Tuesday Open Thread

Stevland Hardaway Morris (previously Judkins;[1] born May 13, 1950), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist.[2] Blind since shortly after birth,[3] Wonder signed with Motown Records‘ Tamla label at the age of eleven,[2] and continues to perform and record for Motown to this day.

Among Wonder’s best known works are singles such as “Superstition“, “Sir Duke“, “I Wish” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You“. Well known albums also include Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life.[2] He has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday a holiday in the United States.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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84 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry May Skip Future Debates

    Thomas Lane October 26, 2011, 7:20 PM 2158 25

    Looks like Texas governor Rick Perry may be on the verge of trying to cut short his losses.

    The former GOP frontrunner has been on a downward spiral in the polls pretty much since he first opened his mouth during a national debate.

    So, his team appears to be reasoning that if he loses support each time he appears at a debate, then maybe there’s one pretty easy way to help: just don’t show up.

    Typically candidates prefer not to take this route because it means missing out on the free publicity a TV debate provides. It can also risk looking cowardly. In conversation with Politico, though, Perry spokesman Mark Miner span it as a question of time management.

    “I think all the campaigns are expressing frustration right now,” Miner told POLITICO. “We said we would do Michigan but the primaries are around the corner and you have to use your time accordingly.”

    So does this mean we’ll be seeing less of Rick Perry after the GOP’s Michigan debate of November 15? Nah. He’ll likely use some of his $17 million war chest to make sure that we do see him, and that when we do it’s in ads like this one, which hit the air in Iowa Wednesday morning.

    Heavy on the ads, light on debates” is a strategy that’s worked for Perry before. In 2010’s Texas gubernatorial election, after a series of grueling primary debates, he simply decided to skip the general election ones. He claimed that was because his opponent wasn’t sufficiently forthcoming in his financial disclosures — an argument that opponent dismissed as “lame.”

    It’s not just Perry’s aides talking up the prospect of doing a disappearing act. Perry himself seemed to be laying the groundwork for such a move during an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday night. Here’s what he told the talk show host:

    “These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates. It pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one minute response. So, you know, if there was a mistake made, it was probably ever doing one of the campaigns [debates] when all they’re interested in is stirring up between the candidates instead of really talking about the issues that are important to the American people.”


  2. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Turn On Romney Over Ohio Union-Busting Law

    Talk about your unforced errors.

    Former Mass Gov. Mitt Romney stopped by a phone bank staffed by Republican faithful today to cheer on their efforts trying to stop the repeal of SB 5. The bill curtails collective bargaining rights. Supporters say the law is necessary to contain the state budget, and is set to face a referendum vote on November 8th. The bill was passed by the Republican Legislature, signed by the Republican Governor, and has the support of many conservative groups who are on the ground in Ohio trying to stave off the repeal vote.

    So when Romney showed up to rally the pro-SB 5 political operation, it was a bit of a shock to conservatives who have been working to stop repeal when he said the following, picked up by CNN:

    “I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues,” Romney said, only after repeated questions from reporters. “Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the efforts of the governor to rein in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party’s efforts here.”

    Not exactly what they wanted to hear.

    “Certainly if one of the Presidential candidates were to go to the state, show up, and were asked about it, we’d expect them to be supportive of both efforts,” said Brendan Steinhauser, the Federal and State Campaigns Director at FreedomWorks in an interview with TPM. “This is a no brainer for any of the Presidential candidates to get behind. We’re disappointed but not surprised in Romney’s lack of support.”

    For their part, the Romney campaign maintained that he was staying out of the SB 5 debate. Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul offered the following response via email when asked by TPM whether the former Gov. supports keeping SB 5 in place: “Gov. Romney believes that the citizens of states should be able to make decisions about important matters of policy that affect their states on their own,” she wrote.

    It gave the conservative website Red State the opportunity to go off on the Romney campaign:

    “This is a huge freaking deal,” wrote Red State founder Erick Erickson. “Playing it too safe is finally biting Romney in the rear end. He’s refused to call social security a Ponzi scheme. He’s refused to offer bold economic reform plans. He’s refused to address significant changes in entitlement reforms. His whole campaign has centered around tapioca.”

    The conservative Club for Growth didn’t mention any food products, but they didn’t seem pleased by the turn of events in Ohio either. Greg Sargent at the Washington Post picked up the statement of Barney Keller, the CFG’s spokesperson:

    “The big problem many conservatives have with Mitt Romney is that he’s taken both sides of nearly every issue important to us. He’s against a flat tax, now he’s for it. He says he’s against ObamaCare, but was for the individual mandate and subsidies that are central to ObamaCare. He thinks that collective bargaining issues should be left for states to decide if he’s Ohio, but he took the opposite position when he was in New Hampshire. This is just another statement in a long line of statements that will raise more doubts about what kind of President Mitt Romney would be in the minds of many Republican primary voters.”

    Steinhauser, who is quarterbacking an effort through Freedomworks to stop the repeal in Ohio, said this isn’t going to help Romney with the grassroots conservative activists that are currently making phone calls and knocking on doors in support of SB 5.

    “They are not going to forget this,” Steinhauser said. “These guys are organized, they are working very hard. They’ve made thousands of phone calls, put up the yard signs. They’ve done the groundwork. And when they see Romney not support them, anyone who was supporting him in the election will certainly think twice about it in Ohio.”

    “Certainly it shows a lack of principle,” he said. “It shows a lack of embracing good ideas.”

    Update: Texas Gov. Rick Perry has now weighed in on former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney’s non-endorsement of a GOP-backed effort to keep SB 5, the Ohio law that curtails collective bargaining rights.

    Via CNN: “As a true conservative, I stand with Gov. Kasich in promoting S.B.5 for fiscal responsibility and job creation in Ohio,” Perry said in a statement to CNN. “Gov. Kasich and the Republican leadership of Ohio are to be commended for their efforts.”


  3. rikyrah says:

    Occupy Wall Street’s Race Problem

    Kenyon Farrow

    October 24, 2011

    White protesters need to rethink their rhetoric.

    The economic crisis has disproportionately affected people of color, in particular African Americans. Given the stark economic realities in communities of color, many people have wondered why the Occupy Wall Street movement hasn’t become a major site for mobilizing African Americans. For me, it’s not about the diversity of the protests. It’s about the rhetoric used by the white left that makes OWS unable to articulate, much less achieve, a transformative racial-justice agenda.

    One of the first photos I saw from the Occupy Wall Street protests was of a white person carrying a flag that read “Debt=Slavery.” White progressive media venues often compare corporate greed or exploitation to some form of modern-day slavery. But while carrying massive amounts of debt, whether in student loans, medical bills, or predatory balloon-payment mortgages is clearly a mark of a society that exploits poor and working-class people, it is not tantamount to chattel slavery. In fact, slaves, who were the property of others by law, for centuries symbolized wealth. A slave, as property, could be sold as a commodity to clear debt. Currently, black households carry about $5,000 in wealth compared to $100,000 for white households, according to a recent Brandeis University study. Arguing that white working- and middle-class people are slaves to debt or corporations undermines not only the centrality of the African slave trade to the birth of the modern corporation but the distinct ways in which debt prevents many blacks from achieving middle-class status.

    In this way, white progressives subscribe to the same “slavery” line conservatives use to incite white fears of economic and political subjugation. Rush Limbaugh, according to Media Matters, equated the 2009 health-care law to slavery, noting, “It’s not going to be a matter of whether you can or cannot pay. It won’t be a matter of whether you have coverage or don’t have coverage. What’ll matter is that all of us will be slaves.”

    Pundits have observed that many black people may be staying away from the Wall Street protests to avoid (additional) direct contact with police. Last year, New York City carried out 600,000 random stop-and-frisks, half of which were conducted on black citizens, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union; it makes sense that blacks, who are often in daily contact with police, would stay away from an event where interaction with law-enforcement officers would be inevitable. In fact, on October 22, scores of OWS protesters joined a Harlem demonstration against the practice of stop-and-frisk, during which several people were arrested.

    But when the New York Police Department began to act violently against the mostly white protesters on Wall Street, many of the videos posted by OWS attendees on YouTube made the point that protesters were arrested, beaten, or pepper-sprayed “just for asking the police a question” or for “just exercising their right to protest.”

    In contrast, many nonwhites assume the worst in any interaction with police, and if the worst doesn’t occur, we often consider that the exception, not the rule.

    In a London Guardian op-ed, white feminist writer and Democratic strategist Naomi Wolf wrote that she was arrested at an OWS demonstration while “standing lawfully on the sidewalk in an evening gown,” as if to connote that nice white ladies on the way to high-society gatherings wouldn’t or shouldn’t be treated as criminal by the police. She went on to detail the ways in which police lied or broke the law in handling the protest. Though blacks and Latinos are never mentioned directly, statements that accuse police of misconduct when they clash with ostensibly law-abiding activists highlight how much white occupiers take for granted that only “criminals” will be the target of police violence and harassment.

    Another fundamental flaw of white progressives (like many participating in the OWS movement) is the “take back our country and/or democracy” framework. In order to be invested in that idea, you have to see and believe that you had some stake in it to begin with. If you’ve been stopped and frisked 50 different times with as many fines to pay, or you’re HIV-positive and your welfare benefits were cut off because you were too ill to keep an appointment with a case manager, it’s hard to believe that the government is just broken—it seems pretty insistent and hell-bent on your demise.

    Comparing debt to slavery, believing police won’t hurt you, or wanting to take back the America you see as rightfully yours are things that suggest OWS is actually appealing to an imagined white (re)public. Rather than trying to figure out how to diversify the Occupy Wall Street movement, white progressives need to think long and hard about their use of frameworks and rhetoric that situate blacks at the margins of the movement.


