Saturday Open Thread

Barack Hussein Obama II (Listeni/bəˈrɑːk hˈsn ˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.

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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65 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Game Change

    by John Cole

    So Game Change premieres tonight on HBO, and I am honestly still unsure whether or not I will watch it. I’ve barely recovered from listening to that ignorant harpy in 2008 and am really not sure I can take a sustained two hour exposure to her tonight, even if it isn’t actually her. This may be one of those movies that is so painful I can only watch it in ten to fifteen minute increments.

    Palin elicits feelings in me I am not proud of having, and this is a testament to what a truly ugly, awful human being she really is. Just the other day on Fox, she was there spewing her mindless bile, accusing the President of hating white people because of the color of their skin. She had the audacity to claim thet the nation’s first black President actually wanted to revert to pre-Civil war era racism. Why? Because Obama hugged his law professor 20+ years ago.

    It’s really hard to measure what an awful, hideous, disgusting human being she is- a worthless sack of flesh whose only mission in life is to sow hatred and animosity, a sad soul with no ability to empathize or behave as a rational actor, and it is worth remembering that this foul beast almost was the Vice President of the United States. Thanks for that, John McCain.

    It is my belief that without the elevation of Palin, in all her ugly ignorant glory, we wouldn’t have had the ascent and acceptance of the tea party. When Palin’s odious vitriol and ugly beliefs were mainstreamed, it paved the way for the Joe the Plumbers and the rest of the ugly uninformed orthogonian lumpenproletariat to wear their ignorance, racism, religious sophistry, hatred, and crude nativism as a badge of honor.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

    • This is a spectacular overview of President Obama, his family and his administration…I don’t believe we will ever encounter and individual more capable of leading our country in a positive direction in our lifetime.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With G.O.P.

    As baby showers go, the party Mary Russell attended to celebrate her niece’s first child was sweet, with about a dozen women offering congratulations over ice cream and cake.

    But somewhere between the baby name game and the gifts, what had been light conversation took a sharp turn toward the personal and political — specifically, the battle over access to birth control and other women’s health issues that have sprung to life on the Republican campaign trail in recent weeks.

    “We all agreed that this seemed like a throwback to 40 years ago,” said Ms. Russell, 57, a retired teacher from Iowa City who describes herself as an evangelical Christian and “old school” Republican of the moderate mold.

    Until the baby shower, just two weeks ago, she had favored Mitt Romney for president.

    Not anymore. She said she might vote for President Obama now. “I didn’t realize I had a strong viewpoint on this until these conversations,” Ms. Russell said. As for the Republican presidential candidates, she added: “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business.”


    “Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks,” said Fran Kelley, a retired public school worker in Seattle who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election. Of the Republican candidates this year, she added, “They’re nothing but hatemongers trying to control everyone, saying, ‘Live as I live.’ ”


    Ms. Russell, who changed her political views at the baby shower, said she was impressed with how Mr. Obama handled his administration’s compromise over the much-debated birth control policy, saying, “I think he’s more of a women’s candidate.”

    Mr. Romney’s reaction to Mr. Limbaugh’s statements about the Georgetown student cemented a negative view of him. “I expected him to have the guts to stand up and say what Rush did was wrong,” she said. “Wrong, wrong, wrong in every sense of the word wrong.”

    A rally for women’s rights in San Diego on Thursday drew Jessica Lopez, 27, a registered independent who said she voted for President George W. Bush in 2004. Ms. Lopez said her choice this year became clear amid the Republican debate on contraception and abortion. “This has really energized me, that I need to get more involved with the Obama campaign,” she said.

    Ms. Lopez added: “The G.O.P. has never been so clear about their agenda for women. I’m afraid if we get a Republican president, my health will be up to their personal discretion.”

  3. Florida Family Seeks Justice After Unarmed Teen Shot by Neighborhood Watch Captain

    The family of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is demanding answers after police have yet to release 911 tapes or make an arrest nearly one month after the unarmed African-American teenager was shot and killed by a white neighborhood watch captain in a gated Florida community.

    Trayvon Martin was visiting his father, Tracy, who lives in a gated community in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, during NBA All Star Weekend. On Feb. 26, Martin went out to buy snacks during the game and was on his way back from a local convenience store, carrying only Skittles and an iced tea, when he was spotted by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, a 26-year-old captain of the neighborhood watch, called the police to report a suspicious person in the area.

    According to the Martin family lawyer, Ben Crump, police told Zimmerman they would be there shortly and advised him to stand down, advice which he disregarded. Instead Zimmerman, whom Crump referred to as a “loose cannon,” confronted the teen on the sidewalk near his father’s home.

