Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Women’s Week!

Happy MUN-dane, Everyone! This week 3 Chics is featuring songs with “WOMAN” in the title.


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105 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Women’s Week!

  1. David Shuster calls out Newt Gingrich’s lack of ‘perspective or precision’ in campaign rhetoric

  2. JFK library to release last 45 hours of privately recorded tapes, made days before his death – @AP

  3. Breaking News:Mitt Romney Releases Tax Returns.

  4. Ametia says:

    LOL Somebody slipped a few valium in Newt’s drink tonight. I loved how the audiience made like Tom and Cruised on outta that auditoriium.

  5. Diane Sawyer to Interview President Obama

    Just 48 Hours After the State of the Union, Diane to Interview the President

  6. Newt Gingrich hasn’t changed in 20 years

    [wpvideo dSoxpyqp]

  7. Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

    For Immediate Release

    Robert E. Bacharach, of Oklahoma, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit, vice Robert Harlan Henry, resigned.

    William J. Kayatta, Jr., of Maine, to be United States Circuit Judge for the First Circuit, vice Kermit Lipez, retired.

    Michael A. Shipp, of New Jersey, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, vice Mary Little Parell, retired.

  8. rikyrah says:

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Don’t Be Stupid: It’s Not About the Money

    Josh Marshall January 23, 2012, 2:15 PM 15138

    I keep hearing that people are claiming it’s a problem that Mitt Romney is rich. Only no one actually seems to be saying that. I understand why Mitt Romney is claiming that, which he continually does. He’s changing the subject and trying to fight with a straw-man. But there’s abundant evidence — both negative and positive — that voters really don’t begrudge politicians their wealth. John Kerry, because of his marriage, was and is fabulously wealthy. Mike Bloomberg, not a problem. Bushes, Kennedys. It’s always a part of their public profile; but seldom an issue that cuts against them. So let’s cut the crap. It’s not an issue for Romney now. Everybody knows he’s worth somewhere between $150 and $250 million. He actually talks about it constantly, in as much as most of the premise of his campaign is his very real record of success as a businessman.

    And let’s give him his due: he was really successful. Romney was born to wealth and privilege (Dad was CEO of AMC, then longtime governor). Mitt made a huge fortune on his own on top of that. But no one remotely relevant to this election begrudges him that. And he and his campaign know it.

    Romney’s problem is that he’s running in a year in which tax equity has suddenly been thrust to the center of the public debate. (It’s difficult to imagine a similar furor in 2008 or 1996 or almost any other year.) And he turns out to be a poster-boy for just what most people find most inequitable about the current tax code: that some people who are extraordinarily wealthy pay a tax rate about the same as others who are barely holding on in the middle class (see this chart). He’s said himself that his overall tax rate is probably around 15%. It might well be lower — we’ll find out tomorrow. But all by itself I believe the Romney campaign realizes that number is radioactive.

    A big part of the 2012 election is going to be about tax equity and more generally who the government is working for. Mitt Romney is a poster boy for an answer to that question that cuts very badly for Republicans. And this doesn’t even get into the possibility that Romney’s money is sitting in offshore tax havens or he’s further cutting his rates with various paper losses.

    That’s half the equation.

    But as they say on the late night informercials, there’s more.

    We’ve already had a protracted legislative standoff over whether to fund a continued payroll tax holiday with a fairly small tax hike on the super wealthy — people who make more than $1 million a year. The public supports it by big margins. Congressional Republicans and Romney are firmly against it. Democrats are also trying to frame much of the election around the so-called ‘Buffett Rule’ — the simple proposition that the extremely wealthy shouldn’t have a lower tax rate than your average middle class wage-earner. Again, at least as a general concept, that’s something the public overwhelmingly agrees with. Add to this the fact that the tax plan Romney’s running on would actually cut his own taxes while hiking taxes for those at the bottom of the scale.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Double Game on Immigration

    —By Adam Serwer
    | Fri Jan. 20, 2012 1:58 PM PST

    Mitt Romney has run two different campaigns when it comes to immigration. In South Carolina, he railed against comprehensive immigration reform, declaring that he has “one simple rule: no amnesty.” He touted the endorsement of Kris Kobach, a Republican anti-immigrant hardliner who helped write restrictive immigration laws in Alabama and Arizona and wants to abolish birthright citizenship.

    Elsewhere, however, Romney struck a different tone. He told a Republican audience in Florida that he wasn’t sure whether a legislative proposal that would allow undocumented immigrants in the United States to remain in the country constituted amnesty. “There are some who get involved in whether it is technically amnesty or not, and I’m not really trying to define what is technically amnesty, I’ll let the lawyers do that.” Romney’s against “amnesty,” he just isn’t quite sure what it is.

    I’m not talking about Romney’s 2012 primary campaign. I’m talking about his 2008 campaign.

    The above examples come straight from the 2008 McCain campaign’s opposition research tome, unearthed by Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, but Romney’s basically running the same double game in South Carolina and Florida this year. Back then, he was in the midst of a delicate balancing act, trying to avoid excoriating President George W. Bush’s immigration reform efforts while still hitting McCain, a key supporter of those efforts, from the right. This year he’s trying to avoid alienating too many Latino voters, while still jabbing the relatively more moderate Newt Gingrich. As in 2008, Romney is using an endorsement from Kobach, formerly the head of the Kansas Republican Party and now Kansas Secretary of State, to prove his commitment to restrictive immigration policies.

    Bloomberg Businessweek’s Julie Hirschfeld Davis reports:

    In Florida, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is airing campaign commercials in Spanish telling Hispanics he’s “one of us.” In South Carolina, he is touting the endorsement of Kris Kobach, an anti-immigration activist who helped spearhead state laws that have sparked anger among Latinos

    What’s remarkable is not just that Romney is enaging in virtually the same kind of doubletalk on immigration that he did in 2008—in the same states—it’s that he thinks it’s going to work.

    The idea seems to be that Romney can campaign one way in English in South Carolina, and then sound like an immigration moderate in Spanish while campaigning in Florida. Perhaps the assumption is that the presumed Spanish-speaking audience for Romney’s Florida ads won’t have access to his harsher remarks on immigration.

  10. rikyrah says:

    January 23, 2012
    Romney as Macbeth

    The most delightful feature of the political circus still on tour has profoundly transfigured. Remember, in those days of yore, when our most transcendent joy came in watching the GOP’s stumblebums assault and vilify one another and in general eviscerate each other’s electability — especially Mitt Romney’s, which was perceived with some minor justification as the one realistic threat to President Obama? Well, none of that, any longer, makes any difference. Now they’re all unelectable, and probably Mitt Romney most of all.

    This election will be scored as historic mostly in the sense that never before has a party so disowned, so abused, so thoroughly trashed its only presidential hope (possible exception: the Whigs and Henry Clay). Far, far more effectively than Obama or any Democrat ever could, Romney’s compadres have reduced him to a bandaged, sputtering contender of an Elia Kazan film. Given the pounding he’s taken in this election cycle, Mitt couldn’t now get himself elected as State Auditor of Utah.

    It’s a thing of pity … almost. And what makes me so uncommonly pitiless is that Mitt has been as abusive, as decadent, as monstrous as any. He deserves all the wickedness that his way comes.

  11. rikyrah says:

    January 23, 2012
    Romney’s two-front war

    While WaPo metaphorically portrays Romney’s Florida offensive as an integrated, interrelated two-front war — “to blunt Gingrich’s momentum and do what his long eluded him: capture the enthusiasm of the Republican base” — every reader understands the vast separation between Romney’s objectives and capabilities. Although Gingrich is (or should be) Romney’s France, the governor’s efforts to “capture the enthusiasm of the Republican base” are essentially confronting the withering Russian steppes.

    Put a bit more concretely, an intelligently coordinated and properly executed counter-blitz should make quick work of the former Speaker, which doubtless would have Romney and his general staff popping (Welch’s) champagne corks from panhandle to glades; but when that party is over, the other party — the real one, resistant as ever to Romney’s uncertain charms — will still await His Inevitability.

    Even what should be a Florida cakewalk may be in doubt for Romney, though, given that by one account his currently orchestrated offense against Gingrich will tactically entail the already tried and failed: assaulting Gingrich’s ethical history and marital troubles, his violently spasmodic conservatism (e.g. he disdains the Ryan Plan; no he loves the Ryan plan), and his unpredictable and “erratic” character. In any moderately sane, reasonably intelligent political party such an attack would flatten the intended target, toot-sweet. But of course the usual conditions, the customary attributes, of a major political party no longer apply to this political party, hence the usual tactics and customary aggression require some finesse — at which the staid, buttoned-down, by-the-book, always-fighting-the-last-war Romney doesn’t exactly excel.

    That is, Romney intends to hit Gingrich at his weakest points, when he should be hitting the bloated demagogue at his strongest point. Which is? Well, yesterday Gingrich did everything but bullhorn the damn thing on “Meet the Press”:

    People are just sick and tired of being told what they’re allowed to think, what they’re allowed to say.

    Gingrich, mirabile dictu, is not intimidated; indeed he revels in opportunities to speak his Everyman mind.

    One problem, though. What in hell is this Tiffany’s-charging, Freddie-Mac fraud of an Everyman talking about? His past is nothing compared to his present: Gingrich the bejeweled, insider-frolicking con artist and circus barker is now attempting to con the real Everymen into believing their freedom to think and speak is already foreclosed by the omnipotent supermen of a powerfully superior liberalism. This is the old, defeatist, “paranoid style” politics that should be advertised by Romney for what it is, as he unveils its fraudulent embodiment for who he is — purely an act.

