Wednesday Open Thread

The Dixie Chicks are an American country band which has also successfully crossed over into other genres. The band is composed of founding members (and sisters) Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison, and lead singer Natalie Maines. The band formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas and was originally composed of four women performing bluegrass and country music, busking and touring the bluegrass festival circuits and small venues for six years without attracting a major label.

After the departure of one bandmate, the replacement of their lead singer, and a slight change in their repertoire, the Dixie Chicks soon reached a large amount of commercial success, beginning in 1998 with hit songs “There’s Your Trouble” and “Wide Open Spaces“.

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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82 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Hey 3 Chics!

    I love the sound of the Banjo playing in “Cowboy Take Me Away”! Check this out…

    The banjo is a four or five stringed instrument with a piece of plastic or animal skin stretched over a circular frame. Simpler forms of the instrument were fashioned by enslaved Africans in Colonial America, adapted from several African instruments of the same basic design.

    The banjo is usually associated with country, folk, Irish traditional music and bluegrass music. Historically, the banjo occupied a central place in African traditional music, before becoming popular in the minstrel shows of the 19th century. In fact, blacks influenced early development of the music that became country and bluegrass, through the introduction of the banjo and through the innovation of musical techniques for both the banjo and fiddle. The banjo, with the fiddle, is a mainstay of American old-time music.

  2. ‘Birther’ Hearing Spirals Out Of Control

    New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney asked State Police to investigate a Ballot Law Commission hearing on Friday involving several state representatives and “birther queen” Orly Taitz that turned ugly after the committee unanimously rejected an effort to have Obama removed from the state presidential ballot because she claimed that his birth certificate was a fake.

    Taitz testified before the committee, alleging the president’s social security number was not valid and his birth certificate was forged. The committee rejected her argument, saying it did not have the jurisdiction to assess the validity of the document.

    The White House released the president’s long-form birth certificate in April after his campaign released a scanned copy. Some, however, refuse to believe that Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

    “Traitors!” shouted one woman after the committee vote. “Shame on you!” yelled another.

    “Saying a treasonous liar can go on our ballot?” yelled Republican state Rep. Harry Accornero after the meeting. Accornero and Republican state Rep. Susan DeLemus yelled in Assistant Attorney General Matt Mavrogeorge’s face after the hearing, according to a memorandum he wrote. DeLemus demanded an answer from Mavrogeorge on “whether the United States Constitution trumps New Hampshire’s laws regarding the qualifications for president.” After the hearing, he and Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd locked themselves in an office and called capitol security and the attorney general’s office. Crowd members yelled and banged on his door, he said.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Obama vs. Romney in New Hampshire: Who Wins Their Match-Up?
    President’s Visit to Granite State Comes Two Days After Key Appearance by Mitt Romney

    Barack Obama visited New Hampshire two days after a key appearance by Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney. On Sunday, Romney was endorsed by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte at Nashua’s City Hall. The following Tuesday, Obama delivered a speech at Manchester’s Central High School urging the passage of his American Jobs Act.

    New Hampshire hosts the country’s first presidential primary on January 10, 2012. Both men finished second in the Granite State in 2008, Obama to Hillary Clinton and Romney to John McCain. While Obama turned his strong, second-place showing into the Democratic nomination, Romney remained a bridesmaid to McCain.

    The Republican Party has a habit of nominating the runner-up candidate in the next open election year. So far, Romney has failed to capitalize on a solid core of support and emerge as the clear front-runner for the 2012 GOP Presidential nod. He has been tagged with the dreaded RINO label (Republican In Name Only) for governing as a moderate governor in liberal Massachusetts.

    The two appearances in New Hampshire may be a preview of the November 2012 Presidential election.

    The Manchester and Nashua events illustrated a substantial difference in style between two politicians, both of whom have been criticized by true-believers for betraying the core ideals of their parties. While Romney has been denounced by rock-ribbed Republican conservatives as a flip-flopping RINO, Obama has been scored by progressives for betraying the campaign platform he was elected on. Progressives think the President has been too friendly with Wall Street, too solicitous to the Pentagon, and too lax in fighting for tough environmental laws.

    If the two are matched up in November 2012, it may all come down to a contest not of issues, but of style. Obama’s appearance in Manchester, in which the President displayed a fire-in-the-belly that was perfect for prime time and showed him in full campaign mode, was in sharp contrast to the more subdued political pitch made by Romney in Nashua.

    While Obama is cool, he can turn up the heat. The laid-back Romney, in contrast, comes across as cold. Most Republicans have not warmed up to him.

    Obama roused an enthusiastic crowd with his rhetoric. He was back at being the master of the campaign trail. Romney, in contrast, was rather flat. To this observer, Mitt Romney’s appearance in Nashua brought to mind Clint Eastwood’s recent remarks about him: That if a movie-maker was looking for an actor to play the President, central casting would send over Mitt. Just what he stood for, Clint said, is anybody’s guess.

    Mitt Romney is a tall, handsome man with a friendly demeanor. When I first saw him campaigning in New Hampshire in 2008, I was struck by the fact that his good looks and carefully tailored appearance made him seem like a GQ Magazine model. At the Nashua event, he was paired with the tall and also good-looking Kelly Ayotte.

    But there was something uncanny about the pair, something not quite human. Rather than fashion models, they struck me as two mannequins that had miraculously come to life and had escaped from Macy’s. There was a plastic quality about both, and for a candidate for President of the United States going up against one of the great campaigners of modern times, Barack Obama, this could prove fatal.

  4. rikyrah says:



    2012 Presidential Matchups
    Election 2012: Obama 44%, Romney 38%

    Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
    Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 41%, Democrats 40%
    Election 2012: Generic Republican 46%, Obama 43%
    Election 2012: Obama 46%, Cain 36%
    Election 2012: Obama 46%, Gingrich 40%

    President Obama has opened up a six-point lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. This is the widest gap between the two men since mid-August.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Obama earning 44% support from Likely Voters, while Romney receives 38% of the vote.

  5. My President! Woot!

    Air Force One Takes Off From BFI On Runway 31L

  6. @Breaking News:

    Newt Gingrich fails to file in time, won’t appear on Missouri ballot – latimes

  7. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 4:30 PM

    Maybe if Obama tried a Jedi mind trick…

    Though he was hardly the only one, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I) seemed eager to blame President Obama for congressional Republicans scuttling a super-committee deal this week. Bloomberg, whose idea of leadership is destroying an activist library in the middle of the night while keeping journalists at bay, lectured the president, saying it was up to him to “bring people together and to provide leadership in difficult situations.”

    I’ve seen a few compelling responses to this very odd line of thinking, but I’m partial towards Jon Chait’s piece.

    The notion that Obama’s “leadership” could have persuaded Republicans to accept a tax increase seems strange. Republicans, I have noticed, tend not to like Obama very much. His endorsement does not carry a great deal of weight with them. That was why the administration stayed in the background when Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson developed their deficit plan.

    When deficit scolds complained that he failed to embrace them openly, Obama tried a different tack when the next bipartisan deficit commission came around. That was the Senate’s “Gang of Six.” Obama decided to openly tout the plan. Did that work? No, it did not. A Republican aide, probably accurately, blamed Obama’s endorsement for his kiss of death. (“The President killed any chance of its success by 1) embracing it. 2) hailing the fact that it increases taxes. 3) Saying it mirrors his own plan.”)

    Okay, so if Obama openly endorses a bipartisan plan, he’s killing it. And if he keeps his distance, he’s also killing it. What if he tries to directly negotiate a deficit reduction plan behind closes doors? Well, Obama did that, too, this last summer. Republicans opposed it as well.

    The easy response to the “Why didn’t Obama try to intervene with the super-committee?” question is to note that Republican members specifically pleaded with the president to keep his distance. It’s a point, to her credit, Ruth Marcus highlighted today.

    But really, that’s barely scratching the surface. Just once I’d like to hear one of these wise presidential critics explain what, exactly, Obama was supposed to do. Republicans weren’t willing to compromise. They’ve admitted as much. GOP members of the panel made demands that no sensible person could possibly consider reasonable, and ultimately, weren’t intended to work towards a resolution anyway.

    Does Mike Bloomberg, or anyone else, think Republicans were going to be responsible because the president — the chief executive they loathe with a passion, and whose presidency they seem so desperate to destroy, that they’ll sabotage the nation’s interests — asked them to? Is there any scenario in which GOP officials were going to accept new tax revenue after the president asked really nicely?

    The answer, I hope, is obvious, making this “blame Obama for the super-committee” nonsense terribly silly, even by the standards of the punditocracy.

  8. @thinkprogress Non-partisan CBO finds Obama’s stimulus package has created 6.8 million jobs

    Stop it! Just stop it!


