Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread

Have a joyous Saturday!

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90 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    September 03, 2011
    You may skip to the end

    An abnormally dyspeptic George Will attempts to undermine Jon Huntman’s primal political thesis by confirming Jon Huntsman’s primal political thesis:

    Your [Huntsman’s] chief strategist, John Weaver, says the “simple reason” the GOP is “nowhere near being a national governing party” is that “no one wants to be around a bunch of cranks.” Do you share your employee’s disdain for the party? Although you say the country is “crying out” for a “sensible middle ground,” you have campaigned for three months on what you say is that ground and, according to the most recent Gallup poll, your support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents is 1 percent

    Mr. Will, your point being? Other, that is, than demonstrating your adroitness in shifty, Cheneylike shifts in terminology? The Huntsman campaign argues that the country demands a sensible middle ground, an immensely reasonable argument which you, Mr. Will, venture to invalidate — how? — by citing Huntsman’s mere 1 percent support among the cranks, fanatics and extremists. Ooookay.

    It appears the causation of Will’s acute puckering was, of all things, the infamous Huntsman “Tweet” that ridiculed the ridiculous. Again Will grasps for a negligible minority (about 2 percent) to undermine the vast scientific consensus on global warming, only this time he has the presence of mind to cite the more impressive-sounding hundreds of “scientists who are skeptical” of such indisputable warming, rather than offering the absurdly meager percentage.

    Will also advertises his steely unsentimentality when it comes to defending Willite Republicanism — whatever the hell that is — by dogging Mitt Romney for once committing the vernacular offense of dissing “fat cats”; by chastising Michele Bachmann for retaining “incompetent staffers” (although isn’t that what the incompetent Bachmann would naturally do?); and by lighting into Rick Perry for being “an American anomaly — a hard-money populist, the opposite of William Jennings Bryan.”

    OK, I confess. The only real purpose of this entire post was to deftly, subtly lead up to a choice quote of H.L. Mencken. Rather than just blasting it out there, though, I wanted to offer something else more expansive, more thoughtful. Consider that done, whether it was or not. Anyway, so now for Mencken, on Bryan, which is to say, on Perry:

    He was born with a roaring voice, and it had the trick of inflaming half-wits. His whole career was devoted to raising those half-wits against their betters, that he himself might shine.

    Now wasn’t that line worth all that preceding, useless analysis?

  2. rikyrah says:


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  3. rikyrah says:

    The Once And Future Dr. King

    By Zandar on September 3rd, 2011

    Some Classic Roy Edroso here on the GOP’s new Marxist bogeyman: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No, seriously. Apparently having a black President and Dr. King finally getting his own memorial in Washington DC has broken conservative reality badly enough to the point where Dr. King is now Bill Ayers or something. To whit:

    A longer-lived staple of conservative anti-racist cred has been their effusions over Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, back in the old days they hated King (“For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country” — National Review. More here!). But when things got a little hot for them, bigotry-wise, they shifted to declaring King a good conservative; on every MLK Day, in and among their many confused tributes, you’ll see many that insist King’s vision of a color-blind society is exactly what conservatives have been trying to do all along. Then they grab parasols and handkerchiefs, burst into “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In,” and dance around. It’s a grisly sight.

    But then we get this piece from the Moonie Times (Title, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s Mixed Legacy”. Yeah, if you’re a student of the struggle for civil rights in the 20th century, wrap your head around how Dr. King broke even at best.)

    King’s leftism ultimately betrayed his original civil rights creed. His call for a color-blind society was contradicted by his multicultural progressivism. Affirmative action, racial quotas, government handouts to minorities – these policies directly violate the basic principle of equality under the law. Contemporary Americans are not judged as individuals, but as members of a racial group, gender or ethnicity. This is a perverse inversion of the very kind of racialism prevalent in the Old South. More than 40 years after his death, we are further away from being a genuine meritocracy. Victimology and racial set-asides dominate large swathes of American life, from university admissions and government bureaucracies to big business and construction. The country has slowly Balkanized, splintering along ethnic lines.

    And this “Well, us white people will always resent you colored folks until you get over this whole slavery and reparations thing and just accept the fact we’ve got a 150 year head start on you in this country and always will” thing is standard boilerplate Black Republican nonsense, but rarely has the vitriol of (insert liberal here) been applied to Dr. King. But, as Roy points out:

    But conservatism has gotten crazy enough that you can try something like that, it seems. Any day now we’ll see them burning effigies of Alexander Hamilton because he sold us out to the mercantilists (substitute “Jews” in some jurisdictions). Or maybe Lincoln — I mean, what was that Civil War about? Statism and giving black people a new bunch of so-called “rights”! The boys at Free Republic have been all over that shit for years; they used to be considered fringe, but compared to what’s coming, they’re Rockefeller Republicans.

    At this point, when will the Tea Party Republicans start running on the platform to remove the King Memorial and to get rid of MLK Day in January because the idea of holding King in high regard itself becomes another anathema, just like old, evil liberal socialist tropes like “Teachers are good people” and “Infrastructure helps all Americans” and “Science is America’s way forward.”

    Or, you know, like “Presidents deserve basic respect.” Liberalism is an idea, and hey, you can destroy ideas all day long, folks. Republicans do it daily.

  4. rikyrah says:

    U.S. regulator sues major banks over mortgages

    From Reuters

    September 2, 2011, 1:54 p.m.
    A U.S. regulator sued a number of major banks Friday over losses on more than $41 billion in subprime mortgage bonds, which may hamper a broader government mortgage settlement with banks.

    The lawsuits by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, came as a surprise to the market and weighed on bank shares. The lawsuits could add billions of dollars to the banks’ potential costs at perhaps the worst possible time for the industry.

    The FHFA accused major banks, including Bank of America Corp, its Merrill Lynch unit, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc and Nomura Holdings Inc of selling bonds backed by mortgages that should have never been packaged into securities.

    The biggest banks are already negotiating with the attorneys general of all 50 states to address mortgage abuses. They are looking for a comprehensive settlement that will protect them from future litigation and limit their potential mortgage litigation losses.

    “This new litigation could disrupt the AG settlement,” said Anthony Sanders, finance professor at George Mason University and a former mortgage bond strategist.

    Banks may be more reluctant to agree to a settlement if they know litigation from other government players could still wallop their capital, he said.

    Before the FHFA lawsuits had even hit a court docket, financial experts offered blunt expectations for the outcome.

    “The lawsuits will be settled. The end result will be a further outflow of cash from the banks, and more importantly an additional black eye,” said Sean Egan, managing director of Egan-Jones Ratings Co.

    FHFA director Edward DeMarco is looking to minimize future losses for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are owned by the government after failing in 2008. The firms are pillars of U.S. mortgage finance.

    The KBW Bank Index closed down 4.5 percent, nearly doubling the losses of the broader market. Bank of America led the index lower, dropping 8.3 percent.

    Bank shares also came under pressure from signs that the Federal Reserve could start selling shorter-term debt on its books and buying long-dated bonds to push longer-term yields lower as a stimulus measure.

    Such a move, known as “operation twist,” would hurt banks whose profit margin is tied to the short-term rates at which they fund and the longer-term rates at which they invest.

    Major banks already face potential payouts of tens of billions of dollars to settle regulatory charges of abusive mortgage lending and foreclosure practices, and other investor lawsuits over mortgage debt losses.

    Such payouts would reduce earnings and weaken capital levels, perhaps harming the ability of banks to lend money and provide much-needed life to a stalled housing market and weakened economy.

    Representatives of the sued banks declined to comment or were not immediately available to comment.

    Banks have been walloped by mortgage losses, but so have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which failed after trying to finance too many bad mortgages with too little equity. The two entities guarantee bonds backed by mortgages.

    The question of whether to take action for problems related to the mortgage bonds has been under discussion since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed in conservatorship in 2008, a person familiar with the matter said.

    While the ultimate amount FHFA will seek is still unclear, that person said it could top the $20 billion being discussed by the banks and the state attorneys general.,0,3983883.story

  5. rikyrah says:

    Crazy Train: Sarah Palin Wants to Eliminate All Federal Corporate Income Tax
    September 3, 2011
    By Sarah Jones

    Sarah Palin (.5 term, R-AK) disappointed her few but loyal fans today when, at the end of a rather crazy-making speech, she announced that she wouldn’t be announcing (again). Yes, it’s true, the Great Tease of 2011 continues, even as the potential audience for “who cares” dwindles.

    Palin headlined to a sparse crowd for the Tea Party of America Restoring America rally in Iowa today, on the 3rd anniversary of her 2008 Republican convention address — also known as the day our national nightmare began. In Palin’s Real America, patriots are not allowed to bring a sign and there’s restricted access, because that’s how freedom and liberty lovers roll, but man you could hear freedom for corporations ring as the half-term governor announced her big job creation policy would be to eliminate all federal corporate income taxes (wave patriot flag here).

    As tired and worn out as the Tea Party narratives were in the warm up to Palin, the Tea Party is still capable of huge excitement as Sarah Palin, Queen of the Tea Party, took the stage to knock out her political rival, Rick Perry. Oh, wait, she should have been knocking out Rick Perry if she were really going to run, but she spent much of her time taking aim at Obama.

    Here’s five minutes of it (any more is deemed hazardous to your ears and mind):

    Palin blamed Obama for the credit rating lowering (knowing that she helped bring this on by urging Tea Partiers to refuse to raise the debt ceiling in spite of Wall Street’s dire warnings), she blamed Obama for the bad economy, and she had a gleeful field day with the job numbers for August which she duly inaccurately reported as zero job growth. Ironically, under Obama, private sector jobs grew while the public sector losses zeroed that growth out, but that didn’t stop Palin from taking pot shots at “government created jobs”, seeming to forget that one of the the biggest employers in her state of Alaska is the federal government.

    We got the “Drill here, drill now” bit and the jabs at “hopey changey”, because the Tea Party really responds well to this sort of low-level, lame taunt based on nothing and coming from someone who keeps offering them “hope and change” only she’s calling it “restoring and reforming”.

    But the real puzzler was when Palin announced what I guess will be her job-creation “policy” if she runs: Palin proposes that we eliminate all federal corporate income tax in order to create jobs. ALL. That’s any and all corporate income tax. And this is where we get to the part in our program where we reveal more proof that the Tea Party doesn’t give a hoot about fiscal conservatism. A policy of no federal income taxes for corporations is not exactly responsible. But certainly, it’s rich, coming from Palin who taxes the oil companies in Alaska so much with windfall profit taxes that they claim they stopped drilling there as much as they were because their profits were being taxed too much.

    We aren’t sure, of course, how Palin would have any clue about job creation, since the federal government has been the largest employer in Alaska since well before statehood. Palin apparently wants to rob the federal government (read, blue state theft) of revenue but never pay. See, that worked for her in Alaska between the socialist taxing of the oil companies (a plan I support, by the way) and taking more than she gave from the federal government. But see, the federal government and the taxes from the oil companies funded that little plan of hers. She seems to have missed that part.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Sarah Palin Iowa Tea Party Rally Was 1/50th as Big As the Wisconsin Protests
    September 3, 2011
    By Jason Easley

    Sarah Palin’s big Iowa Tea Party rally was only able to draw 2,000 people which means that it was about 1/50th as big as the Wisconsin protests.

    The Des Moines Register reported, “The Alaska governor-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-conservative-icon made her third trip to Iowa this year for a Tea Party of America rally in Indianola, an event that drew a brave crowd of about 2,000 willing to sit in dripping wet lawn chairs in a driving rain.”

    I suppose tea partiers and Sarah Palin’s loyal devotees will blame it on the rain, but the truth is that attendance for this big conservative outing was absolutely dwarfed by the genuine and truly grassroots Wisconsin protests. Back in February, over 100,000 people gathered in Madison, Wisconsin to protest what was at the time Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to strip collective bargaining rights from public employees. This was not an isolated incident. On several weekends an estimated hundred thousand or more people turned out to protest.

    You do remember that February rally, don’t you? It is the gathering that was ignored by all three cable networks, and unlike Sarah Palin’s little rainy day talking points monologue wasn’t carried on C-SPAN either. A gathering of 100,000 Americans protesting for their rights was deemed not worthy of coverage by the corporate media.

