Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

Happy MUN-dane, Everybody!  It’s Gladys Knight & The Pips this week.  3 Chics invites you along, and  we hope you enjoy our featured artists.

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95 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Cops to Pay Amy Goodman $100K for Wrongfully Arresting Her

    Here’s a video of normal-sized middle-aged female journalist Amy Goodman being arrested by multiple hulking stick-wielding riot police dressed in full body armor at the Republican National Convention in 2008. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the police state. Hey guy, are there enough of you there, you think? What if she scratches your eyeballs?!

    The moral of the story is, if you are the police state, just let reporters do their jobs, or else you’ll look stupid on video, and then three years later you’ll be ordered to pay $100,000 to the journalists you manhandled, because of that whole “First Amendment” thing. Just stand back looking menacing, police state members! Be satisfied with getting to hold those cool sticks.

    Tune in three years from now to find out how much all the Occupy Wall Street police misconduct lawsuits are settled for!

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  2. Ametia says:

    MSNBC’s Hardball has on two fat fucks Michael Moore and Clintonite Mark Penn, whinning and telling PBO what he NEEDS to do. DISGUSTING..

  3. Ametia says:


  4. creolechild says:

    Here’s Seal singing A Change Is Gonna Come. See y’all later!~

  5. creolechild says:

    To Be Successful Occupy Wall Street Must Transition To The Ballot Box – October 3, 2011 By Rmuse

    The 1st Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, speech, the press, and the right of the people to assemble peaceably and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. There are periods in America’s history where peaceful assemblies bore fruit because they were large enough, affected the general population, and were widely covered by the media. In the past two years, there have been many protests that failed to garner appropriate attention because the media failed to adequately publicize them. For the past two weeks, protestors have occupied Wall Street and except for social media attention, there has been little, if any, publicity.


    What is missing from the declaration are goals the protestors hope to achieve as well as a list of demands for corporations to meet. However, corporations are not beholden to the protestors and there is nothing whatsoever the assembly can exact from occupying Wall Street except self-satisfaction that they at least did something. It is understandable that people are fed up with corporations controlling much of the government, but thousands of angry protestors will not make one bit of difference. In the First Amendment, it says peaceable assemblies can petition the Government for a redress of their grievances. The Occupy Wall Street movement is not petitioning the Government. They are protesting corporations.

    The protest is a noble venture, but it is an exercise in futility because unless Congress passes meaningful legislation to curb corporate malfeasance, nothing will change and apparently that is fine with the protestors. If the movement is serious about precipitating change, the first place to start is petitioning the government with a list of demands. But even petitioning the government with demands is never going to change corporations. There are Constitutional procedures for changing laws and it does not include occupying Wall Street, or any other street in any other city. It is called voting, and it works.


  6. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Debi Johnson-Camp and The Pragmatic Progressive Forum!

    Be Grateful and Tighten Your Belt, This Liberal Freeloader Has Had a Revelation – Posted on September 7, 2011 by Debi Johnson-Champ

    “Liberals are ATM machines for the lazy. You have created a giant government to support your addictions. Liberals think money grows on trees but it is the tree of Corporate America and we conservatives are tired of WELFARE (big government) programs and the unemployed. Everyone could find a job if they just got off their lazy ass and looked for one. You college kids–your grandparents worked for minimum wage, so can you. Catastrophes have been happening for centuries. FEMA? That’s just another liberal handout for those who have a little water in their basement or a crack in their swimming pool. Your parents are already sucking the life out of me with their demands for Social Security and Medicare. ‘Free money?’ Where do you think that comes from? My pocket. You are taking money out of my pocket to pay for the homeless, the disabled, the unemployed, the sick who are too lazy to get a job or buy insurance. We worked hard for our money. We saved. We followed the American Dream and socked our money away for a rainy day. Some of us inherited a few bucks. Big deal. Now you want to tax it. NO WAY. That money was taxed 80 years ago when my great grandfather earned it working like a dog building his little business. Some of us went to college and got high-paying corporate jobs while you were working in manufacturing on the assembly line earning $10 an hour. You should have asked for overtime or worked a second job. That is the American Dream. Now you want me to GIVE you my money. I will loan you some money, but I want something in return. My kids go to private school so I’m tired of paying for your kid to go to public school. Shave off a few billion from your public education ‘budget.’ No more unemployment benefits after 8 weeks. Eight weeks is enough. After two months you are simply a freeloader. I don’t care that you ‘paid’ into it. Go find a job and you won’t need it. Give me your collective bargaining agreements. No more unions. Unions promote thievery. Union workers are merely thieves with their hand in my pocket. Teachers are perfect examples. You need to provide your own pensions and save your own money. You wouldn’t know a budget if it slapped you in the face. You are spendthrifts with our money. Quit whining about long work days. It only makes you sound as lazy as you are. And stop comparing your job to the job of our CEOs. They are the brains and you are merely the replaceable parts. If you don’t believe me, look behind you. There are dozens of people waiting to do your simple mindless jobs. Big government must be destroyed.”

    Walk into the light of Corporate America….


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  7. creolechild says:

    Getting What We Deserve? Wealth, Race and Entitlement in America – By: Tim Wise Posted on September 26, 2011

    Everywhere you turn, conservatives are bemoaning the so-called “mentality of entitlement.” To hear such folks tell it, the problem with America is that people think they’re owed something. Of course, income support programs, nutritional assistance, or housing subsidies have long been pilloried by the right for this reason — because they ostensibly encourage people to expect someone else (in this case, the government, via the American taxpayer) to support them. But now, the criticisms that were once reserved for programs aimed at helping the poor are being applied even to programs upon which much of the middle class has come to rely, like Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.

    Increasingly one hears conservative politicians and commentators arguing for cuts in these efforts as well, and critiquing those who rely on them for health care, retirement, or income in-between jobs. To the right, the elderly and unemployed apparently refuse to do for self. They aren’t far-sighted enough, one supposes, to invest their money in a high-growth (and high-risk) private retirement plan; they aren’t responsible enough to purchase good health care, and they’d prefer to sit at home collecting a couple hundred dollars a week in unemployment insurance than find a job that might support them and their families. In other words, there’s something wrong with these people: they’re lazy, have the wrong mindset, and need to get out there and show initiative, presumably the way rich people do.

    Though this critique is not solely aimed at persons of color, there is little doubt but that the history of growing opposition to social safety net efforts — which were wildly popular among most whites from the 1930s through most of the 1960s — mirrors, almost perfectly, the time period during which black and brown folks began to gain access, for the first time, to such programs. While blacks, for instance, were largely excluded from Social Security for the first twenty years of its existence, and while very few people of color could access cash benefits until the 1960s, by the 1970s, the rolls of such programs had been opened up, and the public perception was increasingly that those people were the ones using (and abusing) the programs. So in large part, the critique of “entitlement” has been bound up with a racialized narrative of the deserving and undeserving, which can be seen, in many ways, as a racist meme.

    But if we look and listen closely, what we discover is that the mentality of entitlement and expectation is far more embedded among the affluent and among whites than among the poor or people of color.


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  8. creolechild says:

    Attorney General Holder Meets with Muslim Leaders in Portland – September 30th, 2011 Posted by Tracy Russo

    This week, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Dwight Holton met with Arab-American and Muslim leaders in Portland to discuss the department’s commitment to protecting the rights of the Muslim, Sikh, Arab-American, and South Asian communities.


    The Justice Department, under Attorney General Holder, has emphasized outreach to American Muslim and Arab communities, building upon efforts by the Civil Rights Division, which has met with national leaders of Arab American and Muslim American organizations, as well as with other community groups across the country. These meetings are one way to ensure we continue to protect against threats to our national security while building trusting, collaborative, and productive relationships that facilitate mutual understanding between certain communities, and the law enforcement officials serving them.

    Attorney General Holder has said: “In this nation, our many faiths, origins and appearances must bind together, not break us apart. In this nation, the document that sets forth the supreme law of the land – our Constitution – is meant to empower, not exclude. And in this nation, security and liberty are – at their best – partners, not enemies, in ensuring safety and opportunity for all.”


  9. rikyrah says:

    Florida Poll: Perry Saw 15 Percent Drop After Straw Poll, Obama Still Leads Romney

    By Kyle Munzenrieder Mon.,
    Oct. 3 2011 at 2:37 PM Categories: Politicks

    The result: Cain saw an 18 percent jump, while Rick Perry saw a 15 percent tumble. Romney remains in the lead in Florida, but he’s not even pulling ahead of President Obama in the state yet.

    “The War Room Logistics surveys have been unlike any other in Florida because they’re based on a sample of likely voters, instead of just registered voters,” explains The Herald. “Around now, it’s more common (and cheaper) to poll registered voters because the campaigns aren’t in full swing and it’s a little tougher to estimate the likely voter population.”

    War Room first conducted a poll on September 20th, before the straw poll. At that time Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were virtually tied at 25 percent and 24.7 percent respectively. Herman Cain was sitting at a tiny 4.9 percent.

    When War Room ran the poll again on September 30th, after the straw poll, the numbers told a very different story.

    Romney saw a bump that kept him firmly in first place at 28.20 percent. Herman Cain saw a meteoric 18.80 percent jump to finish second with 23.70 percent.

    Rick Perry meanwhile saw a giant dissipation of support, and fell 15.55 percent to 9.10 percent. That actually puts him in fourth place behind Newt Gingrich. Besides Cain and Romney, Gingrich was the only candidate to see a bump after the poll.

    Though, a large 20.10 percent of Republican voters remain undecided.

    Though, which ever Republican wins isn’t quite a lock to defeat Obama in Florida.

    Romney does the best against Obama, but the President still hold a 48-42 edge. Romney is the only Republican candidate to hold Obama under 50 percent while breaking 40 percent.

  10. creolechild says:

    Thank you, rootless_e, and The People’s View!

    Jets, Subways, and Pass the Jobs Bill – Monday, October 03, 2011 | Posted by rootless_e at 9:25 AM

    The last time I was in New York city on business, I stood in the sweltering heat on the subway platform on 42cd street, watching sewage leak through the ceiling as a rat investigated garbage on the tracks. Cut back and raise fares has been the motto of the NYC transit system since the 1970s if not before and the results are clear. Meanwhile there are palm trees in the atriums of the financial center. Rolls Royces and Bentleys negotiate streets that are cracked and split, raw sewage spills out of old and overburdened sewage treatment plants into the Hudson and washes past Frank Geary’s opulent new media palace in Chelsea. New York has always been a wild place, with big gaps between rich and poor, but the ongoing collapse of infrastructure at the same time as an explosion of opulence is something relatively new.

    The American Jobs Act is waiting for someone in Congress to find time between fund raising from lobbyists, complaining, and renaming post offices to do something for the country. The bill will employ people to fix water and sewage lines, roads, and bridges. It will be paid for by making Hedge fund managers pay ordinary income tax on earning, just like transit workers, and by cutting corporate loopholes like a government subsidy for executive jets. And our Congress is having a hard time passing the bill. What is wrong with those people?

  11. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 3:55 PM

    The Pelosi quote that wasn’t

    By Steve Benen

    The Republican National Committee was delighted today to trumpet a quote from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about the Obama White House. “‘I think you need to talk about how poorly they do on message,” she was quoted as saying about the president and his team. “They can’t see around corners; they anticipate nothing.”

    I was curious about the context, so I went to the Newsweek/Daily Beast article that featured the quote. It wasn’t there. As it turns out, there’s a good reason for that.

    Just one problem: She never said it, according to both her office and sources at Newsweek.

    Newsweek has retracted the quote, and put an editor’s note on the piece: “Editor’s Note; An earlier version of this story included a comment erroneously attributed to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, criticizing the White House’s efforts at political messaging. Newsweek and The Daily Beast regret the error.”

    Occasionally, an official will tell a reporter something off the record or on background, with the expectation that it won’t be aired or published. When the reporter forgets and runs the quote anyway, an angry phone call soon follows, leading to a correction or retraction.

    So, is this one of those cases? Did Pelosi say this to Howard Kurtz quietly, and get burned when he published it? Pelosi’s office insists that’s not the case.

    “Leader Pelosi spoke with Newsweek twice, and in both conversations she spoke positively of the White House’s messaging efforts,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told TPM. “Leader Pelosi nor anyone on her staff said the words attributed to Leader Pelosi either on background or off-the-record.”

    “Our understanding is that this was an internal Newsweek miscommunication,” he added.

    If so, that’s a pretty big screw-up.

    Kurtz is the same veteran reporter who, by the way, ran quotes attributed to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), though he’s been talking to an Issa aide.

