Serendiptiy SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Chaka Khan Week!

Happy MUN-ane, Everyone!  Love me Still was written by Bruce Hornsby.

Wiki:  Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens; March 23, 1953), frequently known as the Queen of Funk, is a 10-time Grammy Award winning American singer and composer who gained fame in the 1970s as the frontwoman and focal point of the funk band Rufus. While still a member of the group in 1978, Khan embarked on a successful solo career. Her signature hits, both with Rufus and as a solo performer, include “Tell Me Something Good“, “Sweet Thing“, “Ain’t Nobody“, “I’m Every Woman“, “I Feel for You” and “Through the Fire“.

Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens in 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised in Chicago’s rough Southside projects, Khan was the eldest of five children to Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman. Her sister Yvonne Stevens later became a successful musician in her own right under the name Taka Boom. Her only brother Mark Stevens, who formed the funk group Aurra, also became a successful musician. She has two other sisters, Kathleen Burrell and Tammy McCrary, who is her current manager.[1] Unlike many of her musical contemporaries, Khan was raised as Roman Catholic. Khan attributed her love of music to her grandmother, who introduced her to jazz music as a child. Khan became a fan of R&B music as a preteen and at eleven formed her first all-female singing group the Crystalettes, which also included her sister Taka. In the late 1960s, Khan and her sister formed the vocal group Shades of Black and joined the Black Panther Party after befriending fellow member, activist and Chicago native Fred Hampton in 1967.[2] While a member, she was given a name change to Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi by an African shaman.

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89 Responses to Serendiptiy SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Chaka Khan Week!

  1. The hands of U.S. President Barack Obama holding a pen as he signs an Executive Order directing the Food and Drug Administration to take action to help prevent and reduce prescription drug shortages at the White House October 31, 2011 in Washington DC.

  2. WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 31: U.S. President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order directing the Food and Drug Administration to take action to help prevent and reduce prescription drug shortages as he is joined by (L-R) Bonnie Frawley, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Jay Cuetara and FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg at the White House October 31, 2011 in Washington DC. The order also protects consumers and from price gouging on medications.

  3. Ed Rollins: Michele Bachmann ‘Out Of Money And Ideas,’ Can’t Expect To Win In Iowa

    Ed Rollins, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s former campaign manager, had some harsh words on Monday for the Minnesota congresswoman.

    Speaking to ABC News, Rollins said that Bachmann has little chance of victory in next year’s Iowa caucuses and that she is “out of money and ideas.” Rollins elaborates in the full story:

    “She’s still saying the same things she said in the first the debate. There’s no substance. She says, ‘I’m going to repeal Obamacare.’ But she’s been saying that from Day 1. I told her: That’s your Tea Party speech, now you have to say what you’re going to do next.”

  4. Ametia says:

    MHP on the Last Word says Cain might get a lil frisky? WTF?

  5. rikyrah says:

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Cain Timeline (Work in Progress)
    Josh Marshall October 31, 2011, 5:32 PM 931

    I’m trying to put together a Herman Cain harassment timeline. This is a work in progress because I’m having a hard time keep track of it all. So bear with me.

    1. Politico allegations are false. Story is crap.

    2. Yes, there were allegations. But they were false.

    3. Yes there were allegations that were false and I don’t know what money was paid.

    4. I don’t know whether money was paid. And it would be wrong for me to find out whether money was paid because it’s confidential.

    5. There was a in-depth investigation. And I was cleared. But I don’t know anything about it.

    6. Here’s the gesture that led to my getting accused of harassment.

    7. Okay, I remember some discussion of a settlement number.

    This baby is enough of a moving target I think we need to crowd source it. Which parts am I missing?

  6. rikyrah says:

    Friday, October 28, 2011
    Debt ceiling deal is starting to change the conversation

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the debt ceiling deal would soon start to prompt interesting questions that are likely to affect the 2012 election campaigns. This week, we’ve seen some of that start to happen.

    With the deadline for the Super Committee to vote on a deficit reduction plan looming in less than a month, both parties have submitted plans that pretty much mirror the stalemate that led to the creation of the committee in the first place. In other words, Democrats proposed a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases while the Republicans will have none of the later. So the situation is as deadlocked as it was in the past.

    Some chatter about what happens if the committee fails and the triggers kick in is starting to happen…especially the part where defense spending would get cut by about $600 billion. And the Republican response is fascinating, – but predictable. All of the sudden, they’re singing a totally different tune about the dangers of government spending cuts on our economy.

    “What’s more, cutting our military—either by eliminating programs or laying off soldiers—brings grave economic costs,” wrote Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week. “[I]f the super committee fails to reach an agreement, its automatic cuts would kill upwards of 800,000 active-duty, civilian and industrial American jobs. This would inflate our unemployment rate by a full percentage point, close shipyards and assembly lines, and damage the industrial base that our warfighters need to stay fully supplied and equipped.”

    Wasn’t it just recently that when Speaker Boehner was asked about spending cuts leading to government job losses his response was “So be it?”

    Now all of the sudden Republicans are embracing the very arguments that they’ve spent the last year and a half denying. Do you suppose the conversation about the economy and public sector jobs is likely to get very interesting in the next few months? And do you suspect that perhaps that’s exactly what Obama and the Democrats had in mind when they agreed to this deal? Of course.

    Finally, do you think that perhaps the poutragers who so quickly bought into Speaker Boehner’s lies about “getting 98% of what he wanted” will re-think their analysis? Nah, me neither.

    Posted by Smartypants at 9:26 AM

    Cain Changes His Tune On Sexual Harassment Settlement

    In an interview airing on Fox News on Monday night, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says that a financial settlement was paid to one of two women who accused him of sexual harassment while he was serving as head of the National Restaurant Association over a decade ago.

  8. Let Herman be gone

    Responding to his insurgent campaign’s first crisis, Herman Cain was upbeat and defiant. “To quote my chief of staff and all the people around this country, ‘Let Herman be Herman,’ ” he said Monday. “And Herman is gonna stay Herman.”

    I was afraid of that.

    Cain’s policy positions range from the ignorant to the unworkable to the just plain goofy — and yet he is running first or second in most polls for the Republican presidential nomination. He trumpets his utter lack of government experience as a selling point and boasts of not knowing foreign leaders’ names. If through some bizarre series of events he were actually elected president, the result would surely be an unmitigated disaster.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    October 31, 2011 4:45 PM

    An aversion to ‘too many facts’

    By Steve Benen

    Republican pollster Ed Rogers recently reflected on “the psychology of GOP activists,” most notably in the context of the presidential nominating contest. (via DougJ)

    Our team wants someone authentic, creative, fresh, bold and likeable. And we don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information. In politics, a bumper sticker always beats an essay. Cain’s 9-9-9 is a bumper sticker; Romney’s economic plan is an essay. Perry’s rationale for giving the children of undocumented workers in-state college tuition rates is an essay. No hand-outs for illegal aliens is an effective bumper sticker.

    It may seem rather insulting to rank-and-file Republican voters to hear a prominent GOP pollster say they have an aversion to “facts” and “information,” but that only makes Rogers’ candor that much more refreshing. His assessment may be mildly impolite, but it seems fair given what we’ve seen in Republican politics of late.

    My larger concern, though, isn’t limited to Republican voters’ discomfort with evidence. The real problem, it seems to me, is that these voters are represented to Republican policymakers who also “don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.”

    I continue to believe the radicalization of the Republican Party is the most important political development in recent decades, but it’s accompanied by a related trend: GOP officials who simply don’t take public policy seriously.

    With Rogers’ assessment in mind, it’s tempting to think Republican lawmakers in Congress, for example, simply dumb things down for public consumption. They avoid depth of thought because these officials know their supports “don’t have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.”

    But are they dumbing things down or are the shallow sound-bites a reflection of their own limited understanding of contemporary debates?

    It would seem this dynamic contributes to the “wonk gap” — which has been evident for quite some time — leaving us with conservative “experts” who don’t even fully appreciate the details of policy debates in their own fields.

    I’m reminded of something Jon Chait wrote in January, after National Review published a defense of a health care policy argument that was, on its face, ridiculous.

    Most people are not policy wonks. We really on trusted specialists to translate these details for us. This is true as well of elected officials and their advisors. Part of the extraordinary vitriol of the health care debate stems from the fact that, on the Republican side, even the specialists believe things that are simply patently untrue. As with climate change and supply-side economics, there isn’t even a common reality upon which to base the discussion.

    Paul Krugman added at the time the wonk gap goes well beyond health care: “Monetary policy, fiscal policy, you name it, there’s a gap…. [T]o meet the right’s standards of political correctness now, you have to pass into another dimension, a dimension whose boundaries are that of imagination, untrammeled by things like arithmetic or logic.”

    The issue is not just someone on the left thinking those on the right have the wrong answers. Rather, the issue is the lack of intellectual seriousness on the right, making it impossible to get beyond the questions. Much of this, I suspect, is the result of an entire party that doesn’t “have much tolerance for too many facts or too much information.”

  10. Americassoul:

    A Cain quote is appropriate right now: If you get sued for sex harassment & pay settlement,

  11. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 31, 2011
    Republicans diss Hispanics…again

    Now that Perry has pulled a “Romney” and flip-flopped on participating in GOP presidential debates, it looks like we’re in for more of the clown show.

    But Republican candidates are united in one thing…they won’t participate in a debate on Univision.

    There are almost 12 million potential Hispanic voters in the United States. And both parties say they are eager to court their votes. So one has to wonder why the Republican presidential contenders would miss the chance to debate before the largest possible audience of Spanish-language television viewers.

    This month, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman Jr., Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich said they would not participate in a debate on Univision tentatively scheduled for Jan. 29, before Florida’s Republican primary. Instead, they are expected to debate in December on NBC’s Telemundo, which has less than a third of Univision’s typical evening audience.

