Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

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99 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread

  1. creolechild says:

    Harry, you’re a grown man who doesn’t need anyone’s permission “to use the bathroom,” okay? Pull yourself together and PASS THE JOBS BILL! Comprende?

    Reid: I Can’t Get Unanimous Support From Dems To Use The Bathroom, Let Alone For Obama’s Jobs Bill – Brian Beutler | October 4, 2011, 3:45PM

    Senate Democrats are tweaking President Obama’s jobs bill, to consolidate support for it within the caucus. The details of the tweaks haven’t been disclosed yet, but the goal is to set it up for a test vote later this month that garners the support of more than 50 senators.

    There are 53 Democrats, though, and thanks to Senate filibuster rules, the test vote will be held at a 60-vote threshold. Getting over the 50-vote middle-point will allow Obama to claim that a minority in the Senate is obstructing his plan. But it won’t stop Republicans from claiming “bipartisan opposition” to Obama’s bill. The only way to do that is to get all 53 members on board.

    I asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at his weekly press conference Tuesday whether the changes he’s making to the bill will win it the full support of his caucus. It’s not looking very likely. “You can’t trap me into unanimous,” Reid said. “As I’ve indicated here before, to get all my senators to agree that I can take a break and go to the bathroom, I can’t quite get that. So we’ll get most everyone. There could be — I don’t know who — but there could be some that don’t support it. But it would be a rare situation.”


  2. creolechild says:

    Bill O’Reilly on Occupy Wall Street: They’re Jobless Because They Don’t Want to Work – By John Amato October 04, 2011 01:00 PM

    Bill O’Reilly attacks the Occupy Wall Street protests. He loves the tea party movement protests though. To Billo, the tea party are just folks angry at the government and whenever racist signs were proudly displayed or or voiced by Hank Williams Jr. they were dismissed. Turn to a real grassroots protest and Bill sends his lackey, Jesse Watters to uncover either a heavily edited video clip or one that portrays the protesters to be communists with potty mouths, sorta like he did last night.

    Anyway, Juan Williams actually did a good job in defending the new protests. The new Pew poll supports the idea that the class warfare meme is working against conservatives because the results show only Republicans are supporting that idea. Also, Republicans are helping the “haves” much more than the have-nots. it’s hard to follow Bill’s thinking sometimes. I wish I had Jon Stewart’s wit because in one moment he says it’s not spontaneous and calls it organized by professionals and in the next he says they are walking around aimlessly. I guess that means that the pros were hired to create massive protests and their central tenet is to have them not finely tune their messaging which is what the Koch Brothers Americans For Prosperity does, but walk around aimlessly.


  3. creolechild says:

    McConnell Vies For Headlines Over Obama Jobs Bill – Brian Beutler | October 4, 2011, 4:28PM

    Mitch McConnell just pulled a made-for-headlines trick on the Senate floor, challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to allow an immediate vote on President Obama’s jobs bill — not as a stand-alone measure, but as an amendment to the China currency legislation the Senate is currently debating. Obama’s been demanding that Congress pass his jobs bill day in and day out for weeks, so the tactic had an obvious allure. It wasn’t done in the spirit of debating the jobs bill, or even giving it an up or down vote. It was to generate headlines like, “McConnell demands vote on Obama jobs bill” or “Reid blocks vote on Obama jobs bill.” Or if Reid had allowed the vote, the headlines could’ve read “Dems Join Republicans In Rebuffing Obama Jobs Bill.”

    Pretty clever. But it’s not the whole story.

    Reid’s plan is to set the jobs bill up for a test vote later in October, but as a stand-alone proposition. That vote, if successful, would allow the Senate to debate the legislation — argue about it on the floor, offer amendments. But it will likely run headlong into a GOP-led filibuster. If it does, Dems will be able to claim Republicans won’t even allow debate on the jobs package, and try to win the battle for public perception. McConnell tried to short circuit that plan Tuesday by offering the Senate a chance to tack Obama’s jobs bill, unamended, on to the China currency legislation — a bill that already enjoys broad bipartisan support. As McConnell predicted, Reid objected. And he got his headlines.

    But that’s not the end of the story. Or rather, the story’s not in those headlines. Reid also offered McConnell several options, including to delay debate on the China currency bill and hold the first test vote on the jobs bill today, but as a stand-alone measure. But of course, that woudn’t have given McConnell what he wanted — either to have Reid obstruct Obama’s jobs bill, or for Obama’s jobs bill to fail on a bipartisan basis. So he wasn’t exactly keen on it. Thus, no vote for Obama’s jobs bill today, unless it’s on McConnell’s terms. This, I think it’s safe to say, is why Congress’ approval rating is at a record high.

  4. creolechild says:

    Oregon Governor: The American Jobs Act Is Exactly What We Need – Posted by Colleen Curtis on October 04, 2011 at 11:13 AM EDT

    Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon says that in his state, “the American Jobs Act will translate into almost 9,000 jobs for vital transportation, school infrastructure projects for idle construction workers, funding for our schools and incentives for small businesses to put people back to work.” Most importantly. says Kitzhaber, the jobs that are created will be “good middle income family wage jobs,” which will create a significant economic ripple across the state. “In an economic crisis we need to be investing in the economy–we need to be investing in job creation and I think the American Jobs Act is exactly what we need at the right time and certainly for Oregon and I think for America.”

    See how other elected officials say the American Jobs Act will impact their communities:

    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
    Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
    Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky
    Mayor Sly James of Kansas City
    Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona

  5. creolechild says:

    Psssttt…Oh Darryl…guess what?

    ‘Operation Wide Receiver’: The Bush Administration Had Its Very Own ATF ‘Gun Walking’ Scandal – Ryan J. Reilly | October 4, 2011, 3:50PM

    Know how Republicans have been blaming the Obama administration for a local ATF office’s decision to let thousands of guns “walk” into Mexico? Turns out the Bush administration had a “gun walking” program of their very own. Republicans on Tuesday called for a special prosecutor to look into whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on ATF’s Fast and Furious scandal. Holder had testified on May 3 that he was “not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” Documents have now emerged showing that the “Fast and Furious” program came up in the course of a couple of Holder’s extensive weekly reports on ongoing developments in the Justice Department and its components in July 2010 and again in October 2010.

    In the wake of that evidence, Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) — who has left most of the investigation into “Fast and Furious” to Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) — sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a special counsel to be appointed. This isn’t Smith’s first time at the requesting special counsel rodeo: he’s also asked for someone to look into ACORN, the New Black Panther Party case and the White House’s interaction with Rep. Joe Sestak.

    Let’s take a step back here. It’s unsurprising that Holder got a couple brief updates which broadly outlined “Fast and Furious.” After all, the program wasn’t controversial at the time of the briefings because whistleblowers didn’t come forward until early 2011. Nor would it be surprising that Holder would forget a brief mention of a case in one of his weekly updates, which include news from about 24 offices and components and weigh in at over 100 pages. What would matter is if he had known about the controversial tactic — instructing agents not to intercept weapons in suspicious sales and allowing them to “walk” over the border — and did nothing about it. There’s no evidence that he did, and when the complaints began emerging, he asked the DOJ’s Inspector General to launch an investigation.


  6. creolechild says:

    Poor Willard, can’t win for losing!~

    Romney On Wall Street Protests: ‘It’s Dangerous, This Class Warfare’ | By Pat Garofalo on Oct 4, 2011

    Ongoing protests on Wall Street are in their third week, as demonstrators continue to speak out against corporate greed and growing income inequality. Several labor unions have lent their support to the protests, with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka saying that “being in the streets and calling attention to issues is sometimes the only recourse you have.” When White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the protests, he replied, “to the extent that people are frustrated with the economic situation, we understand.” However, 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney does not approve of the protests. “I think it’s dangerous, this class warfare,” said Romney — who has become a favorite of Wall Street donors — when asked about the protest.

  7. creolechild says:

    Issa: Obama DOJ’s Blame Bush Strategy In ATF Scandal ‘Reeks Of Desperation’ – Ryan J. Reilly | October 4, 2011, 5:50PM

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is trying to take the revelation that the Bush administration had a “gun walking” problem of its very own in stride. “The committee has received some documents from the Justice Department about Operation Wide Receiver but Justice officials still have not made clear to committee investigators what did and did not take place in this operation,” spokeswoman Becca Glover Watkins said in a statement to TPM.

    “This far into the investigation, throwing out the ‘Bush Administration did it too defense’ reeks of desperation,” she said. “If true, it would indicate that Obama Justice officials have engaged in an active effort to deceive Congress about gun-walking they knew had taken place but had strenuously denied until only recently.” Issa has previously said that he’d use his subpoena power to investigate President George W. Bush.

    As TPM reported, ATF agents in Arizona allowed what the Associated Press said were hundreds of guns to be transferred to suspected “straw purchasers.” The operation began in 2006 and concluded in 2007, with no charges being filed. It wasn’t until 2009 that a federal prosecutor reviewing the case for possible prosecution learned that ATF agents in Arizona let guns be transferred to suspected gun traffickers.


  8. creolechild says:

    Supreme Court Rejects Alan Keyes’ Birther Lawsuit – Jillian Rayfield | October 4, 2011, 1:43PM

    The Supreme Court will not hear a ‘birther’ lawsuit from conservative activist Alan Keyes and members of the American Independent Party, which argued Barack Obama is ineligible to be President. On Monday the Court rejected without comment a lawsuit by Keyes that claimed Obama was not eligible to be President because he was not born in the United States. Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate in April, which put the issue to rest for almost everyone.

    But there are still those outliers who are not convinced, like Keyes, who recently took part in a birther-friendly cruise hosted by the right-wing site World Net Daily, which also featured birther mainstays like author Jerome Corsi, and birthermercial producer Gary Kreep.

  9. creolechild says:

    GOP Rep. Denounces Norquist And His No New Taxes Pledge – Susan Crabtree | October 4, 2011

    Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) unleashed a verbal fusillade on Anti-Tax Guru Grover Norquist Tuesday, calling him out as the main political force behind Washington gridlock. Wolf took the House floor to lambaste Norquist’s pledge, a promise not to raise taxes that all but six Republicans in Congress have signed, accusing him of using it to advance other pet issues that most Republicans — if not most voters — do not support.

    In addition, Wolf excoriated Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, for his associations with “unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream.” “I also believe that Mr. Norquist has used the ATR pledge as leverage to advance many other issues that many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole should give people pause.” Wolf specifically highlighted Norquist’s connections to disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his lobbying on behalf of Fannie Mae. “Mr. Abramoff essentially laundered money through ATR, and Mr. Norquist knew it,” Wolf said.

    But Wolf also took Norquist to task for pre-9/11 lobbying of behalf of Abdurahman Alamoudi, who is serving 23 years in jail for his ties to terrorists, and Sami Al-Arian, who pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to help a “designated terrorist” organization. In addition, Wolf slammed Norquist for his outspoken advocacy for moving Guantanamo detainees to the United States, including Khaled Sheik Mohammed to New York City for trial.