    In any case, if you see the quote working its way around, it appears the criticism is bogus. Whether the apparently made-up quote has merit, meanwhile, is another question entirely.

  12. creolechild says:

    One more hugely gigantic reason your vote for the next president matters – Posted on Monday, October 3, 2011, 1:28 pm by GottaLaff

    Will you vote for President Obama or the GOP candidate?

    Or will you withhold your vote to protest President Obama because you’re unhappy with him?

    Or sit out the election because you feel your vote won’t matter, or you just. Don’t. Care?

    Or vote for a third party candidate because you feel there isn’t much difference between the parties?

    Why bother? Here’s why: L.A. Times: The Supreme Court on Monday opens one of its most anticipated terms, in which the justices could strike down President Obama’s healthcare law, empower local police to arrest illegal immigrants, and declare an end to affirmative action in colleges and universities. Those are the kinds of decisions that the next president (and Congress) will impact, because the next president will most certainly be nominating at least one Supreme Court justice.

    The Hill: By 2016, Justices Scalia and Kennedy will be 80 years old. If we assume a 50 percent chance of each man serving through 2016 – better odds than life expectancy and disability tables tell us to expect – there is only a 25 percent probability that both men will do so. That leaves President Obama, if re-elected, a 75 percent chance of establishing on the High Court a dependable liberal majority certain to satisfy many of progressives’ pent-up dreams.

    On the other hand, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had pancreatic and colon cancer and will turn 83 in 2016. With four conservatives already on the Court, electing a Republican president in 2012 might very well mean the first solid conservative majority on the High Court in 75 years. The conservative Justices would no longer need to court Kennedy’s swing vote. Abortion on demand, affirmative action, restrictions on the death penalty, and enemy combatants’ access to civilian courts would likely fall by the wayside.

    Of course, “abortion on demand” has already fallen by the wayside, which is why elections matter so damn much. In 2012, it will come down to a race between President Obama and Conservative GOP Candidate X.

    You still have freedom of choice. Use it.

  13. Ametia says:

    THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA ARE LYING FRAUDS! Expect more of this nonsense, solyndra, weakness, sell-out, losing his base bullshit to deflect from teh disastrous Rick Perry, Overlard, bullying Chris Chrisitie hard-ons supporters, teh DO NOTHING, OBSTRUCTIONIST GOPers. Where are the JOBS, JOHN BOEHNER? PASS THE GODAMMED JOBS BILL AJA, COGNRESS!

    Who did ABC poll?

    Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 10/03/2011
    Republicans expect to win in 2012
    By Jon Cohen

    Republicans are overwhelmingly confident about taking back the White House in 2012, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    Democrats are less sure that their guy has another big win in him.

    Overall, 55 percent of Americans expect a Republican victory next year. Fewer, 37 percent, predict that President Obama will win reelection. A majority of independents sense that the GOP nominee will prevail, but there is a gaping difference between party loyalists.

    Fully 83 percent of Republicans say the GOP nominee — whoever he or she may be — is likely to claim the presidency next year. Among Democrats, far fewer, 58 percent, say they think Obama will win a second term. A third of Democrats expect a GOP win; just 13 percent of Republicans sense a repeat for Obama.

    Republicans who “strongly support” the tea party political movement are particularly confident: 91 percent of these Republicans say they think the GOP candidate will win the general election.

  14. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 2:55 PM

    Cain runs into far-right buzzsaw

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain appeared on a couple of morning shows yesterday, and was asked about Rick Perry hosting events at a Texas hunting camp called “Niggerhead.” The name was painted “in block letters across a large, flat rock standing upright at its gated entrance.” Cain said on Fox News, for Perry “to leave it there as long as he did … is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.”

    That was yesterday. Today, Cain has decided he’s done with the issue altogether.

    “All I said was the mere fact that that word was there was ‘insensitive.’” Cain told reporters outside his meeting with Donald Trump Monday. “That’s not playing the race card. I am not attacking Gov. Perry. Some people in the media want to attack him. I’m done with that issue!”

    “I really don’t care about that word,” Cain said. “They painted over it. End of story! I accept Gov. Perry’s response on that.”

    So, what happened over the last 24 hours? The right went after Cain pretty aggressively, and he quickly folded rather than take the criticism.

    Common sense might suggest conservatives would be outraged by Perry, but that’s not what’s happened. As Dan Amira explained, “To understand why, you have to consider that there are two things Republicans hate more than anything. One is being accused of racism, which has happened with increasing frequency since President Obama became president, and, if you ask Republicans, is never, ever justified. Two is unfair treatment by the allegedly biased mainstream media. So among Republicans, the widespread response to the Post story was not, ‘wow, Rick Perry messed up.’ It was, ‘the liberal media is smearing another Republican as a racist!’”

    And so Cain — the only Republican presidential candidate to criticize Perry over this, by the way — immediately felt the brunt of the right’s frustrations. Cain may have been offended by the name, but his party has a message for him: “Keep that offense to yourself.”

    Indeed, the pushback was not at all subtle. Cain took heat from Rush Limbaugh, Erick Erickson, and The Daily Caller, among many others.

    Cain, then, apparently felt like he had no choice but to reverse course. In the eyes of the GOP base, he’s the one who made a mistake.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Kids will learn that palm trees grow in Wisconsin
    by Kay

    Really, it’s about the children:

    News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch wants to focus on his A-B-Cs. The media giant, parent of the Fox network, Fox News Channel, 20th Century Fox and the Wall Street Journal, wants to make a push into the education business and has tapped New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to be the point person.

    In a press conference, Klein said he’d been tapped by News Corp. to “put them in the burgeoning and dynamic education marketplace.”

    Sure, Klein is probably earning more money than God in his new role as executive vice president at News Corp. But the Justice Department attorney turned data-and-accountability school reformer signed up with Murdoch to get out of the harsh political limelight and help News Corp. make a mint selling educational technology products to school districts.

    Last November, shortly after hiring Klein, News Corp. acquired Wireless Generation, an education technology firm that had worked closely with Klein during his tenure as chancellor on two projects: ARIS, acontroversial (and buggy) data system that warehouses students’ standardized test scores and demographic profiles; and School of One, a more radical attempt to use technology to personalize instruction, reorganize classrooms, and reduce the size of the teaching force.

    School of One. Sounds lonely to me. The corporate school reform team better market-test that. Maybe they could do one of those Fox News Luntz groups.

    The acquisition put Klein, who was set to supervise Wireless Generation, in an awkward position vis à vis city ethics regulations.
    It seemed unlikely Klein would be able to fully follow those mandates when, in May, the city Department of Education renewed its contract with Wireless Generation, asking the company to provide testing materials and software. Last month, New York State moved to award Wireless Generation a $27 million no-bid contact to create a state student data-tracking system similar to ARIS—despite the fact that many New York City principals have decided not to use the $80 million software, which doesn’t track helpful day-to-day information on attendance, behavior or homework completion.

    News Corporation today announced that Kristen Kane, former Chief Operating Officer, New York City Department of Education and Dr. Peter Gorman, former Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will take on leadership roles at its newly formed Education Division.

    “I’m thrilled to join News Corporation, and to work with someone of Joel’s caliber, and the rest of his team, to transform the educational system through digital technology and other means,” said Dr. Gorman. “News Corporation has a reputation for leading significant change across many industries, and I look forward to what lies ahead for the education sector.”

    I think it’s great that the corporate reformers have (finally) dropped the sentimental and deceptive nonsense about “the children” and now discuss their industry, the education sector. Second graders don’t really stand a chance unless we can get these people to tell the truth.

    Some media companies view education as a major growth area. The Washington Post Co. relies heavily on its education unit Kaplan Inc. In the Washington Post Co.’s third-quarter results, Kaplan had revenue of $743.3 million. It accounted for over 60% of the entire company’s revenue, according to the Washington Post. Walt Disney Co. is also a player in this field with its Disney-branded schools, and the New York Times has launched the New York Times Knowledge Network.

    Disney-branded schools.

    If Issue Two passes in Ohio, unions will be out of the way and we can move right to “branding” my local public schools with a corporate logo. Will we get a choice of brands, do you think? I’m not going to end up with “Koch Industries” am I?

    The same media companies that have launched a crusade to discredit public schools and demonize public school teachers are in the for-profit education business. With FOX now entering the burgeoning for-profit education sector I’m confident media coverage of traditional public schools will only get more fair and balanced.

  16. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 2:00 PM

    Quantifying the War on Voting
    By Steve Benen

    One of the more important political scandals of the year — a story that’s likely to have a major impact on the outcome of the 2012 race — generally goes overlooked by the larger mainstream discussion. That’s a problem.

    The issue is what Ari Berman recently labeled the Republican Party’s “War on Voting.” As part of the national effort, GOP officials “have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote” in 2012.

    The campaign isn’t exactly subtle. Under the auspices of rooting out “voter fraud” — a problem that appears to exist largely in the over-active imaginations of GOP activists — Republicans are passing voter-ID measures, closing windows for early voting, and approving new laws restricting voter-registration drives, all targeting specific kinds of voters who happen to be traditional Democratic supporters.

    The GOP fears losing in a fair fight, so the party is trying to rig the game through voter suppression, plain and simple. As former President Bill Clinton recently put it, “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.”

    But what kind of numbers are we talking about? How much damage could this initiative really do? A new comprehensive Brennan Center study said Republican measures may ultimately make it “significantly harder” for more than 5 million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.

    These voting law changes are radical and completely unnecessary. They especially hurt those who have been historically locked out of our electoral system, like minorities, poor people, and students. Often they seem precisely targeted to exclude certain voters,” said Wendy. R. Weiser, report co-author and Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center. “After the Florida election fiasco in 2000, it became clear that the rules of election administration could affect outcomes. This time, those rules are being altered in a way that will likely hurt millions.”

    “Significantly, these voting law cutbacks extend well beyond the most visible and controversial step to require government-issued photo ID that many citizens don’t have,” said report co-author Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Democracy Program and former Chair of the Ohio Secretary of State’s bipartisan Election Summit and Conference. “An array of technical moves can add to significant barriers to the ballot. And it comes at a time when experience has taught us there are many ways to improve the voting process and expand access to the franchise while reducing costs.”

    All told, the states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes next year.

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

  17. rikyrah says:

    3 Oct 2011 01:33 PM
    Nice Try, Dick

    The incompetent, panic-stricken war-criminal won’t give up trying to whitewash his crimes and military disasters by citing Obama. But this weekend was a new low. He cited the al-Awlaki killing as a sign that the Obama administration is no different when it comes to the war on terror than the Bush administration, and demanded an apology. Yes, an apology! He wants to elide surgical, intelligence-based drone attacks with his own torture program. Mercifully, McCain set him right:

    Cheney still has no idea what the rule of law is, or what American values are. The idea that anyone owes this war criminal an apology is preposterous. The real apology, it seems to me, should come from Cheney himself, for both betraying core Western values, violating the rule of law, undermining his successor as commander-in-chief with constant self-serving jibes, attacks and condemnations for at least a year and a half after Obama took office, and losing two wars that Obama has largely won.

    Bush knew better and with a modicum of dignity, let his successor govern without back-seat driving. And somewhere, deep down, I have to believe, Cheney must surely feel some kind of remorse – or he wouldn’t feel so desperate to justify his own membership of the ranks of war criminals through the ages. Why else try to appropriate the victories of Obama in a war the Bush administration hopelessly compromised and bungled? He senses history is not going to be kind. On that, at least, he’s right. I just want justice to stay one foot in front of history so this war criminal gets the punishment he deserves – while he is still alive.

  18. rikyrah says:

    A Non-MSM Review Of “The Rogue” Ctd
    A reader writes:

    You wrote “I do not understand why the Village cannot handle or absorb this.”

    The Village cannot handle this because they have been participants in the scam that is Sarah Palin. Whether giving her a pass, lowering the bar for the little con artist, reporting her lies as gospel or flat out lying for her they have been active participants in the con game that is Sarah Palin. What they can’t handle or absorb is just how far they went and how low they’ve sunk. They can’t handle themselves. Someday, and it will take awhile for dust to settle and perspective to clear, someone is going to write another book about Palin. Only it won’t be about her and the hoax she is. It will be about the hoax that the press turned themselves into on her behalf. It’s going to be a really ugly and unforgiving book. And no doubt the press will savage it.

