Thursday Open Thread

The Whispers are a long-established R&Bdance vocal group from Los Angeles, California, with a consistent track record of hit records dating back to the late 1960s.

The Whispers formed in 1964 in Watts, California. The original members included the twin brothers, Wallace “Scotty” and Walter Scott, along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson and Nicholas Caldwell. In 1973, Harmon was replaced by former Friends of Distinction member Leaveil Degree. Scotty Scott’s fluid, melodic voice is featured on virtually all of their hits.

About SouthernGirl2

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

  1. rikyrah says:

    Good Riddance, Joe Paterno
    Nov 10, 2011 1:18 AM EST

    The Penn State legend tried to do an end-run around the trustees, but they still fired him for doing nothing to stop the alleged sexual abuse of young boys. Now it’s time to ditch the rotten college football system, says Buzz Bissinger.

    Like everyone else, I cannot get the scandal of Pennsylvania State University out of my mind.

    The story is unfolding at the speed of sound, not just the worst sports scandal in modern history but also one of the worst scandals in modern history:

    A former Penn State assistant coach for 29 years and alleged sexual predator, Jerry Sandusky, apparently continued unchecked because of the failure of university officials and head football coach deity Joe Paterno to do anything that might have made a difference instead of what they collectively did achieve:

    Buck-passing and unconscionable cowardice.

    Paterno announced in a statement Wednesday that he would retire as head coach at the end of the football season after 46 years. He tried to sound like a humble martyr, but he was selfish and self-serving as usual. With the hubris and arrogance that has been the hallmark of his career over the past decade, the over-the-hill 84-year-old attempted to do an end-run around the Penn State board of trustees, who have been meeting to decide his fate. Paterno was hoping he could forever claim he decided to leave the football program of his own accord. The trustees called his bluff Wednesday night, firing Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

    Paterno is just a part of this whole sordid, shameful disgrace. He is easy to focus on because of his mythic stature, all false idol, as it turns out. But I find myself not caring about him anymore, particularly now that he has been let go.

    What I am trying to fathom is how it ever became possible that so many men of power and intellect did nothing when it became obvious, because it was abundantly obvious on the basis of the findings of fact handed down earlier this week by a Pennsylvania investigative grand jury, that a former assistant coach familiar to all of them was apparently plucking out little boys as young as 10 to f–k up the ass or be on the receiving end of blowjobs.

    (Note: we need to stop the daintiness and describe the alleged offenses for what they truly are in the vernacular to somehow try to capture the monstrousness. Not anal intercourse or oral sex, which sounds clinical, but butt-f–king and blowjobs and cock-grabbing and pants-groping and other assorted acts that the 67-year-old Sandusky allegedly inflicted on eight minor victims over a 15-year span, according to the 23-page grand-jury report, and resulted in 40 counts of serial sex abuse of minors.)

  2. rikyrah says:

    Foreseeing The Sandusky Fiasco

    Some saw this coming. From a column by Mark Madden last April:

    Did Penn State not make an issue of Sandusky’s alleged behavior in 1998 in exchange for him walking away from the program at an age premature for most coaches? Did Penn State’s considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?

    Don’t kid yourself. That could happen. Don’t underestimate the power of Paterno and Penn State in central Pennsylvania when it comes to politicians, the police and the media.

    Sounds like the Vatican, doesn’t it? There’s more:

    Initially accused in 1998. Retires in 1999. Never coaches college football again. Sandusky was very successful at what he did. The architect of Linebacker U. Helped win national championships in 1982 and 1986. Recognized as college football’s top assistant in 1986 and 1999.

    Never any stories about Sandusky being pursued for a high-profile job. Never any rumors about him coming out of retirement. But there’s no shortage of stories and rumors about Penn State football sweeping problems under the rug, is there?

    Why did college football let an accomplished coach like Sandusky walk away at 55? Why did he disappear into relative anonymity?

    Plenty of rumors? It is beginning to look as if many, many people in that community were prepared to allow a child rapist continue his assaults on innocent children because of the cult of a coach.

  3. rikyrah says:

    ok, THIS is some s— right out of a John Grisham novel


    DA Who Never Charged Sandusky Has Been Missing Since 2005

    Why didn’t Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar prosecute Jerry Sandusky the first time he was accused in 1998? We may never know, as Gricar disappeared in 2005.

    It is strange that Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar never prosecuted Jerry Sandusky on child-rape charges 13 years ago, some speculate, because Gricar was known for being fiercely independent and hard on crime.

    But it is even stranger that we cannot ask Gricar why Sandusky was not put behind bars, because the tough-as-nails district attorney disappeared in 2005. And though he was declared dead July of this year, his body has never been found.

    “People ask why Ray did not prosecute, and I have no problem saying, because he clearly felt he didn’t have a case for a ‘successful’ prosecution,” Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar’s nephew , told The Patriot-News.

    “… One thing I can say is that Ray was beholden to no one, was not a politician.”

    This district attorney had “a bitter taste in his mouth for the [Penn State] program, and its coach,” according to his nephew, and never prosecuted Sandusky. He disappeared on April 15, 2005 after telling his girlfriend that he was going on a drive.

    Ray Gricar’s car was found the next day in a Lewisburg parking lot and his laptop, sans hard drive, was found in the Susquehanna River, according to the Patriot-News.

    Ray Gricar’s friend, Montour County District Attorney Robert Buehner Jr., told the New York Times that if the ardent district attorney had committed suicide, he would have wanted his body found. But in the case of possible foul play, no suspects have emerged from investigations.

    When it comes to the Sandusky case, friends and former co-workers are all of the opinion that Ray Gricar would never back down from a righteous prosecution.

    “No one got a bye with Ray,” Anthony De Boef, who was an assistant district attorney under Gricar for five years told the NY Times. “He didn’t care who you were; he had a job to do.”

    And, despite the fact that Ray Gricar had the mother of one of the alleged victims confront Sandusky while police listened, the 1998 report on Sandusky was labeled “unfounded” by the District Attorney’s Office, reports the Patriot-News.

  4. rikyrah says:

    in theory, this shouldn’t matter, but this was what someone said at work – that most of the boys in the Penn State case were BLACK?

    can anyone confirm?

    • Ametia says:

      First I’ve heard of this. Lordy HEADS need to rolling all over the place for this wickedness. Wonder if these supposed lbakc boys from one-parent households; meaning fatherless.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    November 10, 2011 2:25 PM

    Romney backed taxpayer-funded abortions

    By Steve Benen

    In theory, revelations like these would shake up the Republican presidential race, but that assumes Mitt Romney has competent primary rivals who actually want to win.

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s past support for abortion rights and state-funded family planning, especially during his Senate run in 1994 against Ted Kennedy, is well known. But Romney’s support has lasted longer, and goes deeper, than many may assume.

    During Romney’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign, he sought the endorsement of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts by filling out a questionnaire that made his continued support clear. The document was first circulated in 2007, but is now taking on new relevance as Romney tries to clarify his opposition to abortion rights and government-funded family planning.

    Romney pledged his support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that protects women’s choice, for laws protecting the safety of abortion clinics, for increased access to the morning-after pill and for late-term abortions when the mother’s health is at risk. Romney also indicated on the form that he supported the “state funding of abortion services through Medicaid for low-income women.”

    At a certain level, this seems huge. Romney, in his only successful campaign for public office, put his commitment to reproductive rights in writing — not only endorsing protections for Roe, but also expressing support for using taxpayer money to pay for abortion services.

