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

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Kate Bush- *wrote this Woman’s work

Wiki: Kate Bush (born Catherine Bush 30 July 1958)[1] is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Her eclectic musical style and idiosyncratic vocal style have made her one of the United Kingdom’s most successful solo female performers of the past 30 years.

In 1978, at the age of 19, Bush topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single “Wuthering Heights”, becoming the first woman to have a UK number one with a self-written song.[3] She has since released ten albums, three of which topped the UK Albums Chart, and has had 25 UK Top 40 hit singles including the Top 10 hits “Wuthering Heights”, “Running Up that Hill”, “King of the Mountain”, “Babooshka”, “The Man with the Child in His Eyes”, and “Don’t Give Up”.

In 1987, she won a Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist, and in 2002, her songwriting ability was recognised with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. During the course of her career, she has also been nominated for three Grammy Awards. After her 1979 tour — the only concert tour of her career — Bush released the 1980 album Never for Ever, which made her the first British solo female artist to top the UK album charts and the first female artist ever to enter the album chart at Number 1.[4]

In 1990, the boxed-set This Woman’s Work was released and included all of her albums with their original cover art, as well as two discs of all single B sides recorded from 1978–1990. In 1991, Bush released a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, which reached number 12 in the UK singles chart[39] and in 2007, was voted the greatest cover ever by readers of The Observer newspaper.[40] She recorded “Candle in the Wind”, as the single’s b-side.[41]

Greg Laswell


Greg Laswell is a musician, recording engineer, and producer from San Diego, California. He has released four studio albums: Good Movie in 2003, Through Toledo in 2006, and Three Flights from Alto Nido in 2008, and Take a Bow in 2010, as well as several EPs and special singles. Many of his songs have been featured in films and television shows.  Greg Laswell was born in Long Beach, California in 1974. He moved to San Diego in 1993 and graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University.[1] From 1998 through the early aughts, Laswell was frontman for the San Diego-based band Shillglen. Members of the band included Chad Lansford (backing vocals and guitar), Justin Skeesuck (guitar), Michael de Neve (bass), Marcel de Neve (drums) and Matt Mintz (lead guitar).[2] The band released one album, titled Sometimes I Feel, in late 1999[3] and had some moderate success when the band was nominated for Best Alternative Album and Best Alternative Band at the San Diego Music Awards in 2000.[4] By mid 2001, Shillglen had over 400,000 downloads of their music through However, Shillglen quietly disbanded in October 2001 after Laswell suggested the band take a break. The band mutually agreed, but never regrouped


<Wiki: Gerald Maxwell Rivera, known as Maxwell,[2] (born May 23, 1973), is an American R&B, funk and neo soul musician. He played an important role in the development of the soul sub-genre, neo-soul.[3]

Maxwell began working with songwriter Leon Ware and noted guitarist Wah Wah Watson to record his debut Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite in the early 1990s. When the album was finished Columbia had doubts about its potential and shelved it for two years. The album was finally issued in 1996.

Heavily inspired by the sound of classic soul music, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite did not catch on with audiences until the release of its second single, “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder),” which became a hit. [[BET’s groundbreaking show, In Your Ear would introduce him to more than 58 million homes and Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite would go on to sell over 2,000,000 copies, earning 2X platinum status, and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

I love all three versions of this song.

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103 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Women’s Week!

  1. [wpvideo whwuMsEm]

  2. Seal Team 6 rescue hostages…

    [wpvideo C72ETTRd]

  3. Ametia says:


    Margaret, let me see if I get this right. The political party that brought us Family Values now gives us Newt Gingrich? South Carolina likes to say that they elect presidents. They also elected to keep the Confederate battle flag above their statehouse until this millennium so I kind of question their judgment… or lack thereof.

    Let me tell you a little bit about the man who won the hearts and votes of South Carolina’s predominately born-again-evangelical-Republican-family-value voters:

    Leroy Newton Gingrich was a Lutheran when he married his high school teacher at the age of 19. He was a Southern Baptist when he divorced her 18 years later while she was in the hospital recovering from surgery. A former staff member said that Newt felt she was a political liability because “she’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.” Very good reasons I am sure, but I bet the affair he was having with Marianne Ginther had something to do with it as well. Newt “married” Marianne in 1981. I used quotes around that word because according to Marianne, Newt wanted an “open marriage” which is to say his divorces were getting kind of expensive. Instead of 7 years, Newt’s itch comes around every 18 years because that’s how long he was married to his high school teacher before he had the affair with Marianne, and that’s also how long he was married to Marianne before he began his affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek. I assume she asked him to become Catholic because they don’t believe in divorce.


  4. Five Democratic State Senators In Missouri Threatened With Sniper Crosshairs On Their Office Doors

    Only a year has passed since Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona. Many pointed to the overheated rhetoric from the Right and a political map that identified her and other Democrats as targets with sniper crosshairs over their districts as the inspiration for the shooting. Whether this is the case is debatable. Regardless of this terrible possibility, the violent rhetoric against Democratic lawmakers has continued unabated. Just a few days ago, a Democratic campaign manager in Arkansas arrived home to find his children’s pet cat murdered with the word ‘Liberal’ scrawled across its fur. And now, Missouri lawmakers are also being threatened.

    On Tuesday, several state Democratic Senators and one Republican in the House discovered images of sniper crosshairs on their office doors. Not thinking much of it at the time, some removed the images, only to be replaced with bigger images later on. That’s when the Capitol Police and Missouri State Troopers were called in. Whether it is someone’s poor idea of a prank or a direct threat is unknown. Authorities are taking the incident seriously in light of the Giffords shooting and other recent threats against public figures.

  5. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012
    President Obama’s Winning Style

    President Obama gives the Republican candidates a run for their money in terms of style. His fashion choices are radically chic yet subtle — the perfect balance of elegance and confidence. The dark navy suit fits him to perfection with a sharp shoulder and a tapered and elongated silhouette. The proportion of the lapel matches the tie width to a mathematical degree and is accentuated by just a hint of a shirt cuff. The saturated light burgundy tie with geometric print projects strength and a cool factor. The generous four-in-hand knot alludes to a sophisticated, worldly politician. Nicolas Sarkozy’s got nothing on him. Obama makes the right choice by not wearing a pocket square, instead choosing to embellish the lapel with an Amerian flag pin. The hint of gray hair only adds to his movie star looks and athletic physique. Simply put: He dresses like the most powerful man in the world.

  6. Ametia says:

    Lovng the new pic of POTUS & FLOTUS on the sidebar, SG2.

