Wynonna Ellen Judd ( /waɪˈnoʊnə/; born Christina Claire Ciminella on May 30, 1964) is an American country music singer. Her solo albums and singles are all credited to the singular name Wynonna. Wynonna first rose to fame in the 1980s alongside her mother, Naomi, in the country music duo The Judds. The duo released seven albums on Curb Records, in addition to charting 26 singles, of which 14 were number one hits.
After The Judds disbanded in 1991, Wynonna began a solo career, also on Curb. In her solo career, she has released eight studio albums, a live album and a compilation album, in addition to charting more than 20 singles of her own. Her first three singles — “She Is His Only Need“, “I Saw the Light” and “No One Else on Earth” — all reached number one on the U.S. country singles charts, as did 1996’s “To Be Loved by You“. Three of her albums are certified platinum or higher by the RIAA. Her most recent recording, Sing: Chapter 1, was released on February 3, 2009. Wynonna is most recognized for her musical work, although starting in the 2000s, has also pursued other interests, including acting and philanthropy.
BREAKING: Obama Seen Laughing Uncontrollably #CNNDebate
BWA HA HA HA Herman Cain and Rick Perry are AIRHEADS on National Security!
The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers: 112th Congressional List
Yep. The list is on the Norquist thread.
MURDER ON THE INSIDE
At Alabama Prison, Unchecked Brutality Preceded Inmate’s Murder By Guards
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Late on the night of August 4, 2010, a badly beaten young man arrived at the trauma ward of Jackson Hospital here. Although the patient was hardly a flight risk, security was tight and prison guards crowded into the emergency room as doctors began treatment.
The patient’s limp body spoke to the savagery of an assault that had left deep contusions on his legs and torso, and inflamed knots bulging from his head and face. He was unresponsive, with fixed and dilated pupils, and doctors quickly diagnosed a traumatic brain injury. Only a ventilator kept him alive. He never regained consciousness and died the next day.
His name was Rocrast Mack. An Alabama prison inmate, his death at age 24 came at the hands of six corrections officers, who took turns battering him with their fists, feet and batons in retribution for a minor altercation with a female guard earlier that night, according to witness accounts and prison records.
Civil rights advocates call Mack’s death an avoidable tragedy, the inevitable product of a profoundly dysfunctional state corrections system in Alabama that ranks among the very worst America has to offer.
It is a system flooded with low-level drug offenders like Mack, who was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after pleading guilty to selling $10 worth of crack cocaine to an undercover cop in 2009.
20 years for $10 worth of crack, y’all! $10! $10!
Jesus son of the living God!
The guards have to pay for this. No way can these murderers go unpunished. Unchecked brutality against black men. Justice now, Lord!
he looks like BABY
I tear up looking at his picture. Just a young boy, really. Someone’s child.
BREAKING: #DOJ files suit against Utah over immigration law http://tinyurl.com/7zbwgjp
Rick Perry Puts His Foot In It With Syria Answer http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/rick-perry-puts-his-foot-in-it-with-syria-answer.php via @TPM
Occupy Protesters Urge Obama To Stand Up Against Police Brutality
November 22, 2011
By Jason Easley
THIS: “Occupy Wall Street would be best served by President Obama staying out of it. The movement is effective because it isn’t tied to a political party. The minute that Obama comes out in support of Occupy, the right will pounce and try to kill Occupy Wall Street through partisan politics.”
When will these folks ever learn?
…No time soon. It’s their privileged ways.
Republican Acknowledges GOP Pushed Ryan Plan In Super Committee Negotiations
Brian Beutler November 22, 2011, 12:34 PM
If you’re having a hard time buying that one party was more reasonable than another in the Super Committee negotiations, read Republican co-chair Jeb Hensarling’s obituary for the panel in the Wall Street Journal. Specifically, check out this part about the GOP’s big ask:
Democrats on the committee made it clear that the new spending called for in the president’s health law was off the table. Still, committee Republicans offered to negotiate a plan on the other two health-care entitlements—Medicare and Medicaid—based upon the reforms included in the budget the House passed earlier this year….
Republicans on the committee also offered to negotiate a plan based on the bipartisan “Protect Medicare Act” authored by Alice Rivlin, one of President Bill Clinton’s budget directors, and Pete Domenici, a former Republican senator from New Mexico. Rivlin-Domenici offered financial support to seniors to purchase quality, affordable health coverage in Medicare-approved plans. These seniors would be able to choose from a list of Medicare-guaranteed coverage options, similar to the House budget’s approach—except that Rivlin-Domenici would continue to include a traditional Medicare fee-for-service plan among the options.
He and others have alluded to this before, but never so bluntly. It explains why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued such a blistering statement after the Committee’s demise. “Republicans relentlessly sought to end Medicare as we know it by privatizing the program and putting seniors and future generations at the mercy of insurance companies,” he said.
Both the GOP budget, authored by Paul Ryan, and the Rivlin-Domenici plan are fundamental overhauls of the health system for the elderly. Ryan’s plan phases out traditional Medicare altogether, and replaces it with subsidized private insurance. Rivlin-Domenici partially privatizes the program, while leaving traditional Medicare in place as an option for seniors — but it also creates incentives for people to switch into the new private system. In other words, Republicans began with a hardline conservative position and moved off it only a bit. Democrats rejected both, in favor of cuts and changes to the program that preserved the current system.
The Democrats’ big ask, by contrast, was to increase taxes to a point between the effective rates under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. It’s not even really close.
Go heckle Orange Julius and Senator Turtle…..
Better yet, go back to your daddy and mama’s basement, and watch Two & a Half Men.
I’d like to kick their ass to the moon. Fuck them.
LOL @ senator turtle. Tell us how you REALLY FEEL, SG2.
2011 12:20 PM
Family Leader Narrows Endorsement Consideration
Evangelical Iowa organization The Family Leader has just released a statement letting voters know that they are “still praying for clarity on whether or not to endorse a candidate, and if they endorse, who to endorse.”
In the statement, Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats told supporters that he had narrowed the field down to four contenders. “Congresswoman Bachmann, Speaker Gingrich, Governor Perry, and Senator Santorum all have many presidential traits that will serve our great country well,” he said.
The organization has not placed any timeline on their decision.
the stupid….it BURNS…
Fox News On UC Davis Pepper Spraying: ‘It’s A Food Product, Essentially’
David Taintor November 22, 2011, 10:01 AM 26490354On Monday night, O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News host Megyn Kelly sat down to discuss what really happened at UC Davis on Friday and whether campus police acted appropriately in showering a group of sitting students with pepper spray. Their conclusion? No big deal.
“Pepper spray, that just burns your eyes, right?” O’Reilly asked Kelly.
“Right,” Kelly said. “I mean, its like a derivative of actual pepper. It’s a food product, essentially.”
Exactly! Like jalapeno poppers, or queso dip. Delicious. In fact, pepper spray is about 1,000 times hotter than a jalapeno, Mother Jones reports. But Kelly, to her credit, said the pepper spraying looked like an “abrasive” and “intrusive” act.
