Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Chaka Khan Week!

Happy HUMP day, Everyone!  Do You Love What You FEEL?

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92 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Chaka Khan Week!

  1. Hey guys,

    Do you remember this video of Emmanuel Sanders of the Pittsburgh Steelers from last year’s Superbowl? My son is a friend of Emmanuel Sanders. They went to school together. I am sure I mentioned that I was friends with his mother, Stephanie. Well, Stephanie past away yesterday in her sleep. I am so sad. My thoughts and prayers to the family!

    In Loving Memory…

  2. U.S. President Barack Obama (R, seen through window) talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as they depart Washington via the Marine One helicopter to begin their travel to France for a G20 summit, November 2, 2011.

  3. President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. , as he travels to France for the G20 Summit, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.

    • President Barack Obama walks with Col. Kenneth R. Rizer, Commander of the 11th Wing of Andrews Air Force Base as he heads , towards Air Force One, as he travels to France for the G20 Summit, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.

  4. Ametia says:

    Seriously I don’t want to hear SHIT about spending cuts and deficits


  5. Ametia says:

    What CAIN’S BRAIN STRAIN didn’t figure is that the digging of bones started as soon as he jumped into the presidentiall CLOWN CAR.

    Can we Tweet this, SG2?

  6. First lady Michelle Obama holds one-and-a-half year old Kyli Thomas, as she does exercises and sings songs while visiting the Royal Castle Child Development Center in New Orleans, La. , Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, as part of her ‘Let’s Move’ initiative.

  7. Ametia says:

    How about some Champagne this evening?

  8. US President Barack Obama boards Marine One November 2, 2011 on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama was heading to the G-20 summit in Cannes, France.

  9. The First Lady Honors Arts and Humanities Programs for Youth

  10. Ametia says:

    Hold Them Accountable For Trickle-Down Economics That Never Trickled Down
    By Lofnheidr
    November 2, 2011

    In the 1970’s banks were restricted by how high the interest rates could be issued on both the lending and savings activities plus the banks were limited to the immediate area of service. By the early 1980’s the interest rate ceilings were phased out and regulations regarding the kind of service and activities a bank engages in have been eliminated. The deregulation was positive in the scope of national economic stability, but the real economy was impacted by “Wall Street” and “Main Street” being tightly integrated. The effect as we saw in 2008 was the complete collapse, across the board and internationally, when the desires of “Wall Street” members disregarded the impact of their decisions on members of “Main Street”.

    Over the same period of deregulation in the financial industry, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), have experienced an exponential increase in income and bonuses, not to mention additional non-cash bonuses and benefits. Dr Jack Rasmus puts it this way, “In 1965, CEO pay was 26 times that of their average worker. In 1980, as noted, 40 times. In 1989, it was 72 times. In 1999 it had risen to 310 times, and today, as per the above data from the accounting firm, Towers Perrin, survey it has reached 500 times.”

    I looked frantically for some evidence that the deregulation of the financial industry, the increase in CEO pay and the decrease in the wages of the average worker are not linked. Unfortunately there is evidence that they are linked, and directly so. Again I turn to Dr. Jack Rasmus:

    The overall picture is abundantly clear: real average hourly wages of more than 100 million of American workers’ are less today than 25 years ago; real wages of college educated workers have risen only modestly in the late 1990s and fallen since under Bush II; and real wages of the 10 million lowest paid workers have declined more than 21%

  11. fivethirtyeight:

    Alabama radio host, citing unnamed sources close to Palin, says she’s “reconsidering” POTUS race.

    Good grief! Enough already!

  12. Ametia says:

    The ladies are crawling outta the woodwork!

    Third worker says she was harassed by Cain
    By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 3:08 PM

    WASHINGTON — A third former employee says she considered filing a workplace complaint over what she considered aggressive and unwanted behavior by Herman Cain when she worked for the presidential candidate in the 1990s. She says the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

    She worked for the National Restaurant Association when he was its head. She told The Associated Press that Cain made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against him.

    The employee described situations in which she said Cain told her he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she feared retaliation.

    Cain’s campaign declined to comment.

  13. Obama Gets a Bump in New Quinnipiac Poll

  14. rikyrah says:

    Super Committee Republicans Get Earful Over Loyalty To Grover Norquist
    Beutler November 2, 2011, 12:30

    While Super Committee Democrats are pressed to accept unpopular, and illiberal proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 over several years, Republicans are under increasing pressure to cut Grover Norquist loose.

    The well-funded anti-tax crusader has secured pledges from the vast majority of Republican members of Congress, including all six GOP members of the Super Committee, to never raise taxes on net. And that’s the key reason the panel is deadlocked with just three weeks until its deadline.

    Yesterday, at a public hearing, those six Republicans got an earful from one of their former colleagues — retired Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY).

    “Just a quick note about Grover Norquist,” Simpson testified. “If Grover Norquist is now the most powerful man in America, he should run for president. There’s no question about his power. And let me tell you, he has people in thrall. That’s a terrible phrase. Lincoln used it. It means your mind has been captured. You’re in bondage with a soul. “

    Simpson went on: “So here he is. I asked him. He said, ‘My hero is Ronald Reagan.’ I said, ‘Well, he raised taxes 11 times in his eight years.’ And he said, ‘I know. I didn’t like that at all.’ I said, ‘Well, he did it. Why do you suppose?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. Very disappointing.’ I said, ‘He probably did it to make the country run, another sick idea.’”

