Thursday Open Thread

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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68 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:


  2. Ametia says:

    BET Launching New Daily Show-Style Satire Starring Former CNN Anchor T.J. Holmes

    Former CNN weekend anchor T.J. Holmes will host a late night comedic news show on BET later this year.

    Here’s how BET describes “Don’t Sleep:”

    A fresh new voice joins the ranks of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert and Bill Maher. T.J. Holmes gives you a good reason to stay up late with Don’t Sleep. With hilarious “correspondents,” T.J.’s sure to have viewers rolling with laughter over the absurdity of today’s hot-button issues. Speaking through a unique and smart African-American filter, T.J. invites the community to wake up on the issues that affect them, so don’t sleep on the stories that mainstream news outlets won’t cover. The show will also open ears with captivating, unexpected musical performances. Don’t Sleep reports with keen focus to keep Black America engaged and in the know. T.J. takes off his tie and rolls up his sleeves — this is not your mama’s late-night talk show.

  3. rikyrah says:

    ALEC ties put allies on edge
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:52 PM EDT.

    The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which writes ready-made conservative legislation for Republican state legislators, has traditionally been anonymous, working behind the scenes to advance a far-right agenda. Shadowy obscurity allowed ALEC to be more effective.

    But as ALEC finds itself where it didn’t want to be — in the spotlight — the group is losing corporate sponsors and finding its political allies on edge.

    Take Virginia, for example, where ProgressVA released a report on ALEC’s influence on policymaking in the Commonwealth. Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell (R) wasn’t pleased with the report, so today, ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl asked Howell directly about his concerns. The Washington Post posted a video excerpt of the exchange.

    The point of contention seemed to be over the taxpayer money Virginia spent to send lawmakers to ALEC events. ProgressVA’s report claimed that the trips cost the state roughly $230,000 over the last decade, while in reality, the trips cost the state … roughly $230,000 over the last decade.

    Howell pointed to this as an inaccuracy, even though it’s true, because Virginia also sent state lawmakers to a different conference that cost even more.

    Puzzled as to why this makes ProgressVA’s report untrue, Scholl pressed further. The Republican leader, agitated, said, “I guess I’m not speaking in little enough words for you to understand.”

    The ProgressVA chief responded, “I’m a smart girl, actually. I went to the University of Virginia; I benefited from public education; I think words with multiple syllables would be just fine for me.”

    That questions about ALEC are making its allies this uncomfortable suggests a shifting landscape for the organization.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:51 PM ET, 04/12/2012
    Keep an eye on the Big Lie, ctd.
    By Greg Sargent

    Yesterday I noted here that the dust-up over Mitt Romney’s claims about female job loss are premised on a much larger falsehood that is central to Romney’s whole case against Obama.

    To wit: Romney has been arguing that the way to judge Obama’s policies is to look at the net number of jobs lost since he took office. But that metric includes the huge amounts of jobs hemorraghed during the months when the economy was in free fall, just after Obama took office — and before those same policies took effect.

    Romney has been using this metric for months and months, regularly adjusting the number of net jobs lost on Obama’s watch downward to keep pace with good economic news, with virtually no scrutiny from major news orgs.

    Today Steve Benen comes up with the clearest explanation for this fallacy I’ve seen yet:

    Imagine you could go back to March 1, 2009, when the global economy was on the brink of collapse. The White House’s Recovery Act had just been signed into law, but the investments had barely even begun, and Obama, still unpacking, did not yet have his full economic team in place.

    Then imagine a Republican arguing, just six weeks into Obama’s term, “Mr. President, the economy has lost 726,000 jobs on your watch, and we’re blaming you for the losses.”
    Would any serious person find this fair or reasonable? Of course not. And yet, it’s the basis for the Romney campaign’s entire economic critique of the Obama administration.

    ….if we start the clock on March 1, 2009, after Obama’s first full month in office, the net change for his presidency is -102,000 (or +484,000 looking only at the private sector).

    If we say Obama walked into a nightmare and the first six months of 2009 shouldn’t count against him, the economy, combining all the jobs lost and all the jobs gained, had added 2.24 million overall (2.8 million looking only at the private sector).

    When we start counting makes all the difference. To make Obama look like a “failure,” Republicans want the earliest possible point to start the clock.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Taking the false-equivalence fallacy to the extreme
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:47 PM EDT.

    One of my colleagues here at The Rachel Maddow Show reminded me this afternoon of comments President Obama made to Associated Press last week about the false-equivalence fallacy. Obama said, “I think that there is often times the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.”

    Given the political uproar of the day, it seems like a good time to revisit the subject.

    Mitt Romney was losing the so-called “war on women. Badly. Until Democratic operative Hilary Rosen appeared on CNN Wednesday night and seemingly derided his wife’s decision to stay at home and raise the couple’s five boys.

    What much of the political world seems to be saying today is that the “war on women” now has two competing counterweights.

    One the one hand, we have a party that has pushed for restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; abortion taxes; abortion waiting periods; trap laws at abortion clinics, forcing women to tell their employers why they want birth control, opposition to prenatal care, and measures that make it harder for women to fight pay discrimination.

    On the other hand, we have a media pundit with no connection to her party’s presidential campaign who said something about Mitt Romney’s wife professional background.

    Don’t you see? Both sides clearly have a problem here. Republicans were losing the “war on women,” but not anymore.