    A police report indicated that Zimmerman, who was armed with a handgun, was found bleeding from the nose and the back of the head, standing over Martin, who was unresponsive after being shot. According to the report, an officer at the scene overheard Zimmerman saying, “I was yelling for someone to help me but no one would help me.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    What consumer protection looks like: CFPB goes after overdraft fees; bank mouthpieces pout
    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 3:42 PM

    This is admittedly a story that kind of fell through the cracks while we were focusing on the GOP’s insistence on a government small enough to insert itself into a woman’s vagina. But it’s an important story if you do any banking. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going after bank overdraft fees. Yes, President Obama’s credit card reform already limited banks to charging overdraft fees to those who opt-in (for others, transactions would be denied), but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the first federal agency in history with a sole mission to protect consumers – is now probing the banks’ actual practices on charging and advertising overdraft fees and how it affects consumers who do sign up for overdraft protection in exchange for a fee.

    Along with outlines of the inquiry into fees, the CFPB released a sample “penalty fee box” that they may institute for banks to tell customers just how much they are paying in overdraft fees and how they could lower or eliminate those payments.

    So what are the specific areas under scrutiny by the bureau? Bank tricks to reorder your transactions so they can charge you the most overdraft fees possible, confusing the hell out of you with lengthy and legalese fine print, misleading marketing material, and the victimization of low-income and young consumers.

  5. rikyrah says:

    RNC’s desperate spin on Obama recovery: The weather is conspiring against Republicans!
    Friday, March 09, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 1:48 PM

    The GOP has a new enemy in their fight to stop jobs from being created: the weather! After news that the economy is escaping GOP’s death grip with momentum on the side of jobs thanks to the leadership of President Obama, the RNC held a conference call for reporters. They spun the good news every which way possible to make it look like bad news, but this has to take the cake:

    In a conference call with reporters hosted by the RNC, economist Douglas Holtz Eakin said the current rate of growth was not strong enough to provide work for previously discouraged job seekers now returning to the labor force more optimistic about finding employment. He also expressed concern that the jobs numbers were being inflated by an unusually warm winter, which allows more construction work and encourages more shopping.

    Oh noes! The weather is helping Obama!!!! I say we need to legislate the weather right away. In fact, I say mother nature – conveniently a woman – must submit to a vaginal probe before she can decide to be the wrong temperature.

    Never mind that cold winters have their own seasonal jobs – like extra ski trainers and ski resort employees and more snow plow drivers, for example, and their own spending generators – like people who go skiing, or people who travel to warmer places during the winter. But hey, don’t try and tell that to these RNC “economists.” Also, just because the four warmest winters on record all occurred within roughly the last two decades (out of 117 years on record), doesn’t mean there’s global warming or anything.

    Also, never mind that people don’t just “go shopping” and eat out because it’s nice outside. They have to first have the money to spend. Which more and more people do, thanks to the Obama recovery. There is also no construction without, you know, money for the construction, which more and more businesses have, thanks to the Obama recovery.

    Of course Douglas Holtz Eakin – of the “John McCain created the blackberry” fame – is not the only Republi-nomist picking up on this dangerous conspiracy by Mother Nature with the Obama campaign. Wall Street’s mouthpieces are at it too, wanting to create a damper on the economy.

    I can’t stop laughing. They have lost every other argument to drag down the economy and to put a negative spin on the Obama recovery, and they have now ended up at the weather! But who knows, maybe in order for Republicans to start helping on climate change, they need to first be convinced that climate change is helping Democrats!

  6. rikyrah says:

    Detroit mayor’s new plan: sell city lots for $200

    Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, under pressure to stanch cash outflows, unveiled a new plan Wednesday night that would allow property owners in the city to buy vacant city-owned lots for $200.

    The initiative, which Bing said is designed to “reduce blight in our neighborhoods,” specifically targets 500 home owners who have vacant city land sitting adjacent to their own property.

    Detroit has made headlines in recent years due to rock-bottom land values throughout much of the city, including in historic neighborhoods with stately homes and relatively solid safety records. Land carrying a minimum bid as low as $500 has gone unsold in recent auctions.

    The $200-property sale was announced during Bing’s annual state of the city speech. The mayor of Michigan’s largest city is under intense pressure from the governor to cut costs and craft a plan that can help the company run out of money in May.

    Bing’s administration has been scrambling in recent months to cut costs and raise revenue to reduce a deficit of more than $100 million. These cuts even affected the speech, which is usually held at a ritzy auditorium in the Detroit’s mid town region, but was moved to city hall this year to trim costs.

    Bing said the $200 land-purchase plan will eventually be expanded to other parts of the city. In the first wave of the plan, 500 residents were sent letters telling them to simply sign an attached application and submit $200.

    “No coming downtown,” Bing said. “No added bureaucracy. The city will mail back the deed.”

    As an added incentive, property owners participating in the plan will receive a $200 gift card to the city’s only locally-owned lumber yard so they can put up fencing on the vacant lot.

    Andre Spivey, a member of the Detroit city council, applauded the initiative as “a good idea that will allow us to get the land back on the tax rolls.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 01:57 PM PST
    Mitt Romney just another Republican who doesn’t care about the deficit+*

    by Joan McCarter

    Mitt Romney has been forced to admit an embarrassing truth: His fiscal plan for the country is half-baked.

    On CNBC Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney was given a breather from political questions about his appeal to GOP primary voters and allowed to discuss substance. When it was all over, he probably wished it had been the other way around.

