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

Today’s selection is “Woman In Chains” Tears for Fears featuring Oleta Adams

Wiki: Tears for Fears are an English pop/rock band formed in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod-influenced Graduate, they were initially associated with the New Wave synthesiser bands of the early 1980s but later branched out into mainstream rock and pop, which led to international chart success.

Their platinum-selling debut album, The Hurting, reached number one on the UK Album Chart, while their second album, Songs from the Big Chair, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, achieving multi-platinum status in both the UK and the United States.[1] Following the release of their third platinum-selling album, The Seeds of Love (1989), Smith and Orzabal parted company in 1991, though Orzabal retained the Tears for Fears name throughout the remainder of the 1990s. The duo re-formed in 2000, and released an album of new material, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, in 2004. To date, Tears for Fears have sold over 40 million albums worldwide, including more than 8 million in the U.S.

Wiki:   Oleta Adams (born May 4, 1953, Seattle, Washington) is an American soul, jazz, and gospel singer and pianist.  Adams was born the daughter of a preacher and was raised with gospel music. In her youth her family moved to Yakima, Washington, which is sometimes shown as her place of birth. Before gaining her opportunity to perform, Adams faced a great deal of rejection. In the 1970s, she moved to Los Angeles, California where she recorded a demo tape. However, many music executives were exclusively interested in disco music rather than Adams’ preferred style.

With the advice of her singing coach, Lee Farrell, Adams moved to Kansas City where she did a variety of local gigs. Adams started her career in the early 1980s with two self-financed albums which had limited success.

In 1985, Adams was discovered by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, founders of the English band Tears for Fears, while performing in a hotel bar in Kansas City, Missouri whilst they were on a US tour. They chatted with Adams after her performance, and two years later they contacted her to invite her to join their band as a singer on their next album, The Seeds of Love.[1]

In 1989, the album was released and the single “Woman In Chains” — sung as a duet by Adams and Orzabal and with Phil Collins on drums — became her first hit. Adams embarked on a world tour with Tears For Fears in 1990, performing by herself as the supporting artist at the start of each show, and remaining onstage throughout the Tears For Fears set where she would provide piano and vocals.

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87 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Women’s Week!

  1. Shot-Up Image of President Draws a Secret Service Inquiry

    PHOENIX — The Secret Service said Thursday that it was looking into a photograph posted on the Internet that showed a group of young Arizona men posing in the desert with guns while holding up what appeared to be a bullet-riddled image of President Obama’s face.

    The photograph showed seven casually dressed young men, four of whom clutched weapons and one of whom held up a T-shirt covered with small holes and gashes and bearing a likeness of Mr. Obama above the word “HOPE.” The weapons held aloft appeared to be a revolver, a bolt-action rifle and two assault rifles.

    “We’re aware of it, and we’re conducting the appropriate follow-up steps,” said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman in Washington.

    The photo, along with the remark “Another trip to the ranch,” was posted on Jan. 20 on the Facebook page of Sgt. Pat Shearer, a police officer in Peoria, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb. The image was removed from Sergeant Shearer’s page on Thursday afternoon shortly after inquiries about it to the Peoria Police Department. Sergeant Shearer, a decorated officer who was honored in 2007 for helping to save a driver trapped in a burning vehicle, did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

  2. Billboard: Obama Bumps Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ Sales by 490%

    Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” got a sales boost last week from an unlikely source — President Barack Obama.

    A video of the president singing the first line of the song at a Jan. 19 fund-raising event went viral the next day, sparking a 490% weekly sales increase for the song. It sold 16,000 downloads in the week ending Jan. 22 according to Nielsen SoundScan.

    Al Green, A&R Execs & Artists Sound Off on Obama’s Performance

    It’s the best sales week for the song since SoundScan began tracking downloads in 2003.

    The fundraiser took place at New York’s Apollo Theater, where Green was also making an appearance. As Obama took to the stage, he noted Green’s presence in the room and surprised the crowd (and his aides) with a bit of his crooning.

  3. blacksnob:

    Santorum: YOU ONCE TRIED TO HELP PEOPLE! Mitt: No I didn’t. Santorum: Yes you did! YOU HELPED PEOPLE! RINO! RINO! #CNNdebate

    Crying with Laughter

  4. ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ star Robert Hegyes dies at 60

    Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on ’70s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died Thursday, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. Hegyes, who died of an apparent heart attack after suffering chest pains at his Metuchen, N.J., home, was 60.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Romney failed to disclose income from Swiss bank


    The Associated Press

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mitt and Ann Romney failed to list an unknown amount of investment income from a variety of sources, including a Swiss bank account, on financial disclosure forms filed last year, the presidential hopeful’s campaign announced Thursday as it worked to correct the omissions.

    Also missing is income from at least 20 different investment funds in the Romneys’ blind trusts that are either not listed on his disclosure or contradict information listed on the former Massachusetts governor’s 2010 tax return. At least one of the 20 is an investment fund held by Ann Romney carries an “offshore” label. It’s part of a fund operated by Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney ran for 15 years.

    A campaign spokeswoman offered no explanation for the omission. She said Thursday the adjustments would be “trivial” and would not alter the overall picture of the Romney’s finances. The former Massachusetts governor has estimated his wealth at as much as $250 million.

    The Swiss account was held in Ann Romney’s blind trust. The tax returns show the Romneys made $1,783 in interest income from that account in 2010.Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also failed to report income from his 2010 tax return on his financial disclosure. Gingrich will amend his disclosure to show $252,500 in salary from one of his businesses, spokesman R.C. Hammond said Thursday.

    Romney’s campaign said it was updating 2011 financial disclosure forms after the Romneys’ 2010 tax return, released this week after intense pressure from his rivals, showed income from the Swiss account. Romney reported earning nearly $22 million that year, mainly from investments, and paid about $3 million in federal taxes.

    Gingrich had hammered Romney to release his tax returns while Republican voters were still choosing a nominee. Romney initially said he would release them in April, during tax filing season, but then gave in to demands that he make the tax returns public sooner.

    Romney’s missing income, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, could become a campaign issue as Gingrich looks to criticize Romney ahead of Florida’s Jan. 31 primary.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, January 26, 2012
    Racism Chasing? Republican Mark Oxner’s Campaign Ad Features a “Slave Ship” the USS Obamaboat

    I will let you all arbitrate the semiotics of this ad.

    At least Mark Oxner’s people had the good sense to make sure that the enslaved children on Obama’s “ship of state” (with its upside down U.S. flag and crossed out “United States Constitution”) were a diverse group. We can count that as a small measure of progress in the post-racial age.

    In a political moment where campaign commercials have featured Islamic terrorists, demon sheep, and gangster rappers who penetrate white women with their guns, this ad is par for the course.