  7. WTF is wrong with Jan Brewer? I’d hate to see her get body slammed!

    Brewer, Obama exchange tense words over book, immigration at airport

    “President Obama arrived in Phoenix at 3:15 pm local time, finding the chilly weather of Iowa giving way to sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s.

    He stepped off Air Force One at 3:28 pm and was greeted by Gov. Jan Brewer. She handed him a handwritten letter in an envelope and they spoke intensely for a few minutes. At one point, she pointed her finger at him.

    Afterwards, (I) spoke with the governor.

    “He was a little disturbed about my book, Scorpions for Breakfast,” Brewer said. “I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt. So.”

    Asked what aspect of the book disturbed him, Brewer said: “That he didn’t feel that I had treated him cordially. I said I was sorry he felt that way but I didn’t get my sentence finished. Anyway, we’re glad he’s here. I’ll regroup.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    Martin – January 25, 2012 | 7:04 pm · Link

    This is a really interesting dynamic going on. The GOP rails against Obama waging class warfare, when Obama is the one with the bigger billionaire on stage.

    Should Romney win the nom, I guarantee there will be this line in the debates from Obama: “Class warfare comes up a lot by Governor Romney, but when Warren Buffet looks at his 15% tax rate he thinks he should be paying more. When Gov. Romney looks at his 15% tax rate, he thinks he’s paying too much. That speaks to Gov. Romney attitudes about class, not mine.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    from the twitter feed of ELON JAMES WHITE :

    Elon James White @elonjames
    OMG. #TeaParty dude tried to ask @TheRevAl how much money he makes ON-AIR. Rev almost jumped through the screen…

    Elon James White @elonjames
    You don’t mess with old Black people! THEY WILL END YOU. They too old and too Black for this nonsense..

  10. President Obama Speaks on an Economy Built to Last in Iowa

  11. Mother Jones:

    Gingrich: Maybe We’ll Bomb Castro If I’m President

  12. [wpvideo wy0wGRU2]

  13. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012 2:00 PM
    Romney and Freddie
    By Steve Benen

    To get an edge in advance of Florida’s Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney has gone after Newt Gingrich this week on his ties to Freddie Mac. At first blush, it’s not a bad move; Gingrich is clearly vulnerable on the subject.

    But Romney may not have thought the attacks all the way through.

    According to his personal finance disclosure forms, Romney invested pretty heavily in Freddie Mac and made a fair amount of money doing so.

    Asked about this on Fox News this morning, Romney was reduced to lying.

    BRIAN KILMEADE: Yesterday Newt Gingrich joined us and said, “I just found out that Mitt Romney was in investor in Fannie & Freddie.” What’s the truth?

    MITT ROMNEY: [Laughs] That’s pretty funny. My investments, of course, are managed not by me. For the last 10 years they’ve been guided and managed by a trustee, they’re in a blind trust. And the trustee invested in mutual funds and so forth and apparently one of the funds had Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bonds.

    We already know that’s not true. The Boston Globe reported on some of Romney’s finances a few months ago, and specifically noted, “[U]nlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.”

    The “blind trust” line isn’t going to cut it.

    For that matter, Romney is slamming Gingrich for lobbying on behalf of Freddie Mac, but at the same time, a top Romney campaign surrogate and advisor is also — you guessed it — a former lobbyist for Freddie Mac.

    Romney’s campaign really ought to be paying closer attention to these details.

  14. rikyrah says:

    found this over in the comments at Washington MOnthly:

    zeitgeist on January 25, 2012 12:55 PM:

    someone (a 527 – it couldn’t be the official Obama campaign or DNC) needs to do a commercial that starts with grainy video of Romney doing the “Obama wants to turn the United States into Europe!” line.

    then do a screeching stop. And say “Apparently Mitt Romney didn’t think there was anything wrong with Europe when he was investing $3 million in Swiss accounts [show map of location of Switzerland] instead of investing it in the United States. But Mitt Romney says we can’t expect the “job creators” to pay more taxes — why not, if they are creating jobs in Switzerland, not helping Americans with good jobs here? Tell Mitt Romney to do the patriotic thing and put his money where his mouth is — here in America.”

    He’d scream about being called unpatriotic, but I guarantee you his numbers would drop (even farther than they already have.)

    I love it!!!

    make that ad!!!

  15. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012 12:35 PM

    What’s with Romney’s Swiss bank account?
    By Steve Benen

    Probably the biggest surprise in Mitt Romney’s limited tax-return disclosure was the revelation about a Swiss bank account. Given the bigger picture — including Romney’s cash in the Cayman Islands — this new angle isn’t helping the Republican’s campaign.

    According to the former governor’s aides, Romney had $3 million in his Swiss account, held at UBS. Brad Malt, who helps oversee Romney’s investments, said told reporters yesterday, “It was a bank account, nothing more and nothing less.”

    Not surprisingly, there are additional questions about why, exactly, Romney had $3 million stashed in Switzerland.

    Martin Sullivan, contributing editor of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan research organization, said he was surprised Romney had a Swiss bank account since such accounts were sometimes used to hide assets. “Why would somebody who knows he’s going to be so visible screw around with a Swiss account?”

  16. rikyrah says:

    January 24th, 2012
    State of the Union: check, and mate
    by Mark Kleiman

    I thought he knocked it out of the park. [Full text here; wasn’t “Built to Last” a Dead song?] The three people I watched it with, all smarter and wiser than I, thought the same. He managed to be “confrontational” and inclusive at once, making it clear who’s being unreasonable. He did what amounted to a point-by-point takedown of Romney. Reducing the tax question to the Buffet Rule makes an easy sell.

    What can the Red Team say in response, except “Ouch!”? American isn’t great? Osama isn’t dead? Vulture capitalists ought to pay lower tax rates than workers?

    Even if the Republicans weren’t self-destructing, I’d feel very good about the election after this speech.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Obama Delivers a Campaign Speech
    By Jonathan Chait

    The first two years of the Obama presidency were a frantic rush of policymaking with barely any concern for political messaging, which suffered as a result. Tonight’s State of the Union address was just the opposite. President Obama knows full well that Republicans in Congress will block everything. In the absence of policy, he is backfilling the political narrative.

    Obama passed an economic stimulus quickly in 2009. This immediately exhausted Congress’s willingness to spend any money on the economic crisis. Because no further action has been possible since then — and, to be fair, the administration only came to fully realize further action was needed over the last year — Obama alienated the public by talking about priorities other than the economic crisis. This time he began with the crisis and rattled off a long list of what are surely poll-tested solutions, some sensible, some not.

