Tuesday Open Thread

Can you shimmy, watusi, do the monkey, jerk, tighten up, mashed potatoes, twist, the rock, the bop, hustle, cabbabe patch, running man, electric slide, Texas two step? Want to learn a few steps of the oldies but goodies? Stay with 3 Chics this week, as we get down with it. don’t hurt yourselves, now!

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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107 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Mitt Romney can kiss Michigan goodbye

  2. Ametia says:

    Winners and Losers:


    1). Mitt Romney – Yes, he flip flopped, and dodged tough questions, but Romney is clearly running a General Election primary campaign. The problem is that all of the other Republican candidates are too weak to challenge Romney. Republicans have no idea if Romney is actually a good candidate, and he is leading by default because everyone else is that bad.

    2). Jon Huntsman – Huntsman got more airtime, and got off some of the best lines of the night. If he was trying to get voters to notice him, it worked. In fact to non-Republicans, Huntsman may be the most electable Republican. He is totally unelectable in these Republican primaries, but he is the most appealing to voters who aren’t dark red Republicans.

    3). Newt Gingrich- Newt has zero chance at the nomination, but by going for cheap applause and delivering his sermons to the masses, he has guaranteed himself a raise at Fox News, and he will probably sell more books.

    4). Rick Santorum- If Gingrich has zero chance at the nomination, Santorum has a less than zero shot at being the GOP nominee, but Santorum was playing the spoiler tonight and going on the attack against his fellow Republicans. Once again, Ricky has no future in this race, but tonight he made sure that he was relevant enough to negotiate a raise from Roger Ailes and a return to Fox News.


    1). Rick Perry – His campaign promised us a refreshed a revived Rick Perry, but instead the Texas governor looked like he was in coma. Perry has gone from frontrunner to nonentity in a matter of a few weeks. Perry needed a good debate, but came out with his worst performance yet. The nomination is still there for taking because Republicans really aren’t sold on Romney, but Perry is vanishing before our very eyes.

    2). Herman Cain- Dear media, this is what happens when you elevate a one trick pony novelty candidate to contender status. Even Republicans were asking themselves, “Why does Herman Cain keep repeating himself?” The answer is that he has nothing new to offer or say. Cain’s new standing in the polls meant that his fellow candidates pounced on his 9.9.9 plan and destroyed it. Cain is the GOP protest vote, but he is not a serious threat to Romney.

    3). Michele Bachmann- The Minnesota Republican was there in body only. She has gone from being a serious challenger to watching her campaign self-destruct. Bachmann is now playing out the string, and if she doesn’t win Iowa, back to the House she will go.

    4). Ron Paul – Debates on specific domestic issues highlight the weaknesses of Ron Paul. In a debate about the economy, Paul spent almost all of his airtime obsessing over the Fed. How would Ron Paul create jobs? Ron Paul has principles, but like his fellow Republicans, he has no plans. Paul didn’t hurt himself. His supporters will still love him, but he probably didn’t earn himself any more supporters either.


    Republicans better hope that their nominee gets better on the economy before the General Election, because if any of these eight bring this performance up against Obama next fall, they will be smoked. As long as Republicans continue to not talk about jobs, and vote against bills that would create jobs, they will struggle to take back the White House in 2012.

  3. Ametia says:

    5 Reasons To Be Glad You Didn’t Watch The Bloomberg Republican Debate
    October 11, 2011By Jason E

    1). Republicans Have No Clue- The cluelessness started early on as when the GOP nomination battle leaders were asked how they would fix the economy. Herman Cain gave us his 9/9/9 plan. Mitt Romney promised that he can fix thad to name a Fed chair that did something good, it would be Paul Volcker.he country through, “leadership,” and Rick Perry channeled Sarah Palin and touted drill baby, drill. Later in the debate Mitt Romney said that he would lower deficit, but promised not to raise taxes or cut defense. In other words, A Mitt Romney presidency = goodbye Social Security and Medicare.

    2). Michele Bachmann Blames The Federal Government Not Wall Street For Crashing The Economy – Michele Bachmann showed everybody the difference between the two political parties when she refused to blame Wall Street for crashing the economy. Instead blamed the federal government, which she claimed pushed subprime mortgages and forced the banks to make bad loans.

    3). Republicans Use A Debate About The Economy To Talk About Death Panels – See this is the problem with asking eight people who have no idea what to with the economy except the same things that blew up the economy in the first place. Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain both claimed that the death panels are real. Newt Gingrich coins it “class intervention” to let patients die.

    4). Newt “Cheap Applause Line” Gingrich wants Chris Dodd and Barney Frank Thrown In Jail – Seriously, his remedy for the economy is to repeal regulations like Dodd/Frank, but he doesn’t stop there. President Gingrich wants to throw a sitting member of the House and a former US senator into prison, and he is big ideas guy among the 2012 GOP candidates.

    5). Where Are The Jobs? – Republicans are having a debate about the economy, but no candidate in the first hour mentioned how they are going to create jobs. In fact, the word jobs was not uttered. Unemployment is the most important issue in this election, but the Republican candidates seem content to make pizza jokes and discuss how they are going to repeal Obamacare.

    The second hour of the debate featured the candidates questioning each other. This was supposed to spur conflict and discussion, but instead each of the questioners used their questions for self-promotion. The questioners delivered their talking points. The candidates delivered talking points for answers, and it was a dull knowledge free infomercial. The segment only lasted a half an hour, but it was the worst quarter of the debate.

    The best part of the final segment was Herman Cain and Ron Paul looking like they were going to come to blows over the Fed. Cain mentioned Alan Greenspan as his model for Fed chairman, and Paul went off. Paul said if he


  4. rikyrah says:

    from Andrew Sullivan blogging the GOP Clown Car:

    .36 pm. A reader channels my thoughts:

    This has been quite literally the most insane 20 minutes of “economic” debate I’ve ever seen. The utter lack of understanding of how markets work, what caused the crisis and the role of the fed is astonishing and irresponsible.

    Even as someone who works on Wall St., I would never be so blind to the failings of the private sector that contributed to the crisis. And Romney’s answer on Euro banks is also bordering on irresponsible as he should know better – a euro debt crisis would be good for the dollar at the expense of a global financial meltdown that would make 2008 look tame.

    None of these people seem close to grasping the reality of the last four years. And yet they talk as if it’s self-evident that the president is completely out of his depth. The sheer contempt for Obama is staggering to me. He really is a “boy” to them.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow’s opening segment is about real world successes of the federal government.

    the type of stories that would make you go ‘ you know that stuff only happens in books by Tom Clancy’.


  6. rikyrah says:

    Cain Leads In Iowa

    He’s beating Romney 30 percent to 22:

    Better news for Cain even than his lead is that his supporters are much more solidly committed than Romney’s. 50% of them say they will definitely vote for him compared to only 34% who say the same for his co-front runner. When you look at the race just among voters who say they are firmly committed Cain’s lead expands to 19 points at 38% to 19% for Romney, 13% for Paul, and 12% for Perry.


  7. rikyrah says:

    enjoyed Lawrence O’Donnell’s ‘rewrite’ tonight. he told the truth about that the best Willard could do is TIE the POTUS, who hasn’t even started in earnest campaigning.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The President Is Black
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Oct 11 2011, 6:52 PM ET 10

    The interesting about Herman Cain’s claim that Obama has “never been part of the black experience in America,” is that wasn’t actually initially his claim, but the claim of radio-host Neal Boortz. I think it’s worth considering some of Boortz other commentary on the black experience, specifically in reference to Katrina:

    That wasn’t the cries of the downtrodden; that’s the cries of the useless, the worthless. New Orleans was a welfare city, a city of parasites, a city of people who could not and had no desire to fend for themselves. You have a hurricane descending on them and they sit on their fat asses and wait for somebody else to come rescue them. “It’s somebody else’s job to get me out of here. It’s somebody else’s job to save my life. Not mine.

    Send me a bus, send me a limo, send me a boat, send me a helicopter, send me a taxi, send me something. But you certainly don’t expect me to actually work to get myself out of this situation, do you? Haven’t you been watching me for generations? I’ve never done anything to improve my own lot in life. I’ve never done anything to rescue myself. Why do you expect me to do that now, just because a levee broke?”

    I don’t know if Herman Cain agrees with this species of insight, or not, but forgive me if I don’t take my cues on race from someone who considers New Orleans “a welfare city, a city of parasites.”

    And you’ll forgive if I don’t take any cues on “blackness” from people who opportunistically draw boundaries for this little nation, just beyond their interests. Sadly, this one of the actual instances when the “both sides” analysis is actually accurate. The official assessors of presidential blackness run the gamut from Michael Moore to Cornel West to Rush Limbaugh to Herman Cain to Stanley Crouch.

    What’s most interesting about Obama’s alleged lack of blackness, is that very few black people actually seem to agree. To them Obama is final face on that great black Rushmore–somewhere next to Harriet Tubman, Martin Lurther King, Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. There’s a barbershop on 116th and Lennox where I sometimes go for a cut. The walls feature Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali. In the center is a picture of Barack Obama.

    This has very little to do with what Obama did on the bailout, or what he didn’t do for the public option. I’m all in for a conversation about the import of his policies. But in terms of black people, I find it hard to credit any critique which claims that an ethnic group which has included everyone from Walter White to Marcus Garvey (and basically Teena Marie) can’t make room for Barack Obama.

    I’m always amazed that we spend so much time criticizing black kids for attacking other black kids for not “being black enough” or for “acting white.” Meanwhile, actual adults–of all races–regularly inveigh against the blackness of one of the most popular and positive image of black manhood in a generation. It’s amazing–sort of how we hector about individual acts of homophobic bullying, seemingly oblivious to the kind of mass societal homophobic bullying which we elevate to law.

    Meanwhile, I hear back on the South Side they’re selling tee-shirt that read “Obama 2012,” with a print of his birth certificate underneath.

    I want one.


  9. Obama Jobs Plan Voted Down By Senate


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans have voted to kill the White House jobs bill despite weeks of campaign-style barnstorming by President Barack Obama across the country.

    Forty-six Republicans joined with two Democrats to filibuster the $447 billion plan.

    That vote was not final. The roll call was kept open Tuesday night to allow Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. to vote. But it would have taken 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to keep the legislation alive.

    The plan would have included Social Security payroll tax cuts for workers and businesses and other tax relief totaling about $270 billion. There also was to be $175 billion in new spending on roads, school repairs and other infrastructure – as well as jobless aid and help to local governments to avoid layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers.

  10. rikyrah says:

    It’s a black-themed fall on Broadway

    In recent years, African-American playwrights, directors and performers have been responsible for some of Broadway’s most conspicuous hits. This fall brings two new black authors, and black actors will play key roles in a number of high-profile productions expected in the near future.

    Yet anyone who would propose that racial diversity is no longer a concern should consider some data from the Broadway League. According to in-theater surveys, the Broadway audience remained about three-quarters white from the spring of 1998 through the spring of 2010.

    African-American audiences peaked at just 6.7%, in the 2006-07 season, with Hispanics and Asians respectively topping out at 8.6% (in 2008-09) and 6.3% (2009-10). (Figures for 2010-11 are not yet available.)