But wait a minute, O’Reilly said. “We don’t have the right to Monday morning quarterback the police,” he said. “Especially at a place like UC Davis, which is a fairly liberal campus.”
The police were acting on the chancellor’s orders, the hosts agreed, to try and clear the “Occupy” protesters’ encampment. Kelly asserted that the cops probably didn’t act outside the law. But the university has launched an investigation into the pepper-spraying.
PPP: Obama, Romney Tied In Pennsylvania
President Obama’s approval rating in Pennsylvania is down to 42 percent in a new poll from Public Policy Polling (D), as the President ties former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in a head-to-head contest at 45 percent. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans, Romney ties Obama by pulling more Republicans to his corner (81 percent) than Obama pulls Democrats (76 percent) and then wins independent voters by two points.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, currently surging in the GOP primary process, is down by six in a matchup with Obama. PPP said that all is not lost for the President in a state he won by ten in 2008, but much improvement is needed to keep it. From PPP’s analysis:
Luckily for the president, he has not yet fallen behind the Republicans hoping to depose him next fall…The president is ceding 11-16% of his own party’s vote, more than the 10% reported by exit polls in 2008. He is losing independents by up to three points and winning them by no more than seven, when he beat McCain by 19. He is cushioned by still taking 8-15% of the GOP (versus 13% in2008)…“Pennsylvania is Barack Obama’s most worrisome state for 2012,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “He’s slipped there more than in any other large state and the electoral college picture changes fundamentally if it goes into the GOP column.
It is the latest abject humiliation for Mitt Romney, as yet another unelectable clown becomes the front-runner. It’s not often I agree with Paul Begala, but the Democrats must be somewhat aghast at their good luck. Check out the favorable/unfavorable polls on Gingrich assembled here. Republicans like him, but not without some severe doubts. But the general public really doesn’t. His best rating is a negative 3. More typical is a negative 16. Even Rasmussen’s white/GOP-leaning sample backs Obama over Gingrich by 6 points, with Pew and Quinnipiac showing Obama’s lead in double digits. His foreign policy team – breathlessly unveiled by Fred Barnes this morning – puts him in the neocon, pro-torture, “America-is-never-wrong” camp. Among the kinds of statements we can expect more of – get ready tonight for more “profound”s, “total”s, “completely”s – is the following drop of oil on troubled budgetary waters:
The Congressional Budget Office is a reactionary socialist institution which does not believe in economic growth, does not believe in innovation and does not believe in data that it has not internally generated.”
The CBO is just a branch of the Congress that is widely respected for its scores for legislation and refuses to build into its calculations now-discredited theories about how cutting taxes increases revenues, among other such “conservative” innovations in math. To pick on the CBO as “socialist” is to attack, as Newt has since he first appeared in politics, yet another respected institution in Washington, the better to condemn them all. But note how even McCain’s leading 2008 economic adviser reacts to Gingrich’s nuttery:
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former CBO director and Republican, called the Gingrich allegation “ludicrous.” “I think if you parse that phrase carefully, he got one out of three right,” Holtz-Eakin said. “I do agree it is an institution. If you’re playing baseball, that’s a decent batting average.”
And what does it say that the Republican base, instead of rallying round Romney, or championing a man who could actually win the general election like Huntsman, chooses this blowhard as its latest avatar?
The new front-runner is a buffoon. The party is a farce
Philadelphia’s lack of respect for Joe Frazier hits below the belt
City honors Rocky, but not real boxing hero
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
They all came, the great and the small. Bus drivers, lawyers, doctors and boxers. They came from around the corner, from across town and from across the country and filled the pews at the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church on Monday morning.
Muhammad Ali, stooped and shuffling slowly from the ravages of Parkinson’s disease, was there, looking more vulnerable than he ever did in any of the three terrific matches he had against Joe Frazier. A section away, Larry Holmes, the man who sent Ali into retirement, sat upright and solemn, looking like he could still go 12 rounds with any of today’s heavyweights.
They had all come to pay homage to Frazier, who died of liver cancer on Nov. 7. He was a son of the South, born in Beaufort, S.C., the youngest of 13 kids of a sharecropper, who settled in Philadelphia and came to embody the city’s hard-working spirit.
As you surveyed the sanctuary and watched the photo montage that played on the television screens throughout the building as people filed in, it was obvious that in his 67 years on Earth Frazier touched a lot of lives – famous and not-so-famous – and he was loved.
He had 11 children – six sons and five daughters – 22 grandchilden, 21 great-grandchildren, a slew of nieces and nephews. Their ranks swelled the middle of the church.
One son, Marvis, and one daughter, Jacquelyn, followed him into the ring. But they were never really the chip off the old block of granite. There was only one Joe Frazier.
“They don’t make them like that no more,” Bernard Hopkins said last week after Frazier died. “It’s a sad day. But the people who really know it’s a sad day are the ones who are really going to sit back and pay homage to a throwback fighter that you’re never going to see come this way again. Joe was a fighter who would break a guy’s will before he broke his jaw.”
Only a few in the audience realized that about Joe Frazier, the boxer. Most of them came because of Joe Frazier, the man.
The finality that Smokin’ Joe was gone hit many like one of Frazier’s left hooks. It also highlighted the sad fact that there is nothing in the city of Philadelphia that commemorates the place as Frazier’s home.
Joe Frazier’s Gym is long gone. It was shuttered when he couldn’t make the payments on the place. Then it burned down. It has since come back as a furniture store.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/philadelphia-lack-respect-joe-frazier-hits-belt-article-1.977556#ixzz1eSsYggZ1
November 22, 2011 2:10 PM
False equivalencies are the real ‘shame’
By Steve Benen
Long time readers may recall that I had some concerns about Ron Fournier’s coverage of the 2008 presidential race, back when he was the AP’s Washington bureau chief. The high-profile political reporter, who admitted in 2007 that he entered talks to join the McCain campaign as a paid staffer, and later sent encouraging emails to Karl Rove, covered the Obama-McCain race with a series of questionable pieces.
Fournier is now with National Journal, publishing pieces like these on the breakdown of the super-committee process.
Shame on Republicans for a stubborn unwillingness to seriously consider tax increases.
Shame on Democrats for keeping a closed mind to significant benefit cuts.
And shame on President Obama for standing idly by as Washington failed again to get the country’s fiscal house in order.
Well, one of those sentences makes sense. The rest are just lazy and superficial arguments that aren’t supported by the facts.
By now, even those with passing familiarity with recent developments can probably spot the glaring errors of fact and judgment in Fournier’s piece. Democrats on the debt-reduction panel made far-too-generous offers to cut spending and entitlements, and asked for modest tax increases on the wealthy in exchange. Republicans not only refused to consider Dems’ plans, but also refused to make comparable concessions. (They did the opposite, demanding more tax cuts that would have made the debt worse.) What is it about this that makes Fournier think Democrats should feel “shameful”?
