Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Carole King Week!

Happy MUN-dane, Everyone. this week 3 Chics’ featured artist is Carole King.

Wiki: Carole King (born February 9, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist.[1] King and her former husband Gerry Goffin wrote more than two dozen chart hits for numerous artists during the 1960s, many of which have become standards. As a singer, her Tapestry album topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971, and remained on the charts for more than six years.

She was most successful as a performer in the first half of the 1970s, although she was a successful songwriter long before and long after. She had her first number 1 hit as a songwriter in 1961 at age 18, with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”, which she wrote with Goffin. In 1997, she co-wrote “The Reason” for Aerosmith, but instead it was sung by Celine Dion.

In 2000, Joel Whitburn, a Billboard Magazine pop music researcher, named her the most successful female songwriter of 1955–99, because she wrote or co-wrote 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry. Her most recent non-compilation album is Live at the Troubadour, a collaboration with James Taylor, which reached number 4 on the charts in its first week, and has sold over 600,000 copies.[3][4]

She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. In 2009, Carole King was inducted into the “Hit Parade” Hall of Fame. Her album Tapestry once held the record for the longest time an album by a solo female artist remained at number one until it was first broken by Whitney Houston for the album The Bodyguard, and later by Adele for the album 21.[5]


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85 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Carole King Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    OK; I said I wasn’t going to watch DWTS after that sammich-eating Bristol Palin was on, but Gladys night is a knockout this season and it’s “MOTOWN” themed tonight.

  2. Ametia says:

    Chris Matthews says that PBO is not calling the shots; the little people are. Here we go; the president is weak, he’s not leading. GTFOH


  3. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    April 23, 2012 12:43 pm

    Repealable But Not Replaceable

    By Ed Kilgore

    One of the positive byproducts of the looming threat that the Supreme Court will declare the Affordable Care Act (or key elements of it) unconstitutional is that more attention is gradually being paid to what, exactly, ObamaCare’s Republican critics would do to deal with the cost, access and quality issues it was designed to address.

    There’s a solid new LA Times article by Noam Levey that provides a good refresher course on Mitt Romney’s latest health care proposals, which are sort of an amalgam of what George W. Bush and John McCain proposed a few years back, along with the Ryan Budget’s treatment of Medicare and Medicaid.

    But TNR’s Jonathan Cohn has the best succinct description of how it all adds up:

    Estimates of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal, which Romney has embraced and which would likely be similar to his approach, have suggested that the cuts to Medicaid alone could take health insurance away from between 14 and 27 million people. That’s not including those who would lose out on coverage they stand to get, right now, from the Affordable Care Act.

    Not that Republicans seem to care much. They like to say their focus is on “cost” as opposed to “coverage.” I’m sure it’s an effective line politically: It suggests that Republicans are focused on the deserving insured, while Democrats are spending their time (and your money) on the less deserving uninsured.

    But that claim highly misleading. Under the Republican proposals, insurance would become cheaper mostly because it would cover less and would be available to fewer people who need it. Conservatives believe their system would encourage competition, but, more likely, it would encourage the kind of competition we have already: A competition among insurers to insure the least risky beneficiaries, rather than a competition to provide more efficient care to people who actually need medical care.

    So the “Replace” in the GOP “Repeal and Replace” agenda for health reform is a complete fraud in the sense that it does not even attempt to address the challenge of achieving universal access to affordable health care. The last large-scale effort by a Republican politician to do that was in Massachusetts, and it depended strictly on a federal commitment to Medicaid that its author now wants to scrap, along with a national version of his own handiwork. “Repeal and Ignore” would be a more accurate slogan.

  4. rikyrah says:

    April 23, 2012 4:27 PM
    The Trap

    By Ed Kilgore

    Speaking of questionable MSM reporting on political strategy, there seems to be a lot of confusion over the alleged “shift” in Obama messaging about Mitt Romney from “a flip-flopper with no core” to “severely conservative.” Today there’s a long Glenn Thrush/Jonathan Martin piece at Politico that reads like the co-authors were having an argument and just lashed it all together. One minute it seems the Obama campaign junked the “no core” attacks on the advice of Bill Clinton and pollster Benenson; then it appears they are pursuing the two themes simultaneously; and then that there is internal discord on the messaging.

    The sources for the “internal discord” interpretation are not exactly unimpeachable: John Weaver, who’s fresh from conducting the train wreck that was Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign, but has apparently retained his “genius strategist” rep in some circles; and Romney’s own spokesperson Andrea Saul, who says the supposed conflict is a sign of “a White House in search of a reason for reelection.”

    I don’t see a problem here. Of course the Obama camp emphasized the “no core” argument during the primaries, since it reinforced conservative doubts about Romney and also painted him as someone so character-less that he’d do or say whatever was necessary to win the nomination. Now that Mitt’s spent months and months pandering to conservative activists and blasting his opponents for ideological heresies real and imagined, it’s perfectly logical to point out how he’s harnessed himself to a political movement that’s partying like it’s 1964. But the “no core” attack line must be recalled now and then to turn on bright flashing lights whenever Romney tries to reposition himself, which he really does need to do lest he come across as Paul Ryan with a lot less personality.

    Is it really confusing or risky to depict Romney as an empty suit in the thrall of radicals? Weaver says something I’ve also heard from anxious Democrats who fear that calling Romney is flip-flopper could make him more attractive to swing voters: “Being a flip-flopper might actually help Romney. It shows he’s not an unreasonable person.”

    Really? People who don’t like the ideology Romney has been incessantly peddling for the last two presidential cycles are going to vote for him because they believe he’s an incorrigible liar?

    I don’t think so. Mitt has built a trap for himself throughout his public career, and Team Obama would be foolish not to bait it and spring it. Persuadable voters don’t much like flip-floppers and don’t much like “severly conservative” ideologues, either. And they really don’t like pols without the character to maintain a reasonably consistent point of view even as they ingratiate themselves to people who are unreasonably enslaved to an extremist ideology against which every decision made by Romney every single day of his presidency would be policed relentlessly and viciously.

  5. Ametia says:

    Ametia will be hanging with Gen 44 & Axelrod in Minneapolist tomorrow afternoon! :-)

  6. rikyrah says:

    pril 23, 2012, 1:24 pm
    Government by Executive Order

    President George W. Bush used his executive power to bypass Congress, almost as a matter of routine. Now President Barack Obama is pulling a similar stunt.

    I was appalled, and so was the Times editorial board (and so, in fact was Senator Barack Obama) when a Boston Globe reporter, Charlie Savage, documented Mr. Bush’s use of presidential signing statements and executive orders. But I am not appalled by the way Mr. Obama is relying on those instruments – as detailed in today’s Times by that same enterprising reporter, who now works for us. Context and intent make all the difference.

    Vice President Dick Cheney, as we wrote in a 2008 editorial, took “the bizarre view that the lesson of Watergate was that Congress was too powerful and the president not powerful enough.” After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush/Cheney team saw an opening to free the presidency from checks and balances. They exploited the fear and insecurity that were pervasive at the time to claim emergency powers, creating offshore detention centers where prisoners were held without charge and eavesdropping on Americans without a warrant.

    Mr. Bush’s signing statements not only amounted to a significant usurpation of power, but they came at a time when Congress was giving him everything he wanted. Congress passed the deeply flawed Patriot Act and authorized the invasion of Iraq. It even gave its retroactive approval to warrantless wiretapping. Mr. Bush also achieved many of his domestic policy goals, including tax breaks that mostly benefited the richest Americans.

    The contrast with the Obama administration is stark.

    For nearly three years, President Obama devoted a great deal of effort to finding compromises with Congressional Republicans. That was futile, in my view, since those Republicans had made it clear from the day he was inaugurated in 2009 that their plan was to oppose everything he wanted, and then paint him as a failed president. (Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, said his party’s “number one goal” was to keep the president from winning a second term.)

    Mr. Obama got fed up, finally, last fall, according to Mr. Savage’s article, and the result was the “We Can’t Wait” project, which has led to dozens of executive actions on a range of issues, including jobs for veterans and fuel economy standards.

    Unlike the Bush/Cheney team, Mr. Obama did not take office with the explicit goal of creating new powers for the presidency. That was not part of his agenda. Moreover, his executive actions often are more modest in their effect than the White House’s public relations team might admit.

    Government by executive order is not sustainable in the long-term. Nor is it desirable, whether you agree or disagree with those orders. But in this particular case, there may be no alternative.

  7. rikyrah says:

    SPIN METER: Romney roadmap leaves voters guessing
    By Steve Peoples
    Associated Press / April 23, 2012

    Mitt Romney’s roadmap for governing the country is so vague that it has even Republican allies questioning his intentions.

    “You have to campaign to govern, not just to win,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said in recent days after endorsing Romney. “Go ahead and have the confidence in the voters to explain the fix we’re in and then tell them with some specificity what we can do to get out of it in a way that’s good for everybody. Romney doesn’t talk that way.”

    It’s a sentiment other Republicans decline to express so publicly, and Daniels later downplayed his comment. But it’s one that accurately describes the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s general aversion to detail.

