Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

Happy HUMP day Everybody! Today’s work song is “Working Day and Night.”

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52 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

  1. Oh! Oh!

    CNN suspends commentator Roland Martin over Beckham ad tweets

    After apologizing for what he called a misunderstanding, Roland Martin is out at CNN.

    The network announced Wednesday afternoon that the analyst would be suspended for the foreseeable future.

    VIDEOS: David Beckham’s Underwear Ad and Other Super Bowl Commercials of 2012

    “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” reads the statement. “Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”


  2. Ametia says:

    Pink Razors
    Posted by: Helen Philpot | February 6, 2012

    Margaret, do you remember how angry we were the day we finally realized that women’s legs are not harder to shave than men’s faces, but rather razors made for women can’t hold a candle to those made for men? And the women’s razors are more expensive to boot. I’d like to meet the asshats at Gillette and give them a piece of my mind. Did they really think we wouldn’t mind just because they made the razors pink?

    And speaking of pink, this whole mess with Komen should be a wake-up call to women everywhere. Komen knew damn well that this had nothing to do with mammograms and everything to do with politics. They just thought we wouldn’t notice because the ribbons were pink. They knew what they were getting when they hired Karen Handel. She ran for office in Georgia with a campaign promise to close down Planned Parenthood. Exactly what women’s health clinics did they think we women were using for years before we started racing for a cure? Did they think that the millions of us who had gone to Planned Parenthood before we had health insurance (and even after) weren’t aware of the services we were provided? Trust me. When you go to a place and have a doctor poke around your hoo-ha, you pay attention.

    Nancy Brinker, shame on you. You honestly thought your fellow women were so stupid that we would think your reason for defunding Planned Parenthood was somehow different than the never-ending cry for defunding that comes from the far right every election cycle? Well I am here to tell you that it is bad enough when it comes from the male-dominated, testosterone-filled legislatures. But when it comes from a supposedly apolitical women’s health organization, it’s unforgiveable. Your original intent when you started this organization was noble and I commend you. But honey, you have lost your way. So much so that you were willing to put tens of thousands of women in harm’s way because the Republican party wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

    • It is time women stand up and support those who support them. Boycott KOMEN and make Planned Parenthood women’s number one priority. Planned Parenthood was there for my daughter when she had no Insurance. Politics, religion, some men, especially those GOP Senators, and Catholic Bishops, have no place in, or, control of women’s reproductive system. Women must understand that power originates in the “WOMB.” Women need to vote with their WOMB for those leaders who stand up for their HEALTH AND DIGNITY.

      • Welcome to 3 Chics, Mouth-Wired-Shut!

        Hear! Hear! I salute you! I concur with everything you’ve stated. Women of America need to come together and stand as one on this issue. This is about Women’ Health. We cannot allow these hateful GOP slugs to destroy our health or take control of our lives. We OWN our bodies and we decide!

        PS..Love your avatar!

      • Ametia says:

        LOL Well hi there, MWS. Looks like the wires have been cut, because you’re bringing NOTHING but the TRUTH here.

  3. Ametia says:

    Most of Obama’s “Controversial” Birth Control Rule Was Law During Bush Years

    The right has freaked out over an Obama administration rule requiring employers to offer birth control to their employees. Most companies already had to do that.
    By Nick Baumann
    | Wed Feb. 8, 2012 2:10 PM PS

    President Barack Obama’s decision to require most employers to cover birth control and insurers to offer it at no cost has created a firestorm of controversy. But the central mandate—that most employers have to cover preventative care for women—has been law for over a decade. This point has been completely lost in the current controversy, as Republican presidential candidates and social conservatives claim that Obama has launched a war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church.

    Despite the longstanding precedent, “no one screamed” until now, said Sara Rosenbaum, a health law expert at George Washington University.

    In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

    Wisconsin GOP’s vow of omerta on redistricting busted wide open
    by David Nir

    Leading Off:
    • WI Redistricting: Wow. Remember those documents related to redistricting that Wisconsin Republicans had bitterly resisted sharing with plaintiffs in the pending lawsuit against the new legislative maps? You’ll recall that last month, the three-judge federal panel hearing the case sanctioned the GOP’s attorneys for failing to produce the materials, and excoriated them in the harshest of terms. Well, since any further resistance probably would have meant jail time (I mean, I don’t even really know, but if you’re held in contempt, that’s certainly a possible punishment), Republicans finally caved and forked over the goods.

    And ho-lee sh*t. I’m not even sure I can do justice trying to summarize what they produced, but it all describes a remarkable conspiracy to draw the new maps in utter secrecy and try to protect the process from public scrutiny by covering it with a bogus cloak of attorney-client privilege. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tasked no fewer than three reporters to come to grips with this document dump, and here’s how they lead off:

    As legislative leaders secretly developed new election maps last year to strengthen their majority, Republican lawmakers were told to ignore public comments and instead focus on what was said in private strategy sessions, according to a GOP memo that became public Monday.
    Other newly released documents also show almost all Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the new maps while they were being developed. […]

    “Public comments on this map may be different than what you hear in this room. Ignore the public comments,” the talking points also say.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Bill O’Reilly Disrespects President Obama By Lecturing Him On Humility
    By Jason Easley

    On his Fox News program, Bill O’Reilly claimed that President Obama had nothing to do with saving the auto industry and he needs to be much more humble about success.

    Here is the video from Media Matter

    While talking about the Clint Eastwood Super Bowl ad and the saving of the auto industry, O’Reilly said, “Talking Points also believes that Presidents Bush and Obama did the right thing by propping up some major American corporations that were about to go under. That saved thousands of jobs and if the TARP program had not been authorized, worldwide panic would have been substantial. However, now, now it should be mandatory that all private companies that received taxpayer dollars pay them back. Chrysler should not be strutting around celebrating its recent success, while still owing the taxpayers more than a billion dollars. That’s simply wrong. Also President Obama should be much more humble in touting the success of an economic comeback because it was born on the backs of the working folks. He just ordered the checks sent out. American workers saved the economy, not Mr. Obama and Congress.”

    Obama is responsible for saving thousands of jobs, but according to Bill O’Reilly, he doesn’t actually deserve any of the credit because it was the American workers who really saved the economy. But if the auto industry would have been allowed to fail, those workers wouldn’t have had jobs and thus not been able to save the economy.

    Bill O’Reilly was twisting himself in knots trying to figure out a way not to give Obama any credit for saving the auto industry. Since facts weren’t on his side, Bill-O went with the most convenient all-purpose Obama smear on the Fox News shelf, the claim that President Obama is arrogant. President Obama was criticized up and down by Republicans like Mitt Romney for the bailout, but since it worked, they now have to find a way not to give the president any the credit for it.

    It is the height of arrogance for TV talking head Bill O’Reilly to lecture the President Of The United States that he needs to be more humble, but this is what Obama has been dealing with from the right since he became the Democratic nominee in 2008. White Republicans consistently have placed themselves above the president and have demeaned and lectured him at every turn.

