Serendipity SOUL| Thursday Open Thread

Michelle Obama is Barack Hussein Obama’s WOMAN.

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113 Responses to Serendipity SOUL| Thursday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Obama Was Marching With Civil Rights Icon In Selma, Not With New Black Panthers

    October 05, 2011 5:32 pm ET by Adam Shah

    Yesterday, Andrew Breitbart, Sean Hannity, and National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy claimed that, in Sean Hannity’s words, then-Senator Barack Obama was “hanging out” with a group of New Black Panther Party members during a 2007 event in Selma, Alabama. The charge was totally false, as it was based on cropped photos and dishonest descriptions.

    In reality, the event was the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement that ended when the marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge.

    During the commemoration, Obama was in the company of people like the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who Martin Luther King Jr. once described as “the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South.” Shuttlesworth died today at the age of 89.

    Here’s a picture from Reuters of Obama pushing Shuttlesworth in a wheelchair across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the event mentioned by Breitbart, Hannity, and McCarthy:

  2. Hugh Masekela-Grazing In The Grass

    Hot damn! I love Hugh Masekela!

  3. Senate Democrats add millionaire tax to jobs bill
    Dems tweak jobs package to win over votes from their own members

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are rewriting portions of President Barack Obama’s jobs bill to include a new 5 percent tax on income above $1 million — a proposal that is sure to be blocked by Republicans.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday he is changing the plan to make sure the nation’s wealthiest families pay their fair share, picking up on a theme the White House has promoted throughout this year’s budget battles.

    The changes won’t affect any of Obama’s proposals to cut payroll taxes or provide money for teachers, firefighters and infrastructure. The changes are expected to attract more votes from Democratic senators, though Reid wouldn’t predict whether Senate Democrats would unite behind the measure, which is unlikely to get any support from Republicans.

  4. rikyrah says:

    I can’t get into JJP.

    Is it down for anyone else?

  5. Shout out for Haley!

    Justin Bieber: I smile you smile

  6. creolechild says:

    Keep your heads. We’ll get through this… just like we’ve gotten through everything else…cause we keep pressing on!~ Have a good evening, 3Chics, and everyone else!~

  7. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry NiggerHead Camp Drama…
    One of the most intriguing questions surrounding the word painted on a rock in Texas Governor Rick Perry’s hunting camp is not whether or not the rock was painted over, or even whether or not the governor is a racist, but why the tone of so much of the media coverage of this story is one of such great, perhaps even genuine, surprise. Is anybody really shocked that a right wing governor who has never sought or received African American support, almost never sincerely said or done anything to suggest that racial equality is important to him and who has closely aligned himself with a movement whose members have frequently crossed over into overt racism, has a disturbingly high comfort level with racist words?

    This incident has occurred in an American politics environment that remains deeply racially polarized. The U.S. today has more racial and ethnic diversity than ever, but our two party system consists of one party which has substantial support among all racial and religious groups, as well as among gays and lesbians, and one that is essentially a party for straight white Christian Americans. This may be an insensitive thing to say about the Republican Party; and it is not 100% the case as there are non-whites, non-Christians and gay people who support the Republican Party, but they represent a very small minority of Republican voters. This is also something that is rarely discussed by the media, or even by politicians of either party.

    The overwhelmingly white, straight and Christian membership and electoral base of the Republican Party creates a self-perpetuating cycle. Because, for example, there are so few African Americans in the Republican Party, Republican politicians don’t need to do anything to appeal to African American voters, thus making the party even less attractive to African American voters and making the Republican Party even more appealing to racists. Accordingly, while it is wrong to say that all, or even most, Republicans are racist, the question of whether or not it is a more hospitable environment for racists should at least be discussed.

    Similarly, Republican politicians are far less concerned about anti-gay bigotry because a significant proportion of their electorate are overt homophobes, while very few Republican voters are gay or lesbian. Democratic politicians, regardless of their true views on issues like marriage equality, must at least call for a civil discussion of the issues, while Republican politicians can stand by idly while nasty slurs against gay people are thrown around. The latest example of this occurred at the recent debate among the Republican presidential aspirants when all the candidates stood quietly and meekly while a soldier was booed by the audience because he was gay.

    In this context the current controversy around Rick Perry seems less surprising. If Rick Perry is a racist, and the kind of person who would leave racist slurs painted on rocks in his hunting camp, it is far less likely that he would have risen to prominence in today’s Democratic Party. Even if Rick Perry is not a racist, it is hard to imagine a similar situation not becoming front page news earlier in the career of a Democratic politician who would have had a more difficult time avoiding bringing African American guests to his hunting ground. Thus, the Republican Party is a significantly better environment for enabling racist behavior than the Democratic Party where there are too many African Americans around to let that kind of thing occur unnoticed. Moreover, there is little accountability for racist behavior in the Republican Party because so few African Americans vote in Republican Primaries; and the overwhelmingly white electorate that votes in these primaries has not shown that racial sensitivity is an important issue for them.

    Most of the coverage of this situation has focused on how it will affect Rick Perry’s candidacy. Sadly, the consensus seems to be that while it is another blow to a floundering candidacy, should Rick Perry survive these weeks, this incident will not be a major issue in a Republican primary because of the overwhelmingly white Republican primary electorate. This analysis is accurate, but it is also frivolous and ignores some other significant points. One question that has not been addressed is how a candidate could have been courted so aggressively by so many Republican leaders when this bit of racist baggage could not have been unknown. Perhaps the Republican operatives and donors who courted him did not think it was a big deal. Perhaps none of the people who had been to that camp thought a racist slur painted on a rock was noteworthy. In either case it is a reminder that one of our two major parties remains a party that, with precious few exceptions, is still by and for white Americans only.

    Written By Lincoln Mitchell

  8. creolechild says:

    Why Do Some Democratic Senators Want To Protect Tax Loophole For Hedge Fund Managers? – By Susie Madrak October 06, 2011 12:00 PM

    If the Democrats are serious about actual governing and fixing the many urgent problems that afflict our nation, they have to stop opposing any attempts to fix things like this. Charlie Pierce, who’s now the political editor at, really lets loose his wrath on this latest example of sheer greed:

    At a time when the president’s getting some real traction with his new, not-quite-red meat rhetoric, and with an actual movement rising on the Left that, for all its diverse enthusiasms, is primarily about the opportunity buried in the visceral knowledge that we’re all being swindled, and with the 2012 re-election utterly dependent on their doing something to turn the country’s employment situation from surface-of-Mercury to merely bleak, the Democrats seem now ready to run the truck back over their own feet again. And it doesn’t seem possible to believe that there are some Democrats who actually would sabotage the whole effort over something like this:

    Other Democrats have expressed concern about a call to end the so-called carried interest loophole, which allows hedge fund and private equity managers to count their income as capital gains, and thus pay taxes at a significantly lower rate than most individuals.

    There is no excuse for this tax break. None whatsoever. It has nothing to do with creating jobs. It doesn’t do anything except make extraordinarily rich people even richer, for which they demonstrate their gratitude by crashing the whole economy. It has nothing to do with anything except the tender feelings of people who’d sell their white-haired grandmothers to the Somali pirates for whatever change fell out of their purses. If we are at all serious about The Deficit — and we’re not, except as a vehicle for working out our economic sociopathy on the less fortunate — this monstrosity wouldn’t exist at all. More than anything else, this tax break symbolizes perfectly the forces behind the ruination of responsible government and of a viable economy. This thing couldn’t represent GREED more perfectly if it were drawn up by Thomas Nast. It is a perfect campaign issue for any Democratic party truly interested in economic justice. Andrew Jackson could run against it.


  9. creolechild says:

    Excuses, excuses, and more excuses…

    Lindsey Graham On ‘Intimidation’: ‘If You’re A Southern White Guy, It Is Part Of Your Life’ | By Ben Armbruster on Oct 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (TX) has faced severe backlash this week as the result of stories that he had opposed a campaign to remove the Confederate battle flag from statehouses across the South and that he had hosted family and friends at a West Texas hunting camp that once read “Niggerhead” on its entrance gate. Yesterday on Mike Gallagher’s radio show, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) defended Perry. “Rick Perry is not a racist,” Graham said, saying the Texas governor is the victim of an “intimidation” campaign. “You know if you’re a southern white guy, it is part of your life,” Graham complained. Listen to the clip:


  10. Lawrence has busted down boot licking Herman Cain! Herman Cain need to be taken to the woodshed. Do he know he’s blue black?

  11. creolechild says:

    While he’s at it, Perry should explain this too!~

    How a Rick Perry Ally Kept an Innocent Man Locked Up – —By Tim Murphy | Tue Oct. 4, 2011 7:25 AM

    After 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, Michael Morton will leave a Texas prison a free man on Tuesday afternoon. Morton was sentenced to life without parole in 1987 for the murder of his wife, Christine. But he maintained his innocence, and with the support of the New York-based Innocence Project, pushed for a court to consider DNA evidence found at the scene. For six years, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley—a longtime Rick Perry ally who served as the governor’s chair of the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC)—blocked efforts to perform new DNA tests, but last summer forensic experts were finally given access to a bandana that was found at the scene. The result? Tests linked the murder not to Morton, but to another unsolved crime involving a California man.

    Coming just two weeks after Troy Davis was executed in Georgia, Morton’s release is both sobering and encouraging; the system corrected itself, but only after a quarter-century. As the Texas Tribune noted in August, it wasn’t just the DNA evidence that seemed to absolve Morton; there were plenty of unexplained loose ends that seemed to undermine the prosecution’s theory. The victim’s credit card turned up stolen in a different city when Morton was already in custody, for instance, and neighbors reported a suspicious van on the block at around the time of the murder. Bradley, who inherited the case when he became DA in 2001, also held back police records in which Morton’s three-year-old daughter suggested the killer was someone else.


  12. creolechild says:

    13 Ways In Which Republicans Are Wrong – —By Kevin Drum | Wed Oct. 5, 2011 10:01 PM PDT

    I’ve got a piece coming up in the next issue of the magazine about five economic memes that deserve to die. By the time it was done, it had actually turned into six memes, but apostate Republican David Frum goes me seven better today by listing 13 — yes, 13! — ways in which the Republican consensus on the economy is wrong, wrong, wrong:

    It is wrong in its call for monetary tightening.
    It is wrong to demand immediate debt reduction rather than wait until after the economy recovers.
    It is wrong to deny that “we have a revenue problem.”
    It is wrong in worrying too much about (non-existent) inflation and disregarding the (very real) threat of a second slump into recession and deflation.
    It is wrong to blame government regulation and (as yet unimposed) tax increases for the severity of the recession.
    It is wrong to oppose job-creating infrastructure programs.
    It is wrong to hesitate to provide unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other forms of income maintenance to the unemployed.
    It is wrong to fetishize the exchange value of the dollar against other currencies.
    It is wrong to believe that cuts in marginal tax rates will suffice to generate job growth in today’s circumstance.
    It is wrong to blame minor and marginal government policies like the Community Reinvestment Act for the financial crisis while ignoring the much more important role of government inaction to police overall levels of leverage within the financial system.
    It is wrong to dismiss the Euro crisis as something remote from American concerns.
    It is wrong to resist US cooperation with European authorities in organizing a work-out of the debt problems of the Eurozone countries.
    It is wrong above all in its dangerous combination of apocalyptic pessimism about the long-term future of the country with aloof indifference to unemployment.