  9. rikyrah says:

    One Life to Live,’ ‘All My Children’ Not Moving Online

    Prospect Park has suspended its plan to move ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ online. Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park made the announcement following several months of planning.

    “After five months of negotiations with various guilds, hundreds of presentations to potential financial and technology partners, and a hope that we could pioneer a new network for the future, it is with great disappointment that we are suspending our aspirations to revive ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children’ via online distribution,” the duo said in a statement. “It is now becoming clear that mounting issues make our ability to meet our deadlines to get ‘OLTL’ on the air in a reasonable time period following its January 13, 2012 ABC finale impossible.”

    ABC canceled the soaps in April. Soon after the cancellations, Prospect Park announced a new licensing agreement to bring both beloved shows back to life via The Online Network. The company signed several actors, including ‘One Life to Live’ heavy-hitter Erika Slezak, and behind the scenes people like ‘OLTL’ executive producer Frank Valentini.

    “We believed the timing was right to launch an Online TV Network anchored by these two iconic soap operas, but we always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn’t ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time,” they said. “We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution.”

    Prospect Park said the economic challenges proved too difficult.

    “In the end, the constraints of the current marketplace, including the evolution and impact of new media on our industry simply proved too great a match for even our passion,” the said. “In our opinion, new models like this can only work with the cooperation of many people striving to make them happen, and we would like to thank and praise the numerous people who tried to help and showed us incredible support. We are extremely grateful to the fans and media who showed great support to us through this process, to ABC who did everything in their control to help, and we are especially grateful for the support and encouragement from many of the soaps’ cast and crew themselves.”

    The announcement comes after months of speculation by both fans and the players involved. Susan Lucci recently released a statement saying she’d like to move online with ‘All My Children’ but dialogue with Prospect Park had ceased.

    “Of special note, we would like to thank Frank Valentini (Executive Producer), Ron Carlivati (Head Writer of OLTL), Agnes Nixon, many of the cast of ‘OLTL’ including Michael Easton, Ted King, Kelley Missal, Melissa Archer, and of course Erika Slezak all of whom signed on quickly and did all they could to help, as well as our own Christine Sacani,” Kwatinetz and Frank said. “Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley also get our sincerest thanks for their support.”

    “We feel terrible we couldn’t come through for them and we were very much looking forward to working together.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    Proposed Texas map a blow to GOP

    By ALEX ISENSTADT | 11/23/11 3:26 PM EST

    A federal court-proposed map positions Democrats to gain as many as three congressional seats in Texas, dealing a sharp blow to Republicans who had hoped the state would help solidify their new majority.

    Under the plan, Democrats could capture three of the four new seats Texas is gaining in the current round of reapportionment, and would be positioned to compete against one of the state’s freshman Republicans, Rep. Quico Canseco, whose southwestern Texas district would become considerably less GOP-friendly.

    The interim plan was crafted by a San Antonio court, which was tasked with providing a congressional map until a Washington, D.C.-based court determines whether a Republican-drawn plan, approved by the state legislature earlier this year, adequately accommodates the state’s exploding Hispanic population. The Justice Department, along with several minority groups, instigated legal action earlier this year, alleging that the GOP blueprint dilutes minority voting strength.

    The court-drafted map is a devastating reversal for Republicans, whose map would have positioned the GOP to win three of the state’s new seats and would have allowed each of the party’s 23 incumbents to run in safe districts.

    “This is a big win for Democrats and minority groups in Texas,” said Matt Angle, director of the Texas Justice Fund, which helped craft the legal strategy combating the GOP plan.

    In a statement, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said: “We are pleased that Texas is on the road to fair elections in which the voters, rather than Republican mapmakers, will get to determine the outcome. The maps enacted by the legislature were an egregious example of Republican overreach and a complete disrespect of the changing Texas demographics.”

    Another major win for Democrats: The interim plan would enable Rep. Lloyd Doggett and state Rep. Joaquin Castro to run for separate districts – each of which would be safe. Under the Republican plan, the two Democrats would have to run against each other in a primary for a San Antonio-area seat.

    Canseco is likely to emerge as a top Democratic target. The freshman Republican has already drawn a top-tier Democratic foe in state Rep. Pete Gallego.

    Several other Republican-held districts would also be less safe under the interim plan. Veteran GOP Rep. Joe Barton would see his seat grow less Republican-friendly, as would the Galveston-area seat held by retiring GOP Rep. Ron Paul.

    Read more:

  11. rikyrah says:

    Romney Tells Iowa Audience: ‘I’m Not Trying To Put Money In People’s Pockets’

    | Part of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) plan to boost economic growth, he says, is a tax cut that comes in the form of repealing certain taxes on investments for the middle class. As ThinkProgress has noted, however, those cuts won’t actually benefit most middle-class individuals. Romney may now be aware of that fact, as he told one local resident in Des Moines, Iowa today that he isn’t “trying to put money in people’s pockets. That’s the other party.” Watch it:

  12. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 3:45 PM

    Strange days

    By Steve Benen

    Just so we’re clear, a Democratic president is fighting hard to cut taxes, and is facing heavy opposition from congressional Republicans…

    President Obama plunged into the heart of Republican primary land on Tuesday to deliver a direct challenge to Congress to act quickly to extend and expand the payroll tax cut when lawmakers return next week from the Thanksgiving holidays.

    Laying out his proposal in deliberately simple and stark terms, the president told an audience here that if Republicans in Congress vote no, middle-class families will have to pay an additional $1,000 in taxes next year when the temporary break ends.

    “Next week, they’ll get a simple vote,” Mr. Obama said. “No, your taxes go up. Yes, you get a tax cut. Which way do you think Congress should vote?”

    while congressional Republicans fight equally hard to increase government spending.

    Republicans will fight deep, automatic cuts to defense and security programs, scheduled to take effect January 2013 as a result of the Super Committee’s inaction. Indeed, they’ve been at it for weeks. Their fight centers on — what else! — the human toll and the harm spending cuts will do to the economy.

    That Republicans were the ones who offered the deep, automatic cuts to defense and security programs seems to have slipped down the memory hole.

    That Republicans, as a matter of basic philosophy, generally believe that spending cuts never hurt the economy also seems to have slipped down the same memory hole.

    Nevertheless, taken together, GOP lawmakers are pushing as hard as they can against tax cuts and for more government spending — and few seem to find this odd.

    These are strange days.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Asked 7 Times To Explain Romney’s Immigration Plan, Adviser Concedes It’s To Make Immigrant Lives Unbearable
    By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    During last night’s national security debate, emerging GOP presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich explained that he would support giving undocumented immigrants legal status without offering citizenship. “If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out,” he said.

    Former frontrunner Mitt Romney’s campaign immediately saw a chance to present their candidate as the anti-immigrant candidate to an increasingly nativist GOP electorate. After the debate, Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said Gingrich was setting up a plan to offer amnesty to undocumented immigrants like the 1986 amnesty act. But while attacking Gingrich for supposedly supporting amnesty, Fehrnstrom couldn’t explain what Romney’s plan would be — beyond creating a hostile environment, that is:

    I followed up by asking Fehrnstrom whether Romney believed in deporting those immigrants who are already here illegally.

    “He doesn’t believe in granting them amnesty,” Fehrnstrom responded. […]

    Finally, after I asked the question for a seventh time, Fehrnstrom responded by emphasizing employer enforcement as a way to get illegal immigrants to leave through attrition.

    “Well, if you cut off their employment, if they can’t get work, if they can’t get benefits like in state tuition, they will leave,” he said. […]

    Just to be clear, I wanted to know about those that still could remain under such a scenario.

    “I just answered your question Phil, and you keep hectoring me about it,” he snapped. “You turn off the magnets, no in state tuition, no benefits of any kind, no employment. You put in place an employment verification system with penalties for employers that hire illegals, that will shut off access to the job market, and they will self retreat.They will go to their native countries.”

  14. Fourth Arab Leader Falls

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Yemen’s authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed Wednesday to step down amid a fierce uprising to oust him after 33 years in power. The U.S. and its powerful Gulf allies pressed for the deal, concerned that a security collapse in the impoverished Arab nation was allowing an active al-Qaida franchise to gain a firmer foothold.

    Saleh is the fourth Arab leader toppled in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings this year, after longtime dictators fell in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The deal gives Saleh immunity from prosecution – contradicting a key demand of Yemen’s opposition protesters.

  15. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 2:05 PM

    Why it’s going to be a long year

    By Steve Benen

    Several years ago, philosopher Harry Frankfurt wrote a fascinating book called, “On Bullshit.” Among other things, the book sought to draw a distinction between b.s. and lies, and at the risk of oversimplifying a sophisticated point, the key difference is considering the truth irrelevant.

