Tuesday 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 Jamisonand 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.
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67 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. The Washington Post:

    Report: McCain to endorse Romney on Wednesday http://wapo.st/wY5KVi

  2. David Axelrod:
    The sound Santorum is hearing right now is not the buzz of victory. It’s the whirring of Romney Super PAC, preparing to carpet bomb him.

    Crying with Laughter

  3. 3ristar:
    @maddow…never ever say Rick Santorum came from behind…ick!


  4. Did you guys hear Ed Shultz?

    Santorum is as good on the stump as president Obama.

    Ed Shultz has lost his freaking mind. I’m telling you, he is no liberal. None whatsoever!

  5. TheOinL_VE O. Tee:

    MicheleBachmann: “I must thank my husband………….for doing my makeup”

  6. Elon James White:

    Rick. M’effin. Santorum is LEADING. This is MAGICAL. It’s like a bizzaro world where bigotry & homophobia is rewarded…wait…

  7. NBC is projecting Ron Paul wins 3rd in Iowa

  8. Seriously, what is wrong with Ed Shultz? I swear he seems delighted at the idea of Ron Paul winning? I have always given Ed the side eye & it’s for good reason.

  9. HuffPost Media:

    MSNBC pundits wonder what Obama’s campaign can learn from Ron Paul http://huff.to/y43R1v

  10. LiberalPhenom:

    Palin looks like h____. Pretending to do analysis. Says she doesn’t see how Bachmann can progress. Under the bus

  11. rikyrah says:

    New Year Brings Black Leadership For Government Printing Office

    Inaction in Congress is doing more than angering constituents across the nation. The lawmaking body’s lack of action has caused the dismissal of dedicated government employees who are unable to work around the partisanship on Capitol Hill.

    Such is the case with the Government Printing Office, or GPO for short. Their top leader, Bill Boarman, stepped down recently right before the New Year, but not because he personally chose to move on. He was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate in enough time to save his job and continue in his role as Public Printer.

    Boarman was originally nominated for the role in April 2010 and President Obama gave him a recess appointment earlier in 2011. Still, he loses his spot since he was not confirmed by the U.S. Senate at the end of 2011. The Senate went on holiday break shortly before Christmas.

    As an alternate move, Boarman appointed Davita Vance-Cooks to the role of Deputy Public Printer on December 20th. This ensures that the agency has some sort of capable leadership in place upon Boarman’s departure.

    Despite his disappointment with the confirmation process, Boarman was quick to offer praise for his successor.

    “Over the past year, Davita Vance-Cooks has been a leading member of GPO’s senior management team in developing and carrying out our program of reducing the size and cost of GPO, streamlining our operations, and utilizing new technology, a program that has yielded positive results for the Government and the taxpayers,” Boarman said in an official statement announcing the appointment of Vance-Cooks.

    “Her superlative leadership skills and extensive management experience over multiple mission-critical GPO operations uniquely qualify her for the position of Deputy Public Printer,” he added.

    “I am honored that she has accepted this appointment, and have full confidence in her abilities to continue carrying out GPO’s historic mission of Keeping America Informed,” said Boarman.

    The twist: Vance-Cooks will become the first female to ever lead the agency. Boarman’s departure apparently had a silver lining despite the impasse in Washington. She is also breaking another barrier as an African American holding the position. She has experience in both the private sector and the federal government.


  12. rikyrah says:

    Wanker of the Day: David Brooks
    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 03:09:30 PM EST

    David Brooks really is insufferable. He runs in the most elite, intellectual circles and, yet, he is completely obsessed with the working man. He works for the New York Times but he tells us that the Republican Party is the party of the white working class. What about being the party of Wall Street and rich, white people in general?

    Think Progress ran a piece recently that had a chart showing that all seven Republican candidates support:

    1. New tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
    2. New tax cuts for corporations
    3. Ending Medicare as we know it
    4. Cutting Social Security benefits
    5. Repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms
    6. opposition to the Buffett Rule, that would tax millionaires at at least the same rate as their secretaries.

    All but Huntsman oppose:

    1. cutting Big Oil subsidies
    2. eliminating tax cuts for companies that ship jobs overseas

    So, I think about why a working class person (white or any other color) would support a Republican or think that the party belongs to them. And then I read this:

    Santorum is the grandson of a coal miner and the son of an Italian immigrant. For years, he represented the steel towns of western Pennsylvania. He has spent the last year scorned by the news media — working relentlessly, riding around in a pickup truck to more than 370 towns. He tells that story of hard work and elite disrespect with great fervor at his meetings…

    …He is not a representative of the corporate or financial wing of the party. Santorum certainly wants to reduce government spending (faster even than Representative Paul Ryan). He certainly wants tax reform. But he goes out of his way in his speeches to pick fights with the “supply-siders.” He scorns the Wall Street bailouts. His economic arguments are couched as values arguments: If you want to enhance long-term competitiveness, you need to strengthen families. If companies want productive workers, they need to be embedded in wholesome communities.

    Here’s one of my many questions: if Rick Santorum were a representative of the corporate or financial wing of the Republican Party, how would we know? He already supports lowering the top marginal personal income tax rate, the corporate tax rate, the capital gains tax, and the estate tax. He already supports big tax subsidies for energy companies and big multinational outsourcing corporations. He already supports the repeal of the only financial reforms and consumer protections to pass through Congress since the financial collapse. What more could he possibly do to signal to David Brooks that he is a representative of the financial elite?

    But, then, the same is true of Michele Bachmann. It’s true of all the Republicans. If white, working class people think that these policies are going to make their lives better or easier, they’re irredeemable morons. And that’s what David Brooks is depending on. He acts like he sees and values the unique dignity of the white working class, whom he casts (a la Palin) as the quintessential Americans, transmitting the essential virtues and genius of our system from generation to generation.

    For David Brooks, Rick Santorum is really only concerned about people who live in trailer parks having wholesome families.

    And, get this next bit:

    While in Congress, he was a leader in nearly every serious piece of antipoverty legislation. On the stump, he cries, “The left has a religion, too. It’s just not based on the Bible. It’s based on the religion of self.”

    For real. David Brooks just wrote that.

    And this:

    If you took a working-class candidate from the right, like Santorum, and a working-class candidate from the left, like Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and you found a few islands of common ground, you could win this election by a landslide. The country doesn’t want an election that is Harvard Law versus Harvard Law.

    You want to know how weak that is? Sherrod Brown went to Yale.

    The truth is, Rick Santorum is the worst of all worlds. He’s a sanctimonious tightass who would like nothing more than to put the government in charge of everyone’s sex life, and he’s a representative of the financial elite, too.

    Come to think of it, he’s a little like David Brooks.


  13. Rick Santorum says the way out of poverty is to get a job and get married. And America needs a leader that share those values.