    The idea that Obama lacks humbleness is another bit of racial code put out there by Fox News. (Translation: Don’t vote for the arrogant black man). Could you picture Bill-O lecturing a white Republican president that way? Yeah, me neither, but in the world of Fox News this level of disrespect is how they and their viewers commonly address America’s first African-American president.

    • Ametia says:

      PBO doesn’t give a rat’s ass about O’Lie-ly’s lecturing. Really, he’s got far more to be concerned about then these CRACKA’s, Yeah I said it, incessant dog-whistling, racist, bull shyt.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Why jobs may be Romney’s weakest issue
    By Steve Benen – Wed Feb 8, 2012 2:18 PM EST.

    From the outset, Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign has said it’s his experience as a “job creator” that makes him a strong candidate. In many ways, the spin has it backwards: jobs are arguably Romney’s weakest issue.

    In recent months, thanks in large part to his Republican rivals, Romney’s private sector background has become a major point of contention. He did, after all, become extremely rich orchestrating leveraged buyouts and laying off thousands of American workers at a “vulture capitalist” firm.

    But that’s not Romney’s only experience; he also served one term as governor of Massachusetts, where he was able to put his job-creating ideas into practice. How’d that turn out? As Jia Lynn Yang reports today, not especially well.

    Massachusetts was one of just four states that by the time of the financial crisis still had not recovered all the jobs they had lost during the 2001 recession. […]

    Just one state had a bigger drop in its labor force during the same period, according to Sum — that was Louisiana, which was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    “There was not one measure where the state did well under his term in office. We were below average and often near the bottom,” said Sum, who is also the director of Northeastern’s Center for Labor Market Studies.

    All told, during Romney’s tenure, his state’s record on job creation was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states in job growth. It’s one of the reasons Romney left office after one term deeply unpopular with his constituents.

    Romney supporters can make a plausible case that some of the factors that hurt job creation in Massachusetts — including the dot-com bust — were not the governor’s fault. That’s true. But Romney also says job losses at the national level in early 2009 should be counted against President Obama, even though Obama inherited an economy on the brink of collapse, and that “excuses” don’t count.

    The result is an ugly picture. Romney oversaw mass layoffs in the private sector, and struggled badly to create jobs in the public sector, making it that much more challenging for the likely Republican nominee to connect with voters when unemployment is the top issue on the minds of voters.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Rockier Than You Might Think
    by BooMan
    Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 09:49:47 AM EST

    Nate Silver has some details on just how spectacularly badly Mitt Romney performed in last night’s primary and caucuses. He’s following Hillary Clinton’s trajectory, with wins in New Hampshire, Florida, and Nevada, and losses everywhere else. (I believe Obama actually netted one more delegate out of Nevada, but he lost on the percentages). The take away from last night is less that Romney lost than the thoroughness with which he lost in both Missouri and Minnesota, failing to win a single county in either state. Even when Obama was losing states badly to Clinton, he was winning in the cities and college towns. Romney is weak across the board.

    Romney has now lost in Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri, and his performance in the Midwest is getting worse, not better. He’s banking on winning Michigan, which is where he grew up and where his father served as a fairly popular governor. But I see no signs in the polling data that should give Romney encouragement. You’d think a man nicknamed ‘Mittens’ would be a lock to win the Mitten State, but he’s polling behind Gingrich in Ohio, and he’ll probably be in third place there when the next survey comes out. I think Santorum will focus all his energy on winning over the largely Catholic Reagan Democrats in the Detroit suburbs and leave Arizona for Gingrich to mine.

    The assumption is that Romney can overwhelm his opponents with superior organization and saturation advertising, but that hasn’t worked so far and it might be counterproductive considering that the more people see of Mitt Romney, the less they like him.

    Overall, 55 percent of those who are closely following the campaign say they disapprove of what the GOP candidates have been saying. By better than 2 to 1, Americans say the more they learn about Romney, the less they like him. Even among Republicans, as many offer negative as positive assessments of him on this question.

    It’s also a lot easier for Romney to attack Newt Gingrich than it is for him to attack Rick Santorum. What’s he going to attack him for? Being too religiously conservative? Being too sanctimonious? Blasting him for receiving earmarks is just a big yawner.

    As things stand, I don’t think Mitt Romney will win in Michigan. He has to hope that the media shines a new light on Santorum’s career and some of his more controversial positions and idiosyncrasies, but it’s not easy to exploit Santorum’s weaknesses while simultaneously trying to convince people you’re a conservative. Blasting Romney’s face all over the airwaves doesn’t seem to work, either. But maybe his people can come up with a really effective ad campaign that can pull him through.

    I have less of a feel for Arizona. It seems like a better fit for Romney, and I’m not sure Gingrich has enough left in the tank to get any momentum going. I don’t think Santorum will seriously contest there unless the polls come out showing him in the lead. So, lacking any data or real feel for the conservative electorate there, I can’t predict that Romney will lose Arizona. But he better win, because he can’t afford to get shut out again or the nomination might actually slip out of his grip.

    Romney is supposed to be the nominee because he has the money, organization, endorsements, and temperament that his opponents lack. But it turns out that people don’t like his face, he can’t organize worth a damn, no one cares about endorsements, and his temperament is off-putting. Meanwhile, his money advantage is blunted by the Citizens United ruling that allows Super PACs to keep his opponents going on a shoestring budget. Romney’s advantages have so far turned out to not be advantages after all. Even the conservative media has failed to unite behind him.

    At this point, even if he wins the nomination, which is still the likeliest result, he’ll be several times weaker than Walter Mondale as a general election candidate. He has now entered the danger zone where he faces the real prospect of epic collapse and failure.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The depths of Hannity’s imagination
    By Steve Benen – Wed Feb 8, 2012 1:16 PM EST.

    On his program last night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity talked with Republican pollster Frank Luntz about President Obama’s re-election prospects, and as part of the discussion, the host shared a unique insight into the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May.

    “I think they have a foreign policy that has shown a lot of weakness,” Hannity said. “I know the president will say, ‘We got Bin Laden,’ putting that aside. The public does give him credit for it, but it wouldn’t have happened if he had his way and I think that could be proven as well on tape.”

    Hannity didn’t elaborate about this taped evidence, which is a shame. It’s quite a provocative charge and I’m sure many Americans would love to hear about it.

    The argument seems to be that if Obama “had his way,” the strike on the al Qaeda leader “wouldn’t have happened.” Reality suggests Hannity has no idea what he’s talking about.

    Whereas the Bush/Cheney administration made a conscious, deliberate decision to deemphasize capturing the al Qaeda leader, Obama chose to shift the emphasis back

    [F]rom early in his administration Obama was focused on killing Osama Bin Laden and that he was involved in the process throughout. In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to “provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice” Osama Bin Laden. By August 2010 intelligence officials had identified the suspicious compound where Osama lived.

    It was Obama who instructed the CIA to make targeting bin Laden a top priority, breaking with his predecessor. It was Obama who oversaw five national security meetings to oversee plans for this operation. It was Obama who chose this mission, made final preparations, and gave the order.

    If Hannity has proof to the contrary “on tape,” it’s unclear why he hasn’t aired it.

