Friday 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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102 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. *******Hollaring********

    Crying with Laughter

    The best horse race ever!!! so funny

  2. President Barack Obama is briefed by National Security Advisor Tom Donilon before a phone call with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office, Jan. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  3. rikyrah says:

    The Never Ending Racist Assault on Michelle Obama

    *There are two relentless constants in the manic drive by GOP ultra conservatives, tea party leaders and followers, and unreconstructed bigots to make President Obama a one term president. One is their drumbeat, non-stop barrage of racist depictions, slurs, digs and vilification of Obama.

    The other is their drumbeat, non-stop barrage of racist depictions, slurs, digs, and vilification of First Lady Michelle Obama. One of the latest is the outrageously racist depiction of Michelle on the right-wing website Gateway Pundit as a grotesquely muscular armed Marie Antoinette. The racist caricature was based on a 1775 portrait by 18th Century French painter Jean-Baptiste André Gautier-Dagoty. The painting hangs in the Palace of Versailles outside Paris.

    The racist comparison of Michelle to Antoinette is another in the endless knocks that Michelle lives an imperious and luxury lifestyle all supposedly at taxpayer expense. This is code language for an African-American that’s “uppity.” And if that African-American happens to be the First Lady, the fury level soars and the slanders against her fly even hotter and heavier.

    The racial assault on Michelle began virtually the instant that Obama declared his presidential candidacy in 2007. The first salvo was an out of context remark in which Michelle allegedly questioned her faith in America. This set off bells and whistles that she might be the perfect surrogate punching bag for then candidate Obama. The Obama campaign sensed the danger and tactfully made sure that Michelle’s would play the low keyed, support for her husband’s candidacy that presidential candidate’s wives traditionally play.

    Once in the White House that quickly changed. She got pilloried for her push of the failed Chicago Olympic bid, and later for uttering a few words on health care reform. Her shopping excursions, her vacation in Spain, and her work-out routine all became fodder for political sniping, gossip and ridicule.

    A viral email buzzed around the nets and blogs for a time that pounded her for her high-salaried and top-heavy staff. A British tabloid even engaged in malicious mischief when it claimed that Michelle’s undergraduate thesis written in 1985 with the hardly incendiary title of “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community” was an open call for black militancy.

    That fizzled, but the jibes, taunts, and racist cartoons on the blogs and websites never stopped. The aim is to firmly link Michelle in the public’s mind as both a power behind the White House throne and to identify her with the alleged bad policies of Obama. The more honest GOP strategists even said as much when Michelle gave them even more fodder when she sent out an email to friends and supporters touting the selection of Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic Convention. Her carefully chosen words touting the city as “vibrant, diverse and full of opportunity” were about as Chamber of Commerce-safe and tame as could be. But that was more than enough for the GOP to spring back on the attack. After all, said one GOP critic, conventions are partisan and political and therefore for a First Lady to utter a word about the convention makes her by that logic fair game for attack for playing partisan politics.

  4. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012
    ‘Reason operating within tradition’
    Sullivan posits the “The End Of Republican Fusionism”: “The old alliance – free market capitalism, social conservatism and anti-Communism – has morphed into a new one – libertarianism, Christianism and anti-Jihadism,” although the metamorphosis permits no actual fusion, since “Each faction has become more extreme as they have marinated in their own media complex, and responded to their fantasies about President Obama.”

    That’s an elegantly trenchant analysis, especially since it harks back to the National Review’s Frank Meyer’s orginal 1960 formulation of fusion’s originalism: “Conservatism, to continue to develop today, must embrace … reason operating within tradition.” My emphasis, upon which the ordinary citizen must ask: Whither contemporary conservatism’s reason?

    Today’s conservatism is, rather, an unreasonable ideology possessed by erratic hatreds — or fantasies, per Sullivan — of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, even the mildest mannered Harry Reid. Oh, and George Soros, that mortal threat to Christendom and classical economics. Even worse, conservatism is now an ideology, a mutt-like utopian mixture of empiricism-denial and historical inventions.

    In Frank Meyer’s day, history was studied by truer conservatives less for fanatical exploitation than lessons learned — why, that is, certain traditions developed in certain ways; what made them socially valuable; how best to retain them; which ones, perhaps, to modify or jettison, etc. Which is to say, more briefly I suppose, that history was actually studied by true and intellectual conservatives. Today, history in the hands of a movement conservative is but an anti-intellectual political weapon — something to be entirely shaped by one’s morbid creativity, and used to bludgeon the unsuspecting.

    And if not history, then creative economics, or creative sociology, or … whatever. Whatever works, whatever sells the bullshit to the masses.

  5. W.H. pushes back against Kantor

    The White House pushed back Friday night against author Jodi Kantor’s leaked book “The Obamas” — a book that contains juicy details about both the First Couple and the West Wing staff.

    “This is the author’s take, reflecting her own opinions, on a remarkably strong relationship between the President and First Lady – both of whom share an unwavering commitment to each other, and to improving the lives of Americans,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. “The book, an overdramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years. The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book. The emotions, thoughts and private moments described in the book, though often seemingly ascribed to the President and First Lady, reflect little more than the author’s own thoughts. These second-hand accounts are staples of every Administration in modern political history and often exaggerated.”

    • I didn’t believe it for a second. It’s an OPINION of a bee.itch. jealous of the loving relationship between the President and his beautful wife.

      No way on God’s green earth would Robert Gibbs use bad language directed at the First Lady. Jesus would return before that would ever happen.

  6. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012
    The Romney Plan

    One could spend hours deciphering the Tax Policy Center’s analysis of Mitt Romney’s proposed tax plan, delving into just how, precisely, the non-partisan think tank’s array of tax and budget experts determined that poor households would see taxes increases by as much as 60 percent, while millionaires would average $146,000 windfalls.

    Or, one could simply quote senior fellow Roberton Williams:
    Virtually everybody with a big income is getting a tax cut.

    I choose the latter.

  7. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012
    1.9 million
    From the Washington Post:

    Private employers added 220,00 jobs, moving the total of private-sector jobs created in 2011 to 1.9 million [my emphasis].

    From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    1.1 million: The number of jobs gained under President George W. Bush.