    In between heaping criticism on President Barack Obama, Romney spent the primary season sketching a broad conservative vision for leading the country should he win the White House. Supporters cheer his general plans for lower taxes, smaller government, a stronger military and a reduced federal deficit. But he’s offered few detailed prescriptions on a range of the country’s most pressing concerns from Social Security to potential military action in Iran. And in some cases where Romney and his aides have been specific, the former Massachusetts governor offers little significant change from the Democratic president he says is killing the American dream.

    The tactic is, of course, by design for a candidate eager to make the general election a referendum on Obama’s first term. The less voters know about Romney, the more they may focus on Obama. By avoiding difficult policy decisions, Romney gives his opponents less fuel for political attacks.

    The Obama campaign has noticed. And as the president’s team works to tie Romney to the GOP’s more conservative wing, Democrats are aggressively criticizing what they call Romney’s “secrecy strategy.”

    “Mitt Romney’s campaign has been based on one thing — deceptively attacking the president’s record. He’s been purposefully vague about what he’d do as president,” Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said. “If he wants to be taken seriously in this race, he needs to put money where his mouth is and provide some honest answers.”

    The Romney campaign says it has been more forthcoming than Obama in some areas, particularly on budget fixes for entitlement programs. Indeed, Obama has not proposed comprehensive plans to address the financial problems facing either Social Security or Medicare.

    Romney has not done much better, however.

    He has introduced a Medicare plan that transforms the popular health care program for seniors into a voucher system, but declines to say how much seniors may have to pay out of pocket. On Social Security, he says generally that he would raise the retirement age “for future generations.”

    The fuzzy positions are consistent with Romney’s pattern of embracing politically popular choices — tax cuts and smaller government, for example — while ignoring the realities he would face as president, such as how to pay for those tax cuts or regulate business to prevent another economic meltdown. His campaign refuses to say whether he will offer specifics in some cases even before the November election.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM PDT
    Mitt Romney panders to youth vote, supports low student loan rates

    by Kaili Joy Gray

    Well, this will no doubt get Mitt Romney in hot water with his fellow Republicans:

    “Particularly with the number of college graduates that can’t find work and can only find work well beneath their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans,” Romney said. “There was some concern that that would expire halfway through the year and I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates on students as a result of student loans obviously, in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.”

    Given that half of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, which makes paying off those student loans all but impossible, that’s a pretty good reason to keep the interest rates low on their loans, as President Obama is proposing.

    But of course, since Republicans hate students and college and people who struggle to make ends meet—Rep. Virginia Foxx, for example, has “little tolerance” for those deadbeat college graduates who have student loans—the Republican Party isn’t exactly in favor of such a proposal. At least, not unless they get something out of it. That’s why Mike Huckabee has proposed extending the disastrous Bush tax cuts in exchange for keeping student loan rates low.

    And then there’s the Romney-endorsed Paul Ryan budget, which would slash the hell out of Pell grants, which currently makes college affordable for nine million students. Pell grants, by the way, happen to be one of the many programs that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has specifically said to members of Congress must be protected and funded because of Jesus and stuff.

    So even though his party has a specific plan to screw college students—a plan Mitt Romney thinks is peachy and freedomy—he’s going rogue and getting behind the president’s plan, and the reason is pretty clear: His deficit with voters 18-29 is just about as ugly as his deficit with women voters.

    But maybe a few pretty words can fix all that for Mitt, so he’s telling students their low interest rates are just the right height. And if he says just the right words, maybe it’ll make that 17-point gap disappear. At least, that’s what Mitt’s hoping:

    “I think young voters of this country have to vote for me,” Romney said.

    Sure they do, Mitt. Sure they do.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:02 PM PDT
    Planned Parenthood believes it’s being targeted with another hidden camera sting operation

    by Laura Clawson
    It looks like, once again, Planned Parenthood is the target of a hidden-camera, actor-with-fake-questions sting operation. This time, instead of the good old pimps-n-hos routine, it’s sex-selective abortion:

    According to Planned Parenthood spokesperson Chloe Cooney, clinics in at least 11 states have reported two dozen or more “hoax visits” over the past several weeks, in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant and asks a particular pattern of provocative questions about sex-selective abortions, such as how soon she can find out the gender of the fetus, by what means and whether she can schedule an abortion if she’s having a girl.

    Subtle! The anti-choice crowd’s big new thing is that, in the words of National Right to Life president Carol Tobias, “the real war on women” is that “roughly half” of abortions “are performed on unborn girls.” Since roughly half of pregnancies are girls, that makes a general sort of statistical sense, though since the vast, overwhelming majority of abortions are performed long before sex can be determined, it’s absolutely beside the point when it comes to a war on women. But that claim is the new shiny toy of the right’s attempts to distract us from the very real war on women they’re waging, so coming up with a video suggesting that Planned Parenthood staff would advocate specifically aborting girls is just the sort of thing they’d think would be a major victory.

    The best bet is that this sting attempt is the work of Live Action, this sort of thing being that group’s raison d’etre. However:

  10. Ametia says:


  11. rikyrah says:

    A daughter grows from 0 to 12 — in 2 minutes and 45 seconds

    ​What parent hasn’t heard the adage, “Enjoy them, for they grow up so fast,” or, gazing upon their grown creation, whisper to themselves, “Oh, where has the time gone?” Frans Hofmeester filmed his daughter every week for 624 weeks to make this moving clip, which shows her life unfold from the day of her birth to the day she turns 12.

  12. Ametia says:

    What’s up with this NEGRO?!

  13. Ametia says:


  14. Ametia says:


  15. Ametia says:

    Sanford Commission votes against police chief’s resignation
    Move comes in wake of Trayvon Martin shooting investigation

    Published On: Apr 23 2012 01:32:58 PM EDT Updated On: Apr 23 2012 05:26:34 PM EDT

    SANFORD, Fla. –
    The Sanford City Commission has voted to deny the resignation on Monday of Police Chief Bill Lee Jr., who temporarily stepped down from his position in connection to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

    Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett called the special meeting with city commissioners Monday afternoon. Commissioners voted 3-2 against the resolution, which would have allowed City Manager Norton Bonaparte to execute the separation agreement for Lee. Under the agreement, Lee would have resigned from his post, effective at midnight.

    Lee will stay on administrative leave until the outside investigation is completed, officials said. It’s not clear when that will

    Two of the commissioners that voted against the agreement, Commissioner Patty Mahany and Commissioner Randy Jones, spoke highly of Lee in a heated debate.

    Mahany said she wouldn’t accept the agreement because it was “hastily put together” and said she wasn’t notified of the special meeting until 11:30 a.m. Monday. Mahan said she was devastated by the treatment of Lee, calling him one of “the finest police officers” in the community.

    “This is a man who is a medal of valor winner,” Mahany said. “I am physically sick over these proceedings and treatment of Chief Lee. What did the chief do wrong?”

    Mahany said that both Lee and other commissioners are also enduring allegations of being racists.

  16. Ametia says:

    Dear Rep Boehner, & GOP Douchebags enjoy these cupcakes, sent in gratitude for all your efforts on behalf of women.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 01:35 PM PDT.

    Breaking: New Poll shows Arizona a 42%-40% Toss Up between Obama and Romney

    Many of you have been wondering when we’ll get a new poll out from AZ; well here you go. From the Tucson Sentinel: The statewide Merrill/Morrison Institute poll of 488 registered voters found 42 percent said they would vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Romney, while 40 percent said they would support Obama. Eighteen percent were undecided in the poll, which had a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

    The electorate is divided along party lines, the poll found: 80 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Romney, 78 percent of Democrats for Obama.

    Independents appear to be breaking slightly more for Obama (38 percent) than Romney (28 percent), but the sample of voters not registered with the major parties was small. Further, 34 percent of the 166 independents polled remained undecided.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Predicting Election Outcomes
    by BooMan
    Mon Apr 23rd, 2012 at 04:24:22 PM EST

    When it comes to predicting the outcome of presidential elections, I get pretty bored with the sophisticated models of academics who look at GDP growth and unemployment figures and right track/wrong track or personal popularity polling numbers. Every election is significantly different from every other, and you can do better with a model that predicts that the taller candidate will win than with any model yet produced. To make a prediction about this election, you need to look at what is different about it. And you need to look at instances in history that share some features.

    Elizabeth Drew does a decent job of the first part, but she ignores the second. The single most distinct thing about this election is Mitt Romney. Obama has run before. Romney has never been in a general election campaign for president . He is the beginning point for predicting what will happen. You can look at Romney through polling numbers, or you can just go with your gut. It’s probably best to do both. Most recent polling shows that about a third of likely voters have a favorable impression of him, and this is before the Obama campaign lays a glove on him, and before Romney sullies himself with apocalyptically negative attack ads. Why do so few people like Romney? Elizabeth Drew takes a whack at it:

    The frequency of Romney‘s displays of awkwardness is something rarely seen in a party’s nominee. The nature of Romney’s stumbles—his wife Ann has “a couple of Cadillacs”—is also unusual…
    …He just cannot help reminding audiences that he’s very wealthy, and often comes across as simply uncomfortable in dealing with those outside his own narrow world. It’s not just that both he and Ann were raised in plush circumstances—she perhaps even more so, with nannies and horses in the posh Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills—but that neither of them seems to understand how different their lives have been from that of all but a very few. This may explain why even going for the presidency he didn’t bother to pull out funds he’d stashed away in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland or hold off in expanding their home in La Jolla in a $12 million renovation, including an elevator for the four-car garage. The symbolism of such things goes well beyond the “tin ear,” and suggests a paralyzing inability to understand the circumstances of most others: What else can explain Romney’s look of disgust as he disdained the cookies the hostess had placed before him when he met with a middle class group around a picnic table in Bethel, Pennsylvania? ( “I don’t know about those cookies”—which in his narrow-vision he perhaps thought had come from a 7-11.) These stumbles go way beyond George H. W. Bush’s lack of familiarity with grocery store bar codes. How are the voters, and if he were to become president the citizens, going to react to this kind of talk?