    In sum, Romney’s concentration of forces on Gingrich’s history is likely a tactical blunder that will only prolong this personalized front (rather, affront). Romney should hit him where he lives, now — that being a Barnum & Bailey circus tent — before he has a chance to fight another day.

    Still, even if Romney succeeds in Florida, it will be just the end of the beginning of his real troubles. For there remains that other and far greater front — the uncaptured base of the Russian steppes.

  12. Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, Gentiles, Muslims, Catholics & anyone else have a right to be in this country. Got that, CNN, MSNBC, FOX? You do NOT own this country!

  13. NBCFirstRead:

    Santorum: Not my job to correct false claims

  14. Talking Points Memo:

    Newt backer shells out another $5 million to the Gingrich campaign:

  15. afNik:

    a Cousin says she’s tryna be me and work toward a PhD. I *rock slowly back and forth* and say: Don’t do it, Miss Celie

    Crying with Laughter

  16. rikyrah says:


    Zekke LyDonna
    January 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm
    Regarding Newt Gingrich: Saul Alinsky is code for ‘Jew’ and ‘Communist’. I believe Marianne Gingrich doesn’t just represent the scorned wife, she also represents the Scarlet Woman. Her complaint about not getting an apology falls a little flat. Did she apologize to his first wife? She also married a man with a history of cheating–with her. Did she really expect him to remain faithful to her? Pot meet kettle. The idea that women concern themselves with male infidelity is a popular media narrative. We are more concerned about the attacks on reproductive rights and health care services.

    Nasty Newt Gingrich is a Bombastic, arrogant, entitled, narcissistic bully. His manipulation of hateful, bigoted, homophobic, religiously intolerant, racist code, is intellectually dishonest and calculating. The man is glorious in his pathology. He is the most perfect representation of today’s republican ultra right wing. His meglomania will destroy what is left of the legitimacy of Republican Party. He is the living embodiment of all that is toxic, corrupt, and morally bankrupt in politics.

    He will be Goliath to Obama’s David, even though he will no doubt perceive the situation exactly the opposite.

    People mock Obama’s hope and change mantra, but if you believe change is a process, as opposed to an edict, you can appreciate that we are marching toward a moment of enlightenment and truth–made possible by the Internet. People will have to decide the direction the country will take. One of the things I think people ‘fail’ to appreciate, is that breaking down resistance to change, involves a series of successes and failures. In order for real change to occur, people must change their minds. The repeal of DADT is a prefect example. The President built a consensus in the Military and the Congress. In the end, they really had no choice but to repeal it.

    Barack Obama’s whole Presidency has been a series of ‘teaching moments’. If you think nothing has changed, you are not paying attention. I think the blind anger on the right is proof. The bloodiest battle in war is the last battle before the peace. Everyone is vying for territory. Obama has layed the groundwork. He will spend the next 10 months making his case. He will inform the citizens of this country about all the accomplishments of his Administration, most of which have gone under the radar of the major media, who thrive on controversy, real or imagined.

    I have heard some pundits say ‘Everyone has heard his ideas already’. WRONG. There is a false assumption by some in the political media, that people have ‘heard’ or ”know’. WRONG. Inside the media bubble, the same speeches and policy arguments are heard endlessly, most of the public only get disjointed sound bites, and never enough information to make informed decisions. 52% of the country thinks President Obama has accomplished nothing. Many commentators and analysts, ascribe the most cynical motives to Obama’s every action (e.g. Keystone Pipeline). It is more a judgement of them, than the President.

    Many will see in hindsight, what many of us see already. Barack Hussein Obama will go down in history as one of the most accomplished President’s this country has ever had. When the history is written, and people realize what kind of obstruction he has faced from day one, they will wonder that he accomplished anything at all.

  17. Publisher Who Called for Obama’s Assassination Resigns

    After seemingly everyone shuddered with dismay at a January 13 column suggesting that Israel should assassinate President Obama, Andrew Adler has resigned as the publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times. Adler announced he was “relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately,” says the JTA quoting an email they obtained on Monday. They didn’t say when Adler actually sent his email, but it’s been ten days since Adler suggested that Israel “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.” Ten days? Adler did apologize for the column last Friday, but in letting the story marinate over the weekend, it appears his inaction had done more harm than good for the organization. Adler might not now have a job, but he still has the Secret Service to deal with; JTA reports that he’s under investigation.

  18. Allen West: Obama Is the ‘Food Stamp President’

    Newt Gingrich’s description of President Obama as the “Food Stamp President” has been criticized as racist, but Representative Allen West insists it’s accurate. “There is no race code. It’s a fact. Since President Obama has been in the Oval Office, you’ve seen a 41 percent increase in the food stamp recipients in the United States of America,” West said on Fox News. “We have a president that’s making more American victims rather than victors.” Gingrich has also continuously defended his name for the president, arguing on CNN Sunday that “it’s unfortunate that liberal leaders, whatever their ethnic background, can’t have an honest debate about policies that fail.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    Monday, January 23, 2012
    The Village Is Terrified Of Newt Vs. Obama
    Posted by Zandar
    If Jennifer Rubin’s hacktastic hyperventilation is any indication, the conservative Village is sweating bullets now at the prospect of seeing Mitt lose to Newt Gingrich and hand the election to President Obama and the Democrats come November. At this point she’s begging anyone in the GOP “leadership” to stop Newt, even if it means getting into the race ASAP, and she can’t hide her disgust with South Carolina’s primary voters.

    But here’s the thing: The voters in their infinite wisdom have just given a huge boost to perhaps the only GOP candidate who could shift the spotlight from President Obama to himself, alienate virtually all independent voters, lose more than 40 states and put the House majority in jeopardy.

    We’d be looking at four more years of Obama’s economic policies, four more years of strained relations with allies, several new Supreme Court justices and an unprecedented power shift to the executive branch.

    It seems, gentlemen, it’s time to get off your . . . er . . . time to get off the bench and into the game. It is time to make the case for winning conservatism — a conservatism attractive to centrist voters that can be translated into a reform agenda. If conservatism becomes a movement of anti-media bashing and hyperbolic rhetoric, it will cease to be a force in American politics. And if it is led by an egomaniac whose personal advancement takes precedence over any principle, the GOP will be (correctly) mocked.

    So how about it? One of you can run yourself. Or you can instead collectively get behind a not-Gingrich candidate. But really, if you are to have a Republican Party to lead one day in the future, you can’t very well do nothing.

    Part of that of course is Gingrich’s win this weekend coming off of racial dog whistles and media bashing. They didn’t much like it when Sarah Palin did it in 2008, and they certainly aren’t going to stand for Newt trying to get away with it in 2012. Rubin is practically in tears trying to get someone like Chris Christie to enter the race at this point just to sink Newt. The liabilities that Gingrich exposed in Romney’s facade are mortal.

    Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard is now playing the same song: it’s time for somebody else to run.

    Two months ago, I wrote an editorial headlined “Evitable.” The subhead captured the thrust of the piece: “It might not be Mitt. It could be Newt. It could be someone else.”

    The editorial concluded:

    “Or, if Iowa (January 3), New Hampshire (January 10) and South Carolina (January 21) produce fragmented results, and the state of the race is disheartening to Republicans, a late January entry [I’d now say an early February entry] by another candidate isn’t out of the question, either . . .

    “With a splintered field in a turbulent time in an Internet age, there are more possible outcomes in today’s politics than are dreamt of in the philosophy of inevitability.”

    I notice a new online petition was launched Saturday night to try to produce one possible outcome. It’s at

    They understand two things: one, that Newt knows how the game is played far better than Romney does and that means he will force the Village to back his awful dog-whistles and media-bashing and that the Village will lose all credibility or risk getting cut off by conservatives. Either way, they lose access and influence. Two, they know it means President Obama will be re-elected as a result. They don’t want either.

    I have no sympathy for Rubin. She and Bill Kristol and others like her helped create this monster. They are in a near panic now, and they know it. They wanted Mitt Romney to wrap up the nomination quickly so that he could pretend to be a moderate for the next nine months and win people over. There is no chance of that now, as Romney will now have to go to the right of Gingrich in order to stop Newt. By doing so, he destroys all chance he has in the general. If he doesn’t, Newt wins the nomination only with the same result in the general.

    Rubin and Kristol pleading for a white knight to save the party is proof enough that they believe this is true.

    And Barack Obama will be laughing all the way to re-election.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Buffett On Why Romney Should Pay Higher Taxes: He’s Just ‘Shoving Around Money,’ Not ‘Straining His Back’
    By Pat Garofalo on Jan 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Last week, Mitt Romney finally admitted that he pays a tax rate of 15 percent, lower than that of many middle-class families. Romney is taxed at such a low rate because, as he freely admits, all of his income comes from investments, and is thus subject to the top capital gains tax rate of 15 percent, rather than the top income tax rate of 35 percent.

    However, Romney has refused to sign on to the Obama administration’s “Buffett rule,” which aims to ensure that millionaires can’t dodge taxes to the extent that they’re paying less than teachers. Today, billionaire investor Warren Buffett himself was asked about Romney’s tax rate, replying that letting millionaire investors like Romney pay such low taxes is “the wrong policy” because he makes his income by just “shoving around money”:

    He makes his money the same way I make my money. He makes money by moving around big bucks, not by straining his back and going to work cleaning the toilets or whatever it may be. He makes it shoving around money. I make it shoving around money. If you look at the 400 highest incomes in the United States, they average $220 million. Something like 90 of them are effectively unemployed. They have no earned income, and that number has gone up over the years. […]

    It’s the wrong policy to have. Nothing wrong about [Romney] doing that. He will not pay more than the law requires. I don’t fault him for that in the least, but I do fault the law that allows him and me, earning enormous sums to pay over all federal taxes at a rate that is about half what the average person in my office pays.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Spike Lee’s Sundance tirade: Hollywood execs ‘know nothing about black people’
    Jan. 23, 2012, 3:43 AM EST
    By Steve Pond

    Spike Lee opted not to introduce his film “Red Hook Summer” before its Sundance premiere on Sunday, but he sure knew how to finish the screening with a bang.