    You might wonder why these GOP candidates would want to miss out on the opportunity to reach out to so many Hispanic voters.

    The candidates will be asked about immigration whatever Spanish-language network they are on. But on Univision they were to be questioned by Jorge Ramos, a Mexican-American anchor who has been harshly critical of policies to crack down on undocumented immigrants and openly supports a path to legalization. On Telemundo, they will face its less hard-charging host, Jose Diaz-Balart, a Cuban-American who is the brother of two powerful Florida Republicans, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and former Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

    Jorge Ramos has certainly never given President Obama a pass when it comes to asking hard questions, but the two of them have conversed several times both before and after the 2008 election. You might remember that the President did a town hall forum on education at Univision that was also hosted by Ramos.

    Republicans, on the other hand, seem to only want rabid right-wing audiences that cheer things like electric fences on the Mexican border. I doubt that kind of talk would go over very well with Ramos or the Univision audience.

    Posted by Smartypants at 8:29 AM

  12. rikyrah says:

    Friday, October 28, 2011
    Who will have Attorney General Holder’s back?

    When the Republicans took over the House in 2010, here’s the warning shot sounded by the New York Times.

    When the Obama administration wakes up next month to a divided capital, no cabinet member will be facing a more miserable prospect of oversight hearings and subpoenas than Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

    Mr. Holder is a particularly juicy target because he presides over issues that have served as recurrent fodder for political controversy — including using the criminal justice system for terrorism cases, and federal enforcement of civil rights and immigration laws.

    While stirred up controversies like the one about the New Black Panther Party didn’t pan out for them, Republicans have nevertheless been on the hunt for something that would take down AG Holder. At this point, they think they’ve found that something in a controversy that the MSM and progressive blogs are pretty completely ignoring…the Arizona ATF’s Fast and Furious operation. As the Daily Caller notes today, eight Republican House members have now called for Holder’s resignation.

    While they’ve not yet grown this thing into a full-fledged scandal, I have every confidence that they’ll keep trying. As the article from the NYT says, these folks see AG Holder as a threat to some things that are very important issues to them – terrorism cases, federal enforcement of civil rights, and immigration laws.

    In the tab up at the top of this blog titled “DOJ Watch,” I’ve been documenting some of the things Holder and the DOJ have been doing with regards to these issues. The list is long, including tackling police brutality, prosecuting the police murders on the Danzinger Bridge following Katrina, negotiating a settlement between the Dept. of Agriculture and African American farmers, fighting for the Fair Sentencing Act (and its application retroactively), prosecuting banks for reverse redlining, investigating racial profiling, protecting women’s access to health care clinics, prosecuting draconian immigration laws, and challenging the Texas anti-Hispanic redistricting plan.

    Of course AG Holder has also been in the forefront of taking on Congress over their legislation to block of the administration from shutting down Guantanamo and dealing with the public outcry over his proposal to try detainees in civilian courts.

    These are all issues that should lead progressives to stand firmly behind him as these attacks mount. But there is virtual silence on the left, and worse, the potential for the poutragers to join with the right in calling for his resignation. That is fueled by the left’s anger at Holder for 3 things:

    1. He didn’t prosecute Bush/Cheney for torture,
    2. They think he hasn’t done enough to prosecute people responsible for the financial collapse, and
    3. The DOJ’s mixed messages on going after businesses that sell medical marijuana in states where that is legal.

    While I agree with the third criticism, what fuels the first two is an ignorance about the possibilities. For example, in 2009 Congress passed the Military Commissions Act which pretty much eviscerated the possibility of prosecutions for U.S. torture. And the sad reality is that much of what Wall Street did to create the 2008 economic crash was legal.

    So while much of the left is focused on being angry with our Attorney General for things he could never accomplish, they have completely ignored the important work he is doing that has led the right to go after him with a vengeance.

    As things heat up for AG Holder with accusations from the right, I hope the Obama administration will stand behind him 100%. I know that I will.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:09 PM ET, 10/31/2011
    The eternal campaign to depict Michelle Obama as `angry’
    By Greg Sargent

    A new Washington Times piece called “the very angry first lady Michelle Obama” is making the rounds on Drudge and Fox. Simon Malloy comments:

    The idea that the first lady is publicly and uncontrollably “angry” — frequently alleged, never demonstrated — has been kicked around in the conservative blogosphere since the early days of campaign ‘08 and is reasserting itself as the 2012 season revs up.

    Or, as Atrios puts it: “MICHELLE SMASH.”

    So how’s that campaign coming, anyway? Here’s a clue, courtesy of the new Marist poll:

    When President Barack Obama hits the campaign trail, it probably wouldn’t hurt to bring his wife along. 63% of registered voters nationally have a positive impression of First Lady Michelle Obama. 21%, however, have an unfavorable view of Mrs. Obama, and 16% are unsure how to rate her.

    Little has changed since Marist last reported this question in May. At that time, 66% thought highly of Michelle Obama, 17% had a less than stellar opinion of her, and 17% were unsure.

    Most Democrats — 85% — and nearly six in ten independent voters — 58% — think well of Michelle Obama. Even 42% of Republicans share this view.

    Oh, well. Looks like Operation Michelle Smash isn’t working out too well.

    At what point are these good people going to realize that this line of attack is a complete and total bust? It has taken many forms over the years, from the early criticism of her claim that she’s really proud of her country for the first time, to the recent attacks over that bogus video supposedly showing her sneering about the flag at a 9/11 ceremony. None of it has moved the needle at all.

    Presumably this campaign is about pushing the cultural buttons of a certain type of cautious moderate. But anyone who would find this kind of stuff persuasive has already made up his or her mind about the First Lady. It’s hard to see the political upside in attacking someone with a 63 percent approval rating. It’s even harder to see how personal attacks on the First Lady will do anything but make her more sympathetic to the voters this campaign is designed to reach, to the degree it’s got any coherent objective at all. The fantasy about raging or sneeringly elitist Democratic first ladies just won’t die among a tiny slice of voters, but when it comes to the broader electorate, those cultural cues just don’t have any potency anymore.

    But, hey, keep hope alive! That silver-bullet video has to be out there somewhere.

  14. Jay and Haley is getting ready to go to the Fall Festival. Jay is dressed as a Ninja and I said to him…”Who are you and what are you doing here? I’m getting out of here”. Jay said, it’s me granny, don’t be scared. :)

  15. Chris Matthews need smacking. Why can’t President Obama be himself? President Obama is a BLACK man. Get over yourselves, bee.itches.

  16. Letters Reveal Eric Cantor Begged For Obama Stimulus Money To Create Jobs

  17. Va Republican party condemns Loudoun GOP e-mail with an image of Obama shot in the head

    The Republican Party of Virginia is strongly condemning an e-mail sent by Loudoun County’s GOP committee that shows President Obama as a zombie with part of his skull missing and a bullet through his head.

    “The disgusting image used today on a mass e-mail has no place in our politics. Ever,’’ said Pat Mullins, chairman of the state party. “The Republican Party of Virginia condemns the image and its use in the strongest possible terms.”

    Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) called the e-mail “shameful and offensive,’’ his spokesman Tucker Martin said. “He calls on those involved to apologize for their actions, and to immediately ensure that such imagery is never used again. The governor has long stressed the need for more civility and respect in our politics. An e-mail like this one undermines those goals, offends all Virginians and discredits our entire political process. It will not be tolerated.”

  18. 2012 Presidential Debate Schedule: Commission On Presidential Debates Names Sites Of Official Contests

    WASHINGTON — The committee that sponsors presidential debates during the general election has chosen Denver, Hempstead, N.Y., and Boca Raton, Fla., as the sites for three debates in October 2012.

    One vice presidential debate will be held in Danville, Ky., the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday.

    The debates between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger will take place Oct. 3 at the University of Denver, Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. The vice presidential debate is set for Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

    Washington University in St. Louis will serve as a backup site.

  19. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011 3:50 PM

    Cain is not without his defenders

    By Steve Benen

    Right Wing Watch rounds up some of the higher-profile defenses Herman Cain has received today in light of his sexual harassment allegations, but it was Rush Limbaugh’s tirade that stood out for me.

    As Limbaugh sees it, the media is racist. There was no evidence he was kidding.

    “You know, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, folks. After all of these years, none of us should be surprised, but I still am. Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative. […]

    “What’s next, folks? A cartoon on MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon? What are they gonna do next? No, Snerdley, I’m not kidding. The racial stereotypes that these people are using to go after Herman Cain, what is the one thing that it tells us? It tells us who the real racists are, yeah, but it tells us that Herman Cain is somebody.”

    A couple of things. First, if we want to know “who the real racists are” in media, we’d start with Rush Limbaugh.

    Second, the Cain campaign isn’t even denying the basic premise of the Politico article that Limbaugh is so worked up about. The piece said Cain was accused of sexual harassment; Cain has said he was accused of sexual harassment. The piece said Cain’s accusers left after a financial settlement, and the campaign isn’t disputing this, either. So what is it, exactly, that the “mainstream media” has done to offend?

    And third, I’ll concede that I don’t generally keep up on what bigots are saying about various groups, but there’s a “racial stereotype” that African-American men in the workplace sexually harass their female employees? Since when?

    What on earth is Limbaugh talking about?

  20. rikyrah says:

    Prince George’s County: Growing, and growing more segregated, census shows
    By Ovetta Wiggins, Carol Morello and Dan Keating,
    Published: October 30

    This is the second in a two-part series on residential segregation in the Washington region and other parts of the country. (Read Part 1.)

    Colonial and Georgian manses are rising at the Hamptons at Woodmore in Bowie, featuring four-car garages, opulent kitchens and model names such as Tara.

