Good Morning, Everyone.
Enjoy this day and rest.
Continuing with the musical theme from yesterday, I’d like to profile a performer, who I consider to be a true Renaissance Man, and a true American Hero: Paul Robeson.
The man was brilliant and talented.
About Paul Robeson:
Paul Leroy Robeson ( /ˈroʊbsən/ ROHB-sən; April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an American concert singer (bass), recording artist, actor, athlete, and scholar who combined advocacy for the Civil Rights Movement with support for Soviet Communism. He gained international attention for his work in the arts and he merged his artistic career with political activism to speak out for the equality of minorities and the rights of workers throughout the world. His Communist affiliations at the outset of the Cold War and during the age of McCarthyism brought scrutiny, conflict and retribution from the American government. His public persona became diminished, his income plummeted and he faced isolation from the Civil Rights Movement in the second half of the 20th century. Robeson endured McCarthyism and briefly returned to the artistic spotlight, but the events in the 1950s combined with ongoing severe health breakdowns well into the 1960s virtually destroyed his health. Robeson lived out the last years of his life privately in Philadelphia.
Robeson won a scholarship to Rutgers College and there he was an All-American football player, and valedictorian of his class. He further advanced his education attending Columbia Law School, while playing professionally in the National Football League (NFL) and singing and acting in off-campus productions. He graduated from law school and had a brief stint working as a lawyer before focusing his career on the arts. He made singing tours of the US and Europe, and became an international star of stage, screen, radio and film.
He was the first major concert star to popularize the performance of Negro spirituals and the second black actor to portray Shakespeare’s Othello with an otherwise all-white cast. (Ira Aldridge, who had played the role in London a hundred years before Robeson did, was the first.) As his artistic career progressed, he increasingly became a more out-spoken political artist. His promulgated political beliefs, with respect to American policy, caught the attention of the FBI, the CIA and the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), and also brought public condemnation in the US.
In 1950, his passport was revoked under the McCarran Act over his work in the anti-imperialism movement, his criticism of US civil rights policies, and his affiliation with members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Though internationally acclaimed, he was blacklisted in the US from performing on stage, screen, radio and television and as a result, his income suffered because he was not able to travel overseas. His right to travel was restored in 1958, but his already faltering health broke down under controversial circumstances in 1963.
Book: GOP freshman class turned into ‘a monster’ for Boehner, other House leaders
By Paul Kane, Updated: Sunday, April 22, 3:35 PM
Time and again last year, House Republican leaders faced a nearly intractable opponent: the very freshman class that propelled them into the majority with the historic 2010 midterm elections.
Rebelling from the outset of the 112th Congress and later wreaking internal havoc during talks to increase the Treasury Department’s ability to borrow funds, the freshman class repeatedly created problems for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), according to a new book.
The freshman resistance caused feuds among Boehner and his lieutenants that led some to fear a mutiny, heightened several showdowns with President Obama and eventually led to fissures among the rookies, pitting those who seldom trusted the leaders against those who reflexively did, according to “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” an account of the freshman class’s impact by Robert Draper.
The infighting reached such a point in the fall that some newcomers requested that the weekly freshman meetings be disbanded because they had turned into shouting matches, with freshmen loudly criticizing the leaders.
“You’ve created a monster,” Rep. Renee L. Ellmers (R-N.C.), a former nurse elected in 2010, warned House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), according to Draper’s book.
Gingrich campaign $4.3 million in debt
CNN’s Kevin Liptak
(CNN) – Newt Gingrich’s struggling bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is more than $4 million in debt, according to federal fund-raising figures for March the campaign submitted to the government Friday.
Of the $4.3 million in debt Gingrich reported on forms filed with the Federal Election Commission, nearly $272,000 was money the candidate loaned his own campaign. The loan was billed as “travel” on the filing report.
Santorum campaign nearly $2 million in debt
CNN) – Rick Santorum’s now-suspended campaign for the Republican presidential nomination raised just over $5 million last month, bringing to $18.6 million the campaign brought in over the first three months of the year.
A senior adviser to the former senator from Pennsylvania also tells CNN the campaign had $1.8 million cash on hand with debts and other obligations of $1.9 million as of April 1.
Before suspending his campaign on April 10, Santorum was seen as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s main rival for the GOP nomination. While former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas continue their long shot bids for the White House, Romney is now seen as the presumptive Republican nominee.
The amount of cash Santorum raised in March was down from the $9 million he brought in during February, at the peak of his campaign. Santorum raised $4.5 million in January.
Once an afterthought in the battle for the GOP nomination, Santorum soared to co-frontrunner status with Romney. He ultimately fell far behind Romney in March in the battle for delegates.
A Santorum campaign conference call earlier this week ended with organizers asking for donations from supporters to help pay down Santorum’s campaign debt. After suspending his campaign, Santorum said a lack of finances was one of the reasons he ended his bid for the White House.
Michelle Obama becoming the most televised first lady
By Bree Tracey
Published April 22, 2012
In a recent interview, Stephen Colbert asked first lady Michelle Obama which show “has more gravitas as a broadcaster” — The Colbert Report or iCarly.
The funny man wasn’t just fishing for compliments. He was pointing out that the first lady is just about everywhere, from Comedy Central to Nickelodeon.
Lately, Michelle Obama is no stranger to television entertainment. She’s already outpaced past first ladies, like Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, in the number of TV appearances she’s made over the first four years of a president’s term.
Dan Gainor, of the Media Research Center, said Michelle Obama really is “off the charts” in the number of times she’s appeared in entertainment television cameos, even more so “than I dare say many big name actors and actresses.”