    Sarah Palin’s rally was 1/50th as large as the Wisconsin protests, yet the media still insists on treating her as if she is worth coverage.

    Palin still got TV time despite the fact that the new Fox News poll revealed that Republicans absolutely do not want her to run, and another poll revealed that 67% of Americans said that they would not vote for her. Still many in the mainstream media have bought into the fraudulent talking points that Sarah Palin is a draw, (she isn’t), the tea party is an actually grassroots movement (it isn’t), and that tea partiers aren’t Republicans, (they are nothing more than the Moral Majority/social conservative Republicans).

    Sarah Palin was only able to draw 1/50 of the crowd that gathered on a winter Saturday in Wisconsin, but you won’t hear anyone in the mainstream media making this point. Real democracy terrifies the corporate media. Real people rising up and demanding their rights is a terrifying proposition for a media structure that would rather keep people distracted by irrelevant circus acts like Fox News employee and corporate media creation Sarah Palin.

    The Beltway media keeps pushing the tea party narrative without realizing that the rest of us have caught on. The Tea Party is a sham, and Sarah Palin is a fraud. The mainstream media will always pretend like it didn’t happen, but the real grassroots power in this country is on the left. The election of Barack Obama demonstrated it in 2008, and Wisconsin proved it in 2011.

    We don’t need television cameras and reality TV stars. We have our voices and our votes, and the power of both will be felt by all of tea party pretenders in 2012.

    They may want to take their country back, but beginning in January 2013 we will take this country forward.

  7. rikyrah says:

    September 03, 2011 10:30 AM

    The ‘astounding lack of responsible leadership’ in the GOP

    By Steve Benen

    Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) sat down with the Financial Times this week, talking, among other things, about the recent fiasco surrounding the debt ceiling. The clip is worth watching, and ThinkProgress posted this excerpt:

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Hagel directed nearly all of the blame at his own party. “The irresponsible actions of my party, the Republican Party over this were astounding. I’d never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” he said. “I was very disappointed, I was very disgusted in how this played out in Washington, this debt ceiling debate. It was an astounding lack of responsible leadership by many in the Republican Party, and I say that as a Republican.”

    He added, “I think the Republican Party is captive to political movements that are very ideological, that are very narrow. I’ve never seen so much intolerance as I see today in American politics.”

    I mention this in part because it’s true, and in part because it’s rare.

    Thomas Friedman noted several weeks ago that “sane Republicans” need to do more to stand up to the “Hezbollah faction in their midst.” But have you noticed how infrequently this actually happens? Even during the debt-ceiling debate, arguably the most dangerous scheme launched by a major American political party since the Civil War, no elected GOP officials — literally, not one — ever stood up during this process to say, “Wait, this is wrong. We shouldn’t do this.” They all just went along. The party’s presidential field cheered them on. High-profile retired Republicans and the GOP’s elder statesman sat on their hands. Even Hagel, who deserves credit for speaking up now, is about six weeks too late.

    I’m reminded of this item from Robert Prather, published in July on the center-right Outside the Beltway blog, about his sense of what’s become of the GOP.

    I’ve been moving to the left for a few years now, but these idiots are radicalizing me. I’ve never voted for a Democrat in my life (full disclosure: I didn’t vote the last two elections due to moving), but I doubt I’ll ever vote for a Republican again. They’re either stupid or evil, but either way they’re dangerous and bad for the country.

    Shouldn’t there be a legion of Republicans — former office holders, party loyalists, life-long members, all of the above — who are sympathetic to this perspective? Even if they’re not willing to go as far as Prather, aren’t there any GOP officials left who heard Hagel’s concerns and found them compelling?

    Isn’t it about time more of them said so?

  8. rikyrah says:

    ALEC Releases Anti-Health Reform Playbook For GOP State Legislators

    | The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadowy national conservative group, has released a new playbook for Republican legislators determined to undermine and repeal health care reform. “The State Legislators Guide To Repealing Obamacare” contains 14 specific recommendations officials can take to impede the Affordable Care Act, including rejecting ACA grants from the federal government.

    The Kansas Health Institute points out that last year ALEC essentially drafted legislation in their state and others implementing several sections of the playbook. The actions of legislators in states like Florida show just how closely Republicans are adhering to the manual. In These Times recently published an expose of ALEC detailing how the organization has colluded with the billionaire Koch brothers to privatize key government functions and destroy public services.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Flush With Prison Industry Dollars, Rick Perry Pushed Privatized Prisoner Care

    Corrections industry lobbyists and execs donated generously to the Texas governor’s reelection campaign. He advanced policies that would benefit the prison industry. Coincidence?

    —By Tim Murphy

    Under the banner of closing the state’s $27 billion deficit last winter, Texas Gov. Rick Perry floated a proposal to privatize the state’s prison health care network. Whether the plan would actually save the state any money was a matter of debate, but one thing was clear: The move would have been a boon for the private-prison industry, whose executives and lobbyists, including Perry’s former chief of staff, had donated generously to his 2010 reelection campaign.

    The plan met bipartisan resistance in the state Legislature, but it was just one of a handful of recent proposals by Perry’s office that would have benefited the industry—all in the name of deficit reduction.

    Private prisons are a big business in Texas, where the combination of federal immigration policies and one of the nation’s largest inmate populations has led to a boom in construction over the last two decades. As governor, Perry, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has supported privatizing everything from public lands to highways, but according to Scott Henson, a criminal-justice watchdog who runs the blog Grits for Breakfast, the governor had remained largely quiet on the prisons issue—until this year.

    That coincided with an influx of campaign contributions from private-prison executives and lobbyists, among them his former top aide, Michael Toomey, a political powerbroker who represents the nation’s largest private corrections contractor, Corrections Corporation of America. CCA, per its website, “provides health care services to male and female inmates and youthful offenders who are housed in local jails, detention facilities, and correctional institutions around the country.” (Toomey told Mother Jones he had not lobbied Perry’s office or the state Legislature on the prison health care plan; Perry’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)

    Toomey, who had not contributed directly to any of the governor’s previous gubernatorial campaigns, opened up his wallet for two separate $10,000 donations to Perry two months before Election Day in 2010. Thomas Beasley, the founder of CCA, has given $17,000 to Perry’s campaigns over the last decade. Another private prison firm, the GEO Group, poured $15,000 into Perry’s 2010 reelection effort in 2010 through its eponymous political action committee. Luis Gonzalez, a GEO Group lobbyist, meanwhile, gave $50,000 to Perry’s reelection bid.

    Perry first floated the health care privatization proposal in his 2011 budget, which noted: “The Governor’s budget recommends canceling necessary contracts early to explore private sector delivery options, or instructing the state-supported institution to provide correctional care according to the constitutional minimum level.” Mike Ward of the Austin American-Statesman reported that Perry adviser Mike Morrissey held a closed-door meeting in March to discuss the privatization proposal with potential vendors—but not, pointedly, the state-university-operated facilities that currently run things.

    A flurry of privatization bills were introduced by Republican lawmakers during the regular, biannual legislative session, but all of them fizzled out. And then in June, as the Legislature scrambled to put together a budget during a special session, the plan resurfaced in two different pieces of legislation. First, an amendment was attached by a GOP lawmaker to an unrelated bill that would have transferred the authority for the state’s prison health care board to Perry by giving him the power to appoint the majority of the committee members. That proposal, which was jettisoned after it came to light, would have effectively given the governor’s office the power to unilaterally make sweeping changes to the system.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Man Dies From Toothache, Couldn’t Afford Meds

    By CARRIE GANN, ABC News Medical Unit
    Sept. 2, 2011

    A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn’t afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care.

    According to NBC affiliate WLWT, Kyle Willis’ wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. When dentists told him it needed to be pulled, he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance.

    When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn’t afford both, so he chose the pain medications.

    The tooth infection spread, causing his brain to swell. He died Tuesday.

    Calls to Willis’ family were not immediately returned. University Hospital in Cincinnati, where Willis was admitted, did not comment, citing federal privacy laws.

    “People don’t realize that dental disease can cause serious illness,” said Dr. Irvin Silverstein, a dentist at the University of California at San Diego. “The problems are not just cosmetic. Many people die from dental disease.”

    Willis’ story is not unique. In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver also died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. The Maryland boy underwent two operations and six weeks of hospital care, totaling $250,000. Doctors said a routine $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life. His family was uninsured and had recently lost its Medicaid benefits, keeping Deamonte from having dental surgery.

    When people are unemployed or don’t have insurance, where do they go? What do they do?” Silverstein said. “People end up dying, and these are the most treatable, preventable diseases in the world.”

    Getting access to dental care is particularly tough for low-income adults and children, and it’s getting tougher as the economy worsens. In April, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 33 percent of people surveyed skipped dental care or dental checkups because they couldn’t afford them. A 2003 report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that 108 million Americans had no dental insurance, nearly 2.5 times the number who had no health insurance.

    Trips to the dentist aren’t the only expenses hard-up Americans are skipping. An August report by the Commonwealth Fund found that 72 percent of people who lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs said they skipped needed health care or did not fill prescriptions because of cost.

    “People want to believe there’s a safety net that catches all of these people, and there isn’t,” said Dr. Glenn Stream, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He noted that it is often young men who are the most likely to lack health coverage.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Executed Kids and Mentally Disabled People
    Posted on 09/03/2011 at 9:42 am by Bob Cesca

    The kill-them-all crowd will love this, but it’s important to underscore Rick Perry’s obvious lack of moral character — you know, for someone who claims that Jesus is his personal savior.

    JUVENILES: According to the Tribune, three people who were juveniles at the time of their crime were executed between 2000, when Perry took office, and 2005, when the Supreme Court banned the execution of juveniles. Before Napoleon Beazley, who committed a murder at 17, was executed, 18 state legislators wrote Perry asking him to grant clemency, and the trial judge who eventually had to sign his execution order asked Perry to commute the sentence to life in prison. Perry’s response: “To delay his punishment is to delay justice.”

    MENTALLY DISABLED: Ten executions during Perry’s tenure have involved serious questions about the prisoner’s mental health and stability. One was Kelsey Patterson, who was judged as mentally fit by a doctor known as “Dr. Death” because he rarely found patients mentally unfit for trial. During his trial, Patterson testified about having devices planted in his head by the military, and once in prison, he sent incoherent letters to courts. The Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended to Perry that he grant clemency, but Perry rejected the recommendation. Another was James Clark, whose final statement was, “Howdy.” Two Texas prisoners with mental health concerns have been executed in 2011.

    INADEQUATE COUNSEL: Five men executed since 2000 have had major questions about the adequacy of their legal counsel, including Leonard Uresti Rojas. The appellate attorney appointed to Rojas was on probation with the state bar, suffered from mental illness and missed multiple deadlines to file appeals on Rojas’ behalf. New attorneys took Rojas’ case before the Court of Appeals asked Perry to stay the execution but were denied. After the execution, an appeals court judge wrote a dissenting opinion against the court, saying Rojas’ attorney had “neglected his duties.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    CHART: Comparing Public Sector Employment Following Recent Recessions

    By Guest Blogger on Sep 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Our guest blogger is Isha Vij, a research assistant with the Economic Policy Team at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

    Since the onset of the current (horribly slow) economic recovery more than two years ago, state and local governments have shed over 600,000 jobs. Compare this to the same point in the recovery for the past three recessions (early 1980s, early 1990s, and early 2000s), where state and local governments created roughly 290,000, 490,000 and 240,000 jobs respectively:

    The U.S. has lost over 60 percent of these jobs in our current recovery and will continue to do so unless policymakers start making the necessary public sector investments — such as in education. Continuing to cut state and local budgets has an extremity destructive impact on our recovery efforts.

    As Matthew Yglesias explained, “conservatives complain about the results because the President is a Democrat named Barack Obama. But the policy result is what conservatives say they want. Steady cuts to the government sector, offset somewhat by private sector growth.” Contractionary fiscal policy will continue to dampen hiring in the months to come, as funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are now mostly spent and 46 states and the District of Columbia have cut their budgets in the past year. Furthermore, it is estimated 42 states and the District of Columbia will experience significant budget shortfalls in the coming fiscal year, likely resulting in further cuts and even more job losses.