    To underscore the fact that GOP’s intransigence on taxes is the source of the gridlock, the committee’s Democratic co-chair confirmed that Democrats are willing to make the sort of deep cuts to entitlement programs Republicans are demanding — but only if Republicans abandon the pledge.

    “It’s not enough for either side to simply say they want to reduce the deficit—now is the time when everyone needs to be putting some real skin in the game and offering serious compromises,” Murray said at the hearing, in her most pointed public comments to date. “Democrats have made clear we are prepared to do that. We’ve said we are very open to painful concessions and compromises if Republicans are as well—and we have put forward serious ideas that reflect this. But these concessions would only be made—and only considered—in the context of a balanced deal that doesn’t just fall on the middle class and most vulnerable Americans—but that requires big corporations and the wealthiest among us to share in the sacrifices.”

    Other players in the conservative movement are rallying around Norquist. The question is whether elected Republicans can cut the Gordian Knot.

  15. dannie22 says:

    Good afternoon all!!!

  16. Whoo Hoo! Guess who’s # 1? Here we go, folks!

    The 10 Most Powerful People on Earth

    • Ametia says:

      Ametia….. LOL just kidding. PBO of course. although I’d have to say, we’re ALL powerful in our own universe, if we name it and claim it! CONGRATS, POTUS!

  17. DAOWENS44:

    Obama rips Republicans for vote on ‘In God We Trust’ motto –

  18. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 10:40 AM

    Pushing back against the GOP’s ‘war on voting’

    By Steve Benen

    Republican officials in more than 30 states have approved new restrictions on voting in recent years, including seven states where Americans will be required to show photo ID before they’re allowed to participate in an election. It’s a little something called the “war on voting”; it may keep 5 million eligible voters from casting a ballot in 2012; and as Richard Hasen, an election law expert at UC Irvine, explained this week, the new Republican rules “could easily decide the outcome” of next year’s election.

    The significance of this is not lost on the DNC and President Obama’s re-election team.

    The Obama re-election campaign has quietly opened a counteroffensive against Republican-backed changes to election laws that Democrats say will suppress votes for their candidates and limit their get-out-the-vote drives.

    The effort, led by former White House counsel Robert Bauer, prompted the suspension of an Ohio law limiting early voting. Campaign officials produced educational materials to counter a Wisconsin law that requires voters to produce photo I.D.s — but disallows those used by Wisconsin colleges.

    By this spring, the Obama re-election campaign will mount what Mr. Bauer called an unprecedented “voter protection” effort, fielding thousands of volunteers in battleground states to help navigate new election laws, months earlier than past efforts.

    In states where new restrictions are already in place, Democratic officials have limited options. Some legal challenges are already underway, but much of the counter-offensive seems built around a public-awareness campaign.

    Indeed, to a very real extent, the “war on voting” has become the basis for new Democratic activism. The WSJ reported, “Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, said his office coordinates daily with the Obama campaign on how to encourage older voters, college students and African Americans to vote by absentee ballot. The message is: ‘They believe they can keep you from voting. Don’t let it happen.’”

    But let’s not overlook the punch-line.

    Republicans see no precedent for a presidential re-election campaign to go this far to counter laws passed by state legislatures and signed by governors. “It’s somewhat concerning that the president’s own team is seeking to undermine laws that ensure only registered voters actually vote,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

    Actually, what’s “somewhat concerning” is a national Republican campaign to rig an election cycle by restricting voting rights, relying on efforts that look “an awful lot like methods pioneered by the white supremacists from another era that achieved the similar results.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 2:50 PM

    Choosing not to swing at ‘Romneycare’

    By Steve Benen

    In March, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took a not-so-subtle shot at Mitt Romney’s record on health care in the context of the 2012 presidential campaign. “It’s not that dissimilar to ObamaCare,” Ryan said of Romney’s reform law in Massachusetts. “And you probably know I’m not a big fan of ObamaCare.”

    Now, however, the right-wing Wisconsinite is singing a different tune. Asked about the striking similarities between Romney’s and Obama’s reform laws, Ryan said this week, “I don’t think this question matters that much anymore.”

    It speaks to what I consider the biggest surprise of the presidential race so far: Romney is simply getting a pass on health care. The former governor’s health care included an individual mandate forcing taxpayers to purchase insurance; it provided benefits to immigrants who entered the country illegally; and it covers abortion — and somehow, this hardly ever comes up in the middle of the GOP primary contest. A year ago, the right was saying Romney wouldn’t even be considered unless he renounced and apologized for his health care law, and now, it’s effectively become a non-issue.

    Jonathan Bernstein had a good piece the other day, referencing the last Kaiser survey data on health care, and concluding that Romney’s GOP rivals are “blowing it.”

    First, the context: as you might expect, Republicans really hate Barack Obama’s health care reform, with an 11/81 split against it and almost two-thirds “very unfavorable.” And those who know about the Massachusetts plan have a similar opinion, which isn’t strange since the basic structure is so similar (although lacking the important ingredient of Barack Obama, as I’ve argued): Republicans oppose Romneycare by a 6-1 margin.

    But the key number isn’t how many Republicans dislike health care in Massachusetts; it’s how many don’t know enough to offer an opinion. That would be a whopping 77% (and even more telling, it’s the same number for likely primary voters as it is for all Republicans in the survey). Kaiser also asked about whether the Massachusetts reform was similar to the national reform law, with the same results: 69% of likely primary voters didn’t have an opinion. Of those who did, 18% said it was similar while 11% thought otherwise.

    So here we are, just 10 weeks from the Iowa caucuses, and Mitt Romney’s opponents have so far completely failed to let Republican voters know about his (presumably) biggest weakness.