    In 2004, relating the young married couple’s hardship living a basement apartment while they completed their studies at Brigham Young University, Ann Romney said that if things got too difficult her husband sold some stocks his father had given him. The couple’s apparent sole interest in sports is horseback riding and their one sports passion is dressage horses (which cost an estimated $250,000-$300,000 a year to maintain). Being wealthy doesn’t automatically mean that a politician cannot connect with the middle class or the poor: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F Kennedy, for example, were at ease about their good fortune, and both could see well beyond their manicured estates.

    Romney thinks he is very funny—he and his wife say so—and he laughs a lot at his own jokes, but his jokes tend to be duds, and he lacks wit. He doesn’t get it that telling a group of waitresses that he’s unemployed wasn’t terribly funny. It got less so as it was revealed that he is being paid about $20 million by Bain Capital for doing nothing for the company.

    Of course, Ms. Drew only scratched the surface of Romney’s strangeness. She didn’t mention the dog on the roof or his rendition of “Who Let the Dogs Out,” or his assertion that corporations are people, or his unfamiliar religion with its many quirks. Most people don’t know anyone who is remotely like Mitt Romney, and it’s not just because he’s so wealthy. We know egomaniacs like Mark Cuban and Donald Trump. We know geeks like Bill Gates. Wealth alone is not alienating.

    But Romney has many more problems than his inability to connect with average voters. The two biggest are his shocking lack of internal consistency and his adoption of the whole modern Republican Party’s agenda. He is the biggest flip-flopper this country has ever produced. He has changed positions on every major domestic issue facing this country. And during the campaign he has sometimes changed a position in the evening that he took at midday. In embracing the Paul Ryan budget plan, he has jettisoned any argument that he is a moderate fiscally responsible Republican. In rejecting immigration reform, climate change legislation, gay rights, and women’s rights, he’s turned away from any form of cultural moderation. These are all flip-flops, too.

    So, Romney is a candidate who is embraced by neither party, who can’t connect with average people, who has committed the cardinal sin of becoming the dictionary definition of unprincipled, who has abandoned both cultural and economic moderation, and who has to defend a plan that defies all mathematical and scientific analysis.

    I don’t think we’ve ever seen a candidate with that many liabilities. But we have seen two other candidates who suffered similar disabilities. In 1972, George McGovern rode a wave of liberal muscularity and became the Democratic nominee. His problem was that the party bosses didn’t like him and didn’t lift a finger to support him. McGovern presided over a fatally-divided party, but at least he produced genuine enthusiasm. He won one state.

    Walter Mondale’s party wasn’t as divided. There were a lot of folks who supported Gary Hart or Jesse Jackson in the primaries, but they weren’t about to vote for Reagan. Mondale’s problem was that he couldn’t attract moderate income white voters. They even came up with a term for it: Reagan Democrats. What happened with Mondale was that liberals lost the argument with Ronald Reagan. The middle moved decisively to the right where it has stayed ever since. Mondale won one state.

    To me, Romney is reminiscent of both McGovern and Mondale. Not since McGovern has a party nominated someone who is actively disliked by the party elites. The difference is that this time Romney is disliked by the party base, too. He also shares with Mondale a charisma deficit vis-a-vis his opponent. And I think he shares with Mondale a political message that just will not sell.

    Romney has certain advantages not enjoyed by McGovern and Mondale. First among them is the Citizens United ruling that allows unlimited spending by billionaires and corporations on his behalf. Another is the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine, which allowed the proliferation of right-wing radio and the creation of Fox News. Another is a series of neo-Jim Crow anti-voting laws aimed at disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of likely Democratic voters. These things give him a puncher’s chance, as does the weakness of the economy. But, overall, this should not be another nail-biter of an election.

    These are not two equally matched opponents and they are not selling equally matched plans and policies. This is a welterweight against a heavyweight. It should not be a close fight.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:35 AM PDT.

    Fox ‘News’ teed up Mitt Romney’s silver spoon Fauxtrage with fabricated quote from President Obama
    by Jed Lewison

    Remember Mitt Romney’s righteous indignation last week after President Obama said he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth? It was bizarre because Romney seemed to think President Obama was talking about him, even though he wasn’t. It’s a line Obama has used repeatedly over the years to talk about the importance of giving everybody the opportunity to get a good education.

    Well, it turns out that Romney may have been misled about what Obama actually said. The question he was answering—from Fox News host Steve Doocy—included a key fabrication. Obama, Doocy claimed, had said “unlike some people” before saying he wasn’t born with a spoon in his mouth. But those words were never spoken by President Obama, nor were they in his prepared remarks.

    If Romney was unaware of what President Obama actually said, his answer makes a little bit more sense given Doocy’s false characterization of Obama’s remarks. Given Romney’s pattern of deception throughout the campaign, however, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was simply taking Doocy’s false quote and running with it, knowing full well what Obama had actually said. But even if he was unaware, he shouldn’t have simply taken Doocy’s word for it, because when you hear something on Fox that’s too perfect to be true … it almost always is.


  20. rikyrah says:

    A ‘wheeling and dealing Miami lobbyist’
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:30 PM EDT.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) hit the campaign trail today, appearing alongside Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, and Romney’s national press secretary, Andrea Saul, was only too pleased to show the two Republicans together.

    But ABC’s Jonathan Karl had an interesting catch, noting what Saul used to to say about Rubio, just a couple of years ago.

    “Rubio has proved he is just another typical politician who uses his public office for personal gain and only comes clean once caught.”

    * “With each passing day, voters are beginning to see the real Speaker Rubio, a tax raising Miami lobbyist-politician who has used public office for personal gain and political donations as a personal slush fund.”

    * “This Marco Rubio is a wheeling and dealing Miami lobbyist and politician, always trying to scam the system for his personal benefit.”

    * “Instead of answering all of the many questions surrounding his questionable spending habits, Speaker Rubio instead continues to do the Rubio hustle and refuses to release his tax returns in a timely manner.”

    All of these quotes came directly from Andrea Saul, Romney’s press secretary, back when she was running a Republican against Rubio in Florida.

    One assumes she’s saying nicer things about the far-right senator today.

    Still, there are some quotes that are tough to walk back. To hear Saul tell it, Rubio, as recently as 2010, was a corrupt scam artist who hid his tax returns. Saul is an experienced pro, and I’m sure if Rubio is chosen as Romney’s running mate, she’ll come up with a creative way to say she didn’t mean any of the things she said just two years ago, but it won’t be easy.

    As Karl’s report concluded, “[S]ome of the harshest things you will find said about Marco Rubio in the public record were said by the person who now speaks for Mitt Romney.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Sugar Daddies
    The old, white, rich men who are buying this election.
    .By Frank Rich
    Published Apr 22, 2012

    If you want to appreciate what Barack Obama is up against in 2012, forget about the front man who is his nominal opponent and look instead at the Republican billionaires buying the ammunition for the battles ahead. A representative example is Harold Simmons, an 80-year-old Texan who dumped some $15 million into the campaign before primary season had ended. Reminiscing about 2008, when he bankrolled an ad blitz to tar the Democrats with the former radical Bill Ayers, Simmons told The Wall Street Journal, “If we had run more ads, we could have killed Obama.” It is not a mistake he intends to make a second time. The $15 million Simmons had spent by late February dwarfs the $2.8 million he allotted to the Ayers takedown and the $3 million he contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans demolition of John Kerry four years before that. Imagine the cash that will flow now that the GOP sideshows are over and the president is firmly in Simmons’s crosshairs.

    His use of the verb killed was meant in jest, of course, much as Foster Friess ($1.8 million in known contributions, and counting) was joking when he suggested that “gals” could practice birth control by putting Bayer aspirin between their knees. America’s billionaires are such cards! And we had better get used to their foibles and funny bones. Whatever else happens in 2012, it will go down as the Year of the Sugar Daddy. Inflamed by Obama-hatred, awash in self-pity, and empowered by myriad indulgent court and Federal Election Commission rulings, an outsize posse of superrich white men will spend whatever it takes to have its way with the body politic and, if victorious, with the country itself. Given the advanced age of most of this cohort, 2012 may be seen as the election in which the geezer empire struck back.

    This isn’t quite what was supposed to happen. When the Supreme Court handed down its five-to-four Citizens United decision in 2010, pre-vetting Mitt Romney’s credo that “corporations are people,” apocalyptic Democrats, including Obama, predicted that the election would become a wholly owned subsidiary of the likes of Chevron and General Electric. But publicly traded, risk-averse corporations still care more about profits than partisanship. They tend to cover their bets by giving to both parties. And they are fearful of alienating customers and investors. Witness, most recently, the advertisers who fled Rush Limbaugh, or the far bigger brands (­McDonald’s and Wendy’s, Coke and Pepsi) that severed ties with the conservative lobbying mill responsible for pushing state “stand your ground” laws like the one used to justify the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. While corporations and unions remain serious players in the campaign of 2012, their dollars don’t match those of the sugar daddies, who can and do give as much as they want to the newfangled super-PACs.

