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Rev. Sharpton Responds to Rick Perry ‘Niggerhead’ Story
Reverend Al Sharpton has released a statement regarding the Washington Post story about GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s hosting of friends, supporters and fellow lawmakers at his family’s secluded West Texas hunting camp named “Niggerhead”:
“The Washington Post story revealing that Texas Governor Rick Perry hunted and hosted lawmakers at a hunting camp called Niggerhead is alarming and displays a new height in racial insensitivity in national politics. Mr. Perry should immediately fully explain how he could have gone to a ranch and hunted that is named after such an obvious racist term or he should withdrawl from the race. He is either blindly insensitive or hopelessly unaware of where he spends his time. Either way it makes one wonder if he is ready for prime time and certainly whether he is ready for the White House. – Reverend Al Sharpton, President National Action Network”
Saw the Money Pit with Brad Pitt this evening. Good stuff.
‘Arrested Development’: New Episodes, Movie Coming
First Posted: 10/2/11 06:48 PM ET Updated: 10/2/11 07:40 PM ET
“Arrested Development” is back. Really.
The cult classic television comedy about the travails of the rich, zany Bluth family, cancelled in 2006 after three seasons, will produce nine to ten new episodes and a movie, it was announced at The New Yorker Festival on Sunday.
“It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!” leading actor Jason Bateman tweeted.
Smart and irreverent, the show also starred David Cross, Michael Cera, Portia De Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat and Jessica Walter. It was executive produced by Ron Howard, who also provided narration.
Since its cancellation, the show has earned a fervent fan base, with constant speculation as to when — or whether — the show would be adapted into a movie. The cast, led by Bateman and Will Arnett, has frequently promised that a movie would be coming, though until now they’ve been unable to offer any specifics. As it turns out, that can be attributed to the difficulties of intellectual properties and broadcast rights.
“We don’t completely own the property, there are business people involved and studios and that kind of thing,” creator Mitch Hurwitz said on Sunday, as quoted by the NY Times. “Just creatively, I have been working on the screenplay for a long time and found that as time went by, there was so much more to the story. In fact, where everyone’s been for five years became a big part of the story. So in working on the screenplay, I found even if I just gave five minutes per character to that back story, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together.”
As such, the plan is to have one episode explore each character as a lead-in to the film.
Just over two weeks ago, Bateman, who starred this summer’s comedies, “Horrible Bosses” and “The Change-Up,” told Entertainment Weekly that he was frustrated that he couldn’t give more details, but assured a film would be forthcoming.
In February, Hurwitz told Digital Spy that the process was underway, but couldn’t say more.
“I don’t like to toy with the affections of our fans,” he said. “They’ve been so supportive and we’re so grateful, so I kind of hate to answer the question until I can say, ‘Yep, we’ve shot it, it opens next week’. Otherwise it feels like we’re toying with people and we do not mean to do that. It has just taken a while to get it going.”
In July, Jeffrey Tambor, who plays the show’s patriarch, told The Huffington Post, “It’s all going straight, everyone’s on board, I know they’re writing, and maybe next time this year we’ll be having this conversation.”
Full HRC speech
Enjoy your Sunday 3Chics and everyone else! Here’s Pat Metheny with, It’s Just Talk.
Coming soon to your neighborhood?!!
How Automatic License Plate Recognition Tracks Your Steps – Saturday 1 October 2011 By: Lance Page, Truthout and ACLU Massachusetts | Infographic
As the surveillance state continues to expand, the push to track the movement of individuals across state borders has also expanded. Automatic license plate recognition technology is at the forefront of this move, not only capturing thousands of license plates per minute and storing the information in a database, but also recording the GPS location of where it was “pinged.” According to the ACLU of Washington, law enforcement agencies don’t delete any of this information.
This creates a vast database of personal data of where a person traveled, when and for how long. Data firms and multinational intelligence companies are also jumping on the bandwagon, furthering the reach of the surveillance matrix.
Awww…Joe Walsh haz a sad! Read what he’s “sad” about…
Crazy Words From A Crazy Person – Posted on 09/30/2011 at 6:30 pm by JM Ashby
Representative Joe “Deadbeat Dad” Walsh, who owes over $100 thousand in child support to the mother of his children, is very, very ashamed. Ashamed because he has failed to support his children? The unemployment rate? The number of uninsured persons? His complete lack of tact and knowledge?
No. Because his state does not allow concealed handguns.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) told an audience in Illinois that he was ashamed of his state for not allowing concealed handguns, warning that they were the “last line of defense” if Americans need to revolt against their government. “We are an embarrassment (in Illinois),” Walsh said Tuesday night at a Tea Party rally, according to The Daily Herald. “We are the last state standing when it comes to concealed carry. There’s no issue when it comes to freedom that matters like this, like the Second Amendment. The most important amendment in that Bill of Rights is the Second Amendment. It protects every other amendment. It is the last line of defense between us and our government.”
This fantastical idea conservatives have. The idea that the diabolical federal government is going to come take your guns and force you into purgatory is just that. Fantastical. It’s not a new idea either. It goes back decades. This conspiracy theory has been peddled to the gullible as far back as the John Birch Society and beyond, and the last thing we need is for it to be legitimized by the ravings of an elected lunatic. The reality is no one other than law enforcement needs to be carrying concealed weapons. The reality is Joe Walsh is the embarrassment. An embarrassment to America.
Jesus, please save us from these people! Did you know that AZ allows people to carry concealed? One of our dizzy biscuit State Reps pulled her little pink hand gun out of her purse and pointed it at a reporter during an interview recently.
This caca is like living in a nightmare of the terminally insane.
It’s crazy, AG. Hang in there, woman.
Now, the Senate can fully concentrate their efforts on the American Jobs Act. PASS THE BILL!~
Some Good News from the Senate – Posted on 10/01/2011 at 2:48 pm by Bob Cesca
Yes, it’s a really slow news day around here, and considering the state of the nation, slow news days are certainly welcome. Meanwhile, here’s some good news from the Senate that made me smile. On Monday, the Senate will take up legislation that would impose tariffs on Chinese goods so long as China depresses the value of its currency. Despite the partisan polarization that grinds lawmaking to a halt these days, the bill’s support is thoroughly bipartisan, with sponsors ranging from such conservative Republicans as South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham to liberal Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown.
The legislation is expected to clear the Senate’s 60-vote hurdle for a floor vote and move on to the House…Between 2001 and 2010, the U.S. trade deficit with China cost Americans 2.8 million jobs, according to a report by economist Robert Scott, issued last week by the liberal Economic Policy Institute. Most of those jobs — 1.9 million — were in manufacturing, and of those, almost half were in computers and electronics. This wasn’t simply the consequence of China’s cheaper labor or more generous corporate subsidies.
Finally! Hopefully there won’t be any jerkasses attaching anti-abortion amendments or some other form of awfulness to prevent it from getting to 60.
ok natural hair folks,
which hair products do you use?
I’m open to suggestions to try new products.
