Serendipity SOUL| Tuesday Open Thread | Chaka Khan Week!

Did y’all get a sweet tooth from all those tricks and treats last night?

Ms. Khan; you’re Soulfully gifted, and I adore you.

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46 Responses to Serendipity SOUL| Tuesday Open Thread | Chaka Khan Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    found this at TOD:

    David Axelrod: GM is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.

  2. rikyrah says:

    The Media’s Blind Spot: Three Old White Men Pontificate About A Young Black President

    I don’t mean to be brazen, but that’s what happened yesterday on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Matthews wrote a book about President Kennedy, and he invited Howard Fineman of The AOL Huffington Post and Mike Barnicle on his show to ask him questions about it. Quickly, the content of the segment drifted away from the Kennedy’s and moved onto three old white politicos’ assessment on the political skills of the country’s first black president, Barack Obama. More specifically, it delved into how Barack Obama does not measure up to President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

    Really, I have no problem with Matthews promoting his book on air. After all, it is his own show. And he wrote a book about President Kennedy, so why not talk about President Kennedy all he wants? Kennedy’s political prowess was something to behold in his time, and that is fantastic. No problem.

    But the speed and agility with which the conversation went straight for the “Obama disappointed us” narrative, it is hard to believe that it was spontaneous and unplanned. None of them noticed, of course, that Obama has to be president while back, and none of them even cared that no one representing a voice of color – let alone an African American voice – was even in the room. So let me remind Mr. Matthews, Mr. Fineman and Mr. Barnicle a few things about the obstacles this president faces that no other president in history has.

    Personal as well as institutionalized racism: The media has it out for him on both ends. He’s either too calm and collected (God forbid we have a calm and collected captain of the ship while navigating through stormy waters) or an angry black man. He has to both be an American president and the magic negro (yeah, I said it). He has to get things done and be seen as slapping his allies and opponents alike. What is nearly as bad as the vivid racism put on display by the political right is the subtle ignorance and pretension of the media personalities that our politics is post-racial.

    Unprecedented political enmity: Did you guys check the Republican party lately? They have turned against a ton of their own policy ideas on jobs because now the president is proposing it. The Republicans have said NO in unison, used legislative procedure to stifle damn nearly everything. Anyone remember this graph?

    While the Right openly declared that they hope the President fails and that their single most important goal is to defeat the president, the media sat there, sucking their thumbs, and now you have the galls to complain about how Obama is not twisting enough arms?

  3. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011
    All He Wants For Christmas Is A Two-Horse Race
    Posted by Zandar

    Bless his poor little heart-analogue, Ben Smith really, really wants the 1% to buy him a primary challenger for President Obama for the holidays so he has a story to cover that doesn’t involve a political party convention that includes the very real possibility of being covered in thrown feces.

    Progressive disgruntlement with elements of President Obama’s governance, and with his principled fondness for compromise, has not at any point seemed on the verge of a serious primary challenge, and the most serious potential challengers — Howard Dean and Russ Feingold — have ruled it out.

    But a New York reader sends over the stirrings of that disillusion in one of America’s true liberal heartlands, Manhattan’s Upper West side, where Obama and Biden won 84% of the vote in 2008. A longtime local Democratic activist, Bob Ginsberg, has sent around a mailing to about 1,800 New York Democratic leaders and activists, calling for a progressive challenge to President Obama.

    Obama, Ginsberg writes, is destined for David Weprin-style defeat because of “his wimpiness; his unwillingness to fight for anything; and his addiction to compromising.”

    Some kids want a pony, some kids want a Red Ryder BB Gun, some kids want Santa to bring them a primary challenger for the incumbent President, because that always turns out awesome for the party doing that.

    Here’s a hint. If you have been unable to identify a primary challenger before now and the primaries start in, oh, two months or so, then your grand plan probably isn’t working too well.

    Might I suggest a heavy investment in a robotics fabrication team and a skunkworks instead?

  4. rikyrah says:

    The MSM is whining about POTUS going around them and giving interviews to local affiliates. Good for POTUS – get around those clowns and talk directly to the people.


    Major TLC for visiting affiliates’

    Tuesday’s White House press briefing was standing room-only for the first time in recent memory, with attendance swelled in part by a visiting contingent of local television news affiliates.

    And White House reporters were grumbling that several of the nine local news anchors, from Philly, Phoenix, Denver and elsewhere — got questions at the briefing in addition to sit-downs with President Obama, lunch with senior advisor David Plouffe and special access to White House staffers from their home markets.

    Not to mention tours of the building and grounds and a visit with hunky White House assistant chef Sam Kass.

    “It’s very important to the American people to hear from their president,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “It is true that the national media largely represented here is incredibly important, and is a means through which we communicate and talk about what the president is doing.”

    But, Carney said, “the fact is that Americans all around the country get their news primarily through local television, local affiliates. And the president is very interested in communicating with them.”

    Several of the anchors represent markets in states that are key to Obama’s reelection efforts. Chatting with the group while they waited for their escort from the briefing room back into the West Wing, some of the anchors described the strange experience of meeting Obama for the first time, and agreed it was tough to get him off his talking points.

    While the administration’s “Live from the White House” event appeared certain to generate good will with local affiliates, there was less enthusiasm for the project among rank and file White House reporters. Several griped at the amount of time at the briefing devoted to the visitors, in addition to the kind of access most White House reporters don’t get.

    “People with no problem getting access to administration officials and the president also monopolizing the briefing?” said one White House reporter. “I am shocked.”

    • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

      Oh well…so what! Serves them right! When MSM had the President’s full attention they were too busy trying to see who could out do who on making up lies, poisoning the public’s view on him, and trashing him. If I were the President, I’d take my time about giving them any attention again.

      I’m glad that he is giving local news some attention.

  5. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011
    Cain’s explosive nothing

    The latest in Herman Cain’s tribulations is but the latest in explosive nothings. This clown (and I don’t necessarily mean that pejoratively) was never the GOP frontrunner, notwithstanding a fistful of polls that purported otherwise, but were in reality nothing but tea party thumbs poked in the eye of Establishment Romney.

    Cain wasn’t a close second, either, or even a distant third. He was never a factor in the GOP field — just a joke, a showman, a vast ego, and above all, a hungry bookseller.

    Is that to say his squalid performance art has not genuinely attracted some of the GOP base? Of course not. The same slim electorate that feels chills up its spine when Herm speaks is the selfsame base that would have thrilled to a David Duke. Other than the intense “anti” part, Cain’s anti-Mitt message is profoundly void of any significance. This morning Eugene Robinson bothers to assault Cain’s positions as “ignorant,” “unworkable” and “just plain goofy.” No kidding, really? Well, the bother sells papers. Robinson then proceeds to restate the illusion: “yet he is running first or second in most polls for the Republican presidential nomination.”