    The fact that all the residents so far are African American, many of them new to Prince George’s County, underscores just how differently the county is evolving compared with the rest of the Washington region.

    From Loudoun to Fairfax to Montgomery, communities that are growing are also growing more integrated, with people of every race and ethnicity living side by side. Prince George’s stands virtually alone as a place that is gaining population yet has an increasing number of residents living in neighborhoods that are overwhelmingly one race — in this case, African American.

    A Washington Post analysis of census data shows that the number of Prince George’s neighborhoods where more than 85 percent of residents are the same race or ethnicity — what demographers consider a high level of segregation — has inched up, from 25 percent in 1990 to 27 percent last year.

    Though the increase is small, any uptick is startling in comparison with everywhere else in the region. While the all-white neighborhood has all but disappeared from Northern Virginia, Montgomery and the District, the all-black neighborhood is on the rise in Prince George’s.

    Behind the shift

    Four factors are driving the changes in Prince George’s: It remains a beacon for middle-class African Americans who want to live around other blacks. It continues to lose non-Hispanic whites, and few whites are moving in. It has been less successful than neighboring counties in attracting Asians. And its fastest-growing group, Hispanics, are carving out enclaves of their own instead of dispersing throughout the county.

    The result has been a dramatic shift in the nature of segregation in Prince George’s. Twenty years ago, fully a third of the county’s segregated neighborhoods were white. Today, none are. And there are only a few communities where whites are a majority, mostly in College Park.

    Meanwhile, the arrival of affluent and accomplished blacks — not only from the District and surrounding counties but from throughout the nation — has transformed vast swaths of the county. More than a third of the county’s African American residents live in neighborhoods that are more than 85 percent black. From Bowie to Brandywine, three-quarters of the neighborhoods where household incomes surpass $100,000 are majority African American.

    The Hamptons at Woodmore, where Sterling Crockett lives, is shaping up to be another one.

    The black business executive, who could afford to live just about anywhere, moved from North Bethesda to Bowie four years ago with his wife, Florence.

    To appreciate some of the reasons why, go back to the small town in southwestern Virginia where Crockett was one of only four black students in his graduating class.

    An elementary school teacher once ordered a white classmate not to share her scissors with Crockett, and his high school hosted a “slave day,” auctioning off athletes to raise money.

  21. Ametia says:

    The only thing missing is that shufflin, coonin pic SG2! Where is it?

  22. rikyrah says:

    October 30, 2011
    The potential of political realignment
    The Times’ Frank Bruni scratches the thickening surface:

    In terms of real progress on jobs creation, infrastructure and other matters central to our economic predicament, we could be looking at a solid year of nothingness, and therein lies another of the moment’s disconnects….

    What worries me isn’t the Cain surge or the Bachmann boomlet before it, but the likelihood that when Americans do focus, more and more will see nothing hopeful happening and a motley crew of politicians who are merely blowing smoke.

    What happens then?

    What happens then, indeed — both short and long term.

    As for the former, there’s little reasonable doubt about the politically predictive indictment of “a solid year of nothingness.” The GOP has staked its affirmative defense on a weird sort of hazy, free-market nirvana that we never had, and to which it wants a return, while its grilling of President Obama rests on a prosecution of his big-government socialism (as opposed to George W. Bush’s even bigger-government plutocracy). With the tea party in primary control, any fundamental change in Republican strategy is exceedingly improbable.

    From the presidential and Democratic table we’ve seen more than the blowing of smoke. The dead end of their job-creation proposals — thanks to the GOP’s arms-folded obstruction of virtually every facet — may look like smoldering futility, yet serious proposals the Dems have in fact offered, unlike the hallucinatory Republicans in effective charge of this miserable Congress.

    In pondering the long-term possibilities, one popular option is to indulge in the shortest of shortsighted perspectives. Yesterday, Bruni’s op-ed colleague, Charles Blow, wallowed in the immediacy of our woes as though there was never a doppelganging yesteryear:

    We are slowly — and painfully — being forced to realize that we are no longer the America of our imaginations….

    We sold ourselves a pipe dream that everyone could get rich and no one would get hurt — a pipe dream that exploded like a pipe bomb when the already-rich grabbed for all the gold; when they used their fortunes to influence government and gain favors and protection; when everyone else was left to scrounge around their ankles in hopes that a few coins would fall.

    I resist sobering didacticism, yet Blow’s intoxicated economic history gets the better of me. He doesn’t explicitly assert that pipe dreams and plutocratic robbery are only contemporary phenomena of the American Experiment, but imply it, Blow does. Gone are A. Hamilton’s aristocratic foundations of the American economy; gone are the early 19th-century political wars of small-government Jacksonianism vs. big-government Whiggism; gone is the wretched Gilded Age; gone is the equally wretched Age of Coolidgism-Hooverism and its devastating consequence of vast economic depression.

    Yet somehow — a much, much longer story — we recovered from each of these execrable ages: in brief, through more sophisticated economic theories and planning, through technological growth, through business rationalization and worker unionization, through a grueling expansion of civil and human rights, through more than cliches of social safety nets, through intense wars and through focused peace, and, perhaps above all, through political realignments.

    Workers’ pipe dreams and the rich grabbing the gold and influencing government and gaining favors? Oh my. Do tell. My dear Mr. Blow, that’s not modern history — that’s recorded history.

    As a cynic — i.e., a student of history — I also naturally resist pollyanishness. Yet it seems to my objective me that President Obama is navigating not only a wise course of the long game, but the only course of wisdom, one historically grounded. Shit happens, but things do change — particularly when presidential leadership conscripts popular opinion to its side. Then, abolitionism becomes possible, Progressivism becomes possible, New Dealism becomes possible, a postwar economic “pipe dream” becomes possible, and so with the 21st century, assuming a presidentially inspired political realignment.

    Which is only to say, Let’s not get too down. (Not yet.)

  23. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 31, 2011 2:45 PM

    The war on voting continues apace

    By Steve Benen

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    David Savage has a terrific piece on the Republicans’ war on voting, offering another stark reminder of the barriers GOP officials are putting between certain kinds of Americans and the ballot box.

    Barack Obama may have won this crucial state [Florida] three years ago on the Sunday before election day when “souls to the polls” drives brought a surge of blacks and Latinos to cast ballots after church.

    Florida had opened the polls two weeks early, and even so, long lines across the state prompted the governor to issue an emergency order extending the hours for early voting. Propelled by waves of new voters including college students, Obama eked out a win with 51%.

    It will be different next year, a result of changes in the voting laws adopted by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

    Early voting was reduced from two weeks to one week. Voting on the Sunday before election day was eliminated. College students face new hurdles if they want to vote away from home. And those who register new voters face the threat of fines for procedural errors, prompting the nonpartisan League of Women Voters to suspend voter registration drives and accuse the Legislature of “reverting to Jim Crow-like tactics.”

    It’s not called the “war on voting” for nothing.

    I’m not sure how much clearer the circumstances can be. Republican officials in a variety of states are trying to rig the 2012 elections by making it harder for Americans most likely to vote Democratic — African Americans, students, the poor, the elderly — to participate in elections. It’s really as simple as that. They’re not even being subtle.

    One leading GOP policymaker in the Florida legislature told Savage that coting “is a hard-fought privilege. This is something people died for. Why should we make it easier?”

    That’s a ridiculous question. Why should policymakers offer more access to Americans to participate in their own elections? Perhaps because we live in a democracy made more vibrant by Americans who choose to cast a ballot?

    Here’s a better question for Republicans: why should they deliberately make it harder to vote?

    Race clearly plays a role. Risa Goluboff and Dahlia Lithwick recently noted that the Republican efforts to restricting voting rights in 2012 look “an awful lot like methods pioneered by the white supremacists from another era that achieved the similar results.”

    As for the other side of the debate, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in an apparent attempt at self-parody, said restrictions on voting are worthwhile because of “the infamous example of ACORN.” Seriously, he actually said that. (Reminder: voter fraud is a myth limited to right-wing imaginations, and ACORN no longer exists and was never found to have engaged in election irregularities.)

    Remember, we’re not just talking about a state or two. This is, as Savage’s article noted, “a national trend,” occurring in states “where Republicans have taken majority control,” including key battlegrounds like Ohio. One independent study projected that GOP restrictions “could make it significantly harder for more than 5 million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.”

    Richard Hasen, an election law expert at UC Irvine, told Savage the new Republican rules “could easily decide the outcome” of next year’s election.

    A recent quote from Digby continues to ring true: “Democrats had better hope that the coming elections aren’t close. If they are, there’s just no way they can win with these laws that are coming on line. And that’s the plan.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Black People Who Like Each Other
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Oct 31 2011, 10:00 AM ET 109

    This is a really cool piece on Prince George’s County, Maryland. It gives us the other side of the common”ZOMG!!! POOR BLACKS!!! GENTRIFIYING HIPSTERS!!!!!” story we seem to see rather regularly. Once the reporter gets past the rather slippery statistical set piece, there’s a really cool narrative at work.

    Here’s some thoughts on why black people often choose to self-segregate:

    They enjoy interacting with other blacks,” Karyn Lacy, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, wrote in her book “Blue-Chip Black,” for which she interviewed dozens of parents in Prince George’s. “Scholars have focused so much on the burden of blackness that they have devoted scant attention to the possibility that there is something enjoyable about being black and participating in a community of blacks.”

    Residential integration is not a goal, particularly for younger black professionals born after the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, said Bart Landry, a sociologist at the University of Maryland who has returned to Prince George’s for an update to his 1987 book, “The New Black Middle Class.”

    He said many residents find comfort, after spending the day in a predominantly white workplace, returning to a home where all their neighbors are other professional African Americans. “They’re where they want to be,” Landry said. “They’re not thinking about integration. It’s not on their radar screen. . . . Their goal is to live in a community of like-minded, like-valued people, and these are other middle-class blacks.”