    Job losses in state and local governments cause major repercussions to our already slowing economy. Last month’s Gross Domestic Product report showed that state and local government expenditures decreased by 2.8 percent in the last quarter in inflation-adjusted dollars. This is dragging down the recovery and preventing millions of Americans from getting back to work.

  13. rikyrah says:

    How the Other Half Tests

    Millions of Americans are denied the chance to take college-level courses by a downscale version of the SAT.

    By Susan Headden

    Like many other two-year college students, Monica Dekany has taken the long route to a degree. After graduating from high school in Glenelg, Maryland, in 1990, she enrolled in a local community college. Her grades were good there, but her direction was lacking. She dropped out, took a job at a fast-food restaurant, moved across the country, and then tried again at Utah State University in 1992. Again, she was able to pass her courses—with As, sometimes—but she still wasn’t sure of what she wanted to study, and eventually she stopped going to school. It wasn’t until many years, several jobs, and one child later that she decided to give college another try. In 2009, she enrolled at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, a two-year institution that, like most community colleges, accepts all who apply. Dekany was disappointed that most of her credits from the two other colleges wouldn’t transfer, but no matter: she was motivated enough to start building credits anew.

    All she had to do, the registrars told her after she paid her fee, was go down a hallway, pick a cubicle, sidle up to a computer terminal, and take a short test. The “Accuplacer,” as the test is called, was no big deal, they said—nothing she could have studied for. It was just so they could see where she was. Dekany took one test in math and another in English, and was “floored,” as she put it, to learn that she had scored at a level that would consign her to remedial classes, reviews of fundamental material for which she would receive no college credit. “It caught me totally off guard,” Dekany says. The other colleges had let her enroll directly in college-level English and literature classes, and as her transcripts clearly showed, she had passed them. But Golden West told her the test results were all that mattered.

    Dekany dutifully enrolled in, and paid for, the remedial—or what colleges euphemistically call “developmental”—courses. She knew everything in the English course already; her daughter’s seventh-grade English class was more advanced. Her math course was similarly low level, but it was taught by a sympathetic professor who helped save her from further remedial work. The college had mandated that Dekany take a second remedial math class before being allowed to take Math 100 for college credit, but her professor thought the requirement made no sense—she was clearly ready for college work. So he arranged for her to take Math 100 at Cal State, Long Beach, where he happened to also teach, and there she got an A.

    Dekany went on to excel in college. She’s a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma honors society, a reporter for the Golden West college newspaper, and the school’s homecoming queen. She’s just a semester away from getting her associate’s degree in social science and on her way to a bachelor’s in counseling. But there’s no getting back what the Accuplacer took from her. Remediation cost her several thousand dollars and set her education and her career back by a year. And if not for her math professor, it would have been even worse.

    Dekany barely managed to dodge a fate that is very common among American college students. About 40 percent of them—a total of almost seven million people—go to community colleges, and millions more attend nonselective four-year universities. The vast majority of those institutions require students to take placement tests like the Accuplacer, and more than half the students who take those tests end up in remediation. Unlike Dekany, most students who are assigned to remediation don’t make it through. Some never even show up for
    class. Others flunk out. Still more get discouraged and quit.

    To be sure, open-access colleges need to assess the knowledge and abilities of incoming students. Dysfunctional public high schools routinely grant diplomas to students who lack basic math and reading skills. As a result, many new college students need help in order to grapple with college-level work. The problem is that colleges have chosen to deal with that challenge by diverting huge numbers of students into a parallel remedial education system with a dismal track record of helping students ultimately graduate from college. Compounding the problem, most colleges place students into the remediation track using nothing more than the results of a short, inexpensive, one-shot multiple-choice test of questionable accuracy and worth.

    Most Americans think of the SAT as the ultimate high-stakes college admissions test, but the Accuplacer has more real claim to the title. (As it happens, the same company, the Education Testing Service, produces both exams.) When students apply to selective colleges, they’re evaluated based on high school transcripts, extracurricular pursuits, teacher recommendations, and other factors alongside their SAT scores. In open admissions colleges, placement tests typically trump everything else. If you bomb the SAT, the worst thing that can happen is you can’t go to the college of your choice. If you bomb the Accuplacer, you effectively can’t go to college at all.

    The remedial placement process is ground zero for college non-completion in America. If the nation is going to make any headway in helping more students graduate from college, it will have to completely overhaul the way students enrolling in nonselective colleges are tested for college readiness, and make equally fundamental changes in how colleges use that information to help students earn degrees.

  14. Ametia says:

    Palin On Politicians And Crony Capitalism: “I’m Not For Sale” SHE HAS BEEN COACHED WELL


    • Ametia says:

      Palin appears to have had a boob job; that or she’s purposely wearing form fitting shirts/blouses to accentuate her tits. Soooo transparent. Grifting, and stealing PBO’s lines, reworking the red state blue state- adding the WHITE reference.


      • She’s had a boob job and also some face work done. All that money had to go somewhere.

      • rikyrah says:

        tell it

      • Palin doesn’t have the sense to have ideas. He’ll, she doesn’t even read, can’t name a major newspaper, uses run on sentences & doesn’t know Africa is a continent. She’s a grifting bee itch!

        • Ametia says:

          Yep, she’s co-opting PBO’s speeches, and reworking her lines to soten her image. MAJOR FAIL. Fake tits, botox, and English and grammar lessons don’t cut, sista Sarah. Go on back to Alaska!

      • Yes, she has. It is so obvious in the way she now “plays” with her boob. I thinks she probably had some face work done also. Just a few stitches here and there. White woman tend to age earlier–sun stuff. What is she 50ish and no a crease on her face.

        What a harlot she is. Actually, I always thought she looked like a man in drag. I kid you not.

      • Ametia says:

        ***hollering @harlot.*** Dorothy, I haven’t heard that word used since my grandpa used to say it. LOL He used to love the soap opera Another World, and called Rachel aka Dorian on One Life to Live, aka Robin Luckinbill Strasser.

    • Ametia, I have got my check in the mail. It is made out to Darden Family Benefits. Hope that works.

      Sarah Palin is an idiot. As much as i dislike KO, I will never forget him because of that line. She is an idiot, but she is almost a dangerous, very reckless woman.

      • Hi, Dorothy! You’re so sweet! You’re gonna make me cry. Thank you and everyone for standing with me & sending encouraging words, prayers and sharing your money. God bless everyone! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

  15. Ametia says:

    Palin Appearance in Iowa Leaves Supporters Exhorting Her to Run
    By John McCormick – Sep 3, 2011 2:02 PM CT

    Sarah Palin, looking and sounding like a presidential candidate at a Tea Party rally in Iowa, left chanting supporters without saying if she will make a run for the White House next year.

    ““America is at a tipping point,” said Palin, 47. “This is a systemic crisis due to failed policies and incompetent leadership.”

    Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, brought her brand of celebrity-infused politics to a spot in Iowa where Barack Obama spoke to a fundraising event four years earlier as he was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    The outdoor venue at the Indianola Balloon Grounds south of Des Moines was sponsored by a Tea Party group and drew about 2,000 people, who waited in steady rain for Palin’s appearance.

    The former Alaska governor’s political intentions remain a major uncertainty for the field of Republicans seeking to challenge Obama in 2012. Palin, who is also scheduled to speak in New Hampshire on Labor Day, has said she plans to announce her decision by the end of September.

    Palin’s remarks left her options open and her supporters — and detractors — guessing as she outlined proposals for job creation. She said she favors eliminating all federal corporate income taxes.

  16. Ametia says:

    Ron Paul Trolls Are Appearing All Over Twitter Trying To Pass For “Black People.” Most are using fake names and fake avatars; many are using photos of famous black leaders like Frederick Douglass.

    Exhibit #1: @Color4RonPaul aka “Marcus Jones.” The website “whendidyoujointwitter” shows “Marcus Jones” appeared 9/2/11 – Today.

    A search of “his” image using “tineye” shows it was taken from (See Below).

    When you look up the website he provides on his Twitter Bio ( it’s a Ron Paul Website (See Below).

    MORAL OF THE STORY: If you want to support Ron Paul, DON’T create a fake twitter account, DON’T use a fake “black sounding” name, DON’T use a fake avatar: Get REAL black supporters who are willing to use their REAL names, and REAL photographs (If they are ‘true believers’ – Then be so publicly). Try anything less, and you PROVE that Ron Paul and his followers are sneaky and can’t be trusted.

  17. rikyrah says:

    September 03, 2011 11:00 AM
    The war on voting

    By Steve Benen

    A couple of months ago, Bill Clinton spoke to a group of young people and addressed one of the biggest national scandals that generally goes unmentioned.

    “[O]ne of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time,” the former president said. He added, “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.”

    This was not at all hyperbolic. If you haven’t already seen it, Ari Berman has a tremendous piece on the Republican Party’s “War on Voting,” which is well worth reading. It points to a trend that could carry consequences that quietly dictate the outcome of the 2012 elections.

    As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots.

    “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. […]

    All told, a dozen states have approved new obstacles to voting….Taken together, such measures could significantly dampen the Democratic turnout next year — perhaps enough to shift the outcome in favor of the GOP.

    It’s hard to say which is more astounding — the scope of the Republican efforts, the brazenness of their schemes, or the fact that this has gone largely overlooked by the establishment media in recent months. There’s nothing normal about any of this.

    Indeed, the concerted Republican effort isn’t exactly subtle. Under the auspices of rooting out “voter fraud” — a problem that appears to exist largely in the over-active imaginations of GOP activists — Republicans are passing voter-ID measures, closing windows for early voting, and approving new laws restricting voter-registration drives, all targeting specific kinds of voters who happen to be traditional Democratic supporters. The GOP fears losing in a fair fight, so the party is trying to rig the game through voter suppression, plain and simple.

    As E.J. Dionne Jr. explained earlier in the summer, “These statutes are not neutral. Their greatest impact will be to reduce turnout among African Americans, Latinos and the young. It is no accident that these groups were key to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 — or that the laws in question are being enacted in states where Republicans control state governments.”

    Commenting on Berman’s article, Digby added, “Democrats had better hope that the coming elections aren’t close. If they are, there’s just no way they can win with these laws that are coming on line. And that’s the plan.”

    She’s absolutely right.

    “Our democracy is supposed to be a government by, of and for the people,” Browne-Dianis told Berman. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, what race you are or where you live in the country – we all get to have the same amount of power by going into the voting booth on Election Day. But those who passed these laws believe that only some people should participate. The restrictions undermine democracy by cutting off the voices of the people.”

    Yes, but the people may not vote the way Republicans want them to, so apparently, the restrictions have been deemed necessary.

    Read the piece.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Pelosi blames GOP for job numbers
    By Ian Swanson – 09/02/11 10:31 AM ET

    Republicans in Congress are to blame for the dismal economy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday.

    Pelosi said Republicans created uncertainty and instability by threatening to block a debt-ceiling deal, which risked causing the U.S. to default on its debt. She added that those lawmakers’ constituents are now “paying the price.”

    “We cannot afford another 241 days of Republican refusal to pass jobs legislation,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The only plans offered by Republicans have not only failed to create jobs — they actually have destroyed them.”

    Pelosi offered the statement after the Labor Department released a worse-than-expected jobs report for the month of August that showed the nation netted a total of zero jobs for the month.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama picks pediatrician to lead her anti-obesity campaign for children
    By Julian Pecquet – 09/02/11 03:45 PM ET

    Judith Palfrey will serve as executive director of the “Let’s Move!” campaign against childhood obesity.

    A leading pediatrician is taking over as executive director of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign against childhood obesity, the White House announced Friday.

    Judith Palfrey is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and was the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the nation’s largest pediatric organization. She’ll be taking leave from her post as director of the Children’s International Pediatric Center at Children’s Hospital in Boston during her stint with the first lady.

    “It was my children’s pediatrician who first told me that I needed to pay closer attention to my children’s health so I understand the significance doctors play in family health,” Obama said in a statement. “That’s why we are eager to welcome Judy Palfrey to the White House where I know that she will take the Let’s Move! program to new heights.”