  4. rikyrah says:

    A Republican debate derailed
    Sen. Rubio’s beef with Univision allows candidates to skip a potentially awkward event.

    By Jorge G. Castañeda

    October 25, 2011
    The threat by six Republican presidential candidates to boycott a Florida debate speaks to a deep divide among Latinos in the United States. And it doesn’t bode well for the future of immigration reform, either.

    The debate was being planned for late January by Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the United States (and the fourth-largest network overall in the country). But that was before a blowup between the network and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a Cuban American and one of the country’s few prominent Latino Republicans. Rubio has alleged that Univision decided to run a story about his brother-in-law’s late-1980s drug conviction in retaliation for his refusal to be interviewed on one of the network’s talk shows. Out of solidarity with Rubio, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and others have threatened to pull out of the debate.

    The six candidates may be feeling relief. A debate sponsored by Univision would certainly have devoted considerable attention to one of the hottest issues of this race: immigration. The topic has been met with virulent rhetoric from nearly all of the Republican contenders, and avoiding a Univision debate means one fewer venue at which the candidates will have to express their views before a large audience of Latinos.

    On immigration, the Republicans are in a bind. They don’t want to alienate a large bloc of Latino voters. Yet those who are seen as being “soft” on illegal immigration have not fared well with the Republican base. Rick Perry, for example, took a significant hit in the polls after Texas tea party members accused him of having taken a soft stand on immigration.

    This has made Rubio an important figure among Republican candidates. The senator is much more than just a rising star in the GOP; he is one of the few Republican politicians who might help win Latino votes — at least in Florida. Rubio’s power and influence, already considerable, increased exponentially when the Florida primaries were moved up to late January. With its early primary date and large tea party presence, Florida will be a key state to win for those seeking the GOP nomination. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the candidates are vying for Rubio’s support.

    But support from Rubio will go only so far in appealing to Latino voters outside Florida. As a Cuban American, the senator and his Latino voters (largely Cuban American as well) do not share the same concerns about immigration as the huge majority of the Latino population in the United States. The Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of 1966 provided them with a special status among immigrants: They immediately become legal, upon arrival. For this reason, while other Latinos in the U.S. clamor for immigration reform, many Cubans are largely indifferent toward the issue, and sometimes have favored tougher immigration laws.

    Consequently, Republican candidates who view Rubio as a ticket to Latino votes could be in for a rude shock. Yes, his backing might be a good first step toward securing the nomination. But to the extent that the candidates are seen as having cast their lot with Rubio, they could be hindered in reaching out to other Latinos. Those of us from abroad who have supported comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. are saddened by such splits and fights among the Latino community.

    Rubio’s spat with Univision could also be problematic for the contenders, given the network’s far reach. The senator has expressed outrage that the network revealed that his brother-in-law had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking and that he was one of the leaders of a feared organization that smuggled cocaine into the United States hidden in shipments of exotic fish.


  5. I found it, guys!

    MSNBC’s Buchanan Attacks Obama’s Mother: “An Alienated Individual” Who Was An “Ethnomasochist



    Translation: Nigger lover!

  6. Hey guys,

    What did Pat Buchanan say about the President’s mother? Folks on twitter say he slurred the President’s dead mother. WTF is wrong with MSNBC? Why do this racist bigot still have a job there?

  7. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 4:45 PM

    Perry tries to clean up his mess

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry held a press conference this afternoon, following the unveiling of his ridiculous economic plan. A reporter started to ask the governor about his conspiracy theories involving President Obama’s birthplace. Perry was clearly annoyed.

    For those who can’t watch videos online, the governor interrupted the reporter and said, “You know, I’ll cut you off right there. That is one of the biggest distractions that there is going. We need to be talking about jobs. Somebody wants to see my birth certificate, I’d be happy to show it to ‘em. But the fact is, that is a distraction, and Americans really don’t care about that, if you want to know the truth of the matter. What Americans want to talk about is jobs. Who is going to lay out a plan, which will get America working again.”

    What in the world is Perry complaining about? Last week, the governor was the one who started this whole line of discussion, telling a reporter on the record he questions the legitimacy of the president’s birth certificate. Then, in an interview that aired just this morning, Perry went even further, adding, It’s fun to poke at [Obama] a little bit and say ‘Hey, how about let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.’”

    Perry went on to say that this is “a good issue to keep alive.”

    Now Perry has no use for this issue — the one he wanted to “keep alive” less than a day ago? The one he thinks is “fun”?

    “That is one of the biggest distractions that there is going.” And whose bright idea was it to bring up this distraction in the first place?


  8. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011
    Perry’s presser

    Rick Perry just completed the most incoherent, incomprehensible press conference I have ever heard. Ostensibly it was on his flat-tax plan, yet over and over again he hammered the idea that what Americans want most are jobs, and it is government regulation of private enterprise that is killing those jobs.

    Why, then, this urgent need for a flat tax? Anyone’s flat tax? According to Perry, all government need do is eradicate regulations and all would be economically well.

    Needless to say, not one of the gagglers asked Perry about this enormous contradiction. One asked about the birther issue, on which Perry was even more incomprehensible (something about seeing his birth certificate being irrelevant to national needs). Another, to the reporter’s credit, asked Perry how he can cut $1 trillion a year (required to achieve government spending at 18 percent of GDP) when Congress’ super committee can’t seem to locate $1 trillion to cut over 10 years. Perry’s answer, in effect: Not to worry, the horrifying enormity of his economic plan wouldn’t fully kick in until 2020.

    The press conference was both laughable and immensely depressing. How anyone of Perry’s minuscule virtues could be regarded as a legitimate prospect for the U.S. presidency is simply beyond me.


  9. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 4:05 PM

    Snowe keeps falling

    By Steve Benen

    Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) published a joint op-ed in the Wall Street Journal the other day, calling for new measures to make the legislative process more difficult. No, seriously, that’s what they said.

    For two years in a row, the Democratic-led Senate has failed to adopt a budget as required by law. Meanwhile, our gross national debt has climbed to almost $15 trillion — as large as our entire economy. Our bill puts in place a 60-vote threshold before any appropriation bill can be moved through Congress — unless both houses have adopted a binding budget resolution.

    We can certainly have a conversation about the breakdown in the budget-writing process, but let’s think about what Snowe and Sessions are proposing here: they want to make it harder for Congress to approve appropriations bills, regardless of the consequences.

    Jamison Foser explained, “Republicans, including Sessions and Snowe, have filibustered even the most uncontroversial of measures — and that knee-jerk opposition to just about anything the Senate majority wants to do is a significant part of the reason why the Senate hasn’t adopted a budget. Now Sessions and Snowe cynically use that failure to justify structural changes that would make it harder for the Senate to pass any appropriations bills.”

    Snowe and Sessions went on to call for additional “reforms” that would make it far more difficult for Congress to approve “emergency” spending without mandatory supermajorities, too, because they’re horrified by efforts to “spend money we don’t have,” which might “bankrupt the country.”

    Of course, Snowe and Sessions see no need for mandatory supermajorities when it comes to tax cuts, alleged “bankruptcy” fears notwithstanding.

    But in the larger picture, have you noticed just how far Olympia Snowe has fallen lately? Last week she demanded the administration act with “urgency” to address the jobs crisis, only to filibuster a popular jobs bill just one day later. A week earlier, Snowe prioritized tax cuts for millionaires over job creation. Just a couple of weeks earlier, Snowe tried to argue that government spending is “clearly … the problem” when it comes to the nation’s finances, which is a popular line among conservatives, despite being wrong.

    It’s tempting to think the fear of a primary challenge is pushing Snowe to the far-right, but the truth is, the senators GOP opponents next year are barely even trying. She may fear a replay of the Castle-O’Donnell fight that played out in Delaware, but all indications are that Snowe really doesn’t have anything to worry about.

    And yet, she’s become a shell of her former self, leading to this op-ed — written with a right-wing Alabama senator, no less — demanding that the dysfunctional Senate adopt new ideas that make it more difficult to pass necessary legislation.

    There some prime real estate in the political landscape for genuine GOP moderates who could have a significant impact. Instead, Congress has Olympia Snowe, who now bears no resemblance to the centrist she used to be.

    If I had to guess, I’d say most mainstream voters in Maine have no idea the extent to which Snowe has moved to the right, which is a shame. I wonder how those who supported her in the past would even recognize her anymore.


  10. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 2:55 PM

    Leaders know how to take a stand

    By Steve Benen

    Gov. Romney, Republican voters booed a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq; are you comfortable with that? No comment.

    Gov. Romney, Ohio Republicans are fighting to undermine collective-bargaining rights; do you agree with them? No comment.

    Gov. Romney, your top rival for the Republican presidential nomination is questioning the president’s citizenship status; is this a legitimate subject for debate? No comment.

    I thought it would be worth asking the campaigns of the two frontrunners — Herman Cain and Mitt Romney —for comment on [Rick Perry’s birther comments]. Are they willing to condemn it? After all, Romney has vouched for Obama’s U.S. citizenship in the past and has made Perry’s unelectability central to his campaign, and it seems likely that Perry’s flirtation with birtherism will fuel doubts about whether he has the gravity and temperament to be a good general election candidate.

    No luck.

    Both campaigns declined to address Perry’s comments. “We’ll pass,” Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon emailed. A Romney campaign spokesperson also declined comment.

    Remember, this isn’t one of those 11th-Commandment-style dynamics; Romney criticizes Perry comments all the time. But when Perry dabbles in unhinged conspiracy theories, the Romney campaign prefers to remain silent.

