Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Curtis Mayfield Week!

Happy HUMP day, Everyone. 3 Chics hopes you’re enjoying Curtis Mayfield week.


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78 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Curtis Mayfield Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Ken Lester named new judge in Zimmerman murder case
    5:26 p.m. EST, April 18, 2012|
    By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel

    SANFORD – Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr., who’s been on the bench 15 years and has a great deal of experience with high-profile murder cases, on Wednesday was assigned the George Zimmerman murder case.

    It was originally given to Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, but she recused herself Wednesday after Zimmerman’s attorney asked her to step aside because of a possible conflict of interest: Her husband is the law partner of Mark NeJame, who’s been hired to comment on the case for CNN.

    All criminal cases in Seminole County are assigned by chance, based on a rotation system. Next up in that rotation was Circuit Judge John Galluzzo. He, though, could not accept the case because he formerly practiced law with Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara.

    O’Mara is also the godfather of one of Galluzzo’s four children. So Galluzzo stepped aside, passing the case to the next judge: Lester. He has already made plans to preside at Zimmerman’s bond hearing. It’ll start at 9 a.m. Friday and be in Recksiedler’s courtroom, 5D at the Seminole Criminal Justice Center.

    Dozens of news organizations are expected to be there. Zimmerman’s case has become a cause célèbre and one of the most racially divisive in the country.

    He shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old Feb. 26, as the teenager walked through Zimmerman’s Sanford neighborhood. Critics accused Zimmerman of racial profiling and Sanford police of botching their investigation.

    When police did not immediately arrest him, protesters took to the streets in cities across the country. Special Prosecutor Angela Corey, the state attorney in Jacksonville, ordered Zimmerman’s arrest April 11 on a charge of second-degree murder.

    Lester, 58, was elected judge in 1996 by challenging an incumbent.

  2. rikyrah says:



    HO-LY SHIT!!!!!! Ok, fuck the polls, newsmedia pundits, everyone etc. Look at Mitt. This reminds me of the debate between Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and H. Ross Perot. I mean, my God if he checked his watch, I wouldn’t be surprised. He is bad at voter outreach. He never really did this in Massachusetts, and you can tell. Which is why I am so happy that Barack Obama has rallies and town hall meetings with throngs of people. He really is in tune with people and has a sense of knowing a persons problems. Mitt Romney doesn’t have that and judging by his past campaigns, Mitt Romney CANNOT learn that.

    This is why polls and bullshit media punditry be damned, Mitt Romney is not going to get elected President of the United States. I just don’t see it. I saw it a little with John McCain……up until he chose Moosewoman as his VP. I saw it with GW Bush even. He played dumb hick you could relate to really well, rich lifestyle be damned. Reagan possessed it with his acting chops, Clinton possessed it well and when his ego is tempered, still can utilize it. Come on, can any of you name one President in the last thirty years that had that personality as witnessed above? Can you name a President that was either defeated or a presidential challenger defeated that was as compassionate, attentive, and dynamic as Barack Obama? Me neither.

    I just don’t see Mitt Romney winning. I’m saying this not as a partisan voter, but as a viewer of sorts. There is no story about him which makes people say, “He’s my choice.” He grew up in a rich, political family. He never lived really on his own without any aid from his parents. He never had to worry about unpaid bills or whether his kids would be able to go to the best schools or whether he would have a job. He never worried about whether or not the next paycheck would be in or whether or not he could feed his family. None of that. The one signature accomplishment from his years as governor of Massachusetts he can’t use because his opponent has already passed an almost carbon copy of it nationally while his own party wants to get rid of it. His only job has been at Bain, where he decimated the lives of many while fattening the pockets of his shareholders as well as himself. There is just no story.

    He has no purpose or rallying cry aside from, “You guys hate him, so do I so vote for me.” There is absolutely NOTHING! No one can tell us why he should be President. No damn one. Really, I don’t even think he knows. I don’t want people to think that I am being cocky, complacent or unknowing of the challenges and obstacles set upon us that lie ahead, but just look at that video above and tell me, Why is he their nominee and why would we want him as President of the United States? Because right now, I really don’t see it.

  3. Ametia says:


  4. rikyrah says:

    The Blacks and the Conservatives
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Apr 18 2012, 10:00 AM ET

    One problem with getting African-Americans to regard the conservative movement with anything other than antipathy is that movement’s persistent proximity with white racists. National Review is seemingly the house organ for sane conservatives. Up until last week they regularly featured the writing of an admitted racist John Derbyshire and “race realist” Robert Weissberg.

    Above you can find Weissberg, discussing how he believes Jews view blacks. If you are black, be careful. The urge to punch through your monitor will prove quite strong. What’s most insidious is Weissberg implicates other Jews in his attempt to rehab the word “schvartze.” (It’s not like Nigger!) National Review’s editor Rich Lowry was obviously “shocked and appalled.” Alex Pareene shows even more links.

    Again the thing to note here is the base level of inhumanity you see on display. Never forget that when Derbyshire is telling his kids to cultivate black friends and use them to deflect charges of racism, he isn’t merely responding to, say, the rhetoric of Al Sharpton (which would be bad enough) he is responding to the death of someone’s child, Pay close attention to Weissberg’s tone toward African-Americans.

