Wednesday Open Thread

Can you shimmy, watusi, do the monkey, jerk, the shotgun, 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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116 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    O’Donnell went all in about Cain’s 9-9-9 plan

  2. Cain Says He Can Steal Black Voters From Obama

    Herman Cain calls race a “non-issue,” says he can siphon black votes from Obama.

    [wpvideo jbr2RDsk]

  3. The Raw Story:

    Obama general counsel: Citizens United ruling a radical departure from law

  4. rikyrah says:

    Barney Frank just clowned the GOP on Tweety’s show today….LOL

  5. rikyrah says:

    Rep. Rehberg: Eliminating Access To Health Insurance Is ‘Most Common Sense Path’ To Reduce The Deficit

    By Igor Volsky on Oct 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) is encouraging the super committee to reduce the national deficit by eliminating access to health care for lower-income families and significantly increasing costs for families earning between $29,000 and $44,000 a year. In a letter to the committee, Rehberg singles out the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program and “the creation of health insurance premium subsidies” as a “the quickest, clearest and most common sense path to meeting the Committee’s goal”:

    Congress should not proceed to implement new, incredibly expensive entailment programs at a time when our Country’s credit rating has been downgraded, we are threatened with another downgrade, we are trying to save the entitlement programs already in place, we are going bankrupt, and we continue to receive warnings from every quarter that our current path is unsustainable.

    American families know this. To use a simple analogy, they know that if they are deeply in debt and cannot afford to pay the loans on their home and car, they should not buy an expensive vacation home.”

    Of course, the problem with Rehberg’s analogy is that the “an expansive vacation home” — the Congressman’s crude description for life-saving health care services — is fully paid for and even reduces the deficit over a 10-year period. The letter cites a series of media reports that try to contradict this analysis, despite the CBO’s continued insistence to the contrary.

    But what’s truly shocking about Rehberg’s letter is his belief that increasing access to insurance for the poorest families is tantamount to splurging on an unnecessary luxury item. Since his own health care is subsidized by the government, perhaps he no longer appreciates that health care is actually a basic necessity that too many Americans are dying without.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Boehner Jokes Women Have Abortions Out Of Convenience |

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) joked that women decide to have abortions because they find their pregnancies inconvenient, during his address at the Values Voter Summit this morning. “Like I told you, I have 11 brothers and sisters, my mother had us one at a time,” Boehner said. “I’m sure it wasn’t convenient for her. But I’m glad they’re all here.” Watch it:

  7. rikyrah says:

    House GOP Proposes So-Called ‘Let Women Die’ Bill That Lets Hospitals Deny Life-Saving Care

    By Marie Diamond on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    In their latest assault on women’s health, this week House Republicans will take up HR 358, the ironically titled “Protect Life Act.” Opponents have rechristened the measure the “Let Women Die” bill because it would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to turn away a woman seeking an abortion in all circumstances, even if an abortion is necessary to save her life:

    The House is scheduled to vote this week on a new bill that would allow federally-funded hospitals that oppose abortions to refuse to perform the procedure, even in cases where a woman would die without it.

    Under current law, every hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid money is legally required to provide emergency care to any patient in need, regardless of his or her financial situation. If a hospital is unable to provide what the patient needs — including a life-saving abortion — it has to transfer the patient to a hospital that can.

    Under H.R. 358, dubbed the “Protect Life Act” and sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), hospitals that don’t want to provide abortions could refuse to do so, even for a pregnant woman with a life-threatening complication that requires a doctor terminate her pregnancy. This provision would apply to the more than 600 Catholic hospitals governed by the Catholic Health Association, which are regulated by bishops and prohibited from performing abortions.

    The bill also prohibits federal funds from going to health care plans that cover any abortion services, which might prompt insurers to stop covering abortions. That outcome would disproportionately impact poor women who can’t afford to pay for abortions out of pocket.

    Even though the 30-year-old Hyde Amendment already bans taxpayer dollars from being spent on abortions, and numerous “conscience clauses” allow doctors and health care professionals to refuse to perform them, Republicans have insisted that more stringent measures are necessary to ensure, in the words of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), “that no taxpayer dollars flow to health care plans that cover abortion and no health care worker has to participate in abortions against their will.”

    Because of its far-reaching consequences for religiously-affiliated hospitals, the bill raises serious questions about the legality of allowing religious figures to determine medical policy for organizations that receive federal money to provide health services for all citizens. “Unfortunately in the Catholic system, someone who’s a bishop, who has no medical qualifications whatsoever, can dictate what a hospital does,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice.

    Further demonstrating that their “pro-life” moniker is a sham, earlier this year Congress tried to prevent doctors from learning how to perform life-saving abortion procedures that are often necessary when women have incomplete miscarriages.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Florida GOP Rep. Wants To Bring Back Electrocution And Firing Squads: ‘I’m So Tired Of Being Humane’

    By Tanya Somanader and Zaid Jilani on Oct 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Considering the case of Florida death row inmate Manuel Valle in August, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state’s use of its lethal injection drug is constitutional and lifted his temporary stay of execution. The 61-year-old Cuban was executed in September after 33 years on death row for killing a police officer.

    Florida state Rep. Brad Drake (R) is angry that Valle’s execution took so long. So angry, in fact, that he introduced a bill yesterday to eliminate lethal injection as a execution method altogether in favor of electrocution or the firing squad. “I’m sick and tired of this sensitivity movement for criminals,” Drake declared.

    Drake got this ingenious idea to bring back electrocution and firing squads from an equally ingenious place: a Waffle House. Overhearing a constituent call for such methods, Drake said he decided to file the bill. After all, “if it were up to me we would just throw them off the Sunshine Skyway bridge,” he said:

    In a Waffle House in DeFuniak Springs, Drake said he heard a constituent say, “‘You know, they ought to just put them in the electric chair or line them up in front of a firing squad.’” After a conversation with the person, Drake, 36, said he decided to file the bill.

    “There shouldn’t be anything controversial about a .45-caliber bullet. If it were up to me we would just throw them off the Sunshine Skyway bridge and be done with it,” Drake said.

    Under his bill, electrocution would be the standard method of executions, but inmates could opt for an execution by firing squad. This bill “end[s] the debate,” Drake said. “We still have Old Sparky. And if that doesn’t suit the criminal, then we will provide them a .45 caliber lead cocktail instead.” Of course, Florida’s electric chair “Old Sparky” is nowhere near humane. In the late 1990s, “Old Sparky” left one inmate “alive for moments after the electrocution, and sparked a fire on another inmate’s face during the execution.”

    Seeing executions by electrocution and firing squad as unnecessarily inhumane, few states now utilize these methods. Almost every state has banned executions by firing squads, with the exception being Utah — where prisoners can still be executed in this manner if a prisoner requested it before the phasing out of the method in 2004 — and Oklahoma, where a prisoner can be executed by firing squad as a secondary method if both lethal injection and electrocution are ruled unconstitutional. Nine states allow electrocution, but lethal injection is the primary method in all of these states.

    Of course, Drake does not give a hoot about what is or isn’t humane. “In the words of Humphrey Bogart (sic), ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.‘ I am so tired of being humane to inhumane people,” he said.

  9. rikyrah says:

    for those who watch it, tonight is the Season Premiere of PSYCH on USA.

  10. rikyrah says:

    NBC/WSJ: Herman Cain Leads GOP Field Nationally

    Herman Cain just jumped to the front of two national polls in one day. Not too bad for a guy who was in the single digits in the GOP presidential field all summer.

    Cain has risen in the polls after Texas Gov. Rick Perry faltered in Florida. He took the lead in a recent survey of GOP caucus-goers in Iowa. Now on Wednesday night he leads the GOP field in a new national poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, one by Public Policy Polling (D) and took second in a new Reuters/Ipsos survey.

    Cain is ahead of the pack in the NBC/WSJ poll with 27 percent, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney at 23 percent and Perry 16. But head-to-head matchups with President Obama tell a much different story about the 2012 Republican primary race: despite the party faithful desperately trying to find someone besides Mitt Romney, he’s by far the strongest candidate against Obama if they chose to nominate him.

    Cain might not want to get too comfy in the top spot; this is third consecutive NBC/WSJ poll with a different candidate in the lead. Romney led in July and Perry led in August.

    For his part, Perry has dropped more than half of his support, down from 38 percent in the previous NBC/WSJ August poll. Perry had retained high favorability ratings when he was on top, but those have fallen dramatically along with his standing within the field. Meanwhile, Cain’s favorability points are rising rapidly.

    From NBC’s First Read: “Cain’s numbers are sky-high among Republican primary voters. Fifty-two percent view him favorably, versus just 6 percent who see him unfavorably. Among Tea Party supporters, his favorable/unfavorable score is 69 percent to 5 percent. And among Republicans who identify themselves as ‘very conservative,’ it’s 72 percent to 2 percent.”

    Romney, for his part, remains steady, a sign that for all the volatility in the race, he’s having trouble capitalizing on it. NBC broke his standing down like this:

    Despite Cain’s rise and Perry’s fall over the past month and a half, Romney’s standing in the Republican horse race hasn’t changed—it was 23 percent in August, and it’s unchanged at 23 percent now.

    But that doesn’t mean that Romney is unappealing to Republican voters. His favorable/unfavorable score is 51 percent to 16 percent, which is in the ballpark of Cain’s.

    Among Tea Party supporters, it’s 55 percent to 20 percent, and among “very conservative” Republicans, it’s 60 percent to 19 percent.

    But of course, the general election matchups are an altogether different matter. Every Republican contender is bested by Obama by varying amounts in the NBC/WSJ, with Romney the closest competitor. He’s beaten by Obama 46 – 44 in a trial heat, while Perry only gets 39 percent against the President, who does over a majority at 51 percent. The new leader, Cain, loses solidly as well, 49 – 39 against Obama.

  11. rikyrah says:

    PPP: Cain Jumps Ahead Among Iowa GOP Caucus-Goers


    Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain has had a TX Gov. Rick Perry-like rise in the polls over the last two weeks, when Perry flopped on the national stage in the FOX/Google debate and lost a key straw poll in the Sunshine State. Tuesday saw the release of an NBC News/Marist poll that showed previous frontrunner and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney leading the first in the nation Iowa caucuses yet again, after ceding the lead for a few months. Cain was directly behind Romney in that poll, seemingly having increased his support by taking Perry’s Tea Party support.

    Now, a Public Policy Polling (D) survey shows Cain far ahead among Iowa GOP caucus-goers, while Perry has fallen to fourth.

    The official numbers: Cain with 30 percent, Romney with 22, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) with 10, Perry with 9, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both at 8, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R) coming in a 5 percent. Both former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson get one percent.

    But Cain’s lead, just like all leads this GOP primary season, came with a warning.

    “Herman Cain not only has the lead in Iowa, he also has far more committed supporters
    than Mitt Romney,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling in a release. “That doesn’t mean his support will be lasting though- just ask Michele Bachmann.”

    Tea Party support has swung wildly in the the PPP poll, which now shows that nearly two fifths of Tea Party supporters are going for Cain, and he nearly ties Romney among non-supporters. There’s also a split between “very conservative” voters, 40 percent of which go for Cain, and “somewhat conservative” voters, a third of which go for Romney.

    But as PPP pollster Tom Jensen made known, being in second is a good position for Romney. The former MA Gov. wasn’t initially going to contest the state, instead building a lead in New Hampshire and on to Nevada and South Carolina — the conventional wisdom being a strong showing in Iowa and a win in the Granite State could propel him to the nomination. “How happy would Mitt have been if you told him 6 months ago that in October he’d be 12 pts clear of everyone other than Cain in Iowa?” Jensen tweeted.

  12. rikyrah says:

    PPP Poll: GOP Field Tanking With Iowa Voters

    President Obama’s approval rating is only 43 percent in Iowa. But that’s higher than any Republican candidate can get against him.

    Public Policy Polling released new data on Wednesday showing Obama out in front of every member of the GOP field in head-to-head matchups, despite 53 percent of Iowans who disapprove of his job performance. The closest competitor is former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, who is bested by Obama 46 – 42 in a trial heat. Businessman Herman Cain is next closest, but still gets beaten 47 – 41. Former frontrunner Texas Gov. Rick Perry is down ten, 49 – 39.

    “Obama’s unpopular in Iowa but he appears to be in position to win the state next year anyway,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling in a release. “Extended exposure to the Republican field of candidates doesn’t seem to have Democrats and independents in Iowa pining to vote for the GOP next fall.”

    The numbers bear the “extended exposure” point out — favorability ratings are a real problem for the GOP candidates in Iowa. Nearly three times as many people dislike Perry (60 percent) than like him (21 percent). Romney is nearly twenty points underwater, and the only GOP candidate that approaches being even is Cain with a 35 percent favorable rating against 40 percent.

    A look within the numbers shows that the Republican field is really down with moderate voters. Perry is viewed unfavorably by 66 percent of of that group, Romney by 50 percent and Cain by 45. The only plurality that views the candidates favorably is their own base, and even that can be close: Perry gets an even split on favorabilities with “very conservative” voters, 38 – 38.

    But when it comes to actually making a choice in matchups, independent voters are fairly split: Obama wins more against Perry, Romney wins more against Obama. But the President has sewn up his base in Iowa, pulling between 86 and 90 percent of Democrats, while the Republican candidates have solidified support from their party faithful in the high seventies and low eighties. That provides a window for Republicans: if they can get their own voters to commit, it looks like Iowa could get very close very fast. Iowa was a state that Obama won by over nine percent in 2008.