    I think that’s largely true – proven almost definitively by the Journo-List leaks, where liberal journalists debated the political efficacy of finding out the truth. I remember asking one colleague about Palin’s weird pregnancy story when it first emerged. Probably untrue, he said, but not worth looking into because it would hurt “your reputation.” Others insisted the actual life of Palin was irrelevant, because her public record was so awful, it was all you needed to focus on. Another writes:

    The Village cannot handle or absorb” the total moral vacuum that is Sarah Palin for one simple reason: they don’t care about it. They are no longer journalists but participants in the entertainment business. As individuals, I’m sure they don’t take Palin any more seriously than you do. But they all recognize the media phenomenon she is (or was). Their goal is to increase the number of eyeballs watching them and Palin serves that purpose. They know damn well she’ll never be president and that her long-extended fifteen minutes of fame will eventually end. But in the meantime, a Palin story may mean their ratings go up a notch and that is truly all they care about.

    Just remember that the NYT ran a completely credulous piece on Palin’s stories about her pregnancy. You think a NYT staffer, Janet Maslin, would implicitly rebuke her own newspaper for never digging deeper? Or would it be more in her interest to grandstand about “old news” and alleged misogyny?

    Sigh. As another leading DC reporter said to me at the time: “Why ask questions she won’t answer?” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the legacy media. Oh, and about that “unattributed crap” cited by so many, including Maslin. When will she dismiss the “Niggerhead” story in the Washington Post? Money quote:

    Most of those interviewed requested anonymity because they fear being ostracized or other repercussions in their small community.

    So the story is baseless, right?

  19. rikyrah says:

    3 Oct 2011 10:43 AM

    The Era Of Big America

    A new trope from the president’s stump speech, tailored to the Human Rights Campaign on Saturday:

    We don’t believe in a small America. We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the President of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since. You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.

    We don’t believe in a small America. We believe in a big America — a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America — that values the service of every patriot. We believe in an America where we’re all in it together, and we see the good in one another, and we live up to a creed that is as old as our founding: E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. And that includes everybody. That’s what we believe. That’s what we’re going to be fighting for.

    What you’re beginning to see here, I suspect, is a tipping point on the social issues. As a majority of Americans back marriage equality in polls, the GOP’s position of regarding gays as an immoral and icky minority has become a liability, especially in wealthier suburbs. Ditto the denial of climate science and evolution. The easy wedge issues of the 1990s are the Democratic hopes of the 20teens.

    The “big America” vs “small America” theme is also a useful formulation against small government conservatives, a Hamiltonian theme.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Hate Crime: Christian Pastor Attacks Gay Couple To Keep Them From Church
    by David Badash on October 3, 2011

    A gay Tennessee couple was reportedly attacked — physically and verbally assaulted — by a Christian Pastor and his deacons to prevent the same-​sex couple from entering the Pastor’s church. Sadly, the pastor is the father of one of the two members of the gay couple. Also sadly, the church members and bystanders did not lift a finger to help the couple or to stop church leaders from perpetrating the crime. Further, initially, local authorities refused to allow the couple to file charges.

  21. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 12:40 PM

    The story the Koch Brothers’ were afraid of

    By Steve Benen

    Last week, there were rumors about a Bloomberg News piece that was going to make right-wing financiers Charles and David Koch look pretty bad. As Justin Elliott put it, “Here’s a rule of thumb about public relations: When P.R. pros begin furiously spinning a story before it has even come out, there’s a pretty good chance the story is going to be damaging to the reputation of said P.R. pros’ bosses.”

    And now we know what the Kochs were afraid of. As it turns out, Bloomberg News has uncovered credible evidence of Koch Industries making “improper payments” (read: bribes) to “secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002.” One of those countries, it turns out, is Iran, which has purchased millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment from the Kochs’ company, despite a trade ban and the U.S. labeling Iran a state sponsor of terrorism.

    Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.

    From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn’t pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting. Koch paid a $25 million settlement to the U.S.

    Phil Dubose, a Koch employee who testified against the company said he and his colleagues were shown by their managers how to steal and cheat — using techniques they called the Koch Method. […]

    For six decades around the world, Koch Industries has blazed a path to riches — in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations. At the same time, Charles and David Koch have promoted a form of government that interferes less with company actions.

    I think we now know why Koch Industries was so worried about this article — it’s pretty devastating.

    Much of the institutional right has grown quite dependent on the Koch Brothers’ generosity, which has helped finance Tea Party efforts and scores of conservative groups and institutions. But given Koch Industries’ alleged misdeeds, the Kochs’ money may soon need to be considered far more controversial than we’d even been led to believe.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s ‘Buffett Rule’ Problem: His Tax Rate Is 14 Percent
    By Pat Garofalo on Oct 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    When President Obama released his plan to implement the “Buffett rule” — which would ensure that millionaires can’t pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families — 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney derided it as “class warfare,” saying it is “simply the wrong way to go.” But as Time’s Michael Scherer pointed out today, Romney may have a tough time defending his opposition to the Buffett Rule, as one of its highest profile targets could well be…Romney himself:

    Just how much Romney pays in taxes is, for the moment, a private matter. But his income is public knowledge. In August, Romney disclosed that in 2010 he and his wife made between $1.1 million and $2.8 million in royalties, salary, speaking fees and interest, most of which was likely taxed at a marginal rate of 35%, after accounting for deductions. The Romneys made an additional $5.5 million to $37.3 million from dividends and capital gains, which is generally taxed at a much lower rate of 15%.

    Calculating the Romneys’ exact tax burden is not possible from the public records because of a number of factors, like the amount of money that Romney deducted from his taxes and the length of time that he owned investments, are unknown. But ballpark estimates are possible. Assuming that Romney declared roughly the same number of deductions as others in his income level and that his dividend and capital gains income qualified for the 15% bracket, Romney would have paid roughly 14% of his gross income in taxes to the federal government in 2010 according to Bob McIntyre, who crafts tax policy at the left-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice.

    The Buffett Rule is meant to prevent exactly this sort of circumstance, wherein a super wealthy individual, due to the preferential tax treatment of investment income, is able to dramatically lower his or her tax rate. If Romney’s income had been wages or salary instead of from investments, his tax rate would have been closer to 30 percent.

    In 2009, “1,470 households reported income of more than $1 million in 2009 but paid zero federal income tax on it.” In 2008, the average federal income tax rate of the richest 400 people in the country was 18.11 percent. And Romney, by arguing against the Buffett Rule, will be saying that this sort of tax system, from which he directly benefits in a big way, should stay in place.

  23. rikyrah says:

    A Manufactured ‘Crisis’: Congress Can Let The Post Office Save Itself Without Mass Layoffs Or Service Reductions
    By Zaid Jilani on Sep 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Both the news media and a number of politicians have claimed recently that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in “crisis,” and that it is necessary to lay off thousands of workers or reduce service in order to make the post office fiscally stable. And the Post Office itself has proposed laying off as many as 120,000 employees and withdrawing from federal health care plans in order to navigate upcoming fiscal crunches.

    It is true that USPS is facing fiscal challenges — it lost nearly $20 billion over the last four years and is at risk of not being able to meet a $5.5 billion mandated payment to the Treasury at the end of this month (which has been put off six weeks thanks to the last continuing resolution in Congress).

    But what has been lost in the political debate over the Post Office is why it is losing this money. Major media coverage points to the rise of email or Internet services and the inefficiency of the post model as the major culprits. While these factors may cause some fiscal pain, almost all of the postal service’s losses over the last four years can be traced back to a single, artificial restriction forced onto the Post Office by the Republican-led Congress in 2006.

    At the very end of that year, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”

    As consumer advocate Ralph Nader noted, if PAEA was never enacted, USPS would actually be facing a $1.5 billion surplus today:

    By June 2011, the USPS saw a total net deficit of $19.5 billion, $12.7 billion of which was borrowed money from Treasury (leaving just $2.3 billion left until the USPS hits its statutory borrowing limit of $15 billion). This $19.5 billion deficit almost exactly matches the $20.95 billion the USPS made in prepayments to the fund for future retiree health care benefits by June 2011. If the prepayments required under PAEA were never enacted into law, the USPS would not have a net deficiency of nearly $20 billion, but instead be in the black by at least $1.5 billion.

    In order to remedy this problem, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) has introduced bipartisan legislation (which has 193 co-sponsors) that would allow the USPS to spend more of its own money to pay down its deficits, including $6.9 billion in pension overpayments or other overpayments that may total as much as $25 billion to $50 billion. These are Post Office funds, not taxpayer dollars.

    Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been pushing for legislation that would lead to widespread layoffs and break the back of the postal workers’ unions to defuse the “crisis” that Congress created. Yesterday, thousands postal workers and the Americans who value their contributions to our society held hundreds of rallies at congressional offices across the country to support Lynch’s bill and to protest against Issa’s. Here’s are some snapshots of the demonstrations:

    It’s up to Congress to act to allow the Post Office to save itself, lest it become a victim of a crisis that Congress itself manufactured.

  24. rikyrah says:

    VIDEO: Reagan Called For An End To ‘Crazy’ Tax Loopholes That Let Millionaires Pay Less Than Bus Drivers
    By Pat Garofalo on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

    When President Obama released his plan for “the Buffett rule,” which involves closing tax loopholes and ensuring that millionaires pay their fair share in taxes, he explained that “middle-class families shouldn’t be paying higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires.” “Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett,” he said.

    Ever since, many Republicans have been attacking Obama for inciting “class warfare.” “It looks like the President wants to move down the class warfare path,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). “I don’t think I would describe class warfare as leadership,” agreed Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

    However, if calling for an end to millionaires having lower tax rates than their secretaries is class warfare, Obama is only the latest class warrior to occupy the Oval Office. In a June 6, 1985 speech at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia, then President Ronald Reagan explained that tax loopholes allowing a millionaire to pay lower taxes that a bus driver were “crazy,” because they allowed the “truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share”:

    We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. […] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?

    Watch Obama and Reagan’s remarks, side by side:

    When Reagan asked the crowd whether millionaires should be paying more or less in taxes than a bus driver, the crowd resoundingly responded “more!” Reagan also told an Illinois crowd about a letter he had received from a man who said that tax loopholes allowed him to pay a lower tax rate than his secretary. “He wrote me the letter to tell me he’d like to come to Washington and testify before Congress as to how that’s possible for him to do and why it is wrong,” Reagan said.

    A recent Daily Kos/SEIU “State of the Nation” poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 73 percent of Americans, including 66 percent of Republicans, favor the Buffett rule. Remember, it was Reagan who completely equalized the tax treatment of investment income and wage income, which is currently one of the key tax disparities that allows the wealthy to dramatically lower their tax rates.

    As the Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon and Michael Linden put it, “in calling for the ‘Buffett Rule,’ Obama is merely calling for a return to basic fairness. He is echoing the very same call that Ronald Reagan made 25 years ago. Given the history, maybe we should be calling it the ‘Reagan Rule.’”

  25. Ametia says:

    These white men can’t handle the fact that the Black President JUST IS.

    Chris Matthews and Michael Moore have teamed up to TELL PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA HOW TO PRESIDE/HOW TO RUN THE SHOW.


  26. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:58 AM ET, 10/03/2011
    The Morning Plum
    By Greg Sargent
    * Mitt Romney would be targeted by the “Buffett Rule”: Start your morning off with this must read from Michael Scherer about one of Mitt Romney’s potential vulnerabilities: He is exactly the sort of wealthy individual who has personally benefitted from the unfair tax rates that Obama is seeking to overhaul with the “Buffett Rule.”

    Key takeaway: If Romney were to argue as the GOP nominee against Obama’s push for tax fairness, the President (or his surrogates) would have a pretty clear rejoinder: Romney is one of the people who is personally benefitting from the current system. Romney’s personal wealth from investments would seem to render him a less than ideal messenger on this issue — and tax fairness is likely to be central to Campaign 2012.

  27. creolechild says:

    Here’s Shai singing If I Ever Fall In Love. Have a great day everyone!~

  28. creolechild says:

    Here’s Chris Botti with Drive Time.

  29. creolechild says:

    How about a little music? Here’s SWV singing, Rain.

  30. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Norbrook!~

    I’m not enthusiastic, either. But I will be. – By: Norbrook October 2, 2011 · 6:39 am

    Over the past month, there has been a series of polls which the media has been painting as portending “trouble for the President’s chances in 2012.” Which, when you look at them closely, don’t really portend what the pundits say they do. One of the points that political analysts keep harping about is that the polls show a “lack of enthusiasm” at this time among Democratic voters. This is, according to the pundits, surprising and means “trouble” for the President. What it really means is something else entirely. That is, it means things are normal for a year like this, not that the President is in trouble.

