Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

3 Chics thanks you all for your outpouring of prayers, love and support for SG2.  If you haven’t noticed, our own SouthernGirl2 hasn’t been blogging.  She lost her home and all belongs to fire on August 12.

I’m  re-posting this information in this thread:

  • How To Donate To 3 Chics Own SouthernGirl2′ s Fire Relief Fund

    SG2, aka SouthernGirl2 suffered a house fire on August 12, 2011, and lost everything.

    Many of you have asked how you can help. Thank you for your prayers and support!

    A benefit account has been set up as follows:

    Fayetteville Bank
    c/o Darden Family Benefit Account
    PO Box 9
    Fayetteville, TX 78940
    PH: 979-378-4261

    *Ask to speak with Megan Cooper, Account Manager

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87 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

  1. Mythe Kirven says:

    Hurricane Irene headed straight for Congress and Wall Street!! God don’t like ugly. (Collateral people take cover)

  2. Ametia says:

    News Alert: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication events postoned
    August 25, 2011 7:57:21 PM

    The foundation building the new memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall said the dedication has been postponed due to Hurricane Irene, according to the Associated Press.

    Executive architect Ed Jackson Jr. told the AP in a statement that no new date has been set for the dedication originally planned for Sunday.

    For more information, visit

  3. rikyrah says:

    If Medicare “Weakened Us As A People,” Why Does Sen. Rubio Want To “Save” It?
    8 hours and 10 minutes ago — Matt Finkelstein

    Yesterday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) raised some eyebrows with his full-throated condemnation of Medicare and Social Security, which he claimed “weakened us as a people.” The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait and Think Progress’ Igor Volsky point out that Rubio’s recollection of a society in which the sick and elderly could simply turn to their neighbors for care is unrealistic, but what’s really interesting about the senator’s lament of the safety net is how far it deviates from what he was saying just a few months ago.

    In May, when Republicans were aggressively spinning Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to transform Medicare into a voucher system, Rubio contributed to the effort with a video titled “Why we must save Medicare.” In the video, Rubio describes how important Medicare was for his parents, who never made enough money to afford quality health care. “America needs Medicare,” Rubio declared.

    For me, Medicare is not a political talking point. My parents immigrated to the United States in the late 1950s. They worked hard for over 40 years to provide their children the chance to do all the things they themselves could not. But they never made much money.

    As a result, they retired with precious little in savings. Medicare was and is the only way they could access healthcare.

    When my father got sick, Medicare paid for his numerous hospital stays. And as he reached the end of life, Medicare allowed him to die with dignity by paying for his hospice care. […]

    America needs Medicare. We need it to continue without any benefit reductions for those like my mother currently in the system. And we need it to survive for my generation and my children’s generation.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Sought State Profits From Teacher Life Insurance Scheme
    Two weeks before Thanksgiving in 2003, top officials from Texas Governor Rick Perry’s office pitched an unusual offer to the state’s retired teachers: Let’s get into the death business.

    Perry’s budget director, Mike Morrissey, laid out a pitch that was both ambitious and risky, according to notes summarizing the meeting provided to The Huffington Post.

    According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.

    All they had to do was convince retirees to let UBS buy life insurance policies on them. When the retirees died, those policies would pay out benefits to Wall Street speculators, and the state, supposedly, would get paid for arranging the bets. The families of the deceased former teachers would get nothing.

    The meeting notes offer the most direct evidence that the Perry administration was not only intimately involved with the insurance scheme, but a leading driver of the plan.

    It was a back-room deal at odds with Perry’s public persona as a career politician who had successfully sold Texans on his vision of minimal government intrusion. And it still is. Nearly eight years after the meeting, when Perry formally announced his run for the presidency in Charleston, S.C., he honed that vision into the perfect applause line: “I’ll promise you this,” he had said in his West Texas drawl. “I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your life as I can.”

    Death in Texas, on the other hand, is another matter. That first meeting with teacher groups and retirement plan officials in November 2003, recalled one attendee, was an effort by Perry’s office to solicit support for the life insurance idea from teacher associations. There was little question who was promoting the plan.

    “His office was pushing it,” the source said. “It was like, ‘We’ve got to do whatever we can. … Here’s an innovative idea. We really want you on board.'”

    The governor’s office was even prepared to put down a little cash up front. If retirees balked at the notion of the state profiting from their deaths, Perry’s budget men suggested they could be persuaded for the cost of a pair of shoes, according to the meeting notes. If a retiree signed a contract allowing the state’s teacher pension fund to buy life insurance on them, the governor was prepared to give them between $50 and $100.

    “Precious little for what they were giving up,” said the meeting attendee.

    The notes make clear that the governor’s proposal deliberately targeted the elderly. The state was only seeking to take out life insurance on people between the ages of 75 and 90. At a separate meeting five days later, the plan’s proponents discussed the “mental capacity” of these retirees to grant consent as one of three major technical obstacles to the plan, according to notes from that meeting.

    At the first meeting, Morrissey said it could take 10 to 12 years for Texas to “earn” money from the scheme, but insisted the deal could be worth up to $700 million for the state if the retirement fund could sign up 40,000 retired teachers.

    The meeting notes show Insurance Commissioner Jose Montemayor, a Perry appointee, joined Morrissey in the sales pitch, claiming that “this arrangement” was already being utilized by “some very rich people” who had set up similar plans to benefit the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

    “It was a pretty hard sell: ‘This is something you need to get on board with,'” the source said, paraphrasing officials’ comments at the meeting.

    The source says the claim involving a similar program benefiting the Texas universities turned out to be untrue — the “rich people” had taken out the policies themselves with the intent of sharing any life insurance payments with the universities. Montemayor, as insurance commissioner, would have had to waive “insurable interest” regulations to allow the schools to buy life insurance on their professors. There is no public record that he did so. The University of Texas and Texas A&M did not return requests for comment.

    The aggressive push from the Perry administration differs remarkably from its later public characterization of its involvement in the deal. When the proposal leaked to the press that winter, the governor’s spokespeople attempted to tamp down any notion that Perry was the engine behind the plan — and said if there ever was a plan, it was nowhere near final.

    That December, spokesman Gene Acuna told the Dallas Morning News that the plan was merely “a concept.” “Questions are being answered, questions are being raised,” he said. “Depending on the answers to those questions, plus input from all affected parties … that will determine the next step.”

    In a January story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, another Perry spokesman attempted to create more distance between the governor and the plan. “We never endorsed any concept,” said Robert Black. “The governor’s opinion is that it’s prudent to look at ideas and concepts … particularly when it won’t result in a loss of benefits or raising taxes to shore up the retirement system.”

    Messages left for Perry spokespeople requesting comment for this story were not returned. But the behind-the scenes meeting notes reveal Perry’s office had not only endorsed the concept, but had already formulated a plan to implement it. That first meeting on Nov. 12 was run by Perry’s staff. The man who would become the fall guy for the controversy — former senator-turned-financier Phil Gramm — was not even present.

  5. rikyrah says:

    say it with me:



    August 25, 2011 5:00 PM

    Southerland struggling to get by on $174k

    By Steve Benen

    I guess we’re supposed to feel sorry for some members of Congress?

    Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) is not impressed with his $174,000 per year Congressional salary. Or the benefits package that comes with serving his constituents in the House.

    “And by the way, did I mention? They’re shooting at us. There is law-enforcement security in this room right now, and why is that?” he told a town hall in his Second Florida Congressional District Wednesday. “If you think this job pays too much, with those kinds of risks and cutting me off from my family business, I’ll just tell you: This job don’t mean that much to me. I had a good life in Panama City.”

    First, for members to say “they’re shooting at us” is just cheap. An assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords by a madman obviously shocked the nation, but for Southerland to try to piggyback on the shooting as if he’s in danger is pretty offensive stuff.

    Second, members of Congress have got to start realizing that complaining about a $174,000 annual salary sounds ridiculous to the vast majority of Americans. Southerland went to complain about all “the hours” that he works, but this tone-deaf whining hardly makes the complaints any better — he’s a member of Congress who is well compensated for his long hours. He knew that when he sought that job, and instead of whining, Southerland should thank his constituents for the privilege.

    If public service is proving to be too taxing, he can retire whenever he pleases.

    At the same event, Southerland complained that his health care benefits — which we subsidize — aren’t that great, either. I imagine most of his constituents would love this kind of taxpayer-subsidized health plan.

    Among the advantages: a choice of 10 healthcare plans that provide access to a national network of doctors, as well as several HMOs that serve each member’s home state. By contrast, 85% of private companies offering health coverage provide their employees one type of plan — take it or leave it.

    Lawmakers also get special treatment at Washington’s federal medical facilities and, for a few hundred dollars a month, access to their own pharmacy and doctors, nurses and medical technicians standing by in an office conveniently located between the House and Senate chambers.

    If Southerland believes his time and talents would be better spent elsewhere, why’d he volunteer for public service?

  6. That’s one of my favorite Tracy Chapman songs and I swear I have driven that highway in the picture more than once. During the first 33 years of my marriage we moved 11 times (military) and then job transfers. Sometimes “On the road again…” seemed like my theme song.

    Hola Chicas, pray for it to cool down here and give us some rain….114 again forecast for today. Soon as I get my SS deposit, I’m sending SG2 a little $$. My Sis will pitch in some from hers. She reads your blog all the time but won’t make comments. She told me to give you ♥ from her.