    Let’s pause to appreciate the differences between policy and politics. A public policy offensive involving women’s health, waged at the local, state, and federal level is a serious development, worthy of scrutiny. It affects people in direct and personal ways.

    This is not to say rhetoric is irrelevant — I’d be the first to argue that Rush Limbaugh’s multi-day tirades targeting Sandra Fluke mattered — but to obscure the differences a national policy initiative and a 30-second soundbite on CNN, which the pundit has since apologized for, is take the false-equivalence fallacy to depths that simply aren’t healthy for our public discourse.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, April 12, 2012
    A Hand Up – Doing It Right
    Posted by Bon Tindle

    A program helps people buy a car that will get them to work, with simple interest (because it doesn’t exist anymore, that means it is never compounded so it is only charged once during the loan). It is a brilliant way to help struggling people make it to work and keep their jobs and homes. Credit scores are shot for a lot of folks, but mandatory financial education is part of the deal. Borrowers must learn how to make a realistic budget and stick to it.

    Eighty percent of participants are single mothers. You know, those slutty women that the GOP doesn’t want to pay the same wages as men. Those women and their dependent children were often living on the edge of hungry, and after months of juggling bills some cars were no longer dependable, which added further worries and strain to maxed credit cards.

    The article highlights the story of one woman, whose car had over 200,000 miles on it and was not reliable. She now has a car and was able to get an entry-level position at a law firm. Because she was able to make it to work every day, she has enjoyed several promotions and replaced a worker who had attendance problems. Without this hand up that taught her how to manage money and get on her feet realistically, it could have been her on the block.

    Faulkner says the program has generated a 90% repayment rate because most of the people really do want to work.

    This is the type of creative solutions that will make a difference. Ways To Work hopes to expand to all fifty states. I wish them the best of luck

  7. Ametia says:

    Beyonce Writes Open Letter to First Lady Michelle O.

    Beyoncé recently made her feelings known on her website and she expressed that she really looks up to the First Lady. Beyonce penned an open letter thanking Mrs. Obama for being generally awesome.

    “Michelle is the ultimate example of a truly strong African-American woman,” it reads. “She is a caring mother, she’s a loving wife, while at the the same time, she is the First Lady! Thank you so much for every single thing that you do for us. I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to.!/2012/04/beyonce-writes-open-letter-to-first.html

  8. rikyrah says:

    N.W.A. Goes Big Screen
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Apr 12 2012, 2:00 PM ET 16

    Via Alyssa Rosenberg, F. Gary Gray is looking to do a biopic on the seminal gangsta rap group:

    F. Gary Gray is in talks to direct Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A biopic set up at New Line. Gray beat out contenders John Singleton, George Tillman and Elgin James for the gig.

  9. Ametia says:

    ‘The Talk’ With My White Daughter: Don’t Be Like John Derbyshire

    In the wake of the killing of Trayvon Martin, several commentators wrote artful letters to their black sons, warning of the reality of racial profiling and discrimination that still haunt us today. Subsequently, an either insanely ignorant or willfully obnoxious National Review columnist (now fired) named John Derbyshire wrote a letter to his two white children, spewing the sort of hateful stereotypes about black people that conservatives often hasten to argue are a part of America’s past, not present.

    As such, Mr. Derbyshire’s letter has nothing to do with actual black folks, but is a revealing warning about a certain subset of mostly white, mostly male conservatives who like to believe that racism and related injustices are merely myths concocted to disadvantage white people.

    I’d like to explain to my daughter, who is white, why this is a load of bullshit.

    (1) First of all, I don’t use words like bullshit or fascist casually. You shouldn’t either. Nor should you throw around words like racist. Just like we can never know what was in George Zimmerman’s head that evening, we cannot know whether Mr. Derbyshire consciously hates people of color. And that’s not the point. While we may never be able to control the silent thoughts in our heads, we can definitely control our words and actions and the bias they implicitly or explicitly perpetuate. Mr. Zimmerman’s actions, for instance, seem to convey implicit racial bias. Mr. Derbyshire’s words seem intentionally designed to perpetuate explicit bias. While words like “racist” and “fascist” can sometimes be inflammatory and unhelpful, but when someone is intentionally trying to hurt an individual or an entire community with biased words or deeds, such labels are entirely called for.

  10. rikyrah says:

    CNBC Anchor Whiffs On Obama Budget In White House Interview

    Brian Beutler- April 12, 2012, 6:09 AM

    President Obama’s top economic adviser Gene Sperling got heated in a Tuesday interview on CNBC, when anchor Maria Bartiromo pressed him on the federal budget. The exchange was so explosive that CNBC re-aired the interview on Wednesday — in celebration of holding officials to account and setting the record straight for the public.

    There were just a couple problems: Bartiromo initially elaborated on a false premise, and her subsequent line of questioning treated a GOP political stunt as if it was standard operating procedure on Capitol Hill.

    “How tough has it been operating without a budget?” Bartiromo asked. “This administration has not had a budget in 3,000 days. Why is it that the president puts forth the budget and not even one Democrat bought into it? Was it so reckless in terms of spending that your party actually couldn’t even buy into it?”

