Good Morning 3 Chics community! We’re BACK!!! Didn’t get to watch the debate last night. Did I miss anything? We’re looking forward to the President’s speech tonight before the joint session of congress.
In the meantime, We’ve got WORK TO DO…
Good Morning 3 Chics community! We’re BACK!!! Didn’t get to watch the debate last night. Did I miss anything? We’re looking forward to the President’s speech tonight before the joint session of congress.
In the meantime, We’ve got WORK TO DO…
Even though 3Chics Politico is written and curated by three women: Ametia, Rikyrah, and SouthernGirl2, I must nominate this as one of the most engaging blogs I've found. Devoted to politics and culture, these three shine a light on contemporary life with humor and spirit.
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|rikyrah on Open Thread | Why The Bernie F…|
Going Big, Right Away: President Obama Unleashes Demand Side Economics
Thursday, September 08, 2011 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 7:53 PM
Right away. Pass this American Jobs Act right away. That was President Obama’s recurring message to Congress tonight. While politicians and the political media are trying to take the political temperature of the President’s jobs proposal, the President – the truly American president, reminded us of something tonight: 14 months (the time till election day) is a luxury most Americans don’t have. That was the message that rang through his rhetoric. The complementary message that rang through his proposals? Demand side economics.
If you haven’t yet, watch the President’s speech first (transcript here):
I am not very good at this instant reaction thing. Generally, I tend to absorb things. But tonight’s message from the President and his plan was unmistakable, inspiring and has me jumping up and down: he will not, so long as he holds power, leave the American people who are struggling in this economy at the mercy of the political elite in Washington, DC. He will not, to the extend his power allows, leave any stone unturned to jump-start job creation. And he will, with all his power, put America back to work.
The plan the president put forward was simple but ambitious, big but shovel ready, and just what the country was hungry for. But let’s keep something mind: the speech and the proposal the president delivered was a tremendous victory for the simple idea that the only way to permanently grow the economy is to create demand.
Tax credit for small businesses to hire new workers or to give employees pay raises. More pay/new workers = greater demand for goods and services.
Expanding the payroll tax cut on the employee side (first enacted by the president last year) by 50%, giving the average family an additional $1500 to spend, especially affecting the working poor, who have a much higher propensity to spend every dollar put in their pocket. Extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut = greater demand.
Creating an equal payroll tax cut for employers so that they can do item 1 and hire new workers or give existing workers a raise.
Rebuild America. It’s shovel ready.
Roads, bridges, schools and airports. Double the benefit by hiring contractors who will hire construction workers to build these things. New construction jobs = greater consumer demand. New building and improvements = greater demand for construction material. Better transit = better environment, less time spent in traffic, more productive workers, money saved for consumers = greater demand.
Rebuilding schools. America’s children deserve no less. Jobs in the community = greater demand for mom-and-pop businesses in the community.
Fund the rebuilding of America by leveraging federal investment with private capital.
Independent fund based on how badly a construction project is needed and how good it is for the economy. Not crony-Congressional allocations of money. Challenge the private sector to invest in success with the leverage of federal funds. Funding going where it is needed most. Builders taking on more projects. More jobs = greater demand.
Put teachers back in our classrooms. Once again, an economic two-fer.
Numero uno: teaching jobs saved = teacher salaries saved = more money in pockets of teachers = more demand in the local economy.
Numero dos: better education and more care for our children in school, which means less time spent by parents dealing with trouble at home. That means better communities, less worried and more confident parents – that is, parents confident they don’t have to save all their money to send their kid to a private school or provide after school care. = Parents able to spend more as consumers = more consumer demand.
$4,000 credit for hiring the long-term unemployed. More two-fer.
“Fer” One: the long term unemployed need jobs, and when they can get a job, they will be able to spend more money. That’s a gimme. = Greater demand.
“Fer” Two: The federal government right now pays for unemployment benefits beyond six months. If they can get hired, that’s money saved by the federal government that it can use to…. oh, I dunno, either pay for this tax credit or rebuild schools and expand airports, for example. = Greater demand. (see above).
Tax credit to hire veterans. No-brainer. Veterans serve our country, and it’s time we served them. They are skilled people, and employers gain. With private employment gain for veterans, not only will they be able to spend more (= greater demand), on the V.A., for example, if some of these jobs came with health insurance, the federal government would save money that could be used to give the economy a further boost.
Extend unemployment benefits. Do I need to explain this one? Unemployed people are the most likely to spend every dollar they get, because they are living on the absolute edge of being this close to being put out on the street. This is a no-brainer greater demand generator. To the tune of $1.62 for every dollar in unemployment benefits, actually.
The President went big. $450 billion big. And not with useless tax breaks. Where he gave tax breaks to business, he tied them directly to job creation and challenged businesses and their Congressional benefactors to defy him. $240 billion in payroll tax cuts for employees and employers. $140 billion to build roads, bridges, schools, railways, and airports. The rest to help states save jobs of teachers and firefighters, and to create incentives for every job created for business.
Widow Alleges Bank Of America Called Her 48 Times A Day To Remind Her Of Dead Husband’s Debt
By Zaid Jilani on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm
Deborah Crabtree, of Honolulu, Hawaii tragically lost her husband to cancer on Aug. 3. The bank to which he owed money, Bank of America, didn’t even wait for a day after his death to begin calling Crabtree to remind her that her husband had missed a $3,000 mortgage payment on their home.
Crabtree told Bank of America that she had $5,000 on hand, and that she needed this money to buy food and bury her husband. Convinced that Crabtree should be using this money to pay them, Bank of America repeatedly “robo-called” Crabtree during her husband’s wake, sometimes with only 15 minutes between each call.
Now, Crabtree is suing the bank, alleging that it called her up to 48 times a day, even repeatedly demanding evidence that her husband was dead, and once receiving it, losing it. Crabtree’s complaint cites the emotional distress and mental anguish caused by Bank of America’s behavior.
The local NBC news affiliate covered Crabtree’s case. After reaching out to Bank of America, the station says that it did eventually cease the calls after learning of Mr. Crabtree’s death. Watch it:
Earlier this month, CNNMoney published a piece on banks and other financial entities seeking debts of the deceased from mourners. It notes that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, there are prohibitions against “third-party debt collectors…collecting debts at ‘inconvenient times’ and harassing customers.” However, this law only applies to “third-party debt collectors, not the banks — which are regulated by individual states.”
Rick Perry Campaign Refuses To Rule Out Ending Social Security
Evan McMorris-Santoro September 8, 2011, 8:33 AM
Make no mistake about it: Rick Perry is running against Social Security. Last night in the debate, Perry stood by his oft-repeated claims that the popular government retirement program is a Ponzi Scheme and a “failure.”
And after the debate, Team Perry refused to rule out ending the program all together under a Perry presidency.
From the Huffington Post’s Jon Ward:
A top Perry aide refused, under repeated questions from The Huffington Post, to rule out the idea that Perry would favor dissolving altogether the 76-year-old program that pays out benefits to seniors.
“I’m not going to parse his words,” Perry aide Ray Sullivan told Ward after the debate when asked “why he would not just say that Perry does not want to end the program.”
“You’ll need to talk to them about what they’re saying and why,” Sullivan said, referring to the Romney campaign which has made Perry’s Social Security talk a central line of attack.
“The governor’s made his position clear that he wants to fix Social Security,” Sullivan said.
Rick Perry Says It’s ‘Misinformation’ To Suggest He Wants To Abolish Social Security
By Tanya Somanader and Scott Keyes on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm
Today at a campaign stop in Newport Beach, California, one attendee asked Perry for his reaction to Romney’s charge that he wants to “abolish Social Security because it’s a Ponzi scheme.” Perry responded, “I’d say that’s misinformation“:
ATTENDEE: Romney’s advisers said you want to abolish Social Security because it’s a Ponzi scheme. What do you say to that?
PERRY: I’d say that’s misinformation. We just want to fix it.
ATTENDEE: Are they distorting your record?
PERRY: (No response, shakes his head.)
Certainly, Perry and his campaign camp are having trouble sticking to previously stated — or published — positions. But Perry only need re-read his own book “Fed Up” to recall that he views Social Security as “by far the best example” of a program “violently tossing aside any respect for our founding principles.” On MSNBC’s Morning Joe last year, Perry explicitly said of Social Security, “Why is the federal government even in the pension program or the health care delivery program? Let the states do that.” Unless his own words are a source of misinformation, it is hard to see how he isn’t advocating for the end, rather than the reform, of Social Security.
The Mother of all Unforced Errors
During the September 7th Republican Presidential debate, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas repeated an earlier assertion of his that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. Read that again: in the age of Bernie Madoff, Rick Perry called Social Security a Ponzi Scheme.
When the GOP nominating season was getting started a few months back, I told everyone that Newt Gingrich was a strong contender for the nomination – and was frequently jeered for it.
Now that Newt’s campaign has imploded, perhaps I deserved to be jeered, but I think I was right in the reason I gave for (what I believed to be) Gingrich’s strong odds: I could tell from his messaging he understood that in order to win the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, that he would have to win two very different elections and win over two vastly different electorates.
Perhaps not since George McGovern’s annihilation at the hands of Richard Nixon in 1972 has a candidate’s Primary base been so alienated from the center of American political thought as the Tea Party is today. Make no mistake: no candidate who doesn’t convincingly throw the red meat to the Tea Party audiences will have a sliver of a chance of getting nominated.
That probably rules out Romney and Huntsman. Newt and Cain will run out of money. Ron Paul is Ron Paul. That leaves Perry and Bachmann, either of whom should negotiate the Tea hurdle with ease. Bachmann has no resume outside of her incredibly ironic former career as an IRS attorney, so Republicans will probably eventually close ranks behind Governor Perry.
I’m not going to go so far as to predict the result of a Presidential Election that is 14 months away, but I will posit that while “Change we can Believe in” might be a somewhat tired slogan by that point, it sure as hell beats “Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme”.
what kind of bitchassness is this?
