Thursday 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,mississippi 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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66 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Interesting Chris Mattherws is defending Mormonism In his Let me finish segment , because Catholisism is under attack by some Evangelicals. Wonder if he’s do the same for an Islamic presidential candidate, you know, if someone like Keith Ellison were to run… just asking.

  2. rikyrah says:

    read over at the fashion Mrs. O blog that FLOTUS is wearing Doo-Ri Chung, a Korean-American designer.

  3. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his wife Kim Yoon-Ok at the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. , 13, 2011, prior to a State Dinner.

  4. Ametia says:

    DANG FLOTUS is SMOKIN HAWT in that magenta gown. POTUS you clean up nicely too!

  5. rikyrah says:

    the arrivals at the White House for the State Dinner are on C-SPAN2 right now.

  6. rikyrah says:

    I know I say this all the time, but it still cracks me up: Rev. Al had a piece today on Rush Limbaugh calling Mittens NOT a conservative. Rev. Al does his piece, and then ends it, with just a hint of mocking in his tone:

    Well, WILLARD, you have some explaining to do…to the Tea Party.

    I LOVE it when Rev. Al calls him Willard.


  7. Dig into the White House state dinner menu

    First course: Butternut squash bisque with honey and scallions

    Second course: Early Fall Harvest salad with red and green lettuces wrapped in daikon sheets and served with masago rice pearl crispies and sesame vinaigrette

    Main course: Texas Wagyu beef rib eye steaks with fresh turnip greens and squash

    Dessert: Classic chocolate cake layered with Korean and American pears

  8. The table settings for a State Dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama for South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak are shown during a press preview in the East Room of the White House in Washington, October 13, 2011.

    • The place card of U.S. Presient Barack Obama is shown during a press preview of the table settings for the State Dinner hosted by Obama for South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak at the White House in Washington, October 13, 2011.

  9. The place card for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is shown at the head table before a State Dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama for Lee in the East Room of the White House in Washington, October 13, 2011.

  10. The place settings for US President Barack Obama (C) and South Korea’s President Lee Myung-Bak and his wife Kim Yoon-Ok are seen during a preview of the state dinner in their honor on October 13, 2011 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

  11. In the Kitchen before the Korean State Dinner

  12. President Obama toast at State Dinner in Honor of President Lee of the Republic of Korea

    October 13, 2011 8:35 PM EDT

  13. President Obama and President Lee Press Availability

  14. Remarks at the State Lunch in Honor of President Lee Myung-bak and First Lady Kim Yoon-ok

  15. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 1:20 PM

    When Reuters echoes Rush on Soros

    By Steve Benen

    As part of a larger far-right condemnation of the Occupy Wall Street protests, Rush Limbaugh told listeners last week, “George Soros money is behind this.” It was the latest in a series of eye-rolling moments — the right uses Soros as a boogeyman for everything that upsets them, so it stands to reason Limbaugh would imagine some grand conspiracy involving the financier.

    But while it’s easy to laugh off absurdities on right-wing radio, it’s startling when major news organizations echo the same arguments. Reuters, generally a legitimate news outlet, ran this piece today on the demonstrations

    Anti-Wall Street protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer, but the group that started it all may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world’s richest men.

    There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda.

    Soros and the protesters deny any connection. But Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street.

    I read this trying to be open-minded. Reuters found “links” that somehow connect Soros to the protests? Fine, I’m always willing to consider evidence in good faith.

    So, here’s what Reuters came up with: Soros heads the Open Society Foundation; the foundation has given financial support to the Tides Center; the Tides Center has provided financial support to many non-profit organizations; one of those non-profit organizations that received a rather modest sum is a Canadian group called Adbusters; and Adbusters has helped organize OWS protests.

    Ergo, Soros is “linked,” and it makes sense for Reuters to suggest the financier might be “behind the Wall St. protests.”

    If you’re inclined to think Glenn Beck’s chalkboard offers reliable, credible information, maybe this Reuters piece makes sense. If you’re well-grounded, the Reuters piece appears to be nuts.

    The same article, by the way, tries to bolster its observation by telling readers that Soros and the protesters “share some ideological ground.” Yes, as do most Americans, according to the latest polls.

  16. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 2:20 PM

    It’s not just Buffett

    By Steve Benen

    The whole point behind the White House’s “Buffett Rule” push is to correct a flaw in the tax system that’s fundamentally unfair: thanks to various loopholes and breaks, very wealthy Americans can end up paying a lower tax rate than working families. It’s a problem President Reagan considered “crazy,” and President Obama wants to fix.

    The right is eager to leave the discrepancy alone, but conservatives haven’t yet come up with a coherent explanation to oppose tax fairness, and various defenses were easily debunked. In case conservatives are tempted to argue, though, that this is a fluke in the tax code affecting almost no one, it’s worth appreciating how common the problem really is

    A quarter of millionaires in the United States pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than many middle-class families, according to a new congressional analysis that offers fresh support for President Obama’s push to raise taxes on the nation’s wealthiest households.

    The report, by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, found that when all federal taxes are taken into account — including those on wages, investment income and corporate profits — some households earning more than $1 million a year paid as little as 24 percent of their income to the Internal Revenue Service in 2006.

    That’s substantially less than the share paid by many families making less than $100,000 a year that faced a top effective tax rate exceeding 26.5 percent, the report said.

    All told, 94,500 millionaires paid a smaller share of their income in taxes than 10 million households with moderate incomes, the report found.

    This is exactly what Democrats have been talking about for quite a while.

    Greg Sargent has the CRS report, and noted that it also goes a long way in knocking down another common Republican argument about small businesses. Greg highlighted this excerpt: “The results of this analysis show that the current U.S. tax system violates the Buffett rule in that a large proportion of millionaires pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than a significant proportion of moderate-income taxpayers…. Research suggests that these reforms are unlikely to affect many small businesses or to deter saving and investment.”

    For the record, Mitt Romney benefits from this very problem — Time reported that the GOP candidate’s investment income “allows him to pay a lower percentage of his money to the federal government each year than many middle-class wage earners” — and opposes tax-fairness proposals.

  17. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 12:40 PM

    An unintentionally amusing take from Wall Street

    By Steve Benen

    David Moore is the CEO of Wall Street holdings company, and he has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today reflecting on a recent run-in with a panhandler. As best as I can tell, the op-ed is not a parody.

    As Moore explains it, he was walking down New York’s 55th Street near Park Avenue last week, when a man on the street said, “Here are a bunch of Wall Street guys. Give me some money.” Moore says he handed the man a dollar and walked away. “A dollar?” the panhandler shouted. “You Wall Street fat cats! This is what the problem is with this country. Take your damn dollar.”

    Apparently, this is somehow President Obama’s fault.

    Like most people I know, I think President Obama’s tax increases on the wealthy would make sense if we believed he was sincere about — and could be successful at — reforming Washington’s overspending, out-of-control entitlements and regulation. Instead, his attacks on Wall Street bankers (“fat cats,” a phrase Mr. Obama now owns and was eloquently repeated by the panhandler on Friday night), Las Vegas, oil companies, jet manufacturers and “millionaires and billionaires” are inflaming both sides and placating no one. They seriously undermine the chances for reasonable compromise.

    The president’s incendiary message has now reached the streets. His complaints that rich people must “pay their fair share” have now goaded some of our society’s most unfortunate, including one who felt compelled to refuse money because it was not enough.