    Was Donald Trump ever authentically running first or second? Was Michele Bachmann? Rick Perry? Again, of course not. They were only embodiments of the hardcore base’s resentment of Mitt’s inevitability (for the nomination, that is; odds are, he’ll be crushed in the general).

    Cain’s butchery of any coherent reaction to yesterday’s “explosive” story is unlikely to cause him any immediate harm, since a swaggering admiration of their assorted, interchangeable heroes’ incompetence and incoherence lies at the GOP’s radical base’s core. As long as their guy brays a variation of “Up yours” to the media and their conspiratorial liberals, that base is happy. One of Cain’s Florida operatives affirmed the proposition in this way: “Not only did Herman Cain today win the respect of the Ann Coulters, the Brent Bozells and others, but I think he won the respect of those of us in the trenches. Basically he said to the world: Next question.”

    Intrinsic to that quote is the cognitively insulated speaker’s near conflation of “the trenches” with “the world.” Doubtless, the trenchers were struck with an awesome respect for their candidate’s clueless arrogance and preternatural indifference to really bad press, but the rather more important world is still laughing at Cain and his momentary acolytes — who, because time still remains to do otherwise, will in time move on to some other, temporarily less-ridiculed anti-Mitt candidate.

    So what does it all mean? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. Cain’s latest perturbation within his own make-believe universe and that of his smiling, stormy-weather followers is merely another empty frenzy — because the GOP’s inexorable nominee, Mitt Romney, is, excepting his stupendous rhetorical gymnastics, so goddamn dull.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Cain’s Wife To Appear On Fox News Friday

    Herman Cain promised the public would meet his wife in a soon-to-be-announced exclusive interview, and it looks like we’ve got a date: The Hill reports that cain’s wife, Gloria, will appear on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren Friday evening.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Occupy Wall Street protesters anti-Obama and plan to skip 2012 election, Fordham poll finds
    Mostly white, educated males & unemployed

    BY Daniel Beekman

    More than half of the Zuccotti Park protestors voted for President Obama in 2008. But 73% now disapprove of the commander- in- chief and 25% plan to skip the 2012 election, according to a survey by Fordham University.

    The poll by Fordham’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy released last week found that the Occupy Wall Street movement is 68% white, 61% male and 28% unemployed. But most of the protestors are college graduates and 22% hold advanced degrees.

    It also found that only 25% of the protestors identify with the Democratic Party, while 21% want Rep Ron Paul (R-Texas) to become the Republican Party nominee for president.

    The project by Costas Panagopoulos, professor of political science at Fordham and students, surveyed 301 protestors camped out at Zuccotti Park from Oct. 11 to Oct. 14, with a response rate of 78%. Only one other such survey of Occupy Wall Street exists and it polled fewer protestors, Panagopoulos said.

    “The group is very liberal and part of the Democratic base,” Panagopoulos said. “But a surprising number don’t plan to vote.”

    The OWS rabble rousers seem to detest the Tea Party movement, with 75% giving it two thumbs down.

    But, like their conservative counterparts, the Zuccotti Park denizens don’t trust Washington to “do what is right” and 97% disapprove of how Congress is handling its job.

    More protestors identify with the Socialist Party than the Republican Party, and more than a third identify with no party at all, the survey found.

    The most important problem facing the United States today, according to the Zuccotti Park crowd, is unemployment.

    Read more:

  8. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul On Cain Scandal: It’s Getting To Where You Can’t Joke With Women Anymore

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has an interesting take on Herman Cain’s growing scandal: honestly, he says, these days it seems like women can’t take a joke.

    “There are people now who hesitate to tell a joke to a woman in the workplace, any kind of joke, because it could be interpreted incorrectly,” he told the National Review. “I don’t. I’m very cautious.”

    Paul, whose own campaign was marked by allegations he mistreated a woman years ago, says the media shouldn’t be reporting stories like the one that’s put Cain in all the hot water he’s in this week.

    ‘In my election, I had an anonymous girl from college — who I still don’t know — make accusations against me,” he told NR. “I don’t think you should print stuff like that. To libel someone’s character and not put your name on it, I think is inappropriate and shouldn’t be printed.”

    It’s important to point out here that multiple reporters knew the name of the woman in Paul’s past as well as the two women involved in the original Politico report that started the Cain ball rolling. The names are usually withheld in cases like this to protect sources, which is a time-honored practice in politics it would be surprising if Paul has never engaged in. Cain’s campaign certainly has.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Lawyer: Cain accuser wants to tell her side of story
    By James V. Grimaldi, Tuesday, November 1, 3:51 PM

    One of the women who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment wants to tell her side of the story but is barred by a confidentiality agreement, her attorney in Washington said Tuesday.

    Lawyer Joel P. Bennett called on the National Restaurant Association, where the woman and Cain worked in the late 1990s, to release the woman from her written promise not to talk about the allegations or disparage the trade group.

    It is just frustrating that Herman Cain is going around bad-mouthing the two complainants, and my client is blocked by a confidentiality agreement,” Bennett said. “The National Restaurant Association ought to release them and allow them to respond. ”

    The association, which Cain headed from 1996 to 1999, has remained mum since the story broke in Politico on Sunday evening, citing a long-standing policy not to comment on personnel issues. Cain denied the sexual harassment allegations, saying they were “totally baseless and totally false.”

    Bennett represents one of the two women, who attended an Ivy League school and now works for the federal government. She has avoided the limelight since the allegations were aired, and she is staying with relatives while the media stakes out her home in suburban Maryland, Bennett said.

    If she is released from the confidentiality ban, “then it is whole new ballgame,” Bennett said.

    “If we didn’t have a written settlement agreement that says confidential and no disparagement, I think she’d be very comfortable coming forward,” the attorney told The Post on Tuesday. “Not because she would be so hellbent on doing something to Herman Cain — I don’t know that.

    “For all practical purposes, Herman Cain has already done that” — waived confidentiality, Bennett said. “But legally that might not constitute a waiver.”

    Because the case is more than a dozen years old, Bennett said he no longer has the file nor the confidentiality agreement. He said his client is sending it to him for review to determine how she might speak publicly.

  10. Ametia says:

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Mother, Dorothy Rodham, Dies At Age 92
    by Alex Alvarez | 11:52 am, November 1st, 2011

    Dorothy Rodham, mother of Secretary of State and former First Lady Hillary Clinton, passed away early today in Washington DC surrounded by her family. She was 92 years old.

    Clinton had canceled a scheduled trip to Britain and Turkey after her mother became ill. Rodham survived a challenging childhood, forging her own place in life by taking various jobs and eventually becoming a homemaker and mother of three.

