Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

[Happy HUMPTY Day, Everybody!  Here’s Whitney…..

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84 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    PATCHWORK NATION — September 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM EDT

    Effects of Obama, Romney Job Plans Look Very Different Across U.S.
    By: Lee Banville

    President Obama’s nearly $450 billion jobs package is just beginning a long and potentially difficult journey through Congress, but examining the outlines of what he proposed and GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s vision, it appears they are counting on different parts of the country to fuel job creation.

    President Obama’s plan, with far more specifics and an actual price tag, focuses on tax breaks for small businesses and tax credits for hiring long-term unemployed people and veterans as two of the chief planks of his effort. Along with this, he will send billions to the states to keep them from laying off teachers and emergency workers as well as fund $50 billion in infrastructure investments.

    Servicing the Service Workers

    How the White House plan would play out across Patchwork Nation is a little fuzzy as Congress begins to tackle the specifics, but a few key trends emerge.

    By halving the payroll taxes on businesses’ first $5 million in payroll, the plan would work to stimulate job growth among smaller companies, according to small business leaders.

    “The impact of payroll tax cuts is fairly substantial,” Todd McCracken, president and CEO of the National Small Business Association, told U.S. News & World Report. “It gives [small businesses] the cash flow that they need to think about expanding. If they’re thinking about hiring, it’s going to make it more affordable for them in the near term.”

    This stimulus could have a real impact across Patchwork Nation, but in particular it could help some of the areas that have been struggling such as the Service Worker Center counties.

    These 650 small-town counties rely on tourism or simply exist with people earning their money in service jobs and spending it in other small businesses. Early in the recession, these counties felt the brunt of economic collapse and only recently did we report that they felt they were “no longer in free-fall.” but the economy has remained tenuous.

    These counties have trended Republican in recent elections, backing Sen. John McCain by 4 points in 2008 and President Bush by 12 points in 2004. But considering several of the proposed tax cuts for small business and a reduction in the amount workers must pay into Social Security, the plan would likely have a real impact in these communities.

    Romney Rockin’ the Monied Suburbs

    Ahead of the president’s speech, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has been struggling to stop the surging campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, put forward his own plan for job creation.

  2. Ametia says:

    2008 Flashback! Ron Paul’s campaign manager dies of pnuemonia, uninsured, leaving family $400,000 debt.
    Big thanks to @cjohanns for catching this one: Back in 2008, Ron Paul’s 49-year-old campaign manager died of pneumonia, leaving his family $400,000 worth of medical bills. By the way, this man also persuaded Ron Paul to run for president:

    Mr. Snyder, 49 years old, died of complications from pneumonia on June 26 — exactly two weeks after Mr. Paul formally ended his presidential campaign. He is survived by his mother and two sisters. Friends of Mr. Snyder created a Web site on July 2 to help his family pay the estimated $400,000 in medical bills accrued because Mr. Snyder didn’t have health insurance.

    The site is hoping to tap into the same base of small donors that filled Mr. Paul’s campaign coffers. “Kent was the man that made the campaign possible, and inspired everyone that he met,” wrote Justine Lam, a former Paul campaign aide, on the memorial Web site.

  3. rikyrah says:

    September 13, 2011 4:20 PM
    We know who to reduce poverty among seniors

    By Steve Benen

    Relying on the new Census data, Suzy Khimm has a great item this afternoon, showing in five charts just how drastic the effects of the Great Recession have been. The images are nothing short of brutal.

    There was one image, in particular, though, that I wanted to flag for a tangential reason.

    This chart from the Census Bureau notes the differences in poverty rates among age groups over the last half-century. The red line shows poverty among those 65 and older; the blue line shows minors; and the yellow line shows those 18 to 64. You’ll notice that by the end of the Clinton era, there was a noticeable drop in poverty rates, especially among children, while over the last decade, conditions have deteriorated for those under 64.

    But among seniors, poverty rates have been declining steadily for decades, and as of 2010, despite growing poverty throughout the economy, Khimm noted, “[O]lder Americans are even less likely to be in poverty than they were during the start of the recession…. [T]he poverty rate for seniors is at a record low: in 2009, it was at 8.9 percent, and it’s remained essentially flat since then.”

    This isn’t an accident and it’s not a fluke. Indeed, note that on the left side of the chart, as of a half-century ago, those most likely to be in poverty were seniors.

    So what happened? Social Security and Medicare happened. These pillars of modern American life have brought a degree of stability and economic security to millions of older people who’ve left the workforce.

    And yet, nearly every Republican member of Congress this year voted to end Medicare and replace it with a privatized voucher scheme. Of the two leading Republican presidential candidates, one wants to privatize Social Security, while the other wants to see Social Security disbanded and sent to the states.

    We know poverty was well past crisis levels for older Americans not too long ago, and we know exactly what worked to bring those rates down. And yet, as the GOP has become radicalized, the threats to Medicare and Social Security have never been so severe.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 09:40 AM PDT
    This Senior Citizen NAILED IT!!!
    by Concern Troll

    Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming, Co-Chair of Obama’s deficit
    commission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he
    compared “Social Security” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.

    August, 2010.

    Here’s a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana … I think
    she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is!

    Listen up. Direct from Ms Myers:

    “Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight.

    1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY

    2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was
    15 years old. I am now 63).

    3 My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other
    Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for
    decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give
    OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus
    bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme
    that would have made Bernie Madoff proud..

    4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled
    the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing
    retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to
    age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the
    goalposts YET AGAIN.

    5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare
    from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the
    game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to
    such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the

    6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes
    our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again.
    Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately
    that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now,
    you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off
    YOUR debt.

    To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit”
    on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions
    for YOU.

    1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during
    your pathetic 50-year political career?

    2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and
    how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the
    American taxpayers?

    3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

    4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you
    proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual,
    have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

    It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called
    Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases
    who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from
    millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes. That’s
    right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole
    purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You know it, we
    know it, and you know that we know it.

    And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.

    If you like the way things are in America delete this. If you agree
    with what a fellow Montana citizen Patty Myers says, PASS IT ON!!!!!!!?via=siderec

    • Ametia says:

      Set that MOFO alan Simpson straight, Patty!

      • creolechild says:

        Metia~ I noticed that the article was linked to the DailyKos. You, and Rikyrah, may be aware of the current boycott against the Daily Kos. I’m posting a brief excerpt which outlines the reasons why. (Not attempting to dictate what sources should or shouldn’t be use but I thought you’d want to know about this~)

        Editor’s note: Hi everyone, please welcome Adept2u, the newest addition to our fantastic contributor team. For many of you who came here from Daily Kos, adept2u is not a stranger. After the recent punishing and banning spree that Markos, the owner of Daily Kos went on that from everything I heard disproportionately affected people of color, women and President Obama’s supporters, adept2u reached out to me and decided to make his new blog home here. – Deaniac83

        How Markos Moulitsas Taught Me To Call Them The Tea Party


        You know it had been my intention to not really discuss the place I learned to love to blog: The Daily Kos. It is no secret I was part of the great 2011 purge of Black contributors there that also caught up my fellow blogger and really good friend at The People’s View ThisisMyTime [aka TIMT]. The last I heard over 30% of the Black participants of the Daily Kos were either disciplined or banned outright. I’m a salesperson by trade and I know that one doesn’t routinely talk about organizations you consider your competition. However over the last few days something that was so easy for me I could produce as many as 3 recommended posts a day for Mr. Moulitsas has become difficult, my muse is pissed. She and I have a very nice relationship normally. I don’t try and constrict her and she flows, so as the words are flowing pretty easily I have to apologize acknowledge her and let her out.

        I suppose I might have also been actually concerned about the ability to return to that place. However, I’ve been told in order to do that, and I have been invited, I would have to request hat in hand re-instatement from Markos, so going back is not really an option because before I’d do that I would first lie in the gutter and suck off goats for a quarter.

        “If you accuse someone of being racist just because they criticize Obama? Zap! If you actually say something that is even borderline racist? Zap! If you advocate for third party? Zap! This is a Democratic site. Advocating primaries is okay. Advocating third party is not. If I see ratings pack behavior or messed up uprates or hides, I won’t zap, but I’ll pull ratings abilities. Hell, depending on my mood at that moment, I may zap anyway. My dev team is putting together cool reports that identify patterns, so my job will get easier, and I won’t be shy in exercising them.I can’t begin to care who started what.”

        Please excuse the lack of a link. It will be my policy to never link to that site. They say the greatest lie the Devil ever told was that he did not exist, and the most pernicious lie that The Republican Party has been able to tell, and one that apparently has no party or ideology, but instead has a basic structure in superiority which has had 350 years of domination in our society is that this: [Click on link to view photo.]

        Equals this [Click on link to view photo.]

        As this will be one of the few times I personally defend myself in public, as Markos has already judged me without having actually conversed with me, let me declare my innocence of even the gross outline of the charges above. He also described those he banned as dicks, but I’ll not stoop to defend myself against such an accusation.

        I learned long ago before the internet was invented that calling people racist in a country that elects people to the Senate who have said the only thing wrong with the Ku Klux Klan is that they smoke pot is a very losing proposition. It is normally my inclination to discuss issues like that with people of good will in terms of the privileges we all operate under. I actually believe I had 2 or so recommended and highly thought of posts on his site discussing the subject. However what Markos apparently believes and has been communicated to me before by other management of that site is that “progressives” the people who inhabit his website do not have racial animosity.

