Serendipity Soul | Tuesday Open Thread | “The Police” Week!

Here you go, Rikyrah!

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109 Responses to Serendipity Soul | Tuesday Open Thread | “The Police” Week!

  1. Scott Brown Backs Aid For Employed Year After Blocking Aid For Unemployed

    WASHINGTON — Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) may have gotten a dose of populism for his showdown against Elizabeth Warren — or maybe he prefers helping people who have jobs to aiding the unemployed.

    Brown declared Tuesday that he favors extending a payroll tax cut without finding a way to make up for the lost revenue, while last year he opposed extending unemployment benefits unless Congress offset the $56 billion cost.

    It’s a position that puts him at odds with both his own leadership and with Democrats, and comes as he’s facing a tough election challenge from the popular former consumer watchdog, Warren.

  2. More Than A Visit

    When President Obama comes to Scranton on tomorrow, he’ll bring with him a plan to help every one of us who pays our Social Security payroll tax.

    The payroll tax cut that the President is pushing for is more than just a talking point—it is cold hard cash in your pocket if Congress puts aside its partisan bickering and votes to extend it.

    Check out this great tool from the White House that shows you how much you stand to gain from the extension and how much you’d lose if Congress doesn’t extend the payroll tax cut.

  3. Romney stammers when asked his views on immigration

  4. Karl Rove: Barack Obama Preparing Vicious 2012 Election Battle Against GOP Candidate

    Karl Rove predicted the 2012 presidential race would be vicious, claiming the Republican candidate will face a harsh election battle thanks to President Barack Obama’s “hard-nosed Chicago pols.”

    The former White House deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush said Obama has “walked out on his daytime job” to focus exclusively on reelection and is ready to subject the GOP nominee “to the worst beating of their life, every day for roughly 11 months” in an interview with Newsmax. Rove said that while Obama is “very smart,” he’s “not a mere mortal, in his mind.”

    Discussing the deficit reduction efforts, Rove said Obama “made a fundamental mistake” by not getting more involved. Rove said he believes Obama chose not to do more to help with the debt crisis because “there was no upside for him to be involved.”

  5. Hey guys, did any of u hear that stupid heffa, Alveda King, on CNN claiming people voted 4 PBO based on his skin color? She needs smacking!

  6. Herman Cain Cancels Dinner With Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, Barabra Walters And Greta Van Susteren

    GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain–who is said to be reassessing his campaign–canceled dinner with a bevy of New York media bigwigs scheduled for Sunday, according to NY1.

    Among the attendees: Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren (Van Susteren’s husband John Coale organized the meeting), NBC’s Matt Lauer, ABC’s Barbara Walters, CBS’ Lesley Stahl and Senator Chuck Schumer.

  7. rikyrah says:

    An Open Letter to Jake Tapper.Posted by Melanie Roussell, DNC national press secretary on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 3:46 p.m. ET..Dear Jake,

    Regarding the DNC’s recent ad, you wrote the following about our claim that Mitt Romney previously supported the stimulus: “In other words: he didn’t. Romney saying he supports the concept of stimulus is not the same thing as saying he supports President Obama’s stimulus bill. The DNC got greedy here. The use of that Romney quote is deceptive and false.” If only you had dug a little deeper, scratched beyond the surface—or just opened your eyes—you would have noticed that Mitt Romney is, in fact, such a serial flip-flopper that it is often hard to pin him down on any issue—but on this one, we did, and you are wrong.

    If you had only done your due diligence, you might have learned that Mitt Romney expressed his support for the Recovery Act on more than the one occasion. In fact, one week after the President-elect released his plan, Mitt Romney had the following to say on Morning Joe:

    “The president’s plan for economic recovery, including a stimulus bill which includes a very healthy dose of tax reductions, is something which I think showed a willingness to actually listen to some of his own economic advisers that have pointed out in their research that tax reductions have a bigger economic stimulus impact than spending money on infrastructure does. That’s encouraging.”

    We know you are always in such a hurry to hit “post” that you rarely have time to finish your fact checking, but this is not even a close call. Jake, if you really believe that Mitt Romney hasn’t been trying to mislead voters on this and other issues—well, you just haven’t been paying attention.

    But, don’t take our word for it; we’ll let the actual events and timeline speak for itself:

  8. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 4:30 PM

    Quote of the Day
    By Steve Benen

    Rick Perry has had so many gaffes, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Remember the time he falsely said Texas public schools teach both science and creationism? How about the time Perry said the Revolutionary War was in the 16th century?

    Today in New Hampshire, though, the former Republican frontrunner gave us another gem.

    “Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote. Those of you who won’t be, just work hard, because you are going to inherit this and you’re counting on us to get this right.”

    First, the election is Nov. 6, 2012, not Nov. 12. The election is always the first Tuesday of an election year, making it impossible for the race to ever be on Nov. 12.

    Second, as Perry should probably know, the voting age in the United States is 18, not 21.

    The Texas governor has already developed a reputation as a candidate who struggles with the basics. This will not help.

  9. Ametia says:

    Videos of Maddow vs. Pawlenty

    Stop talking SMACK, Tim Paw!

    Then he shows up with Lawrence O’s and spouts a bunch of nonsense about PBO- see video up thread

  10. Ametia says:

    Shout out to creolechild Where you at; 3Chics misses you?

  11. Black people were the only people… ever explicitly forbidden to become literate… I am now officially speechless.”

  12. Ametia says:

    Lookie here, the Nordic is declared crazy for killing 77 people. WTF?!!

    Norway killer found insane, unfit for prison
    By BJOERN H. AMLAND, Associated Press – 1 hour ago

    OSLO, Norway (AP) — Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik belongs in psychiatric care instead of prison, prosecutors in Norway said Tuesday after a mental evaluation declared him legally insane during a bomb-and-shooting rampage that killed 77 people.

    The court-ordered assessment found that the self-styled anti-Muslim militant was psychotic during the July 22 attacks, which would make him mentally unfit to be convicted and imprisoned for the country’s worst peacetime massacre.

    The report, written by two psychiatrists who spent a total of 36 hours talking to Breivik, will be reviewed by a forensic panel before the Oslo district court makes a ruling on his mental state.

  13. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 1:10 PM

    Failing to appreciate the GOP’s extremism

    By Steve Benen

    Michael Gerson, the conservative Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter, is willing to concede that Mitt Romney took President Obama out of context last week. Gerson, however, is not especially troubled by Romney’s dishonesty.

    As the columnist sees it, “the truth often gets its hair mussed” in a campaign, and since President Obama “has frequently done the mussing,” the political world should just roll with it.

    In fact, Gerson even tries to bolster his argument with evidence: “As president, Obama has asserted that Republicans want the elderly, autistic children and children with Down syndrome to ‘fend for themselves,’ and that the GOP plan is ‘dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.’ In what context would these claims be true?”

    As much as I appreciate the fact that Gerson is at least trying to support his observation with facts, the problem here is that congressional Republicans are far more conservative than he even realizes. This ignorance has left the columnist so confused about the policy fights of the last year that what Gerson sees as offensive hyperbole from the president is actually an honest description of GOP policies. Indeed, as Jon Chait explained, Obama’s criticism happens to be true.

    The House Republican budget would cut Medicaid — a bare-bones health insurance program for the poor, disabled, and elderly — by $750 billion over ten years, ramping up the scale of cuts until funding has been reduced by 35 percent by 2022. When you’re slashing the funding of a program that’s far cheaper than private insurance and not replacing it with anything, you’re pretty much leaving people to fend for themselves.

    As for children with Down syndrome, they’re an important part of the Medicaid program. (They account for 42 percent of the cost of Medicaid.) Unsurprisingly, disability advocates were apoplectic about the Republican budget.

    The dirtier air and water part is pretty straightforward: The House Republicans have voted to roll back basic air pollution standards and strip the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce clean water standards. When you eliminate laws that keep air and water clean, you make them more dirty.