    “It is called the Great White Way,” says Samuel L. Jackson, now in previews for Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop. Jackson worries, in fact, that most African Americans “won’t be able to afford to see” Hall’s play, in which he portrays Martin Luther King Jr. “The people who will see it are either affluent or black people who have saved some money for a special event, or maybe someone got them tickets.”

    Kenny Leon, director of Mountaintop and the other Broadway show, Lydia R. Diamond’s Stick Fly — as well as smash revivals of ARaisin in the Sun and Fences — frames the issue as “more of a class thing than a race thing. Cost is always a factor.”

    But with 2010’s Fences and 2004’s Raisin, he notes, “we had African Americans coming in from buses all over the country.”

    For pop star Alicia Keys, a Stick Fly producer, Diamond’s play — which focuses on a well-to-do black family in Martha’s Vineyard — was attractive in part because it doesn’t relegate African Americans to a socioeconomic stereotype.

    Keys has been “a true lover of theater since I was a little girl,” thanks to her mother’s enthusiasm. “But that’s only because I had someone to introduce me to it. So it’s definitely a goal of mine as a young black woman to reach out to a larger audience.”

    Stick Fly’s profile has been buoyed by Keys’ attachment, just as Fences’ and Raisin’s were by their starry casts, respectively led by Denzel Washington and Sean “Diddy” Combs.

    Time Out New York drama critic Adam Feldman proposes that the “big star-limited run model” that has generally grown popular on Broadway has proven effective with shows targeted to African-American audiences.

    Feldman points to 2008’s all-black Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, featuring James Earl Jones and Terrence Howard, and a multi-racial A Streetcar Named Desire scheduled to start previews in February, starring Blair Underwood.

    The Tennessee Williams revivals — both presented by Front Row Productions, the brainchild of black Wall Street alum Stephen Byrd — reflect “a larger trend of marketing with the expectation that a large percentage of the audience will be black.”

    Byrd readily acknowledges that his approach is “star-driven,” but he and Front Row vice president Alia Jones add that race is a consideration beyond the marquee names. With Cat, Jones says, “it was our mandate and the director’s (Debbie Allen) mandate to see some diversity” backstage as well.

    “We had the opportunity to open it up for the designers and crew,” Byrd says. But he notes that Streetcar’s director, Emily Mann, is white: “We just reach out for the best and the brightest, always. And we’ve been embraced by the theater community.”

    Veteran Broadway producer Jeffrey Richards affirms a growing sense of inclusiveness. Richards’ upcoming shows include, in addition to The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and a spring revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man starring James Earl Jones as a former U.S. president, Chinglish, a new comedy by Tony-winning Asian-American playwright David Henry Hwang.

    “There have been plays about Asians on Broadway before, but not necessarily written by Asians or authentic,” Richards says.

    Another top producer, Elizabeth McCann, is exploring a possible run for Pulitzer Prize-winning black playwright Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. It would be Nottage’s Broadway bow.

    “Any producer or general manager or theater owner that I talk to is absolutely in favor of more diverse stories and audiences,” says Sharon Jensen, executive director of the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. “Things are changing — though nobody thinks that we’re where we ultimately need to be.”

    David Alan Grier, who co-stars in Porgy and Bess, has observed plenty of room for progress. “A friend of mine who worked at a discount ticket office would regularly hear people say, ‘We don’t want to see anything black or anything gay.’ But what do you do? You push ahead.”

    Stick Fly author Diamond figures that “theater struggles with the same issues that society struggles with.” But she has been encouraged by the response to her play in earlier productions: “Though it’s about an African-American family, it’s an American story; and people have said it reminds them of their own family dynamics.”

    Hall has had a similar experience with Mountaintop.

    “Everyone and their mama came to see it in London. It’s been proven time and again that if a story is good, it’s going to be universal. I hope the Broadway audience sees it that way.”


  11. rikyrah says:

    OMG …..The Best Man was my favorite Black wedding movie until Jumping the Broom came along. I would LOVE a sequel.


    Universal interested in ‘Best Man’ sequel
    By Arienne Thompson, USA TODAY
    It’s been 12 long years since director Malcolm Lee’s film about love, loss and friendship, The Best Man, hit the silver screen.

    The movie boosted Taye Diggs’ star power and showed affluent, educated African Americans enjoying life as talented young professionals in New York.

    Now, the movie, which also starred Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut and Sanaa Lathan, may get a shot at a sequel.

    Deadline reports that Universal is interested in picking up a sequel, to be directed again by Lee (who is Spike Lee’s cousin) and starring as much of the original cast as possible.


  12. rikyrah says:

    Cain Still Unable: Zeroed Out

    by Zandar

    It’s like Herman Cain is the only person who can’t hear “The Merry Go Round Broke Down” playing at volume factor 11 whenever he speaks. Talking with Neal Boortz today, Cain admitted his new target is Mitt Romney, but then he said this about President Obama:

    Boortz, at the tail end of the interview, asks Cain how he’d do in a debate against Obama:

    “It would almost be no contest.”

    Ticking off ways he could compete with Obama, Boortz says that Cain would be able to talk about the black experience in America.

    Cain’s response: “[Obama’s] never been a part of the black experience in America.”

    That might be the single most hysterical political thing I’ve heard so far this year. I understand that the GOP perception of President Obama is that he simultaneously occupies the set of all other infinite points on the Blackness Line other than the acceptable amount of Blackness for any given situation (we’ll call that mathematical set B, where b, the aforementioned acceptable amount of Blackness can never be equal to any possible value of B just so Obama loses in any situation, and just to really piss everyone off the GOP keeps changing the value of b arbitrarily) but Herman Cain’s redefinition of B as zero is honestly a new one on me.

    I don’t know what to say other than I’d really, really like to see Herman Cain and President Obama have that debate while believing that Cain is pretty much the least deserving of the GOP Clown Car Crew of having one. As I’ve said before, new and exciting branches of mathematics are needed to sufficiently quantify how much of a complete asshole Herman Cain really is.


  13. rikyrah says:

    None Dare Speak Its Name

    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 03:54:34 PM EST
    If you live inside the Washington Beltway, it is apparently impolite to point out that the Republicans ruined the economy and continue to ruin it, and that they are doing the latter on purpose. In fact, I’ve watched Steve Benen cautiously try to broach the subject for over a year, as if he might get his head taken off if he just made this obvious assertion and said it is beyond debate. Instead, he keeps saying it in conditional terms like, “Hey, maybe we should at least consider that the Republicans don’t want people to have jobs.” But we don’t need to consider it. They don’t want people to have jobs. Do we need to ask why? No. We all know why.

    The Republicans care about nothing but destroying the Obama presidency. They have an infinite faith in the gullibility of the American people, and they hit better than .500 using that assumption.


  14. Military Surprise: Dad Surprises Daughter At Spelling Bee After She Nails ‘Sergeant’

    [wpvideo iGpds4wS]

    Skylar Johnson received an unforgettable prize for spelling “sergeant” correctly during her Boca Raton Elementary spelling bee, CBS12.com reports.

    Instead of a trophy, the 9-year-old was surprised by her father, Staff Sergeant Therron Johnson, whom she has not seen since Christmas.

    As she belted out the final “T,” her teacher asked if she knew any special sergeants.

    “My dad.” she replied.

    Right on cue, Sergeant Johnson, dressed in his National Guard uniform, popped out from behind the stage curtain and swept his daughter into a huge hug.

    “I love you baby! I love you so much!” said the teary-eyed sergeant.

  15. rikyrah says:

    October 11, 2011 2:40 PM

    Jim Messina broaches a provocative line

    By Steve Benen

    There’s been at least some discussion this year about the “sabotage” question — whether Republicans are deliberately hurting the country, holding back the economy on purpose, for the express purpose of undermining the Obama presidency. It is, to be sure, a provocative point, and many Democrats have steered clear of it.

    But in recent months, the argument has gained mainstream traction, in part because GOP tactics demanded it. This led to a striking email, sent to the Obama for America this afternoon, by Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Obama/Biden 2012. The message reads, in part:

    The U.S. Senate is supposed to vote on the American Jobs Act as early as tonight.

    “It’s a bill that will put people to work immediately, and it contains proposals that members of both parties have said in the past that they’d support.

    “But Senate Republicans want to block it. Not because they have a plan that creates jobs right now — not one Republican, in Congress or in the presidential race, does. They only have a political plan.

    “Their strategy is to suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory. They think that the more folks see Washington taking no action to create jobs, the better their chances in the next election. So they’re doing everything in their power to make sure nothing gets done.” [emphasis added]

    The message goes on from there to talk about the merits of the White House jobs bill, urging recipients to call Capitol Hill. Regardless, this is, as near as I can tell, the first time anyone associated with the president has broached the sabotage question at all.

    And that strikes me as rather remarkable.

    At least Messina is in good company. Michael Cohen, a senior fellow at American Security Project, apparently following up on a discussion I launched last November, recently said, “We’re far past the point where there is reason to doubt that the GOP is purposely trying to harm” the economy.

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Conference, believes “some” Republicans “want the economy to actually fail” on purpose. Paul Krugman recently said in his column, “[I]t’s hard to avoid the suspicion that G.O.P. leaders actually want the economy to perform badly.” Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was recently asked whether it’s possible Republicans would sabotage the economy. “Well, let me be honest,” he said. “It has occurred to me that this is a possibility.” E.J. Dionne Jr., Dan Gross,David Frum, and Andrew Sullivan have all raised the same concerns.

    A few months ago, Kevin Drum wondered whether this will ever be “a serious talking point,” adding, “No serious person in a position of real influence really wants to accuse an entire party of cynically trying to tank the economy, after all.”

    Given recent events — the debt-ceiling scandal, the GOP-driven downgrade, the Republican rejection of any efforts to boost the economy, the GOP leadership’s letter to Bernanke pleading with him to let the economy suffer, the repeated threats of government shutdowns, tonight’s death of the American Jobs Act — it appears all kinds of serious people are at least entertaining the possibility.

    As a result, it at least seems like a question worthy of some debate. Given the circumstances, there’s no reason for credible observers to at least ponder the possibility and ask Republican leaders for an explanation for their behavior.


  16. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 10/11/2011
    Will Dems fall short of majority for jobs bill?
    By Greg Sargent
    As I noted below, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Dems may not be able to muster a simple majority in support for Obama’s jobs bill in the Senate later today.

    That’s because of likely uniform GOP opposition, yes, but also because some Senate Dems in red states appear to be prepared to vote against the jobs bill — even though what’s being voted on today is merely over whether it will go to the floor for debate.

    And then there’s yet another category: Senate Dems who support the jobs bill but may not show up to vote today.

    Jeanne Shaheen, the newly elected Dem Senator from New Hampshire, is scheduled to be in Boston tonight to accept the “New Englander of the Year” award, according to her Senate Web site. Needless to say, that coincides with tonight’s Senate vote on the American Jobs Act.

    So will she be voting on the bill?

    Jonathan Lipman, a spokesperson for Shaheen, tells me that she supports the bill, but that she’ll only be on hand to vote for it if her vote is necessary. “The Senator has told leadership that she is fully prepared to be here tonight if her vote is needed for passage,” Lipman says.