    Give your thoughts because I can’t right now…

  14. Ametia says:

    Ummm, Romney, Paul, & Santorium neck & neck. That’s an ugly image.

  15. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 1:35 PM

    What Romney fails to understand about jobs
    \By Steve Benen

    Mitt Romney addressed one of his biggest vulnerabilities — jobs policy — on Fox News this morning, and made a series of claims his campaign seems awfully excited about:

    This is 2 million jobs that he lost as president. And by the way, when he was overseeing General Motors and Chrysler, how many factories did he close? How many dealerships? How many thousands upon thousands of Americans had to be let go in an effort to try and save those businesses? That’s what we did in our business.

    “And I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs. By the way, we created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president’s created in the entire country. So if the president wants to talk about jobs, and I hope he does, we’ll be comparing my record with his record and he comes up very, very short.”

    It’s worth unpacking this, because this argument is very likely to dictate who will be president of the United States in 2013.

    The problem here is that none of what Romney is saying stands up to scrutiny.

    First, there’s no comparison between President Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry and Romney orchestrating leveraged buyouts at his vulture-capitalist firm. Obama wasn’t trying to profit; Romney was trying to make himself and his investors rich.

    Second, Romney now claims to have created “over 100,000 jobs” at his vulture-capitalist firm, but he appears to have made this number up out of whole cloth. Keep in mind, just a few weeks ago, when Romney’s Super PAC ran an ad claiming he “helped create thousands of jobs” as CEO at Bain, Super PAC officials were asked to back that up with evidence. They refused. Fact-checkers haven’t been able to substantiate the claim in any way.

    Third, Romney seems eager to boast about his record in Massachusetts, but that’s a mistake. His administration’s record on job creation was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states in job growth. It’s one of the reasons Romney left office after one term deeply unpopular, and why his former constituents don’t want him near the White House.

    As for Romney’s claims about Obama’s jobs record, Greg Sargent had a great take on this.

    …Romney’s claim that two million jobs were lost under the Obama presidency is based on the idea that there’s been a net loss of jobs since he took office. In other words, Romney is taking into account the fact that the economy continued hemorrhaging jobs at a furious rate after Obama took office — before Obama’s stimulus passed. But the figures show that once it became law, monthly job loss declined over time, and turned around in the spring of 2010, after which the private sector added jobs for over 20 straight months, totaling around 2.2 million of them.

    You can debate whether the stimulus underperformed. You can debate whether the stimulus is the reason the economy did add private sector jobs. You can argue that public sector jobs loss should be factored in. But it is not debatable to claim that the overall net jobs loss number Romney cites is a fair measure of the success or failure of Obama’s policies.

    I’m going to make this easy on Romney and the journalists who might ask him questions.

    Here’s a chart showing private-sector job gains and losses over the last two decades. Blue columns show years in which there’s a Democratic president; red columns show years in which there’s a Republican president. (Note: the 2011 totals do not yet reflect December’s job numbers.)

    The “A” marks where we were when the economy crashed, and the “B” marks were we are now. Can anyone explain why Romney thinks “A” is preferable to “B”?

    Here’s another chart, showing private-sector job totals by month since the start of the Great Recession.

    Again, “A” marks where we were when the economy crashed, and the “B” marks were we are now. Why, exactly, does Romney think “B” is worse than “A”?

    Under Obama, the nation’s jobs picture improved rather quickly. We haven’t yet made up for all of the job losses caused by the crash that occurred before Obama took office, but 2011 was the best year for job creation in the last five years, and as these charts show, things are getting better, not worse.

    Romney doesn’t have to like it, but he shouldn’t lie about it.


  16. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 11:25 AM

    The name that must not be spoken
    By Steve Benen

    Bill Clinton left the White House in January 2001, and in the 2004 race, Democratic candidates were tripping over each other to connect themselves to the nation’s 42nd president. I remember one September 2003 debate in which literally every Dem running for the party’s nomination said they’re the rightful heir to the Clinton legacy.

    Al Sharpton, after a while, apparently couldn’t take it anymore. “I know that within the next hour we’ll say that Bill Clinton walked on water,” he joked.

    George W. Bush, meanwhile, left the White House in January 2009, and in the 2012 race, Republican candidates prefer to pretend the nation’s 43rd president doesn’t exist.

    While the candidates routinely lionize Ronald Reagan and blame President Barack Obama for the nation’s economic woes, none has been eager to embrace the Bush legacy of gaping budget deficits, two wars and record low approval ratings —- or blame him for the country’s troubles either.

    “Republicans talk a lot about losing their way during the last decade, and when they do they’re talking about the Bush years,” said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont-McKenna College. “For Republicans, the Bush administration has become the ‘yadda yadda yadda’ period of American history.”

    The eight-year Bush presidency has merited no more than a fleeting reference in televised debates and interviews…. The former president himself has been all but invisible since leaving office in 2009 with a Gallup approval rating of just 34 percent. […]

    In a presidential contest dominated by concerns over the weak economy, government spending and the $15 trillion federal debt, the Republican candidates have been loath to acknowledge the extent to which Bush administration policies contributed to those problems.

    This isn’t surprising, of course. I don’t imagine many would-be GOP presidents were eager to bring up Hoover in the 1936 election, either.

    But the challenge for Democrats is to not let this stand. Not only is Bush responsible for nearly all of the messes Obama is trying to clean up, but nearly all of the Republican candidates are eager to bring return to Bush-era policies — only this time, they’ll be even more right wing.

    It would seem, then, that the tack for Obama’s re-election campaign is pretty obvious: “A vote for Romney is a vote for the Bush policies that got us into this mess in the first place. Let’s not go backwards.”


  17. rikyrah says:

    A Preview of President Romney’s First Hundred Days?
    by Steve M.
    Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 at 11:48:55 AM EST

    A lot of people look at the unpopularity of GOP governors in Florida, Maine, and elsewhere, and look at some of the successes their opponents have had in such states as Ohio and Wisconsin, and assume that Republicans know they overreached in 2011.
    Apparently not:

    A Gathering Storm Over ‘Right to Work’ in Indiana
    Nearly a year after legislatures in Wisconsin and several other Republican-dominated states curbed the power of public sector unions, lawmakers are now turning their sights toward private sector unions, setting up what is sure to be another political storm.

    The thunderclouds are gathering first here in Indiana. The leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature say that when the legislative session opens on Wednesday, their No. 1 priority will be to push through a business-friendly piece of legislation known as a right-to-work law….

    Right-to-work laws prohibit union contracts at private sector workplaces from requiring employees to pay any dues or other fees to the union. In states without such laws, workers at unionized workplaces generally have to pay such dues or fees….