    Incidentally, in the same segment, the Fox News host said the administration has “manipulated” unemployment data, adding, “They are making these numbers up.”

    This is becoming a popular conspiracy theory in conservative circles, but it’s deeply silly

  9. rikyrah says:

    awe, Greenwald and his ilk has a sad:


    Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 02/08/2012
    Liberals, Dems approve of drone strikes on American citizens abroad
    By Greg Sargent
    The Post has just released some new polling that demonstrates very strong support for Obama’s counterterrorism policies, including 83 percent of Americans approving of his use of drone strikes against terror suspects overseas.

    This finding, however, is particularly startling:

    What if those suspected terrorists are American citizens living in other countries? In that case do you approve or disapprove of the use of drones?
    Approve: 65
    Disapprove: 26

    The number of those who approve of the drone strikes drops nearly 20 percent when respondents are told that the targets are American citizens. But that 65 percent is still a very big number, given that these policies really should be controversial.

    And get this: Depressingly, Democrats approve of the drone strikes on American citizens by 58-33, and even liberals approve of them, 55-35. Those numbers were provided to me by the Post polling team.

    It’s hard to imagine that Dems and liberals would approve of such policies in quite these numbers if they had been authored by George W. Bush.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:14 PM ET, 02/07/2012
    On gay marriage, Mitt Romney veers hard to the right
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney, in a statement just now blasting the court’s ruling of Proposition 8 as unconstitutional:

    Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

    That note about judges who interpret the Constitution according to their own “prejudices” — is that a reference to the fact that the judge on the case was gay, which was cited by Prop 8 supporters as proof of his bias? Naah, probably not. A major party presidential candidate would never go there.

    This statement is obviously about appealing to the GOP primary electorate. But you’d think this would only provide Romney’s primary opponents with an occasion to remind those voters that back in 1994, he envisioned a world in which “full equality” reigned for gays and lesbians and said he’d be better on gay rights than Ted Kennedy:

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:55 AM ET, 02/08/2012
    The Morning Plum: Romney can’t close the deal
    By Greg Sargent
    They don’t like him. They really don’t like him.

    Mitt Romney’s surprising trio of losses to Rick Santorum in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado shows once again that he simply can’t get core GOP constituencies to come to terms with him as the party’s nominee. Nate Silver does the dive into the numbers:

    Mr. Romney has had deep problems so far with the Republican base, going 1-for-4 in caucus states where turnout is dominated by highly conservative voters. Mr. Romney is 0-for-3 so far in the Midwest, a region that is often decisive in the general election. He had tepid support among major blocks of Republican voters like evangelicals and Tea Party supporters, those voters making under $50,000 per year, and those in rural areas.

    Meanwhile, polls show that a large number of Republicans have tepid enthusiasm for their field. And this has been reflected in the turnout so far, which is down about 10 percent from 2008 among Republican registrants and identifiers.

    These are not the hallmarks of a race with a dominant candidate.

  12. rikyrah says:

    February 08, 2012
    The unmistakable trend

    It is prudent to dismiss single swing-state polls, such as Quinnipiac’s this morning, “showing Barack Obama with his first lead of the 2012 campaign over Mitt Romney in Virginia,” just as it is prudent to dismiss single national polls, such as the Washington Post-ABC News’s this week, which revealed that “President Obama for the first time holds a clear edge over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.”

    It would be foolish, however, to dismiss what these polls are saying in the aggregate, especially given the additional, suggestive evidence of lower turnout in Republican primaries, an indication of a pronounced dispiritedness among the most piously cantankerous, get-off-my-lawn party faithful. And what this suggestive convergence is beginning to scream is: They’re going down.

    Earlier this morning I heard the National Journal’s Major Garrett, speaking on MSNBC, say he couldn’t really account for this primary season’s overall diminished turnout. Well, I can’t say with any epistemological precision that I in fact know, but I would say that hazarding the above guess is becoming less and less hazardous.

    Miracles still occur. And by that I mean that in this presidential cycle I think the GOP base has been as keenly self-aware as assorted GOP luminaries; which is to say, Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie and Haley Barbour, all of whom would have been far superior candidates to Mitt Romney, said, “No thanks.” Shocking, I know, but they said “no thanks” not because of a deep and enduring love of their families, but because they did the math, they calculated the odds, and they concluded they couldn’t win — not, anyway, against a President Obama. The base, although not yet exhibiting symptoms of situational depression, was calculating roughly the same. We now see the symptoms vividly, in turnout.

    One clarification, or maybe it’s just a bit housekeeping. I have suggested here, from time to time, that I anticipate a “crushing” Obama victory. And by that I have meant, regrettably without being more specific, an imposing victory in the electoral — not popular vote — count. In 2008 Barack Obama won with less than 53 percent of the popular vote, but racked up a crushing 68 percent of the electoral count. And as he makes inroads (or re-inroads) in swing states like Virginia — cautiously, prudently weighed, of course — I’d say he’s well on his way to an encore performance.

  13. rikyrah says:

    February 08, 2012
    Agent ‘Mongo’ Romney

    Politico headlines it, “Rick Santorum roars back,” and Bill Kristol is characteristically agog with vast strategic visions for neocon Rick and the latter’s adviser John Brabender tells “NBC’s John Harwood that Missouri proved Romney can be beaten in a one-on-one fight” and the Washington Post declares that “Santorum proved three things:”

    1) That Romney can lose
    2) That he can beat Romney head-to-head under the right set of circumstances
    3) That this race isn’t yet over

    Horse manure. Rick Santorum merely failed to heed Gene Wilder’s advice to Cleavon Little: “No, don’t do that, don’t do that, if you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.”

    Or think of Mitt Romney as the FBI’s organized crime unit, or as some defense agency with a fleet of drone predators. Both detect emerging threats and rising stars — second-tier hooligans out to make a name for themselves, to become a “Somebody”; they see their bad selves as tomorrow’s newest and hippest crime boss, or as Osama’s replacement; they commit the fatal error of making a splash, of being noticed. Radar sceeens light up with that singular blip and Agent Mongo moves in. Kaboom. The carpet bombing commences. Another decapitation.

    Or, if you prefer, think of Romney himself as the crime boss. Because last night he spoke the scariest, Corleonelike words in the English language; he congratulated the religious right’s caporegime, and “wish[ed] him the very best.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    The return of Culture Warrior Mitt
    By Steve Benen – Wed Feb 8, 2012 10:43 AM EST.

    It’s easy to forget, but the iteration of Mitt Romney we see in 2012 is by no means similar to the 2008 version. If Romney 1.0 was an independent who distanced himself from Reagan, and Romney 2.0 was a moderate Republican with sensible positions on social issues and health care, Romney 3.0 was a social conservative who cared deeply about the culture war.

    It was that third version who sought the Republican nomination four years ago, working under the assumption that this wing of the party would never accept John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, so he could be the far-right standard bearer.

    For the 2012 race, Romney has moved on to a yet another persona — version 4.0 is an outsider businessman, representing the GOP establishment and the top 1% — but that doesn’t mean he’s unwilling to try on his old costumes from time to time.