    This conflates two different conservative lines of attack, but in doing so gets the budget process backward. Every year by law, the White House issues its own budget, but it is, for all intents and purposes, a detailed list of suggestions — not a legislative package Congress is expected to vote on, as Bartiromo implied. Congress is where actual budgeting happens, and on the Hill, Republicans are fond of attacking Democrats for not passing a budget in three years. It’s a technically accurate, though dubious line of attack — one that may soon be moot. But it’s gridlock on Capitol Hill, not anything proposed by Obama, that has prevented the government from operating on a traditional budget.

    Separately, for the last two years Republicans in Congress have for political reasons converted the White House budget into legislative language and put it to a vote. Democrats have opposed it unanimously for both political and substantive reasons, but not, as Bartiromo said, because it was “reckless.”

    Sperling did his best to set the record straight on this point.

    “There is about zero truth to anything in the question you just asked,” he said. “When the House was voting the Ryan plan, the Democratic alternative, which we supported and we felt was the budget that most closely resembled our budget, was put forward by Chris Van Hollen. It got a considerable number of Democratic votes. Republicans tried to put up a mock budget of ours, which was not our budget, it was not our specifics, it was not our details. We told Democrats to vote for the House Democratic budget by Chris Van Hollen. It got overwhelming Democratic support.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    President Barack Obama leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 49 – 40 percent in the New Jersey presidential race, a lead that shrinks to 49 – 42 percent if Gov. Christopher Christie runs as Romney’s vice presidential pick, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

    There is a large gender gap with or without Gov. Christie on the ticket. Men would vote for a Romney-Christie ticket 50 – 42 percent, while women would vote for President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden 55 – 35 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Independent voters split 42 – 42 percent.

  12. rikyrah says:

    RNC Spokesman: Catholic League ‘Should Be Encouraging Adoption, Not Demeaning The Parents’

    Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee, is quickly creating some distance from a comment by the conservative group the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

    In the media furor over Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen’s controversial comments about Ann Romney having never worked, the Catholic League posted this message Thursday morning on Twitter — deriding Rosen, who is gay, for having “had to” adopt children:

    Catholic League
    @CatholicLeague Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.
    12 Apr 12 ReplyRetweetFavoriteLater in the afternoon, after the message had received some circulation, Spicer posted this response:

    Sean Spicer
    @seanspicer The @CatholicLeague should be encouraging adoption, not demeaning the parents who are blessed to raise these children

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 04/12/2012

    The Hilary Rosen controversy is absurd
    By Greg Sargent

    The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee are attacking President Obama over the fact that Dem strategist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life.”

    Romney campaign officials are claiming that an “Obama adviser” has demeaned stay at home moms, and they — along with the Republican National Committee — are also tying Rosen to the Democratic National Committee. The Romney campaign even scheduled a conference call with reporters to keep the story alive today.

    Fox’s Greta Van Susteren has defended Rosen, claiming that Rosen clearly was just saying that Ms. Romney has not raised a family while working a full time job. But the quote is what it is: Whatever Rosen meant, she shouldn’t have worded it the way she did, and even Obama campaign officials quickly condemned it.

    That aside, though, the real question is: Does Rosen work for the Obama campaign or the Democratic National Committee, or not?

    The answer is, “not.”

    A spokesperson for CNN tells me that contributors are not allowed to function as paid advisers to any campaigns or party committees. The CNN spokesperson emails:

    Hilary Rosen, like all CNN contributors, is not a paid advisor to any political party or presidential campaign.
    Some on the right are pointing out that Anita Dunn, another official at Hilary Rosen’s firm, SKD Knickerbocker, is an adviser to the DNC. And that’s true. But SKD also confirms that Rosen is not an adviser to the DNC or the Obama campaign. That’s two parties confirming this: CNN, and Rosen’s firm.

    Now, presumably some on the right will argue that Rosen may be an unpaid adviser to Obama and/or Dems. But that doesn’t even appear to be the case, and at any rate, anyone being honest about this will tell you that in this town, the category of “unpaid adviser” is borderline meaningless.

    Besides, do the Romney people or the RNC really want to lower the bar that far? If so, then I’m sure people could easily dig up examples of “unpaid advisers” to the Romney campaign or the RNC who have said some really ripe stuff. But it would be a shame if things sank that low.

    • Ametia says:

      As per ususal, the media will try to attach this nonsense to PBO, who we all know admires and respects WOMEN! He lives with 4 of them

      Ya know what; I ain’t trying to show no sympathy for Ann Romney or Hillary Rosen. they both can kiss my black ass. My mother couldn’t stay at home. She went out and took care of family’s like Ann Romney, who had $$ and kids, but relied on Black women to come into their homes to cook, clean and suckle their white babies.

      Hillary Rosen did’nt come to FLOTUS’ defense and hold her up as a model mother, worker, etc. FUCK’EM BOTH!

  14. rikyrah says:

    Gingrich identifies his foil: Fox News
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:46 PM EDT.

    Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign may not literally be over, but it might as well be. He’s already laid off much of his staff and cleared his schedule, and this week’s bounced check in Utah only added insult to injury.

    With this in mind, the former Speaker is taking stock of his failed effort, and has identified a culprit: Fox News.

    “I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through,” Gingrich said Wednesday during a meeting with Delaware tea party leaders, according to RealClearPolitics, which was given access to the private meeting. “In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than Fox this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of Fox, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of Fox. That’s just a fact.” […]

    During Wednesday’s meeting, Gingrich had also accused News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch of perpetuating the network’s slanted coverage of the 2012 race.