    This is about the time we’d see every other Republican presidential campaign launch their rapid-response operations, raising hell with every political reporter they can find. We’d see press releases, web videos, the works.

    But in 2011, that just never seems to happen.

    I thought, for example, the GOP field would be apoplectic when we learned that Romney had promised center-left activists he would “act as essentially a sleeper agent within the Republican Party, adopting liberal stances, rising to national prominence, and thereby legitimizing them and transforming the Party from within.” But the other Republican campaigns let it slide.

    I also thought the GOP field would go berserk when we learned that Romney’s health care program in Massachusetts uses taxpayer money to provide medical care to undocumented immigrants. But the other Republican campaigns let this slide, too.

    I also thought the GOP field would pounce immediately on revelations that Romney’s policy team advised the Obama White House on how best to shape “Obamacare.” But, again, the other Republican campaigns said nothing.

    I thought Romney would be slammed repeatedly for his support of health care mandates. And his support for gun control. And his record supporting gay rights. And his belief in climate change. And now his support for taxpayer-financed abortions. Sure, he’s flip-flopped on all of these issues and more, and has become something of a far-right extremist, but at one time, Romney was practically a liberal — a detail that might matter to some Republican primary voters.

    And yet, with fewer than eight weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, there are no attack ads targeting Romney airing anywhere in the country, and in last night’s debate, no one even tried to lay a glove on him.

    It’s one thing to note how lucky Romney has been, but this is something else altogether. We’re talking about an entire GOP presidential field that practically seems willing to let Romney win.

  6. rikyrah says:

    As The GOP Implodes

    Obama inches back. Here’s the latest Gallup graph on independents’ preferences between Obama and a generic Republican:

    That’s a hell of a swing – from minus 21 to even in two months. And, remember, Obama does better against the actual Republican candidates.

    It’s not, in my view, because Obama is performing well as a communicator. It’s because the GOP is revealing itself as unfit for governing responsibility. Once again, Obama’s opponents self-destruct. Of course there’s a long, long way to go, and Romney could beat Obama next year if he is the candidate and the economy dives after Europe swoons. But still: this is a pretty damning indictment of an opposition party when a president has a 9 percent unemployment rate and paltry growth. The last two months, as the GOP has put its candidates on display and as its Congressional obstructionism has deepened, have been dreadful for the Republicans. Maybe they’ll learn after Tuesday’s votes. But maybe they can’t.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Partier Hopes To Run Ad Attacking Keith Ellison’s Muslim Faith — In Dem Primary
    Kleefeld November 10, 2011, 1:52 PM

    Conservative Tea Party activist Gary Boisclair is mounting an unusual bid for Congress in Minnesota — as a Democratic primary challenge, in the solidly Dem district of Rep. Keith Ellison. And along the way, he hopes to run an attack ad targeting the incumbent’s Muslim faith.

    Boisclair told the area news site that the ad is not running on TV yet, but he hopes to do so “once my coffers get filled.”

    “Congressman Ellison swore an oath to defend the Constitution — on a Quran,” Boisclair says in the ad. “The Quran says Christians and Jews are infidels. The Quran says Christians are blasphemers, who should have their hands and feet cut off, and that they should be crucified, and killed.

    “Do you really want someone representing you, who swears an oath on a Quran — a book that undermines our Constitution and says you should be killed? I’m Gary Boisclair, and I approve this message.”

    As Minnesota Independent reports, Boisclair is part of a right-wing group called the Society for Truth and Justice, founded by Florida anti-abortion activist Randall Terry — who for his part is running a Democratic primary challenge against none other than President Obama.

    However, Boisclair’s ad was in fact pulled from YouTube, on the grounds that it was deemed offensive. Ellison himself then praised the move.

    “I’d like to thank YouTube for removing the ad because it violated the company’s ‘policy on shocking and disgusting content,’” Ellison wrote in a statement. “The people of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District elected me to uphold our Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion for every American. I intend to maintain the high level of civility the voters expect and deserve. And, I will continue working with our communities to organize for greater inclusion of people of all faiths and backgrounds.”—-in-dem-primary.php

  8. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011 1:05 PM

    Cain campaign’s not-so-subtle threats

    By Steve Benen

    I can’t say with any confidence whether the sexual-harassment allegations surrounding Herman Cain are true. The accusations seem credible, and the fact that the Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly contradicted himself and changed his story doesn’t inspire confidence, but the claims have not yet been fully proven.

    With that in mind, it stands to reason that Cain and his campaign would defend itself and urge voters to believe the candidate’s version of events. What Team Cain is doing, however, goes well beyond a standard defense, and enters the realm of intimidation and retaliatory tactics.

    L. Lin Wood, the lawyer hired by the Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to fend off sexual harassment accusations, has warned that any other women who might be considering coming forward with similar allegations “should think twice.”

    On Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after Karen Kraushaar identified herself as one of two women who had received monetary settlements relating to harassment allegations against Mr. Cain while working for the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, Ms. Kraushaar faced questions about a workplace complaint she filed at a subsequent job, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Hours later, Rush Limbaugh seized on that report to argue that Ms. Kraushaar has “a pattern of whining.”

    And when another accuser, Sharon Bialek — whose last name Mr. Limbaugh has pronounced as “buy-a-lick” — appeared Wednesday on MSNBC, she faced fresh inquiries about her troubled financial history, which had been documented and publicized by Mr. Cain’s campaign under the heading, “Who Is Sharon Bialek?”

    Think twice”? This isn’t exactly subtle — Cain’s camp is trying to intimidate would-be accusers from coming forward. What if they have legitimate claims of misconduct against Cain? That apparently doesn’t matter; the GOP campaign is prepared to destroy accusers anyway.

    And in case this wasn’t quite aggressive enough, now there’s also

    Herman Cain has made clear his position on the accusers who say he sexually harassed them — or worse — while CEO of the National Restaurant Associations: they’re liars.

    Now the campaign has an entire website dedicated to driving that message home, CainTruth.Com. The hastily-put-together blog appears to be primarily dedicated to spreading damaging stories about the women who have come forward….

    Is it any wonder victims of sexual harassment are often reluctant to come forward?

    Putting that aside, I can think of other presidential candidates who’ve been accused of wrongdoing, but when it comes to public campaigns to destroy accusers, Cain appears to be breaking new ground.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Obama Campaign: We Don’t Have A Base Problem
    share close StumbleUpon Instapaper digg Benjy Sarlin November 10, 2011, 6:06 AM 452After posting huge turnout numbers in 2008, Democrats are going to have a tough time bringing back the base in 2012. You hear it in the streets, you see it in the polls. That’s the conventional wisdom at least.

    But among Obama campaign staff, it’s an article of faith that talk of a “base problem” is a load of bunk. Touring campaign headquarters in Chicago last month, aides uniformly dismissed the notion there would be any issue bringing core Democrats back into the fold. A “Washington narrative,” as one person described it to TPM.

    “The biggest problem this far out is urgency,” one staffer told TPM. “There’s a feeling of ‘Come on, you need me now?’”

    The campaign’s Chicago offices, which boasts over 200 full-time staffers, is overwhelmingly devoted to organizing grassroots volunteers at the neighborhood level in order to get a jump on the general election. Small neighborhood groups are being given personalized goals of voter contacts, phone calls, and other metrics help keep them motivated. Last weekend, they organized more than 2,000 volunteer events around the country to mark the one-year countdown to Election Day.

    And while the campaign stresses that its base is still solidly behind Obama, they also are putting a tremendous amount of time and energy into “Operation Vote,” a series of specially tailored programs designed to target Democrats’ most reliable demographics, including women, young voters, African Americans, Jews, and Latinos.