    Rodham chose to remain mostly out of the public spotlight, making a notable exception during her daughter’s 2008 presidential bid, when she offered her support in the form of public appearances in several primary states.

    • Ametia says:

      May the Blessing Be for Hillary and her family. Losing a parent at any age is hard, particularly when we’re close to them. My deepest sympathies…

  11. Ametia says:

    Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/01/2011
    Gloria Cain to give ‘exclusive’ interview, Herman Cain says
    By Nia-Malika Henderson

    Gloria Cain has not been seen on the campaign trail with her husband of 43 years since he announced his presidential candidacy to a cheering crowd in Atlanta in May. But that will soon change.

    “You will meet my wife publicly, in an exclusive interview that we are currently planning and anticipating,” Herman Cain said on Fox News on Monday, sounding every bit like a public relations strategist.

    “She will be introduced in terms of some limited exposure. But it’s not her style for her to be with me on every campaign stop.”

    Gloria Cain’s appearance on the stump could not come at a more awkward and crucial time for the GOP contender, who sits atop some polls, yet seems vulnerable to an implosion after acknowledging that he was accused years ago of inappropriate behavior toward a female employee.

  12. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 1:10 PM

    Rick Perry keeps falling for urban legends

    By Steve Benen

    In August, Rick Perry complained about a new regulation that would require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses if they drive their tractors across the road. It’s a common urban legend in GOP circles, but it’s not true.

    In September, Perry complained that President Obama gave Brazil $2 billion to help with their offshore drilling projects. A right-wing chain email has made the rounds making this claim, but it’s demonstrably false, too.

    And now it’s happened again.

    Satire may not be Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s thing.

    Last Friday, at the swanky Barley House tavern in Concord, N.H., Mr. Perry took a little jab at the Occupy Wall Street crowd, referencing an amusing quote his son had sent him from a protester occupying Toronto.

    “I don’t know if it can be proved up or not,” Mr. Perry conceded, “the young man’s name was Jeremy and he was 38 years old. But he said, ‘We got here at 9 o’clock, and those people, this was in Toronto, I think Bay Street is their comparable [Wall Street], he said those bankers that we came to insult, they’d already been at work for two hours when we got here at 9 o’clock, and when we get ready to leave, you know, they’re still in there working. I guess greed just makes you work hard.”

    So what’s the problem? There is no “Jeremy” — the quote Perry paraphrased appeared in a satirical piece that ran in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. The piece became a chain email, Perry’s son sent it to him, and the governor failed once again to separate fact from fiction.

    I imagine many of us have conservative friends or relatives who send around right-wing chain emails. Most of us, hopefully, realize that the vast majority of these political myths and urban legends are nonsense.

    The fact that Perry struggles so frequently in this area is not a good sign.

  13. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 2:00 PM

    Cain vows ‘full investigation’ into financing scandal

    By Steve Benen

    If Herman Cain sexually harassed his women employees, as has been alleged, it’s a big deal. The allegations are serious, and if true, Cain’s sleaziness is something the public should know about before voters head to the polls. The fact that the Republican candidate keeps changing his story is not a good sign.

    It is not, however, the only Cain-related controversy to break yesterday. Two of Cain’s top campaign aides, including his chief of staff, appear to have created a now-defunct non-profit organization that provided the financial backing that helped Cain’s presidential operation get off the ground. The tax-exempt charity reportedly spent at least $40,000, and perhaps much more, to finance the campaign’s early days, and hasn’t been reimbursed.

    If these allegations are true, it’s a pretty blatant violation of federal election law involving a top-tier presidential candidate and his top aides.

    Today, the GOP candidate vowed a “full investigation.”

    Herman Cain said he had authorized a “full investigation” Tuesday into whether his campaign received improper benefits from a Wisconsin charity cofounded by his campaign manager. […]

    “I am aware of the report. I just heard about it yesterday. We are doing a full investigation of it, and if there were any improprieties, we will go back and amend the FEC report,” Cain told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “The last thing I want to do is anything illegal or something that we shouldn’t do. So at this point, we’re going back through and double-checking and making sure we have all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed.” […]

    Cain promised to make public the results of the inquiry into Prosperity USA.

    When they’re done reviewing their own alleged misconduct, Cain assures us he’ll let everyone know “what exactly we found out.”

    So, let me get this straight. Herman Cain and his top campaign aides may have violated election law, and Cain and his top campaign aides have now retained an attorney to look into this. How will the investigation be conducted? They won’t say. Who’s overseeing the investigation? They won’t say that, either.

    This ought to inspire confidence, right?

    In the meantime, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, said the available evidence suggests “some laws were probably broken” by Cain and his team, and outside counsel is needed to investigate the allegations.

    Remember, a Republican election-law expert told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “If the records accurately reflect what occurred, this is way out of bounds…. I just don’t see how they can justify this. It’s a total mess.”

    This is at least as serious a threat to Cain’s campaign as the sexual harassment charges. It’s not as sexy, but it may prove even more damaging.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Worst Political Party
    by BooMan
    Tue Nov 1st, 2011 at 01:16:29 PM EST

    In 2009, New Jersey voters went to the polls to elect a governor. Their choices were not promising. On the Republican side was a former U.S. Attorney who had done enough of Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales’s bidding to avoid getting fired. On the other side was the former co-CEO of Goldman Sachs. In a just world, they would have both been in jail instead of on the ballot. Maybe Jon Corzine will be there soon. Despite the New Jersey electorate’s heavy preference for Democrats, they couldn’t stomach another four years of governance from a symbol of the economic collapse. Corzine was kicked to the curb.

    It’s now two years later and the economy hasn’t improved all that much. Goldman Sachs remains unpopular and people are “occupying” Wall Street to protest economic injustice. It seem to be a very bad time to put forward a political candidate with close ties to the banking industry or the financial services sector. But it must be a really bad time to nominate a candidate for president with ties to the second biggest Ponzi scheme in recorded history. And that appears to be what the Republicans are on the cusp of doing. As Think Progress reports, Mitt Romney has close business, political, and familial ties to the Stanford Financial Group, which carried out a $8.5 billion fraud on its investors.

    It is bad enough that Romney built his fortune at Bain Capital specializing in Vulture Capitalism. In a time of economic insecurity, who wants to be led by a man whose greatest expertise is downsizing companies and outsourcing jobs? But to discover that his response to the second biggest Ponzi scheme in history was to have his son recruit the crooks and then to invest $10 million to have them set up another investment company?