        Interestingly, one of the last conversations I had on that site in the post that supposedly sealed my fate had been with a gentleman was who felt all Black supporters of the President were Uncle Toms. If I were to say that kind of thing was rare I would have to lie to you, it happened all the time. Despite years of complaints the only answer I ever got from the moderation of that place was basically deal with it.

        Daily Kos allowed and incubated a dedicated group of people to routinely troll and attack the voice of any person who announced they both supported the President and were Black. Another of my diaries which was “recommended” called “Why Adept2u will no longer participate on this site politically” outlined and explained the exact MO supplied links and was again trolled by the dedicated group. However yet again the response from management was deal with it yourself.

        Allen West of all people said something a few weeks ago that literally made me shake in my boots. He described a meme where he was Harriet Tubman leading the slaves away from a plantation society. Now if he were to have used that meme against a site like the Daily Kos and or politicians who use it rather than Maxine Waters, he would have a very dangerous weapon, because it is true.

        The leaders of Progressive space do not appear to be able to respect the words of Black people or accept their leadership, intelligence or even their honesty. After banning me the owner of the above website sent me an e-mail calling me a liar, again without ever having bothered to have a conversation with me. Ironically he later also asked me for a list of who I might think was a racist to assist in his purge. For those from the Kos reading this shaking in fear their Daddy (he described his participants as his children who he would discipline similarly with both innocent and guilty getting punished, or as their future psychiatrist says to his wife “honey go get that mink coat”) I did not assist the HUAC, I was born with integrity which I have since nurtured.

        Never was a link provided where I called anyone a racist on his site even for calling me an Uncle Tom for being a defender of Barack Obama’s, or for saying things like my concern for racial equality in this country is just a schtick, and the legitimate aspirations of Black people and respect for Black people is off the rails. Those demands have nothing to do with Barack Obama, but they just don’t listen to us, they throw us out instead.

        So how did Markos Moulitsas get you to never refer to the Tea Party as Teabaggers again you ask? In the three years I’ve spent in “progressive” space as a contributor I have seen examples of racism and words and memes openly expressed on that site so vile as to make Lester Maddox blush. I have been hounded, attacked persecuted and vilified as badly as any poor sharecropper family with the night riders at the door. Why even today I’m sure the dedicated band that collected my scalp is giggling with glee. They don’t feel they have a stitch of racial animosity in their bones, well you know what? Neither does the Tea Party. From my perspective both groups, liberal far left and conservative far right, probably have about the same percentage of participants who actually are troglodyte racist as does America, and the so called leadership of the 97% White netroots shows the same myopia and self assured ignorance that was the hallmark of what I used to call the teabagger. I used to cast them that disrespect because I thought they were a thoroughly racist organization, and that the other side was on my side. Markos Moulitsas taught me something different.

        [Click on link to view video.]

      • creolechild says:

        Oops…that s/b you and Rikyrah may not be aware…

      • Ametia says:

        Yes; 3 Chics got the scoop on Adept2U. Thank you CC.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Coalition: Perry’s Voter ID Law Intentionally Discriminates Against Minorities
    A photo voter ID law signed by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is unnecessary, unfair, restrictive and intentionally discriminates against African-American and Latino voters, a coalition of civil rights groups will argue in a letter to the Justice Department on Wednesday.

    Groups in the coalition want DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to oppose preclearance of Texas’s photo voter identification law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The Advancement Project, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Asian American Justice Center, Southwest Workers Union, a statewide Hispanic organization and Demos say the state failed to prove that the law was enacted for a nondiscriminatory purpose and that it will have no discriminatory effect on minorities.

    “This law is a part of the largest legislative effort to turn back the clock on voting rights in our nation in over a century,” Advancement Project co-director Judith Browne Dianis said in a statement. “If this bill is allowed to stand it will undermine the basic fabric of our nation’s democracy.”

    Perry declared the voter ID measure a “legislative emergency,” allowing the Texas legislature to speed up the passage of the bill. The groups said that a 2008 study “documented that out of the millions of Texas voters between 2006 and 2008, none were accused of in-person impersonation.”

    Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, spoke about the Voting Section’s review of photo voter ID laws at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), who held a hearing last week on voter ID, asked whether there had been an increased incidence of voter fraud over the past several years that might give rise to such legislation.

    Perez said the “why question” — as in the reason a state is passing a law — “is in our analysis, one of the $64,000 questions that we have to answer, because if you are analyzing a submission to determine whether there was discriminatory purpose, that’s really the ‘why’ question.”

    “In the work that we are doing now in connection with a number of submission, that’s a question,” Perez said. “We will follow the facts where the facts lead us. We will obviously be guided by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Indiana case.”

    • Ametia says:

      I just want someone, anyone to answer this:


  6. Ametia says:

    E-mail From Jim Messina

    Ametia —

    If you’re someone who cares about seeing a campaign focused on substance between now and November 2012, I need you to become a part of one of our most important teams.

    It’s called, and it launches today.

    Here’s the deal: We all remember the birth certificate smear, the GOP’s barrage of lies about the Affordable Care Act, and the string of other phony attacks on President Obama that we’ve seen over the past few years.

    There are a lot of folks on the other side who are chomping at the bit to distort the President’s record. It’s not a question of if the next big lie will come, just when — and what we’re prepared to do about it. is exactly what it sounds like: a resource that allows us to nip these attacks in the bud before they show up on the airwaves and in emails — and then fight back with the truth.

    By signing up, you’ll be on the front lines — you’ll hear about false claims as soon as they come up, and we’ll count on you to spread the truth to your friends and personal networks and let us know about new smears whenever you hear them.



    Jim Messina
    Campaign Manager
    Obama for America

    Sign up now to be a part of

  7. Ametia says:

    Watch This Clip: Axelrod: GOP took a hit after walking US to brink of default
    Date: Sep 13, 2011

    Senior strategist for President Obama’s re-election campaign, David Axelrod, joins Morning Joe to discuss Rick Perry and Monday’s GOP debate, the president’s jobs plan, unemployment among African-Americans, health care reform, and the president’s poll


  8. Ametia says:

    CNN is really trying to spin that bullshit debate and carry water for Perry. FUCK CNN

  9. rikyrah says:

    Cherokees to restore slaves’ descendants benefits

    By theGrio

    1:21 PM on 09/13/2011

    A federal order for one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members’ former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil Tuesday.

    The federal government sent the sternly-worded letter to the Cherokee Nation after it sent letters last week kicking the descendants out of the tribe and stripping them of benefits including medical care, food stipends and assistance for low-income homeowners.

    The tribe also barred the descendants from voting in a Sept. 24 special election for principal chief. The Cherokee Supreme Court ordered the special election after it said it could not determine with certainty the outcome of a close and hotly contested June election between incumbent Chad Smith and longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker. The results had flip-flopped between the two during weeks of counts and recounts. Baker had twice been declared winner, but so had Smith.

    The federal government said that unless the descendants, known as freedmen, were allowed to vote, the upcoming election wouldn’t be valid.

    “I urge you to consider carefully the nation’s next steps in proceeding with an election that does not comply with federal law,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk wrote in letter Friday to acting Chief S. Joe Crittenden. “The department will not recognize any action taken by the nation that is inconsistent with these principles and does not accord its freedmen members full rights of citizenship.”

    The election has drawn national interest because while the tribe is based in Tahlequah, many of its 300,000 members live outside Oklahoma.

    The freedmen have asked a federal judge to restore their voting rights before the special election, and a hearing is planned next week in federal court in Washington.

    The tribe never owned black slaves, but some individual members did. They were freed after the Civil War, in which the tribe allied with the Confederacy. An 1866 treaty between the tribe and the federal government gave the freedmen and their descendants “all the rights of native Cherokees.”

    More than 76 percent of Cherokee voters approved a 2007 amendment removing the freedmen and other non-Indians from the tribal rolls, but no action was taken until the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the results of that special election last month. Cherokee leaders who backed the amendment, including Smith, said the vote was about the fundamental right of every government to determine its citizens, not about racial exclusion.

    But the Department of the Interior said Tuesday that it still believes the expulsion is unconstitutional because it violates the 1866 treaty.

    Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, said she hopes the federal order will result in the election being delayed.

    “The freedmen people still have rights in the tribe such as voting,” Vann said Tuesday. “We’ll have our day in court.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    I think Rev. Al is about to do a segment on Troy Davis.

  11. Ametia says:

    News Alert: Elizabeth Warren to run for Senate
    September 13, 2011 4:05:20 PM

    Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, plans to announce her bid for U.S. Senate against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Wednesday.

    “The pressures on middle class families are worse than ever, but it is the big corporations that get their way in Washington,” Warren said in a statement. “I want to change that. I will work my heart out to earn the trust of the people of Massachusetts.”

    For more information, visit

  12. rikyrah says:

    for those who were interested:

    the new Sarah Michelle Geller show – RINGERS – will be on tonight on the CW

  13. rikyrah says:

    Electable Perry? Ctd

    Milbank saw an empty suit last night. The GOP elites are panicking a little. Blumenthal reads the polls:

    Perry’s perceived viability among ordinary Republicans may simply reflect news reports showing him doing well in the “horse race” of politics in recent weeks. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found Perry to be the “dominant newsmaker” in mid-August, the subject of 55 percent of all election stories studied, compared to just 6 percent for Romney. And more than a dozen national media polls conducted since mid-August have shown Perry surging ahead.

    So Perry’s perceived electability advantage among rank-and-file Republicans may be just “bubble support,” as political scientist and blogger Jonathan Bernstein put it.