    By “passage,” however, Lipman appears to mean getting the 60 votes for cloture. No one expects that to happen. The emerging question right now is whether it will gain a simple majority in the Senate. That’s crucial for Dems, because if it doesn’t, it will give the GOP a talking point to undercut the Obama/Dem case against the GOP. Republicans will argue that not even a majority of the Dem-controlled U.S. Senate supports the bill, so why are they being singled out by Obama for frustrating the will of the majority on jobs? And if a majority doesn’t back the bill, it will be widely portrayed in the media as a major rebuke to the President.

    Thus far, it doesn’t look like Shaheen will be on hand (though that could change). But to get that simple majority, Dems need every vote they can get — and right now, it’s looking very, very dicey. More when I learn it.


  17. rikyrah says:

    George Clooney Drawn to Politics on Screen, Not in Real Life
    ABC News
    October 8, 2011

    George Clooney made a movie about how messed up the American electoral process could be. It doesn’t fall far from how messed up he thinks American politics is.

    “I’m disillusioned by the people who are disillusioned by Obama, quite honestly, I am,” he said on ABC News Now’s “Popcorn with Peter Travers” before today’s release of “The Ides of March.”Democrats eat their own. Democrats find singular issues and go, ‘Well, I didn’t get everything I wanted.’ I’m a firm believer in sticking by and sticking up for the people whom you’ve elected.

    “If he was a Republican running, because Republicans are better at this,” Clooney continued, “they’d be selling him as the guy who stopped 400,000 jobs a month from leaving the country. They’d be selling him as the guy who saved the auto-industry. If they had the beliefs, they’d be selling him as the guy who got rid of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ who got Osama bin Laden. You could be selling this as a very successful three years.

    In reality, too, the Oscar winner thinks the Democratic Party is flawed. He also bemoaned the state of political coverage.

    “I’m angered at the polarization,” he said. “Having growing up around television news, I’m angered at the way things are presented. I’m worried about the content. I’m worried about who’s minding the store, and I’m worried about the idea that 24-hour news doesn’t mean we get more news, it just means we have this repetitive cycle of things that aren’t factually accurate.”


  18. Ametia says:

    Chris Matthews, Nia what’sherface, and Coward Fuckman really do live in alternate univeres
    Does Obama prefer policy to people?


    • Ametia says:

      All these folks have lost their minds. PBO’s not smoozing their asses. Anyone who follows this president knows PEOPLE LOVES them some Barack Obama! Thus the media blackouts at his events.

      ‘Barack Obama has a way of speaking at people not to them.”

      TRANSLATION: “That uppity negro doesn’t know his place.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    Senate Poised to Kill Jobs Bill
    by John Cole

    And of course the usual suspects in the Democratic party are going to give the GOP cover:

    Obama has been touring the country, aiming to put pressure on the GOP to act. But Senate Democrats have indicated they are feeling some heat. Last week, Democratic leaders revised Obama’s bill, scrapping his proposed offsets. Instead of raising taxes on families making more than $250,000 annually, Senate Democrats lifted that figure to $1 million.

    Despite the changes, the legislation still does not enjoy the support of all 53 senators who caucus with the Democrats. A handful of Democrats are undecided or leaning no on the bill.

    Democrats who will vote no or are leaning no include Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.), who all hail from red states and are up for reelection next year.

    Republican and Democratic analysts say it will be politically difficult for Obama to blame the GOP for blocking the bill if more than a few conservative Democrats break ranks.

    I called Manchin’s office, and asked him to support the bill, also while noting to the poor intern who had to listen to me that I know that my call is futile, since all Manchin has done since he got to DC was screw this administration at every opportunity. I did, however, take the time to point out to him that while Manchin thinks he needs to fuck Obama over at every opportunity to be re-elected in 2012 in a state that hates Obama, he actually doesn’t. Voting for the jobs bill will help him politically:

    In an interview with me this morning, Greenberg made a strong case that moderate Senate Democrats in red states would be foolish and shortsighted if they vote against the American Jobs Act today, as some of them appear to be prepared to do. The White House and Dems have been railing against Republicans for opposing the jobs bill, but if a few Senate Dems defect, and a simple majority of the Senate doesn’t support it, that will dilute the Dem message that Republicans are the key obstacle to progress on the economy.

    But Greenberg’s case for voting for the bill went significantly beyond this concern about overall party messaging. He argued that moderate Democrats who vote against it are actually imperiling their own reelection chances.

    “They reduce their risks for reelection by showing support for a jobs bill that’s going to be increasingly popular as voters learn more about it,” Greenberg said. “They have to be for something on the economy, and this the kind of proposal they should support. If I were advising them, I’d say you want to be backing a jobs bill with middle class tax cuts paid for by tax hikes on millionaires. Moderate voters in these states very much want to raise taxes on the wealthy to meet our obligations.”

    Crucially, Greenberg pointed out that if moderate Dems are hoping to show distance from the President and his low approval numbers by voting against the jobs bill, they run another risk: Dem disunity on the economy could backfire on them.

    “Voting No would increase their risk of losing,” Greenberg said bluntly. “Democrats would look divided on their central agenda. In the end you all go down with the ship here. Why would you send Democrats back to the Senate if they are divided on the most important issue facing people? Here you can show unity and purpose, which Democrats have not had an opportunity to do during budget negotiations.”

    Greenberg dismissed concerns about Obama’s overall numbers. “It’s a long time until the election, and the presient’s standing can go up,” he said. “If the Democrats are divided and have a weak vote on the jobs bill, then moderates will only hurt themselves.”

    It isn’t just the poor who the Republicans have convinced to vote against their interest- it’s the blue dogs in Congress. Every time the President on the liberal wing of the house provides them with an opportunity to help themselves, they shit the bed and vote with the GOP to protect the rich and well off and do nothing for those who actually need help. So I fully expect the jobs bill to fail, and even though it hurts him, I fully expect Manchin to vote against and then spew a stream of bullshit about the deficit. They just can’t help themselves. They have so fully bought into the GOP spin they don’t even know why they are Democrats anymore


  20. rikyrah says:

    An Odd Ommission
    by Kay

    I’m doing some telephone canvassing (not enough) for the No On Two campaign in Ohio and I’m finding out something that is extraordinary to me.

    None of the people I’m talking to know that many, many charter schools in Ohio are run by for-profit operators. They don’t know this because I live in a low-income rural area, where we still have traditional public schools, where the schools are run by elected (not appointed) boards and are “operated” by public employees who live, pay taxes and spend their money here. “School reform” in terms of privatization hasn’t reached us yet. Don’t come, corporate reformers. This is not an invitation or a plea for help. It’s simply an observation. We’ll manage.

    This is from 2009:

    By Ohio law, charter schools are nonprofits. But about half the charter schools are managed by for-profit companies which pay the bills and pocket any profits. For-profit charter school managers took in $291 million in state funds last year, according to an Ohio Education Association study. The biggest charter manager in Ohio, [David Brennan’s] White Hat Management Co. of Akron, received $84 million for its Ohio schools, which include its Life Skills Centers and Riverside Academy in the Cincinnati region.

    This to me seems like an outrageous omission by school reform proponents, and of course, there are plenty of liberal school reform proponents.
    Should taxpayers really not know that they’re transferring public funds to private for-profit operators? I don’t remember deciding that “public” schools should be for-profit. I remember a lot of touchy-feely talk about neighborhood schools, and parental control, and “freedom” from those lazy, thuggish greedy teachers and their incessant demands for a seat at the table when their salary is determined. When did we decide schools were an “industry”?

    When we talk about charter schools, and teachers unions, isn’t it only fair to inform taxpayers that there are non-profit charter schools and for-profit charter schools, and Ohio conservatives have gone for-profit charter schools in a big way? About half for-profit operators, in 2009, in Ohio. 80% for-profit operators, today, in Michigan. Isn’t it only fair to inform taxpayers that with the teachers unions out of the way, upon passage of Issue 2 in Ohio, we’re deregulating public schools even further than they already are in Ohio?

    This is Diane Ravitch, who is, of course, the former charter school and deregulation advocate who is (now) appalled at what’s happened, and screaming “STOP!”:

    There is a clash of ideas occurring in education right now between those who believe that public education is not only a fundamental right but a vital public service, akin to the public provision of police, fire protection, parks, and public libraries, and those who believe that the private sector is always superior to the public sector. Waiting for “Superman” is a powerful weapon on behalf of those championing the “free market” and privatization. It raises important questions, but all of the answers it offers require a transfer of public funds to the private sector. The stock market crash of 2008 should suffice to remind us that the managers of the private sector do not have a monopoly on success.

    Well, yeah. I think that’s an understatement, but agreed. But let’s talk about the money. Does a school reformer/union buster want to tell my why I want my tax dollars flowing out of my district and into shareholder pockets? What happens to the “savings” when we take from teachers and other public school employees? Because if my Fabulous Projected Savings are slated to go to outfits like this, I think we need to talk about that. With teachers unions out of the way, who, pray tell, is going to lobby for public education? Where’s my organized, effective defense from the for-profit operators? Are we really going to kid ourselves and say that this “fundamental right and vital public service” argument is going to carry the day in my state legislature when up against for-profit operators and their lobbying dollars, once teachers unions are gone?

    between those who believe that public education is not only a fundamental right but a vital public service

    Please. We know better. We won’t stand a chance.


  21. rikyrah says:

    Raising Taxes Is a Crime
    by John Cole

    But beating women is not:

    Last night, in between approving city expenditures and other routine agenda items, the Topeka, Kansas City Council debated one rather controversial one: decriminalizing domestic violence.

    Here’s what happened: Last month, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office, facing a 10% budget cut, announced that the county would no longer be prosecuting misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases, at the county level. Finding those cases suddenly dumped on the city and lacking resources of their own, the Topeka City Council is now considering repealing the part of the city code that bans domestic battery. […]

    Since the county stopped prosecuting the crimes on September 8th, it has turned back 30 domestic violence cases. Sixteen people have been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and then released from the county jail after charges weren’t filed. “Letting abusive partners out of jail with no consequences puts victims in incredibly dangerous positions,” said Becky Dickinson of the YWCA. “The abuser will often become more violent in an attempt to regain control.”

    Welcome to the conservative vision for America.

    How much do you want to bet they are still fully funding criminal prosecutions for possession and other minor drug crimes?


  22. rikyrah says:

    October 11, 2011 1:15 PM

    The fate of the America Jobs Act

    On paper, tonight’s vote in the Senate should be one of the year’s biggest no-brainers.

    In the midst of a jobs crisis and intense public demand for congressional action, senators will have a chance to weigh in on the American Jobs Act. Most Americans support its provisions; it enjoys strong support from economists; it includes ideas from both parties; and the CBO found it will even lower the deficit over the next decade. All told, the plan would likely add about 1.9 million jobs to an economy that desperately needs them. Opponents have simply run out of excuses.

    What politician in his/her right mind is going to reject a sensible jobs bill when unemployment is still at crisis levels? Apparently, the answer is a majority in both the House and Senate.