    A liar makes false claims. A b.s. artist doesn’t much care what’s true or false, because facts are irrelevant in the person’s larger agenda. Liars care what’s true and deliberately say the opposite; b.s. artists are indifferent to what’s true and tend to see facts as inconveniences that simply get in the way.

    In light Mitt Romney’s obvious and glaring falsehood in his first television ad, take a wild guess which camp the Republican’s presidential campaign falls into.

    By evening, the ad had been attacked, derided, parodied, and ruled “pants on fire” worthy by Politifact. The Romney campaign could have cared less.

    “We want to engage the president,” explained Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom in the spin room. “We look at him as our rival. It’s all deliberate; it was all very intentional.”

    Romney adviser Ron Kaufman, an RNC committee member and longtime operative, simply said that the ad “worked.”

    “They always squeal the most when you hold a mirror up to them,” he said, “and they overreacted, clearly. All they did was make the ad more effective.”

    Just so we’re clear, Romney and his team lied. Then they got caught. Then they were pleased.

    I suppose one could make the case that the leading Republican presidential campaign has a vaguely sociopathic appreciation for the public discourse, but I think Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit” tells us all we need to know. Truth, facts, evidence, reason, decency, fairness — for Romney and his team, none of this matters. It’s not that they’re considering whether to be honorable; they’ve convinced themselves that the question itself is irrelevant.

    What matter is what “works.” And what “works” is what gets aired on television. Usually, professionals are slightly embarrassed when they get caught lying, but the embarrassment is motivated by a sense of shame — the truth is good, being good is worthwhile, deliberately ignoring the truth is bad, and no one wants to be bad.

    But there is no embarrassment when such moral niceties are thrown out the window.

    This is, by the way, the very first ad Romney chose to run, setting the bar for how he and his team will conduct themselves over the next year.

    Be afraid.

    Postscript: WMUR, the station airing Romney’s lie, has said it is legally prohibited from rejecting the ad over inaccuracies.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Quoted: Pat Robertson on Condi Rice’s mysterious Thanksgiving dish
    By The Reliable Source

    What is this mac-and-cheese? Is it a black thing?”

    Pat Robertson on “The 700 Club” Wednesday, after an interview segment where guest Condoleezza Rice cited her favorite Thanksgiving dish. “It is a black thing,” the televangelist’s African-American co-host Kristi Watts said, laughing. “The world needs to get on board with macaroni and cheese!”

  17. rikyrah says:

    This was an ELON JAMES TWEET from a few days ago about the police clampdown on OWS:

    “Oh? The Police are treating you harshly? Violent for no reason? Weird.” – Black People.

    he’s made T-SHIRTS!


  18. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    November 23, 2011 1:40 PM
    When the parties exchange wish lists
    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, eyeing an end game in the super-committee talks, the parties exchanged “wish lists,” sketching out what both sides wanted from the debt-reduction process.

    The results weren’t pretty. Democrats wanted to apply $1 trillion in new tax revenue to debt reduction, and find the resources to pay for the American Jobs Act. Republicans wanted to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act (which would make the debt much worse), approve the Paul Ryan budget agenda (which would add $6 trillion to the debt over the next decade), block grant the Medicaid program, and pass, among other things, tort reform.

    Ezra Klein’s summary was helpful.

    So Republicans wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, block-grant Medicaid, privatize and voucherize Medicare — in addition to passing everything else in Paul Ryan’s budget. And though it’s not mentioned on this list, Republicans also worked to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which is to say, they also wanted to pass $3.8 trillion in tax cuts.

    Democrats wanted tax increases to make up about a third of the deficit deal — remember we already passed $900 billion in spending cuts back in August. They also wanted passage of a jobs plan that mostly consists of a payroll tax cut, infrastructure investment and expanded unemployment benefits.

    Political scientists have a term for when one party is more extreme than the other: “asymmetrical polarization.” This is what it looks like.

    Kevin Drum prefers a different description:

    “I call it ‘negotiating with fanatics.’” He added, “The Republican list is a conservative wet dream. It’s not even remotely a starting point for negotiation. By contrast, the Democratic list is a bog ordinary opening bid.”

    What I find impressive — though necessarily surprising — is the extent to which Republicans eyed the debt-reduction process as a debt-expansion process. Eliminating the Affordable Care Act would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to the debt over the next 10 years, and more than a trillion dollars in the decade after that. Ryan’s budget plan, featuring massive tax breaks, adds $6 trillion to the debt over the next decade. Extending Bush-era tax rates adds nearly $4 trillion to the debt over the next decade.

    It’s almost as if Republicans had no real interest in lowering the debt at all, and merely saw this process as a mechanism to shrink government to a level at which Grover Norquist could drown it in a bathtub.

    Remind me again why we’re supposed to think “both sides” are to blame?

    I realize the political world is reluctant to acknowledge this, but the radicalization of the Republican Party remains the most important barrier to quality policymaking in the 21st century. Look again at the wish list submitted by the super-committee’s GOP members and try — just try — to tell me a bipartisan deal was possible

  19. “ROMNEY: Deceive America”

  20. rikyrah says:

    found this great comment about Willard over at Washington Monthly:

    Rip on November 23, 2011 2:00 PM:

    I used to think that Romney, unlike the rest of the Republican field, actually had a shot at defeating Obama, and polls seemed to back this up. But it becomes increasingly clear after running for President for 6 years, that Mitt rarely thinks more than one step ahead and is often unprepared for any real pushback or attack on his his ever changing positions. So far he’s had it pretty easy with no one else running bringing out the hatchet, as they all imagine themselves somehow being a potential veep pick should Romney be nominated. Even Rick Perry’s jabs were soft enough to be forgiven by the convention.

    Assuming Romney becomes the nominee, the Obama campaign will be relentless in reminding voters that Romney can’t be trusted, has no core convictions, and is out of touch with the concerns of the middle class – and they will be able to do it using clips of Romney himself – in context. He won’t know what hit him, and no amount of ass-kissing of the far right at the convention is going fire them up for him, not even letting them pick the veep.

    Even with a floor of 40% of the electorate that would vote for David Duke if he were the Republican nominee, I don’t see Romney or anyone else running coming within 5 points of Obama next November.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Wait, What? Who Said Anything About Force
    by John Cole

    She keeps digging:

    As the tent city on the University of California, Davis, tripled in size, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi insisted Tuesday that the school’s police department defied her orders when it used force against students in last week’s pepper-spray fiasco.

    “We told the police to remove the tents or the equipment,” Katehi said in an interview with The Bee in her office inside the administration building, which remains locked down to the public.

    “We told them very specifically to do it peacefully, and if there were too many of them, not to do it, if the students were aggressive, not to do it. And then we told them we also do not want to have another Berkeley.”

    In her most expansive comments since Friday’s attempt to remove the tents spiraled into the pepper-spraying of students, Katehi said she still does not know who decided to use pepper spray and was stunned when she first saw video clips of it Friday night.

    “It looked horrible, horrific, I would say … , ” Katehi said. “I can tell you that I woke up Saturday really early in the morning, like 3 a.m., and I felt like it was a disaster on our hands.”

    Quite simply, I think she’s lying. If she had in fact ordered the police to specifically NOT use force when dealing with the protestors, her immediate reaction when the incident happened would not be some passive voice doublespeak and a limp attempt to blame the students, it would have been a forceful condemnation and swift action towards the police who VIOLATED HER DIRECT ORDERS.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Average Bush Tax Cut For The 1 Percent This Year Will Be Greater Than The Average Income Of The Other 99 Percent
    By Pat Garofalo on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    As Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to demonstrate across the country, congress’ fiscal super committee failed to craft a deficit reduction package due to Republican refusal to consider tax increases on the super wealthy. In fact, the only package that the GOP officially submitted to the committee included lowering the top tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, even as new research shows that the optimal top tax rate is closer to 70 percent.

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who co-chaired the super committee, explained that the major sticking point during negotiations with the GOP was what to do with the Bush tax cuts. With that in mind, the National Priorities Project points out that those tax cuts this year will give the richest 1 percent of Americans a bigger tax cut than the other 99 percent will receive in average income:

    The average Bush tax cut in 2011 for a taxpayer in the richest one percent is greater than the average income of the other 99 percent ($66,384 compared to $58,506).

    “The super committee failed to grapple with the extraordinarily costly Bush tax cuts for the richest—tax policies that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, cost more in added federal debt than they add in additional economic activity,” explained Jo Comerford, NPP’s Executive Director. Frank Knapp, vice chairman of the American Sustainable Business Council, added in a statement yesterday, “the high-end Bush tax cuts are a big part of the problem – not the solution…It’s obscene to keep slashing infrastructure and services for everybody on Main Street to keep up tax giveaways for millionaires and multinational corporations.”

