Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

Happy HUMP day, Everybody!  Go on Gladys, and sing it, woman.

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99 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    CO Radio Host And Former House Candidate Compares Michelle Obama To Chewbacca

    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.”

    But, he added that everyone in the room “drew the conclusion” after the Chewbacca comment. “And I’ve tested it — I’ve done group testing and I’ve said if I say Chewbacca what do you think.”

    After mocking Obama’s clothing on-air, he added: “I know that’s cruel but it’s OK – it’s cruel for her to talk about my hamburgers that I want to eat all the time.”

    Here’s part one of the audio, via

  2. Ametia says:

    President Obama on the Passing of Steve Jobs: “He changed the way each of us sees the world.”
    Posted by Kori Schulman on October 05, 2011 at 09:15 PM EDT

    Following the loss of visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, President Obama released this statement:

    Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

    By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

    The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

  3. Ametia says:

    Gabrielle Giffords to visit White House for husband Mark Kelly’s retirement ceremony

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will visit the White House on Thursday to attend a retirement ceremony there for her husband, astronaut and U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, Vice President Biden announced via Twitter.

    TOMORROW at 1pm, VP to welcome USN Capt Mark Kelly and @Rep_Giffords to White House for Capt Kelly’s military retirement ceremonyWed Oct 05 17:15:37 via web

    Giffords is not expected to drop by her House office or conduct any official duties in what will be her second trip to Washington since she was shot during a sniper attack in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8.

    Kelly announced that he would retire from the Navy and NASA in June to spend more time with Giffords during her recuperation. Kelly, 47, served in the Navy for 25 years and commanded the final mission of the space shuttle Endeavour in May.

    Read more:

  4. Ametia says:

    Breaking Steve Jobs has died.

    • Ametia says:

      Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, has died, according to the company. He was 56.
      The hard-driving executive pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse. In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet — all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.
      Jobs had battled cancer for years, took a medical leave from Apple in January and stepped down as CEO in August because he could “no longer meet (his) duties and expectations.”

  5. creolechild says:

    Here’s Luther, singing A House Is Not A Home.

    • Ametia says:

      This has to be one of my absolute favorite tunes of Luther’s. Miss him. thank you, CC.

    • rikyrah says:

      there’s a version…Luther (big, fat, curl not quite right Luther -thanks Ced the Entertainer), and it begins with Luther walking back and forth across the stage, his voice coming then going in the mic – I love that version best.

  6. creolechild says:

    Here’s Herbie Hancock, with Actual Proof.

  7. creolechild says:

    Here’s Goapele, singing Closer.

  8. creolechild says:

    Personal Bankruptcy Filings Fall, But That’s Nothing to Cheer About – By Sheryl Nance-Nash Posted 4:15PM 10/05/11

    In the current cloudy economy, finance experts and everyday folks are constantly hunting through the news and statistics for silver linings. So it would surely seem a good thing that in the first nine months of this year, personal bankruptcy filings decreased 10% compared to a year earlier, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute — but experts say hold the applause. While we might want to take some comfort in the fact that bankruptcies declined from last year — which had the highest number of filings since 2005 — truth is, it’s not necessarily good news.

    “People file bankruptcy because of financial distress,” explains David Leibowitz, co-chair of the Consumer Bankruptcy Committee of the ABI. “They are afraid of losing their houses, getting their wages garnished or losing their personal property. If the personal property is exempt, as is often the case for people who have little in the way of assets, if they no longer own their own home as is more and more frequently the case, if the home has no equity, which is very often the case, or if they are unemployed, then people who owe money for credit cards, medical bills and the like are said to be judgment-proof. There’s no need for them to file bankruptcy.”

    Then too, once you file a bankruptcy case, you can’t file again under Chapter 7 for eight years. With well over 10 million bankruptcy cases in the past eight years, that’s a lot of people who are ineligible to file again, says Leibowitz. “The fact is, bankruptcy cases continue to be filed at high levels. This is reflective of the very poor economy and does not necessarily reflect a leading economic indicator of better times to come,” says Leibowitz.


  9. creolechild says:

    Obama signs short-term funding bill into law – By Agence France-Presse Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    President Barack Obama early Wednesday signed into law a stopgap measure to fund the US government through November 18 after US lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the bill. The US House of Representatives passed the measure on Tuesday by a 352-66 vote, sending it to the White House with plenty of time to avert a partial government shutdown. The White House later confirmed in a statement that the president had signed the bill into law shortly after midnight.

    The Senate passed the legislation last week amid calls from key lawmakers to avoid the kind of angry standoff that led two months ago to the downgrade of Washington’s once-sterling debt rating. Feuds over disaster aid in the wake of Hurricane Irene as well as over a push to cut government spending and rein in the galloping deficit had brought Congress to the brink of seeing non-vital services disrupted for lack of funds as the fiscal year 2012 dawned Saturday.

  10. creolechild says:

    Rep. Slaughter Calls for ‘Retroactive Recusal’ of Justice Thomas to Overturn Citizens United – By David

    Rep. Louis Slaughter (D-NY) told Current TV’s Keith Olbermann Tuesday that a “retroactive recusal” of Justice Clarence Thomas could result in overturning the Citizens United case. Earlier this year, the liberal group Common Cause argued that both Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia should have recused themselves from the Citizens United case because they attended events organized billionaire Charles Koch. In addition, Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, may have received financial benefit from the Citizens United ruling, something that was never disclosed by the justice.

    Twenty House Democrats Thursday called on the U.S. Judicial Conference to formally request that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate Justice Clarence Thomas’s non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Justice Thomas indicated on his annual financial disclosure forms that his wife had received no income since he joined the bench in 1991, despite the fact that his wife had in fact earned nearly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007.

    “What I’m very interested here is the votes that he has cast that may be in conflict,” Slaughter explained to Olbermann. “Of course, his wife can work. But the fact is there are only nine justice on that Supreme Court and it certainly should be a given that a family member of any of those people lucky enough to be a Supreme Court justice should not in any way involve themselves in matters that will go before that court. Now, we all know that she worked very hard for the Citizens United case, which I think is one of the most egregious things that have ever happened in the United States Supreme Court.” She added: “There is such a thing as a retroactive recusal. We’re looking into that. That case, if you remember, was decided 5-4. If we could take away his vote, we could wipe that out. It would lose. How ’bout that?”


  11. creolechild says:

    This article describes how ‘salvage’ cars obtain clean titles.~

    Used Car Buyers Beware: Flood-Damaged Vehicles Will Hit the Market Soon – By Laura Rowley Posted 4:00PM 09/14/11

    Diane Zielinski bought a used car for her 17-year-old son at a dealership in Quakertown, Pa., about a decade ago. She paid $3,500 for the maroon Pontiac Grand Am. Three weeks later, her son called from a dark country road at 9 p.m. He had heard a loud bang, and then engine on the car had blown apart. “There were pieces of engine and oil all over the ground,” Zielinski recalls. “He could have been hurt.”

    While Zielinski called the dealer, her son came across the website for Carfax, a nationwide database that tracks vehicle histories. He entered the Grand Am’s vehicle identification number, and learned that his car had been flooded in New Jersey during Hurricane Floyd, declared a total loss, and given a salvage title. Somewhere along the line after that, a clean title had been forged. “The car should have been nowhere but in the junk yard,” says Zielinski, who got no compensation from the dealer, and was charged $200 for towing it back to the dealership. (She refused to pay.)

    Used car buyers should be on the lookout for flood-damaged cars following Hurricane Irene, one of the most destructive storms to hit the East Coast in decades. About half of flood-damaged vehicles find their way back to market, says Chris Basso, Carfax spokesman. And, given the recent historic flooding in New England, “it could be in the tens of thousands of cars easily,” he says. “It takes a few months for us to see those cars reappear for sale, but we expect the cars to start washing up all over the country before the end of the year.”

    (Some 600,000 vehicles were damaged in the Gulf region in 2005 during Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita; Hurricane Ike in 2008 affected 100,000 vehicles in Texas, according to Carfax.)


  12. creolechild says:

    This man always has a ‘new and improved’ conspiracy theory. What’s next on the agenda, Louie?

    Rep. Gohmert Calls Obama’s Jobs Plan An Assault On Marriage That Encourages Divorce – By Marie Diamond on Oct 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    This is not a jobs bill, this is a government takeover,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) proclaimed on the House floor yesterday during his long-winded denunciation of President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act. While most Republicans have limited themselves to denouncing the bill as a wasteful tax-and-spend measure that’s “class warfare” on millionaires, Gohmert found some more creative grounds for his attack.

    Gohmert contemptuously pointed to tax deductions for single parents and unmarried couples as proof that the bill is actually a stealth assault on traditional marriage. The so-called jobs bill, he charged, actually encourages divorce and may even be secretly advancing a pro-gay agenda:

    GOHMERT: This may be something nice he’s throwing out for gay folks that are living together so he can tell them actually you’re better off not getting married, because there’s a marriage penalty here…If you’re the head of a single household, you have an exemptions at $225,000. All other cases $200,000. So it really penalizes married individuals…But if you want to get divorced it is good news for you…the good news if you’re thinking about divorce is you can actually get divorced and have $75,000 to $100,000 higher exception. And you can even live together! This is the president’s proposal — live together and you get a higher exception than if you’re married. Now of course the founders — they all understood marriage to be between a man and a woman. […] This president…takes a shot at traditional, conventional marriage.


  13. creolechild says:

    Reid Blocks Defense Authorization: Terror Provisions Like Indefinite Detention ‘Are Just Wrong’ – By Ali Gharib on Oct 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked a vote on this year’s defense budget authorization act because of provisions in the bill that the Obama administration says will tie its hands when dealing with terrorism suspects. Reid explained his impending move on the Senate floor Monday before issuing a letter Tuesday to the Democratic chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. On the floor Monday, Reid said:

    But I also say, Mr. President, in its present form, I’m going to have some difficulty bringing this bill to the floor. It contains provisions relating to the detention of terrorism suspects that in the words of national security adviser John Brennan would be, and I quote, “disastrous. It would tie the hands of our counterterrorism professionals by eliminating tools and authorities that have been absolutely essential to their success.”

    To show you how extremely important it is that we do something about these provisions in this bill that are just wrong, both the Judiciary Committee in the Senate and the Intelligence Committee in the Senate have asked for hearings on this provision in this bill.


  14. creolechild says:

    Gridlock in Washington is no accident. It’s built into the Constitution. – Harold Meyerson | September 26, 2011


    Those who defend our system concede—indeed, exult—that it places roadblocks in the path of major policy shifts. When the nation faces a genuine crisis, they argue, our government invariably rises to the occasion, as it did in Roosevelt’s time. Unfortunately, that’s a selective reading of our history. One hundred and fifty years ago, our government was not up to the task of holding the union together. Today, as the Great Recession grinds on, the different branches of government cannot agree on a course of action. The root cause of all this inactivity is our peculiar form of democracy. While most democracies are governed by parliamentary systems, our Founders opted for a presidential system, which they consciously booby-trapped with multiple veto points to impede decisive legislative action and sweeping social change.

    In America, for instance, presidents take office, but they don’t form a government, as prime ministers do in virtually every other democracy. Presidents can form no more than an executive branch. They appoint cabinet members, sub-cabinet officials, military commanders, ambassadors, and the heads of regulatory agencies. They don’t appoint congressional leaders; often as not, their party may not control either or both houses of Congress. Indeed, the White House, the Senate, and the House have been controlled by the same party during just 8 of the past 30 years. Even when the same party holds Congress and the presidency, the system still fragments power.

    Presidents and congresses are elected not merely independently but at different times and by different electorates. After a midterm election in the United States, no members of the House and only one-third of the senators hold their seats by virtue of having won them in the same election that brought the president to power. The president and the Congress each have separate but equal claims to power and legitimacy. Thus a government divided between a president of one party and a Congress of another, political scientist Juan Linz observes, can reach an impasse for which “there is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved.”


