Friday Open Thread

Parliament was a funk band most prominent during the 1970s. It and its sister act Funkadelic, both led by George Clinton, began the funk music culture of that decade.

Parliament was originally The Parliaments, a doo-wop vocal group based at a Plainfield, New Jersey barber shop. The group was formed in the late 1950s and included George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas. Clinton was the group leader and manager. The group finally had a hit single in 1967 with “(I Wanna) Testify” on Revilot Records. To capitalize, Clinton formed a backing band for a tour, featuring teenage barbershop employee Billy Bass Nelson on bass and his friend Eddie Hazel on guitar, with the lineup eventually rounded out by Tawl Ross on guitar, Tiki Fulwood on drums, and Mickey Atkins on organ.

Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip
And come on up to the Mothership.

Ain’t nothing but a party, y’all.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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52 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. Last Year, 54 Million Americans Received Free Preventive Services Thanks to Health Care Reform

  2. Pres Obama stopped his motorcade to greet school kids & teachers in front of Medina Elementary in the pouring rain.

  3. @hardball_chris , why stop with praising Pat Buchanan? Why don’t you continue on and praise Hitler while you’re at? ASSinine clown!

    What are going to say about the pain Pat Buchanan’s bigotry & hatred caused?

  4. Asian-American Super PAC Launches To Hit Back Against Pete Hoekstra’s China Ad.

    Take Pete Hoekstra down! That’s what’s up

  5. Don Millard @OTOOLEFAN

    Dow closes at highest level since May 2008. For the week, Nasdaq up 1.7%, S&P up 1.4%

  6. Talking Points Memo @TPM:

    READ: White House releases economic report to Congress

  7. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine switched his endorsement from Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum.

  8. GM chief tells CBS that without the steps Obama took on autos”You could have written off this company,this industry, and this country.”

  9. Statement by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski regarding Pat Buchanan

    “Everyone at Morning Joe considers Pat Buchanan to be a friend and a member of the family. Even though we strongly disagree with the contents of Pat’s latest book, Mika and I believe those differences should have been debated in public. An open dialogue with Morning Joe regulars like Al Sharpton and Harold Ford, Jr. could have developed into an important debate on the future of race relations in America.

    Because we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, Mika and I strongly disagree with this outcome. We understand that the parting was amicable. Still, we will miss Pat.”

  10. Westboro Church released a parody of Houston’s signature song, titled “God Will Always Hate You, Whitney”.

    Westboro church will get their due from masquerading in the name of God. They are tormenting demons!

  11. rikyrah says:

    God bless YOutube…


    You can’t hide Little Ricky


    Political Animal
    February 17, 2012 2:30 PM
    Santorum to Mainline Protestants: You Are Satan’s Spawn
    By Ed Kilgore

    Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way’s indispensable Right Wing Watch has come up with an audiotape of a Rick Santorum address to the students of the conservative Catholic Ave Maria University in Florida, delivered in 2008. It’s an altogether remarkable speech depicting Rick as a leader in a “spiritual war” against Satan for control of America. Much of its involves the usual right-wing stuff about the conquest of academia (outside bastions like Ave Maria) by the forces of moral relativism, but then there is this Santorum assessment of mainline Protestantism:

    [O]nce the colleges fell and those who were being educated in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.

    Now there is no uniform definition of “mainline Protestantism,” but most people would understand it as including the religious denominations affiliated with the World Council of Churches (which claim 560 million members), or in the U.S., with the National Council of Churches (about 45 million members). That’s a lot of church-going Christians. And while it’s not unusual to hear the occasional Protestant fundamentalist or Catholic traditionalist mock us mainliners as morally and theologically lax, excessively “secular,” too “liberal,” too friendly to feminists and sodomites and so on and so forth, you don’t hear many politicians publicly talk that way, much less suggest all these Christians are really in the grasp of Satan.

    I’d say Rick needs to be held accountable for these remarks, unless he chooses to repudiate them. I hope the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Congregationalists, etc., who encounter him on the campaign trail ask him about it. It’s not as though the man can claim he believes in a strict separation of religious and political viewpoints.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Latest Attempt to Spin the GM Bailout
    Jonathan Cohn
    February 14, 2012 | 3:01 pm

    Mitt Romney is talking about the auto industry rescue again. But his latest argument is even more convoluted, and misleading, than his previous ones.