    At least in the primary phase, this was supposed to be a weight on Romney’s shoulders. How could he run for the Republican nomination after providing the blueprint for the health care law that the GOP hates with the heat of a thousand suns? How could Republican voters condemn government health care mandates to be the most offensive policy in American history, and then nominate for president the only governor in America to impose a health care mandate on his constituents?

    But these details only make a difference if someone tells GOP voters about it. At this point, it looks like “Romneycare” is a hanging curve, right over the middle of the plate, but the rest of the Republican field just doesn’t want to swing.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Big Bucks Went To GOP Effort To Skew Pennsylvania Electoral Votes

    Kleefeld November 2, 2011, 1:28 PM

    There are new details in Pennsylvania on the proposal by Republican leaders to change the state’s allocation of electoral votes, to a House district-based system — showing a lobbying effort drawn from the top tiers of state Republican ranks.

    A new report from the state news site Capitol Wire (paid subscription required) reveals that a group with the ironic name “All Votes Matter” has emerged, lobbying state legislators — and hiring former top state Senate staffers for the task.

    According to the report, the group spent $77,700 on lobbying in the April-June quarter, and spent $186,882 on lobbying in the July-September quarter. The source of the funding is not legally required to be disclosed, and has not been disclosed.

    The proposal, if passed into law, would enable the 2012 Republican nominee to potentially take a majority of the 20 electoral votes in the state, even if President Obama carried the state’s popular vote, thanks to GOP-led redistricting after the 2010 wave. Polling has shown Pennsylvania voters opposing the measure.

    Had this proposed system been in place in 2008, when Obama won the state by a ten-point margin, he in fact would have only taken 11 out of the state’s 21 electoral votes at the time — due to a combination of past Republican-led redistricting efforts to maximize their district strength, and Obama’s votes being especially concentrated within urban areas.

    Pennsylvania is classified as a swing state, and is regularly fought hard over. However, it has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992, and voted for Barack Obama by 55%-44% in 2008. Indeed, over the past 50 years it has only voted Republican in presidential landslides for the GOP: 1972, 1980, 1984, and finally 1988. The last time Pennsylvania voted Republican during a close national race was 1948, when it picked Tom Dewey over the victorious Harry Truman.

    While the results have sometimes been narrow for the Dems, it is a state that can be expected to vote Democratic for president in the context of a close national campaign, such as its votes for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.

  21. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 12:35 PM

    Brewer’s impeachment scheme advances in Arizona

    By Steve Benen

    When we talked last week about the impeachment drive in Arizona, there was still some question about whether Republican officials would actually go through with such a ridiculous stunt. Now, we know the answer.

    Let’s quickly review the story for those just joining us. When it comes to post-Census redistricting, Arizona has an Independent Redistricting Commission, made up of two Democrats, two Republicans, and one registered Independent. The system, was adopted by Arizona voters more than a decade ago, and was intended to take partisan agendas out of the redistricting process.

    The tripartisan panel recently unveiled a draft proposal that would, as a practical matter, create four safe Republican seats, two safe Democratic seats, and create three competitive districts, all the while improving the voting influence of the state’s growing Latino population.

    This did not sit well with Republicans, who were so outraged that Gov. Jan Brewer (R) raised the prospect of impeaching the commission’s members for producing a map the GOP doesn’t like. Brewer would need the support of two-thirds of the Arizona state Senate, and wouldn’t you know it, Republicans have a 21-9 majority in the chamber.

    Which leads us to yesterday.

    Gov. Jan Brewer and the GOP-controlled state Senate on Tuesday touched off legal and political battles as they took the unprecedented step of removing the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

    On a 21-6 party line vote, the Senate gave the Republican governor the two-thirds majority vote she needed to oust Colleen Coyle Mathis, citing “gross misconduct” in her role at the helm of the independent panel.

    In waging the attack against the chairwoman, Brewer’s evidence of “gross misconduct” included allegations that some of the panel’s meetings were private, violating the state’s open-meeting laws.

    But there’s no mystery about what’s really going on here. This is a partisan ploy, launched by Arizona Republicans to punish a tripartisan commission for failing to tilt the district map in their favor. The result is a total mess, multiple court fights, and ambiguity as to who, if anyone, is the current chair of the redistricting panel.

    Democrats, meanwhile, are accurately calling the GOP stunt “a brazen power grab that would rival any in Arizona history,” and have begun exploring recall elections against three Republican state senators who sided with Brewer on this impeachment drive.

    John Avlon’s big-picture assessment struck me as the right one: “If Brewer gets away with this power grab, it will suddenly appear on the menu of every other governor looking to artificially preserve his or her party’s hold on power, Republican or Democrat. It is nothing less than an attempt to hijack representative democracy.”

    Even for Republicans, this abuse is outrageous.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Crack Sentencing Retroactivity In Effect
    by BooMan
    Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 11:15:43 AM EST

    While you’re wringing your hands about our dysfunctional government and wondering why the Obama administration isn’t tougher on the banks, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. In July 2010, Congress passed the The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 which vastly reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses. Then, earlier this year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided to make the decision retroactive. Yesterday, that change went into effect.

    The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted this summer to make the reduced crack penalties retroactive, which means more than 12,000 current inmates are eligible to request reduced sentences.
    The retroactivity took effect Tuesday. The Sentencing Commission estimates that inmates will have an average of three years chopped off their sentences. An estimated 1,800 inmates became eligible for release immediately because they had already served enough time, and prosecutors did not object to their release.

