Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Rose Royce Week!

Happy FRY-day, Everyone.  3 Chics is wrapping up Rose Royce week with…


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46 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Rose Royce Week!

  1. Talking Points Memo:

    Senate Dems to force yet another jobs bill vote:

  2. Jan Brewer’s Lawsuit Against Obama Administration Over Border Policies Dismissed By Judge

    PHOENIX — A federal judge Friday dismissed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s lawsuit that accuses the Obama administration of failing to enforce immigration laws or maintain control of her state’s border with Mexico.

    The dismissal by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton comes in a counter-lawsuit filed by Brewer as part of the Justice Department’s challenge to Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law.

    The Republican governor was seeking a court order that would require the federal government to take extra steps, such as more border fencing, to protect Arizona until the border is controlled.

  3. Federal Judge: Republicans Only Cooperated With FBI In Alabama Bingo Bribery Case Because They’re Racists

    A federal judge accused two state Republicans, called by federal prosecutors in a massive Alabama corruption case, of cooperating with the feds because of their “ulterior motives rooted in naked political ambition and pure racial bias.”

    State Sen. Scott Beason and former Rep. Benjamin Lewis, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrote, “lack credibility for two reasons.”

    “First, their motive for cooperating with F.B.I. investigators was not to clean up corruption but to increase Republican political fortunes by reducing African-American voter turnout. Second, they lack credibility because the record establishes their purposeful, racist intent,” Thompson wrote.

    The judge’s order, first reported by Birmingham News, continued:

    Beason, Lewis, and their political allies sought to defeat SB380 partly because they believed the absence of the referendum on the ballot would lower African-American voter turnout during the 2010 elections. One of the government’s recordings captured Beason and Lewis discussing political strategy with other influential Republican legislative allies. A confederate warned: “Just keep in mind if [a pro-gambling] bill passes and we have a referendum in November, every black in this state will be bused to the polls. And that ain’t gonna help.”Thompson also brought up Beason’s reference, while wearing an FBI wire, to African-Americans as “aborigines” (a comment he later apologized for).

    “The court finds that Beason and Lewis cooperated with the F.B.I. in order to secure political advantage. The evidence at trial showed that black communities in Alabama tend to support electronic bingo. The evidence further demonstrated that black voters tend to be Democrats,” Thompson said. “Indeed, Beason’s and Lewis’s scheme was predicated on their belief that blacks supported electronic bingo and Democratic candidates.”

  4. Talking Points Memo:

    Fox News hires Mark Sanford:

  5. President Obama Honors the Country’s Top Innovators and Scientists

  6. rikyrah says:

    October 21, 2011 3:20 PM

    Maybe Mitt should enjoy some quiet time
    By Steve Benen

    Oh, good, Mitt Romney wants to pretend to have foreign policy credibility again. Just one day after taking his sixth different position on U.S. policy in Libya, the former one-term governor is complaining about the end of the war in Iraq.

    Some Republicans are challenging Obama’s decision to for a complete withdrawal over the next two-and-a-half months.

    “President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women,” said Mitt Romney, one of the GOP presidential candidates.

    Hmm. In 2008, Iraq and the United States agreed to a Status of Forces Agreement that was identical to the wishes of then-Sen. Barack Obama. Since then, President Obama has kept his promises, and gradually brought down U.S. troop levels. Today the White House announced the end of America’s military presence in the country, right on schedule.

    Which is part is the “astonishing failure”? And why is it, exactly, that Romney believes the U.S. military presence should simply continue on, indefinitely?

    Romney added today that he’s concerned that “political calculations” were part of the decision making. Think about one — Mitt Romney, whose decision-making process generally involves sticking his finger in the air to see which way the winds are blowing, is accusing someone else of making “political calculations.”

    If the Romney campaign was able to type that one up with a straight face, I’d be very impressed.

    But the larger point to keep in mind is that Romney, while doing his best to pretend to understand international affairs, is frequently incoherent on the subject. Remember the time Romney told ABC News he would “set a deadline for bringing the troops home” from Iraq — but only if it’s a secret deadline? How about the time Romney, more than four years into the war in Iraq, said it’s “entirely possible” that Saddam Hussein hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria prior to the 2003 invasion? Or the time Romney pretended “Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood” were all the same thing? How about my personal favorite: the time Romney made the bizarre assertion that IAEA weapons inspectors were not allowed entry into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?

    It’s not just the Middle East, either. Last year, Romney tried to trash the New START nuclear treaty in an op-ed, prompting Fred Kaplan to respond, “In 35 years of following debates over nuclear arms control, I have never seen anything quite as shabby, misleading and — let’s not mince words — thoroughly ignorant as Mitt Romney’s attack on the New START treaty.”

    I’m not surprised Romney wants to weigh in on a major development, and feels the need to take cheap shots at the president today. But Romney is simply clueless. Maybe he should go enjoy a little quiet time while the grown-ups talk.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 21, 2011 2:30 PM

    Dems aren’t done fighting for jobs yet

    By Steve Benen

    Last week, Senate Republicans locked arms and killed the American Jobs Act. This week, GOP senators did the exact same thing and killed a bill to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs for teachers, police officers, and firefighters.

    But when the White House and Democratic leaders vowed to keep fighting for jobs, even if that meant forcing votes on individual components of the larger jobs agenda, they weren’t kidding.

    Rebuffed twice in their attempts to push through President Obama’s jobs proposals, Senate Democrats are ready to try again.

    The Senate will hold a vote the first week of November on the $60 billion infrastructure portion of Obama’s Jobs Act, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.) announced Friday.

    The bill contains $50 billion for direct spending on transportation projects and $10 billion in seed money to start a National Infrastructure Bank. The spending would be paid for by a 0.7 percent tax on annual income above $1 million.

    Will Republicans once again refuse to even allow a vote on the legislation? Probably. But infrastructure investments are another element of the Democratic jobs plan that enjoys broad national support, and which many GOP officials have conceded publicly creates jobs.

    If Republicans are serious about giving the economy a boost — and I realize there’s some skepticism surrounding the assumption — there’s really no excuse for GOP senators to simply reject this measure out of hand. We have unemployed workers eager to help rebuild American infrastructure; we have a massive number of projects (roads, bridges, ports, runways, rail) that need repair; we have public demand for both jobs and improved infrastructure; and we have a bill that’s fully paid for through a popular financing plan.

    Hell, the idea for the infrastructure bank was co-sponsored by Republican lawmakers.

    Are there any GOP senators willing to do the right thing on this? We’ll find out for sure next week, but the answer still appears to be no.

    As it turns out, reporters seem annoyed that Senate Democrats continue to fight for jobs, pressing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on why he’d bother with an infrastructure bill that Republicans disapprove of.