    The “Greater Together” program, for example, targets 18-29 year old voters, a group that includes many first time voters but also recent graduates and young professionals.

    A surge in youth voting, notoriously one of the hardest groups to get to the polls, was key to Obama’s 2008 win but lately there have been signs of trouble. The Occupy Wall Street movement, which the campaign is loathe to discuss at all, has unexpectedly taken off but there are strong undercurrents of disappointment in Obama’s leadership among its supporters. And the rough economy, Obama’s biggest overall vulnerability, is very real to recent college graduates, many of whom are having a tough time finding work and paying off their student debt.

    While Republican opposition has blocked much the White House’s ambitious legislative agenda, the campaign thinks they’ve amassed an impressive set of accomplishments to convince young voters that their enthusiasm in 2008 wasn’t misplaced. The end of the Iraq War, the Affordable Care Act’s rapid expansion of insurance coverage for young adults, and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell all are set to figure big in the President’s pitches.

    Another issue that the White House is emphasizing more recently: student debt. The President recently issued an executive order aimed at speeding up reforms designed to make student loans easier to pay off. Priorities USA, an independent group supporting Obama’s re-election, ran an ad in Michigan ahead of Wednesday’s Republican debate accusing the GOP candidates of trying to cut student programs.

    Hispanic voters, another crucial plank of Obama’s 2008 majority, are another focus for 2012. A number of Latino groups have been extremely critical of the administration’s record, including its inability to get the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform past Congress and its hesitancy to slow a record-setting pace of deportations.

    A Obama staffer stressed that Latino advocacy groups’ focus on immigration obscured the tremendous importance of the economy to individual Latino voters, an area where they feel their latest jobs push gives them an edge. While the campaign was counting on bringing the activist community behind them sooner, they’re enthused over a raft of polling showing Latino voters sticking with the president in head to head match-ups with his Republican challengers. A recent Univision poll, for example, showed Obama racking his 2-1 margins among Hispanic voters against Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain, a number near identical to his 2008 victory. Romney has tacked hard right in his immigration rhetoric over the last few weeks to go after Perry, whose support for allowing illegal immigrants to receive in-state tuition has become one of his top vulnerabilities. And that’s nothing compared to Cain, who has suggesting building a lethal electrical fence around the border.

    The campaign expects to have a major edge in Spanish-language media as well, thanks in part to the GOP field’s ongoing boycott of Univision over a spat with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and will make aggressive use of ads and media appearance to target radio stations as well.

    The statistics are still rough: Democrats keep telling pollsters they’re less enthusiastic about voting than Republicans. But the campaign is convinced that once Obama is running against a Republican opponent — and not just an ideal version of himself — their 2008 supporters will return to the fold as ready to help as ever.

  10. Ametia says:

    Senate Halts GOP Bid To Repeal ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules

    Senate Democrats on Thursday turned back a Republican attempt to repeal federal rules designed to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against those who send content and other services over their networks.

    Republicans argued that “net neutrality” rules announced by the Federal Communications Commission last December were another example of federal regulatory overreach that would stifle Internet investment and innovation.

    But Democrats, and the White House in a veto threat, said repealing the FCC rules would imperil openness and freedom on the Internet. “It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world,” the White House said.

    The vote to against taking up the bill, along party lines, was 52-46.

    Read more:

  11. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011 11:20 AM

    GOP hostility towards students continues apace

    By Steve Benen

    We talked a couple of weeks about Republican hostility towards federal aid for college students. Pat Garofalo posted this video from last night’s debate, showing several leading candidates denouncing the very idea of the federal government helping young people get their degree.

    Garofalo’s summary was spot-on:

    Outstanding student loan debt is projected this year to hit $1 trillion for the first time, while the average college student now graduates with more than $25,000 in debt. Federal student aid has failed to keep pace with the skyrocketing cost of tuition, even as the U.S.’s educational attainment begins to trail that of other developed nations.

    According to the Lumina Foundation, by 2025, the U.S. will be short 16 million college educated workers. But according to the GOP presidential candidates, who took part in yet another primary debate last night, the government should deal with these problems by doing away with federal student loans.

    I’d just add that Republican hostility towards student aid appears to be broadening and intensifying. Indeed, though he wasn’t pressed on the issue last night, Herman Cain is another Republican presidential candidate who is on record saying Washington should make no effort to help young people and their families with college costs.

    And It’s not just the GOP presidential candidates. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) recently told voters the Pell Grant program is “unsustainable” (it’s actually sustainable with some sensible reforms, making Ryan’s drive to gut the program unnecessary) and that he was outraged that the Obama administration “confiscated the private student loan industry” (that never happened).

    The question that needs further discussion is why Republicans are so eager to make it harder for young people to further their education in the first place.

    College tuition costs are soaring to the point of being “out of control.” Young people are entering the workforce shouldering $1 trillion in student-loan debt. Given global competition and the need for the most educated workforce the nation can muster, policymakers should be making every effort to make higher ed more accessible, not less, at costs that are more affordable, not less.

    And yet, here we are, with national Republican figures cutting funding for student loans, pushing for the elimination of student grants, and in the case of some GOP presidential candidates, calling for the end of federal student assistance altogether.

    While they’re at it, Republican officials are also imposing new voter restrictions, which affect several key constituencies — most notably, students.

    Talk about losing the future….

  12. rikyrah says:

    Clowning Is An Honorable Entertainment Profession That These Fools Are Besmirching
    by Zandar

    Yes, Herman Cain added a couple points to his scumbag multiplier with the “Princess Nancy” crack and Perry.exe encountered reality and blue screened on stage, but the real problem at last night’s debate was a number of GOP candidates (Newt and Ron Paul End The Fed) gleefully saying that as President they would basically end government student loans, at a debate at a college, with a college audience, presumably the college kids at the college due to government-backed student loans, and the college kids cheering the end of the aforementioned loans.

    Paul was asked about student loan program at a Republican presidential debate. He called it a “total failure” and said student loan debt of nearly $1 trillion could be “dumped on the taxpayer.” He said he supported getting rid of student loan programs and the Education Department.

    “There’s no authority in the Constitution for the federal government to be dealing with education,” the Texas congressman argued. “We should get rid of the loan programs. We should get rid of the Department of Education and give tax credits, if you have to, to help people.”

    Gingrich said the loan program expanded the ability of students “to stay in college longer because they don’t see the cost.” He called it “an absurdity.”

    I mean how long before the official GOP platform plank on college is “not if you can’t pay cash you don’t!” The number of things America can no longer afford because we have to get the top marginal tax rate as low as possible in order to Magically Create Jobs is getting a bit long, yes? Somehow, I don’t think that our revenue problem is going to be solved by the “Michele Bachmann Two Happy Meal Alternative Minimum Tax Plan” either.

    This notion that the federal government should do nothing whenever possible is one thing, but actively running on a platform of promising to assure that government doesn’t help its citizens is just grimly bizarre stuff.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Report: Jerry Sandusky Investigated For Allegedly Pimping Boys To Rich Donors

    The horrible Penn State child rape scandal is one of the worst stories the sports world has ever seen, one that involves some of the most heinous crimes imaginable as well a disturbing desire to brush them under the rug. However, a rumor is now surfacing that could make things even worse. Mark Madden, a local sports writer for the Beaver County Times, said on a radio show this morning that he had heard that a new development was going to break and that it involved the man at the center of the scandal, Jerry Sandusky, “pimping out” young children to “rich donors” of his Second Miles Foundation for troubled kids.

