It’d only have the opposite effect, as the Republicans’ biggest problem is that they have no fricking idea what they’re doing and only know how to hurl insults and obstruct things.

    And we’re to imagine that if Obama refused to compromise that it’d magically force Republicans to compromise. But it wouldn’t. Instead, it’d only give justification for Republican obstructionism. The reason Republicans don’t compromise isn’t because they think Obama’s soft. It’s because they think he’s dangerous and there’s almost NOTHING that can get them to compromise. Were he to actively prove he’s not “soft,” it’d only make them fear him more.

    The sad truth is that there are no magic bullets here and rhetoric will NOT win this for us. What WILL help? If these people devoted the energy they spend attacking Obama towards attacking Republicans; just like they did when Bush was in office. That’d be a HUGE help. It’s OUR job to make the claim for liberalism and make conservativism look bad; not Obama’s. It’s easy to blame everything on one man. It’s a lot harder for us to take responsibility for our lives and do something about it.

    Obama’s not preventing us from pushing liberal policies. That’s ALL on us.

  18. creolechild says:

    If you’re tired of this type of behavior from public figures, use the media contact list and let your voice be heard. If not, do nothing and it will continue. Part of the solution or part of the problem; which will you choose to be…Thank you, TiMT, and The People’s View!

    Racism Be It At Fox, MSNBC or DailyKos Is Still Racism. Unite Against Racism.
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 | Posted by TiMT

    Markos Moulitsas, the owner of the Dailykos website, took a brave stance against Pat Buchanan’s racism a few days ago in his article on the front page of dailykos titled, Pat Buchanan jots down racist screeds in book, which pretty much made the case about how Buchanan, one of the most racists TeeVee personalities is able to stay on the airwaves while spewing so many racist bile and yet how MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin has given Pat Buchanan a medium to parade his racism. Markos succinctly laid it all out about Pat Buchanan’s racists history in a paragraph and accurately accused the MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin for being an enabler by letting hate and racist rhetoric be amplified using MSNBC’s news outlet.

    Apparently, the soapbox MSNBC president Phil Griffin gives Pat Buchanan on his network wasn’t enough for the KKK’s most “out” member. The KKK’s most “out” member has used that platform to relentlessly stand up for poor oppressed white America. You can see his handiwork here, here and here. Given that he’s also (literally) a Hitler apologist and Anders Behring Breivik apologist, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide white supremacist parading around a mainstream news outlet. All of this is out in the open. And while MSNBC has suspended hosts for far less (and banned me from the network for making Joe Scarborough cry on Twitter), Buchanan has remained untouchable. There can only be one conclusion—Phil Griffin thinks there’s a place for Buchanan’s abhorrent white supremacist views.

    I have to agree. Anyone who looks the other way and enables Pat Buchanan to poison the airwaves with racist bile is an accessory to the wrong doing and MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin, whether it be consciously or unconsciously, is an enabler of racist pandering. We all know Fox News outlets are glorified racist networks and seeing Fox’s racism like the Dailykos Front Page article, Fox News blasts dog whistle in report on Obama’s birthday party, rightly points out the business as usual racism (click the image below to see the full article) at the Murdock news outlet empire.


    Read more:

  19. creolechild says:

    While Cutting Health Care For The Poor, Gov. Scott Pays Less Than $400 A Year For Taxpayer-Subsized Health Insurance – By Marie Diamond

    After relentlessly campaigning to abolish health care reform, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has taken every opportunity to slash health care coverage for the poor, elderly, and disabled. Since taking office in January, Scott has enacted a landmark Medicaid privatization scheme, rejected millions in federal health aid for seniors, children, and the disabled, and even turned down $52 million in federal funding to fight child abuse. Scott is a former private health industry executive who made his fortune downsizing hospitals for profit. He clearly has no problem making low-income Floridians pay more for basic health services. Yet when it comes to his own health insurance, Scott is only too happy to take advantage of a plan that lets him pay less than $400 a year — courtesy of taxpayers:

    Gov. Rick Scott, a critic of the federal health care overhaul, is paying less than $400 a year for health insurance for himself and his wife. While Scott is accepting no salary for his job as governor, the multimillionaire and former hospital chain executive chose to enroll in the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance plan offered by the state of Florida. Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It’s a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies.


  20. creolechild says:

    I don’t think this is going to endear voters to you, Rick! Just saying…

    Santorum’s Message To People Who Can’t Afford Health Care Costs: Lower Your Cell Phone Bill
    By Igor Volsky

    During a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register on Friday, Rick Santorum said that people who can’t afford health care should stop whining about the high costs of medical treatments and medications and spend less on non essentials. Answering a question about the uninsured, Santorum explained that health care, like a car, is a luxury resource that is rationed by society and recalled the story of a woman who said she was spending $200 a month on life-saving prescriptions. Santorum told her to stop complaining and instead lower her cable and cell phone bills:

    SANTORUM: All the other necessities of life, we allow people to have varying degrees of creature comforts, if you will. Why? Because we are people who ration our resources based upon what’s important to us and health care has to be one of those things, which is in the mix of things we make decisions about as to what type of, what kind of money we want to allocate to that.

    I had a woman the other day who came up and complained to me that she has to pay $200 a month for her prescriptions…I said, in other words, this $200 a month keeps you alive, she goes yes. I said, and you’re complaining that you’re paying $200 a month and it keeps you alive? What’s your cable bill? I mean, what’s your cell phone bill? Because she had a cell phone. And how can you say that you complain that you have $200 to keep you alive and that’s a problem? No, that’s a blessing!


    • Heartless goatfigger. That should play well with the elderly and the sick on fixed incomes. He basically just told that woman to “die sucker!” What a jerk!

  21. creolechild says:


    Florida Gov. Rick Scott May Ask Legislature To Accept Federal Health Reform Funds
    By Igor Volsky

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has built up a reputation for refusing to accept almost all of the grants made available by the Affordable Care Act because he believes that the health care reform law to be unconstitutional. Recently, Scott accepted $2.5 million for abstinence programs and is now considering asking the Republican state legislature to approve additional funds to prevent child abuse: Scott, 58, is deciding whether to ask the Republican- controlled Legislature to allow $2.1 million of U.S. grants to be spent on home care for the elderly and needy that it voted down in June, said Lane Wright, a spokesman in Tallahassee. He also may seek its approval to disburse $3.1 million of U.S. aid for child-abuse prevention lawmakers failed to allocate, Wright said.

    Scott, a former hospital-chain executive, started Conservatives for Patients’ Rights in 2009 to object to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which became law last year. As governor since January, he has had no objection to using U.S. funds for programs in place before they became part of the Affordable Care Act, said Wright. He remains opposed to “implementing any part of Obama-care that didn’t already exist,” he said. The governor turned down three grants worth a combined $4.1 million to set up a health- insurance exchange, regulate increases in rates and help residents appeal denial of care, said Wright.

    The money is sorely needed. In 2010, the state legislature cut a staggering 43 percent of the budget for its Healthy Families Florida program, which provides home visitation services to both expecting parents and parents with newborn children in order to prevent future instances of abuse. As a result, Healthy Families was forced to scale back, dropping services for 5,800 children in 3,500 high-risk families.


    • Hola, creolechild. This is OT but I want you to know that I followed up on those links you gave on the prison issue and hooked our reporter up. We will see what he does. I really appreciate your help. This is going to be a hot issue. The hearing in Goodyear last night was pretty acrimonious. People don’t want any more prisons built here. This issue of “payoffs” to our politicians was raised. One guy yelled “follow the money and you will know why our Gov wants to stick us with another prison.”

      Thanks again for what you did to inform me.

    • rikyrah says:

      FOLKS STILL haven’t forgotten about the BILLIONS he refused in light-rail money.

      uh huh

      • creolechild says:

        rikyrah~ I hope people don’t get amnesia when the elections roll around…but you can never tell what the American public will do. Many folks have really, really, really short memories.

      • Can you imagine just what that would have meant to jobs in Florida, not to mention what it would have accomplished for tourism, which is probably one of Florida’s biggest industries. I hope the Dems there hammer this like nails into Repug coffins in 2012!

  22. creolechild says:

    Mitch, what happened?!!! Oh, never mind…WE KNOW~

    FLASHBACK: In 1990 Campaign Ad, McConnell Said ‘I Think Everyone Should Pay Their Fair Share, Including The Rich’ – By Pat Garofalo

    Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) named three Republicans to the fiscal super committee that was created by the debt ceiling deal. All three have taken the Americans for Tax Reform anti-tax pledge and support a cockamamie constitutional balanced budget amendment. “What I can pretty certainly say to the American people, the chances of any kind of tax increase passing with this, with the appointees that John Boehner and I are going to put on there, are pretty low,” McConnell has said. But McConnell has not always been so virulently anti-tax. In fact, in a 1990 campaign ad, McConnell said that “everyone should pay their fair share, including the rich,” prompting the Associated Press to say that he sounded like a “populist Democrat”:

    “Many Republican candidates are, in fact, holding fast to the no-new-taxes position that Bush embraced and then abandoned, even as they try to portray themselves as friends of senior citizens and the disadvantaged. Others are sounding more and more like populist Democrats. ‘Unlike some folks around here, I think everyone should pay their fair share, including the rich,’ Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says in a campaign ad.” [Associated Press, 10/28/90]

    “A twist of untraditional Republicanism is added to McConnell’s message when he says, ‘Unlike some folks around here, I think everyone should pay their fair share, including the rich. We need to protect seniors from Medicare cuts too,’” wrote Roll Call reporter Steve Lilienthal. “After proclaiming his independence from the President and Congressional leaders, McConnell reassures voters that he will back a ‘fair deal for the working families of Kentucky.’” [“Democrats Flood Airwaves Charging GOP Party of Rich,” Roll Call, 11/5/1990]


  23. creolechild says:

    After Supporting Tea Party Protests, Fox News Accuses Iowans From ‘Liberal Think Tank’ Of ‘Ambushing’ Romney – By Guest Blogger

    Earlier today, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) faced angry questions from Iowans over his proposed cuts to entitlement programs. In an attempt to dismiss the legitimate concerns of the questioners, Fox News declared them to be liberal plants. During the segment, the conservative news outlet displayed a chyron on-screen that read, “Liberal Activists Ambush Mitt Romney At Iowa Event.”

    Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly then blasted the episode as an “altercation” between Romney and “liberal activists:” “These folks who were doing the confrontation, these protestors were from the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, which is described as a liberal think tank. They got there early. They positioned themselves in front of the crowd. They got a few questions into Romney. Do you think we’re going to be seeing more of that? You know, people who have a defined agenda from the average citizen showing up at these events.”

    But as she and her guest discussed the advent of this new form of “guerilla-style campaigning” by liberal activists, what Kelly didn’t disclose were the efforts by Fox News last year to promote the Tea Party’s anti-tax protests. Media Matters reported at the time that Fox had advanced the Tea Party’s agenda by providing its viewers with information such as protest dates and locations, posting publicity material on its websites and encouraging its audiences on air to attend. Watch their compilation of Fox News’ coverage of the Tea Party movement:


  24. Ametia says:

    News Alert: U.S. Postal Service seeks to withdraw employees from existing federal health and retirement plans
    August 11, 2011 4:52:29 PM

    The financially troubled U.S. Postal Service is seeking to reduce its workforce by 20 percent, including through layoffs now prohibited by union contracts, and to withdraw its employees from existing health and retirement plans, instead creating its own benefit programs specifically for postal employees. If approved by Congress, the changes could have major ramifications for federal workers across the government.

    For more information, visit

  25. creolechild says:

    Here’s Isaac Hayes, singing Walk on By.

  26. creolechild says:

    Here’s Ashford & Simpson, singing Is It Still Good To You.

  27. creolechild says:

    Here’s Ronnie Laws with Friends and Strangers.

  28. creolechild says:

    Here’s New Birth, singing It’s Been Such a Long Time.

  29. creolechild says:

    Here’s Evelyn “Champagne” King, singing Shame.

  30. creolechild says:

    Music time, y’all~ Going way back to Tower of Power.

  31. Talking Points Memo:

    Obama on calling Congress back early: “The last thing we need is Congress spending more time arguing in DC.”

    And that’s that!