    Brushing back a question about independent analyses, which conclude his plan will blow a huge hole in the budget, Romney accidentally hinted at a key fact about his fiscal policy: He left out all the hard stuff.

    “I think it’s interesting for the groups to try and score it because it can’t be scored because those kind of details have to be worked out with Congress and we have a wide array of options,” Romney said.

    But what he does know, of course, is that taxes have to be lowered. It’s the tax portion of Romney’s plan that is totally lacking, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

    Noting this, Jonathon Bernstein at the Plum Line picks up a theme about how “Republicans, for all their talk about deficits, don’t seem to assess their policy proposals as if changing revenues and spending has anything to do with federal budget deficits.”

    That’s because Republicans don’t care about deficits, whether it’s Mitt Romney or Rep. Paul Ryan or any other Republican in any position to make fiscal policy. The deficit is only a political cudgel for them to use against Democrats, not something they really care about excepting the extent to which they can use it to destroy entitlement programs. But the only fiscal policy they care about is cutting taxes for rich people.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 08:00 AM PST
    Republican primary voters older, over 90% white+*

    by Hunter

    If you’ve been sensing a certain trend while watching the Republican primaries, it turns out you’re not wrong. The National Journal ran the numbers:

    So far, according to exit polls posted on, whites have cast at least 90 percent of the votes in every Republican primary except Florida (83 percent) and Arizona (89 percent). In every other state except Michigan (92 percent) and Nevada (90 percent) whites have comprised at least 94 percent of the GOP vote this year. That includes Georgia (94), Virginia (94), Ohio (96), Oklahoma (96), Tennessee (97), South Carolina (98), Massachusetts (98), Iowa (99), New Hampshire (99), and Vermont (99).

    By comparison in the 2008 general election, whites cast only 74 percent of the total vote.

    So if you’re thinking the Republican Party has become almost exclusively a party of white people, you’re not wrong. Their primaries are being decided almost exclusively by white Americans, and older white Americans at that:

    So far this year, though, voters fifty and older cast at least 70 percent of the Republican ballots in Florida (71) and Nevada (70); at least sixty percent in Massachusetts (64), Georgia (64) Vermont (63), Tennessee (62), Oklahoma (62), South Carolina (61), Virginia (60), Iowa (60) and Michigan (60); and at least 55 percent in Ohio (56), New Hampshire (56), Arizona (55).

  9. rikyrah says:

    Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 08:18 AM PST
    Mitt Romney has already blown more than $100 million fighting Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich+*

    by Jed Lewison

    Based on Mitt Romney’s disclosure yesterday of $7.3 million cash on hand, we now know that between his official campaign and his Super PAC, Romney has spent more than $100 million so far in the 2012 campaign. That’s more than every other Republican candidate combined and is almost certainly more than President Obama has spent.

    Here’s how we know it’s more than $100 million. Last month, Romney’s cash on hand was $7.7 million. That means he spent $400,000 more than he raised during February. He raised $11.5 million, so his total spend is $12 million. Through the end of January, Romney had spent $55 million, so his total campaign spending through February was $67 million. Meanwhile, his Super PAC has spent a bit more than $33 million—bringing us to more than $100 million total.

    As you can guess, $100 million dwarfs Romney’s Republican rivals. We don’t know exactly how much Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum spent through their official campaigns in February, but if you add up their January reports along with their Super PAC spending (which is up to date), all other Gingrich spending totals roughly $34 million and all other Santorum spending totals a bit more than $10 million. Based on those numbers, Gingrich’s total spending is at most $40 million and Santorum’s is at most $20 million. Therefore, Romney’s is spending somewhere between three and ten times as much each of his rivals.

    Romney has almost certainly outspent President Obama as well, though by a smaller margin. Through the end of January, Obama’s campaign had spent $63 million and his Super PAC spending still hasn’t crossed the $1 million threshold. Unless the Obama campaign spent more than $36 million last month, Romney is in the spending lead.

    Obviously, the big difference between Mitt Romney’s spending and President Obama’s spending is that Mitt Romney is spending almost all of his cash to destroy fellow Republicans in a primary campaign while President Obama is building an infrastructure to support a general election campaign.

    Romney’s cash is primarily funding an air war in which he’s carpet bombing his rivals because he can’t win on his own merits—and even though he’s spending many times as much as his opponents, he still can’t completely seal the deal. In addition to building a general election organization, President Obama’s spending is mostly going to strengthen and expand his base of support.

    Even though President Obama has much more cash on hand than Romney—$75 million to $7.3 million—Romney won’t ultimately be at a spending disadvantage if for no other reason than that his Super PAC can take unlimited donations. But there’s one thing that money cannot buy, and that’s time. The longer it takes Mitt Romney to secure the nomination (and as Markos pointed out a couple of days ago, it could take a long time), the deeper his unpopularity problem will get—and the less time he’ll have to buy his way out of the mess he created.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 02:15 PM PST
    Kansas legislature contemplates allowing (and requiring) doctors to lie to women+*

    by Hunter

    ‘m not even sure what the Republicans are going for at this point. All I know is that if it relates to women, they’re against it:

    The sweeping anti-abortion bill working its way through the Kansas Legislature would levy a sales tax on women seeking abortions, including rape victims.

