Serendipity SOUL| Friday Open Thread | Curtis Mayfield Week!

Happy FRY-day, Everyone. 3 Chics hopes you’ve enjoyed our weekly featured artist Mr. Curtis Mayfield.

So In Love

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62 Responses to Serendipity SOUL| Friday Open Thread | Curtis Mayfield Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    New Romney Spokesman Used Twitter For Sexist Attacks

    By Judd Legum and Alex Seitz-Wald on Apr 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s new foreign policy spokesperson Richard Grenell has an odd penchant for targeting the wives of male politicians and women in general on Twitter.

    Grenell, who served as George W. Bush’s spokesperson at the UN and was announced as the Romney campaign’s new representative yesterday, has gone after Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Callista Gingrich, Sandra Fluke and others. He also asserted that President Obama’s children should be fair game for political debate. A selection of his thoughts on women:


    In another comment, that has since been removed, Grennell discussed the first lady “sweating on the East Room carpet.”

    This afternoon, Grennell offered an apology, of sorts, for his attacks, writing, “my tweets were written to be tongue-in-cheek and humorous but I can now see how they can also be hurtful. I didn’t mean them that way and will remove them from twitter. I apologize for any hurt they caused.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    No Class Sarah Palin

    by BooMan
    Fri Apr 20th, 2012 at 10:26:25 AM EST
    Does anyone seriously think that the president is disinterested in the professionalism of the Secret Service? His life is in their hands. Would you like it if your paid bodyguards were more interested in playing with prostitutes than in protecting you? Yet, Sarah Palin can never miss an opportunity to try to score some political points. It turns out that one of the Secret Service supervisors who lost his job over his behavior in Colombia was once assigned to Gov. Palin. And he wasn’t very professional about that responsibility either. He wrote on his Facebook page that he was “checking [Palin] out, if you know what I mean.” This was all the opening Palin needed to launch a truly tasteless attack on the president:

    “Well, this agent who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out,” Palin told Greta van Susteren on her FOX News program. “Well check this out, bodyguard — you’re fired. And I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse. As long as he’s not eating the dog, along with his former boss. Greta, you know, a lot of people will just, I guess say that this is boys being boys. And boys will be boys, but they shouldn’t be in positions of authority.”

    “It’s a symptom of government run amok, though, Greta,” Palin said on the Thursday broadcast of “On the Record” on FOX News. “Who is minding the store here? And when it comes to this particular issue of Secret Service, again, playing with the taxpayer’s dime and playing with prostitutes and checking out those whom they are guarding.”

    “You know, the President, for one, he better be wary there when Secret Service is accompanying his family on vacation. They may be checking out the First Lady, instead of guarding her. I say that not just tongue in cheek, but I say that seriously,” Palin said.

    “The president, the CEO of this operation called our federal government, has got to start cracking down on these agencies. He is the head of the administrative branch and all of these different departments in the administration that now people are seeing things that are so amiss within these departments. The buck stops with the president. And he’s really got to start cracking down and seeing some heads roll. He has to get rid of these people at the head of these agencies where so many things, obviously, are amiss,” she said.

    This really has it all, doesn’t it? She attacks the president for eating dog. The president revealed in Dreams From My Father that he was fed dog when he was a very young boy in Indonesia. He didn’t like it. The Republicans think this information is supposed to inoculate Mitt Romney from charges of animal cruelty. How stupid is that?

    Then Palin goes to an obvious place. The prostitution scandal in the Secret Service is evidence of “government run amok” and wasting taxpayer dollars. By what logic?

    Of course, this is the president’s fault. He isn’t minding the store. He’s not cracking down. He needs to start firing people from all kinds of agencies because the Secret Service had a scandal. Never mind that the people responsible have already been sacked.

    But the most classless thing Palin said was about the president’s family.

    “You know, the President, for one, he better be wary there when Secret Service is accompanying his family on vacation. They may be checking out the First Lady, instead of guarding her. I say that not just tongue in cheek, but I say that seriously,” Palin said.

  3. Ametia says:

    Did Zimmerman Lie at His Bond Hearing?
    By: Jenée Desmond-Harris | Posted: April 20, 2012

    In the case of Trayvon Martin, it’s the questions of the day: Did George Zimmerman lie under oath at his bond hearing when he said he thought Martin was a “little bit” younger than him? Or was he lying when he called the police on the “suspicious” teen? One thing’s for sure — he hasn’t been consistent. Kollege Kid points out that the transcript of the 911 call Zimmerman made before he shot and killed Martin says he thought Martin looked like he was in his “late teens.” (Listen to this unedited recording, around the 1:10 mark).

    But then, speaking today before a Florida judge set a $150,000 bond, he said (after telling the Martin’s parents he was “sorry for the loss of” their son) “I thought he was a little bit younger than I was.”

    So, Zimmerman thought Martin looked like he was in his late teens the day he was killed, but now, in retrospect, he thinks he looked “a little bit younger than” 28?

    Perhaps Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Martin’s family, picked up on that inconsistency right away. After today’s hearing, she called the “apology,” “The most disingenuous, insulting thing I’ve ever seen.” It’s definitely starting to look that way.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 04/20/2012
    The Romney campaign’s Great Historical Rewrite
    By Greg Sargent

    Yesterday, Mitt Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom rolled out a new argument: The Bush presidency bears none of the blame at all for the economic travails of the last three years; it’s all on Obama; the current President deserves not an iota of credit for the job gains that have occurred on his watch.

    Fehrnstrom noted that the economy’s struggle throughout the last three years is “not the fault of Barack Obama’s predecessor; it’s the fault of this administration and the failure of their policies to really get this economy going again.” Fehronstrom added: “This president cannot take credit for any success on the jobs front. None at all.”

    This prompted a fun thought experiment from Steve Benen, who imagines Romney and Fehrnstrom making that case about F.D.R.’s first term, while pretending that a crisis of the magnitude of the Great Depression never happened:

    as far as the Romney campaign is concerned, the Bush/Cheney era has nothing to do with our current economic conditions. The economy is struggling, and it’s entirely the fault of the president who inherited the worst crisis since the Great Depression.

    I can only imagine Romney and Fehrnstrom barnstorming the country in 1936. “Look at all of these closed factories! Look at the 17% unemployment rate! Look at the widespread poverty and long bread lines! Clearly, Roosevelt failed and the New Deal was a disaster.”

    Of course, 76 years ago, very few Americans found this perspective persuasive, but that was before modern media and super PACs could manage to get wide swaths of the country to believe strange things.

    I’d only add that the Romney campaign has been making variations of this argument for months on end now, and it continues to generate virtually no skepticism in the press.

    Romney and his supporters continue to argue that we know Obama’s policies made things worse because there’s been a net job loss during his presidency. But this factors in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the aftermath of the meltdown, before those policies went into effect. They continue making this argument in every conceivable forum, and no one outside of a few pointy-headed fact-checkers raises an eyebrow.

