Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Rose Royce Week!

Wiki: Rose Royce is an American soul and R&B band. The group is best known for several hit singles including “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next to You,” “Wishing on a Star“, “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “I’m Going Down“.

The Los Angeles-based group comprised Henry Garner (drums), Terral “Terry” Santiel (congas), Lequeint “Duke” Jobe (bass), Michael Moore (saxophone), Gwen Dickey (lead vocals), Kenny Copeland (trumpet, lead vocals), Kenji Brown (guitar, lead vocals), Freddie Dunn (trumpet), and Michael Nash (keyboards). The group began in the early 1970s, when members of several backup bands from the Watts and Inglewood areas of Los Angeles united under the name Total Concept Unlimited. In 1973, this collective toured England and Japan behind Motown soul star Edwin Starr. Starr introduced them to Norman Whitfield, Motown‘s ‘psychedelic shaman’ who was responsible for bringing a progressive funk-rock slant to the company, via such productions as Starr’s “War“, The Undisputed Truth‘s “Smiling Faces Sometimes” and The TemptationsPapa Was A Rolling Stone“.[1]

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86 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Rose Royce Week!

  1. Meet one of Romney’s top legal advisors

    For folks below a certain age, Robert Bork’s name is probably only vaguely familiar. Ronald Reagan nominated the right-wing jurist to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987, launching one of the fiercest and most important nomination fights in generations. Bork, by the way, lost that fight — the Senate concluded his ideology was simply too extreme for the high court.

    That was the correct call. Bork had, after all, endorsed Jim Crow-era poll taxes, condemned portions of the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination in public accommodations, and argued against extending the equal protection of the 14th Amendment to women, among other things.

    A quarter-century later, it’s not news that Bork is still an extremist. His bizarre ideology is relevant, however, given his role in Republican presidential politics.

  2. They Got It Wrong

    Just six days before the last fundraising deadline, one major newspaper ran a story under the headline “Small donors are slow to return to the Obama fold.”

    You and a whole lot of other supporters turned that headline upside down. Today we filed a report with the FEC that shows this movement isn’t just as strong as ever—it’s growing.

    Sometimes the media gets so caught up in its own echo chamber that the storyline separates from the facts.

  3. Herman Cain Spends $100K In Campaign Cash On Herman Cain Inc.

    Given any money to Herman Cain lately? There’s a decent chance some of it went directly into the coffers of a for-profit company Cain runs.

    A review of Cain’s last two FEC reports shows the campaign transferring just over $100,000 in cash to Herman Cain T.H.E. New Voice, a company that promotes Cain’s books and political philosophy.

    In the Federal Election Commission (FEC) report his campaign filed in July, Cain’s team reported sending $50,831.35 to T.H.E. New Voice. The expenditures listed included “booklets” and “books” (presumably copies of the handful of short pamphlet-like books available for sale at THE New Voice website along with Cain’s new full-length book, This Is Herman Cain!, published by a division of Simon and Schuster), along with items such as “overnight”, “lodging”, “ground transportation” and “air fare.”

  4. Democrats Planning Major Capitol Hill Rally To Push Obama’s Jobs Bill

  5. NBC Politics

    Iowa sets caucuses for Jan. 3

  6. Texas GOP Latino leader leaves party after Herman Cain ‘jokes’

    Today, we find the Republican Party has strayed from its roots and its founding principals so far that they can no longer be seen. We saw this yesterday, in the glare of broad daylight, when a leading presidential candidate, Herman Cain, not once, but twice, advocated for the murder of innocent people and that was met with cheers!Somos Republicans, America’s largest organization of conservative Hispanics, was alone in its criticism of this loud mouth hateful bigot. He says he was “joking.” Nobody here is laughing! The fact the GOP allows and applauds such outrageous thoughts is beyond reprehensible.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Cantor To Give Speech On Income Inequality And ‘How We Make Sure The People At The Top Stay There

    ’ | As the 99 percent movement protests spread across the globe, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) finally agreed yesterday that “there is too much income disparity” in the U.S. and determined that the government should rely on America’s wealthy to take care of this “complaint.” Continuing this theme, Cantor announced today that he will give an address on income disparity “and how Republicans believe the government could help fix it” on Friday. According to his aide, Cantor will specifically focus on how Washington can help “a single working mom…a small business owner..and how we make sure the people at the top stay there.” Of course, with the continued preferential tax treatment the nation’s wealthy are receiving from House Republicans, it doesn’t seem like they’ll have a problem staying at the top at the expense of the middle class.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama shifts into 2012 campaign mode
    By JULIE MASON | 10/17/11 4:43 PM EDT Updated: 10/17/11 7:43 PM EDT

    First lady Michelle Obama has gold-plated her appeal, in part, by playing it safe, focusing on signature issues and family while staying out of the partisan politics so deeply loathed by many Americans.

    Until now.

    Her value as the most popular member of the Obama administration is inevitably sending her back into the field, raising money and delivering speeches for a 2012 reelection effort that increasingly needs some happier news.

    Limited mainstream press coverage means she’s still mostly below the radar on the campaign, and campaign officials stress that her role is not yet fully defined. For now, her job is to talk up President Barack Obama — addressing doubts about his leadership by conveying his commitment to country and family.

    Humanizing the president is a traditional and nearly inevitable role for the first lady at campaign time, which tends to roll around after the shine has come off a president and supporters need a refresher on his likability.

    But for all the refinement Michelle Obama can bring to the campaign, politics remains a dirty business. Part of the challenge for Team Obama in 2012 is how best to deploy her as a political asset without tarnishing her popularity.

    “I, frankly, don’t see them sending the first lady out to deliver a hard hit on their opponent,” said Michael Feldman, a Democratic strategist and managing director of The Glover Park Group. Instead, “with the country’s wrong-track numbers in the 70s, there is a lot that people are anxious about, and what they see in the Obamas is a family they can relate to.”

    Despite sky-high job approval numbers, the first lady is still a somewhat polarizing figure, stirring both sharp enmity and deep loyalty — spun from the threads of 2008, when Obama’s outspokenness included a February declaration that “for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” The same year, she helped deliver the women’s vote for her husband.

    In 2010, her late entry into the midterm campaigns didn’t do much toward reordering Republican momentum, but the effect that her improved image and rising popularity had on Democratic crowds was impossible to mistake.

    Since her debut in national politics, Obama has broadened her appeal, softening once-sharp edges and advocating for military families and against childhood obesity. Despite her passionate work for these issues, it’s her personal side that makes the strongest impression on the trail.

    “The first lady is able to play a unique role as an ambassador for the president,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager. “She was an enormous asset to the president traveling the country in 2008, and we expect that she’ll play just as critical a role in 2012.”

    For the campaign, the first lady is blending a policy message — most recently on jobs and women’s issues — with rare and tantalizing glimpses of private life in the White House. So far, she has headlined 18 fundraisers since May 15, including two last week.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      THIS WAS NOTHING BUT A THINLY VEILED ATTEMPTED HIT PIECE on FLOTUS. To try and sink her popularity and deter PBO supporters. MAJOR FAIL POLITICO!

      Nothing but HATERS. First Lady Michelle is doing EVERYTHING RIGHT, doing it her way, and these idiots cannot stand it. It’s killing them that she oesn’t have these knucle-dragging, gossipy, wannabees all up in the WH.

      • I see you Julie Mason! And I saw that nasty word in the article link, beyotch!

        • Ametia says:

          Mish is going to crack this mofo campaign circuit wide open. We’re not going to let these mofos trash PBO and she’s going to help make that happen. We know and she knows what these haters having been saying and doing to take her husband and our POTUS down.


      • That’s what I’m talking ’bout. No wavering, no whining, no drama! We got your back!

      • rikyrah says:

        these mofos think they’re SLICK

        like we don’t see their azzes a mile away

  9. Ametia says:

    Thank God we were spared this fool’s wrath in the Oval Office.

  10. John McCain Blasts Obama Jobs Tour, Campaign Bus: ‘I Have Never Seen An Uglier Bus’

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday that the bus on which President Barack Obama is traveling this week to campaign for his jobs plan is ugly. “I must say again I have never seen an uglier bus than a Canadian one,” McCain said on the Senate floor, according to CNN. “He is traveling around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs.”

    Obama is traveling in North Carolina and Virginia on a three-day buys tour to promote his jobs plan. He won both states in 2008 after Republican presidential candidates had triumphed there for decades.

    “On the taxpayer-paid dime, the president is now traveling attacking the Republican plan. Obviously I think unfairly,” McCain said.

    The Secret Service purchased two buses last year for $1.1 million each, according to the Associated Press. The president used the buses earlier this summer for his Midwest jobs tour, but the Secret Service said that the buses would also have future uses for traveling dignitaries.

    According to the White House pool report, the black armored bus is code-named Ground Force One.

  11. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      Love, love, LOVE First Lady Michelle Obama. the Haters can’t get the inside track in the WH to gossip, so they bash and write HIT PIECES. ****LOOKING AT THAT RAG POLITICO.

      Michelle Obama doesn’t sit and knit, drink highballs, pop pills, and hideout and keep her mouth shut like a good little stepford wife. She’s a great WOMAN, MOTHER, WIFE, SISTER, FRIEND, AN FIRST LADY OF THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.


  12. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 3:25 PM

    So much for the ‘liberal’ media

    By Steve Benen

    It’s simply taken as a given in Republican circles that President Obama enjoys favorable coverage from major media outlets. This is generally pretty hard to believe among non-conservatives, but it’s helpful to take this out of the realm of perception and into more quantifiable analysis.

    The Pew Research Center published this report today with some striking results.

    Rick Perry received the most favorable coverage of any candidate for president during the first five months of the race, but now Herman Cain is enjoying that distinction, according to a new survey which combines traditional research methods and computer algorithmic technology to code the level and tone of news coverage.