    Last year, for the first time in my life, I moved to a neighborhood that wasn’t predominantly black. Let me take that further. For my entire life, every neighborhood I lived in was somewhere in the range of 85-100 percent black.There are some cool things in the new spot –no gun-shots, farmer’s markets, being able to take my run without comments, not having to walk around with the shield, and the general sense that most people actually have somewhere to be.

    But there are many things which I miss, thing I can’t even name. It’s almost as if the air is different here — and by different I don’t mean better or worse. Just different. When I lived in Harlem, and went out to run, I could never just run. There was a comment almost every four or five blocks. Sometimes people would straight stop you for conversation. But those same people were the very reason I felt safe in Harlem. If something happened to me, or my son, or my wife, they would see it and they would say something.

    There should be instruments to measure this sort of thing — something that calculates the effect on black people’s vital functions, of not giving at least one person a pound every day. That, then, should somehow be compared with incidence of violence for black men. For a solid 20 years of my life, I shook hands with at least five black men every day — some of them more the once.

    A pound is a way of saying “I have love for you.” And “having love” for a brother — or a sister — is a particular thing, different from “loving” or “being in love,” and not easily duplicated in every scenario. It requires an ambient threat of violence, and a sense of collective defense — be that from racism, or from physical violence. I love many people. And like a lot of people in my new community, here. But there is almost no one whom I “have love” for in my new community. There really is no need for such a concept.

    And yet I miss having that feeling on a regular basis. It’s a hole in me. You would think that living in a neighborhood, for the first time ever, where there is relatively little violence would make the math definitive. It’s funny how things work.

    My wife and I often talk about moving down South. Kenyatta hates Tennessee. But she’s got love for Covington.

  25. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011
    Keynesianism, as ‘theoretical’ as Darwinism

    Krugman reiterates a political point which should be reiterated — and reiterated — by liberal pols with the pseudoconservative right’s magnificent artistry for that sort of messaging thing:

    [T]he right has always seen Keynesian economics as a leftist doctrine, when it’s actually nothing of the sort.

    Keynesian economics is merely modern macroeconomic theory in the same vein that evolutionary biology is modern biological theory. Because Keynesianism is now empirically grounded and thus subject to towering heaps of statistical verification, it’s no more a falsified “theory,” as the right would have it, than the Austrian School is cutting-edge analysis.

    As Krugman notes, the right’s motive behind characterizing Keynesianism as “leftist” is that the decency-averse right appreciates all too well the socioeconomic efficacy of increased government spending (job creation) during economic downturns. And, as Krugman delights in pointing out, the right itself uses Keynesian arguments (though it certainly doesn’t label them as such) against potential defense-spending cuts and their consequent, losing effects on American jobs.

    This basic concept — Keynesianism — is not economics graduate-seminar stuff, although God knows that professional economists have, in their uniquely disputatious way, managed to splinter it into a multifront, multischooled war of academic carnage. The elementary principle, however, remains intact: In times of economic slump, government spending creates jobs.

    And liberal pols shouldn’t be shy about aggressively barking the indisputable truth.

  26. rikyrah says:

    THE A-B-C started SINGING?

    You’ve GOT to be kidding me.


    Herman Cain Sings Hymn Amid Scandal (VIDEO)

    McMorris-Santoro October 31, 2011, 2:21 PM 2292It didn’t take much to get Herman Cain to sing for the crowd gathered at the National Press Club in Washington Monday. The frontrunner for the Republican nomination, faced with the full-fledged frontrunner’s scandal, stood before the crowd here and again denied the allegations he sexually harassed two female employees while the head of the National Restaurant Association.

    He also sang a hymn where he asked for forgiveness for his faults. It was an interesting public appearance for a presidential candidate.

    Asked about the Politico story rocking his campaign today, Cain again dismissed them — and again claimed that he knew nothing about any of the cash settlements between the National Restaurant Association and the accusers reported by Politico and NBC News.

    He seem to insinuate that some of his opponents helped plant the story that threatens to up-end his surging campaign.

    “This bullseye on my back has gotten bigger,” Cain said. “We have no idea the source of this witch hunt, and that’s what this is.”

    At the urging of the event’s host, Cain also sang a song. He chose a religious tune that included a call for forgiveness:

  27. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 31, 2011 1:10 PM

    ‘No core’

    By Steve Benen

    David Plouffe, a senior adviser to the White House, appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday and took a few pointed rhetorical shots at Mitt Romney. The result was a pretty big hint as to the kind of message voters are likely to hear in 2012 if the former Massachusetts governor wins the GOP nomination.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Plouffe said this about Romney:

    “[H]e has no core. And, you know, every day almost it seems to be we find another issue. You know, he was supportive of doing things like a cap and trade agreement, now he doesn’t think that, you know, climate change is real. He was to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights issues, now he wants to amend the Constitution to prevent gay marriage. He was an extremely pro-choice governor, now he believes that life begins at conception and would ban Roe v. Wade. So you, you look at — issue after issue after issue, he’s moved all over the place.

    “And I can tell you one thing, working a few steps down from the president, what you need in that office is conviction, you need to have a true compass, and you’ve got to be willing to make tough calls. And you get the sense with Mitt Romney that, you know, if he thought it was good to say the sky was green and the grass was blue to win an election, he’d say it.”

    I mention this in large part because Plouffe seems to understand that labeling a rival a “flip-flopper” just isn’t enough. It’s a start, but it’s not sufficient — much of the country is probably already inclined to believe that politicians are a bunch of hypocrites who are willing to say anything to get elected. For that matter, every candidate in every race has probably changed his or her mind on an issue or two.

    The key for Democrats in 2012, however, is helping the country understand that Romney is a very different kind of animal. There are literally zero major issues on which the guy has taken principled, consistent stands. America hasn’t seen a candidate like him — a man totally free of convictions, practically allergic to core beliefs — in modern political history. The goal for Dems isn’t to label Romney a flip-flopper; it’s to label him a craven fraud with the integrity of a candle flame.

    Rank-and-file voters may not be able to keep up on the subtleties of Romney’s flip-flops on climate change and cap-and-trade plans, but the public cares about trustworthiness.

    If voters ask themselves, “I like some of what Romney said, but will he say the opposite tomorrow?” then the Obama campaign has done its job.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    October 31, 2011 2:00 PM

    Imagining a Tea Party presidency

    By Steve Benen

    David Frum has a new item for CNN today, pondering a series of 2012 scenarios. The one he likes least is the fourth of four options: Republican voters nominate a “Tea Party Republican” who goes on to win the White House.

    In which case, not only tea party Republicans but all Republicans and all Americans will confront the problem: what next?

    The tea party stands for a series of propositions that don’t meet the reality test: that deficits matter more than jobs, that cutting deficits and tightening credit will accelerate economic growth, that high taxes and over-regulation are the most important reasons that growth has not revived, and that America still offers the world’s best opportunity for the poor to rise. Tea party plans call for a radical shift in the burden of taxation from the rich to the poor — and promise big reductions in government spending without touching any of the benefits of current retirees.

    If put into practice, the tea party platform is a formula for political and economic crisis.

    There are a couple of important angles to this. The first is that Frum makes a distinction between “Tea Party Republicans” and Mitt Romney. I’m not sure if that’s wise. Sure, the former Massachusetts governor has generally avoided pandering to Tea Party groups, but not exclusively. “I believe in a lot of what the Tea Party believes in,” Romney said a month ago, adding, “[I]f the Tea Party is for keeping government small and spending down, and helping us create jobs, then, hey, I’m for the Tea Party.”

    The second, and arguably more important, element here is Frum’s description of the Tea Party Republicans’ agenda, which he considers a formula for crisis. I’m very much inclined to agree with the larger point, but did you notice the policy wish list?

    Consider it again: deficit reduction over job creation, tighter credit, targeting regulations and taxes, shifting the tax burden downwards, and deep spending cuts. Does this not sound familiar?

    Frum characterizes this agenda as a Tea Party radicalism that would be a tragic failure if implemented. I hate to break this to Frum, but his description of the Tea Party agenda is identical to what mainstream Republicans already want. The entire GOP leadership has already embraced this agenda; just about every Republican lawmaker in Washington has already voted for this agenda.

    Frum’s nightmare scenario is that the standard GOP wish list in 2011 will be a disaster if put into practice in 2013. Does Frum not realize that nearly all — if not literally all — congressional Republicans have already thrown their support behind this crisis-inducing platform?

    And if Frum does reality this, then why is he still a self-identified Republican?

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Secret List Of 14 Words That Republicans Are Never Supposed To Use

    At the very back of the now leaked Republican manual from Frank Luntz are 14 terms that Republicans are never supposed to use, and some of the words on the list may surprise you.

    The leaked Republican manual is the entire framework which Republicans have been using for years to frame issues and win debates. Although it was written in 2006, much of the Luntz gospel is still not only in use, but is repeated verbatim daily by the GOP members of Congress and the candidates who are running for the 2012 nomination.

    Here is the entire manual:

    For our purposes in 2012, the most interesting part of the manual that is located in an appendix titled The 14 Words Republicans Should Never Use. Luntz introduced the list by writing, “Sometimes it is not what you say that matters but what you don’t say. Other times a single word or phrase can undermine or destroy the credibility of a paragraph or entire presentation. This memo was originally prepared exclusively for Congressional spouses because they are your eyes and ears, a one-person reality check and truth squad combined. However, by popular demand, I have included and expanded that document because effectively communicating the New American Lexicon requires you to STOP saying words and phrases that undermine your ability to educate the American people. So from today forward, YOU are the language police. From today forward, these are the words never to say again.”

