Wednesday 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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82 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Rick Santorum Denies Making ‘Black People’ Remarks, Claims To Be ‘Bigger Player’ In 2012 Primary Race

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum denied recently making comments about “black people’s lives” after receiving criticism for the remarks.

    Santorum took heat after saying, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” During an appearance on FOX News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” he denied ever making the comments, saying the remark was the result of “a little bit of a blurred word.”

    “I looked at that, and I didn’t say that,” Santorum told O’Reilly. “If you look at it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — came out. And people said I said ‘black.’ I didn’t.”

  2. PlanetPOV:

    Another Latino Killed by Arpaio’s Jailers. GOP Group Calls on Brewer to Step in – Arizona Lincoln Republicans

  3. What? So Rick Santorum tipped off John Ensign that his affair was about to be exposed? Uh Uh Uh…

  4. rikyrah says:

    found this over at The Obama Diary:

    donna dem 4 obama
    January 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm
    A FB Friend of mine just reminded me of something…

    Remember the other day when the President threatened to raise the debt ceiling. Then the Repubs cried foul and the President said oh since you are not in session I’ll move the date until your return? Well… quote my friend “I’m going to raise the debt ceiling … what, what’s that, you guys are out of session? I need to change that date to when you return to Washington? Great, now I can make all of these recess appointments I wanted to do since you guys are out of session and all.”


  5. Number of days of GOP control of the House of Representatives = 371.
    Number of jobs bills from the GOP House = 0.

  6. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2012 4:50 PM
    Can McCain define ‘destroy’?
    By Steve Benen

    As we talked about earlier, John McCain probably didn’t want to endorse Mitt Romney today, but he did. Was this largely a matter of party loyalty and the Republican establishment rallying behind their guy? Probably, though there are a couple of related angles to consider.

    For one thing, as much as McCain dislikes Romney, he dislikes Rick Santorum more. For another, as much as McCain dislikes Romney and Santorum, he hates President Obama with the heat of a thousand suns.

    McCain took the microphone and delivered a full-throated rebuke to Obama: “My friends, our message to President Barack Obama is you can run, but you can’t hide from your record of making this country bankrupt, from destroying our national security and for making this nation one that we have to restore with Mitt Romney as president of the United States of America.”

    That struck me as a curious indictment, especially for a prepared speech.

    The country is “bankrupt”? What does that even mean? We have the world’s largest economy; we pay our debts; and the world is still eager to loan us an enormous amount of money at extremely low interest rates. Is McCain just throwing around words again without understanding them?

    But even more interesting is the notion that the president is “destroying our national security.” Now, I can understand why Obama’s liberal detractors criticize the administration’s policies when it comes to the national security state, prosecution of wars, detainees, etc. But from McCain’s perspective, what is it, exactly, that the senator finds worthy of whining?

    Concerns surrounding civil liberties notwithstanding, the president and his team can take credit for killing Osama bin Laden, decimating al Qaeda, helping bring down the Gadhafi regime in Libya (a guy McCain literally used to bow to), and preventing many terrorist plots.

    Maybe McCain would take issue with some of the developments, maybe not. But either way, in what universe is the president “destroying our national security”?

    • Ametia says:

      John McCain is RESPONSIBLE for unleashing Sarah Palin on America in 2008, and the downward spiral of respect and honor for the highest office in the land.

      John McCain needs a good ass whoopin for attaching that ignorant, empty-headed, T&A wink-wink- talkin loud and sayin nothing fake politician on the political scene. Now we have Palin wanna bees in the GOP roamin the countryside destroying our country with their racism, lies, distortions, and ugly rhetoric of “taking our country back to the good old days of JIM CROW.

      FUCK John McCain! He’s part of the destruction of our National security.

  7. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2012
    The WH: Which plan of attack?

    In today’s NY Times analysis, “Obama Weighs 2 Tactics on Romney,” the questions are asked of the president’s reelection team, “Do they go the flip-flopper route? Or do they go the out-of-touch, protector-of-Wall-Street route?”

    The Times concedes that “The two tactics are not necessarily mutually exclusive,” although in the first there lies the peril of the electorate mistaking Romney’s utter lack of principles for a vigorous pragmatism. (And these two characteristics indeed are mutually exclusive; the authentic and dare I say honorable pragmatist accepts on occasion the sacrifice of compromise to achieve at least in part a preexisting and principled goal, while the unprincipled pol merely exploits his vacant core to achieve whatever might be deemed a political triumph.)

    Mitt Romney certainly has never confused the two, as his brazenly hucksterish record of wholesale and sudden reversals makes clear; said reversals — he would say epiphanies — always miraculously corresponding quite favorably to political demands. The fairer share of registered Republicans may not give a damn, since their unquenchable pursuit of power also invariably corresponds to political expediency. But independents might be a bit baffled (which is so often their way).

    So, there’s that — one strike against the flip-floppery route. My chief objection to this singular path, however, lies elsewhere, and in glittering, conspicuous daylight: Will the electorate really tolerate months of the same, uninterrupted, mind-numbing accusation? It may in fact transcend the status of mere accusation; Romney’s flips and flops may in fact be, and they in fact are, facts, but we all know how voters frequently interpret the empirically undeniable. In rather short order, they might just tune it out.

    Voters would be exceptionally hard-pressed, though, to so easily tune out “the out-of-touch, protector-of-Wall-Street route,” given Romney’s day-to-day confirmations of precisely that. Defending corporations as sentient beings and conflating grotesque concentrations of private, self-multiplying wealth with an America-the-Beautiful of equal opportunity are always hard political messages to sell, but they’re especially hard when the commoners have been softened up through embitterment.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Debunking The GOP’s Power Grab Meme: Obama’s Made Only 29 Recess Appointments

    The Republican Party is crying power grab, but even with the recess appointment of Richard Cordray, Obama has made fewer recess appointments than Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes.

    According to the Congressional Research Service, “President William J. Clinton made 139 recess appointments, 95 to full-time positions. President George W. Bush made 171 recess appointments, of which 99 were to full-time positions. As of December 8, 2011, President Barack Obama had made 28 recess appointments, all to full-time positions.” Before Clinton, George H.W. Bush made 77 recess appointments, and Ronald Reagan made 240.

    Ronald Reagan averaged more recess appointments in a year (30) than Barack Obama has made during his entire presidency. Yet, Republicans have deemed Obama’s most recent appoint of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB an unconstitutional power grab. Republicans are threatening to take the matter to court, but they are unlikely to be successful.