    Read more:

  15. creolechild says:

    49% Of Republicans Don’t Know What The Abbreviation GOP Means – By Jason Easley

    The latest Vanity Fair/CBS News poll asked Americans what the abbreviation GOP means, and 49% of Republicans got it wrong.The poll asked, what does the abbreviation GOP stand for? Only 45% of Americans correctly identified it as the Grand Old Party. Fifty one percent of Republicans, 47% of Independents, and only 38% of Democrats got it right. Over a third of respondents (35%) thought that it meant government of the people. Thirty four percent of Republicans, 32% of Independents, and 39% of Democrats incorrectly held this belief. Seven percent of those surveyed thought it meant Grumpy Old People, not surprisingly Democrats were the most likely group (9%) to believe this. God’s Own Party was chosen by 3%, and Republicans were the most likely group to attach this incorrect meaning to the abbreviation. Gauntlet of Power was selected by 1%, and 9% didn’t know.

    Almost half of Republicans don’t know what the abbreviation for the party that they belong to stands for. The lack of knowledge about the GOP (Grand Old Party) within the GOP (Grand Old Party) itself is par for the course for a political organization that has gone to war with education, science, and has a deep down distrust of intellectual ability. The Republican of today gets elected because he or she doesn’t scare off supporters by appearing to be too bright. If a Republican candidate is too smart or too open minded, it sets of warning bell to the base that the person may not be conservative enough to earn their vote. In today’s GOP (Grand Old Party) ignorance equals ideological purity.

    In the Republican Party one must stop thinking and start believing in order to achieve success. The party rank and file’s war on facts extends to knowledge about the very organization that they belong to. The abbreviation GOP (Grand Old Party) is used every single day. A Google News search for the term GOP yielded 27,000 current results. When almost half of a party does not know what their own abbreviation means, that party has a legitimate problem.


  16. creolechild says:

    Is Herman Cain No Longer the Right’s New Black Friend? – By Paul Waldman | Posted 10/03/2011

    One of the points I made repeatedly during the 2008 campaign was that Barack Obama had thought long and hard, over a period of many years, about how his race would factor into his political career. You may remember that when he was catching fire, conservatives gushed over him—my favorite quote was from culture warrior William Bennett, who said that Obama “never brings race into it. He never plays the race card. Talk about the black community—he has taught the black community you don’t have to act like Jesse Jackson; you don’t have to act like Al Sharpton. You can talk about the issues.” I wrote a column that January predicting that they’d get over it pretty darn quick, which didn’t take a genius to figure out.

    I bring this up because Herman Cain seems to be demonstrating that he didn’t think quite as carefully about what his race represents to those in his party. I’ll let the folks at New York explain what happened when Cain got asked about Rick Perry’s interestingly named hunting ranch:


    Cain hasn’t been shy about talking about race, and has offered himself as a living rebuke to the idea that black people should automatically support Democrats. But he apparently didn’t quite get that he’s become Republicans’ New Black Friend. 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.


  17. creolechild says:

    Congressional Priorities! Triple DOMA Defense Funds While Defunding NPR, Again – By karoli

    Congress is back with a triple serving of crazy. As I watch C-SPAN on one screen and Occupy Wall Street protests on another, it makes me wonder if this is what it feels to be on a bad acid trip. Do these Republicans actually ever look beyond their ideological blinders at what is going on in this country? Surely not.

    Here’s a shining example: Eric Cantor has declared he will not bring President Obama’s jobs bill up for a vote. Jobs, you know. That thing not enough people have and because they don’t have it, that thing that is pushing economic growth down. Those. And even though the jobs bill is just a dent in a very large bucket, it’s a jobs bill. It does things. Like repair roads and pay for teachers and things like that. So of course, Cantor wouldn’t bring it up for a vote. Why would he?

    But look at what they are voting on today! Defund Planned Parenthood and NPR – AGAIN


  18. creolechild says:

    Poll: 1 in 3 vets sees Iraq, Afghan wars as wastes – Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 7:00 am by Paddy

    One in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems, according to an opinion survey released Wednesday. The findings highlight a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they struggle to shrink the government’s huge budget deficits and reconsider defense priorities while trying to keep public support for remaining involved in Iraq and Afghanistan for the longer term.


    The poll results presented by the Pew Research Center portray post-9/11 veterans as proud of their work, scarred by warfare and convinced that the American public has little understanding of the problems that wartime service has created for military members and their families. The survey also showed that post-9/11 veterans are more likely than Americans as a whole to call themselves Republicans and to disapprove of President Barack Obama’s performance as commander in chief. They also are more likely than earlier generations of veterans to have no religious affiliation.

    • creolechild says:

      Ooops. Either I’m extremely tired or not paying attention but this article is posted further downthread by Rikyrah and provides statistics pertaining to the views of those who are, or have, served in the military.

  19. creolechild says:

    Former FBI Interrogator: Cheney Owes Obama an Apology – —By Adam Serwer | Tue Oct. 4, 2011

    *After speaking at an event at the New America Foundation Tuesday, former FBI agent Ali Soufan weighed in on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s call for President Barack Obama to apologize for its past criticism of Bush-era practices. Soufan thought it should be the other way around. “I think if Mr. Cheney wanted to apologize for not getting [Osama] bin Laden, for not getting the top leadership of al Qaeda, for the enhanced interrogation techniques that have caused more problems than anything else, the address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said.

    Soufan, who is promoting his new book, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda, was one of only a handful of fluent Arabic speakers in the FBI when the 9/11 attacks occurred. He became a high profile critic of the Bush administration’s use of torturous interrogation techniques after leaving the bureau.

    In The Black Banners, Soufan recalls an incident in which FBI Director Robert Mueller refers to Soufan as “the future of the FBI,” implying that native Arabic speakers will be crucial to the fight against terrorism. Yet Soufan reiterated that the bureau, which has recently faced criticism from Muslim groups over its use of Anti-Muslim counterterrorism training materials, was still struggling with finding recruits in the American Muslim community.


  20. creolechild says:

    A 5-Step Plan for Dumping Your Bank – By Catherine New Posted 12:30PM 10/03/11

    Over the weekend, we heard from more than 1,300 DailyFinance readers who said they’re considering switching banks in light of increased fees at some of the nation’s largest financial institutions. As consumers, we do an increasing amount of our personal banking with debit cards, and many of us have an elaborate system of direct deposits and automated payments in place. So if your savings margin is thin, switching banks requires some forethought and planning to ensure that you are not placing yourself at risk of an overdraft while you migrate your account. Richard Barrington, a personal finance expert for, shared his expertise with this five-step process on how to handle a bank swap.


    Read more:

  21. creolechild says:

    New Bank Fees Push More Americans to Credit Unions – By Catherine New Posted 3:00PM 10/04/11

    Last Friday, after Bank of America’s (BAC) announcement of new fees on debit cards, retired postal worker Victoria Lee took her adult daughters to her local USPS Credit Union. “[My daughters opened] free checking accounts with no charges for the use of debit cards,” Lee said. Like many Americans who are carefully watching every dollar, the Florida resident said she was grateful to have an alternative to retail Wall Street banks.

    Meanwhile, a record-breaking 3,200 new checking accounts were opened over the weekend at the Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union with 3.7 million members and nearly $48 billion in assets. The weekend surge — which crushed the previous high of 2,500 — fits into a larger trend for the credit union, which serves the Department of Defense and active duty military. It has had annual growth between 6.3% and 6.7% since 2007, and is on track to record a 14% uptick in membership this year, said Tisa Head, the senior vice president of savings products. In addition to its fee-free debit cards and accounts, another driver for the year’s projected double-digit membership increase has been the credit union’s willingness to post pay early for active duty members who use the Active Duty Checking account.


  22. creolechild says:

    White House: How Jobs Plan Is Paid for Is A Sideshow – Susan Crabtree | October 5, 2011, 3:35PM

    The White House is brushing off all the fuss over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plans to scrap President Obama’s suggested offsets for the Jobs Act before bringing it to the floor for a vote next week. “The pay-fors are incidental, if you will,” Carney told reporters at a Wednesday briefing. “The meat of this proposal is putting teachers back to work…incentivizing small businesses to hire more workers…and that will be voted on. How you pay for it has always been open to debate.”

    As long as the Senate ensures that plans to pay for the $447 billion bill are “fair and balanced,” and not overly burdensome on seniors and the middle class, President Obama is okay with the changes, Carney said. Obama has proposed paying for his jobs plan by increasing taxes on couples making more than $250,000, but Tuesday Reid said he was having a hard time convincing his Democratic colleagues to accept tax hikes at that level. Later, on Wednesday, Reid announced a plan to replace Obama’s revenue-raisers with a 5 percent income tax surcharge on millionaires. The proposal would raise $445 billion over 10 years, sufficient to cover the proposed spending in the President’s jobs plan.


  23. rikyrah says:

    .Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 11:50 AM PDT.

    Politicians start to take sides on Occupy Wall Street
    by Chris Bowers

    Some Democrats on Capitol Hill, as well as an Independent and at least one Republican, are starting to rally behind Occupy Wall Street. From The Hill:
    Several liberal House lawmakers endorsed the protests Wednesday, and the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said they had been inspired by demonstrators who have been arrested and pepper sprayed during altercations with police.
    “We share the anger and frustration of so many Americans who have seen the enormous toll that an unchecked Wall Street has taken on the overwhelming majority of Americans while benefitting the super wealthy,” Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said in a joint statement. […]

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) released a statement Wednesday saying, “The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore. They are fighting to give voice to the struggles that everyday Americans are going through.”

    The article goes on to note that Reps. Louise Slaughter, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and Ron Paul, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders, have also voiced support for the protests.

    Some members of the Los Angeles city council are working on passing a resolution supporting the occupiers:

    Yesterday, City Council president Eric Garcetti and fellow councilmembers Bill Rosendahl, Ed Reyes and Dennis Zine, a former registered Republican who told the Los Angeles Times:
    “It’s the right thing to do. We could just drive by them, or we could go talk to them.:
    Garcetti, who announced his run for mayor last month, told the protesters:

    “Stay as long as you need, we’re here to support you.”
    This morning Rosendahl will introduce a City Council resolution supporting the protesters.

    David Dayen reports that Sen. Jeff Merkley is considering an appearance at Occupy Portland:

    When I first sat down in Sen. Jeff Merkley’s Washington office and asked about the #OccupyWallStreet protests, he immediately said, “Portland’s starting on Thursday!” I asked him if he’d go down to a protest, and while it was clear he hadn’t thought of it to that point, he said, “It’s worth exploring.”
    Rep. Charlie Rangel has already spoken at the Occupy Wall Street event in New York City.

    Former Sen. Russ Feingold tells Greg Sargent that he is very encouraged by the protests:

    “I’m really encouraged by what I’m seeing. People around the country are finally organizing to stand up to the huge influence of corporations on government and our lives. This kind of citizen reaction to corporate power and corporate greed is long overdue.”
    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is sounding sympathetic notes:

    he Federal Reserve Chairman hinted at some solidarity with the ongoing Occupy Wall Street demonstration yesterday when he told the Joint Economic Committee that he understands the protesters’ frustrations. “I would just say very generally, I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening,” Bernanke said. “They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    I love her. she’s taking the fight TO HIM!!


    Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 07:59 AM PDT.

    MA-Sen: Elizabeth Warren mocks Scott Brown for being named Wall Street’s favorite senator

    In her first Democratic debate last night, Elizabeth Warren showed further depth in her personality by delivering a couple of zingers on Republican Scott Brown. Here’s one:
    “Forbes magazine named Scott Brown Wall Street’s favorite senator. I was thinking that’s probably not an award I’m going to get.”
    As good as that was, Warren wasn’t done:

    She also made the audience laugh and applaud with the second question, which asked each candidate how they paid for college, since Brown posed nude for Cosmopolitan to pay.
    “I kept my clothes on,” she quipped. She added that she borrowed money to go to a public university and had a part-time job.

    The Boston Herald, not exactly known as a left-wing publication, went with the headline “Warren shines in debate debut.” You can watch the full replay of the debate on their website.

    Warren and Brown remain locked in a tight race, with Public Policy Polling showing Warren up 46-44, and Princeton Survey Research showing Brown ahead 41-38.


  25. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011 4:45 PM

    And now we get to ‘murder’ allegations
    By Steve Benen

    It was around this time in the Clinton presidency when unhinged Republican lawmakers started wondering whether the then-president was guilty of murder, or at least accessory to murder. Right on cue, GOP lawmakers are back to their old tricks.

    Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that Obama administration officials responsible for Operation Fast and Furious might be accessories to murder.

    “We’re talking about consequences of criminal activity, where we actually allowed guns to walk into the hands of criminals, where our livelihoods are at risk,” Gosar said in a phone interview. “When you facilitate that and a murder or a felony occurs, you’re called an accessory. That means that there’s criminal activity.”

    Wait, the GOP still cares about the Fast and Furious flap? Shouldn’t they have moved on by now?

    Either way, the fact that a far-right member of Congress is using words like “murder” and “accessory” in the context of administration officials suggests it really is the mid-90s all over again. It’s only a matter of time, I suppose, before prominent Republican officials are shooting melons in their backyard and sending the White House subpoenas about the president’s pet.

    I am curious about something, though. It turns out that House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was also briefed on the briefed on the “Fast and Furious” plan last year, never raised any objections, and later pretended to be surprised that the program even existed. Under Gosar’s reasoning, would Issa be an accessory, too?

    For that matter, it turns out the Bush administration had a “Fast and Furious” program of its own. Is Gosar, or Issa for that matter, equally interested in this, too? Or are ridiculous allegations about accessory to murder limited to Democrats?

  26. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 05, 2011 4:15 PM

    A counter-offensive in the ‘war on voting’
    By Steve Benen

    Republican efforts appear likely to keep upwards of 5 million Americans from participating in the 2012 elections, following an aggressive campaign to restrict access. Ari Berman recently labeled it the Republican Party’s “War on Voting,” and as part of the national effort, GOP officials “have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote” next year.

    But the initiative has not gone unnoticed by the administration. Berman noted this week comments from President Obama on the effort to keep people from voting.

    “I will say that my big priority is making sure that as many people are participating in our democracy as possible. 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.”

    That part about the Justice Department is, as near as I can tell, a new development. DOJ officials may have some options in combating the Republican efforts — most notably, investigations on whether the new laws violate the Voting Rights Act — but the surest way to get to find out is for the president to ask Justice to launch a review.

    That said, Ryan J. Reilly reports this morning that some DOJ efforts are already underway, but state discretion in this areas limits the reach of federal officials.

    Sure, federal officials with DOJ’s Civil Rights Division are reviewing voter ID laws passed in South Carolina and Texas because both states have a history of discrimination and are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. DOJ told South Carolina last month that they need more info before making a decision and in September told Texas they have more questions.

    But for all the other states that passed voter ID laws that aren’t subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, federal intervention is a long shot. The only other option for opposing a voter ID law is an argument under Section 2 of the VRA, where the burden of proof is pretty high.

    In most of the states where the war on voting is most intense, it looks like voters who wanted the public to have more access to participating in free elections shouldn’t have elected so many far-right Republicans to key state offices.

  27. rikyrah says:

    White House: How Jobs Plan Is Paid for Is A Sideshow

    The White House is brushing off all the fuss over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plans to scrap President Obama’s suggested offsets for the Jobs Act before bringing it to the floor for a vote next week.

    “The pay-fors are incidental if you will,” Carney told reporters at a Wednesday briefing. “The meat of this proposal is putting teachers back to work…incentivizing small businesses to hire more workers…and that will be voted on. How you pay for it has always been open to debate.”

    As long as the Senate ensures that plans to pay for the $447 billion bill are “fair and balanced,” and not overly burdensome on seniors and the middle class, President Obama is okay with the changes, Carney said.

    Obama has proposed paying for his jobs plan by increasing taxes on couples making more than $250,000, but Tuesday Reid said he was having a hard time convincing his Democratic colleagues to accept tax hikes at that level. Earlier Wednesday Reid announced a plan to replace Obama’s revenue-raisers with a 5 percent income tax surcharge on millionaires. The proposal would raise $445 billion over 10 years, sufficient to cover the proposed spending in the President’s jobs plan.

    Even though the jobs act is expected to hit a brick wall in the House, which Republicans control, the surcharge idea has widespread Democratic appeal because it forces Republicans to defend millionaire salaries at the expense of job creation.

    The one aspect of Reid’s pay-for plans that could trip up the White House, is the date the new tax hikes kick in. Reid’s plans, according to reports, would make the tax increases effective in 2012, while the tax hikes in Obama’s plan would not go into effect until 2013.

    On the stump, Obama has rejected criticism by Republicans that his party wants to impose “massive, job-killing tax increases” that would harm the economic recovery.

    “No one is talking about raising taxes right now,” the President said back in July. “I have bent over backwards to work with the Republicans to comes up with a formulation that doesn’t require them to vote sometime in the next month to increase taxes.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011 3:05 PM

    A ‘shotgun wedding’ or alone at the altar?

    By Steve Benen

    So, with the Republican presidential field apparently set, Mitt Romney’s the presumptive nominee, right? I’ve been mulling this over, and I can’t make up my mind.

    Josh Marshall had an item overnight saying it’s time for a “shotgun wedding” — left with no viable alternatives in a generally weak field, the party’s establishment and activists are simply stuck with the guy. This rings true, right up until I read Jon Chait, who’s long been skeptical of Romney’s chances.

    Republican moneymen and pundits are starting to flock to the Mitt Romney banner, sending forth the word that it is time to bow to the inevitable. But the Republican voters just do not like Mitt Romney.

    The depth the of the base’s resistance to falling in behind next-in-line Romney has continuously shocked observers, resulting first in the rise of Donald Trump, then Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry. Now Perry is swooning, and his support has gone to … Herman Cain! […]

    I don’t think Cain can win the nomination, and I’m not sure he really wants it (as opposed to a nice Fox News gig.) Saying you might vote for Herman Cain for president — of the United States, not of a pizza chain — can only be read as a cry of protest.

    I don’t see how Republicans could be making this any more plain. They do not want to nominate Mitt Romney.

    Well, no, of course they don’t. If Republicans were in any way satisfied with Romney’s candidacy — remember, this guy has been running for president pretty much non-stop for five years — the party wouldn’t constantly be searching for a half-way credible alternative.

    So what are we left with? Two propositions that strike me as equally plausible.

    1. There’s no way Mitt Romney loses the race for the GOP nomination. He’s a competent candidate with a lot of money, facing ridiculous and unelectable rivals. Romney can present himself as having some experience in public office, but not too much, and some success in the private sector (just as long as voters ignore the relevant details, like all the layoffs of American workers). The establishment will like his technocratic inclinations, the base will like electability, and his background will put some key battleground states — New Hampshire and Michigan, for example — in play. Perhaps most importantly, he’s already been the beneficiary of extraordinary good luck, with each serious rival getting knocked out by someone else, or imploding on their own.

    2. There’s no way Mitt Romney can win the GOP nomination. In 2012, the Republican Party is going to nominate a French-speaking Mormon vulture capitalist named Willard for the presidency? That’s absurd. The party’s voters neither like nor trust him, and he’s flip-flopped more often, on more issues, than any American politician in generations. This is, after all, a guy who supported abortion rights, gay rights, gun control, “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, and combating climate change. He distanced himself from Reagan, attended Planned Parenthood fundraisers, and helped create the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act. Romney was for the bank bailout before he was against it; he was for the stimulus before he was against it; and he was against the auto industry rescue before he took credit for it. He’s about as appealing to the Republican Party as I am.

    Chait concluded that “the mismatch between him and the party he wants to lead is not going away.” That’s true, but will it matter? I just don’t know.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Pew Study: Only A Third Of Veterans Who Joined After 9/11 Say Iraq And Afghanistan Were Worth Fighting

    In a wide-ranging study of the attitudes of US veterans, the Pew Research Center documents the attitudes of service members who were involved in the conflicts associated with the War On Terror over the last ten years and those who served before it.

    The study unpacked data on veterans’ perception of their missions abroad and their effectiveness, as well as their lives since returning to the US. The overarching perception seems to contain a disconnect between service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who served in previous wars: those from the post-9/11 era are more likely to report difficulty in re-entry to civilian life.

    Pew surveyed over 1,800 US service members, over a third of which served in Iraq or Afghanistan. One of the major results within the data was just how down that veterans were on US involvement in those two countries.

    “Veterans are more supportive than the general public of U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq,” reads the Pew report. “Even so, they are ambivalent. Just half of all post-9/11 veterans say that, given the costs and benefits to the U.S., the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting. A smaller share (44%) says the war in Iraq has been worth it. Only one-third (34%) say both wars have been worth fighting, and a nearly identical share (33%) say neither has been worth the costs.”

    Beyond these veterans view of the wars they served in, they are also more likely to have a harder time re-entering life back in the US. They are nearly twice as likely to say say their readjustment was “difficult,” and almost half of respondents who served in the post-9/11 era said they experienced strained relationships with family. 47 percent also said that they had frequent outbursts of anger.

    Pew expounded upon the differences for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan versus those from previous wars:

    …there is one front where this generation’s warriors appear to have been hit harder than their predecessors: the home front. As already noted, many more post-9/11 veterans (44%) than pre-9/11 veterans (25%) say that their readjustment to civilian life has been difficult.
    Also, a greater share of post-9/11 veterans than pre-9/11 veterans report that they are carrying psychological and emotional scars arising from their time in the military. Some 37% of all post-9/11 veterans (and 49% of post-9/11 veterans who served in a combat zone) say they have suffered from post-traumatic stress [PTS]. Among pre-9/11 veterans, the comparable figures are 16% for all and 32% for those who saw combat. Post-9/11 veterans are also much more likely than those who served in earlier times to say they know someone who suffered from PTS.

    But despite all of these issues, veterans are still exceptionally proud of their service and of the military in general. So much that eight in ten of those surveyed would advise a young person close to them to join. “As the United States marks the 10th anniversary of the longest period of sustained warfare in its history, the vast majority of veterans of the post-9/11 era are proud of their military service and say it has helped them mature as human beings,” Pew wrote.

  30. rikyrah says:

    What The Justice Department Can Actually Do About Voter ID Laws

    President Barack Obama last week told a radio audience that he’s made sure the Justice Department is reviewing restrictive voting laws passed across the country. But as a practical matter, DOJ’s reach is limited.

    Sure, federal officials with DOJ’s Civil Rights Division are reviewing voter ID laws passed in South Carolina and Texas because both states have a history of discrimination and are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. DOJ told South Carolina in August that they need more info before making a decision and in September told Texas they have more questions.

    But for all the other states that passed voter ID laws that aren’t subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, federal intervention is a long shot. The only other option for opposing a voter ID law is an argument under Section 2 of the VRA, where the burden of proof is pretty high.

    “In order to bring a Section 2 case, you’d have to as a practical matter show two things. One, that there’s a significant racial disparity and two, that the burden of getting an ID is significant enough for us to care about,” Samuel Bagenstos, who was until recently the number two official in the Civil Rights Division, told TPM.

    The Supreme Court’s decision in the Indiana voter ID case also suggests the court would be skeptical of a Section 2 case. And regardless of how the courts would find, any Section 2 case would almost certainly have to wait until after the 2012 election, since the evidence that the laws were discriminatory “can only be gathered during an election that takes place when the law is enacted,” Bagenstos said.

    Nevertheless, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, who heads the Civil Rights Division, has told both the House and the Senate that DOJ is reviewing the state laws under both Section 5 and Section 2. Both clips are embedded below.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Hope To Repeal Obamacare Using A Tactic They Once Decried

    Though the official GOP push to repeal the health care law has slowed since Republicans took power in January, the right flank of the House and Senate haven’t quieted down at all. And on Wednesday, several of them gathered outside the Capitol with the anti-reform group “Repeal It Now” in front of a stack of boxes which they claim contained 1,600,000 signed petitions demanding the entire law be repealed.

    But though the members are pursuing complete — not partial — repeal of the law as soon as possible, they acknowledged they may have to wait until next Congress to make any headway. That’s when they might have enough power to use some of the same procedural tools Democrats used to pass the bill.

    “Turnabout’s fair play,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

    He’s talking about “reconciliation” — the technical term for a budget process that allows a narrow Senate majority to circumvent a filibuster, and pass certain kinds of tax and spending policies on a majority-rules basis. It’s the tool Democrats used to pass a small but significant package of amendments to their final health care bill — in the face of loud GOP howls — after Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) won his special election and cost the them their 60-vote super majority.