    • Ametia says:

      Hola, aquagranny! Hear you got a FAST car… LOL Stay cool, and thanks to you and your sis for any contributions to SG2. She’s having her moments, for sure. Was a little down last night. I think between the reality of the fire and the extreme heat, it’s working her. But she’s keeping the faith.

      • Please give her my ♥ and tell her I send her healing from this tragedy every day. Nothing can take away her pain or loss but I do believe she will get through this with some help from her friends and supporters. She is a strong woman of great faith and I believe she will be blessed with abundance. Please also tell her how much I miss her presence here daily.

      • Ametia says:

        Will do; I’ll read her your comments verbatim. Mucho Gracias!

  7. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 3:40 PM

    A unique approach to government ‘transparency’

    By Steve Benen

    We talked yesterday about Rep. Steve Chabot’s confusion about tax policy. What I didn’t realize is that we were lucky to hear the Ohio Republican’s comments at all — Chabot is also banning and confiscating cameras at his town-hall events.

    At a town hall meeting on Monday, a Chabot staffer directed a Cincinnati police officer to seize video cameras and cell phones from two Democratic activists who were attending the event.

    This is the first report of cameras being confiscated at Chabot’s town halls, although he has been banning them since at least June.

    Chabot’s office said the confiscations were intended to protect the privacy of constituents, but that’s not much of an excuse given that local media outlets were filming the same event, and their cameras were not touched.

    The whole thing just strikes me as bizarre. Here we have a public official, whose salary is paid by public funds, holding a public event on public property. If a private citizen brings a camera to this event, a congressman can direct law enforcement to simply seize that camera? What?

    I’m not a lawyer, but how is that even legal? Even if we assume the police return the cameras to their rightful owners after the event, on what grounds can a member of Congress tell a police officer to temporarily seize private property from a law-abiding citizen without due process or a threat to public safety?

    It also raises questions about what, exactly, the Ohio Republican is afraid people will see.

    Just for added fun, let’s also note that Chabot, as recently as 2009, said the lack of “openness and transparency” at Obama administration events was an “outrage.”

  8. Ametia says:


  9. Ametia says:

    Ya get an ‘F” on your town hall Rep Cravaack. F=FUCKERY

    • I would give him a big FUCK YOU! Kudos to that young woman who stood up to the lies about Pell grants. I could have never finished my education with out a Pell grant that paid my tuition for two semesters of my last year and didn’t leave us in debt.

      Fuck these sorry bastards! What they really want is for our Kiddos to borrow lots of money from their banker friends and finish school with a crushing debt that will take 20 or 30 years to repay. Or even better from their perspective, remain without advanced education so their labor can be exploited. FUCK THEM! FUCK THEM ALL!

  10. Ametia says:

    AFL-CIO president: Obama is aligned with tea party, not fixing jobs
    By Kase Wickman
    Thursday, August 25th, 2011 — 12:01 pm

    Richard Trumka, president of union giant AFL-CIO, delivered a scathing review of President Barack Obama at a press breakfast Thursday morning. He accused him of abandoning Democratic ideals and aligning himself with the conservative tea party.

    “This is a moment that working people and quite frankly history will judge President Obama on his presidency; will he commit all his energy and focus on bold solutions on the job crisis or will he continue to work with the Tea Party to offer cuts to middle class programs like Social Security all the while pretending the deficit is where our economic problems really lie,” Trumka said, Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler reported.

    Trumka sits on the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which “was created to provide non-partisan advice to the president on continuing to strengthen the nation’s economy and ensure the competitiveness of the United States,” according to its website.

    Trimpka told reporters that he had all but given up hope of the panel achieving any results.

    “I don’t know whether the commission’s making a difference or not…it’s a legitimate question whether that commission has done anything worthwhile,” he said.

    He threatened to withdraw the AFL-CIO’s attendance at the upcoming Democratic convention if the party didn’t shape up and offer solutions.

    “If they don’t have a jobs program I think we’d better use our money doing other things,” he said.

  11. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 2:55 PM

    Setting the bar for ‘success’ too low

    By Steve Benen

    Karl Rove’s new Wall Street Journal column is all about House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “surprising success” so far in 2011. As Rove sees it, Boehner has had a “remarkable run” by having “out-maneuvered” President Obama repeatedly.

    Mr. Boehner may not be an inspiring orator, but he has moved the country and Congress in his direction. He has succeeded in large part because he had a more modest view of the post than his recent predecessors. […]

    So Washington’s agenda this fall will reflect the priorities not of the glitzy Mr. Obama but of the modest, well-grounded Mr. Boehner

    Rove’s larger point seems to be that Boehner — or at least Boehner’s caucus — is largely dictating the agenda in Washington, and there’s obviously some truth to that. By refusing to compromise, adopting an unyielding right-wing agenda, and normalizing extortion politics, House Republicans have had considerable success, at least insofar as they’re dictating terms and fighting debates on their turf.

    But Rove’s column comes across as kind of silly if one stops to think about the larger context.

    For all of Rove’s gushing about the Speaker’s “surprising success,” Boehner’s tenure has been a seven-month-long fiasco. The Speaker has routinely struggled to keep his caucus in line behind his leadership, for example, and has found in many key instances that House Republicans simply don’t care what Boehner thinks. Whereas the Speaker traditionally is one of Washington’s most powerful players, Boehner is arguably the weakest Speaker we’ve seen in many decades — he’s not leading an unruly caucus; his unruly caucus is leading him.

    Indeed, Rove seems especially impressed that Boehner has blocked White House attempts at additional revenue. What Rove neglects to mention is that Boehner was fully prepared to accept an agreement from Obama for additional revenue, only to find that the Speaker’s caucus would forcefully reject the compromise.

    What’s more, looking back at Boehner’s “successes,” it’s hard not to notice that Congress hasn’t passed any meaningful legislation at all this year — and in all likelihood, the Speaker will help oversee a Congress in which nothing of interest passes at all.

    What have we seen from Boehner’s chamber since January? Five resignations, zero jobs bills, two near-shutdowns, no major legislative accomplishments, and the first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt, attributed almost entirely to the antics of Boehner’s Republican caucus.

    Also note, thanks to Boehner’s sterling work, Congress now has its lowest approval rating in three decades, and Boehner’s personal approval ratings are spiraling in the wrong direction.

    If Rove finds this impressive, I’m afraid he’s set the bar for “success” a little too low.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Karl Rove Serves Up An Ace With Criticism of Sarah Palin’s Thin Skin

    Rove said:

    “I’m mystified,” he admitted, “that she’s all upset about this, that I’m somehow trying to sabotage her campaign, sabotage her in some way, and how dare I speculate on her future.” Rove also responded angrily that “if she doesn’t want to be speculated about as a potential presidential candidate, there’s an easy way to end the speculation,” yet whenever the issue comes up, “she says ‘I haven’t made a decision.” Rove concluded adding a jab at Palin’s lust for attention, calling it a “sign of enormous thin skin that if we speculate about her, she gets upset, and I suspect that if we didn’t speculate about her, she’d be upset about it and trying to find a way to get us to speculate about her.”

    I’m surprised Rove is not aware of the long list of things we are not allowed to talk about regarding Sarah Palin, lest we tread on her 1st amendment rights. Perhaps her people can send him a list (Karl: note the bendy straws). The list of critics Palin has had silenced is too long to enumerate. Suffice it to say, former Republican allies call her a “sociopath”, a “snake”, and claim she threw them under the bus as she climbed her way up — one bumpit at a time. The tell-all books are just the first clue. The frightened silences in Wasilla, the refusal to answer questions — time and time again reporters come back from Wasilla saying they’ve never seen anything like it.

    Greta struggled to get things on course, but in truth, she had to have known what was coming. Rove v Palin has been going on for several years now, with Rove playing the establishment Republican and Palin using him to come off like an outsider (a must have of her phony narrative: Hockey Mom Goes to DC). The only time I’ve ever enjoyed Sarah Palin is when she’s getting under Karl Rove’s skin, but tonight was no such night.

    Rove finished her off without breaking a sweat. After all, when it comes to thin skin, the infamous-for-his-thuggery-to-congress Rove knows of what he speaks. The man did work with George W Bush, after all. The really good times will come if she does announce; we will see what dark whispers Rove has in store for the Tea Party candidate who can not get elected.

    On the other hand, if there’s one thing Sarah Palin understands, it’s thuggery. I’d wager that she can give Rove a run for his money in the bullying department, but Palin has never fought in front; she uses her prayer warriors to attack from the rear. But I hear Rove has an entire section on his resume specifically detailing his adroitness at handling true believers.

    Oh, gee, the Republican Party. It used to be the Party of grown ups. Now it’s the Party of Karl Rove and Sarah Palin, both contributors to the PR arm of the Republican Party, also known as Fox News. This is one of their Presidential possibles, the best and the brightest the GOP has to offer?

  13. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 11:25 AM

    Stimulus through a mass refinancing plan

    By Steve Benen

    The housing market is still a mess, and continues to serve as a drag on the economy. Addressing the problem isn’t exactly easy.

    As Ezra Klein explained this morning, federal officials don’t want to simply force the banks to eat homeowners’ debts because it would undermine the industry. They also don’t want to have the government simply eat the losses, because it’d be a political problem — the feds would be “telling the people who are making their mortgage payments that they’re going to have to pay for the people who aren’t making their mortgage payments.”