Quote of the Day
Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 8:48 AM
Karl Lagerfeld to USA Today:
“I love Madame Obama, but not in terms of clothes,” says Lagerfeld, sipping on Diet Coke, the only caffeine he drinks. “I like her face, the cleverness of her face. Her face is stronger than the clothes.”
FUCK Kook Loserfuck
Cantor Nixes President Obama’s Infrastructure Bank Idea
Brian Beutler | September 8, 2011, 2:16PM
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is striking a gentler tone ahead of President Obama’s Thursday jobs speech, and highlighting the areas he says Republicans can work with the administration to grow the economy — unemployment insurance, payroll taxes, and infrastructure. But the devil is in the details, and there are still significant differences between the parties’ approaches.
I’m wary of the suggestion of an infrastructure bank,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters at a roundtable lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “I am one who agrees with the notion that an infrastructure bank is almost like creating a Fanny and Freddie for roads and bridges.”
That’s President Obama’s favored infrastructure spending idea — to loan both private and public dollars to states and municipalities to speed up new and existing building projects, and to lure private investment with the promise of returns from tolls and other fees. Cantor’s counter offer is to nix the requirement that states “set aside 10 percent of federal surface transportation funds for transportation museums, education, and preservation would allow states to devote these monies to high-priority infrastructure projects, without adding to the deficit.”
These are pretty different ideas, though they could meet similar ends in some circumstances. The infrastructure bank wouldn’t require canceling some projects (mainly for bikers and pedestrians) to fund different ones, and would fund projects that meet high bang-for-the-buck, and environmental standards.
Jared Bernstein — an economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Vice President Joe Biden’s former top economic adviser — told TPM, “the [infrastructure] bank has real advantages in terms of rigorous cost benefit analysis in choosing projects that this idea doesn’t sound like it would…. but 10 percent isn’t a lot and this kind of flexibility can be a useful thing I would just want to know what kind of criteria the project choice involves. Because the last thing we want to do is waste these scarce resources.”
The new tone may mask underlying differences, but they still exist.
Damn, what a week! My wireless connection is down and am using dia-up temporarily until our new package arrives. Sheesh! Thank y’all for holding it down on 3 Chics!
I saw a retrospective on Animal House….the ‘ how it was made’ special. it was hilarious…damn, I love that movie. I can still quote it and I haven’t seen it in 3 or 4 years.
Al Franken Smacks Down Hans von Spakovsky Over Flawed Voter ID Stats
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) squared off with voting rights restrictions enthusiast Hans von Spakovsky at at Senate hearing on Thursday, accusing the Heritage Foundation fellow of leaving out a crucial piece of data that undermined his argument that voter ID laws don’t suppress minority turnout.
In his written testimony, von Spakovsky said that the fact that Georgia had the highest voter turnout in its history in 2008 when there was a photo ID law on the books was proof that the measure didn’t suppress turnout. He compared Georgia’s statistics to neighboring Mississippi, a state which also has a significant African-American population.
“For example, Mississippi, a state with a large African-American population just like Georgia, there was only a third of what it was in Georgia,” von Spakovsky said during his testimony.
“Can I ask you something?” Franken interjected. “Do you know how much Mississippi grew in terms of black population during those years versus Georgia?”
“I don’t,” said von Spakovsky.
“Wouldn’t that have to factor into the significance of that?” Franken said. “Here’s my question: you did a study and you put in your testimony that it was ‘significant’ that the percentage of black voters grew more in Georgia than Mississippi and you just cited it again. I would think that, as someone who writes studies, it would be significant to know that the black population grew at more than four times the rate than the black population in Mississippi, and I’m wondering how you didn’t factor that in,” he said. (Franken later corrected himself to say that the black population in Georgia grew at more than three times the rate.)
Franken said that von Spakovsky left out a crucial piece of data.
“I think that’s creating an inference, and either you knew it or you didn’t know it, but I think you should have checked it out,” Franken said. He also suggested that false voter fraud allegations erode confidence in the voting system.
Franken wasn’t the only one taking shots an von Spakovsky. Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School who previously authored a report for the Brennan Center which found no evidence of a national problem of voter impersonation fraud, said von Spakovsky’s logic was flawed.
“There’s a basic — and I mean basic — misconception here,” Levitt said. “It’s called the correlation-causation fallacy, and anybody who’s had statistics for a week can talk to you about it.”
“Mr. von Spakovsky and I agree on one thing, that the turnout studies don’t show great impact, but that’s because they can’t,” Levitt said. “You can’t draw any real conclusions about that.”
“I’ll give you an example. Mr. von Spakovsky supports voter ID restrictions. I oppose them. Mr. von Spakovsky has no facial hair. I have facial hair. But certainly opposition to voter ID doesn’t cause facial hair,” he said.
He rejected the argument that since photo IDs were needed in many aspects of American life, it shouldn’t be a problem to make people show ID at the polls too.
“To get to you today, I had to board a plan from Los Angeles and never showed a photo ID. While waiting in the terminal, I drank a beer… I never showed ID,” Levitt said. “To testify before you today, I walked right into this federal building and never showed ID.”
“Boarding a plane is nice. Drinking beer is nice. But outside of prohibition, I don’t see that in the constitution,” Levitt said.
“We know that there are individuals who tried — and failed — to vote. Real people,” said Levitt, who cited examples of nuns in South Bend, Indiana and a veteran.
“I frankly think it shameful to conceive of even one veteran who has served our country who has watched brothers and sisters fight and die to preserve the right to vote turned away for no good reason,” Levitt said.
“They have the authority to review these state laws,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who chaired the hearing, told TPM, speaking of the Department of Justice. “We’ve passed the law, that is the law. I’ve talked to the Civil Rights Division and they’re going to consider those on a timely basis.”
Durbin said there’s no plan for the Senate to try to do anything about the state laws at this time.
“I don’t think we should do anything until the Voting Rights Act is followed, until the Justice Department reviews these state laws,” Durbin said.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011 |
Posted by Tien at 9:26 PM
I’ve been reading a lot of comments today about the Republican candidates and Rovian strategies that seem at odds with logic and I’m trying to make some sense of it for myself. This all coalesced for me when I was reading some live blogging about the Reagan Debate and it came to me that we as observers might be missing a fundamental tool in the way we evaluate what we’re seeing and hearing from these people. That tool is a willingness to overcome our own antipathy and genuinely look at these candidates through the eyes of the GOP base.
It seems to me that most pragmatic liberals are getting fouled in the nets of our own disgust with the rhetoric and records and associates of the field of current GOP candidates. What crystallized for me was reading that the biggest applause getter during the debate was Rick Perry’s record on executions in Texas. Up to that point, I’d been reading that people thought Perry was a flash in the pan and would flame out by the time of the Florida primaries. Even tonight during the debate, people were saying ‘stick a fork in him, he’s done.’ From our perspective, even if Perry stammered and wasn’t as polished as we were led to believe, judging from the applause for his execution record, he’s anything but done. If anything his willingness to execute people makes him the biggest swinging dick in the room and that’s red, juicy, pardon-the-pun meat for the Religious Right. He is by far and away the most authentic right winger in the race. And now he’s polling well ahead of the other contenders.
Karl Rove doesn’t appear to like or support Rick Perry. Even Dick Cheney is on record as saying he disagrees with Perry’s statement that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Rove thinks Perry’s book Fed Up isn’t going to fly with Republicans in a primary. This of course supposes that people are actually going to read that book, which isn’t guaranteed. Does Karl Rove randomly pick on candidates for no reason? I doubt it. Is it clear who Rove does support? Probably Jeb Bush. I’m not a fan of ‘conventional wisdom’ but there doesn’t seem to be anything else to go on right now, so let me state what I believe current CW is: All the real GOP candidates are sitting this one out until 2016 when they have a clear playing field. So if Rove wants Jeb Bush, then what is behind his efforts to undermine Rick Perry’s chances? If the expectation is that President Obama will be re-elected, then what does it matter who wins the nomination? Is it because Rick Perry is just too much like George W. Bush and by extension too much like Jeb Bush? A disastrous win for Rick Perry might harm Jeb Bush’s chances of distinguishing himself as ‘not just another toxic Texan’ in 2016. I’m certainly willing to entertain other explanations.
The question then becomes: What about the Koch Brothers? They had Rick Perry to their secret confab in Vail, Colorado this past June. Recently it was learned the Kochs view President Obama as Saddam Hussein and the 2012 election as the ‘Mother of All Wars’. The Kochs really, really want to win this election because they are all about shaping the Supreme Court.
If Karl Rove essentially wants to lose in 2012 with a not-Perry candidate to clear the field for his Jeb Bush, and the Koch Brothers really want to win with whomever they believe can, presumably Rick Perry, then aren’t they at cross purposes? Rove vs. Koch? That seems new to me, and very much like a rift. I don’t need there to be a rift, so I’m ruling out wishful thinking here. I just don’t see another explanation. Again, open to ideas. For the sake of argument, however, let’s just say I’m correct and I’m going where it leads me.
For the moment where that leads is Perry and Romney punching each other for the foreseeable future, with the 2nd tier candidates being reduced to vying for a chance to be tapped as a running mate, ultimately unable to get any air much less air time. What does this set up? Rove vs. Koch? Media vs. the Base? It think both. The Media and Rove both know that to even hope to make this a horse race; they must have a candidate for the general election who can be credibly cast as a moderate. Rick Perry simply cannot, in any way, make that grade. He’s too extreme and has too much baggage. He is a true believer, and so are the Koch Brothers. Romney is the only credible campaigner who can be molded to suit the Rove model of moderation to appeal in a general election, and has apparently been running a general election campaign from the get-go. But Romney is wholly unacceptable to the radicalized and activated base. Yes, if he ultimately gets the nomination, the Base will vote for him, of this we may all be sure. He still must get the nomination, and from what I’m seeing at present, that isn’t at all a certainty.