    Madden discussed the rumor this morning when calling into Boston’s Sportsradio WEEI.

    Now, in situations like these, rumors run rampant, so why is this one getting reported on before any facts have come out? And then why are we amplifying it? Wel,l for starters Madden was one of the first people to write about an apparent child rape cover up at the university. More importantly, he wrote about it seven months before the rest of the country heard about it.

    With that said, this is different. As he explained to the radio hosts, all the information was publicly available and he was just smart enough to see that it potentially spelled huge trouble for the school. From his own description, that seems different from how he discovered this new rumor so his earlier seeming-clairvoyance on the subject might not be any reason to believe this is any more than that, a rumor.

    Still, Madden now has a proven track record and this is easily the biggest story in the country so expect this rumor to get a full investigation. Unlike, unfortunately, the original rape allegations.

  14. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011 10:30 AM
    Still lacking ‘the courage of his absence of convictions’
    By Steve Benen

    The list of Mitt Romney’s flip-flops is already extremely long. What’s less appreciated is a separate list — the one referencing all the issues on which Romney is simply too afraid to take a position at all. It’s not quite as lengthy as the reversals, but it’s getting there.

    In recent months, Romney has hedged on whether he supports President Obama’s plan for an extended payroll tax break in 2012. In one recent debate, Romney was reminded that if Congress doesn’t act on the payroll tax, every worker will take a hit in their paycheck next year. Asked for a response, Romney said, “No one likes to see tax increases, but…” before changing the subject.

    So, last night, John Harwood tried to get a straight answer out of Romney, asking, “Speaker Gingrich just said he is not prepared to raise taxes on the American people in the middle of a slow economy like this. That’s what would happen if the payroll tax cut is not extended. Do you agree with him, and would you also support, when it comes down to it, an extension of the payroll tax cut?” Romney said he doesn’t “want to raise taxes on people in the middle of a recession.”

    “So you’re for it?” Harwood asked. Romney dodged the question, so the co-moderator tried again.

    HARWOOD: But to clarify, you agree with President Obama the payroll tax cut should be expanded?

    ROMNEY: I want to keep our taxes down. I don’t want to raise any taxes anywhere. Let me tell you, I’m not looking to raise taxes. What I’m looking to do is to cut spending.

    The problem is obvious. Romney doesn’t want to say he agrees with President Obama. He also doesn’t want to say he supports a tax increase affecting every American worker. It leaves Romney unwilling to say much of anything, because he simply doesn’t have the courage to state his actual views.

    Greg Sargent summarized the trajectory of Romney’s position: “So, to recap: First Romney derided the payroll tax cut extension as a ‘Band-Aid’ solution. Then he kinda-sorta said maybe he supports it, claiming we shouldn’t raise taxes in a recession while acknowledging that not extending the payroll tax cut would constitute doing just that. And then his campaign refused to say clearly whether it should be extended. Got all that?”

    Loud and clear.

    On a related note, from the same debate, Jonathan Cohn highlighted a key moment in which Romney dissembled to the point of incoherence.

    In a previous exchange about health care, Romney had talked about the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship — which, Republicans always say, the Affordable Care Act disrupts by introducing government meddling. But Romney’s position isn’t that government shouldn’t get involved in health care. It’s that the federal government shouldn’t get involved with health care. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney authorized a significant government intrusion into the health insurance system — and Romney has said he’d let other states do the same.

    Harwood wanted to know why those two positions weren’t in contradiction — and Romney, who’s a superb debater, was actually flustered. Eventually, Romney changed the subject to Medicaid and a statement that “Obamacare is wrong.” He never answered the question because, I suspect, he doesn’t have an answer.

    The larger takeaway from this is appreciating how easy it is for Romney to get stuck. When he’s not flip-flopping or reinventing his entire worldview, the former governor is ducking questions he doesn’t have the guts to answer.

    Conservative columnist George Will recently slammed Romney as “a recidivist reviser of his principles,” who seems to “lack the courage of his absence of convictions.” That looks more and more accurate all the time.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Why Cain Matters

    A reader makes an excellent point:

    It occurred to me last tonight that there is a silver lining in the Cain scandals and the appalling reaction on the right. Yes, we have an entire party – in fact, the effective majority governing party of the last 40 years – dismissing sexual harassment as a concept, much less a problem. But. We also have a black man who stands credibly accused of serial sexual predation against unwilling white women, and the older, whiter, Southern portion of our body politic doesn’t have a problem with that. In a way, that reflects breathtaking progress on the racial front for America.

    I wish that were true. I fear it’s just a sign of pathological partisanship and pseudoconservative paranoia about the media – or an opportunity for Limbaugh, Coulter et al. to refresh their media brands. But, hideously, it has gone further than that. The very public attempt by the Cain camp to slime and smear these women, to drag them through a grueling process of public examination and to tell potential other victims that they should “think twice” before coming forward is so neanderthal and vile it belongs to another era.

    But this is a fascinating moment. Because it is where denial meets reality, a very dangerous spot for the current GOP. I once believed that the cult of Palin could bring this conflict to a head – her cult vs the reality of her bizarre, disturbed life. But it turns out that Cain could be that catalyst. What if Kraushaar’s documentation of her case proves to any sane person that sexual harassment took place? Why isn’t evidence of Cain’s public meeting six weeks ago with a woman he has publicly said he has never met and couldn’t remember immediately reveal a delusional mindset that instantly disqualifies a person from running for president?

    The current GOP is a circus tent. A party that has a presidential front-runner with zero experience in public office and a risible grasp of basic facts about politics and the world is in deep enough trouble. But when that front-runner is credibly accused of serious abuse of power and has crawled out on a limb of total denial about it, then that party is more than just a circus. It’s a threat. Palin showed that. Cain reinforces it. Palin withdrew before a final reckoning. Will Cain?

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Sandusky Grand Jury Report

    If you can bear it, read it (pdf). What shocked me was the number of times Sandusky was seen by associates obviously being inappropriate (how I hate that weasel Clinton word) with boys. The pattern was everywhere. It was not just one incident – the brutal rape in the shower – at all. And what makes this pattern of rape and abuse so disturbing, of course, is that Sandusky simultaneously set up a charity as a safe place for boys from troubled families or single parents – the most emotionally vulnerable kids of all. In order to rape them. A reader writes:

    I was at dinner last night. Joe Paterno came on the television and I said Penn State should fire him. I got bombarded by another couple. He’s not legally responsible and it’s no one’s business. If the school fired him he could sue. The couple who doubted my intelligence both coach, one is a teacher, and both are evangelical Christians. Your Honor, I rest my case.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Freddie Mac Didn’t Pay $300K for History Lectures

    In the obsequies over the Perry candidacy, let’s not overlook this audacious moment from the debate: Newt Gingrich’s breathtaking assertion that Freddie Mac paid him $300,000 for a lecture he gave “as a historian” about how they should forthwith cease their business practices.

    Turns out, that’s not quite how it happened. From the AP:

    The records obtained by the AP reflect growing concern within Freddie Mac over a chorus of criticism from Republicans worried that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had grown too big. The two companies owned or guaranteed over $5 trillion in mortgages.

    The Bush administration and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were sounding the alarm about the potential threat to the nation’s financial health if the fortunes of the two mammoth companies turned sour. They did eventually, when they took on $1 trillion worth of sub-prime mortgages and when their traditional guarantee business deteriorated. Commercial banks regarded Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as competitors and were anxious to pick up business that would result from scaling back the two companies.