    Sugar daddies—whom I’ll define here as private donors or their privately held companies writing checks totaling $1 million or more (sometimes much more) in this election cycle—are largely a Republican phenomenon, most of them one degree of separation from Karl Rove and his unofficial partners in erecting a moneyed shadow GOP, David and Charles Koch. At last look, there were 25 known sugar daddies on the right (or more, if you want to count separately the spouses and children who pitch in). You’ve likely heard of Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas tycoon who is Benjamin Netanyahu’s unofficial ambassador to the GOP. But you may be less familiar with Irving Moskowitz, the bingo entrepreneur who funnels his profits into East Jerusalem settlements. Or Robert Mercer, the hedge-fund master of “flash trading” who poured a clandestine $1 million into ads attacking the “ground-zero mosque” and nearly another $3 million into a scale-model railroad in his Long Island mansion. Or Steven Lund, the co-founder of Nu Skin, which became “direct selling” sponsor of the Romney-run 2002 Winter Olympics after having spent much of the nineties settling complaints over false advertising and other unscrupulous practices with the Federal Trade Commission and six different states’ attorneys general.

    The list of 25 does not include donors whose names we may never know: those who are legally allowed to remain anonymous when giving to patently political “social welfare” nonprofits like Rove’s Crossroads GPS. That particular Rove money drop reported to the IRS last week that nearly 90 percent of its first $76.8 million haul (from June 2010 through December 2011) had come from two dozen donors giving $1 million or more, including two contributions of $10 million each. While Obama has his own super-PAC–“social welfare” nonprofit combo, the proceeds totaled only a pathetic $6.7 million last year. A paltry $100,000 contribution is all it takes for a Democratic donor to get priority access to the White House, according to the New York Times. George Soros is on the sidelines, and Obama so far has claimed only two sugar daddies of his own: Bill Maher and DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. Their products may at times emit noxious fumes—let us briefly ­recall Maher’s 1989 big-screen turn in Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death—but even the biggest show-business bombs can’t roil the environment like, say, Harold Simmons’s vast Texas site for dumping radioactive waste.

  22. rikyrah says:

    What Other Choice Does He Have?
    by BooMan
    Mon Apr 23rd, 2012 at 10:31:40 AM EST

    The New York Times notices that the president has been forced to resort to unilateral executive action to get things done because Congress is broken. The Times even noticed something else:

    For their part, Republicans appear to have largely acquiesced. Mr. [Chuck] Grassley said in an interview that his colleagues were reluctant to block even more bills and nominations in response to Mr. Obama’s “chutzpah,” lest they play into his effort to portray them as making Congress dysfunctional.

    “Some of the most conservative people in our caucus would adamantly disagree with what Obama did on recess appointments, but they said it’s not a winner for us,” he said.

    t’s funny how it’s almost a universal truth that you can get a bully to back down if only you will stand up to him. The pace of judicial confirmations has picked up substantially since the Republican landslide in 2010. The Republicans complain about everything, but they’re not doing anything substantial about the president’s new focus on using the executive branch to bypass Congress. Yes, they are sending an amicus brief to a case that challenges Obama’s recess appointments, but their heart isn’t in it.

    On some level I think they recognize the president has to act. If he can’t get Congress to do anything, he must find another way. To insist otherwise is to insist on a completely impotent president.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:11 AM PDT.

    Mike Huckabee proposes keeping student loan rates low in exchange for keeping the Bush tax cuts
    by Laura Clawson

    Mike Huckabee has a modest proposal for how to keep student loan rates low, as President Obama is pushing to do. The former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality thinks, correctly, that doubling interest rates “would be the essence of a tax increase” and is urging Republicans to “Get out in front of the issue. Congratulate the president for bringing it up.”
    That’s big of him. I mean, it’s not many professional Republicans who would say anything as generous as “congratulate the president,” or take the side of struggling college students.

    Only, Huckabee did have one wee trade in mind:

    Now, this is the same reason we want to keep taxes low, Mr. President. Why don’t you meet us on that one? We will give you this and you give us a guarantee that we will extend the Bush tax cuts. We can call them the Obama tax cuts and make you our hero.

    On the one hand, we have the Bush tax cuts, which added $2.6 trillion to the debt between 2001 and 2010 and went disproportionately to the wealthy, with the top 1 percent getting 38 percent of the benefit. On the other hand, we have $6 billion a year in student loan interest divided among nearly 8 million students each year. How’s that for a fair trade?

    Huckabee isn’t even quite putting a velvet glove over the iron hand of class warfare here. Saying “give the top 0.1 percent an annual tax break of $520,000 and we’ll let college kids pay 3.4 percent instead of 6.8 percent on their loans” is more like a velour glove worn completely through in patches, but compared to the iron hand wielding a branding iron that characterizes the leaders of his party, I guess this helps him pass for a “compassionate conservative.”


  24. Ametia says:

    Watched Part 1 of Mr. Poitier on Oprah’s Masterclass last night. It was AWESOME!

  25. rikyrah says:

    Why Obama Needs 4, Not 5, Justices To Overturn Arizona Immigration Law

    In the upcoming Arizona immigration law Supreme Court case, President Obama will need the votes of four justices to achieve victory and invalidate its key provisions.

    Why not five? Because Justice Elena Kagan, who was the administration’s Solicitor General when the lawsuit was filed, has recused herself. That leaves eight justices to hear the case. And the rules are that a hypothetical 4-4 tie would affirm the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ holding that major parts of the law are unconstitutional.

    A 4-4 tie would mean the ruling does not apply to similar laws in other states, however, and would leave open the possibility of future lawsuits to settle the larger constitutional questions.

    So, how does the math look now?

    “The government can count on the votes of [Justices] Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg. [Justice] Thomas, who has argued against implied preemption in the past, is likely to side with Arizona,” said Adam Winkler, a professor at UCLA School of Law. “That leaves [Justices] Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito in play.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    Did Mitt Romney Just Throw Kris Kobach Under The Bus?

    Evan McMorris-Santoro April 23, 2012, 2:20 PM

    Mitt Romney appeared to publicly split on Monday with his “informal” immigration adviser, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, setting up a general election pivot in which Romney potentially turns his back on the far-right anti-immigration sector of the GOP he courted heavily in the primary.

    At a press conference with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Monday, Romney said
    Rubio’s nascent DREAM Act proposal, which offers the children of illegal immigrants a way to remain in the country, should pass muster with conservatives like Kobach. Kobach strongly opposes the DREAM Act on the grounds that it would provide amnesty to law-breakers — but Rubio’s proposal differs from Democratic versions of the DREAM Act, which offers a path to citizenship.

    Kobach himself has said that Rubio’s proposal falls short of his test. Split between two men whose endorsement he touted, Romney appears to be leaning toward Rubio.

    The political calculus of such a move is obvious. Romney faces a deep deficit in the polls with the Latino electorate, and Republicans have said that Rubio’s DREAM Act could help close that gap. But immigration is one of few issues on which Romney has bona fides with the conservative wing of the GOP. During the primaries, Romney used his cred with that faction of the party to attack Texas Gov. Rick Perry for supporting in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants — the so-called “Texas Dream Act.”

    Romney has been distancing himself from Kobach as of late, pivoting away from the man he proudly touted “on the team” in January while praising the strict immigration law in Arizona Kobach helped to create.

    Other conservatives have echoed Kobach’s concern with Rubio’s plan, saying it doesn’t stand up to their scrutiny.

    Rep. Steve King (R-IA), told the New York Times that Rubio’s proposal would play into the hands of the Democrats:

    Congress must first “re-establish the rule of law” with illegal immigrants before offering any of them legal status. Mr. Rubio’s proposal would simply do the Democrats’ political bidding, Mr. King said.
    Democrats “see people in this country illegally as undocumented Democrats,” Mr. King said Thursday. “Do Republicans engage in that?”

    Kobach told the Washington Post Rubio’s plan doesn’t sit right with him.

    “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.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    Romney Stands Up For Voter ID Laws

    At a town hall in Aston, Pa., on Monday, Mitt Romney expressed his support for voter ID laws being pushed in several states around the country.

    “We ought have voter identification so we know who’s voting and we have a record of that,” Romney said. Romney said the attorney general is trying to thwart such measures.

    Sen. Marco Rubio, campaigning with Romney, also weighed in, saying he shows his ID when making purchases or getting on a plane. “What’s the big deal? What is the big deal?”

    This isn’t the first time Romney has discussed his support for voter ID laws.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 04/23/2012
    Elizabeth Warren is no `elitist’
    By Greg Sargent

    Scott Brown and national Republicans have spent a great deal of time lately describing Elizabeth Warren as an elitist. In a steady stream of press releases and statements, they have regularly referred to her in sneering tones as “Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren,” which they seem convinced will be viewed by Massachusetts voters as a negative.