    Let’s unpack this, because it’s important to realize how misguided the op-ed really is.

    First, Moore suggests he could tolerate an increase in the historically-low tax rates for the wealthy if only the White House would also accept entitlement reforms and deregulation (deregulation of what, he didn’t say). In reality, President Obama offered congressional Republicans a “Grand Bargain” that — you guessed it — traded tax increases for entitlement reforms. GOP leaders refused. As for eliminating unnecessary and wasteful regulations, the White House has already acted on this front, without Congress.

    Second, the notion that criticism of “fat cats” constitutes “incendiary” rhetoric is deeply silly. The notion that the president now “owns” the oft-used phrase because Moore heard Obama say it once is ridiculous. The notion that a street beggar was inspired by the president to use the phrase, and turn down a charitable dollar, is just ludicrous on its face.

    And third, Moore would have us believe President Obama is a big meanie, hurting Wall Street’s feelings by recommending tax increases — a return to Clinton-era levels — for those who’ve been showered with wealth and shielded from consequences by a system already tilted to benefit those at the top. This, in Moore’s words, makes the president a “Great Divider,” targeting those put-upon rich people like no other president in Moore’s lifetime.

    If I tried to write a parody of a Wall Street executive needlessly feeling sorry for himself, I probably couldn’t have come up with anything quite this absurd.

    In 1985, Ronald Reagan complained that “some of the truly wealthy” were taking advantage of tax breaks that help them “avoid paying their fair share.” The then-president said it was possible for millionaires to pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than a bus driver. “That’s crazy,” Reagan said.

    Why Reagan so callously neglected the feelings of millionaires, deliberately divided the country along class lines, and sowed the seeds of “class warfare” and American division is a mystery.

    Maybe Moore can explain it to me.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Romney Runs To The Center
    Douthat thinks Romney is already running a general election campaign:

    Romney’s domestic policy agenda is particularly impressive, but his economic messaging — that the rich are “doing just fine,” and we should worry more about the middle class and the uninsured — is very well-suited to a successful center-right general election campaign. If his rivals looked stronger, he might need to play more to “the poor should pay higher taxes and the uninsured should take care of themselves” strand within conservatism. But as it stands, the field’s weakness is letting him get away with rhetoric and positioning that should make the Obama White House very, very nervous.

    Agreed. The perverse logic of such an awful field means Romney has more ideological room earlier than might otherwise have been expected.

    One caveat from today’s NBC poll from the GOP base. 67 percent want a nominee who shares their views, as opposed to only 31 percent who want the person likeliest to win against Obama. Hence what appears to be Romney’s ceiling – around 23 percent – becoming the anti-Romney floor for others. Any other man would be a little embarrassed by this tepid level of support. But Romney seems capable of surviving any such humiliation. There must be just a slight clench of the stomach where, as Jon Stewart put it, his feelings used to be.

  19. White House: Tea Party Is Wagging The GOP Dog

    White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday trained his fire on the Tea Party, blaming “one element” of the Republican party for Standard and Poor’s mid-August downgrade of U.S. credit worthiness.

    In response to a a question about why support for President Obama is slipping among Latino voters, Carney readily acknowledged that approval ratings for both Obama and Congress have fallen sharply this year as Americans have grown increasingly disgusted by the brinksmanship between the two parties, which was on vivid display during the mid-summer debt crisis.

    “I certainly don’t think Latino Americans are different than any other Americans who are frustrated with what they are seeing out there and frustrated with Washington and the kind of dysfunction we saw most vividly over the summer when one element of one party of the House of Representatives basically drove us to the brink and put at risk and raised the possibility that the United States of America would default on its obligations for the first time in its history,” Carney said, referring to the Tea Party.

    “That is a case of the tail wagging the dog and it’s certainly not helpful and productive to the American people,” he added.

  20. rikyrah says:

    This is the story of the Herman Cain
    by Dougerhead

    Jim Newell wonders about Cain:

    But there is at least one indicator that shows Cain might be able to hold on to it: His favorability rating in this PPP poll was 66%, the highest of all candidates. When Trump, Bachmann and Perry were at their peak, it was always by maximizing support in a relatively narrow band of the electorate.

    So maybe he’ll hold on, but we still don’t “get” this Cain thing. What good reason is there for such a rapid shift in support other than a Tea Party protest vote against Rick Perry at a straw poll and a couple of funny lines at the debates? It’s not like he’s changed in the last month. He’s still the guy with no political experience whatsoever, who admittedly and proudly doesn’t care about foreign policy and stresses a wacko economic plan that repeats the arbitrary number “9” three times while taxing the shit out of poor people to bring in lower revenue hauls.

    I think Republicans like Cain because they feel have some idea of what he is talking about. Anytime anyone says something slightly specific that wingers like, Cain will say “that’s in my 999 plan”. When things get boring during the debates, he just starts yelling about his 999 plan. And it’s a simple, retro, un-focus-grouped name.

    Cain doesn’t get drawn into discussions of HPV or QEII or Uz-beki-beki-stan-stan-stan or other stuff his audience doesn’t understand. He doesn’t fall asleep on stage like Gingrich and Perry. He’s the only guy avoiding both of these traps, and that’s why he’s winning in a lot of polls.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The Forty-Seven Percent Solution
    by Zandar

    The newest iteration of the GOP Grand Hypocrisy is declaring that taxes are too high on the one percent, and to declare war and insist that more taxes are needed on the 47% of Americans who didn’t need to pay income tax in 2009 while of course yelling TEA MEANS TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. The resolution of reality means Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class. TPM’s Benjy Sarlin explains:

    Now the 47% number only tells part of the story: most of those “non-payers” pay payroll taxes, gas taxes, state and local taxes, etc. And in an ironic twist, the phenomenon is almost entirely a result of Republicans’ own enthusiasm for tax cuts. In the 1990s, the GOP majority demanded that any programs aimed at helping poor and middle-income households be structured as refundable tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, rather than as direct payments like welfare. President Bush added to the trend by lowering marginal rates across the board. Then Obama structured large chunks of the stimulus as tax breaks in order to garner bipartisan support. The non-payer rate, which had hovered around 20% – 25% since the 1950s, shot over 30% in 2002 and never looked back. And because the tax credits are refundable, many taxpayers aren’t just paying nothing, they’re actually gaining a net positive on their income tax.

    But now that Obama is playing hardball on raising revenue, Republicans are rethinking the idea.

    “It’s Republican class warfare,” former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett told TPM. “The Democrats say ‘Oh, the millionaires, we need to tax them’ and so they respond in kind.”

    Bartlett’s not opposed to the idea of a broader tax code. But the problem is there’s no obvious way to get there without violating other Republican sacred cows on taxes or running into political territory that few politicians dare to tread.

    The first issue is that any Republican proposal can’t raise revenue overall — a principle that’s only become more ironclad in the Tea Party era. The obvious solution then is to raise taxes on the middle class but give the money back to the rich and that’s exactly what two of the Republican presidential candidates have proposed. Jon Huntsman would eliminate all tax breaks without exception and use the money to lower income marginal rates — the net effect of which would be a middle class tax hike.

    Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would do the same, reducing overall revenues by hundreds of billions while raising taxes on a vast majority of Americans, and lowering them substantially on the rich…and then of course cutting social spending. The reality is that Republicans view the middle class as immoral parasites on society, and want the middle class to share that view in the vain hope that by supporting the GOP’s rise to total power, they in turn will spare their supporters.