    In an expletive-laced Q&A, the veteran filmmaker started by encouraging the New York Giants to “kick Tom Brady’s a–!” in the Super Bowl, said that Hollywood executives know nothing about black people, and said he wanted the audience to spread the word that the film “is not a motherf—— sequel to ‘Do the Right Thing.'”

    (It is set in the same Brooklyn neighborhood as that film, and includes Lee reprising his role as Mookie, a pizza delivery guy who services the Red Hook projects.)

    Lee also looked into the audience and said, “Is Brooklyn in the house? We doubled the black population of Utah, maybe tripled it, up in this room!”

    African-American faces in the Eccles Theatre included Cuba Gooding Jr., Chris Rock and U.S. Attorney General Nate Holder.

    And it was Rock who set Lee off on the night’s biggest fireworks. After Lee talked about how the movie had been shot in 19 days within a 10-block area of Brooklyn, the comedian and actor stood up and asked a question.

    Also read: The New Normal at Sundance — Strong Films, Cautious but Steady Buying

    “OK, so you did it. You spent your own money, right?” he said. “What would you have done differently if you’d actually gotten a bunch of studio money? What else would have happened? Would you have blown up some s—?”

    Lee immediately jumped on the question, insisting that he already told Rock in a private conversation why he had no interest in asking for studio financing.

    “We never went to the studios with this film, Chris,” he said. “I told you, we’re gonna do this … film ourselves! The plan was to make the film, bring it to Sundance, and … ”

    He stopped, looked over at Sundance chief John Cooper and quickly corrected himself. “Sorry, John, we were gonna show it to you first,” he said, backtracking from the implication that Sundance would have taken anything Lee gave them.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 01/23/2012 Gingrich rapidly closing in on Romney nationally
    By Greg Sargent
    Yesterday’s Gallup tracking poll shows that Newt Gingrich has closed to within five points of Mitt Romney on the national level, with Romney at 30 and Gingrich at 25 points.

    And guess what: Gallup’s new tracking numbers, due out at 1 p.m. today, will show the race tighter still, according to Gallup chief Frank Newport.

    “What’s coming out at one o’clock will show the race continuing to tighten,” Newport said by phone just now. “Romney is losing support and Gingrich is gaining support.”

    That would seem to suggest that the race will almost be tied as of this afternoon.

    There’s been some debate as to the importance of national polls, given that the contest is playing out state by state, but Newport says the national data is important in order to understand the broader shifts in public opinion that the candidates’ messages are producing.

    “The national number is the stage that this is being played out on,” he says. “A huge majority of Republicans have not yet voted in a caucus or primary.” The national findings, Newport says, are “almost like a jury in a trial.”

    What’s more, the national numbers will be particularly interesting to track as a sign of whether Romney’s new scorched earth approach is working. Romney’s team is vowing to attack Gingrich hard on multiple fronts, and the new ad Romney’s campaign just rolled out is very rough stuff. The retooled Romney is also expected to go hard at Gingrich in new ways at the two debates this week, which will be getting national attention.

    It’s worth remembering that Gingrich held a national lead before, only to see it collapse. And it’s very possible, of course, that Romney will still remain the favorite even after a Florida loss, given his various built in advantages (money, endorsements, organization, and the more obvious qualities that would seem to make him a better general election candidate than Ginrich).

    Still, it’ll be interesting to see if the national numbers over the next few days and weeks show a serious worsening of the current dynamic, in which skepticism of Romney on multiple levels appears to be setting in pretty deeply among core GOP constituencies. It seems this is going to be a very wild ride

  23. rikyrah says:

    Newt Gingrich exploits politics of class and culture
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: January 22

    Conservatives may denounce class warfare, yet by shrewdly combining the politics of class with the politics of culture, Newt Gingrich won his first election in 14 years, humbled Mitt Romney and upended the Republican Party.

    He also exposed profound frailties in Romney as a candidate, throwing him badly off-balance on questions related to his personal wealth, business career and income taxes. Unless Romney finds a comfortable and genuine way of talking about his money, he will present President Obama’s team a weakness that they’ll exploit mercilessly. The country is thinking more skeptically about wealth and privilege in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Romney has not adjusted.

    Gingrich skillfully set up his opponent to step on the landmine of class by transforming Romney from his self-cast role as a successful businessman into a heartless financier more interested in profits than in job creation.

    The conventional view is that Gingrich’s critique of Bain Capital, Romney’s old company, didn’t work because Republicans dislike assaults on “free enterprise,” a phrase Romney still hopes to use as a self-protective mantra. But while Gingrich softened his attacks on Bain, he did so only after creating the context in which Romney was forced to answer query after query about his financial status, and he repeatedly fumbled questions about releasing his tax returns. Romney finally announced Sunday he’d make public his 2010 return and a 2011 estimate this week.

    All this allowed Gingrich to draw a class line across South Carolina. Exit polls showed Romney carrying only one income group, voters earning more than $200,000 a year. Voters earning less than $100,000 a year went strongly for Gingrich.

  24. Rand Paul Is So Full of Shit About Being ‘Detained’ by the TSA

    Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (of the Paul Libertarian Blimp Empire) hates the TSA. It’s his “signature issue” — his contentious questioning about the agency’s aggressive security policies got him a lot of positive press among internet conservatives and libertarians last year. So must have been really excited, just, positively tumescent when TSA agents asked to pat him down this morning, and he refused. “Just got a call from @senrandpaul. He’s currently being detained by TSA in Nashville,” his communications director Moira Bagley Tweeted shortly after. The only thing is, though, Rand Paul was never actually “detained” by the TSA.

    Despite the most fervent wishes of the libertarian conservative corner of the internet, Paul was not seized by Barack Obama’s Black Panther stormtroopers and tortured for information about the supposed “gold standard”: he set off the body scanner (something in his knee, apparently), which requires a pat down; he refused the pat down, and was escorted out of the security area. He took another flight later. Inconvenient? Sure. Silly? Absolutely? But Rand Paul was not detained.

    Not that you could tell that to Paul’s Twitter fan club, which accused the TSA of violating Article I, Section VI of the Constitution. (Get real, guys.) Even Paul’s chief of staff doubled down on the stupid, self-righteous language of “detention”:

  25. rikyrah says:

    January 23, 2012 1:30 PM

    High Court: GPS searches require a warrant

    The justices didn’t exactly agree on the rationale, but all nine ended up in the right place.

    The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days.

    But the justices divided 5-to-4 on the rationale for the decision, with the majority saying that the problem was the placement of the device on private property. That ruling avoided many difficult questions, including how to treat information gathered from devices installed by the manufacturer and how to treat information held by third parties like cellphone companies.

    Walter Dellinger, a lawyer for the defendant in the case and a former acting United States solicitor general, said the decision “is a signal event in Fourth Amendment history.”

    In this case, the police placed a GPS tracker on a suspected drug dealer’s jeep without a warrant for four weeks, and then used the obtained information to get a conviction. Five justices — Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Sotomayor — said the device constituted a search of private property. Four justices — Alito, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan — focused on reasonable expectations of privacy.

    The next question is how this will apply to related technological advances, most notably the tracking of mobile phones, which would not require law enforcement to physically place anything on a person or their vehicle. On this, it appears the Supreme Court’s breakdown would be slightly different.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Romney Seems To Reverse Housing Policy, Calls For Action To Limit Foreclosures
    By Pat Garofalo on Jan 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Before a GOP presidential primary debate in Nevada, the state with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, Mitt Romney said that the government should not try and prevent foreclosures. “Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” Romney explained.

    With the GOP primary shifting to Florida, after Newt Gingrich’s win over the weekend in South Carolina, foreclosures are again on the list of issues to address, as the Sunshine State is seventh in the nation in foreclosures. One in every 360 housing units in Florida received at least one foreclosure notice in 2011. And it seems that Romney is changing his tune a bit from the last time he had to seriously address housing, seemingly telling a roundtable in Tampa Bay today that he thinks banks should have to write down mortgage principal — the amount outstanding on a mortgage — for borrowers who find themselves with a mortgage that costs more than their house is currently worth:

  27. Unprecedented – Obama for America 2012 Ad

  28. Mitt’s camp sinks to new lows

    John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and current Romney supporter, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal attacking the state of America’s military under President Obama’s leadership:

    “The Navy has only 285 ships today, the fewest since World War I, and it is straining to uphold its unique global responsibilities. Our Air Force has only 39 fighter squadrons, fewer than half the number it had two decades ago.”

    Mitt Romney has been making the same attack. During a Republican debate in South Carolina, he said this about President Obama’s record as commander in chief:

    “Our Navy is smaller than it’s been since 1917. Our Air Force is smaller and older than any time since 1947.”

    The problem with Bolton and Romney’s claims that the Air Force and Navy are weaker than they’ve been in decades: they’re outright lies. PolitiFact investigated the former governor’s claim and found it to be “meaningless,” giving it a “pants on fire” rating. In fact, the size of the Navy under President Obama is greater than during the Bush administration. William Stueck, a historian at the University of Georgia, adds that Romney’s comment doesn’t even “pass the giggle test.” .”

    The truth: Former Secretary of Defense William Gates said that under President Obama the U.S. Navy is “the strongest it has ever been.” As for the Air Force,a Mitchell Institute study found that the Air Force’s current capabilities far exceed its capabilities at any other time in its history.