  10. creolechild says:

    Put up or shut up! PRICELESS!~

    Billionaire Bet: Warren Buffett Challenges Rupert Murdoch To Release His Tax Returns | By Tanya Somanader on Oct 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Last week, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal editorial board told the billionaire behind the president’s “Buffett Rule” that, instead of calling for America’s wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, Warren Buffett should “educate the public” by allowing “everyone else in on his secrets of tax avoidance by releasing his tax returns.” Today at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Buffett wholeheartedly agreed to release his tax returns to the public. He just has one condition: “I think it might be a terrific idea if [the Wall Street Journal] would just ask their boss, Rupert Murdoch, and he and I will meet at Fortune, and we’ll both give you our tax returns and you can publish them.” Buffett noted, “I’m ready tomorrow morning.” Murdoch has yet to respond.

  11. Ametia says:

    Memo to Chris Matthews and Coward Fineman. Nobody loves Chris Christie except you white guys. NEXT!

  12. All this beautiful music and I can’t hear it. Something is wrong with the sound on this computer!

    Boo Hoo!

  13. Ametia says:

    Obama Blasts Eric Cantor For Not Allowing A Vote On His Jobs Bill
    Sarah Jones
    October 4, 2011

    Here’s how the Obama v Cantor battle began today. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va, has been bragging that he won’t even put the jobs bill up for a vote and yesterday, Cantor announced that he would definitely not bring the President’s Job Act to the House floor for a vote. Cantor has let the American Jobs Act sit moldering in a corner for three weeks, while meanwhile, Americans are out protesting for economic jobs, equality and fairness. So today, President Obama gave a speech in Mesquite, Texas during which he took aim at Eric Cantor for his failure to get behind the American Jobs Act.

    Obama got fed up with Cantor’s obstruction and took his case to the people today at Eastfield College. They were fired up and ready to go as the President urged them to tell Congress to pass this bill since Eric Cantor won’t do his job.

  14. dannie22 says:

    Hello everyone. I hope all is well. Lets #occupyavotingbooth be our mantra for 2012.

  15. creolechild says:

    Thank you donna dem 4 obama, Chipsticks, and The Obama Diary for continuing to like many others–such as 3Chics–to PRESS ON!~

    donna dem 4 obama
    October 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Friend –

    President Obama is in Dallas today urging Americans who support the American Jobs Act to demand that Congress pass it already.

    Though it’s been nearly a month since he laid out this plan, House Republicans haven’t acted to pass it. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there actually bragging that they won’t even put the jobs package up for a vote — ever.

    It’s not clear which part of the bill they now object to: building roads, hiring teachers, getting veterans back to work. They’re willing to block the American Jobs Act — and they think you won’t do anything about it.

    But here’s something you can do: Find Republican members of Congress on Twitter, call them out, and demand they pass this bill.

    Be the first to use our new tool and tweet for jobs.

    Here’s why we built this new tool, and why it’s important.

    If you’ve written letters or sent email to Congress before, you know it can be a frustrating experience — sometimes it takes them weeks to respond, and sometimes they don’t respond at all.

    But many members of Congress personally receive the messages sent to them on Twitter, so you have a better chance of getting your message directly to them.

    And even if they don’t respond, your message will be public — front and center for everyone who follows you or your representative. That means their staff, other constituents, and the media will see the mounting pressure.

    So tweet for jobs now:

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Teenager Who Was Nearly Vice President

    Robert Paul Wolff is impressed with McGinniss’s work:

    Palin and her husband, Todd, give every evidence of being arrested emotionally at roughly the Middle School stage of psychological development. She is petty, vindictive, ruthless in her personal relationships, ambitious in roughly the way that a “mean girl” in the tenth grade would be ambitious — desperate to be the Homecoming Queen and jealous of any girl who threatens her dominance of the schoolyard. It is really difficult to believe how mean-spirited she is about things that any normal adult, let alone a Mayor, Governor, and Vice-Presidential candidate would consider beneath her attention…

    Palin comes across as a profoundly psychologically troubled individual — ambitious, to be sure, ruthless, no doubt, but not at all in any coherently rational fashion. She is clearly a psychopathic personality, but she also exhibits very strange eating disorders, sleeping disorders, and a level of narcissistic self-involvement that is way beyond what one would expect in a public political figure.

    Never mind what it says about America that she came very close to being the sitting Vice President in an administration with a man in his seventies with a history of heart trouble.

    Yes, never mind. What the MSM and Washington want you to think.

  17. rikyrah says:

    October 04, 2011 3:05 PM

    Quote of the Day

    By Steve Benen

    For nearly a year now, President Obama has pushed the line that the United States has to be prepared to “out-innovate, out-build, and out-compete” the rest of the world in the 21st century. Republicans have generally been hostile to such a proposition, largely because innovation and building requires investments they’re unwilling to make.

    GOP officials are loath to admit it, but keeping the United States in a global leadership position in areas of technology and innovation simply isn’t a high priority. If Americans fall behind in global competition, for much of the right, it doesn’t much matter — so long as the wealthy aren’t paying more in taxes.

    It’s what makes comments like these stand out as noteworthy

    Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who chairs an energy and commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations, originally supported the [Department of Energy’s loan-guarantees program for clean energy] when Congress created it.

    Now he says, “I think the administration is putting taxpayers’ money at risk in areas that are not creating jobs.” […]

    “We can’t compete with China to make solar panels and wind turbines,” Stearns says.

    He says he doesn’t believe in any type of subsidy for industry. And, he says, where solar is concerned, it makes more sense to invest in research and development on a technology where the U.S. still has a chance of winning.

    So on the one hand we see a White House committed to out-competing our international rivals, and on the other, we see leading congressional Republicans who believe the United States simply can’t keep up anymore, and is content to let China take the lead.

    GOP officials, apparently, see this as a global competition, and are throwing in the towel.

    Energy Secretary Steven Chu said this week at the Solar Decathlon in D.C., “Some say this is a race America can’t win. They’re ready to wave the white flag and declare defeat…. I challenge the naysayers to come to this Solar Decathlon, visit these houses, feel the student energy, touch their creativity and tell them they can’t win. These people are not here to give up. They’re here to win the clean energy race.”

    If only Republican lawmakers felt the same way.

  18. creolechild says:

    Here’s the last one. Closing out with Lyfe Jennings singing, Must Be Nice.

  19. creolechild says:

    Here’s Rick James & Teena Marie with, Fire and Desire.

  20. creolechild says:

    Here’s Boney James with, Seduction.

  21. creolechild says:

    Music? Here’s Keyshia Cole with 2Pac with Playa Cardz Right. Hope you like it!~

  22. rikyrah says:

    About as credible as his former employers
    by Kay

    Two statements, one from former Fox News personality John Kasich:

    TOLEDO — About 75 protesters, some of them angry and all of them soaked, stood outside a bar in driving rain last night chanting “our town, union town.” And so began Gov. John Kasich’s ground game to defend Senate Bill 5. Kasich’s first official campaign appearance in support of Issue 2 — the ballot measure for this fall’s referendum on Republican-backed limits to collective bargaining — took place in the Omni, a banquet, bar and concert hall next to the University of Toledo.

    About 150 GOP supporters, many of them in ties and jackets, filed into the bar where AC/DC, Journey and Motley Crue cover bands play on weekends, to hear Kasich speak — many of them jeered by the drenched union crowd as they walked into the building. It was the exact contrast that Kasich and the Republicans are trying to avoid in this fall’s fight over Senate Bill 5: the working class pitted against the elite.

    “I believe in unions. I believe they have a place,” Kasich said, standing on stage with Toledo Mayor Mike Bell.

    And, one from the leader of a county Tea Party organization in Ohio that was sent to me by a Balloon Juice reader. The Tea Party leader asked that his email be forwarded, so she did that.

    When we pass, Issue 2, and the Democratic Party and the Unions are defunded, they will not have the money to compete in Ohio next year. Barack Obama and Sherrod Brown will lose Ohio and be thrown out of office in November 2012.

    The Governor and the Ohio Legislature will be emboldened and thus willing to introduce more conservative legislation like Workmans Comp reform, Right to Work, School Choice, and much more.

    “Right to work” is, of course, the conservative legislation that destroys private sector unions. I’ll leave it to you decide which person is telling the truth on the conservative agenda here, former Lehman Brothers executive and Murdoch mouthpiece Kasich, or the local Tea Party leader. This was not then and is not now about the budget. It was a careful multi-state strategy to annihilate unions, the last remaining organized, effective opposition to moneyed interests in Ohio and other states.

    Early voting in Ohio has begun. Democrats, liberals and assorted other allies gathered 317,000 signatures, one at a time, to protect early voting. Republicans and the Tea Party attempted to limit early voting. Which side is afraid of a voter referendum on their agenda? Which side tried to limit the opportunity to Vote No On Issue Two?

    Early voting for the Nov. 8 election begins today, and today is also the start of “golden week,” the name given the five-day period when people can register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time. The registration period ends Tuesday, Oct. 11.

    The Republican-dominated legislature tried to get rid of “golden week” as part of an election reform bill that limited the number of days voters can cast ballots before election day. But the law was put on hold last week because of a petition drive that seeks a statewide referendum on House Bill 194 for November 2012. With the law on hold, the previous 35-day early voting window was left intact.

  23. rikyrah says:

    You Asked for a Fight
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 12:52:39 PM EST

    It’s not any secret that progressive Democrats have been some of the harshest critics of the president. For the last two years, this blog has been engaged in a non-stop conversation/debate about the performance of the president, with me generally taking the side that tries to explain the limitations imposed on any president by the structure of Congress, the rules of the Senate, and the lack of party unity. Right now, we are seeing a demonstration of what I have been trying to explain. Many people have argued, repeatedly and vociferously, that the president could attain better outcomes by demonstrating more leadership, by asking for a whole lot more than he could realistically get, and by taking his case to the American people. If he would stop trying to get along with Republicans and, instead, take them on with hot rhetoric, he would get more done and be seen more favorably by the public.
    After the debt ceiling fiasco, the White House decided they have nothing left to lose and went ahead and took that advice. They called for a Joint Session of Congress and called for a Jobs Bill that is a lot more comprehensive than anything that is actually likely to pass. The president went on the road (he’s on the road today), and did his best to sell his bill. He ramped up his rhetoric and directly blamed the Republicans for their obstruction. He didn’t preemptively offer to water down his bill, but repeatedly called for the whole bill to be passed, and passed quickly.

    So, here’s the test. Everyone who has been arguing that this is the way to go should be standing and applauding. They should be eager to help out and prove their theory correct. If the president had done this in early 2009, he would have gotten a much bigger stimulus. If he’d done this throughout 2009, he would have gotten a public option in the health care reform bill. If he’d done this on the financial reforms, he would have gotten a stronger, more worthy bill. If he’d done on the debt ceiling debate, he’d have won some more tax revenue. That’s the theory so many have been operating on as they critique this presidency.