In just the last four months, viewers have seen Obama do push-ups with Ellen DeGeneres, play tug o’ war with Jimmy Fallon, laugh along with Jay Leno and David Letterman, dance on Disney’s “iCarly,” work out with “The Biggest Loser” contestants at the White House, appear at the BET Honors, smile on “Sesame Street” and chat about healthy school lunches with Rachael Ray.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/22/michelle-obama-becoming-most-televised-first-lady/?intcmp=trending#ixzz1snvu6QJl
Anyone seen this movie?
‘Think Like a Man’ tops weekend box office with $33 mil
12:39 PM on 04/22/2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The date-night movies “Think Like a Man” and “The Lucky One” finally have knocked “The Hunger Games” off its No. 1 box-office perch.
According to studio estimates Sunday, “Think Like a Man,” based on Steve Harvey’s dating-advice best-seller, debuted as the top weekend draw with $33 million. The Sony Screen Gems ensemble movie features Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union.
The Warner Bros. drama “The Lucky One,” starring Zac Efron in an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ romance novel, opened at No. 2 with $22.8 million.
Lionsgate’s blockbuster “The Hunger Games” took in $14.5 million, slipping to third-place after four weekends at No. 1. The film raised its domestic total to $356.9 million.
Disney’s nature documentary “Chimpanzee” opened at No. 4 with $10.2 million.
I’m going to see it next weekend.
number 1, huh?
Steve Harvey is laughing all the way to the bank.
Tyra Banks fires Nigel Barker, ‘Miss J’ and Jay Manuel in ‘America’s Next Top Model’ shake-up
By Clutch Magazine
3:26 PM on 04/20/2012
From Clutch magazine: America’s Next Top Model has been on the air for eighteen whopping seasons, and the show owes a good chunk of its success to the flippant quips and over-the-top walk of Miss J, the alien-like hair, creative direction, and hosting skills of Mr. Jay, and the straight-up-fine Britishness of former model Nigel Barker. Oh yeah, and Tyra Banks’ smizing and tantrums aimed at underachieving, but very pretty, contestants.
As of yesterday, the franchise, which has imitation versions all over the world, has officially let go of Miss J (aka Jay Alexander), Mr. Jay (aka Jay Manuel), and Nigel to move in another direction. All three of the cast members have been with show since it began in 2003.
ANTM has launched the careers of numerous women who have either continued to model or, like Eva Marcille or Tocarra Jones, moved into acting and related endeavors. The rumor mill is saying that Tyra specifically wanted to get rid of the three men, but the official word is that the show would like to move in a social media direction and instead of focusing on traditional fashion insiders will seek bloggers and online personalities. Tyra (and the producers) undoubtedly want to turn a program that used to be a can’t-miss event and has now become a bit stale into something that people love to watch again.
Looking forward to watching Mr. Sidney Poitier on OWN tonight.
THIS MOFO JACKAL, RIGHT HERE:
Lieberman: Hold Obama ‘accountable’ for Secret Service scandal
By David Edwards
Sunday, April 22, 2012 10:53 EDT
“It would be unfair to hold President Obama responsible for this outrageous behavior at the Secret Service and the GSA, but it is fair to hold the president accountable,” Lieberman told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “What do I mean when I say the president should be held accountable? The buck stops at the president’s desk. He’s the leader of our government. He now has to be acting with a kind of relentless determination to find out exactly what happened and to make sure the people who work for him at the Secret Service and the GSA and everywhere else in the government don’t let anything like this happen again.”
President Obama To Speak At Field House In Iowa City
April 21, 2012, 9:17 pm
By Addison Speck/SourceMedia Group News
Iowa City – President Obama’s is coming to Eastern Iowa on Wednesday. White House Officials confirmed he will speak at the Field House on the University of Iowa campus. It is the same location as his last visit in 2010. The event is expected to start around 1:20 Wednesday afternoon.
The event is free and open to students, faculty, and staff of the University of Iowa. The President will talk about his effort to get congress to prevent student loans interest rates from doubling in July. For the first time, student debt has reached more than 1 trillion dollars. Americans owe more in student loans than credit cards. “I think I will owe around 10 thousand,” said Emily Jepson, a Sophomore at the University of Iowa. “Maybe around 40 thousand, I think,” said BJ Fish, a Junior at the University of Iowa.
Posted at 09:33 PM ET, 04/19/2012
The instructive timing of the crackdown on nuns
By Melinda Henneberger
There were two Santa Maria! stories out of the Vatican this week. First, the bad news: The ultra-traditionalists of Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X are another step closer to being welcomed back into the fold — though church fathers have yet to sort out the problem of the dissident group’s Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson, whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI lifted two years ago.
Then there was the even worse news, by my votive lights, that the Vatican is cracking down on American nuns – who as one of my fellow Catholics noted over a cup of unconsecrated wine last night, “Only do what Jesus told us to do,’’ in their hospitals, schools and orphanages, “so no wonder they’re in trouble.’’
After a lengthy investigation by the office formerly known as the Inquisition, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been signed up to oversee a forced reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 Catholic nuns in this country.
That’s because, according to the Vatican report released Wednesday, a number of the good sisters appear to investigators to have been influenced by “radical feminism,” and to have fallen out of step with church teaching on homosexuality and women’s ordination.
Maybe timing isn’t everything, but the juxtaposition of these two announcements on the same day was perfect. If, that is, the intent was to send the message that while schisms may come and go, feminism won’t be tolerated. Or that a man who says, as Williamson did, that history is “hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed” will be waved back in, but women accused of dissent can leave if they like.
In fact, with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council coming up in October, what better time to remind people how far we still have to go, five decades since Pope John XXIII promised to throw open the windows of the church and let in some fresh air?
