Friday Open Thread

Can you shimmy, watusi, do the monkey, jerk, the football, 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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68 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Breaking His Promise To Create 700K Jobs, Gov. Rick Scott Now Says ‘I Don’t Have To Create Any Jobs’

    By Marie Diamond on Oct 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) campaigned on a promise to create jobs in Florida — his campaign mantras were even “Let’s get to work!” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.” However, recently he’s backed off his earlier pledge to create 700,000 jobs in addition to the 1 million jobs Florida is expected to generate as part of the state’s natural growth, absurdly claiming “I don’t know who said that.”

    Now the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Scott is scaling back his promises even further, claiming, “I could argue that I don’t have to create any jobs”:

    Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday added more nuance to his campaign promise to create jobs, questioning the validity of the state’s economic forecast and saying he just has to stop unemployment from rising.

    “The bottom line is, I could argue that I don’t have to create any jobs,” Scott said on 540-AM in Maitland. “I just have to make sure we don’t lose jobs.“

    Florida has a 10.7 percent unemployment rate that is higher than the national average. Yet Scott recently bragged about laying off 15,000 government workers, while deep education cuts will cost many teachers and school employees their jobs. Scott also rejected $2.4 billion in federal money for a high-speed rail project that supporters say would have created 24,000 jobs.

    Putting ideology over the welfare of Floridians, Scott has also indicated that he will reject the billions in federal aid that could flow to the state under President Obama’s jobs act. The state is slated to receive more than $7.5 billion for schools, roads and other projects under the American Jobs Act. The White House estimates that the funds under the plan would support more than 60,000 jobs in Florida, including those held by teachers, cops, and firefighters.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Herman Cain Mocks ‘Princess Nancy’ And Other Democrats Who ‘Didn’t Want To Lay Off Teeeeachers’

    By Scott Keyes on Oct 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Last fall, Republicans attempted to block a jobs bill proposed by congressional Democrats that would have prevented tens of thousands of teachers across the country from being laid off. Though Democrats were able to overcome Republican objections and pass the legislation, many conservatives were less than enthusiastic about saving teachers’ jobs.

    One such voice was former pizza executive and current Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain. Cain, a radio host in Atlanta, Georgia for three years, blasted the proposal to save teachers’ jobs during his radio show on Aug. 11, 2010. The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO mocked those who “[d]idn’t want to lay off teeeeachers” and called the move a “$26 billion bailout of teeeeachers.” Cain then went on to deride then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, referring to her as “Princess Nancy”:

    CAIN: You heard about the $26 billion bailout of teeeeachers. Didn’t want to lay off teeeeachers. Here’s what I want to share with you in this segment tonight. It’s called, “beneath the $26 billion bailout.” […]

    What I want to do this segment is peel back the onion on the $26 billion bailout that they rushed back to Congress in an emergency session called by “Princess Nancy!” “This is an absolute national congressional emergency!” They rushed back to pass this $26 billion emergency jobs bill. It was a $26 billion spending bill.

    Cain’s dismissal of the teachers’ jobs bill as a “bailout” is absurd for two reasons. First, Cain was among the 2008 bailout’s biggest supporters. Second, ensuring that educators continue to receive a paycheck isn’t a “bailout,” it’s a salary. Wall Street bankers deserve to be rescued, in Cain’s worldview, but attempts to save teachers’ jobs are met with scorn.

    Considering the rhetoric Cain has employed regarding the recent Wall Street protests — “if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!” — it’s no surprise that the former pizza executive would mock attempts to save teachers’ jobs.

    Later in the segment, Cain went on to further mock the proposal to prevent teacher layoffs. “Now they say that this was supposed to save teachers’ jobs! Duh duh duh da duh da! The federal government to the rescue!” Cain yelled in an impersonation of the Superman theme. “We can’t let kids show up for schools, and not have teachers!” Cain said, facetiously. Watch it:

  3. rikyrah says:

    First family visits new MLK memorial
    By JULIE PACE, Associated Press
    Friday, October 14, 2011

    President Barack Obama followed through Friday night on his longtime plan to take his two daughters to see the new monument to Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall.

    Two days before Obama is to speak at the dedication of the memorial to the civil rights pioneer, the president, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha made an unannounced visit to the site. Reporters were held in vans on a service road and could not see the Obamas as they viewed the memorial.

    At a ground-breaking ceremony for the memorial five years ago, Obama, then a senator from Illinois, spoke about what it would be like to bring his daughters to see it.

    “I know that one of my daughters will ask, perhaps my youngest, will ask, “Daddy, why is this monument here? What did this man do?” Obama said.

    The young senator is now president, and the King memorial is complete, having opened to the public in August. On Sunday, the country’s first black president will be a featured speaker at the dedication ceremony.

    The dedication was originally scheduled for late August but was postponed after Hurricane Irene swept through the Washington region, dumping rain on the nation’s capital and disrupting travel plans for many of those who planned to attend the event.

    On Sunday, Obama will speak in front of a 30-foot sculpture of King, arms crossed, looking out into the horizon. The civil rights leader appears to emerge from a stone extracted from a mountain. The design was inspired by a line from the famous 1963 “Dream” speech delivered during the March on Washington in 1963: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

    Situated between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, King’s is the first monument on the National Mall honoring a black leader.

    Obama was just 6 years old when King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. But he has often talked about the influence King’s life, particularly his commitment to public service, has had on him.

    Read more:

  4. rikyrah says:

    Atlanta News 11:43 a.m. Friday, October 14, 2011

    Occupy Atlanta leader admits Lewis snub was ‘mistake’
    By Joel Provano

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    A leader in the Occupy Atlanta protest admitted that the group made a mistake when it refused to allow Rep. John Lewis to speak last weekend.

    Lewis, who showed up at Woodruff Park in support of the protesters last Friday was told there was no “consensus” for him to speak.

    “That expression came out in a way that was probably, from my perspective, a tactical error,” Tim Franzen said Thursday on the Redding News Review radio program. “But it was coming from, I think, a good place. A place where we want to live in a participatory society, where everybody plays by the same rules.”

    He said Lewis is now welcome to address the group. Lewis has said he was not offended by the denial.

    Franzen also said the group will not obey a 5 p.m. Monday deadline set by Mayor Kasim Reed to vacate the park.

    “With all due respect, we never asked for Mayor Reed’s permission to occupy the park,” Franzen said. “We had intended to illegally occupy the park in civil disobedience. … We are going to stay in that park,” he said.

    Police have maintained only a low-key presence at the park during the week-long protest, but Reed told members of the City Council’s public safety committee that, while the city wants to respect the demonstrators’ right to express their views, they cannot be allowed to camp in the park indefinitely.

    “This has got to got to come to a close at some point,” Reed said. “At some point, we have to act.”

  5. rikyrah says:

    Billionaire Walmart Heiress Arrested for DWI

    Alice Walton, billionaire daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, was arrested for DWI on the night of her 62nd birthday in Mineral Wells, Texas. Last time she got a DWI, Alice screamed, “I’m Alice Walton, bitch!” No such outbursts this time. That we know of. Yet.

    For reference, Alice is the first cousin once removed of Peggy Walton, the Wal-Mart heiress who returned her USC diploma (and lost the campus sports arena named after her) when her roommate admitted to doing all her homework for $20,000.

  6. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011
    9-9-9 = 0-0-0

    Let’s everybody get this straight: Herman Cain is not the GOP frontrunner. It makes no difference how many polls show him four or even 40 points ahead of the Massachusetts Dudley Do-Right of unctuous Mister Rogerses; Herman Cain, regrettably, is going nowhere. Not this year.

    Never mind the utter imbecility of his 9-9-9 plan. That sort of thing has been no drag on GOP candidacies for at least 30 years. John Maynard Keynes spent a lifetime developing and refining modern macroeconomic theory, only to have Arthur Laffer cavalierly decimate all of it — and us — on a paper napkin. Hence in Republican economics, as in Republican politics, the frivolous and the flaky are king.

    Need proof of 9-9-9’s lunacy? For heaven’s sake don’t fritter away your valuable time on intellectually lethal dissections from qualified economists. Just know that on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night, Joe the Plumber essentially endorsed it.

    Yet Herman has much bigger problems — such as money and filing deadlines — which some old-school Republican strategists still traffic in. “What else does [Cain] have to do? He has to raise $100 million,” GOP media consultant Rick Wilson told Politico. And “You have to file in these states and you have to go through all the procedural things.”

    But, but, there’s the book tour!

    None of this is to say that Mitt Romney’s economic prescriptions are much better; and, naturally, the same goes for the rest of the presidential pack, not to mention all the GOP House and Senate victims of short-term memory loss — the whole bloody constellation of right-wing economic fantasies. Or, as Paul Krugman puts it this morning: “It’s a terrible thing when an individual loses his or her grip on reality. But it’s much worse when the same thing happens to a whole political party.”