  13. rikyrah says:

    found this over at The Obama Diary:

    October 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Unfreaking believable. This is what I mean about the chaos and confusion that reigns when a group doesn’t have a concrete message. Seriously. They didn’t know what the Volcker rule was and that President Obama helped to enact it. Yet they protest Wall Street greed and lack of consumer protections. A majority of them didn’t vote in 2010. If one has the privilege of voting and doesn’t vote – except due to exigent causes – then one should STFU and quit whining and groaning. You don’t vote and now you want to bitch about Wall Street greed and bad government? Who the f*ck allowed corrupt teabaggers to gain power and now begin rolling back or trying to defund transformative regulations put in place by President Obama to protect the lazy asses of the OWS protesters.

    You don’t vote and the majority of you OWS identify with Nader and say PBO disappointed you. Take the look into the freaking mirror and find out that YOU disappointed him, He practically begged your lazy asses to get to the voting booth in 2010 and not give the keys back to the ones who destroyed the economy; yet you OWS people stayed home and now want to point fingers at PBO? Screw you. I bet there are many more OWS people like the 100 they polled who didn’t go out to vote. You don’t vote; you don’t get a voice. Simple as that. They would fix Wall Street with a President Elizabeth Warren.

    Are you kidding me?

    They don’t even have concrete viable solutions to solve the problem and they’re bitching at the one person (PBO) who can curb Wall Street overreach in its tracks. The fact that they see the OWS movement as a success so far shows how politically and historically naive they are. Who the heck doesn’t vote when they have that opportunity. Saudi Arabian women were practically dying for the opportunity to vote and these nitwits didn’t go out to vote. Now they want to cry over spilt milk. Cry me a freaking river!

    • Ametia says:

      I don’t have time to focus on this foolishness. Let these folks do their thing,and good luck with it. My focus is on voter registration and pushing to get the AJA passed.

  14. rikyrah says:

    I’ll say it:



    Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 10:47 AM PDT
    Herman Cain accuses blacks of racism for not supporting him+*

    by Kaili Joy Gray

    This will definitely help Herman Cain with black voters:

    GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Tuesday that many liberal Democrats in the black community are “racist” for questioning his political ambitions as a black conservative Republican.

    “A lot of these liberal, leftist folk in this country, that are black, they’re more racist than the white people that they’re claiming to be racist,” Cain said Tuesday in a radio interview on the conservative Neal Boortz talk show.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Braxton Family Values: Momma Braxton To Tamar “I Will Slap The Piss Out Of You!” [Video]

  16. Barack Obama

    In a new poll, 63% of Americans support President Obama’s plan to create jobs: http://OFA.BO/qFr1MY

  17. rikyrah says:

    In The Wake Of Change
    by Zandar

    I talked about Raleigh NC and Wake County back in January after the school board there introduced a plan to end busing and desegregation.

    Wake County, home of the capital of the state I grew up in (a Southern state no less) is telling children and parents that diversity is no longer a proper or necessary goal for public schools.

    Before the Tea Party took control of the GOP, Wake County was a held up as a model school district. It dropped racial integration for economic integration ten years ago and since then is one of the better ranked large school districts in not just the state, but the entire country.

    Well, voters in Wake County had their say yesterday, and they threw the Tea Party out on their ignorant asses.

    The big win for Democrats and desegregation represents a big loss for conservative benefactor Art Pope, who served as the architect of the 2009 school board election that saw an anti-diversity Republican majority win control of the officially nonpartisan body, and who along with his political network backed yesterday’s losing candidates. Pope is one of the most influential money men in North Carolina politics and is a close national ally of the billionaire Koch brothers through his role as a national director of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, which backs school privatization and whose North Carolina chapter helped Republicans in the 2009 school board race.

    With five of the board’s nine seats up for grabs yesterday, Democrats won four races outright and ousted board chair Ron Margiotta, a particularly divisive figure who also serves as a trustee for a private school run by Bob Luddy, a close associate of Pope and the Koch brothers and another major funder of this year’s anti-diversity-policy candidates. Margiotta lost to political newcomer Susan Evans by 52% to 48% in Southwest Wake’s District 8, considered the most strongly Republican of the board’s nine districts.

    The fifth race looks to be headed to a runoff, but the Tea Party’s pointman in NC, Art Pope, took it in the shorts back in my home state. The difference was turnout, where election officials were expecting around a 10% turnout for the special election, the actual number was much higher driven by absentee/early voting and the controversy surrounding the school board. It was 9-0 Republicans in 2009. Four of them have been tossed, and Democrats can take a majority depending on the runoff results.

    When you vote, you can change things, folks. Remember that.

  18. rikyrah says:

    They couldn’t give the flagship away
    by Kay

    This just seems wild to me:

    One of Rupert Murdoch’s most senior European executives has resigned following Guardian inquiries about a circulation scam at News Corporation’s flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal’s true circulation.

    The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper’s management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality.

    Internal emails and documents suggest the scam was promoted by Andrew Langhoff, the European managing director of the Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones and Co, which was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in July 2007. Langhoff resigned on Tuesday. The highly controversial activities were organised in London and focused on the Journal’s European edition, which circulates in the EU, Russia, and Africa. Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch’s right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action. The whistleblower was then made redundant.

    In what appears to have been a damage limitation exercise following the Guardian’s inquiries, Langhoff resigned on Tuesday, citing only the complaints of unethical interference in editorial coverage. Neither he nor an article published last night in the Wall Street Journal made any reference to the circulation scam nor to the fact that the senior management of Dow Jones in New York failed to act when they were alerted last year.

    It led to the Journal publishing a full-page feature on 14 October 2010 that reported a survey conducted by ELP about the use of social media in business, quoting ELP’s chief executive at length. The story carried no warning for readers that it was the result of a deal between the Journal and ELP, nor that ELP were sponsoring 16% of the paper’s European circulation. Similarly, there were no warnings attached to a second story, published on 14 March 2011, which consisted of an interview with one of ELP’s senior partners, Ann de Jaeger, about the role of women in company boardrooms.
    The ELP deal continued to cause more serious problems. Some Journal staff complained the agreement to run stories promoting ELP was unethical. On 12 July 2010, one London executive emailed that “some elements of the deal do not fit easily within best practice, brand guidelines and company policy”. Others warned about the quality of the surveys on which the stories were to be based.
    By the autumn of 2010, ELP were complaining that the Journal was failing to deliver its end of the agreement. They threatened not to make a payment of €15,000 that was due at the end of December, for the copies of the Journal which they had sponsored since April 30. Without the payment, the Journal could not officially record the sales and their circulation figures would suddenly dive by 16%, undermining the confidence of advertisers and readers.
    So Langhoff set up a complex scheme to channel money to ELP to pay for the papers it had agreed to buy – effectively buying the papers with the Journal’s own cash. This involved the use of other companies although it is not suggested that they were aware they were taking part in a scam.

    effectively buying the papers with the Journal’s own cash”

    Churning paper. It’s fitting, somehow.

  19. TweetEverstrong tweeted:

    Developing Story: Rick Santorum tapped to head the Gingrich Prostate Exam Guideline Task Force.


  20. rikyrah says:

    FEMA In GOP Crosshairs For…Avoiding A Shutdown?

    Congressional Republicans haven’t gotten over the last government shutdown fight — perhaps because it wasn’t a clear win. They’re probing FEMA’s accounting practices in the last week of September, suggesting the agency manipulated its disaster relief fund to help Democrats avoid a political fight with Republicans. But FEMA officials were on the record, both publicly and in private briefings with members of both parties, about the tools they were using to keep themselves in the black through the fiscal year. So what’s this really all about?

    Recall that the September government shutdown fight centered on the GOP’s demand that there should be matching budget cuts to make up for funneling emergency money to FEMA’s disaster relief fund.

    FEMA originally expected the account to be drained a few days before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. To keep its operations across the country in motion Congress was prepared to appropriate the agency $1 billion in bridge money to carry it into October…except for that pesky disagreement about offsets! Republicans insisted on paying for it by nixing a popular and effective hybrid vehicle incentive. Democrats refused, both on principle and because the specific manufacturing program on the chopping block was a successful one. Neither party was prepared to cave. But with the deadline only days away, FEMA moved aggressively to shore up its fund and announced it could get by without any emergency help from Congress and the shutdown was averted.

    Republicans say something fishy was going on.

    “I’m disappointed … that the agency has apparently been playing games with the numbers, and my committee is closely examining why FEMA’s estimates changed at the eleventh hour,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) on the House floor last week.

    “You kind wonder about FEMA’s credibility on these issues, when they say they’re out of money tomorrow and now they’re out of money at the end of the fiscal year,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, the GOP senator from Missouri where the town of Joplin was destroyed by a tornado. “If you can come up with four more days of disaster funding after you said you’d run out, it will be interesting to see how they came up with that four days of funding.”

    But FEMA officials had explained their methods long before the shutdown showdown threat became real. Indeed, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate and his deputy Richard Serino testified to this very question before key House and Senate subcommittees. At a July hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs, at which Blunt was in attendance and asking questions, according to Congressional Quarterly’s transcript services, Serino explained, “We have been very busy, but at the same time we’ve also been going back and looking at some of our previous disasters that we had and seeing how we can look at different money that we can de-obligate from previous disasters so we’re able to free up some dollars into that so we’re actually able to meet and take care of some of the issues now with current disasters.”

    Fugate outlined the same process to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security in April. He explained that FEMA was able to recoup over $100 million a month by de-obligating residual funds from completed projects, and that in March alone FEMA was able to draw over $200 million back into the fund.

    “What happens many times is when we do a project, the project may be approved for, let’s say, for a debris mission of $100 million,” Fugate said. “When the actual work is done, all the bills are paid; it may only have $80 million. But as long as that obligation is there, that $20 million that could have been returned is not available to the DRF because it’s considered obligated. So, as we go through that process and de-obligate those funds, they go back into the [disaster relief fund]. And so, this process, this year is focused on those open disasters with state and local governments where the work has been done.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Defeat the radicals, and restore tradition
    by Kay

    We talked about how shameful it is that conservative elected leaders in Tennessee are working hard to deny this person the right to vote:

    Dorothy Cooper is 96 but she can remember only one election when she’s been eligible to vote but hasn’t. The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time. So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.

    She just wants to be able to vote. In her decades of going to the polls, “I never had any problems,” she said, not even before the Voting Rights Act passed in the 1960s. In her 50-plus years working for the same family, she never learned to drive so she never needed a license. She retired in 1993 and returned to Chattanooga from Nashville. Now, on occasion, one of her bank’s tellers or a grocery store clerk will ask for photo ID when she writes or cashes a check, Cooper said. “I’ve been banking at SunTrust for a long time,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll say, well, do you have a Social Security card?” And she shows it to them. She also has a photo ID issued by the Chattanooga Police Department to all seniors who live in the Boynton Terrace public housing complex, but that won’t qualify for voting.

    And we talked about how democracy enthusiasts in Tennessee were fighting back:

    In Nashville on Tuesday afternoon, a coalition of organizations announced an effort to repeal the law. Groups such as the ACLU of Tennessee, various chapters of the NAACP, the AFL-CIO and Tennessee Citizen Action announced a petition drive and get-out-the-vote effort.
    “This is a nonpartisan issue. It’s a fair voting issue,” said Mary Mancini, executive director of Citizen Action, in a phone interview. “It’s all about the legislators seeing that the people of Tennessee don’t want this law.”

    Mary Mancini sent us a thank you:

    Thank you so much for covering the story of Dorothy Cooper. It’s funny, I had a call from the Lt. Governor’s office to tell me that the state Dept. of Safety was bending over backwards to help Ms. Cooper and that she would get her ID. I told them that was great but there are thousands of Mrs. Cooper’s across the state and then asked, what’s being done about them? There was a very long pause on other end of the phone.
    Tennessee Citizen Action and other groups have formed a coalition and are getting signatures on a petition to repeal. More info is at
    Thank you again for your coverage of this issue.
    Mary Mancini
    Executive Director, Tennessee Citizen Action

    If you’re in Tennessee and are a supporter of the traditional US view that Dorothy Cooper holds, and you believe eligible citizens have a right to vote whether they have a driver’s license or not, here is where you can go to help to restore that old-fashioned idea in Tennessee.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The General Starts Now? Team Obama Engages Mitt Romney

    And so it begins. On a press call Wednesday, David Axelrod — the chief adviser to President Obama’s reelection campaign — took direct aim at Mitt Romney, signalling that Obama’s campaign is ready to engage with the man most see as the likely Republican nominee at this point.

    To take on Romney, Axelrod used an old saw: The man is a flip-flopper, he told reporters.

    It’s a charge Romney has faced for years, and one his opponents on the Democratic and Republican side love to whip out time and time again.

    Axelrod told TPM on the call that despite the efforts of Rick Perry and Romney’s other opponents to paint him as a flip-flopper, Romney hasn’t really faced the heat he should over his shifting positions on major issues like abortion rights.

    “I know Gov. Perry has made some halting efforts to do that in debates, but he hasn’t exactly gotten the gun out of the holster,” Axelrod said. “So I wouldn’t exactly say that Gov. Romney has been scrutinized to the degree that he will or he should.”

    Axelrod tried to change that on the call, pointing to what he said are fresh flip-flops by Romney on the issues of Race To The Top and the debate over what to do about China’s currency policy.

    In Tuesday’s debate, Romney was adamant that he’d take on China directly if he became president, brushing off concerns that a fight with China over their money could kick off a potentially disastrous trade war. Axelrod seized on an existing Democratic talking point from Romney’s book, which warns against the economic dangers of protectionist trade policies.