    That would be eight years of George W. Bush.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Necropolis Now
    At the Iowa Caucuses, the Corpse of the Republican Party Was Wandering Around Des Moines, Hungry for Brains

    If you’re looking for a sign that we live in a nation that is heading into some sort of strange cultural shift, I have your proof. In the East Village neighborhood of Des Moines, you can eat at a restaurant called Zombie Burger. It’s a zombie-themed restaurant, which basically makes it a cannibal-themed restaurant. The menu is elaborately disguised as a newspaper (The Villager, “Independent Newspaper of the East Village”) documenting an apocalyptic undead assault on Des Moines, with people being eaten by their malevolently resurrected friends and neighbors. All the usual menu items are here, dolled up in imagery intended to evoke the rending and tearing and consumption of living flesh, including “Soylent Greens” and “goreMet Bashed Burgers” like the T-Virus, the Dead Moines, and the Walking Ched (“breaded + deep fried macaroni + cheese bun, bacon, Cheddar cheese, caramelized + raw onion, mayo”). It’s impossible to think that 20 years ago, people would have eaten here; an earlier generation would run, vomiting, from such a gaudy display of culinary atrocity. Instead, it’s always packed full of living, breathing humans hungry for dead flesh.

    Des Moines’ most remarkable feature is its miles of “skywalks,” a network of climate-controlled sky bridges constructed one story above the streets. Banks, stores, and entire food courts can be found in this aerial warren. Workers from the many insurance companies located in downtown Des Moines wander around the skywalk at lunchtime, red-cheeked and rosy, chatting about workplace dramas. If you look a little closer, though, you notice that many of them have got the crazy-eyed look of cabin fever, the glassy stare of people who haven’t touched fresh air in God knows how long. Something about this weird urban hamster track makes every single young man look like he’s planning a workplace shooting.


    Seemingly everyone has their problems with Romney, but loathing Mitt Romney has become a rite of passage for Republican presidential campaigners. Sure, politicians always get petty and mean when they battle it out for months at a time on live television, but the hatred that other candidates feel for Mitt Romney is palpably different from that more pedestrian brand of annoyance. It comes from somewhere deep inside the being of the candidates, and it’s the kind of instantaneous, inexplicable hate that you see sometimes when two dogs meet and immediately start snarling and snapping at each others’ faces.

    You could see it in Huckabee in 2008; political observers suggested that Huckabee stayed in the race for as long as he did just to make sure that Romney was humiliated. John McCain, too, detests Romney, though he’s putting that aside and endorsing Romney for the sake of his legacy. (That shouldn’t be a surprise: John McCain is a man whose entire legacy now consists of John McCain making terrible decisions in the name of John McCain’s legacy.) Watching Newt Gingrich whine again and again about the slights he suffered at the hands of Romney’s agents when he should have been making the case for Newt Gingrich to the American people was physically painful. Watching Callista Gingrich’s pinched face holding a sharky smile for 20 minutes proved to be only slightly less painful. The woman is tiny, like a teenage girl, but her desperation and emptiness created a giant vacuum onstage. Her hollow eyes sang an epic ballad as she listened to her husband’s private pettiness launch itself, naked and heaving, into the glare of the klieg lights.

    It’s clear that Gingrich is going to lash himself to Romney’s side in a brutal race around the country, slashing again and again at the layers of money protecting the Mormon from the shame and indignities of actual political campaigning. Now that Herman Cain is out of the race, it’s the only real entertainment we’re looking at for 2012. But hating another candidate isn’t a good enough reason for the American public to support a candidate; most Americans haven’t met Mitt Romney, after all, and so they don’t know how to loathe him on a personal level. The audience, all slumped shoulders, left the Gingrich speech to the strains of “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

    After breaking free from the sad-sack horde of ghosts from the bad old days of the 1990s, I speed-walked across the empty streets of Des Moines to the Romney party. It was in a swank hotel—the Hotel Fort Des Moines—and the crowd was noticeably drunker than the Gingrich affair. At the door to the rally, a Romney supporter told me the room was stuffed full.

    Let’s take a moment to reflect on Romney supporters. There are quite a few young ones, and they all look like creepy little jerks. They are obviously born of wealth, their pale skin moisturized as much as human skin can be moisturized, their teeth perfect and white, their hair leavened with a dollop of extremely expensive product, their costly clothing hanging perfectly on their toned bodies. Hiding behind their smiles is an intense hatred for any humanity that does not look like it trotted right over from the country club. But, oh! Those smiles! It took me a moment to realize that the Romney supporter was telling me that the room was full and I couldn’t get in due to fire codes, because his body language was completely detached from what his words were saying. His broad smile and gimlet eyes seemed to suggest that he’d just asked me to be his best friend for ever and ever, even as he was denying me entrance into a place I wanted to go. Underneath those textbook-perfect manners and impeccable optimism lurked something nasty. It reminded me of that scene in the movie version of Cabaret when a young, beautiful blond man stands up at an outdoor cafe and bursts into song. For a moment, you’re struck by his health and vigor and the depth and perfection of his voice. And then you realize—not just contextually; your subconscious knows there’s something wrong, possibly because there’s a rheumy milkiness hiding somewhere underneath that Aryan skin—that oh, no, wait. This guy is a Nazi, and his proper behavior is barely concealing a burning hatred for the human race.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Santorum To Mother Of Cancer Survivor: Sick To Blame For Pre-Existing Conditions, Should Be Charged More
    By Igor Volsky on Jan 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    During a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire this morning, Rick Santorum told a mother whose son survived cancer that people with pre-existing conditions should pay more for health care coverage because they make poor health care choices. While specifically exempting the woman’s child from personal blame, Santorum insisted that the sick cost more to insure and insurers should charge them higher premiums:

    MOTHER: The comments I heard you make in New Hampshire, comments that you support insurance companies’ right to refuse to insure people with pre-existing conditions and that you also agreed with higher premiums for people who are sick, well my son graduated college and I pray that he gets a good job. Why is it alright for him to possibly be denied health care insurance or have to possibly pay a fee that he would not be able to afford or for a company not to hire him because he was five years old and he had cancer? …

    SANTORUM: Insurance works when people who are higher risk end up having to pay more, as they should. In your case, your son obviously did nothing wrong. Obviously there are a lot of other people that increased their health risk that did do things wrong and as a result, it resulted in higher health care costs.