    Which called to rememberance my graduate thesis, in which I argued that while American demagoguery was once an individual pol thing — among, of course, both the left and right — the contemporary GOP, beginning with the rise of the New Right, has institutionalized the practice party-wide. So now we suffer not only from a demagogic GOP, but a downright lunatic demagogic GOP.

    But back to Herman, who should just allow himself a little more time, say, four years; and next time, Herm, raise some cash and file those papers. Because you never know: the GOP may resist treatment, it may refuse the Thorazine, it may proceed a.m.a. — and stay as crazy as ever.

  7. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011
    More Krauthammer funnies

    Charles Krauthammer’s hyperbolic hammering of President Obama’s “villainy-of-the-rich theme” is classic polemic — that is, it is stridency caressed by not even a sinew of reasonable context, either political or historical. And it caused me to think of these words, written by another U.S. president, regarding

    the wrong and evils of the money-piling tendency of our country, which is changing laws, government and morals and giving all powers to the rich and bringing in pauperism and its attendant crimes and wretchedness like a flood. Lincoln was for a government of the people. The new tendency is “a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.”

    FDR, right? Maybe Wilson or the rabble-rousing TR? No, those thoughts were committed to paper (his deeply thoughtful diary) by Rutherford B. Hayes — yes, that Rutherford B. Hayes, Grand Old Party-member extraordinaire, of the Krauthammer-adoring Gilded Age — in the mid-1880s.

    Hayes, as political historian and former Nixonian Kevin Phillips has noted, was also so aghast at America’s amplifying wealth disparity that he “favored blocking ‘a permanent aristocracy of wealth’ by legislation that would limit inheritance to five hundred thousand dollars, the rest to go to the state.”

    Again, that was a former Republican president surveying the socioeconomic wreckage of what contemporaneous GOPism had wrought. Yet Obama proposes an almost trivial uptick in the upper-income bracket and in Krauthammer’s eyes he becomes a confiscatory, Marxist leveler, “turning general discontent into rage against a malign few” — the poor things.

    Strident, and rather pathetic.

  8. The Washington Post:

    Herman Cain refuses to ID advisers: “[Reporters] just want to know who my smart people are so they can attack them”

    Is this HN trying to pull a Palin?

  9. Youth Clinics At The White House With Texas A&M And U.S. Women’s Soccer

  10. rikyrah says:

    How Can The GOP Reject 9-9-9?
    The dilemma:

    Liberals have been making jokes for the past year about the otherworldy “Can You Top This?” game being played by Republican presidential candidates, each one offering up a more buffoonish idea than the next in a vain attempt to prove that they’re the purist conservative in the pack. Well, now Herman Cain has trumped them all: his 9-9-9 plan is too goofy even for the modern party to embrace, but it obeys conservative orthodoxy to a tee. So how do you convince all those people you’ve been selling conservative orthodoxy to that this, finally, is something that goes too far? Isn’t that the kind of thing a liberal would say?

  11. Ametia says:

    Thursday, October 13, 2011
    Wall Street Protests and the Religious Right

    If the Wall Street protests are to mean anything long term they have to also focus on the enablers of the top 1 percent that have raped the 99. Fundamentalist religion made this rape possible.
    The source of the empowering of the top 1 percent super wealthy and the economic rape of rest of us is the religion of Evangelical fundamentalism. Note I didn’t say religion per se, but religious fundamentalism is responsible.


    Because without the fundamentalists and their “values” issues the lower 99 percent could not have been convinced to vote against their (our) economic self-interest, in other words, vote for Republicans serving only billionaires instead of the rest of us.
    Wall Street is a legitimate target for long overdue protest but so are the centers of religious power that are the gate keepers of Republican Party “values” voters that make the continuing economic rape possible.

    Fundamentalist religion — Evangelical and Roman Catholic alike — has delegitimized the US Government and thus undercut its ability to tax, spend and regulate

    The fundamentalist have replaced economic and political justice with a bogus (and hate-driven) “morality” litmus tests of spurious red herring “issues” from abortion to school prayer and gay rights. The result has been that the masses of lower middle class and poor Americans who should be voting for Democrats and thus their own economic interests, have been persuaded to vote against their own class and self interest.

    This trick of political sleight of hand has been achieved by this process:

    Declare the US Government agents of evil because of the fact that “the government” has allowed legal abortion, gay rights etc.,

    Declare that therefore “government is the problem” not the solution,

    Now that the government is the source of all evil thus anyone the government wants to regulate is being picked on by satanic forces. The US Government is always the bad guy,

    Thus good God-fearing folks will always vote for less government and less regulation because “the government” is evil,

    So unregulated corporations, banks and Wall Street are always right and represent “freedom” while government is always wrong and represents “tyranny.”

    Like most Evangelical/Roman Catholic fundamentalist movements in history, from the Bay State colonies to the Spanish Inquisition, the American Religious Right of today advocates the fusion of state power and religion through the reestablishment of the “Christian America” idea of “American Exceptionalism” (i.e., a nation “chosen” by God), the form of government adopted by the Puritans’ successors during the age of early American colonialism.

    Thus the division between “Real Americans” and the rest of us is the “saved” and “lost” paradigm of theological correctness applied to politics. Thus President Obama isn’t a Real American, or even a born American, he’s the “Other,” a Muslim, an outsider, above all “not one of us.”

    In other words you’re not just wrong but evil if you disagree with the Elect over abortion or for that matter trying to bring peace to the Middle East and thus “not supporting Israel.” Because God has “chosen” the Jews to fulfill prophecy etc., etc..

    “Bring America back to the Bible” is really no more subtle than the claim of the Iranian Mullahs to rule in “God’s name” so that Iran too can come back to God. And if you can get Americans to worry about the Bible and not fairness and justice then you have handed a perpetual victory to Goldman Sacks and company.

    How Did We Get Here?

    The unstated agreement went like this: Republicans will pander to the Religious Right on the social issues – abortion, gay rights, prayer in schools, creationism in text books, and not so subtly the endorsement of religious schools to help white evangelicals and Roman Catholics avoid integration, as long as the Religious Right turned a blind eye to the fact that the Republican Party would A), do nothing substantive to change much about abortion etc., and, B) sell the soul of the country to corporate America, a country-within-a-country where one percent of the population have more wealth than the 99…

    What few people seem prepared to do is look at or admit the larger problem: no political protest will change anything in America until the masses protest the religious fundamentalist’s stranglehold on this country via having hijacked the Republican Party too. Deference to religion masquerading as politics must end, now.

    Religion Masquerading as Politics

    Religion masquerading as politics is not true religion or politics– it is a theocracy-in-waiting. This charade of power grabs in God’s name needs to be exposed then destroyed.

    Democracy will not survive the continuing dirty combination of theocracy and oligarchy. That’s where we’re headed bankers running the world backed by preachers who don’t care about God but care about power.

    The timely destruction of the economic elites and their religious facilitators begins by calling fundamentalist/Evangelical/Roman Catholic “religion” what it is: a political grab for power based on literal madness of the sort that makes the not-so-bright terrified of modernity, truth, science and facts and leads them to deny evolution and global warming while believing that Jesus will come back any day now.

    To the post-Roe Religious Right, hating America became the new patriotism. If it had not been for the Evangelicals demonizing the Federal Government over abortion and gay rights (as they did before over civil rights) how else would the economic oligarchy have gotten away with making the underclass vote against their own interests?

    The “I vote pro-life” bumper sticker says it all

    And that is why we need to strip off the mask of moral and religious posturing masquerading as politics. We’re dealing with our own version of the “holy” men who run Iran and Saudi Arabia. And they are just as backward here as they are there. They are also winning — in the short term anyway.

    The Evangelical Right has stalled and perhaps destroyed the Obama presidency. And they are only getting going as their 87 “Tea Party” congressional freshmen proved by being willing to plunge the US economy over a cliff in order to satisfy their hunger to clip the wings of the “evil” US Government and render it useless.

    What we face is not a loyal opposition but a force within America as alien as the Taliban, and with the same alienated aims where our government is concerned. What we witnessed in the last congressional elections was not an election as we understand the term but the start of a putsch.
    When back in the 1970s and 80s my late evangelical father and I were running around signing up Republican leaders like Ronald Reagan to “take a stand on abortion” we were outsiders and agitators. But today the agitators are now actually running the heart of the Republican Party. Some of the most extreme of their number — Perry and Bachmann — are actually running for president.

    Rick Perry et al

    That’s why no one was surprised that Rick Perry kicked off his presidential race with a prayer meeting surrounded by extremist bigots from the far, far Evangelical right. This was as “normal” today as it is to see the Saudi Royals paying tribute to Shariah Law and giving ten lashes to women who drive.

    Conclusion Protest Churches and Religious Organisations, not Just Wall Street

    Again: If the Wall Street protests are to mean anything they have to not just protest Wall Street and inequality but also protest the root source of America’s tilt to the far unregulated corporate right . It is time to also protest outside mega churches, Evangelical publishing houses, religious organisations that lead the “moral” crusades against women and gays and all the rest.