    Likewise, the financial bailout, authorized by the Bush administration, came to hang over Obama, and polls showed that most people incorrectly thought Obama and not Bush came up with the bailout. So this year’s speech was full of tough talk on Wall Street, touting the Dodd-Frank regulations and urging even more. (“It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no cop-outs.”)

    That was the defensive portion of the politics. Vast portions of the speech were devoted to setting out a favorable contrast with Mitt Romney. Obama praised the auto bailout, and noted that some (i.e., Romney) had argued in favor of letting General Motors fail. Obama cited Warren Buffett and his principle that millionaires should never pay a tax rate lower than their employees. On housing, he insisted, “responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.” (Romney has advocated letting the housing market bottom out.) And even on foreign policy, he proclaimed, “Anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” This is not just a rebuke to Romney’s attacks on Obama’s foreign policy but an attempt to turn them into evidence of Romney’s lack of qualification to conduct foreign policy — a classic technique of an incumbent president against a challenger lacking foreign policy experience, one Obama has barely touched until now.

    Not just the specifics but the general theme was designed to probe Romney’s weaknesses. Obama’s political team believes the dapper, well-born corporate raider will have trouble connecting with the white working class, which has otherwise been a demographic weakness for the president. Hence his relentless focus not just on economic fairness and shared prosperity but on manufacturing, community colleges, and a wide swath of economic proposals offering concrete benefits to precisely this group.

  18. Ametia says:

    The Federal Reserve says it is unlikely to raise interest rates before late 2014, extending a period of record-low rates by more than a year. The Fed says it is keeping rates low to help lift a weak but modestly growing economy.

    The new timeframe hints at details in the Fed’s quarterly economic forecast, which will be released later. That will show in what year policy members expect the first increase in the Fed’s benchmark interest rate. The Fed has kept its key interest rate at a record low near zero for three years.

    Read more at:

  19. rikyrah says:

    Fox’s South Carolina “Dead Voters” Story Collapses
    January 25, 2012 1:31 pm ET by Matt Gertz

    Over the last two weeks, Fox has repeatedly promoted the claim that voter fraud is indicated by records showing that more than 900 South Carolina residents were recorded as casting a vote after their reported death date. Lou Dobbs, Bill Hemmer, and Neil Cavuto all gave state Attorney General Alan Wilson a platform to offer up this assertion, and on Monday Bret Baier reported that Wilson had notified the Justice Department of this “potential voter fraud.”

    These claims were always shaky, and have now completely dissolved.

    On January 11, state Department of Motor Vehicles director Kevin Schwedo testified before the state legislature that his analysts had compared state Election Commission records with data from the Department of Vital Statistics and the Social Security Administration and found 957 people who could have voted after they had died. He subsequently turned the data over to law enforcement.

    But the Columbia Free-Times’ Corey Hutchins reports that the Election Commission has examined six names from the list — the only six names Wilson’s office had turned over. At a hearing this morning, the agency revealed that none of those cases involved a ballot actually being cast in a deceased person’s name:

  20. rikyrah says:

    After Some Sleep
    It does help, after these frenzied few weeks. I think my reaction to the SOTU reflects a skewed perspective – much different than most people tuning in, who were the speech’s core audience. A big part of the speech was reminding Americans of the facts about Obama’s record – as opposed to the massive lies and distortions we keep hearing in the GOP debates. That’s new to many; and it’s impressive. But since I wrote that argument and have been defending it for more than a week, I didn’t hear that part, or heard it and dismissed it as old news. It may be old news to me, but it isn’t old news to most Americans. So I was focused on policy specifics, which were indeed underwhelming, as others have noted, with a few possible exceptions (the task force targeting Wall Street corruption; the mass mortgage refi proposal).

    And the focus entirely on getting the wealthy and successful pay more – outside the context of comprehensive tax reform – rubs me the wrong way. It puts Obama in the position of liberal crusader against the wealthy, rather than centrist reformer of the system. Yes, I know he can’t reform the system with this GOP. But since they favor tax reform, that proposal would have put them on the spot. By all means, make it revenue-neutral and then in a second term raise the rates a little, if revenue continues to be a problem. I just think Obama needs a big centrist cause in the campaign as well as a few big liberal ones.

    But we have entered a purely political season. And Obama is being purely political here – in a way he pledged not to be in 2008. It may be a master-stroke – since he sure has painted the GOP into a corner on fairness, and his arguments here have broad traction. And if he destroys the GOP this year – and he probably will if Gingrich is the nominee – then it may all come together. But it will mean a much more liberal Obama, which is why this centrist supporter gets a little queasy.

    Still, the GOP asked for it. By denying him any cooperation, they have ceded policy to him. And if he wins, they will be on the ropes for a while. And that’s how Obama could truly become the liberal Reagan I spotted in 2007. Because he will not only shift the landscape toward more government intervention, he will have reformed the opposition party to reflect that change.

    And who should really get a big part of the credit for turning America to the left? The Republicans who made Obama more liberal than he ever wanted to be. Congrats, guys. You may really be making history.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Nothing like dellvering a KICK AZZZ SOTU address,working with the US NAVY SEALS to rescue a pur-ty WHITE American woman all in one fell swoop, to make the GOP even MORE BITTER!

  21. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    Rove: Shut up with the negative attacks
    Karl Rove, on Fox News today, urging Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to take a breather.

    “The last couple weeks we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the negatives of both of these candidates and a decline in the positives, and that’s not good for the general election, and they need to step back.

    They can criticize each other, but they need to step back. Speaker Gingrich earlier decried Nancy Pelosi with these dark warnings of she had secret stuff on him, and he was right to do so, but then he turned around and said that Mitt Romney had a bank account in Switzerland and he had bad things he’d done as a director of a board.

    Stop! Stop!

    Have disagreements, but realize you’re only doing damage to your own chances for the general election if we come limping out of here with a wounded nominee.”

    Rove didn’t mention which poll he was specifically referencing, but I’m guessing it’s yesterday’s Washington Post survey which showed a dramatic rise in Mitt Romney’s negative ratings among indies that put him in Gingrich-Land (Mitt was -28%; Newt was -31%).

  22. Raymond I. Eldridge III

    A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that the Navy SEAL team that rescued the American and Danish hostages in Somalia was the same one that killed Osama bin Laden.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Found this at another site:

    • Wrapped inside a blistering take down of hacktastic David Brooks by Driftglass is a really great post about Prez Obama’s job training/education/industrial policy with links to facts and videos. It’s a lenghthy read but an excellent resource.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL@hacktastic! Thanks for the tip, rikyrah.