    This is presented as “business-friendly” legislation, but at least as important is the fact that it’s Republican-friendly legislation. It’s pathetic that the very existence of even a nominally liberal major political party in America depends on the continued payment of union dues by a certain percentage of the population, but that’s the way it is, given the way money works in our politics — and the GOP and its allied fat cat know that the Democratic Party can literally be destroyed, or turned into an ineffectual minor party, if right-to-work spreads, in combination with other assaults on Democratic voters and funding.

    My prediction? We’ll see this nationally after President Romney and a GOP House and Senate are sworn in in 2013 — there’s going to be a drive for a national right-to-work law, and it’ll go through so fast no opponent will have properly prepared for it. All the insider journalists and pundits will be shocked that this will be Romney’s first major effort as president. (He never mentioned this when we were schmoozing on the campaign plane!)

    Maybe it can’t happen. Maybe even a terrified Democratic Party, having lost the Senate and the presidency, will still be able to muster enough votes in the Senate to filibuster this. But that assumes the GOP won’t suspend or eliminate the filibuster after taking over the Senate — not a safe assumption.

    I believe the GOP’s power brokers — Murdoch, Rove, the Kochs — have nothing less in mind than turning America into a one-party state. I don’t see why they couldn’t accomplish that with a few more GOP-friendly campaign finance rulings, a national RTW law, more voter ID laws, and perhaps a Supreme Court overturning of birthright citizenship, which would make it difficult for many U.S.-born Hispanics to register and vote just as Hispanics numbers swell in America. Yeah, I’m being apocalyptic here, but I really don’t think Republicans are just playing around. I wouldn’t put anything past them.


  18. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 12:35 PM

    Setting the standard for dishonest smears
    By Steve Benen

    There’s no great mystery as to why Newt Gingrich’s support collapsed in Iowa: Mitt Romney and his friends spent nearly $4 million in three weeks to tear Gingrich apart.

    But before the disgraced former House Speaker began calling Romney a “liar,” he used a different word to describe his recent experiences: Gingrich said Sunday he felt “Romney-boated” by the attacks. The reference, obviously, referenced the loathsome Swift Boat ads run and financed by Bush/Cheney allies in 2004, casting doubts on John Kerry’s heroic military service.

    It was a fascinating choice of words for Gingrich. As Eric Boehlert explained this morning, “Newt Gingrich, a leader of the modern-day conservative movement, presidential candidate, and proud Republican partisan adopting language that acknowledged the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are synonymous with unsubstantiated campaign attack ads. With his ‘Romney-boated’ comment, the former Republican Speaker of the House reinforced what progressives have been saying for years.”

    Quite right. And as it turns out, some of the Swift Boat liars aren’t happy about it.

    John O’Neill, the swift-boat captain who led the anti-Kerry movement, is none too pleased with the comparison. “To me, it reflects Gingrich’s very cynical hypocrisy, which he shares with Kerry,” O’Neill tells National Review Online.

    O’Neill proceeded to elaborate on his disdain for Gingrich, but the larger point is unavoidable: the Swift Boat liars lied about a war hero, they got caught, and their legacy is a standard for vicious campaign smears.

    O’Neill may not like the comparison, but when the attack fits


  19. rikyrah says:

    3 Jan 2012 10:49 AM
    Gingrich Gets It Right

    Of course Romney is a liar. Listen to his calculated lies about Obama. But this is rich:

    “This is a man whose staff created the [Super]-PAC, his millionaire friends fund the PAC, he pretends he has nothing to do with the PAC – it’s baloney. He’s not telling the American people the truth. It’s just like this pretense that he’s a conservative. Here’s a Massachusetts moderate who has tax-paid abortions in ‘Romneycare,’ puts Planned Parenthood in ‘Romneycare,’ raises hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes on businesses, appoints liberal judges to appease Democrats, and wants the rest of us to believe somehow he’s magically a conservative.

    “I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points, and I think he ought to be candid. I don’t think he’s being candid and that will be a major issue.”


  20. rikyrah says:

    The Messenger
    As I often do on this blog, I’d like journey back to the Crack era–the late 80s and early 90s–when the general sense was that the black youth of America had lost their minds. All across our cities, young black men were bleeding in the streets. All of us had friends who were dead or jailed. All of our high school classes included at least on young woman who was a mother or about to be. All the brothers were out.

    It was a good time to be young and angry, to retreat to into the audio chaos of Chuck D, retreat into the writings of Malcolm X, and fantasize about revolution. The verdict of the young held that our leadership was desolate–off boycotting South Carolina for some expected slight, trying to secure entrance into a country club, picketing Denny’s, or fighting over Affirmative Action at Harvard Law. We didn’t know anyone at Harvard Law, and so we fumed. What we wanted was a great messenger who would talk to us, instead of talking to white people. You see, whatever our anger, we were American (though we would have said different) and believed in our talent to reinvent ourselves and compete with the world.

    The need was real. And the man who best perceived that need–Louis Farrakhan–preached bigotry, and headed a church with a history of violence, and patriarchal and homophobic views. We knew this. Some of us even endorsed it. A few of us debated about it. But, ultimately we didn’t care. Farrakhan–and his cadre of clean disciplined black men and modest, chaste black women–spoke to our deep, and inward, sense that we were committing a kind of slow suicide, that–as the rappers put it–we were self-destructing.

    Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, Farrakhan’s beguiled young African-Americans. At the height of his powers, Farrakhan convened a national meeting of black men on the Mall. (Forgive my vagueness. The number is beside the point. It was a grip of dudes.) The expectation, among some media, was for violence. What they got instead was a love-in. I was there. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of walking from my apartment at 14th and Euclid, down 16th street, and seeing black women, of all ages, come out on the street and cheer. I can’t explain the historical and personal force of that. It defied everything they said we were, and, during the Crack Era, so much of what we come to believe.

    I think about that moment and I get warm–and then I think about Farrakhan and I go cold. The limitations of the man who’d orchestrated one of the great moments of my life were evident as soon as he took the stage and offered a bizarre treatise on numerology. The limitations became even more apparent in the coming months, as Farrakhan used the prominence he’d gained to launch a world tour in which he was feted by Sani Abacha and the slave-traders of the Sudan.

    During Farrakhan’s heights in the 80s and 90s, national commenters generally looked on in horror. They simply could not understand how an obvious bigot could capture the imagination of so many people. Surely there were “good” Civil Rights leaders out there, waging the good fight against discrimination. But what they pundits never got was that Farrakhan promised something more–improvement, minus the need to beg from white people. Farrakhan promised improvement through self-reliance–an old tradition stretching back to our very dawn. To our minds, the political leaders of black America had fled the field.

    I’ve thought a lot about Farrakhan, recently, watching Ron Paul’s backers twist themselves in knots to defend what they have now euphemistically label as “baggage.” I don’t think it makes much sense to try to rebut the charges here. No minds will be changed.