    Now conservative Republicans say they’re prepared to use the same tool to repeal as much of the law as they can if they control both chambers in 2013 — despite decrying the process itself in practically the same breath.

    “Beyond…the reconciliation component of this, they used every legislative shenanigan that I have ever seen to get this implemented,” King also said.

    Republicans have used reconciliation many times over the years — perhaps most famously when they passed the Bush tax cuts in 2001. Indeed, it’s because reconciliation rules require legislation to be deficit neutral or better over the 10 year budget window that the Bush tax cuts were set to expire at the end of last year.

    Public polling of the health care law is decidedly mixed, but not withstanding the impressive signature total, there isn’t anything close to broad support for total repeal of the law. These members are undeterred — they want the whole law nixed.

    “People say well, you don’t like [26 year olds] being able to stay on their families’ health insurance policy?” asked Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). “No I’m not opposed to that. But you know what, if we would create a few jobs in the country, they would be out working and have a good income and a good health benefit package from their employer. So you know, we start with the right thing.”

    Flanked by 10 of the most conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), claimed repealing health care reform “isn’t a partisan issue. It’s an American issue.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    from The Obama Diary in the comments:


    October 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve been watching the #OccupyWallStreet movement and I’ve hesitated to comment about the cause because I wanted to give it more time to roll out and define itself. My problem with the movement is that is has no PHILOSOPHY.

    Everyone has a philosophy. Every organization has a philosophy. Every educational institution has a philosophy. Every community outreach program has a philosophy. Every professional entity has a philosophy (doctors, lawyers, nurses, engineers, teachers, etc.) Your philosophy is what you believe in. What you stand for. A defined set of beliefs that is your core. The movement doesn’t have one. I understand that they’re angry at WallStreet and the fat cats. Ok. Good for you.

    Now tell me how you’re going to go about making sure they pay attention because right now despite occupying wallstreet for however long; wallstreet isn’t paying attention Wallstreet is more concerned with the European debt crisis, the American economy, their millions and billions of dollars, the stock market and so on and so forth. You want Wallstreet to stop screwing over the middleclass?

    How about you get behind President Obama’s American Jobs Act which has concrete plans to put the middleclass back to work and grow the economy and while you’re at it; tweet, call, fax, facebook, and email your congressmembers and DEMAND they pass the AJA. You’re pissed off that hedge fund managers get paid an obscene amount of money whereas teachers are getting laid off by the droves? How about you get behind the AJA which puts teachers back to work. You’re pissed off that the banks got bailed out and are now withholding lines of credit to small businesses and are trying to charge ridiculous fees to debit and credit cardholders? How about you march right up to Capitol Hill and demand for them to approve Richard Cordray’s appointment as the head of the CFPB so that he can get to work and stop big banks from screwing over the middleclass. You’re pissed off that unregulated money is allowed to flow into elections and corporations can fund candidates annonymously due to Citizens United; how about you find a way to get the case back into the judicial or legislative system and do what you can so that special interest money can be gutted out of the electoral system. You’re pissed off that republican governors and republican legislatures through ALEC and the Koch Brothers are busting up unions and labor; how about you join your local OFA chapter, your local Democratic chapter; canvass, inform people about the destructive nature of the GOP, spread the Democratic message of hope, look for Democrats to run against republicans and do whatever you can to turn your district and state as BLUE as possible.

    And while you’re at it, how about you find grassroots leaders that can represent your cause and have a concrete well defined message whenever he/she is interviewed by the media. Being called the lefts version of the teaparty is not a compliment because the teaparty was NEVER a genuine grassroots movement; so have your OWN leaders come out and refute that dangerous comparison. Also, weed out the teaparty members who are trying to co-opt your movement. Stop allowing them and the emoprogs to infiltrate the media and make this another bash fest of President Obama. That will just turn your already fragmented movement into a lost cause. My underlying point is be PROACTIVE, have a CLEAR message. Do SOMETHING concrete. Don’t just park your gear day after day at Wallstreet and yell and scream; because you’ll just be regarded as a joke or a flash in the pan. That is not how a revolutionary movement works. A revolutionary movement at the end of the day has a list of accomplishments that help REAL people.

    • Bravo! Thank you Rikyrah for posting Utaustinliberal’s expanded quote here on 3chicspolitico. I must have missed The Obama Diary thread which featured her beautiful rant. Let me say that I just love that rant coming from Ut, a young college student from Texas. This sista might be young, but clearly she has a good head on her shoulders, and she certainly has a way with words. I read her daily posts on TOD and her tweets on Twitter, and I must say I’m thoroughly impressed!

      I must also add that I agree with Ut’s comments regarding the #OccupyWallStreet so-called grassroots movement. Unless or until organizers of the protest adopt/articulate a clear and relevant mission or philosopy, I am reluctant to throw my support their way. If they are really serious, why not get behind the President’s AJA?

    • Ametia says:

      APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE! UT captured and articulated my very feelings and thoughts on the OWS scene. Get behind the POTUS and take it to CONGRESS.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Cain: ‘If You Don’t Have A Job And You Are Not Rich, Blame Yourself!’ (VIDEO)

    Herman Cain had some tough words for the Occupy Wall Street protests, in an interview with Wall Street Journal: Don’t blame the banks for your financial problems — blame yourself.

    “I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated, to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration,” Cain said. “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks — if you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself!”

    Interviewer Alan Murray asked: “You don’t think the banks have anything to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008?”

    “They did have something to do with the crisis that we went into in 2008. But we’re not in 2008 — we’re in 2011!” Cain replied.

    Cain continued: “Okay. Yes, they had a big part to do with it. And obviously you could go back and say okay, what did the banks do, to do this? These demonstrations, I honestly don’t understand what they’re looking for. To me, they come across more as anti-capitalism. That’s basically what it comes across as.

    “When I was growing up, I was blessed to have had parents that didn’t teach me to be jealous of anybody, and didn’t teach me to be envious of somebody. It is not a person’s fault because they succeeded — it is a person’s fault if they failed. And so this is why I don’t understand these demonstrations, and what is it that they are looking for.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    Romney Would Not Be Like Ike
    by BooMan
    Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 02:40:24 PM EST

    Listening to Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck discuss politics can blister your cerebral cortex. They are fools who operate without the most basic facts or any accurate historical framework. That is why O’Reilly thinks that Mitt Romney is an Eisenhower Republican and Glenn Beck thinks that Obama is a radical socialist who doesn’t like white people. I want to make a point about trying to assess the ideological bent of presidents and potential presidents. You can’t go by their record alone, or by their rhetoric. They will do what it is possible to do, not what they would do if given a free hand. Mitt Romney, if elected, will be faced with one radical bill after another. He will not veto them all. He will not go to war with a Republican Congress. He will sign most of their radical agenda into law. He will not stand up to the radical right any more than Eisenhower stood up to Joe McCarthy. The difference today is that McCarthy is no longer an outlier in the GOP, but the norm.
    If you want Eisenhower Republicanism, you already have a fairly good facsimile in the Obama administration. It’s not that Obama is on the same ideological plane as Eisenhower, but when you combine a fairly orthodox Democrat in the White House with a radically conservative Congress and a Democratic Party that isn’t united behind the president, what you get looks a lot like what Eisenhower produced. It wouldn’t be too bad if the economy wasn’t so crippled and Congress could actual agree on anything.

    As someone from the White House told me, the president didn’t run for office to spend all his time bickering about the goddamned debt ceiling. Where we are is not where he wants us to be. The same thing would hold true with Romney. If you elect Romney, you get a massive rightward lurch, even if Romney himself isn’t that crazy.

  35. rikyrah says:

    at 01:10 PM ET, 10/05/2011
    Obama losing jobs argument with Congress — but winning it with the public
    By Greg Sargent
    I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by this. But even as it’s becoming official that Obama’s jobs bill in its current form is doomed in Congress, new polling shows that Obama is clearly winning the argument over it with the public.

    Yes, Obama’s overall approval numbers are very bad. But today’s Washington Post poll finds that Obama has made big gains over Republicans on the specific question of who is more trusted to handle jobs. Obama has a 15 point edge on the issue, 49-34, up from a tie of 40-40 in early September.

    That’s not all. The poll also finds that a majority, 52 percent, support Obama’s jobs bill, versus only 36 percent who oppose it. And 58 percent say it would improve the unemployment picture, versus only 39 percent who say it wouldn’t. Even more interesting, a whopping 70 percent say Republicans are more intested in protecting the interests of the wealthy than those of the middle class — while 52 percent say Obama protects the interests of the latter.

    It gets more interesting. Despite the ubiquitous claims that Obama’s new populism is only about juicing the base, today’s poll shows strong support for Obama on jobs among moderates and independents, according to data provided by the Post polling team.

    * A majority of moderates (53-27) and a plurality of independents (44-31) trust Obama more on jobs.

    * A majority of moderates (52-34) and a plurality of independents (47-38) support Obama’s jobs plan.

    * A majority of moderates (61-35) and of independents (52-44) say the jobs plan would improve the unemployment picture.

    Post polling guru Peyton Craighill has the partisan breakdown in handy chart form and adds more analysis that you should check out. Je points out that the movement among independents is what has firmed up the turnaround for Obama on the jobs issue. If this doesn’t put an end to the ridiculous meme that Obama’s new populism is only about playing to Dems, then nothing will. In reality, this is also a bet about where the true middle of the country lies, and a bet that what indys want most is someone who will fight for them on jobs.

    Again: You can’t sugarcoat the fact that Obama’s overall approval numbers on the economy are very bad, including among independents. But as today’s poll makes clear, those numbers are a referendum on the economy, and the failure to fix it so far — and not a referendum on his current policies, which have strong public support, even as they’re being blocked by Republicans.

    As usual, even as Obama is persuading the public to back his plan, Democrats in the Senate announced today that it can’t pass in its current form. Worse, they said they’re not even sure that tweaking it — with a surtax on millionaires — can win unanimous Dem support. This, even though today’s Post poll finds that 75 percent — and 57 percent of Republicans — support hiking taxes on millionaires!

    This is an old story, of course. Because red state Democrats seem to think they can’t possibly win an argument with Republicans over taxes, Dems are unable to unify behind proposals that have broad popular support. Maybe it’s true that fighting back against GOP attacks in red states is utterly hopeless. But even if these Dems are right about their own vulnerability, it doesn’t make the overall picture any less perverse–but-winning-it-with-the-public/2011/03/03/gIQAojenNL_blog.html

  36. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011 11:20 AM

    Obama’s loss is not the GOP’s gain

    By Steve Benen

    The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, at first blush, offers nothing but bad news for President Obama. His approval rating is down once again, and support for his handling on key issues keeps slipping further.

    But as we’ve seen before, there’s a silver lining for the White House: the public is dissatisfied with Republicans much more.

    Obama’s overall approval rating slipped from 47 percent before the debt-ceiling debate to 42 percent now, with 54 percent disapproving of his job performance. A record low 35 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the economy.

    But the president’s new jobs package, which is supported by a narrow majority of the public, has bolstered his position on the issue. He now holds a 49 to 34 percent advantage over congressional Republicans when it comes to the public’s trust on creating jobs. That is a change from September, when they were evenly split at 40 percent each.

    If Republicans think they’re winning the legislative fight, persuading people the president is on the wrong track, they’re mistaken. Not only does the American mainstream trust Obama more on job creation, but a majority supports the American Jobs Act, which the GOP refuses to even consider, and believes it would help the economy.

    Americans also aren’t buying the Republican line on tax policy — a whopping 75% of the country supports raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. It looks like class warfare is pretty popular.

    And asked who cares more about protecting the middle class, Obama tops the GOP by 20 points, 52% to 32%.

    As for Congress’ approval rating, support has dropped to a dismal 14%, the lowest since the poll starting asking the question in the mid-1970s.

    Here’s a tip for congressional leaders: you can bring up the institution’s approval rating by working with the White House and approving a jobs bill.

    But therein lies the rub: Republicans don’t much care. GOP leaders not only don’t want to boost the economy, they also aren’t terribly concerned with improving Congress’ public standing. On the contrary, Republicans seem to believe they should keep this up, turn Americans against their own public institutions, and create conditions in which voters hate everyone and give up on government altogether. The scorched-earth strategy, they figure, should even be enough to bring down Obama’s presidency.