    Is race an element here? I am not sure. This anti-Obama campaign commercial could be one more example of the “benign” myopia that is common to the white racial frame (“how could anyone be offended by a boat, an allusion to slavery, and a black captain whipping his crew? How shocking!). Alternatively, the race work done here could more sinister, as any reference to “white slavery” has historically done potent political work from the Revolutionary War to the present (with the Tea Party faithful using that very same phrase to oppose the Obama administration and play on white racial resentment and anxiety).

  7. STOCK Act: Insider Trading Bill To Receive Senate Vote Next Week [UPDATE]

    WASHINGTON — A Senate bill banning the trading of corporate stocks by members of Congress based on nonpublic political information will see a vote next week, according to Democratic sources working on the bill.

    “It’ll be on the floor next week, either hotlined or an actual vote,” one source said of the bill, known as the STOCK Act. Hotlining refers to the process of moving a bill through by unanimous consent.

    A separate Democratic aide said that negotiations over amendments were still ongoing, which would make hotlining more difficult. A Democratic leadership aide, meanwhile, would only say that a vote was “possible.”

    The STOCK Act, authored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), would ban trading by members of Congress guided by nonpublic economic or political information. It would also improve disclosures of all stock trades and other financial maneuvers by members of Congress, by requiring them to publicly detail each transaction within 30 days. Lawmakers are currently granted a full year of secrecy before disclosing such financial activities.

    The bill received a big boost on Tuesday when President Barack Obama called for its enactment during the State of the Union address.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Why GOP Elites Fear Gingrich


    Sabato’s Crystal Ball created an electoral map for a Gingrich-Obama race:

    In several Midwestern swing states, Republicans gained many House seats in 2010 that, thanks to their control of redistricting, they sought to lock in through aggressive remapping. Under this map, all of those states — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — would be tough territory for Gingrich. If his candidacy were a disaster, those new Republican gerrymanders could unravel. The close battle for the Senate could also be affected — Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Virginia all have competitive Senate races this year, and all of those states get bluer on our map under a hypothetical Gingrich candidacy.

  9. Exclusive – Obama Says Encounter With Arizona Gov. ‘Blown Out of Proportion’

    President Obama denied in an exclusive interview with ABC News that he was “tense” in his airport tarmac encounter with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Wednesday, as she has described.

    “I’m usually accused of not being intense enough, right,” he told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, laughing. “Too relaxed.”

    Brewer said in an interview that the president was “somewhat thin-skinned and a little tense, to say the least” and that she was “shocked by the sternness of it all.” The president reportedly raised objections to Brewer’s description of their meeting in June, 2010, when he met her Wednesday.

    In her 2011 book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” Brewer accused Obama of being “condescending” and “patronizing” and complained that she and her aides were treated coldly by White House staffers.

    “I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me,” Obama said of their most recent meeting. “But this was really not a big deal. She wanted to give me a letter, asking for a meeting. And I said, ‘We’d be happy to meet.’

    “Last time we met, she wasn’t fully satisfied. But, you know, I think this is a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion.”

    Watch ‘World News’ tonight at 6:30 ET for Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Obama.

  10. Denise:

    Mayor Seems To Contradict Gov. Brewer’s Story On Obama Run-In

  11. Fox’s Bolling Attacks Obama For Using Air Force One

  12. Ametia says:

    Nick R. Martin-January 26, 2012, 5:23 PM1148683

    President Obama didn’t exactly walk away from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) during their disagreement on Wednesday on an airport tarmac near Phoenix, said one of the only people to witness the exchange up close. The president simply began talking to the other two elected officials who were there to greet him.
    Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., declined to say exactly what he heard Obama and Brewer talk about during their now-infamous tiff next to Air Force One.

    But the mayor said he was standing right next to the governor when the exchange took place and Obama didn’t seem to be in any kind of hurry to leave.

  13. Ametia says:

    John Mellencamp Performing at the White House THIS Wednesday – Airing Thursday on PBS
    02.09.2010 – John returns to Washington, D.C. along with notables like Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson, for the 2010 White House Music Series which begins this Wednesday, February 10th.

  14. Ametia says:


  15. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 01/26/2012
    Romney paints Gingrich as mentally unstable
    By Greg Sargent
    The New York Times reports today — based on unclear sourcing — that Mitt Romney has endorsed a strategy of raising doubts about Newt Gingrich’s “emotional stability.”

    Well, if that’s the case, here’s Exhibit A.

    A Florida source passes along a mailer that the Romney campaign — not the pro-Romney Super PAC; his campaign — just dropped in the state, and it comes as close as possible to making that case, hitting Gingrich as “erratic” and “reckless.”

    The mailer also prominently features a quote from my colleague Jennifer Rubin, describing Gingrich’s “well of sleaze.” Here’s page one

    This the sort of attack that’s probably too hot for the Romney campaign to be directly associated with on the airwaves, which may explain why it’s being pushed via mail, which is relatively under the radar.

    The mailer underscores the lengths the Romney campaign is now willing to go to in order to destroy Gingrich’s character, after aides had previously congratulated themselves for mostly sticking to the issues. It suggests the Romney camp knows how dangerous a Gingrich victory in Florida — where the two are deadlocked in polls — would be to Romney’s long term hopes.

    The Times observes that Romney’s new strategy of tearing down Gingrich’s character risks turning off the independents, women and suburban Republicans that Romney will need in a general election. As the above mailer suggests, it’s a risk the Romney team is prepared to take — and perhaps sees as an imperative at this point.

  16. rikyrah says:

    January 26, 2012 4:04 PM

    The Unkindest Cut
    By Ed Kilgore

    There’s lots of jabbering going on today about conservative opinion-leaders going after Newt Gingrich with hammers and tongs. And I must say, it’s worth jabbering about, if only because of the spectacle of these folks trying to put the genie back in the bottle and convince The Troops to re-adopt conventional views about candidate electability (viz. a National Review editorial pointing to Newt’s perpetual unpopularity).

    But the most vicious attack on Gingrich was from Washington Examiner columnist Philip Klein, who seriously (at least I think he’s serious) makes the case that Newt’s political tactics are right out of the Gospel According To Saul Alinsky.

    It’s almost enough to make me feel sorry for the wiggy former Speaker, even though I suggested earlier today that he privately imagines himself some sort of inter-galactic Warrior-King. As a token of limited solidarity with my fellow sort-of-Georgian, I’ll mention something I omitted from my self-introduction post: I was a teenage school janitor. The job paid a booming $1.30 an hour, but it did help me finance my secular-socialist college education, which ultimately enabled me to become a member of the Liberal Media.

    Funny how it all works out.

  17. US President Barack Obama holds 5-year-old Madison Debera as he greets people after speaking about the importance of American workers developing American-made energy to an economy that’s built to last at the UPS in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 26, 2012. Obama denied Republican claims he was waging class warfare as he set out to sell his call for tax hikes on the rich in states crucial to his reelection bid.