    Nothing of course could be further from the truth. But as long as Republicans are able to convince Americans to vote for them because they believe “Well, the Republicans won’t target me as a parasite, it’s all those other guys who are the problem” then they’ll discover too late what the GOP truly intends to do.

    And if this is the best the GOP can do against the 99% movement, they’re in deep trouble.


    President Obama to Fox’s Ed Henry: ‘I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney’

    ED HENRY (FOX): President Obama, I wanted to get your first reaction to the Iranian terror plot. Your Secretary of State called it a dangerous escalation. What specific steps will you take to hold Iran accountable, especially when Mitt Romney charged last week, “If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your president. You have that president today.”

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Mitt Romney.

    President Obama went on to address the terror plot at length, but immediately after the press conference, Ed Henry and Fox anchor Megyn Kelly launched into a lengthy discussion about why Obama didn’t respond to the Romney quote. They seemed to be completely at a loss to understand why President Obama mocked Henry’s idiotic question instead of getting into a tit-for-tat with Roger Ailes’ favorite candidate.

    Well, in case they still haven’t figured it out, here’s the answer: Barack Obama is President of the United States of America. Mitt Romney is the second-place candidate for the Republican nomination. And especially when he’s standing next to the President of South Korea, President Obama has better things to do than deal with gnats like that.


  23. rikyrah says:

    Herman Cain, Frontrunner

    Cain now leads in two polls and he’s within spitting distance of Romney in the poll of polls (above). James Joyner isn’t ready to take Cain seriously:

    No major party in modern American history has nominated someone whose resume doesn’t include previous stints as President, Vice President, US Senator, Governor, or general for the presidency. I don’t expect Cain to break that streak. But it’s probably a little early to consider this race in the bag for Romney quite yet.

    Allahpundit takes stock:

    Perry’s lost 22 points since the last poll — and not a single one went to Romney. That’s how reluctant base voters are to back him over some other conservative in the field. The good news for Romney is that he still has an electability argument against Perry. His favorables are 27/29 overall and he trails Obama by just two points head-to-head. Perry’s favorables are 19/36(!) and O leads him by an even dozen, 51/39, in a hypothetical match-up; Perry also trailed Obama by double digits in Rasmussen’s latest poll released this morning. (Cain’s favorables are 24/18 but, being mostly unknown, he trails Obama 49/38.)

    Two things: how hilarious is it that after the Obamacare summer, the Tea Party Revolution, the proposed abolition of Medicare as an entitlement, and the various Palin, Bachmann, Cain, Trump circuses … the GOP looks as if it’s going to nominate … Mitt Romney, almost a definition of what the Tea Party claim to oppose, by default?

    Second, what does it say about a party that its most competitive nominee is basically tied with the president, while unemployment remains over 9 percent? It says it’s much weaker right now than it wants you to believe.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Why Obama has no intention of giving up on the American Jobs Act

    The Republican party wants to kill jobs. They showed that again in yesterday’s Senate vote when Republican senators voted unanimously to prevent the American Jobs Act from being even debated. Every last Republican who voted, voted to kill the measure. Of course, they were helped along by Democrats Tester (MT) and Nelson (NE).

    But the president is not done. He is just getting started. This is the president, speaking in Pittsburgh, right before the Senate vote, that everyone knew the Republicans would be blocking.

    Did you watch it? This is not a president weary of the outcome. This is a president confident in his plan, fed up with Congressional roadblocks, and reaching out to the American people. If he has to whip Congress into shape to create jobs for the American people, he will. If they won’t, he will make the next election a referendum on the Republican attack on our economy.

    The president has reason to be confident. A while back, I laid out how the president has systematically and methodically broken down Republican talking points and won the messaging war, specifically convincing the American people that not all tax-raisers are equal and that raising taxes on the rich and multinational corporations is in fact a good idea. Those feelings among the American people continue to run strong, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released today:

    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.

    What’s more, 64 percent of respondents agree with the statement that it is a “good idea” to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, because they should pay their fair share and can afford to pay more to help fund programs and government operations.
    Two-to-one. That’s the margin by which Americans are united behind the president’s ideas to create jobs – and specifically, to the progressive economic policies. While in last night’s debate, Republican candidates did their best to groan and moan and whine that increasing taxes on the rich is a bad idea and we should instead abandon our social compacts, they are demonstrably fighting for the votes of the 30 percent. President Obama and his team has only turned up the heat on the Republican members of Congress, forcing them to choose between a political gamble to intentionally undermine the economy in the hopes that it would hurt the president in 2012 and actually doing something about jobs now.

    So what is it that is keeping the entire country from cracking a proverbial public pressure whip on Congress? Well, thanks to our corporate press and sensationalized media, the public remains uninformed about the American Jobs Act. Let’s go back to the NBC/WSJ poll for just one second and take look at the paragraph preceding the ones talking about the broad based support of the president’s bill when the people are given the specifics.

    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.
    Without specifics, a plurality of Americans are unsure about the bill, even if support edges out opposition. Given the specifics, support more than doubles. What does that indicate? It indicates that people do not know enough about the jobs bill. They don’t know the specifics and are caught in the smoke and mirrors of the media and the Republican lie campaign.

    This is why the president continues to go around the country and push for the bill. If the media won’t do its job and educate the American people, the president will. This is not a case where he has to convince policymakers to vote for the bill. Members of Congress know what’s in it, and whether they support it, and why or why not (note, the why not part mostly consists of sticking it to the President politically). There is no tweaks that can be made in the bill to get policymakers who are opposed on board. The remaining force? Popular pressure. To break down the do-nothing Republicans by opening a can of whoop-ass from the people who hear the president’s message.

    And as Eclectablog pointed out yesterday, as the president continues his campaign for the American Jobs Act, not only is the plan itself gaining support – perhaps too much for Congress to stay silent much longer – the president’s favorability and approval ratings are also going up, while his negatives are falling. So not only are the Republicans losing the contest on policy (which they almost always do), they are also losing on their political goal (oops). Barack Obama is making them eat their own dogfood, and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it. See it again and weep, GOP:

  25. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 11:25 AM

    Occupy Wall Street easily out-polls Tea Partiers

    Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen Democratic leaders make a more concerted effort to show support for the Occupy Wall Street protests, while also tying Republicans to the Tea Party. It’s pretty clear what’s driving the strategy: one burgeoning movement is vastly more popular than the other.

    This will very likely come as a surprise to the political establishment, which mocks OWS activists and shows undue respect to Tea Partiers. (In the case of CNN, this includes partnering with a Tea Party political action committee.) And yet, the attitudes of the political mainstream are rather one sided.

    A new Time magazine poll asked respondents for their opinion of “the Tea Party movement.” Just 27% had a favorable opinion. Then the poll asked about OWS.

    “[I]n the past few days, a group of protestors has been gathering on Wall Street in New York City and some other cities to protest policies which they say favor the rich, the government’s bank bailout, and the influence of money in our political system. Is your opinion of these protests very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, very unfavorable, or don’t you know enough about the protests to have an opinion?”

    A combined 54% had a favorable impression — exactly double that of the Tea Party.

    The same poll went on to ask about a variety of specific OWS-related positions, all of which enjoyed strong support — 68% want the wealthy to pay more taxes; 71% want to see bankers prosecuted for the 2008 crash; 79% believe the gap between rich and poor in the U.S. has grown too large; 86% believe Wall Street and its lobbyists have too much influence.