    PPP finds that Perry’s remarks on social security may be hurting him:

    When PPP did a national poll three weeks ago Barack Obama led Perry by only 6 points at 49-43. Now that gap has widened to 11 points at 52-41. The main movement has come with Democratic voters. On the previous poll Obama had only a 68 point lead with the party base at 81-13 but now it’s 80 points at 89-9. We know there are a lot of Democratic voters disenchanted with Obama right now but if the GOP puts forward someone like Perry who’s willing to go after one of the Holy Grails of the party’s orthodoxy like Social Security it might scare those voters back into the fold.

    Perry scares the crap out of me. I can’t be the only one. The circumstances, however, are almost perfect for the GOP to get false confidence from the midterms, pick its most radical candidate, and come crashing down to earth next November. Remember Obama’s core skill: getting his opponents to destroy themselves.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The moment from last night that keeps haunting me:

    Look: in some ways the honesty is refreshing. Yes, failing to get your own health insurance creates an obvious free-rider problem, and this is at the heart of the health insurance debate. We need to deal with that, and this was one of the more admirably candid moments in the entire years-long debate.

    Look: I’ve long been a skeptic of government-provided healthcare, but I do have a core (maybe Catholic?) belief in helping the sick. Even the foolish sick. And certainly the poor and sick. In my personal life, I have found it morally impossible not to want to help someone stricken with illness, in whatever way I can. I’m sure my own health struggles have impacted this view, as my experience alongside a generation in a health crisis. Do I think we should have done nothing while hundreds of thousands died of AIDS? Of course not. Ditto cancer and all the ailments that flesh is heir to. America, moreover, has a law on the books that makes it a crime not to treat and try to save a human being who walks into an emergency room. So we have already made that collective decision and if the GOP wants to revisit it, they can.

    Here’s how: offer an honest proposal from the GOP to repeal the emergency room care law. Why not? If you are going to repeal universal health insurance, then make your libertarian principles coherent. And make the case that people unable or unwilling to buy health insurance deserve the consequences. That makes sense. And the question of why Perry or Ryan or Bachmann support this free-rider loophole in contradiction to their principles is one worth asking again and again.

    Of course, even if such libertarian purity does make sense, that cannot excuse the emotional response to the issue in the crowd last night. Maybe a tragedy like the death of a feckless twentysomething is inevitable if we are to restrain healthcare costs. But it is still a tragedy. It is not something a decent person cheers. Similarly the execution of hundreds, while perhaps defensible politically and even morally (although I differ), is nonetheless a brutal, awful business. You don’t delight in it. And the same is true of torture. Even if you want to defend its use in limited circumstances, it remains an absolute evil, no humane person would want to do it, and no civilized person would brag of it or dismiss any moral issue with it at all. And yet that is what Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney have repeatedly done. They are positively proud of their torture record.

    The fish rotted from the head down. Last night, we got a whiff of the smell.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Third Rail: PPP National Poll Shows Social Security Already A Drag For Perry
    Who would have thought driving into a conversation about either eliminating or drastically changing the third rail of American politics would cost the major Republican presidential contenders some support in the polls? A lot of people, apparently.

    Public Policy Polling (D) released their latest national poll on Tuesday, and it seems that calling Social Security a “ponzi sceme” has not been particularly productive for Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Only 20 percent of voters nationally agree with that sentiment, against 70 percent who do not. Just to drive the point home, 82 percent don’t agree with ending the popular entitlement program, versus 12 who do. The results mirror a CNN poll on the issue, which showed that 72 percent thought Perry’s comments on Social Security were “not accurate.”

    The issue seems to have galvanized some wayward Democrats who had previously remained uncommitted to President Obama. The PPP poll showed Obama above 50 percent in a matchup against Perry, besting him 52 – 41, outside the margin of error. Obama remains locked in a statistical tie with Romney however, with a lead in the poll of 49 – 45. But PPP Pollster Tom Jensen noted the shift in Democrats:

    The president’s more solid standing in the Perry and Romney horseraces comes from consolidating his party support. He was losing 13% of Democrats to each candidate in August, but only 11% to Romney and 9% to Perry now. Obama has meanwhile upped his own crossover support, from 5% to 9% of Republicans versus Romney and 10% to 11% against Perry. The president leads Perry by ten points with independents, but Romney tops Obama by two with them.The poll also noted that Perry’s views on global warming and evolution, calling both into question, are solidly at odds with Americans generally. The same number of Americans don’t believe in them, 37 percent each, against majorities of over 50 percent who do. Perry’s views have been playing rather well with conservatives in GOP primary states like South Carolina and Iowa, but of course how they would play with general election voters was always going to be another matter.

    Perry’s favorability remains low in the PPP poll after his first month in the race, falling to 30 percent favorable against 50 who have an unfavorable view. Again, Gallup has shown that GOP voters are very likely to have a favorable view of Perry, and Romney for that matter, but as the GOP candidates duke it out, their positions are starting to sour their poll numbers in a direct matchup with the President. “In just three weeks Barack Obama has nearly doubled his lead over Rick Perry,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “That would seem to be an indication that Perry’s comments about Social Security are giving him trouble with swing voters.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    House Progressives Gripe That Obama’s Jobs Bill Isn’t Big Enough
    Even as Republicans signaled their opposition to “stimulus”-like measures in the White House’s $447 billion jobs package Tuesday, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are complaining that the bill doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    In a Tuesday press conference, caucus leaders unveiled a framework for job creation that included support for more infrastructure investment than President Obama’s own plan includes. As part of the package, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) proposed a $227 billion emergency jobs bill that would aim to create 2.2 million jobs over the next two years. Rep. John Conyers proposed new discussions on how to implement the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, a wildly optimistic piece of legislation more than 33 years old that calls for wiping out all unemployment in the United States.

    Though they praised elements of the Obama administration’s plan — such as the proposed temporary extension in benefits for the unemployed — the representatives expressed dismay that Obama wasn’t bolder.

    “Most of us here would like something about twice the size of what he proposed,” said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA).

    Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) went further, adding, “half a loaf isn’t enough.”

    The progressive lawmakers’ proposals stand virtually no chance in Congress. House Republican leaders are already lining up against the Obama administration’s more moderate stimulus measures.

    Tuesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blasted the White House plan, denouncing it as politically motivated. McConnell, who has the votes to stymie legislation, called for Obama to abandon tax hikes on businesses and the wealthy as part of his bill.

    “If the president is truly interested in growing the economy and putting Americans back to work, then he’ll leave the temporary proposals and the half-measures — and the tax hikes — aside,” AFP quoted McConnell as saying.

    Schakowsky fired back during today’s progressive caucus press conference.

    “It’s not surprising to me that Republicans are willing to consider the American Jobs Act except for the part that actually creates jobs,” she said.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    September 13, 2011 11:25 AM

    The importance of the HPV vaccine in the GOP

    By Steve Benen

    Social conservatives have long been opposed to initiatives to combat the human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases a woman’s chances of developing cervical cancer. Merck developed a vaccine that immunizes against HPV infection, and it was approved by the FDA, which led the religious right to fight for restrictions. As the Family Research Council said a while back, the vaccine “could be potentially harmful” to women “because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.”

    Let that one roll around in your brain for a moment.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), at least in 2007, knew better. Indeed, the governor was refreshingly sensible on the matter: “Providing the HPV vaccine doesn’t promote sexual promiscuity any more than the hepatitis B vaccine promotes drug use,” Perry said at the time. “If the medical community developed a vaccine for lung cancer, would the same critics oppose it, claiming it would encourage smoking?”

    Now that Perry is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, he’s backed away from his sensible stand. But that’s not quite good enough for Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum who, much to Mitt Romney’s delight, hammered Perry on this in last night’s debate. Indeed, Bachmann even accused the Texas governor of possible corruption.

    BACHMANN: I just wanted to add that we cannot forget that in the midst of this executive order there is a big drug company that made millions of dollars because of this mandate. We can’t deny that…. What I’m saying is that it’s wrong for a drug company, because the governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company. The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong. The question is, is it about life, or was it about millions of dollars and potentially billions for a drug company?

    BLITZER: All right. I’ll let Senator Santorum hold off for a second. You’ve got to respond to that.

    PERRY: Yes, sir. The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million. And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.

    He certainly didn’t mean it this way, but the answer made it seem as if Perry could be bought, if only the payoff was much greater.

    Regardless, this is quickly becoming one of the key issues in the Republican race. Right-wing activists are taking it seriously, and Bachmann even claimed, falsely, in an interview after the debate that the HPV vaccine can lead to mental retardation in girls. There’s no evidence to support this — there’s generally no evidence to support any of Bachmann’s claims — but it will apparently be another far-right area of concern, and an issue for Perry to deal with.

    So long as conservatives believe the appropriate penalty for sexual activity is cervical cancer, this will likely remain an important part of the campaign.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Feinstein, Petraeus Say Wartime Contractors Must Go

    After the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the intelligence community, consisting of everything from the CIA to the Homeland Security Department, is outsourcing too much of its work to private contractors and is breaking a pledge to reduce the number of private contractors hired to help conduct, collect and analyze information.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the Intelligence Committee, pointed out the broken promise at a hearing Tuesday, noting that the intelligence community is not living up to a commitment to reduce private contractors by 5 percent a year.

    “We had an agreement in 2009 to reduce [intelligence community] contractor numbers by 5 percent a year, but it’s clear that progress has not been maintained and sufficient cuts are not being made,” Feinstein told a joint-hearing of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to assess progress in U.S. intelligence gathering and analysis over the last ten years.