    Maybe because it shouldn’t be up to the Senate minority to veto an idea before a debate? Maybe because this is a bill Republicans should gladly endorse? Maybe because there’s value in getting GOP lawmakers on record on an important and popular bill?

    All told, the U.S. Department of Transportation projects that this $50 billion proposal would create roughly 800,000 jobs. They’re jobs, apparently, Republicans don’t think the nation needs.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Jon Stewart To GOP On Qaddafi Death: What Is Wrong With You People? (VIDEO)

    The death of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi sparked celebrations in Libya and congratulations from world leaders. But one group of American lawmakers were cautious to give the Obama Administration any credit.

    Enter Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who heaped praise on the British and French efforts in Libya. And while Sen. John McCain commended the administration, he also focused on the European efforts.

    “Is there no Republican that can be gracious and statesmanlike in this situation?” Stewart asked. “We removed a dictator in six months, losing no American soldiers, spending like a billion dollars instead of a trillion dollars.”

    “What the fuck is wrong with you people?” Stewart added.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Herman Cain Compares Social Security To Slavery

    When it comes to Social Security, the pugilistic presidential contender Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is normally the one attracting all the attention. After all, he called the program all sorts of names: A “Ponzi scheme,” a “monstrous lie,” and unconstitutional. But the new GOP front runner — pizza mogul Herman Cain — seems eager to challenge Perry’s title as the world heavyweight champion fear-monger on the nation’s most successful economic program.

    From 2005 to 2010, Cain wrote weekly commentary for his company The New Voice, Inc. He dedicated a few of his columns to register full support for President George W. Bush’s disastrous idea to privatize Social Security. Viewing Social Security as “immoral” and “oppressive,” he blasted Democrats for supporting “involuntary servitude” of African Americans through the Social Security and payroll tax system. From one column entitled, “Ownerships: An Unalienable Right”:

    The 70-year-old Social Security structure and the 92-year-old income tax code thwart the natural, individual motivation of citizens to use their God-given talents to pursue happiness and their respective dreams. Any program that undermines an individual’s liberty to create ownership is, then, by its very nature, immoral. It took our nation nearly 250 years to end slavery and live up to the self-evident truth that all men are created equal. It should not take us another 250 years to cease the involuntary negative return most working people receive from Social Security, or the involuntary servitude imposed by the oppressive income tax code.

    In another column entitled “Separate Water Fountains,” Cain said the Social Security system “by its very nature discriminates against black men and women.” With their “unconscionable” refusal to implement private accounts, Democratic “so-called black leaders” want to see “the next generation of Blacks remain in economic slavery on the Democratic plantation“:

    It is now evident that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not apply to the Social Security system. Due to the rising retirement age, differences in life expectancy between Blacks and Whites, and mandatory payroll tax deductions, the system by its very nature discriminates against black men and women.[…]

    Perhaps most unconscionable is the opposition to personal retirement accounts by the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, and many of our nation’s so-called black leaders. Personal retirement accounts would provide future generations of Blacks the retirement security their parents and grandparents never had.

    Instead, black Democratic leaders are willing to see the next generation of Blacks remain in economic slavery on the Democratic plantation, so long as they can deny any Republican a perceived political victory.

    Cain’s over the top rhetoric strongly suggests that he shares Perry’s belief that Social Security is unconstitutional. Under the 13th Amendment, “[n]either slavery nor involuntary servitude . . . shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

    His claims are also wildly inaccurate. Indeed, the nearly 5 million African Americans who receive Social Security benefit more from this essential program than the average white American. Studies show that they “receive modestly more in Social Security benefits for each dollar they pay in payroll taxes than whites do” because of the progressive benefit structure and that they benefit more from SSDI because they are unfortunately more likely “to become disabled or die before retiring.”

    Private accounts, however, would leave African-Americans worse off. As the GAO notes, they “are likely to disproportionately affect equity for minorities.” Because of the “gaps in earnings at younger ages and lower average pay than whites who have the same level of education,” minorities would be at a disadvantage in how much and when they could invest in the private account. Ultimately, “the risks would be more acute for African Americans than for whites, and the potential rewards likely would be smaller.”

    As is often the case with Cain, the rhetorical glaze can’t hide the rotten consequences of his policies. And given the popularity of the program as it is, he’s unlikely to win over anyone by equating them with slave owners.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Obama: GOP Needs To Explain Why Americans Don’t Deserve Jobs


    October 21, 2011, 5:50 AM 44331

    President Obama continued to hammer away at Republicans to stop obstructing his jobs bill after Senate Republicans, along with three conservative Democrats, prevented any traction on the portion that would have provided states $35 billion to hire or retain teachers and emergency responders.

    The Thursday vote to stop floor debate came as no surprise. Democrats and President Obama had expected the bill to fail and likely chose the teachers and first responders spending portion because they knew Republicans would vote against it in lockstep and the move would play into the Democratic message of Republicans obstructing job creation. Just last week, Republicans, along with three Democrats, voted down the entire jobs package when it was offered as a whole.

    A little more than an hour after the late-night vote, Obama issued a sharply worded statement saying he is undeterred by the Senate’s inaction.

    “For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again. That’s unacceptable,” he said. “We must do what’s right for the country and pass the common-sense proposals in the American Jobs Act.”

    Every Senate Republican, he said, voted to block a bill that would help middle-class families and keep hundreds of thousands of firefighters on the job, police officers on the streets, and teachers in the classroom.

    “Those Americans deserve an explanation as to why they don’t deserve those jobs – and every American deserves an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what’s necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now,” he continued.

    With Senate Democrats controlling the Senate and the President’s jobs package popular with the public, senior White House officials have said they plan to keep offering sections of the President’s jobs bill over and over again in the next year to control the narrative on the economy and continue to paint Republicans as obstructionists.

    The strategy also will saddle Republicans with the mantel of protecting tax cuts for millionaires because Democrats argue that wealthier Americans should help pay for his jobs package.

    “So the choice is clear. Our fight isn’t over,” he said. “We will keep working with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece by piece, and give Republicans another chance to put country before party and help us put the American people back to work.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Kristol: War Is Like Lemonade

    Mitt Romney’s embrace of the dusted-off nostrums of the Iraq war architects as his foreign policy – more defense spending! more! where’s Max Boot? which Kagan are you? – is a sign of how tenacious neoconservatism is. Just as none of the leading neocon figures have suffered an iota of prestige-loss in Washington because they concocted a foreign policy disaster that cost tens of thousands of lives to no serious effect, so they have, almost to a man, refused to cop to a single error in the process. Their partisan discipline is only matched by their unchanging Stalinist ideology. So what if the Iraq war was a disaster? It’s time for a new war with Iran!