    Palfrey takes over from Robin Schepper, who resigned in May after less than a year on the job to go work for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Nutrition Initiative. At the time, the first lady’s office said in a statement that Schepper’s new position would “allow more family balance” for the Democratic communications strategist.

  20. rikyrah says:

    71% Of Republicans Don’t Want Sarah Palin To Run
    Benjy Sarlin | September 2, 2011, 3:19PM

    It seems Sarah Palin has worn out her welcome with Republicans. An astounding 71% of GOP voters say they don’t want Palin to run for president, according to a new poll by FOX News, with 25% supporting a bid and 4% unsure.

    The numbers are brutal for Palin, who was long regarded as a potential frontrunner for the 2012 nomination. Even among Tea Party-identifying Republicans she fares poorly: 68% say she shouldn’t run versus only 28% who say she should. The numbers aren’t that far off from the general electorate, 74% of whom don’t want her to run versus 20% who do. Outside of Tea Partiers, more than 70% of every demographic broken out in the poll’s crosstabs — men, women, white voters, non-white voters, voters with college degrees, voters without college degrees — are against a Palin run.

    As TPM noted this week, there hasn’t exactly been a clamor going up among Republicans for a Sarah Palin run while she’s tested the waters in recent weeks. Maybe the disastrous box office returns for a movie celebrating her Alaska governorship were an early warning sign.

  21. Ametia says:

    Hey kids! It’s Media Bias Sunday! Let’s take a sneak preview of what’s coming up on tomorrow’s Big Sunday Line-Up, per the L.A. Times, okay? Okay. This is not a complete list; Paddy provides that to you tomorrow:

    CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Sen. Jim DeMint (R), James Hoffa (D), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), Rep. Mike Rogers (R)

    Meet the Press: Mark McKinnon (R), Paul Gigot (R), Rep. Maxine Waters (D), Doris Kearns Goodwin (D)

    This Week With Christiane Amanpour: Sen. Jim DeMint (R)

    Face the Nation: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), Jon Huntsman (R)

    It’s time to do the math…

    Red Rs + Red Rs, carry the pi, divided by D, times Bias… calculating…

    Total: 7 Rs, 3 Ds. Please feel free to check my addition. I didn’t add in Lieberman, but you can guess where he would have been placed.

    There it is: Your librul media at work.

    Maxine Waters on Meet The Press….

  22. Ametia says:

    Op-Ed Contributors
    On Race, the Silence Is BipartisanBy DESMOND S. KING and ROGERS M. SMITH
    Published: September 2, 2011

    THE economic crisis in the United States is also a racial crisis. White Americans are hurting, but nonwhite Americans are hurting even more. Yet leaders in both political parties — for different reasons — continue to act as though race were anachronistic and irrelevant in a country where an African-American is the president.

    In July, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent for whites, but 16.8 percent for blacks and 11.3 percent for Latinos. The Pew Research Center estimates that in 2009, the median household net worth was $5,677 for blacks, $6,325 for Hispanics and $113,149 for whites — down from $12,124, $18,539 and $134,992, respectively, in 2005.

    All groups have suffered from high unemployment, the mortgage meltdown and soaring health care costs, but African-Americans and Hispanics started far behind and continue to fall behind. In 2009, 35 percent of black households and 31 percent of Latino households had zero or negative wealth, compared with 15 percent of white households.

    Since the end of legal segregation in the 1960s, there have been two approaches to ameliorating racial inequality. Conservatives and most Republican politicians insist that laws be colorblind and that race-conscious measures like affirmative action should be ended. Liberals and most Democratic politicians favor such measures, mindful of the burdens of past and present discrimination.

    For most of the nation’s history, the two major parties were internally divided over racial issues. But today, racial policy positions align almost perfectly with the party system. The two parties, which openly clashed over race from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, have for the last decade pretty much agreed not to talk about race — a silence that impedes progress toward racial equality.

    Democrats mention race as little as possible, even though minority voters are crucial constituents, because colorblind positions are far more politically popular. Affirmative action has been supported in every Democratic presidential platform since 1972, but since the Reagan era, Democrats speak of it less and less.

    President Obama, for example, does not openly renounce affirmative action, but he pragmatically stresses universal social programs like health care. He manages to avoid appearing especially concerned about African-Americans.

    This tack leaves modern Republicans with little to criticize, lest they appear to be race-baiting, so they too keep quiet.

    Advocates of both colorblind and race-conscious approaches to public policy now claim the mantle of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights agenda and his call for people to be judged by their character, not their skin. Though Republicans claim that free-market policies will lift all boats and Democrats hope that “universal” measures to combat economic inequality will benefit all groups, racial inequality has endured.

    As studies of employment and real estate practices begun during the Reagan era have consistently shown, racial discrimination persists. And “race neutral” economic measures backed by Democrats, like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, have proved too limited to aid many poorer blacks and Hispanics.

    Political leaders must openly recognize that we cannot progress either by ignoring race or focusing exclusively on it. It is not only legitimate, but also essential, to evaluate policy options partly on the basis of whether they are likely to reduce or increase racial inequalities.

    Compromise policies — measures that are not explicitly race-targeted but are chosen partly because they will benefit nonwhites especially — should become the basis for policy debates.

    For example, without using explicit racial classifications, we can devise districts and situate homes in ways that are more likely to produce integrated schools and neighborhoods.

    We can adopt employment tests that are fair and inclusive and do a better job at predicting job performance than many Civil Service exams now do.

    And we can do more to ensure that our criminal laws do not target crimes more typical of urban Hispanics and blacks, like crack cocaine use, more strongly than crimes typical of suburban whites, like powder cocaine use.

    Both parties should accept that the question of whether policies help narrow the racial divide must be part of the discussion. After all, it was the Republican-led search for racial progress in the 1860s and the Democratic-led fight for civil rights in the 1960s — buttressed, of course, by African-Americans’ own freedom struggle — that allowed the election of a black president in 2008.

  23. Ametia says:

    From Zizi

    I stayed away from all blogs and tweets yesterday after hearing about the jobs report early in the morning on radio. I guessed that some even here would reach their breaking point on optimism, and I’m sad to say I was right. The responses that some wanted PBO to lob back at his Repug detractors says a lot more about the depth of angst than it demonstrates a path toward workable solutions. But the angst is real and understandable, and desperately looking for an outlet.


    For a lot of people from the PL all the way to some of Pres. Obama’s avid supporters on this site, there’s a deeper anxiety underlying the jobs report, or the many hits the Pres. is taking from all sides. We are in an asymmetrical ideological and political war whose cover has been blown wide open for all to see under this Presidency. Many are being forced to starkly realize that our side has a structural deficit when it comes to the TOOLS needed to bend the public toward liberal ideas by DEFAULT. There is no wide sweeping ideological machinery comprising liberal media, multiple think tanks, stables of liberal opinion shapers repeating liberal mantra incessantly, and big liberal moneybags, that exist to pump liberalism into the nation’s bloodstream ad nauseum. The presidency should be the last place to look for the cavalry we need for this ideological battle. That we want to RELY on President Obama to FIGHT the Repugs on OUR behalf is the precisely the symptom of our structural deficit.

    We want President Obama to make up for decades of liberals having gone AWOL on institution building when they left the Vietnam war protests and the streets to the corporate treadmill and ivory towers, Liberals lost the street instincts and FOCUS ON THE LONG GAME that propelled us through the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, anti-war protests, of the 1960s and 1970s. Not only that liberals also forgot to TRAIN a new crop of strategic thinking activists who knew what worked and what didn’t in our past battles, and are savvy enough to adapt to new challenges of our time. What we are left with especially this entire crop of celebrity Professional Left is that their knowledge of the struggle if from books where the obstacles are described in a shortened time-frame, or glossed over, in order to amplify the eventual WIN. For example many forget that the Civil Rights movement took over two centuries to get to the work of the SNCC & Martin Luther King Jr.. We forget that at the time these activists were in the throes of their struggle they did not have the benefit of hindsight that we do now to determine whether their actions were going to be successful. Today the American Left lacks PERSPECTIVE and HISTORICAL PACING.


    Ironically, candidate Obama called himself a Rorschach Test in the run for the presidency. People projected onto him all their dreams and policy expectations. That projection was further reinforced through the way the campaign itself was run in such a stellar and novel way. The media, who were in it for sensation and ratings ALLOWED us to see candidate Obama with minimal distortion. Such that even when the big crises hit with Jeremiah Wright, Rezko, Bittergate, and Wall street meltdown, the media gave us room to observe what this candidate could do in a crisis. We liked what we saw. For some their dreams were enlarged even further. And for the left in general, many thought that the Obama candidacy and later presidency would ABSOLVE them of the constituency building and ideological homework that they had abandoned decades before. To them candidate and then President Obama was gonna be the SHORTCUT to liberal nirvana once more.

    What we forget is there were two parts to this story. The candidate always did what he had CONTROL over, but the media and the corporate powers that be had not yet decided to close our access to him and DESTROY him. It means that INSTITUTIONAL/STRUCTURAL support is absolutely crucial to the success of ANY President. It is the reason that Repugs don’t care about the caliber of people they choose for political office, because once they get into office it is their INSTITUTIONS that run the show. They never fail to provide STRUCTURAL BACKING to their politcos. Even when the politicos get disgraced, they simply turn them out to pasture on their wingnut welfare circuits and media conglomerates. Their outcomes are evil, but a system, they have.


    The PL and even some disillusioned supporters probably know deep in their hearts that their beef REALLY is NOT with President Obama, but rather the MIRROR that his presidency has held up to us, and we don’t like what we see one bit, so we take it out on him. It is called TRANSFERENCE, which is the act of scapegoating an ally in lieu of going on offense on the one who actually harms us because one feels paralyzed or inadequate to taking on the real enemy.

    But we have the opportunity to shift back into the real fight that matters, getting our re-election game face on. Our survival depends on it. As a matter of fact President Obama should be the least of our worries. We have to do the grunt work of rebuilding for the long term, long beyond PBO’s presidency. We have to make it impossible for wingnuts to erode our freedoms by NOT giving them any power no matter which election. But our attention should go beyond elections towards liberal INSTITUTION building. The wealthier ones among us should look to buy media outlets as aggressively as the other side did. Noise warfare is potent. We should not allow them to run us out of the PUBLIC SQUARE and scare us time and again into doubting our own core convictions. Why? They did not see defeat in 2008 as insurmountable, so why should we CONCEDE any ground to them?

    Fight On! We have our work cut out for us!!! La Luta, Continua!!!

  24. Ametia says:

    I want that Sno’ HO, Sarah Palinn to throw her hat in the ring for president. Please, run. Split that GOP vote. Palin in Iowa with a small crowd of folks. CNN covering this nonsense live, for what? this woman is not elected official. The camera won’t show the full crowd of maybe a few hundred. SMGDH

  25. Ametia says:

    Friday, September 2, 2011
    What it means to be the first African American President…getting your buttons pushed

    We have probably all grappled with the experience that has been labelled “getting our buttons pushed.” What we tend to mean by that is that there are people who know our sore spots…those places where we tend to react (in anger) because we have been hurt there before. When people know our sore spots and want to get us off our game, they can manipulate us into the reaction they’re after. And so, for most of us, we have to eventually learn to deal with those issues to heal the hurt that caused them in the first place. Its either that or build gargantuan walls against the people who could touch those places, or live our lives at the mercy of those who would exploit us.

    I believe that this is a frame through which some of us white folks might begin to understand what it means to be a black person in this country. For most African Americans, they have a lifetime of living with a sore spot…ways they have been hurt over and over again simply because of the color of their skin. It might be the obvious things, like being followed in a store or being pulled over by a cop for no reason. Or it might be having your accomplishments questioned because you are an “affirmative action” hire. Maybe it happened in school when you were directed to “vocational” choices instead of a college track – or when you and your friends were identified as a gang because you stuck together to defend yourselves from others who were trying to bully you. These things hurt – bad – and they piss you the hell off!

    After awhile they build up and are added to the whole generational legacy of anger and hurt that Hamden Rice talked about. And so you have a sore spot that allows for the possibility of people pushing your buttons. And you have to figure out what you’re going to do with it.