This just may be the time when Karl Rove is no longer calling the shots. 2010 empowered and emboldened the radical base in a way that no other recent election has. The freshman class of Representatives; the brash and blatant disrespect for the President shown with impunity by Boehner, McConnell, Ryan and Cantor has whetted their appetite for a fire-breathing radical. The GOP base may have just turned the corner on all sense of propriety and reason to the point where they will not settle for the old guard’s selection of a candidate. Rove is essentially powerless against any onslaught of voter energy should it find its way to supporting Perry against Romney.
The debate audience applauding for Perry’s record on executions signals that he is clearly their favorite. We can’t evaluate the debaters performances based on our value system. They’re playing to their base. They’re speaking in terms their base understands even though their answers make us laugh and cringe. I think we’d be smart to remember that only 20 million people voted in the GOP primaries in ’08. That’s well within the demographic of the Religious Right’s Base numbers. They and only they get to choose who will be their candidate. Not Rove. Not the Bush Machine. Not the Media. The Base is who will pick the nominee. If they truly prefer Perry, then that’s who will get their votes. I’m willing to wager that the Base is more than willing to cast Rove aside in favor of their real true candidate who doesn’t just say he’s going to rule with an iron fist and be unmerciful and put a beat down on the Democrats; he’s already done it. In a big way. Rove and the Media can cry foul all they want, but those 20 million people are more likely to listen to what they hear in church, on Fox and the radio, and read in their inboxes and discuss at the race track than what the Party insiders tell them. The wild card here is who Fox and Limbaugh get behind.
Fire at will; I genuinely want to hear what folks think.
President Obama Deserves Nothing But Respect!
By Extreme Liberal on September 8th, 2011
The level of disrespect being shown towards President Obama is unprecedented and has to stop. It comes in both blatant and subtle ways and there are many reasons for it. Anyone who is honest with themselves knows that a lot of it stems from the color of his skin. Not all of it, for sure, but a whole hell of a lot of it. We all remember the signs from the Tea Party asking for their country back…back from what, you motherfuckers, the man won a clear victory in a democratic election with a wide electoral margin. President Obama IS the leader or OUR country, all of us, even you racist assholes…whether you like it or not.
One of the latest examples of this disrespect was covered very well by Joy Reid at The Reid Report. I’ll let her explain it…
Republicans derive a benefit from their base by disrespecting the president.
The GOP base wants its leadership to not just oppose Barack Obama, but to go out of its way to obstruct, block, and if at all possible, show open contempt and disrespect for him. Republicans understand that their base will punish them for any hint of respectful, or worse, accommodating behavior toward Obama, and that they will be rewarded by their base for elevating the level of negative attention they give the president.
Today’s Republicans, who have been overrun by a hardcore tea party faction in addition to the resurgent religious right, have made the calculation that there is literally no bottom — and no level of disrespect so great that they will pay a price with white independents.
Case in point: before House Speaker Boehner took the unprecedented step of publicly brushing back the president’s request to address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, he was being egged on to do just that by none other than Rush Limbaugh. That Boehner decided to puff out his chest on this one is telling.
Of course, that is just one example of the clear disrespect shown towards our President. And the Republicans are playing it out to the full extent, with some legislators openly saying they won’t attend the jobs speech and don’t even want to hear what the President has to say. The adult equivalent of holding your hands over your ears and saying, na na na na, I cant’ hear you! I hope all those people without jobs are paying attention to the “Party of No New Jobs”.
But if that isn’t enough, apparently the hater of everyone, Matt Taibbi, doesn’t want to hear it either. The more I read about Taibbi, the more I realize that he just says whatever the hell comes to his hateful mind. I found this piece where Taibbi predicted a McCain presidency…showing his willingness to just say stupid shit with no basis in reality. But I digress.
The Grio has a piece that helps to spell out just some of the disrespect from the Republicans over the last few years.
The “You lie!” shout during the president’s speech on health care reform before the joint session of Congress in Sept. 2009
The recent posturing, walk-outs and tantrums thrown over the debt ceiling debate, which eventually led to our country’s credit being downgraded.
Newt Gingrich referring to the president as “the food stamp president” and saying that Pres. Obama “knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit.”
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn — who supposedly enjoys a warm relationship with the president, saying he doesn’t think President Obama wants to destroy the country, but “his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him as an African-American male” who “received tremendous advantage from” welfare programs.
Congressman Mitch McConnell’s bold proclamation that he wants to be Senate Majority Leader to make sure that Obama is a one-term president.
Rush Limbaugh saying that he wants to see this president fail. (Note: Limbaugh has modified that statement to say he meant his “policies.” But when it was said, it was less than a year into Obama’s presidency and he was still cleaning up the mess from the previous president’s policies, which Limbaugh had very little to say about during the Bush era).
Former Fox News host Glenn Beck declaring on the air that the president “hates white people” and “the white culture.”
Television personality Donald Trump’s over-the-top taunting of the president, hyping unprecedented demands to see the president’s birth certificate.
The shouts of “We want our country back!” by the Tea Party.
And the frequent habit of not calling the president by his proper honorific: “President Obama”, rather than just “Obama” — by quite a few elected officials, pundits and others.
That last one, not calling President Obama by the title he earned by winning the presidency, is one that permeates both the left and the right and in newsrooms across the country. I’ll admit that liberals did the same thing to President Bush, and it was wrong then too. Once a president leaves office, I can understand dropping that title but while a president is sitting in that oval office, she/he is deserving of our respect. I remember hearing a discussion on NPR about standard journalistic practices of calling any president by their honorific title when first referring to her/him and then dropping the title after that in a story or article. Journalism sure has changed in recent years hasn’t it?
It goes even further than just not calling him by his earned title, many of them show their disrespect by simply saying his name with disdain. And a lot of that comes from the left. I’ve never seen Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald say President Obama’s name without them oozing contempt for the man and showing outright hatred in their white superior, elitist tone. I always have to wonder what makes them think they are superior to a man who was the President of Harvard Law Review and elected to the most powerful position on the fucking planet…and they feel like they can be condescending to that man. Hmmmm, I smell racism, how about you?
September 08, 2011 4:45 PM
It’s not a Ponzi scheme
By Steve Benen
In last night’s debate, Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” Fox News’ Brit Hume says Social Security can “in many ways,” be “likened to a Ponzi scheme.” CNN’s Erick Erickson believes Social Security “is, for all intents and purposes, a Ponzi scheme.” Fox News’ Eric Bolling agrees with Perry that Social Security “is a Ponzi scheme.” Rush Limbaugh told listeners, “I want to applaud” Perry’s claim that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
I hate to spoil the Republicans’ fun here, but Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme.
Over the next 75 years, Social Security’s shortfall is equal to about 0.7 percent of GDP (pdf). If we increase its revenues by that amount — which could be accomplished by lifting the cap on payroll taxes — or reduce its benefits by that amount or do some combination of the two, Social Security is back in the black. Here are 30 policy tweaks that could get us there.
Why does Social Security show a shortfall? As Stephen C. Goss, the system’s chief actuary, has written, Social Security projects an imbalance “because birth rates dropped from three to two children per woman.” That means there are relatively fewer young people paying for the old people. “Importantly,” Goss continues, “this shortfall is basically stable after 2035.” In other words, we only have to fix Social Security once. After we reform it to take account of modern demographics, the system is set for the foreseeable future.
And that’s…it. That’s what’s needed to fix Social Security. All this talk about it being a “monstrous lie” or “a Ponzi scheme” or “broken” is meant to create a crisis to clear the way for radical changes in Social Security. But if folks want to make radical changes to Social Security, they should just make the argument for their proposed fixes. And good luck to them.
Nick Baumann recently made a Venn diagram noting the differences between the Social Security program and a Ponzi scheme. Someone might want to send Rick Perry a copy.
GOP Senators Trot Out Hans von Spakovsky To Defend Voter ID Laws
Democrats will have a longtime civil rights lawyer and a law professor who conducted an extensive study on voter fraud testify at Thursday’s Senate hearing on the rash of voter ID laws sweeping states across the country. The Republicans will have Hans von Spakovsky.
Republican’s choice of von Spakovsky isn’t all that surprising. After all, he’s pretty much the only person with an expertise in election law who holds the view that voter fraud is a major problem, even if he’s never been able to provide the evidence to back that assertion up.
As longtime TPM readers already know, von Spakovsky was a controversial figure in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and at the Federal Election Commission. He’s been pushing for restrictions on the right to vote for years. Over the objections of career staffers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, von Spakovsky granted preclearance to Georgia’s voter ID law.
“Hans von Spakvosky has certainly spent a significant portion of his career devoted to pushing for photo ID requirements” and other measures which restrict access to the polls,” Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center said at a panel featuring progressive leaders discussing various efforts to curtail voting rights held Thursday morning. “He certainly comes at this with an agenda.”
“There aren’t very many other people who share both his knowledge and his views,” Weiser told TPM after the panel. “I read that as people who understand the issues don’t hold those views.”
Weiser and the Brennan Center were in a bit of a squabble ahead of Thursday afternoon’s hearing. Von Spakovsky has taken issue with a 2006 Brennan Center survey which found that as many as 11 percent of citizens — up to 21 million people — lack government issued identification, calling the report “both dubious in its methodology and results and suspect in its sweeping conclusions.”
The Brennan Center issued a response to von Spakovsky’s criticism, standing by their report.
Weiser said that von Spakovsky’s criticism was “completely” without merit. “It doesn’t even appear that he read the study,” Weiser joked.
TPM will have full coverage of the Senate hearing on voter ID laws throughout the afternoon.
Republicans Deserve Perry; the Country Doesn’t
Thursday, September 08, 2011 | Posted by sepiagurlsweetspot at 11:40 AM
Rick Perry went into last night’s Republican debate thinking Perry was the one and I came out feeling stronger than ever that he truly is their man.
Since President Barack Obama was elected and inaugurated, the Far Right Republicans, now known as the Tea Party, have been spoiling for a fight. This country went through hell under President Bush but not a peep was heard from them. They agreed with everything he did and said and they loved his tough guy stance. Now they have in Perry who is way worse than Bush and they love it.