  18. rikyrah says:

    found this over at Balloon Juice:

    37.Cat Lady – January 26, 2012 | 2:09 pm · Link


    Mitt’s lived in a bubble his whole life, and hasn’t had to learn anything other than what he needed or wanted to know. Other people have only provided utility to him, and now he’s finding that his fate is at the mercy of peons (and Newt the Unstable Barbarian) he can’t control, and he can’t manage it. He’s got no golden parachute this time – and you can believe he’s terrified of being a two time loser of the thing he’s always believed he’s been entitled to – the presidency. Newt’s got his shiny scrubbed nuts in a vise, and it’s exceedingly fun to watch.

  19. RiPPa:

    “I’M RICH BIIIIIYAAAAAATH!!” – Mitt Romney #p2

    Crying with Laughter

  20. Terry McMillan:
    writer,idealist,truth-seeker, troublemaker, loyal friend, bad singer, textile designer.

    I would like to slap Jan Brewer into a cactus.

  21. Jan Brewer’s DUI past: “DPS officers at the scene believed Brewer was intoxicated…” Failed series of sobriety tests.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Dems Introduce Latino Voters To The ‘Two Faces’ Of Romney
    Pema Levy- January 26, 2012, 5:31 AM

    Mitt Romney laughed off the suggestion on Thursday that if elected he would be the country’s first Mexican-American President. The Univision host Jorge Ramos cheekily asked about Romney’s Mexican heritage, referencing the fact that Romney’s father was born in a Mormon encampment in Mexico.

    “I would love to be able to convince people of that,” Romney joked in response. “Particularly in a Florida primary.” But, he added, “I don’t think people would think I was being honest with them if I said I was Mexican-American.”

    The Florida primary on January 31 is the first time in this cycle that the candidates have had to appeal to Latino voters. Whereas in Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney was courting white audiences as the far-right candidate on immigration, Romney is now moderating his stance for a Florida audience, where 11% of registered Republicans are Latino. Gingrich has struck a more moderate tone on immigration and Romney needs to win over at least some of this community.

    Since Romney began running on an extreme anti-immigration agenda, he must have known he would eventually have to temper his position in Florida and ultimately in the general election. And Democrats don’t want him to get away with it.

    Enter the service workers union SEIU and pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action. The two groups have teamed up for a Spanish-language radio ad campaign in Florida attacking Romney. But rather than hammering his positions head-on, the liberal groups are attacking Romney’s strategy of saying one thing to white audiences and something else to Latinos.

    Their first ad want on air Tuesday with a six-figure ad buy in targeted markets in Florida. Called “Dos Caras” or “Two Faces,” the spot attacks Romney for running exactly the kind of campaign he has run — saying one thing to the Hispanic community and the opposite to everyone else.

    Monday night’s debate in Florida is a good example. Asked about the Dream Act — which he has called a “handout” two weeks ago and said he would veto — Romney qualified his stance by saying his was open to a bill that provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who join the military. Asked about it on a conference call Tuesday, Paul Begala, senior adviser for Priorities USA replied: “If you want to know his position, take a look at where he’s standing and who he’s talking to.”

    That’s the first level of Democrats’ attack on Mitt Romney as he reaches out to the Latino community now. But the radio ad also hints at their trump card which could become a big issue in the general election: Romney’s embrace of the anti-immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama and the man who’s behind them, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

    Romney’s code-word here is “self-deportation;” in essence, it’s a strategy of making life so miserable for Latinos that they are forced to leave the country. When Romney talks about his position, he mentions identification cards, E-Verify, and punishments for business who hire undocumented immigrants — policies that would make it impossible for undocumented immigrants to work in the United States. Critics charge it with being harassment by law enforcement — in cases where it’s been put into practice in Alabama it’s included losing running water, and kids dropping out of schools.

    In Florida Romney’s tried to brush aside his position on immigration and play the Cuban card instead, embracing an aggressive policy against Fidel Castro. That may work in the Florida primary, where poll show him leading Gingrich, but it won’t be enough to make-up for his position on immigration reform down the road.

    At the end of the day, Democrats and their allies say they’ll be able to point to Arizona and Alabama and say, the Obama administration filed lawsuits to stop these laws; Romney is for them.

    Romney’s strategy of tacking far to the right on immigration and then reaching out to the Latino community was, of course, sensed a mile away. “Mitt Romney can surround himself, if he wishes, with all the Cuban Republicans in the world,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said on a conference call last week, “and he will be doing exactly that in Florida. But look, the stink of all the anti-immigrant positions has taken just isn’t gonna rub off.”

    Gutierrez was right. Less than an hour after the Univision interview, Romney was making a speech before the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC. Between Romney and Gingrich next Tuesday, that strategy could work. But all over the airwaves, Democrats are making sure that Romney’s strategy will backfire down the road — that he can’t call himself something he isn’t and get away with it.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Corporations Are (Good) People
    Posted on 01/26/2012 at 2:00 pm by JM Ashby
    According to Mitt Romney, “the banks” aren’t bad people. In fact, they’re just as scared as you are of the Obama Administration and their job-killing regulations and “uncertainty.” Or something

    Romney was standing outside a Fannie Mae-foreclosed home in a struggling neighborhood telling a small crowd why they’re having so much trouble. “In this case, it’s because of the banks,” he explained. “Well, the banks aren’t bad people. They’re just overwhelmed right now.”

    During a Monday roundtable with business owners struggling in Florida’s hobbled housing market, the former Massachusetts governor told the group that their troubles with banks came because the lenders were worried about staying in business.

    “The banks are scared to death, of course,” he said. “They’re feeling the same thing that you’re feeling. And so they just want to pretend that all this is just going to get paid some day.”

    Yes. The banks are terrified of going out of business and they’re feeling the same pain the average American is right now!

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Number That Scares Team Mitt
    Josh Marshall- January 26, 2012, 1:29 PM

    There’s one big fact about the Obama presidency: the US economy has sucked all through it. Who you blame for that is the key to the American political debate. But the reality of the suck is the baseline. The President’s approval on the economy has trended down over the course of the last three years.

    Then in early 2011 it veered into really bad territory and peaked around the time of the debt limit debacle. From the summer into the late Fall the president’s approval on this critical metric dipped deep into the 30s and his disapproval numbers were consistently at or above 60%. That’s extremely dangerous territory for a sitting president.

    But starting about three months ago those numbers started to improve substantially. The Romney campaign knows that if those numbers get back near even or actually go into positive territory, Romney’s probably sunk in the general.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Top Dem Offshoring Expert Smells Something Fishy In Romney’s Tax Code
    Brian Beutler- January 26, 2012, 11:05 AM

    Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) says Mitt Romney will have to make his pre-2010 tax returns available. That may sound like a predictable demand from a partisan Democrat. But it’s more than that.

    Levin may well know more about tax avoidance strategies than anybody in Congress. In his capacity as the Democrats’ top investigator he’s has made extensive inquiries into the techniques businesses and individuals use, including overseas havens, to hide their money from the IRS. And what Romney’s revealed so far troubles him.

    “I saw in the paper this morning that the spokesperson for the Romney campaign said that it was just an ‘ordinary’ bank account in Switzerland,” Levin told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast round table, referring to the revelation that the Romney family held a Swiss bank account in his wife’s name from 2003 until 2010.