    And the House Republican budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act and put in place nothing whatsoever to cover the uninsured, thereby increasing their ranks by some 32 million.

    In other words, Gerson has examples of Obama playing fast and loose with the truth, but Gerson has it backwards — what the columnist sees as false happens to be accurate. The alleged proof of the president’s dishonesty is actually evidence of the opposite.

    I suspect this is just the result of laziness on Gerson’s part. He heard the president’s criticism of GOP lawmakers and likely thought to himself, “Obama is making Republicans out to be heartless monsters! There’s no way those charges are true.”

    But they were true; Gerson just didn’t feel the need to check. He assumes his party isn’t that extreme, and hasn’t taken the time to realize his assumptions are wrong.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Test drive
    by Kay

    I know the Obama 2012 campaign has started because I found myself writing the phrase “white working class voters” here yesterday. Oh, for God’s sake, not that again. In any event. However. There will be all of that chatter, and then there will be a campaign that is actually going on in states and cities.

    Here’s the first Ohio HQ opening:

    Chillicothe on Tuesday was the epicenter of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in Ohio. Campaign staffers and volunteers gathered at 149 W. Water St. to celebrate the opening of the campaign’s first field office in Ohio.”We came to Chillicothe because we know the importance of this area in this state, a swing state. … We’re not ceding any votes,” said Greg Schultz, state director for the Obama campaign.

    And here is what politically obsessed rank and file Democrats in Ohio are talking about:

    Obama’s grass-roots operation in Ohio already has been kicked into gear for the 2012 campaign, backers said. Over the past eight months, Organizing for America, an Obama campaign arm, held 3,500 events across the state in successful efforts to gather signatures for referendums challenging Senate Bill 5 and House Bill 194, GOP-passed laws to limit collective bargaining and voter access to polls, respectively.“They really got an opportunity to test drive their operation,” said Timothy M. Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

    I hear “test drive” over and over, because the Issue 2 campaigns and the HB 194 effort were huge, and people are wondering if that will be an advantage in 2012.

    Issue Two was labor-led and then gained crazy-good momentum out in the wider world of voters, but the petition drive to put a repeal of the voter suppression law on the ballot was different, to me.

    There, OFA succeeded in organizing on an issue that not enough people care about: voting rights. We’ve been harping on voting rights in Ohio since the first suppression law went in (2006) but voter protection has always, honestly, been left to the lawyers. Volunteer lawyers, paid lawyers who bring election-related litigation, interest groups that specialize in voter access, great that we have all these lawyers, but voting should be a core issue for everyone who votes or wants to vote. It can’t be shunted off to the pros. People have to engage on it and think it through, because media coverage of actual nuts and bolts voting process is horribly misleading and confusing, and there’s a whole Right wing pundit sector muddying the water by accusing random people of unlawfully voting.

    We don’t need more lawyers on the access side of the fraud v access battle. We have hundreds. We need more voters on the access side of the fraud v access battle. The petition effort on SB 194 took it out to voters, and made us all talk and think about voting process and access, and that’s where it belongs.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Sheryl Underwood Breaks Down Over PSU Scandal
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: November 17, 2011

    For comedian Sheryl Underwood, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexual abuse of eight underage boys is anything but funny. On a recent episode of The Talk, she undoubtedly spoke for many when she shared her very personal reaction to the story:

    “I’m going to say it, from probably the only person on this table who has ever been through something like this, this is how it’s done,” she said. “You watch them, you break them down, and then you blame them for whatever you do as an adult.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011
    The War of the Ruses
    Once the Romney machine rediscovers that inevitability is for fools, the Gingrich contraption will discover what the former’s unlimited funds and tight organization can do. Newt’s last seven words to South Carolina’s ‘AM News’ on Monday, for instance, could not have been better scripted for ridicule by Mitt’s own hired guns:

    [I]t’s wrong to go around and adopt radically different positions based on your need of any one electorate because then people have to ask themselves, What will you tell me next time?

    Say, on global warming, on Freddie Mac, on the individual mandate, on an Obamian foreign intervention.

    Newt will argue — indeed he did argue to ‘AM News’ — that “It’s perfectly reasonable to change [a] position if facts change, if you see new things you didn’t see” before. That is, it’s perfectly reasonable to change one’s position if facts change and one’s name happens to be Newt Gingrich; or, it’s perfectly reasonable to change one’s position if nothing whatsoever changes, as long as the second stipulation still applies.

    Gingrich’s righteous hypocrisy may be legend, but he’s pitting it against Romney’s well-financed hypocrisy: a quarter-billion personal dollars, which are quite aside from a six-year ground game and a platoon of media mafiosos hired to launder Mitt’s image — and to dirty up others of equal sin. Newt? Free media. That’s pretty much it, and that’s not much of a contest.

    To those rooting for Gingrich to pull off a miracle by upsetting Romney, though, I’d advise caution. For Mitt Romney may be Barack Obama’s more beatable man. Guaranteed, Romney will split the GOP’s various factions; tea partiers, especially, and en masse, will either vote third-party fringe or stay home. Gingrich, as wormily contemptible as he is, can nonetheless rather genuinely market himself as a man of contemporary GOP convictions.

    In short, Romney will shatter the party, while Gingrich can unite it. Meanwhile, the Occupy movement could splinter the always wobbly left, while the known variable of a bad economy works further to suppress Obama’s independent turnout.

    So, beware of The Gingrich.

  17. 40,000 troops to leave Afghanistan by end of 2012

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Drawdown plans announced by the U.S. and more than a dozen other nations will shrink the foreign military footprint in Afghanistan by 40,000 troops at the close of next year, leaving Afghan forces increasingly on the frontlines of the decade-long war.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Tyrese to Black Women: Don’t Be Too Independent
    By: Tami Winfrey Harris | Posted: November 29, 2011

    In an entry at Racialicious via her What Tami Said blog, Tami Winfrey Harris lambastes singer and actor Tyrese for warning black women about being “too independent.” She says that kind of “mansplaining” or condescending advice devalues black women.

    Sexism lies at the root of the actor’s monologue. In the regressive language of modern black relationship advice, it is not enough for a black woman to want a man deeply, with all her heart and soul. Male egos must always be fed with the idea that women are unfulfilled and incapable of living without a man. We must avoid being uneducated free-loaders, sayeth Tyrese, while being sure to remain needy and helpless enough to be attractive to men like him.

    Tyrese’s “helpful” advice carries the condescension and arrogance typical of mansplaining, plus a dash of amorphous homophobia. What was that weird sidebar about homosexuality? No doubt, some ill-spoken repetition of the idea that gay black men harm black women’s marriage chances with their gayness. Silly.

    But here’s another thing Tyrese’s advice is: racist. It is specifically black women who are singled out for some of the most dehumanizing and denigrating messages about their lovability and marriageability.

    Indeed, Tyrese directs his comment “especially” to black women. Our culture remains in a place where it is acceptable to assume black women, apart from other women, are intrinsically wrong and in need of correction. It is not just mainstream sources like ABC News that serve up “What’s wrong with black women?” programming. Black men like Steve Harvey, Tyrese and Jimi Izrael are getting in on the action. And no one blinks an eye.

  19. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011
    ‘The hard right-wing turn’
    Jonathan Chait:

    One thing about the hard right-wing turn the Republican Party has taken since 2009 is that many of its supporters genuinely seem not to grasp what’s going on. Take former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, a moderate who sometimes criticizes especially heartless positions taken by some members of his party…. He’s a useful stand-in for the mindset of Republicans who share a loyalty to their party but lack a deep attachment to its right-wing platform.

    Another thing about the hard right-wing turn the Republican Party has taken is that its spectators to the left are forever postdating its birthday.

    Since 2009? What about 1999, shortly after the GOP had attempted the extraconstitutional repeal of a legitimate presidential election? Or a year later, when shock-trooping right wingers, had they not gotten their electoral-college way by means of a corrupt Supreme Court, would have ripped this country apart?