      • Ametia says:

        THIS “And then it all fell apart almost overnight…and suddenly everybody wanted to know why the schools weren’t working, why their mortgages were underwater and where all those good factory jobs had gone.

        But answering those questions honestly and in full measure — telling the simple truth about where we are, how we got here, who is working to solve our problems and who is working to oppose every solution — would not only fail to stroke a single plutocrat’s egos, but would also freak the shit out the Great Wad who still believe in Centrist fairy tales.

        These hacks ain’t trying to outine how America got into this shithole.

      • hacktastic?

  24. Ametia says:

    Luke Russert, did John Boehne ask you to speak on President Obama inviting him over for cigars and a drink? GTFOH

  25. Ametia says:

    Sorry Mittens, your pre & post SOTU rebuttals are USELESS!

    • Mittens need to go sit down someplace. Isn’t he embarrassed enough for hiding all that money while telling the American people how much he loves America? GTFOOH!

  26. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Preternatural Luck
    by BooMan
    Wed Jan 25th, 2012 at 09:27:14 AM EST

    The same Navy SEAL team that killed Usama bin-Laden made a daring rescue yesterday in Somalia. They rescued an American woman and a Danish man, and left nine Somali pirate kidnappers dead. The hostages were not injured.

    The first indication of the rescue operation came Tuesday night in Washington from President Barack Obama himself.

    As the president entered the House chambers to give his State of the Union Speech, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta standing in the crowd and said, “Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight.”

    The president made no mention of the hostage rescue, but finished his speech with a reference to the killing of Osama bin Laden last May in a similar operation to the one conducted by Navy SEALs Tuesday night.

    It’s eerily similar to the speech he made at the White House Correspondents Dinner when he knew that he had ordered the mission to get bin-Laden. The president lives a charmed life. His State of the Union address was bookended by Mitt Romney’s embarrassing tax returns which fit perfectly with his theme of economic fairness, and another successful SEAL mission which reinforced his reminder that he, not Bush, got justice for the 9/11 attacks.

    If running the country were a game of craps, Obama would be the hot roller. Jimmy Carter, not so much. Remember that Obama got to the U.S. Senate by beating Alan Keyes, and to the White House by beating Sarah Palin. At some point you have to consider that he’s preternaturally lucky. And he’s taking the rest of us along for the ride.

    Go Newt!!

  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 05:09 PM ET, 01/24/2012
    Gettin’ nasty: New ad rips Romney as the inventor of “government run health care”
    By Greg Sargent

    Yesterday the Romney campaign unleashed perhaps its harshest attack ad yet, hammering Newt Gingrich for having “cashed in” off of Fannie and Freddie, which the ad described as a “scandal ridden agency that helped create the crisis.”

    Now the pro-Gingrich Super PAC has unleashed its response — an ad in Florida that may be the most extensive on-air attack on Romney’s past liberalsim that we’ve yet seen, one that directly pins “Obamacare” on the former Massachusetts governor and rips him as “desperate” about his “failing campaign.”

    In what may be the most incendiary charge of all, the ad hits Romney for having “invented government run health care.”

    Interestingly enough, the footage in the ad will be familiar to many readers of liberal blogs. It shows Romney describing his views as “progressive” and calling for a “nation that’s taken a mandate approach.” It even features repeated shots of Obama himself hailing Romney’s role in creating the basis for his own health care overhaul:

    Rick Tyler, who works for Winning Our Future, the pro-Newt Super PAC running the spot, says the ad is backed by a $6 million buy.

    A number of observers have been rightly mystified by the failure of Romney’s rivals to fully exploit this line of attack, particularly since all this stuff is right there in the video files. Now it’s getting a full airing at a moment when conservative doubts seem to be mounting about Romney at an exponential pace. The inventor of government run health care? Brutal. Just brutal.

  28. Ametia says:


  29. Ametia says:

    Obama Schedule || Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    by Keith Koffler on January 24, 2012, 10:57 pm

    9:50 am || Departs White House
    11:20 am CT || Arrives Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    11:40 am CT || Tours Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing
    *11:50 am CT || Delivers remarks
    1:30 pm CT || Departs Cedar Rapids
    3:35 pm MT || Arrives Phoenix
    *4:30 pm MT || Delivers remarks at Intel Ocotillo Campus
    6:35 pm MT || Departs Phoenix
    6:30 pm PT || Arrives in Las Vegas

    All times Eastern except as noted

  30. rikyrah says:

    anybody know how many folks watched the State of the Union ?

    • Ametia says:

      Nielsen Says 42.8 Million Watch Obama State of Union

      By Andy Fixmer – Jan 26, 2011 5:27 PM CT
      President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech attracted 42.8 million U.S. television viewers last night, according to Nielsen Co.

      Obama’s address to the U.S. Congress drew about 11 percent fewer viewers than last year’s speech, which was watched by 48 million viewers, Nielsen said today on its website. Both speeches were carried on 11 networks, including cable outlets Fox News and CNN.
      Last night, Obama set out the agenda he will carry into the budget debate with congressional Republicans and his campaign for re-election in 2012. He cited competition from rapidly growing economies in India and China as another “Sputnik moment,” recalling how the Soviet Union’s launch of the first artificial satellite in 1957 spurred the U.S. to develop superior technology.
      Obama’s “Address to the Joint Session of Congress” in February 2009 was watched by 52.4 million, Nielsen said. President George W. Bush’s final State of the Union in January 2008 attracted 37.5 million, the researcher said.

  31. Ametia says:

    Trumka: Obama Showed He Hears People Not Heard by 1%
    by Tula Connell, Jan 24, 2012

    President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address tonight made clear that he hears the people who aren’t being heard by the 1 percent, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Obama’s speech showed he “listened to the single mom working two jobs to get by, to the out-of-work construction worker, to the retired factory worker, to the student serving coffee to help pay for college.”

    By laying out a vision of an America that can create jobs and prosperity for all instead of wealth for the few, Trumka said the president “voiced the aspirations and concerns of those who are too often ignored.”

    Obama also made clear that the era of the 1 percent getting rich by looting the economy, rather than creating jobs, is over.

    “Now it’s time for Congress to stop standing in the way of rebuilding our country and act,” Trumka said.

    President Obama presented Congress a choice, Trumka said, between Obama’s vision of the need to invest to achieve stable, long-term prosperity for all and the vision of presidential candidates squabbling over how much further to cut the taxes of the 1 percent.