    When white resentment is a significant plank in your platform, cruelty follows.

  5. Ametia says:


    There is an ideological split among Republicans over who should be presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday.

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tops the list of those presented with a list of possibilities, with 26%. Rick Santorum, Romney’s chief rival in the GOP presidential race, was the top pick of 21%. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were tied at 14%.

    But among self-described tea party supporters, Rubio is the top choice, with 22%, and Christie is second, with 18%. Rice and Santorum drop into a tie for third place.

    Among Republicans who say they aren’t tea party supporters, 36% say Rice is their choice, and one in four say they prefer Santorum. Christie barely cracks double digits, and Rubio is in single digits among non-tea party supporters.

  6. Ametia says:

    Television personality Dick Clark, the longtime host of “American Bandstand,” has died, a publicist says

  7. rikyrah says:

    Dick Clark
    Dead at 82
    ‘Massive Heart Attack’

    Dick Clark — famed TV producer, and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” host — died from a massive heart attack this morning … TMZ has learned.

    Clark’s rep tells TMZ, the TV icon had been in St. John’s hospital in L.A. after undergoing an outpatient procedure last night. Clark suffered the “massive” heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

    Clark was 82.

    Clark’s health had been on the decline since he suffered a significant stroke in 2004 — forcing him to retire from his hosting gig at “New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” which he created in 1972.

    Ryan Seacrest took over in 2006. Dick has appeared on the show sporadically ever since.

    Before suffering a stroke, Clark told Larry King he also suffered from Type 2 diabetes.

    Clark was married 3 times — and has 3 children from his first two marriages. He is survived by his current wife Kari Wigton.

    “For now, Dick Clark … so long.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    Lawsuit: Former Bain execs fired employees for not being Mormon
    By David Edwards
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 14:51 EDT

    Former executives from Bain Capital, a company founded by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have been accused of firing six out of seven members of a management team for not belonging to the Mormon church.

    David McCurdy and four other co-plaintiffs are suing Sorenson Capital Partners (SCP), Care Holding Co., Care Senior Living, and SCP Care Acquisition because they say the private equity firm fired them from their jobs at Care Senior Living because they were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), according to Courthouse News Service.

    “Despite the promise of 5-years employment, in mid-November 2011, after only 7 months Plaintiffs were told that their employment would be terminated effective February 2012,” the lawsuit (PDF), which was filed in federal court in Oregon, states.

    During their tenure with Defendants, Plaintiffs learned that SCP strongly favored hiring, employing, and doing business with other members of the LDS Church,” the suit continues. “SCP partners, in particular Curtis Toone and Mike Scott, made comments about religion and questioned the beliefs of Plaintiffs and other employees.”

    The plaintiffs are asking the court for relief because the “Defendants’ decision to terminate Plaintiffs’ employment was based, at least in part, on Plaintiffs’ non-affiliation with the LDS Church.”

    The lawsuit also alleges there was discrimination based on the ages of the former employees, who are between 52 and 62 years old.

    In addition to attorneys’ fees, the plaintiffs are asking for $5.35 million in damages for breach of oral contract and at least another $5 million for “mental and emotional distress.”

    • Ametia says:

      OOPs! Don’t expect any Black employees from Bain to come forward with any claims of being fired, because it’s likely NONE where ever HIRED at BAIN.

  9. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, where are you?

    Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 04/18/2012

    Jim Webb: Health-care law represents a leadership failure for Obama
    By Karen Tumulty

    President Obama’s new health-care law will be his greatest liability as he attempts to once again win the critical swing state of Virginia, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) warned Wednesday.
    “I’ll be real frank here,” Webb said at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News. “I think that the manner in which the health-care reform issue was put in front of the Congress, the way that the issue was dealt with by the White House, cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader.”

  10. Ametia says:

    CNN Breaking News via

    2:21 PM (9 minutes ago)

    to textbreakingne.

    A Florida judge will step aside from a criminal case involving a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, according to the court.

    The defense team for George Zimmerman requested Monday that Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, who was assigned to Zimmerman’s case, be removed because her husband works with a CNN legal analyst.

    Zimmerman, 28, fatally shot Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, a killing he has said was in self-defense. The case has stirred civil rights activists nationwide and drawn intense publicity. Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Obama: ‘I Wasn’t Born With A Silver Spoon In My Mouth’

    In a speech on the economy and opportunity at an Ohio community college, President Obama said, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

    Somebody gave me an education. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. Somebody gave us a chance. Just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.

  12. rikyrah says:

    New poll data from the Pew Research Center suggests that not only does President Obama enjoy a clear edge over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among women but that younger women favor the incumbent overwhelmingly, a data point that suggests a potential long term problem for the GOP.

    …. The number that really stands out is that among women between the ages of 18-29, Obama is beating Romney by 45 points. Yes, 45. While Obama is leading Romney among all 18-29 years old by 28 points (61 percent to 33 percent), the fact he is down by such a vast margin among young women has to set off red flags in Republican world.