    Greg Sargent added, by the way, that some major players in the party — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Karl Rove, and others — have all said Perry’s comments were, at a minimum, out of line.

    So where’s Romney as his top rival is taking heat from within the party?

    There’s going to come a point next year when the Obama campaign is likely to say, “Mitt Romney lacks the courage and the character to be a leader.” And the criticism will sting because it’s based in fact.

    Romney can end this talk very easily and demonstrate that he’s more than a craven empty suit. There are some basic yes-or-no questions — Do you condemn the booing of honorable American soldiers? Would you endorse Paul Ryan’s budget plan? Do you support public workers’ collective bargaining rights? — that the former governor could answer directly without looking for wiggle room and without a bunch of caveats to cling to later.

    He just doesn’t seem to have the guts.


  11. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 2:15 PM

    If only GOP lawmakers were more like GOP voters

    By Steve Benen

    I imagine everyone has seen the bumper sticker that says, “Lord, protect us from your followers.” I have an idea for a related sticker that reads, “Republicans, protect us from your elected officials.”

    In the existing political landscape, the real problem is not with GOP voters; it’s with GOP policymakers. This isn’t to let the party’s supporters off the hook entirely — they’re the ones who supported and elected the officeholders — but it’s hard to overstate how much more constructive the political process would be if Republican lawmakers in any way reflected the priorities of their own supporters.

    Last week, a national poll found that Republican voters broadly support the Democratic jobs agenda — a payroll tax cut, jobs for teachers/first responders, infrastructure investments, and increased taxes on millionaires and billionaires — in some cases by wide margins. This week, Tim Noah noticed this observation can be applied even further.

    I’m liking rank-and-file Republicans better and better. Earlier this month we learned that they favor Obama’s plan to tax the rich. Now we learn that a 55 percent majority of them think Wall Street bankers and brokers are “dishonest,” 69 percent think they’re “overpaid,” and 72 percent think they’re “greedy.” Fewer than half (47 percent) have an unfavorable view of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Thirty-three percent either favor them or have no opinion, and 20 percent haven’t heard of them. Also, a majority favor getting rid of the Electoral College and replacing it with a popular vote. After the 2000 election only 41 percent did. Now 53 percent do. How cool is that?

    Every one of these positions puts the GOP rank-and-file at odds with their congressional leadership and field of presidential candidates.

    I don’t want to exaggerate this too much. The fact remains that the Republican Party is dominated by conservative voters, especially those who participate in primaries and caucuses. I’m not suggesting for a moment that the party’s rank-and-file members are moving to the left.

    But the recent poll results are also hard to miss — many if not most GOP voters are perfectly comfortable with plenty of progressive ideas, including tax increases on millionaires and billionaires. It’s starting to look like the party’s rank and file is made up of mainstream conservatives who want their party to help move the country forward.

    And yet, when we look to Republican officials in Washington, how many GOP members of Congress are willing to endorse any of these popular measures? Zero. Literally, not even one Republican lawmaker has offered even tacit support for ideas that most GOP voters actually like. In the Senate, a united Republican caucus won’t even allow a vote — won’t even allow a debate — on popular job-creation ideas during a jobs crisis.

    If the actions of GOP lawmakers in any way resembled the wishes of GOP voters, our political system wouldn’t be nearly as dysfunctional as it is now.

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


  12. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 1:30 PM

    Paul Ryan discovers irony, blasts ‘painful austerity’

    By Steve Benen

    I can’t relate to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) right-wing ideology on any level, any more than I can appreciate his love of Ayn Rand novels. But once in a while I’m reminded that the gap between the House Budget Committee chairman and those who appreciate reason goes well beyond political philosophy.

    Consider this Ryan quote, flagged yesterday by Alan Pyke:

    Let’s review for a moment the path we are on, where we stand right now. It pains me to say this, but it’s become clear that the president has committed us to the current path: higher taxes, more dependency, more bureaucratic control, inaction on the drivers of our debt — just not even dealing with it — and painful austerity, the kind you see in Europe.”

    I was going to write that I have no idea what Paul Ryan is talking about, but it’s far more accurate to say Paul Ryan has no idea what Paul Ryan is talking about.

    To characterize President Obama’s “current path” as one featuring “higher taxes” is rather foolish, given that Obama has repeatedly cut taxes — even more than his conservative Republican predecessor did. To complain that Obama refuses to “deal with … the drivers of our debt” is even more bizarre, since the president offered congressional Republicans a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan (GOP leaders said it wasn’t right-wing enough), and in September, unveiled another, more sensible plan that would achieve $3.2 trillion in debt reduction. This isn’t “inaction” on the issue; it’s the opposite.

    But it’s that last line from Ryan that stands out as truly ridiculous. The Republicans’ alleged budget wonk is warning against European-style “painful austerity”? This is just madness.

    For months, GOP officials have been praising European-style austerity and demanding that U.S. policymakers follow Europe’s lead on this (except the parts in which Europe reduced their deficits by raising taxes). Now Ryan is warning against it?

    More to the point, Ryan is the one pushing for austerity measures, as evidenced by his budget plan that slashed spending, specifically targeting programs that benefit working families, imposing widespread pain in the name of deficit reduction. It was a sham, of course — Ryan also wanted to cut taxes on the wealthy, which made his talk about fiscal responsibility look ridiculous — but he insisted that austerity was necessary to improve economic “confidence.”

    And yet, here’s a speech in which Ryan complaining that the Obama White House has the nation on course for “painful austerity.”

    Apparently, the House Budget Committee chairman would have us believe we have to accept an austerity agenda in order to avoid accepting an austerity agenda.

    Pyke described this as “insane.” I’m very much inclined to agree.


  13. rikyrah says:

    : Romney Barely Leads NV, Cain Way Out Front In WI

    On Monday Republican pollster Magellan Strategies showed a large lead for former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in Nevada, an early GOP primary state. But a new Public Policy Polling (D) survey finds Romney only up by one on businessman Herman Cain, 29 – 28 in the Silver State. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is third with 15 percent.

    PPP showed a much different story in Wisconsin, where Cain has a twelve point lead, well outside the margin of error.

    “This now makes 4 weeks in a row of Herman Cain leading our polling,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling in a release with the polls. “He’s getting pretty close to being something more than a flavor of the month.”


  14. rikyrah says:

    Perry: Tax Cuts For All, Protect Social Security — And Privatize It
    Rick Perry gave a major speech in South Carolina on Tuesday, laying out his “Cut, Balance and Grow” economic plan — the centerpiece of which is a tax reform proposal that would give people the choice of filing their taxes under the current code, or a 20% flat tax.

    “It neither reshuffles the status quo, nor does it expand the ways that Washington can reach into your pocketbooks,” said Perry — in an apparent swipe at both Mitt Romney’s relatively modest tax proposals, and Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan and its national sales tax. “It re-orders the way they do business in Washington, by reinventing the tax code and restoring our nation to fiscal health through balanced budgets and entitlement reform.”

    Perry showed a huge stack of many reams of paper, comparing it with a simple postcard in his hand.

    “The size of the current code is more than 72,000 pages. that’s represented by this pallet, over here, and the reams of paper. That’s what the current code looks like. The best representation of my plan is this postcard. That’s what we’re talking about right here. Taxpayers will be able to fill out their taxes, and file their taxes, on that.”

    The political benefit of such a plan should be obvious: Allowing wealthier individuals to take a huge tax cut, while in theory not necessarily raising taxes on lower-income people who would not do as well under a flat tax, by at least giving them the legal option of paying a lower rate with more paperwork.

    Perry also called for a drop in the corporate tax rate to 20%, while also eliminating loopholes. He would also not tax repatriated profits, if the taxes were already paid in the countries where the profits were earned. And, for a limited time, he would offer a reduced tax rate of 5.25% on repatriated earnings.

    “Tax rates have consequences. The liberals myopically ignore the realities of human nature. They think raising rates will raise revenue,” said Perry. “What they don’t understand is that large employers have choices. And i might add, so do wealthy individuals. And that includes moving money offshore. When the federal government tries to take too much, they end up hurting the very people they supposedly seek to help, the working class.

    “We need tax policy that embraces the world as it is, not as some liberal ideologue wishes it to be. The goal of my Cut, Balance and Grow plan is to unleash job creation, to address the current economic crisis, while at the same time generating a stable source of revenue to address our record deficit and put our fiscal house in order.”

    On Social Security, Perry appeared to give two contrary messages: To uphold the solvency of the program — and to allow young workers to divert funds away from it.


  15. rikyrah says:

    Gov. Chris Christie’s Budget Cuts Put 4,000 New Jersey Police Officers Out Of A Job
    By Tanya Somanader on Oct 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    In the name of “no taxes,” Republicans have slashed state budgets across the country, forcing schools to sell advertising space, firefighters to lose their jobs to prison labor, and cities to decriminalize domestic violence in order to save money.

    In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie (R) instituted severe cuts to education funding, public employee benefits, and public sector jobs, while calling his action the “day of reckoning.” Christie cut $3 billion in his first two years, leaving low-income New Jerseyans with half the number of legal aid lawyers, the mentally ill without a home after a hospital had to shut down, and thousands of women without health clinics to visit. Those cuts have also left 4,000 New Jersey police officers without a job and left drug-related crime to flourish:

    In Newark, police no longer respond to motor vehicle accidents without injuries. In Paterson, the police department’s Narcotics Squad was cut by half.