    Critics of the old sentencing system say it was unfair to African-Americans, who make up the majority of those convicted of possessing and distributing crack.

    “This really has been one of the great stains on our federal criminal justice system for 20 years or more,” said Michael Nachmanoff, the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This disparity between the punishment for crack cocaine and powder was really unjustified.”

    Needless to say, it takes political courage to be responsible for the sudden release of 1,800 mostly black felons who have done hard time in federal prisons. That’s why it’s a small miracle that it is happening at all. It’s inevitable that some of these parolees will commit violent crimes. Our prisons don’t tend to churn out model reformed citizens. It’s more like institutionalized gangsterism, where even if you didn’t belong to a gang before you were imprisoned, you probably joined one to survive on the inside. Prison policy is incredibly hard to get right, but we certainly have it wrong. And that’s the problem, not that people who received unjustly-long sentences are getting an early release. However, the eligible parolees’ records are being reviewed by judges in an effort to ensure that they won’t present a danger to the community.

    There is still an 18:1 disparity between crack and powder (down from 100:1), but the new 5-year mandatory minimum sentence doesn’t kick in until someone is caught with 28 grams of crack (up from 5 grams). In effect, this will limit arrests to true dealers and largely eliminate the racial disparity of our cocaine sentencing guidelines.

    It will be easy to demagogue this reform. Just wait for the first Willie Horton ad. Remember to have the back of the politicians who had the courage to do the right thing.

  23. rikyrah says:

    ok, you twitter army you, this needs to be tweeted to all those idiots in the MSM.

    The Palin Model
    Mitt Romney follows in the footsteps of Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Mary Fallin, et al:

    On Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace called attention to Romney’s absence from “Fox News Sunday” and his competitors’ programs. “With Governor Perry’s appearance, we have now interviewed all of the major Republican candidates in our 2012 one-on-one series except Mitt Romney,” Wallace said. “He’s not appeared on this program or any Sunday talk show since March of 2010. We invited Governor Mitt Romney again this week, but his campaign says he’s still not ready to sit down for an interview.” During recent Republican debates, Romney has twice mentioned an interview he gave to a top national political journalist, Dan Balz of the Washington Post. That interview, however, took place in June 2007.


  24. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 1:10 PM

    John Boehner’s short memory

    By Steve Benen

    It’s only natural in any presidential election to consider whether the country is on stronger or weaker footing than four years earlier. And while the question will no doubt be the basis for spirited debate over the next year, this doesn’t make sense.

    It’s safe to say Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) does not agree with President Obama’s suggestion on Tuesday that Americans are better off now than they were when he took office. “Are you kidding me?!” Boehner said loudly in response to a reporter’s question on the comment.

    Of course, “are you kidding me” is not an argument. Boehner wants the answer to be self-evident, but he should probably try to offer a little more depth.

    Obviously, national conditions aren’t close to where they need to be. Americans are in a sour, pessimistic mood, and with good reason. Maybe, if guys like Boehner would start passing jobs bills and stop holding the economy back on purpose, the public would start to feel like the country is on the right track again.

    But for those who take reality seriously, there’s no real question as to whether the country is better off now than in January 2009.

    Then the nation was hemorrhaging jobs; now it’s gaining jobs.

    Then the economy was shrinking; now the economy is growing.

    Then the American automotive industry was on the verge of collapse; now it’s starting to thrive.

    Then taxpayers were sending money to Wall Street; now taxpayers are being paid back.

    Then Osama bin Laden was targeting Americans and our allies; now he’s dead and al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated.

    Then U.S. troops were headed into the Middle East in greater numbers; now they’re headed home with their heads held high.

    Republicans, including John Boehner, drove the United States into a pretty deep ditch during the Bush/Cheney era, and conditions are still pretty ugly. That doesn’t change the simple fact that the nation is much stronger now than the day the president was inaugurated. If GOP leaders disagree, they should answer basic questions about undeniable facts: If the country was losing jobs, and now it’s gaining jobs, isn’t that better? If the economy was shrinking, and now it’s growing, isn’t that evidence of progress?

    And no, Mr. Speaker, I’m not kidding you.

  25. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 2:00 PM

    The race card

    By Steve Benen

    Herman Cain has faced quite a bit of criticism this week, but he thinks he knows what’s behind it: racism.

    It’s not just the Republican candidate, either. Leading conservative media personalities, including Rush Limbaugh, have said racism is driving the criticism towards Cain the past few days. Even a U.S. Senator, Mike Lee (R) of Utah, raised the specter of a “racially-motivated attack” against the presidential hopeful.

    Jamil Smith noted earlier, “I thought the right didn’t like when people of color blame anything on racism.” I thought so, too.

    If the right wants to defend Cain, fine, but to casually throw around accusations of racism is cheap and offensive.

    I don’t often agree with Jennifer Rubin, but her response to this line of argument generally rings true.

    This is reprehensible, the sort of racial inflammation that, when practiced by the left, infuriates conservatives. Who is he accusing of racism — the Politico reporters? The women who made the claims in the 1990s? The media for covering allegations that he admitted were true (e.g., his employer settled at least one sexual harassment claim)?

    Cain and his defenders, like actors in a theatrical tragedy, are falling prey to the very evil they labored against: the propensity to assign political identity by race and to invoke race to shield one from personal responsibility.

    I’m not even sure what it is, exactly, that is supposed to be racist. The fact that Cain was accused of sexual harassment? We already know that’s true; Cain has acknowledged the accusations. The fact that Cain has repeatedly changed his story? That’s not his critics’ fault, and it has nothing to do with race.

