Wednesday Open Thread

Yarbrough and Peoples was an American R&B duo from Dallas, Texas. Their biggest selling release was “Don’t Stop the Music”, a US Billboard R&B chart topper in 1981.

Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples, both grew up in Dallas. They knew each other since they were children, as they had met taking piano lessons. They remained friends throughout their childhood.[1]

Yarbrough met the Wilson brothers while on tour in the band of Leon Russell. He returned to Dallas, and started a band (Grand Theft), of which he and Peoples were the lead singers and keyboardists. In 1977, the Wilson brothers (who had just joined Total Experience Records as the Gap Band) went down to Dallas to perform a concert, and saw Yarbrough and Peoples, who were performing at a club in Dallas.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Perry can’t name third agency

  2. rikyrah says:

    9 Nov 2011 10:37 PM
    Michigan Debate Reax

    Rich Lowry:

    That might be the most uncomfortable moment I’ve ever witnessed in presidential politics.

    Larry Sabato:

    To my memory, Perry’s forgetfulness is the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate.


    [Perry is] down to 4.9 percent now on InTrade; before the debate he was at 9.3 percent. Remember two months ago when he was going to be the guy who saved us from Romney?

    Adam Sorensen:

    Watching Rick Perry fail to recall the third part of his own answer in tonight’s debate was like watching a thoroughbred get euthanized on the track. It was shocking, grisly and impossible to look away.

    Alex Massie:

    You can stick a fork in [Perry], he’s done.

    Joe Gandelman:

    I wonder: Will Rick Perry remember which office he’s running for? Impressions: I can’t see Cain losing any ground with this debate (even if it increasingly seems like a fitting campaign slogan for Cain would be “The White House or bust.”) Romney holding firm. Gingrich waiting in wings as Anti-Perry understudy for Cain.

    Aaron Carroll:

    Many of the answers the candidates gave on health care reform already exist. We have HSAs. States can apply for Medicaid waivers and experiment right now. Medicare advantage has been around for years. Tort reform has been tried, and it doesn’t reduce costs. So I want real answers. I’m as frustrated as the candidates by the 30-second format on this issue. But nothing is preventing them from speaking at other times or putting out a comprehensive and detailed plan. Why don’t they?

    Matt Yglesias:

    [N]obody should be allowed to get away with hazily waving at whole cabinet departments without talking about what, exactly, it is they’re saying should happen. My strong suspicion is that Perry actually has no idea what the scope of the Energy department’s defense-related activities are and is just running his mouth off.

    Adam Serwer:

    While having the majority of women you’ve met not accuse you of sexual harassment might seem like a low bar for a human being, let alone a presidential candidate, the debate audience cheered enthusiastically.

    Ewen MacAskill:

    Cowardice on the part of the journalists on the debate panel. Having raised the sexual harassment issues with Cain, they backed off after being booed by the audience. Having raised it, they should have seen it through, putting it to at least a few of the candidates.

    Daniel Foster:

    It should not be lost that Herman Cain called a person who could plausibly be third in line to his presidency “Princess Nancy.” I don’t care for Nancy Pelosi. I might even, in a stroke of inspiration, call her “Princess.” But I am not running for president.

    Ace of Spades:

    I’d like to know if people really think non-super-partisan Americans will be similarly willing to overlook the fact that Cain doesn’t seem to know anything.

    Will Wilkinson:

    Romney continues to finish better than second while somehow now exactly “winning”. Herman Cain’s failure to show any development in the breadth and depth of his ideas is making it increasingly clear that he’s little more than a genial bullshitter. Huntsman again had several opportunities to really stand out by articulating an intellectually credible moderate position, but he lacks killer instinct. He can’t rhetorically close the deal even when he’s won the point. Perry’s senior moment seemed like accidental seppuku.

    Joseph Lawler:

    Romney was on point, as usual. Tonight he faced only the weakest and most halfhearted criticisms of his record, including on health care. At one point he echoed Ron Paul’s call for free-market, patient-centered health care — without drawing comment from any of the others. Maybe the others have just given up on attacking Romney on health care.

    Taegan Goddard:

    Mitt Romney prevailed in yet another GOP debate. He was the home team candidate on his home turf: the economy and jobs. He’s comfortable on the stage and is at least a full notch above the other candidates.

  3. rikyrah says:

    The President of Penn State was fired – effective immediately

  4. rikyrah says:

    Joe Paterno fired – EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

  5. rikyrah says:

    Dana Milbank

    Fast and Furious: The scandal Republicans have been waiting for?

    This town needs a good imbroglio.

    The Obama presidency has been very good to the political opposition, giving Republicans control of the House and now putting them in a position to take the Senate and White House as well.

    In one area, though, President Obama has so far thwarted Republicans: He has not given them a juicy scandal. There was Solyndra, the solar company that went bust after getting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. There have been some resignations by administration officials because of dubious things in their past, and there has been the odd flap over unpaid taxes.

    But so far, the opposition’s best hope for a scandal is “Fast and Furious,” a sting operation that went awry when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lost track of some 1,400 high-powered weapons it was planning to trace as they made their way from illegal buyers to Mexican drug cartels.

    Last year, the body of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry turned up near two Fast and Furious guns.

    Without a doubt, the operation was a debacle, and it has led to untold bloodshed and friction with Mexico. The ATF’s acting chief has been reassigned, and subpoenas are flying on Capitol Hill.

    But it has not reached the level of a political scandal. Investigators found evidence that an official at the National Security Council, Kevin O’Reilly, communicated with Phoenix ATF official William Newell, but that’s a barrel and trigger shy of a smoking gun. There’s also evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder and others knew about the bungled program earlier than they originally let on, but there’s not yet evidence of any high-level White House involvement. Neither of the two leading Republicans probing the case, Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), has called for Holder’s resignation.

    The most that can be done for now, then, is to harangue Holder and his colleagues and hope something shakes loose. And so Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), head of the Senate Republicans’ reelection effort, was in a rather furious state of mind Tuesday morning as he questioned Holder before the Judiciary Committee. Cornyn went after the attorney general as if prosecuting him.

    “Have you apologized to the family of Brian Terry?”

    “Have you even talked to them?”

    “Would you like to apologize today for this program that went so wrong, that took the life of a United States law enforcement agent?”

    “Are you winging this or do you actually know?”

    Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) did his best to inoculate Holder, invoking the killing of Osama bin Laden and saying that, when Holder gave Congress bad information, he was simply “not being precise.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    Redstate’s Erickson: Mitt’s not ‘it’
    November 8, 2011 · Posted in 2012, Mitt Romney, Opinion, Politics

    RedState editor predicts Romney will be the death of conservatism.

    In which Erick Erickson doesn’t call Mitt Romney a “goat f–ing child molester…” ahem … but he dies kick Willard in the shins. And no, not about Mitt’s goofy new slogan.

    In the post which sparked a long discussion on “Morning Joe” this morning (including completely futile talk of a possible Jon Huntsman revival…) Erick Erickson eviscerates Romney, George Will style. But he starts out by explaining that the Mittster will get his prized nomination. Why? Because the other candidates suck so badly. Perry’s too dim (and has immigration problems,) Newt dumped and cheated on too many wives, and as for Herman Cain:

    Herman Cain won’t be the nominee because he can’t win women either. Regardless of what you think of the Politico story, Cain’s handling of the story has been an epic disaster. He’s down at least 10 points with women in Iowa. He’s falling even further and doesn’t even realize it. He’s largely been emboldened by a conservative media that is so used to standing by its men that too few are telling Herman that he is now at the point where he must actually sit and answer questions whether he wants to or not and whether he feels maligned or not and whether I think he should have to or not. If he loses women by as big as he is starting to lose the women, he cannot win.

    And then he gets to the MIttster:

    So Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Conservatives will not rally together with the least of the bad alternatives and Romney, like John McCain before him, will run up the middle to the nomination. But, just like McCain, Romney will not beat Barack Obama.

    Why Mitt Romney Will Not Beat Barack Obama

    You’d think that given the economy, jobs, and the present angst about the direction of the country that the GOP would have an easy path to victory. You would be wrong.

    You forget the electoral college. The vote is coming down to a handful of states and Barack Obama still maintains the advantage of incumbency and not terribly terrible polling in those swing states.

    Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a man devoid of any principles other than getting himself elected. As much as the American public does not like Barack Obama, they loath a man so fueled with ambition that he will say or do anything to get himself elected. Mitt Romney is that man.

    I’ve been reading the 200 pages of single spaced opposition research from the John McCain campaign on Mitt Romney. There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides. He is neither liberal nor conservative. He is simply unprincipled. The man has no core beliefs other than in himself. You want him to be tough? He’ll be tough. You want him to be sensitive? He’ll be sensitive. You want him to be for killing the unborn? He’ll go all in on abortion rights until he wants to run for an office where it is not in his advantage.

    Along the way, he’ll drop lots of coin to grease the skids for himself. Mitt Romney is the silly putty of politicians — press on him real hard and he’ll take on whatever image you press into him until the next group starts pressing.

    Republican billionaires have a fantastic track record of getting Republican opinion leaders to support them and an even better track record at losing elections. Mitt Romney will be no different.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Remains of war dead dumped in landfill
    By Craig Whitlockand Greg Jaffe, Wednesday, November 9, 5:19 PM

    The Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of some dead troops’ body parts by burning them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burying the remains at sea.

    The Dover mortuary, which is the main point of entry for America’s war dead, sent remains to the landfill from 2003 until 2008, according to Air Force officials. The manner of disposal was typically withheld from the relatives of fallen service members. The disclosure comes in the aftermath of several federal investigations into mishandling of remains at the mortuary

    Air Force officials acknowledged the practice Wednesday in response to inquiries from The Washington Post. They said the procedure was limited to portions of body parts that were unable to be identified at first or were later recovered from the battlefield, and which family members had indicated could be disposed of by the military.

    Lt. Gen. Darrell G. Jones, the Air Force’s deputy chief for personnel, said the body parts were first cremated, then incinerated, and then taken to a landfill by a military contractor. He could not explain why both cremation and incineration were necessary, but likened the process to disposing of medical waste.

    Jones also could not estimate how many body parts were handled in this way. “That was the common practice at the time and since then our practices have improved,” he said.

    An Air Force document shows that the landfill was in King George County, Va. Officials with Waste Management Inc., which operates the landfill, said it was kept in the dark about the origin of the ashes. “We were not specifically made aware of that process by the Air Force,” said Lisa Kardell, a spokeswoman for the company.

    The Dover mortuary changed its policy in June 2008, Jones said. Since then, the Navy has placed the cremated remains of body parts in urns that are buried at sea.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Romney, Whose Net Worth Is $250 Million, Whines That He Makes Less Than Federal Employees

    By Marie Diamond on Nov 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    During his current campaign for the presidency, Mitt Romney has been desperately trying to shed his image as an elite millionaire out of touch with the concerns of average Americans. He’s ditched his business wardrobe and now tries to look like a man-of-the-people in jeans and plaid shirts.

    Romney’s also made some laughable claims trying to relate to voters, telling a group of unemployed people that he’s “also unemployed.” But far from sympathizing with the plight of the jobless, on Monday Romney promised to put even more people out of work by cutting 10 percent of the federal workforce if elected. He even complained that government employees make more than he does:

    Multimillionaire Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) told employees at a steel fabrication plant on Monday that government employees “are making a lot more money than we are.”

    Wearing his best plaid work shirt and Tommy Bahama blue jeans, the candidate explained to workers at Giese Manufacturing that he would slash the number of federal employees if elected.

    “We have to cut back on the scale of the federal government,” Romney declared. “And for me that will start by reducing federal employees by 10 percent. You do that through attrition.”

    “And then something else that is just as important, and that’s to make sure the people who work for government don’t get better pay and better benefits than people that work in the private sector.”

    Romney’s complaint that he’s worse off than federal workers is hard to take seriously given that he has a net worth of $250 million. In September, he claimed that he was part of the middle class.

    More importantly, Romney’s claims about the salaries of public versus private sector employees are patently false. As ThinkProgress’ Travis Waldron recently reported, public sector employees are underpaid compared to their private sector counterparts.

    The proposal to cut 10 percent of the federal workforce (or nearly 500,000 jobs) when 14 million Americans are already out of work illustrates Romney’s misguided public policy. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) authored a bill to do just that last month, and although both men say those jobs would be eliminated “through attrition,” the language and short timeline make it obvious that only mass layoffs could accomplish their goal.

    At least 600,000 government workers have lost their jobs since the recession began, but Romney and other Republicans keep scapegoating public employees who have shouldered more than their fair share of economic pain during the Great Recession.

    In fact, massive job losses in the public sector are dragging down the recovery and keeping national unemployment higher than it needs to be. According to the New York Times’ David Leonhardt, if state and local governments had continued to hire at their previous pace, they would have added half a million jobs to the economy. In other words, government austerity have “has cost the economy about one million jobs.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Why the Koch Brothers and ALEC Don’t Want You to Vote
    By Ari Berman

    Today residents of Mississippi will decide whether voters must produce a government-issued ID in order to cast a ballot and voters in Maine will choose whether to keep or overturn a new law banning election day voter registration, which had previously been on the books since 1973.
    These votes occur amidst the backdrop of an unprecedented, Republican-led war on voting.

    Since the 2010 election, at least a dozen states controlled by Republicans have approved new obstacles to voting—mandating government-issued IDs, curtailing early voting, restricting voter registration, disenfranchising ex-felons. Five million voters could be negatively impacted by the new laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which found that “these new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities”—in other words, those most likely to vote for Democrats.

    A key component of the GOP’s campaign has been orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which receives substantial funding from the Koch brothers. ALEC drafted mock photo ID legislation after the 2008 election and in five states that passed ID laws in the past year—Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin—the measures were sponsored by legislators who are members of ALEC

  10. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 3:35 PM

    Romney still lacks ‘the courage of his absence of convictions’

    Conservative columnist George Will recently slammed Mitt Romney as “a recidivist reviser of his principles,” who seems to “lack the courage of his absence of convictions.”

    Today, we have yet another perfect example of the Republican frontrunner’s problem.

    Romney recently told Fox News he, as governor, would have “absolutely” backed an amendment similar to the “personhood” amendment on the ballot in Mississippi this week. Since the measure would have banned abortions, birth control, in-vitro fertilization, stem-cell research, and treatment of ectopic pregnancies, Romney’s position raised a few eyebrows.

    He did not, however, explicitly endorse the Mississippi measure. In fact, Romney, whose cowardice is becoming increasingly obvious, refused to take a stand on the ballot question, even when reporters pressed his campaign for his position. One prominent supporter of the measure recently complained, “We always seem to get two stories from Romney.”

    Yesterday, voters in Mississippi rejected the “personhood” amendment — and wouldn’t you know it, Romney has suddenly decided he’s willing to distance himself from it.

    Mitt Romney’s campaign, seeking to nip a potent general election attack in the bud, says he’s being falsely characterized as supporting a proposed amendment to define a fertilized egg as a “person” that was badly defeated in Mississippi yesterday. […]

    Romney’s current position? He supports, per spokeswoman Gail Gitcho, “a Human Life Amendment that overturns Roe vs. Wade and sends the issue back to the states” — which sounds like something short of a federal abortion ban.

    Romney’s campaign refused to take a position on the Mississippi question as recently as Monday. But once voters rejected it, now he’s free to clarify his position on the radical plan.

    If it seems like this keeps coming up with the former governor, it’s not your imagination. Romney refused to take a stand on Paul Ryan’s budget. Romney refused to take a stand when asked about voters booing a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq during a Republican debate. Romney refused to take a stand when Rick Perry dabbled in Birtherism. Romney initially refused to take a stand on Ohio’s campaign to undermine collective-bargaining rights, and then sheepishly backpedaled when the right complained.

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

    Either Romney has the guts to lead or he doesn’t, and waiting to take a position on an issue until after the fight is over is evidence of a politician who simply lacks courage.