    That’s the context for this new ad the Warren campaign released today. Warren reminds voters that she grew up in modest circumstances and points to higher education’s role in helping her get ahead. She also tries to appropriate the issue of student loans as her own:

    The ad underscores the degree to which both sides view Warren’s biography and character — and voter perceptions of it — as central to the campaign’s outcome. But Warren’s ad is about more than reminding voters that her upbringing was anything but “elitist.” It’s also about pivoting off her life story to reframe the race’s central argument over government and taxation as one about fiscal values and priorities.

    As I noted here the other day, one of the key dynamics in the race is that voters have already accepted that Brown is likeable and independent — but a huge bloc reamins undecided anyway. The race will turn heavily on whether Warren can clear a basic likeability threshold — and why Brown’s allies have spent months attacking her as an elitist in order to drive up her negatives. The attacks on Warren’s character are aimed at the 800,000 or so voters who didn’t come out during Brown’s 2010 special election but will come out in a presidential year, many of whom may be Obama supporters.

    The “elitist” attack has been everywhere. Most recently, Brown and Republicans have rolled out the silly argument that Warren’s failure to voluntarily pay higher taxes on her own proves she’s an elitist hypocrite, given her call for higher taxes on the wealthy.

    The new Warren ad suggests Dems see the issue of student loans as a good way to reframe the argument over taxes and the need for more goverment investment in the future. Indeed, Obama himself is launching a campaign on this front, too. In the spot, Warren showcases herself as an example of what education can do to create opportunity for those struggling to hang on to the middle class, and adds:

    Today, Washington lets big corporations like GE pay nothing. Zero in taxes. While kids are left drowning in debt to get an education. This isn’t about economics. It’s about our values.
    Republicans are spinning Warren as a pointy-headed Harvard professor who thinks she knows how to spend ordinary folks’ money better than they do. Warren wants voters to get to know a maintenance man’s daughter who made good through education and hard work, and as a result knows how urgently we need to take action to shore up and sustain the middle class. The question of which Warren undecideds accept could decide the race.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 04/23/2012
    The Romney pivot is underway
    By Greg Sargent

    Today, during an exchange with reporters, Mitt Romney had some nice things to say about Paris. That’s commanding a lot of attention already on Twitter and elsewhere.

    But this quote from Romney, in which he offered his support for the push to extend low interest rates on student loans — something Obama has been championing — is far more important:

    I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans. There was some concern that would expire halfway through the year. I support extending the temporarily relief on interest rates…in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.
    And so the pivot is underway. At his press availability today, Romney had not even been asked about the student loan push — yet he deliberately went out of his way to clarify his support for the extension, anyway.

    This would seem to put Romney at odds with Congressional Republicans. Obama has launched an all-out push to get Congress to extend a provision of a 2007 law that is set to expire on July 1st — doubling the interest rate for nearly eight million students each year. Congressional Republicans are expected to oppose it along party lines, arguing that the extension represents a fiscally irresponsible effort to buy the youth vote. But now Romney appears to have come out for it.

    Michael Steel, a spokesman for John Boehner, denied that Romney’s position is necessarily at odds with that of House Republicans, telling me that Congressional GOPers are still committeed to finding a way to extend low interest rates. But asked if Republicans supported Obama’s push to extend the law immediately, Steel wouldn’t say.

    And Romney’s stance does seem at odds with that of Republicans like Rep. John Kline, the chair of the House education committee, who said recently: “We must now choose between allowing interest rates to rise or piling billions of dollars on the backs of taxpayers.”

    Romney laid down a harder line against government help with student loans during the primary. In March, a high school senior from Ohio asked Romney at a town hall meeting what he would do to help students pay for college. Romney replied: “It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that…don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”

    But the student loan fight is one that seems tailor made for Obama to use against Romney. The GOP candidate claims that instead of favoring government activism to combat inequality, we should simply unshackle the private sector and allow it to create opportunity for everyone. The student loan fight gives Obama and Dems a good way to call the GOP’s “opportunity” bluff,” by asking why Republicans who claim expanding opportunity is the real way to combat inequality refuse to support government action that will facilitate it.

    At any rate, at a time when Romney is making an aggressive bid for the youth vote, arguing that Obama is responsible for the unemployment travails of recent college grads, it appears Romney has decided he can’t afford to oppose extending the low interest rates Obama is pushing for right now.

  30. rikyrah says:

    So much for the vast left-wing conspiracy
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:02 PM EDT.

    Mitt Romney raised a few eyebrows last week when he told Breitbart TV that he’s concerned about a “conspiracy” between journalists and the left that may derail his presidential campaign.

    There will be an effort by the quote ‘vast left-wing conspiracy’ to work together to put out their message and to attack me,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said. He added, “Many in the media are inclined to do the president’s bidding.”

    It was odd enough that Romney was chatting with Breitbart TV in the first place, but the reference to a “vast left-wing conspiracy” was even more peculiar.

    Fox News found it persuasive, arguing the conspiracy exists, but if it does, the conspirators are wildly incompetent. Adam Serwer had this report today on the latest research from the Pew Research Center’s Excellence in Journalism Project

    The Liberal Media has consistently given more positive coverage to likely Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to President Barack Obama, according to a new survey of media coverage from the Pew Research Center’s Excellence in Journalism Project.

    During the early weeks of 2012, Romney’s media coverage was slightly negative — between January 2 and February 26, 33 percent of the stories about the ex-Massachusetts governor were positive and 37 percent were negative, according to Pew’s analysis. But Romney has received mostly positive coverage since then (47 percent positive to 24 percent negative). By contrast, according to the report, President Barack Obama “did not have a single week in 2012 when positive coverage exceeded negative coverage.”

    One could argue that the media’s tone on Obama was consistently negative for objective reasons — the state of the economy, for example, or Americans’ disagreement with the president’s foreign policy. But the negative coverage of Obama hasn’t been particularly substantive — only 18 percent of coverage of Obama has been on domestic issues, with two percent on foreign issues.

  31. rikyrah says:

    27 Photos Taken By The Worlds Most Creative Dad

    Wedding photographer Jason Lee couldn’t take his daughters to see his mother when she was diagnosed with cancer, so he came up with the idea to take these creative photographs of his daughters to post on his blog

    the pics are adorable

  32. rikyrah says:

    Essence Removes White Editor After Racially Offensive Facebook Posts

    Essence Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Constance White, was forced to back pedal when one of her editors, Michael Bullerdick (pictured below), forgot that even a “private” Facebook page (pictured below) can still end up embarrassing you in public.

    Bullerdick, the infamous White guy hired at Essence as a Managing Editor last summer, has turned out to be the kind of Right Wing, Fox News watching, Tea Party attending, first Black president hating, extremist that we hear about in scary racist bedtime stories. Bullerdick isn’t just a man with a few conservative viewpoints, he’s the kind of Republican who is so angry at Black people and civil rights, that he puts it all over his Facebook page. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bullerdick owns one of those “Don’t Re-nig” bumper stickers that are all the rage among Right Wing nut jobs.

    Bullerdick was busted after the website Journal-isms sent a screenshot of his page to the editor. On the page, Bullerdick attacked civil rights leader Al Sharpton as a “Race Pimp”; went after President Barack Obama as a radical; and touted videos by the late Andrew Breitbart, who was responsible for getting former USDA official Shirley Sherrod fired; and attacking Attorney General Eric Holder. The commentary wasn’t just a matter of simple disagreement on policy, but was the kind of racial hatred that one would expect from the kind of Right Winger that even other Republicans might find embarrassing.

    Bullerdick is certainly not the kind of person who should be, in any way, responsible for the editorial content at what used to be a leading publication reflecting the views of Black women all across America. That would be like allowing Jesse Jackson to become a producer for the “Rush Limbaugh Show” or putting ex-stripper Nene Leakes in charge of this year’s debutante ball. The fit is awkward, to say the least, and not one that the majority of Black women or — Black America for that matter — would ever approve.

    Let’s be clear: Bullerdick being White is not the issue, although one could argue that there are thousands of talented Black female journalists locked out of White organizations who would be quite qualified to speak to the Black female experience in America. What is most problematic is the fact that Bullerdick is a guy who identifies with the values and beliefs of those who work night and day to preserve our nation’s long-held commitment to racial inequality.

    The union between Bullerdick and Essence Magazine was the kind of awkward arranged marriage that leaves the bride sobbing in the dressing room when she realizes she has no choice. One can also easily argue that this man has absolutely no respect for Essence Magazine, its readers or what the magazine represents to the black community. By showering his Facebook page with borderline racist, inflammatory rhetoric, while taking a paycheck from Essence, he is effectively saying, “I don’t care what any of you people think.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Internal Docs Show That ALEC By-Laws Allow Corporate Lobbyists To Overrule Legislators In PolicymakingBy Lee Fang posted Apr 23rd 2012 at 12:20PM

    The New York Times’ Mike McIntire published a bombshell story about the American Legislative Exchange Council this weekend. Using internal ALEC documents provided to the Times by Common Cause, a good government reform watchdog organization, McIntire revealed how the group’s policy task forces are designed so that corporate lobbyists — not state lawmakers — have the final say in developing legislation.

    As Republic Report and many other investigative outfits have uncovered, corporate lobbyists use ALEC as a front to develop radical giveaways to big business. ALEC drafts and enacts legislation designed to do everything from crushing competition in the telecom market to ensuring that big businesses do not have to pay for their pollution.