  32. creolechild says:

    Arizona appeals on alien control law
    Lyle Denniston – Reporter

    The state of Arizona on Wednesday afternoon asked the Supreme Court to put back into effect four key parts of its controversial law — known as S.B. 1070 — giving police new duties to check up on the legal status of individuals who appear to be undocumented immigrants. The petition, found here, raised a single question: whether federal immigration laws bar the Arizona approach. The state argued that it “bears the brunt of the problems caused by illegal immigration,” as the “gateway for nearly half of the nation’s illegal border crossings.” And it seeks to put heavy blame on the federal government for not enforcing federal laws vigorously enough against that traffic.

    At issue in the case is not only the fate of Arizona’s specific law, enacted 16 months ago, but also the broader question of how far states may go to adopt their own measures to control those who have entered the country without legal permission to do so. The Ninth Circuit Court decision barring enforcement of the four provisions at issue, the state asserted, “casts constitutional doubt on dozens of statutes enacted by other states.” The state frames its claim to authority as the legal right to cooperate with federal enforcement, not to dominate immigration policy. “It is no small matter,” the state contended, “to conclude, as the Ninth Circuit did, that only the national government in Washington can address this problem.”

    Seeking to head off the government’s claim that Arizona was trying to use powers that belong solely to federal officials, the Arizona petition contended that the state, in enacting S.B. 1070, “was acutely aware of [t]he need to respect federal authority over immigration-related matters.” The resulting law, it added, authorizes cooperative law enforcement, and imposes sanctions that consciously parallel federal law.” And yet, despite that effort, the government “took the extraordinary step of initiating a suit to enjoin the law on its face before it ever took effect.”


  33. creolechild says:

    Crisis in Somalia: Why is the famine so severe and aid so difficult? How can you help?
    By Laura Rozen

    Somalia is experiencing the worst famine the world has witnessed in a generation, the result of the region’s worst drought in 60 years. The UN estimates that a quarter of the Somali population is now displaced—some 1.5 million people—and more than 10 million are in immediate need of food assistance or face starvation. The demands are urgent, and getting adequate assistance to the region in time has been tough.

    The Lookout asked experts on the area and the crisis for answers—and how you can help today.


  34. creolechild says:

    Wisconsin Democrats vow to recall Gov. Scott Walker
    By Eric W. Dolan

    After defeating two Republican state senators in recall elections on Tuesday, Wisconsin Democrats promised to launch a recall campaign against Republican Governor Scott Walker.
    “We will not stand down — and next year, we will recall Scott Walker from office,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said in a speech sent to The Washington Post. “We will begin to repair the damage done to this state and we will begin anew with a Democratic Governor who will fight for our children, who will fight for our families, our teachers and our firefighters. We will fight for the people — not the powerful.”

    Although Democrats gained two seats in the Wisconsin Senate, they fell short of the three seats needed to gain a majority. Wisconsin Republican state Sens. Robert Cowles, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen and Alberta Darling all held on to their seats, defeating their Democratic challengers. The Republican and Democratic Parties of Wisconsin both claimed victory in the recall elections.

    “They can say what they want, but this is a crushing defeat for big labor, and for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin,” Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement following the elections. “They said from the start their goal was to flip the majority in the state senate.” But Democrats noted that 5 of 6 recall elections took place in Republican-leaning districts, exposing the vulnerability of Republicans in the 2012 elections.


  35. creolechild says:

    Afghan president will not seek third term
    By Agence France-Presse

    President Hamid Karzai, who has been the only leader in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban, will not seek a third term in office, his palace said Thursday.
    “The constitution of Afghanistan does not allow anyone to run for the presidency for more than two terms,” the statement quoted Karzai as telling a group of parliamentarians. He “will not try to run for the presidency for the third time”, it added.

    Karzai was sworn in as interim leader of Afghanistan in December 2001, shortly after the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban. In 2004, he won the country’s first direct presidential elections with 55.4 percent of the vote. But his re-election in 2009 was mired in allegations of corruption, in which challenger Abdullah Abdullah abandoned a second-round run-off and investigators threw out a third of Karzai?s original votes because of fraud. Thursday’s announcement comes the day after Karzai handed authority for resolving a long-running row over vote-rigging in last September’s parliamentary elections to the Independent Election Commission.

  36. creolechild says:

    Female suicide bomber hits Pakistan
    By Agence France-Presse

    A female suicide attacker and a handcart bomb targeted Pakistani police on Thursday, killing seven people in the first deadly attacks to hit the northwest during Ramadan, officials said. The city of Peshawar, where the bombs struck, is on the frontline of a Taliban insurgency and borders Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt that Washington calls the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda. It was only the third time police have confirmed a woman suicide attacker in the nuclear-armed country of 167 million where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked bombers have killed 4,500 people since 2007, destabilising the government.

    Dozens were wounded in Thursday’s attacks, carried out several hours apart in the Lahori Gate area of Peshawar, a teeming city of 2.5 million, targeting first a police van and secondly a police checkpost. “This was a female suicide bomber aged around 17 or 18 who threw a hand grenade on the police checkpost, 20 metres away from the site of the first blast, and then blew herself up,” police official Shafqat Malik told AFP. “Her vest did not explode completely. She was killed and another woman was also killed and three policemen were injured,” Malik said. There was initial confusion on whether the second woman was also carrying explosives, but police and medics later said she had not. Police official Imtiaz Shah confirmed that the other woman was a passer by and had no connection to the woman, believed to have been around 17 years old.


  37. creolechild says:

    A media contact list was posted here, on this site, at least twice. Consider using it after clicking on the link and listening to the panel discussion.

    Video- Fox’s Red Eye Panelists Attack Kids In Progressive Campaign Video As “Little Bastards” And “A Bunch Of Dorks” – Posted by Paddy

  38. creolechild says:

    Foreclosures Drop to 44-Month Low in July
    By Douglas McIntyre

    Realtytrac’s latest monthly report revealed that foreclosure activity dropped 35% from July of 2010 to last month — the lowest in 44 months. Realtytrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for July 2011 “showed foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – were reported on 212,764 U.S. properties in July, a 4 percent decrease from June.” The list of hardest hit states is nearly identical to what it has been for two years. The top 10 were Georgia, Utah, Florida, Michigan, Idaho, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Most of these states have relatively high unemployment rates which exacerbates the problem.

    Despite the data, Realtytrac also warned that the decrease in foreclosures is artificial. Once homes which have been held up by robo-signing delays and state court filings are over, the market should be prepared for another flood of foreclosures. Realtytrac CEO James J. Saccacio, said “Unfortunately, the falloff in foreclosures is not based on a robust recovery in the housing market but on short-term interventions and delays that will extend the current housing market woes into 2012 and beyond. A stabilizing economy and improving job market are the long-term keys to a housing market recovery.”

    But, could the process that causes foreclosed homes to be dumped on the market only to depress the prices of other homes be tempered? Maybe. President Obama proposed a program yesterday that would encourage the rental of foreclosed homes owned by the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Similar programs could spread to banks which offer homes at steep discounts to get residential real estate off of their books. But, financial firms take large write-offs of these and might rather rent some of them, if they could.


  39. creolechild says:

    Stocks rise on small but positive economic signs
    08/11/11 14:12EDT

    NEW YORK -Wall Street’s wildest week since 2008 continued with another 300-plus point move for the Dow on Thursday. This time, stocks shot up after investors saw small signs that the economy might not be headed into another recession. Fewer Americans joined the unemployment line last week, and a technology bellwether said revenue could grow faster this quarter than analysts expected. The news pushed prices on long-term Treasurys down, and gold fell from its record high. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 349 points, or 3.3 percent, to 11,069 a little after 2 p.m. in New York.

    During a calm market, a 300 point move would rank as the Dow’s biggest in months. During this volatile week, it’s the smallest. On Monday, The Dow plunged 634 points only to gain 429 points Tuesday and then sink 519 points Wednesday. It’s the first time that the Dow has moved by more than 400 points in three straight days since November 2008, when markets were tumbling during the financial crisis. Carlton Neel, who manages about $2 billion as a senior portfolio manager at Virtus Investment Partners said investors are so scared of being the last one out of the market in a downturn or the last one in during a rally that they are stampeding in herds, creating more volatility.

    “Fear tends to be a much more powerful emotion, and the sell-offs tend to be more violent than the rallies,” he said. “But people are worried about missing the bottom, so you will have a few melt-ups along the way.” That’s because memories of the last meltdown in 2008 are still fresh in the mind of many investors.


  40. rikyrah says:

    Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM PDT.

    Pelosi strengthens Democratic Super Congress team with leadership picks+
    *by Joan McCarteR

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s choices for the Catfood Commission II are being characterized as party stalwarts which is, for the most part, true.
    Pelosi’s picks: Democratic whip James E. Clyburn, caucus vice chair Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles and Chris Van Hollen, ranking Dem on the Budget Committee. Becerra voted against the recommendations of the Bowles Simpson deficit commission last year, and Clyburn and Van Hollen are loyal Pelosi lieutenants.
    Pelosi said in a statement that the committee must focus on jobs and economic growth, time any spending cuts and tax increases in a way that does not further hamper short-term growth, and “ensure that wages grow with productivity.”[…]

    She laid out her bottom line for a “grand bargain” that “reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget” i.e. tax increases, “while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,” i.e. no benefit cuts in entitlements.

    Those are the marching orders for these three, apparently, but they’ll have to contend with the less-than-always-stalwart Democratic senators and the six Republicans who have sold their souls to Grover Norquist. So how do these three look when it comes to potential capitulation to the unmoveable no taxes coalition? Not bad.

    Rep. Clyburn, number three in Democratic leadership in the House, has previously been problematic for progressives, since he has advocated for a retirement age increase and the chained CPI fairly recently. But according to this report from a local news source, he’s backed off, saying that “he would be unwilling to support increasing the retirement age for Social Security and he doesn’t think the government’s spending problem is entitlement programs.”

    Clyburn said GOP demands for entitlement reductions and tax cuts are dishonest.
    “This is just blaming poor people for the problem …while fat cats get another tax cut,” he said, adding that the argument that raising taxes kills jobs is a “fiction. It just is not true.”

    That’s good news. As is the pick of Becerra, who Pelosi also chose for the original Catfood Commission, where he was a “no” vote, and also a member of the leadership, the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Meteor Blades has noted of Becerra, “[h]e is the highest ranking Latino in the Democratic caucus and is its vice chair. He is a member of the Progressive Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus, and is a strong ally of Nancy Pelosi. He has backed increased benefits for the poor.”

    Van Hollen, as former DCCC chair and the ranking member on the Budget Committee is a solid partisan who undoubtedly understands just how critical it is to Democratic prospects in 2012 to protect social insurance programs. But he’s also got a solid record of supporting workers and the middle class. As MB noted, he was one of just a handful of members who accepted “a Philadelphia group’s challenge to try to live on a food-stamps budget for a month.” So he gets it, as much as any Democratic member.

    There’s a strong push by Democratic members in both the House and the Senate for a real push for jobs, including a Super Congress to focus just on jobs creation. That jobs message is one President Obama is hearing from Democrats outside of Congress as well. Even from the bond market (h/t dday).

    That might be enough to turn the tide for Democrats, including the president who will have plenty of pressure points on the commission, into holding a tough line on revenues and whatever stimulative drops they could squeeze out of this mess they’ve got themselves into. It’ll mean keeping Baucus and Kerry in line, which is faint hope, but better than no hope.


  41. creolechild says:


    Scores of police brutality cases prompt federal investigations
    By Eric W. Dolan

    Fatal police shootings and beatings, and allegations of torture to coerce confessions have lead the U.S. Department of Justice to launch investigations into local law enforcement across the country. There were 52 criminal civil rights cases brought against law enforcement officers by the Justice Department last year, the highest amount of cases in since the agency began keeping record in 2000.

    [Click on the link to watch CBS News’ report on the investigations, broadcast August 10, 2011.]

    • …It’s about time!

    • creolechild says:

      SG2~ I think when the dust has finally settled what’s going to come to light is the disproportionate number of members of law enforcement who are ADDICTED to anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. That is, if the DOJ can penetrate “The Blue Wall of Silence.”

      A Re-post from yesterday. HIGHLY RECOMMEND clicking on the link AND reading the three-part series when you get a chance.

      Two bills to address steroid use among N.J. law enforcement officers, firefighters

      “Citing a drain on taxpayers and a potential danger to the public, a state assemblyman will unveil legislation today requiring law enforcement officers and firefighters who fill prescriptions for anabolic steroids or human growth hormone to undergo fitness-for-duty evaluations. Deputy Speaker John McKeon (D-Essex) calls the proposed law a balanced step that protects the interests of New Jersey’s residents while recognizing that some officers and firefighters might legitimately need the drugs.”