They want someone who will manifest all their crazy, pent-up fury against this President and they have found it in Perry. He will not back down. He will not apologize. He shows no empathy. He shows certainty and self-confidence. He is white, Southern and unabashedly proud. He is the complete polar opposite of the man they live to hate: Obama.
Democrats do themselves an injustice if they laugh at or dismiss this man. He is playing to win and in this crazy political climate he can. Oh, yes he can!!!
The RepubTeaParty know that this election will cement everything they have ever dreamed of. The Supreme Court is at stake, Affirmative Action is at stake, Brown v Board is at stake, Abortion Rights are at stake. Collective Bargaining, Social Security and Medicaid are at stake. Right down the line this election brings us to a fork in the road with regard to policy, politics in this country. If Democrats came away from that debate and still think they can stay home and not turn out just to hurt President Obama, they got it wrong. They will only hurt themselves for years to come and President Obama will go home and still be a millionaire with a great wife, children and family and tremendous financial opportunities ahead of him. He will still get healthcare for the rest of his life, live in the best places here and anywhere in the world he chooses. President Obama will be fine. We will not.
Last night’s debate cemented, for me, the urgency of the time we are in. It made much clearer that the moment we are in should not be wasted on petty slights and contrived hurts. This is not a board game. This is a reality show that is all too real for those who will be collateral damage once it is over.
President Obama has made some mistakes in the way he addressed some issues with regard to the RepubTeaParty. But this does not mean he is not a Democrat. He just believes that people should be civil, kind and caring to others. He believes he should be President for all Americans. He believes in empathy, in hope and in the goodness of his fellow man/woman. Yes, he clearly underestimated their hate. Yes, he thought they would be reasonable. This is what a person with a compassionate and caring heart would think. But on the other side of all that is group of people who truly do not see him as a legitimate human being. If they did, they would not treat him like an animal with rabies. Their hate is irrational and out of bounds and it appears to have consumed them.
Perry won that debate last night as far as I am concerned. He won because he qualified for what they want him to do. The RepubTeaParty want a straight shooting (literally), straight talking, give-em-hell-without-sissying-out kinda guy and Perry is it.
Perry is their nominee and Democrats better wake up and prepare for the fight to come. It will not be pretty. President Obama up against him on tv screens all over the country will give them what they want and he will take it to the President big time. I and many like me have full confidence that our President can meet the challenge but there are those who do not feel he can.
One thing I have learned about this country since moving here is that Americans like good looking, strong, politicians who say what they mean and mean what they say and look good on tv. Perry has a lot of dumb and wrong ideas but he puts them fourth with swagger and he will be the man to beat.
Don’t think he cannot become President. He can. If you doubt that you are not living in reality show America where we got President Bush for 8 years. Anything can happen in this election and we should expect the unexpected.
Republicans deserve Perry as Nominee but the country as a whole do not deserve him as President. Will the country wake up in time to see what is really in front of them? We can only hope.
Here’s What Voter ID Laws are About
Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 02:01:06 PM EST
You might know some people who are convinced that requiring a photo identification at the polls is a reasonable demand. However, I hope everyone understands that you can’t make people pay to vote. That’s called a Poll Tax, and it is unconstitutional. So, when Republicans create Voter ID laws, they have to provide for a free identification card or the law will be struck down by the courts. In Wisconsin, they’ve found a way around this:
An internal memo from a top Department of Transportation official instructs workers at Division of Motor Vehicles service centers not to tell members of the public that they can obtain voter identification cards free of charge — unless they know to ask for it.
The memo, recently obtained by The Capital Times, was written by Steve Krieser and sent to all state Department of Transportation and Department of Motor Vehicles employees on July 1, the same day employees were to begin issuing photo IDs in accordance with a controversial new voter photo ID law adopted earlier in the year.
As laid out in the memo, failure to check a box when applying for photo ID with the Division of Motor Vehicles will result in the payment of $28. Interviews conducted about the memo suggest the state is more interested in continuing to charge the fee, which is required for a photo ID used for non-voting purposes, than it is in removing all barriers and providing easy access to a free, photo ID.
“While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box, you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it,” Krieser writes to employees.
I kind of feel like I should get a refund for the cost of my passport or driver’s license, as those would be my two main sources of photo identification. But, in any case, this is a rather clear way of demonstrating the true intent of Voter ID laws. Actual voter fraud involving voting under a false identity is almost entirely non-existent. Even President Bush’s Justice Department, one of the most politicized and disgraceful departments in the history of the country, could find no evidence of systemic voter fraud. That’s because it isn’t happening and these Voter ID laws are expensive and cumbersome wastes of time. Except that, the laws discourage poor people from voting. That’s the intent. And that’s why only 59% of the people who have gotten their Photo ID in Wisconsin since this bill passed have gotten it for free. Forty-one percent of the people got ripped off and had to pay $28. And an untold number of people didn’t get a free ID because they weren’t told they were free.
Republicans want to win elections by preventing poor people from voting. Period.
Despite 41 DNA Exonerations In Texas In Last 9 Years, Perry Says He Never Loses Sleep Over Executing The Innocent
By Marie Diamond on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm
At last night’s GOP presidential debate in California, front runner Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) defended his record of overseeing 235 executions in Texas, the most of any modern governor by far and nearly half of those conducted in the state since the death penalty went into effect in 1976.
Perry insisted that he’s never lost sleep at night worrying that any one of them might have been innocent. “I’ve never struggled with that at all,” Perry said.
That’s despite the fact that during Perry’s tenure as governor, DNA evidence has exonerated at least 41 people convicted in Texas, Scott Horton writes in Harper’s. According to the Innocence Project, “more people have been freed through DNA testing in Texas than in any other state in the country, and these exonerations have revealed deep flaws in the state’s criminal justice system.” Some 85 percent of wrongful convictions in Texas, or 35 of the 41 cases, are due to mistaken eyewitness identifications.
Those exonerations include Cornelius Dupree, who had already spent 30 years in prison for rape, robbery, and abduction when DNA evidence proved unequivocally that he was not the man who had committed those crime. Tim Cole, the brother of Texas Sen. Rodney Ellis (D), was posthumously pardoned a decade after he died in prison when DNA evidence proved his innocence. The total failure of the Texas courts to protect these innocent individuals reveal a system plagued by racial injustices, procedural flaws, and a clemency review process that’s nothing but a rubber stamp on executions.
Leading the country in wrongful convictions probably should give Perry a moment’s pause about the reliability of a criminal justice process he described last night as “thoughtful.” Perry has allowed the execution of juveniles, the mentally disabled, and people who have had such inadequate counsel that their court-appointed lawyers literally slept through their trials. Additionally, Perry has overseen the executions of seven foreign nationals and two men who were accomplices but did not actually commit murder.
And he may well have already executed an innocent man. The case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 for the arson deaths of his three daughters and maintained his innocence until his dying day, will likely continue to haunt Perry throughout the campaign. Several scientists and forensics experts have questioned the evidence that led to Willingham’s conviction, but Perry “squashed” an official probe into his execution.
Let’s Take A Hint From Newt Gingrich While Exposing His LIES About ObamaCare!
I must admit last night’s Republican Debate was quite entertaining but also enlightening if you were not well informed about the direction of where each and everyone of the candidates want to take this county. Simply put, they want to rape the country dry and make it like a third world country. You can just sum up the narrative of the debate, undoing anything President Obama has done and then some.
However, one thing stood out to me. That is the political mind displayed by Newt Gingrich to preemptively put the tone of the debate early on from getting nasty. These is what Newt said when Politico’s John Harris asked him to weigh in on the “genuine philosophical difference” between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney over the individual health care mandate with the kind of scolding that was unnecessary but got many applause from the Republican candidates as well as debate participants (transcript below the video) :
I am frankly not interested in your efforts trying to get Republicans to fight with each other…..You would like to puff this up into some giant thing. The fact is every person up here understand that Obama Care is a disaster. It was a disaster procedurally. It was rammed through after they lost Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts. It was written badly. It was never reconciled. It can’t be implemented. It is killing this economy. If this President has any concern for working Americans, he will walk in here Thursday night and asks us to repeal it. Because it is a monstrosity. Every person in here agrees with that. (Huge applause).
Since I have a little time left, let me just say, I for one and I hope all of my friends up here are going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republican to fight each other to protect Barack Obama who deserves to be defeated and all of us are committed as a team whoever the nominee is, we are all for defeating Barack Obama.
Here is my take. Everything Newt said is a lie about the ineffectiveness of ObamaCare which I will prove below. However, the man is a giant persuasive debater if you are low information voter who has never laid an eye on what has been going on in the political world which in fact was what he was catering that performance towards. It was effective and got him huge applause. Not only the man knows how to play politics but also he knows how to defuse what could have been a nasty debate we would have loved to see by stepping in to speak as if the Republican candidates are one coalition. The emphasis put is we are united against them (us Democrats).
I just wish that progressives would stand to support the only Democratic Candidate we have for the Presidency in the same way the Republicans stand together even though they are divided ideologically. I also wish knowing that we don’t have a better candidate than President Obama at this time, many of the critics of President Obama tone down the over the top rhetoric that does nothing to build a coalition except divide the party because as one commenter stated, “there is far to much at stake for us as Party and a Nation, to be playing games with the Republicans and their hate for the American poor, elderly and children”. We just can’t afford to lose because if anything we have seen is any indication, we must fight hard, unite as one and ensure that the 113th congress is a Democratic Congress and the White House is occupied by President Obama for another term.
If we are interested in electing more and better Democrat, let’s get out in our local communities and elect candidate that reflect our ideals. Support your primary candidate vigorously because believe me if your candidate wins the primary, they will win the 2012 election as we all unite to get out to vote as we did for President Obama in 2008. Let’s stop showing defeat because we have so much to show and be prideful. I am proud and hopeful. I hope Democrat see beyond the short term to acknowledge that we live in a very complex time that require extra ordinary and calm leadership. We have that leader. Let’s give him the tools to implement what I will guarantee is one million times better future for all Americans than what the Republicans have stored for America.