  13. Ametia says:

    Sorry, Chris Matthews, Howard Fineman, and John what’s his face, those so-called reporters at the presser today did not ask tough questions. They were elementary and ignorant. 3 white guys sitting around a desk laughing and smirking about the POTUS’ presser. I HATE THESE FUCKERS. ALL OF THEM.

  14. Ametia says:

    LOL don’t hold your breath, Rev. Al waiting for Rick Perry to come forward and speak on race….

    NIGGERHEAD on a rock at the family ranch. ******CRICKET******

  15. Ametia says:

    It’s official, CNN IS FOX John King is airing Solyndra garbage and pushing Palin FAIL. NOTHING ON JOBS or POTUS’ presser. I hate CNN, really, i do.

  16. Hey guys,

    Haley got report cards today and she made all A’s! Whoo Hoo!

    Go Haley!

    Reading –95
    Language Arts–90
    Social Studies–100

  17. President Obama Meets 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champs

  18. Ametia says:

    PRESIDENT Obama courts Arizona Senate candidate, may contest state ‘heavily’

    President Barack Obama called former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona last month to urge him to run for Senate in Arizona, two Democratic sources told POLITICO.

    The call signals that Obama is engaged in recruiting a strong Senate candidate in a state Democrats have eyed as a presidential battleground.

    Continue Reading
    “On September 23, President Obama called Richard Carmona to encourage him to run,” said one Democratic strategist. “The president said Carmona would certainly shake up the race. Carmona emphasized in the conversation that he would be a very independent voice in the Senate.”

    If Carmona were to run, he would give Democrats a high-profile Hispanic Senate candidate in a state – and a region – where Latino turnout will be essential to the president’s prospects in 2012.

    Read more:

  19. Ametia says:

    Wall Street Protesters: Obama Didn’t Fail Us, We Failed Obama
    Linette Lopez | Oct. 6, 2011, 2:04 PM

    Until today, Obama didn’t have much to say about Occupy Wall Street. But at his press conference today, all of that changed when a reporter asked him what the thought about the protests.

    Obama said:

    “I think people are frustrated. And, you know, the — the protesters are giving voice to a more broad based frustration about how our financial system works.”

    It wasn’t a total vote of support, but it was certainly a show of sympathy for the cause. And he should have sympathy. Obama’s pushing more regulation of Wall Street, and so are many of the protesters. The DNC is even trying to ride on that sentiment in a campaign commercial.

    But what do the protesters think of him as leader?

    Sure there are the super left-wing signs comparing the entire U.S. government to Nazis and capitalism to slavery, but what’s the consensus?

    When we asked Occupy Wall Streeters, we realized that it was a complicated relationship. But here’s the gist. President Obama didn’t fail us. We failed President Obama.

    When Republicans want to say the people support their policies, they have a vocal, active Tea Party to point to and say, “see, the American people want this.”

    Obama has no one. Many protesters want to give him someone — a lot of someones — to point to and say, “see the American people want regulation, they want reform.”

    They may not become a political party, but protesters certainly are vocal, and they know how to rally support. Perhaps, at least for the President, that’s all they need to do.

    Read more:

  20. rikyrah says:


    6 Oct 2011 10:37 AM

    Rejoice! Reax

    My ecstatic take here. Joe McGinniss expects her to fade away:

    By opting out of next year’s race, Sarah has betrayed her ever-shrinking base. The Tea Party will never drink a cuppa in her honor again. She cynically manipulated her gullible enthusiasts, knowing all the while that she never intended to run. She may drift into the Sargasso Sea of daytime television, where she can chat up B-list celebrities. But there’s no reason now even for Roger Ailes to renew her contract at Fox News. Just Tuesday, Ailes said, “I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot.” She’ll soon be as cold as the shrinking Alaska glaciers that are melting from the global warming that Sarah doesn’t believe is caused by man.

    David Frum is on the same page:

    In the end, she exploited, abused, or embarrassed almost everyone who had believed in her. Most embarrassing of all: she was never even a very good con artist. Everything that was false and petty and unqualified in her was visible within the first minutes of encountering her. The people she fooled were people who passionately wished to be fooled. To that extent, what was important in her story was not the faults and failings of Sarah Palin. There have always been grifters in politics. What was important in her story was the revelation of conservatism’s lack of antibodies against somebody with the faults and failings of Sarah Palin. That’s the story that should trouble us still.

    Daniel Chioco of Conservatives4Palin can’t let go:

    Sarah is still young. And so is her family. She ruled out 2012. But she didn’t rule out a presidential run as a whole. We love to compare her to Reagan, yet we overlook the fact that Reagan was on the national scene for YEARS before running for the presidency.

    Allahpundit supports her decision:

    By staying out, her supporters now get to say “she would have won if she ran” without ever having to test their theory and she gets to kinda sorta play kingmaker as people wait to see if she’ll endorse Perry, Cain, or (gasp) Romney. And who knows? Maybe she’ll focus now on challenging Begich for Senate in Alaska in 2014, which would be a huge first step back towards national viability down the road. She’s 47 years old, fully 25 years younger than McCain was when he was nominated three years ago. No rush.

    Doug Mataconis expects her to remain an annoyance:

    Let’s say a Republican wins in 2012. Unless Palin is made part of the Administration, which seems ridiculously improbable, she’s going to be on the outside, constantly criticizing, constantly being a thorn in the side of President Romney, or Perry. That could be interesting.

    And Jonathan Bernstein thinks the GOP field is now basically set:

    It’s gonna be Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, unless something wildly implausible happens. Hey, for Republicans, it certainly could have been a whole lot worse — I doubt if either of them will embarrass the party as badly as John McCain did, and they both would probably be much better presidents than George W. Bush. My line for a while has been that the GOP is increasingly unlikely to nominate someone crazy, but is increasingly certain to nominate someone who has had to say crazy things to get the nod, and that’s pretty much how it’s turning out.

  21. rikyrah says:

    How Steve Jobs Changed The World

    Ken Auletta:

    When you think about the Wall Street demonstrations, which are growing, they are largely protests against economic elitists—against the bankers and corporate executives who people feel have too much control over their lives. And yet the ultimate elitist died yesterday, and many of the same people love him. The reason is that they felt that his elitism was meant to make better products for them; that his perfectionism, his high standards, were not to make money—though he did and he charged higher prices than his competitors—but to help them. And so though he was an elitist and a corporate giant, he stayed cool. People treat his death like the President had died.

    Alyssa Rosenberg:

    To a certain extent, Apple has replaced McDonalds as a threshold consumer experience: with caveats for socioeconomic class, sometimes it seems like everyone has some sort of Apple product, and getting one of your own is a membership badge.

    Alex Massie:

    Steve Jobs was some kind of gorgeous genius and his products have, incrementally, helped make like nicer, prettier and happier for millions of people. That’s no tiny achievement and one well worth celebrating sensibly. That does not require one to rush to an Apple Store to hang around with depressed hipsters and make a fool of onself. Those that do so reveal themselves as members of a cult that’s just as stupid as any other and equally deserving of scorn and pity. Making an iReligion is even dafter than other faiths which at least had the excuse of being invented in older, simpler times.

    Alexis Madrigal:

    Jobs created objects of prestige that induced envy because they could change your everyday life. But then, like Henry Ford before him, Jobs quickly pushed those objects down the socioeconomic pyramid. What was once only for the rich would be for everyone. Just wait. The great forces of technology and industry were working to make it so! It is appropriate that a version of his defining invention, the iPhone, will be free (with a contract) soon.

    Steven Levy:

    The full legacy of Steve Jobs will not be sorted out for a very long time. When employees first talked about Jobs’ “reality distortion field,” it was a pejorative — they were referring to the way that he got you to sign on to a false truth by the force of his conviction and charisma. But at a certain point the view of the world from Steve Jobs’ brain ceased to become distorted. It became an instrument of self-fulfilling prophecy. As product after product emerged from Apple, each one breaking ground and changing our behavior, Steve Job’s reality field actually came into being. And we all live in it.

    Robin Hanson takes issue with the advice in Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech:

    [D]oing what you love, and never settling until you find it, is a costly signal of your career prospects. Since following this advice tends to go better for really capable people, they pay a smaller price for following it. … It sure feels good to tell people that you think it is important to “do what you love”; and doing so signals your status. You are in effect bragging.

    Ross Douthat:

    Thanks to his mix of tech-savvy and aesthetic perfectionism, the hardware and software of choice for cutting edge techno-optimist early adopters is also the hardware and software of choice for laggard quasi-Luddite doubters like myself. And whatever my doubts about the world of Wi-Fi and smartphones and e-books, living in that world is far, far easier when your tools are intuitive as well as addictive, and beautiful as well as functional. In this sense, Steve Jobs changed my life for the better — and it would be absurd for me to claim otherwise.

    Felix Salmon:

    [I]t was Steve Jobs who, almost single-handedly, turned personal technology into personal technology. Which is a truly astonishing legacy to leave.

  22. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 1:10 PM

    Why Richard Cordray matters

    By Steve Benen

    Richard Cordray got some good news this morning. He should enjoy now, because it will probably be the last positive development he sees for quite a while.

    The Senate Banking Committee voted along party lines Thursday to approve Richard Cordray as the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a move that will have little effect since Republicans have vowed to scuttle the nomination.

    Cordray’s nomination was approved 12-10 and now moves to the full Senate. But Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and other GOP senators intend to block the former Ohio attorney general from final approval unless the bureau is structurally reformed.

    The committee vote was 12 to 10, with every Democrat supporting Cordray’s nomination and every Republican opposing it. GOP members freely admit that Cordray is qualified and is more than capable of excelling in the position, but they rejected him anyway as part of a larger opposition to consumer protections.

    More important than the votes against Cordray today are the Republican plans to prevent his nomination from ever reaching the floor.

    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) recently explained, “Cordray’s record as attorney general of Ohio puts him in a small group of people able to act effectively to deal with the mortgage crisis. No one has raised any questions about his intelligence, integrity or dedication. Yet his nomination will not even be fairly considered by the full Senate. Forty-four Republicans have announced that in disregard of their constitutional duty to consider nominations on the merits. They will not confirm anyone until the Senate majority reverses itself to once again put bank regulators in a position to overrule virtually all of the policies that would be set by the consumer agency.”

    Quite right. Congress passed legislation creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the president signed it into law. Republicans are now saying they’ll allow the agency to function, but not until Democrats agree to weaken the law in ways the financial industry likes.

    It’s all part of the normalization of extortion politics. Traditionally, if the GOP wanted to alter the powers of the CFPB, it would write legislation, send it to committee, bring it to the floor, send it to the other chamber, etc. But that takes time and effort, and might not work. Instead, we see the latest in a series of GOP extortion strategies: Republicans will force Democrats to accept changes to the agency, or Republicans won’t allow the agency to meet its legal mandate.

    Our system of government has never worked this way; it wasn’t designed to work this way; and it can’t work this way. As Jonathan Cohn recently explained, “The consumer protection agency exists because a majority of democratically elected lawmakers passed a law and a democratically elected president signed it. Now a minority of Senators representing a minority of the country are exploiting procedural rules (i.e., using the filibuster) to prevent that law from taking effect. That’s undemocratic. And I mean that with a small ‘d.’”