    If you think I’m exaggerating the chutzpah, check out the Bill Kristol piece that woke Les Gelb up. It’s a carbon copy of the memo to invade Iraq. Worse, actually:

    [Iran] is a brutal dictatorship. And it’s seeking nuclear weapons while denying it’s doing so. It’s long since been time for the United States to speak to this regime in the language it understands—force. And now we have an engraved invitation to do so. The plot to kill the Saudi ambassador was a lemon. Statesmanship involves turning lemons into lemonade.

    Let us pause to note that for Kristol, war is like lemonade. It’s a good thing: delicious, refreshing, innocent. One wonders whether he has, for a millisecond, paused to think of the tens of thousands of innocents who died during his beloved occupation of Iraq, or the thousands of permanently maimed veterans who fought and died in Kristol’s war only to empower Iran and bankrupt America. You can be wrong in good faith, as I think Kristol was – and yet also take responsibility for the consequences of your good faith decisions. But neoconservatism is about the abdication of any intellectual responsibility and the promotion of those not proven right, but proven relentless in the promotion of an agenda. It is now, as it has always been, about power, not freedom.

    And this must be a core debate in the next election. Are we going to return to a foreign policy that bankrupted the Treasury, destroyed America’s moral standing, eviscerated the US military’s reputation for competence (a huge loss of deterrence), and empowered our enemies? Or are we going to continue the pragmatism that has since ended torture, decimated al Qaeda, and removed more despots from power in two years than Bush tried to in eight?

    Repeat after me: Romney = Cheney’s return. And if your purism demands staying home next year, do not complain when a global religious war breaks out. They’ve told us quite plainly that’s what they want. Like a cold, sparkling drink on a hot summer day. War as a cocktail.

  12. rikyrah says:

    found this at The Obama Diary:

    Cantor Cancels Income Inequality Speech After Learning It Will Be Open To The Public. | House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has abruptly canceled a speech planned for this afternoon at the University of Pennsylvania that was meant to lay out the GOP’s plans to address income inequality. While the university gave no reason for the cancellation, CNN is reporting that Cantor canceled after the university decided to make the speech open to the public. Cantor had signed up for a “selected audience.” The speech was seen as a response to the 99 Percent movement, and Occupy Philadelphia had organized a march from City Hall to the school.

    he is a straight up punk ass bitch

  13. Eric Cantor cancels economic inequality speech after protests were planned for the event:

  14. rikyrah says:

    October 21, 2011 12:35 PM

    The incentive behind GOP obstructionism

    By Steve Benen

    At first blush, it’s tempting to think congressional Republicans are simply out of their minds to kill jobs bills during a jobs crisis. It seems insane — Americans are desperate for Congress to act; Americans overwhelmingly support bills like the one considered by the Senate last night; and yet GOP officials seem wholly unconcerned. Aren’t they afraid of a backlash?

    Well, no, probably not. The reason probably has something to do with voters like Dale Bartholomew.

    Now, my point is not to pick on one random voter quoted in an Associated Press article. He’s very likely a well-intentioned guy who’s simply frustrated with what’s going on in Washington. I certainly don’t blame him for that.

    Consider, though, the significance of a quote like this one.

    “If Romney and Obama were going head to head at this point in time I would probably move to Romney,” said Dale Bartholomew, 58, a manufacturing equipment salesman from Marengo, Ill. Bartholomew said he agrees with Obama’s proposed economic remedies and said partisan divisions have blocked the president’s initiatives.

    But, he added: “His inability to rally the political forces, if you will, to accomplish his goal is what disappoints me.”

    Got that? This private citizen agrees with Obama, but is inclined to vote for Romney anyway — even though Romney would move the country in the other direction — because the president hasn’t been able to “rally the political forces” to act sensibly in Washington.

    That is heartbreaking, but it’s important — Republicans have an incentive, not only to hold the country back on purpose, but also to block every good idea, even the ones they agree with, because they assume voters will end up blaming the president in the end. And here’s a quote from a guy who makes it seem as if the GOP’s assumptions are correct.

    It’s hard to say just how common this sentiment is, but it doesn’t seem uncommon. The public likes to think of the President of the United States, no matter who’s in office, as having vast powers. He or she is “leader of the free world.” He or she holds the most powerful office on the planet. If the president — any president — wants a jobs bill, it must be within his or her power to simply get one to the Oval Office to be signed into law.

    And when the political system breaks down, and congressional Republicans kill ideas that are worthwhile and popular, there’s an assumption that the president is somehow to blame, even if that doesn’t make any sense at all. Indeed, here we have a quote from a voter who is inclined to reward Republicans, giving them more power, even though the voter agrees with Obama — whose ideas (and presidency) Republicans are actively trying to destroy.

    As Greg Sargent, who first flagged the quote in the AP article, explained: “Voters either don’t understand, or they don’t care, that the GOP has employed an unprecedented level of filibustering in order to block all of Obama’s policies, even ones that have majority public support from Dems, independents and Republicans alike. Their reaction, in a nutshell, seems to be: The Obama-led government isn’t acting on the economy? Obama can’t get his policies passed? Well, he must be weak.”

    The challenge for the president isn’t to teach Civics 101 to the populace; that would take too long. The task at hand is communicating who deserves credit for fighting to make things better, and who deserves blame for standing in the way.

    Because if voters who agree with Obama are inclined to vote for Republicans because Republicans are Obama’s ideas, then not only is 2012 lost, but the descent of American politics into hysterical irrationality is complete.

  15. rikyrah says:

    October 21, 2011 10:45 AM

    The difference between foreign and domestic successes

    By Steve Benen

    I imagine there will be some voters who are willing to take note of President Obama’s impressive foreign-policy successes, but will also ask, “Why can’t his domestic record be just as good?”

    Consider this analysis, run by the Washington Post this morning.

    How President Obama helped bring about the end of a long-standing American antagonist in Libya captures in microcosm the vast difference in the way he and his predecessor, George W. Bush, have employed diplomacy and military power against their declared enemies.

    Both approaches resulted in the removal of longtime U.S. nemeses who had enjoyed a few years in Washington’s favor. But Bush’s invasion cost nearly $1 trillion and more than 4,400 American lives, while Obama’s more limited intervention highlighted a national security strategy that emphasizes global burden-sharing, and secretive tactics and technologies whose legality has been questioned. The NATO airstrikes on Gaddafi’s convoy Thursday included a missile launched from a U.S. drone aircraft. […]

    Obama’s technocratic approach to governing has served him far better in foreign policy, where facts, expert appraisal and intelligence often trump ideology, than it has in domestic politics.

