Monday Open Thread

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a modern dance company based in New York, New York. It was founded in 1958 by choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey. It is made up of 30 dancers as well as artistic director Judith Jamison and associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya.

Alvin Ailey and a group of young Black modern dancers first performed at New York’s 92nd Street Young Men’s Hebrew Association (92nd Street Y), under the name Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in March 1958. Following this performance, the company traveled on what were known as the “station wagon tours”; in 1960, the AAADT became a resident company of the 51st Street YWCA‘s Clark Center for the Performing Arts. It was during this period that Ailey choreographed his famous work Revelations. In 1962, the company was chosen to tour the Far East, Southeast Asia and Australia as part of President John F. Kennedy‘s “President’s Special International Program for Cultural Presentations.” Judith Jamison joined the company in 1965.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
This entry was posted in Arts, Current Events, Dance, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave from Air Force One at Hickam Air Force base near Honolulu, Hawaii, January 2, 2012. The first family are returning to Washington after their Christmas and New Year vacation.

  2. U.S. President Barack Obama greets well-wishers before walking to Air Force One at Hickam Air Force base near Honolulu, Hawaii, January 2, 2012. The first family are returning to Washington after their Christmas and New Year vacation.

  3. Chris Matthews Calls Mitt Romney Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

    Chris Matthews and Martin Bashir had some harsh words for GOP candidate Mitt Romney on Monday.

    Matthews appeared on Bashir’s MSNBC show, live from Des Moines, Iowa. The two MSNBC pundits were discussing the high volume of negative television and radio ads attacking Newt Gingrich in Iowa. The ads are paid for by the super PAC Restore Our Future, which Matthews described as “basically a Romney operation.”

    Bashir called Romney “disingenuous” and asked if he was playing an “entirely duplicitous campaign.” According to Bashir, Romney was on the campaign trail acting “as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, as the most civil of all candidates.”

    Matthews agreed with Bashir and likened Romney to Dr. Jekyll — the protagonist in Robert Louis Stevenson’s story about a kind scientist who takes a potion and turns into a homicidal maniac, Mr. Hyde. “He plays Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde runs the ad campaign,” Matthews said of Romney. Matthews added that Romney “goes around quoting verses from ‘America the Beautiful’ as if there’s something new to talk about…meanwhile his ads are kicking the hell out of Newt Gingrich.”

    [wpvideo tr56vkPC]

  4. rikyrah says:

    “Inevitable” Romney Meets the Santorum Surprise in Iowa
    Posted by Al Giordano – January 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    In The Field’s December 22 analysis of tomorrow’s Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, which was largely dedicated to how the media and its pundits underestimate former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s chances to rebound, I inserted this placeholder paragraph:

    “Before concluding, I’ll say a few words about former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. He could still surprise in Iowa. With the graceless falls of Bachman and Perry, it’s now between Santorum and Gingrich as to who can possibly coalesce the Evangelical right behind one candidate in Iowa. But that would require a sudden Santorum surge in the New Year’s Des Moines Register poll.”

    Well, that poll – the quadrennial gold standard when it comes to fixing Iowa caucus expectations – came out on New Year’s Eve. And it shows exactly that: the fickle grassroots Christian conservative base of the Republican Party has indeed begun to coalesce behind an Anti-Romney, but his name isn’t Gingrich, it’s former Pennsylvania US Senator Rick Santorum.

    The Field now projects that Santorum will win the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday. But Caveat Emptor, not everybody agrees: Former Massachusetts governor Romney still leads in most polls and in the aggregate average of all polls. US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas led in the Public Policy Polling survey taken Saturday and Sunday. Nate Silver’s computers give Romney a 38 percent chance of Iowa victory, Paul a 34 percent chance Santorum a 24 percent shot (that’s up from 12 percent yesterday and will likely rise again overnight; yes, we can also accurately project what the projectors will say as reality sinks in) and Gingrich a 3 percent dark horse possibility. Santorum is also the only GOP candidate in Iowa that has not led in a single public opinion poll in all of 2011. But I think he’s going to win it, and I’ll tell you why.

    The “Romney is inevitable” script is oh so reminiscent of what happened on the Democratic side four years ago, when the pundits told us that then-US Senator Hillary Clinton was a lead-pipe cinch to become the party’s nominee. Romney has benefited greatly from some of the same factors that drove the Hillary-as-Frontrunner mythology: the coalesced economic support from Wall Street interests, air support from the media organizations they own, and a large pool of primary rivals to divide those Democrats less enthused about her (remember that Obama had to contend with former US Sen. John Edwards, then-New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and US Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, none of them political neophytes, all good debaters, before he emerged, in Iowa, as that cycle’s Anti-Clinton).

    In 2008, Obama did emerge, though, mainly because his campaign resurrected the seemingly ancient and forgotten practice of community organizing, both in his door-to-door grassroots field efforts, the intensive training of his volunteers in those arts, and the conversion of the organizing concept to what was then a new phenomenon in political campaign fundraising: the primacy of the small donor, multiplied hundreds of thousands of times and oiled by the speed of the Internet.

    While none of the Republican candidates in 2012 have come close to the level of grassroots gravitas of the Obama ’08 campaign prior to Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, we have to remember two things:

    First, that prior to Obama’s emergence, the American leaders in grassroots organizing were not on the left or Democratic side of the spectrum. It was the Christian Right, with its Sunday church pulpits, phone banking, direct mail fundraising and house parties that had been the phantom field organization of the Republican party presidential victories in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and, again in 2004, when that was the key factor in defending then-president George W. Bush’s reelection from Democrat John Kerry in key swing states like Ohio. That grassroots field apparatus is still there, even if it has fractured into many competing organizations and sectors that have not been able to – not until tomorrow night, anyway – coalesce behind a single GOP presidential candidate. But it’s still there, lurking, a specter that haunts Willard Mitt Romney and his “inevitability” claims.

    The second thing to remember is that Obama’s grassroots and online fundraising really didn’t kick in to high gear until the night he won the Iowa primary and, a week later, the night he lost the New Hampshire primary to Clinton, was in fact the night that the Obama campaign broke all online fundraising records in US politics.

    As we’ve argued for 20 months now, all it takes to derail the Romney Express is for the Evangelical Right of the GOP base to unite behind a single candidate. As hard as it is for political factions to come to alliance, the early caucus and primary process tends to force them into it. Americans are pragmatic when it comes to politics. They gravitate toward winners and electoral contests almost always boil down to two or three candidates who are perceived as having a chance to win. The votes and the money then drop the also-rans and follow those leaders.

  5. On CNN, Laid Off Worker Says Romney Put Profit Over People

  6. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 4:30 PM
    It seems to me, he lives his life with a finger in the wind
    By Steve Benen

    Byron York had an interesting report the other day on the process Mitt Romney went through before running for the Senate. He noted, for example, that the Massachusetts Republican traveled to Salt Lake City in 1993 in order to brief several leaders of his church about the policy positions he intended to take.

    That in itself may prove controversial, and raise questions about Romney’s appreciation for the church-state line.

    But before he did even that, Romney took a poll.

    How Romney handled that dilemma is described in a new book, “Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics,” by Boston journalist Ronald Scott. A Mormon who admires Romney but has had his share of disagreements with him, Scott knew Romney from local church matters in the late 1980s.