    …. lose women by any more than 11 points and it’s difficult for a Republican to get elected to the White House…. Republicans have to hope the yawning gender gap – particularly among young women — is temporary. If it’s not, it could mean big trouble not just for Romney but for Republican presidential nominees in four, eight or even twelve years time.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Ohio House Republicans move to defund Planned Parenthood
    Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 7:20 PM

    House Republican foes of abortions rights inserted language into Gov. John Kasich’s mid-budget review bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of up to $1.7 million in federal funding controlled by the state Department of Health.

    The language effectively would block federal funding administrated by the state for 37 family planning centers operated by Planned Parenthood in Ohio, according to the organization. It was one of dozens of amendments to Kasich’s sprawling mini-budget added Tuesday by Republicans in the Finance Committee. The budget bill is on a fast track, with majority-party GOP lawmakers expected to pass the legislation before Memorial Day.

    The language added by GOP abortion opponents, which mirrors a separate bill that sits in committee, reprioritizes federal family planning funds in a way that makes Planned Parenthood and other stand-alone family planning providers the lowest priority in getting federal funding.

    “Clearly, the intent of this legislation is to make sure the federal funds are exhausted before Planned Parenthood has the opportunity to apply for it,” said Gary Dougherty, state legislative director for Planned Parenthood. Dougherty Planned Parenthood would lose about $1.7 million.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    April 18, 2012 12:38 PM

    From Lack of Empathy To Disdain

    By Ed Kilgore

    Over at Maddow Blog, my esteemed predecessor Mr. Benen has a nice catch of an interview with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the chair of the House higher ed subcommittee, wherein she expressed a distinct lack of sympathy for those with large student loan burdens because, after all, she worked her way through college even though it delayed graduation by three years.

    Steve comments:

    [W]hat…stood out for me is Foxx’s choice of words: she lacks “tolerance” for families burdened by massive debts, because they had the nerve to want more education.

    It’s not just that conservative Republicans are indifferent to those who are struggling; the larger truth appears to be that these GOP policymakers seem to have disdain for these Americans, even during difficult economic times.
    This goes well beyond education aid.

    Indeed it does. Steve goes on to discuss Paul Ryan’s references to the “safety net” becoming a “hammock.” But I think a lot of progressives have had trouble grasping the extent to which the anger associated with the Tea Party Movement in particular owes a lot to a sense of moral self-righteousness aimed at people deemed to have had it easier than hard-working, tax-paying folk like them.

    It is most evident in the belief of Medicare recipients that their hard-earned benefits (earned via both payroll taxes and a virtuous lifetime of work) are being threatened by the extension of government-subsidized and guaranteed health insurance to those who presumably have not earned it. But even before the ACA debate, it was evident in the hostility towards families with underwater mortgages, who should have known better than to take out loans they might not be able to repay. Now the fact that many Tea Folk feeling this anger may have benefitted in the past from government-subsidized mortgages (not to mention the mortgage interest deduction), and from beneficial turns in the real estate market, might have induced some sympathy. But in an atmosphere where right-wing propaganda weaved a lurid tale of ACORN conspiring with Big Government under the auspices of the Community Reinvestment Act to put loans in the hands of shiftless poor and minority people, it was easy for people watching their own home equity decline to blame the interlopers who were ruining the great American tradition of homeownership.

    It’s a natural byproduct of cultural conservatism in an era of rapid change to think the country’s going to hell in a handbasket, and that younger people (or darker people who also haven’t shared your particular experiences) want something for nothing, at your expense. Consciously or not, political conservatives have actively exploited this tendency and used it to sever or even invert the normal sense of solidarity most Americans feel towards people in need. To put it another way, moral disdain is necessary to produce a lack of empathy. So we will see a lot more of it going forward, God help us.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The growing importance of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:22 PM EDT.

    Yesterday, as you may have heard, was Equal Pay Day. It’s the day that marks how much longer American have to work to earn the same amount of money American men make in the same positions — so if we use Jan. 1, 2011 as a starting date, what men made as of Dec. 31 is equal to what women made as of yesterday.

    With this in mind, Mitt Romney’s remarkably vague take on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act matter, and are of growing importance every day.

    The Romney campaign didn’t want to take a position last week, and when ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked the presumptive Republican nominee about the law this week, Romney said he supports equal pay, and wouldn’t “intend” to change the Fair Pay Act, but he refused to say whether he would have supported it when it became law in 2009.

    Some Romney allies are choosing to be far more forthcoming. In Michigan, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Pete Hoekstra, a longtime Romney ally, last week called the law “a nuisance.” In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, a man Romney has described as a “hero,” repealed a state version of the Fair Pay Act.

    And in New Hampshire yesterday, state GOP Executive Director Tory Mazzola, a top Romney surrogate in New Hampshire, went even further.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Mazzola said of the Lilly Ledbetter law, “Instead of being about fair pay, it is really about a handout to trial lawyers because it expands the areas that people can sue their employers unnecessarily.”

    Taken together, we have a story of growing importance, especially in light of the Romney campaign offensive on women’s issues last week.

    As we talked about on the show last night, the questions are obvious: does Romney support the Fair Pay Act or not? Does he agree with own surrogates? When nearly every Republican in Congress voted against the legislation, were they right or wrong?

