Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | India Irie Week!

3 Chics hopes you’ve enjoyed Ms. indie Irie this week. Today’s tune is a Don Henley classic “HEART OF THE MATTER.”

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109 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | India Irie Week!

  1. By the Numbers: 55

    Thanks to fuel economy standards established by the Obama Administration, cars and trucks on the road in 2025 will average 55 miles per gallon of gas. These tougher fuel standards will reduce our oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day, but we have to do more.

    In his State of the Union, President Obama introduced an all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American-made energy. This includes everything from tapping our vast natural gas reserves, to doubling down on clean energy resources like wind and solar power, to developing new technologies that help us use less energy altogether. The President’s strategy will help us depend less on imported oil that’s subject to annual price spikes and create job jobs for American workers.

    And, as the President explained at the University of Miami on Thursday, we need the right incentives in place to help put this strategy in place. Instead of $4 billion in yearly taxpayer-funded subsidies to the oil industry—which is reaping record profits—we should renew tax credits that encourage new investments in clean energy.

  2. rikyrah says:

    A Club Refutes the Myth Black People Don’t Ski
    Published: February 20, 2012

    It was nearly time for lessons to begin, but Marcel and Kwesi could not be found. The West Mountain ski school director hurried into the rental shop looking for the missing students. Other members of the Nubian Empire Ski Club filled the benches, snapping stiff buckles into place.

    Omoye Cooper, the club’s president, stood among the bent bodies, sorting tickets and fielding questions, including this latest: Where were Marcel and Kwesi?

    Ms. Cooper pointed out the window toward the base lodge.

    “You’ll see them,” she said, laughing. “They’re probably the only brown boys in there.”

    At the small mountain about an hour north of Albany, the faces buried beneath helmets and neck gaiters were mostly white. But scattered among them were the Nubians, whose mission is to coax more African-Americans onto skis.

    When Phil Littlejohn moved to the Albany area around 2001, he immediately saw what was missing. Mr. Littlejohn, 74, who first skied in the Poconos when he was 28, had joined black ski clubs wherever he lived.

    “In Albany, there was no black ski club, and this is the gateway to ski country,” he said. The problem, he said, was “lack of exposure.”

    “So many African-Americans don’t know what a great, great addition to their life skiing becomes,” he said.

    In 2001, he and a skiing novice, Peggie Allen, persuaded a dozen people who had never skied to try. They named the group in honor of the black people of southern Egypt, and so began what Mr. Littlejohn described as a “labor of love.”

    The Nubian Empire Ski Club, which is based in Albany, has since grown to more than 40 members: experts and beginners, first graders and retirees, professors and accountants. They have skied most mountains in New York and as far away as Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in the French Alps.

  3. rikyrah says:

    What was the Romney campaign thinking?
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:40 PM EST

    Remember the infamous Green Screen speech that John McCain delivered in 2008? And how widely panned it was as a political disaster and evidence of campaign incompetence? Mitt Romney’s speech in Detroit today was significantly worse.

    For reasons that defy comprehension, the Romney campaign decided to unveil a new economic agenda — the one he announced just last month apparently wasn’t very good — at Ford Field, a football stadium with 65,000 seats.

    The problem, of course, is that he only brought along 1,200 friends to watch. Here’s a clip from C-SPAN, showing not only the completely empty seats in the stands, but also the empty seats set up on the ground by the campaign itself.

    Everything about this was a mess. In the speech itself, Romney, reading from a teleprompter, not only inexplicably repeated the line about the appropriate height of Michigan trees, but in yet another tone-deaf comment about his wealthy, the Republican added that his wife “drives a couple of Cadillacs.” This won’t help perceptions of Romney being an out-of-touch, patrician elitist.

    In the larger context, for Romney to travel to Detroit to talk about the economy only invited his critics to remind everyone that Romney was prepared to “let Detroit go bankrupt” just three years ago., for example, released a tough new ad on the issue today, while UAW rallied to protest Romney at his underwhelming event. Steven Rattner, who led the Obama administration’s auto task force in 2009, also marked the occasion with an op-ed explaining once again how very wrong the former governor was about rescuing the industry.

    As for the crowd, 1,200 people isn’t necessarily an awful number — if the campaign was hosting an event at a local college or theater. But for Romney go to his purported home state and host an event in an empty football stadium looked pretty awful. Given that Barack Obama could draw a crowd literally 10 times bigger at this point four years ago in Boise, Idaho, also reinforces the perception that Romney’s candidacy isn’t generating any kind of excitement.

    Reports of the Romney campaign’s vaunted, professional operation appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

  4. Ametia says:

    Maddow gave Bob McDonnell a ROYAL BEATDOWN tonight! aid he wouldn’ come on her show. piece of chickenshit.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Lawsuit claims Obama can’t be president because he’s ‘mulatto’
    By Clutch Magazine
    4:43 PM on 02/23/2012
    by Britni Danielle

    If we thought President Obama silenced all the birthers by releasing his long form birth certificate last year, think again. Apparently, some folks still have doubts and are taking it one step further: to court.

    Tuesday, Gordon Warren Epperly filed a lawsuit in Alaska challenging President Obama’s inclusion on the 2012 presidential ballot. What’s Epperly’s beef? Apparently, he feels Negroes and mulattoes can’t be president because they aren’t really citizens.

    His lawsuit states:

    Barack Hussein Obama II, a.k.a. Barack Hussein Obama, a.ka. Barack H. Obama has the race status of being a “mulatto.” Barack Obama’s father (Barack Hussein Obama I) was a full blood Negro being born Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya and raised in the Colony of Kenya. Barack Obama’s mother (Stanley Ann Dunham) was a white Caucasian woman being born in Wichita, Kansas on November 29, 1942 and raised in the state of Washington and in the state of Hawaii.

    The petition concludes:

    As stated above, for an Individual to be a candidate for the office of president of the United States, the candidate must meet the qualifications set forth in the United States Constitution and one of those qualifications is that the Candidate shall be a “natural born citizen” of the United States. As Barack Hussein Obama II is of the “mulatto” race, his status of citizenship is founded upon the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Before the [purported] ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the race of “Negro” or “mulatto” had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.