    It’s almost as if Occupy Wall Street concerns mirror the American mainstream’s concerns.

    Now, it’s worth noting that the Tea Party folks have seen their support falter badly, but that’s after two years of often-incoherent complaints from its activists. Americans have had time to grow tired of the bizarre, far-right antics. In time, maybe sympathies for OWS will fade, too.

    Or maybe they’ll grow. Time will tell. The larger point is, the establishment seems to assume Tea Partiers are sensible patriots, worthy of considerable attention, while Occupy Wall Street includes a bunch of hippies, not worth taking seriously.

    Americans, in general, appear to believe otherwise.

  26. rikyrah says:

    TIME Poll: Obama Leads Head-to-Head Match-Ups with Republican Rivals

    Despite sweeping pessimism about the nation’s fortunes and his own sliding approval ratings, President Obama leads potential Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in hypothetical general-election match-ups, according to a new TIME poll.
    Obama leads Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who sits atop the GOP presidential field, 46% to 43% among likely voters. The President has opened a double-digit lead over Perry, 50% to 38%, highlighting concerns percolating through the GOP that the Texas governor would face a steep uphill climb should he capture the nomination. Obama also boasts a 49% to 37% edge over businessman Herman Cain, whose strong Tea Party support has propelled him toward the top of Republican ranks in recent weeks.

    In each case, the President was buoyed by his performance among female voters. Women prefer Obama over Romney by eight percentage points (49% to 41%), by 17 points over Perry (53% to 36%) and by 21 points over Cain (53% to 32%).

    Obama’s strength in head-to-head match-ups with potential Republican rivals belies his own shaky footing with a weary electorate. Just 44% of voters approve of the President’s performance, a slip of four points since a similar poll was conducted in June. Four out of five respondents say the U.S. has veered off track, and 71% think the country’s clout in the world is waning. A scant 5% report feeling positive or unconcerned about the state of the nation.

    The President’s positive personal qualities have cushioned voters’ frustration with the sagging U.S. economy, the exodus of capital to overseas markets and the declining value of the dollar. Most voters see Obama as tough enough to shepherd the U.S. through this rough patch (50% to 44%), and empathetic (59% to 37%) to the concerns of Americans like themselves. By a 48% to 37% margin, respondents consider him a better President than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who won a hard-fought battle for a second term amid falling approval ratings and an opposition galvanized by the war in Iraq.

    For Democrats, the silver lining in a gloomy series of electoral rebukes and legislative setbacks is that voters remain partial to their chief economic principles, at least compared to the alternatives. Forty-two percent of respondents say they place greater trust in the Democratic Party to deal with the nation’s problems, compared to the 31% who side with Republicans. In particular, some two-thirds of those surveyed say they prefer the Democrats’ blueprint for trimming the federal deficit – a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes – to the GOP prescription, which would solely slash spending. At the same time, more voters think reducing spending is a better way to juice the moribund economy than an additional round of stimulus, the approach advocated by liberal economists.

    The survey also revealed that respondents have a better impression of the left-leaning protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street than they do of the Tea Party movement. Fifty-four percent of respondents harbor a positive view of the burgeoning protest movement, well above the 23% with a negative opinion. By contrast, just 27% of those surveyed have favorable views of the Tea Party, while 65% say its impact on U.S. politics since its inception in 2009 has been negative or negligible.

    Those results reflect a strain of economic populism common to the new movement’s backers. Among those respondents familiar with Occupy Wall Street, nearly 80% argue the wealth disparity in the U.S. has grown too large and 68% say the rich should pay more taxes. Even so, this cohort is aware of the challenges facing the movement. Fifty-six percent predict Occupy Wall Street will have little impact on American politics, and another 9% say its effect will be negative.

    Read more:

  27. rikyrah says:

    13, 2011 10:40 AM

    The poorly-named ‘Protect Life Act’

    By Steve Benen

    House Republicans aren’t at all interested in working on jobs bills. They do, however, have plenty of time for anti-abortion legislation that has no chance of becoming law.

    …Republicans can’t let social conservatives feel overlooked by the focus on the tea party’s spending concerns — so they’re about to make sure those critical GOP voters know that they haven’t forgotten about their campaign pledge to block federal funding of abortions.

    The House is set to vote Thursday on the Protect Life Act, legislation that would ban women from using the health reform law’s tax subsidies to purchase health plans that cover abortions.

    This is, of course, part of a larger pattern reflecting GOP priorities in this Congress. Voters who backed Republicans in 2010, hoping to see a focus on economic growth, may not have realized they were actually voting for a renewed culture war.

    Just on the issue of reproductive rights, today’s vote on the Protect Life Act comes in the midst of the Republican crusade against Planned Parenthood and the odious “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” And that’s just in Washington — restrictions pushed by the GOP at the state level are even more daunting.

    As for the specific bill that’s likely to reach the House floor today, let’s first note some context. Under existing law, American hospitals have to treat everyone — or at a minimum, stabilize them — regardless of their ability to pay. If the facility can’t provide treatment, it must transfer a patient to a hospital that can, and then that hospital is required to provide care.

    The sponsors of the Protect Life Act have a question few ever ask: what happens when a patient requires an emergency abortion to save her life? Proponents want to empower hospitals to simply let the woman die.

    The bill … is an amendment to the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage…. [C]ritics say a new section of the bill inserted into the language just this week would go far beyond Stupak, allowing hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives. […]

    [Rep. Joe Pitts’ (R-Pa.)] bill would free hospitals from any abortion requirement under EMTALA, meaning that medical providers who aren’t willing in terminating pregnancies wouldn’t have to — nor would they have to facilitate a transfer.

    The hospital could literally do nothing at all, pro-choice critics of Pitts’ bill say.

    Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood executive vice president for policy, advocacy and communications, said yesterday that “any politician who votes for this bill is literally putting politics before women’s health.”

    It’s expected to pass the House anyway — thank again, midterm voters — but will probably never even see the light of day in the Senate. Just in case, however, the White House issued a statement of administration policy yesterday afternoon, letting Congress know President Obama would definitely veto this bill, if it were to reach his desk.

    Maybe some enterprising campaign reporters can ask the Republican presidential candidates whether they’d sign this bill in 2013 — and whether they think this is the best use of Congress’ time right now.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Enthusiasm Gap
    by mistermix

    The Obama re-election effort raised $70 million last quarter. 98% of that was from donors giving less than $250, with an average donation of $56. If anything demonstrates the need for a primary challenge more than those numbers, I don’t know what it is.

    Over in the Republican race, Perry raised $17 million and has $15 million on hand. Romney hasn’t released his numbers yet, but he’s likely to have raised less than Perry and end up with about the same amount of cash on hand. They’ll both blow it on primaries, as will the new front-runner, Herman Cain, who isn’t running a serious fundraising operation. Last quarter, he raised $2.5 million and loaned his campaign $5 million. His recent surge probably won’t net him anything like Perry or Romney numbers in a filing that covers a period where he was mainly considered an also-ran.

    From the campaigns I’ve watched, it’s crystal clear that the best use of money by a campaign is when it spends from its own bank account. Special interests have their own agenda, they mainly focus on advertising (not GOTV and organizing), and the single-issue advocates sometimes hurt more than they help. (For example, does the kinder, gentler version of Mitt Romney who will emerge after the primaries really want a bunch of anti-gay, anti-immigrant ads run in his name?) All the Citizens United Koch money in the world won’t make up for Romney’s need to spend time and effort raising money for the general election, and Obama is already $150 million ahead of Mitt.