    It’s not surprising that Mitt’s camp continues to display a blatant disregard for the truth. The only question is how low they’ll go.

  29. rikyrah says:

    23 Jan 2012 12:50 PM
    From Gingrich To Palin To Gingrich

    Let us now play the tiniest violin for what is called the “Republican Establishment”. I’m not sure what this phrase means or represents any more – the Chamber of Commerce? John Boehner? The Bush family? But the concept of a responsible, sane, pragmatic party leadership able to corral or coax or manage a party’s base is, it seems to me, a preposterous fiction on its face, as we are seeing.

    The Republican Establishment is Rush Limbaugh, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove, and their mainfold products, from Hannity to Levin. They rule on the talk radio airwaves and on the GOP’s own “news” channel, Fox. They have never quite reconciled themselves to Romney since he represents a gray blur in a stark Manichean universe they have created for more than a decade now. In this universe, there is only black and white. There is only them and us. Anyone who diverges an iota from this schematic is speaking without a microphone in front of a revving airplane engine.

    Listen to Gingrich’s victory speech. It was completely, fundamentally, organizationally Manichean, if you’ll pardon the expression. He limned a familiar battle between independence and dependence, pay-checks vs food stamps, America vs “Europe”, the American people vs elites “forcing people” for 35 years not to be American, the traditional America vs the “secular, European style socialist bureaucratic system”. There is no gray here. There is no nuance. And there is the imputation to the other side of malign motives, secret agendas and foreignness that has been Gingrich’s hallmark since the very beginning, when he assaulted the traditions of the Congress until that institution eventually had to repel him.

    Listen to Limbaugh, the GOP’s chief spokesman. How does a Romney channel that level of viciousness and rage? Listen to Hannity. How does a smooth manager reach a base that wants the same Manichean approach to foreign policy, in which there is only one ally (Israel) and enemies everywhere else (Europe, China, the Arab world, Russia)? Read Mark Levin. There are only two options now on the table, as he sees it: freedom or slavery. And a vote for Obama is a vote for slavery.

    This is the current GOP. It purges dissidents, it vaunts total loyalty, it polices discourse for any deviation. If you really have a cogent argument, you find yourself fired – like Bruce Bartlett or David Frum – or subject to blacklists, like me and Fox. You can find Steve Schmidt lamenting Gingrich for very good reasons, and then you realize that it was Schmidt – a moderate, sane, level-headed professional – who helped pick Sarah Palin for the vice-presidential nomination. Because he correctly realized that she would actually add base votes and prevent a total Obama tsunami. In the end, he knew what he had to do. In the end, the “establishment” knows the party they have created.

    This now is the party of Palin and Gingrich, animated primarily by hatred of elites, angry at the new shape and color of America, befuddled by a suddenly more complicated world, and dedicated primarily to emotion rather than reason. That party is simply not one that can rally behind a Mitt Romney. He too knows what he has to say – hence his ludicrous invocation of Obama as some kind of alien being. But it doesn’t work. He believes it – since he seems capable of genuinely believing in anything that will win him votes and power. But he doesn’t have the rage to make it work. And that rage cannot be downward, as Romney’s often is – toward hecklers or interviewers. It has to be upward – at vague, treasonous elites. It has to have that Poujadist touch, that soupcon of contempt, that sends shivers up the legs of the Republican faithful, reared on Limbaugh, propagandized by Fox, and coated with a shallow knowledge of a largely fictionalized past.

    This is Gingrich’s party; and Ailes’; and Rove’s. They made it; and it is only fitting it now be put on the table, for full inspection. Better sooner than later.

    Obama is a poultice. He brings poison to the surface. Where, with any luck, it dies.

  30. Senator Mark Kirk Suffers a Stroke, Could Have Lasting Damage

    First-term Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk suffered a stroke this weekend and is now recovering from surgery. He had driven himself to the hospital “where doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of his neck,” according to his office. A neurosurgeon at the hospital says the stroke was on the right side of his brain, which “will affect his ability to move his left arm and possibly his left leg” and could result in “some facial paralysis.” But it shouldn’t affect his ability to speak or think.

  31. The Washington Post:

    New Gallup poll shows Gingrich within five points of Romney on national level: via @ThePlumLineGS

  32. The Chicago Sun-Times Decides Not To Endorse A Candidate For The First Time In 71 Years

    Today, The Chicago Sun-Times published an editorial by publisher John Barron and editorial page editor Tom McNamee explaining that the paper will no longer be endorsing candidates in any future elections. The paper has been making endorsements since its founding 71 years ago. However, as the editorial explains, readers have made it clear that “[they] can make up [their] own mind, thank you very much.”

    The editorial argues that newspaper endorsements are a thing of the past, a relic of an era when newspapers were blatantly biased. Barron and McNamee compare that era of yellow journalism to current standards in cable TV (What? Cable TV news is biased and partisan? That’s pure poppycock and hogwash!), but say that, nowadays, newspapers are needed to “inform” readers, not “spin” them. Besides, endorsements don’t matter anyway.

    “What we will not do is endorse candidates. We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before.

    Research on the matter suggests that editorial endorsements don’t change many votes, especially in higher-profile races. Another school of thought, however — often expressed by readers — is that candidate endorsements, more so than all other views on an editorial page, promote the perception of a hidden bias by a newspaper, from Page One to the sports pages.”

  33. Fox News host: Gingrich will ‘take the head off’ Obama

    Fox News host Steve Doocy used some violent imagery on Monday to describe how President Barack Obama would fair in a debate against Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

    “Newt was really able to make hay, and some analyst say, you know, it was his performance in the first and second [South Carolina debate],” Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy explained. “What if he winds up going to a debate — and there is going to be one tonight at the University of South Florida — what if there is no question that he can hit out of the park? For instance, after the questions about his failed marriage with his wife and that ‘open marriage’ thing. He was professorial rather than argumentative.”

    “I think so much of it was the debate, though,” Doocy added, referring to Gingrich’s win in South Carolina. “They love that guy on the stage because they know if we can get Newt Gingrich right here and Barack Obama right here, Newt is going to take off the head of the president.”

    [wpvideo iLljYD1o]

  34. skepticalbrotha:

    I would amend that 2 say that there R two kinds of Republicans: Those who hate Gingrich and those who will eventually.

  35. Senator Mark Kirk Recovering From Stroke

    Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) suffered a stroke over the weekend and is recovering after successful surgery Monday morning, according to his office.

    The full statement from Kirk’s spokesperson, sent over to TPM:

    On Saturday, Senator Kirk checked himself into Lake Forest Hospital, where doctors discovered a carotid artery dissection in the right side of his neck. He was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where further tests revealed that he had suffered an ischemic stroke. Early this morning the Senator underwent surgery to relieve swelling around his brain stemming from the stroke. The surgery was successful. Due to his young age, good health and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the Senator’s recovery over the weeks ahead.

    The statement added that Kirk’s doctors will hold a press conference to discuss the freshman senator’s condition and prognosis at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago at 11:30 AM local time.

    Kirk’s office did not respond immediately respond to a request for comment on whether — and how much time — he may take off from legislative business.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney is a Very Weak Candidate
    Posted on 01/22/2012 at 3:00 pm by JM Ashby

    Aside from being a testament to the power of racist dog-whistling within Republican politics, last night’s vote also displayed how weak of a candidate Mitt Romney really is even among his own party, and analysis of exit polling shows Romney has very large hurdles to clear before he even begins to lockup the nomination.

    Exit poll results found that nearly two-thirds of Republican primary voters called the debates important to their vote, and they favored Gingrich over Romney by a vast 50-22 percent. More than half of voters also decided in just the last few days – more than in either Iowa or New Hampshire – and they likewise went overwhelmingly for Gingrich, by a 22-point margin over Romney, 44-22 percent.

    Gingrich’s persuasiveness in the debates helped push him to an advantage even in electability, previously Romney’s strong suit. Forty-five percent of South Carolina voters were focused chiefly on the candidate who’s best able to defeat Barack Obama in November – and these voters favored Gingrich over Romney by a 14-point margin, 51-37 percent.

    The exit poll, analyzed for ABC by Langer Research Associates, found that other groups in which Romney has struggled, particularly in Iowa, went heavily to Gingrich. He won very conservative voters – more than a third of the electorate – with 47 percent of their votes. Rick Santorum and Romney trailed in this group, with 24 and 19 percent, respectively. And Gingrich won 44 percent of evangelicals, who accounted for 65 percent of GOP primary voters in the state, again beating Romney and Santorum alike by more than 2-1 margins.

    Two-thirds of South Carolina voters decided in the last few days which, not coincidentally, is also when Gingrich dialed up the racism to 11.

    Newt’s meteoric rise on the back of the southern strategy and hard-right sloganeering poses a threat to Mitt Romney within the Republican primary, and unfortunately for Mitt Romney it may be that the only way he will be able to regain ground is by responding in kind.

    If Mitt Romney attempts to out-prejudice Gingrich in the primary it will compound the severe electability issues Mitt Romney has at the national level in a potential general election match-up against President Obama as the first national poll from Public Policy Polling shows us.

  37. rikyrah says:

    The Era of Reaganomics is Over
    Posted on 01/23/2012 at 7:40 am by Bob Cesca
    More confirmation from the New York Times of the president’s State of the Union tomorrow and its pitch for ending the era of Reaganomics.

    President Obama will use his election-year State of the Union address on Tuesday to argue that it is government’s role to promote a prosperous and equitable society, drawing a stark contrast between the parties in a time of deep economic uncertainty.