    Let’s take a look at the situation, shall we? It’s 13 months from the election, and we have a sitting President, who is going to be up for re-election. What does that mean to the average Democratic voter? It means that the election is a long ways off, and that the primaries are just going to be rubber stamping. This is the first time since 1996 that Democrats have been in this position. In other words, absolutely nothing to get excited about or pay much attention to, right now. Oh, I know that various idiots on the left are muttering about having a primary challenger for the President, but their lack of a credible candidate or organization to do so just makes it meaningless bitching.

    It’s also necessary to remember that to the average person – even many politically aware people – the election is over a year out, and it’s not something they’re thinking a lot of right now. Let me jump back to this point in 2007. That year we had a lot of candidates announcing for the Presidency. It was open season on both sides. I was politically aware back then, and had a lot of discussions about the Democratic Party with people in the Party. Do you know how many people I knew were running in the Party? I knew the names of bout half of them. I wasn’t even paying attention to it, instead the local elections were my main concern. Asking me how enthusiastic I was about the election next year would have met with a “Huh?” reply. I wasn’t.

    Now that was in a year with an open field. This year? I’m about as enthusiastic, if not less, as I was back then. I’m not getting all that worked up right now, because there’s no reason for me to be worked up. Yes, I’ve donated, and will, to the President and a few other candidates. But I’m not getting “excited,” for the simple reason that there’s no reason to be at the moment. I already know who is going to be the Democratic nominee, so why get hyped up about a primary? I already know who the Democratic Senate candidate will be (Gillibrand) and who will be the nominee for the House. No one knows which of the lunatic asylum candidates the Republicans have contending will end up being the nominee. So from my perspective, all the drama is going to be on the Republican side. Asking me to to get worked up about the election until the dust settles is a losing proposition.

    Which I think is where most Democratic voters are at this point. Asking them to be “enthusiastic” is ridiculous, because they’re not politically aware at this point. Their normal lives are getting their attention, and they’re not giving much thought to next year’s election. I’m not quite in that category, but I’m not all that enthusiastic about the national election right now. Yes, I will start getting enthusiastic. In late May or in June. That’s when the campaigns get underway in earnest. Until then? I’m just keeping an eye on it, but I’m not “enthusiastic.” Yet. Which is the point the pundits are missing. There’s a lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters now? No kidding. Check back next June, why don’t you?

  31. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 10:45 AM

    Perry rediscovers ‘adventurism’ (Look out, Mexico)

    By Steve Benen

    Rick Perry recently made extensive remarks on foreign policy to the VFW National Convention, and raised a few eyebrows when he said, “I do not believe that America should fall subject to a foreign policy of military adventurism.”

    It seemed like a fairly reasonable start to a larger vision. Unfortunately, though, Perry’s aversion to “military adventurism” wouldn’t preclude sending U.S. troops into Mexico.

    Rick Perry signaled Saturday he would be open to sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug cartels should the situation arise.

    After speaking at a house party in [New Hampshire], the Texas governor was asked a series of questions about the border and his stance on illegal immigration.

    He said the leaders of Mexico and the U.S. should meet after next year’s elections to address the deadly drug trade in that country.

    “It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off of our border,” Perry said.

    Hmm, sending U.S. troops into Mexico to target drug cartels. What could possibly go wrong?

    Perry’s spokesperson later told reporters Perry would consider a cooperative effort between American and Mexican officials, but the campaign official “declined to specify” whether Perry is “amenable to sending troops into Mexico with or without the country’s consent.”

    So, Mr. No Adventurism isn’t prepared to rule out an invasion of Mexico?

    Given the larger context, it’s likely the Texas governor is overcompensating. Perry’s campaign ran into serious trouble over his support for in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants, so it stands to reason that the one-time frontrunner would be eager to prove to Republicans how “tough” he is.

    But I rather doubt this is going to help.

    Also note, Perry has been incoherent on U.S. policy in Afghanistan, and believes the “driving force” behind the Arab Spring in the Middle East is President Obama’s non-existent willingness to “apologize for America’s exceptionalism,”

    Anyone who takes international affairs seriously should find the prospect of a Perry presidency rather terrifying.

  32. creolechild says:

    ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement arrives in Seattle – By Eric W. Dolan Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Protesters in Seattle gathered at Westlake Park on Saturday morning to protest against corporations influence on the government. More than 100 people participated in “Occupy Seattle,” according to the event’s organizers. “It’s amazing the diversity and the singular voice that we have,” said one protester.

    “This is a grassroots satellite protest to bring awareness to the struggle on the streets of New York and to empower the 99% in this country,” said the Occupy Seattle website. The “Occupy Wall Street” protest in lower Manhattan began on September 17, and has spawned similar demonstrations around the country.

    Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:

  33. rikyrah says:

    Fiddling While it Burns Down
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 3rd, 2011 at 10:40:13 AM EST

    Here’s an interesting theory.

    This country is in a world of hurt if the likes of Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry wins the next election. It might be in greater trouble if Barack Obama does.

    I don’t think it much matters if it’s Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Paul, or Romney. We’ll be in a world of hurt regardless. If a Republican wins the presidency, they will almost certainly win the Senate, too. And you can forget about retaking the House. If Obama is voted out, the GOP will almost definitely have the trifecta. The only thing left standing that can prevent the final victory of the Republican revolution will be the Senate filibuster, if that even survives.

    The chances will be very high that a Republican president will be able to replace one of the liberals on the Supreme Court. You can forget about overturning Citizens United. It’s not unlikely that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Environmental degradation will be unprecedented. The Justice Department will be politicized again. Our leadership role in the world will be crushed as people finally give up on us. I can’t even list all the ways we will be screwed because I am always surprised by how crazy the Republicans are. But, okay, let’s hear why we’ll be even worse off if the president is reelected.

    The genteel, pragmatic Republicanism of the past has been supplanted by a pitchforks and torches mentality, a funhouse mirror distortion of traditional conservatism. Meaning, of course, the tea party.
    These are folks who don’t just support the death penalty; they cheer for executions. They don’t just oppose health care reform, they shout “Let him die” to the uninsured individual who faces life-threatening illness. They are the true believers: virulently anti-government, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-science, anti-tax, anti-facts and, most of all, anti the coming demographic changes represented by a dark-skinned president with an African name. They are the people who want “their” country back.

    Okay, that didn’t explain it, so I guess we’ll have to keep reading.

    You might think Obama’s re-election would solve this, offering as it would stark repudiation of the politics of panic, paranoia and reactionary extremism this ideology represents. The problem is, these folks thrive on repudiation, on a free-floating conviction that they have been done wrong, cheated and mistreated by the tides of history and progress, change and demography. So there is every reason to believe, particularly given the weakness of the economy, that being repudiated in next year’s election would only make them redouble their intensity, confirming them as it would in their own victimhood.
    And ask yourself: what form could that redoubling take? How do you up the ante from this? What is the logical next step after two years of screaming, rocks through windows, threats against legislators and rhetoric that could start a fire?

    An awful, obvious answer suggests itself. You reject it instinctively. This is, after all, America, not some unstable fledgling democracy. Then you realize it was not so long ago that a man blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City out of anti-government sentiment not so different from that espoused by the tea party. And you remember how that tragedy exposed an entire network of armed anti-government zealots gathering in the woods. And you read where the Southern Poverty Law Center says the number of radical anti-government groups spiked to 824 in 2010, a 61 percent increase over just the previous year.

    And you wonder.

    So, even though we’ll be screwed under a Republican administration, we won’t be dead. We should hand the keys to the government over to these lunatics before they start an armed insurrection.

    Obviously, this guy is just thinking out loud, not recommending that we unilaterally disarm. But it’s still a form of stinking thinking. It’s not much different than thinking by ignoring our political fights our opponents will melt away. I think our biggest problem is that we’re letting our frustration blind us to the true nature of the opposition. If we lose next year, we don’t get Poppy. We don’t even get Dubya. We get a new country, unlike anything we’ve seen before in our lifetimes. It won’t be a pleasant experience for us, and considering that this new country will be armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, it might not be a pleasant experience for anyone else, either. I can’t think of a single issue facing the country that won’t get immeasurably, radically worse if the Republicans are rewarded for their behavior with victory.

  34. creolechild says:

    Police try to divert Critical Mass ride away from ‘Occupy Chicago’ protest – By Eric W. Dolan

    The Chicago police on Friday attempted to divert the Critical Mass cycling event away from “Occupy Chicago” protesters, who have been camped out in front of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. The protesters marched to the intersection where the police had halted the monthly ride, chanting “Occupy Chicago” and “We are the 99 percent.” Some of the cyclists raised their fist in support of the demonstration. Other cyclists waved, high-fived the protesters, and took pictures.

    “Occupy Chicago” began on September 23, when around 20 people gathered at Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank to show their solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in lower Manhattan.

    Watch video, courtesy of independent YouTube reporter John Sheehan, below:

  35. creolechild says:

    Safer than Ever: A View from the U.S.–Mexico Border: Assessing the Past, Present, and Future
    By Marshall Fitz | August 4, 2011

    A recent trip by this author and several colleagues to study the Arizona border was eye-opening. Not because we encountered scores of headless bodies, but because the border landscape has changed so dramatically in the last five years both literally and figuratively. Hundreds of miles of severe fencing, vehicle barriers, radio towers, flood lighting, and access roads have degraded the border’s aesthetics and environmental quality. But in conjunction with surges in manpower and technology, this added infrastructure has also undeniably and fundamentally enhanced the Border Patrol’s ability to prevent and intercept unauthorized migrants and smugglers.

    All the recent statistics tell us that illegal immigration flows at our southern border have slowed dramatically. Numbers tell us that we no longer have a border across which thousands of people traverse illegally every day without our knowledge. Instead we have a border where the vast majority of attempted entries are identified and a far larger percentage of entrants are apprehended than ever before. Moreover, recent reports persuasively demonstrate that violent crime rates along the U.S.-Mexico border have been falling for years and that border cities of all sizes have maintained crime rates below the national average.

    A first-hand view only emphasizes the point while begging an even bigger question: Why hasn’t the story of this transformation penetrated the national dialogue on immigration policy? Rather than acknowledge the remarkable advances that have occurred, immigration reform opponents level sensational—and often patently false—claims meant to scare the public about border violence and insecurity. Although everyone is entitled to their views, our policymakers should not be entitled to mislead the public about something as important as border security merely to advance an ideological policy agenda.


  36. creolechild says:

    Making Learning Outside the Classroom Count: CAP Event Explores Prior Learning Assessments
    September 30, 2011

    Experts and leading practitioners gathered at the Center for American Progress on Wednesday to discuss prior learning assessments, or PLAs, and what these innovative education tools mean, how they’re used, and how they can be improved and expanded. The event highlighted many of the analyses and policy recommendations in a policy brief, also released on Wednesday, co-authored by CAP and the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning, or CAEL. “What PLAs do is translate [work experience] for the market into recognizable academic credit so that [students] can take their rightful place in the workforce and have greater portability that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Greg von Lehmen, provost at the University of Maryland University College, who participated in a panel discussion at the event.

    PLAs provide an extremely valuable tool for adult, mobile, and other nontraditional learners who enter or re-enter the postsecondary education system with learning acquired outside the traditional classroom. They measure what a student has learned outside of the college classroom, evaluate whether that learning is college level, and then determine the equivalent number of college credits.

    PLAs take the shape of individual student portfolios—typically done through a semester-long course that helps students develop portfolios of their past experience—as well as evaluations of corporate, military, or apprenticeship training. With PLAs, students can then skip introductory or mid-level courses, the material of which they’ve absorbed through their outside experiences, and move straight to higher-level courses, saving time and money for the student.


  37. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 10:10 AM

    ‘You don’t really mean this, though, do you?’

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, arguably more than any other GOP candidate, has been spewing a lot of nonsense about a “creeping” scheme to “gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government.” Yesterday on ABC, he expounded on the subject in ways that were not reassuring.

    On “This Week,” Christiane Amanpour showed Cain a quote from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) saying, “This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.” The host asked Cain for his response.

    CAIN: Call me crazy, but there are too many examples of where there has been pushback.

    AMANPOUR: You don’t really mean this, though, do you, Mr. Cain?

    CAIN: Oh, yes, I do.

    AMANPOUR: Sharia law in the United States?

    CAIN: Some people would infuse Sharia law in our court system if we allow it. I honestly believe that. So even if he calls me crazy, I am going to make sure that they don’t infuse it little by little by little. It’s not going to be some grand scheme, little by little. So I don’t mind if he calls me crazy. I’m simply saying…

    AMANPOUR: You’re sticking to it?