    Still let us remember that we are faced with a candidate who published racism under his name, defended that publication when it was convenient, and blamed it on ghost-writers when it wasn’t, who’s take on the Civil War is at home with Lost-Causers, and who’s take on the Civil Rights Act is at home with segregationists. Ostensibly this is all coincidence, or if it isn’t, it should be excused because Ron Paul is a lone voice speaking on the important issues that plague our nation.

    I have heard this reasoning before.

    As surely as Ron Paul speaks to a real issue–the state’s broad use of violence and surveillance–which the America’s political leadership has failed to address, Farrakhan spoke to something real, something unsullied, which black America’s political leadership failed to address, Both Paul and Farrakhan, in their glamour, inspired the young, the disaffected, the disillusioned.

    To those who dimly perceived something wrong, something that could not be put on a placard, or could not move the party machine, men such as this become something more than political operators, they become symbols. Substantive charges against them, no matter the reasons, are dismissed. The movement they represent means more. But as sure as the followers of Farrakhan deserved more than UFOs, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, those of us who oppose the drug-war, who oppose the Patriot Act deserve better than Ron Paul

    It is not enough to simply proffer Paul as a protest candidate.One must fully imagine the import of a Paul presidency. How, precisely, would Paul end the drug war? What, exactly, would he do about the Middle East? How, specifically,would the world look for women under a Ron Paul presidency?

    And then the dispatches must be honestly grappled with: It must be argued that a man who could not manage a newsletter, should be promoted to managing a nuclear arsenal. Failing that, it must be asserted that a man who once claimed that black people were knowingly injecting white people with HIV, who fund-raised by predicting a race-war, who handsomely profited from it all, should lead the free world. If that line falls too, we are forced to confess that Ron Paul regularly summoned up the specters of racism for his own politically gain, and thus stands convicted of moral cowardice.

    Let us stipulate that all politicians compromise. But the mayhem and death which attended the talents of Thomas Watson and George Wallace, renders their design into a school of sorcery all its own. In that light, it is fair to ask that if Ron Paul was willing to sacrifice black people to garner the support of the bigoted mob, who, and what, else might he sacrifice?


  21. rikyrah says:

    The Banality of Racism

    Critiquing the libertarian view of racism, Jon Chait says:

    The most fevered opponents of civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s — and, for that matter, the most fervent defenders of slavery a century before — also usually made their case in in process terms rather than racist ones. They stood for the rights of the individual, or the rights of the states, against the federal Goliath.

    I think this is a really important point, as we tend to think of racism as working, primarily, through volume and violence. James Byrd is the only undisputed victim of racism in recent memory. But the poll tax, the literacy tests, the grandfather clauses were all ostensibly color-blind and were explicitly designed for their authors to hide behind that fact. It’s comforting to think of, say, “State’s Rights” as a value neutral, ahistorical proposition. In fact, its always been tied to the aims of white supremacists:

    I consider the Tariff, but as the occasion, rather than the real cause of the present unhappy state of things. The truth can no longer be disguised, that the peculiar domestick institution of the Southern States, and the consequent direction, which that and her soil and climate have given to her industry, have placed them in regard to taxation and appropriations in opposite relation to the majority of the Union; against the danger of which, if there be no protective power in the reserved rights of the States, they must in the end be forced to rebel, or submit to have their permanent interests sacraficed, their domestick institutions subverted by Colonization and other schemes, and themselves & children reduced to wretchedness. Thus situated, the denial of the right of the State to interfere constitutionally in the last resort, more alarms the thinking, than all other causes.

    That’s John C. Calhoun in 1830, on the eve of the nullification crisis. To be clear, “the peculiar domestick institution of the Southern States, and the consequent direction, which that and her soil and climate have given to her industry” is slavery. The “Nullification Crisis” is itself a euphemism for “The Crisis Over The Stolen Wages Of Black People.” A little bombastic, but you get the point.

    Racists — and those who exploit racism — are rarely about the business of openly declaring themselves as such, especially after their cause has been thumped, Before the Civil War, you could find all manner of Southerners exalting the “great moral truth of slavery.” Afterwards, they claimed it was just “State’s Rights.” Before Reconstruction, the defeated Confederates employed explicit black codes that reduced African-Americans to slavery. After Redemption they moved to “vagrancy laws.” “contracts” and “grandfather clauses.” In the 1960s George Wallace would loudly declare “segregation forever!” Now we say “the Civil Rights Act destroyed privacy.” In the era of militia madness, Ron Paul defended his racist newsletters. In the era of Barack Obama, he didn’t read them.

    It certainly is possible that Ron Paul never read a publications produced in his own name, just as it’s possible to sincerely believe that the Civil Rights Act destroyed personal liberties, and it’s possible to sincerely believe that if you are going to vote, you should be able to read the names of the candidates, or that Lincoln destroyed the original values of the republic. But it’s also true that those beliefs have long been used to shield more odious ones. Forgive me for being suspicious when I see them employed in combination.


  22. rikyrah says:

    Katrina vanden Heuvel: Living Proof That Money Cannot Buy You Common Sense

    Katrina vanden Heuvel, a child of immense wealth and privilege, whose education and professional status were bought and paid for instead of earned, tweets this:-

    This is a woman, who not only edits and writes for The Nation, she owns and publishes it as a hobby. She has a column in The Washington Post. She appears on MSNBC regularly as a political contributor.

    Do you see why our political commentary sucks shite? Her political opinion is that of a wealthy trust fund kiddie, scion of the original radical chic, whose only close association with politicos of any note is at mega fundraising dinners and high society cocktail parties. In any other country, she would be regarded as a dilettante. The BBC would, quite honestly, not allow her to sit on any noteworthy panel on any of their political discussion shows, with any credence.

    This woman is dangerous.


    vanden Heuvel was one of a triumvirate of big mouths – the other two being Bill Maher and Michael Moore – who trolled the nation during the 2000 campaign cycle, asserting that Bush and Gore were one and the same and extolling people to vote, instead, for Ralph Nader.

    We all know what happened there, and anyone who took Katrina’s sage advice, should realise that they enabled 8 years of George Bush as much as had they pulled the lever to vote for him directly.

    Don’t believe me? Have a gander at a very precise and articulate blog from 2010 by the healthcare blogger, Citizen K (the emphases are mine


  23. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s “Appeasement” Canard

    Ted Galen Carpenter takes on the bizarre allegations directed against Obama on foreign policy:

    [W]hat is the president’s conduct that warrants allegations of appeasement? For the current crop of GOP presidential wannabes, merely exhibiting a willingness to conduct negotiations with adversaries is considered evidence of craven appeasement on the part of an American policy maker. And because Obama has attempted to open or advance dialogues with such adversaries, Republican activists excoriate him. But that is a very disturbing standard.