    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that “core contractors,” meaning those who directly augment the government’s intelligence staffs, accounted for 23 percent of the total intelligence community workforce, down only one percent from the year before, Feinstein pointed out.

    “The overall number of contractors is in the tens of thousands – and the number across intelligence, defense, and homeland security is in the hundreds of thousands,” she said.

    In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the intelligence community hired thousands of contractors as a matter of convenience and expediency. However, contractor abuses, typified by Blackwater’s infamous actions in Iraq, demonstrated just how dangerous it can be to outsource military and intelligence-gathering functions, especially capturing and interrogating detainees.

    Feinstein argued that the crucial parts of intelligence operations – the collection, exploitation and analysis of information – are “inherently governmental functions that should be done by government employees at one-third less the cost per employee.”

    One week into his new role as CIA director, David Petraeus testified Thursday that contractors are at the top of his list of potential cuts in the new era of belt-tightening.

    “Contractors – we’re looking very hard at that as one of the areas we can achieve some savings,” Petraeus said, recognizing the fact that many contractors have been devoted partners and have died in service to their country.

    The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan in late August issued a report recommending that the Pentagon phase out its use of private security contractors or find a way to ensure that their presence on the battlefield does not put soldiers in harm’s way.

  19. rikyrah says:

    September 13, 2011 2:15 PM

    Competing audiences on Social Security

    By Steve Benen

    As expected, the debate over Social Security played a fairly important role in the debate for Republican presidential candidates last night. Indeed, almost immediately after the event began, the field’s top two candidates, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, went toe to toe over the issue.

    For the Romney camp, this probably seemed like good news. The more the light shines on Perry’s outside-the-mainstream views, the easier it is for the former Massachusetts governor to argue that the Texas governor is unelectable.

    It’s why Perry has moderated his tone a bit, assuring today’s seniors last night that the “program is going to be there in place” for them. But Romney, not surprisingly, sees value in exploiting a perceived weakness.

    “[T]he term ‘Ponzi scheme’ I think is over the top and unnecessary and frightful to many people. But the real issue is in writing his book, Governor Perry pointed out that in his view that Social Security is unconstitutional, that this is not something the federal government ought to be involved in, that instead it should be given back to the states.

    “And I think that view, and the view that somehow Social Security has been forced on us over the past 70 years that by any measure, again quoting his book, by any measure Social Security has been ‘a failure,’ this is after 70 years of tens of millions of people relying on Social Security, that’s a very different matter.”

    The back and forth continued a bit, with Romney pressing Perry on whether he thinks the program is unconstitutional, and Perry responding, “If what you’re trying to say is that back in the ’30s and the ’40s that the federal government made all the right decision, I disagree with you. And it’s time for us to get back to the Constitution.”

    Romney added that Perry is “scaring seniors,” and rhetoric that suggests “Social Security should no longer be a federal program and returned to the states and unconstitutional is likewise frightening.”

    Obviously, for much of the mainstream, Romney was on the smarter side of this dispute, and his exchange made Perry look like something of an extremist.

    But the point I keep coming back to is the strength of extremists in Republican politics, and how far the entire party is from the American mainstream. Consider this item from yesterday, run before the debate:

    During his Monday show, Limbaugh warned the 2012 Republican field not to use Perry’s remarks against him. He specifically named Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    “I’ve not endorsed anybody and this is not an endorsement” Limbaugh said. “But be very careful if you start attacking Rick Perry on Social Security and the ‘Ponzi scheme.’ There are too many of you out there who have already said that yourselves — Mitt Romney. Mitt, you have already called it a Ponzi scheme. And worse.”

    “I’ve got a whole list of people here — media and outside — in politics who have referred to Social Security as a Ponzi scheme,” Limbaugh went on. “And … I would like to warn everybody: Be careful here because you’re pandering to the media.”

    As a factual matter, as best as I can tell, Romney hasn’t called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” But the larger point is, Romney’s argument is likely to resonate with sane people everywhere, while Perry’s argument is likely to resonate with the kind of folks who participate in Republican primaries and caucuses.

    Romney is left telling GOP voters how much he loves a program Republicans have labeled “socialism” since its inception. He wants to make an electability argument, but he’s doing so by voicing his support for the pearl of the New Deal. We’ll have to see how that turns out for Romney, but assuming rank-and-file GOP voters will repel is likely a mistake.

  20. rikyrah says:

    September 13, 2011 1:15 PM

    IMF tells conservatives what they don’t want to hear

    By Steve Benen

    Just a few weeks ago, International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde offered some very good advice. She urged policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic to follow a familiar path: address long-term fiscal issues while at the same time, focusing on job creation and economic growth in the short term.

    Conservatives, of course, not only reject this approach, but struggle to understand it. In the U.S., Republican principles dictate that less public investment necessarily leads to more economic growth, and more public-sector layoffs leads to less unemployment. Austerity, even in a weak economy with a jobs crisis, leads to better results.

    Or so the argument goes. Today, Lagarde’s IMF is once again setting the right strtaight.

    In a new paper for the International Monetary Fund, Laurence Ball, Daniel Leigh and Prakash Lounani look at 173 episodes of fiscal austerity over the past 30 years — with the average deficit cut amounting to 1 percent of GDP.

    Their verdict? Austerity “lowers incomes in the short term, with wage-earners taking more of a hit than others; it also raises unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment.”

    More specifically, an austerity program that curbs the deficit by 1 percent of GDP reduces real incomes by about 0.6 percent and raises unemployment by almost 0.5 percentage points. Typically, income and employment don’t fully recover even five years after the austerity program is put in place, the paper said.

    The effects tend to nearly always hit the poor harder, and even when conditions eventually improve, wages grow slower than private-sector profits.

    Right about now, some on the right start writing emails, insisting that austerity efforts can be effective in combating inflation, lowering interest rates, and preventing the public sector from “crowding out” private investment. And there’s some truth to this — there are conditions in which it makes sense to focus on spending cuts and deficit reduction.

    The problem, which Republicans simply refuse to understand, is that these aren’t the right conditions. Inflation is low, interest rates are low, and there is no “crowding out.” Instead, we see high unemployment and anemic growth.

    As Paul Krugman put it, “Yes, contractionary policy is contractionary. And as the authors point out, it’s probably even more contractionary than usual under current conditions.”

    Austerity makes matters worse. The evidence is unambiguous.

    Congressional Republicans, who’ve been wrong about every economic challenge of the last generation, want to do it anyway. And next year, there’s a reasonably good chance voters will hand over all of the reins of the federal government to the GOP so it can do just that.

  21. rikyrah says:

    How Congress Could End Up In A Government Shutdown Fight After All
    Could there be a government shutdown fight in the coming weeks despite the fact that Republicans have agreed with Democrats on a funding figure for the coming fiscal year, and GOP leaders say they’ve lost the appetite for another round of brinksmanship?


    Politico gets at how it might happen here in a story whose headline reads as if House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is prepared to renege on the budget deal the parties struck during the debt limit fight.

    That’s not really what’s happening. If it were true, it would damage his relationship with the White House and put him at odds with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) who on Monday told reporters, “I think the risk of bringing back brinksmanship or another potential shutdown is not something right now that we need, is not something that would be helpful to create jobs and regain confidence, which is why I’ve taken the position that I have.”

    Cantor’s position is that Congress should appropriate $1.043 trillion for the coming fiscal year and Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel says there’s no daylight between the two: “$1.043 trillion will be the final FY 2012 number,” he said in an email.

    However that leaves open the possibility that Republicans will try to husband some of that money — a few billion dollars worth — to pressure Democrats to deal with them on the terms of each appropriations bill: Which accounts gets how much money, and will Democrats sign off on GOP policy riders, limiting President Obama’s power to advance environmental, health care, and other key regulations?

    We’ll know more later this week — possibly later today. Congress will have to temporarily extend all government funding in the next two weeks, to buy time to pass all of its appropriations bill by mid-to-late fall. That temporary funding measure — a “Continuing Resolution” — would be the Republicans’ vehicle for sequestering those billions of dollars. If they’re going to execute this strategy, they’ll have to make a decision soon.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Miss Angola Now Miss Universe
    Newly crowned Miss Universe Leila Lopes hopes her victory will allow her to assist her native Angola further escape its history of war and impoverishment and said she plans to focus on combatting HIV around the globe.

    Speaking in a timid voice early Tuesday shortly after taking the crown in South America’s largest city, the 25-year-old Lopes said that “as Miss Angola I’ve already done a lot to help my people.”

    “I’ve worked with various social causes. I work with poor kids, I work in the fight against HIV. I work to protect the elderly and I have to do everything that my country needs,” she said. “I think now as Miss Universe I will be able to do much more.”

    Responding to questions, Lopes said that she has never had cosmetic surgery of any kind and that her three tips for beauty were to get a lot of sleep, use sun block even when it’s not sunny and to drink lots of water. She said her smile was her best weapon in the competition.

    Asked about racism in light of the fact that she’s one of the few blacks ever crowned Miss Universe, Lopes said that “any racist needs to seek help. It’s not normal in the 21st century to think in that way.”

    Lopes is Angola’s first winner. She beat out 88 other competitors to win the title during the 60th anniversary of the world’s biggest beauty pageant. She replaces last year’s winner, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.

    She deftly handled the interview question that is asked of the remaining top five contestants. She was questioned about what physical trait she would change if she could.

    “Thank God I’m very satisfied with the way God created me and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lopes said. “I consider myself a woman endowed with inner beauty. I have acquired many wonderful principles from my family and I intend to follow these for the rest of my life.”

