Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | “The Police” Week!

Happy MUN- dane, Everyone!  It’s The “PO PO” week; enjoy.   Loves me some STING

Wiki: The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the vast majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitars) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, was number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and sold over 8,000,000 copies in the US. The group finally disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008. The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and were the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, thanks to their reunion tour.[1]

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88 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | “The Police” Week!

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Open Thread - Jack & Jill Politics

  2. Mitt Romney: Deceiving New Hampshire, Deceiving America

  3. Obama campaign makes first, “tiny” ad buy

    The Obama campaign has made its first ad buy, albeit a “tiny” one.

    A senior Obama 2012 campaign aide says the buy is intended more as a test to see if people will sign up with the campaign than as a full-blown television spot.

    Two different ads, part of the same ad buy, will air nationally on satellite.

    The ads are after the jump.

    First ad:

    I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message. I need you to do me a favor – it’ll only take a minute. The 2012 campaign is underway, and the outcome will depend not on what I do, but on what you do. Starting right now, call the number on your screen or visit to help build our campaign in your community. It’s up to you to fight for the values we all share. Don’t sit this one out.

    Second ad:

    It starts with one person making a decision — that things need to change, and they’re going to help change them. That person finds another person who shares their values. They go out and find a few more — and before long, neighborhoods come together. Communities organize. A movement builds. It all starts with you, making a decision to get involved — because we’ve got so much more to do. Call the number on your screen or visit to let me know you’re in.

  4. rikyrah says:

    33 PM
    Why Gingrich Might Win Iowa

    J. Ann Selzer, who has been polling Iowa for decades, discusses the difficulty of predicting the Iowa caucuses. Things can turn – and often have – within a few days of the final vote. Of interest:

    In our Bloomberg poll we had an analysis of how many people had been contacted by each of the campaigns. Ron Paul was first, followed by Michele Bachmann. And the secondary analysis was to say, OK, if you’ve been touched by that campaign, who’s your first choice? So we could kind of look and see the effectiveness of those touches. Santorum goes from 3 percent to 6 percent among people his campaign has touched, and that’s double, but if you’re a small number it’s easy to double it. Michele Bachmann gets a one-point lift [among voters her campaign has contacted]. It’s not doing her any good.

    Who gets the lift is Gingrich. His campaign contact number is high 20s, low 30 percent. But he gets 32 percent first-choice votes among people his campaign has contacted. That’s almost double the 17 percent he gets overall in the poll. That number is a very strong number for him. What [voters] have seen of him they liked, and what they have seen of other candidates didn’t impress.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why Americans Don’t Like Pop

    A reader writes:

    We don’t like pop because we’re black … sort of. At least culturally. Think of the major American-born music forms:

    Jazz? Comes from the blues.

    Rock n’ roll? Just rhythm n’ blues, played by white kids. From the blues.

    Country? Yup …

    … originally “country blues,” to distinguish it from “city blues.” Eventually became a new thing, with guitars from Hawaii, fiddles from Ireland, etc. Jimmy Rodgers, Asa Carter, Johnny Cash – all learned from black guys how to play their music.

    Bluegrass? Good god, man, where’s the banjo from?!

    The first American popular music was minstrelsy, literally white guys “blacking up” to play “plantation songs.”

    We don’t like pop because it has no blues in it, no gospel, no CHURCH. It sounds flaky and unserious. It doesn’t speak to that part of our souls named “Africa.” So we sit patiently through “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” waiting eagerly for “Back in the USSR” …

    • Bluegrass? Good god, man, where’s the banjo from?!

      Posted about the banjo last week during the Country music series..

      November 24, 2011 at 12:13 am
      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.

  6. rikyrah says:

    found this comment about Willard over at BooMan Tribune:

    Re: Don’t Overthink This Election (none / 0)
    More and more I am realizing that Romney should be easy to beat as well, especially in a bad economy. He’s that MBA guy that took over the company, outsourced everything, laid off most of the workers, put the company into bankruptcy and looted the pension fund in the process. And then he parachutes out with millions. Everybody knows that guy. And nobody trusts him except his country club friends.

    Bring on the Class Warfare.
    by RandyH on Mon Nov 28th, 2011 at 07:07:44 PM EST

  7. Ametia says:

    Rachel Maddow is whooping Pawlenty’s AZZ tonight BWA HA HA HA

    Tim Paw has been yapping about Maddow not haviing him on her show. She showed clips of him talking smack, and she invited him on her show, even left messages. and that MOFO ain’t showing up on MSNBC.

  8. Ametia says:

    Divided moderates will be conquered
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: November 27

    The deficit that should most worry us is a deficit of reasonableness. The problems the United States confronts are large but not insoluble. Yet sensible solutions that are broadly popular can’t be enacted.
    Why? Because an ideological bloc that sees every crisis as an opportunity to reduce the size of government holds enough power in Congress to stop us from doing what needs to be done.

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Race-IQ ‘Blackout’
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Nov 28 2011, 9:00 AM ET 238

    Andrew asserts that “pc egalitarianism” is strangling research into IQ. To buttress this observation he points to a piece in Alternet that basically asserts the same. The piece contains no numbers to back up the claim, and quotes only one scientist to evidence this scourge of manners. I’ve received a few inquiries asking for my response to this in particular, and to Andrew’s obsession with race and IQ in general.

    My response is that I know very little about the field, and would struggle to even define a phrase like “standard deviation.” I don’t avoid race and IQ out of politeness to Andrew; I avoid it because I have a bias toward knowing what I’m talking about.

    With that said, Andrew’s ahistorical approach to race and intelligence has always amazed. The contention, for instance, that “research is not about helping people; it’s about finding out stuff,” may well be true in some limited sense. But it’s never been true, in any sense, of race and intelligence. In the 19th century helping out white people (however that is defined) was very much the point of intelligence research. Into the early 20th century, the rise of eugenics was equally linked the field to the advancement of “people.” Even the intelligence theorists whom Andrew, himself, has advanced over the years are motivated by a desire to presumably help people, if only in the form of deciding how a society should expend its limited resources.

    Advocates of the “p.c. egalitarianism” theory, such as Andrew, evidently believe that the notion that black people are dumber than whites is a cutting edge theory, as opposed to a long-held tenet of slave-holders and white supremacists. They present themselves as bold-truth tellers who will not bow to “liberal creationists.” In fact they are espousing firmly established views that date back to the very founding of this country. These views did not emerge after decades of failure of social policy. Indeed they picked up right where their old advocates left off; within five years of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Arthur Jensen was convinced that black people were intellectually addled.

    Perhaps all of that is irrelevant. Perhaps there really is a genetic relationship between the darkness of skin and the potency of neurons. (Only for “Africans,” mind you.) Maybe the sterilizers and the slave-traders were wise beyond their years. And perhaps James Watson really was at his scientific best when he countered the claims of Andrew’s p.c. egalitarians by asserting that
    “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.” It’s certainly possible that the tendency of those who advance this theory to appear in proximity to modern racists is a coincidence, and that its invokers really are modern Galileos persecuted merely for “trying to find out stuff.”

    But I think if Andrew is going to advance a theory of conspiratorial political correctness he owes it to us to sketch its outlines and effects in some actual detail. He clearly believes the subject to be important. He should treat it with more care.

    • Ametia says:

      My two cents and a half: Since January 20, 2009, white folks like Sullivan can’t use their supposed WHITE higher iQs to comprehend how the fuck Barack Hussein Obama got his black azz into the White House, being president of the HAR-VARD Law Review and becoming POTUS.