    The Obama administration has a different idea, which has been lingering for a couple of years, but which apparently is starting to gain some traction.

    The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing.

    One proposal would allow millions of homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at today’s lower interest rates, about 4 percent, according to two people briefed on the administration’s discussions who asked not to be identified because they were not allowed to talk about the information.

    A wave of refinancing could be a strong stimulus to the economy, because it would lower consumers’ mortgage bills right away and allow them to spend elsewhere.

    There are apparently other ideas under consideration, but the refinancing approach, the details of which still need to be worked out, would have the biggest bang for the buck: homeowners, many of whom are currently under water, would stand to save $85 billion. They’d still have a mortgage payment to make, but they’d find it easier to afford and would have more money to spend on other things.

    Economist Christopher Mayer at the Columbia Business School explained, “This is the best stimulus out there because it doesn’t increase the deficit, it accomplishes monetary policy, and it reduces defaults in housing.”

    And what about Congress? That’s probably the best news of all: the administration could act on this without congressional approval.

    I’d also note the story behind the story: this NYT story looks an awful lot like a deliberate leak, put out by Obama administration officials, in part as a trial balloon, and in part to signal what’s possible.

    It’s something to keep a close eye on.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Steve Benen, Political AnimalBlog
    August 25, 2011 2:05 PM

    House GOPer: ‘Oil companies pay their fair share’

    It’s almost as if congressional Republicans don’t realize how unpopular oil-industry subsidies really are.

    Count freshman Rep. Dan Benishek as the latest Republican to come out in defense of oil companies.

    According to The Petoskey News, the 1st District Michigan congressman told a public forum, “(Democrats) talk about raising the taxes on the oil companies. I think oil companies pay their fair share.”

    “I can understand where the oil company wants to deduct the cost of drilling a well. That’s one of the tax breaks for oil companies — the subsidies — they get to deduct the cost of the well the year you drill,” he continued.

    This isn’t quite on the same level as Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) apologizing to BP after its oil-spill disaster, but it’s not too far off, either.

    First, there’s a good reason ending oil-industry subsidies enjoys so much public support. Oil companies are already extremely profitable, and don’t need $4 billion a year in taxpayer subsidies. If Congress is desperate to find savings in the budget and cut the deficit, there’s no reason an industry enjoying record profits can’t be asked to give up public funding it doesn’t need.

    Second, Benishek says Big Oil pays its “fair share,” but he seems to assume that the Big Oil pays anything at all. As recently as last year, Forbes reported that Exxon Mobil “ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam” in 2009. The oil giant later disputed the claim, but wouldn’t provide any details, and Forbes noted that the company’s financial statements “don’t show any net income tax liability” to the United States.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if a massive oil company with tens of billions of dollars in profits pays nothing in federal taxes, this falls short of paying its “fair share.”

    Sometimes I wonder: are Republicans trying to be unpopular? Sure, a conservative congressman like Dan Benishek takes in quite a bit of money from Big Oil, but who is this message intended to persuade? At least Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio) had the good sense to lie about his position when pressed on this during a nationally televised interview.

    Are there really a large number of voters out there thinking, “We really should go easier on Big Oil, since they already pay their fair share”?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry: Extending Private Health Insurance To Everyone Is ‘A Huge Problem’
    By Igor Volsky on Aug 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Rick Perry took a shot at Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law this morning during his first one-on-one sit down interview with Laura Ingraham. The 2006 measure, which has extended health care coverage to some 98 percent of state residents, is a “huge problem,” Perry predicted, saying that the plan paved the way for Obamacare:

    INGRAHAM: What makes you a better decision-maker on health care issues than he is?

    PERRY: I think he’s finally recognizing that the Massachusetts health care plan that he passed is a huge problem for him. And yea, it was not almost perfect. I truly believe that you have to have the free market in play with out health care. I think Obamacare, which was modeled after the Massachusetts plan, was an absolute debacle.


    But the Bay State’s landmark legislation is only problematic if Republican primary voters believe that extending private health care coverage to state residents is a liability. As a result of the law, almost every child is covered, more private companies are offering insurance, and state spending on uncompensated care is decreasing (the state spent $405 million on uncompensated care in 2010, nearly $300 million less than before reform was enacted in 2006.)

    Instead, Perry is suggesting that his own health care record is an asset. That a state with the highest uninsured rate in the nation — 26 percent — health premiums well above the national average, drastic cuts in reimbursement rates to hospitals, and severe doctor shortages, has a health care system to be envied? The comparison of the top-line indicators is less than flattering:

  16. rikyrah says:

    3 Things Time Magazine Wouldn’t Tell You About Rick Perry
    August 25, 2011
    By Hrafnkell Haraldsson

    I reported the other day on the mainstream media’s soft-gloves treatment of Rick Perry amid FOX News and Sean Hannity’s complaints that the treatment their candidate was receiving is unduly harsh and probing. The New York Times was singled out for special animus. It seems upon further reflection that the New York Times is not so much the so-called liberal media’s print flagship but that they tend to actually look at the substance of Mr. Perry, and so, occasionally, find a blemish.

    Look at Time Magazine’s gloss of the Texas superstar. For the week of August 22, Time sent Mark Halperin to have a look at Rick Perry and the result is superficial at best. What is truly disappointing about this is that Halperin is the senior political analyst for Time magazine,, and MSNBC. A senior political analyst ought to be able to analyze things for his pay – something, anything. He is also a board member on the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. So why doesn’t Halperin analyze?

    If you read Time you won’t find out anything about Rick Perry’s cronyism and building of the Texas state government for his own – not the state’s – benefit, as reported by the nefarious New York Times. A Times editorial this morning rails against Mr. Perry’s deeds:

    There are nearly 600 boards, commissions, authorities and departments in Texas, many of which are of little use to the public and should have long been shut down or consolidated. They are of great use to the governor, who more than any predecessor has created thousands of potential appointments for beneficent backers and several pro-business funds that have been generous to allies.

    From Halperin we get a lackadaisical “he created a public-private business-development fund that has opened him up to charges of cronyism” and the mention of boards and commissions is limited to this:

    In his 10 years as governor, he has virtually taken over the state’s sprawling government, installing allies on every board and commission and pressing and aggressive legislative agenda of budget cuts, tort reform, and limited regulation.

    Doesn’t even sound like he’s done anything wrong. He’s just aggressive, y’all.

    But here’s what really happened, according to people – unlike Halperin – who actually dared do some research into Perry’s personal empire:

    Since 2001, more than a fifth of the $83 million that Mr. Perry has raised for his gubernatorial campaigns has come from people he appointed to state boards and commissions, according to a study by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog group. Just 150 individuals and couples gave him $37 million of that total, and nearly half received substantial tax breaks, business contracts or appointments from Mr. Perry, The Los Angeles Times reported.

    Mr. Halperin’s treatment of The Response is just as vague and unsatisfying, like cliff-notes missing all the important stuff that will be on the test. He talks about Perry’s 12-minute sermon and in the two paragraphs devoted to the event sums it up as a “righteous rollout for one of the latest-starting presidential campaigns in recent history.”

    Absent is any of this

    read the rest of the post at the link above

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Problem We All Live With…
    by Dennis G.

    Last month Ruby Bridges came to the White House. She was there to see Norman Rockwell’s painting of her hung in a hallway that leads into the Oval Office. This is what Barack Obama passes everyday when moving in and out of his office:

    There is something celebratory about Ruby Bridges standing next to our Nation’s first Black President and viewing a depiction of an ugly moment of her childhood that made her into a icon of courage for the ages. You can watch her talk about that moment here.

    And yet, there is a bit of sadness when one considers how far we still have to go to confront racism in America. For it is racism and the fear of losing white privilege that animates most of the Tea Party and—I would say—most of the irrational rage at all things Obama. Others will disagree (especially those suffering from Obama derangement syndrome), but nothing I have seen in the last three years has led me to questions this view.

    Racism is a fact of life for this President. It is just another thing to overcome. And something that can never be far from Barack Obama’s mind. Every time he walks to his desk he passes this image of courage in the face of hate and the word “Nigger” scrawled on the wall.

    I’ll think about that the next time some dumb ass whines about how weak he is or how he doesn’t give a shit about progressive values.


    • dannie22 says:

      Our President gets it. He really does.

    • Ametia says:

      Preaching to the choir here. Black folks encounter the bullshit each and every day. And like Dannie said President Obama gets it. The point should be, White folks wake the fuck up and own your shit, OWN YOUR HATRED, BIGOTRY, AND RACISM.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 25, 2011 1:30 PM

    Cantor’s callousness turns preemptive

    By Steve Benen

    We talked earlier about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) insisting that federal disaster relief in the wake of this week’s earthquake would no longer be automatic. Whereas Congress used to provide emergency funds after a disaster, without regard for budget caps of offsets, Republicans no longer believe in such an approach.

    I said it was likely Cantor would take a similar approach with Hurricane Irene. This afternoon, the Majority Leader’s spokesperson confirmed this with Brian Beutler — if the hurricane does major damage, Republicans will only allow federal assistance if Democrats accept comparable cuts elsewhere in the budget.

    “We aren’t going to speculate on damage before it happens, period,” his spokesperson Laena Fallon emails. “But, as you know, Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.”