    Buried in the 69-page bill being considered by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee are several provisions, in fact, that opponents say would increase taxes on those who seek abortions. The tax sections do not include exemptions for women who want an abortion after a sexual assault or to end a life-threatening pregnancy.

    That’s great, that’s just great. Are you going to die because of complications of your pregnancy? Well, now there’s a tax for that. Raped? Yeah, we have a Rape Tax now. Not for the perpetrators of rape, of course—only for the victims.

    You would think that the anti-any-tax-for-any-reason leveling a new (Rush-Limbaugh-Approved-Word) Tax, or Rape Tax, or Save Your Damn Life Tax would maybe be the most offensive thing they could come up with. But this is Kansas, where murdering abortion-providing doctors is fine with some measurable slice of the Republican population, so there’s really no lower bound on how low the state legislature is allowed to go. While other states are debating whether transvaginal probing will be required of abortion seekers, under the supposed banner of informed consent, Kansas is going in another direction. Uninformed non-consent will do nicely for them, thank you:

    Among other provisions in the proposed legislation are measures allowing doctors to withhold from patients medical information that might encourage them to seek an abortion and prohibiting malpractice suits if the woman or the child suffers a health complication as a result of information being withheld. A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed if the mother dies. The bill also would require doctors to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer and would prohibit state employees from performing abortions on the job.

    Yes, the “right” of your doctor to lie outright to you about the state of your pregnancy is now going to be upheld by Kansas state law. Having an ectopic pregnancy? Your doctor doesn’t have to tell you. Is your baby going to be born with some horrible condition that will all but assure death the moment it leaves the womb? Sucks to be you, because your doctor will be allowed by state law to tell you everything’s fine. You’ll find out in the delivery room.

    Your doctor isn’t just allowed to lie to you, either—they’re required to. The abortion-causes-breast-cancer bit has been debunked for a very long time now, but a bunch of political blowhards require your doctor to spout it to you anyway.

    In any event, we now have a new leader in the fiercely-pitched battle for Worst State Republicans. You have to really, really make an effort nowadays to even compete in that contest, but Sam Brownback’s Kansas is always up for a challenge.

    I’ve been trying to think of any other case where your doctor is legally protected if he gives you dangerously false information. On purpose. Because of his religion. I can’t. At this point all I can suggest to the female half of our population is that they vote in droves, run for office in droves, and once they have gained enough power they ban Viagra (if ever there was a product abused by American man-sluts, that would be it) and put every last American male in a burka for the next 20 years. I could live with that.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 11:05 AM PST
    Mitt Romney: Regulators should see businesses as ‘friends,’ like in China

    by Laura Clawson

    Mitt Romney doesn’t just think corporations are people. He wants corporate people to have friends, and if he was president, there’s one group he’d order to be friends with corporate people:

    “I want regulators to see businesses and enterprises of all kinds as their friends, and to encourage them and to move them along.”

    Aww … be friends and encourage them. Isn’t that sweet? Except that if a mining regulator “encourages” his friend the mining corporation to improve safety standards rather than ordering it, and issues a friendly heads up that an inspection is coming, people will die. Just for instance. Regulators aren’t supposed to be like some Big Brother/Big Sister self-esteem program for corporations, they’re supposed to be watchdogs keeping the air we breathe clean and protecting workers from injury and preventing or discrimination.

    Romney also said the United States should be more like China when it comes to regulation:

    “It’s pretty impressive over there,” Romney said, referring to a visit to China after his 2008 presidential run. “How quickly they can build things. How productive they are as a society. You should see their airports compared to our airports, their highways, their train systems. They’re moving quickly, in part because the regulators see their job as encouraging private people.”

    In fact, the Chinese approach to regulation that Romney wants us to emulate has led to smog in Beijing so bad that some athletes were concerned that competing in the Olympics there would harm their health, as well as pet food recalls due to adulterated products from China sickening or killing hundreds of animals in 2007. As Scott Paul, the executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, responds, “Perhaps Mitt Romney likes a country where you can seize private property, wake workers up in the middle of the night and force them onto the production line, and completely ignore basic clean air and water rules. That’s not a model for America.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 12:52 PM PST
    Rep. Steny Hoyer still pushing pivot back to austerity +*

    by Joan McCarter

    Although he appears to be feeling some heat from progressives over the dangers that further austerity poses to our slowly improving economy, Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer is still pushing for it.

    House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Thursday he thinks there’s an imperative to address long-run budget deficits rationally, before the end of the election, in a way that doesn’t end the explicit guarantees of key government programs. […]

    “I want to emphasize, because I get beat up on, I’m for the Medicare guarantee, I’m not for a Paul Ryan alternative that eliminates the guarantee,” he said. “[Some claim] I’ve said we ought to raise the age. I haven’t said that. What I’ve said is I think everything ought to be on the table.”