      “A second bill sponsored by McKeon and Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) urges Attorney General Paula Dow to add anabolic steroids and certain “designer drugs” to the list of substances for which law enforcement officers are randomly tested.”

      Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      This is indeed good news, and VERY TIMELY. Americans really cannot afford the unrest that London is experiencing right now. It is high time the DOJ go after the real sickos in the police department who are brutally killing our men in the under the guise of justice.

      • creolechild says:

        Ladies, this is just the TIP of the iceberg. Read the excerpt from one of the article:

        N.J. doctor supplied steroids to hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters
        Amy Brittain & Mark Mueller

        A seven-month Star-Ledger investigation drawing on prescription records, court documents and detailed interviews with the physician’s employees shows Colao ran a thriving illegal drug enterprise that supplied anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to [HUNDREDS] of law enforcement officers and firefighters throughout New Jersey.


        In just over a year, records show, at least 248 officers and firefighters from 53 agencies used Colao’s fraudulent practice to obtain muscle-building drugs, some of which have been linked to increased aggression, confusion and reckless behavior. Six of those patients — four police officers and two corrections officers — were named in lawsuits alleging excessive force or civil rights violations around the time they received drugs from him or shortly afterward.


        University of Texas professor John Hoberman, who has studied doping in and out of sports for a quarter-century, called The Star-Ledger’s findings “extraordinary and unprecedented evidence” of a national problem that has been “systematically ignored” for more than two decades. “The use of performance-enhancers among first-responders has been a tabooed topic since it first came to light during the 1980s,” Hoberman said. “This should shock the public as well as the public officials who will now have to take a stand on the widespread doping of public service professionals who carry guns and save lives.”

        • In just over a year, records show, at least 248 officers and firefighters from 53 agencies used Colao’s fraudulent practice to obtain muscle-building drugs, some of which have been linked to increased aggression, confusion and reckless behavior. Six of those patients — four police officers and two corrections officers — were named in lawsuits alleging excessive force or civil rights violations around the time they received drugs from him or shortly afterward.

          roid rage…

        • Ametia says:

          Criminal, just CRIMINAL…

  42. rikyrah says:

    Michele Bachmann Gets A Super PAC
    Benjy Sarlin | August 11, 2011, 1:30PM

    Supporters of Michele Bachmann are launching an independent Super PAC to help elect her president, making her the third Republican candidate with the backing of an organization that can accept unlimited donations.

    Founder Bob Harris told CNN on Thursday that the new organization Keep Conservatives United will run ads in Iowa playing up Bachmann’s record in Congress while also lobbing attacks at Rick Perry, who is expected to enter the race soon.

    “Bachmann has the guts to fight the Washington establishment and Rick Perry is just a spoiler,” Harris told CNN. “I think his record is not what people think it is.”

    Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate with the candidates, but can accept unlimited donations, including from corporations. Mitt Romney supporters have raised over $12 million so far for the Super PAC Restore Our Future, which made headlines this month after one donor, former Bain Capital executive Ed Conard, contributed $1 million indirectly through a mysterious corporation that closed within months. Perry backers have already launched multiple competing Super PACs that are currently battling for his supporters’ favor

  43. rikyrah says:

    Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 09:24 AM PDT.

    Traditional media desperately searching for the ‘middle’ in Super Congress+
    *by Joan McCarter

    Reading traditional media analysis of the Catfood Commission II is almost as depressing as the reality of the Catfood Commission II.
    In their pathetic need to find “balance” in what is an inherently conservative framework, they end up with the tried and true false narrative of there actually being a “left” of center on the committee.

    Let’s just start with Politico, for the heck of it.

    Just ignoring the fact that all six Republican members, including the four singled out here, signed Grover Norquist’s no taxes pledge—Sen. Jon Kyl? Really? Kyl? Who has already said that any cuts to defense would be unconstitutional, is a possible dealmaker? Right. Perhaps this tweet from Jonathon Martin wasn’t intended as a factual statement. If the Republican leaders had intended to put someone on the committee who would be willing to make a deal, wouldn’t they have found someone who had an actual history of making deals?
    Maybe we try the paper of record for some less off the cuff analysis. Here’s what the New York Times Robert Pear has to say.

    If a deal is to be struck in the middle, it is likely to involve Mr. Portman, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and perhaps Senator Max Baucus of Montana, Congressional aides said.
    Ah, the “middle.” If Kerry and Baucus decide to capitulate to Portman’s no taxes pledge, and maybe toss in raising the retirement age for Social Security and eligibility age for Medicare, they’ll have met in the “middle.” Can we just look seriously at the voting records of these men? Kerry and Baucus are the middle. They’re already there. If they move in any direction toward Portman, it won’t be “middle” in any realistic sense of the word. It’ll be pretty solidly right.

    Then there’s this. Pat Toomey is reasonable because he said “he had voted to eliminate ethanol subsidies and added: ‘If we tackle tax policy, and I hope we will, the goal should be to broaden the base and lower rates so we can create an environment that’s more conducive to economic growth. That will also generate more revenue. A stronger economy always does.'” Yes, the Club for Growth president is reasonable. I guess compared to the teabaggers, the Club for Growth is what passes for reasonable nowadays.

  44. creolechild says:

    While Republicans are on vacation watching the economy tank due to THEIR economic polices and have yet to put forward an actual plans to create jobs – one Democrat IS focusing on jobs. Yesterday – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky introduced a plan that will create 2.2 million jobs over the next year and lower the unemployment rate below 8%. Remember – the debt-limit deal that Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted in the debt-limit deal last week – will LOSE 1.8 millions jobs over the next two years. Schakowsky’s plan CREATES hundreds of thousands of jobs in several different areas – such as school improvement – neighborhood revitalization – healthcare expansion – and environmental protection. Her bill also extends unemployment benefits and protects the 99ers. And she funds this job-creating machine by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. This is exactly what America needs to get us out of this second Republican Great Depression.

  45. rikyrah says:

    PPP Poll: North Carolina May Stay Blue

    On Thursday morning TPM reported on President Obama’s relative strength in Colorado, a swing state with changing demographics that seems to be unimpressed by the GOP field of candidates for President. Now new data from Public Policy Polling (D) shows that the trends are the same in North Carolina, a state that went Democratic for the first time since 1976 in the last presidential election.

    Obama doesn’t retain massive popularity in the state: his job approval rating is only 46% against 50%, which is below our TPM Poll Average. But despite the recent dip in approval, he remains a more appealing option than candidates from the GOP field. The only matchup within the margin of error is against former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, whom Obama outpaces 46 – 43. The President is well ahead of the rest: up in the matchups against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) 50 – 40, businessman Herman Cain 50 – 37, former AK Gov. Sarah Palin 52 – 39, and Tex. Gov. Rick Perry 48 – 40, fairly strong considering the speculation that as a southern governor Perry could perform very well below the Mason-Dixon line.

    Just as in PPP’s polling of Colorado, the GOP field is simply not well liked by the North Carolina electorate: the highest favorability rating among the lot is Romney at a low 32%, and the unfavorables are 46% for Romney, 34% for Cain, 36% for Perry, 48% for Bachmann and 60% for Palin. So it’s not hard to understand why the field is having little success in direct matchups with the President.

    Of course, this theme also has to do with North Carolina itself. The state has experienced massive population growth in recent years, changing demographics and a recovering (if not flourishing) economy. The population grew 18.5% in the last ten years, with metro areas expanding and the racial makeup of the population becoming more diverse. And of course, the burgeoning research triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) has brought in a number of transplants from other states to work research and development jobs, along with the growing Charlotte banking and financial sector.

  46. creolechild says:

    Newt, we can talk AFTER you share your plans about cutting off the billions of dollars in financial aid that the U.S sends to Israel each year, ‘kay?

    Gingrich: Cut Off U.N. Funding If They Recognize Palestinian State
    Eric Kleefeld

    In a new column published on Wednesday at Human Events, Newt Gingrich calls for the United States to respond strongly to the expected move by the Palestinians to seek statehood at the United Nations in September — by threatening to cut off American funding to the U.N.

    Gingrich writes:

    The United States has the leverage to prevent this diplomatic disaster if the Obama Administration wants to use it: we are by far the largest donor to the U.N., financing roughly a quarter of its entire budget. We should be willing to say that if the U.N. is going to circumvent negotiations and declare the territory of one of its own members an independent state, we aren’t going to pay for it. We can keep our $7.6 billion a year. We don’t need to fund a corrupt institution to beat up on our allies.

    Gingrich explains that back in 1989, the administration of President George H.W. Bush used the same approach with the U.N. to prevent the extension of statehood to the Palestinians. In addition, Gingrich makes the false claim: “While the Administration says it opposes this scheme at the U.N., President Obama did not help the situation when he became the first president in American history to side publicly with the Palestinians against Israel in demanding that Israel retreat to its 1967 borders, rather than have borders determined through negotiations.”


  47. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011
    We needed more than ‘Help’
    Yesterday I was dragooned by wife and child into seeing ‘The Help,’ the former of whom then fell asleep midway into it, and the latter of whom — my 12-year-old daughter — joyfully and rather sadistically pointed out that I was only one of three males in the entire, crowded auditorium.

    It was awful, both the experience and the movie.

    Not so much bad history, I’d say, as a deplorable lack of it. The director made no attempt to educate the audience as to why the civil-rights-era South was the way the civil-rights-era South was; no artistic explanation of the ruling class’ ideological “superstructure” (just to briefly dip back into some old, but useful, Marxist terminology) as a way of sustaining its exclusive hold on political and economic power; and no aesthetic representation of the white working class’ desperate need — see preceding circumstance — to feel socioeconomically superior to easily identifiable others.

    Nothing. Just pretty much a black-and-white portrayal of an immensely complex era — with a white woman, of course, as co-heroine.

  48. rikyrah says:

    say it with me ladies and gentlemen….


    and, need I ask what would have happened if this were, oh, say,

    Barbara Lee
    Jim Clyburn
    Raul Grivala

    who had gotten a 2.2 million dollar loan that they knew they couldn’t repay?


    I know…you’ve been Black in America longer than 3 days.


    August 11, 2011 12:35 PM

    House GOPer accepted bank loan he couldn’t repay

    By Steve Benen

    It seems Rep. Tom Graves (R) of Georgia only seems to cross my radar screen when he’s doing something foolish.

    A few months ago, Graves was arguing during a television interview that tax breaks reduce unemployment. Asked why Bush’s tax breaks didn’t success on this front, he said, “Well, what we’ve seen is massive job loss that began in about 2008, and I believe that was under Barack Obama.” The congressman apparently didn’t realize who was president three years ago.

    This incident is arguably even worse.

    While U.S. Rep. Tom Graves was calling for fiscal responsibility in Washington his attorney was arguing in a lawsuit that a North Georgia bank is at fault for issuing Graves a $2.2 million loan the bank knew he could not repay. […]

    Graves, a tea party favorite who has been outspoken about his vote this month against raising the debt-ceiling, said he had not read his attorney’s court filings claiming the bank is at fault for loaning him money it knew he couldn’t repay.

    This is deeply amusing. The right-wing lawmaker, who routinely claims the high ground on fiscal responsibility, took out a loan with a partner to renovate a local motel. The project quickly flopped. The bank sued Graves and his partner, only to have the congressman counter-sue, claiming the bank was wrong — it never should have loaned him the money since he couldn’t pay the bank back.

    I can’t help but get the sense those Tea Partiers don’t understand fiscal responsibility quite as well as they think they do.

  49. creolechild says:

    Israel okays 1,600 E. Jerusalem settler homes
    By Agence France-Presse

    Israel’s interior minister has given final approval for the construction of 1,600 new settler homes in east Jerusalem, his spokesman said Thursday, prompting a furious reaction from Palestinian officials. Spokesman Roei Lachmanovich said Interior Minister Eli Yishai had endorsed the construction of 1,600 units in the Ramat Shlomo neighbourhood and would shortly approve 2,700 additional homes in two other east Jerusalem settlement suburbs.
    The move is likely to anger the international community, as it struggles to find a way to relaunch peace talks in a bid to head off a Palestinian plan to seek United Nations membership.