    CAIN: I’m sticking to it

    I was especially struck by Amanour’s incredulity. I get the sense this is fairly common among many in the media — sure, Republican candidates repeat a lot of nonsense, but underneath the rhetoric, even conservatives have to be more sensible than they appear.

    But therein lies the point: they’re really not. Cain actually believes this garbage about the threat of American courts abandoning American laws. The threat is purely imaginary — Cain would be equally justified in basing his campaign in part on fears about Bigfoot — but he doesn’t seem to care.

    Cain welcomes the “crazy” label. At least he won’t be uncomfortable, then, when people describe him accurately.

  38. creolechild says:

    There’s another article that was posted by Rikyrah, which can found downthread, and provides comprehensive coverage about this breaking story. It’ll be interesting to see if mainstream media will cover it–or ignore it!

    Bloomberg News Investigation: Koch Industries Bribed Foreign Officials, Sold Petrochemical Equipment To Iran | By Lee Fang on Oct 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    A new article by Bloomberg News reporters Asjylyn Loder and David Evans profiles decades of corporate crimes at the petrochemical and commodity speculating giant Koch Industries. Some of the examples, like a pipeline explosion that killed two teenagers and a cover-up of heightened benzene releases in Corpus Christi, have been well-documented. However, the report outlines new scandals, including a Koch scheme to sell petrochemical products for the state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Company to build a methanol plant in Iran. The company has also apparently been “involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East,” actions that may open Koch Industries up to prosecution under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that prohibits American companies from bribing foreign officials.

  39. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 9:40 AM

    Cheneys should be giving, not getting, an apology
    By Steve Benen

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, appeared together on CNN yesterday to repeat some very familiar lines of attack. It was their request for an apology, though, that rankled.

    The Cheneys, of course, were supportive of the strike on al Qaeda’s Anwar al-Awlaki late last week. But the former VP pivoted from this to a larger condemnation.

    The thing I’m waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago when they criticized us for ‘overreacting’ to the events of 9/11. They, in effct, said that we had walked away from our ideals, or taken policy contrary to our ideals when we had enhanced interrogation techniques.

    “Now they clearly had moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it is justified. I say in this case I think it was, but I think they need to go back and reconsider what the president said when he was in Cairo.”

    Actually, maybe Cheney should go back and reconsider what the president said in Cairo. I re-read the speech this morning, and Obama never said the United States “overreacted” to 9/11. It simply never happened; Cheney appears to have just made that up. Here’s the speech; see for yourself.

    Cheney added on CNN, “[President Obama] said in his Cairo speech for example that he had quote, ‘banned torture.’ Well, we were never torturing anybody in the first place, said we walked away from our basic fundamental ideals. Now that simply wasn’t the case.”

    Of course it was the case. Obama said in Cairo, “I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States.” Under Bush/Cheney, we were torturing — Cheney’s twisted definitions notwithstanding — and when torture was a standard U.S. technique, this did in fact distance the nation from our basic fundamental ideals.

    Cheney wants an apology? He should be offering one, not receiving one.

    For her part, Liz Cheney, now a prominent right-wing activist, complained that Obama “slandered” the United States by distancing his administration from the Bush/Cheney era torture techniques. “Those are the policies that kept us safe,” she said.

    That’s clearly ridiculous, and the fact that we’ve been kept safe for the last several years without torture techniques seems to suggest Liz Cheney’s radicalism is mistaken.

    Perhaps most strikingly, Liz Cheney said that Obama, by even talking about the shift away from Bush/Cheney-era torture policies, has done “real damage to our standing in the world.”

    Liz, you know what actually does real damage to our standing in the world? Torturing people.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Proposes A New War
    Over the weekend, the Texas governor said that Mexican drug violence “may require our military in Mexico.” Steven Taylor’s head hits the table. Pete Guither wonders if Perry understands what he said:

    Based on reading the whole article, it appears to me less that Perry is really thinking about sending troops into Mexico, but rather that he hadn’t really thought anything through at all, and that’s the first thing that popped up in his head at the time of the question.

    It sounds “tough”, doesn’t it? Perry really is Bush without the restraint.

  41. creolechild says:

    10 Ways to Stay Depression-Free – By Catherine Winters, Special to Lifescript Reviewed By Edward C. Geehr, M.D. Published August 31, 2011


    “You have to approach depression the same way you would diabetes. There’s a vigilance you have to maintain for a balanced life,” says Alan Manevitz, M.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Besides medication or therapy, that means practicing healthy habits associated with better moods.

    Healthy living is an important part of self-care, Manevitz says. For example, when you eat right, brain cells get appropriate nutrition so “the brain works at its maximum,” he explains. And exercise releases endorphins, brain chemicals that act as natural antidepressants. Here are 10 lifestyle changes that can keep you feeling your best.


  42. creolechild says:

    Politics is even more depressing to Americans than the recession Posted by Suzy Khimm at 06:24 PM ET, 09/22/2011

    Princeton economist Angus Deaton has taken a close look at whether the recession has actually made Americans feel less happy. In a new paper, he analyzes data from a daily Gallup poll that asks Americans about how their lives are going and if they’re satisfied with their standard of living — an index of what happiness researchers call “subjective well-being.” Here’s a graph showing what he found, based on an 21-day moving average of the Gallup response. The solid line represents all Americans, and the dotted line represents those 60 and older, whom researchers have previously found to be happier on average than the rest of the population:


    There are some big changes that seem to make sense: a big drop following the collapse of Lehman and the financial crisis. But the bigger trend seems to be perplexing. Overall happiness seems to have risen substantially since the beginning of 2009 — at levels even higher than before the current crisis — even though the recession and economic slump would have presumably taken a big toll on the American psyche.

    Deaton puzzled over this shift himself and concluded the rise in happiness actually had to do with the very questions that Gallup was asking. In the lead-up to the 2008 election, Gallup posed the questions about political preferences first, asking whether the poll participants planned to vote, whether they approved of the sitting president, whether the country was headed in the right direction, and so forth. When those questions were dropped in early 2009, reported happiness immediately spiked. According to Deaton’s analysis, the very act of thinking about politics makes Americans feel less happy and satisfied with their lives — an effect that’s almost as big as being unemployed.


  43. creolechild says:

    Doctors Sentenced in Bahrain to Harsh Sentences – By scarce October 01, 2011 10:47 AM

    [Click on link to watch interviews.]

    These doctors, and eighteen more, were sentenced simply for providing aid to injured protesters, the rest of the charges fictitious. It should also be noted that while the U.S. State Department is “deeply disturbed” by these sentences, Bahrain is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, and thus a key ally in the region. The U.S. has provided the tiny island nation of Bahrain nearly $100 million in aid since Barack Obama became president. Iran’s PressTV is only too happy to provide (accurate) figures on the contradiction:

    The Pentagon has cut deals with Bahrain in arms trade, sending dozens of American tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopter gunships, thousands of .38 caliber pistols and millions of rounds of ammunition, from .50 caliber rounds used in sniper rifles and machine guns to bullets for handguns, some of which were undoubtedly used against protesters. In addition to all these gifts of weaponry, ammunition, and fighting vehicles, the Pentagon in coordination with the State Department oversaw Bahrain’s purchase of more than $386 million in defense items and services from 2007 to 2009, the last three years on record.


  44. creolechild says:

    Falling U.S. Wages Threaten Consumer Spending – By Sho Chandra and Steve Matthews – Oct 3, 2011 4:57 AM ET

    Ninety-one percent of people in the U.S. labor force have a job. That may be the extent of the good news for these Americans, whose incomes tell a darker story. Take-home pay, adjusted for prices, fell 0.3 percent in August, the third decrease in five months, and personal income dropped for the first time in two years, the Commerce Department reported last week. The declines followed news from the Census Bureau that median household income in 2010 fell to $49,445, the lowest in more than a decade, and the poverty rate jumped to 15.1 percent, a 17-year high.

    Salary and benefit growth “has been going nowhere,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “One of the key reasons the recovery has stalled is that real incomes have fallen.” While policy makers from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke to President Barack Obama focus on cutting unemployment stuck near or above 9 percent since April 2009, the widespread stagnation in wages may offer a better explanation for the failure of economic growth to accelerate two years after the end of the recession. Workers’ ability to negotiate higher earnings won’t return until the job market strengthens, and flagging confidence has raised the risk that consumers may retrench.

    Inflation-adjusted weekly earnings have fallen for six consecutive months, dropping 1.8 percent in August from a year earlier, a pace not seen since the 18-month economic slump ended in June 2009.


  45. rikyrah says:

    Civil Rights In 1919
    Clay Risen reviews Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America by Cameron McWhirter:

    Spurred by the horrors of lynching and anti-black rioting, membership in the NAACP doubled that year, and subscriptions to its magazine, The Crisis, soared. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans, including many who had recently returned from serving in World War I, refused to back down in the face of white intimidation. … Most important, their varied goals remind us that the black struggle was about more than just access to public accommodations and voting booths. It was, and is, a struggle for equal access to all the things that white America often takes for granted: safe neighborhoods, decent education, and a fair justice system, to name a few.

  46. creolechild says:

    VIDEO: Reagan Called For An End To ‘Crazy’ Tax Loopholes That Let Millionaires Pay Less Than Bus Drivers – By Pat Garofalo on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

    When President Obama released his plan for “the Buffett rule,” which involves closing tax loopholes and ensuring that millionaires pay their fair share in taxes, he explained that “middle-class families shouldn’t be paying higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires.” “Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett,” he said. Ever since, Republicans have been attacking Obama for inciting “class warfare.” “It looks like the President wants to move down the class warfare path,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). “I don’t think I would describe class warfare as leadership,” agreed Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

    However, if calling for an end to millionaires having lower tax rates than their secretaries is class warfare, Obama is only the latest class warrior to occupy the Oval Office. In a June 6, 1985 speech at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia, then President Ronald Reagan explained that tax loopholes allowing a millionaire to pay lower taxes that a bus driver were “crazy,” because they allowed the “truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share”:


  47. creolechild says:

    Fox host: Occupy Wall Street protesters are ‘dirty’ and useless – By Andrew Jones Saturday, October 1, 2011

    If a tea party group has a protest, Fox News is very happy to present coverage for that event. But if a protest has anything to do with “liberal views,” the network certainly doesn’t share the same eager glee.
    In the midst of a Hannity segment Friday evening that criticized and mocked the Occupy Wall Street protests, The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle denigrated the now two week protestors as being virtually useless.

    “It’s Woodstock meets burning man meets people with absolutely no purpose or focus in life,” she said. “They have nothing but free time to be down there, they make up a slogan or cause as they go along, and they’re just looking to go out there and dirty the streets. And they really don’t have any idea of what they’re doing there.”

  48. creolechild says:

    Occupy Boston: Iraq Vet Fought For His Country Overseas, Now Fighting For His Country By Protesting The Banks – By Brad Johnson on Oct 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    The streets of Boston’s financial district are usually empty and silent on Saturday night. But this weekend, Dewey Square Park, a plot of greenery in the shadow of the Boston Federal Reserve and the State Street Bank headquarters, has turned into a small city in less than two days, filled by 75 tents and hundreds of people. Mobilizing in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, hundreds of Americans have assembled in the heart of downtown Boston to reclaim the American dream from the richest one percent, who control over 40 percent of the nation’s wealth.

    In a video interview with ThinkProgress, one of the protesters staying in the Occupy Boston encampment, Ryan Cahill, explained why he is part of the Occupy Together movement. Cahill served in the U.S. Army as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and 2006, and is now a sophomore at Bunker Hill Community College. He explained that he opposes the top one percent using their “wealth to circumvent the democratic process” and is concerned that he and his fellow veterans are having trouble finding jobs commensurate with their skills. “I can get a job waiting tables,” he said, but he’s looking for something more in his future. Asked his message for other Americans, Cahill asked for their participation:

    Get involved. There’s occupations going on all over the country right now. This is your future at stake. It’s not going to fix itself. I think that’s pretty clear.


  49. creolechild says:

    Maryland Gov.: Republicans running for tea party nomination – By David Edwards Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley pointed out Sunday that Republican presidential candidates didn’t seem to be running for their party’s nomination as much as they were pandering to the tea party.
    “I notice that [Alabama Gov. Haley Barbour] hasn’t endorsed any of those that are running for president in his party yet,” O’Malley told CBS’ Bob Schieffer. “And that’s because, Bob, they’re not really — you’ve seen the spectacle — you talked about it yourself, the crowds booing the serviceman that spoke, the crowds applauding at the notion of letting someone die in the hospital. These candidates aren’t running for the nomination of the Republican Party. They are running for the nomination of the tea party.”