    Now, I am fervently hoping to be proven wrong. I am hoping that the president’s new aggressiveness will result the passage of a Jobs Bill that puts 2 million people to work largely by taxing Wall Street. But I want to note how easy it is to simply ignore the president and hand him a massive defeat.

    House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said definitively Monday that President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill is dead on arrival in his chamber.
    To hear Obama tell it, that’s just about par for the course. “I have done everything I can to try to get the Republican Party to work with me to deal with what is the biggest crisis of our lifetimes,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News. “And each time, all we’ve gotten from them is, ‘No.'”

    When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the bill is dead on arrival, he means that he won’t even bring it up for a vote. The answer is simply ‘no.’ It’s not even that they’re going to defeat the bill. They won’t vote on it. They won’t even debate it. And it’s easy for them to do because of the lack of party unity on the Democratic side.

    Cantor said the prospect of passing the bill in its entirety, though, is just not feasible, in part because of the problems in the president’s own party.
    “I think from a purely practical standpoint, the president’s got some whipping to do on his own side of the aisle. Clearly, I think comments made by Democrats on both the House and Senate side indicated they have problems with the president’s bill,” Cantor said.

    The president responded to this today down in Texas (no link):

    “Dallas, that starts now. That starts with your help. Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now, he won’t even let the jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. He won’t even give it a vote.
    “Well I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what in this jobs bill he doesn’t believe in. Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help veterans?

    “Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas, look Kim Russell in the eye, and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to get a paycheck again. Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.

    “Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting home instead of fixing our bridges and our schools.

    “Come tell the small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for millionaires than tax cuts for the middle-class.

    “And if you won’t do that, at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every Member of Congress stands.

    So, that’s where the fight stands. The president is testing out the theory that he can get more done by demanding the Republicans back down and stop their intransigence. He’s seeing if he can rally the people and put enough pressure on the Republicans to force some action on jobs.

    What’s amazing and depressing is that the same people who have been asking him to do this on every issue under the Sun over the past two years are responding with a collective yawn.

    I know, people will make excuses. The bill isn’t all that great anyway. It’s too late. The whole system is rotten, so what’s the point? The one thing you can’t do is say that the bill has no chance so why get involved. You’ve premised your entire critique of the president on the fact that what he’s doing now can work and could have worked in the past. So, how do you stand on the sidelines now?

    I know that the protests on Wall Street are exciting and exhilarating and provide a visceral feeling of satisfaction. But they are coming at an inopportune time. The Republicans need to feel the full power of the left on this Jobs Bill. The presidency is probably riding on the outcome. If you ask for a fight and then leave the scene the moment the fight starts, what does that make you?

    • thorsaurus says:

      “If you ask for a fight and then leave the scene the moment the fight starts, what does that make you?”

      It makes you Chris Christie, I think. :) Hey Ametia, has the CBO scored the AJA like Boehner promised?

  24. Ametia says:

    PBO to speak on AJA at 3:55 pm EDT ;

  25. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Reaches The Denial Stage About Occupy Wall Street

    Today Fox News moved from anger and attacks against Occupy Wall Street to the denial stage by claiming that the movement won’t amount to anything.

    Here is the video from Media Matters

    FNC contributor and Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes said, “I think the only thing that these protesters have in common with the tea is that they’re protesting and it has vaguely something to do with money. Otherwise, they have nothing to do with the tea party. There’s no political movement there. There’s no thirst for any kind of a political movement there. They wouldn’t have the backing of the American public. If you look at just the Gallup surveys over the past few years on the numbers of people who identify themselves as conservatives, moderates, and liberals you have 40% self-identified conservatives, 36% self-identified moderates, and just 20% self-identified liberals, and this is a fraction of that smallest grouping, so these people have no base. There’s no political movement there. There’s no hope that there will be a political movement there. They’re just out there because they’re frustrated.

    Hayes wasn’t done. When asked if the crowds could grow, he said, “Yeah, well I mean there’s certainly enough frustration that you could it wouldn’t surprise me to see some of these crowds grow a little bit, and you’ve seen them sprouting up in other parts of the country in smaller more modest protests, but this is going to amount to any kind of serious movement. I think there’s virtually no chance of that. Hayes went on to claim that, “There are many socialists who are there. Their symbol on their website is the Fist of Solidarity which is also on the Socialist Workers of America website. These are people who want massive government involvement…”

    Hayes’ evidence that Occupy Wall Street won’t amount to anything is based on the flawed premise that is being advanced by the right wing media that these protests are a partisan movement. Hayes uses political self-identification numbers as a ploy to misdirect and mislead viewers away from the fact that the Occupy Wall Street is by design non-partisan.

    The right’s latest claim is that by joining the protests, the left is hijacking Occupy Wall Street, but a look at Occupy Wall’s About page debunks Hayes’ attempts to affiliate them with any group or organization, “ is the unofficial de facto online resource for the ongoing protests happening on Wall Street. We are an affinity group committed to doing technical support work for resistance movements. We are not affiliated with Adbusters, anonymous or any other organization.”

    Unlike what happened to the original tea party, Democrats and the DNC have not taken over the protests. Democrats are not organizing Occupy Wall Street. In contrast, to what really happened to the original Ron Paul inspired tea party protests which were taken over by the Republican Party and turned into a partisan Astroturf operation run by GOP operatives and conservative lobbyists. Occupy Wall Street isn’t being “hijacked” by anyone. There certainly are socialists at the protests, but there are Libertarians there as well. Occupy Wall Street has attracted people from the left and right, because injustice and greed know no political affiliation.

    The diverse beliefs of those in attendance could be a source of conflict if this social protest attempts to become a political movement, but the basic non-partisan message is strong enough to attract Americans of all ideologies, and this is what terrifies Fox News. FNC is spending a lot of time trying to spread misinformation about Occupy Wall Street to their viewers, because they are afraid that some of the tea partiers, who have watched their movement fizzle out, will be tempted to join the protests.

    Yesterday, the Fox News coverage centered on attacking and insulting the protesters, and today they are focused on denying their impact.

  26. rikyrah says:

    County clerk to comply with Colo. Sec. of State order barring soldiers from voting

    Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz will comply with Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s order not to send ballots to soldiers out of state who are legally registered Pueblo County voters but who failed to cast ballots in 2010. The news came Friday afternoon in a carefully worded release that came after hours of deliberation.

    “Pueblo County will honor Secretary Gessler’s order but this is not over,” Ortiz is quoted to say. “Pueblo County is currently weighing [its] legal options, including taking the issue to court. The Secretary of State effectively has denied 64 active military personnel the opportunity to vote.”

    Gessler unveiled a new interpretation of state election law last week, when he filed a lawsuit to stop Denver County from mailing ballots to “inactive” voters as it had done for the last five years. An inactive voter in Colorado is a voter who is legally registered but who has failed to cast a vote in the previous general election– in this case the election of 2010.

    Pueblo County, like Denver, has routinely mailed ballots to all registered voters. Ortiz was committed to do the same this year and pushed back against Gessler this week. He said counsel had advised that Gessler’s interpretation of election law would force Pueblo– and all the counties of Colorado by extension– to violate the federal Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act, which requires clerks to mail ballots to all eligible voters in the military.

    For that reason Ortiz sent a letter to Gessler asking him to submit in writing by Friday an order to Pueblo County not to send ballots out to soldiers. Gessler sent the order Thursday evening. Ortiz has been debating what course of action to take in the hours since.

    “The soldiers won’t technically be disenfranchised. They can fax or email for ballots,” Ortiz told the Colorado Independent. To his way of thinking, however, that’s not good enough. The point of mailing the ballots is to help the soldiers out.

    “You can just imagine, they have bigger things on their minds. When they have the ballot in their hand, they’ll vote,” he said.

    Research on voting and elections backs up Ortiz’s common sense take. A University of Colorado-Denver study (pdf) prepared this year for the Colorado Secretary of State by the Buechner Institute of Governance, reports that mailing ballots to all registered voters, active and inactive, would increase participation. Mailing only to active voters, on the other hand, could well suppress turnout because registered inactive voters, although predisposed to cast ballots, are busy and distracted or in and out of town. The mailed ballots remind them to participate, and they do.

    Surely soldiers are as busy and distracted as any of us, said Ortiz, and probably more so. He points to legislative efforts to ensure soldiers have access to ballots and a relatively easy time casting them.

    The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986 and the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (Move) of 2009 set up timelines and procedures to make sure service members can exercise their right to vote without undue burden. The acts removed notarization requirements, required registration applications and absentee ballots be available online and established a 45-day window for ballots to be mailed and returned, for example.

    Ortiz takes his cue as clerk from the priorities guiding such legislative efforts.

    “UOCAVA and MOVE make it easier for soldiers to vote,” said Ortiz. “But why not make it even easier? That’s how I see it.”

    In the release he said much the same thing but perhaps more artfully.

    “It’s only right that Pueblo residents who are serving our country in the military should have the chance to cast their ballot here at home. Military men and women should be given every opportunity to participate in the democracy they’re defending …they may be listed as ‘inactive’ voters in our system but, when they’re on active duty, how can we deny them a ballot?”

    Gessler made a career as a lawyer of defending Republican clients and causes in election and campaign finance cases. He has been a controversial secretary of state since winning office in the “GOP wave election” of 2010. He has said that, in directing majority Democratic Denver and Pueblo county not to mail ballots to inactive voters, he is seeking to guard against fraud and make the state’s election rules uniform. His detractors have said Gessler has displayed a pattern of endorsing radical solutions to problems that don’t really exist, that what he’s really up to is suppressing the vote in advance of the presidential election of 2012.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Host Admits Network Is Trying To Build Public Enthusiasm For Health Care Repeal
    By Igor Volsky on Oct 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Fox News host Bill Hemmer suggested that the conservative network was trying to build support for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in an interview this morning with Rep. Steve King (R-IA). During a segment about the public’s waning enthusiasm for eliminating the law, King expressed concern that Americans were “making accommodations” to the measure since lawmakers are no longer publicly calling for its repeal. Hemmer seemed to agree, telling King that he is appearing on the program to boost support for ending reform:

    KING: If we’re not in the news, if we’re not pushing to repeal Obamacare, it doesn’t drive the discussion in the public and the public just begins to move away from it, think okay, the Congress must think it’s impossible. That’s part of what’s going on here.

    HEMMER: To be frank and that’s part of the reason why you came on our program today. But I think here is the critical point that Republicans are concerned with. This number [for repeal] is down from only two weeks ago, when it was at 56 percent and a lot of people thought that as long as the system works its way into the blood stream of the American people, that it would be accepted over time. Do you fear that, do you see that happening? […] Just to be clear on this, back to the question. The longer it’s out there, the more accepting it becomes? That’s what you believe?

  28. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s Black Friend
    Paul Waldman’s view of Cain’s relationship to the GOP:

    A big part of his job is to show the world, just by his presence, that conservatives aren’t racists. But that means buying into the prevailing conservative narrative on race, which says that anti-black racism is a thing of the past, and the only racism that exists anymore is racism directed at white people. And the critical corollary is that there is no more vile kind of racism than white people being falsely accused of racism.