    Scott had worked for Time Inc., and in the fall of 1993, he says, Romney asked him for advice on how to handle various issues the media might pursue in a Senate campaign. Scott gave his advice in a couple of phone conversations and a memo. In the course of the conversations, Scott says, Romney outlined his views on the abortion problem.

    According to Scott, Romney revealed that polling from Richard Wirthlin, Ronald Reagan’s former pollster whom Romney had hired for the ‘94 campaign, showed it would be impossible for a pro-life candidate to win statewide office in Massachusetts. In light of that, Romney decided to run as a pro-choice candidate, pledging to support Roe v. Wade, while remaining personally pro-life. [emphasis added]

    So, let me get this straight. Mitt Romney was pro-choice because a poll told him it was the easiest way to advance his political ambitions? And then he decided he wasn’t pro-choice anymore, when that was the easiest way to advance other political ambitions?

    There’s going to be a point later this year when voters will be asked, “How can you trust Mitt Romney?” and the answer, even for Republicans, will be far from clear.

  7. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 3:50 PM

    Let’s not parse the meaning of ‘tax increase’
    By Steve Benen

    We talked earlier about a fascinating exchange during last night’s “60 Minutes” on CBS, when Lesley Stahl noted that Reagan raised taxes and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s press secretary threw a fit. It appears my post wasn’t well received by some on the right.

    To briefly recap, Stahl and Cantor were talking about the nature of political compromises, and the CBS correspondent noted that Reagan, Cantor’s hero, was willing to compromise and the Republican icon “raised taxes.” Cantor’s press secretary, off camera, interrupted the interview, yelling that Stahl was lying about Reagan’s record.

    One far-right blogger today offered a unique spin on reality.

    Stahl, was not being honest. When Ronald Reagan took office, the top individual tax rate was 70 percent and by 1986 it was down to only 28 percent. All Americans received at least a 30 percent tax rate cut. Democrats like to play with the numbers to pretend that Reagans [sic] tax increases equalled [sic] his tax cuts. Of course, this is absurd.

    … Unfortunately, Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly continued to misrepresent Reagan’s record on tax cuts. It’s just soooo difficult for liberals to understand that tax cuts work. Sad.

    While some left-vs-right disputes quickly fall into the realm of opinion and/or subjective analysis, the question here is surprisingly straightforward. Stahl said Reagan raised taxes; Cantor’s press secretary and this conservative blogger said Reagan didn’t raise taxes. One side is right; one side isn’t.

    Fortunately, there’s no need to “play with the numbers” or “pretend” anything. Either Reagan signed tax increases into law or he didn’t. Even conservatives should be able to accept these basic terms.

    And in this case, reality is crystal clear and the facts are indisputable: in Ronald Reagan’s first term, he signed off on a series of tax increases — even when unemployment was nearing 11% — and proceeded to raise taxes seven out of the eight years he was in office. The truth is, “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.

    It’s true that Reagan cut taxes in 1981, but a year later, he also approved what is generally considered the largest tax increase — as a percentage of the economy — in modern American history.

    And unfortunately for the right, the economy boomed shortly thereafter.

    There’s nothing to debate here. Between 1982 and 1984, Reagan raised taxes four times, and as Bruce Bartlett — who worked for Reagan — has explained more than once, Reagan raised taxes 12 times during his eight years in office.

    Now, if Cantor’s office and right-wing bloggers want to argue about the efficacy of Reagan’s tax policy, we can have a serious debate. If they want to discuss the impact of these tax cuts on the deficit — Reagan added $2 trillion to the debt in eight years, after promising to do the opposite as a candidate in 1980 — I’m certainly game. If they want to point out that Reagan only raised taxes reluctantly, as part of a compromise with congressional Democrats, they’d be on firm ground.

    But instead Cantor’s office and right-wing bloggers want to contest the basics of reality. And that’s just silly.

  8. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 1:35 PM
    Malleable standards on voter ID
    By Steve Benen

    As part of an aggressive Republican “war on voting,” GOP policymakers in much of the country are putting new hurdles between Americans and their election process. The most common — and arguably most odious — are mandatory voter-ID laws, intended to block traditional Democratic constituencies (African Americans, students, the poor, the elderly) from participating in elections.

    When defending the voter-suppression tactics, Republican invariably say the measures are necessary to prevent imaginary voter fraud. But it’s interesting to see when those concerns disappear.

    While Republicans pushed for tough new voter-identification standards throughout the past year — passing stricter laws in more than a dozen states — the GOP’s Iowa caucusgoers won’t even need to bring a photo ID to the polls on Tuesday.

    As blogger Brad Friedman first noted, the Iowa GOP enjoys full control over its caucuses, including determining voter eligibility. Iowa Republican Party spokesman Ryan Gough told The Huffington Post that would-be voters will be checked against rolls of registered Republicans taken from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. Attendees will have to prove their identity and address, but have plenty of options besides a driver’s license or passport.

    “If you have, for instance, a student ID and utility bill or a pay stub with your address on it, you’re good to go,” Gough said.

    Iowa Republicans will also be allowed to register on the night of the caucuses without any additional form of ID.

    Remember, from coast to coast, Republican officials keep insisting (1) same-day registration is a scourge on democracy; (2) student IDs can’t possibly be good enough; and (3) voter IDs are absolutely necessary.

    So are we to believe these same Republicans are outraged by the Iowa caucuses are consider the first nominating contest corrupt?

  9. rikyrah says:

    You Can’t Handle The Truth
    by John Cole

    During that 60 Minutes interview with the impressively slimy Eric Cantor, there is one moment that stood out. As Steve Benen notes, when Cantor’s press secretary from off camera yelled that it simply was not true that Reagan raised taxes, Stahl went on to show a clip of Reagan announcing a tax cut and uttering the dreaded “compromise” word. As Benen notes, contrary to the current myth that Republicans push that Reagan never raised taxes, Reagan is actually one of the greatest tax increasers of the modern era.

    It would be nice if we could just dismiss these guys as liars, but the truth is even worse. Many of them don’t even know they are lying, they are living so safely inside the cocoon they have created for themselves. They are operating inside a constructed alternate reality, and have been for quite some time. Inside the bubble, vaccines cause cancer, the death penalty is never implemented when it shouldn’t be, Jesus rode on the back of dinosaurs, a semi-meiotic glob of cells is a person, and if you just keep cutting taxes and regulations, the growth fairy will leave increased federal revenues under the pillow.

    It’s insane.

  10. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 2:25 PM
    Repair the world’
    By Steve Benen

    Campaigning in Iowa today, Mitt Romney took a relatively new tack in going after President Obama, characterizing the president as having promised to be a savior to the entire planet.

    “I’ve been watching some clips of President Obama, then candidate Obama, when he was going across Iowa four years ago,” Romney said. “And the promises were just non-stop of all the great thing he was going to do: heal the nation, bring us together, repair the nation and repair the world.”

    I watched the 2008 race pretty closely, and I’m fairly certain Obama never promised he’d single-handedly “repair the world.” What’s more likely is that Romney, an enthusiast of “post-truth politics,” simply made this up. He does that a lot.

    But as lies go, this one is fairly important because of what it tells us about the larger Republican strategy. Peter Wallsten has a good piece today on the literal GOP playbook.