    In 2004, Democrats unsuccessfully tried to challenge the constitutionality of George W. Bush’s recess appointment of Judge William Pryor. The GOP congressional leadership is reportedly outraged that Obama would use a recess appointment to get around there obstruction, but interestingly many of these same Republicans who are outraged today were defending the constitutionality of George W. Bush’s recess appointment of Pryor.

    The Republican meme that Obama’s appointment of Cordray is an unprecedented executive power grab is completely false. All presidents dating back to George Washington have used recess appointments, so there is nothing unusual about what Obama has done. In the face of another defeat, Republicans are foolishly retreating back to their narrative that Obama is a political strongman who does not respect the constitution.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Obama Uses CFPB Recess Appointment To Hammer The GOP

    President Obama kicked off 2012 by using the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB as an opening to hammer Republicans for opposing consumer financial protections.

    The recess appointment itself is meaningful because it is more proof that Obama is done playing games with this Congress. The president also managed to turn a recess appointment into an illustration of how the current dysfunctional Congress has failed America.

    Without a bit of irony, Speaker of the House John Boehner reacted to the recess appointment with a statement accusing Obama of a power grab. Boehner said, “This is an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department. The precedent that would be set by this cavalier action would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our Constitution.”

    Boehner also admitted that the appointment was blocked because House Republicans don’t believe there should be an agency for consumer financial protection, “This position had not been filled for one reason: The agency it heads is bad for jobs and bad for the economy. It’s clear the president would rather trample our system of separation of powers than work with Republicans to move the country forward. This action goes beyond the president’s authority, and I expect the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate.

  10. NAACP blasts Santorum for targeting blacks in entitlement reform

    The NAACP on Wednesday blasted Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum for recently singling out blacks for receiving federal benefits, calling his remarks “inaccurate and outrageous.”

    At a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa on Sunday, Santorum was talking about entitlement reform when he said, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

    NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement Wednesday that “Santorum’s targeting of African Americans is inaccurate and outrageous, and lifts up old race-based stereotypes about public assistance.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    David Axelrod: Mitt Romney’s ‘Mr. 25 Percent’
    We’ve had the 1 percent, the 99ers, — and now David Axelrod is tagging Mitt Romney as “The 25 Percent Man” — a reference to Romney’s final tally in Iowa on Tuesday.

    Axelrod — who really seems to enjoy Chicago-style attacks on the former Massachusetts governor — was in rare form during a post-caucus conference call with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt, whom the operator billed as “Chris.”

    Messina, who is marshaling Obama’s ground operation in battlegrounds, set the bar high for Romney in his near-home state of New Hampshire, telling reporters on a conference call, “Romney has got to win by 30 points [in New Hampshire] to continue to this momentum.”

    At the moment, Romney is just about on that line: A Suffolk University two-day tracking poll released hours after Romney’s eight-vote win over Rick Santorum showed him winning 43 percent of the Granite State vote, with Ron Paul 29 points in the rear-view.

    But the purpose of the call wasn’t numeric, it was polemic.

    Citing no names or evidence, Axe claimed someone “tangentially” associated with the Romney camp had told him: “Everybody knows Mitt’s full of it, he doesn’t believe what he’s saying.”

  12. McCain on Romney: Which Mitt is He Endorsing?

    Obama Bucks GOP: Names Consumer Protection Chief, Makes Key Labor Appointments

  14. rikyrah says:


    January 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm
    Shit Just Got Real Part 12

    I think someone may have alluded to this earlier. But this has to be the worst case scenario for Romney. He wins by 8 votes, five less than what he got in 08. The second runner up is some nutjob who spent barely 100K in Iowa, versus Romneys’ 4 million plus campaign. He angers Newt, who refused to congratulate him on his win. He uses his ace in the hole endorsement of McCain (Cough, Cough) to step on the Santorum surge from yesterday—thus depriving him of any meaningful endorsements/news slobbering coverage in the next month or so. And this is just what has happened since the caucus yesterday.

    Coming up, there are two debates (I believe) before NH primaries. South Carolina is still weeks away with some debates scheduled there. And say what you will, but Newt does well (for a Republican) in these forums. And will literally beat the hair gel out of Romney. Along with Santorum and Perry. Mittens only got 14% of very conservative voters, 14% of Evangelicals, and only 13% of those making 50K or less a year. These three groups pretty much sum up the Republican base south of NH. One of the counties that went for Mittens last cylce (Woodbury) flipped to Santorum this cycle.

    So to sum it up, Mittens spent 4 million dollars to get five less votes than he got 4 years ago in Iowa even though he had the highest voter id recognition of all the candidates. Even if he were to win NH, he would have to win by at least 30 pts (as all the latest polling has him winning by this margin) to make it a story. And if he were to win, the media and the general population would be indifferent cause he’s lived there for the past five years.

    How does that Beyonce song go……SUCKS TO BE YOOOOOUUUU RIGHT NOW

  15. ThinkProgress:

    Romney camp admits that its Bain job creation number is totally bogus

    Mitt Romney, last night’s Iowa caucus winner, has been on the campaign trail claiming that the private equity firm he ran, known as Bain Capital, was responsible for creating loads of jobs. Romney responded to criticism about his time at Bain by saying, “I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”

    When a group of Romney backers ran an ad making the same claim, they were unable to back up the number with data. And as it turns out, the Romney camp can’t either, as it admitted that the statistic is nothing but cherry-picked job growth from a few companies that did well after they were bought by Bain:

  16. David Axelrod:

    Least surprising story of the day: Mitt Romney stands with predatory lenders & GOP Congress over consumers and the middle class on Cordray.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Obama defies lawmakers with recess appointments to NLRB
    By Kevin Bogardus – 01/04/12 03:15 PM ET

    President Obama will recess-appoint his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), bypassing a likely filibuster from Senate Republicans to keep the controversial agency operating in 2012.

    The president will use a recess appointment to install Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terence Flynn as members of the NLRB. Block and Griffin are Democrats, while Flynn is a Republican.

    The recess appointments are a huge victory for Obama’s union allies, which had urged the president to use any means necessary to keep the NLRB functioning. Without additional members, the NLRB would have lacked the three-member quorum needed to issue rules and regulations.