    Romney makes the argument in an op-ed that appears in Tuesday’s edition of the Detroit News. (You may have seen it; Greg Sargent flagged it this morning). Romney starts by reminding readers of his connection to the state (he was born and grew up here) and to the auto industry (his father, George Romney, ran the American Motors Company before becoming governor). “Cars got in my bones early,” Romney writes. “And not just any cars, American cars.”

    Then Romney turns to the industry’s recently strong performance, which has always been a tricky subject for him. Romney has criticized the Obama Administration for rescuing the industry in early 2009, but the industry is clearly on the rebound – making profits, selling cars, and hiring back workers. So doesn’t Obama deserve credit for that?

    No way, says Romney. As he sees it, Chrysler and GM are succeeding because they did what Romney had advised all along: They went through structured bankruptcies, shedding unsustainable contracts and assets. But like all companies attempting to reorganize through bankruptcy, Chrysler and GM needed loans in order to keep their operations going. Romney says he would have told the companies to get money from the private sector. Obama allowed the companies to get financing directly from the government, which meant that “The U.S. Department of Treasury – American taxpayers – was asked to become a majority stockholder of GM.”

    Romney is correct: The U.S. did become GM’s majority stockholder. And there was a very good reason for that, as many of us have noted before.

    In late 2008 and early 2009, when Chrysler and GM ran out of money, private financing was not available. Remember, this was not long after Lehman had collapsed and the entire financial industry was on the brink of collapse. Had the car companies attempted to reorganize through bankruptcy on their own, it’s quite likely they could not have found the money to continue operations. That would have meant liquidation and mass layoffs. Chrysler and GM would be gone, sending an economic shockwave through the entire Midwest and possibly the whole country. Every company connected to the domestic auto industry would have suffered, which is why Ford, although healthy enough to survive without federal assistance in 2009, supported the Obama rescue.

    Of course, Romney has made that claim before. The new twist is his portrayal of the rescue as a form of “crony capitalism.” He has used the description before, but this is the first time I’ve seen him flesh out its meaning so specifically:

    A labor union that had contributed millions to Democrats and his election campaign was granted an ownership share of Chrysler and a major stake in GM, two flagships of the industry … the outcome of the managed bankruptcy proceedings was dictated by the terms of the bailout. Chrysler’s “secured creditors,” who in the normal course of affairs should have been first in line for compensation, were given short shrift, while at the same time, the UAWs’ union-boss-controlled trust fund received a 55 percent stake in the firm.

    The pensions of union workers and retirees at Delphi, GM’s parts supplier, were left untouched, while some 21,000 non-union salaried employees saw their pensions slashed and lost their life and health insurance. And so on and so forth across the industry.

    While a lot of workers and investors got the short end of the stick, Obama’s union allies – and his major campaign contributors – reaped reward upon reward, all on the taxpayer’s dime.

    That’s a pretty skewed version of the truth. As Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research reminds me, the unions had by 2009 already made major concessions in order to help the companies restructure: Among other things, they agreed to a two-tier pay scale, changes to retiree health benefits, and changing work rules that had protected union jobs. Those changes helped the automakers reduce their hourly labor costs by nearly a third.

  13. POTUS: “We can’t go backwards…We can’t go back to an economy that was weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Race to the Bottom
    How the recession hurled African Americans backward in time.
    Isabel Wilkerson
    February 8, 2012

    Back in the 1940s, when there was no pretense of equality among the races and, instead, a benign acceptance—if not, among some, a certainty—that inequality was in fact the way things should be, my mother, then a college student, journeyed 200 miles from her family’s home in north Georgia, through the slash pines and wiregrass, to teach in a one-room schoolhouse in a settlement called Keysville. It was in the cotton country south of Augusta, amid the gallberries and turpentine camps, and she stood in her rayon pleated suit and her one good pair of nylons before a room full of sharecropper children packed together from first grade to eighth. She stayed with a local family in the best room they could muster for the new teacher, bedbugs notwithstanding, and got paid $47 per month, as she recalled it, which, multiplied by the six or seven months the children would attend classes in a world dictated by the rhythms of the field, would come to a salary of $329—if she managed to last the school year.