    Where, specifically, is this alleged racism? Can anyone in the Cain campaign or on the right point to a single instance in which he’s faced a racially-motivated attack?

    Or is this more likely little more than a pathetic ploy? An African-American candidate is dealing with legitimate controversies, so the way to shut down discussion is to say those with questions must necessarily be racists.

    I can only imagine the apoplexy if President Obama and his backers were to reflexively accuse any and all detractors of being bigots every time he faced criticism.

    Even for the right, this is contemptible. If Cain, Limbaugh, Lee, and their cohorts were still capable of feeling shame, now would be a good time for some.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Why Can’t Huntsman Gain Traction?
    GOP consultant Steve Goldberg claims he’s the only one who has a chance against Obama (via Ben Smith). For what it’s worth, I agree. Michael Dougherty outlines Huntsman’s conservative record and announces:

    Are you a Republican looking for a more viable alternative to Mitt Romney? Has the cratering of Rick Perry left you feeling hopeless? Do the scandals afflicting Herman Cain make you think he isn’t all that electable? Well, there is still a very electable conservative in the race! Surprise it is Jon Huntsman!

    James Poulos blames the Huntsman campaign:

    Team Huntsman [has] blundered for no good reason. Look at Huntsman mastermind John Weaver, best known for his time atop Campaign McCain. “It’s a fork in the road between seriousness and circus,” he told Dana Milbank last month. Really? If so, Huntsman would be better off not running at all. … What does it say about an essentially mainstream conservative like Huntsman that he entrusts his brand and his electoral fortunes to a man who wants him to run against his own appeal to the Republican base broadly understood?

    I take James’ point, but don’t think it’s the real reason. The GOP is a religious and cultural force dominated by evangelicals, and fixated on total rejection of establishment or liberal ideas. Huntsman has acknowledged climate change, alone among the candidates. He has backed civil unions for gays, alone among the candidates. These two positions, in my view, all but dismissed him from the race from the get-go. His radical tax reform ideas are therefore ignored in favor of Herman Cain’s. His energy policy is trumped by Perry’s desire to turn the entire US into Texas (because Texas is about the only place he barely understands). And he worked for Barack Obama in China and speaks fluent Mandarin (not that I can tell whether he’s fluent but he gives a good impression of it on TV). These are all culturally anathema to what the GOP now is.

    When you realize this intelligent and capable two-term governor from the rock-ribbed Republican state of Utah, with deep domestic and foreign policy experience, has one tenth of the support of a pizza guy who emerged from motivational speaking and talk radio, and who admits he knows nothing about foreign policy and has never held elective office in his life … well, you have the core reality of today’s Ailes-led, resentment-fueled GOP.

    The only hope is for Huntsman to keep at it, place a marker and wait. The Republicans, just like the British Tories after 1997, may go through several unelectable candidates before they find their own Cameron. And what were the two issues that helped Cameron break through to the wider public? Climate change and homosexuality. When the right accepts reality on those topics – that the two phenomena even exist – you’ll know it’s one the way back.

  27. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 10:10 AM

    ‘Foreign policy dumb,’ redux

    By Steve Benen

    A few weeks ago on Fox News, Herman Cain insisted he’s “been studying” foreign policy, “consulting with a group of foreign policy advisers.” Cain added that his critics may “think that I’m foreign policy dumb,” but he’s “not as foreign policy dumb as they think.”

    With that in mind, Cain talked to PBS’s Judy Woodruff about his belief that China is “a potential military threat to the United States.”

    “[Y]es they’re a military threat. They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have. So yes, we have to consider them a military threat.” [emphasis added]

    For the record, China has been a nuclear power for more than four decades, and is one of the five nuclear-weapon states under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

    Cain, like all presidential candidates, should know this. He should also know what neo-conservatism is, but he doesn’t. Cain should also know not to call Uzbekistan “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan.”

    Dan Drezner recently summarized the problem nicely when he said that the presidential hopeful “hasn’t the faintest clue what to do when it comes to American foreign policy.”

    That seems more than fair. I wouldn’t expect Cain, who’s never worked in government at any level and has no background in international affairs, to dazzle audiences with his expertise in international affairs. But he’s now been a presidential candidate for several months, presumably long enough time to, say, read a book about contemporary foreign policy, or at least hire some advisers who could walk him through the basics.

    Foreign Policy’s Joshua Keating added last week, “Rather than fake knowledge about this world, he by and large simply expresses contempt for it.”

    Between this and other recent events, those looking for Cain’s disqualifying qualities as a presidential candidate have plenty of options to choose from.

  28. rikyrah says:

    hi guys.

    just published my first post here at 3CHICS.

    I hope you like it :)

  29. Michael Blake, Star Organizer, Joins Obama’s ‘Operation Vote’ To Rally Black and Minority Support

    CHICAGO — When Michael Blake became an organizer with then-Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign, he was just 25 and was already a leader of the candidate’s ground team in Iowa. The campaign had spent an unprecedented amount of time and money trying to clinch Iowa, and Blake was charged with corralling new Obama voters.

    Blake and a staff of about 25 people reached out to specialized groups, including veterans, blacks and Latinos. Those who worked with him during the rest of the campaign — in Iowa, South Carolina, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan — said that Blake was emblematic of the campaign’s youth and vigor, and an article in Time said that Blake “may have more to do with Barack Obama’s chances of becoming President than anyone besides the candidate himself.”