    With Republican voters in Iowa set to finally begin picking a nominee to challenge President Obama, GOP officials in Washington are quietly and methodically finishing what operatives are calling “the book” — 500 pages of Obama quotes and video links that will form the backbone of the party’s attack strategy against the president leading up to Election Day 2012.

    The document, portions of which were reviewed by The Washington Post, lays out how GOP officials plan to use Obama’s words and voice as they build an argument for his defeat: that he made specific promises and entered office with lofty expectations and has failed to deliver on both.

    Not surprisingly, I happen to think the GOP officials are wrong, and that the president has kept his promises and had extraordinary successes under nearly impossible circumstances. Some of the promises Obama made four years ago were no doubt scuttled by the global economic crash — which came nine months after the 2008 Iowa caucuses and five months before Obama took the oath of office — but sane voters should realize that campaign pledges made a year in advance had to adapt to radically changing circumstances.

    The more interesting point here seems to be the part about “lofty expectations,” which Romney alluded to with his “bring us together” comments this morning.

    It’s not unreasonable to look back and recognize that Obama, as a candidate, really did have grand ambitions about changing politics and improving the way policymakers approached problem-solving. He also came into office at a time of remarkable crises — I’d argue no president since Lincoln took office and faced the kind of challenges Obama did — and sincerely hoped well-intentioned officials on both sides of the aisle would be willing to do the right thing, regardless of party.

    Three years later, did the president help usher in a “post-partisan” era? Of course not. And if Republicans are successful, voters who expected otherwise may take out their disappointments on the incumbent president.

    But here’s hoping sensible voters pause to consider why political conditions deteriorated as they did. Greg Sargent had an important piece on this earlier today.

    Obama had barely been sworn into office before the national Republican leadership mounted a concerted and determined effort to prevent any of Obama’s solutions to our severe national problems from passing, even as they openly declared they were doing so only to destroy him politically. Republicans have admitted on the record that deliberately denying Obama any bipartisan support for, well, anything at all was absolutely crucial to prevent voters from concluding that Obama had successfully forged ideological common ground over the way out of the myriad disasters Obama inherited from them. […]

    [A]s Steve Kornacki recently noted, blaming Obama for failing to transcend politics as usual despite determined GOP opposition may be the best way to give indys and moderates a reason to vote against Obama even though they generally agree and sympathize with him. And so, after doing everything in their power to prevent Obama from successfully transcending partisanship and achieving transformative change — even if it meant repeatedly opposing solutions to profound national problems they once embraced — Republicans will now attack him for failing to transcend partisanship and achieve transformative change.

    Greg posted that at 9:13 this morning. Before lunch, Romney had already proved him right.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Kthug’s Slow Motion Nightmare
    by John Cole

    You honestly have to feel for Paul Krugman and the handful of others who have been telling us all along that austerity policies are bound to fail:

    Europe’s leaders braced their nations for a turbulent year, with their beleaguered economies facing a threat on two fronts: widening deficits that force more borrowing but increasing austerity measures that put growth further out of reach.

    Saying that Europe was facing its “harshest test in decades,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany warned on New Year’s Eve that “next year will no doubt be more difficult than 2011” — a marked change in tone from a year ago, when she praised Germans for “mastering the crisis as no other nation.”

    Her blunt message was echoed in Italy, France and Greece, the epicenter of the debt crisis, where Prime Minister Lucas Papademos asked for resolve in seeing reforms through, “so that the sacrifices we have made up to now won’t be in vain.”

    While the economic picture in the United States has brightened recently with more upbeat employment figures, Europe remains mired in a slump. Most economists are forecasting a recession for 2012, which will heighten the pressure governments and financial institutions across the Continent are seeing.

    Adding to the gloomy outlook is the prospect of a downgrade in France’s sterling credit rating, a move that analysts say could happen early in the new year and have wide-ranging consequences on efforts to stabilize Europe’s finances.

    Despite criticism from many economists, though, most European governments are sticking to austerity plans, rejecting the Keynesian approach of economic stimulus favored by Washington after the financial crisis in 2008, in a bid to show investors they are serious about fiscal discipline.

    This cycle was evident on Friday, when Spain surprised observers by announcing a larger-than-expected budget gap for 2011 even as the new conservative government there laid out plans to increase property and income taxes in 2012.

    Indeed, even in the country where the crisis began, Greece, the cycle of spending cuts, tax increases and contraction has not resulted in a course correction, and the same path now lies in store for much larger economies like those of Italy and Spain.

    “Every government in Europe with the exception of Germany is bending over backwards to prove to the market that they won’t hesitate to do what it takes,” said Charles Wyplosz, a professor of economics at the Graduate Institute of Geneva. “We’re going straight into a wall with this kind of policy. It’s sheer madness.”

    Rather than the austerity measures now being imposed, Mr. Wyplosz said he would like to see governments halt the recent tax increases and spending reductions, and instead cut consumption taxes in a bid to encourage consumer spending. More belt-tightening, he said, increases the likelihood that Europe will see a “lost decade” of economic torpor like Japan faced in the 1990s.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Private Danny Chen, and why I will never again reach out to OWS about something that matters to me

    By Guest Contributor Esther Choi, cross-posted from Some Thoughts …

    I can’t stress enough that the following article only represents my opinions as an individual, and are not to be affiliated with any other person, organization or community.

    December 15, 2011
    Tonight was the march and vigil for Private Danny Chen, who was killed in the army on October 3, 2011. We don’t know how he died. The army is withholding all evidence, which it owes to the family, that could answer this question. What we do know is that he did not die in combat. We know he was constantly harassed and discriminated against by his fellow soldiers for being Chinese. We know some really twisted, violent hazing was committed against him by his superiors, right before he was found dead. We decided to hold a march and vigil because the army is currently carrying out an investigation, and we have to show them that the public is watching and that they cannot get away with another cover-up.
    Just yesterday, board members of OCA-NY along with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Council Member Margaret Chin went to the Pentagon to meet with high-ranking army officials, where they made demands that may fundamentally transform the way that hazing and bias crimes are dealt with in the military. We need them to know that the public and the media are watching, and that if they do not meet our demands, we will redirect our campaign to focus on our young men and women who are thinking of enlisting. These young people need to know before they enlist, the Army will not protect them from harm by fellow soldiers.
    Before the vigil, we reached out to many organizations to support, and 36 signed onto our cause. We also reached out to Occupy Wall Street because justice and government transparency are in its mission, and we thought we could use the numbers and networks in OWS to bring out more support for our vigil, and we also wanted to show our solidarity with OWS.
    So imagine my surprise when protesters from OWS showed up with OWS signs, not to stand with others lining up for the march to Columbus Park in support, but to stand in front of everyone, trying to direct them. These people, who had not, until that very moment, put in one bit of effort into organizing this action, who had no idea what the plan was, who had no idea who we were or who the family was, decided that they were going to make this an OWS event.
    Conflict erupted when one of the OWS-affiliated protesters came with a giant Communist Party of China flag. This white man decided that he was entitled to represent us, at this protest for an American soldier, with a flag that has been used by this country to vilify the Chinese American community. When people began asking him not to demonstrate that flag because it was not the purpose of the event and we were in no way representing China or political parties, he began screaming at us about how we were ANTI-COMMUNIST and trying to take away his first amendment rights. We told him that Danny Chen was an American soldier and we wanted to respect the family and their wishes, but he continued screaming violent accusations at us at the top of his lungs and disrupting the event, until one of Danny Chen’s family members, on the verge of tears, finally convinced him to leave.