    Let’s deal with some facts. Never in recorded political history have we seen a candidate for office who has taken three sides of so many issues. No one has ever flip-flop-flipped as many times as Mitt Romney. On top of that, the conservative base of the party absolutely hates the man. They don’t trust him for good reason, since he never sticks to a position. And many of the conservative Christians (particularly Southern Baptists) consider Mormonism a competitor as well as a cult. These are two massive liabilities for a nationwide candidate. If you can’t fire up your base and you can’t stand on any principle, you already have two strikes against you.

    But being a Vulture Capitalist who goes into business with Ponzi Schemers? Huge Ponzi Schemers? That has to be a third strike.

    Looking at the Republican field of candidates, almost all fair observers have come to the conclusion that Mitt Romney is far and away the strongest and most viable general election candidate. That has certainly been my opinion. And what’s truly scary is that despite these Think Progress revelations, I think it’s still true that Romney is the GOP’s best chance.

    While ordinarily I would predict that Romney’s ties to economic fraudsters would doom his prospects for the nomination, his competition is imploding right along with him. Rick Perry is so bad as a candidate that The Economist is openly mocking him. After putting out a trial balloon about skipping some debates (because he does so poorly in them), Perry went up on the air in Iowa with an ad that tried to turn his weakness into a strength.

    “If you’re looking for a slick politician or a guy with great teleprompter skills, we already have that, and he’s destroying our economy”, Mr Perry says, nodding toward both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. “I’m a doer, not a talker”.

    To which The Economist responded:

    Not to be overly pedantic, but talking is a kind of doing. Indeed, talking is primarily how one gets things done in politics. How does Mr Perry convey that he is a doer, and not a talker? By talking. What else is there? Interpretative dance? A presidential candidate unable to best a foe in a public exchange, or to communicate his position on a complex issue when the heat is on, is about as useful as a one-legged fullback. There’s a good reason Mr Perry’s embarrassing debate performances have left him trailing Herman Cain by 15 points in the polls not long after he entered the race with a comfortable lead: a candidate this feckless on his feet would be eaten alive by Barack Obama in the general-election debates.

    And then there was Perry’s strange speech in New Hampshire on Friday night that left NPR asking:

    Has any modern major-party presidential candidate in recent memory ever given a speech that left so many people afterwards asking if he was under-the-influence during his talk as was the case after Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s now infamous appearance in New Hampshire last Friday?

    Then there is the tortured spectacle of Herman Cain trying to explain away a couple of sexual harassment settlements the National Restaurant Association made on his behalf in the late 1990’s. Yes, he is benefiting financially off the revelations in the short-term, but his bumbling response does not bode well for his long-term prospects, especially in a general election against President Obama.

    With the Big Three Republican candidates all simultaneously imploding, there ought to be room for some lower-tier candidate to move up. But it is impossible to see more than about a quarter of the Republican base embracing Ron Paul, whose positions on foreign policy and the drug wars are anathema to most conservatives. And no one other than Mr. Paul is even showing a pulse in the nominating contest. Rick Santorum’s campaign is smart enough to smell blood, but that can’t change the fact that their candidate is ridiculous and the object of ridicule. Michele Bachmann is out of money and ideas. Almost by default, that leaves no one but Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman to pick up the slack. Paul Gigot thinks Newt might surge to the front of the pack, and I can’t say he’s wrong. It seems more likely than Jon Huntsman suddenly getting traction.

    One thing is certain. This is the worst political party this country has seen since the Whigs disintegrated.

  15. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 12:35 PM

    Bank of America’s quick reversal

    By Steve Benen

    Bank of America recently announced a controversial move: it would start charging customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. This, despite BofA’s $6.2 billion quarterly profit.

    As far as Bank of America was concerned, it just didn’t have a choice. BofA was being forced into the change as a result of lost revenue from new government swipe-fee regulations.

    No one — other than other banks — was pleased, and the debit-card fee generated fierce criticism from customers to consumer advocates to President Obama. Last week, Bank of America started backpedaling, insisting it would offer customers more ways to avoid the fee.

    Today, BofA gave up entirely.

    Bank of America Corp. is dropping its plan to charge customers $5 a month for making purchases with their debit cards, a person familiar with the situation said.

    The move is a dramatic retreat following decisions by several rivals in recent days to drop customer tests of the new fees. SunTrust Banks Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. also said Monday that they will stop charging customers for debit-card transactions.

    Bank of America decided against the fees due to negative customer feedback on the plan and the moves by rivals, which left the Charlotte, N.C., lender as the only big bank planning to levy the fee on some customers next year.

    The timing of the announcement was probably not accidental — a growing effort to have customers switch to credit unions had marked this Saturday as “Bank Transfer Day.”

    So, here’s the question for Bank of America: if the fee was absolutely necessary, and was the unavoidable outcome of those new government regulations, why was it cast aside so quickly in the face of public outrage?

    Or put another way, what are to make of weeks of BofA rhetoric, claiming the bank had no choice but to impose this fee?

  16. rikyrah says:

    Where On Earth Is Cain’s Wife?
    You’d think she’d be needed at a moment like this. But Gloria Cain, thus far absent from her husband’s campaign, will soon meet the press “in an exclusive interview that we are currently planning and anticipating.” Alex Pappas tried to profile her last spring:

    It’s hard to find much of anything about Gloria Cain on the Internet. Her only mention on Herman Cain’s campaign website is in his biography, where he says, “the paramount joys in my life are my wife, Gloria, our children and our grandchildren.” “She’s very private and classy,” said Martha Zoller, a Georgia-based talk radio host who often talks about Cain, but admitted she’s only met his wife once.

    Cain said his wife is a native of Atlanta who graduated from Morris Brown College in 1968. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1967. “One month after she graduated from college, I swept her off her feet — we knew each other — and we got married a month later,” he said. They have a 39-year-old daughter and 33-year-old son. They also have three grandchildren. Though she has worked as a teacher and a librarian, Cain says his wife — who sings in the choir at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta — has been a homemaker for most of their marriage.

    GOP consultant Anthony Del Pellegrino underscores the need for Gloria’s presence right now:

    [P]olitics is much like a courtroom. A prosecutor may reveal a point that can plant a seed of doubt in the mind of those in the jury but the Judge may ask the juror to disregard those remarks. Does anyone believe that those remarks are erased from the jurors minds? If you do, you are not very realistic. The same thing applies in politics.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Our Blacks Are So Much Better Than Their Blacks”

    Our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican, you don’t just roll into it. You’re not going with the flow…”

    Ann Coulter on the Sean Hannity Show, October 31st, 2011

    Some of the more obnoxious celebrity conservatives like Ann Coulter seem to be hell bent on making “Republican” synonymous with “ridiculous” as they pull out all the stops to protect Herman Cain’s candidacy. Many right wing pundits, TV and radio commentators insist unequivocally that there is a high tech lynching of Mr. Cain by the “liberal media” going on, but they are wrong. The members of the lynch mob in this particular scenario are all card carrying Republicans.