      Why PBO’s IQ is not measured by their whiteness and these MOFOS have cracked. THE flipping END.

      • Since January 20, 2009, white folks like Sullivan can’t use their supposed WHITE higher iQs to comprehend how the fuck Barack Hussein Obama got his black azz into the White House

        BWA HA HA HA HA HA

  10. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s venture-capital politics

    By Richard Cohen, Monday, November 28, 6:59 PM
    Mitt Romney runs for president with the eye of a venture capitalist. He sees the profit in certain positions, discards those that are no longer profitable and moves on. He was pro-choice when it did him some good, instituted a health insurance plan that he now denounces and once supported amnesty for some illegal immigrants. Richard III offered his kingdom for a horse. Romney offers his principles for some votes in Iowa.

    Amnesty for undocumented immigrants has become a GOP pariah and a matter of some passion among Iowa Republican caucus-goers — about 0.05 percent of the national electorate. Reasonable men — even unreasonable ones — have been hurt by the issue. John McCain spent much of the 2008 campaign backing away from an amnesty plan he had supported, and it is conceivable that he chose Sarah Palin for his ticket just so people would talk about something else. No other explanation comes to mind.

    Bloomberg News unsurprisingly reports that Romney at one time held such an amnesty position himself. “We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status,” Romney said during a March 2006 interview. This is dangerously close to the position Newt Gingrich staked out in a Republican presidential debate last week.

    Almost instantly, Gingrich got the word “amnesty” flung in his doughy puss. Michele Bachmann, still in the race for some unfathomable reason, uttered the vulgarity and so did Romney. “The principle is that we are not going to have an amnesty system,” he said. This rare coupling of Romney and principle was not followed by what the 11 million undocumented immigrants might have been listening for: the promise that draconian measures would not be taken. Romney, presidential in voice but not in policy, never assured us that no one was going to round up these people, assemble them — grandparents and grandchildren alike — in schools, National Guard armories and Wal-Marts, put them on buses to transit camps and then shove them across the border to Mexico: Done and done.

  11. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 3:30 PM

    Fox just can’t help itself

    By Steve Benen

    Tom Edsall had a fascinating item overnight, noting that white working-class voters have been steadily moving away from Democrats at the national level for many years, leading the party to adopt a new electoral strategy.

    All pretence of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

    The strategy is sound. For Dems, winning over many white voters without college degrees, especially men in this category, is a losing battle. There are easier, more realistic avenues to success by making up electoral ground elsewhere. The NYT’s headline on the Edsall piece reads, “The Future of the Obama Coalition.”

    Dave Weigel, meanwhile, flags Fox’s item highlighting the same article.

    In case you can’t quite make it out, Fox Nation’s headline reads, “NYT: Obama Campaign Plans to Abandon White Working Class.” The image shows President Obama waving while sitting alongside African Americans — at a basketball game, no less.

    Sometimes Republicans use dog whistles, and sometimes they abandon subtlety and go straight for the siren.

    For the record, the president isn’t talking about “abandoning” the white working class; his campaign is going forward with a strategy that wouldn’t target their votes as aggressively since they appear to be obtainable. Indeed, Edsall reports, “The Democratic goal with these voters is to keep Republican winning margins to manageable levels, in the 12 to 15 percent range, as opposed to the 30-point margin of 2010.”

    The Fox headline wants to push the notion that the president will somehow be hostile towards the white working class. It’s not quite as racist as Fox Nation’s coverage of Obama’s 50th birthday party, but it’s close.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C.By REUTERS
    Published: November 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM ET

    A federal judge angrily threw out Citigroup Inc’s proposed $285 million (184 million pound) settlement over the sale of toxic mortgage debt, excoriating the top U.S. market regulator over how it reaches corporate fraud settlements.

    U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said that in agreeing to the settlement, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission appeared uninterested in actually learning what Citigroup did wrong. He also said the regulator erred by asking him to ignore the interests of the public.

    “An application of judicial power that does not rest on facts is worse than mindless, it is inherently dangerous,” Rakoff wrote in an opinion dated Monday.

    “In any case like this that touches on the transparency of financial markets whose gyrations have so depressed our economy and debilitated our lives, there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth,” he added.

    Rakoff called the settlement “neither reasonable, nor fair, nor adequate, nor in the public interest,” and said it was hard to tell whether by settling the SEC was getting more than “a quick headline.” He set a trial date of July 16, 2012.

    Monday’s decision throws into question the SEC’s policies towards settlements with publicly traded companies, at a time when the regulator is trying to burnish its reputation for tough enforcement amid sceptics in Congress and elsewhere.

    Many SEC cases against Wall Street banks and investment firms are settled out of court, without any admission or denial of wrongdoing. The absence of agreed-upon facts can make it harder for shareholders, bondholders and others to bring their own civil lawsuits against those same defendants.


    Both the SEC and Citigroup on Monday maintained that the settlement was reasonable.

    Robert Khuzami, the SEC director of enforcement, said the $285 million sum “reasonably reflects the scope of relief that would be obtained after a successful trial,” but without the “risks, delay and resources” required.

    He also said Rakoff ignored “decades of established practice throughout federal agencies and decisions of the federal courts.”

    Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos called the settlement “a fair and reasonable resolution to the SEC’s allegation of negligence.” She said if a trial occurred, the bank would present “substantial factual and legal defences.”

    The SEC and Citigroup did not in their statements address whether they might be able to reach a revised settlement that could win court approval.

    In its complaint, the SEC accused Citigroup of selling a $1 billion mortgage-linked collateralized debt obligation, Class V Funding III, in 2007 as the housing market was beginning to collapse, and then betting against the transaction.

    The SEC said the CDO caused more than $700 million of investor losses. One Citigroup employee, director Brian Stoker, was charged by the SEC, and is contesting those charges.

    Rakoff has been a thorn in the side of the SEC. In 2009 he rejected its initial proposed settlement with Bank of America Corp over its takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co.

    Bradley Bondi, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and former counsel to two SEC commissioners, said the decision will hamper the regulator’s ability to settle cases in the Manhattan court.

    “But the judge’s decision to probe the settlement to ensure it is in the best interest of shareholders – and requiring the SEC to show the facts in support … are in the best interests of process,” Bondi said in an email.


    Rakoff called the Citigroup accord too lenient, and noted that the bank was charged only with negligence. Private investors cannot bring securities claims based on negligence.

    “If the allegations of the complaint are true, this is a very good deal for Citigroup; and, even if they are untrue, it is a mild and modest cost of doing business,” the judge wrote.

    The settlement would have required the third-largest U.S. bank to give up $160 million of alleged ill-gotten profit, plus $30 million of interest.

    It also would have imposed a $95 million fine for the alleged negligence, less than one-fifth what Goldman Sachs Group Inc paid last year in a $550 million SEC settlement over a different CDO.

    Rakoff called the $95 million fine “pocket change” for Citigroup and said investors were being “short-changed.”

    Khuzami said the regulator will review the ruling and “take those steps that best serve the interests of investors.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    College Students Across Florida Rally Against Gov. Rick Scott’s ‘Relentless Attack On Higher Education’
    By Marie Diamond on Nov 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Throughout this week, Florida college students will hold rallies to protest Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) hostility to higher education and proposed tuition hikes:

    Across the state this week students at seven college campuses will gather to protest what they call a “relentless attack on higher education” by Gov. Rick Scott.