    Here’s the list:

    Never say/ Instead say:

    1. Government / Washington

    2. Privatization/Private Accounts / Personalization/Personal Accounts

    3. Tax Reform / Tax Simplification

    4. Inheritance/Estate Tax / The Death Tax

    5. A Global Economy/Globalization/Capitalism/ Free Market Economy

    6. Outsourcing/ Taxation, Regulation, Litigation, Innovation, Education

    7. Undocumented Workers/ Illegal Aliens

    8. Foreign Trade/ International Trade

    9. Drilling for oil/ Exploring for energy

    10. Tort Reform/ Lawsuit Abuse Reform

    11. Trial Lawyer/ Personal Injury Lawyer

    12. Corporate Transparency/ Corporate Accountability

    13. School Choice/ Parental Choice/Equal Opportunity in Education

    14. Healthcare “Choice”/ “The Right to Choose”

    All of these words and phrases were decided on based on focus groups and polling. Terms like undocumented worker are still not used by Republicans. Instead, the much more politically loaded term illegal alien is used. Luntz also makes extensive use of language that implies a positive or negative right. The term parental choice implies that Republicans are positively defending the right of parents to decide where their children go to school. In reality voucher programs take money away from public schools and don’t give parents enough funds to cover the tuition and expenses of a private institution, but this fact is covered up by invoking the positive language of choice.

    When Republicans are told to use the right to choose when discussing healthcare, they are framing the discussion in terms of a negative rights. Republicans want people to people that healthcare reform is about protecting the people from government interference in their healthcare decisions. The 14 words are designed to frame any discussion about an issue in conservative terms. When you hear or read a Democrat or member of the left using any of the terms that Luntz advocated on the list, it a clear indication that the discussion has already been framed and is taking place on Republican terms.

    Democrats and Americans in general need to listen carefully and understand what Republicans really mean when they use innovation as code word for outsourcing, or when they talk about exploring for energy and corporate accountability. These terms all invoke a meaning to most Americans, but their meaning is most likely not the same as the Republican policy behind the term.

    Luntz’s list points out the biggest difference of all between Democrats and Republicans. The GOP has a playbook, and work together to deliver their message. If a manual such as Luntz’s was written for Democrats, they would never be able to work together enough to effectively spread their message.

    This manual was written five years ago, and Republicans are still using it today, so when Democrats claim that Republicans have no new ideas, they aren’t kidding. The GOP may tinker around the edges of this playbook, but their propaganda strategy is still the same. Most of all, this manual is a reminder to Democrats that words matter.

    Before Democrats can ever win the battle over policy, they must first understand and win the war of word

  30. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 10/31/2011
    Calling BS on GOP ideas for job creation
    By Greg Sargent

    As you regulars know, I’ve been stamping my feet for some time now about big news orgs that amplify the GOP’s claim to having a “jobs plan” without asking independent experts whether Republican fiscal prescriptions would actually … create jobs.

    So kudos to the Associated Press for weighing in with a bracing analysis that calls BS on the GOP’s ideas for job creation, though this one is focused on the 2012 GOP presidential candidates:

    Key proposals from the Republican presidential candidates might make for good campaign fodder. But independent analyses raise serious questions about those plans and their ability to cure the nation’s ills in two vital areas, the economy and housing.
    Consider proposed cuts in taxes and regulation, which nearly every GOP candidate is pushing in the name of creating jobs. The initiatives seem to ignore surveys in which employers cite far bigger impediments to increased hiring, chiefly slack consumer demand…

    Mainstream economic theory says governments can spur demand, at least somewhat, through stimulus spending. The Republican candidates, however, have labeled President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus efforts a failure. Instead, most are calling for tax cuts that would primarily benefit high-income people, who are seen as the likeliest job creators.
    “I don’t care about that,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry told The New York Times and CNBC, referring to tax breaks for the rich. “What I care about is them having the dollars to invest in their companies.”

    Many existing businesses, however, have plenty of unspent cash. The 500 companies that comprise the S&P index have about $800 billion in cash and cash equivalents, the most ever, according to the research firm Birinyi Associates.

    What’s striking about this kind of analysis is how rare it is. As Jed Lewison joked the other day: “Imagine if GOP jobs bill claims were covered with the same fervor as Biden gaffes?”

    I know I’m repeating myself here, but I continue to insist that the following question is absolutely central to understanding what’s happening in our politics right now: In the view of experts, are both parties making a serious and legitimate contribution to the debate over what to do about a severe national crisis that’s causing suffering among millions and millions of Americans? Or is only one party making a real contribution to that debate?

  31. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry hits the reset button on Fox News

    Perry’s Sunday interview with Chris Wallace can be summarized as follows: “yeah, rich people will get more money under my tax plan, but I reject class warfare, and plus, they’re the job creators. Can we get to drillin’ now?” Watch:

    But the best part of Wallace’s interview might have been the aftermath …

    In which Wallace jabbed Mitt Romney for being the only GOP presidential candidate to refuse to sit down with him, or with any other Sunday show for that matter. And what is that about? It’s about Romney continuing his strategy of skipping the primary and jumping right into the general election against President Obama. That might not sit well with primary voters, but it’s Mitt’s strategy.

  32. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011 12:30 PM

    The other Cain scandal of the day

    By Steve Benen

    Allegations that Herman Cain sexually harassed two women in the 1990s is causing his campaign plenty of heartburn today. The Republican candidate ran to — where else? — Fox News this morning and conceded he’d been accused of harassment, but the allegations were “trumped up” and “totally false.” He wouldn’t, however, speak to the financial settlement the women received.

    The basics of the Politico article, then, appear to be true — Cain was accused of misconduct and the women who made the accusations accepted settlements.

    That’s the main Cain controversy of the day. There is, however, another one, and this other controversy points to possible campaign-finance irregularities

    Herman Cain’s two top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas — something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.

    Internal financial records obtained by [the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Daniel Bice] show that Prosperity USA said it was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign for a variety of items in February and March. Cain began taking donations for his presidential bid on Jan. 1.

    Prosperity USA was owned and run by Wisconsin political operatives Mark Block and Linda Hansen, Cain’s current chief of staff and deputy chief of staff, respectively.

    This looks awfully bad for Team Cain. The report points to evidence that two of Cain’s top aides set up a now-defunct non-profit entity that illegally financed the campaign, effectively helping it get off the ground. There’s nothing in FEC filings to suggest the campaign ever paid Prosperity USA back for the substantial funds it spent on Cain’s behalf.

    “If the records accurately reflect what occurred, this is way out of bounds,” said a Washington, D.C.-based election lawyer who advises many Republican candidates and conservative groups on campaign issues. The lawyer asked not to be identified because of those affiliations.

    Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin campaign attorney, agreed. “The number of questionable and possibly illegal transactions conducted on behalf of Herman Cain is staggering,” said Maistelman, a Democrat who has represented politicians from both parties on campaign issues.

    The unnamed Republican expert on elections law concluded, “I just don’t see how they can justify this. It’s a total mess.”

    Keep in mind, even post-Citizens United, a corporation cannot simply give a candidate tens of thousands of dollars. Indeed, even if it was a loan — which has not yet been paid back — as Ian Millhiser explained, that would be illegal, too.

  33. Ametia says:


  34. Talking Points Memo:

    Rush Limbaugh comes to Herman Cain’s defense:

  35. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011 10:10 AM

    Romney ducks the Sunday shows

    By Steve Benen

    When we talk about prominent national figures who duck the Sunday morning public-affairs shows, we tend to think of politicians who struggle with basic questions. Sarah Palin, for example, avoided all of the Sunday shows after being named to the 2008 ticket.

    But this year, it’s the allegedly-competent Republican who’s avoiding the questions. Fox News’ Chris Wallace had this message to viewers yesterday morning:

    For those who can’t watch clips online, the “Fox News Sunday” host explained after interviewing Rick Perry, “With Governor Perry’s appearance, we have now interviewed all the major Republican candidates in our 2012 one-on-one series — except Mitt Romney. He has not appeared on this program or any Sunday talk show since March of 2010. We invited Governor Romney again this week, but his campaign says he’s still not ready to sit down for an interview.”

    At first blush, this is rather surprising. Romney is supposed to be the smart one in the GOP field, able to answer questions in complete sentences and with passable grammar. He should be the last Republican candidate to be afraid of the Sunday shows.

    But therein lies the rub: Romney largely presents the appearance of intellectual chops, which are exaggerated by the limits of his GOP rivals. He thrives in debates because his answers must be brief and lacking in details and depth. Romney avoids lengthy press conferences, and prefers to interact with news organizations by publishing op-eds written by his staff.

    Michael Calderone added that the Romney campaign hopes to restrict “unguarded moments” with reporters, in part because the candidate no longer finds it necessary — he’s already well known and is positioned as the likely Republican nominee.

    But as Wallace demonstrated yesterday, media outlets can get testy when they feel like they’re being ignored.

  36. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011 10:40 AM

    Axelrod latest to raise the sabotage question

    By Steve Benen

    David Axelrod, a senior campaign strategist for President Obama, talked yesterday with CNN’s Candy Crowley, who asked whether it’s surprising that the White House has had “a hard time with Congress.” Axelrod responded:

    I think this is something — something different going on right now. When you have the leader — the Republican leader of the Senate say, ‘Our number one goal — in the midst of this economy, our number one goal is to defeat the president,’ and they’re acting like it.

    “They don’t want to cooperate. They don’t want to help. Even on measures to help the economy that they traditionally have supported before, like a payroll tax cut, like infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and bridges and surface transport. These — so you have to ask you a question: Are they willing to tear down the economy in order to tear down the president or are they going to cooperate?