  10. rikyrah says:

    here’s the book on the First Couple that seems to be like a long series of GLOBE Articles:


    Michelle Obama and the Evolution of a First Lady
    Published: January 6, 2012

    Michelle Obama was privately fuming, not only at the president’s team, but also at her husband.

    In the days after the Democrats lost Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in January 2010, Barack Obama was even-keeled as usual in meetings, refusing to dwell on the failure or lash out at his staff. The first lady, however, could not fathom how the White House had allowed the crucial seat, needed to help pass the president’s health care legislation and the rest of his agenda, to slip away, several current and former aides said.

    To her, the loss was more evidence of what she had been saying for a long time: Mr. Obama’s advisers were too insular and not strategic enough. She cherished the idea of her husband as a transformational figure, but thanks in part to the health care deals the administration had cut, many voters were beginning to view him as an ordinary politician.

    The first lady never confronted the advisers directly — that was not her way — but they found out about her displeasure from the president. “She feels as if our rudder isn’t set right,” Mr. Obama confided, according to aides.

    Rahm Emanuel, then chief of staff, repeated the first lady’s criticisms to colleagues with indignation, according to three of them. Mr. Emanuel, in a brief interview, denied that he had grown frustrated with Mrs. Obama, but other advisers described a grim situation: a president whose agenda had hit the rocks, a first lady who disapproved of the turn the White House had taken, and a chief of staff who chafed against her influence.

    The Michelle Obama of January 2012 is an expert motivator and charmer, a champion of safe causes like military families and ending childhood obesity, an increasingly canny political player eager to pour her popularity into her husband’s re-election campaign. But interviews with more than 30 current and former aides, as well as some of the first couple’s closest friends, conducted for a new book about the Obamas in the White House, show that she has been an unrecognized force in her husband’s administration and that her story has been one first of struggle, then turnaround and greater fulfillment.

    • rikyrah says:

      The White House on Kantor’s book:

      “This is the author’s take, reflecting her own opinions, on a remarkably strong relationship between the President and First Lady – both of whom share an unwavering commitment to each other, and to improving the lives of Americans,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. “The book, an overdramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years. The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book. The emotions, thoughts and private moments described in the book, though often seemingly ascribed to the President and First Lady, reflect little more than the author’s own thoughts. These second-hand accounts are staples of every Administration in modern political history and often exaggerated.”

  11. MSNBC minus Pat Buchanan

    After a very long time, many Pat Buchanan posts here at TPC, not to mention many tweets to MSNBC, we may have finally been heard.

    Uncle Racist Pat has been M.I.A. for two months now. Cautious optimism is called for, if, indeed MSNBC has come to its corporate senses. Via HuffPo:

    Back in November, HuffPost’s Michael Calderone reported on Buchanan’s disappearance from the network in the wake of yet another controversial book. … At the time, an MSNBC executive told HuffPost that the network had made a conscious decision not to have Buchanan hawk his work on air.

    During the book tour, Buchanan drew heavy criticism for appearing on “The Political Cesspool,” a radio show some have denounced as white supremacist and which openly calls itself “pro-white.”

    Since then, though, Buchanan has not appeared once on MSNBC — meaning that he has been off the air for over two months.

  12. The_Anti_Fox

    Republicans outraged that Obama is obstructing their obstruction!” Send Pink Slips to the GOP-11/2012!

  13. Rev. Al Politics Nation – Santorum & Gingrich do have an Extreme Resentment of Blacks.

  14. From Wallace to Paul and Perry

    William Faulkner once wrote that in the South, the past isn’t dead — it isn’t even past. His words seem eerily appropriate as two Southern Republican presidential candidates are confronted with the racial skeletons in their closets.

    First it was Texas Gov. Rick Perry and “Niggerhead,” the alleged name of his family’s hunting camp. Now, it’s fellow Texan Ron Paul’s sundry offensive statements about blacks, arguing among other things that in the wake of the Los Angeles riots, “order was only restored when it came time for the blacks to collect their welfare checks,” and that “95 percent of black men in Washington are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    As Perry and Paul probably know, the modern Republican Party has its rhetorical roots in George Wallace and Barry Goldwater’s states’ rights rhetoric from the 1960s. Wallace laid the foundation for a generation of Republican hegemony in presidential elections via deft manipulation of racial and cultural issues; Richard Nixon and his guru Kevin Phillips studied Wallace’s tactics closely. Nixon’s 1969-’72 strategy, which focused on appealing to the 10 million Wallace voters from ’68, heralded a partisan realignment that would shape American politics for the next half-century, as Phillips himself predicted in 1969’s “Emerging Republican Majority.”

    So when Ronald Reagan went to Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were brutally murdered in 1963, to kick off his 1980 general election bid and proclaimed that “the spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in this year’s Republican Party platform,” it was no accident. Rather, it was a rare statement of the Republican Party’s fundamental strategy since 1964.

    Instead of depicting the name of Perry’s farm or Paul’s repugnant ramblings as indications of aberrant political behavior, the media should stress that these candidates’ exaltation of states rights is a dog whistle to Republican voters conditioned by a generation of Republican politicians and operatives before them who exploited racial fears for personal and partisan advancement.


  15. I just love how Marion drops the knowledge.

    Marion Young

    As Atwater once said, “You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract… now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”


    As this writer alludes, these dog whistles may very well come back to bite the GOP during this campaign cycle.

  16. GOP Proven Wrong Again As ObamaCare Created 23,000 Jobs In December via @politicususa

  17. 2011 Year in Photos

    July 5, 2011

    The President shakes hands with a wounded warrior and the child of a wounded warrior who had crept up behind him in the East Room. The President and the Vice President, seen in the background, often drop by when wounded warriors and their families are touring the White House.”
    (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  18. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012 2:40 PM

    Unhappy campers
    By Steve Benen

    A year ago, congressional Republicans were an exuberant bunch. Riding high after massive midterm gains, and with President Obama’s approval ratings faltering, GOP leaders and rank-and-file members felt very good about themselves, their standing, their agenda, and their future.

    A year later, Republicans aren’t smiling quite as often. Thanks to their style of “leadership,” the GOP-dominated Congress has seen the bottom fall out of its public support, while Obama’s numbers steadily improve. Republicans haven’t gotten anything done, and probably won’t have anything to show for the entire Congress by the end of the year.

    This has not gone unnoticed by the GOP lawmakers themselves, and Jake Sherman reported late yesterday that Republicans are now fighting amongst themselves over just about everything.