    Then I overheard another OWS protester, who had earlier been trying to direct the protesters, give a video interview, and heard him saying, ever so solemnly, “They don’t want me here.” My question is: who are we and who are you? How do you expect to be welcomed as one of “us” when you have, from the beginning, made every effort to set yourself apart? Why do you think that you as an individual should be primary in this march for Private Danny Chen and his family? Why are you here giving video interviews?
    Another white OWS protester began trying to use the human mic to direct the protest, and told me that I shouldn’t be using the blowhorn because the cops were going to take it away. I told her that, no, we had a parade permit and sound permit, which was why the police were there clearing the streets for our march. She looked confused and stopped yelling.
    OWS protesters often make it seem like they are the birth of social justice activism, that they are here to teach us how to protest because none of us know what the fuck we are doing and need their wealth of experience to help us out. I was not at all surprised when that woman so naturally assumed that she, as a white woman, knew better than me – she thought that I had found a blowhorn somewhere and decided to play around with it. It didn’t occur to her that we had been planning this for weeks and thinking critically about every step, that it was led by a civil rights organization that has been at work for decades, that we had applied for 4 different kinds of permits so that our event could safely and effectively achieve its purpose.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Glenn Greenwald defends ‘Obama could rape a nun’ attack on supporters
    By Zerlina Maxwell

    8:00 AM on 01/02/2012

    There are certainly ways to disagree with Obama administration policies without ad hominem attacks on Barack Obama the man or those who chose to support him. Saying those supporters would condone the president “raping a nun on live TV” not being among them.

    Unfortunately, that was the approach taken by blogger Glenn Greenwald over the weekend, while expressing his outrage over President Obama signing the National Defense Authorization Act.

    The annual NDAA is the essential piece of legislation that pays U.S. soldiers’ salaries, funds equipment for troops overseas, buys ammunition, and also pays our military contractors abroad.

    In the current NDAA, there is an objectionable provision which allows for the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, which civil liberties advocates fear could apply to American citizens. The potential encroachment on civil liberties justifiably wrangled many, and President Obama even signaled his discontent with the provisions in a signing statement attached to the legislation, insisting that the detention provisions would not apply to Americans.

    There is the added possibility that the potentially unconstitutional provisions related to detention will be challenged in court where they could even be struck down by Chief Justice John Roberts and company.

    Greenwald has been one of the loudest and harshest critics of the Obama administration, and while not actually a liberal or an Obama supporter, he is frequently identified as a blogger who is “disappointed with President Obama” over what he sees as serious violations of civil liberties. The debate over the NDAA (and U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan) has been ongoing and frequently gets lively between Greenwald and his supporters, and pro-Obama bloggers like Imani Gandy, of and Balloon Juice (Gandy also contributes to theGrio.)

    In a particularly heated exchange on Twitter Saturday night, a blogger named “DrDawg” tweeted about Gandy: “Obama could rape a nun live on NBC and you’d say we weren’t seeing what we were seeing.” In response, Greenwald chimed in, “No – she’d say it was justified [and] noble – that he only did it to teach us about the evils of rape.”

    When twitter exploded in attacks on Greenwald for making a “rape joke,” instead of apologizing for the comment, Greenwald doubled down, tweeting that the reference to rape was not a metaphor and in fact Obama supporters would defend the president in the face of “ANY evil: assassinations, child-killings: EVEN rape violent crime like rape.”

    Leveraging rape in that manner is unconscionable,” Gandy told theGrio. And there are certainly racial overtones to the comment, considering the historic narrative of black men being sexually aggressive and even accused rapists in the Jim Crow south. For the first black president to be disparaged in this way is wholly unacceptable.

    “All [Greenwald] had to do was apologize,” said Gandy.

  14. rikyrah says:

    .David Sirota’s Drive-by: Democrats more racist than Ron Paul

    David Sirota drops a drive-by tweet and suggests that the Democrats’ Drug War, Patriot Act & Indefinite Detention Bill* are more racist than Ron Paul’s newsletters and doesn’t answer as Tweeters take him down.

    *Um, the Drug War & Patriot Act are Republican concoctions & there is no “Indefinite Detention Bill.”

  15. Newt Gingrich on Iowa: ‘I don’t think I’m going to win’.

  16. ThinkProgress:
    BREAKING: GOP has recorded stuff Obama has said as president! #strategery

  17. Ametia says:

    “Inevitable” Romney Meets the Santorum Surprise in Iowa
    Posted by Al Giordano – January 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    By Al Giordano

    In The Field’s December 22 analysis of tomorrow’s Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, which was largely dedicated to how the media and its pundits underestimate former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s chances to rebound, I inserted this placeholder paragraph:

    “Before concluding, I’ll say a few words about former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. He could still surprise in Iowa. With the graceless falls of Bachman and Perry, it’s now between Santorum and Gingrich as to who can possibly coalesce the Evangelical right behind one candidate in Iowa. But that would require a sudden Santorum surge in the New Year’s Des Moines Register poll.”

    Well, that poll – the quadrennial gold standard when it comes to fixing Iowa caucus expectations – came out on New Year’s Eve. And it shows exactly that: the fickle grassroots Christian conservative base of the Republican Party has indeed begun to coalesce behind an Anti-Romney, but his name isn’t Gingrich, it’s former Pennsylvania US Senator Rick Santorum.


    Chances are you are reading this from a high speed Internet connection in the comfort of a heated shelter: proof enough that most of you are not worse off today than you were four years ago, and so most of you are going to vote based on issues other than economic worries. Heck, it won’t even necessarily be a vote cast on “issues,” but, rather, on which team organizes you best to vote for its guy. In Iowa on the Republican side, Santorum is the one – with an assist from pre-existing Evangelical organizations and organizers – who has apparently done it. Next November, it will more likely be the community organizing of the Obama reelection campaign. Or, to properly appropriate the electoral credo of 1992 to amend it for 2012 realities: It’s the Organizing, Stupid!

  18. redbird45:

    Ppl pay attention. Iowa republicans are in trouble, which signals the whole party is doomed.

  19. Caucus Video: Obama’s Shadow Operation

    Jeff Zeleny reports on President Obama’s robust campaign in Iowa. In spite of all the attention on the Republicans, Mr. Obama is the most organized candidate in the state.

  20. Ametia says:

    LOL @ twitter comment: ■RT @BorowitzReport: President Obama’s New Year message: “Happy New Year. And remember, I killed Osama bin fucking Laden.”

  21. DNC’s Woodhouse on Romney’s Private Sector Experience: He Wasn’t Making Widgets

  22. President Obama to speak Wednesday at Shaker Heights High School

    President Barack Obama will deliver a speech about the economy shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday at Shaker Heights High School, the White House says.

    It will be his 15th visit to Ohio since taking office in January 2009.

    In July of that year, Obama held a town hall-style rally at Shaker Heights High School to press his health care reform efforts.