    Fundamentalist religion of all kinds is the enemy of democracy and thus of America. It is the enemy of working people everywhere too when it’s bogus moral crusades empower the rich to thumb their noses at our government.

    Fundamentalist religion here and around the world must be stopped in its anti-fact, anti-progress crusade. The alternative is chaos, decline, oligarchy and theocracy.

  12. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 9:25 AM

    What Paul Ryan considers ‘bold and credible’

    By Steve Benen

    Let’s not revisit Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” foolishness. Let’s instead consider what House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) thinks of it.

    We need more bold ideas like this because it is specific and credible,” Ryan said. “I’m more of a flat-tax kind of a guy.”

    The budget chairman went on to say that ideas like Cain’s plan could help shape the debate over tax reform moving into 2013.

    “It’s great to see such bold ideas,” Ryan told TheDC.

    Look, tax policy can be complex, and separating good ideas from bad is often challenging, but this “9-9-9” approach is just silly. It raises taxes on the lower- and middle-classes a lot; it would cause the deficit to spiral to new depths; it would make it more expensive for businesses to hire workers; and it would give the rich a massive tax cut they don’t need.

    And that’s just given the general outline — Herman Cain, who doesn’t take public policy especially seriously, hasn’t offered much in the way of substantive details, including the independent analysis of his plan he claims exists, but refuses to share. One of Cain’s own economic advisers conceded this week it’s not a plan he would have picked.

    Ryan sees all of this and calls Cain’s nonsense “bold,” “specific,” and “credible”?

    My larger point here isn’t that Cain has a dumb plan. Rather, the key takeaway here is that Paul Ryan just isn’t to be taken seriously. I realize much of the political establishment — especially reporters — considers the right-wing Wisconsinite some kind of genius, but I’m not sure how much more it will take to convince them he’s not the wiz they perceive him to be.

  13. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 1:45 PM

    GOP establishment still waiting on the sidelines

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney picked up some more key endorsements this week, most notably from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), reinforcing the impression that he’s the party establishment’s top choice.

    But Mark Blumenthal has an interesting analysis today, noting that GOP presidential endorsements — a fair reference point for the establishment’s preferences — are coming much slower in this cycle than in recent decades.

    [B]y the yardstick of modern campaigns, the Republican party establishment is far from a consensus. Many of the major officeholders that traditionally endorse a presidential candidate are still on the sidelines.

    Few elected officials can “deliver” votes in the manner of the mythical party bosses who controlled large blocks of convention delegates. But political scientists have demonstrated that endorsements by party leaders and activists are an important indicator of the state of consensus on a presidential nominee. And while an individual endorsement may not swing many votes, a larger pattern of endorsements can send a message about whether a candidate has what it takes to win the general election and serve as president.

    In their book, “The Party Decides,” political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller found that a candidate’s share of endorsements just before early primary elections is often a better predictor of the ultimate nominee than early polling.

    Take a look at this chart, showing the pace of GOP presidential endorsements since the 1980 race. As of October 1, the year before the election, every race has seen the Republican establishment start backing candidates in much greater numbers than this year.

    This week’s endorsements apparently bumped the overall total to 14%, but that’s still far behind the normal pace.

    Keep in mind, we’re not talking about one frontrunner getting endorsements, we’re talking about the party establishment offering endorsements to any of the GOP candidates. This year, key party officials are simply waiting, reluctant to throw their support to anyone.

    Given how weak this field is, and the glaring flaws in each, this makes some sense. In all of the recent cycles, there’s either been a strong GOP frontrunner or credible challengers to choose from. This year, not so much. The Republican establishment wants to win like they want to breathe, but they just can’t seem to bring themselves to pick among the craven and unlikable flip-flopper, the dimwitted governor, the wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, the disgraced former Speaker, the guy who ran a pizza company, the “man on dog” guy, the radical libertarian, and the former Obama administration official. Given polls showing Romney hitting a ceiling in his national support, it seems Republican voters are probably thinking along similar lines to the Republican establishment.

    So what happens now? Assuming there aren’t any scandals or career-ending gaffes between now and the earliest nominating contests, a lot of power will rest in the hands of right-wing leaders like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who enjoys enormous credibility in many key Republican circles. If a guy like DeMint backs Cain, it means Perry blew it and he’s done. If DeMint backs Perry, it signals to the right that the Texas governor will be their guy. And if DeMint bites the bullet and supports Romney, it’ll let the world know the right can tolerate him after all.

  14. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 2:30 PM

    Falling apart under scrutiny

    By Steve Benen

    Last week, President Obama had a compelling suggestion for the press corps.

    “[H]ere’s a little homework assignment for folks,” he said. “Go ask the Republicans what their jobs plan is if they’re opposed to the American Jobs Act, and have it scored, have it assessed by the same independent economists that have assessed our jobs plan…. Have those economists evaluate what, over the next two years, the Republican jobs plan would do.”

    When the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes, to her credit, took up the challenge, she found what we expected: published GOP jobs ideas wouldn’t do much to create jobs.

    But that was last week. This week, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) unveiled the Senate Republican plan — the “Jobs Through Growth Act” — which they claim will create 5 million jobs. How? They can’t say. When? They can’t say that, either.

    Greg Sargent asked Gus Faucher, the director of macroeconomics at Moody’s Analytics, for his take on the new GOP jobs plan, and found that the “Jobs Through Growth Act” wouldn’t help in the short term, and could very well make economic conditions even worse.

    “Should we look at regulations and make sure they make sense from a cost benefit standpoint? Certainly. Should we reduce the budget deficit over the long run? Certainly,” Faucher said. “But in the short term, demand is weak, businesses aren’t hiring, and consumers aren’t spending. That’s the cause of the current weakness — and Republican Senate proposals aren’t going to address that in the short term.”

    “In fact, they could be harmful in the short run, if the focus is on cutting spending,” Faucher continued. “They don’t say explicitly when they would cut spending, but the Republican focus is on cutting spending sooner and later.”

    The Senate Republican plan, of course, also mandates a constitutional amendment forcing balanced budgets, which prompted Faucher to add, “Putting the emphasis on balancing the budget now is likely to push the economy back into recession.”

    As a point of comparison, it’s also worth noting that Moody’s, an independent firm whose chief economist used to advice the McCain/Palin campaign, analyzed President Obama’s American Jobs Act, and projected it would, if passed by Congress, create 1.9 million jobs and cut the national unemployment by a full percentage point.

    What would help everyone is a straight-up, apples-to-apples comparison of competing approaches to job creation. The White House can present its bill, and congressional Republicans can do the same. Officials can ask independent, non-partisan economists to scrutinize the plans and note which of the two would boost the economy more, create more jobs, and lower unemployment more.

    The problem is, Republicans would never accept such a challenge. They can’t, because they know their plan would come up far short.

    Indeed, the White House has already met the challenge and passed — Obama and his team put together a detailed proposal, and the consensus among economists is that it would give the economy a much needed boost. GOP leaders, meanwhile, have released a vague blueprint, with provisions that economists believe might move the economy in the wrong direction.

    It’s one of the key reasons the GOP plans are so vague, while the White House plan is a detailed piece of legislation — the latter lends itself to meaningful scrutiny, while the former makes for nice sound bites on Fox News.

    Shouldn’t it tell the political world something important when there are two alternatives to job creation, and one is terrified of economic analysis and examination?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Romney Not Catching Fire
    by BooMan
    Fri Oct 14th, 2011 at 10:01:30 AM EST

    President Obama raised a lot more money for his own campaign in the third quarter than Mitt Romney and Rick Perry combined. What’s more interesting is that Rick Perry outraised Romney by $3 million, despite having a catastrophic September on the campaign trail. I see a lot of articles about how the Republican Establishment is coalescing around Romney as more and more people see him as the inevitable nominee. But that isn’t translating into big fundraising numbers. You’d think every hedge fund manager and banker in the country would be throwing money at Romney’s feet, but they seem to still be hedging their bets. Maybe it’s because Wall Street can see that the Republicans are engaged in Alice in Wonderland economics. Whatever else you might say about them, the people who work on Wall Street do understand basic economics. Many of them are more interested in how to game the system than in supporting a stable, fair, and even playing field, but they know what will cause budget deficits and that all the Republicans’ economic plans would do catastrophic damage to the health of the economy.

    Meanwhile, rank-and-file Republicans continue to reject Romney as they try out new flavor of the month candidates. This month it is Haagen Dazs Black Walnut. Next month, maybe it’ll be Newt’s turn. Peach Cobbler, anyone?

  16. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 12:30 PM

    A thorough debunking

    By Steve Benen

    Credit where credit is due: several major media outlets have done a pretty good job of knocking down the top Republican talking point on economic policy. The latest is a good piece from CNN.

    The story goes like this: Thanks to the Obama administration, a wave of new government regulations are strangling business to the detriment of hiring and economic growth.

    But in an economy with serious structural problems, a crippled housing market and slack demand, is government regulation really holding back the labor market?

    Not so much, according to government data and surveys of business owners and economists.