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Senate Banking Committee, “If the Senate fails to confirm [Cordray], what will happen is it’ll leave a vast array of non-bank financial institutions … outside the scope of consumer protection, which was exactly the same mistake that left us so vulnerable to the financial crisis we went through.”

    For Republicans, who’ve decided to take dictation from industry lobbyists, apparently that’s the idea.

  23. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 2:00 PM

    How not to describe Occupy Wall Street

    By Steve Benen

    As a rule, I think political figures should be cautious about throwing around phrases like “un-American.” It’s one thing to use the line in reference to obviously offensive policies — “torture is un-American,” for example — but to describe Americans as un-American is generally an attack best left unsaid.

    Someone might want to let Herman Cain know.

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says the Occupy Wall Street protesters are un-American and against capitalism.

    Speaking to The Associated Press during a book signing event Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., Cain said the protesters shouldn’t rally against Wall Street bankers or brokers because “they’re the ones who create the jobs.”

    This came the same day as Cain telling economic victims, “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!”

    Right. In Herman Cain’s mind, if you’re outraged by corporate excesses, and Wall Street recklessness has left you in dire financial straits, you’re lazy and you’re unpatriotic.

    Lee Fang’s reaction struck me as the right one.

    [I]t’s not anti-capitalist to protest an industry that was saved by trillions of taxpayer dollars and returned the favor by fighting against common-sense regulations. Plus, contrary to Cain’s assertion, Wall Street bankers are in the business of making money, not creating jobs. Many private equity firms make billions by buying out companies, laying off employees, and re-selling the company once it begins generating more profit. Other hedge funds and investment banks simply speculate on a number of different aspects of the economy, such as the price of oil.

    Some ultra-profitable Wall Street firms have even turned toward cannibalizing their own, laying off brokers and other employees to pad quarterly profits. And considering the fact that risky Wall Street bets plunged the financial system and caused an unemployment crisis, Cain might be a tad out of touch when he suggests that Americans should be thanking Wall Street.

    Keep in mind, Cain’s not the only one. Larry Kudlow called the protestors “un-American,” Sean Hannity said they’re “anti-freedom,” and the right in general has done its very best to characterize Occupy Wall Street as villains.

    It’s just bizarre. Americans who support economic justice, tax fairness, and responsible corporate conduct are apparently supposed to be seen as enemies. While Americans who took to the streets, at corporate lobbyists’ behest, to complain about their economic anxieties in 2009 were to be celebrated, we’re told, these Americans are to be mocked and dismissed.

    There’s no reason for the right’s worldview to be quite this twisted.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: George Will
    by BooMan
    Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 11:45:31 AM EST

    George Will should probably drag his sorry ass down to the Wall Street protests and ask some people about the “consent of the governed.” Ironically, what he’s trying to sell is less attractive than Ford’s Edsel. This was so predictable that Mayor Bloomberg literally predicted it just a day or two before the protests started:

    You have a lot of kids graduating college, can’t find jobs, that’s what happened in Cairo. That’s what happened in Madrid. You don’t want those kind of riots here,” Bloomberg said on his Friday morning radio show.”

    So far, the people in the streets are not rioting. Instead, the police are rioting. This is what happens when you have sustained high unemployment and the country’s plutocrats and their political party refuse to even offer the hope that something can be done about it. We’ve had thirty years of Reaganomics in this country and nothing is trickling down (if you need to read it in graph form, read it in graph form). In 2009, when taxes were at their lowest level since 1950, the right decided we are all Taxed Enough Already and formed the TEA Party. Then they complained about the deficit. It’s so stupid you could cry.

    George Will sees none of this. Or, maybe, he is paid not to see it. He thinks liberals just want to regulate everything for the hell of it.

    The project is to dilute the concept of individualism, thereby refuting respect for the individual’s zone of sovereignty. The regulatory state, liberalism’s instrument, constantly tries to contract that zone — for the individual’s own good, it says.

    In his world, our desire for food that won’t make us ill and medicine that won’t kill us and vehicles that won’t catch on fire and banks that don’t destroy the global economy and cost us our jobs…all of that is nothing but an infringement on the individual’s pursuit of happiness. It’s all tyrannical in nature.

    He ridicules Elizabeth Warren for saying the following:

    There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. . . . You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless, keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

    How does Will respond to this? He says it’s a strawman argument because no one disagrees. And then he disagrees.

    Such an agenda’s premise is that individualism is a chimera, that any individual’s achievements should be considered entirely derivative from society, so the achievements need not be treated as belonging to the individual. Society is entitled to socialize — i.e., conscript — whatever portion it considers its share. It may, as an optional act of political grace, allow the individual the remainder of what is misleadingly called the individual’s possession.

    How’s that for Stupid? What are taxes but a portion the government considers its share? And what is politics but a battle over how big that share should be and how it should be allocated? Until recently, no political party had the gall to suggest that there should be no share at all. Until recently, no party operated under the dogma that taxes should always be lowered and never raised, regardless of circumstances (unless its the regressive payroll tax, then it should be raised). George Will can go on and on about how he’s earned all his money as an individual and the government isn’t entitled to any share of it. Pretty soon he’ll find out why rich people have gladly paid taxes for centuries. Yeah, they need the power grids and roads and the harbors and the airports. But they also need the police and power of the State to protect them from hordes of people who will only tolerate their wealth as long as it is shared in the form of jobs and an education and opportunity.

    In the end, after all the arguments have died down, taxes keep the pitchforks at bay.

  25. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 12:35 PM

    Stay classy, Scott

    By Steve Benen

    In her first debate as a Senate candidate this week, Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren was asked how she paid for college, in light of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) having posed nude to get tuition money.

    “I kept my clothes on,” Warren said, adding that she worked part-time and took out loans.

    Brown decided the best response to this would be to go after Warren’s appearance.

    “Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren’s comment about how she didn’t take her clothes off?” the host asked Brown Wednesday.

    “Thank God!” Brown said, laughing.

    Brown somehow managed to win a Senate seat, despite his lack of qualifications or familiarity with public policy, in large part because of his personality. Voters found him likable, and found Martha Coakley, and her unwillingness to stand outside Fenway shaking hands, unlikable. It was the difference between winning and losing.

    If Brown, when his guard his down and he’s just being himself, actually turns out to be a jerk, he shouldn’t be surprised if voters reevaluate what they thought they knew about their dim-witted senator.

    And if Warren’s supporters needed a little added motivation in this race, I suspect Brown’s on-air comments ought to do the trick.

    Brown added, “You know what, listen: Bottom line is, you know, I didn’t go to Harvard, you know, I went to the school of hard knocks, and I did whatever I had to do to pay for school. And for people who know me, and know what I’ve been through … mom and dad married and divorced four times each. You know, some real challenges growing up. You know, whatever. You know, let them throw stones. I did what I had to do. But [if] not for having that opportunity, I never would have been able to pay for school, and never would have gone to school, and I wouldn’t probably be talking to you, so, whatever.”

    First, Warren didn’t go to Harvard; she went to a state school in Texas. Second, if Scott Brown thinks posing nude for money is evidence of “hard knocks,” I imagine some laborers in Massachusetts might disagree.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Obama lays down gauntlet to Senate on American Jobs Act

  27. rikyrah says:

    Scott Brown: ‘Thank God’ Elizabeth Warren Didn’t ‘Take Her Clothes Off’

    Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) Thursday said he was glad that one of his Democratic opponents, consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren, didn’t “take her clothes off” to pay for college. Brown, who won his seat in a 2009 special election, was speaking on Boston radio station WZLX.

    Brown made his comments when asked about Warren’s response in a debate Tuesday to a question about how she paid for college. The question referenced the fact that Brown posed nude for Cosmopolitan in 1982 to make money.

    “I kept my clothes on,” Warren said, adding that she borrowed money to go to a public university and worked a part-time job.

    “Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren’s comment about how she didn’t take her clothes off?” the host asked Brown Wednesday.

    “Thank God!” Brown said, laughing.

    The host got a kick out it, too. “That’s what I said! I said, ‘Look, can you blame a good-looking guy for wanting to, you know…”

    “You know what, listen: Bottom line is, you know, I didn’t go to Harvard, you know, I went to the school of hard knocks, and I did whatever I had to do to pay for school,” Brown cut in. “And for people who know me, and know what I’ve been through … mom and dad married and divorced four times each. You know, some real challenges growing up. You know, whatever. You know, let them throw stones. I did what I had to do. But [if] not for having that opportunity, I never would have been able to pay for school, and never would have gone to school, and I wouldn’t probably be talking to you, so, whatever.”

    Warren did not go to Harvard either, as Brown seemed to imply. She graduated from the University of Houston, a public school, though she spent her first two years at the private George Washington University on a debate scholarship. She later attended law school at Rutgers, a public university in New Jersey. Brown graduated from Tufts University and Boston College Law School.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:49 PM ET, 10/06/2011
    Obama to media: Stop pretending the GOP has a real jobs plan
    By Greg Sargent
    At his presser today, Obama was asked by a reporter whether his new jobs tour has devolved into little more than a Truman-style political campaign against a “do nothing Congress.” In response, he essentially called on the media to take a stand on whether the GOP is really offering any real jobs plan of its own:

    What I’ve tried to do is say, Here are the best ideas I’ve heard. Not just from partisans, but from independent economists. These are the ideas most likely to create jobsnow an strengthen the economy — right now. And that’s what the American peole are looking for.
    And the response from Republicans has been, “No.” Although they haven’t given any good reason why they’re opposed to putting construction workers back on the job or teachers back in the classroom. If you ask them, well okay, if you’re not for that, what are you for?
    The answer we’re getting right now is, “we’re going to roll back all these Obama regulations.” So their big economic plan to put people back to work right now is to roll back financial protections and allow banks to charge hidden fees on credit cards again? Or weaken consumer watchdogs?
    Or, alternatively, they’ve said, we’ll roll back regulations that make sure we have clean air and clean water. Eliminate the EPA. Does anybody really think that that is going to create jobs right now and meet the challenges of a global economy that is weakening, with all these forces coming in to play?
    Here’s a good question. Here’s a little homework assignment for folks. Go ask the Republicans what their jobs plan is, if they’re opposed to the American Jobs Act. And have it scored, have it assessed by the same independent economists that assessed our jobs plan. These indepenent economists say we can grow the economy by as much as 2 percent and as many as 1.9 million workers wold be back on the job. I think it would be interesting to have them do a similar assessment. Same people. Have those economists evaluate what over the next two years the Republican jobs plan would do. I’d be interested in the answer.
    I see some smirks in the audience, because you know that it’s not going to be real robust. The question is, Will Congress do something? If Congress does something, then I can’t run against a “do nothing” Congress. If Congress does nothing, then it’s not a matter of me running against them. I think the American people will run them out of town. Because they are frustrated. And they know we need to do something big and something bold.

    This was greeted by some comments on Twitter about how “professor” Obama is assigning the media “homework.” But it was actually a revealing moment that’s worth dwelling on. Obama didn’t quite say it directly, but he was basically calling on the news media to take a real stand on a core question: Are Republicans really making a legitimate contribution to the debate over what to do about the economy? And he even called out reporters who, he said, already know the answer to that question. In so doing, Obama revealed palpable frustration with the state of our discourse, in particular the constant accusation that he is being “political” in pushing jobs proposals, simply because Republicans won’t pass them. His answer, translated, was: Can we all stop pretending that eliminating the EPA constitutes a jobs plan?