    Rachel explained, “It is one thing to say you support the outcome that somehow women and men should be paid equally. But given the fact they are not paid equally now, should we fix it? Should there be a policy implemented to help fix that?”

    These not be rhetorical questions

  16. rikyrah says:

    Kobach on Romney role: ‘Nothing’s changed’
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:26 PM EDT

    .In a rather blatant “Etch A Sketch” moment, the Romney campaign yesterday tried to distance the presumptive Republican nominee from Kris Kobach, the architect of harsh, right-wing immigration measures and a leading Romney advisor on immigration policy.

    It seemed like an odd move. Kobach has, after all, boasted several times about taking a leading role with Team Romney, advising the former governor “directly” on immigration.

    Now it appears Kobach is taking additional steps to make clear that he’s still an influential Romney insider. For example, consider what he told the conservative National Review.

    “Nothing’s changed,” Kobach says. “I just got off the phone with the senior officials in the Romney campaign and they confirmed nothing’s changed, I’m still an informal adviser in the sense that I regularly provide policy advice to the Romney team. The governor takes my advice, and does what he wants with it.”

    “This is probably an interesting little example of the kind of the games that the Obama team will play,” he added, “that is, they’ll try to goad someone on the Romney team into saying something that semantically can be twisted into a change of position, and then they’ll accuse the candidate of changing position, when in fact nothing’s changed.”


  17. rikyrah says:

    A growing interest in Mr. Secrecy
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:27 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney appears rather desperate to shield his tax returns from public scrutiny. He has the materials — when Romney was considered for John McCain’s 2008 ticket, the former governor turned over 23 years worth of returns — he just doesn’t want to share the materials.

    The Romney campaign, however, has a new line it hopes will put a stop to the questions. Ed Gillespie told Fox News the other day, “In 2004, John Kerry as a Democratic presidential nominee, released two years of tax returns. In 2012, Governor Romney will release two years.” Romney himself repeated this on CNBC yesterday, saying, “John Kerry released two years of taxes.”

    The problem, of course, is that the talking point isn’t true. Judd Legum explained that Kerry, by the time of his 2004 presidential campaign, had actually released 20 years of tax returns.

    Romney was only off by a factor of 10.

    The larger point, however, is that Romney’s secretive habits and desire to keep relevant details out of public view are opening up a new vulnerability that Democrats seem eager to target: his penchant for secrecy. The Democratic National Committee released this video on Tuesday, asking “what else” Romney might be hiding.

    If it were just the tax returns, it’d be problematic enough, but Romney appears to have established a pattern that leaves him vulnerable: he bought the hard drives from his term as governor so he could hide emails from the public; he’s hiding the names of his fundraising bundlers from the public; he’s keeping details of his policy agenda hidden from the public until after the election, etc.

    These moves don’t exactly inspire trust in the presumptive Republican nominee.

    For its part, there’s a Republican response to this: Obama is going after Romney’s religion. No, seriously.


    Alec MacGillis flagged a report from Mike Allen’s Playbook, in which he quoted an unnamed Republican pushing back against accusations surrounding Romney’s secrecy.

    These are exactly the kind of questions we asked about Obama in 2008 and were accused of race baiting, or suggesting he was somehow un-American. Now they ask it: What’s his secret? It does seem like they are going after the Mormonism, right? I’d do the same thing if I was them. But we were never up on our high horse about better angels and hope and change and all that B.S.”

    Allen’s report also quoted an unnamed LDS member

    “[T]his is a way to talk about Romney’s Mormonism without appearing to be attacking his religion…. Because, isn’t Mormonism some mysterious cult involving secret temple rites and strange undergarments? And it just happens to dovetail with some minor points on offshore accounts, but I think the message between the lines is clear.”

    I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. If Democrats notice that Romney is keeping his tax returns hidden, and he purchased 17 state-issued hard drives, purging the Romney administration’s email records in advance of his presidential campaign, this is all part of an elaborate scheme to talk about … Mormons?

    Someone’s going to have to explain this one to me.

    My sincere hope is that we won’t reach the point at which every criticism of Romney leads to shrieks from Republicans saying, “See? They’re attacking his faith!” This kind of response to legitimate and secular inquiries is cheap, lazy, and wrong.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Seamus, Seriously
    Published Apr 18 2012, 07:39 AM
    by David S. Bernstein

    I want to make a serious point about the whole Seamus-on-the-car-roof story, and about why it’s not something to just roll one’s eyes about.

    I bring this up in the context of some silliness going around today, launched by consistent nitwit Jim Treacher, who is given a regular space on the Daily Caller website, which is just one reason why you really don’t need to visit that site very often — another reason would be nonsense like the giant banner headline currently gracing its front page, blaring the news that Joe Kennedy III is calling for an end to cheap oil. (Regardless of the idiocy of the story itself, how does this merit top-story status on a national news site?)

    Treacher yesterday pointed out that in Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama wrote that he was fed dog meat by his father in Indonesia. This is apparently some sort of rebuff to all the criticism of Mitt Romney over transporting his dog Seamus on the car roof. Treacher warns “libs” that “whenever you bring up the one, we’re going to bring up the other. It’s no fun when we push back, is it?”