    Contrary to the argument presented in the pleading, the Fourteenth Amendment defined citizenship and granted both civil and political rights to those born in the United States. Moreover, it made it illegal for any state to deny those rights. Also, the Fourteenth Amendment effectively overturned the Dred Scott decision (of 1857), which found that slaves and their descendants could never be U.S. citizens.

    While this case has very little chance of being won in court, it is a stark reminder of the challenges and racist attitudes many of us continue to face.

  6. [wpvideo vodhgsmU]

  7. tylerhjames64 ‏ @tylerhjames64:

    Woman from @Politico on Andrea Mitchell today: Romney memorized his talking points, and shot his whole wad right away. #PrematureFactulation

    [wpvideo oM79dPSB]

  8. How the progressive pushback scared a GOP governor

    [wpvideo MhfSYdqF]

  9. Virginia GOP lawmaker says wife wouldn’t have sex with him due to transvaginal ultrasound bill

  10. Santorum: “I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills.”

  11. Jeb Bush Finds 2012 GOP Debate Rhetoric ‘A Little Troubling’

    Jeb Bush finds some of the rhetoric in the GOP presidential debates “a little troubling.”

    “I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are,” said the former Florida governor Thursday while answering a question from the audience during a speech in Dallas, according to Fox News. “I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.”

    In an interview with a local CBS affiliate, Bush cautioned the contenders not to campaign too far to the right. “I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize though they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition,” said the younger brother of former President George W. Bush.

  12. Ametia says:


  13. Breaking:

    Oklahoma congressman Sullivan apologizes for suggesting ‘killing a couple’ of US senators

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma congressman apologized on Friday for suggesting that “killing a couple” of U.S. senators may be the only way to get a budget passed through Congress.

    U.S. Rep. John Sullivan made the comments Wednesday during a town hall meeting in Bixby. When asked about federal spending, the Tulsa Republican expressed his frustration with the Senate for its failure to approve a budget.

  14. Ametia says:

    Check out EB’s post today

    February 24, 2012
    Obama isn’t responsible for rising gas prices. Surprise: it’s Wall Street.
    Posted by Eclectablog

  15. Romney’s Stadium Speech Today Dwarfed By Obama Stadium Speech In 2008

    At this very moment, Mitt Romney is holding an event at Ford Stadium which has failed to attract enough people to come even close to filling it up (in fact, you could fit Romney’s 1,200 person crowd in the 65,000-seat stadium 54 times over). His campaign scrambled to make the event look as full as possible, but largely failed. Photo via Byron York:

    Two more Obama stadium rallies from February, 2008.
    This one in Madison, Wisconsin on the 12th:

    And Cincinnati, Ohio on the 25th

  16. rikyrah says:

    February 24, 2012
    Spielberg’s epic: Mitt Romney’s ‘Duel’

    Have you seen Steven Spielberg’s docudrama about Mitt Romney’s 2012 primary campaign? It was made, prophetically, in 1971, it starred Dennis Weaver and a really irrationally vindictive truck, and it was titled “Duel.” Some film buffs and political experts still debate the believability, or unbelievability, of the movie’s ending, in which the pathetically desperate traveling salesman (Weaver) triumphs over the mechanized leviathan’s blind rage. The film’s irony, however, which we’ll get to, is profoundly unmistakable.

    If you haven’t seen it, you should. Brilliant allegories like “Duel” don’t come along every day. In it the faceless, mindlessly hateful tanker truck is of course the GOP base, which pursues Weaver, which is to say Romney — something of a poor schmuck of a guy who’s just trying to do his day job — at every literal turn. Romney, driving a Plymouth ‘Valiant,’ no less, has done nothing to deserve this monstrous pursuit and deadly chase. But, it is what it is. And since the trembling, sweat-soaked Romney can’t change what it is — either the base itself, or this duel to the death — he somewhat haphazardly plots the tanker’s kill. Successfully. The truck — that is, the base — goes over a cliff.

    This imagery and allegorical docu-melodrama leapt inexorably to mind this morning when I read Paul Krugman’s latest, which is a kind of variation on Speilberg, in that Krugman posits that the trembling, sweat-soaked Romney “is, in fact, a closet Keynesian.” Krugman says this because Romney recently said that “If you just cut … spending you’ll slow down the economy” — which is something that Romney isn’t allowed to say by the predatory, samizdat-hunting base. What Romney said is perfectly rational, mind you, and there’s not a mentally balanced economist alive who’d dispute it, but such rationality has a way of being capriciously targeted for brutal extermination by those who would be Romney’s followers on his road to the White House.

    Romney is of course quite aware of this irrational pursuit; indeed his self-conscious hyperawareness is what makes the poor schmuck so excruciatingly uncomfortable in his own skin, and just as excruciating to watch. He has perforce become a Costanza-like Lord of the Idiots, who must halt whatever instinctively intelligent judgment is about to come out of his mouth and instantly substitute the precisely moronic opposite. This, for irrational reasons not yet wholly determined, the base demands, and Romney is (mostly) delivering.

    The immense irony of this Spielbergian tragicomedy is that nominee Romney will, true to form, swerve at the last minute in yet another desperate attempt to save his own ass; the base, too, will likely espy the precipitous, electoral catastrophe ahead and begin grinding its gears into downshift, to avert utter disaster; but it will all be for naught — the raging, irrational base will mangle itself into oblivion.

    And Mitt Romney? Deprived of a truly emotionally satisfying triumphalist moment, he’ll just wander back to his quarter-billion, poor thing.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Friday, February 24, 2012
    Red State Of Insanity
    Posted by Zandar

    Seven Republican attorneys general are joining together to sue the Obama administration over birth control coverage rules, citing Frist Amendment violations and asking a Nebraska District Judge to throw out the provision.

    The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Three Nebraska-based groups — Catholic Social Services, Pius X Catholic High School and the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America — are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

    Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate, said the administration’s regulation “forces of millions of Americans to choose between following religious convictions and complying with federal law.

    “We will not stand idly by while out constitutionally guaranteed liberties are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them,” he said.

    That of course is a smokescreen. This is the real reason.

    The lawsuit alleges that the rule will effectively force religious employers and organizations to drop health insurance coverage, which will raise enrollment in state Medicaid programs and increase patient numbers at state-subsidized hospitals and medical centers.