    “He has approved 1,600 homes in Ramat Shlomo and will approve 2,000 more in Givat Hamatos and 700 in Pisgat Zeev,” Lachmanovich said, referring to two additional Jewish neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem. The 1,600-house construction in Ramat Shlomo has already caused a diplomatic rift between Israel and Washington.

    Yishai’s interior ministry first announced the project in March 2010, as US Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel and the Palestinian territories to lay the groundwork for new direct peace talks between the two sides. The announcement was criticised by Washington, leaving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu red-faced as he sat down for talks with Biden and prompting a mini-crisis in ties between the allies.


  50. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011 1:15 PM

    When Romney leaves his script

    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, we learned Mitt Romney’s campaign is scripted to an almost comical extent. Every possible detail “has been meticulously choreographed,” in part to help the Republican candidate improve his image, and in part to help shield the awkward former governor from embarrassing slip-ups.

    Occasionally, Romney interacts with real people who aren’t part of the meticulous choreography. And that’s when the ostensible GOP frontrunner gets into trouble. Here’s Romney campaigning in Iowa this morning, for example, following a shouting match with hecklers concerned about taxes and entitlements.

    Corporations are people, my friend,” Romney said in response to suggestions that big businesses should pay more. He added, “Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people.”

    At that moment, a whole lot of political and media professionals, all at the same time, whispered to themselves, “Well, that’s going to show up in a campaign ad sometime soon.”

    Part of the problem with this is the phrasing, since “corporations are people” doesn’t exactly scream “man of the people.” Another part is the context: polls show the American mainstream supports higher taxes on wealthy corporations (many of which use loopholes and shelters to avoid much, if not all, of their responsibilities) to help reduce the debt and finance programs like Medicare. Romney is pushing back against this notion because, as he put it, “corporations are people.”

    C-SPAN has a 24-minute clip that offers significantly more context, which is also worth watching. Romney, who’s never been especially adept at retail politics, obviously seems rattled by confrontational questions.

    And that leads to the larger point: Romney’s been running for president non-stop for nearly five years, but he’s still not good at the whole “personal interaction” thing. Just over the past few months, we’ve seen several examples — the jokes about being “unemployed” in Florida; the fake butt-pinch in New Hampshire, the $100 bill in Colorado — that reinforce the belief talking and relating to people just doesn’t come naturally to Romney.

    If Democrats are eager to characterize Romney as a weird guy who isn’t comfortable in his own skin, the former governor actually seems eager to help reinforce the theme.

  51. creolechild says:

    How reprehensible is this…

    VIDEO: Michele Bachmann’s Auschwitz Warning
    —By Tim Murphy

    The words “work makes free”—a somewhat-garbled translation of the words that hung above the entrance to the Nazi-run concentration camp Auschwitz—are shown across the screen in a scene from the movie Guinea Pig Kids II. In 2002, the tea party leader and GOP presidential candidate filmed a movie that warned Minnesota’s educational standards could lead to a second Holocaust.

    In a 2002 film highlighting her work as an education activist, Michele Bachmann endorsed the argument of her colleague, Michael Chapman, who claimed that state and federal education reforms were leading the United States toward its own Holocaust. Minnesota’s new curriculum standards, Bachmann contended, were going to “undermine our freedom and undermine our national sovereignty” and turn children into “global citizens.” The “brave new world” Chapman warned about, she said, wouldn’t be far behind. Before Bachmann served in the Minnesota state Senate, led the tea party caucus in the House of Representatives, or ran for president, she worked as an education activist with a conservative group called the Maple River Education Coalition (MREC). Together with Chapman, Bachmann criss-crossed Minnesota, speaking to church groups and warning them about the dire consequences of state and federal education reform.

    In the middle of all of this, Bachmann and Chapman made a movie. Guinea Pig Kids II is not, as its name might suggest, a B-list horror film. The impetus for the film was the Profile of Learning, a set of state curriculum standards adopted by Republican Gov. Arne Carlson’s administration in 1998. To Bachmann and Chapman, the standards were nefarious and part of a a far-reaching globalist plot.

    As Bachmann and Chapman explained, a little-known federal program called Goals 2000, initiated under the Clinton administration but consistent with a similar plan supported by President George H.W. Bush, was paving the way for a national curriculum. The new curriculum, the two speakers maintained, moved the state away from established truths like the supposedly Christian founding documents, and replaced them with secular documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that allowed the state to craft its own set of values. Guinea Pig Kids was designed to explain “Minnesota’s new centrally-planned education, workforce & economic system and how citizens are trying to reverse it.” Over the course of the film’s two hours, Bachmann and Chapman did just that.


  52. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011 2:05 PM

    ‘Super Committee’ membership now complete

    By Steve Benen

    With Republicans announcing their six members of the 12-person Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka “Super Committee”) yesterday, all that was left was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) making her selections. She announced her choices this morning: Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), and House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

    Brian Beutler had a good summary of the relevant background all three will bring to the process.

    As a member of the bipartisan deficit discussion group, convened by Vice President Joe Biden, that laid the groundwork for the debt limit deal, Clyburn — the third ranking Democrat in the House — publicly backed certain entitlement benefit cuts. Specifically, he said negotiators should at least consider further means-testing of Social Security or reduce benefits across the board by reducing Cost of Living Adjustments. […]

    Van Hollen is the Dems’ top budget guy in the House. He’s one of the party’s chief antagonists of the GOP budget, which calls for phasing out Medicare, and was also a member of the Biden working group. Publicly, he’s been an advocate of approaches to deficit reduction that pair about one dollar of tax increases with about three dollars of spending cuts. He recently cited the Bowles-Simpson framework as a counterpoint to the Republican plan. Their proposal largely punted on controlling health care costs, but called for eliminating all tax expenditures, and ensuring indefinite Social Security solvency with a combination of benefit cuts and revenue increases.

    Becerra was a member of the Bowles-Simpson commission and he voted against their plan from the left. He’s the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee and will likely be progressives’ main ally on the Super Committee.

    I can appreciate why, given the panel’s responsibilities, it makes to scrutinize all of the members’ records as they relate to entitlements. We’re looking for clues as to what to expect.

    But I suspect the key takeaway from the House Democratic selections is that all three are key, close allies of Pelosi, and they will very likely be representing her interests during the negotiations.

    Since I like Pelosi and agree with her expectations for the process, I consider this a positive development.

    As for the larger committee, it’s worth noting for context that it’s not as diverse as it should be, though Dems did a much better job on this front. Republicans chose six white guys. Democrats chose one woman, one African American, one Latino, and three white guys.

    Together they will until Thanksgiving to fail miserably come up with a bipartisan plan and send it to the House and Senate floors.

  53. creolechild says:

    ‘Gun Owners for Ron Paul’ rolled out – By Lynda Waddington

    The presidential campaign for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul continues to roll out constituency support groups, their latest being an organized effort to pull Second Amendment advocates toward the candidate. “Rep. Ron Paul has justly been dubbed a champion of our Constitution. He works tirelessly to stop — and reverse — federal encroachment on the Second Amendment. While other members of Congress traded their integrity to get votes for pet projects, Ron Paul earned the nickname ‘Dr. No’ for his unwillingness to abrogate the Constitution,” Ed Dolan of Central City said in a prepared release. Dolan is a Gun Owners of America life member, a patron member of the National Rifle Association and a member of the Iowa Firearms Coalition.

    Paul earned a 100 percent score on the National Association for Gun Rights Presidential Survey after being the first respondent. He maintains an “A+” rating from the uncompromising Gun Owners of America and an “A” rating from the NRA. He earned such ratings by introducing and supporting legislation friendly to gun owners. For instance, the Texas Congressman re-introduced legislation that aims to repeal the federal Gun Free School Zone Act, which he deems is misguided legislation that has the unintended consequence of leaving school children and adults vulnerable in or around schools. He also pushed the Citizens Protection Act of 2011, and has advocated for responsible gun owners to freely exercise their right to defend others against criminals that do not observe firearms prohibitions.

    “Ron Paul has been a staunch defender of the Constitution for his entire career,” noted Tim Pugh of Cedar Rapids, who helped form and lead the local tea party movement and is an avid sportsman. “Along with that defense is his unwavering support for the Second Amendment.”
    Although a state-based group, Iowa Gun Owners, praised a decision to link a Carroll Library bond vote to Second Amendment rights in an unidentified automated phone call to local residents, and numbers used to make such calls were linked back to Ron Paul’s Iowa operation, it is is important to note that Iowa Gun Owners and Gun Owners of America appear to be two unaffiliated groups.


  54. creolechild says:

    Large Corporations Are Getting Tax Cuts to Send Jobs Overseas and Pocket Bigger Profits: It’s That Simple – Submitted by mark karlin

    BuzzFlash at Truthout proposed the other day that corporations should have their taxes increased to the highest possible level. But they could reduce those taxes dramatically: by proving that they have created jobs in any tax year and getting a tax credit for each new position.
    There’s only one very significant catch: the jobs must be created in the US, not overseas. If employers maintain their current workforce in America, they would also receive a tax credit. If businesses move jobs overseas, their taxes get raised higher depending upon the percentage of their workforce that is offshored.

    Sounds like a sensible proposal. Create jobs in America and pay fewer taxes; move jobs overseas and pay higher taxes. Now this is where the rubber meets the road in determining who is really a domestic “job creator.” There is ample evidence that increased tax breaks for large corporations lead to two primary things: 1) expanding their workforce overseas, and 2) reducing their employees in the US and sitting on the profits. The stagnating unemployment crisis in the US is a testament to that.

    An article in the Atlantic magazine from earlier this year provided ample evidence of this. Entitled “The Rise of the New Global Elite,” it included the real “job creator” outlooks of the American global corporations. It noted the perspective of a US-based CEO:

    The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. “His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,” the CEO recalled.


  55. creolechild says:

    Dems Outraged With Dick Lugar For Saying The Economy Isn’t That Bad
    Benjy Sarlin

    In a highly unusual move, Democrats are going after Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) for suggesting that the American economy might be in better shape than the recent S&P downgrade indicates — a key White House talking point. In an interview with a local TV station criticizing the ratings agency’s decision, Lugar told an interviewer: “The American economy is still strong, that we’re making progress although it’s very slow in terms of job creation, and that we still have a dollar that is the world currency and we are still selling bonds to everybody all over the world despite the S&P downgrade.”

    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Shripal Shah said in a statement that Lugar’s quote was “out of touch with the struggles that so many Hoosier are facing right now.”
    “His remarks are nothing short of insulting to the Hoosier families who are very worried about what’s happening on Wall Street and don’t feel that the economy is strong,” Shah added.

    The DSCC attack puts Democrats in the surprising position of bashing the state of the economy, usually the GOP’s favored talking point as Republicans look to pin weak jobs numbers and other discouraging news on the White House. Just this week, President Obama and Treasury officials waged an aggressive campaign against the S&P’s decision to downgrade US debt based on the claim that America’s financial health is stronger than indicated. In fact, they often used similar language to Lugar.


  56. creolechild says:

    Meet the Folks Behind Rick Perry’s Prayer Festival
    —By Tim Murphy

    This post has been updated.

    On Saturday morning, Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined Christian religious leaders at Reliant Stadium in Houston for a day of prayer and fasting for America. “With the economy in trouble, communities in crisis, and people adrift in a sea of moral relativism, we need God’s help,” Perry explained in a YouTube spot promoting the event. “That’s why I’m calling on Americans to pray and fast, like Jesus did, and as God called the Israelites to do in the book of Joel.”

    Joel 2, the specific Old Testament chapter Perry is referring to, has a special meaning for many evangelical Christians—and more specifically among a small but growing movement called the New Apostolic Reformation. Its adherents believe the nation has become unmoored from its moral foundations, and that our present misfortunes are a direct consequence. They believe it will take a new push by modern-day apostles—messengers who’ve received their instructions directly from God—to put things back on course. And the apostles, as the Texas Observer’s Forrest Wilder has detailed, believe Perry is one of them.

    But things didn’t go as planned. What was once seen as a dramatic coming-out party for a latter-day Moses, in which Perry would emerge as a bona fide leader of the Christian right against the big-government “Pharaoh” (to use Perry’s Exodus metaphor), is looking more and more like a flop. Just 8,000 tickets were sold by Friday—not enough to fill a high school football stadium in Texas, let alone a 75,000-seat professional one. Of the 49 other governors Perry invited to attend, just one, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, said he’d show up (a few others, like GOPers Paul LePage of Maine and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, issued proclamations). Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka, the dean of Texas political analysts, is calling the event an “utter failure.”