    Emmanuel Dunand / AFP – Getty Images
    With Rick Santorum positioning himself as a credible rival, and Newt Gingrich baiting Romney “into a discussion of religious values,” we’re getting another look at a facade we haven’t seen in a while: Culture Warrior Mitt.

    Consider Romney’s message of late:

    On marriage equality, Romney, who used to be a moderate on LGBT issues, was disgusted by yesterday’s Prop 8 ruling in California: “That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

    On Planned Parenthood, Romney is not only eager to cut off the health organization from all public funding, he endorsed Komen for the Cure’s original decision to eliminate grants to Planned Parenthood. (Romney attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Massachusetts in 1994.)

    On contraception, Romney is investing a great deal of energy in attacking the Obama administration over its decision to characterize contraception as preventive care in all health insurance plans. That Romney used to agree with Obama has apparently been forgotten.

    On religion in public life, Romney has begun adding more faith talk in his stump speech, as evidenced by an appearance in Colorado yesterday. “When they wrote the Declaration of Independence, they chose their words with care,” Romney said. “The state did not endow us with our rights, nor did the king. Instead, the Creator endowed us with our rights.”

    Whether social-conservative voters buy any of this remains to be seen. Romney’s Mormon faith, which is a deal-breaker for some evangelicals, and the fact that he used to be a pro-choice moderate a few versions ago, makes it a tough sell. But if the race for the Republican nomination becomes a protracted fight, don’t be surprised if Culture Warrior Mitt sticks around for a while.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Negative: Where Mitt Romney Goes From Here
    Evan McMorris-Santoro February 8, 2012, 10:22 AM

    As Newt Gingrich has proven — twice — you don’t embarrass Mitt Romney without suffering consequences. And so, now that Rick Santorum has swept Romney in three primary contests in one night, you can expect Romney’s negative ad firehose to be trained on the former Senator from Pennsylvania.

    Viewers and voters in Arizona and Michigan — sites of the next two primary contests on Feb. 28 — can expect to be bombarded with anti-Santorum ads from the Romney campaign and its massively-funded super PAC, Restore Our Future. As we saw in both Florida and Iowa, this is a powerful combination that turned back Gingrich’s surging poll numbers.

    What will the attacks look like? On Wednesday morning, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom signaled the likely coming wave.

    “Whether you’re talking about Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, they’re really two peas in a pod,” Ferhnstrom told MSNBC. “Longtime Washington [figures] who never really left Washington after their legislative careers ended.”

    So there you have it: Rick Santorum, Washington Insider. Get used to hearing that phrase.

    This is a similar line of attack to the one Romney used on Santorum back in Iowa, when the two fought it out in the final days before ending the caucus race in essentially a dead heat. Romney’s team returned to many of the same themes a couple days ago when they first made it clear that Santorum was in their sights once again.

    It’s worth noting at this point that these three were the first contests not characterized by massive negative attack ad campaigns by Team Romney. Don’t expect his ad buyers to make the same mistake twice.

    But Romney has more on his side than just attack ads heading into the next two contests. Michigan is where his father made his political career and is Romney’s childhood state. Way back in September — when Rick Perry was still his main foe — Romney crushed the field in a closely-watched Michigan straw poll. The current TPM Poll Average shows Romney with a healthy lead.

    Polls tell the same story in Arizona, where a sizable Mormon population could also help Romney win. It’s also a border state, and Romney’s most pure conservative credential is on the subject of illegal immigration. So look to hear a lot about “amnesty.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Even Bigger Problem
    Josh Marshall February 8, 2012, 9:28 AM

    Even before Mitt Romney hit that big pothole out West last night, he was already hitting a pretty bad trend in the probable national matchup coming this Fall. Just what’s driving it is not totally clear. Or rather, it’s not clear which of several probable culprits are most to blame. But it’s a good bet that it’s a mix of the Bain/tax rate issue, a series of gaffes and more than anything the perception of a rebounding economy and rising opinions of President Obama.

    So let’s look at the numbers. For some time, President Obama has been running just a hair’s breadth ahead of Romney. But starting a little more than a week ago the two started separating and the current TPM Poll Average has President Obama with an almost 7 point lead over Romney, in other words a real lead.

    Here’s the trend chart for the year to date.

    As you can see, the shift comes about a week ago. It is mainly reliant on polls from three organizations: ABC/WaPo, Ipsos/Reuters and somewhat surprisingly Rasmussen. And it’s just recent. So you really need more data to have real confidence that this is a new direction in the campaign as opposed a mere blip.

    But the trend is backed up by a series of other trends that have become very visible over the last few weeks. One example is the favorability rating of both candidates. Until quite recently Romney was the only Republican contender with a net positive favorability rating. But since the beginning of year his net favorability number, according to the TPM Poll Average, has ballooned to more than a 17 point deficit. In contrast, President Obama’s net favorability rating is a net positive 5 points according to the TPM Poll Average.

    Next we have what is likely the most important metric of the campaign: President Obama’s Job Approval rating. (Job Approval rating is different from favorability.) Here President Obama has been underwater for most of the last two years, with a couple brief exceptions tied to major news events. His disapproval peaked during the debt ceiling debacle. But it’s been tracking up ever since. And he appears to be close to moving back into positive territory. Our trend analysis still has him just above one in negative territory. But over the last few days several polling organizations have had him in positive territory for the first time in months or years.

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Romney’s Even Bigger Problem
    share close StumbleUpon Instapaper Reddit digg Josh Marshall February 8, 2012, 9:28 AM 8000Even before Mitt Romney hit that big pothole out West last night, he was already hitting a pretty bad trend in the probable national matchup coming this Fall. Just what’s driving it is not totally clear. Or rather, it’s not clear which of several probable culprits are most to blame. But it’s a good bet that it’s a mix of the Bain/tax rate issue, a series of gaffes and more than anything the perception of a rebounding economy and rising opinions of President Obama.

    So let’s look at the numbers. For some time, President Obama has been running just a hair’s breadth ahead of Romney. But starting a little more than a week ago the two started separating and the current TPM Poll Average has President Obama with an almost 7 point lead over Romney, in other words a real lead.

    Here’s the trend chart for the year to date.

    As you can see, the shift comes about a week ago. It is mainly reliant on polls from three organizations: ABC/WaPo, Ipsos/Reuters and somewhat surprisingly Rasmussen. And it’s just recent. So you really need more data to have real confidence that this is a new direction in the campaign as opposed a mere blip.

    But the trend is backed up by a series of other trends that have become very visible over the last few weeks. One example is the favorability rating of both candidates. Until quite recently Romney was the only Republican contender with a net positive favorability rating. But since the beginning of year his net favorability number, according to the TPM Poll Average, has ballooned to more than a 17 point deficit. In contrast, President Obama’s net favorability rating is a net positive 5 points according to the TPM Poll Average.