    The House, with a radicalized Republican majority, is almost certainly a lost cause anyway, but the goal has been to get a vote in the Senate first, where at least there’s an ostensible Democratic majority. Republicans, who’ve already effectively broken the institution, will filibuster the jobs bill. Why? Because they’re Republicans, and they don’t believe in giving legislation up-or-down votes.

    But if the Democratic caucus sticks together, they can at least ensure that a majority of the Senate is on record supporting the bill. That’s not going to happen, either.

    Democrats would need all 53 of their members to vote yes along with seven Republicans, and already three members of the Democratic caucus have said they will vote no. Sen. Joseph Manchin of West Virginia questions the effectiveness of the package, wondering whether we’ll get the bang from the buck. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., both don’t like the way Democratic leaders have proposed to pay for this bill with a new 5.6 percent surtax on any personal income over $1 million. They say that this is not the time to be raising taxes on anyone, including millionaires

    Not to put too fine a point on this, but these members certainly look like cowards. “This is not the time to be raising taxes on anyone”? The plan calls for millionaires and billionaires — and no one else — to pay a little more starting in 2013. Nelson and Lieberman are not illiterate; they surely know the basic details of the bill. But Nelson is afraid of losing next year, and Lieberman is, well, Lieberman, so both will reject a popular jobs bill — and a popular tax increase — during a jobs crisis.

    Making matters slightly worse, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) will apparently be in her home state of New Hampshire tonight to pick up an award she’s won. She supports the American Jobs Act, but Shaheen apparently doesn’t intend to show up for work tonight.

    Are there any Republicans willing to do the right thing? Even one moderate who may want to create some jobs? No.

    As a result, the chances of the jobs bill even getting 50 votes has apparently disappeared.

    Pollster Stanley Greenberg told Greg Sargent this morning that Dems who oppose the American Jobs Act are making a big mistake — it will not only hurt the party going into 2012, it will hurt these individual members’ standing with their own constituents.

    Some Dems are panicky about 2012; I get that. But here’s a tip Democratic lawmakers may want to keep in mind: voters generally aren’t impressed when Dems vote against their own party’s popular ideas to create jobs.

    For every voter — left or right — who’s inclined to blame President Obama for unemployment, the last several weeks have been illustrative. The president has done absolutely everything that could be asked of him — his White House crafted a serious plan; he sold it well to a joint session; he hit the road to present it to voters; and he’s used the kind of arguments the “professional left” has been urging him to make.

    And yet, House Republicans are still extremists, Senate Republicans are both radical and obstructionist, and a few Senate Democrats are more comfortable cowering under the table in a fetal position, hoping the GOP isn’t too mean to them.

    Obama, in other words, isn’t the problem.


  23. rikyrah says:

    October 11, 2011 12:35 PM

    Class warfare sure is popular, cont’d

    By Steve Benen

    A new Washington Post/Bloomberg poll asked Americans whether they would support or oppose a variety of ideas to reduce the budget deficit. As it turns out, Republicans don’t exactly have their finger on the pulse of the American mainstream.

    Several ideas were wildly unpopular, including raising taxes on the middle class, reducing Social Security benefits, and reducing Medicare benefits. But a couple of ideas enjoyed broader support — most of the public approves of reducing military spending and a large majority (68%) wants to see tax increases on those who make $250,000 or more per year.

    To help drive the point home, here are the results in the latest homemade chart:

    Those popular ideas on the right-hand side of the chart? Those are the proposals Republicans won’t consider. GOP officials are, however, in favoring ending Medicare and raising taxes on the middle class, which doesn’t seem to enjoy similar levels of support.

    Perhaps even more interesting, the same poll asked self-identified Republicans the same question, and found that a 54% majority of GOP voters support raising taxes on the wealthy.

    And this poll only asked about those at $250,000 and up. The latest Dem proposal would affect millionaires and billionaires — and no one else. It’s likely the Post/Bloomberg poll would have been tilted even more in a progressive direction had it asked about the current Dem plan.

    Remember, among congressional Republicans, even talking about raising taxes on the wealthy represents some kind of dangerous “class warfare” that threatens to hurt the economy and pit Americans against one another. The fact that President Obama has actually proposed such a change in tax policy puts him, in the GOP’s eyes, slightly to the left of Karl Marx.

    And yet, it appears “class warfare” is pretty popular, both with the American mainstream and with Republican voters.

    Also remember, this isn’t new, and it’s not as if this poll is some sort of outlier. Every national poll conducted this year has shown broad support for new tax increases.

    GOP officials in Washington like to pretend the public agrees with them on tax policy. Reality shows otherwise.


  24. Ametia says:

    Virgina Fox is getting an azz whupping re: Grover Norquist tax pledge


  25. rikyrah says:

    It’s Past Time to Stop Playing Charlie Brown
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 09:58:16 AM EST

    Harry Reid takes to the Washington Post to explain why the Democrats changed a rule in the Senate last week. We told Reid and the rest of the Senate Dems that they’d be unable to get anything done if they didn’t deal with the filibuster. They didn’t listen. Even the move Reid made to address McConnell’s latest outrageous obstruction doesn’t change much. But let’s listen to Reid:

    At the beginning of this Congress, many of my Democratic colleagues wished to change the rules of the Senate to limit the minority party’s ability to kill important, job-creating legislation with arcane parliamentary maneuvers and needless delay. I opposed this rule change, believing we needed to preserve the right of the minority to offer amendments.
    Rather than limiting those rights, we came to an understanding with Republicans, who agreed to respect the Senate’s tradition of conciliation in the interest of getting things done. They agreed to stop forcing procedural votes for the sake of slowing down legislation, and we agreed to preserve the minority party’s right to block bills when necessary.

    Since then, Republicans have failed to abide by that agreement. Rather than working with Democrats to pass job-creating legislation, they have used procedural maneuvers to kill several common-sense bills — including a noncontroversial small-business loan program — that have previously passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. They have twice nearly shut down the government and forced our nation to the brink of default for the first time in its history.

    Rather than listen to people like David Waldman and me, Harry Reid “came to an understanding” with the Republicans. They would not delay legislation just for the sake of delay and Harry Reid would not punish them for their unprecedented obstruction in the last Congress. Let me translate this for you. In the last Congress, when depending on the day the Dems had 56-60 Senators, the Republicans filibustered everything just to make it so less stuff could be accomplished overall. Even when the Dems were able to easily get 60 votes to have a vote on something, the Republicans were able to force thirty hours of post-cloture debate (pdf). They chewed up weeks of legislative time in the Senate, forcing Reid to delay confirmation votes or simply give up on having people confirmed. Hundreds of bills from the House of Representatives died not because they didn’t have support but because the Senate didn’t have any time to debate them.

    The Senate had ceased to function, and even a 59-member majority couldn’t impose its will. In this Congress, the Republicans relented somewhat on the simple stalling tactics. More judges have been confirmed. But Reid still considers himself double-crossed.

    Here’s what happened:

    On Thursday morning, we seemed to be on the brink of passing a bill to curb unfair currency manipulation by the Chinese government, a practice that has cost millions of American manufacturing jobs over the past two decades. The bill — which is supported by business and labor interests — had garnered a bipartisan supermajority not just once but twice. With passage virtually assured, the minority reached for the only tool left to try and derail the bill, confronting us with a potentially unlimited number of votes on completely unrelated amendments.

    This was post-cloture, meaning it was after Reid asked for cloture, waited 30 hours, and had a successful vote to invoke cloture. That should mean that you have no more amendments and there is a simple majority up-or-down vote on the bill. However, McConnell asked for a suspension of the rules, which has not been done successfully in the Senate since 1941. He was delaying for delay’s sake. And, additionally, he was doing it to force uncomfortable votes on the Democrats.

    Reid tried to negotiate.

    We offered votes on four amendments, and they wanted five. We offered five votes, and they wanted six. Finally, we offered votes on seven amendments, including a vote on an outdated version of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, with which Republicans were seeking to score political points. Still, Republicans refused. They came back with a demand for nine votes that required suspending the Senate’s rules. The same logic that allows for nine unstoppable motions to suspend the rules could lead to consideration of 99 such motions.

    Under the circumstances, it’s disturbing that Reid allowed himself to be pushed around for as long as he did. McConnell finally became so unreasonable that Reid actually learned the lesson we’d been trying to teach him back in December. The Republicans will not act in good faith and you cannot make gentlemen’s agreements with them. If you don’t play hardball with them they will roll you every single time.

    I know it would be nice if this were not the case, but it is. And people are frustrated as hell about it. People are taking to the streets over it. This is just one small example of Reid acting like he understands his situation. But nothing has really changed. He’s still liable to play Charlie Brown to McConnell’s Lucy and try to kick the football. We know how that works out.


  26. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 11, 2011 10:30 AM

    The weakest of frontrunners

    By Steve Benen

    Gallup released a poll yesterday offering a sense of where the race for the Republican presidential nomination currently stands, at least at the national level. The angle that drew the most attention was Herman Cain’s “surge,” but that’s not what stood out for me. Here’s where the field currently stands:

    1. Mitt Romney: 20% (down 4 points from September)
    2. Herman Cain: 18% (up 13 points)
    3. Rick Perry: 13% (down 16 points)
    4. Ron Paul: 8% (down 5 points)
    5. Newt Gingrich: 7% (up two points)
    6. Michele Bachmann: 5% (no change)
    7. Rick Santorum: 3% (up one point)
    8. Jon Huntsman: 2% (up one point)

    The number of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who are undecided, meanwhile, has doubled over the last month to 20%, leaving it, in effect, tied for first.

    Media coverage of this poll generally points to Cain’s numbers, and it’s clear the former pizza company executive is in the midst of a boomlet. Of course, it’s not the first time — back in June, Cain was also running second in a national Gallup and was one of only two candidates in double digits. Soon after, Cain faltered badly.

    What seems more interesting, however, is just how weak a frontrunner Mitt Romney really is. Even as Rick Perry’s support collapses, and even when the rest of the GOP field is largely ridiculous, the former Massachusetts governor is still stuck with 20% — down a few points from a month earlier. He’s reclaimed the lead, but he backed into it.

    As the Gallup report noted, in nearly every instance since 1959, by this point in the race, the Republican frontrunner enjoyed support of at least 41% before going on to win the party’s nomination. Romney hasn’t even been able to reach 30% in any Gallup poll this year.

    How weak a frontrunner is Romney? Tim Pawlenty admitted yesterday he regrets dropping out — and he’s one of Romney’s highest-profile supporters. Hell, Pawlenty’s the national co-chair of the Romney campaign, and now he wishes he were still running against Romney,

    Jon Chait recently noted, “I don’t see how Republicans could be making this any more plain. They do not want to nominate Mitt Romney.”

    To be sure, they’re likely to nominate him anyway, because there’s no one else worthy of the nod. But when was the last time the Republican Party went into a general election with a nominee so much of the party simply didn’t like?



  27. Ametia says:

    Posted at 12:37 PM ET, 10/11/2011
    Bill Daley to leave White House after 2012 election
    By Scott Wilson
    Win or lose, he’s leaving.

    William Daley, the White House chief of staff, told the NBC Chicago television affiliate this week that he will leave his post after the November 2012 election.