    Update: The “primary Obama” comment is sarcasm. Must be a little early for it.

  29. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 9:20 AM

    ‘No one likes to see tax increases, but…’

    By Steve Benen
    This exchange from Tuesday night’s debate may be one of those moments voters see more than once.

    Q: Governor Romney, I want to ask you, because President Obama’s jobs bill was stalled in the Senate today, and so it may have to be broken into component parts for Congress to vote on. If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that would mean a tax increase for all Americans. What would be the consequences of that?

    ROMNEY: No one likes to see tax increases, but

    At that point, Romney changed the subject.

    Later, in the same debate, Romney balked at the payroll tax cut, calling the breaks “little Band-Aids.” (That Romney believed the exact opposite last year is par for the course.)

    Also consider the larger context. At a debate a month ago, Romney was asked about the percentage of Americans who don’t make enough money to be eligible for a federal income tax burden. The former governor responded, “I don’t want to raise taxes on the American people, but I think everybody ought to feel that they’re part of this effort and that they’re providing for our military.”

    So, over the course of the last month, Romney has said “I don’t want to raise taxes on the American people, but…” followed by “No one likes to see tax increases, but…” when addressing two separate tax policy debates. The first was about income taxes; the second was about payroll taxes.

    When the political world considers Romney’s biggest vulnerabilities as a presidential candidate, the focus tends to be on the two obvious flaws: his incessant flip-flopping and his atrocious record on job creation. But let’s not overlook an issue that’s bubbling under the surface: Mitt Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class.

    Indeed, the ostensible Republican frontrunner apparently wants to raise middle-class taxes right away, and by quite a bit, supporting an increase in payroll taxes in 2012, and backing higher federal income taxes on lower- and middle-income earners for the foreseeable future. He’s been surprisingly explicit on the latter point, recently telling voters, “I think it’s a real problem when you have half of Americans, almost half of Americans, that are not paying income tax.”

    Romney also, incidentally, wants massive tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

    The former governor does support capital gains tax breaks for the middle class, but the average benefit for a middle-income earner would about $70 a year — far less than the tax increases Romney has in mind for working families.

    The ads appear to write themselves. When was the last time we saw a Republican nominee talk so openly and often about wanting to raise middle-class taxes?

  30. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 10:05 AM

    Scott Brown’s borrowed personal memories

    By Steve Benen

    Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) greatest strengths as a politician, outside of his personal appearance, are his likability and authenticity. The former took a hit last week with a cheap shot at his leading Democratic challenger. The latter took a hit yesterday.

    In an online message to students, the Republican senator reflected on his upbringing and shared memories of the lessons he learned from his family. “I was raised to believe that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference,” Brown said. “From an early age, I was taught that success is measured not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe.”

    The problem is, all of this was lifted verbatim from a speech Elizabeth Dole delivered nearly a decade ago. (thanks to C.H. for the tip)

    In a message to students, the Massachusetts senator uses the exact words as remarks delivered by the former North Carolina senator at her campaign kickoff in 2002. […]

    Aside from the omission of an opening line — “I am Mary and John Hanford’s daughter” — in Dole’s speech, the Bay State Republican’s language is the same throughout.

    The senator’s staff pulled the message yesterday and said the plagiarism was the result of “staff level oversight.” That’s a plausible enough explanation — had Brown personally delivered a speech with Dole’s words, this would be far more problematic.

    But with Elizabeth Warren hot on the senator’s heels, Brown looking like a jerk last week, and the senator rejecting a popular jobs bill this week, a plagiarism controversy probably isn’t what the Republican lawmaker wanted to deal with right now.

    Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century, which uncovered the story, said, “This kind of plagiarism makes me wonder how many things about Scott Brown are really genuine…. The fact that he can’t come up with a personal values statement of his own, that he has to steal someone else’s, I think is very instructive of what kind of politician he is.”

  31. President Barack Obama presents White House Military Aide LTC Barrett Bernard with the Defense Superior Service Medal during a departure ceremony in the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2011

  32. President Obama and President Lee of the Republic of Korea hold Joint Press Conference
    October 13, 2011 12:20 PM EDT

  33. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 8:00 AM

    ‘I will not take no for an answer’

    By Steve Benen

    The White House doesn’t seem especially surprised by Senate Republicans blocking the American Jobs Act this week. Rather, President Obama and his team appear to be executing a p.r. strategy put in place well ahead of action on Capitol Hill, and making a concerted effort to take advantage of the political circumstances.

    Here, for example, is a video Obama for America distributed to its list last night.

    For those who can’t watch videos online, it’s a three-minute clip of the president, speaking to OFA supporters from the White House, about what’s transpired. Obama noted, for example, that Senate Republicans “blocked this jobs bill from moving forward,” even though it included measures Republicans have “supported in the past.”

    The president added, “Now, a lot of folks in Washington and the media will look at last night’s vote and say, ‘Well, that’s it; the bill is dead. Let’s move on to the next fight.’ I’ve got news for them: not this time, not with so many Americans out of work, not with so many families struggling to get ahead. I will not take no for an answer, and I hope you won’t either.

    “In the coming days we will force members of Congress to vote on the individual proposals in the American Jobs Act. They’ll have a chance to vote on whether they believe we should keep teachers out of work or whether we should put them back in the classroom where they belong. They’ll get to vote on whether they believe construction workers should stay unemployed while our roads and bridges fall apart, or whether we should put these men and women back to work rebuilding America. They’ll be forced to decide whether we should cut taxes for middle class Americans or let them go up next year. In fact, that’s exactly what one of the leading Republican Presidential candidates suggested we do during last night’s debate: allow taxes to rise by up to a thousand dollars next year for struggling middle class families.”

    Mitt Romney, I think he’s talking about you.

    Also note, Obama spoke at the White House Forum on American Latino Heritage yesterday, and pushed a nearly identical message as part of his remarks. Vice President Biden also appeared on all of the major morning talk shows on Wednesday “to make clear that the fight is not over.”

    Those hoping the White House would have the good sense to follow through with an aggressive jobs message should be pleased. Indeed, Obama and his team clearly seem to believe they have a winning message here.

    And I suspect they’re right. There are no downsides to having the president taking a high-profile role fighting for a popular jobs bill when unemployment is the nation’s highest priority. It’s also noteworthy that Obama’s message is becoming more partisan — “some in Congress” is out; “congressional Republicans” is in.

    Will the efforts pay dividends? It’s hard to imagine the circumstances that would push GOP lawmakers into doing the right thing, though I suspect the White House knows this. Rather, the push is about positioning the president as the one in Washington championing job creation, and Republicans as the ones deliberately standing in the way. Given the larger political landscape, that’s probably the only smart move left.

  34. NBC Politics:

    Obama welcomes S. Korea’s Lee to White House

  35. rikyrah says:

    October 13, 2011 8:35 AM

    What Cain’s tenuous lead says about the frontrunner

    By Steve Benen

    It’s hard to imagine the conditions that would allow Herman Cain to be the Republican nominee for president. I’m not altogether convinced he even wants the job.

    This only makes his new-found lead in national polls that much more striking.