    “Our blacks are so much better than their blacks.”

    “Volcanic” is probably too gentle a word to describe the Mount Vesuvius that raged within me as I tried to process this sentence. I will leave it to someone like Melissa Harris-Lacewell to deconstruct the tone of ownership in Coulter’s voice that jumped right off the screen and smacked me and countless other African Americans dead in the face. To Ann Coulter, and her surrogates, all I will say is this—there is no need to apologize, or walk this statement back, or tell me that I am “taking it out of context”, because I got the message loud and clear the first time. This is just the kind of thing that makes black people yank out their credit cards, pull up, and click the “Donate Now” button.

    The kind of people who are true believers of the ridiculous stuff people like Ann Coulter are prone to spew are the kind of people who turn others off with their fanatical ideological rigidity. What the Republicans really need right now, though, if they are going to have a real chance of winning the White House in 2012, are the kind of people who can turn people on, not off. The kind of cheerleaders who have the credibility needed to push for a more inclusive party. But people like Coulter and her ilk are so boxed in by their own rhetoric that they can’t afford to jeopardize the allegiance of the “us versus them” audience they have spent years cultivating.

    • GrannyStandingforTruth says:

      BTW, the new topic that I posted, I shined the spotlight on Ann Coulter with the brightest light I could find. Y’all know the one that let’s you see every little grain of dirt.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Letters Reveal Eric Cantor Begged For Obama Stimulus Money To Create Jobs
    Among the Tea Partiers Newsweek uncovered begging for federal dollars, one name stood out. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor requested tens of millions of federal stimulus dollars to create jobs in his district.

    During a March 1, 2009 appearance on ABC’s This Week, Rep. Cantor said that the government can’t create jobs, “And what we see in this budget, frankly, is an attempt, again, to try and stimulate the economy through government expenditure. And, you know, at best what that can do is redistribute wealth. It can’t create jobs; it can’t create wealth. We’ve got to get back to focusing on job creation and creating prosperity.”

    Newsweek has uncovered letters that show Rep. Cantor requesting hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars for his district at the same time; he was publicly claiming that government can’t create jobs

    Just a month after going on ABC and claiming that the government can’t create jobs, Cantor sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to request almost $75 million in federal stimulus funds for the I-95 high speed rail project. Cantor along with Rep. Bobby Scott wrote that, “High speed rail provides a sensible and viable solution to our region’s transportation challenges. It is estimated that creating a high speed railway through Virginia will generate as many as 185,500 jobs, as much as $21.2 billion in economic development, and put nearly 6.5 million cars off the road annually.”

    In 2010, Eric Cantor wrote in the book Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders that, “Government doesn’t create jobs and build wealth; entrepreneurs, risk takers and private businesses do,” but just months earlier he was still requesting federal money for job creation.

    In October 2009, Cantor and several other Congressmen from both parties sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for $60 million in federal funds to be added to the Title XI Ship Loan Guarantee program. Cantor and the others wrote, “Once an application for a Title XI loan guarantee is approved, the construction order is immediately placed in a shipyard, instantaneously creating and sustaining thousands of jobs in the shipyard and supplier base for two to three years.”

    While speaking the language of the tea party publicly, Eric Cantor was doing the exact opposite privately. It turns out that Cantor knows that government spending creates jobs. He admitted as much in his own letters. The tea party and Republican voters have been sold an empty bill of goods. Their leaders talk about cutting government spending publicly while angling privately for more taxpayer dollars for their districts.

    It seems that the Republican zeal for cutting spending only applies to programs that they ideologically disagree with like Medicare.

    Eric Cantor, the same man who claims that the government can’t afford disaster relief, begged the Obama administration to pour millions of federal dollars into his district in order to create jobs.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Eric Cantor.

  19. Ametia says:

    By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 10:49 AM
    NEW YORK — Bank of America is nixing its plans to charge a $5 debit card fee.

    The news comes after other major banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo, said last week that they were canceling tests of similar fees.

    Bank of America had said last week that it would stand by its decision to roll out the $5 monthly fee starting next year.

    The about-face by the banking industry comes amid growing public anger over higher fees. A movement to get customers to switch to credit unions and community banks had marked this Saturday as “Bank Transfer Day.”

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  20. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 10:35 AM

    John Boehner and the notion of ‘common ground’

    By Steve Benen

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made an appeal to super-committee members yesterday, urging them to work towards a debt-reduction solution built on areas of agreement between the parties. If only his argument was as sensible as it sounds.

    Boehner encouraged the committee to hone in on working to reform entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to meet the committee’s mandate to drop $1.5 trillion from the deficit in the next decade. […]

    Explaining that common ground is not analogous to compromise, the speaker called on Democrats and Republicans to come together on areas of agreement without violating the principles that brought them to elected office.

    “Common ground doesn’t mean compromising on your principles. Common ground means finding the places where your agenda overlaps with that of the other party, locking arms, and getting it done, without violating your principles,” Boehner said. “The jobs crisis in America today demands that we seek common ground, and act on it where it’s found.”

    That seems fair, doesn’t it? Democrats have a policy agenda; Republicans have a very different agenda; and to get something done, the two sides should focus on areas of commonality.

    The context, however, makes all the difference. In this case, Boehner was talking about entitlements, and support in both parties for making structural “reforms” to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If Democrats and Republicans agree that entitlement changes are worthwhile to address long-term financing challenges, in the Speaker’s mind, it means the parties should “lock arms” and adopt these changes.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) made a very similar argument over the summer: “We both agree on doing something that’s good for the country, which is dealing with entitlements. Why don’t we just do that? Why do we have to sit here and say we still got to raise taxes when we don’t agree on that?”

    The problem here is that GOP leaders don’t seem to understand what the words “compromise” and “common ground” mean.

    Consider an example. Let’s say I go to pick up some lunch at the sandwich shop around the corner. The guy behind the counter and I are prepared to engage in a transaction — I’ll give him $5 and he’ll give me a sandwich. But I decide I’m not fully satisfied with the terms. “Look,” I tell the guy, “both of us agree that I should get the sandwich. It’s already right there on the counter, and this is the area where both of our agendas overlap. So, let’s focus on this area of common ground, I’ll eat the sandwich, and we can argue about the $5 later.”

    This is, in effect, what Republican leaders are telling Democrats. Leading Dems in Congress and at the White House have told the GOP they’re willing to accept some entitlement “reforms” in exchange for some additional tax revenue from the wealthy. It’s a balanced approach that calls for broad sacrifice, which addresses the debt problem created by Republicans over the last decade.