    Obama “spoke to the confidence of working people that if we are determined and committed, we can revitalize ‘Made in the USA.’ That commitment to American manufacturing, made possible in part by enhanced enforcement of trade laws being violated by China , is welcome news to the too many productive, hard working Americans sitting idle unnecessarily.”

    Trumka praised the President’s powerful insistance “on a more humble Wall Street subject to a thorough investigation of the misconduct in the mortgage markets that wrecked our economy,” and applauded the creation of a new mortgage crisis unit to be co-chaired by New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman.
    Obama also sent a message of hope to America’s young people, “with his words of support for DREAM students, immigrants brought to this country by their parents and committed to the quintessentially American vision of hard work at school or in military service,” Trumka said.

  32. Ametia says:

    Rep. Gabrille Giffords resigned from Congress today in an emotional session of the House after an anti-drug smuggling bill that she championed passed by a 338-70 margin.

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a longtime friend, read Giffords’ letter of resignation on the House floor. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called her “an inspiring symol of inspiration and courage to millions of Americans.
    Giffords, 41, was shot in the head on January 8, 2011, during a shooting rampage that killed six people during an event where she was meeting constituents in Tucson. She still is recovering from her injuries, and her right side remains weak.

  33. Ametia says:

    LOL Boehner’s crying in the HOUSE. Gabbie does have that effect!

  34. Ametia says:


  35. rikyrah says:

    EXCLUSIVE: Romney Profited From Mortgage Lenders Foreclosing On Thousands Of Floridians
    By Josh Israel on Jan 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

    A ThinkProgress examination of Mitt Romney’s presidential personal financial disclosures from May 2011 reveal that the former Massachusetts governor and his wife own or owned millions of dollars worth of a Goldman Sachs investment fund invested heavily in mortgage-backed obligations. And the current owners of those mortgage debts began foreclosure proceedings against thousands of Floridians.

    Along with his investments in Bain Capital funds linked to offshore tax havens, the Romneys have large investments in the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund (institutional class). The firm’s March 2011 annual report for the fund notes that about 8 percent of the fund is invested in banks and 24.5 percent is invested in mortgage-backed obligations. Romney’s form says he has invested between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 in the fund and his wife Ann has invested an additional $1 million-plus. Since the 2008 economic meltdown and the enactment of the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, this fund has done quite well, growing 7.88 percent between April 2010 and March 2011.

    The mortgage-backed securities in the fund include adjustable rate mortgages from Bear Stearns, Countrywide, IndyMac, and Washington Mutual. A 2009 Center for Public Integrity report identified all four of those companies as among the top-25 subprime lenders in the lead-up to the market’s collapse. Countrywide ranked first in that report and Washington Mutual ranked second. While the remnants of those companies have been purchased by major financial institutions, an array of mortgage loan service companies bought up the individual mortgages.

    An examination of civil cases filed in Miami-Dade county alone, by just the current owners of the mortgage obligations for now-defunct Washington Mutual and Countrywide, suggests more than 5,000 foreclosure cases were filed in 2010.

    And Miami-Dade makes up only about 13 percent of the Florida population, suggesting that these and the other owners mortgage-backed securities included in this fund likely have attempted to foreclose on tens of thousands of Floridians.

    A review of Romney’s August 2007 financial disclosure for his 2008 campaign reveals no mention of the Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund, suggesting the investment was made at some point between the two campaigns.

  36. Ametia says:

    Check out POTUS’ entry and his exchange with the sista i green at the 9:15 mark. Does anyone know who she is?

  37. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Scores With Middle Class Message .Overview

    Dial testing and follow-up focus groups with 50 swing voters in Denver, Colorado show that President Obama’s populist defense of the middle class and their priorities in his State of the Union scored with voters.[1] The President generated strong responses on energy, education and foreign policy, but most important, he made impressive gains on a range of economic measures. These swing voters, even the Republicans, responded enthusiastically to his call for a “Buffet Rule” that would require the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. As one participant put it, “I agree with his tax reform – the 1 percent should shoulder more of the burden than the other 99 percent. He [Obama] talked about being all for one, one for all – that really resonated for me.” These dial focus groups make it very clear that defending further tax cuts for those at the top of the economic spectrum puts Republicans in Congress and on the Presidential campaign trail well outside of the American mainstream.

    These voters overwhelmingly liked what they heard from Obama– even those who voted against him in 2008 appreciated the address. But they continued to show deep skepticism that the President would be able to translate these words into actions. The more Democratic participants mostly blamed Republican obstructionism while the more Republican participants insisted that Obama might talk a good game, but his actions in office did not reflect the words in this speech. But participants across the political spectrum all agreed that Washington is broken and that progress on the important issues would be difficult until Congress addresses the corrupting influence of lobbyists and special interests.

    This was not the easiest audience for Obama; although slightly more participants voted for him than McCain in 2008, it was a significantly Republican-leaning group (44 percent Republican, 32 percent Democratic). At the outset, these voters were split 50/50 on Obama’s job performance and just 50 percent gave him a favorable personal rating. But the President gained ground after the speech; his job rating rose 8 points and his personal standing jumped 16 points, to 66 percent favorable

  38. rikyrah says:

    Last night’s State of the Union speech received high marks from viewers across the country, a CBS poll shows. According to the poll, 91 percent of those who viewed the speech approved of the proposals put forth by President Obama, and 82 percent of viewers approved of Obama’s economic plans.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Gosar asked Babeu to run for his seat
    By DAVID CATANESE | 1/24/12 4:24 PM EST Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar asked House candidate Paul Babeu to run in his home district as far back as the fall in order to avoid a Republican primary, both campaigns confirm to POLITICO.

    But Babeu, a Pinal County sheriff and Iraq war veteran, told Gosar he was “insane” and began preparing for a campaign in the new 4th District.

    “I looked at him and said, ‘Are you insane? I don’t live there. That’s your district.’ And he said, ‘Paul, you’re a rock star. You can win this seat.You’re law enforcement and you’re military. “I said, ‘Paul, the best person to defend District 1 is the District 1 congressman,'” Babeu recalled in an interview with POLITICO Tuesday.

    “I saw somebody who is frightened, who is more interested in his own political future,” he said of a conversation that he recalls began in October. “He was trying to clear the field. So whatever he wanted to do, everybody defers to him. Well, that’s not how America works. He may be a congressman, but to come in and think he’s just going to tell people what they’re going to do, that’s now how this process works.”

    Gosar, who announced earlier this month he was abandoning his own seat to run in the 4th, confirmed that he asked Babeu to swap races in a statement through a spokeswoman.