    “Folks, we’ve done a lot of research. We went after UBS in my subcommittee. We have seen abuses by American wealthy folks trying to hide from Uncle Sam, putting their money in Swiss bank accounts and bank accounts in other tax havens,” Levin said. “There was a period when the IRS said ‘OK, come on in, pay your taxes on your Swiss accounts, and you won’t have to pay any penalty.’ Thirty-three thousand people, I believe, showed up in the last couple years to pay their taxes…. And the spokesperson for the Romney campaign says it was just an ordinary bank account in Switzerland that Mrs. Romney had. There is no such thing as an ordinary Swiss bank account. Now, there may be a few exceptions where you’ve got Americans who are living in Switzerland who have bank accounts, but as far as I know, Mrs. Romney was not living in Switzerland.”

    Levin also raised the issue of the carried interest loophole — a strategy Romney has exploited to avoid millions a year in taxation. Whether in the context of the fight over the payroll tax cut, or later in this session of Congress, Levin and other prominent Democrats plan to make closing the carried interest loophole a major legislative priority.

    “My brother [House Dems’ top tax guy Sandy Levin] is working on the language and I expect that somebody on the Finance Committee in the Senate or one of the conferees in the Senate will do something in terms of carried interest, and if they don’t I will,” Levin said. “I’ll introduce my brother’s bill when he finalizes it.”

    Nearly all tax experts agree that hedge and private equity fund managers should have to count their “carried interest” — their take in profits of the firms they manage — as wage income. But a loophole in the tax code allows them to treat it as long-term capital gains, and thus pay a significantly lower tax rate on it. This loophole is the key reason Romney’s tax rate is so low. And Levin thinks the confluence of public outrage at inequity in the tax code, combined with Romney’s prominence, will create a groundswell in support for closing this and other loopholes that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans.

    “This will be, in the middle of this year … there’s a sea change going on, and that is now the Republicans who ideologically have stood against any revenue are not going to be able to withstand the onslaught of the public outcry against the use of tax loopholes in the code, the tax havens that have been used to avoid paying taxes, the fact that corporations are given deductions for stock options in amounts far larger than they show on their books,” Levin said. “People’s eyes glaze over when you talk that way — until now. And now, because of Romney’s situation, there’s going to be a real focus.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    January 26, 2012 10:55 AM
    Biting Them Where It Hurts
    By Ed Kilgore

    There’s been a fair amount of publicity over the last few months about some of the baleful consequences of new immigration policies in the states, particularly in such Deep South states as Alabama and Georgia. Already, considerable damage has been inflicted on agricultural production as crops rot in the field, unharvested. And anyone living in the region knows that businesses catering to the Hispanic population have been hit hard as immigrants, documented or not, leave—or as Mitt Romney would put it, “self-deport”—feeling less than welcome.

    That’s all hunky-dory with a lot of southern conservatives—often the most avid immigrant-bashers because Hispanics are visible enough to unsettle the natives, but not numerous enough to defend themselves politically—but an incident in Georgia this week showed that nativism can bite them where they actually feel the pain.

    In the run-up to National Signing Day—the day, rivalled in the Deep South only by Christmas and Easter, when high school football players can sign scholarship agreements with colleges—the University of Georgia football team lost an recruit because he ran afoul of policies designed to keep the undocumented from attending state institutions of higher education. Mark Weizer of the Athens Banner-Herald explains what happened to offensive lineman Chester Brown:

    Students who can’t prove they’re legal U.S. residents can’t enroll at the University of Georgia and four other state public colleges under policies adopted by the state board of regents in October 2010….

    The new policy went into effect in the fall after a Kennesaw State University student, Jessica Colotl, was arrested in March 2010 following a traffic stop. She was slated for deportation, but immigration authorities agreed to hold off for a year to allow her to complete classes at Kennesaw State.

    The regents policy now prohibits any public college or university from allowing illegal immigrants to enroll if the school had turned down any academically qualified applicants for admission during the two most recent academic years. It also requires admissions officials to verify applicants’ residence status.

    The Brown family moved to the U.S. from Samoa in the mid-1990s.
    Violence in Long Beach, Calif., prompted the family to move in 2004 to Hinesville, where Chester’s uncle worked in the military.

    “When Chester was there growing up, a lot of kids that were Samoans and his age were shot and killed,” his father Siliga told in his native tongue while Chester translated. “I didn’t want that to happen to my kids. I wanted them away from that fast life.”

    Brown’s family swears he was born in the U.S. (which wouldn’t cut much ice with nativists, who dislike “anchor babies” as much as the undocumented) but don’t have the paperwork to prove it, so young Chester, whose skills were badly needed by the Georgia Bulldogs, will matriculate and play in some other state.

    I bet more than a few football-mad Georgia GOP legislators are having second thoughts about their recent forays into immigrant-bashing—or are hearing about it from their constituents.

  27. rikyrah says:

    January 26, 2012 2:05 PM

    Mitt’s Mexican-American Problem
    By Ed Kilgore

    It’s every reporter’s dream to ask a presidential candidate a question that packs multidimensional dynamite. Univision’s Jorge Ramos had that opportunity yesterday when he asked Mitt Romney if he considered his own self a “Mexican-American,” since his father, George Romney, was born in that country.

    Romney sheepishly allowed as how he didn’t think that sort of self-identification would be terribly credible. But it was a tricky question nonetheless, not only because Romney is frantically prospecting for Hispanic voters in Florida right now, but also because it served as a reminder that Mitt’s great-grandparents were polygamists who fled to Mexico (reportedly at the instruction of none other than Brigham Young) shortly before the LDS church officially renounced plural marriage, and the new state of Utah banned it altogether.

    Turns out Mitt still has some distant cousins in Mexico, although most of those early Mormon immigrants to that country (including George and his parents and grandparents) fled during the Mexican Revolution of 1912 and never came back.

    So it’s not surprising Mitt turned down the chance to claim his own little bit of Hispanic heritage.

    Polygamy aside, Ramos’ question was probably as welcome to the candidate as a basket of vipers. It’s hard enough for pols to navigate the treacherous waters of Florida’s various Hispanic groups, including the Cuban-Americans who tend to participate in large numbers in Republican primaries, and immigrants (and their children and grand-children) from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean who now outweigh them as factors in Florida general elections, which the eventual GOP nominee badly needs to win.

    More to the immediate point, Romney is in danger of paying a price for the rightward tilt on immigration policy that he so usefully deployed to crush Rick Perry earlier in this cycle, and also to buttress his shaky movement-conservative street cred. As a new Latino Decisions poll for Univision illustrates, Romney’s ability to win the Florida primary depends heavily on relatively favorable opinions of him among Hispanics in the state. But Newt Gingrich is pounding away at that support, drawing particular attention to Mitt’s praise for strategies to encourage “self-deportation” of undocumented workers. Meanwhile, none of the GOP candidates are looking particularly strong among Florida Hispanic voters in trial heats against Barack Obama (Latino Decisions has the President beating Romney 50-40 in FL and 67-25 nationally, and beating Gingrich 52-38 in FL and 70-22 nationally).