    Yes, Hoyer has said that everything should be on the table, and that specifically includes raising the retirement age to 70, something he and House Speaker John Boehner agreed upon. They are apparently agreeing again now.

    He got a big boost Thursday from House Speaker John Boehner. “I think any bipartisan effort that will help reduce our deficit and our debt is a welcome sign, and I frankly have encouraged them,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing.

    Austerity isn’t just dangerous to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, though by virtue of the fact that it is dangerous to those programs, it’s also dangerous to the political fortunes of those who would enact it. But right now, it’s also really dangerous to the nation’s economy and nascent recovery.

    There are many reasons for the uptick, from businesses having reached productivity limits, thus requiring the addition of new workers to keep up with increasing demand, to auto manufacturing kicking back into gear after being disrupted by the earthquake in Japan one year ago today.

    But the employment situation is getting better for another crucial reason: public sector jobs are no longer being savaged. Over 570,000 public sector jobs have been lost since the recession began, decreasing steadily every month—even though the private sector has been adding jobs since mid-2009. In 2011, the public sector was losing an average of 22,000 jobs per month, but in February only (“only”) 6,000 jobs were lost. […]

    [A] return to slashing austerity cuts at the federal and state level would also retard the recovery—and this is not only a completely controllable policy choice, but one many people in Washington are actively trying to make.

    It just doesn’t make sense on a policy level or on a political level to try to slash spending even further than it already has been, or to make people’s economic lives more uncertain than they already are. But that seems to be precisely what Hoyer and a cadre of House members, mostly Republican, want to do.

    Help keep the heat on Hoyer. Tell him to stop trying to make backroom deals that include cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Mr. and Mrs. Washington Insider: Mitch McConnell and His Wife

    By: Dennis S

    I don’t dislike many people. I hate a few – the boss who fired me with 4 kids at home; Limbaugh; people like that. But I generally don’t dislike most fellow earthlings. There is one crepey-necked creep however, who stands out in the dislike department. I dislike what he says. I dislike what he stands for and I especially dislike the way he looks. It’s not because he’s ugly. I like a lot of ugly people. Hell, I’m getting more repulsive by the year. I don’t dislike him because of his age either; he just turned 70 and I’m in no position to make age an issue.

    The guy is a United States Senator. He’s been fouling up the chamber’s air for 27 years. He’s married to Elaine Chao, a reasonably bright and attractive Taiwanese immigrant (most likely Han Chinese) with a heavyweight CV that includes an 8-year stint as U.S. Secretary of Labor where she spent considerable time leaning on unions. She was also the Director of the Peace Corps and CEO of United Way. She earlier had been a VP of two huge banks. Before her labor gig, she was with the Heritage Foundation; she returned to Heritage in January 2009.

    One might ask what a gal like her sees in Mr. Crepey. It seems the attraction is in their mutual sleaze compatibility.

    Heritage opened an office in Hong Kong in 1996 and hired Chao to supposedly serve as Heritage’s academic liaison, passing on valuable cultural and scholarly matter for a better understanding of China and the region. In truth, Chao’s apparent lone responsibility was to grease the skids for U.S. manufacturers to cut deals to bring American jobs to non-union cheap labor plants in China. WorldNetDaily reported that she was also a director of an Alabama-based Insurance Company that partnered with the Chinese government. I’m sure she received a handsome stipend for her connections with a U.S. Senator – her husband. And this union-hating, American job exporter becomes U.S. Labor Secretary?

  14. rikyrah says:

    Scott Walker’s Nightmare Friday: Felonies, Failures and Injunctions

    By: Sarah Jones

    Scott Walker has had a nightmare of a Friday. He’s has been running around the state spinning his bum off to no avail. He has admitted starting a legal defense fund, which one can only do if one is under investigation in the state of Wisconsin. But Scott is saying he’s doing it save everyone money. He says the job numbers are going in the right direction, but a closer look tells a “troubling” story about his polices. A close aide waives her preliminary trial on four felony counts and a temporary injunction was ordered on his voter ID law. Phew.

    Walker said, “For nearly two years, Milwaukee County officials have been examining issues related to former employees of the County. I have repeatedly pledged my cooperation with that inquiry. I also made it clear that no public money has been used, or will be used, to pay for the attorneys needed to review documents and assist me in cooperating. To fulfill my commitment, I have today formed a legal fund to pay for the expenses incurred in cooperating with the inquiry. The fund will operate in accordance with the Wisconsin law authorizing these accounts, which was passed almost thirty years ago.”

    Not so fast, Palin. Er, Walker.

    Two things: First of all, when an elected official wants their own legal team, it is usually to protect themselves (see Sarah Palin, 2008) from the transparency that comes with state funded legal defense. Second of all, in the state of Wisconsin, an elected official may only start a legal defense fund if they are being investigated for violations of one of two things: campaign finance or election practices.

    Scott Walker has denied that he is being investigated (see his statement above). So, either he did not read the law he referenced in his statement, or he is even more incompetent than previously surmised. Or he is being investigated and he is continuing to dodge the issue and mislead the public. I’m betting on the latter.