    That’s true, but I think it’s incomplete. President Obama’s record on foreign policy and national security is proving to be rather exceptional, and while voters may be principally concerned with the domestic economy, it matters that the administration’s approach to geopolitics and international affairs is proving to be quite effective.

    But why is the president having more success on foreign policy than domestic policy? The Post notes Obama’s technocratic style, guided by facts, expertise, and intelligence. To be sure, these are the cornerstones of any leader showing good judgment — the president generally shows the right instincts when it comes to foreign policy, but his decisions aren’t just guided by his gut. On these issues, Obama can rely on input from an ideologically diverse team, weigh extensive evidence, consult with allies who share his larger goals, and make a decision that no one can block or override. After nearly three years, most of these decisions have proven to be the correct ones.

    Domestic policy doesn’t work this way. Decisions over job creation, for example, aren’t made in the Situation Room or the Oval Office. They’re not made by the president alone; they’re dependent on a ridiculous Congress, dominated by fools and charlatans, some of whom seem to want to hold the economy back on purpose. Facts, expertise, and intelligence don’t guide the process; these factors are generally deemed irrelevant, if not worthy of mockery.

    Look at last night, for example. Obama saw a problem — the public sector laying off thousands of teachers, cops, and firefighters — and offered a fair solution. Relying on facts, expertise, and intelligence, the White House offered a credible plan that the American public overwhelmingly embraced. But Congress is incapable of acting sensibly on the issue, and Republicans killed the bill and refuse to offer an equally-sound alternative.

    In other words, Obama can have far more success on foreign policy, in part because the decisions are his to make, and in part because Congress isn’t in a position to screw it up.

  16. President Obama: “Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.”

    Whoo Hoo! God Bless our President! God Bless America!

  17. Oh My Lord….no matter what rethugs do, they cannot hold my President down!
    Go, Mr. President. We got your back!

  18. BREAKING NEWS: President Obama to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by year’s end.

  19. rikyrah says:

    93 year old woman puts Cantor and Wall Street on notice.
    this video just made my day

  20. rikyrah says:

    October 21, 2011 11:30 AM

    Class warfare sure is popular, redux

    By Steve Benen

    Karl Rove’s attack operation, American Crossroads, above all wants to win. It exists to help Republican candidates defeat Democratic candidates, and to that end, Rove’s group can’t operate the way Rove’s White House operated: they need to care about reality. It does them no good to pretend, for example, that popular ideas are unpopular, or vice versa.

    With that in mind, it’s good to know even these guys know the polls are correct.

    American Crossroads, the big money GOP group founded by Karl Rove, is warning Republicans that President Obama’s new campaign to raise taxes on millionaires is a political winner.

    “It may be the result of larger environmental conditions, or he may be moving the needle himself, but Obama’s ‘tax the rich’ mantra is getting traction,” the group’s director, Steven Law, wrote in a memo. “Our poll found that 64% favor raising taxes on people with incomes above $200,000.”

    Law recommended Republicans try to rebut Obama by citing quotes from prominent Democrats, like President Clinton, that taxes shouldn’t be raised in a recession.

    Clinton, by the way, already agrees wholeheartedly with the Obama plan — which, incidentally, pushes off tax increases to 2013. Using Clinton’s line out of context is a lie.

    But the larger observation does help explain why Republicans are so hysterical about Democratic economic ideas: voters actually like them. Class warfare, it turns out, is far more popular than the right would prefer to believe.

    For what it’s worth, my expectation is that Republicans will simply reframe their same regressive agenda as being populist — Eric Cantor is set to give a speech on “income inequalities,” of all things — and hope voters just don’t understand the difference. If recent history is any guide, this will probably work.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Does anyone here watch PSYCH?

    I just got to watching Wednesday’s episode last night, and it was the funniest episode that they have done in a long time. I thought it was hilarious, and reminded me of why I loved the show in the first place.

  22. rikyrah says:

    21 Oct 2011 11:14 AM

    How To Run Against Romney
    A preview of Obama’s attack:

    I’m a little taken aback by the personal brazenness of this. It’s far more populist than Obama’s previous campaign. In fact, it reminds me of the kind of brutal ads Republicans tend to deploy. Greg Sargent expects the millionaire tax rate will be central to the campaign:

    You’d think the fact that Romney himself is one of the “millionaires and billionaires” who pays lower tax rates would render him a less than ideal messenger to make the case against Obama’s push for tax fairness. After all, Obama — or his outside allies — can respond by pointing out that Romney himself personally profits from the system Obama is trying to reform. Indeed, that’s what they’re now officially doing. Republicans will argue that Obama risks looking like too much of a class warrior who’s looking to penalize wealth and success if he runs with this line. And indeed, his campaign has not yet picked it up yet. But Dems view this as a way to exploit Romney’s vulnerabilities without being tarred as anti-success: They are merely arguing that Romney should pay the same tax rate as middle class taxpayers.

  23. rikyrah says:

    October 21, 2011
    Virtual treason
    The only way to beat these bastards is to out-vilify them. Phase III.

    Phase I was President Obama’s generic assaults on a do-nothing, dysfunctional, irresponsible Congress. Phase II was Obama’s targeted assaults on do-nothing, dysfunctional, irresponsible Republicans. He now says the latter’s obstruction last night, “for the second time in two weeks,” of a “bill that would create jobs” is “unacceptable.”

    Considering the probabilities of a recession-reentry, such gentle criticism represents, perhaps, Phase II.5 in Obama’s inescapable partisan war. But he’ll have to do better than that; he’ll have to go wholly offensive. He must label it for what it is: despicable.

    The Hill finds uncertainty where there is none:

    The staunchly unified GOP opposition calls into question whether the Democratic strategy has been able to exert the intended pressure on centrist Republicans.

    Right. A real puzzler — one we’ll continue to ponder as the staunchly unified GOP opposition proceeds to shoot down, as well, Obama’s proposals for infrastructure spending and extensions of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance.

    Obama recently said he’d like to see an independent analysis of the GOP’s jobs plan. Hence incorporated into his Phase III rhetoric could be the findings of Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s ‘Fact Checker,’ who has characterized the Republican plan in one simple, straightforward word: “ludicrous.”

    I’m tempted to also recommend an escalated Phase IV in the immediate afterwash of a presidential Phase III’s vilification campaign against Republican despicability and ludicrousness: a nearly unprecedented but rhetorically justifiable, Perry-like Phase IV of “treasonous.” What else should one call what congressional Republicans have wrought? Their obstructionism has exemplified a prodigious betrayal of trust; for 10 months the House has dithered on cultural warring rather than even a singular jobs bill, while the Senate minority-as-effective-majority has blocked bill after helpful bill for reasons purely political — and deliberately destructive to the nation’s welfare.