    So Romney needs to tread lightly on Hispanic attitudes in the run-up to next Tuesday’s primary, and also keep the focus off those cousins in Mexico and how they got there.

  28. rikyrah says:

    The hidden issue in South Carolina primary: labor union clout

    Mitt Romney in particular has used the South Carolina primary to test anti-labor union policies as a campaign issue. His pitch to expand right-to-work laws could lead to Wisconsin redux.

    When South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley came to New Hampshire to endorse Mitt Romney earlier this month, it marked more than just a meeting of political expediency. Yes, South Carolina was the next state on the primary calendar. And yes, Governor Haley could help him there.

    But the topic of her remarks was something more than a typical stump speech. It was a trial balloon that could become a major issue in this autumn’s general election.

    “One of the reasons we’re bringing jobs to South Carolina is that we have the lowest unionization in the country, and I want to keep it that way,” she said at a Jan. 6 rally in Tilton, N.H. “Barack Obama doesn’t appreciate right-to-work states. Mitt Romney appreciates right-to-work states … and I need a partner in the White House.”

    Right-to-work states are those that that bar unions from deducting dues from worker paychecks as a condition of employment. Unions see right-to-work as a bid to undermine union financing, capacity to organize, and political clout.

    Romney has used South Carolina, which is a right-to-work state, and New Hampshire, which is considering ways to become one, as testing grounds for how such a debate might play out nationwide.

    Conservatives see the current campaign cycle as a rare opportunity to undercut union political clout. After historic gains in 2010 elections, Republicans hold the governorships and new legislative majorities in a number of strong union states, including Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Moreover, labor unions bankroll opposition to the sweeping pro-business agendas that undergird Republican orthodoxy.

    Yet states like Wisconsin, where a Republican governor will likely face a recall election over his decision to strip unions of another right – collective bargaining – show the danger of taking on unions. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan says that right-to-work legislation at this time is too divisive and not on his agenda.

    If Republicans are going to make right to work a national campaign theme, they will need to do so cautiously, and South Carolina has given the candidates – and Romney in particular – an opportunity to test the waters.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Conservative North Florida voters: Romney’s too richBy John Sepulvado, CNN Radio
    While media outlets and Beltway pundits might use state polls to gauge the race in Florida between GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, Ron Crum uses poles.

    Fishing poles.

    Crum, a Republican small business owner in this sleepy seaside town south of Tallahassee, calls Romney a multi-millionaire who expects to get breaks because he’s rich — be it a low tax rate or the GOP nomination.

    But former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Crum says, is a man who understands the plight of the working class and can articulate conservative principles effectively.

    Picking up two fishing rods, Crum says the expensive Penn International, priced at almost $400, is like Romney. Meanwhile, the Jarvis-Walker, which he says does everything the other rod does but sells for about $50, is like Gingrich.

    “I got a customer,” Crum continues. “He has about six rod holders on the side of the boat. He’s got six Penn Internationals, and when he leaves port he has them on this side of the boat towards the docks, and when he comes in he puts them on the other side of the boat. We go out there because it’s a good day to be alive, God built a world let’s go enjoy it, but the elitist wants to impress their friends.”

    Putting the poles back in the rack, Crum says, “Gingrich, as a capitalist wants to come out here with the working people and the people earn money from the industry of this country. Romney is basically an elitist.”

    And for conservative North Florida voters, the term elitist is almost as bad as calling someone a liberal. That label is sticking with Romney, even though both candidates are worth more than many North Floridians earn in a lifetime.

  30. Michelle Obama News:

    Press Release: First Lady Michelle Obama joins Goya Foods in announcing “Mi Plato” Resources for families

  31. Ametia says:

    Time to take this bitch out like Jodi Kantor

    Want to sell a book? Get into a heated discussion with the President. It worked for Arizona governor Jan Brewer. Sales of her book Scorpions for Breakfast have gone up a whopping 150,398 percent on over the past 24 hours.

    You’ll recall that President Obama is upset over a passage from the book which characterized his attitude towards Brewer as being patronizing during a 2010 meeting at the White House. When he told Brewer as such last night on an Arizona tarmac, the two became embroiled in a discussion. Reporters snapped a photo of Brewer wagging her finger at the President and, lo, history was made.

  32. Joy Reid @TheReidReport:

    Jan Brewer ‘felt a little threatened’ by President Obama … really? @thegrio

  33. rikyrah says:

    GOP’s Claim That House Passed 30 Jobs Bills? Bogus.
    By karoli

    I keep hearing this ridiculous canard in Republican debates and now from John Boehner about the alleged jobs bills the Republicans have passed that the “Democrat Senate” refuses to act upon. Since I watched the better part of their activity in real time, I know this is a lie. But most people aren’t obsessive-compulsive about government and politics and might not realize just how much of a lie it is. So without further ado, let me debunk this claim made by the disingenuous Speaker of the House.

    WALLACE: Question — how will you counter that line of attack?

    BOEHNER: Chris, 30 jobs bills passed over the last year in a Republican House of Representatives that are sitting in the United States Senate — thirty.

    Our focus over the last 12 months has been on jobs. Our focus over the course of the next 12 months is going to be on jobs.

    The president asked us to extend the payroll tax credit, to make sure that we extended unemployment insurance with reforms, and make sure that doctors that dealt with Medicare patients were adequately reimbursed. And he asked us to do it for a year. We did it for a year. It was the United States Senate who decided, we’re just going to do it for two months and we can’t agree on how we’re going to offset these costs. And so, we’ll just kick the can down the road.

    To make sure they back up their public claims with what might appear to be “fact”, they’ve built a page on the House of Representatives site with a list of their so-called jobs bills, which number 27 and not 30 as the Speaker claims. What follows is a list and a brief explanation of why they are not jobs bills. Feel free to share it widely with your friends who might be inclined to believe Mr. Tobacco Lobbyist Check Distributor without questioning it.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Demands That Deadbeat Poor People Pay More Taxes
    Fox News countered President Obama’s call for the rich to pay their fair share with a demand that taxes be raised on the poor

    Gretchen Carlson said, “So I think when the president says fair share, I think there’s a couple of points here, and earlier this hour I said I think there should be a disclaimer underneath, which is the reason why we’re putting up this graphic for you. Because if in fact you’re paying tax on ordinary income and you’re in the highest tax bracket then you’re paying thirty some percent, but then if you take that money that you’ve already paid taxes on and you go and invest and you make a profit, a long term profit more than a year of investment, then you pay another fifteen percent on top of it. And by the way, with the fair share argument forty seven percent of Americans don’t pay federal income tax….But that didn’t get into it, but that is also part of the fair share. So if we are going to be fair to everyone, should those people then start paying something?”