    This isn’t just to lay a honeytrap for Cantor. Human toll aside, hurricane damage can be very expensive, and if against all hope Irene hits hard, this sort of parameter could put a severe dent in federal programs that are already stretched quite thin.

    A while back, during a different debate, John Cole noted, “If these guys were comic book villains, no one would buy it because it’s just too over the top.” It’s a sentiment that comes to mind all the time.

    Tom DeLay never went this far. No one has ever gone this far. U.S. officials have always put everything else aside when families and communities are hit and need a hand, but now, thanks to the new House Republican majority, those principles have been cast aside.

    There’s also a 2012 angle to this, by the way. Mitt Romney in June agreed with the callous right-wing line, saying, “We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids.”

    In context, “those things” referred to aiding American communities ravaged by a natural disaster.

    We can obviously hope for the best when it comes to Hurricane Irene, but at this point, Republicans are apparently intent on literally adding insult to injury.

  19. Ametia says:

    Seriously, national Geograhic channel is hosting an interview with GWB
    on his thoughts and feelings surrounding 911.

    Will this mofo be reading MY PET GOAT too?

    George Bush Reflects On 9/11 And Learning Of Bin Laden’s Capture

  20. rikyrah says:

    Glad to see folks defending the Post Office

    The Postal Service On The Precipice, Ctd
    by Chris Bodenner

    A reader writes:

    I can’t believe some of the abuse that is thrown at the USPS. When you look at their average annual compensation ($64k/year), they are clearly not overpaid. And when you compare the price they charge for the service they provide, it is the best in the world. In the world. About the cheapest rate you can find for mailing a letter in other countries is 98 cents, while most other industrialized countries are in the $1.20 range. Most countries don’t offer Saturday delivery like the USPS does. And the USPS delivery times average more than 20% quicker than other countries.

    The reason the USPS is having trouble is because Congress won’t let them succeed. They insist on providing certain service levels (like Saturday delivery) and yet they won’t let the USPS charge what they need to charge to provide the service.

    Another cites a reader in the previous post:

    I think “[we] would be far better off if the USPS were shut down tomorrow” is an absurd statement. The USPS employs around 574,000 people. UPS and FedEX combined employ around 541,000 people, and they are international companies, so only a portion of those people are the US.

    They also aren’t designed at the moment to deliver mail and pick up mail from almost every single household in America on a daily basis, as well as from various offices and boxes currently spread around the city and far flung communities. Our local UPS guy doesn’t even pause between throwing my package on the porch and jumping back in his van to see if I’m here. I’d hate to see what his life would be like if he also had to stop at every single house around my neighborhood on top of his current work load.

    Saying “FedEX and UPS clearly have the infrastructure in place to carry mail as well” is technically true, but they clearly don’t have the infrastructure to deal with volume and magnitude of work that they’d have to take over if the Post Office closes its doors, unless we sell the whole venture to them. You could argue whether that’d be worthwhile, but the USPS is doing a lot more than nothing at the moment.

    Another piles on:

    Your reader wrote: “FedEX and UPS clearly have the infrastructure in place to carry mail as well and would do it far more efficiently than the US Government.” Except they don’t. There are many rural areas that FedEx and UPS do not reach. In fact, they contract with USPS to deliver packages to those areas.

    Then there are the other disadvantages. If a package or letter that needs to be signed for cannot be delivered to my home because I am not in, I can retrieve that package at my local post office, usually no more than 30 minutes away. I know where my local post office is. If the same thing occurs with a FedEx or UPS package, I have to ask for them to attempt delivery again. Of course, that means I have to be home when they arrive … and they won’t give me a delivery window. Alternatively, I can go to their delivery hub – usually at the local airport, which is far from my home.


    There is absolutely no chance that UPS or Fedex could service the millions of miles of RFD (Rural Free Delivery) routes in this country at anything close to post office rates. These people would just drop off the map, and be isolated from mail service altogether. They would indeed be abandoned by civilization. Recall that RFD in a very real sense MADE this country; not just the back-and-forth of ordinary correspondence, business and personal, but the ritual of ordering from Sears. A very large number of the HOUSES in rural areas arrived by US Mail.

    Mail delivery is a basic service of government. Thoughtless free marketers don’t know what they’re talking about.


    There may be good reasons to keep post offices open in rural or low population areas, but keeping them because they are “lifelines” is not one of them. Post offices that serve a small population, like anything else, must be subsidized by the income generated from larger population areas. I have no problem with this model – it has served our country well since its founding. However, we are now told by many people that we can no longer afford to carry the people the who don’t pull their own weight, and that surely applies to rural people. If offices are closed throughout Alaska and the hinterlands, the people have a choice to either do without or move to a place where there is a post office. Don’t like those options? Welcome to the real world, where the rest of us have to move to get a job, receive good health care, or enjoy abundant water supplies.

    It’s this cognitive dissonance that Americans believe that they should be able to live where ever they choose, and that everyone else has to subsidize their choice with new roads, infrastructure, post offices, cheap utilities, affordable housing, free quality schools, and everything else. But they don’t believe in “handouts” or raising taxes to pay for the things they refuse to pay for themselves. It isn’t even a matter of socialism – it’s a matter of doing the best for all concerned, and they are the beneficiaries. But they can’t understand the concept that if they benefit, so should others, and everyone needs to pay something towards it. Are people really that ill-informed?

    • dannie22 says:

      What kind of people in government do we have, that they would want to destroy the post office?!?!

      • thorsaurus says:

        The USPS consistantly rates in the high nineties on approval ratings from it’s users. Congress, on the other hand, is currently in the Dick Cheney zone, between 20% and 25%. Are there no mirrors in the rotunda for these hypocrites to look at themselves?

    • Ametia says:

      ” But they can’t understand the concept that if they benefit, so should others, and everyone needs to pay something towards it. Are people really that ill-informed?”

      UMMMM, YES, PEOPLE ARE REALLY THAT ILL-INFORMED. Thank the media and racism for their contributions.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Keep Talking About Willingham
    by Zack Beauchamp

    Steve Benen reminds us about Perry’s extensive history of executing people and the facts of the Cameron Todd Willingham case:

    The Texas Forensic Science Commission, created to consider the competence of those who offer forensic testimony, hired an actual arson expert, to consider the evidence and report on his findings. He was scheduled to discuss what he found in early October 2009. Rick Perry, who was governor when the state killed Willingham, was apparently afraid of what the truth might show. In the 11th hour, the governor started firing members of the Forensic Science Commission, ensuring that the panel couldn’t hold a meeting to discuss the case. Even for Perry, this was brazen. He was so panicky that the facts would show Texas killed an innocent man, he went to ridiculous lengths to prevent the truth from coming out. Nearly two years later, the facts still haven’t been presented.

    Benen concludes by wondering what the impact on the election might be, but I think we should be highlighting the Willingham case for a different reason. I doubt, sadly, that the Willingham case will have much of an influence on Perry’s chances. The real reason to talk about it is to point out the absolute insanity of a situation where someone with Perry’s record can be thought of a “serious” candidate. The man was complicit in covering up the truth about the execution of an almost-certainly innocent man. That’s outrageous, and should be disqualifying. But it’s not, which says a hell of a lot about American political culture. This problem – whatever its source – is something we ought to be highlighting

  22. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011
    Missing the mark
    E.J. Dionne on the implacable GOP, the lessons of Libya, and presidential leadership:

    [Obama] needs to learn the difference between middle-ground policies, which flow from his natural instincts, and soggy, incoherent compromises with opponents who will say he’s wrong no matter what happens….

    [He] should remember that steady moderation is very different from continually looking around to see if he can accommodate opponents who won’t be happy until he’s back teaching law school.

    Dionne makes an exquisite, but in my opinion flawed, distinction.

    I’m deeply skeptical of the concept of an Obama who looks around to accommodate the unaccommodating among the GOP, which is to say, the GOP. If anyone appreciates the cynical depths of congressional Republicans, it is the serially battered target of their studied hostility.

    My objection arises from a different presidential accommodation, one that is staggeringly manifest to all observers: There’s simply nothing Obama won’t do to attract independent voters.

    Now that in itself is scarcely shocking; most every president hews to the middle in policy and then plants himself there for reelection, since it is muddled swing voters who typically decide the outcome. And, once again, no surprise, it will be swing voters who decide 2012. In this go-around, however, I think the White House is misreading independents’ customary degree of muddlement.

    In poll after poll, registered independents are virtually indistinguishable from Democrats (even the wicked, big-government, socialistic, post- and anti-colonial leftist ones) in their expressed disgust of what’s become the rancid, political status quo — from Washington’s timidity in job creation to Washington’s fear of enacting substantial revenue hikes to Washington’s seeming readiness to puncture holes in social safety nets — yet the White House persists in overtures to more center-right, independent conventionalities.

    Again, I would challenge the interpretation that Obama is trying to “accommodate opponents.” He is, however, trying to accommodate an imaginary middle — a traditionally quasi-conservative middle that his political advisors cut their teeth on in the inexact science of electoral politics, yet currently is in philosophical transition, to the left.

    In short, I would say that Obama is missing the mark.

  23. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011
    The Popguns of August
    Care to know how home-district, town-hall pressure is influencing GOP congressmen?

    Freshman Paul Gosar of Arizona says “They’re very angry. They want to get back to work and they feel government is in the way with rules and regulations.” Jobs? Why, House Republicans have been “talking about jobs from Day One.” How? Gosar “cit[ed] efforts to roll back regulations and lower deficits.”