    A year to the day since Ohio’s John Boehner and 87 eager freshmen took Washington by storm, House Republicans are bruised from battle, irritated with each other and have lost trust in their leadership.

    The president whose agenda they came to Washington to stop is vowing to spend the year scoring political points against Republicans now, and they don’t have much leverage against him. […]

    All told, the House Republicans are going into 2012 weaker and more divided than when they took control of the chamber a year ago. […]

    Around the leadership circle — comprising Boehner, Cantor, Whip Kevin McCarthy and their allies — there’s more disunity, grumbling and finger-pointing than there has been all year.

    Reading the piece, I’m not at all clear how this gets better. The party doesn’t have a policy agenda, per se, and has no credible shot at completing a legislative wish list. There’s no strategy, no message, and no policies that (a) enjoy broad caucus-wide support; and (b) might stand a chance of passing.

    There are disagreements among the rank and file, among the leaders, between the leaders and the rank and file, and between House Republicans and Senate Republicans. Within the caucus, there’s reportedly “a growing deficit of trust.”

    Not only is this a recipe for failure, it’s also the kind of dynamic that may ultimately put John Boehner’s job in jeopardy.

    For what it’s worth, the piece has a tidbit of good news: apparently House Republicans just want to get the payroll-tax-cut fight out of the way, and don’t intend to re-litigate the fight that proved to be fiasco for the party in December. That suggests the one item on the White House’s 2012 to-do list may come together after all.

    Regardless, House Republicans will gather for a Baltimore retreat later this month to ponder a course for the rest of the year. By all accounts, their discussion will be ugly.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Enthusiasm and the 2012 Election
    One of the things I hear from people all the time is that there’s no way Democratic turnout in 2012 will be what it was in 2008, that African Americans and young people have lost all of their enthusiasm for Obama.

    I disagree.

    Obama’s path to reelection is difficult and if the election was today and the Republican nominee was Mitt Romney I think he’d probably lose. That’s because his standing has fallen so far with independents and with the more conservative wing of his own party. But it’s not because those core groups that fueled his victory in 2008 have lost their enthusiasm. Here’s the percentage of voters by various demographic groups who are ‘very excited’ about voting in this fall’s election:

    Voter Group
    % ‘Very Excited’ to vote this year

    African American

    Tea Party

    18 to 29







    Union Member


    30 to 45

    46 to 65

    Older than 65




    The group of voters most excited about voting this year, tied with the Tea Party, is African Americans. The thought that black voters are going to stay home and let the country’s first black President lose for reelection because everything hasn’t gone perfect is wishful thinking on the part of Republicans. I will be surprised if there is any dropoff in turnout from African Americans this year.

    The group tied for the third most excited out of the 18 we looked at here? Young voters. And when you take a deeper look at the folks under 30 who say they’re ‘very excited’ about voting this fall, they support Obama by a 69-31 margin over a generic Republican opponent. Those folks are going to be out again this fall as well.

    There’s plenty of good news for Republicans on the enthusiasm front as well. Tea Partiers tie with African Americans for the highest level of enthusiasm. There are more Republicans (54%) who are ‘very excited’ about voting than Democrats (49%).

    The desire to dump Obama may give GOP voters more of an incentive to get out to the polls than they had in 2008. But it’s kind of a given that Republicans come out and vote. Democratic constituencies tend to be the harder ones to engage and mobilize. But as much speculation as there’s been that they won’t be there for Obama this fall the way they were in 2008, our numbers disagree. If the GOP wins it’ll because they flipped independents and brought back out dormant 2008 voters, not because the Obama coalition stayed at home.

  20. Joining Forces with the NCAA

  21. On new unemployment report, Pres. Obama says “we’re making progress” & hails more private sector jobs in 2011 than in any year since 2005.

  22. Mark Knoller:

    Chatting with his lunch winners about their kids, Pres Obama says “I will vouch for daughters. Daughters are solid.”

    You bet they are! They have the most wonderful role models!

  23. HuffPost Politics:

    John McCain mistakenly criticizes Romney on earmarks… as the candidate stands nearby #awkward

  24. adbridgeforth:

    Joseph P. Kennedy III Biography: Meet The Man Who May Run For Barney Frank’s Congressional Seat #p2b

  25. Talking Points Memo:

    Non-white voters overwhelmingly rejected Mississippi’s voter ID law ^@ryanjreilly

  26. Heads Up, 3 Chics!

    Marion Rozelle: wrote

    DEAR DEMOCRATS…. David Gregory~ Meet The Press, was making statements yesterday that ‘Obama’ supporters are not behind him with gusto. There is a big debate on his show this Sunday. I am going to call MSNBC. THE LINE IS OPEN 24/7 >> 202-885-4000

    (I’ve never been polled!!)

    Let your voice be heard! Call!


  27. Consumer bureau chief begins supervision of payday lenders,0,3192945.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fbusiness+%28L.A.+Times+-+Business%29

    Director Richard Cordray wastes no time using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new powers to start supervising firms outside the conventional banking system.

    The new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wasted little time getting to work, using the agency’s new powers to start supervising payday lenders and other firms outside the conventional banking system.

    The bureau’s main goal will be ensuring that consumer loans, mortgages and other financial products are easier to understand, but the new director, Richard Cordray, warned companies that “transparency alone is not enough.”

    “The consumer bureau will make clear that there are real consequences to breaking the law,” Cordray said in a speech Thursday at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

  28. Mitt Romney Fights With Reporter After Being Exposed As A Liar

  29. If this Continues, Obama will not be Beatable

    As the Wall Street Journal reports today, this morning’s jobs report is the real deal:

    The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% in December, while a broader measure dropped even further to 15.2% from 15.6% the prior month, both at their lowest levels since February 2009.

    While the unemployment rate has been falling in part due to people leaving the labor force, a large portion of this month’s number appears to come from people finding jobs.

    As the AP reports:

    The hiring gains cap a six-month stretch in which the economy generated 100,000 jobs or more in each month. That hasn’t happened since April 2006.

    And finally, let’s remember that things continue to get better. 2009– Obama’s first in office– was a rough year on the job creation front, but things have turned for the better since. 1.2 million jobs were created in the private sector in 2010 and 1.89 were created in 2011, which is the largest total since 2005.