    So where did it go wrong?


  57. creolechild says:

    Fox News’ Bob Beckel Attacks Fox Producers for Ignoring Stock Rally
    By John Amato

    On Monday, when the stock market lost over 600 points after the S&P downgrade, which was obviously going to happen, Fox News went ballistic. Of course. But when the markets rallied the following day, Beckel wondered why that was ignored by the producers on the set of The Five.

    Wingnut Judge Napolitano had these words for Bob:

    Bob, it’s not good to attack the producers.

    He knows they won’t boot him unless he mutters a couple of George Carlin’s seven dirty words. Remember, he likes the flat tax. I’m sure Fox News will go ballistic again today as the market opens down.

  58. creolechild says:

    Perry Presides Over 235th Execution, Most Of Any Modern Governor

    Likely presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) oversaw his 235th execution as governor yesterday — the most of any modern governor by far, and nearly half of those conducted in Texas since the death penalty went into effect in 1976. His predecessor, former President George W. Bush, used to hold the dubious distinction, having presided over 152 state killings during his five years in office. Perry has fully embraced capitol punishment as a governor, only granting clemency in 30 percent of the cases recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and allowing an execution while aware that scientific investigations had called into question the validity of the convicting evidence.

    – Sarah Bufkin

  59. creolechild says:

    Baltimore teacher: No Child Left Behind must be left behind
    By Kase Wickman

    Muriel Berkeley, president of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, said that the U.S. needs to reform the way it thinks about public education, as well as education legislation itself. President Barack Obama’s proposed overhaul of No Child Left Behind is a good start, but not enough. The BCP is a non-profit that takes low-performance, high-poverty schools and turns them into charter schools, using coaching and alternative teaching programs to improve performance. The BCP also advocates for educational reform through forums and dialogues. Established in 1996, the BCP currently oversees four charter schools.

    According to the government, all four of those schools failed in their mission last year. According to Berkeley, the schools were successful. “Teachers were happy with the improvements they saw,” Berkeley said. “Principals, parents and family were all excited about the progress the students were making. But it didn’t necessarily translate into test scores.”

    No Child Left Behind relies solely on state tests to determine whether schools are a success (and thus eligible for federal funds). Between grades 3 and 8, students are given an annual multiple choice state test, and the percentage of students who pass it are used as a yardstick of the school’s success. The goal of NCLB is to achieve 100 percent proficiency — every single child in the U.S. passing their state math and reading tests — by 2014. Every year, the yardstick for achievement gets longer, and more schools are considered “failing,” and are in danger of mass layoffs, loss of funding or even closure of the school altogether. Education Secretary Arne Duncan predicted that this year, 82 percent of the country’s 100,000 public schools would be labeled as failing.


  60. creolechild says:

    Thank you, WhatISWorking!

    Dress for Success
    Posted by Linda H

    Dress for Success – Suits to Self-Sufficency, promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

    Since 1997, Dress for Success has served more than 550,000 women around the world. Each year they reach more than 50,000 women in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Mexico, Poland and the West Indies.
    On her initial visit a woman receives a suit appropriate for the industry in which she is interviewing and, if available, accessories. After a woman finds a job she returns to Dress for Success for additional clothing that can be mixed and matched to make several outfits, providing her with the foundation for a professional wardrobe.

    Another way in which Dress for Success supports women joining or returning to the workforce is through Steps to Success, an initiative that focuses on the crucial first 30 days of employment, during which newly-hired women face many potential challenges.

    Read more:

  61. creolechild says:

    Josh Marshall | August 11, 2011, 1:11PM

    Jon Huntsman’s spokesman piles on, tweets to Romney’s aide “Was American Pad & Paper Company a person/friend?”

  62. creolechild says:

    Mitt Romney: Corporations Are People! – Updated
    By karoli

    Just now on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney bear hugged his beloved Citizens United decision by informing voters that “corporations are people, too!” Here’s the video, via TPM:

    ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend. We could raise taxes and —

    [unintelligible crosstalk]

    ROMNEY: Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. So — [audience laughter] where do you think it goes?


    Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets.

    Okay — human beings, my friend.

    Number one, so number one: you can raise taxes. That’s not the approach that I would take.

    Number two, you can make sure that the promises we make are promises that we can keep. And in my view, the areas that you have to consider are, for higher-income people …

    He so reminded me of Professor Harold Hill conning the town in The Music Man. I almost wanted to hear him say there was trouble in River City, my friends. Snark aside, there is no stronger indictment of Romney than what he just said. Sure, he’ll walk it back in the days to come, try to tell everyone he meant that corporations employ people who get paychecks and so they are people. But we all know that’s not what he meant. Not at all. No, Mitt Romney just told us all where he comes from, and it’s not a place where people matter at all.

    UPDATE: Here’s more video from Romney’s Iowa State Fair encounter. Gosh, people are angry. Can’t imagine why. [Click on link to view videos.]

  63. creolechild says:

    DeMint: Obama Administration The ‘Most Anti-American’ In My Lifetime
    Brian Beutler

    Conservative power-broker Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) ran through his litany of complaints about President Obama on Janet Meffered’s Christian conservative radio show Wednesday, and concluded that of all the anti-American administrations in his lifetime, Obama’s is the most anti-American.

    “We saw within a few days that this President was going to be heavy-handed, he was going to implement his agenda and pay back his political allies, and it just went on from there to ObamaCare and then to Dodd-Frank,” DeMint said. It has been the most anti-business and I consider anti-American administration in my lifetime. Things that are just so anathema to the principles of freedom, and everything he has come up with centralizes more power in Washington, creates more socialist-style, collectivist policies. This president is doing something that’s so far out of the realm of anything Republicans ever did wrong, it’s hard to even imagine.

    Via Right Wing Watch.

    Just in point of fact, Obama’s health care law is modeled on the Massachusetts health care system, created by former Gov. Mitt Romney. Its success inspired DeMint to support Romney in the last Republican presidential primary. Dodd-Frank was a fairly bipartisan, if insufficient, effort to regulate Wall Street in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. And pretty much every significant thing Obama’s done since then — temporarily extending the Bush tax cuts, funding the federal government, raising the debt limit — have been done on GOP terms, to end three different hostage crises, and passed with bipartisan support.

  64. creolechild says:

    Clean Energy Is Booming And Creating Jobs
    Joel N. Shurkin

    Clean energy is now creating more jobs for the energy produced than coal or natural gas, and solar energy is the fastest growing industry in the United States, according to industry and academic sources. Solar energy alone employed 93,502 American jobs in 2010 and could grow from 25,000-50,000 this year, economy willing. Solar also is producing more jobs than any other energy source, and could generate four million jobs by 2030.

    Fifty percent of solar firms expect to be adding jobs this year in the teeth of the recession.
    The Solar Energy Industries Association, the industry’s trade association, said that in the last three years “the U.S. solar industry has gone from a start-up to a major industry that is creating well-paying jobs and growing the economy in all 50 states.

    “Solar’s robust growth in the past years has been the result of a very favorable combination of new, innovative business models, affordability for consumers, rapidly decreasing manufacturing costs and most importantly a strong commitment from the Obama administration and other policymakers in Washington,” the industry report concluded.


  65. Ametia says:

    Radical Christian group believes Gov. Perry will lead U.S. to godly government
    Posted on 08.10.11
    By Eric W. Dolan

    Forrest Wilder of the Texas Observer appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the New Apostolic Reformation, a evangelical Christian group that sees Texas Gov. Rick Perry as their chance to overtake the U.S. government.

    Wilder previously reported that members of the religious movement told Gov. Perry that Texas was “The Prophet State,” which would to lead the United States into godly government, with the governor playing a special part.

    “The theological basis for the New Apostolic Reformation movement is about taking control of the ‘seven mountains’ — government, media, family, arts and entertainment, so on and so forth,” he explained.

    A number prominent members of the New Apostolic Reformation participated in “The Response,” Gov. Perry’s Christian prayer summit in Houston on August 6.

    “The fact that he picked them to organize this event says at least that he is comfortable with them being on the stage with him. He very literally elevated this set of individuals.”

    Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:

    • Gov. Perry: TX Can Secede

      • Ametia says:

        Yes, Rick Perry; every great country on earth wants a presidential candidate who threatens secession, because they don’t like the constitution to work for all its citizens just a few. And then if they do not like that it speaks to all citizens , they want to add amendments to take away rights already established via amendments.

        The msm will prop up yet another mediocre white male screaming God & country, just like GW Bush, who cares nothing for God or country.

  66. Romney Q&A Devolves Into Shouting Match Over Entitlements

  67. Talking Points Memo:

    @NancyPelosi: My appointees: @Clyburn @RepBecerra @ChrisVanHollen They’ll focus on economic growth & job creation–which reduces deficit

  68. Here we go, Ametia!

    Pennsylvania judge gets 28 years in ‘kids for cash’ case

    AP) PaSCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A longtime northeastern Pennsylvania judge was ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of convictions.

    Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in federal prison for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash.”

    Ciaverella, 61, was motionless when the decision was announced and had no reaction. From behind him, where family members of some of the children he sentenced sat, someone cried out “Woo hoo!”

    In the wake of the scandal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

    Ciavarella was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year. His attorneys had asked for a “reasonable” sentence in court papers, saying, in effect, that he’s already been punished enough.

    “The media attention to this matter has exceeded coverage given to many and almost all capital murders, and despite protestation, he will forever be unjustly branded as the ‘Kids for Cash’ judge,” their sentencing memo said.

    Al Fora, Ciaverella’s lawyer, called the sentence harsher than expected. Ciaverella surrendered immediately but it was not immediately known where he would serve his sentence.

    Ciaverella, speaking before the sentence was handed down, apologized to the community and to those juveniles that appeared before him in his court.

    “I blame no one but myself for what happened,” he said, and then denied he had ever incarcerated any juveniles in exchange for money.

    He also criticized U.S. Assistant Attorney Gordon Zubrod for referring to the case as “kids for cash,” and said it sank his reputation.

    “He backdoored me, and I never saw it coming. Those three words made me the personification of evil,” Ciaverella said. “They made me toxic and caused a public uproar the likes of which this community has never seen.”

  69. Ametia says:

    Amy Holes has COMPLETELY jumped Shark….

    Amy Holmes to Anchor on Glenn Beck’s Network
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: August 9, 2011

    Mediaite reports that CNN analyst Amy Holmes is set to join Glenn Beck’s live streaming video network, the Blaze, as a news anchor.

    Holmes has previously co-hosted Talk Radio Network’s America’s Radio News and contributed her conservative viewpoints to CNN. She’ll anchor segments during Beck’s 5-7 p.m. news program and will provide additional updates throughout the day.

    “Being a part of the launch of a major new venture is thrilling — especially one powered by the tremendous energy, creativity and positive entrepreneurial spirit of Glenn Beck. The Blaze has assembled an impressive team of experienced editors and journalists who I look forward to working alongside to deliver thoughtful and compelling news coverage every day on GBTV,” she said in a statement today.

    While we may differ with Holmes on the definitions of “thoughtful” and “compelling,” we can understand the enthusiasm. She gets an additional outlet for her “token Republican black woman” talking points, and Beck gets an African American to co-sign his inflammatory and racist rhetoric. Sounds like a match made in right-wing heaven.

  70. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011 10:50 AM

    Leaving the door ajar

    By Steve Benen
    Rep. Scott Rigell (R) held an interesting event in his Virginia Beach district the other day, hosting a town-hall meeting with three of his fellow Republican colleagues: Reps. Larry Bucshon (Ind.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), and Phil Roe (Tenn.). For those unfamiliar with the line-up or the area, these were four far-right members speaking in a very conservative area. (Virginia Beach is home to radical TV preacher Pat Robertson and his CBN empire, for example).

    Apparently, during the town-hall discussion, the audience wanted to know whether any of these four lawmakers could accept any proposal to boost government revenues. They didn’t dismiss the idea out of hand.

    Of the four, three gave specific examples that they could possibly acquiesce to. Mr. Rigell … said he thought that at least a few forms of tax subsidies provided to oil companies should be on the table. Government should not subsidize one industry over another, Mr. Rigell said.