  11. Ametia says:

    Paterno Wants to Retire at End of Season
    Published: November 9, 2011

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State Coach Joe Paterno announced Wednesday that he plans to retire at the end of the football season, though it remains unclear if the university will allow him to coach that long in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that has implicated top school officials.
    The New York Times reported Tuesday that Penn State’s Board of Trustees had determined that Paterno would not coach next season, but was still discussing the precise timing of his exit. Despite Paterno’s statement Wednesday, his immediate future is still in the hands of the board, which is scheduled to meet Friday. Gov. Tom Corbett plans to be in attendance.

  12. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 11:20 AM

    White House’s Carney asked ‘sabotage’ question

    By Steve Benen

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney hosted a press gaggle with reporters yesterday, one of whom brought up an issue of particular interest.

    Q: Jay, there’s a poll out this morning that’s saying that opponents of the President in Congress are simply just trying to sabotage the American Jobs Act in hopes that he won’t get reelected, and that the majority of the country out there right now, or half of the country, believes that there are those in Congress who are trying to sabotage the President. Any comment on that?

    CARNEY: Well, I certainly think that what is the case is that unfortunately Republicans in Congress are not taking the kinds of actions that they could take to help the economy grow and create jobs in the near term. I mean, this is the fundamental problem with the proposals that they’ve put forward and called and labeled jobs proposals, because independent economists have looked at them and judged some of them to be fine policy, but none of them to be the kinds of policies that would grow the economy or create jobs in the near term. I mean, that’s simply a matter of economic analysis.

    So I think the American public, which has pretty overwhelmingly made clear in surveys that it believes that the number-one issue right now is economy and jobs, wonders why Congress doesn’t share its priorities, so — their priorities.

    As to motivation, that’s obviously for the American people and constituents of the various elected members of Congress to decide.

    I mention this for a couple of reasons. First, Carney seemed to come pretty close to saying he can understand why so many Americans consider the “sabotage” charge plausible.

    Second, the fact that the question was even put to the White House press secretary at all suggests the issue is gaining just a little more traction all the time.

  13. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 1:10 PM
    Rove lies about Obama, Clinton, and tax policy
    By Steve Benen

    Karl Rove and his cohorts used to lie about Bill Clinton. Now Rove’s attack operation, Crossroads GPS, is using Bill Clinton to lie about President Obama.

    A new ad from a Republican advocacy group attacks President Barack Obama’s jobs bill by contrasting his statements with those of former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

    The spot released Wednesday from Crossroads GPS plays clips of Clinton saying now is not the time to raise taxes and of Obama promoting increased tax rates on higher income earners as part of his jobs plan.

    The ad is a lie; Rove’s operation knows it’s a lie; and yet they’re pushing the lie anyway.

    Several weeks ago, Clinton said, “I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending until we get this economy off the ground.” Republicans — and a few too many reporters — took out the part of the comment about spending cuts and suggested Clinton was breaking with the Obama White House on tax policy.

    He wasn’t. Both Obama and Clinton share an identical policy — Clinton wants tax increases delayed until the economy is stronger and so does Obama. The White House plan is unambiguous: the president calls for increased sacrifices from millionaires and billionaires to lower the deficit, but not until 2013. In the short term, Obama wants to cut taxes, not raise them.

    The Rove/Crossroads ad argues the exact opposite of the truth, telling viewers Obama wants to raise taxes and that Clinton disagrees with the president’s agenda. When Rove first started pushing this line, Clinton issued a statement explaining the facts, and making clear that he and Obama are on the exact same page.

    Crossroads GPS decided to ignore this and blatantly lie to the public anyway. Indeed, the attack operation is spending $2.6 million over the next two weeks to repeat this lie in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, counting on stations to overlook the dishonesty, and on the public to not know the difference.

    If Republicans had the facts on their side, such deception wouldn’t be necessary. The fact that Rove and his little gang have been reduced so such shameless dishonesty speaks volumes about their personal integrity and the integrity of their policy argument.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Tea Party’s Fatal Delusion

    Longtime readers will know I’ve long had a theoretical scenario for politics under this president – and the results from the elections yesterday seem to confirm it. To be frank, I was taken aback by the immediate and total obstructionism from the GOP in 2009. I thought it would be a little less crass. But I never thought they’d moderate after 2008. There was always a long-suppressed backlash against the Bush era of massive debt, reckless spending, and unwinnable land-wars. And there was also a cultural panic at a biracial president and the new America he represented. Both these prompted a spasm of ideological abstraction and purism, in which there were only two choices in political life: freedom or slavery. If you think I exaggerate, try reading Mark Levin’s best-seller.

    Suddenly, we found the right even more defined and dominated by talk radio, Fox News, and the far right blogosphere (yes, Mr Erickson, that would be you), and its resort to 1980s dogma as a cure-all for its woes. Hence the description of a centrist health insurance reform, based on many Republican ideas, to the right of the Clintons’ and far to the right of Nixon’s, as a form of enslavement. Hence the absurd notion that the stimulus had no impact, simply because it was too small to fill the hole in demand that the statisticians in 2009 did not accurately measure or predict.

    Hence the attacks on collective bargaining for public sector workers, and the draconian anti-illegal-immigration initiatives from Arizona to Alabama. Hence the total denial of climate change and a desire to abolish the EPA. Hence a Supreme Court happy to find radical new interpretations of the Constitution, including the unlimited right of corporations to influence elections, and turning the Second Amendment into something more radical than anything previously contemplated. Hence the even more bizarre defenses of the banks who gambled with the country’s core financial stability to make even more grotesque bonuses than they had been earning already. Hence too the total silence when it comes to anything that could not just repeal but “replace” Obamacare. The uninsured simply don’t exist in the mind of the GOP.

    The reasons for this pathological pattern are, to my mind, manifold. The first is that, quite simply, much smaller legislative parties tend to include fewer moderates (because they’re the ones likeliest to lose in swing districts) and so the atmosphere skews far right or far left (my two main historical examples of this are British: Labour after Thatcher’s first victory, the Tories after Blair’s). This was intensified by the pre-2010 purge of any moderates and selection of an even more ideological freshman class in the House of Representatives. The second is the dominance in the GOP of what might be called the Media Industrial Complex. When there is so much money to be made from politics-as-entertainment, the dominant public figures on the right tend to be provocative, polarizing media stars. From Limbaugh to Levin to Hannity, the premium is on conflict and provocation for ratings. After a while, this is all you’ve got in the Republican psyche, and no moderating forces acting against it. In that atmosphere, you need talk-show hosts as president, not governors or legislators. Herman Cain is drawn precisely from that media industrial complex. Mitch Daniels and Jon Huntsman are excluded for the exact same reason.

    And the recession’s damage to an incumbent president’s party merely put a misleading mid-term gust behind sails rigged for winds that were blowing in the 1970s, not the 2000s. The 2010 mid-terms were what might be called a “fatal success.” Yes, there was a backlash among older, whiter voters against the 2008 tide. But to conclude from that that there was a widespread, general support for further moves to the furthest right in an economy where many are struggling to get by and where economic inequality is still soaring, was a huge over-reach. And so we see the staggering results of last night’s votes.

    The Ohio law against collective bargaining rights for public sector workers did not just go down. It went down in a landslide. Yes, the unions poured money into the battle and outspent opponents. But the scale of the victory is hard to gainsay. In a critical swing state, the GOP is in full retreat. In Arizona, the recall of the official who had pioneered the anti-illegal immigration measures is another remarkable event. Ditto even Mississippi’s rejection of a ballot initiative that is a theocon’s wet dream (if theocons are allowed such things), and takes the concept of personhood at conception to new, bizarre heights and exposes the stealth theocon campaign against contraception as well.

    We’ve seen the polls showing a shift in Americans’ views of inequality and their support of higher taxes for the wealthiest as part of a debt-reduction package. We’ve seen the accelerating moderation on marriage equality and marijuana. We’ve noticed the Tea Party’s further alienation of minority voters, and now, with the Cain circus, possible intensification of the gender gap. We’ve noticed that increasing numbers of voters, including independents, regard the GOP as potentially sabotaging the economy purely in order to defeat Obama. Now we are seeing the effect of all this in actual elections. And the GOP primary campaign has also underlined just how marginal, ideological and inexperienced many of the presidential candidates are. A party that gives a motivational speaker ten times the support of a two-term governor of Utah, re-elected with 84 percent of the vote, with strong bipartisan credentials and an even stronger tax reform plan … well, it’s a party in free-fall that also doesn’t understand that it is.