Some things about the Vatican report do leave me torn: I can’t, for instance, decide if my favorite part is where they dare to indict the sisters for silence on abortion. (If memory serves, the Vatican itself has now and again been accused of keeping quiet when it shouldn’t have been.) Or maybe it’s the part where they describe one sister’s language about “moving beyond the Church’’ as “a cry for help.’’
Nuns Gone Wild! Vatican Chastises American Sisters
Apr 20, 2012 6:00 AM EDT
American nuns are pushing ‘radical-feminist themes,’ according to a damning new Vatican report. Barbie Latza Nadeau on why the U.S. sister act is too hot for the men of the Holy See.
For the past three years, Mother Mary Clare Millea has been scouring convents, on the lookout for deviant nuns. The matronly American, who has a doctorate in canon law from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University, was given this mandate as part of a Vatican-ordered investigation called Apostolic Visitation. She has had no trouble finding sisters on the edge, but the nuns’ main infractions weren’t sins of the flesh or succumbing to vices. Instead, the offending nuns were simply speaking their minds.
Based on a summary of her findings, which she submitted to Cardinal William Levada, head of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a final, yet-unpublished, report approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the vast majority of American nuns are pushing “radical-feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” But rather than preaching against church doctrine, the sisters are often just staying silent on the hot-button issues of abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and the ordination of women. Their silence is interpreted as endorsement, so by not speaking out against such “evils,” the report says the sisters are effectively showing their approval.
As part of her survey, Mother Millea visited scores of religious houses and convents and interviewed hundreds of mothers superior who oversee the nearly 400 religious congregations in the United States. She excluded nuns living in cloistered or contemplative convents and instead focused on the 57,000 religious women who work in schools, agencies for the poor, universities, and churches. Aside from the fact that only a small fraction of the American nuns wore a religious habit to distinguish them from other women, she found that most were doing little to spread the key social doctrines of the church. In particular, Mother Millea says that the Leadership Conference of Women Religious or LCWR, an umbrella group of American nuns that represents around 55,000 sisters—over 80 percent of the entire population of nuns in the United States—is most at fault. “The current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern,” she concluded, according to a summary of the report. “While there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States.”
Millea’s report also blasted the LCWR for its lack of guidance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. “Further, issues of crucial importance in the life of the church and society, such as the church’s biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes church teaching.”
The Vatican concludes that the fact that some LCWR leaders question church doctrine in the context of the modern world is of primary concern, but so is their silence on other issues. “The second level of the problem concerns the silence and inaction of the LCWR … given its responsibility to support a vision of religious life in harmony with that of the church and to promote a solid doctrinal basis for religious life.”
found this over at The Obama Diary:
Tweeters………..”Romney. The BANE of our existence”
Please To Be Shutting the Piehole Now
By Charles P. Pierce
There were two things for which I prayed devoutly when the whole Secret Service screw-and-screw scandal in Colombia broke into the news. The first was that the young lady entrepreneur in question would remain anonymous.
(Yeah, that had a chance.)
The second was that there would be nothing in the whole business that would engage the attention of Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.
God really hates me these days.
Will we never be rid of this person? Will her personal Warhol clock never run down?
OK, one of the Secret Service guys in question was obviously a moron before everyone started doing the Cartagena two-step. He shouldn’t have posted what he posted about the Princess because it was sexist, tasteless, and beneath his office as a Secret Service agent, but mainly because it now gives her yet another chance to drive nails into her own palms, and to act like a jackass toward the president again:
“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 kicks his okol’e and 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.”
Are we seriously going to have to listen to this “eating the dog” business for another six months, as though there’s no difference between a six-year-old eating what’s served to him and a grown man slapping the family hound onto the roof of the car? Equivalence! (I told you people a long time ago to knock off pounding the Seamus story.) And then, with the shrewd self-awareness that’s marked her entire career, she continues…
“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.”
So sayeth the woman who found being the CEO of this operation called the state of Alaska too demanding to finish out her single term at the job. Historians are going to look back at this era of our politics and wonder why we all decided to start eating paint chips. Was there a famine or something?
Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Princess_Is_Back#ixzz1snG2bG3K
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Obama moved ‘from hope to hardball’ last September
Cheering Obama’s turn to partisan combat, Noam Scheiber draws some striking parallels between the political trajectories of the Clinton and Obama presidencies — starting with a hope for bipartisanship, going through the meat-grinder of passing key legislation with zero Republican support, getting creamed in the midterms. But then he moves to a false — or rather, distorted — contrast
The major difference between the two after the midterms was their posture toward Republicans. Clinton went for the jugular early. By August of 1995, he had launched a major ad campaign attacking the Republican Congress for its designs on Medicare and vowing to defend the program from $270 billion in cuts. Almost daily beginning in late 1995, Clinton and his surrogates repeated their mantra of protecting “Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment”—that is, the programs Republicans threatened to decimate. The White House even had a nickname for the refrain: “M2E2.” “It wasn’t elegant—I wouldn’t etch it in marble. But people fucking knew what was at stake,” recalls Paul Begala, a former Clinton strategist. When Bob Dole emerged as the Republican presidential nominee the following spring, he had little hope of separating himself from his party’s government-slashing ethos.
Obama, on the other hand, spent more of his third year striking conciliatory notes as he negotiated with the GOP over the deficit. With the exception of a tough, high-profile speech that April, his White House consciously avoided flaying Republicans over their proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. He didn’t dwell on their anti-government nihilism until a speech in December, and even then he did so in broad strokes.
The relative civility came to a clear end this month, however, when Obama turned up at an Associated Press luncheon and proceeded to lacerate the GOP over the handiwork of Representative Paul Ryan, whose budget proposal the House had recently passed. Obama talked, Clinton-style, about how the Ryan budget would squeeze seniors who depend on Medicare and bump as many as 19 million poor and disabled Americans off Medicaid.