    Fueled by Tea Party supporters, conservatives and high-interest GOP primary voters, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain now leads the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

    And in yet another sign of how volatile the Republican race has been with less than three months until the first nominating contests, the onetime frontrunner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has plummeted to third place, dropping more than 20 percentage points since late August.

    “Cain is the leader … That’s the story,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

    This isn’t a fluke. This poll comes the same day as a new national survey from Public Policy Polling, which also shows Cain jumping out in front of the Republican pack, taking the top spot and leading Mitt Romney, 30% to 22%. Cain has also nearly passed Romney in this week’s Gallup poll.

    In the NBC/WSJ poll, Cain leads the field with 27% support, followed by Romney at 23% and Rick Perry at 16%. The reversal of fortunes from August is amazing — Cain has seen his number soar by 22 points, while Perry’s support has dropped 22 points.

    And then there’s Romney, who was at 23% in August and who’s still at 23% now.

    I suspect the buzz today in campaign circles will be over Cain taking the national lead, but if we work from the assumption that Cain will not be the GOP nominee — I’d argue, that’s a fairly safe bet — the key takeaway continues to be Romney’s inability thus far to consolidate Republican support, claim the frontrunner spot, and keep it.

    Instead, we see a revolving door of non-Romney GOP candidates who generate excitement from party loyalists, at least in part because they’re non-Romney candidates. It’s Cain’s turn, obviously, but it comes after Pawlenty, Bachmann, and Perry had their time in the spotlight. Each saw their support surge than evaporate, but even as their backers moved on, they didn’t move, at least not yet, to the presumptive nominee.

    As the Gallup report noted, in nearly every instance since 1959, by this point in the race, the Republican frontrunner enjoyed support of at least 41% before going on to win the party’s nomination. Romney hasn’t even been able to reach 30% in any Gallup poll this year, and in several major polls, the former Massachusetts governor is actually at a lower level now than he was in June.

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

    I suspect they will anyway, because there’s no one else worthy of the nod. But as we talked about the other day, when was the last time the Republican Party went into a general election with a nominee so much of the party simply didn’t like?

  36. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, October 13, 2011
    And The Mask Slips Again
    Posted by Zandar
    …And the One Percenters reveal how they really feel about Americans. Right here in the NKY, too, as local politics reporter Carl Weiser finds.

    Local politicians are beginning to weigh in on Occupy Cincinnati, the protest at Piatt Park now in its fourth day.

    Covington city commissioner Steve Frank had one of the more, um, vigorous denunciations, writing on his Facebook page: “Turn out the lights on the Occupiers, I feel like going Taliban on them!!!” I asked asked him, via Facebook, what he meant.

    Here’s his response: ”The Taliban, as they see it is resisting occupation. I am resisting the Occupiers and very proud to be a 1%’er. I figured that the irony would be lost on most of the dummies in Occupation Nation who oppose the war in Afganistan because they see us as occupiers. I happen to oppose the war too but for highly different grounds. PS I am proud of our troops and have a son in harm’s way.”

    Franks is the same douchebag who got nailed for a DUI back in July for running a pair of stop signs while crunked up on the Levee (as far as I know he still has his license and his job as city commissioner) and I’m pretty sure the sight of Occupy Cincy protesters within 300 feet of him would probably have him reaching for Depends and a fainting couch. Not only is his threat laughable, but his explanation is arguably pulled from the same word salad shooter than Palin and Bachmann use on a regular basis.

    The poor, poor One Percenters. If only some brave, patriotic Real American heroes would come along and free them from the terrible oppression of having people exist in society who make less than $250,000 a year, and preferably liberate our precious job creators from the hoi polloi with lots and lots of Second Amendment remedies, why America could once again be the Shining City On The Hill.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republicans Successfully Filibuster American Jobs
    Posted on 10/13/2011 at 7:08 am by Bob Cesca

    When I heard President Obama announce The American Jobs Act, I mistakenly thought the Republicans wouldn’t dare vote against “American jobs.”

    For the first time, the Democrats had come up with a title for a bill that borrowed the successful Republican tactic of naming legislation in a way that makes it politically impossible to vote against. You probably remember some of the good ones. The Republicans aggressively triple-dog-dared members of Congress to vote against the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act. After all, who would be idiotic enough to go on record as having voted against the “USA” and “patriotism”, especially when it’s shouted in all-caps during the aftermath of 9/11?

    Only one senator, Russ Feingold, voted against it. One.

    The Bush years also gave us Orwellian titles like the “death tax”, the Healthy Forests Initiative and Clear Skies Act. Incidentally, the Clear Skies Act was a cap-and-trade program that was fully supported by the Republicans and the Bush White House. Weird how that works.

    Pollster and Fox News Channel contributor Frank Luntz is often credited with popularizing the use of tricky opposite-day titles. In fact, he’s often credited with coining the pejorative misnomer “Democrat Party” in lieu of the correct “Democratic Party” title in order to emphasize the “rat” syllable and to strip the party of its association with democratic politics. (It’s also worth noting that Luntz urged Republicans to use the less dire term “climate change” instead of “global warming.” Today, I often hear even far-left liberals mistakenly using this Luntz euphemism. It’s just that successful.)

    But there it was. The American Jobs Act.

    The Republicans didn’t just vote against “American jobs,” they literally filibustered them. While the GOP presidential candidates debated their plans to further screw the American economy Tuesday night, every single Republican senator approved the filibuster and overwhelmingly blocked The American Jobs Act from even coming to a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

    No, there isn’t a 9/11 disaster to provide an awful, acrid wind in the sails of this particular bill. But there are a variety of other factors that should have at least stirred a sense of humanity and patriotism within the congressional Republican caucus.

    Unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent. Corporations are sitting on $2 trillion in cash, in fact, the largest pile of liquid assets since 1959, and they aren’t spending that money on anything, much less new jobs since they’ve convinced their existing employees to do twice the work for lower pay and dwindling benefits. Simultaneously, corporate profits are at an all-time high, corporate taxes are at an all-time low and middle class wages have been stagnant for decades. The political discourse is aired on cable as though it was a football game, while real Americans lose their homes and corporate criminals sashay between the rain drops unpunished — many of them failing up to better gigs.

    Meanwhile, the president, who’s only been in office for less than three years, is being blamed for all of it, while the 30 year dominance of trickle-down small-government Reaganomics is receiving another boost of adrenaline from the austerity movement. How well is austerity doing, by the way? In England, where austerity rules the day, unemployment reached its highest level in 17 years this week. Despite its obvious failure elsewhere, the Republicans — especially the ones running for president — want to slash everything in sight despite a supermajority of public support for raising taxes on the super rich. Even a majority of Republican voters support a tax increase on the wealthy. And when they’re not deliberately sabotaging the economy by opposing anything that might fuel the economic recovery, they’re focusing on jobs — and by “focusing on jobs” I mean “de-funding Planned Parenthood” and “legislating James O’Keefe prank videos.”

    Lumped all together, it’s no wonder why the Occupy Wall Street movement is gaining so much momentum. The Republicans are inadvertently feeding it every day.

    What would the American Jobs Act have accomplished?

    The bill would have reduced the deficit by $6 billion over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Republicans filibustered deficit reduction.

    The bill would have created nearly two million new jobs. The Republicans filibustered the creation of two million new jobs.

    The bill would have increased the gross domestic product (GDP) by two points. The Republicans filibustered increasing the GDP.