    Of course this recommended Phase IV hasn’t been a presidential style since the intensely personal, extraordinarily raucous campaign eras of Adams-Jefferson or Quincy Adams-Jackson, and perhaps that’s a judicious development. Such an Obamian charge of virtual treason would, however, embody the charming attribute of utter truthfulness.

  24. rikyrah says:

    October 21, 2011
    ‘Technocratic arrogance’?

    Andrew Sullivan:

    [T]he Obama administration … shares some of the blame [for its growing unpopularity].

    Many of them have been too focused on governing to explain what the fuck they’re doing. There’s a technocratic arrogance to them at times that is too blind to winning and sustaining arguments and narratives. And this is kinda mind-blowing because the record is so remarkable in retrospect.

    I sympathize with Sullivan’s exasperation over the pronounced a-political strains of the Obama presidency. Although it’s in office principally to govern, the administration embodies an almost weird aversion to self-praise. And in the annals of American chief executives, that’s as unheard-of as Rick Perry’s cognitive fluidity.

    On the other hand, I find Sullivan’s adjectival pejorative (or at least I think it was meant as a pejorative) — technocratic arrogance — mystifying. There is, true enough, rarely cause to admire arrogance, but the Obama administration’s marked inclination to a technocratic competence (somewhat redundantly) is, to my way of thinking, a most admirable presidential trait — especially subsequent to the truly “mind-blowing,” ideological incompetence of the Bush administration.

    Technocracy is just another word for pragmatism: rule by experts denuded of any doctrinaire prejudices. Can some technocrats be arrogant? One might as well ask if they’re human. Any personality foibles are exceeded, however, by their rather quiet diligence in just getting the job done, which the Obama administration’s pragmatic technocrats have accomplished, as Sullivan offers, “so remarkabl[y].”

    Having said that, it also remains unquestionable that Obama must now escalate his political rhetoric — which, pragmatically, he appears to be in the process of doing.

  25. GGail says:

    Good morning & Happy FRY day 3Chics! I “love the feeling” I get each time I click on Serendipity SOUL!!!!

  26. rikyrah says:

    How Obama made the 3 am phone call ad obsolete
    By Zerlina Maxwell

    8:32 AM on 10/21/2011

    During the 2008 Democratic primary fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama there was that now infamous 3 a.m. phone call ad. At the time the fear mongering-style ad was intended to scare Texas primary voters into voting for Hillary Clinton over the inexperienced new kid on the block Senator Barack Obama.

    The spooky voiceover said, “It’s 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep…But there’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing…Who do you want answering the phone?”

    theGrio: Post-Gadhafi is there potential for an ‘African Spring’?

    In the wake of the incredibly historic news that reviled dictator Muammar Gadhafi, who rulked Libya with an iron fist for 42 years, was captured and killed yesterday, doesn’t the 3 a.m. ad now seem utterly ridiculous?

    At this moment in the Obama presidency does anyone with a little common sense and a television set really believe that President Obama has not proven both able to answer that 3 a.m. call but also give the proper orders to whoever is on the other end?

    Let’s recap for a moment: President Obama came into office and experts said he wasn’t ready to be a leader on the world stage. During the primary fight with Hillary he specifically was attacked for saying that if as president he if learned that Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan, he would send in troops to take him out whether or not he had the Pakistani government’s permission.

    Everyone called him naïve. Obama was opening mocked by both Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain for his position on Pakistan.

    In May, when the President Obama learned that Bin Laden was in Pakistan, he sent in Navy Seals to take Bin Laden out. And as Americans coast-to-coast celebrated, no one dared call President Obama naïve anymore.

    Last month, a drone strike in Yemen killed yet another prominent Al Qaida figure, Anwar al-Awlaki who was suspected of orchestrating a number of terrorist plots including the two on U.S. airlines in 2009.

  27. rikyrah says:

    found this great comment over at The Obama Diary:

    Jackie Grumbacher
    October 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I just e-mailed McConnell to say that with each “no” vote he makes the president more sympathetic to the American people and himself more reviled. Told him his no vote inspired me to give more to the Obama/Biden campaign and then went and added to Chip’s campaign total. I would love them to get the idea that their votes increase the president’s campaign chest. Told McConnell he was helping with the president’s re-election. Then tweeted that twit Cantor and told him the same. I saw on the lead Balloon Juice story that reporters were finally getting the story straight about this being Republican obstructionism, which the Ed clip helps reinforce. This is good–no more “both sides at fault” nonsense, despite losers like Nelson.

    The Republicans are too obvious now. They’re are so desperate to destroy the president, so inflated by their own egos and so flush with Koch Brothers cash, that they are forgetting to be subtle. When they drop the mask and reveal their ugliness this openly, people get repelled as you see in the rising poll numbers on Democratic positions. They are making the president angry and they are making people angry and their over-bloated arrogance is making them forget the consequences of public wrath. Yes, there may be stringent voter suppression tactics in place and yes they are going to nightmares to overcome, but the R’s are putting their thumbs on the scale in too obvious a fashion and at some point, the frustration people feel is going to blow.

    Our job is to continue to grow the re-election war chest; set the story straight for anyone who tries to blame the “federal government” as a whole, and get people to vote, vote, vote. I talked to our local OFA rep about promoting the Occupy a Voting Booth theme next year and he was very receptive to taking this idea up the ladder. Don’t despair; get busy.

  28. rikyrah says:

    What is Sen. Mark Pryor Doing?
    by BooMan
    Fri Oct 21st, 2011 at 10:43:39 AM EST

    I can’t say that I am an expert on Arkansas politics. What I know is that the state has remained friendlier to Democrats than the rest of the Deep South. Until last year, it enjoyed a special status, with a popular Democratic governor, two Democratic senators, and a Democrat-majority congressional delegation. In 2010, Sen. Blanche Lincoln barely survived a primary challenge and then was thumped out of office. Meanwhile, the Democrats lost two congressional seats and are poised to lose another next year. Maybe the legacy of the Clintons is starting to wear off.
    It seems to me that the state has now started to behave like other Deep South states, which means that Democrats are at a major disadvantage. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) must be a little worried. He was fortunate in 2008. Because the Republicans expected Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination and to have major coattails in Arkansas, no Republicans filed to run against Pryor. His only opposition was from the Green Party. Pryor knows he won’t be so lucky in 2014. He also knows that President Obama is unlikely to do well in Arkansas next year. As a historical matter, the president’s party doesn’t do well in his sixth year in office, so Pryor had plenty of reasons to be concerned about his prospects when he faces the voters three years from now.