    “I told Babeu that because he is more liberal, he is a better fit for the eastern district. The western district includes nearly 200,000 voters that made up my base throughout the last two years. I made clear to Babeu that me and many supporters believe my family values and budget cutting is a better fit in Mojave, La Paz and Yavapai,” he said.

    Babeu, who is in Washington this week for fundraising and outreach, also tells POLITICO that representatives with the National Republican Congressional Committee asked him to step aside as a courtesy to the incumbent.

    “They were complete gentlemen about it. They called, they asked. We said, ‘nope, no way,'” said Babeu adviser Chris DeRose.

    It’s evident that that Babeu will wield the carpet-bagger issue against Gosar in the primary, but also signaled he would paint him as a congressman in over his head.

    He’s said he’s approached regularly by constituents and activists complaining about Gosar’s effectiveness and responsiveness.

    “These are freshman mistakes that cannot be afforded in this type of battle. This is the varsity team,” Babeu said.

  40. Ametia says:

    The House is set to vote on Gabbie Gifford’s ls bill.

  41. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012 8:40 AM Daniels is the serious one?
    By Steve Benen

    Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, to the delight of GOP insiders who still hope he might run for president. The national platform offered Daniels an opportunity to back up the hype — pundits routinely praise the former Bush budget director as a serious, thoughtful conservative, and this was his chance to prove it.
    Alas, he blew it.
    I remember about nine months ago, when Joe Klein dismissed the Republican presidential field as a “dim-witted freak show,” and urged Daniels to run because he seems to respect himself enough not to behave like a “public clown.”
    But at least on a substantive level, that’s exactly what the Indiana governor did last night.
    Daniels said President Obama made the economy “worse,” which no sane person could possibly believe (even Mitt Romney believes the economy has “gotten better” under Obama). Daniels equated our debt to the Greek crisis, which is ridiculous. He argued that Steve Jobs created more American jobs than the Recovery Act, which is demonstrably wrong. Daniels accused Obama of supporting “a pro-poverty policy,” which is the kind of nonsense I might expect from Glenn Beck, not a prominent public official.
    But there were two other claims that stood out for me. First, there was this gem:

    “In three short years, an unprecedented explosion of spending, with borrowed money, has added trillions to an already unaffordable national debt.”

    Actually, the biggest drivers of our unaffordable national debt are the Bush-era tax cuts that didn’t work. Daniels should be able to understand this — he was Bush’s budget director when the administration demanded tax cuts we couldn’t afford. If forced to choose one person who bears most of the responsibility for the size of the U.S. national debt, one of the leading contenders would have to be Mitch Daniels.
    This was the other:
    “In word and deed, the President and his allies tell us that we just cannot handle ourselves in this complex, perilous world without their benevolent protection. Left to ourselves, we might pick the wrong health insurance, the wrong mortgage, the wrong school for our kids; why, unless they stop us, we might pick the wrong light bulb!”

    Obama had just finished talking about cutting red tape and eliminating unnecessary regulations; the Affordable Care Act guarantees consumer choices in health care coverage; and the light-bulb bill the right is still whining about was a bipartisan success signed by Daniels’ former boss: George W. Bush.
    Honestly, the fact that this is what passes for seriousness in the Republican Party in 2012 is not at all a good sign.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Morning in America
    by mistermix

    Do you remember when one of the big MSM critiques of Democrats was the lack of optimism they showed, how they were always scolding and negative about our future, and how Americans, who are fundamentally optimistic, couldn’t identify with the party and its candidates because of it? I do, but apparently this guy doesn’t, because I’ll be damned if he cracked more than a reluctant smile last night.

    It’s not just Cantor and Boehner at the SOTU, it’s also Gingrich, Romney, Santorum and Paul in the debates. Those twice-weekly pissing matches are glum, overly serious affairs contrasting the grim meathook future of another four years of Barack Obama with an even darker apocalypse of program cuts and never-ending austerity under the Republicans.

    I’m not saying that politicians need to tell us happy lies, but I think it is fair to expect them to have a bit of optimism and some proposals that try to make the lives of Americans better. We haven’t seen either from the Party of Reagan for at least a solid decade. Hating the gays,the browns, and the poors, and cutting programs to keep taxes down are all unpleasant work, and it shows.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 09:29 PM PST.

    Pics: SOTU headlines are revealing
    by Eileen B

    I scurried around the internet and collected all the screen grabs I could right after the SOTU ended. I think it’s fascinating.

  44. rikyrah says:

    State Of The Union: Obama’s Point-By-Point Romney Refutation
    Brian Beutler- January 24, 2012, 10:55 PM

    President Obama’s State of the Union address was premised on two political bets: that there’s a broad national appetite, spanning conservative and liberal ideologies, for certain populist reforms; and that Republicans in Congress are too deeply committed to opposing his agenda to back those reforms along side him.

    His speech was peppered with the sorts of proposals that play well across the country. But after executing a three year plan of partisan opposition to his full agenda, Republicans can’t possibly support them — and that puts them on the steep side of an election Obama is framing while Republican presidential hopefuls tear each other down.

    It was also sharp-elbowed. It read in a way as a series of critiques of the GOP’s most prominent rhetorical attacks on Democratic priorities, and as a piecemeal rebuttal of the talking points his most likely general election opponent Mitt Romney has levied against him in a bid to shore up support among Republican base voters.

    Romney has raised eyebrows for opposing the auto-industry bailout. In his address, Obama chided, “[s]ome even said we should let it die.” This is largely true of many Republicans in Congress, who could not bring themselves to applaud a proposal to reverse tax incentives that encourage outsourcing and discourage repatriating jobs to the U.S.

    Where Romney has called for allowing the foreclosure crisis to run its course, Obama said that “responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief,” before introducing a mortgage modification plan to Congress that will give “every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year…by refinancing at historically low interest rates,” which was met with silence by the GOP.

    Perhaps most famously, Romney has suggested that public appeals for addressing inequality and bringing equity to the tax code evince envy on the part of advocates who have pressed those issues into the national dialogue.

    “When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich,” Obama retorted. “It’s because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference – like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet.”

    Republicans grimaced at this, too, as they did when he gave policy shape to the Buffett Rule, “If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes.”

    GOP leaders spent Tuesday — and really the last several months — preparing for Obama to take this turn.

    On the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Obama’s “goal isn’t to conquer the nation’s problems. It’s to conquer Republicans.”

    “This election’s going to be a referendum on the president’s economic policies,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Tuesday.