    Mr. Gingrey said he found the question “difficult” and suggested that he had been struggling with the answer himself. Raising the rates on those earning $250,000 a year – a category of beneficiaries under the Bush tax cuts that some Democrats have suggested be taxed more — was a no-go for him, but for those earning over $700,000, he said, “I’m not really sure.” […]

    Mr. Roe said that he would support closing certain legal loopholes that corporations take advantage of. “G.E. ought to pay some taxes,” he said, referring to General Electric, which has taken advantage of various loopholes in the tax system.

    Oddly enough, this is actually mildly encouraging. The standard response to these questions is, of course, “We don’t have a revenue problem.” It’s wrong, but it’s the line the GOP sticks to, and it’s generally intended to end the conversation.

    But in this case, that’s apparently not quite the script these four stuck to, at least on Tuesday night. The fact that Gingrey didn’t immediately rule out tax increases on those earning over $700,000 almost starts to resemble progress.

    To be sure, part of the problem here is that members aren’t afraid to lie. House Speaker John Boehner was recently pressed on national television about billions of dollars in tax subsidies to the oil industry, and he said he’s open to eliminating them. Soon after, Boehner admitted he didn’t mean what he said, arguing he felt justified lying because he considered the question a “trap.”

    In other words, House Republicans don’t always mind saying things about taxes and revenue that aren’t true.

    But if these four far-right House members, speaking in a conservative area, left the door ajar to new revenues, I’ll accept it with cautious optimism.

  71. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 11, 2011 11:20 AM

    DeMint calls administration ‘anti-American’

    By Steve Benen

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) shared his unique take on the Obama administration yesterday

    We saw within a few days that this President was going to be heavy-handed, he was going to implement his agenda and pay back his political allies, and it just went on from there to ObamaCare and then to Dodd-Frank. It has been the most anti-business and I consider anti-American administration in my lifetime.

    “Things that are just so anathema to the principles of freedom, and everything he has come up with centralizes more power in Washington, creates more socialist-style, collectivist policies. This president is doing something that’s so far out of the realm of anything Republicans ever did wrong, it’s hard to even imagine.”

    Honestly, it’s as if Jim DeMint has suffered some kind of head trauma, which prevents him from perceiving reality. None of his condemnation makes any sense at all; the entire comment is just twisted.

    But I’m also struck by how strangely routine this seems. Here we have an influential sitting senator, who has no qualms accusing an administration governing in a time of crisis as “anti-American.” And yet, it seems highly unlikely to me that this will become a scandal. Given Republican excesses, this is almost routine.

    I’m trying to imagine a comparable scenario. What if, in 2003, then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) had called the Bush administration “anti-American”? Would this be dismissed as everyday political rhetoric, or would there be pressure on him to apologize? Would the media blow it off, or would Fox News use this as evidence of deranged Democrats going after a sitting president in an unhinged way?

  72. Ametia says:

    Today’s Schedule
    All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
    11:25 AM: The President departs the South Lawn en route Joint Base Andrews

    11:45 AM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Grand Rapids, Michigan
    1:15 PM: The President arrives in Grand Rapids, Michigan
    2:25 PM: The President tours Johnson Controls Inc.

    2:40 PM: The President delivers remarks at Johnson Controls (audio only)

    3:55 PM: The President departs Grand Rapids, Michigan en route New York, New York
    5:25 PM: The President arrives New York, New York
    6:05 PM: The President attends a DNC event

    7:10 PM: The President delivers remarks at a DNC event

    9:10 PM: The President departs New York, New York en route Joint Base Andrews
    10:05 PM: The President arrives at Joint Base Andrews

    10:20 PM: The President arrives at the White House

  73. rikyrah says:

    Stop Whining About What Obama Hasn’t Said. Look at What He’s Actually Done.

    I know President Obama is supposed to be an awful disappointment to environmentalists because he doesn’t talk enough about climate change, just like he’s an awful disappointment to progressives because he doesn’t say enough nasty things about bankers. But people who actually care about what Presidents do, as opposed to how they talk, might be interested in Obama’s trip to Michigan on Thursday. He’s visiting a factory that builds batteries for electric vehicles, a factory that exists for three reasons: 1. Because Obama saved the U.S. auto industry. 2. Because Obama has ratcheted up fuel-efficiency standards, boosting demand for green vehicles. 3. Because Obama created a U.S. advanced battery industry from scratch.
    I’m going to have more to say about the battery industry in particular and Obama’s clean-energy industrial policy in general in the magazine. But as close readers of my oeuvre have probably already guessed—hi, Mom!—the Johnson Controls lithium-ion battery factory that Obama is visiting in Holland, Mich., was financed by his 2009 stimulus bill. Yes, that’s the pathetically tiny stimulus bill that any good liberal can tell you pumped a mere $800 billion into the free-falling economy—more than the entire New Deal in inflation-adjusted terms, and enough to prevent a depression, but still, a pittance compared to what it undoubtedly would have done if only Obama had properly and vigorously explained Keynesian economics.

    Anyway, the pathetically tiny stimulus included an unprecedented $90 billion for clean-energy investments, including unprecedented investments in wind, solar and geothermal energy, biorefineries, the smart grid, electric vehicles, and factories to manufacture all that green stuff in the U.S. The most radical investment was probably a $2.4 billion grant program that helped finance 30 factories building advanced batteries and components, including $300 million for Johnson Controls, which had to match the government dollars with private dollars.

    Before 2009, the U.S. was supplying less than 2% of a tiny global market in advanced batteries. When the stimulus-funded factories are all complete, they’ll have the capacity to supply 40% of a rapidly growing global market, about 500,000 batteries a year. The stimulus will also boost our supply of electric-vehicle charging stations by more than 3,000%. And the Obama administration has provided loans to help Tesla, Fisker and Nissan build electric-car factories in the U.S., all part of Obama’s pledge to put 1 million plug-ins on the road by 2015. That is what change looks like, even if the President doesn’t beat his chest and call for mass beheadings on Wall Street while it happens.

    Again, I’ll have more to say about the battery factories; there are legitimate questions about how sustainable the battery industry will be in the U.S., how fast electric vehicles will spread in the U.S., and whether the government should interfere with the private sector at all. (Although as Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden’s former chief economist, likes to say, we’re way more than a little bit pregnant on that last one.) It’s also fair to point out that these state-of-the-art factories are marvels of automation, a nice way of saying they don’t create all that many jobs; Johnson Controls will apparently employ about 150 workers in Holland. On the other hand, as electrification grows, we’re going to want to have a supply chain here if we want to have an auto industry here. And did I mention that Obama saved the U.S. auto industry in 2009?

    My point, which I guess I’ve made before, is simply that the liberals who keep whining that Obama isn’t telling them what they want to hear ought to open their eyes and look at what he’s trying to do. Whining enviros should be especially grateful to Obama, which I guess I’ve also said before–and that was before his latest round of fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, as well as the first-ever standards for buses and heavy trucks. As White House environmental aide Heather Zichal pointed out in a Wednesday briefing, those standards represent the biggest step the country has ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. She didn’t point out that they’re also the biggest step the country has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.

    I can see why the White House’s failure to mention the climate crisis would be annoying to people who spend their days trying to raise awareness about it. But would you rather have a President who talks about climate change, or a President who does something about it?

    Read more:

  74. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011 10:05 AM

    Gross’ good advice

    By Steve Benen

    It’s tempting to think Bill Gross’ perspective on the economy would be taken fairly seriously. After all, he’s the co-founder and co-chief investment officer of investment management giant PIMCO and one of the most influential investors in the world. He’s also, incidentally, a big-time Republican.

    And given this background, it’s heartening to see Gross publicly make the case austerity won’t work, long-term debt reduction need not be policymakers’ principal focus, and public investments are vital to the economy, the sooner the better.

    It is not the debt, however, but the lack of global aggregate demand that is at the heart of the crisis. As the entire world strives to put its own people to work before other nations do, policymakers constructively lower interest rates and delay sovereign, corporate and household defaults to provide breathing room. Fiscally, however, an anti-Keynesian, budget-balancing immediacy imparts a constrictive noose around whatever demand remains alive and kicking. Washington hassles over debt ceilings instead of job creation in the mistaken belief that a balanced budget will produce a balanced economy. It will not.

    The president and Congress must recognize that an AA-plus country, to remain AA-plus, must focus on growth, not debt reduction, in the short term. We have a debt problem — but primarily a crisis of aggregate demand. A 21st-century Keynes would have recognized this and sounded the alarm, pointing out that policymakers from a fiscal perspective are pointing us toward recession and the destructive 1930s instead of a low-growth but still breathing U.S. economy of the 21st century.

    Look, I know this isn’t new. I also know we’ve seen these kinds of analyses before.

    But I feel the need to keep banging the damn drum anyway. I’m naively hoping that some combination of policymakers, Wall Street giants, economists, and media professionals, all saying the same thing, might have some effect on the larger discourse, and might make sensible economic policy slightly more realistic.

    Indeed, in my ideal scenario we’d have the basis for a real grand bargain — addressing our short-term economic problem (high unemployment and weak growth) and the long-term fiscal problem (large deficits and growing Medicare costs).

    Policymakers could, in theory, use this dynamic to strike a credible deal — Dems would get stimulus now to boost the economy and create jobs, and Republicans, in exchange, would get a deficit-reduction agenda for the coming years. We could even start by using the list of job-creating public investments that Republicans themselves came up with.

    I know, I’m a dreamer, but here’s hoping I’m not the only one.

  75. rikyrah says:

    Perry Will Be The Nominee
    by John Cole

    Now that he has announced he is running (see this nauseating interview with Halperin), I guarantee you that Perry will be the nominee. He’s the right kind of ignorant, bigoted, religious nut that will attract the religious fanatics, he’s a gun loving cheerleader who speaks the secessionist code and the teabaggers will love him, he’ll talk constantly about deregulation and lower taxes and the money will be on board, and as you can see from this syrupy sweet interview with Halperin (Actual interview questions: “Does any aspect of running for President intimidate you? Does any aspect of it excite you or enthuse you? How does your faith inform your interest in being in public office? Is it your hope, if you become a candidate, that even voters who disagree with you on social issues will find your record and argument on jobs so compelling that they vote for you even though they did disagree with you?”), the only decision for the media bobbleheads is whether they will spit or swallow. In Halperin’s case, he went with gargle and swallow.

    So brace yourself for a year’s worth of stenographers wistfully discussing Perry’s tan, accent, or whatever it is they will choose to fall all over themselves with this time.

    • Ametia says:

      yes, halperin gargle and swallow; he’s into DICKS, don’t ya know!

    • Can you believe this ish? Imagine if Barack Obama suggested seceding from the Union and then desired to run for President of the said country? Only white privilege can get away with it. I’m so damn tired of the fk double standard!

      • Ametia says:

        You got it, SG2. They need a great white hope; and wil settle for a dogcatcher, if it meant defeating the black man and retaking the presidency and WH.

  76. Tea Party Called ‘Kryptonite’ For Hispanic Voters

    Kevin Solis, a third-generation Mexican-American from Los Angeles, describes himself as a “poster child for the Democratic Party.” One of his uncles was a founder of the Brown Berets, an activist group that protested police brutality in L.A. and marched with Cesar Chavez, and his mother rarely said the word “Republican” without prefacing it with a swear.

    So it says something about the depth of Solis’ disappointment with President Obama that he is thinking of voting Republican in the next election.

    As much as he loathes the harsh immigration policies and rhetoric espoused by many on the right, he is dismayed by the President’s record on the economy and of all things, immigration

    And as a volunteer for groups that work with young undocumented immigrants, he says he has spoken to many young Latinos who share his ambivalence. “When I ask them about Obama, the first reaction is a sigh and an eye roll,” he says. “And then they say, ‘Well, I guess he’s got to be our next president.’ ”

    As the long election season gets underway, many Latinos are expressing a sense of frustration with the choices ahead. On the one hand, President Obama has failed to enact the sweeping immigration reforms that he promised during his campaign, and unemployment among Latinos stands at nearly 12 percent, three points higher than the national average.

    He’s also deported more than a million illegal immigrants, a record number. “It infuriates us,” said Solis. “The way you get to a million is by sending people back who maybe have a traffic citation.”

    • He’s also deported more than a million illegal immigrants, a record number. “It infuriates us,” said Solis

      So Kevin Solis, IF the President has deported a million illegal immigrants and you’re infuriated, GASP….are you suggesting the President break the law?