    This president will, once again, declare an end to Reagan’s “government is the problem” mindset in politics (though I’m sure he won’t say the word “Reaganomics”). After 30 years, it’s coming to a close, but only after infecting the Democratic Party as well. For instance:

    Mr. Obama’s third State of the Union address is widely seen in parallel with the one delivered in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. Mr. Clinton likewise was seeking re-election, after voters in the midterm elections had put Republicans in power in Congress as a rebuke to his perceived big-government liberalism.

    But Mr. Clinton sought to co-opt Republicans’ small-government message; his State of the Union line “the era of big government is over” is among the most memorable of his presidency.

    This address ought to be a rallying point for progressives. I hope everyone is paying attention because, at long last, we have a president who is vocally defending liberalism on a national stage rather than running away from it as President Clinton and other Democrats have for too long.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Yesterday at 12:52 PM24

    Five Consequences of Gingrich’s South Carolina Win

    By the time the voting started yesterday in the South Carolina Republican primary, the collective judgment of the political class was that Newt Gingrich was all but certain to beat Mitt Romney badly — the only question was how badly. Plenty of prognosticators, including Impolitic, predicted that Gingrich would win by a double-digit margin, as he did (the final spread was 12 points, on a 40 to 28 percent split)*. But virtually no one would have dared venture a forecast of a blowout as abject and total as the one that indeed took place.

    Take a gander at the exit polls if you like — they really are quite something. What they show is that Gingrich beat Romney soundly across the board: 42–26 with men and 38–29 with women; by nine or more points in every age cohort; by double digits in every educational cohort except those voters with postgraduate study (which Romney won by a bare two points); among both married and unmarried voters; among the poor, the middle class, and the rich; among Republicans and independents; among the very conservative and the somewhat conservative, losing only (by just five points) among self-described moderates or liberals; among tea party backers, God-squadders, Protestants, and Catholics; among those most concerned about beating Barack Obama, about being a true conservative, and about having the right experience for the job of president; among late deciders and early deciders; and especially dramatically among those for whom the debates were important.

    Back in 2008, after Obama lost the Ohio and Texas primaries and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy erupted, his campaign manager David Plouffe remarked privately that his guy was about to experience his “turn in the barrel.” Well, after a year of being perched in the catbird seat, Romney now faces, over the next nine days in Florida, his first (though maybe not his last) time in the oaken cask. Herewith five realities as we head into what promises to be the most intense and consequential primary thus far:

    1. Contrary to the received wisdom up until now, Gingrich is the favorite in the Sunshine State. Yes, Romney has the financial advantage. Yes, he has been on the air with ads for weeks. Yes, there has been early voting in Florida under way for weeks, too, during which time Romney’s air of inevitability will have given him an edge. But Florida is a closed primary, the first contest so far in which only registered Republicans are allowed to cast ballots. And the state’s GOP voters are far more conservative and anti-Establishment than many people understand. This is especially true in the panhandle of northern Florida, where Gingrich is likely to take up residence for much of the time between now and the vote on January 31. But watch for Gingrich to play hard for the state’s Hispanic voters — and not just the Cuban-Americans who are thick on the ground in South Florida but also the polyglot Latino population around Orlando — by emphasizing his stance on immigration, which is notably more moderate than Romney’s. Between all this and the wave of momentum and free media coverage he’ll enjoy coming out of South Carolina, the former speaker, I think, has the upper hand, though not by a lot.

    • rikyrah says:

      from same article:

      4. If Gingrich wins Florida, the Republican Establishment is going to have a meltdown that makes Three Mile Island look like a marshmallow roast. Why? Because the Establishment will be staring down the barrel of two utterly unpalatable choices. On the one hand, Gingrich’s national favorable-unfavorable ratings of 26.5 and 58.6 percent, respectively make him not just unelectable against Obama but also mean that he would likely be a ten-ton millstone around the necks of down-ballot Republican candidates across the country. And on the other, Romney will have shown in two successive contests—one in a bellwether Republican state, the other in a key swing state—an inability to beat his deeply unpopular rival. If this scenario unfolds, the sound of GOP grandees whispering calls for a white knight, be it Indiana governor Mitch Daniels (who, conveniently, is delivering the Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night) or Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan or even Jeb Bush, will be deafening.

  39. We Can’t Wait

  40. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 01/23/2012 What you should look for in Florida
    By Jonathan Bernstein
    The early polling in Florida is showing that Newt Gingrich got a bump from his South Carolina win that Rick Santorum largely did not get coming out of Iowa. Newt is now leading Mitt Romney in the statek.

    However, with eight days, two debates, and millions of ads to go, there’s plenty of time for that to change. So what should we be looking for in Florida? Here are the key questions to keep an eye on.

    Will we see any new significant endorsements? Or will neutral party actors wait to see what happens in Florida before taking sides? Remember, there are plenty of very conservative Republican politicians who might be scared about the possibility of Newt taking the whole party down. Yet they may not want to be perceived to be picking Romney over Gingrich. So they may stay silent as long as they can.

    Will conservatives who piled on Newt the last time he surged repeat what they did last time? Or will they back off this time? Political scientists have used endorsements as a measure of what the party is thinking, but what we’re looking for now is any sense at all that Republicans who didn’t want Newt to be their nominee are willing to at least contemplate reconciling themselves to it. In other words, the thing to keep an eye on now is the intensity of anti-Newt sentiment among leading party actors, and whether it’s dissipating.

    How will Romney’s attacks on Newt play in Florida after the initial post-South Carolina surge dies down? Remember: readers of this blog, who know all about Newt’s many weaknesses, are not typical voters. Very few voters (and especially Fox-watching Republican voters) remember, for example, the fact that Newt was caught violating ethics rules.

    This could be the explanation for the strange Romney campaign demand that Newt release information about his ethics probe that’s already publicly available. It’s an easy way for Romney to let Florida voters know about a scandal that they certainly have’t heared mentioned on Fox News any time in the last decade. Don’t assume that Florida voters are aware of Newt’s old positions on health care, climate, and the rest of it — but they probably will be by next Tuesday.

    Relatedly, the Romney campaign is getting ready to throw everything it has at Gingrich. It just went up with a new ad hammering Gingrich for his ethics probe and his Fannie and Freddie connections. The Romney camp is reportedly spending $2.3 million on ads for this week along. Will the attacks stick?

    Can Romney find a way to diffuse Newt’s debate tactics? There is a perception that Gingrich has performed well at debates. But Newt’s biggest debate successes have been either in attacking the moderators or in praising all the candidates on the platform. He’s been a lot less successful when he’s attacked others directly or defended himself against attacks from others. Can Romney find a way to engage Newt in a way that sows doubts on the issues among conservatives who have been captivated by Gingrich’s attacks on the press

  41. rikyrah says:

    January 23, 2012 10:40 AM

    The kind of candidate Floridians already know
    By Steve Benen

    Even a casual glance at Mitt Romney’s campaign pitch reveals a pretty straightforward message: he’s a conservative businessman, not a traditional politician, who’ll focus on jobs.

    As the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up, and attention turns to next week’s Florida primary, AFSCME has a good idea on how to use this pitch against him: note the similarities to the same pitch Floridians heard in 2010.

    The union is airing this 30-second television ad in the Sunshine State throughout the week:

    As Greg Sargent explained, “The basis for the ad is a 2002 Boston Globe article reporting that Romney and Bain made huge profits from the 1993 sale of a medical testing company that earned its revenues partly from a criminal scheme to defraud the Medicare system. Romney served on the board of Damon from 1990-1993 but was never implicated in any way, the Globe reported, adding that the eventual sale of Damon made Romney $473,000 and netted $7.4 million for Bain investors.”

    The underlying controversy, of course, offers a chance to connect Romney to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), whose low approval ratings make the comparison anything but flattering.

    Indeed, given Florida’s electoral significance, and Scott’s ability to repulse, I suspect this isn’t the last time we’ll see Romney’s critics equate him with the scandal-plagued governor. It’s a natural question for Florida voters to consider: remember the last time a conservative businessman with a shady private-sector background made a bunch of promises? Were Floridians satisfied with the results?

    I would imagine that President Obama and his allies would spend much of the fall making a similar argument in the Sunshine State: if you don’t like Rick Scott, don’t elect someone like him to the White House.

  42. Well I’ll be got damn! These mofos can’t be serious?!


    Tennessee Tea Party demands references to slavery be eliminated from history textbooks

    In 2010, the conservatives who controlled the Texas Board of Education caused an uproar when they made radical changes to the history curriculum for the state’s 4.8 million public school students. The changes included referring to the country’s first black president as “Barack Hussein Obama,” and requiring students to “contrast” Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address with Abraham Lincoln’s philosophical views.

    To whitewash one of the darkest practices in America history, conservatives proposed that textbooks refer to the slave trade as the “Atlantic triangular trade.”

    Now Tennessee Tea Party members are taking their efforts a step further and trying to eliminate references to slavery in American history textbooks. Salon reports that Tea Partiers who fetishize America’s founders are “demanding” that students not be taught that many of them owned slaves:

    For a bunch of people who worship the Founders and like to play dress-up American Revolutionary War, Tea Partyers sure hate knowing anything remotely reality-based about the Founding Fathers. Tennessee Tea Party groups have introduced a proposal to take what few minorities there are in American history textbooks out of American history textbooks, along with any negative portrayals of the wealthy white men who led this young nation in its infancy.

    At a press conference, two dozen activists presented their proposals — I’m sorry, their “demands” — for the new state legislative session. Among them are sweeping changes to school materials that they probably have not actually read. […]

    Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.”

    • These mofos can’t be serious?! Oh, so pretend slavery never happened? KMBA tea party klansman!

      • Ametia says:

        TN and anyone else trying to revise, distort, or wipe out slavery ought o know that IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Most of the TN board who are trying to commit the act of white-washing history and slavery are probably descendents of slaves themselves.