    Free tickets to Wednesday’s speech will distributed on a first come, first-served basis at the Shaker Heights City School District Administration building starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The building is located at 15600 Parkland Drive.

    The White House says all attendees “will go through airport-like security.” No signs, banners or bags are permitted, and personal items will be limited. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m.

  23. Ametia says:

    Election Day Registration, No Photo ID Requirement Will Help Boost Turnout In Tomorrow’s Iowa Caucuses
    By Scott Keyes on Jan 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Tomorrow, when Iowa Republicans gather across the state to vote on their party’s presidential nominee, one important tool will be available to boost turnout: election day voter registration.

    Though Iowa, unlike most states, permits those who haven’t registered (or just need to update their file after a move, for instance) before election day to do so when they show up at their precinct during regular elections, the Huffington Post notes that the Iowa GOP is in charge of setting the rules for its own caucuses.

    Despite nationwide efforts to make voting more difficult, the Republican Party of Iowa decided to buck the trend and allow for on-site registration. In doing so, however, they necessarily undercut the argument being made by GOPers in many other states that election day registration (EDR) invites fraud. (Of course, voters are 39 times more likely to be struck by lightning than commit fraud at the polls, and EDR actually helps prevent already-miniscule levels of fraud.)

  24. Eric Cantor’s Press Secretary Interrupts 60 Min Interview to Claim Reagan Never Raised Taxes –

  25. rikyrah says:

    What They’re Scared Of: Mitt’s Existential Rhetoric Resonates With Iowans

    Evan McMorris-Santoro- January 2, 2012, 6:00 AM

    COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA — As he’s pivoted back to a campaign focused almost entirely on President Obama, Mitt Romney has raised the alarm: 2012, he says, is about nothing less than the very “soul of America.”

    Iowans I talked to at two of Romney’s campaign stops Sunday were in full agreement. So I asked them what scares them about a second Obama term. I got answers ranging from the creep of socialism to concerns that Obama’s best-known vice will encourage kids to take up smoking.

    Romney’s emphasis is on the former. Lost in most of the reporting on Romney’s push toward the finish line in Iowa — which has mostly focused on the way his allies have used millions in negative advertising to vanquish his GOP enemies — is what a Romney stump speech sounds like. And as he has for weeks now, Romney is telling Iowans to be wary of what he says is Obama’s plan to turn the “merit-based” America into an America of “entitlements,” where the government doles out the rewards regardless of effort.

    His rhetoric casts the contest with Obama as nothing less than an existential struggle for America’s future.

    “I think President Obama…looks to Europe,” Romney said at a rally here.

    [He] sees the European welfare state as perhaps being the more appropriate model. An entitlement society, where the role of government is increasingly to take from someone to give to others. That would deaden the American spirit. That would substitute envy for ambition. It would poison the very spirit of America that allows us to be one nation under god. What voters will get with Romney instead, he said, is a man who “loves this country” and “loves the principles upon which it was founded.”

    “This is an election about a choice of direction or America,” Romney continued. “Not just policies, but a choice of whether we’re going to remain true to the principles that made us who we are or instead we’re going to take a sharp turn left and become something that we would hardly recognize.”

    Everything is on the line, Romney says.

    “This is a campaign for the soul of America,” he said more than once Sunday.

    Of course, all this is properly vague, in keeping with the kind of rhetoric you’d expect. So I asked the people in the crowd what they thought the fight for the “soul of America” meant.

    “I think a lot of people have lost the idea of what America really stands for,” Connie Burns, a Middle School teacher from Atlantic, Iowa, told me at a Romney stop. “Which is the freedom, opportunity, basics to provide for your family.”

    Burns said she doesn’t think Obama doesn’t believe in the “spirit of America,” but she said the president has “his own idea of what America should be” and said she’s scared of a second Obama term.

    I asked her for specifics. “My husband, who’s a military man, is worried about how the military is going to be handled,” she said. “I just worry about the economy and the future.”

    So this is not the kind of Obama terror found among the the tea party rallies of 2010. But Burns exemplified a real fear of the president that many Republicans in Iowa say will help to drive turnout higher on Tuesday.

    Others in the Romney crowds channeled Romney’s message that Obama was shifting the nation into something very different than it is today.

    “I think he’s turning our country into a socialist state. I think he just wants big government and just wants to take over,” said Barbara Bonnes, a retiree from Glenwood, Iowa in the crowd for Romney’s speech in Council Bluffs. She perceived a creep into health care that concerns her. Obama’s second term would leave America “a whole nanny country,” she said.

    Donna Conn of Council Bluffs has backed Romney since 2008. She was standing among a group of women, one of which pointed out Romney’s “a non-smoker” when we got to talking about what Romney can bring to the White House that other candidates for president can’t.

    “It’s not that [Obama] doesn’t care,” Conn said. “He doesn’t understand. I don’t think Obama understands what the soul of America is. Because he wants everybody that has money to give it to other people that don’t have money without working for it. I’m sorry, if I earned my money I want to be able to spend it the way I want to spend it.”

    Jay Sillau, an undecided voter from Council Bluffs who’s leaning “60% to Mitt”, cut Obama a little more slack.

    “I think Obama cares about the country, but I don’t think he has the right vision from what we’ve traditionally done to be successful,” he said. “I have no doubt Obama believes what he’s doing is correct, but it’s never worked before. It didn’t work with Jimmy Carter, and it hasn’t worked now.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    Monday, January 2, 2012
    Nuked Gingrich, Part 14
    Posted by Zandar

    As Newt continues to self-destruct, it’s funny to note that the further behind he falls in Iowa, the more desperate he gets for votes. At this point, we’ve finally gotten to the “ACORN will steal the 2012 election!” nonsense

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., used a stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to accuse the Obama administration of trying to “steal elections” in the wake of the Justice Department’s rejection of South Carolina’s voter identification law.

    The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division determined that the state’s law requiring voters to show photo ID at polling places was discriminatory against minorities.

    “…You have to ask, why is it that they are so desperate to retain the ability to steal elections and I think that what it comes down to,” Gingrich said.

    Because of course no black President could ever legitimately win an election in the first place, so of course he’s going to steal re-election too. Who will stop this evil, evil man before he destroys the country with left of moderate policies and common sense governance?

    The larger problem of course is that the only possible explanation that Gingrich can find for opposing a law designed to disenfranchise voters is a massive conspiracy to steal elections, because all Republicans know that Democrats only win by stealing elections. No actual living Christian Americans would ever vote for a Democrat, and America is a Christian country, so really the only way Republicans can lose is if Democrats steal the contest.

    It’s complete nonsense, of course. But Newt won’t pay any price for accusing the President and all Democrats of stealing elections and defrauding the country. Hell, it’ll help him in the primaries. That’s why he’s doing this.

    And because Virginia Republicans don’t want to get tarred with this same brush, Virginia’s GOP Attorney General will of course seek to drop the state’s primary ballot requirements that excluded most of the GOP candidates, including Newt.

    Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) announced today that he will intervene to ensure that more Republican presidential candidates will appear on the state’s primary ballot.

    Thanks to newly stringent enforcement of rules requiring 10,000 valid signatures, only Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made it onto the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both cried foul, with the latter suing in federal court. Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman all signed onto that effort on Saturday.