    WAOW reported, “When asked about that, a Walker campaign spokesman told The Associated Press he was looking into the matter.” So comforting.

    Meanwhile, back in Walkerstan, one of his top aides waived her preliminary trial today and is being charged with four felony counts of campaigning on the taxpayer dime while working for Scott Walker during his tenure as county executive. We recall other aides pleading guilty.

    But the spin goes on in Walkerland, where lack of job progress is called the “right direction.” Speaking on the job numbers reported Thursday by the Department of Workforce Development, Walker said, “(T)he jobs numbers and falling unemployment statistics released today show Wisconsin is headed in the right direction.” But wait…

  15. rikyrah says:

    March 10, 2012 10:59 AM
    Return of Anti-anti-racism

    By Ed Kilgore

    In trepidation over the sheer nastiness (and emptiness) of the Derrick Bell “scandal” that Andrew Breitbart’s indeological heirs were so exercised about this last week, Kevin Drum reminds us of how prevalent this sort of thing was in the not-too-distant past:

    July and August of 2010 were a festival of xenophobia and racial rage from the news organs of the right. Among the topics that generated wall-to-wall coverage on a serial basis that summer were (1) the New Black Panthers, (2) Arizona’s new immigration law, (3) the “anchor baby” controversy, (4) the “Ground Zero” mosque, (5) the Shirley Sherrod affair, (6) a new upwelling of birther conspiracy theories, (7) Glenn Beck’s obsession with Barack Obama’s supposed sympathy with “liberation theology,” and (8) Dinesh D’Souza’s contention — eagerly echoed by Newt Gingrich — that Barack Obama can only be understood as an angry, Kenyan, anti-colonialist. Plus I’m probably forgetting a few.

    Kevin is concerned that since 2010 was an election year and 2012 is an election year, we’re going to see a reprise of what he calls the “summer of hate.”

    What strikes me about the Bell “scandal,” however, is how relatively little it seems to have to do with Barack Obama. The “story” has very quickly moved on from Obama’s anodyne introduction of Bell at a 1991 Harvard protest, to Bell’s supposed “racialism,” and to the “racialism” supposedly suffusing academia and for that matter, educational affirmative action in general (perhaps in anticipation of a new Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in college admissions). Sarah Palin’s bizarre suggestion that affirmative action is the same as apartheid is a remarkably common view.

    But it almost seems like what our wingnut friends most want is to poke the stick at racial issues so that can scream about the horrible indiginity of being accused of racism, as though they are seeking insulation against future charges of race-baiting. My concern is that’s a sign something a lot worse than video of Barack Obama with Derrick Bell could be on the way. You can go back and forth as to whether this or that element of the contemporary Right is guilty of racism (you cannot, after all, look into everyone’s heart). But there is no question that anti-anti-racism is at epidemic levels, as we are seeing right now.

  16. Details emerge about Bin Laden last days

    [wpvideo aTYN4sLs]

  17. rikyrah says:

    March 10, 2012 2:29 PM
    Pro-choice = “Inappopriate”; Racism and Misogyny? Not So Much

    By Kathleen Geier

    Jim Romenesko is reporting that the St. Pioneer Press and The Oregonian, among other newspapers, will not be running next week’s Doonesbury strips, which deal with the effects of those anti-abortion/mandatory ultrasound laws that are making their ways through a number of state legislatures. From Romenesko’s description of the cartoons, it doesn’t appear that they’re sexually explicit. But politically, Gary Trudeau is not pulling any punches. To wit, here’s how one cartoon is described:

    In the stirrups, she is telling a nurse that she doesn’t want a transvaginal exam. Doctor says “Sorry miss, you’re first trimester. The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10″ shaming wand.” She asks “Will it hurt?” Nurse says, “Well, it’s not comfortable, honey. But Texas feels you should have thought of that.” Doctor says, “By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.”

    Frankly, I’m a little shocked that a strip that for years more often than not has been so toothless is now being so uncharacteristically blunt.

    Spokespeople for the newspapers which are banning the strips say their reason is that the material is “over the line” and “inappropriate.”

    I wonder when the day will come when these extraordinarily nasty examples of unadulteratedly racist and misogynist (not to mention witless) political cartoons are also considered “over the line” and “inappropriate.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:19 PM ET, 03/09/2012
    Romney refuses to answer reporters’ questions about today’s jobs report
    By Greg Sargent

    At an event today in Mississippi, Mitt Romney attacked the new Obama campaign video as an “infomercial” and blasted the President over “the 24 million Americans who are out of work or underemployed in this country.” That’s to be expected — this figure is a standard feature of his stump speech.

    However, this detail, reported by ABC News, is a bit surprising:

    After his event, Romney declined to answer reporters’ questions about the Friday jobs report.

    MSNBC reports the same thing:

    The former Massachusetts governor ignored reporters’ questions about the report, and did not address it in his remarks, leveling his usual criticisms at the president instead.