    “I made a commitment to the president thru his re-election, which I’m confident he will do, and then my wife and I will return to Chicago,” Daley told the television station, which posted the interview on its web site.

    Daley took the job in the fall of 2010 when his predecessor and close friend, Rahm Emanuel, left the White House to run successfully for mayor of Chicago. Daley did not know Obama well at the time, but he left a senior position at JPMorgan Chase to take the senior White House job.

    Some White House officials say Daley does not particularly like it, and his comments this week seem to provide supporting evidence of that sentiment.

    Chosen in part to patch things up between Obama and the business community, Daley has instead found himself at the heart of Washington’s partisan bloodletting – and he’s not into it.

    NBC Chicago asked Daley if he planned to follow in Emanuel’s footsteps and run for office. His response? A Washington-weary dodge.

    “I’m just trying to get through day-to-day, I have no plans,” he told the TV station.


  28. President Obama Speaks on the American Jobs Act
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


  29. The Associated Press

    BREAKING: Arizona has been awarded 2015 Super Bowl.

  30. Ametia says:


  31. Talking Points Memo:

    BREAKING: Fox learns New Jersey Gov Chris Christie to endorse Mitt Romney in Hanover, NH per Carl Cameron

  32. If moderate Dems vote No on jobs bill, they’re only hurting themselves


    Top pollster Stanley Greenberg is not shy about criticizing the White House when he thinks it’s warranted, and his opinion is widely respected by Democrats in Congress. So if Greenberg tells moderate Senate Democrats that they vote against Obama’s jobs bill at their own peril, will they believe him?

    In an interview with me this morning, Greenberg made a strong case that moderate Senate Democrats in red states would be foolish and shortsighted if they vote against the American Jobs Act today, as some of them appear to be prepared to do. The White House and Dems have been railing against Republicans for opposing the jobs bill, but if a few Senate Dems defect, and a simple majority of the Senate doesn’t support it, that will dilute the Dem message that Republicans are the key obstacle to progress on the economy.

  33. Top names from NBA to help Obama raise campaign cash


    (CNN) – President Barack Obama heads to Florida Tuesday afternoon to help raise campaign cash for his 2012 bid for re-election. And he’ll be helped by some top names from the world of professional basketball.

    The president’s first stop is a fundraiser at the Sheraton hotel in Orlando, where he will be the main attraction at a gathering of 450, according to a source with knowledge of the event. Tickets for the fundraiser range from $25 to $35,800, the legal limit an individual is allowed to contribute to a campaign per cycle and to a party committee per year. All the money raised at the fundraiser will go to the Obama Victory Fund, which is joint account of the Obama re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

    Later in the evening, Obama will headline a second fundraiser at a private residence in Lake Mary, Florida. The source tells CNN that approximately 300 guests will attend, including NBA all-star Grant Hill, hall-of-famer Patrick Ewing, and former all-star and current head coach Doc Rivers. Tickets for the second event start at $1,500 per person.

    Hill was an early supporter of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, even though his mother, Janet, went to college and shared a dorm suite with Hillary Clinton at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Last year, Obama played a pick-up game of basketball with Hill at The White House on the president’s 49th birthday.

    The Obama campaign has until Saturday to report how much money it raised during the July through September third quarter of fundraising. The Obama Victory Fund brought in a record $86 million in the second quarter. The Obama re-election team is pointing toward a more modest haul of $55 million in the third quarter, due to a suspension of most fundraising efforts by the president and vice president during parts of July and August during negotiations over a debt deal and the budget, and the fact that fundraising traditionally suffers during the summer months.

  34. The Washington Post:

    Michelle Obama will attempt a jumping-jack world record today http://wapo.st/pMk4DK

    Ready. Okay!

  35. Ametia says:

    Supermajority of Americans Support Liberal Policies
    Posted on 10/11/2011 at 10:27 am by Bob Cesca

    The new Washington Post/Bloomberg poll proves that Americans — even Republican voters — support liberal economic policies.

    More than two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, say wealthier people should pay more in taxes to bring down the budget deficit, and even larger numbers think Medicare and Social Security benefits should be left alone.

    So naturally many of these people will vote for a Republican presidential candidate who is opposed to all of this.


    Too many Americans are dumbstupids.


  36. rikyrah says:

    The Postal Service Is Making Money?
    Bob Sullivan exposes the government’s “accounting tricks” that make the USPS seem unprofitable:

    There’s a long and a short story to the tragic tale of Postal Service financial trouble. I’ll start with the short one. Right now, the Postal Service is being forced to pre-pay health benefits for the next 75 years during a 10-year stretch. In the past four years, those prepayments have totaled $21 billion. The agency’s deficit during that time is about $20 billion. Remove these crazy pre-payments — a requirement that no other government agency endures and no private industry would even consider — and the Postal Service would be in the black.


  37. rikyrah says:

    October 11, 2011 11:25 AM

    The Koch Brothers’ big bucks

    By Steve Benen

    In case anyone needed a reminder about the kind of forces Democrats will be up against next year, the Koch brothers are putting together their plan to help buy the 2012 elections.

    The billionaire industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch plan to steer more than $200 million — potentially much more — to conservative groups ahead of Election Day, POLITICO has learned. That puts their libertarian-leaning network in the same league as the most active of the groups in the more establishment-oriented network conceived last year by veteran GOP operatives Rove and Ed Gillespie, which plans to raise $240 million.

    That’s financing for an awful lot of attack ads, nearly all of which will be dishonest, and which a whole lot of voters will believe.

    It’ll be interesting, though, to see whether Democrats are able to make the Koch money toxic. We learned last week that there’s ample evidence that Koch Industries made “improper payments” (read: bribes) to “secure contracts in six countries dating back to 2002.” One of those countries, it turns out, is Iran, which has purchased millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment from the Kochs’ company, despite a trade ban and the U.S. labeling Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. The Kochs’ business also stand accused of having “rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.”

    This is the money that’s going to buy elections for Republicans?

    Over the summer, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) declared, “Plain and simple, if you do business with Iran, you cannot do business with America.”

    Follow-up question for Cantor, who’s accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Koch Industries: those who do business with Iran cannot do business with America, but can they partner with the Republican Party to swing an election cycle?


  38. rikyrah says:

    found this over at The Obama Diary:

    Donna here is the list of Dems and Republicans But you guys, I copied this directly from WIW “Contact Congress” and even though the names and such are here, Linda has them all linked up so if you email, twiitter or facebook such folk, you just click on the link and go. It’s faster and I recommend it for its ease of use.

    Thanks Donna – thanks Chips and Linda thanks TOD.

    Democrats Refusing to Support the American Jobs Act

    District Name Party Contact Twitter Phone

    Sen LA Landrieu, Mary L. D email … (202) 224-5824
    Sen NC Hagan, Kay R D email SenatorHagan (202) 224-6342
    Sen PA Casey, Robert P., Jr.D email SenBobCasey (202) 224-6324
    Sen WV Manchin, Joe, III D email Sen_JoeManchin (202) 224-3954
    NC 11 Shuler, Heath D email … (202) 225-6401
    OR 4 DeFazio, Peter D email RepPeterDeFazio (202) 225-6416 Facebook

    Republicans Who Have Not Signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge sponsored by Grover Norquist

    GA 7 Woodall, Robert R email … (202) 225-4272
    Sen-IA Grassley, Chuck R email … (202) 224-3744
    Sen-IN Lugar, Richard G R email senatorlugar (202) 224-4814
    KS 3 Yoder, Kevin R email RepKevinYoder (202) 225-2865
    Sen-ME Collins, Susan M R email Susan Collins (202) 224-2523
    Sen-ME Snowe, Olympia J R email SenatorSnowe (202) 224-5344
    Sen-MS Cochran, Thad R email … (202) 224-5054 FB
    Sen-ND Hoeven, John R email … (202) 224-2551
    NY 24 Hanna, Richard R RepRichardHanna (202) 225-3665
    PA 19 Platts, Todd R email … (202) 225-5836
    VA 1 Wittman, Robert J. R email RobWittman (202) 225-4261
    VA 10 Wolf, Frank R email RepWOLFPress (202) 225-5136
    Sen-WY Barrasso, John R email SenJohnBarrasso (202) 224-6441

    • Ametia says:

      I’m extremely disappointed in Bob Casey. WTF?!!

      • Primary all of them!

        Sen LA Landrieu, Mary L. D email … (202) 224-5824
        Sen NC Hagan, Kay R D email SenatorHagan (202) 224-6342
        Sen PA Casey, Robert P., Jr.D email SenBobCasey (202) 224-6324
        Sen WV Manchin, Joe, III D email Sen_JoeManchin (202) 224-3954
        NC 11 Shuler, Heath D email … (202) 225-6401
        OR 4 DeFazio, Peter D email RepPeterDeFazio (202) 225-6416 Facebook

  39. A Secret Service vehicle follows Air Force One, with President Barack Obama aboard, on the runway as it prepares to take-off, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. , Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011.

  40. President Barack Obama gets out of his car upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, prior to departing on Air Force One on his way to visit the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 5 Training Center in Pennsylvania.

  41. President Barack Obama gets out of his car before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, on his way to visit the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 5 Training Center.

  42. Axelrod Memo: Jobs Bill Is A Political Winner


    In a memo, David Axelrod encouraged wavering lawmakers to back the American Jobs Act in Congress this week, citing polling data indicating that the public was breaking hard for the bill.

    “Since introducing the American Jobs Act (AJA), the American people have rallied around President Obama’s call for Congress to pass this plan,” he wrote. “The more people know about the American Jobs Act; the more they hear the President talking about it; the more they want Congress to pass the plan.”

    Axelrod wrote that poll numbers were improving for the plan as Obama speaks out on its behalf. The president is hitting the road today to tout the bill in Pittsburg.

    “In an early September, 43% supported the AJA and 35% were opposed (CNN/ORC Poll 9/11/11),” Axelrod wrote. “After three weeks of advocacy by the President, support has grown by nearly 10% so that 52% support the plan with 36% opposed (ABC/Washington Post Poll 10/5/11).”

    He added that the shift was especially pronounced with independents, who went from trusting the GOP over Obama on jobs by a 42-37 margin in an early September Washington Post-ABC poll to trusting the president over them 44-31 in October in a poll byt the same outlet.

    The Senate may vote on the bill as early as Tuesday and Democrats have struggled to present a united front on the legislation. Already, the bill has been altered to include a surtax on millionaires in order to garner more votes from within the party.

  43. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/

    TPM Editors Blog

    What To Watch For

    When the Senate votes on the President Obama’s jobs bill this evening, probably sometime after 5:30 ET, pay close attention to how many Democratic senators defect. Republicans plan to filibuster the bill, and it is unlikely to get the 60 votes necessary to move it forward. So we know going in that this bill isn’t going to pass. But how many Dems line up to support it — or more importantly how many fail to line up — will be the difference between whether Democrats come out of the vote with a clear political message or a muddied result where both sides share the blame for not doing anything.