    McIntire’s scoop, however, provides a window into the internal structure of how the ALEC sausage is made:

    ALEC says that its lawmaker members have the ultimate say over its policy deliberations, and that no model bills are adopted unless its governing board, made up entirely of legislators, approves it. But the organization’s rules give corporations a great deal of influence on the task forces, where model legislation must first clear a preliminary vote before going to the board. As a result, meeting minutes show, draft bills that are preferred by a majority of lawmakers are sometimes killed by the corporate members at the table.

    In August, the telecommunications task force met and considered a model resolution regarding online piracy that had been introduced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Although AT&T, Verizon and AOL could not agree on the details, the lawmakers present overwhelmingly supported the resolution in a 17-to-1 vote. However, because the corporate members deadlocked 8 to 8, the bill failed.

    ALEC’s bylaws also grant its corporate members greater power over task force appointments. They say lawmakers can be removed from a task force leadership position for any reason, while private-sector members can be removed only “with cause,” like nonpayment of dues.

  34. rikyrah says:

    that sound you hear is the Romney campaign staff running into walls deliberately:

    At his townhall today, Willard spoke fondly of his FRENCH VACATIONS.

    hee hee hee hee hee.

    meanwhile, somewhere at the Prudential building in Chicago, in between playing Angry Birds, some intern is cutting the clip for youtube.

  35. Ametia says:

    Candy “CARBO” Crowley needs her AZZ whupped for asking that question.

    Candy Crowley To Rep. Cummings: Does Obama’s Race Make You More Concerned About His Security Than Bush?
    by Josh Feldman | 1:17 pm, April 22nd, 2012

    Cummings made it clear that he is always concerned about the security of the president, before acknowledging that many African-Americans have expressed “worry” about Obama’s security and the violent rhetoric used about the president.

    Watch the video below, courtesy of CNN:

  36. rikyrah says:

    Tulsa, Oklahoma’s racial divide bedevils plan to honor MLK
    Lindsay Morris


    8:39 p.m. CDT, April 22, 2012

    TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) – This city, where a history of racial tension was inflamed by the Good Friday shootings of five black people, plans to name a street in honor of civil rights pioneer Dr. Martin Luther King but only the section that passes through a predominantly black part of a city.

    The challenges in winning approval for the move and getting it put into place — including the need to scale the proposal down to get it passed by the largely white city council — illustrate Tulsa’s legacy of racial animosities and resistance to change.

    “Is there a racial divide in this town? Just look at the signs,” said Kavin Ross, 49, a black resident of Oklahoma’s second-largest city whose father, former state Representative Don Ross, helped pass the state’s hate-crime law.

    More than 900 streets in cities and towns across the country are named after King, according to Derek Alderman, a professor of geography at East Carolina University. Tulsa was late to join them, voting last summer to rename a portion of Cincinnati Avenue as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

    Tulsa is not a place most Americans think of as a racial flashpoint. Unlike the Deep South where slavery was the issue, some freed slaves around the time of the Civil War came to Oklahoma, an Indian Territory that would not become a state until 1907, to escape slavery and racial oppression.

    But a 1921 riot in Tulsa that left an untold number dead is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history, and residents of the 400,000-person city grew up hearing their parents’ horror stories of the events.

    Some citizens said that the shootings in north Tulsa on Good Friday, after which prosecutors brought murder and hate-crime charges against two white men, brought back painful memories of a rift that never healed.

    “The racial divide has been there forever,” said Jack Henderson, the sole black member of Tulsa’s city council. “You don’t have to have a street separating us to divide the city.”,0,5449768.story

  37. rikyrah says:

    American Nuns Reject Vatican’s Orders – Say They Are Not Going To Stop ‘Caring For The Least Among Us’
    April 22, 2012
    By Wendy Gittleson

    Last week, the order came down from the Vatican. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an organization that represents 80% of the nuns in the US, was chastised for “focusing its work too much on poverty and economic injustice, while keeping ‘silent’ on abortion and same-sex marriage.” The LCWR is having none of it. In a statement Saturday, the LCWR said,

    “We haven’t violated any teaching,” Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, told AFP, insisting the group would not stop “caring for the least among us on the margins of society.”

    “It was a total shock for many reasons, no one talked to us” during the inquiry, Campbell said.

    “We are a political, not doctrinal, organization: we don’t teach theology.”

    After the report was published, Campbell said it was “painfully obvious” the Vatican leadership was “not used to having educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.

    We will keep doing our mission,” she insisted in a phone interview Saturday, saying the group was founded to “lobby, organize and educate” in the name of social and economic justice.

    “There seems to the major disconnect, where (the Vatican) seem to think that faith can only lead to one political approach,” Campbell said. The Network group, she said, “speaks for our members, not for a church. Helping others is at the heart of our faith.”

    • Ametia says:

      These nuns are in the HABIT (PUN INTENDED) of boots on the ground work. I’m sure their middle fingers must be stiff from waving it at the Vatican. LOL

  38. Ametia says:

    Five steps President Obama has taken to protect our environment

    Read it here:

  39. rikyrah says:

    Sanford, Florida, Police Chief Bill Lee is resigning, after temporarily stepping down following Trayvon Martin shooting

  40. rikyrah says:

    Obama campaign to tour Ohio with auto rescue pitch

    By BYRON TAU | 4/23/12 11:02 AM EDT The Obama campaign hopes to win over Ohio voters with a statewide tour highlighting the rescue of the auto industry by President Obama.

    A procession of Chevrolet Cruzes and Chrysler Jeeps will tour the state and tell the stories of working people whose lives were impacted by the twin bailouts of the U.S. automakers in 2008 and 2009. While the auto industry is usually associated with Michigan, the campaign noted that 1 in 8 jobs in Ohio, a crucial swing state, are tied loosely to the auto industry.

    “The president made the right decision to step in and allow the companies to restructure,” former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland told reporters on a conference call.

    Mitt Romney, at this point the likely Republican nominee, argued in a 2008 op-ed entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” that the companies should go through a structured bankruptcy rather than a government-backed bailout. His critics have noted that without government funds, private lenders would have been unlikely to lend to teetering American automakers in the midst of a credit crunch.

    “No matter how much Mitt Romney tries to Etch-a-sketch his way out of wanting the auto industry to go bankrupt” there was not a single financial situation that was willing to give them the funds, United Auto Workers president Bob King told reporters.

    “Mitt Romney, as we know, urged that we just let the auto industry go bankrupt,” Strickland said. “Who knows what would have happened to these people’s livelihoods?”

    “This is really a choice between a president who chose to invest in American workers and American companies and save and create American jobs and Mitt Romney who has a history of outsourcing jobs, and liquidating jobs and taking his own personal wealth and putting it in foreign institution,” said Strickland.

    “That’s a stark contrast to me,” the former governor said.

  41. Ametia says:

    And finally, remember when Romney insisted there was a “vast, left-wing media conspiracy” against him? Looks like he should have read this study by Pew, which shows thatPresident Obama has actually been covered less favorably in the press than Romney

    How the Media Covered the 2012 Primary CampaignBarack Obama
    April 23, 2012

    Of all the presidential candidates studied in this report, only one figure did not have a single week in 2012 when positive coverage exceeded negative coverage—the incumbent, Democrat Barack Obama.

    While a sitting president may have access to the “bully pulpit,” that does not mean he has control of the media narrative, particularly during the other party’s primary season.

    In Obama’s case, his negative coverage was driven by several factors. One was the consistent criticism leveled at him by each of the Republican contenders during primary season. The other involved news coverage of issues—ranging from the tenuous economic recovery to the continuing challenges to his health care legislation—with which he was inextricably linked. An examination of the themes in Obama’s coverage also reveals that the coverage placed him firmly in campaign mode. His coverage that focused on the strategic frame exceeded that relating to policy issues by 3:1.

    Although Obama’s coverage in 2012 was consistently on the negative side, there were marked variations in the past few months.

    In January, the differential between the president’s positive and negative coverage was dramatic. In the four weeks, the percentage of negative assertions outnumbered positive ones by between 28 and 37 points.

    That tone, however, began to moderate in the first three weeks of February, when negative coverage exceeded positive by between 11 and 15 points.

  42. Ametia says:

    Romney To College Student: If You Want Affordable College, ‘Shop Around’ Or Join The Military
    By Travis Waldron on Mar 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    ROMNEY: The legislature in my state came together and said, ‘You know what, anyone that’s willing to serve in the National Guard, we’ll provide for tuition and fees for four years of college to make sure you get that start.’ So if you’re willing to serve, then we can be of more help. But my best advice is find a great institution of higher learning, find one that has the right price, and shop around. In America, this idea of competition, it works! […] I want to make sure that every kid in this country that wants to go to college gets the chance to go to college. If you can’t afford it, scholarships are available, shop around for loans, make sure you go to a place that’s reasonably priced, and if you can, think about serving the country ’cause that’s a way to get all that education for free.

  43. Ametia says:


    Read the 3 page memo here:

  44. Ametia says:

    President Obama has worked to keep college affordable, by capping monthly student loan payments at 10 percent of income, doubling funding for Pell Grants, and more


  45. Ametia says:

    Obama to launch student loan interest rate effort
    Written by Elgin Jones
    Monday, April 23, 2012 12:50:28 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama will make a three-state swing next week to call on Congress to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling.
    The White House says Obama will speak at universities in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa. All three are key general election battleground states.