    If the GOP candidates believe that it is improper even to talk to hostile foreign regimes, diplomacy largely ceases to exist as a meaningful foreign-policy tool. It is no challenge at all to negotiate with friendly, democratic governments. But we don’t have the luxury of dealing only with the New Zealands, Chiles and Estonias of the world. The real challenge for diplomacy is negotiating with, and getting desirable results from, prickly or odious regimes. Making demands for a laundry list of concessions from such adversaries, backed up by either unenforceable or ill-advised threats, is not a practical—much less a sensible—foreign policy. Yet that is where Romney, Gingrich and most of the party’s other presidential candidates apparently would take the United States if any of them entered the White House.


  24. ThePlumLineGS:

    Mitt Romney again makes two major claims about jobs that media utterly refuses to insist he substantiate: http://wapo.st/zMlmZe

  25. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 10:45 AM

    The ACA actually combats fraud and abuse
    By Steve Benen

    John McDonough has a good piece on an overlooked benefit from the Affordable Care Act: it’s doing quite well in combating fraud and abuse, which in turns saves Americans quite a bit of money. (via TOA)

    Members of Congress of both parties often complain about fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid (M&M), usually charging that the President is not doing enough to keep bad guys from stealing money from these vital programs.

    Guess what? Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) and to an unprecedented effort by the Obama Administration, more progress has been made in the past three years to combat health care fraud and abuse than ever before. There was a 68.9 percent increase in criminal health care fraud prosecutions from 2010 to 2011, and 2010 was already the highest ever.

    McDonough helped work on the ACA’s provisions related to fraud prevention, and sketches out the areas in which the law is improving enforcement.

    Part of the effort involves hyper-charged efforts to catch bad guys through the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), and a bigger part involves re-engineering the system to keep them out. For example, prior to the ACA, if a bad guy got kicked out of one state Medicaid program for fraud, he got kicked out of one program; under the ACA, when he gets kicked out of one, and he gets kicked out of all them, including Medicare. That’s smart, and that’s just a tiny bit of what the ACA does on fraud & abuse.


    • Ametia says:

      ACA and other legislation PBO’s admin have inacted is why the HATERS are HATING. Cuttin in on their profits; why we can’t have that now, can we?

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Year of the Cockroach
    By Emilia1956

    If nothing else, let it be said that the Presidency of Barack Obama proved one precise thing: That the United States is not a post-racial country. More importantly – as 2011 revealed – racism is as rampant on the Left side of the political spectrum as on the Right. More subtle, perhaps, and with a decidedly different flavour, but it’s there all the same.

    Add to racism, misogyny, as well. We’re all familiar with the Religious Right’s war on women – the efforts to curtail and then to make illegal abortion, efforts in some states to make all sorts of contraception illegal, personhood initiatives. It seems, in some instances, people who identify with the Left can live with those things, if it means getting rid of Barack Obama. A small price to pay, surely.

    No one likes being labelled a racist. Not even known or exposed racists like being fingered as one. But for the longest time, the Progressive Left have seen themselves above that sort of thing, to the extent that many confidently asserted that racism simply does not exist on the Left.

    And the Barack Obama was elected.
    In the United States, we are ill-served by our political media. They are populated by known hacks (Halperin, Fineman), trust fund babies whose careers were bought for them (Katrina vanden Heuvel), soccer moms with furrowed brows (Joan Walsh), social climbers (Arianna Huffington), failed lawyers with an axe to grind (CenkyStank and Gigi Greenwald), ex-sportscasters with an ego the size of Brooklyn Bridge and a maturity level the size of an amoeba (Keith Olbermann) and assorted comics with a bathroom desire to be taken seriously as political pundits (Bill Maher). Not to mention the Boys’ Brigade and their Troop Leader (Adam Green, Chris Hayes and Scout Leader Michael Moore). And let’s not forget the hootin’n hollerin’ version of Southern Rush, Ed Schultz.

    If you’ve ever lived in a place infested by cockroaches, you know how quickly they can appear. The Professional Left, who serve as “interpreters” or spokesmen for the liberal political media have proven themselves to be veritable cockroaches infesting the Democratic electorate ever since the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

    Almost immediately, Arianna Huffington led the fray, complaining about every undertaking the Administration proposed from January 2009. The Cabinet wasn’t up to Her Majesty’s liking, especially the appointment of Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary. Almost immediately, The Huffington Post built a narrative of Geithner as the traitor who would ill-serve not only the President but also the public in general. From there, her complaints continued. Her reporters – wet-nosed puppies who’d be pounding the beat on bake sales in parochial papers, learning their trade – were encouraged to quote shady “anonymous sources” who “knew the minds” of various Cabinet members/advisors etc who were being targeted as inadequate to Progressives’ demands.

    Then the ubiquitous name-calling of the President began. To Huffington, the President became “Nowhere Man.” But the real damage started in the run up to the Midterms, when Huffington trolled the country, passing the meme that Obama was just not into the Middle Class. She was still preaching this mantra even at the beginning of 2011.

    Huffington was a powerful voice for Progressives. I say “was,” because she never really was one, only except to the extent where she could make a swift buck. I always questioned why the media and the liberal political commentary media took for granted her Damascene conversion, literally overnight, from virulent neocon to ueber Progressive. “Shallow” is not descriptive enough of their mental facilities in questioning such a volte-face.

    But since Huffington sold her rag to AOL and assumed the mantra of a media moghul, herself, becoming a veritable corporate whore in addition to the media whoredom she dominated so well, her rag has become legion with nothing but anti-Obama rhetoric; and her lily-white staff resemble the privileged end of the Young Republicans.

    Ask yourself if anyone presenting themselves as a spokesman for the 99 percent, would be seen, promoting herself and her editor, pallin’ around the society end of Los Angeles in the toyboy’s latest boy toy:-


  27. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 10:15 AM

    GOPers bite their tongues on rail, infrastructure
    By Steve Benen

    The NYT has a good piece today on the extent to which Republicans used to support high-speed rail, and the fact that GOP presidential hopefuls like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry used to be some of the policy’s biggest champions.

    “If you want to be the most competitive country in the world in 2040 or 2050, you have to think large,” Mr. Gingrich said in 2009 at a videotaped forum sponsored by the National Governors Association and Building America’s Future, an infrastructure advocacy group. Mr. Gingrich’s large thought was for America to build high-speed magnetic levitation trains, as China has.

    “Let’s go ahead and be really bold, and go head to head with the Chinese in developing and implementing maglev trains that move at 280, 300, 320 miles an hour,” Mr. Gingrich said in his speech, which Streetsblog.org, a transportation Web site, wrote about recently. “And you suddenly change all sorts of equations about how this country operates.”