    Or one can revisit the 1980s, the decade in which right wingers first envisioned the inglorious possibilities of a bankrupted and deeply indebted federal government. “Trickle down” was always less about further fattening the 1 percent than emaciating the one institution actually capable of achieving socioeconomic progressivity.

    Or, breeze back to the 1970s, the decade in which the Republican Party’s frothingly ideological New Right discovered the electoral pixie dust of unabashed demagoguery: braying about busing, the Bible, and white backlash.

    Or, dial back to the Goldwater era of the early 1960s, when the GOP’s post-McCarthyites rediscovered the extraordinary value of unfettered rhetoric — which laid the foundations for those magnificent, fundraising mailing lists to be used by their successors, the New Rightists.

    All of whom, of course, were the ideological descendants of rabid anti-New Dealers, who were the real, and original, drivers of the Republican Party’s “hard right-wing turn.” Today we hear different voices, but the same noise.

    Not to wade too deep into the philosophical weeds, but it was the 1930s — and certainly not our post-Bush decade — that essentially formulated America’s prolonged dialectic: the struggle between some semblance of collective, socioeconomic equity and a dystopia of capitalistic feudalism. I suspect 2012 will come to reflect a synthetic breakthrough of some sort; the tension, at long last, seems too taut not to snap, resulting in a far greater measure of national re-unity and re-purpose.

    Too Hegelian? Probably. On the other hand, present circumstances appear untenable.

  20. Why We Need Voter Protection

  21. rikyrah says:

    Patrice O’Neal Dies at 41

    According to his friends at the Opie and Anthony radio show, comedian Patrice O’Neal died Monday night of complications from a stroke he suffered in October, TMZ is reporting today. He was only 41 years old.

    In addition to being a regular guest on Opie and Anthony, O’Neal brought his comedy to Chappelle Show, The Office and Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn. His most recent TV performance was on the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen in September.

    O’Neal suffered a stroke in October after a long battle with diabetes. A group of his comedian friends and peers made an initial announcement about his condition, but few other details about his health were made public.

    Opie Radio tweeted today, “Yes it’s true that our pal Patrice O’Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker I’ve ever known PERIOD.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Headupassitis II: Ron Paul Is OWS’s Cafeteria Candidate

    There are a lot of things which concern me about the Occupy movement – the ideas which participants hold indicating that voting isn’t worth the effort or that both political parties are the same.

    The first idea is not only stupid, it’s being insidiously played and touted to these people as a viable stand by celebrity media talking heads, each with their own personal agenda, many of whom are pimping publicizing books, and several of whom touted Nader as a viable candidate to the young, naive and stupid who voted in 2000.

    We all know where that got us.

    But what totally gobsmacks me the most about a lot of the participants in the Occupy movement, is their fervent embrace of Ron Paul as the candidate of their dreams. Time after time, I’ve read article after article stating that many of the Occupy Wall Street supporters were turning to Ron Paul, as the only candidate of real change and stating that both the Democratic and Republican parties were mirror images of each other.

    I can only hope that such protesters making such remarks are either very young and very naive and need to learn to read and think for themselves, but I suppose there are more than enough disgruntled older people who think they know as much about governing and government as the next person, but who, sadly, don’t. And these people, let loose, are dangerous.

    Be that as it may, if any of you are still propagating that myth about both parties being the same, well, I’m sorry. I don’t suffer fools gladly, but just to save yourselves my ire (and this goes out to all OWS protesters who think this way), Milt Shook does an excellent assessment of why and how the parties differ from each other. You can read that here.

    Now, about Ron Paul.

    It never fails to amaze me how some protesters bewail Ron Paul as the saviour of their movement based on only a sketchy knowledge of the candidate and the principles for which he stands. I wrote about the cognitive dissonance in young people protesting channelling Paul. You can read that here or you can read The New Yorker’s excellent interview with eight OWS protesters.

    Particularly frightening were the comments of a twenty year-old protester, Hank Norton, who – sadly – hails from my neck of the woods in Virginia. Norton is a Paul supporter and sounds, for all to hear, very much the budding Libertarian:-

    I’m observing this more than anything. The main demand is for change in the distribution of wealth. We need a coherent and cohesive message because a lot of people are yelling and that’s where we alienate people. We need three goals. I think they should be tax the shit out of the rich, regulate, and downgrade the military, almost to the point of dissolving it. I want Ron Paul to get more attention because he’s the only Presidential candidate who offers true change.


    None of what he (Obama) promised during the election has happened. There’s been no real change. Ron Paul is our only hope.

    Hank, as I previously pointed out, is only twenty years old and, so, has never voted in an election before, but there are others in this protest, who seem to want free single-payer (oxymoronic, I know) healthcare and housing and Ron Paul on the ballot.

    People, let me tell you … if you want government-funded healthcare and housing, you ain’t gonna get it with Ron Paul in the Oval Office. And if you seriously want to “tax the shit out of the rich,” Ron Paul ain’t the man who’ll do that. Libertarians hate taxes; that’s why so many of them signed Grover Norquist’s piece of paper.

    Ron Paul is the cafeteria candidate for the young and the politically foolish.

  23. Ametia says:

    Putting Others Ahead, and Then Falling Behind
    Published: November 28, 2011

    There is a certain type of woman who is good at taking care of everyone but herself.
    She is the sort who, when her older brother is suffering from a lung disease, will sit beside his bed on Staten Island and encourage him, in the most determined words, to get up on his feet and move about the house. She is also the one who, when this brother dies, will set aside a portion of her $81 weekly unemployment check to ensure he receives a proper burial.

    She is a fixer of dinner and a folder of laundry — and, most of all, a worrier over her children’s well-being. You know this woman by the humorously frustrated sign she posts on a cabinet in her kitchen: “If you can’t clean, don’t cook.” The photos on her walls say things about her that she will not say about herself: they show parents, siblings, cousins, friends and neighbors. Which is to say, they show everybody’s faces except her own.
    Michelle Gore is that type of woman.

    Read on:

  24. Obama Health Care Law: States Suing To Overturn Law Collect Federal Funding

    WASHINGTON — Federal officials announced Tuesday they are awarding more money to help states carry out President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. So what’s the surprise?

    Seven states that are suing to overturn the landmark law are also on the list for funding.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said 13 states will split grants totaling nearly $220 million to help set up health insurance exchanges. Millions of uninsured Americans will be able to buy private coverage through these online supermarkets starting in 2014, with taxpayer-provided assistance to cover the cost of premiums.

    “States are moving at their own pace to get their exchanges up and running,” said Sebelius.

    The exchanges represent half of Obama’s strategy for expanding coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people. While the middle-class uninsured will pick a plan through their state exchange, low-income people will be covered through an expanded Medicaid program.

    Although opponents challenge the constitutionality of “Obamacare,” some states led by conservatives are hedging their bets.

  25. Ametia says:

    CNN Breaking News via
    11:56 AM (9 minutes ago)

    Dr. Conrad Murray has been sentenced to four years in custody in the death of Michael Jackson.

    Three weeks ago, Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death.

    Prosecutors successfully argued that Murray’s reckless use of the surgical anesthetic propofol to help Jackson sleep, without proper monitoring equipment, led to the singer’s death.

    Testimony during Murray’s trial revealed that he gave propofol nearly every night in the two months before the singer’s June 25, 2009, death as Jackson prepared for upcoming comeback concerts in London.

  26. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 11:25 AM

    ‘We tried their theory’

    By Steve Benen

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, chatted at some length with Greg Sargent yesterday, offering some encouraging remarks about Democratic goals in 2012. Most notably, Schumer, far from being intimated by “class warfare” accusations from Republicans, intends to focus heavily on economic inequality as a key campaign issue.

    And while Greg’s whole report is well worth reading, I was especially struck by this exchange.

    “Middle class incomes were declining,” Schumer said, speaking about the last elections. “But in 2010 Democrats were not seen as focusing on those issues, but rather seen as focused on health care, which was the right thing to do, but the benefits were not well understood by most voters. Republicans came in and said, ‘We can solve your problem by shrinking government.’”