    For many, this is where the “angry black man” stereotype comes from…and with very good reason. And then that is added to the list of sore spots. Angry black men are not allowed to express their anger.

    This is the dilemma that President Obama is facing. And, as a reader at TPM says, African Americans are noticing how Republicans are trying to push his buttons when it comes to things like “schedule-gate.”

    When Boehner does something like this (that no previous Speaker has done to any previous President), when he refuses to return the President’s phone call during the debt ceiling crisis, when he skips state dinners, when he refuses to definitely say that he believes the President was born in the US or is a Christian, or when Boehner coddles a member of his caucus who shout “you lie” during a Presidential address, etc one certain thing happens – black Americans notice it.

    African-Americans are especially sensitive to the unprecedented disrespect that white Republicans have afforded to the first black President. Every time it happens, it ripples across black radio, black newspapers, black websites, and in conversations in black communities. It helps cement the ties that Obama has with the black community, and helps overcome whatever doubts and disappoints some may have. It reminds people who have experienced overt racism in their own lives that the President is experiencing the same kind of dehumanizing disrespect. It will help drive strong African-American turnout and overwhelming numbers for Obama next year.

    Political pundits may gossip about the rift between Boehner and Obama, but millions of black Americans see something much more sinister when this happens.

    Many white progressives think President Obama should get angry and fight back at these moments. But most African Americans have “been there – done that” and know that someone is just trying to push their buttons. Here’s Vyan over at Daily Kos:

    Black People hear these Dog-Whistles. They know what they mean.

    And they also know that all of these little attacks are intended to Goad them. To make them lose their cool, to make them lose their temper, to make them look irrational and angry.

    The Irrational, Paranoid, Screaming Angry Black Man.

    That’s what they want to turn Obama into. The Angry Black President.

    They want him to start Complaining and Whining about the Republicans not treating him nicely. They want him to start “Playing the Race” Card, just so that they throw it right back at him.

    And that’s also why he resists. It may be infuriating. It may be crazy making. But this is the double-bind that many Black people have had to face all the time when these slights and broadsides come at them with racial undertones, but few clear or logical overtones…

    I’ve lived with that internal, mental battle my entire life – and I very nearly have reached the “Fuck IT/FUCK YOU!” point more than once. Generally speaking, it didn’t help much.

    That’s not the road Obama intends or needs to go down, sorry.

    The truth is that white progressives are getting their buttons pushed every day by the Republicans. And they’re pissed as hell that President Obama isn’t expressing their anger about that. Would that they could learn a lesson or two from their black brothers and sisters about what a useless road that is to travel…as well as a glaringly stupid way to give away your power.

  26. Ametia says:

    Oh dear God; palin is on CNN rambling red, white, and blue, America……

  27. Ametia says:

    hat tip TOD. THANK YOU!

  28. Ametia says:


    Publshed: Saturday 3 September 2011
    Rick Perry’s criminal justice record is now making its first major news during his presidential campaign

    The amount of executions held in Texas during Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) 11 years in office has come under scrutiny in the early stages of his presidential campaign, most notably for the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of murdering his three daughters and put to death despite evidence showing that he was likely innocent of the crimes. But even as the Willingham case receives the most notice, many of Perry’s decisions regarding execution have begun to garner attention.

    Texas has held 234 executions on Perry’s watch, more than the next two states combined have executed since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago. While Perry can only grant clemency from death sentences if it is recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, he has rarely used that power. According to the Texas Tribune, Perry has commuted only 31 death sentences, and 28 of those resulted from a 2005 Supreme Court case outlawing the execution of juveniles. Meanwhile, he has allowed a host of controversial executions to go forward, the Tribune reported today:

  29. Ametia says:

    Black and Single: Is Marriage Really for White People?
    Source: Dionne Hill – CNN Producer

    (CNN) — Mrs. Allen had it all.

    A career she enjoyed, a nice home, two adorable children and a husband. She shared her tools for success with me at an early age. She went to college, got married and waited until she was 26 to have her first child.

    The perfect life. The perfect plan. It was one I decided to model.

    My aspirations for both a career and family were set at the age of 12. I knew I could accomplish what Mrs. Allen, my fifth- and seventh-grade teacher, had. But as I approach 30 and measure the goals I had at 12 against the reality of life, the only thing I can check off that list is a college education.

    I am a statistic.

    And there are millions more like me. Forty-five percent of black women in America have never been married, compared with 23 percent of white women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey in 2006. Articles like the one published in the Washington Post two years ago could lead me to believe that it’s because “Marriage is for White People.”

    Video: Black men respond about love and families

    The difference between Mrs. Allen and me: She was white.

    The numbers, undeniably, are not in my favor. But they have never been. Born black, raised in a single-parent home and primarily educated in low-performing public schools, I am not supposed to be a success story. But giving weight to statistics in my personal life only contributes to a culture of fear surrounding marriage.

    Video: Black men and women keep it real about relationships

    This fear causes some women to make hasty decisions like staying in unfulfilling relationships that lead to unsuccessful marriages, which end in divorce (another dismal statistic). Or just the opposite: Women become so fearful of making the wrong choice, they find themselves surrounded by a moat with no bridge to their final destination: marriage.

  30. Ametia says:

    CNN’s T.J Holmes interviews Katt Williams. SMGDH If they’d only interview the racist baggers and ask them why they hate America and it’s PEOPLE OF COLOR.

  31. Ametia says:

    How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone

    By Ralph Richard Banks (Author) A scholarly account of African-Americans’ encounters with the marriage gap. Read full review

  32. Ametia says:

    Straight off the set of the cable series’ “BREAKING BAD”

    California Professor Leads a Methamphetamine Ring, the Police SayBy REBECCA FAIRLEY RANEY and JENNIFER MEDINA
    Published: September 2, 2011

    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — For nearly a decade Stephen Kinzey worked as a professor of kinesiology, the study of human movement, at California State University, San Bernardino. A few students complained online that he showed up late for class and could lose his focus. But that was about it.

    Now, the police say, Mr. Kinzey, 43, is a man on the run, wanted on suspicion of being the ringleader of a circle of methamphetamine dealers and the president of the Devils Diciples, an outlaw motorcycle gang. (The group spells its name as such.)

    Investigators from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said that they were unable to locate Mr. Kinzey, who they say supplied a ring of midlevel and street dealers with methamphetamine, a persistent scourge in the working-class cities east of Los Angeles.

    “One side of him was a successful and productive member of society, but the other side of him is an outlaw motorcycle gang leader,” said Sgt. Paul Wynn, a lead investigator of the case. “He was the highest-ranking person in the group, without a doubt.”

    Mr. Kinzey lived in an upper-middle-class enclave in an immaculate two-story Spanish-style home with his girlfriend, Holly Robinson, 33. When the police came to the home last Friday, Ms. Robinson was arrested along with half a dozen other members of the gang, who were there to pick up their share of a one-pound delivery of methamphetamine, police officials said. Mr. Kinzey was not there.

    The police found several weapons in the home, including a shotgun, two rifles, two handguns and brass knuckles.

  33. rikyrah says:

    September 03, 2011 9:55 AM
    Driving the point home on health care costs

    By Steve Benen

    Over the last couple of years, there’s been plenty of talk — far too much, really — about the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges, and it’s true that it’s a problem that we should deal with responsibly in time. But the talk is often overly broad — what we have is a fiscal challenge related to long-term health care costs in specific, not just long-term debt in general.

    As Jared Bernstein put it the other day, “As long as health care costs (and, as the popular ages, demand for services) continue to spiral up, it’s going to create huge problems.”

    To drive the point home, take a look at this image the Bipartisan Policy Center published yesterday.

    It may be a little tough to see but there are four lines, showing long-term spending, as a percentage of GDP, on health care, Social Security, discretionary spending, and other mandatory spending. That blue line that shows the sharp increase? That’s health care.

    As Sarah Kliff noted in response, “Even as someone who spends a lot of time writing about health policy, this new chart … is still one that gives me a bit of pause.”

    This should matter in the context of the debate in Washington, because if policymakers want to address long-term debt issues, they should at least realize, to borrow Willie Sutton’s line, where the money is.

    But they should also realize that there are different approaches to controlling health care costs, and Republicans have the policy completely wrong. After all, what does the GOP propose? Three things: (1) repeal the Affordable Care Act; (2) raise the age of Medicare eligibility; and/or (3) end Medicare and replace it with a privatized voucher system.

    And what’s wrong with this? Well, first, the ACA is already working to lower costs, and eliminating the law would increase the deficit and reverse the progress on curtailing costs. Second, raising the Medicare eligibility raise would actually be a rather dramatic step backwards. And third, the Republican plan to end Medicare wouldn’t save any money at all — it would just shift the burdens onto seniors and their families.

    My concern is that some folks, especially on the right, will see the chart like this one and think this somehow bolsters the Republican argument. In reality, it does the opposite.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Perry Pushed Bill That Could Enrich His Doctor’s Stem Cell Research Company

    | NBC reports that three months ago, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) pushed a bill through the legislature that “paves the way for a company co-owned by his doctor to become the first state-approved ‘bank’ to store and cultivate such cells for medical treatment.” The possible show of favoritism came soon after Perry himself received an experimental injection of his own adult stem cells to relieve back pain. The measure was adopted without public hearings and could be a financial windfall for Celltex Therapeutics Corp., which is owned by Stanley Jones, Perry’s surgeon, and David G. Eller, a longtime political donor to Perry who has served as an adviser for his presidential run.

  35. rikyrah says:

    GOP Rep. Renacci Bars Cameras Used By People Who Don’t Agree With Him From His Town Hall

    By Zaid Jilani on Sep 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    During the August recess, a number of conservative members of Congress have gone to great lengths to avoid being questioned by their constituents or holding town halls altogether. In Ohio, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) even had video cameras confiscated from his constituents so that they could not film what their congressman was saying.

    Now, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) is following Chabot’s lead. The Ohio congressman’s staff barred a cameraman from the Democratic-allied American Bridge organization from filming a town hall in his district that took place yesterday:

    Despite a nationwide controversy that erupted last week after Cincinnati GOP Rep. Steve Chabot refused to allow video cameras at a town hall meeting, organizers of a public meeting last night with Wadsworth GOP Rep. Jim Renacci followed suit by barring a Democratic organization’s cameraman from recording the event. The newly-established American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC has recorded speeches by public officials and political candidates around the nation, including events held by GOP U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Coughlin of Cuyahoga Falls, and Urbana area GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Republican Study Committee. “We are making sure politicians are held to account for their record and the comments they make to their constituents,” said the group’s spokesman, Matthew Thornton.

    While Renacci stopped American Bridge’s cameraman from filming, his staff did allow a woman to film at the event on behalf of him. The footage recorded by her shows Renacci’s staff stopping the American Bridge cameraman from using his video camera. Watch it:

  36. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    September 03, 2011 8:40 AM

    The right and wrong side of a consensus

    By Steve Benen

    I haven’t paid too much attention lately to the cable-news chatter, but Josh Marshall noted yesterday some of the recent talk about President Obama’s upcoming economic speech.

    If you listen to the establishment press the president’s speech will determine whether the president listens to “liberals” and ditches the move toward economic austerity or “moderates” and Republicans and sticks to budget cutting.

    Really? That’s what the establishment press has been telling mainstream news consumers lately?

    It’s important to realize how wrong this kind of media coverage is.

    Economists and the financial industry want policymakers to boost the economy. The bond market wants the government to be aggressive in creating jobs. Wells Fargo lowered its growth projections recently, and said conditions will get worse “without policy intervention.” The conservative Financial Times argued the other day, “In broad terms, the needed elements are plain: further short-term stimulus combined with credible longer-term fiscal restraint.”

    The pushback against the Republican austerity agenda is arguably even more intense. Jamison Foser explained recently:

    J.P. Morgan says “fiscal tightening” will worsen the “negative feedback loop” hindering economic growth. Greg Ip notes, “A shift toward fiscal and monetary austerity in the United States in 1937 helped prolong the depression. Fiscal tightening helped push Japan back into recession in 1997.” Jared Bernstein argues for more stimulus. Larry Summers, too. Bruce Bartlett, a policy advisor to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, writes, “the important thing is for policy makers to stop obsessing about debt and focus instead on raising aggregate demand.”