    Axelrod said that Romney’s been pretty good so far at shifting with the political winds.

    “I will give him this: he is as vehement and as strong in his convictions when he takes one position as he is when he takes the diametrically opposite position,” Axelrod said. “And that is something that in the short-term you can get rewarded for.”

    But in the long run, Axelrod Romney’s past will come back to haunt him.

    “George Burns once said, ‘all you need to succeed in show business is sincerity and if you can fake that you’ve got it made.’ And there’s something to that in politics as well,” Axelrod said. “But I don’t think you can do that in a presidential campaign. Ultimately people…want to know who you are, what you believe and what you’re willing to stand for.”

    There are of course many weeks before the first Iowa Caucus vote is cast in the 2012 nomination fight. And there are many primaries before the Republican nominee is selected. Axelrod didn’t hand the win to Romney, but he made it clear the Obama camp is focused on the man most observers now say has the nomination well within reach.

    “We’re not picking the nominee and we’re not assuming he’ll be the nominee,” Axelrod said. “But he deserves to be scrutinized carefully because what he’s saying is stunningly inconsistent.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    New Hampshire Secretary Of State Threatens To Hold Primary In December
    Eric Kleefeld October 12, 2011, 4:32 PM

    The presidential campaigns and the media might not have to worry about campaigning around New Year’s in Iowa and New Hampshire — because New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner is now threatening to hold the state’s key early primary in December, if Nevada doesn’t change its January 14 date. Indeed, Garder is considering moving the date all the way up to either December 6th or 13th, in an effort to retain the state’s traditional position.

    Gardner released a statement Wednesday afternoon, entitled “Why New Hampshire’s Primary Tradition Is Important.” In it, Gardner responded to the rush of the other official party-sanctioned early states moving up their primaries after Florida jumped the line into January. The key quote, with emphasis in the original:

    OPTIONS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE’S PRIMARY DATE. With Florida moving its primary earlier than originally planned to January 31st, and South Carolina making a move to set its primary ten days earlier to January 21st, that began to limit options for setting our date in January. When officials in Nevada set their caucus for Saturday, January 14th, that left Tuesday, January 3rd as a possibility for us, but Iowa officials tentatively decided that their caucus would be on that day.

    IT’S REALLY UP TO NEVADA.IT’S REALLY UP TO NEVADA. If Nevada does not accept a date of Tuesday, January 17th or later for its caucus, it leaves New Hampshire no choice but to consider December of this year. The dates of Tuesday, December 13th, ,and Tuesday, December 6th are realistic options, and we have logistics in place to make either date happen if needed. Candidates have been campaigning here, and elsewhere, for months, and it is about time we begin the next stage of the presidential nominating process. If Nevada does not accept a date of Tuesday, January 17th or later for its caucus, it leaves New Hampshire no choice but to consider December of this year. The dates of Tuesday, December 13th, ,and Tuesday, December 6th are realistic options, and we have logistics in place to make either date happen if needed. Candidates have been campaigning here, and elsewhere, for months, and it is about time we begin the next stage of the presidential nominating process.

  24. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 3:10 PM

    Obama’s jobs ideas enjoy strong support

    By Steve Benen

    With Senate Democrats preparing to push individual votes on the component parts of the American Jobs Act, they do so knowing that the public is on their side. Mark Murray reports on the latest NBC News poll.

    Even though the United States Senate on Tuesday blocked President Obama’s jobs bill, the legislation’s specifics — as well as the idea of taxing the wealthy to pay for it — are popular with the American public, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    When asked simply if Congress should pass the legislation or not, 30 percent of respondents answer yes, while 22 percent say no; 44 percent have no opinion.

    But when the legislation’s details are included in a follow-up question — that it would cut payroll taxes, fund new road construction, extend unemployment benefits, and that it would be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy — 63 percent say they favor the bill and 32 percent oppose it.

    As has been the case, support for the overall package is lukewarm, probably because the president’s approval ratings have slipped to low levels. But as with polling on health care reform, the American mainstream may be skeptical of the plan in its entirety, but folks love what’s actually in the plan.

    In fact, with 63% of Americans supporting the president’s jobs ideas, it appears that the only thing that’s more popular are tax increases on the rich — the NBC/WSJ found 64% believe it’s a “good idea” to ask the wealthy and corporations to pay more.

    In case this isn’t obvious, literally every Republican in Congress refuses to even consider both the job-creation measures and the calls for additional sacrifices from millionaires and billionaires.

    With poll numbers like these, is it any wonder Democrats intend to keep pushing forward on this?

  25. rikyrah says:

    Tony Bennett: Obama Is America’s “Greatest Accomplishment”

    Singer Tony Bennett on Obama: “I think it’s the greatest accomplishment that the United States ever came up with.”

    “I’ve always respected intellectual people and he’s an intellect,” Bennett said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

    “He’s very bright, highly bright.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    One Reason to Watch GOP Debates
    by BooMan
    Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 12:34:46 PM EST

    Here is something for Matt Yglesias to think about when he complains about having to sit through “a lot of nonsense from [a] pizza salesmen and Newt Gingrich” to get to the real meat, which is the choice between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. These debates tend to be overcrowded, but the performance of the also-rans is still important. In 2004, John Edwards did well enough to force himself onto the ticket. And Howard Dean became the head of the Democratic National Committee. In 2008, Obama picked one debating partner to be his vice-presidential candidate, and then another to be his Secretary of State. It’s true that Rick Santorum will not be the next president of the United States, but he might be the next Secretary of Health & Human Services. Herman Cain could be the next U.S. Trade Representative. And, don’t forget that whoever comes in second place in Republican primaries tends to be the nominee the next time around (Reagan in 1980, Dole in 1996, McCain in 2008, and possibly Romney in 2012).
    That said, I haven’t watched the last two Republican debates because I just don’t need the aggravation.

  27. Ametia says:

    Michael Douglas and Matt Damon to star in Liberace film

    Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will star in Behind the Candelabra, a movie based on the life of flamboyant US musician Liberace.

    The film, which will be directed by Steven Soderbergh, is expected to start shooting next summer.

    Douglas has been lined up to play Liberace, while Damon will take on the role of his partner, Scott Thorson.

    Pianist Liberace, known for his lavish lifestyle and exuberant performances, died in 1987.

    Soderbergh, whose directing credits include the 2000 film Traffic, said he was focusing on “getting it right creatively”.

    “From the inception of this project, we’ve had two priorities – getting it right creatively, and getting as many people as possible to see it,” he added.

  28. Ametia says:


    From the caucuses to the campaign trails to Capitol Hill, “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm” will shed light on the Election 2012 news of the day and will feature in-studio commentary by political insiders, campaign veterans, opinion leaders and newsmakers whose unique perspective will inform and inspire. Granholm, an outspoken and passionate political leader, was the first woman elected governor in Michigan. During two terms as governor, she pioneered the state through an economic storm, strengthening its auto industry, preserving the manufacturing sector, and adding new, emerging sectors, such as clean energy.

    Each night, Granholm will present a dynamic, fun and informative show that actively engage viewers with a blend of smart analysis and relevant commentary from guests on the cutting edge of politics, business and entertainment.

    “’The War Room’ will be a nightly show for political junkies like me and anyone who cares about the future of our country, focusing on the 2012 election from all angles,” Granholm says. “Democrats will love it. The far right will hate it. Those in the middle will appreciate it. I can’t wait to get started.”

    Fans of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” recently got a taste of Granholm’s strong voice and style. See an excerpt from her recent appearance below.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Republicans For “Class Warfare”
    Tim Noah is struck by the latest Washington Post-Bloomberg News poll which found that “68 percent of all voters and 54 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters favored raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 (i.e., the Obama plan) to tackle the deficit”:

    To whom, exactly, do Republican officeholders and candidates think they’re pandering? The Tea Party? Evidence has begun to trickle in that even the Tea Party isn’t as anti-tax as Republican party leaders. On Aug. 1 the New York Times ran a Page One story by Kate Zernike … that said “the power of the Tea Party as a singular force may be more phantom than reality.” Zernike then went on to report: “When Tea Party supporters were asked if the debt-ceiling agreement should include only tax increases, only spending cuts, or a combination of both, the majority — 53 percent — said that it should include a combination. Forty-five percent preferred only spending cuts.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: Dana Milbank
    by BooMan
    Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 10:24:37 AM EST

    Dana Milbank grew up in Merrick, New York, a Long Island hamlet that is still over 95% white and which has a median household income of $93,000. He went to a magnet high school, and then to Yale University, where he joined the exclusive Skull & Bones society. After graduation, he quickly landed jobs at the Wall Street Journal and The New Republic. I mention this not to criticize Milbank, who has made the most of being born on third base. I mention it because it helps put in perspective his attitude about the Occupy Movement.

    He says that he’s hoping the DC version will gain steam and create a balance to the Tea Party, but all he really wants to do is make the protesters look ridiculous. I will say that David Swanson seems to be intent on making the movement more disruptive and confrontational than their New York counterparts. And it’s easy to be dismissive of these protests, especially when they are not attracting large numbers. I’m guilty of that myself. But you can’t expect someone with Milbank’s privileged background to be on the side of the 99%. At least, not when the shit really goes down. He’s a Bonesman getting a paycheck from Kaplan Test Prep. Nuff said.

  31. rikyrah says:



    Joe Walsh Says He Had ‘Verbal’ Deal Not To Pay Child Support

    Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) says he didn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars in child support payments to his ex-wife because he was under the impression they had an informal agreement that he’d keep the money.

    “He reasonably relied on [ex-wife Laura Walsh’s] representations and conduct, to his detriment,” Walsh’s lawyer said in a court filing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Through his attorney, Walsh claimed he had a “verbal agreement” with his wife on child support because “Joe and his former wife were both tired of court appearances and the resulting emotional and financial impact on the family. Neither party had the financial or emotional wherewithal to continue the battle.”

    Ms. Walsh, who is suing the Congressman for over $100,000 in missed child support payments, sees things differently, however. Her attorney denied the claim, as well as Mr. Walsh’s office’s claim that the suit is “an attempt to tarnish the Congressman’s reputation” timed to his emergence as a public figure. According to her attorney, she only launched the latest effort to collect the money after the then-candidate lent his campaign $34,000, indicating that he had significantly more cash than he had let on.

  32. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 2:25 PM

    There’s no need to obscure obstructionism

    By Steve Benen

    The home page of the New York Times reported on Senate Republicans killing the American Jobs Act with this headline: “Obama’s Jobs Bill Fails in Senate in First Legislative Test.” The subhead read: “The vote of 50 to 49 to open debate on the measure was 10 votes short of the 60 needed to overcome procedural objections, forcing the White House to consider breaking up the package.”

    There were no references to Republicans, the GOP, or obstructionism. A casual reader might not even realize that a majority of the Senate actually supported advancing the bill.

    James Fallows sees a problem with this.

    We have gone so far in recent years toward routinizing the once-rare requirement for a 60-vote Senate “supermajority” into an obstacle for every nomination and every bill that our leading newspaper can say that a measure “fails” when it gets more Yes than No votes. […]

    Again, the subhead and story make the real situation clear. So how about a headline that says plainly what happened: “Obama’s Job Bill Blocked by GOP in Procedural Move”

    It would fit. And it would help offset the mounting mis-impression that the Constitution dictates a 60-vote margin for getting anything done.

    Quite right. It seems that much of the political establishment sees the current breakdown of the American political process as somehow routine — Republicans block Democratic plans; Dems block Republican plans; this is just how the game is played.

    Except it’s not. The legislative branch wasn’t designed to work this way, and for generations, it didn’t. Mandatory super-majorities to even have a debate on an important piece of legislation is wholly at odds with American norms and institutional practices. The Senate used to go decades without a cloture vote — now Republicans impose multiple filibusters on nearly every piece of legislation.

    As Eric Boehlert put it a while back, “The Beltway press has mostly turned a blind, non-judgmental eye while the GOP has re-written the rules for governing from the minority. Yes, the press covers many of the votes that Republicans stymie. But there’s little or no media debate about what the Republican Party is actually doing, which is practicing obstructionism on a massive and previously unseen scale.”

    The public almost certainly has no idea that this is happening, in large part because the media treats the status quo as a normal way of operating, rather than an unprecedented abuse that undermines American policymaking at a fundamental level.

  33. Ametia says:

    To the GOP:

  34. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 1:40 PM

    Romney’s plan to gut the health care system

    By Steve Benen

    Mitt Romney may be the godfather of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but that doesn’t mean he’ll leave it intact if elected. Here’s the Republican’s plan, as he described it last night.

    On day one, granting a waiver for — to all 50 states doesn’t stop in its tracks entirely ‘Obamacare.’ That’s why I also say we have to repeal ‘Obamacare,’ and I will do that on day two with a reconciliation bill, because, as you know, it was passed by reconciliation, 51 votes. We can get rid of it with 51 votes. We have to get rid of ‘Obamacare.’”

    I realize Romney seems like a towering genius when sharing a stage with the rest of the Republican field, but it’s worth appreciating the fact that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    On the first point, a president can’t simply undo federal law with waivers. As Igor Volsky has explained, “The executive branch and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) don’t have the authority to grant such broad waivers. According to the law, HHS (together with the IRS) have waiver authority, but only if the states meet very specific requirements. Neither have blanket waiver authority, which would have to come from Congress.”