    Perry lost the mantle of the candidate enjoying the most favorable treatment to Herman Cain two weeks ago, after the Florida straw poll in which Cain scored a surprise victory. Meanwhile, though he has often led in the polls, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has received less coverage and less positive coverage than the shifting casts of frontrunners — and that remains true even now. He ranks second in the amount of attention received, and the tone of that narrative has been unwaveringly mixed.

    One man running for president has suffered the most unrelentingly negative treatment of all: Barack Obama. Though covered largely as president rather than a candidate, negative assessments of Obama have outweighed positive by a ratio of almost 4-to-1. The assessments of the president in the media were substantially more negative than positive in every one of the 23 weeks studied. In no week during these five months was more than 10% of the coverage about the President positive in tone.

    The accompanying chart really helped drive the point home:

    The image shows coverage by candidate, with those receiving more favorable coverage higher up on the chart. That candidate way down there at the bottom? That’s the president.

    Obama’s coverage “has been substantially more negative in every one of the last 23 weeks of the last five months — even the week that Bin Laden was killed,” Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, said of the president’s treatment in the media compared with that of the GOP field.

    “Liberal” media, indeed.

  13. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 2:45 PM

    ‘That’s their jobs plan’

    By Steve Benen

    President Obama spoke in Asheville this morning, as part of the kick off of his bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia, and delivered his jobs speech to a fairly receptive audience. This time, however, he added a new section to his speech, taking advantage of recent developments in the Senate.

    After noting that independent economists have projected the American Jobs Act would create nearly 2 million jobs, the president noted, “[I]t turns out one poll found that 63 percent of Americans support the ideas in this jobs bill. So 63 percent of Americans support the jobs bill that I put forward; 100 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against it. That doesn’t make any sense, does it?”

    Obama turned his attention to the new GOP alternative.

    Now, it turns out that the Republicans have a plan, too. I want to be fair. They call — they put forward this plan last week. They called it the ‘Real American Jobs Act.’ The ‘real one’ — that’s what they called it — just in case you were wondering.

    “So let’s take a look at what the Republican American jobs act looks like. It turns out the Republican plan boils down to a few basic ideas: They want to gut regulations; they want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants. They want to drill more. And they want to repeal health care reform. That’s their jobs plan.”

    Obama proceeded to play a little compare and contrast. Republicans want to help industries pollute; Dems want to put teachers back to work. Republicans want to gut the health care system; Dems think it won’t help the economy to take Americans’ coverage away. And so on.

    This is precisely why Democrats have been pleading with GOP lawmakers to present a jobs plan — not just because Dems wanted a target, but because they knew the Republican approach would be a joke, especially when compared to the popular, economist-backed Democratic plan.

    Republicans assumed they’d at least get a talking point out of this — those big meanies at the White House keep saying there’s no GOP jobs plan, so Republicans will prove them wrong. But this assumption was backwards — Republicans have given Obama a talking point, allowing him to mock the pathetic GOP agenda and use it prove why Republicans lack any and all credibility on the subject.

    The president, referencing analysis published by Greg Sargent last week, added, “[R]emember those independent economists who said our plan would create jobs, maybe as many as almost 2 million jobs, grow the economy by as much as 2 percent? So one of the same economists that took a look at our plan took a look at the Republican plan, and they said, ‘Well, this won’t do much to help the economy in the short term — it could actually cost us jobs.’ We could actually lose jobs with their plan. So I’ll let you decide which plan is the real American Jobs Act.”

    Here’s hoping political reporters were paying attention to this. As Greg reported today, “Multiple news orgs reported extensively on the Senate GOP’s jobs plan without soliciting the views of private economists on whether it will do what Republicans say it will do — create growth and jobs. So, a question: Shouldn’t the view of economists on this rather important question — whether Republicans are making a legitimate contribution to the debate about what to do about the short term economic crisis — be part of the discussion here?”

    That need not be a rhetorical question. This isn’t a matter of opinion; we’re talking about demonstrable facts, as bolstered by independent economic analysis: the White House jobs plan would make an immediate, positive difference, and the Republican jobs plan wouldn’t help at all.

    From a solely political perspective, is there any angle to the debate over jobs that’s more important than this?

    • Ametia says:

      Looks like PBO and his surrogates(if he TRULY has any) will have to BREAK IT DOWN for the American people, because there’s NO way in HELL the media is going to ever research and provide Americans with any REAL TRUTH about the AMERICAN JOBS ACT BILL.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Why They Act So Strange
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 17th, 2011 at 01:58:58 PM EST

    Colin Woodard’s big piece in next month’s Washington Monthly is an interesting read. I’m not too enamored with these efforts to explain everything by reference to regionalism, but the article is thought-provoking. There’s one part of it that really resonated with me. It’s the part where he discusses the culture of the Deep South and how it explains what we’re seeing from the Republican Party right now.

    The Deep South
    Established by English slave lords from Barbados as a West Indies-style slave society, this region has been a bastion of white supremacy, aristocratic privilege, and a version of classical Republicanism modeled on the slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many. It spread apartheid and authoritarianism across the southern lowlands, ultimately encompassing most of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana, plus western Tennessee and southeastern Arkansas, Texas, and North Carolina. Its slave and caste systems smashed by outside intervention, it continues to fight for rollbacks of federal power, taxes on capital and the wealthy, and environmental, labor, and consumer safety protections.


    The goal of the Deep Southern oligarchy has been consistent for four centuries: to control and maintain a oneparty state with a colonial-style economy based on largescale agriculture and the extraction of primary resources by a compliant, low-wage workforce with as few labor, workplace safety, health care, and environmental regulations as possible. Not until the 1960s was it compelled by African American uprisings and external intervention to abandon caste, sharecropper, and poll tax systems designed to keep the disadvantaged majority of their region’s population out of the political process. Since then, they have relied on fearmongering— over racial mixing, gun control, illegal immigrants, and the alleged evils of secularization—to maintain support. In office they’ve instead focused on cutting taxes for the rich, funneling massive subsidies to agribusiness and oil companies, rolling back labor and environmental programs, and creating “guest worker” programs and “right to work” laws to ensure a cheap, compliant labor supply.

    I’m sure many will object to Woodard’s harsh characterization of the Deep South, as well as some of his history, but it’s hard to argue that he’s wrong about the big picture. It’s really quite remarkable how the Deep South has been able to move from a one-party Democratic region to a (nearly) one-party Republican region. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but there’s something strange about that. It’s like their culture can’t really tolerate political instability, and it’s not all that interested in democracy. I suppose that makes sense because they’ve always felt that their way of life is under threat, which means they have to stick together. It also might explain why Republican politicians like Mike Huckabee are so fond of voter suppression. Seriously, it’s been remarkable how aggressively and unapologetically the Republicans have turned to voter suppression over the last couple of years. It seems totally foreign to me, as if it isn’t something that should ever happen in this country, and then I realize that the GOP is now carrying the heritage of Jim Crow. It’s the party of the Deep South, and it’s beginning to act in ways that just don’t compute for most of the country.

    We don’t want to be treated by sharecroppers. We don’t want to be governed by people like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 09:49 AM PDT.

    Pew study: 2012 Republican candidates getting more favorable coverage than Obama

    *by Jed Lewison

    Conservatives would love for you to believe the myth that the traditional media (which they pejoratively call the MSM) is in the tank for Obama, but you don’t need to look far to find out that they are full of it. For example:

    It’s hard to look at that and believe the myth, but if you’re the type that wants hard numbers Pew has now delivered them. Over the last five months:
    Obama has received the most unremittingly negative press of any of the presidential candidates by a wide margin, with negative assessments outweighing positive ones by four to one.
    Pew found that just 9 percent of the president’s coverage was positive, while 34 percent was negative — a stark contrast to the 32 percent positive coverage and 20 percent negative that it found Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the most covered Republican, received.

    “His coverage has been substantially more negative in every one of the last 23 weeks of the last five months — even the week that Bin Laden was killed,” Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, said of the president’s treatment in the media compared with that of the GOP field.

    Nine percent of the coverage about President Obama was rated positive compared with 34% negative and 57% neutral. Meanwhile, Rick Perry was the most favorably covered, with 32% positive and 20% negative. Although his coverage has turned negative over the past couple of weeks, over the full five month period the tone of his coverage was positive as was that of his highest profile colleagues.

    The top four most favorably covered candidates, the study found, were all tea party favorites: Perry was followed by Palin, with 31 percent positive coverage and 22 percent negative; Michele Bachmann, with 31 percent positive coverage and 23 percent negative; and Herman Cain, with 28 percent positive coverage and 23 percent negative.
    Mitt Romney’s positive and negative coverage were almost in a dead heat at 26 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

  16. rikyrah says:

    About that Perry Jobs Plan

    The governor’s jobs plan is to open more of the US to energy exploration and production.

    He promises that such a policy will create 1.2 million new jobs. When I heard this, it seemed to me utterly implausible: the US oil and gas industry employs 2.1 million today, coal under 100,000 – and these at a time of high prices and active production. 50% more jobs on top of that? In a capital-intense industry?

    Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations checked Gov. Perry’s math on the Atlantic website. Here’s what he found:

    1) The promise of 1.2 million new jobs is subject to a deadline of … 2030! These are not new jobs that would be created in the here and now, but over a long timeline of future production.

    2) The promise is also subject to a bold prediction that energy prices, high now, will rise even higher over the next 18 years, oil to $180 / barrel in today’s money, natural gas to $12 per thousand cubic feet. That might happen, but then again, it might not. After all, Perry is hoping for a big increase in energy supply. Remember what happens to price as supply rises?

    3) The plan rests upon heroic assumptions about the multiplier effect of oil and gas jobs. Fewer than 400,000 of Perry’s 1.2 million promised jobs will take the form of new hires by the oil and gas industry. The great balance are supposed to come from the – ahem – stimulative effects of oil and gas production. Specifically, he assumes that every 1 new job in production will support 2.5 new jobs somewhere else.