    In Newark, 162 officers were laid off; in Camden, 167; Trenton, 105. […]

    Statewide, about 4,000 police officers have lost their jobs in the past two years, said Anthony Wieners, president of the state’s Policemen’s Benevolent Association. There were about 25,900 municipal police officers in New Jersey in 2009, according to State Police statistics.

    “All the advancements we made since the late 1970s, in community policing, getting out into the communities and building a trust, are going to be lost,” Wieners said.

    In Little Egg, the police department had to disband its drug unit after 11 of the town’s 49 cops were laid off last year. In the six months that followed the layoffs, “burglaries in the township jumped 61 percent, assaults rose 22 percent, and larceny increased 54 percent.”

    Christie’s “day of reckoning” has fallen hard on low-income New Jerseyans and public servants. But, thanks to Christie, the reckoning never reached the state’s millionaires. Last year, the state legislature passed a tax on millionaires that would help alleviate Christie’s budget cuts. Christie vetoed it — twice. In under two minutes flat. His argument: A tax increase is a “failed, irresponsible” policy that will “set our economy further back from recovery.” But it’s hard to see how his current policies are doing anything different.


  16. rikyrah says:

    Right-Wing Radio Host Blasts Ohio Gov. Kasich, Urges Ohioans To Vote Down Anti-Labor Law |

    Ohio right-wing radio host Bill Cunningham is taking a surprising stance on GOP Gov. John Kasich’s (R) anti-workers’ rights law, Senate Bill 5, which will face a referendum come Nov. 8. Cunningham, a Rush Limbaugh disciple, recently recorded a message blasting the “rock-red Republican conservative” Kasich for failing to meet with the labor unions over the elimination of their collective bargaining rights, saying “he was wrong.” “From my perspective, those affected by governmental decisions need to have a place at the bargaining table to determine the outcome of what’s being discussed,” he said. “The best Americans I know are cops, firefighters, and teachers. They’re reasonable and they’re good people,” he added, urging Ohioans to vote no on Issue 2 (which would repeal the law). Watch it:


  17. rikyrah says:

    White House: ‘We Can’t Wait’ To Put Vets Back To Work

    As part of its new “We Can’t Wait” for Congress theme, the White House has announced an initiative to help veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars get back to work.

    The latest effort, part of a comprehensive plan to transition veterans from the battlefield to the workplace, challenges community health centers around the country to hire 8,000 veterans over the next three years.

    Community health centers, clinics where the poor can receive medical services even if they have limited or no health insurance, are uniquely positioned to hire veterans because many of them are located within 100 miles of a military base and many military veterans have the medical and team-oriented organizational skills these clinics need, White House officials told reporters Tuesday.

    “I think all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas,” Matt Flavin, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and White House director of veterans and wounded warrior policy, wrote on the White House blog Tuesday.

    “But, all too often, those who have sacrificed so much for America struggle to find a job worthy of their talents,” he continued. “As the President has said, ‘if you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance. If you can oversee millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home.’”

    Through the new initiative, the Obama administration is trying to make it easier for veterans to use the training they have in the military to become physician assistants, healthcare professionals who work with patients in limited ways under doctors’ supervision.

    In an attempt to expedite physician-assistant training for vets, the administration will give priority for grants to universities and colleges that help train vets and identify model programs that offer expedited curricula for veterans with medical experience on the battlefield.

    The Obama administration is trying to build on previous efforts, including sending 600,000 veterans back to school on the Post—9/11 GI bill and hiring more than 100,000 veterans into the federal government over the last year and a half. Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the American Logistics Association and its 270 affiliate companies had committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013.

    The President also included tax credits for hiring veterans in his jobs bill — $5,600 for firms that hire unemployed veterans and $9,600 for firms that hire veterans with service-oriented disabilities. With Republicans blocking the full jobs bill in Congress, the new initiative to transition veterans into healthcare positions is part of Obama’s plan to take executive actions to create jobs and reduce unemployment. The White House is working with Senate Democrats to offer the bill in pieces, and Republicans have said they support the tax credits for hiring veterans.


  18. rikyrah says:

    There is gutless….

    and then there is WILLARD


    October 25, 2011 12:30 PM

    No Profile in Courage award for you, Mitt

    By Steve Benen

    Ohio voters will head to the polls in two weeks and will weigh in Gov. John Kasich’s (R) new law to cut state workers’ collective bargaining rights. Labor and its allies have reason to be optimistic about the vote on SB5 — a Quinnipiac poll released this morning found 57% of Ohioans support repealing the anti-worker law, while only 32% want the law left intact.

    A successful repeal effort would be a triumph for unions, who began collecting petition signatures soon after Kasich signed the bill into law in March. Progressive activists quickly formed We Are Ohio and turned in nearly 1.3 million signatures to force the issue onto the November ballot. Kasich is trying to rally support for his SB5 law, but it’s not working — not only does the public oppose the attack on collective bargaining rights, but the governor’s own approval rating has slipped further to 36%.

    Mitt Romney, meanwhile, stopped by a Republican campaign office in the state this morning to lend his support — sort of.

    GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a 45-minute visit to a Terrace Park Republican phone bank operation this morning, where volunteers have been making thousands of phone calls to voters urging yes votes on state issues 2 and 3.

    But Romney, who would not speak to the media, told Ohio Republican Party chairman Kevin DeWine as he left the building on Wooster Pike in Terrace Park that he was not endorsing either Issue 2 — which would repeal the GOP backed bill that limit collective bargaining for public employees, or Issue 3, which would allow Ohioans to opt out of the mandatory health care coverage portion of the health care law passed by Democrats in Congress last year.

    “I’m not saying anything one way or the other about the two ballot issues,” Romney told DeWine. “But I am supportive of the Republican party’s efforts here.”

    CNN’s Peter Hamby called it an “incredible moment,” and that seems like a fair description.

    Think about what transpired: the Republican presidential frontrunner visited with a Republican phone bank to offer support for the Republican campaign to curtail collective bargaining rights. But Romney refuses to take a position on the issue? He’s “supportive” of their efforts, but he won’t say whether or not he agrees with their efforts?


    Putting aside party and ideology, it’s hard to shake the realization that Mitt Romney lacks a certain political courage. He’s so desperate to calculate how every decision might affect his ambitions that he struggles to remember what he believes, and either ends up cowardly ducking issues or taking both sides of nearly every fight. It can be hard to watch, and even harder to respect.


  19. rikyrah says:

    The Election Will Not Be Close
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 11:57:28 AM EST

    I think Charlie Cook is wrong. I don’t care what the polls show right now, next year’s election is not going to be close and whichever party wins the presidential election will have huge wins in the House. The Senate is a different matter. The Republicans are largely inoculated against any big losses in the Senate simply because they are only defending 10 seats and most of those are in extremely red states.
    It’s possible that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination and he could conceivably win or lose in a close election that mirrors the near-ties we saw in 2000 and 2004. If Romney does not win the nomination, the odds are that Obama will win reelection in a fashion more reminiscent of Nixon and Reagan’s reelection than Clinton or Bush’s. But even a Romney/Obama matchup is unlikely, in my view, to be close. I think, ultimately, that people will reject one or the other of them rather emphatically.

    I don’t think the economy will be the deciding factor. At least, not if it stays the way it is now. I think the election will be decided in much the same fashion as the 1980 election. That contest was close until mid-October, when it tilted heavily and decisively in Reagan’s direction. Carter probably would have survived even in the face of a pathetic economy if people had the sense that he had our foreign policy under control. But he couldn’t solve the Iranian Hostage Crisis, so people really had nothing to point to argue that the president was doing a good job. They rolled the dice on a B-List actor.

    I think the same conditions will apply next year. Obama will have to face the voters and defend a record that has not been able to significantly reduce the unemployment rate or the housing crisis. But his opponent won’t have much credibility as an alternative. I do not believe that the people will be convinced that electing a Republican is the solution to our economic problems. But, if we’re suffering some crisis in our foreign policies in addition to tough economic conditions, people may just decide that Obama isn’t getting it done on any level.

    I think people are beginning to realize that the Republicans really have only one viable candidate, meaning only one candidate who could avoid a complete blowout. But Mitt Romney is an extremely flawed candidate. He is performing pretty well in the debates, but he just doesn’t inspire anyone and he can’t decide what he believes. He’s probably the worst flip-flopper in the history of politics, going all the way back to Greek city-states and including all races down to unincorporated hamlets. He’s also the unlikeliest champion imaginable for the anti-Obama crowd. He could still win and win big. But he’ll need some divine providence to make it happen.


  20. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 24, 2011
    Last Call
    Posted by Zandar

    Seems McClatchy has finally figured out that Republicans not only don’t have any real plan to improve the economy, but are actively working to sabotage what little progress we do have. Witness Tea Party Republican Tom Rooney of Florida:

    For months, the party has focused on shrinking the government, sparking ugly battles with Democrats over the budget and the debt ceiling. But with job growth back at the top of the congressional agenda, Republican lawmakers have found themselves without a clear strategy to reduce the 9.1 percent national unemployment rate.

    To many Republicans, ignoring the issue likely to define the next election is a risky proposition. While political wisdom holds that voters typically unload economic frustration on the president, lawmakers like Rooney have reason to be restless: Congress’ approval rating has been in the tank for months, and tied the all-time low of 13 percent last week, according to a Gallup poll.

    “We get a lot of email saying, ‘We want all incumbents out. That includes you. We put you in, we’ll take you out,'” Rooney said.

    And so Rooney, a sophomore congressman under no obligation to lead on economic policy, crafted his own jobs bill to tout to constituents. Senate Republicans did the same earlier this month, acknowledging it was needed to show Americans the proposals they support, rather than just what they oppose.