    “The American people deserve to have qualified public servants fighting for them every day — whether it is to enforce new consumer protections or uphold the rights of working Americans,” Obama said in a statement. “We can’t wait to act to strengthen the economy and restore security for our middle class and those trying to get in it, and that’s why I am proud to appoint these fine individuals to get to work for the American people.”

  18. “I’m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the American people”

    – Pres. Obama

  19. ‘Citizens United’ Backlash: Montana Supreme Court Upholds State’s Corporate Campaign Spending Ban

    WASHINGTON — The Montana Supreme Court has put itself on a collision course with the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding a century-old state law that bans corporate spending in state and local political campaigns.

    The law, which was passed by Montana voters in 1912 to combat Gilded Age corporate control over much of Montana’s government, states that a “corporation may not make … an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political party that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, struck down a similar federal statute, holding that independent electoral spending by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” that such laws were enacted to combat.

  20. Oh sh*t! Potus AIN’T playing with these mofos!

    Breaking: Obama also set to make recess appointments to the NLRB – The Plum Line – The Washington Post

  21. rikyrah says:

    Get Well: Mariah Carey Tweets That Nick Cannon Suffered Kidney Failure Just Hours Ago!!

    TV presenter Nick Cannon has been rushed to hospital after suffering from kidney failure.
    And despite wife Mariah Carey urging their fans to ‘pray for Nick’, the singer doesn’t look too fearful about his health given her Twitter activity.

    The mother-of-two, 41, bizarrely posted a photo of herself posing beside an ailing Nick, 31, in his hospital bed in Aspen, Colorado.

    But the couple are clearly optimistic he will recover, with Mariah describing his kidney failure as ‘mild’.

    The Fantasy singer posted news of Nick’s illness in the early hours of this morning.

    After tweeting the picture MiMi posted this message on her official website:

    This is us in the hospital – role reversal; Last year it was me attached to the machines (after having dembabies) and Nick was there with me through it, and now here we are. We’re trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful. They tried to kick me out of the hospital but here I am pon de bed with Mr. C.

    We’re doing OK but we’re “straaaaaanded in Aspen”. #DramaticDivaPlace (I know, we could be in a lot worse places) but the truth is as long as we’re together, we’re OK. I’m not trying to make light out of the situation because it’s a serious moment that’s very tough on all of us so please keep us and our family in your prayers. LYM.

  22. US President Barack Obama gives a young boy a fist bump as he greets guests after speaking about the economy at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, on January 4, 2012. Obama announced plans to appoint Richard Cordray as acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a recess appointment, bypassing Congress and setting up a bitter election-year legal showdown with Republicans.

  23. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2012 10:00 AM

    Why Obama & Co. liked what they saw in Iowa
    By Steve Benen

    When I wrapped up last night (technically, this morning), I said President Obama was the big winner from Iowa’s Republican caucuses. A few readers asked what I meant by that, so let’s flesh this out a bit.

    We know what the president and his re-election team didn’t want to see last night. The last thing Democrats wanted was a clear win for Mitt Romney, a united and enthusiastic Republican Party, and the likelihood of a short nominating contest.

    Then consider what Obama and his team ended up with: a muddled top tier, a divided party, underwhelming GOP turnout, and the likelihood of a longer nominating contest with several Republicans eager to attack the probable nominee.

    What’s more, Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky issued an interesting statement last night.

    “Tonight’s caucus successfully brought our supporters together, and we’re overwhelmed that more than 25,000 Iowans turned out to talk about the President’s record and vision for an economy that restores security for the middle class. We not only saw how excited Iowans are to support President Obama, but to also work for his reelection.

    The Iowa caucus was a great opportunity to test our campaign organization and expand our volunteer base as we move toward November. In a strong show of support, more than 7,500 Iowans tonight pledged to volunteer for the campaign over the course of the next year, underscoring their commitment to continuing the change the country has seen under President Obama’s leadership.”

    This is no small feat. About 30,000 Iowa Republicans gave Mitt Romney a win last night, but 25,000 Iowa Democrats showed up to support President Obama — and Obama wasn’t facing a challenger.

    It’s evidence of a pretty strong organization for the president in the Hawkeye State, and it’s why I saw Obama as the big winner last night.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    January 04, 2012 9:30 AM

    Why the turnout totals matter
    By Steve Benen

    This was supposed to be a big year for Republican voter turnout in Iowa. With GOP voters reportedly eager as part of their crusade against President Obama, and with six candidates spending over $13 million to generate some excitement, party insiders predicted 130,000 Iowans would participate.

    As Dave Weigel reported, that’s not quite what happened.

    Four years ago, a depressed GOP went to the precinct caucuses, very well aware that Democrats had all the energy. The total GOP vote: 119,188. This year, Republicans should be psyched about the chance to uproot Barack Obama. There will be something above 122,000 total votes. An improvement, right? Well … in 2008, 86 percent of the people who chose the GOP caucuses were Republicans. This year, 75 percent of the electorate was Republican, with the rest of the vote coming from independents and Democrats. What the hell happened?

    Dave wrote that around 2 a.m., so I’ll just note for the record that the final tally was 122,255 votes cast. Yes, that barely surpassed the 2008 totals, but it fell short of expectations, and the larger circumstances suggest this year should have been much better — if Iowa Republicans turned out 119,000 when they were depressed and uninspired, turning out 122,000 when they’re supposed to be fired up, and bolstered by the Tea Party “movement,” represents something of a setback.

    Indeed, John Avlon called last night’s participation numbers an “ominous sign.”

    Republicans are counting on an enthusiasm gap to get ahead in 2012. It’s only one contest, of course, but at this point, there’s reason to question just how much enthusiasm exists within the GOP base.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 01/04/2012
    The Morning Plum
    By Greg Sargent

    * Mitt Romney’s central jobs claims revealed to be bogus:

    Finally! The Romney campaign has now been pressed to justify the central claims he’s been making about jobs and the economy. As I’ve noted here, Romney has been saying over 100,000 jobs were created on his watch at Bain Capital — an assertion that’s never been proven — while arguing that jobs were destroyed on Obama’s watch, proof that Romney is the superior candidate on jobs.

    And guess what: Romney’s argument has now been revealed to be thoroughly bogus.

    Post writer Glenn Kesler pressed Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom to justify the 100,000 jobs assertion, and he offers this:

    Fehrnstrom says the 100,000 figure stems from the growth in jobs from three companies that Romney helped to start or grow while at Bain Capital: Staples (a gain of 89,000 jobs), The Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), and Domino’s (7,900 jobs).