    “We tried their theory,” Schumer continued. “The American people resent government paralysis, but most of them would say that government is doing too little to help them, not too much.” Schumer added that Dems would make 2012 an “election of choice” in which Democrats are the ones focused on the “decline in middle class incomes.” […]

    Schumer insisted that Dems had even managed to turn the deficit into a winning issue for them by insisting on shared sacrifice by the wealthy. “Even in the deficit argument, it’s swinging in our direction,” he said. “People want a balanced approach.” In other words, Dems can win on turf historically favorable to Republicans — the deficit — precisely because of the public’s growing preoccupation with inequality.

    This is music to my ears — in large part because Schumer is saying what I and others have been emphasizing for months. Republicans have been getting their way on the economy; the GOP’s experiment hasn’t worked; and the American mainstream isn’t satisfied.

    If Schumer’s perspective is a reflection of what we can expect to hear from Dems in 2012, the party is at least going into the cycle with an encouraging message.

  27. rikyrah says:

    yo WILLARD…



    Your dreamboat turns out be a footnote
    by DougJ

    Feel the Newtmentum: up by 15 in Iowa, 23 in South Carolina, and only down 4 in New Hampshire.

    Who knows if these numbers will hold up, but the voting isn’t that far off, and if they do hold up, Newt has a real chance at being the nominee.

    How great would that be? After the brilliant parade of Burkean wise men and heartland himbos that Bobo and Joe Scar have been masturbating to for the last year, they’d be stuck cheering for unfrozen caveman Congressman, a thrice-married snake-oil salesman whom the non-Republican population despises.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Why Value Consistency?
    by BooMan
    Tue Nov 29th, 2011 at 11:44:44 AM EST

    I don’t pay much attention to Ann Coulter because I think she is ridiculous, but I did note with interest that she is enthusiastically endorsing Mitt Romney. I assume this is because she thinks Romney has the best chance to win. But it does present a bit of problem for her because she was so hostile to John McCain four years ago. To hear her talk, she hates John McCain because she thinks John McCain hates conservatives and likes to piss them off for fun. I don’t know if that goes back to McCain dissing the Christian right in 2000 or if it has something to do with policy disagreements over the years, but it strikes me as odd that she’d be so angry with McCain and not hold Romney in the same degree of scorn. It’s true that McCain is better at making enemies than Romney, but they both have perfected the art of bashing conservative ideas until the precise moment that they need conservative votes. I don’t see them as much different in that regard.

    I also think it’s probably not the best way to help Romney’s campaign to go on cable television and say that John McCain is a douche bag. I don’t know that this is that helpful either:

    Consistency is not a great thing, and especially someone like John McCain who consistently annoyed conservatives, bragged about annoying conservatives, and would claim he was courageous by attacking conservatives and getting good press in the New York Times.”

    She’s be better off pointing out that John McCain wasn’t consistent. In other words, if McCain’s flip-flopping wasn’t disqualifying, why should Romney’s flip-flopping be a problem?

    But, instead, she tries to say that being consistent “is not a great thing.” I don’t think she’ll convince anyone of that. But convincing people of that is going to be a full-time job for the Republican establishment if they make Romney the nominee.

  29. Ametia says:

    Businessman Herman Cain told senior members of his campaign this morning that he is reassessing whether to remain in the Republican presidential race.

    One adviser said Cain is expected to make a decision by the end of the week.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Cain Mulls Dropping Out?
    David Kurtz- November 29, 2011, 11:29 AM

    Once you open the door to ending your candidacy, it’s very, very hard to close it again. But Herman Cain, according to a report in National Review, opened that door in a call with senior staff this morning.

    Reporters are scrambling to decipher what exactly Cain said. A Des Moines Register reporter paraphrases it as “@THEHermanCain tells staff on conference call just now that he is reassessing his campaign, like he’s done several times already” — and quotes him as saying, “If a decision is made, different than we should plow ahead, u all will be the first to know.”

    Politico has a different read: “one source told POLITICO that the reference had been about how much staff and offices they could afford right now.”

    So some possible interpretation conflict here. We’re working to track it down, too.

    Late Update: ABC’s Jonathan Karl tweets that Cain’s campaign manager confirmed to ABC that National Review’s initial report is accurate: “Mark Block tells ABC’s @amyewalter the NRO report is true. Cain told his staff today he is “reassessing” whether to stay in the race.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    Rush NASCAR and Uppity Negroes . . . .
    America’s problem; Uppity Negroes?

    by Desi Cortez BASN Columnist,
    BASN Columnist
    POSTED: Nov 29, 2011

    —It’s damn good thing I’m not only speak contemporary 21st-century Red-neck-glish . . . but I understand it. I’ve the uncanny ability to read between-the-lines n’ decipher little White lies.

    Rush Limbaugh’s recent employment of the term “uppity” in describing the First Lady’s appearance at a Florida NASCAR event where she was booed, was all so-very strategic. Yesteryear’s insult was dished-out in a sinister manner, diabolically deliberate and cunningly calculated to insult and inflame Black Americans, to send a sharp n’ blunt message. . . “ Hey Nigger, we don’t like you nor your kind.”

    And take that Nigger luver with you! . . . (Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden was with Mrs. Obama.)

    Straight from the elephant’s mouth; “We don’t like paying millions of dollars for Mrs. Obama’s vacations. The NASCAR crowd doesn’t quite understand why when the husband and the wife are going to the same place, the first lady has to take her own Boeing 757 with family and kids and hangers-on four hours earlier than her husband, who will be on his 747. NASCAR people understand that’s a little bit of a waste. They understand it’s a little bit of uppity-ism.”

    Does NASCAR attract racist like Rush?



    Rush seeks to show his followers he’s not afraid to put us arrorant, “uppity” full-of- ourselves pompus Black folks back in our proper prescribed 3rd-class place. He sought to publically speak down to us the in the patronizing, disparaging, disrespectful and condescending manner his father and grand father got away with in their “rigged” society.

    When modern day Confederate Senator Joe Wilson interrupted Presidental Obama during a joint session of Congress by shouting “You lie!” and he then began to rake in millions . . . you knew where this “talkin-down-to” and about this President was going to go – to the trailer park.

    It won’t be long, mark my words before either Rush, Hannity, Beck, Savage or one of the other Pied-Pipers dare to say in front of their open-mics what they say behind closed doors . . . and call us Niggers.

    Then Mitt, Newt, Tricky Ricky or . . . Herman Cain can leap on the bandwagon and start addressing this nation’s “Nigger issues.”

    One of them will calculate the “time is right.” The everyday Fred n’ Barney are paranoid and scared enough the climate will be “ripe” to call us what they unabashedly do behind closed suburban doors – “Niggers,” and to treat us accordingly, as niggers, quasi -humans.

    And when that day arrives I don’t think all the assorted GOP House Negroes will want to stick around the ole Plantation. However, they won’t be able to catch the 2:15 home either. . . . They’ll have no home.

    The term “uppity” historically, traditionally is followed by the word ‘Nigger,” – we all know that, so I’m making no Grand Canyon leap here.

    Is there anyone who believes Rush n’ his roomies don’t tack on that All-American term-of-endearment whenever describing Blacks deemed as “uppity?” And my God, who knows the Blacks, Latinos, Asians and women Limbaugh regards as uppity? The list is endless I’d guess. The more logical question; who’s not on that list . . . Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain . . . .

    The rest of us, the 95% of Black folks of us are out of our assigned place.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Between A Rock And The Euro

    For Germany to allow the unraveling of its currency would be economic suicide:

    [I]t would be much, much cheaper for Germany to simply bail out Greece, Ireland, and Portugal outright (that would cost about 1,000 euros for every German man, woman and child in one swoop) than it would be for Germany to exit the euro zone (which would cost the average German 8,000 euros the first year and 4,500 euros thereafter). Bailouts are deeply unpopular in Germany, and for good reason, but they look like the cheaper path. Even Bernard Connolly’s estimate that it would cost Germany 7 percent of its GDP for several years to bail out all troubled euro zone countries, up to and including France, looks like a less-painful option at this point.