    “I assume it’s because Murdoch at some point said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney,'” Gingrich said, according to RealClearPolitics. “And there’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches Fox.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    The ‘Romneycare’ anniversary
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:42 PM EDT.

    Exactly six years ago today, then-Gov. Mitt Romney put his signature on his most notably political accomplishment: an overhaul of Massachusetts’ health care system, which brought coverage to all of the state’s residents, thanks in part to a government mandate.

    To mark the occasion, American Bridge 21st Century released this video, showing Romney’s remarks at the time, many of which sound, with the benefit of hindsight, like a defense of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

    His successor, Gov. Deval Patrick (D), who happens to be a co-chair of President Obama’s national re-election committee, ribbed Romney on the anniversary of the law, telling the Wall Street Journal, “I think he has a lot to be proud of, he contributed ideas, the individual mandate was one of them … why not be proud?”

    A Romney campaign spokesperson said Patrick was “misrepresenting” the Republican’s record, but when pressed, she “declined to say how and did not answer questions about whether Mr. Romney was planning any mention of the anniversary in his campaign events.”

  16. Ametia says:

    White House briefing with Jay Carney here:

  17. rikyrah says:

    Impeachment is not a toy
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:15 AM EDT.

    Rep. Todd Akin (R) of Missouri, a U.S. Senate candidate this year, hosted a town-hall meeting this week, and heard from a constituent who wants to see President Obama impeached. The right-wing congressman seemed quite fond of the idea.

    If you can’t make out the audio, Akin considered the “tactical” question of what would happen to the articles of impeachment in the Senate, but added, “At a certain point you just say, ‘Enough, I don’t care enough about the Senate, duty calls us to just get up and just impeach this guy.'” The Missouri Republican added that the president is “a complete menace to our civilization.”

    And on what grounds, pray tell, would Akin try to impeach Obama? The Senate candidate pointed to “all of the czars” and the notion that the president “completely ignores the train wreck of the economy.” He wasn’t kidding.

    This is obviously ridiculous rhetoric from an unhinged conservative, but I’m fascinated by how often Republicans use the “I” word in public, as if presidential impeachment is some sort of toy.

    Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) talked last month about impeaching Obama for no apparent reason; Fox News’ Neil Cavuto suggested in January that Obama might be open to impeachment over recess appointments; Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has raised the prospect of impeaching Obama over DOMA; and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) talked up the idea of presidential impeachment because “it would tie things up” in Washington for a while, making governing impossible.

    What’s more, in 2010, both Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) also raised the specter of impeaching Obama.

    I don’t seriously expect congressional Republicans to pursue this, but the fact that so many GOP lawmakers feel comfortable speaking like this, out loud and in public, is a reminder of just how extreme some elements of the Republican Party have become.

  18. Ametia says:

    The Vice President will be speaking about the President’s efforts to promote tax fairness by ensuring millionaires and billionaires do not pay less in taxes than middle-class families at an event in New Hampshire today.

    To watch the event live at 12:15 PM EDT, please click here:

  19. Ametia says:

    Biden to slam Romney tax plan in New Hampshire speech
    Posted by
    CNN’s Kevin Liptak

    (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign attacks on Mitt Romney will continue Thursday in the battleground state New Hampshire, a state Biden and President Barack Obama won in 2008 but where Romney made significant inroads during the GOP primary in January.
    In a campaign speech in Exeter, Biden will slam Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and all but certain Republican presidential nominee, as favoring tax breaks for the wealthy at the cost of important national investments.

    In his speech Thursday, Biden will compare the proposed Buffett Rule to a plan advocated by his GOP rival.

    “The Buffett Rule says that multi-millionaires should pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle-class families do,” Biden will say. “The Romney Rule says the very wealthy should keep the tax cuts and loopholes they have, and get an additional, new tax cut every year that is worth more than what the average middle class family makes in an entire year.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Watching Scotty Go, Part The MCMVIII
    By Charles P. Pierce at 5:15PM

    With everything else going on around Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, we’ve rather lost track of that pesky John Doe investigation into the shenanigans in Walker’s last job, as Milwaukee county commissioner. Well, a putatively non-aligned defense attorney — yeah, right — named Paul Bucher decided to throw long, asking the state Department of Justice to take over the case and to investigate the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office’s handling of the Joe Doe case. Bucher — and a wagonload of Wisconsin conservatives — also are up in arms about the fact that it has been reported that employees at the DA’s office had signed petitions asking that Walker be recalled. (Hey, who’d know better, right?) Well, Wisconsin Attorney General has told Bucher to go whistle up a fish….

    “Our office receives many letters from many people and we do our best to respond to all of them,” Dana Brueck, a Justice Department spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the Journal Sentinel. “Among other things, our response to Mr. Bucher will inform him that we simply don’t have the legal authority to take John Doe investigations away from elected District Attorneys.”

    Meanwhile, the Democratic primary to produce a candidate to run against Walker in the June recall election got very interesting this week when the state’s major unions lined up behind former Dane County commissioner Kathleen Falk and against Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, whom Walker defeated two years ago. As a mayor, Barrett’s wrestled with his own public-employee unions to the point where Walker’s people regularly argue that whatever success Barrett has had as mayor has been helped by Walker’s own union-busting. This is not altogether true, but it makes for a helluva TV ad. In an election that owes its very existence to a massive reaction by organized labor against a sitting governor, Falk can make things very difficult for Barrett who, today, released the first TV ad of the recall campaign, a call to end what Barrett calls ” the civil war” is Wisconsin by giving Walker the heave-ho. I don’t think a tough primary is altogether a bad thing in this context, since the issue of worker’s rights is going to be front and center throughout.