    David Kurtz

  44. Kahsai:

    ACTION NEEDED: PBO is calling on everyone 2 call congress and PASS THE AMERICAN JOB ACT BILL TODAY Boehner,202-225-6205:Cantor 202-225-2815

  45. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, August 25, 2011
    Third And Fourth Party Crashers
    Posted by Zandar
    The worst “Democratic strategist” team in the universe is back, apparently. Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell have been screaming for years that the Democratic Party is infested by extremist hippies, that Democrats had to tack hard right in order to win the Tea Party in 2010, and then suggested that President Obama shouldn’t run at all in 2012 in order to bring the country together.

    Now the pair are warning that because nobody listened to them, that the Democrats will suffer complete defeat in 2012 at the hands of a third party or even fourth party movement that Schoen and Caddell just happen to have an advertising spiel for.

    We already see evidence on the ground that from the discontent coursing through the electorate there may emerge a third or even fourth political party that would be competitive in next year’s presidential election. Look no further than the recent launch of the centrist, bipartisan, Americans Elect. This is a nonprofit political organization that plans to break the stranglehold of the two-party duopoly by selecting a third presidential ticket, via an Internet convention, that will be on the ballot in 2012.

    Meanwhile the tea party movement is functioning as a quasi-third party already, having already demonstrated an unprecedented level of activism, enthusiasm and influence over the primary and general-election outcomes during the 2010 midterms—and, most recently, driving the debate over the debt ceiling. Polling done by Douglas E. Schoen LLC last year shows that a tea party presidential candidate could get between 15%-25% of the vote running on that line, depending on the precise alignment of the candidates.

    There are now rumblings from Donald Trump, a former contender for the Republican nomination, that he may run as an independent. There are certain to be others.

    We have seen in the past where economic distress and political alienation can lead. In both the 1980 and 1992 presidential campaigns, third-party candidates emerged—John Anderson and then Ross Perot—and each garnered high levels of public support. Mr. Perot actually led in the polls for several months during the 1992 campaign. And the conditions in those years were nowhere near as severe as they are today.

    The political order as we know it is deteriorating and disintegrating, and politics abhors a vacuum. So there is very good reason to believe that a credible third party, or even fourth political party, may be on the ballot in 2012. The American people clearly are looking for alternatives. Now.

    Yes, and Schoen and Caddell will be there to offer their services to Americans Elect candidates who run to save America because the Democrats are just as broken and extremist as the Tea Party Republicans. Firebaggers and Tea Partiers unite to bring down the evil President Darkie McBlackerthanyou! Americans Elect will show us the way! Centrism uber alles!

    This would crack me up if it wasn’t so obviously a Hamwaldian grift job.


  46. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 10, 2011
    Whatever You Want Them To Be
    Posted by Zandar
    Our old friend Doug “Third Party” Schoen is back in Politico today, screaming that Occupy Together really means America wants a centrist third party candidate who will tame the evil partisans in Congress and bring them together to push his Americans Elect effort to destroy “reform” Medicare and Social Security and save America.

    In my recent polling, both parties and the congressional leadership all draw net negative ratings.

    So there is good reason to believe that a credible third party may be on the ballot in 2012 — and would garner far more support than most political analysts would expect.

    I recently polled for Americans Elect, a nonprofit political organization that is now planning an Internet convention to select a third presidential ticket for the 2012 election. They are in the process of securing ballot access in all 50 states.

    This demonstrates that an increasing number of Americans are now searching beyond the two parties for effective leadership. Many now support an alternative 2012 ticket to break the two-party duopoly’s stranglehold.

    Amazing. He’s polling for an organization that wants to create a third party ticket and he of course found that Americans really want a third party ticket. Quelle surprise!

    Voters desperately want the opportunity to change the political system. Polling showed they are looking for their voices to be heard by electing a centrist alternative to the Democratic and Republican presidential tickets in 2012. They believe, our results show, that this could force the two parties to work together, bringing logical ideas from both.

    I’m having trouble figuring out how this would actually solve the problem, since the problem is Congress (and specifically Republicans in Congress), not the White House. A centrist candidate would have what leverage exactly over Eric Cantor and John Boehner? No, nobody expects this third party candidate to win…but it certainly would damage President Obama’s re-election chances. There’s no way the Tea Party would support a relentlessly centrist candidate. They’d line up behind the GOP for sure.

    But Americans Elect would effectively split independents and Democrats, which is the point. If these guys were serious about reforming government, they’d start with Congress, not the White House. The fact that they exist to make sure the GOP wins in 2012 tells you everything you need to know about Doug Schoen (who has been trying to get rid of President Obama by any means possible) and the people he works for.


  47. Think Progress:

    Occupy Wall Street to march today to homes of Rupert Murdoch, David Koch + other billionaires http://thkpr.gs/o8Xb0M #ows




  49. rikyrah says:

    Romney leads in Iowa and New Hampshire

    With barely three months to go before the first Republican presidential nominating contests, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the GOP field in both Iowa and New Hampshire, according to new NBC News-Marist polls of these early races.

    While Romney holds a commanding 30-point advantage over the nearest competition in New Hampshire, he clings to just a three-point lead over former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain in Iowa, largely due to his lack of support among the Tea Party.

    “Romney has a precarious lead” in Iowa, says Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the survey. “But in New Hampshire, he has a big lead any way you slice it.”

    Neck and neck in Iowa
    In the Hawkeye State, Romney gets the support of 23 percent of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers — identified based on interest, chance of voting and past participation — and Cain gets 20 percent.

    They are followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 11 percent, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann are tied at 10 percent. Sixteen percent are undecided.

    Among Tea Party supporters — who make up half of all likely Iowa caucus-goers in the poll — Cain is ahead of Romney, 31 to 15 percent. And among those who “strongly” support the Tea Party, Cain’s lead is a whopping 41 to 7 percent.

    .”That’s a group that Romney has to fear,” Miringoff says.


  50. rikyrah says:

    why are we even bothering to have an election next year?

    Why not just crown Mitt Romney or Rick Perry or whichever of the lunatics the Republican Party will choose next year king-for-life? If there are up to five million Americans who should be eligible to vote, but will not be allowed to next year lest they vote for Democrats, why are we even bothering to go through this charade (NYT link):

    There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.

    The most widespread hurdle has been the demand for photo identification at the polls, a departure from the longstanding practice of using voters’ signatures or household identification like a utility bill. Seven states this year have passed laws requiring strict photo ID to vote, and similar measures were introduced in 27 other states. More than 21 million citizens — 11 percent of the population — do not have government ID cards. Many of them are poor, or elderly, or black and Hispanic and could have a hard time navigating the bureaucracy to get a card.

    In Kansas, the secretary of state, Kris Kobach (who also wrote Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law), pushed for an ID law on the basis of a list of 221 reported instances of voter fraud in Kansas since 1997. Even if that were true, it would be an infinitesimal percentage of the votes cast during that period, but it is not true.

    When The Wichita Eagle looked into the local cases on the list, the newspaper found that almost all were honest mistakes: a parent trying to vote for a student away at college, or signatures on mail-in ballots that didn’t precisely match those on file. In one case of supposed “fraud,” a confused non-citizen was asked at the motor vehicles bureau whether she wanted to fill out a voter registration form, and did so not realizing she was ineligible to vote.

    Some of the desperate Republican attempts to keep college students from voting are almost comical in their transparent partisanship. No college ID card in Wisconsin meets the state’s new stringent requirements (as lawmakers knew full well), so the elections board proposed that colleges add stickers to the cards with expiration dates and signatures. Republican lawmakers protested that the stickers would lead to — yes, voter fraud.

    Other states are beginning to require documentary proof of citizenship to vote, or are finding other ways to make it harder to register. Some are cutting back on programs allowing early voting, or imposing new restrictions on absentee ballots, alarmed that early voting was popular among black voters supporting Barack Obama in 2008. In all cases, they are abusing the trust placed in them by twisting democracy’s machinery to partisan ends.

    Republicans relied in the Supreme Court to deliver the White House to George W. Bush in 2000. They relied in a corrupt Ohio Secretary of State in Kenneth Blackwell to rig the system there to make sure George W. Bush remained in office. The 2008 election was so decisive that even efforts to disenfranchise didn’t work. But the Republicans won’t take that chance again, especially with what will surely be a weak candidate at the top of the ticket next year.

    With the head of the Tea Party Nation saying that it would make sense to limit the right to vote to only property owners, it’s clear that Republicans simply do not want Americans to vote unless they are white and virtually assured to vote Republican. That being the case, and with Republican governors having so much success in getting restrictive voter laws on the books, why are we even bothering with this charade of “elections” next year?


  51. rikyrah says:

    October 11, 2011 9:20 AM

    Define ‘every’

    By Steve Benen

    It seems unlikely that there’s a sizable group of Americans who take Lou Dobbs seriously, but he made a comment yesterday that’s worth highlighting.

    Fox Business host Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that “every major economist” thinks Obama’s American Jobs Act is “a continuation of” the “nonsense” that is “excess confidence in government power to do something over the economy.”

    With the Senate poised to move on the American Jobs Act, let’s take a moment to note how completely wrong Dobbs really is.

    To say that “every major economist” has dismissed the jobs bill as “nonsense” is precisely backwards — the clear majority of economists believe the American Jobs Act would boost economic growth and lower the unemployment rate.

    This isn’t even controversial. The day after President Obama’s joint-session speech, the AP reported, “A tentative thumbs-up. That was the assessment Thursday night from economists who offered mainly positive reviews of President Barack Obama’s $450 billion plan to stimulate job creation.” Economists at the Economic Policy Institute published a very favorable response to the plan, and economists at Macroeconomic Advisers projected that the White House plan “would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term.”

    Two weeks ago, Bloomberg News surveyed a group of major economists and found that they believe the jobs bill would “help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year.” While the economists surveyed had widely divergent estimates, the overall consensus among the experts is that the Americans Jobs Act would create hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs.

    What’s more, while Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and CBO chief Doug Elmendorf didn’t explicitly endorse the American Jobs Act, they expressed public support for the concept behind the plan.

    In the meantime, independent economists who’ve been asked to look at Republican job-creation ideas have found the GOP measures are largely meaningless and would have no discernible effect.

    And yet, there’s Lou Dobbs, insisting that “every major economist” thinks the American Jobs Act is “nonsense.” If Dobbs wants to argue that economists are wrong, fine. If he wants to make the case that economists are relying on the wrong forecasting models, fine. Maybe he could argue that the entire profession has been taken over by liberals.

    What he shouldn’t do is pretend fantasy is reality. Most economists, like most of the general public, believes the president’s jobs bill would help the economy. The right may find this inconvenient, but facts are sometimes stubborn.


  52. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011
    Walker On The Clock, Tick Tick Tock
    Posted by Zandar
    Wisconsin Democrats are gearing up to toll the bell for Gov. Scott Walker’s recall effort. Here’s what they are up against:

    Wisconsin’s recall law requires that officials have held office for at least one year before being recalled. Since Walker was just elected in 2010, that means the petitions cannot be turned in until early January 2012. In addition, the Dems will have a lot of leg-work to do, if they hope to recall him.

    In order to initiate a recall, signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election must be collected in a 60-day window, within a relevant district (statewide, in this case). Calculated from the 2010 election results, this means the Dems will need to collect 540,206 signatures — more than 9,000 signatures a day, statewide — plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.