    Before the politics of rail was scrambled in recent years, Republican support for high-speed rail was not unusual. As recently as 2004, the Republican Party platform stated that “Republicans support, where economically viable, the development of a high-speed passenger railroad system as an instrument of economic development and enhanced mobility.”

    All of this, of course, makes perfect sense. HSR development would create jobs, improve the nation’s energy policy, improve innovation, relieve traffic congestion, and even help the environment. There’s no reason this has to be a partisan issue, and for many years, it wasn’t.

    Then President Obama said he agreed with Republicans on this — at which point Republicans decided high-speed rail was a communist plot that must be fought at all costs. Indeed, my favorite sentence in the Times article was this one: “Spokesmen for Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Perry did not respond to e-mails seeking comment about their views on rail.”

    After having touted the policy, these guys are no longer even willing to mention the fact that they agree — or at least used to agree — with Democrats on this policy.

    And as it turns out, it’s not just rail. Politico reported that the Republican presidential field is completely unwilling to talk about transportation and the nation’s infrastructure needs. Politico “reached out to all seven of the Republican 2012 campaigns; none chose to flesh out infrastructure positions.”

    The problem, apparently, is that the issue involves public investments, and Republican voters don’t like public investments, no matter how many jobs this would create, or how much this would strengthen the country.

    Ideally, this is what a presidential nominating contest is for: candidates identify areas of public need and discuss what they’d do to address those needs. But the Republican process in 2012 has nothing to do with problem-solving or public policy; it’s about proving fealty to an ideology.


  28. Reddit, Still Attacking Paul Ryan, Raises $15,000 For Challenger


    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) isn’t catching a break from the users of social news website Reddit. “Operation Pull Ryan,” a grassroots online campaign to unseat Ryan in his 2012 re-election bid, is gaining strength on Reddit.

    On Sunday, Ryan’s challenger, Democratic candidate Bob Zerban, took to Reddit to thank users for helping him raise $15,000 in 48 hours.

    “I can’t thank you enough,” Zerban’s post read. “While $15,000 is nothing compared to the millions of Wall Street dollars Paul Ryan has in his war chest, it has gone a long way to help me DESTROY my year-end fundraising goal.”

    • Kick him to the curb. GTFO Paul Ryan!

      • Ametia says:

        Paul Ryan’s $700-Wine-Sipping Buddies: Hedge Fund Manager And University Of Chicago Economist

        Crabtree- July 9, 2011, 5:24 PM 93126It didn’t take long for TPM readers to identify the two likeminded conservatives with whom Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) shared two pricey $350 bottles of Pinot Noir Wednesday night.

        The two names repeatedly flooded into TPM’s e-mail since our story on Ryan’s big spending night first ran Friday, and we spent the next 24 hours trying to reach the pair to confirm their identities and get their side of the story.

        The three men were spotted ordering the $700 worth of wine at Bistro Bis on Capitol Hill by an associate professor of business at Rutgers University named Susan Feinberg. After dining in the same restaurant with her husband, Feinberg confronted Ryan and his pals about the high-end wine. The exchange became contentious. Ryan professed not to know the price of the wine, and one of his buddies responded to Feinberg’s chastisement by loudly saying, “Fuck her,” Feinberg told TPM.


  29. Ametia says:

    Barney Frank Offers Lawrence O’Donnell A 2012 Democrat Slogan: ‘We’re Not Perfect, But They’re Nuts’
    video by Frances Martel | 11:25 pm, January 2nd, 2012

    Rep. Barney Frank may find the 2012 Republican primary as wildly entertaining as most anyone else following the campaigns has, but he is still a little worried that the Democrats may suffer from this. This he told Lawrence O’Donnell on tonight’s The Last Word, where he explained that part of the blame for close-minded political rhetoric was voter demand, and that Democratic desire to cooperate has led to more gridlock in Congress


  30. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Hang a Whites Only Sign on America

    What Republican political theology insists upon in 2012 hearkens back to the Puritan ideal of the City on the Hill – a special place for special (i.e. God’s) people, who happened to be white conservative Christians (converted Native Americans were always second class citizens). In the 21st century, that special place is reserved for – white conservative Christians.

    And it’s not only a matter of skin color. There are taints of other sorts, what I have referred to here before as the Canaanite disease, where everything outside that perfect city is relegated to the role assigned to the Bible’s Canaanites – the cultural and religious other, skin color notwithstanding.

    It’s difficult to imagine these days, particularly when looking at this fellow…

    but there was once a day when the Irish were not considered white. No Irish Need Apply. Those signs were once as familiar as Whites Only signs. The despised other can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors

    You see, whiteness is defined not by some pesky gene but by the idea of what America is and what Americans are according to a narrow-minded bunch of religious bigots.

    We’ve seen that in this mindset America is God’s city. What America isn’t, we are being told, is dark-skinned (even though the original Americans had darker skin than permitted under current regulations), foreign-language speaking (even though millions of Americans who considered themselves white and came to these shores spoke foreign languages – like my own Norwegian and Swedish ancestors), non-Christian (even though Thomas Jefferson said religious tolerance meant it didn’t matter if a man worshipped 20 gods or none and owned a copy of the Qur’an), atheists, or gay (makes you wonder what they plan to do with all those gay animals other than insisting they’re an aberration), or feminist (sinful temptresses with uppity ideas have no place in the City on the Hill).

    There are a lot of things America is not (too many to list here) but only two things America is as God’s city: white and conservative Christian – Palin’s “real” Americans.

    Republican rhetoric is full of examples (again, too many to list here). The Old Testament is full of examples too. And there are many points of intersection between the two. In fact, much of the former derives from the latter. Republican political theology is a gospel of rejection of the Other.

    All of us who aren’t them threaten white Christian privilege. It all started with the Civil War, of course, which white southerners still haven’t come to grips with, when Lincoln freed the Other and essentially said, they’re like you. Cue cognitive dissonance on a grand scale. That is why you see this, which makes no sense on any level for a self-professed “patriot”:


  31. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 01/02/2012
    Michelle Obama’s backside is your business how?
    By Mary C. Curtis

    Can you imagine how the incident would play out if an African American congressman made a crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush’s body? It certainly would have taken more than an insincere apology to wash that sin away. That scenario never happened — hopefully because those congressmen were raised with a measure of common decency. I know that America’s first family – an image this country presents to the world — is traditionally granted a certain amount of respect across party lines.

    Only Wisconsin Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner apparently isn’t bound by such traditions. While I suspect he might be the first to defend the honor and dignity of previous First Ladies, he was recently overheard at Washington’s Reagan National Airport loudly criticizing Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative: “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.”

    His insults quickly disappeared from the headlines after he pledged to send the first lady an apology. Even then, though, he couldn’t resist — through a spokesperson — taking another shot at Michelle Obama’s efforts to get Americans to add more fruits and veggies to their diets and to get moving.