    The bill would have cut taxes for 98 percent of businesses. The Republicans filibustered a tax cut for businesses.

    The bill would have offered a tax credit for military veterans returning from war. The Republicans filibustered a tax credit for the troops.

    The bill would have reduced unemployment by a full percentage point. The Republicans filibustered a reduction in unemployment.

    The bill would have been paid for by a 5.6 percent surtax on millionaires — a surtax that, again, a majority of Republican voters support. The Republicans filibustered paying for the bill.

    The ultimate irony here is that, despite it all, the Republicans have a solid chance of winning the White House next year. Obviously they’re counting on the collective attention deficit disorder of the American voter who will naturally forget about how the Senate Republicans filibustered the American Jobs Act on top of having presided over the destruction of the economy as well as a horrendous record on job creation during the Bush years when they controlled the Congress and the White House, and when they cut taxes to the lowest rates in American history. Still no jobs, and yet they believe that further tax cuts will somehow create more jobs even though the Bush tax cut succeeded in accomplishing nothing except to contribute to a doubling of the national debt while it turned a surplus into a record deficit. Yeah. Let’s have more of that.

    If you’re angry about the gloomy status of the economy, bookmark this post and remind yourself occasionally which group of politicians filibustered an iron-clad solution for job creation and economic growth. And tell your friends about it, too, because even if you can’t participate in one of the Occupy Wall Street protests, you can help to spread the word about who supported American jobs and who tried to kill American jobs.

  38. rikyrah says:

    What’s in Herman Cain’s book? Plus: 5 reasons to doubt the boomlet

    Herman Cain has surged to the top spot in the NBC/WSJ poll among GOP primary candidates. But is his support deep and lasting?
    Signs point to no. But first, I read Cain’s book, “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House.” The book is full of detailed anecdotes about Cain’s business exploits, along with brief, sometimes odd sketches about his life growing up in the segregated south. The stilted descriptions of his boyhood and college days — years in which he seems to have ignored every major event in the cataclysmic 1960s — are strange, to say the least. And clearly, he had a particular audience in mind: one who wants a pass, from an African-American pass-writer, on every negative aspect of America’s racial history. More on what I found in the book at TheGrio.
    Meanwhile, the question of the hour is, will the Cain boom last? I think not. And here are five reasons why:
    1. 999 – It may not be the number of the beast, as Michele Bachmann suggested in Tuesday’s primary debate, but the Cain economic plan has a lot of holes in it … and I’m just talking for conservatives. RedState is just one place you’ll find a pretty brutal dissection of the plan, which righties see as a simplistic gimmick that not only wouldn’t pass, if it did, it would simply be a new added tax, because Cain offers no plan to repeal the existing income tax.
    2. Race – I still believe Cain did himself some damage with his criticism of Rick Perry on Perry’s family lease of a ranch with the n-word written on its pet rock. That issue has receded, for now, but I suspect the mistrust that Cain’s foray into race generated will linger in a residual way. And his constant flogging of Democrats as racists won’t really make up for it in the end. Besides…
    3. Conservatives really, really wanted Rick Perry – Perry is still who the activist base would prefer, all things being equal (and since they can’t have Chris Christie). And their disappointment in Perry’s inability to string two decent sentences together in a debate won’t change that. To the extent Cain is replacing Perry as the Romney alternative, reading the right wing blogs, you start to get a sense of eye rolling tedium creeping up around Cain, because now he’s seen as a real threat to their preferred guy.
    4. Paulites – Ron Paul may be going nowhere as a presidential candidate, but his adherents are some of the most active and passionate members of the GOP base, outside of evangelicals. Plus, Paulites tend to be younger, and they definitely show up at things like debates and straw polls (which is why Paul keeps doing so well in those obscure contests.) The fact that Cain worked for the Federal Reserve, and his praise for Alan Greenspan in the recent Bloomberg debate (Greenspan was fed chair while Cain was serving on the board of a regional federal reserve bank) will be an ongoing source of tension between Cain and the young Paulites, who the party will count on to do the ground work in the 2012 campaign.
    5. Scrutiny – It hasn’t started in earnest yet, but now that he’s polling as a front-runner, it will. And negatives are bound to creep out.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Collapse of the emoprogs?

    Two statistics tucked into the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll should not be missed, if you’ve been following the sturm und drang between “Obama Democrats” and “emoprogs.”
    The first number is 2. That’s the percentage of poll respondents who intend to vote for “someone else,” besides either President Obama or his (as yet unnamed) GOP opponent. In the poll, 44 percent of respondents said they would “probably vote for Obama,” 42 percent said “probably vote for the Republican,” 7 percent said it would depend on who the opponent is, 5 percent were not sure, and 2 percent said “someone else,” which seems to indicate support for a third party candidate. That doesn’t bode well for a Ralph Nader 2012.
    The second statistic: President Obama enjoys more support for his re-election among Democrats than Bill Clinton did at this point in his quest for a second term. Here’s the relevant table:
    Would you like the Democratic Party to nominate Barack Obama again in 2012 as its presidential candidate, or would you prefer that the Democratic Party nominate someone else?
    ——————————————————–All Democrats / Democratic Primary Voters
    Like the Democratic Party to nominate Barack Obama …. 73 / 78
    Prefer the Democratic Party nominate someone else ……. 20 / 14
    Too early to say (VOL) ……………………………………………… 4 /5
    Not sure ………………………………………………………………….. 3 /4
    Now compare those stats to Bill Clinton’s in 1995. His split was 67/19 renominate vs nominate someone else, with 6 percent saying “too early” and 8 percent not sure. George Bush I was in even worse shape: with a 60/16 split, a whopping 18 percent saying “it depends” and 6 percent “not sure.”
    So what does that mean? It means that the Smiley/West/Sirota/Greenwald/PCCC/FDL crowd is failing at its prime directive: peeling Democrats away from Obama, so they can steer them to a third party candidate, or generate a primary challenge. So for at least, a solid majority of Democrats are sticking with the president.

  40. Gaddafi-Son-Captured

    [wpvideo eWxtRKND]

  41. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Belatedly Realizes Religious Divisiveness is Bad

    Move over Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky; this is going to be a long one. And it’s a story with all those ugly warts the great Russian literary giants liked. All it lacks is a hero.

    It’s kind of odd seeing a Republican candidate decrying religious divisiveness. Of course, that candidate is a religious minority himself. And of course, that candidate only said something about religious divisiveness being bad when his own religion was attacked.

    The offended candidate is, of course, the Mormon, Mitt Romney. And the offender is Texas Governor Rick Perry and his fundamentalist allies – namely Bryan Fischer and Rev. Robert Jeffress, a pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Now Bryan Fischer, as we all know, has been religiously divisive since way back. He is famous, you will remember, for at tacking Native Americans for having their own religion, for claiming the First Amendment not only does not protect Islam but actually establishes Christianity as a state religion. Rick Perry hosted, hand in hand with Bryan Fischer’s AFA, The Response, at which “idolaters” were not welcome – it was only for followers of Jesus.

    But now Perry’s camp has crossed the line. They’re not just attacking “idolaters” but his own religion. So now suddenly religious divisiveness is a bad thing. You have to wonder how Romney expects to get elected on that platform. Tolerance does not sell well among the Republican rank and file.

    Bryan Fischer enters the picture (where Romney is concerned) at the oddly named Values Voter Summit.