    Only a small percentage of employers report regulation as a reason for laying off workers.

    In the first two quarters of this year, only 2,085 new unemployment claims were attributed to government regulation, while 55,759 were tied to insufficient demand, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data on mass layoffs.

    The CNN report cited, among other things, BLS data, surveys from the National Federation of Independent Business, and Brookings Institution scholarship. They all said the same thing: government regulations are not responsible for holding back the economy.

    The New York Times, the AP, the Economic Policy Institute, the Wall Street Journal, and McClatchy newspapers all did their own research and reporting on this in recent weeks, and all came to the exact same conclusion. At this point, it’s safe to say anyone insisting that regulations are the driving factor behind the weak economy is a fool or a hack.

    What is holding back the economy? In every instances, all of the reporting pointed to a lack of demand. Republicans may not care for the rules of supply and demand, but they’re not subject to GOP filibusters.

    And yet, Republicans simply do not believe the evidence. In fact, GOP officials consistently argue that reality is backwards — we don’t need to boost demand; we need to deal with the real problems like regulations, taxes, and some amorphous sense of uncertainty.

    The problem, of course, is that the GOP agenda desperately hopes to make demand worse by taking capital out of the economy, laying off more public-sector workers, imposing austerity measures, and scaling back economic activity by cutting off unemployment benefits and food stamps.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why the parties can’t have a sensible conversation about economic policy.

  17. Talking Points Memo:

    White House to Boehner, on jobs: Did we hit a nerve?

    Federal Court Blocks Parts Of Hardline Law That Has Immigrants, Including Scores Of Children, Fleeing From State

    ATLANTA — A federal appeals court issued a ruling Friday that temporarily blocked parts of an Alabama law requiring schools to check the immigration status of students but let stand a provision that allows police to detain immigrants that are suspected of being in the country illegally.

    The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the order after the Justice Department challenged what is considered the toughest immigration law in the nation. The opinion also blocked a part of the law that makes it a crime for immigrants to not have proper documentation.

    A final decision on the law won’t be made for months to allow time for more arguments.

    Since a federal judge upheld much of the law in late September, many frightened Hispanics have been driven away from Alabama, fearing they could be arrested or targeted by police. Construction workers, landscapers and field hands have stopped showing up for work, and large numbers of Hispanic students have been absent from public schools.

    To cope with the labor shortage, Alabama agriculture commissioner John McMillan at one point suggested farmers should consider hiring inmates in the state’s work-release program.

  19. Breaking His Promise To Create 700K Jobs, Gov. Rick Scott Now Says ‘I Don’t Have To Create Any Jobs’

    Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) campaigned on a promise to create jobs in Florida — his campaign mantras were even “Let’s get to work!” and “jobs, jobs, jobs.” However, recently he’s backed off his earlier pledge to create 700,000 jobs in addition to the 1 million jobs Florida is expected to generate as part of the state’s natural growth, absurdly claiming “I don’t know who said that.”

    Now the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Scott is scaling back his promises even further, claiming, “I could argue that I don’t have to create any jobs”:

  20. rikyrah says:

    PPP Memo: How NC Democrats took it to the Tea Party…and won: a blueprint for 2012
    From: Dean Debnam and Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling

    To: Interested Parties

    Subject: Democrats can win in 2012 by taking it to the Tea Party

    Date: October 13th, 2011

    Over the last few months Democrats in Wake County, North Carolina ran against the Tea Party in a strongly Republican leaning School Board district. And on Tuesday night they won, showing that the party might be able to have success in 2012 even on unfriendly turf by relentlessly hammering GOP candidates for their ties to an increasingly unpopular movement.

    In 2009 Republicans gained a majority on the Wake County School Board in an election marked by complacency from Democratic voters and just 11% turnout. The new majority quickly moved to pursue policies that would have the effect of resegregating the school district, bringing enormous amounts of negative national media attention down on the county.

    The actions of the School Board reawakened Democratic activists and created a sense of urgency about winning back a majority in 2011 but there was just one problem- doing that would require defeating the Board’s chairman, Ron Margiotta. His district is so heavily Republican- 42% GOP, 34% Democrats among regular voters- that he didn’t even draw an opponent when he won reelection to his 2nd term in 2007. It required an incredibly strong message to win his seat- and that message proved to be the Tea Party.

    PPP found in September that 53% of voters in Margiotta’s R+8 district were less likely to vote for a Tea Party backed candidate, with only 24% considering that to be an asset for a candidate. It’s a given that Democrats recoil at the Tea Party label, but independents considered it a negative by a 51/20 margin and even 26% of Republican voters said they would be turned off of a candidate they knew had Tea Party ties.

    A unified Democratic base wasn’t going to be enough for the party to win this seat- it would require a significant advantage with independents and a lot of crossover support from Republicans as well. The Wake County Democratic Party and the candidates themselves relentlessly hammered home to voters the message about Margiotta’s Tea Party ties. The result? A PPP poll the week before the election found Democratic endorsed candidate Susan Evans leading 48-43. She had a 51-34 advantage with independents and was taking 22% of the Republican vote. Those numbers held on right into election day and Evans won 52-48.

    This was not a race where Democrats played nice- they took the fight to the Republican candidates and exploited their close ties to an increasingly unpopular Tea Party movement. And it worked, in a district where Democratic victory once seemed unimaginable. Democrats will more than likely take back the majority in a November 8th runoff election in a separate district where the party’s candidate won by 10 points yesterday, but fell short of an outright majority. And they did it by running against the Tea Party.

    It’s a model Democratic candidates across the country should consider following in 2012. PPP polling in key swing states has consistently found that the Tea Party is very unpopular- its favorability is 41/49 in Florida, 40/46 in Missouri, 40/48 in North Carolina, 37/47 in Ohio, and 38/49 in Colorado, just to name a few. And even in red leaning states like Kentucky (40/46) and South Carolina (41/42) being associated with the Tea Party is not a good thing. It was a potent message for Democrats in Wake County Tuesday night. And it could be a potent message for Democrats everywhere across the country next year.

  21. Ametia says:

    federal appeals court has blocked enforcement of parts of a controversial immigration enforcement law in Alabama.
    The injunction issued Friday from the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta came after the U.S. Justice Department — supported by a coalition of immigrant rights groups — requested the legislation, known as HB 56, be put on hold until the larger constitutional questions can be addressed, a process that could take some months at least.
    The Obama administration says the Constitution does not permit states to deter illegal immigration, saying an issue with foreign policy implications is the exclusive mandate of the federal government.
    Alabama’s law, passed by the legislature this summer, would allow state and local officials to check the immigration status of public school students; to detain suspected illegal aliens without bond; and make it a crime for immigrants who lack proper documents to conduct busine ss with the state for things like driver’s licenses.

  22. Air Force One Take Off

  23. rikyrah says:

    Plates Shifting

    I don’t want to make too much of this. But something finally dawned on me when I saw the news today that a group of Republican senators were introducing what they called a “real” American jobs bill. Then today Speaker Boehner spoke to President Obama and volubly denied the president’s claim that House Republicans lacked any jobs proposals. And Boehner’s office sent out this email ‘read out’ of the call.

    Readout of the Speaker’s call with President Obama

    Readout of the Speaker’s call with President Obama
    WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, President Obama called Speaker Boehner to congratulate him on passing the three free trade agreements. After they discussed trade, the Speaker brought up the President’s remarks today about “not having yet seen” a GOP plan for job creation, and respectfully challenged the President’s assertion. “I want to make sure you have all the facts,” the Speaker told the President. The Speaker reminded the President that House Republicans put forth a ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators’ in May, and noted that he and other members of the GOP leadership team have spoken with the President and his staff about the plan and referenced it on numerous occasions, in letters and elsewhere.

    The Speaker told the President that when he sent his jobs plan to the Hill, Republicans pledged to give it consideration, and have done so. The President was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found. The Speaker also noted that a number of the President’s ideas have already been acted on in the House, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a three percent withholding bill approved by the Ways & Means Committee today that will be considered on the House floor this month. They also discussed transportation and infrastructure, and the Speaker expressed his desire to do something on the issue, but to do it in a fiscally-responsible way.

    The conversation lasted approximately 10 minutes.

    And remember the deficit super-committee?

    We’re going to hear about it again next month as it moves toward what will apparently be deadlock and failure. Somehow though that whole line of argument has shifted into the background.

    I don’t suggest that the president’s political fortunes have shifted dramatically. Yet despite the fact that Senate Republicans were able to block a vote on his jobs bill, it seems to have gone with relatively little notice — probably because it’s right there in plain sight — how much the president’s day in and day out push on jobs has simply shifted the national conversation, the focus on what the issue is that requires solving.

    I think this is a bigger deal than we realize.

  24. Marine One carrying US President Barack Obama approaches to land October 14, 2011 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak are heading to Lake Orion, Michigan to visit the General Motors Orion Assembly plant and to speak on the US-South Korea trade agreement.