    The Bush tax cuts have done nothing but blow up the federal debt and hand billions in tax breaks to the Americans who needed them least. As a reminder, past grand bargains when it came to the budget included substantial new revenues, to balance the pain of getting the country’s budget in order. Instead of adopting that approach, the GOP wants to continue lavishing tax breaks onto the 1 percent, while asking everyone else to sacrifice.

  23. rikyrah says:

    GOP Looks Bellicose
    by BooMan
    Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 09:32:45 AM EST

    If you missed the Republican debate on foreign policy last night here is the transcript. I actually did watch the debate after having skipped the last two because they were unwatchable. There were a few moments that made me retch, like when criminals Ed Meese and Paul Wolfowitz were invited to ask the panel a question. But something about the location (D.C.) and the topic prevented the the Republicans from talking utter nonsense. You can’t debate these fools on anything involving math, like budgets or economics, but you can have a somewhat normal conversation with them about foreign policy.
    For the purposes of last night’s debate, immigration policy was considered foreign policy. And that was where Newt Gingrich attempted to stake out a compassionate position that would allow undocumented workers who have lived here a long-time to gain a legal status (but not citizenship). Romney and Bachmann denounced him for being pro-amnesty. Rick Perry tried to have it both ways. The immigration question will probably wind up being the most consequential for the outcome of the primaries.

    Other divisions arose. Huntsman and Romney were sharply divided over whether or not we should draw down our troops in Afghanistan. Huntsman took the president’s side in favor of a swift drawdown.

    Santorum, Gingirch, and Cain were in favor of racially profiling Muslims. Santorum went so far as to say that we are not in a war against terror, but a war against “radical Muslims.” Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman thought we should think first before we throw our own civil liberties in the trash. Romney (along with Gingrich) said that we need one system of justice for criminals and another system of justice for Muslims accused of terrorism.

    I mention these parts of the debate not because they were the only parts worth nothing, but because they involved significant disagreement. As you would expect, Ron Paul was contrary on nearly every issue, but he did agree with Rick Perry that we should zero out of foreign aid. In fact, Ron Paul said foreign aid is worthless and accomplishes nothing.

    The question on whether to attack Iran (or allow Israel to do so) also produced some variations in the Republican responses. Ron Paul was flatly opposed. Herman Cain wanted a feasibility assessment (that he presumed would argue against an attack). Newt Gingrich wanted regime change or nothing. Michele Bachmann told a bunch of lies and said we needed to Drill, Baby, Drill.

    Overall, with the exception of Mr. Paul, the Republicans present an extraordinarily bellicose foreign policy that will lead to more preemptive war, more torture, more detainees that can’t be dealt with in the criminal justice system, more erosion of our civil liberties, and more blowback. A fair assessment of President Obama’s foreign policy must conclude that it shares some of the same faults. But it’s not really a close call if you’re choosing between them. The president is winding down wars, not looking to start news ones. He’s ended torture and isn’t confused about its definition. And he’d close down Gitmo and hold trials in normal courts if Congress would let him.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    November 23, 2011 12:45 PM

    Leadership requires courage

    By Steve Benen

    Conservative columnist George Will recently slammed Mitt Romney as “a recidivist reviser of his principles,” who seems to “lack the courage of his absence of convictions.” The line continues to look more and more apt all the time.

    Last night, Newt Gingrich showed some guts and said when it comes to undocumented immigrants who entered the country a quarter-century ago, he sees no need to “separate them from their families and expel them.” Romney and his team pounced, condemning Gingrich for supporting “amnesty.”

    It led, however, to a rather remarkable exchange in the spin room, with Romney adviser and spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom finding himself at a loss for words.

    When Examiner reporter Philip Klein asked whether the former Massachusetts governor believed in deporting undocumented immigrants, Fehrnstrom repeated, “He doesn’t believe in granting them amnesty.”

    Asked again what Romney would do with immigrants who are currently living in the Unites States illegally, Fehrnstrom once more evaded the question.

    The evasion wasn’t exactly graceful. Klein asked what Romney would do with the undocumented immigrants who are already here, and Fehrnstrom replied, “He would not grant them amnesty.” Right, Klein said, but instead of amnesty, what would Romney do with these people? “He would not grant them amnesty,” Fehrnstrom answered. Got it, Klein said, but what, specifically, would Romney do? “I just told you, he’s not going to grant them amnesty,” the campaign spokesperson said. When Klein then explained that this isn’t actually an answer, Fehrnstrom, once again, said, “He would not grant them amnesty.”

    Remember, Philip Klein writes for the Washington Examiner, which is a conservative outlet. It’s not like the Romney campaign was blowing off some liberal reporter; the leading Republican campaign couldn’t get past its own superficial talking point with a conservative reporter asking a basic question.

    In this case, Romney wanted to take a shot at Gingrich over immigration, without pesky questions about what Romney believes about the same policy.

    And this ties in perfectly with one of Romney’s more glaring character flaws: his cowardice on key issues.

    Does Romney support the “Personhood” amendment in Mississippi? He doesn’t want to give an opinion.

    Does Romney support an extension of the payroll tax break? He doesn’t want to give an opinion.

    Does Romney support collective bargaining rights in Ohio? He doesn’t want to give an opinion.

    Was Romney comfortable with GOP voters booing a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq during a Republican debate? He doesn’t want to give an opinion.

    Does Romney support mass deportation of undocumented immigrants? He doesn’t want to give an opinion.

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

    Either Romney has the guts to lead or he doesn’t.

  25. dannie22 says:


    autoplay=1 please watch this video…inspiring

  26. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s Mormonism costing him support among religious RepublicansAs Newt Gingrich pulls ahead, poll shows Romney’s religion is proving to be a legitimate issue among voters

    Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs are costing him crucial support among some deeply religious Republican voters as he slips back from his former position as frontrunner in the race for the presidential nomination.

    A poll by the Pew Research Centre released on Wednesday shows that one-third of Republican voters do not regard Mormon beliefs as Christian and two-thirds say that it is a “very different” religion from their own.

    Importantly for Romney, 53% of evangelical Protestants say that Mormonism is not a Christian religion and 15% said it would make them less likely to vote for him.

    Evangelical Christians are the single largest voting bloc in the Republican party. They made up more than 40% of voters in the 2008 Republican primaries and are particularly important in states that select their candidates early in the race, such as Iowa and South Carolina.

    “Republican voters who say Mormonism is not Christian are far less likely to support Romney for the GOP nomination,” the Pew report concludes.

    The survey’s findings were released as the latest opinion polls show Romney slipping behind Newt Gingrich among Republican primary voters, suggesting that his religious beliefs could be a factor if the primary race is close.

    A Quinnipiac University poll released on Tuesday gives Gingrich 26% support among likely Republican voters, four points ahead of Romney. A CNN poll has Gingrich at 24% to Romney’s 20%.

    But the Pew survey also shows that evangelicals are prepared to put aside concerns about Romney’s faith if he is the Republican candidate against Barack Obama at next year’s presidential election.

    Christian evangelicals are among those Republicans who are most hostile to Obama. More than 90% said they would back Romney against the president – 79% of them “strongly”.

    Nearly one-quarter of those polled associated the Mormon religion with negative impressions. The most common view was that it is a cult. Mormonism was also associated with polygamy and bigamy, and viewed as restrictive. Positive views associated it with family values.

    That is having an impact on support for Romney in the Republican primaries. He has a clear lead among mainstream protestant and Catholic voters, with 26% in both categories. But that falls back to 17% among evangelicals who prefer Herman Cain and then Newt Gingrich.

    The survey shows that evangelicals who also back the Tea Party movement are more than three times as likely to support a candidate other than Romney.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Jon Kyl’s search-and-destroy mission
    Dana Milbank, Published: November 22

    Jon Kyl is different from you and me.

    In the days following Hurricane Katrina, the nation was reeling over the death and destruction in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. But Kyl, now the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, saw opportunity: According to a voice-mail recording left at the time by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Kyl and Sessions were hoping to find a business owner killed in the storm so they could use that in their campaign to repeal the estate tax.

    It was vintage Kyl: cold and ruthless.

    So when the Arizonan was named as one of six Republicans on the debt supercommittee, Democrats feared the worst — and they got what they feared. It exaggerates little to say that Kyl thwarted agreement almost singlehandedly. While some Republicans on the panel — notably Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton — were, with House Speaker John Boehner’s blessing, prepared to strike a deal, Kyl rallied resistance with his usual table-pounding tirades.

    The tragedy here is that Kyl, who has announced his retirement at the end of his term, could have risen above political pressures to strike an agreement to right the nation’s finances for a generation. Boehner’s House Republicans, aware that voters will hold them to account for inaction, were willing to deal. But Kyl’s Senate Republicans, hoping voters will evict the Democratic majority in the Senate, had no such incentive.