Libya’s NTC Consider Early Elections
Libya’s de facto Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril called on Thursday for early elections in the country still caught up in conflict. Mahmoud Jibril, Libya’s De Facto Prime Minister: “We propose to start the democratic process early.” Libya’s interim leaders missed a deadline earlier this month to agree a new cabinet as their forces remain bogged down in fighting with troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
The former rebels’ executive committee, or cabinet, was dissolved last month. Libya’s new rulers are trying to get a grip on the whole country, rein in their own unruly militias and get on with reconstruction and democratic reform. The National Transitional Council has drawn up a road map setting out plans for a new constitution and elections over a 20-month period.
Good Sunday 3Chics! Thanks Ametia for that wonderful choice of song for this day! SG2, may God continue to give you the strength to rebuild your life stronger than before. He is watching over you!
Hi, GGail. Good to see you, and thank you.
Thank you so much, GGail, for your prayers and encouraging words! It’s strengthening for me to read such an outpouring of love. I feel like I can make it one more day. You all are jewels sent from God to comfort, uplift, & encourage. I am so grateful!
Japan Lifts Nuclear Restrictions
Life may never be the same for those affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March. The Japanese government enforced a 12-mile evacuation zone around the nuclear plant, making it a virtual no-go zone. Those nearby were ordered to stay indoors and to prepare for immediate evacuation. But on Friday the government announced it was lifting some of these restrictions.
Yukio Edano, Japanese Economic, Trade and Industry Minister: “Due to the relaxing of these restrictions, children and those who are pregnant will once again be able to enter the zones. Schools will be able to restart and restrictions against starting construction projects will be lifted.” Although many were not ordered to evacuate, plenty did, anxious about the threat of nuclear contamination.
Yoshihiko Noda, Japanese Prime Minister: “In order to reduce residents’ uneasiness caused by radiation concerns, it is necessary to conduct large scale decontamination project. I hope to put the funds for this into the third supplemental budget.” Over the next two years, the government aims to halve radiation in contaminated areas. Experts say the clean-up could cost tens of billions of dollars.
Things may not be back to normal but reopening schools will bring some semblance of normality to the area.
Mass Pro-Democracy Demonstrations in Bahrain
Pro-democracy supporters gathered once again on Friday in their regular meeting place in al Qurayeh village, west of Manama in the Gulf Arab state of Bahrain. On stage at the demonstration was a coffin draped in black with wording on the side reading: ‘Democracy’. On the same day, hundreds of women gathered in the Shi’ite village of Muqasha to condemn prison sentences handed down by a military court to 20 medics. The medics were sentenced to between 5 and 15 years, the state news agency said, in what critics claimed was reprisal for treating injured protesters, during pro-democracy demonstrations in the kingdom earlier this year.
The doctors and nurses, who were released in June and September on bail after international pressure over the case, said they were waiting for a police order to head back to jail after they were sentenced on Thursday. Ten of the medics were given 15-year prison terms, two were sentenced to 10 years and the rest to five. The whereabouts of two of the 20 are unknown. The extension of Bahrain’s measures to crush the protests against military trials of doctors has attracted heavy international criticism, with the United Nations condemning the sentences on Friday.
Top Oil and Gas Executives Had Major Presence at Bahrain Conference – Saturday 1 October 2011 By: Steve Horn
What began as a bright democratic uprising in Bahrain, a part of the famed Arab Spring, has transformed into the movement’s tragic sore, where human rights abuses continue every day.
Undeterred by this reality, top oil and natural gas corporate executives have swooped into this tiny Persian Gulf island state to attend a September 25-28 conference, “Shaping the Future: Innovating Beyond Limits.”
According to a conference press release, “Over 2,000 oil and gas professionals will converge at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre…[for the] 17th Society of Petroleum Engineers Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference….”
The sessions opened with a ceremony lead by the prime minister of Bahrain, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the longest-serving unelected prime minster in the world. According to the conference’s web site, topics on the table included “deep water drilling,” “unconventional drilling methods” and “unconventional resources (tight & shale gas).” Organizers convened an executive committee including the likes of Halliburton, ExxonMobil and Shell, among numerous other fossil fuel industry powerhouses.
This is just one of the examples which demonstrate how, WE, are paying the price for GOP/Teahadist obstructionism! Electric cars on the road means they’ll no longer benefit from the money they receive from the oil industry. Not hard to understand why they continue to deny climate change and reject anything that will spur growth in a greener economy.
Mexico Gets Electric Taxis
The cars are the first wave of a green initiative unveiled by the capital this week, in hopes of easing pollution in the city of 20 million. The Nissan Leaf taxis run entirely on electric engines and can travel up to 160 kilometers per charge.
Jesus Munoz, Mexico Nissan President: “We have delivered the first three vehicles of this program, which consists of 100 vehicles as part of a pilot program. It will have a later phase where we’ll deliver 500 units so that they can be used as taxis in the middle of Mexico City. The most important thing is that this is the first city and country in Latin America and the first in the world that will have this program with Nissan Leaf.”
Nissan has provided equipment for a charging station in the city center, where solar energy can charge batteries in 30 minutes. The company estimates that 100 of the eco-friendly taxis will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by five tonnes per day.
By JAMES ATLAS
Published: October 1, 2011
A BROCHURE arrives in the mail announcing this year’s winners of a prestigious fellowship to study abroad. The recipients are allotted a full page each, with a photo and a thick paragraph chronicling their achievements. It’s a select group to begin with, but even so, there doesn’t seem to be anyone on this list who hasn’t mastered at least one musical instrument; helped build a school or hospital in some foreign land; excelled at a sport; attained fluency in two or more languages; had both a major and a minor, sometimes two, usually in unrelated fields (philosophy and molecular science, mathematics and medieval literature); and yet found time — how do they have any? — to enjoy such arduous hobbies as mountain biking and white-water kayaking.
Let’s call this species Super Person.
Do we have some anomalous cohort here? Achievement freaks on a scale we haven’t seen before? Has our hysterically competitive, education-obsessed society finally outdone itself in its tireless efforts to produce winners whose abilities are literally off the charts? And if so, what convergence of historical, social and economic forces has been responsible for the emergence of this new type? Why does Super Person appear among us now?
Perhaps there’s an evolutionary cause, and these robust intellects reflect the leap in the physical development of humans that we ascribe to better diets, exercise and other forms of health-consciousness. (Stephen Jay Gould called this mechanism “extended scope.”) All you have to do is watch a long rally between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to recognize — if you’re old enough — how much faster the sport has become over the last half century.
The Super Person training for the college application wars is the academic version of the Super Person slugging it out on the tennis court. For wonks, Harvard Yard is Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Or maybe it’s a function of economics. Writing in a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, John Quiggin, a visiting professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University, argues that the Great Academic Leap Forward “is both a consequence of, and a contributor to, the growing inequality and polarization of American society.” Nearly 25 percent of the annual income in America goes to 1 percent of the population, creating an ever-wealthier upper class. Yet there’s no extra space being made in our best colleges for high-achieving students. “Taken together,” Professor Quiggin points out, “the Ivy League and other elite institutions educate something less than 1 percent of the U.S. college-age population” — a percentage that’s going to shrink further as the population of college-bound students continues to grow.
Preparing for Super Personhood begins early. “We see kids who’ve been training from an early age,” says Charles Bardes, chairman of admissions at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The bar has been set higher. You have to be at the top of the pile.”