    Look at PPP’s polling in Ohio right now:

    Obama continues to suffer from poor approval ratings in Ohio with only 41% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove. But voters don’t seem to consider any of his opponents to be viable alternatives … On our weekend poll, which got the final result of Issue 2 correct to within a point, Obama led all of his Republican opponents in the state by margins ranging from 9-17 points.

    Obama led Mitt Romney 50-41 on our poll. He was up 11 points on Herman Cain at 50-39, 13 on Newt Gingrich at 51-38, 14 on Ron Paul at 50-36, 14 on Michele Bachmann at 51-37 and a whooping 17 points on Rick Perry at 53-36. It used to be Sarah Palin’s numbers that we compared to Barry Goldwater, but Perry’s deficit would represent the largest Republican defeat in Ohio since 1964.

    For this party, Herman Cain is the perfect nominee (since Palin simply couldn’t overcome her lies and pathologies). Because it is increasingly clear he is the master of complete denial of reality and has no actual experience in any public office.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Integrating Beauty Standards
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Nov 9 2011, 1:00 PM ET

    This is a really fascinating interview with the first black Playboy Playmate, Jennifer Jackson. She talks about raising biracial children, working at the Playboy Club, modeling, and shifting into social work.

    But because I’m a professional navel-gazer, this caught me:

    How would you describe the attention that you received from guys once you began working at the club?

    The thing about that is, I never thought I was that pretty. Chicago had a lot of beautiful women, and for me to say that I was pretty? I was just there. There were so many other girls who were so much prettier than me. It’s just that a white man’s beauty is different from a black man’s beauty. I was tall and leggy — white men like that. Black men, on the other hand, liked the girls who were short and had what they called a “brick house body.”

    I didn’t get any attention from the brothers. They liked the little women who were short and shapely. So there was a different standard of beauty.

    Some years ago. when my circle of friends began to, erm, diversify, it became clear, in the strangest ways, that we were really coming from different places. We didn’t drink the same beer, we didn’t have the same concept of “house party,” and we had really different ideas about beauty.

    I would say that, at that point, I came from the same place Jackson describes here. I’d also say that the young women I was raised around had similar (though not synonymous) views. We joke about light-skin brothers making a come-back, but by the time I got into high school, the standard really was Omar Epps, Tupac, Mekhi Phifer, and Pete Rock. With diversity came, for me, a broader sense of beauty. I’ve often wondered how I would have been had I stayed home, had I chosen to live in polarized world where I grew up.

    But I came of age in the 90s. The last era of segregation was still with us. I’m not saying that this is the era of Everything Sunny All The Time Always. But there were no women with natural hair doing commercials when I was kid. Naomi Campbell was revolutionary. No one thought Alek Wek could be a supermodel. I wonder how it is to be young–and by young I mean in your early teens–and black in a world like this.

    As always, with topics like this, please think before you post. Just take a second.

  16. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 2:35 PM

    When nonsense gets in the way

    By Steve Benen

    It seemed like a simple little idea. The Christmas tree industry, which has been struggling in recent years, wanted to fund a promotional program, encouraging consumers to buy real, rather than artificial, trees over the holiday season. The idea was for Christmas trees to follow in the footsteps of milk, beef, and cotton, all of which benefited from successful promotional campaigns.

    To pay for the effort, the industry launched the Christmas Tree Promotion, Research and Information Order, asking the Agriculture Department to approve a 15-cent fee, per tree, on domestic producers and importers. It was requested by the industry, to benefit the industry, and to be paid for by the industry.

    The Agriculture Department solicited public feedback, and most supported the proposal. This week, officials gave the industry the green light to proceed.

    And that’s when Republican hacks decided to intervene.

    Some loons decided the Obama administration wants to impose a new “tax” on Christmas trees because the president “hates Christians.” National Christmas Tree Association spokesman Rick Dungey tried to explain this “has absolutely nothing to do with Obama,” and “it’s not a tax,” but it was too late — the right-wing message machine had already kicked into gear.

    The well-trafficked Drudge Report is leading with the story, linking to a blog by David Addington, a former top aide to then-Vice President David Addington, at the conservative Heritage Foundation assailing the president thus: “The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs. Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do? And, by the way, the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.”

    Addington is many things, but he’s not an idiot. Addington surely knows what he published is pure garbage, but he did it anyway — the right has a political war to win and when truth gets in the way, it needs soldiers willing to push honesty aside.

    And because the White House doesn’t want to spend the next two months arguing about a “Christmas Tree tax” that doesn’t exist, the administration decided to delay implementation of the industry fee, which, again, was requested by the industry for the industry.

    This is why we can’t have nice things — our political discourse is dominated by fools and charlatans.

  17. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 2:00 PM

    Class warfare sure is popular, redux

    By Steve Benen

    The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll included a couple of questions we don’t usually see in national polling, addressing wealth and the class gap.

    “I’d like to ask you about the distribution of wealth in this country — that is, the gap between how much money wealthy people have compared with how much money the rest of the population has. Do you think this gap is larger than it’s been historically, smaller, or about the same?”

    Larger: 61%
    Smaller: 5%
    Same: 31%

    “Do you think the federal government should or should not pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between wealthy and less well-off Americans?”

    Should pursue: 60%
    Should not pursue: 35%

    Conservatives, by virtue of the right’s ideology, must find these results terribly offensive. Indeed, for a long while, one of the top rhetorical goals for Republicans has been to stop anyone from even mentioning any of this out loud — those who dare to bring up the class gap are supposed to be shouted down immediately with cries of “class warfare” and “socialism.”

    But the efforts to stunt the public discourse haven’t stopped the American mainstream from noticing what is plainly true.

    What’s more, the polls offer a noteworthy reminder about public attitudes towards government activism. Greg Sargent noted this morning, “There’s no denying that many polls show general hostility towards government and spending. But public opinion is volatile and in flux, and there’s simply no clear evidence that the conservative vision is carrying the day with the public.”

    Exactly. Look at the question in the poll again: respondents weren’t just asked about narrowing the growing gap between the rich and poor, but also whether they wanted the government to intervene to reduce that gap — and a clear majority endorsed this activism, but a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

    Other recent polls, by the way, show even larger majorities support raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires, which is clearly an extension of the same class-based concerns.

    This is not what one would expect in a country that’s allegedly center-right.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Queen City Shuffle
    by Zandar

    Across the river in local election results, Cincinnati voters made some major changes to the City Council in the wake of city and Hamilton County employees taking major budget cuts over the last year.

    Voters ousted four incumbent Republicans from Cincinnati City Council on Tuesday night, choosing instead seven Democrats, a majority of African-Americans, the first openly gay candidate and enough support to move forward with the streetcar project.

    The outcome clearly was the result of the turnout generated by Issue 2, the measure to repeal the collective bargaining reforms of Senate Bill 5. The issue was expected to draw a lot of Democrats and union supporters to the polls.

    Issue 2 lost in Hamilton County big, the Nos getting nearly 60% of the vote, and it was a bloodbath for Republicans on the ballot, but they’re blaming Issue 2 for their crushing loss and rightfully so.

    Ousted: Chris Bortz, Leslie Ghiz, Amy Murray and Wayne Lippert.

    “Issue 2 seems to be dragging the Republican Party down,” said Lippert. “This is transformational, but not in a positive way for the city.”

    Hamilton County Republican chairman Alex Triantafilou said the results left him “concerned for the future of the city.”

    “No question that Issue 2 played a significant role in this,” he added.

    The new council means Cincy’s streetcar project can finally move forward unimpeded by Republicans and that the city can now take steps to fix the city budget without sacrificing police, firefighters, and teachers. It’s a start. We’ll see what Mayor Mark Mallory can do with the kind of support he’s always wanted, like from Cincy’s first openly gay council member, Chris Seelbach.

    He worked for former Vice Mayor David Crowley and modeled his candidacy after the lessons Crowley taught him. He promises to carry on the goals of his mentor, who died early this year of cancer. Crowley taught him to look for “issues of justice in everything you do.”