    This tally obviously does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved — and are based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain.

    Got that? Romney is only counting jobs gained at companies restructured at Bain during and after his years there — and is not factoring in jobs lost — in claiming he created over 100,000 jobs.

    Meanwhile, as the Romney camp concedes to Kessler, in making the claim Obama is a job destroyer, Romney is factoring in the jobs that were lost during Obama’s presidency — before Obama’s policies went into effect. In other words, Romney is calculating a “net” number for Obama, and isn’t calculating a net number for himself. Just wow. As the charts drawn up by Steve Benen and Paul Krugman show, if you apply to Obama the metric Romney is applying to himself, around 2.3 million jobs were created on Obama’s watch.

    While there’s no denying that Obama’s policies haven’t created jobs as fast as we would like, it’s obvious that Romney’s “net” Obama job loss claim is itself silly. That’s because he’s pointing to it as proof that Obama’s policies failed — even though hundreds of thousands of the jobs lost predated the stimulus kicking in. But more broadly, it’s now beyond doubt that the overall comparison Romney continues to draw between the two records is just laughably dishonest. Here’s hoping media outlets will point this out the next 100 times Romney makes these claims.

  26. rikyrah says:

    January 3, 2012, 5:36 pm
    Nobody Likes to Talk About It, but It’s There

    DES MOINES — Talking about race in American politics is uncomfortable and awkward. But it has to be said: There has been a racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last three years, and in this dawning presidential campaign.

    You can detect this undertone in the level of disrespect for this president that would be unthinkable were he not an African-American. Some earlier examples include: Rep. Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” at one of Mr. Obama’s first appearances before Congress, and House Speaker John Boehner rejecting Mr. Obama’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress—the first such denial in the history of our republic.

    More recently, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, in a conversation overheard at Reagan National Airport in Washington, said of Michelle Obama: “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.” He offered a lame apology, but as Mary C. Curtis put it on the Washington Post’s new blog She the People: “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.”

    This ugly strain was crudely evident in the “birthers” and their ridiculous demands that Mr. Obama produce his birth certificate to prove that he was American, and not secretly an African Muslim.

    Just the other day here in Iowa, Mitt Romney’s son, Matt, said his father might release his tax returns “as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things.” The younger Mr. Romney later backtracked, either because he was sincerely chagrined, or, perhaps more likely, because he recognized that it could hurt his father.

    Sometimes the racism is more oblique. Newt Gingrich was prattling on the other day about giving “poor children” in “housing projects” jobs cleaning toilets in public schools to teach them there is an alternative to becoming a pimp or a drug dealer. These children, he said, have no work ethic. If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t get that poor kids in housing projects is code for minorities, he or she hasn’t been paying attention to American politics for the last 50 years. Mr. Gingrich is also fond of calling Mr. Obama “the greatest food stamp President in American history.”

  27. Obama’s Approval Rating Surges A Net 12 Points In Less Than Two Weeks.

  28. President Barack Obama walks with Col. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of the 89th Airlift Wing, before boarding Air Force One, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The president is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio

  29. US President Barack Obama speaks alongside Endia Eason (R), and Richard Cordray (L), about predatory mortgage lending and the impact on the economy at the Eason’s home in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 4, 2012. The Easons almost lost their home after becoming victims of predatory lending by a mortgage broker. Obama plans to appoint Cordray as acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a recess appointment, bypassing Congress and setting up a bitter election-year legal showdown with Republicans.

    • US President Barack Obama smiles with Endia Eason before talking about predatory mortgage lending and the impact on the economy at the Eason’s home in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 4, 2012. The Easons almost lost their home after becoming victims of predatory lending by a mortgage broker. Obama plans to appoint Cordray as acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a recess appointment, bypassing Congress and setting up a bitter election-year legal showdown with Republicans.

  30. Rich Baska:
    GOP in the Senate furious their abuse of the filibuster has been derailed…

    Cordray vows to protect consumers as head of watchdog

    (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s nominee to head a new financial watchdog agency said on Wednesday he was ready to get to work, and would not be distracted by challenges to his appointment.

    “I can’t be distracted by that. I’ve got a big job to do and I need to be 100 percent focused on what we can do to protect American consumers,” Richard Cordray told Reuters.

    He said his first order of business would be to expand enforcement of non-bank financial institutions, such as payday lenders, which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has not been able to address without a chief.

  31. President Obama defies Republican obstruction, uses recess appointment to name consumer watchdog,-uses-recess-appointment-to-name-consumer-watchdog?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dailykos%2Findex+%28Daily+Kos%29

    We can’t wait … and he isn’t:

    In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation’s chief consumer watchdog even though the Senate contends the move is inappropriate, senior administration officials told The Associated Press.
    With a director in place, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be able to start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies often blamed for practices that helped tank the economy.

    Obama’s decision to make a recess appointment is certain to cause an uproar from Capitol Hill to Wall Street. He is essentially declaring the Senate’s short off-and-on legislative sessions a sham intended to block his appointments.


  32. Barbara M. Daniel stated:


  33. Jeff Fecke:

    Barack Obama took 98% of delegates in Iowa yesterday. Clearly, the Pro Left is incredibly influential.

  34. CNN Breaking News:

    Rick Perry tweet suggests he plans to continue his presidential campaign.

  35. Ed Shultz says Bachman was relentless on the stump in Iowa against Obama Care. I get the feeling Ed Shultz dislikes President Obama & the Democratic Party.


    Today the President will appoint Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

  37. rikyrah says:

    Indiana Law Would Punish Schools for Getting National Anthem Wrong

    Indiana State Sen. Vaneta Becker (R) has proposed legislation that would not improve math or science skills, or indeed, anything having to do with education, but which would introduce, reports the Indianapolis Star, “’performance standards ‘for singing and playing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at any event sponsored by public schools and state universities.” Also affected would be private schools receiving state or local scholarship funds, including vouchers. That’s a lot of schools.

    This particular piece of legislation from Indiana may seem a minor annoyance to some, though it’s raising quite a fuss among liberals and progressives, but it represents a far greater threat to America than it might seem. And it only goes to show that Wisconsin and Michigan Tea Partiers have nothing on their Hoosier brethren.