    This led to much fun and games on Twitter and elsewhere, much of it unserious — that is, people who think the Seamus story is silly nonsense, having a little harmless fun with another silly nonsense story.

    Which is all good fun. But look, it’s not just “libs” who bring up the Seamus story. Chris Wallace brought it up. Rick Santorum brought it up. And a lot of non-partisan ordinary people who happen to really love their dogs bring it up.

    And people like David Axelrod don’t bring it up just because they’re “libs” — they do it because they know it resonates with a lot of swing voters.

    Listen to what Wallace said when he interviewed Romney; refering to his own family pet, Wallace said: “I would no sooner put him in a kennel on the roof of my car than I would one of my children.”

    Much of the punditry out there seem to think that’s hyperbole; nobody literally equates a dog with a child in that way. This is where they are wrong. Wallace was quite serious, and a not-insignificant number of dog owners in this country feel the same way.

  19. Ametia says:


  20. rikyrah says:

    Wild, wild West
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:08 AM EDT.

    It’s been about a week since Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) insisted that members of House Progressive Caucus are secretly “members of the Communist Party.” The unhinged congressman began fundraising off his tirade soon after.

    Some pesky journalists continue, however, to ask West what in the world he was thinking. Here was an answer the right-wing politician offered yesterday (thanks to our pal James Carter for posting and passing along the clip):

    The video is worth watching, in part because it’s a peek into the mind of someone who’s simply gone around the bend. West’s explanation for why congressional progressives are part of a web that features Woodrow Wilson and the Communist Party has all the sophistication and coherence of a comment left on a Glenn Beck message board.

    What’s more, as far as the Florida lawmaker is concerned, if you question his twisted view of history and ideology, then you’ve failed to do sufficient “research.” He actually seems to believe this nonsense.

    But my favorite part came towards the end, when West presented a new argument I hadn’t heard him make before:

    “This whole argument that the liberal left is trying to take you down, talking about women’s contraception is really about a federal government that is reclassifying religious organizations — for them to be able to manipulate them however they wish. So that’s what I wish people would focus on.”

    Got that? There’s a health care law that guarantees free preventive care for Americans, and the Obama administration wants contraception to be considered preventive care. But in Allen West’s strange mind, this birth control measure is really a fiendish plot that would allow big government to “manipulate” America’s churches. It’s this conspiracy that people should “focus on.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Getting an earful from regular folks
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:55 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney appeared in the Pittsburgh area yesterday, and participated in a “tax day roundtable” with eight regular folks at a park bench. Unfortunately for the presumptive Republican nominee, they didn’t stick to the script.

    I realize it’s setting the bar too low, but Romney probably deserves at least some credit for speaking to voters who hadn’t been told what to say in advance. But spontaneity comes with a price — these Pittsburgh-area voters said they don’t want to see cuts to education and they’re comfortable with some tax increases.

    ThinkProgress posted a video of the chat.

    Remember. this was “tax day,” and Romney probably hoped to hear these folks complain about crushing tax burdens and their deep desire to slash public investments. But they didn’t — one participant said, “I don’t like to see cuts made in anything in education,” perhaps unaware of Romney’s plan to make deep cuts in education.

    One man said, “None of us like to pay more taxes, but sometimes that’s necessary.” A woman added, “It’s a necessary evil.” The group nodded — though Romney didn’t — as a third participant said, “Right, right.”

    Now, I don’t know anything about these voters’ political preferences, and for all I know, they’ll all vote for Romney in November. But it was pretty entertaining to see Romney visit with “real Americans” on tax day, only to hear about their willingness to see higher taxes.

    These were, after all, “a handful of hand-picked southwestern Pennsylvania voters” telling Romney the exact opposite of what he wanted to hear.

    • Ametia says:

      Sheesh! that white starched Brooks Brothers must of been wet with perspiration. Romney looks like stiff manequin at that picnic table. What was his response to these folks? **BLANK STARE**

  22. rikyrah says:

    Tweety did a ‘final thoughts’ on Willard telling the President of the United States to ‘ start packing’.

    • Ametia says:




  23. Ametia says:

    Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 04/18/2012
    Why are Gallup’s findings worse for Dems?
    By Greg Sargent

    A number of people have asked that question, in light of the most recent batch of polling, in which Gallup’s tracking finds Mitt Romney leading Obama, while multiple other polls find Obama with varying leads.

    Ron Brownstein offers a pretty persuasive explanation for the divergence:

    Four recent national polls, including three released in the past 24 hours, generally show the electorate dividing between President Obama and Mitt Romney along lines of class, gender and race familiar from the 2008 race.

  24. Ametia says:

    Yes; it’s video day today! :-)

  25. Ametia says:

    Lawrence O takes the GOP to the woodshed on Nuggent’s racist, hateful, dangerous RANTS against PBO.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Romney Actively Sought Nugent Endorsement and Agreed to His Demands to Win It

    Submitted by Josh Glasstetter on Tue, 04/17/2012 – 1:00pm

    Mitt Romney actively sought, and won, Ted Nugent’s endorsement in early March. According to a report in the Texas Tribune and Nugent himself, the two had a lengthy conversation about gun laws and the endorsement on March 2nd.