    Like other black teachers working in a rigid caste system that treated one group differently from another, she taught in an old building with old desks and hand-me-down books when she could get them, some without covers and with pages torn out, for a fraction of the pay her white counterparts were getting. In the early ’40s in Georgia, white teachers made an average salary of $960 per year; black teachers made an average of $460. In Mississippi, white teachers made $712 annually, while black teachers were paid less than a third of that—$226 per year, hardly more than field hands

  15. Obama Raises $29M for Campaign, Dems,8599,2107137,00.html?xid=tweetbut

    (WASHINGTON) — President Barack Obama raised more than $29 million for his campaign and for the Democratic Party in January, a strong fundraising month that put him ahead of the pace he set in the last quarter of 2011.

    In a Twitter message Friday morning, the Obama campaign announced the president raised the money for his re-election effort, for the Democratic National Committee and related committees. The campaign raises money directly from donors or through a Victory Fund that splits proceeds with party efforts devoted to Obama’s re-election.

  16. The Washington Post @washingtonpost:

    Confirmed: FBI, Capitol Police have arrested a man who was allegedly plotting a suicide attack on the Capitol.

  17. rikyrah says:

    February 17, 2012 10:53 AM
    Foster Friess Doubles Down

    By Ed Kilgore

    So on his “Campfire Blog,” which is apparently how he communicates with the world when he’s not on our television screens, Santorum Super-PAC heavy and all-purpose spokesman Foster Friess apologized to the poor dumb humorless people who didn’t get his “joke” about “gals” back in his day using “Bayer aspirin between their knees” as a birth control method. He duly begs our forgiveness for his not anticipating our humorlessness.

    But instead of just shutting up on the subject, and maybe letting his money do all the talking like the Supreme Court has encouraged him to do, Friess went on to say the controversy over his “joke” gave him a fresh opportunity to remind everyone what a cool dude Rick Santorum is on the subject of contraception:

    He publicly stated he would not ban contraception; he has said if he were a member of a state legislature which introduced such a bill, he would vote against it.

    That’s mighty nice of Rick, but not exactly a big act of courage, and not really honest, either, since he’s supported a “Personhood Amendment” under which any number of devices and presciption drugs that most Americans understand to be “contraceptives” (intra-uterine devices, the Plan B “morning-after” pill, and perhaps even “The Pill,” the basic oral contraceptive used by tens of millions of women) are in fact homicidal “abortifacients” that should be banned in all circumstances.

    Friess doesn’t acknowledge any of that, but he does acknowledge Rick’s outspoken personal opposition to contraception by any definition and tries to turn his candidate’s kind (if extremely limited) tolerance of the heathen on this subject into an invidious contrast with the president:

    [H]e has never attempted to turn his personal preference into public policy unlike the stand President Obama has taken in forcing Catholic institutions to embrace his world view.

    If this is Foster Friess’ idea of an act of contrition, I’d sure hate to see how he’d behave if he became the Power Behind the Throne at the White House.

  18. rikyrah says:

    February 17, 2012 9:15 AM“
    Terri Schiavo Moment”

    By Ed Kilgore

    Now that it’s reasonably clear that the Obama administration’s contraception coverage mandate is not turning into a “wedge issue” that herds large number of Catholic voters into the GOP column, it’s time to consider whether the preoccupation of Republicans with rolling back reproductive rights and attacking the organizations that defend them could become a problem.

    In its latest strategic memo, (via Greg Sargent), Stan Greenberg and James Carville’s Democracy Corps reviews the controversies over the Komen Foundation’s effort to defund Planned Parenthood and the contraception coverage mandate, and concludes: “We may yet look back on this debate and wonder whether this was a Terry Schiavo moment.”

    Democracy Corps’ own measurement of public perceptions of the contraception mandate dispute reinforces the impression that Republicans have been barking up the wrong tree if they thought this would “wedge” voters in their direction. DC offered voters fair and strongly worded versions of both sides’ arguments in the dispute, and found Obama’s position favored by a 49-43 margin among all respondents, and a virtually identical 49-42 margin among Catholics. Moreover:

    The Obama position finds a two-thirds majority among suburban voters and a 61 percent majority among single women. These results loom large when voters prefer Democrats over Republicans by 52 to 26 percent on women’s issues, including a 36-point margin among senior women and a 47-point margin among unmarried women.