    And this doesn’t even include warnings from the Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office that aggressive spending cuts would weaken an already fragile economy.

    We’re approaching an economic consensus among those who know what they’re talking about. If President Obama pushes an ambitious jobs agenda, he’ll be siding with economists, the financial industry, business leaders, and even the Fed, not just those rascally “liberals.” Republicans won’t like it, and apparently the establishment media won’t either, but that’s the reality of the situation.

  37. rikyrah says:

    September 02, 2011
    The Bogey(wo)man Awareness Program

    Among the right’s many hysterical entertainments, none delights me more than its Bogey(wo)man Awareness Program: its daily howler that the left fears the straight-talkin’ splendor of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and other such national folk heroes of Tea Partying righteousness. The left cowers — or so says the BAP — before their intimidating intellect, their irrepressible energy, and their muscular assaults on, and trenchant critiques of, FDR’s statism, LBJ’s societalism, and Barack Obama’s socialism. They are liberators, lefties are slavemasters — thus the left quivers at the right’s prodigiously popular exposures.

    Perhaps the funniest aspect of the BAP is that the right, it seems, authentically believes this tripe. The gravitational pull of its black-hole ideology has the right’s practitioners so compressed and isolated, any enlightening beams of reality are doomed. They incestuously travel from, say, Limbaugh to Malkin and back to Limbaugh. In their universe, they’re always right; for heaven’s sake, they listen to the experts.

    How can the left be so blind? Well, it is; yet in its blindness it still hears the right’s resplendent rumblings. So the left trembles.

    A close contender in entertainment value, though, is watching the right flee from its own public manifestos of far-right psychosis doctrine: conspicuously, Rick Perry’s Fed Up!, which, as Politico surveys this morning, is a “treasure trove” of the right’s electoral self-destruction.

    Straight from Perry’s (see above) intimidating intellect, we learn that Social Security is a “violent” assault on Americanism, as is Medicare Part D; that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (income tax) is a “milestone on the road to serfdom”; that the state-legislature-appointed, 19th-century U.S. Senate, corrupt to its transparent core, was superior to its modern democratic construct (oops, Perry may be on to something there); that “from housing to public television, from environment to art, from education to medical care, from public transportation to food” — uncontaminated food, mind you — the government should play no role; and, of course, that federal judicial activists just can’t propagate enough of “homosexual sodomy.”

    Such is the swill over which the left, according to the right, trembles, out of electoral fear. Whatever will the left do once the American electorate discovers such magnificent voices of pure Americanism?

    Well, I can’t speak for the left with any comprehensive authority, but it seems they chuckle, mostly. I do, however, know what the right does, whenever faced with its own popular virtuousness in print: “Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner,” reports Politico, “declined to address specific passages in Perry’s book.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    September 02, 2011
    Liberalism as the new conservatism, con’t

    For some time I have bloviated on liberalism as the new conservatism and have bemoaned as well progressives’ phobic resistance to any such self-publicity (probably because it’s an electoral winner, and pious progressives seem to actually relish persecution).

    Anyway, I see academia is beginning to ponder my heresy. As Ezra Klein bookends the issue:

    The left … likes to think of itself as an insurgency dedicated to transforming the scope of government. But today, that mantle properly belongs to the right….

    Where it was once the liberals who had radical ideas for what we should do with the state, it’s now conservatives who are waging war on behalf of transformative policy change. That’s an important shift.

  39. rikyrah says:

    South Carolina Gov. Haley Insists On Disbanding The ‘Un-American’ National Labor Relations Board

    By Tanya Somanader on Sep 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is leading the Republican rage against the National Labor Relations Board ever since it filed a complaint against Boeing for moving its operations to her “right to work” state as a retaliation against strikers in Washington state. Threatening to move facilities because of strikes is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act and is the exact reason given by a Boeing executive for the move.

    Haley, however, is decrying the NLRB as a “rogue agency” that’s actions are “absolutely un-American.” In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Haley slammed President Obama as a “coward” for failing to take sides on the issue and is insisting that he disband the agency:

    “And as we are looking at President Obama to give his speech on jobs, the only thing I want to hear from him, the only thing the people of this country want to hear from him is that he’s going to disband the NLRB or get them to step down from a great American company that chose to do business in South Carolina as opposed to going overseas.” […]

    The South Carolina governor feels so strongly that the independent agency shouldn’t exist that she would even support a decision from the lone Republican member of the NLRB to step down. With the recent departure of NLRB chairman Wilma Leibman, such a resignation from Republican Brian Hayes would reduce the board to just two members — i.e., to less than a quorum.

    “Anything that would disband the NRLB, I’d be the biggest cheerleader for,” Haley said.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is also targeting NLRB, having subpoenaed the agency’s documents on the Boeing decision. NLRB, however, cannot release the documents as it wold jeopardize the court case before an administrative law judge in Seattle, Washington.

    The NLRB has long been a primary target in the Republican’s comprehensive campaign to undermine the ability of workers to organize and negotiate better working conditions. No matter how hyperbolic her rhetoric, Haley’s goal is no different.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 09/01/2011
    Obama’s fight — for respect
    By Jonathan Capehart

    Yeah, yeah. In the grand scheme of things, the kerfuffle over the timing of President Obama’s jobs speech before a joint session of Congress is the perfect slow-news-day story that has little resonance outside the confines of the Washington Beltway. It’s the kind of thing news and political junkies chew over when there’s nothing else to do during summer’s last gasp.

    Still, the hard-core move by Obama to address the nation before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7 — the same night as a Republican presidential debate — resonated with me and more than a few others around the country because of what it symbolized. A willingness by the president to fight. But when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued his honey-coated push back over the date, I and others said (ok, demanded) the president should deliver his speech on the day of his choosing. For me, this was not a demand rooted in politics. It was rooted in weariness at the ongoing lack of respect for the presidency and this president.

    As Jim Downie pointed out in his excellent post last night, Boehner’s rejection of Obama’s joint-session request is unprecedented. Mind you, this isn’t the first time this speaker thumbed his nose at this president. During one of the most dramatic moments of the debt-ceiling talks, Obama called Boehner twice to follow up on a conversation about additional revenue in the grand bargain they’d been negotiating in secret. He was told the speaker was unavailable. And then there was Boehner’s offensive response on “Meet The Press” to questions about the persistent lie that Obama was a closet Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. “As the speaker of the House, as the leader,” he was asked by moderator David Gregory, “Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?”

    It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.
    When George W. Bush was president, harsh things were said all the time by congressional Democrats and their leaders. Some even crossed the line.Yet, while there was disdain for the man in the Oval Office, respect for the office itself was never in doubt. I seriously worry that it’s in doubt now among some Republicans. Each petty slight by Boehner is one more chip away at respect for the presidency.

    In Obama, we have a president more grounded and comfortable in his own skin than many of the people he has to work with to govern this country. He’s bigger than most of us. So the petty slights that get a lot of us riled up probably don’t register to him. He’s a thinker and plotter with his eyes on the prize down the road, not the daily hysteria taking place on the road to get there. That’s why I’m praying that when the real fight comes, the president will show Republicans — and the American people — that he’s not the pushover they believe him to be.

  41. rikyrah says:

    September 02, 2011
    Fantasy’s lifespan?

    In a statement today, John Boehner said job growth …

    continues to be undermined by the triple threat of higher taxes, more failed “stimulus” spending and excessive federal regulations.

    Together, these Washington policies have created a fog of uncertainty that’s left small businesses unable to hire and American families worried about the future.

    What a delightful world the Boehnerites live in: the one in which the U.S. economy’s driving, determining variable — consumer spending, i.e., demand — becomes a negligible factor.

    Although most of us don’t dwell in Boehner’s make-believe world, I do often wonder who does. Is it Republican pols themselves? Couldn’t be. Anyone in possession of the minimal human intelligence required to win a seat in the U.S. Congress could not possibly be so stupid as to simply forget that demand drives the economy. Is it businesspeople? No way. They’re screaming for more “failed ‘stimulus’ spending.” Is it the conservative media? Again, no. Throughout America’s various years of economic downturn, they too have consistently supported demand-boosting, across-the-board tax cuts as a stimulative measure, which is a component of Keynesianism.

    So it must be “the base,” to which Republican pols merely play, right? Well, in small part, yes. The American right rather prides itself on its disproportionate membership of utterly unschooled cretins (who do, however, pack photo IDs). Yet they’re indeed a small part of the GOP picture. Most Republicans can in fact tie their own shoes, drive a car, locate a polling booth on their own — that sort of basic, demonstrable intelligence which also indicates they’re capable of comprehending that when consumers don’t spend money, bad economic times ensue; in brief, that demand drives the economy — even though Mr. Boehner routinely neglects to mention this most critical factor.

    Hence the political situation is this: In one of America’s two major parties, virtually no one believes in their leading beliefs. The party is mostly a construct of partisan fantasy; a fantasy which, in the face of such overwhelming empirical counterevidence, requires much greater effort to fake than would outward acceptance of reality.

    The economic situation and its possible remedies aren’t even fundamentally debatable — not among serious people. So the only real question is, How long can a major party of almost pure fantasy endure?

  42. rikyrah says:

    The Twin Towers on the big screen
    By Sarah Muller
    Thu Sep 1, 2011 4:41 PM EDT

    Before the Twin Towers tragically fell to the ground nearly 10 years ago to the day, the buildings surprisingly boasted a thriving movie career. They were typecasted as the iconic structure standing out in the New York City skyline.

    WTC made appearances in tons of classics like “Superman,” “King Kong,” “Bonfire Of The Vanities,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Working Girl,” “Basketball Diaries,” “Being John Malkovich,” the list goes on.

    Leading up to the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, director/cartoonist Dan Meth created a cool montage of all of WTC’s cameos from 1969-2001 which, according to the Vimeo page, “celebrates the towers’ film career with songs that capture the passing decades.”

  43. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Rep: Obama Is President Because He’s Black (VIDEO)

    Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) — the tea party star and also tea party embarrassment — apologized Thursday after he called President Obama “idiotic” earlier in the week.

    After an appearance on MSNBC Friday to talk about the comment, Walsh may be apologizing yet again soon.

    Host Martin Bashir asked Walsh to explain his past comments that Obama was only elected to the presidency because “he was black, he was historic.”

    In response, Walsh doubled-down:

    “I think that we elected the president for who he was, a historic figure and made the country feel good to elect him, and we did not vet him, and your profession did not vet him as much as we should.”

    Walsh is skipping Obama’s jobs speech before a joint session of Congress next week, but he assured Bashir that race had nothing to do with that decision.

    White, black, brown, yellow, you name it, we have a president right now who is bankrupting this country and destroying job creation in the country, and i think it is purely political for him to call a Joint Session of Congress to announce some jobs plan.

    • Can you believe this ish? This racist clown doesn’t even provide for his own offspring! Who in their right mind would take this creep serious? If Joe Walsh was a black man who didn’t pay child support, his ass wouldn’t be in Congress? But when you’re white, it’s alright to NOT support the kids you fathered! Lowlife Mofo!

  44. rikyrah says:

    GOP Rep. Declares War On Peace Corps, Demands End To Program In China

    By Tanya Somanader on Sep 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    After a recent trip to China, Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (CO) came across what he saw as a shocking number of government-funded Americans wasting taxpayer money on a Chinese demographic already flush with funds. These Americans, Coffman said, are “symbolic of the arrogance and carelessness in how our tax dollars have been handled by Congress and the Obama administration.” These Americans, incidentally, are Peace Corps volunteers.

    Aghast to find Peace Corps volunteers teaching English in Chinese universities, Coffman is now demanding that the government suspend the Peace Corps program in China as it is “an insult to every American taxpayer and to so many of our manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs to China”: ‘

    “Having the Peace Corps in China, where we have to borrow money from the Chinese to fund it, is an insult to every American taxpayer and to so many of our manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs to China,” he said.

    Coffman is gathering congressional signatures to send a letter to President Barack Obama demanding that the government immediately suspend the Peace Corps program in China.

    In the letter, Coffman said the U.S. government is short of money to fund its higher-education system while funding a Peace Corps program in China that defrays that country’s higher-education costs.