It’s true that in the wake of the 2010 midterms, Obama frustrated supporters with extended bouts of attempted bipartisanship, in which periods he directed his criticism at “Congress” rather than Republicans. But Scheiber’s contrast is exaggerated by an elision and a distortion. The elision: Clinton “went for the jugular early. By August 1995….” August ’95 was eight months after the midterms, and Clinton’s budget battle with the GOP House and Senate was just moving into high gear. The distortion: Obama did soft-pedal criticism of the GOP through the ill-advised debt ceiling-deadlined budget negotiations that ended in the Budget Control Act agreed upon in early August. But he pivoted to partisan combat a month later, on Labor Day, when for the first time in months he pitted himself directly against the GOP rather than “Congress.” Previewing the jobs package he unveiled later that week — a set of stimulative measures designed to heighten contrast between the parties, he challenged the GOP directly:
GAME ON; BITCHES!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Obama continues to reform campaign finance
It is my contention that, absent meaningful campaign finance laws, President Obama has been reforming our system simply by the way he’s raising money for his own campaign. To demonstrate that, I’m likely to write about this topic regularly as the 2012 race rolls out.
The web site Open Secrets has now updated their information as a result of incorporating FEC filings from the candidates through the end of March. So lets look at the Obama/Romney race from several perspectives.
The total amounts raised so far for each campaign are as follows:
Obama: $191, 671,860
Obviously President Obama has the advantage here with having raised over twice the amount Romney has. But in the post-Citizens United world, that can be deceiving because it leaves out the fact that Romney-supporting Super PACs have dwarfed Obama’s in the amount of cash they’re bringing in. We can be sure that they’ll more than make up for the difference.
What that sets up though is even more of a contrast in campaign styles given that Super PAC spending will almost exclusively be focused on a media campaign. Romney won’t have the funds to complete with Obama’s huge investment in the ground game.
Source of Donations
As I’ve discussed before, whenever we hear about particular industry’s donations to a campaign, the truth is that we’re looking at donations from individuals who work in those industries and not the companies themselves. Still, its interesting to note the differences between the campaigns in terms of who they are attracting.
Here is a listing of the top five companies whose employees are donating to each campaign.
Microsoft Corp $289,088
DLA Piper $217,582
Google Inc $167,565
University of California $157,092
Harvard University $155,808
Goldman Sachs $535,680
JPMorgan Chase & Co $375,650
Morgan Stanley $323,800
Credit Suisse Group $299,160
Citigroup Inc $282,765
Do you see the pattern there? Wall Street has definitely chosen its candidate.
Size and Number of Donations
While 45% of Obama’s total has come from small individual contributions (under $250), they account for only 10% of Romney’s total. That results in a HUGE difference in terms of the number of people who have donated to each campaign. Here’s a powerful chart on that from The Obama Diary via BuzzFeed showing the number of donors in March for Romney 12, Bush 04, and Obama 12.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Driving the Republicans Crazy
I’m going to recommend that you head over to Daily Kos and read Vyan’s diary titled What is Driving Repubs Crazy? I think you’ll find a lot of themes there that I’ve been talking about for awhile. And he’s put it all together beautifully.
This isn’t about policy, which is why they [Republicans] don’t put forward policies that might actually gain popular support or be GOOD FOR PEOPLE which would keep them in office on the basis of merit, it’s about maintaining power by force and coercion. They’re out to take as much ground as possible right now… because they know soon – they’re going to lose it. All of it.
They’re afraid that if Democrats – who have the audacity to believe that Government is actually good for something manage to be successful – then people will want more of that success. The kind of success that Bill Clinton had with the economy and the budget. If people get more of that, if we actually have a efficient and effective Government, then the GOP is doomed. Permanently. They can’t have that, so they’ve been deliberately sabotaging the country just to undermine the President.
It has to do with inevitability.
It has to do with the slow, gradual, demographic realities that the core of the GOP – middle-aged, aggrieved, white men and their sycophantic trophy wives/mistresses (and their blind willful deluded cult of lickspittle lackeys who operate and listen to Right-Wing Radio and Fox News) – are no longer the majority in this nation. They are becoming like the rest of us – a minority.
They are acting out, because they see their coming irrelevance staring them in the face.
They’ve said it many times. They see their America disappearing from them. The America where they call the shots. The America where their Religious Views, their business practices, and their people prosper, not the rest of us.
They’re very afraid of this New America. Their very worried that once they become an electoral minority, just like everyone else already is. Once they’re no longer in the drivers seat. Once their fate is in the hands of all the Women, the Latinos, the Blacks, Asians, the Gays/Transgendered, the Non-Christians and Athiests…
Once we hold control of their fate…
We just might, possibly…
Treat Them Nearly As SHITTY as they’ve been treating us all this Time!
While we always have to call these folks out on their shit, this is why I never bother to lose my cool over it. We know how this one is going to end – so do they. That’s exactly why they’re so pissed off.
Posted by Smartypants at 6:20 PM
found this in the comments at The Obama Diary:
April 22, 2012 at 11:46 am
I agree that it is more than ratings at work. I also don’t buy the “horserace” stuff (they never prop up democratic presidential candidates to make the race close). THe MSM and its corporate masters would be happy as pie with a Mitt landslide. They are desperate to help Mitt before it is too late. Notice the MSM is trying to use a poll in which PBO has a 6 point lead over Mitt as being bad news for PBO and marvelous news for Mitt. Some are even calling a 6 point lead for PBO a tie race (just like how, according to the MSM, McCain won or tied all of the Presidential debates in 2008). It is simple psychology, no one wants to back a loser so the MSM is doing all it can to portray Mitt as a “winner” and PBO as perpetually in political peril (even “losing” polls in which he leads).