    Pushing back, Freddie Mac enlisted prominent conservatives, including Gingrich and former Justice Department official Viet Dinh, paying each $300,000 in 2006, according to internal records.

    Gingrich talked and wrote about what he saw as the benefits of the Freddie Mac business model.

  18. Ametia says:

    LOL Ron Paul tryna help’em out; that’s what they do. Try to cover for each other. Pathetic!

  19. rikyrah says:

    There’s only one Republican Party
    by Kay

    Just wanted to clear something up:

    These policies, and similar ones in other states, were passed in an arrogant frenzy by a Tea Party-tide of Republicans elected in 2010. Many of them decided that they had a mandate to dismantle some of the basic protections and restrictions of government. They went too far, and weary voters had to drag them back toward the center. As a result, Tuesday brought an overdue return of common sense to government policy in many states. Many voters are tired of legislation driven more by ideology than practicality, of measures that impoverish the middle class or deprive people of basic rights in order to prove some discredited economic theory or cultural belief.

    This is misleading. It wasn’t the Tea Party that pushed the anti-union agenda in Ohio. It was moneyed interests that are absolutely central to the national GOP, and it was state legislators who did not arrive in any “Tea Party” wave, but are (supposedly) mainstream Republicans. Governor Kasich was in the US House from 1993 to 2001. He’s about as plugged in and mainstream as a Republican can be. This was his law. Further, each and every GOP candidate for President endorsed Kasich’s law. The Tea Party actually pushed the ridiculous constitutional amendment on health care. The union-busting law wasn’t their issue.

    I don’t know if this nonsense is sentimentality or nostalgia or what, but can we please stop pretending there’s something called “The Republican Party”, a theory, that is different than the actual Republican Party that exists?

    There’s one Republican Party, just like there’s one Democratic Party. I don’t run around pretending there’s another, alternate Democratic Party that is much, much better than the group that currently exists. I’d sometimes like to do that, but I don’t, because that’s purely aspirational on my part. It’s not reality.

    Like all organizations, the GOP is a group of people. It’s a sum of parts. This fantasy mainstream “Republican Party” exists only in the memories of newspaper editorial writers. There are no activist members or leaders of the imaginary GOP. An organization like that no longer exists. This is what they are. Deal with it.

  20. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011 9:10 AM

    ‘Steadiness and constancy’
    By Steve Benen

    Were it not for Rick Perry’s and Herman Cain’s bizarre remarks last night, I’d like to think Mitt Romney’s explanation on flip-flopping would be a bigger deal this morning.

    To his credit, John Harwood, one of the debate’s co-moderators, pressed the Republican frontrunner on “seeming to be on all sides” of some issues, adding, “Your opponents have said you switched positions on many issues.” Harwood ultimately asked, “What can you say to Republicans to persuade them that the things you say in the campaign are rooted in something deeper than the fact that you are running for office?”

    Romney replied:

    “I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy. I don’t think you are going to find somebody who has more of those attributes than I do. I have been married to the same woman for 25 — excuse me, I will get in trouble, for 42 years.

    “I have been in the same church my entire life. I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years. And I left that to go off and help save the Olympic Games. I think it is outrageous the Obama campaign continues to push this idea…. Let me tell you this, if I’m president of the United States, I will be true to my family, to my faith, and to our country, and I will never apologize for the United States of America.”

    I realize Romney looks like a terrific debater in light of his GOP competition, but this response offers a reminder about just how empty Romney’s suit really is.

    The former governor seems to want credit for consistency for not having changed his religion or his wife. Granted, that’s a two-prong test that Newt Gingrich fails, but it hardly makes Romney “a man of steadiness and constancy.” Indeed, what does Romney’s faith and wife have to do with his willingness to shift with the political winds on every issue under the sun?

    And just throwing in his lack of apologies for America reinforces the fact that Romney is just as shallow a sound-bite-reciting robot as he seems.

    The Republican audience seemed pleased with Romney’s response, but there’s a limit to how long this line can work. The man has, after all, taken both sides of the question on whether it’s all right to take both sides of questions. His reputation as a shameless, craven politician who’s flip-flopped like no other American politician in a generation is well deserved.

    If Romney seriously believes he’s “a man of steadiness and constancy,” he’s (a) lying to himself; (b) lacking any sense of self-awareness; or (c) doesn’t know what the words steadiness and constancy mean.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Present When History was Made
    by mistermix

    If you missed Rick Perry’s colossal fuckup at last night’s debate, Anne Laurie has the video below. The conventional wisdom is that this is the end of Perry’s campaign, and that’s probably right, since he’s been in the low teens in the polls ever since Republicans got a good look at him. The guy is a moron, a delicate flower who can’t survive outside of the hothouse that is Texas, not to mention that he sounds just like George W Bush. This has been true for a long time and obvious to anyone watching any Perry public appearance that wasn’t totally scripted.

    But as this media tool’s tweet indicates, one of Perry’s parting gifts is still more emphasis on one-moment campaign enders, something the Beltway media already fetishizes. The DC media loves the notion that saying or doing one dumb thing on camera can kill any campaign instantly. They love it because it shows the power they wield over the race by being able to report these little moments, it justifies the stupid “boys on the bus” tradition where the press has to follow each candidate for months as they repeat the same mind-numbing stump speech day after day, and it justifies beat ignorance. If one instance of forgetting a talking point, or yelling to be heard in a crowded room, can kill a campaign, why bother learning about the issues? You can sit around all day talking about whether the guy you’re covering connects with the common man, debate whether America would like to have a beer with him, and then when the campaign ender happens, you can tell the world that this isn’t your first rodeo.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Report: Mitt Romney Is The Most Radical GOP Presidential Candidate On Mass Deportations |

    ThinkProgress guest bloggers Ann Garcia and Mayu Takeda compiled a lengthy and comprehensive list of each of the Republican presidential candidates’ stances on immigration. It includes some surprising details — including the fact that the supposedly moderate GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is the only candidate to suggest that he supports mass deportation, so long as undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for several years are given “enough time to organize their affairs and go home.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    On Unhappy Valley
    by BooMan
    Thu Nov 10th, 2011 at 07:59:17 AM EST

    Maureen Dowd has finally written a column I can wholeheartedly endorse. She writes about how Joe Paterno and Penn State let down her ten-year old nephew who “is the proud owner of Penn State shorts, underwear, socks, jerseys, sweatshirts and plastic football players.” I’m not ten years old anymore, but I was once. And I was a big Penn State fan who idolized Joe Paterno. Fortunately, I am old enough now not to be emotionally scarred by the revelations at Penn State, but it’s still painful to process. People around here have taken pride in Penn State’s football program for a half century. Even their refusal to put anything on their helmets indicated a certain purity. Of Joe Paterno’s five undefeated teams, only one received a national championship, which only added to the fan base’s desire to see the program get the respect they thought it deserved.

    Defending Penn State’s honor and virtues is a habit deeply embedded in Pennsylvania culture. Yet, the way they handled the allegations against their legendary defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is so much worse than the booster scandals at Notre Dame or the notoriously bad behavior of the student-athletes at the University of Miami.

    Unlike Oklahoma State, Penn State would never hand a degree to a man who admitted to being functionally illiterate. Of teams that participated in Division I bowl games last year, only Notre Dame and Northwestern had higher graduation rates (pdf) for the football players. Nationally, the graduation success rate of college football players increased last year to 67%, but Penn State could brag a 90% success rate. Coach Paterno proved, year in and year out, that you can be successful on the highest level without treating academics as a joke and without breaking NCAA rules. That meant something to people. And that’s what makes it all that much harder to deal with the fact they didn’t protect innocent children and didn’t follow the law in reporting incidents of child rape and, in some cases, perjured themselves in a failed effort to cover their tracks. Ultimately, the fact that they avoided many of the lesser sins of college sports is overwhelmed by the one of the biggest sins imaginable.