    The GOP and its Tea Party allies claim to be all for small and nonintrusive government, but the new law would require performers “to sign a contract agreeing to follow the guidelines. Musicians — whether amateur or professional — would be fined $25 if it were deemed they failed to meet the appropriate standards.” There’s nothing like giving our already overworked legal system more nuisance cases.

    Additionally, “schools to maintain audio recordings of all performances for two years and develop a procedure for dealing with complaints if a musician is alleged to have strayed from the approved lyrical or melodic guidelines.” Becker claims, “I don’t think it would be very difficult for schools. You could record it on a lot of cellphones or like a small recording device (or) a CD.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012
    ‘A field of dwarves’
    While Republicans’ childish lips are saying “Yes yes yes” to President Obama’s vulnerabilities, Republicans’ adult eyes have said “No no no.” And what this abundance of caution, this failure of formation, this avoidance of battle by the party’s reputed grownups — Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush — reveals is that the Establishment’s true emotions behind, and authentic assessments of, the 2012 presidential race are this: The incumbent is, far more likely than not, unbeatable.

    That’s the barely submerged theme of Politico’s top story — “Iowa’s field of mediocrities” — on this yawn of a morning of a Lilliputian scramble. It’s an old and once-familiar theme, recited in various venues, including this one; yet it was put out to media pasture less by reason of any evolving invalidity than by squawking heads in commercial need of a tight race — thus higher ratings. I’m certainly not of a conspiratorial mind, and the old Nixonian paranoia about network executives all meeting each morning to decide the day’s official news is laughable rubbish. But self-interest isn’t; and it doesn’t take a crack media analyst to know the ‘hype of tight’ serves the self-interest of news-hawkers more than the humdrum of predictability.

    Look at the field of play this way. It’s true that Obama’s numbers, in national head-to-head matchups with Mitt Romney, range from close to hair-raising closer; some a bit up, some a bit down. But keep in mind that these less than cozy numbers revolve around an incumbent who’s been sitting for three years now on oxygen-thin unemployment statistics that, according to every commonly embraced theory of electoral politics, should have him in 1932-Hoover territory. In paradoxic sum, these reported head-to-head polling matchups wouldn’t be close, if the race actually were.

    Also keep in mind that the Republican nominee will, in this altogether war-weary nation, be on the unmistakably supportive record of a combat mission or bombing escapade with respect to Iran (make that an endless combat mission). And in the domestic realm Romney will be burdened with his base-ingratiating, me-too support of Ryancare. On those two issues alone he’ll be as a duck in a barrel.

    Which rationally explains Romney’s early shift to whoppingly irrational lies regarding Obama’s tenure. He’s already backed himself into an unsupportable corner; and with Obama faring far better than economic stats ordinarily allow, about all Romney can do is unload an explosive barrage of preposterous yet dazzling horseshit on the electorate.

    My apologies for repeating myself. I’ve made this point several times in the last few weeks, but it is, I think, an essential point, given the media’s piercing narrative of the very tightest of contests.

    Mitt, I’ll tell you what. You give me a $10,000 marker and I’ll give you an electoral college point-spread of a good 20, maybe even 30. I’ll take Barack to win. And by the way, Mitt, I never bet on emotion.

  39. rikyrah says:

    January 03, 2012
    We’ve only just begun
    The NY Times editorialized on Sunday that Iowa’s Super PAC “primary ads … are just a preview of what lies in store when the heavy armament is rolled out for the general election…. There are no limits to the dollars involved, and no accountability for the candidates those dollars are buying.”

    Super “PACs”? More like Super ESTs, “essentially septic tanks into which wealthy individuals and corporations can drop unlimited amounts of money.”

    And that, in large part, explains my growing despondency over the upcoming election: not Election Day itself, which, as I’ve made clear, I believe I’ll find agreeable; but the grinding, grueling, lugubrious process of mostly GOP lies, misrepresentations, distortions, untruths, dissimulations, fabrications, fairy tales and falsehoods, of which we’ve 10 hideous months yet to suffer.

    Romney’s media team will make Jefferson’s of 1800 look like buttoned-down boy scouts and Quincy Adams’s of 1824 seem like a model of human propriety, two historical examples usually cited for their excessive historical wretchedness. Every four years we confront another specter of even fouler sewage than the one before, and every four years political historians assure us that this ain’t nothin’ — Whoa, wait till you hear about the exotic skulduggery of 1796! While it’s true that the virtue of simple honesty held little allure for most early American pols, and that many of their elections were ghastly descents into the darkest of political deceits, none of those contests ever swamped and smothered the electorate with pounding, virtually inescapable, 24/7 electronic hysterics.

    I reside in a reliable blue state, so I’ll be spared a good portion of the battling bullshit; woe, however, to the poor bastards of, say, swinging Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Florida. There, even “Mister Rogers” will be brought to them by “The Savage Committee to Lie Our Fucking Ass Off for Mitt Romney,” or some such similar outrage.

    I always loved politics, I still love politics, I probably always will love politics. But the modern Republican methodology of politics has a way of wearing one down, of exhausting one’s dignified patience, of casting one into the hopelessness and despair of unremitting, propagandistic filth. And at the moment we stand merely at the precipice of its abysmal squalor.

  40. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2012

    How to kill a political party

    If you were a thoughtful Republican commentator who genuinely cared about your party’s future, you would unquestionably slip into a brooding, self-exam mode regarding these two quick but fateful observations made last night by, among many others in the Iowa aftermath, E.J. Dionne: Ron Paul “won overwhelmingly among the young,” while Mitt Romney “was strongest among caucus-goers over 65.”

    You would undoubtedly ask yourself and your fellow Republicans, What’s going on here? Why the vivid contrast? Why would an older, multiple-term GOP congressman be so attractive to an emerging generation of GOP voters — meaning, quite literally, the potential future of our party — while this younger, well-greased former governor and professional presidential candidate holds greater appeal to the party’s demographic segment that is quite literally dying off?

    You might, indeed, proceed thusly: In sheer numbers, sure, the governor beat the congressman; yet doesn’t Romney’s portfolio, so to speak, resemble Dorian Gray more than the more important, Ernestly youthful? Could it be that the congressman’s rather un-GOP-ness (excuse the phonetic quality of that shorthand characterization) had something to do with inspiring the young? — that his profoundly unBushlike, civil-liberties emphasis sparked their constitutional instincts? — that his careening non-interventionism excited their peace-loving imaginations?

    Does any of this, my fellow Republicans, tell us something we should openly acknowledge and possibly ponder, to some considerable depths? This, you would ask.