    Rick Berg, another freshman, this one from North Dakota, says his state “lowered its unemployment rate to 3.2 percent by balancing its budget and creating a pro-business environment.” No mention of North Dakota “enjoying an oil boom in the western part of the state,” which “created a $1 billion state budget surplus”; nor did Berg note that “federal agriculture subsidies add nearly $1 billion a year.”

    You probably saw on the news the delicious town-hall atrocities experienced by Steve Chabot in Avondale, Ohio. His finger-on-democracy’s-pulse reaction? “He said Think Progress … organized the protest.” So that, we should all dismiss. Rather, in classic Gosarian style, “he says most constituents are upset about federal regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as new rules established by the healthcare reform and Wall Street reform legislation passed in 2010.” (All italics mine.)

    Sure, you’ve seen them, mostly the unemployed homeless, muttering indignantly about how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was always out to get them.

    And veteran Republican Tim Johnson, to whom I’ve personally written to implore that he not vote with his party regarding barbaric cuts to cancer research (my wife suffers from the pancreatic form) — and from whom I never received a response; Johnson barbarically voted right along with his party — said “I’m trying to show people that I’m different, that I listen and don’t engage in a lot of partisanship.”

    Yes, no doubt September’s gaggle of these swindling blackguards will be much, much different from July’s.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 25, 2011 10:40 AM

    Cantor’s callousness continues

    By Steve Benen

    An East-cost earthquake did some damage this week, and there’s a hurricane on the way, too. It stands to reason that the federal government will have to provide some disaster relief fairly soon.

    Traditionally, this wouldn’t be much of a problem. Congress has always provided emergency disaster funds pretty quickly, outside of budget caps and without trying to offset the costs elsewhere. Helping families and communities in a time of need has always mattered most.

    That is, until this year. House Republicans have changed the standard.

    We saw this earlier in the summer, following a devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he was willing to provide relief aid, just as soon as Democrats agreed to pay for it by cutting funding for a clean-energy program. His party agreed.

    Now, Cantor is at it again.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Wednesday that he intends to look for offsets if federal aid is needed to help areas of his Virginia district that were damaged in an earthquake Tuesday.

    “There is an appropriate federal role in incidents like this,” the Republican said after touring the damage in his district. “Obviously, the problem is that people in Virginia don’t have earthquake insurance.”

    The next step will be for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to decide whether to make an appeal for federal aid, Cantor said. The House Majority Leader would support such an effort but would look to offset the cost elsewhere in the federal budget.

    “All of us know that the federal government is busy spending money it doesn’t have,” Cantor said in Culpeper, where the quake damaged some buildings along a busy shopping thoroughfare.

    Presumably, Cantor will say the same thing after Hurricane Irene hits the coast.

    Keep in mind, even Tom DeLay never went this far. We’ve just haven’t seen a majority-party caucus this extreme in modern history.

    For all of our differences over party, ideology, and creed, we know that when disaster strikes and our neighbors face a genuine emergency, America responds. We don’t ask what’s in it for us; we don’t weigh the political considerations; we don’t pause to ponder the larger ideological implications. That’s just not how the United States is supposed to operate.

    Until now.

    I can’t help but wonder why Republicans don’t hesitate to finance wars without paying for them, bailout Wall Street without paying for it, and offer subsidies to oil companies without paying for them, but when an American community is struck by a natural disaster, all of a sudden, the GOP is inclined to hold the funds until the party gets offsetting cuts.

  25. Ametia says:

    Cock-eyed Ron Christie is a disgrace. Obama has the worst foreign policy?GTFOHWTFBS

    • dannie22 says:

      saying anything to see what sticks lol.

      • Ametia says:

        Hi Dannie. Yes; and 3 Chics is sticking to President Obama like VELCRO! LOL

      • Ametia says:

        Posted at 03:27 PM ET, 08/25/2011
        Starbucks CEO’s misguided crusade
        By Greg Sargent

        As Jonathan notes below, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has launched a crusade to get American business leaders to withhold political donations from all incumbents in Congress, to pressure them to produce a deficit reduction plan that deals with entitlements and revenues.

        Unfortunately, the crusade seems completely misguided. One party has already said it’s open to such a deal. The other party is still ruling out such a deal. So it’s unclear what withholding contributions from both parties will accomplish.
        Politico’s Jennifer Epstein reports today that more than 100 business leaders have signed an email from Schultz vowing to withhold the contributions, demanding that Congress “strike a bipartisan, balanced long-term debt deal that addresses both entitlements and revenues.”

        I appreciate Schultz’s zeal, and I get that Dems may well dig in against deep entitlements cuts to a degree that he and other business leaders may find unacceptable. But as Kevin Drum explains, the plain fact is that one party — the GOP — is not willing to even consider a deal that involves both entitlements cuts and tax hikes, viewing its blanket opposition to tax hikes as a principled imperative:

        Its presidential candidates unanimously agree that they’d oppose a deal that includes $10 in real spending cuts for every $1 in increased revenue. Its leader in the House walked away from several opportunities to strike an ambitious deal based on an 85-15 split of cuts vs. revenue increases … And the rest of its congressional leaders have all sworn blood oaths not to compromise on their pledge to never ever raise taxes under any circumstances.

        I’d add one other point. As it turns out, Schultz is a big donor to the Democratic Party who has maxed out to Dem Senator Maria Cantwell and has given thousands in previous cycles to Obama and other Democrats.

        I don’t know what the other business leaders’ affiliations are, but Schultz, oddly, is going to withhold contributions that would go mostly or exclusively to Democrats, even though the leading obstacle to him getting what he wants is the GOP’s unshakable opposition to raising taxes. Republicans say tax hikes (except for the payroll tax cut extension) are a bad thing for the country’s fiscal health. They’ve already drawn a hard line against tax hikes as part of any deficit deal reached by the Congressional “super-committee.” Schultz, however, seems to think raising taxes would be a good thing for the country’s fiscal health. In other words, Schultz and the GOP disagree.

        By contrast, Democrats are far more in agreement with Schultz. They are at least willing to consider and discuss the sort of mix of entitlements cuts and revenue increases Schultz wants. Unlike Republicans, Dems have drawn no hard lines on their priorities and have ruled out nothing in advance of the supercommittee’s work. Punishing both parties equally for their current positions isn’t likely to produce the outcome Schultz

  26. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 10:00 AM

    A picture worth far less than a thousand words

    By Steve Benen

    This image, touted by David Limbaugh, made the rounds yesterday. Conservatives seem to like it, but I’m really not sure why the right would even bother. (via Steve M.)

    If you’re having trouble seeing it, the image claims to show Rick Perry and Barack Obama when both were 22 years old. On the left, we see Perry posing alongside an Air Force plane’s cockpit, and on the right, we see a young Obama smoking and wearing a hat.

    Politico says it’s an image “you’re likely to see again.” A Perry campaign spokesperson boasted soon after, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    Now, as it turns out, National Review’s Daniel Foster noted that the picture of Obama “seems to come from a roll of film shot by a friend at Occidental college, which Obama left, in favor of Columbia, years before he was 22,” suggesting the competing images aren’t even accurate.

    But never mind that. Even if we accept the Perry/Obama image at face value, this is still entirely pointless.

    For one thing, no one really cares what the candidates were like three decades before an election. Through much of his 30s, George W. Bush was a failed businessman with a drinking problem — and voters couldn’t care less. Candidates’ background may be of some interest, but the GOP pitch is going to fall flat if it comes down to, “Vote for our guy, because he was a more accomplished 22 year old than the president.”

    For another, if the argument here is that Perry is more deserving of the presidency because he served in the military, I’d remind the right that the candidate with more military experience routinely loses. In the last three decades, the presidential nominee with more military background lost six out of eight times — 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, and 1980 — including each of the last five national cycles.

    This is an image we’re “likely to see again”? Perhaps, but I suspect no one at Obama campaign HQ is especially worried about it.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Backs Away From Climate Change
    Evan McMorris-Santoro | August 25, 2011, 8:58AM

    Staring down a new rival who believes climate change science is partially some kind of international grant money shakedown conspiracy, Mitt Romney is stepping back from a view of climate change he outlined earlier this summer.

    Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire Wednesday, according to Reuters. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

    Romney then tilted over and grabbed some of Rick Perry’s Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)-endorsed ideas on the environment. That is, let’s not spend a time doing anything about it.

    “What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to,” Romney said.


    Romney also said on Wednesday that he would make weaning the United States from imported energy from the Middle East a priority over reducing carbon emissions.
    Still, using additional domestic nuclear, natural gas, and other resources could have a side benefit of cutting carbon emissions, Romney said. “My view is pursue a strategy which gets us into energy independence which has as a byproduct it gets us into less CO2 emitting.”

    He criticized a bill backed by President Barack Obama that would have capped carbon emissions and allowed polluters to buy and sell rights to emit carbon.

    “I do not believe in cap and trade and I do not believe in putting a carbon cap” on polluting industries, Romney said.

    This is a big change from the Romney of early June, who raised eyebrows when he went against Republican dogma and talked the talk of climate change.

    “It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors,” Romney said at another New Hampshire stop in early June.

    “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” Romney said at the event.