    I hope the program can find someone who will continue to do all the little things right and slowly rebuild the reputation for excellence that Penn State earned. And I hope they don’t have any huge moral blind spots that ruin their efforts. There will be a lot of ten-year olds counting on them.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Study: GOP’s Balanced Budget Amendment Would Double Unemployment Rate, Put 15 Million Out Of Work
    By Travis Waldron on Nov 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    In a week, the GOP will again vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, the cockamamie economic proposal they have toyed with several times over the last several months, including during the debate over raising the debt ceiling. The vote is part of the final compromise to raise the debt limit, in which President Obama and Senate Democrats promised to hold a vote on such an amendment, despite the fact that such votes have failed numerous times in the past.

    Republicans have taken to ignoring the obvious perilous consequences of the amendment even as voices on both sides of the aisle denounce it as the “worst idea in Washington.” The current amendment, former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett said, “looks like it was drafted by a couple of interns on the back of a napkin.” Today, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) added to that criticism, releasing a study noting that such an amendment would make future recessions “deeper and longer” and saying that if a BBA had been enacted prior to the 2008 recession, the “effect on the economy” would have been “catastrophic.”

    And according to CBPP, passing a Balanced Budget Amendment now, with the country trying to climb out of the hole of joblessness caused by the recession, would have the exact opposite affect one would expect policy makers to try and achieve. In fact, the budget cuts required by such an amendment now would double the unemployment rate and slide the country back into the throes of recession:

    If the 2012 budget were balanced through spending cuts, those cuts would total about $1.5 trillion in 2012 alone, the analysis estimates. Those cuts would throw about 15 million more people out of work, double the unemployment rate from 9 percent to approximately 18 percent, and cause the economy to shrink by about 17 percent instead of growing by an expected 2 percent.

    That should be a reality check for Republicans who claim to be focused on job creation. Yet, despite evidence that the amendment would have disastrous consequences for our economy, Republicans — even those who pitch themselves as credible on the economy, like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — continue to support it. Some even distort the past positions of Democrats to make it look like the proposal has bipartisan support.

    In reality, such an amendment would only serve to exacerbate the very problems the GOP says it is trying to fix. And, as CBPP notes, the idea is utterly impractical: “[T]he only way to implement a BBA without some fiscal drag is to ratify it when the budget is in balance or surplus. Of course, then we wouldn’t have needed the BBA to achieve balance in the first place.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    50 Years of Foreclosure
    Posted on 11/09/2011 at 4:45 pm by JM Ashby
    From the department of “Holy Shit.”

    A new USA Today report suggests the consequences of the Bush “Ownership Society” and Wall Street’s mortgage-backed security scam could be with us for many years. Perhaps even 50.

    USA Today reports on new research that reveals the extent of the foreclosure crisis. The current pace of foreclosure sales in half the states is so slow that it will take more than eight years in most places to clear the backlog. According to LPS Applied Analytics, it could take states like New York and New Jersey at least 50 years at their current pace to clear the pipelines. Nationwide, there are 2.1 million homes in foreclosure or with seriously delinquent mortgages. The crippling backlog illustrates the continuing impact of the nation’s worst housing-market collapse, which “is likely to weigh on real estate prices in many markets for years to come.”

    Hopefully the next congress will be more cooperative with the administration in their efforts to do, well, anything, about the massive foreclosure crisis still hanging over the head of the nation.

    Democrats cannot afford to sit at home next election. The nation cannot afford for Democrats to sit at home next election. And we cannot afford to elect, or by lack of action allow someone to be elected, who thinks the answer to the foreclosure crisis is even more foreclosures.

  26. rikyrah says:

    November 09, 2011
    The GOP debate

    CNBC provided a dramatic, championship-fight opening, as though it was introducing intellectual heavyweights to the nation.

    First up, Herman Cain, who offered the shocking observation that an improved economy and sound currency are good objectives. Tom Dewey alert, via the 1948 Louisville Courier-Journal: “No presidential candidate in the future will be so inept that four of his major speeches can be boiled down to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead.” The Courier-Journal was mistaken only about the future.

    Mitt Romney actually compared the American economy to Italy’s; he later described himself, against universal agreement on his flip-flopping, as a man of “constancy” — and he topped that off by steeping himself in some unapologetic flag-wrap.

    Ron Paul immediately careened to the Fuck ’em approach. Fuck everybody. Let ’em all go down. Somehow when Paul advocates it, naked nihilism is sort of endearing.

    Jon Huntsman rather courageously asserted a Wall-Street-Occupying, TR-trust-busting attitude about big banks, which Rick Perry, uncourageously, countered with the seemingly inexhaustible cliche: “If you’re too big to fail, you’re too big.” Thanks, Rick.

    Newt Gingrich stepped in to enthusiastically engage in some classic Bernanke-bashing, just before launching into the class-warfare-waging, food-stamping president. Oh, and he doesn’t like the media. That’s always good for some rousing, right-wing applause.

    Michele Bachmann, essentially all by herself, will repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank.

    As president, Rick Santorum will repeal the preceding four years.

    And that was just the opening. What an absolute joke, with the possible exception of Huntsman’s leftward maneuver.

    It’s sleeping-pill time … or then again, there’s CNBC’s Republican “debate.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011
    The GOP’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ again

    Is it too terribly hyperbolic to characterize last night’s debate as an atrocity? For probably most of us watching, the collective horror was an abomination; an assault on even the commonest intellect; a full-scale, overcompensating offensive against rhetorical blandness, so that one could break out to challenge the party’s Inevitable One. It was, perhaps, the most painful political experience of my adult life.

    Though suffering through it alone, I actually found myself facepalming on rather frequent occasion. It was like watching a platoon of Mister Rogerses on high-quality crack, machine-gunning an innocent national audience with malice and aforethought. I was embarrassed for the Republican Party’s unmistakable Faustian corruption and self-inflicted dementia; I was embarrassed for America — embarrassed as an American.

    Perry’s latest campaign-ending collapse was entirely superfluous; Cain needlessly confirmed himself as an immensely uncouth prick; Gingrich bellowed and bloviated with anticipatory second-place steam; Santorum was irrelevant; Bachmann was irrelevant; Paul was irrelevant; and Huntsman merely moved his popularity from either zero to .5 or from .5 to 1 or from 1 to .5 … — you get the point.

    The tragic causation of all this bumbling dog-and-ponyism has, nearly all along, been this mistaken and deeply flawed concept, as expressed this morning by Politico:

    It’s viewed as a foregone conclusion that somebody will emerge from the GOP field to challenge Mitt Romney for the 2012 presidential nomination. But … it’s still uncertain who will give Romney a real primary fight.

    Naturally that would be good business for political journalists. But it was only briefly realistic. It’s true that several candidates have now triumphed and fallen as holders of the second-place slot versus Mitt Romney, but with a probably regretful Pawlenty out of the running, none could ever promise “a real primary fight.” Given his depressingly inept competition, Romney has possessed a lock on the nomination for months.

    Yet, given Romney’s depressingly ept ineptness, the illusion of some, any, real competition took hold. Second place translates not into a genuine threat against Romney; further, a second-place showing cannot even translate into a veep-choice competition, given that only a madman — Romney may be acrobatically principled, but he’s not crazy — would select a running mate from among six, extraordinary embarrassments, and one fellow Mormon.