And to clamber up there you need a head start. Thus the well-documented phenomenon of helicopter parents. In her influential book “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety,” Judith Warner quotes a mom who gave up her career to be a full-time parent: “The children are the center of the household and everything goes around them. You want to do everything and be everything for them because this is your job now.” Bursting with pent-up energy, the mothers transfer their shelved career ambitions to their children. Since that book was published in 2005, the situation has only intensified. “One of my daughter’s classmates has a pilot’s license; 12-year-olds are taking calculus,” Ms. Warner said last week.
REMEMBER the Dumb Kid in your math class who couldn’t understand what a square root was? Gone. Vanished from the earth like the stegosaurus. If your child is at an elite school, there are no dumb kids in his or her math class — only smart and smarter.
Even the most brilliant students have to work harder now to make their nut. The competition for places in the upper tier of higher education is a lot tougher than it was in the 1960s and ’70s, when having good grades and SAT scores in the high 1200s was generally sufficient to get you into a respectable college. My contemporaries love to talk about how they would have been turned down by the schools they attended if they were applying today. This is no illusion: 19 percent of applicants were admitted to my Ivy League school for the class of ’71; 6 percent were admitted for the class of ’15.
Graduate and professional school statistics are just as daunting. Dr. Bardes told me that he routinely interviewed students with perfect or near perfect grade point averages and SATs — enough to fill the class several times over. Last year 5,722 applicants competed for 101 places at Weill Cornell; the odds of getting in there are even worse than those of getting your 3-year-old into a New York City private school.
“Applicant pools are stronger and deeper,” concurs Stephen Singer, the former director of college counseling at Horace Mann, the New York City private school renowned for its driven students. “It used to be that if you were editor of the paper or president of your class you could get in almost anywhere,” Mr. Singer says. “Now it’s ‘What did you do as president? How did you make the paper special?’ Kids file stories from Bosnia or El Salvador on their summer vacations.” Such students are known in college admissions circles as “pointy” — being well-rounded doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to have a spike in your achievement chart.
AND it doesn’t hurt to be from an exotic foreign land. “Colleges are reaching out to a broader range of people around the world today,” says William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate admissions. “They go to Africa and China. If you want first-class mathematicians, try looking in Bulgaria.” In case they miss someone, many colleges now have recruiting agents in other countries who are paid commissions — by both the parents and the college — to help “place” those students. Globalization comes to the college admissions world.
Just as the concentration of wealth at the very top reduces wealth at the bottom, the aggressive hoarding of intellectual capital in the most sought-after colleges and universities has curtailed our investment in less prestigious institutions. There’s no curricular trickle-down effect. The educator E. D. Hirsch Jr. has pointed to a trend he labels the Matthew Effect, citing the Biblical injunction: “ ‘For unto every one that hath shall be given and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.’ We’ve lifted up rich kids beyond their competence,” he says, “while the verbal skills of the black underclass continue to decline.”
Affluent families can literally buy a better résumé. “In a bad economy, the demographic shift has the potential to reinforce a socio-economic gap,” says Todd Breyfogle, who oversaw the honors program at the University of Denver and is now director of seminars at the Aspen Institute. “Only those families who can help their students be more competitive will have students who can get into elite institutions.”
Schools are now giving out less scholarship money in the tight economy, favoring students who can pay full freight. Meanwhile, Super People jet off on Mom and Dad’s dime to archaeological digs in the Negev desert, when they might once have opted to be counselors in training at Camp Shewahmegon for the summer. And the privilege of laboring as a volunteer in a day care center in Guatemala — “service learning,” as it’s sometimes called — doesn’t come cheap once you tote up the air fare, room and board.
Colleges collude in the push to upgrade talent. “It’s a huge industry,” Mr. Breyfogle says. “Harvard has a whole office devoted to preparing applicants for the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.” At its worst, this kind of coaching results in candidates who are treated as what he calls “management projects.”
“They’ve been put in the hands of makeover experts who have a stake in making them look better than they are, leveraging their achievement,” Mr. Breyfogle says.
Take a minute and look at the Infographic. Why is it necessary to have this much information on U.S. citizens?!!
Limitless Space: Computerized Dataveillance Since 9/11 – By: Chris Walsh, Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the “Homeland” | Infographic
Hundreds of state, local and federal databases clog our nation’s digital infrastructure, collecting, sharing and hoarding inconceivable amounts of information about ordinary people. From DHS to the DOJ to the DOE, from the state and local police all the way up to the military and CIA, our government is increasingly relying on a data-driven model of social control. Below is only a tiny sampling of the many hundreds of government databases containing personally identifiable information about hundreds of millions of people. Many of these databases are exempt from the Privacy Act. Some of them remain so secret we don’t know all of the kinds of data kept and shared, or how many records they contain. For more information about data collection and sharing, visit http://www.privacySOS.org/data.
Click here or on the info-graphic below to open it in a new window and click again to zoom in.
California’s Prison Hunger Strike is Back On Saturday 1 October 2011by: Julianne Hing, Colorlines | Report
Prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison’s Secure Housing Unit who led a monthlong hunger strike in July say prison officials have not made good on promises to meet their original demands, and that they have no other choice but to go back on strike. Prisoners in Pelican Bay, which is in the northwestern most part of the state, are being joined by around 100 prisoners in Calipatria State Prison, located in the southeastern side of California, in their hunger strike this time, say members of the coalition Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity.
This summer, more than 6,000 California prison inmates eventually joined the hunger strike in solidarity with the prisoners in Pelican Bay’s solitary confinement unit SHU to protest inhumane prison policies, including a policy that allowed nearly half of Pelican Bay’s 1,111 prisoners to be held in solitary confinement for more than ten years. According to the California Department of Corrections, 78 prisoners have been held in solitary confinement for more than 20 years.
“Inmates have felt that the California Department of Corrections is not negotiating in good faith,” said Isaac Ontiveros, a member of Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity. “The negotiations that led to the suspension of the strike in July were because prisoners felt like, ‘OK, there’s been a semblance of good faith negotiation.’” Ontiveros said in the interim, prison inmates reported that not only had those negotiations gone nowhere, but prison guards had also begun intimidating and retaliating against those who had organized or participated in the hunger strike this summer. Prisoners have been being issued “115’s,” a kind of writeup in the California prison system that is reserved for violent infractions like stabbings committed in prison, Ontiveros said, for as little as talking in the prison library or not walking fast enough for guards. Being issued a 115 can result in more prison time, or a transfer to the SHU.
Keystone Hearing in Nebraska Sandhills Draws Mostly Critics, and Passions Flare – By: Lisa Song, InsideClimate News |
Atkinson, Neb. – People began arriving at West Holt Junior-Senior High School before noon on Thursday, some in pickups or cars from nearby ranches and farms, others in buses chartered by theLaborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) or by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that favors free markets. By 3 p.m., they had formed a long line that snaked into the parking lot outside the gymnasium, ready to tell the U.S. State Department what they thought of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would pump Canadian crude oil through Nebraska on its way to the Gulf Coast. About 1,000 people showed up for the hearing, which was scheduled to run from 4:30 to 10 p.m. About 160 registered to speak, and the meeting was extended until 11 p.m. so most of them could be accommodated.