    If, however, you’re a party hack, and a blind one at that, you’d likely respond to last night’s observations by writing that, “in any event,” Paul’s “strength was largely based on independent voters,” so, essentially, to hell with any complicating fuss about broadening the party at its promising roots; and that “With the two front-runners both forceful advocates for a strong national defense, talk of the Republican Party dabbling with isolationism should be muted.”

    You would, in other words, perpetuate among your fellow Republicans that very stagnation of mind which constrains your party’s potential growth, while conserving, in any event, its less attractive features.

  41. rikyrah says:

    ObamaCare’s Hidden Trigger Paves The Way For Single Payer

    When ObamaCare was passed conservatives slammed it as a government takeover of the health insurance industry and progressives complained the law didn’t offer at the least a public option, but it seems as though that the law had a hidden trigger that may very well pave the road to single payer health insurance system or Medicare for all. That trigger is the medical loss ratio. This is the part of the law that makes the health insurance industry use at least 85% of your premiums to cover medical expenses. This is something the for profit health insurance industry detests, because it limits the amount of dollars you pay into the system to go toward CEO pay, bonuses, lobbying and advertisements.

    Listen here to my interview with Rick Unger,

    Well, it turns out that the MLR (Medical Loss Ratio) is working rather quickly. In Rick’s latest article

    “Among the many companies that are dropping out of the business —rather than comply with the MLR requirements that would force them to actually spend an appropriate share of the premium monies received from customers on real health care— are some of the nation’s largest carriers.

    Principal Financial Group had already announced late last year that they were leaving the health insurance business, impacting on some 840,000 insured.

    Another key player in the business, Cigna, has decided to quit the small business market in states like California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. In Colorado and Michigan, insurance giant Aetna is bailing on both the small business and individual markets.”

    In fact, even further into the MLR requirements is the fact that Aetna is estimating they will have to pay out $100 million dollars to their subscribers in 2012 for failing to meet the 85% threshold.

    As more and more health insurance companies refuse to use 85% of their billions of dollars in premiums to pay for your medical care, they will drop off the face of the earth and will ultimately pave the way for the American government to expand Medicare for everyone.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012
    Sanctum Santorum: Iowa Edition
    Posted by Zandar

    How much of an utter disaster was Iowa for the GOP last night? Mitt Romney officially beat Rick Santorum by 8 votes. Eight. Votes. And that Romney lead magically appeared literally at the last moment as the results from one of the precincts were “found” at about 2 AM eastern time as Santorum was winning by a handful of votes.

    Yeah. The Republicans can’t even steal their own elections without looking like completely incompetent douchebags, and Romney still didn’t get more than 25% of the vote. No amount of spin can cover up this meltdown for Romney as that means 75% of Iowa’s GOP caucus goes rejected him outright for people even crazier than he is. Kevin Drum sums up last night:

    So now we have a new anti-Romney who will suddenly learn the dangers being in the spotlight and having voters actually get to know him; a promise from a bitter Newt Gingrich that the gloves are off and he’s now going to crush the Mittster and sow the smoking remains of his campaign with salt; the apparent end of Rick Perry; and a few days of chuckleheaded nonsense from people who should know better that Ron Paul owes a big part of his third-place success to his anti-war message and might now ride the burgeoning isolationist youth vote in the Republican Party to victory. (Actual reality: Ron Paul owes his success to his usual combination of economic crankery and fanatic opposition to social welfare in every possible form.)

    Worst part? There’s two debates between now and New Hampshire next Tuesday, another two debates between NH and South Carolina on the 21st, and another pair of debates between SC and Florida on the 31st. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

    The GOP establishment will now do everything in its power to declare Romney Supreme Champion of Everything by next Wednesday and ignore the fact that Romney still can’t get more than a quarter of the GOP to give a damn about him. The base hates him. It’s going to be ugly.

    When’s the last time you remember anyone winning a presidential primary or caucus with 25% of the vote, in such a painfully suspicious way? Never. It’s a joke. Now Mitt can claim victory with 24.6% of the vote, or pretend that Iowa never happened. Either way, it means Iowa Republicans rejected Romney in vast numbers.

    In no way did Romney wrap this up last night. The GOP establishment versus the Tea Party cranks war is now in full bloom. Enjoy the spectacle.

    And remember, Barack Obama won yet again last night.

  43. rikyrah says:

    February 2012
    The Meaning of Mitt

    Mitt Romney has long been a front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination—even if no one really knows who he is. Digging into the candidate’s record as a Mormon leader, his business deals at Bain Capital, and that infamous car trip with the family dog strapped to the roof, Michael Kranish and Scott Helman pierce the Mitt bubble in an adaptation from their new book, The Real Romney, to find that the contradictions, question marks, and ambivalence go deeper than his politics.

  44. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2012 8:55 AM

    As Republicans leave Iowa, what happens now?
    By Steve Benen

    The ideal scenario for Mitt Romney in Iowa wasn’t just a victory — he also wanted the other candidates to do just well enough to stick around for a long while. Because the former governor’s support in his party is so limited, Romney benefits greatly from as large a field as possible — the more the anti-Romney is vote is divided among many candidates, the easier it is for him.

    As it turns out, this isn’t going Romney’s way, either.

    Rick Perry fared poorly in Iowa — despite having spent more than $6 million in the state — garnering just 10.3% of the vote in a fifth-place finish. Going into Tuesday, the Texan and his team said they were headed for South Carolina no matter what. Last night, the forgetful governor announced, “With the voters’ decision tonight, I’ve decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight’s caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race.”

    That’s obviously not a formal withdrawal, but once a candidate talks about quitting, scraps his schedule, and heads home, it’s a safe bet he’s done.

    And then there’s Michele Bachmann, who looked like a leading contender in Iowa as recently as August, but who finished a humiliating sixth last night, with just 5% of the vote. Last night, the right-wing congresswoman told supporters she “can and will defeat” President Obama, but when the AP asked Bachmann’s campaign manager whether the campaign would continue, he said, “I don’t know yet.”

    NBC News’ James Novogrod reported this morning, meanwhile, that Bachmann “has apparently cancelled her South Carolina trip,” and will host a press conference at 11 a.m. eastern.

    Also keep in mind, Jon Huntsman is betting his candidacy on New Hampshire. If he comes up short, as seems likely, the former Utah governor will probably step aside, too.