    It’s not even Romney’s to lose, any longer. It’s over. And it’s been over since the T-Paw went extinct.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011
    Clue: The GOP, In America, With The Candlestick
    Posted by Zandar

    Tim Dickinson’s piece in Rolling Stone on how the GOP became the party of the One Percent is required reading for an informed electorate.

    Republicans talk about job creation, about preserving family farms and defending small businesses, and reforming Medicare and Social Security. But almost without exception, every proposal put forth by GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates is intended to preserve or expand tax privileges for the wealthiest Americans. And most of their plans, which are presented as common-sense measures that will aid all Americans, would actually result in higher taxes for middle-class taxpayers and the poor. With 14 million Americans out of work, and with one in seven families turning to food stamps simply to feed their children, Republicans have responded to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by slashing inheritance taxes, extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and endorsing a tax amnesty for big corporations that have hidden billions in profits in offshore tax havens. They also wrecked the nation’s credit rating by rejecting a debt-ceiling deal that would have slashed future deficits by $4 trillion – simply because one-quarter of the money would have come from closing tax loopholes on the rich.

    The intransigence over the debt ceiling enraged Republican stalwarts. George Voinovich, the former GOP senator from Ohio, likens his party’s new guard to arsonists whose attitude is: “We’re going to get what we want or the country can go to hell.” Even an architect of the Bush tax cuts, economist Glenn Hubbard, tells Rolling Stone that there should have been a “revenue contribution” to the debt-ceiling deal, “structured to fall mainly on the well-to-do.” Instead, the GOP strong-armed America into sacrificing $1 trillion in vital government services – including education, health care and defense – all to safeguard tax breaks for oil companies, yacht owners and hedge-fund managers. The party’s leaders were triumphant: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even bragged that America’s creditworthiness had been a “hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

    It’s the kind of thinking that only money can buy. “It’s a vicious circle,” says Stiglitz. “The rich are using their money to secure tax provisions to let them get richer still. Rather than investing in new technology or R&D, the rich get a better return by investing in Washington.”

    As one of your constituents there Mitch, may I say without reservation that you are destroying this country at the expense of the people who voted you into office. You’re going to find 2014 a tough re-election. You won’t be Senate majority leader, that’s for damn sure. Not if I can help it.

    Do read the entire essay, and share it with your friends. This has been the GOP playbook for three decades now, and it’s worked beyond everyone’s wildest dreams for the top, and worst nightmares for the rest of us. It’s the anatomy of a crime scene, and Dickinson’s detective story based on the homocide of the American middle-class is gripping reading.

    It’s time for the folks holding the bloody knives to pay. Yesterday proved that we can still do that.

  29. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011 8:35 AM

    Cain points to his non-harassment ratio

    By Steve Benen

    Herman Cain was awfully lucky last night. Were it not for Rick Perry’s “oops” moment, much of the political world’s discussion today would be over his own remarkably bad debate performance.

    For example, Cain was asked about the sexual-harassment allegations that have surfaced over the last couple of weeks. It led to this remark:

    “I value my character and my integrity more than anything else. And for every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably, there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.”

    This was probably a prepared line, and that only makes it worse. Is Cain really counting on his harassment-to-non-harassment ratio to make himself look better? “Sure,” he seemed to be saying, “I’ve been accused by several women. But there are plenty of women who haven’t accused me.”

    It’s a bit like an accused car thief telling the police, “Just think about all the cars I came across that I didn’t steal.”

    Let me make this easy for Cain: boasting about your former employees that haven’t accused you of misconduct isn’t exculpatory.

    Later, in the same debate, Cain was referencing a piece of health care legislation he supports. He added:

    “We didn’t hear about it in the previous Congress because Princess Nancy sent to it committee and it stayed there. It never came out.”

    Here’s another tip for Cain: when you’re accused of mistreating several women in the workplace, misogynistic derision of the former Speaker of the House probably isn’t a good idea. (Cain later said it was “a statement that I probably should not have made,” but the damage was done.)

    Also note, these were some of the more memorable moments, but the rest of the debate was nearly as cringe-inducing for Cain. He was largely incoherent in response to every question.

    As Jonathan Bernstein put it, “Whether it’s not knowing that China has nuclear weapons, or repeatedly botching his own position on abortion, or any of a number of other gaffes, Cain has made Perry look like a well-briefed genius throughout the campaign. And Wednesday night, he was even worse.”

    Perry’s screw-up will get most of the attention, much to Cain’s relief, but that doesn’t change the fact that he keeps getting worse, too.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “value my character and my integrity more than anything else. And for every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably, there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from Herman Cain.”

      I’ll repeat what the HuffPo contributor told LO last night; that statement from cain is akin to a serial killer or child molestor saying:

      BUT there are thousands of living folks I haven’t killed yet or thousands of chidren who I haven’t molested who haven’t come forward to accuse me.” CAIN IS INSANE.

  30. rikyrah says:

    November 10, 2011 8:00 AM

    The ‘oops’ heard ‘round the world

    By Steve Benen

    Some debate screw-ups are so memorable, they practically become iconic. Gerald Ford claiming there was “no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe,” Dan Quayle comparing himself to JFK, and James Stockdale asking who he is and what he’s doing there were all pretty unforgettable.

    And it looks like Rick Perry joined them last night. In the unlikely event you haven’t already seen the Texas governor’s brain freeze, here’s the clip:

    Perry’s answer was going reasonably well right up until he started listing the “three agencies of government … that are gone” under a Perry administration. Commerce was first, education was second, and then the governor simply couldn’t think of a third.

    As Perry struggled, Mitt Romney chimed in, trying to give him a hand, asking if EPA was the third. The Texan vowed to “rebuild” the EPA, but said that wasn’t it.

    After trying and failing several more times to list them, Perry could only name education, then remembered commerce while checking his notes. Pressed by John Harwood for the rest of his list, the governor concluded, “The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”

    Later, Perry said he was trying to remember the Department of Energy, but forgot it. “I’m glad I had my boots on tonight,” he told reporters after the debate. “I stepped in it out there.” Perry added, however, that he will not skip the debate in South Carolina, scheduled for Saturday.

    Needless to say, this is not what Rick Perry needed. Unless there’s a strong contingent of Republican voters who vote based on which candidate they most feel sorry for, the “oops” moment puts Perry’s entire campaign in jeopardy.

    It’s not just because of his mental lapse. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), during a debate last year, completely blanked for a painfully long time, but nevertheless maintained her support and won fairly easily.

    So why was last night so much more damaging to Perry? Because it reinforced the party’s biggest fears about his candidacy. For two months, Republicans have said the governor seems unprepared, unqualified, and at times, simply ignorant. Party leaders have thought about the prospect of him going up against President Obama next year, and recoiled. Perry needed to demonstrate last night that he’s ready for prime time, and instead, he failed to remember the three cabinet agencies he wants to eliminate.

    Some Republicans have been looking for an excuse to give up on his flailing campaign, and last night, Perry gave them one.

    And on a more substantive note, it’s also worth noting that the underlying policy goal that Perry was trying to articulate happens to be a horrible idea in its own right.