    “They are not putting forward new ideas to create jobs that would qualify them to be president. They are pandering to the tea party to be the Mad Hatter… When President Obama runs against the backdrop of the big mess he was left, he will not be running against the Almighty, he will be running against the alternative. And right now, while their bench might be deep with personalities in the Republican Party, their pool is shallow in terms of new economic ideas or any sort of effective governance that’s been proven in the field.”

    Barbour replied by saying that Republicans had a great chance if President Barack Obama decides to run on his first-term record. “I mean, the idea that they are going to blame what happened in the last three years on [former President George W. Bush], you know next they will be talking about Herbert Hoover,” Barbour explained.

    “That’s good analogy,” O’Malley interrupted.


  50. creolechild says:

    10 Reasons Why Immigration Reform Is Important to Our Fiscal Health: Congressional Super Committee Needs to Consider These Facts – By Angela Maria Kelley, Philip E. Wolgin | September 29, 2011

    All eyes in Washington these days are on the new congressional super committee. The 12 members from both parties in both chambers of Congress have been assigned the task of developing a plan to reduce the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade or risk setting off deficit-cutting triggers that will force sharp cuts to both defense and domestic spending.

    There are many ways the members of this committee can reach the $1.5 trillion target between now and their Thanksgiving week deadline. We at the Center for American Progress understand that comprehensive immigration reform is not among the deficit reduction options on the table but want to urge the super committee to consider it. Comprehensive immigration reform is one key to boosting economic growth and thus helping to solve our nation’s fiscal problems.

    Here are the top 10 reasons why immigration reform, or the lack thereof, affects our economy.


  51. creolechild says:

    Liz Cheney Says She May Take a Look at Running for Office Down the Road – By Heather October 02, 2011 10:00 AM

    After asking former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz if either of them were planning to endorse any of the current crop of GOP candidates running for president in 2012, CNN’s Candy Crowley asks Liz Cheney if she is planning to run for a seat in either the United States Senate or House of Representatives. Cheney’s answer didn’t exactly warm my heart.

    CHENEY: We’ll see what happens. Right now I’m focused on hosting a sixth grade pot luck dinner at my house and chaperoning field trips. But it’s something that I have a lot of respect for people who do and I may take a look at it down the road.

    CROWLEY: But not this time around?

    CHENEY: No, I’m not planning to run in 2012.

    So I assume this means we get to look forward to Cheney running Congress in 2014. Oh joy.


  52. creolechild says:

    Here’s additional information pertaining to the pending bill focused on currency manipulation by China.

    Dems, GOP Divided Over Picking Major Economic Fight With China – Brian Beutler | October 3, 2011, 8:45AM

    Public anger over the weak economy and populist resentment of the developing world’s role in eliminating U.S. jobs will divide both parties on Capitol Hill this week, as a coalition of Democrats and Republicans make a major push to punish China for keeping its currency artificially weak. Led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate is expected Monday to advance long-standing legislation intended to stop Chinese currency manipulation by making it easier for companies and workers to take legal action against illegal Chinese trade practices, and by forcing the federal government to impose economic penalties on China until Beijing allows the exchange rate between the dollar and the yuan to fall.

    Economists say the yuan is undervalued by up to 40 percent — a distortion that likely explains the massive trade imbalance between the U.S. and China, and the loss of hundreds of thousands (or more) American jobs as manufacturers set up shop there to save money. Reversing this would act as a form of monetary stimulus in the United States, and the idea is that the threat of these penalties will force China to raise the value of its currency.

    That’s created a bipartisan coalition large enough in theory to pass the bill and force President Obama — who doesn’t like the legislation — to sign or veto it. The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, views the measure as an encroachment on their diplomatic efforts that could backfire and cause a trade war.


  53. creolechild says:

    New State Rules Raising Hurdles at Voting Booth – By MICHAEL COOPER Published: October 2, 2011

    Since Republicans won control of many statehouses last November, more than a dozen states have passed laws requiring voters to show photo identification at polls, cutting back early voting periods or imposing new restrictions on voter registration drives. With a presidential campaign swinging into high gear, the question being asked is how much of an impact all of these new laws will have on the 2012 race.

    State officials, political parties and voting experts have all said that the impact could be sizable. Now, a new study to be released Monday by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has tried to tally just how many voters stand to be affected.

    The center, which has studied the new laws and opposed some of them in court and other venues, analyzed 19 laws that passed and 2 executive orders that were issued in 14 states this year, and concluded that they “could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.”


  54. creolechild says:

    Panetta Warns of Israeli Isolation – BY JULIAN E. BARNES

    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Sunday that Israel was at risk of becoming isolated and more vulnerable if it did not take steps to repair ties with neighboring countries and restart negotiations with the Palestinians.

    The U.S. remains committed to helping Israel maintain its “qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, Mr. Panetta said. But he added that genuine security would not come through military hardware, but by returning to peace negotiations. “The question you have to ask is: ‘Is it enough to maintain a military edge if you are isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena?'” he said. “Real …


  55. creolechild says:

    Professional tea party cashes in – By KENNETH P. VOGEL | 10/3/11 4:46 AM EDT

    If you’ve got fundraising muscle, it pays to be tea party. That’s the takeaway from recently released financial reports for five of the biggest conservative groups that latched onto the small government movement. The groups – Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Leadership Institute and Tea Party Express – raised $79 million last year. That’s a 61-percent increase from their haul in 2009, when the tea party first started gaining traction, and an 88 percent increase over their tally in 2008, according to a POLITICO review of campaign reports and newly released tax filings.

    And the two biggest groups – Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks – tell POLITICO they’re planning to raise and spend a whopping $156 million combined this year and next, laying the groundwork for what could be a massive tea party organizing push against Democrats and the occasional moderate Republican in 2012. It’s an entirely different story for the rag-tag local groups that form the heart of the tea party, which struggle to raise cash.


    Read more:

  56. creolechild says:

    Hayes guest on Christie: The ‘obviously least racist’ GOP candidate – By Andrew Jones
    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    While discussing how GOP voters haven’t been enamored by the current candidates in their field, Up with Chris Hayes panel guest Rinku Sen brought up an interesting point if Chris Christie were to actually enter the race.

    The publisher of mentioned how the New Jersey governor is one of the few Republicans to come out against the Muslims and Sharia law has faced in right-wing circles. Sen then pivoted to Christie having the best chance of any Republican to possibly appeal to voters outside of the usual base demographic.

    “I think there’s a racial dimension to this,” Sen said. “Some portion of Republican strategists are looking at Christie as a possible appeal to people of color because he’s frankly less obviously racist than the rest of the field.”

  57. creolechild says:

    Good morning, 3Chics!

  58. rikyrah says:

    saw this comment on another blog in reference to the Rick Perry story:


    I just saw this on Yahoo and all I can say is that Mitt Romney took out all the stops in the oppo research to kneecap Perry. And Perry is a fool to have not taken care of this before; he’s caught unawares by this because he’s used to not having any opposition in TX. Romney is getting his Malcolm X by-any-means-necessary on to get the Republican nomination; if he gotta take that nomination by force he will. It is so a Romney-Obama race after this.



    at the thought of Willard Romney and Malcolm X being used in the same sentence.

    • Ametia says:

      Perry is so a GONER. Romney, we need to hammer that jackal too.
      and lest we forget Huntsman, who may be at 1% or such, but don’t count out any of these fools , shit, Palin and Christie might jump in at any time to get their grifting on.

  59. rikyrah says:

    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”

  60. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 8:00 AM

    Perry shifts from one crisis to another

    By Steve Benen

    Rick Perry’s Republican presidential campaign, desperate to regain its lost footing, did not have to spend another weekend talking about the Texas governor’s break with party orthodoxy on immigration. That’s the good news. The bad news is, Perry’s new crisis appears to be much worse.

    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…. 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.

    The Washington Post’s headline on this scoop called the hunting camp’s name “racially charged.” Given just how offensive this is, I’d argue we’re well past “racially charged” on this one.

    It’s worth noting that the Perry campaign quickly pushed back against the Post’s report, telling reporters that the governor’s father painted over the word shortly after leasing the land, and that Perry himself considers the word “offensive.” But as the Post noted this morning, the campaign’s line is in conflict with “the recollections of seven people cited in the story, and it remains unclear when or whether Perry dealt with the name while using the camp.”

    If Perry used the camp name, it has the potential to do irreparable harm to his already-struggling campaign. If he and his team are now lying about the chain of events, it will only compound the problem.

    The governor’s rivals, who are probably feeling pretty lucky right about now, didn’t have too much to say yesterday, though Herman Cain told ABC yesterday, “Since Governor Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place. It’s just basically a case of insensitivity.”

    It’s hard to say, at least at this point, how the Republican base will respond to these revelations, especially when details are still coming together. But for the last few weeks, the GOP establishment has been expressing concerns about Perry’s viability as a national candidate and his ability to appeal to the American mainstream.

    The odds of Mitt Romney getting the nomination went up a little more over the weekend.

  61. rikyrah says:

    Self-Confessed Chickensh*t Republicans
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 3rd, 2011 at 06:37:57 AM EST

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has been in Congress for 22 years. And, yet, he’s still a coward. Here he is trying to explain why he voted against a continuing resolution (CR) before he voted for it. A CR is a bill to keep the government operating despite the fact that Congress can’t agree on a budget. Using CR’s is the only way Congress can keep the government’s doors open because the Republicans are crazy and have too much power.

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) told his colleagues that his original “no” vote was “chickensh–,” according to members who attended the closed-door meeting.
    Rohrabacher said he changed his initial “yes” to “no” on the first CR vote because he saw that most of his fellow Orange County colleagues had opposed the measure and he didn’t want to attract Tea Party criticism.

    He called his action “cowardly” and promised to support the revised spending bill.

    In the end, Rohrabacher and his three Orange County colleagues, Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.), Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.), supported the next measure,

    Mind you, the Republicans control the House. We’re talking about a Republican getting primaried by the Tea Party for voting with his own Speaker. Actually, we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about the mere possibility that that might happen.

  62. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, October 2, 2011
    Last Call
    Posted by Zandar

    That loud slamming noise you just heard is cruel mistress Fate slamming Rick Perry’s gonads in the door of opportunity.

    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.

    G’night, folks. I’ll save you the trouble of reading the other 2,000 or so words where Rick Perry’s office lamely attempts to explain why it’s taken a quarter-century for anyone to really notice he’s been hunting on a property with that particular lovely name because the answer is apparently “Hell, we’ve always called it that round these parts, what’s the big damn deal?”

    I also recommend the house baked ziti, be sure to tip your servers and there’s a two-drink minimum. Drive safely and enjoy the rest of the 2012 GOP Clown Car Cavalcade.

  63. rikyrah says:

    October 03, 2011 8:35 AM

    GOP candidates can still stand up for Stephen Hill

    By Steve Benen

    President Obama was well received Saturday night at an event hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, where he and the audience celebrated the LGBT community’s advances in recent years. But there was one line in particular that stood out for me.

    In a sharp jab at the Republican presidential field, Mr. Obama noted that none of the candidates protested when members of the audience at a recent debate booed a gay soldier who had served in Iraq.

    “You want to be commander in chief,” the president said, drawing cheers, “you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”

    This is, of course, in reference to Army soldier Stephen Hill, who’s serving in Iraq, and who was booed by some audience members in the last Republican debate, for identifying himself as a gay soldier and asking about DADT. White House officials, among other Democrats, have been eager to use the incident as evidence of GOP extremism and suspect values.

    On CBS’s “Face the Nation” yesterday, host Bob Schieffer asked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the leading opponent of DADT repeal last year, about Republicans booing an American soldier serving in Iraq. McCain said we should “honor every man and woman who is serving in the military.” Asked if he believes the GOP presidential candidates should have spoken up during the debate, McCain added, “Yeah. I do. But a lot of times, you know, when you’re in a debate you’re thinking about what you’re going to say and what the question is going to be. It’s hard to react sometimes…. I would bet that every Republican on that stage did not agree with that kind of behavior.”

    I’d like to believe that, but at this point, McCain’s assurances are dubious. It’s been 10 days since the debate, and the GOP candidates have had ample opportunity to express their support for Stephen Hill and denounce those who booed him. To his credit, even Rick Santorum, who’s virulently anti-gay, had the good sense to say, “I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier. That soldier is serving our country. I thank him for his service to our country. I’m sure he’s doing an excellent job. I hope he’s safe and I hope he returns safely and does his mission well.”