FOUND THIS over at The Peoples View in the comments:
We should ignore the “leftwing” frustrati because they are irrelevant. They purport to know a great deal about politics, including everything the President should and should not do when, in fact, most of them have never been in politics themselves and have no idea what goes on in the halls of power.
Their “facts” are often wrong, incomplete, or taken out of context. Their knowledge of the political process is scanty and they can’t comprehend nuances, nor do they have any awareness of how things have always been accomplished within our government since its inception. They have little concept of the three branches of government and how they interact, believing the President is responsible for everything that does and doesn’t happen in politics. They seem to think the President does absolutely no wheeling and dealing behind the scenes before he presents everything out in public, so that they only critique the tail end of anything while having no knowledge of the beginnings.
Their grasp of history is meager, and they tend to pick out the successes done by the Presidents of the past without taking into account any of their failures or the political climate of their day and age. They criticize the President for being nothing but an orator while at the same time accusing him of never using the bully pulpit, which, I presume, means for them engaging in a rant, which is the only kind of rhetoric they applaud. When one of their “heroes” speaks out forcefully on an issue, they lionize him or her without ever taking into account his or her voting record or accomplishments in office.
They spend a great deal of time in Paranoia Land, perpetually on the watch for statements made by the White House and its supporters that they might construe as a personal attack on them so they can believe they are prime players on the political stage. They compile long lists of everything he has not done to their satisfaction but never, ever cite anything he has accomplished. They also see the American electorate as powerless victims of the government representatives they voluntarily elected. They are decadent thinkers who subsume the whole to its parts, moving from grain of sand to grain of sand and never getting their heads out of the sand to see the beach and the ocean.
They have the acumen of a chainsaw that’s been left out in the rain for a week; they want to be edgy but they just can’t cut it. I, for one, am glad these soi-disant “progressives” will not be working to re-elect the President, as they are neither clear-thinking, well-informed, nor persuasive. If they are actually working out there to promote “progressive” causes (and despite what they may “think”, lolling in the blogosphere all day is NOT activism), they are totally ineffectual as none of their demands have been met (not that they would recognize it if they had been met) to their satisfaction. Though I may agree with many of the values they express, I find it difficult to believe such self-absorbed, rude, paranoid, angry people really care anything at all about the actual welfare of their fellow citizens.
If you have a clear vision of a better world, you begin to bring it about by acting accordingly in your personal encounters and endeavors, which begins and ends with tolerance, flexibility and kindness. Let them have their vanity venues if it makes them feel meaningful. As Gogol Bordello sings, “Revolution is eternal. Evolution is not over.” If it’s not based in peace, love and understanding, it’s NOT revolutionary.
Watch that Chris Mattews. He’s been on that “WHO THE FUCK IS OBAMA?” KICK LATELY
Fk Chris Matthews! Here they go with that same old bullshit again! Ass clowns!
LMBAO Mr. spittle himself. I can’t stand Matthews.
Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 09/08/2011
Reid turns tables on Obama speech-skippers by setting Thursday-night debt vote
By Felicia Sonmez
The handful of Republican members who had planned on skipping President Obama’s jobs address to a joint session Thursday night might have to think again.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a vote for Thursday to proceed on a measure related to the country’s debt – a can’t-miss vote for most members.
The timing of the vote? Right after Obama’s 7 p.m. jobs speech.
Reid’s move means that the few Senate Republicans who had planned to skip town Thursday night are now reconsidering their options.
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who had sent an e-mail to supporters Wednesday trumpeting his decision to skip the speech and host a New Orleans Saints party instead, said Thursday that he would remain in Washington for the speech and vote – but he was not pleased to be doing so.
In a second e-mail to supporters and in messages on Twitter and Facebook, Vitter accused Reid of playing politics by scheduling the debt vote for Thursday night.
“Typical Harry Reid,” Vitter wrote to supporters in a message with the subject line, “More Scheduling Hijinks.” “He’s now scheduled votes that should’ve been held this morning for right before and right AFTER prez’s speech. Pens in those who would have skipped speech, like me. So now I’ll miss my own Saints game party at home. Always knew Harry was a Dirty Birds fan! Don’t worry — only strengthens my Who Dat resolve. On to the Super Bowl!”
The Saints face off against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night in the NFL season opener, shortly after Obama’s speech. Vitter and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) as well as a handful of House Republicans had announced that they would be skipping Obama’s address; a DeMint spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday on whether the South Carolina Republican would now attend the speech.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson took aim at Vitter’s remarks, calling it “a sad commentary on the state of the Republican Party when a Republican senator is whining about having to show a modicum of respect to the President of the United States, and do the job his constituents hired him – and are paying him – to do.”
“We have a packed schedule this fall as Congress works to create jobs and get our economy back on track,” Jentleson said. “The American people are sacrificing every day as they try to make ends meet in this tough economy – it’s not too much to ask Senator Vitter to sacrifice a few hours on his couch to vote on a bill that will create jobs and spur small-business entrepreneurship by streamlining our patent system. I’m sure he’s aware that there are televisions in the Capitol as well.”
Why I Think Rick Perry Did Not Help Himself
By James Fallows
Sep 8 2011, 12:32 AM ET
1) Ponzi scheme, as shown in the exchange below with Romney over Social Security. Romney is already in “running as the party’s nominee rather than for the Tea Party vote in South Carolina” mode. Perry is not. Among the differences is Romney’s recognition that he can’t run next fall in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, and elsewhere on the proposition that Social Security is a fraud and a failure.
2) Galileo. I am on a slow overseas connection and don’t have time to find the clip, but what Perry said about Galileo was flat-out moronic.* Voters don’t want to be led by a bunch of eggheads and Ivy League faculty members. But I assert that over time they want someone who sounds like he (or she) knows what he is talking about — which meant only Romney and Huntsman in this debate. There are times when a crisp, “let’s not get too complicated, here are the simple truths” approach can seal the deal. The sainted Ronald Reagan had that, versus Jimmy Carter. But even Reagan labored until late in that campaign to show that he was “serious” enough for the job — as I’ve mentioned before, it was a much closer race, until the end, than people assume in retrospect. And for Perry, I think that too little time has passed since the GW Bush administration. The memories of crisp, hyper-decisive, but under-informed answers to complicated issues are still there, and for a general-election campaign are not a plus. Perry sounds less “compassionate” than the GW Bush of the 2000 campaign, and less reflective or informed.
3) No regrets. I still have enough faith in the basic Will Rogers-style, Tom Hanks-style, even Reagan-style, humanity of the general electorate to think that the exchange below — the lusty cheers for the announcement of how many people Texas has executed, followed by Perry’s saying he has had not one instant’s regret about literal matters of life and death — is not going to wear well in a general election campaign. If I’m wrong, we’ve got more to worry about than even I believe. Note: we’re not talking about hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden. These are cheers for executions per se.
To my eye: Romney moves smoothly ahead, Perry raises some of the “hey, wait a minute” doubts that have pulled down Bachmann since her early prominence. Romney and Huntsman, who sounded way smoother and more confident than he had before, were the two who seem as if they realize there is a campaign to run against Obama after the primaries. Obviously I am not part of the Tea Party base. But one of these people is going to have to run for non-Tea Party votes a year from now, and that’s the standard I am applying.
*To spell it out: until this evening’s debate, the only reason anyone would use the example of Galileo-vs-the-Vatican was to show that for reasons of dogma, close-mindedness, and “faith-based” limits on inquiry, the findings of real science were too often ignored or ruled out of consideration. And Perry applies that analogy to his argument that we shouldn’t listen to today’s climate scientists? There are a million good examples of scientific or other expert consensus that turned out to be wrong, which is the point Perry wanted to make. He could have used IBM’s early predictions that the total world market for computers would be a mere handful, or the “expert” resistance to public-health and medical theories by Pasteur or Lister, or anything from the great book The Experts Speak.
The reason I think this stings over time is that it’s like someone who tries to fancy himself up by using a great big word — and uses it the wrong way. Hey, I’ll mention Galileo! Unfortunately in mentioning him, I’ll show that I don’t know the first thing about that case or what an “analogy” is. It’s better to be plain spoken.
BREAKING: Fourth Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge To Affordable Care Act On Procedural Grounds |
The Fourth Circuit just handed down two opinions ordering that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act, along with another challenge to brought by Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, both must be dismissed entirely on jurisdictional grounds. Judge Davis dissented from the Liberty University opinion to say that he would reach the merits and uphold the law. Today’s decisions are the first court of appeals decisions to dismiss a case for want of jurisdiction after a lower court reached the merits — potentially raising the possibility that one or more of the justices could agree with them and prevent this constitutional question from being decided on the merits until after 2014.
At debate, Perry physically grabbed Paul and got in his face. Not. Fit. For. Office.
This guy has just done himself in – this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Rick Perry does not have the temperament to be President. He threatened to execute Bernanke for treason and now he’s assaulting fellow Republicans during a commercial break at last night’s debate.
Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:25 AM PDT
Romney attacks Perry on Social Security during Republican debate+*
by Joan McCarter
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sees the political value of campaigning on the promise of protecting Social Security. At least that was the core of his attack on Texas Gov. Rick Perry in last night’s debate. Meanwhile, Perry is continuing to display his stunning ignorance on what Ponzi schemes really are.
There was one thing and one thing only on the minds and lips of Mitt Romney’s aides and advisers after Wednesday night’s Republican presidential primary debate: Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s position on Social Security.
Perry doubled down during the debate on his past statements of Social Security as a “ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie.” But Romney—the former Massachusetts governor—and his campaign looked past the rhetoric, calling that a distraction from the substance of Perry’s position on the issue, which they said amounts to being in favor of ending the program.