For that matter, GOP members of the super-committee specifically asked President Obama not to intervene, arguing that progress would be more likely if he kept his distance. The president honored their request — Republicans have already proven they aren’t going to listen to him anyway — but Obama nevertheless outlined a variety of ambitious debt-reduction plans that the members could consider. Republicans rejected these efforts, too. Who acted “shamefully” in this scenario?
Greg Sargent, who named Fournier a winner in today’s “false equivalency sweepstakes,” ran a takedown that was spot on. The conclusion especially rang true:
I maintain that the above represents a set of facts that can be consulted, in the quest to judge who’s most to blame for the supercommittee’s failure. We can determine in factual terms whether each party’s offers involved roughly equivalent concessions by both sides. We can determine in factual terms whether the desire for the wealthy to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction was the top priority of Republicans, and whether this was the central sticking point that made agreement impossible. This sort of line of questioning is often dismissed as mere opinion. But ultimately, what we’re really talking about here is the quest to establish factual reality, which is what journalists are supposed to be doing.
Some reporters’ obsession with blaming “both sides” at all times is getting out of control. We know the truth — Democrats offered major concessions and moved to the right, and instead of meeting them half-way, Republicans moved even further to the right. And so, to no one’s surprise, the process broke down.
There is no mystery here. As a New York Times editorial explained this morning, “The only reason the committee failed was because Republicans refused to raise taxes on the rich, and, in fact, wanted to cut them even below their current bargain-basement level.”
This isn’t opinion; it’s fact. The real “shame” comes from reporters who are eager to give the public the wrong impression.
THIS: “This isn’t opinion; it’s fact. The real “shame” comes from reporters who are eager to give the public the wrong impression.
Study reveals racial segregation in online dating
By Chelsea-Lyn Rudder
5:52 PM on 11/15/2011
When it comes to online dating, segregation appears to be alive and well. After analyzing more than one million profiles on a mainstream dating website, researchers at the University of California Berkeley, concluded that whites are highly unlikely to initiate contact with black people.
Even when their profiles indicate that they are indifferent about the race or ethnicity of a potential romantic interest. The researchers expected to find homophily, a social science term which means love of the same, in their analysis but they were surprised that the internet did not play a role in eroding reluctance to date outside ones own race.
“When the constraints of segregation are lifted by technology, what do people do? They don’t act all that differently,” said Gerald Mendelsohn, PhD, one of the professors who worked on the study. “Segregation remains a state of mind as much as it is a physical reality.”
The study indicates that more than 80 percent of the communication initiated by whites was to other whites. Only 3 percent went to blacks. Black members of the same site were more open to dating whites and were ten times more likely to contact whites. Black men were actually slightly more likely to initiate contact with white women than black women.
Professor Mendelsohn, attributed this to the influence of cultural imperatives on all American men. “In this country, our notions of feminine attractiveness are based almost entirely on images of white women… the hypothesis that some people have argued is that there is no surprise that black men should contact white women, because that’s where we get our notions of who’s pretty.”
Mendelsohn’s latest research does not draw conclusions as to why online daters make certain decisions, but he acknowledged that the results indicate that the U.S has not entered into a so-called ‘post racial era’.
According to the U.C Berkeley research, a collaboration between Professor Mendelsohn, Coye Cheshire, Andrew T. Fiore and Lindsay Shaw Taylor, black women were the least likely group of those discussed in the study, to be contacted on the unnamed dating site. Aja Worthy-Davis, 26, says that she is not surprised by that statistic.
“If you are a black woman on Match.com and you’re not going to initiate contact then you are not going to date. That’s just the reality,” said Worthy-Davis from her home in Brooklyn. Worthy-Davis, a political operative in New York City, says she signed up for Match.com in 2004, when she was in college. She says that she initiated contact with the three men that she ended up meeting in person. The must substantial relationship that resulted from the experience was with a Russian man. The couple dated for the better part of two years.
Now in a committed relationship with someone she originally met in high school, Worthy-Davis says that she still thinks dating websites are a good tool, even if the statistics say that the medium does not favor black women. “No matter what it is a good way to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, even if the relationships are not successful.”
Black Muslim is changing the face of fencing
By Todd Johnson
11:30 AM on 11/22/2011
With each burst of energy, Ibtihaj Muhammad usually shreds her opponents with relative ease.
“A lot of people say that fencing is the physical chess,” Muhammad told theGrio’s Todd Johnson. “That’s what I love about it…the strategy that’s involved so many different angles to fencing that I appreciate.”
Ibti, as she’s known to her friends, is as unique a site on the fencing circuit as you’ll see — a young African-American Muslim woman who chooses to wear a headscarf or hijab while she fences.
“I’m a practicing Muslim woman so I knew that growing up I would have to eventually cover,” Muhammad said. “So I wanted to find a sport where, you know it’d be accommodating to my faith.”
Muhammad earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Fencing team last year and says she’s vying for one spot that’s up for grabs to represent the U.S. in London in 2012.
Way cool, Ibti; let’s keep busting up those stereotypes.
November 22, 2011 1:30 PM
Pennsylvania’s electoral scheme faltering
By Steve Benen
A couple of months ago, Pennsylvania’s Republican governor, Tom Corbett, and GOP leaders in the state legislature launched an ugly election scheme, hoping to help tilt the 2012 presidential election in their party’s favor. As Keystone State Republicans see it, if they change how Pennsylvania doles out electoral votes — awarding by district, rather than winner-take-all — they can conceivably deny President Obama at least 10 electoral votes next year.
How’s the plan going? Not well.
A Republican-sponsored proposal to change how Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are counted in next year’s presidential election appears to be running out of steam.
Gov. Corbett, a key supporter of the idea, suggested Monday that it was going nowhere for the time being.
“I see no movement on it. I’m not going to push for movement, but I still support it,” Corbett, a Republican, told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.
The benefit of the plan, at least from the GOP’s perspective, is that the Republican nominee could conceivably win most of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, even if most of Pennsylvania’s voters backed the president. Either way, the GOP nominee would get many electoral votes from the state, rigging the system to make Obama’s re-election chances that much weaker.
Despite Corbett’s backing, however, the bill hasn’t gone anywhere in the state Senate, and it has not yet even been introduced in the state House.
This will come as a relief to Pennsylvania’s Republican congressional delegation, who saw the plan hurting both their own chances, and most of the state’s voters, who opposed the idea almost immediately.
The idea isn’t completely dead, but in order to affect the 2012 race, state GOP officials would have to act very quickly, and overcome questions from their own party as well as unified Democratic opposition.
It’s an obnoxious, abusive scheme. The fact that it’s struggling is an encouraging sign.
Joey Scar went AWOL on that DEAD INTERN IN YOUR OFFICE.