    Next we have what is likely the most important metric of the campaign: President Obama’s Job Approval rating. (Job Approval rating is different from favorability.) Here President Obama has been underwater for most of the last two years, with a couple brief exceptions tied to major news events. His disapproval peaked during the debt ceiling debacle. But it’s been tracking up ever since. And he appears to be close to moving back into positive territory. Our trend analysis still has him just above one in negative territory. But over the last few days several polling organizations have had him in positive territory for the first time in months or years.

    Here’s the trend for the last 24 months.

    The bigger picture seems to be driven by two basic factors: Obama being lifted by a rising economy and a series of negative stories about Romney (gaffes, Bain, 15% tax rate, questions about core beliefs) that are making the public like him less the more they see him. Regardless of the situation in the primaries, if Romney can’t bet everything on a bad economy, he’s in serious need of a Plan B for November.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Wonkbook: Santorum proves money isn’t everything
    Posted by Ezra Klein at 07:58 AM ET, 02/08/2012

    At this point, Rick Santorum has won four primaries or caucuses, and Mitt Romney has won three. Santorum continues to trail Romney in the delegate count, but in terms of actually winning contests, he’s ahead of the putative frontrunner.

    One lesson to draw from that: Money ain’t everything. Because Mitt Romney has money. Mitt Romney has lots of money. Between the resources of the Romney campaign and the Romney-allied SuperPACs, Santorum isn’t even competitive. And since Romney also gets more free media, Santorum, by this point, should pretty much be out of the game. But he’s not. And that’s because money — and even media — ain’t everything.

    Efforts to rigorously assess the role of money in campaigns have been largely foiled by a particularly difficult correlation/causation problem: Do good candidates raise lots of money, or do candidates who raise lots of money end up looking like good candidates? The answer political scientists have come too is, well, that it’s a bit of both. “Candidates who raise a lot of money tend to do better, and it’s more likely than not that at least part of this relationship is due to money paying for things like ads and canvassers,” writes Andrew Therriault in a review of the literature on this topic. But “in most cases, a much-despised incumbent with a lot of money is in a worse position than a much-liked incumbent with very little money.”

    In other words, all else being equal, it’s better to have lots of money than not enough money. But in politics, all else is rarely equal. And the “all else” can sometimes matter more. It’s clear, for instance, that there are a large number of Republican voters who just don’t really want to vote for Romney. Indeed, his money might even be proving a little counterproductive. It’s so well known that he’s backed by massive superPACs, and it’s so widely reported that the superPACs are going aggressively negative, that it’s led to some bad media coverage for the Romney campaign. It’s likely part of why voters say, by a 2-to-1 margin, that the more they hear about Romney, the less they like him.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Santorum Escapes Mitt’s Moneybags, for Now
    By Jonathan Chait

    Assessing the importance of Rick Santorum’s shocking sweep is a very tricky thing. On the one hand, you want to dismiss the potential for a lasting Santorum surge, because there have been so many fleeting surges before — Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Pat Sajak, and the corpse of Chiang Kai-Shek are all among the figures who, if my now-faulty memory serves correctly, have led in the polls at some point during this race. So that leads back to the comfort of certainty that Mitt Romney will ultimately triumph. On the other hand, the other consistent pattern is that everybody has been frequently wrong about this race, and by “everybody” I mean, in particular, myself.

    I have believed all along that Romney is an extremely vulnerable front-runner who could be beaten by any competent challenger. But no competent challenger has emerged. We’re left with a third-stringer like Santorum.

    Now, Santorum has some attributes. Republicans like him fine. He has consistently had high favorable ratings but lost mainly because voters didn’t consider him a contender — a cycle of failure every long-shot contender struggles to escape, but with the right spark can potentially be transformed into a cycle of success.

    His more serious failing is a lack of money. Santorum swept Romney last night for the same reason Gingrich crushed him in South Carolina: Romney and his allies complacently sat back rather than spending their challengers into the ground. In his victory speech last night, Santorum explicitly cited this as a reason for his victory. “Tonight we had an opportunity to see what a campaign looks like when one candidate isn’t outspent five- or ten-to-one by negative ads impugning their integrity and distorting their record,” he said. His point was a sophisticated one: This offered a “more accurate representation” of what the general election would look like — Romney won’t enjoy that kind of crushing financial edge over Obama — and, thus, a reason to nominate Santorum instead.

  19. Ametia says:


  20. rikyrah says:

    08-02-2012 09:55 AM
    DeMint: GOP Is Losing The Payroll Tax Cut Battle
    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is publicly conceding that Republicans are losing the politics of the payroll tax cut battle and have found themselves in a no-win situation.

    The staunch conservative’s remarkable admission comes by way of the New York Times:

    But many Republicans seemed to fear that the battle had already been lost. Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, said the Republicans should never have accepted the payroll tax cut in 2010 when President Obama pushed it as a condition for extending President George W. Bush’s expiring tax cuts. “Now Republicans have our backs against the wall,” Mr. DeMint said. “We can’t win the argument. We’re going to have to go on to something else.”
    The bipartisan, bicameral negotiations hit a wall this week.

  21. Ametia says:

    Go to Field Negro and read this important piece

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012
    The “Southern Strategy” never gets old.

  22. Ametia says:

    You go Latina Woman! Bet the wingnuts heads are exploding over the SC Justice speaking Spanish on Seasame Street. BWA HA HAAAAAAAAAA

  23. Ametia says:

    Check out Kareem’s book on African American History, ya’ll. His site is amazing!

    You can order here:

  24. rikyrah says:

    Why South Carolina’s Voter ID Suit Could Be Bound For The Supreme Court
    Ryan J. Reilly February 8, 2012, 6:05 AM

    Paul Clement is the former Solicitor General of the United States and the guy conservatives go to when there’s a Supreme Court case on the line.

    So it’s not surprising that it was Clement’s signature that ended up on the complaint filed on behalf of the state of South Carolina this week, in a suit against Attorney General Eric Holder over DOJ’s decision to block the state’s voter ID law because of the disparate impact the state’s numbers show it will have on minority voters.

    It’s a suit that supporters hope will not only enshrine South Carolina’s voter ID requirement as the unquestioned law of the state, but that will also do away with federal restrictions placed on states like South Carolina because of their clear history of racial discrimination.

    The suit has been in the works for awhile, with South Carolina announcing their intention to take their case to court nearly a month ago, following DOJ’s Dec. 23 decision to block what the state calls a “voting-fraud prevention legislation.”

    Clement didn’t respond to TPM’s interview request, but Clement’s signature alongside that of South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is a signal that some conservatives hope this will be the case that kills Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

    Under Section 5 of the VRA, states like South Carolina that have a history of racial discrimination are required to have changes to their voting laws precleared by either Justice Department lawyers or by a panel of judges in D.C. The measure was originally supposed to be temporary when the act first passed in 1965 but was again extended by Congress in 2006 and isn’t due to sunset until 2031.

    The complaint South Carolina filed Tuesday doesn’t take on Section 5 directly, but the constitutionality issue does come up. Clement’s brief argues that South Carolina is barred from implementing a law “almost-identical” to a law passed in a state not covered by Section 5 “solely because it is covered by Section 5—based on nearly 50-year-old evidence of discrimination that was remedied long ago.”