A top Perry aide refused, under repeated questions from The Huffington Post, to rule out the idea that Perry would favor dissolving altogether the 76-year-old program that pays out benefits to seniors.[…]
“This is going to be a really big deal,” said Lanhee Chan, Romney’s policy director. “To make the argument that Social Security effectively has to be eliminated is a complete non starter.”
“You’ve got millions of Americans who depend on Social Security,” Chan added. “He’s going to have a really tough time explaining why he wants to kill Social Security.”
Perry’s camp was defiant under fire.
“[Romney] can pound all he wants,” Perry communications director Ray Sullivan said. “That does say something about how he feels about his condition in his race, I think. The governor will roll out policy ideas and solutions to the nation’s ills throughout the course of the campaign.”
But Sullivan refused to explicitly deny that Perry wants to “end” the program, despite repeated attempts by HuffPost to clarify Perry’s stance.
It is a huge vulnerability for Perry—even senior teabaggers understand that they paid into Social Security their whole lives, it’s their money. Perry’s team seems to recognize that in their refusal to clarify what exactly their candidate would do with the program, they’ve got a problem. There’s a gulf between his rhetoric and any real plan for the program other than abolishing it that they just can’t breach. While they’re working on that, they might also talk to their boss about what Ponzi schemes really are.
Seems with this squabble going on, some strong words, and some action from President Obama on keeping Social Security strong for the next century (hint, lifting the payroll tax cap) would be particularly helpful.
September 08, 2011 11:20 AM ‘Galileo got outvoted for a spell’
By Steve Benen
Perhaps the most quoted line from last night’s Republican debate referenced, of all people, Galileo Galilei.
Q: Gov. Perry, Gov. Huntsman was not specific about names, but the two of you do have a difference of opinion about climate change. Just recently in New Hampshire, you said that weekly and even daily scientists are coming forward to question the idea that human activity is behind climate change. Which scientists have you found most credible on this subject?
PERRY: Well, I do agree that there is — the science is — is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at — at — at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just — is nonsense. I mean, it — I mean — and I tell somebody, I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.
Putting aside Rick Perry’s confusion about the consensus on climate science, I’m still not sure what the Galileo reference is even supposed to mean.
He “got outvoted”? If by “outvoted,” Perry means “deemed a heretic by the Inquisition for proving heliocentrism,” then sure, Galileo “got outvoted.”
But in context, what is it, exactly, that Perry is trying to say? Galileo was, after all, correct. His ideas were controversial and inconvenient for society’s most powerful leaders of the day, but the facts were on his side.
Does Perry think Galileo’s experience bolsters the case against climate science? Maybe someone can translate this one for me; I can’t find my far-right decoder ring this morning.
Will Palin Jump In?
Jonathan Bernstein builds off my aside:
Andrew Sullivan, who thought as I did that Perry did poorly, thinks (natch) that it “gives Palin an opening.” I’ll say one thing: whether it’s Palin or Jeb or Thune or Barbour or Daniels or Huck, it’s hard to believe that any of the sort-ofs (past and present) looked at the debate and couldn’t picture themselves winning solidly. As regular readers know, I like thinking about the incentives that politicians see but don’t try to get inside their heads beyond that…all I’d say is that if Palin is on the fence between becoming an all-in candidate or not, I’m pretty confident that the debate pushes her towards yes.
One reason I think she may well still run is not just that it’s who she is, but the vehemence of the Republican political and media establishment’s hostility to her candidacy. That’ll goad her some more. And remember: her cult following is larger than Ron Paul’s, her fundamentalist cred is deeper than even Rick Perry’s, and her ambition and vanity are boundless.
Reading some “conservative” responses to Perry this morning – cheering him when he seemed to me to be throwing away any chance in a general election – it occurred to me they’re protesting too much. They fear her too. Imagine a long primary campaign in which she tears apart the base and the establishment, wins and is unelectable or loses and runs as a Tea Party candidate instead. No Palin scenario is good for the GOP. Which is why they are quietly trying to strangle her candidacy (et vos, Ann and Laura?) before it can even begin.
8 Sep 2011 10:44 AM
Debate Reax II: Can Perry Win?
Nate Silver spots Perry’s Achilles heel: his likely weakness in the general election:
Electability does matter to primary voters. Historically, parties have rarely nominated the most ideologically extreme candidates in their field. Yes, George McGovern and Barry Goldwater won — but they have been more the exceptions than the rule as compared with a host of others (Howard Dean, Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Brown) who lost.
Yglesias is in the same ballpark:
[W]hen trying to think like a Republican base voter it’s worth remembering that one thing a Republican base voter wants to do is beat Barack Obama. If you came in to last night’s debate thinking that Perry would be the weaker general election candidate, nothing he said or did would tend to eliminate those fears. He gave a rambling, incoherent answer to a pretty straightforward question about climate change, insisted on making inflammatory statements about Social Security divorced from any policy point, etc.
To my eye: Romney moves smoothly ahead, Perry raises some of the “hey, wait a minute” doubts that have pulled down Bachmann since her early prominence. Romney and Huntsman, who sounded way smoother and more confident than he had before, were the two who seem as if they realize there is a campaign to run against Obama after the primaries. Obviously I am not part of the Tea Party base. But one of these people is going to have to run for non-Tea Party votes a year from now, and that’s the standard I am applying.
My big takeaway of the evening is that Rick Perry emerged (barely) as the winner, if “winner” is a word that can properly describe this crew. Perry seemed sure of himself most of the time, and projected gravitas, except for some stumbles that may not look like stumbles (more on which later). Romney seemed strangely insubstantial next to him. Why on earth didn’t Romney go after Perry more?
The revelation from the Republican presidential debate: Rick Perry and his team utterly failed to prepare answers to utterly predictable questions on “military adventurism” and Social Security. Worse than that, Perry’s Social Security answer delivered President Obama the perfect clip for a 2012 negative ad: Rick Perry in his too-new suit and too-shiny tie denouncing Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. If Perry wins the nomination, expect to see that moment reiterated in as many TV ads as $1 billion in presidential campaign funds can buy.
Overall, I’d say that Romney and Perry did well, Romney perhaps a little more so, while Bachmann lost by not engaging, and the rest of the field didn’t make a case for their relevancy to the eventual outcome. If Perry can work on his delivery a bit over the next two debates, this will become a two-man race.
[I]t looks to be a pretty straight-up Romney-Perry race. What will be interesting to watch is how the party establishment handles this matchup. You’d think from the way the media have framed it that the establishment will be totally behind Romney. I’m not so sure. A lot of the party’s establishment these days is in Texas
[F]or [Perry’s] first outing on the national stage, he did just fine. From the outset he stirred things up. This was, for example, the first debate I can think of when anyone on stage had the guts to criticize Mitt Romney for anything. Perry did just that—and with gusto. He dismissed Karl Rove as basically a nut. He even threw an elbow at Ron Paul just for kicks. Overall he added a little sizzle to a group whose idea of cutting-edge humor involves Al Gore discovering the Internet and Obama’s overuse of teleprompters (so 2009).
[I]t was when Perry talked about the death penalty that you saw how his candidacy can tap into the conservative soul: he was utterly untroubled by the thought he might have authorised the execution of an innocent prisoner (as he almost certainly did in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham) and, what’s more, the audience cheered him to the echo. I thought it revolting but it was popular stuff, delivered in the appropriate “alpha male” style of a man with balls big enough to fry an innocent man. And, in the end, that’s what a large part of Perry’s appeal rests upon: an idea of how a conservative Presidential candidate should look, talk and walk. Never mind the substance, feel the attitude dude.
Amy Davidson focuses on the same moment:
Is “justice” some sort of slot machine that works best, in terms of wins, when it turns out the most bodies? The applause will likely be cited as an example of our national bloodthirstiness. That’s not quite right, though; the truth is a little worse. Even a death-penalty supporter might be expected to remember that each execution is part of a story that involves the death of a victim, maybe more than one. For there to be a lot of executions, there have to have been a lot of murders—and that can hardly be cause for happiness. But one suspects that, for this audience, “death penalty” had ceased to be anything but a political symbol—a word disconnected from actual lives and deaths. It wouldn’t be the only sign of detachment from reality in the debate.
Romney demonstrated a thorough command of issues, while Perry served up word salad, Palin style, once the questions got complicated. Romney defended Social Security, while Perry reaffirmed his belief that the program was a “ponzi scheme.” I won’t pretend to know how their respective performances will affect the campaign, because I’m not a conservative. But if this were a contest of smarts, savvy, and polish, Romney would have won handily.
It’s easy to read too much into a debate, but if Wednesday night did nothing else it proved that the biggest threat to Rick Perry’s candidacy continues to be Rick Perry.
September 08, 2011
A Night at the Reagan Library
To what I hope is not my lasting dismay, Rick Perry was unprepared last night. He came out of the chute looking and sounding confidant in having presided over a vast, low-wage, uninsured outback of high school dropouts, which, undeniably, appeals to Tea Party nihilists. Yet no one from this century or last seems to have told him — that, or he vetoed the telling — that even libertarian, anarchic nihilists love receiving monthly government checks in the twilight of their Limbaugh-listening years.
What a shock. A Texas swaggerer who chooses to stay the course. When he relaunched his assault on the monstrously lying, Ponzi-scheming fraud of Social Security — perhaps the most beloved, most successful federal safety net ever — Perry’s swagger was actually, eerily audible. He seemed to have swallowed the popular misconception that voters admire and will support a pol who just “tells it like it is,” even if “it” is incompatible with both their brain and pocketbook.
When the applause failed to rise to Perry’s level of blustery audacity, though — and, what was more, Mitt Romney’s responsive left hook connected — the governor looked stunned, disoriented, maybe even a trifle chastened. He scurried to brace his swagger and change the subject — “Maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country and say things like: ‘Let’s get America working again and do whatever it takes to make that happen’ ” — but the damage was done. Perry, before a national audience, had confirmed and even flaunted his rootin’–tootin’ malevolence toward “57 percent of Republicans opposed to major changes in Social Security,” as well as “62 percent of independents.”