    Perry’s poll numbers are surging, and there are signs that he’s taken Romney’s mantle as the early frontrunner in the 2012 nomination contest. Romney’s new opposition to doing anything actively to prevent climate change may be a sign that he’s trying to skew farther right to grab some of that Perrymentum.

  28. rikyrah says:

    PPP: Obama leads in Wisconsin, Iowa

    New Public Policy Poll results out of Wisconsin and Iowa suggest President Obama’s re-election strategy may boil down to not being a Republican.
    The polling shows that while the president’s numbers are weak, particularly in Wisconsin, he is the preferred choice given the GOP alternative. And with Perry rising and Romney (the strongest general election candidate on the GOP side) fading in recent polls, that means Democrats could wind up benefiting from the tea party phenomenon.

    From PPP:

    Obama is not popular in either state. In Iowa just 45% of voters approve of him to 48% who disapprove. Independents split against him 43/47 and only 79% of Democrats think he’s doing a good job while 87% of Republicans give him bad marks. It’s a pretty similar story in Wisconsin. There an equal 45% of voters approve of him with his disapproval number standing at 51%. Independents go against him 40/52 and 94% of Republicans disapprove of him to 86% of Democrats who rate him positively.

    Obama’s not running for reelection in a vacuum though and given the GOP alternatives he still leads in both of these states. In Wisconsin he’s clearly weaker at this point than in 2008, when he won the state by 14 points. He leads Mitt Romney only 47-42. And while he does have double digit advantages over the rest of the Republican field- 10 over Rick Perry at 50-40, 12 over Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin at 51-39 and 52-40 respectively, and 14 over Herman Cain at 50-36- for the most part he’s not matching his margin of victory from last time.

    It’s a different story in Iowa though and that may bode well for Obama in terms of what happens when voters get a lot of exposure to the Republican candidates. There he actually exceeds his 2008 margin of victory against the entire GOP field- he’s up 10 on Romney at 49-39, 13 on Perry at 51-38, 17 on Bachmann at 51-34, 18 on Cain at 51-33, and 21 on Palin at 54-33.

    Iowa’s a closely divided state in terms of its partisan loyalties, meaning it’s one of those places where independents really do make the difference. Romney’s favorability with them is 27/55. Perry’s is 23/52. Bachmann’s is 22/60. And Obama has leads of 13, 17, and 17 points respectively with independents over the three of them. What those folks have to say to make the Republican base happy doesn’t look like it will serve them well heading toward November. It’s just one poll and one state but it points to the possibility that Obama can win with a 45% approval rating because the GOP field is so bad.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Obama daughters visit Nantucket

    By Jason Graziadei

    August 25, 2011With President Barack Obama playing golf and getting briefed on the approaching Hurricane Irene on Martha’s Vineyard yesterday, his daughters, Sasha and Malia, took an excursion to Nantucket.

    President Obama’s daughters arrived at noon in a private, 40-foot boat, which was escorted into the harbor by a Coast Guard cutter, according to a source with knowledge of the girls’ trip to the island.

    Accompanied by Secret Service agents on the impromptu visit, the girls strolled around downtown, and were spotted at the Cheryl Fudge clothing store and other locations in the core district before departing around 5 p.m.

    The Obamas are vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard for the second straight summer.

    • Ametia says:

      Love THIS: Accompanied by Secret Service agents on the impromptu visit, the girls strolled around downtown, and were spotted at the Cheryl Fudge clothing store and other locations in the core district before departing around 5 p.m.

      Our BLACK First Daughters receiving Secret Service protection. chills…..

  30. rikyrah says:




    In the ruins of Gadhafi’s lair, rebels find album filled with photos of his ‘darling’ Condoleezza Rice

    David R Arnott writes

    The ransacking of Moammar Gadhafi’s compound is turning up some bizarre loot. Following on from the Libyan leader’s eccentric fashion accessories and his daughter’s golden mermaid couch, the latest discovery is a photo album filled with page after page of pictures of Condoleezza Rice.

  31. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 9:25 AM

    Bush still losing the blame game

    By Steve Benen

    A new Associated Press-GfK poll offers fairly predictable results about public attitudes on the economy: Americans are deeply unhappy. Overwhelming majorities believe conditions are “poor” and the country is heading in the wrong direction.

    And yet, while Republicans may be encouraged by the dour attitudes, the same poll shows the GOP struggling badly.

    Americans’ views on the economy have dimmed this summer. But so far, the growing pessimism doesn’t seem to be taking a toll on President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects. […]

    Despite the perception of a weakening recovery, there has been no significant change in the number of people who say he deserves re-election: 47 percent as opposed to 48 percent two months ago. That’s a statistical dead heat with those who favor a change in the White House.

    And more Americans still blame former President George W. Bush rather than Obama for the economic distress. Some 31 percent put the bulk of the blame on Obama, while 51 percent point to his Republican predecessor.

    The results that show Bush continuing to get the bulk of the blame is consistent with other recent polling from New York Times/CBS, McClatchy/Marist, and NBC/WSJ, all of which found the same thing: Americans are angry, frustrated, and pessimistic about the economy, but most of the public just doesn’t see Obama as the main culprit.

    Indeed, even now, not only are Americans more inclined to blame Bush, the AP poll found that 44% put “a lot” or “most” of the blame on congressional Republicans, noticeably more than the 36% who point to congressional Democrats.

    The point isn’t that Obama and Dems are riding high on a wave of popularity. That isn’t even close to being true. In fact, the president’s support has slipped badly in practically all of the key areas — the public may not blame Obama, but they nevertheless expect him to do more in cleaning up the Republicans’ mess (which he’d be better able to do if that same public hadn’t elected a GOP-led House).

    But the key takeaway here is that Republicans aren’t benefiting from voters’ frustrations at all. They remain more unpopular and more likely to get blamed. Boehner, McConnell, & Co. do know the difference between a zero-sum game and a non-zero game, don’t they?

    • Ametia says:

      Dick Cheney says memoir will have heads ‘exploding’
      By Kim Geiger
      August 25, 2011, 5:30 a.m.
      Dick Cheney is already promising there will be “heads exploding all over Washington” when his new book hits stores Tuesday.
      The 46th vice president made that declaration in an interview with NBC — portions of which were aired on the Today Show Wednesday morning — as he embarked on a media blitz to promote the book, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.”
      The memoir discusses Cheney’s health, the Sept. 11 attacks, his secret resignation letter, and his thoughts about President George W. Bush and other prominent characters from the Bush White House, NBC reports.
      “I didn’t set out to embarrass the president or not embarrass the president,’’ Cheney, 70, told NBC’s Jamie Gangel. “If you look at the book, there are many places in it where I say some very fine things about George Bush. And believe every word of it.’’,0,7292925.story

  32. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 24, 2011 4:45 PM

    The education of Steve Chabot

    By Steve Benen

    ThinkProgress flags an interesting exchange from a congressional town-hall meeting in Ohio this week, when a Republican congressman was pressed on whether he’d accept a debt-reduction with $10 in cuts for every $1 in revenue — a compromise every GOP presidential candidate said isn’t good enough.

    During a town hall meeting earlier this week, an Ohio constituent posed the same hypothetical to Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH). Chabot was initially hesitant to answer because “we’re never going to get that deal,” but then went on to express his opposition to raising revenues at all, saying, “I’m not for raising taxes.” When a constituent correctly noted that taxes are at their lowest level in more than 50 years, Chabot was skeptical, declaring, “I don’t really buy that that’s the case.”

    Right. The constituent tries to explain that taxes are at a 50-year low, and Steve Chabot replied, “I’ve heard that quote thrown around and I don’t really buy that that’s the case, that they’re the lowest. I know there’s some groups that have said there are. I’m not really convinced that’s the case. There may be some people that have it, but I don’t think that’s the case.”

    You know what? Fine. Members of Congress can’t be expected to know everything off the top of their heads. This seems like a fairly important detail given all of the votes Chabot and his colleagues have been asked to take in recent months, but if the Republican congressman doesn’t know this detail from memory, I’ll gladly cut him some slack.

    Of course, by saying he’s “not convinced,” Chabot is suggesting he’s open to reviewing the evidence. I certainly hope that’s true. In fact, let’s give the Ohio Republican the benefit of the doubt and conclude that Chabot actually cares about reality — he could have easily told that constituent, “I don’t care about the facts; I care about protecting millionaires from Clinton-era tax rates.” But he didn’t say that; Chabot kept saying he’s merely skeptical.

    With that in mind, let’s educate Steve Chabot: taxes really are at a 50-year low.

    Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman’s presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

    Some conservative political movements such as the “Tea Party” have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

    Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

    “The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,” says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.

    And as it turns out, low taxes not only lead to larger deficits; they also lead to less revenue. Jared Bernstein posted this chart recently, and GOP lawmakers like Chabot should probably take a look at it.

    Republicans assume, and expect everyone else to assume, that the government is bringing in plenty of money to meet its needs. It’s important to understand, the, how very wrong Republicans are about this. Federal revenues have dropped to 15% — a 50-year low. To bring the federal budget closer to balance, we’d expect to see this number around 19%.

    Those are the facts. So, Steve Chabot, what do you have to say now?

  33. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 8:00 AM

    Shelving Romney’s ‘Gold Five’ strategy

    By Steve Benen

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    For months, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has proven pretty adept at remaining focused. No matter what’s going on around him, the former governor stuck to his message, concentrated his attacks on President Obama, and was content to more or less ignore his Republican rivals. Romney started as the frontrunner, and so long as he acted like it, his nomination would look inevitable.