Joe Scarborough: Obama Has Been AWOL, But Grover Norquist Has ‘No Power’ In D.C.
by Alex Alvarez | 10:01 am, November 22nd, 2011
Addressing the Super Committee’s inability to come to a consensus regarding much-needed budget cuts, Tuesday’s Morning Joe panel mulled over what role President Barack Obama played in the talks demise, or what role he should have played.
Early on in the show, host Mika Brzezinski, noted that, for all the attention Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist has been given in the press, “both sides failed.” Host Joe Scarborough called into the show and offered his perspective:
The President of the United States is still the President of the United States. Democrats still control the United States Senate. Grover Norquist’s idea may be a strong one. Grover Norquist has absolutely no power in Washington, D.C., any the idea that he carries. And I am so surprised that Democrats really believe that the presidency is as weak as they believe it is now, that this President couldn’t step forward and show at least a little bit of leadership. He has been AWOL since he and Boehner failed on the debt ceiling. And he better react quickly or we are going the way of Europe.
Debit Card Fees Under Justice Dept. Review
By Seth Stern – Nov 22, 2011 9:35 AM CT
The U.S. Justice Department is conducting an antitrust review of statements and actions by banks and their trade associations over possible increases in consumer fees for using debit cards.
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich described the review in a letter released today by Representative Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, who had requested an investigation.
“Please be assured that if it finds that individuals, banks or other parties may have violated the antitrust laws, the department will take appropriate action,” Weich wrote in the letter, dated Nov. 16.
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) announced on Nov. 1 that it wouldn’t charge debit-card users $5 per month, four weeks after the firm’s announcement of the fee sparked a backlash from customers and lawmakers. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) had previously dropped plans for such charges.
Welch was among five House Democrats who last month asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether U.S. banks and their trade groups colluded on whether to impose fees in response to caps on what they can charge for using debit cards.
The Super Committee … And 2012
Ambinder examines the short-term political implications:
In the past, Obama might have blamed Congress itself, lumping Republicans and Democrats together. Now, though, with an election less than a year away, the president feels freer to make the case that Republicans refused to consider raising revenues, insisting instead that the middle class bear the burden for deficit reduction. Democrats have always been afraid of making the case that tax increases are necessary, but the politics have changed; jobs and economic recovery are the top priority. Deficit reduction is seen as the primary means to that end (whether it is or isn’t is a separate question), and Americans prefer a mix of cuts and tax increases to achieve it.
More to the point, the default outcome of the next couple of years is already now set toward serious deficit-cutting. The sequestration and the sunsetting of the Bush tax cuts make a big difference in cutting debt in the short and long term. And so Obama will be able in the campaign to focus more on growth and jobs – backed by his clear declaration that he will veto any attempt to wriggle out of the sequestration as an insurance policy for his fiscal conservative cred.
So next year we may have a choice between deficit cutting that includes the wealthy and successful in the sacrifice, or deficit-cutting that exempts the wealthy and successful from any sacrifice, while piling the entire burden on the middle class. Whether or not Obama wins that argument (I’d say he wins it easily), Michael Scherer doesn’t think next year’s electoral outcomes will change the underlying deadlocked dynamics:
Whatever happens, the losing party is likely to retrench to the margins. This has been the pattern for the past decade. In American politics, each defeat is inevitably interpreted as a need to return to “core values” and to rebuild the party brand. That means that more intransigence, not less. And if a muddled 2012 result greets Americans on November 4, then power will remain shared, with both parties having veto power over the other. In other words, bipartisanship is the only route to a long-term deficit deal. Compromise is the only alternative.
Allahpundit is on the same page:
The silver lining here, supposedly, is that the GOP’s going to take back the Senate and the White House next year and then write its own deal on deficit reduction. In that case, explain to me how a Republican dream package gets past a Senate filibuster. We’ll pick up a few seats in November but we won’t have 60, and the remaining Democrats in the chamber will face enormous pressure from their base to block any form of tax reform that extends the Bush tax cuts for the rich. And they’ll have support for that too: In today’s new CNN poll, 67 percent said they wanted the Super Committee to increase taxes on businesses and higher-income Americans. A redder Congress means the GOP will have a stronger hand in negotiations, but there’s still going to be a showdown — and maybe gridlock — over taxes.
If Obama wins decisively, it seems to me that he will have a strong mandate for his version of debt-reduction. He’ll still need some part of the GOP. His only hope is that, after a second defeat, they will be open to some sort of compromise on revenues. Oddly enough, I think they’d be more likely to compromise if a hardliner, like Gingrich, is the nominee, rather than Romney. They can always argue that Romney was the problem, not their ideological purism, at a moment of national crisis. But with Gingrich in the dust, they’d have more reason to move on.
under MOFO, PLEASE news
Former AIG CEO Sues Claiming Taxpayers Need To Pony Up $25 Billion More
By Ian Millhiser on Nov 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm
For many years, insurance behemoth AIG was so poorly managed that the American taxpayer eventually had to invest nearly $70 billion in the incompetently run company to prevent its collapse from taking the entire U.S. economy along with it (much of this money has since been repaid). Former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg, however, thinks that the American people haven’t done enough to protect his massive fortune, so his company filed a lawsuit demanding even more taxpayer money
Starr International, the company run by the former head of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), has filed a $25 billion lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the takeover of the insurance company at the height of the financial crisis was unconstitutional.
When the government took an 80 percent interest in AIG during the financial crisis, it did so without “due process or just compensation,” in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, according to the suit filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
The unbridled arrogance of this lawsuit is astonishing. While the wealthy insurance baron is correct that the Constitution does not allow private property to be taken “without just compensation” — a requirement that generally requires the government to pay a property owner the fair market value for their property — his legal complaint can be rebutted with just one chart:
That’s the near total collapse of AIG’s stock price immediately after investors learned that the insurance giant was little more than a smoking pile of toxic assets. So, at the time when the federal government took a supermajority interest in AIG, the fair market value for this interest was only slightly north of zero. Rather than receiving zero dollars for AIG’s mix of toxic sludge, however, AIG received tens of billions of dollars from the American people.
Now, however, its former CEO wants even more.
November 22, 2011 10:10 AM
Reality has a well-known liberal bias
By Steve Benen
As expected, the super-committee failed. And as expected, major news organizations are dutifully telling the public that “both sides” are to blame, as must always be the case in all instances.
In an online discussion yesterday, Washington Post reporter Paul Kane was asked to justify this kind of coverage, given that “there is no factual basis for blaming both parties equally.” Kane didn’t seem pleased with the question, responding:
“I think this point is just absurd and ridiculous. This is a big thing among folks calling it ‘moral equivalence’ (Fallows, Ornstein) and others calling it the ‘cult of balance’ (Krugman).
“It’s just stupid. If you want someone to tell you that Republicans stink, read opinion pages. Read blogs. Also, the underlying sentiment on the left is that this is the real reason why things went wrong in 2010: That the mainstream media is to blame. Sorry, I think that’s the sorta head-in-sand outlook that leads to longer term problems for a movement.