Damn. Look for a narrowing — soon — of the Perry-Romney gap in Republican preferences. The pseudoconservative base may indeed be overpopulated by reactionary cry babies, but the one who wishes to be the cry baby in chief should never threaten to take away their candy. And that’s precisely what Perry did last night — again. Let the demotic whining ensue, and expect to witness some Perry adjustments, but he cannot now swagger his way out of reels and reels of video tape.
Maybe I’m wrong. I certainly hope I’m wrong. However it shall be recorded that Mitt Romney, thanks to Rick Perry’s unenterprising recklessness, commenced reclawing his way to the top one night at the Reagan Library.
I’d much prefer a Perry nomination, for only that will ensure the GOP’s catastrophic collapse in 2012 and subsequent, sobered retrenchment along Establishment lines. Still, a Romney nomination would potentially possess the upside of a far-right breakoff, perhaps even in suicidal third-party time.
Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:41 AM PDT
Bachmann announces plan to get angry at President Obama after his jobs speech+*
by Jed Lewison
Just in time for kickoff:
Bachmann fills vacuum, announces rebuttal to Obama jobs speech
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), struggling to maintain visibility as a Republican presidential candidate, will rebut President Obama’s jobs speech to Congress on Thursday, her congressional office said.
Bachmann’s speech is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. in a House television studio, but will be timed to follow Obama.
There is no formal Republican response to Obama’s job speech, a void Bachmann appears poised to fill as she works to keep her name in the national discussion.
Of course the first (and probably only) question people are going to have about her speech tonight is this: will Michele Bachmann finally at long last be able to figure out where the camera is? And if so, will she be able to make eye contact with it?
The dumb ass bee itch didn’t even hear it yet. How the hell are you gonna oppose something & you haven’t heard the plan? Crazy heffa!
Five takeaways from the Reagan Library debate
Eight Republicans came to fight for the attention of Republican voters at the Politico-NBC debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday, but only two of them mattered.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former front runner Mitt Romney duked it out while the also rans tried their best to get in. But while Newt Gingrich quibbled at the questions and Ron Paul called for an end to entitlements and airline security, here were the key takeaways from the night:
1. Rick Perry really, really thinks Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. He double and tripled-down on that tonight, despite a pretty firm rebuke from Romney. As David Frum tweeted, if Perry winds up being the nominee, that quote will haunt him. And I’m pretty sure Social Security will be the big headline coming out of the debate.
2. Perry also appealed to the anti-science crowd. Perry also refused to back down from his doubts on climate change, though he seemed stumped when asked to name a single scientist who agrees with him. I think he might have even tried to say his scientist was Galileo…
3. Romney was in attack mode. He went after Perry, but even moreso, he trained his attacks on President Obama. As serious and prepared as Romney seemed — he was arguably the technical winner of the debate — it’s hard to see him capturing the passion of the GOP base, which is much more like Perry than it is like Mitt. After all, this was a crowd, in the room at the Reagan Library, that cheered loudly, at the thought of hundreds of executions in Texas.
4. Michele Bachmann disappeared — even her signature “Obamacare” slams seemed to fall flat in the room. She didn’t come across as terribly new or interesting, and failed, utterly, to stand out. Ed Rollins tried masterfully to spin her performance on MSNBC afterward as “not designed to knock someone off the stage” the way Bachmann did to Tim Pawlenty in Iowa, but in reality, that’s exactly what she needed to do.
5. This is now a two-man race. Romney will have to stay on offense against Perry, and take some time off attacking Obama to do it. Perry will need to find a better answer — or an answer, period — on that Gardasil decision he made in Texas, and on his participation in the Al Gore campaign. But I’m sure the White House won’t be wishing him luck, since after tonight, they’ve got to be itching to face Rick Perry next November.
Rick Perry and Social Security
Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:15:11 AM EST
Even before last night’s Republican debate, conservatives were pondering what it means that their frontrunner wants to make old people eat cat food. It’s true that there is some kind of bad blood between Texas Governor Rick Perry and Karl Rove, but that doesn’t mean that Rove isn’t correct in his analysis:
Perry’s campaign has not backed away from what Perry wrote in his book “Fed Up” — that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme,” a “failure,” “something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now,” and one of many New Deal programs that have “never died, and like a bad disease, they have spread.” But Rove pulled no punches today, calling that stance “inadequate.”
“They are going to have to find a way to deal with these things,” Rove said.
“They’re toxic in a general election environment and they are also toxic in a Republican primary. And if you say Social Security is a failure and ought to be replaced by a state level program, then people are going to say ‘What do you mean by that?’ and make a judgment based on your answer to it,” he said.
All of that was pre-debate. But Rick Perry didn’t back down during the debate. He reiterated his belief that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and said any suggestion that Social Security will exist for young workers is a ‘monstrous lie.’ That led Romney’s campaign to declare that Perry has already lost.
He has lost. No federal candidate has ever won on the Perry program to kill Social Security. Never has. never will.
Yet, declaring Perry’s campaign to be doomed doesn’t make it true. If he were to win on this platform, he’d have a mandate to eviscerate the New Deal, including Social Security. And, right how, he has a big lead in the polls against his opponents, including Romney.
According to Nate Silver, Perry’s lead is based on the impression that he is electable. If that’s the case, his position on Social Security could undermine his frontrunner status. Yet, what’s clear is that the Republican electorate is not happy with Romney, and no one else appears remotely electable.
As for the merits of Perry’s critique of Social Security, so long as there is no lockbox, Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. We give our money to the government and a bond is created. The bond doesn’t belong to us. The money is spent on general revenues, working as an effective subsidy for rich people because it allows a lower tax rate than would be required if the government didn’t have Social Security funds to spend. Then, when the government looks at the costs of Social Security (repaying all the money they stole from the system) they decide that they need to reduce the benefits or raise the retirement age. That doesn’t mean that the money won’t be there for young workers, but it does mean that they’re not going to get what they’ve been promised. The problem could be fixed quite easily by raising marginal tax rates or by increasing how much income is subject to the FICA tax. But, that would require the Republican Party to go away.
Republicans are suppose to be the economic gurus, but they don’t even know what an annuity is. When an individual gives money to social security insurance, they are doing so with the promise that when they retire they will receive payments until they pass away. If that same individual goes to the bank and inquires about this type of program, they will be sold an annuity. They are the same thing, not a ponzi scheme but rather, a tried and true financial instrument. The only difference is that banks tend to invest there funds in slightly riskier options for a higher return. Social security invests in treasuries, completely lock box secure (unless the whole government debt system is threatened by radical default ideas – can you say tea bagger morons like Dead Beat Joe?). Social security offsets the lower return by (and this is the part super-rich Republicans hate) subsidizing part of the fund with employer contributions. It really galls people like the Koch brothers to contribute to a fund that won’t make a bit of difference in their financial standing, but can be a matter of life and death to their employees.
Restaurants want a piece of food stamp pie
The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show, as vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program.
Now, restaurants, which typically have not participated in the program, are lobbying for a piece of the action.
Louisville-based Yum! Brands, whose restaurants include Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver’s and Pizza Hut, is trying to get restaurants more involved, federal lobbying records show.
STORY: More retailers say yes to food stamps
That’s a prospect that anti-hunger advocates welcome, but one that worries some current food stamp vendors and public health advocates.
Federal rules generally prohibit food stamp benefits, which are distributed under the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), from being exchanged for prepared foods. Yet a provision dating to the 1970s allows states to allow restaurants to serve disabled, elderly and homeless people, USDA spokeswoman Jean Daniel said.
Between 2005 and 2010, the number of businesses certified in the SNAP program went from about 156,000 to nearly 209,000, according to USDA data.
Food stamp use surges
Food stamp benefits, (in billions):
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
There is big money at stake. USDA records show food stamp benefits swelled from $28.5 billion to $64.7billion in that period.
Four states accept restaurants, with Florida the most recent to begin a program.
“It makes perfect sense to expand a program that’s working well in California, Arizona and Michigan, enabling the homeless, elderly and disabled to purchase prepared meals with SNAP benefits in a restaurant environment,” Yum! spokesman Jonathan Blum said.
The National Restaurant Association supports Yum!, said spokeswoman Katie Laning Niebaum, but the National Association of Convenience Stores does not.
“If the pie’s only so big, nobody’s going to want to see the pie sliced thinner,” said Convenience Stores spokesman Jeff Lenard. “I’m not sure that’s in the best interest of public health.”
Kelly Brownell, director of Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, says encouraging more fast-food consumption is not good for people’s health. “It’s preposterous that a company like Yum! Brands would even be considered for inclusion in a program meant for supplemental nutrition.”
NYC Mayor Says Surveillance Of Muslim Neighborhoods Is Necessary
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday compared the New York Police Department’s surveillance of the city’s ethnic neighborhoods to screening kids for measles, and said the department had not unfairly targeted any group in an effort to root out possible terror connections.
An Associated Press investigation found that NYPD dispatched undercover officers into ethnic communities to monitor daily life and scrutinized more than 250 mosques and Muslim student groups in the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The mayor refused to comment directly on the details of the AP’s investigation. Later in an interview he said: “If there is a community where the crime rate is very high, to not put more cops in that community is ridiculous. If you want to look for cases of measles, you’ll find a lot more of them among young people. That’s not targeting young people to go see whether they have measles or not.”
Bloomberg’s comments Wednesday offered a revealing glimpse into how the mayor believes the city’s law enforcement officials should walk what he says is a fine line – protecting the city against attack while upholding constitutional protections.
“I believe we should do what we have to do to keep us safe. And we have to be consistent with the Constitution and with people’s rights. We live in a dangerous world, and we have to be very proactive in making sure that we prevent terrorism,” he had said earlier in the day.
Bloomberg said no one should generalize about any group, but authorities must respond to the threat of criminal activity.