        You can’t bury black people, or any other peoples of color; although you’ve certainly tried. They are a dying breed of white folks who long for dem good ole days. Let’s keep moving ahead…

  43. rikyrah says:

    Tennessee Tea Party ‘Demands’ That References To Slavery Be Removed From History Textbooks
    By Marie Diamond posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Jan 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

    In 2010, the conservatives who controlled the Texas Board of Education caused an uproar when they made radical changes to the history curriculum for the state’s 4.8 million public school students. The changes included referring to the country’s first black president as “Barack Hussein Obama,” and requiring students to “contrast” Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address with Abraham Lincoln’s philosophical views.

    To whitewash one of the darkest practices in America history, conservatives proposed that textbooks refer to the slave trade as the “Atlantic triangular trade.”

    Now Tennessee Tea Party members are taking their efforts a step further and trying to eliminate references to slavery in American history textbooks. Salon reports that Tea Partiers who fetishize America’s founders are “demanding” that students not be taught that many of them owned slaves:

    For a bunch of people who worship the Founders and like to play dress-up American Revolutionary War, Tea Partyers sure hate knowing anything remotely reality-based about the Founding Fathers. Tennessee Tea Party groups have introduced a proposal to take what few minorities there are in American history textbooks out of American history textbooks, along with any negative portrayals of the wealthy white men who led this young nation in its infancy.

    At a press conference, two dozen activists presented their proposals — I’m sorry, their “demands” — for the new state legislative session. Among them are sweeping changes to school materials that they probably have not actually read. […]

    Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.”

    Many of America’s first leaders, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings, and James Madison actually brought a slave with him to the White House when he became president.

    The framers also painstakingly avoided addressing the issue of slavery when they wrote the Constitution, which included a compromise that each slave be counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of representation and taxation.

    But recently, conservatives have preferred to gloss over those ugly truths and deprive students of a complete and honest portrait of the imperfect men who founded our country. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), founder of the congressional Tea Party caucus, famously said that the founders “worked tirelessly” to end slavery. Several of the GOP candidates have even signed a pledge that claimed that blacks were better off under slavery than under President Obama.

  44. Ametia says:

    What would you ask President Obama?

    Tomorrow, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address at 9:00 p.m. ET. During that speech, he’ll lay out his vision for an America where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, where everyone does their fair share, and where everyone is held accountable for what they do.

    There is a range of ways to get involved with this year’s State of the Union address.

    Immediately following the President’s speech on Tuesday, be sure to stay tuned to for a live panel featuring senior White House advisors answering your questions about the speech. Then, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, a group of policy experts and advisors to the President will sit down for Office Hours on Twitter — discussing the issues that matter to you and your community.

    Finally, on Monday, January 30, President Obama will join the conversation in a special Google+ Hangout, a live multi-person video chat, from the White House.

    Participating in the Hangout is easy — just visit the White House YouTube channel to submit your questions and vote for your favorites between now and January 28. A few participants will be chosen to join the President in the Google+ Hangout to ask their questions of the President live!

    Check out to learn more about watching the enhanced State of the Union online and all the ways you can ask questions this week:

  45. REMIX President Obama Sings Al Green REMIX!!!


  46. rikyrah says:

    THIS WAS IN A STORY trolling for bad comments from Black Hollywood about PBO:

    I love Samuel Jackson’s quote, though:

    “The president got about a week of moderate applause for capturing the most-wanted man in the world. You ask me, he should have put that motherfucker on ice and defrosted his ass Nov. 1.”

  47. Sweet Jesus! Have Mercy! Warning (Graphic)

    Ken Aden’s Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Cat Killed; “LIBERAL” Written On Its Corpse

    This post includes a graphic picture. It is included here not for shock value, but to show just how heinous some people can be.

    Last night, I got the most chilling phone call I have ever received. It was Jake Burris, Ken Aden’s campaign manager. Last night, Jake and his four kids had come back to their Russellville home. As they were getting out of the car, one of his children discovered their family cat dead on the front porch. One side of the animal’s head had been bashed in and an eyeball was hanging out of its socket. But there was something even more horrifying to be found on the corpse.

    Written across the animal’s fur in black marker was the word “LIBERAL“.

  48. Ametia says:

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously for a drug suspect who had an electronic tracking device attached to his car by police, who did not first obtain an extended warrant.

    The justices on Monday said secretly placing the device and monitoring the man’s movements for several weeks constituted a government “search,” and therefore the man’s constitutional rights were violated.

  49. rikyrah says:

    January 23, 2012 8:00 AM

    Putting Keystone on a ransom note
    By Steve Benen

    As of a couple of weeks ago, it looked as if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was eager to avoid another fight over the payroll tax break. The issue had done considerable damage to his caucus in December, and Boehner reportedly didn’t see much of an upside to once again positioning Republicans as fighting for a middle-class tax increase.

    But in this Congress, nothing is ever easy, and as of yesterday, Boehner signaled his interest in possibly holding the tax cut hostage before its expiration at the end of February. What would be on the ransom note? The Keystone XL pipeline that President Obama rejected last week.

    Here’s an exchange between the House Speaker and Fox News’ Chris Wallace yesterday:

    WALLACE: Well, you say all options are on the table. Are you saying that you may link the Keystone pipeline to extending the payroll tax holiday?

    BOEHNER: We may. But as I said, all options are on the table.

    WALLACE: Now, here’s an interesting question, because what you did this last time is you just said you have to disapprove it again in two months and he disapproved it again as he had before.

    Why not demand that if he wants the payroll tax cut, he has to approve it? In other words, it comes with it. You want the payroll tax cut? The pipeline goes with it.

    BOEHNER: All options are on the table.

    The threat was never explicit, but the Speaker did use the “all options are on the table line” four times in less than a minute.

    This would hardly be out of character for the House Republican leadership. On the contrary, it’s become their standard m.o. — they threaten to hurt the country unless Democrats give them something they want. It’s been a near-constant dynamic, played out repeatedly over the last year.

    There are a couple of angles to keep in mind as this unfolds over the next couple of weeks. The first is that the Speaker may very well be bluffing — there’s no real harm in seeing what he can extract from the White House — and may have no intention of blocking a payroll-tax-cut extension. The issue has already burned the GOP once. Is Boehner really willing to kill a middle-class tax cut in an election year, allowing the Obama White House to hammer Republicans on this again?

    The second is that the Keystone deal is no longer a simple matter of getting a green light from the president. Republicans pushed an artificial deadline on Obama, and left with limited options, he responded by scuttling the project. As Brian Beutler reported this morning, by expediting a formal rejection of the project, Republicans have inadvertently changed the equation dramatically.

    If both the U.S. government and Canada support the project, why can’t the White House and TransCanada pick up where they left off in January? It turns out the formal rejection changes the equation quite dramatically.

    Reapplying for the project isn’t simple — it’s time consuming and costly, and if the shippers that have partnered with TransCanada decide to take their business elsewhere, the whole thing could go bust.

    Boehner may not understand these details — he’s never been a policy guy — but the process isn’t as simple as saying, “I’ll trade you the tax cut for the pipeline.” Logistically, that’s just not an option right now, whether Republicans like it or not.

    The irony, of course, is that Boehner and his party were more likely to actually get the pipeline before they started playing partisan games with it.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Commentary: Jim Crow is alive and kicking

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | The Miami Herald
    Leonard Pitts Jr. McClatchy Newspapers

    I have something for you.

    In June of 2010, I wrote in this space about a book, The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, which I called a “troubling and profoundly necessary” work. Alexander promulgated an explosive argument. Namely, that the so-called “War on Drugs” amounts to a war on African-American men and, more to the point, to a racial caste system nearly as restrictive, oppressive and omnipresent as Jim Crow itself.
    This because, although white Americans are far

    and away the nation’s biggest dealers and users of illegal drugs, African Americans are far and away the ones most likely to be jailed for drug crimes. And when they are set “free” after doing their time, black men enter a legal purgatory where the right to vote, work, go to school or rent an apartment can be legally denied. It’s as if George Wallace were still standing in the schoolhouse door.

    The New Jim Crow won several awards, enjoyed significant media attention, and was an apparent catalyst in the NAACP’s decision last year to call for an end to the drug war. The book was a sensation, but we need it to be more. We need it to be a movement.

    As it happens and not exactly by coincidence, Alexander’s book is being reissued in paperback this week as we mark the birthday of the man who led America’s greatest mass movement for social justice. In his battle against the original Jim Crow, Martin Luther King, in a sense, did what Alexander seeks to do: pour sunlight on an onerous condition that exists just beyond the periphery of most Americans’ sight.

    I want to help her do that. So here’s the deal. I’ll give you a copy of the book — autographed by the author, no less — free of charge. You don’t even have to pay for shipping. All you have to do is tell me you want it and promise me you’ll read it.

    In fact, make that the subject line of the email you send to request your copy: “I want it. I’ll read it.” Send it to Make sure to include your contact information and mailing address. At month’s end, I’ll draw 50 names from a bucket and send out 50 books. If you work for the company that syndicates my column, or a newspaper that runs it, you can’t participate. The same goes if you’re my kin or my friend.

    Read more here:

  51. rikyrah says:

    January 23, 2012 8:35 AM

    Romney: U.S. economy ‘getting better’ under Obama
    By Steve Benen

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday and argued that President Obama’s policies “have actually made our economy worse.” Then he said it again. And again. All told, the House Republican repeated the claim five times in one interview (and in each instance, host Chris Wallace offered no pushback whatsoever).

    For those who care about reality, Boehner’s claim isn’t true. Since the president took office, every aspect of the American economy — job creation, economic growth, manufacturing, the stock market, etc. — has improved considerably. Repeating a lie five times doesn’t make it true.