    That’s the battle for public perception that will play out over the next several months — between Obama’s calls for fairness and Republican reminders of people’s current woes, implicitly Obama’s fault they’ll say. If Republicans lose that battle they’ll find themselves flailing in the general election with nothing forward looking to offer voters. That’s the bet Obama made tonight.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Three Key Questions Raised By Romney’s Tax Revelations
    Brian Beutler- January 25, 2012, 5:44 AM

    Mitt Romney’s campaign has tried desperately to put a lid back on the can of worms that burst open weeks ago when the one-time GOP presidential front runner declined to release any of his tax returns.

    But by actually releasing his 2010 return, and an estimation of his 2011 return, camp Romney has provided reporters with some, but not all, of the answers they’re looking for as they try to paint a complete picture of the finances of one of the wealthiest candidates for President in U.S. history.

    Romney’s revelations confirm that his effective tax rates in the past couple years have been as low or lower than those of workers with truly modest means. They also confirm that he’s availed himself of truly complex tax strategies designed to boil his liability down to the lowest level allowed by the country’s heavily rigged, labyrinthine tax code. And we know, too, that these are things Romney didn’t want voters to know — at least not yet.

    But they raise a series of new questions that will likely require Romney to disclose several years’ worth of additional tax returns if he wants to answer them satisfactorily. Here are three big ones that touch generally on the theme of Romney’s efforts to reduce his tax burden by taking advantage of areas of the law that simply aren’t available to most people.

    How Low Do They REALLY Go

    Romney’s effective tax rate was 13.9 percent of his adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2011, and is expected to be slightly higher in 2011. Set aside for now the fact that for a high net worth individual like Romney, AGI often understates what you might call “true” income — meaning these effective tax rates probably overstate Romney’s 2010 and 2011 tax liability. It turns out that in 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis, Romney very likely managed to get his effective tax rate much lower than 13.9 percent. In 2010, Romney carried over $4.9 million in capital losses from 2009. This is a consequence of the tax code’s leniency toward investors who take hits in bad years. But as tax lawyer Ed Kleinbard told reporters during a Tuesday conference call organized by the DNC, “that means he paid no tax on any of his capital gains in 2009, including tax on his carried interest in 2009.” That’s not necessarily because Romney actually lost money in 2009, either. As Kleinbard explained, a common tactic for Americans with capital gains is to “harvest” — by selling off certain investments that lose value investors can count the losses against gains elsewhere in their portfolios. If those losses exceed the gains by more than a certain amount, they roll over into the following tax cycle. Unless Romney had significant sources of non-investment income, that suggests his effective tax rate in 2009 was much lower than 13.9 percent. And remember, he jokes he’s been unemployed for years.

    That UBIT Bit

    One of camp Romney’s chief claims has been that his offshore investments haven’t been covers for deferring or avoiding U.S. taxation. But as described, here, there is one tax strategy that could have allowed Romney to avoid a big, 35 percent tax on unrelated business income, as it pertains to his massive individual retirement account — if that account is invested in an offshore entity. When asked Tuesday if Romney has ever benefited from this strategy, his trust adviser Brad Malt said, “I don’t know the answer to that — let us get back to you on that.” We haven’t received an answer yet, but we’ll pass it along when we get it.

    Swiss Amiss?

    Romney’s 2010 tax return reveals a Swiss bank account. “It is listed because I set that account up for diversification in 2003 when I became trustee of the blind trusts,” Malt said. “It is a bank account. Nothing more, nothing less. An ordinary bank account. It earns some income which is fully reported on the form 1040. In the 2010 tax return, you’ll see approximately $1,700 in interest earned by this account, which is reported. The tax is fully paid just as if this were a U.S. bank account. Nothing more complicated than that. By the way, I did close this account in early 2010. It no longer exists.”

    Some reports suggest that the account was closed for political reasons, but Malt said “I regularly review Governor Romney’s investments just in connection with my periodic reviews, I decided that this account wasn’t serving any particular purpose….Again, taxes were all fully paid etc. But it just wasn’t worth it. And I closed the account.” Tax experts have noted to TPM in recent days that U.S. law changed shortly before then, to make it harder for U.S. persons to avail themselves of tax havens. Shortly thereafter the IRS gave people secreting their money abroad a time window for compliance. Taking camp Romney at its word, that wasn’t really their concern. Even if the account existed for purposes of diversification that could be politically embarrassing in and of itself, constituting a bet against U.S. currency. But to fully answer the question, we’d need to know if that bank account is declared in the years before the law changed. Camp Romney did not respond to a request for comment on this point Tuesday.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Obama Favorability Soars While Gingrich And Romney Become Unelectable
    By Jason Easley

    According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll President Obama has gained a net 11 points in favorability over the past month while Gingrich and Romney have lost 9 and 23 points respectively.

    President Obama’s favorability rating has gone from a net negative one point (48%-49%), in the new ABC News/Washington Post poll to a net positive ten points (53%-43%). Two groups are powering the president’s positive swing. Obama has seen his favorability rating improve by six points with Independents, and unfavorable rating decline by five points. By a margin of 51%-45%, Independents now have a favorable view of the president. Obama has seen his favorability rating jump a net 21 points with moderates from 54%-42% to 66%-31%.

    While Obama is benefiting from an improved economy and a focus on the middle class and jobs, the favorability of his top two Republican challengers is in free fall. The already nationally unpopular Newt Gingrich’s favorable rating has fallen to 29%. More than half of the country (51%) now holds an unfavorable view of Gingrich.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Are Now Changing Their Tax Story Because Of Romney
    By Ray Medeiros

    Now that Romney unveiled he pays less of a percentage in taxes than you tip the waitress at the local diner, conservatives are now changing their tune regarding capital gains and corporate taxes

    For years and years, conservatives have consistently told the American people that raising taxes on corporations essentially was raising taxes on the consumer. Their story was that all taxes are passed onto the consumer in order to keep the after tax profit margin the same for their investors, right?

    Now with the revelation of Mitt’s 13.9% tax rate, they are saying that capital gains taxes are essentially “double taxation”. This is because all profits belong to the investor and a corporate tax reduces the how much of a dividend check is cut for Mitt Romney. So Mitt would have a bigger dividend check if corporate taxes were low.

    So which is it? Are all corporate taxes passed onto the consumer, thus insulating Mitt Romney from tax increases, or are corporate taxes a tax on the investor?