    The sabotage began on the very first day the supercommittee met. While other members from both parties spoke optimistically about the need to put everything on the table, Kyl gave a gloomy opening statement. “I think a dose of realism is called for here,” he said. That same day, he went to a luncheon organized by conservative think tanks and threatened to walk (“I’m off the committee”) if there were further defense cuts.

    When Democrats floated their proposal combining tax increases and spending cuts, Kyl rejected it out of hand, citing Republicans’ pledge to activist Grover Norquist not to raise taxes. Kyl’s constant invocation of the Norquist pledge provoked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to snap at Kyl during a private meeting: “What is this, high school?”

    Kyl’s defenders say his motives were pure because he had every incentive for the supercommittee to succeed: He never has to face voters again and he desperately wanted to avoid the automatic Pentagon cuts that now loom. But there’s little doubt that he was doing Norquist’s bidding in killing any notion of higher taxes.

    Norquist, who worked to defeat a compromise, brags about his control over Kyl. When Kyl made remarks in May that appeared to leave open the possibility of tax increases, Norquist called Kyl and adopted “the tone of a teacher scolding a second grader as he recalled the conversation,” Politico reported. Norquist boasted to the publication that, after he upbraided Kyl, the senator “went down on the floor and he gave a colloquy about how we’re against any tax increases of any sort. Boom!”

    While other supercommittee members on both sides searched for a grand bargain, Kyl countered with suggestions that they focus on small items, such as selling off federal property. On Monday, when Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) made his last-ditch effort to salvage a deal, observers knew the effort was going nowhere for one simple reason: Kyl was in the room. He divided his time between the “negotiations” and barbed interviews with TV networks: “Can I make a point? . . . Your job isn’t to convince me. . . . Let me make this point to you. . . . Let me just finish my sentence.”

    Kyl had demonstrated his distaste for negotiation before. In June, he joined House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in walking out of budget talks with Vice President Biden. He had also displayed his disdain for fellow Republicans who were willing to negotiate. During the health-care debate, when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was negotiating with Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, Kyl went on TV and said Grassley “has been given no authority to negotiate anything.” Amid hints that GOP leaders might punish Grassley by denying him the top Republican slot on the Judiciary Committee, Grassley reportedly told colleagues: “Maybe I should just go home and ride my tractor.”

    “Walking napalm” is how one Democratic aide involved in the supercommittee described Kyl this week. And if the senator makes some mistakes as he burns down the village — well, that’s just a cost of doing business. Earlier this year, when Kyl was leading an effort to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, he claimed on the Senate floor that abortion is “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” The actual number is 3 percent. An aide to Kyl explained: “His remark was not intended to be a factual statement.”

    As Kyl leaves the Senate, he will be remembered as a lawmaker who intended to be not factual but destructive.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Quote For The Day

    “I’ve never seen anything quite like what Newt did. We’ve had plenty of political figures who’ve come out and done a lot of speaking at high rates, done some consulting, gone into lobbying, and made lots of money. But nobody that I’ve ever seen has come close to building the type of complicated web that Newt did and parlaying it into apparently as much incredible money as he did,” – Norm Ornstein, AEI.

    Newt is nothing but a GRIFTER.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Why Obama Still Matters, Ctd

    A reader provides a superb counterpoint to yesterday’s liberal dissenters:

    Thank you so much for writing such an eloquent defense of Obama. I’m a black attorney in my mid-20s and I’m very gainfully employed at a big law firm. My parents grew up in poverty, raised themselves to the middle class and then sacrificed so that I could go to elite schools for my entire life with the hopes that I will do better than them one day. Things are good for me mostly, but times are tough for a majority of my friends. My minority friends and I are very happy with the president and take attacks on him very personally. To the first point, we are happy because it seems that minorities, unlike the liberal white students I went to school with, had reasonable expectations. We knew that Obama could only do but so much in the face of the opposition he has to deal with and we are happy with what he has achieved.

    And not to be too racial about this, but myself and a lot of my minority friends sense that white liberals’ disappointment from Obama comes from a sense of entitlement.

    Unlike affluent white liberals, minorities in this country seem to have a better grasp of a key truth in life: you don’t always get everything you want. We know, if not firsthand then from the stories of our parents, that America isn’t always a nice place, and all you can hope for is incremental change. Unlike a lot of our affluent white liberal friends, we are used to not getting it all and have learned to live with it.

    To the second point, the way Obama is attacked hurts us personally because so many of us see ourselves in the president. We are middle-class black and Hispanic kids who did all the right things. Worked hard. Went to elite schools. Got the right jobs. We did what conservatives often accuse blacks of not doing. We pulled ourselves up.

    And then what? We are torn down, doubted by our white coworkers and called affirmative action phonies by our white supervisors. We see it in the workplace in a thousand different subtle ways. We are held to a different standard. So when we see the best of us, a man who has independently climbed to the top of the American meritocracy, be attacked in such unreasonable and personal ways, we take it hard. If the editor of the Harvard Law Review can’t be accepted as competent in this country, then how can we?

    But again, we still ‘know hope’ because we know how the world works. We know how America is. We hold onto incremental progress and don’t fixate on what hasn’t been achieved. We’ve done it for 400 years. We’ll keep doing it because this is home and we don’t have any other choice.

    The above video, uploaded a few years ago, is making the rounds again. The following comment from “Irish Eyes Are Smiling” posted on The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s site, illustrates our reader’s email on many levels:

    my question is – Why was Barak [sic] Obama, a nobody, selected to give this Black History Month moment? Usually someone who is known is selected. He hadn’t run for office yet, all he had done was graduate from Yale [sic]. So who recommended him for this and why was HE selected? That is the point I think Glen [sic] is trying to make and I ask the same question. Who was working behind the scenes. Who paid for his college expenses?

  30. rikyrah says:

    Why Huntsman Polls Poorly
    Jamelle Bouie’s theory:

    Huntsman’s problem, aside from serving as the administration’s ambassador to China, is that he doesn’t seem to hate Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular. His rhetoric is of someone who disagrees with the president, but doesn’t doubt his commitment to improving the country. Unfortunately for Huntsman, this runs counter to nearly every bit of conservative rhetoric over the last three years. If the current GOP were a party which didn’t reward personal animus toward the president, then Huntsman would probably be in a much better position.

  31. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 11:00 AM

    Credibility still matters

    By Steve Benen

    On Monday, National Journal’s Ron Fournier had a piece blaming all of the relevant players — Democrats, Republicans, and President Obama — for the failure of super-committee process. Fournier’s article generated quite a bit of criticism from, among others, me.

    The problem with his analysis is that Fournier drew false equivalencies, and brushed past key details, in order to push the same, tired line: “both sides” are always to blame for everything, even when the facts show otherwise.

    Yesterday, Fournier initially responded by pointing to a Reuters poll that, apparently, he thought bolstered his observation. Putting aside why public opinion matters in a case like this — I’d hoped we were talking about facts, not perceptions of facts — Greg Sargent takes a closer look at the data Fournier recommended

    Fournier’s Tweet links to this Reuters poll finding that 19 percent blame Dem and GOP lawmakers and 22 percent blame both parties and Obama for the supercommittee failure. But here’s the funny part: The same poll also finds that a plurality — 35 percent — favored a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts to close the deficit, which is to say, they favored the Democratic position. Multiple polls have found that majorities prefer this course of action, too.

    Yet now that the supercommittee has failed, Fourier points with satisfaction to the fact that Americans seem prepared to throw up their hands and blame everyone involved — even though one party was advocating roughly for what they wanted, and the other refused to entertain it at all costs. You’d think this would lead folks like Fournier to consider at least the possibility that voters are not getting adequately informed by our media as to what is really happening in Washington, rather than see it as a sign of what an unimpeachably perfect job they’re doing. I’m not sure anything could capture what this is all about as perfectly as Fourier’s response has done.

    But wait, there’s more. Fournier added another item this morning, and this time, he moved the goal posts.

    On issues as important as the fiscal health of the nation, it’s not good enough to be less wrong than the other team. What matters is results, and Washington hasn’t produced them. Not the Congress. Not the president. Nobody.

    Hmm. On Monday, Fournier argued that what matters is that everyone is equally to blame. On Wednesday, Fournier argued that who’s actually responsible is no longer that important.

    But even here, I’m afraid Fournier is still off-base. Of course results matter, as does the fiscal health of the nation. But the larger point is that it’s worth understanding why results have been elusive. Even if we put aside whether debt reduction is a worthwhile goal right now — I believe prioritizing the debt over the economy is a tragic mistake — there are key questions that matter.

    Which side of the political divide is producing credible debt-reduction plans? Who’s shown a willingness to make important concessions? Who wants to compromise? Who has credibility in this debate?

    Fournier’s initial response was that everyone is equally to blame. Once that was proven false, Fournier switched gears, and said results, not who’s standing in the way of results, matters most.