    College-aged voters are also a critical constituency for the Obama campaign.

    The interest rate on a popular federally subsidized student loan will double in July unless Congress acts. The rate hike affects new subsidized Stafford loans, which are issued to low and middle income undergraduates.

    While in North Carolina, Obama will also make his first appearance on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” show. NBC says the show will tape a special broadcast Tuesday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Just like Bush, but ‘updated’

    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:30 PM EDT.

    In July 2010, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) unfortunately told the truth during an interview on “Meet the Press.” Republicans had high hopes about the midterm elections, and host David Gregory pressed the Republican leader about what the GOP would do with their majority. Sessions said his party wanted to “go back to the exact same agenda.”

    In context, the agenda Sessions wanted to “go back to” was that of the Bush/Cheney administration and the Republican Congress of 2006.

    Nearly two years later, Pat Garofalo reports on recent comments from Alexandra Franceschi, a press secretary for the Republican National Committee, who was similarly candid in an interview last week.

    For those who can’t watch or listen to clips online, Franceschi was asked how the 2012 Republican agenda differs from the policies of the Bush/Cheney era. “Is this a different program or is this that program just updated?” the host asked.

    Franceschi replied, “I think it’s that program, just updated.”

    This is, oddly enough, exactly what Democrats wanted to hear. For Dems, one of the principal goals of 2012 is to persuade American voters not to go backwards. Bush/Cheney left all kinds of crises for Obama/Biden to clean up, and Democrats will urge the electorate not to return to the failures of the recent past.


    The challenge for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party in 2012 is to put some distance between themselves and the debacle of the Bush presidency. This would be easier, of course, if Romney hadn’t brought on so many Bush aides as his top advisors, while pushing a policy agenda that’s eerily similar to Bush’s vision, only more right-wing.

    And it’d be much easier if an RNC press secretary weren’t effectively admitting that Democrats are right, conceding that the party simply intends to “update” the failed Bush agenda for another decade.

    It’s likely only a matter of time before we start seeing ads that say, “If you liked George W. Bush, you’ll love Mitt Romney.”

  47. rikyrah says:

    She’s an untouchable, but has a Midas touch

    She was called dirty, ugly, a “little packet of poison,” the offspring of donkeys. These days, Kalpana Saroj is called something else: a millionaire.
    Saroj, a dalit, or “untouchable,” epitomizes what was once unthinkable in India: upward mobility for someone whose caste long meant she would die as she was born: uneducated, dirt-poor, doomed to a life of dangerous and filthy work.
    The manufacturing tycoon – one admirer called her “a real slumdog millionaire” – is among a legion of dalits embracing new opportunities in business, politics, the arts and academia as prejudices ease and economic reforms open new doors in a culture that traditionally emphasized fate and reincarnation.
    “Before, Indians thought the only way up was life after death, assuming they avoided hell,” said Chandra Bhan Prasad, a dalit researcher and activist. “Now, not having a mobile phone is hell. Dalits can’t become Brahmins, but they can become capitalists. Once you become rich, you become free.”
    Others counter that a few Horatio Alger bootstrap stories can’t sugarcoat the continued suffering of the 17 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people facing discrimination under an ancient, complex system that traditionally determined one’s occupation and social status at birth, with Brahmins at the top and “unclean” dalits at the bottom shoveling human waste.
    Saroj, 51, once hissed at by Brahmins, has built a business empire that employs thousands of upper-caste workers, she said. As she sipped tea in a luxury New Delhi mall, she was wearing gold bracelets, diamond earrings and a traditional salwar kameez worth thousands of dollars. (After her daughter settled on studying hotel management a few years ago, Saroj bought her a hotel. With her son now in possession of a pilot’s license, she’s shopping for a plane.)
    Emerging from extreme poverty and pariah status to a position of strength and wealth has certainly been satisfying, she said. That fact that she is a woman – in a country ranked by the United Nations as among the world’s most dangerous places to be born a girl, given high female infanticide, inferior health care and nutrition – made her rise more extraordinary.
    And although her ascent hasn’t been without its share of speed bumps or caste-related jibes, she said, she has tried to channel anger and frustration into getting things done.
    “I’m aware people may still look down on me because I’m a dalit,” she said. “But even when I was very agitated, I never lost my cool, always trying instead to find my way out of difficult situations.”
    Saroj was born in Repatkhedha, a tiny village in the western state of Maharashtra, the eldest daughter of a homemaker and a policeman. Dalits were barred from drinking from Brahmin wells, and school for Saroj was an eight-mile walk on dirt paths, interrupted by occasional beatings by upper-caste children.
    When she was 8, she asked her mother why, and was told to accept her fate.
    “This was my world,” she said. “I didn’t really think about it.”
    She was married off at 12 to a laborer from Mumbai at the insistence of an uncle who considered girls “little packets of poison.”
    “Your daughter’s an ugly, dark-skinned kid,” he told her father. “If someone from Mumbai is willing, you’d darned well better marry her off.”
    Her husband, his alcoholic brother and wife all beat her. Sometimes her brother-in-law would yell: Whom did her mom sleep with to produce this donkey?
    “All my dreams were shattered,” she said. “It was hell.”
    After six months, her father rescued her. But the village ostracized her and she ended up drinking rat poison and fell into a coma, barely surviving. Afterward, villagers concluded that she must have a guilty conscience.
    “I realized, whether I live or die, I’ll get blamed,” she said. “So I might as well go for it.”
    Saroj lobbied to return to Mumbai, threatening to try suicide again when her family balked. Once there, she got a job removing lint from finished garments at a hosiery company for 15 cents a day. During lunch breaks she practiced on the sewing machines and became a tailor for $5 a day.
    “It was the first happiness in 15 years,” she said. “I’ve earned millions. But that initial $5 was the most satisfying.”
    When Saroj was in her early 20s, her sister became ill and died because they couldn’t afford a hospital. “I realized, if it’s all about money, I need to control it,” she said.
    She borrowed $1,000 under a lower-caste government program, opening a furniture and blouse-making business that prospered. She learned about some property ensnared in liens and acquired it for $5,000 in savings and an IOU for a fraction of its worth. Eventually she secured the necessary clearances and found a partner to build a shopping complex.

    Read more here:

  48. rikyrah says:

    What McDonnell will do to be VP
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:30 AM EDT.

    As a rule, those who want to be considered as running mates for their party’s national ticket are supposed to be subtle. They generally drop hints behind the scenes, for example, quietly sending word that they’d like to be considered.

    Virginia Gov. Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell (R) isn’t being subtle at all. After months in which he’s expressed interest in the gig in televised interviews, the Republican governor announced last week he’d air positive television ads about himself in the coming weeks. Since McDonnell can’t run for re-election in Virginia, the move almost certainly related to his desire to improve his standing during the Romney campaign’s VP search.

    Maybe that wasn’t an obvious enough signal? McDonnell is apparently so eager to be considered that he’s even shifting slightly on his opposition to abortion rights.

    As a legislator, attorney general and governor, Robert F. McDonnell has said he opposes abortion in all but one instance: if continuing the pregnancy would put the woman’s life in danger.

    But McDonnell, a possible vice presidential candidate, recently said through his spokesman that he would also allow it in cases of rape or incest.

    The statement has prompted many supporters and opponents to believe that he has modified one of his core political stances.

    The president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, which had endorsed McDonnell’s Virginia campaign, was “shocked” by the governor’s shift, while the executive director of Virginians for Life added that McDonnell has “either flip-flopped or not being honest.”

    For his part, the governor’s spokesperson said this position has been what McDonnell has believed for 20 years. Why have media accounts showed otherwise all this time? Because McDonnell just didn’t get around to correcting the record at any point since 1994.

    For the record, Governor Ultrasound, a graduate of radical televangelist Pat Robertson’s college, sponsored or co-sponsored 35 bills to restrict abortion rights during his 14 years in the House of Delegates, and as governor, he backed state-mandated, medically-unnecessary, transvaginal ultrasounds until his position became a political nightmare.

    It is, in other words, a little late in the game for McDonnell to inch away from the extreme, no matter how badly he wants to be on the GOP 2012 ticket.

  49. rikyrah says:

    The most inexperienced candidate in generations
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:15 AM EDT.

    Speaking at the national NRA convention recently, Mitt Romney made a curious boast. “I am running for president because I have the experience and the vision to lead us in a different direction,” he said. Later in the same speech, Romney added, “I am running for president because I have the experience and vision to get us out of this mess.”

    Of all the qualifications to emphasize, “experience” seems like an odd characteristic for Romney to brag about. Whether or not the presumptive Republican nominee offers a compelling “vision” remains to be seen — at this point, he tends to stick to vague generalities, as part of a deliberate strategy — but experience is a quantifiable quality.

    And it doesn’t appear to be Romney’s strong point.

    In fact, I counted up the years of experience in public office or active-duty military service for all of the recent major-party nominees, and discovered something interesting: Romney has less experience in public service than any modern presidential candidate. Here’s a chart (click for a bigger version) I put together on the subject:

    To clarify a few details that may not be obvious in the image, purple reflects active-duty military service; red reflects a role as a state executive (governor, lieutenant governor, or state attorney general); green reflects serving as a mayor; gray reflects serving in a state legislature; light blue reflects serving in the U.S. Congress; orange reflects serving in a presidential Cabinet or in a cabinet-level position (H.W. Bush led the CIA, for example); and dark blue reflects serving as either president or vice president.