    As long as voters think things are moving the right direction, they’re not going to entrust the economy to a guy that made hundreds of millions of dollars laying people off. Only a global economic crisis, or some sort of foreign policy fiasco (a la the Iran Hostage Crisis) would be able to sink the President at this point.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    January 06, 2012 10:35 AM

    Obama to make major green-card reform
    By Steve Benen

    For thousands of American families, this reform will have a tremendous impact.

    Obama administration officials announced on Friday that they will propose a fix to a notorious snag in immigration law that will spare hundreds of thousands of American citizens from prolonged separations from immigrant spouses and children.

    The change that immigration officials are offering would benefit United States citizens who are married to or have children who are illegal immigrants. It would correct a bureaucratic Catch-22 that those Americans now confront when their spouses or children apply to become legal permanent residents.

    Although the tweak that officials of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services are proposing appears small, immigration lawyers and advocates for immigrants say it will make a great difference for countless Americans. Thousands will no longer be separated from loved ones, they said, and the change could encourage Americans to come forward to apply to bring illegal immigrant family members into the legal system.

    As the L.A. Times report explained, under the status quo, those in the country illegally are expected to leave to apply for a green card. “Depending on how long they’ve lived in America, once they leave they are barred from returning for up to 10 years. They can claim that their absence would pose a hardship for their spouse or parent and ask the Department of Homeland Security to waive the re-entry restrictions. But to do that, they must first travel to a consular office abroad and begin a process that can take months or even years, experts say.”

    What’s more, those waivers are often extremely difficult to get, leading to mass separations of families for several years.

    Here’s what we’ll see going forward.

    Now, Citizenship and Immigration Services proposes to allow the immigrants to obtain a provisional waiver in the United States, before they leave for their countries to pick up their visas. Having the waiver in hand will allow them to depart knowing that they will almost certainly be able to return, officials said. The agency is also seeking to sharply streamline the process to cut down the wait times for visas to a few weeks at most.

    Charles Kuck, an immigration lawyer in Atlanta who is a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told the NYT, “This will open up a huge door to bring a large number of people into the light. There are hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States illegally who are married to U.S. citizens who have not taken advantage of the waiver that is currently available. This changes their lives.”

    Ideally, this would be part of a larger immigration-reform initiative, but the White House believes — correctly — that such an effort is impossible given Republican extremism and the results of the 2010 midterms.

    Obama administration officials are therefore left to use their regulatory powers to take incremental steps.

    That isn’t to say this is a small improvement. On the contrary, for those affected, it’s a critical breakthrough.

    As for the politics, the White House’s move is likely to win praise from Latino voters — a key 2012 constituency — many of whom are already looking at the Republican alternative with warranted disdain.

  31. DOJ Is Sorry If Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Feelings Were Hurt When They Disclosed His Civil Rights Abuses

    You know how when you’re trying to avoid apologizing to someone who’s upset you throw in a qualifier like “sorry you’re upset” or “sorry you feel that way”? That’s the type of classic non-apology that a Justice Department official gave to officials representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who were perturbed by the DOJ’s press conference announcing the findings of an investigation into wide-spread civil rights abuses in Arpaio’s office.

    Arpaio’s people evidently didn’t get that the DOJ official was trying to be polite. A press release from Arpaio’s office yesterday in conjunction with their letter responding to DOJ called the press conference “a political sideshow that was both unfortunate and misleading and as such, prompted an apology to the Sheriff’s Office by the second in command of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.” A letter from attorneys for Arpaio’s people said that the DOJ official “specifically apologized to us for not being able to control the timing or manner of the announcement of the investigation’s findings.”

    Now DOJ wants to clear things up.


  32. JeffersonObama:

    New Mexico: Romney vs. Obama PPP : Obama 53, Romney 38 Obama +15

  33. CNN, MSNBC!

    For The Love of All That Is Holy….Stop Disrespecting Our President!

  34. Ametia says:

    Herman Cain is at it again with a bus tour. Palin wannabe! And BTW, have y’all noticed MSNBC has stuffed ole Pat BucKKKlanan in the closet for months.

  35. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012 11:10 AM

    GOP refuses to let House Dems speak
    By Steve Benen

    There was a bizarre scene on the House floor a couple of weeks ago, when Democratic lawmakers tried to bring up a bill, and House Republicans simply shut down the chamber. When Dems tried to at least have their say on the issue, GOP leaders shut off the cameras.

    This morning, we saw a nearly-identical display.

    The House is holding pro-forma sessions, apparently in the hopes of blocking President Obama’s recess-appointment power (which he’s choosing to exercise anyway). Since the chamber would be open for business anyway, Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) decided he’d make some remarks about the payroll tax break.

    But like two weeks ago, House Republicans refused to let him speak, banged the gavel, left the room, and again turned off the cameras.

    The result is an odd GOP argument. When President Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling, congressional Republicans respond, “You can’t do that; we’re not in session.” When the White House wants to make recess appointments, congressional Republicans respond, “You can’t do that; we are in session.” And when James Clyburn wants to say a few words from the House floor, congressional Republicans respond, “You can’t do that; we’re not in session.”

    I realize there have been some interesting legal, procedural, and semantics debates this week over what is and is not a “recess.” But if Republicans could just pick a line and stick with it, the discussion would be far more coherent

  36. rikyrah says:

    I have to say…..the pics for the Ailey tribute have been nothing short of fabulous. each morning, waking up to those beautiful Black bodies. thank you

  37. Ametia says:

    I see the media as usual is a day late and a gazillion dollars short on calling out the racist GOP candidates like Santorum and Gingrich. And reporting the facts of 34% of whites and NONHISPANICS receive FOODSTAMPS.

  38. Economy Adds 200,000 Jobs In December

    After months of reports suggesting that the U.S. labor market might never change, the latest jobs picture is giving Americans something they haven’t had for some time: a reason to hope.

    In December, the U.S. added 200,000 jobs — beating economists’ expectations — while the unemployment rate dipped to 8.5 percent, the government reported on Friday.

  39. Ametia says:

    The Affordable Care Act, helping Americans curb health-care costs
    By Kathleen Sebelius, Published: January 5

    The rising cost of health insurance coverage has imposed a heavy burden on our nation. Over the past decade,insurance premiums for working families have grown three times faster than have wages. Small businesses have seen health care become one of their biggest operating expenses. And rising state and federal spending on health programs has crowded out critical investments in better schools, new roads and other areas.