    Fehrnstrom’s latest takes this to a new extreme, and illustrates yet again (yes, I’m repeating myself here) that the Romney campaign’s whole argument is premised on the hope that the American public has developed mass amnesia about the scale of the mess Obama inherited.

    And no, that doesn’t constitute making excuses for Obama: There’s no quibbling with the fact that his policies have not created jobs at the pace we would have hoped. But that doesn’t make Romney’s argument any less absurd. And it doesn’t excuse the fact that there has been no sustained media focus to speak of on the broader series of claims Romney has been making — and the larger argument they amount to — even though they are absolutely central to his whole candidacy.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Romney sells economic acumen – are voters buying?

    Mitt Romney has staked much of his fate as a presidential candidate on an argument that Democratic incumbent Barack Obama has failed the nation fiscally, and as a Republican commander in chief, he’d be a better steward of the economy.

    The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll contains plenty of data to suggest that voters are unhappy with Obama’s handling of the economy. But as he and Vice President Joe Biden are fond of saying: “Don’t judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative.”

    And Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who assumed the status of presumptive Republican nominee just weeks ago, doesn’t yet own the commanding advantage on the economy that his campaign might need to win this November.

    Thirty-two percent of respondents in Thursday’s NBC/WSJ poll said they’d expect economic conditions to improve if Romney were elected; 24 percent said the economy would be hurt by a Romney administration, while 39 percent said it would make no difference.

    But, in a possibly worrying point for the Romney campaign, respondents didn’t view the former Bain Capital co-founder’s potential impact on the economy as that much better – or worse – than Obama’s.

    Thirty-one percent of respondents said they expected a second term for Obama to be helpful for the economy; 30 percent said Obama’s re-election would hurt the economy, and 37 percent said it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

    “Romney’s entire campaign is based on the premise that he can handle the economy better. And this poll shows that even though we’re in a tough economy, Romney’s not getting traction on that issue,” said Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Mitt’s one undeniable advantage
    The public’s distaste for him, his party and his basic political values may be overridden by economic anxiety

    There were plenty of snickers yesterday when it was discovered that the empty Ohio factory that Mitt Romney used as a backdrop for a speech condemning President Obama’s economic record was actually closed under George W. Bush.

    But the way Romney addressed this fact during his remarks is important. After acknowledging the factory closed in 2008 (without, of course, mentioning the name of the man who was president in 2008), he argued that: “Had the president’s economic plans worked, had President Obama’s plans worked, it would be reopened by now. But it’s still empty. And it underscores the failure of this president’s policies with regards to getting this economy going again.”

    This really is the essence of the Romney message: If you don’t feel like the economy is in good shape, don’t ask questions – just blame the guy in charge and kick him out. And to a large degree, it’s working.

    Just consider how horribly Romney is faring in polls when it comes to questions about his style, personality, and basic policy goals. In a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, he’s crushed by Obama by a 48-27 percent margin on the question of who will do a better job looking out for the middle class. He loses 52-22 percent on the question of which candidate cares more about average people, and 52-23 on who is compassionate enough to understand average voters’ concerns. Overall, Romney’s personal favorable score is an upside-down 33-36 percent.

    A CBS/New York Times poll earlier this week found similar results. Just 27 percent of respondents said Romney is someone who says what he believes; 62 percent said he isn’t. And by a 60-34 percent margin, they said Romney isn’t someone they can relate to. Obama’s scores in both of these departments are vastly better.

    You might think, based on numbers like these, that Romney is getting blown away. But in both polls, the race is very competitive. NBC/WSJ puts Obama ahead by six points, 49 to 43 percent, while CBS/NYT shows the contest tied at 46 percent. What’s keeping Romney in the game is that he actually rates better than Obama on questions relating directly to the economy.

    For instance, the NBC/WSJ poll gives Obama an overall approval rating of 48-42 percent. But on his handling of the economy, he sports an upside-down 45-52 percent mark. And on the question of which candidate has better ideas to improve the economy, Romney wins 40-34 percent. In the CBS/NYT survey, more voters (55 percent) said they are “very” or “somewhat” confident in Romney’s ability to make the right decisions on the economy than said so about Obama (51 percent).

    This speaks to the power of Romney’s basic message. He and his campaign are notorious for using highly misleading and outright junk statistics to blame Obama for economic conditions that are the direct result of the economic collapse that occurred just before he took office, on his Republican predecessor’s watch. But even many voters who recognize on some level the slipperiness of Romney’s tactics are ultimately agreeing with his “fire Obama” prescription.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Is Romney Dangerous?

    Charles Blow thinks so:

    I have no personal gripe with Romney. I don’t believe him to be an evil man. Quite the opposite: he appears to be a loving husband and father. Besides, evil requires conviction, which Romney lacks. But he is a dangerous man. Unprincipled ambition always is. Infinite malleability is its own vice because it’s infinitely corruptible by others of ignoble intentions.

    Andrew Sprung makes a related argument:

    There is opportunist Romney, who will say anything and adopt any position to get elected, and there is committed Romney, whose current policy positions have been set in concrete by his extremist party. He is not an Etch-A-Sketch, who can shake himself at will, but a Ouija Board, to be played by the GOP base … He has no core, but he’s been cast in a mold that won’t be broken until the GOP transforms itself. That is, until hell freezes over.

  8. Ametia says:

    Jeb Bush: I’d Consider Vice Presidency

    Source: Huffington Post

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he’d consider running as vice president with Mitt Romney, but doubts he’ll ever be asked.

    Bush tells the conservative website Newsmax that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is “probably the best” choice to share the ticket with Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Bush said he hopes the freshman senator is offered the No. 2 slot and accepts it.

    Rubio has said repeatedly that he isn’t interested in leaving the Senate.

    Bush said he’d consider running if Romney were to ask him. But the former governor added that he’s not sure running for vice president is the right thing for him and said he’s doubtful he’d even receive the call.

    Read more:

  9. rikyrah says:

    Consider yourselves on notice
    By Kay April 20th, 2012

    Angry customers conducted a successful campaign to persuade several giant business entities to stop supporting voter suppression laws, among other laws that harm the public interest, so this group of well-paid hacks have stepped up to sell the absolute reeking garbage that is the “voter impersonation fraud” scam:

    Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced it was dropping voter identification laws from its agenda, another conservative group is stepping in to fill the void. The National Center for Public Policy Research announced this week it had formed a “Voter Identification Task Force” to continue ALEC’s “excellent work” in “promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting.” Describing itself as a “conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank,” the group was established in 1982.

    I love the spittle-flecked rage in this statement:

    “We’re putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we’ll kick it up a notch somewhere else,” Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement. “You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory.”

    Corporate CEOs who “cower in the face of liberal boycott threats need to understand that the left never gives up,” Ridenour said. “If these corporations do not reverse course and immediately grow enough of a backbone to say no when the left tells them what to do, conservatives may as well consider them part of the organized left. It doesn’t matter if corporate executives have free-market sentiments hidden deep inside them if they continually surrender to the left’s Trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand after demand in public

    In public, even! Barbarians.