    A graduate of Northwestern University who in 2006 joined the inaugural class of the senator’s “Yes We Can” political mentoring program for young people of color, Blake parlayed his role in the campaign to a job as the White House’s point man for African-American outreach.

  30. Today President Obama will meet privately with the Senate Democratic leadership and then travel to France to attend the G-20 Summit.

  31. ThinkProgress:

    Obama: “Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Republican voters”

  32. I’m loving Chaka this week! MMM Wah…

  33. Ametia says:

    Obama Uses Local TV to Sell Jobs Plan and Pressure Congress
    November 02, 2011, 12:24 AM EDT
    By Kate Andersen Brower

    Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama bypassed national news outlets by appearing on local television stations from Florida to Oregon to make the case for his jobs plan.

    With Obama’s re-election hinging on the state of the economy and congressional Republicans blocking his $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending, the administration invited stations from some key electoral states for interviews with the president and briefings with White House officials.

    “What we need right now is Congress to go ahead and act,” he said in an interview with WTVT in Tampa, Florida. “They have been not acting in the interests of Floridians or the American people, we need to get moving.”

    The president used the interviews to promote the plan that he introduced in September as he heads into an election year with the nation’s unemployment rate stalled at 9.1 percent. Senate Democrats are seeking action this week on two parts of his plan: a $60 billion measure funding infrastructure projects and a House-passed bill repealing a tax-withholding requirement for government contractors.

    Tomorrow the president will make remarks at a bridge linking Washington with its suburbs in Virginia to highlight spending proposals for nation’s transportation system.

    Obama blocked out an hour and twenty minutes in his schedule to tape nine five-minute television interviews with local stations including the Tampa outlet, Philadelphia’s WPVI; Minneapolis’s WCCO; Portsmouth, Virginia’s WAVY, and Denver’s KUSA. Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Virginia and Colorado will be battleground states in the 2012 presidential election. He also was interviewed by KTRK in Houston, KSAZ in Phoenix, KETV in Omaha, Nebraska and KGW in Portland, Oregon.

  34. Dems Introduce Amendment To Overturn Citizens United Ruling

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court may treat corporations like people who can spend whatever they want on elections, but the American people don’t have to accept it, said Democratic senators who proposed a constitutional amendment Tuesday to retake control of campaign spending.

    The amendment, introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), doesn’t directly address the justices’ legal finding that corporations have a right to free speech that was curtailed by election law. Instead, it would add to the Constitution language that says Congress and the states can regulate campaign contributions and expenditures.

    The amendment would effectively reverse two landmark Supreme Court decisions — the 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, which said spending money in elections is a form of speech, and the 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which ruled it unconstitutional to regulate the money spent to influence elections by corporations and unions.

    The Citizens United ruling has unleashed a flood of cash from corporations and super PACs, which can spend as much as they want and do so nearly in secret.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Congressional Black Caucus members accused of being too harsh on Barack Obama

    By ALEX ISENSTADT | 11/2/11 4:55 AM EDT
    Black members of Congress have spent months knocking President Barack Obama for not paying more attention to the black community. Now, Congressional Black Caucus members are themselves being charged with disloyalty — by primary challengers angry that they’d kick the president while he’s down.

    For CBC members, it’s a predicament that underscores the inherent political risks in knocking Obama, who they argue has been too quick to compromise with Capitol Hill Republicans and unwilling to pursue an agenda that would help their economically devastated districts — but who still has vast support within the black community.

    After the CBC members criticized Obama for reaching an agreement with Republicans to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Michigan Democrat Bert Johnson hammered Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving black House member and frequent Obama critic who went so far as to call for a march on the White House in protest of the deal.

    “While I wish the final contents of this bill were different, turning our ire on our president, as Rep. John Conyers and a handful of his colleagues unfortunately have done, is the wrong thing to do,” Johnson, a black state senator who is challenging Conyers, wrote in The Huffington Post. “We should not pull the rug out from underneath the president when he needs our solidarity the most.”

    Johnson, an ambitious 38-year-old Detroit lawmaker, is crisscrossing the district, casting Conyers as a hard-nosed Obama enemy.

    “Trying to chop off the head of the president is a very destructive thing that divides us,” he told POLITICO. “I just think it’s been a very heavy hand some members have had toward the president, and I don’t think it’s been productive.”

    John Barlow, a Conyers campaign spokesman, declined to comment on the congressman’s criticisms of Obama except to say: “John Conyers supports the president. He meets with the president regularly to make sure he and the president are doing the right things for Wayne County and Detroit on jobs, the auto industry, safety, the country, economy, education and health care.”

    In fact, Barlow said, Conyers still hopes to win Obama’s endorsement in the primary race.

    Conyers isn’t the only one under fire: Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., the son of the civil rights icon, is facing criticism from his primary foe, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, for being too critical of the president.

    “There have been times when the congressman has spoken out against the president for not doing enough,” Halvorson told POLITICO. Voters, she said, “really should have a person who stands with this president, who in this district is loved and revered.”

    For those taking aim at the CBC members, there’s a clear upside in coming to Obama’s defense: In heavily black areas, the president remains overwhelmingly popular despite the occasional grumbling. A recent Pew Research Center survey found Obama leading potential Republican opponent Mitt Romney 95 percent to 3 percent among black voters.

    “This is a district that is definitely supportive of the president, and certainly when it all boils down, it’s one of a number of things people will look at,” said Mississippi Democrat Heather McTeer Hudson, the Greenville mayor who is running against longtime Rep. Bennie Thompson, the influential top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.