    If health-care costs continue to rise unchecked, they will threaten America’s ability to compete and will become unaffordable for most families. One of the major reasons we passed the Affordable Care Act was to bring down costs, something the health-care law does in three ways: by increasing insurance-market competition, assisting those who can’t afford coverage, and tackling the underlying cost of medical care.

  40. Ametia says:

    Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/06/2012
    White House proposes 0.5 percent pay increase for federal workers
    By Ed O’Keefe
    The White House will propose a 0.5 percent pay increase for civilian federal employees as part of its 2013 budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the plans.

    The modest cost of living increase in federal compensation would be the first pay jump for federal workers since before President Obama ordered a two-year freeze in late 2010.

    The proposal, which would require congressional approval, differs from Republican plans supported by lawmakers and presidential candidates that would freeze federal compensation for at least one more year.

    But, “a permanent pay freeze is not an acceptable policy,” one of the senior administration officials said Friday. “While modest, a .5 percent increase reflects the belt-tightening we must do in these difficult times.”

  41. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012 9:10 AM

    Private sector jobs looking much stronger
    By Steve Benen

    In the previous post, we talked about the new monthly jobs report, but in keeping with tradition, here’s a slightly different chart — one showing just the private sector job market.

    Overall, the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December, but as has been the case for a long while, it’s the private sector that continues to fare better. Last month, businesses added 212,000 jobs, making it one of the best months since the recession began.

    For the 2011 calendar year, BLS data shows the U.S. private sector has now added 1.89 million jobs in 2011, well ahead of last year’s private-sector total of 1.2 million, and the best year for businesses since 2005. Since March 2010, American businesses have created 3.13 million jobs. (In 2008, the private sector lost 3.8 million jobs, and in 2009, the private sector lost 5 million jobs.)

    And with that, here’s a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.

    Just for fun, let’s add one more homemade chart, showing annual job losses/gains in the private sector over the last two decades. Red columns point to years under Republican administrations, blue columns point to job totals under Democratic administrations. (Note: 2011 was the best year for private-sector job growth since 2005, and the second best since 1999.)

  42. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 06:45 PM ET, 01/05/2012
    Put down the ‘Obama-Clinton crack’ pipe
    By Jonathan Capehart

    On a daily basis, congressional Republicans and their compadres seeking the presidential nomination should provide enough inspiration to the Democratic Party base to get it fired up and ready to go once more. If that’s not enough, then President Obama’s sustained efforts to take the fight to the GOP ought to be.

    And yet it’s not.

    As the clock clicked down on 2011, former labor secretary Robert Reich dabbled in “Hillary hallucinogens” or “Clinton crack” and wrote “My prediction for 2012: It’s Obama-Clinton.” He’s not alone. My colleague Suzi Parker at “She The People”blog relates an anecdote from Arkansas of a man telling former President Bill Clinton that his wife needed to be on the ticket in 2012.

    This is a strain of that other annoying habit on the left: the pining for “President Hillary Clinton.” For both of these ailments, I agree with New York Times contributing writer Rebecca Traister’s admonition to its sufferers: Just shut up already! And I’ll keep saying it until this nonsense stops.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Obama Campaign Teams in Early States Dwarf Republican Operations

    The biggest presidential primary campaign team in New Hampshire is tucked on a Manchester side street inside a four-story brick building and it belongs to the best-financed candidate seeking nomination: President Barack Obama.

    The office is one of seven in the state and his re-election campaign has about 20 paid employees. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, the two front-runners in the Republican presidential primary after they emerged first and second in the Iowa caucuses, each have one office. Romney has nine paid staffers in the state and Santorum has eight.

    Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, who skipped Iowa to campaign full time in New Hampshire, showed up at more than 150 public events and recruited almost 1,000 volunteers, said Michael Levoff, a Huntsman spokesman. Since Obama announced his candidacy, his Granite State volunteers have held 500 events, including house parties, phone banks and training sessions.

    The Obama camp’s short-term goal is the same as the Republican primary rivals, to turn out the vote on Jan. 10, primary night. While his nomination isn’t on the line, his support in the state has plunged. His team can use the event to test its operations and score bragging rights if the party’s turnout measures competitively with that in the contested Republican primary.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Kansas lawmaker apologizes for ‘YoMama’ email about Michelle Obama

    Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal on Thursday apologized for an email that made fun of first lady Michelle Obama’s hair style and mockingly called her “Mrs. YoMama.”
    The emails featured pictures comparing Mrs. Obama to the Grinch, a Dr. Seuss character, because of their similarly wind-blown hair.
    “Sorry, just had to forward this latest holiday message,” O’Neal reportedly wrote in the email he shared with fellow Republican lawmakers. “I’ve had worse hair days, but this is pretty funny.”
    According to The Lawrence Journal World, O’Neal forwarded from his personal computer the email that said, “I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation – at our expense, of course.”
    The first family spent the holidays in Hawaii before returning recently to Washington, D.C.
    A spokeswoman for O’Neal said the speaker didn’t write the “YoMama” remark about the first lady. And O’Neal said late Thursday that he missed that in the text of the original email before passing it along.
    “Cartoons are intended to be humorous. This one made me laugh – I’ve had bad hair days too,” said O’Neal, who represents a district that includes Hutchinson. “I forwarded it too quickly, missing the text included in the body of the email. To those I have offended, I am sorry. That was not at all my intent.”
    The first lady’s office declined to comment on the matter.
    But Joan Wagnon, the leader of the Kansas Democratic Party, called it “highly offensive, disrespectful and unacceptable.”
    “Regardless of how he feels about President (Barack) Obama’s politics, Speaker O’Neal’s decision to promote language demeaning Mrs. Obama is simply wrong,” Wagnon said.

    Read more here:

  45. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Consumer Watchdog Targets Mortgage Firms

    Richard Cordray’s appointment as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moves the new agency nearer to fulfilling its intended role as a one- stop shop for borrower safeguards.

    Unlike the historically patchwork oversight of consumer finance, the bureau centralizes the federal government’s authority and in some cases extends it. Consumers may benefit from its reach whenever they take out a payday loan, negotiate a mortgage rate, borrow money for school or pay a credit card fee. For those who think they’ve been wronged, there will be a complaint system to help them fight back.