    On the second, Romney thinks the Affordable Care Act “passed by reconciliation.” That’s wrong. The Senate passed its health-care reform plan in December 2009. The House approved an identical bill a few month later, and President Obama signed it into law in March 2010. This wasn’t the result of reconciliation — the final vote in the Senate was 60 to 39.

    Now, as it turns out, Democrats made some additional reform through reconciliation, including the student-loan measure, but when Romney says the law was “passed by reconciliation,” he’s simply not telling the truth.

    He is, however, pointing to a strategy Republicans are likely to use in 2013, if the party takes control of Washington again. GOP officials decried reconciliation as an outrageous abuse and offensive display, but if there’s Republican White House and a Republican Senate in 2013, it’s a safe bet the GOP will gut America’s health care system, and use every procedural tool they can think of to prevent Democrats from standing in the way.

    What’s to stop a GOP-led House from using reconciliation to repeal the entirety of the law, pass a GOP-led Senate with 50 votes, and have President Romney sign it? Not much. Indeed, it’s apparently the plan the party plans to use.

    It’s worth noting, though, that Romney condemned the very same tactics he now wants to exploit. As Joan McCarter put it this morning, “Romney vows to repeal the health care law he inspired with a process he opposed.”

    As for President Obama, he told supporters last week, “We thought that one of the problems that we were facing in health care was that we have 30 million people uninsured; they’re now running on the idea of making sure that 30 million people don’t have health insurance.” At a separate event, he added, “They call it Obamacare. I do care, that’s right. The question is, why don’t you care? You should care, too. Some of these folks making central to their campaign pledge to make sure that 30 million people don’t have health insurance. What kind of inspiring message is that?”

  35. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 12, 2011 12:40 PM

    Reid latest to raise the sabotage question

    By Steve Benen

    Yesterday, Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Obama/Biden 2012, sent an email to the Obama for America list, broaching a provocative subject. Referencing Republican opposition to job creation, Messina said the GOP strategy “is to suffocate the economy” on purpose for political gain.

    It was, as best as I can tell, the first time anyone associated with the president has broached the sabotage question. And a few hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) raised the same point, also for the first time.

    As the Senate moved toward a vote Tuesday, Mr. Reid made an accusation heard with increasing frequency from Democrats: Republicans were opposing the president’s jobs bill because, for political reasons, they wanted the economy to remain in bad shape.

    “Republicans think that if the economy improves, it might help President Obama,” Mr. Reid said. “So they root for the economy to fail and oppose every effort to improve it.”

    The rhetoric here is slightly indirect, but the message is still clear: Republicans want the economy to suffer and are taking deliberate steps to ensure that it does, hoping that voters will reward them for it.

    As we discussed in some detail yesterday, this is no longer a fringe question. Just over the last several months, the sabotage concerns have been raised by two Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill, the president’s campaign manager, and a wide variety of prominent pundits, including a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Nobel laureate.

    And given recent events, this shouldn’t be surprising. We’ve seen the Republican debt-ceiling scandal, the GOP-driven downgrade, the Republican rejection of any efforts to boost the economy, the GOP pleading with the Federal Reserve not to even try to improve conditions, repeated Republican threats of government shutdowns, GOP lawmakers announcing their opposition to their own economic ideas, and Republicans killing jobs bills, large and small.

    Under the circumstances, it’s hardly shocking that folks might start to wonder out loud, “Hmm, maybe Republicans are trying to hurt the economy on purpose?”

    Also note, despite the “increasing frequency” with which this question comes up, Republicans want no part of it. One might think they’d be expressing outrage and demanding apologies, but they’re actually doing the opposite — they’re saying nothing. The reason, of course, is that the debate itself is damaging to the GOP, because it suggests the sabotage question is worthy of discussion. Once voters consider the possibility that Republicans are deliberately making the economy worse, it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle. The debate itself, even if the right believes it’s without merit, is a nightmare.

    Whether the GOP wants to talk about it or not, however, this seems like an argument worth having. Nearly a year ago, Michael Gerson thought I was an “idiot” for even broaching the subject. With so many others in high-profile positions asking the same question, maybe Republicans can explain why we’re all idiots?

  36. Ametia says:

    The White House Blog
    We Can’t Take “No” for An Answer
    Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on October 12, 2011 at 12:30 PM EDT

    Last night, Republicans blocked the American Jobs Act. That’s right — not a single member of the Republican Party voted for a bill that independent economists estimate would put up to 1.9 million Americans back to work next year.

    They blocked a piece of legislation filled with ideas that they have supported in the past that would keep teachers in the classroom, police officers on the beat, and put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and bridges. The next step now is for Congress to take up each individual piece of the American Jobs Act. Will they oppose each of these common-sense measures that will get the American people back to work and put money in the pockets of middle class families?

    Take a look at the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer. With so many Americans out of work and so many families struggling, we can’t take “no” for an answer. It’s time for Congress to meet their responsibility, put their party politics aside and take action on jobs right now.

  37. rikyrah says:

    I’m going to say it: I don’t believe one word of his barbershop story. The Black folks there would have told him the ‘game’ when he walked his behind up in there.


    Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 09:25 AM PDT.

    The Pain of Herman Cain: How Rejection at a Barbershop Helped to Create a Black Conservative+*

    by chaunceydevega

    All aboard the Cain train!


    What fun. The irony of course is that the more Herb Cain is criticized by African Americans for his role as a professional racism apologist the more popular he will become with his White Conservative reactionary audience and sponsors. Call it the black conservative patted on the head by their white masters corollary to Newton’s third law of motion.

    I have been reflecting on Herman Cain’s story about being denied service at a black barbershop because they could not use the clippers on an African American and still keep their white clientele. That moment is very telling both for what it reveals about Herman Cain’s psyche and also for the larger macro-level phenomena it signals to.


    Historically, the socio-political interests of black Americans have been racialized. Group interests have served as a powerful variable in the political calculations of African Americans because the reality of white supremacy has been one where we have not had the luxury of buying into a narrative of wide eyed, pie in the sky Whiteness enabled individualism.

    We got our butts kicked as a group; our individual merits mattered little to the slaver, Jim and Jim Crow, or the “racism without racists” post-Civil Rights milieu. For example, members of the black middle and upper classes use the social and economic status of their less well-off relatives, friends, and community members as variables which influence their political decision making. Why? The hold of black strivers on the ladder of success is tenuous. In addition, the stale, flat narrative of the black poor and black underclass that dominates the popular imagination is instead one that is real to us: said folks are our brothers, sisters, cousins, parents, and other kin, either fictive or blood related.

    Black Conservatives like Herman Cain fit perfectly into this story because one of the variables that over-determines a sense of linked fate with other African Americans (and by implication their political orientation) is how deeply embedded they are in the black community. Black conservatives tend to have fewer attachments to African American social institutions (political associations, neighborhood groups, fraternal organizations, and of course the obligatory barbershops and hair salons) . Consequently, black conservatives are less likely to have a sense of group affinity for and with other African Americans.

    In all, the black utility heuristic is not in play for the Cains, Thomases, and Steeles of the world.

    The image Herman Cain paints of his barbershop encounter, assuming it is in fact true (and I have serious doubts as he is playing a blackface version of the Horatio Alger myth) is doubly sad because in that one moment he was ostracized from one of the few black spaces which remain in America, and said locale in the black public sphere was still governed by the white gaze and its power to marginalize and do harm to people of color.

    Perhaps it is my love of theoretical physics and chaos theory. Or maybe I have watched the Star Trek TNG episode “Tapestry” too many times, but I wonder how that one moment impacted Herman Cain’s future political attitudes and life trajectory? Would Herman Cain have become a different person, an upright and proud Morehouse man, instead of a professional racism denier and enabler of white supremacy, if one of the brothers had given his woolly head a proper cut?

    I present two possibilities:

    1. Herman Cain, a young man raised by a family who did not believe in the merits of the Civil Rights Movement, and which saw Dr. King and others as “outside agitators,” had years ago decided to smile and grin in order to get along with white folks. The haircut moment had nothing to do with the man he would become in the future. Cain already believed that it was much better to lay down with the lions as a pet sheep than to dare resist and perhaps suffer harm (or risk being a difficult to digest meal).

    2. Herman Cain, embarrassed by seeing black men humiliated by whites in their own barbershop, became disgusted with black people as a whole–and thus convinced of his own “uniqueness” as an “exceptional negro”–decided that he had shared few traits with the “common black.” Instead of being angry at the white men who humiliated the black barbers, Herman Cain lashed out at African Americans everywhere. They are a pitiable people in Herman Cain’s eyes, so why have anything to do with them?

    I do have a thought that I need your help reasoning through: Why didn’t Herman Cain, a product of Jim Crow and a man who should be familiar with the depth of the informal black codes and rules of racial comportment in the South, just find another black barbershop where he would be welcome?

    Moreover, Cain’s choice to buy his own clippers is also telling. There is an argument that black conservatism is actually none too far ideologically from black nationalism. In another person, at another time, with a different history, could Herman Cain’s barbershop pain have resulted in him becoming a Black Nationalist as opposed to a race traitor who serves as a human parrot for racially resentful and bigoted White Conservatives?

    The possibilities boggle the mind…

  38. rikyrah says:

    Would Herman Cain AA votes from the Pres? Wonder No More….

    From Twitter: PPP
    “Even as Cain surges we’ve still seen no evidence he has any appeal to black voters- trails Obama 91-6”

  39. “i don’t miss my shots in the fourth quarter”

    [wpvideo KeP5wuS4]

  40. Dan Poignon:

    Reid Goes There: ‘Republicans Think That If The Economy Improves, It Might Help President Obama” / !!

  41. Ametia says:

    Posted at 09:25 AM ET, 10/12/2011
    Do too many kids go to college? (#HigherEd)
    By Emi Kolawole

    It is widely seen as one of the most formative periods of a young person’s life. Students’ career and graduate school options are determined, in large part, by the choices they make in college.

    Pay-Pal co-founder Peter Thiel and Washington Post columnist Vivek Wadhwa will meet Wednesday night to address a point on which they have disagreed for some time: Do too many kids go to college? The Oxford-style debate will take place in Chicago as part of the Intelligence Squared debate series at 6:45 p.m. ET.

    We have surfaced this question a number of times here, and it is a subject of constant debate, as the price of both public and private higher education continues to rise, and unemployment remains stagnant as thousands of students flood the job market every year with freshly-minted degrees.

    Some place the blame at the feet of U.S. students, saying they are failing to pursue the STEM subjects aggressively enough — reducing their competitiveness both at home and abroad. Others argue that U.S. educational institutions are the ones at fault, failing to adequately supply students with the skills they need to be employable in a new, high-tech economy.

    Wadhwa has outlined his take and Thiel fellow Dale Stephens has made the case against college. However, we took to Tumblr and Quora to find out what you think. Do too many students go to college?

  42. Issa To Subpoena Eric Holder Over Controversial Gun-Running Operation

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Wednesday issued a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. and other Justice Department officials over the agency’s controversial gun-trafficking operation, dubbed “Operation Fast And Furious.”

    “Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” said Issa in a statement. The subpoena asks for communications between Holder and DoJ officials. Issa has already issued a subpoena for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    “Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” said Issa in a statement. The subpoena asks for communications between Holder and DoJ officials. Issa has already issued a subpoena for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    The operation, which began in November 2009, watched “straw buyers” of guns in border states hand over guns to middlemen who, in turn, transferred the guns to Mexican drug cartels. However, ATF agents let over 2,000 guns “walk,” and the guns ended up at crime scenes on both sides of the border, including one where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered.

    Holder testified in May that he had known about the program for only a few weeks, while Republicans say that memos show he knew of the program as early as July 2010.

    Holder has said that his testimony was truthful and accurate. He said he had been briefed on the program, like dozens of others, but did not know of the more controversial aspects. “Prior to early 2011, I certainly never knew about the tactics employed in the operation,” he said. After Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) suggested he was an “accessory to murder,” he said, “such irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.”

    UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.

    On Wednesday, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, criticized Issa for issuing subpoenas to Holder and the Department of Justice, calling his action a “political stunt.”

    • Ametia says:

      Issa, sit your tired, self-important, attention-seeking,sociopathic, pathetic ass down somewhere. Nothing but a distraction to take the heat off GOP’S JOB-KILLING OBSTRUCTIONISM, while President Obama and his administration are focusing on JOBS!

  43. rikyrah says:

    The Bloomberg Republican Debate
    Posted on 10/12/2011 at 7:08 am by Bob Cesca

    The two most striking things about last night’s debate were, 1) the virtual absence of Rick Perry, and 2) the utter dominance of Herman Cain’s completely unrealistic and dangerous 9-9-9 plan. In fact, regarding the latter, the number 9 was spoken 102 times, according to ThinkProgress.

    Meanwhile, Rick Santorum said we should “go to war with China” during a rant about trade. I think he meant it figuratively, but when a nation like China owns a considerable portion of our debt, it’s not particularly smart to mention going to war with that nation.

    Michele Bachmann thinks that, under Obamacare, a 15-member panel (a “death panel”?) will make healthcare decisions for all 300 million Americans. If she’s right (she’s not) then each panel member will be responsible for organizing healthcare for 20 million people. Good luck, panel-members!