  25. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 10:45 AM

    Changing the nature of the conversation

    By Steve Benen

    Two of the more significant political developments on Capitol Hill yesterday dealt with a similar subject. In the afternoon, Senate Republicans unveiled a pseudo jobs bill, and a few hours later, Speaker Boehner got into an argument with President Obama over whether GOP officials actually care about creating jobs.

    It prompted Josh Marshall to raise a good point.

    I don’t suggest that the president’s political fortunes have shifted dramatically. Yet despite the fact that Senate Republicans were able to block a vote on his jobs bill, it seems to have gone with relatively little notice — probably because it’s right there in plain sight — how much the president’s day in and day out push on jobs has simply shifted the national conversation, the focus on what the issue is that requires solving.

    I think this is a bigger deal than we realize.

    At a certain level, this may seem counter-intuitive. After all, President Obama launched an aggressive, all-encompassing push on jobs shortly after Labor Day, and surface-level conditions haven’t changed that much in the six weeks since — the president’s approval ratings are still in the low 40s; Republicans still don’t want to make the economy better; public anxiety still reigns. Early September looks an awful lot like mid October.

    But I think Josh is right about the larger conversation. For the better part of 2011, the battle lines were drawn in a way that Republicans loved. The only topics of conversation that were permitted dealt with debt reduction, entitlement “reforms,” spending cuts, and austerity. The question wasn’t whether Washington would impose pain on an already-suffering populace, but how much.

    The discourse is now a very different place, because the White House had the sense to take a conversational detour. Thanks in part to a concerted p.r. campaign from President Obama, and with some pushes from Occupy Wall Street, the topics that now dominate are about job creation, financial industry responsibility, and tax fairness. What’s more, while the president’s approval rating hasn’t changed much, polls do show a striking shift in Obama’s direction when it comes to who voters trust to lower unemployment: “Obama has made big gains over Republicans on the specific question of who is more trusted to handle jobs. Obama has a 15 point edge on the issue, 49-34, up from a tie of 40-40 in early September.”

    Clearly (and tragically) the policy needle isn’t moving, at least not yet, but the austerity agenda is no longer at center stage, in large part because the president put the power of the White House into pushing it out of the spotlight. It’s a start.

  26. Ametia says:


    WATCH: Did Ron Paul’s Eyebrows Fall Off During This Week’s GOP Debate?
    by Justin Fenner | 11:14 am, October 14th, 2011

  27. rikyrah says:

    Christianism Watch
    A sign that the Mormon issue isn’t going away for Romney: the latest from the far right WorldNetDaily:

    The daughter of a Mormon bishop who has abandoned her family’s faith claims in a new book the election of Mitt Romney to the presidency would put the U.S. in danger due to what she calls the Republican’s “outrageous,” “horrific” and “mind-controlling” beliefs.

    “While he attempts to portray Mormonism as just another Christian religion, Mitt Romney counts on his skills to shift our attention away from what he truly believes,” says Tricia Erickson, author of “Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.” “If the American people knew what he truly believed, they would surely not place him in the highest office in the land.”

    The deployment of an ex-Mormon by evangelicals is something I hadn’t anticipated – but should have. The McCarthyite angle is one I didn’t quite see coming either:

    The author, who herself was married in a Mormon temple at age 19 but now considers herself a non-denominational Christian, says there’s a secret agenda Mormon officials don’t like to talk about publicly. “A complete takeover of the government,” she said. “They have more people in the CIA, the FBI. They have an employment office for Mormons in D.C. to be able to infiltrate them into the government.”

    If this really is the flavor out there in the wingnut fever swamps, it’s going to get much uglier.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Perry’s Evangelical Problem?
    The attacks on Romney’s Mormonism haven’t paid dividends yet. Against Obama, Romney actually does better than Perry among evangelicals:

    Perry’s most alarming area of under-performance is among evangelicals, a conservative faction squarely in Perry’s wheelhouse. This is a governor whose revival rally filled a Houston football stadium, who courts conservative bigwigs in language that reveals a Biblical fluency. Less than a week ago, a Perry supporter sparked a kerfuffle by suggesting that Romney, a Mormon, would not appeal to Evangelicals on the hunt for a true Christian candidate rather than an adherent to a “cult.” And yet in TIME’s poll, Romney outperforms Perry among Evangelicals, leading Obama 51% to 39%. Perry leads Obama among Evangelicals as well, but by a slimmer 46% to 40% margin.

    That head-to-head deficit in a prime Perry demographic may underscore the degree to which his faltering performance has sowed doubts among potential supporters.

  29. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 11:20 AM

    Remember the ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators’?

    By Steve Benen

    An angry Republican reader emails this morning to complain about the earlier piece on Speaker Boehner and his jobs argument with President Obama. The reader, who asked that I not use his name, raises a point that’s worth reviewing.

    In yesterday’s call with the president, Boehner “reminded” Obama about a “memo” House Republicans prepared in May, which the Speaker believes is proof that the GOP has been fully engaged on the jobs issue for months. I dismissed it as foolishness, which generated the angry email:

    “That’s totally unfair. Did you even read the Plan for America’s Job Creators? It’s a REAL plan, it came four months before Obama Stimulus II, and it’s not ‘vague platitudes on a website.’ If Democrats are so hot to move on jobs, explain why they said no.”

    Fine, let’s talk about the “Plan for America’s Job Creators,” the memo Boehner was eager to point to yesterday.

    As a practical matter, the agenda was practically a conservative cliche: the GOP put together a wish list of massive tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, more coastal oil drilling, and huge cuts to public investment. The plan, such as it was, included no policy details.

    Why didn’t Democrats take this seriously? Aside from the fact that it was substance-less, it was a rehash of everything Republicans have wanted for decades. As Paul Krugman joked at the time:

    [T]he new “jobs plan” illustrates, once again, the foolishness of believing that we can reach any real bipartisan agreement on economic policy. The GOP stopped thinking a long time ago; all it knows how to do is parrot Reaganite rhetoric over and over. And there’s so little there there that the document — look at it! — has to rely on extra-large type and lots of pointless pictures to bulk it out even to 10 pages

    That last part isn’t a joke, by the way. Here’s the pdf version of the Republican “plan.” Notice that the font size is enormous, as are the pictures that dominate every page.

    Ezra Klein explained, “Academic books pack about 600 words to a page. Normal books clock in around 400. Large-print books — you know, the ones for kids or the visually impaired — fit about 250. The House GOP’s jobs plan, however, gets about 200 words to a page. The typeface is fit for giants, and the document’s 10 pages are mostly taken up by pictures. It looks like the staffer in charge forgot the assignment was due on Thursday rather than Friday, and so cranked the font up to 24 and began dumping clip art to pad out the plan.”

    Just for fun, I did a word count of the entire “plan.” The total: 2,053 words. If that sounds like a lot, it isn’t. This blog post that you’re reading now, for example, put together over the course of about 15 minutes, is about 550 words. The House Republican leadership put together a 10-page document ostensibly explaining how the GOP intends to address the unemployment crisis, and they could barely put together 2,000 words.

    My angry reader wants to know why sensible people blew off this agenda? Because they read it.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Wisconsin GOP Now Considering Pennsylvania-Style Election Rigging Plan
    By Ian Millhiser on Oct 13, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) announced a plan to rig the 2012 presidential election by effectively giving away up to a dozen of the state’s electoral votes to the Republican candidate. Now, as Dave Weigel reports, the Wisconsin GOP is considering the exact same plan:

    In Wisconsin, Republican Rep. Dan LeMahieu is asking his colleagues to sign onto a bill that would change the state’s method of picking electoral college electors — a plan identical to the one alive, if losing some steam, in Pennsylvania.

    “This bill would change Wisconsin to a state using the Congressional District Method,” explains LeMahieu in a letter to colleagues. “Each congressional district would choose their own Electoral College vote based on the popular vote in that congressional district and the 2 at large votes would be decided by the popular vote of the entire state.” […]

    In the 2008 election, a vote-split wouldn’t have made much of a difference for Wisconsin’s electors. Barack Obama took the state by 14 points, winning all but one of eight fairly un-gerrymandered congressional districts. But had this been in place four years earlier, John Kerry would have won only six of ten electoral votes — two statewide, one for each district. And Wisconsin hasn’t gone Republican since 1984, when Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale by 9 points.

    As Weigel notes, this effort to render democracy irrelevant in Wisconsin was inevitable. Indeed, ever since Gov. Scott Walker (R) was sworn in last January, Wisconsin has become ground zero for GOP efforts to ensure that only Republicans can win elections. Walker stripped state workers of their right to organize to strengthen the GOP’s position in the next election. He gutted the state’s public financing system, which allows candidates to run effective campaigns without pleading for money from big dollar donors, and used this money to pay for a voter ID scheme that disenfranchises thousands of poor, minority and student voters.

  31. rikyrah says:

    ….Obama readies for MLK speech as president, father

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama once contemplated what it would be like to take his two daughters to the National Mall to see a monument to Martin Luther King Jr.