    And yet, as we have seen, 80 percent of Germans would rather go down in flames than concede this is now the reality. Maybe Berlin is merely trying to secure the harshest terms for fiscal rectitude in the peripheral countries before finally agreeing to back the euro with the ECB. Maybe not. But this is arguably the most significant turning point in European history since 1989. And it will affect us all. Soon.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Quote For The Day

    “[The Republican Party] consists half of people who think like Michele Bachmann and half of people who are afraid of losing a primary to people who think like Michele Bachmann and that leaves very little room to work things out,” – Barney Frank, the witty Speaker of the House we never had.

  34. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 10:40 AM

    Disdain for expertise

    By Steve Benen

    Over the summer, David Brooks offered a compelling indictment of the far-right forces that dominate Republican politics, noting they do “do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities.”

    This is especially true of Newt Gingrich, who likes to think of himself as his own scholar and intellectual authority. Indeed, the disgraced former House Speaker has a bad habit of destroying important institutions that provide credible scholarship, but which interfere with his larger agenda.

    We’ve seen this with Gingrich’s attack on the federal agency in charge of medical effectiveness research and the elimination of Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment in the 1990s, and last week, we saw it again when Gingrich announced his intention to eliminate the Congressional Budget Office. The Republican presidential hopeful described the non-partisan budget office as a “reactionary socialist institution” — and he wasn’t kidding.

    Bruce Bartlett did a nice job today putting this in a larger context.

    Mr. Gingrich’s charge is complete nonsense. The former C.B.O. director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now a Republican policy adviser, labeled the description “ludicrous.” Most policy analysts from both sides of the aisle would say the C.B.O. is one of the very few analytical institutions left in government that one can trust implicitly.

    It’s precisely its deep reservoir of respect that makes Mr. Gingrich hate the C.B.O., because it has long stood in the way of allowing Republicans to make up numbers to justify whatever they feel like doing.

    Right. In much the same way Dick The Butcher wanted to kill all the lawyers in Henry VI to promote lawlessness, Gingrich wants to scrap independent budget analysts who’ll get in Republicans’ way. Washington should simply rely on the real expert — Newt Gingrich — and not on those alleged wonks sitting around with calculators.

  35. 2:30 pm The President has a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands
    Oval Office

  36. Dog whistle or siren?

    And the Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn gives us this: Obama Abandons the Working Class.

    At the root of these articles is a paper published by John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira taking a look at the demographics that are likely to affect the 2012 presidential election. It addresses historical and current trends – definitely not campaign strategy.

    As Dave Weigel notes:

    The funny thing here is that “abandoning” the white working class means “continuing to lose voters who have been voting Republican since 1966.”… But with Fox Nation we get an illustration of Obama gritting his teeth and waving “see ya,” while flanked by his wife and an unidentified black guy. This is quite subtle.

  37. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 10:00 AM

    Why Chris Christie’s whining is wrong

    By Steve Benen

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) threw an odd tantrum yesterday, blasting President Obama for the failure of the congressional super-committee. I ordinarily wouldn’t much care, but since the media loves Chris Christie, his complaints generated a fair amount of attention, and it’s probably worth taking a moment to set the record straight.

    Calling Obama “a bystander in the Oval Office,” the outspoken New Jersey governor said the White House spent the weekend tossing out a whole lot of “spin” about the supercommittee’s inability to come to an agreement before the Nov. 23 deadline.

    “I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn’t get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?” Christie said during a press conference in Camden, N.J. “It’s doomed for failure so I’m not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?”

    Part of the problem here is that Christie isn’t quite as smart as he thinks he is, and bombast can only go so far in covering up ignorance.

    Did the administration say the president kept his distance from the talks because Obama knew the process was doomed to fail? No, the governor appears to have made this up. As for what the president has been “doing, exactly,” Obama’s the one who’s offered Republican lawmakers a series of overly-generous debt reduction plans — to the chagrin of his own party — only to see the GOP reject every proposal.

    Is Christie not aware of this? If so, why did he try to deceive the public yesterday? If not, shouldn’t he have gotten his facts straight before popping off to the press?

    The New Jersey governor added that he’s “astonished” that the president “refuses” to just call people into a room and solve problems. This is the kind of criticism the media finds compelling, but which is nevertheless idiotic.

    The president has tried every negotiating tactic that exists to get congressional Republicans to work on finding solutions. Obama has tried hands-on talks; he’s tried keeping his distance. The president has tried hard sells and soft sells, directly and indirectly. He’s made private appeals and public appeals. He’s made arguments based on policy, polls, and principles. He’s tried charm offensives, combativeness, and everything in between. He’s made partisan, bipartisan, tripartisan, and nonpartisan arguments, all in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, GOP leaders will be open to good-faith compromise.

    And yet, nothing has worked. Nothing.

    In the case of the super-committee, Republicans simply 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 Chris Christie, 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 New Jersey governor seems to believe a debt deal would come together if Republicans and the president simply sat down for candid conversations. Given that Obama has already tried this repeatedly, without success, anyone who believes such stupidity just hasn’t been paying close enough attention.

  38. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 9:25 AM

    ACA shrinks ‘doughnut hole’ for seniors

    By Steve Benen

    Most of the Affordable Care Act won’t take effect for a few years — and if court rulings and the 2012 elections go a certain way, it may not take effect at all — but there’s already evidence that the reform law is having a positive effect.

    Access to coverage for young adults between 19 and 25, for example, is quickly improving, and the law is also having a positive impact on slowing the growth in Medicare spending — a priority Republicans pretend to care about — as hospitals transition to a greater focus on value and efficiency, required under the ACA.

    And this week, we’re learning that seniors are now better able to afford their prescription medications. (thanks to reader N.G. for the tip)

    Medicare’s prescription coverage gap is getting noticeably smaller and easier to manage this year for millions of older and disabled people with high drug costs.

    The “doughnut hole,” an anxiety-inducing catch in an otherwise popular benefit, will shrink about 40 percent for those unlucky enough to land in it, according to new Medicare figures provided in response to a request from The Associated Press.

    The average beneficiary who falls into the coverage gap would have spent $1,504 this year on prescriptions. But thanks to discounts and other provisions in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law, that cost fell to $901, according to Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which handles economic estimates.

    A 50 percent discount that the law secured from pharmaceutical companies on brand name drugs yielded an average savings of $581. Medicare also picked up more of the cost of generic drugs, saving an additional $22.

    This isn’t just some fluke — the reduced costs for seniors are deliberate consequence of the Affordable Care Act. It’s one of the reasons the AARP supported the law so enthusiastically.

    It’s worth noting, of course, that if Republicans repeal the law, seniors will go back to paying more for their medicine, among the many other drastic punishments American families will face. Whether older voters will be aware of this, and whether they might base their votes accordingly, remains unclear.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Did We Just Get A Preview Of The General Election?
    When you piece it all together, Monday may have provided a potential preview of the general election, with Democratic officials and Mitt Romney engaged in an all-day food fight over the Republican frontrunner’s history of shifting positions.

    The DNC started things off with a limited 30-second ad buy in swing states on “Mitt vs. Mitt,” focusing specifically on his shifts on abortion and health care. They also launched a website,, a longer web video that included more of his greatest hits as well as footage of late night hosts mocking Romney’s consistency, and held conference calls to bash Romney on the issue further.

    “The Republicans’ favorite straw man is to talk about uncertainty,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told reporters. “If people are scared of uncertainty they should be terrified of Mitt Romney.”

    The move came as news broke that Romney’s position on whether to offer a path to citizenship or permanent residency for illegal immigrants, a policy he now derides as “amnesty” and a “magnet,” has shifted as well.