    Cordray, 52, who was seated by President Barack Obama on Jan. 4 over Republican objections, takes over a bureau created under the Dodd-Frank Act in response to complaints that existing regulators didn’t do enough to protect consumers before the 2008 credit crisis. The rules overhaul shifted consumer protection from regulators responsible for banks’ financial stability, removing a potential source of conflict.

    “Consumers deserve to have someone who will stand on their side, who will protect them against fraud, and who will ensure they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace,” Cordray said yesterday in a Washington speech. “The new consumer bureau was created to make sure these things are achieved for all Americans.”

  46. rikyrah says:

    Smiley out as speaker for Peoria MLK luncheon.

    Tavis Smiley is out as speaker for the annual Martin Luther King luncheon Jan. 16 at Peoria Civic Center. Michael Eric Dyson is in, tentatively.

    Public Employees for Community Concerns, the city of Peoria employee group that sponsors the luncheon, canceled the contract with Smiley on Wednesday amid growing concerns about a backlash to his appearance.

    Following a local book club’s public pronouncement of its decision to boycott Smiley because of his criticisms of President Barack Obama, the local NAACP and a private family group also asked for refunds on tickets purchased for tables of 10.

    While that totals only 30 people who requested refunds, Alma Brown, a city employee and key organizer of the luncheon, said she has received so many complaints about Smiley she is worried about ticket sales.

    About 1,220 tickets had been sold as of Wednesday.

    Brown said she usually gets “tons” of calls for tickets right after Christmas.

    “That isn’t happening this year,” she said. “Bottom line is this is hurting the luncheon, and I’m not going to let anything hurt the luncheon.”

    The group still is negotiating Smiley’s cancellation fee, according to Brown. He was supposed to have been paid $37,500 to speak.

    Dyson, a sociology professor at Georgetown University and commentator on MSNBC, has written more than 18 books, including one on Martin Luther King’s death and how it changed America. He is scheduled to be paid $30,000. Brown expected to learn final arrangements for his visit by late Wednesday or early Thursday.

    The 20th annual King luncheon is turning into a memorable event even before it occurs.

  47. rikyrah says:

    January 06, 2012 8:00 AM

    Romney’s tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse
    By Steve Benen

    Back in August, Mitt Romney made a deliberate effort to appear moderate on taxes. “I don’t want to waste time trying to get tax cuts for wealthy people because frankly, wealthy people are doing just fine,” the Republican presidential candidate said.

    In November, he pushed the same line in a television interview, arguing. “I’m proposing no tax cuts for the rich.”

    It’s perfectly understandable why Romney would make the claim. More tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires isn’t exactly a winning issue when the vast majority of American voters want the exact opposite.

    The problem, of course, is that Romney is either shamelessly lying or he’s not familiar with his own policy agenda.

    Taxes would fall for the country’s wealthiest and rise for a some of the poorest Americans under the tax plan proposed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, according to an analysis released today by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

    The reduced government revenue could widen the country’s budget deficit by at least $180 billion, according to the analysis of Romney’s 59-point, 160-page economic plan.

    Derek Thompson put it this way: “The simplest way to conceive of Mitt Romney’s tax proposal is the Bush Tax Cuts on steroids.”

    The Tax Policy Center’s analysis is online and well worth checking out. To briefly summarize, Romney would give the wealthy yet another significant boost by making the Bush-era cuts permanent, reducing the corporate tax rate, and repealing the estate tax. Those with the least, meanwhile, would take it on the chin: Romney would scrap all Obama-era tax breaks, including the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the American Opportunity tax credit for higher education, and the more generous child credit. The changes for those in the bottom 20% would see an annual increase of about $157 a year.

    The bottom line: if you’re very wealthy, Romney intends to stuff more money in your pockets. If you’re already struggling, Romney intends to increase your tax burden.

    Or put another way, the multi-millionaire who’s hiding his tax returns, owns a few mansions (one of which he’s quadrupling in size), and who got rich orchestrating leveraged buyouts and laying off thousands of American workers, has quite a policy agenda in mind for 2013: free rein for Wall Street, taking health coverage away from millions, slashing public investments that benefit working families, more foreclosures, tax increases on those already struggling, and tax cuts for the rich.

    Oh, and a much higher deficit, too.

    Here’s a question for reporters covering Romney: “Governor, when you said, ‘I’m proposing no tax cuts for the rich,’ why would you tell voters something that isn’t true?”

  48. rikyrah says:

    VIDEO- Mitt’s very own Solyndra: “Romney’s energy loan hypocrisy”
    Posted on Thursday, January 5, 2012, 4:56 pm by GottaLaff

    Via First Read, where there plenty of details:

    Democratic-aligned Super PACs are going after Mitt Romney on what they depict as essentially his own Solyndra… A video produced by American Bridge, called “Romney’s energy loan hypocrisy,” hits Romney for loans made while he was governor of Massachusetts to two companies that eventually failed or moved away – and had ties to Romney campaign donors.

    Solyndra, the not-scandal, has been relentlessly targeted by the GOP (along with the president, of course), specifically by Darrell Issa.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Election Ennui
    by Geov Parrish
    Fri Jan 6th, 2012 at 01:00:44 AM EST

    For weeks, I’ve been having a hard time whipping up any interest or enthusiasm in this coming primary election season, normally a political junkie’s nirvana. Matt Taibbi does a good job of articulating why. As amusing in a black comedy kind of way as the Republican freak circus has been, the sideshows will one by one drop out soon enough, going back to their inevitable sinecures on Fox News and the book-selling and wingnut welfare circuits. What we’ll be left with is Obama v. Romney, exactly the matchup one would have expected a year ago, as though nothing else has been going on since and this is the best our political system of representation can cough up. And the Romney coronation seems inevitable, before a single Republican primary voter has cast a ballot, for one single reason: money.
    Mind you, the 2012 election is still hugely important. There are major, critical differences between how Obama would govern over the next four years and how Romney would govern. The buzz around their campaigns is also an important influence on downticket races, from Congress and governorships to local offices, that also have a big impact on people’s lives. But the biggest challenge facing either campaign will be to emphasize those differences when it’s the similarities that ordinary people across the political spectrum are so disgusted with.