    But wait a minute. The precondition for the entire estimate is an assumption that energy prices more than double in real terms over the next 18 years. If that assumption holds, we’re going to see a reverse-multiplier effect, with higher energy prices destroying many more jobs than are produced by oilworkers spending their money at the mall.

    In other words: Perry’s 1.2 million figure is not a net figure. If he’s right about the energy outlook, then his 1.2 million new energy-related jobs will hardly begin to offset a much larger number of energy-related job losses.

    4) The biggest kicker of them all comes from this question: how new are Perry’s jobs really? Suppose we don’t elect Rick Perry president. Suppose we just continue on the present policy path. What happens to those 1.2 million jobs in that case? And the answer is: many of them show up anyway. Perry hypothesizes that the Obama administration will impose future regulations to inhibit the development of the gas-fracking industry in the US – and then counts as “new” jobs the jobs that would come by not imposing those as-yet-nonexistent regulations. Likewise he counts as “new” jobs the jobs that would come from approval of pipelines to Canadian oil sands. Yet those approvals are roaring ahead anyway.

    Last thought:

    Where’d Perry get these numbers?

    Answer: he found them in a pre-existing study conducted for the American Petroleum Institute. (That same study also undergirds the Senate Republicans’ job plan.)

    You’ve got to ask though: if a candidate’s entire jobs plan depends on taking a single industry’s policy wish list, tearing off the cover sheet, and putting his own name on the work, without even bothering to net out the costs and benefits for the whole US economy – how serious is that candidate?

    As we’ve seen throughout the Perry campaign the answer is: not very.

  17. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011
    Romney’s trap
    The inevitable divorce of the tea party loonies from GOP establishment forces is getting nastier, which is to say, more delightful, every day.

    Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips, for instance, calls a Romney nomination a “nightmare scenario” in which Judson would “push the button for him; I’m going to hope he’s better than I think.” How much better? “He is better than Obama, but not necessarily by a whole lot.”

    Well, now there’s an endorsement that should turn out Judson’s troops on Election Day.

    Even nastier — albeit refreshingly blunter — is Dustin Stockman, of the tea-partying Western Representation PAC: “As much as we can’t stand Barack Obama, if the Republicans choose to nominate Mitt Romney, it’s up to them to get him past the finish line.”

    There’s no mention in The Hill piece of a third-party formation, but partisan disaffection that runs as strong as nose-holding and brutal ultimatums virtually cinches a formal, tea-partying contender, which, in turn, should decimate the Romney vote in swing states such as Virginia, North Carolina and Nevada.

    Should Romney attempt to placate the loonies (which, in any event, he probably cannot), then he’d lose the independent vote.

    He’s trapped. Although he has two ways to turn, both are decisive losers.

  18. rikyrah says:

    I don’t tweet, but I hope those of you that do, have been tweeting about the PEW STUDY of coverage of POTUS and how NEGATIVE it is.

    THAT is why they are so batshyt crazy. They have been doing their damndest to run down this President, and EVEN AFTER they have done all of this….

    1. his poll numbers are the way that they are..
    2. he STILL leads against any GOP Challenger
    3. and, they know that the President hasn’t even BEGUN to fight.

    THAT is what drives them crazy.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 17, 2011 2:05 PM

    Cantor tries (and fails) to talk about jobs

    By Steve Benen

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sat down with Fox News’ Chris Wallace yesterday, and the “Fox News Sunday” made an effort to get the Republican leader to talk about job creation in a little depth. We know what GOP officials think about the issue, and while Wallace went out of his way to lend credence to Republican talking points, he at least tried to find out why.

    The host asked, for example, “Let’s look at the president’s job’s plan, which was blocked in the Senate this week. Here it is — $245 billion in tax cuts in incentives, $140 billion in new spending on infrastructure and aid to states, $62 billion in aid to the unemployed. Question: what’s wrong with that plan?”

    Cantor avoided answering directly, claiming that people on “both sides of the aisle” resisted the bill, before arguing, “We’re not going to be for tax increases on small businesses. [Obama] knows that.”

    The president’s jobs bill cut taxes on small business. The oft-confused Majority Leader got this key detail backwards.

    Cantor added that both sides should “work together” on Republican ideas like the “Plan for America’s Job Creators.” As we talked about last week, even the right should be able to understand that the GOP “plan” is a transparent joke.

    Wallace proceeded to press Cantor on each of the key parts of the American Jobs Act, asking, “For or against it?” Starting with infrastructure investments, Cantor wouldn’t support public spending, but would support “redoing the permitting process.”

    How about $35 billion for states so that they don’t have to lay off teachers, police and firefighters? Cantor rejected the very idea because the funds “are the type of programs that the president advocated in the stimulus program.” That’s not an answer, but the Republican leader seemed to think it was.

    When the discussion turned to the Republican alternative, Wallace asked why Cantor why his approach would be more effective. Cantor couldn’t say. It led to this exchange:

    WALLACE: All right. But here’s the issue: the president points out that Moody’s Analytics, one of the top economic consulting firms, scored his plan, figured at what impact it would have, and says it would add 1.9 million jobs next year and grow the economy by an addition 2 percent…. Congressman Cantor, do you have an independent analysis that shows how this plan would grow the economy and add jobs?

    CANTOR: First of all, I would say as to the Moody’s economist that the president speaks to, they and their chief economist was the one that predicted that the stimulus program would keep unemployment from rising above 8 percent. So, I think we need to raise some questions about that assessment of his.

    WALLACE: In fairness, he was an economic adviser to John McCain in 2008, Mark Zandi, and the fact there’s a lot of the private economic firms that say whether it’s 1 percent or 2 percent growth, a million jobs, 2 million jobs, that it would have some stimulative affect.

    CANTOR: Let’s look at this. There has —

    WALLACE: Here’s a question, do you have independent scoring of what your plan does?

    Cantor didn’t answer. He couldn’t.

    There’s an opportunity here for a simple exercise: the parties present plans to create jobs, and allow them to be subjected to independent scrutiny. Make the results available to the public: which plan boost the economy more, create more jobs, lower unemployment more, etc. The Obama White House is clearly ready for this.

    But Republicans aren’t. As we discussed last week, 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?

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: Theres an opportunity here for a simple exercise: the parties present plans to create jobs, and allow them to be subjected to independent scrutiny. Make the results available to the public: which plan boost the economy more, create more jobs, lower unemployment more, etc. The Obama White House is clearly ready for this.

      But Republicans arent. As we discussed last week, shouldnt it tell the political world something important when there are two alternatives to job creation, and one is terrified of economic analysis and examination?

  20. Ametia says:

    Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 10/17/2011
    Hillary Clinton: ‘It’s time for others to step up’
    By Ed O’Keefe

    Once again Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked, and once again she said no. ( So could we please stop asking her?)

    The secretary of state once again said Monday she does not plan to run for president in 2016, adding that she’s looking forward to writing, teaching and one day becoming a grandmother.

    Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, Clinton said it’s time for other Democrats to run for president. “I have made my contribution, I’m very grateful I’ve had a chance to serve, but I think it’s time for others to step up,” she said.

    The “Today” piece mirrored other televised and print profiles from recent months: It highlighted her “hectic schedule,” her government-issued plane, the more than 600,000 miles traveled over the course of her tenure, her dozens of hair-dos, and whether she gets along with President Obama. (Similar pieces by “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair have appeared in recent months.)


  21. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 1:05 PM

    Meet one of Romney’s top legal advisors

    By Steve Benen

    For folks below a certain age, Robert Bork’s name is probably only vaguely familiar. Ronald Reagan nominated the right-wing jurist to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987, launching one of the fiercest and most important nomination fights in generations. Bork, by the way, lost that fight — the Senate concluded his ideology was simply too extreme for the high court.

    That was the correct call. Bork had, after all, endorsed Jim Crow-era poll taxes, condemned portions of the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination in public accommodations, and argued against extending the equal protection of the 14th Amendment to women, among other things.

    A quarter-century later, it’s not news that Bork is still an extremist. His bizarre ideology is relevant, however, given his role in Republican presidential politics.

    How about the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment? Does [Bork] still think it shouldn’t apply to women?

    “Yeah,” he answers. “I think I feel justified by the fact ever since then, the Equal Protection Clause kept expanding in ways that cannot be justified historically, grammatically, or any other way. Women are a majority of the population now — a majority in university classrooms and a majority in all kinds of contexts. It seems to me silly to say, ‘Gee, they’re discriminated against and we need to do something about it.’ They aren’t discriminated against anymore.”

    If Bork seriously believes discrimination against women is a thing of the past, he really needs to get out more — or at least have a conversation with Lilly Ledbetter.

    But the salience here comes with appreciating what Bork is currently up to. Ian Millhiser noted, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney chose Bork to serve as the co-chair of his “Judicial Advisory Committee.”

    Whatever Bork might have been, however, he is now nothing more than an angry old man who long ago resigned his federal judgeship and faded into obscurity. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a leading presidential contender and could potentially be in a position to select new Supreme Court justices. Before anyone casts a vote for or against Romney, the former governor should explain clearly and without reservation why he selected a top legal advisor who believes that gender discrimination no longer exists and that the Constitution has nothing whatsoever to say about it — and Romney must be equally clear about whether he plans to appoint judges and justices who share Bork’s dismissive attitude towards discrimination.

    That seems more than fair. If Romney announces this afternoon that he’s parting ways with Bork, and no longer wants anything to do with his extremist ideology, I’ll be duly impressed. If Romney blows it off, I’ll wait for campaign reporters to press the former governor for a coherent explanation.