    It remains to be seen whether this kind of continued pressure on Congress will reverse Obama’s political fortunes, barring any easing of unemployment. As I’ve noted repeatedly, it’s likely that Obama will continue to pay the heaviest poltical price for the economy, even if Republicans and some Senate Dems are blocking Obama jobs proposals that have broad public support. Indeed, at another point during the presser, he essentially acknowledged this to be the case, suggesting that “cynicism” about his and the rest of the government’s failure to fix the jobs crisis would persist as long as Congress fails to act.

    But that aside, the challenge he presented to the media was certainly an interesting and relevant one.

  29. Talking Points Memo:

    Majority PAC ties Scott Brown to Koch Industries revelations on Iran:

  30. Billboard:

    It’s official: ESPN has permanently dropped Hank Williams Jr.’s “Monday Night Football” theme song

  31. DNC Chair on Eric Cantor

  32. Ametia says:

    In Supreme Court Argument, a Rock Legend Plays a Role
    Published: October 5, 2011

    WASHINGTON — Jimi Hendrix made an appearance at the Supreme Court on Wednesday in an argument over whether Congress acted constitutionally in 1994 by restoring copyright protection to foreign works that had once been in the public domain. The affected works included films by Alfred Hitchcock and Federico Fellini, books by C. S. Lewis and Virginia Woolf, symphonies by Prokofiev and Stravinsky and paintings by Picasso.

    The suit challenging the law was brought by orchestra conductors, teachers and film archivists who say they had relied for years on the free availability of such works.

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. posed the general question in the case this way: “One day I can perform Shostakovich. Congress does something. The next day I can’t. Doesn’t that present a serious First Amendment problem?”

    Then the chief justice, a pioneer in the citation of popular music in legal discourse, asked the question slightly differently, invoking Hendrix, the great rock guitarist, to test the limits of the government’s position. “What about Jimi Hendrix, right? He has a distinctive rendition of the national anthem, and assuming the national anthem is suddenly entitled to copyright protection that it wasn’t before, he can’t do that, right?”

  33. rikyrah says:



    Quote For The Day

    “There certainly were discussions — not for long because of the arc the campaign took — but certainly there were discussions about whether, if [McCain and Palin] were to win, it would be appropriate for her to be sworn in,” – Nicolle Wallace, a senior adviser to the campaign.

    Yes, in the end, a group of them, including Steve Schmidt, realizing the gravity of their mistake, scrambled to defuse it. All they could do in the end was prevent her from giving a speech on election night. Maybe now she really is history, the real story of that campaign can be heard.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Broke People Pay No Taxes
    by BooMan
    Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 08:58:34 AM EST

    Unemployed people don’t pay taxes and tend to use government services, so obviously high unemployment creates a drain on the budget

    Many Democrats would like to see the deficit Super Committee’s forthcoming fiscal plan scored for its expected impact on economic growth. The idea is that if the Congressional Budget Office says the plan is a job killer, it won’t pass, and members will figure out how to make it economically neutral or better.
    The Super Committee’s been cool to the idea so far, but one of its members, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has helpfully underscored why economic growth (or lack thereof) is such a key issue, even if all you care about are budget deficits.

    “I asked CBO to estimate the size of the deficit if the economy were at full employment, and CBO’s response confirms that our weak economy is the major contributing factor, accounting for over one third of the projected deficit for fiscal year 2012,” Van Hollen said in a statement last night. “It’s clear that the fastest and most effective ways to reduce the short term deficit is to put Americans back to work.”

    Here’s what Van Hollen needs to ask the CBO. If the government payed the wages for all the unemployed, how much less than a third of the budget deficit would be eradicated? In other words, if the government created the jobs that private industry is not creating, how much better off would we be?

    Just ask the question and get the data. I know that John Boehner isn’t going to listen, but the rest of us are interested.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Why Steve Jobs Matters
    The reason he strikes such a huge chord with an entire generation lies, it seems to me, beyond his immense technical and business and design skills. It was because he became the bridge between the 1960s and the 1980s, the counter-culture and the counter-counter-culture. He was the hippie capitalist. He was the fusion of two great American forces – personal actualization and a free market. Listening to his Stanford Commencement speech above is a revelation, isn’t it? He was a baby turned over for adoption by his biological parents. He dropped out of school. He was fired at the age of 30 by the very company he had founded. And in the face of early humbling, he focused on his own vision and his own passion – an individualist creed forged in the crucible of a sure knowledge of his own mortality, of his own death.

    This passage resonates very deeply with me:

    Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

    These are the words of a man with great spiritual insight, and the courage to live it (because true spirituality requires extreme courage). His worldview was forged by an eery prescience of his own mortality. He got there long before his cancer diagnosis, which, perhaps, was why he transcended it with six of the most spectacularly creative and successful years of his life. And this fusion of counter-cultural courage with capitalist genius is what defines our time – as well as the fear-ridden reaction against it.

    Jobs simply defied convention at every stage in his life. He saw how the arts could deeply inform the sciences in revolutionizing human life and interaction. He dropped out of college in order to intensify his learning. And that learning came from many sources:

    After dropping out of Reed College, a stronghold of liberal thought in Portland, Ore., in 1972, Mr. Jobs led a countercultural lifestyle himself. He told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand.

    Decades later he flew around the world in his own corporate jet, but he maintained emotional ties to the period in which he grew up. He often felt like an outsider in the corporate world, he said. When discussing the Silicon Valley’s lasting contributions to humanity, he mentioned in the same breath the invention of the microchip and “The Whole Earth Catalog,” a 1960s counterculture publication.

    This is the fusion that has made the best in our modern world – and those who reflexively mock the counterculture miss its spiritual genius because they are incapable of the courage needed to understand it better. Think of Pixar. I remember during the darkest days after 9/11 feeling bleaker about the future than ever before in my life. And I went to see a Pixar movie. For some reason, I came out feeling better about the world and its prospects. If a civilization could produce that kind of genius conflation of the left and right sides of the brain, if it could also turn that into exquisite beauty and laughter and even sadness, then this civilization was a formidable force against its nihilist fundamentalist enemies at home and abroad. No politician – save Obama at his best – ever reassured in quite that comprehensive a way. And what was reassuring was that this had been rooted in a vision from an individual who took no-one else’s lead and had the courage to realize it, to his own exacting standards of perfection.

    Steve Jobs’ approach to life is terrifying for most of us, because it demands firstly the hardest thing – facing death – and then its necessary, scary corollary – living your own life, and no one else’s. These are difficult things, the bequests of a modernity we were born into, and perhaps beyond most human beings. Hence the enduring nihilist appeal of fundamentalism in all its forms – a fundamentalist approach to religion, in which fallible words are turned into literal gods; a fundamentalist approach to politics, in which every problem is defined by a dogma and every solution found in a catechism; and a fundamentalist approach to life, which is rooted in obedience and rules and the false comfort of Manicheanism, rather than freedom and love and terrifying, liberating existential doubt.

    You cannot teach these things in a book. But you can see them in a life. And every life lived without fear is a life that can sustain and nourish others. And Jobs truly lived without fear – which enabled him to create beyond the measure of most mortals. That he had, in the end, everything to fear – a rare pancreatic cancer slowly moving toward him – only makes his energy and spirit more vibrant.

    He was alive when he died.

    How many of us live as if we were already dead?

  36. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 9:55 AM

    Meet Dorothy Cooper

    By Steve Benen

    Republican officials at multiple levels have waged a “war on voting” for much of the year, and sometimes, political wars have casualties. Take Dorothy Cooper, an elderly voter in Tennessee, for example. (thanks to P.A. for the tip)

    Dorothy Cooper is 96 but she can remember only one election when she’s been eligible to vote but hasn’t.

    The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time.

    So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.

    Cooper thought she’d jumped through all of the procedural hoops needed to participate in an election. She brought a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her old voter registration card, and her birth certificate, and asked for her free voter ID card that is now mandated under state law. The clerk denied her request — her birth certificate showed her maiden name, and the 96-year-old voter didn’t have a copy of her marriage certificate.

    Keep in mind, Dorothy Cooper has been voting for seven decades, but that was before Republicans decided that an imaginary problem required new restrictions to make it harder for voters to participate.

    Indeed, in this specific case, Dorothy Cooper, an African-American woman living in the South, found it easier to vote during the Jim Crow era than under the new Republican rules. She’s found it easier to register before the Voting Rights Act than in 2011.

    One of the main GOP proponents of the restrictions in Tennessee, apparently embarrassed, suggested this week senior citizens perhaps should be allowed to vote by absentee ballot without a photo ID.

    But Cooper wants to go to the polls and cast her vote. It apparently brings her a sense of pride.

    And next year, she’ll likely be one of 5 million Americans that an offensive Republican scheme will keep from the polls.

  37. rikyrah says:

    I still love him using Reagan as a water carrier for his policies:


    October 06, 2011 10:40 AM

    From the ‘Buffett Rule’ to the ‘Romney Rule’

    By Steve Benen

    President Obama has been rather relentless lately in arguing, as Ronald Reagan did, that the very wealthy shouldn’t’ pay a lower tax rate than America’s middle class. To drive the point home, the president generally points to billionaire Warren Buffett and his secretary.

    Michael Scherer reports this week that there appears to be a more politically salient example, which we’re likely to hear more about.

    [Republican presidential hopeful Mitt] Romney, a wealthy man whose income mostly comes from long-term investments, is exactly the sort of “millionaire and billionaire” that Obama likes to hold up for scrutiny, since the source of Romney’s income allows him to pay a lower percentage of his money to the federal government each year than many middle-class wage earners.

    Romney starts off with an enormous base of wealth, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, in part from his vulture capitalist fund where Romney got rich laying off American workers. On top of this, the former governor made a few million in 2010 in royalties and speaking fees, and millions more dividends and capital gains, which is generally taxed at a much lower rate.

    While exact figures are unavailable, Scherer, with some help from the Citizens for Tax Justice, estimated that Romney “would have paid roughly 14% of his gross income in taxes to the federal government in 2010.”

    In other words, Romney pays a much lower tax rate than the typical working-class family — making the GOP presidential frontrunner a poster child for the problem Obama wants to correct.

    What makes this especially interesting in a campaign context is that Romney argues the lower rate on capital gains should remain in place. He also argues that middle-class Americans who don’t make enough to be eligible for income taxes should see their tax bills go up and should shoulder a greater tax burden.

    Taken together, it offers Democrats a chance to present a devastating-but-true message to voters: “Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than you do. He not only wants to keep it that way, he wants you to pay more.”

    Romney’s atrocious jobs record may not be his most damaging weakness as a national candidate.

    Paul Begala, now with PrioritiesUSA Action, already seems excited by the possibilities. “Millionaire Mitt thinks he should pay a lower tax rate than maids and Master Sergeants,” Begala said. “And that’s what we’re calling the Romney Rule.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 11:25 AM

    The myth of a small-business tax hike

    By Steve Benen

    Not surprisingly, Republicans aren’t pleased with Senate Democrats proposing a 5.6% surtax on millionaires and billionaires. But that’s no excuse to lie.

    Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), for example, insisted, “There are a lot of so-called millionaires who are small businesses. They’re not a movie star, they’re not a Hollywood actor, they’re the dry cleaner on the corner.”

    This is standard GOP rhetoric — we couldn’t possibly ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes, because those poor small businesses with seven- and eight-figure incomes would be unduly harmed.