    Because the National Center for Public Policy Research knows lobbying is best conducted by professionals, in quiet rooms, behind closed doors.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Religious right leader’s racially charged plagiarism
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:30 PM EDT.

    When someone plagiarizes content that isn’t theirs, it’s wrong. When that person is a religious leader, who claims the moral high ground on “ethics” while routinely condemning others for their sins, it’s worse.

    And that person is a religious leader in a denomination with an unfortunate racial history, and he’s plagiarized racially charged content, well, that’s just adding insult to injury (thanks to reader R.B. for the tip).

    Southern Baptist leaders will investigate whether their top ethicist and public policy director plagiarized racially charged remarks about the Trayvon Martin case that many say set back the denomination’s efforts on racial reconciliation.

    Richard Land, who leads the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, was accused of lifting remarks for his radio show that accused Democrats and civil rights leaders of exploiting the case of the unarmed Florida teenager who was shot and killed by a volunteer neighborhood watchman.

    Even though Land has apologized for both the remarks and not attributing their source, the commission’s executive committee said it was obligated “to ensure no stone is left unturned.” An investigatory committee will “recommend appropriate action” to church leaders.

    Jeffrey Kuhner, a right-wing columnist for the Washington Times recently wrote about civil-rights activists, “They need the Travyon Martins to continue perpetuating their central myth: America is a racist and an evil nation. For them it’s always Selma Alabama circa 1965.”

    Richard Land, on his radio program, told listeners, “They need the Travyon Martins to continue perpetuating their central myth: America is a racist and an evil nation. For them it’s always Selma Alabama circa 1965.”

    The sentiment itself is obviously offensive, and though Land apologized for presenting someone else’s words as his own, he didn’t express regret for his smear against civil-rights activists.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Conservatives Attack Gwen Ifill for Emceeing Fundraiser

    *”PBS News Hour” correspondent Gwen Ifill is under fire from a conservative media outlet over her decision to serve as emcee at Thursday’s annual fundraiser for Whitman-Walker Health, a nonprofit community health clinic in Washington.

    Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center, which runs the website Newsbusters, wrote on Thursday that Ifill was crossing an “Obama line” by emceeing the event, where Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is being honored for her work in implementing the Affordable Care Act.

    Graham writes that this isn’t the first time Ifill has crossed “the Obama line,” pointing to her 2008 book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age Of Obama.” The book examined the role of race in modern American politics and at the time, supporters of Republican Sen. John McCain argued that the book proved that Ifill, who is black, was too biased in then-Sen. Barack Obama’s favor to moderate the sole vice presidential debate between then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) and then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). Ifill moderated the debate.

    Founded in 1978, Whitman-Walker Health, formerly the Whitman Walker Clinic, specializes in “HIV/AIDS care and lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender care,” according to its website.

    “This is the first time we’ve seen an emcee at a WWH event criticized,” Chip Lewis, spokesman for the clinic, told HuffPost. “We’re a nonprofit community healthcare center serving more than 15,000 patients a year, and we don’t turn away people who can’t pay for care,” he said.

    Lewis also noted that Ifill, who first emceed an event for the clinic in 2004, would neither introduce Sebelius on stage nor present her with the group’s Partner for Life Award. “Gwen has nothing to do with presenting the award at all,” he said.

  12. rikyrah says:

    President Obama has 10 times more cash on hand than Mitt Romney
    Posted by Aaron Blake at 03:20 PM ET, 04/20/2012 TheWashingtonPost

    President Obama’s campaign had 10 times as much cash on hand as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney at the end of March, according to financial reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

    Obama’s presidential campaign closed March with $104 million in the bank as compared to $10.1 million for Romney. The former Massachusetts governor raised $12.6 million in March, his best fundraising month to date. Obama brought in $35 million last month.

    Romney’s presidential campaign, of course, has just closed out the GOP nominat ing contest and spent heavily to do so. It spent $10.3 million for the month, as it began to close out the GOP nominating contest with big wins in the Michigan and Ohio primaries. It ended the month with $10.1 million cash on hand.

    Those numbers pale to the money Obama raised for the month — $53 million total that will be split between Obama’s campaign ($35 million) and the Democratic National Committee ($18 million).

  13. rikyrah says:

    Dems, GOP fight over student loan rates
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:45 PM EDT.

    The issue student loan interest rates has been simmering for a while, but with a deadline looming in July, Democrats are moving quickly to put the issue to the front burner.

    At issue is a 2007 law, set to expire on July 1, that keeps the interest rate for federal Direct Stafford Loans at 3.4%. If Congress fails to act, the rate will double, so Reps. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) have put forward a bill to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    When the 2007 measure passed, it enjoyed broad bipartisan support, but Republicans have clearly moved sharply to the right in the ensuing five years, and are now balking at Democratic efforts.

    The White House seems to feel strongly about the issue

    White House press secretary Jay Carney swiped at Republicans on Friday, saying that they should prevent student loans rates from doubling in July.

    “You really have to have a brick in your head not to understand that education is the cornerstone of our economic future,” Carney said.

    Education Secretary Arne Duncan added, “At a time when going to college has never been more important, it has also unfortunately never been more expensive. Families and students are struggling to meet these costs. And there is no reason we should add to their burden.”

    Did I mention that President Obama will be speaking on college campuses in the coming days in North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa? Expect to hear him talk about this quite a bit.

    In fairness, it’s worth noting that Republicans have argued, accurately, that the lower rate would cost about $6 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office, and Democrats haven’t said much about how they’d pay for the extended rate freeze.

    Then again, House Republicans just passed an unnecessary tax cut bill with a $46 billion price tag, which they didn’t try to pay for, either. For GOP officials to say we can afford to add $46 billion to the deficit for a tax break, but we can’t afford $6 billion on student aid, is a problem.

    Besides, if the Buffett Rule only brings in $7 billion a year, and congressional Republicans characterized that as an effectively meaningless rounding error in the context of the larger budget, why should the GOP balk at $6 billion a year to help students and their families better afford tuition costs?

    As for the president’s likely opponent, Mitt Romney has said he intends to dramatically scale back the federal role in helping students go to college

  14. rikyrah says:

    April 20, 2012
    White House denounces Sarah Palin’s attempts to politicize Secret Service scandal

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney sharply rejected criticism Friday from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who have suggested the Secret Service sex scandal — coupled with graphic photographs of soldiers in Afghanistan posing with corpses and reports of over the top convention spending by the General Services Agency, add up to poor management by the White House.

    “It is preposterous to politicize the Secret Service; to politicize the terrible conduct of some soldiers in Afghanistan in a war that’s been going on for 10 years,” Carney said, accusing the two politicians of looking to turn the incidents to their political advantage.

    “It’s a ridiculous assertion that trivializes both the very serious nature of the endeavor that our military is engaged in in Afghanistan and the very serious nature both of the work that the Secret Service does,” Carney said.