    “And, listen, there’s a reason why the Congress is at 9 percent in some polls, approval, lowest in history. Because this is different than we’ve ever seen before.” [emphasis added]

    This comes just three weeks after Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Obama/Biden 2012, sent an email to the Obama for America list, arguing that the Republican strategy is “to suffocate the economy for the sake of what they think will be a political victory.”

    In other words, the “sabotage” question — concerns that Republicans are deliberately hurting the country, holding back the economy on purpose, for the express purpose of undermining the Obama presidency — is gaining mainstream traction. No one close to the president has been willing to broach this provocative line, and now we have one of Obama’s top political aides raising the question on national television.

    Greg Sargent added, “At the very least, this may be the first time a top Obama campaign official has linked this argument to the idea that this GOP behavior may be historically unprecedented, and that it may be a key reason for Congress’ historical unpopularity — it’s a broadening of the indictment.”

    Quite right. And as the indictment broadens, so too does the number of prominent figures make the accusations. What was once a rarely-asked question, largely confined to lefty blogs, is now a concern being raised by two top officials on the president’s re-election team, two leading Democratic senators, and a wide variety of prominent pundits, including a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Nobel laureate.

    This shouldn’t be terribly surprising, of course, given the larger circumstances. Just over the last few months, we’ve seen the Republican debt-ceiling scandal, the GOP-driven downgrade, the Republican rejection of any efforts to boost the economy, the GOP pleading with the Federal Reserve not to even try to improve conditions, repeated Republican threats of government shutdowns, GOP lawmakers announcing their opposition to their own economic ideas, and Republicans killing jobs bills, large and small.

    Under the circumstances, it’s hardly shocking that folks might start to wonder out loud, “Hmm, maybe Republicans are trying to hurt the economy on purpose?”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Black and white American voters live in 1 country, but 2 different worlds
    The political outlook of blacks in America has undergone dramatic swings in the last ten years — from the depths of powerlessness during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to the zenith with the election of the first black president, Barack Obama.

    Now, with another presidential election looming, blacks are again confronting new issues as they judge and sometimes question the impact of Obama’s election, contends University of Chicago political scientist Michael Dawson, whose work finds sharp contrasts between how African Americans and whites feel about their country.

    Those two recent events, the New Orleans hurricane in 2005 and the election of President Obama in 2008, put that difference in focus, he writes in Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics, published Tuesday.

    “Shortly after the Katrina disaster, barely 20 percent of blacks believed that racial equality for blacks would be achieved either in their lifetimes or at all in the United States,” writes Dawson, the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and director of the University’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.

    When Obama was elected, three years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans, slightly more than half of blacks then said they believed they would soon enjoy equality, Dawson found in opinion surveys he conducted whie researching the book.

    Whites were even more optimistic about the advent of racial harmony, with nearly 80 percent feeling that blacks would soon achieve equality, he found. Yet, in those three years, the euphoria has waned, Dawson said; Obama’s election did not lead to a resurgence of black political effectiveness or a reduction in racial conflict. Poverty among African Americans has continued to rise as the national economy has struggled.

    Hurricane Katrina reflected a particularly bleak period for black political effectiveness, Dawson writes. Dawson and colleagues conducted polls at the time that showed the strong divide between blacks and whites, who had almost totally different takes on the meaning of the disaster.

    When asked, for instance, in a survey that controlled for a number of variables—including age, income and education level—if the federal government should spend whatever money needed to restore people to their homes, 79 percent of blacks said yes, while only 33 percent of whites agreed.

    Further, the team found that blacks were 64 percent more likely than whites to think that the government would have moved faster if the victims of the hurricane were white. They were also 50 percent more likely than whites to think that Katrina exposed the problems of racial inequality in the United States.

    Dawson characterizes Katrina as “the nadir of black politics” because of the inability of blacks to mobilize as a response to the suffering. “The lack of mobilization was linked to a distinct lack of allies available to African Americans during the Katrina crisis. In the past, black politics was capable of not only mobilizing black communities, but also of generating and mobilizing other communities,” he said.

    Many whites were uninterested in African American problems, he contends. When the 2000 presidential election raised questions about black disenfranchisement, for instance, nearly 60 percent of whites said they didn’t think it was a problem, a poll found at the time. Traditional allies on the left tended to overlook the racial aspects of Katrina, he said.

    Obama’s election in 2008 led many whites to think that the nation had entered a post-racial phase. The cleavages remained, however, over issues such as foreign policy, with blacks much less likely to support the continued warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But blacks and other minorities have an opportunity to bring change as the proportion of whites in the electorate is steadily declining, Dawson said. The young people who gave so much support to Obama provide hope for a new civic awareness, he said. Social media provides an opportunity for young people to share their thoughts, organize and take control over their futures.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Contrast between Obama and Cain speaks to black diversity

    Businessman Herman Cain is currently among the top candidates in the field of Republican White House hopefuls, outpacing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    In the latest CBS News/New York Times poll, released Oct. 3, Cain was favored by 25 percent of Republican primary voters, compared to Romney’s 21 percent. This raises the distinct possibility that two African Americans could be rivals for the presidency in 2012. They could not be more different. Obama is a cautious progressive, Cain is an outspoken conservative. Obama is a pragmatic intellectual, Cain is a bottom-line businessman.

    Yet, Cain and Obama share many similarities. Both are considered successful in their different careers, both have garnered pluralities of support among the white electorate in their parties and both are unafraid to talk about their views on race, mainly because their statements are less divisive.

    While Cain has struggled to gain support from African Americans, he represents a different type of politician “who happens to be black.” Others such as Lynn Swann (R-Pa.), Michael Steele (R-Md.), Duval Patrick (D-Mass.), and Arthur Davis (D-Ala.) could be added to the list.
    This shows that African Americans are much more diverse than many assumed. While many have stereotyped African Americans as voting only for black candidates, the Obama-Cain contrast sheds light on the complex nature of politics in the African American communities. African Americans overwhelmingly oppose voting for candidates just because they are black. Old and new debates over the Obama’s racial authenticity, and his value to African Americans show there is much more to “black politics” than race.

    Divisions in the attitudes and values of African-Americans are growing. These divisions were highlighted in a 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center (Blacks See Growing Values Gap Between Poor and Middle Class). The researchers documented the attitudes African Americans on a range of issues.

    Twenty three percent of the respondents said middle class and poor blacks share a lot of values. Forty two percent said they had some values in common; 22 percent said they had little in common; and 9 percent said they shared almost no values. On the question of racial identity a significant minority, 37 percent, said that blacks should no longer be seen as a single race. Only a slim majority, 53 perent, reported that it is still appropriate to view blacks as single race.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Former CEO Accused of Targeting Churchgoers

    By GREG BLUESTEIN Associated Press
    ATLANTA October 31, 2011 (AP)

    With confidence and zeal, Ephren Taylor riveted audiences at mostly black churches with a list of his impressive accomplishments and an uncanny business sense. He had the blessing of top clergy as he gave financial seminars from the pulpit on Sundays, promising rock-solid investments — only many of the churchgoers said they haven’t seen a dime.

    Two lawsuits filed this month claim the 29-year-old Taylor was a con artist who targeted worshippers throughout at least five states on the East Coast since 2004, swindling tens of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme.

    “He knew if he went to a Christian African-American and said, ‘I can take your hard-earned investment money, and you’re going to earn more money, but more importantly you’re going to do good for your church and community,’ that they would fall for it hook line and sinker,” said Cathy Lerman, an attorney who sued Taylor in North Carolina.

    The allegations have tarnished Taylor, who resigned last year after becoming the chief executive of the holding company City Capital, which had been based in North Carolina, when he was 23. Worshippers would often be asked to invest in real estate and businesses tied to the holding company.

    The Secret Service and the secretary of state’s office in Georgia, where the other lawsuit has been filed, are investigating. He has not faced any criminal charges.

    Lawyers suing him say they don’t know his whereabouts, but he sent The Associated Press a statement after a reporter contacted him through his website.

    He said he planned to use his own money to help those who feel “negatively impacted.” He criticized his detractors and compared himself to other financial heavyweights who were “crucified” amid the economic downturn.

    “Sometimes people will participate in a game they don’t have a stomach for, and when it goes south, they put the blame on those that led that game,” said Taylor, who did not respond to follow-up questions.

    In late 2009, Taylor came to an Atlanta megachurch with his surefire pitch, according to the lawsuit in Georgia. He held a financial seminar aimed at children on a Saturday, telling curious parents to hold their questions. Flanked by Bishop Eddie Long the following day, he told the 25,000 member congregation that his investors would buy can’t-miss real estate rather than take a risk on Wall Street.

    “He pushed all the right buttons,” said Lillian Wells, who said she lost $122,000. “Everyone was tired of losing money in the stock market, and this was an opportunity for a guaranteed return on the money.”

    Wells is among 10 New Birth Missionary Baptist Church members suing Taylor, the bishop and the church. It claims Long abused his spiritual authority and “coerced” his parishioners into investing at least $1 million in Taylor’s fund in late 2009.

    The bishop has declined to comment on the lawsuit, but he urged Taylor in a video posted this year on YouTube to “do what’s right” and repay the money with interest. In May, Long settled a separate lawsuit filed by four young men who accused him of sexual misconduct.

    New Birth is one of the best-known ministries preaching a form of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that God wants to bless the faithful with earthly riches. Ministers in this tradition often hold up their own wealth as evidence that the teaching works. Long has flaunted his own success with flashy suits, expensive cars and large home on 20 acres.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Race debate over Silicon Valley documentary heats up on Twitter
    By Emi Kolawole

    If you’ve been following Michael Arrington, Vivek Wadhwa or Anil Dash on Twitter, you know a debate has been raging over African Americans in Silicon Valley.

    While talk of Occupy Oakland has been dominating the headlines, a discussion about the future of African Americans in one of the wealthiest and most innovative regions in the world is raging online. The catalyst is the latest installment in the CNN documentary series, “Black in America,” which explores the path of eight African American entrepreneurs as they develop their start-ups in Silicon Valley.