    And the coverage was predictable. They evidently had a team of reporters who were feverishly fact-checking the candidates, but we were only treated to one checked fact. Meanwhile, there was zero analysis as to whether or not any of the Republican economic proposals were actually practical, workable solutions. That’s exactly what voters need to hear in these things. Instead of telling us that a candidate made up a statistic, how about telling voters whether 9-9-9 will work or not.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Nothing to see here: latest GOP debate no game-changer

    Mitt Romney needed to maintain the status quo. He did. Rick Perry needed to change it. He didn’t.
    The latest Republican primary debate, hosted by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Bloomberg News, was a bit of a fizzle. Mitt Romney was the clear winner on substance, brushing back attacks on his record and defending his healthcare plan, his days at Bain Capital (he denies he chopped up companies and laid people off) and even the hated “TARP” bank bailout. Romney was clearly playing for independents and eyeing the general election (he even referenced dreaded bipartisanship) — but he failed to garner something that seems kind of important in primary season: applause. The crowd just wasn’t feeling him. (And neither are wingers like … her…)

    Rick Perry needed a game changer tonight, and not only did he not get it, Perry once again seemed diminished by the exercise. He disappeared on stage, failed to land a blow against either Romney or Herman Cain, and was less interesting than the third tier guys, like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, both of whom had energetic, attack-filled performances as they struggled to get out of fifth gear. Proof of his failure to launch? There’s now a #PerryFail hashtag. Col. Von Erickson’s take here.

    Herman Cain’s challenge Tuesday night was to come across as more substantive, up his “gravitas,” and justify his newly minted first tier status. He didn’t really do that. Cain defended his “999″ plan (apparently crafted by some dude who works for the Pepper Pike branch of Wells Fargo who by the way isn’t an economist…) which was the focus of many of the questions (Michele Bachmann actually managed to work in a “flip those numbers and you get “666” jab…) but he was unconvincing amid attacks on the plan by Santorum, Gingrich and others that it essentially represents a new tax, including a tax on food, with no real plan to repeal the current tax structure. Cain came across as gimmicky and frankly, less than weighty on policy. And his answer that Alan Greenspan — largely seen as a guy who lacked the foresight to see the bust coming — as his fave fed chair, was arguably a mistake with fellow conservatives. But like Romney, he benefited from really not having a glove laid on him by the person who needed to do the punching: Rick Perry.

    Worse, Romney barely seemed to notice him, and certainly didn’t seem worried about either him, or Perry.

    Overall, if I’m in the Perry camp, I’m not sure I’d accept any more debates in the near future. They aren’t helping Perry, and actually are doing the opposite. He needs to find some other way to get free media (besides debates and having either his surrogates or himself say crazy stuff) otherwise, Perry’s pretty much done.

    If I’m Team Romney, I’m coasting, but in my rear view mirror, I’m concerned about intensity should my guy get the nomination. He just doesn’t inspire passion in his would-be supporters (a la John Kerry in 2004 for the Democrats, or pre-Palin John McCain.)

    If I’m Herman Cain, I guess I just keep soaking up the free media attention and keep selling my book, and hope Romney remembers me for VP instead of Chris Christie. Ok really? He’s gonna try and tap Christie.

    If I’m Michele Bachmann, I’m taking the fact that Romney chose to ask me a question when it was his time to query a competitor, and the fact that he threw a total softball, as a sign that despite it all, I’m still on his short list for a running mate (along with Chris Christie.)

    UPDATE: Did Herman Cain lie about dissing “audit the fed?” Ron Paul says yes.

    And this: WaPo’s Alexandra Petri says, just nominate Romney, already!

    Indeed. This thing’s over. All that’s left is to figure out which B-lister Mitt wants as his running-mate.

  45. rikyrah says:

    More palm trees
    by Kay

    Conservatives really just lie constantly:

    A Northside great-grandmother taped a statewide TV ad on behalf of Senate Bill 5 opponents – only to be stunned and outraged when she saw herself featured in an ad for the other side.

    The fight over the Cincinnati great-grandmother’s image is now the latest battle in the hard-fought campaign over Senate Bill 5, which limits collective bargaining for public employees. Ohio voters will decide whether to keep the law in November; it’s on the ballot as Issue 2.

    “I think it’s dishonest and downright deceitful that they would use footage of me to try to play tricks and fool voters,” Marlene Quinn said in a press release by We Are Ohio, the anti-Issue 2 group that initially produced the video. Three television stations in Columbus and two in West Virginia pulled the controversial ad, at the anti-SB5 group’s request. The use of Quinn’s image in the ad was first reported Tuesday by the liberal blog Plunderbund.

    The original ad:

    Quinn credits Cincinnati firefighters with saving the life of her great-granddaughter Zoey Quinn, now 4, and grandson in a November fire. In an ad she taped for Senate Bill 5 opponents, Quinn says, “When the fire broke out, there wasn’t a moment to spare. If not for the firefighters, we wouldn’t have Zoey today. That’s why it is so important to vote no on Issue 2.”

    Quinn continues, “How many of those politicians in Columbus have fought a fire, have been short manpower? The politicians don’t care about the middle class. They turn their backs on all of us. I don’t want the politicians in Columbus making decisions for the firefighters, the police, teachers, nurses or any organization that’s helping the people. Fewer firefighters can mean the difference between life or death, and that’s why I’m voting no in Issue 2.”

    And then former Fox News personality John Kasich’s version:

    Building A Better Ohio released an ad this week that starts with the same image of Quinn saying “When the fire broke out, there wasn’t a moment to spare. If not for the firefighters, we wouldn’t have Zoey today.”

    Then another voice says, “She’s right. By voting no on Issue 2 our safety will be threatened. Without Issue 2, communities will have to lay off hard-working firefighters to pay the excessive benefits of other government workers. Issue 2 protects our communities.” Quinn appears again saying, “Fewer firefighters can mean the difference between life or death.” Then the ad ends with “Vote Yes on Issue 2.”

    We’re getting direct mail here from “The Alliance for America’s Future” which is some shady right wing group out of Virginia. Their website made me laugh out loud because it reveals absolutely nothing about the group, or why they would spend millions of dollars union-busting in Ohio.

    h/t commenter Bella Q

    Here’s We Are Ohio if you want to volunteer.

    And here’s Plunderbund, the excellent Ohio liberal blog who revealed the lie.

  46. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 11:20 AM

    Cain’s misguided love of Greenspan

    By Steve Benen

    It’s almost as if Herman Cain hasn’t paid any attention to the economy at all in recent years. An exchange from last night:

    Q: [O]ne of the most important appointments that you’re going to have to make your first year, should you be president, would be Fed chairman. So which Federal Reserve chairman, over the last 40 years, do you think has been most successful and might serve as a model for that appointment?

    CAIN: Alan Greenspan.

    He added that Greenspan’s approach “worked fine back in the early 1990s.”


    To see Greenspan as a model for Fed success is to be blind to reality. How can Cain not realize the former Fed chairman has been discredited? Three years ago this month, Greenspan acknowledged how spectacularly wrong he was about regulation of the financial industry — a mistake that nearly collapsed the global economy.

    Earlier this year, Greenspan nevertheless felt comfortable arguing that Congress should repeal all those pesky safeguards intended to prevent the next disaster, because, “With notably rare exceptions (2008, for example), the global ‘invisible hand’ has created relatively stable exchange rates, interest rates, prices, and wage rates.”

    “Notably rare exceptions”? Felix Salmon responded at the time: “Greenspan could hardly have made himself look like more of an idiot if he’d tried, not only because the ‘notably rare exceptions’ construction is so inherently snarkworthy, but also because it’s so boneheadedly stupid. Anything which normally makes money is a good idea if you ignore the times that it doesn’t work.”

    Alex Eichler added, simply, “Everyone is laughing at Alan Greenspan today.”

    Perhaps Herman Cain didn’t understand the humor.

    It was Greenspan’s incompetence, negligence, and ridiculous ideology that helped bring the global economy to its knees. At this point, he should hope that the world simply ignores him, and chooses to forgive his role in a failure for the ages. That Cain looks back at Greenspan’s tenure as a successful model to emulate should be a campaign killer.

    Postscript: In the same part of the debate, by the way, Cain says he has secret candidates to replace Ben Bernanke at the Fed, but he won’t tell the public who they are. Anyone who respects this clown as a serious presidential candidate isn’t paying close enough attention.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:07 AM ET, 10/12/2011
    The Morning Plum
    By Greg Sargent
    * Obama jobs bill is defeated, but White House gets positioning it wanted:

    Two separate but related things happened last night that perfectly frame what the 2012 election will be all about.

    Yesterday in the Senate, Republicans — joined by two Dems — unanimously blocked passage of Obama’s jobs bill, even though a majority of the Senate wanted to act. While this was a defeat for Obama, it also gave the White House the positioning it wants for the next phase of this fight, in which Obama will now pressure Congress to take a stand on individual pieces of his plan. Which is to say, Obama will pressure Congress to reveal whether it’s willing to take any action at all at a time of nine percent unemployment and mass economic suffering and anxiety.

    Meanwhile, the Republican candidates met for a debate last night, and they uniformly agreed on one thing: Government is the problem, and must be rolled back on multiple fronts if we are to have any hope of a recovery.

    And so, the White House, facing certain defeat on the jobs bill, at least established a baseline for the 2012 fight, which will be all about a simple question: Can and should our public officials act to bring relief to the American people at a time of national crisis? Or should government simply move out of the way and let the private sector right itself of its own accord?

    * Dems salvage something from the jobs bill wreckage: So now we know why it was so important for Dems to win a majority in favor of the Obama jobs bill, as Dems did manage to do last night. They fell far short of breaking the GOP filibuster. But while many accounts this morning claim this was a display of Obama’s weakness, Dems actually did manage to salvage something from the wreckage — positioning for the fight to come.

    We already knew Obama’s jobs bill was doomed as is. But the Senate vote at least allows him to use GOP obstruction of the will of the majority as the launching pad for the battle to come, as he did in a statement last night:

    Tonight, a majority of United States Senators voted to advance the American Jobs Act. But even though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill.
    * Battle for American Jobs Act continues: Also, Obama signaled clearly that Congress will now be forced to take repeated votes on the bill’s individual provisions:

    In the coming days, Members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job. They’ll get a vote on whether they believe we should cut taxes for small business owners and middle-class Americans, or whether we should protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. With each vote, Members of Congress can either explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs, or they can listen to the overwhelming majority of American people who are crying out for action.
    * The media play the White House wanted: The AP headline tells the story just as the White House hoped: “Senate Republicans vote to kill Obama’s jobs bill.”

    This is the positioning the White House was going for: Republicans blocked the will of the majority by killing Obama’s effort at action on unemployment, and now Obama will continue the campaign by demanding they take a stand on the bill’s individual provisions, which poll very well.

  48. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 10:40 AM

    Moving to Phase 2 on the jobs fight

    By Steve Benen

    Senate Democrats put together 51 votes for the American Jobs Act, but it wasn’t enough — a united Republican caucus killed the bill last night. This did not, however, mark the end of the fight over jobs, and Dems have a plan on how to proceed.

    President Obama, in his press conference last week, offered a preview of what’s to come: “I promise you we’re going to keep on going, and we will put forward maybe piece by piece each component of the bill.”

    As of this morning, that’s still very much the plan.

    “Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight,” the president said in a statement. He added, “In the coming days, members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job.”

    Votes on pieces of the bill could begin this month, perhaps as early as next week, Senate Democratic aides said. Party leaders said they needed to consult their caucus before they decided on the timing or chose the provisions to be considered separately.

    It’s not a bad approach. One of the underlying points of White House’s public relations campaign is to make Republicans pay a political price for rejecting a credible, popular, bipartisan jobs bill during an unemployment crisis. After last night’s vote, the new priority is apparently to make the GOP pay a political price more than once.

    It’s one thing to reject a package deal; it’s intended to be even more damaging to force Republicans to vote against popular ideas, over and over again — no to infrastructure investments, no to small business tax cuts, no to saving teachers’ jobs, no to rebuilding schools, no to the jobs-for-veterans tax break, etc. The goal would be to get Republicans on record opposing every good idea on jobs.

    Will this have a practical effect on the economy? Almost certainly not, since congressional Republicans in both chambers have already vowed to stop any effort that might make an appreciable difference. Ideally, governing and policymaking options would still exist, but the results of the 2010 midterms eliminated those possibilities.

    The Dems’ strategy will, however, make the distinctions between the parties that much more striking in advance of an election year, and help President Obama argue that if Americans are looking for someone to blame for the weak economy, they can start with the party that kills jobs bills.

    For months, GOP leaders have sought to avoid “co-ownership” of the economy. The Democratic approach is intended to put Republican names on the title.

  49. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 10:05 AM

    Revisiting the ‘9-9-9’ nonsense

    By Steve Benen

    Last night’s debate in New Hampshire was supposed to be about Mitt Romney. It was instead about Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan, which the former pizza company executive claims will revitalize the economy, end partisan bickering in Washington, balance the budget, and generally lead to an American utopia.

    Ideally, we could do what the political world has done for months: generally ignore this foolish gimmick. But when a policy idea — I use the phrase loosely — becomes the central focus of a debate for presidential candidates, it’s probably worth taking the time to look at it in a little more detail.

    What Cain calls his “9-9-9” economic plan is basically his approach to tax policy — he envisions a system with a 9% income tax, a 9% corporate tax, and a 9% sales tax. Chris Cillizza praised it this morning for its “beautiful, political simplicity.”

    The bad news is, political simplicity notwithstanding, the plan doesn’t make any sense. Bruce Bartlett, a Republican economist and veteran of the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, published an analysis of the plan yesterday, explaining that it would, as a practical matter, raise taxes on the poor considerably, make it more expensive for businesses to hire workers, and increase the deficit.

    At a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase.

    Even allowing for the poorly thought through promises routinely made on the campaign trail, Mr. Cain’s tax plan stands out as exceptionally ill conceived.