Union members spoke about energy security and the jobs the pipeline would bring. A LiUNA member told the audience that his union employs skilled laborers who would build “the best” pipeline humanly possible. Another said that while he doesn’t like the idea of oil spills, he was “realistic” about America’s oil dependence, and he would rather buy oil from Canada than the Middle East.
Local landowners spoke about the risk of putting an oil pipeline through the Nebraska sandhills, an ecologically sensitive area about 10 miles from Atkinson. A fifth-generation rancher said an oil spill would jeopardize her land and her children’s future. The current route is “just wrong,” she said.
Sat Oct 01, 2011 at 11:19 AM PDT
USPS: Vultures Roosting in the Eagle’s Nest+*
The vultures on the verge of destroying the US Postal Service are not merely circling. They’ve landed in the nest, ready to plunder and privatize, having fully captured USPS management and oversight. It’s clear to many that the the Post Office has enemies in Congress, to wit Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), among others. But it’s also apparent that there are those in management and oversight who are just as determined to destroy the Post Office, who are in the service not of the American people but of those who consider the USPS their competition and who are eager to devour the advantages it currently maintains.
The postmaster general plans to make drastic cuts that will do away with first-class service, give the pickings to FedEx and the like, and continue propping up bulk mailers (who currently pay less than what it costs the USPS to process and deliver their junk mail). Those cuts will devastate small towns and inner cities, reduce the USPS to a third-class bulk mailer, and replace its middle-class workforce with a workforce of the working poor. All this for what?
Abdicating 6-day delivery to private postal services would, by Government Accountability Office estimates, save costs of only 4 percent of the USPS budget. USPS management has admitted that it wiped one small-town post office off the map because it “‘cost’ the USPS $1,500 a year more than it made in sales of stamps and money orders.” Never mind the mandate that the USPS serve all Americans. Never mind that the USPS is not meant to make a profit but rather to be a self-sustaining service to the American people. Never mind that closing a post office because it is not “profitable” is against the law.
The devastating cuts proposed by the postmaster general—the projected savings of which are absurdly small—will serve only to weaken the USPS, not strengthen it, not put it on firm financial footing. All of the aspects of USPS service that are on the chopping block—6-day delivery, half the distribution network, half the retail network, half the workforce—represent USPS’s greatest assets. So why proceed when the financial savings are so small and the resulting loss so devastating? The only conceivable answer is that the intent is not to save money or alleviate the USPS’s financial difficulties, but to serve the interests of the vultures ready to devour this national treasure.
The planned devastation of the USPS is based not on need but on greed. The claim of financial emergency is a pretext to break the USPS up and feed the choice bits to the private mailing industry.
The postmaster general says he expects to close 16,000 post offices in six years—that’s half of the nation’s post offices! And he plans to close or consolidate as many as 313 of the 487 processing plants by 2013—destroying first-class service while estimating the destruction would “save” costs equal to only 4 percent of USPS’s budget. When this happens—and USPS management is proceeding fast, in violation of federal law—there will be no more 44-cent postage. Only FedEx rates. There will be no more service to rural, remote, and distressed areas. Newspaper and magazine delivery will be eliminated.
The Internet could be the biggest source of new business imaginable. Customers could e-mail documents to the USPS, which would then print and deliver them from the destination post office. This would be a hugely popular service: next-day delivery anywhere in the country, of anything you can send to a printer. Fast, cheap, and hard copy. All it would require is leadership interested in providing a service to the public.
But what we have now is leadership more interested in providing profit to private moneyed interests than in serving the American people. That is the end result of setting up a public service to function “more like a business,” as was done in changing the U.S. Post Office Department to the US Postal Service in 1970-71.
The United States Postal Service is a national treasure that needs to be saved from the formidable forces arrayed against it. And those forces are not only in Congress, but in the USPS itself. Those who seek to save the USPS will not succeed unless they recognize the threat within, and they must do so very quickly or it will be too late.
Pentagon Says Chaplains May Perform Gay Weddings – Saturday 1 October 2011 By: Curtis Tate
Washington – The Defense Department issued new guidelines Friday that allow military chaplains to officiate at same-sex weddings, on or off military installations, in states where such weddings are allowed. No chaplain is required to participate in a same-sex wedding, if it violates personal or religious beliefs, the Pentagon said. Since the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act prohibits the federal recognition of same-sex marriages, the department wouldn’t endorse them, it added.
“The guidance issued today strikes the right balance between respecting the faith traditions of chaplains and affording all service members the same rights under current law,” said Aubrey Sarvis, an Army veteran and the executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a gay rights organization.
The Pentagon is treading carefully around the unsettled issue as it transitions away from the longstanding prohibition against gay service members declaring their sexuality.
Apparently, Dick Cheney believes that the Obama administration’s recent terrorism tactics validates the Bush administration. Dick Cheney, and his daughter can kindly kiss my chocolate-covered a…CHOO!~
Video- Dick Cheney: Obama should “apologize” – Posted on Sunday, October 2, 2011, 7:45 am By: Paddy
[Click on the link to view the video.]
apologize for what?
his ass should be in an orange jumpsuit
Why isn’t Dick Cheney in jail? Is he above the law? The Law is the Law!
Dick and Liz can kiss our shiny black asses.
LOL? Luuccy…you…got…some ‘splainin’ to do!~
Michele Bachmann missed every House vote in September – Posted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, 3:37 pm by GottaLaff
Meet the Hypocridiot-O’-The-Day, Representative Michele Bachmann. Via The Hill: After Standard and Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating in August, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called for Congress to return immediately from its recess to restore the nation’s AAA rating. […] The House held 60 votes during the month of September, and the Minnesota Republican missed them all.
Tsk, tsk, tsk, some-body’s been out campaigning and straw polling instead of doing her day job: Bachmann arrived in the Capitol in time to hold a press conference rebutting Obama, and she left town before the first votes the next morning. Bachmann last voted on Aug. 1. Kristin Sosanie, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (the state’s affiliate of the national Democratic Party) said that even before Bachmann started campaigning, she’d missed more House votes than any other member of the Minnesota delegation. But as her spokesperson says, at least she keeps in touch with her staff. That’s clearly exactly the same as casting votes that supposedly represent the voters in her district.
Bachmann’s scant voting record complicates her argument on the campaign trail that she is leading the fight against over-spending in Washington. She did not participate in the congressional dispute last month over spending levels for fiscal 2012, and she did not vote on measures to keep the federal government running past Sept. 30. Of course, the Republican leadership is fine with all this, because Bachmann often votes against her own party. And ours.
KISS Rocker Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed Get Married
Married at last!
KISS rocker Gene Simmons tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Shannon Tweed, Saturday evening in Beverly Hills, Us Weekly can confirm.
Attended by over 400 guests including Hugh Hefner, Bill Maher and the KISS band members, the affair, held outdoors at The Beverly Hills Hotel, was taped for the couple’s A&E reality series, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels. A special wedding episode is expected to air later this month.
The bassist, 62, proposed to his Playboy Playmate girlfriend, 54, with a 24-carat diamond on the finale of the couple’s reality series in July. The duo have been together for 28 years and have two children together: Nick, 22, and Sophie, 19, who served as Maid of Honor at her parents’ wedding and sang Etta James’ “At Last” for their first dance.