    It’s hardly the newest line of attack against Romney, but Democrats are working overtime to revive the “flip flop” line against Romney in the hopes of either softening him up for President Obama or — their ultimate dream — paving the way for one of his less electable rivals to win the nomination.

    The Romney campaign played up this general election angle in their response, which included a full day of press calls hosted by supporters in states — notably, general election swing states — around the country, including New Hampshire, Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Florida.

    “This Administration does not want to campaign against Mitt Romney and be forced to defend three years of failure,” national campaign co-chair Tim Pawlenty said. “Instead of focusing on the middle class and job creation, President Obama and Democrats are focused on campaigning and trying to tear down Mitt Romney.”

    But backers mostly avoided the substance of the “flip flop” attacks, focusing instead on bashing Obama for negative campaigning and distracting from the economy.

    “The fact is, it is a campaign tactic that really belies the fact that a sitting President can’t run on his record,” former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), a Romney supporter, told TPM when asked whether the underlying “flip flop” accusation was accurate. Martinez responded to the Democrats’ ad by noting that he accepted Romney as a pro-life politician despite his past positions.

    “A lot of this ad talks about the life issue,” he said. “I’m pro-life and I would much rather have President Romney.”

    Of course, the Romney camp also showed they can dish out their opposition research. In a clever move, they resurfaced quotes from DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz from her days supporting Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries questioning his reliability in similar terms to recent attacks on Romney.

    If Romney holds on to win the primaries, expect a lot more days like Monday. It’s clear that Democrats are as eager to define Romney early as untrustworthy and inconsistent as Romney is eager to step up to the frontrunner’s plate and tangle with Democrats directly.

  40. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 8:00 AM

    What was Herman Cain thinking?

    By Steve Benen

    Herman Cain’s campaign was faltering anyway, but accusations from an Atlanta woman, who’s alleging a 13-year affair with the Republican presidential candidate, certainly won’t help.

    The woman, Ginger White, made the disclosure in an interview with Fox 5 News in Atlanta, becoming the fifth person to accuse Mr. Cain of improper behavior. Ms. White is not, however, claiming that harassment took place. Rather, she described what amounted, in her words, to a romance.

    “It was pretty simple,” Ms. White said. “It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”

    Ms. White showed the news station some of her cellphone bills that included 61 phone calls or text messages to and from a number she said was for Mr. Cain’s private cellphone. The contacts were made during four different months — as early as 4:26 a.m. and as late as 7:52 p.m. The most recent were in September.

    Hoping to get ahead of the story, Cain appeared on CNN yesterday afternoon to acknowledge the allegations, but insist that he did not have an affair. How does Cain explain the 61 times he contacted White? The Republican says he was “trying to help her financially.”

    If that seems hard to believe, it’s because the explanation is hard to believe.

    According to the accuser’s version of events, during Cain’s tenure at the National Restaurant Association — the same position he held when he was repeatedly accused of sexual harassment — he began an adulterous affair with White, including flying her to meet him at various events. The relationship reportedly ended about eight months ago, when Cain began moving forward with his campaign plans.

    White says she came forward in part because reporters who’d heard rumors were beginning to contact her, and in part because of how Cain and his campaign had mistreated the women who accused him of sexual harassment.

    The story took an awkward turn when Cain’s lawyer issued a statement that didn’t deny the allegations, but instead argued that it’s no one’s business: “This appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public.”

    This reinforced suspicions that the allegations are true, but it’s worth considering whether the lawyer’s statement has a point. There’s a reasonable case to be made that political candidates are entitled to some degree of privacy, and whether Cain engaged in a consensual, adulterous relationship is between him and his family. He wouldn’t be the first Republican adulterer to run for president, and the public has shown a fair amount of tolerance in this area. Politicians shouldn’t get away with sexual harassment — which directly speaks to a person’s professional conduct — but infidelity is quite different.

    There are, however, some relevant angles to keep in mind in this instance. Part of Cain’s pitch to voters is that he’s a morally-righteous minister who celebrates traditional marriage. Bad judgment in one’s personal life is one thing; hypocrisy is another. Americans have shown far less patience for the latter.

    What’s more, the question that I keep coming back to is why in the world Herman Cain even decided to run for president in the first place. He had to realize that the sexual misconduct allegations would surface eventually, which would prove humiliating to Cain and his family. He doesn’t seem to understand government or public policy; he’s never held public office at any level; he seems to have a Bush-like level of intellectual curiosity; and he appears to have a scandal-plagued personal life.

    Cain realized all of this and decided to launch a presidential campaign anyway? What was he thinking?

  41. rikyrah says:

    Monday, November 28, 2011
    Last Call
    Posted by Zandar
    The One Percenters complain that we can’t possibly spend any more money to help Americans in need right now, that we have to cut, cut, cut social programs and aid to the 99% as the Great Recession and the Housing Depression rolls on.

    Turns out the banksters got more money than anyone possibly imagined, including me. The Fed, over three years, made $7.7 trillion in emergency no-interest or low-interest loans to banks, including $1.2 trillion on one day, in order to save the financial system.

    The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

    The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

    Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

    A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.

    And the banks made $13 billion in profit off these loans. Topping the list: Citigroup made $1.8 billion off those loans, Bank of America $1.5 billion, and Royal Bank of Scotland made $1.2 billion off of the America taxpayer. But that’s not socialism, or course.

    So yeah. When the one percent and the companies they work for and own need money, they get $7.7 trillion in loans to keep the status quo going. Meanwhile, you as a peon? You should be made to suffer. It builds character.


  42. rikyrah says:

    November 29, 2011 8:35 AM

    Team Romney gives up on self-awareness

    By Steve Benen

    The Democratic National Committee hit Mitt Romney pretty hard yesterday, launching the “Mitt v. Mitt” campaign and airing a new ad highlighting the Republican candidate’s shameless flip-flopping. Romney’s team offered a furious response, issuing a seemingly-endless stream of press releases, and hosting literally a dozen conference calls with reporters.

    Most of the pushback avoided the substance of the DNC’s allegations. In fact, the Romney campaign spent most of the day accusing Democrats of trying to “tear down” the former governor, which I suppose is sort of true, but not exactly a compelling explanation for Romney’s allergy to principles.

    Eventually, though, Romney’s team said the candidate’s positions were more nuanced than the DNC ad leads voters to believe.

    That was a blatant misuse of quote,” Romney Communications Director Gail Gitcho said in a conference call featuring New Hampshire supporters of Romney. “Democrats were blatantly taking that quote out of context.”

    Oh, really. Is that so. The Romney campaign has discovered that it’s worried about proper use of context in a campaign ad.

    It’s as dramatic a failure of self-awareness as anything we’ve seen in a long while. After all, the Romney campaign, in the most shamelessly dishonest ad of the year to date, aired a spot last week that deliberately wrenched an Obama quote from context — and then didn’t care after the campaign got caught deceiving the public.

    And now Romney’s team wants to complain about context? Seriously?

    Not only is the response breathtaking on its face, but the pushback isn’t even persuasive. Romney may have tried to fudge some of his earlier positions and leave himself some wiggle room, but there’s nothing dishonest about the DNC’s spot — Romney really has taken both sides of the abortion and health care debates, among many other issues.

    In the meantime, the DNC released another video overnight, noting the reactions from the media and from New Hampshire voters to Romney’s attempts to deceive the public in his first ad of the campaign.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Eugenia Maria Jennings to Be Home by Christmas

    Date: Monday, November 28, 2011, 5:29 am
    By: Frederick Cosby, Special to

    After a decade behind bars, Eugenia Maria Jennings will be home for Christmas.

    One week ago, Jennings, a 34-year-old mother of three from Alton, Illinois, was the beneficiary of President Barack Obama’s first prison sentence commutation. He ordered that Jennings’ 22-year sentence for possession with intent to distribute 13.9 grams of crack cocaine expire on Dec. 21.