    Michael Linden, the Center for American Progress’ director of tax and budget policy, ran the numbers on Cain’s plan and came to the same conclusion.

    And while we’re at it, the “9-9-9” proposal, at least in its current form, also suffers from constitutional problems.

    Wait, it gets better. Last night, Cain said he relied on “well-recognized economists that helped me to develop this 9-9-9 plan,” but he won’t tell us who they are. He said the plan has been “well studied,” but he won’t say by whom or what they found, specifically. Cain added that his campaign had an “independent firm … dynamically score” his plan, but he won’t share the results of the analysis.

    This isn’t a policy; it’s a joke.

  50. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 9:30 AM

    A conspiracy only Bachmann could create

    By Steve Benen

    As tempting as it is to simply ignore Michele Bachmann’s nonsense, there was one gem from last night’s debate that I really enjoyed.

    “I was in the White House with President Obama this summer. We asked him not once but three times: President Obama, what is your plan to save Medicare? And the president mumbled and he didn’t give an answer the first time, the second time. And the third time the president said something very interesting, Karen. He said, ‘Obamacare.’

    “I think that senior citizens across the country have no idea that President Obama plans for Medicare to collapse, and instead everyone will be pushed into ‘Obamacare.’”

    What’s amusing about this is how truly ridiculous Bachmann’s silly conspiracy theory — and imaginary exchange with the president — really is.

    Here, the unhinged Minnesotan wants the public to believe President Obama is secretly trying to eliminate Medicare, forcing seniors into the Affordable Care Act. Is there any evidence at all to support this? Of course not, but that’s not important right now.

    What’s far more interesting is that in practical terms, Bachmann apparently thinks the president is secretly right-wing — she believes Obama wants to end the existing system of socialized medicine for the elderly, and force these millions of seniors into the private insurance market.

    Of course, in reality, there is a group of people who actually support such an approach. They’re called “House Republicans.” Indeed, the House GOP budget plan — written by Paul Ryan and endorsed by none other than Michele Bachmann — seeks to end Medicare and convert the program into an ACA-style system. Bachmann’s conspiracy theory is that Obama secretly agrees with her far-right colleagues.

    This isn’t just wrong; it’s mad-as-a-hatter crazy.

    Bachmann’s ability to come up with remarkable conspiracy theories is impressive, but this one is among my favorites. Anytime a right-wing lawmaker talks to a right-wing audience and thinks it’s wise to attack President Obama as secretly on their side, it deserves some kind of award.

  51. rikyrah says:

    Bloomberg Debate Reax II

    Michelle Malkin:

    At one point during the debate, candidates were allowed to question each other. Armed with the golden gift of new White House records showing intimate meetings between Romneycare architect Jonathan Gruber and the Obama administration, Perry mumbled a jovial question at Romney for a few seconds — after which Romney steamrolled him with his usual spin for the next several minutes. Perry disappeared somewhere under the table after that. Or maybe he was playing Words with Friends on his iPhone. Or looking at his watch George H.W. Bush-style.

    Nate Silver:

    While the debate will probably not be critically damaging to Mr. Perry, his odds of upending Mr. Romney have continued to lengthen. Meanwhile, the more solid Mr. Cain’s support becomes, the harder it may be for Mr. Perry to recover his standing in the polls.

    John Cassidy:

    I thought it was a bit premature to say Perry was mortally wounded, even if, as the Times’ David Leonhardt informed us in a tweet shortly after the debate finished, Intrade, an online political futures market, “now gives Assad a larger chance of being ousted this year (15%) than Perry of being the R nominee (13%).” For all his errors of omission, Perry hadn’t made any obvious gaffes. By his standards, this was a big improvement.

    Jonathan Bernstein:

    [Perry] went back and forth between garbling his answers and simply disappearing for large stretches. He showed up for a debate on the economy with nothing to say on the economy other than that his economic plan wasn’t ready yet, and apparently he decided to avoid his difficulty in delivering prepared zingers by not bothering to even try any. Just incredible.

    Jonathan Chait:

    Once again, Romney defended his Massachusetts health care plan by citing its reliance on private insurance, and the way it was designed to cover the uninsured without changing health care for the already-insured. This is exactly what Obama did, too. But, of course, by describing his plan in reasonable terms, Romney realizes that Republicans will conclude it must be different to the hated Obamacare, which is based on socialism and death panels. Romney’s contempt for his electorate continues to endear me to him.

    Jennifer Rubin:

    In not getting bruised and by demonstrating his superior campaign skills, Romney came out the big winner. Perry didn’t help himself a bit, and now risks slipping behind Bachmann and others.

    Kevin Drum:

    Rick Perry continues to amaze. I mean, after his last disastrous outing, he must have known that Job 1 was looking like he was ready for prime time. Instead, he looked completely unprepared, as if he was surprised that people were still asking him actual questions instead of just nominating him on the spot.

    Mark McKinnon:

    Herman Cain is going to be around for a while, and people should start taking him seriously. If he’s not president, he could be vice president. Or bet the under and just start calling him Mr. Secretary.

    Adam Sorensen:

    [Cain’s] performance was solid, if unremarkable. He stuck to his talking points — anyone who criticizes his plan doesn’t understand that he wants to chuck the whole tax code first! — and met new attacks from his rivals with cheerful aplomb. At this point, any boost in Cain’s name recognition will be a boon to his relatively obscure campaign. And the constant 9-9-9 chatter, even if some of it was negative, probably helped Cain’s chances of sustaining his unlikely rise.

    James Joyner:

    Romney is quickly demonstrating that he’s ready for the challenge of the campaign and that everyone else has a lot of catching up to do.


  53. The White House in Washington is bathed in pink light Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness month

  54. rikyrah says:


    October 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    The Obamas are so incredibly normal. I love that about them. The President through the 10 letters he reads every night and the close friends he has from Chicago finds a way to keep in touch with ordinary peoples lives, the goings in and out, the pain felt from the recession, the joy felt from finding a job, the joy felt from being able to afford healthcare due to ACA, the joy of being able to retain ones job due to the stimulus and other job creating measures achieved by his administration. The First Lady through letters she receives, going out incognito so their girls never forget that not all Americans live in a position of comfort, so that she gets away from the Washington cocktail set with their fake platitudes and gets out into the real world to see and feel how ordinary people are getting along day by day, maybe sometimes chat with them and get a different perspective of what agendas they would like the Government to pursue on their collective behalves. We have a wonderful, compassionate and REAL POTUS and FLOTUS in the White House and I for one am immensely thankful.

  55. bigetexansfan
    Call turncoat @BenNelson (202) 224-6551 and traitor @JonTester (202) 224-2644 let’em know they’ll soon join the 14 million+ unemployed!

  56. rikyrah says:

    Having Rendered Congress Impotent, Republicans Empower Their Corrupt Supreme Court

    Politicians are not the most revered people when it comes to being honest and forthright in their statements to promote a particular agenda. Republicans have become synonymous with lying regardless that data or their own statements are easily checked for veracity, and the media is just as guilty of promoting GOP talking points they know are fallacious, and it includes purposely omitting stories and facts that would expose the liars. During the healthcare reform debate, Republicans and their minions in the teabagger movement spent considerable time and energy spreading lies and misinformation to frighten ignorant Americans into opposing the health law and they have not let up a year-and-a-half after the law was signed by President Obama.

    Republicans have used every possible means to keep the Affordable Health Act from being realized, and because their attempts to repeal the law failed, they have turned to blocking funding necessary to implement the law. In a comment on Sunday in the McClatchy Tribune, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) used the typical Republican tactic of lying to persuade readers that it is ridiculous to fund the law because it may be overturned by the Supreme Court. Lying comes so easy for Republicans that Hutchison passionately used the same tired canards that the health law is an imposition on the American people, wastes taxpayer dollars, kills jobs, is fiscally irresponsible, and nothing more than government regulatory overreach. The problem for Hutchison though, is that her assertions are not true; the bigger issue is that Republicans are using the Supreme Court challenge to set a precedent for all legislation in America.

    Republicans claim that all legislation Democrats passed in the past two-and-a-half years will kill jobs and Hutchison continues the lie by saying the law is “the greatest threat to job creation and our future fiscal sustainability.” The health law will mean that 30-40 million Americans without health care insurance will have access to affordable coverage and it means that doctors, nurses, and hospitals will have to meet the demand by hiring and adding millions of healthcare workers to keep up with demand. Since the law was passed,44,000 new healthcare jobs were created thus far and the law does not fully go into effect until 2014. The demand will only increase as more Americans begin taking advantage of the law’s benefits and estimates are that up to 400,000 jobs a year will be created. Hutchison is a liar.

    Hutchison cited a study by a consulting firm that estimates one in three businesses will drop employee health insurance forcing employees to find “government-approved” insurance, but it has no relation to job losses; only that employees will utilize the health exchanges. The employees will still need doctors, nurses, clinics, and hospitals that must hire healthcare professionals to serve new policy holders. Besides, the study is an estimate and not hard data

    The real issue is not necessarily whether or not the health law kills job creation because it does not. The issue now and in the future is how Republicans are withholding funding until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law. If Republicans prevail, the Congress is no longer necessary to pass laws and any legislation will go directly to the high court meaning that the Supreme Court becomes two branches of government. The Supreme Court is not mandated by the Constitution to pass legislation and make laws, but that is, in effect, what Republicans are saying.

    There are endless scenarios that could spell disaster if every law’s implementation is blocked until the High Court rules and it is not limited to legislation. If America is attacked by a foreign power and Congress declares war, a group of peace advocates could challenge the action in court to block activation of troops until the Supreme Court rules that Congress had the power to declare war. The health law was passed legally and for Republicans to refuse to fund the law means that no congressional action is safe. The Republicans’ actions are dangerously close to subverting the Constitution by intimating that no legally passed law is valid unless the Supreme Court gives its approval.

    Allowing the Supreme Court to pass or reject legislation before implementation is wrong regardless of the party in power or the make-up of the court. Republicans are counting on the conservative court to rule in their favor, and with criminals like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas doing the bidding of Koch Industries and the Heritage Foundation; the law will likely face an uphill battle from the start. Republicans still think they won the 2008 elections and cannot stand that Democrats won and passed the health law, financial and banking reforms, and have either tried to repeal the reforms or obstructed implementation to serve their corporate masters. Hutchison is not the first lying Republican to use faulty data and outright lies about the ACA, and she will not be the last.

    The health law was passed legally and will not kill jobs like Hutchison claims. It is not curious that every law Democrats passed in President Obama’s first two years has faced repeal efforts or threats of defunding. Republicans have claimed that everything President Obama supports kills jobs and they are still spreading the lie that the stimulus did not create one job when the CBO and every economist claims it created between 3 and 3.3 million jobs. Americans should be getting used to the perpetual lying by Republicans, but there are plenty of ignoramuses who believe everything the GOP says

  57. Ametia says:

    Shotgun, shoot him for he run now. Do the jerk baby; do the jerk now! Loving the dance series, SG2. thank you. :-)

  58. Obama’s Brief Push For The ‘American Jobs Act’ is a Preview of What’s To Come in ’12 Campaign

  59. rikyrah says:

    GOP to Unemployed: Drop Dead
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 10:03:38 PM EST

    Talking to White House aides today, I basically knew that the president was going to announce the following strategy using the following rhetoric. What I didn’t know was whether he’d be able to say a majority of senators voted for it. Well, he got that done. The roll call isn’t available online because they held it open so Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire can get back to Washington to vote. The final tally on the cloture vote (according to the Associated Press) will probably be 51-48. Apparently, Jon Tester of Montana (who the progressive blogosphere worked hard to elect) and Ben Nelson voted against cloture. In any case, here’s the president:

    Statement by the President on the Senate Vote on the American Jobs Act
    Tonight, a majority of United States Senators voted to advance the American Jobs Act. But even though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill. Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight. Independent economists have said that the American Jobs Act would grow the economy and lead to nearly two million jobs, which is why the majority of the American people support these bipartisan, common-sense proposals. And we will now work with Senator Reid to make sure that the individual proposals in this jobs bill get a vote as soon as possible.

    In the coming days, Members of Congress will have to take a stand on whether they believe we should put teachers, construction workers, police officers and firefighters back on the job. They’ll get a vote on whether they believe we should cut taxes for small business owners and middle-class Americans, or whether we should protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

    With each vote, Members of Congress can either explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs, or they can listen to the overwhelming majority of American people who are crying out for action. Because with so many Americans out of work and so many families struggling, we can’t take “no” for an answer. Ultimately, the American people won’t take “no” for an answer. It’s time for Congress to meet their responsibility, put their party politics aside and take action on jobs right now.

    The White House will now have the Senate take up parts of the bill in succession. A bill to help veteran’s find employment. A bill to put teachers back to work. A bill on school construction. A bill to extend unemployment insurance. A bill to extend the payroll tax cut. A bill to create an infrastructure bank. And so on.

    By stringing it out like this they hope to do three things. First, they hope to get some of these measures passed. Second, they want to highlight Republican obstruction. And, third, they want to keep the conversation on the fight for jobs. For those who are tempted to call it theater, it’s only theater if Republicans and lousy Democrats make it theater. And, frankly, what’s the alternative?