    Sessions on Thursday criticized Obama’s leadership and Palin emerged as a factor in the story when the Washington Post reported that one of the fired agents said in a Facebook posting that he was “‘checking her out” under a picture of him standing behind her. She suggested on Fox News Thursday that it was a “symptom of government run amok” — though host Greta van Susteren noted that the event was in 2008 — when George W. Bush was president.

    Read more here:

  15. Ametia says:

    President Barack Obama will visit “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on Tuesday

    The broadcast will tape on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that day. The program airs at 12:35 a.m. that night on NBC.
    Dave Matthews will perform on the show, and Fallon’s house band the Roots will be there, too.
    It is Obama’s first visit to Fallon’s show.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    April 20, 2012 11:49 AM

    “Obama Isn’t Working”

    By Ed Kilgore

    By now you’ve probably heard about the Romney campaign’s big slogan for the 2012 campaign, at least at this point: “Obama Isn’t Working.” When I first heard about it, I immediately flashed back to a moment early in the movie Sid and Nancy, when in the background of one gritty London scene you could see a poster reading: “Labour Isn’t Working,” the big Tory slogan in the general election of 1979 (unfortunatey for the credibility of the filmmakers, Nancy Spungeon’s death, the dramatic fulcrum of the movie, actually occurred in 1978).

    And indeed, the official explanation for the slogan posted last year on the Romney campaign website explicitly cites the 1979 Tory campaign as its inspiration, touting the professional awards won by the consultants who devised it.

    But claimed motives aside, you don’t have to be especially cynical (or partisan, for that matter) to suspect that this slogan has a slightly different connotation when applied to Barack Obama as opposed to former British Prime Minister “Sunny Jim” Callaghan. At Mediaite, columnist Tommy Christopher suggests the Romney slogan is a “multiple entendre,” but that it’s very difficult to deny that one of its layered “meanings” is to evoke the stereotype of the lazy black man:

    Just to be sure it wasn’t just me, though, I asked several friends about the banner, and four out of four pointed out, unprompted, the stereotype of the “lazy,” “shiftless” black man. One of the people I called was cable news fixture Goldie Taylor, who, upon hearing my description of the banner, said “Are you kidding me? You have got to be kidding me.”

    Christopher’s suspicions are buttressed by the recent efforts of the Romney campaign and its candidate to attack Obama for “elaborate vacations” and golf outings. Such talk in turn reflects the ideological pressuposition of much conservative agitprop about the economy: the economy would do just fine if Obama would take the simple, obvious steps to remove the jackboot of Big Government from the throats of “job creators.”

    In the end, it probably doesn’t matter whether Romney’s wizards are consciously promoting racial stereotypes, or if instead, contemporary conservative notions about the moral underpinnings of economic life are so completely intertwined with racial, class, and religious animosities that one follows the other almost automatically. But in any event, conservatives should not pretend that the Romney campaign’s love for the memory of the Iron Lady’s breakthrough campaign is all that’s going on here. Many regular folks seeing or hearing this slogan, personalized as it is to the president, are most likely to take it very literally: Barack Obama could fix the economy, but is too lazy to try. People in politics who blow dog whistles invariably deny it and usually express great umbrage at the very suggestion they don’t mean exactly what they are saying and nothing more. But in this case, it’s the most obvious meaning that is objectionable, and it’s not reasonable to expect everyone to understand the slogan is really just a gesture of appreciation for the artistry of Margaret Thatcher’s wordsmiths, or of some sort of innocent, nostalgic anglophilia.

    • Ametia says:

      And perhaps Mitt Romney is really trying to take advantage of the disdain and utter bigotry of Mormonism who once labeled” BLACKS AS EVIl,” and therefore could not enter the priesthood, accordint to God, that is….. Watch it Mitt, your faith is showing.

  17. rikyrah says:

    With friends like these…
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:15 PM EDT.

    There’s been some scuttlebutt about Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) possibly becoming Mitt Romney’s running mate. Folks may want to put those rumors on hold for a little while.

    Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Wednesday — then criticized him a day later in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. […]

    “You have to campaign to govern, not just to win,” Mr. Daniels told Matthew Tully of The Indianapolis Star. “Spend the precious time and dollars explaining what’s at stake and a constructive program to make life better. And as I say, look at everything through the lens of folks who have yet to achieve.”

    According to Mr. Tully, “after a pause, Daniels added with disappointment, ‘Romney doesn’t talk that way.’ ”

    Daniels went on to urge Romney to talk with voters “with some specificity” about his agenda, with the implication being that the presumptive Republican nominee has not yet done so thus far.

    In the larger context, the fact that Daniels was publicly critical of Romney a day after endorsing him falls into another pattern we’ve seen: Romney’s supporters are less than kind towards their preferred presidential candidate.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Does Obama Have a Demographic Firewall?
    Part II: Non-Whites
    Posted on April 18, 2012 by electionate

    In the first post of this multi-part series on Obama’s potential demographic firewall, we noted that if non-white voters participate and vote as they did in 2008, the GOP will need to win historic numbers of whites in order to prevail. Of course, those are two big “ifs” – there is no guarantee that non-white voters will turnout or offer their support to the President at the same rate that they did in 2008.

    Determining whether non-white turnout and support for Obama will match 2008 levels is extremely challenging. Analysis is clouded by a host of potential variables, since depending on whether non-white voting behavior was the result of an especially favorable environment, demographic trends, youth enthusiasm, Obama’s historic candidacy, or Obama’s formidable ground operation, one might draw very different conclusions about the likelihood of a repeat in 2012. Further complicating matters is the diversity of the non-white vote. The factors underlying African American turnout and support were probably different, at least in relative weight, than those that motivated other non-white voters. Even if there was a clear answer, the course of the campaign, including Romney’s Vice Presidential selection, could undermine today’s conclusions before November. Nonetheless, the best evidence suggests that non-white support for the President should approach 2008 levels. While judging turnout is more difficult, non-white turnout should approach or exceed 2008 levels.

    The best evidence for unwavering non-white support (note: not turnout) for Obama is in the 2008 polling data and 2010 election results. Even when Obama was at his nadir in early September 2008, non-white voters continued to offer overwhelming margins to Obama. Two polls following the RNC from the Washington Post and Pew Research showed Obama receiving 66% and 61% of the Hispanic vote. Those numbers are marginally short of Obama’s eventual 67%, but considering the large number of undecided voters, I think it’s probably fair to suggest that Obama would have received something near 67% of the Hispanic vote, even at the low point of his campaign.

    Similarly, Democrats still received overwhelming margins among non-white voters during the 2010 midterm elections. Harry Enten has already elaborated on this point, but the short story is that Latino support for Democrats was comparable in 2006 and 2010, and only somewhat lower than in 2008, depending on whether you use Latino Decisions or network exit poll data. If non-white voters held firm for Democrats in 2008, they are likely to again offer overwhelming support to Obama. Compounding the issue is Romney’s position on immigration-related issues, which might risk an even worse performance than McCain.