    And on the “Niggerhead” fooferaw, Cain just violated a core tenet of the Tea Party. Maybe he’s the next to fall from favor. But I’ll bet you he gets much more attention at the next debate.

  29. creolechild says:

    Lower court’s ruling stands: Downloading music is not a crime – By Reuters Monday, October 3, 2011

    The Supreme Court let stand on Monday a ruling that a traditional Internet download of sound recording does not constitute a public performance of the recorded musical work under federal copyright law. The justices refused to review a ruling by an appeals court in New York that the download itself of a musical work does not fall within the law’s definition of a public performance of that work.

    The not-for-profit American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) appealed to the Supreme Court. It said the ruling has profound implications for the nation’s music industry, costing its members tens of millions of dollars in potential royalties each year. ASCAP says more than 390,000 composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers in the United States exclusively license their music through the organization. It licenses nearly half of all of the musical works played online, according to the court record in the case.

    The federal government opposed the appeal. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said the appeals court’s ruling was correct and comported with common understanding and sound copyright policy.


  30. rikyrah says:

    Is Perry Over?
    Well, that was quick. But when a man of no governing experience save a pizza company bests a four-term governor of a major state, it’s not looking too good. The key to the turn-around is the Tea Party, where the turn against Perry (almost certainly after he accused them of not having a heart) is getting brutal:

    In early September, Perry had a 3-to-1 advantage over any other candidate among those “strongly” backing the tea party, but his supported has plummeted from 45 percent to 10 percent in this group … Among tea party supporters, Cain’s support has surged from 5 percent to 30 percent in a month. The businessman, who scored a surprise win at the Florida straw poll, now has the edge among solid tea partyers.

    So barring Christie and Palin, Cain is now Romney’s chief rival, which may partly explain the establishment suck-ups now circling back to the former Massachusetts governor. I have to say I find this rather encouraging. What we’ve seen of Perry’s skills in the last few weeks show the atrophied muscles of an easy-goin’ good ol’ boy who hasn’t seen any real competition in years. Romney, meanwhile, looks as if he has been in intensive training for months.

    There are some other intriguing aspects of the WaPo poll as well. Republicans place jobs over debt as their first priority by a whopping 51 – 13 percent. There’s been no real settling in support since July, with “strong” support for a candidate still only applying to 36 percent of voters (compared with 34 in July). Only 31 percent want Palin to run – but only a slightly larger 42 percent want Christie in the race (with a, er, hefty 34 percent opposed). And despite all this, enthusiasm and confidence among Republicans is high – and Obama’s collapse in support this summer during the debt-ceiling fiasco appears to be resilient, especially among Independents. Something evaporated in July. My worry is that this will only encourage the kind of economic terrorism the GOP foisted on the country last summer. In their attempt to destroy the president – even at the expense of wounding the economy – the GOP succeeded.

  31. creolechild says:

    Ummmm….Russell…I’m sure that your heart is in the right place but while you’re at it can you make sure that they’re all registered to vote. Just sayin’

    Russell Simmons: I will bring hundreds of thousands to ‘Occupy Wall Street.’ – Posted on 09.29.11 By Eric W. Dolan

    Hip hop magnate Russell Simmons said Thursday on MSNBC that he planned on joining the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” in lower Manhattan. Simmons, who has an estimated net-worth of $340 million, noted that all his employees paid more taxes than he did.

    “Last time I got involved in a protest I brought a hundred thousand people there, for the Rockefeller Drug Laws,” he said. “And if I get involved really heavily in this one, we find the agenda and have a common ground… we can bring hundreds of thousands of people… small seeds are planted, but it could grow into something very big.”

    Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:


  32. rikyrah says:

    from Adam Serwer at Mother Jones about Cain’s ‘ TOBY’ moment:

    Serwer puts the REPUBLICAN reaction to Cain in context:

    At RedState, Erick Erickson concluded, “It also seems to be a slander Herman Cain is picking up and running with as a way to get into second place.” Glenn Reynolds remarked that until now, Cain’s “big appeal is that he’s not just another black race-card-playing politician.” Over at the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis called Cain’s remarks “a cheap shot, and, perhaps a signal that Cain is willing to play the race card against a fellow Republican when it benefits him.”

    The key phrase here is “fellow Republican.” Because, you see, no one thought Cain was “playing the race card” when he said in the same program that black people are “brainwashed” into voting for Democrats and suggested that black people who vote Republican are “thinking for themselves.” Cain wasn’t rebuked by conservatives when he previously suggested President Barack Obama was not “a strong black man,” implied liberals were out to commit genocide against blacks through support for abortion rights, and said he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to his cabinet.

    None of that, in the eyes of the conservatives who cheered him for those remarks, constituted “playing the race card.” But when a man who is old enough to recall living under American apartheid gets a little emotional over a piece of land called “Niggerhead,” that’s where the right draws the line. Not just because Cain is attacking a fellow Republican, but because he stepped out of the proper role of a black conservative, which is to reassure Republicans that their political problems with race are the inventions of a liberal conspiracy. Cain just ran head first into the brick wall of conservative anti-anti-racism, the attitude on the right that accusations of racism directed at white people are of far greater consequence than any lingering vestiges of institutional racism nonwhites might face.

    Of course Cain, himself, made no mention of the word racism. But the mere whiff of any criticism which is rooted race, directed at a Republican, is enough to bring the dog out.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Is Bob Johnson a black Obama critic with clout?

    BET founder Bob Johnson, who was never been known for his political stances, gets especially outspoken when President Obama is the topic. During a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday, Johnson joined FedEx CEO Fred Smith in criticizing the president for asking the rich to pay their fair share.

    “I think the president has to recalibrate his message,” Johnson said. “You don’t get people to like you by attacking them or demeaning their success. I grew up in a family of 10 kids, first one to go to college, and I’ve earned my success. I’ve earned my right to fly private if I choose to do so. And by attacking me, is not going to convince me that I should take a bigger hit because I happen to be wealthy.”


    In the 1995 Black Enterprise article “Must Black firms stay in Black hands?” Johnson answered no. He and Ebony founder John H. Johnson bumped heads over this since the elder Johnson believed in 100 percent black ownership and, in his lifetime, vowed that ‘Our company is not for sale, and we can think of no circumstances under which we would sell it.’

    What’s even more disconcerting about Bob Johnson’s position regarding what he perceives as Obama’s attack on the wealthy is that he is being supported by the black conservative group Project 21. In a press release titled “Black Activists Support Former BET CEO’s Comments Against Obama Class Warfare,” Project 21 spokeswoman Shelby Emmett shared that “The president would be well-advised to listen to successful men such as Robert Johnson.”

    Who doesn’t agree with Johnson’s use of the Ethel Merman quote “I’ve tried poor and I’ve tried rich and I like rich better?” If he knows rich is better, shouldn’t he be working with President Obama to create more opportunity for others to be successful? How can Johnson consciously criticize the president for asking the more fortunate among us to pay the full price of the ticket?

    There used to be a concept in this country, especially among black people, that the rich had a responsibility to pay their way and that of a few others. We have never realized the fair and equitable society that we, as a nation, have set as our ultimate goal but when did we stop trying?

    Blame it on the lavish 1980s and decadent 1990s when “greed is good” became an acceptable way of life. Very few people begrudge the fruits of a person’s labor. It’s okay to be successful, rich even, but it’s not okay to throw it in a person’s face. And it’s especially not okay to want to pay less than one’s full share for the privilege.

    Bob Johnson hasn’t felt the pulse of black America in a long time and his latest comments illustrate this. President Obama is not above criticism but those of us who work hard to make a living but are not wealthy should all be above Johnson’s condescension.

  34. creolechild says:

    Guess nothing’s “off limits” because a black man now sits in the Oval Office. The world’s watching you America!~

    CO Radio Host And Former House Candidate Compares Michelle Obama To Chewbacca – Jillian Rayfield | October 4, 2011, 12:36PM

    A conservative radio host in Colorado told a story on air about how someone made a comment about Chewbacca, and everyone in the room knew the reference was to Michelle Obama. “Everyone drew the conclusion. And I’ve tested it — I’ve done group testing and I’ve said if I say Chewbacca what do you think?” Jimmy Lakey of 740 KVOR in Colorado Springs recently related a story where he was at a “cigar establishment,” and “someone used the phrase Chewbacca and everyone knew, or assumed who this person was talking about.” Chewbacca, of course, is the famous Wookiee from the “Star Wars” franchise.

    Immediately before this story, Lakey had been talking about Michelle Obama, and how his wife had made a comment about her clothing and compared her to a “halfback.” He said of the Chewbacca comment: “I have never used it on my own. I think this is crass and a little bit much.”

    Amid guffaws, Lakey added: “Chewbacca! I didn’t say it! No! I will not take the heat on this. I did not call her Chewbacca. No. I get in trouble. My wife, when I told her this, she yelled at me. I thought it was kind of funny.”


  35. creolechild says:

    So, the President is out doing the heavy lifting and the Democratic Party is supporting him by hitting the airwaves and pushing for this bill to come up for a vote. Oh, wait…no they’re not! Never mind…(sigh).

    Dems Seek Unity On Obama Jobs Bill…By Changing It – Brian Beutler | October 4, 2011, 12:54PM

    The story Republicans in the House and Senate tell right now is that President Obama is traveling the country demanding Congress vote on his jobs bill when part of the problem is here in Washington, D.C. with his own party. It’s dead on arrival as far as Republican leadership is concerned, but it also lacks unanimous support among Democrats. And since the Senate is the one body Democrats control, that’s creating a bit of dissonance. Obama says vote on the bill, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn’t have the votes, and, if he put it on the floor today, he’d probably lose a handful or more Democrats.

    That would invite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to reprise his oft-repeated line that the only thing bipartisan about President Obama’s jobs bill is the opposition to it. And that’s something Reid wants to avoid. So while Republicans taunt Reid and his party for not doing as Obama says and passing the jobs bill “right now,” Democrats are looking at ways to tweak the legislation so that it can get unanimous support from his party, and Democrats can make a case to the public that they’re united behind a jobs plan Republicans are refusing to support.

    “I’m happy to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve this bill,” Reid said on the floor Monday. “But I hope the obstructionism Republicans employed the last nine months won’t continue.” Getting all 53 Dems on board will be a heavy lift, and a big gamble, but crucial for both the prospects for new jobs legislation and the Democratic party’s message going into 2012. Most crucially, it will require changing the specific ways Obama has proposed paying for his bill — the so-called “pay-fors.”


  36. rikyrah says:

    October 04, 2011 1:30 PM

    Bernanke sees weak recovery ‘close to faltering’
    By Steve Benen

    If the political world paid as much attention today to Ben Bernanke’s comments as Chris Christie’s comments, the public discourse would be slightly less discouraging.

    The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, offered a grim assessment of the nation’s economic health Tuesday, telling a Congressional committee that “the recovery is close to faltering.”

    Mr. Bernanke said that the Federal Reserve has acted forcefully to support growth and that it stood ready to do more. But he emphasized that the rest of the government also needs to act on problems including the federal debt, unemployment, housing, trade, taxation and regulation.