    Nugent made Romney pledge not to put any new restrictions on guns. Romney obliged:
    It was on a phone call with the candidate earlier today that Nugent gave his blessing. He talked to Romney by phone while he was at a sporting goods store in Michigan “celebrating the orgy of guns and ammos and bows and arrows and camouflage clothing and hunting and fishing and outdoor family supplies.”

    Before endorsing him, Nugent demanded that Romney pledge there would be no new gun laws or restrictions on Second Amendment rights in his administration. Romney obliged. Nugent also warned Romney about the “out of control” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

    “These are not Ted Nugent demands,” he said. “They’re logic demands. They’re ‘we the people’ demands. They’re right over wrong, good over bad.”

  27. Ametia says:



  28. rikyrah says:

    Great segment from Lawrence O’Donnell about the internals of the CNN poll, and how bad they are for Willard.

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Sympathy Gap
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:45 AM EDT.

    Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) appeared on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show the other day, and shared her thoughts on Americans burdened with student-loan debt.

    For those who can’t watch or listen to clips online, here’s the part of Foxx’s comments that stood out:

    “I went through school, I worked my way through, it took me seven years, I never borrowed a dime of money…. I have very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there’s no reason for that. We live in an opportunity society and people are forgetting that.”

    There are a few relevant angles to comments like Foxx’s. For one thing, House Republicans made Foxx the chair of the House panel on higher education, which make her comments that much more disconcerting. For another, she went to a state school four decades ago, when tuition was far more affordable, and students and their families didn’t need to take out exorbitant loans.

    There’s also the matter of Foxx’s party’s presumptive presidential nominee, who put himself through school thanks to money from family stock sales, and who now wants to scrap college aid for millions of American students, on purpose, for ideological reasons.

    But what also stood out for me is Foxx’s choice of words: she lacks “tolerance” for families burdened by massive debts, because they had the nerve to want more education.

    It’s not just that conservative Republicans are indifferent to those who are struggling; the larger truth appears to be that these GOP policymakers seem to have disdain for these Americans, even during difficult economic times.

    This goes well beyond education aid.


    We also learned this week, for example, that House Republicans are scrambling to pay for additional Pentagon spending that the Pentagon says it doesn’t want. How does the GOP intend to finance the additional spending? By cutting food stamps.

  30. Ametia says:

    Rikyrah, here’s your anchor BABY…

    Rubio’s immigration push a potential lift for GOP
    Source: AP

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s push for a Republican version of immigration legislation looks like the answer to the election-year prayers of the GOP — and Mitt Romney.

    Rubio — telegenic son of Cuban exiles and potential vice presidential pick — is pulling together a bill that would allow young illegal immigrants to remain in the United States but denies them citizenship, an initial step in the drawn-out, divisive fight over immigration policy and the fate of the 11 million people here illegally.

    The freshman senator calls his evolving legislation a conservative alternative to the DREAM Act — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors measure. That Democratic-backed bill, which is overwhelmingly popular with Hispanics, would provide a pathway to citizenship to children in the United States illegally if they attend college or join the military. The measure came close to passage in December 2010 but has languished since then.

    “We have to come up with an immigration system that honors both our legacy as a nation of laws and also our legacy as a nation of immigrants,” Rubio told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

    Read more:

  31. rikyrah says:

    Anyone-But-Romney Still More Popular Than Romney
    Posted on 04/17/2012 at 5:00 pm by JM Ashby

    According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, Mitt Romney is now the weakest presumptive presidential nominee in nearly 30 years.

    Furthermore, the gender gap, the gap between Democratic and Republican support among women, is widening. Not shrinking.

    Mitt Romney has emerged from the Republican primary season with the weakest favorability rating on record for a presumptive presidential nominee in ABC News/Washington Post polls since 1984, trailing a resurgent Barack Obama in personal popularity by 21 percentage points.

    Thirty-five percent of Americans see Romney favorably, while 47 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor. He’s the first likely nominee to be underwater — seen more unfavorably than favorably — in ABC/Post polls in eight presidential primary seasons over the past 28 years.

    Romney’s gender gap in vote preferences in an ABC/Post poll last week — he trailed Obama by 19 percentage points among women — is reflected in his new favorability scores as well. Just 27 percent of women see Romney favorably, compared with 44 percent of men — his lowest rating to date among women, and highest among men, in a dozen ABC/Post polls since September.

    Meanwhile, Gallup and Fox News are unabashedly manipulating their polls to give Mitt Romney an advantage which doesn’t actually exist.

    Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans nationally, but recent Gallup and Fox News polls were calculated as if seven million Democrats vanished and seven million Republicans joined the rolls overnight. The net result is giving Romney a two point advantage. An advantage that doesn’t really exist.

  32. rikyrah says:

    The GOP power play on public display
    By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.
    Associated Press

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) isn’t fully invested in his party’s 2012 ticket.
    Even before the race for the Republican presidential nomination effectively ended, many of Mitt Romney’s most notable supporters expressed deep misgivings about him. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for example, said a day after endorsing the former governor, “There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president — but they didn’t.”

    On Capitol Hill, the dissatisfaction is considerably more acute. More than a dozen far-right House members chatted yesterday with reporters, and as Sahil Kapur reported, the group had “a hard time finding anything praiseworthy to say about their party’s presumptive presidential nominee.”