    In other words, over the next week or so, the Republican presidential field may quickly go from seven candidates to four. That’s the exact opposite of what Romney was hoping for.

    What’s more, not only are Perry and Bachmann supporters unlikely to shift to Romney — Rick Santorum is the likely beneficiary — but Newt Gingrich now appears desperate to destroy Romney in the coming days and weeks, subjecting the former governor to the kind of pressure he’s avoided up until now.

    To be sure, Romney is still the frontrunner and the likely nominee. But a smaller field, more aggressive rivals, and shifting momentum may well make the process more difficult than he’d like.

  45. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2012 8:00 AM

    Santorum comes 8 votes short, declares: ‘Game on’
    By Steve Benen

    It was easy to imagine Mitt Romney winning the Iowa caucuses. It was harder to imagine Romney winning Iowa and looking weaker at the same time.

    And yet, that seems to be a fairly reasonable assessment of the race for the Republican presidential nomination this morning. As of about 2:30 a.m. eastern, the official results were released, and Romney eked out an eight-vote win over Rick Santorum, 30,015 to 30,007 — a difference of about one-tenth of one percent — in the closest Iowa caucus ever.

    Romney staffers and supporters were quick to say, “A win is a win.” There’s clearly some truth to that; Romney fought hard to come out on top in Iowa and he (just barely) succeeded. But in sports, when folks say “a win is a win,” they’re generally talking about a contest in which the victor won an ugly fight and the winner doesn’t look all that impressive afterwards.

    In this case, that clearly applies to Romney. Consider this brief timeline of events:

    2007: Romney runs aggressively in Iowa, invests millions, and expects to win.

    2008: Romney ends up with 25.2% of the vote in a six-candidate field.

    2009: Romney launches a four-year presidential campaign.

    2011: Romney runs aggressively in Iowa, invests millions, and expects to win.

    2012: Romney ends up with 24.5% of the vote in a six-candidate field.

    Yes, the votes were tallied and the former one-term governor gets the bragging rights, but therein lies the point: there’s not much for Romney to boast about here. After five years of near-constant campaigning, Romney managed to get fewer votes in Iowa last night than he did in his first campaign. He also picked up the dubious honor of the weakest win in the history of the caucuses — no victor has ever managed to finish first with less than 25% of the vote until last night.

    After spending nearly $4.7 million, most of it towards the very end of the contest, these are not results Romney should be proud of.

    Santorum, meanwhile, comes out of the Hawkeye State with a long-sought title: the anti-Romney. Whereas Romney’s trajectory is underwhelming and reinforces doubts about his limited appeal, the former Pennsylvania senator closed stronger than anyone thought possible, and leaves Iowa with undeniable momentum, and a compelling pitch to GOP voters who don’t want to vote for a dishonest flip-flopper who only discovered his right-wing beliefs when pollsters told him it would advance his ambitions.

    As John Dickerson put it:

    Though the top two candidates tied, Santorum was the big winner. Weeks ago, the smart people thought that tonight he’d be addressing an empty ballroom of lonely, sad balloons. Instead, the crowd at his victory party is so thick I’ve practically got supporters on my lap as I type this. Santorum is now the only Flavor of the Week candidate to actually win anything, which makes him a genuine threat to Romney, at least for the moment.

    When Santorum declared to his packed ballroom, “Game on!” it set the stage for a two-person contest going forward.

    The smart money still says Romney is the frontrunner for the nomination, though largely by default. That said, much like the 1992 New Hampshire primaries, it’s the second-place finisher with the widest smile.

  46. rikyrah says:

    W.H. attorneys clear Cordray nomination

    The Wall Street Journal reports that White House attorneys have determined that they can appoint Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a recess appointment, even if the Senate hasn’t formally recessed:

    White House attorneys have concluded they have the legal authority to make a recess appointment despite Republican efforts to block the move, Democrats said Tuesday, and administration officials say they reserve the option to install Richard Cordray as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without Senate approval.

    […] That’s because the White House has concluded that it can make the appointment even if the Senate has not formally recessed, said one Democrat familiar with White House thinking. “They have decided no one can stop them.”

    Such a move would undoubtedly provoke the wrath of Republicans in Congress, but it would also set an entirely new legal precedent that future presidents — including Republican presidents — could take advantage of.

    “Such a move would set the precedent that any time the House and Senate are not in session, the president could install his nominees – for up to two years,” one GOP leadership aide notes. “Any time of the year, any day, any hour that the House and Senate are not engaged in business on the floor, the president could install a nominee.”

  47. rikyrah says:

    Luntz Warns GOP: ‘A War Is About To Break Out Within This Primary Field’
    02:47 am

    January 4, 2012

    At Ron Paul’s caucus night event in Ankeny, Iowa, most of his supporters were celebrating. Paul finished a strong third in Tuesday night’s caucuses.

    But one man in the crowd — famed Republican strategist Frank Luntz — was much more concerned with what happens next.

    “I think over the next 24 to 48 hours the campaign’s gonna get a little bit meaner, a little darker, and a little bit more personal, as the candidates now fight for their life,” said Luntz, who spoke with NPR in between television appearances Tuesday night.

    For Luntz, the lack of a clear GOP front-runner will make for a protracted primary season that could drag on through April. And he says it won’t be pretty: “Republicans are not gonna like what’s about to happen. … I think a war is about to break out within this primary field.”

    For the short term, Luntz made some predictions about two upcoming GOP contests: “There’s no question [Romney] wins New Hampshire. There is a significant question who wins South Carolina. For the first time in a long time, South Carolina truly matters.”

    And two candidates, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, are helping to keep it a toss-up: “One week ago, you could swing a dead cat and you wouldn’t find a Rick Santorum supporter,” said Luntz. “And now in just seven days, he brings it all back.”

  48. rikyrah says:

    Filmmaker Spike Lee, a passionate President Obama supporter in 2008, is throwing a fundraising dinner for POTUS in Manhattan on Jan. 19, New York Post’s Page Six reports.

    According to the paper, Lee and his wife “will host the commander-in-chief at their Upper East Side brownstone with an intimate 6 p.m. reception for 60 guests paying $38,500 per head or $71,600 per couple, and have stipulated the event will be ‘no more than six tables and 60 people.’

  49. rikyrah says:

    from Josh Marshall at TPM:

    Josh Marshall’s take on tonight. Quoting in full.