    Additionally, it is difficult to imagine that Obama will receive substantially less than the 95% of the African American vote he won in 2008. Even Al Gore received 91% of the African American vote, and Obama will do better. Although it’s possible that some of Obama’s marginal supporters were only committed to electing the first black President, many of those same voters can be expected to defend him in an extremely controversial, negative, and polarizing election.

  19. rikyrah says:

    A deep strain of paranoia
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:31 PM EDT.

    Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a freshman Republican from Pennsylvania, spoke at Tea Party fundraiser over the weekend, and shared some thoughts on why he hopes President Obama doesn’t get a second term

    The most notable comments come about four minutes into the clip, when the congressman imagines Obama’s intentions if he’s re-elected.

    “When he left the microphone on in Russia, we all heard what he said. Left unrestrained, without the inhibitions of the next election, he’d have ‘flexibility,’ he said, ‘flexibility’ to do what he wants to do. Whether it’s trade away the secrets of our national intelligence, to, what he could do to the United States Supreme Court in the next four years.”

    The truth about the hot mic in Russia is far more mundane. Obama, in Seoul for a nuclear security summit, told Russian President Dmitri Medvedev he’s willing to work on missile defense, but the U.S. will need “flexibility” outside of an election season. Obama confirmed what we already knew — political environments sometimes restrict foreign policy talks, and diplomatic efforts on missile defense are going to have to wait.

    But what’s amazing about Fitzpatrick’s perspective is that he thinks it’s possible that Obama may simply “trade away the secrets of our national intelligence” in a second term. In other words, in the mind of this congressman, the president, once he can’t seek re-election, may start engaging in treason.

    He didn’t appear to be kidding.

    My interest in this goes beyond just “wacky politician says something dumb.” Rather, what this reminds me of is that there’s a deep strain of paranoia that seems entirely too common among congressional Republicans lately. Allen West thinks he’s surrounded by secret communists; Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) question the president’s birth certificate; all kinds of Republicans are convinced Obama is waging a “war” against women, the Supreme Court, and the Catholic Church; and Fitzpatrick among others interpret Obama’s comments to Medvedev as hints about traitorous intentions.

    This much paranoia just isn’t healthy.

  20. Ametia says:

    President Obama’s supporters expand efforts in swing states
    April 20, 2012|By Tracy Jan

    PHILADELPHIA – Mitt Romney has pulled much of his planned multimillion-dollar advertising in Pennsylvania and downshifted on other campaign activities following Rick Santorum’s decision to end his presidential quest here. President Obama’s supporters, on the other hand, are intensifying their efforts in this battleground state.

    Volunteers armed with clipboards and campaign literature spend nights and weekends knocking on doors to register voters. They’re operating phone banks across the state, alerting residents about Obama’s agenda for “tax fairness.’’ The campaign just opened its 20th field office in the state, its fifth in Philadelphia alone, as a way to signal a neighborhood presence and recruit local volunteers.

  21. Ametia says:

    Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors

    As the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney is relying on a cadre of high-dollar and special-interest donors to fund his campaign. Giving information about his real policy intentions and high-level access for cash, Romney and Republicans are working hard to pull in as much money as they can from wealthy lobbyists, corporations, and PACs. But just who are the people that Romney has called on for campaign cash?
    A closer look at Romney’s donors reveals a group of wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records. Quite a few have been on the wrong side of the law, others have made profits at the expense of so many Americans, and still others are donating to help ensure Romney puts beneficial policies for them. Here’s a look at just a few of the people Romney has relied on:
    Donors who benefit from betting against America

    Paul “Chip” Schorr: Paul Schorr has given $112,500 to Romney’s presidential ambitions through Super PAC and direct campaign donations. As a partner at Blackstone, Schorr closed a deal in 2007 to outsource the services of seven U.S. companies to a a firm in Indians, boosting that firms profits by $220 million and making millionaires of the Indian management team. In 2006, he arranged a buyout of a Colorado travel reservations company that led to 841 layoffs while Blackstone and its partners recouped the billions of dollars they invested in less than a year.

    Read the rest here:

  22. rikyrah says:

    April 18, 2012 9:40 AM

    Composition of the Electorate Drives Poll Numbers

    By Ed Kilgore

    As I noted yesterday, the first burst of Big General Election Polls is upon us, and naturally enough, partisans have tended to focus on the data they find most pleasing, with Republicans celebrating the Gallup Tracking Poll that shows Romney up by two points, while Democrats prefer to tout a CNN/ORC survey showing Obama up by nine.

    But what, precisely, explains the wide difference in the results from these two generally credible public opinion firms? Is is just statistical “noise” that should go away over time?

    Ron Brownstein of National Journal has a pretty persuasive answer:

    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.
    The surveys-from ABC and the Washington Post; the Pew Research Center; CNN/ORC; and the first Gallup tracking poll, diverge in their overall results. The first three polls show Obama leading by seven, four and nine percentage points respectively; the first Gallup track placed Romney up by two percentage points.
    But the Gallup track, which is conducted among registered voters, has a sample that looks much more like the electorate in 2010 than the voting population that is likely to turn out in 2012: only 22 percent of the Gallup survey was non-white, according to figures the organization provided to Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz. That was close to the non-white share of the vote in 2010 (23 percent), but in 2008, minorities comprised 26 percent of all voters, according to exit polls; the Obama campaign, and other analysts, project the minority share of the vote will increase to 28 percent in 2012. In its survey, Pew, for instance, puts the non-white share at 25 percent.

    I know some people think minority voting will be down in 2012 because it’s not a “historic” election like 2008 or because minority voters are disappointed in Obama, but there are few objective signs of that among African-Americans, and the Hispanic share of the electorate is steadily growing. Moreover, turnout for any voter category is much more likely to resemble the previous presidential election than the previous midterm, and historically presidential electorates are much younger and less white than midterm electorates.

  23. rikyrah says:

    April 20, 2012 9:20 AM

    The Enemy of My Enemy

    If you do go over to TNR to read Noam Scheiber’s piece on Obama’s “war room” operation, you might also check out my new column on why Democrats should have no illusions that conservative evangelical distaste towards Mormonism will cost Mitt Romney a significant number of votes. As Dallas First Baptist Church minister Robert Jeffress (who became nationally notorious for denying that Romney was a Christian as opposed to a “cult member” during 2011) said in endorsing Romney this week:

    Given the choice between a Christian like Barack Obama who embraces very unbiblical principles like abortion and a Mormon like Mitt Romney who supports biblical values like the sanctity of life and marriage, I think there’s a good biblical case for voting for Mitt Romney.

    There you have it. The Christian Right’s very foundation is the belief that “biblical values” make culture war the primary moral obligation of believers at this particular point in U.S. and world history. Even the most unusual allies in this war are treated much as the United States treated the Soviet Union during World War II. Meanwhile, mainline Protestants like Barack Obama, along with “Cafeteria Catholics” who disobey the Vatican’s moral teachings, are considered Christian-in-Name-Only, all the more contemptible, in fact, for abandoning what passes for “biblical truth” among conservative evangelicals, or, from somewhat different perspectives, among “traditionalist” Catholics or members of the LDS.