    To wind up the spring for the recall, Wisconsin Dems want to raise $540,206 by Nov. 15th in order to kick off the petition drive then. Good luck to them, and I’ll be following the efforts, well, like clockwork.

    Handy puns aside, putting Walker out of a job is something that a number of liberals outside Wisconsin should be aiming for. Outside of John Kasich, no Republican governor has been more relentlessly anti-middle class and pro top 1% with continuous efforts to remove collective bargaining rights, remove voting rights, and remove accountability. As in Ohio, there are efforts to fight back by putting the agenda before the people. In Wisconsin, that means putting Walker himself up for another vote.

    Good for Wisconsin Dems. They understand the keys to all this GOP power lie in statehouses across the country.


  53. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 11, 2011 8:00 AM

    What prompted Harry Reid to act

    By Steve Benen

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) surprised many last week when he got so fed up with Republican obstructionism, he took a rather bold step. Using a ruling from the chair to lower the boom, Reid effectively created a new rule: if a bill has overcome a filibuster on the motion to proceed, and then overcome another filibuster on the floor before a final vote, the minority can’t engage in another de facto filibuster with amendment stunts.

    Today, the Senate leader explained the circumstances that led to his decision.

    On Thursday morning, we seemed to be on the brink of passing a bill to curb unfair currency manipulation by the Chinese government, a practice that has cost millions of American manufacturing jobs over the past two decades. The bill — which is supported by business and labor interests — had garnered a bipartisan supermajority not just once but twice. With passage virtually assured, the minority reached for the only tool left to try and derail the bill, confronting us with a potentially unlimited number of votes on completely unrelated amendments. Voting on these amendments would require suspending the Senate’s rules — an obscure procedure that hadn’t been used frequently until this Congress and hasn’t been used successfully since 1941.

    None of the amendments Republicans demanded were about policy…. Yet still we tried to reach a compromise with our Republican colleagues.

    We offered votes on four amendments, and they wanted five. We offered five votes, and they wanted six. Finally, we offered votes on seven amendments, including a vote on an outdated version of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, with which Republicans were seeking to score political points. Still, Republicans refused. They came back with a demand for nine votes that required suspending the Senate’s rules. The same logic that allows for nine unstoppable motions to suspend the rules could lead to consideration of 99 such motions.

    These details explain quite a bit.

    The Senate minority’s ability to filibuster remains intact, and as the Nevada senator put it, last week’s developments “merely return the Senate to the regular order.”

    Senate Republicans, as it turns out, don’t quite see it this way, and have vowed “they will retaliate” for Reid’s interference with their petty, partisan games. And in case you thought the upper chamber couldn’t get any more ridiculous than it already is, rest assured, it can get worse: “Republican aides say their bosses will now be even more reluctant to allow the Senate to conduct routine business by unanimous consent, forcing Reid to gather 60 votes for even the most mundane matters.”

    The next question, I suppose, is how much longer policymakers will tolerate an untenable status quo. The Senate wasn’t designed to work this way; it didn’t use to work this way; and it simply can’t work this way.

    At a certain level, it may not seem to matter much anymore, since the radicalized House majority makes lawmaking impossible anyway. Even if the Senate could be made less dysfunctional, any worthwhile legislation that would pass the chamber would die in the House, nominations notwithstanding.

    But the nation still needs a functioning Senate, and it doesn’t have one. What’s needed now is not retaliation, but reform. If GOP leaders are disgusted that Dems prevented them from using the Senate as a toy last week, they should seek out Democratic leaders for discussions on how to make the institution less ridiculous. This won’t happen — Republicans don’t want to govern; they want to undermine confidence in America’s public institutions — but the possible result is a total breakdown of Washington’s ability to do anything at all.


  54. rikyrah says:


    That Obama death hug pops up again.



    Political AnimalBlog
    October 11, 2011 8:35 AM

    Romney’s team advised Obama’s team on health law

    By Steve Benen

    White House officials, including President Obama, occasionally like to mention how much they agree with Mitt Romney on health care policy. David Axelrod recently said of the Republican frontrunner, “We got some good ideas from him.”

    How literal was this sentiment? Michael Isikoff reports this morning on the direct role that Romney’s health care policy team played in helping shape Obama’s reform plan.

    Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.”

    The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts. One of those meetings, on July 20, 2009, was in the Oval Office and presided over by President Barack Obama, the records show.

    “The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we’d done in Massachusetts,” said Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Romney administration on health care and who attended five meetings at the Obama White House in 2009, including the meeting with the president. “They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model.”

    We’ve known from the beginning that Romney’s Massachusetts plan helped create the framework for the White House’s policy. Indeed, the so-called “RomneyCare” law is practically indistinguishable from the Affordable Care Act, including the controversial individual mandate.

    But Isikoff’s report adds a new wrinkle. It was merely embarrassing for Romney when the president and West Wing officials would say they were inspired by the former governor’s health care law, but the realization that Romney’s own policy team was brought in to help point Obama and his aides in the right direction is more problematic for the GOP presidential candidate. It makes it that much more difficult for Romney to distance himself from the health care law the right hates with the heat of a thousand suns, and arguably strengthens the case that Romney has part-ownership over the national reform law.

    In effect, Mitt Romney is the godfather of what Republicans call “ObamaCare.” It was Romney’s policy that created the blueprint for Obama’s policy, and it was Romney’s team that served as advisers to Obama’s team.

    Given that there’s a Republican debate tonight, I’d be surprised if we don’t hear quite a bit more about this from Romney’s GOP rivals.


  55. rikyrah says:

    Russ Feingold Explains Why Govt, Media, and Banksters Fear Occupy Wall Street
    On Countdown former Senator Russ Feingold discussed the fear that Occupy Wall Street is causing among the unholy trinity of Wall Street, the government and the media.

    Here is the video

    Feingold said, “My observation is that they are very nervous that this might work. What sort of set me off on this, Keith was making the mistake of watching Fox News in the morning the other day and watching these people, Varney and the others mocking the protesters, making fun of the way they were dressed, saying they didn’t have a precise agenda. To which I said, you know they’re not filing briefs with the Supreme Court. They’re upset, and so my sense is there’s great fear that this sweet deal that a lot of people have in both Washington and New York. This unholy alliance between our government and our media, and the financial markets and the financial businesses that this unholy alliance is finally being threatened and challenged. It is a threat and an attack on every working American, and it’s time that we upset the apple cart, and I think they are nervous and they know this has great potential.”

    The former Senator also called out some of his fellow Democrats for dragging their feet on supporting the protesters, and he honestly pointed out that some Democrats are a big part of the money system that dominates our politics. Feingold was right. The media, the government, and Wall Street are all nervous. They are afraid of Occupy Wall Street. (The best media barometer of how the right wing and the corporatists are feeling is Fox News, and right now Fox absolutely reeks of fear).

    There is no reason for any politician who claims to support working people not to be endorsing these protests.

    Occupy Wall Street is the kind of movement that the moneyed interests have always dreaded. It a true organic movement made up of regular Americans who are mad at them. It has taken decades, but the American people finally see what has been going on here. For the last thirty years they were sold an American dream while the wealthy sold them out.

    For decades the middle class was told that they could be rich too, but what that phrase really meant was I could be richer, and you will be laid off. George W. Bush sold the dream that anybody in America could be homeowner. The American people were conned into believing that they were building wealth and getting rich through home equity. It was only when people started losing their homes did they realize that it was a rigged game. The only people who got rich were those who already were rich.

    The American people are awake now, and those who have exploited the 99% are scared. They know that the Occupy protests and the 99% movement could bring them down. They are terrified that this popular movement will shatter the current system and cause real change to occur. They are frightened because they see a growing movement that they have not been able to stop.


  56. rikyrah says:

    Why won’t he perpwalk them!!!

    Thursday’s press conference by President Obama was nothing short of a thing of beauty. He smacked down right wing talking points, brilliantly made the case for the American Jobs Act, and vowed to keep up the pressure that is making Speaker Orange squeal. But he also explained something in that press conference that has gone rather unnoticed in the media universe. He broke down and disposed of a Professional Left whining point with surgical precision. I am sure you have already seen it, but if not, here it is again:

    want to draw everyone’s attention to this one specific part that relates to the anger from the Left about the lack of criminal prosecutions against banks. You know, the “why won’t he perpwalk the bastards in handcuffs” question. It turns out that we at the TPV had gotten it right all along. The reason you haven’t seen a flood of criminal prosecutions on Wall Street is because what the banks did to cause a financial upheaval in this country was enabled and made legal – mostly by Republicans, but also by Democrats with financial deregulation. Here’s the president:

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, first on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehmans and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless. That’s exactly why we needed to pass Dodd-Frank, to prohibit some of these practices.

    … I think part of people’s frustrations, part of my frustration, was a lot of practices that should not have been allowed weren’t necessarily against the law, but they had a huge destructive impact. And that’s why it was important for us to put in place financial rules that protect the American people from reckless decision-making and irresponsible behavior.

    Why so much of the so-called Left doesn’t get this simple point is beyond me. These people are supposedly intelligent, no? Criminal activity is not what you look at and say “OMG this is criminal!” It’s what the law defines as criminal, and what the law defines as necessary criteria to prove a criminal case. Don’t tell me this stuff is new to you. In this country, we have legalized bribery (uhh, Citizens United and unlimited corporate campaign cash, anyone?). We have legalized intimidation enforced by states (see “waiting periods” for women seeking abortions).

    And so we have – or at least had – prior to the Dodd-Frank Act – legalized gambling, bribery and dark-alley trading. This is what was accomplished by 8 years of Reagan, 12 years of the Bushes, and I’m sorry to say, the Clinton years. President Clinton did a lot of good things for our country and for that he is to be commended, but by signing the repeal of Glass-Steagall into law, dismantling the last of the protections that the American people had built themselves in the aftermath of the Great Depression. This repeal let banks essentially do whatever they wanted and make up any financial … umm… “product” that they wanted. Bill Clinton was not the only Democratic accomplice in that horrendous surrender to the banking industry. Here is the Congressional final vote on the repeal:

    That’s right. 75% of House Democrats and 84% of Democratic Senators voted for this disaster. They voted to let the banks off the hook from any accountability or common sense rules of the road. They voted to legalize reverse bank robbery, not President Obama. These Democrats included luminaries and progressive ‘heros’ such as Sherrod Brown, Jerry Nadler, and even Ted Kennedy (House vote, Senate vote). I am not trying to blame the Democratic party for this – this deregulation has been the long standing project of the Republican party. Can these Democrats be forgiven for a bad vote? Yes. Especially when they also voted for Dodd Frank to re-regulate Wall Street.

    But that’s not the point. The point is that the mess was created for Barack Obama – he was not part of it. And those who are now shamelessly peddling lies about the president’s stand on financial accountability have supported the same policymakers who opened the legal door for the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. The reason Barack Obama can’t perpwalk a bunch of banking executives is because Congress made what they did legal. And you cannot prosecute someone for doing something legal, even if it’s real bad. And before someone goes and shoots off their mouth about fraud again, please look up the federal statutes on what fraud is and what it takes to prove fraud in a criminal case. And speaking of fraud, the Obama Administration is now suing a dozen banks for billions over misrepresentated mortgages.