    Obama’s action was hailed by opponents of mandatory minimum prison sentencing and those who are seeking to end the disparity in sentencing for crack cocaine versus powdered cocaine that’s resulted in the imprisonment of a disproportionate number of blacks, like Jennings, and other minorities.

    “Eugenia Jennings’s 22-year sentence for her nonviolent offense was overkill,” Julie Stewart of Families Against Mandatory Minimums said in a statement Monday night. “Today, President Obama rights that wrong, and we are grateful to him. We urge the president to continue exercising his clemency power and grant more commutations to many deserving federal prisoners, like Eugenia, who have paid a hefty price for their mistakes and deserve a second chance.”

    Obama didn’t specify why he commuted Jennings’ time.

    “The president concluded that clemency was warranted for these individuals” – Obama also issued five pardons – “because they demonstrated genuine remorse for their crimes and remarkable rehabilitation into law-abiding, productive citizens and active members of their communities,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said.

    Obama was no doubt aware of Jennings’s plight: Democratic Sen. Richard Durban of Illinois, Obama’s former partner in the Senate, had been aggressively pushing for her release for years.

    Jennings’s story is as sad as it is compelling. She’s battling cancer, was beaten by a surrogate mother, surrounded by others who used drugs, left occasionally with a prostitute who sexually assaulted her, sexually abused by one of her half-brothers and had a stepfather who tried to rape her. Even the judge who put her in jail felt sorry for her.

    “Mrs. Jennings, I’m not mad at you,” federal Judge G. Patrick Murphy said as he sentenced Jennings in 2000. “The fact of the matter is nobody has even been there for you when you needed it. Never. You never had anyone who stood up for you. All the government’s even done is just kick your behind. When you were a child and you had been abused, the government wasn’t there. When your stepfather abused you, the government wasn’t there. When your stepbrother abused you, the government wasn’t there. But when you got a little bit of crack, the government’s there.”

    “Your whole life has been a life of deprivation, misery, whippings, and there is no way to unwind that,” the judge added, “but the truth of the matter is it’s not in my hands. As I told you, Congress has determined that the best way to handle people who are troublesome is we just lock them up. Congress passed the laws.”

  44. rikyrah says:

    No, I Will Not Shut Up and Smile” by @vcthree
    By ABL on November 28th, 2011

    This is a post by friend of ABLC, Vent Casey, III. He has also written for You can find him at @vcthree on Twitter or at his blog Cultured State. -ABLxx]

    So, in yet another critique of Occupy Wall Street–rather, the criticism of activism that operates in a standard of reductionism, to front with a message of “inclusiveness”, this response I got on Twitter…

    “I would just appreciate the people who are standing up for you right now and be happy.”

    That led to yet another tiring explanation about race v. class issues, and…sigh…whatever.

    Yet, I want to consider that response for a moment: why should I be simply be happy and appreciate people “standing up for me right now”? Why? Because they’re there; because they merely exist?

    The people “standing up for me right now” have little but a clue of my challenges and struggles—not just now, but in thirty-two years of breathing on this planet. They haven’t much of an idea of the things I’ve seen and experienced in that lifetime. And as such, I feel no compulsion whatsoever to merely applaud an effort. Many people have made “efforts,” but haven’t finished the deal. I’m past the point of congratulations for “efforts.” You want that? Find the teachers in school who told you that it never mattered what the score was in a game, but that you gave it your best.

    Cause I’ll tell you straight out that I’ve given my best, and guess what? Still on the bench.

    But I should simply appreciate and be thankful for people standing up for me right now, right?

    When over four-tenths of the 12.2% of the U.S. population—people who look like me—are incarcerated, yet you try to sell me on the idea of legalization of narcotics as if it would solve that issue? Meanwhile, I’m in a neighborhood where drugs, alcohol, and prostitution persist as a social problem. And nobody stands up for the people who want it out of here; no, they’re Uptown, or in Ballantyne or Steele Creek, or any of the other tiny little neighborhoods here where everyone bails to; mostly safe from this crap.

    But let me be thankful for people “standing up for me” now?

    When I went through an educational system in Prince George’s County that wasn’t concerned with educating me, as much as they were with tranquilizing me with Ritalin; going to special education schools where a White face was rare—probably 5-9 out of 100 students. No effort by the school to transition me for college; it was all about institutional control to a system. I didn’t get recommended for colleges; I got recommended for an assisted living facility in Baltimore, and a summer jobs program.

    Was there anyone—save for my mother—standing up for me, then?


    Was there anyone standing up for me when I couldn’t get bank loans to try and advance my education in 2007, for a career in a field I thought I was good for: broadcasting?


    Was there anyone standing up for me when politicians from the right attacked us year after year, day after day, as lazy and unmotivated sloths, sucking at the teat of government assistance?


    When President Clinton instituted welfare reforms, nobody stood up then, either.

    The recent housing crisis was primarily based in subprime lending—lending directly targeted to minorities under the guise that they, too, could participate in the fabled “American Dream”. And that dream sank for many of them—for many of us—because, hell; we couldn’t afford the bill…but nobody stepped in to stop any of it.

    Standing up for me? Please.

    I’m supposed to act like police brutality and overreach is this brand new concept, when I’ve been hearing that noise since I was at least 10 years old. Once, in 1999, I was pulled over for speeding in Hyattsville, Maryland and surrounded by about five police cars from local and the Park Police; the car was searched, and they found nothing but dust bunnies, but…five police cars. For a traffic stop.

    • Ametia says:

      Ya know what, FUCK OWS! I spent my thanksgiving holiday with friends in Iowa City. The mother of a 19 year old son whose birthday we were celebrating, told us her then 18 year old son had been stopped by the Po Po

      24 times- TWENTY FOUR FUCKING times! Each time they found nothing, telling her son it was” routine.” Routine my ass. You either have something to stop me for, or get the fuck outta my face. One of the 24 stops, they hauled him off to the jail house, accusing him of being involved with drugs. Of course they had NO EVIDENCE. His mother had to come and get him.

      I’ll call him “C”. He was polite and cooperative. They let him go. One CaC had the nerve to comment: “You don’t have any dead bodies in there, do ya?” WTF?!!!!! “C” did tell the cop he was offended by the question. Luckily the scene took place in broad daylight, because, God only knows what these white policemen would have done to him in the dark, for dare telling them he was OFFENDED!!!

      So until these fools out there protesting about OWS and some such other BULLSHIT, protest for the GOOD of the WHOLE, instead of their own SELFISH WHITE PRIVILEGED ASSES. FUCK’EM!

  45. rikyrah says:

    Parents say to sue after Florida band drum major dies

    The parents of the Florida A&M University drum major who died after suspected hazing said on Monday they will file a lawsuit against the school to stop what they say is a violent initiation rite.

    “This is not going to go away like other incidents,” said the family’s attorney, Christopher Chestnut. “The culture of hazing within the FAMU band has got to be eradicated.”

    Robert Champion, 26, died November 19 after being rushed to a hospital following a performance by the internationally renowned FAMU Marching “100” band at the annual Florida Classic football game against Bethune-Cookman University in Orlando.

    Champion, a music major from Atlanta who served as one of six drum majors for the 375-member Marching “100” band, vomited and complained that he could not breathe in a band bus in the parking lot of a hotel after the game.

    The medical examiner’s office said a cause of death will not be known for about 10 weeks, but local law enforcement officials suspect that Champion died following a hazing incident aboard the bus.

    “What’s tragic is that this could happen to another kid,” said Champion’s father, Robert Champion Sr. “You go to school to become a productive citizen and pursue something you love to do. You don’t expect this.”

    Pam Champion said her son was a laid-back, gentle young man who was involved in his church, and did community outreach. He tried to help new members adjust to life among the world-famous Marching “100,” known for its high-stepping, high-energy dance routines. “He loved the band,” she said.