    All he hears out of City Hall, he says, is what should be cut and not cut. He wants to turn the debate more toward what council can do to make Cincinnati more of a place sought out by young professionals and young families. He worked in 2004 to help defeat Article XII, which banned naming gay people as a protected class. He wants to make public transportation the top priority and move toward a fixed-rail system connecting all neighborhoods.

    He’s 31, vice president and chief financial officer of The Seidewitz Group, a marketing and consulting firm. He lives in Over-the-Rhine, is an endorsed Democrat, and is the city’s first openly gay council candidate.

    And that’s just how big of a disaster Issue 2 was for Ohio Republicans last night. Expanding on what Kay was saying below, Kasich is toast, folks. The failure of Republicans to coalesce around this issue not only backfired miserably, it had the completely opposite effect, creating an off-year grassroots surge that knocked the blocks out from under Cincy conservatives. He cannot be jettisoned fast enough in the Buckeye State and Republicans in Ohio are now in a deep hole. The network to bring Ohio back into the blue column next year is already in place. The overreach was brutal, and a significant number of Ohio GOP voters jumped ship on this measure and mobilized Democrats to boot.

    The coattails on the Issue 2 No vote completely reworked the government of one of the more conservative cities in the state and made it overwhelmingly progressive, not to mention creating a majority African-American council to back Mayor Mallory. Between this and Dems rolling to wins in Kentucky as mistermix mentioned, yeah, Tuesday was a pretty good day for our side ‘round my neck of the woods.

    Also, the latest PPP numbers in Ohio are looking really good for the President, but I’m waiting to hear how the Issue 2 vote was meaningless because TEH YOONYUN THUGZ created tens of thousands of fake cardboard standee voters after raiding every Office Depot and Staples in the tri-state over the weekend for art supplies…

  19. rikyrah says:

    Ohio punditry
    by Kay

    Wanted to talk about how the union-busting campaign in Ohio felt on the ground. I could have done it prior to this but I’m superstitious. For whatever reason I believe that reckless pre-election punditry on my part ensures a loss.

    Conservatives ran a traditional divide and conquer campaign, they ran it at thirty thousand feet, and they lied about the central issue in the campaign.

    Conservatives attempted to divide Ohio along two lines: the public versus public sector unions, and private sector unions versus public sector unions.

    They tried to cleave off private sector unions because there’s a dirty little (open) secret in my part of Ohio, and it’s that many private sector union members vote for Republicans. Republicans would like to continue to win statewide races in Ohio, so they’d like to continue to bash unions while winking and nodding to the private sector union members who vote for them in counties like mine.

    It didn’t work. Private sector union members were 100% on-board. There was no discernable division between the two groups. That’s somewhat remarkable, because prior to Governor Kasich, there actually was a divide between, say, local public school teachers and local Teamsters. That’s why Republicans saw an opening. Because it was there. Those two groups have very little in common. I went to a phone bank yesterday and last night where retired teachers were making canvassing calls alongside 30 year old men in work clothes. Dividing private sector unions and public sector unions failed.

    Conservatives ran a traditional divide and conquer campaign, and they ran it exclusively at 30,000 feet. It wasn’t just help from Liz Cheney and national conservative groups, it was all Liz Cheney and national conservative groups. There was no organization at all in this county, no observable signs of life from any actual local Republican activist. It’s a huge advantage for Democrats, because we’ve been organized and energized since Kasich opened his mouth and started insulting our friends and neighbors, and we’ve been organized in a practical, tangible, grim and determined way that appeals to me. We’ve been very, very busy. I don’t know what they’ve been doing on the other side, because we haven’t had time to look deeply into The Conservative Soul lately, thank God.

    The central issue in the campaign wasn’t health insurance, and it wasn’t pensions, and it wasn’t wages. Republicans lied about that, both by continuing to insist that it was about those things, and then lying about those things specifically.

    Here’s a quote from a Republican who gets it:

    Republicans who watched the campaign on the union measure said it was doomed from the start. The law was a frontal assault on one of the most sacred principles for Democrats: the right of organized labor to collectively bargain. Defeating the repeal campaign would have required near-universal Republican support, which was not there because some registered Republicans opposed the law. “This really is a core value, and the bill was out of step with that value,” said one Republican strategist, who asked to remain anonymous because he did not want to be seen as criticizing his party’s position.

    Collective bargaining stands for the idea that your boss has to sit down with you and negotiate. That’s it. That’s all it means. It doesn’t mean you get a great pension and it doesn’t mean you pay 0% or 10% or 15% towards health insurance, because those things are not “collective bargaining”, those things are terms that can be and are negotiated when your boss has to sit down with you. People here know this, and it doesn’t matter how much direct mail Liz Cheney sends them that says otherwise. The terms aren’t the main issue. The fact that workers have the power to negotiate at all is the main issue.

    Collective bargaining stands for the idea that your boss has to sit down with you and negotiate. That’s it, but that’s huge. What the people I spoke to and listened to since March heard from Republicans was this: “we don’t have to sit down with you at all, and we won’t”. That is a profound loss, an insult that cuts deep, and I’m not talking about bitching about health insurance premiums. People don’t tear up when they’re talking about 15% towards health insurance premiums. It’s dignity, it’s control, and it’s respect, both for public employees and for the work that they do.

    Collective bargaining isn’t a core value “for Democrats”. It’s a core value for human beings. It says that the person or entity that controls nearly all of your waking hours has to sit at the same level with you and deal with you as an equal, if only once a year, or once every five years.

  20. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 10:00 AM

    About that GOP debt ‘deal’…

    By Steve Benen

    As the so-called super-committee inches closer to its deadline, talks on Capitol Hill continue to go nowhere fast. To understand the state of the negotiations, I’d recommend ignoring this Washington Post report.

    The headline on reporter Lori Montgomery’s piece tells the reader: “Republicans offer tax deal to break debt impasse; Democrats dismiss it.” Here’s the lede:

    Congressional Republicans have for the first time retreated from their hard-line stance against new taxes, offering to raise federal tax collections by nearly $300 billion over the next decade as part of a plan to tame the national debt.

    The headline and lede make it seem as if GOP lawmakers are showing newfound flexibility and are finally willing to consider a more balanced approach to debt reduction, only to be rejected by Democrats.

    That’s not even close to what happened.

    Way down in the same article, in the 16th paragraph, the piece gets around to mentioning that Republican want to trade nearly $300 billion in new revenue for “permanently extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts past their 2012 expiration date, a move that would increase deficits by about $4 trillion over the next decade.”

    That’s the kind of detail that more or less debunks the article’s headline and lede. Think about it: as part of a debt-reduction deal, Republicans want to increase tax revenue by less than $300 billion and cut tax revenue by roughly $4 trillion.

    In what universe does it make sense to tell news consumers that Republicans have offered a “tax deal to break the debt impasse”? How does this GOP offer represent a “retreat from their hard-line stance” on taxes?

    Republican lawmakers are playing foolish games, hoping to give the appearance of flexibility. When the super-committee process breaks down, the GOP wants to be in a position to say, “Well, we tried to negotiate and make credible offers, but Democrats wouldn’t cooperate.”

    And while some in the media are apparently prepared to go along with this, the facts speak for themselves: Democrats made an overly-generous offer to Republicans, in which Dems gave away far too much, but which was quickly rejected without cause anyway. Republicans’ debt-reduction offer, meanwhile, features $4 trillion in tax cuts that make the problem worse, not better.

  21. dannie22 says:

    Hello everyone!! Ohio did it last night!!

  22. NBC Politics:

    AP Exclusive: Accuser filed complaint in next job

  23. Bill Clinton Backs Off Criticism Of Obama In New Book, ‘Back To Work’

    Former President Bill Clinton backed off a claim he made in his new book, Back To Work, to an audience at the New York Historical Society Tuesday.

    In his book, which was also released Tuesday, Clinton suggests that President Barack Obama should have added an increase in the debt limit to legislation to extend the Bush tax cuts, which were set to expire at the end of 2010, to deprive Republicans of leverage as the GOP won control of the House of Representatives in November.

    However, Clinton, according to Politico, received an email from National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, who said the administration tried that, but Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) threatened to filibuster the whole package. Clinton did not think that was possible under Senate rules.