    The first runner-up was 23-year-old Olesia Stefanko of Ukraine and the second runner-up was Priscila Machado of Brazil. The third was Miss Philippines and the fourth Miss China.

    Contestants spent the past three weeks in Sao Paulo, trying to learn samba dance steps, visiting impoverished children and kicking a football around for cameras as the Miss Universe pageant came to Brazil for the first time.

    Despite battling against a home country favorite, Lopes won over the audience, speaking in the shared language of Portuguese. Angola, like Brazil, is a former Portuguese colony.

    “She captivated the crowd and we were all behind her,” said Brazilian Natalie Bursztyn, 20, who was in the crowd inside Credicard Hall where the event took place. “It was great that the judges also saw what the fans saw and gave her the crown. Her dress was beautiful and she knew exactly what to say when they asked her the question about her looks.”

    Another fan in the audience, Carolina Rocha, said Lopes’ win was “well deserved, we were cheering for her all along. Her smile and her friendliness was what set her apart from the others. She also answered her question very well, that likely helped her a lot.”

  23. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Seeta, and Critical Mass Progress!

    Dictators over POC – Written by: Seeta on September 12, 2011

    The Advancement Project, in partnership with Michigan Forward and New Media Advocacy Project, has released a video detailing Michigan’s attack on democracy, voting rights and people of color. Michigan’s state legislature passed Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act on March 16,2011. Also known as Public Act 4, this law greatly increases the power and authority of Emergency Managers who can be appointed by the Governor to deal with financial emergencies in schools, cities, villages and townships.

    Across Michigan voters have been disenfranchised in Detroit, Benton Harbor, Ecorse and Pontiac under this new legislation. More communities under the threat of Emergency Management are Flint, Highland Park and a potential 150 + school districts across Michigan.

    Benton Harbor has seen the most extreme situation where an Emergency Manager has now seized total control of the entire. The order went into effect on April 14,2011 and has virtually stripped citizens of their voting power! In Pontiac, a past manager sold the treasured and historic Pontiac Silverdome stadium for only $583,000 when it cost over $55 million to build.

    In Ecorse, emergency managers in both cities made major layoffs to the firefighter and police departments,outsourcing many of the jobs to neighboring cities. Lastly in Detroit, the emergency manager for the largest school system in Michigan has closed schools, and threatens to increase class sizes to 60 students, and completely ignored parent and student voices!

    [Click on link to view video.]

  24. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Critical Mass Progress!

    Republicans block Senate disaster aid bill – By ANDREW TAYLOR

    Republicans blocked an effort Monday by Senate Democrats to quickly pass a $7 billion aid package for victims of recent natural disasters like Hurricane Irene, tornadoes in the Midwest and the South and floods along the Mississippi, Missouri and other rivers. On a 53-33 vote, the Senate rejected an attempt by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to bring up a bill that Democrats had hoped to use to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s depleted disaster fund. Democrats needed 60 votes to advance the measure. Reid said FEMA has spent almost $400 million in the past two weeks on emergency help like food and shelter following Irene and has only about $300 million left.

    President Barack Obama on Friday asked Congress for $500 million to make sure the disaster fund doesn’t run out of cash before the end of the month. He also officially asked for $4.6 billion for the upcoming budget year that starts Oct. 1. Earlier Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Republicans will attach a disaster aid package to must-pass legislation for keeping the government fully running past Sept. 30. That stopgap spending bill is likely to advance next week.

    “They’re playing around the edges of what really needs to be done,” Reid complained, saying hundreds of millions of dollars is needed to rebuild places like Joplin, Mo., where a tornado in May destroyed more than 7,000 homes and 10 school buildings and killed 159 people.

  25. NMP1 says:

    President Obama sets record of women and minority judicial nominations. Do liberals count this as change?

    • rikyrah says:

      1. it’s an underreported story.

      2. you will NEVER convince me that THIS isn’t a whole lot of the reason why the GOP is holding up so many of his judicial appointments. can you imagine what the numbers would look like if POTUS had ALL of his judicial appoints let through? the sheer numbers?

  26. Ametia says:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz on teh Teabagger debate

  27. rikyrah says:

    After Promising To Focus On Jobs, Gov. Rick Scott Signals He’ll Reject Billions Of Dollars From Obama Jobs Plan
    By Marie Diamond on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Top economic analysts have weighed in with positive reviews of President Obama’s recently unveiled jobs plan to spur job creation. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, predicted that Obama’s “American Jobs Act” will likely add 1.9 million jobs and grow the economy by 2 percent. Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute reported that it would boost employment by around 4.3 million jobs, with 2.6 million jobs coming from new initiatives alone.

    But Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and other GOP legislators in the state are strongly indicating they will reject billions in federal aid that could be used to create jobs in Florida:

    Gov. Rick Scott and top Florida Republicans are sending early signals they could reject the billions in federal aid that could flow to the state under President Barack Obama’s jobs proposal.

    Florida has a 10.7 percent unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. But Scott and GOP legislative leaders said the plan outlined by President Barack Obama was too similar to the nearly $800 billion stimulus package that was approved by Congress back in 2009.

    “It sounds like President Obama still doesn’t get it,” House Speaker Dean Cannon said Friday. “The answer to the current economic problems is not spending more money.”[…]

    A state-by-state breakdown of the president’s plan shows that Florida could stand to receive more than $7.5 billion for schools, roads and other projects. The White House estimates that the funds under the plan would support more than 60,000 jobs in Florida, including those held by teachers, cops and firefighters.

    Scott’s insistence on putting ideology over policies that would put Floridians back to work is especially disconcerting given how often he has insisted that his focus is job creation. His campaign mantras were “Let’s get to work!” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.” However, the Orlando Sentinel reports that recently he’s backed off his earlier lofty goals to create 700,000 jobs in addition to the 1 million jobs Florida is expected to generate as part of the state’s growth. Dodging his earlier pledge, Scott now says he deserves credit toward his total for all jobs created in Florida since he took office in January.

    Under Scott, 1,700 state workers have been laid off and at least 2,500 more layoffs are expected. Deep education cuts will cost many teachers and school employees their jobs. Scott also rejected $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail project that supporters say would have created 24,000 jobs.

    Scott’s likely refusal to accept federal money for job creation parallels his refusal to accept millions from the Affordable Care Act that would help seniors, children, and the disabled. Scott has chronically low approval ratings since many Floridians are protesting that he has “not fulfilled campaign promises to create jobs since he rejected federal money for high speed rail and health care.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Crowd Cheers For Charging Ben Bernanke With Treason (VIDEO)
    The crowd at the CNN Tea Party Debate broke out into cheers when host Wolf Blitzer brought up Gov. Rick Perry’s comments that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s emergency economic policies “almost treasonous.”

    Perry stood by the comment, calling it “a very clear statement of fact.”

    “I am not a fan of the current chairman allowing that Federal Reserve to be used to cover up bad fiscal policy by this administration,” Perry said. “And that, I will suggest to you, is what we have seen.”

    “It is a travesty that young people in America are seeing their dollars devalued in what… we don’t know if it was political or not because of the transparency issue,” Perry said. “But I stand behind this: we need to have a fed that’s working towards sound monetary policy, that creates a strong dollar in America, and we do not have that today.”

    Blitzer was asking Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) whether she agreed with Perry’s comments.

    “As president of the United States I would not be reappointing Ben Bernanke,” Bachmann said. “That’s for Governor Perry to make that decision. My opinion is I would not reappoint Ben Bernanke.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Teabagger’s Debate
    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 11:09:00 PM EST

    Did you watch the Republican CNN/Tea Party debate tonight? I thought it was pretty awesome. I have no idea who can be said to have won the thing. I don’t live on the same planet as those people. I thought Rick Perry showed some Reaganesque flashes, which I thought was a little frightening. But he doesn’t seem to be in political shape. He ran out of steam about halfway through. Romney put in a typical performance. He came across as geeky and too easy to bully. His sense of humor is still flat. No one can envision him pleasantly surprising anyone in bed. Huntsman seemed to be convinced the way to win is to be the biggest jerk (which is not a terrible operating strategy). Bachmann was convincing as the most unelectable. Ron Paul did what he does. Herman Cain was entertaining. Gingrich had some good applause lines. Santorum brought his frothy mix of ideas to the table.

    I could make more substantive observations, but my mind is melted from such close exposure to the Crazy/Stupid. It’s very hard to picture any of these ass-clowns winning the nomination, let along the general election, but we have to take this phenomenon very seriously. I like to make fun of them, but I know they could be having the last laugh. Our country embarked on a crazy train ten years ago, and it’s still chugging along.

    What did you think? Is Death to the Comatose a good campaign slogan?

  30. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Debate Reax
    Perry and Romney’s Social Security back and forth:

    12 Sep 2011 10:42 PM

    Tea Party Debate Reax
    Perry and Romney’s Social Security back and forth:


    Here is where the benefits and risks of the Tea Party audience come in. All Perry needs to say, to win the Social Security exchange — for now — is that Romney is slavishly defending the New Deal. “If what you’re trying to say is that in the 30s and 40s,” he says, “the federal government made all the right decisions, I’m going to disagree with you.” Brilliant in the GOP primary. Is challenging every element of the New Deal brilliant in a general election? More than it used to be…

    Andrew Sprung:

    In the GOP debate tonight, Perry doubled down on his slimy insinuation that Ben Bernanke’s attempts to stimulate the economy with monetary policy are treasonous. This time he used the classic demagogic method of asserting that we have no way of knowing that an outrageous smear isn’t true. Of Bernanke’s motive for intimating that further monetary easing may be coming, he said “we don’t know if it was political or not” — i.e., whether Bernanke is motivated by trying to help Obama get re-elected. Never mind that the being accused of treason for following a given policy course by the leading presidential candidate of one party would constitute a perfectly good motive for trying to maintain the other in office. Or that Bernanke is a Republican, and a Bush appointee, and a student of the Great Depression whose entire corpus of published writings support a more radical course of easing than he’s pursued. From smearing motive to charging treason — that’s the GOP way.