    Steve Doocy added, “Kick in a buck. Kick in something.” Brian Kilmeade jumped in with, “And in many cases some are getting refunds on money they haven’t earned for the year come April, so that’s where a lot of that tax money is going.”

    Fox News tried to label most Americans deadbeats who pay no federal income tax, but the truth is that 86% of Americans pay taxes. The group of 14% that pays no taxes is largely made up of senior citizens and disabled people. The 47% figure that Carlson cited was an anomaly that occurred in 2009 because of the combination of the recession and the temporary tax credits in the Obama stimulus.

    The Fox and Friends crew was arguing for a tax system where the wealthy aren’t taxed at all on profit derived from their investments. As we have seen with Mitt Romney, most of the super rich pay less than the income tax rate, because their income is largely comes from investments. Fox News also neglected to mention that President Obama only wants to increase taxes on millionaires and above. Obama is not coming after mom and pop retirement investors. His tax increase is aimed at the wealthy Americans who are using various loopholes to avoid paying their fair share.

    The reality is that poor and middle class Americans are already carrying the vast majority of the total tax burden, but this isn’t good enough for those wealthy Americans who believe that they should not have to pay anything.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Brian Kemp to Barack Obama’s attorney: Skip ballot hearing ‘at your own peril’
    9:38 am January 26, 2012, by jgalloway

    Below the full text of the letter from President Barack Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski of Atlanta, declaring that he will no longer participate in administrative court hearings on a challenge to Obama’s spot on Georgia’s presidential primary ballot.

    In essence, Jablonski is putting the onus on Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican, to intervene and bring a halt to the circus. Jablonski includes a copy of Obama’s live birth certificate.

    Click here to read Kemp’s reply to Jablonksi, which was also released this morning.It includes this line: “If you and your client choose to suspend your participation in the …proceedings, please understand that you do so at your own peril.”

    • EFF Ewe, Brian Kemp

      • Ametia says:

        LMBAO Brang it, MOFO!

      • Pandora:

        NEVER in the History of this Country has an American President has been so disrespected! This is a farce! The ONLY reason why these people (I use that term loosely) want to check to see if President Barack Obama is an American is because he is Black! That is the ONLY reason. Why should he appear in court for a bunch of red neck fools? It has been proven way too many times that he is an American Citizen. I want to see the fools that is requesting this birth certificate. I want to know if they are really American Citizens. If he was not a Black Man this would never happen. He should not show up in court for this crap! Nobody ever requested such documents from President Bush or anyone else that was President, so why now? As a tax paying citizen I have a problem with this. Furthermore as a tax paying citizen and a decent human being I have a MAJOR PROBLEM with the stupid behind judge that is allowing this circus go on. This is crazy. Hell no President Obama should NOT show up in court for this. This is an embarrassment for the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta. That judge should be made to step down from the bench. I can’t stand racist people. Trust me President Obama WILL be elected as President again in November. I will make sure of that! God is good and God placed him there!

  36. rikyrah says:

    The GOP Complains That Obama Has Succeeded Despite Their Obstruction

    State of the Union speeches can be inspiring when the President lays out a specific agenda for the coming year and gives an honest appraisal of the nation’s progress during the previous year. President Obama delivered an inspiring speech that highlighted creating a level economic playing field for all Americans and reiterating how far the country has progressed since he took office. According to a CBS poll, 91% of Americans approved of the President’s State of the Union proposals, but as usual, Republicans railed against Obama’s speech. It was interesting to listen to the Republican official response to see if they conjured up some new approach to governing, but first one had to come to grips with which country Indiana governor Mitch Daniels was pontificating about.

    At first, listening to Daniels brought two questions to mind. Either he lived in a cave off the grid for the past three years, or he is developmentally disabled; a grown man with the intellect of a 3-year-old child, and why was this poor creature dressed in a suit giving a televised speech to a national audience. After reality set in that Governor Daniels is not mentally challenged and knew things a hermit would not, it was apparent his speech was another set of GOP lies about the President. Daniels’ response was suspiciously similar to the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, Americans for Enterprise, and Koch Industries’ mission statements on economic policy and fixes to help the 1% maintain their grip on the country.

    The contrast between Obama’s speech and the Republican response was that the President cited empirical data of his accomplishments and laid out specifics for moving the country forward, and Daniels made generalized accusations based on lies and misinformation. Governor Daniels provided a wealth of lies in his response, but a few stand out that are easily debunked; for those with a strong constitution, the text of Daniels’ response is worth a read.


    The prescient question is; why does every Republican resort to generalized lies about this President’s accomplishments? One might answer; to protect the wealthy, Wall Street, the oil industry, the corporate world, and because Mr. Obama’s is African America and those are all correct. However, the simple answer is Republicans are irked that despite their obstruction and fallacious rhetoric, President Obama succeeded saving the economy Republicans crashed with deregulation and unfunded, out-of-control spending during Bush’s presidency. The underlying tone of Daniels’ response was that President Obama failed to right the economy after Bush-Republican’s economic malfeasance, and achieve full employment in the process. Of course, the President made no such promise, but Republicans are framing the 2012 election on that premise because they have nothing else.

    The Republican response started in January 2009 and Daniels’ speech was a checklist of every uber-conservative think tank and pundit’s complaints about the President. Daniels even used the Koch Industries-inspired tea party meme that Obama is a tyrant who is stifling free enterprise and robbing Americans of their individual liberties. Daniels provided nothing specific, but his coded message to ignorant tea party Republicans was that, “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!”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Angry White Lady Chronicles
    by mistermix

    Here’s Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona asking President Obama for his birth certificate and drivers license when he arrived in Arizona yesterday afternoon. Just kidding: What really happened was that Brewer asked Obama for a meeting and Obama pointed out that after the last meeting in the Oval Office, Brewer lied about it in her book.

    Is there any state that’s had its reputation more tarnished by asinine teabagging than Arizona, and is there a governor in the nation who’s done more, single-handedly, to hurt the reputation of their state than Jan Brewer?

  38. rikyrah says:

    New exhibit explores Jefferson’s slave ownership

    Thomas Jefferson wrote “all men are created equal” to declare U.S. independence from Britain, yet he was also a lifelong slave owner who freed only nine of his more than 600 slaves during his lifetime.

    That contradiction between ideals and reality is at the center of a new exhibit opening Friday as the Smithsonian Institution continues developing a national black history museum. It offers a look at Jefferson’s Monticello plantation in Virginia through the lives of six slave families and artifacts unearthed from where they lived.

    The exhibit, “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty,” was developed with Monticello and will be on view at the National Museum of American History through mid-October. It includes a look at the family of Sally Hemings, a slave. Most historians now believe she had an intimate relationship with the third president and that he fathered her children.

    Museum Director Lonnie Bunch said his staff can test ideas by building exhibits before the National Museum of African American History and Culture is finished.

    It will be the first museum added to the National Mall since 2004. A groundbreaking is planned for Feb. 22, and it’s scheduled to open in 2015 near the Washington Monument.