    Christian Right leaders, or even the rank-and-file, may privately mock Mormons and their exotic theology. But in terms of political action, all that really matters is that they are comrades-in-arms in the great fight against feminists, unbelievers, and sell-out “liberal Christians.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Why the ‘Republican DREAM Act’ is in trouble
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:31 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney quietly told supporters the other day that he’d like to see a “Republican DREAM Act” to help his party with Latino voters. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who’s talking more and more about immigration policy, believes he has just such a proposal.

    Hoping to boost his party’s image with Hispanic voters, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) launched a one-man push Thursday to promote a modified version of legislation to benefit undocumented children whose parents brought them to this nation.

    Repeatedly denying any interest in being the vice presidential nominee, Rubio used a pair of appearances Thursday to push legislation based around the “DREAM Act,” a bill that Democrats have promoted to offer a path to citizenship for underage illegal immigrants who go on to college or into the military.

    Rubio’s working draft of similar legislation would grant legal immigration status to such children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. It would require that they graduated from college or served honorably in the military

    So, what’s the problem? It depends on your perspective. For the left, this is a DREAM Act without the dream — Rubio’s version offers no pathway to citizenship. The conservative senator has admitted as much, saying, “You can legalize someone’s status without placing them on a path toward citizenship.” Rubio has said he doesn’t want to help these immigrants become citizens for fear that they might — que horror — sponsor family members for legal immigration later.

    For the right, there’s a very different kind of concern. It’s generally called the “Kobach test,” named after Mitt Romney’s right-wing immigration adviser, Kris Kobach, who’s helped shape anti-immigrant laws.

    For Kobach, proposals are necessarily “unacceptable” if undocumented immigrants receive any kind of legal status, even if it falls short of citizenship.

    Does Rubio’s watered down, GOP-friendly version of the DREAM Act pass the “test”? Rubio says it does, but his friends on the right disagree.


    Greg Sargent talked yesterday to Crytsal Williams, the executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, who

  25. rikyrah says:

    Anyone else enjoy SCANDAL last night?

  26. Ametia says:


    Zimmerman is being granted $150,000.00 BAIL


  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 04/20/2012
    Mitt Romney’s choice: Marco Rubio, or Kris Kobach?
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that Mitt Romney may soon have to make a difficult choice: Will he align himself with Marco Rubio, or with Kris Kobach?

    Rubio has begun a full court press to sell his version of a GOP DREAM Act, releasing new details of it to the media yesterday. Rubio has now told reporters he hopes Romney adopts it. Romney himself was overheard the other day saying Republicans should consider supporting such a measure. A GOP DREAM Act would be central to Romney’s ability to pivot away from his hardline immigration stance during the primary and start making inroads among Latinos.

    But in an interview with me, Romney immigration adviser and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — a widely respected voice on immigration among conservatives — laid down a set of conditions for Rubio’s DREAM Act that will be very difficult for the Florida Senator to meet. And this could present Romney with a hard choice.

    Rubio’s proposal has not yet been released. But the Senator said yesterday that his bill would give non-immigrant visas to young illegal immigrants who were brought into the country by a certain date, provided they are high school graduates with no criminal record. That visa would enable them to work and go to school. In other words, they would be given legal status.

    But Kobach — whose hardline ideas Romney adopted during the primary — tells me that the only way to make such an approach acceptable is for these illegal immigrants to be required to return to their home country before getting the non-immigrant visa.

    “If the bill required the illegal alien to return to his country of origin and get in line for the non-immigrant visa, then that would not be amnesty, and that would be conceivable,” Kobach said. “If it’s extended to people who are here illegally, and they don’t have to leave the country, that would be amnesty.”

    “Amnesty allows someone who is illegally in the country to remain but with lawful status — that gives the illegal alien what he has stolen,” Kobach continued, adding that he was nonetheless “encouraged” that Rubio is at least trying to come up with a solution that could be acceptable to opponents of “amnesty.”

    This will be a very tough standard for Rubio to meet, if he is to offer any new policy that might hold even a little appeal to Latinos.

    Kobach’s status with the Romney campaign is murky. While a Romney spokesperson recently said Kobach is merely a “supporter,” Kobach clarified the other day that the Romney campaign had privately confided to him that he remains an adviser to it on immigration policy.

    But in a sense, Kobach’s exact status may be beside the point. His strict standard for a GOP DREAM Act he would be able to find acceptable signals that many right-wing immigration hardliners may oppose any GOP DREAM Act that constitutes anything meaningful in the way of a new policy, and that any effort by Romney to make inroads among Latinos by supporting such a policy could ignite a bitter intraparty battle

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:29 AM ET, 04/20/2012


    The Morning Plum: The battle lines come into view
    By Greg Sargent

    After a week of new polling on the presidential race, the battle lines appear to be taking shape. Barack Obama is winning the clash of overall visions, values and priorities, and decisively beats Mitt Romney on a variety of personal attributes. Romney seems to have staked out an edge when voters are asked who best can turn the economy around — which suggests the battle over which man is perceived as having more basic competence could still loom large.

    Today’s NBC/WSJ poll finds Obama beating Romney by 49-43 among registered voters. Obama is besting Romney by big margins on questions such as who is easygoing and likable (54-18); who is compassionate enough to understand average people (52-23); who will look out for the middle class (48-27); who is better on issues of concern to women (49-21); and who is consistent and stands up for his beliefs (41-30).

    But Romney bests Obama on who has good ideas for how to improve the economy ((40-34); who will change business as usual in Washington (36-29); and Obama’s approval numbers on the economy are upside down (45-52). Here’s where the battle over competence comes in.

    Also: The poll tests a number of different descriptions of the visions the two men have. The one that gets the most support — 76 percent — is this one: “Will fight for balance and fairness and encourage the investments needed to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.” Romney’s vision of free enterprise and small government also does well, but Obama’s vision — for now — carries the day.

    Another interesting finding: While 46 percent say Obama has the right set of personal characteristices to be president, only 30 percent say the same about Romney. With Romney having to make up a lot of ground here, this is an area where the battle to define him in the public mind will be waged intensely.

    Still unanswered: If Romney clears the basic competence threshold with voters, as seems likely, how important will that prove?

  29. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney’s Years at Bain Represent Everything You Hate About Capitalism
    By Pete Kotz Thursday, Apr 19 2012

    It was the early 1990s, and the 750 men and women at Georgetown Steel were pumping out wire rods at peak performance. They had an abiding trust in management’s ability to run a smart company. That allegiance was rewarded with fat profit-sharing checks. In the basement-wage economy of Georgetown, South Carolina, Sanderson and his co-workers were blue-collar aristocracy.

    “We were doing very good,” says Sanderson, president of Steelworkers Local 7898.

    What he didn’t know was that it was about to end. Hundreds of miles to the north in Boston, a future presidential candidate was sizing up Georgetown’s books.