    A intensification and nationalization of the culture wars by the GOP could work wonders for Democrats in several demographic categories where previously strong support has been lagging since 2008 (unmarried woman, younger voters). And it could certainly help keep Democrats motivated to vote. It’s often said, derisively, that Democrats are in trouble if the only emotionally compelling presidential-election appeal they can make to progressives is: “Think about the Supreme Court!” With each fresh threat to reproductive rights, the kind of society conservatives want to build via the funding and regulatory powers of the federal government and a transformed federal judiciary becomes a little bit clearer. “Terri Schiavo moments” help.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Data Operation

    Sasha Issenberg reports on Project Narwhal, the Obama campaign’s attempt to “link once completely separate repositories of information so that every fact gathered about a voter is available to every arm of the campaign”:

    No longer will canvassers be dispatched to knock on the doors of people who have already volunteered to support Obama. And if a donor has given the maximum $2,500 in permitted contributions, emails will stop hitting him up for money and start asking him to volunteer instead. Those familiar with Narwhal’s development say the completion of such a technical infrastructure would also be a gift to future Democratic candidates who have struggled to organize political data that has been often arbitrarily siloed depending on which software vendor had primacy at a given moment.

  20. rikyrah says:

    17 Feb 2012 11:12 AM

    When Bayer Aspirin Is Not Enough

    A reader writes:

    I wanted to add another piece to the discussion about contraceptives. As a woman who has suffered from a painful pelvic condition, endometriosis, I want to point out that contraceptives are used for more than pregnancy prevention. For many women, contraceptives are the first type of treatment that doctors will prescribe to women who have very painful pelvic conditions such as cysts, PCOS and endometriosis. For many women, taking birth control can help to minimize the pain and keep the condition from worsening. Restricting access to birth control also indirectly subjects women to painful medical conditions and increases the possibility of having to intervene surgically. These diseases are already very misunderstood, underdiagnosed and politicized without adding this extra layer of complication.

    As many as 1/3 of all women are affected by endometriosis, and yet the AVERAGE length of diagnosis is 10 years, which means that women who suffer from this are often experiencing symptoms such as pain and or infertility for many years before a doctor will intervene. Most women take massive amounts of NSAIDS (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc.) to manage the pain during their period.

    I suffered with severe pain from age 14-23. At 14, I was put on prescription strength Aleve to lessen the pain. At 19, I put myself on birth control, since I had heard it lessened the pain of these symptoms, and I stayed on it for five years. I was able to access it easily through the student health center at my university. Starting at 23, I started seeking medical advice because the pain became debilitating. It took almost four years from this point, three gynecologists, a gynecological RN, and a GI specialist before I walked into the fourth gynecologist asking for a diagnostic surgery for endometriosis, which properly diagnosed me. I was 27 by then.

    Each of those doctors had a different opinion of what was wrong with me. It’s taken me years to let go of the anger and injustice of this, and I’ve often felt that if men had to suffer this way, there would have been many more advances made much earlier on in properly treating and diagnosing these problems. Also, poor women with little or no health insurance already suffer disproportionally from these conditions, as the treatments are expensive. Women’s health is difficult enough as it is without the extra layers of complication that would be created by restricting access to birth control through insurance plans or other means.

    I fear that this discussion about birth control coverage will now only lengthen the diagnostic time and make it more difficult for doctors to deploy this first line of defense making surgery more likely.

  21. rikyrah says:

    What If We Blow Them Out?

    by BooMan
    Fri Feb 17th, 2012 at 01:56:20 AM EST

    I created a very simplistic and somewhat unrealistic model to see what would happen if just slightly over one out of every 20 voters who voted for McCain winds up voting for Obama this November. I decided to see what would happen if Obama improved his take of the vote from 53% to 59%.

    Update [2012-2-17 10:19:59 by BooMan]: To clear up the math here, this would actually be an electorate where 6% of the vote was made up of voters who switch from R in 2008 to D in 2012. Or any other permutation adding up to 6%.