    Time will tell if this effort pays off for the radicalized Republican Party, but if the president was eager to run for re-election by running against Washington dysfunction, a do-nothing Congress, and a GOP that’s given up on trying to solve problems, Republican lawmakers are making his task significantly easier.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 05, 2011 1:20 PM

    Building a bridge to the 18th century

    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he was only making “a historical observation” during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, but what an observation it was.

    “[T]here was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted — that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending — to have some skin in the game.

    “Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don’t have an income tax liability. And it’s pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all…. I don’t think they’re paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits. […]

    “What if that were transferred into a society like today and it were [only] taxpayers that were voting?”

    When elected officials look back longingly at 18th century voting laws, there’s a problem.

    Actually, there’s more than one problem. Just at the surface, King is lying. When he says, for example, that “47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes,” that’s just demonstrably wrong. In case anyone’s forgotten, the relevant details matter: millions of Americans may be exempt from income taxes, but they still pay sales taxes, state taxes, local taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare/Medicaid taxes, and in many instances, property taxes. It’s not as if these folks are getting away with something — the existing tax structure leaves them out of the income tax system because they don’t make enough money to qualify. Indeed, many are retirees who can’t earn an income because they’re no longer in the workforce.

    Even putting that aside, isn’t the notion of basing voting rights on the size of one’s tax bill the kind of thing Americans should find offensive in the 21st century?

    But it’s this “skin in the game” line that seems to have the most political salience. A growing number of Republican officials — including, by the way, Mitt Romney — believe that those who can afford to pay the least should be taxed more.

    It seems like the sort of debate the parties should take to the nation. I imagine a lot of voters would be fascinated by the fact that the Republican mainstream maintains that those with the least ought to shoulder more of the tax burden.

  38. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011 2:05 PM

    The economic message the mainstream wants to hear

    By Steve Benen

    National Journal has a piece today arguing that President Obama’s new economic push is the wrong message — it’s just not what the American mainstream wants to hear. Obama excelled as a candidate in 2008 appealing to independents and disaffected Republicans, but Obama risks “chasing away” those votes with economic “populism.”

    The evidence to the contrary is pretty overwhelming.

    We talked earlier about the new Washington Post/ABC News poll, which asked the public about raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. A whopping 75% support the idea, suggesting “class warfare” isn’t quite as scary as Republicans and reporters like to think. The same poll found most voters also support the American Jobs Act, and strongly prefer President Obama’s approach to the GOP’s when it comes to creating jobs and protecting the middle class.

    Greg Sargent does a nice job delving deeper into the data today, highlighting previously unreported details, including the fact that the White House’s economic pitch is also resonating with self-identified moderates and independents. Greg noted the findings of Post polling guru Peyton Craighill:

    He points out that the movement among independents is what has firmed up the turnaround for Obama on the jobs issue. If this doesn’t put an end to the ridiculous meme that Obama’s new populism is only about playing to Dems, then nothing will. In reality, this is also a bet about where the true middle of the country lies, and a bet that what indys want most is someone who will fight for them on jobs.

    The shift is striking. A month ago, independents sided with the GOP by a five-point margin on creating jobs, but now we independents siding with Obama by 13 points. That’s a pretty dramatic swing in a fairly short period of time, suggesting that those arguing that the president is driving independent voters away with his new economic message have this precisely backwards.

    As for raising taxes on the very wealthy, not only do 75% of Americans support a possible surtax on millionaires and billionaires, a majority of self-identified Republicans agree.

    A handful of panicky conservative Dems don’t seem to care — the fear of attack ads labeling them a “tax raiser” leads to embarrassingly weak knees — but when this high a percentage of the public backs a tax increase, and an additional revenue is desperately needed, the position for sensible policymakers should be a no-brainer.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 05, 2011 12:35 PM

    ‘The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore’

    By Steve Benen

    Press releases from Capitol Hill are generally easy to dismiss, but one this morning caught my eye. It was sent by House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.), sent on behalf of the caucus, as opposed to just himself, “applauding” the “Occupy Wall Street Movement.”

    “In New York and across the country, thousands of Americans have taken to the streets, certain of the morality of their message: bringing fairness to Main Street,” Larson said. “The silent masses aren’t so silent anymore. They are fighting to give voice to the struggles that everyday Americans are going through.”

    These protests aren’t invisible to the establishment anymore, and when the House Democratic Caucus is officially applauding the demonstrations, it’s clearly a positive development for the burgeoning movement.

    Republicans are taking note of Occupy Wall Street, too. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was asked about the protests yesterday, and he said, “I think it’s dangerous — this class warfare.” As it turns out, I would imagine many of the activists involved would agree that class warfare is dangerous, though Romney and the protestors would define the phrase differently.

    Herman Cain, meanwhile, shared his thoughts on the demonstrations with the Wall Street Journal: “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”

    If that quote alone doesn’t inspire some more of the 99% to get engaged, I’m not sure what will.

    As for the larger context of the developments, I found Jonathan Cohn’s take on Occupy Wall Street pretty compelling.

    During my lifetime, the activist left has gone through several incarnations, focusing on a series of different causes. For much of the 80s and 90s, very generally speaking, the focus was largely on identity politics. Then attention moved to globalization and then, during the Bush presidency, to wars abroad.

    As far as I can tell, this is the first time the activist left has focused seriously on issues of economic opportunity at home…. [T]his movement has a real chance to help shape the debate over economic policy in this country — not merely about the financial industry, which is the object of protests right now, but also about inequality generally.

    True, the protesters don’t have such an agenda right now. In fact, they don’t really have any agenda at all, at least in the traditional sense. But it’s not like their animating worldview is such a mystery.

    Quite right. I’m hoping the protests lead, in time, to specific demands and goals that policymakers could be pressed to approve, but in general, pleas for economic justice are pretty straightforward, and have the opportunity to change the nature of the national debate in long overdue ways.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Sarah Damocles Palin

    She is now the final asterisk in the GOP race. And there’s been a striking silence from Wasilla lately. Reports of her peeps inquiring into primary deadlines are hard to parse, because, as Allahpundit notes, we don’t know when they took place. If it was last week, it’s news.

    Is it a plausible scenario? If you believe Palin (never a good idea), she has taken her time to see if someone else emerges who can bring her point of view (absent the clinical delusion, congenital dishonesty and wigs) to the White House race. And guess what? If Perry’s fall from grace becomes permanent, where will the anti-Romney forces go? Yes, Cain is now the recipient. But she is the incumbent vice-presidential candidate. In the hierarchical nature of Republican electoral politics, she is due more than Cain, even though she is out of her tiny mind. Far right fanatic Dan Riehl makes the case:

    Barring another late entry, or unforeseen circumstance, by getting in late, Palin could very well become the last gal standing with enough solid baseline support, name recognition and timely trending attention to take on Romney in a serious way during the actual voting within the GOP primary. What on Earth would there be for a serious conservative to do? If Romney is un-electable, as many have conceded – and, in the view of some, so is Palin – why not fight for principle, as opposed to two ultimately losing candidates?

    But is she seriously considering running? Well:

    The fact that Palin is touring the early primary states in a giant bus with her name on it would seem, as Jon Stewart has noted, as evidence either that she’s running for president or is crazy (not that these are mutually exclusive options).

    Certainly not with Palin. Her main liability – that she is an unstable, adolescent, vindictive incompetent – was fully explored by Joe McGinniss, but the MSM, fearful that their own malpractice in 2008 might be aired, have largely killed the book’s chance to get the truth out about this whackjob. I imagine she sees this as another example of her undefeatedness, and further evidence that the MSM needs her for traffic more than it fears her for what she could do to this country and the world. McGinniss thinks the whole thing is a hoax designed for more lucrative speaking gigs.

    But consider this. Palin has a cult following of around 10 percent of the GOP base. And this is a floor, not a ceiling. She’s not running right now, which surely depresses this number. If she were to run, she could easily end up in double digits while the front-runner cannot move past around 20 percent in this field. She’s also under-estimated as a speaker. Why? Because she can deliver a hell of a stump speech for the base, and retains more cred with the base than anyone else, because of Trig. Ralph Reed knows her typical follower well:

    “It’s a person who is a devout Christian and a solid social conservative who also has a lot of credentials with the tea party movement,” Reed said. “When you’ve got Herman Cain beating frontrunners to win [the Florida straw poll] it shows you where the activists are right now and I think that’s right in Palin’s wheelhouse.”

    And remember her favorite word and self-branding: the rogue. It’s possible she could also run as an Independent or Tea Party candidate next year, especially if Romney wins the nomination, and hits a bump in the road. Think about it:

    Palin has held the GOP establishment in contempt since 2008. During the 2010 elections, she regularly railed against the “GOP machine” and “good old boys,” and both she and her supporters have accused the party of trying to muzzle Palin. In fact, Palin’s embrace of the Tea Party movement has regularly been coupled with attacks on the Republican Party, and she’s often keen to note that her spirit and principles are conservative, not Republican.

    In short, Palin doesn’t claim loyalty to the GOP, and in fact loathes the party establishment. There’d be no greater blow she could strike to the GOP elite than to run as an independent and siphon off votes from the Republican nominee. Party bigwigs would either fawn over her, trying to coax her out of the race, or attack her mercilessly as they try to discredit her among conservative-minded voters. Either way, Palin would once again be the center of attention.

    The obvious problem is that she would all but guarantee the re-election of Barack Obama. Is she delusional and narcissistic enough to plow onward regardless?

    You betcha!

  41. rikyrah says:

    Romney And Latinos
    Pivoting off of Maggie Haberman’s reporting, Ben Smith explains why Romney’s sinister attack on Perry’s immigration record is so politically risky for the GOP in the long-run:

    I participated in a panel on the topic of the Hispanic vote … and was struck by two items in the remarks by the pollsters and Latino politics on the panel: That immigration isn’t the top issue for Hispanic voters (“I don’t care about immigration,” Univision executive Chiqui Cartagena announced), and that Hispanic voters are intensely sensitive to rhetoric — more, in the view of some, than policy — that comes off as bigoted or as playing to bigots.

    Don’t worry. He’s faking it. He’ll be learning Spanish soon enough.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Worry. He’s Faking It.
    Frum keeps faith in Romney’s ability to buck Party orthodoxy:

    (1) Romney is not only very intelligent, but he also has demonstrated through his career a devotion to facts over ideology. (2) Romney has visibly not been caught up in the panic and rage against President Obama that has done so much to distort Republican thinking since 2009. (3) Romney has not signed up for the kind of ultra-deluded tax-cutting as solution to all ills program advocated by Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. His unwillingness to over-commit himself during the Republican primaries signals an openness to future contingencies should he be elected president. Slender hopes? Yes. But no other Republican offers any hope at all.

    David might want to pipe down a little. The Tea Partiers have broadband, remember? Chait sees the jittery base thinking along the same lines but drawing the opposite conclusion:

    Republican moneymen and pundits are starting to flock to the Mitt Romney banner, sending forth the word that it is time to bow to the inevitable. But the Republican voters just do not like Mitt Romney. The depth the of the base’s resistance to falling in behind next-in-line Romney has continuously shocked observers, resulting first in the rise of Donald Trump, then Michele Bachmann, then Rick Perry. Now Perry is swooning, and his support has gone to … Herman Cain! In the latest Washington Post poll, Perry’s support has halved over the last month, but Romney remains stuck at 25 percent. Cain has risen to 16 percent. The new CBS poll has Cain tied, at 17 percent, for first place with Romney. PPP polled Republicans in North Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia, and found Cain leading in all three states…I don’t see how Republicans could be making this any more plain. They do not want to nominate Mitt Romney.

  43. rikyrah says:

    GOP Budget Proposal Cuts Pell Grants For 1 Million Students, 10 Percent Of Those Eligible

    | House Republicans unveiled their draft budget proposal for labor, health, and human services last week, which includes major cuts to education, women’s health, and job training, among other things. The GOP particularly takes aim at low-income and working students with their proposal to severely restrict eligibility for Pell Grants, barring grants to students who attend college less than half time. Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, estimated that the bill would eliminate Pell grants for about 1 million students, or roughly 10 percent of those now eligible. Many public colleges and universities have already raised tuition costs, which means middle and low-income families now face the prospect of paying more with less student aid.