    You wanted a fight. Now you have one.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011
    A Bunch Of E-con Artists
    Posted by Zandar
    The only thing you need to know about last night’s economics themed GOP roundtable debate last night in New Hampshire was the number of outright falsehoods the Clown Car Crew spewed out in order to try to con Americans into supporting them as ripped into them. Mitt Romney can’t tell the truth about the economy:

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney repeated his talking point that the health care law in his state only affected 8 percent of the population — or just the uninsured — while the federal law “takes over health care for everyone.” But that’s wrong on several levels. Both laws affect everyone by requiring that all residents have insurance or pay a penalty; both also focus on helping the uninsured gain coverage. And, just like the federal plan, the Massachusetts law set up an exchange where individuals buying their own insurance can select from various private health plans. That affects more than just those who were uninsured when the law was passed.

    And neither can Rick Perry.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry took his job-creation boasting too far again, claiming that “while this country was losing two-and-a-half million jobs, Texas was creating 1 million jobs.” That’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. Texas has created a little more than 1 million jobs during Perry’s time in office, but the nation lost 1.4 million in that same time frame — not 2.5 million. To make the national picture look even worse, Perry goes back to January 2009. The nation has lost 2.4 million jobs since then, but Texas created only 95,600 jobs in that time period.

    There’s no way Michele Bachmann could ever tell the truth about the health care law:

    Bachmann falsely claimed that a Medicare advisory panel created by the federal health care law “will make all the major health care decisions for over 300 million Americans.” Hers is a new twist on a false Republican talking point that the Independent Payment Advisory Board will ration health care for seniors. The board is specifically barred from rationing care on page 490 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It’s true that the board will consist of 15 “political appointees,” as Bachmann said, and they will recommend ways to slow the growth of Medicare. But board members must be medical providers and other professionals with experience in health care finance, actuarial science, health care management and other related fields. And the board’s recommendations can be rejected by Congress, as we have explained before.

    And even “the sane one” Jon Huntsman couldn’t resist joining the rest of the pack in telling an absolute whopper about health care reform.

    Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman dredged up an old partisan exaggeration in claiming that the IRS was planning on hiring “19,500 new employees to administer that mandate” in the health care law. We knocked down this inflated claim in March 2010, when it was about 16,500 IRS employees. The truth is that the claim comes from a report by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee who made several false assumptions to come up with that number. Plus, the IRS’ primary role isn’t to “administer that mandate,” as Huntsman claims. It will mainly administer subsidies and tax credits. And so far, the IRS has requested 1,269 full-time equivalent employees, according to its fiscal year 2012 budget request, to help implement the law.

    The reality is on the most important issue facing our country, our stalled economy and how to restore jobs to fix it, Republicans can’t help but make up idiotic fairy tales and outright lies in order to try to con you into voting for them next year. They can’t help but lie, because that’s all they have. The truth is too painful.

  61. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 8:00 AM

    GOP kills jobs bill despite majority support

    By Steve Benen

    There were no doubts about the eventual outcome of the Senate fight over the American Jobs Act. Democrats would have needed at least seven Republicans who were willing to let members vote on the legislation, and the actual number was zero. The overall result was a foregone conclusion.

    What mattered, though, was the margin and the roll call. And last night, the White House and Democratic senators reached their target.

    President Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan foundered in the Senate on Tuesday night, as a unified Republican caucus and a pair of Democrats joined to deny the proposal the 60 votes needed to allow it to proceed to full consideration.

    Obama will now use Republican opposition as part of a campaign to paint the GOP as obstructionists blocking his efforts to improve the economy while offering no alternative to create jobs.

    After the vote, President Obama said in a statement, “Tonight, a majority of United States Senators voted to advance the American Jobs Act. But even though this bill contains the kind of proposals Republicans have supported in the past, their party obstructed the Senate from moving forward on this jobs bill.”

    That’s true, and it’s exactly the point the White House wanted to be able to make. Yesterday, there were reports that several members of the Senate Democratic caucus — Ben Nelson, Joe Manchin, Joe Lieberman, Jim Webb, Jeanne Shaheen, and Jon Tester — who would either vote with Republicans or fail to vote at all. The result would have been a political loss as well as a legislative one — Republicans would have been able to argue, accurately, that a majority of the Senate rejected the president’s jobs bill.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) deserves a lot of credit for making sure that didn’t happen. In the end, the American Jobs Act got 51 votes, and only two Dems — Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and Montana’s Jon Tester — sided with Republicans. (The official final tally was 50 to 49, but that’s only because Reid had to switch his vote for procedural reasons.)

    Ultimately, this became a fight over which side would be able to make its argument, and to that extent, Dems got what they wanted. For all the talk in the media about last night representing a tough “loss” for the White House, it would seem that’s not the most significant realization this morning.

    What matters most is that Senate Republicans, in the midst of a jobs crisis and intense public demand for congressional action, killed a credible jobs bill for no apparent reason. Most Americans support the American Jobs Act’s 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.

    And despite all of this, literally every Republican in the Senate — including the alleged “moderates” — not only rejected the popular jobs bill, they refused to even let the chamber vote on it at all. That should be the front-page story nationwide this morning.

    So, what’s next? The jobs fight will continue, and Dems already have a plan for the next phase. More on that later this morning.

  62. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011 8:45 AM

    Unable to break a glass jaw

    By Steve Benen

    Remember the stuff I said yesterday about the heated confrontations we could expect in the Republican debate in New Hampshire? Well, forget it. The GOP field is led by a weak frontrunner with a glass jaw, but his rivals are neither willing nor able to take an effective swing.

    Herman Cain vowed yesterday, “I’m going after Romney.” Rick Perry unveiled a very hard-hitting video on Monday, and seemed to realize the importance of being aggressive before it’s too late.

    And yet, Romney, whose good fortune is “starting to seem supernatural,” walked away unscathed. His Republican rivals are so awful, they make Romney look like the best debater since Cicero, not because he’s particularly extraordinary, but because the rest of the field is an articulate blob.

    Put it this way: if one had to pick one subject that dominated the debate last night, what would it be? Romney’s Obama-like health care law? Romney’s atrocious record on job creation? Romney’s integrity-free flip-flopping? No, it was Herman Cain’s deeply silly “9-9-9” tax plan. Romney not only lucked out with pathetic challengers, he also lucks out by the topics of conversation.

    And what of Rick Perry’s big comeback opportunity? The Texas governor conceded after the event, “Debates are not my strong suit.” That’s an understatement — his best moments came when he was able to say nothing for long stretches of time. A few days ago, Perry’s aides assured the political world he’d be better prepped, more relaxed, and better focused, but even his supporters should realize at this point that the guy just isn’t ready for prime-time.

    I trust everyone noticed this remarkable answer from the former frontrunner:

    We’re missing this so much. What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we’re going to have this policy or that policy. What we need to be focused on is how we get America working again. That’s where we need to be focused.”

    Oh, good. Perry wants to create jobs, but not through public policy. Let’s also not overlook this exchange:

    TUMULTY: Governor Perry, over the last 30 years, the income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans has grown by more than 300 percent. And yet, we have more people living in poverty in this country than at any time in the last 50 years. Is this acceptable? And what would you do to close that gap?

    PERRY: The reason we have that many people living in poverty is because we’ve got a president of the United States who’s a job killer. That’s what’s wrong with this country today.

    I see. So the class gap that started expanding in earnest while President Obama was in high school is, apparently, in Perry’s odd mind, entirely a new phenomenon.

    It’s probably a stretch to say Perry’s finished. He’s still the most viable non-Romney Republican, and he has plenty of money to run some pretty brutal attack ads. But if he doesn’t learn how to be a presidential candidate very quickly, the governor will soon face questions about why he even chose to run in the first place.

    As for the rest of the field, Jon Huntsman’s attempts at humor fell flat; Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann are stark raving mad; Ron Paul is Ron Paul; Rick Santorum is awfully whinny; and Herman Cain has a large enough personality to be rewarded with a Fox News show soon after dropping out.

    And as hard as it is to believe, it’s very like the Republican presidential nomination will go to a French-speaking Mormon vulture capitalist named Willard, who used to support abortion rights, gay rights, gun control, “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, and combating climate change, and who distanced himself from Reagan, attended Planned Parenthood fundraisers, and helped create the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act.

  63. rikyrah says:

    October 11, 2011
    The ‘Left’: from Revolution to SCHIP
    David Brooks observes the fractured and incoherent underpinnings of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which, in turn, demarcate its power:

    [The movement] may look radical, but its members’ ideas are less radical than those you might hear at your average Rotary Club. Its members may hate capitalism … but since the left no longer believes in the nationalization of industry, these “radicals” really have no systemic reforms to fall back on.

    True. Any real “left” was last seen dispersing in ideological confusion and internal conflict during the early 1970s, which, as bad (but not dumb) luck would have it, was also roughly the era of the New Right’s rising. The last Marxist, neo-Marxist or post-Marxist or something-or-other-Marxist whom I knew was a grad student, about 10 years ago, who was authentically caring about society’s decay, but also genuinely befuddled. He was both embarrassed by and proud of his peculiar political minority — his happy little band of radical organizers who never got organized beyond leaflet distribution. He was one of the brightest guys I’ve ever met, yet he was seduced and blinded by the resplendent power of pure thought.

    He would have disregarded as defeatism what most other leftist scholars, by the late 20th and early 21st centuries, had long-sufferingly concluded: Marxism was no more, expect for its intellectual squabbles about its nifty array of prefixes — and which of them could lay truest claim to updated originalism. The American “left,” in general, had been reduced from advocating fundamental, global revolution (OK, the Trotskyites, anyway) to essentially debating resistant change to … our healthcare system.

    “Nationalization of industry”? An organic shift in the means of production? Class consciousness and revolutionary spirit and all that highfalutin stuff? Fuhgetaboutit — just as one should when it comes to any mention of leftist “utopianism.” For that ideological mantle now properly belongs to the far right, notwithstanding that its idea of utopia is a foul, filthy, nihilistic thunderdome of self-survivalist anarchy.

    Hence I find my old-leftie self in agreement with Comrade Brooks:

    The most radical people today are the ones that look the most boring. It’s not about declaring war on some nefarious elite. It’s about changing behavior from top to bottom.

    The refashioned “boring” Barack Obama, who years ago ingested the same great politico-philosophical works that so many of us have, is also in greater agreement with Brooks than Brooks now believes (he calls the president a “small thinker”). But it’s tough at the top, and incrementalism — which, oddly enough, was once intrinsically Marxist — can be dispiriting. And Brooks has succumbed.

  64. Rick Perry Fumbles Revolutionary War Remarks Following Republican Debate

    Following Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry stumbled in making remarks on the Revolutionary War, Carrie Dann at NBC News reports.

    The GOP contender suggested that one of the “reasons we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown” in response to a question on the issue of states’ rights. NBC News points out that the conflict was waged in the 18th century.

    ABC News reports that Perry’s remarks came during a post-debate stop at a fraternity on the Dartmouth College campus, where the presidential forum was held.

    The Texas governor is not the first candidate vying for the Republican presidential nomination to fumble the facts when it comes to the Revolutionary War. In March of this year, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told a group of local New Hampshire Republicans, “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.” The first shots of the Revolutionary War; however, were fired in Massachusetts, not in the Granite State.

  65. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2011
    Yet another bad night for Perry
    The best line last night from the ineducable Rick Perry — he actually gets worse with practice — was:

    One of the reasons that I think Americans are so untrustworthy of what’s going on in Washington is …

    Or it could be they’re distrustful, or untrusting, of what’s going on, although it’s hard to disagree that American voters are, by and large, untrustworthy. Nonetheless, after eight recent years of another Texan’s butchery of basic syntax and elementary vocabulary, it’s even harder to be amused by such witlessness in high places.

    It’s demagogic amateur hours like that — Perry went on: “the fact of the matter is the issue is we need to have a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. (Applause.)” — that cause one to fondly recall the real masters of demagoguery.

    Take, for instance, Huey Long. A historian once noted that Long could step down from a train and deliver a stemwinder of a hayseed speech — dropping his “g’s” and throwing bundles of “ain’ts” and in general molesting the English language in every imaginable way — and then reboard the train and, privately to his advisers, pontificate with the flawless tongue of a Harvard lawyer.

    With Perry, one gets the feeling that his is no act.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Perry was an utter FAIL. “I O’OINT KNOW NOTHING BUT DEBATIN'”

      Men like Perry think they can get a free pass because they’re 1. White 2. male.

      BYE, BOY!

  66. rikyrah says:

    Bloomberg Debate Reax


    The economy is Romney’s bailiwick and he delivered. It is becoming increasingly clear that he operates at a higher level than the other candidates. Perry is toast. If he’s not actually dumb as a stump, he doesn’t know how to show it. Herman Cain continues to come on strong as the non-Mormon conservative alternative. Bachmann and Huntsman both sounded smooth, assured, and smart, but they no longer matter. Ron Paul continues to dominate the Ron Paul vote.

    Erick Erickson:

    Mitt Romney won the debate. No one knocked him off his game. He really is that good of a debater. Herman Cain proved himself a bit of an unstable number two. He is starting to get the tough questions on his 999 plan and his responses sound like they were crafted in the land of unicorns and rainbows …

    David Kurtz:

    The average low-information voter isn’t going to be exposed to any account of this debate that includes this necessary corrective: The prescription for economic recovery offered by the Republican presidential field is completely divorced from reality.

    John Hinderaker:

    Rick Perry, during the half of the debate that I saw, bordered on invisible. I don’t know whether the pundits who say this was make or break for Perry are right, but it certainly was not a strong night for him. One thing that strikes me as odd is how little mileage Perry gets out of his job creation record in Texas. He mentioned it a time or two, but, as in prior debates, he didn’t use it effectively as the foundation of his claim to be the strongest candidate.