    Republicans are in real trouble here. More and more Americans are seeing the Republicans are for nothing more than whatever President Obama isn’t, they overwhelmingly approve of the measures included in the now dead American Jobs Act, and are now seeing the GOP actively blocking common sense stuff they want to see passed.

    Republicans like Rooney are desperately trying to prove they are not a Do-Nothing Congress, but for three years now they have all but opposed everything the President has asked for. Voters gave the House keys to the GOP and the economy hasn’t improved…and the GOP doesn’t care about jobs, they just care about winning in 2012.

    The current crop of Clown Car Kids isn’t exactly making things better for them, either. You’re going to see a lot more of this as November 2012 draws closer.


  21. Ametia says:

    Tell MSNBC: Fire Pat Buchanan
    For years, Pat Buchanan has passed off white supremacist ideology as legitimate mainstream political commentary. And MSNBC continues to pay him and give him a platform on national TV to do it.

    Buchanan just went on a white supremacist radio show to promote his new book — which argues that increasing racial diversity is a threat to this country and will mean the “End of White America.”

    Please join us in demanding that MSNBC fire Pat Buchanan now.


    1. “Twelve Pretty Racist Or Just Crazy Quotes From Pat Buchanan’s New Book,” TPMMuckracker, 10-24-11
    2. “Pat Buchanan Appears On ‘Pro-White’ Radio Show,” Media Matters, 10-23-11
    3. “Rachel Maddow Duels With Pat Buchanan On Affirmative Action,” Huffington Post, 07-16-09
    4. “Bob Shrum explodes over Pat Buchanan’s racism as Limbaugh uses MLK against Sotomayor,” 05-30-09
    5. “A Brief for Whitey,” Pat Buchanan in Human Events, 03-21-08
    6. “Pat Buchanan in His Own Words,” Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, 02-26-96
    7. “The Bigotry Of Pat Buchanan,” Media Matters, 07-29-2011
    8. See reference 6.
    9. “MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan defends Hitler. Again.” Media Matters, 09-02-09
    10. “Buchanan: ‘[I]n a way, both sides were right’ during the Civil War,” Media Matters, 04-08-10
    11. “Pat Buchanan Won’t Disavow Idea That Minorities Have Inferior Genes,” Media Matters, 10-21-11

  22. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011
    Perry campaign calls on Romney to release tax returns
    An aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on his main rival, former Mass. Gov Mitt Romney, to make public his tax returns today, something Romney has steadily refused to do.

    “Governor Perry has always released his tax returns and Mitt Romney and the other candidates should do the same,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner told POLITICO.

    But Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom said his candidate wouldn’t even consider releasing them until next Spring.

    “We’ll take a look at the question of releasing tax returns during the next tax filing season,” he said.

    Perry regularly releases his tax returns, most recently last Friday. They showed him and his wife paying $51,000 in federal taxes on $217,447 in adjusted gross income in 2010.

    Romney has come under fire in the past for failing to release his tax returns in a series of political campaigns, beginning with his 1994 race against Senator Ted Kennedy, when he called on Kennedy to release his own returns. Neither man did, and Romney has since revealed only the required outlines of complex holdings valued at more than $190 million.

    “It’s time the biggest-taxing senator in Washington shows the people of Massachusetts how much he pays in taxes,” Romney said that April. “Romney said he would disclose his own state and federal taxes for the last three years ‘on the very day that Kennedy turns over his taxes for public scrutiny.”

    The liberal site ThinkProgress has speculated that Romney is avoiding releasing his tax returns because he could become a poster child for the “Buffett Rule,” President Obama’s plan to require that wealthy investors pay the same share of their income in taxes as do middle-income salaried employees.

    Fehrnstrom didn’t offer a defense of Romney’s position, but attacked Perry on an unrelated transparency issue.

    “The Perry campaign is in no position to lecture anyone on disclosure,” he said. “They have been stonewalling on releasing the most basic records involving taxpayer-funded spending in Texas as it relates to Governor Perry’s travel records. Governor Perry should immediately release these public documents.”


  23. Ametia says:


  24. Ametia says:

    Netflix loses 810,000 subscribers; stock plunges
    By Hayley Tsukayama, Published: October 24

    Netflix has had a tough few months, and it’s been taking its toll on the video rental company. In its third-quarter earnings report Monday, the company reported that it’s lost 810,000 subscribers in the United States in the past three months.

    Many were expecting the company to post subscriber losses after fumbling how it handled its price changes and on-again, off-again decision to spin off its DVD-by-mail business. In an interview with the New York Times, Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings said the company simply moved too quickly and didn’t completely understand how its customers felt about Netflix.


  25. rikyrah says:

    Perry On Birtherism: It’s Fun!
    I kid you not:

    It’s a good issue to keep alive. You know, Donald [Trump] has got to have some fun. It’s fun to poke him a little bit and say “Hey, let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.” I don’t have a clue about where the president – and what this birth certificate says. But it’s also a great distraction. I’m not distracted by it.

    Perry “doesn’t have a clue” where Obama was born. It’s a distraction but he’s not distracted. Then this remarkable answer:

    Q. Even if your plan increases growth, that’s going to take time. Year one, year two, you’re going to blow a huge hole in the deficit, right?

    A. I don’t think it does.

    No, it does. What Perry “thinks” it will do in the short term is irrelevant. And note the conservative indifference to the deficit and the debt. The GOP is actively preventing any attempt to forestall a double-dip recession because it would raise the debt in the short term, yet favor a tax cut/reform that would blow a hole in the immediate budget far larger! I guess the whole thing is a game for them.

    The lesson of the financial crisis? You have to repeal Dodd-Frank, because the only thing wrong with the post-Rubin regulations was that they weren’t properly enforced. After the last three years, the counter-intuitive aspect of this might be appealing. But doesn’t it simply reek of denial? Wouldn’t it be very very easy for Obama to describe Perry as Bush without the prudence, restraint and attentiveness to reality?


  26. Haley Barbour To GOP Field: Drop The Birther Talk


    WASHINGTON — Among the more established and seasoned field of Republican operatives, there is a bit of concern that sideshow issues and partisan flamboyance could muddy a relatively generous 2012 electoral landscape. It’s why Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to resuscitate skepticism over President Obama’s birth certificate seems so out of place. At a time when the Texas Republican is trying to pitch his economic proposals, such as a flat tax, they believe he’s trampling on his own message and hurting the party’s image as well.

    Sure enough, on Tuesday morning, one of the senior statesmen within the GOP, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, warned Perry and others to cut out the birther talk.

  27. I could smack Pat Buchanan into next week… I despise this racist bigot!

    Pat Buchanan Attacks Army For Celebrating Diversity


    In his new book, MSNBC analyst Pat Buchanan makes the case that diversity is a weakness, not a strength, for America. In his chapter “The Diversity Cult,” Buchanan takes issue with Gen. George W. Casey for his 2007 statement, “I firmly believe the strength of our Army comes from our diversity.”

    Buchanan asks in response, “Where is the empirical evidence behind General Casey’s assertion … Is the diverse army of today really superior to Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia that resisted the Union’s mighty Army of the Potomac for four years? Is it superior to the U.S. Army that went ashore at Normandy?”

    Buchanan adds: “What General Casey seems to be saying is that the strength of the U.S. Army stems from the fact that we now have a smaller share of white male soldiers. Does anyone really believe that?”

  28. Obama Campaign Launches Tumblr Site

    President Obama’s reelection campaign has launched a Tumblr site where supporters can submit a story, photo or video. See the site here.

  29. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 10:40 AM

    Putting foreclosures around Romney’s neck

    By Steve Benen

    Last week, Mitt Romney accidentally became the pro-foreclosure candidate.

    In a recorded interview with the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal — no area has been harder hit by this than Las Vegas — Romney was asked about the housing crisis, and the former governor argued that policymakers shouldn’t even try to help.

    “Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process,” he said. “Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

    Even Nevada’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, said Romney doesn’t “fully understand” what’s going in in the state.

    Democrats intend to make Romney pay a price for this one. The DNC has created RomneyHousingPlan.com to highlight the Republican frontrunner’s support for foreclosures; the party put together this web-only video last week, and Dems are launching this ad in Arizona this week, where the percentage of underwater homeowners is one of the highest in the nation.

    The attack ad has the added benefit of being true.

    In an odd twist, the Romney campaign sent out a press release yesterday, insisting the White House shouldn’t “wait for the housing crisis to run its course.”

    So, just last week, Romney said policymakers should let the foreclosure problem “run its course.” This week, Romney is sending out press releases that accuse Obama of wanting to let the foreclosure problem “run its course.”

    Does the Romney campaign even read its own materials? Does the former governor listen to his own comments?

    The argument coincides with President Obama unveiling a new plan to allow struggling homeowners refinance and bring down their mortgage payments. In states hardest hit by the housing crisis — Nevada, Florida, Arizona, and others — the choice may come down to a candidate trying to stop foreclosures and a candidate who says, “Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process.”


  30. rikyrah says:

    Photos/Video: President Obama Makes Pit Stop at Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n Waffles

    First things first.

    President Obama is in LA to pick up about a milli in campaign funds from Big Willies like well, Big Will Smith, Magic Johnson and actor Antonio Banderas, among others.

    But on the way to those events, the prez made an executive decision to stop off in the ‘hood at Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles on Pico Boulevard to get his grub on. Actually, he ordered to go. After all, he didn’t want to keep his star-studded donors waiting too long. He’s not crazy.

    Yes, we know … you’re wondering what did he get to go? His order included the No. 9 — the “Country Boy” — which consists of three wings, with the choice of waffle, potato salad and French fries.