    Republicans say this all the time, but repetition does not improve its accuracy. Kevin Drum helped set the record straight a couple of weeks ago.

    Step 1: The biggest part of Obama’s plan is to let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire. The Brookings Tax Policy Center took a look at this last year and estimated that only 1.9% of small businesses are in the two top brackets that would be affected by repeal of the Bush tax cuts. That’s a little better than the dozen small farms affected by the estate tax, but not by much.

    Step 2: About half of that 1.9% aren’t really small business owners at all. They’re high-income investors who get part of their income from investments in small businesses. So we’re down to about 1% of small businesses that would be affected.

    Step 3: The top brackets are just that: brackets. When the top rate goes up, it doesn’t affect your entire income, just the portion in the top bracket. So if the top rate goes back up from 35% to 39.6%, it only affects the portion of income above approximately $400,000. A small business owner making $500,000 would see an increase of about $5,000.

    Kevin’s analysis was based on the White House plan eyeing tax increases on those making $250,000 or more. As of yesterday, the Democratic plan is eyeing tax increases affecting millionaires and billionaires exclusively, meaning that the number of small businesses affected the Dems’ approach would effectively be zero.

    “There are a lot of so-called millionaires who are small businesses”? No serious person could possibly believe such nonsense.

  39. creolechild says:

    Here’s early morning music for y’all. Starting with Ms. Etta James, singing At Last.

  40. creolechild says:

    UNESCO clears way for Palestine seat vote: US secretary of state urges UN body to “think again” after its executive committee backs the Palestinian membership bid. – Last Modified: 05 Oct 2011 23:49

    Palestine has won a first diplomatic victory in its quest for statehood when the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [UNESCO] executive committee backed its bid to become a member of the cultural body with the rights of a state. Palestine’s Arab allies braved intense US and French diplomatic pressure to bring the motion before the committee’s member states, which passed it by 40 votes in favour to four – the US, Germany, Romania and Latvia – against it, with 14 abstentions.

    The Palestinian bid will now be submitted to the UNESCO general assembly at the end of the month for final approval involving all 193 members based in Paris.

    The move was swiftly criticised by the US and Israel. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said UNESCO should “think again” about voting on Palestinian admission. Clinton, speaking to reporters during a trip to the Dominican Republic, also called the move “confusing,” as the UN Security Council weighs a request from the Palestinians for full UN membership, which the US opposes. “I found quite confusing and somehow inexplicable that you would have organs of the United Nations making decisions about statehood or statehood status while the issue has been presented to the United Nations,” Clinton said.


  41. creolechild says:

    PA Gov. Tom Corbett Proposes To Charge One-Time Fee On Fracking Shale Wells – By Susie Madrak October 05, 2011 03:02 PM

    What a joke. A one-time fee no matter how much revenue produced, or how much damage caused by each well? Chump change. A mere $120 million in a year? I suppose the Koch boys wrote this “compromise” for Governor Corbett:

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett proposed a fee on natural-gas drilling of as much as $160,000 a well in an effort to find a middle ground between public support for assessing drillers in the booming Marcellus Shale basin and a campaign pledge not to impose taxes. If passed by the state legislature, the recommendation would generate an estimated $120 million in the first year, most of which would be kept at the local level to help pay the cost to regulate drilling and to repair roads and bridges. Every other gas-drilling state already imposes a fee on wells or a tax on the value of gas that is extracted.

    The governor’s proposal also includes new requirements that would keep wells farther from streams and water wells. Environmentalists are concerned that the process of extracting shale gas, which involves pumping water and chemicals underground at high pressure, could contaminate surface and drinking water. “As the number of wells grows, so will the revenue,” said Mr. Corbett, a Republican, who linked the industry’s growth to the state’s economic future. “We are going to do this safely, and we’re going to do it right, because energy equals jobs.” Under the governor’s plan, about one-quarter of the well fees would go to state agencies like the Department of Environmental Protection and the rest to local communities. Some state lawmakers suggested they may push for higher fees or for more of the money to go to the state.

    Democrat Jay Costa, the state Senate minority leader, said the governor’s recommendations “fall woefully short” in terms of revenue and the amount that is going to the state. Some Republicans, who have a majority in both the Senate and House, are also pushing for more drilling revenue. GOP state Rep. Thomas Murt plans to introduce a bill Tuesday that includes a 4.9% tax on the gross value of the gas at the wellhead, rather than a fee. His bill would dedicate 29% of revenue to local governments, 27% to state environmental programs and 44% to state programs including drug rehabilitation.

  42. creolechild says:

    Quick! Get the hazmats out. Mt. Vesuvius is about to explode…LOL!

    After Prankster Call Rush Limbaugh Completely Loses Cool on Air – By Mike Stark October 05, 2011 05:00 PM

    A coordinated campaign of liberal callers infiltrating Limbaugh’s show, circumventing the screener, and peppering the host with a wide range of questions that Rush cannot possibly answer adequately (honestly, anyway), seems to be getting under his skin. Today, Limbaugh was tearing into Dick Durbin because the Senator gave a floor speech that suggested Bank of America account holders should close their accounts and bank with some other institution that would not be so quick to nickle and dime them. (BofA just announced that they’d begin charging debit card users a $5 monthly fee).

    The nut of Limbaugh’s argument was that a United States Senator has no business interfering in the private sector like that. It’s just not the role of elected officials, Rush says. So I called and pretended to be Kevin from Clifton Park, NY. I told Snerdley that Rush can’t have it both ways. If he’s going to condemn Durbin for interfering in private sector markets, then he should equally condemn Republicans for interfering with the market services Planned Parenthood provides. Snerdley liked it and put me on hold.

    While on hold, I started thinking of other times that Republicans attacked market actors. Like the Dixie Chicks. The New York Times… And then I remembered reading an old story about how Limbaugh came to be carried by the Armed Forces Radio network: Republican Congressman pressured the Pentagon’s brass until they caved. So I waited about an hour, and finally Rush got to my call. This is what I said, but you should really watch the video to get the full context of why this call is so revealing:


    Read more:

    Crossposted from Truth Ticker.

  43. creolechild says:

    Green groups sue to stop Keystone oil pipeline work – By Agence France-Presse Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Environmental groups sued the U.S. government on Wednesday to stop “illegal construction” on a controversial pipeline that would weave through the center of the United States to bring Canadian oil sands crude direct to Texas refineries. The Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth sued the State Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service to stop the company from clearing grasslands as part of its Keystone XL pipeline project.

    Backers of TransCanada’s pipeline say it will provide thousands of jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on oil from countries that are unfriendly to Washington. Environmentalists oppose the line because mining Alberta’s oil sands pumps large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and it would cross the Ogallala Aquifer, a major water source in the country’s heartland. There have been several small leaks on an existing Keystone pipeline in recent months and environmentalists say a larger leak would be disastrous.

    TransCanada wants to build the pipeline to pump 500,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada’s vast oil sands in northern Alberta so it can be refined in the Gulf Coast refineries. The line could also transport oil from new fields in the Midwest, which has caused a supply glut in the Cushing, Oklahoma crude hub. “It’s outrageous that TransCanada is already clearing the way for the Keystone XL pipeline before the public has had a chance to have its say and, indeed, before federal agencies have even said it can be built,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at the Center for Biological Diversity.


  44. creolechild says:

    Will Clean Energy Ever Be a Reality in the U.S.? Here’s What’s Standing in Our Way By Steven Wishnia

    Wind and solar sources make up almost half of all new electricity generation in Europe, but we’re far behind in the U.S. — so what gives? Renewable energy is essential if we are to avert disastrous climate change caused by carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Yet despite significant recent growth, less than 2 percent of the about 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity the U.S. generates a year comes from solar or wind power. More than two-thirds still comes from coal, natural gas or oil, and 20 percent from nuclear power. Meanwhile, the world’s total reserves of oil, gas, coal, and uranium are expected to run out by the end of the century, especially as electricity consumption increases.

    So what are the obstacles to converting the U.S. electrical system to renewable energy? They are a mix of technological, economic and political factors.


  45. creolechild says:

    NY Fox 5 Crew Pepper Sprayed And Assaulted By NYPD – By karoli October 06, 2011 06:00 AM

    During tonight’s massive Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York, a local Fox News affiliate reporter and his crew found themselves on the wrong side of the NYPD. While covering the Occupy Wall Street protests on Wednesday night, Fox 5 photographer Roy Isen was hit in the eyes by mace from a police officer and Fox 5 reporter Dick Brennan was hit by an officer’s baton.

    The protests on Wall Street continued to grow all day. The rallies and their participants are showing no signs of slowing down. In the evening, crowds surged past barriers and NYPD officers moved in to contain the protesters. By many accounts, mayhem broke out. Officers, many wearing white sh[i]rts indicating supervisor rank, swatted protesters with batons and sprayed them with mace, video from the scene showed.

    Fox 5’s Isen and Brennan were there and witnessed the chaos. At one point, Brennan was hit in the abdomen by a police baton and Isen got irritant in his eyes. Both journalists were all right and continued to cover the protests and arrests.

    [Click on link to view video.]


    [h/t Heather]

  46. creolechild says:

    Historians say today’s rebukes of presidents have grown more extreme – By Joe Picard – 10/06/11 05:15 AM ET

    Criticism of the president has long been a staple of politics, but experts say lawmakers are becoming more extreme in their rebukes of the commander in chief. White House scholars say that although every president has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous barbs, it has not historically been members of Congress hurling them. But more lawmakers are now doing so, and that has diminished the office of the presidency, historians say.


    Such comments are protected by the Constitution, but some argue they diminish the reputation of the Oval Office. H.W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of books on several presidents, said he is not aware of “mockery of the president by elected officials” at the frequency that Obama has been getting it. “Generally, there has been respect among elected officials for the office of the presidency,” Brands said. “The attacks have usually come from editorialists.”


  47. creolechild says:

    Thank you, Infidel753!

    Occupation distraction – Posted by Infidel753 05 October 2011

    I’m increasingly worrying that the Occupy Whatever movement could do the progressive cause in this country some real harm. It’s sucking up attention and enthusiasm which, especially right now, are needed elsewhere.


    Some have made an analogy with the teabaggers, hoping that the Occupiers can become a similar force for the left. But insofar as the teabaggers have accomplished anything, they did it by focusing on electoral politics — supporting candidates and getting them into office. Amorphous ranting against “the system” has certainly been there, but that’s not what got things done.

    How many of the Occupiers voted in 2010 — when a collapse of turn-out enabled the Republicans to take the House and create the paralysis they decry? How many will vote next year?

    So far I see nothing that suggests the Occupy movement has the potential to achieve any concrete results whatsoever (well, there’s one small exception, but I’ll get to that in a moment).

    Right now, we do have an opportunity to achieve something real. With his American Jobs Act, Obama has finally broken away from the Republican navel-gazing over the deficit that has consumed Washington for months, and made a serious proposal to deal with the greatest concern of mainstream Americans — unemployment. Economists agree that the plan will stave off another recession at least. As Booman Tribune points out, Obama is finally doing what his critics on the left say they want — drawing a line in the sand and showing willingness to fight for what the country needs. The Republicans insist the plan is DOA, but mass public pressure has swayed legislative outcomes before — never forget how, in 2007, a mass outpouring of public fury (which crashed the Senate’s telephone system) stopped an illegal-alien amnesty which had bipartisan support and was considered a done deal. Who’s to say that a similar mass display of support now couldn’t scare enough Congressional swing votes to get the AJA through?