    I understand his predicament, but I wonder if he has a good plan for weathering the storm. Part of his strategy is to maintain some distance from the president and from the national Democratic Party. That’s why he was one of just two Democrats (along with Joe Lieberman) who filibustered the president’s bill yesterday to fund teachers, police officers, and firefighters. Even if Pryor had supported the bill, it would have come up nine votes short of the magic sixty needed to pass anything in the Senate these days. So, essentially, it was a free vote for Pryor. In voting against ending debate, he did little more or less than pad his record of disloyalty. I guess he hopes this will help him somehow three years from now.

    But I think he’s got it all wrong. If his state is generically inclined to support a conservative candidate, they need some reason to vote for a Democrat instead. Pryor can try to solve that problem by being very conservative himself, but then he has to distinguish himself on some issues or people will prefer the more conservative candidate to the lesser one. Where better to make that distinction than on economic populism. He can be socially conservative, like almost all Arkansas politicians, but simultaneously stand up for the little guy against the big New York banks and the East Coast elite. Here was a bill that put a small tax on millionaires to put more teachers in the classroom, and more firefighters and police officers on the beat. It seems like the perfect bill for someone like Pryor to support to demonstrate to the people of Arkansas why a Democrat is preferable to a Republican. And, yet, he voted against it.

    Perhaps he is looking at polling that shows that stimulus spending is unpopular in his home state. Or, maybe, he’s seeing that the president is very unpopular in Arkansas, and he wants to maintain his distance. My argument against that is that it’s all relative. The worse the president polls in Arkansas, the harder Pryor will have to fight to be reelected. When the president is making an argument that can actually sell well in Arkansas, Pryor should hop on the bandwagon and push that argument as hard as he can. Poll results are affected by how the questions are worded, and even if stimulus spending doesn’t poll well in Arkansas, taxing millionaires to fund more teachers, firefighters, and police officers surely does. Sen. Pryor should be out there “wording” the debate in his own favor.

    But, instead, he’s falling in line with the conservative narrative. For the life of me, I can’t see how that helps him.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Gov. Rick Scott’s Aide Admits That Scott’s Corporate Tax Cut Won’t Create Jobs
    Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) started out as the jobs candidate, promising to create 700,000 jobs “on top of” the jobs added from Florida’s normal growth. He then revised that plan down to just “700,000″ before recently declaring, “I don’t have to create any jobs.”

    Scott’s need to divorce himself from his own job-creation promises is not surprising, since many of his policies have actually killed job growth. While admitting that his preference is to cut “people,” Scott has directed his focus toward corporate tax cuts rather than job creation. In fact, his legislative affairs director Jon Costello publicly admitted as much. Asked about the value of Scott’s most recent corporate tax break, Costello admitted “quite frankly” that the tax breaks might not be enough for a company to hire even one person:

    Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, asked Costello of the governor’s plan would require that companies create jobs in exchange for the new tax breaks.

    “The last thing we would want to do is just have a CEO pocket the money and just say ‘Thanks for the cash,’” Jenne said during a meeting of the House Economic Affairs Committee .

    “Quite frankly, depending on the size and scope of the company, their savings and tax breaks might not be enough to bring a new person on,” Costello answered. “But it might be enough to buy a new piece of equipment or do something that injects money back into the economy.”

    In a state with 10.7 unemployment rate, Scott chose to kill a high-speed rail project that would’ve created 71,000 jobs, boasted about laying off 15,000 government employees, and plans to reject funds from Obama’s new jobs plan that would create more than 60,000 jobs.

    Instead, he champions corporate tax breaks that even his own administration says likely won’t work. We’ve noted before how it is exceedingly unlikely that Scott’s corporate tax cut — particularly his original plan to eliminate the corporate tax entirely — would create any jobs.

    Asked point blank whether Scott is “backtracking” from his promise to create at least 700,000 jobs, Costello admitted, “it’s a very difficult question.” Given his policy choices, the answer actually seems pretty obvious.

  30. rikyrah says:

    so, let me get this straight after reading yesterday afternoon’s posts….

    Senator Anchor Baby Rubio is nothing but a straight up Anchor Baby?

    the entire ‘ Fidel ran my parents out Cuba ‘ is nothing but a bullshyt story?

    BUT, they got their asses in line when the rest of the Cubans came with their hands out for the privileges that the USA gave Cubans in immigration?

    is that the bottom line from what I read yesterday?

  31. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP defeats Webb’s criminal-justice reform bill

    Halting a three-year push, U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday shot down landmark criminal-justice reform legislation sponsored by outgoing Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.

    The National Criminal Justice Commission Act would create a bipartisan panel to conduct a sweeping 18-month review of the nation’s justice system and offer recommendations to overhaul it.

    Webb and the bill’s many backers, including more than 100 organizations, contend that the current system incarcerates too many people at too high a cost and with poor long-term results.

    On a vote of 57-43, the legislation fell three votes short of the 60 it needed to advance as an amendment to the fiscal 2012 spending bill. Four Republicans supported the bill — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., spoke against the bill, calling it “unconstitutional.” Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, called it a “massive encroachment on states’ rights.”

    After the bill’s defeat, Webb responded with strong words.

    “Today, Senate Republicans blocked an important opportunity to make our criminal-justice system more fair and effective. Their inflammatory arguments defy reasonable explanation and were contradicted by the plain language of our legislation,” he said. “To suggest, for example, that the nonbinding recommendations of a bipartisan commission threaten the Constitution is absurd.”

    Webb’s staff pointed out that the legislation would not have given the commission the power to require anything of the states and was endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors this year, indicating local support.

    The bill was first put forth by Webb in early 2009. It cleared the U.S. House of Representatives last year but was blocked in the Senate when it was incorporated in the Omnibus Appropriations Act.

    Webb, who leaves office in January 2013, vowed to continue fighting for the cause.

    “We will not back down,” he said. “We will keep fighting for a comprehensive review of the justice system, with the help of the thousands of sheriffs, police, mayors and justice advocates who have joined us in pressing for reform.”

  32. rikyrah says:

    , October 20, 2011It was not a good day to be a Republican
    I imagine this isn’t the first and won’t be the last time this happens. But today was truly not a good day to be a Republican.

    First of all, there’s the ongoing Romney/Perry Fight Club coming out of the last debate. Apparently Romney’s story is that he’s a victim of Perry’s road rage. But then, there was that Romney ad basically calling Perry a doofus that all of the sudden disappeared. What’s up with that Mr. Romney the victim?