    So to recap, when a Republican changes the election rules for a state, it’s liberty and freedom and justice and apple pie. When a Democrat does it, it’s stealing elections.

    That’s how the game is played.

  27. IJasonAlexander:

    Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in a dead heat Wow, a tie among the Doc, the Jock and the leader of the flock.

  28. cattyidiot:

    @AngryBlackLady “what does it take for us to vote this down?” Conyers asked. “It will now make it OK to lock up U.S. citizens.”


    @cattyidiot Conyers is wrong. Read Obama’s signing statement. BTW, it’s already ok to lock up US citizens. IT’S CALLED JAIL.

  29. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 8:25 AM

    Cantor can’t handle the truth about Reagan
    By Steve Benen

    CBS’s “60 Minutes” ran a good profile on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) last night, but there was one portion of the interview that was especially important.

    In this video, it starts at about the 10:19 mark. For those who can’t watch clips online, Cantor told Lesley Stahl, “Nobody gets everything they want.” Asked if that means he’s ready to compromise with Democrats, the oft-confused Majority Leader replied that he’s “ready to cooperate.” Stahl, of course, noticed word choice, and pressed Cantor on the difference between cooperation and compromise.

    It led to this exchange:

    Stahl: But you know, your idol, as I’ve read anyway, was Ronald Reagan. And he compromised.

    Cantor: He never compromised his principles.

    Stahl: Well, he raised taxes and it was one of his principles not to raise taxes.

    Cantor: Well, he — he also cut taxes.

    Stahl: But he did compromise —

    Cantor: Well I —

    At that point, Cantor’s press secretary, off camera, interrupted the interview, yelling that Stahl was lying when she said Reagan raised taxes. As Stahl told “60 Minutes” viewers, “There seemed to be some difficulty accepting the fact that even though Ronald Reagan cut taxes, he also pushed through several tax increases, including one in 1982 during a recession.”

    Let’s call “some difficulty” a dramatic understatement.

    Unfortunately for Cantor and his press secretary, reality is stubborn. The facts are indisputable: in Ronald Reagan’s first term, he signed off on a series of tax increases — even when unemployment was nearing 11% — and proceeded to raise taxes seven out of the eight years he was in office. The truth is, “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.

    Of particular interest is the “Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982,” the largest of Reagan’s tax increases, and generally considered the largest tax increase — as a percentage of the economy — in modern American history. In fact, between 1982 and 1984, Reagan raised taxes four times, and as Bruce Bartlett has explained more than once, Reagan raised taxes 12 times during his eight years in office.

    Why do Cantor, his press secretary, and Republicans everywhere deny what is plainly true? Because reality is terribly inconvenient: the GOP demi-god rejected the right-wing line on always opposing tax increases; he willingly compromised with Democrats on revenue; and the economy soared after Reagan raised taxes, disproving the Republican assumption that tax increases always push the nation towards recessions.

    In other words, Reagan’s legacy makes the contemporary Republican Party look ridiculous. No wonder Cantor’s press secretary started yelling: Stahl was bringing up facts that are never supposed to be repeated out loud.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Racism in a Straight Line
    by BooMan
    Mon Jan 2nd, 2012 at 11:50:44 AM EST

    Sometimes I feel like our country has simply airbrushed out our Jim Crow history. We act like we’ve been absolved of all guilt, as if we didn’t run a third of our country like a South African-apartheid state for nearly a full century. We forget that we were competing with the Soviets for hearts and minds in the Third World while we were treating blacks as subhuman here at home. It was a problem that had to be fixed. Asking nicely wasn’t working. Relying on the Supreme Court’s moral guidance wasn’t working. We finally created sufficient congressional will to do away with Jim Crow in 1964. We created voting rights in 1965. We created housing rights in 1968. The federal government had to do those things because the states could not generate the political will to do it themselves. But look at what Ron Paul had to say about this in 2004:

    “[T]he forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty,” he wrote. “The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties.”

    What Rep. Paul is saying here is that a private businessperson should be able to deny service, housing, or employment to someone based on their own prejudices and hatreds. At the very least, he is saying that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate these kinds of transactions. I don’t believe he would support individual states regulating the transactions either, although he might see that as legally permissible.

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of people didn’t like integration. A lot of people didn’t like letting black people vote. They didn’t like sharing public spaces with them. They didn’t like hiring them or working with them. They didn’t like having them move into the neighborhood or go to schools with their children. They didn’t want to treat them as fully human and fully equal. Why would any of this surprise us? If those attitudes weren’t pervasive in our society, we wouldn’t have had any need for civil rights, voting rights, and housing rights bills.

    People who didn’t like the end of Jim Crow naturally resented the Federal Government for ending Jim Crow, and they developed an ideology to explain why what the government had done was wrong. It was unconstitutional. It violated people’s inalienable rights. Similar arguments were used to justify slavery and to oppose federal civil rights legislation. But the former arguments were made in overtly racist terms. Here, for example, is Sen. Stephen Douglas, speaking during the Lincoln-Douglas debate.


    That was 1858. Not much had changed by 1948, when Strom Thurmond ran for president as a Dixiecrat, saying:

    “I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”

    Did anyone seriously think that these kinds of attitudes could be legislated out of existence? Or that a significant number of people wouldn’t resent the Federal Government for sending in enough troops to force the Southern people to break down segregation? Naturally, those attitudes persisted. But they persisted in less overtly racist ways. Ron Paul’s newsletters occasionally delved into the former style, but that’s more of a slip-up than a regular practice. People know better these days than to say white people are a superior race. The coded way to say that is to insist that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an unconstitutional overreach that actually made race relations worse.

    Because, you know, under Jim Crow, race relations were just fine.

    You can go to any number of racist forums, today or in the archives, and find lively discussion of the merits of Ron Paul, who is usually assumed to be “one of us.”


    Ron Paul refuses to disavow these kind of supporters, Nazis and Klansmen, making lame excuses like this:

    “I’ll go to anybody who I think I can convert to change their viewpoints — so that [Holocaust-denying] would be to me incidental,” he said. “I’m always looking at converting people to look at liberty the way I do.”
    The ideology of Ron Paul grew organically from Jim Crow dead-enders who felt, and still feel that this is a white nation under threat.

    Mr. Black of Stormfront said the newsletters helped make him a Ron Paul supporter. “That was a big part of his constituency, the paleoconservatives who think there are race problems in this country,” Mr. Black said.

    “We understand that Paul is not a white nationalist, but most of our people support him because of his stand on issues,” Mr. Black said. “We think our race is being threatened through a form of genocide by assimilation, meaning the allowing in of third-world immigrants into the United States.”

    You never know what is in someone’s heart or when they might have a change of heart. It’s not that Ron Paul necessarily has any antipathy for black people. It’s that he’s managed to become the figurehead for neo-confederates, and leave the strong impression that he is a fellow-traveler with Klansmen, Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and white nationalists of all stripes. We never disavows their support. He always gives them just enough of a wink and a nod to keep them onboard.

    While there are plenty of things that Ron Paul says that I agree with, you cannot lie down with a dog and not get fleas.

    • That was 1858. Not much had changed by 1948, when Strom Thurmond ran for president as a Dixiecrat, saying:

      “I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”

      Oh, but Strom Thurmond found it ok to lay down with a black woman and father a child with her.