    “Don’t forget by the way that this President, how many months ago was it, 37 months ago, told us that if he could borrow $787 billion, almost $1 trillion, he would keep unemployment below 8 percent. It has not been below 8 percent since. This president has not succeeded, this president has failed, and that’s the reason we’re going to get rid of him in 2012,” Romney said to a standing ovation.

    By the way, in making the claim that the President promised that his stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent, Romney is — yet again — repeating an already debunked falsehood. However, this stands as a reminder that even if the jobs numbers have been good lately, unemployment is still unacceptably high. This is the first time in months that the unemployment rate hasn’t fallen, and Obama is still very vulnerable politically because of it.

    That aside, it’s a bit odd that Romney devoted much of his speech today to the state of economy, but didn’t seem to want to address the most concrete and up-to-date metric we have on its performance and direction — the improving jobs numbers. After all, it seems likely that Romney would have been eager to talk about the jobs numbers if the news had been bad.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 03/09/2012
    The hurdles that lie ahead for Mitt Romney
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    The Republican nomination battle continues tomorrow, with the Kansas caucuses kicking off a stretch of the contest that will likely be very challenging for Mitt Romney.

    Remember what’s at stake here. If this contest drags on, Romney may have to spend several more months appealing mainly to solid Republican voters rather than finding issues that will help him with swing constituencies. That means more issue commitments to Tea Partiers and other very conservative voters, and less time spending money in general election swing states instead of in places like, well, Kansas.

    Here’s what lies ahead in the next few days.

    Kansas caucuses, Saturday: There’s no polling for this caucus state, but everyone seems be believe that Rick Santorum should dominate here. It’s the right region for him, and he’s done a bit better in caucuses than primaries; since he’s expected to win, it’s unlikely to produce breakthrough headlines.

    Alabama and Mississippi primaries ; Hawaii caucuses, Tuesday: What little polling there is suggests a close three-way split between Santorum, Romney, and Newt Gingrich in both of the Deep South states. Gingrich might (finally) give up and drop out if he can’t win either, which would allow Santorum to take on Romney in a head to head contest.

    On the other hand, if Romney wins even one of them, it might be enough to trigger the long-awaited stampede from GOP party actors into Romney’s camp that would put him over the top. Hawaii is expected to be Romney territory, although since it will be reported late and it’s a caucus rather than a primary, so it will be ignored in the press coverage

  20. rikyrah says:

    All My Friends Are Doing It

    by BooMan
    Sat Mar 10th, 2012 at 02:42:07 PM EST

    A lot of conservatives are operating under the assumption that progressives give a crap what Bill Maher thinks or that we even consider him one of our own. Maher is a comedian and an entertainer who has some progressive opinions, but he also has many libertarian opinions. He’s always been a pig and a chauvinist. The main thing that unites him with progressives is his loathing of the religious right, which is increasingly synonymous with the Republican Party. When he called Sarah Palin a “slut” he wasn’t speaking for progressives and many progressives denounced him for his boorishness. In any case, no parent that I know has ever been impressed with the defense that other people are doing it, too. Just because the world has many prescription drug addicts and people who engage in sex tourism is no excuse for Rush Limbaugh’s behavior. And Bill Maher is not a defense for Limbaugh’s behavior either.

  21. rikyrah says:

    How to win friends and affluent people
    By Kent Jones

    Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:53 AM EST

    As Rachel pointed out on the show, so far the only voting bloc whose support Mitt Romney has secured solidly is the very rich. Birds of a feather, etc.? Well why hide it, mega rich Romney supporter–work it! Here are some Mitt-centric accessories you simply must have, darling:

    The Romney Platinum Voter ID card.
    Bound in supple high-grade calfskin finished with a smooth wax finish and buttery cream and gold gilt pages, this platinum Romney Voting ID card says, I support the one candidate who really “gets” me. Goes perfectly with a couple of Cadillacs.

    The Romney Voting Line Proxy
    Our Kind doesn’t wait—for anything. Even to vote for one of Our Kind! With the exclusive Romney Voting Line Proxy, a person whose time is far less important than yours will wait in line for you while you enjoy a second cappuccino in the back seat of the Bentley. Let freedom ring! Plus, we’ll have a proxy waiting in line for you regardless which one of your many luxury residences you happen to be gracing at the time. Enjoy firing people? Choose the special option allowing you to personally fire your Romney Voting Line Proxy yourself–Face to face! Love that free market rush!

    The Romney Invisible Voting Barrier Fence
    When they’re not enjoying a nice long ride on top of your car, dogs often need an invisible barrier to keep them inside the yard. Democrats also need to be restrained from straying where they don’t belong. With the Romney Invisible Voting Barrier Fence, high frequency signals emitted from a ground-based transmitter are guaranteed to keep 94% percent of all young people, poor people, minorities and hipsters from actually reaching their local polling place. The Romney Invisible Voting Barrier Fence, the humane way to the White House!

    The Romney 2012 Diamond Social Safety Net
    Hard times? Not for you! You’ll land nice and soft on this exquisite Romney Diamond Social Safety Net with the Romney “R” spelled out in museum-quality vintage Burmese rubies. Nothing says, I don’t worry about the poor more than this heirloom quality keepsake. Bet you $10,000, you’re going to love it!