    Not to be left out of this faux pas circus, Cain says he’s pro-choice…no, wait…he’s 100% pro-life. I guess that’s kinda like being willing to negotiate with terrorists…but not being willing to negotiate with terrorists. OMG, my head is spinning!

    But I give the award for the day to Herman Cain for telling us that he’s got a secret plan to protect poor people from 999. Really…you gotta hear this one.

    The other thing that they try to say – “well it’s going to be regressive on the poor.” No it’s not. We anticipated that attack, but I didn’t tell them how I was going to fix it yet. I wanted to wait until I get attacked on that for a while. We already have a plan for that. But I wanted to see if they would come at that. They thought it was going to be dead in the water. We are a compassionate nation. We do want to help those that are doing all they can to help themselves, but they might need a little bit of help. So we’re not going to throw the people at the poverty level under the bus. No, we’re not going to do that. But we’ve already made provisions for that, but I just haven’t told the public and my opponents about it yet.

    Be honest – doesn’t that knock batshit crazy out of the park?

    Just so Congressional Republicans don’t feel left out of all of this fun, today the Washington Post fact checker called their jobs bill “ludicrous.”

    But then finally, along comes the death of Gadhafi – showing that Obama chose the right course on Libya. Now, what’s a self-respecting obstructionist to do? Does Romney flip-flop one more time? Do you announce what wonderful news this is without recognizing that the U.S. played a role? Do you thank all the troops involved except the American ones? All of that takes a bite out of the U.S. exceptionalist meme, doesn’t it? But to acknowledge victory would be to give President Obama some credit for knowing what he’s doing.

    As I said, it was definitely NOT a good day to be a Republican.

    Posted by Smartypants at 6:53

  33. rikyrah says:

    these are some evil mofos.

    straight up. no chaser.

    CAC IS….


    Sen. Sessions Wants To Cut Food Stamp Program, Claiming It Has ‘Surged Out Of Control’
    By Alex Seitz-Wald on Oct 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is pushing a new amendment that would make it more difficult for people to receive food stamps by restricting eligibility requirements and eliminating a planned $9 billion funding increase for the program. Sessions says his plan is intended to reduce the deficit and combat fraud, which he claims is rampant. From ABC News’ Top Line today:

    SESSIONS: No program in our government has surged out of control more dramatically than food stamps. And nothing is being done about it. […] Multimillion dollar lottery winners are getting food stamps because the money is considered to be an asset not an income. One of the fast and furious gun buyers –

    HOST: But hold on, for ever lottery winner that has food stamps, there’s probably a lot more people who really need them who have them, right?

    SESSIONS: Well look, do you think there are four times as many people who need food stamps today as in 2001. That answers itself. […] We cannot do this. We do not have the money. Congress doesn’t understand that we can’t afford to double the program every three years.

    Watch it:

    It’s shockingly ignorant at best and dishonest at worst for Sessions — the ranking GOP member of the Senate Budget Committee — to completely ignore the role the economy has played on food stamp usage. The cost of the program has jumped because more Americans are out of work and wages are down, thus more people need assistance. Food prices have also gone up, adding additional costs. But the cost of the program will come down on its own as the economy recovers and more people can afford to feed themselves.

    In fact, the food stamp program has been critical for reducing poverty and pumping money into local economies during the down economy, so cutting it now would not only take food out of peoples’ mouths, but could slow down the recovery. No one is trying to “double the program every three years” as Sessions claims. (Currently, nearly one in five Alabamians is on Food Stamps.)

    And while the senator suggests the program has grown due to fraud, in fact, errors in the food stamp program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) –are currently at an all-time low, accounting for less than three percent of the program’s cost. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

    To ensure that benefits are provided only to eligible households and in the proper amounts, SNAP has one of the most rigorous quality control systems of any public benefit program and, in recent years, has achieved its lowest error rates on record. In fiscal year 2009, even as caseloads were rising, states set new record lows for error rates. The net loss due to errors equaled only 2.7 percent of program costs in 2009. There is no evidence that program errors are driving up SNAP spending.

    It’s worth noting that while Sessions claims the country can’t afford to feed the hungry, he has fought to preserve the Bush tax cuts for wealthy, subsides for big oil companies, and demanded new tax cuts for corporations, all of which also contribute to the deficit.

  34. rikyrah says:

    With The Death Of Gaddafi, Obama Again Makes Fools Of His GOP Critics

    The GOP presidential candidates who spent months criticizing President Obama’s Libya policy look like fools today with the announcement that Gaddafi is dead. Let’s take a look at how wrong Republicans like Mitt Romney were.

    Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan strongman who was responsible for one of the worst acts of pre-9/11 terrorism is dead, and it was the leadership of Barack Obama that has gotten justice for the victims of Lockerbie and helped get Libya out from under the thumb of one of the most eccentric and brutal dictators in history.

    In March, President Obama kicked George W. Bush’s cowboy diplomacy to the curb, “In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.”

    The president’s decision has been roundly criticized by the 2012 candidates for the Republican nomination. In an April post for the National Review, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney wrote, “It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone. What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle. In an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton rightly notes that Obama has set himself up for “massive strategic failure” by demanding Qaddafi’s ouster “while restricting military force to the limited objective of protecting civilians.” Military action cannot be under-deliberated and ad hoc. The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale.”

    In a May appearance on Fox News Sunday, Michele Bachmann said, “President Obama’s policy of leading from behind is an outrage and people should be outraged at the foolishness of the President’s decision” and asking “what in the world are we doing in Libya if we don’t know what our military goal is?”

    During the Republican Twitter debate Herman Cain wrote, “I’ve said many times before that US intervention in Libya is inappropriate and wrong. The US does not belong in this war…Pres. Obama did not make it clear what our mission was in Libya, what the American interests were or what victory looks like. We cannot risk our treasury or national treasures (brave men & women in uniform) without knowing those answers.”

    It turns out they were all wrong. Obama’s foreign policy was correct all along and when it comes to delivering ultimate justice to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist leaders and sponsors, no Republican can top Barack Obama.

    The Republican candidates look like fools today. They are so busy pandering to their base, and criticizing everything that Obama does that they reveal themselves to be completely devoid of strength, and unfit for leadership.

    The events in Libya today demonstrate the importance of sound leadership and decision making. Obama led. He took a risk by leading a war fatigued nation into a coalition in a far off land.

    President Obama did it because it was the right thing to do. He made sure that our nation stood up for the values of freedom and liberty that our country was founded on. He led in a way that none of the current Republican candidates have the courage to, and he made it obvious why none of the individuals seeking the Republican nomination deserve to be president.

    Republicans criticize Obama for being a follower instead of a leader, but the reality is that Obama is leading this nation, while the GOP continues to follow and pander to the far right conservative movement.