    The only thing that really, truly stuck with me from the Republican presidential debate was Rick Santorum misspeaking and saying “court the illegal vote” before correcting himself to say “Latino vote.” I sometimes find myself discussing with other people whether I identify as Hispanic, and the answer is that I’m really not that strongly identified with my one grandparent’s Cuban heritage but this kind of thing really does piss me off more than being offensive about other groups of people would.

    Aaron Carroll:

    Let’s start here with the moment I screamed at the TV. I’m sorry, but the audience cheering the idea of letting a thirty-year old who got sick without insurance die is appalling. You can dislike the moral hazard, you can bemoan the fact that people don’t take enough personal responsibility, you can even wish that society wouldn’t have to be on the hook when uninsured people get sick. But don’t take pleasure in that fact. Right now, there are thirty-year olds who don’t have jobs, can’t find work, and can’t afford insurance. Letting them die if they get sick is not “good”. It’s not even “freedom”. Applauding that is depressing.


    No one stood out in my mind as tonight’s clear winner. However, Perry did suffer from the onslaught on his vaccine mandate. He seemed shaken and many of his answers were simply incoherent. Huntsman seemed to lose the small bit of ground he gained in the last debate by missing opportunities to connect with the crowd and botching his attempts to be mean. Again, I thought Romney was steady and kept his head above water. I suppose that makes him the winner by default.

    Taegan Goddard:

    Mitt Romney was not as strong in this debate than he was last week but he’s a long distance runner and was barely knocked off stride by his rivals. It wasn’t a convincing win but a win nonetheless. In contrast, cracks are beginning to show in Rick Perry’s candidacy, especially when he’s forced to explain anything longer than a soundbite. The best news for Perry is that very few are watching these debates and his weak performance is unlikely to move his poll numbers that much.

    Alex Castellanos:

    Romney=jobs, Perry=anti-Washington. Anger beats hope every time. This crowd rightly wants somebody as mad about DC as they are.

  31. rikyrah says:

    September 13, 2011 8:40 AM

    Perry was only off by 3.3 million jobs

    By Steve Benen

    About 10 minutes after taking the oath of office last year, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) held a press conference, at which he declared the Recovery Act “hasn’t created one new job.” A reporter gave him a chance to clarify, asking, “It didn’t create one new job?” The new senator replied, “That’s correct.” It was the first big hint that the guy isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box.

    I thought of this last night, watching this exchange during the debate for Republican presidential candidates.

    WOLF BLITZER: Governor Perry, the president in his new plan has a lot of tax cuts, payroll tax cuts, middle-class tax cuts, tax credits for hiring veterans, tax credits for hiring long-term unemployed people. Are those things you would support?

    RICK PERRY: And he’s going to pay for them all with raising your taxes. That is the issue. He had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs, $400-plus billion dollars in this package. And I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.

    I realize the increasingly-hysterical Republican Party is heavily invested in denouncing the Recovery Act. Indeed, it’s necessary for the integrity of the GOP’s entire worldview to believe the stimulus failed.

    But reality doesn’t much care about the sensitivities and philosophical beliefs that undergird modern Republican thought

    President Barack Obama’s stimulus package may have created or saved as many as 3.3 million jobs last quarter and lowered the unemployment rate by as much as 1.8 percentage points, the Congressional Budget Office said.

    The Recovery Act immediately improved the American job market and created economic growth where there was none. This isn’t even controversial; it’s just what happened. The stimulus should have been bigger, and we’re not even close to where we need to be, but when Rick Perry says the Recovery Act “created zero jobs,” he’s off by about 3 million.

    That said, I do give Perry some credit for thinking about economic impact in a coherent way. The original stimulus in 2009 cost about $825 billion and created as many as 3.3 million jobs. The American Jobs Act would cost about half as much, and independent projections suggest it would create about half as many jobs.

    If Perry and his party believe the economy doesn’t need that boost right now, they’re welcome to make their case. But to simply make up nonsense about the Recovery Act isn’t helpful.

  32. creolechild says:

    Obama: Hire skywriters to press Congress for jobs bill – By David Edwards

    In a speech in the White House Rose Garden Monday, President Barack Obama urged supporters to go all out in encouraging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act.

    “There are some in Washington who would rather settle our differences through politics and elections than try to resolve them now,” the president said. “And [Vice President Joe Biden] and I as we were walking out here, one of the Washington newspapers was quoting a Republican aide who said, ‘I don’t know why we would want to cooperate with Obama right now. It’s not good for our politics.’ That’s the attitude in this town. ‘Yeah, we’ve been for these things before but I don’t know why we would be for them right now.’”

    “So, if you agree with me, if you want Congress to take action, I’m going to need everybody here and everybody watching, you’ve got to make sure your voices are heard. Help make the case… I want you to pick up the phone, I want you to send an email, use one of those airplane skywriters, dust off the fax machine, or you could just, like, write a letter. So long as you get the message to Congress.”

    Watch this video from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast Sept. 12, 2011.

    • creolechild says:

      It’s my understanding that TiMT will post an action alert over at The People’s View some time today encouraging us to call, email, fax, and twitter Congress to: PASS THE AMERICAN JOBS BILL!

      Please participate and spread the word to as many people as possible. If you have a FaceBook account, use that too! We need to put pressure on the GOP to stop posturing, playing games, and making excuses and to DO THEIR JOBS.

      Have a great day, 3Chics, and Friends~

      • creolechild says:

        True to his word, this man was on his grind first thing this morning! Thank you, TiMT, Deaniac, and The People’s View!

        President Obama Sent His Jobs Bill To Congress – A Call To Action
        Tuesday, September 13, 2011 | Posted by TiMT at 6:00 AM

        Yesterday, President Obama, surrounded by teachers, construction workers, firefighters, small business owners, veterans and police officers announced in a Rose Garden appearance holding a copy of his $447 billion American Jobs Act bill he introduced during the join session last week, called on Congress to pass this important urgent legislation “immediately” while seeking the public to put pressure on lawmakers.

        Please call your SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE today and tell them to PASS THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT BILL!

        To recap and briefly highlights what the President’s Jobs Act includes and how it will help boost job creation and the slowing economy, I have highlighted most of the key notable items the President has proposed below :

        1) Cuts businesses payroll tax in half to 3.1% (A $65 Billion payroll tax holiday) on their first $5 million in payroll in 2012 which covers about 98% of small business. In addition, a complete payroll tax holiday if they hire new workers or if they raise workers’ wages by up to $50 million above the prior year.

        2) Provides employee payroll tax holiday for 160 million workers that would halve the tax rate to 3.1 percent in 2012 which is one-year extension worth $175 Billion, providing a $1,500 tax cut to the typical American family.

        3) A tax credit of $4,000 to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers.

        4) Extends a 100 percent expensing tax break for companies who invest in plant and equipment allowing them to take immediate tax deduction.

        5) Reforms regulations to help facilitate access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

        6) Increases hiring tax credits for veterans from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.

        7) Ensures that up to 280,000 teacher are not laid off work while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.

        8) Modernizing and renovating at least 35,000 public schools across the country.

        9) Invests in infrastructure and Infrastructure Bank to modernizing roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job.

        10) A $49 billion, one year extension of unemployment benefits to prevent 5 million Americans looking for work from losing their benefits.

        11) Allows Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates, which can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket. Read a complete overview of the American Jobs Act.

      • creolechild says:

        If you go to the site, Winning Progressive, you’ll find contact information for your state representatives and Congress. Thank you, Winning Progressive! Examples are listed below. Click on the link to gain access to the contact information for your city and state.~

        How To Help

        This blog is all about ignoring the Republican media circus. Instead we are spotlighting for the general public the effective legislation and policies that progressives have enacted, and explaining how progressive positions can address the major issues facing our nation. We need you to help us do it:

        1.Contact Your Elected Officials
        If we want progressive policies to be enacted, it is absolutely critical that we make our voices heard by our elected officials. We will help you do that by providing links to elected officials, and information about policy issues that they need to hear from us on.

        2. Write Letters to The Editor
        We make it really easy by providing a list of links and e-mail addresses for submitting letters to the editors at newspapers in communities throughout key battleground states. And we recommend key races, issues, and points to write letters about.

        3. Contribute To This Blog
        Know of an issue that you think we should write about? Want to add a media outlet to our growing list? Have you read a great article or letter to the editor that will encourage others to write one too? We want to hear from you. Send us an email.

        4. Spread the Word
        Tell others about our blog via Twitter and Facebook. Encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to write letters to the editor too.

        Contact the Democratic National Committee – 202-863-8000
        Contact the White House – 202-456-1111
        Contact Your Senators and Representatives
        Contact Your State Democratic Party
        Volunteer for Organizing For America

  33. Ametia says:

    Eugene Robinson
    Opinion Writer Obama turns up the heat with his jobs bill

    By Eugene Robinson, Published: September 12
    Don’t fall for it. There is no “new tone” coming from the Republican-controlled House. It’s just a remix of the same old song.