    “I was wrong — see that didn’t hurt too bad,” Clinton, who was interviewed by his daughter Chelsea, said.

  24. Herman Cain Could Be Described as a ‘Monster,’ Accuser Says

    Hours after being publicly identified as one of several women to accuse Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment, civil servant Karen Kraushaar told ABC News that Cain could be described as a “monster.”

    Kraushaar said overnight she had attempted to dodge the media spotlight because she feared retaliation from Cain supporters. Her identity was revealed Tuesday and she has since hired a security team to guard her home outside Washington, D.C.

  25. ThinkProgress:

    “It’s time to pause. The people have spoken clearly” — Ohio Gov. Kasich after voters rejected his anti-union law

  26. symmetry11:

    PBO has some “we can’t wait” t-shirts.

  27. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 9:25 AM

    Cain shifts his blame to the ‘Democrat machine’

    When news first broke that Herman Cain had been accused of sexual harassment, the Republican presidential candidate first blamed the media. Then he blamed liberals. Soon after, he shifted the blame to unnamed racists. Then his campaign blamed GOP rival Rick Perry.

    Yesterday, the strange candidate found someone new to blame: the “Democrat machine.”

    Herman Cain, the embattled Republican candidate for president, convened a nationally televised news conference Tuesday in which he insisted that he is innocent of all sexual harassment accusations, even as another woman put her name to allegations that he had approached her inappropriately.

    Mr. Cain blamed the ballooning scandal on a “Democrat machine” and, anticipating calls to end his presidential run, he declared that “ain’t going to happen because I’m doing this for the American people and for the children and the grandchildren. And I will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations.”

    Let’s note a few relevant angles here.

    First, Cain’s conspiracy theory isn’t even grammatically right. I think he meant to blame the “Democratic machine.”

    Second, asked for proof that Democrats had anything to do with this, Cain could offer nothing.

    Third, Cain may not understand this, but I’ll let him in on a little secret: Democrats have no interest in tearing down his candidacy because they’d love it if he won the nomination. The made-up theory isn’t even plausible.

    Cain’s conspiracy theory, in other words, could use a little work.

    In related news, Cain insists he’d never seen Sharon Bialek before her Monday press conference, but that appears to be untrue. Cain’s campaign manager told Fox News that he’d “confirmed” that one of the candidate’s accusers works for Politico, and that wasn’t true, either.

    At what point are we justified in simply labeling Cain’s entire campaign a farce?

    Also note, some — and perhaps, all — of the women who’ve accused Cain of sexual harassment are preparing to hold a joint news conference of their own, according to the women’s attorneys.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Obama up big in Ohio

    One person who should be feeling particularly good about last night’s election results in Ohio is Barack Obama. On our weekend poll, which got the final result of Issue 2 correct to within a point, Obama led all of his Republican opponents in the state by margins ranging from 9-17 points. After a very tough year for Democrats in Ohio in 2010, things are looking up.

    Obama led Mitt Romney 50-41 on our poll. He was up 11 points on Herman Cain at 50-39, 13 on Newt Gingrich at 51-38, 14 on Ron Paul at 50-36, 14 on Michele Bachmann at 51-37 and a whooping 17 points on Rick Perry at 53-36. It used to be Sarah Palin’s numbers that we compared to Barry Goldwater, but Perry’s deficit would represent the largest Republican defeat in Ohio since 1964.

    The biggest thing Obama has going for him right now is an extremely unified Democratic base. Obama gets 88-92% of his party’s vote against the six Republican candidates. What makes that particularly notable is that his approval rating with Democratic voters is actually only 73%. But these numbers suggest that when election time comes around the party base will get around Obama whether they’re totally thrilled with him or not, and that’s a very good sign for his reelection prospects.

    Obama continues to suffer from poor approval ratings in Ohio with only 41% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove. But voters don’t seem to consider any of his opponents to be viable alternatives. Cain has the best favorability of the bunch at a still poor 33/43 and it just gets worse from there- 28/48 for Romney, 31/51 for Gingrich, 24/47 for Bachmann, 20/50 for Paul, and a truly woeful 17/58 for Perry. This field of GOP contenders just doesn’t seem to have much appeal to swing state voters.

    Democrats were a lot more engaged to go vote in Ohio yesterday than Republicans were, and the 2012 electorate probably won’t be as friendly to them as the one last night was. But the results sent a very clear message that voters there regret how they voted in 2010- our poll found that if voters could do it over they would have reelected Ted Strickland by a 55-37 margin over John Kasich. And if voters feel like voting for the GOP in 2010 was a mistake, that can only help Obama’s prospects for reelection next year. It’s pretty much impossible for Republicans to defeat Obama next year without taking Ohio- and for now the President’s in a real good position there.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    November 08, 2011 3:05 PM

    David Brooks vs. David Brooks

    By Steve Benen

    It was obvious almost immediately that David Brooks’ latest column would be problematic — the conservative New York Times writer described Mitt Romney as “earnest” in the first paragraph.

    Love Romney or hate him, earnestness isn’t one of his strong points.

    Alas, the column only got worse, with Brooks praising Romney’s “impressive” campaign and “serious” candidacy. The columnist seemed especially pleased by the former governor’s speech on debt-reduction last week, which Brooks described as “his most important speech yet.”

    It was politically astute and substantively bold, a quality you don’t automatically associate with the Romney campaign. Romney grasped the toughest issue — how to reform entitlements to avoid a fiscal catastrophe — and he sketched out a sophisticated way to address it. […]

    Romney’s plan still has some holes in it (how fast would premium supports grow?), but it exemplifies the sort of big reformist vision that should be at the center of a serious Republican campaign.

    It’s tough to know where to start with this, so let’s get some of the basics out of the way. First, Brooks praises Romney’s ability to eliminate the 2002 Olympics’ deficit, without explaining that Romney sought and received a congressional bailout for the games (it’s easier to eliminate a deficit when lawmakers start directing tax dollars your way). Second, Brooks overlooks relevant details of Romney’s so-called debt-reduction plan, including the fact that it’s impossible to shrink the deficit if a Romney administration follows through on its promise to increase defense spending and approve trillions in additional tax cuts.

    There’s also the small matter of this “serious” candidate thinking he can improve the nation’s finances by gutting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and eliminating Planned Parenthood — which is practically the definition of being fundamentally unserious.

    But let’s put all of that aside, and instead debate this on Brooks’ turf.

    The columnist is impressed with Romney’s approach to Medicare. He shouldn’t be. For all of his alleged “seriousness,” Romney falsely (and cheaply) attacked President Obama for “cutting” Medicare, endorsed raising the eligibility age (which would make matters worse), and threw his support behind Paul Ryan-style vouchers. How much would the vouchers be worth? Romney didn’t say. Would they keep up with escalating costs? Romney didn’t say.

    For Brooks to consider this “sophisticated” is to strip the word of all meaning.

    But what I’d really love is for David Brooks to remember previous columns written by David Brooks.

    In April, for example, the columnist trashed the Ryan plan that Romney’s agenda mirrors. Three months later, Brooks said Republican debt-reduction plans that don’t focus on revenue are irresponsible, and sure enough, Romney’s speech made no effort to bring in additional revenue.

    November Brooks seems awfully impressed with Romney’s conservative agenda. Would July Brooks have said the same thing?

  30. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011 8:00 AM

    Voters deliver major setbacks to the right

    By Steve Benen

    Going into Election Day 2011, the conventional wisdom said that voters would offer some clues about prevailing political attitudes and what’s to come in 2012. As the dust settles on last night’s results, if the conventional wisdom is right, Republican optimism about next year is badly misplaced.

    From coast to coast, Democrats and progressive goals not only won, but in most instances, won big. Some of the highlights:


    Despite the aggressive efforts of the Republican Party, Gov. John Kasich, and anti-labor forces, voters easily overturned restrictions on collective bargaining. With nearly every precinct reporting, Issue 2 got crushed, 61% to 39%, handing unions a major victory with national implications.


    In a terrific surprise, voters soundly rejected the proposed “Personhood” amendment that would have banned abortions, birth control, in-vitro fertilization, stem-cell research, and treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Opponents of the right-wing effort appear to have won about 57% of the vote.