    “Monetary policy can be a powerful tool, but it is not a panacea for the problems currently faced by the U.S. economy,” Mr. Bernanke said. “Fostering healthy growth and job creation is a shared responsibility of all economic policy makers.”

    Psst, members of Congress, I think he’s talking to you.

    We continue to look at a painful policymaking dynamic. The Fed has acted, but doesn’t want to do more. President Obama is desperate to act, but has severely limited options without Congress. And Congress is currently split between those who can’t act and those who refuse to even consider acting.

    In the meantime, the economic recovery, which is already weak, is “close to faltering.” It may very well lead to a rare event: an economic recession that everyone saw coming, was entirely preventable, but happened anyway due largely to Republican ignorance and neglect. This, of course, will lead voters to reward Republicans, since there’s a Democratic president.

    As for Bernanke, the Fed chair has spent the last several months pleading with GOP lawmakers not to cut spending in ways that that would hurt economic growth (Republicans have ignored his advice, just as they ignored him on the debt-ceiling fiasco). This morning, he repeated that plea and went slightly further, not only denouncing job-killing spending cuts, but recommending additional government intervention to prevent a downturn. “We need to make sure that the recovery continues and doesn’t drop back,” he told the Joint Economic Committee.

    Bernanke didn’t explicitly endorse additional stimulus, but he didn’t leave many doubts either, pressing lawmakers for federal spending policies that “support growth.”

    Congressional Republicans, for whatever reason, don’t seem to care, haven’t even considered any jobs bills this year, and have already vowed to kill a credible and bipartisan White House plan. Perhaps it’s because improving the economy isn’t in their “interests”?

  37. rikyrah says:

    October 04, 2011 10:45 AM

    Cantor’s ironic cries about ‘dysfunction’

    By Steve Benen

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) effectively declared that the American Jobs Act has no chance of passing the House, confirming what has long been assumed. He did, however, express some tepid GOP support for economic measures that would have almost no impact whatsoever, which he sees as preferable to a pointless White House effort to convince congressional Republicans to be responsible.

    “I think at this point Washington has become so dysfunctional that we’ve got to start focusing on the incremental progress we can make,” Cantor said.

    Oh, I see. Cantor is troubled by political dysfunction. Jonathan Cohn’s reaction was very much in line with my own.

    Washington has become so dysfunctional. Yes it has. And why is it that, Mr. Majority Leader? Could it have something to do with the party that uses the filibuster as a matter of routine, imposing a super-majority requirement on all legislation and blocking even uncontroversial presidential nominees from coming to a vote? Could it have something to do with party that decided to play chicken with the country’s credit limit, a virtually unprecedented move that caused real harm to the economy? Could it have something to do with the party that turned down ridiculously lopsided compromises — lopsided in its favor — because it holds an absolutist position on taxes that would decimate the welfare state?

    No, Democrats aren’t blameless, either for the culture of Washington or the failure to pass meaningful legislation. Even now, conservative Democrats are resisting some parts of the jobs bill, particularly in the Senate. But for Cantor, of all people, to bemoan the dysfunction of Washington gives chutzpah a bad name.

    Making matters slightly worse, Jason Zengerle has a new profile of the oft-confused Republican, and Cantor told him the message he’s shared with his caucus: “[W]e are in essence a blocking minority in Washington,” he told me. “We control half of one-third of government, and so we can for sure block bad things from happening legislatively. But it’s hard when you are in the majority in just the House to try and proffer and accomplish the kinds of things you want if the other side is not going to go along with it. And it’s hard to even start to compromise or find some points of agreement when you’re in this kind of supercharged political environment.”

    Yes, who created this supercharged political environment and took compromises off the table?

    Even putting that aside, at a certain level, we’d be lucky if the House majority merely saw itself as a blocking minority. But that’s really not quite right. Instead, they prefer the role of hostage takers, normalizing extortion politics to force policies they otherwise couldn’t get.

    It’s against this backdrop that Cantor decries how “dysfunctional” Washington is. Please.

  38. rikyrah says:

    October 04, 2011 12:30 PM

    Christie bows out (again)
    By Steve Benen

    The headlines telling news consumers that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has decided not to run for president in 2012 are, at a certain level, misleading. He already announced that decision months ago. Christie has repeatedly said, to everyone who’s asked, that he won’t run. Last week, the governor referred reporters to a Politico video of him saying “no,” over and over again, which the media interpreted as a sign of possible interest in the race.

    Regrettably, whispers, rumors, and breathless-but-unsourced reports refused to go away. And so, in about a half-hour, Christie will once again say what he’s been saying all along.

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has decided not to seek the presidency, according to two associates.

    Mr. Christie is scheduled to announce his decision at a news conference in the state capital at 1 p.m. But one adviser to the governor and another person who spoke to him directly said Tuesday morning that the governor would not pursue the Republican nomination.

    The governor and his wife have reportedly called backers this morning to inform them of the governor’s final decision (as if it wasn’t quite final enough when Christie said, “Short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running”).

    The list of possible GOP presidential candidates who were considered contenders, but who ended up ruling out campaigns, is pretty long: Daniels, Huckabee, Barbour, Thune, Trump, Perry, Pence, Jindal, Corker, Jeb Bush, and now Christie — and a certain former half-term governor of Alaska hasn’t yet made any announcements. For all the stated confidence from Republicans about President Obama’s vulnerabilities, the fact that so many prominent GOP figures have decided to skip the 2012 race is pretty interesting.

    As for Christie, I’ve never fully understood what all the fuss was about. Even if we put aside the governor’s repeated denials about the race, his relative moderation would have made it all but impossible for the Republican base to even consider him for the nomination.

    In terms of the impact of his announcement, Christie’s base of support appeared to be political reporters — he wasn’t especially well loved or even known by GOP voters nationwide, so it’s a little silly to ask where his backers will go now that he’s officially out of the race (again). That said, Christie would have been less right-wing than nearly all of the current field, so his absence will once again leave us with a Romney vs. Perry race, with Romney unconcerned about protecting his more moderate flank.

    To me, the real story here is the fact that there was a Christie boomlet in the first place. That so many in the Republican Party are so desperate for another “savior” candidate to jump in the race at the 11th hour, is a reminder that GOP insiders still aren’t satisfied with this field. Yes, given the larger economic conditions, one of these candidates may end up winning next year, but it’s still a pretty awful group of candidates that leaves many Republicans underwhelmed, uninspired, and apparently a little panicky.

    I’m not unsympathetic. If I were a major GOP insider asked to choose between the unlikable flip-flopper, the dimwitted governor, the wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, the disgraced former Speaker, the guy who ran a pizza company, the radical libertarian, and the former Obama administration official, I too might be asking myself, “Who else can we reach out to?”

    Regardless, Christie won’t ride in on a white horse to make the party establishment and political reporters happy. Time will probably be better spent now wondering who Romney will pick as his running mate.

  39. creolechild says:

    Mitt Romney’s ‘Buffett Rule’ Problem: His Tax Rate Is 14 Percent – By Pat Garofalo

    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.


  40. creolechild says:

    Sen. Durbin tells BofA customers to drop their accounts, ‘get the heck out’ – By Andrew Jones
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    In reaction to Bank of America’s plans to soon charge customers $5 a month for using their debt cards, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) thinks it’s time for people to leave the banking giant. “Bank of America customers, vote with your feet,” Durbin said on Monday on the Senate floor. “Get the heck out of that bank. Find yourself a bank or credit union that won’t gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day.”

    Bank of America isn’t the only major bank proposing to charge customers with a new fee. Citigroup is sending letters indicating that they will start charging customers’ checking accounts unless they maintain significantly high balances.

    Watch: Video from C-Span, which aired on October 3, 2011.

  41. creolechild says:

    Fox News Host Admits Network Is Trying To Build Public Enthusiasm For Health Care Repeal – By Igor Volsky on Oct 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Fox News host Bill Hemmer suggested that the conservative network was trying to build support for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in an interview this morning with Rep. Steve King (R-IA). During a segment about the public’s waning enthusiasm for eliminating the law, King expressed concern that Americans were “making accommodations” to the measure since lawmakers are no longer publicly calling for its repeal. Hemmer seemed to agree, telling King that he is appearing on the program to boost support for ending reform:

    KING: If we’re not in the news, if we’re not pushing to repeal Obamacare, it doesn’t drive the discussion in the public and the public just begins to move away from it, think okay, the Congress must think it’s impossible. That’s part of what’s going on here.

    HEMMER: To be frank and that’s part of the reason why you came on our program today. But I think here is the critical point that Republicans are concerned with. This number [for repeal] is down from only two weeks ago, when it was at 56 percent and a lot of people thought that as long as the system works its way into the blood stream of the American people, that it would be accepted over time. Do you fear that, do you see that happening? […] Just to be clear on this, back to the question. The longer it’s out there, the more accepting it becomes? That’s what you believe?


  42. creolechild says:

    Boehner deals blow to ‘dangerous’ China bill – By Agence France-Presse Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Republican US House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday warned against passing “dangerous” legislation to punish China for its alleged currency manipulation, dealing a damaging blow to the bill’s prospects. “It’s pretty dangerous to be moving legislation through the United States Congress forcing someone to deal with the value of their currency,” Boehner told reporters a day after the measure cleared a procedural hurdle in the US Senate.

    “This is well beyond what Congress ought to be doing, and while I’ve got concerns about how the Chinese have dealt with their currency, I’m not sure this is the way to fix it,” said the speaker. His comments came as the US Senate pressed ahead with the legislation, which envisions imposing retaliatory tariffs on Chinese imports if Beijing’s currency is found to be unfairly “misaligned,” and was expected to pass it this week.

    “We can’t ignore blatant, unfair trade practices that put American workers at a disadvantage,” said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.


  43. creolechild says:

    Enough of the Hurt Feelings, Pay Attention to Voter Suppression – The Loop 21 / By Zerlina Maxwell

    Forget about whether President Obama deserves a second term. Forget about the pony that was promised to you during the campaign of “Hope” and “Change.” Your support of or disappointment in the Obama administration’s progress over the past three years doesn’t matter.

    That’s because the GOP by way of Republican lead state legislatures have put in place new voting laws that will make it much more difficult for traditionally Democratic voters to cast their ballots next year. The GOP’s all out assault on voting will affect nearly 5 million people and almost all of them are Democratic voters.

    According to a new report released by the Brennan Center for Justice, the impact of new voting restrictions on 2012 could be significant. The groups that will be affected by these new voting restrictions are minority and poor voters.


  44. creolechild says:

    Voter ID Under Fire At Progressive Conference; Obama Calls Restrictions A ‘Big Mistake’ – Ryan J. Reilly | October 4, 2011, 10:45AM

    A few dozen progressives sat in a room in the Washington Hilton on Monday during the Take Back the American Dream Conference discussing how restrictive voter ID laws would affect the 2012 election.
    “The groups of voters that are going to be most impacted, what do you all think?” asked moderator Megan Donovan. “Who does this affect primarily?” “College students!” someone said. “Minority groups!” said another. “Elderly voters!” chimed in one person. “Disabled voters!” said one woman. “Democrats!” came a voice from the back of the room. The audience burst into laughter.