For Mitt to have any chance in this race, the MSM must tarnish PBO’s image, so we have a string of fake controversies all twisted to harm PBO. If we had a legitimate MSM, they would be attempting to find out WHY Mitt leads PBO on the economy (i.e., they would be investigating what it is about Mitt’s economic plan that the public likes and why). They refuse to do this because they know the public has no idea what Mitt’s economic plan is. The MSM knows that Mitt endorsed Paul Ryan’s unpopular budget plan, and that the poll result concerning the economy is most likely an illusion that will evaporate when the people realize what Mitt’s plans are (he can’t hide forever). They refuse to do anything to harm Mitt because they realize how weak he is as a candidate. Imagine what would have happened if PBO filed an extension to file his tax return (they would be calling PBO an uppity elitist who is too good to file his taxes with the common man). Information that is twisted to build support for a point of view is advertising, at its best, and propaganda at its worst. The Fourth Estate is dead.
This President’s Greatest Accomplishment
By LOLGOP on April 22, 2012 in Barack Obama
It’s not keeping Palin out of the White House, but that’s close.
Can I share with you the most offensive thing I’ve read since I last accidentally read chyron on the Bill O’Reilly show?
David Greenberg writes in The New Republic:
Because Barack Obama has accomplished relatively little in his first term—boxed in by a recalcitrant Republican opposition, the sluggish economy, and a mound of debt—it’s tempting to hope that, should he win a second term, he’ll be free to pursue an unbridled liberal agenda.
Because Barack Obama has accomplished relatively little? Compared to who FDR? Lincoln? Johnson? Thomas Edison?
Even Bill Clinton will admit that this president has had more progressive achievements in his first term that Clinton put together in eight years of peace and prosperity.
Forget ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Forget Student Loan Reform, Credit Card Reform, creating Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Forget expanding Medicare and Medicaid while ending pre-existing conditions. Forget saving the auto industry and putting four million Americans back to work despite a Republican party imposing austerity on the state and local levels. Even forget making the historic choice to go after bin Laden. All of those things are somewhat reversible, unfortunately.
What isn’t reversible is the President’s greatest accomplishment: Ending the Iraq War.
But he gets almost no credit for this. On the right, they say he was just following Bush’s timeline and we should still have troops there to prevent a civil war. On the left, they say he was just following Bush’s timeline and we still have thousands of contractors in a giant embassy.
Both sides forget history. As Barack Obama was winning the 2008 election on the issue of the Iraq War, he changed the debate and forced the timeline that Bush adopted.
From July 18, 2008:
In a stunning diplomatic breakthrough for Barack Obama, Iraq’s prime minister yesterday endorsed the Democratic candidate’s 16-month timeline for withdrawing combat troops from Iraq.
The timeline Bush adopted was never Bush’s timeline. It was Obama’s. (That’s why he won the Nobel Peace Prize, in case you’re wondering.) The privatization of the military as described in Rachel Maddow’s Drift made getting out a bit easier. But ending this war was a mission this man adopted as a State Senator and achieved as President. Denying that only reveals your bias.
Barack Obama won the presidency of the United States by promising to end the Iraq War and he did so in his first term. Ending a war is much hard than starting one. And being honest about war is the most difficult task of all.
Richard Viguerie, and the gospel of wealth
April 22, 2012 ·
Sometimes, it’s better when people just make things plain. Richard Viguerie, in a commentary on Politico’s Arena blog, has made it plain.
And what “it” is, is the guiding principle of conservatism, whether written by Ayn Rand or voiced by Ron and Rand Paul. It could be called the “gospel of selfishness” – or the Gospel of Wealth. And it can be summed up with the phrase, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” Viguerie, a vanguard of old fashioned conservatism, explains:
For the 75-plus years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt began the New Deal, Democrats and their liberal allies, including many Republicans, made what in essence was a moral argument justifying the creation of the welfare state.
While there’s nothing in the Constitution about the federal government being your brother’s keeper, that’s in Genesis 4:9, not the Constitution, many Americans willingly went along with substituting the growth of the federal welfare state for family responsibility and the acts of private charity carried out by religious institutions and local authorities during the first 150 years of the Republic.
While conservatives decried the growth of the welfare state and pointed toward soul-searing dependency for the beneficiaries and fiscal ruin for the government as its logical conclusions, the liberal establishment built what it claimed was a moral consensus behind a dizzying array of federal welfare and human services programs.
Conservatives who objected to the alphabet soup of federal welfare programs from federal housing subsidies, to student loans, to aid to families with dependent children were shouted-down as crackpots, or mean-spirited or downright immoral.
Many Republicans were happy to go along with these extra-constitutional programs, even as they looked for ways to make them cheaper or more efficient, because after all it seemed like the right thing to do.
The problem is, once you abandon the Constitution as the law that governs government, and replace it with what seems like the right thing to do in the eyes of a few politicians, the evils the Constitution was enacted to guard against quickly manifest themselves.
In other words, the conservatism wants to take this country back to the 19th century and before, when there was no social safety net (and no women’s suffrage to permit bleeding heart females to vote for social welfare programs) – and the poor and needy threw themselves upon the mercy of the church or private charities. It was a time when things like orphanages and poor houses existed. A time when a man could hoard great wealth without having to worry about unions demanding more wages to cut into his bottom line; when child welfare laws and the 40 hour workweek didn’t eat into his potential for limitless profit. And when such a man wasn’t forced into the political strait jacket of “compassion” to assuage a conscience that really wasn’t all that guilty.
Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 05:55 AM PDT
Republicans manufacture a crisis for the Postal Service, and too many Democrats go along+
Hold one thought in your mind every time you read about the “crisis” the U.S. Postal Service is in: There is a crisis, but it’s a manufactured one. If Congress wasn’t busy applying the Shock Doctrine, the postal service would face a challenge, but one it had time to meet. Instead, we’re being told by Congress and by high-level management at the post office that the crisis is now and that massive cuts are the only answer—that degrading the services the postal service offers will save it.
But before we look at the cuts being proposed, what’s so manufactured about this crisis?
In 2006, the postal service generated a profit. That was the last time it did so, because in late 2006, a lame duck Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which among other things forced the postal service to fund its retiree health benefit obligations 75 years into the future, and to do so within 10 years. Taking care of retirees is a good thing, and we’ve seen far too many workers expected to fill the gaps in pensions and health benefits underfunded through no fault of their own. I’m not arguing that the postal service should reverse course so far that it leaves its retirees without health care. But if you needed a single concrete example to demonstrate that this is a manufactured crisis, here it is: Congress put a burden on the postal service that no other government agency or private corporation faces, and when that causes or accelerates problems, it’s taken as evidence of certain doom and the need to make deep cuts. According to Sen. Bernie Sanders, not someone who is going to argue for leaving retired workers in the lurch:
[T]he Postal Service should be released from the “onerous and unprecedented burden” of being forced to put $5.5 billion every year into its future retiree health benefits fund. Sanders’s office explains that “even if there are no further contributions from the post office, and if the fund simply collects 3.5 to 4 percent interest every year, that account will be fully funded in twenty-one years.” At the same time, the senator suggests, the postal service should be allowed to recover more than $13 billion in overpayments it has made to a federal retirement systems.
So the immediacy of the “crisis” the postal service faces is one created by Congress. But there are legitimate long-term challenges, including one in particular we hear a great deal about: the internet. We’re all paying our bills online these days, leading to a precipitous decline in mail sent. Right? Well, there’s another factor no one seems to talk about: the recession. It’s funny when you think about it, because we know how deeply the recession struck the government at all levels, businesses, and individuals. But again and again we’re told that the reason, the reason not a reason, for declining mail is the internet. Yet:
Rubio’s Ryan Budget Defense: There’s Nothing Else
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio offered up a defense of the Ryan budget, telling CNN’s Candy Crowley in an interview that aired Sunday that it’s unfair to criticize the Ryan budget because there’s no alternative.
Would he be comfortable “running on the specifics of the Ryan budget”? Rubio pivoted, saying: “You know why it’s unfair to criticize the Ryan budget for anyone? Because there’s nothing to compare it to. Where’s the Democrats’ budget?”
President Obama has proposed a detailed budget this year, as Rubio acknowledged. And as TPM has reported, Republicans’ insistence that Democrats’ haven’t proposed their own budget omits some key facts.
Rubio defended the Ryan budget as a “serious” effort to fix problems like Medicare but seemed cautious about the budget as well. “I’m not being critical of the Ryan budget,” Rubio said, adding “I think we always have to be careful about impacting our safety net because I think there’s a proper role for a governmental safety net to help those who cannot help themselves.”
Axelrod zings Candy “Carbo” Crowley on that CNN POLL!
FULL CNN INTERIVEW
Spokesman Clarifies Rubio’s Remark On DREAM Act
On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) discussed the version of the DREAM Act he’s in the midst of crafting, and explained that ”it allows you to get an immigrant visa through one of the existing visa programs.”
Rubio spokesman Alex Conant confirmed to TPM that the senator was referring to a non-immigrant visa, not an immigrant visa.
The distinction is important because an “immigrant visa” is defined by the U.S. government as permanent residency that essentially guarantees citizenship after several years. A “non-immigrant visa” provides temporary legal residency, after which the recipient can seek options for permanent status.
The Democrats’ DREAM Act entails the former; Rubio’s bill entails the latter.
Conant didn’t immediately return a follow-up on which visa category the bill would tap.
Mitch Daniels: Romney Doesn’t Need A Targeted Strategy For Women, Hispanics
Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Mitt Romney supporter who has been rumored as a potential vice presidential pick, says the candidate ought not to make targeted appeals to women and Hispanic voters, but instead can win them over by speaking the “language of unity.”
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace pressed Daniels twice on how Romney can appeal specifically to those groups, given President Obama’s strong advantage with them and the problematic policy positions Romney has taken regarding their interests.
“I don’t think he has to at all,” Daniels responded. “I think that he gives away nothing here with regard to the president, who has been very duplicitous sometimes on this very same subject. But I think he’s got to speak the language, honestly, not not of narrow broadcasting – narrowcasting, let’s say – to individual groups, as much as the language of unity that talks about the issues that unite us all, the threats that menace us all, and try to being Americans together.”
What the fuck is Mitch Daniels smoking?
Love this woman…
It’ll Probably Be Romney/Portman
Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 10:43:01 AM EST
It looks like the consensus is that Mitt Romney will choose one of the architects of the economic collapse as his running mate:
There is no doubt in the minds of Republican National Committee members that Mitt Romney will be their standard bearer in the fall, and already consensus is building behind one potential vice presidential nominee — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
In an informal survey of more than half of the Republican State Chairmen and national committee people at this weekend’s State Chairman meeting at a resort here, two-thirds said they believe Portman is the most-likely and best-qualified running-mate for Mitt Romney. The committee members spoke to BuzzFeed only on the condition of anonymity.
“He’s from Ohio, and we need to win Ohio, it’s that simple,” said one state chair.
Rob Portman served as Bush’s U.S. Trade Representative in 2005-6 before being promoted to Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2006-7. But he makes the most sense for Romney. He’s not a tea party Republican or a culture warrior. He’s a glorified accountant. He’s the least crazy and damaged candidate from a major swing-state, and he has worked in the White House before. I’ll be surprised if Romney doesn’t pick Portman. Remember, when picking a running mate, first do no harm.