    “I know that one of my daughters will ask, perhaps my youngest, will ask, “Daddy, why is this monument here? What did this man do?” Obama, then a senator representing Illinois, said during a 2006 groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial to the civil rights pioneer.

    Five years have passed since Obama reflected on those questions. The young senator is now president, and the King memorial is complete, having opened to the public in August. And Obama will get his chance to take daughters Malia and Sasha to the monument Sunday for the dedication ceremony, during which the country’s first black president will be a featured speaker.

    The dedication was originally scheduled for late August but was postponed after Hurricane Irene swept through the Washington region, dumping rain on the nation’s capital and disrupting travel plans for many of those who planned to attend the event.

    On Sunday, Obama will speak in front of a 30-foot sculpture of King, arms crossed, looking out into the horizon. The civil rights leader appears to emerge from a stone extracted from a mountain. The design was inspired by a line from the famous 1963 “Dream” speech delivered during the March on Washington in 1963: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

    Situated between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, King’s is the first monument on the National Mall honoring a black leader.

    Obama was just 6 years old when King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. But he has often talked about the influence King’s life, particularly his commitment to public service, has had on him.

    In a 2009 newspaper editorial written just days before his inauguration, Obama wrote that King “lived his life as a servant to others,” and urged Americans to follow his example and find ways to enrich people’s lives in their communities and across the country.

    Valerie Jarrett, a White House senior adviser and longtime friend of the president, said she expects the president’s remarks “to come straight from the heart.”

    King’s “willingness to sacrifice himself for our country, to fight for a dream he believed in, like justice and equality, really gave a foundation for President Obama becoming the president,” Jarrett said.

    Obama is also looking forward to the opportunity to speak as a parent and to remind his daughters and other young people about the work that went into securing the liberties they may now take for granted, Jarrett said.

    When Obama imagined years ago taking his daughters to see the King monument, he couldn’t have known he would do so as president. But he said when the monument was

    complete, he would tell his daughters “that this man gave his life serving others. I will tell them that this man tried to love somebody. I will tell them that because he did these things, they live today with the freedom God intended, their citizenship unquestioned, their dreams unbounded.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    Judge Blocks Colorado GOPer’s Attack on Military Voters
    By Tanya Somanader on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Doing his part in the GOP’s campaign to disenfranchise voters, Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler prohibited election officials from sending ballots to tens of thousands of “inactive/failed to vote” voters because they skipped the 2010 election and had yet to respond to postcards asking them to re-activate their registration.

    Many of these “failed” voters included military men and women who were still on active duty. When the military voters were brought to his attention, Gessler stated, “my office’s position remains the same.” Aghast at such overreaching infringement on voter rights, the Denver County clerk Debra Johnson disobeyed the order and decided to send the ballots anyway. Gessler took her to court to prevent her from sending the ballots — and lost.

    Gessler insisted that the election law that states “the designated election official shall mail to each active registered elector” means that ballots for inactive voters is strictly prohibited. Denver District Judge Brian Whitney, however, ruled differently on Friday. Whitney noted that while Gessler “hadn’t shown there would be irreparable harm if the ballots are sent,” it “is irreparable to disenfranchise a voter“:

    In his ruling on a request for a preliminary injunction, Whitney said that at worst, the results of Denver’s election Nov. 1 could be called into question, but he said that could be repaired with a special election.

    “It is irreparable to disenfranchise a voter,” Whitney ruled. “It is a fundamental right to be able to vote.”

    Gessler vowed to continue the fight. “Unfortunately, the judge’s decision today allows counties to operate this election differently based on how much money they have. We’ve seen constant erosion of personal responsibility and this decision continues that erosion,” he said. “Coloradans can continue to expect my office to enforce the laws on the books.”

    Any inactive voter in Colorado can update their voter registration at the Secretary of State’s website.

  33. Barack Obama News:

    Press Release: President Obama to Travel to North Carolina and Virginia on Second Day of American Jobs Act Bus Tour

  34. HuffPostPol:

    Telemundo gets its first presidential primary debate

  35. Ametia says:

    Some folks REALLY do make it hard for those who need help

    As Online Courses Grow, So Does Financial Aid Fraud
    Published: October 13, 2011

    While serving nine months in a South Carolina prison on forgery charges, Michelle N. Owens capitalized on the explosion in online higher education to tap into a new — and highly lucrative — way to profit from fake documents.
    Using information she gathered as she handled paperwork in the prison’s education department, Ms. Owens filed applications for admission and financial aid to Webster University’s distance-learning programs on behalf of 23 unknowing inmates. The applicants were admitted and granted the $467,500 in requested aid, including $124,821 for books, transportation and living expenses — though of course their room and board was already provided by the state. The aid was sent in the form of debit cards to the residential South Carolina address Ms. Owens supplied.
    An alert employee at Webster in St. Louis, which has campuses overseas and on dozens of United States military bases, eventually noticed an unusual number of applicants from the same address in Florence, S.C. Ms. Owens, 36, who continued to make fraudulent applications to Webster for more than a year after she was released from Leath Correctional Institution in 2008, was sentenced on Sept. 29 to 51 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $128,852 in restitution.

  36. The grim reality of life under Alabama’s brutal immigration law
    Fear of detention, families torn apart – Hispanics in Alabama are trapped in a unique half-life under punishing new immigrant laws

    Isobel Gomez’s apartment on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama, has the hunkered-down quality of a wartime bunker. There are boxes of bottled water, rice, beans and tortillas stacked against the living room wall – sufficient to last her family of five several days. The curtains are drawn and the lights on, even though it is early afternoon.

    For the past two weeks, this small space has been Gomez’s prison cell. She has been cooped up here, shut off from natural light and almost all contact with the outside world since 28 September, the day a judge upheld the new law that has given Alabama the distinction of having the most draconian immigration powers in America.

  37. HuffPostPol:

    Alabama immigrants tell Justice Department new immigration law has made the situation ‘dire’

  38. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 8:00 AM

    So much for graciousness

    By Steve Benen

    President Obama, in an attempt at graciousness, called House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) yesterday, congratulating him on the successful passage of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. It was the first time the two leaders had connected in three weeks, and it appeared to be sincere, good-will outreach from the president.

    In a sign of the times, even a congratulatory phone call generated an argument.

    The problem, at least from the Speaker’s perspective, was something Obama said earlier during a press event with South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak. A reporter asked the U.S. president why he doesn’t “sit down with members of Congress to see if you can’t reach compromise” on a jobs bill. (That so many reporters seem so confused about this is disconcerting.)

    “Frankly, we have not seen a lot of ideas coming forward from Republicans that would indicate that same kind of commitment to job creation,” Obama responded. “If Senator McConnell or Speaker Boehner say to me, ‘You know what, we want to get some infrastructure built in this country, we think that putting construction workers back to work is important,’ I’ll be right there. We’ll be ready to go. If they are willing to renew the payroll tax as we worked on together in December, I’ll be ready to go.”

    This, apparently, offended Boehner to such an extent that he turned a congratulatory call with the president into another fight — and then took the unusual step of giving the press a readout of the conversation.

    According to an unusually detailed account released by the speaker’s office, Boehner “respectfully challenged” the president for saying Thursday that he has not yet seen a jobs plan from Republicans. […]

    “The speaker told the president that when he sent his jobs plan to the Hill, Republicans pledged to give it consideration, and have done so,” the release stated. “The president was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found.”

    “I want to make sure you have all the facts,” Boehner said he told the president.

    And I, too, want to make sure the Speaker has all the facts.

    The memo GOP leaders put together several months ago wasn’t a jobs plan; it was an offer to the White House to have the president agree with long-standing Republican ideas. The number of actual jobs bills passed by the U.S. House this year? Zero.

    The American Jobs Act, love it or hate it, is a real piece of legislation. It’s been scored by the CBO; it’s been studied by economists; it’s been subjected to scrutiny. Experts have been able to make projections about its possible impact, and some have found it would create as many as 1.9 millions. Boehner, meanwhile, posted some vague platitudes on a website. When independent economists took a look — a detailed analysis was difficult since the GOP offered so few specifics — they found the Republican ideas wouldn’t “mean much for the economy and job market in the next year.”

    When the Speaker wants to take this issue seriously, I’m sure everyone — voters, reporters, the White House, congressional Dems — will be ready to engage in a credible discussion.

    Just as an aside, I’d also note yesterday’s tiff tells us something important about the Speaker’s perspective. At a certain level, one likes to think — or at least, hope — that Boehner is intelligent enough to know not to believe his own talking points. The Speaker may have to say things in interviews for the sake of a larger, partisan agenda, but beneath the veneer, he must know the truth.

    Except, Boehner apparently doesn’t know anything of the kind. In a private conversation with the president, the Speaker seemed to genuinely believe his own nonsense.