    “For whatever reason, African Americans tend to be consumers of technology and not really creators of technology,” said Angela Benton, founder of Cued, which she has since put on hold, and founder of the NewME Accelerator program at the center of the documentary.

    The program follows the NewMe Accelerator program this past summer, starting in June. The entrepreneurs lived together in one house for nine weeks. From the beginning, the program addresses the elephant in the room: Are African Americans being given special treatment in the Valley due to their race? “We’re all serious entrepreneurs,” says BeCouply co-founder Pius Uzamere during one of the group’s dinner gatherings. “We’re building great companies — every single one of us.”

    “So, how many black, female programmers do you know,” O’Brien asks PencilYou.In founder Tiffani Bell. “So, before I went to Howard [University], I would say none.”

    “Some of these founders show up in a hoodie,” said Uzamere, “We don’t have that luxury to be lackadaisical like that.”

    The documentary includes interviews with Silicon Valley heavyweights, such as investors Ron Conway and Mitchell Kapor, both of whom are white. In one exchange, Conway highlights one of the highest barriers to entry for minority entrepreneurs, “I have to admit that a lot of it is who you know,” said Conway.

    “We don’t know how to recruit those people,” Conway said later, referring to the African-American community.

    The entrepreneurs, in a follow-up session with Interactive One founder Navarrow Wright, receive what can only be described as a harsh reality check from one of their own. “If an investor’s only seeing one African American a year to give a pitch, and you don’t do well,” said Navarrow after telling the group to be harder on themselves in critiquing their past pitches, “you’ve not only affected you, you’ve affected other people. It’s that important.”

    Arrington further highlights the high-stakes situation black entrepreneurs face in Silicon Valley. “I’m trying to think of any black CEOs in Silicon Valley,” says Arrington when asked to come up with the top black entrepreneur in the region, “I’m not even coming up with any.” Arrington, who founded the popular technology news Web site, TechCrunch, goes on to say, “I don’t know a single, black entrepreneur.”

    The Valley “is not a perfect meritocracy,” says Arrington, but goes on to say anyone can succeed “based on your brain size and how you use it.”

    “This is a white and Asian world up here — it just is,” Arrington says. “There’s a guy, actually, his last company just launched at our event and he’s African American. When he asked to launch — actually, I think it was the other way around. I begged him. It’s a cool start-up. His start-up’s really cool, but he could have launched a clown show on stage and I would have put him up there — absolutely. I think he’s the first time we’ve had an African American be the sole founder.”

    The comment comes off as odd, given Arrington’s previous comment that he did not know of any African American entrepreneurs.

    Arrington’s comments landed in the Silicon Valley chapter of the Twitterverse with a thud — a thud that reverberated Wednesday and Thursday with tweets flying back and forth between Arrington, Wadhwa and Dash.

    Wadhwa came to the United States from India in 1980 and benefited from a network of Indian entrepreneurs. “Can I be critical about the community?” he asks during a NewME gathering, “You folks don’t help each other. In some parts of America you have this entitlement attitude like we’ve been discriminated against, ancestors came as slaves, therefore America owes us back, and so on and so on. And that’s what’s holding the community back.”

    “There’s something raw and very direct about it that’s jarring,” said Williams, after Wadhwa described hiring a white man to serve as the face of his start-up in order to acquire funding and feed the pattern-matching system that governs Silicon Valley investment strategies — the pattern being that young, white males make successful start-up founders. Eventually the group dynamic shifts from individuals working in the same place on their own projects to a more collaborative environment.

    The documentary is, at times, uncomfortably honest, which is consistent with previous installments of the series. But viewers, if they are able to look past any potential offense generated by the subjects, will likely be left with a nagging desire to see what didn’t make it to air. A recent blog post by Benton outlines some of her behind-the-scenes experience during filming, and her take on the resulting Twitter debate. The documentary tells an engaging story on a timely topic, as the nation continues to struggle economically and billions of dollars flow through Silicon Valley. What’s clear from this telling, however, is that 40 minutes is not long enough.

    • Ametia says:

      We don’t know how to recruit those people,” Conway said later, referring to the African-American community. ?????????????????????????????????????

  41. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 31, 2011
    Republicans Gaming The Stimulus And The System
    Posted by Zandar

    Next time when you hear Republicans attack “Obama’s failed stimulus” or any federal aid to states in general, remember that whenever federal money is given to the states, it’s up to the states themselves to use the money as intended. Not all of them do, particularly states under GOP control. Take Kansas Republicans and the money they received for loans for home weatherization projects, for example.

    The weatherization program, known as Efficiency Kansas, began with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government’s stimulus package to get Americans back to work.

    The state planned to use $32 million in federal energy efficiency funds to create the revolving loan fund. State officials promised to lend most of that to Kansans to repair their homes within three years.

    The program was expected to create 1,150 jobs, such as weatherization auditors, and heating and cooling, roofing, insulation and window workers, according to the KCC.

    But the KCC did not get the loan program moving quickly. In the first six months of Efficiency Kansas, only 13 people had taken out loans.

    When concerns were raised last winter that all the money would not be lent by the March 2012 deadline, Brownback, a supporter of the biofuels industry, reallocated $20 million from the loan fund to grants and gave the money to two organizations in that industry.

    Banks didn’t want to make the program loans in the first place, and when Republicans came into power halfway through the program’s lifespan, they stonewalled the program from ever really going anywhere, allowing Brownback to raid the fund to give to corporate biofuel producers instead. Due diligence on the part of Democrats to make sure the program wasn’t abused or defrauded turned into deliberate sandbagging by the Republicans who gleefully dismantled the program instead.

    The same “set up to fail” scenario has already been put into motion by Gov. Brownback for the state’s health insurance exchanges. Brownback’s not the only GOP governor to reject funding grants for setting up health insurance exchanges either, as Republicans are counting on enough states refusing to implement health care reform so that the entire Affordable Care Act collapses regardless of whether the law is repealed by the GOP or not.

    As I’ve said before, this is why wresting state control away from Republicans is as important or more so than at the federal level. It doesn’t matter what federal reforms you want Democrats to pass in Washington if blood red states simply ignore the laws or refuse to implement them.
    You might also like:

  42. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011 11:25 AM

    ‘Taxing the Kindness of Strangers’

    By Steve Benen

    When we talk about the Republican austerity agenda, we tend to focus on the economic impact — how many jobs it will cost the nation; how much it will slow economic growth, etc.

    But we shouldn’t forget the real-world impact on millions of families. In a new piece in the print edition of the Washington Monthly, Benjamin Dueholm explores, from a very personal perspective, the impact GOP budget cuts have on foster parents. The editors’ summary of the story helps set the stage for an interesting piece:

    Of all the brutal cuts to government being pushed today in Washington, perhaps the most self-defeating are those likely to be felt by America’s foster parents — the volunteer army that steps up to care for children on behalf of the state. In a moving and incisive essay featured in the November/December issue of the Washington Monthly, Benjamin Dueholm chronicles his own experience becoming a new foster parent to an injured baby girl, while at the same time watching the age of austerity close in to threaten the institutions he is fast coming to rely on.

    Social programs like Medicaid and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program, whose budgets now sit on the chopping block, are well-known elements of the safety net for lower-income Americans. But those same programs also make modern foster parenting possible.

    “The state insures the child, pays for daycare, investigates claims of abuse, and retains legal custody, but it cannot actually put a baby to bed at night,” Dueholm writes. “And so, on the other side of this most intimate public-private partnership are usually people like us, left alone with a stranger’s child and a garbage bag full of clothes and wondering what’s going to happen next. And what happens next depends, to a stomach-churning degree, on the state’s willingness and ability to keep up its half of the bargain.”

    Read Benjamin Dueholm’s “Taxing the Kindness of Strangers.”

  43. UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership

    [wpvideo 6o9Aw1a1]

  44. League Of Women Voters Says GOP Is Reverting to Jim Crow Like Tactics to Win Elections

  45. Talking Points Memo:

    Cain: “I will take all of the arrows later”

  46. Block: Herman Cain has “never sexually harassed anybody”

  47. Geraldo Blasts Herman Cain spox for not denying allegations of sexual harassment

    [wpvideo 7QNkND1G]

  48. Cain Gives Media The Slip At First Post-Scandal DC Stop

    WASHINGTON — About a dozen reporters huddled outside the DC headquarters of the American Enterprise Institute Monday morning, where GOP frontrunner Herman Cain was scheduled to give his first public appearance since Politico’s blockbuster about sexual harassment allegations.

    The usually very talkative Cain did not seem his normal gregarious self. A black Suburban slipped past the press waiting outside AEI and into the parking garage below the downtown office building that houses the think tank. TPM and several other reporters gave chase, catching up with Cain as he stepped out of the truck and into the elevator.

    “Good morning,” was the only response Cain would give to questions about the scandal.

    Upstairs, Cain’s AEI event — scheduled to be about his infamous 999 plan — began with a question Cain appeared to struggle with.

    If he wanted to scare the most people possible out trick or treating tonight, the moderator asked Cain, which GOP candidate would you dress up as?

    “I believe I’d go as Ron Paul,” Cain said after a few seconds.

    Reporters will get another crack at him at the National Press Club later today.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Monday, October 31, 2011
    A Poor Student Of Debt
    Posted by Zandar

    Glenn “Instawrong” Reynolds gets to play in the NY Post’s sandbox with this whopper of a false analogy that of course absolves the GOP of all responsibility for the student debt crisis.