  48. creolechild says:

    From Boston To Wichita To Denver: Thousands Around The Country Join The 99 Percent Movement
    By Guest Blogger on Oct 6, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Over 1,000 activists gathered in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 17th for the “Occupy Wall Street” protest of a political and financial system that rewards the richest 1 percent at the expense of the other 99 percent. Since then, the protest has grown substantially with hundreads of people camped out every night in Zuccotti Park even in the face of police crackdowns.

    Inspired by the activists in New York City, protests have sprung up in cities from Boston to Wichita to Denver, where thousands have gathered to join the 99 Percent Movement. Here’s a look at some of the protests that have happened so far:

    Los Angeles: Almost 200 have gathered on the north lawn of the Los Angeles City Hall.

    Chicago: Nearing their second week of action, the crowd of over 100 continues to grow. “99 percent of this country is disenfranchised and not being heard,” said protester Evelyn DeHais, “that is irresponsible and awful, but it can be changed and we can change it.”

    Louisville: About 200 gathered for the inaugural action.

    Wichita: Between 100 and 300 people showed up to the first action on Sunday. “We’re here to stand in solidarity together,” said protester Don Landis, a Vietnam veteran.

    Hartford: Close to 100 people attended the first protest on Wednesday in Hartford’s Bushnell Park.

    Anchorage: More than 65 people gathered in Anchorage on Wednesday. “Homelessness. Foreclosures, robo-signing of foreclosures,” said protester Brian MacMillan. “Child poverty or child hunger. The unemployment rate, one in 10 in America without a job. Jeez, what isn’t there to protest?”

    Charlotte: Local protesters are planning a march on the local offices of Bank of America this Saturday. “I think we’ve got a growing movement,” said a local organizer, Tracey Myhalyk.

    Lexington: Since it began on Thursday at least 100 people have gathered every day in Lexington, Kentucky.

    Boston: An estimated 3,000 took the streets on Friday to kick off the Boston protest, with a core of 150 staying indefinitely in Boston’s Dewey Square Park. “This is your future at stake,” protester and Iraq War veteran Ryan Cahill said. “It’s not going to fix itself. I think that’s pretty clear.”

    Seattle: A crowd of more than 200 protesters gathered in Seattle’s Westlake Park.

    Philadelphia: At a standing-room-only planning meeting on Tuseday almost 1,000 activists packed into Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. The meeting decided to kick off the protest outside of the Philadelphia City Hall on Tuesday morning.

    Denver: More than 50 protesters marched in downtown Denver on Saturday. One protesters’ sign read, “they only call it class war when we fight back.”

    Iowa City: About 100 locals met Wednseday night in Iowa City to plan a local protest. The group decided to begin the protest on Friday.

    Miami: On Saturday between 100 and 200 protesters met at Bayfront Park in Miami.

    Portland: An estimated 100 protesters braved the rain on Saturday to rally in Portland, Maine. “This underscores what’s valuable in a democratic society: At some point, the people need to stand up and say, ‘That’s enough.’” protester Matth Mitchell commented.

    Dozens more protests are planned for the coming days. Make sure to check out all of ThinkProgress’s ongoing coverage of the 99 Percent Movement here.

  49. creolechild says:

    ATF Didn’t Consult White House On Emergency Request For Controversial Gun Rule – Ryan J. Reilly | October 6, 2011, 6:00AM

    Here’s some news for all the NRA members convinced that ATF’s rifle reporting requirement in four border states is a diabolical plot by the Obama administration to crack down on the Second Amendment. ATF didn’t consult the White House before they published an emergency request for a proposed rule requiring gun dealers in four border states to report bulk sales of semi-automatic weapons in the Federal Register. Back in mid-December, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives published the request for the emergency rule applying to four border states as a way of cracking down on gun trafficking.

    As the White House’s Office of Management and Budget considered the emergency rule, OMB’s Chad A. Lallemand sent an email to several Justice Department and ATF officials on Dec. 27, 2010 asking them to “Please also note that OMB should be consulted prior to issuing emergency notifications.” The email was including in a batch of documents about the reporting requirements that TPM obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request. ATF soon revised the language of their proposal based on OMB’s recommendations, according to the batch of emails.

    The Obama administration didn’t think there was a need to approve the rule on an emergency basis by the Jan. 5 deadline and pushed back the implementation of the rule until July. Dealers in those four states are now required to tell ATF when they sell more than one semiautomatic rifle to an individual within a five-day period. It also appears that OMB didn’t tell at least some ATF officials that they were delaying the emergency request until TPM reported on the matter. One of the emails includes a story from Tickle The Wire that cited TPM’s story about the White House delaying the rule. The NRA sued the government on behalf of gun dealers effected by the rule, and that case is currently in federal court.


  50. First lady targets world record for jumping jacks

    WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama wants to jump into the Guinness World Records book next week by helping break the title for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

    The first lady will lead hundreds of local children in doing one minute of jumping jacks on the South Lawn on Tuesday.

    The event will be reviewed by an official from Guinness World Records and will signal the beginning of a 24-hour challenge.

    To break the record, more than 20,000 people around the world will need to do jumping jacks for a minute.

    National Geographic Kids is leading the effort to break the record.

  51. creolechild says:

    Iraq denies immunity for US troops after 2011: Baghdad says US military trainers are needed past December 31, but will not allow them to be above the law. – Last Modified: 05 Oct 2011 08:12

    Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, has won enough backing from Shia, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs to keep some US soldiers in Iraq as military trainers, but without granting them immunity if they commit crimes. Baghdad and Washington must still negotiate over how many troops will stay on and how long they will stay after the December 31 deadline for their withdrawal from Iraq.

    “The leaders agreed on the need to train the Iraqi forces and to complete their arming as soon as possible and on the need to support the Iraqi government,” said Ross Nuri Shawis, Iraq’s deputy prime minister, reading a statement. He continued: “The people who attended the meeting agreed there is no need to grant immunity, in addition to that they suggested training should take place in Iraqi military bases only.”

    Ali al-Dabbagh, Iraqi government spokesman, said the number of trainers would be decided according to Iraqi needs. Only supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, an anti-US Shia leader, rejected the accord. His Mehdi Army militia once battled US troops, but he is now a key ally of al-Maliki in parliament.


  52. creolechild says:

    CBO to Super Committee: Full Employment Would Reduce Deficit By A Third – Brian Beutler | October 6, 2011, 8:30AM

    Many Democrats would like to see the deficit Super Committee’s forthcoming fiscal plan scored for its expected impact on economic growth. The idea is that if the Congressional Budget Office says the plan is a job killer, it won’t pass, and members will figure out how to make it economically neutral or better. The Super Committee’s been cool to the idea so far, but one of its members, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has helpfully underscored why economic growth (or lack thereof) is such a key issue, even if all you care about are budget deficits.

    “I asked CBO to estimate the size of the deficit if the economy were at full employment, and CBO’s response confirms that our weak economy is the major contributing factor, accounting for over one third of the projected deficit for fiscal year 2012,” Van Hollen said in a statement last night. “It’s clear that the fastest and most effective ways to reduce the short term deficit is to put Americans back to work.”

    Here’s how CBO puts it. Under full employment, “the projected federal deficit under current law in fiscal year 2012 would be about a third lower, or roughly $630 billion instead of the $973 billion projected in CBO’s most recent baseline. That deficit would be equal to about 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with the 6.2 percent deficit projected for 2012 in CBO’s baseline.

    Obviously members of Congress can’t snap their fingers and restore full employment. But the point is the eye-popping deficits Republicans used to force a year-long fight over the budget — and thus, the role of government — has nothing to do with President Obama’s policies and everything to do with the sluggish economy. Revive it, and deficits return to their Bush-era levels when Republicans said deficits didn’t matter.


  53. creolechild says:

    Boehner To Obama: All Roads Lead To Nowhere On Your Jobs Plan – Brian Beutler | October 6, 2011

    GOP Leadership has insisted President Obama’s full jobs bill won’t get a hearing in the House. But that hasn’t deterred Senate Democratic leaders or President Obama, who are still pushing the bill and going through early legislative machinations to at least get members on the record. To convince Obama how futile this effort is, at least in terms of getting legislation passed, House Speaker John Boehner’s office has come up with a new slogan and a snarky infographic to go along with it. “All Roads”: New Infographic Looks at @WhiteHouse Plan to #PassTheBill,” reads the Twitter-friendly title of a new post on the Speaker’s blog.

    Cutting through it all, the point is Republicans want Obama to end his public campaign to either build support for the bill or (more likely), align Democrats behind it and then run against Republicans for blocking the American Jobs Act. Right now Capitol Hill Republicans are putting a lot of effort into making sure it doesn’t reach that point. They’re trying to trip up Senate Democrats as they coalesce around the bill, and they’re insisting it’s “dead” in the House. This is part of that effort. But the graphic’s kinda funny, so take a look.

  54. MLK Memorial quote concerns Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he is concerned about the controversy surrounding a quote carved into the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and that the National Park Service will address it and other issues involving the memorial’s construction after its formal dedication this month.

    Ever since the memorial opened in August, critics have blasted the use of a quote carved on to the north face of the 30-foot-tall granite statue that reads, “I was a drum major for justice.”

    The quote, pulled from a Feb. 4, 1968 sermon King gave at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist church, comes from a lengthy sermon about the evils of self-promotion.

    “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” King told the Atlanta congregation two months before his assassination. “Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”

    Critics believe the short quote is out of context and should be corrected or removed. One of the critics, poet and author Maya Angelou, has said that the quote on the memorial makes King “look like an arrogant twit.”

    The Washington Post editorial board agreed, writing last month in a lead editorial, “The sermon is complex and open to interpretation, but one thing is clear: Dr. King does not claim to be a drum major for anything.”

    On Wednesday, Salazar, who oversees the Park Service, said the quote “is an area of concern to me.”

    “I visited the memorial yesterday, I looked at the quote, I looked at all the other quotes, it’s a wonderful memorial, but there are some issues that we’ll resolve and we’ll work on them once we get past the [Oct. 16 dedication],” Salazar said at a breakfast hosted Wednesday by the Christian Science Monitor.

  55. rikyrah says:

    Derrick Bell, Law Professor and Racial Advocate, Dies at 80By FRED A. BERNSTEIN

    Derrick Bell, a legal scholar who worked to expose the persistence of racism in America through his books and articles and his provocative career moves — he gave up a Harvard Law School professorship to protest the school’s hiring practices — died on Wednesday in New York. He was 80.

    Mr. Bell, a resident of the Upper West Side, died of carcinoid cancer at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital at 114th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, said his wife, Janet Dewart Bell.

    Mr. Bell was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School and later the first black dean of a law school that is not historically black. But he was perhaps better known for resigning from prestigious jobs than for accepting them.

    In his 20s, while working at the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, he was told to give up his membership in the N.A.A.C.P., which his superiors believed posed a conflict of interest. Instead, he quit the Justice Department, ignoring the advice of friends to try to change things from within.

    Thirty years later, when he left Harvard Law School, he rejected similar advice. At the time, he said, his wife, Jewel Hairston Bell, asked him, “Why does it always have to be you?”

    In “Ethical Ambition,” a memoir published in 2002, Mr. Bell wrote that his wife’s question trailed him afterward, as did another posed by his colleagues: “Who do you think you are?”