    In no particular order, my takeaways from tonight’s results.

    1. Going into tonight the idea was that Romney could come in first, second or maybe even third and still ‘win’. There was a decent logic to that. But as I hear the conventional wisdom taking shape, the result in practice (which could still quite likely be a numerical victory for Romney) seems considerably worse for Romney than one might have expected. It feels like a significant setback. In the big picture, still very hard to see how someone else gets the nomination. But a tie for first, which seemed like it would be still pretty good for Romney, doesn’t look so good in the event.

    2. Given the above, the entire Republican establishment is going to be coming out in the next couple days to shut this down and say it’s Romney. We already have news that John McCain will travel to New Hampshire tomorrow to endorse Romney. The avalanche of attempted GOP establishment coronation will be one of the big things to watch over the coming days. Can they pull it off? Probably so. But now it’s from a footing of relative weakness.

    3. Newt Gingrich. Newt looked tired tonight. He looked all of his 68 years. But through that he’s mad. And Newt Gingrich has a great capacity for anger. He says he’s going to keep fighting for the nomination. And at some level I buy that. But what seemed much more clear is that he has a new goal in this campaign, maybe in life: hurt Mitt Romney. That’s dangerous for Romney. There are more debates coming. Newt’s good at debates. And reporters love drama. That’s hazardous for Romney.

  50. Luntz Warns GOP: ‘A War Is About To Break Out Within This Primary Field’

    At Ron Paul’s caucus night event in Ankeny, Iowa, most of his supporters were celebrating. Paul finished a strong third in Tuesday night’s caucuses.

    But one man in the crowd — famed Republican strategist Frank Luntz — was much more concerned with what happens next.

    “I think over the next 24 to 48 hours the campaign’s gonna get a little bit meaner, a little darker, and a little bit more personal, as the candidates now fight for their life,” said Luntz, who spoke with NPR in between television appearances Tuesday night.

    For Luntz, the lack of a clear GOP front-runner will make for a protracted primary season that could drag on through April. And he says it won’t be pretty: “Republicans are not gonna like what’s about to happen. … I think a war is about to break out within this primary field.”

    For the short term, Luntz made some predictions about two upcoming GOP contests: “There’s no question [Romney] wins New Hampshire. There is a significant question who wins South Carolina. For the first time in a long time, South Carolina truly matters.”

    And two candidates, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, are helping to keep it a toss-up: “One week ago, you could swing a dead cat and you wouldn’t find a Rick Santorum supporter,” said Luntz. “And now in just seven days, he brings it all back.”

    As for Paul, Luntz says he’s introducing some new faces to the GOP. “Forty-one percent of this electorate is brand new and 30 percent don’t even identify themselves as conservative,” he said. “You’ve got a brand new looking puzzle, and that helped Ron Paul.”

    And traditional GOP voters? Luntz summed up their desires simply: “There are three things that Republican primary voters are looking for: First, someone who can defeat [President Obama]. Second, someone who says what they mean, means what they say, looks you straight in the eye and is clear about it. And third, someone who offers a sense of confidence in the future, almost a Reagan-esque approach that’ll make people think that tomorrow is gonna be better than today.”

    The only thing is that Republican voters haven’t decided who that person is yet, Luntz said.

    “There isn’t a single Republican candidate at this point who has all three of those attributes,” said Luntz. “That’s why these numbers keep changing. That’s why candidates go up and go down.”

  51. Under President Obama, we’ve seen 21 months of consecutive private-sector job growth. From February 2010 to November 2011, the economy added 2.9 million private-sector jobs, including the biggest increase in manufacturing jobs since 1997.

  52. BenLaBolt

    President Obama s campaign recruited more than 7,500 new volunteers in Iowa tonight…

  53. 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. He’s a republican! He needs to stop the charade.

  54. Did Ron Paul Supporter Violate Military Protocol In Iowa?

    On Tuesday night, during Ron Paul’s address to his supporters, the Texas congressman invited “Jesse Thorsen on stage to say a few words.” CNN viewers met Thorsen earlier in the evening — the tattooed soldier was interviewed by Dana Bash at a caucus site, at which time he expressed his support for Paul and the possibility of a “peacetime Army.” (Thorsen, a corporal, told Bash that he had served for 10 years, all during wartime.)

    The interview was interrupted by unspecified technical issues. In this clip, uploaded to YouTube earlier Tuesday night, the uploader speculates conspiratorially that the “technical issues” had everything to do with the fact that Thorsen was appearing in public, in uniform, expressing his support for Paul, in violation of military protocol. That might have been easy to dismiss — until Thorsen appeared at the podium alongside Paul.

    Military protocol is clear on the subject of how soldiers can participate in political activity. Matthew Tully at the Army Times addressed this matter back in 2008, and summarizes the military protocol thusly: “Active-duty members may register, vote and express their opinions on political candidates and issues — but not as a representative of the armed forces. In other words, you cannot appear at any kind of political forum in uniform and speak on behalf of a particular candidate.”

    This is all spelled out in in detail in Defense Department Directive 1344.10:

    4.1.1. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty may:
    […] Attend partisan and nonpartisan political fundraising activities, meetings, rallies, debates, conventions, or activities as a spectator when not in uniform and when no inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement can reasonably be drawn.


    4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not: Participate in partisan political fundraising activities (except as permitted in subparagraph, rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof), management of campaigns, or debates, either on one’s own behalf or on that of another, without respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement. Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator.

    […] Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.

    Thorsen pretty much straight up violated this policy.

    • I hope the military tear into his ass for this ish. It’s blatant disrespect! There are consequenc­es for this idiot’s blatant disrespect­. There are certain things one does not do while wearing the uniform.

  55. “The Office Of The President of The United States is not a caucasian office, or a Black office, or a Latino/Hispanic office. It is not a red office, or a blue office, it is not a Progressive office, a Conservative office or a GOP office. It is not a Republican office, or a Liberal office, it is not a Independent office or a left or right wing office.It IS The Office Of The President Of The United States Of America…..ALL America.”

  56. Pat Robertson: God Told Me Who the Next President Will Be, But I Can’t Tell You

    Religious right crocodile Pat Robertson said on his TV show “The 700 Club” that God told him who the next president will be.

    But he’s “not supposed to talk about it.”

    God did give Pat permission, though, to let the world know that He’s not a fan of Barack Obama.

  57. BREAKING: Mitt Romney wins the Iowa Caucuses

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