    Boehner and Cantor are saying, “Well, we both want to tackle entitlements, but we disagree about taxes, so just give us what we want since it’s an area of ‘common ground.’”

    What GOP leaders don’t seem to understand — or at least choose to be confused about — is that giving one side everything it wants, and demanding no concessions at all from that side, is in no way similar to “finding the places where your agenda overlaps with that of the other party, locking arms, and getting it done.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 10:00 AM

    The ‘perfectly lubricated weathervane’ keeps spinning

    By Steve Benen

    It’s not just the frequency with which Jon Huntsman’s campaign goes after Mitt Romney that’s interesting; it’s how good Huntsman is at doing it.

    Last week, the former Utah governor slammed Romney as a “perfectly lubricated weathervane,” followed soon after by a brutal video highlighting some of the former Massachusetts governor’s recent flip-flops. On screen is a flipping toy monkey.

    Yesterday afternoon, Huntsman’s team hit Romney on this again.

    It’s another split-screen clip, showing Romney taking both sides of debates over health care, stimulus, withdrawal from Iraq, climate change, and taxes. All the while, Romney, has flips and flops, shares the screen with a turning weathervane (which, presumably, is perfectly lubricated).

    It’s a 90-second video, the last 20 of which shows Huntsman talking about Romney’s failure to show leadership. But perhaps the best part about the clip is that the first 70 seconds are so strong, they could be used by anyone, in either party, without so much as an edit.

    As Rachel Maddow noted yesterday, it’s a video with an indefinite lifespan — “every other candidate can just pop themselves in at the end.”

    To reiterate a point from last week, Romney seems to have two main flaws as a candidate. He’s a cowardly and uncontrollable flip-flopper with no core convictions, and he has an atrocious record on job creation. I’d argue that Huntsman is hitting Romney on both counts more effectively than anyone in either party.

    If Democrats — Obama’s re-election team, the DNC, allied super PACs, etc. — are smart, they’re taking note at what Huntsman is up to. Huntsman almost certainly won’t be the Republican nominee, but his content should probably be used again in 2012.

  22. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 9:25 AM

    Perry’s overly-generous gift to the rich

    By Steve Benen

    The tax plan Rick Perry released last week is more a caricature than a policy proposal. The Republican presidential hopeful wants a flat tax, the elimination of the Estate Tax, and the elimination of the capital-gains tax. If you’re thinking that sounds like the kind of plan that would benefit the wealthy, you’re right.

    Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal for an opt-in flat tax would primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans, according to a new analysis from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization. Compared with current tax policy, the plan would most likely reduce federal tax revenue by $570 billion, or about 15 percent.

    The plan, released last week as part of Mr. Perry’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, allows taxpayers to calculate their personal income taxes under the existing tax code, which is progressive. But it also allows taxpayers to instead have their income taxed at a flat 20 percent rate. In this alternative system, long-term capital gains, qualified dividends and Social Security benefits would not be taxed, and only a handful of deductions would be allowed. Once a household chooses the new system, it cannot switch back.

    Because no one would be forced to use the alternate system, Mr. Perry has said, no one would have to pay higher taxes (at least initially; presumably if a family’s income changes a few years after entering the plan, it may no longer be advantageous). Even so, the greatest beneficiaries of the flat-tax option — that is, the households that would be most likely to switch to this system — are far and away the highest earners.

    McClatchy ran a chart that helps drive the point home nicely:

    Unlike Herman Cain’s infamous “9-9-9” plan, Perry’s approach manages to cut everyone’s taxes*. There are, however, two catches. The first is that lower-income workers would get a very small cut, while millionaires and billionaires would be showered with another round of overly-generous breaks. It’s the Bush/Cheney strategy on steroids.

    The second is that Perry won’t even try to pay for these massive tax breaks, and last week, his campaign argued he shouldn’t have to, since massive giveaways to the wealthy pay for themselves. In Grown-Up Land, this would, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis, add an additional $1 trillion to the debt in 2015, unless the costs are offset by brutal spending cuts that eliminate a large chunk of the federal government.

    As for the larger takeaway from all of this, I think Bruce Bartlett has the right idea: “Mr. Perry’s plan cannot be taken seriously. I don’t think it’s meant to be, at least by those of us who don’t plan on voting in Republican primaries. It’s just a signaling device, telling the Republican faithful that they can trust Mr. Perry on the tax issue. Whether the plan makes any sense as a matter of policy is irrelevant to its purpose, which is to win him the Republican nomination.”

    * Clarification: There are actually three catches. Bruce emails to remind that the Perry flat-tax plan is intended to only give 60% of taxpayers a cut, not 100%. The key detail is that taxpayers would have a “choice” — between the status quo and Perry’s new system — and that 40% would stand to benefit more from sticking with the existing tax structure, which would allow them to pay less. It’s one of the key reasons revenue shortfalls would be so dramatic.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Exclusive: Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme
    By Lee Fang on Nov 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary.

    In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

    The Ponzi Scheme

    In 2009, prosecutors announced charges against the Stanford Financial Group, which managed a portfolio of $8.5 billion, for running a “massive, ongoing fraud” against its investors. The Ponzi scheme bust was one of the largest in recent history, second only to Bernie Madoff, who perpetrated a fraud estimated to be around $17 billion. The Stanford Ponzi scheme wiped out the savings of thousands, including many American retirees across the country. In Texas, 1290 people lost their retirement savings because of the Stanford Ponzi scheme; in Louisiana, several hundred reportedly suffered the same fate.

    The Romney Business Connection

    Solamere Capital, the investment company founded by Tagg Romney with seed money from his father, Mitt Romney and other investors.
    Launched in 2008 by Romney’s son Tagg and a few others, including Mitt Romney’s chief fundraiser Spencer Zwick, Solamere Capital is a “fund of funds,” meaning that it primarily invests in other investment companies, like private equity groups.

    Mitt Romney himself made a $10 million initial seed investment in Solamere Capital and his personal financial disclosure forms reveal that he has received between $100,000 and $1 million in returns from his stake in Solamere. Romney has come under fire for refusing to release his tax returns, which would likely reveal additional details about his financial relationship with Solamere Capital.

    After news of the Ponzi scheme precipitated the collapse of Stanford in 2009, Tagg partnered with several of Stanford’s North Carolina executives to start a firm called Solamere Advisors. At least three prominent brokers who had worked for Stanford — Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips — joined Tagg to help run Solamere Advisors, a wealth management business located in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We are excited to be associated with such a highly capable group of financial advisors with a proven track record of meeting the needs of their clients throughout the Southeast,” said Tagg in a press release announcing Solamere Advisors, which borrows its the name from its parent company, Solamere Capital.