    But what I find especially important about this is the extent to which Mitt Romney, the likely Republican presidential nominee, disagrees with Boehner.

    Consider this remarkable exchange between Romney and conservative radio-host Laura Ingraham late last week: (thanks to F.B. for the tip)

  52. rikyrah says:

    If Michelle Obama’s angry, she has a right to be
    By Bill Maxwell, Times correspondent
    Bill MaxwellTampa Bay Times
    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    I read Jodi Kantor’s new book, The Obamas. First lady Michelle Obama is described as a strong-willed, highly intelligent spouse who works behind the scenes to protect the president’s agenda. It shows a loving mother trying to ensure that her two daughters remain as normal as possible while living in Washington’s harsh spotlight.

    I put down the book with higher regard for Michelle Obama and a better understanding of the family’s struggles as the first African-Americans to occupy the White House.

    Predictably, right-wing talk show hosts immediately started using the book as an excuse to return to a poisonous theme: Michelle Obama is “an angry black woman.”

    “I see Michelle Obama’s mad while saying she’s not,” Rush Limbaugh said.

    Radio host and tea party activist David Webb, who is black, told The Hill that “Michelle Obama comes from a very angry, black nationalist background.”

    He further suggested that the first lady, who rose from modest means with the benefit of America’s “enormous opportunities,” should mind her words, that in her role as first lady, “it’s un-American” for Michelle Obama to bring up racial issues at all.

    “The majority of Americans do not like that approach, this underhand way of doing things,” Webb said.

    The shocking surprise is that instead of holding her tongue, as she has done until now, the first lady is striking back. During a recent interview with Gayle King of CBS News about Kantor’s book, Michelle Obama attacked the right wing’s portrayal of her: “That’s been an image people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I’m some kind of angry black woman. … There will always be people who don’t like me.”

    Most conservatives, such as Limbaugh and Webb, are outraged that the first lady has the gall to stand up for herself and confront race so forthrightly, to use the words “angry black woman.” Many Democrats are afraid the first lady’s new approach will give Republicans yet another blunt weapon to use as the presidential campaign heats up.

    Here is my take. The first lady and the president have been models of civility and restraint in dealing with matters of race. They are loath to play the so-called race card. In fact, the Obamas always have been forced into racial confrontations.

    This reticence, although admirable in some ways, distresses many blacks who want the Obamas to be more open and forceful. They believe the Obamas helped to create the early pipe dream that the United States finally will enter a postracial era. The reality, of course, is that race never went anywhere.

    If the first lady is an angry black woman, she has every right to be. Conservative white and black Americans are hypocrites if they say otherwise.

  53. rikyrah says:

    Florida, Florida, Florida
    by Betty Cracker

    The Romney PACs bought up scads of TV time here in Florida during the playoff games yesterday to let GOP primary voters know what a scuzzbucket Gingrich is. They had an interesting spin: that the president is behind the Gingrich surge and that Newt is pals with Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and Freddie Mac.

    Will it work? I have no idea. A year ago, I would have said Gingrich had a lock on it since it’s a closed primary and the state’s GOP voters were dumb and crazy enough to nominate and elect obvious crook Rick Scott on a “reform” ticket. But with Scott’s approval ratings now in chlamydia territory, maybe they’ve learned their lesson? Hahahaha, of course not! Anyway, here’s an electoral map:

    I’m thinking Gingrich will take the “MIGHT AS WELL BE ALABAMA” territory. It looks big, but much of it is sparsely populated. Romney will likely take “WINTER HOME OF THE 1%” territory, because the folks there identify with the paltry $375K speaking fees and believe a 15% tax rate on hardworking investments is just a horrific burden on productive, hardworking Americans, which should be eliminated entirely (along with the death tax).*

    The “PURPLE RAIN” territory is up for grabs. It comprises Midwestern and Northeastern retirees (Villages of the Darned) who seem susceptible to Romney’s comforting Daddy Warbucks mien, but that is balanced by hardcore Teahadists who might break for Gingrich and working folks who think all the choices suck. I’m giving a slight edge to Romney here.

    As for the “FUCK FIDEL” territory, if I were an advisor to Gingrich or Romney, I’d tell them to focus their efforts in Miami Dade, making the rounds of Cuban exile-oriented talk radio shows to blast the frail, retired octogenarian Fidel Castro and suck up to Marco Rubio. My feeling is that’s their best bet to move the needle here.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Rasmussen: Gingrich By Nine In Florida

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has moved to the front of the pack in a new poll of Florida by Rasmussen, which echoes numbers that dropped last night from InsiderAdvantage showing a Newt lead. Gingrich gets 41 percent in the new survey, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets 32 and his campaign is floundering after a big loss in the South Carolina primary. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum sees 11 percent and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) gets 8.

    Our TPM Poll Average now shows Gingrich with a seven point lead in Florida.

    The new numbers show that the electability argument, the centerpiece of the Romney candidacy, is starting to be one by Gingrich in some polls. From Rasmussen:

    Throughout the GOP race, Romney has always benefited from the perception that he was the strongest general election candidate in the field. However, among Florida voters at the moment, that is no longer the case. Forty-two percent (42%) now believe Gingrich would be the strongest candidate against Obama, while 39% say the same of Romney. At the other extreme, 64% see Ron Paul as the weakest potential candidate against Obama.

  55. rikyrah says:

    The Chart Democrats Don’t Want GOP Voters To See
    Kyle Leighton January 23, 2012, 5:31 AM

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich scored a huge victory in the South Carolina Republican primary this weekend. He performed well in the Fox debates and the data suggests that drove his rise in the polls — his numbers picked up after he revved up the partisan crowd and Romney faded into the background. And then he won the actual vote by nearly fifteen points.

    That’s all well and good. Republicans voters are certainly happy with the fire that Gingrich is providing, as the one common thread that GOP voters share this cycle is a desire to see President Obama run out of office. But if that is their goal, then Newt’s surge doesn’t make much political sense. See the chart below.

    Gingrich’s favorability among general election voters — the metric that many pollsters argue is the key to understanding how the public feels about a candidate — is not high. It certainly improved when Newt surged nationally in early December, gaining more media attention as Republicans and GOP-leaning independents started to feel better about him. But since he was crushed by negative ads in Iowa, leading to a fourth place finish there and in New Hampshire, Newt’s favorability numbers have again plunged — his unfavorability score hit 58 in a CNN poll, 56 in a Fox News survey, and 60 in Public Policy Polling (D) data.

    So in the short term, Republicans in South Carolina were content to reject Romney as their nominee — he’s the best candidate against President Obama in both national and state polling by far, but by the numbers, he’s always had trouble making the sale to the conservative wing of his own party. Exit polls showed that Republicans voting for the “best candidate to beat Obama” actually went for Gingrich. But if the chart above says anything at all, it’s that the chart below is a problem for Republicans in 2012. And that has to have Democrats smiling

  56. rikyrah says:

    Just Like Your Dad Did
    by mistermix

    I was offline yesterday and didn’t get a chance to respond to DougJ’s post in the comments, so I wanted to say a little more about why I think that Romney is such a bad candidate for Republicans. It boils down to his tax returns, and how I think they’re going to drive a conversation that’s toxic to him and Republicans.

    Reading through yesterday’s comments, it sounds like a lot of you think that the returns are a one or two media cycle story and that Romney’s early release will make them fade away. If that’s true, I’m wrong. But I’m willing to bet that Romney will end up releasing far more that the manicured two returns he’s letting out on Tuesday and that those returns will be the source of a number of candidate- and brand-damaging stories:

    “Given all the attention that’s been focused on tax returns, given the distraction that I think they became in these last couple of weeks,” Romney said in the broadcast interview that he would release his 2010 returns and estimates for his 2011 returns at the same time “so there’s not a second release down the road.”

    That last part of the quote is a big fat tell. When a politician declares the end of something, it’s almost always the beginning, not the end. If you watch the way John King went after him with the point about his dad releasing 12 years of returns, and how badly the crowd reacted to his answer, I think it’s clear that the media is going to push for more returns. That’s because paying 15% on millions year after year, and hiding income in the Caymans, is an issue even media elites can relate to, because they pay well over double that rate on their fat salaries. It doesn’t take any special research, or even false empathy with the little people, for them to understand that point. So they’re going to keep dogging Mitt on this one, and I think he’ll ultimately release at least as many years of tax returns as Obama has (11 years, counting 2011).

    These current and further releases will damage Romney with primary voters as well as voters in the general. For their entire modern history, the Republican Party rhetoric and policy have attracted the voter who feels a deep resentment about paying income tax. Perhaps this voter will look at Romney’s taxes and feel hope that he, too, might someday pay 15% instead of the 25% or 35% he’s paying now, but I doubt it. I think they’ll be as pissed as John King when they learn, for example, that Bain took advantage of a loophole that allows management fees, which are really wages and should be taxed at 35%, to get capital gains (15%) tax treatment.

    I agree with DougJ that Newt’s unfavorables are awful, and that he’s an almost certain loser in the general election, but I also think that Mitt’s unfavorables don’t reflect the tax issue. I don’t know if Romney can hit Newt’s lows, but do Republicans really want to nominate someone who so clearly illustrates how their fealty to Grover Nordquist has allowed a few privileged elites to have the same tax rate as a person making $8,700?

  57. rikyrah says:

    The Media Is Confusing Private Equity And Venture Capital — To Mitt Romney’s Benefit
    Reporting from the New Hampshire primary, Fox News’s Carl Cameron observed that Bain Capital was “the venture capital company in which [Romney] both bought and grew companies and occasionally shut a few down.”