    And as noted, Jon Bruning is leading the charge here in Nebraska…oh and running for Senate. Surprise!

    Of course, the GOP goal here is to win a decision here where the federal government can no longer compel states to participate in federal programs: the Affordable Care Act, but also Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, based on moral and religious objections. At the very least it means state legislatures could simply walk away from the last 80 years, or hold referendums to do the same.

    Now given a series of state votes on ending programs, and given all the tens of millions the rich could pour into campaign ads, do you feel your state could win a vote to keep Social Security or Medicare, or Medicaid?

    I live in Kentucky.


  18. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    February 23, 2012 4:36 PM
    Santorum and For-Profit Colleges
    By Ed Kilgore

    So let’s imagine for a moment that Rick Santorum can separate his concerns about jobs and the economy from his broader commitment to cultural (or as he would put it, “spiritual”) warfare. What are some of his distinctive policy proposals beyond the usual cut-taxes-cut-spending stuff? Yes, there’s his well-known support for preferential tax treatment for manufacturers, which has received at best mixed reviews (even from conservatives). He also drew major attention recently for saying he wanted to get not only the feds but the states out of the business of significant involvement in K-12 education.

    But much less-well-known is that Santorum has set himself up as a big champion of for-profit colleges. As Daniel Luzer explains at College Guide today, Santorum has been sharply critical of the president for allegedly “waging war” on the for-profits. His position?

    Santorum explained that he was really supportive of for-profit colleges because “they are going to be the principal tool, along with community college to respond to… exploding demand for skilled and semi-skilled workers to do the jobs of the future.“

    A study published earlier this month in the Journal of Economic Perspectives indicated that the average former for-profit student earned $19,950 a year in 2009. The average former community college student, in contrast, earned $24,795.

    Some 40 percent of former for-profit students were unemployed more than 3 months after leaving their programs.

    Santorum said that he if he were elected president he would have “a very, very different attitude toward” for-profit colleges and he would support such companies enthusiastically in order to “help the business community meet their training needs.”

    That 40 percent unemployment rate might indicate that for-profit schools aren’t really the best training programs for this “revitalized economy.”

    I guess the fact that they are “private” and “for-profit” is enough for Santorum to put a big thumb on the scales on their behalf.

  19. rikyrah says:

    February 24, 2012 11:58 AM
    Romney’s “Absent-Minded” Truthtelling
    By Ed Kilgore

    So Mitt Romney “mispoke,” and Paul Krugman nailed him on it:

    Speaking in Michigan, Mr. Romney was asked about deficit reduction, and he absent-mindedly said something completely reasonable: “If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy.” A-ha. So he believes that cutting government spending hurts growth, other things equal.

    The right’s ideology police were, predictably, aghast; the Club for Growth quickly denounced the statement as showing that Mr. Romney is “not a limited-government conservative.” On the contrary, insisted the club, “If we balanced the budget tomorrow on spending cuts alone, it would be fantastic for the economy.” And a Romney spokesman tried to walk back the remark, claiming, “The governor’s point was that simply slashing the budget, with no affirmative pro-growth policies, is insufficient to get the economy turned around.”

    Krugman goes on to argue that of course, Romney understands austerity policies are bad for the economy—in the U.S. as in Europe—that his economic advisors are not fools, and that Mitt’s walk-back of his heresy is part and parcel of a “campaign of almost pathological dishonesty” aimed at tricking the GOP’s conservative “base,” which quite rightly doesn’t trust him.

    Personally, I’m something of an agnostic on the whole subject of what Romney believes or doesn’t believe, and am not sure it really matters. The problem with Krugman’s hypothesis is that it encourages the belief that once in office, Romney would stop having to play the fool and might not be that bad a president, so long as you don’t mind adding him to the list of pathological liars who have occupied the Oval Office.

    It’s worth remembering Grover Norquist’s recent assurance to conservatives about Romney that it doesn’t really matter if the man is a “true believer”—the key thing is getting the veto pen out of Obama’s hand and giving congressional Republicans the actual reins of power.

    Moreover, as the incident Krugman describes actually illustrates, the “right’s ideological police” will remain vigilant, slapping Romney back into compliance every time he wanders from the True Faith. At a time when Mitt still has a long tough path to tread before completely securing the presidential nomination, you can expect him to be administered, and to accept, any number of additional blood oaths that even a pathological liar will be held accountable for in the future. At some point, it kind of stops mattering what he really believes; he becomes the agent of people who know exactly what they believe, and how to apply those beliefs in every aspect of public policy.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, February 23, 2012
    No Respect For The Elderly
    Posted by Zandar
    If you want to know why Republicans don’t really fear eliminating Medicare and replacing it with vouchers, or going after Social Security, or turning Medicaid into block grants for states to hide brutal cuts in the program, it’s because the people it will hurt aren’t the people voting for the Republicans in the first place:

    A new report finds that black and Latino Americans are significantly more likely to be have difficulty retiring than white Americans on average.

    University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education examined statistics from 2008 to 2010 and determined that black and Latino retirees were more likely to be in the lowest income group. According to their report (PDF), 32 percent blacks and 47 percent of Latinos are in the bottom 25 percent of earners, while only 22 percent of whites were in the bottom 25 percent.

    Senior poverty rates among people of color were even more staggering, with 19.3 percent of black seniors and 19 percent of Latino seniors in poverty. Among whites, however, only 7.4 percent of seniors were below the poverty line.

    Statistics showed that blacks and Latinos were also far less likely have retirement plans or health insurance offered by their employers, factors that make saving for retirement even harder.

    So yes, there’s a reason why Republicans want to cut these programs and make things worse: they figure they won’t lose too much of the Senior vote at all from where they are currently.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    February 24, 2012 1:28 PM
    Running On Empty
    By Ed Kilgore

    It’s not clear to me why Mitt Romney was so hell-bent on delivering his Detroit Economic Club speech today (officially unveiling the tax plan everybody’s been writing about all week) at a nearly-empty Ford Field (he even joked about it) but that’s what he did, after his poor advance team discarded several scenarios for making the site look no more empty than his rhetoric.