    There are about 140 volunteers in the Peace Corps program to China. The program costs $2.9 million or 0.5 percent of the Peace Corps total budget in 2011. What’s more, the Chinese government pays for the housing of all the American volunteers. However, Coffman insisted that taxpayers are subsidizing China’s state-run education system and declared that if Obama fails to suspend the program, he will offer an amendment “that will eliminate funding for it.”

  45. rikyrah says:

    Banks Still Fabricating Documents One Year After Robo-Signing Scandal Broke

    By Pat Garofalo on Sep 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    About a year ago, several of the nation’s biggest banks were caught in scandal over “robo-signing” — approving foreclosures without verifying basic information about the loan and fabricating documents to present to courts. For several months, a group of state attorneys general has been attempting to negotiate a settlement with the banks for their mortgage misdeeds.

    However, those talks have broken down (as CAP warned they would), with the AG’s fracturing between those who want to craft a settlement quickly and those, like New York Attorney General Schneiderman, who want a deeper investigation into the banks’ activities. Meanwhile, as American Banker reported today, the banks have not stopped fabricating documentation in order to foreclose on borrowers:

    Some of the largest mortgage servicers are still fabricating documents that should have been signed years ago and submitting them as evidence to foreclose on homeowners.

    The practice continues nearly a year after the companies were caught cutting corners in the robo-signing scandal and about six months after the industry began negotiating a settlement with state attorneys general investigating loan-servicing abuses.

    Several dozen documents reviewed by American Banker show that as recently as August some of the largest U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Ally Financial Inc., and OneWest Financial Inc., were essentially backdating paperwork necessary to support their right to foreclose.

    In several instances, banks were signing over documents from lenders that no longer exist. For example, one Bank of America executive “signed a mortgage assignment on July 29 of this year that purported to transfer ownership of a mortgage from New Century Mortgage Corp. to a trustee, Deutsche Bank.” However, “New Century, a subprime lender, went bankrupt in 2007; and the Deutsche Bank trust that purported to hold the loan was created for a securitization completed in 2006 — about five years before Juarez signed it over to the trust.”

    Goldman Sachs has reportedly agreed to “compensate some home loan borrowers for wrongful foreclosures,” as well as put an end to robo-signing. Given the way that the banks have handled the fallout from this scandal thus far, that is a promise that should definitely be taken with a grain of salt.

  46. rikyrah says:

    House Republican Bill Cuts Hurricane Monitoring Funds That Help Save Millions Of Dollars

    By Pat Garofalo on Aug 30, 2011 at 11:50 am

    In the wake of Hurricane Irene, which caused billions of dollars in damages up and down the U.S.’s eastern seaboard, House Republicans are callously claiming that any aid to victims of the disaster needs to be offset by budget cuts elsewhere. The savings favored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) would come from cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and first responders.

    However, if House Republicans get their way, not only will recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irene be more difficult, but so will monitoring incoming hurricanes in general. As the Associated Press noted, the House Appropriations Committee has approved cuts to funding for “hurricane hunters” — military planes that fly into hurricanes in order to measure and track them:

    Hurricane hunters – which are flying into Irene’s eye to feed forecasters vital information about the storm – could face big funding cuts under a budget proposal moving through the U.S. House.

    Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Florida, wrote House Speaker John Boehner on Friday asking for a reversal of proposed cuts to the program under a bill that passed the Appropriations Committee. She said if the cuts go through, it would amount to a 40 percent drop in funding for hurricane hunter flights out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. […]

    Hurricane hunter planes fly directly into the storm to measure wind speed, barometric pressure and other data that the National Hurricane Center then uses to formulate its forecasts.

    The cuts passed by the Appropriations Committee would take funding for these flights down from $29 million to $17 million, despite the fact that the flights help save a substantial amount of money.

    Due to data from the hurricane monitoring flights, forecasts are 30 percent more accurate. Since it costs $1 million per coastal mile for evacuation and preparation when a storm approaches, every mile that is not evacuated yields substantial savings for taxpayers. Estimates put the savings due to monitoring flights at $100-$150 million per storm, far outstripping the $29 million budget dedicated to the hurricane hunters.

    “[The] hurricane hunter program is worth its weight in gold,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). “They have gotten such accuracy in prediction, not only the strength of a hurricane but exactly its track. You cut back on those kinds of expenses, and that is really cutting off your nose to spite your face.” “These are very significant cuts. It would be a harmful step backward, just when hurricane predictions are improving,” added Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), who has pledged to propose an amendment restoring the cut funds when the GOP’s appropriations bill comes to the House floor.

    • Evil has NO bounds! Hell, a republican can get elected to Congress and NOT pay his child support & the republican leadership gives him a pat on the back and says “fk your kids”! They have No morals, No conscience, No soul!

      • Ametia says:

        Joe Walsh and the rest of the white boys are really showing their white privilege card now.

        They’ve always thought they owned one, now IT’S ON FULL DISPLAY. Can’t hide their mediocrity any more.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Ohio Anti-Health Reform Initiative Could Threaten School Immunizations And University Insurance Coverage

    By Scott Keyes on Sep 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    With last year’s landmark health care reform legislation likely to survive a Supreme Court challenge, opponents are taking their fight to individual states.

    In Ohio, conservatives have secured a spot on the November ballot for Issue 3, a proposed constitutional amendment to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance. If enacted, the law could have a number of disastrous unintended consequences, such as threatening immunizations for poor students and university health insurance. Law professors at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University detailed the threat at a press conference yesterday:

    Liberal advocacy group Innovation Ohio enlisted the help of two Case Western Reserve University law professors to analyze Issue 3, which aims to cancel out the 2010 federal law in Ohio by preventing residents from being forced to buy health insurance.

    It is questionable whether the constitutional amendment could even do that. But the professors said that Issue 3 would threaten a host of health-care-related laws that might need to be changed down the line. […]

    They cited other laws and rules that could be affected: COBRA, which lets employees temporarily buy health insurance through their employers after leaving a job; child-support enforcement orders requiring parents to buy health coverage for their children; immunizations that schools must buy for needy students; and university rules mandating that students buy health insurance as a condition of attendance.

    The progressive think tank Innovation Ohio, which participated in yesterday’s news conference, called the proposed amendment an “unmitigated disaster” for the state’s health care laws. “It is literally not a law we can live with,” said Communications Director Dale Butland.

    As conservatives grasp for any possible way to undermine the Affordable Care Act, it is likely we will see ballot challenges like this one pop up in other states as well. Unfortunately, the result of these misguided ventures will almost certainly be more unintended consequences to state health care laws and an overall decrease in people’s health care.’

  48. rikyrah says:

    Science Stunner: Editor of Journal that Published Flawed Denier Bunk Apologizes, Resigns, Slams Spencer for Exaggerations

    By Joe Romm on Sep 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Wow. Double wow. Stop the Presses, Deniers! Your effort to deny basic climate science based on bunkum has met its match.

    Here’s an editorial by Dr. Wolfgang Wagner, Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing, taking responsibility for the egregious blunder of publishing a “fundamentally flawed” paper by climate science denier Roy Spencer:

    Peer-reviewed journals are a pillar of modern science. Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.

    After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.

    With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011 [2], the main author’s personal homepage [3], the story “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism” published by Forbes [4], and the story “Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?” published by Fox News [5], to name just a few. Unfortunately, their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication. But trying to refute all scientific insights into the global warming phenomenon just based on the comparison of one particular observational satellite data set with model predictions is strictly impossible.

    For those who want the full debunking from “climate researchers and engaged observers” that persuaded Wagner, see “Climate Scientists Debunk Latest Bunk by Denier Roy Spencer.” The key scientific point is that there are multiple lines of evidence that the climate is quite sensitive to greenhouse gases and that Spencer’s approach is deeply flawed.

    For a list of the overblown hyping of this paper by the deniers, see Media Matters’ post, “Climate Science Once Again Twisted Beyond Recognition By Conservative Media.” All of them should issue retractions, but few if any will.

    While resignation of an editor over a bad decision to publish a flawed denier paper is extremely unusual, it isn’t completely unprecedented. As Deltoid (aka Tim Lambert) points out on his blog, ”This reminds me of what happened in 2003, when several editors at Climate Research resigned because of the publication of Soon and Baliunas, another paper that should not have been published.”

    Wagner has much more to say that is worth reading:

    Aside from ignoring all the other observational data sets (such as the rapidly shrinking sea ice extent and changes in the flora and fauna) and contrasting theoretical studies, such a simple conclusion simply cannot be drawn considering the complexity of the involved models and satellite measurements.

    The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. As I stated in my editorial at the launch of this new open access journal [6] one of the premier goals of remote sensing as a discipline is to better understand physical and biological processes on our planet Earth. The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work. But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists. Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of where and why models deviate from satellite data. Only through this close cooperation the complex aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into account….

    … editors should take special care that minority views are not suppressed, meaning that it certainly would not be correct to reject all controversial papers already during the review process. If a paper presents interesting scientific arguments, even if controversial, it should be published and responded to in the open literature. This was my initial response after having become aware of this particular case. So why, after a more careful study of the pro and contra arguments, have I changed my initial view? The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extent also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.

  49. rikyrah says:

    The Right To Vote

    By Matthew Yglesias on Sep 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Reading Ari Berman’s article on Republican governors’ impressive zeal at finding ways to make it harder for poor people, young people, and black people to vote reminds me that one of my pet ideas is that we ought to be pushing for an affirmative “right to vote” in the constitution. That’s a nice uncontroversial phrase that could have some real implications.

    After all, the problem here is that since the United States was founded in the 18th Century it was built into our constitutional DNA that people don’t have the right to vote. Over time, legislative restrictions on the voting of white men were rolled back. Then we started adding grounds that aren’t allowed to be used to disqualify someone from voting. You can’t use race. You can’t use gender. You can’t say someone’s too young as long as they’re older than 17. You can’t stop them from voting because of a poll tax. But beyond that, you can use whatever reason you like. You could pass a law saying you’re not allowed to vote if you’re shirt’s not tucked in or that you need to register while standing on one foot. Of course nobody does that because nobody wants to. But what they can do is find ways to make it less likely that minorities, the young, and the poor will vote as long as those intentions are adequately cloaked in some pretext.

    What we need is a right to vote that could clear away all this and all the voter fraud nonsense to boot. To say that an adult citizen of the United States has a presumptive right to have his say on Election Day and the government has a responsibility to ensure that they have that opportunity.

  50. rikyrah says:

    U.S. Is Set to Sue a Dozen Big Banks Over Mortgages
    Published: September 1, 2011

    The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities they assembled and sold at the height of the housing bubble, and seeking billions of dollars in compensation.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.

    The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. If the case is not filed Friday, they said, it will come Tuesday, shortly before a deadline expires for the housing agency to file claims.

    The suits will argue the banks, which assembled the mortgages and marketed them as securities to investors, failed to perform the due diligence required under securities law and missed evidence that borrowers’ incomes were inflated or falsified. When many borrowers were unable to pay their mortgages, the securities backed by the mortgages quickly lost value.

    Fannie and Freddie lost more than $30 billion, in part as a result of the deals, losses that were borne mostly by taxpayers.

    In July, the agency filed suit against UBS, another major mortgage securitizer, seeking to recover at least $900 million, and the individuals with knowledge of the case said the new litigation would be similar in scope.

    Private holders of mortgage securities are already trying to force the big banks to buy back tens of billions in soured mortgage-backed bonds, but this federal effort is a new chapter in a huge legal fight that has alarmed investors in bank shares. In this case, rather than demanding that the banks buy back the original loans, the finance agency is seeking reimbursement for losses on the securities held by Fannie and Freddie.

    The impending litigation underscores how almost exactly three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of a financial crisis caused in large part by subprime lending, the legal fallout is mounting.

  51. rikyrah says:

    Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:35 AM PDT
    Black Perspectives on Speech-Gate+*

    by Vyan

    TPM’s David Kurtz posted this today based on various letters he receiving of the Job Speech Spat. I’m quoting all of it because he himself was quoting and it deserves to be read completely.