“What I find disgraceful is the automatic assumption that (in) any one religious group, everybody’s a terrorist. That’s not true. It is true that you can go to certain places where people give sermons and a lot of them are anti-American. But that doesn’t mean that everybody is a terrorist,” he said.
“But if you’ve got a clergyperson preaching anarchy, do you really think the police department shouldn’t try to send somebody and listen and see if they’re trying to foment a riot? You can’t wait till the riot’s on the streets,” he said.
A number of advocates have questioned whether the NYPD’s policies have gone too far as the department put many innocent people under scrutiny while hunting for terrorists. Several Muslim civil rights groups and a New York congresswoman have urged the Department of Justice to investigate the department for what critics see as racial profiling. The AP’s investigation found that the NYPD Intelligence Division maintained a list of 28 countries that, along with “American Black Muslim,” it considered to be “ancestries of interest.”
New York City’s Muslims – a group that the mayor said tends to be well-educated and entrepreneurial – are supportive of police presence, he said.
“I think most Muslims want police protection. They don’t want their kids … falling off the … train and going down the wrong path,” the mayor said.
According to AP’s investigation, the NYPD Intelligence Division used its list of “ancestries of interest” to dispatch a secret team of undercover officers into ethnic communities to eavesdrop and monitor daily life. The officers, known as rakers, filed daily reports on what they overheard.
The department also used undercover officers and informants to scrutinize more than 250 mosques and Muslim student groups, according to documents and interviews with people involved in the program. Mosques were singled out for further investigation based on suspected criminal activity but also for conservative Islamic beliefs, the documents show. At least one business was flagged for having a devout clientele.
All of this was done with unusually close help from the CIA, in a relationship that at times blurred the line between domestic and foreign spying.
Also Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former FBI agent in Chicago, said he wasn’t disturbed by the NYPD’s practice of monitoring certain ethnic or religious communities when tracking terrorists. “I am opposed to racial profiling, I think it doesn’t work, but there are things called criminal profiling,” Rogers explained.
“If you’re going to catch an Irish mob bank robbery crew … you’re normally going to show up in places where the Irish-connected folks are going to hang out,” Rogers said. “In the FBI, we used to say that’s a clue.”
Rogers said the NYPD was doing nothing wrong when it hired former CIA employees to help it build its program, but said he would support a review.
FACT CHECK: Perry, Romney twist records in debate
When Mitt Romney and Rick Perry thumped their chests over their job-creation records as governor during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, they left the bad parts out.
Yes, employment has grown by more than 1 million since Perry took office in Texas. But a lot of those jobs are not well paid.
True, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent when Romney was Massachusetts governor. But the state’s employment growth was among the nation’s worst.
A look at some of the claims in the debate, and how they compare with the facts:
PERRY: “Ninety-five percent of all the jobs that we’ve created have been above minimum wage.”
THE FACTS: To support the claim, the Perry campaign provided federal statistics for December 2010 showing only 5.3 percent of all jobs in Texas pay the minimum wage.
But those figures represent all workers, not just the new jobs, for which data are unavailable. And that does not account for low-wage jobs that may be barely above the minimum wage. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, 51 percent of all Texas workers make less than $33,000 a year. Only 30 percent make more than $50,000 a year. Nationally, Texas ranked 34th in median household income from 2007 to 2009.
About 9.5 percent of Texas hourly workers, excluding those who are paid salaries, earn the minimum wage or less, tying Mississippi for the highest percentage in the nation.
ROMNEY: “At the end of four years, we had our unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent. That’s a record I think the president would like to see. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president has created in the entire country.”
THE FACTS: To be sure, 4.7 percent unemployment would be a welcome figure nationally. But Romney started from a much better position than President Barack Obama did. Unemployment was only 5.6 percent when Romney took office in 2003, meaning it came down by less than 1 percentage point when he left office in 2007. Obama inherited a national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.
PERRY: “Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt.”
ROMNEY: “Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor.”
PERRY: “That’s not correct.”
ROMNEY: “Yes, that is correct.”
THE FACTS: Romney was correct.
Romney accurately stated that George W. Bush — even without his predecessor — saw jobs grow at a faster rate during his 1994-2000 years as governor than Perry has during his 11 years governing Texas. Employment grew by about 1.32 million during Bush’s six years in office. Employment during Perry’s years has grown about 1.2 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As for Perry’s claim about Romney’s record and that of Dukakis, he was at least in the ballpark.
Democratic Gov. Dukakis saw Massachusetts employment grow by 500,000 jobs during his two divided terms, 1975 to 1979, and 1983 to 1991, a rate of more than 41,000 jobs a year.
Romney, governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, saw employment grow from 3.23 million to 3.29 million, growth of about 60,000 jobs, or a rate of 15,000 a year. That means Dukakis’ job growth rate was nearly three times Romney’s.
MICHELE BACHMANN: “Obamacare is killing jobs. We know that from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, but I know it firsthand from speaking to people. We see it this summer. There are 47 percent of African-American youth that are currently without jobs, 36 percent of Hispanic youth.”
THE FACTS: The health care law that Obama pushed and Congress passed last year has long been labeled a job killer by Republicans, who often cite a Congressional Budget Office analysis to buttress their claims. But the CBO at no point said the law would result in job losses. Instead it made the more nuanced assertion that fewer people would chose to work.
“The legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount — roughly half a percent — primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,” the CBO said in an analysis. That’s not job-killing, that’s workers choosing not to work because of easier access to health care. The budget office said some people might decide to retire earlier because it would be easier to get health care, instead of waiting until they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.
The Minnesota congresswoman also states the percentages of unemployment among minority youth. But there is no evidence that the health care law is responsible for that level of unemployment. In fact, the health care law is still largely unimplemented, with some of its key provisions not taking effect until 2014.
Conyers wants Obama’s backing
By Debbie Siegelbaum – 09/08/11 05:15 AM ET
Rep. John Conyers Jr. wants President Obama to back his reelection bid as the Michigan Democrat faces what could be his most competitive race in decades.
Conyers, the second-longest-serving current House member behind fellow Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell, was the first Congressional Black Caucus member to endorse Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary.
“I strongly support the president’s reelection efforts and would hope he supports mine as well,” Conyers wrote in an email to The Hill when asked if he was seeking Obama’s endorsement in 2012.
Backing from Obama could serve the 82-year-old lawmaker well as he seeks his 25th term in office in the wake of Republican-led redistricting efforts.
A redistricting law approved by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in August moved pro-Conyers areas of West Detroit and Highland Park out of his 14th district, adding hundreds of thousands of new constituents from such affluent neighborhoods as Grosse Pointe.
The Republican-crafted plan left Conyers with just 20 percent of his previous constituents. Amid the shake-up, several fellow Democrats announced their interest in running in the 14th district in the 2012 cycle. Among them were Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence, state Rep. Tim Melton and attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1998.
On Aug. 21, Conyers’s Michigan colleague Rep. Hansen Clarke (D) announced he would run in the newly drawn 14th district rather than the 13th he currently represents. Conyers now plans to run in Clarke’s old district.
Asked if Conyers was in support of the move, Clarke spokeswoman Kim Bowman said, “I cannot speak for Conyers, but I’m sure he is.
“I’m sure my boss and Conyers have discussed this,” she said, adding that the newly drawn 13th district, including areas west of Detroit, was now “more Conyers’s turf.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will likely run against Clarke in the 14th district.
Conyers’s office declined to comment on the district switch.
He faces a tougher fight than he is used to, said John Chamberlin, professor at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
“Conyers has been around a long time, but hasn’t had to fight very hard. He might get a run for his money,” Chamberlin said.
Conyers hasn’t had a serious primary opponent since 1994, and his winning percentage in an election has never dipped below 82 percent. But all that could change next year. Late last month, state Sen. Bert Johnson (D) announced he plans to seek the 13th district House seat, pitting him against Conyers.
Oh, so now he wants the President’s help to get re-elected? Didn’t he try to clown PBO over the debt ceiling? Conyers can kiss off!
ACLU to sue over welfare drug testing in Fla.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it will file a lawsuit challenging Florida’s law that requires new welfare recipients to pass a drug test.
An ACLU spokesman told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the lawsuit is being filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Orlando man, Luis Lebron.
The group claims Florida’s drug testing law is unconstitutional, saying it violates the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure protections.
No further details of the lawsuit were immediately available.
Gov. Rick Scott signed the drug testing bill into law in July. Under the law, welfare applicants must pay for the drug tests. If they pass, they’ll get reimbursed. If they fail, they can’t get benefits for at least a year and could face child abuse charges.
Allen West Brings ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Controversy Out Of Hibernation (VIDEO)
A year after the controversy over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” started fading from the national scene, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) on Wednesday hosted a screening of a film that deems the planned cultural center “another type of Islamic jihad.”
West didn’t show any signs that he’s planning to seek common ground with Muslims, as he criticized Herman Cain for doing. At a news conference held ahead of the Capitol Hill screening of the film “Sacrificed Survivors: The Untold Story of Ground Zero Mega Mosque,” West warned that political correctness or the desire to be a multicultural society could make America forget Sept. 11.
And after frequently equating Muslims with terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, West insisted he didn’t have a problem with those who practice what he deemed a “theocratic-political construct, ideology.”
“I am not sitting up here and condemning people who call themselves Muslims,” West said. “I have been in Muslim countries, I have fought beside Muslims, I have helped some of my previous interpreters over in Afghanistan get green cards to come here and be a part of this great thing that we have in the United States of America.”
“But I think now’s the time that we have to challenge this ideology and if we are to peacefully co-exist I think that they have to come into the 21st century and push aside some of these seventh century ideals that they still hold onto,” West said.
Rick Perry says Social Security is a ponzi scheme! That should do it for him!
Bye Rick! And I don’t care if the door knob hits you in the ass on your way out! Ass clown!
Good Morning, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!
Happy Thursday! The week is going fast!
Good Morning, Everyone! What happened at the Rethug debate? Was it as exciting as punDUNCES are claiming this morning?
Good Morning, Everyone :)
Good Morning, Ladies!