    Maybe he thought it was a suitable venue for doing a big shout-out to the Detroit Lions, who recently completed their best season in a couple of decades. But even at their absolute nadir, the Lions were drawing a lot more than the 1200 souls who showed up to listen to Mitt’s pithy remarks. And from a superstitious point of view, Romney should probably be aware the resurgent Lions haven’t quite made it to the Superbowl just yet.

    Sometimes the Romney Death Star looks terrifying to us mere mortals whose ambitions are clouded by inconveniences like day-jobs and scruples. But sometimes it looks more like a machine built around a self-regarding man who thinks his image is too big for anything smaller than a stadium Jumbotron.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The fate of the contraception lawsuits
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:39 AM EST.

    As Tricia noted earlier, seven states filed suit this week, challenging the Obama administration’s policy on contraception coverage. Led by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning (R), the seven Republican attorneys general are arguing that the policy — which exempts churches and will not force religiously-affiliated employers to cover birth-control costs directly — “discards” and “violates” the First Amendment.

    What’s more, this isn’t the only case. On Tuesday, Ave Maria University, a controversial Catholic law school in Florida, filed its own federal lawsuit, alleging that the Obama administration is “bullying” religious institutions.

    Does the litigation have a credible shot? Sahil Kapur takes a closer look and concludes, “[P]robably not.”

    “I don’t think they have much of a case under current precedent,” said Jessica Arons of the Center For American Progress. “Courts in New York and California have already upheld the exemption that was initially adopted by the Administration. And I think the further accommodation that the Administration has offered shows exceeding sensitivity to claims of religious liberty that are not required under the law.”

    Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, was more blunt. “This lawsuit is inspired by politics and nothing more,” he told TPM. “Even under the previously announced rule there was little chance of success.”

    One avenue for a challenge is on First Amendment grounds. But the Supreme Court has emphatically said religious entities may not be exempted from generally applicable laws, with some exceptions that don’t apply to this issue.

    Sahil added that the more credible legal avenue is challenging the contraception case under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), signed by President Clinton in 1993, but UCLA’s Winkler said the compromise the White House accepted on the policy makes this argument “nonsense.”

    In all likelihood, the lawsuits are intended to make the right feel better, and perhaps give the relevant players a boost in fundraising. For that matter, the courts are occasionally unpredictable, and these conservative lawyers may feel like it’s worth rolling the dice.

    But if precedent and common sense win out, these lawsuits more closely resemble publicity stunts than legitimate legal challenges.

    As for the bigger picture, the cases themselves reinforce a larger progressive argument: the right isn’t just fighting against birth-control access, they’re even pushing this effort into the courts.

  23. Frontiers in advance work

    A lot of Dems — and even neutral reporter types — are raising questions on Twitter about Mitt Romney’s decision to stage his big economic speech at Ford Field, given that it didn’t exactly fill the stadium.

    Here’s a shot that captures the scene pretty well (Romney is in the far right of the picture, at the podium):

  24. rikyrah says:

  25. rikyrah says:

    Delusions About the Detroit Bailout
    Published: February 23, 2012

    WHEN Mitt Romney takes the podium at Ford Field in Detroit today, he’s likely to include yet another sharp denunciation of the government’s rescue of General Motors and Chrysler.

    That Mr. Romney would traverse Michigan trashing a program that saved tens of thousands of jobs at the Detroit-based automakers doesn’t necessarily mean he’s politically tone-deaf.

    After all, an NBC/Marist poll recently found that 50 percent of Michigan Republicans who were likely to vote opposed the government’s actions (only 42 percent supported them).

    Mr. Romney may have the primary politics right — though with a majority of Michigan voters supporting the rescue, he may want to pivot deftly before the general election in November. But on the substance he’s dead wrong.

    As a presidential aspirant, Mr. Romney evidently hasn’t felt a need to be consistent or specific as to what should have been done to address the collapse of the auto industry starting in late 2008. But the gist is that the government should have stayed on the sidelines and allowed the companies to go through what he calls “managed bankruptcies,” financed by private capital.

    That sounds like a wonderfully sensible approach — except that it’s utter fantasy. In late 2008 and early 2009, when G.M. and Chrysler had exhausted their liquidity, every scrap of private capital had fled to the sidelines.

    I know this because the administration’s auto task force, for which I was the lead adviser, spoke diligently to all conceivable providers of funds, and not one had the slightest interest in financing those companies on any terms. If Mr. Romney disagrees, he should come forward with specific names of willing investors in place of empty rhetoric. I predict that he won’t be able to, because there aren’t any.

    Without government financing — initiated by President George W. Bush in December 2008 — the two companies would not have been able to pursue Chapter 11 reorganization. Instead they would have been forced to cease production, close their doors and lay off virtually all workers once their coffers ran dry.

    Those shutdowns would have reverberated through the entire auto sector, causing innumerable suppliers almost immediately to stop operating too.

    Despite the relative health of its balance sheet, even Ford would have been forced to close temporarily, because critical parts would have become unavailable. And service providers — trucking companies, restaurants and more — would have been severely affected.

    More than a million jobs would have been lost, at least for a time. Michigan and the entire industrial Midwest would have been devastated.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Culture of Corruption Watch
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:38 PM EST.

    House Republicans apparently thought they were making a smart move when they tapped Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) to lead the party’s national fundraising efforts for 2012. And to a certain extent, the decision has paid off — contributions to the NRCC have increased since Buchanan took over as finance chairman.

    It’s the ongoing allegations of corruption surrounding Buchanan that pose the larger problem.

    Federal inquiries surrounding Mr. Buchanan appear to be widening, as investigators examine allegations that his companies improperly reimbursed contributors to his campaigns and claimed improper tax deductions and that he failed to include all his varied financial interests in his Congressional disclosure reports.

    The Federal Election Commission has already completed one investigation that produced a settlement this week with a former partner of Mr. Buchanan’s who used their car dealership to reimburse employees for contributing to the congressman’s campaigns, in violation of federal law.

    The commission dropped its case against Mr. Buchanan himself over the reimbursements, despite testimony that he took part in the scheme. But agents for the F.B.I. and the Internal Revenue Service recently contacted former employees alleging financial improprieties by Mr. Buchanan, who owns a number of auto dealerships throughout Florida and elsewhere and is one of the richest members of Congress.