“It is time for me to grow up. I’m 62. I’ve been doing a lot of wacky stuff for an awfully long time…and there’s nobody I’ve ever said ‘I love you’ to,” Simmons reasoned to Entertainment Tonight before saying “I do.” “I even find it difficult to say ‘I love you’ to my mother. But I love Shannon with all my heart and all my soul, and always will.”
Saturday, October 1, 2011
A Little Soft, Indeed
Posted by Bon The Geek
“The way I think about it is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and, you know, we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track.”
— President Obama arguing for his third stimulus package in an interview with NBC affiliate WESH of Orlando, Fla.
Well it’s about time. This is core Obama, the reason I respect the man so much. Instead of saying what people want to hear, he’s telling them the sometimes unpleasant truths. He is talking to us like equals, like grown-ups. He is telling us we’re a bit off track and it’s time we all turn this sinking ship around. It may not be a popular message but it’s the right one. It’s the way to bring us together and moving in the same direction.
We can’t ask for change from government and continue on the path we are as citizens. Our spoiled self-serving culture has to take a step back and learn to be lean and mean. We come from a scrappy history full of independence and humble brilliance, and we have turned into an indulgent, shallow version of our former glory. It is never easy or pleasant to call someone out on their BS, and he did so in a matter of fact and reasonable way.
Compared to the screeching insanity of the right nowadays, this is the contrast that portrays realistic stability. When some folks shake off the stupidity, when the witch burners and racists just push it too far, this type of plain talk will be refreshing.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Heavy Rain In The Forecast
Posted by Zandar
The Super PACs are coming to an election contest near you, and they’re bringing a lot of big numbers with lots of zeroes at the end, and anyone who’s anyone in the 2012 cycle is making sure they have a direct pipeline into the green.
Super PACs are supposed to be free from any influence by the candidates or their campaigns. But as with Burton’s own ties to the president, outside groups that back Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann are stocked with people who have strong connections to the candidate.
There’s little question that 2012 will reach a new height in campaign spending. Campaigns invariably become more expensive from one cycle to the next. The 2008 election cost $5.3 billion, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign watchdog group. It could be close to $6 billion next year.
It’s also worth noting that contribution limits remain unchanged for the candidates’ own campaign committees: $2,500 per donor for the primary election and $2,500 for the general.
In contrast, super PACS and other related independent groups have become symbols of the new Wild West of political spending.
“Now (a donor) can go to a super PAC and write a check for literally any amount: $5,000, $50,000, $500,000,” said Michael Beckel, a Center for Responsive Politics spokesman. “The sky’s the limit.”
It’s the result of a Supreme Court decision last year, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The high court said that corporations, unions and others could spend unlimited amounts of money on ads that favored the election or defeat of candidates.
The FEC further tweaked the rules to require donor disclosure only when the contribution is earmarked for a specific ad.
So yes, Citizens United means unlimited, anonymous contributions. Considering how close the Senate is to flipping over to GOP control (and of course all 435 seats in the House up for grabs in a post-redistricting election) you can bet that every national contest will involve one of more of these groups.
If you thought 2008 was bad, the next 13 months are going to be insanity multiplied by nauseating. Personally I think it’s going to take constant stories about the endless deluge of hundreds of millions (if not billions) in campaign cash before America decides to do something about it. What I fear however is that Citizens United makes campaign finance laws a moot point right now. There are some bright spots, namely that the subject of disclosure of donations in the new landscape is growing in popularity on the judicial side as a necessary balance. Congressional Dems are pushing for an amendment to the Constitution, but that has no chance of getting anywhere either.
A combination of disclosure laws and outrage may make corporate players leery of massive donations to some candidates and on some issues, but the reality is we’re going to have to live with at least one Presidential election under this ruling and possibly a large number more. We’ll see what kind of tsunami is unleashed by the SuperPACs and what the electorate feels like after the cash flood recedes.
October 02, 2011
Nice job, Mr. Douthat
Ross Douthat today is a romp through incredulousness — ours, in his feigned credulity. He bemoans right-wing populists’ absence of a strong voice expressing their “important” and “meritorious” arguments of
the Republican leadership … being too cavalier about illegal immigration, too forgiving of crony capitalism and Wall Street-Washington coziness, too promiscuous with overseas military interventions, and too willing to imitate Democrats and centralize power in Washington. Right-wing populists tend to argue that Beltway Republicans have lost touch with the party’s core constituencies: small-business owners, middle-class families and Main Street, U.S.A.
For starters, the grassroots of right-wing populism have, in this election cycle, settled on these political themes mostly because they smell Democratic vulnerability on them. Their disingenuity is breathtaking, but more so austerely personal and, notwithstanding Douthat’s thesis, it indeed lies flawlessly in line with the Republican Establishment’s “leadership”: to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Nothing else really matters — not foreign policy victories, not enhanced national security, not an improving American economy, and certainly not more jobs.
Yet what is amusingly striking abut Douthat’s delineation of the right’s important and meritorious issues is that, aside from right-wing populism’s indefatigable nativism, one could rather easily interpret it as a list of left-wing populism’s important and meritorious issues: that the Democratic leadership is too forgiving of crony capitalism and Wall Street-Washington coziness, too promiscuous with overseas military interventions, and too willing to imitate Bushlike Republicans and centralize authoritarian power in Washington. Left-wing populists tend to argue that Beltway Democrats have lost touch with the party’s core constituencies: middle-class families and Main Street, U.S.A., which of course houses America’s small-business owners.
Still, Douthat’s lament is smart politics, in that it’s reflective of what the right has been getting away with since the 1960s. It is exclusively the right, you see, that detests American politico-cultural corruptions such as crony capitalism; it is the right that despises all that Wall Street-Washington coziness; it is the right that singularly understands the proper deployment of military interventions; it is the right, as it centralizes Washington power and inflates authoritarianism, that sternly opposes centralization and authoritarianism; and naturally it is only the right that argues Beltway politicians have lost touch with the nation’s core constituencies: small-business owners, middle-class families and Main Street, U.S.A.
Oh, and only the right loves God, too.
Not sure how you missed that last one; but otherwise, nice job, Mr. Douthat.
The ‘Bipartisanship’ Racket
Sep 29, 2011 7:20 PM EDT
Alan Simpson’s recent blast at Obama is the latest example of how the Washington media rewards those who bash Democrats in the name of bipartisanship, says Michael Tomasky.
In 1994, the Weekly World News reported that Alan Simpson was one of 12 senators who was actually born on another planet. The paper didn’t name which one, but whichever one it was, we can safely draw two conclusions about it. First, the life forms there must not last to age 65, because he obviously has something against those who do. Second, they are a highly musical race, because Simpson has for years been a virtuoso—as he demonstrated again Wednesday—at playing the Washington media, emphasizing the story line that they want to hear and that keeps the fiscal debate so skewed in the Republicans’ favor.
Speaking to Politico Wednesday, Simpson attacked Barack Obama’s “abrogation of leadership” because of the president’s deficit-reduction plan and his “new feisty tone,” as the paper put it. The former Wyoming senator is mostly in high dudgeon because Obama’s plan doesn’t do anything about Social Security. “You can’t get this done without hits across the board,” Simpson said, “and if you are leaving people out all along the way because of political pressure, you can’t get it done.”