    But of the major candidates, he’s the only one. If “every” presidential hopeful on that stage disagreed with the booing, they’ve been given many chances to say so. Reporters have, after all, asked the leading candidates about this, and nearly all have said nothing.

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox once said, “To sit in silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.”

    When it comes to GOP activists booing an Americans who’s putting his on the line while serving his country, candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are proving Ella Wheeler Wilcox right.

  64. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 3, 2011
    The Nameless One Strikes Back
    Posted by Zandar
    Yep, nothing gets Dick Cheney out of his undisclosed location and onto the Sunday shows faster than President Obama succeeding where Bush and Cheney failed.

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney is demanding an apology from President Barack Obama for slamming the Bush Administration on foreign policy and not using the phrase ‘war on terror.’

    On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning, host Candy Crowley asked him that given President Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments if it really mattered to use the phrase.

    Still upset over Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo that criticized their administration, Cheney continued to express the importance of the phrase to himself.

    In a just world, Dick Cheney would be demanding the top bunk in a federal penitentiary and getting shanked by his cellmate Donald Rumsfeld over it. No matter how you feel about Obama prosecuting the wars Bush and Cheney left in his lap, the last person on earth who has the credibility to give the President noise about an apology is gorram Dick Cheney.

    And the part there about Cheney still pissing and moaning about the President’s Cairo speech? Pipe that speech into his cell 24/7. The only apologizing here should be done by Cheney, and it should be to the families and loved ones of every soldier that didn’t come home from the sandbox (and to all the ones that did come home, just for good measure.)

    Good Lord.

  65. rikyrah says:

    Who’s Your Daddy, GOP? His Name is Barack Hussein Obama

    Republicans Take Offense to Obama’s Competence Because It Shows Them Up for What They Are

    When you don’t believe in government, it behooves you to do government badly. That about sums up the problems of the modern day Republican party, from 9/11 to Iraq to WMD to Katrina, Republicans only believe in the federal government when it comes to defense spending, but that’s not because they know how to keep us safe; they love defense spending because it’s their form of red state welfare, and as an added bonus, they can funnel the money to private contractors.

    Republicans love to cling to their idea of themselves as big daddies keeping America safe, but reality paints a different picture. Republicans are very comfy painting a Democratic President with the brush of “weak”, and frequently accuse this president of leading from behind.

    If Obama leads from behind, how would we identify Republican style leadership: Flounder, foul, flail and fear? While their guy sat frozen in a classroom reading My Pet Goat as this country was attacked, having already ignored the intel warning of the attack, President Obama has been kicking some major ass for quite some time.

    President Obama is not leading from behind. Perhaps the Republicans can’t see this because their perspective is skewed from being on their knees for so long praising their Too Big To Fail god and worshiping at the Koch brothers altar. President Obama is so damn good at his job that he has, in two and a half years, done what the Republicans failed to do in eight.

    Here’s a rather impressive list from Jake Tapper of terrorists killed under Obama, which Tapper closed by noting, “Remember when Rudy Giuliani warned that electing Barack Obama would mean that the U.S. played defense, not offense, against the terrorists? If this is defense, what does offense look like?”

    And that question, put forth by a member of the main stream media, is the reason Republicans are always throwing another firebomb of distraction into the dialogue. “Don’t look at our record, look over here at the Ground Zero Mosque!” The willing foot soldiers in the Koch brother funded Tea Party, instructed via Fox News about exactly how they are supposed to feel today, then get on stage for the big show, which the media eats up because it’s so visual, it’s so now, and it’s so fun. Yes, they know that we’re laughing at those tea bag laden hats, just like we laugh at Snookie and Sarah Palin. But we watch.

    Obama got Osama. In fact, he got a whole list of terrorists. That hurt. Then there’s the pirates. Let’s not even go there because everyone knows a cowboy is supposed to be able to get a pirate and talking about this will only make the little boys on the Right throw another tantrum.

    The reason Republicans always sound so petty and juvenile these days is because Obama has shown them up to be the incompetent, bad actors they have been. And he had the good grace not to throw it in their face, which only insulted them more, as they were supposed to be the party of grown ups.

    They try to paint him as having spent like a “liberal” and thereby jacking up our debt, when they know that the debt was incurred under their boy, who left 2 wars, a Medicare Part D drug program and the Bush tax cuts off the budget. They never had a plan to pay for those things – just ran them up on the Republican Daddy credit card while they handed out entitlements to buy votes.

    I know, that’s exactly what they accuse Democrats of doing. But guess who Daddy turned out to be? Guess who paid the bills that Georgie and his frat buddies charged? It sure as heck isn’t a Republican.

    The guy who paid and is paying the Republicans bills is the same guy who led the charge to get the bad guys in order to keep us safe. Turns out, Big Daddy isn’t a Republican. Turns out, he is one bad ass mo-fo who manages to carry himself with the affable, easy-going confidence of the truly competent. He can do in half a term what Republicans could not in two full terms.

    The President pwns Republicans on a daily basis, and just like all sour, immature losers, Republicans can’t take it. Their only solution is, like the petulant little fools they are, to yell, “You lie!” and obstruct anything that would be good for the country, while hoping no one notices that this President has made them look like the doddering, pandering, ineffectual fools they are.

    Who’s your daddy, Republicans? His name is Barack Hussein Obama, he is your President, and he owned you long before you even knew what hit you.

    Kneel down and show some f-ing respect, boys.

  66. rikyrah says:

    For Politics in South, Race Divide Is Defining

    Ten miles south of Ronnie’s Steak and Grill, where Johnny DuPree was making a recent appearance before the Rotary Club, lies the lonely road where three civil rights workers were killed by the Klan one June night in 1964 for registering blacks to vote.

    The workers’ cause won in the end. That Mr. DuPree, who is black, is running for governor is proof of that.

    Seven miles to the southwest of Ronnie’s lies the Neshoba County Fairgrounds, where Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 presidential campaign with an appeal to disaffected Democrats.

    His cause won, too. That Mr. Dupree, who is a Democrat, is considered something of a long shot here is proof of that.

    In few places are the current woes of Democrats in the South in such clear relief as they are in Mississippi. It is here that a possibility long considered may soon become a reality, as Democrats ponder the prospect of becoming, definitively, the minority party — in both senses of the word.

    At a glance, Democrats may seem to be in better shape here than they are in neighboring states. Republicans won a supermajority in the Alabama Legislature in the 2010 elections and took over the Louisiana Legislature a month later as a result of several party switches, while Mississippi Democrats still control the State House of Representatives. Unlike in Louisiana, Democrats in Mississippi have actually managed to field candidates for a few statewide offices in this year’s elections, and hold the office of attorney general.

    But the tale told by demographics is a stark one. Mississippi has, proportionally, the largest black population of any state, at 37 percent. Given the dependably Democratic voting record of African-Americans here, strategists in each party concede that Democrats start out any statewide race with nearly 40 percent of the vote.

    That is a remarkable head start. And yet Brad Morris, a Democratic strategist, is being optimistic when saying this: “We’ve hit rock bottom.”

    Simply put, the votes Democrats count on automatically may be the only ones they can get.

    Mr. Morris argues that the decades-old partisan realignment of the South has gone as far as it can go and that it will soon rebound.

    Indeed, it is hard to imagine that Democratic support among whites could get any lower when, according to 2008 exit polls, only 6 percent of white males in Mississippi described themselves as Democrats.

    But Republicans are not ready to concede an endpoint.

    “There has been a significant political shift to the right,” Frank Corder, a Pascagoula city councilman and conservative blogger, wrote in an e-mail, “and as the access to new media grows in the rural areas, political party identifications will change and we will see even more traditional Democratic strongholds turn red.”

    There are still such things as white Democratic strongholds in the South, believe it or not. They are run by the often long-serving sheriffs, circuit clerks and other county officials who have remained Democrats out of habit, family tradition, allegiance to the party behind the New Deal or a strategic aim to attract black voters.

    These old-line Democrats persist in areas that are largely white, rural and conservative, but have mostly been untouched by the racial politics seen elsewhere in the South. Northeast Mississippi has long been such an area; nearly all of the local officials are Democrats, and Republican primary turnout is minimal. One State Senate district there, which is 92 percent white, elected a black Democrat in 2007.

    And yet, said Ralph Coln, a retired electrical worker and a Democrat who lives in that district: “Eight to 12 years, Republicans will be running this county.”

    State Republican parties have been making an aggressive play for local offices, trying to persuade courthouse politicos that rather than having to campaign as Democrats to the right of the national party, they should simply become Republicans.

  67. rikyrah says:

    Extremist Christians Use The Bible To Justify Their Hatred Of Obama

    One of the beautiful aspects of the Constitution is the right of free speech. There are, of course, instances of inflammatory speech that many Americans believe should be censored, but the right of free expression cannot be stopped regardless of bad taste or the incendiary nature characteristic of fanatical personalities. Many right-wing extremists like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin have made names for themselves by spouting pernicious opinions about President Obama and although their comments are never true, their rabid followers believe them as if they issued forth directly from the mouth of god. There are right-wing-nut-jobs who consistently level myriad accusations at President Obama that typify a lunatic fringe, but there are dangers when Jesus-freaks-of-nature have a national audience of equally moronic disciples.

    One such maniac is Jeffrey Kuhner, and in a recent opinion piece he wrote that, “President Obama is on the verge of achieving his liberal revolution. His goal is to destroy our Judeo-Christian culture and replace it with European-style radical secularism.” Well, those are fairly lofty goals, even for President Obama. On its face, Kuhner’s accusation is the epitome of insanity, but it is his twisted analysis of how Obama is pursuing the destruction of Kuhner’s Judeo-Christian culture that is typical of a schizophrenic rant; it certainly did not come from a rational human being. According to Kuhner, President Obama is using the Affordable Health Act as a means of “rapidly advancing the culture of death – abortion, contraception, and homosexual marriage” that will determine “whether America survives as a Judeo-Christian nation.” Kuhner, like most hard-line Christian extremists, claims that without a “common moral code and Christian heritage, there will be no social glue to hold us together any longer.”

    Apparently, Kuhner went on his evangelical rant at the news the Department of Health and Human Services considered adding contraceptives to the list of medicines covered by insurers. Kuhner’s objection to contraceptives is based on the notion that they violate the natural moral order; whatever that means. What it means to Christian extremists is that all Americans are duty-bound to adhere to the Catholic Church’s prohibition on contraception and since the ascendance of the hateful personhood amendments in many states, anti-contraception advocates have been emboldened to force their dysfunctional morality on every woman in America. In fact, in assailing President Obama and the health law, Kuhner asserts that the law assaults traditional America and consolidates the sexual revolution of the 1960s when the left began its war with Christianity. Kuhner repeats ad nauseum the notion that the left is at war with Christianity, and if he means Christianity’s imposition of its Dark Age rules and regulations based on ancient Jewish mythology, then he is correct. Like most fanatical Christian extremists, Kuhner ignores the fact that America has this founding document called the Constitution that guarantees all Americans freedom of religion and by extension, freedom from religion; especially the Christian religion

    There is no leftist war to destroy Christianity, but there should be a way to stop the advancement of Christian imposition of the bible on Americans. Kuhner said that “liberals want to create a world without god,” and that “sexual permissiveness is their battering ram.” He also said that “promoting widespread contraception is essential to forging a pagan society based on consequence-free sex.” Okay, it is obvious that Kuhner suffers from sexual dysfunction because he is obsessed with sex as the means to destroying civilizations, and his conspiracy theory would be laughable if he were standing on a street corner ranting at passersby, but his rants attract fanatical Christians who are apt to believe his sophistry; therein lies the problem.

  68. rikyrah says:

    Abby Johnson Lies about Planned Parenthood Serving the Father of Lies

    What gives? We’ve got this supposed war on the Judeo-Christian tradition (whatever that is) but at the same time that perennial bogeyman, Planned Parenthood, is being accused of consorting with Satan by anti-abortion advocate Abby Johnson. The problem is, in Jewish tradition, Satan was originally YHWH’s lieutenant, his henchman, so to speak, doing his bidding. He’s not an agent of ultimate evil.

    Just read Job and see for yourself. Read Genesis, and see that the snake in the Garden of Eden is just a damn snake. Christians have to cite the New Testament to prove the snake is Satan…so much for a Judeo-Christian tradition. You can see what trumps what.