    Republicans recently ended Election Day voter registration. Yesterday, voters brought it back, 61% to 39%.

    Republicans did not end the day completely empty handed. Phil Bryant (R) was elected governor in Mississippi, and it looks like the GOP gained just enough seats to split Virginia’s state Senate, though Republicans came up short of their goal of reclaiming a majority.

    But the good news for the right was easily overwhelmed by good news for the left. In Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) cruised to an easy victory and Dems won nearly every statewide race; in Arizona, Democrats successfully recalled radical state Senate President Russell Pearce (R); Dems won a key state Senate special election in Iowa and will maintain control of the chamber; voters ignored Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) efforts in New Jersey and kept Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature; and voters in Michigan recalled a far-right Republican state representative, the first-ever successful recall in state history.

    Republicans, who thought they had the winds at their backs after the 2010 midterms, expected success in 2011 to generate some momentum going into 2012. Instead, they received the opposite, with voters nationwide rejecting GOP candidates and conservative causes.

    If recent history is any guide, Republicans will respond to the setbacks by changing nothing and forging ahead with the exact same agenda and far-right ideology.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Benen has written this post several times. And, I post it every time because he presents THE FACTS. Just like that Pew study covering the KIND of coverage that the President receives. I think it’s important, when folks have taken the time to gather the numbers, that they be posted as often as possible. So, that when you slam the MSM for their slant, you can go say, ‘ go read Steve Benen – he’s kept up with the numbers, unlike you.’ Cause, they will lie and say that there IS no imbalance in how the ACA has been covered, which we know is a CROCK.


    November 09, 2011 8:35 AM

    How health care rulings are covered

    By Steve Benen

    Regular readers may recall an ongoing feature in which I compare coverage of health care court rulings from several major media outlets. Given yesterday’s developments, it’s time to revisit the subject.

    To briefly review, there were five major lower-court rulings that evaluated the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on the merits, three sided with the Obama administration and two sided with ACA opponents. As I documented, rulings in support of the law generally received scant attention from the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, and the Associated Press, while rulings against the law were literally treated as front-page news.

    Indeed, it hasn’t even been close. In every instance, conservative rulings received more coverage, longer articles, and better placement.

    Now we have three federal appeals courts that have considered cases on the merits: the 6th Circuit ruled in support of the health care law in June; the 11th Circuit ruled against it in August; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit backing the law yesterday. Keep in mind, yesterday’s ruling even offered an added hook: not only was this ruling seen as a precursor to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it also featured one of the federal judiciary’s most far-right judges siding with the Obama administration.

    With that in mind, once again, let’s put the media coverage in context:

    Washington Post
    * DC Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A4, 758 words
    * 11th Circuit ruling (against the ACA): article on page A1, 1059 words
    * 6th Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A5, 1053 words
    * Steeh ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A2, 607 words
    * Moon ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page B5, 507 words
    * Hudson ruling (against the ACA): article on page A1, 1624 words
    * Vinson ruling (against the ACA): article on page A1, 1176 words
    * Kessler ruling (upholding the ACA): no article, zero words

    New York Times
    * DC Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A14, 754 words
    * 11th Circuit ruling (against the ACA): article on page A11, 615 words
    * 6th Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A15, 853 words
    * Steeh ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A15, 416 words
    * Moon ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A24, 335 words
    * Hudson ruling (against the ACA): article on page A1, 1320 words
    * Vinson ruling (against the ACA): article on page A1, 1192 words
    * Kessler ruling (upholding the ACA): article on page A14, 488 words

    Associated Press
    * DC Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 469 words
    * 11th Circuit ruling (against the ACA): one piece, 1354 words
    * 6th Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 832 words
    * Steeh ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 474 words
    * Moon ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 375 words
    * Hudson ruling (against the ACA): one piece, 915 words
    * Vinson ruling (against the ACA): one piece, 1164 words
    * Kessler ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 595 words

    * DC Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 710 words
    * 11th Circuit ruling (against the ACA): one piece, 1099 words
    * 6th Circuit ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 940 words
    * Steeh ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 830 words
    * Moon ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 535 words
    * Hudson ruling (against the ACA): three pieces, 2734 words
    * Vinson ruling (against the ACA): four pieces, 3437 words
    * Kessler ruling (upholding the ACA): one piece, 702 words

    The trend, in other words, continues: conservative rulings receive more coverage, longer articles, and better placement, regardless of merit. The Washington Post continues to be the most one-sided — the three conservative rulings were all treated as front-page news, while the five rulings in support of the law were either buried or ignored.

    There are, to be sure, some possible explanations for this, but they’re not especially persuasive.

    One could argue, for example, that yesterday was a busy news day. That’s true, but it doesn’t explain the overall trend.

    The better argument is that rulings upholding the law maintain the status quo, which almost by definition, makes them less noteworthy. This is not without merit, but there are implications associated with this.

    The news-consuming public doesn’t necessarily follow the details of these legal developments, and Americans find important what the media tells them is important. With that in mind, it seems very likely the public has been left with the impression that the health care law is legally dubious and struggling badly in the courts because that’s what news organizations have told them to believe — rulings the right likes get trumpeted; rulings the left likes get downplayed.

    Several months ago, Greg Sargent explained the broader implications of this very well.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011
    Cain Unable, Part 8
    Posted by Zandar
    And the first call for Herman Cain to quit the race coming from a sitting Republican is in: Alaska’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

    Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told CNN on Tuesday she is “concerned” that the most recent charge of sexual harassment against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain “is not an isolated incident” and that he should quit the race if there is any truth to the claims.

    “I’m learning about this at the same time as any of the rest of you. But I would suggest that if, in fact, there is substance to the claims – and now there are apparently four individuals that have been involved or who have come forward – if that’s the case, I think that his opportunity as a nominee are gone,” the senator said.

    Nearly all of the Republican senators contacted by CNN sidestepped questions about the scandal that has rocked Cain’s campaign, saying they want to learn first if there is real evidence to support the mostly anonymous charges.

    However, Murkowski made clear she was moved by the public account of Sharon Bialek, a single mother from Chicago who held a news conference on Monday to say Cain wanted sex in return for helping her to find a job.

    And so it begins. Steve M. thinks Herman will be with us well into 2012. I personally think Cain will get stomped in Iowa and New Hampshire and fold before St. Patrick’s Day anyway, so it’s a moot point. We’ll see how far this goes, but given Cain’s ego and the fact his only job is to sell books right now, he’ll stick around for as long as he can.

    Meanwhile, a second Cain accuser’s identity has been revealed.

    Thanks to a decision by The Daily — News Corp’s iPad-only newspaper — to out her this morning, a communications director at the Treasury Dept. has become the second woman to have her name put to accusations that Herman Cain is a serial sexual harasser.

    Whether she likes it or not — and it seems clear that she doesn’t — Karen Kraushaar’s name will now be part of the story of Cain’s history of being accused of inappropriate behavior at work. Kraushaar, 55, confirmed to NPR Tuesday she was one of the women who complained about Cain’s actions at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s and settled the claims with the NRA.

    It’s entirely possible this mess could reach critical mass, but given that the only people whose opinion on Cain actually counts right now are GOP primary voters in early primary states (and they love the guy) we’ll see what happens.

    Magic 8-ball says it’s Newt’s turn on top of the Clown Car anyway.

  33. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011
    The Ohio Revolution

    John Kasich was stunned, but unfazed. John Kasich was accommodating, but resolute. John Kasich was swooningly democratic, but singularly authoritarian. In short, Kasich was vintage Kasich.

    “The people have spoken clearly,” said the Ohio governor at a news conference in Columbus last night, where one could almost hear the tumbrels bouncing along the cobbled route to the GOP’s doom. The people … spoke … clearly. And what was it, according to the oleaginous Kasich, that they said? “They might have said it was too much too soon.”

    You just can’t keep a good ideological swindler down. Whatever reality he grants with one hand, he steals back with the other.

    “Might have said,” my butt. They declared, they screamed, they dramatically protested the “too much.” Yet Kasich didn’t stop there. No, he wasn’t done applying his regal, rhetorical lubricants: “too much, too soon,” he added.