    Scott has been a vocal skeptic of the liberal arts emphasis of traditional higher ed. […] Last month he sent out a lengthy probe out to leaders of all 11 public universities, seemingly asking them to justify themselves by providing information about their costs, programs and graduates’ chosen fields and salaries.

    According to the protesters’ press release, “Along with the Florida Legislature, Gov Scott has taken aim at students through countless bills. The tuition of all state universities is poised to rise 15 percent each year for up to a decade.” They also note that the state’s academic scholarship, Bright Futures, is covering less each year, and the program could lose funding all together. Additionally, “this attack on public education comes within the context of an economic downturn affecting hard working middle class Floridian families.”

    Florida’s public university system has already seen a 24 percent drop in state funding over the last four years. Yet Scott wants to make more deep cuts to Florida’s public school liberal arts programs, needlessly politicizing academic disciplines and devaluing the skills of millions.

    Scott caused an uproar last month when he said the state didn’t need any more anthropology majors, arguing that liberal arts fields should receive less state funding because, he claimed, they don’t help “create jobs” or spur the economy. (Ironically, Scott paid $18,000 a year for his own daughter to major in anthropology in college.)

    In March, Scott faced protests from students, teachers, and parents after he unveiled a state budget proposal that slashed $3.3 billion from all levels of schools statewide, which many said would wipe out music, art, and language programs. Education was the main target of Scott’s $5 billion in proposed spending cuts — part of his plan to gut and voucherize public education. Public school officials said his 10 percent cut to education would reduce spending by $703 for each student, cut the average teacher’s salary by $2,335, and result in thousands of teacher layoffs.

  14. Ametia says:

    Michelle Obama attends Maggie Daley’s funeral

    Scott Paulson
    Chicago Conservative Examiner
    November 28, 2011

    First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will attend former First Lady of Chicago Maggie Daley’s funeral Mass on Monday at the Old St. Patrick Church in Chicago. Other White House officials to be in attendance include the White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley who is also Maggie Daley’s brother-in-law and the brother of Mrs. Daley’s husband, former mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley. Additionally, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Senior Advisor David Axelrod will also attend.

    On Monday, a public funeral Mass will be held at 10:30AM at Old St. Patrick’s Church. The church is located at 700 West Adams, west of Chicago’s loop.

    Continue reading on Michelle Obama attends Maggie Daley’s funeral -

  15. rikyrah says:

    I get on the train, go home, get some dinner…and find out in the car on the way home that Herbie’s Longtime HO has come forward?

    and YES, she’s a SNOWFLAKE?


  16. Ametia says:

    Barney Frank is retiring.
    Barney Frank leaves his mark on economic policy, gay rights movement

    By Paul Kane, Monday, November 28, 12:37 PM
    As he announces his retirement Monday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) leaves behind a legacy that crosses from legislative cornerstones to political confrontations to a historic place as the nation’s most prominent gay lawmaker.

    Love him or hate him — and there were very few who fell anywhere in between — Frank, 71, spent the past three decades crafting a pugnacious personality for the congressional age of television, first in the early days of C-Span’s coverage of the House and later for the 24-7 environment of cable television. Behind the scenes, Frank became one of the most important legislators of his generation on domestic policy, a successful backroom negotiator who won the trust of the Bush Treasury Department and the gay rights movement.

  17. Herman Cain Sexual Harassment Allegations: Candidate Says Another Accuser Set To Speak Out

    During an appearance on CNN on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said that another woman is prepared to go public with allegations of “an affair for an extended period of time.”

    He firmly denied the accusation. Addressing the identity of the woman, he said, “It is someone that I know who is an acquaintance that I thought was a friend.”

    Atlanta-based station Fox 5 is expected to run a report on the charges early Monday evening. Cain said he wanted to act preemptively before the claims came to light.

    “I wanted to get out in front of it,” he said. “I have nothing to hide, I have done nothing wrong.”

    The presidential contender suggested that “an infinite number of people” could come forward with similar allegations against him.

    Cain signaled that he has no intention of abandoning his campaign for the White House. He said as long as his wife is behind him, he’s in it to win it.

  18. New At C&L: Voting Rights Advocate Held At Gunpoint By SWAT Team With No Warrant

    Last Monday, attorney Barbara Arnwine was rudely awakened by the sounds of a police raid on her home. Arnwine is not really the type you’d expect SWAT teams to be targeting. She’s the Executive Director for the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights and is actively challenging Voter ID laws around the country, as depicted in the video at the top.

    Via Politics on Point:

    While Arnwine and members of the Lawyers Committee are calling for the Department of Justice to stop what she, and others call ‘assaults’ on voters, she found her and own family under assault.

    She, her son, and nephew were all held at gun point while the officers raided her home.

    The reason has yet to be determined.

  19. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 12:35 PM

    McQuaid makes his case against Romney

    By Steve Benen

    New Hampshire’s Union Leader caused a bit of a stir yesterday when it announced its endorsement of Newt Gingrich’s Republican presidential campaign. And why did the conservative paper overlook Mitt Romney, who’s heavily favored among New Hampshire Republicans, and who has one of his mansions in the state?

    Publisher Joe McQuaid told Fox News this morning that, conventional wisdom aside, he believes Gingrich would be a stronger general-election candidate. McQuaid argued, “I think it’s going to be Obama’s 99% versus the 1%, and Romney sort of represents the 1%.”


    What’s especially interesting about all of this is McQuaid’s general aptitude for making the GOP case against Romney. With so many of Romney’s rivals giving him a pass so often, it’s apparently up to the publisher of New Hampshire’s largest newspaper to present Republican arguments to a Republican audience.

    “We look for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job,” publisher Joseph W. McQuaid wrote. “In this incredibly important election, that candidate is Newt Gingrich. He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the vision to lead this country in these trying times.”

    In an apparent allusion to Romney, the publisher acknowledged that Gingrich is not “perfect,” but explained: “We would rather back someone with whom we may sometimes disagree than one who tells us what he thinks we want to hear.”

    In a Sunday CNN appearance, Union Leader editorial page editor Drew Cline put a sharper point on that criticism of Romney, calling the on-and-off Republican front-runner a “play-it-safe” candidate more suited for the presidency in the “late 19th century.”

    Romney and his wife tried to win over McQuaid earlier this year with a charm offensive. The “tells us what he thinks we want to hear” line suggests the efforts failed.

    But the larger point to keep an eye on here is the nature of the Union Leader’s critique. Romney is basing much of his campaign on a pitch that has practically nothing to do with character — he ran a business and a state, the argument goes, and he cares about competence. McQuaid wants Republican voters to dismiss this and consider broader principles — competence is irrelevant if we can’t trust the cowardly candidate, and leaders lacking convictions and a coherent vision aren’t leaders at all.

    I still believe Romney is the presumptive nominee, but if Republican voters give the former governor a second look, and start considering the kinds of questions McQuaid is raising, Romney may have a serious problem for which there is no solution.

  20. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 2:45 PM

    The illusory contradiction of the DNC message

    By Steve Benen

    In response to the Democratic National Committee’s new “Mitt v. Mitt” campaign, David Frum generated some good discussion this morning with an interesting observation:

    “How does DNC hope to sell idea BOTH that Romney believes in nothing AND that he’s an extreme right-winger?”

    If this seems at all familiar, there’s a good reason — Dems were raising the exact same observation seven years ago. At the time, the RNC and the Bush/Cheney team hoped to sell the idea that John Kerry is on the both sides of every issue and John Kerry takes the far-left side of every issue.

    Obviously, there was a contradiction, but it didn’t make much of a difference. The larger theme — voters shouldn’t trust Kerry — came through loud and clear.