  39. rikyrah says:

    October 14, 2011 8:40 AM

    The truly farcical ‘Jobs Through Growth Act’

    By Steve Benen

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    I suppose Senate Republicans deserve at least some credit for making an effort. The congressional GOP has largely ignored the jobs crisis, so the fact that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have put together the “Jobs Through Growth Act,” is at least marginally constructive.

    The problem is with the “plan” itself.

    What do Senate Republicans want to do to give employment a boost? Cut taxes, approve a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, eliminate the entirety of Wall Street reform safeguards, blocking EPA enforcement of clean air measures, and a tax repatriation holiday for international corporations.

    When President Obama unveiled the American Jobs Act, it had been deliberately crafted to include several provisions that Republicans have traditionally supported. Graham, McCain, and Paul didn’t bother. Try not to be surprised.

    The GOP senators boasted their plan would create 5 million jobs. And how would that happen? Who came up with that number? How would Republicans pay for their plan? How quickly would it make a difference?

    They didn’t say. In fact, unlike the detailed jobs bill presented by the White House, the “plan” from Senate Republicans is a wish list of far-right ideas, but it’s also lacking in the sort of substantive details that serious proposals require.

    And that’s precisely why this nonsense is so farcical.

    The premise of Obama’s proposal was that the two parties couldn’t agree on their long-term vision of government, but the economic emergency was too severe to wait until the election to settle it, so they should act immediately on short-term ideas that have bipartisan support. The GOP response is to issue a series of exclusively long-term proposals lacking any bipartisan support. There’s not much pretense of intending to address the current crisis when your plan has as its cornerstone the passage of a Constitutional amendment. […]

    On jobs, the GOP simply will not engage with the premise of the entire macroeconomic forecasting field that the economy is suffering from a lack of demand. The purpose of this bill is to straddle that awkward divide, and provide a sound bite to answer Obama when he says he has a jobs plan.

    That’s plainly true. In fact, McCain, who admits he doesn’t understand economic policy, told reporters yesterday he and his cohorts put this plan together in part as “a response to the president saying we don’t have a proposal.”

    Senator, I’ve seen your plan. You still don’t have a proposal.

    The intellectual bankruptcy of the Republican Party is just astounding. It has no new ideas, no constructive solutions, no creativity, no depth of thought, no intellectual consistency, no recollection of their own failures, no understanding of economic policy, and no access to calculators.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Friday, October 14, 2011
    Bloomberg Blinks Against OWS
    Posted by Zandar
    The One Percent was trying to shut down Occupy Wall Street for good on Friday.

    New York City officials ordered Wall Street protesters to clear their sleeping bags and tarps from the park where they started a movement that has spread around the globe and forced CEOs and presidential candidates to take notice. Demonstrators said they wouldn’t be going anywhere Friday morning, setting the stage for a showdown with police.
    The owner of the private park where the demonstrators have camped out for nearly a month said it has become trashed and unsanitary. Brookfield Office Properties planned to begin a section-by-section power-washing of Zuccotti Park at 7 a.m.
    “They’re going to use the cleanup to get us out of here,” said Justin Wedes, a 25-year-old part-time public high school science teacher from Brooklyn. “It’s a de facto eviction notice.”

    The OWS folks say they are ready for them. I feared a swift, brutal, and near total victory for Bloomberg’s goons today. But it seems that the Mayor has backed down this morning.

    The scheduled cleanup of the park where hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters have camped for four weeks has been postponed, Mayor Michael Blooomberg’s office announced early Friday morning.

    “Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park – Brookfield Properties – that they are postponing their scheduled cleaning of the park, and for the time being withdrawing their request from earlier in the week for police assistance during their cleaning operation,” Deputy New York City Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement issued at 6:30 am, a half hour before the cleanup was to get underway.

    OWS is setting up a non-violent eviction defense just in case.

    Occupy Wall Street is committed to keeping the park clean and safe — we even have a Sanitation Working Group whose purpose this is. We are organizing major cleaning operations today and will do so regularly.

    If Bloomberg truly cares about sanitation here he should support the installation of portopans and dumpsters. #OWS allies have been working to secure these things to support our efforts.

    We know where the real dirt is: on Wall Street. Billionaire Bloomberg is beholden to bankers.

    We won’t allow Bloomberg and the NYPD to foreclose our occupation. This is an occupation, not a permitted picnic.

    Take note as to what happens here, folks. Bloomberg blinked.

  41. The Associated Press:

    BREAKING: Retail sales increased 1.1 percent in September, largest gain in 7 months led by auto sales -ldh

  42. Perry’s Wife Says God Called Him to Run

    Anita Perry reflected on the “rough month” her husband, Rick Perry, has endured on the campaign trail, NBC News reports, and suggested he was being targeted for his evangelical Christian faith.

    Said Perry: “We have been brutalized and beaten up and chewed up in the press to where I need this today. We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative — well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”

    She likened her husband’s decision to run to encountering a “burning bush,” a reference to the Biblical story of Moses receiving a sign from God.

  43. rikyrah says:

    From the comments at The Obama Diary:

    October 14, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Good Morning!

    Hiya Chips. I’ve been up for more than an hour! Yay!!! I’ve been watching Morning Joe and my goodness Chips If you’d watched it this morning you’d have peed your pants laughing.

    You know how GOPolitico laughingly declared in their article by Ben Smith and Maggie Hayberman I believe or some other GOP tool writer that President Obama would be lucky to even come close to raising about $40 million in the 3rd Quarter and the goal of $55M was laughingly ambitious.

    They even repeated that crap on Morning Joe months ago. So today I expected Jon Harris of GOPoilitco to tell Joe Scarborough that their magazine was wrong. That PBO raised an impressive $70M. He told Joe “oh well, $70M is impressive of course, but – ahhhh that infernal “but” – GWB was raising more than PBO at this time, PBO doesn’t have any Wall Street people clamoring to donate to him – how is that a bad thing? – PBO is having to work double time to have people donate, blah blah blah”.

    Joe Scarborough then went on a tear saying that he’s been talking to bundlers who are raising $5M or more for PBO and when he asks them to defend PBO, they have no defense, they hang their head in shame and say PBO is a terrible and horrible President, but their hands are tied; so they must bundle more money for him.

    Are you freaking kidding me? Hahahahahahaha Joe’s desperation was FUNNY and I mean funny with a capital “F”

    You could practically smell his fear that PBO despite having to cancel mulitple fundraisers due to the debt ceiling was still a JUGGERNAUT who raised $70M! Being a bundler is voluntary; no one forces you to do that. You do it because you want to make sure PBO is re-elected, you do it because you believe he is the best and American deserves the best. You do it because you want to protect all the transformative legislation he’s made from greedy and destructive GOPTeabaggers.

    Why else would Anna Wintour, Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Eva Longoria, and a whole host of other people watse their time?

    The other desperate ploy of Scarborough’s was to mock PBO’s Hope and Change mantra
    a la sarah palin. He kept asking how that Hope and Change thing was working out for small donors, big donors, and volunteers for the Obama 2012 campaign. Well Joe it’s working out just fine and dandy for us!

    His desperation was hilarious! He looked soooo afraid of the fact that PBO was raising money hand over fist and a lot of small donors were stepping up and donating multiple times.

    Sssshhhhh.. don’t tell him about Donna’s fundraiser aided by the TOD family and her lucky prize of receiving a call from PBO. It’ll probably drive him to almost shut down all the McDonalds in New York trying to fill the empty hole that is his desperation. BWAHAHAHA It’s a good day when republicans flip out over OUR guy’s success and their failure.

  44. rikyrah says:

    obama’s donor base: still robust’

    Don’t know if you remember a piece in the New York Times last month by Nicholas Confessore titled ‘Small Donors Are Slow to Return to the Obama Fold’:

    “They were once among President Obama’s most loyal supporters and a potent symbol of his political brand: voters of moderate means who dug deep for the candidate and his message of hope and change, sending him $10 or $25 or $50 every few weeks or months. But in recent months, the frustration and disillusionment that have dragged down Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have crept into the ranks of his vaunted small-donor army, underscoring the challenges he faces as he seeks to rekindle grass-roots enthusiasm for his re-election bid.”

    After yesterday’s third quarter figures it’ll be, eh, interesting to see if Confessore does a follow-up piece.

    As Adam Sorensen (Time) put it: ” ….. The precise breakdown for the third quarter won’t be available for another few days, but there’s enough out there to tell us that the small-dollar donors have not, in fact, been “Slow to Return to the Obama Fold.” According to the Obama campaign, some 600,000 people gave to the cause during this last reporting period at an average of $56 per donation. In the prior quarter, there were around 550,000 donors giving an average of $69. When the campaign filed with FEC, that worked out to be $22 million given in increments of $200 or less, almost half of the total haul.

    Some context is in order. Consider this: Mitt Romney, the GOP’s fundraising juggernaut, claimed just 6% of his second-quarter intake from small-dollar donors. And during his groundswell campaign in 2007, then Senator Obama made headlines by drawing a little less than a third of his $33 million second-quarter haul from donations less than $200. Now Obama’s up around 50%.”