Yet, a Romney/Portman ticket would be pretty bland. It would be very hard for them to whip up the base. It’s their best ticket, but it won’t help them too much further down the ballot. A lot of conservatives will simply stay home.
Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart
After Top-Level Struggle
Confronted with evidence of widespread corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing, an examination by The New York Times found.
In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.
The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.
Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”
The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.
Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
Neither American nor Mexican law enforcement officials were notified. None of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s leaders were disciplined. Indeed, its chief executive, Eduardo Castro-Wright, identified by the former executive as the driving force behind years of bribery, was promoted to vice chairman of Wal-Mart in 2008. Until this article, the allegations and Wal-Mart’s investigation had never been publicly disclosed.
But The Times’s examination uncovered a prolonged struggle at the highest levels of Wal-Mart, a struggle that pitted the company’s much publicized commitment to the highest moral and ethical standards against its relentless pursuit of growth.
Under fire from labor critics, worried about press leaks and facing a sagging stock price, Wal-Mart’s leaders recognized that the allegations could have devastating consequences, documents and interviews show. Wal-Mart de Mexico was the company’s brightest success story, pitched to investors as a model for future growth. (Today, one in five Wal-Mart stores is in Mexico.) Confronted with evidence of corruption in Mexico, top Wal-Mart executives focused more on damage control than on rooting out wrongdoing.
In one meeting where the bribery case was discussed, H. Lee Scott Jr., then Wal-Mart’s chief executive, rebuked internal investigators for being overly aggressive. Days later, records show, Wal-Mart’s top lawyer arranged to ship the internal investigators’ files on the case to Mexico City. Primary responsibility for the investigation was then given to the general counsel of Wal-Mart de Mexico — a remarkable choice since the same general counsel was alleged to have authorized bribes.
The general counsel promptly exonerated his fellow Wal-Mart de Mexico executives.
When Wal-Mart’s director of corporate investigations — a former top F.B.I. official — read the general counsel’s report, his appraisal was scathing. “Truly lacking,” he wrote in an e-mail to his boss.
The report was nonetheless accepted by Wal-Mart’s leaders as the last word on the matter.
In December, after learning of The Times’s reporting in Mexico, Wal-Mart informed the Justice Department that it had begun an internal investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law that makes it a crime for American corporations and their subsidiaries to bribe foreign officials. Wal-Mart said the company had learned of possible problems with how it obtained permits, but stressed that the issues were limited to “discrete” cases.
“We do not believe that these matters will have a material adverse effect on our business,” the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But The Times’s examination found credible evidence that bribery played a persistent and significant role in Wal-Mart’s rapid growth in Mexico, where Wal-Mart now employs 209,000 people, making it the country’s largest private employer.
A Wal-Mart spokesman confirmed that the company’s Mexico operations — and its handling of the 2005 case — were now a major focus of its inquiry.
Oprah will be the commencement speaker for Spelman class of 2012
3:18 PM on 04/20/2012
Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to speak at the graduation ceremony for the Spelman class of 2012. School officials have announced that the ceremony will take place on May 20th at the Georgia Convention Center. Oprah received an honorary degree from Spelman in 1993. AJC reports:
Oprah Winfrey will serve as Spelman College’s commencement speaker, officials announced Thursday.
The ceremony will be held May 20 at the Georgia International Convention Center. About 550 students are expected to graduate.
Winfrey, the multimedia mogul, has strong ties to Spelman, which is one of the nation’s top liberal arts schools and the oldest historically black college for women. She received an honorary degree from the school in 1993 and this year will receive the college’s National Community Service Award.
Mitt Romney plays the victim card
By REID J. EPSTEIN | 4/22/12 7:04 AM EDT
Meet Mitt Romney the victim. And that may be a good thing for his campaign.
Following the still-rippling kerfuffle over Hilary Rosen’s comments that Ann Romney “hasn’t worked a day in her life,” Romney is portraying himself as the victim of the liberal media and secular culture, and some social conservatives who opposed him in the GOP primary are rallying around him as a result.
Mark DeMoss, a Romney adviser and the campaign’s ambassador to evangelical groups, compared Rosen’s words about Ann Romney to the criticisms of football star Tim Tebow, who became a sensation in part because of his very public expression of his evangelical faith.
“Any perceived or real attack on Tim Tebow would result in making him, endearing him even more to people of faith,” DeMoss said. “I think it’s just a human reaction. If somebody you like or identify with is attacked, it strengthens your support and love and admiration for the person who was attacked.”
DeMoss continued: “The attack always energizes the person that was attacked or the people who like the person who was attacked.”
Romney as victim appeals to the conservative faithful in a way that the former Massachusetts governor, a New England millionaire, could only hope for in the Republican primary — where he consistently lost the very conservative, tea-party loyalists and the most religious voters. Following his consolidation of the party nod, it’s unclear whether those voters will now rally behind him.
Romney’s rivals had long pursued the victim strategy to great effect.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75427.html#ixzz1smkpc3SJ
Orrin Hatch To Face Primary In June — Fails To Clinch GOP Nod At Convention
Eric Kleefeld April 21, 2012, 3:17 PM
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will now face a Republican primary in his bid for a seventh term, following a vote of delegates at the state GOP convention, after having received a majority that fell just short of the 60 percent needed to win his nomination outright.
Out of over 3,900 delegates in attendance on Saturday, Hatch received 57.2 percent of the vote on the first ballot, the state GOP announced, to former state Sen. Liljenquist’s 28.8 percent. All seven other candidates were then eliminated — even if their supporters combined together, they would not be able to overtake Liljenquist — and Hatch and Liljenquist faced off on a second ballot.