    That said, the Democratic message about Romney — the political world’s other “French-speaking elitist from Massachusetts” — strikes me as just a little different, and not at all contradictory. In this case, Dems really aren’t telling voters that Romney is “an extreme right-winger”; rather, they’re telling voters that Romney is taking extreme right-wing positions because he’s a craven, shallow politician who’ll say anything to get elected. The right-wing facade is just a persona, which is different from previous versions of Romney, and may well be different from future versions of Romney.

    Frum may believe that Democrats will present Romney to voters as a loon who appeals to the Republicans’ unhinged base, but I don’t think that’ll be the Dems’ message at all.

    Indeed, the focus on flip-flops is really just part of a far more important theme: trust, or in this case, the lack thereof. It’s about establishing a reputation for Romney, defining him by his weakness: the Republican candidate is a coward who’s afraid to lead, afraid to tell the truth, afraid of core principles, and afraid to be consistent. The point isn’t to make Romney out to be an extremist; the point is to make Romney out to be someone who is so lacking in a fundamental integrity, he’ll say anything to anyone to advance his ambitions, depending on how the winds are blowing at the time.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Rick Perry Takes Time Off Campaign To Celebrate Expansion Of Federally-Funded Health Center
    By Igor Volsky on Nov 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Today, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is announcing the creation of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, “an effort aimed at converting basic discoveries into new cancer therapies.” The Institute is so significant that Gov. Rick Perry — who regularly praises Texas’ state-of-the-art cancer center and medical research facilities — is taking time off the campaign trail to appear at the announcement.

    Interestingly, the center — as well as the University of Texas — is the beneficiary of millions of dollars in federal grants and funding — all of which Perry staunchly opposes and regularly condemns as symptoms of government largess. For instance, the Cancer Center received $1.2 million in state and federal grants in 2010 and $500,000 in fiscal year 2011, including $633,206 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The University of Texas also benefited from funding included in the Affordable Care Act.

    Texas itself has also benefited greatly from health care reform, accepting more than $380 million in early grants and other aid from the federal health law and is currently “waiting for final approval of a new waiver from federal Medicaid rules that could allow the state to draw down an additional $12 billion in funds from the federal government.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Top Marine says service embracing gay ban repeal
    Since the lifting two months ago of a longstanding U.S. ban on gays serving openly in the military, U.S. Marines across the globe have adapted smoothly and embraced the change, says their top officer, Gen. James F. Amos, who previously had argued against repealing the ban during wartime.

    “I’m very pleased with how it has gone,” Amos said in an Associated Press interview during a week-long trip that included four days in Afghanistan, where he held more than a dozen town hall-style meetings with Marines of virtually every rank. He was asked about a wide range of issues, from his view of the Marine Corps’ future to more mundane matters such as why he recently decided to stop allowing Marines to wear their uniform with the sleeves rolled up.

    Not once was he asked in Afghanistan about the repeal of the gay ban.

    Nor did it come up when he fielded questions from Marines on board the USS Bataan warship in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday. On his final stop, in Bahrain on Sunday, one Marine broached the topic gently. He asked Amos whether he planned to change the Marines’ current policy of leaving it to the discretion of local commanders to determine how to handle complaints about derogatory “homosexual remarks or actions.” Amos said no.

    The apparent absence of angst about gays serving openly in the Marines seemed to confirm Amos’ view that the change has been taken in stride, without hurting the war effort.

    In the AP interview, he offered an anecdote to make his point. He said that at the annual ball in Washington earlier this month celebrating the birth of the Marine Corps, a female Marine approached Amos’s wife, Bonnie, and introduced herself and her lesbian partner.

    “Bonnie just looked at them and said, ‘Happy birthday ball. This is great. Nice to meet you,'” Amos said. “That is happening throughout the Marine Corps.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    Israel’s backers step up efforts to win African-American support
    By Heather M. Higgins, CNN

    The aroma of allspice wafted through the air as calypso melodies and gospel voices brought more than four dozen people to their feet, a typical community gathering in the heavily West Indian neighborhood of East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

    But no one could remember a meeting like this happening before. Inside a former Seventh-day Adventist church, there were the beginnings of what some hope is a budding relationship between American blacks and Jews, with a major assist from some Christian Zionists.

    The late October meeting was billed as “A Gathering of Solidarity with the State of Israel,” sponsored by Christians United for Israel, the biggest Christian Zionist group in the country.

    What is Christian Zionism?

    Until relatively recently, “there wasn’t a voice for Christian Zionism in the black church,” said Pastor Michael Stevens, the African-American outreach coordinator for Christians United for Israel, speaking to the mostly West Indian crowd in Brooklyn.

    “Because of that, you heard from Farrakhan, Sharpton and Jesse Jackson – they became the poster children for the African-American community as it related to black-Jewish relationships,” Stevens said. “If there is no outreach, this is all our community knows.”

    Black leaders like Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and Jackson have been sharply critical of Israel, decrying its treatment of Palestinians.

    Stevens’ mission, by contrast, is to build a bridge between the nation’s black and Jewish communities based on support for Israel, partly by pointing out what he calls parallels between the two groups.

    Christians United for Israel, which hired Stevens last year, isn’t alone in promoting the alliance.

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has begun building relationships with rising leaders at historically black campuses like Spelman College and Morehouse College, both in Atlanta.

    The outreach comes at a time when Israel has become increasingly isolated on the international stage and is looking for new allies.

  24. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 1:50 PM

    Brownback gives, not gets, an apology

    By Steve Benen

    There was a curious story out of Kansas last week, about Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) office wildly overreacting to a random tweet from a teenager. Today, it looks like the story was wrapped up to everyone’s satisfaction.

    Let’s quickly recap for those just joining us. Emma Sullivan, a high school senior and a Democrat, visited the state capitol last week as part of a program for students interested in politics and government. After seeing the governor, Sullivan told her 60 Twitter followers, “Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”

    It turns out, she hadn’t actually made any mean comments to Brownback; Sullivan was just joking around with her friends on her personal Twitter account. But the governor’s staff monitors social media, and Brownback aides were so offended by the teenager’s message that the governor’s office contacted event organizers about it. The student was soon told by her principal that she would have to write a series of letters of apology, including one to Brownback.

    As of yesterday, Sullivan had decided to stand her ground. She told reporters that she has rejected her principal’s demand for a written apology, which Sullivan said would be insincere since she isn’t actually sorry.

    Today, Brownback weighed in with a statement, and to his credit, the right-wing governor is the one giving, not getting, an apology.

    Brownback submitted a statement Monday afternoon to Yahoo! News apologizing to the teen. “My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms,” he said.

    Was that so hard?

    Look, it stands to reason that in 2011, a governor’s office is going to monitor the media, and take an interest in social media. But when gubernatorial aides have been reduced to complaining about random tweets from teenagers, it’s time for them to reevaluate their priorities. I’m glad Brownback had the good sense to take the high ground and not to be so thin-skinned.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Collateral Damage: The GOP’s Obama Hate Pushes 100 Million Towards Poverty

    In military vernacular, collateral damage is damage to people or property that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome. In politics there is collateral damage and the difference is that when Republicans are involved, it is highly questionable whether or not damage to people and America’s economy is really unintended or incidental to their desired outcome. Since Barack Obama has been president, the GOP has worked for two specific outcomes and along the way have caused collateral damage that appears to be unintended, but with myriad data available to the public and Republicans, it becomes obvious that the damage they cause is intended and essential to their intended outcome.