    The Romney Campaign Connection

    The Romney campaign and the Romney family investment company are deeply entwined. A recent Boston Globe investigation found that top donors to the Romney campaign have invested into Tagg’s firm, and that Romney’s star campaign fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, doubles as a managing partner for Solamere Capital. The Romney campaign has paid Zwick’s firm, SJZ LLC, over $2 million in fees this year alone. Mitt Romney’s brother Scott Romney is listed as a senior advisor to Solamere Capital.
    Tagg Defends Partners, Falsely Claims They Were Cleared Of Wrongdoing

    In an interview with ThinkProgress after the CNN debate in Las Vegas, Tagg said he was proud of his investment with Solamere Advisors, the wealth management firm now run by Stanford’s former executives. “They’re friends of ours, they use the [Solamere] name, we own a piece of them,” he said. “We helped them get started.” Romney’s son said he owns a minority stake in Solamere Advisors, but noted that they operate with some level of independence. “We don’t control them at all, we just own them,” he explained.

    The Solamere Advisors website lists Bambauer, May, and Tagg Romney among the directors of the firm (Eric Scheuermann, a managing partner for Solamere Capital, is also a director of Solamere Advisors). The Solamere name comes from “a private community in Deer Valley, Utah, where [Mitt] Romney owned a ski mansion,” reports Globe writers Michael Kranish and Donovan Slack.

    “Did you know that some of those guys were in with, there were allegations that some of those guys were involved with the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme?” ThinkProgress asked. “Before we invested in them, they were in that. But they were cleared of that before we made our investment,” replied Tagg, who spoke to ThinkProgress for a few minutes while walking around the Venetian hotel after the debate.

    Solamere Advisors, a wealth management firm employing brokers who allegedly participated in the Stanford Financial Group Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney helped found Solamere Advisors with an investment from Solamere Capital.
    ThinkProgress also asked about the allegedly fraudulent profits made by his partners in helping orchestrate the Stanford Ponzi scheme and the current effort by Stanford’s victims to retrieve their money. In response, Tagg claimed that his colleagues are also victims: “They probably made, their pay there was like $15,000 total. Those guys got totally screwed by the whole thing. It almost ended their whole careers because they moved all their clients over [to the Stanford Financial Group], and then the place was shut down two months after they moved their clients over. They hadn’t made any money yet. They had bonuses and everything promised to them, but they didn’t make any of their money. So they made no money.”

    Tagg’s assertions, that his Solamere Advisors partners who were employed in the Stanford Ponzi scheme didn’t make “any money,” and that they their involvement in the Ponzi scheme has been “cleared,” contrasts with court documents obtained by ThinkProgress. According to documents reviewed by ThinkProgess using the Pacer search engine, charges against Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips have not been dropped. A recent court filing shows May requesting the court for arbitration instead of going to trial. ThinkProgress also spoke to the deputy clerk for the federal District Court in Dallas, and confirmed that the three men are still defendants in the lawsuit to recover the Ponzi scheme money.

    Moreover, a court-appointed audit of the Stanford Financial Group found that several of the former Stanford brokers made far more than what Tagg claimed:

    – Solamere Advisors managing partner Tim Bambauer made $1,143,392 in incentive pay selling fraudulent CDs to investors.
    – Solamere Advisors partner Deems May made $465,000 in incentive pay selling fraudulent CDs to investors.
    – Solamere Advisors operations manager made Brandon Phillips $70,000 in incentive pay selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

    The lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission claims the Stanford Financial Group built its Ponzi scheme by incentivizing brokers to sell fraudulent CDs with an array of bonuses. A document filed in the District Court of North Texas says that Stanford “used an elaborate and sophisticated incentive program” to encourage brokers, like Bambauer and others, to lure investors into the Ponzi scheme. A suit to recover money for Stanford’s victims declares that Stanford’s former brokers are not entitled to their performance pay because those funds were made in “furtherance of the Ponzi scheme.”

  24. Ametia says:

    President Obama to meet with Sarkozy, Merkel on European debt crisis at G-20 summit
    By David Nakamura, Published: October 31
    President Obama will open two days of the Group of 20 economic summit in Cannes, France, on Thursday with a pair of bilateral meetings dealing with the European debt crisis, which is likely to dominate the event.

    Obama is to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, White House officials said Monday.

  25. Ametia says:

    Source: bangor daily news

    In its most recent Transparency Report, Google states that it has received multiple requests from law-enforcement officials to remove videos.

    “We received a request from a local law enforcement agency to remove YouTube videos of police brutality, which we did not remove. Separately, we received requests from a different local law enforcement agency for removal of videos allegedly defaming law enforcement officials. We did not comply with those requests, which we have categorized in this Report as defamation requests.”

    The report covers January to June of this year, and catalogs removal requests from a variety of sources. The report states that Google complied with 63 percent of the 92 requests for content removal and a 93 percent of the 5,950 requests for user data. Writing in The Atlantic, Rebecca J. Rosen says that the lack of detail in the report “does more for making government transparent than it does more making Google itself transparent.”

    Read more:

  26. Ametia says:

    Is Queen Latifah the new Oprah?
    By Lisa de Moraes, Published: October 31

    Sony Pictures TV, Queen Latifah, Will Smith — and Jada Pinkett Smith — think the new Oprah is Queen Latifah.

    Sony announced Monday it is getting together with Latifah and Will Smith — and Jada Pinkett Smith — to produce a syndicated daytime talk show that would star the rapper turned actress.

    The show would not launch until the fall of 2013, in order to allow time for the thinning of the herd of would-be New Oprah’s — a herd that includes Anderson Cooper, Ricki Lake, Steve Harvey, Katie Couric, Bethenny Frankel and even Jeff Probst. Some of those daytime programs, including Katie’s, won’t be ready to launch until fall of next year.

    Latifah and Will Smith — and Jada Pinkett Smith — will executive-produce the new talker, Sony said in its announcement — a complicated macedoine of names of companies owned by Latifah and Smith — and Jada Pinkett Smith, and names of suits working at those companies who have also laid claim to exec-producer credit on the new show.

    Latifah already had one at-bat hosting a talk show. But that one — “The Queen Latifah Show,” produced with Warner Bros.’ Telepictures — didn’t take, lasting just two seasons.

  27. Ametia says:

    Toure: Cain Nothing But A Minstrel Character Here To Entertain You<b.

    Toure (one word), MSNBC's resident expert on race once again used airtime to delegitimize Herman Cain as a black man and dismissed him as a member of black American culture in an appearance on "The Last Word" with host Lawrence O'Donnell.