    South Carolina argues in the lawsuit that photo ID measures “are not a bar to voting but a temporary inconvenience no greater than the inconvenience inherent in voting itself.” The state argues that that provisions of the law which provide for exemptions to the rule (if a voter has a religious objection to having their photo taken, for example) help “render any temporary disparity in the racial composition of the group of individuals without qualifying voter IDs entirely transitory and mitigate any minor inconveniences placed upon the voters.”

    Law professor Rick Hasen wrote that South Carolina’s suit, to his surprise, does not raise “directly or forcefully” the Section 5 constitutionality issue. “Paragraph 36 raises a constitutional avoidance argument, but this is much less confrontational than I expected given Gov. Haley and others’ language against the DOJ decision,” he wrote.

    Samuel R. Bagenstos, who formerly served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, said that the entire point of legislation that applies to only some states (such as Section 5) is that “it will sometimes make conduct unlawful in those states that would be lawful in others.”

    The remedy, Bagenstos wrote, “can’t be to ‘interpret[]’ or ‘constru[e]’ Section 5 so that it never creates the situation in which conduct is unlawful in covered states when it is lawful in others.”

    “To do so is to effectively decide that Section 5 is unconstitutional without going through the necessary analysis — or having the guts — to actually come out and say the statute is unconstitutional,” he wrote in an email.

    DOJ has yet to make a decision about a voter ID law in Texas because they said the state hadn’t provided enough information for them to determine whether the law had a discriminatory impact. But Texas went ahead and sued the government in an attempt to force them to approve their law.

    While the government has yet to respond to the suit from Texas, civil rights lawyer J. Gerald Hebert has intervened on behalf of Texas voters who say they would be disenfranchised by the law. Texas residents Eric Kennie, Anna Burns, Michael Montez, Penny Pope, Marc Veasy, Jane Hamilton, David de la Fuente, Lorraine Birabil, Daniel Clayton, and Sergio DeLeon all said they “potentially will be impaired and impeded in the protection of their rights” if the voter ID law passed. Some of the individuals say they don’t have the form of photo ID covered under the law, others say that the name in the voter registration database contains a different form of their names.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Payroll tax fight to go down to the wire
    By Steve Benen – Wed Feb 8, 2012 9:51 AM EST.

    Senators were warned yesterday that if they let the payroll tax break expire at the end of the month, the burgeoning economic recovery will take a “very sharp” hit.

    Congressional Republicans may very well let it happen anyway.

    After a bitter fight in December, GOP leaders accepted a two-month extension of the payroll cut, giving policymakers a new deadline — Feb. 29, three weeks from today — to agree to a year-long deal. As of mid-January, the prospects for an agreement looked pretty good, in large part because Republicans didn’t want to be on the hook for a middle-class tax increase in an election year.

    Striking an acceptable deal, however, is proving to be far more difficult than even some of the key officials expected

    Members of the payroll conference committee fought to a draw in their fourth public meeting Tuesday, making no progress toward finding a way to pay for a payroll tax holiday and dimming the prospects that a deal can be struck by the month’s end.

    A Senate Democratic offer on unemployment insurance issues is in the works, and Members said they want to pick up the pace of the talks. But — barring a major breakthrough in the next few days, Members acknowledged — the latest high-stakes negotiation in a year of botched cross-party talks will go the way of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction: abject failure.

    “I was very discouraged after today’s session,” conferee Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said. “We may be facing what Congress has faced every step of the way — in the super committee, on the debt ceiling.”

    In each of the previous fights, a bipartisan agreement proved to be impossible because Republican lawmakers were unwilling to make concessions as part of a larger compromise.


    At issue is package with a price tag of nearly $200 billion, which would include a payroll tax cut for the rest of the year, an extension of emergency unemployment benefits, and the Medicare “doc fix” on physician reimbursements. As is always the case, the fight between Democrats and Republicans is over how best to pay for the bill.

  26. rikyrah says:

    R-Money’s Attack Dog
    by Anne Laurie

    In the New Yorker, the invaluable Jane Mayer explains how “the creator of the Willie Horton ad is going all out for Mitt Romney“:

    Romney, unlike the remaining Republican candidates, has served no time in Washington. Yet he’s relying on a media offensive managed by operatives who have long been at the heart of Washington’s Republican attack machine. One of the leaders of this advertising war is Larry McCarthy, a veteran media consultant best known for creating the racially charged “Willie Horton ad,” which, in 1988, helped sink Michael Dukakis, the Democratic nominee for President.

    McCarthy, who is fifty-nine, helps direct the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future, one of the hundreds of new Super PACs—technically independent political-action committees set up by supporters of the candidates—that are dramatically reshaping the Presidential election. PACs have existed since the nineteen-forties, but for decades an individual donation was limited to five thousand dollars. The power of PACs increased exponentially in 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled that corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals could spend without limit—and pool their money in PACs—to influence elections, as long as they didn’t fund candidates directly. Super PACs have already injected fifty-six million dollars into the 2012 race, most of it going to negative advertising. Restore Our Future has spent seventeen million dollars—more than any other PAC—and fifteen million of that has gone to producing and airing ads made by McCarthy’s firm, McCarthy Hennings Media. By contrast, Romney’s official campaign has spent only eleven million on ads. The Super PAC is technically fighting a proxy battle on behalf of Romney, but in practice it has become the head warrior…

    “He doesn’t crave the limelight,” Cliff Shannon, the chief of staff for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas, says. Shannon became office friends with McCarthy in the nineteen-seventies, when McCarthy was just out of Georgetown University, and they were both working as political aides for Senator John Heinz, of Pennsylvania. “You won’t find him on Fox morning news. He’s not in this for fame and fortune—though I’m sure he’s glad he’s made money. It’s about the work.”

    And yet, this media ninja assassin is no humble cenobite:

    According to one media consultant, the best in the business earn about four million dollars a year, which is more than most lobbyists and law partners make. Typically, seventy per cent of every political dollar raised in a Presidential campaign is spent on “media buys.” Campaign consultants don’t disclose their finances, but they typically charge clients seven per cent of a project’s media budget, in addition to taking consulting and production fees. Pollsters, by comparison, get only two per cent of the media budget, and campaign managers just one…

    This year is likely to be McCarthy’s most profitable yet. It is predicted that total spending on television advertising in the Presidential race will reach two billion dollars. Both sides are well armed; though the Democrats trail the Republicans in Super PAC funds, Obama’s official campaign currently has twice as much money as Romney’s. Walter Shapiro recently argued in Washington Monthly that “the real crisis facing American politics” is not just the degradation of debate caused by such political air wars; it is “what elected officials have to do to raise the money to pay for those ads.” He concluded, “Gradually falling under the sway of big-time campaign donors is inevitable.”…

    It’s well worth reading the entire article; McCarthy seems to have been associated with all the dirtest of the many dirty GOP campaigns during the past 25 years. Perhaps it’s for the best that Mayer’s article has been posted when the debate over President Obama ‘endorsing’ Super PAC donations is fresh; it includes the ominous sentence “Though both parties are outsourcing their dirty work to Super PACs this year, the main PAC supporting President Barack Obama, Priorities U.S.A. Action, has raised less than half the money collected by Restore Our Future.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    GOP turnout troubles continue
    By Steve Benen – Wed Feb 8, 2012 8:45 AM EST.