    Wouldn’t you suppose the authors of Genesis knew what they wanted to say? Yeah, well…that’s why it’s the OLD Testament, as in replaced by the TRUTH of the New. There goes poor Satan under the chariot, so to speak. Hell, there wasn’t even originally a hell – all the dead people, good and bad alike, went to Sheol.

    So back to our problem: is Abby Johnson accusing Planned Parenthood of working with God, through his agent, Satan? If so, isn’t that a good thing?

    Ashley Lopez at the Florida Independent tells us that Abby Johnson was talking to a group of fellow bigots at a Care Net Central Florida conference. Care Net, of course, is the organization behind many of the nation’s so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). Of course, the true purpose of these CPCs are to proselytize – “to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ” as they say.

    Apparently, however, not the truth of the “Judeo-Christian” tradition in which Satan isn’t a bad guy at all.

    Nor the truth about medicine, as it turns out. And yes, they do take tax payer money to fund their lying ways. As the Florida Independent reports, they “use inaccurate medical information to persuade women to not have an abortion” – spreading lies about false symptoms like clinical depression, drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD and even suicide.

    The truth of Jesus Christ apparently – for Care Net and Abby Johnson, at least – being a big fat lie.

    Boy, how they hate the federal government unless it’s funding those lies.

    And lies are, after all, the tool of Satan, so they say, the Father of Lies. So who is really serving good and who is really serving evil? It would seem that as so often happens, Christian fundamentalists have turned the truth on its head.

    If there is a Satan and if as they claim Satan is a bad guy and not a good guy, then it is clear it is Abby Johnson and her ilk who are on the side of the Enemy.

    Johnson is the worst sort – a fanatic recent convert and former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. So now she’s claiming, paradoxically, it would seem that Planned Parenthood is bad because they’re working with Satan. “We are competing with one of the largest industries in the country, and the most evil.”

    Really? So YHWH is evil? Satan is his guy, after all. Yet Johnson tried to rally a thousand of her future inquisitors by telling them that they were “born to fight against the enemy” and that they will ultimately win.

    Evil has shown its true face, however, and Abby Johnson wants to be its poster child

  69. rikyrah says:

    Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales

    In May 2008, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest privately held companies, sent Ludmila Egorova-Farines, its newly hired compliance officer and ethics manager, to investigate the management of a subsidiary in Arles in southern France. In less than a week, she discovered that the company had paid bribes to win contracts.

    “I uncovered the practices within a few days,” Egorova- Farines says. “They were not hidden at all.”

    She immediately notified her supervisors
    in the U.S. A week later, Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries dispatched an investigative team to look into her findings, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue.

    By September of that year, the researchers had found evidence of improper payments to secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002, authorized by the business director of the company’s Koch-Glitsch affiliate in France.

  70. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Threatens to Run U.S. Like He Runs Texas

    Now that Rick Perry has threatened to run the United States like he runs Texas, it’s time for Americans to decide what to do in response. Perry issued his threat in a 13-minute speech given Friday to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, saying,

    “As Republican voters decide who is best suited to lead this country in a new direction by stopping the spending spree and scrapping Obamacare, I am confident they will choose a nominee who has governed on conservative principles, not one whose health care policies paved the way for Obamacare.”

    We will look in a moment what precisely this means, but Perry wasn’t done with his threats:

    “In Texas, we’ve cleaned the air while creating jobs and adding millions in population. Another state – Massachusetts – was among the first states to implement its own cap-and-trade program, which included limits on carbon emissions for power plants.”

    The Romney campaign was quick to point out that their candidate did not install a cap-and-trade plan for Massachusetts. And pollution? According to the EPA it is true that Texas has decreased its carbon dioxide emissions, but it still produces more of this pollution than any other state. It has also reduced ozone concentrations but according to the EPA Houston and Dallas do not meet federal standards. Nitrogen oxide emissions are also down but so are those in California, Florida, New York, and other states.

    David E. Adelman, professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School was quoted by the New York Times as saying,

    “For the most part, Texas has lowered its toxic emissions, but so has essentially every other state in the country. The key point to recognize is that Texas started so much higher than everyone else.”

    The EPA says these Texas improvements are a result of federal regulations, not anything Perry as governor has done.

    Perry, of course, hates the EPA like every other Republican candidate. Even though it’s the EPA that has created the conditions for which he is now claiming credit

  71. rikyrah says:

    Perry bet big on tax grants to subprime lenders

    As Texas governor, Rick Perry spent tens of millions in taxpayer money to lure some of the nation’s leading mortgage companies to expand their business in his state, calling it a national model for creating jobs. But the plan backfired.

    Just as the largest banks began receiving public cash, they aggressively ramped up risky lending. Within four years, the banks were out of business and homeowners across Texas faced foreclosure. In the end, the state paid $35 million to subsidize it.

    An Associated Press review of federal mortgage data, court filings and public statements found that Perry downplayed early warnings of an impending mortgage crisis as alarmist. That’s even as Perry’s own attorney general would later investigate whether Countywide Financial Corp. encouraged homeowners to borrow more than they could afford.

    As Perry offered $20 million in grants to Countrywide and $15 million to Washington Mutual Inc. — each blamed for having a major role in one of the country’s most serious recessions — he took in tens of thousands of their dollars for his gubernatorial campaign.

    Perry, a Republican candidate for the White House, did what any governor would want to do: bring in jobs for his state. He also supported a cap on how much consumers could borrow against their homes, which experts credit for softening the blow of the mortgage crisis in Texas: by the end of 2008, more than 22 states had a greater percentage of foreclosures.

    Yet Perry didn’t appear to recognize that the industry his administration had subsidized was damaging the national economy.

    The AP analysis found that Washington Mutual, Countrywide and their subsidiaries boosted risky lending in Texas within a year after receiving grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund. In 2004, only one out of every 100 Washington Mutual loans in the state was originated to homeowners with less-than-perfect credit. The next year, that figure rose to more than one in four.

    Countrywide’s lending volume also boomed. In 2004, 14 percent of the company’s loans in the state were given to high-risk borrowers, but the following year — when Countrywide received its first $10 million disbursement from the fund — the rate of risky loans jumped to nearly one in three, the AP’s analysis found. Texas ranked No. 3 for the number of risky mortgages underwritten by Countrywide, behind only Florida and California.

    In October 2007, as credit-rating agencies continued downgrading hundreds of billions in mortgage-backed assets on Wall Street, Perry’s spokeswoman described Texas as “one of the hottest housing markets in the nation” and dismissed concerns about the looming economic implosion as “slightly alarmist.”

    The enterprise fund is known in Texas as a signature issue for Perry, and one that has drawn critical scrutiny by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice in light of subprime mortgage lending in the mid-2000s. The AP’s review uncovered new details of his economic deals as he seeks the GOP presidential nomination, particularly in how the two lenders engaged in subprime lending in Texas

  72. rikyrah says:

    Perry’s handling of Texas pension, health care funds is questioned

    Gov. Rick Perry is making headlines with his attacks on Social Security and Medicare, blasting their fiscal stability, likening them to Ponzi schemes and calling them a “monstrous lie to our kids.”

    But the tables are being turned on the Republican presidential contender as scrutiny increases of his handling of Texas’ public pension funds and the $1 billion healthcare fund for Texas teachers.

    Those public pensions have a combined unfunded liability of $41 billion, and a half-dozen funds, including the state’s two largest, have promised benefits that they will never be able to pay under current financing models, according to records compiled by the Texas Pension Review Board.

    What’s more, the $1 billion supplemental healthcare fund for Texas teachers is predicted to go bankrupt by 2014.

    Critics say Perry has not made a priority of improving the solvency of the funds. Instead, he removed a state official who was alerting the public to the growing obligations and appointed to the board of the state’s largest pension his campaign donors and other political allies. The governor also pushed controversial investments.

    “You shouldn’t play politics with other people’s retirement,” former Texas Pension Review Board Chairman Shad Rowe said in a recent interview.

    Perry says Texas pension funds are in better shape than most public pensions nationwide. State law sets operational standards for such systems as the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, said Lucy Nashed, a Perry spokeswoman.

    The governor did not answer a question from the Star-Telegram about recommendations to improve state pensions’ financial outlooks.

    Texas is better off because the state clamped down on cost-of-living adjustments and unsustainable benefit structures for pensions of state workers and teachers, said Craig Hester, vice chairman of the board of the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the state’s second-largest public pension fund.

    “The governor’s absolutely correct in that,” Hester said. “The Legislature has been good, and I think these [pension] boards have been good about doing what we can to protect the liability side of the balance sheet.”

    Accusations of political meddling have centered on the board of the $111 billion Teacher Retirement System, the state’s largest public pension system, with more than 1 million active and retired members.

    At the TRS, the governor appoints three board members who are investment professionals and chooses the other six members from among slates submitted by groups including the State Board of Education, active TRS members, retirees and public higher education officials.

    Nashed said the governor selects members based on qualifications and desire to serve. Keith Brainard, director of research for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, said Perry’s appointments have been solid.

    Critics say the governor’s appointments reflected his political agenda.

    “The governor tried several times to get control of the board,” said Linus Wright, an undersecretary of education in the Reagan administration and former Dallas schools superintendent.

    Wright, who served on the board for 12 years, remembers when the governor pushed to have the TRS invest in state toll roads. The word was that an official from the governor’s office tried to “strong-arm” TRS staff members to support risky deals involving Trans-Texas Corridor infrastructure projects.

    “I had a real problem with that,” said Bill Barnes, Fort Worth chairman of the 20-member legislative committee for the Texas Retired Teachers Association. “I don’t think toll roads make the best investments.”

    Wright said the 2008 effort was defeated, although others say deals related to toll roads were later done in the guise of real estate investments.

    A year later, a TRS employee said, millions of dollars in investments favored by Perry appointees had been approved. The whistle-blower said “political influences” had marred the decisions. A second TRS employee independently raised concerns.

    An outside legal firm was chosen to examine the allegations. Its investigation uncovered no definitive evidence that any trustee improperly influenced investment decisions. But the credibility of the investigation was called into question: It was conducted by a former SEC commissioner whose law firm, some legislators said, could have had conflicts of interest because the firm may have had the same clients that were seeking TRS business.

    Then, the TRS lost millions on derivatives investments, and a teachers group said Perry’s fingerprints were all over the deals. The group sued the TRS, but a judge dismissed the suit in July 2009.

    Moves into alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity were among teachers’ concerns. In 2004, the TRS had committed more than $3.3 billion to such investments. Today, almost one-fourth of its portfolio is dedicated to alternatives.

    Among those pushing early moves into the investments was Perry appointee and Houston investor Jim Lee, then chairman of the TRS board.

    Teachers groups again were distrustful and felt Lee was too heavily influenced by the governor, Wright said.

    Lee resigned in January 2009 after questions were raised about $100,000 in gambling debts at a Las Vegas hotel casino. He said publicly at the time that he was leaving to start a business.

    Lee did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    Perry immediately appointed Wright chairman. His appointment calmed choppy waters, and some teachers said they felt they had an advocate.

    But less than a year later, Perry replaced Wright with R. David Kelly, a Dallas real estate investor.

    “I was disappointed,” Barnes said of Wright’s removal. “He represented

    Read more:

  73. Ametia says:

    Immune system discoveries win 2011 medicine Nobel
    By Patrick Lannin and Anna Ringstrom
    STOCKHOLM | Mon Oct 3, 2011 7:48am EDT

    (Reuters) – Three scientists who unlocked secrets of the body’s immune system, opening doors to new vaccines and treatments for cancer, won the 2011 Nobel prize for medicine on Monday.

    American Bruce Beutler and French biologist Jules Hoffmann, who studied the first stages of immune responses to attack, shared the $1.5 million award with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman, working in the United States, who discovery of dendritic cells key to understanding the later stages.

    “This year’s Nobel laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation,” the award panel at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement in Stockholm.

    Lars Klareskog, who chairs the prize-giving Nobel Assembly, told Reuters: “I am very excited about what these discoveries mean. I think that we will have new, better vaccines against microbes and that is very much needed now with the increased resistance against antibiotics.

  74. Ametia says:

    Opinion Writer Can the left stage a Tea Party?
    By E.J. Dionne Jr.,
    Published: October 2

    Why hasn’t there been a Tea Party on the left? And can President Obama and the American left develop a functional relationship?

    That those two questions are not asked very often is a sign of how much of the nation’s political energy has been monopolized by the right from the beginning of Obama’s term. This has skewed media coverage of almost every issue, created the impression that the president is far more liberal than he is, and turned the nation’s agenda away from progressive reform.

  75. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

    Sending you blessings and positive thoughts, SG2!

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