    Either the conservatives lied to us before or they are lying to us now

  48. rikyrah says:

    Obama Uses His State Of The Union To Obliterate Everything The GOP Stands For
    By Jason Easley

    President Obama used his State Of The Union address tonight to literally shatter everything the Republican Party claims to stand for.

    President Obama first discussed fairness early in his address, “The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.”

    The president later discussed what caused the 2008 economic collapse, and how the economy has recovered,

    Those are the facts. But so are these. In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. Together, we’ve agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion. And we’ve put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like that never happens again.

    The state of our Union is getting stronger. And we’ve come too far to turn back now. As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.

    No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

    Obama also took a jab at Mitt Romney for opposing the auto bailout, “On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.”

    After outlining his plans for manufacturing, reforming the tax code, energy and education, President Obama demanded that the rich pay their fair share, “Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary

    • Ametia says:


      I loved this cmment from the thread.

      Shiva on January 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Obama was incredible. He said everything that needed to be said to Americans. He took every drop of thunder that the candidates may have against him and dropped it down the well. Gone is the regulations crap, the oil crap, the Mitt Romney “this president” crap. The rest of the debates should occur with little more than 4 empty seats on a stage.

      Obama crushed, coddled, scolded and led the GOP. He had Boehner rocking in his seat. Boehhner will now say all kinds of stuff but it will be totally ineffective.

      He put the GOP in the corner and literally told them behave or get voted out. Stay seated and the people will see who you are.

      His speech at the end was all power. He made the people see that if you don’t agree then you have a problem. I think this was the most intense powerful and well spoken SOTU address I have ever seen.<b

  49. rikyrah says:

    The State of the Union
    Posted on 01/25/2012 at 8:16 am by Bob Cesca

    Another fantastic joint-session address by an “adult” president delivered to petulant children (half of them at least).

    Naturally, there were aspects I abundantly agreed with and several things that made me cringe. But the big picture is a president who’s making an effort to dismantle Reaganomics during an era of unprecedented divisiveness and obstruction from the opposition party.

    He pitched government as a great equalizer, as an engine to both strengthen the American economy but to also force the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share, while also urging corporate responsibility. The Justice Department, for example, has been tasked with investigating the mortgage lenders who helped to cause the crash.

    The address was so completely opposite of the Reagan mantra “government is the problem” and a reversal of the Clinton proclamation “the era of big government is over.” At long last, a return to the values that gave us our robust middle class and a solid manufacturing base in the post-war era.


    But overall, this was a speech that underscored his willingness to serve all of America while concurrently accusing the Republicans of obstruction for the sake of bring down his administration, rather than any sort of substantive beef.

    And the ending was, as Lawrence O’Donnell observed, spectacular.

    One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates — a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary — and Hillary Clinton — a woman who ran against me for president.

    All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job — the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other — because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s somebody behind you, watching your back.

    So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes. No one built this country on their own. This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a team. This nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.

    O’Donnell said he should have saved this for the convention. I think it was perfectly timed.

  50. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012 8:00 AM

    An appeal for fairness (and votes)
    By Steve Benen

    If President Obama’s State of the Union address was intended as a bookend to the December speech he delivered in Osawatomie, Kansas, it was a success. It was in Osawatomie that the president presented a vision based on populism, characterizing economic opportunity and justice “the defining issue of our time,” and last night, Obama did so again, using nearly-identical language.

    After recalling his grandparents’ belief in “the basic American promise” that hard work led to economic security, the president argued, “The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

    By my count, Obama used the word “fair” or “fairness” 11 times in the address. Subtle it was not.

    But there can be little doubt that populism suits him. Obama, to a degree that struck me as new, went after the banks rather aggressively, even proposing to pay for refinancing plan with “a small fee on the largest financial institutions,” which will in turn “give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.”

    The president also spoke extensively about the Buffett Rule: “Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else — like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.”

    All of this was cased as part of a larger vision that bolstered public investments, in the hopes of adding security for the middle class.

    Was this a speech for the 99%? You bet it was.

    But it was also an explicitly political speech. In an election year, the State of the Union is often considered the unofficial launch of an incumbent president’s campaign. Last night, this was so overt, I half expected the White House to put “Game On” on its home page.

    The Republicans looking to replace Obama say the economy is worse now than in 2009. Oh yeah?

    “In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.”

  51. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    The State Of This Union
    Posted by Zandar

    President Obama’s State of the Union address was basically his 2012 “If I’m re-elected, here’s what I’ll do in 2013 if I have enough Democrats in Congress” speech. The odds of getting any of the things he mentioned in the speech passed in 2012: removing tax breaks for outsourcing jobs, comprehensive immigration reform, a trade “enforcement unit” to check on China, fixing No Child Left Behind and increasing college student aid, fixing the banks and streamlining the executive branch all have about as much chance of passing this Republican House as I do spontaneously sprouting wings.

    Everything you needed to know was delivered by Speaker John Boehner before the speech bashing it, and by Indiana GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels immediately after. Boehner all but accused the President’s message of being “un-American”, while expecting him to offer Republicans the olive branch of giving him everything Orange Julius wants. Daniels’ GOP response to the President called him “an extremist” whose “constant efforts to divide us” gives rise to his “troubling contention” that “Americans can’t cut it anymore.”

    Republicans in 2012 have no intention of working with the President, but working him over instead. At this point, anything that isn’t 100% GOP red meat dogma is “extremist”. Daniels showed the GOP hand with promises of massive budget cuts and more hostage situations in order to “save the safety net.” It’s going to be a long, ugly year in Washington, and the only course that’s going to improve anything in 2013 is getting the GOP out of power.

  52. American hostage in Somalia rescued by US Navy SEALs in overnight raid

    WASHINGTON — In a daring nighttime raid Tuesday, U.S. Navy SEALs rescued two hostages, including one American, who were being held by kidnappers in Somalia, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

    American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, were working for a Danish relief organization in northern Somalia when they were kidnapped last October. U.S. officials described their kidnappers as heavily armed common criminals with no known ties to any organized militant group.

    According to the U.S. officials, two teams of Navy SEALs landed by helicopter near the compound where the two hostages were being held. As the SEALS approached the compound on foot gunfire broke out, the U.S. officials said, and several of the militants were reportedly killed. There is no word that any of the Americans were wounded.

    The SEALs gathered up Buchanan and Thisted, loaded them onto the helicopters and flew them to safety at an undisclosed location. The two hostages were not injured during the rescue operation and are reported to be in relatively good condition.

  53. Good Morning, 3 Chics!

    I hope your Wednesday rocks!

    Orkut Myspace Wednesday Graphics and Comments

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