  44. Civil rights leader Shuttlesworth dies

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, who was bombed, beaten and repeatedly arrested in the fight for civil rights and hailed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for his courage and energy, has died. He was 89.

    Princeton Baptist Medical Center spokeswoman Jennifer Dodd confirmed he died at the Birmingham hospital Wednesday morning..

    Shuttlesworth, a former truck driver who studied religion at night, became pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1953 and soon was an outspoken leader in the fight for racial equality.

    “My church was a beehive,” Shuttlesworth once said. “I made the movement. I made the challenge. Birmingham was the citadel of segregation, and the people wanted to march.”

    In his 1963 book “Why We Can’t Wait,” King called Shuttlesworth “one of the nation’s the most courageous freedom fighters … a wiry, energetic and indomitable man.”

    He survived a 1956 bombing, an assault during a 1957 demonstration, chest injuries when Birmingham authorities turned fire hoses on demonstrators in 1963, and countless arrests.

  45. President Barack Obama returns a salute as he steps off Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, early Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, as he returns from a trip to Dallas, Texas.

  46. U.S. President Barack Obama (L) laughs as he prepares to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington before departing for Texas October 4, 2011.

  47. Ametia says:

    Senate Dems Schumer, Hoyer, and Reid on AMERICAN JOBS ACT

    Watch it here:

  48. US President Barack Obama (C) walks from Air Force One after arriving at Dallas Love Field in Dallas, Texas, October 4, 2011. Obama is traveling to speak about creating more jobs and attend Democratic fundraisers in Dallas, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri.

  49. Oh! Oh!

    I can hear the music this morning! Love, Love it!

  50. rikyrah says:

    America and Bust
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 09:24:34 PM EST

    I finally finished reading Michael Lewis’s long piece in Vanity Fair. It’s good writing, with fascinating information, and quite a bit of style. It’s definitely worth the half-hour it takes to read. I learned, among other things, that the two most common causes of death for firefighters are heart attacks and truck crashes. I thought it would have been collapsing buildings or smoke inhalation or burns. Here’s another interesting bit. The author conducted at least part of his interview with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger while riding bikes at breakneck speed around Venice Beach.

    If there had not been a popular movement to remove sitting governor Gray Davis and the chance to run for governor without having to endure a party primary, he never would have bothered. “The recall happens and people are asking me, ‘What are you going to do?’ ” he says, dodging vagrants and joggers along the beach bike path. “I thought about it but decided I wasn’t going to do it. I told Maria I wasn’t running. I told everyone I wasn’t running. I wasn’t running.” Then, in the middle of the recall madness, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines opened. As the movie’s leading machine, he was expected to appear on The Tonight Show to promote it. En route he experienced a familiar impulse—the impulse to do something out of the ordinary. “I just thought, This will freak everyone out,” he says. “It’ll be so funny. I’ll announce that I am running. I told Leno I was running. And two months later I was governor.” He looks over at me, pedaling as fast as I can to keep up with him, and laughs. “What the fuck is that? ”

    Yes. What the fuck is that? What kind of country are we living in where this is how the biggest state in the union selects its governor?

    I have one more part I want to share because it pertains to the current governor of California and to our president.

    A compelling book called Cal­ifornia Crackup describes this problem more generally. It was written by a pair of journalists and nonpartisan think-tank scholars, Joe Mathews and Mark Paul, and they explain, among other things, why Arnold Schwarze­neg­ger’s experience as governor was going to be unlike any other experience in his career: he was never going to win. California had organized itself, not accidentally, into highly partisan legislative districts. It elected highly partisan people to office and then required these people to reach a two-thirds majority to enact any new tax or meddle with big spending decisions. On the off chance that they found some common ground, it could be pulled out from under them by voters through the initiative process. Throw in term limits—no elected official now serves in California government long enough to fully understand it—and you have a recipe for generating maximum contempt for elected officials. Politicians are elected to get things done and are prevented by the system from doing it, leading the people to grow even more disgusted with them. “The vicious cycle of contempt,” as Mark Paul calls it. California state government was designed mainly to maximize the likelihood that voters will continue to despise the people they elect.

    Again, absent the term limits and initiative problems, and with the two-thirds problem replaced by the filibuster, doesn’t this sound like what’s happening to the federal government?

  51. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011 8:00 AM

    Dems win a tough one in West Virginia

    By Steve Benen

    Voters in West Virginia went to the polls yesterday to elect a governor, and Republicans invested heavily in trying to nationalize the race. President Obama is deeply unpopular in this conservative state, and GOP ads were based almost entirely on tying the Democratic candidate to the White House. (That there was no meaningful connection was apparently unimportant.)

    Given the Republican strategy, some in the media seemed eager to seize on the race as an example of a president facing a political crisis. Mark Halperin conceded overnight, “If the GOPer had won, the national narrative would have been that Obama was the issue.” Coming on the heels of two Democratic defeats in congressional special elections, the “Dems in disarray” coverage was going to be intense.

    It looks like West Virginians spoiled the media’s fun by voting for the Dem anyway.

    Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, narrowly won a special election for governor on Tuesday, successfully defending himself against Republican attacks that tried to link him with President Obama and his health care overhaul.

    With about 94 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Tomblin led his Republican opponent, Bill Maloney, by about 3 percentage points, according to the Web site of the West Virginia Secretary of State.

    It was a slim victory in a hard-fought race that was seen as a test for Democrats.

    The efforts of the Republican Governors Association were of particular interest. With gubernatorial races in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana proving to be uncompetitive, the RGA devoted considerable resources to the West Virginia race, spending in upwards of $5 million in anti-Obama attack ads. The party not only hoped to win an off-year race and lend fuel to a national media narrative, but also saw this as a test run for a plan that could be utilized here and elsewhere in 2012.

    But it didn’t work out. Maloney came on strong in the race’s closing weeks, but Tomblin won anyway, and the areas of the state where the RGA ads ran the most seemed largely unaffected by the anti-Obama push. Indeed, Republicans ended up outspending Democrats in this race by a wide margin — roughly a two-to-one margin — but to no avail.

    What do the results tell us about next year’s election cycle? Not much. West Virginia Dems — both voters and candidates — tend to be well to the right of the national party, and it’s a safe bet that Obama-Biden 2012 will not include the state on its list of targets. Tomblin’s victory reinforces the perception that Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is a safe bet to win a full term next year, but that’s probably about it.

    Still, had the race gone the other way, the ferocity of the media’s “Dems are reeling everywhere!” message would have been hard to miss. I won’t hold my breath looking for stories asking, “Does the win in West Virginia point to a Democratic comeback?”

  52. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011 9:20 AM

    Not taking ‘dead’ for an answer

    By Steve Benen

    On Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters that the American Jobs Act is “dead.” Congressional Republicans, he said, might be willing to consider some small measures that won’t make much of a difference, but meaningful efforts are off the table.

    On Tuesday, President Obama traveled to Dallas, Texas, where he responded to the oft-confused Majority Leader directly.

    “Yesterday, the Republican Majority Leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, said that right now he won’t even let this jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. This is what he said. Won’t even let it be debated. Won’t even give it a chance to be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.

    “Think about that. I mean, what’s the problem? Do they not have the time? They just had a week off. Is it inconvenient?

    “Look, I’d like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what exactly in this jobs bill does he not believe in. What exactly is he opposed to? 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 our veterans?

    “Mr. Cantor should come down to Dallas and look Kim Russell in the eye and tell her why she doesn’t deserve to be back in the classroom doing what she loves, helping our kids. Come tell her students why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back. Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting idle instead of out there on the job. Tell small business owners and workers in this community why you’d rather defend tax breaks for folks who don’t need them — for millionaires — rather than tax cuts for middle-class families.

    “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 members of Congress stand. Put your cards on the table.”

    If there were any doubts about whether the president is fully invested in his more confrontational posture, I think calling out Cantor like this, by name, should make Obama’s intentions fairly clear.

    It also suggests the White House isn’t folding on the jobs bill. Cantor’s DOA declaration on Monday didn’t exactly send Obama back to the drawing board with his tail between his legs. The president appears eager to keep fighting.

    What’s the end game? I would imagine the president and his team realize that radicalized House Republicans aren’t going to suddenly become responsible. It’d be nice, and public pressure might sway a few votes, but it’s just not realistic.

    But that’s one of the things that made Obama’s message yesterday interesting: he just wants a vote on his popular and effective jobs plan. The moment congressional Republicans kill it, the president will very likely use their intransigence as the 2012 pitch: “I presented a bipartisan plan to boost the economy that the American people liked, but Republicans refused. If you’re unhappy with the state of the economy, blame them.”

    I don’t know if that’ll work, but it’s a compelling message that happens to be accurate. And frankly, I’m not sure if Obama really has any other options.

    Postscript: Incidentally, the president also had a little fun with a quote ThinkProgress flagged the other day.

    “[T]he tax code, the way it’s structured, is not fair. And so what we’ve said is, let’s reform our tax code based on a very simple principle, and it will raise more money without hurting working families. Here’s the principle: Middle-class families, working families, should not pay higher tax rates than millionaires or billionaires. I don’t know how you argue against that; seems pretty straightforward to me. Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett.

    “Now, when I point this out — it seems very logical to me, but when I point this out, some of the Republicans in Congress, they say, ‘Oh, you’re engaging in class warfare.’ Class warfare? Let me tell you something. Years ago, a great American had a different view. All right? I’m going to get the quote just so you know I’m not making this up. The Great American said that he thought it was ‘crazy’ that certain tax loopholes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary. All right?

    “You know who this guy was? Wasn’t a Democrat. Wasn’t some crazy socialist. It was Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan. Last time I checked, Republicans all thought Reagan made some sense. So the next time you hear one of those Republicans in Congress accusing you of class warfare, you just tell them, I’m with Ronald Reagan.”

    If Republicans in Congress — or on the presidential campaign trail — could be asked whether they agree with Reagan or not, I’d sure love to hear the answers.

    • Ametia says:

      LO PBO beat Cantor all about the head and neck yesterday! Keep naming names, PBO. The media will have folks believe we don’t know who the fuck is Eric Cantor. Well he’s the HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER, AMERICA.

      And this little sniveling rat, ERIC CANTOR is obstructing right along with his house buddies to prevent AMERICANS from having JOBS!

  53. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011
    A New Low For The New Worst Governor In America
    Posted by Zandar
    Looks like Ohio Republican John Kasich is not only the new most hated governor in the land (surpassing Florida’s odious GOP Jackass-in-Chief, Rick Scott) but he’s now giving Scott a solid run for his money in the outright worst in the nation category. MoJo’s excellent Mac McClelland:

    While we’re all at being (rightfully) mad at some really rich people, let’s splash some more fuel onto the class-warfare fire. Think tank Innovation Ohio has released some stats about that state’s governor, John Kasich, who is trying to kill collective bargaining with a bill called SB 5 and who recently slashed funding to services people sort of need, like schools and firefighting.

    But the Ohio legislature isn’t spreading the pain equally—namely, not among themselves. According to IO’s most recent report, Kasich took a raise of more than $10,000 over the last governor’s salary, bringing his pay to $148,165. And exempted the salary from the SB 5 provision that cuts automatic annual raises for other public employees. And lied about how much he pays his staff, whose senior members make $110,000. Also unaffected by the recent massive budget cuts is the Ohio General Assembly’s minimum salary of $60K—for a part-time job in a state where the average worker makes $40K. Of course, 62 of the 70 legislators who voted for SB 5 make more than that minimum. Those 62 receive annual bonuses up to $34k. No wonder there was so much protesting going on when I was there.

    So yeah, with all the howling from Ohio Republicans that the Buckeye State had to end collective bargaining rights for those awful, greedy state employees so that Ohio counties and municipalities could make “painful but necessary” budget cuts, not only did they lock down salaries for government employees in the state, they then went and gave themselves a big fat ol’ raise on the taxpayer dime.

    Anyone surprised by this, please email me your bank account info, I need to get a couple billion dollars out of a Nigerian prince or two. Seriously, exciting new branches of theoretical mathematics have yet to be discovered that can sufficiently quantify how much of a complete asshole John Kasich is.