    As Right Wing Watch reported the incident, their parent organization, People for the American Way, had been trying to get Romney to denounce Fischer and the AFA’s bigotry, and, as they say, “much to our surprise, Romney actually did so, albeit in a vague and rather timid manner without actually mentioning Fischer by name”:

    Watch the video from Right Wing Watch:

    PFAW’s president Michael Keegan had this to say:

    “Mitt Romney clearly realized that his presidential campaign couldn’t ignore the bigotry of Bryan Fischer and the American Family Association,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way . “I’m glad that he saw fit to put at least a small distance between himself and the hate speech regularly pushed by Fischer, even if he couldn’t bring himself to call Fischer out by name. Since he began running for President, Mitt Romney has bent over backwards in a desperate attempt to make himself palatable to the extreme right. At least we’ve seen that there are some things he’s willing to speak out against, no matter how tepid his condemnation may be. It’s disappointing that none of the other candidates have been willing to go even that far.”

    Fischer had a somewhat less nuanced reaction.

    Watch the video from Think Progress:

    Bryan Fischer now wants Mitt Romney to apologize for not being “classy enough” to ignore his reprehensible attacks on everyone but Christians like himself – your standard Christian “I’m the victim here” spiel. He had this to say on his radio program Monday:

    It was just an odd thing to me, it was just bizarre because I did not think that Mitt Romney would fall for the bait. I mean, the Left was trying to goad him into attacking me and I didn’t think he would do it – I thought he had too much class for that. What he did was completely and utterly lacking in class. It was tacky, it was impolite, it was rude, he insulted his host in the presence of the guests; the host who had made it possible for him to speak to the pro-family community. I just thought he had more class than that.


  42. Ametia says:

    Obama raises more than $70 million combined for his re-election campaign, Democratic party
    By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, October 13, 6:10 AM

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s campaign raised more than $70 million combined for his re-election and the Democratic party during the summer, an amount that gives him a clear advantage over his Republican rivals but is less than his initial fundraising effort.

    The fundraising total announced Thursday exceeds a goal set by the campaign of $55 million combined for the July-September fundraising period but is about $16 million less than Obama raised during the April-June quarter.

    Obama has dealt with declining poll numbers and a weakened economy during the summer, prompting the president to recently call himself the “underdog” in the presidential race. Campaign officials had said they would raise less because of canceled fundraisers during the summer’s debt ceiling negotiations and a typical summertime lull in raising cash.

    Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an e-mail to supporters that more than 600,000 people donated to the campaign in the most recent quarter, more than the previous three months. He said more than 980,000 people have given money to the campaign, and in the most recent quarter, 98 percent of the donors gave $250 or less, with an average donation of $56.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Army Captain Who Was Booed At GOP Debate Remembers Matthew Shepard

    Matthew Shepard was born on December 1st, 1976, to Judy and Dennis Shepard. Matthew’s family moved from Casper, Wyoming to Saudi Arabia when Matthew was a junior in high school, at which time Matthew attended The American School in Switzerland. He was a peer counselor with a passion for equality. He was kind and empathetic, and well liked by his classmates. Upon graduation, Matthew traveled back to Wyoming to attend the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he studied political science, foreign relations and languages.

    On October 7th, 1998, Matthew accepted a ride from Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Henderson and McKinney drove Matthew into the country, tied him to a fence post and beat him severely. McKinney and Henderson attacked Matthew because he was gay. They left him there in the cold dark, bleeding and unconscious until a cyclist found him, almost 18 hours later. Matthew died from his injuries on October 12th, 1998. In his last hours, Matthew was surrounded by the people who loved him most, and even as they mourned the extinguishing of Matthew’s light, they knew this moment was not in vain.

    Eleven years after Matthew’s death, President Barack Obama signed into law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Act, formerly the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. This bill makes it a federal crime to assault people based on their gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure was a priority of the late Senator Edward Kennedy and civil rights groups all over America. Judy Shepard had visited President Obama in the Oval Office and he had made her a promise that this day would come. By signing The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Act into law, President Obama kept his promise to Matthew’s family.

    In the thirteen years since the death of Matthew Shepard, things have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse. Earlier this year, the Tennessee senate passed a bill that makes it illegal to talk about homosexuality. The “Don’t Say Gay” law forbids public school teachers and students from discussing homosexuality from kindergarten through eighth grade. Tennessee governor Bill Haslam signed HB 600/SB 632 into law this summer. This bill gives businesses in Tennessee the right to discriminate against someone based on their sexual identity. However, on September 1st of this year, New Jersey drafted and adopted the strictest and most powerful anti-bullying legislation in the country, in response to the death of Tyler Clementi, the Rutger’s freshman who took his own life after his roommate and a friend installed a hidden camera in his room and released footage of Tyler kissing a man. Clementi’s roommate was indicted on hate crime charges. Westboro Baptist Church continues their hate campaign against members of the LGBT community, and when WBC shows up to picket a funeral, there are Angels there as well; people who silently surround the mourners, effectively protecting them from the madness that is the Phelps family

  44. rikyrah says:

    The Obama campaign announced in an email this morning that the president’s reelection effort and the Democratic National Committee raised a combined $70 million in the third quarter of the year:

    — In the third fundraising quarter of this year, 606,027 people donated to this campaign — even more than gave in the record-breaking previous quarter.

    — Those people gave more than 766,000 total donations — 98 percent of them $250 or less, at an average amount of $56. That’s more than twice as many donations than we had at this point in the historic 2008 campaign.

    — We are focused on building infrastructure that will help us win in 2012. And each quarter we set a combined goal for the campaign and our allies at the Democratic National Committee. We far exceeded our goal of $55 million this quarter between the two organizations. Great work.

    — Together, Obama for America and the DNC raised more than $70 million. And it all happened during a summer when the President was focused on doing the job he was elected to do — a summer when we had to cancel a series of fundraising events and ask everyone to dig a little deeper.

    The Obama campaign raised $42.8 million on its own and the DNC took in $27.3 million, an Obama campaign official said.

    The announcement follows an $86 million second quarter for Obama and the DNC, and sets up the president to outraise by far the whole GOP field, combined, in back to back fundraising periods.

  45. rikyrah says:

    if anyone wants to see Lawrence O’Donnell dismantle Slave Catcher Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, here’s the video from last night:

  46. Ametia says:

    Campaign 2012, Congress
    Scott Brown web message mirrors Elizabeth Dole’s remarks on site
    10/12/2011 10:54 PM

    By Alex Katz, Globe Correspondent

    WASHINGTON – A Democratic group has unearthed a bit of inspirational autobiography on Senator Scott Brown’s official website that was lifted verbatim from Elizabeth Dole’s site, language that originated in a campaign speech.

    In a message to students, the Massachusetts senator uses the exact words as remarks delivered by the former North Carolina senator at her campaign kickoff in 2002.

    Brown’s staff acknowledged yesterday the words originally were Dole’s and said their presence in Brown’s message was the result of a technical error.

    “I was raised to believe that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference,” said the message from Brown, which was removed later yesterday. “From an early age, I was taught that success is measured not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe.”

    Aside from the omission of an opening line — “I am Mary and John Hanford’s daughter” — in Dole’s speech, the Bay State Republican’s language is the same throughout.

    The matching language was disclosed by American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal “super PAC” that’s been scouring Republicans’ records ahead of next year’s elections.

    “This kind of plagiarism makes me wonder how many things about Scott Brown are really genuine,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century.

  47. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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