    In case that’s not enough, the New York Times report added that a federal grand jury in Tampa is hearing evidence in the case, while the House Ethics Committee is investigating Buchanan’s failure to disclose numerous financial interests.

    As a rule, when a member of Congress has drawn the interest of the FBI, the IRS, a federal grand jury, and the House Ethics Committee — all at the same time — the politician in question has a bit of a problem on his hands.

    When this politician is tasked with raising money to keep his caucus in the majority, it suggests his party has a problem on its hands, too.

  27. Ametia says:

    Michael Steele: Gay Individuals Should Have ‘Full Privileges And Benefits’
    By Zack Ford on Feb 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele recently debated MSNBC’s John Heilemann about comparisons between same-sex and interracial marriage, arguing that people who are black have a significantly different experience from those who are gay because of the visibility of their identities. Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher followed up with Steele about this interview, and Steele explained that though he still opposes marriage equality, he supports “full privileges and benefits” for the LGBT community:

    STEELE: I’ve been very supportive of gay rights activists… I do not support gay marriage because of my own religious tenets and my faith tradition, but at the same time I do believe in making sure that gay individuals have full privileges and benefits, whether it’s insurance and health and all the other things that couples would have in a relationship, and I would argue the same for heterosexual couples. I don’t understand why you have a man and a woman who live together for 7, 8, 10 years, whatever, why they can’t enjoy the same type of benefits.

  28. Ametia says:

    Umm; lookie here; a pic from 1928 . Everyday’s a carnival, when you’re in the KLAN!

  29. Dannie Owens ‏ @DAOWENS44:

    Coach benched for calling Whitney Houston the N-word on Facebook – Chicago Sun-Times these racist mofos

    • Benched? What happened to being FIRED? He has no business in that position.

      • Ametia says:

        Yes, FIRE THE BITCH. And see if She takes sensitivity training. NOT. The racism is buried so deep in these folks, it just surfaces, and before they realize it, it’s on paper, spewing out of their hateful mouths. They can’t contain it any more, particularly some of these white WOMEN & MEN. I wouldn’t want this coach anywhere near my children after this RACIST RANT.

      • John Kelly said Wednesday that his life has been “ruined” by the repercussions from the posting. He said he’s not a racist and did not realize he had posted the word. His comment was reposted to the Westside Baseball of Oak Lawn Facebook page.

        His Facebook post read, in part, “I’m so sick of reading about this dumb stupid N – – – – – Whitney Houston.”

        “I didn’t even realize I put it in until after I sent it,” he said.

      • John Kelly,

        People say things that’s in their heart. You did realized you hurled a slur because you’re so use to it. It just comes out with such ease.

        Fire this mofo. No way this bigot needs to be around kids…especially little black kids. Fire him now.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Make The Gas Face For Those Little White Lies
    by Zandar

    One of the nation’s biggest oil lobbyists in January warned the President that he could make life very uncomfortable for his re-election chances if he didn’t approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

    The oil industry’s top lobbyist warned the Obama administration Wednesday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline or face “huge political consequences” in an election year.

    Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said it would be a “huge mistake” for President Barack Obama to reject the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Obama faces a Feb. 21 deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.

    “Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest,” Gerard said at the trade association’s annual “State of American Energy” event. “A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences.”

    Jump to six weeks later:

    Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to undercut President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects and offering Republicans an easy target. With prices pushing $4 a gallon and threatening to go even higher, Obama sought Thursday to confront rising public anxiety and strike back at his GOP critics.

    Obama said dismissively that all the Republicans can talk about is more drilling — “a bumper sticker … a strategy to get politicians through an election” — when the nation’s energy challenges demand much more. In a speech in Miami, he promoted the expansion of domestic oil and gas exploration but also the development of new forms of energy.

    For all the political claims, economists say there’s not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices. Certainly not in the short term. But it’s clear that people are concerned — a new Associated Press-GfK poll says seven in 10 find the issue deeply important — so it’s sure to be a political issue through the summer.

    You do the math. I’m thinking Big Oil already has, and they’re liking the numbers they see. The Republicans and the Village certainly aren’t above concern trolling President Obama, either. Remember, he’s “bad for business” when he doesn’t give corporations the “certainty” of a negative tax rate and all the steak fajita grandes they can eat on Tuesdays.

    Presidents may not be able to do much about gasoline prices, but oil companies sure as hell can.

  31. rikyrah says:

    The end of a short-lived grace period
    By Steve Benen – Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:05 AM EST.

    In the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt against Gabrielle Giffords, there was an effort on the part of many to show restraint when it came to rhetoric about politics and violence. That grace period is now long gone.

    Republican pollster Frank Luntz, for example, is comfortable joking about using his car to run down President Obama. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) thought it was funny to say, “In Arizona, sometimes to gain office you have to have shot someone.” Rep. Paul Broun (R) of Georgia held a town-hall meeting last year in which a constituent asked, “Who is going to shoot President Obama?” — a line which reportedly prompted a “big laugh” from the crowd.

    Right-wing humor is just so droll.

    Rep. John Sullivan (R) of Oklahoma became the latest to use this kind of political/violent rhetoric this week, sharing some thoughts on the federal budget at a town-hall meeting on Wednesday:

    “I supported the Paul Ryan budget and sent it over to the Senate. Now I live with some Senators, I yell at them all the time, I grabbed one of them the other day and shook him and I’d love to get them to vote for it — boy I’d love that. You know but other than me going over there with a gun and holding it to their head and maybe killing a couple of them, I don’t think they’re going to listen unless they get beat.”

    Sullivan’s office later acknowledged his “poor choice of words,” and extended an apology “to anyone he offended.”

    KOKI-TV in Tulsa aired this video of Sullivan making the remarks. Note the gun gesture with his hand when he talks about murdering senators who oppose the Paul Ryan budget plan.

    In my heart of hearts, I sincerely doubt the Republican congressman would commit acts of violence against other lawmakers, but in the larger context, and just days after Luntz’s “joke” about violence towards the president, I have to admit I liked the post-Giffords grace period better.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:31 AM ET, 02/24/2012
    The Morning Plum: Flip-flop and falsehood fatigue
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s almost starting to seem as if there’s a clever method underlying Mitt Romney’s nonstop flip-flops, falsehoods and all around dissembling. Perhaps the idea is to simply wear reporters and commentators down by trafficking in them so heavily that they throw up their hands and give up on trying to track or debunk them — in effect surrendering to flip-flop and falsehood fatigue.