    Their attorney said the family hopes the lawsuit, which has not yet been filed, will shed light on a practice that they contend has been tolerated not just within the marching band or at FAMU, but at bands, fraternities and colleges across the country.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Wis Dems Say They’re Already Halfway There On Walker Recall Signatures
    Eric Kleefeld November 28, 2011, 8:46 PM

    Wisconsin Democrats have made a huge announcement in their effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. They say that in the first 12 days of the petition effort, up through this past Saturday night, they now claim to have collected over 300,000 signatures — more than halfway to the goal that they have 60 days total to meet.

    In order to trigger a recall against Walker, the Dems must meet a high bar: Signatures of at least 25 percent of the number of voters in the previous gubernatorial election must be collected in a 60-day window. That means the Dems must get over 540,000 signatures — over 9,000 per day, statewide — plus some significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.

    But even against that lofty requirement, the Dems are claiming that in the 12 days since the recall launched, they have collected over 1,000 signatures per hour. Put another way, when measured against just the 9,000-per-day requirement, they claim to have taken only 12 days to reach where they had to be at about Day 33.

    “Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves, supported by millions in corporate cash, to defend his record of job loss and full-scale assault on Wisconsin’s institutions and values,” said a statement from Meagan Mahaffey, executive director of the recall umbrella group United Wisconsin. “But all over Wisconsin, the people are seeing through Walker’s deceptions and are moving to take our state back.”

    The Dems have been searching everywhere for signatures, including a canvass near shopping centers on Black Friday.

    Accepting these numbers at face value, this would mean that the Dems are overcoming a key caveat that has had to accompany their earlier signature announcements: That after months of build-up to the recall campaign, there would be an initial rush of people to sign at the first sound of the starting whistle, after which signature collection might significantly slow down. However, these numbers indicate almost no slowdown yet.

  47. rikyrah says:

    How to End the Nonsense
    by BooMan
    Tue Nov 29th, 2011 at 12:59:33 AM EST

    The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. In other words, it gives money to be people who get laid-off. Their job disappeared. They didn’t get fired. And the way this is paid for is by levying a tax on employers. Instead of giving you an extra sixty or seventy bucks a month, they give that money to the state and federal governments, just in case they have to ship your job to India. It’s not really that complicated. People who are out of work through no fault of their own are given a weekly stipend to help them through the transition from joblessness to employment. When times are tough and lots of folks can’t quickly find a new job, the government extends the benefits from six months to a year, or maybe even for a longer period. The point is, people who did nothing wrong and are out of work shouldn’t be ruined financially and left homeless and bankrupt.
    But that’s not how people on the right see things. Newt Gingrich, for example, thinks that receiving unemployment insurance payments makes people lazy. He also thinks we should drug test people before they can receive the check that their employers paid for. That’s right. Maybe you didn’t want unemployment insurance. Maybe you would have rather had that extra sixty or seventy bucks in your paycheck. But Newt Gingrich wants you to pee in a cup before you see your own money.

    How about if we ask people to pee in a cup before they see any of their 401(k) money or collect disability insurance payments? How about if we require presidential candidates to prove that they don’t have genital warts? Does Newt want to sign up for that?

    I didn’t think so.

    Newt also thinks we should drug test people before we give them food stamps. So, if you’re an eight-year old and your mom likes to smoke pot, you get to starve.

    Here’s my idea. No one can receive any benefit from the government, whether it be a Social Security check or a mortgage deduction or a subsidy for their farm, unless they are registered to vote and have actually voted in one of the last three federal elections (including primaries) in which they were eligible to vote. Forget turning people away because they don’t have a photo ID. Have literally everyone vote, all the time. You can provide waivers for people who are mentally ill or incapacitated. And people can always vote for no one or nothing. Just show up and cast a vote for “don’t care.” The idea is that you can’t expect the government to provide for you if you won’t provide for the government.

    The first thing that would happen under this new system is that conservatives like Newt Gingrich would go extinct. And that makes it worthwhile in my book.

  48. rikyrah says:

    where is the CBC on THIS?


    As Public Sector Sheds Jobs, Blacks Are Hit Hardest
    Published: November 28, 2011

    Don Buckley lost his job driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus almost two years ago and has been looking for work ever since, even as other municipal bus drivers around the country are being laid off.

    At 34, Mr. Buckley, his two daughters and his fiancée have moved into the basement of his mother’s house. He has had to delay his marriage, and his entire savings, $27,000, is gone. “I was the kind of person who put away for a rainy day,” he said recently. “It’s flooding now.”

    Mr. Buckley is one of tens of thousands of once solidly middle-class African-American government workers — bus drivers in Chicago, police officers and firefighters in Cleveland, nurses and doctors in Florida — who have been laid off since the recession ended in June 2009. Such job losses have blunted gains made in employment and wealth during the previous decade and undermined the stability of neighborhoods where there are now fewer black professionals who own homes or who get up every morning to go to work.

    Though the recession and continuing economic downturn has been devastating to the American middle class as a whole, the two and a half years since the declared end of the recession have been singularly harmful to middle-class blacks in terms of layoffs and unemployment, according to economists and recent government data. About one in five black workers have public-sector jobs, and African-American workers are one-third more likely than white ones to be employed in the public sector.

    “The reliance on these jobs has provided African-Americans a path upward,” said Robert H. Zieger, emeritus professor of history at the University of Florida, and the author of a book on race and labor. “But it is also a vulnerability.”

    A study by the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California this spring concluded, “Any analysis of the impact to society of additional layoffs in the public sector as a strategy to address the fiscal crisis should take into account the disproportionate impact the reductions in government employment have on the black community.”

    Jobless rates among blacks have consistently been about double those of whites. In October, the black unemployment rate was 15.1 percent, compared with 8 percent for whites. Last summer, the black unemployment rate hit 16.7 percent, its highest level since 1984.

    Economists say there are probably a variety of reasons for the racial gap, including generally lower educational levels for African-Americans, continuing discrimination and the fact that many live in areas that have been slow to recover economically.

    Though the precise number of African-Americans who have lost public-sector jobs nationally since 2009 is unclear, observers say the current situation in Chicago is typical. There, nearly two-thirds of 212 city employees facing layoffs are black, according to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union.

    The central role played by government employment in black communities is hard to overstate. African-Americans in the public sector earn 25 percent more than other black workers, and the jobs have long been regarded as respectable, stable work for college graduates, allowing many to buy homes, send children to private colleges and achieve other markers of middle-class life that were otherwise closed to them.

    Blacks have relied on government jobs in large numbers since at least Reconstruction, when the United States Postal Service hired freed slaves. The relationship continued through a century during which racial discrimination barred blacks from many private-sector jobs, and carried over into the 1960s when government was vastly expanded to provide more services, like bus lines to new suburbs, additional public hospitals and schools, and more.

    But during the past year, while the private sector has added 1.6 million jobs, state and local governments have shed at least 142,000 positions, according to the Labor Department.

  49. Ametia says:

    Amazon Kindle sales heat up, stock jumps

    By Alistair Barr

    Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:05pm EST

    (Reuters) – Inc said on Monday it saw a surge in sales of its Kindle devices, helped by its new Kindle Fire tablet, on the crucial “Black Friday” shopping day after Thanksgiving.

    Consumers bought four times as many Kindles on Black Friday as they did on the same day last year, when the company sold only e-readers, the largest Internet retailer reported.

    The $199 Fire was the best-selling product on on Black Friday and it has been the top seller over the eight weeks since the tablet was launched, the company added.

  50. Ametia says:

    American Airlines Parent AMR Corp. Files for Bankruptcy
    By Phil Milford – Nov 29, 2011 6:47 AM CT

    American Airlines parent AMR Corp. (AMR) filed for bankruptcy after failing to secure cost-cutting labor agreements and sitting out a round of mergers that dropped it from the world’s largest airline to No. 3 in the U.S.

    With the filing, American became the final large U.S. full- fare airline to seek court protection from creditors. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company, which traces its roots to 1920s air- mail operations in the Midwest, listed $24.7 billion in assets and $29.6 billion in debt in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan

  51. rikyrah says:


  52. dannie22 says:

    Good morning all!

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