    Republicans make no secret that one of their primary goals is to deny President Obama a second term as president, and it is painfully obvious that they intend to give all the wealth in America to the wealthy and their corporations. They have given preferential treatment to the wealthy for years and justify their largesse, using taxpayer dollars, with the insane and failed theory that, as the wealthy prosper, wealth will “trickle down” to the peasant class. The resulting loss of revenue for the government has engendered cuts and services to social programs and nearly every sector of the economy. Despite the country coming precariously close to defaulting on its debt, Republicans still refused to follow a balanced approach of spending cuts and increased revenue and the result was America’s stellar credit rating being downgraded and social safety nets being slashed to the detriment of nearly every American who was not the wealthy elite class. The GOP’s stubborn adherence to conservative ideology of never raising taxes on the wealthy caused intended damage to the poor, middle class, and America’s credit rating.

    The fact that Republican hatred for President Obama has caused untold damage to the country’s economy is fairly well known at this point in time, but the devastation to tens-of-millions of Americans who are living in poverty or near-poverty is often ignored by the media and the public in general. Officially, there are 49.1 million Americans living in poverty in the richest country in the history of the world, but a recent Census Bureau report that measures poverty by counting disposable income found that there are 51 million Americans with incomes less than 50% over the federal poverty level. That means there are 100 million Americans living at or barely above the poverty line. The number of Americans living in poverty should be sufficient to encourage even the most contemptible Republican to work with Democrats to pass President Obama’s jobs plan to put Americans back to work and raise millions out of poverty, but their abject hatred for anything the President proposes supersedes the most basic level of humanity and prevents them from helping the American people.

    Republicans are fully aware of the poverty levels in America, but they have no intention of making any effort to help the poor or nearly poor because working with the president will defeat their goal of keeping unemployment near 10%. Back in February when told that Republican spending cuts would kill 1.1 million jobs, House Speaker John Boehner nonchalantly said, so be it. Since February, Republicans have sought out new ways to kill jobs and obstruct job creation plans with the guise that the country cannot afford to help lift millions of Americans out of poverty, but their arguments fall short when they propose more tax cuts for the wealthy, oil subsidies, and tax holidays for American corporations in foreign countries. The GOP may say they care about the American people, but their hatred of this president tells a different story

  26. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 10:00 AM

    Mitt v. Mitt

    By Steve Benen

    This would ordinarily be about the time that Mitt Romney’s Republican rivals started running negative ads directed at him. The GOP field, however, has decided to largely leave Romney alone.

    So, it’s apparently up to Dems to fill the vacuum. With that in mind, the Democratic National Committee launched this new ad this morning.

    The spot is part of a new Mitt v. Mitt campaign — DNC tag line: “The story of two men trapped in one body” — not surprisingly characterizing the leading Republican presidential candidate as an unprincipled flip-flopper who’ll say anything to get elected.

    This is not, by the way, just some random web video. The DNC will air this new ad in six key battleground states — New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — as well as Washington, D.C. It’s part of a strategy that will be amplified with accompanying efforts in Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, and Massachusetts.

    This new spot goes after Romney’s reversals on abortion rights and health care reform, but it’s obviously easy to imagine the Mitt v. Mitt campaign featuring a lengthy and diverse series, highlighting all kinds of equally-egregious flip-flops. This is the first, but it’s likely to be followed by dozens of similar ads.

    Indeed, the DNC unveiled an extended version, reinforcing the way in which Romney’s flip-flop problem reinforces fears about his character and his trustworthiness.

    And in the larger context, the DNC’s new videos leave no real doubt that (a) Dems assume Romney will be the Republican nominee; and (b) they also believe they have plenty of material to work with in order to make the former governor look ridiculous in the eyes of mainstream voters.

    Newt Gingrich said yesterday, “It’s perfectly reasonable to change positions if you see new things you didn’t see. Everybody does that, Ronald Reagan did that. If you go around and adopt radically different positions based on need for any one election, people will ask, ‘What will you tell me next time?’”

    It’s the message Democrats will encourage voters to ask themselves quite a bit over the next 49 weeks.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Presidents Do What the Senate Allows
    by BooMan
    Mon Nov 28th, 2011 at 12:09:23 PM EST

    A moderate third-party presidential candidate would be a terribly stupid idea and it seems almost beneath E.J. Dionne to waste his time responding to it. The point Dionne fails to make, however, is that President Obama is already a moderate candidate. In fact, any president who is primarily focused on passing legislation (as opposed to starting foreign wars and gutting regulation) is going to be a moderate. This is a poorly understood fact.
    To see why this is the case, we can simply look at the U.S. Senate during Obama’s first two years in office. The president’s party had nominal control of between 56 and 60 seats (depending on the time period and health of the senators). Because the Senate now requires 60 votes to pass anything remotely contentious, the president couldn’t pass anything that didn’t have the support of every single Democrat and (for most of those two years) at least a small handful of Republicans. What this meant was that the most conservative (or moderate or centrist) Democrats had effective veto power over bills and amendments to bills. In most cases, the most progressive (or moderate or centrist) Republicans also had effective veto power. In other words, if Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe didn’t like a provision, it wasn’t going to be included in the bill. And if they didn’t like the bill, it wasn’t going to pass.

    The president’s ability to move this centrist coalition to the left was limited. One limitation was created by Mitch McConnell’s strategy of total obstruction. He put enormous pressure on the centrist Republicans not to play ball. And that took away the cover that centrist Democrats like to have when they vote with the party on contentious issues. If Ben Nelson can’t find a couple of Republicans supporting a bill, he pretty much wets his pants. At times, Joe Lieberman appeared to be changing his positions for no other reason than to anger liberals. With dynamics like that, it’s kind of hard to push through liberal legislation.

    McConnell’s total obstruction strategy forced Obama farther to the middle, but to a large degree all presidents are forced to work with the middle. Even FDR and LBJ’s huge supermajorities were a little misleading, as they were based on the Democrats’ strength in the conservative South. But those majorities were sufficiently large to create significant liberal legislation.

    Ask yourself how the Dodd-Frank bill might have turned out if there had been 70 or 80 Democratic senators. How would the health care bill have turned out under those circumstances? What would we be doing about housing in that alternate reality? Would Gitmo be closed?

    Presidential candidates make a lot of promises, but their ability to keep those promises is based on their ability to convince 60% of the U.S. Senate to go along with their agenda. And that guarantees that most presidents will pursue fairly centrist legislative agendas, or they will fail.

    George W. Bush didn’t sign a whole lot of legislation. He got his tax cuts (under reconciliation rules, with Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote both times) and his education, Medicare Part D, and Bankruptcy Reform bills, and he was pretty much done. When he tried to push something radical (privatizing Social Security), he got absolutely nowhere.

    It’s true that a president can have some far right or far left personal beliefs, but they can’t translate the beliefs into action in the legislative field. If you want really progressive or really conservative outcomes, you need to win a very large supermajority in the Senate and have a president willing to take advantage of that supermajority. Without that kind of power in the Senate, all presidents will produce fairly centrist legislative records.

    It still matters where the president stands. It’s especially important when the president’s party loses total control of Congress, because a president might be tempted to start signing the opposing party’s bills and try to take credit for them.

    It’s one thing to make tough compromises that water down what you want to do. It’s another to embrace the other party’s agenda and then call it your own

  28. rikyrah says:

    November 21, 2011, 6:22 pm
    The White Party

    In the wake of the 2008 election, conservative Republican strategists like Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and William Kristol warned that their party faced even worse defeats if it continued in its anti-immigrant posturing.