    Are you aware of any items that should be included in our catalog for the luxury voter? Please share!

  22. rikyrah says:

    MARCH 7, 2012 9:18AM
    Conservatives on welfare

    As a liberal living in a small southern town, I’m exposed to a lot conservative viewpoints. Listening to these views and opinions sometimes makes my blood boil, but it is my personal policy not to argue, or even attempt to debate in social situations. Instead, I listen and struggle to empathize. It is important to me to try and understand why they think like they do because some of them are people I love, or at least like.

    Most are against such hot button issues as gay marriage and abortion, but it is becoming clear to me that what really fuels their staunch conservatism is a misunderstanding of government social and welfare programs and the recipients of these programs.

    In their minds, there is an overwhelming and growing number of people in this country that are making a career of being “on welfare.” In the average conservative’s opinion(at least the ones I talk to), these people, mostly black, suck from the government tit, while the government fills that tit with the conservatives own blood, in the form of taxes. In this world they see, these welfare recipients do nothing but lay around all day, supporting Obama, doing drugs and watching TV, while tax dollars pay the cable and crack bill.

    It is a stereotype reinforced by Reagan’s famous “welfare queens driving Cadillacs” quote and various news programs and pundits. This fantasy that has gotten entrenched in their minds makes them angry every time they see the tiniest bit of taxes taken out of their meager paycheck. They see it going straight to the welfare queen’s gemstone studded purse. If I was deluded into believing this, I would be angry too.

    They can not see the reality. While there are many instances of welfare fraud in our country, and plenty of sad folks that have had government social programs as their only means of support for their entire lives, the reality is that many working class U.S. citizens also benefit from government welfare programs in one way or another. As the New York Times pointed out last week, conservatives and those critics of welfare programs oftentimes benefit without realizing it.’

  23. [wpvideo HkDK1CKJ]

  24. White House Works to Shape Debate Over Health Law

    WASHINGTON — The White House has begun an aggressive campaign to use approaching Supreme Court arguments on the new health care law as a moment to build support for the measure seen as President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, hoping to shape public opinion on an issue at the center of the battle for the White House and Congress.

    On Wednesday, White House officials summoned dozens of leaders of nonprofit organizations that strongly back the health law to help them coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court when justices hear arguments for three days beginning March 26.

  25. Hugh Masekela – Grazing In The Grass

  26. Ametia says:


  27. President Barack Obama walks towards his vehicle during his arrival at Ellington Airport, Friday, March, 9, 2012, in Houston

  28. President Barack Obama, right, is welcomed by Houston Mayor Anisse Parker, Congresman Gene Green, Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee and Congressman Al Green Friday, March 9, 2012 in Houston

  29. Ametia says:

    Rush Limbaugh Scandal Proves Contagious for Talk-Radio Advertisers
    Mar 10, 2012 12:00 AM EST

    Ninety-eight major advertisers—including Ford and Geico—will no longer air spots on Premiere Networks’ ‘offensive’ programs. Insiders say the loss will rock right-wing talk radio.

    Rush Limbaugh made the right-wing talk-radio industry, and he just might break it.

    Because now the fallout from the “slut” slurs against Sandra Fluke is extending to the entire political shock-jock genre.

  30. Sophisticated Lady

  31. Buddy Roemer was on MHPshow spewing lies about President Obama raising a billion dollars and Melissa sat there, smiled and allowed him to get away with it. WTF?

    When did President Obama claim he was going to raise a billion dollars? Stop peddling this LIE!

  32. Ametia says:

    Solid in Kansas, Santorum Seeks to Build Margin
    Published: March 9, 2012

    WICHITA, Kan. — “We chased all the candidates out of Kansas!” Rick Santorum boomed as he took the podium one day before Saturday’s caucuses in the state, which his two leading rivals are not seriously pursuing.

    Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have largely bypassed Kansas and its 40 delegates to the Republican convention, instead focusing on the bigger prizes of Alabama and Mississippi, whose primaries are on Tuesday. But that did not stop Mr. Santorum from laying into both rivals with biting words as he sought to motivate supporters to give him a big victory here to carry into the Deep South, which new polls on Friday showed to be fluid.

  33. Gas Prices: Obama Strikes Back At GOP Critics On Fuel Costs

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is hitting back at Republican criticism of his energy policies and his role in controlling gasoline prices.

    Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to underscore his administration’s work to develop alternative energy sources and increase fuel efficiency.

    “I’m going to keep doing everything I can to help you save money on gas, both right now and in the future,” Obama said. “I hope politicians from both sides of the aisle join me.”

    He accused Republicans of a “bumper sticker” approach to solving the nation’s energy problems.

    It’s a familiar theme _Obama stuck many of the same chords during two out-of-town trips this week and during a White House news conference on Wednesday.

  34. Ametia says:

    Happy Saturday, Everyone! :-)

  35. The Road We’ve Traveled

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