    But Bain Capital is not, as Cameron said, a venture capital firm. He wasn’t the only reporter to mislabel Bain, either. When Newt Gingrich first ramped up attacks on Romney as a “corporate raider” at Bain, the news media covered the attacks by referring to the company alternately as a venture capital firm and a private equity firm. After a few days, private equity began to be used more often. However, looking over transcripts from Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, TPM found that all three often continue to use the term “venture capital” to refer to Bain and Romney’s private sector experience.

    For better or worse, a key feature of this campaign will be Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. As a result, the understanding the difference between private equity and venture capital will help voters understand the man they may vote for in the primary, and possibly the general election. Because venture capital tends to be regarded as a job-creation industry, confusing the two terms will likely work to Romney’s advantage.

    The term private equity simply refers to equity that is not public, like stocks. Venture capital — the practice of investing in the early stages of a company — uses nonpublic equity and is therefore a form of private equity. However, most similarities stop there.

    “Venture capital and private equity obviously don’t have technical definitions,” said Edward Kleinbard, a law professor at USC’s Gould School of Law and former chief of staff to the Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. “But properly used, they point to different business strategies and different points in the life cycle of a business.”

    Historically, venture capital is about investing in the early stages of a company in order to help it succeed. With a minority stake in the company, after several years, the venture capital firm will make money by merging the new company or taking it public. If the company doesn’t succeed, they lose their investment.

    “Venture capital is all about feeding a toddler of a company; getting it from toddler to early adulthood,” says Kleinbard. Continuing this metaphor, private equity is about improving mature companies.

    “Private equity is sort of the successor term to what 20 years ago we called leveraged buyouts,” says Kleinbard. The idea is that the private equity firm buys a company for the purpose of improving profitability and selling the company for a profit. A small percent of the money to buy the firm is raised from investors, but most of it is borrowed. The two pillars of private equity are, says Kleinbard, firstly removing the company from public ownership if they are publicly-traded, and – second – adding a substantial leverage component to the capital structure.

    The fact that private equity takes out loans to purchase companies and then puts that debt on the companies’ balance sheets is what earns them criticism. In order to increase profitability, leveraged buyouts — what most private equity firms practice — strip assets from firms, sometimes jobs, in order to make more money. “When you have a ton of debt, particularly high-cost debt, you’re going to try to strip out assets as quickly as possible and extract that value,” says David Min, Associate Director of Financial Markets Policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.

    Part of the outrage that Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry until he dropped out, tried to stir up over Bain was the depiction of a “corporate raider” or “vulture capitalist.” And that is exactly how private equity’s critics see things.

    “At its best, [private equity] is taking the weak and flabby and putting them on a diet and exercise regimen,” says Kleinbard. “At it’s worst, it’s just financial engineering: buy it, leverage it, hope the economy carries it and sell it in three years.”

    Those more sympathetic see private equity as fixing companies in—-to-mitt-romneys-benefit.php

  58. rikyrah says:

    The South Carolina Primary Result You Expected:
    Everybody Hates Mitt Romney + Nobody Doesn’t

    There’s one basic thing about the electability argument. At its essence, electability is not about who is better suited, better financed, and better able to beat somebody else. Electability is about whether or not you will vote for me. Electability is about whether you and you and you will vote for me. Electability is about whether All Of You — or, at least, Most Of You — will vote for me. This sounds very simple, but it is a lesson that Willard Romney quite obviously never has learned. It is even possible that he doesn’t realize it even now that he has been beaten like a drum by Newt Gingrich in every part of this state.

    He certainly didn’t sound like it in his semi-concession speech on Saturday night, in which he was clearly programmed to come out and be all butch on Gingrich. He continued to conflate attacks on his form of predatory capitalism with attacks on “free enterprise” and “capitalism” in general. This has not worked for three weeks, and it is not working now, largely because he behaves off the stump like everything Gingrich accuses him of being. He continues to try and make the transparently ridiculous argument that his success is somehow a template for all Americans to follow, if that Obama guy and his health-care plan would just get out of the way. Do you know anyone with whom he doesn’t share a gene pool who would find it possible to identify

    Very good, Obi-Wan. How’s that working out so far?

    Romney has a problem: People don’t like him. Not only that, but the more people see him, the more they dislike him. The panel on MSNBC was particularly keen on pointing out, as the results came in, that Newt Gingrich’s unfavorability ratings in this country at large are whopping, and indeed they are. But Willard’s unlikability is of a different sort. It is chronic and general. Gingrich, at least, for the several moments when he goes into highest dudgeon and starts raving about “elites” and Saul Alinsky, can give you a few seconds of pure entertainment for which you might briefly wish to thank him.

    Read more:

  59. rikyrah says:

    Content Section
    Michael Tomasky: Newt’s Fury Triumphs in South Carolina Primary
    by Michael Tomasky Jan 21, 2012 10:56 PM EST
    Newt won by hating Barack Obama and the liberal media more convincingly than the other candidates. But will fury be enough to propel him beyond South Carolina?

    Well, this changes things, doesn’t it? Over the long term, it may not change things that much. But for now, Newt Gingrich’s smashing victory over Mitt Romney in South Carolina alters the game dramatically. If you want to remember one key thing from tonight, remember this fact: According to the exit polls, Gingrich trounced Romney among voters when they were asked who can best take on and beat Barack Obama. On that question, 48 percent of voters chose Gingrich, and 39 percent Romney. That crushes Romney’s chief rationale to dust. The schedule and map still favor him, but he is in some serious trouble right now.

    Gingrich’s win spread across many categories. He won conservatives. He won independents. He won late deciders. He won voters who live on $30,000, and he won people living on $200,000. He won men—and, contrary to some expectations, he evidently won women, by 6 percent. He rolled, every way you want to count it.

    How and why? Simply, the debates. Even more simply, the two Moments in the debates: the smackdown of Juan Williams, and the smackdown of John King for starting the second debate by asking about his ex-wife’s allegations. There is no question that Gingrich rode those two moments to victory.

    In other words: He won by hatin’ on the black guy and the liberal media. He hated on them expertly. He fired synapses in conservatives’ brains that they barely knew were there. You knew, anyone knew, watching those two moments, that they were absolutely pivotal. It wasn’t Newt’s ideas. Raise your hand if you think his plan
    to create local citizens’ boards to confer citizenship designations on undocumented immigrants made Tea Partiers across the state sit down over dinner and say, “You know, darlin’, I’m really impressed with Newt’s civic-minded immigration ideas.” Hands? Thought so.


    It will be interesting now to see how hard the Karl Rove/establishment wing pushes to try to rally around Romney. You’d think they have to. Senators and House members too. They do not want to seek election with
    Gingrich at the top of their ticket. At the same time, no one wants to back a losing horse. Romney needs to rally this cohort fast and hope it makes a difference.

    Question three, and here’s the big one emerging from this contest: Exactly why is Gingrich suddenly more electable than Romney? Because, it is said, he has proven that he can debate Barack Obama. You hear conservatives talk, they’re just licking their chops over this. They may well nominate Gingrich not because they really want him to be the president of the United States, but because they want to see him debate Obama three times—or maybe even seven times at three hours each, which is what he’s been proposing for months, and which he reiterated in his victory speech Saturday night to loud applause. Those debates will practically be sacred events for conservatives.

    This is what conservatives want. They want someone who can stand on a stage with Obama and say, “You are our nightmare. You are the destroyer. You are the un-American and the anti-Christ, and I smite you.” For conservatives, it’s personal with Obama. He blinds them with hatred.

  60. The White House:

    What is your question for President Obama? On Jan 30, the President answers in a special Google+ Hangout. Ask now:

  61. Talking Points Memo:

    Gingrich hopes Freddie Mac records are released before FL primary:

  62. markknoller:

    The WH today is the hottest ticket for Boston Bruins fans. A reception honoring the 2011 Stanley Cup champs at 140pm. WH will livestream.

  63. The Obama Memos
    The making of a post-post-partisan Presidency.

  64. Associated Press:

    Republican victory would raise health insurer stock prices at least 2%, analyst says #hcr

  65. Romney Starts To Take The Gloves Off

    ORMOND BEACH, FL — Mitt Romney upped his rhetoric against both Newt Gingrich and President Obama in his first Florida rally since losing South Carolina, looking to reassure anxious supporters who suffered through the campaign’s toughest week yet.

    “We’re not choosing a talk show host, we’re choosing a leader,” Romney said, saying that their nominee should exhibit “integrity,” “sobriety,” and “ethics.”

    He called Gingrich a “failed leader” as Speaker who “had to resign in disgrace” and criticized his work as a highly paid consultant for Freddie Mac in his years out of office. “He said he was just a historian there,” Romney said. “I’d like him to release his records there.”

    For frustrated Romney fans, the Newt attacks couldn’t come soon enough.

    “Tell it it to him in the debates!” one person shouted as Romney began his attack monologue.

    “Take the gloves off, Mitt!” another hollered.

    Romney drew big applause for his attacks on Obama as well, which mostly stuck to his usual stump speech warning of an “entitlement society” and contained plenty of pointed lines.

    “I don’t think he understands the power of free people and free enterprise,” he said. “I think he would change, fundamentally, America.”

  66. In Newt Gingrich’s World Rules Do not Apply to Him, Ex-Wife’s Lawyer Says

    The ex-speaker asked his former wife to accept an open marriage while preaching family values to everyone else—typical of a man who believes rules are only to be followed by the rest of us, says Marianne Gingrich’s lawyer, Victoria Toensing.

    It’s not about the sex. Marianne Gingrich’s interview with ABC revealing former husband and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s request for an open marriage was not about a wife rejected. Rather, it was an insight into the persona of Newt: When he gets power he believes the rules do not apply to him.

  67. washingtonpost:

    Is today is a good time to be a black woman in America? Vote here: Story:

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