    Progressive groups are taking the threat posed by new voting laws passed by mostly Republican legislatures across the country this year pretty seriously, and with good cause. A study put out this week by the Brennan Center claimed that up to five million voters could be kept from the polls due to the laws. Plenty of people blame the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for pushing the laws around the country. One attendee said the laws had “ALEC DNA” and the panel said there was little doubt that conservative groups were behind the legislative push. “I’m sure that they’re meeting right now and trying to figure out what can we do to further disenfranchise people,” Deven Anderson of Black Youth Vote! said.


    Such concerns were recently expressed by President Barack Obama in an interview with a radio host last week. “I will say that my big priority is making sure that as many people are participating in our democracy as possible,” Obama said. “Some of these moves in some of the other states that we’ve seen try to make it tougher to vote, restricting ballot access, making it hard on seniors, making it hard on young people. “I think that’s a big mistake, and I have made sure that our Justice Department is taking a look at what’s being done across the country to ensure that people aren’t being denied access to the franchise,” Obama said.

  45. creolechild says:

    Rove group buys ads to haunt Obama’s jobs tour – By Kase Wickman Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Crossroads America, the conservative super PAC run by former Bush strategist Karl Rove, has decided upon a new media strategy: following President Obama wherever he goes. As the president travels the country in support of his jobs plan, the group will release ads bracketing his appearances in local media markets. Obama is in St. Louis for two fundraisers, and Crossroads spent $50,000 on a three-day targeted ad buy, which will run until tomorrow. The ad spot, called “Don’t”, is running on TV there, according to Politico.

    The same ad spot has also been placed in the pre-roll ads for web videos such as Obama’s interview with George Stephanopoulos Monday on “Good Morning America.” Crossroads GPS, another branch of the group, bought $20 million in anti-Obama advertising in early summer. Large ad buys from outside groups in support of or in direct opposition to particular candidates are becoming more common as a combination of the windup to election day and the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Citizen’s United allows outside groups — without coordination with a candidate — to accept and spend unlimited amounts of money.


    • creolechild says:

      Thank you Asimo727, BPI Campus, and Winning Progressive!~

      Take Action to Support American Jobs – By Asimo727

      American workers need your support. Congress and the states are considering several bills and other initiatives that would help our economy and our workers. Here are just a few:

      1. “Buy American” Bill: This would require government agencies to purchase goods and services from American companies.

      2. American Jobs Act: Decreases taxes on working poor. Creates work through the improvement and upgrading of public infrastructure, and by allocating funds to hire or save local jobs for teachers, firefighters, and police. Fully funded by closing corporate loopholes.

      3. Regional purchasing preference ordinances: Local governments and municipalities would have to give preference to small businesses regionally before they go out of area to pay for goods and services or public work projects. Keeps tax money local and supports your local economy/small businesses. If your local government is considering such a move, support it. If not, suggest it.

      4. Fair Trade agreements: Level the playing field for American workers and stop the race to the bottom. End NAFTA/CAFTA.

      5. Employee Free Choice Act, Second Bill of Rights: Improve workers’ ability to organize and collectively bargain, Increase penalties to corporations who suppress or deny workers rights. Implement a corporate death penalty for corporations whose actions kill workers and for corporations who bankrupt and or steal from citizens.

      6. Close corporate tax loopholes: This can happen at both the state and federal levels.

      7. Buy American whenever possible and from a union shop when available.

      8. Civilian Conservation Corps: Creates jobs to rebuild our aging infrastructure.

      Please call or write to your federal, state, and local leaders to support these bills.

      (Crossposted from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute (

  46. creolechild says:

    Obama Challenges Cantor: Explain Exactly Why Republicans Won’t Vote on Jobs Bill – By Jed Lewison
    Posted at October 4, 2011, 10:13 am

    Later today in Dallas, President Obama will challenge Republicans to take action on his jobs bill, singling out Eric Cantor for saying yesterday that House Republicans wouldn’t even hold a vote on the proposal. According to this speech excerpt, sent out by the White House, Obama will call on Cantor to explain what in the jobs bill Republicans oppose:

    Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now, he won’t even let the jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. He won’t even give it a vote.

    Well I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what in this jobs bill he doesn’t believe in. Does he not believe in rebuilding America’s roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help veterans?

    Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas, look Kim Russell in the eye, and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to get a paycheck again. Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.

    Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting home instead of fixing our bridges and our schools.

    Come tell the small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for millionaires than tax cuts for the middle-class.


  47. rikyrah says:

    White House Gets Its First Female Chief Usher
    There’s a new person in charge of making sure the fridge at the White House is stocked with the Obamas’ favorite food.

    Angella Reid, the general manager of the Ritz Carlton in Arlington, Va., is taking over as chief usher of the White House and director of the president’s executive residence, becoming the first woman to hold the position. She starts in November, the White House announced on Tuesday.

    The former chief usher, Rear Adm. Stephen Rochon, left the position earlier this year for a job with the Department of Homeland Security.

    Reid, who will be the ninth person to be chief usher, will be charged with managing the residence, overseeing an annual inventory of White House property, and working with other offices to put on events like state dinners. Some have spent decades in the role; the first chief usher started in 1901, according to the White House.

    In an interview with C-Span, former Chief Usher Gary Walters, who served from 1986 to 2007, describes the chaos of moving out one first family while moving in the incoming one on Inauguration Day. He said his staff had four to six hours to complete the turnaround, and said that the idea of overseeing another Inauguration Day was “probably the thing that caused me to retire more than anything else.”

    “The next day the president’s the president of the United States and he’s got enough on his mind, and there’s enough demands for the first lady, so it’s our objective to, in a short period of time, convert the house over and make the house a home, which is not always easy,” Walters said.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Do too many low-income blacks fail to cultivate love of reading in kids?
    BY MARY MITCHELL September 30, 2011 6:34PM

    I can still remember the day Dick and Jane became more than pictures of two white kids chasing a dog.

    I was holding the book in my hand and the pictures suddenly became words. I was so stunned, I ran all the way home to tell my mother about what seemed to me at the time to be a miracle.

    My mother could not read, which was understandable because she was raised on a plantation in the South where a black person reading wasn’t as valuable as a black person picking cotton.

    Still, she was happy for me. From then on, it was my routine to beat it home from school and read aloud to my mother.

    Then my own children learned to read. One even became an avid reader.

    But, apparently, 42 million adult Americans can’t read, according to the National Adult Literacy Survey. In Chicago, 53 percent of adults have limited literacy skills, according to Literacy Chicago.

    Doomed to low-skill labor

    While some of these Chicagoans are immigrants, some are people who — despite being born in one of the most powerful countries in the world — never learned how to decode letters well enough to save themselves from a lifetime of low-skill labor.

    Since I was a child, sociologists, educators, and politicians have debated why so many kids — particularly urban black kids — have trouble reading.

    Last week, a new report by the University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research concluded that reading scores for grade school students “barely budged” in 20 years, and African-American students are falling the most behind other groups in reading.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so I am not going to blame this deplorable situation on the white man, bad teachers, poverty or — as has become popular these days — the shorter school day.

    But, honestly, could it simply be that too many low-income black parents failed to cultivate the love of reading in their children?

    Job application difficult

    Just about everyone reading this column will be annoyed by the very question. But I’m not talking about you.

    This question is meant for the thousands of young mothers and fathers who dropped out of school or maybe even graduated from high school, but can barely comprehend enough of the written word to fill out a job application.

    These are the young men and women who are filling up state and federal prisons, primarily because they do not have the life skills nor the education needed to make better choices.

    If you know someone like that, pass this column on by any means necessary because children born into this situation struggle the most with reading.

    Most middle- and working-class people are going to do whatever it takes, including pay for private tutors, to make sure their children learn to read.

    In fact, a lot of expectant mothers read to their children in the womb, and read bedtime stories religiously even before the child can babble a first word.

    When I look at the lack of progress African Americans have made on this front, it is clear that impoverished parents aren’t making anywhere near that kind of effort.

    Far too often, little Na-Na is able to say “booty” before she can say her A-B-C’s.

    And a lot of African-American kids are having a difficult time reading because no one is engaging them in conversations at home.

    Barbara Radner, director of DePaul University’s Center for Urban Education, among other things, blamed “too much teaching to mandatory tests” for the disappointing study which suggests that reading gains were exaggerated during the Daley years.

    It is not enough to bark instructions.

    Parents, grandparents, guardians, foster parents — whoever is in the home — have to talk with children and listen to what children have to say.

    That’s how children learn the nuances of language. Acquiring such a skill could help a child improve his or her reading score.

    After all, if African-American children still can’t read after school districts have spent millions on reading specialists and programs, it is time to put the focus elsewhere.

    It is time to put the focus on our homes.

    Obviously, you can’t force a parent to read to a child, but we can stop overlooking the root cause of this problem.

    My mother has since taught herself to read and she brags about it to this day.

  49. Ametia says:

    News Alert: Chris Christie will not seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012
    October 4, 2011 10:53:23 AM

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, according to a source familiar with the governor’s thinking.

    Christie will announce his plans at a press conference at 1:00 p.m. ET today.

    For more information, visit

  50. rikyrah says:

    Has Corporate America Achieved Total Judicial Victory Over American Consumers?
    By Ian Millhiser on Oct 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    One of the most surprising developments during this new Supreme Court term is the relative absence of blockbuster cases that could provide corporate America with broad new immunities from laws protecting consumers and other ordinary Americans. To be sure, corporate immunity is far from absent from the Court’s docket — sub-prime credit card companies could gain the ability to force their consumers into corporate-run arbitration, for example — but there is nothing like the mortal blow that the Court dealt to consumers class action lawsuits last term.

    At a conference last August, Justice Anthony Kennedy offered this explanation for why this could be:

    “The docket seems to be changing,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told reporters at a judicial conference in August.

    “A lot of big civil cases are going to arbitration,” he said. “I don’t see as many of the big civil cases.”

    Of course, Justice Kennedy deserves much of the blame for the fact that so many big cases are going to privatized arbitration rather than real courts. Kennedy wrote the Supreme Court’s decision in Circuit City v. Adams, which held that corporations can force victims of workplace discrimination into corporate-run arbitration. He cast the key fifth vote in Rent-a-Center v. Jackson, which stripped individuals of their ability to challenge in court many of the most abusive contracts that force people into privatized arbitration. And he also cast the key vote holding that federal arbitration law allows corporations to strip ordinary Americans of their ability to join together and fight widespread corporate abuses through a class action lawsuit.

    Indeed, Justice Kennedy and his four conservative colleagues’ efforts to kick ordinary Americans out of court have been so widespread and so successful that corporate America appears to be running out of new favors it can ask from the nation’s most powerful Court.