    It appears both cases are mistaken.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 11/22/2011
    Cain and the black vote: wishful thinking
    By Jonathan Capehart

    Herman Cain is at it again, making bold pronouncements that fly in the face of actual evidence to the contrary. This time in a seven-page mailer to Iowa Republicans, the flagging Republican front-runner lists a few reasons why he says he can win the GOP nomination for president, including this jaw-dropper: As “a descendant of slaves I can lead the Republican party to victory by garnering a large share of the black vote, something that has not been done since Dwight Eisenhower garnered 41 percent of the black vote in 1956.”

    Okay, um, wooo . . . 8, 9, 10.

    It’s that kind of delusional talk that reinforces the image I conjured up last week of Cain running for president of the Land of Make-Believe. Only there could he hope to surpass, let alone replicate, President Eisenhower’s remarkable (by today’s standards) electoral success with African Americans.

    Keep something in mind about that 41 percent of blacks who cast a vote for Eisenhower. That’s 41 percent of blacks who COULD vote in 1956. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 did away with the discriminatory laws that blocked many African Americans from exercising their right to vote.

    And then there’s this. On Sunday, The Post’s Chris Cillizza (a.k.a. The Fix) penned an article about how “President Obama’s base of support remains solid heading into 2012.” Here are the three paragraphs that punch holes in Cain’s argument that he “can lead the Republican party to victory” with a large share of black votes.

    At the heart of the president’s enduring strength among his base are African Americans who have never wavered in any meaningful way after 95 percent of black voters opted for the Illinois senator in 2008.
    In Gallup’s latest weekly tracking polling, Obama’s job approval rating stands at 43 percent among the general public but is nearly double that — 84 percent —among African Americans. In the November NBC-WSJ poll, Obama’s approval rating among black voters stood at a stratospheric 91 percent.
    Given that African Americans made up 13 percent of the overall electorate in 2008 — and, hence, a much larger chunk of the Democratic base vote — Obama’s continued support among that key demographic makes any sort of widespread base erosion in 2012 unlikely.

    Unlikely. Just like the Cain “campaign’s” chance of success — at winning the nomination or winning the White House.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Racial Politics Did In the Super Committee
    RightWatch: The deal was doomed by the GOP’s desire to embarrass Obama and manipulate white voters
    By: Jack White
    Posted: November 23, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    The highly anticipated, totally predictable failure of Congress’ so-called super committee is but the latest highly anticipated, totally predictable failure of our political system to address America’s economic crisis. And though many analysts will strive for a balanced assessment of who is to blame, there really is only one villain: fanatical right-wingers so determined to bring down the nation’s first black president that they are willing to bring down the country in the process.

    There, I said it. The opposition to Barack Obama is, was and will be shaped by anti-black bigotry. It’s not the only reason that conservatives oppose him. They have legitimate bones to pick with him about America’s role in the world, fixing the broken economy and a host of other issues, including taxes and health care reform.

    They may not even be aware of their prejudices. But it’s there, influencing their every move. I think it’s the main reason our politics have become so polarized and why it is so hard for our government to achieve consensus.

    As Thomas B. Edsall wrote on Monday in the New York Times, “Republicans running for the House and the Senate defiantly calculated that they could win in 2010 with a surge of white voters, affirming the Republican role as the default party of white America.” He reports that “the percentage of non-Hispanic whites voting for Republican House candidates in 2010, 62 percent, set a record for off-year contests, beating even the 1994 Republican rout when Republicans got 58 percent of the white vote.”

    Such results are no accident. Edsall notes that while GOP candidates rarely employ explicit racial appeals, they often cloak the same message in heated anti-immigrant rhetoric. They tweak the deep-seated fears of those who believe that their precarious economic circumstances could be cured if only they could take back the country from the mysterious, dark-skinned hordes who have been sneaking across the border and even into the Oval Office.

    It’s no coincidence that so-called Birtherism, which contends that Obama is not just black but also an illegal alien, remains so potent among the lunatic fringe that Texas Gov. Rick Perry tried to use it to restart his nearly defunct presidential campaign.

  34. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 10:15 AM

    Remember, he’s supposed to be the smart one
    By Steve Benen

    In last night’s debate, AEI’s Katherine Zimmerman asked a perfectly good question:

    “The United States adopted a policy of disengagement with Somalia after its retreat following Black Hawk down. Today, an al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabab, controls significant territory in that country.

    “What can the United States do to prevent Al Shabab from posing the same threat that al Qaeda did from Afghanistan 10 years ago?”

    After Ron Paul took a crack at it, Wolf Blitzer asked Mitt Romney for his response. Here’s what Romney said:

    “President Obama’s foreign policy is one of saying, first of all, America’s just another nation with a flag.

    “I believe America is an exceptional and unique nation. President Obama feels that we’re going to be a nation which has multipolar balancing militaries. I believe that American military superiority is the right course. President Obama says that we have people throughout the world with common interests. I just don’t agree with him. I think there are people in the world that want to oppress other people, that are evil.

    “President Obama seems to think that we’re going to have a global century, an Asian century. I believe we have to have an American century, where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

    “President Obama apologizes for America. It is time for us to be strong as a nation. And if we are strong, with a military and economy that are so strong, no one in the world will try and attempt to threaten us or to attack our friends.”

    Is there any reason to think Romney has any idea what he’s talking about?

    The question, which Romney presumably heard, was about Al Shabab in Somalia, and what the U.S. might do to address this potential threat. I realize this is a relatively sophisticated question, but the former governor’s response was to attack President Obama’s patriotism.

    Worse, Romney continues to throw around the “apologize for America” garbage that’s plainly untrue.

    And in the larger context, it’s the latest in a series of examples that suggest Romney is about as dumb when it comes to foreign policy as Herman Cain and Rick Perry, but he just fakes intelligence slightly more effectively.

    Romney’s take on Iran is gibberish. His call for a trade war with China is hopelessly insane. He’s under the false impression that there are “insurgents” in Iran.

    Worse, Romney keeps failing these tests. Remember the time Romney told ABC News he would “set a deadline for bringing the troops home” from Iraq — but only if it’s a secret deadline? How about the time Romney, more than four years into the war in Iraq, said it’s “entirely possible” that Saddam Hussein hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria prior to the 2003 invasion? Or the time Romney pretended “Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood” were all the same thing? How about my personal favorite: the time Romney made the bizarre assertion that IAEA weapons inspectors were not allowed entry into Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?

    More recently, Romney tried to trash the New START nuclear treaty in an op-ed, prompting Fred Kaplan to respond, “In 35 years of following debates over nuclear arms control, I have never seen anything quite as shabby, misleading and — let’s not mince words — thoroughly ignorant as Mitt Romney’s attack on the New START treaty.”

    None of this may matter much to voters, whose attention is focused on the economy, but for voters who take foreign policy seriously, Mitt Romney is a bit of a joke.

  35. Sharpton Lean Forward

  36. Talking Points Memo:

    Yemeni president signs transfer of power deal:

  37. lockewasright says:

    I’ve just discovered a youtube channel called “Old Jews Telling Jokes”. Jackpot!!!!

  38. THE L WORD
    How The Media Failed In Covering A Dishonest Campaign Ad

    GOP 2012 contender Mitt Romney’s recent ad has gotten a ton of attention from the press because it contains a brief clip of President Barack Obama saying these words, consecutively, in order: “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” BOOM! What a clip, right? Why did Barack Obama say such a thing in public? Oh, that’s right, he said those words consecutively and in order because back in 2008, an aide to John McCain said those words consecutively and in order, and Obama quoted that aide to use the words against McCain — whose campaign, if you recall, did not exactly handle the 2008 economic collapse all that well.

  39. Ametia says:

    Nov 22, 2011 11:00pm
    J.R. Martinez Wins ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 13

    Actor J.R. Martinez won the mirror ball trophy on “Dancing With the Stars” tonight during a surprising finale in which the top-scoring Ricki Lake failed to advance to the top two.

    “Thank you America for believing in us,” he said, and turning to his partner, Karina Smirnoff, added: “You are amazing.”

  40. Ametia says:

    Obama effigy burned by right-wing students in UK
    updated 3 minutes ago

    ‘Burning an effigy of anyone is offensive, let alone the first black President of the United States. The overtones are deeply unpleasant,’ lawmaker says

    An effigy of Barack Obama was burned by members of a Conservative party college student association in Scotland, after its committee chose the U.S. president over the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, a student official told

    – snip –

    A source told that a number of the committee members were Americans who support the Republican party.

    St. Andrews University, which was founded in 1413 and was attended by third-in-line to the throne Prince William, said it planned to speak to the Conservative group about the “very understandable concerns” over the incident.

    In a telephone interview, Patrick O’Hare, a student official, said the Students’ Representative Council had voted by 13 to 2 Tuesday night in favor of a motion that burning effigies of public figures was not constructive.