      Lowdown evil mofo!

  31. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    January 02, 2012 9:35 AM

    Romney haunted by his victims
    By Steve Benen

    During Mitt Romney’s Senate campaign 17 years ago, the Republican politician was faring quite well against Ted Kennedy, right up until voters started hearing from some of Romney’s victims.

    To briefly review, Romney got very rich running a private-equity firm, Bain Capital, which broke up companies and laid off American workers. He had considerable success orchestrating leveraged buyouts, seeking taxpayer subsidies, flipping companies quickly for large profits, and making money for investors, even when the employees of those companies were deemed collateral damage.

    In the 1994 campaign, this mattered. Many of Romney’s victims drove to Massachusetts to protest the Republican’s campaign, and Democrats put together a half-dozen ads featuring laid-off workers who said they suffered while Romney lined his pockets at their expense.

    It proved effective in 1994, and Dems hope it will work again in 2012.

    A former employee of Bain Capital, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney’s former company, said Sunday that Romney’s decisions cost him and many others their jobs.

    Randy Johnson said Sunday that the former Massachusetts governor’s decisions as Bain’s CEO put him out of work.

    Romney was the chief executive officer of Bain Capital in 1992 when the company purchased American Pad & Paper, or Ampad, and oversaw the management of that company and others.

    Ampad went bankrupt in 2000, and investors netted over $100 million from the deal, according to the Boston Globe.

    Johnson told reporters yesterday, “I really feel that he didn’t care about the workers. It was all about profit over people.”

    For its part, the Romney campaign recently began arguing that critics of Bain Capital’s layoffs are borderline communists, trying to “put free enterprise on trial.”

    Between this and Romney’s agenda — take away health care coverage from millions, tax breaks for the wealthy, free reign for Wall Street, more foreclosures — the “man of the people” routine may prove to be a tough sell.

  32. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 11:20 AM

    Bachmann’s scary saber rattling
    By Steve Benen

    As Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann sees it, the key to turning around her collapsing campaign is talking up a military confrontation with Iran.

    The Minnesota lawmaker, who is courting conservative voters in Tuesday’s caucuses, said she would put U.S. missiles “on alert” and consider a blockade against the oil-rich nation in an effort to express disapproval of Iran’s apparent intent to obtain a nuclear weapon.

    “What we need to do is take a very aggressive posture toward letting Iran know that we mean business, that we don’t want them to seek a nuclear weapon,” Bachmann said on CBS’ “The Early Show,” adding that her administration “will do whatever it takes” to send a “strong signal that the United States is on high alert.”

    She said that includes deploying Patriot missiles, ballistic missiles and other weapon systems in the U.S. and the Middle East.

    Maybe Bachmann has a poll showing Iowa Republicans support yet another war in the Middle East?

    Given that Bachmann will never be the president of the United States, it’s tempting to just marvel at her saber rattling and move on with the comfort that comes with her dwindling poll numbers. But I’d note just one detail that sometimes goes overlooked: even after Bachmann leaves the presidential campaign trail, she’ll return to Capitol Hill, where House Republican leaders a year ago made her a member of the House Intelligence Committee, giving her access to some of the world’s most sensitive and important secrets.

    That, in and of itself, is scary enough.

  33. Ron Paul Newsletter :

    The black leadership indoctrinates its followers with phony history & phony theory to bolster its claims of victimology.

    • Ametia says:

      The white leadership indoctirnates its followers to REVISE, DENY, AND INVENT history top exclude SLAVERY & RACISM existed, and paints white folks as the victims of lazy black wanting to steal what they haven’t earned. SOCIOPATHS like Ron Paul have re-hooded the white cloths in the 21st century. We see’em!

  34. rikyrah says:

    January 02, 2012 10:35 AM

    Romney vows to kill DREAM Act if elected
    By Steve Benen

    Every year, tens of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants graduate from American high schools, but are quickly stuck — they can’t qualify for college aid, and they can’t work legally. America is the only home they’ve ever known — in most cases, they were, at a very young age, brought into the country illegally by their parents — but at 18, they have few options.

    The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act), which has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, provides a path to citizenship for these young immigrants — graduate from high school, get conditional permanent residency status, go to college or serve in the military, pay some steep fees, and become eligible for citizenship. The Pentagon has urged Congress to pass it, and the CBO found that it lowers the deficit, a priority Republicans at least pretend to care about.

    President Obama strongly supports the bill, and were it not for a Republican filibuster, it would have become law a year ago. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has vowed to veto the DREAM Act if elected.

    Mr. Romney offered his usual stump speech — a focus on President Obama, with no mention of his Republican rivals — but when a voter asked him if he’d veto the Dream Act as president, Mr. Romney said, “The answer is yes.”

    Though Mr. Romney has previously been critical of the legislation, which would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who were brought into the country at a young age and then went on to attend college, Saturday marked the first time that he has outright declared that he would veto the legislation should it cross his desk as president.

    Keep in mind, we’re talking about legislation that was written in large part by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) — neither of whom are especially moderate — and it used to enjoy the enthusiastic backing of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

    I mention this context because it suggests the DREAM Act is arguably the least controversial, bipartisan immigration reform measure. The proposal is just humane.

    But Romney doesn’t care. He’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, for Pete’s sake.

    This comes on the heels, by the way, of a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group, that found Latino voters aren’t pleased with President Obama’s deportation policy, but they nevertheless strongly prefer the president to his Republican challengers, including a 68% to 23% advantage over Romney.

    As these voters hear more about Romney — not just his opposition to the DREAM Act, but his animus towards Latino immigrants in general — the former governor is digging himself a deep hole with one of the nation’s fastest-growing constituencies.

    Lionel Sosa, a Texas strategist who advised George W. Bush John McCain on appealing to Hispanics, recently told the NYT, “[Romney] can make as many trips to Florida and New Mexico and Colorado and other swing states that have a large Latino population, but he can write off the Latino vote. He’s not going to gain it again.”

    Given the size of the Latino population, that’s writing off a huge chunk of the American electorate.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Ron Paul Bashes Civil Rights Act
    Posted on 01/02/2012 at 9:56 am by Bob Cesca

    No, not in a newsletter from years ago. It was yesterday. He bashed the Civil Rights Act yesterday.

    Despite recent accusations of racism and homophobia, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) stuck to his libertarian principles on Sunday, criticizing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it “undermine[d] the concept of liberty” and “destroyed the principle of private property and private choices.”

    “If you try to improve relationships by forcing and telling people what they can’t do, and you ignore and undermine the principles of liberty, then the government can come into our bedrooms,” Paul told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And that’s exactly what has happened. Look at what’s happened with the PATRIOT Act. They can come into our houses, our bedrooms our businesses … And it was started back then.”

    What exactly does Ron Paul think should have continued?

    The Civil Rights Act repealed the notorious Jim Crow laws; forced schools, bathrooms and buses to desegregate; and banned employment discrimination. Although Paul was not around to weigh in on the landmark legislation at the time, he had the chance to cast a symbolic vote against it in 2004, when the House of Representatives took up a resolution “recognizing and honoring the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Paul was the only member who voted “no.”

    Of course, this will only make him more popular with the fringe of the far-right (Ron Paul has the most conservative record of any congressman between 1937 and 2002).