“Greg [Sargent] is a fine writer. He’s an opinion writer, in the opinion section of the web site. I encourage you to keep reading him. And I encourage you to keep reading the news coverage, which should always strive to present both sides of the story. If you really don’t want to hear anything about the other side of the story, I really do encourage you to stop reading the news section.”
My point is not to pick on Kane exclusively, because I’ve seen plenty of reporters offer similarly defensive responses to the same question. Kane’s response only stands out because it happened yesterday.
Regardless, his is a rather remarkable perspective. News consumers who want to know what both sides of a fight are saying should rely on the news section. Those who want to know which arguments have merit and who’s telling the truth should go elsewhere. To criticize media dynamic is, in Kane’s words, “just stupid.”
It should be obvious why this is misguided. I can get press releases from politicians and parties, and see what “both sides” of a fight are saying. I’d like to rely on media professionals to go further — offering context, scrutiny, and analysis that helps make sense of the arguments, giving me a sense, not only of what the arguments are, but whether the arguments are accurate.
The failure of the super-committee offers a terrific example. The objective facts are not especially elusive, and even Republican members of the panel have admitted publicly that the GOP wouldn’t compromise on taxes, which is why the committee couldn’t reach an agreement.
But reporters don’t want to say this, because to tell the public that Republicans wouldn’t accept meaningful concessions — in other words, to tell the public what actually happened — would somehow be inappropriate.
Eugene Robinson understands the problem: “No, the sun didn’t rise in the west this morning. No, Republicans on the congressional supercommittee didn’t offer meaningful concessions on raising new tax revenue. And no, ‘both sides’ are not equally responsible for the failure to compromise.”
I’m not looking for news organizations to tell me “Republicans stink”; I’m looking for news organizations to tell me the truth. If the truth happens to be, in this instance, that Republicans stink, then so be it. If there’s an objective truth, it’s not evidence of bias for reporters to tell news consumers what that truth is.
Kane would have us believe that we shouldn’t look to professional journalists to help separate fact from fiction — trained media professionals, who know full well how to help their audience understand the truth — because it’s not their job. Want the talking points? Read the newspaper story. Want the truth? Read something else.
Newspapers, as an industry, are struggling badly right now. This kind of attitude won’t help.
BWA HA HA HA 2 can play this game; Mittens.
November 22, 2011 12:30 PM
Playing the game by Romney’s rules
By Steve Benen
In Mitt Romney’s very first television ad of the 2012 campaign, he pushes a blatant, shameless lie. In 2008, Barack Obama was quoting John McCain, and now, Romney is wrenching that quote from context to attribute it to Obama himself. It’s a cheap, deceitful move, suggesting Romney wants to get his general-election strategy off to as dishonorable a start as possible.
In an apparent attempt to justify the treachery, Romney’s communications director argued, “The White House doesn’t want to talk about the economy” — a claim that wraps a lie in another lie.
The Romney campaign added today that its lie is “not out of bounds.” This, in turn, gave Judd Legum and Jeff Spross a good idea for a video.
In this clip, we see Romney calling for higher taxes, insisting that there’s nothing unique about the United States, arguing that government knows better than free people, rejecting the very idea of fiscal responsibility.
Are the quotes fair? By the standards of accuracy and decency, no. By the standards used by the Romney campaign, yes.
If Romney’s ad is in bounds, so is this one. It’s as simple as that.
November 22, 2011 11:25 AM
By Steve Benen
President Obama’s week-long trip to Asia didn’t generate a lot of attention from the domestic media, and based on Walter Russell Mead’s description, that’s a real shame. Americans have every reason to be pleased with the results of the president’s successful efforts. (via Kevin Drum)
The cascade of statements, deployments, agreements and announcements from the United States and its regional associates in the last week has to be one of the most unpleasant shocks for China’s leadership — ever. The US is moving forces to Australia, Australia is selling uranium to India, Japan is stepping up military actions and coordinating more closely with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea, Myanmar is slipping out of China’s column and seeking to reintegrate itself into the region, Indonesia and the Philippines are deepening military ties with the US: and all that in just one week. If that wasn’t enough, a critical mass of the region’s countries have agreed to work out a new trade group that does not include China, while the US, to applause, has proposed that China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors be settled at a forum like the East Asia Summit — rather than in the bilateral talks with its smaller, weaker neighbors that China prefers.
Rarely has a great power been so provoked and affronted. Rarely have so many red lines been crossed. Rarely has so much face been lost, so fast…. [I]t was as decisive a diplomatic victory as anyone is likely to see. Congratulations should go to President Obama and his national security team.
Presidential triumphs like these don’t produce immediate political benefits at home — and, in all likelihood, they will go largely unnoticed by the public — but they matter a great deal when it comes to U.S. diplomatic efforts, most notably when it comes to China’s growing influence.
As for electoral considerations, I suspect the number of Americans who’ll vote in 2012 based on foreign policy can meet in a broom closet, but it’s getting tougher for even the harshest White House critics to deny President Obama’s impressive record on foreign policy. He’s ending the war in Iraq; he’s scored major counter-terrorism victories including the death of bin Laden; he’s improved U.S. relations with Russia including ratification of a new nuclear treaty; he helped bring down the Gadhafi regime in Libya; he’s improved the nation’s reputation and standing overall; and as Mead’s report explains, he’s made dramatic progress in Asia-Pacific.
It probably wasn’t expected three years ago that foreign policy and international affairs would be one of President Obama’s greatest strengths, but here we are.
November 22, 2011 10:45 AM
The ‘third force’ Brooks has been waiting for
By Steve Benen
David Brooks seems discouraged by the era of political “stagnation,” but I have good news for him.
Each party is too weak to push its own agenda and too encased by its own cocoon to agree to a hybrid. The supercommittee failed for this reason. Members of the supercommittee actually took some brave steps outside party orthodoxy (Republicans embraced progressive tax increases, Democrats flirted with spending cuts), but these were baby steps, insufficient to change the alignment.
In normal circumstances, minority parties suffer a series of electoral defeats and then they modernize. But in the era of the two moons, the parties enjoy periodic election victories they don’t deserve, which only re-enforce their worst habits.
So it’s hard to see how we get out of this, unless some third force emerges, which wedges itself into one of the two parties, or unless we have a devastating fiscal crisis — a brutal cleansing flood, after which the sun will shine again.
Brooks gets one part of this horribly wrong. Dems on the super-committee did more than “flirt with spending cuts” — they were prepared to offer massive spending cuts, including major changes to Medicare and Social Security, in order to reach a bipartisan agreement. This is exactly what Brooks wanted them to do, and for him to ignore these details misleads his readers in a rather fundamental way.
For that matter, Brooks lauds GOP members for having “embraced progressive tax increases,” but in reality, Republicans were willing to accept some new revenue so long as taxes weren’t increased on anyone, and the offer was conditional on Democrats accepting massive tax breaks that Republicans wouldn’t even try to pay for.
Is Brooks not aware of these details? If he is, why is his description so incomplete? If not, why not?