    Addressing law students grappling with career decisions, he extolled what he called “a life of meaning and worth,” even though, he wrote, he sometimes alienated associates who saw his actions as “futile and foolish.”

    Mr. Bell, soft-spoken and erudite, wrote that he was “not confrontational by nature.” But he attacked both conservative and liberal beliefs. In 1992, he told The New York Times that black Americans were worse off and more subjugated than at any time since slavery. And he wrote that in light of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s 1954 desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education, things might have worked out better if the court had instead ordered governments to provide both races with truly equivalent schools.

    He was a pioneer of critical race theory — a body of legal scholarship that explored how racism is embedded in laws and legal institutions, even those intended to lessen the effects of past injustice. Mr. Bell “set the agenda in many ways for scholarship on race in the academy, not just the legal academy,” said Lani Guinier, the first black woman hired to join the Harvard Law School’s tenured faculty, in an interview on Wednesday.

    At a rally while a student at Harvard Law School, Barack Obama compared Professor Bell to the civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

    Mr. Bell’s core beliefs included what he called “the interest convergence dilemma” — the idea that whites would not support efforts to improve the position of blacks unless it was in their interest. Asked how the status of blacks could be improved, Mr. Bell said he generally supported civil rights litigation, but cautioned that even favorable rulings were likely to yield disappointing results and that it was best to be prepared for that.

  56. rikyrah says:

    Sorry Dorothy, but “the more things change is the more they stay the same.”
    Poor Dorothy Cooper, I bet she thought the days of fighting institutionalized racism was over in these divided states of America. It’s ironic that I would be made aware of this story on the day that Fred Shuttlesworth died. They haven’t put poor Rev. Shuttlesworth down yet, but I bet he is already turning in the funeral home.

    “Dorothy Cooper is 96 but she can remember only one election when she’s been eligible to vote but hasn’t.

    The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time.

    So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.
    That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.

    “But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.

    I don’t know what difference it makes,” Cooper said.
    Cooper visited the state driver service center with Charline Kilpatrick, who has been working with residents to get free photo IDs. After the clerk denied Cooper’s request, Kilpatrick called a state worker, explained what happened and asked if Cooper needed to return with a copy of the marriage certificate.

    “The lady laughed,” Kilpatrick said. “She said she’s never heard of all that.”
    Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in a Tuesday email that Cooper’s situation, though unique, could have been handled differently.

    “It is department policy that in order to get a photo ID, a citizen must provide documentation that links their name to the documentation that links their name to the document they are using as primary proof of identity,” Qualls said. “In this case, since Ms. Cooper’s birth certificate (her primary proof of identity) and voter registration card were two different names, the examiner was unable to provide the free ID.”

    Despite that, Qualls said, “the examiner should have taken extra steps to determine alternative forms of documentation for Ms. Cooper.”
    Kilpatrick has had to call the state at least twice after taking someone to get a photo ID or have a photo added to the driver’s license. State law allows anyone 60 or older to have their picture removed from their license.

    The state has been working diligently to make the process easy for residents, Qualls said.” [Story]

    The state of Tennessee might be working to make “the process easy” , but republicans certainly aren’t. What happened to poor Dorothy Cooper is exactly the kind of effect that they were looking for. If you discourage enough Dorothy Coopers away from the voting booth guess who wins elections?

    Down in Texas Governor Big Hair and his peeps are doing the same thing. He signed into law a voter ID bill requiring proper ID to vote. —For the record, a college ID is not considered a proper form of ID, but come on down with your hunting license there Bubba and you are cool.

    “State Rep. Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga, said Tuesday that Cooper’s case is an example of how the law ‘erects barriers’ for the elderly and poor people — a disproportionate number of whom are minorities.

  57. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 9:25 AM

    Tying the GOP to Wall Street

    By Steve Benen

    It’s a well-kept secret in some corners, but Wall Street isn’t exactly popular with the American mainstream. It’s not just the Occupy Wall Street protests — after financial industry corruption and mismanagement nearly destroyed the global economy, there’s ample evidence much of the public hasn’t exactly gotten over it.

    What’s striking, then, is to see leading Republicans, including all of the top GOP presidential candidates, go out of their way to side with Wall Street over American consumers. It’s counter-intuitive — do Mitt Romney and his congressional allies really think voters are clamoring for an agenda that goes easy on those who crashed our economy? — but it’s apparently a vote-getter in Republican primaries.

    Democrats apparently intend to make this clear to the rest of the country. Politico reports this morning that Dems, at multiple levels, “plan to dramatically step up criticisms of Republican presidential candidates for their vows to repeal Wall Street reform and on Senate Republicans who are blocking the president’s choice to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

    As part of the effort, the Democratic National Committee unveiled this video this morning, called, “Republicans: On the Side of Wall Street, Not Consumers.”

    The message campaign will reportedly focus on Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

    In other words, it’s fairly broad in scope.

    If I didn’t know better, I might think Dems are taking economic populism very seriously in advance of the 2012 elections.

  58. Obama holding White House news conference Thursday

    Jobs and politics on agenda for 11 a.m. meeting with press

  59. rikyrah says:

    October 06, 2011 8:00 AM

    Palin takes a pass on 2012 race

    By Steve Benen

    I knew, if we waited long enough, we’d see Sarah Palin make a sensible decision.

    Sarah Palin is not running for president.

    Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, ended her inscrutable cat-and-mouse game with the political establishment on Wednesday afternoon by saying that she would not join the field of Republican candidates seeking her party’s nomination, but would still work to oust President Obama.

    Palin announced her decision first on a right-wing radio show, explaining that she wanted to remain “unshackled,” and the presidency would apparently cramp her style. Soon after, Palin issued a statement to supporters saying that she decided not to run because her “family comes first.”

    The list of possible Republicans presidential candidates who were considered contenders, but who ended up ruling out campaigns, is apparently complete and quite long: Daniels, Huckabee, Barbour, Thune, Trump, Pence, Jindal, Corker, Jeb Bush, Christie and now the infamous former half-term governor of Alaska.*

    The announcement also suggests the 2012 Republican presidential field is now complete. I suppose one could make the case that Giuliani is still mulling his options, and there were some silly rumors yesterday about Eric Cantor, but given the calendar and the filing deadlines, GOP voters will have to choose among the already-announced candidates. This realization will likely push some major donors and establishment insiders to get off the fence and start picking sides.

    As for Palin, whose endorsement will probably be sought aggressively by the Republican field, the announcement hardly seems to matter. Her national ambitions have been laughable for quite some time, and had she run, Palin had no credible chance of winning the nomination — even GOP voters had no respect for her — or coming close to winning the presidency.

    Is the decision a surprise? Given that Palin never walked away from her Fox News contract, no, but she certainly gave mixed signals about her intentions since walking away from her elected job, half-way through her only term.

    Jon Stewart joked just a week ago, “So, here’s the thing. You can have a colorful bus and drive to early primary states or you can go around telling people what you would do if you were president. But when you put those two together, there’s really only two possibilities: you are either running for the president of the United States, or you are a crazy person.”

    It would appear we now know which of these two possibilities is correct.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Not Like Ronnie
    by mistermix

    David Frum lists off 13 ways the Republican party is wrong, and ends with this one (via):

    It is wrong above all in its dangerous combination of apocalyptic pessimism about the long-term future of the country with aloof indifference to unemployment.

    Whatever you want to say about Ronald Reagan, he wasn’t this kind of pessimist. His outlook was anchored in deeply positive expectations about the future of the country. Compare that to the current crop of Republicans, along with Fox News, who are almost entirely motivated by fear and resentment. They are deeply butthurt about losing the White House and the healthcare reform fight. They fetishize small government to the point that they see little or no government role in fixing any of our current problems. And the social conservatives in the party just emanate a general sourness. All this has led to a crop of Republicans who come off as the polar opposite of the man they venerate.

    There’s not a lot to be positive about in the current economic climate, but it’s not unrealistic or naive to be hopeful about the future of America. We have had periods of massive dysfunction before (for example, if you’ve been watching Prohibition this week, it’s hard to see how our current political climate is any worse than what happened then), and we’ve recovered. It’s not Obama’s or the Democrats’ nature to be sunny optimists, but it doesn’t take much to serve as an alternative to the current Republican Party. A few words about some of the success of the past four years (like saving the US auto industry), a set of plans for future success, an occasional smile, and a little bit of good humor is all it takes to outshine Republicans in the optimism department. They are a truly humorless and negative bunch, and when we’re cataloging the ways they’re not like Reagan, it’s worth remembering and mentioning this characteristic.

  61. rikyrah says:

    Maybe I Could Make-Up With Harry Reid
    by BooMan
    Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 11:47:30 PM EST

    I used to have cordial relations with Harry Reid’s office. That ended abruptly on May 20th, 2009. I heard it first hand from his office. But, fuck them. I was right and they were wrong. Reid hasn’t done too many things to piss me off since then, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven him or his folks have forgiven me. But if we’re ever going to break bread again, this is a start.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is blocking the Defense authorization bill from floor consideration because of provisions that would keep the Guantánamo Bay prison camp in business, prompting Republican protest.
    Reid sent a letter to Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the panel’s ranking Republican, protesting the bill’s language related to terrorist detainees.

    The legislation, which was voted out of committee with a strong bipartisan majority, would authorize indefinite detention of suspected terrorists, require mandatory military custody of suspected terrorists and put stringent restrictions on the transfer of detainees to the civilian court system.

    Reid says he will not bring the bill to the Senate floor unless those provisions are dropped or modified, citing President Obama’s opposition to the language.

    “I do not intend to bring this bill to the floor until concerns regarding the bill’s detainee provisions are resolved,” Reid wrote in the Oct. 4 letter. “The Obama administration and several of our Senate colleagues have expressed serious concerns about the implications of the detainee provisions included in the legislation,” Reid wrote.

    Over two years ago, Harry Reid retracted his balls, cut, and ran in the face of ridiculous fear mongering rhetoric from the right. Now he’s trying to do what he should have done back then. He should have chastised his caucus and questioned their courage and given them not one inch of cover for their refusal to have the president’s back on Gitmo. But if he redeems himself, I’ll be in the front of the parade cheering his resolve and effectiveness.

    Here’s Mitch McConnell, in his usual taunting mode:

    “My request to the majority leader would be to move to the National Defense Authorization Act at the soonest possible moment to allow the Senate to debate and amend the bill,” McConnell said.
    “If there are members on the other side who support the White House effort to bring unlawful enemy combatants into the United States for purposes of detention and civilian trial, the Senate can debate that matter during consideration of the bill,” he added.

    There is not enough contempt in the world to explain how I feel about people who are afraid to house terrorist suspects in U.S. prisons or put them on trial.

  62. rikyrah says:

    The Times Search for Meaning
    by mistermix

    Someday the Kubler-Ross of journalism is going to identify the five stages of the New York Times. I don’t know all five stages, but right now, I’m pretty sure we’re at stage 3 with Occupy Wall Street. We’re past ignoring the protestors, we’ve worked through the breathless encomiums and excuse-making for the police, and now we’re apparently at the analysis phase.