    But hey, Republicans given power? Surprise! They abuse it.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
    Impeachment By Proxy
    Posted by Zandar
    Since Republicans have never forgiven Dems for the US Attorney scandal 4 years ago (and Gonzo’s resignation) they’re going to get rid of Eric Holder come hell or high water.

    The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee called Tuesday for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder was honest when he testified earlier this year about his knowledge of a now-discredited federal gunrunning operation.

    “Allegations that senior Justice Department officials may have intentionally misled Members of Congress are extremely troubling and must be addressed by an independent and objective special counsel,” Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama.

    So expect “WHAT DID OBAMA KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT” as the Republicans desperately trying to take attention away from their loser candidates and Occupy Wall Street. Want to know where Republicans are going with their smoke and mirrors game? All the way to the top.

    Just remember that Republicans were in charge, we got a war that killed thousands and a cover up operation that spanned the entire federal government. “Operation Fast and Furious” has all the vitamins the GOP box of idiot cereal needs: Obama’s gonna take our guns, scary brown people waiting to kill everyone you love, and of course the black guys are corrupt thugs.

    Fast and Furious was a stupid idea. If that’s an impeachable offense, there’s nobody left in politics in America.

  55. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
    Profiles In Courage: Pass The Damn Bill Edition, Part 3
    Posted by Zandar
    As Republicans continue to sabotage the economy, President Obama is unleashing his secret weapon: the Gipper.

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday invoked conservative icon Ronald Reagan to rebut Republican claims his plans to raise taxes on the rich smacked of class warfare.

    In a campaign event in Texas, Obama referred to a speech that former president Reagan gave about tax reform in Atlanta in 1985.

    “Twenty-six years ago, another president said some of these tax loopholes, and I quote: ‘made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary and that is crazy, it’s time we stopped it.’”

    “You know the name of that president? Ronald Reagan,” Obama said.

    “Was that class warfare? I know people have short memories, but I don’t remember Republicans accusing Ronald Reagan of being a socialist or engaging in class warfare because he thought everybody should do their fair share.”

    That’s because today, Reagan couldn’t get elected court jester by the TeaGOP. I personally think the Republicans have sorely underestimated the anger at them right now. President Obama has been going around the country talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. Occupy Wall Street is making headlines. And Republicans?

    They say they will do literally nothing to help Americans right now. Nothing. “The bill is dead” they say, and the American economy is slipping into another recession. We can’t afford to tax the rich any more or they’ll not create jobs. I have news for you, they’re not creating jobs now, and the rich can afford to give millions to Karl Rove to beat President Obama next year.

    Once again, time to Tweet For Jobs. Let the GOP know we can take their jobs away from them.

  56. rikyrah says:

    Pass the Jobs Bill
    by BooMan
    Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 09:14:02 AM EST

    I’ve noticed a conservative bent to Sam Youngman’s reporting for The Hill, but he’s definitely repeating the common wisdom. In his eyes, the president isn’t serious about passing a jobs bill, he’s just using it as a weapon to beat over the Republicans’ heads. Anyone can see that this bill, and pretty much any conceivable alternative bill, cannot get 60 votes in the Senate or pass through the Boehner-led House. The Republican Party doesn’t want to reduce unemployment. They want to increase it. They don’t want to demonstrate that Congress can work together to solve problems. They want to prove that Congress is broken and that the federal government is worthless.
    This has been the Republican plan since November of 2008. And, so far, it has worked for them. It didn’t prevent an avalanche of progressive legislation in 2009-2010, but it made that legislation hard to digest on the left and downright toxic on the right. Since the 2010 midterms, the Republicans have effective veto power over everything, and they’re using that veto.

    Yet, the president isn’t doing this all for show. He’s trying to put pressure on Congress to do something about joblessness. It’s only a political question because the opposition refuses to do anything to help people find jobs. How long are they going to persist in refusing to act?

    Senior administration officials have warned reporters for the last month that Obama will be pushing the jobs bill long after the press has grown bored of hearing about it.
    It will be at that point, the thinking goes, that Americans will have heard about it, embraced it and joined the president in calling for its passage.

    The drumbeat is to pass the Jobs Bill. Everyone says it can’t pass. The president thinks Congress should pass the bill right now and put 2 million people back to work. He’s going to keep saying that and saying that, and, really, why shouldn’t he? People want action on jobs and the Republicans want a bad economy for political reasons. If enough people come to understand this, they’ll either force their representatives to act or replace them next November. If they don’t come to understand this, they’ll throw out the Democrats for being ineffective.

    Where do you stand?

  57. rikyrah says:

    October 05, 2011
    An ineffable yawn
    For a man of such ineffable vision — says he, week after selfsame week — Tom Friedman leaps today from the generically banal to the pointedly inane.

    Oh, for shame, laments Friedman, that the heavyweight champion of schoolyard bullying, Chris Christie, has elected not “to rescue the Republican Party” from its hellbent extremist doom and thereby “[force] Obama back to the center.”

    [I]nstead of a race between the Democratic left and the Republican right [continues Friedman] … we would have had a race between the Democratic center, independents and the Republican center. Then the whole country would win.

    Well, crap. There, with a Christie run, we could have been real contenders: it was a win-win, indeed, it was a win-win-win. Here, though, with no Christie, we’re back to a dreary existence of Simpson-Bowleslessness; merely, as noted, a contest between “the Democratic left and the Republican right.” Independents and centrists, the poor things, are rebuffed once again.

    Question: Might Tom Friedman someday take a temporal break from his ineffable celestialism to actually, oh, maybe, read one of the dozens of nearly identical public opinion polls? I’m no unshakable patron of democratic Everyman opinion — the common herd too commonly falls into its adjectival trap — but things have got so bad, which is to say, the Republican right has moved so far to the right, it is now no exaggeration to assert, plainly, that there is no “Democratic left”: there’s only the majoritarian center, which is inseparable and indistinguishable in polling from the left, which is now the traditional center (essentially, rather traditional conservatism).

    Name it. Name your issue: raising upper-income taxes, creating jobs, protecting the environment, rebuilding our infrastructure, protecting Social Security and Medicare, improving public education — go ahead and name an issue; then check the polls, and you’ll find there’s virtually no space between “the left” and the center. And that’s only because the radical right has brutally shifted the entire spectrum. There isn’t really a center, there isn’t really a left — just majority sanity.

    I’m not arguing that some of Friedman’s oft-stated remedies to a better future aren’t wise. Some are; some, undeniably so. But his journalistic perpetuation of a mythical left in some sort of mythical conflict with the solidly sober center is, for a man of such ineffable vision, a real yawn.

  58. rikyrah says:

    Given what’s happened, do we really want to (once again) rush to deregulate?
    by Kay

    I get a lot of emails on Issue Two in Ohio – thank you vigilant Ohio readers and thank you John Cole for letting us have a turn at the microphone- 35 days to go.

    I’m just going to lay this out there, and you may take from it what you will.

    There’s this:

    Officials of Bowling Green State University played a leading part in writing the section of Senate Bill 5 that bars university professors from collective bargaining, letters and emails exchanged between officials earlier this year and obtained by The Blade appear to show.

    The university’s zeal to exclude professors from collective-bargaining eligibility in Ohio came about half a year after the faculty at BGSU voted to be represented in bargaining by the American Association of University Professors union, over the opposition of the college administration.

    The bill, which curtails public employees’ rights to bargain in Ohio, is on hold pending a referendum set for Nov. 8

    An email appears to show that Sean FitzGerald, BGSU’s general counsel, came up with the language for the section of S.B. 5 that identifies professors as management employees. A Feb. 25 email from the Inter-University council’s vice president of government relations, Mike Suver, attributes the amendment to Mr. FitzGerald.

    He said to suggest that the university’s aggressive effort to repeal collective bargaining was retaliation for the BGSU’s vote in October for union representation was a “harsh” accusation. “I don’t agree with that,” Mr. FitzGerald said.

    And now we’re getting charter universities, apparently:

    Since the arrival of the Kasich administration, Ohioans have come to clearly understand the state leadership’s agenda for change. From reining in collective bargaining with government workers to leasing state assets to taking public initiatives private, the status quo is being vigorously shaken. In that environment, would it be any surprise that a similar drive should also surface in Ohio’s educational sector?

    Regents Chancellor Jim Petro got into the act last week when he unveiled his Enterprise University plan, an effort with noble intentions that would be deployed with a carrot and a stick. The program would, in essence, attempt to free state universities from red tape, give them freedom from some burdensome state oversight and allow them greater independence.

    “Enterprise University” sounds like it came right out of the Mackinac Center, and my general rule is anyone who feels the need to announce they have “noble intentions” or uses the weasel phrase “in essence” should be immediately confronted with specific questions.

    Here’s the other side:

    In the past few weeks, Gov. John Kasich, Chancellor Jim Petro, Inter-University Council President Bruce Johnson and several public-university presidents have touted the idea of shifting Ohio’s public university system to a charter university system. They describe the charter-university idea as a simple one: Public universities would receive less money in state subsidies in return for less state government regulation.

    This “flexibility” will then lead to cures for all of our higher-education ills. This is not an accurate portrayal of the potentially dramatic and dangerous turn the charter university idea would be for Ohio’s citizens. Rather, it would be another taxpayer-funded privatization scheme that will ultimately hurt Ohio’s students and future economic growth.

    If we truly value public education, instead of a publicly-funded, for-profit system that calls itself “public”, I think this bears watching.

  59. rikyrah says:

    GOP Rep. Denounces Norquist And His No New Taxes Pledge

    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.

    “I want to be clear: I raise these issues not just because Mr. Norquist’s associates may be unsavory people,” Wolf said. “There are many lobbyists in Washington who represent clients of all stripes and backgrounds. But my concern arises when the appearances of impropriety are raised over and over again with a person who has such influence over public policy. That, I believe, should give any fair-minded person pause.”

    Norquist quickly responded to the attacks, arguing that Wolf is trying to stir up anti-Muslim furor to discredit him and calling the accusations that he is tied to terrorists “disgusting.”

    “Some staffer of [Wolf’s] went onto the racist websites, you know, dug up stuff from ten years ago,” Norquist told The Ticket in response to Wolf’s floor speech. “I’m married to a woman who’s Muslim, and it’s sad and it’s disgusting. It reflects poorly on him. I think given his district, he’s going to spend a lot of time apologizing for getting into the gutter and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. I suppose this staffer who got this stuff off websites did as much chucking as the idiots who put it forward.”

    After his remarks on the House floor, Wolf submitted a report to the official House record that detailed a litany of problems he has with Norquist’s clients, causes and stands.

    One particularly inflammatory line reads: “Documentation shows that he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel.”

    Wolf and Norquist has been engaged in a longstanding dispute over how best to reduce the nation’s deficit. Wolf supports a plan put forward by the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission that would balance cuts to government programs with tax increases while Norquist is dead set against any and all tax increases.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Bill Clinton’s dangerous game

    Things are not going well for President Obama. His ratings are low – in fact latest polls show he would lose the next presidential election to a Republican nominee – and the economy is tanking. This week he described himself as “used to being an underdog”.

    You’d think he would find some crumbs of comfort from his party. You’d be wrong. In the last few weeks, Bill Clinton has been undermining the Obama presidency in subtle ways that are reviving bad memories of the 2008 election campaign, when Obama prevailed over the former president’s wife.

    Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, has behaved with exemplary loyalty. But check out her husband, asked on Meet the Press, if Obama can be reelected. There is a long pause, before Clinton replies “Yes” before adding: “if people believe that he had a credible plan and the Republicans thwarted it.” It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

    He has since said that the president’s economic plan is “a little confusing.”

    Then, last week, there he was again, talking about jobs creation with New York governor Andrew Cuomo. What a contrast to Obama, mired in jobless figures. The Associated Press story about the event quoted a top political strategist working for Clinton, Hank Sheinkopf, who said: “It’s not helpful for President Obama to have an ex-president and a Democratic governor talking about creating jobs when he can’t.”

    But Clinton has not stopped there. Next month he’s bringing out a book, “Back to Work: Why we need smart government for a strong economy.” Clearly the former president wants to boast about having created more than 20 million jobs and the budget surplus he left to George W. Bush.