    Call it the Gold Five strategy — during the attack on the Death Star in Episode IV, Gold Five was the Y-Wing pilot who, despite all kinds of threats around him and Darth Vader on his tail, kept saying, “Stay on target.”

    Of course, things didn’t turn out especially well for Gold Five. By staying on target, he failed to appreciate the larger circumstances. Staying focused meant failing to adapt.

    Romney’s Gold Five strategy made sense when Michele Bachmann was generating excitement and Jon Huntsman became a media darling, but Rick Perry has changed the game. Josh Marshall noted yesterday:

    Okay, I don’t think Mitt is going anywhere soon. But two new polls show Perry opening up a big lead over the Mittster nationwide. That dramatically changes the contours of the race and — most significantly — ends Romney’s inevitability, de facto nominee strategy.

    It’s quite true that we don’t nominate presidents in nationwide primaries. The problem for Romney is that the actual states that are going to be deciding are considerably more conservative than the GOP electorate nationwide.

    Nate Silver added an analysis last night, detailing Perry’s surge, and noting that if Perry excels in Iowa, knocking out key conservative rivals, the Texas governor could pick up their collective supporters and be even stronger in New Hampshire and beyond.

    Romney, then, can no longer simply stay on target, and pretend his Republican rivals don’t exist. The nomination will not be handed to him on a platter; he’s going to have to engage.

    He’ll also, in all likelihood, have to move even further to the right. We saw the first hint of this yesterday when Romney, who said in June human activity has contributed to climate change, said the opposite.

    Romney wasn’t been an especially impressive candidate when he thought he was cruising to the GOP nomination. What kind of candidate will he be now that his lead has slipped?

  34. rikyrah says:

    August 25, 2011 8:40 AM

    The right-wing Golden Boy

    By Steve Benen

    It’s not exactly a secret that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) will be the top choice on the Republican presidential nominee’s short-list for VP. If the party comes up short in 2012, he’ll also be a leading presidential candidate in 2016. And why not? He’s a handsome, Cuban-American who can appeal to Latino voters, who just happens to be popular in the nation’s most important swing state.

    Indeed, conservative adulation for Rubio is arguably becoming even more intense, despite the fact that he’s only been in office for seven months, and hasn’t actually done anything. The senator is taking steps to solidify support from the party establishment, and GOP leaders are tripping over themselves to sing his praises.

    But before Rubio starts printing up “Future President” business cards, it’s worth pausing to appreciate just how striking right-wing he is. Consider what he told Republicans at the Reagan Presidential Library this week, when discussing bedrock American programs like Medicare and Social Security:

    “These programs actually weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues.

    “But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job.”

    As far as the Republican Party’s Golden Boy is concerned, Social Security and Medicare weakened the fabric of our society.

    In case this isn’t obvious, Rubio’s sentiment is not even close to the American mainstream. It’s not that we haven’t heard observations like these before — far-right politicians make the argument with some regularity — it’s that those who are likely to seek national office usually don’t go quite this far in trashing some of the pillars of modern American life.

    Rubio, incidentally, also happens to be terribly wrong. As Igor Volsky explained, “Americans may have certainly taken care of each other in the absence of formalized access to affordable health care, but that support did little to drastically ameliorate the fears and anxieties of seniors.” Before Medicare and Social Security, millions of seniors, once they left the workforce, struggled badly to afford care and avoid poverty.

    Rubio envisions a society in which Americans simply chose, voluntarily and on their own, to provide for seniors who lacked the resources to protect themselves. What the right-wing senator may not realize is that this didn’t happen — Social Security and Medicare were created because the government saw a crisis that needed a solution. Democrats didn’t create these programs just for the sake of doing so; they created them because millions were struggling and needed a stronger safety net.

    And those programs, far from “weakening us as a people,” lifted society up. Democrats were right and Social Security and Medicare became some of the most popular and successful initiatives the nation has ever created.

    I realize the excitement level in GOP circles about Rubio’s future is off the charts, but we’re talking about a very conservative politician who, by all appearances, isn’t terribly bright. Republicans really ought to put the coronation on hold.

  35. Ametia says:

    Morning MURDERER is still spinning the whose BALLS are BIGGER on Libya… Guess who, Bush. GTFOHWTFBS



  36. rikyrah says:

    August 24, 2011
    It’s the demographics, stupid
    Rick Perry may be wowing the Fed-haters and science-loathers and soaring to the top of the pseudoconservative madness charts, but he’s underimpressing and flatlining elsewhere. That’s the finding, anyway, from Public Policy Polling, which shows him losing nationally to Obama by 6 points (roughly commensurate with McCain’s 2008 loss). Even more delicious: “independents view [Perry] negatively already by an almost 2:1 margin, 29/55.” Ouch.

    Against Romney, it’s a tie. Yes, yes, it’s way early and all that, but considering the 9-percent-plus unemployment rate, to find a sitting black Democratic president evenly matched with the opposition’s nominal frontrunner — a (or rather another) self-professed job-creator extraordinaire — is rather astonishing.

    What’s more, one sees beyond the GOP’s present predicaments and beholds its gloomy future:

    One big reason Obama’s doing pretty well in these match ups is the Hispanic vote. Exit polls in 2008 showed him winning it by a 36 point margin over McCain but he builds on that in all of these match ups with a 37 point advantage over Romney at 66-29, a 46 point one over Perry at 72-26…. This is a good example of what Republican strategist Mike Murphy has described as the economics vs. demographics tension for next year’s election. The economy could sink Obama but at the same time an ever growing expanding Hispanic vote that he wins by a huge margin could be enough to let him eek out a second term.

  37. rikyrah says:

    August 24, 2011
    Choosing between two realities
    Vice-President Biden’s former chief economist, Jared Bernstein, on what President Obama should offer up in September, beginning with the known knowns:

    [An] extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits. Those are already in the system, but they expire at the end of this year, and to let them do so would create a dangerous air pocket that we must avoid at all costs….

    Then, he should roll out a campaign for a national infrastructure program to repair, retrofit, and modernize the nation’s public schools called FAST!—Fix America’s Schools Today. It’s got important advantages over the president’s infrastructure bank idea; it’s highly visible, can be stood up faster, and it’s more labor intensive, too. Finally, he should tout clean energy investments, as he did recently in Michigan, stressing the opportunities these investments create by replacing contracting industries with new, expanding ones.

    I would urge more. Bernstein is merely trying to be realistic, but the other and quite grim reality is that one-third of our national government is controlled by ruthless political cutthroats who give not one damn for the welfare of the American worker. Bernstein estimates the odds of “the renewal of the payroll tax cut at above 50 percent, and the unemployment insurance extension only slightly below half,” and here he’s being a generous handicapper. I’d put the odds of any House movement on any Obama proposal at roughly equivalent to those of Sarah Palin reading a briefing book.

    So why not go genuinely big? The House can just as mindlessly reject (and the Senate can just as mindlessly filibuster) large-scale improvements to roads, bridges, sewer systems and dams, as well as a massive rescue of states to retain teachers and cops and firefighters, as it can mindlessly reject school repairs. And the more rejections, the greater the contrast between a bold, visionary president and horse-and-buggy barbarians.

    Obama could also go populist and propose an earlier repeal of Bush’s madly unpopular upper-end tax cuts. He could propose a one-time, emergency surcharge on obscene incomes. He could propose a sizable trimming of the nation’s healthcare costs through a lowering of the Medicare eligibility age. He could declare victory in Afghanistan.

    All of which congressional Republicans would loudly denounce with charateristically lunatic abandon, just as they will even the most modest of proposals. The only difference is that one set of proposals — Bernstein’s set — says footnote to history, while the second set has “historic” written all over it. And decisive reelection.

  38. rikyrah says:

    August 24, 2011
    The offensive senator from Florida
    I gather Marco Rubio has read Newt’s book.

    The 20th century “was not a time of decline for America — it was the American Century,” said the senator in a speech at the Reagan Library. “We built here the richest, most prosperous nation in the history of the world.”

    Therefore, according to Rubio (and Gingrich et al), we destroyed ourselves.

    Except for the Reagan Administration, to be quite frank, both Republicans and Democrats established a role for government in America that said yes we will have a free economy, but we will also have a strong government, which through regulations and taxes will control the free economy, and through a series of government programs, will take care of those in our society who are falling behind….

    These programs weakened us as a people. You see, almost forever, it was institutions in society that assumed the role of taking care of one another. If someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to. We took these things upon ourselves in our communities, our families, and our homes, and our churches and our synagogues. But all that changed when the government began to assume those responsibilities. All of a sudden, for an increasing number of people in our nation, it was no longer necessary to worry about saving for security because that was the government’s job

    This is offensive, in addition to being egregiously bad history.

    Prior to the Great Crash and ensuing Great Depression, it’s true that preexisting social institutions did indeed “[assume] the role of taking care of one another.” Let’s dismiss for a moment that it was capitalism’s rapacity, in the absence of government oversight, that largely brought about the aforementioned crashing depression: aside from no one minding Wall Street, productive businesses squeezed the wages of workers so tight in the 1920s that inventories began swelling well before the crash; few workers earned the money it took to buy available goods. But it’s also true that once the bad times arrived, those honored social institutions, which the ahistorical Floridian admires so much, quickly exhausted their resources in attempts to keep pace with the nation’s collapse. Families, neighbors, religious and fraternal organizations, benefit societies — all such financial accounts fast went as dry as Prohibition.