    In an effort to supply some realism, I acknowledged the law of diminishing returns and assumed that it would easier for Obama to pick up votes in red states than in blue states, where he had already come close to maxing out his support. So, I simply gave Obama an added 5% of the vote in the blue states and then gave him a 7% boost in the red states. Obviously, this model is too simplistic to take account of McCain and Palin’s advantages in Arizona and Alaska or to take account of Romney’s advantage (should he be the nominee) in states like Utah and Wyoming. But it should come close to averaging out. Now, here’s what I discovered:

    Obama would win 10 states that he lost in 2008. Here they are:

    Arizona 52/47
    Georgia 54/45
    Mississippi 50/49
    Missouri 56/42
    Montana 54/43
    North Dakota 54/44
    South Carolina 52/47
    South Dakota 52/46
    Texas 51/49
    West Virginia 50/49

    This translates to a 462-76 win in the Electoral College. Here are the only Electoral College results in the modern era that were more lopsided: FDR 1932 (472 EV), FDR 1936 (523 EV), LBJ 1964 (486 EV), Nixon 1972 (520 EV), Reagan 1980 (489 EV), Reagan 1984 (525 EV).

    Here are the contests Obama would win with more than 70% of the vote: Washington DC, Hawaii, and Vermont.

    Here are the states that Obama would win with more than 60% of the vote: California (66%), Connecticut (66%), Delaware (67%), Illinois (67%), Maine 63%, Maryland (67%), Massachusetts (69%), Michigan (62%), Nevada (60%), New Jersey (62%), New Mexico (62%), New York (68%), Oregon (62%), Pennsylvania (60%), Rhode Island (68%), Washington (63%), Wisconsin (61%).

    Obama would barely lose (by less than 3%) Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

    In this scenario, Obama would pull roughly 59% of the popular vote. That’s what Ronald Reagan accomplished in 1984. Reagan won 49 states that year. In my scenario, Obama would still only win 38 states.

    Here are the states Obama would still lose under my model: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.

    I’ll welcome critiques of the model, as well as opinions about how the map will differ between Romney and Santorum. Can Obama do better than 59%? I think he can. But it’s only been done a couple of times in American history. Do you know who accomplished it?

    What would this mean for the House and the Senate, and for the GOP? I mean, I have them losing Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina. If that happens, and it could, it would do something to the GOP.

  22. rikyrah says:

    A Lesson in Bad Optics

    Posted on 02/16/2012 at 4:45 pm by JM Ashby

    From the Derpartment of “you can’t make this shit up.”

    Mitt Romney had no public events on his schedule yesterday which left the traveling press flummoxed. But like a good press corps scorned, they found out where Romney was hiding.

    But one good source close to the campaign has spilled the beans: Romney and some of his biggest fundraisers spent part of the day in the executive lunchroom of a New York law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, making phone calls to recruit other financial rainmakers.

    The Fifth Avenue firm has one of the country’s leading bankruptcy practices.

    The big excitement of the day was not the candidate, however, but the Donald.

    The source said Donald Trump showed up and actually got on the phone with potential fundraisers. Some of the other big moneymen there were so thrilled by the appearance of an honest-to-goodness celebrity that they interrupted their phone time to ask him to pose for pictures.

    Fundraising with Donald Trump at a law firm specializing in bankruptcy. Oh and Mitt’s presence was completely overshadowed by “The Donald.”

    Reminder — Donald Trump has filed bankruptcy four times, and Mitt Romney made a name for himself at Bain Capital by bankrupting companies for profit.

  23. BREAKING NEWS: @RickSantorum will make a “major campaign announcement” at 2 p.m. ET

  24. The Associated Press @AP

    BREAKING: House approves compromise measure extending payroll tax cut, jobless benefits.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The wrong ‘war’ at the wrong time
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:56 AM EST.

    In nearly every instance, the political world operates on a hair trigger — rapid-response teams, which used to be limited to campaigns, now exist year round, operating in both parties on a 24-7 basis.

    It’s worth noting, then, just how quiet the political world was, at least initially, when the Obama administration announced that American health insurance plans would have to cover contraception as part of preventive care. When the decision was made public on Jan. 20, the Republicans’ rapid-response teams were relatively — and uncharacteristically — quiet. If the right was outraged, it was a muted furor.

    A couple of weeks later, GOP officials suddenly realized they were offended after all, and started complaining bitterly. What took them so long? It’s hard to say with certainty, of course, but encouraging economic reports may have very well led Republicans to start asking an awkward question: “What else can we talk about in 2012?”

    For some in the party, the answer is an oldie but a goodie: the culture war. Benjy Sarlin reported this morning that the “God/guns/gays plan that re-elected President Bush” is “gaining traction fast on the right.”