    Bunch said museum officials want to see how the public responds to subjects, such as slavery, as they try to present history for the widest possible audience.

    Slavery, he said, is still the “last great unmentionable” in public discourse but central in shaping American history.

    “This is a story we know we have to tell, and this is a story we know is going to be difficult and going to be challenging, but this new museum has to tell the story,” he told The Associated Press. “In many ways, the Smithsonian is the great legitimizer, so if we can wrestle with slavery and Jefferson, other people can.”

    A portion of the exhibit devoted to the Hemings-Jefferson story marks the first time the subject has been presented on the National Mall.

    Curators stopped short of making a definitive statement in the exhibit about the relationship, but they wrote that it was likely an intimate one, based on documentary and genetic evidence.

    “On the one hand it’s not a breakthrough for scholars. We’ve known this for a long time,” Bunch said. “I think that the public is still trying to understand it.”

    Many artifacts, including tools and kitchen ceramics, are on public view for the first time, exploring the work and lives of slave families who lived on Jefferson’s plantation. Among the pieces on display is a hand-crafted chair built by John Hemings, Sally Hemings’ brother, to replicate a set of French chairs at Monticello.

    While such items may have been seen by 450,000 people a year at Monticello, they are accessible to millions of visitors at the Smithsonian, curators said.

    In the exhibit, oral histories from descendants of Jefferson’s slaves reveal stories passed down through families for generations, along with detailed records kept by Jefferson.

  39. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012 9:05 PM
    Rescued American’s dad “proud” of the U.S.

    The father of Jessica Buchanan, the American rescued by Navy SEALs in Somalia along with a Danish colleague this weekend, described in an interview with CBS News the two most amazing phone calls he said he has ever received.

    John Buchanan told CBS News one was the call he finally got from his daughter, right after President Obama called following his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

    “She said, ‘Daddy, I love you, and I’ll be fine. I’m OK.’ It was just after, over 93 days and I hadn’t spoken to her. It was pretty amazing and incredible that she’s fine and (the SEAL teams) were able to do something and get her,” Buchanan said. “We’re just extremely grateful to God first, and to the U.S. government. They’ve been great throughout this whole thing – from the first day there were there, supporting us.”

    The families of the two hostages had their own negotiators, who worked in conjunction with the aid organization and the U.S. government, but were independent, Buchanan said. The hostage takers originally contacted the family through the aid organization.

    “They were very difficult on everybody – on her husband, myself, her brother and sister. We got what (the hostage takers) wanted us to know,” Buchanan said.


    Still, he knew that talk of a rescue was in the air.

    “I was sort of getting a picture [of the situation] last week, because we had been getting some bad reports on Jess’s health and I knew what the triggers were for them to intervene,” Buchanan said.


    He said he it was “completely coincidental” that he was in D.C. for meetings – which he said were set up two weeks prior – with the aid organization. He said the State of the Union was “the last thing” on his mind. He was in a hotel room in D.C. with his other daughter, taking calls from relatives, and not paying much attention to the State of the Union broadcast.

    The lead-up to Mr. Obama’s phone call “was very strange, because [White House officials] called, and somebody from the Situation Room called and told me to make sure my phone would be clear for a very important call. It was 40 minutes of not knowing what that call would be. I didn’t know if it was going to be the worst or the best. We were in a hotel, myself and Jessica’s sister. We had concluded a meeting. And so we just waited. A guy came on the phone and said ‘Mr. Buchanan, the next voice you’ll hear will be the President of the United States.’ I said ‘OK.’ I’m thinking ‘this could be some kind of cruel joke.'”

    As it turned out, it was most definitely not a joke.

    “He said, ‘John, this is Barack Obama. I’ve got some really good news for you. Your daughter Jessica has been rescued and evacuated by our SEAL team and she’s on her way home.’ He said he empathized with me, having two daughters, and said something to the effect of how proud he was that our young people would go help these other people.”

  40. rikyrah says:

    Obama team sees Romney damaging self with independents for fall campaign
    By Dan Balz, Published: January 25

    CHICAGO — President Obama’s political advisers have long been preparing for a general-election contest against Republican Mitt Romney. What they have seen of the former Massachusetts governor in the past 30 days makes them think he will enter a fall campaign, if he survives a turbulent nomination battle, significantly weakened by self-inflicted wounds and a major strategic mistake.

    That assessment in no way changes the view from the sixth floor of the Prudential Building here that the president faces major challenges in his bid for a second term. Continuing economic uncertainties, general unrest among the electorate, frustration with the pace of the recovery and the reluctance of independent voters to embrace the president constitute the stiff head winds that Obama and his team are facing.

    The gap between what the president promised and the expectations he created in 2008 and his record of delivering will be at the heart of the Republican argument that he does not deserve a second term.

    But the chaotic Republican race, and the way Romney has dealt with vulnerability and adversity, give those guiding the president’s reelection campaign confidence that, when the general-election campaign begins, the president will hold several advantages over the GOP nominee.

    What has happened to Romney over the past month has not come as a total surprise to Obama’s advisers. Having long ago combed his record as a businessman and cast his profile against the general mood of the country, they thought he was a candidate with major weaknesses that could make it difficult for him to appeal to independent and swing voters.

    At the heart of those perceptions is Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, a private equity firm where he made his fortune. His record there has come under attack in the Republican race, although his advisers say it is a major asset because of the contrast he could draw with the president, who has no real experience in business or with the private economy.

    Obama advisers disagree. They argue that, at a time when many Americans see economic and political systems that appear to be stacked against them, Romney’s decision to base his campaign message on his work at a private equity firm could be a major mistake.

    What Obama’s advisers say they did not anticipate was the degree to which Romney would compound that vulnerability through missteps.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Is presidential race a replay of Reid-Angle?
    By Jon Ralston (contact)

    Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 | 2 a.m.

    Wherever the insurgent and surging Republican candidate went, the name linked to the Democratic incumbent could be heard with a sneer: Saul Alinsky, the leftist community organizer and author of “Rules for Radicals.”

    Ridiculing the Establishment favorite and fading front-runner as insufficiently conservative, the fiery former underdog continued an unlikely march to the nomination.

    And over at Democratic Party headquarters, they high-fived each other over their money already spent to damage the anointed front-runner and their good fortune that the candidate they most wanted to face could actually win.

    I speak not of the 2012 GOP presidential nomination fight between the reanimated Newt Gingrich and the animatronic Mitt Romney but of the 2010 U.S. Senate race between the given-up-for-dead Sharron Angle and the anointed one, Sue Lowden. But the similarities are striking and, perhaps, instructive of what is to come in the race for the White House, explaining both the GOP Brahmin panic and the confetti being unpacked in Chicago and the West Wing.

    No two campaign situations, no matter how similar, are truly alike. Nor do I suggest Newt Gingrich is Sharron Angle — both radical in their non-Alinsky way — or that Mitt Romney is Sue Lowden — both Establishmentarian in their own way.