    Fourteen GOP conservatives sat together Tuesday on a Capitol Hill panel to field questions from a few dozen reporters and other attendees about the political issues of the day. When asked, predictably, to provide their thoughts about Mitt Romney, they turned decidedly lukewarm.

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) summed up the conservative mood with a joke that won laughter from the audience, but might have hit too close to home for many in the GOP.

    “Whether you’re liberal, whether you’re very conservative,” he said, “you ought to be excited [about Romney] because he’s been on your side at one time or another.”

  33. Ametia says:


  34. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:21 PM ET, 04/17/2012
    Time for Democratic donors to wake up
    By Greg Sargent

    Today’s New York Times reports an eye-popping figure: The pro-Romney forces may be able to raise and spend no less than $1 billion to oust President Obama. That number could climb considerably higher, if the fundraising by Romney-aligned outside groups is a success.

    Which raises a question: Why is Dem outside-group fundraising failing to keep pace?

    “The fact that the Romney forces are going to be able to amass at least $1 billion dollars should be a tremendous wake up call for our side,” Paul Begala, an adviser to Priorities USA, the main pro-Obama outside group, tells me.

    Media reports have speculated that the Obama campaign will raise $1 billion for reelection, but the campaign vigorously disputes this. Meanwhile, Priorities USA and Priorities USA Action have only raised a combined $10 million. That sum was matched by a single anonymous GOP donor who quietly handed the Rove-founded Crossroads GPS a $10 million check the other day.

    I asked Begala why Dems are lagging behind. He gave three reasons. The first: Dem donors are used to an outdated calendar. The air wars designed to establish the frame of the election are getting under way far earlier in the new era.

    “Dems are used to giving late — we’d have an ad blitz in the last eight weeks, but before then it would be all about building up the ground game,” Begala said. “Now we’ve got a different timetable. We want to define Romney now, as he’s trying to define himself.”

    “The second reason is that our donors are not transactional,” Begala continued. “For the Koch brothers, this is a straight return on an investment deal.” A Republican president, Begala continued, “would preserve tax breaks for their oil companies and kill off Obama’s investments in green energy.”

    Begala’s third reason: “Many progressive donors think President Obama has it in the bag. But he doesn’t even have it in the shopping cart yet, much less in the bag.”

    There are mitigating factors. Major labor unions will also be raising and spending huge sums. But some union resources may be diverted elsewhere. Other Dem groups are raising cash for the Congressional races. But the pro-Romney forces may have well over $1 billion for the presidential race alone.

    True, there’s been some debate over how much outside spending really matters. But this is the first presidential race in which we’re going to see this level of spending, so who knows how it will turn out. Dem donors may not be aware of the spending juggernaut that’s about to hit them.

  35. rikyrah says:

    The Romney Campaign Thinks Latinos Are Stupid
    Posted on 04/17/2012 at 7:00 pm by JM Ashby

    As we’ve discussed numerous times, Mitt Romney’s immigration policy proposals are the harshest out of all past and present presidential candidates during this election cycle. So harsh in fact that he managed to make Newt Gingrich seem compassionate for a few minutes when Gingrich refused to agree with deporting grandmothers.

    The lead architect of Romney’s immigration policy is Kris Kobach, the author of “Papers Please” anti-immigration law, who since the beginning of the year has been closely advising the Romney campaign.

    Finding themselves trailing President Obama by over 50 percent among Latino voters however, the Romney campaign now appears to be distancing themselves from Kris Kobach, who they now categorize as a “supporter” rather than an adviser.

    The only problem is Kobach apparently didn’t get the memo.

    Politico’s Glenn Thrush reports today that the Romney campaign appears to be distancing itself from the controversial adviser as it pivots to the general election and seeks to appeal to Hispanic voters. […]

    However, Kobach disputes this claim. Reached by ThinkProgress this afternoon, Kobach said, “No, my relationship with the campaign has not changed. Still doing the same thing I was doing before.” Asked what that entails, he said, “providing advice on immigration policy.” “I don’t want to go into great detail, but I communicate regularly with senior members of Romney’s team,” he explained.

    As Joe Biden said, Mitt Romney can try to shake his etch-a-sketch and draw a new picture, but it’s not going to work. Because there’s nowhere he can go with this without alienating more voters, whether they’re part of the Latino community or members of the lunatic base.

    If Mitt Romney does decide to walk back his position(s) on immigration, it will confirm the suspicion that he thinks voters, and Latino voters more specifically, are stupid. Because he’s relying on the Latino community believing that he had a sudden change of heart after paling around with the father of “Papers Please” for the last five months while he closed in on the nomination.

    Mitt Romney declared that “Papers Please” could serve as a “model for country,” but now he expects you to forget all of that.

    He wants to have his cake and eat it too. Don’t buy it.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Opinion: Online anonymity is the new robe and hood of hatred

    Editor’s Note: Tangela Ekhoff is an inspirational speaker and ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. She blogs about marriage, motherhood and life in Oklahoma at Homegirl on the Range, and has written for CNN’s Belief blog.