    Anyone who watched President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress last week could have guessed that the GOP reaction would be muted. You could scan the chamber and read the contrasting facial expressions: Democrats tended to have wide eyes and broad smiles, while many Republicans winced as if suffering indigestion.

    It isn’t just that Obama made a forceful and compelling case for his $447 billion American Jobs Act. It’s also that, while Republicans succeeded in damaging the president’s political standing with their debt-ceiling brinkmanship, they did more violence to their own. According to Gallup, the approval rating for Congress is down to a pathetic 13 percent.

    Moreover, worrisome new data have led even conservative economists to join the chorus for injecting some kind of new stimulus, and quickly, into the U.S. economy before we slump back into recession. The president didn’t utter the word “stimulus” Thursday night — apparently it’s unsuitable for polite company — but according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the first Obama stimulus saved or created up to 3.6 million jobs and may have shaved two percentage points off the unemployment rate.

    • creolechild says:

      3Chics is all about the facts. Here’s corroborating data which disproves the GOP talking point that “the stimulus didn’t work.”

      The War Over Stimulus Spending—Does it Really Work? – By ERIC PIANIN

      As Republican presidential contenders vie for voters and campaign dollars, one issue unites them: They think President Obama’s stimulus program was a colossal failure. Now, the President is planning a new round of stimulus spending — this time to boost jobs and catapult the economy out of the hole. So who’s right? According to the Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Treasury, the program is a winner — mostly because without it, that hole would have been much wider and deeper.

      Obama’s much-maligned 2009 economic stimulus package is continuing to provide some modest juice for the lethargic economy and is adding jobs to the labor market, according to a new study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The estimated $825 billion legislation, passed in the depths of the recession, has become a popular political punching bag for Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders who claim it has done little more than add to the $1.3 trillion annual deficit.

      But CBO reported on Wednesday that during the second quarter of this year, the so-called American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) raised the inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic product by between 0.8 percent and 2.5 percent; lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.5 percentage points and 1.6 percentage points; and increased the number of people who are employed by between one million and 2.9 million, compared with what would have occurred without the law.

      Without the program in place, real GDP would have increased by substantially less than the meager 1.3 percent annual rate reported by the government in the second quarter of this year; the 9.1 percent unemployment rate may have gone as high as 10.7 percent; and there might have been as many as 2.9 million fewer employed Americans than the 131.2 million reported by the Labor Department in July. Even as the stimulus program rapidly winds down, it will produce some residual economic benefits next year as well, the report said, as part of long-term construction projects and other programs. But many states and municipalities, already feeling the effects of those funds drying up, are struggling to fill the resulting gaps in their budgets.


      Read more:

  34. Ametia says:

    News Alert: Iran’s president says he will grant “unilateral pardon” to 2 American hikers
    September 13, 2011 6:06:45 AM

    Iran’s president says he will grant “unilateral pardon” to two American hikers, The Washington Post has learned.

    For more information, visit

  35. creolechild says:

    Greek Protesters Clash With Police Over Austerity Measures
    2011-09-12 07:29

    Greeks hurl stones at police who respond with tear gas outside a trade fair Saturday. Angry over an austerity program, labor unions, civil servants, students and taxi drivers gather outside fairgrounds where Prime Minister George Papandreou is speaking. Police detained 106 people as masked protesters burned trash bins, chairs and other objects.

    Despite public uproar, the prime minister said Greece is committed to meeting the conditions of its international bailout. George Papandreou, Greek Prime Minister: “We made a decision to wage a battle in order to avoid a catastrophe, a catastrophic bankruptcy for the country and its people, to stay in the euro, and this means difficult decisions, difficult sacrifices.”

    Nearly two years of reforms, pay cuts and tax increases have failed to revive the economy. Senior euro zone officials have cast doubt that the country can avoid bankruptcy or stay within the euro currency.

  36. Ametia says:

    HEADS UP: President’ Obama will speak in Ohio is at 2:15 EDT. We’ll post a thread later.

  37. creolechild says:

    Metia, this is, yet another, example of the lack of compassion and concern for others that we were just talking about. No…words…for…THIS!

    Rick Perry’s Juvie Record —By Tim Murphy

    Mary Jane Martinez’s son Jimmy entered the Texas criminal justice system in 2003 because he missed his school bus. He was charged with truancy and destruction of property (for throwing rocks) and sent to live in a county juvenile detention center for a sentence of six months. After five months, instead of being released, he was transferred to an academy 400 miles away, managed by the Texas Youth Commission, the agency that oversees detention and treatment centers across the state. Jimmy finally came home, four years after he was sent away, a period his mother now describes as a living hell. His best friend had been murdered, and Jimmy had been beaten and raped—both, Mrs. Martinez testifed, by TYC guards. “It just made him worse,” Martinez says of the treatment. “My son has PTSD now. He’s schizo.” Unable to find a job after getting out, he was arrested for burglary and landed in a prison facility eight hours away from his native San Antonio.

    Martinez’s story is hardly an outlier. For years, the Texas juvenile justice system was wracked by reports of rape, unsanitary conditions, and physical abuse. According to statistics submitted by the TYC in 2007, 83 percent of residents who requested counseling that year were ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. At one youth facility in central Texas, the mistreatment and squalid conditions (feces on the walls and bed-sheets, steel bars blocking fire escapes) were so bad they left no choice but for the agency to shut it down entirely.

    Gov. Rick Perry did not take swift action to address the problem, which his office knew about for years. Allegations of systematic mistreatment at TYC facilities first came to the Governor’s desk in 2001, when then-Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) forwarded along a complaint that his office had received. That was six years before media coverage of the conditions in juvenile detention centers launched a public scandal. And critics of Perry, who is now a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, point out that he received tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and executives for a firm tied to some of the worst abuses. Far from the picture initially painted by Perry, of a shocking scandal that was dealt with swiftly and emphatically, his administration had sat on the concerns for years.


    • Ametia says:

      Just watched David Axelrod on Morning Joe. He delivers. In a word… “The GOP GOT NOTHING” If anyone finds the video link, could you please post it. Thanks.

  38. creolechild says:

    Here’s an article outlining some of the reforms which President Obama mentioned while speaking about job creation.

    Obama’s Rule Reforms Panned by Business and GOP – By: ERIC PIANIN and MICHELLE HIRSCH

    The Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled its first major effort at slashing government red tape, outlining hundreds of changes in the fine print of government regulations that potentially could save businesses and consumers billions of dollars over the coming decade. And while the White House touted the measures as unprecedented, they drew negative reviews from the left and right.

    Under mounting pressure from industry groups and Republicans to scale back or dilute reams of government rules that greatly add to production and accounting costs and discourage hiring, the White House detailed more than 500 reforms, either already implemented or in the pipeline, that officials claim will save industry and consumers more than $4 billion over the next five years. The more than 800 pages of major and small-bore rules changes will largely affect the operations of the Departments of Transportation, Treasury, Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    In detailing the final plans, Cass Sunstein, the White House regulatory czar, stressed that “this isn’t a one-shot endeavor,” and that other regulatory reforms are in the works that might provide an additional $6 billion of relief of burdensome regulations in the coming years – for a total of $10 billion in savings.
    “We haven’t really had in history this kind of sustained, presidentially-driven enhanced process for a look back” on existing rules, Sunstein said during a conference call. “There’s an effort here to create periodic review of existing rules and to change the culture, really, by having openness to public concerns, by getting a sense of how rules are operating on the ground.”


    Read more:

  39. Ametia says:


    September 13, 2011 8:00 AM
    The candidates weren’t the only ones on display
    By Steve Benen

    The point of presidential candidate debates is to offer the public a chance to scrutinize and evaluate those seeking national office. Occasionally, though, voters get the chance to scrutinize and evaluate those in the audience, which is nearly as interesting.

    The candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination are a pretty scary bunch — remember, one of them stands a reasonably good chance of becoming the leader of the free world in about 17 months — and the two-hour display on CNN last night was a depressing reminder of what’s become of the GOP in the 21st century. That said, maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to find the audiences for these debates even more disconcerting.

    Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical scenario to Ron Paul, asking about a young man who makes a good living, but decides to forgo health insurance. Then, tragedy strikes and he needs care. Paul stuck to the libertarian line. “But congressman,” the moderator said, “are you saying that society should just let him die?”

    And at that point, some in the audience shouted, “Yeah,” and applauded.

    Earlier in the debate, Blitzer asked Rick Perry about his attacks on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. “I said that, if you are allowing the Federal Reserve to be used for political purposes, that it would be almost treasonous,” Perry said. “I think that is a very clear statement of fact.”

    The audience loved this, too.

    What’s more, note that in last week’s debate, the mere observation that Perry has signed off on the executions of 234 people in Texas, more than any other governor in modern times, was enough to generate applause from a different GOP audience.

    Taken together, over the last five days, we’ve learned that the way to impress Republican voters, at least the ones who show up for events like these, is to support letting the insured die, accusing the Fed of treason for trying to improve the economy, and executing lots of people.

    There’s a deep strain of madness running through Republican politics in 2011, and it appears to be getting worse. Those wondering why the GOP presidential field appears weak, insipid, and shallow need look no further than the voters they were choose to pander to.

  40. creolechild says:

    Cantor Admits Shutdown Fights Harm Economy – By: Brian Beutler

    Here’s a rare admission from a top Republican, given how things have unfolded on Capitol Hill all year. It comes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), in response to a question about whether Republicans will push for deeper spending cuts later this month when Congress has to extend funding for federal programs.

    “I think the risk of bringing back brinkmanship or another potential shutdown is not something right now that we need, is not something that would be helpful to create jobs and regain confidence, which is why I’ve taken the position that I have,” Cantor said.