    The problem is, “college” isn’t an undifferentiated product. Companies can’t hire enough mechanical engineers, but there’s no bidding war for majors in Fine Arts or Women’s Studies, degrees that cost just as much, but deliver a lot less in terms of employment. In an economically rational market, it would be harder to borrow money to finance fields of study that were unlikely to produce enough income to pay back the loans. But since the federal government subsidizes everything — and makes student loans un-dischargeable in bankruptcy — there’s no incentive for lenders to care, and even less incentive for colleges and universities to care. They get their money up front, after all — just like the people who wrote the subprime loans that fueled the housing crisis.

    Got that? Not only should the price of your major in higher education be subject to the whims of the free market, but if you can’t afford the price, tough crap. If you’re not willing to fill the “needs of the market” then why should you be taking up valuable educational resources, since the only goal in life is to make money?

    Even worse, Reynolds argues, why should we “subsidize” education at all? Short of the meritocracy of scholarships, education should only go to those who can A) afford it and B) who can then use that education to become Our Precious Job Creators. No more room for lotus-eating ivory tower academics in our hypercapitalis,t globally-competitive society, no sir.
    And you have to admit, the narrative is tailor-made for the Tea Party. “We’re paying our tax dollars to subsidize all these egghead underwater basket weaving graduate parasites who think they are smarter than we are!” (Did I mention Glenn here is a law professor and “an author (writing An Army of Davids), a columnist, and a writer for academic journals” too? No?)

    Reynolds does see the next debt bubble here in student loans, but let’s not forget that this “subsidization” he complains about as he calls the Occupy Together movement the “Hoovervilles of our age” was as much a subsidy bonanza for — you guessed it — the same banks in the heart of subprime loans mess (which, by the way, President Obama put an end to last year) as well as the for-profit colleges that follow the economic model that Reynolds champions.

    Also, let’s not forget that the main reason why students have to borrow more is that states are slashing the budgets of colleges and universities because we can never, ever raise taxes and anything that tax dollars go to that aren’t tax cuts for Our Precious Job Creators is impeachable generational theft or something. I know, let’s fire all the government university professors (Hi Glenn!) and close down state schools and save taxpayer money. I’m sure that won’t raise the price of tuition at the remainder of the private schools or anything due to supply and demand (and hey, if God wanted you to go to college, you’d either be smart enough to earn a full scholarship or rich enough to pay for it.)

    The larger problem is like voting, political power, socioeconomic power, and moral authority, today’s Tea Party conservatives think the more we limit higher education to the truly deserving few (or education in general for that matter) the better off America will be. That their criteria for who is “truly deserving” happens to always be themselves is just coincidence, especially when that power they derive comes at the expense of the dupes they have suckered into believing that they fall into that category too, or at least that by voting to exclude everyone else, they’ll be handsomely rewarded with the share that once went to “those people.” The reality is of course that the super-rich will take that share too and laugh, but the dupes aren’t supposed to know.

    But to do that they need folks like Glenn Reynolds writing op-eds in the NY Post equating Occupy Wall Street protesters to the people that caused the financial crisis (and then absolving the people that actually caused the crisis.) It’s good work if you can get it.

  50. rikyrah says:

    October 31, 2011 8:45 AM

    Fallout from the Cain controversy

    By Steve Benen

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    Herman Cain allegedly sexually harassed two female employees during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association, and both women received financial settlements that prevent them from speaking on the subject. If true, it’s obviously unacceptable behavior and speaks to the character — or perhaps lack thereof — of this leading Republican presidential candidate.

    I can’t speak to whether the allegations are accurate — the Politico report certainly seems well sourced and documented — but it’s been fascinating to watch the trajectory of the Cain campaign’s response. Cain, for example, didn’t deny the charges. A Cain campaign statement didn’t deny the charges. A Cain spokesperson appeared on Fox News and didn’t deny the charges.

    The Associated Press eventually got a denial, but it wasn’t an especially strong one.

    Cain’s campaign told the AP that the allegations were not true, and amounted to unfair attacks. […]

    Asked if Cain’s campaign was denying the report, [spokesman J.D. Gordon] said, “Yes.”

    “These are baseless allegations,” Gordon said in a second interview later Sunday evening. “To my knowledge, this is not an accurate story

    “To my knowledge” would appear to leave a little wiggle room, just in case.

    So, what happens now? The Cain campaign is either lying about the candidate’s alleged misconduct or it’s not. And with the two accusers restricted by their settlement agreements from speaking, it’s possible Cain and his team feel like they can weather the storm without new details emerging. We’ll see.

    But the larger political storm is just starting to brew. Cain’s reaction to direct questions yesterday — after being asked four times about the allegations, he sighed, glared at a reporter, stayed silent, and refused to respond — signaled to reporters everywhere that the Republican candidate has a real problem on his hands.

    As for efforts to blame the “liberal” media, this may have some salience in GOP circles, but it’s not much of a strategy. For one thing, Politico hardly leans to the left. For another, the article was co-authored by a reporter who used to work for National Review. (Part of me wonders if it was members of the Republican establishment who leaked this, just to make Cain go away.)

    What’s less clear is whether rank-and-file Republican voters will care. There’s reason to believe they won’t — the GOP has a track record of looking the other way when sexual misconduct allegations affect their own (Vitter, Clarence Thomas, et al).

  51. rikyrah says:

    Adam Raised a Cain
    by mistermix

    Herman Cain is in DC today to talk to the American Enterprise Institute at 9 AM and the National Press Club at 1 PM. Both events are on C-SPAN, and the press event will include questions. Here’s the current weak-ass denial from his campaign:

    Inside the Beltway media attacks Cain
    Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, Inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain.

    Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.

    Since Washington establishment critics haven’t had much luck in attacking Mr. Cain’s ideas to fix a bad economy and create jobs, they are trying to attack him in any way they can.

    Sadly, we’ve seen this movie played out before – a prominent Conservative targeted by liberals simply because they disagree with his politics.

    Mr. Cain — and all Americans, deserve better.

    If you read the Politico story, it’s pretty clear that they’ve committed an act of journalism. They have the names of two women who were paid off by the National Restaurant Association (the other NRA), they have documents in one of the cases, and it sounds like they have a good number of NRA employees on the record. “The liberal media is out to get me” isn’t going to cut it in face of those kinds of facts.

  52. rikyrah says:

    Rep. Jesse Jackson: I expect to be “vindicated” by an ethics investigation

    Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. predicted over the weekend that he will be “vindicated” by an ethics investigation connected to ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich.

    “Let me be clear. I believe in the American system of justice,” Jackson, a Democrat, said Saturday at a Kankakee County NAACP dinner. “The process is continuing, but in the end I believe I will be vindicated.”

    I don’t know him. I never had a conversation with him and by definition, I never asked anybody to talk to him,” Mr. Jackson added. “I didn’t even know he existed until the trial. I don’t know him. I never met him.”

    The House Ethics Committee announced earlier this month that it would resume a probe that began before Mr. Blagojevich’s trial.

    The panel announced earlier this month that it had agreed to abide by a Justice Department request to take no action in the investigation, a normal practice when the department is concerned a congressional inquiry interferes with its own investigation.

    Mr. Jackson, an Illinois Democrat, who has not been charged, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

    Mr. Jackson’s comments came two days after the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Robert Blagojevich, the ex-governor’s brother and former fundraising chief, sent letters offering to testify on Mr. Jackson before U.S. House Committee on Ethics.

    Read more:

  53. rikyrah says:

    Cain Edges Perry in Texas

    One more sign of how far Texas Gov. Rick Perry has fallen since he announced his presidential bid: A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows Herman Cain edging Perry in his home state among Republican voters, 27% to 26%.

    Rep. Ron Paul was next with 12%, followed by Mitt Romney at 9% and Newt Gingrich at 8%. The other Republican primary candidates — Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum — each got 2% or less.

    In general election match ups, President Obama loses to each of the top four GOP candidates.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Report: As stimulus money dries up, so do Florida jobs
    By Michael C. Bender
    .A Collins Center study says Florida has lost 10,000 jobs as federal stimulus money disappears.

    Florida has lost about 10,000 jobs as contracts and grants from the federal stimulus program dry up, according to a new report from the Collins Center for Public Policy.

    “Some of the big education grants are winding down,” said Don Winstead, a Collins Center consultant who was former Gov. Charlie Crist’s stimulus czar. “I expect the job numbers to decline from here on out.”

    The Florida-based think tank started crunching stimulus data with money from liberal investor George Soros after Republican Gov. Rick Scott stopped maintaining a similar website that Crist started. The report is available at

    The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required states to create a website, and Winstead said Florida is still meeting the minimum requirements. But the data, showing how much money had been spent on projects like road construction and water system renovations, is no longer centralized on

    “The information is available if you know where to look for it,” Winstead said.

    Scott spokesman Brian Burgess said the stimulus site was dismantled because it was not getting significant web traffic and because Scott “has different priorities.” Scott, who opposes the stimulus program, has created his own public records site that posts information related to Scott’s policy agenda —

    “We’re not in the business of promoting the stimulus as a get-to-work program,” Burgess said. “But I’m happy to see the Collins Center has taken it upon themselves to produce this report and I encourage everyone to go see how many taxpayer dollars are being spent on the stimulus.”

    Leda Perez, vice president of the Collins Center, said her group resurrected the site to “prompt questions and discussion” about spending decisions. Money for the project came from Open Society Foundations, which is funded by Soros.

    “Citizen participation in this process can help to ensure a more transparent and accountable government,” Perez said.

    The Collins Center report has tracked $19.2 billion in stimulus money that Florida has spent.

    The report shows that 163,000 jobs in Florida, including teachers, construction workers and law enforcement, have been created or maintained thanks to the money. That total is down from a high of 173,000 since September 2010.

    The state has received a total of $22.8 billion from the stimulus program out of $24.6 billion expected.

    Read more:

  55. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. Happy Halloween!

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