    On a hot, steamy summer day, when I was 10 or 11, my mama and I rode downtown to do a little shopping. As we got off the bus, I looked up the street toward the Alabama capitol. In the distance, I could see a gathering of people. Glimmers of white dotted the crowd like cotton on the side of a dusty road.

    After we finished, we got a couple of cold Cokes to go. My mother was uneasy that day.

    “We need to hurry up and get home before something bad happens,” she said.

    As we got on the bus and headed up the street, I could see more clearly. It was a Ku Klux Klan rally. I looked out the window and right outside the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Rev. Martin Luther King’s voice became the sound of movement, there was a grown man and a little boy of maybe 5 or 6. They both wore matching white robes and hoods on their heads so you couldn’t make out their faces. The little boy looked me square in the eye, gave me the finger, and screamed “Dirty N-–.” The man patted the boy on the back and laughed out loud. This wasn’t 1955. It was 1979 or 1980.

    Mama put her thick mahogany arm around me, and tried to wipe the tears off my face. “I’m sorry, baby. Always remember they wear those hoods to hide their faces, but those robes don’t hide their hearts. They’re cowards.” I looked up at my mother, and she was crying, too. I wasn’t a little girl anymore. I was a little black girl in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Not so long ago, racists had to work hard to spew their venom. They had to starch their robes, get in their trucks, and meet face-to-face with others who viciously hated minorities, gays, women, Jews, and even Catholics.

    These days, cowards use the anonymity of computers as their robes and hoods of hatred. With a click of a mouse, you can witness a virtual cross-burning led by the guy in the next cubicle.

    It’s ironic to think that someone who posts about “lazy” blacks and Hispanics might be running a cyber-Klan meeting while on the clock. With a few keystrokes, people have allowed the hate in their heart to reveal itself by sharing, reposting, and curating images and words that are destructive to the very fabric of our nation.

    The last few weeks have been frightening for me as a mother and as an African-American. I had just begun to wrap my brain around the senseless shooting of Trayvon Martin. This past weekend, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I now live, two men have been accused of going on a rampage, apparently targeting and shooting men for just being black. One of the assailants took to his Facebook page before the murders to hurl epithets and threats. As a mother, it makes me worry what kind of America my sons will inherit.

    Online, I have seen my social media pages erupt into a digital uncivil war. The Mason-Dixon line is no longer a physical place; it’s a state of mind. Some of my virtual friends have used these tragic situations as an opportunity to let their inner racist roam free. I am appalled at what some have posted and reposted.

  37. rikyrah says:

    First Lady on Trayvon Martin: ‘A Tremendous Loss’

    First lady Michelle Obama weighed in on the Travyon Martin case today during an interview with NPR.

    “My heart goes out to the parents, because we all as parents understand the tragedy of that kind of loss, and I think that’s really the thing that most people connect to,” Obama said. “And it’s important for us not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that’s grieving and there’s been a tremendous loss. And we all have to rally around that piece of it.”

    Obama also said that the incident was part of the ongoing American conversation on race, a “complicated” conversation that can’t only happen when there’s a high profile incident.

    “Talking is good. Conversations have to be forever. You know, they can’t come in spits and starts when there’s an incident. I think we all need, as a country, to continue to talk about these issues, to understand our communities and the challenges that we face, which are different and unique depending upon where you live,” Obama said.

    “It’s all about, you know, continuing to get to know ourselves in a very diverse and complicated country that is America. It is a wonderful place to live. But because it is so diverse, our challenges are complex. So there isn’t, you know, a one-shot solution to this. It is complicated. It takes time. It takes openness. It takes compassion. It takes patience. And it takes a lot of work. So we should all be ready to roll up our sleeves and keep doing that work,” Obama said.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Barack Obama’s father tops colonial list of Kenyan students in US

    Formerly secret British file reveals US concerns that Kenyans studying in America were ‘falling into the wrong hands’

    The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.

    The file notes that the US state department had told British officials in 1959 that they were concerned Kenyan students in America had a reputation for “falling into the wrong hands”.

    US officials complained that Kenyan students were becoming “anti-American and anti-white” just at the time Barack Obama Senior was given a grant to study in America.

    British colonial administrators in Nairobi expressed concern about the calibre of Kenyans receiving scholarships to go to US universities, claiming they were “academically inferior” to their contemporaries who stayed in Africa to study. They criticised a US-based body, the African American Students Foundation, which gave Obama Senior grants to study business administration at the University of Hawaii, Honululu. Supporters of the project included the singer Harry Belafonte, the actor Sidney Poitier, and the baseball player Jackie Robinson.

    The president’s father is listed as “OBAMA, Barrack H” in the file of Kenyan students in the US drawn up by British colonial officials.

    A year later, in 1960, Obama Senior met a white American called Ann Dunham on a Russian language course at the university. They married the next year and had a son, elected the first black US president in 2008.

    Obama Senior died in car crash in Nairobi in 1982. His father, the president’s grandfather, Onyango, was jailed by the British for six months in 1949 for his involvement in the Kenyan independence movement. Obama Senior’s stepmother, Sarah Onyango Obama, has said he was subjected to beatings and abuse which caused permanent physical disabilities, and a hatred of the British.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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