    Read more:

  21. rikyrah says:

    Who’s to blame for early 2009?
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:25 AM EDT.

    By carefully manipulating statistics, Mitt Romney and his campaign are pushing a wildly misleading claim this week about job creation in the Obama era. But there’s a larger analytical point that shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle: who deserves the blame for the job losses in early 2009?

    Greg Sargent noted yesterday that Romney, as part of his new con, “relies on a net overall job loss calculation that uses January 2009 as a starting point.” Since President Obama didn’t take office until Jan. 20, 2009, and hadn’t implemented any economic policies in his first 11 days, blaming Obama for the month’s job losses seems ridiculous by any fair standard.

    Greg added, “But here’s the thing about this. Romney’s use of the basic fallacy on display here goes well beyond this one claim about women. It’s central to virtually his entire case against Obama’s economic record.”

    Quite right — when we start the clock makes all the difference. Romney argued two weeks ago, for example, “Since Barack Obama became president, over 800,000 Americans have lost their jobs.” The presumptive Republican nominee called it a “basic fact” — take all the jobs lost, measure against all the jobs gained, and Obama is still hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hole.

    Or is he? Consider this new chart I put together.

  22. rikyrah says:

    April 11, 2012
    Mitt Romney: his only believer

    Applause to Chris Matthews for finally pointing out last night what I had yet to hear from any other politics host. Here’s the pertinent exchange with Rick Santorum’s very former aide, Hogan Gidley:

    MATTHEWS: Is he going to run in 2016? Is that what this is all about, get out before he loses Pennsylvania so he still has the credibility of a guy — at least didn’t lose at home twice?

    GIDLEY: Sure. Well, I mean, you know, we — I’m not going to say we haven’t talked about it. Of course. I mean, you look and you say, What are you going to do in the future, and there are a lot of things thrown out there. A lot of people want him to do certain things. A lot of people have said, you know, prepare for 2016.

    What’s the “implication” here, as Matthews instantly noted? The same as that from Jeb Bush in waiting until 2016, or Mitch Daniels waiting until 2016, or Haley Barbour or Chris Christie or Jon Huntsman or John Thune waiting until 2016 …

    They’re all convinced that Mitt Romney won’t be up for re-election in 2016.

  23. rikyrah says:

    April 12, 2012
    For Romney, Plan A is Plan B


    The NY Times’ Andrew Rosenthal presents Mitt Romney’s two options for a general election strategy. Let’s begin with Plan B, for a couple of reasons: it possesses the Republican merit of possessing no honorable merit whatsoever, thus signaling itself as a kind of Romney inevitability; and though “B” appears all too obvious, thus vaporizing any battlefield element of tactical surprise, Plan A is in reality self-eliminating, in that it would entail independent and fact-based thought.

    Plan B:

    Republicans … can give up on molding their candidate back into someone resembling a centrist, consolidate all those tens of millions of dollars in super PAC money … and use it to destroy Mr. Obama – through ads that distort his policies, question his patriotism, and accuse him of being a Muslim and a Marxist.

    As noted, I think we have an instant winner. But as promised, here’s Plan A

    Romney might try coming up with an actual plan for economic recovery instead of droning on in a faux-Reagan way about trickle-down economics.

    The logical flaw in Rosenthal’s Plan A formulation is that Republicans believe trickle-down Reaganomics is “an actual plan for economic recovery.” Well, some Republicans, like Romney, don’t really believe that — since at some point in the past century they’ve at least brushed up against a modern economics textbook — nonetheless they’re compelled to say they believe it. They do believe. They do, they do.

    The point of visiting these two options, as Rosenthal presents them (probably correctly), is to acknowledge early and pluckily that they represent only a Hobson’s choice. Since Romney, as the nominee, and Republicans, as his party, have no realistic, empirically driven basis on which to substantially challenge President Obama’s foreign or domestic policies, they are left with the singular strategy of rabid attacks piled on intoxicated assaults heaped on delusional onslaughts.

    The intended practical effect of such a strategic argument is to demoralize the opposition and suppress overall turnout and in general further reduce the American system of electoral democracy to a carnival, duck-shooting free-for-all — the kind of Darwinist anarchy for which the contemporary Republican personality most deeply yearns.

    Thus Mitt Romney’s broad, operational maxim, as once openly related to radio host Laura Ingraham, still holds:

    Ingraham: “Isn’t that a hard argument to make?”

    Romney: “Do you have a better one, Laura?”

  24. Ametia says:

    Reposting video here too..

  25. Ametia says:

    April 12, 2012 8:05 AM
    Trayvon Martin’s parents Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin “at ease” after George Zimmerman’s arrest


    • Ametia says:

      WHELP! The bigots are being exposed for the racists they have ALWAYS been.. Disinfectatns good for the hateful. But like I said, they’ll replace these fools with another bigot who more clever at disguising his racism.

  26. rikyrah says:

    I don’t think it can be said enough – that arrest yesterday happened because of Trayvon’s parents.