As for parties modernizing after a series of electoral defeats, I agree with Brooks that this used to be the norm. Republicans, with the encouragement of conservative pundits, ignored the rules — after crushing defeats in 2006 and 2008, the GOP managed to become more right-wing and more reactionary, only to be rewarded by voters who overlooked Republican extremism in the 2010 midterms.
And what about the good news? Well, Brooks longs for the emergence of a “third force,” which, presumably, would shake up American politics the way the NYT columnist would like. It would focus on real national priorities over cheap political ploys; it would be willing to compromise; and it would offer a sensible vision for the future without sacrificing pragmatism.
I believe this force is generally known as the contemporary Democratic Party. Brooks may have heard of them.
President Obama is Fighting for Middle Class Families
This morning, President Obama will speak about the American Jobs Act and why it is so important to pass the payroll tax cuts for middle class families.
See how the payroll tax cuts will put more money back in your pocket and watch President Obama speak at 12:15 p.m. EST on WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
I posted yesterday from the Daily Dish that one of Newt’s Holy Roller allies has been doing ‘ focus groups’ on Newt for 2 years. And, that, while men might buy his bullshyt, the women have been firm: under NO circumstances will they vote for him. I said this awhile ago, there is only so much that a woman is going to take, even an EVANGELICAL ONE, and a mofo that delivered divorce papers to his cancer-stricken wife – IN THE HOSPITAL – hell no, there ain’t shyt he can say. And, he’s persecuting Bill Clinton, all the while laying on the floor of the Speaker’s Office with WIFE NUMBER THREE?
The truth about Newt Gingrich’s first divorce
Newt Gingrich has now set up a Web site designed to combat what he calls errors, false claims and outright lies about his past. In fact, Gingrich’s Web site, not surprisingly, misrepresents the past — cleaning up old misstatements, lying about past indiscretions and generally rewriting history. In this post, I took special notice of Gingrich’s first divorce, since he and his daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, have offered an account that differs in significant details from the account that the first Mrs. Gingrich, Jackie Battley Gingrich, offered at the time.
Gingrich is right to try to clean up a couple of egregious distortions that have been shunted around over the years, including the notion that Mrs. Gingrich was “dying of cancer” at the time of the divorce. In face, she is alive and well.
I’ve known Newt Gingrich for a long time. I remember when he was first elected to Congress from Georgia, and I remember his swift rise as a pugilistic, bombastic back-bencher. He can be fun in conversation if you enjoy intellectual combat, and I do. He can also be pompous, self-serving, overweening and hypocritical. He uses words as weapons, with little regard for whether what he says is actually true. If he has a moral core, it’s hard to pinpoint.
I have known the Newtster long enough that I remember his very unpleasant divorce from his first wife, Jackie. That’s bound to come up since he’s now holding the anti-Romney chair in the parlor game that passes for a GOP presidential primary. And, over the years, he’s done a reasonably good job of playing defense on that subject, persuading many journalists that their initial reports of that divorce were wrong.
Last year, one of his daughters, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, wrote a revisionist history of the infamous hospital visit, in which she even claimed that it was her mother, Jackie, who wanted to end the marriage. Perhaps that’s true. I don’t know since I was not there.
But I do know the younger Jackie’s version of events is quite different from what her mother, Jackie Battley Gingrich, told The Washington Post in 1985. Newt’s first wife told Lois Romano:
“He can say we had been talking about it (a divorce) for tne years, but the truth is that it came as a complete surprise. He’s a great wordsmith. . .He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I retruned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from surgery.”
Why bring that up when there is so much other Gingrich baggage to discuss? I just wanted to set the record straight since that was a crucial piece of my early understanding of the Newster
3 words for Newty Newt. AIN’T.GONNA.HAPPEN.
Talking Points Memo:
Obama issues another big veto threat..on Bush-era tax cuts: http://tpm.ly/v98Itd
Love it. PBO: HELL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Sharpton: “It’s Time We Take Our Country Back”
It’s high time we, the majority, take our country back:
When certain individuals began chanting their mantra of ‘take our country back’, the rest of us hoped that it wasn’t a subliminal message to strip away this nation’s advancements and take us back to some sort of Jim Crow era. But in such a short span of time in office, many conservative elected officials have proved that their goal is precisely to implement regressive measures that begin to chip away at the core of the fundamental constructs of the civil rights movement. The latest enactment of voter ID laws across the country are a prime example of how the right is attempting to wrong us all.
It’s time these CaCs know that we aren’t GOING ANYWHERE.
Herman Cain mailer tells Iowans he will win GOP race because of black vote
In a new Iowa mailer, Herman Cain says he believes he will be the 2012 GOP nominee because he’s a descendant of slaves who can garner a large share of the black vote, he didn’t inherit a dime, he has traveled the globe for years, and he’s a believer in Jesus Christ.
Pray tell, what kind of person would say such a thing?
LOL Still coonin, Hermie. Negro PLEASE!
Mitt’s getting DESPERATE.
November 22, 2011 9:35 AM
An implausible ‘frontrunner’
By Steve Benen
Six national polls have been released over the last two weeks evaluating the race for the Republican presidential nomination. How many of the six show Newt Gingrich in the lead? All of them.
Here are the new Quinnipiac results, released this morning:
1. Newt Gingrich: 26%
2. Mitt Romney 22%
3. Herman Cain: 14%
A CNN poll released yesterday afternoon offered similar results:
1. Newt Gingrich: 24%
2. Mitt Romney 20%
3. Herman Cain: 17%
Four other polls released since Nov. 10 — Gallup, Fox News, Public Policy Polling, and Reuters — all show very similar results.
If one or two polls showed Gingrich in the lead, it’s easier to dismiss them as flukes. When every national polls shows him out in front, it suggests a meaningful trend.
Of course, there are all kinds of caveats to keep in mind. The Iowa caucuses are six weeks away, and Gingrich has plenty of time to see his support fade. For that matter, these are national polls, which will be heavily influenced by the results in the early nominating contests.
But the point I keep coming back to is Mitt Romney’s inability to put some distance between himself and the rest of the Republican field. Most of the political world, including me, simply assumes the former Massachusetts governor will get the GOP nod, and yet Romney’s support has actually slipped over the last few weeks.
He’s running against misfits, clowns, and con men, and Romney’s still stuck at about 21%.
To be sure, the smart money says Republicans are likely to nominate him anyway, because there’s no one else worthy of the nod. But when was the last time the Republican Party went into a general election with a nominee so much of the party simply didn’t like?
Obama Turns The Super Committee Failure Into A Weapon Of GOP Destruction
After the Super Committee failed, President Obama placed Republicans on notice that they are going to do it his way and tax the rich, or face painful cuts to their beloved defense budget.
Obama said, “Despite the broad agreement for such an approach, there are still too many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reasons and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington. They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans at any cost…so at this point at least they simply will not budge from that negotiating position and so far that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit.”