    At the time, Mitt Romney had been running Bain Capital since 1984, minting a reputation as a prince of private investment. A future prospectus by Deutsche Bank would reveal that by the time he left in 1999, Bain had averaged a shimmering 88 percent annual return on investment. Romney would use that success to launch his political career.

    His specialty was flipping companies — or what he often called “creative destruction.” It’s the age-old theory that the new must constantly attack the old to bring efficiency to the economy, even if some are destroyed along the way. In other words, people like Romney are the wolves, culling the herd of the weak and infirm.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Cantor considers tax hikes on the poor
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:47 AM EDT.

    We talked yesterday about Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who likes the idea of raising federal income taxes on those who currently pay nothing, to ensure that low-income families have some “skin in the game.” It turns out, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is thinking along the same lines.

    Cantor considers tax hikes on the poor
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:47 AM EDT.We talked yesterday about Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who likes the idea of raising federal income taxes on those who currently pay nothing, to ensure that low-income families have some “skin in the game.” It turns out, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is thinking along the same lines.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Travis Waldron published a transcript of the relevant portion:

    “We also know that over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair…. I’m saying that, just in a macro way of looking at it, you’ve got to discuss that issue…. I’ve never believed that you go raise taxes on those that have been successful that are paying in, taking away from them, so that you just hand out and give to someone else.”

    Remember, millions of Americans may be exempt from income taxes, but they still pay sales taxes, state taxes, local taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare/Medicaid taxes, and in many instances, property taxes. It’s not as if these folks are getting away with something — the existing tax structure leaves them out of the income tax system because they don’t make enough money to qualify. Indeed, many are retirees who can’t earn an income because they’re no longer in the workforce.

    But for Cantor, this isn’t “fair” — if wealthier people are paying federal income taxes, then everyone should pay federal income taxes.

    Of course, to make that happen, Cantor would necessarily have to endorse a higher tax burden on those least able to afford it. For the House Majority Leader, policymakers should “discuss” doing just that.

    In the coming months, it’d be worthwhile to get other Republicans on the record on this. In recent months, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann have all said they’d like to see those who aren’t paying federal income taxes start contributing more. Now, Eric Cantor is expressing a similar sentiment.

    This appears to be a new, fairly standard position for the GOP mainstream, but are all Republican congressional candidates on board with this? I suspect there are millions of American voters who may want an answer before Election Day 2012.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, April 19, 2012
    Last Call
    Posted by Zandar

    And with Romney the nominee in all but name, the wingers are of course predicting the End Of Liberalism Forever. First into the future files? Daily Caller contributor and conservative author Mike Leahy.

    Conservatives across the nation should be of good cheer, however. The United States remains a center-right nation. This November, voters will choose common sense over fiscally reckless extremism in what will be a landslide conservative victory. Republicans will retain the House, gain the Senate and win back the presidency with a 2-to-1 Electoral College margin.

    The most recent Rasmussen poll shows Mitt Romney ahead of President Obama, 48% to 44%. Obama’s support has softened significantly since 2008, and opposition continues to grow on all sides. In that election, Obama defeated John McCain by a 53% to 46% margin in the popular vote. Since then, as the Rasmussen poll demonstrates, Obama has lost the support of 9% of the voting population. Much of that loss is permanent. Defectors include disappointed voters under 30 who supported him by a 2-to-1 margin in 2008 but can’t find a job in today’s lackluster economy, disaffected Catholics turned off by his high-handed tactics and virtually every small business person in the country, to say nothing of disillusioned Democrats opposed to his individual healthcare mandate.

    But the polls are missing one key ingredient: the intensity of feeling and the level of determination among the 28% of American adults (66 million people) who consider themselves part of the tea party or are supportive of it. To these people, 2012 is not “just another election.” It is the defining political battle of our lifetime.

    Most of these 66 million tea partiers will vote in November. But they will do much more than vote. They will also make unprecedented personal sacrifices in time and money to help get out the vote. To a person, these 66 million Americans believe that if Barack Obama is re-elected, the constitutional republic as we know it will be destroyed. They are determined not to let this happen on their watch.

    Enough e-mails of President Obama dressed as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose and Michelle Obama in a chimpanzee enclosure will make their message of hatred cause their votes to count a whole extra zero percent more than normal. Bonus points for these fanatics actually believing that everyone in America secretly believes exactly what they believe.

    That’s all they have, of course. Mitt Romney will do, say, and lie however and whatever it takes to win, including to the Tea Party. When they figure that out, November’s GOP losses will be exquisite.

  32. rikyrah says:

    in case you didn’t already know,

    Willard LIED about his father being born poor.

    I know,…Willard lying…what a shock.

    but, it was a damn lie as Lawrence O’Donnell covered it last night.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:21 PM ET, 04/19/2012
    Why the battle over Mitt Romney’s `silver spoon’ upbringing matters
    By Greg Sargent

    After President Obama proclaimed yesterday that he hadn’t grown up with a “silver spoon” in his mouth, Mitt Romney took great umbrage, declaring that he wouldn’t apologize for his father’s success. Indeed, the Post’s Amy Gardner reports that Romney is sensitive to claims that he grew up wealthy, and has even taken to asserting that he grew up middle class and only moved to a tony suburb in his teens, when his father took over American Motors.

    But Alec MacGillis reads the leading book on Romney’s life story and finds that Romney is subtly revising his biography to downplay the advantages of his youth. MacGillis concludes:

    Romney’s hardly the first candidate to try to talk down his roots. And yes, his outsized wealth is the direct result of his own hard work at Bain Capital. But it requires willful blindness to ignore the advantages that carried him through his first decades in life. And it’s the job of the rest of us to hold him to the basic facts of his biography, even as he now tries his best to blur them.

    Yes, it’s important to hold Romney to the facts for their own sake. But there’s another layer to this that’s worth unpacking.

    The upbringings of Obama and Romney — and the contrast between them — are relevant not just because presidential races are a clash of personalities and biographies. They also bear directly on the basic policy argument between the two men over how best to create opportunity and shared prosperity, a central dispute in this campaign.

    Obama argues that government needs to play a larger role in facilitating opportunity, via more investments in education, financial aid, and so forth. He cites himself as an example of someone who might not have been able to advance in life without such assistance.

    Romney, by contrast, argues that the government activism to combat inequality Obama advocates amounts to government-enforced “equal outcomes,” or worse, the politics of “envy” and “class warfare.” Romney insists that rolling back government and unshackling the private sector is the best way to combat inequality, by creating opportunity, shared prosperity and social mobility. Romney, too, has cited himself as proof of what the private sector can accomplish along these lines, if only we’ll let it. He has directly equated his own success with the benefits that “free enterprise” can shower on anyone.

    In other words, both men are citing themselves as walking emblems of their own policy visions. No one is claiming that Romney didn’t earn his money or that he isn’t a very hard worker. But if Romney is going to argue that his own success proves that unshackling the free market is the primary way to facilitate broadly shared prosperity and opportunities for those who currently don’t share in either — and that Obama’s call for more government efforts to promote both would be counter-productive — the early advantages Romney enjoyed are directly relevant to the debate.