    Gaddafi is dead. Obama has gotten another one, and the bumbling Republicans look like fools again.

  35. rikyrah says:


    UM, NO.


    I call it GRIFTING.

    Asked About Herman Cain Profiting From His Presidential Campaign, Spokesman Calls The Arrangement ‘Synergy’
    By Lee Fang and Scott Keyes on Oct 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    According to reports published this week, Herman Cain’s presidential campaign funneled over $100,000 to a company owned by Cain called T.H.E. New Voice. Cain told Bloomberg News that his campaign is simply buying the candidate’s books, despite earlier Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports that claimed the money was for “lodging” (an amended report changed the payments to “books.”)

    ThinkProgress has reviewed additional disclosure reports, and found that T.H.E. New Voice pays Cain a direct salary. Essentially, it appears Cain’s campaign is using contributor money to buy Cain’s own books, and that Cain could be reaping at least part of the profits. At the CNN debate in Las Vegas, ThinkProgress spoke to Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon about the arrangement:

    FANG: On the last campaign disclosure for Mr. Cain, it showed that the T.H.E. New Voice, the company owned by Cain, pays a salary, a large salary*, to Mr. Cain. And there’s a revelation this week that the Herman Cain campaign committee has given over one hundred thousand dollars to this private company that’s paying Cain. Does this company still provide a salary to Mr. Cain?

    GORDON: Well, I would say T.H.E. New Voice handles the book. And so the whole book enterprise and the campaign are distinct entities. Clearly there’s a synergy between the book, the book tour, and the campaign. But they are separate entities.

    Watch it:

    Cain has faced critics who have claimed that he is not running a serious campaign. Rather, he has spent much of his time simply promoting his book.

    Cain’s unusual campaign book profiting scheme puts him at odds with other candidates with books who use independent publishers and receive a royalty, or in Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) case, proceeds from his book sales are donated to a conservative think tank in Texas.

    Writing for BusinessWeek, Joshua Green reports that Cain also earned about $250,000 for giving paid private speeches. Cain’s paid speeches are not disclosed on his personal finance forms required by the Federal Elections Committee.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Tells Student He Should Work Three Jobs To Pay For College, Not Use Pell Grants
    By Travis Waldron and Pat Garofalo on Oct 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    The House Republican majority, since it came into power, has repeatedly set its sights on Pell Grants, the federal grants that help low- and middle-income students pay a portion of their higher education tuition. Republicans have not only proposed lowering the maximum Pell amount from $5,500 (which is the level to which the Obama administration raised it) but also limiting eligibility, knocking one million students from the Pell program entirely.

    During a town hall today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was asked by Matthew Lowe, a student, why the GOP wants to cut Pell Grants. Ryan responded by saying that the program is “unsustainable,” before telling Lowe that he should be working three jobs and taking out student loans to pay for college, instead of using Pell Grants:

    LOWE: I come from a very middle-class family and under President Obama, I get $5,500 per year to pay for school, which doesn’t come close to covering all of the funding, but it helps ease the burden. Under your plan, you cut it by 15 percent. I was just curious why you would cut a grant that goes directly to the middle- and lower-class people that need it the most.

    RYAN: ‘Cause Pell Grants have become unsustainable. It’s all borrowed money…Look, I worked three jobs to pay off my student loans after college. I didn’t get grants, I got loans, and we need to have a system of viable student loans to be able to do this.

    The second concern I have is, in the health care bill — people don’t know this — for budgetary gimmickry reasons, the administration and Congress at the time, took over the student loan industry. So they had the federal government, the Department of Education, basically confiscate the private student loan industry.

    Watch it:

    ThinkProgress spoke to Lowe afterward, who said, “If [the Pell grant program] was cut, I’d have to accept unsubsidized loans from banks. I don’t get it…We continue to not tax the people who are best off…He taxes small little things that affect the poor and middle class the most.”

    Ryan justified the GOP’s desire to cut the highly-necessary Pell Grant program by claiming that it costs too much; but the GOP’s budget provides huge tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations which dwarf the cost of preserving the grants. He also claimed that Pell Grants drive tuition inflation, which is a claim he has made before, while pointing to studies that didn’t actually say what he believed they said.

    Finally, Ryan goes from claiming that Pell Grants are unaffordable to saying that he wants to repeal student loan reform (which was in no way passed for a “budgetary gimmicky reason”) that saves taxpayers billions of dollars each year by cutting unnecessary subsidies to banks that originated federal student loans. Contrary to Ryan’s assertion, there is still a private student loan industry; loan reform merely cut the banks out of the federal student loan program.

    At a time when student loan debt is hitting new heights and joblessness is above nine percent, Ryan’s response to a student genuinely concerned about financing his higher education is quite telling. To Ryan, students should have to live the real American dream of working three jobs in order to pay back a mountain of cash to a bank.

  37. rikyrah says:

    OCTOBER 20, 2011 Decrying “witch hunt” of Fla Hispanics, Dems call for GOP Sen’s ouster resignation from redistricting committee

    State Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, says state Sen. Alan Hays should resign from the senate redistricting committee for his comments about Hispanic voters in Florida: “It is essential that this process remain unbiased, fair and unprejudiced. It is evident now that Senator Hays cannot meet these qualifications, and Latinos in Florida should be concerned about their fair representation when the lines are in the hands of legislators like Senator Alan Hays.”

    “Nationally, Hispanics are the largest growing voting and consumer group and I am appalled at the insensitive comments made by my colleague. This hateful and mean-spirited attitude is part of broader trend that we are seeing amongst Republican leadership, including presidential candidates that are anti-Hispanic. He is calling on a witch hunt before a Hispanic district can be realistically considered. Moreover, he asks for it in the Orlando area, which houses a predominately Puerto Rican population, who are natural born citizens.

    And in sharply-worded letter to Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon, Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miamim called for a public apology from Hays.

    Here’s the letter: Download Redistricting Ltr. to Senate President Haridopolos and Speaker Cannon

    Hays, R-Umatilla, questioned whether a new Hispanic district in Central Florida was justified and suggested that the state’s voter identification laws, which require three forms of ID, don’t do enough to screen illegals from voting. The population numbers used to draw the districts are dependent on the Census Bureau, which has historically undercounted illegals because few, if any of them, fill out the forms. Here is what he said:

    “Before we design a district anywhere in the state of Florida for Hispanic voters, we need to ascertain that they are citizens of the United States,” Hays said. “We all know there are many Hispanic-speaking people in Florida that are not legal. And I just don’t think it’s right that we try to draw a district that encompoasses people that really have no business voting anyhow.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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