Later the president turned the tables and used the GOP’s own super committee against them. Obama delivered a message to those Republicans who are trying to wiggle out of the automatic cuts, “Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple. No, I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure. The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work, and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. That’s exactly what they need to do. That’s the job they promised to do, and they’ve still got a year to figure it out.”
Obama closed by telling the American people that he will not let the payroll tax cut expire, and he will not let taxes go up on the American people and businesses, so Congress had best get to work after Thanksgiving.
Obama has managed to take the failure of the Super Committee which was born out of the Republican Party’s creation of the fake debt ceiling crisis, and turn it into a weapon to use against congressional Republicans. The GOP had been assuming that Democrats would cave on their demands for both the protection of entitlement programs and raising taxes on the wealthy.
The Democrats didn’t cave, and now the Republicans have a big problem.
Republican hawks (especially in the Senate) have already started to squawk over the potential triggering of defense cuts. While Democrats are concerned about the automatic domestic cuts, they seem willing to hold their ground and battle to get the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Congressional Democrats are behind Obama, and he sent a very loud message today that he is not going to allow the GOP to wiggle off the hook.
President Obama used the phrase balanced approach numerous times in less than six minutes. His message to Republicans was that they have no hostage to ransom this time. He is willing to sit back and let the pressure on them build until they agree to raise taxes on the top 2%. He is targeting the $100 billion in Bush tax cuts for wealthiest Americans, but I suspect that the president wants more. Obama holds the veto pen, so small sacrificial amount of revenue is going to be enough.
Obama has always had his eyes on a bigger prize and longer term endgame. By not budging, congressional Republicans have played into his hands. Obama can win without doing anything. If Republicans want to prevent those defense cuts, they are going to have to break ranks and agree to raise taxes on the wealthy. Obama dictated the terms. He told the Republicans how it has to be, and now we’ll see how much pressure they can take before they crack.
Well played, President Obama. Well played
Yep; and the gasbaggers on Sunday gabfest shows tried to set up- the Obama fails meme before the committee failed, knowing full well the committee was going to fail, just like Obama knew it. I LOATHE these MOFOS.
Despicable Mitt (Disappearing Records Division)
by Anne Laurie
Transparency! It is important that Our Leaders demonstrate its value within the Governing Process! Just ask Willard “Mitt” Romney, MBA, CEO, GOP. Reports Michael Levenson on the Boston Globe’s Political Intelligence blog:
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Mitt Romney today briefly reiterated his campaign’s assertion that his aides did nothing wrong when they purchased their state-issued hard drives in 2006, as they left their jobs and Romney began his first run for president.
“They all followed the law exactly as it’s written,” he said, after attempting to ignore reporters who peppered him with questions about the issue, as he left a luncheon here that was sponsored by the Union Leader newspaper.
The Globe reported on Thursday that 11 of Romney’s aides—- including his chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, and chief legal counsel – took the unusual step of buying 17 hard drives from the Massachusetts governor’s office, paying $65 for each one.
The Romney administration also wiped the server for the governor’s office and replaced the remaining computers in the office as they prepared to turn over power to Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat. As a result, Patrick’s office, which has been inundated with requests for records from the Romney era, has said that it has no emails from the Romney administration.
Romney did not address why his aides wiped the server, or if they were seeking to keep public information confidential. But he pointed out that his administration turned over paper records to the state archives in Dorchester.
“We actually put 700 boxes of information into the archives that wasn’t even required, so we followed the law exactly as intended and as written,” he said….
Hey, reporter-peons, if you want to examine the “transparency” of Willard Romney’s only actual governmental service, you can just hoick your underling selves down to the State archives (if you can find them, and if they’re still open despite budget cuts) and look through 700 boxes of paper, sheet by sheet. Nobody promised you transparency was going to be easy!
As parsed by Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly:
First, Romney had to announce he wouldn’t seek a second term, in large part because he’d lose and it would interfere with his ambitions. Second, he had to trash his entire worldview and adopt a new one that might be more palatable to GOP primary voters.
And finally, it was time to deal with all of those emails….
Romney’s campaign said the former one-term governor did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide, and all of those emails were erased because, well, just because.
The consensus seems to be that Romney and his team did not violate the letter of the state’s Public Records Law, but it does seem strange that 11 Romney administration officials felt the need to buy 17 hard drives from the governor’s office for no apparent reason.
In the best GOP tradition of projecting their worst failing onto their opponents, Team Romney’s response to this challenge was to… accuse his successor of insufficent transparency and a want of attention to the spirit of responsive government:
WASHINGTON —Mitt Romney’s campaign manager is requesting that the Governor Deval Patrick’s administration provide copies of any correspondence with several of President Obama’s top aides.
In the report, Patrick’s chief legal counsel, Mark Reilly, said there was no electronic record of any Romney administration emails. A Romney campaign spokeswoman last night acknowledged that the hard drives were purchased but said that the former aides did nothing wrong. She also accused Patrick of “doing the Obama campaign’s dirty work.”…
“As you know, state law strictly prohibits you and your staff from using public resources for political campaign purposes,” reads a letter sent this afternoon by Matt Rhoades, Romney’s campaign manager. “Under state law, a public employee may not provide services to a candidate or campaign during his or her work hours.”
“Nonetheless, it is evident that your office has become an opposition research arm of the Obama reelection campaign,” the letter added, citing Reilly’s comments to the Globe…
“At a time when unemployment is at unacceptably high levels, both here in Massachusetts and around the country, the people of Massachusetts deserve to know that you are focused on alleviating joblessness – not running a dirty tricks shop for your friend, President Obama,” Rhoades writes.
I’m just hoping Charlie Pierce is right about Romney’s chances in Iowa:
There’s one thing that you always have to remember about Willard Romney. His jaw is made of glass. It always has been. When he ran for Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat, and the Kennedys started running at him like Kennedys run at everyone, he folded like a cheap lawn chair. He ruthlessly pushed out an incumbent Republican governor named Jane Swift, whom everybody in Massachusetts already had figured for a dolt, in order to run against Shannon O’Brien, who never was confused with Margaret Thatcher. Once elected governor, Willard made a lot of noise about setting up a statewide organization to elect more Republicans to the state legislature. A subsequent election showed this effort to be utterly futile, which is about when Willard gave up on really being governor and started running for president, which happens to be why we here in the Commonwealth (God save it!) have him to thank for inventing Obamacare. Thanks, Willard!