I’m actually not as hard-line as many liberals on the Social Security question. Simpson and his compadre Erskine Bowles proposed raising the retirement age to 69 by 2075. I don’t find that offensive. I’d carve out exceptions for those doing really hard work, assuming anyone in this country still is by then. The switch to the “chained consumer price index,” which they also proposed, I’m more skeptical of, because it plainly is a reduction in benefits, and a much more immediate one, and especially for older recipients. But on the plus side, they actually propose a modest increase in the FICA tax to ensure that FICA would be withheld on 90 percent of all wages earned in America instead of the current 86 percent (economists have for many complicated reasons divined that 90 is the best of all possible numbers). So their proposals were not extreme to me.
The question here, though, is the role the widely respected Simpson is choosing to play right now, at a crucial moment in this process, knowing the weight his words carry. He has choices. He could have told Politico many different things. And what he chose to do, at least if the paper represented his comments fully and fairly, is put all the political pressure on Obama and none—zero—on Republicans. And this in turn plays into what may be the most perfidious distortion of the current fiscal debate—that Democrats are as much to blame for the impasse as the GOP. It just isn’t remotely true. Obama put around $350 million in Medicare and Medicaid reductions on the table. For the deficit-hawks, this isn’t nearly enough. But for most Democrats in Congress, it’s way too much. So Obama has put entitlement money on the table in a way that pains his own side.
Here’s Vivian Green, singing What Is Love?
Here’s Will Downing singing No Love Intended.
At Rick Perry’s Texas hunting spot, camp’s old racially charged name lingered
By Stephanie McCrummen, Published: October 1
Paint Creek, Tex. — In the early years of his political career, Rick Perry began hosting fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at his family’s secluded West Texas hunting camp, a place known by the name painted in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.
“Niggerhead,” it read.
Ranchers who once grazed cattle on the 1,070-acre parcel on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River called it by that name well before Perry and his father, Ray, began hunting there in the early 1980s. There is no definitive account of when the rock first appeared on the property. In an earlier time, the name on the rock was often given to mountains and creeks and rock outcroppings across the country. Over the years, civil rights groups and government agencies have had some success changing those and other racially offensive names that dotted the nation’s maps.
But the name of this particular parcel did not change for years after it became associated with Rick Perry, first as a private citizen, then as a state official and finally as Texas governor. Some locals still call it that. As recently as this summer, the slablike rock — lying flat, the name still faintly visible beneath a coat of white paint — remained by the gated entrance to the camp.
When asked last week, Perry said the word on the rock is an “offensive name that has no place in the modern world.”
But how, when or whether he dealt with it when he was using the property is less clear and adds a dimension to the emerging biography of Perry, who quickly moved into the top tier of Republican presidential candidates when he entered the race in August.
He grew up in a segregated era whose history has defined and complicated the careers of many Southern politicians. Perry has spoken often about how his upbringing in this sparsely populated farming community influenced his conservatism. He has rarely, if ever, discussed what it was like growing up amid segregation in an area where blacks were a tiny fraction of the population.
In his responses to two rounds of detailed, written questions, Perry said his father first leased the property in 1983. Rick Perry said he added his own name to the lease from 1997 to 1998, when he was state agriculture commissioner, and again from 2004 to 2007, when he was governor.
Abandoned, the President Needs to Pivot
Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 at 10:02:43 AM EST
Here’s an excellent article that tells it like it is. Mike Lillis of The Hill does a great job of accurately describing the political dynamics of the country at the moment. Here is the key part:
Complicating life for Obama, GOP leaders – particularly those in the Senate – have adopted a strategy of opposing the White House even on some legislation Republicans support. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for instance, raised eyebrows at the start of the deficit-reduction debate when he helped kill a bipartisan bill – a proposal he’d previously characterized as the “best way to address the [budget] crisis” – after Obama endorsed it.
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” McConnell told National Journal last year.
The GOP’s rigidity has forced Obama to the right in order to pass anything through Congress, which in turn has only heightened the backlash from the left.
What’s left unsaid in the article is that the president is taking a bigger percentage of the flak than he should. Not only is the GOP’s intransigence forcing his hand in almost every case, but the Democrats in Congress are not united and do not uniformly have his back even for the compromised solutions he is forced to propose. At root, our problem in this Congress is that Congress is divided and cannot agree on anything. The SuperCommittee is struggling to even begin negotiations over the budget, and its likely failure to reach an agreement could lead to another downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
Meanwhile, as the president tries to arouse the left in support of a modest, reasonable Jobs Bill, the left’s heart has left the building and is now focused on protests against corporate greed and mismanagement. Yesterday, whether lured by police or through a lack of any leadership structure, many of these protesters strayed from the agreed path and occupied the Brooklyn-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Bridge for two and a half hours, shutting down traffic and forcing many to abandon their cars. Perhaps as many as 700 of them were arrested and carted off in buses.
This is a recipe for the failure of the Obama presidency and the emergence of a conservative revolution in this country unlike anything we’ve ever seen. For a long time the activist left begged the president to really fight for jobs, both as a political and a moral issue. Yet, it was right in the middle of his push for a jobs bill that they gave up on the political process completely, turned their loving attention elsewhere, and decided to join the pox-on-all-their-houses crowd.
Perhaps the average person cannot be faulted for giving up, or for not being motivated to fight for a president whose hands have been shackled by the Republcians’ determined efforts to ruin him. But a lot of people who should know better are getting caught up in a sideshow.
Yet, the eruption of protest on the left can help the president if he recognizes the opportunity. Unlike what Steven D has recommended, I do not think the administration should align itself with the protestors. What they should do is what FDR did with Huey Long. While the protesters call for Wall Street to “Share the Wealth” the president should tack to the left but maintain himself as the safer alternative. “If you don’t give me a win on this jobs bill, these protests will continue to grow and the pitchforks will really come out.” I don’t know how many of the protesters would agree with my advice, but I do think that at least part of what they’re trying to do is to change the political consensus in this country and yank the discourse out of the death-hold it seems to have become locked in. The economy is terrible and headed into a double-dip recession, and neither the president nor Congress is capable of doing anything big or adequate to fix the problem. The answer certainly is not to give the Republicans another chance. So, maybe the left can shake things up and create a crack in the wall of obstruction.
The administration has to look at this as an opportunity, because if it doesn’t adapt to take advantage of it, his effort on jobs will die a pathetic death, and his presidency will likely follow.
If President Obama had been “abandoned” as the article suggests, how is it possible that his campaign was able to raise the money that it has; that there are pragmatic sites–like this one–that are pushing back against the media, the GOP/Teahadist, the haters, and those who are frustrated and have given up. Why do polls citing the President’s overall favorability remain stable, if he’s been abandoned?
Maybe Booman may be talking about a certain segment of the Democratic Party but he sure as hell ain’t speaking for me or most of the people that I know!~
Too much? Okay…let’s try this. Here’s Billy Preston & Syreeta Wright singing, With You I’m Born Again.