    The aide’s note said: “Mr. Sensenbrenner was referring to the First Lady’s healthy food initiative. He doesn’t think the government should be telling Americans what to eat. While he may not agree with all of her initiatives, he plans to contact the First Lady’s office to apologize for his comments.”

    But Sensenbrenner wasn’t talking about her “initiatives.” He was insulting her body.

    The half-hearted statement signaled to the like-minded to pay no attention to his “I’m sorry.” It hardly erased the cheap shot at a woman whose fit frame was on recent view in a dazzling blue gown at the Kennedy Center Honors.

    What is it about her simple message that gets some folks in such a tizzy? Michelle Obama isn’t advocating a diet of roots and berries, only moderation in a country suffering the effects of an obesity epidemic, with diabetes on the rise in young children. She is sharing the advice in a way that emphasizes healthy eating and exercise, rather than the deprivation diet of a photo-retouched supermodel.

    You would think a message to take a little care with what we consume would be welcomed. But no, folks like Rush Limbaugh and Sensenbrenner prefer to inspect every item the Obamas put on their plates. Those two might better spend that time looking in the mirror, but self-awareness has never been part of their package. Of course, if the first lady were a size 0, they would be saying she encourages anorexia.

    Not only is this disrespect crude, it also proves yet again that you can’t go wrong disrespecting a black woman in the United States of America, even if she lives in the White House – and in some constituencies, especially if she lives in the White House. Sensenbrenner’s nasty rant made me sick and sad because it brings to the surface the ugly history of how black women are viewed in America, stereotyped and dehumanized, our bodies everyone’s business except our own.

    What in the world is Sensenbrenner doing staring at the First Lady — not as a person but as a specimen, each part an item on an anatomical checklist? He doesn’t approve of what he’s seeing but he can’t keep his eyes off of her. It’s creepy but unfortunately familiar, the way he devalues black beauty while being mesmerized by it.


    • He needs smacking across the face and neck. He would have never disrespected a white woman in that way!

    • Ametia says:

      These white men lust after the black woman’s body, all the while verbalizing their disdain. They can’t control our bodies like their white ancestor slave masters used to. It kills them that they can’t take our bodies and rape us, like ole massa did back in the day.

  32. 2008 Iowa Caucus Victory Speech: Promises Kept

  33. Barack Obama:

    Four years ago today, candidate Obama told Iowans he’d reform health care and end the Iraq war: http://OFA.BO/suEgjw #promiseskept

  34. Dems for Progress:

    The bitch slap heard across Corporate America: MT High Court Rebukes Citizens United at http://bit.ly/uG1AzQ.

  35. David Axelrod:

    Yesterday, Mitt predicted victory. Today, he says 3d would be fine. He can’t even stick to the same position on THAT!

  36. Ametia says:

    Jan 2, 3:17 PM EST
    Aretha Franklin is engaged to longtime friend

    NEW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin is engaged to longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson.

    The Grammy-winning singer told The Associated Press in a statement Monday that she and Wilkerson are considering a summer wedding, perhaps in Miami Beach, Fla. The Queen of Soul wants to follow the ceremony with a reception on a private yacht.

    The 69-year-old jokes: “No, I’m not pregnant.”

    Franklin and Wilkerson became engaged over the holidays.


  37. Mitt Romney plays the hate card


    Mitt Romney embraces the GOP base’s unadulterated hatred of President Obama:
    Mitt Romney ended his third of four rallies today by charging up the most spirited crowd for him all week with a verbal fusillade aimed right at President Barack Obama.
    “I think president Obama wants to make us a European style welfare state, where instead of being a merit society we’re an entitlement society, where government’s role is to take from some and give to others,” Romney told the crowd.

    “What I know is if they do that, they’ll substitute envy for ambition, and they’ll poison the very spirit of America and keep us from being one nation under God,” Romney said, leveling rhetoric at the president that he had not used before.

  38. WSJ Washington Wire
    Live Blogging the Iowa Caucuses http://on.wsj.com/v6TyJi

  39. ObamaCare Is Winning the Fight on Fraud and Abuse


    Members of Congress of both parties often complain about fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid (M&M), usually charging that the President is not doing enough to keep bad guys from stealing money from these vital programs.

    Guess what? Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) and to an unprecedented effort by the Obama Administration, more progress has been made in the past three years to combat health care fraud and abuse than ever before. There was a 68.9 percent increase in criminal health care fraud prosecutions from 2010 to 2011, and 2010 was already the highest ever. See the chart below, released last month by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. (Note: NPR did a fine piece on this topic last Friday.)

    Everybody knows there is a lot of fraud in M&M, though no one really knows how much. In the 1990s, the FBI made a back-of-the-envelope calculation of 10%, a never-validated estimate which has assumed undeserved biblical truth status. There’s a lot, no doubt. Back in 1997, the New York Times reported that crime families were dropping drugs, prostitution, and gambling to get into health insurance fraud because the money was so much easier to steal.

    Someone once told me the most successful day in the history of the Internal Revenue Service was the day they sent Martha Stewart to jail — because so many folks had the thought, “if they will send Martha to jail, why would they treat me any better?” Same with these stats — it is not just the numbers who get caught and go to jail — and one bad guy was sent up the river for 50 years — it’s everyone ought there who now realizes they have a bigger chance of getting caught.

  40. Ametia says:

    Check out Nyles listening to Coltrane. His dade’s indoctrinating him with JAZZ Early.

  41. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 8:25 AM
    Meet Charlie Black
    By Steve Benen

    Four years ago at this time, Mitt Romney was condemning John McCain for inviting corporate lobbyists to help run the senator’s presidential campaign. Now, Romney has begun taking strategic advice from one of those very same corporate lobbyists.

    Mitt Romney has added a veteran Washington lobbyist — Charlie Black, a top political aide to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign — to the circle of informal advisers who are trying to help to guide him to the White House. […]

    Mr. Romney’s current presidential campaign is … wary of being linked to the culture of Washington, casting Mr. Romney as an “outsider” and a “businessman” who will clean up the way politics is done in Washington.

    But on Monday, aides to Mr. Romney confirmed that Mr. Black, a veteran Washington power broker, is supporting Mr. Romney’s 2012 effort.

    It’s not altogether clear how significant a role Black is playing, though the powerful D.C. lobbyist conceded yesterday he offers Romney “occasional” advice.

    (Black appears to have settled on Romney, after having encouraged Mitch Daniels to run, not because he thinks the former Massachusetts governor is great, but because Black thinks Romney is better than his rivals. I imagine Romney gets that a lot.)

    But for those who’ve forgotten, it’s worth revisiting Black’s interesting lobbying background. The lobbyist served four years ago as McCain’s senior campaign strategist and chief political advisor, but before that, Black put together quite a client list, featuring a motley international crew of thugs and authoritarian tyrants.