    Toure accuses the right of crying racism "wherever we see any racial politics taking place." Consider the following:

    Toure (after viewing a montage of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Clarence Thomas at his Senate confirmation hearing): "One thing I see — saw Rush Limbaugh talking about, 'we see who the real racists are.' And Clarence Thomas is using that the same sort of bazooka to fire back is that when we point out moments of racism or moments of minstrelsy in Herman Cain's example, they fire back and they just use the word racism. 'That's racism. You're racist.' So, it becomes this sort of negating tool that we'll just say racism wherever we see any racial politics taking place. We'll say the race card is being played anytime points out a moment of racism and that sort of muddles the conversation to where a lot of people are like 'I don't want to be part of this at all. It seems two people are fighting and I don't understand what's going on."


  28. rikyrah says:

    I couldn’t stop thinking of Cain breaking out in song.

    the word that I wanted to call him was on the tip of my tongue, but couldn’t think of it until last night.

    he looked like a MINSTREL.


  29. rikyrah says:

    Lost It in the Sun
    by mistermix

    I can understand why it was eclipsed by Herman’s jib-jab, lie-a-minute, pants-shitting clusterfuck of a response to the allegations of sexual harassment, but smoking man fucked his campaign where it really hurts: right in the money hole.

    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.

    Might” is just to keep the editor satisfied—charities can’t run candidates for President, period. Unless that piece is completely mistaken, Herman is going to be spending some quality time with the Federal Election Commission and perhaps federal prosecutors. In addition to Mark Block, Herman’s chief of staff and noted tobacco user, and Linda Hansen, his deputy chief of staff, the Koch brothers are also involved.

    As usual with Herman, the fun is going to be watching the establishment Republicans trying to get the 27% to pay attention to something that any serious person realizes is a gigantic negative for the Cain candidacy. With the noise machine cranking up to combat the harassment lies promulgated by the liberal media, that’s going to be a tough job, even for Karl Rove.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    November 01, 2011 8:35 AM

    Maybe we’re supposed to pray for a GOP jobs plan

    By Steve Benen

    Members of the House of Representatives will be on the floor today, taking the time to vote on a measure Republicans consider important. Is it a jobs bill? No. A measure to boost economic growth? Afraid not. The Chinese currency bill that already passed the Senate? Fat chance. Maybe legislation related to immigration or energy policy? We should be so lucky.

    It turns out, the GOP proposal that will reach the floor today has to do with support for the national motto.

    House Republicans on Tuesday will try to pass a resolution reaffirming that “In God We Trust” is the national motto of the United States.

    The concurrent resolution, sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), would not have the force of law, but instead is aimed at “supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.”

    The bill briefly outlines the history of government references to God, and adds in that “if religion and morality are taken out of the market-place of ideas, the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured.”

    Remember when Republican leaders said they’d curtail the practice of voting on symbolic resolutions that have no purpose other than making House members feel better? Well, forget it.

    Keep in mind, the entire House of Representatives will be spending time on this today for no apparent reason. “In God We Trust” is already the motto, and there is no effort afoot to change that. In effect, this resolution is largely intended to say, “Just in case anyone forgot, the national motto is still the national motto.”

    What a valuable use of congressional time.

    Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said President Obama has decided “to quit governing.” As proof, Boehner pointed to Obama’s effort to rally support for an ambitious jobs agenda.

    Mr. Speaker, today your caucus is going to spend time “affirming” the national motto in the midst of a jobs crisis. Tell me again who’s quit governing?

    Adding insult to injury, the resolution’s conservative backers don’t even have their history right. The measure states as fact that “In God We Trust” has been an integral part of United States society since its founding.” That’s clearly wrong. The phrase makes no appearances in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any of the Founding Fathers’ writings. Early American leaders chose “E pluribus unum” as the motto on the Great Seal of the United States in 1782, and this was the country’s unofficial motto for nearly two centuries. That changed in 1956 when, as some kind of symbolic Cold War gesture, Congress chose “In God We Trust” as the official national motto. But given that the nation’s “founding” pre-dates 1956, the claim isn’t at all true.

    But this would still be a waste of time, even if conservatives understood history. The national motto is not facing any danger. The American middle class is. The sooner congressional Republicans get their priorities straight, the better.

  31. rikyrah says:

    “Lack[ing] The Courage Of His Absence Of Convictions” Ctd
    Friedersdorf wishes Will would take his critique of Romney’s candidacy a step further:

    Can I request a sequel? If not Romney, who? … The rise of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain weren’t accidents. They were the logical products of an ideological movement whose leading voices place no value on governing experience, credible policy proposals, or any other quality needed to be a successful general election candidate or president.

  32. rikyrah says:

    November 01, 2011 8:00 AM

    Flunking Crisis Management 101

    By Steve Benen

    When a campaign is confronted with a controversy, Crisis Management 101 offers some basic guidelines: know the facts, get the truth out, and stick to the story. Herman Cain’s presidential campaign, confronted with allegations of sexual harassment, somehow managed yesterday to get all of this backwards.

    Keep in mind, Politico first started asking the Republican campaign about the allegations 10 days before publishing its report yesterday. In other words, Cain and his team knew this story was coming, and had all kinds of time to prepare.

    And they still managed to screw it up, offering a series of “shifting explanations,” many of which contradicted each other.

    Since POLITICO published a story Sunday night revealing that the NRA had reached financial settlements with two women who accused Cain of inappropriate behavior, Cain and his spokesmen have offered a shifting and inconclusive series of responses.

    The result is that a story that would have been damaging to Cain under any circumstances now threatens to derail his campaign permanently as the former trade association chief’s honesty comes into question.

    The Cain campaign first attacked the story without denying its accuracy, then said the story is wrong, and then effectively conceded that the basics of the story were accurate. Cain said he’d never been accused of harassment, then said he had been accused, but the charges were false. Cain said he knew “nothing” about the financial settlement with the accusers, then changed his mind, and said he “was aware” about one of them and even offered details on Fox News.

    Cain even said he’d referred the allegations to the National Restaurant Association’s human-resources department at the time, and that wasn’t true, either.

    Remember, the candidate and his team had a week and a half to prepare for this campaign bombshell. The Cain campaign had all kinds of time to get the facts, understand the details, and formulate a public response. Indeed, one can imagine a perfectly competent response to the story, which could have been offered yesterday morning: “I was accused; the charges were false; here’s how I and my organization responded at the time….”

    Instead, the top-tier Republican looked bad when the allegations came to light and managed to look worse when he couldn’t keep his story straight. Even the most ardent Cain backers would have to concede a campaign that contradicts itself, over and over again, despite plenty of lead time, is not where it needs to be.

    For that matter, if the allegations against Cain are accurate, his career in politics should come to an abrupt end.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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