    While votes were still being tallied last night, the New York Times’ Micah Cohen set the turnout benchmarks for the three contests by pointing to the 2008 numbers:

    Here are the turnout numbers for Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri from 2008 (delegates were actually at stake in Missouri’s 2008 primary, while this year’s primary is non-binding, so the comparison isn’t really fair):

    Minnesota caucus – 62,828

    Colorado caucus – 70,229

    Missouri primary – 588,844

    So, what were the totals last night? In Minnesota, with nearly all of the precincts reporting, 47,826 Republicans participated in the caucuses, down about 23% from four years ago.

    In Colorado, with all of the precincts reporting, 65,479 GOP voters showed up, a drop of nearly 7% from the 2008 totals.

    And in Missouri’s non-binding primary, with all of the precincts reporting, turnout stood at 251,868. That’s quite a few for a primary dismissed as a “beauty pageant,” though as Cohen noted, the comparison is admittedly flawed.

    Nevertheless, we can start to take some larger lessons away from the larger trajectory. For one thing, none of this makes Mitt Romney look especially impressive — he’s losing states he won four years ago; he’s struggling to get his supporters to participate; and he’s failing badly to match his 2008 vote totals at this stage in the process. It’s starting to look like Romney only wins when he spends several million dollars on attack ads to destroy his main challenger.

    For another, this is part of a pattern. As was reported on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Monday night, if we look just at self-identifying Republicans in the exit polls, turnout dropped 11% in Iowa, 15% in New Hampshire, and 16% in Florida. Though turnout in South Carolina was strong, it’s proving to be the exception, as evidenced by additional weak numbers in Nevada and in yesterday’s contests.


    To reiterate a point from the weekend, this is not at all what Republican leaders anticipated. On the contrary, GOP officials in the states and at the national level assumed the exact opposite would happen.

    Remember, Republican turnout was supposed to soar in these early contests because of the larger circumstances.

    GOP voters are reportedly eager, if not foaming-at-the-mouth desperate, to fight a crusade against President Obama, and they had plenty of high-profile candidates trying to stoke their enthusiasm.

    This, coupled with the boost from the so-called Tea Party “movement,” suggested energized Republicans would turn out in numbers that far exceeded the totals we saw in 2008, when GOP voters were depressed and it was Democrats who enjoyed the bulk of the excitement.

    But in nearly all of the contests thus far, that hasn’t happened.

    The last thing party leaders wanted to see was evidence of a listless, uninspired party, underwhelmed by their field of candidates. Republicans probably won’t fret publicly, but the turnout numbers should give party leaders pause.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012
    Your Tainted Love Of Polls
    Posted by Zandar
    As I mentioned last night on Twitter, Team Romney is furious with this week’s Washington Post/ABC poll, because it dares to show President Obama might actually win.

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is publicly arguing that the methodology of a WaPo/ABC poll tainted its finding that his national numbers are tanking. However, polling experts who talked to TPM say that the survey is in line with a broad set of evidence that Romney’s general election appeal is declining — even if the poll’s approach is less than ideal.

    The poll in question couldn’t have looked much worse for Romney’s presidential hopes. While it indicated he was still strong in the primary, his national numbers showed a rapid fall with Obama leading him 51-45 among registered voters. Romney pollster Neil Newhouse says these top line numbers should be disregarded because the question came after a series of queries referencing various recent stories surrounding Romney, including whether voters think his wealth is a positive or negative, whether they think he did more to create or cut jobs at Bain Capital, whether they feel his 14% tax rate is fair, and whether his Mormon religion affects their views of his candidacy.

    “The poll introduced specific negative information about Governor Romney immediately prior to asking the ballot match-up against President Obama,” Newhouse wrote. “While I certainly understand the difficulty of designing a questionnaire to learn as much information as possible about a campaign, and the compromises that sometimes have to be made, the questionnaire design used by the Post/ABC Poll in this case is seriously flawed.”

    Only one problem: the right’s favorite pollster, Scott Rasmussen, says President Obama will most likely be re-elected.

    Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports predicted on Monday that President Barack Obama would win the 2012 election if the economy continued to improve.

    The latest Rasmussen poll showed Obama with a 7 point lead over the Republican frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    “The trends are moving in President Obama’s direction,” Rasmussen said during an appearance on Fox Business. “Consumer confidence this morning is at the highest level in more than a year, and by the way it is getting near the highest level of the past four years. A plurality of investors now think the economy is getting better.”

    Folks, if even Rasmussen is finding that President Obama has a lead over Romney, the argument that “polls are all biased if I’m losing!” is not only stupid, but delusional. It’s pretty clear that Team Romney is not going to be able to handle the general election with anything approaching competence.

  29. rikyrah says:

    one of the best comments ever!:

    Since I have been working the Komen beat almost exclusively, I have been remiss in pointing out that I fear that Barack Obama will in all likelihood be facing a socially maladroit charisma-challenged gaffe-prone filthy rich religious cultist who claims to be middle-class and unemployed, holds no deeply held belief that couldn’t be swayed by a stiff breeze, enjoys making money by dismantling businesses, firing the employees and shipping their jobs overseas and then taking that money and stashing it in off-shore tax havens and who has recently been spending tens of millions of dollars fending off the likes of Newt Fucking Gingrich and Rick Fucking Santorum because, even faced with those horrible choices, most Republicans still find him as palatable as a semen-flavored popsicle.


  30. rikyrah says:

    February 07, 2012 4:35 PM

    “Dynamic Scoring” Rears Its Ugly Little Head
    By Ed Kilgore

    One of the crankiest of long-standing conservative demands has been for “dynamic scoring” in federal budget estimates. To make a long, tedious story short, “dynamic scoring” would incorporate supply-side assumptions about the growth-generating magic of tax cuts into official budget estimates, enabling conservatives to evade the deficit-boosting implications (and various congressional barriers that come along with them) of their pet proposals for reducing the tax burden of “job creators.”

    The ever-intrepid Bruce Bartlett notes at the New York Times’ Economix blog that with no real fanfare, the House passed a resolution requiring “dynamic scoring” as a sidebar to the Congressional Budget Office’s conventional reports. As you might expect, the new report will be “fair and balanced” only in the Fox News sense of the term:

    [T]he House-passed legislation would not require a dynamic estimate for appropriations bills, no matter how large. Republicans want the world to know that tax cuts expand real G.D.P., the capital stock and labor supply, but if spending has any such effect they don’t want anyone to know. Implicitly, Republicans want everyone to think that spending never raises growth because it’s their dogma.

    But in the real world, everyone knows that government investments in the national highway system, medical and other scientific research, and other programs unquestionably add to growth. And there are times when government spending can provide macroeconomic stimulus, which the C.B.O. has repeatedly documented, to the consternation of Republicans.