  57. rikyrah says:

    David Stern: First two weeks of NBA season canceled

    NBA Commissioner David Stern on Monday announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the regular season after a lengthy negotiating session with locked-out players in New York failed to achieve a new collective bargaining agreement.

    Stern, his deputy Adam Silver and selected owners met with union executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher, working into the night to solve differences on how to divide income and handle caps on each team’s costs.

    Thirteen hours of talks in two days, and still no deal.


  58. rikyrah says:

    Traité du Savoir-Vivre for the Occupy Wall Street Generations
    Posted by Al Giordano – October 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm
    By Al Giordano

    Once upon a time, twenty thousand people descended on Wall Street, the capitol of capital, occupied it nonviolently, and won exactly what they demanded.

    This is not a fairy tale. It really happened.

    This is the story of how it happened. And it is also the story of one of those 20,000 occupiers and how immersing himself in those events at a young age changed the direction of his life. These words are dedicated and addressed to people not so unlike him: any and every individual who is currently occupying Wall Street, or anywhere else, or anyone else who is thinking about doing so.

    The truth is that there are two “occupations” going on simultaneously; that which the media is reporting, often badly, which is now a societal spectacle, and the more private and personal occupation by every individual involved. The spectacular protest may not know, or be able to coherently articulate, its own demand or demands as anything other than a shopping list of disembodied causes and issues. But that should not stop any individual involved in it to get to know, embrace and advance upon his and her own more personal demands that brought him and her to occupy Wall Street in the first place.

    Wall Street, ahem, isn’t just in your wallet: It’s in everything you own, rent, use, borrow, find or steal. It’s also in the “identities” and roles we put on and take off in each department of our daily lives. And one should never worry as much about the police on the street – there are time-honored tactics for working around them, developed by pioneers in nonviolence, available to every person who wants to learn them – as much as one should be very concerned about the cop in one’s head. There are also tactics available to make that police force – the invading army in our innermost thoughts and fears that polices our very behavior, officers of the psyche that we all have, through unspoken fears, invited into our brains and hearts – retreat and even disappear.

    About the Wall Street within each of us and the quest to free ourselves from it: In the years leading up to the general strike that shook Paris and much of France in 1968, the Situationist Raoul Vaneigem published Traité de savoir-vivre à l’usage des jeunes générations (Treatise on Living for the Younger Generations), which when translated to English was titled The Revolution of Everyday Life. It was written for a generation that had been schooled in the Hegelian dialectics of Marxist writings, and plays considerably with that writing style in ways that don’t always make it easy for generations that grew up with cable television and the Internet to read. Vaneigem and others in the Situationist International developed strategies and tactics to take back the terrain and pleasures of daily life while simultaneously destroying the illusion created by “the spectacle” (what might, in Twitterspeak, be called “the media,” today) that propped up a destructive economic system.

    If we were to try to put some of the key concepts into Twitterspeak (that is, into phrases of 144 characters or less), we might say:

    Occupy your daily life. Occupy your body. Occupy your home. Occupy your building. Occupy your neighborhood. Occupy YOUR STREET. Occupy your own head! Occupy your own media. Occupy your own school. Occupy your own workplace. Occupy your own time. Occupy your own space. Occupy your own life story! Yes, it requires collaboration with others to win those terrains back. But they’re not the people already protesting. They’re the authentic 99 percent. The ones right next to you already.

    Or maybe they’re not right next to you. In a world where the advertising industry shouts that “everybody is connected,” that’s really to distract from the alienation imposed by an over-mediated technological society. Maybe your family, your relationship, your classroom, your workplace, your home, your building, your neighbors are so caught up in dysfunction and the food chain of domination of one person over another that everything within you screams for an EXIT sign and that you must go out and find that place where you can see a path to begin to drive Wall Street out of your body, the cop out of your head, and the imposed loneliness of residing in a technological “paradise” out of your aching heart. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what brings you to occupy Wall Street.


  59. rikyrah says:

    Karl Rove: Occupy Wall Street Is ‘Left Wing Nuts Whose Goal It Is To Violate The Law’
    Add Karl Rove’s name to the list of pundits and pols weighing in how to compare Occupy Wall Street to the tea party.

    The short version: he’s not seeing the connection.

    From The Hill’s Daniel Strauss:

    Rove said that the early Tea Party gatherings were an expression of people with largely “mainstream perspectives” on the economy and deficit and constitution.
    “What are these people for? To the degree that they’re for anything it’s left wing nuttiness,” Rove said Monday on Sean Hannity’s radio show of the four week old protests. “One is a constitution loving law abiding people and this is a group of left wing nuts whose goal it is to violate the law.”

    Now here’s something interesting Rove said about the tea party about a year ago that got him in quite a bit of trouble with that movement:

    “If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated,” he told Der Spiegel in 2010, as reported by Raw Story. “The Reagan Revolution, by contrast, was a ‘well-organized, coherent, ideologically motivated and conservative revolution,'” Rove said.

    Is it hypocrisy? Not really. Rove didn’t say the tea party was a bunch of lawless hippies — just a bunch of unsophisticated rabble rousers without the clear direction of the political revolution Rove was a part of.

    Anyway, according to The Architect, that’s the difference between the tea party and Occupy Wall Street


  60. rikyrah says:

    Wisconsin Dems Announce Timeline For Effort To Recall Gov. Scott Walker

    Wisconsin Democrats have announced the date at which they will begin attempting to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker, whose anti-public employee union legislation polarized the state and made it a center of national attention and activism: The petitions will begin being gathered November 15.

    State chairman Mike Tate will go on the Ed Schultz show on MSNBC Monday night, and formally roll out the date. But first, Tate sent out a message to supporters with a fundraising request: “In fewer than 37 days, we will need to organize, train and fund an army of grassroots volunteers who will need to collect more than 540,206 valid recall signatures. Before I go on the air, can I count on you to make a donation of $11.15 towards our goal of raising $540,206 by Nov. 15th?”

    Wisconsin’s recall law requires that officials have held office for at least one year before being recalled. Since Walker was just elected in 2010, that means the petitions cannot be turned in until early January 2012. In addition, the Dems will have a lot of leg-work to do, if they hope to recall him.

    In order to initiate a recall, signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election must be collected in a 60-day window, within a relevant district (statewide, in this case). Calculated from the 2010 election results, this means the Dems will need to collect 540,206 signatures — more than 9,000 signatures a day, statewide — plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.


  61. Ametia says:

    Obama campaign memo warns Congress on jobs bill votes
    By Sam Youngman – 10/11/11 12:01 AM ET

    President Obama’s top campaign adviser said in a memo Monday — the eve of the Senate vote on Obama’s jobs bill — that Congress will continue to suffer politically if the bill is defeated.

    David Axelrod said in a campaign memo that a majority of Americans believe another recession is coming or already here, and voters will punish Congress for failing to stop it.

    “So as members of Congress take up the American Jobs Act this week they need to understand that their failure to focus on what matters most to Americans is why disapproval for Congress is at a historic high – 80 percent,” Axelrod wrote, citing a CBS/New York Times poll.

    Using a slew of similar poll numbers favoring Obama, Axelrod wrote that the $447 billion jobs act is attracting more support as Obama has traveled around the country selling it.

    “The more people know about the American Jobs Act; the more they hear the president talking about it; the more they want Congress to pass the plan,” Axelrod wrote.

    While most of the memo trains its warnings and criticisms on Republicans, there is no mention of the Democratic senators who are likely to join the GOP minority in the Senate in voting against the plan.


  62. Ametia says:

    Trying to restore Senate comity
    By Harry M. Reid, Published: October 10

    Democrats have one overriding objective this Congress: to create jobs and get our economy back on track. But our Republican colleagues are so dead set on preventing Democrats from passing job-creating legislation that they have been willing to abuse the rules of the Senate to grind the chamber to a halt, making it virtually impossible to pass even bills that have broad, bipartisan support.

    The Senate rule change we made last week has been inaccurately described, including by Marc A. Thiessen on this page, as a resort to the “nuclear option.” But rather than a nuclear option that would have forever altered the character of the Senate by limiting the minority’s ability to challenge legislation, the change we made Thursday was a return to order.


  63. Ametia says:

    UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGh Cornel West And Tavis Smiley are on Moaning Joke whinning

    • Ametia says:

      Tavis mentioned once, folks need to encouragae congress to pass the jobs bill. ONCE. then he moved on to telling how he and Corny West slept on the street one night with the homeless during their poverty tour. Did they encourgae these folks to clean up, get to registering,, offer them tools to and educate them on what the GOP has been doing this country in their ways of OBSTRUCTIONISM & VOTER SUPPRESSION?

      HELL NAW!

  64. President Barack Obama greets his great uncle Charles Payne and his wife Melanie, who is reacting to seeing First Lady Michelle Obama, before the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

  65. President Barack Obama greets hospital workers while visiting wounded service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., June 17, 2011

  66. Huntsman Calls Perry-Backer A ‘Moron’

    [wpvideo va74ctYM]


    Rev. Robert Jeffrees, who introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the Values Voters Summit last Friday, reiterated that he views Mormonism, the faith of Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, as a “cult” on Monday’s edition of “Hardball With Chris Matthews” on MSNBC.

    Jeffrees didn’t back down from the eyebrow-raising suggestion and sought to clarify his remarks. He signaled he sees Mormonism as a “theological cult,” rather than a “sociological cult,” like the group led by Jim Jones, who founded the Peoples Temple. The Baptist pastor added that he believes that Mormons are not Christians.

    Jeffrees said, “all things being equal,” he preferred a Christian to a non-Christian in the White House, though he would vote for Romney over President Barack Obama in a hypothetical general election match-up. He signaled his belief that Obama’s a Christian, but supports “unbiblical positions like abortions.”

    When asked about the banning of a religious test to hold office in the Constitution, Jeffrees said the government cannot impose a test, “but you can impose any kind of test you want to.” He said that this is not “bigotry, but a preference we are allowed.”

    “But to your question, is there a higher authority than the Constitution for me as a Christian, as a Pastor, the answer is yes — it is the Bible,” he concluded.

    Last Friday, Jeffress said in taking shots at Romney, “In a few months, when the smoke has cleared, those of us who are evangelical Christians are going to have a choice to make.” He added, “Do we want a candidate who is skilled in rhetoric, or one who is skilled in leadership? Do we want a candidate who is a conservative out of convenience, or one who is conservative out of deep conviction? Do we want a candidate who is a good moral person, or do we want a candidate who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?” After taking the stage, Perry said that Jeffress “hit it out of the park.”

    Jeffress characterized the Mormon church as “a cult” while speaking to a reporter at the event. He suggested in 2008 that Mormons worship a “false god” like Hindus and Muslims.

    During an appearance on CNN on Monday, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, another Mormon candidate in the race, called Jeffress a “moron.”

    The Dallas-based Baptist pastor endorsed Perry. The Perry campaign has signaled the Texas governor does not see Mormonism as a cult.

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