    Of course Mr. Obama did some glad handing by going from booth to booth and greeting surprised diners.

    After the president shook hands and chatted with a young brother who looked to be about 10, and then moved on, lil dude, according to the LA Times, “turned to the white man he was dining with and said, ‘I’m never going to wash my hand again.’ For minutes afterward he continued to hold his left hand aloft, fingers spread, as his eyes followed Obama around the room.”

    From Roscoe’s the presidential motorcade headed to Hancock Park section of LA for the $35,800-per-person event at the home of producer James Lassiter.


  31. rikyrah says:

    Perry On Whether His Tax Plan Gives Millions In Tax Breaks To The Rich: ‘I Don’t Care About That’
    By Pat Garofalo on Oct 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) today became the latest GOP presidential hopeful to release a tax plan, as he tries to catch up in the polls, some of which even have him trailing former Speaker Newt Gingrich and libertarian favorite Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). The plan, as Perry has been explaining, revolves around a 20 percent flat tax.

    Perry’s flat tax was designed with the help of billionaire media mogul Steve Forbes, who ran twice for president, unsuccessfully, on a flat tax plan. As we noted yesterday, Forbes’ plan would have provided a $1.9 billion tax cut for…Steve Forbes.

    Perry’s plan is slightly different that Forbes’ flat tax of a decade ago, as it has a higher rate and preserves some popular deductions. But, like with all flat tax plans, Perry’s plan would give the rich a huge tax cut, since it drops their rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and exempts their investment income from taxation at all. When CNBC’s John Harwood asked Perry today why — in an era of massive income inequality — the rich should be given a tax break worth “hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars,” Perry replied, “but I don’t care about that”:

    HARWOOD: Dividends, capital gains, interest income taxes would provide a huge tax cut for wealthy people in this country. Given what’s happened with income inequality, why is that a good idea?

    PERRY: We’re trying to get this country working again. And that’s what I focus on. As a matter of fact, as we looked and as we talked and as we went through what are the ways to really get incentives to those who are going to risk their capital to create the jobs. […] Those that want to get into the class warfare and talk about ‘oh my goodness,’ there are going to be some folks here who make more money out of this or have access to more money, I’ll let them do that. I’m worried about that man or woman sitting around the coffee table tonight or in their kitchen talking about how are we going to get to work, how are we going to have the dignity to take care of our family. This plan does that. And it also is a tax cut across the board, it doesn’t make any difference what strata you’re in. It gives a tax cut across the board.

    HARWOOD: But for those at the top, it is hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars for them.

    PERRY: But I don’t care about that. What I care about is them having the dollars to invest in their companies.

    Watch it:

    Former pizza magnate Herman Cain and former Govs. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Jon Huntsman (R-UT) have all laid out tax plans that give huge tax breaks to the wealthy, while claiming that they want to help the middle-class. It seems that Perry is now finally hopping on that train.


  32. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 10:05 AM

    Stepping on his own ‘reset’

    By Steve Benen

    Chris Cillizza noted this morning that Rick Perry “is trying to push the ‘reset’ button on a presidential campaign that has faltered badly after a strong start.” That’s clearly true — the Texas governor has a new economic plan, he recently gave a big energy policy speech, he’s hired a team of new advisers, and Perry appears eager to put the recent collapse of his political standing behind him.

    But instead of talking about Perry’s comeback strategy, the governor is stepping all over his own message by peddling “Birther” nonsense — again.

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Talking to CNBC’s John Harwood, Perry followed up on his questions about President Obama’s birthplace published in Parade over the weekend, rehashing the issue all over again. Perry told Harwood he’s “not worried” about the president’s birth certificate, but he nevertheless kept talking about it and Obama’s college transcript. “It’s fun,” Perry said, “to poke at him a little bit and say ‘Hey, how about let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.’”

    Harwood gave Perry a chance to say he was kidding about all of this, but the governor wants to play both sides here — he’s calling it a “distractive” issue, while deliberately signaling to the right-wing conspiracy theorists that he’s sympathetic to their silliness.

    Indeed, Perry said plainly that this is “a good issue to keep alive.”

    In other words, there’s an actual strategy here. Perry wants the conspiracy theory to get some additional attention. Instead of having the political world spend the day talking about his economic agenda, he’s inviting observers to keep the Birther nonsense in mind instead.

    This makes Perry look like a fool to sensible people everywhere, but all things considered, maybe he doesn’t mind — any serious look at Perry’s tax plan arguably makes him look even worse.


  33. Ametia says:

    October 25, 2011 6:47 AM
    2-week-old baby rescued amid Turkey rubble
    (CBS/AP) ERCIS, Turkey – A 2-week-old baby girl, her mother and grandmother were pulled alive from the rubble of an apartment building on Tuesday in a dramatic rescue, 48 hours after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake toppled some 2,000 buildings in eastern Turkey.

    Television footage showed rescuers in orange jumpsuits applauding as the baby, Azra Karaduman – her first name means desert flower in Turkish, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips – was removed from the hulk of crushed concrete and metal. A rescuer cradled the naked infant, who was wrapped in a blanket and handed over to a medic amid a scrum of emergency workers and media. The state-run Anatolia news agency said the baby was in good health but was flown to a hospital in Ankara.

    Authorities said the death toll had risen to 370 as rescuers in Ercis and the provincial capital, Van, raced against time to free dozens of people trapped inside mounds of concrete, twisted steel and construction debris. At least nine people were rescued on Tuesday, although many more bodies were discovered.

    Authorities have warned survivors not to enter damaged buildings and thousands spent a second night outdoors in cars or tents in near-freezing conditions, afraid to return to their homes. Some 1,300 people were injured


  34. rikyrah says:

    for those in Chicago, the First Lady will be in town today.

    she’ll be at the Walgreens at 75th and State

    and also at

    Iron Street Urban Farm

    •3333 S. Iron St.


    • rikyrah says:

      more details about FLOTUS IN CHICAGO:

      At 2:45 p.m., Michelle Obama will visit a Walgreens store at 11 E. 75th St. that has expanded to sell produce and grocery staples, and she will make the summit’s closing remarks there. The event is not open to the public.

      At 3:50 p.m., Obama and Emanuel will visit Iron Street Urban Farm, 3333 S. Iron St., a 7-acre facility that produces healthy foods year-round.

      Next, she’ll be guest of honor at a 5 p.m. fundraiser at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd. It benefits the DNC and her husband’s war chest. She will return Tuesday evening to Washington.

    • Ametia says:

      This is soooooooooooo COOL! Will you be catching a glance of FLOTUS, rikyrah? :-)

  35. Gingrich: ‘At Some Point I Think It’s Going To Come Down To Romney And Me’


    Newt Gingrich is lagging in the polls and in fundraising. But as he explains, he’s just waiting his turn for when he goes one-on-one against Mitt Romney — and then he’ll win.

    The Des Moines Register reports:

    In Maquoketa he compared the race to a dance, where he is letting other candidates show their moves while he remains standing.

    “At some point I think it’s going to come down to Romney and me,” Gingrich said. “Once we get down to a two-person debate, then I’m reasonably confident I will win,” Gingrich said.

    Gingrich is also confidently but cautiously preparing himself for his next face-off: An epic battle with windmills.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Quinnipiac: Opposition To Anti-Union Bill Rides High, Brings Kasich Down

    Ohio will vote November 8th on whether to repeal Gov. John Kasich’s (R) signature initiative, SB 5, a bill that among other things limits the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions in the state. Kasich argues the measure is necessary to keep government budgets in check. Unfortunately for the Governor, it looks like the bill is going down in flames.

    A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 57 percent of Ohionas think the bill should be scuttled, versus only 32 percent who would like to keep it. That’s the highest level of opposition since Quinnipiac has been polling the issue in Ohio all the way back in May. A month ago the issue tightened up a little, seeing only a thirteen point lead for the advocates of repeal. But as the campaign against it kicked into full gear, pro-union forces have pushed that lead to 25 points. The latest Public Policy Polling (D) survey mirrored these findings.

    The only subgroup of voters who want to keep the law are Republicans, who favor letting it remain 59 – 32. But all other groups, including Democrats and independent voters across all ages and incomes want it gone. It seems that much of the opposition comes from the fact that voter’s just don’t believe the argument that SB 5 is needed to balance Ohio’s budget, as only 34 percent said it’s necessary versus 57 who say it is not.

    Gov. Kasich himself has also been hobbled by the bill, as he registers his highest disapproval rating in Quinnpiac’s polling in the October survey. A 52 percent majority are now down on Kasich’s Governorship in Ohio, with only 32 percent in his corner. He has had an underwater approval rating in the state almost all year in Quinnpiac polling, but this marks the first time disapproval gone over 50 percent.

    “Anything is possible in politics, but with such across-the-board support for repealing SB 5, the governor and his team can’t be optimistic about the fate of their law,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release.


  37. rikyrah says:

    Cain’s ‘Opportunity Zones’ Plan For The Poor: Give Up Worker Protections And Move To The Inner City
    By Pat Garofalo on Oct 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Former pizza magnate and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, when asked about the multiple analyses showing that his 999 tax plan would hammer the poor, simply asserts that those numbers are wrong, alluding to his campaign’s own analysis of the plan (which does not actually include a distributional breakdown). When the heat on Cain got even more intense, he explained that he has a secret plan to protect low-income Americans from 999, but he just hadn’t told anybody about it. “We’ve already made provisions for that, but I just haven’t told the public and my opponents about it yet,” he said on Wednesday.