    “There is a lot more support that can be done and should be done, because this president needs our support,” said Hudson, who has used her campaign’s Facebook and Twitter pages to document the work she’s done with the White House. “I think it’s one thing to say you’re with the president and another thing to show it.”

    California Democrat Isadore Hall said Obama is still a favorite in the Compton-area district where he is competing with Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson, a CBC member who — Hall was quick to point out — endorsed Hillary Clinton early on in the 2008 Democratic primary.

    “What I’m finding quite strange is that at such a difficult point in American life, Obama is facing opposition from within the Democratic Party and from members of the CBC,” said Hall, a black state assemblyman. “What I find incredible is that we are throwing the president under the bus.”

    Hall is blitzing senior centers and churches to highlight his support for the president. He’s sent out a cascade of press releases trumpeting his support for Obama’s jobs plan and proclaiming himself an Obama partner. In one recent email, Hall noted a recent visit he made to the White House.

    Read more:

  36. rikyrah says:

    Hog, ethanol baron Bruce Rastetter now a Republican kingmaker

    Iowa entrepreneur Bruce Rastetter created one of the nation’s largest hog production companies and then became a national leader in ethanol production. Now he’s leaving his mark on another big Iowa industry: presidential politics.

    Rastetter, a 55-year-old millionaire who grew up on a farm near tiny Alden in Northeast Iowa, has become one of the most sought-after GOP donors by presidential candidates hoping to win the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses and unseat President Barack Obama. His influence is so great that Iowa Republicans are watching closely to see whom he will back.

    “He’s definitely on the A-list of folks,” said Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, who has received support from Rastetter.

    Rastetter was among the group of Iowa Republican businessmen who traveled in May to New Jersey to try to persuade Gov. Chris Christie to jump in the race. And a conservative advocacy group that Rastetter helped found and that a longtime associate runs, the American Future Fund, has emerged as one of the most powerful in the country. An invitation to his annual summer party and cookout in August has become a hot commodity among presidential candidates.

    Rastetter has a vast business and political network and close ties to Iowa Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, who says the businessman helped persuade him to come out of political retirement to run for a fifth term last year. Rastetter then poured more than $160,000 into Branstad’s campaign, becoming his largest donor before being appointed after the election to the Iowa Board of Regents, where he’ll help govern Iowa’s public universities.

    In July, Rastetter was elevated to president pro tem in a leadership shakeup orchestrated by Branstad.

    Rastetter’s summer party will bring together his network — everyone from hog farmers who work for him to politicians to Wall Street financiers. It will be Saturday, precisely one week before the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, an early test of campaign organization.

    “They’d love to be invited,” Branstad says of the presidential candidates, with a laugh. “I suppose it’s up to Bruce who he wants to invite.”

    So far, Rastetter isn’t saying. He has expressed interest publicly only in Christie, who has declined overtures to run. Christie did agree to come to Iowa on Monday for an education reform summit hosted by Branstad.

    It’s not entirely clear what motivates Rastetter. Friends insist he’s simply a business-minded conservative who feels strongly about the future of the state and nation. Some environmentalists and Democrats question whether he’s motivated by profit, with a goal of weakening regulations and greasing the skids for his business deals.

    Rastetter, who did not respond to several interview requests for this story, has a knack for picking winners in politics and business.

    All 13 candidates to whom he donated in 2010 — 11 state lawmakers in addition to Branstad and Northey — won their races, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Branstad recalled how Rastetter assembled a group of farmers, business leaders, lawmakers and lawyers at his log home in Hardin County to ask him to run for governor in 2009.

    “He said, ‘I think you’ve got the experience and the leadership ability. We really think you’re the right person to lead the state at this very critical time.’ He promised that he would be there to assist, and he was,” Branstad said.

    Rastetter’s associates are also big donors. A longtime Rastetter spokesman who runs the American Future Fund, Nick Ryan, chipped in more than $67,000 to Branstad’s campaign. Bruce’s brother, Brent Rastetter, who owns a company that constructs hog confinement facilities, gave Branstad an additional $31,000 and was appointed earlier this year to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission.

    It is not clear how much money Rastetter has put into the American Future Fund, which claims it is a nonprofit group that does not have to disclose donors. The Des Moines-based group spent millions targeting Democrats and supporting Republicans in congressional races during the 2010 election cycle.

    Read More:

  37. rikyrah says:

    November 02, 2011 8:00 AM

    Cain controversy far from ‘done’

    By Steve Benen

    About 24 hours ago, Herman Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, declared his candidate’s sexual-harassment controversy “done.” There wasn’t anything more to talk about, Block said, so the political world can just “move on.”

    Let’s put that in the file labeled “wishful thinking.”

    Any hopes that this would be a one-day story for Cain quickly vanished when Cain addressed every relevant detail, and changed his version of events several times. This, not surprisingly, not only kept the story alive, but signaled to reporters that they should keep digging.

    Of particular interest are the financial settlements given to Cain’s accusers. The Republican presidential candidate initially said he knew nothing about the settlements, then said he was aware of it, then said the payments covered “three months” salary, and then said “three to six months’ severance pay.”

    The truth is more interesting.

    The National Restaurant Association gave $35,000 — a year’s salary — in severance pay to a female staff member in the late 1990s after an encounter with Herman Cain, its chief executive at the time, made her uncomfortable working there, three people with direct knowledge of the payment said on Tuesday.