  51. rikyrah says:

    The Affordable Care Act Case Is Probably Only The Second Most Important Health Care Case This SCOTUS Term
    By Ian Millhiser on Oct 3, 2011 at 9:50 am

    The Supreme Court is very unlikely to strike down the Affordable Care Act. Several of the most conservative justices have joined or authored opinions that are wholly inconsistent with meritless arguments against health reform. And, while the Roberts Court shows no lack of enthusiasm for cutting back people’s rights, they typically do not do so through sweeping, headline-earning constitutional decisions.

    Instead, the Supreme Court’s conservatives typically push their agenda through the kind of hypertechnical procedural cases that rarely receive much attention, but which can leave millions of Americans defenseless against powerful corporations or overreaching states. The single most important case last Supreme Court term, for example, wasn’t the high-profile funeral protest or violent video games cases. It wasn’t even the decision immunizing Walmart from a massive class action. No, it was a lawsuit alleging that a cell phone company cheated its customers out of a mere $30. The Supreme Court took that $30 trick, and used it to effectively eliminate all class action lawsuits brought by workers or consumers against wealthy and well-lawyered corporations. Moreover, this decision built upon a long line of decisions enabling corporations to force ordinary Americans into privatized corporate-owned arbitration system that overwhelmingly favors corporate parties.

    There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, such as the egregious Citizens United case, but the Roberts Court typically operates by creating opaque procedural barriers that shield the wealthy and the well-connected from lawsuits — they are much less prone to make substantive changes to constitutional law.

    Which is why Court watchers wondering if the justices will cut back on Americans’ access to health care should pay less attention to the Affordable Care Act case and much more attention to a low-profile argument that will be held today. The specific legal issue at stake in Douglas v. Independent Living Center would even confuse most lawyers, but the short of it is this:

    The federal government frequently enters into partnerships with the states where the feds where the state agrees to set up a program to help its citizens and the feds agree to put up much of the money necessary to keep this program running. Medicaid, the low-income health care program, is the largest and most well-known example of this kind of federal/state partnership. When a state agrees to participate in Medicaid, they must also agree to comply with the network of federal laws governing the Medicaid program, including a requirement that the state’s Medicaid program pays health providers enough to “ensure that enough providers will participate in the Medicaid program so that patients will have meaningful health care access.” Like any law, however, this requirement means nothing if it can’t actually be enforced.

    About a decade ago, the Supreme Court started making it harder for private parties to hold states accountable in court if the state doesn’t comply with Medicaid and other federal laws. Douglas will likely complete this process, effectively making it impossible for individuals to sue states that fail to provide adequate access to health care.

    If this happens, the short term effect will be that only the Obama Administration will have the power to enforce key provisions of the Medicaid law — and patients and health providers will just have to trust that Obama’s team does an adequate job of enforcing the law. That may not seem so bad, but what happens if the Obama Administration gets replaced with the Perry Administration or the Palin Administration or the Ryan Administration or some other administration that is actively hostile to enforcing the Medicaid laws? If a future Administration shows no interest in enforcing the Medicaid statute, then entire provisions of law could effectively cease to exist until a more progressive president is elected.

    This is why Douglas will probably be the most important health care case argued this term. It is exactly the kind of case that the Roberts Court tends to use to keep individuals out of court, it could lead to millions of Americans losing access to Medicaid at some point in the future, and it will do so in such a complex and hypertechnical way that few people will notice when it happens.

  52. rikyrah says:

    ….Perry once defended Confederate symbols

    Eleven years ago, when the NAACP stepped up a campaign to remove the Confederate battle flag from statehouses and other government buildings across the South, it found an opponent in Rick Perry.

    Texas had a pair of bronze plaques with symbols of the Confederacy displayed in its state Supreme Court building. Perry, then lieutenant governor, said they should stay put, arguing that Texans “should never forget our history.”

    It’s a position Perry has taken consistently when the legacy of the Civil War has been raised, as have officials in many of the other former Confederate states. But while defense of Confederate symbols and Southern institutions can still be good politics below the Mason-Dixon line, the subject can appear in a different light when officials seek national office.

    For Perry, now Texas governor for 11 years and in the top tier of Republican presidential candidates, a racial issue is already dogging him.

    He took criticism over the weekend for a rock outside the Texas hunting camp his family once leased that had the name Niggerhead painted on it. Perry’s campaign says the governor’s father painted over the rock to cover the name soon after he began leasing the site in the early 1980s and says the Perry family never controlled, owned or managed the property. But rival Herman Cain, the only black Republican in the race, says the rock symbolizes Perry’s insensitivity to race.

    A related issue may rise this fall when Texas decides whether to allow specialty license plates featuring the Confederate flag. The plates have been requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a nonprofit organization Perry has supported over the years. A state board he appointed will decide.

    The NAACP says its initiative against “glorification” of slave-state symbols remains ongoing. “The romanticism around the Old South,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau. “It’s a view of history that ignores how racism became a tool to maintain a system of supremacy and dominance.”

  53. rikyrah says:

    Obama bets on 50-state strategy to eke out ’12 win
    While Republican presidential candidates target early-voting states, President Barack Obama’s team is laying the groundwork for a 50-state campaign strategy it hopes will secure another White House win in 2012.

    From the traditional “swing” states of Florida and Ohio to a typically Republican-leaning state like Arizona, Democrat Obama’s political supporters are opening offices, engaging voters and rallying volunteers to create a nationwide network, even in areas unfriendly to their candidate’s cause.

    The strategy is similar to Obama’s successful 2008 campaign, but it is still unorthodox.

    To win the White House, traditional presidential campaigns focus their attention on a handful of states that typically swing between Republican and Democratic candidates, working to earn at least 270 of the states’ 538 “electoral votes” that determine the ultimate winner.

    “People in Washington like to second guess us on this and say, ‘you ought to go back to (focusing on) the 15 or 20 states and why do you have a Idaho state director and why do you have a Utah state director?’” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, referring to Republican western strongholds.

    “The fact is, we have supporters there who want to get involved in the campaign, and they ought to be able to get involved,” he said in an interview in his Chicago office.

    The campaign needs nationwide involvement.

    As high unemployment hurts Obama’s chances in Ohio and other states that helped propel him to victory in 2008, having avenues of support in non-traditional Democratic patches could be the only way to victory.

    “His campaign has to do something to fundamentally change the electoral landscape, and broadening the map is probably the only option out of a bunch of bad ones,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist and former adviser to one-time presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty.

    Fundraising helps. The Obama campaign has outraised all the president’s potential Republican opponents and is expected to top its 2008 total of $750,000 in campaign cash, giving it flexibility to spend even in states that are a reach.

    And though he may defend areas that should be in his corner, establishing operations all over the country will force Republicans to spend money in states they should own, too.

    “It’s almost certain that Obama and the Democrats will outspend the Republican candidate. We’ll have enough to be competitive in the swing states,” Conant said.


    Obama leads potential rivals Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, in most polls, but the margins are tight and the election is still more than a year away. A lot can change.

    Which means another part of Obama’s campaign strategy now is to build momentum.

    Advisers know that supporters are disappointed and enthusiasm is low compared to what they saw in 2008, when Obama was still an Illinois senator promising hope and change.

    But addressing that — and other challenges — is happening on a state by state basis.

    “We won’t have one cookie cutter approach to every single state because what the voters are feeling in Florida is very different than what they’re feeling in Colorado,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, a deputy campaign manager on Messina’s team.

    “We’re very conscious of making sure we understand what’s happening in each state and the thing we know more than anything else is that we won’t have one national program.”

    Conant, the Republican strategist, said Obama would have to spend money in states that “haven’t gone Republican in decades” such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, where Pawlenty used to be governor.

    “If they’re boasting a 50-state strategy that involves spending money to hold traditionally Democratic states, that’s a very bad omen for Obama’s re-election chances,” he said.

    The Obama campaign is optimistic. Messina mentioned Georgia and Arizona, two states that sided with Republican presidential candidate John McCain in 2008, as ones the campaign would work to flip in 2012.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Obama To Cantor: Dismantle My Jobs Bill At Your Own Risk

    The White House Monday continued its war of words with House Republicans over their unwillingness to move his entire jobs package, confidently vowing to let voters decide how to react to Republicans’ refusal to pass provisions such as infrastructure spending and retaining teachers.

    “Congress can take it up, vote on it…then if there’s a desire to take things out, we would accept that although we would not be satisfied by that… [President Obama] would say, ‘Where’s the rest of it? What about teachers and construction workers…or incentives to hire veterans?” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters during a briefing Monday.

    One reporter asked whether Obama is pushing passage as a way to help Democrats gain the political upper hand over some vulnerable Republicans on specific popular issues, such as spending on infrastructure projects.

    “To avoid anything like that, they could simply pass all of this,” Carney responded.

    Earlier Monday, Cantor flat-out rejected Obama’s continual call to pass the entire jobs package, the latest coming before a morning cabinet meeting when he said he’ll demand up or down votes on the package.

    “I’ll be talking to Senator Reid, McConnell, as well as Speaker Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, and insisting that we have a vote on this bill,” he said. “We’ve been hearing from Republicans that there are some proposals that they’re interested in…. [I]f there are aspects of the bill that they don’t like, they should tell us what it is that they’re not willing to go for; they should tell us what it is that they’re prepared to see move forward.”

    Cantor listed a very small number of measures Republicans and Democrats agree on — some part of Obama’s jobs bill, some separate. But he says there’s no point in fighting any longer over getting something big done.

    “I think at this point Washington has become so dysfunctional that we’ve got to start focusing on the incremental progress we can make,” he said. “Both sides have their desires to do the big bold things. The problem is they’re just vastly different…. We should certainly focus on trying to put some wins on the board.”

  55. rikyrah says:

    Obama Campaign Previews Populist Campaign In Strategy Memo

    President Obama is tacking to the populist left heading into 2012 and his campaign is betting that independents and swing voters are ready to follow him. In a new strategy memo by press secretary Ben LaBolt, Obama’s re-election team ripped into the GOP field as too conservative to win over the middle on issues ranging from taxes to immigration.

    “From economics to immigration, Governor Perry, Governor Romney and the Republican field have embraced policies that the American people oppose,” LaBolt wrote. “The campaign to win the Republican nomination has become a campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Tea Party.”

    The memo cites polling showing Americans in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy and against overhauling Social Security, noting that the Republican field is universally on the side of the rich and Rick Perry in particular is extremely vulnerable on entitlements.

    “They would return to policies that have been tried before and done nothing to improve economic security for the middle class, rewarding special interests who can afford to pay for lobbyists instead of looking out for working families,” Labolt wrote.

    A few things leap out about the language in the memo. One is that Democrats are really hoping the Tea Party’s collapse in the polls will drag down the Republican field with them. And there’s a reason Mitt Romney has carefully avoided the Tea Party label even as he desperately needs conservative voters to win his nomination. Two, Obama’s jobs act isn’t just a brief lurch to the left — they’re really counting on a “people vs. the powerful” message in the Elizabeth Warren vein to carry them into election season.