    Today, finally, Cain released the latest tweak of his plan — the creation of what he calls “opportunity zones.” According to Cain, these will be special zones placed in inner cities, and those who work or live in the zones will receive deductions from 999 (which otherwise wipes out all of the traditional tax deductions, including the Earned Income Tax credit, child deduction and the mortgage interest deduction). Evidently believing that all economic analysts are also mind readers, Cain said today that those who criticized his plan simply didn’t read it:

    Now, the opportunity zone feature has been in our analysis all along. But just like I accused some of my opponents the other night of not having read the plan, we now have proof they didn’t read it. If their staffs had done the proper job and read it all the way through, they would have discovered what I’m about to share with you.

    Two days after admitting that this facet of his plan was secret, Cain now claims that those criticizing his plan “didn’t read it.” In Cain’s original 999 document there is indeed one line saying, “features a platform to launch properly structured Empowerment Zones to renew our inner cities.” Shockingly enough, independent analysts didn’t work out that this meant a bunch of specific business deductions.

    And, of course, there’s a catch — in order to qualify for zone status, a jurisdiction will have to abolish important worker protections like the minimum wage:

    Cain hopes to encourage growth in impoverished areas by further lowering the tax burden of residents. But for a jurisdiction to qualify, it would have to adopt a number of conservative policies that may seem unpalatable to liberals, including eliminating the minimum wage, instituting school vouchers, and declaring the area “right-to-work” – or non-union.

    Cain, quite literally, only grants deductions to those who are willing to move into these inner city zones where his tax breaks magically apply, and in exchange they have to forego basic economic protections. Everyone else is out of luck.

    Cain also laid out his supposed plan to protect low-income Americans from getting slammed by his trio of taxes, saying that those beneath the poverty line would be exempt from his nine percent personal income tax. Leaving aside that he’s still walloping families who are barely above the poverty line with a huge tax increase, those below the poverty line will still be stuck paying a nine percent sales tax, when their current tax rate is closer to 2 percent, if they have federal income tax liability at all.

    Finally, Cain claims that the plan would be revenue neutral, and his analysis does indeed show revenue neutrality (if you trust the numbers). However, his analysis clearly states, “We assume no exemptions, deductions or credits” (except for a passing mention of poverty exemptions), whilst Cain laid out a whole host of opportunity zone deductions today. So is 999 now going to create deficits or will he have to morph it into 12-12-12 or 15-15-15 in order to make his numbers add up?


  38. rikyrah says:

    Florida Taxpayers Provide $1.7 Billion In Corporate Welfare, Get Few Jobs In Return
    By Tanya Somanader on Oct 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Florida’s “jobs” Gov. Rick Scott (R) started with a promise to create 700,000 jobs on top of projected job growth, but has opted for a new slogan: “I don’t have to create any jobs.” Instead, Scott is betting all his chips on corporations, pushing tax breaks for companies with the hope that they will create jobs in return. But, as the Orlando Sun-Sentinel reports, this is a losing bet.

    According to Scott’s new Department of Economic Opportunity, taxpayers have paid out $754.2 million in more than 1,500 deals with companies since 1995. The deals were projected to create 224,286 new jobs over that past 16 years, but only one-third were actually created. Overall, the Sunshine State has pledged $1.7 billion of taxpayer money in 1,521 deals with companies. As the breakdown below shows, the majority of those deals “have yet to report any jobs“:

    – A total of 33 were net losers. Awarded $24.3 million to create 5,696 jobs, the companies actually lost 1,550 jobs — but were still paid $10.8 million.

    – A total of 293 produced some jobs. Awarded $288.7 million to create 60,397 jobs, these companies have so far created 32,747 jobs and been paid $135.7 million. Most of these contracts are still active and may produce more jobs going forward.

    – An additional 224 deals produced more jobs than promised. Awarded $204.7 million to create 46,248 jobs, the companies produced 80,229 — and have been paid $167.9 million so far.

    – The lion’s share of the awards — 971 — have yet to report any jobs. Some of these contracts have just been inked and haven’t had to report yet. But 192 date to the 1990s. Collectively, these companies were awarded $1.1 billion to create 168,497 jobs. And they’ve been paid $415.3 million.

    In addition to these deals, Florida taxpayers “paid out at least $37.9 million to six unnamed companies for 3,600 jobs that never materialized.” Scott’s agency is refusing to disclose the companies, but said it is renegotiating their contracts “so that the incentive payments are in accordance with the company’s performance.”

    Given greater leeway by the GOP-led legislature, Scott himself has awarded $98.6 million and paid $15.3 million to companies pledging to create more than 21,246 jobs. At the same time, he killed a high-speed rail project that promised 71,000 jobs, bragged about laying off 15,000 government employees, and rejected funds to create more than 60,000 jobs.

    Scott’s aide even admitted that corporate breaks might not produce a single job. Given Florida’s last decade of history, the outlook definitely doesn’t look good.


  39. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 9:15 AM

    Answering the Cain question

    By Steve Benen

    For the last couple of months, there’s been a lingering question about Herman Cain and the authenticity of his intentions. Does he really want to be president, or is this campaign little more than an vanity exercise, intended to help Cain sell books, charge more for speeches, and maybe get a media gig?

    It would appear the question has been answered. The Cain “campaign” has released this video, featuring chief of staff Mark Block talking directly to the camera, urging supporters to get involved.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, you’re missing out. The script isn’t especially important, because Block is generally just saying how great he thinks Herman Cain is (we learn, for example, that Cain will put the “united” back in the “United States of America”). What’s remarkable about the clip, though, is the visuals — bizarre camera work for 40 seconds, followed by several seconds of watching Block smoke a cigarette, followed by 10 seconds of Cain giving the camera a creepy smile.

    In all sincerity, there’s no indication that this is a parody or meant to be amusing.

    So, Cain’s a laughingstock, right? It would certainly appear that way, except he continues to take steps actual candidates take, including a new 50-state radio campaign, starting today.

    As elaborate p.r. stunts go, this one is even bigger than Donald Trump’s silly political flirtation earlier this year.

    In the absurd video, Block tells us, “America’s never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.” On this, he and I agree.


  40. Herman Cain Debuts New Video

  41. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 8:00 AM

    Obama moves to bolster housing market

    By Steve Benen

    More of the more dramatic drags on the national economy is the ongoing crises in the housing market, with10 million Americans underwater, owing more on their home than it’s worth. The Obama administration took steps in 2009, including the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which had a very limited effect.

    Yesterday, President Obama unveiled a new, and almost certainly better, initiative as part of the White House’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign. The point to provide assistance to 1 million households, helping them refinance at today’s strikingly-low interest rates and lowering their mortgage payments.

    There are, of course, concerns about the scope of the effort. It’s a modest program that won’t directly affect most of those underwater, and there are questions about exactly how much savings the typical participant will find. That said, the administration is also taking steps to improve the existing HARP to provide more options to the rest of the underwater population.

    So, will the program help? For those participating, yes, possibly quite a bit. But the larger economic impact is limited because the economy needs a more substantial jolt. Passing the American Jobs Act would be far more significant, but congressional Republicans refuse.

    Still, Brian Beutler reports there are some experts who see cause for cautious optimism.

    Under the restrung HARP, I expect an additional 1.05 million [refinancings] through the end of 2012 and 1.6 million [refinancings] through the end of 2013 when the program ends,” said Moody’s top economist Mark Zandi in an email. “While HARP won’t live up to the initial expectations of 4-5 million in refinancings, the program will ultimately provide a meaningful boost to the broader economy as financially stressed households will benefit from much lower mortgage payments. It will also provide a bit of help to the housing market by forestalling some mortgage defaults.”

    “While I think this was a very positive step, it isn’t a magic bullet for the housing market and economy,” Zandi added. “Policymakers will thus very likely have to do more to support the housing market and economy.”

    Paul Krugman pointed to this analysis from economist Joe Gagnon, who believes the positive impact of the policy may be even more significant.

    And, of course, there’s the prospect of an indirect stimulative benefit. If struggling homeowners are able to bring down their monthly payments, they’ll have some additional money in their pocket — potentially, a few thousand dollars a year — that they can spend.

    It’s a modest step, but at least it’s in the right direction. Coupled with other steps, we might even start to see some larger progress. It certainly beats watching Congress implode into an obstructionist mess.


  42. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011 8:35 AM

    Rick Perry has a tax plan

    By Steve Benen

    Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry, desperate to get his flailing campaign back on track, has a new idea. He calls it “Cut, Balance and Grow” (not to be confused with “Cut, Cap, and Balance”), and presents his pitch in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning.

    While Perry’s plan has some fairly dramatic flaws — it’s a comical right-wing fantasy, built on numbers that don’t add up — I’ll at least give him credit for thinking big. Some candidates would be content unveiling a ridiculous flat-tax proposal, but the Texas governor is pushing a ridiculous flat-tax proposal and a ridiculous plan for partial privatization of Social Security and a ridiculous effort to eliminate the Estate Tax and eliminating the capital-gains tax to 0%.

    But wait, there’s more. Perry also intends to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act and remove safeguards from the financial industry and amend the U.S. Constitution to require balanced budgets and impose draconian caps on all federal spending.

    How would Perry pay for all of these massive tax cuts? He doesn’t say. But don’t worry, the governor believes he can do all of this while also balancing the budget.

    Is anyone really supposed to take this nonsense seriously?

    I especially enjoyed Kevin Drum’s take.

    What can you even say about this? It sounds less like a tax plan than a big ol’ stew pot of right-wing applause lines, all the way up to the inane insistence that eliminating the estate tax has nothing to do with rich people and is only designed to provide “needed certainty to American family farms and small businesses.” Should we laugh or cry? Perry has actually managed to combine two separate conservative memes (the estate tax is all about family farms, uncertainty is hobbling the economy) into one single sentence that makes even less sense than either of them separately. It’s hard not to be impressed.