    Had Roosevelt’s New Deal not intervened to relieve the nation’s suffering, in historical fact there existed a very real chance that the government of the United States would have been overthrown. People were that desperate, and any extremism that promised relief was that tempting. Roosevelt saved capitalism by regulating and taming it. And he saved the country by providing jobs and some measure of social security, when no others could.

    For far-right, tea-partying pols to simply reinvent history for ideological comfort and political bamboozlement is just plain offensive.

  39. Ametia says:

    Coastal Carolina evacuates as Irene nears U.S.
    By Ed Payne,
    CNN- August 25, 2011 7:02 a.m. EDT

    Miami (CNN) — Vacationers and residents prepared to evacuate North Carolina coastal areas on Thursday morning as Hurricane Irene roared toward the United States, where it’s expected to hit this weekend.

    The powerful Category 3 storm, now battering the Bahamas with sustained winds of 115 mph, is forecast to pound much of the eastern United States starting early Saturday.

    Janeen Wall bolted before the storm, leaving less than a day after arriving at her Carolina Beach, North Carolina, accommodations.

    “Since the second floor condo I was staying in is very close to the beach, I didn’t really want to take my chances with a hurricane blowing into town,” the Richmond, Virginia, resident said after making the five-hour drive back home.

    “Also, if I waited for an evacuation order, I would have to share the road with more than a few thousand other folks trying to leave at the same time.”

    The mandatory evacuation order for Dare County, North Carolina — home to Manteo, Nags Head, Duck and historic Kitty Hawk — is only for tourists.

    Residents can stay for now, but emergency officials have put them on notice.

    Neighboring Hyde County declared a state of emergency for low-lying coastal plains, with evacuation orders in place starting Thursday morning.

    With Irene still more than 700 miles south of Cape Hatteras, the National Hurricane Center issued storm warnings for sections of the Carolinas.

    A hurricane watch is in place from north of Surf City, North Carolina, to the border with Virginia. A tropical storm watch was put up from Surf City south to Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

  40. rikyrah says:

    A Look At the GOP Nominating Process
    by BooMan
    Wed Aug 24th, 2011 at 11:38:20 PM EST

    I’m a little frustrated that the calendar of Republican primaries and caucuses is still so uncertain. It makes it impossible to try to game out how the nominating contest might unfold. I like Nate Silver’s piece on the Perry-Romney dynamic in the early states, but I’d like to be able to roll it forward with more confidence. All we know with any degree of confidence is that Iowa will go first and be followed by New Hampshire, and then by South Carolina and Nevada (the last two, possibly on the same day). I don’t want to discuss why things are so unsettled, but it probably won’t surprise you that Florida is at fault.
    In any case, I don’t think anyone thinks that Mitt Romney is going to win the Iowa Caucuses, and that’s why Romney isn’t seriously competing there. It’s like when you know you girlfriend is going to break up with you. You break up with her first, or you act like you really don’t care. I’ve never known that strategy to be particularly convincing, but I also don’t think Romney has a better alternative.

    What Nate wants to know is if anyone will want to date Romney in New Hampshire after he’s been dumped in the Hawkeye State. The problem is that if a conservative (right now, most likely to be Rick Perry) knocks a bunch of other conservatives out of the race in Iowa, Romney could see his poll lead in the Granite State evaporate. Romney can beat four or six or eight conservatives who are all splitting the hard right vote. If he has to match up against only two or three conservative opponents, he might be screwed.

    As noted above, it is not possible to game out the GOP nominating process without a firm calendar, but we do know a few things.

    Romney will start the process with a lot of money. Ron Paul will have a good amount of money, too, and will benefit from the fact that the early contests will not be winner-take-all. I think Paul can reliably win 10%-20% of the vote in almost every state in the Union. Early on, he will accrue delegates, and he will have staying power. Michele Bachmann should have enough money and supporters to carry her through the first four contests, but she’ll need to have some success to compete beyond that. Rick Perry should be well funded for as long as it takes for him to either win or completely bomb out. All other challengers will need to vastly exceed expectations to get beyond Iowa. As for Palin, I’d say there is nothing we can say with confidence.

    Let’s look at what this means for the night of the Iowa Caucuses.

    As of today, it looks like a contest between Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Should anyone else win, it would be a total game changer. If Romney won, he would probably walk to the nomination, but that is a very unlikely outcome. If Gingrich or Cain or Huntsman or Paul or Santorum or Palin or anyone else were to win, they’d be propelled to the front of the pack and the whole dynamic of the race would change. As for the top two, Perry could plausibly knock Bachmann out of the race but I don’t think the reverse is true.

    Aside from who will be the winner, on the night of the Iowa Caucuses, people will be looking at the second, third, and fourth place finishers. And everything will be judged according to how they did compared to expectations (the polls). The also-ran candidates can get a major boost by unexpectedly finishing in second place. If Perry beats a second-place Bachmann and she drops out of the race, a third-place finish can become quite valuable. Finally, it matters how badly Romney does. If he’s really in the basement, it could hurt his chances in New Hampshire. On the other hand, if finishing badly allows a conservative fourth-place finisher to soldier on to New Hampshire, it could help him.

    Let’s imagine two plausible scenarios.

    Scenario One

    Iowa Results: 1. Rick Perry 2. Michele Bachmann 3. Ron Paul 4. Mitt Romney.

    If common wisdom had been that Bachmann had to win, she might drop out. With none of the other long-shot candidates having broken through, most or all of them would drop out too. And their support would be dead anyway. We’d be going to New Hampshire with it basically a three-way race between Romney, Perry, and Paul. This could be a nightmare for Romney, as he needs the conservative vote to be split more than two ways.

    Scenario Two

    Iowa Results: 1. Michele Bachmann 2. Rick Perry 3. Ron Paul 4. Rick Santorum.

    This would boost Bachmann into super-stardom, but it probably would not overly discourage Perry. The breakthrough for Santorum (or any other also-ran) would give them a bit of momentum. And Romney would look really weak and discredited. Yet, facing three conservative challengers might be enough to put Romney over the top in New Hampshire, and he could count on winning the Nevada Caucuses due to his appeal among Mormons. He might win two of the first four contests and two of the three he seriously contested.

    This second scenario could lead to a protracted campaign and even a brokered convention. Bachmann, Paul, Romney, and Perry would continue to win delegates in proportional fashion, with no one racking up large advantages, and no one even coming close to winning a majority of the delegates. All four of them could raise enough money to limp along but none of them could attain a war chest adequate to knock the others out.

    If this happens, this most likely scenario, it seems to me, is that Romney would have the most delegates but that, combined, Bachmann, Perry, and Paul would have a majority. And that means that Romney would not prevail at the convention.

    I’ll tell you one thing. This contest could be over in a flash or it could be like nothing we’ve ever seen.

  41. Ametia says:

    .F. poll worker sentenced for stealing ballots

    Karl Bradfield Nicholas, 51, of San Francisco left his volunteer’s post at the polling place on Knott Court in the Excelsior Street at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 2, 2010, the day of the election. He had with him with multi-page ballots, the voter roster, a memory card that recorded the votes cast, a voting machine access key and a poll worker’s cell phone, police said.

    Nicholas was arrested at his home in the Ingleside early the next morning, and about 75 ballots were found in the lagoon two days after election day.

    He pleaded guilty in December to unlawfully carrying away or destroying a poll list and ballots, in violation of the state elections code.

    On Wednesday, Judge Anne Bouliane of San Francisco Superior Court sentenced Nicholas to a year in County Jail, but with credit for time served, he was to be released later in the day. He was also placed on three years’ probation and ordered to stay out of all San Francisco polling places on election day.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      Look at the LIAR DUDE in the VIDEO above. His first sentencve; I don’t think it’s the Repbulicans fault. THE REPBULICANS ARE OBSTRUCTIONISST and are holding up the nomination of President Obama’s judicial nominees.

      • rikyrah says:

        say it over and over

      • Ametia says:

        That weasal is a GOP TOOL from the Bushite era. Caroline Frederickson is right, this is a vacany emergency, if PBO has nominees, confirm.

        Curt Levvy is a concervative legal tool

        “Obama is not making his confirmations a priority? GTFOH


  42. Ametia says:

    Obama can’t win for winning in Libya
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: August 24
    You have to ask: If unemployment were at 6 percent, would President Obama be getting pummeled for not having us back to full employment already?

    The question comes to mind in the wake of the Libyan rebels’ successes against Moammar Gaddafi. It’s remarkable how reluctant Obama’s opponents are to acknowledge that despite all the predictions that his policy of limited engagement could never work, it actually did.

    Let it be said upfront that the rout of Gaddafi was engineered not by foreign powers but by a brave rebellion organized in Libya by its people.

    But that is the point. The United States has no troops in Libya, which means our men and women in uniform do not find themselves at the center of — or responsible for — what will inevitably be a messy and possibly dangerous aftermath. Our forces did not suffer a single casualty. The military action by the West that was crucial to the rebels was a genuine coalition effort led by Britain and France. This was not a made-by-America revolution, and both we and the Middle East are better for that.

  43. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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