    My pick for read of the morning is Ron Brownstein’s tough piece on Romney marveling at his “nervy” strategy of painting opponents as ideologically inconsistent, his own most glaring liability:

    The most consistent note in Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign is attacking his rivals for their ideological inconsistency. It’s a nervy strategy for a candidate whose own greatest vulnerability is the sense, especially among conservatives, that he has serially reconsidered his positions for political advantage on issues from abortion to gay rights to immigration.
    But the former Massachusetts governor is enjoying enormous success in raising doubts about whether the rivals claiming ground to his right are truly committed to conservative principles, with Rick Santorum the latest victim in a one-sided CNN debate Wednesday night.
    Romney recently attacked Santorum for supporting No Child Left Behind even though he has sounded supportive of it himself in the past. And Romney recently revealed he believes that “if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy,” which is at odds with the economic conservativism he professes to believe in. Paul Krugman devotes a whole column today to the meaning of this claim, noting that Romney accidentally admitted that he believes in Keynsian economics — apostasy for the right — before Romney’s spokesperson quickly walked it back.

    Some commentators have taken to suggesting that, hey, all this stuff shows that Romney doesn’t actually believe the stuff he’s spewing to get through the GOP primary; he’d govern as a moderate. (Also a surrender to flip-flop and falsehood fatigue.) Krugman rebuts:

    The cynicism and lack of moral courage that have been so evident in the campaign wouldn’t suddenly vanish once Mr. Romney entered the Oval Office. If he doesn’t dare disagree with economic nonsense now, why imagine that he would become willing to challenge that nonsense later? And bear in mind that if elected, he would be watched like a hawk for signs of apostasy by the very people he’s trying so desperately to appease right now.
    The truth is that Mr. Romney is so deeply committed to insincerity that neither side can trust him to do what it considers to be the right thing.
    Fun thought experiment: Imagine the wall-to-wall media mockery that John Kerry or Al Gore would have endured if they’d tried even a fraction of the shenanigans Romney has resorted to so far.

  33. Talking Points Memo ‏ @TPM:

    Obama campaign opens fifth office in Virginia:

  34. Ametia says:


    The Wisconsin] Dems announced on a conference call with reporters Thursday that they were filing a complaint with the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state, and also forwarding a copy to the Internal Revenue Service at the federal level. The complaint involves statements that Koch made to a newspaper — and his organization’s official non-profit, non-partisan status.

    “We’re helping [Scott Walker], as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years,” Koch told the Palm Beach Post in a profile story published this past weekend. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”

    “These organizations are a farce,” said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate, referring to AFP’s 501(c)(3) status, as well as that of a state level conservative organization the MacIver Institute. “This designation allows an organization to accept tax-deductible contributions and further provides that they are not required to disclose their donors, nor are they required to report their spending until after an election has taken place.”

    He further added: “But to maintain this status, a 501(c)(3) is prohibited from engaging in ‘activities which constitute participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate.’”

  35. Ametia says:

    Melissa Harris Perry New Weekend show begins Saturday, 2-25 Sunday, 2-26 at 10 EDT on MSNBC!

  36. Bill Maher Presents Obama Super PAC With $1 Million Check At End Of Comedy Performance

    • While performing his “StupidCrazyPolitics” show at the San Jose Center For The Performing Arts in San Jose, CA Thursday night, comedian and HBO host Bill Maher announced he would be donating $1 million to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Barack Obama Super PAC.

      • Ametia says:

        Good on Maher. Time to put his $$$ where his mouth is. I’m sure PBO doesn’t give a shit what Maher has said about him in the past or will continue to say about him in the future. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. thanks Bill, PBO will need every dime he can get to fend off the GOP wolves and their SuperPacs.


  37. Ametia says:

    Bring Lawrence, bring the TRUTH!

  38. First lady Michelle Obama tours the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Cincinnati.

  39. First Lady Michelle Obama views The Slave Pen exhibit while touring the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb. 23, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Dina Bailey, Associate Curator of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory; Verna Williams; and Allison Singleton. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

  40. rikyrah says:

    Friday, February 24, 2012
    Mitt Fails At Math
    Posted by Zandar
    Mitt Romney’s new tax plan is, in a word, horrendous. James Kwak deconstructs it over at The Atlantic:

    According to yesterday’s bullet points, Romney wants to cut all tax rates by 20 percent, meaning that the top income tax rate, which is currently scheduled to rise from 35 percent (George W. Bush, 2001) to 39.6 percent (Bill Clinton, 1993), would instead fall to 28 percent.

    There are several things about this plan that are either loony or deeply misleading. One is the claim that it would “address the debt crisis” because it will be paid for by $500 billion in spending cuts by 2016. But the only proposals mentioned would (a) repeal the Affordable Care Act (increasing deficits, since the ACA has been scored as deficit-reducing); (b) convert Medicaid to a block grant (no deficit impact); (c) increase government efficiency (yawn); and (d) cut Social Security and Medicare benefits for “younger generations” (no impact until well after 2016). In other words, it’s a complete fantasy.

    There’s a shocker. Mitt’s latest plan is not only Laffer-lympics taken to the nth degree, the number don’t add up because, well, they can’t.

    The bottom line is that if, like Mitt Romney, you want to cut tax rates by 20 percent, eliminate the estate tax, and eliminate the AMT, it is arithmetically impossible for the top 1% to pay anything close to their current effective tax rate.

    So yes, Mitt literally fails at math. And this will benefit him with Republican primary voters, because let’s face it, they don’t want to believe in facts anyway

  41. rikyrah says:

    Did Romney Really Embrace Arizona’s Harsh Immigration Laws?

    Pema Levy February 24, 2012, 5:28 AM

    Mitt Romney pulled off a strong debate performance Wednesday night, but one comment may haunt him all the way to November. When asked about immigration, the former governor said, “You know, I think you see a model here in Arizona.”