    The woman was one of two whose accusations of sexual harassment by Mr. Cain, now a Republican candidate for president, led to paid severance agreements during his 1996-99 tenure at the association. Disclosure of the scale of the severance further challenged his initial description of the matter as a “witch hunt,” as did new descriptions from the woman’s friends and colleagues of her level of discomfort at work

    These details not only matter because they contradict all of Cain’s various claims, but also because they speak to the merit of the allegations. When Cain spoke to Fox News on Monday night, he said three months’ severance was “well within the range of what we would do if we had an amicable separation between the association and an employee.” That would be true. But since the trade organization’s lawyers were willing to pay a full year’s severance, it suggests it was not at all “an amicable separation,” and that NRA counsel was concerned about the accusations.

    Making matters slightly worse for Cain, his other accuser is apparently eager to address the charges.

    A woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s is ready for her story to come out, her attorney said Tuesday, even as the Republican presidential hopeful spent a second day trying to quell the mounting controversy and explain his conflicting recollections of the matter.

    Joel P. Bennett, a lawyer representing one of two women who made the claims against Cain, said Tuesday that his client is barred from publicly relating her side because of a non-disclosure agreement she signed upon leaving the National Restaurant Association, where Cain served as president from 1996 through 1999.

    The woman has heard Cain describe her allegations as false and baseless, and wants to defend herself, but can’t because she’s limited by a confidentiality agreement. If the National Restaurant Association waives the restrictions, the woman can respond publicly.

    The question for Cain, then, is pretty straightforward: will he urge the NRA to lift the confidentiality agreement and allow the public to hear both sides?

  38. rikyrah says:

    never thought it would CREATE jobs..
    only thought it would HELP those students who are burdened by crushing student loan debt , and have had to take shitty jobs to make ends meet.


    Kline: Obama’s student loan debt plan is ‘mistake’ that won’t create jobs

    \Rep. John Kline, who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, slammed President Obama’s plan for student loan relief Monday as a “mistake,” saying it will do nothing to help workers looking for jobs.

    Obama’s plan would let current students cap their monthly repayment at 10 percent of discretionary income and any unpaid amount would be forgiven after 20 years. It also allows some borrowers to consolidate their loans at a lower interest rate. The president issued the new student loan plan through an executive order that beefs up a current law regarding student loans.

    “This administration has been bypassing Congress on issue after issue after issue — they’ve sort of famously issued hundreds of rule changes and executive orders to bypass Congress, so I think that’s a mistake,” Rep. John Kline said on Fox and Friends. Kline, who chairs the education committee in the House has been sharply critical of most of Obama’s education proposals since gaining the post in 2010.

    Kline added that the government should stop subsidizing student loans altogether.

    “We simply can’t keep providing money from the federal government in the form of subsidized or actual loans and Pell Grants when we don’t have the money,” Kline said.

    Kline had previously put out a press release saying Obama’s plan puts “politics before policy.”

    “Despite the administration’s rhetoric, this plan will not create a single job, strengthen our economy, or promote fiscal responsibility,” Kline said. “What this plan will do instead is encourage more borrowing across the board. That means more debt for students, more debt for taxpayers, and more red ink on the government’s books.”

    The Minnesota Independent reported this summer on close ties between Kline and for-profit colleges. Kline fought regulation of that industry, which industry critics say siphons off public tax money through deceptive practices.

    Private and for-profit educational institutions are the top donors to Kline’s campaign and political action committee. Kline’s campaign has also benefited from private financial corporations that provide student loans.

  39. Ametia says:


  40. Ametia says:

    CBS = showcasing Condi Rice this morning, to plead GWB case for why he’s should get more credit for the war on terrot

    MSNBC= Tweety bird Matthews plugging his book. says Kennedy brought excitement and sex back into the presidency. paraphrasing… SMGDH

    CNN= Cain the Minstrel Coon’s takedown

    POTUS is heading for the G-20, so the knives are being sharpened and the bottom-feeder pundits and fake journalist are lickin their cops and ramping up their attacks…It’s disgussting.

  41. Ametia says:

    OH OH!
    Justin Bieber hit with paternity lawsuit: report
    Last Updated: 10:30 PM, November 1, 2011
    Posted: 6:59 PM, November 1, 2011

    20-year-old California woman says pop star Justin Bieber is the father of her baby boy, according to a new report.

    The woman, Mariah Yeater, claims that she and Bieber, 17, had sex backstage at one of his concerts when she was 19, according to Star magazine.


    Yeater wants Bieber to take a paternity test, according to court papers obtained by .the magazine. She also wants him to “provide adequate support for my baby,” the papers say.

    Bieber’s reps told Star that the allegation is false.

    A court hearing is set for later this year, Star reported.

    Read more:

  42. Ametia says:

    Four North Georgia men charged in alleged covert militia plot
    By Bill Rankin and Katie Leslie
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Atlanta News 10:07 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Four North Georgia men, alleged members of a fringe militia group, on Tuesday were charged with trying to buy explosives and make a deadly toxin to use in attacks against federal law enforcement agencies and unidentified officials.

    Federal authorities said the men had held clandestine militia meetings, beginning in March, in which they discussed using toxic agents and assassinations to undermine federal and state government.

    The four men taken into federal custody were: Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland; and Toccoa residents Dan Roberts, 67; Ray H. Adams, 65; and Samuel J. Crump, 68.

    U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said that as the U.S. government focuses on terrorist threats by violent international extremists, “This case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our borders who threaten our safety and security.”

    Thomas, Roberts, Adams and others who attended the meetings discussed targeting various government officials, federal authorities said. The meetings were monitored by the FBI and secretly tape recorded by a confidential informant helping the FBI, according to sworn affidavits unsealed Tuesday.

  43. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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