    Here’s a brief primer on his position. It’s worth noting that the country’s economic situation was similarly poor in April and July when Republicans forced long fights over, respectively, a six month government funding bill and raising the debt limit.

  41. creolechild says:

    Argentine FM Seeks Better Balance in Trade with Chinese Regime
    2011-09-12 09:43

    Argentine foreign minister Hector Timerman hopes to seek a better balance in trade with the Chinese regime. The aim—to boost Chinese imports of Argentine manufactured and industrial products. Timerman arrived in Beijing for a two-day official visit last Thursday with a 40-member trade delegation.
    He met with his counterpart, Yang Jiechi, and also the Chinese Communist Party’s vice president, Xi Jinping. Hector Timerman, Argentine Foreign Minister: “We reached an agreement on the need for a more balanced commercial relationship on both sides and these commercial ties should include manufactured products.”

    Currently, 85 percent of trade between China and Argentina is agricultural products. China imports about $2 billion worth of soy oil—Argentina’s second largest export market. Trade between the two countries improved by 65 percent last year to $13 billion—Argentina with a deficit of $1.8 billion.

  42. creolechild says:

    Wisconsin Republicans take whole month off, putting jobs measures on hold – By Stephen C. Webster

    Following the unprecedented wave of recall elections last month, Wisconsin Republicans have decided they don’t want to return to work in Sept., scheduling just one day for the legislature to be in session despite the public’s urging to do something to boost private sector jobs. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D), speaking to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, called the scheduling plan “woefully inadequate,” pointing to proposals Democrats have laid out that would boost hiring in the state by providing tax credits for businesses that hire new workers.

    Wisconsin Republicans have resisted such measures, and now it seems voters will have to wait even longer before the legislature takes any action on them. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) blamed the delays on the recent recall elections, suggesting that if Senators did not have to focus on retaining their seats, business would have proceeded as normal.

  43. creolechild says:

    For Cargill, It’s Tainted Turkey Time Again —By: Tom Philpott

    On Aug. 3, agribusiness giant Cargill recalled a stunning 36 million pounds of ground turkey, in response to an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella that had sickened more than 100 people and killed one. The suspect meat had emerged from a single massive slaughterhouse in Arkansas. The fiasco inspired the company—one of the globe’s largest agribusiness firms—to shut down its Arkansas plant to disinfect it and upgrade safety procedures there. According to the trade journal, Cargill took the following steps during the plant’s hiatus:

    [Safety enhancements] include two additional antibacterial washes, intensifying an existing antibacterial system, disassembling and steam cleaning equipment before resuming ground turkey production, and requiring suppliers of turkey meat to add a new antibacterial wash. The company has also implemented the most aggressive Salmonella monitoring and testing programme in the poultry industry.

    Officials from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approved the upgrades, Cargill officials told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and by mid-August, the plant was cranking out vast amounts of ground turkey again. Turns out, though, the antibiotic-resistant salmonella strain that caused the outbreak managed to resist Cargill’s safety upgrades. On September 11, FSIS announced that Cargill is recalling 185,000 more pounds of ground turkey from its Arkansas plant, samples of which had tested positive for the exact same strain of antibiotic-resistant salmonella that caused the August calamity.


  44. creolechild says:

    THIS…is a damn shame~

    Tea Party Debate Audience Cheers Idea Of Letting Sick Man Without Insurance Die (VIDEO)
    By: Evan McMorris-Santoro

    The last two Republican presidential debates have been some of the most macabre on record. Last time around, at the Reagan Library, the crowd gave the biggest applause of the night to the 234 executions that have occurred in Texas while Rick Perry was governor. In Tampa, Florida at the CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night, the tea party-filled audience literally cheered aloud for the uninsured to be allowed to die.

    The moment came during an exchange between moderator Wolf Blitzer and Ron Paul, whose libertarian views often make for good theater at Republican debates. Blitzer asked if under Paul’s libertarian philosophy, a sick man without insurance should be allowed to die in the hospital rather than have the state pay his medical bills. Before Paul could answer that question, shouts of “yes!” and cheering bubbled up from the audience.

    [Click on link to watch video.]

  45. creolechild says:

    NRA Bill With 243 Sponsors Would Create Race To The Bottom On Concealed Handguns
    By: Alex Seitz-Wald

    The NRA is pushing a sweeping new bill to radically weaken the nation’s gun control regime. Already co-sponsored by 243 members of the House, the legislation would force any state to recognize a concealed weapons permit issued by any other state: If Congress adopts a bill that the National Rifle Association is pushing, Florida’s licenses would apply to 49 states in all — allowing their holders to carry hidden guns in places such as midtown Manhattan, where the New York Police Department rejects most such applications for “concealed- carry” permits.

    Only Illinois and Washington D.C., where residents aren’t allowed to carry concealed handguns at all, would be exempt.

    While states can and do already adopt reciprocity agreements between each other, a federal law could create a potentially dangerous “race to the bottom” where a single gun-friendly state with lax regulations could become a haven for anyone in the country who wants a permit. In much the same way Delaware and South Dakota have done with credit card regulations, these states, where gun-rights lobbyists could focus their efforts, would effectively impose their permissive gun regulations on the rest of the country. Already, “in some states, the permits are practically a rubber stamp,” noted Laura Cutilletta, a senior staff attorney with Legal Community Against Violence.


  46. creolechild says:

    The Rich Get Tax Breaks for Destroying Jobs? How the Capital Gains Tax Helps the Wealthy and Hurts the Rest of Us – By: Dave Johnson

    Why are “capital gains” taxes so much lower than taxes on other income? The reason capital gains taxes are lower is because most of the income of the rich is from capital gains. And the reason most of the income of the rich is from capital gains is because capital gains taxes are lower. “Capital gains” are the gains, or profits, made from the investment of capital — the big pools of money that a few of us have the great responsibility and burden of being stuck with. The theory is that the few among us who have bundles of money (capital) use that money to start businesses or buy stocks or property (or race horses) and thereby “create jobs.” (For more on how businesses and the wealthy “create jobs,” click here and then click here.)

    If the value of the business or property (or race horses) goes up those wealthy few make even more money (gains). This ability to obtain these huge gains is a benefit offered to those who have lots of money in the first place. Thus the term “capital gains.” These gains are differentiated from the gains the rest of us make from …working … because the rest of us do not have the intelligence and wisdom of having those huge pools of money to invest.

    n our system the income gained from these investments by these wealthy few is therefore taxed at a special very, very low rate, because they have the wisdom and intelligence to have large sums of money available to invest, and the rest of us do not. This low rate is considered an “incentive” to those who have these large accumulations of money, to try to persuade them to make these huge profits. They require these “incentives” to make huge profits, because otherwise they might not be interested in making the huge profits that can result from owning most of the property and stock and race horses (and yachts and private jets and multiple homes and million-dollar cars.) So that is why they must be given the incentive of these very special low tax rates – to persuade them to make investments that reap huge profits that they otherwise would not want to make.


  47. creolechild says:

    Hunger has worsened in Perry’s Texas but remained steady nationally, federal report says – By Patrick Michels

    While Texas gained jobs from 2009 to 2010, its proportion of hungry households grew tooA new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows household hunger remained steady from 2009 to 2010, but worsened in Texas during the years the state has been hailed as a model for weathering the economic downturn. Built on a measure called “food insecurity,” the study was based on a survey of 45,000 households during the 2010 census, and found 14.5 percent of households had difficulty meeting their food needs — a statistic that was “essentially unchanged” from 2009, according to the agency. Last year saw a decline in the proportion of households with “severe” food insecurity across the country, too.

    “In Texas, however, the three-year average food insecurity rate did increase, from 17.4 percent in 2007-2009 to the current rate of 18.8 percent in 2008-2010, according to the Austin-based “Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Food insecurity not only hurts individuals and families, it costs all of us,” said CPPP senior policy analyst Celia Cole in a statement. When kids come to school hungry, they cannot learn. This affects academic achievement and the health of our future workforce and economic competitiveness.”

    At 19.4 percent, Mississippi’s food insecurity rate was the only one worse than Texas. Texas and Mississippi are tied for the highest proportion of minimum wage workers, too, and the Austin Food Bank’s John Turner argues that’s no coincidence. Writing in the Guardian Online, he says simply having a job isn’t enough to stave off poverty and keep a family fed:


    Read more:

  48. creolechild says:

    Issa: Keeping teachers on payroll unnecessary – By Andrew Jones

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) appeared on Morning Joe Monday, and suggested that saving teachers’ jobs was little more than a second wave of unnecessary stimulus. The California congressman appeared on the MSNBC show primarily to focus on his plan to revamp the U.S. Postal Service, a move many liberal critics have criticized. But when he was asked about his thoughts on President Obama’s jobs plan, Issa went on the attack, specifically turning his attention towards teachers.

    “There are tougher issues,” he said. “Whether or not the federal government borrows money from overseas sources to keep teachers in XYZ state on the payroll seems to be ‘stimulus II.’ It seems to be something that the state’s have to decide what the right number of teachers are, and fund that, and not have us borrow money from overseas.” Issa added: “We did that once. It’s time for us to say states have to step up to the plate. That’s a good example where I don’t think that belongs in this stimulus bill. I don’t think we should maintain government workers with borrowed money.”

    WATCH: Video from MSNBC, which aired on September 12, 2011

  49. creolechild says:

    Good morning, 3Chics~ Dropping in early to leave some news articles that you may find interesting.

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