    THIS case is all about Black parents standing up for their child. Being smart and savvy enough to know what to do to get their child’s case to the forefront. I say they haven’t grieved yet. This fight is so that they can begin to grieve. I can’t say enough about these two Black parents who would not let their child wind up in the dustbin of anonymous dead young Black males.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Biden to pillory “Romney Rule”: Along those lines, here’s the key passage from the advance exerpts of the speech Biden will give today:

    There’s a stark choice we have to make. The Buffett Rule says that multi-millionaires should pay at least the same percentage of their income in taxes as middle-class families do. The Romney Rule says the very wealthy should keep the tax cuts and loopholes they have, and get an additional, new tax cut every year that is worth more than what the average middle class family makes in an entire year.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    April 11, 2012 8:45 AM

    Snapshot of Romney’s Problem

    By Ed Kilgore

    Team Romney is walking tall today after Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the presidential race. But a new Public Policy Polling survey of Colorado, high on everyone’s “battleground state” list, shows the problem Romney faces going forward in dealing with intraparty and general election challenges

    Colorado was one of several swing and even traditionally red states that President Obama flipped in 2008—and if his re-election bid were decided today, there would be no looking back. He would actually defeat likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney by an even larger margin than he did John McCain four years ago. McCain lost by nine points in the Centennial State, and Romney trails by 13 in PPP’s latest poll.

    Obama’s 53-40 lead over Romney here is up 11 points from only a two-point edge when PPP last polled the state only four months ago.

    The story in Colorado is the same as everywhere: the president has seen his popularity rise in the last few months, while the dragging GOP primary contest has sunk their candidates’ personal numbers. Romney’s favorability rating is still the best of the Republicans’ except Paul’s, but he sits at 31% favorable and 60% unfavorable, down from 35-53 in the previous poll. Meanwhile, 50% approve and 47% disapprove of Obama’s job performance, up eight points on the margin from early December (45-50)

  29. Ametia says:

    VP Joe Biden’s rolling into New Hampshire today. HEE HEE HEE GO JOE!

  30. rikyrah says:

    Mitt manipulates math: a case study

    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Yesterday, Mitt Romney and his campaign were eager, almost desperate, to work on narrowing the gender gap. The strategy was simple: argue that President Obama, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, is really the one waging a “war on women.”

    Their efforts failed rather spectacularly, thanks in large part to the clumsy unpreparedness of Romney’s own aides. The day offered a reminder of an often-overlooked detail: the presumptive Republican nominee is accustomed to facing weak, bumbling competitors, and Team Romney is going to have to learn quickly the differences between the minor leagues and the Big Show.

    But before moving on, it’s worth pausing to take a closer look at the Romney campaign’s underlying argument: 92.3% of the jobs lost in the Obama era have belonged to women. The claim was debunked yesterday over and over and over and over again yesterday, but my personal favorite was Kevin Drum’s takedown, because he included a chart that helped drive the point home.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 04/12/2012
    The Morning Plum: Who should sacrifice to fix the deficit?

    By Greg Sargent

    Joe Biden is set to give a speech today on the Buffett Rule, and the battle over it will continue raging through next week’s Senate vote on the measure and beyond. So let’s get started with this interesting piece by David Fahrenthold and David Nakamura, which gets to the heart of what the debate over the Buffett Rule and the Paul Ryan plan is really about. Who should sacrifice more to fix the deficit that conservatives say is a threat to American life as we know it?

    Should the wealthy chip in a bit more than they do now, or should we transfer some of their share of the burden down the income scale to everyone else? Or as William Gale of the Tax Policy Center puts it:

    “The moral argument is: Who should bear the burden of the cost of government?” Gale said. “Ryan is moving the burden down the income spectrum. The Buffett plan is moving the burden up the income spectrum.”
    Another way to put this: Democrats want to increase the amount the wealthy contribute towards deficit reduction, while Republicans want to reduce the amount the wealthy contribute towards deficit reduction. Republicans offer various justifications for this — the rich are already bearing an inordinately large share of the tax burden; we shouldn’t raise taxes on “job creators”; etc. — but it’s worth reiterating that reducing the amount the wealthy pay towards the deficit is the basic policy goal here.

    Democrats are hoping to make tax fairness central to Campaign 2012. But they still need to make an effective case that this is all about choices and priorities, about who should pay more to solve our fiscal problems, and about who will pay more if the wealthy see their burden decreased.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Latest Money Scheme
    Published Apr 11 2012, 12:50 PM by David S. Bernstein

    If there’s one thing the Mitt Romney team excels at, it’s manipulating campaign finance rules.

    Back in 2004, they were the first to set up individual state-level Political Action Committees to augment Romney’s federal “leadership PAC,” the Commonwealth Political Action Committee. Through intertwined state party committees, joint fundraising, “Super PACs,” and other maneuvers, they have danced a series of clever lines over the years to maximize the amount of money Romney’s wealthy donors could put to use for Romney’s benefit.

    The team has now found another new technique — one that will allow the Romney campaign to direct large sums of money, as needed, to state GOP committees in battleground states.

    The Massachusetts Republican Party — where, as I’ve reported, Romney friends and loyalists recently took control of key leadership positions — will play a central part in this scheme. And it will be directed largely by the Crate brothers, Darrell and Bradley, out of Beverly, Massachusetts.