    “An anti-Hispanic attitude is suicidal,” Rove wrote. The decision to “demagogue” the immigration issue was a “totally self-inflicted wound by House Republicans,” Kristol declared. “Beating up on immigrants,” Grover Norquist said, “loses you votes.”

    Their advice was rejected. 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. Initially, this approach appeared quixotic. A demographic tidal wave of African-American and Hispanic voters threatened to wash the Republicans out to sea.
    But many Republican candidates — incumbents and challengers — did not budge. They not only held firm in their adamant opposition to immigration reform (despite its crucial importance to many Hispanic voters), but they also became even more hard-nosed. Former apostates on the issue, like Senator John McCain of Arizona, who had proudly backed immigration reform in 2004 and 2005, saw the light — in other words, read poll data on Republican voters — and moved to the right.

    To use just one particularly egregious example, Senator David Vitter — who admitted that he had “let down and disappointed” family, friends and supporters but refused to answer questions about his connections to prostitutes — used an outspoken anti-immigration ad to win re-election easily in Louisiana.

    The decision to carry the banner for conservative white America paid off in the midterm elections — helped enormously, of course, by a dismal economy under a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress, as well as conservative hostility to the administration’s health care program and economic stimulus legislation.

    In 2010, the Republican white strategy was boosted by the fact that minority turnout traditionally drops in non-presidential years, perhaps especially so without Obama on the ballot. But the scope of success went far beyond expectations.

    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. In presidential elections, you have to go back to the landslide Republican victories of 1972 (Richard Nixon versus George McGovern) and 1984 (Ronald Reagan versus Walter Mondale) to get white Republican margins similar to those of 2010. McGovern and Mondale carried just one state each, Massachusetts and Minnesota respectively.

    Another way of looking at it is this: fully 88.8 percent of all ballots cast in 2010 for House Republicans were cast by whites, compared to 63.9 percent for Democrats.

    The degree to which the Republican Party has become a white party is also reflected in the composition of primary voters. For example, on March 4, 2008, in Ohio — where non-Hispanic whites are 81.1 percent of the population, blacks 12.2 percent, and Hispanics 3.1 percent — the Republican primary turnout was 97 percent white. Hispanics were 2 percent and the black turnout was so low it was zero percent, statistically speaking. One percent was described as “other.”

    In the Jan. 19, 2008, South Carolina primary, 96 percent of the Republican turnout was white, 2 percent black, 1 percent Latino and 1 percent other. The population of the state is 64.1 percent white, 27.9 percent black and 5.1 percent Hispanic.

    Now, moving toward what has all the markings of a historic ideological and demographic collision on Nov. 6, 2012, Republicans are doubling down on this racially fraught strategy.

    While the subject of race and of the overwhelmingly white Republican primary electorate are never explicitly discussed by Republican candidates, the issue is subsumed in blatant anti-immigration rhetoric. As Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, learned the hard way, voicing sympathy for the plight of the undocumented is a sure way to lose ground.

  29. rikyrah says:

    I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
    by John Cole

    It appears our Galtian Overlords really can’t do anything right:

    “When you see the dollars the banks got, it’s hard to make the case these were successful institutions,” says Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio who in 2010 introduced an unsuccessful bill to limit bank size. “This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now.”

    The size of the bailout came to light after Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, won a court case against the Fed and a group of the biggest U.S. banks called Clearing House Association LLC to force lending details into the open.

    The Fed, headed by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, argued that revealing borrower details would create a stigma—investors and counterparties would shun firms that used the central bank as lender of last resort—and that needy institutions would be reluctant to borrow in the next crisis. Clearing House Association fought Bloomberg’s lawsuit up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the banks’ appeal in March 2011.

    The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

    Remember what was happening in March of 2009? On February 19th, 2009, Rick Santelli had his famous rant about a program to extend meager amounts of help to homeowners, while at the very same time the Fed was doling out trillions to his douchebag buddies. While these assholes were famously whining and screaming about socialism and government involvement in the markets (when people were discussing different compensation rules), they were behind the scenes taking trillions to help smooth over their fuck-ups.

    This is what the useful idiots in the tea party are fighting for…

  30. Ametia says:

    Reading with Kids to Get Them Ready for School
    Vivian Po
    New America Media / News Report
    Published: Monday 28 November 2011

    Triesch believes reading time is also family bonding time, so parents can also add in singing and sharing family photos and stories to make it more fun for their kids.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Bloomberg is Shrill
    by BooMan
    Mon Nov 28th, 2011 at 09:33:36 AM EST

    It’s kind of weird to see Bloomberg News savaging the big banks like this, but we have to give them credit for reporting the facts. I just read the article and my first impression is that there is less news here than meets the eye. Yes, we now have details about how much money the Fed lent to banks and when they did it. And, yes, the information exposes the CEO’s of CitiGroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan as enormous liars. But I also see a lot of lawmakers trying to run for cover by claiming ignorance. We all knew that the Fed had lent many trillions of dollars to the banks. Lawmakers knew it, too.

    The lack of transparency didn’t fool anyone, it just allowed them to do the banks’ bidding without consequences to themselves. It’s not right to say that more information would have changed a bunch of lawmakers’ minds and led to stronger reform and a breakup of the banks. More information would have scared lawmakers into voting for stronger reform.

  32. rikyrah says:

    I love The Police


  33. DNC TV AD: “Trapped”

    • Ametia says:

      This was a powerful segment of 60 Minutes. Each family dealt with the situation with as much dignity and grace as they could. It’s heart rending. I did like the spirit of the blond girl. She’s pretty focused on her goals, and I have NO doubt that she’ll achieve them.

      Each and every family are doing whatever it takes to survive and remain together. This happening in the 21st century is just CRIMINAL; folks losing their homes.

      • CRIMINAL indeed! The blond girl and the black guy melted my heart. No 14 year girl should be using a restroom at a gas station to wash up. And the guy sitting on the cooler guarding his family was just too much. ***tears***

    • Ametia says:

      BWA HA HA HA Mittens, ya killin me!

  34. Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars

    Scott Pelley brings “60 Minutes” cameras back to central Florida to document another form of family homelessness: kids and their parents forced to live in cars.

  35. Reports: Barney Frank Will Not Seek Reelection, citing various media sources, reports that Barney Frank will not seek reelection.

    CNN has confirmed the news, citing a statement from Frank’s office, but did not post the text of his statement. National Journal reports that Frank will make the announcement at the Newton City Hall this afternoon.

    This is a developing story, and TPM is working to confirm the news.

  36. Obama to Host US-EU Summit Monday

    U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting European Union leaders at the White House Monday for this year’s U.S.-EU Summit.

    The European debt crisis is likely to be a focus of the talks. A White House statement released last month said President Obama and the visiting EU officials also will discuss their continuing coordination on Iran and joint work to support democracy and prosperity in Europe and across the Middle East and North Africa. Other issues on the agenda include transatlantic law enforcement and counterterrorism cooperation.

    Those attending the White House summit include European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and High Representative Catherine Ashton.

    The last U.S.-EU summit was held a year ago in Lisbon, Portugal.

    This year’s gathering comes as the 27-nation EU struggles to agree on measures aimed at ending the crisis in the eurozone – the group of 17 EU nations that use the euro as their currency.

  37. Michelle Obama attends Maggie Daley’s funeral

    First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will attend former First Lady of Chicago Maggie Daley’s funeral Mass on Monday at the Old St. Patrick Church in Chicago. Other White House officials to be in attendance include the White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley who is also Maggie Daley’s brother-in-law and the brother of Mrs. Daley’s husband, former mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley. Additionally, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Senior Advisor David Axelrod will also attend.