    Never concede, not entirely, no — no matter how loudly the blade’s slash resounds, no matter how many heads are seen rolling. Kasich, you see, is still right, notwithstanding how thunderingly wrong “the people” he just referenced said he is. According to His Unctuousness of High Infallible Doctrine, his only error — a light and minor one: overeagerness. The people just aren’t quite ready for Kasich’s utopian hellhole.

    Look, it is scarcely my polemical habit to argue the uncompromised virtues of the infallible multitudes, and neither do I begin now. The point is, it has been the unremitting custom of right-winging, tea-partying, reactionary, pseudoconservative politicos to exalt vox populi, ad nauseam. When the two are “clearly” incompatible? Why, the former do the Kasich dance. As Sal Russo of Tea Party Express put it, rather Kasichlike, in an overnight email: “Obama’s Democratic machine and the union bosses out hustled [sic] and beat us.”

    The People, you see, have merely gone astray, tempted by the come-hither coquetry of leveling socialists and lovely organizers. For Kasich, for tea partiers, for Hayekian junkies and dystopic ideologues, it’s a temporary thing. Their visionary grandeur was simply “too much, too soon.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    Holder: Voting Restriction Efforts ‘Inconsistent’ With American Values

    Ryan J. Reilly November 8, 2011, 2:14 PM

    Efforts to make it more difficult for voters to cast a ballot are inconsistent with American values and will be thoroughly investigated by DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

    “This Department of Justice will be aggressive at looking at this jurisdictions that have attempted for whatever reason to restrict the ability of people to get to the polls,” Holder said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) — who chaired a hearing on attempts to place restrictions on voting rights through measures like voter ID, shortening early voting periods and limiting the capabilities of groups trying to run voter registation drives — asked Holder what DOJ was doing to ensure voters weren’t disenfranchised.

    “I think a fundamental question is raised: who are we as a nation?” Holder said. “Shouldn’t we be coming up with ways to encourage more people to get to the polls to express their views?” he continued.

    “I am not talking about any one particular state effort, but more generally I think for those who would consider trying to use methods, techniques to discourage people from coming to the polls — that’s inconsistent with what we say we are as a nation,” Holder said.

    As TPM has reported, DOJ’s ability to oppose voting restrictions is limited because most states aren’t subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The laws in other states could be challenged under Section 2 of the VRA, but that would have to wait until after the 2012 election, since evidence the laws were discriminatory can only be gathered during an election when the law is in place.

    • Ametia says:

      Holder and the DOJ are going to HOLD it down with voter suppression bullshit, and this is whay the GOP is looking for any and everything to invesitgate Holder. More obstruction, distraction tactics.

  35. rikyrah says:

    84% Of White Working Class Americans Side With Obama On Taxing The Rich

    According to a new Wall Street Journal poll, 84% of white working class Americans agree with this statement,

    “The current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country. America needs to reduce the power of major banks and corporations and demand greater accountability and transparency. The government should not provide financial aid to corporations and should not provide tax breaks to the rich.”

    62% of those are Republicans and even 53% of Tea Party supporters agree with that statement. This is not a good indicator for the current crop of GOP candidates and elected officials who trumpet the notion of tax breaks for the 1%.

    Consider the poll by the Washington Post, which about 50% of American believes the GOP is purposefully sabotaging the economy in order to make President Obama look bad and this could be disastrous for the GOP in the 2012 election. President Obama and the Democrats need to stay on message though.

    The fact that the GOP killed the $60 billion infrastructure bill, that is fully paid for, just to “protect” the jobs creators is absurd. This bill will not add to the debt, it is fully paid for by taxing those who make one million dollars or more. This tax is only 0.7% on every dollar over one million. But the GOP says raising taxes on the “job creators” will increase outsourcing, right?

    The GOP and conservatives have told us this lie over and over that they reason American factories close and we no longer have a manufacturing base is due to the EPA and taxes. But in a recent Reuters report China is about to lose 30% of their factories by the middle of 2012. The reason is “wage inflation”. The capitalists on Wall Street see that the Chinese workers are eating into their profit margin and dividend checks.

    So rather than being happy and content with a $5,000 dollar dividend check every month, and the company making, for example, $5 million a month, they want more and if that means outsourcing from China, to another low wage country, so be it. It is a bottomless pit of greed and the only people allowed to make a living anymore are the Wall Street investors and banksters.

    The conservatives have used the excuse of tax breaks for the wealthy for 30 years in order to create jobs, when the investor class doesn’t care about taxes; they just want to exploit labor, which is the highest cost to a company.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Gov. Christie’s efforts to boost GOP’s chances in legislative elections fall short
    Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2011, 6:00 AM

    For months, Gov. Chris Christie traveled around the country collecting political I.O.U’s for himself and millions of dollars for the state Republican Party.

    He recorded campaign commercials for a few Republicans with a chance of edging their Democratic opponents. He held high-priced fundraisers for them, and in the final days of the campaign he made a handful of public appearances at diners and news conferences.

    But it was hardly a full-court press, and the results were disappointing for Republicans. Christie, who followed the election returns at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton, did not visit any campaign headquarters.

    And rather than consoling and recalibrating a defeated a state Republican Party, he planned to spend most of today in New Hampshire and Boston with supporters of Mitt Romney, whom he has endorsed for the Republican presidential nomination.

    “Tomorrow he’s going up to help Mitt Romney,” Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the state Democratic chairman, said Tuesday night. “I hope he does for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire what he did for Republicans in New Jersey.”

    For months, the election in New Jersey held little allure for Christie. After losing the battle over redistricting — something he tried and failed to influence — the fate of the Legislature was largely a foregone conclusion.

    As a result, he will spend the next two years the same way he spent the first two — with a Democrat-controlled Legislature.

  37. Ametia says:

    Obama And Biden Congratulate The People of Ohio On Their Issue 2 Win
    November 9, 2011

    Tonight both the White House and Vice President Biden issued statements congratulating the people of Ohio for standing up for workers.

    Here are the statements via HuffPo:

    The White House said, “The President congratulates the people of Ohio for standing up for workers and defeating efforts to strip away collective bargaining rights, and commends the teachers, firefighters, nurses, police officers and other workers who took a stand to defend those rights.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Ohio Turns Back a Law Limiting Unions’ Rights

    A year after Republicans swept legislatures across the country, voters in Ohio delivered their verdict Tuesday on a centerpiece of the conservative legislative agenda, striking down a law that restricted public workers’ rights to bargain collectively.

    The landslide vote to repeal the bill — 62 percent to 38 percent, according to preliminary results from Ohio’s secretary of state — was a slap to Gov. John R. Kasich, a Republican who had championed the law as a tool for cities to cut costs. The bill passed in March on a wave of enthusiasm among Republicans fresh from victories. A similar bill also passed in Wisconsin.

    Across the country, several other Republican-backed measures were also dealt setbacks, including a crackdown on voting rights in Maine.

    In Mississippi, voters rejected an amendment to the State Constitution that would have banned virtually all abortions and some forms of birth control by declaring a fertilized human egg to be a legal person.

    The Ohio vote gave a new lease on life to public sector labor unions in Ohio, which had been under tremendous pressure to get the bill repealed. Failure would have brought not only the loss of most of their bargaining rights, including the right to strike, but would also have called into question what had long been their central strength — their ability to organize and deliver votes.

    Labor leaders said their victory contained an important message for Republicans.

    “Attacking education and other public employees is not at all what the public wants to see,” said Karen M. White, political director of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest public sector union. “It should resonate with politicians that they’ve gone too far.”

  39. Arizona Immigration Law Mastermind Goes Down In Recall Fight

    State Sen. Russell Pearce, the controversial architect of Arizona’s immigration law, was voted out of office on Tuesday evening in a special recall election. He was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a fellow Republican who does not support the immigration crackdown and has vowed to reject gifts from special interest groups and work to ban gifts for legislators.

    Lewis won with roughly 54 percent of the vote, state officials announced on Tuesday evening.

    Pearce is the top Republican in the state senate, and a 10-year state legislator. He pioneered S.B. 1070, an immigration law passed in Arizona in 2010 that quickly prompted a lawsuit from the federal government. The law, which would have allowed police to ask for immigration papers at stops if they had “reasonable suspicion” someone was undocumented, was predominantly blocked before it went into effect.

Leave a Reply