    This week, the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) established a joint-fundraising account, “Romney Victory Inc.” The idea is that donors can write one big check to the joint account, which can then be divvied up between Romney’s campaign committee and the RNC.

    Nothing especially unique about that. But the paperwork filed with the Federal Election Committee shows that several other committees are included in the arrangement — including the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee, as well as the Idaho Republican Party, the Oklahoma Leadership Council, and the Vermont Federal Elections Committee.

    These are the federal fundraising committees of those state parties. As you may have noticed, none of those four states taking part in this scheme are expected to be at all competitive in the Presidential race; Romney will win Oklahoma and Idaho, and lose Massachusetts and Vermont, by sizable margins. So why would the Romney campaign and the RNC raise money for them?

    The answer: so they can re-direct the money to states that need it.

    Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul responded to my inquiry by email, explaining:

    The joint fundraising committee includes state parties that are permitted by federal election law to make unlimited federal dollar transfers to the battleground state parties.

    This is essentially correct. Federal law does not limit transfers from federal party committees — like the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee — to state party committees. State laws, however, do govern the amounts — but it so happens that most of the anticipated “battleground states” in the 2012 Presidential election effectively allow unlimited transfers of this type.

    So, these four accounts will receive contributions and funnel them, in bulk, to the state GOP committees in Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Missouri, New Hampshire, or wherever the money might prove useful.

    According to Romney Victory fundraising documents, the first $5000 in an individual’s contributions to Romney Victory will go to the Romney campaign (the $2500 maximum for use in the primary campaign, which technically runs through the convention, and the $2500 maximum for the general election). The next $30,800 goes to the RNC, again the maximum allowed.

    The individual contributions to state parties’ federal committees are limited to $10,000. So, up to $40,000 more can be contributed to Romney Victory, and will be split four ways among the Massachusetts, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Vermont committees.

    This arrangement will greatly expand the amount Romney can direct for use in this campaign — essentially doubling it in one swipe. He has a large group of donors willing to give large sums, but has so far proven unable to raise significant sums from low-dollar contributors. His wealthy donors will now be able to write a $75,000 check, or $150,000 per couple.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:16 PM ET, 04/11/2012
    Keep an eye on the Big Lie

    By Greg Sargent

    I’m glad to see that there’s been a moderately aggressive media response to Mitt Romney’s latest falsehood: The claim that 92 percent of the people who have lost jobs on Obama’s watch are women.

    The argument, which his campaign is now making regularly, is central to Romney’s effort to win back women who were apparently alienated by the primary.

    The assertion has now been debunked by Politifact, the Post’s Glenn Kessler, and NBC’s Domenico Montanaro. All three of them point out, among other things, that the claim relies on a net overall job loss calculation that uses January 2009 as a starting point. It factors in the huge amount of jobs lost when the economy was in free fall in the first months when Obama was in office, before his policies took effect.

    As Politifact said of Romney’s female job loss claim: “One could reasonably argue that January 2009 employment figures are more a result of President George W. Bush’s policies, at least as far as any president can be blamed or credited for private-sector hiring.”

    Good work! But here’s the thing about this. Romney’s use of the basic fallacy on display here goes well beyond this one claim about women. It’s central to virtually his entire case against Obama’s economic record.

    Romney has been arguing in every conceivable forum for many months that jobs were lost on Obama’s watch, proving that he is a job destroyer and that his policies failed. To do this, he’s using that same metric to prove this point — even though that metric factors in job losses that occurred before those policies took effect.

  34. rikyrah says:

    April 11, 2012 3:59 PM

    Going With What They’ve Got

    By Ed Kilgore

    The whole “Obama’s War on Women” meme that the entire hep conservative world is now grinding away at like cicadas is pretty threadbare. The statistical illusion deployed in claiming that “92.3% of job losses under Obama were lost by women” is extremely easy to expose, as is the underlying reality that unemployment for women is about the same as it was when Obama took office. There’s also the peril in focusing on recent job losses by women that are heavily concentrated in the teaching profession, given the responsibiity of state-level Republicans for a vast number of teacher layoffs, and the congressional GOP’s responsibility for blocking Obama efforts to counteract them with federal funds.

    On top of everything else, this hammerheaded effort to hold Obama responsible for every bad thing that’s occurred from the moment he took office cuts against the Romney campaign’s recent efforts to come up with a more nuanced and credible take on a slowly recovering economy.

    But I can understand how they’ve wound up deploying this tactic. Polls are indeed showing a major expansion of the gender gap. Conservative efforts to pretend the nationwide GOP drive against reproductive rights, women’s health care options, and equal pay laws isn’t really happening have largely failed. Meanwhile, the most recent monthly jobs report, while disappointing to Democrats, isn’t an easy target, either (“Obama not creating new jobs as fast as economists predicted the day before” won’t fit on anybody’s bumper sticker). If nothing else, the “Obama’s war on women” jive is some chum they can throw into the political waters until Republicans figure out what they really want to say and do. Maybe enough right-wing and MSM news outlets will repeat the distorted numbers that they will stick somewhere in the swing-voter subconscience. But above all, Romney and Republicans are going with what they’ve got, and that ain’t much at the moment.

  35. Ametia says:

    Can’t wait for the “kiddie bitches” in the media ask Jay Carney about Hillary Rosen’s comment about AnnRomney, and PBO giving high praises to Ann and ALL MOTHERS who take care of the children. NEXT!