  45. rikyrah says:

    under KNEEGROW, PLEASE news.

    I haven’t seen a press conference or heard him on tv, or Black radio, supporting the AJA, but comes up with this?


    Jackson, Jr: Obama should ‘declare a national emergency,’ add jobs with ‘extra-constitutional’ action
    Published: 11:32 PM 10/12/2011 | Updated: 1:54 PM 10/13/2011

    Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that congressional opposition to the American Jobs Act is akin to the Confederate “states in rebellion.”

    Jackson called for full government employment of the 15 million unemployed and said that Obama should “declare a national emergency” and take “extra-constitutional” action “administratively” — without the approval of Congress — to tackle unemployment.

    “I hope the president continues to exercise extraordinary constitutional means, based on the history of Congresses that have been in rebellion in the past,” Jackson said. “He’s looking administratively for ways to advance the causes of the American people, because this Congress is completely dysfunctional.”

    President Obama tends to idealize — and rightfully so — Abraham Lincoln, who looked at states in rebellion and he made a judgment that the government of the United States, while the states are in rebellion, still had an obligation to function,” Jackson told TheDC at his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday.

    “On several occasions now, we’ve seen … the Congress is in rebellion, determined, as Abraham Lincoln said, to wreck or ruin at all costs. I believe … in the direct hiring of 15 million unemployed Americans at $40,000 a head, some more than $40,000, some less than $40,000 — that’s a $600 billion stimulus. It could be a five-year program. For another $104 billion, we bailout all of the states … for another $100 billion, we bailout all of the cities,” he said.

    Jackson added that his $804 billion stimulus plan is the only way to solve the unemployment crisis. “I support the jobs plan. I support the president’s re-election. I support Barack Obama,” he said. “But at this hour, we need a plan that meets the size and scope of the problem to put the American people to work.”

    “We’ve got to go further. I support what [Obama] does. Clearly, Republicans are not going to be for it but if the administration can handle administratively what can be done, we should pursue it. And if there are extra-constitutional opportunities that allow the president administratively to put the people to work, he should pursue every single one of them,” Jackson suggested.

    Read more:

  46. rikyrah says:

    Why the ‘We are the 53%’ Tumblr Matters: It’s the Culture War, Stupid

    People are fond of saying ‘it’s the economy, stupid’ whenever they talk about politics. But I wonder if we should say ‘it’s the culture war, stupid’ whenever we talk about economics.

    Recently, Redstate’s Erick Erickson started a new tumblr called ‘We are the 53%’ as a counter to the ‘We are the 99%’ tumblr that has been central to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Here’s Erickson’s submission, via Andrew Sullivan at The Dish:

    Yglesias points to another one here. Jonathan Schwarz has a particularly clever response here.

    Erickson and the other conservatives behind this project are trying to do two things:

    First, they’re attempting to show how the 53% of people in the US who pay income taxes are shouldering the burden for everyone else despite the fact that pretty much everyone pays payroll taxes, paying into the biggest government entitlements. Nobody gets off without paying taxes in one form or another, especially sales tax. The many other burdens the poor and working class face are too many to list, ranging from mass incarceration to lack of access to healthcare and decent education.

    The second thing this tumblr is doing is extending the culture war into the class war. Pitting the 53% against the 99% is not really about class issues or taxes. It’s about a system of values.

    Conservative individualism – the sense that one’s success and failure is dictated solely in terms of an atomic struggle – sits at the heart of most of these tumblrs. In this view of the world, outside inputs have no bearing at all on individual output. Wall Street is just another independent force. Somehow the market crash of 2008, the housing bubble, the ability to get government loans or work for the military, these are all the work of individuals with no collective effort or commitment or external influence whatsoever.

    Of course, it goes deeper than that.

    I’m reading Corey Robin’s new book, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, and one of the key ideas in the book is that conservatism is fundamentally a reaction to forces of change. Unlike traditionalism, conservatism is animated by tension and the threat of loss. “Even when the conservative seeks to extricate himself from this dialogue with the left,” writes Robin, “he cannot, for his most lyrical motifs – organic change, tacit knowledge, ordered liberty, prudence, and precedent – are barely audible without the call and response of the left.”

    “Where the traditionalist can take the objects of desire for granted – he can enjoy them as if they are at hand because they are at hand- the conservative cannot. He seeks to enjoy them precisely as they are being – or have been – taken away. If he hopes to enjoy them again, he must contest their divestment in the public realm. He must speak of them in a language that is politically serviceable and intelligible. But as soon as those objects enter the medium of political speech, they cease to be items of lived experience and become incidents of an ideology. They get wrapped in a narrative of loss – in which the revolutionary or reformist plays a necessary part – and presented in a program of recovery. What was tacit becomes articulate, what was fluid becomes formal, what was practice becomes polemic.

    Erickson’s reaction to the 99% tumblr is a striking example of this in action. Sadly, the 53% are a wildly diverse bunch, many of whom were obviously harmed by the actions of Wall Street and the government that made those actions possible. In the new class war, public sector workers are pitted against private sector workers, and the 53% are pitted against the 99%. We should be talking about ways to salvage the economy, create jobs, and bulwark the fragile existence of the working class against the fickle market. Instead, we are waging a culture war with no end.

  47. rikyrah says:

    The ‘We are the 53%’ Tumblr is Heartbreaking

    I have perused both the ‘We are the 99%’ Tumblr and the ‘We are the 53%’ Tumblr and I’ve come to this conclusion: the latter is far more heartbreaking than the former, if unintentionally so.

    For one thing, most of the fifty-three-percenters are probably not actually in the 53%. Many describe a life of hardship, unemployment or underemployment, and dependence on government jobs and services. Take this one, for instance:

    After this young woman’s father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, he was told by the doctor to take it easy since he’s a manual laborer. Yet he went back to work full-time, working 12 hours a day, six days a week. She writes, “The cancer still grows. That is the American dream.”

    Tell me this isn’t heartbreaking. Not just the story, but the sentiment.

    The notion that this is the American dream, that men diagnosed with a horrible cancer should work 72 hours a week to support their families, is deeply tragic. There ought to be better visions of society than this.

    I think that’s what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are saying: We should be able to craft a more human economy that doesn’t allow this sort of thing to happen, that rewards hard work and alleviates suffering and risk.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Will We Miss Dick Lugar?
    by BooMan
    Thu Oct 13th, 2011 at 08:16:21 PM EST

    I don’t know if Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will succeed or fail in his effort next year to win the Republican nomination to run for another six-year term. I also don’t know whether I should be pulling for him or celebrating his demise. It’s complicated. He’s literally the last of his kind. He’s dedicated his career to serving this country’s foreign policy interests (as he sees them) without much regard for who is in the White House. As Foreign Policy writes, the Republican Party has a long and rich legacy of producing statesmen who put the country before party. But, what is also true is that our foreign policy elites have failed us in rather dramatic ways. It was only a matter of time before the populist right finally destroyed the Republican Establishment’s hold on foreign policy. The question is, considering how many screw-ups the Establishment has produced, don’t they deserve their comeuppance?

    It’s true that a patrician class that could loftily announce, as Walter Lippmann did in 1929, that dispassionate elite experts must provide the American people with “what they will learn to want” has probably had it coming for a long time. The truth is that the wise men have never made much secret of their claim to superior wisdom over the hoi polloi. The establishment’s aloof impartiality has always appeared to the populist right as unvarnished hauteur, a cloak in which the wise men wrap themselves as they propound upon and execute policies independent of, or simply oblivious to, the will of the American people.
    But this time something may be different about the battering that establishment is suffering. As historian Geoffrey Kabaservice writes in his important new book Rule and Ruin, “The first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed the final decline and virtual extinctions of moderates’ power and representation in the Republican Party.” Whatever its past shortcomings and foibles, the demise of the wise-man tradition in the GOP should evoke apprehension in anyone who thinks that America’s leading role in the world has, by and large, been a force for good. In defining itself by opposition to the idea of an elite, the party is willfully abjuring one of its noblest legacies. If the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, as William Blake observed, then the GOP might eventually rediscover its heritage. Perhaps the first sign of a return to wisdom in the GOP would be acknowledging rather than scorning the wise men and their accomplishments.

    I do think that America’s leading role in the world has, by and large, been a force for good, but it’s much closer call than it should be. Neo-Cons and representatives without passports are not an improvement, but it’s not as if people like Dick Lugar have been knocking it out of the park. I think the real problem with losing Dick Lugar is that we lose someone who goes about foreign policy-making the correct way, even if he hasn’t always produced the best solutions or supported the wisest courses. He and John Kerry work together in a constructive way, and did a great job on the New START Treaty. For twenty years, be’s been doing outstanding work on nuclear non-proliferation.

    I think he’s trying to groom Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee to be his eventual replacement, but I don’t think Corker has the same instincts. When Lugar leaves, foreign policy will be that much more politicized. That concerns me.

    On the other hand, I’d like to win his Senate seat.

  49. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody. Happy FRY-day! :-)

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