    In addition to his extensive corporate work, Black’s client list included (but is by no means limited to) Iraq/Iran’s Ahmad Chalabi, Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, Somalia’s Mohamed Siad Barre, Nigeria’s Ibrahim Babangida, and Angola’s would-be dictator Jonas Savimbi. In each instance, Black was paid (handsomely) to boost their access, influence, and stature among U.S. policy makers.

    MoveOn.org put together this rather brutal video four years ago, when Black was helping run McCain’s campaign.

    And now this same Charles Black is offering advice to Mitt Romney. Maybe some enterprising campaign reporter should ask Romney about this.


  42. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012 9:20 AM

    Gingrich takes off the gloves
    By Steve Benen

    For the last several weeks, Newt Gingrich has gone out of his way to keep a positive message, making it a staple of his campaign strategy. It didn’t work — while Gingrich refused to go negative, Mitt Romney and his cohorts spent $4 million in three weeks to destroy the former Speaker, causing Gingrich’s support in the polls to plummet.

    And so now it appears Gingrich is trying a new approach. His appearance on CBS’s “The Early Show” this morning is a must-see video.

    The fireworks start about three minutes in, when CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell asked Gingrich about this recent comment: “Someone who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when they are president.” It led to this exchange:

    “I have to ask you, are you calling Mitt Romney a liar?”

    “Yes,” Gingrich replied.

    “You’re calling Mitt Romney a liar?”

    “Well, you seem shocked by it!” said Gingrich. “Yes.”

    O’Donnell and co-host Bob Schieffer did, in fact, seem completely shocked that Gingrich was willing to say this on national television. That, in and of itself, is a shame — Romney has been lying uncontrollably for quite a long while. Paul Krugman a couple of weeks ago highlighted a series of blatant lies from Romney, and noted that the Republican presidential candidate “seems confident that he will pay no price for making stuff up,” in large part because we’ve entered an era of “post-truth politics.”

    The question isn’t why Gingrich would say this; the question is why O’Donnell and Schieffer haven’t said the same thing.

    In any case, Gingrich followed up on this exchange by launching an aggressive broadside against the likely GOP nominee, noting, among other things, Romney’s support for taxpayer-financed abortions, Romney distancing himself from Reagan, and Romney running to the left against Ted Kennedy.

    “Which part of what I just said to you is false?” he asked the surprised hosts. “Why is it that if I’m candid in person and I wanted to be honest in person, that’s shocking? If [Romney’s] PAC buys millions of dollars in ads to say things that are false, that’s somehow the way Washington plays the game. Isn’t that exactly what’s sick about this country right now? Isn’t that what the American people are tired of?”

    Oddly enough, those seem like pretty reasonable questions.

    I don’t imagine Gingrich is going to do especially well when the dust settles in Iowa tonight, but if he sticks around for a while longer, I get the sense he’ll have plenty of interesting things to say about Romney in the coming weeks.


  43. rikyrah says:

    On bullying: Glenn Greenwald and the ‘nun rape’ smear
    January 3, 2012 ·

    Glenn Greenwald has developed a reputation as one of the most prolific — and self-righteous — voices on the Internet. But this past weekend, he revealed another side that longtime observers of his rise to prominence in liberaldom knew all too well.
    By amplifying a Twitter comment that “Barack Obama could rape a nun live on NBC” and his followers would still back him up, Greenwald revealed one of his more unappealing traits — a nasty streak that holds those who disagree with him — and not just their ideas — in utter contempt.

    From Zerlina Maxwell, writing for theGrio:

    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 AngryBlackLady.com 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.” …

    It’s that doubling down that seems to be presenting a problem for Greenwald, as even people sympathetic to his views are asking, “dude, do you really want to own that?” Yes, he does. Maybe the guy is simply insensitive to women (one of his favorite causes is a guy who, when not leaking national security secrets, was punching a female colleague…) or to rape survivors, or maybe he’s just too cloistered in his Libertarian ideascape to see how offensive that tweet was. If you read his timeline, he really doesn’t seem to get that saying people who support the president would condone him raping a nun in front of them, or if you include his self-defense, would support any act of depravity or violence the Evil Barack Obama of Greenwald’s invention could commit, is patently offensive and well… crazy. It’s crazy like the libertarian belief that slavery and Jim Crow would have cured themselves via the free market. But that’s a whole different post.

    Greenwald is clearly an ideologue, and I’m sure he sincerely believes that the government’s use of drones and waging of covert wars and the drug war are the most pressing problems facing the planet. Or at least he believes that now. But his most consistent pattern seems to be a rapier’s edge applied to anyone who disagrees with him. And unlike, say, the late Christopher Hitchens, Greenwald applies the sword without the ballet of swordsmanship. His attacks are more like serial killings than swashbuckling. One has to be, in Greenwaldian terms, literally evil to not agree with his point of view. And he’s not afraid to say so. Anyone who fails to loathe Obama as he does is an “Obama lover” (just chew on that, if you’re African-American) or a “cultist.” It isn’t possible that Obama could do anything that isn’t vile and insipid and worthy of continual, emphatic condemnation.

    If Greenwald felt this way because he simply loathes violence and drones, and the extrajudicial killing of terrorists and the senseless deaths that unnecessary wars bring with them, that would be one thing. But back when he was a Bush supporter, and was, by his own admission, very much in favor of the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, he seems to have had a decidedly different view. Greenwald openly admits to not voting up to at least the 2000 election, precisely because he had the kind of blind trust in his government, and even in President George W. Bush that he now, sneeringly, pins on Obama’s supporters. And, again, he supported the Iraq war — not in 1991 but the one that happened in 2003. One can even imagine Greenwald penning a 4,000 word Salon blog post calling those who opposed the president and the war idiotic, infantile and stupid — how could they not give their president the benefit of the doubt, as the brilliant Glenn Greenwald did?


  44. It is NEVER surprising to hear comments from GOP mopes that border on racism…..but these remarks by Santorum are as clear an example of outright vile racial bigotry as we are likely to hear.
    And his daughter made some comments out of BOTH sides of her mouth; “Everyone has a right to be happy in their own way”, followed by “We must prevent gay marriage!”
    Another home-schooled knuckle dragger….just like daddy!

  45. Santorum addresses answer of black’s entitlement reform

    While campaigning in Sioux City, Rick Santorum made a controversial comment about cutting entitlement funds to blacks.

    • People on foodstamps in Iowa

      9% black

      84% white

      Rick doesn’t mind white people getting foodstamps…just not black people.

      • Santorum implied black people were the face of welfare.

        I want to give them [black people] the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families.

        That statement is saying black people don’t earn and provide for themselves or their families.

        What a racist piece of ish. A good for nothing bigot.

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