    “I suspect if I’m Mitt Romney, I’m getting a little nervous because maybe that jobs picture won’t look so bad in November,” Santorum said last month after the latest jobs report. “And then, what’s his pitch to all of you? ‘I’m the guy who can put you back to work.’ The president of the United States is more than a guy in the private sector who knows how to create jobs. You’ve got to be the commander in chief. You’ve got to look at bigger issues. You’ve got to look at what the role of a leader is in this country.”

    Given that Republicans have been losing almost every fight this year over abortion, gay marriage, and contraception in the court of public opinion, this may come across as a dangerous move. But it has at least one very powerful sympathizer in Rush Limbaugh (who, by the way, has no qualms about openly rooting for the economy to fail this year).

    “Something tells me, that if the upcoming election could be decided on social issues, the Republicans could win that in a landslide, because we are on the right side of the culture war,” Limbaugh told listeners on Thursday.

    If the GOP is convinced the economy is recovering, and President Obama is likely to get some credit for that, it’s easy to understand the appeal of this strategy. It has, after all, worked in the past.

    But there are two broader problems with the tack.


    The first is that the Great Recession wasn’t just an economic crisis; it was a disaster that dramatically changed the country’s priorities. Going into the 2012 election season, when the public is asked which issues matter most, 2% say immigration, 1% say abortion, 1% say religious values, and 44% say economy/jobs. For a party to ignore this is an invitation to be labeled out of touch.

    The second is that Limbaugh’s confidence about public attitudes is misplaced. Not only does the American mainstream not want to fight the culture war right now, when pressed, most of the public likes contraception, supports Roe v. Wade, and approves of marriage equality. One could certainly make the case that gun control isn’t popular, at least not with key voting constituencies, but since Democrats aren’t even trying to change the status quo, it’s not much of a campaign issue.

    Limbaugh complained on the air yesterday that the Republican establishment “wants no part of” the culture war. There’s a good reason for that: GOP leaders can read polls.

    It’s easy to understand Republicans trying to pivot away from the economy. Identifying what they’d pivot to is much trickier.

  26. Read testimony from the woman the House #GOP said didn’t have the “credentials” to deliver:

  27. rikyrah says:

    Michael Grimm’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:12 AM EST.

    I’ve noted a couple of instances in which Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) has struggled with the basics of health care policy, but as it turns out, those are the least of the congressman’s problems.

    One might think a former FBI agent and U.S. Marine would be the last person to find himself in the midst of uncomfortable ethical reports. But that’s the position Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. finds himself in. […]

    Last month, the New York Times detailed alleged fundraising violations committed by Grimm’s 2010 campaign, accusing the former FBI agent of, among other things, skirting fundraising limits and accepting $5,000 in cash in an envelope.

    The New York Times ran another story on Thursday highlighting Grimm’s checkered business record. According to the piece, Grimm entered into a business partnership with a fellow former FBI agent who was indicted on charges of racketeering and fraud. Grimm also once owned a Manhattan restaurant that “has been accused in a lawsuit of cheating its workers and fined by the state for failing to carry workers’ compensation.”

    He has also faced questions over his backing of a natural gas pipeline in Queens and subsequently accepting campaign donations from the pipeline’s supporters. And last year, a piece in the New Yorker contained an anecdote suggesting that, during his time with the FBI, Grimm abused his power during a conflict at a nightclub.

  28. 9 Kick-Ass Things Obama Should Do In a Second Term

  29. rikyrah says:

    WILLARD just doesn’t know how to say, ‘ you did a good job with the auto bailout, Mr. President’.

    But, what do I care. this just makes for better ads in the General Election in places like Michigan and Ohio.


    Romney digs deeper against auto-industry rescue
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:45 AM EST.

    Mitt Romney has earned a well-deserved reputation for taking both sides of several dozen issues. As a rule, however, the Republican presidential hopeful tries to take these positions one at a time.

    Romney’s position on President Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry is a little more complicated. On the one hand, Romney wants to take credit for the policy, since he suggested managed bankruptcy. On the other hand, Romney wants to condemn the same policy, at the same time, since Obama used public funds to keep the industry’s head above water during the restructuring process.

    The Detroit Free Press’ Tom Walsh, who talked to Romney about this the other day, noted the former governor “must be exhausted from trying to twist the facts into a narrative that sounds (a) like he’s happy for Detroit auto workers who still have jobs and are sharing in profits; (b) yet also virulently anti-Obama and anti-labor-union.”

    It’s this same twisting that leaves Romney saying strange things.