Early morning music to get your metabolism flowing. Here’s Marcus Miller with Power. Get outta that bed! (:
Blue America Welcomes Back An Old Friend– Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) – By Howie Klein Friday Sep 30, 2011 12:00pm
There weren’t many progressives who got dragged under in the Tea Party tsunami– or more appropriately, in the stay-at-home malaise from the Democratic base that practically wiped the GOP-leaning Blue Dogs off the map. But several of Blue America’s best old friends were among that tiny handful– Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, Carol Shea-Porter and Mary Jo Kilroy. This week Blue America is very happy to be endorsing Mary Jo once again. And the great news is that in their rush to lock in an unfair Republican electoral map, the state legislature has created one super-blue district based around Columbus… the heart of Mary Jo’s old seat. She’s off and running and Blue America wants to help her get back into Congress. So do Progressive Caucus co-chairs, Raúl Grijalva and Keith Ellison, who endorsed her on the same day she announced she would run. She’ll be joining us for a live chat here in the comments section (below) today at 2pm (ET). You can contribute to her campaign here at the Blue America ActBlue page.
One of the things that first attracted us to Mary Jo is that she came roaring into Congress and immediately flew in the face of both party establishments by voting against the Bush TARP bailout, which she recognized as an unwarranted giveaway to the Wall Street banksters. Today she’s still hammering home what she was saying then:
“We must focus on jobs and the economy. It is time we re-invest in America. Build roads, bridges and rail. Help our manufacturing sector revive. Provide strong job training programs. Expand VISTA and Americorps so young Americans can work to improve their neighborhoods, parks and coastal areas. We need to help those long term unemployed to get back in the workforce. It is time to stop giving tax breaks to the most privileged of our society and to end tax cuts for billionaires who pay a lower rate than their secretaries and end the tax loopholes that send our jobs overseas.
“It is time for the millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. They have benefited while working people have been hurt in the economy over the last decade. As Elizabeth Warren was so correct in pointing out, they benefited from the teachers who taught their workers, the police and fire fighters who protect their homes and businesses, the public roads they use to take their products to market. When I was in Congress I called for a vote– before the 2010 election– on ending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and voted against extending that tax cut.
She went from championing working families inside Congress to working on a grassroots level in the campaign to defeat Kasich’s anti-labor legislation. “Teachers, police and firefighters,” she emphasizes, “did not cause the problems with Ohio’s budget.”
I asked her about the healthcare reform bill that she supported in the House. She called it “a start, a beta version” of what she envisions. “In the last Congress, I voted against the anti-choice Stupak amendment. I pushed to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions are able to access care. I was disappointed in the failure to include a public option. I know there is more work to do to make health care affordable and accessible.”
Cain Calls Perry ‘Insensitive’ To Black People For Not Changing Racist Name Of Family’s Hunting Camp – By Marie Diamond on Oct 2, 2011 at 10:35 am
In a new report, the Washington Post reveals that, for years, the West Texas hunting camp where Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) hosted friends and lawmakers bore the offensive name “Niggerhead.” Perry and his family first began leasing the property in the early 1980s but even after he became governor, reports suggest that Perry made no effort to change the name, which was painted in block letters across a rock slab at the entrance to the camp.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday, fellow presidential contender Herman Cain criticized Perry for not taking action to change the name of the camp for so many years. Cain, the only African American candidate in the GOP race, called Perry’s complacency about the racist slur “insensitive towards…black people”:
CAIN: My reaction is that’s just very insensitive…That is a more vile negative word than the N word, and for him to leave it there for as long as he did before I hear that they finally painted over it is just plain insensitive towards a lot of black people in this country.
Rick Perry Is Open To Sending U.S. Troops To Mexico To Fight Drug Cartels – David Taintor October 1, 2011, 5:56 PM
Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Saturday said he would be open to sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug cartels. Speaking in New Hampshire during a campaign stop, Perry said, “It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and keep them off our border.” While Perry didn’t offer many specifics, his campaign press secretary, Robert Black, said Perry’s comments signaled his willingness to cooperate with the Mexican government should a situation arise, CNN reports. “He’s going to work with the Mexican government to do what’s necessary,” Black said.
As the Washington Post points out, Perry on Saturday also said he wouldn’t send American troops into a combat situation if he didn’t have a clear plan for victory and withdrawal. Speaking of border issues, Perry also fielded questions on illegal immigration — an issue that has plagued his campaign since the last presidential debate where Perry said opponents of his state’s policy to give children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition don’t “have a heart.” Perry later backed away from his remark, calling it “inappropriate.” On Saturday, Perry defended his state’s policy, CNN reports. “I’m the only one that’s been dealing with it for the last 10 years, and I know how to secure that border.
Good News! California AG Walks Away From National Mortgage Fraud Probe – By Susie Madrak
Looks like the pressure applied by progressive groups like Credo Action, MoveOn and Progressive Change Campaign Committee really helped. But this is only the beginning. We all know the banks are applying all the leverage they can to block any threat of accountability, and they’re not going to give up. We’ll stay on top of this and what’s happening in other states — like NY AG Eric Schneiderman’s investigation into mortgage bank fraud:
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will no longer take part in a national foreclosure probe of some of the nation’s biggest banks, which are accused of pervasive misconduct in dealing with troubled homeowners. Harris removed herself from talks by a coalition of state attorneys general and federal agencies investigating abusive foreclosure practices because the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers were not offering California homeowners relief commensurate to what people in the state had suffered, Harris told The Times on Friday. The big banks were also demanding to be granted overly broad immunity from legal claims that could potentially derail further investigations into Wall Street’s role in the mortgage meltdown, Harris said.
“It has been a process of negotiating and sitting at a table in good faith, but ultimately I have decided that we have to go our own course and take an independent path. And that decision is because we need to bring relief to Californians that is equal to the pain California experienced, and what is being negotiated now is insufficient,” Harris told The Times in an interview. Harris delivered the news in a letter sent Friday to Iowa Atty. Gen. Tom Miller, who has been leading the 50-state coalition.
Why isn’t this surprising? I posted some of the nasty remarks in hopes that it shows what the President and his family are being subjected to on a daily basis and to make us think hard about the direction we want this country to go…forward OR backwards. Simple as that!~
Right-Wing Viciously Attacks FLOTUS for Shopping at ‘Target’ – By John Amato
The amount of vitriol being spewed at Michelle Obama from the right-wing paparazzi is really getting gross now. The beltway media remains mum about these vicious smears by the wingnutopia and its appalling. Evey step she makes there’s always a John Birch conspiracy theory attached to it by these jackasses.
TMZ better move over because did you know the First Lady is really Lady Gaga? Right-wing media have attacked Michelle Obama for going shopping at Target, claiming she went ” ‘incognito,’ Lady Gaga-style” and asking, “Who does she think she’s fooling?” Right-wing media have previously attacked the first lady for everything from promoting health initiatives to wearing a red dress at a state dinner. It’s just getting creepier as the election approaches.