    Read more:

  41. Ametia says:

    Malia and Sasha are BEAUTIFUL…..

  42. They Call The Thing Rodeo

  43. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone Happy HUMP day! Getting ready to hit the road for the holidays in a few. Have a great one. :-)

  44. rikyrah says:

    Dem strategist accuses Romney of invoking Rev. Wright in new ad
    By Justin Sink – 11/23/11 08:54 AM ET

    Democratic strategist Tad Devine, an adviser to Al Gore and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns, accused Mitt Romney’s campaign of invoking controversial pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a recent ad.

    Devine said Wednesday that he was “shocked” to see what he believed to be imagery of an African-American church in an ad released Tuesday by Romney’s presidential team and airing in New Hampshire. The ad, Romney’s first of the campaign, is “clearly an attempt to bring back Rev. Wright and race,” Devine tweeted.

    In the ad, a series of images including those of a foreclosed home and empty businesses flash by as text criticizes President Obama’s economic record. But at two points, the imagery cuts to well-dressed African-American women walking down a large hallway, and pans over a predominantly black audience.

    Devine believes that these images were selected intentionally to invoke the Jeremiah Wright controversy.

    “I was really surprised and even shocked to see a “flash” scene in the new Romney ad that depicts an African American church congregation (eerily reminiscent of Rev Wright),” Devine said in a post to his Facebook page early Wednesday. “They are obviously trying to raise the race issue through the backdoor. Maybe they are worried about how poorly Romney is doing in South Carolina.”

  45. rikyrah says:

    Report: Children’s agency opens cases

    The Pennsylvania state department of Children and Youth Services has opened an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported Tuesday.

    The two cases, which were reported within the last two months and are separate from the ongoing police investigation, would be the first to involve persons under the age of 18, the newspaper reported.

    The other publicly known cases against Sandusky involve adults coming forward with allegations, according to the report. In Pennsylvania, adult allegations of abuse are handled by police, even if they occured when the accuser was a child; CYS’ involvement is triggered when allegations involve children younger than 18.

    Sandusky has been accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. He has maintained he is innocent of the charges.

    The scandal resulted in the Penn State board of trustees dismissing longtime football coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier, saying the men failed to act after a graduate assistant claimed he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a campus shower in 2002.

    It also led to charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse and perjury before a grand jury against athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz. Both men have said they are innocent of the charges.

    In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, said that if prosecutors bring new charges based on any additional accusers, he fears Sandusky’s bail could be revoked and he could be jailed.

    It was not clear if Amendola was speaking generally or if he was referring to the CYS investigation, which had not yet been reported at the time of the interview.

    However, Amendola said Sandusky could not have committed the most serious of the charges — repeated sexual contact at his home — because he was never alone with the boys in his home.

    ” … This was a house. And the house was filled with people,” Amendola told ABC News. “And Jerry, by the way, had six adopted kids and three foster kids.”

    Sandusky’s preliminary hearing was rescheduled Tuesday for Dec. 13 in Bellefonte, Pa. At the hearing, prosecutors will try to show that they have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

    Sandusky is free on $100,000 unsecured bail, which would be paid only if he fails to show up for court.

  46. President Obama Pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey

    November 23, 2011 10:30 AM EST

  47. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 9:40 AM

    Racial profiling and its euphemisms

    By Steve Benen

    The issue of racial profiling came up in last night’s debate, so let’s take a moment to refresh memories on why this is misguided.

    SANTORUM: [O]f course, Abraham Lincoln ran right over civil rights. Why? Because we had a present domestic threat. In the previous wars that we’ve had, we haven’t had this type of threat that we have here in the homeland. And we have to deal with it differently. […] BLITZER: So just to be precise, is it ethnic profiling, religious profiling? Who would be profiled?

    SANTORUM: Well, the folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes. If you look at — I mean, obviously, it was — obviously, Muslims would be — would be someone you’d look at, absolutely. Those are the folks who are — the radical Muslims are the people that are committing these crimes, as we’ve — by and large, as well as younger males. I mean, these are things that — not exclusively — but these are things that you profile to — to find your best — the most likely candidate.

    Herman Cain argued along the same lines, calling for “targeted identification.”

    CAIN: We can do — we can do — targeted identification. If you take a look at the people who are trying to kill us, it would be easy to figure out exactly what that identification profile looks like.

    This argument hasn’t come up in a while, and in case anyone’s forgotten, the line espoused by Santorum and Cain is nonsense.

    Indeed, Ron Paul, to his credit, got this just right: “That’s digging a hole for ourselves. What if they look like Timothy McVeigh?”

    Right. It’s not at all “easy” to know what a terrorist “looks like.” Some may conclude that anyone with skin darker than a manila envelope should be considered possibly dangerous — and I have no idea how Santorum would recommend telling the difference between Muslim and non-Muslim airline travelers — but using bigotry as the basis for a security policy is not only offensive, it doesn’t work, either.

    As Adam Serwer explained a while back, “[R]acial profiling isn’t any more effective than random screening. So rather than making anyone safer, you’re just alienating the communities a former CIA analyst and chief of intelligence analysis for the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration has said are themselves ‘the only way’ to really counter domestic radicalization.”

  48. rikyrah says:

    November 22, 2011 3:50 PM

    ‘That’s his voice’

    By Steve Benen

    I really didn’t intend to return to the subject, but the latest defense from the Romney campaign for its transparent lying is too extraordinary to overlook.

    To briefly recap, Mitt Romney’s very first television ad of the 2012 campaign pushes a blatant, shameless lie. In 2008, a month before the president was elected, then-candidate Obama 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 part of the quote: “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”

    It’s a cheap, deceitful move, suggesting Romney wants to get his general-election strategy off to as dishonorable a start as possible. And what’s the Republican campaign’s response? It’s a doozy.

    Romney senior New Hampshire adviser Tom Rath tells CBS News the ad is “exactly what we want.” […]

    Pressed on whether it was unfair to lop off the top of Mr. Obama’s comments — which would show the president was quoting the McCain camp — Rath said, “He did say the words. That’s his voice.”

    There’s no way around this — the argument is just blisteringly stupid. Yes, Obama said those words, and yes, that’s the president’s voice, but the whole point of the controversy is that Romney wrenched the words from context, changing the meaning and deceiving the public.

    It’s why ThinkProgress put together a video of Romney saying all kinds of interesting things, which, when taken out of context, show the former governor calling for higher taxes, insisting that there’s nothing unique about the United States, arguing that government knows better than free people, and rejecting the very idea of fiscal responsibility.

    In each instance, to use Tom Rath’s reasoning, Romney “did say the words,” and that is Romney’s “voice.”

    ABC News’ Jake Tapper said of Romney’s ad, “[I]t’s not just misleading. It’s TV-station-refuse-to-air-it-misleading.”

    Agreed. Romney’s willingness to lie to voters raises important questions about his integrity, but the question now becomes whether television stations will participate in the lie by airing a spot that’s proven to be deceptive.

    • Romney’s willingness to lie to voters raises important questions about his integrity, but the question now becomes whether television stations will participate in the lie by airing a spot that’s proven to be deceptive.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011
    As Uneven As It Comes
    Posted by Zandar

    America’s neighborhoods don’t get any more unequal on the income scale than just across the river in Cincy’s Over-The-Rhine, and the numbers bear it out in the city’s efforts to gentrify the neighborhood in Census Tract 17.

    So while two-thirds of Tract 17’s 321 households earn less than $10,000 a year and are mired in poverty, a push to gentrify the area has brought a wider mix of incomes to the small neighborhood just outside the downtown business district. Nearly 6 percent of residents there now earn between $25,000 and $49,999. Three percent make $100,000 to $149,999, and yet another 3 percent take in $200,000 or more.

    The rare diversity of earnings in Tract 17 caused it to have the nation’s most unequal neighborhood income distribution, according to the Census Bureau. And oddly enough, city leaders are striving for that kind of income integration throughout Over-the-Rhine.

    Since 2004, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., a private, nonprofit development group known as “3CDC,” has built 200 condominiums, 70 rental units and 100,000 square feet of commercial space in Over-the-Rhine as part of a massive public-private effort to rejuvenate the city’s oldest neighborhood.

    Its development work stops at the southern border of Tract 17, but the spillover effects are being felt there and throughout the area. Young, middle-class professionals, attracted by the new housing, proximity to downtown workplaces and an energized central entertainment district, have been moving into Over-the-Rhine in increasing numbers.

    These mostly white urban homesteaders are providing the income boost that will stabilize the area’s tax base and attract more retailers to the mostly black, mostly poor neighborhood that takes its name from German immigrants who settled there in the 1800s.