    In the hours since the debate, many Hispanic media outlets interpreted his words to mean a full-fledged endorsement of Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB1070. Democrats pounced on the former governor’s words to label him “the GOP’s most extreme candidate.” They created a video centered around the line, and said Romney had embraced “fully and wholeheartedly the most controversial, divisive and extreme anti-immigrant law in the U.S.”

    But Romney didn’t exactly embrace SB1070. The line is ambiguous, but it appears to be a wink at the conservative base before pivoting away from the toxic law. Instead of SB1070, which gives police great leeway in detaining people on suspicion of having entered the country illegally and makes not carrying immigration papers a crime, Romney invoked a 2007 Arizona law requiring that employers use the E-Verify system to make sure they are hiring workers who are in the country legally. Here’s the exchange:

    MODERATOR: You’ve talked to the governor about self-deportation, if businesses do their job, asking for the right documents, the people will leave. What about arresting? Should they be aggressive, seek them out, find them and arrest them as the Sheriff Arpaio advocates?
    ROMNEY: You know, I think you see a model in Arizona. They passed a law here that says — that says that people who come here and try and find work, that the employer is required to look them up on E- Verify. This E-Verify system allows employers in Arizona to know who’s here legally and who’s not here legally.

    Romney’s decision to talk about E-Verify looks like a step away from the more extreme positions he’s taken in the past. Arguably the furthest right on immigration among the GOP candidates, Romney has called the Dream Act a “handout” and welcomed Kris Kobach, the architect of the Arizona law, as an adviser to his campaign. By comparison, he seemed tame Wednesday night. Though Romney said he would drop the federal lawsuit the Obama administration currently has against SB1070, he never mentioned the law by name or used far-right buzz words like “self-deportation,” sticking to E-Verify, which is, at least politically, far less toxic.

    “He pandered,” said Luis Heredia, Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party in describing Romney’s comments. “He said words like ‘using Arizona as a model.’ This was immediately after a reference to Joe Arpaio. I think Romney might have framed it at the debate as one thing, but his endorsement, his previous comments, how he wants to approach this issue in the primary, is to be extreme.”

    Whatever Romney was trying to say — or not say — Wednesday night, his broader comment that Arizona is a ‘model’ opened the door to Democrats’ attacks. The Latino vote may not be a problem for Romney in the primary, but if he makes it to the general election, he will be in a position, particularly in states like Arizona, where he may have to moderate his stance on immigration. And when he does that, Democrats will have this video waiting just for the occasion.

  42. rikyrah says:

    What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    by Betty Cracker

    Big Pink Inc., still smarting from that unfortunate Planned Parenthood rock-turning incident that exposed the wingnut creepy-crawlies running the joint, the inflated executive salaries, the breathtakingly large portion of donations funneled toward corporate whoring, etc., has hired Mark Penn’s flak organization to gauge PR fallout and presumably craft a communications strategy to repair the damage. Here’s a sample survey question:

    Penn, as you may recall, was the genius behind the twin ”caucuses, what caucuses?” and “hard-working white Americans” strategies in the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign that nearly destroyed the Clinton brand and almost certainly cost the current Secretary of State the nomination while leaving her campaign on the hook for millions of dollars. Penn has since gone on to be wrong about just about everything else, making a serious play for Bill Kristol’s all-time wrong record. So he’ll no doubt be a terrific asset to the Komen peeps.

  43. rikyrah says:

    GOP uses Bush as a model of moderation
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:42 AM EST

    Three years after Bill Clinton left the White House in January 2001, the 2004 Democratic candidates were tripping over each other to connect themselves to the nation’s 42nd president. I remember one September 2003 debate in which literally every Dem running for the party’s nomination said they were the rightful heir to the Clinton legacy.

    Al Sharpton, after a while, apparently couldn’t take it anymore. “I know that within the next hour we’ll say that Bill Clinton walked on water,” he joked.

    We’re at a comparable point now with regards to George W. Bush — three years after a two-term president left office, his party is looking to nominate a challenger to an incumbent. Dems in 2004 couldn’t stop referencing Bill Clinton, but in 2012 prefer, Republicans prefer to pretend the Bush presidency simply never happened.

    Emily Heil ran a report a few weeks ago, noting that after 16 major debates for the GOP presidential field, Bush’s name had only come up “a pitiful 56 times.” (By comparison, Reagan’s name was uttered 221 times.)

    Given that Americans still blame Bush, not Obama, for the current economy, it’s not unreasonable to think Republicans should be pressed a little more on whether, and to what extent, they agree with the GOP leader who was in office just three years ago.

    Fortunately, as NBC’s Mark Murray noticed, this week’s debate offered a change of pace.

    So far during this Republican presidential primary season, discussion of George W. Bush and his policies has been almost non-existent.

    But at last night’s GOP debate, He Who Must Not Be Named — Bush — was named by the candidates or moderator nine times.

    And his presence over the debate was even bigger: Almost every heated exchange invoked, one way or another, policies, endorsements, or legislation from the Bush era.

    No Child Left Behind. That infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” TARP. The 2001 airline bailout. The 2002 steel bailout. Even the 2004 Specter-vs.-Toomey primary.

    This was long overdue. We’re still living with the consequences of Bush-era policies, so it’s only fair that his would-be Republican successors would start exploring this record in more detail.

    That said, the nature of this exploration wasn’t exactly encouraging.


    Bush and Bush-era GOP policies came up far more often in this week’s debate, but in each instance, this was used as a cudgel to beat down other candidates for being insufficiently right-wing. As Mark Murray added:

  44. rikyrah says:

    The increasingly worthless GOP nomination

    Mitt Romney is pandering so desperately to the far-right fringe that he’s become all but unelectable in November

    posted on February 23, 2012, at 6:05 PM

    By all accounts, Mitt Romney won what may be the last Republican presidential debate. Little good it will do him if in the process he suffers the loss of the general election.