    It’s all a mostly symbolic issue, but is part and parcel of the GOP’s longstanding efforts to incorporate its ideology into supposedly objective and nonpartisan sources of information. But aside from the “dynamic scoring” issue, Bruce’s post is worth a careful read because it provides a succinct history of supply-side economics and its baleful impact on the budget and every other element of national policy.

  31. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice about the GOP contests:

    81.Anoniminous – February 8, 2012 | 12:16 am · Link


    A thing of beauty.

    I’ll add:

    1. Romney won Minnesota in ‘08 with 41.6%. He’s coming in third with 17.1% tonight. The mark of a floundering politician is one that cannot hold on to his support.

    2. Aside from New Hampshire, Romney has only won states by negative and attack ads. In five years of campaigning he has yet to demonstrate he can convince people to vote for him, not vote against the other guy.

    3. One over-riding property of this GOP Presidential nominating campaign is the rejection of Romney by the Base, and even the GOP as a whole. Only in the last four weeks has he reached 37% national support numbers or, turning it around, 63% of the GOP don’t want him at the top of the ticket.

    4. A couple of weeks ago the Fundie-Cons got together and decided to back Santorum as their Candidate. It didn’t work in Florida but it may very well have happened tonight. These people have money but more importantly they have national organizations capable of raising a ton of money AND they have boots-on-the-ground. Santorum, tonight, has shown he can win and win big. Thus the Fundie-Cons have evidence that they aren’t throwing their time, money, and effort away by working for him.

    5. IF #4 is accurate THEN we may see the Fundie-Cons unite the Not-Romney vote and in which case Romney is toast.

    6. IF #5 comes around THEN the chances of a full-bore GOP faction fight breaking out greatly increases … just in time for a Presidential election.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Boston, we have a problem
    By Steve Benen – Wed Feb 8, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    After Mitt Romney scored impressive wins in Florida and Nevada last week, it looked as though the race for the Republican presidential nomination had finally come into focus. The former Massachusetts governor was not only the clear frontrunner, but he was the presumptive nominee. Talk of Romney’s “inevitability” was ubiquitous.

    And then last night happened.

    Rick Santorum, a non-factor in the race since his narrow win in Iowa a month ago, pulled off an unexpected hat trick yesterday, picking up impressive wins in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri. The caveats certainly matter — as Tricia noted earlier, these contests were not important when it came to awarding delegates — but that doesn’t mean the results should be dismissed out of hand.

    As Nate Silver explained mid-day yesterday, long before we’d seen any results, these three races “will provide an important test of how robust Mitt Romney’s coalition is on less favorable terrain … and they could potentially revitalize the campaign of one of Mr. Romney’s opponents, Rick Santorum.”

    When the dust cleared last night, Romney had failed this “important test” and Santorum could credibly claim that he, not Newt Gingrich, is the GOP frontrunner’s principal rival going forward.

    In Minnesota, Santorum won with an impressive 44.8% of the vote, while Romney, despite the enthusiastic support of Minnesotans like Tim Pawlenty and Norm Coleman, finished third. Remember, four years ago, Romney cruised to a 19-point win in Minnesota.

    In Colorado, Santorum’s margin was closer, beating Romney 40.2% to 34.9%, but this was a state Romney was supposed to win with relative ease. In 2008, the former governor crushed the competition in Colorado, winning with 42,218 votes, which was over 60% of the total. Yesterday, Romney’s support was cut roughly in half.

    And in Missouri, Santorum beat Romney by a whopping 30 points, despite the fact that Gingrich wasn’t even on the ballot.

    The Romney camp will very likely spin the results as a momentary setback, little more than a speed bump on the road to Tampa. That may even prove to be true. But given Santorum’s clean sweep yesterday, Romney will now be forced to confront something he’d desperately hoped to avoid: doubt.

    Romney’s been able to convince party officials and activists to overlook his weaknesses as a candidate — his flip-flops, his layoff-driven riches, his out-of-touch gaffes — because he was their inevitable nominee. But after Santorum’s hat trick, Republicans are likely to pause and consider just how strong a candidate Romney really is. Those aren’t the kind of questions the former governor wanted to hear at this stage in the process, and he may not like the answers.

    The road to the GOP nomination just got a little longer.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012
    Rick’s Slick: Return Of The Drooler
    Posted by Zandar

    By taking all three contests last night, Rick Santorum has not only stopped Mitt Romney cold, but he’s severely damaged Newt Gingrich to boot. In the back rooms of the halls of GOP power, there are a lot of depressed Republican party officials who now know without a doubt that this mess will go all the way to August’s GOP convention in Tampa.

    Considering Romney finished a distant third in Minnesota and in Missouri, with Gingrich not even on the ballot, Romney managed only 25% of the vote, the message couldn’t be louder: the GOP base is now in open revolt against Mitt Romney’s front-runner status.

    And if it’s possible, Gingrich had an even worse night. He ignored all three states and it showed. He wasn’t even on the ballot in Missouri and came in dead last in Minnesota and only a percentage point ahead of Ron Paul in Colorado.

    The larger problem is that for Romney, not doing any better than 35% in the Midwest contests means that not only that Romney isn’t the front-runner, but in many respects he never was.

    It’s wide open now. And I couldn’t be happier. Next stop: Maine’s caucus on Saturday, and then Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28. Because the real losers last night? The entire GOP party. Turnout for these caucuses and Missouri’s primary was in every single case less than 10% of voters, and in the case of Minnesota, less than 50,000 people turned out. 63,000 in Colorado. Both were far fewer than 2008 numbers. Missouri’s roughly 200,000 primary turnout was just one third of 2008’s number.

    Republicans are staying home. They are despondent, depressed and don’t give a damn about their candidates, because they’re losers. They know they can’t beat Obama.

    Music to my ears.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Little Ricky beat Willard in ALL THREE CONTESTS.

    That sound you hear is the howls of laughter coming from the Prudential Building in Chicago, aka as Obama Headquarters.


  35. Ametia says:

    The Real Reason Mitt Romney Is Accepting Donald Trump’s Endorsement
    —By David Corn
    | Thu Feb. 2, 2012 10:21 AM PST

    day after Mitt Romney was slammed from all sides for declaring he’s not “concerned with the very poor” (because they enjoy such a swell safety net), why would he accept an endorsement from celebrity-birther, .001-percenter Donald Trump and appear at the magnate’s Las Vegas casino to do so?

    The first words that come to mind are: too soon. Such a move will only reinforce the meta-narrative that Romney is far removed from the 99-percenters. It will also associate him with a fellow who was humiliated by Barack Obama last spring, when the president at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner eviscerated Trump with humor the same weekend he was secretly overseeing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Trump’s unfavorable rating last spring—before his birther crusade crashed and burned—was 47 percent.

    But Romney may not have had a choice. This morning, several media outfits—Politico, the New York Times, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—were reporting that Trump was going to endorse Newt Gingrich. This suggests “the Donald” was talking to both camps to boost his leverage as he was negotiating a deal. (Quelle surprise!)

  36. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! Happy HUMP day. :-)

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