    But Over-the-Rhine’s economic renaissance has created some ill will. As 3CDC razes and renovates more buildings, hundreds of longtime residents have been displaced to make way for development. Those who stay fear that they’ll be priced out as their neighborhood goes from sketchy to chic.

    On the one hand, turning OTR into Cincy’s Soho has some considerable benefits. On the other hand, it’s getting rid of a fair amount of low-cost housing in favor of turning the place into hipster central. There are some really nice shops and place in OTR these days, but there’s also a lot of problems still in the neighborhood. I’m hoping the new City Council will help to make sure that it’s a win-win situation for existing residents and the new influx of people.

    3CDC’s latest project in OTR is Mercer Commons, a $54 million condo renovation which is currently drawing a lot of fire from both the city’s historic preservation groups and from community leaders. The commission has the final say regardless of what concerns critics may raise, and they want to get going on the project ASAP before some $9 million in federal and state funding is lost. I understand this means jobs, a larger tax base, and further community reinvestment: exactly what I’ve been saying Cincinnati and cities across the country need right now.

    I just worry about who’s going to be around to benefit from it. The Census numbers do raise something of a concern, I’d think.

  50. rikyrah says:

    November 23, 2011 8:35 AM

    Will being ‘humane’ cost Gingrich?
    By Steve Benen

    Opinions vary as to what, exactly, caused Rick Perry’s precipitous fall from “frontrunner” to “struggling second-tier afterthought,” but I’d argue the collapse was the result of one fleeting moment of sanity from the Texas governor. In September, Perry endorsed a sensible immigration policy, suggested his opponents don’t “have a heart,” and immediately saw his support plummet.

    The key takeaway from this is that immigration remains fairly radioactive in Republican politics. With that in mind, as John Dickerson explained this morning, Newt Gingrich took a major risk in last night’s debate.

    At the CNN national security debate on Tuesday, the former speaker said that he would not be in favor of kicking out illegal immigrant families that had been in the country for a long time. “The party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century?” he said. “I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, ‘Let’s be humane in enforcing the law.’” […]

    After the debate Gingrich stuck to his position on immigration, the broader shape of which is based on a “red card” program put forward by the Krieble Foundation. “Millions will go home,” he said after the debate, “but there will be millions who will be staying.” He said no one should kid themselves about the unworkability of deporting 11 million people. He also made his case on the grounds of simple human kindness. This, almost exactly, was Ronald Reagan’s position. In a 1984 debate with Walter Mondale, the Republican icon said: “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.”

    Of course, by 2011 standards, Republicans consider Reagan a borderline-socialist sell-out, so it’s not as if Gingrich can rely on Ronaldus Magnus for cover. Indeed, Michele Bachmann immediately went on the offensive, as did Mitt Romney and his campaign.

    As is often the case, Romney’s team was pressed on what policy, exactly, the former Massachusetts governor would prefer as an alternative to Gingrich’s “humane” approach, but the Romney campaign struggled to answer.

    Regardless, how big a problem is this for Gingrich? Time will tell, of course, but I’d be surprised if we saw a Perry-like collapse. For one thing, Gingrich simply explained his position more effectively than the Texas governor did, and didn’t condemn those who disagreed. For another, there are subtle-but-significant policy differences between Gingrich’s approach and Perry’s.

    But there’s also the fact that the campaign is simply in a different phase than it was in September, and the shrinking calendar is likely to affect the party’s reaction. Not only are there no other viable non-Romney candidates for anti-immigrant candidates to flock to, but this is about the time voters are more likely to weigh general-election electability considerations.

    Still, there’s no denying Gingrich gambled by saying something reasonable, especially since Iowa will be so important to his campaign and anti-immigrant animus runs strong among Hawkeye State Republicans. It’s worth keeping a close eye on this.

  51. rikyrah says:

    11-23-2011 8:29 AM

    Thune Endorses Romney
    Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on Wednesday endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

    “Mitt Romney has shown throughout his life in the private sector, as leader of the Olympics, as governor, and in this campaign that he will not back down from difficult challenges,” Thune said in a statement. He pointed to Romney’s 25 years of business experience and “commonsense principles” as enormous assets for the candidate.

    “I am honored to have Senator Thune’s support,” Romney said in a statement. He went on to say that Thune “will be a trusted voice” as he attempts to bring his “message to voters, work to reverse President Obama’s failed policies, and reform Washington.”

  52. rikyrah says:

    Newt’s Gift to Obama
    By Marc Ambinder
    November 23, 2011

    During last night’s debate, Newt Gingrich moved in a direction that is decidedly orthogonal to the party’s conservative base on immigration. Whether Newt stays in his new position is to-be-determined. But if he does, it might produce from the probable Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, the type of reaction that President Obama’s campaign advisers would relish.

    Said Gingrich:

    “I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families and expel them.

    The party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families who have been here a quarter century. I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.”

    This show of “humane” feeling from the Speaker will be the talk of the cablers today. It’s no secret that the media establishment finds the prospect of deporting 11 million illegal immigrants to be horrifying, and tends to reward politicians who move toward this default position. It’s kind of funny for Newt to be praised by the journalists he often criticizes, but that’s secondary.

    Mitt Romney reacted furiously to Gingrich’s words. That very policy, he said, was a magnet for illegal immigrants. It was amnesty and Romney was against it.

    “… we have had in the past programs that said people who come here illegally will get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that will only encourage more people to come here illegally.”

    “… to say that we’re going to say to the people that came here illegally that now you’re all going to get to stay or some large number are going to get to stay and become permanent residents of the united states, that will only encourage more people to do the same thing.”

    Cue the DNC. I am not generally a fan of web videos produced by national party committees because they rarely escape the boundaries of the Beltway, but this one is a sign of what Gingrich’s policy decision means for the general election. Quite simply, it could move Romney to the right, to a place where college-educated white voters question whether he is compassionate enough. Immigration is one of those suburban signal issues. George W. Bush was on the right side of it, as was John McCain, as was Bob Dole — indeed, as were George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. It goes without saying that the DNC is also targeting Hispanics themselves.

    Brad Woodhouse, the DNC’s communications chief, says in an e-mail that “Mitt Romney’s extreme anti-immigrant views were on clear display. Romney once again went to the right of every other Republican presidential candidate, refusing to agree with others on the stage that tearing apart families is wrong or that we shouldn’t implement an extreme and inhumane immigration policy.”

    OK. Now, whether you agree with Gingrich or Romney, recognize that the DNC and the Obama campaign now has a new incentive to see Newt Gingrich become the true face of the GOP anti-establishment opposition to Romney, as ironic as that last phrase is. If Gingrich and Romney publicly argue over immigration, the DNC and Obama 2012 will do everything they can to reproduce this debate before college-educated white voters in Virginia, North Carolina, the Rust Belt and elsewhere. It’s a perfect time, because the national electorate is starting to wake up and pay attention to the race. Now is the time when Mitt Romney, the guy who Chicago expects will be the nominee, is at his most tender, most doughy, and most mold-able.

  53. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011
    Through A Teleprompter, Dorkly
    Posted by Zandar
    At this point we’ve taken a right turn at the evil mirror universe and ended up in the really, really sad reality where a major party “frontrunner” is lying about their own name.

    Responding to Wolf Blitzer’s own self-introduction — in which Wolf said “and yes, that is my real name” — Romney began: “I’m Mitt Romney — and yes Wolf, that’s also my first name.”

    Except Romney’s first name is “Willard,” and “Mitt” is his middle name.

    Franz Kafka would have cracked by now, Francis Bacon would have run from the room screaming, and I’m pretty sure Oscar Wilde would have chewed off his own leg after just three of these debates. Makes me feel pretty good about my being able to continue to stomach the Abyss here, but it’s not just staring back, it has position papers written by Cthulhu.

    It’s enough to drive a man mad.

  54. The Washington Post:

    Obama set to pardon two national turkeys:

  55. Mitt Romney on Immigration: Dishonest. To the Extreme

  56. President Barack Obama greets members of the audience after delivering remarks on the American Jobs Act at Manchester Central High School, Manchester, N.H., Nov. 22, 2011

  57. Judge Who Viciously Beat Daughter On Camera Suspended

    McALLEN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court has suspended a judge whose beating of his then-teenage daughter in 2004 was viewed millions of times on the Internet.

    According to an order signed Tuesday by the clerk of the state’s highest court, Aransas County court-at-law Judge William Adams is suspended immediately with pay pending the outcome of the inquiry started by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct earlier this month.

    The order makes clear that while Adams agreed to the commission’s recommended temporary suspension and waived the hearing and notice requirements, he does not admit “guilt, fault or wrongdoing” regarding the allegations. His attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

  58. Good Morning, Ametia, Rikyrah, 3 Chics, Friends & Visitors

    Cowboy take me away Pictures, Images and Photos

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