    Finally, there is a strong emphasis on Republican policies that Democrats decry as backwards-looking or reactionary. Without ever using George Bush’s name in the memo, the Obama campaign repeatedly invokes the specter of returning to his policies in making their case to voters. Expect this to be a major theme moving forward, especially on taxes on financial reform.

    The full memo, for your perusal, is here:

  56. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011
    Stockholm Syndrome Politics
    Posted by Zandar
    Via BooMan, we see the 2012 argument against Obama by the Sensible Centrist crowd is beginning to pick up play. “If we vote Obama out, the Tea Party will vanish!” Leonard Pitts at the Miami Herald at least entertains the idea:

    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.

    No, I don’t wonder. Like BooMan, I know that if the Tea Party really wanted to do damage to America and blow everything up and cause untold hardship to tens of millions of Americans, we’d just have to follow their economic and social policies. So yeah, if you really, honestly think the Tea Party is A) that dangerous and B) will simply vanish into that good night once Obama’s gone, you really do deserve a country run by these dangerous idiots.

    Expect to see a lot more of this as the months roll on and we get closer. It’s the crucial argument that the Sensible Centrist need in order to convince America to vote against their own self-interest. It’s a patently ridiculous argument that assumes the Tea Party is going to just vanish after being handed the reins.

    You have to look no further than states like Florida or Ohio to see what kind of future that path holds for America.

    New Tag: Hostage Taking 101.

  57. rikyrah says:

    WaPo / ABC Poll: Perry’s National Support Chopped In Half As Cain Rises

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Rick Perry.

    A hard-talking embodiment of the conservative id, the Texas Governor entered the race in August and quickly shot to the front of the pack on broad appeal to the Tea Party base, and his message on job creation.

    But something funny is happening to Rick Perry on the way to what many expected to be a charge to the nomination: Namely, Rick Perry.

    After a series of missteps and stumbles, most of his own making, the latest Washington Post / ABC News poll shows Perry having lost about half of his national support in the last month. The former frontrunner is now staring back up at his chief rival, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, and running neck-and-neck with the surging Herman Cain.

    From the Washington Post:

    After a quick rise in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has experienced an almost equally dramatic decline, losing about half of his support over the past month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
    Perry’s slide, which comes after several uneven performances in candidate debates, has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to resurface atop the GOP field. But the most direct beneficiary of the disenchantment with Perry is businessman Herman Cain, who is now tied for second place.

    Perry also faces opposition to one of his signature immigration policies in Texas, the survey shows.

    His rapidly changing fortunes underscore the fluidity of the Republican race and the lingering dissatisfaction with the candidates.

    The Post / ABC poll shows Romney holding steady at 25 percent, but Perry now tied with Cain at 16 percent. As the Post points out, that’s a 13 point drop for Perry over the month of September. His drop in support seems to have directly benefited Cain, with the former businessman’s numbers rising 12 percent over that same period.

  58. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011
    Profiles In Courage: Pass The Damn Bill Edition, Part 2
    Posted by Zandar
    McClatchy at least gets it right when they say that Republicans are blocking President Obama’s jobs legislation, and the White House is now moving to make it very, very unpleasant to do so.

    With Republicans killing prospects for a comprehensive jobs bill, the White House is planning a fall strategy it hopes will wrangle enough GOP votes for a package some economists say would add as many as 1.9 million jobs to a sagging economy — at least temporarily.

    The White House’s new 60-day legislative-political strategy is designed to pressure Republicans in Obama-friendly districts to support his proposed $447 billion jobs bill and accompanying tax increases — or face blame at home heading into the 2012 election year.

    To drive the strategy, Obama will go on the road more this fall, presumably to many of those Republican districts, rather than sitting at a negotiating table in Washington as he did this summer for weeks with congressional Republicans.

    The need for a Plan B was evident Monday as House Republicans said flatly that they won’t approve the entire jobs bill as Obama has demanded.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told reporters the entire package is dead in the House. The measure includes extension and expansion of a one-year payroll tax cut, extension of unemployment benefits, and cash for public works projects.

    “The president continues to say, ‘Pass my bill in its entirety,'” Cantor said. “The outset, the all-or-nothing approach is just unacceptable.”

    OK Republicans, you want to block the American Jobs Act? It’s going to cost you your jobs next November. Time to call your Representative’s office and raise some hell, folks. Time to make the House GOP so nervous they fold, and only we can make that happen.

    House Switchboard operator: (202) 224-3121

  59. rikyrah says:

    October 04, 2011 8:00 AM

    Cantor to Obama: Let the economy suffer
    By Steve Benen

    For several weeks, the White House has maintained that the American Jobs Act had a legitimate shot in Congress. It’s a good plan, which includes ideas from both parties, and which has drawn praise from economists from across the spectrum. Its provisions are broadly popular, and with some public pressure, President Obama believes lawmakers could be pressed to do the right thing.

    And while, under normal circumstances, this is exactly the kind of jobs bill that a Congress and a White House would work together to pass, the fantasy came to a rather abrupt halt yesterday afternoon.

    In the morning, the president told reporters before a cabinet meeting that he’d like to see the House and Senate vote on the American Jobs Act before the end of October. “If there are aspects of the bill [Republicans] don’t like,” Obama said, “they should tell us what it is that they’re not willing to go for.”

    Soon after, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters that congressional Republicans aren’t willing to go for much of anything.

    Cantor said the House would not bring up the president’s American Jobs Act for a vote as a whole, but by the end of the month would move forward with elements supported by GOP leaders, including three pending trade agreements and a reduction in the withholding tax for businesses.

    “The president continues to say, ‘Pass my bill in its entirety.’ As I’ve said from the outset, the all-or-nothing approach is just unacceptable,” Cantor told reporters Monday in his weekly Capitol briefing. […]

    Asked directly if the bill was dead as a comprehensive package, Cantor replied, “Yes.”

    It’s not just that Cantor is opposed to considering the jobs bill in its entirety and prefers a more piecemeal approach; it’s that the oft-confused Majority Leader has decided there are only two ideas House Republicans are even willing to consider. The first is a set of modest trade bills, which may not pass anyway, and the second is a cut to a 3% withholding tax that Republicans were responsible for creating in the first place.

    That’s it. That’s what Cantor’s right-wing caucus is open to considering. Investments in infrastructure? No. Funds to save teachers’ and first responders’ jobs? No. Tax breaks for businesses? No. Tax breaks for the middle class? Probably no.

    In other words, in response to President Obama’s ambitious plan to boost the economy and create jobs, Eric Cantor has decided House Republicans don’t want to boost the economy and won’t help create jobs.

    Cantor’s comments come two weeks after he and other GOP leaders pleaded with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke not to take any additional steps to improve economic conditions.

    It’s almost as if congressional Republicans are deliberately trying to hold the economy back, in the hopes that weaker growth and high unemployment would improve their electoral prospects. Perhaps it’s a question worth debating.

  60. rikyrah says:

    October 04, 2011 8:40 AM

    Entertainer feels heat after Hitler comparison
    By Steve Benen

    Once in a great while, far-right figures feel a little heat after pushing the rhetorical envelope too far.

    The Hank Williams Jr. song that has opened Monday Night Football for 20 years was not part of the opening of this week’s Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game after Williams made controversial comments about President Barack Obama.

    Williams compared Obama to Adolf Hitler on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” show Monday morning.

    ESPN, in a statement, said: “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”

    ESPN’s statement did not indicate whether the controversy would affect future broadcasts.

    In case you missed it yesterday, Williams told Fox News yesterday that he was bothered by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) going golfing with President Obama because it was comparable to “Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu.”

    In a statement yesterday, the country singer said he was only trying to “make a point” about the two being “polar opposites.”

    That might be slightly less ridiculous had it not been for what else Williams said during the interview. When one of the co-hosts said he didn’t understand the Hitler analogy, Williams said Obama and Vice President Biden are “the enemy.” (He also said Obama and Biden are “the Three Stooges,” suggesting Williams isn’t great at counting to three, either.)

    In the larger context, it’ll be interesting to compare the reactions to Williams’ remarks to that of the reaction to The Dixie Chicks’ criticism of George W. Bush.

    You’ll recall, of course, that The Dixie Chicks told a concert audience in 2003 they are “ashamed” that the president came from Texas. The reaction from country music fans and the industry was intense — the group’s music was quickly banned from many radio stations; The Dixie Chicks faced death threats; and former fans organized events to destroy their CDs in public.

    If it was unpatriotic to be ashamed of the president in 2003, what are those same folks saying in 2011 about an entertainer who considers the president “the enemy,” on par with Hitler?

    Williams, by the way, has talked about launching a U.S. Senate campaign in Tennessee next year, running as a Republican. While it’s unclear if he still harbors any such intentions, here’s hoping this incident doesn’t boost his standing in GOP circles.

  61. rikyrah says:

    you know I don’t twitter, but I read twitter feeds.

    from SPIKE LEE:

    Do they hunt Niggas at NiggaHead?

    I think that is a fair question.


  62. rikyrah says:

    White House threatens to veto bills to delay EPA air pollution regulations
    By Andrew Restuccia – 10/03/11 05:58 PM ET

    The White House is threatening to veto two House bills that would delay key Environmental Protection Agency air-pollution regulations.

    “These bills would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving ahead with long-overdue requirements to reduce air pollution from industrial boilers, solid waste incinerators, and cement plants,” the White House said in a formal “statement of administration policy.”

    “The bills also would weaken EPA’s ability to ensure that its standards protect American families from a range of harmful pollutants including mercury and other toxic metals, as well as smog and soot.”

    It’s the second veto threat of House legislation to roll back EPA air regulations in as many weeks.

    Late last month, the White House threatened to veto legislation that would mandate new interagency economic analyses of EPA rules and delay two major air pollution regulations by years. The House subsequently passed the legislation late last month. But the bill faces major roadblocks in the Senate.

    The White House, which came under fire from environmental and clean air groups for shelving planned smog rules last month, has vowed to defend EPA regulations from Republicans, who argue that the rules will impose a major burden on the economy.

    In the statement Monday, the White House blasted the two Republican bills to require EPA to issue new regulations for cement-plant emissions and emissions from industrial boilers in 15 months. The bills would also delay the compliance periods for the regulations.

    The White House said any delay of the rules would have a major impact on public health.

    “The delay due to those bills would result in significant public health impacts that the rules would otherwise prevent, including tens of thousands of premature deaths; tens of thousands of cases of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and acute bronchitis; and over a hundred thousand asthma attacks,” the statement said.

    The bills – H.R. 2250 and H.R. 2681 – are expected to come up for a floor vote this week.

  63. Ametia says:

    News Alert: 3 U.S.-born scientists win Nobel Prize for Physics for study of exploding stars
    October 4, 2011 6:54:30 AM

    AP reports: Three U.S.-born scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their studies of exploding stars that revealed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said American Saul Perlmutter of the University of California, Berkeley. would share the 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) award with U.S.-Australian Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University in Weston Creek, and U.S. scientist Adam Riess, an astronomy professor at Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

    For more information, visit

  64. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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