  36. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    April 11, 2012 5:21 PM

    Romney’s Big Slide In North Carolina

    By Ed Kilgore

    Man, Public Policy Polling has poured Mitt Romney a bottomless cup of woe today. In addition to its poll showing Mitt way down in Colorado, PPP has another survey showing him in trouble in what should have been his easiest battleground state, North Carolina:

    Obama now leads Romney by 5 points in North Carolina, 49-44. That’s the largest lead we’ve found for him in monthly polling dating back to November of 2010. Obama has a 51-38 advantage with independents and is particularly strong with women (54-39), African Americans (90-7), voters under 30 (61-33), and folks in the Triangle (60-33).

    But that’s hardly the worst of it for Romney:

    The Republican nomination process has taken a huge toll on Romney’s image in North Carolina. In February of 2011 voters in the state were almost evenly divided on him with 37% rating him favorably to 39% who had a negative opinion of him. Now that spread is a dreadful 29/58. His numbers with GOP voters are about where they’ve been, but he’s seen a considerable drop in his appeal to Democrats and independents.

    He was actually popular with independents at 45/36 last winter, now he is incredibly unpopular at 25/62. And what was once a decent amount of crossover appeal to Democrats with 23% seeing him favorably to 52% with a negative opinion is now a 12/77 spread. Romney may see some improvement in his numbers as conservative leaning voters start to unify around him, but for now they’re pretty dreadful.

    North Carolina is one of those states whose primary suddenly became irrelevant yesterday when Rick Santorum pulled the plug on his campaign. While that was very good news for Mitt, it does appear he might could have used the extra time gripping and grinning in the Tar Heel State.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Hitting the wrong note, over and over again
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:21 PM EDT.

    I knew a jazz pianist years ago who told me something interesting about how he handled mistakes. “When I hit a wrong note, I keep hitting it — so the audience will think it’s intentional,” he said. To move away from the wrong note would be a subtle admission of an error.

    I wonder if the Romney campaign knows the same pianist.

    Team Romney’s efforts on the “war on women” went off the rails this morning when the campaign organized a press call and (1) couldn’t defend a misleading statistic; (2) couldn’t explain what would change if the former governor is elected president; and (3) couldn’t even say whether Romney supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

    Forced to scramble, the Romney campaign issued a statement from Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) — who voted against the Fair Pay Act. So, the campaign then sent around a statement from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) — who also voted against the Fair Pay Act.

    After going 0-for-2, Team Romney sent out a statement from Kerry Healey, who served as Romney’s lieutenant governor in Massachusetts — and who urged Romney in 2003 not to cut funding for preventive health care programs, including breast cancer and cervical cancer research, only to find that Romney chose to ignore her warnings.

    Anything else? Romney campaign policy director Lanhee Chen also argued that “Obamacare” has been bad for women, but as it turns out, that’s wrong, too.

    Some of these benefits will take effect over the next few years, but many of them are already helping women lead healthier lives. Senior citizens like Norma Byrne of Vineland, N.J., have already seen that the new Affordable Care Act makes prescription drugs more affordable. […]

    The new health-care law is also helping mothers and daughters like Joyce and Emma Morgan of Charleston, S.C. Thanks to the new law, Joyce can sleep a little easier at night, knowing that 23-year-old Emma can stay on her own plan until she turns 26. Emma is one of 2.5 million young adults who are already receiving health insurance through this provision.

    Women who own small businesses, such as Nan Warshaw of Chicago, are taking advantage of provisions in the Affordable Care Act that help them provide coverage for their employees. […]

    Finally, the Affordable Care Act includes new benefits specifically for women, such as requiring health plans to cover recommended preventive services to help protect women’s health without any additional cost sharing. Many preventive services, including mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and other services, are already covered, and additional preventive-care services for women, such as contraception, must be covered by new plans after Aug. 1, 2012.

    There’s also a provision in the law that will prevent women from being charged more for insurance simply because of their gender.

    Dear Romney campaign: pick a different note. Hitting this dissonant note over and over again won’t hide the fact that you made a mistake.

  38. Ametia says:

    How Santorum boxed in Romney
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: April 11

    Rick Santorum’s departure from the presidential race could not come soon enough for Mitt Romney. In proving himself more tenacious than anyone predicted, Santorum dramatized one of Romney’s major problems, created another and forced the now-inevitable Republican nominee into a strategic dilemma.

    Republicans may condemn class warfare, but their primaries turned into a class struggle. Romney performed best among voters with high incomes, and he was consistently weaker with the white working class, even in the late primaries where he put Santorum away. And Romney cannot win without rolling up very large margins among less well-off whites.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama invites ‘The Biggest Loser’ contestants to the White House
    By Briana Lopes
    5:45 PM on 04/11/2012

    First lady Michelle Obama surprised season 13 contestants of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, inviting them to the White House following the highly-anticipated makeover episode.

    In part one, which aired last week, the remaining six competitors received head-to-toe transformations from celebrity stylist Ken Paves and stylist Jeannie Mai. They then watched a video message from Mrs. Obama, inviting them to the White House to see how far they’ve come.

    The episode continued last night with the contestants’ emotional meeting with the First Lady. She started off by congratulating them, and said they’re inspirational to the millions of people who watch the show.

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