    On Monday, a public funeral Mass will be held at 10:30AM at Old St. Patrick’s Church. The church is located at 700 West Adams, west of Chicago’s loop.

  38. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 8:40 AM

    When Romney backed ‘amnesty’
    By Steve Benen

    There really aren’t any major issues on which Mitt Romney has been consistent, but given the zeal with which he’s moved to the far-right on immigration, revelations like these seem rather noteworthy.

    Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who charged Republican presidential primary rival Newt Gingrich with proposing “amnesty” for certain illegal immigrants, took a nearly identical position in a 2006 Bloomberg interview, saying some foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally should be allowed to remain and gain legal status.

    Romney, who at the time hadn’t yet declared his first presidential candidacy for 2008, told reporters and editors in Bloomberg News’s Washington bureau that the 11 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally “are not going to be rounded up and box-carred out.” Law-abiding people who pay taxes, learn English and don’t rely on government benefits should be allowed to “get in line” to apply for citizenship, he said.

    “We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status,” Romney said during the March 29, 2006, session.

    At the time, Romney added, in reference to undocumented immigrants already in the United States, “We’re not going to go through a process of tracking them all down and moving them out.”

    This original Romney line sounds awfully similar to what Newt Gingrich said last week — and Romney condemned Gingrich’s approach.

    Now, this would ordinarily be the point at which Romney’s rivals for the Republican nomination pounced, expressing outrage over the contradiction between the old Romney and the new Romney, and doing their very best to turn this into a big story. This Bloomberg News story is exactly the sort of thing a campaign’s rapid-response team should be all over.

    But if recent history is any guide, the other GOP presidential candidates just aren’t willing to go after Romney with any enthusiasm. I thought, for example, the Republican field would go berserk when we learned that Romney supported taxpayer-funded abortions, but they didn’t seem to care.

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

    I assumed the GOP field would go crazy when we learned that Romney’s health care program in Massachusetts uses taxpayer money to provide medical care to undocumented immigrants. But the other Republican campaigns didn’t bite on this, either.

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

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

    And yet, with five weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, there are no Republican attack ads targeting Romney airing anywhere in the country. Is the Republican field simply incompetent, or are they letting Romney win?

  39. rikyrah says:

    Monday, November 28, 2011
    Stacking The Deck In The Queen City
    Posted by Zandar
    It’s not just at the federal level where tax shifting games and loophole nonsense are played and the wealthy benefit, it happens at the local and county level, too. Take Cincy’s sales tax increase for the stadiums, for example.

    Owners of Hamilton County’s high-end homes get more back in a property tax rebate than they pay in the half-cent sales tax that funded the construction of the county’s two professional sports stadiums.
    That means the “average” county homeowners are footing the bill for the stadiums.

    As Hamilton County commissioners work to cover a $14.2 million deficit in the stadium fund, some are questioning whether that’s fair.

    The Enquirer analyzed last year’s $17.4 million property tax payout, the most recent data available, ahead of a commissioner decision this week about what the rebate should be in 2012.

    The half-cent stadium sales tax paid by homeowners is estimated by the county to be a maximum $192 annually, while owners of the county’s highest-value homes get rollback rebates of $1,175 or more – netting them nearly $1,000 apiece under the current structure.

    Yeah, that’s right, a net county tax rebate for the wealthy while the stadium fund remains millions in the red. Nice work if you can get it, and that’s because sales taxes (and other consumption based taxes) hit poorer Americans harder. By definition they are regressive. Meanwhile, the property tax rollback means those who have significant wealthy in real estate are taking money from the county on a net taxation basis.

    The real problem is that the property tax rebates if eliminated, would get rid of the county’s stadium fund shortfall…and still leave money for some rebates.

    It seems like there should be an obvious solution here. We’ll see if county commissioners are willing to remedy this problem.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Race to the bottom
    by DougJ

    I know nothing about the study of history, so feel free to call me an anti-intellectual nihilist for saying that I can’t see the difference between Niall Ferguson’s counterfactual work and the SNL skit “What if Napoleon had a B-52 at the Battle of Waterloo?”

    I’m not going to read Ferguson’s new book, but this blog post lays out a convincing case that Ferguson conflates race and culture in his new paean to the greatness of teh west.

    Now Ferguson is suing another reviewer for writing that the book is essentially racist. I have to wonder if someone who was really concerned about being thought of as racist would write things like this about Obama:

    Felix was not only black. He was also very, very lucky.

  41. rikyrah says:

    November 28, 2011 8:00 AM

    Saturday’s Jon Kyl vs. Sunday’s Jon Kyl

    By Steve Benen

    On Saturday, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), along with his five other GOP colleagues from the super-committee, wrote a Washington Post op-ed on the debt-reduction process. Kyl’s point wasn’t subtle: he and other Republicans just can’t accept tax increases, at least for the foreseeable future.

    Kyl called tax increases “the wrong medicine for our ailing economy,” and said the mere possibility of tax increases has “put a wet blanket over job creation and economic recovery.”

    That was Saturday. Just 24 hours later, Kyl told a national television audience he’s comfortable with a payroll tax increase on all American workers on 2012.

    The No. 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl, expressed concern on Sunday about President Obama’s proposal to continue a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax and questioned whether the tax cut had fostered the creation of jobs, as Democrats say.

    Mr. Kyl’s comments offered a preview of a fight looming in the Senate, which plans to vote this week on the proposal to extend the payroll tax “holiday” enacted last December.

    To justify his position, Kyl argued on Fox News, “The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation.”

    As a factual matter, most economists believe the payroll tax break has helped, and I’d remind Kyl that job growth in 2011 is the strongest the U.S. economy has seen in five years. For that matter, I’m not sure when Kyl suddenly discovered an interest in efficacy anyway — the Bush tax agenda didn’t stimulate job creation, and Kyl nevertheless loves the policy and wants to make it permanent.

    But even putting that aside, why would Kyl argue against tax increases on Saturday and for tax increases on Sunday? I suspect there are a couple of elements to this.

    First, Democrats plan to pay for a payroll tax-cut extension with a slight increase on taxes paid by millionaires and billionaires. Since Kyl is only really concerned with protecting their wealth, he necessarily sees such a trade off as unacceptable.

    Second, and on a related note, Kyl does not believe all taxes are created equal. Saturday’s op-ed railed against tax increases, but he was referencing Democratic efforts to ask more from the very wealthy. Sunday’s comments, meanwhile, were about tax breaks that benefit all American workers, most notably the middle class. Kyl’s focus is on the rich, and if taxes go up on working families, he hardly sees this as a problem to be avoided.

    In the meantime, with the clock ticking, Senate Democrats are moving forward with its plan to extend the payroll tax cut, with a vote perhaps coming as early as this week. Republicans will filibuster the proposal, though Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) told ABC yesterday that “probably some package” that includes a payroll extension “might very well pass.”

  42. rikyrah says:

    Romney calls on Obama to block $600B in defense cuts
    By Alicia M. Cohn – 11/27/11 04:59 PM ET

    Mitt Romney on Sunday called for President Obama to halt the $600 billion in automatic cuts aimed at the Defense department as a consequence of the failed debt supercommittee.

    “I’m calling on the president to say no way for those cuts, restore the $600 billion into the military and take that amount and eliminate it from other programs,” Romney told New Hampshire’s WMUR on Sunday’s “CloseUP” segment.