    Clinton is playing a dangerous game. He is constitutionally barred from standing for a third term, but maybe he has his wife – or someone else – in mind who could challenge the White House incumbent. The last time this happened, when Jimmy Carter was challenged in 1976 by Ted Kennedy, the incumbent lost. Clinton is undermining Obama at a time when the president needs all the help he can get. With friends like these…

  61. rikyrah says:

    The Root 100 2011: Influencers and Iconoclasts
    This year we took a fresh approach to compiling our annual list of young influencers and iconoclasts.

    Beyoncé and Michelle Alexander: a pop superstar and a law professor. Kanye West and David Adjaye: a hip-hop icon and a “starchitect.” Tyra Banks and Touré: a supermodel-turned-entrepreneur and a political pundit who wants to redefine blackness. Welcome to the fascinating world of The Root 100, where the unusual juxtapositions are not accidental. They reflect the richness and variety of leadership in the African-American community, a breadth and range of talent that we worked hard to capture in the 2011 edition of our list.

    This is the third year that The Root 100 has compiled a list of the most influential African Americans between the ages of 25 and 45, but the first time we have actually ranked them. Each year we have refined our methodology to make sure we find the people who are making their mark and making a difference in our community.

    In the last two years, we depended on the astuteness of our editors and input from many readers, established African-American leaders and friends of The Root to help us identify people who are making a difference in our communities. This year we once again called for nominations from The Root community but decided to inject some metrics into the process of selecting our 100 stars in order to better capture the level of influence and reach of our honorees.

    This year we took into account the number of mentions in the media, Internet search results and number of Twitter followers for each nominee. Realizing that this could skew the list toward celebrities, we used some sophisticated math to give people with lower profiles a chance to compete against those who are constantly in the public eye.

    We also introduced a measure of substance, based on the judgment of our editors, to help us come up with an overall influence score. (For more details on the numbers behind the selection process, see Measuring Clout Among African Americans, by Omar Wasow, an Internet pioneer and a contributing editor to The Root, who was the mastermind behind this formula.)

    The result is a cornucopia of black talent that reaches deep into our community. We have celebrated artists for their art, politicians for their vision and activists for their unwillingness to accept the status quo. Unabashedly, we favor those who want to change America for the better. While we celebrate the pure artistic talent of jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding and classical clarinetist Anthony McGill, we also boosted the ranking of artists like the Black Eyed Peas’ for his effort to convince black kids that science and technology are “cool.” We downgraded or eliminated artists who acted like fools and fueled the scandal mills.

  62. rikyrah says:

    Dems Float Surtax On Millionaires To Pay For Jobs Bill

    Seeking to consolidate party support for President Obama’s jobs bill, Senate Democrats are considering a proposal to impose a five percent surtax on millionaires to pay for the legislation, according to two party aides.

    As currently written, Obama wants the joint Super Committee to increase its deficit reduction target by enough to pay for the whole jobs bill. That way its cost could be offset by spending cuts and revenue measures and other reforms that have bipartisan support. But failing that, Obama’s bill would trigger a series of new taxes on wealthy Americans, including oil and gas companies, hedge fund managers and others.

    This enforcement mechanism caused some strife in the Democratic caucus. Now, driven by party leadership and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), whose powerful Finance Committee has jurisdiction over the jobs bill, they’re considering a simpler, less parochial, and thus less divisive measure.

    A Senate Dem aide cautioned that nothing’s final yet, and the party could ultimately settle on different measures. And there’s a history of broad Democratic support for raising taxes on millionaires.

    During the health care debate in 2009, House Democrats backed a similar surtax on millionaires that would have raised over $500 billion over 10 years — more than enough to pay for Obama’s bill. Republicans and conservative Senate Democrats objected, and the measure didn’t make the cut in the final bill.

    During the tax fight last December, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) proposed a creating a new millionaires tax bracket, rather than letting the Bush tax cuts expire for income above $250,000. It failed to overcome a filibuster but garnered broad Democratic support. And it also would have more than paid for Obama’s jobs bill.

    That’s why something along these lines seems likely to bring most, if not all, Dems into the fold.

  63. rikyrah says:

    Romney On Wall Street Protests: ‘It’s Dangerous, This Class Warfare’

    | 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.

  64. rikyrah says:

    Tea Partiers in Arizona Prop Up Fake Latina Candidate in Hopes of Saving Russell Pearce from Recall
    By David Neiwert

    I guess we already knew that Russell Pearce — author of SB1070 and our favorite Nazi-coddling nativist politician — has nothing but contempt for Latino voters. Now he’s demonstrating the same contempt for every voter in his Arizona legislative district.

    Pearce, of course, is facing a recall election because voters in his district finally got tired of his anti-immigrant extremism — not to mention his coarse, embarrassing corruption.

    So how does Pearce go about convincing voters that now he’s a trustworthy public servant? Why, by indulging in a scam that colorfully demonstrates both his base bigotry and his utter lack of ethics, of course.

    It seems that Pearce’s operatives — notably, a local tea-party leader — went out and recruited a hapless conservative Latino lady named Olivia Cortes to run a sham candidacy in the upcoming recall election — the idea being that if enough Latinos vote for Cortes it will drain support away from his actual opponent, Jerry Lewis.

    Phoenix’s ABC 15 has more, including a revealing interview with Cortes herself, who demonstrates clearly on camera that she’s utterly clueless, a front for the tea partiers who support Pearce ardently:

    For the first time, could there be evidence Cortes is a sham candidate? It was presented in Maricopa County Superior Court during Thursday’s hearing.

    An audio recording could help in the case to block the senate candidacy of Cortes.

    In the recording, you hear Suzanne Dreher’s voice. She says she was paid to circulate petitions to get Olivia Cortes’ name on the ballot.

    A voter can be heard in the recording saying, “Oh, well, I don’t think I want to sign because I support Russell Pearce.”

    Dreher can reportedly be heard saying, “Well, then you want to sign.”

    Under oath, she testified to a hidden agenda to get Sen. Russell Pearce re-elected.

    “I was told if people were supporters of Pearce to go ahead and sign this and it would help his chances,” Dreher said in court.

    “So the idea was to dilute or divert the vote?” asked Tom Ryan, the plaintiff’s attorney.

    Dreher responded, “Yeah.”

    Ryan asked Dreher, “Did anyone talk to you prior to you doing this advise you that by running a diversionary or sham candidate that might run afoul of Arizona election laws?

    Dreher responded, “I had no idea.”

    Here’s Cortes’ full interview with ABC 15. As you can see, she’s being coached off-camera by the tea-partying Pearce operative — a guy named Greg Western — who created this fraud:

    Black folks know what to call Black folks that do this…hope the Latino community has an equal clue.

  65. rikyrah says:

    he’s stupid and evil


    Sen. Rand Paul Blocks $36 Million For Disabled And Elderly Refugees, Including Those Who Aided American Troops
    By Marie Diamond on Oct 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Like his father, GOP contender Rep. Ron Paul (TX), freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is well known for his beliefs that the government should not be in the business of helping the poor and downtrodden. Now Politico is reporting that Paul is single-handedly holding up $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees.

    Funding for the refugees ran out on Friday, but Paul refuses to lift his hold out of a professed concern that the money could be used to aid terrorists:

    In a statement to POLITICO on Tuesday, Paul confirmed he was blocking the bill over concerns the money could be used to aid domestic terrorists. Two alleged terrorists, who came to the U.S. through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested this year in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green, Ky.

    “This incident alone raises serious questions about the system through which they came to the United States, and I am insisting on a full investigation on our practice of providing welfare to refugees,” Paul said. […]

    The bill would extend funding for one year for about 5,600 elderly and disabled refugees from war-torn regions of the world, including Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are victims of human-trafficking or torture.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the bill’s sponsor, pointed out the life-threatening consequences of Paul’s actions. “The bill ensures that refugees will not lose critical life-sustaining benefits that are their only safety net protecting them from homelessness, illness and other effects of extreme poverty,” he said, noting that “some of the disabled refugees this bill helps are people who have aided American troops overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan — and risked their lives for America’s cause.”

    The idea that the refugee program is being used to usher terrorists into the U.S. has been thoroughly debunked by international organizations. As the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights has noted, asylum seekers are the victims of terrorism, not its perpetrators. “Refugee” is actually an elite status conferred by the international community to those who have already proven they are victims of, or have a well-founded fear of, persecution. To be admitted to the U.S., asylum seekers have to go through a grueling, years-long process and provide extensive proof of identification and documentation for their claims. Claiming refugee status opens one up to extensive scrutiny and investigation by the government — in short, the last thing prospective terrorists would want to do.

    Yet Paul is perpetuating a dangerous myth responsible for depriving victims of the aid they need. In the wake of 9/11, a ridiculously broad definition of what it means to provide “material support” to terrorists groups has denied protection to thousands of persecuted refugees who pose no threat to national security. Refugees caught up in this legal snare include those who were violently coerced into helping the very groups they are now seeking protection from, or involuntarily aided organizations that are not even officially considered terrorist groups.

  66. rikyrah says:

    In Va. Beach, ex-insurance chief speaks on health care

    For almost two decades, Wendell Potter spoke for health insurers.

    Now, he speaks out against them.

    The former head of corporate communications for CIGNA says profits drive the insurance industry, and that its highly paid executives deceive and manipulate to put shareholders first – above the health needs of their members.

    His eyes were opened, Potter said, by a trip to an annual free clinic in Wise County, Va., where thousands of uninsured people lined up to receive medical treatment from doctors and nurses in converted animal stalls.

    “I was part of a big, ongoing effort to mislead you so thoroughly that you wouldn’t even consider supporting a health care proposal that might hurt insurance company profits,” he said in a Monday night presentation at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library in Virginia Beach.

    After the Wise County event, Potter said, “I knew I could not in good conscience continue serving as a spokesman for the insurance industry – that’s because I understood then and there that I was part of the problem.”

    Potter, who described his conversion in the 2010 book “Deadly Spin,” spoke before an audience of about 60 at a forum sponsored by Virginia Organizing, Empower Hampton Roads and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

    The groups’ leaders said they organized the event to correct misinformation about last year’s federal health care law. Del. Algie T. Howell Jr., D-Norfolk, said he wished more people had attended: “I would have loved to have seen 500 people here.”

    Potter has testified before Congress on the issue and now serves as a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit investigative news organization.

    In a presentation featuring music, photographs and animation, he listed misconceptions about the overhaul. There are no government “death panels.” The law doesn’t cut Medicare benefits, he said, and it doesn’t call for a “government takeover” of health care.

    “My colleagues and I came up with that term,” Potter said, “to scare the heck out of people.”

    He went on to catalog aspects of the law that could help people. Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions. Young adults can stay on their parents’ plans longer. Small businesses can get tax credits to help pay for employees’ health premiums.

    One audience member said he was dubious about that benefit.

    “You can’t make payroll with tax credits,” said Wayne Perry, owner of Community Personal Care, a 360-employee Norfolk company.

    Potter conceded that “tax credits are not the best way to try to bring more people to coverage if people work in small businesses.” Providing health insurance for employees may not contribute to a company’s bottom line, he said, but it might help attract desirable employees.

    “The Affordable Care Act is not perfect,” Potter said, “But repealing it and starting over is not a prudent way to move forward.”

  67. rikyrah says:

    THIS is one of my all time favorite Gladys Knight cuts.

    thank you.

  68. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone at CHICS!!

  69. Ametia says:



  70. Ametia says:

    Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin wins West Virginia special election

    By DAVID CATANESE | 10/4/11 9:25 PM EDT
    Updated: 10/5/11 12:11 AM EDT

    Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin beat back a torrent of late Republican attacks linking him to President Obama to win the West Virginia governorship Tuesday night.

    Tomblin, a 36-year politician who had served as acting governor since Joe Manchin left the governorship for the Senate last fall, defeated Republican drilling executive Bill Maloney in a contest that became nationalized in its closing days.

    Tomblin beat Maloney 49.6 percent to 47 percent.

    “We all came together to tell outside groups that no one is going to tell us what to do in West Virginia,” said Tomblin in remarks from his victory party in Charleston. “We may be open for business, but West Virginia is not for sale.”

    Read more:

  71. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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