    While I agree with “JB” that Obama was smart not to make a fight out of the scheduling issue, I also believe that s/he is wrong in assessing the impact of Boehner’s move as being one that only 100,000 people care about or that no one will think about it one iota.

    It ignores a critical element of Obama’s base that is particularly sensitive to slights Republicans give the President – the African-American community.


    I don’t usually even attempt to deliver a post that claims to present “the Black View” on things. I frankly don’t have a lot of direct serious interaction with other Black people where we can discuss the issues of the day in any depth, except that is for my 70 year-old mother who lived through the Civil Rights Era first hand as an adult, while I was just a toddler. She sees what this letter writer sees, and she doesn’t like it. NOT ONE BIT.

    It’s been a long time since Dr. King, and many things have changed – most notably not only has Racism gone Covert, so has the resistance to Racism. It has to be played Smart.

    Now I don’t think that the Republican Reactions to Obama are purely because he’s Black, they do have their bevy of Racism Shields in place – from Herman Cain, to Allen West and Alan Keyes (who if you all recall they Carpetbagged into Illinois to run against Obama for U.S. Senate).

    No, what they’re reacting to and treating him like is a Black Democrat.

    Bill Clinton, who was called by Toni Morrison “America’s First Black President” (mostly because she never expected that they would ever elect an Actual Black President) got a lot of this treatment too, but it was mostly on the fringes. The Clinton Chronicles. pushed by Jerry Falwell alleged that Bill Clinton was a drug-dealing murderer who was the true villain behind Iran-Contra. That he had killed Vince Foster either to cover up how they lost money on Whitewater, or to get back at Vince for having an affair with Hillary.

    It was all ridiculous BULLSHIT, I know – but it was believed by many on the Far Right.

    Then it slowly crept into Congress itself.

    They shutdown the Government. Twice. They claimed while Clinton was trying to Kill Bin Laden that he was just doing it to Wag the Dog! They Impeached Him.

    So for Clinton it wasn’t about him being Black, he was Black Adjacent. He was too sympathetic to Black People and their struggles. He was “Too Liberal”. Similarly they see Obama in the same way, and then some. It’s not so much about his skin-tone or ancestry is it’s about him being perceived (by them) as a “Liberal”, and the Right sees all Liberals as a proxy for Blacks, Latinos, Muslims and Gays. Or from their perspective the “Lazy Mooching America-Haters, Invaders, Terrorists and Family Destroying Fornicators.” Liberals are seen as aiders and abetters to all the non-white minority people who want to “Take Over” the nation from Good White Christians and Destroy it, with their “Health Care” and “War Crimes” Opposition.

    They only dislike Black people who basically act like Black people until they of course, choose to give up their “Blackness”, and totally and completely “assiimilate” into the White Culture without a trace of a black-accent, or any of the Hip-Hop/Rap nonsense, stop putting those ridiculous rims on their cars and of course swear fealty to Conservatism.

    Y’know – like good ole’ Allen West.

    If Obama was a proper Right Wing Christian (War Criminal) Black Man like Allen West, they wouldn’t have a problem with him – so see, they aren’t being Racist when they attack Obama. They’re just consolidating their bigotry into a political statement, instead of a racial one. It’s about Ideology, not skin tone – as if bigotry over politics is any less dangerous or damaging than bigotry over ancestry or faith.

    Even how they call everything “Democrat” instead of “Democratic” is directly intended as a slur. It’s an attempt to diminish and demean. It’s practically the NEW N-word. They’re calling ALL OF US “BOY” right to our face with that “Democrat Party” Crap everyday and getting away with it.

    So, it’s fair to say what they’re doing to Obama isn’t new, they would pretty much do it to any Democratic President but then again – the African-American Community has also been through this type of thing for the last few decades and they recognize it for what it is.

    This is how modern Racism Functions. It doesn’t come at you directly. They bounce it off the nearest wall and hit you on the back of your neck. When you turn around they slap you upside the head while you’re not looking anymore. They play games with your head. They attack in ways that allow them to Plausibly (and sometimes not so plausibly) Deny their Racist intent, then turn around and Dare You to Call it “Racist”.

    I’ve seen it over and over and over again, both personally and in the general public.

    They don’t say the obvious, like directly call you the N-word, or Boy – they just constantly peck at you. Tearing you apart little by little. These small, petty little demeaning gestures on relatively irrelevant issues gradually build up over time. And when you call them out for it, they then turn around and say – You’re the Racist for bringing it up!

    Didn’t we see exactly this when the NAACP went after the Tea Party for it’s bigoted signs? Isn’t that what got Mark Williams kicked out of Tea Party Express?

    Don’t we repeatedly see exactly this from the likes of Andrew Breitbart as he smeared Sherry Sherrod?

    Didn’t we see exactly this when Dr. Laura said the N-Word a dozen times to a black woman who called into her show, claiming “Black people say it all the time” and then Dr. Laura called HER the Racist for complaining about it – and naturally, just like she defended Breitbart and Williams, their Great White Savior Saint Sarah Palin Defended Dr. Laura.

    They can’t set the hoses on us anymore, but they can force us to jump through extra hoops to get to a voting booth. They can require you to be extra and ridiculously over qualified academically, intellectually, financially as Barack Obama had done before he even ran for the Presidency – and yet STILL they can call you an Affirmative Action Baby the way the Limbaugh has done, and the way the Donald Trump did.

    Black People hear these Dog-Whistles. They know what they mean.

    And they also know that all of these little attacks are intended to Goad them. To make them lose their cool, to make them lose their temper, to make them look irrational and angry.

    The Irrational, Paranoid, Screaming Angry Black Man.

    It’s maddening. But getting mad is just what they want you to do.

    That’s what they want to turn Obama into. The Angry Black President.

    They want him to start Complaining and Whining about the Republicans not treating him nicely. They want him to start “Playing the Race” Card, just so that they throw it right back at him.

    “See! See! He’s the Real Bigot, He’s the Real Racist. Not me. NOT US!”

    When he got mad during his Prime Time Address over the Debt Debate the Washington Post called him “Petulant”.

    Isn’t that what you call a child? “Petulant”?

    And that’s also why he resists. It may be infuriating. It may be crazy making. But this is the double-bind that many Black people have had to face all the time when these slights and broadsides come at them with racial undertones, but few clear or logical overtones.

    It’s designed to make them doubt themselves. “Is it really, me?” It makes them question their own reality sometimes. “Did I just hear, what I thought I heard — did that guy just say that to me? Maybe he meant something else, it couldn’t have been what it sounded like.” It makes some of us become obsessive over-achievers just to prove how “worthy” we are, while it makes others see the futility of it all and just say “FUCK IT!”

    How many Black kids don’t graduate from High School? I think they said “FUCK IT”.

    What’s the Black Unemployment Rate right now? A lot of them are just going “FUCK IT”.

    And then you have the attackers call you a whiner. A quitter.

    “Why don’t you pull yourself up from your bootstraps?”

    “Why don’t you Believe in America?”

    At which point that “Fuck it”, quickly turns into a FUCK YOU!.

    I’ve lived with that internal, mental battle my entire life – and I very nearly have reached the “Fuck IT/FUCK YOU!” point more than once. Generally speaking, it didn’t help much.

    That’s not the road Obama intends or needs to go down, sorry.

    People like Cenk have derided Obama for lack of “Guts”. I think he’s missing it. There’s a lot more going on here under the covers, and Obama has to not just to play this tough…

    He’s got to play this Smart.

    Let’s hope he does.


  52. rikyrah says:

    Go For The Gut

    Longtime TPM Reader JB checks in:

    The scheduling issue is much ado about nothing. It is the yadda yadda yadda in the story. We will not spend one iota thinking about it over the long weekend or after some targeted leaks concerning the speech’s contents. Chris Cilliza is right, any story about process is a loser for the President. There are 100,000 people who care about this story and their 2012 votes were decided after the 2008 election.

    I would like to make one other point.

    I hope that the President uses some imagery in his speech. He needs to instill that this is not some dry debate about my ideas compared to their ideas. That is a loser. The jobs program versus get government out of the way is the he said, she said of Washington. Outside of the 100,000 people who actively follow the minutiae, everyone else can’t judge and will go with their gut.

    In my opinion, he needs to take on the very effective meme of running the government like you run your household. That image instantly enters the mind and makes everyone think they have to cut costs. The President should appropriate the language of his opposition (like Clinton did) and use it to hit them on the head.

    Something like, “My opponents like to say that the government should be run like your household. Balance your budget. Cut costs. But the truth is that we don’t run the government or our households like that. Every family with a mortgage has more debt than several years of their income. If you think of the government’s tax revenue as the country’s income, then we have the same thing. People have car loans and student loans and business loans. The government has the same thing. Americans get loans to improve their lives and are trusted to pay back these loans over time, just like our government. Right now, we need to invest in the future. We need to invest in our nation, like you need to invest in yourselves and homes. Let’s get people back to work, increase their skills, increase their value to employers, improve the economy. My opponents want to balance the books right now. Just like the banks who want to foreclose right now. We need to act now to improve our future. I see America rising higher than it ever has because we are the dynamic people on the planet. Let’s get our people back to work, let’s invest in ourselves. Let’s increase the mortgage to improve our house, our nation.”

    This imagery works really well with other programs to cut, like, “Cuts to NOAA or FEMA are like getting rid of your home or car insurance. It’s a great deal until the hurricane comes.”

    One man’s opinion.

    • rikyrah says:

      Another Perspective

      I didn’t get a chance yesterday to post this email from TPM Reader TA while we were discussing the jobs speech scheduling throwdown, but I want to make sure it gets into the mix:

      While I agree with “JB” that Obama was smart not to make a fight out of the scheduling issue, I also believe that s/he is wrong in assessing the impact of Boehner’s move as being one that only 100,000 people care about or that no one will think about it one iota.

      It ignores a critical element of Obama’s base that is particularly sensitive to slights Republicans give the President – the African-American community.

      When Boehner does something like this (that no previous Speaker has done to any previous President), when he refuses to return the President’s phone call during the debt ceiling crisis, when he skips state dinners, when he refuses to definitely say that he believes the President was born in the US or is a Christian, or when Boehner coddles a member of his caucus who shout “you lie” during a Presidential address, etc one certain thing happens – black Americans notice it.

      African-Americans are especially sensitive to the unprecedented disrespect that white Republicans have afforded to the first black President. Every time it happens, it ripples across black radio, black newspapers, black websites, and in conversations in black communities. It helps cement the ties that Obama has with the black community, and helps overcome whatever doubts and disappoints some may have. It reminds people who have experienced overt racism in their own lives that the President is experiencing the same kind of dehumanizing disrespect. It will help drive strong African-American turnout and overwhelming numbers for Obama next year.

      Political pundits may gossip about the rift between Boehner and Obama, but millions of black Americans see something much more sinister when this happens.

  53. rikyrah says:

    And Another One: New Poll Shows Perry Leads Nevada Too

    Tex. Gov. Rick Perry has taken the lead nationally, but GOP voters are really starting to catch on with his campaign in key primary states as well. Recently, Perry’s stormed to the front in South Carolina and Iowa in multiple surveys, and a Republican poll out Friday shows him at the top in another early state in the GOP nomination process: Nevada.

    A Magellan Strategies poll out Friday showed that Perry is the first choice of 29 percent of Nevada GOP caucus-goers, followed by former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney at 24 percent. The survey shows pretty much a two way race: the rest of the field is in single digits, and former contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is down to fourth with 6 percent, behind businessman Herman Cain’s 7.

    Bachmann is tied with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) at 6 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 5, followed by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman both at 1.

    Romney had held a solid lead in a Public Policy Polling (D) survey of Nevada during early August, when Perry was just about to officially enter the race. But in the following weeks Perry has clearly built up support at the expense of other candidates, like Bachmann. “Looking at responses by voter subgroup, we find male voters and seniors (voters aged 65 or older) leaning heavily towards Rick Perry,” reads the Magellan memo on the Nevada poll. “Among self-identified tea party ‘members,’ which make up 49% of all respondents, Rick Perry has a 20 point lead over Mitt Romney.”

  54. rikyrah says:

    This is one of my all-time favorite videos…back when videos had actual concepts and originality.

  55. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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