    Why did Romney use his question on Bachmann? Well, there are ominous signs that she may not last until the Iowa caucuses. If she drops out, it’s easier for someone like Cain to actually win the state; she stays in, and Romney can eke something.

    Taegan Goddard:

    Mitt Romney had another good debate performance and none of his rivals really laid a glove on him. His experience really shows. He plays the game on an entirely different level. In fact, his biggest rival might himself. When he rambles answers to questions, he comes off looking slick and untrustworthy.

    Kathy Kiely:

    Perry says blame Obama for income disparities but non partisan analysis says the gap between the haves and have-nots has been widening since 1979, when Barack Obama was 18 years old.

    Jim Antle III:

    Mitt Romney won by not losing. He has regained his frontrunner status and nobody really emerged from the pack to challenge it. But can he do what he failed to do last time: run the table in the early states? It’s to his advantage to secure the nomination before the field winnows to just him and a popular candidate to his right.


    Is Romney so much better than everyone else because he has made a serious run before? (On the other hand, so have Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, etc). I don’t know, but it’s a huge gap.

    • Ametia says:

      The Moaning Joke crew were really trying to prop up Romney this morning. Stretching out and spinning nonsense to make him appearlike a winner who can beat PBO.

      The GOP will have to steal the election in 2012, because ain’t no way in HELL any one of these clowns are smarter, savvier, compassionate, knowledgable, and more strategic and has more experience presiding over our country than Barack Hussein Obama.

  67. The Five Take Home Lessons From The New Hampshire Economics Debate

    Eight presidential candidates fighting for the Republican nomination met on stage in New Hampshire for a Republican presidential debate focused almost entirely on the number one issue in the country, the economy.

    Heading in, there were several key dynamics observers were looking for. Would Rick Perry bounce back from his lackluster (or even disastrous) debate performances so far? How would Herman Cain fare as a top-tier candidate? Would Mitt Romney take a swing at Cain?

    Here are some of the answers, and the lessons we learned in the New Hampshire debate.

    1. Herman Cain’s honeymoon is over

    It’s easy to like Herman Cain when he’s a charismatic third-tier candidate. But now that he’s surging to leads in multiple state polls and climbing the national rankings as well, the free ride is over. Ron Paul ripped him for his time with the Kansas City Federal Reserve, his opposition to auditing the Fed, and for praising former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan. Rick Santorum said Cain’s “9-9-9” plan would “give the federal government, Nancy Pelosi, a new pipeline, a 9 percent sales tax for consumers to get hammered by the federal government.” And even before the debate, Democrats finally began to notice Cain’s existence and put out some attacks of their own. Up to this point, Cain’s biggest strength has been that the more voters see of him, the more they like him. Will this stay true after his rivals pile on?

    2. Rick Perry needs more practice

    Despite pre-debate promises from Team Perry that their candidate would be well-rested and ready to rock, Perry just didn’t deliver Tuesday. His answers were still confusing jumbles and he didn’t seem to have a lot of energy near the end. This was not the debate that proved Perry can debate; it was the debate that proved he still can’t.

    3. Mitt Romney’s rooting for Michele Bachmann

    When it came time for the candidates to ask each other a question near the middle of the debate, Romney ignored the two men closest to him in the polls (Cain and Perry) and lobbed a slow-pitch softball right at Bachmann. “What do you do to help the American people get back to work, be able to make ends meet?” he asked. Bachmann launched into her stump speech, and Romney gave a bump to a candidate he’d like to see split the Perry vote in Iowa.

    4. TARP is back!

    Remember TARP, the bailout plan that is the thing that goes bump in the night for tea partiers? Turns out the two men at the top of the GOP field (Romney and Cain) were for it. Awkward! Under questioning from debate moderator Charlie Rose, Cain and Romney had the unenviable job of laying out their reasoning for publicly backing the program that is pure poison to a large part of their base. Both men answered with a variation of “I supported the theory, but hated how it was put into practice.” It’s not clear if that answer will satisfy those who think any support for a bailout makes you a certified RINO.

    5. Newt Gingrich will say anything for attention

    Newt Gingrich’s campaign has been clinging for life ever since he called Paul Ryan’s budget “right wing social engineering,” but he’s finally found a faint pulse thanks to his tactic of belligerently condemning his debate hosts. On Tuesday, he turned his guns on his former colleagues in Congress, however, with an outrageous answer in which he called for the imprisonment of Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and ex-Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT). His remarks prompted Frank to go on a tirade of his own slamming the “self-styled intellectual leader of the free world” for his “very odd” comments.

  68. rikyrah says:

    Math and science education key to more black astronauts
    By Tamy Cozier

    1:09 PM on 10/11/2011

    Forty-three years ago today on October 11, the Apollo 7 spacecraft left earth. Prior to this flight and subsequent trips thereafter, there was no such thing as an African-American astronaut. It was not until 1979 that an African-American, Guion “Guy” Bluford, Jr., donned astronaut overalls. Three-years later, he became the first black man in space.

    Fast-forward to 2011, there have only been 19 black astronauts out of 330 in NASA’s 53 year-long history. The agency is currently gearing up to recruit for its elite astronaut corp. But with students of color lagging significantly behind in scientific disciplines due to the burgeoning completion gap at undergraduate and post-secondary levels, will there be enough people of color to take on the role of space explorer?

    While students of color lag in scientific disciplines, the slow down is not exclusively confined to this group. In general, American students are underperforming in math and science disciplines when compared on a worldwide scale. To encourage students, especially children of color, to excel in math and science, a number of new initiatives have been launched, including President Barack Obama’s 2009 “Educate to Innovate” campaign.

    “I believe that President Obama recognizes what America needs to do to enhance its education efforts,” said Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. referring to the president’s $260 million infusion of public and private funds toward catapulting American students to the top in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

    Dr. Harris, Jr. has gotten in on the action too. The former astronaut and the first African-American to walk in space started an educational outreach project via his Harris Foundation and in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation called the dream tour. The goal is to encourage middle school students to pursue STEM disciplines at the college level.

    “So far, we’ve been to 36 cities, about 182 schools and engaged about 50,000 students,” said Dr. Harris, Jr. since the program began in 2008.

    Earlier in the month, 4,500 middle school students from across New York City participated in the tour. Up next on the schedule will be stops in Washington D.C and Texas. Dr. Harris, Jr. has also taken the dream tour internationally. In September, he made stops in Angola, Nigeria and South Africa.

    In addition to the dream tour, Dr. Harris, Jr. also hosts a summer science camp for college students of all races. Since 2007, more than 6,400 students have participated from colleges across the country, including students from the University of Southern California and Howard University.

    Do initiatives like these signal there is hope for students of color in math and science

  69. rikyrah says:

    Two Dems Vote With GOP To Kill Obama Jobs Package In Senate

    Senate Democrats lost a procedural hurdle on President Obama’s jobs bill Thursday night, scuttling any progress on passage of the entire package.

    As of early evening, Senate Democrats were still holding the vote open for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who had a scheduling conflict and was still in flight when the vote began. With Shaheen’s yes vote, Senate Democrats could show a majority of support, 51 votes, for the President’s $447m plan to spur economic growth.

    As expected though, no Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of shutting down a GOP filibuster of the bill (Democrats would have needed at least seven defecting GOPers to reach the 60-vote threshold to shut down debate and move for a vote on the bill), essentially stopping the full jobs package dead in its tracks.

    “We knew they were going to block the bill,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said after the most of the votes were taken, “but… this will be an ongoing fight.”

    The largely symbolic vote demonstrated the deep GOP opposition to the bill, but all day political observers expected it to put Democratic divisions over the President’s approach to bolstering the economy into sharp relief as well. In the end, two Democratic senators, Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Jon Tester (D-MT) voted with Republicans to continue the filibuster.

    “The things I support in this bill are outweighed by the things I can’t support,” Tester told reporters afterward.

    “It’s less about what the spending’s about,” Nelson said. “[The] point is, it’s raising taxes to engage in more spending in Washington. That’s not what people back home want. They want to see the cuts, and we’re not seeing any cuts.”

    Rep. Joe Manchin (D-WV) earlier had signaled he might vote against the cloture vote, but in the end he voted with Democrats, although he said he still doesn’t support the underlying bill. Thursday afternoon Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) said he was of the same mind, to vote in favor of the procedural vote but against the bill itself because he opposed the plans to pay for it with tax increases on the wealthy instead of an across-the-board increase on capital gains and other reforms to the tax code.

    Early in the day, White House officials were lowering expectations and rejecting the notion — even among senior Democrats — that the President’s jobs bill needs to get unanimous Democratic support or face serious questions about its viability.

    “The test is not unanimous support among Democrats,” a senior White House official told reporters Tuesday morning, noting that rarely does the entire Democratic caucus vote in lockstep on any bill.

    The focus, the official said, should be on Republicans’ unanimous opposition to the jobs bill — even though they have failed to present an alternative that would create jobs immediately.

    “They’re a party in unanimity — voting against things that in normal times” would be considered popular and bipartisan such as extending the payroll tax relief and rebuilding aging roads and bridges, the official said.

    To ramp up the pressure on Republicans, the White House is already working with the Senate Democratic leaders to break the jobs package into component parts and hold future votes on pieces of the plan, such as the payroll tax relief, infrastructure spending and tax incentives for hiring veterans, all of which have strong bipartisan support, the official added.

  70. rikyrah says:

    The White House Blog
    Aviation Entrepreneur Says American Jobs Act Is “Critically Important” to Small Firms
    Posted by Ari Matusiak on October 11, 2011 at 09:00 PM EDT

    Jamail Larkins wants Congress to pass the American Jobs Act so he can reduce his payroll expenses and put more people to work. “The Jobs Act is critically important to small firms like mine. One of our biggest expenses is payroll, and the ability to reduce our payroll taxes will allow us to hire more people by stretching our limited capital.”

    Larkins, 27, is the President and CEO of Ascension Aircraft, an airplane sales and leasing company in Augusta, Georgia that he founded in 2006. This entrepreneur’s love of flying began the first time he piloted a plane — at the age of twelve. He continued taking lessons, but his decision to volunteer to wash planes at his local airport helped him establish relationships with pilots and more quickly gain confidence in his flying abilities. Eventually Larkins petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to allow him to fly solo before his 16th birthday. Though his exemption was denied, he was undeterred and traveled to Canada, where the minimum age to fly solo was fourteen. That year, Larkins became one of the youngest American pilots to solo a powered aircraft in Canada. “I was fortunate that I discovered my calling in life at a young age. Flying a small aircraft is a very unique experience. It’s challenging, it’s exciting, always changing, and it allows you to see the world from a completely different perspective.”

    To help finance his expensive hobby, Larkins became a distributor for a company that sells flight training products when he was just fifteen. Encouraged by increased sales, he decided to open his first business, an aviation consulting firm called Larkins Enterprises, while earning a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2004, Larkins decided to expand his business into an aircraft sales and leasing company. Using his business savvy and love for flying, Larkins quickly grew Ascension Aircraft into a multimillion dollar enterprise. Under his leadership, Ascension’s profits continued to increase throughout the economic crisis, prompting Inc. Magazine to include Larkins on its 30 Under 30 list in 2009.

    Larkins’ advice to other entrepreneurs is to take advantage of every available resource and learn from the lessons of other small business owners. And he doubts that he would have been able to turn his favorite hobby into a multi-million dollar business without being focused and pro-active. “Every morning, I wake up and spend a few minutes reviewing my dreams in life, and I try my best to ensure that I accomplish some goal, of any size. Discovering what you’re passionate about, ensuring you’re knowledgeable about the market, and acting on your beliefs without wavering is important to achieving any life dream.”

  71. rikyrah says:

    Video- Michele Bachmann Blasts Herman Cain’s ‘Devil’ 9-9-9 Plan At Republican Debate
    Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 6:40 pm by Paddy

    And. She. Falls. Flat. On. Her. Face. YEAH!!!!

      • October 12, 2011 9:30 AM

        A conspiracy only Bachmann could create

        As tempting as it is to simply ignore Michele Bachmann’s nonsense, there was one gem from last night’s debate that I really enjoyed.

        “I was in the White House with President Obama this summer. We asked him not once but three times: President Obama, what is your plan to save Medicare? And the president mumbled and he didn’t give an answer the first time, the second time. And the third time the president said something very interesting, Karen. He said, ‘Obamacare.’

        “I think that senior citizens across the country have no idea that President Obama plans for Medicare to collapse, and instead everyone will be pushed into ‘Obamacare.’”

        What’s amusing about this is how truly ridiculous Bachmann’s silly conspiracy theory — and imaginary exchange with the president — really is.

      • Ametia says:

        BWA HA HA HA HA Marcus, DARLING……………..

  72. rikyrah says:

    Quote of the Day- Barney Frank responds to Gingrichs’ “Jail Barney Frank” jab
    Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 6:10 pm by Paddy

    Hmm, Barney responds to the above jab by Newtie. Ahem.

    In an interview just now with TPM, Barney Frank responded to Newt’s threat to jail him for the financial crisis: “This self-styled intellectual leader of the free world struggling to stay ahead of Michele Bachmann in the polls is unsettling him so he talks even sillier than he sometimes does.”

    • “This self-styled intellectual leader of the free world struggling to stay ahead of Michele Bachmann in the polls is unsettling him so he talks even sillier than he sometimes does.”


  73. NBCPolitics

    Video: Biden: GOP has ‘no intention’ to pass anything

  74. Ametia says:

    MAJOR FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Ametia says:

    Bye GIRL!

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