    Both Obama and Romney are millionaires representing billionaires, and while their policies diverge on, say, social issues that Wall Street doesn’t much care about, on core economic issues both are captive to their patrons. Their electoral success is directly tied to how much money they can raise, and only the wealthy presently have much of any money, let alone oceans of it, to invest in a political campaign. Whether Obama is a stymied progressive or a dedicated corporate centrist is immaterial; the system is what it is, and only certain behaviors are allowed and expected.

    The dysfunctional rot at the heart of American democracy is the frustration that has animated both the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement and has also pissed off millions of Americans affiliated with neither. On issue after issue – banking and financial reforms, permanent war, universal publicly funded health care, trade policy, the War on Drugs, climate change and energy policy, ad nauseam – the polled preferences of supermajorities of Americans are not going to be advanced in any serious way by either Obama or Romney, or by most of their national-level political colleagues. The single thing every such issue has in common is that the status quo is making somebody, somewhere a whole lot of money, and their ability to continue making even more money takes precedence in our political system over not just the will of most of the people, but doing anything to ameliorate or even acknowledge the massive harm such policies are generating. What Obama, or any other politician, wants in his heart of hearts is one thing; what he or she can produce is quite another. And presidential races are very good at even weeding out those (like Ron Paul) whose hearts aren’t aligned with the status quo.

    It’s not that there’s no difference between political parties. It’s that right now, in 2012, there’s no meaningful prospect that the will of the people will be represented at our highest levels of power – if anything, the risk, as with a Romney Supreme Court nomination, is that we could take more massive steps backwards in the interests of the 99% that would take a generation or more to undo. In 2008, Obama sold his candidacy on “hope,” as did Bill Clinton in 1992. Neither has had much of that to offer in their reelection runs; Obama, too, will likely win simply because his opponent doesn’t excite anyone, but he isn’t likely to be able to accomplish much on these issues in his second term even if he wanted to.

    Election 2012 is a rearguard action, designed to stem further indignities to our body public. Moving things forward requires far more organization and intentionality than we’ve seen so far from, say, the Occupy Movement.

    Incremental positive change is possible in our political system – for example, while 2010’s health care reform was hopelessly inadequate for all the reasons of entrenched money mentioned above, the impact on real lives represented by ObamaCare is still significant and laudable. But real structural change – the kind that would make it possible for our political system to actually represent the will of the public, not that of a tiny sliver of the public – isn’t going to happen in this year’s election. It’s not going to happen at all unless we put a lot of resources and energy into organizing and media work that has little to do with any particular election cycle. And that’s why, while I’ll follow it and write about it, and it certainly is important, I’m having a hard time getting excited about Obama v. Romney. It sucks a huge amount of oxygen away from the real debates we need to be having.

  50. Checkmate! Looks like Pres Obama may have set the GOP up before making the 4 recess appointments

    I saw a comment in the comment section that is spot on.
    (here: )

    Patrick Hughes · Boston, Massachusetts
    When the president announced he was going to use his authority to raise the debt limit a couple of days ago, Republicans in Congress whined mightily that they wouldn’t be able to demagogue the issue because their bodies were in recess. Now they are trying to argue that they aren’t in recess. Go figure.


    So, I went and looked up what was reported regarding what ‘Congress’ said in response to Obama’s debt ceiling request…

    Obama requested a debt ceiling increase and CONGRESS asked him to ‘wait’ because ‘they are NOT in session’ (!!!) – LOL
    See here:
    and here:

    It does seem like President Obama laid the ground work that would show that Congress refused to ‘do any business’ because they were not in session, before he made yesterday’s four recess appointments – So, it looks like President Obama set this one up VERY well, and the GOP wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if they were to fight against the appointments in court!

    Good job President Obama!

  51. 2011 Year In Photos

    This is a composite of several images of the President and his national security team during a series of meetings in the Situation Room of the White House discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. We put this together so in addition to the previous, now iconic image of this day, people might have a better sense of what it’s like in presidential meetings of historic significance.”

  52. 2011 Year In Photos

    Feb. 5, 2011 “The two coaches for Sasha Obama’s basketball team couldn’t make it to one of her games, so the President and his then personal aide, Reggie Love, filled in as coaches for this game one Saturday. Here they along with Sasha’s teammates react during the game.

  53. Employment Gains in U.S. Probably Accelerated in December for Second Month

    Hiring in the U.S. probably accelerated in December for a second month, pointing to a strengthening labor market heading into 2012, economists said before a report this week.

  54. the explanation for “blah people”

    It’s an acronym for Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Homosexuals.

  55. Chrysler to add third shift at Detroit’s Jefferson North plant

    Chrysler Group LLC announced Thursday that it will add a third shift — 1,100 new jobs — at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to meet growing demand for its Jeep Grand Cherokee.
    The company also said it will build a diesel version of the popular sport utility vehicle for the North American market.

    “Our future, like the history of our brands, is interwoven with the City of Detroit,” said CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement released Thursday. “We believe that investing in Detroit is not only the right thing to do, but it is a smart thing to do as we work to write the next chapter in our shared history.”

    The United Auto Workers welcomed the announcement.

  56. John McCain Slips Up, Says ‘Obama Will Turn This Country Around’

    While speaking at a campaign rally Thursday in support of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mistakenly professed his faith in President Barack Obama’s ability to improve the economy.

    “I am confident, with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around,” McCain said, as seen above in a video from Goose Creek Patch.

    McCain — who endorsed Romney on Wednesday just after the GOP hopeful won the Iowa Caucus by a razor-thin margin — appeared at the rally in Charleston, S.C., along with fellow Romney supporter Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.).

    The crowd, as well as Haley and Romney, quickly realized McCain’s error. Haley leaned in to correct McCain, grabbing his elbow.

    “Excuse me, President Romney,” McCain said.

    [wpvideo cDGgul1I]

  57. Chief Justice John Roberts’ Defense Of Supreme Court Ethics Doesn’t Soothe Critics

    WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts used his annual year-end report to defend his colleagues’ integrity, but that defense did not move prominent critics clamoring for the justices to abide by the same ethical rules as other federal judges do.

    In the 16-page report, released on Saturday, Roberts rebuffed calls for the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt the Code of Conduct for United States Judges — which binds lower courts but not the high court — and pushed back against partisan demands that Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan recuse themselves from what may be the term’s most controversial conflict, the health care cases slated for oral argument in March.

    “I have complete confidence in the capability of my colleagues to determine when recusal is warranted,” Roberts wrote.

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