    I’d add, by the way, that the governor chatted with John Harwood about his plan, in an interview that aired this morning on CNBC. When Harwood noted that the plan looks like a massive giveaway to the rich, Perry replied, “I don’t care. I care about them having money to invest.”

    In other words, Perry isn’t pretending about his intentions. The goal here is to identify those who already have the most money — and who are already getting richer all the time, consolidating an ever-growing percentage of the nation’s wealth — and shower these fortunate few with even more expansive tax breaks so they’ll have even more riches. Perry will try to pay for some of this by, of course, gutting measures that benefit working families.

    This isn’t a tax policy. It’s a bad comedy.


  43. Obama tells supporters it’s going to be a tough fight

    ‘This election will not be as sexy as the last one,’ he says at a Los Angeles fundraiser. He started the day in Las Vegas and will also visit Colorado.


    President Obama opened an aggressive Western fundraising swing Monday, closing out the day in Los Angeles with an appeal to supporters to prepare for a grueling reelection effort.

    At an intimate fundraising dinner in Hancock Park, Obama spoke softly to a few dozen supporters who had paid $35,800 each to greet him.

    “I’ve said this before — this election will not be as sexy as the first one,” the president said. “Back then it was still fresh and new. I didn’t have any gray hair. Everybody loved the ‘Hope’ posters and all that. This time it’s — we’ve got to grind it out a little bit. We’ve got to grind it out. But the cause is the same. And my passion is the same. And my commitment is the same.”

    The gathering, at the home of movie producer James Lassiter and his wife, Mai, was one of six events Obama had planned in three days of stops in Nevada, California and Colorado, as he kept up a torrid fundraising pace that is far surpassing that of the GOP presidential field.

    Two Los Angeles gatherings Monday were celebrity-flecked, with the first including actor Will Smith and former Laker Magic Johnson. The second and larger event was at the home of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, with per-seat tickets starting at $5,000.

  44. rikyrah says:

    October 24, 2011
    Cruel justice

    One is led inexorably to ask: Has there ever been a more incompetent presidential campaign than Michele Bachmann’s?

    OK, so Rick Perry is already running a close second, but, come on, Bachmann appears headed, hands down, as the chief inductee into the Political Clusterfuck Hall of Infamy.

    This is great, not that I’m “into” schadenfreude or anything like that, although I am, and quite pointedly so when it comes to the troubles of proto-theocratic fascists. Which is to say, I happily reconvey here the beauty of this report about her very erstwhile New Hampshire staff, which writes today to the general population:

    The manner in which some in the national team conducted themselves towards Team-N.H. was rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel … [and] more concerning was how abrasive, discourteous, and dismissive some within the national team were towards many New Hampshire citizens.

    The Hill story quotes Bachmann’s bullshit artist spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, who earlier appeared on MSNBC: “[W]e had a few people that left, we still have some people there, we’re bringing more on.” I happened to see that segment live, and this lady was a true virtuoso at the banishment of dark news. I rather admired her pluck, especially when she boldly reminded us, the audience, that Ste. Michele is “pro-family” and “pro-defense.”


  45. rikyrah says:

    October 25, 2011
    Brooks, as vintage Limbaugh

    David Brooks’ latest scolding:

    Obama, who sounded so fresh in 2008, now sometimes sounds a bit like Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi. Obama, who inspired the country, now threatens to run a campaign that is viciously negative. Obama, who is still widely admired because he is reasonable and calm, is in danger of squandering his best asset by pretending to be someone he is not. Obama, a natural unifier and conciliator, seems on the verge of running as a divisive populist while accusing Mitt Romney, his possible opponent, of being inauthentic.

    I shadow Brooks more than other conservative scribes because he sets the pace for the kind of GOP Establishment critique that will soon be wallpapering hosannas to Mitt, the GOP’s inevitable — and, to the Establishment, inevitably disappointing — nominee. It’s cheap and easy intelligence gathering; no muss, little fuss. I’ve modified that cliche, however, because Brooks has entered an undisguised fussy stage, one in which he can’t quite warm to the barren reality that Obama faces, brought to the president by Brooks’ own, extraordinarily “vicious,” “divisive,” “inauthentic” party.

    True enough, for two years of Obama’s presidency he demonstrated all of the sophisticated qualities that Brooks notes: He graciously bowed to the minority party’s concerns on the stimulus package and healthcare and taxation, far more than his base desired. But this summer — at the 2.5-year mark — with the minority party then the majority, in the House, it characteristically overreached; it bolted, it bounded, it utterly soared into the vast beyond of abject unreasonableness over the debt ceiling. And Obama got burned. Bad. Had the president refused to politically adjust in the debacle’s aftermath, one could sensibly add “delusional” to his list of personal qualities.

    Nonetheless, Brooks wishes to pretend that President Obama should proceed into 2012 as though all is pretty much well, except for Obama’s mistakes: as though Obama’s opponents are traditional, honest brokers of an honest conservatism; as though Obama is “viciously” pushing a false populist narrative of needed, fundamental reforms; as though Obama is somehow tragically transmogrifying into a frenzied, irrational demagogue who adores division and malice.

    This is vintage Rush Limbaugh crap; a despicable op-ed playbook of table-turning offense designed for susceptible nitwits and rubes. It’s hyperpartisan, it’s tactical, it’s deceptive and devious — and it’s unworthy of David Brooks, who generally has trended analytic.


  46. rikyrah says:

    How Hard Can it Be to Win GOP Nomination?
    by BooMan
    Tue Oct 25th, 2011 at 12:36:20 AM EST

    Okay, this ad is pretty comical. I love how it promotes smoking.

    If Herman Cain didn’t have a long history of being a conservative, I’d begin to suspect that he’s just pulling the GOP’s chain. One thing is for sure; he’s not taking this race seriously. And, yet, he has an 8-10 point advantage in the Iowa polls; he’s in second place in New Hampshire; he’s up by ten points in South Carolina, and he’s tied with Romney nationally.

    And he’s done this without really even trying.


  47. Talking Points Memo:

    House GOP lays a trap for Obama on his jobs plan: http://tpm.ly/rEZT4o

  48. rikyrah says:

    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Alums Targeted By Serial Rapist, According To Police In Plano, Texas (VIDEO)

    A serial rapist appears to be preying on the Dallas-Fort Worth-area alumni of a single sorority.

    Sisters in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority have been warned to take precautions as police in Plano, Coppell and Corinth investigate what are believed to be serial sexual assaults committed against four African American women in their mid-50s to mid-60s — all of whom were affiliated with one sorority alumni organization.

    The attacks began 11 months ago and occurred as recently as Oct. 14. Each of the assaults took place between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. in the victims’ homes, and in every incident the perpetrator revealed he knew personal information about the victim, according to Plano Police. Police did not disclose what that personal information was.

    Investigators have released footage believed to be related to an attack in Plano in April.

    Officials did not disclose a motive for the sexual assaults, but police believe the cases are linked due to their “glaring similarities.”

    “Throughout the agency and the [Dallas-Fort Worth] metroplex itself, we have investigated a number of serial crimes,” Plano Police Public Information Officer Andre Smith told The Huffington Post. “But for one to target one specific organization — that is rather unique.”

    Smith did not disclose the name of the sorority that the perpetrator is thought to be targeting, though police have been in touch with the Greek organization’s chapters.

    “We don’t want to give any other sorority a sense of false security, thinking he’s not coming after us,” Smith said.

    Local news outlets have identified the sorority as Delta Sigma Theta, a predominately African-American organization with nearly 1,000 chapters worldwide.

    In a statement published on the sorority’s website, sorority officials urged members in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to “take precautionary measures.”

    “Since receiving news of these incidents, our primary concern has been the safety of our members,” said Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, Delta Sigma Theta’s national president. “While it is not yet confirmed that these victims were targeted because of their affiliation with the sorority, we are erring on the side of caution and are advising our members in the Dallas area to take the necessary precautionary measures. We encourage members to be alert, remain aware of their surroundings and to call the police if they see anything suspicious or feel threatened.”

    Investigators say their biggest lead could be the video clip from Plano.


  49. Gaddafi Dead: Burial Of Gaddafi, Muatassim And Abu Bakr Younis In Secret Location


    MISRATA, Libya — Longtime Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, his son Muatassim and a top aide were buried in an Islamic ceremony at dawn Tuesday in a secret location, with a few relatives and officials in attendance, officials said.

    The burial closed the book on Gadhafi’s nearly 42-year rule and the 8-month civil war to oust him, but did not silence international calls for an investigation into whether the widely despised tyrant was executed by his captors.

    Meanwhile, a government spokesman said an explosion rocked a fuel depot near Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte on Monday and that there were casualties. Col. Ahmed Bani said the blast is being treated as an accident, but that an investigation has been launched.

    A human rights researcher, Tirana Hassan, said that while in Sirte on Monday, said she saw 11 people with severe burns arrive at the city’s Ibn Sina hospital. Nurses said the injuries were from the blast.

  50. Talking Points Memo:

    Sorry Governor Kasich — looks like SB5 is going down in flames http://tpm.ly/tHoQUO

  51. Perry On Obama Birtherism: ‘It’s a good issue to keep alive’


    In an interview with John Harwood of CNBC, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was asked about his comments in Parade magazine over the weekend, in which he seemed to salute the increasingly lonely flame of Obama birtherism.

    “It’s a good issue to keep alive. It’s fun to poke at him,” Perry said.

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