    Romney insisted … he would have steered the companies into managed bankruptcy — but with loan and warranty guarantees, not tens of billions of dollars in bailout cash.

    And who would have made the big loans that Romney would have federally guaranteed? The private credit markets were frozen in the financial panic of late 2008 and early 2009, leading many experts to conclude that no private lender would have stepped up to finance bankruptcies as huge and risky as those of GM and Chrysler.

    When I pressed Romney on this point, he insisted that if the U.S. Treasury issued bonds or guarantees, plenty of private lenders would have surfaced.

    No serious person believes this, not even those who used to agree with him on the issue. Does Romney even remember the crash and near collapse of the global financial system? It’s why a Chrysler executive responded last year to Romney’s position by suggesting he’s “smoking illegal material.”

    On CBS News last night, General Motors Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson wasn’t quite that colorful, but when asked about Romney’s argument, Akerson responded, “I think you could have written off this company, this industry, and this country” with such an approach.

    Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of AutoNation, added that Romney’s argument is “reckless, detached from reality, and dishonest.”


    Democrats, meanwhile, now see this as a key vulnerability for Romney — and not just in Michigan — which they can continue to exploit this election year. The DNC released this two-minute video yesterday:

  30. Rush Limbaugh Leads GOP In Pondering How To Deal With Improving Economy

    GM is reporting record profits. Jobs numbers are looking up. Suddenly President Obama looks like an incumbent frontrunner again. So what do Republicans who have been planning to run on a dismal economy do now?

    Well, there are a lot of suggestions but no consensus.

    For Republicans looking to win over independents, one has to be careful not to sound bummed about objectively good news. But you don’t want to give the White House credit for it either, so instead the plan is to play backseat driver and brag that the GOP would have gotten there way faster. Let’s call this the Mitt Romney Approach.

    On Thursday, Romney told voters that “thank heavens” the economy is getting better and Detroit is back on its feet — but quickly added that, hey, they both would be more awesome now if everyone had listened to me.

  31. Pelosi rallies base over birth control fight, gets almost 100k signatures on petition overnight

  32. Santorum backer apologizes for joking about “aspirin between the knees” as contraception

  33. rikyrah says:

    ‘A Terri Schiavo moment’
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:01 AM EST.

    Seven years ago, there was an unexpected political hullabaloo surrounding Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who’d been in a vegetative state for 15 years. When there was a disagreement among family members about her fate, it touched off a national controversy and unprecedented intervention from Washington.

    Indeed, Congress took steps to prolong Schiavo’s life — passing legislation related to literally just this one person — and President Bush even cut short a vacation to address the issue. At the time, an internal memo was distributed by a Republican senator’s office characterizing the controversy as “a great political issue” that could pay dividends for the Republican Party with Christian conservatives.

    Putting aside the callousness of exploiting a family’s pain for partisan advantage, the GOP’s political instincts served them poorly– much of the American mainstream was repulsed by Washington policymakers’ role in the Schiavo matter, and the intervention became a political fiasco for Republicans.

    A new report (pdf) from Democracy Corps believes we may be witnessing a similar set of circumstances now, as GOP officials fight to restrict women’s access to contraceptives. Greg Sargent reported yesterday:

    The firm’s poll finds that one of the most important factors powering Obama’s gains against likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney has been the President’s improving numbers among unmarried women, a key pillar of the present and future Democratic coalition.

    Among this group, Obama now leads Romney by 65-30 — and there’s been a net 18-point swing towards the President among them. […]

    Concludes the memo: “We may yet look back on this debate and wonder whether this was a Terri Schiavo moment.”

    The report was put together before yesterday’s hearing in which Republicans invited a series of conservative men to talk about blocking access to contraception and before Foster Friess’ aspirin-between-the-knees comments, which certainly won’t help.

    Remember, when the Schiavo affair first began to unfold, Republicans were certain this would be political gold, and encouraged GOP officials to embrace the controversy with enthusiasm. Likewise, there are probably ample memos circulating in Republican offices about the value in attacking contraception this election year, gender gap be damned.

    The party got the Schiavo matter wrong. All available polling evidence suggests they’re making the same mistake on birth control.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Good MOrning, Everyone :)

  35. Jueseppi B. says:

    “Flashlight” ……”Tear The Roof Off The Mutha”……. “Sir Nose”…..

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