  22. rikyrah says:

    For Romney, a Role of Faith and Authority

    Published: October 15, 2011

    In ticking off his credentials on the campaign trail — management consultant, businessman, governor — Mitt Romney omits what may have been his most distinctive post: Mormon lay leader, offering pastoral guidance on all manner of human affairs from marriage to divorce, abortion, adoption, addiction, unemployment and even business disputes

    Bryce Clark was a recipient of Mr. Romney’s spiritual advice. Late one summer night in 1993, distraught over his descent into alcoholism and drug use, Mr. Clark, then a 19-year-old college student, decided to confess that he had strayed from his Mormon faith. So he drove through this well-heeled Boston suburb to Mr. Romney’s secluded seven-bedroom home.

    As the highest-ranking Mormon leader in Boston, Mr. Romney was responsible for determining whether Mr. Clark was spiritually fit for a mission, a rite of passage for young Mormon men. Mr. Clark had previously lied to him, insisting that he was eligible to go. But instead of condemnation that night, Mr. Clark said, Mr. Romney offered counsel that the younger man has clung to for years.

    “He told me that, as human beings, our work isn’t measured by taking the sum of our good deeds and the sum of our bad deeds and seeing how things even out,” recalled Mr. Clark, now 37, sober and working as a filmmaker in Utah. “He said, ‘The only thing you need to think about is: Are you trying to improve, are you trying to do better? And if you are, then you’re a saint.’ ”


    Some Mormons, like Mr. Clark, found Mr. Romney thoughtful and compassionate; one mother recalled his kindness to her dying son. Others, including a group of Mormon feminists demanding a greater role for women, found him condescending, doctrinaire or just plain bossy. He clashed with a married mother of four who sought to terminate a pregnancy; the incident made news years later, when Mr. Romney ran for United States Senate as a supporter of abortion rights — a position he has since abandoned.

    “Mitt is the type who liked to be called Bishop Romney or President Romney,” said Judy Dushku, a professor of government at Suffolk University in Boston and a Mormon feminist leader. “He is very conscious of his place in the hierarchy, but not yours.”

  23. Obama starts bus trip through two swing states touting jobs plan

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. – With Air Force One parked nearby on a runway he says needs to be modernized, President Barack Obama kicked off a three-day bus tour on Monday, urging a crowd to tell Congress to pass part of his $447 billion jobs package.

    The bus tour through the states of North Carolina and Virginia _ each considered a key swing state in the 2012 presidential election _ comes days after Senate Republicans successfully blocked passage of legislation that Obama contends would spur job creation.

    He urged an enthusiastic crowd at the regional airport here to reach out to members of Congress and pressure them to pass separate sections of his jobs bill.

    “Some of these folks just arent’ getting the message,” he said, his voice sounding hoarse. “I need you to give Congress a piece of your mind.”

    He noted that the runway at Asheville Regional Airport — his first stop on the three-day tour — “needs to be widened and repaired” and its taxiway retooled, because planes “sometimes get too close together.” He argued that if lawmakers pass part of his jobs bill, it could happen.

    “We could be doing some work to boost tourism, help to boost the economy and put people to work right now,” Obama said. “Not just here, but across the state there are highways that need to built, schools that need to be modernized.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party king Erickson grits teeth, concedes Occupy movement basically right
    By John Tomasic
    Monday, October 17, 2011 at 8:52 am

    First came the broke unemployed drummers and poets, then the debt-ridden students, then the retired couples whose pensions and real estate holdings have withered, then the tourists, then, slowly, the journalists. on Friday, the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been thrumming along gathering force and supporters across the country and around the world for more than a month now, won a reluctant endorsement from a chief critic, Tea Party blog king Erick Erickson at Red State.

    “A friend of mine chastised me the other day. He said I was being too hostile toward the occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere,” wrote Erickson in the Friday blog. “[A]round the country there are… a lot of angry, unemployed people who just think the deck is stacked against them… These people are open to listen to anyone who is willing to take on Wall Street…. We shouldn’t let unwashed hippies be the only people they hear speaking to their concerns.

    “[T]he time is right for a Republican candidate to take up the cause of populism against Wall Street.”

    Erickson has mocked the Occupy Wall Street movement as anti-American, communist and vague and its supporters as generally filthy and unlikeable. That line got a lot of traction on the political right for weeks. Erickson even took the lead in formulating the right’s online response to the movement.

    “We Are the 53 Percent” is the tea partyish response to “We Are the 99 Percent,” an Occupy Wall Street blog that posts stories of the overwhelmingly unemployed, underemployed, semi-employed, overworked, debt-ridden and uninsured population of the United States. That’s the 99 percent. The 53 percent referred to in the anti-Occupy blog refers to the specious GOP talking point that only 53 percent of households pay federal income taxes.

    The stories posted at “We Are the 53 Percent” aim to provide a peek into the lives and mindset of hardworking conservative contributors to American society, a supposed contrast with the kind of people who want a free-ride, which is how Erickson had been describing the Occupy supporters.

    Just looking at the substance of the posts at the two sites, however, the lines get blurred. The stories of the 53 percent, including Erickson’s, are also about hardship, about being taken for granted or taken advantage of and of being ignored by lawmakers. Gawker described the site as heartbreaking.

    What makes “We Are the 53%” so heartbreaking isn’t that its contributors are enormous jerks-— it’s that so many of them could just as easily be writing in to “We Are the 99 Percent.” Like the guy… who can “barely afford” his rent. Or the “former marine” … who hasn’t had “4 consecutive days off in 4 years.” The phrase “I don’t have health insurance” pops up frequently on “We Are the 53%,” but not as a cry for help or an indictment of a broken system. Here, it’s a badge of pride.

    Fox News is conducting an online poll that asks its readers if they support the Occupy Wall Street movement. Seventy percent of the first 190,000 respondents supported the movement.

    Exaggerated bafflement about what the Occupy Wall Street supporters hope to achieve, an early line of dismissal, is now falling away, thanks in part to patient explainers like Alan Grayson

  25. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 12:30 PM

    Humor is hard

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has used his stump speech recently to address what he sees as “a crisis of illegal immigration.” As part of his pitch, Cain has talked up a border fence that will kill those trying to cross, though yesterday, he claimed to be kidding.

    At two campaign rallies in Tennessee on Saturday night, the Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said that part of his immigration policy would be to build an electrified fence on the country’s border with Mexico that could kill people trying to enter the country illegally.

    But by Sunday morning, in a dramatic change of tone, Mr. Cain, a former restaurant executive, said he was only kidding.

    “That’s a joke,” Mr. Cain told the journalist David Gregory during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he was asked about the electrified fence. “That’s not a serious plan. I’ve also said America needs to get a sense of humor.”

    Two things. First, the notion that an ostensible presidential candidate would try to find humor — over and over again — in killing immigrants isn’t encouraging.

    Second, Cain wasn’t kidding. TPM posted this video from MSNBC this morning, showing the candidate’s remarks.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Cain told a cheering audience, “We’ll have a real fence: 20 feet high, with barbed wire. Electrified. With a sign on the other side that says, ‘It can kill you.’ … Then I get criticized. ‘Mr. Cain, that’s insensitive.’ What do you mean, ‘insensitive’? What’s insensitive is when they come to the United States, across our border, and kill our citizens, and kill our border patrol people. That’s insensitive. And I’m not worried about being insensitive to tell people to stop sneaking into America.”

    The right-wing candidate made the same argument in multiple appearances.

    “That’s a joke” isn’t exactly a compelling response.

  26. rikyrah says:

    An Endorsement To Watch For
    Jim DeMint’s:

    [W]ho matters, the way that Ted Kennedy mattered when he endorsed Barack Obama? I agree with Steve Benen and Ed Kilgore: the one person poised to make a difference is South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.

    DeMint is one of very few Republicans who is absolutely safe from accusations of RINO-dom, and therefore would be risking little if he decides to go with Romney. He’s also someone who could send a strong signal to conservative politicians and activists that Perry is the one to rally around to stop Romney. Now, I’m not saying (nor are others) that DeMint can single-handedly deliver the nomination, but only that his decision is almost certainly a very important one. And that he has a lot more freedom to maneuver here than many other GOP leaders.

  27. rikyrah says:

    10-17-2011 12:19 PM ★

    t witter Rasmussen: Cain 43, Obama 41
    A new national poll by Rasmussen has businessman Herman Cain up by two points on President Obama, 43 – 41. Ten days ago Rasmussen had Obama up by three, as Cain surged past most of the GOP field into a battle with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney for the top spot nationally.

    Rasmussen noted the fast-moving nature of the race in its report: “Whether Herman Cain’s surge in the polls is temporary or has staying power, he’s enjoying a big enough bounce to take a very slight lead over President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. At the moment, the Georgia businessman is the only Republican with a lead of any kind over Obama, although former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has held a similar advantage several times and is currently trailing the president by just two points.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Why Romney is Likely To Win Nomination
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 17th, 2011 at 11:01:45 AM EST

    It seems like no one can quite believe that the Republicans will nominate Mitt Romney, but no one can picture anyone else getting the nomination, either. I know that’s how I feel. There is really only one area where Romney makes sense for the Republicans, and it’s not the economy. Romney is the only Republican candidate who has enough familiarity with foreign affairs to make a plausible president. I don’t mean that Romney has more direct experience. Probably, disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Senator Rick Santorum have more experience dealing with foreign dignitaries and matters of national security. But each of them is slightly crazy, in their own way. Romney, like Obama, is qualified to handle foreign policy simply because he’s intelligent, curious, and well-traveled. If he became president he wouldn’t, like Bush the Younger, have to staff his cabinet with people who actually have some idea of how the world works. He could take care of that end of things by himself. He could, in other words, be his own man in the White House.
    I don’t think you can say that about Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul or Herman Cain. I guess you could say it about Jon Huntsman, but why bother? If anyone other than Romney wins the nomination, they’ll probably have to pick a running-mate who can actually run our foreign policy, much like Dubya tapped Dick Cheney. In other words, they won’t have the luxury of picking someone just to fire up the base. John McCain tried that, and it obviously didn’t work out. But it did pump some adrenaline into his campaign for a while.

    However, there’s a problem. Dubya had a field of respected people like Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld to choose from. Where are the respected old-hands now? Who can step in and provide that kind of comfort level? It seems to me as if the modern GOP is utterly bereft of leadership. Over the last decade and a half, their leaders have systematically discredited themselves. Think about the careers of Newt Gingrich, Denny Hastert, Tom DeLay, Trent Lott, Bill Frist, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice. Think about John McCain and Sarah Palin. None of them would be tempting figures for a Republican nominee to bring on as trusted advisors. None of these people would be welcomed back into public life. And, with the exception of John McCain, all of them have left public service.

    Frankly, I don’t know how Romney would go about staffing up his cabinet. There are no obvious candidates to be Secretary of State, for example. Maybe Dick Lugar could take the job. Or Jon Huntsman. But the cupboard is startlingly bare.

    I think, more than any other factor, this is why Romney is still likely to win the nomination. Even though no one really likes the guy and he’s a terrible fit for the Republican Party’s base, people can at least picture him doing the job.

    But just because it’s likely that he will win the nomination, that doesn’t mean he will. If he doesn’t, I don’t think any alternative will be able to convince the people that they, and their team, has what it takes to run the American Empire.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Leaked Emails Undermine Perry’s Mormon Messaging

    Brian Fung October 17, 2011, 11:04 AM 595126

    Update: 11:48 a.m.: When shown the emails, Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner told the Daily Beast that the correspondence “appears to be a private conversation that has nothing to do with our campaign.” Further investigation revealed that Lane is not employed by the campaign.

    New emails obtained by the Daily Beast have cast doubt on the Perry campaign’s attempts to disassociate itself from attacks on Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

    The documents show David Lane — a Christian fundraiser who reportedly played a large role in convincing Perry to run — writing to evangelical talk radio chief Dick Bott.

    “What would anyone think if a candidate were a Scientologist?” Bott wrote. “Shouldn’t they want to know what the implications were that may flow therefrom? [sic]”

    A day later, Lane included the following in his reply:

    “Juxtaposing traditional Christianity to the false god of Mormonism is very important in the larger scheme of things.”

    Mitt Romney’s faith became a political issue earlier this month when conservative evangelical Robert Jeffress, who introduced Perry at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, said Romney is not a “genuine” follower of Jesus Christ. Jeffress later doubled down by saying the former Massachusetts governor “is not a Christian.”

    Perry has publicly distanced himself from the pastor since then, insisting that he does not believe Mormonism to be a cult. But the new emails between Lane and Bott suggest not everyone in his camp believes this is a bad development, the Daily Beast reports. Here’s more:

    “We owe Dr. Jeffress a big thank you,” [Lane] wrote to Bott, adding that the media criticism that has called attention to the pastor’s comments was “a stroke of luck.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    The 47 Percenters
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Oct 17 2011, 11:00 AM ET 25

    Derek Thompson does the math on that sector of the country that allegedly goes untaxed:

    The three most important qualifying statements about the 47 percent who pay no federal income tax are: (1) Paying no federal income tax, or FIT, is not the same as paying no taxes, since payroll taxes account for as much government revenue as FIT, and state and local taxes still exist; (2) the vast majority of those who don’t pay FIT make less than $30,000 a year; (3) the reason the “47 percent” exists is not because some people are lazy free-riders, but because Congress, at the behest and prodding of the public, has larded the tax code with benefits and deductions that can wipe out a family’s tax burden.


    If you think the 47 Percent are getting away with free-riding, consider that they’re mostly poor families making $20,000, which means they would have to work for 116 years at that wage just to make the average annual salary of someone in the top 1 percent. Stats like this make it easy to see why we have a progressive tax code — albeit one where ETRs have fallen at every income level over the last 30 years. I think there is an interesting civic philosophy question about whether it’s preferable that 47 percent of the country votes on issues of defense spending, education department policy and other functions of government that are funded by federal income taxes, while they only contribute to excise and payroll taxes. But that’s a little outside my boundaries as a business writer.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Huckabee Jokingly Urges Election Dirty Tricks

    Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, former presidential candidate and now Fox News host, made a shocking joke during a recent speech in which he exhorted voters to break the law in support of an Ohio referendum scaling back public workers’ collective bargaining rights. Really. reported,

    In addition to personally committing to vote and engaging in prayer, Huckabee advised the crowd of 350 to reach out to their friends and family in support of Issue 2.

    “Make a list… Call them and ask them, ‘Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?’ If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don’t go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That’s up to you how you creatively get the job done.”
    Even as a joke, the statement is disturbing. But it’s all the more so considering how obsessed Fox News is with voter fraud (unless it’s Ann Coulter under suspicion) and voter intimidation. Forgive me for getting the impression that Fox only cares about making sure their own kind vote.

  32. rikyrah says:

    A Geography Lesson for the Tea Party

    Even as the movement’s grip tightens on the GOP, its influence is melting away across vast swaths of America, thanks to centuries-old regional traditions that few of us understand.

    By Colin Woodard

    When 2011 began, the Tea Party movement had reason to think it had seized control of Maine. Their candidate, Paul LePage, the manager of a chain of scrappy surplus-and-salvage stores, had won the governor’s mansion on a promise to slash taxes, regulations, spending, and social services. Republicans had captured both houses of the state legislature for the first time in decades, to the surprise of the party’s leaders themselves. Tea Party sympathizers had taken over the GOP state convention, rewriting the party’s platform to demand the closure of the borders, the elimination of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of Education, a prohibition on stimulus spending, a “return to the principles of Austrian Economics,” and a prohibition on “any participation in efforts to create a one world government.” A land developer had been put in charge of environmental protection, a Tea Party activist was made economic development chief, and corporate lobbyists served as the governor’s key advisers. A northern New England state’s rather liberal Democrats and notoriously moderate Republican establishment had been vanquished.

    Or so they thought.

    Less than a year later, it’s Maine’s Tea Party that’s on the wane. Prone to temper tantrums and the airing of groundless accusations, Governor LePage—who won office by less than two points in a five-way race, with just 38 percent of the vote—quickly alienated the state party chair and GOP legislative leadership. His populist credentials were damaged when it was revealed that much of his legislative agenda— including a widely condemned proposal to roll all state environmental laws back to weak federal baselines—had been literally cut and pasted from memos sent to his office by favored companies, industrial interests, or their lobbyists. His economic development commissioner was forced to step down after allegedly insulting several (previously friendly) audiences, while a court ruled that his environmental protection nominee violated conflict-of-interest provisions. He triggered international media coverage, a lawsuit, and large protests after removing a mural depicting the history of Maine’s labor movement from the Department of Labor because an anonymous constituent compared it to North Korean “brainwashing.” Eight of twenty GOP state senators blasted the governor’s bellicose behavior in an op-ed carried in the state’s newspapers, the largest of which declared in April that “the LePage era is over.” Power in the state’s diminutive capital, Augusta, now resides with the senate president, a Republican moderate who was Senator Olympia Snowe’s longtime chief of staff.

    The Tea Party itself has been all but destroyed in Maine by its association with the debt ceiling hostage takers in Washington, according to Andrew Ian Dodge, founder of the organization Maine Tea Party Patriots and the state movement’s most high-profile activist. “There were people saying, ‘Yes, I think we should default,’ and there were the rest of us saying, ‘You’re insane,’ ” says Dodge, a dark-horse challenger to Snowe. “Now I’m emphasizing my Tea Party links even less because a lot of people think they are the crazy people who almost drove us off a cliff.”

    Indeed, in much of the northern tier of the country, the Tea Party has seen a similar reversal of fortune. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker—who won by just 6 percent— has faced powerful resistance to his deregulatory, antiunion, antigovernment agenda, including the recall of two of his senatorial allies; his political future is uncertain. In Massachusetts, Tea Party-backed Senator Scott Brown has emerged as a moderate Yankee Republican along the lines of Snowe. In New Hampshire, Tea Party organizer Jack Kimball stepped down as state party chair this September after losing the confidence of the state’s leading Republicans. “This is the establishment Republicans versus the Tea Party that helped get them into office,’’ one angry Tea Party activist said of Kimball’s departure. “They rode us in, now they’re bringing us back to the barn.’’

    When the Tea Party burst onto the national scene in the summer of 2010, it looked like a national movement. From Wasilla, Alaska, to Augusta, Maine, it dominated GOP rhetoric and produced candidates in virtually every level of government and section of the country. But over the past year, even as its grip on the national GOP has strengthened, its influence has melted away in large swaths of the northern half of the continent, its activists forced to confront the fact that their agenda and credo are anathema to the centuries- old social, political, and cultural traditions of these regions. The Tea Party agenda may hold sway over large parts of the South and interior West, and with the economy and the president in such a weakened state a Tea Party favorite like Rick Perry could conceivably win the White House. But the movement has no hope of truly dominating the country. Our underlying and deeply fractured political geography guarantees that it will never marshal congressional majorities; indeed, it almost guarantees that the movement will be marginalized, its power and influence on the wane and, over large swaths of the nation, all but extinguished.

    We’re accustomed to thinking of American regionalism along Mason-Dixon lines: North against South, Yankee blue against Dixie gray or, these days, red. Of course, we all know it’s more complicated than that, and not just because the paradigm excludes the western half of the country. Even in the East, there are massive, obvious, and long-standing cultural fissures within states like Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and Ohio. Nor are cultural boundaries reflected in the boundaries of more westerly states. Northern and downstate Illinois might as well be different planets. The coastal regions of Oregon and Washington seem to have more in common with each other and with the coasts of British Columbia and northern California than they do with the interiors of their own states. Austin may be the capital of Texas, but Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio are the hubs of three distinct Texases, while citizens of the two Missouris can’t even agree on how to pronounce their state’s name. The conventional, state-based regions we talk about—North, South, Midwest, Southwest, West—are inadequate, unhelpful, and ahistorical.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Big Cash Edge Powers Obama in Drive for ’12
    Published: October 16, 2011

    President Obama is exploiting his early lead in campaign fund-raising to bankroll a sprawling grass-roots organization and information technology apparatus in critical general election battlegrounds. He is doing so even as the Republican candidates conserve cash and jockey for position in what could become a drawn-out nominating battle.

    Since the beginning of the year, Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee, for which the president is helping raise money to finance his party’s grass-roots efforts, have spent close to $87 million in operating costs, according to a New York Times analysis of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That amount is about as much as all the current Republican candidates together have raised so far in this campaign.

    In recent months, that money has helped open campaign offices in at least 15 states. In contrast, the best-financed Republican candidates, Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, have physical presences in just a handful of early primary states like New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

    In just the last three months, according to the filings, the Obama campaign has spent more on payroll, more than $4 million, than several of the Republican candidates have raised.

    The president is already paying staff employees in at least 38 states, including Wisconsin, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Mexico and North Carolina. His Chicago campaign headquarters hums with more than 200 paid aides.

    And Mr. Obama has spent millions of dollars investing in social media and information technology, applying both savvy and brute technological force to raising small-dollar donations, firing up volunteers and building a technical infrastructure to sustain his re-election campaign for the next year.

    The gap in spending underscores facts easily lost amid the president’s low approval ratings, his challenges in winning over independent voters and the gridlock he faces in Washington: Mr. Obama brings unmatched financial resources to the campaign trail, and a team with a well-honed sense of where and how to deploy money, people and technology.

    “In the past three months, we’ve grown our organizing staff by 50 percent and opened up three new field offices every week,” Jim Messina, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, wrote in an e-mail to supporters on Thursday. “Thousands of volunteers and organizers made 3 million phone calls and in-person visits to voters.”

    Mr. Obama’s advantages are partly circumstantial: With no primary opponent, Mr. Obama, like other incumbent presidents before him, can begin preparing for a general election contest that is still more than a year away.

    He can also raise large contributions for the Democratic National Committee — topping out at $30,800 per donor rather than the $5,000 limit on contributions to candidates — that are helping finance the party’s broader efforts to help Democrats up and down the ballot. During the last three months, the committee has already transferred funds totaling more than $1.3 million to Democratic organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the party’s filings.

    Though the Republican National Committee has enjoyed strong fund-raising in recent months, it is also still paying down large debts incurred during the 2008 cycle. At the end of September, the committee was still $14.5 million in debt, according to campaign reports.

    That gap explains, in part, why Republican-oriented independent groups like American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity are devising plans to spend millions of dollars this year on social media and voter-identification efforts, with a major focus on helping the eventual Republican candidate win the White House.

    Mr. Perry and Mr. Romney, as well as Mr. Obama, are also backed by “super PACs” founded by each candidate’s allies and former aides. Such groups can raise unlimited contributions and are required to disclose their expenditures much less frequently than the campaigns or party committees, creating some uncertainty in assessing how the fund-raising wars will ultimately aid one candidate or another.

    Mr. Obama has used his growing field operation as a selling point with large donors in a fund-raising initiative called “Strong Start.” The program shares with supporters the campaign’s estimated costs for organizers, offices and campaign supplies in 12 states and regions, and invites them to underwrite the costs with a donation.

  34. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 10:40 AM

    Obama finds some relevant parallels

    By Steve Benen

    President Obama spoke in D.C. yesterday at the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial dedication, and if you missed the remarks, they’re well worth watching.

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Obama’s speech was a fitting tribute to Dr. King and his legacy, but watching the dedication, it seemed the president was drawing some subtle parallels — or perhaps not-so-subtle parallels — between those who complained about the pace of progress a half-century ago, and those who do the same today. “Progress,” the president explained, “was hard.”

    “We forget now, but during his life, Dr. King wasn’t always considered a unifying figure. Even after rising to prominence, even after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King was vilified by many, denounced as a rabble rouser and an agitator, a communist and a radical. He was even attacked by his own people, by those who felt he was going too fast or those who felt he was going too slow; by those who felt he shouldn’t meddle in issues like the Vietnam War or the rights of union workers. We know from his own testimony the doubts and the pain this caused him, and that the controversy that would swirl around his actions would last until the fateful day he died.

    “I raise all this because nearly 50 years after the March on Washington, our work, Dr. King’s work, is not yet complete. We gather here at a moment of great challenge and great change. In the first decade of this new century, we have been tested by war and by tragedy; by an economic crisis and its aftermath that has left millions out of work, and poverty on the rise, and millions more just struggling to get by. Indeed, even before this crisis struck, we had endured a decade of rising inequality and stagnant wages. In too many troubled neighborhoods across the country, the conditions of our poorest citizens appear little changed from what existed 50 years ago — neighborhoods with underfunded schools and broken-down slums, inadequate health care, constant violence, neighborhoods in which too many young people grow up with little hope and few prospects for the future.

    “Our work is not done. And so on this day, in which we celebrate a man and a movement that did so much for this country, let us draw strength from those earlier struggles. First and foremost, let us remember that change has never been quick. Change has never been simple, or without controversy. Change depends on persistence. Change requires determination.”

    Perhaps the parallels were unintentional, and I wasn’t supposed to notice them, but hearing Obama talk about the pace of change, recall the criticism King faced from his own allies, and emphasize the importance of persistence to achieve meaningful progress, it occurred to me this is a message the president probably hopes those who supported him in 2008 keep in mind in advance of 2012.

    Postscript: Obama added, by the way, “As was true 50 years ago, as has been true throughout human history, those with power and privilege will often decry any call for change as ‘divisive.’ They’ll say any challenge to the existing arrangements are unwise and destabilizing.’” If the change parallels were a subtle message to the left, I’m inclined to think this was a hint to the right and the political establishment.

  35. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 10:05 AM

    Shining a light on a rigged system

    By Steve Benen

    The New York Times’s Nick Kristof had a great column over the weekend on the Occupy Wall Street protests, which he seems to understand better than most establishment pundits. He notes some stunning statistics, including the fact that the 400 wealthiest Americans “have a greater combined net worth than the bottom 150 million Americans,” and the top 1 percent “have more wealth than the entire bottom 90 percent.”

    As my Times colleague Catherine Rampell noted a few days ago, in 1981, the average salary in the securities industry in New York City was twice the average in other private sector jobs. At last count, in 2010, it was 5.5 times as much. (In case you want to gnash your teeth, the average is now $361,330.)

    More broadly, there’s a growing sense that lopsided outcomes are a result of tycoons’ manipulating the system, lobbying for loopholes and getting away with murder. Of the 100 highest-paid chief executives in the United States in 2010, 25 took home more pay than their company paid in federal corporate income taxes, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.

    Kristof also notes that the common assumption — economic inequalities are simply the price of admission for an economy as large and powerful as ours — appears to have it backwards.

    In his important new book, “The Darwin Economy,” Robert H. Frank of Cornell University cites a study showing that among 65 industrial nations, the more unequal ones experience slower growth on average. Likewise, individual countries grow more rapidly in periods when incomes are more equal, and slow down when incomes are skewed.

    That’s certainly true of the United States. We enjoyed considerable equality from the 1940s through the 1970s, and growth was strong. Since then inequality has surged, and growth has slowed.

    If I’m being completely honest, there was a point a few weeks ago at which I thought OWS needed to be more specific about an agenda. The most effective movements are those that are focused and striving towards clear goals. Occupy activists haven’t been, and still aren’t.

    But Kristof’s column reminds me why that thinking was mistaken. Protestors aren’t demanding Congress pass a bill or approve a specific reform. They’re shining a light on systemic problems that can’t be fixed with one bill or one reform.

    It’s not about economic inequality, or TARP, or the need for tax fairness, or stagnant middle-class wages — it’s about all of it and then some.

    Kristof concluded these inequalities are “a cancer on our national well-being.” It would appear OWS is seeking a very broad cure.

  36. rikyrah says:

    We Need To Buy Better Senators, Sir
    by Zandar

    The funniest thing about the NY Times’ “Let the 99% eat cake” piece this weekend is this part here:

    Some on Wall Street viewed the protesters with disdain, and a degree of caution, as hundreds marched through the financial district on Friday. Others say they feel their pain, but are befuddled about what they are supposed to do to ease it. A few even feel personally attacked, and say the Occupy Wall Street protesters who have been in Zuccotti Park for weeks are just bitter about their own economic fate and looking for an easy target. If anything, they say, people should show some gratitude.

    “Who do you think pays the taxes?” said one longtime money manager. “Financial services are one of the last things we do in this country and do it well. Let’s embrace it. If you want to keep having jobs outsourced, keep attacking financial services. This is just disgruntled people.”

    He added that he was disappointed that members of Congress from New York, especially Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, had not come out swinging for an industry that donates heavily to their campaigns. “They need to understand who their constituency is,” he said.

    I can’t think of a better example of how Wall Street works politically, can you? “We bought these Senators fair and square. How come they’re backing these dirty effing hippies? They need to stay bought, dammit. That’s how it works in America.”

    It’s not the 99% they’re blaming either, but Congress. It’s like they expect the candidate with the most money to win and then pay industry back with sweetheart laws or something, and that Wall Street needs Congress. Boy if these 99% guys ever figure out they can vote, Wall Street’s in real trouble, huh. The captains of industry should probably work hard to prevent that from happening by making it harder to vote so these hippies don’t get ideas that their opinion matters.

    If you thought voter suppression was the top GOP priority before, it just got super fast-tracked in the wake of Occupy Together.

  37. GGail says:

    Good morning & happy Mun day 3Chics. I’m gonna love hearing Rose Royce this week! My feet will be doing the “happy dance” to each song!

  38. US President Barack Obama arrives to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on October 17, 2011 enroute to Asheville, North Carolina to begin his three-day American Jobs Act bus tour where he will discuss jobs and the economy. Obama’s tour comes as Republicans and several moderate Democrats remain roadblocks to passing his $447 billion jobs plan in the Senate.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Explaining Herman Cain
    By Leonard Pitts Jr. The Miami Herald

    This is for those who keep asking what I think of Herman Cain. In particular, it’s for those who want to know what the tea party’s embrace of this black businessman turned presidential candidate says about my claim that the tea party is racist.

    I might eat the plate of crow those folks proffer if I’d ever actually made that claim. What I have said, fairly consistently, is something more nuanced: racial animus is an element of tea party ideology, but not its entirety. As I once noted in this space, the tea party probably would not exist if Condoleezza Rice were president.

    Modern social conservatives, in my experience, do not hate black people en masse. To the contrary, there are two kinds of blacks they love. The first is those, like Rice, who are mainly mute on the subject of race, seldom so impolite as to say or do anything that might remind people they are black. The second is those who will engage on race, but only to lecture other blacks for their failures as conservatives conceive them. And that, friends and neighbors, is Herman Cain all over.

    “I don’t believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way,” he told CNN recently. Had he contended too many African Americans use racism as an excuse for failure to succeed and even failure to try, Cain would have gotten no grief from me; I’ve made that argument often.

    But what he said was that racism is no longer a factor. He surely warmed the hearts of his conservative fellow travelers who swear blacks have the same opportunity to succeed as whites if they’d only get off their lazy so-and-sos and do it.

    It is a claim spectacularly at odds with reality, given that African-American unemployment runs twice that of whites, given that the Agriculture Department admits to systematically discriminating against black farmers, given documentation of a “justice” system engaged in the mass incarceration of young black men.

    But what made the claim truly bizarre is that two days later, Cain branded himself a victim of racism. Specifically, he said some black people are “racist” because they disagree with his politics. So blacks aren’t held back by racism, but Cain is?

    Lord, give me strength.

    He thus neatly encapsulates what has become an article of faith for many white conservatives; namely, that it is they, not black and brown people, who are the true victims of bigotry. Mind you, they have not a shred of a scrap of a scintilla of evidence to support this cockamamie idea, but they believe it anyway. And now they find support for their idiocy in this Negro from Atlanta.

    One of the least-discussed impacts of the black experience in America is its emotional toll. African Americans were psychologically maimed by this country, the expression of which can still be seen in the visceral self-loathing that afflicts too many.

    Meaning the black child who equates doing well in school with “acting white.” Meaning the famous black man who bleaches his skin. Meaning the famous black woman who rationalizes her use of a certain soul-killing racial epithet. Meaning Herman Cain.

    In his diminution of African-American struggle, he comes across as a man profoundly at odds with the skin he’s in. He seems embarrassed he’s black.

    For what it’s worth, I suspect black folks aren’t real happy about it, either.

    Read more:

  40. The First Lady Speaks on the HealthierUS School Challenge
    October 17, 2011 3:30 PM EDT

  41. President Obama Speaks at Asheville Regional Airport
    October 17, 2011 10:50 AM EDT
    now streaming…

  42. rikyrah says:

    The Media Primary
    How News Media and Blogs Have Eyed the Presidential Contenders During the First Phase of the 2012 Race
    October 17, 2011

    Rick Perry received the most favorable coverage of any candidate for president during the first five months of the race, but now Herman Cain is enjoying that distinction, according to a new survey which combines traditional research methods and computer algorithmic technology to code the level and tone of news coverage.

    Perry lost the mantle of the candidate enjoying the most favorable treatment to Herman Cain two weeks ago, after the Florida straw poll in which Cain scored a surprise victory. Meanwhile, though he has often led in the polls, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has received less coverage and less positive coverage than the shifting casts of frontrunners — and that remains true even now. He ranks second in the amount of attention received, and the tone of that narrative has been unwaveringly mixed.

    One man running for president has suffered the most unrelentingly negative treatment of all: Barack Obama. Though covered largely as president rather than a candidate, negative assessments of Obama have outweighed positive by a ratio of almost 4-to-1. The assessments of the president in the media were substantially more negative than positive in every one of the 23 weeks studied. In no week during these five months was more than 10% of the coverage about the President positive in tone.

    These are some of the findings of the study, which combines PEJ’s ongoing weekly content analysis with computer algorithmic technology developed by Crimson Hexagon. The report introduces a new research tool for the Pew Research Center, which will continue to track the level and tone of coverage of the candidates throughout the campaign.

    The study includes sections on each of 10 GOP figures as well as the president. It also contains a separate analysis of blogs. In that sphere, Ron Paul, the least covered candidate in the news, is the most favored contender.—perry-herman-cain

  43. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 9:30 AM

    The road already traveled

    By Steve Benen

    President Obama is set to launch a three-day bus tour across North Carolina and Virginia today, continuing to push his jobs agenda. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), making his 12 millionth appearance on a Sunday show yesterday, told CNN’s Candy Crowley that the president should spend more time in D.C.

    “It is time the president came off the campaign trail, sat down and negotiated and talked with us and see areas of common ground.”

    I get the sense political reporters find this kind of message persuasive. A White House press conference late last week, a reporter asked the president why he doesn’t “sit down with members of Congress to see if you can’t reach compromise” on a jobs bill. The week before, at another White House press conference, two different reporters pushed the same argument, insisting that Obama isn’t “negotiating” enough.

    This is all terribly silly, but since it’s apparently not obvious to the political establishment, let’s set the record straight.

    The president has pleaded with congressional Republicans, more times than the White House would like to admit, to work with him in good faith — not just on economic issues, but on anything. It’s proven to be pointless. Indeed, it’s been worse than pointless — the failed outreach has occasionally made Obama look weak; it’s infuriated his base; and Republicans have, without fail, refused to meet him anywhere close to half-way. McCain wants the president to try negotiating? Obama already has. It didn’t work because Republicans slapped away his outstretched hand and refused to even consider compromise. In several cases, Obama has even endorsed GOP ideas, only to discover that Republicans no longer support their own policies if the president agrees with them.

    As a consequence, the president is now trying something different — he’s taking his message to the public and he’s trying to create conditions that would pressure Congress to be responsible for a change.

    I can appreciate the appeal of compromise, but the circumstances matter. Obama presented a serious jobs plan, endorsed by voters and economists, which included ideas from both parties. How many Republicans expressed even tacit support for the bill? Zero. How many Republicans expressed a willingness to work with the White House on possible alternatives? Zero.

    For his part, McCain presented a jobs blueprint last week that included tax cuts, a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the total elimination of the Affordable Care Act, the total elimination of Wall Street reform safeguards, the end of EPA enforcement of clean air measures, and a tax repatriation holiday for international corporations.

    Does this sound like a policymaker interested in negotiation and areas of common ground?

    In case you’re curious, in the CNN interview, Crowley offered no pushback against McCain’s argument.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, October 16, 2011
    Turn On The Lights, Watch The Roaches Scatter Part 79
    Posted by Zandar
    Foreclosuregate is still a major economic problem, folks. There are millions and millions of foreclosed homes stuck on bank balance sheets, and the value of those homes continues to fall weekly. The banks are running out of ways to hide them under the rug and it’s now catching up with them.

    The housing market’s ballooning shadow inventory — buoyed by a yearlong foreclosure slowdown — stands as the most menacing obstacle to the recovery of the residential real estate market.

    Clustered mostly in hard-hit cities and states, there are more than 4.5 million homes either owned by lenders or headed for foreclosure. In Miami, for example, there are about 200,000 shadow homes, dwarfing the 30,000 properties that are listed on the active market. Even as prices in Miami have shown signs of stability this year, an impending wave of foreclosures threatens to keep real estate values deflated.

    “A lot of people don’t understand how much inventory is set to come on line in the next 18 to 24 months,” said Jack McCabe, the CEO of McCabe Research & Consulting in Deerfield Beach, Fla. “When you compare what the Realtors show as inventory to what’s out there, you realize we have a long way to go.”

    A McClatchy analysis of four years of foreclosure data and thousands of property records found record-high levels of shadow inventory in several housing markets across the nation.

    This problem is national, folks. The housing depression is the single largest reason why our economy is going to be stalled for years and years. Housing prices will continue to fall, folks. More Americans will lose their homes, and until this problem is addressed, the economy is not going to improve.
    The GOP certainly won’t lift a finger to do anything about it. But will the Democrats?

  45. rikyrah says:

    That’s What I Want
    by mistermix

    The final money numbers are out, and the Times has an interactive page where you can graph the numbers and see where the contributions come from. A few observations:

    ■Obama has raised more ($99 million) than the entire Republican field combined.
    ■At the same time in the 2008 cycle, Romney had raised $11 million more than he has now.
    ■Ron Paul is third, having raised a total of $12 million. He spends it, too, unlike his fellow Texan Rick Perry.
    ■At this point in the 2008 cycle, Guiliani, Romney and McCain, combined, had raised about $100 million. This time around, Cain, Romney and Perry have raised less than half of that number.
    From the standpoint of money, there’s definitely an enthusiasm gap, and it’s in the Republican party. Donors just aren’t giving like they were last time around.

  46. Obama Love

  47. rikyrah says:

    A Phone Book for Eric Cantor
    by BooMan
    Sun Oct 16th, 2011 at 11:08:17 PM EST

    Lately, whenever I hear Majority Leader Eric Cantor open his mouth, I look around for something to throw at him. The man never tells the truth. And the lies he tells are particularly infuriating. Here he is telling us that Republicans, a.k.a. Job Creators, really want all of us to make more money.

    “We know in this country right now that there is a complaint about folks at the top end of the income scales, that they make too much and too many don’t make enough,” Cantor said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, toning down his earlier criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
    “We need to encourage folks at the top of the income scale to actually put their money their work to create more jobs so we can see a closing of the gap,” he added…

    …Republicans “are about income mobility,” Cantor said as he tried to make the case that the GOP was best equipped to spread the wealth. “And that’s what we should be focused on to take care of the income disparities.” Cantor fell short of apologizing for calling the protesters “angry mobs” last week. Still, he did not accept host Chris Wallace’s challenge to stand by his comment against a movement that 54 percent of Americans rate positively according to a recent Time poll.

    “I think more important than my use of that word is the fact that there is a growing frustration out there across this country (that) too many people are out of work,” he said. “But … we have elected leaders in this town who frankly are joining in an effort to blame others rather than focusing on the [Democratic] policies that have brought the current situation.”

    Republicans want to “promote income mobility and not excoriate some who have been successful,” Cantor said. “We want success for everybody.”

    Let me start out by saying that Democratic policies did not cause our current unemployment situation. But the issue is income disparity. Take a look at this chart that lists the top marginal income tax rate for every year since the federal income tax was introduced in 1913. The top rate in the 1940’s and 1950’s was never below 80 percent. Right now it is 35 percent. Under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democratic President John F. Kennedy, the top rate was never lower than 91 percent. Why is that important?

    I’ll tell you why. If you are a Board of Directors that is trying to decide how much to pay your CEO, are you going to be interested in giving him a whole bunch of income when 91% of it is going to go straight to the government? No, of course not. Until the emergence of the stock option as a form of executive compensation, high marginal tax rates kept a lid on the potential income disparity between the people in the executive offices and the people in the mail room. In the 1980’s, rich people figured out that they could award each other vast sums in stock options, which would theoretically act as an incentive for CEO’s to run their companies well so that the stock price would go up, they could exercise their option, and then they could buy a really big boat. In reality, it just gave them an incentive to always take the short-view, hoping to quickly boost the stock price, make a windfall, and then move on to the next challenge.

    But the stock option wasn’t the only trick they came up with. They also capped the long-term capital gains tax rate at 15%, which is considerably lower that the 35% marginal tax rate CEO’s face on ordinary salary income. Why give your CEO more salary that will be taxed at 35% when you can give him more stock options that will be taxed at 15 percent?

    About that 35 percent? They brought the marginal tax rate down to 70% (Nixon), 50% (Reagan), 31% (Reagan), and 39.6% (Clinton), and finally to the 35% (Bush II) rate, where it remains today. To be sure, not all of these cuts were equal. The second Reagan tax cut eliminated massive loopholes and didn’t represent as big of reduction as it might seem. But all of these changes made it more attractive and affordable to offer ever-bigger compensation packages to senior executives.

    Of course, more pay is more pay, whether you distribute it equitably or you lavish it only on senior management. With increasing global competition, there is great downward pressure on the price of labor. And that is precisely why the Republican Party hates labor unions and anyone who makes labor more expensive. These fat cats keep telling us that we have to renegotiate our contracts, give away our pensions, trim our benefits, or they’ll have to lay people off. Or maybe they’ll just move our jobs to India or Indonesia or Mexico. Yet, they never trim their own ballooning salaries or fail to interfere to prevent a higher tax burden for themselves.

    Eric Cantor doesn’t want people to make more money. That’s a crazy idea. He wants labor costs as low as they can possibly be. And that’s on a good day. Right now, he doesn’t even want people to be paid poorly. He wants them not to be paid at all. He wants high unemployment because he hopes it will hurt the president’s reelection prospects.

    And, yet, he has the gall to say that his party wants income mobility. Whatever he’s pretending to mean by that, the truth is that he wants your income to go into rich people’s pockets. That’s about all he wants.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 17, 2011
    On The Road Again
    Posted by Zandar
    President Obama’s latest effort to push his jobs plan is a bus tour through my home state of North Carolina and neighboring Virginia starting today.

    White House officials said Sunday that Obama will use every stop of the bus trip to press lawmakers in Washington to pass parts of his $447 billion jobs package. Senate Republicans last week blocked the full package from advancing, but Obama has said he’ll continue to push recalcitrant Republicans to pass individual pieces of the legislation.

    “I’m going to travel all over the country over the next few weeks so that we can remind Congress that’s their job,” he said during his weekend radio address, taped at a Detroit GM plant. “There’s still time to create jobs and grow our economy right now. There’s still time for Congress to do the right thing. We just need to act.”

    The trip comes as recent polls show Obama with some of the lowest ratings of his presidency, but Congress polls even lower and at least one poll suggests that voters like the jobs bill — and taxing the wealthiest Americans to pay for it.

    The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 30 percent of those polled in favor of the bill, with 22 percent opposed and 44 percent with no opinion. When the parts of the bill were explained, 63 percent favored passage.

    “The American people support every single plank of that bill, and we’re going to vote on every single one of them,” Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod said on ABC’s This week.

    But House Republican Majority leader Eric Cantor, whose district Obama visited last month pushing for his jobs package, suggested on Fox News Sunday that Obama should “stop the campaigning. Let’s go find the things that are in common between (the GOP) plan and his.”

    Funny, last time I checked it was Congress’s job to legislate and the President’s job to either sign bills into law or veto them. The President of course will sign his jobs bill into law, but the Republicans have zero intention of passing any jobs legislation that the President can sign. Zero.
    We’ve already established long ago that the GOP plan is to ignore the economy and blame Barack Obama for it. And it’s worked for them so far. But this time with 63% of the country wanting to see the bill passed when they find out what’s in it? It’s not going to work, and the GOP knows it. They only want to compromise when they know they’ve lost.
    Good for the President to take his case to the people.

  49. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 8:35 AM

    ‘Foreign policy dumb’

    By Steve Benen

    Herman Cain talked to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Friday, and welcomed questions about his familiarity with international affairs. “I hope they continue to think that I am foreign policy dumb until the right time, they will find out I’m not foreign policy dumb as they think,” he said.

    The right time, apparently, wasn’t yesterday’s appearance on “Meet the Press.”

    When [host David Gregory] then asked Cain whether he was a “neoconservative,” the presidential hopeful admitted he had no idea what Gregory was talking about.

    “I’m not sure what you mean by neoconservative,” said Cain. “I am a conservative, yes. Neoconservative — labels sometimes will put you in a box. I’m very conservative.”

    “But you’re familiar with the neoconservative movement?” asked Gregory.

    “I’m not familiar with the neoconservative movement,” admitted Cain. “I’m familiar with the conservative movement. Let me define what I mean by the conservative movement — less government, less taxes, more individual responsibility.”

    Dan Drezner, after scrutinizing Cain’s collected efforts to address these issues, concluded that the presidential hopeful “hasn’t the faintest clue what to do when it comes to American foreign policy.”

    That seems more than fair. I wouldn’t expect Cain, who’s never worked in government at any level and has no background in international affairs, to dazzle audiences with his expertise in international affairs. But he’s now been a presidential candidate for four months, presumably long enough time to, say, read a book about contemporary foreign policy, or at least hire some advisers who could walk him through the basics.

    “I’m not familiar with the neoconservative movement”? Seriously? Was Cain not keeping up on current events throughout the Bush/Cheney presidency?

    Also note, if this were just one embarrassing exchange on “Meet the Press,” it’d be easier to overlook, but for months, Cain has made clear that he doesn’t understand foreign policy in any way, and arguably doesn’t even think he should. Walid Zafar posted some of Cain’s “greatest hits” in this area, including Cain’s belief that oil drilling might prevent Iran’s nuclear capabilities, his indifference towards strategically important countries like Uzbekistan, and his unfamiliarity with China. A couple of others come to mind, including Cain having no idea what the Palestinian right of return is, and his concession that he can’t speak to U.S. policy in Afghanistan because he doesn’t “know all the facts.”

    Foreign Policy’s Joshua Keating added last week, “Rather than fake knowledge about this world, he by and large simply expresses contempt for it.”

    I realize the economy is easily the most important issue on the policy landscape, but it’s discouraging that Cain’s ignorance on foreign policy is not an automatic deal-breaker.

  50. rikyrah says:

    October 17, 2011 8:00 AM

    Cantor discovers income inequality

    By Steve Benen

    About a week ago, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) became the first congressional leader to condemn the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement. Now, he’s taking a rhetorical detour.

    Reading from a prepared text on Oct. 7, Cantor told a right-wing audience, “I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.” In apparent reference to Democrats sympathetic to OWS, he added, “[B]elieve it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”

    A few days later, Cantor tried (and failed) to make the case that Tea Partiers are legitimate, Occupy demonstrators are not.

    Republican pollsters must have told him this kind of talk was a bad idea, because all of a sudden, the oft-confused Majority Leader has discovered some areas of general agreement with the protesters.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said repeatedly Sunday that Republicans agree that too few people control too much wealth in America.

    “We know in this country right now that there is a complaint about folks at the top end of the income scales, that they make too much and too many don’t make enough,” Cantor said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, toning down his earlier criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

    “We need to encourage folks at the top of the income scale to actually put their money their work to create more jobs so we can see a closing of the gap,” he added.

    This marks a shift, not in Republican policies, but in how GOP leaders talk about their policies. As Cantor now sees it, the concerns of the “mob” are not without merit. He told Fox News the “growing frustration … is warranted.” How gracious of him.

    The problem, of course, is that Cantor’s message to these outraged protesters is, in effect, “The best way to address your grievances is to approve more regressive, far-right economic policies.”

    The status quo is tilted to reward wealth? Middle-class incomes are stagnant? The gap between rich and poor has reached scandalous proportions? Millionaires pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than their working-class staff? There’s no end in sight to the jobs crisis? Never fear, Cantor says, all we need now are more of the kind of policies that created these messes in the first place.

    If we just adopt an agenda that “encourages folks at the top of the income scale,” he said, conditions will improve. Give them even more tax breaks, coupled with deregulation that frees them from the burdens of worker-safety rules and clean-air safeguards, and eventually, the wealth will trickle down to everyone else.

    Problem solved.

    This is how Republicans plan to communicate their agenda to those concerned with tax fairness and economic inequality. GOP leaders are simply counting on large swaths of the populace being easily fooled.

  51. Ametia says:

    Happy MUN-dane, Everyone! :-)

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