  77. rikyrah says:

    What to Look for in Tonight’s Debate
    by BooMan
    Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 10:24:56 AM EST

    Hopefully, one of the tougher things I’ll be facing over the next eight to ten months is the job of watching Republican debates. It’s the kind of thing a judge might sentence you to in lieu of community service. The clown car is emptying out in Iowa tonight for a 9pm (Eastern) demonstration of collective insanity. Texas Governor Rick Perry won’t be there. His plan is to step on the Ames Straw Poll by announcing his candidacy the same day. This should have the effect of killing any hope the lesser candidates might have of getting a boost either from the debate tonight or from a victory in Ames on Saturday.
    Because Rick Perry’s imminent announcement hovers over tonight’s debate, there is a certain anachronistic quality to it, even though it has not yet even occurred. TPMDC (cited above) does a good job of running down what you should be watching for, but I’ll just add a little bit to what they’ve said. Mitt Romney is still solidly entrenched as the frontrunner in the polls but he isn’t making any serious effort to win the Ames Straw Poll, nor to win the Iowa Caucuses in December or January. He assumes, probably correctly, that Iowa’s Republican base is way too evangelical to make a Mormon their standard bearer. But that doesn’t mean he can’t win tonight’s debate. Tonight will be the debating debut for former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who is a more moderate (and consistent) version of Romney. He, too, is not seriously contesting for Iowa’s delegates, but he’ll need to make a strong first impression. There can be only one moderate Mormon in the race, so Huntsman’s job is to supplant Romney as the “electable” establishment choice before the voters start going to the polls. How will Huntsman go about doing that? Will he be stridently negative towards Romney? Or will he try to be a more reasonable and less flip-floppy alternative to him?

    Another thing to keep an eye out for is how former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will handle the humiliation of seeing himself upstaged by backbencher Michele Bachmann. In the last debate, Pawlenty emasculated himself by failing to say to Romney’s face what he’d been saying to the press in the days leading up to the debate. His campaign barely has a pulse, and he’s going to have to make some news.

    As for the rest of the candidates, you can rely on Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Rick Santorum to say some strange things. The only suspense is in waiting to see what those strange things are. For example, Santorum made news this week by holding up a napkin and telling the assembled people the following:

    “I can call this napkin a paper towel,” Santorum told a crowd of roughly 40 people “But it is a napkin. And why? Because it is what it is. Right? You can call it whatever you want, but it doesn’t change the character of what it is. So when people come out and say that marriage is something else – marriage is the marriage of 5 people – 5, 10, 20. Marriage can be between fathers and daughters. Marriage can be between any two people, any four people, any 10 people, it can be any kind of relationship and we can call it marriage. But it doesn’t make it marriage. Why? Because there are certain qualities and certain things that attach to the definition of what marriage is.”

    This can be roughly translated to, “Gay people are paper towels; straight people are napkins.” If we’re lucky, we’ll get something even better from him tonight.

    • Ametia says:

      I can’t, I just cannot bring myself to watch these asswipes futher bring their shameful ugliness into my living room and on our nation.

  78. Ametia says:

    David Cameron considers banning suspected rioters from social media
    Source: Guardian UK

    David Cameron has told parliament that in the wake of this week’s riots the government is looking at banning people from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity.

    The prime minister said the government will review whether it is possible to stop suspected rioters spreading online messages, in his opening statement during a Commons debate on Thursday on the widespread civil disorder for which MPs were recalled from their summer recess.

    Answering questions after his statement, the prime minister added that the home secretary, Theresa May, will hold meetings with Facebook, Twitter and Research In Motion within weeks to discuss their responsibilities in this area.

    Cameron also said that broadcasters – including the BBC and Sky News – have a responsibility to hand over unused footage of the riots to police.

    Read more:

  79. Ametia says:

    Martin Luther King Jr. assassination site draws visitors ahead of D.C. memorial unveiling
    By Hamil R. Harris, Published: August 10

    The sun was fading behind the old rooming house that James Earl Ray used to view the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. In the parking lot of the Memphis landmark was an old white Cadillac, just like the one parked there April 4, 1968.

    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was headed to dinner when he came out of Room 306 and had only taken a few steps before Ray squeezed the trigger. With that, a run-down motel in South Memphis was on its way to becoming a national landmark and, eventually, the National Civil Rights Museum. Now, it is getting a $20 million makeover.

  80. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011 9:20 AM


    By Steve Benen

    The relentlessly independent-minded Matt Miller argues today that he’s aware “who the real villains are at this volatile moment.” His piece notes that he realizes it’s “Tea Party Republicans” who’ve been reckless, who’ve undermined confidence in the United States, and whose actions have weakened the country.

    But, Miller adds, he’s mad at President Obama anyway. Kevin Drum’s reaction resonated with me.

    Honest to God, Republicans must all be sitting in their back rooms and just cackling like hell right now. Think about it. They developed a strategy to hamstring the president completely — a strategy that’s bulletproof thanks to our country’s Constitution — knowing that it would rally their base but also hoping that it would cause moderates and lefties alike to become disgusted with Obama’s weakness even though we all know who’s really responsible for what’s going on. And it worked! In fact, it’s worked better than they could possibly have imagined. They can probably barely keep from spitting up their beers right now.

    We are such chumps.

    A couple of weeks ago, the day after the debt-ceiling agreement was announced — a deal I repeatedly condemned, by the way — I asked, “Am I supposed to be angrier with the radicals who held a gun to our heads, or those who prevented them from pulling the trigger?”

    Even among those who know “who the real villains are,” there’s apparently still some ambiguity about the answer.

    Based on nothing but my own perceptions and recent experiences, I’m often surprised at how common this is. I’m on a number of email lists, for example, with fellow lefties in various circles, and I’d say the criticisms of Obama on a daily basis, particularly over the last month or so, outnumber criticisms of Republicans by at least 50 to 1. These are folks who know full well who’s chiefly responsible for the nation’s self-inflicted wounds, but like Miller, emphasize the fact they’re “mad at Barack Obama” anyway.

    The unstated message seems to be, “Sure, Republicans have become an American nightmare. That’s obvious. In fact, it’s such a given, it’s not worth talking about. Instead, let’s denounce the White House….”

    But as Kevin noted, if we all know who’s actually responsible for what’s going on, maybe it is worth talking about, rather than playing the game the way the right prefers?

  81. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 11, 2011 8:00 AM

    Romney boasted of tax increases

    By Steve Benen
    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney bragged this week that he, during his one term as Massachusetts governor, improved his state’s credit rating. The point, of course, was to draw a contrast with developments at the national level, with U.S. debt being downgraded last week.

    What Romney didn’t mention was how he improved his state’s credit rating. The Wall Street Journal had this report:

    …Mr. Romney had an advantage that Mr. Obama sorely wanted but could not get from Congress: tax increases and the closing of tax “loopholes.”

    Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal Wednesday through the Freedom of Information Act show the Romney administration’s pitch to S&P in late 2004 included the boast that “The Commonwealth acted decisively to address the fiscal crisis” that ensued after the terrorist attacks of 2001. Bulleted PowerPoint slides laid out the actions taken, including legislation in July 2002 to increase tax revenue by $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in fiscal 2003 and $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion in fiscal 2004; tax “loophole” legislation that added $269 million in “additional recurring revenue,” and tax amnesty legislation that added $174 million. The final bullet: “FY04 budget increased fees to raise $271 million yearly.”

    In other words, Romney boasted about tax increases, which in turn improved his state’s finances, and ultimately impressed Standard & Poor’s. At the time, Romney was only too pleased to rely on a fiscal policy that mirrors what Democrats in Washington are proposing now. It’s the exact opposite of the course the former governor is currently taking on the campaign trail — before the debt-ceiling agreement, Romney “applauded” the radical “Cut, Cap, and Balance” measure and demanded that taxes be left alone. Whether the credit-rating agencies liked it or not was irrelevant.

    Also note, Politico ran with the same story late yesterday.

    Gov. Mitt Romney lobbied the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s in 2004 to raise his state’s credit rating in part because Massachusetts had raised taxes during an economic downturn two years earlier.

    The claim was part of a presentation to the ratings agency obtained by POLITICO under a state freedom of information law from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance…. Romney’s case to S&P is a far cry from the anti-tax absolutism of the Republican Party he hopes to lead.

    There are two angles worth noting here. The first is, I wonder how the Wall Street Journal and Politico got the same story on the same day. Both articles cite FOIA requests, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a rival campaign tipped off the media outlets about the idea. Indeed, note that the articles are out today — the same day as a major debate in Iowa and just a few days before the Ames Straw Poll.

    The other point is, one of Romney’s ongoing problems is that he was a relatively sane, moderate governor. Much to his chagrin, Romney is haunted by his record of mainstream governing, which he is now scrambling to pretend never happened, as he denounces everything he said and did during his only tenure in public service.

    It’s kind of sad to watch.

  82. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Hostage-Taking Backfires: Government Borrowing Costs Down, Democrats Poised to Recapture the House
    Well, this ought go be a big fat middle finger in the face of the anti-government Teabaggers who were celebrating Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the United States. I am not sure the agency had this in mind when they downgraded the credit-worthiness of the United States – that is, the value of US Treasury bonds. But in the middle of the stock market jumping off a Tea Party cliff today, the much less-attended to news is this: upon hearing the news that the US government bonds were downgraded, investors opted to sell their private stocks and move to… yup, government bonds! NPR’s Jacob Goldstein noted the irony:

    Stocks were down this morning, and the interest rate on Treasury bonds fell.

    In other words, bond investors’ first reaction after SP’s downgrade of U.S. government debt was to be even more eager to lend money to the U.S. government.
    Sure enough, Bloomberg confirms.

    In a way, investors responded to Standard and Poor’s rating just the way it deserves. Of course, the story is not that hard to explain. The rating, and other economic worries, sent the stock market tumbling, and investors turned to safer investments, that is, US treasury bonds. So rather than driving the government’s borrowing costs up, as more people rushed to lend more money to the government, the government’s borrowing costs actually went down.

    No one should take any comfort in the fact that stock market is nose-diving, of course. But if the intention for credit rating downgrade was to make it harder for the government to borrow money, it appears to be having the exact opposite effect.

    The problem with the stock market is multifold, and most of it has to do with the economy. Not just the US economy but the global economy. Economic stress in Europe and Asia are affecting us as much as our stress is affecting them. But the common thread running through both the downgrade and the economic weakness? The hostage taking of the US economy by the Tea Party Republicans. And the American people are rightfully sick of it. News comes on the heels of family-members-and-paid-staffers level approval rating for a Congress held hostage by Teabagging nutjobs, it gets worse for them, according to a just-released USA Today/Gallup poll:

    If congressional elections were held today, Americans by 49%-45% say they would vote for the Democratic candidate over the Republican.
    Let this serve as a warning. Should the Tea Party continue to hold America hostage, this will only get worse. People. Hate. Congress. Pure and simple. If the Republicans in Congress are going to keep playing games instead of taking responsibility for the country, and doing what is right to move the country forward, voters are going to make them pay a price. Mitch McConnell might have as his primary goal the demise of the Obama presidency rather than the advancement of the American economy, but voters have other plans. If the Tea Party continues on its current political hostage-taking trajectory, the stock market will not have the only free-falling numbers.

    Hey, I got an idea. How about Congress cuts its summer vacation a little short and gets back to work, let’s say, tomorrow? What the F are we paying you for?

    Yes, the poll from USA Today/Gallup also has some pretty tough news for President Obama. His still beats out the generic Republican, but his numbers are below the 50% threshold. Is it cause for concern? You betcha. In a tough environment, the President always gets blamed. And we have no help in this situation from the Professional whiners on the Left. But ultimately in a presidential race, people will have to decide whether they want to hire someone who has been working day in and day out (and we must do more to get that message out) to help people or someone who wants to sell the country wholesale to their corporate benefactors. On that count, I am very confident that the president will come out on top.

    Congress, on the other hand, is another matter entirely. Candidates for Congress are much-less well known and people tend to punish the party more than the person. And the Tea Party’s credibility, message, and popularity has been devastated by the way they have been screwing with governing – both at state and national levels.

  83. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011
    Walker-ing It Back, Part 2
    Posted by Zandar
    Wisconsin Dems may have come up short in trying to retake the state senate through the recall process (and the fact they won two seats is amazing in and of itself) but if anything, the narrow loss has only made the recall next year of GOP Gov. Scott Walker all that much more important.