    Romney’s performance on Wednesday in Arizona was both adequate and alienating. Spraying out a fusillade of negative research, he oppo-bombed a flummoxed Rick Santorum. Mitt even had the nerve to attack Rick for endorsing Arlen Specter, his pro-abortion-rights GOP Senate colleague from Pennsylvania, for re-election in 2004. Santorum lacked the minimal deftness to respond that Romney himself was in favor of abortion rights back then. The Massachusetts governor who has morphed into a reborn Michigander pressed on: The author of RomneyCare accused Santorum of being responsible for ObamaCare because Specter had voted for it. Santorum was also relentlessly earmarked on stage; the latest incarnation of the non-Romney suddenly looked like the also-ran he has been for most of the campaign. He earned a D+ grade from Game Change author Mark Halperin.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Why Mitt Romney Might Be Even Weaker Than You Think

    Kyle Leighton February 24, 2012, 6:13 AM

    Mitt Romney’s got a problem.

    Purple Strategies released their “Purple Poll” on Thursday, data from twelve swing states the showed former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) in a better position to beat President Obama than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It wasn’t by much — overall, Santorum was down two against the President versus a four point Obama advantage on Romney. But for the former governor, who has collected the most delegates, endorsements and cash so far, it’s not great.

    But even less great: Romney’s favorability numbers are lower – much lower – than any other frontrunner candidate of either party at this point in the race in recent presidential elections.

    “His favorable ratings are just atrocious,” Doug Usher, a managing partner at Purple Strategies and a veteran of the Kerry Campaign and other Democratic efforts said. “You can’t be sitting on 27 percent favorability in the general,” the level Romney is at in their new numbers.

    “The best thing that Mitt Romney could actually do is actually run a campaign that said something,” Bruce Haynes, one of the founding partners of Purples Strategies and a veteran of GOP campaigns, told TPM. “It’s a Seinfeld campaign. It’s a campaign about nothing. It was good for nine years of TV. But Mitt Romney is going to to have to deliver a commitment and a promise to voters. If he is delivering one, it’s not breaking through.”

    The problem, as they see it, is that Romney’s chief attribute — electability — is becoming less convincing as the primary process goes on. “Since September, we have tested President Obama against Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, and now Rick Santorum,” they wrote in their analysis of the numbers. “Of all of these candidates, Rick Santorum is the only one to outperform Romney (albeit by a small margin) against President Obama in Purple America. Additionally, among independents, Romney trails by 3 points, while Santorum leads President Obama by 2 points (44% to 42%).”

    Usher and Haynes also pointed to Romney’s position within the general electorate as a candidate in February as being historically low. None of which makes it completely impossible he could win in November, and Romney will have the resources to make a fix as election day approaches. But the primary process has dragged him down, mainly because he entered the fray as a the frontrunner and has had a target on his back.

    Check out the data below, a combined look at how leading contenders for their party’s nomination were viewed by general election voters in February of the election year.

  46. rikyrah says:

    We Wouldn’t Have to Eat Kraft Dinner

    by mistermix

    Bill Maher had a live special on Yahoo last night and ended it with a million dollar donation to the Obama SuperPAC. Since that PAC raised $59,000 last month, I hope this starts a trend of rich liberals throwing down big money. Here’s the whole special if you’re interested.

    In addition to SuperPACs, the Obama campaign is doing pretty well raising money directly from donors. It picked up $36.8 million in January, versus Romney’s $6.5 million take, and outspent the Romney campaign in Q4 2011 by almost $22 million. While Romney and his SuperPAC are wasting money fighting off the not-Romney of the moment, Obama is opening field offices. Romney is also having a hard time raising money from small donors. In January, he raised the least of the four remaining GOP candidates ($1.6 million) from donations under the reporting limit of $200.

    Between the negative ads sucking up all the cash, and the debates turning off all the women and minorities, this primary season is going to go into the history books in the same way 1976 did for Republicans or 1980 did for Democrats. The only difference is the early schedule might give Mitt a chance to hide and retool for a few months before the convention, and he better, because his favorables go down every time his mug appears on a TV screen.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Who Will Romney Pick for Veep?

    by BooMan
    Fri Feb 24th, 2012 at 01:55:24 AM EST

    There are different strategies that presidential nominees pursue when selecting their running mates. One of the most popular is creating regional balance. For example, John F. Kennedy needed to reassure the racists in the Democratic Party, so he picked a Texan. That Texan became president when JFK was killed in Texas, and he compensated by picked a pro-civil rights northerner, Hubert H, Humphrey, That Texan also became the greatest champion of black rights since Abraham Lincoln. Jimmy Carter followed that model by picking Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale as his running mate.
    Another strategy is to pick someone to excite the base of your party. Nixon did this with Agnew. McCain did this with Palin. But something related is trying a desperation move by appealing to some racial, religious, ethnic, or gender group. Mondale and McCain did this with their picks of Geraldine Ferraro and Palin, respectively. Gore did it with Joe Lieberman.

    Another option is picking your strongest rival. Reagan chose this path. It shores up divisions in the party. Obama made his chief rival his Secretary of State, which is not much different in its intention.

    Another option to pick someone who is an ideological fellow-traveler. I think Dole had this in mind when he selected Jack Kemp. I think Clinton did the same with Gore and Gore did the same with Lieberman.

    Another strategy is o pick someone who makes you look good by comparison. Nixon did this with Agnew. Poppy Bush did it with Dan Quayle.

    Finally, you can pick someone strictly for what you view as competence. I think George W. Bush did this with Cheney and Obama did it with Biden.

    As you can see, there can be some overlap. But assuming Mitt Romney pulls this thing out and wins the nomination, how do we see him going with his vice-presidential pick?

    He could go for regional balance and look for a southerner. Her could pick someone who makes him look awesome by comparison. He could pick an ideological soul-mate, although no one seems to know where he really stands on the issues. He could pick his strongest rival. He could make a desperation move to try to win latino votes or the support of women. Or he could go for someone who he truly thinks is up to the job.

    Feel free to use the same criteria to guess who Santorum or Gingrich would pick.

  48. rikyrah says:

    all I can say is OUCH:

    Martin Bashir: “Newt Gingrich said he’s going to take oil prices down to $2 or $2.50 – the only thing that Newt Gingrich is very skilled at doing is taking his underpants down in the form of the number of adulteries that this man commits.”

  49. rikyrah says:

    I know it’s cheesy, but I LOVED the Target Christmas commercial India did with Stevie Wonder.

  50. Ametia says:

    happy FRY-day, Everyone!

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