    “And I’d like to see the president put out a series of programs he would actually eliminate or cut,” he continued. “So far all we’ve seen from this president is a willingness to cut national defense and there have to be some recognitions across Washington that suggest no, no, there are other places that we can reduce federal spending.”

    The failure of the supercommittee to reach an agreement last week triggered $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts set to hit the Defense department and other programs in 2013. Republicans, along with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, have objected, claiming that cutting military funding would undermine national security. Romney has pledged to increase military spending as president.

    Romney added his criticism to the Republican narrative that President Obama failed to lead in the supercommittee negotiations.

    “You can’t expect a bunch of cats to herd themselves, you have to have a leader. And the president did not involve himself in this process, which I find to be extraordinary,” he said. “He’s been out campaigning and blaming and going around the world. He apparently had no involvement whatsoever with the effort of this committee which I find to be absolutely extraordinary.”

    The White House last week said the supercommittee, appointed by Congress to negotiate a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit as part of last summer’s debt-ceiling crisis, knew upfront what the president proposed for cutting the deficit. Obama last week doubled-down in putting the responsibility back on Congress to act on his proposals or make a deal and said he would veto any attempts to circumvent the automatic cuts.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Tyler Perry’s Open Letter to Penn State 11-Year-Old

    In this week’s Newsweek, producer/director Tyler Perry has penned an open letter to one of the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky in the scandal that has rocked Penn State University and the entire country

    I don’t know your name, but I know your face. I don’t know your journey, but I know where you are. I am your brother!

    I must tell you, what you have done is so courageous. The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at that age.

    I was a very poor young black boy in New Orleans, just a face without a name, swimming in a sea of poverty trying to survive. Forget about living, I was just trying to exist. I was enduring a lot of the same things that you’ve come forward and said happened to you, and it was awful. I felt so powerless. I knew what was happening to me, but unlike you, I couldn’t speak about it because no one saw me. I was invisible and my voice was inaudible.

    So to think that you, when you were only 11 years old, spoke up—you are my hero! I’m so proud of you. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. You didn’t choose him. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it. What a huge lesson that was for me to learn. Your 11-year-old self was no match for wicked, evil tactics of this kind. You were hunted like prey. A pedophile looks for the young boys he thinks he can manipulate. The ones who have daddy or mommy issues, the ones who are broken, and the ones who are in need. But this wasn’t you.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Romney in 2006 Backed Immigration Stance He Now Deems ‘Amnesty’

    Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who charged Republican presidential primary rival Newt Gingrich with proposing “amnesty” for certain illegal immigrants, took a nearly identical position in a 2006 Bloomberg interview, saying some foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally should be allowed to remain and gain legal status.

    Romney, who at the time hadn’t yet declared his first presidential candidacy for 2008, told reporters and editors in Bloomberg News’s Washington bureau that the 11 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally “are not going to be rounded up and box-carred out.” Law-abiding people who pay taxes, learn English and don’t rely on government benefits should be allowed to “get in line” to apply for citizenship, he said.

    “We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status,” Romney said during the March 29, 2006, session.

    The comments contrast with the position Romney took last week when he challenged Gingrich’s assertion during a televised debate that the U.S. should have a “humane” immigration policy that allows some people who entered the country illegally long ago, have no criminal record, and have family, civic and religious ties to stay and get legal status. Romney called the approach “amnesty” and a magnet for illegality.

    Not ‘Moving Them Out’
    In 2006, Romney said regarding undocumented immigrants in this country: “We’re not going to go through a process of tracking them all down and moving them out.”

    He suggested that some could stay and pursue legal status while others are deported. “We should have those individuals who are here illegally begin a process either of returning to their homes — particularly those that are unable to be here without government support or those who are involved in crime –or beginning a process of registering for a citizenship, applying for citizenship and then carrying out the process necessary to get there,” Romney said.

  45. rikyrah says:

    The Branding of the Occupy Movement
    Published: November 27, 2011

    Kalle Lasn, the longtime editor of the anticonsumerist magazine Adbusters, did not invent the anger that has been feeding the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the United States.

    But he did brand it.

    Last summer, as uprisings shook the Middle East and much of the world economy struggled, Mr. Lasn and several colleagues at the small magazine felt the moment was ripe to tap simmering frustration on the American political left.

    On July 13, he and his colleagues created a new hash tag on Twitter: #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. They made a poster showing a ballerina dancing on the back of the muscular sculptured bull near Wall Street in Manhattan.

    For some people they were just words and images. For Mr. Lasn, they were tools to begin remodeling the “mental environment,” to create a new “meme,” the term coined by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins for a kind of transcendent cultural message.

    “There’s a number of ways to wage a meme war,” Mr. Lasn, whose name is pronounced KAL-luh LAS-en, said in an interview. “I believe that one of the most powerful things of all is aesthetics.”

    Mr. Lasn, who helped found Adbusters in 1989, had spent much of his career skewering corporate America, creating “subvertising” campaigns like “Joe Chemo,” which deftly mocked the Joe Camel cigarette ads of the 1990s.

    But the spread of the Occupy protests signals a substantial step up for the magazine and Mr. Lasn, who is 69. The protests, he hopes, will “somehow change the power balance and make the world into a much more grass-roots, bottom-up kind of a place rather than the top-down Wall Street mega-corporate-driven system we now have.”

  46. rikyrah says:

    Solyndra Hearings Pit Republicans Against Defense Dept.
    If House Republicans expected the Solyndra investigation to focus public attention on their opposition to President Obama’s energy policies, by any measure they have succeeded. However, in gunning after the Department of Energy and its solar power loan program they have fallen prey to the law of unintended consequences, and are now heading on a collision course with the Department of Defense.

    That is a rather odd position for the Republican Party to be in, given that it has built its brand on unequivocal support for the U.S. military, but for several years now DoD has been committed to transitioning out of petroleum fuels and into solar energy and other alternatives.

    DoD highlighted its alternative energy priorities this fall with a flurry of public activity, coincidentally or not just as the Solyndra investigation was gathering steam. On September 15 the Army stood up its new Energy Initiatives Task Force with the mission of fast-tracking utility scale solar power and other renewable energy installations at its bases, and on September 13 the Air Force hosted a media roundtable on sustainable energy, following up on a public display of high performance jet biofuel by the Navy’s Blue Angels aerial demonstration team over Labor Day weekend.

    The Navy also held its annual Naval Energy Forum in October under the theme “Creating Spartan Energy Warriors.” In a speech at the event on October 13 Navy Secretary Ray Mabus forcefully articulated the military reasoning behind the move away from petroleum, both foreign and domestic:

    We buy too much fuel from potentially or actually volatile places on earth, those places we would never let build our ships, our aircraft, our ground vehicles, but we give them a say. We gave them a say on whether our ships sail, whether our aircraft fly, whether those ground vehicles operate because we get our fuel from them. And even if we could get all the fossil fuels from the United States, from inside our borders, it’s still a global commodity and subject to price shocks and supply shocks and the price shocks we deal with virtually every day. Mabus’s remarks were underscored on November 11 when the solar company SunPower Corp. announced that it was moving forward with construction of a utility-scale solar installation for the Navy at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California – and that brings us right back around to the Solyndra investigation.

    Practically on the same day that Mabus gave his speech, SunPower Corp. was targeted as “Solyndra 2.0” by conservative media, though for another, separate project called the California Valley Solar Ranch. That effort is a partnership with energy giant NRG, funded with a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from DOE, more than double the amount received by Solyndra.

  47. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everybody! :-)

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