    Also, Ron Paul is so supportive of privacy rights that he wants to criminalize abortion. The privacy rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment are irrelevant to this so-called Constitutionalist — this hero of liberty believes state lawmakers should control what happens inside a woman’s body.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Chicago Losing a Chef Who Refined Its Stockyards Palate

    Charlie Trotter, a pioneering chef whose restaurant in this city helped transform American fine dining in the last quarter-century, will close his famed establishment this year

    The announcement, first reported on Sunday in The Chicago Sun-Times, was viewed as a bittersweet if inevitable end for an elegant restaurant. It spawned a more creative way of thinking about food when it opened in 1987 and propelled the careers of numerous up-and-coming chefs. And it kept right on going as elaborate modernist competitors, as well as places that cared less about luxurious surroundings, grew up all around.

    When such practices were all but unheard of in America, particularly in the Midwest, Mr. Trotter created a European-style degustation menu, a vegetarian tasting menu and a raw-food tasting menu. He placed a table of diners in the kitchen to watch the process. He pursued local farm products.

    If some saw the decision to close Charlie Trotter’s, which is in a townhouse in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the city’s North Side, at the end of August as an acknowledgement that the spotlight had moved on to newer, flashier restaurants, Mr. Trotter said the choice had not been driven by finances in the least. He said business had been “off” a bit but largely unharmed by the economic downturn.

    Mr. Trotter, who notified his staff members and the patrons of a New Year’s Eve event ($295 per person) on Saturday, said he wanted to travel, attend graduate school in philosophy and political theory and, perhaps, eventually return to open a new restaurant.

    “I can do this forever, and it’s most gratifying,” Mr. Trotter, 52, said in an interview on Sunday. “That said, there are so many other things to do in life. Twenty-five years in this line of work is fantastic. It’s just time to step back, breathe deeply and do something different.”

    Locally and nationally, people in the dining industry said they were surprised or, if not entirely surprised, sentimental about the closing. Acquaintances and former employees described Mr. Trotter as a quirky perfectionist, a constant boundary pusher (using unlikely items like pig ears, in the memory of one admiring former employee) and a sometimes difficult boss. He was also credited, even by his critics, for being a trailblazer whose influences can be tasted and felt in many newer restaurants and someone who helped put Chicago, once known mostly for deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, on the epicurean map.

    “In the late ’80s and through the ’90s, he was on top of the food world,” said Curtis Duffy, who moved to Chicago more than a decade ago to work for Mr. Trotter and described him as probably his most significant professional influence.

    Mr. Duffy, who went on to be the chef at Avenues here and plans to open his own restaurant, Grace, this year, added: “It’s hard to stay on top of something that’s evolving. I think he’s still on top. He wants to close on top.”

    In the 1980s, Mr. Trotter emerged from a sea of fine dining restaurants that were narrowly focused on French-style cooking, said Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation.

    “But Charlie helped define a unique American perspective on it, rich with French tradition and also other traditions in the world,” Mr. Davis said. “He helped make Chicago a global food town.”

  37. rikyrah says:

    In besieged Mormon colony, Mitt Romney’s Mexican roots
    By Nick Miroff, Published: July 23

    Three dozen of Mitt Romney’s relatives live here in a narrow river valley at the foot of the western Sierra Madre mountains, surrounded by peach groves, apple orchards and some of the baddest, most fearsome drug gangsters and kidnappers in all of northern Mexico.

    Like Mitt, the Mexican Romneys are descendants of Miles Park Romney, who came to the Chihuahua desert in 1885 seeking refuge from U.S. anti-polygamy laws. He had four wives and 30 children, and on the rocky banks of the Piedras Verdes River, he and his fellow Mormon pioneers carved out a prosperous settlement beyond the reach of U.S. federal marshals. He was Mitt’s great-grandfather.

    Gaskell Romney, Mitt’s grandfather, settled in Mexico as well, and Mitt’s father, George Romney, was born in nearby Colonia Dublan — raising the possibility of a 2012 presidential race between two contenders whose fathers were born outside the United States.

    The story of Mitt Romney’s family in Mexico is not well known or frequently mentioned by the candidate, who is widely viewed as the front-runner for the Republican nomination. But the extraordinary lives of Romney’s ancestors, and the current struggles of his relatives against Mexico’s brutal criminal gangs, present a significantly more complex family portrait than the all-American image of Mitt with his wife, Ann, and their five clean-cut sons.

    Like President Obama, Romney has a family tree that crosses borders and cultures, and a genealogy that does not unfold neatly from a Mayflower landing or a dogged immigrant’s tale. His forebears came to the United States for spiritual reasons but had to flee a generation later, finding in Mexico the freedom they were looking for.

  38. Ametia says:

    Loving Alvin Ailey Dance Co.’s “Anoited.”

  39. Rick Santorum says black people need to stop taking YOUR money

    GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum tells Iowans attending his rally “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money,” Santorum begins. “I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families.”

    Santorum didn’t elaborate why he only singled out black people. Iowans and NPR didn’t seem to care.

  40. DNC, former factory worker says Romney puts profit over people

    Des Moines – As Republican candidates crisscross Iowa seeking last-minute support, the Democratic Party is ignoring the field and focusing on front-runner Mitt Romney.

    Today in a Des Moines press conference the DNC turned to a former factory worker who lost his job in the 1990’s to attack what it calls Mitt Romney “job killing record” in the private sector.

    Randy Johnson, a former union official at an Indiana paper plant that Bain Capital purchased and then sold after labor discussions broke down in 1995 said of Romney, “I really feel that he didn’t care about the workers.”

    Johnson said he’s telling his story now to let voters decide for themselves whether Romney should be president.

    Now employed by the United Steelworkers Union in Pittsburgh, Johnson admitted Bain likely acted legally in its dealings with Ampad, but he’s accusing Romney of getting rich at the expense of workers.

    “They let Ampad go bankrupt and they made 100 million…tell me there’s nothing wrong with that.”

  41. Ed Jenkins Dead: Former Congressman Dies At 78

    ATLANTA — Former U.S. Rep. Ed Jenkins, a Democrat who represented Georgia in Congress for 16 years, has died after a long illness. He was 78.

    Janice Jenkins said early Monday that her father died Sunday afternoon at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

    Jenkins was elected in 1976, the same year that another Georgian, Jimmy Carter, was elected president. He served on the House Budget and Ways and Means committees.

    An attorney, Jenkins served in the Coast Guard and as a prosecutor before being elected to Congress. The Almanac of American Politics described him in 1990 as “one of the smartest operators on Capitol Hill.”

  42. CBSNews:

    BREAKING: Iran claims successful test of 2 long-range missiles

  43. Mitt Romney: Obama Campaign Promises As Good As Kardashian Wedding Vows


    Stop your damn lies! Here are a few of his promises.


    Expand housing vouchers program for homeless veterans

    Expand federal bioforensi­cs program for tracking biological weapons

    End the “Stop-loss­” program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitment­s

    Increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps

    Reform the patent system

    End the use of torture

    Expand Veterans Centers in rural areas

    Increase special operations forces and civil affairs

    Healthcare Reform

    End the War In Iraq

    Kill Bin Laden

  44. The Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor

    [wpvideo OLLuoOKQ]

Leave a Reply