    Even Romney’s own supporters will argue that his biography — his business success — is central to his overall case about the virtues of free market capitalism. There’s no reason, then, that his early years aren’t fair game for the discussion.

    The contrast in the two men’s story arcs is central to this race, in more ways than one.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Here is the NBC/WSJ POLL with internals:

    Overall poll

    POTUS 49
    Willard 43

    Here are the internals:

    Looking out for the middle class:
    POTUS 48
    Willard 27

    Caring about average people
    POTUS 52
    Willard 22

    Compassionate enough to understand average people

    POTUS 52
    Willard 23

  35. Ametia says:

    CNN Poll: Mood of nation edging up
    42 minutes ago
    CNN Poll: Mood of nation edging up

    Washington (CNN) – The number of Americans who think things are going well in the country is on the rise, according to a new national poll.

    But a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday morning also indicates that nearly six in ten still say that conditions are bad and that most people don’t believe the economy has started to recover.

    – Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

    According to the poll, 43% say things are going well in the country, up a slight three points from February, but up a dramatic 19 points from last August. Fifty-seven percent say things are going badly, down three points from February and down 16 points from last August.

    Nearly a quarter of those questioned say the economy is starting to recover, with just over four in ten saying it has stabilized and a third saying that the country is still in a downturn with conditions getting worse.

    “People who live in the western states are more likely than those who live in other regions to say that the economy is starting to recover,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “People who live in the South are most likely to say that the economy is still in a downturn.”

  36. rikyrah says:

    McConnell rejects Boehner’s spending strategy
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:40 AM EDT.

    Back in December, House Republicans thought they’d come up with a clever strategy: they’d hold the payroll tax break hostage until Democrats paid some kind of ransom. President Obama balked, Democrats held their ground, and it looked like the economy would take a hit as a result of GOP intransigence.

    But the House Republican plan fell apart when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed the Democratic plan for a temporary extension, cutting the House GOP off at the knees. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) folded soon after.

    This week, a new House Republican ploy began to unfold, and yesterday, McConnell undercut his House counterparts again.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) sided with the White House on Thursday when he voted to advance next year’s budget bills based on last August’s debt-ceiling deal.

    His vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee puts the GOP leader on the opposite side of the issue from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his conference.

    As we talked about yesterday, Democrats and Republicans struck a deal last summer on spending levels for the upcoming year, clearing the way for a smooth budget process. House GOP leaders recently decided to ignore the agreement they accepted, make even deeper cuts, and tell Democrats they have to give in or there will be a government shutdown shortly before the election.

    Boehner, in other words, has said he will no longer honor the agreement he helped strike. McConnell, with his actions yesterday, said he will honor the agreement.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Romney won’t find the mainstream in Lynchburg
    By Steve Benen – Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    When we learned yesterday that Mitt Romney would deliver the commencement address at Liberty University in three weeks, I had the same question Steve Kornacki raised: “Wouldn’t it have made more sense to do this last year?”

    Romney’s campaign strategy has always been painfully obvious: run to the hard right during the primaries; persuade the Republican base that he no longer holds any of the beliefs he used to embrace; lock up the nomination; then shake the Etch A Sketch and move towards the American mainstream.

    With this in mind, if Romney agreed to speak at Liberty last May, it would have made perfect sense. But the date on yesterday’s press release from the evangelical college clearly said 2012.

    Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced today that Gov. Mitt Romney will address Liberty University graduates at the 2012 Commencement ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at Arthur L.Williams Stadium.

    “We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to celebrate Commencement with Liberty’s 2012 graduates,” said Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. “This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visits of Governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty’s campus in 1980 and of President George H.W. Bush who spoke at Liberty’s 1990 Commencement ceremony.”

    This will be Governor Romney’s first appearance at Liberty University.

    If Romney hoped to move towards the middle now that he’s the presumptive nominee, this trip to Lynchburg, Va., represents a dramatic detour.

    Liberty University, after all, was created by the late radical televangelist Jerry Falwell — perhaps best known for blaming the 9/11 attacks on Americans — and as Rachel explained last night, continues to be a “hard liner institution against the homosexual menace.”

    The fact that Romney is choosing now to speak at the school’s commencement suggests he’s still concerned about shoring up the religious right’s support — or at a minimum, he’s hoping to win by mobilizing the base, centrists be damned.

    Whatever the motivation, if Romney’s looking for the American mainstream, he won’t find it at Liberty.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Dem Gov: Romney’s Roots From ‘A Polygamy Commune In Mexico’
    Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) says Mitt Romney’s Mormon ancestry could put even his very red state on the presidential swing state map.

    From the Daily Beast:

    While discussing swing states, Schweitzer said Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him,” and I replied that was mildly ironic since Mitt’s father was born in Mexico, giving the clan a nominal claim to being Hispanic. Schweitzer replied that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.” Women, he said, are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”

  39. Ametia says:

    Georgia Again Tries To Replace Immigrant Farm Workers With Inmates

    By Amanda Peterson Beadle posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Apr 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm
    Last year, after Hispanic farm workers fled the state because of a far-reaching anti-immigrant bill the Georgia legislature passed, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) suggested replacing them with inmates. The plan only had mixed success, with many inmates walking off the job early, and farmers still lost millions because of crops that rotted in the field before they could be harvested.

    Ahead of this year’s Vidalia onion harvest, farmers are still seeing a shortage of workers a year later because of Georgia’s immigration law, so state officials are again sending inmates to help farmers despite the failure of last year’s plan:

    The Corrections department has sent ten transitional inmates from Smith State Prison to work in a packing and grading facility run by an onion grower in Glennville, which is near Vidalia. Transitional inmates are in the process of completing their prison sentences.

    Grower Wayne Durrance says he’s used transitional inmates, and says it’s been a success so far. Durrance says they’re motivated and work hard.

  40. Ametia says:

    We can see where ALL of Romney’s ENERGY is going: LIES!

  41. Ametia says:

    Republican rhetoric over the top
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: April 19

    Not all overheated political rhetoric is alike. Delusional right-wing crazy talk — the kind of ranting we’ve heard recently from washed-up rock star Ted Nugent and Tea Party-backed Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) — is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.

    Let me be clear: I’m saying that the extreme language we hear from the far right is qualitatively different from the extreme language we hear from the far left — and far more damaging to the ties that bind us as a nation. Tut-tutting that both sides should tone it down is meaningless. For all intents and purposes, one side is the problem.

    Believe me, I would prefer not to dignify the ravings of Nugent or West by commenting on them. Nugent seems to be motivated by paranoia; West, perhaps by cynical calculation. It would be satisfying to withhold the attention they seek, but this is not an option. The only effective way to deal with bullies is to confront them.

    Nugent, who delivered his foaming-at-the-mouth peroration at a National Rifle Association convention, earned a visit from the Secret Service with his promise that “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

  42. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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