    “If we can do all of this against entrenched Republicans on their own turf, imagine our success … when all of Wisconsin can have its voice heard on Gov. Walker’s extreme, divisive agenda,” Wisconsin state party chairman Mike Tate wrote in a memo to reporters Wednesday.

    “The historic gains made tonight to restore balance and accountability to our state, and restore Wisconsin values, will continue when the entire state weighs in on the November 2012 elections — and with the recall of Scott Walker himself,” Tate said.

    Standing before a cheering crowd of partisans on the Majestic Theatre stage late Tuesday — when it was still uncertain whether Democrats would flip control of the Senate — an animated Tate was even more defiant: “We will not stop, we will not rest, until we recall Scott Walker from the state of Wisconsin.”

    In 2010, Walker carried both of the districts in which Democrats prevailed Tuesday — though in Senate District 32, where Democrat Jennifer Shilling easily unseated incumbent Dan Kapanke, Walker’s margin had been a single percentage point.

    In the remaining four races, the first-term Republican governor notched between 54 and 58 percent. GOP incumbents matched or bested Walker’s performance in three of the four districts they defended.

    Despite the Democratic losses, Madison-based Democratic pollster Nathan Henry calculates that the party achieved a 7 percent swing in its direction.

    That’s the real message Walker, Republicans, AND Dems need to take away: in just nine months the GOP has cratered, even at the state level. Scott Walker and other freshman GOP governors are largely responsible.

    2012? Republicans should be terrified. No wonder they are pouring in the cash. Walker’s numbers in the state are miserable. He knows he’d lose right now, so he’s trying to end the idea of any more recalls.

    “I’ve heard repeatedly from people who are just disgusted at all the ads, disgusted at all the money. They’re tired of seemingly year-round campaigning, and whether it’s a gubernatorial recall, any other recall, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of enthusiasm for having a whole ‘nother wave of ads and money come into the state of Wisconsin.”

    I bet he’s wrong. I bet his job on it.

  84. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 11, 2011 8:35 AM

    A matter of priorities

    By Steve Benen
    Washington may generally look and act like a slow, lumbering beast, but as we’ve seen on occasion, institutions can move pretty quickly when they want to. Getting policymakers motivated appears to be the tricky part.

    Getting the relevant players motivated to tackle debt reduction seems to be pretty easy. As we saw during the debt-ceiling hostage negotiations, Washington’s most powerful leaders were willing to invest countless hours in private talks, behind-the-scenes chats, and formal and informal negotiations. Once an agreement was reached, the House and Senate acted with great speed to pass their plans, and continue to move expeditiously on a debt-reduction “super committee.”

    Imagine if policymakers took job creation this seriously.

    With national unemployment hovering above 9 percent, a leading House Democrat is pushing to establish a “supercommittee” for creating jobs.

    Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus, wants to amend the recently passed debt-limit package to establish a joint select committee on job creation to operate alongside the already mandated Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

    In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to House members earlier in the week, Larson argued that the nation’s jobs crisis is only exacerbating its long-term fiscal problems and therefore demands Congress’s immediate attention.

    How would Larson’s panel differ from the debt-reduction Murray/Hensarling committee? Structurally, it wouldn’t — the committee would have 12 members, with each of the four main leaders appointing three lawmakers. The difference, of course, would be the goal: Larson wants the focus on job creation, not debt reduction.

    “This would allow the Congress to simultaneously consider both our near-term (high unemployment) and our long-term (growing debt) challenges later this year,” Larson wrote in his letter to House colleagues. “Just like the Deficit Committee, all options would be on the table. We owe the American people nothing less.”

    Does this plan have merit? Of course. Will it gain traction? Almost certainly not. The feedback loop has simply become too intense and all-consuming, and Republicans are too convinced that the jobs crisis should be ignored.

    But whether Larson’s idea goes anywhere or not, I’m glad he’s pushing it and I’m hoping his Democratic colleagues endorse it. The larger discussion is badly in need of a detour, and the more officials push for a change in priorities, the better.

  85. rikyrah says:

    August 11, 2011
    T-Paw, tied to Mitt’s roof

    What’s more pathetic than a grown man debasing himself to become president of the United States? A grown man debasing himself to become vice president of the United States; which is, I imagine, precisely what we’ll witness again tonight from the eminently debase-able Tim Pawlenty.

    In my book, though, Pawlenty transcends the merely pathetic. He is, far worse, a personal insult, for he has done unforgivable harm to my delicate prognosticating ego. Pawlenty was my — and Lawrence O’Donnell’s, making two, out of 310 million, of us — pick to go all the way in the GOP primaries, squeaking through a dreadfully flawed pack by virtue of his supreme blandness. Yet he never even got in the hunt. To his credit, almost instantly he saw his wholesale lack of personality as a potential drawback in launching a national crusade against the Great Infidel, hence just as instantly he veered from undaunted, man-of-the-people presidential candidate to a kind of ‘Checkers’-speech groveler.

    I see this morning that Politico is still referring to Pawlenty’s New Hampshire-debate cowardice as the moment “he fumbled over an attempt to criticize Romney’s record on health care.” That was no fumble. It was thoughtful deference to a potential employer. One doesn’t simply forget to deploy an elegant neologism like ‘Obamaneycare’ during the bathing-suit portion of a presidential primary debate, for which one has prepped and preeened for days.

    So, though badly wounded my prediction ego may be, I’ll say look for T-Paw to chew on Michele Bachmann’s ankles tonight, just to show Mitt what a tough guy he can be. But when it comes to taking on the Bain Capital outsourcer, who may soon be in the market for insourcing a pliable running mate, look for more “fumbles.”

  86. rikyrah says:

    What Will Murray, Baucus, And Kerry Do To Health Care?
    By Igor Volsky on Aug 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Inside Health Policy’s Amy Lotven, Sahil Kapur, and Ben Moscovitch offer the best analysis for what the appointments of Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Max Baucus (D-MT) and John Kerry (D-MA) to the super committee tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction measures could mean for Medicare, Medicaid, and the health care law. The trio suggest that the senators’ close relationships with the pharmaceutical and medical devise industries and teaching hospitals could help shield those groups from additional cuts, while Baucus’ chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee could protect Medicare and Medicaid from steep reductions. His authorship of the health reform law — Baucus spent months negotiating with Republicans in hopes of producing a bipartisan measure — may also make him far less willing to significantly alter the measure.

    Murray is also positioned to steer clear of significant entitlement changes. In her role as chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in charge of electing Democrats, she is unlikely to support cuts to programs a majority of Americans overwhelmingly support. In fact, Murray recently attacked Republicans for turning Medicare “into a voucher program run by for-profit insurance companies in order to pay for more giveaways to oil companies and the very rich.” Those sound like fighting words.

    Here are some additional details on what to expect from each member:

    – BAUCUS: Protect PhRMA, goodbye CLASS: He crafted large section of the health care law, but did vote to repeal the measure’s long-term care program or CLASS ACT. “Baucus also played a key role in negotiating the White House-backed deals with the health care industry — including PhRMA, hospitals, nursing homes and imaging — in which the sectors agreed to accept certain cuts up front with the expectation they would be shielded from further reductions.” Sources also tell Inside Health Policy that Baucus is opposed to a proposal that would extend Medicaid rebates into Medicare Part D.

    – KERRY: Teaching hospitals, medical devise companies shielded: He has advocated to soften cuts to the home health industry and has opposed the tax on the medical device industry, “which is strong in his state, ultimately helping to get the assessment cut in half.” “Kerry has also been a key advocate for teaching hospitals that rely on Medicare direct and indirect graduate medical education funding. The debt limit negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden included consideration of reducing such payments by $14 billion, and the president’s fiscal commission had eyed a policy that would reduce the payments by $5.8 trillion. On July 15, Kerry and his GOP colleague Sen. Scott Brown (MA) wrote a letter to the White House urging the president to protect teaching hospitals.”

    – MURRAY: Drug reimportation considered She has backed drug reimportation. “Murray voted for a health reform amendment introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) that would have mandated HHS certify that reimported drugs are safe before they are reimported, although the provision — considered a compromise measure to give Democrats cover from pharmaceutical industry opposition — also failed.”

    The other panel members will be appointed by Boehner, McConnell, and Pelosi. The super committee is scheduled to vote on recommendations by Nov. 23, which will receive an up-or-down vote in the House and the Senate by Dec. 23. If Congress does not enact the proposal, a set of spending cuts are triggered that would affect both discretionary and mandatory spending.

  87. rikyrah says:

    Maine Governor Stacks Health Exchange Advisory Board With Insurance Lobbyists And Health Executives
    By Igor Volsky on Aug 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) has appointed a nine-member committee to advise the state on how to develop Maine’s health insurance exchange, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network is reporting. But, “nearly all of the committee members have professional ties to the health care industry,” and LePage specifically excluded consumer advocates from the board:

    Earlier this year, the health care advocacy group known as Consumers for Affordable Health Care approached members of Gov. Paul LePage’s staff about being included on a nine-member advisory panel that will make recommendations to the Legislature for the establishment of Maine’s Health Insurance Exchange.

    “They were very cordial, and I want to be very clear–they were very up-front and they let us know in advance before the appointments were made public that there was not a slot available for us to fill,” says Mitchell Stein of Consumers for Affordable Health Care. “They listened, but, unfortunately, their answer was no.”

    Stein says his agency had hoped there would be at least one consumer member on the committee to represent the health care concerns of average Mainers as the state prepares to meet a 2014 deadline for getting the exchanges up and running….The committee is chaired by former House Republican Leader Joe Bruno, who operates a chain of Maine pharmacies, and consists almost exclusively of health insurance and business lobbyists and executives in the health care industry.

    LePage’s tilt towards industry is not surprising. Since taking office, LePage has repeatedly attempted to cut the state’s Medicaid program by reducing eligibility to the level in place in most states, thereby throwing off some 30,000 Mainers off the rolls. Under his new “market based” health law, those beneficiaries would have to go out and purchase coverage from private insurers.

  88. rikyrah says:

    Chase Bank Sells Off Soldier’s Home On The Very Same Day He Returns From Iraq

    As ThinkProgress previously reported, Chase Bank had been planning to foreclose on the home of the family of Aaron Collette, who was serving in Iraq. Aaron’s father Tim had fallen on hard times following the recession, and the bank was refusing to work with the family to negotiate for new terms. After an intense pressure campaign from activists and Sen. Jeff Merkely (D-OR), the bank decided to delay the foreclosure past the original June date.

    Yet when Aaron Collette returned home to the states this week for what should have been a warrior’s homecoming, he faced a home that had been foreclosed on instead. On the very same day that Collette returned from Iraq, Chase sold the house back to itself during auction proceedings on the local courthouse’s steps. Local news station News 21 covered the event. Watch their report:

    Despite the fact that Collette’s family will soon have to leave its home, they remain hopeful that they can help other people keep their residences. “We are going to continue to move forward, because there’s tens of thousands of more people who have not yet lost (their homes). And for those who have lost them, we might be able to try to get them back,” said Tim Collette.

    Ironically, the day before the Collette family had their home sold off to the bank, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon bragged to Chase bank employees at a barbecue in Vancouver that his company was helping veterans keep their homes.

  89. rikyrah says:

    How America turned poverty into a crime

    I completed the manuscript for “Nickel and Dimed” in a time of seemingly boundless prosperity. Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in Maine and much larger. Even secretaries in some hi-tech firms were striking it rich with their stock options. There was loose talk about a permanent conquest of the business cycle, and a sassy new spirit infecting American capitalism. In San Francisco, a billboard for an e-trading firm proclaimed, “Make love not war,” and then — down at the bottom — “Screw it, just make money.”

    When “Nickel and Dimed” was published in May 2001, cracks were appearing in the dot-com bubble and the stock market had begun to falter, but the book still evidently came as a surprise, even a revelation, to many. Again and again, in that first year or two after publication, people came up to me and opened with the words, “I never thought…” or “I hadn’t realized…”

    To my own amazement, “Nickel and Dimed” quickly ascended to the bestseller list and began winning awards. Criticisms, too, have accumulated over the years. But for the most part, the book has been far better received than I could have imagined it would be, with an impact extending well into the more comfortable classes. A Florida woman wrote to tell me that, before reading it, she’d always been annoyed at the poor for what she saw as their self-inflicted obesity. Now she understood that a healthy diet wasn’t always an option. And if I had a quarter for every person who’s told me he or she now tipped more generously, I would be able to start my own foundation.

  90. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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