    But I have for quite some time been amazed at how similar the race dynamics truly are, with a surprising rise by someone considered dead, fueled by an opponent’s blasé performance and unforced gaffes, and turbocharged by a large amount of money from an unexpected source. Sheldon Adelson is not the Tea Party Express, which fueled Angle’s ascension to overtake the moneyed Lowden, but his $10 million for the Gingrich-aligned super PAC has been as essential to Gingrich’s separation from the Bainfully rich Romney.

    Angle invoked Alinsky in 2010 almost as often as Gingrich has this cycle, one of those dog whistles that only a few of the yapping faithful hear but nevertheless a routine part of the campaign patter. Her rise was as surprising as Gingrich’s as she rocketed by Lowden and never looked back — until she crashed to Earth in the general, that is.

    Of all the analogies, though, the one rings the most true and should frighten Republicans the most, no matter how they feel about any of the candidates: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was as dead as Jacob Marley in the run-up to Campaign ’10 and only was resuscitated by a fantastic campaign, perhaps one of the best in American history, and a flawed opponent whom he helped choose by pummeling the favorite during the GOP primary.

    President Obama’s numbers are not quite as upside down as Reid’s were, but the economy, health care reform and general dissatisfaction have made him seem as moribund as Reid seemed at the same time in 2010. All that could revive him was the Republicans playing into his hands and a spectacular ground game to get Democrats out to vote.

    Déjà vu time, folks.

  42. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012
    Of Orwell, Luntz, Berle and Aristophanes
    Mitch Daniels, stand-up comedian:

    It’s not fair and it’s not true for the president to attack Republicans in Congress as obstacles on these [economic] questions. They and they alone have passed bills to reduce borrowing, reform entitlements and encourage new job creation, only to be shot down time and time again by the president and his Democratic Senate allies.

    I gather that Mr. Daniels steals at least some of his ideas from that celebrated comedy writer of ancient yesteryear, Aristophanes, who once poignantly put in the mouth of another wantonly humorous demagogue: “I am the dog, since I bark in your defense.”

    For a mascot the GOP should nix the pachyderm and go with a snarling canine; perhaps one of those “ugliest-dogs-of-the-year” mutts.

  43. rikyrah says:

    January 25, 2012
    I said this only two days ago but I’ll say it again. Mitt Romney is fast becoming as unelectable as Barry Goldwater, George McGovern, or David Duke. He’s not merely imploding; he’s disintegrating.

    From the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll:

    Among independents, Romney’s unfavorable rating now tops 50 percent — albeit by a single point — a first in Post-ABC polling back to 2006. Just two weeks ago, more independents had favorable than unfavorable views of Romney; now, it’s 2 to 1 negative….

    Even “among his fellow Republicans, negative ratings have jumped from 18 to 32 percent.” The even better news? Within his party Romney retains a 58 percent favorable rating — which means they may yet salute him in Tampa.

    Once all the stupefying splendor of Newt Gingrich has passed, the GOP faithful will shudder the confetti, they’ll look around, broodingly, and they’ll resume their … ahem … support of Willard Mitt Romney, that latte-drinking, biscotti-munching, wind-surfing, French-speaking caveman of the Caymans.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Newt Gingrich fires up supporters with promise of conservative revolution

    The former House speaker has been drawing thousands to his rallies in Florida, while rival Mitt Romney is falling flat. Gingrich is surging – and the Republican establishment is worried


    He also conjures up a fantasy about the way the country is being run in which too much regulation of the banks caused the economic crisis and Obama is making it worse by trying to impose “European-style socialism”. It is anti-American, he tells the Sarasota crowd.

    “You always have to wonder when Obama speaks, which country he thinks he’s talking about,” said Gingrich, to shrieks of delight from the audience.

    Newt Gingrich in Sarasota. Photograph: TJ Kirkpatrick/Corbis With Obama, though, it is different to any other president. The undercurrent is not only that Obama does not know his own country but that he is not a real American.

    The attempts to claim that the president was not born in the US – led by bits of Fox News, right wing radio talk show hosts and an East European immigrant dentist in California – have largely been put to rest.

    But the implication of otherness – that Obama is African American, and is also not really of America – is ever present at Gingrich rallies.

    “By the time ex-president Obama lands in Chicago,” he said, imagining the first day of a Gingrich presidency, “we will have dismantled about 40% of his administration”.

    In response, some in the crowd started chanting “Kenya, Kenya” – saying that Obama should go back to where his father, and some say he, was born.

  45. rikyrah says:

    I get so tired of these GOPers trying to do revisionist history on the Civil Rights Movement. Don’t think so, Krispy Kreme.


    Christie says like same-sex marriage, civil rights movement could have been settled through ballot referendum
    Wednesday, 25 January 2012 16:08

    Speaker Oliver calls comment an insult to those who died for civil rights in South

    In a comment related to his call for a voter referendum on the proposal to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday, “People would have been happy to have referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

    The governor, who on Tuesday called for a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot that would ask voters to decide if the state should legalize same-sex marriage, also said he will veto the Democratic legislation to allow it when the proposal reaches his desk.

    The comment that the civil rights movement of the 1960s could have been settled through a national or southern states voter referendum stunned Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex), who became the first African-American woman to head the lower house in 2010.

    “Gov. Christie better sit down with some of New Jersey’s great teachers for a history lesson, because his puzzling comment shows a complete misunderstanding about the civil rights movement,” Oliver said. “It’s impossible to ever conceive that a referendum on civil rights in the South would have been successful and brought justice to minorities. It’s unfathomable to even suggest a referendum would have been the better course.
    “Governor – people were fighting and dying in the streets of the South for a reason,” the Assemblywoman said. “They were fighting and dying in the streets of the South because the majority refused to grant minorities equal rights by any method. It look legislative action to bring justice to all Americans, just as legislative action is the right way to bring marriage equality to all New Jerseyans.

    “The governor’s comment is an insult to those who had no choice but to fight and die in the streets for equal rights,” Oliver said. “The governor needs to show the same courage. We do not shrug off civil rights. We do not pass on tough decisions.”

    Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) also offered criticism of the governor’s comment.

    “It’s difficult to understand what the governor was thinking,” Watson Coleman said. “His words defy history and were extremely insensitive to the struggle for equality of African-Americans and other minorities in this country. Fighting and dying in the streets of the South was not a choice, governor, it was the only way.

  46. rikyrah says:

    I always loved Oleta. I always loved her story.

  47. Ametia says:

    Obama’s rhetorical shift from hope to teamwork
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: January 25

    It was to be expected that, in the course of his State of the Union address, President Obama would mention the killing of Osama bin Laden, whose death represented the culmination of the battle against terrorism that began on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Far less expected was Obama’s use of the bin Laden episode to present a community-minded worldview that contrasts so sharply with the highly individualistic and anti-government message that has been heard over and over from the Republicans seeking to replace him.

  48. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! : -)

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