Limbaugh: “It Has Gotten So Bad, They Had To Send Moochelle Out There In A Lady Gaga-Type Getup. She Went Shopping At Target.” During the September 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh said: “It has gotten so bad, they had to send Moochelle out there in a Lady Gaga-type getup. She went shopping at Target.” [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]
Malkin: Obama Went To Target “About As ‘Incognito’ As Lady Gaga.” In a September 29 blog post, Michelle Malkin attacked Obama for shopping at Target, writing that Obama was “about as ‘incognito’ as Lady Gaga’s outfit at her younger sister’s graduation.” Malkin went on to call the first lady “the glamour queen” and further stated that Obama’s Target visit was “[t]o counter the negative diva buzz” and that it “[l]ooks like she left the bling at home.” [MichelleMalkin.com, 9/29/11, via Media Matters]
The Blaze: “What Luck!” Obama “Wasn’t Snapped Without Make-Up, With Messy Hair Wearing Sweatpants To Do Her ‘Everywoman’ Shopping.” A September 30 post on The Blaze stated:
Our First Lady has sooome luck. Not only is her hubby the leader of the free world, but just as the Obama camps [sic] is desperately looking for a way to relate to America’s Average Joes, a staff photographer with the Associated Press just so happened to be there to document her recent Target shopping jaunt.
What luck! Obama also wasn’t snapped without make-up, with messy hair wearing sweatpants to do her “everywoman” shopping… like some of us who will remain nameless.
Exit question: I could see a quick stop in at the local Target store as something that might happen out on the campaign trail. But who really believes Michelle Obama left the White House to pop in at the Alexandria, Va., Target because the East Wing ran out of paper towels? [The Blaze, 9/30/11, emphasis in original]
Weasel Zippers: “Honestly, Who Does She Think She’s Fooling?” A September 29 Weasel Zippers post titled, “Pic of the Day,” stated, “See, Mooch is just like us!” and showed a photograph of the first lady at Target. The post went on to ask, “Honestly, who does she think she’s fooling?” [Weasel Zippers, 9/29/11]
I guess they’re cranky. It’s the idea of having Mitt Romney running as the 2012 GOP nominee because Chris Christie has continually rebuffed all their slobbering man-crush pleas. Poor right-wingers, they need a nap. Because really, Michelle Obama is in their crosshairs? She has been nothing but a model First Lady. It’s a creative game they have of just making stuff up. I’ll try it: If she disappeared from sight for a few weeks Beck would say that she must be hiding in a cave in Kenya practicing some ancient voodoo mojo to undo Christianity in America so we’ll be more susceptible to becoming Marxistsocialistheavens. Try your own hand teabircher thinking. It’s shockingly easy.
So, let me get this straight. Multinational corporations are raking in billions of dollars in profit–without paying their share of taxes–while sitting on jobs; CEOs are taking home ginormous bonuses, politicians are too busy worrying about re-election and filling their campaign coffers to do their freaking jobs, as the general public continues to suffer because of high unemployment. Yet, somehow they manage to find the time and energy to go after free school lunches. GTFOH with that!
Montana GOPer Fears School Lunch Fraud Is Eating Taxpayer Money – Evan McMorris-Santoro October 1, 2011, 9:09 AM
Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), who’s expected to face Sen. John Tester (D) in the Montana Senate race next year, is worried that some families who receive federally-subsidized lunches may be gaming the system and therefore bilking you out of your hard-earned taxpayer dollars. It’s about waste, fraud and abuse, he suggests. But Democrats say it’s about something else: A Republican looking to scrimp on a program that benefits the least fortunate of all Americans, poor children, while he fights to protect subsidies for multi-billion dollar oil companies.
Rehberg is fond of looking to the nation’s education subsidies to find extraneous money that can be cut. Back in April, he landed in some hot water after he said that Pell Grants were the same as welfare, a comment he quickly walked back after public outcry back home in Big Sky Country. But even in the walking back, there was evidence of Rehberg’s concern that taxpayer money earmarked for making it easier for people without a lot of income to get an education is place where cuts need to be made. Pell Grants are “are an attempt to do the right thing,” he said, and “the difficulty is, often times a program is so successful that it grows and grows and grows and grows.”
“I’m not suggesting that college students are welfare recipients,” he said, according to the Huffington Post. “‘I’m just saying that the program itself is expanding so quickly it’s moving beyond the federal government’s ability’ to pay for it.” This time around, Rehberg set his sights a little lower down the educational ladder. On a tour of a Montana elementary school (where his sister is principal), Rehberg wanted to know quite a bit about how the school policies its government-subsidized lunch program. From the Billings Gazette:
New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin Sneers At Wall Street Protesters, Estimates Only 80 There – By Lee Fang on Oct 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm
The Occupy Wall Street protests have grown every day since they began two weeks ago. In the past 24 hours, they have expanded to Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and other major cities as thousands have gathered to demand economic justice and an end to big bank dominated politics. But according to a top Wall Street reporter at the New York Times, the protests don’t appear to really exist — and if they do exist, perhaps only 80 people have shown up.
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box program yesterday, Andrew Ross Sorkin, a financial columnist and editor of the New York Times’ Dealbook blog, a special business section devoted to covering Wall Street, condescendingly dismissed the protests:
SORKIN: Do we think about the–Not to be so America-centric, but do we think that the whole Wall Street protest is overdone, real, not real? Were there really a lot of people down there? Were there a lot? I could never tell.
COHOST: Well uh they arrested 80 people. Right?
SORKIN: Right. But I dont know if that was like all 80 of them.
Over 500 Protesters Arrested After Being Kettled On Brooklyn Bridge – By Susie Madrak October 02, 2011 07:00 AM
From the descriptions of the people who were there, it sounds as though Mayor Bloomberg’s strategy is to thin the ranks of protesters with set-ups like this. The Powers That Be don’t understand how many more people are waiting in line to support the Occupy Wall Street actions: Police reopened the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday evening after more than 500 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested for blocking traffic lanes and attempting an unauthorized march across the span. The arrests took place when a large group of marchers, participating in a second week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement, broke off from others on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway and headed across the Brooklyn-bound lanes.
“More than 500 were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge late this afternoon after multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway,” a police spokesman said. “Some complied and took the walkway without being arrested. Others locked arms and proceeded on the Brooklyn-bound vehicular roadway and were arrested,” he added. The bridge was reopened at 8:05 p.m. EDT after being closed for hours. Witnesses described a chaotic scene on the famous suspension bridge as a sea of police officers surrounded the protesters using orange mesh netting.
In perhaps unrelated news: JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation. “These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Dimon said. “We’re incredibly proud to help them build this program and let them know how much we value their hard work.”
Good Morning. Everyone! :-)
Good Morning, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!
Ametia, you’re making me cry this morning! ***Tears*** Thank you so much for the beautiful song,thank you for your love, words of encouragement, prayers, and support during this awful time. I am so grateful that God allowed our paths to cross. You’re such a wonderful friend!
Thank you everyone for supporting 3 Chics & standing
with Ametia to keep the blog going. you guys are the bestest!
Good Morning SG2 and everyone at 3CHICS!
SG2, you continue to be in our prayers.
Thank you, Rikyrah! I know those soft spoken prayers brings a sweet aroma to our Lord!
Good morning 3Chics!
Good Morning, CC! Nice to see you this morning!
Hi SG2! It’s nice to see you here this morning today. I hope you know that you, and your family, are constantly in my thoughts. Things will get better in time, you’ll see. Sending you a big virtual hug!~
Thank you so much, CC! I need that hug!
Well, then here’s ((((another one))))…just because you’re such a sweetheart! Keep your head up SG2, we got your back! (: