Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread| Rose Royce Week!

OOH BOY…   Shout out to GailG; this one’s for you and yours!

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89 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread| Rose Royce Week!

  1. Mr. President, what are thoughts on Michelle Bachman saying you put us in Libya and you’re now putting us in Africa?

  2. Bachmann on President Obama: “He put is in Libya. He is now putting us in Africa…”.

    Sweet Jesus, save us from this madness.

  3. Romney: I’m Running For Office, For Pete’s Sake, We Can’t Have Illegals

    [wpvideo Q4UTCtu6]

  4. GGail says:

    Ametia! Thanks for the shout out gurl!!!! I came home and saw the selection of the day and I turned my speakers wayyyyyy up and sang into my ink pen. “THAT’S THE JAM”!!!!!!

  5. Diahann Carroll’s Surprise Declaration at King Ceremony

    Diahann Carroll, the singer and actress best known for her television roles in “Julia” in the 1960s and “Dynasty” in the 1980s, was among the luminaries paying tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday at the dedication of the King Memorial in Washington.

    She ended with a surprise exhortation about the media:

    “I was on a little TV show and I was a star and I was pleased to be there,” Carroll, 77, said. Now, “I don’t want to be satisfied to be on the television. . . We have to own the damn station!”

  6. Americans on Social Security may get cost-of-living rise

  7. Hillary Clinton Receiving Donations Of $20.12 From Voters Who Want Her To Challenge President Obama

    WASHINGTON — Some of Hillary Clinton’s most ardent supporters just are not willing to let go — and they’ve mounted a push to get her into next year’s White House race by making donations of $20.12 to her old presidential campaign committee.

    A review of Clinton’s most recent Federal Election Commission filing finds dozens of $20.12 donors, all of whom have donated before, since contributions that small are not reported until a giver’s total exceeds $200. There are likely others whose totals fall below that threshold.

  8. Herman Cain Served As A Director Of Corporations Raking In Millions Of Stimulus Dollars

  9. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011
    Yeah, that’s about right
    This lede from the NY Times is pretty much all one needs to accurately envision four depraved years of a Perry presidency:

    In the first two weeks of Rick Perry’s presidential campaign, his aides turned to Brian D. Pardo, a Texas businessman under investigation by federal securities regulators, to use his Cessna Citation X business jet to fly to campaign events.

  10. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 2:45 PM

    Romney rejects foreclosure relief

    By Steve Benen

    The vast majority of the time, Mitt Romney is a strikingly smooth candidate. After nearly six years of running for the presidency, practically non-stop, the guy is effectively a professional candidate — he’s always on message; he’s prepared for every question; and he has his stump speech down to well, he could probably recite it backwards.

    Once in a while, though, he’ll accidentally say what he’s thinking, and in the process, give his rivals valuable campaign ammunition.

    Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney suggested he doesn’t support foreclosure relief for the millions of Americans struggling with underwater mortgages, untold numbers of which have been the victims of fraudulent lending or foreclosure practices.

    In a filmed interview with the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a newspaper serving the hardest-hit foreclosure state in the union, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for not foreclosing on American families fast enough.

    “Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” Romney said when asked what he would do to jump-start the floundering housing market.

    The video of the comments is online here.

    This probably isn’t a position that will hurt Romney in the Republican primaries, but if he’s looking ahead to the general election, it won’t help the GOP ticket if the nominee is the pro-foreclosure candidate. The number of voters hostile towards underwater homeowners and foreclosed-upon families is probably pretty small.

    As Zach Carter noted, this is especially true given that so many banks have been engaged in outrageous practices, including foreclosing on homes without any authority to do so, and in some cases, approving thousands of foreclosure filings without even validating the claims.

    Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the Obama campaign to weigh in.

    Mitt Romney’s message to Nevada homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage bills is simple: you’re on your own, so step aside,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a written statement. “Instead of offering an opportunity, like President Obama has, for responsible homeowners who were scammed by their lender or trapped by falling housing prices to refinance, Governor Romney believes we should instead let the foreclosure process ‘run its course and hit the bottom’ so that investors can come in and make a quick buck after families lose their homes.”

    There’s also the larger context to consider. Romney — who pays a lower tax rate than working-class families, despite being a multi-millionaire — is also running on a platform of higher middle-class taxes, more massive tax breaks for the wealthy, and allowing Wall Street to do whatever it wants.

    And now Romney thinks policymakers should stop trying to stop the foreclosure process? If the Obama campaign’s goal is to make the Republican frontrunner look like an enemy to the middle class, Romney is making the Dems’ job easier.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Oct 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM PDT.

    Republican Party demands President Obama stop talking about his jobs bill+*
    by Jed Lewison

    Look who’s unhappy about President Obama taking his jobs bill message to the American public:

    The Republican National Committee launched a new ad Tuesday criticizing the president’s bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia this week as taxpayer-funded campaigning.
    The ad, titled the “Debt-End bus tour,” features a montage of members of the media describing the president’s push for his jobs and tax reform packages as campaign-style.

    And John McCain, apparently still bitter about having gotten his ass handed to him in 2008, joins the RNC’s lame attack:

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday ripped again into President Barack Obama’s three-day bus tour that’s winding through two swing states, accusing his former foe of an unprecedented level of campaigning on taxpayers’ dollars. […]
    “Never do I believe any of us have seen the kind of activity that the president has engaged in, and all of it being charged to the taxpayers of America,” McCain said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “That’s wrong. That’s the wrong thing to do.”

    Evoking his failed run for the presidency three years, ago, McCain noted that he “didn’t need a bus to be paid for and built by the government and the taxpayers of the United States.”

    Sure, President Obama is just like McCain in 2008, except for the part about how Obama’s the president, and as such, has unique travel travel requirements. Maybe it would make for a great photo op to put the president on Greyhound or put him on a Southwest Airlines flight, but as long as he’s commander-in-chief, that’s not going to happen, nor should it. No matter how cranky McCain or his Republican Party gets, every president before Obama (including GOP hero George W. Bush) and every president after Obama will do the exact same thing.

    Moreover, Barack Obama isn’t trying to win votes—he’s trying prod Republicans like John McCain into getting off their collective behind in order to pass legislation to help grow the economy. While Republicans are fighting for jobs for themselves, President Obama is fighting for jobs for Americans.

    Clearly, McCain and his fellow Republicans don’t like seeing President Obama taking his message to the public. They are afraid of what will happen as voters learn what they’ve been up to since taking back control of the House. They’d love nothing more than for Obama to return to D.C. and give up the fight for jobs legislation, because they just want to sit on their hands without getting challenged for doing nothing. But until they stop blocking progress on a jobs bill, that’s exactly what President Obama will continue to do.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 10/18/2011
    CNN poll: Republicans want Obama’s policies to fail
    By Greg Sargent
    A great catch by Jed Lewison: In the new CNN poll, Republicans are the only group that wants Obama’s policies to fail. From the internals:

    In general, do you hope that Barack Obama’s policies will succeed or do you hope that his policies will fail?
    Succeed 39
    Fail 51

    By contrast, 66 percent of independents want his policies to succeed, and 67 percent of overall Americans want that, too.

    Even more interesting, when Republicans are then asked about some of the Obama policy ideas themselves — without Obama’s name attached to them — majorities support them.

    The only two Obama ideas polled that are opposed by Republicans are an increase of unemployment benefits and tax hikes on those over $250,000. Meanwhile, 58 percent of Republicans support cutting the payroll tax for all workers; 63 percent of Republicans support federal aid to states to hire teachers and first responders; 56 percent support federal spending on infrastructure; and 56 percent of Republicans support raising taxes on millionaires.

    But when asked about Obama policies, Repblicans want them to fail. Go figure.

    In fairness, maybe when Republicans say they don’t want Obama’s policies to succeed, they are talking about the first stimulus, the health care reform bill, and Wall Street reform — and what they mean is they want to see these policies repealed. Or maybe the less charitable interpretation is true — whatever the consequences for the country, if Obama’s policies fail, he won’t get reelected. Or maybe the answer to that question represents the depth of strong GOP dislike for the president. Or maybe it’s a combination of all these things.

    Anyone got a better explanation?

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:51 PM ET, 10/18/2011
    Wall Street lobbyists rage at Dems for supporting Occupy Wall Street
    By Greg Sargent

    Politico channels the angst of Wall Streeters who are furious with Democrats for daring to whisper a word of support for the Occupy Wall Street protests:

    After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a recent email urging supporters to sign a petition backing the wave of Occupy Wall Street protests, phones at the party committee started ringing.
    Banking executives personally called the offices of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel and DCCC Finance Chairman Joe Crowley last week demanding answers, three financial services lobbyists told POLITICO.
    “They were livid,” said one Democratic lobbyist with banking clients.
    The execs asked the lawmakers: “What are you doing? Do you even understand some of the things that they’ve called for?” said another lobbyist with financial services clients who is a former Democratic Senate aide.
    Wow. In embracing Occupy Wall Street, Democrats have managed to alienate Wall Street lobbyists and banking execs? What a fatal political misstep! Given their far reaching popularity, how will Dems ever recover?

    In all seriousness, get ready for the next media storyline: If they support Occupy Wall Street in any way, Dems are going to take a major fundraising hit. It’s inevitable! The storyline, that is.

  14. rikyrah says:

    .Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:53 AM PDT.

    Perry reveals new strategy: Emerge as conservative alternative to Romney+*
    by Jed Lewison

    Byron York quotes a source within the Rick Perry campaign on Perry’s plan for tonight’s GOP debate in Las Vegas (broadcast live at 8PM ET on CNN and of course we’ll be liveblogging it here):

    “Clearly Romney has a significant problem sealing the deal with Republican voters,” the source says. “He’s been running for six years and his numbers have stayed in the low- to mid-20s for much of that time. The challenge is who will emerge as the standard-bearing conservative to counter Romney’s flip-flop, inconsistent, not-very-conservative record. That continues to be our challenge and our task. There’s no magic wand, we need to just continue to grind it out.”

    Okay, they’re just realizing this now? I mean, that’s a pretty solid assessment of what Perry needs to do, but it’s something that should have been obvious to them all along, and Perry’s troubles on the campaign trail have largely been related to his inability to execute on anything resembling that strategy.

    Maybe this simply indicates that the Perry campaign has finally gotten itself up to speed and their candidate will be able to deliver from here on out. If so, Romney’s toast and Perry will be the nominee. But it could just as easily reflect a chronic inability on the part of Perry and his campaign to grasp the magnitude of a presidential campaign.

    On paper, I’d still bet on Perry to take the nomination, and based on his career in politics, it’s hard to imagine that Perry is as much a political bumbler as he’s seemed over the past few weeks. But the fact remains, as a presidential candidate he’s bumbled and stumbled, and with barely more two months before the voting begins in the GOP primary, Perry can’t afford to keep on screwing up.

    The good news for Perry is that heading into tonight’s debate, expectations will be exceptionally low. More importantly, he won’t be the target of the debate, a position that clearly makes him uncomfortable. Instead, the focus will be on Romney and Cain, and they’ll both be facing tough questions.

    In Cain’s case, he’ll need to defend his 9-9-9 plan from conservative critics as well as convince voters that he’s not merely running a vanity campaign. Romney, meanwhile, will continue to face questions about why he cannot manage to build a lead over his rivals despite having been seeking the presidency since the middle of Bush’s second term and enjoying the support of nearly the entire DC Republican establishment.

    With both Romney and Cain in the spotlight, Perry’s biggest challenge will probably be making himself relevant to the debate. He was a wallflower last week in New Hampshire, and if he doesn’t adopt a more aggressive stance, he’ll face a fate worse than losing the debate: he’ll become irrelevant to it.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Listen to Doug Schoen
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 18th, 2011 at 01:25:03 PM EST

    You probably know who Mark Penn is, but you may not now his business partner Doug Schoen. Together, they run a consulting firm called Penn Schoen Berland that specializes in helping corporations hone their communications strategies. In other words, Doug Schoen literally makes his living carrying water for corporations. But he also makes his living doing polling work for Democrats. And his polls invariably produce results that encourage Democrats to eschew populism and to adopt more corporate-friendly policies.
    Schoen sent one of his employees to Zuccotti Park on October 11th and 12th to interview the people occupying Wall Street. In total, they polled less than 200 protesters, and they discovered that the people there are not thrilled with Wall Street, global capitalism, deregulation, and giving tax breaks to enormously wealthy people.

    As a result, Schoen advises the Democrats to distance themselves from the movement.

    Nothing could be less surprising.

    Now, it’s true that the Occupy Wall Street movement could become unpopular at some point in the future. In fact, that’s probably a fair assumption. It happened to the Tea Party, and it’s likely that eventually people will tire of reading about people complaining about Wall Street. Schoen warns that 31% of the protesters would support the use of violence in the furtherance of their aims. Any violence perpetrated by the protesters would accelerate their decline in popularity.

    But the reason these people are out in the street is that Congress cannot do anything to address unemployment, yet they had little difficulty saving Wall Street. That’s what makes this so unpersuasive:

    Today, having abandoned any effort to work with the congressional super committee to craft a bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction, President Obama has thrown in with those who support his desire to tax oil companies and the rich, rather than appeal to independent and self-described moderate swing voters who want smaller government and lower taxes, not additional stimulus or interference in the private sector.
    Rather than embracing huge new spending programs and tax increases, plus increasingly radical and potentially violent activists, the Democrats should instead build a bridge to the much more numerous independents and moderates in the center by opposing bailouts and broad-based tax increases.

    Put simply, Democrats need to say they are with voters in the middle who want cooperation, conciliation and lower taxes. And they should work particularly hard to contrast their rhetoric with the extremes advocated by the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

    I really have a lot of contempt for Schoen’s argument here. But rather than rebut him point by point, I just want to focus on two things. First, he argument doesn’t discuss the merits of different policies at all. He’s making a purely political argument that the Democrats will suffer if they continue on the path they’ve chosen. Second, the Democrats have tried postponing tax hikes. They’ve tried to work with the Republicans to craft legislation that might appeal to business-friendly moderates. They’ve made some progress on the margins using this approach. But they hit a stone wall during the debt limit debate, and the Republicans are now simply refusing to do anything about the high unemployment rate. Continuing to ask Republicans to work with them isn’t going to work, and it isn’t going to satisfy anyone regardless of their political orientation.

    The problem is the GOP. And, to the degree that the Democrats share the blame, it’s because they have a tendency to take Doug Schoen’s advice.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011
    Government Shock Absorbers
    Posted by Zandar
    Hey folks, here’s “big intrusive government” going and doing things again, like getting wireless carriers to actually warn consumers when they are over their plan limits in order to prevent folks from running up hundreds if not thousands in charges.

    The vast majority of America’s wireless carriers came to terms with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, agreeing to alert consumers when they are approaching their monthly limits for voice, data and text messages, or when they are about to incur international roaming charges. Mobile providers will send a second alert when customers reach those limits.

    The news comes after a nearly two-year FCC probe into “bill shock” — the sudden, unexpected increase in monthly wireless charges without a change to a customer’s plan. The regulator estimates about 30 million Americans have experienced some form of bill shock.

    A study that the FCC conducted last year found that 84% of Americans who experienced bill shock said they were not tipped off by their wireless company when they were about to exceed their limits, and 88% said they heard nothing from their provider after they went over.

    There’s the real “shock”. Your cell phone company? If you went over your plan minutes and started to incur additional charges, they wouldn’t inform you. They would simply let you run up the tab and then hit you with a massive bill. Nearly nine in ten times they would leave you to hang.

    Now? Gosh, it’s like government is actually helping the people under President Obama. I can’t wait to see how conservatives spin wireless companies ripping off Grandma because she didn’t understand the plan you sold her or Billy sending 3000 text messages in a month without an unlimited text plan is bad for the economy, and how telling people they are over their limit for the month is European soshuleesm.

    The bad news? We’re supposed to trust the wireless providers that they’ll actually do this. It’s voluntary. But the FCC promises if the cell carriers don’t play fair, they might make it mandatory. Maybe. Some day.

    Of course the second the GOP gets control of the FCC, this will of course cease to be enforced period.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Taking Cain Seriously
    Joe Klein captures the hilariously contrived (and borderline racist) condescension from places like the Weekly Standard:

    I know what I’m about to say is impolite, but Herman Cain strikes me as something of a jerk and an ignoramus. He has made absolutely outrageous statements about Muslims, immigrants and homosexuals; he takes the most extreme position imaginable on abortion. Indeed, I have never, ever seen him acknowledge the idea that complexity exists in the world…or that an ability to weed through complex issues might be a qualification for the presidency.

    And that is why he is doing so well – along with an ability to charge Obama with playing the race card. We’ll see again tonight if his moronic marketing slogans can sustain his momentum. I’d merely note that he is less of a farce than Palin was – and she was anointed by the establishment. When the rot in a party has gone this deep, and when its presidential line-up is this thin, absurdities like Cain will keep emerging

  18. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 1:30 PM

    If only Snowe’s actions met her misplaced rhetoric

    By Steve Benen

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talked to the Senate Small Business Committee, urging its members to approve jobs measures proposed by the White House. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), ostensibly Congress’ most moderate Republican and the member most likely to listen to reason, went on quite a tirade.

    “Your primary mission is to craft the economic policy of this country, and at this point, it simply isn’t working,” she told Geithner. “Something’s gone terribly wrong, and what I hear over and over again is that there is no tempo, a tempo of urgency.”

    “I don’t know who you’re talking to…but you need to talk to the average person,” she said later in a testy back and forth with Geithner. “Rome is burning.”

    I’m delighted Snowe is pretending to care about the economy. I’m also delighted she thinks she’s in touch with what “average” people want, and would like to see policymakers to act with “urgency.”

    But if Olympia Snowe thinks her actions are consistent with her rhetoric, she’s sadly mistaken.

    We are, after all, talking about the alleged moderate from Maine who, just last week, voted with right-wing senators to refuse a debate on the popular and effective American Jobs Act. She’s the same senator who’s refused to endorse any of the provisions in the bill, no matter how much they’d help. What was that she was saying about “urgency”?

    Snowe thinks Geithner is responsible for crafting the nation’s economic policy? Here’s a radical idea: maybe if Snowe could bring herself to stop filibustering worthwhile economic legislation, Geithner might have more success.

    “Rome is burning”? And who, exactly, does Snowe believe is responsible? The party with good economic ideas that can’t overcome Republican obstructionism, or the party engaged in the obstructionist tactics, offering ideas that would make the economy worse, and by some accounts, holding back the nation deliberately?

    Snowe seems to believe the status quo isn’t working. On this, she’s correct. But it’s not working because Republicans are getting their way.

    In what universe does it make sense for Snowe to blame Geithner? Snowe and Republicans got the tax cuts they demanded; Snowe and Republicans saw the stimulus spending evaporate, just as they wanted; Snowe and Republicans are watching the public sector lay off hundreds of thousands of workers, just as GOP policy dictates; and Snowe and Republicans have forced the White House to accept massive spending cuts, which takes money out of the economy on purpose.

    And now she’s complaining? Why, because her party is getting what it wants and she doesn’t like the results?

    Arguably one of the most dramatic Democratic dilemmas of 2011 and 2012 is overcoming the realization that Republicans are getting their way on economic policy and then denying any responsibility for the results. Indeed, it’s a rather extraordinary con: GOP officials see much of their agenda implemented, then see it fail, and then blame Obama when their policies don’t work.

    The nation is reading from the Republicans’ economic playbook, and thanks in part to Snowe’s filibusters, that’s not likely to change anytime soon. When the GOP agenda fails, Republicans should be prepared to accept responsibility for the consequences, instead of pretending they’re not getting their way.

  19. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 12:35 PM

    Failing the ‘homework assignment’

    By Steve Benen

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

    That was 12 days ago. Since then, we’ve seen some evaluations along the lines of what the president had in mind — independent economists have said the White House’s American Jobs Act would boost job creation, while the jobs plan from Republicans wouldn’t.

    This is no small realization. It’s easy to take it for granted — the results are in line with expectations — but this isn’t just a question in the political fight over jobs; it’s the question. Which side is offering a jobs plan that works?

    Greg Sargent makes the case today that the media covering the debate is failing.

    Obama and the Senate GOP have both introduced jobs plans. In reporting on the Senate plan, many news organizations described it as a “GOP jobs plan.” And that’s fine — Rand Paul said it would create 5 million of them. But few if any of the same news orgs that amplified the GOP offering of a jobs plan are making any serious effort to determine whether independent experts think there’s anything to it. And independent experts don’t think there’s anything to it….

    Why aren’t these facts in every single news story about the ongoing jobs debate? Why aren’t they being broadcast far and wide?

    I’m trying to think of the reasons for this. Economists are not infallible — they very well may be wrong. But still: News consumers are entitled to expert opinion in navigating an intensely partisan debate that is expected to continue for months and be central to the 2012 campaign.

    Greg explores some reasons why news organizations are dropping the ball on this, and they’re compelling explanations. If I had to guess, I’d say the root cause is a familiar one: a reporter could tell news consumers that empirical data shows the Democratic plan would work and the Republican plan wouldn’t, but to say this out loud would be to invite accusations of “bias.” Forced neutrality reigns, facts be damned.

    But for those who care about reality, the truth is unambiguous: the GOP “jobs plan” wouldn’t make things better, and the American Jobs Act would. One side’s numbers add up, the other side’s don’t. One side welcome objective, independent scrutiny, the other side doesn’t. One side’s plan is a serious effort, the other side’s isn’t.

    From a political perspective, I’m hard pressed to imagine what could be more important than these realizations — during a jobs crisis, during a jobs fight in Washington — but most of the establishment media seems inclined to give Republicans a pass. Reality is too impolite to repeat in public.

  20. Ametia says:

    They can’t help themselves

  21. The truck carrying President Obama’s teleprompter and other equipment was stolen from the hotel parking lot in Virginia where it was parked. The truck later turned up at another hotel. Weird.

  22. Happy Birthday, Chuck Berry!

  23. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 11:25 AM

    IMF: austerity wasn’t such a great idea after all

    By Steve Benen

    Conservatives, here and around the world, almost certainly don’t want to hear what the IMF is telling them, but the more officials reject a misguided austerity agenda, the better.

    The International Monetary Fund, known throughout its history for urging governments to slash their budgets, is now worried that a global round of austerity may trigger a new recession and is urging countries to look for ways to boost growth.

    On Monday, the agency warned the world’s leading economies that belt-tightening by governments, companies and consumers has been become so aggressive that the global economy could falter because of anemic demand.

    “The immediate risk is that the global economy tips into a downward spiral…. Even in a less severe scenario, key advanced economies could suffer from a protracted period of low growth,” the IMF said. The agency report urged all but the most debt-strapped nations to boost growth through expansive government budget and spending policies or through central bank measures such as lowering interest rates to stimulate the economy.

    The IMF has traditionally opposed deficits, and has become outspoken of late about the need for countries to promote growth, not debt reduction, given the larger economic circumstances.

    With austerity measures holding Europe back, and the continent facing another recession, the IMF is offering some smart advice. (American Republicans, meanwhile, believe U.S. policymakers would be wise to embrace the same measures that aren’t working in Europe.)

    Indeed, it’s heartening to see the IMF become a voice of reason. In August, you may recall, International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde urged policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic to follow a familiar path: address long-term fiscal issues while at the same time, focusing on job creation and economic growth in the short term. (In fact, yesterday, Lagarde singled out President Obama’s American Jobs Act as the ideal for policymakers to follow.)

    Also note, last month, the IMF examined 173 episodes of fiscal austerity over the past 30 years and concluded that austerity “lowers incomes in the short term, with wage-earners taking more of a hit than others; it also raises unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment.”

    Taken together, it’s quite a consensus. The IMF’s message to Europe (and the U.S.) is the same message we’re hearing from the Federal Reserve, the CBO, economists, the financial industry, the bond market, and business leaders all saying more or less the same thing: don’t approve drastic spending cuts, do approve short-term stimulus.

    The right in the U.S. doesn’t care. Here’s hoping conservatives in Europe show more sense.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Maybe you should go ask Osama Bin Laden if he thought he was prepared.”

    — David Axelrod, on Morning Joe, pushing back against the charge Barack Obama was ill prepared to be president

  25. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 10:35 AM

    They’re not parallel ideologies

    By Steve Benen

    Russ Roberts had a much-discussed item recently on Keynesian economics, which included an interesting criticism of Paul Krugman: “Krugman is a Keynesian because he wants bigger government. I’m an anti-Keynesian because I want smaller government. Both of us can find evidence for our worldviews.”

    I was glad to see Krugman explain just how mistaken this is.

    First of all, while conservatives see smaller government as an end in itself, liberals don’t see bigger government the same way. Think about it: while you often see conservatives crow about, say, reducing discretionary spending as a good thing just because the number is down, do you ever see liberals crowing about a rise in spending, never mind what on? Liberals want government to do certain things, like provide essential health care; the size of government per se isn’t the objective.

    Krugman added some related points — Keynesianism isn’t about promoting bigger government; conservatives have traditionally supported Keynesian economics; and basing economic views on political prejudices is a bad idea — but it’s this first point that stood out for me. Regular readers probably know we’ve discussed this before, but I continue to believe it’s one of the key observations in American politics, because it’s fundamental to understanding how both sides of the political divide seek to advance their goals — and the nature of the goals themselves.

    For the left, political objectives relate to policy ends. We want to expand access to quality health care. We want to lower carbon emissions to combat global warming. We want to reform the lending process for student loans so more young people can afford to go to college. We want to make public investments to create jobs. There are competing ways to get to where progressives want to go, but the focus is on the policy achievement.

    What conservatives often find confusing is that the liberal worldview is not about necessarily increasing the size of government or raising taxes; those mechanisms are only valuable insofar as they reach a desired end-point. Whether the government increases or shrinks in the process is largely irrelevant.

    For the right, it’s backwards — the ideological goal is the achievement.

    Jon Chait had a terrific piece on this several years ago.

    We’re accustomed to thinking of liberalism and conservatism as parallel ideologies, with conservatives preferring less government and liberals preferring more. The equivalency breaks down, though, when you consider that liberals never claim that increasing the size of government is an end in itself. Liberals only support larger government if they have some reason to believe that it will lead to material improvement in people’s lives. Conservatives also want material improvement in people’s lives, of course, but proving that their policies can produce such an outcome is a luxury, not a necessity.

    The contrast between economic liberalism and economic conservatism, then, ultimately lies not only in different values or preferences but in different epistemologies. Liberalism is a more deeply pragmatic governing philosophy — more open to change, more receptive to empiricism, and ultimately better at producing policies that improve the human condition — than conservatism.

    Now, liberalism’s pragmatic superiority wouldn’t matter to a true ideological conservative any more than news about the medical benefits of pork (to pick an imaginary example) would cause a strictly observant Jew to begin eating ham sandwiches. But, if you have no particular a priori preference about the size of government and care only about tangible outcomes, then liberalism’s aversion to dogma makes it superior as a practical governing philosophy.

    Conservatives tend to prefer a different approach that decreases the role of government, not to achieve specific ends, but because decreasing the role of government is the specific end.

    This, of course, affects nearly every debate in Washington. When it comes to job creation, for example, the task for Democrats is pretty straightforward: let’s do more of what’s been the most effective, and less of what’s been the least effective. Again, it’s about pragmatism and results based on evidence.

    For Republicans, it doesn’t work quite that way — they have ideological ideals that outweigh evidence. GOP leaders could be shown incontrovertible proof that the most effective methods of creating jobs and improving the economy are aid to states, infrastructure investment, unemployment insurance, and food stamps, and they’d still refuse. Why? Because their ideology dictates the response.

    The left starts with a policy goal (more people with access to medical care, more students with access to college, less pollution, more jobs, less financial market instability) and crafts proposals to try to complete the task. The right starts with an ideological goal (smaller government, more privatization, more deregulation) and works backwards.

    These are not parallel ideologies.

  26. President Barack Obama waves to people gathered along a road in Boone, N.C., during his three-day American Jobs Act bus tour, Oct. 17, 2011

  27. President Obama Speaks at Guilford Technical Community College
    October 18, 2011 11:20 AM EDT

  28. rikyrah says:

    There’s so much wrong with his revisionist history, but, you know, this is who they are…knowing his azz would have been out there against MLK during the CVR.


    Hume warns Obama on Occupy Wall Street: ‘He is playing with fire’

    On Monday’s broadcast of “America Live” on the Fox News Channel, senior political analyst Brit Hume said that the Occupy Wall Street movement could turn off the independent voters, first noting that the similarities between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and this current Occupy Wall Street movement, were a stretch. Occupy Wall Street got was endorsed by President Barack Obama during his remarks at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial dedication in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

    “Well, there are some similarities,” Hume said. “Martin Luther King, Jr. led marches and protest demonstrations … in favor of the cause for civil rights for all, especially more American blacks who had been obviously treated as second-class citizens for a long time. But I’m not sure the parallels extend far enough [Obama] can expect that the kind of almost unanimous support that the civil rights movement [that] ultimately developed will swing behind these demonstrators and their cause and politicians who support it.”

    It’s a risky proposition to get behind the Occupy movement for Obama, he added. Especially if he wants to win his re-election next year and is depending on the independent vote.

    “I understand a little bit why he’s doing it but I think he is playing with fire because these protests are unfocused,” he said. The “civil rights movement was pretty focused. The tea party movement was pretty focused. These protests are unfocused and they’re susceptible to infiltration and perhaps even being dominated to some extent by some pretty hard-left activists who are not going to have sympathy from … the independent centrist voters that the president needs to win his election.”

  29. [wpvideo 9Kjj3c0Z]

  30. rikyrah says:

    Demonstrations, poll fuel NY millionaire tax push

    The push for a higher tax on New Yorkers making more than $1 million a year is getting fresh life with a new poll showing overwhelming support, a high-profile rally on Monday and the strengthening Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City.

    The Siena College poll found 72 percent of New York voters support the tax to avoid further budget cuts. Just 26 percent oppose the proposal by powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

    Also Monday, the union-backed “99 New York” rally supported extending the current so-called “millionaire’s tax” on New Yorkers with incomes over $200,000. It’s due to expire Dec. 31.

    Standing in the way of renewing the current surcharge on the wealthy and Silver’s millionaire tax plan are Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his fiscal ally, the Republican majority of the Senate. Cuomo says taxing wealthier New Yorkers at higher levels would likely send the rich to Connecticut and New Jersey, taking their income tax revenue and jobs with them.

    The GOP Senate promised fiscal restraint and no new or higher taxes when it regained the power and perks of the chamber’s majority in elections two years ago. Republican senators face the next challenge to their power next year in a state where Democrats hold nearly a 2-to-1 enrollment advantage.

    But now, tax revenues are running behind projections, a $2 billion deficit looms, and schools and hospitals are howling after two years of flat state budgets capped by an overall cut in spending in April. And the public opinion polls and Occupy Wall Street protest are drawing attention to public unrest.

    “Politicians are already starting to, grudgingly, take notice,” said Kelly Heresy from Occupy Wall Street, a demonstration started in New York City that’s drawing national and global support and attention. Protesters say they are trying to limit the power and privilege of the wealthy.

    Heresy, a writer, said protesters’ concerns are “not really represented by the politicians, who are mainly working on behalf of their biggest fund raisers — the corporations and banks.”

    “The world is changing and, as always, elected officials will be the last one on the train,” said Richard Brodsky, a former Democratic assemblyman and now a senior fellow at the Wagner School at New York University who has been at Occupy Wall Street.

    Brodsky and other supporters say the Occupy movement has riveted public attention on the need to tax the rich more. In an opinion piece Monday in the New York Daily News, he proposed a state jobs and infrastructure repair program paid for by a three-year millionaire’s tax.

    Advocates for social service and environmental programs that have seen deep cuts also are directly challenging the traditional argument that if you tax millionaires more, even in hard times, they will move and take their jobs with them.

  31. Obama Bus Tour Equipment Stolen In Virginia,

    HENRICO, Va. — Authorities are investigating the theft of a truck containing presidential seals, podiums and sound equipment for President Barack Obama’s bus tour of Virginia and North Carolina.

    WWBT-TV says the truck contained sound equipment, podiums and the seals.

    The Defense Information System Agency said Tuesday in a statement that a government vehicle was stolen and then recovered. The theft is being investigated in coordination with law enforcement agencies.

    It’s unclear whether the equipment was recovered.

    The federal agency says the vehicle didn’t contain any classified or sensitive information.


    • I hope they nail the thief to the wall. What a bold ass mofo to steal the bus tour equipment. I could kick a mud hole in the sob’s ass myself.

      • Ametia says:

        ummm, where the fuck was SS? that’s the POTUS’ tour bus, and a mofo was able to get on and steal equipment. This smells to high heaven

      • The equipment was in a truck containing sound equipment, podiums and presidential seals. This some real fk’d up shit. The SS need to do their damn job. How the hell could they let a sob steal the got damn equipment? Something ain’t right here…

  32. rikyrah says:

    how many of these articles are we going to see?

    POTUS’ approval rating with the Black community is what—-92% —–at last poll?


    Can Obama hold on to African American voters in 2012?
    By Krissah Thompson, Published: October 17
    For several months, radio host Tom Joyner has pleaded with his 8 million listeners to get in line behind the first black president.

    “Stick together, black people,” says Joyner, whose R&B morning show reaches one in four African American adults

    The Rev. Al Sharpton, an ally of President Obama who has a daily radio show and hosts a nightly cable television program, recently told the president’s black critics, “I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m telling you: Don’t make some of us have to speak up.”

    Even as Obama and his campaign play down the suggestion that support among African Americans is flagging, a cadre of powerful allies is snapping back at critics in the black community and making explicit appeals for racial loyalty.

    “Let’s not even deal with the facts right now. Let’s deal with just our blackness and pride — and loyalty,” Joyner wrote on his blog. “We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing. And I’m not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he’s a black man.”

    That message is pointed at racial unity much more than it was in 2008, when just the prospect of electing the nation’s first black president brought out record numbers of African American voters. This time, high-profile Obama supporters are tailoring their appeal in hopes of reigniting enthusiasm among blacks, a critical part of the president’s base that has been disproportionately hurt by the lagging economy and high unemployment rates.

    Recent Washington Post-ABC News polls have shown a drop in the number of blacks who have ”strongly favorable” views of Obama and those who think his policies are improving the economy. This has coincided with vocal criticism of the president among some members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other African American leaders.

    But the focus on sticking together has prompted criticism from some who call it an overly simplistic view that shuts off dialogue about Obama’s achievements and his failures.

    “It truncates vibrant conversation in the black community,” said Eddie Glaude Jr., a professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University. “What I hear them saying is, ‘Black folk need to get in lock step because we don’t want Republicans to take the White House.’ There is a kind of disciplining of the black polity that doesn’t lend itself to a vibrant and detailed consideration about political issues.”

    The message is that criticism of Obama should be treated like a family argument — not to be made public — said Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University.

    “What they seem to be trying to do now is shift the tone of the discussion in the black community,” she said. “You have these radio hosts talking about unity and that now is not the time for disagreement with the president. It could be effective.”

    The calls for racial solidarity have not come from the White House, and Obama has been careful to speak in broad terms, even when talking about how his policies have helped African Americans. At the same time, his campaign has welcomed the support of black media figures. Those “validators” make clear that they back the president’s policies, and a White House aide noted that their support is deeper than the color of Obama’s skin. “You don’t see them supporting Herman Cain or Alan Keyes,” the aide said.

  33. OOH BOY, I love you so, never never gonna let you go…

    I’m loving Rose Royce, Ametia!

  34. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 9:30 AM

    Humor is hard, redux

    By Steve Benen

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    It’d be a shame if politicians became so afraid of spontaneity that they never joked around, avoided light-hearted moments, and never strayed from their scripts. That said, politicians also need to realize that being funny can be tricky and that it’s sometimes hard to find humor in some serious subjects.

    Late last week, for example, Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain said his response to the “crisis of illegal immigration” is to create an electrified fence along the U.S.-Mexican border, killing those who tried to enter the country illegally. Cain said on Sunday his comments were “a joke,” though the video suggested otherwise.

    Yesterday, the far-right candidate switched gears again — Cain was serious about the idea he was kidding about. (thanks to M.C. for the tip)

    Let me first say it was a joke, and some people don’t think that it was a good joke, and it’s probably not a joke that you’re supposed to make if you’re a presidential candidate,” Cain continued. “I apologize if it offended anyone. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.”

    Only, it might not be a joke, he later said, before finally saying he just doesn’t want to offend anyone.

    “I don’t like to offend anyone … however, I don’t apologize for using a combination of a fence. And it might be electrified — I’m not walking away from that,” Cain backtracked. “I just don’t want to offend anybody. It was a joke to the extent in the context of the views of that speech, but in terms of what we need to do, I fully intend to do so because I’m more sensitive to our citizens being hurt.”

    Maybe when Cain said he was joking, that was when he was joking?

    The bottom line, at least until he changes his mind again, is that Cain actually wants a fence that would kill immigrants, and If he’s elected, that’s what he “fully intends” to do.

    Let’s also note that Cain isn’t the only Republican struggling with comedic stylings lately. Cain is “joking” (but not really) about killing immigrants; Mike Huckabee is joking (again) about Republicans using illegal voter-suppression tactics; and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) joked, “In Arizona, sometimes to gain office you have to have shot someone,” a line Gabrille Giffords’ family probably wouldn’t appreciate.

    Maybe someone can buy a copy of “Comedy for Dummies” and send it over to the RNC.

  35. Ametia says:

    Dedicated to all the HATERS who are trying to destroy PBO’s black voters support:

  36. Ametia says:

    Can Obama hold on to African American voters in 2012?



    By Krissah Thompson, Published: October 17
    For several months, radio host Tom Joyner has pleaded with his 8 million listeners to get in line behind the first black president.

    “Stick together, black people,” says Joyner, whose R&B morning show reaches one in four African American adults.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Real Americans Suffer In Silence
    by Zandar

    And if you thought Bill Keller’s take on OWS completely missed the point, we have David Brooks making Keller look like Nostradamus.

    If, in the 1960s, you had tried to judge America by looking at the sit-ins and Woodstock, you would have had a very distorted picture of where the country was heading. You wouldn’t have been able to predict that Richard Nixon would win the youth vote in 1972, which he did. You wouldn’t have been able to predict that Republicans would go on to win four out of the next five presidential elections, a streak only interrupted by Jimmy Carter, who ran as a conservative Democrat.

    Similarly, if you look only at the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements that have been getting so much coverage in the news media, you know very little about the wider America. Most Americans seem to understand this. According to data from the Pew Research Center, they are paying less attention to the Occupy Wall Street movement than any other major story — less than Afghanistan, Amanda Knox, the 2012 election, the death of Steve Jobs and far, far less than news about the economy.

    While the cameras surround the flamboyant fringes, the rest of the country is on a different mission. Quietly and untelegenically, Americans are trying to repair their economic values.

    The salt of the Earth, rock-ribbed masses are embracing austerity and reaffirming their role as doormats for the wealthy, apparently. The meek shall inherit the Earth, well after the people with the money and the megaphones get done pillaging anything and everything of worth from it. Not only does Brooks dismiss the Occupy Together protesters in cities across the country, he then assumes people are angry because government’s spending too much and that people want tax cuts for our precious tax creators and cuts to the social safety net that supports them.

    How dare, Brooks says, do these Dirty Effing Hippies demand anything and seek to lift their noses from the grindstone that has eroded household income to 1996 levels. Banks cutting credit limits and charging more fees, energy and food prices rising due to commodity speculation, the wealth gap growing yearly? Tighten your belts like the Puritan strain you are and accept it. Real Americans in Bobo’s world ignore OWS and get back to work. Those with jobs, anyway.

    Most of all, Real Americans fanatically embrace centrism and austerity to protect our nation’s greatest resource, the job creators. Trickle-down serfdom is all the rage where Brooks is. After all, we’ve been there for over three decades. Why would the silly masses actually want anything more in a country where the wealthiest 400 individuals have more than the bottom 50% combined, and banks continue to report billions in profit this week after taking hundreds of billions in taxpayer loans?

    The Divine Right of Job Creators, indeed. Real Americans suffer in silence, apparently.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:51 AM ET, 10/18/2011
    The Morning Plum
    By Greg Sargent
    * How directly should Dems attack Romney’s wealth and class? As I’ve been noting here, Dems are currently grappling with how directly to engage Mitt Romney’s wealth and corporate background at a time when Dems are sharpening their populist rhetoric to keep pace with rising public anger at Wall Street. Now, with the GOP candidates set to debate tonight, the DNC has uncorked a memo detailing its most direct attack on Romney’s wealth and class yet, tying that Bain photo to his claim that the payroll tax cut extension amounts to a “little Band-Aid” in order to portray Romney as an out of touch fop whose party puts the interests of the rich over the rest of us.

    Look for Dems to incorporate into this attack line fact that Romney’s income from investments means he pays a lower tax rate than middle class taxpayers do.

    Also of note: The Obama campaign itself has not gone here, preferring to leave this line to the DNC. But with Occupy Wall Street growing and the Obama team doubling down on a strategy of casting Wall Street as an antagonist, it seems likely that Romney’s wealth, class and enviable tax rate — vulnerabilities which remain largely unexplored — will become more central to the campaign as time goes on.

    * Romney swimming in Wall Street money: Relatedly, this one will become a talking point: The Center for Responsive Politics finds that nearly one fourth of Mitt Romney’s fundraising comes from Wall Street, and Romney’s Wall Street cash is double that of Obama.

    * “Moderate” Dems may break with Obama on pieces of jobs bill: With the Senate set to vote on pieces of the jobs bill, Senators Ben Nelson and Jon Tester, both of whom voted against the overall proposal, may actually vote against the $35 billion in state aid to avert teacher and first-responder layoffs.

    Their objection: The tax hikes on the rich that are supported by big majorities, including among independents and moderates. As always, these “moderates” and “centrists” are not willing to support economic solutions that actually are moderate and centrist — and as a result, they may give more ammo to Republicans to claim that opposition to Obama’s proposals is “bipartisan.”

    * Even Republicans favor provisions in Obama’s jobs bill: Steve Benen digs into the new CNN poll and finds that majorities of Republicans favor many of the proposals in the American Jobs Act — the very same American Jobs Act that 100 percent of Republicans voted against allowing to come to the floor.

    I’d only add that this isn’t the first poll showing this: Gallup, too, found the same not long ago.

    * Occupy Wall Street concern trolling of the day: This is going to drive a lot of discussion today: Pollster Doug Schoen “warns” Obama and Dems that they embrace Occupy Wall Street at their own peril, because if they do, they risk losing the “middle.” That would be the same Doug Schoen who “advised” Obama not to run for a second term — for his own good.

    Friendly reminder: Time magazine’s poll found that 55 percent of independents favor the protests.

    * New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor Occupy Wall Street: Relatedly, despite a massive effort by conservatives to paint Occupy Wall Street as a horrible nuisance to New Yorkers (defecating in the street!), Quinnipiac finds that they overwhelmingly agree with the protesters’ views, 67-23, with 87 percent saying it’s “okay that they’re protesting.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    CNN Poll: Republicans Think Cain Is Best On Economy

    The surge of businessman Herman Cain has now shown up in more than just horse race polling: a new CNN poll shows that 33 percent of GOP voters in their survey said that Cain was the best Republican candidate to get the economy going, with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in second with 26 percent. A month ago, Cain was only at 4 percent, as the then-frontrunner Texas Gov. Rick Perry pulled 35 percent of Republicans on the issue. Now only 16 percent think the same about Perry.

  40. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011
    Collective wisdom?
    What David Brooks sees as virtuous, I see as appalling ignorance:

    Many economists say the cutback in consumption will hurt the economy in the short run. But, according to the Heartland Monitor poll, 61 percent of Americans said the decline in consumption would “help the economy as it would create more savings that could be invested to create or expand business.”

    Some economists say the government should be spending more now to stimulate a recovery. Thirty-eight percent of Americans seem to agree with that. But 56 percent have said “government spending when the government is already running a deficit is the wrong approach during an economic downturn because it is only a temporary solution that increases long-term debt.”

    According to Brooks, somewhere in that compilation of pro-supply-sided, anti-Keynesian buffoonery is the collective wisdom of the wise masses — a tautology loved by the selfsame herd since Andrew Jackson, but feared by thinkers since Tocqueville. The fragile premise, put further, goes like this: If the majority gives stupidity a thumbs-up, then stupidity — see, for example, above — is somehow converted to righteousness. Brooks calls this latest conversion — again, see above– an American “values restoration.”

    Richard Hofstadter, he of the paranoid style diagnosis, called it American anti-intellectualism. And with that, it’s hard to disagree. The history of popular ignorance as wise policy goes back to Aristophanes, and God knows the American Republic has been no exception. Nothing in politics sells like the Everyman’s common sense, even when it’s empirically nonsensical: save, and jobs will come, even with less demand; and government belt-tightening in a recession is smart.

    One can always hope that Brooks’ “Heartland Monitor poll” is a flawed outlier and thus the majority isn’t as dumb as Brooks hopes. Unfortunately, such a reality would make little difference. For starters, the majority barely turns out to vote as such in presidential years, while a frightening and increasingly radical minority rules primaries and midterms. Second, all of the commentariat play Brooks’ game (I know I do) — that of cherry-picking polls and polling results, to prove the popular virtue of their point.

    Still, the question remains: Is democratic ineptitude nonetheless virtuous, by virtue of its democracy? In time, we do seem to get things right — think gender equality, gay rights and civil rights in general — but oh, how we do take that time. Our present and most poignant hurdle: elementary economics.

  41. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 8:35 AM

    Disconnect grows between GOP voters and GOP lawmakers

    By Steve Benen

    Over the last several weeks, polls have been pretty consistent about public attitudes on jobs: Americans are desperate to see Washington act, and they’re broadly supportive of the ideas proposed by Democrats. The latest numbers from CNN confirms this, but this poll adds an important twist.

    CNN asked respondents for their take on each of the ideas in the American Jobs Act — payroll tax cut, jobs for teachers/first responders, infrastructure investments, unemployment aid, increased taxes on millionaires and billionaires — and every component enjoyed broad support. Indeed, the two most popular ideas were increased taxes on the wealthy (76% support) and aid to states to save public-sector jobs (75% support).

    But it’s worth taking the next step and looking at the cross-tabs (pdf). We can see, for example, what Republicans think about these same ideas, and appreciate the massive disconnect between GOP voters and the GOP lawmakers presumably reflecting their wishes.

    Here, for example, is the breakdown of what self-identified Republican voters think of the components of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, as it currently exists in the U.S. Senate:

    Do you favor or oppose “cutting the payroll tax for all American workers”?

    Republicans in favor: 58%
    Republicans opposed: 40%

    Do you favor or oppose “providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders”?

    Republicans in favor: 63%
    Republicans opposed: 36%

    Do you favor or oppose “increasing federal spending to build and repair roads, bridges, and schools”?

    Republicans in favor: 54%
    Republicans opposed: 46%

    Do you favor or oppose “increasing federal aid to unemployed workers”?

    Republicans in favor: 36%
    Republicans opposed: 63%

    Do you favor or oppose “increasing the taxes paid by people who make more than one million dollars a year”?

    Republicans in favor: 56%
    Republicans opposed: 43%

    Remember, overall, each of these ideas enjoy broad national support, but I’m highlighting the opinions of Republicans only. And in four of the five key parts to the Democratic plan, self-identified GOP voters approve of Obama’s ideas, in some cases by wide margins.

    I mention this in part to show just how mainstream the American Jobs Act is, but also to note the chasm between Republican voters and Republican policymakers. With 63% of the GOP’s rank-and-file supporting, for example, aid to states to protect teachers’ and first responders’ jobs, it’s tempting to think at least some GOP lawmakers in Washington would support the idea. But in reality, that’s just not the case — literally zero Republicans on Capitol Hill are willing to even allow a vote on a popular jobs idea, during a jobs crisis, that even their own party’s voters strongly support.

    Congratulations, congressional Republicans. You’re now far more extreme than your own supporters.

  42. rikyrah says:

    These Are Not Radical Notions”

    A reader writes:

    I thought I’d write to you with our own experiences taking part in the Occupy LA protests. I’m in my early 40s, at a well-paying job as a web developer for a large hospital in Los Angeles. My wife and I have no children. We’re very fortunate – we actually have a steady income and good health insurance. Yet, we live in a house that we share with her cousin because we couldn’t afford our own place. The house is deep underwater, and we’re drowning in debt (and shame on us for not reading the fine print when some of the credit card issuers arbitrarily raised our interest rates to 30% on cards that had never had a late payment EVER). We’re barely making it check-to-check, but somehow we are still making all of our payments. It would be so much easier to walk away from it all, but we have a sense of responsibility to these debts that we voluntarily took on.

    What we’re demanding – what people in the Occupy movement are demanding – is the same responsibility from these large institutions, and the so-called 1%. It’s really that simple.

    When the financial industry came to the brink of collapse because of the reckless behavior of these “too big to fail” corporations, we saw an amazing ability for our government to come together to bail them out. In return, they’ve repaid the favor by working night and day to lift the already watered-down provisions of the Dodd-Frank reforms so they can continue with their same insanity, and to basically act like spoiled, entitled brats towards those of us who saved their butts in the first place.

    Contrast this with any legislation in Congress that might actually help out rank-and-file Americans, and suddenly everything becomes gridlocked and impossible to achieve. From out here, it appears that when you have a lobby on your side, government works, and if you don’t, well tough luck.

    We march for three simple things: tighter regulation of the financial industry (a return to Glass-Steagall would be a big step), a demand for shared sacrifice amongst *100%* of this country, and to wake up those in Congress who have been listening only to the lobbyists and the media chattering classes, and losing sight of the fact that this country is a DEMOCRACY, of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    These are not radical notions, and they’re not even strictly left-wing (personal responsibility seems like a classic conservative belief to me). This is the no-longer silent majority in this country, across the spectrum, who have finally had enough.

  43. rikyrah says:

    October 18, 2011 8:00 AM

    Dems put teachers’, first responders’ jobs on deck

    By Steve Benen

    At an event in North Carolina yesterday, President Obama talked up the next phase in the fight over job creation. We knew Dems would start to move on individual provisions within the American Jobs Act, and yesterday, we learned which component would go first.

    “What we’re going to do is we’re going to break up my jobs bill. Maybe they just couldn’t understand the whole all at once. So we’re going to break it up into bite-size pieces so they can take a thoughtful approach to this legislation.

    “So this week I’m going to ask members of Congress to vote on one component of the plan, which is whether we should put hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, and cops back on the street, and firefighters back to work. So members of Congress will have a chance to decide — what kind of future do our kids deserve? Should we stand up for men and women who are often digging into their own pockets to buy school supplies, when we know that the education of our children is going to determine our future as a nation?

    “They’re going to have a chance to decide, do we want to make sure that we’re looking after the men and women who protect our communities every day — our first responders, our firefighters, our police officers?”

    The price tag for the measure would be about $35 billion, and it’s projected to save or create roughly 400,000 jobs for teachers, cops, and fire fighters. It would be paid for with a very slight increase on taxes on millionaires and billionaires. (The overall American Jobs Act, priced at over $400 billion, required a 5.6% surtax on the very rich. Because Democrats are now pushing one provision at a time, each component would require a much smaller tax increase to pay for a much smaller bill — in this case, $35 billion.)

    Why are Dems pursuing this first? It may have something to do with the idea’s overwhelming popularity — a CNN poll released yesterday asked respondents whether they’d support “providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders.” A whopping 75% supported the measure, making it the most popular idea for public investment of any proposed. Even 63% of Republicans approve of the spending.

    But on Capitol Hill, it’s a different story. Senate GOP officials have already announced their intention to not only kill the bill through yet another filibuster, but also to delay the vote. Republican leaders will apparently slow walk an appropriations bill to fund several cabinet agencies, hoping to use an endless stream of pointless amendments to push off the jobs bill.

    For his part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters yesterday, “There is no reason we cannot finish the appropriations bills before the end of the week, and have a vote on this jobs bill. I am happy to keep the Senate in session as long as needed to make sure we get a vote on this jobs bill.”

    In other words, if GOP senators use stalling tactics, Reid will just keep the Senate going indefinitely.

    While that plays out, the total number of Republican lawmakers in either chamber willing to support the teachers/first responders jobs bill — or even allow a vote on the bill — is currently zero, despite overwhelming support from the American mainstream.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Jamarhl Crawford of Blackstonian at Occupy Boston

    Posted on October 17, 2011 by Joshua Eaton On October 12,

    Jamarhl Crawford, publisher and editor of Blackstonian: The Black Boston 411, addressed Occupy Boston’s General Assembly. Jamarhl spoke about how Occupy Boston can be more inclusive of issues facing Boston’s black community. It’s an important message that is well worth watching.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Republicans lay groundwork for healthcare repeal
    Seeing a chance to regain power next year, GOP activists are making sure they’re ready to act on a full rollback of President Obama’s overhaul.

    By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau

    October 17, 2011, 8:45 p.m.
    Reporting from Washington— Republican activists, increasingly optimistic they can win the White House and Senate next year, are beginning to lay the groundwork for a multi-pronged campaign in 2013 to roll back President Obama’s sweeping healthcare overhaul.

    The push includes an effort to pressure Republican candidates to commit to using every available tool to fully repeal the law, a tactic pioneered by conservative activist Grover Norquist, who made an anti-tax pledge de rigeur for GOP politicians.

    Other conservative healthcare experts are developing an alternative to the law, an effort that could protect Republicans from past critiques that their healthcare plans left tens of millions of Americans without medical coverage.

    “The window for action comes and goes,” said Tom Miller, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, one of several conservative groups involved in the effort. “We need to be ready.”

    None of the leading Republican presidential candidates has offered a healthcare plan. And conservative experts think the GOP needs a strategy to quickly dismantle the current law and replace it before all Americans are guaranteed insurance coverage under the law.

    Some activists are so concerned that Republicans will miss their chance that they are trying to lock GOP candidates into using a controversial parliamentary tactic known as budget reconciliation to circumvent Senate Democratic opposition to repeal.

    “This needs to be a threshold question for both presidential and Senate candidates,” said Michael Needham, head of Heritage Action for America, an advocacy group affiliated with the Heritage Foundation that supports many tea party positions.

    A Republican replacement plan could build off a 2009 House GOP plan, said James Capretta, a former George W. Bush administration official who is developing a replacement strategy.,0,7765555.story

  46. rikyrah says:

    Loss of ‘judicial manpower’ alarms experts on 9th Circuit

    Five judges from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have died this year, worsening an already critical case backlog and spotlighting President Barack Obama’s inability to put his judicial choices and stamp on the powerful court.

    The deaths of four semi-retired senior jurists and full-time Circuit Judge Pamela Ann Rymer have intensified concerns on the aging bench and among judicial scholars that the 9th Circuit will fall farther behind in what is already the slowest pace of dispensing justice in the federal courts.

    Judges of the 9th Circuit currently sit on twice the number of cases each year as those of the other 12 federal appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. And it takes an average of 16.3 months for the court’s panels to issue opinions after an appeal is filed, compared with 11.7 months on average for all circuits. The 9th Circuit has jurisdiction over California and eight other Western states and is authorized to have 29 full-time jurists.

    “While we mourn the loss of our colleagues, whom we will miss as friends, we are alarmed by the loss of judicial manpower,” said 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who was appointed to court by President Ronald Reagan. “A very difficult situation has been seriously exacerbated, and we fear that the public will suffer unless our vacancies are filled very promptly.”

    The 9th Circuit is an especially important court because it helps to define many of the nation’s laws on immigration, sentencing, intellectual property and civil rights, experts say.

    Obama inherited two 9th Circuit vacancies with his inauguration. Two jurists retired last year. Rymer’s Sept. 21 death from cancer created another vacancy. Another vacancy looms at the end of the year, when former Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder plans to take senior status.

    Obama has managed to get only one of his picks for the 9th Circuit confirmed by the Senate. He elevated U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia in 2010 from the Arizona federal court, leaving that bench with its own manpower crisis after its chief judge, John M. Roll, was killed in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson.

    Obama’s other appeals court nominations, Alaska Supreme Court Justice Morgan Christen and U.S. District Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen of Los Angeles, are still making their way through the contentious confirmation process. Christen was nominated in May and Nguyen was nominated last month. Obama has yet to name anyone for the other three 9th Circuit vacancies, including one that has been open for seven years because of a dispute between California and Idaho senators over which state gets to propose candidates to the White House. Nationally, Obama nominations are pending in 51 of 92 vacancies.

    Some judicial scholars speculate that Obama may be having trouble convincing those he would like to appoint to accept nominations for fear of derailing their legal careers only to be rejected by partisan fights in the Senate. Goodwin Liu, a University of California, Berkeley law professor twice nominated by Obama, was forced to withdraw earlier this year when Senate Republicans again blocked a confirmation vote.

    Read more:

  47. rikyrah says:

    ‘Obamabots’ defend POTUS in Twitterverse

    By BEN SMITH & EMILY SCHULTHEIS | 10/18/11 4:49 AM EDT
    Nothing bothers Los Angeles insurance lawyer Imani Gandy more than unfair criticisms of President Barack Obama, and when she saw Firedoglake blogger Jane Hamsher post a clip of herself on MSNBC late last year ripping Obama’s tax deal with the GOP, she had to tweet back.

    “@JaneHamsher loves to edit clips to seem smart,” she wrote under her nom-de-tweet — @angryblacklady.

    Gandy is one of a new breed of online activists in the Obama era. They call themselves “pragmatic progressives,” but they’re better known by their enemies’ derisive label: the Obamabots.

    Under the mainstream radar and largely on Twitter, the Obamabots are waging a high-intensity guerrilla war against the liberal-leaning journalists and activists who have — as they see it — gone weak in the knees and abandoned the president in his time of need. As liberal pundits have swooned at Obama’s occasionally feisty rhetoric during recent weeks, the Obamabots were ready with an “I told you so.”

    But even as a candidate, Obama — with his conciliatory tone and utopian rhetoric — was never a favorite of the combative, hard-nosed liberal blogosphere. And when, as president, he refused to nationalize the banks, declined to push for the public option on health care and generally proved a disappointment to progressive eminences such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the left — and in particular what Rahm Emanuel derided as the “professional left” — made its disappointment felt. From The Nation to Salon to Firedoglake, Obama supporters became critics, and even the supportive precincts of African-American talk radio were no longer safe havens.

    The Obamabots are the ragtag digital cavalry riding to the president’s rescue, a cadre of decidedly amateur supporters, people far outside the Beltway and its norms, whose intense loyalty and passion at a moment of wide disaffection can be reminiscent of Sarah Palin’s core of backers.

    The best known of the group is a blogger who goes by the handle @shoq and who has proved adept at getting into the conversations and under the skins of his pusillanimous liberal foes. With a respectable 12,000 Twitter followers and an astronomical 173,000 tweets since 2007, Shoq — who spoke to POLITICO but declined to give his name — has carved out a modest but real corner of the diverse new media space.

    Last January, for instance, Shoq jumped on Hamsher and Salon’s Glenn Greenwald for their criticism of the administration’s treatment of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.

    “And the ONLY people to claim it’s remarkable are Greenwald and Hamsher. We’ll see what the UN says. I bet ‘nothing’,” he tweeted on Jan. 24.

    Greenwald fired back:

    “I keep wondering why you wrote a claim you now know to be completely, undeniably false and don’t correct it,” he wrote. “[Y]ou’ll say anything to defend your leader. Amazing.”

    Some prominent liberals declined to talk to POLITICO about the Obamabots for fear of drawing their wrath. Greenwald, an early Obama dissenter because of the president’s refusal to investigate the Bush administration for war crimes, sees them as a symptom of a broader disease, a “cult of personality” some critics say surrounds Obama.

    “They don’t have any belief system, they don’t have any political views, they only have reverence for and loyalty to President Obama,” he said.

    Others on the left view them with something more like curiosity.

    “I’m actually fascinated to learn who these people are and what makes them so die-hard,” one prominent liberal media figure said.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      Im actually fascinated to learn who these people are and what makes them so die-hard, one prominent liberal media figure said. Oh really now? “these people” BLACK PEOPLE, you can say it whitey. Nothing could be more blatantly obvious how these white folks are clamoring for attention and profit. Talk about a cult of personality.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Cain Used Campaign Funds to Buy Autobiography

    Republican presidential contender Herman Cain used campaign funds to buy his own books from his motivational speaking company, Federal Election Commission records show.

    Although his autobiography was published by a division of Simon & Schuster Inc., Cain paid Stockbridge, Georgia-based T.H.E New Voice Inc. $36,511 for books. His campaign spent $4 million through Sept. 30, including more than $64,000 paid to his motivational speaking company for airfare, lodging and supplies, as well as the books.

    “They are buying my books and my pamphlets,” Cain said in an interview in between appearances in Arizona yesterday. “The campaign is buying them from T.H.E New Voice.”

    Cain’s autobiography, “This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House,” made its debut over the weekend in fourth place on the New York Times bestseller list. Cain said the sales are in compliance with FEC rules because the campaign is paying the going rate for the material.

    Bill Allison, editorial director at the Washington-based Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group that tracks political money, said the transactions deserve scrutiny.

    “All candidates publish books and they offer them as premiums to donors, but most candidates aren’t buying them from their own companies,” he said. “It raises the question of his campaign contributions ending up in his own pocket.”

    The books being bought are Cain’s autobiography and an earlier volume, “They Think You’re Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It,” as well as a pamphlet on leadership, Cain said.

  49. rikyrah says:

    White Candidate Set to Battle for Black Votes in Illinois .
    By Wendell Hutson, Special to the NNPA from The Chicago Crusader –

    It came as no surprise last week when former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson announced she would challenge Democratic incumbent Jesse Jackson, Jr. for the congressional seat he has held for the last 15 years. But what was surprising was when Halvorson, a white Democrat, said she is confident she can win enough Black votes to unseat Jackson in the March 2012 primary although the district has a 50 percent Black population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    “I realize that the population in the Second Congressional District is half Black and historically has supported Jackson throughout his tenure,” explained Halvorson. “But I don’t think race will matter to the voters who are hurting for jobs and economic growth in their district. They want a congressman who can deliver and is not preoccupied with ethnical problems.”

    Jackson, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Chicago-based civil rights organization Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, earlier this year publically admitted to having a one-time affair with a white woman in Washington, D.C. He was also suspected by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but never charged, with offering former Governor Rod Blagojevich a campaign contribution in exchange for him appointing him to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has maintained that he never offered Blagojevich anything nor did he authorize anyone else to make offers to the governor for a Senate appointment. Ultimately, Blagojevich appointed former Attorney General Roland Burris to the seat, after U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) turned down the appointment.

    Jackson’s wife, Sandi, is a Chicago alderman representing the 7th Ward, which is also part of her husband’s congressional district. Halvorson spent one term representing the 11th Congressional District before she lost to Republican Adam Kinzinger in the 2010 election. While serving as a State Senator the one-term congresswoman was mentored by retired Senate President Emil Jones Jr. (D-Chicago), who ran against Jackson and lost in 1995. The Second District, which borders the 11th District, has been redrawn since the last election. And it begins at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive (Museum of Science & Industry) and stretches to the south suburbs. Among the south suburbs located in Jackson’s district whose population is majority Black, are Riverdale, Dolton, Harvey, Markham, Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, and Robbins.

    Rather than answer allegations by Halvorson, Jackson said he would let the voters decide if he deserves another term. He has not yet officially announced he is running for re-election but is expected to do so this month. “I’ve secured more than $900 million in federal investments in the Second Congressional District – more than any other congressman in the state during that period,” he said. “I’ve also worked with local communities to secure $700 million in private funds to build a new airport that will create 15,000 new jobs.” One community activist cautioned those who think Jackson would win re-election with no problem.

    “Jackson has some baggage that could come back to hurt him so it is not a safe bet he will easily win re-election,” said Neal Foster, 59. “(But) I don’t see Halvorson or any other white candidate beating Jackson without the support of Blacks or unless another Black candidate were to enter the race and split the Black vote.” One Black, elected official who will not be running for Congress is Alderman Anthony Beale, whose ninth ward is within Jackson’s district. The chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee said he is happy representing the 9th Ward in City Hall and has his hands full working to boost economic development, affordable housing and lowering crime in his far South Side ward, which includes the Roseland community. Beale’s name had surfaced on the rumor mill as potential Jackson opponent.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Herman Cain is a Moron
    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 17th, 2011 at 11:59:40 PM EST

    I think Zaid Jilani is a little confused. While the details of the arrest and trial of Jesus are a matter of hot dispute, even within the differing accounts in the New Testament, it’s pretty clear that he wasn’t sentenced to die by any Roman court. He was arrested, most likely, on the orders of the High Priest of the Temple. His trial was in front of the Sanhedrin. which was basically occupied-Israel’s Supreme Court. And his fate was decided by the Roman prefect, Pontius Pilate, who had the ultimate jurisdiction over the case. Maybe none of that is correct, but that’s about as good as we can do with the available sources.
    Now, as this pertains to Herman Cain’s argument that Jesus was “a perfect conservative” who was sentenced to die by a “liberal court,” it just proves that Herman Cain is a moron. Insofar as we can take the Gospels at face value, it’s clear that one of Jesus’s core messages was that the religious Establishment in his time was hypocritical and that they ignored the spirit of The Law in favor of the letter of The Law. In standing up to the existing authority, he questioned tradition. Mocking, berating, and humiliating existing religious authorities and questioning long-standing social mores is the opposite of conservatism. And the idea that the Sanhedrin had any liberal impulses just strikes me as ridiculous. They existed to uphold religious law.

    Even if there had been a Roman trial for Jesus, that court could not be reasonably described as liberal, either. But, since Pontius Pilate is described as ambivalent about Jesus’s guilt and reluctant to execute him, I guess you could say that he was soft on crime.

  51. Ametia says:

    From To Email Sent!You have successfully emailed the post.
    The New Yorker Mocks The 1% With Its Occupy Wall Street Cover

    Read more:

  52. Ametia says:

    How Democrats can use Occupy protests to their advantage
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: October 17

    “Defend Wall Street” is not likely to be a winning campaign slogan in 2012. For Republicans, this is an obvious problem. For President Obama and the Democrats, it’s a golden — if largely undeserved — opportunity.

    The biggest impact of the Occupy Wall Street protests has been to provide a focal point for generalized economic and political discontent. Frustrated voters on the left and the right may disagree on, say, immigration policy or health care reform. But they can agree on a critique of the financial sector — and, potentially, on specific measures to bring about necessary change.

  53. Ametia says:

    Clinton arrives in Libya bearing aid and encouragement
    By Joby Warrick,
    Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 5:30 AM

    TRIPOLI, Libya — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to the Libyan capital on Tuesday, bringing encouragement and millions of dollars in new U.S. aid to a transitional government struggling to consolidate control over a country ravaged by dictatorship and civil war.

    Clinton arrived in Tripoli just after noon, becoming the first cabinet-level U.S. official to visit the country since autocratic leader Moammar Gaddafi was driven from the capital nearly two months ago.

    She was scheduled to meet with top officials of the transitional government and address a town hall-style gathering during a five-hour visit steeped in both security and symbolism.

    Aides said Clinton would privately reassure Libyan leaders of continued U.S. support as the country grapples with myriad challenges, ranging from restoring basic services to rounding up thousands of missing surface-to-air missiles.

    The talks were expected to focus on “how we set the table for a long-term, completely different partnership between the United States and Libya that is deep and broad,” a senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Clinton’s entourage..

  54. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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