On that second ballot, the state GOP announced, Hatch received 2,313 votes for 59.2 percent, against Liljenquist’s 1,595 for 40.8 percent.
The Republican primary between Hatch and Liljenquist will be held on June 26. As the Salt Lake Tribune reports, this will be the first time Hatch has even had to have a primary since 1976.
Hatch was first elected to the Senate in 1976, and has been easily returned to the Senate ever since. He announced recently that he will retire in 2018 at the end of the next term, if he is re-elected — but, in his campaign pitch, he would use all of his seniority and clout on the state’s behalf until then.
MHP is calling out the teabagger lady with her “constitution” talking points. Just a bunch of nonsense.
Fact check for Romney: Americans are creating more businesses now than before the recession
In an interview with Larry Kudlow on CNBC, Mitt Romney falsely claimed that the number of start-up businesses decreased under President Obama:
“Larry, the number of new business start-ups has dropped by 100,000 a year under President Obama, and that’s costing us a lot of jobs.”
The facts, once again, refute Romney’s claim. Americans are creating more businesses now than before the recession:
The number of start-up businesses in 2009, 2010, and 2011 is higher than it was at the end of the Bush administration.
That entrepreneurship rate is more than 5 percent higher than pre-recession levels. Last year, 3.2 of every 1,000 adults created a business.
The growing number of new businesses reflects President Obama’s commitment to supporting small businesses and his belief that they are the “cornerstones of America’s promise.” That’s why he has signed 18 small business tax cuts to help small business invest, offer health care, and hire. His administration also extended a record $30.5 billion in loans to more than 60,000 small businesses in the 2011 fiscal year, including $5.8 billion in loans to more than 16,000 start-up businesses. And earlier this month, the President signed the JOBS Act, making it easier for start-ups and small businesses to raise funds and eventually go public.
By contrast, under Romney’s leadership in Massachusetts, Bay Staters saw their jobs shipped overseas. When it comes to business creation, there’s a clear difference between President Obama’s and Romney’s records.
New curbs on voter registration could hurt Obama
By Deborah Charles
WASHINGTON | Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:43am EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New state laws designed to fight voter fraud could reduce the number of Americans signing up to vote in this year’s presidential election by hundreds of thousands, a potential problem for President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.
Voting laws passed by Republican-led legislatures in a dozen states during the past year have sharply restricted voter-registration drives that typically target young, low-income, African-American and Hispanic voters – groups that have backed the Democratic president by wide margins.
A further 16 states are considering bills that would end voter registration on election days, impose a range of limits on groups that register voters and make it more difficult for people to sign up, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.
The new laws – many of which include measures requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls – could carve into Obama’s potential support in Florida, Ohio and a few other politically divided states likely to be crucial in the November 6 election, analysts say.
I agree with this article.
And, this was the POINT of all these laws.
This is but part of the overall plan of VOTER SUPPRESSION 2012.
Remember the teacher in Florida who was threatened BECAUSE SHE SIGNED UP HER SENIOR CLASS STUDENTS TO VOTE.
That was her crime…she signed up 17 and 18 years olds to register to vote for the first time.
Or, the churches in Florida, who were being threatened because they turned in the cards from their voter registration drive over the MLK WEEKEND.
How are you gonna turn in cards within 48 hours, if the place where you’re supposed to turn them into IS CLOSED BECAUSE OF A HOLIDAY?
It’s all part of Voter Suppression 2012.
Along with the plans to shorten the time for early voting, specifically stopping early voting on that weekend before the election, when many BLACK CHURCHES would go from church to the early voting sites, particularly for their seniors.
IT’S ALL PART OF VOTER SUPPRESSION 2012.
Romney’s policies would jeopardize economic security for women
closer look at Romney’s economic policies reveals that his policies would actually jeopardize the economic security of so many American women:
Romney refuses to say whether he would’ve signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first law President Obama signed to strengthen women’s ability to receive equal pay for equal work.
Romney wants to cut the Earned Income Tax Credit—a credit directly tied to increases in employment opportunities and earnings for women.
Romney’s tax plans would raise taxes for 18 million working families a year by an average of $900 per family, while millionaires would see an average $250,000 tax cut a year.
Romney opposes the Buffett Rule, while calling for deep cuts in investments that have a significant impact on women.
Romney would make deep cuts into Social Security and Medicaid, both of which provide crucial economic support to millions of women.
Romney tells low-income mothers that they should be required to work outside the home or lose their benefits, “even if you have a child 2 years of age.”
Romney has pledged to “kill” Obamacare, repealing the health reform law that will make sure insurance companies can no longer charge women more than men for the same health care.
Romney’s rhetoric just doesn’t match his platform. If elected, Romney’s policies would have serious consequences for women.
Check out the lies and the real facts on Romney’s claims.
Recaps of the week
“The problem in these cases isn’t that the woman is somehow unqualified—they’re doing the same job with the same qualifications, and they’re being paid differently. The problem is employers aren’t treating women fairly. That needs to be changed, and I’ll change it when I’m president of the United States of America.”
—Barack Obama, July 10th, 2008
As we shift to the general election, he’s starting to run away from some of these stances, and he’s distorting his record — along with President Obama’s — in order to do it.
Good Morning, Everyone! :-)
Ah yes, Mr. Paul Robeson, A TRUE AMERICAN HERO. Another Black man who called on AMERICA to live up to it’s promise, and was tautned, investigated, and labeled UNAMERICAN for doing so. Too brilliant and skilled to fit the lazy, dumb, uneducated negro stereotype.
Thank you, rikyrah for highlighing Mr. Robeson today.
Good Morning, Everyone :)