    Last night, there was a big march on Wall Street, accompanied by a little police vs protester action. The Guardian was somehow able to report in detail what happened, and include videos of some of the police action. The New York Times instead led with one of their news-analysis pieces, where they tried to explain to us what it all means that the unions are joining the protests. The first mention of what actually happened last night is 8 whole graphs into the story, in a single paragraph. In 21 other paragraphs, the Times solicits quotes and opinions from union leaders and historians who aren’t part of the protest. It’s only at the very end of the story when they finally get around to telling us what actual protesters are saying, in the last three paragraphs.

    And lest you think I missed the “real” story, here’s the condescending title of the accompanying piece: “Wall Street Protests Attract Many New to This Sort of Thing”. I couldn’t find a tick-tock of last night’s events, or video, anywhere in the Times. Contrast that with the Daily News, which lived up to their name and led with actual news.

    I expect a hell of a lot better from the Times than sloppy think pieces about a big story happening outside their front door. Stop telling me what it all means and start telling me what happened. Five W’s and an H, motherfuckers, and the least important W is “why”.

  63. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
    Basement Of The Division
    Posted by Zandar
    Congress has hit a new low in the latest WaPo/ABC poll, and there’s still 13 months for them to find new and awesome mathematical ways to get worse.

    Whether Republican, Democrat or independent, more Americans disapprove of Congress than at any point in more than two decades of Washington Post-ABC News polling.

    Just 14 percent of the public approves of the job Congress is doing, according to the latest poll. That is lower than just before the 1994, 2006 and 2010 elections, when the majority party was on the verge of losing power in the House.

    For most it’s not just a casual dislike of Congress: Sixty-two percent say they “strongly disapprove” of congressional job performance. An additional 20 percent “somewhat” disapprove.

    Only 3 percent of Americans said they “strongly approve” of the performance of lawmakers on Capitol Hill — essentially as low as possible, given the poll’s margin of error of four percentage points.

    With Democrats running the Senate and Republicans in charge of the House, no group of voters is pleased. Just 18 percent of Democrats, 13 percent of independents and 13 percent of Republicans approve of Congress.

    Looking at the crosstabs is a bit more revealing than “People hate Congress” (although that’s apparently completely true.) Republicans in Congress get a 20% approval rating on the economy, 15 points under President Obama, and the President is more trusted on job creation, 49-34%. When asked if POTUS and the GOP care more protecting the economic interests of middle-class Americans or wealthy Americans, 52% say the President cares more about the middle class to the GOP’s 32%. Meanwhile, a whopping 70% think the GOP cares more about protecting the wealthy to Obama’s 17%.

    Of the 79% of Americans unhappy with our political system, 39% blame the GOP, 25% President Obama, and 27% blame both.

    On the President’s jobs plan, 52% approve of it, 58% believe it will improve the jobs situation in the US if it passes.

    As far as the Clown Car goes, the interesting stuff is near the bottom: Republican voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate if they thought schools should teach creationism/intelligent design (34-31%), wanted to repeal the health care law (67-15%), and supported banning same-sex marriage (38-27%). They would be less likely to vote for a candidate that sees global warming as an issue (27-36%) but the real shocker is that they’d be far less likely to vote for a candidate that wanted to extend unemployment benefits right now (25-46%).

    So yes, Americans want to see the American Jobs Act passe,. but Republican voters will punish any Republican that extends unemployment benefits right now (which the AJA would do.)

    Until they’re convinced that they will be punished more for not supporting the jobs bill, I doubt they will budge an inch. You can give Republicans where you live a Twitter nudge with the Tweet For Jobs page on the Obama ’12 site.

    Unless you think doing nothing about the jobs situation in this country is okay, that is.

  64. President Obama motorcade in Mesquite, TX

    That’s My President! :)

  65. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 06, 2011 8:35 AM

    Shoring up Senate support for the American Jobs Act

    By Steve Benen

    Before proponents of the American Jobs Act can even think of the Republican-led House — Majority Leader Eric Cantor declared the bill “dead” earlier this week — they need to figure out a way to get majority support in the Democratic-led Senate. As we learned Tuesday, that’s not quite as easy as it should be.

    Senate Democrats don’t seem to have any meaningful concerns about the job-creating provisions of the plan — infrastructure investments, tax breaks, saving public-sector jobs, etc. — but aren’t comfortable with financing. Most notably, senators like Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), won’t support a plan that eliminates tax subsidies for oil companies.

    The job for Harry Reid and other Democratic leaders was to find a financing plan the caucus can support. They appear to have succeeded.

    In proposing a 5 percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year to pay for job-creation measures sought by President Obama, Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday escalated efforts to strike a more populist tone and to draw Republicans into a confrontation over how much affluent Americans should pay to help others cope with a struggling economy. […]

    The new plan, devised by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, has a twofold purpose: to draw a sharp contrast with Congressional Republicans, who have dug in against any increases in tax rates, and to quell a revolt brewing among some Democrats who objected to parts of the White House plan.

    After some additional intra-party discussions, the plan was tweaked just a little more — the surtax would be 5.6%; it would apply exclusively to millionaires and billionaires; and would take effect in 2013, not 2012. If approved, the measure would raise about $445 billion over 10 years, which would pay for just about every penny of the American Jobs Act.

    Landrieu and Begich appeared pleased, which suggested Democrats could probably get 51 votes in the Senate for the jobs bill. Would support from the Democratic caucus be unanimous? Almost certainly not — Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin are likely to oppose any measure that raises taxes on anyone, even if the vast majority of Americans support the idea, especially since they’re both seeking re-election in conservative states next year.

    But there are 53 Senate Dems, and the leadership is aiming for 51 votes.

    The White House, by the way, considers the financing debate a sideshow, and doesn’t seem to much care how lawmakers pay for the bill.

    Republicans will use Nelson’s and Manchin’s opposition to say there’s “bipartisan” opposition to creating jobs right now, and as a technical matter, that will be accurate. But it won’t change a simple truth: most of the Senate, like most of the country, supports the American Jobs Act, and it’s Republican obstructionism, not Democratic apprehension, that will block progress in the upper chamber.

    Cantor responded to the plan by saying, “Most people in America think it’s counterintuitive to raise taxes if you want economic growth.” The oft-confused Majority Leader shouldn’t make up public attitudes that don’t exist — most people in America support raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires, and believe the tax change would boost the economy.

    By all indications, the next step will be pressuring Senate Republicans to simply allow the chamber to vote, up or down, on the bill.

  66. rikyrah says:

    I love this IF ONLY because it will make the GOP madder than a mutha.


    Quote of the Day
    Posted on 10/04/2011 at 6:30 pm by JM Ashby
    This is brilliant.

    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.”

    “Things have just gotten out of whack.”

    “If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher or a bus driver makes me a warrior for the middle class, I will wear that charge with honor.”

    As he should. And if Fox News is going to shout it from the rooftops anyway, why not beat them at their own game?

    This is clearly going to be a major element of the 2012 campaign.

  67. Ametia says:

    Ummm, just in time for 2012, eh?

  68. Ametia says:

    By Dan Eggen, Published: October 5

    Could 2012 produce the first secretly financed primaries?

    That might be a result of recent moves by Florida and other early-voting states to move their primaries and caucuses ahead to January, according to some campaign finance experts.

    The new schedule raises the possibility of outside spending groups running millions of dollars in ads in the final days of the races — without having to disclose them until the contests are over.

    The likelihood of such an outcome is unclear and depends on how so-called super PACs decide to navigate complicated Federal Election Commission deadlines.

    But advocates for tougher campaign finance regulations say the situation provides another example of how recent court rulings have made it easier to dodge disclosure laws and other rules aimed at ensuring transparency in elections.

    “There are more and more ways to keep things secret if you want to,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group. “This is just another example of a way to make secret expenditures until after the election.”

  69. Ametia says:

    A week that transformed the 2012 story line
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: October 5
    American politics reached a pivot point this week. A new story line will define how voters and the media see what’s going on.

    Since Election Day 2010, the prevailing narrative has been about a resurgent conservatism, a president on the defensive, big government under attack, the deficit as the dominant issue and the Tea Party as the political system’s prime mover. The backdrop for this saga has been an ailing economy.

    The troubled economy, alas, is still with us. But everything else is in flux. Consider the week’s three jolts to the system.

    First, the decisions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to forgo the Republican presidential contest almost certainly settles the party’s field. This means that the next several months will be all about Mitt Romney and what he actually believes.

  70. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011
    Last Call
    Posted by Zandar
    Want to know where Republicans would like to go on the issue of voter suppression? Rep. Steve King just dropped a major clue at a House hearing this week on a balanced budget amendment:

    As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there 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. In fact, of our unemployment numbers — that run in the 13 or 14 million category — when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren’t working.

    Now I don’t think they’re paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.

    Why should the parasites and the looters and moochers get to vote, anyway, right?The irony of course is that if not paying income taxes because you’re not employed means you can’t vote, a number of Teabaggers on say, Social Security, would be disenfranchising themselves. The bigger issue of course is that during the historical period King was talking about, it was only white men who could hold property or vote for that matter. Steve King there seems awfully wistful about returning to that era.

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

    Why it would look an awful lot like the 1780’s. I’m honestly not sure what’s more repugnant, the fact that a sitting member of Congress is publicly entertaining the notion of eliminating half of America from the voter rolls, or the implication that the poor deserve no representation in our democracy because they don’t have “skin in the game”.

    Like I keep saying, if you refuse to recognize any other difference between the Dems and the GOP, it’s the GOP’s constant assault on voting rights that are indisputably awful.

  71. rikyrah says:


    They lost millions…too fucking bad.


    Georgia blames immigration law for farm losses

    Leaders of Georgia’s vital farming industry blamed Wednesday a draconian new immigration law for labor shortages estimated to have cost the southern US state at least $75 million.

    A study by the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development found Tuesday that peak harvest employment would have been 12,930 but that there was a shortage of 5,244 workers in the fields.

    The study did not explain the shortages but farmers said a new immigration law had scared off Hispanic workers who were now afraid of being deported to Mexico, with their children being left behind in the United States.

    Georgia Immigration Bill 87, passed in the spring, empowered law enforcement officials to start deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants.

    A controversial system called E-Verify was put in place to document “guest workers,” but farmers said it wasn’t working.

    “Here is one provision of E-verify,” said Melinda James of Osage Farms in north Georgia. “If I sign up I have to guarantee a worker 40 hours of work a week. What if it rains for a week? Well, I still have to pay the worker. I also have to contribute to the transportation of workers from their homes.

    “The program has to be simplified and made cheaper.”

    Georgia attempted to fill the needs of farmers by sending probationers, or recently released prisoners, to pick crops but farmers said those workers could not handle the physical demands of long hours in the fields.

    “Georgia is the poster child for what can happen when mandatory E-verify and enforcement legislation is passed without an adequate guest worker program,” said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.

  72. Ametia says:

    Disney to re-release four more films in 3-D

    Thanks to the huge success of “The Lion King 3-D,” Disney is going to re-release four other classic animated films in the same medium, starting with “Beauty and The Beast.”

    That “tale as old as time” will hit theaters on January 13.

    According to a press release, Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” will return for a limited engagement on September 14, 2012, followed by Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” on January 18, 2013 (prequel “Monsters University” arrives in theaters on June 21, 2013).

    Last but not least, “The Little Mermaid” hits theaters in 3-D on September 13, 2013.

  73. rikyrah says:

    I LOVE that dress on FLOTUS. Wish she would wear it again.

  74. Good Morning Sun

    Happy Thursday, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!

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