Then, in 2008, he had everything going for him until every single other Republican in the field began to make it known that they’d rather scoop out their own eyeballs with a salad fork than spend five minutes in a room with Willard Romney. The going got tough and Mitt got out, and started planning for 2012, when Republican people might have forgotten how much they truly loathed him…
The dithering in Iowa is the key to understanding Willard’s campaign and whatever vestigial soul he has as a politician. There is the fighting-the-last-war timidity. (Romney plunged heavily in the 2008 Iowa caucuses and, largely because the Iowa caucusgoers got a really good look at him, he pretty much bombed, losing to Mike Huckabee. So he wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice, dammit.) This made a little bit of sense if a) Mitt was going to run as the electable moderate he ran as in Massachusetts, and b) if his firewall in New Hampshire was in the satchel. The problem is that Mitt is (once again) kowtowing to the kind of lunatic conservatism that runs riot in the Iowa GOP caucus base, which has undermined the whole rationale for avoiding Iowa in the first place, turning the campaign again into his desperate attempt to prove his wingut bona fides. So he’s been to Iowa probably more than he’s planned to be, all the while trying to convince himself and the rest of us that a loss there won’t really mean that much. Now, though, if New Hampshire’s really in play, and I’m not really sure that it is, Willard would have himself a real problem. He’s pretty much got to win there by a touchdown-and-a-half for it to mean anything nationally. If he tanks in Iowa, and if Newt Gingrich stays within a field goal in New Hampshire, and then the campaign moves south, that would set up the perfect moment for the glass in Willard’s jaw to crack.
Gingrich isn’t going to stay in butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-jowls Party Statesman mode for much longer. He’ll get the bends. And Rick Perry still has millions to blow on attack ads. If the campaign evolves to the point where Willard is both perceived to be vulnerable and is everybody’s target, you will see the pettiness, the whining, and the perpetual sneer at the lower orders that are all such fundamental parts of Willard’s personality, and that have endeared him so to the people in his own party. It is possible, after all, to lose simply because you’re afraid you might.
November 22, 2011 8:35 AM
Romney offers a hint of what’s to come
By Steve Benen
With just six weeks until Republican voters in Iowa head to their presidential caucuses, Mitt Romney is launching his first television ad of the year. Usually, a candidate’s first commercial is a positive, biographical ad, offering a look at his or her background.
The former governor is going a different route.
Mitt Romney’s first television commercial of his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination hits the airwaves Tuesday, but the ad is already creating a controversy.
President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee are both slamming the 60-second spot, saying it takes comments made on the campaign trail in 2008 by then-Sen. Obama out of context.
In October 2008, a month before the president was elected, then-candidate Obama spoke in New Hampshire and told voters, “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.’”
In Romney’s new attack ad, viewers only see Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” The obvious point is to deceive the public — Romney wants voters to think the quote reflects Obama’s current thinking, not McCain’s three years ago.
Romney, in other words, is choosing to mislead voters and hoping they don’t know the difference.
The same, by the way, expresses concern for “record foreclosures,” which is a bizarre line for the Republican to take — he’s the one who recently demanded, “Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”
In the larger context, how much more deception can Romney try to get away with before he develops a reputation as a candidate with an honesty problem? Last week, an MIT economist who worked with Romney said the former governor is “just lying” about health care policy. The same week, Romney was caught lying about the makeup of the last Congress, and also got caught lying about a quote from the president.
Three weeks ago, the former governor got caught lying about his tax plan, and several times over the last few months, Romney has also been caught lying about economic conditions and whether the president “apologized for America” (he didn’t).
Over the course of a campaign, it stands to reason a candidate who speaks all the time is going to make some mistakes. He or she will invariably also make occasional claims that aren’t supported by the facts. But it seems as if Mitt Romney, when he’s not wildly flip-flopping or avoiding taking firm positions on controversial issues, is frequently just flat-out lying. These aren’t minor slip-ups; these are examples of a candidate who looks more like a con man than a leader.
Romney is taking a huge risk playing this game. He’s already the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, and the political world is starting to solidify its take on his personality. The more the former governor is caught deceiving the public, the more questions about his character will be unavoidable.
BREAKING: First Romney TV Ad Falsely Presents McCain Campaign Quote As Obama’s
| The Romney campaign’s very first television ad, released this evening, dishonestly presents a 2008 McCain campaign quote as the words of President Obama. The ad features a voice-over of Obama saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Then-candidate Obama indeed said those words, perhaps dozens of times during the closing month of the 2008 campaign. The only problem? Obama was actually quoting the words of a strategist from Sen. John McCain’s campaign. Watch the Romney campaign’s blatantly dishonest ad:
let me get this straight.
this f—ing criminal, who shoudl be IN JAIL, for running over a woman AND LEAVING THE SCENE OF THE CRIME.,
THIS CRIMINAL, WHO, the NYTIMES nailed for having so many conflicts of BUSINESS INTEREST while being the head of that committee, that they could barely keep up…
has the NERVE to say that NOBEL PRIZE WINNER STEVEN CHU is in over his head?
Darrell Issa: Steven Chu is ‘in over his head’
The State Column | Staff | Monday, November 21, 2011
California Rep. Darell Issa added to the growing scrutiny over U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu’s 2009 loan guarantee to the now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra. In an interview Saturday with The Daily Caller, Issa expressed concern over Chu and the Energy Department.
“Secretary Chu is a brilliant individual who seems to be [in] over his head,” Issa, the House oversight committee chairman, said. “And that’s not a political statement. … I think everyone wants to see DOE succeed,” Issa added.
During his testimony before Congress Thursday, Chu was accused of approving the loan to Solyndra for political reasons, a claim that the former Nobel prize winning physicist thoroughly refuted. “Fundamentally, this company and several others got caught in a very bad tsunami if you will,” Chu said of his choice to approve Solyndra for the loan. “If you look back and look at the time, the decisions being made, was there incompetence, was there any influence of a political nature? And I would have to say no,” the Secretary of Energy added.
Regardless of Chu’s claims, Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform plans to investigate the Department of Energy. The California Republican has repeatedly said the Department of Energy has “committed malpractice.”
Speaking over the weekend, Issa chided Chu, saying the agency head may have to consider resigning.
“Right now there’s a question about whether or not he [Chu] is able to turn the ship around after a series of failures in which he himself said technically they did the right thing, but obviously, realistically, they did the wrong thing in the [loan guarantee] awards,” said Issa. “So that’s one of those where we’re hoping that people bolster around or, in fact, somebody that could handle it — maybe less smart, but more capable — would come in.”
Read more: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/articles/darell-issa-sec-chu-is-in-over-his-head/#ixzz1eRVk4Bx9
Good Morning, Everyone :)
Robinson: Republican obstinacy doomed the supercommittee
By Eugene Robinson, Published: November 21
No, the sun didn’t rise in the west this morning. No, Republicans on the congressional supercommittee didn’t offer meaningful concessions on raising new tax revenue. And no, “both sides” are not equally responsible for the failure to compromise.
As usual, the two parties began with vastly different ideas of what it means to negotiate. Democrats envisioned meeting somewhere in the middle, while Republicans anticipated not moving an inch. This isn’t just my spin, it’s a matter of public record: Before the 12-member supercommittee ever met, House Speaker John Boehner warned that they had better not agree to any new tax revenue.
Good Morning, Everyone! :-)
Morning, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors!
LOL Mornin, SG2. Boots on the ground, boots on the ground; ya lookin like a cowgirl with your boots on the ground.