    How does Perry recover from this? In all likelihood, he can’t. Perry was already moving in the wrong direction, and with the window of opportunity closing, the governor will effectively have to hope that every other GOP candidate gets ensnared in a massive scandal, all at the same time. As Jon Chait joked, “Unless Perry happens to leap in front of a bullet intended for Nancy Reagan, there’s simply nothing he can do to atone for the cumulative damage he has done himself.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    found this over at The Obama Diary, from ZIZI:

    November 10, 2011 at 8:32 am
    Sorry folks for repeating this post of mine from the bottom last thread”



    We have a LOT of work to do in the public persuasion department.. I too was wonderfully pleased by Tuesday’s election results. Yet further reflection revealed something cautionary to me. The electorate overwhelmingly sided with our IDEAS but that did not translate into eager support for Democratic candidates (with a few exceptions like the Democratic massacre of the GOP slate in Kentucky; an outcome to which I happily contributed with my vote in KY. ).

    The electorate came out full force to reject Repug policies particularly if they were taking SOMETHING AWAY from the electorate. The electorate reacted exactly as a cornered animal would, and lashed out hard to protect what they had already lost (as in worker rights through the passage of SB 5 in Ohio, and voting rights in Maine) or feared losing (as in reproductive health options in MS). The Mississippi bifurcated vote illustrates my point. Bible belt conservatives voted massively to protect their reproductive choices but still voted massively for the architect of the same “Personhood” bill they simultaneously rejected. It says they don’t mind supporting the Repug candidate even if they reject their ideas.

    Sadly, the electorate does not give Democratic candidates similar benefit of the doubt. Look at how NY punished Democrats for Weiner’s scandal. This hesitation from the electorate to fully embrace Democratic candidates along with OUR IDEAS is the Gordian Knot we Democrats have to work hard to turn around. We have to admit that the American electorate has been conditioned through decades of rightwing propaganda to feel a “natural affinity and subconscious comfort” for conservative worldviews and politicians. Repugs are packaged and presented to “feel right” to Americans.

    But Democrats are kept warily at arms length even as their ideas are grudgingly acknowledged as being RIGHT. Democrats are welcomed to “fix” things that go awry, but they must be watched like hawks and kicked to the curb if they don’t do it fast enough or “feel” Repug-like enough. Why this absence of sustainable love? Since the 1960s, Democrats have not been able to saturate the zeitgeist with our worldview enough to make it the default option for the wingnut propagandized American electorate. So our Democratic politicians often have no “air cover” and message amplification zones within which to operate. Democrats often get no second chances, or even extended patience to fix the problems.

    So then, our job as liberal activists is to work on the electorate everyday, not just election season. Our liberal billionaires need to endlessly fund and saturate the system with liberalese just as the Kochs have spread their cancerous ideas from academia to the ball field. This is a war to persuade hearts and minds of Americans. Senate candidate Obama’s 2004 speech launched this game of positive persuasion from our side and it scared the wingnut powers. But now in governing mode, Pres. Obama finds the reach of his persuasive skills severely blocked at every turn by the right and the media. Thus our work on the outside is even more imperative now. We must be relentless even after we win battles. Kasich et al are not backing down. They will morph their venal policies into saccharine pablum similar to what Daniels is doing in Indiana. We cannot simply count on Tuesday’s electoral anger to be there next year. We got work to do!

  32. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: Ohio Vote Shows Obama Winning Back the Rust Belt
    Nov 10, 2011 10:00 AM EST

    Barack Obama is winning the Rust Belt back. The overwhelming repeal in Ohio of Governor John Kasich’s anti-labor bill from last year shows that the GOP has gone way, way too far—too far for Democrats, obviously, but also for independents. It shows the potential for something else, too: the populist message can stick. “Class warfare” can work. It can take hold even with the people who allegedly despise our Kenyan leader the most: the white working class. And if this turns out to be right, then the Washington conventional wisdom will be proven as wrong as it’s been since 1998, when the Cokie Roberts caucus convinced itself that the American people wanted to throw Bill Clinton out of the White House over Monica.

    Ohio’s Question 2 lost 61 to 39 percent. I was on a press conference call yesterday with AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka and others, and pollster Guy Molyneaux ran through some numbers from polling that the union did. Fully 57 percent of independents backed the repeal. In 2010, 59 percent of independents voted for Kasich. So that’s a huge switch. The white working class, which Kasich won by 14 points in 2010, backed repeal by the very 61 percent that it took overall. This was a pasting, as Kasich acknowledged.

    It’s possible for liberals and Obama people to read too much into this. Obviously, Obama is not going to win anywhere near 61 percent of the vote in Ohio next year. Lots of people voted for this repeal—cops, firefighters, others—who are likely to be Republican voters next year. And, since the symbolic anti-health-care-law referendum passed by a similar margin, it’s obvious that lots of people cast the liberal vote on one initiative (to protect collective bargaining) and the conservative vote on the other (to express their opposition to health-care reform). Finally, Obama’s own approval rating in the state is pretty bad, at 41 percent.

    But the larger context in which this vote took place is important, too. And that context is Operation Wall Street, income inequality, Republicans in Congress killing the jobs bill piece by piece, Obama finally getting some blood flowing through those veins again instead of water. People have started to care about class issues, and it’s pretty clear what they think: The Republican Party isn’t representing them (unless they happen to live in a household with an income of at least $368,000 a year). In the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 76 percent agreed that “the current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Reggie Love, Obama ‘body man,’ to leave White House by year’s end
    By Anne E. Kornblut, Published: November 9

    Reggie Love, a key member of the Obama entourage, is planning to leave the White House by the end of the year, people close to the administration said.

    Love, 30, is a popular, gregarious figure in the White House. A onetime forward for the Duke Blue Devils basketball team, Love started out as a staff assistant in Obama’s Senate office after college, rising to become his personal assistant, known as the “body man.”

    Love’s exit comes at a time of transition for the administration: several longtime advisers have left over the last year, in keeping with the time-honored tradition that close aides do not abandon the president immediately before an election. But Love’s position may be among the most difficult for Obama to fill.

    Obama has described Love as “the person who keeps me on schedule.” But like many young loyalists on the Obama staff, Love has evolved into a much more important role over time, acting as a gatekeeper and a liaison – and basketball buddy. Obama once described him as a “little brother.” Among the recognizable members of the Obama team in public – he is a towering 6-foot-4 — Love is also a constant presence in the West Wing and by the president’s side during every trip away from home. He is in the background of countless official photos, even if he rarely speaks in a public setting, apart from the occasional interview on ESPN.

    White House officials did not immediately offer details about Love’s departure.

  34. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all. lets pray for the victims of Sandusky today. Let their spirits know that if we had known, we would’ve done something. Let their spirit be free from all guilt and shame and memories cleansed of these despicable acts. AMEN

    • Ametia says:

      Karmically the Sandusky victims are being served due justice. Sandusky will indeed pay the QUEEN a thousand fold for the heinous acts against these children.

  35. Can’t imagine all the hoopla going on for a head football coach disgraced by his own inaction to “do the right thing.” when it mattered the most. What are about the children? Why aren’t the students protesting the despicable acts imposed upon those innocent boys by the former assistant football coach? These young people at Penn State remind me of what I’m seeing with a lot of the OWS/Occupy (whatever) protests — young minds with no sense of direction.

    • Ametia says:

      Because, NCW; in their minds, like they have been COACHED for years at these universities, it’s all about FOOTBALL, PRIDE, LEGACY, TAILGAITING PARTIES, WINNING! And who benefits monetarily, why the institution.

      It’s obvious that while those young boys were being sodomized, it didn’t matter; everyone turned away and kept counting the wins and the $$$.

  36. Penn State Students Take To The Streets To Support Fired Coach

  37. Good Morning, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!

    Happy Thursday!

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