    Also, for the purpose of this examination, I only counted experience that the candidates had at the time of their election. So with Barry Goldwater, for example, he’d been in the U.S. Senate for 12 years when he won the Republican presidential nomination in 1964, though after his defeat, he served additional terms in the chamber. Only the service at the time of the presidential race is included in this analysis.

    And using this metric, Romney has only four years under his belt. He served one term as the governor of Massachusetts — and that’s it. This makes Romney the least experienced major-party presidential nominee since Republican Wendell Wilkie lost to FDR in 1940. If Romney wins, he’ll be the least experienced president since Woodrow Wilson, who won exactly 100 years ago, despite only having been governor of New Jersey for two years before his national campaign.

    It’s worth pausing to consider whether this matters.


    By my count, if elected, Romney would be the third least-experienced president in American history, trailing every chief executive except Wilson and Grover Cleveland, who was mayor of Buffalo for one year and the governor of New York for two years before getting elected president 128 years ago. Every other president had served more than four years in the military and/or public office at the time of their election.

    For Romney, this may be considered a selling point. Though he hasn’t really been pressed on his lack of experience thus far, it’s easy to imagine the former one-term governor arguing that his limited resume, at least in public service, makes him an “outsider.” Since voters have been conditioned to look askance at “professional politicians,” Romney’s limited governmental background may well be perceived as a plus.

    That, however, raises the question of why politics is the only profession in which inexperience is something to brag about. When passengers get on airplane, do they think, “I really hope this pilot is a rookie”? When patients go the hospital, do they say to themselves, “I prefer to see physician who hasn’t practiced medicine for very long”?

    This at least seems worthy of some larger discussion. Romney has less experience in public service than any major-party presidential nominee in 72 years. When evaluating the candidates in 2012, it’s not unreasonable to think this should be in the mix.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 04/23/2012
    Times public editor amplifies GOP talking points
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane, in a terrible column this weekend, claimed that his own paper went easy on Obama during the 2008 campaign and early in his first term perhaps out of enthusiasm over the election of the first African American president.

    Brisbane said — not once but twice — that The Times needs to “answer the question: Who is the real Barack Obama?”

    This echoes a popular conservative talking point, that despite one of the toughest primary campaigns in modern history, and a brutal general election, Obama still was somehow never vetted for the White House.

    But, no, the Times doesn’t need to answer that question. It’s actually an irrelevant and, to be blunt, stupid question. No matter what conservative spinners say, the last thing that major news organizations should waste their time doing is attempting to decipher who Obama “really” is.

    We’re in an era of partisan presidencies, in which the personality, preferences, and ultimately goals of the person in the Oval Office aren’t nearly as important as what the party thinks. That means, too, that it’s mostly a waste of time trying to figure out whether the real Mitt Romney is the moderate problem-solver who was governor of Massachusetts or the fire-breathing “severe” conservative we’ve seen on the campaign trail over the last few months. What’s far more important is figuring out what the coalition who nominated him and is trying to elect him really wants, because that’s how he’ll actually govern.

    Conservatives presumably push the idea that we still don’t really know the “real” Barack Obama because they want to hint, without quite saying so, that Obama is somehow alien and un-American. They hint, or even explicitly claim, that if reelected, Obama will unleash a Kenyan socialist agenda on the nation that he kept secret until his second term, after which he won’t have to face voters again.

    I have no idea why Brisbane falls for such an inane line. But the best clue to how Obama will behave if re-elected is to carefully examine what he has done in his first three plus years in the White House. That’s it. The notion that there’s some secret personality which is a better predictor of future actions than the actions a president has taken so far is deeply flawed.

    If the Times public editor has a specific problem with specific coverage of Obama, that’s his business. But there’s no reason for him to be indulging one of the more insipid right wing fantasies of Obama’s first term.

  51. Ametia says:

    April 23, 2012 7:19 AM
    Zimmerman to be closely watched while out on bail
    By Mark Strassmann
    Last Updated 8:32 a.m. ET

    (CBS News) SANFORD, Fla. – George Zimmerman was released on bail overnight.

    Officials in Florida say Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin to death and is accused of second-degree murder, will be carefully tracked wherever he goes. And that will almost certainly be somewhere outside Florida.

    Zimmerman left jail right around midnight Monday morning, wearing what looked like a bulletproof vest under his jacket, and presumably headed for the safest and most secret place his attorney could find.

    For 12 days, Zimmerman woke up in the Seminole County Jail in Sanford. He was released after posting a $150,000 bond and being fitted with a GPS monitoring device.

    To make bail, Zimmerman had to put up 10 percent, or $15,000, of the bond money. His father said that might only be raised through a second mortgage.

    Under the terms of his bail, Zimmerman must surrender his passport, observe a strict 7-p.m.-to-6-a.m. curfew and cannot use a firearm.

    Zimmerman’s GPS tracking device will follow him in real time anywhere in the U.S. He also has to check in with authorities every three days.

  52. rikyrah says:

    Scott Brown needs a dictionary
    Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:25 AM EDT.

    Earlier this year, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) began criticizing his main Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, for being a “hypocrite.” The argument went like this: Warren makes a fair amount of money, but she’s an advocate for struggling, working families. Ergo, she’s guilty of “hypocrisy.”

    The problem, of course, is that this line of attack is dumb, and reflects ignorance about the meaning of the word “hypocrite.” Warren has acquired a fair amount of wealth, after having been raised by a family of modest means and putting herself through law school, but she’s now one of the nation’s leading voices in representing the interests of the middle class.

    Brown can agree or disagree on the merits of her beliefs, and he and his fellow Republicans are free to argue that fighting for the middle class is a bad idea, but when those with considerable personal resources look at the status quo — a growing class gap, wealth concentrated at the top, rising poverty — and want a more progressive approach, that’s admirable, not hypocritical.

    And yet, Brown and his team are still confused.

    Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign accused Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren of “hypocrisy” after she admitted to not paying higher taxes than the state requires. […]

    “The problem with running a campaign based on self-righteousness and moral superiority is that you had better live up to the same standard you would impose on everyone else,” [Brown campaign managed Jim Barnett] said. … “This is the sort of hypocrisy and double-speak voters are sick and tired of hearing from politicians, especially those who can’t keep their hands out of others’ pocketbooks.”

    Let’s explain this in basic terms.

    1. Elizabeth Warren makes a good living and pays her taxes.

    2. Warren believes she and others in her income bracket should pay higher taxes.

    3. Warren would gladly pay higher taxes, but she hasn’t made charitable contributions to the government treasury, and she hasn’t urged anyone else to make charitable contributions to the government treasury, either.

    If Brown and his team think this is “hypocrisy,” perhaps Warren could use some of her money to send a dictionary to the Republican campaign headquarters.

  53. rikyrah says:

    April 22, 2012 1:45 PM

    Marco Rubio Plays Coy on Veep Question
    By Adele Stan

    In an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley this morning, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida seemed to change his tune about whether or not he would accept the number-two slot on the G.O.P. presidential ticket were it to be offered him.

    Rubio used to say he wasn’t interested, but today he simply said he wouldn’t discuss the possibility. Via TPM:

    “Up to now, it’s all been theoretical,” Rubio explained, but now the party has a nominee who has begun the process of finding a running mate. “Moving forward, we’re gonna let his process play itself out,” Rubio said.

    Now, this will likely provoke another round of scoffing from liberal commentators about how unlikely Rubio is to help Romney win Latino votes. And I agree. But that wouldn’t be the point of a Rubio veep pick.

    When Republicans choose people of color or members of minority groups for positions of power within their nearly nativist party, it’s rarely because they expect that person to bring a flood of votes from the constituency group their identity symbolizes. It’s to assuage the fears of swing voters, who generally don’t like to vote for people who seem to be extreme. So, the pick of a Latino veep would signal to white suburbanites that, despite his embrace of the G.O.P.’s anti-immigrant policies, Mitt Romney is not really an anti-immigrant kind of a guy. See? He even has a Latino running mate. And with Florida being a state whose inclinations can hang by a chad, a Floridian might make a wise pick indeed.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:06 AM ET, 04/23/2012
    The Morning Plum: Mitt Romney, the `amnesia candidate’
    By Greg Sargent

    Ever since Mitt Romney began tarring Obama as a job destroyer based on a bogus metric — the “net” jobs lost on his watch — a few of us (see Steve Benen) have been trying to document every twist and turn in Romney’s dissembling. Much of Romney’s argument is based on the idea that Obama should be held responsible for the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the months just after he took office, when the economy was in free fall — before his policies took effect.

    As I noted last week, the Romney campaign is betting that he can lull the American people into forgetting just how severe a crisis Obama inherited upon taking office. The “net” job loss metric is central to this effort to inflict mass amnesia on the public.

    Yet despite the fact that this argument is absolutely central to Romney’s case against Obama, it has drawn very little media scrutiny.

    So it’s good to see that Paul Krugman has devoted an entire column to it today, labeling Romney the “amnesia candidate”:

  55. rikyrah says:

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — Open government advocates accused a conservative legislative group Monday of falsely claiming tax-exempt status while doing widespread lobbying.

    Advocacy group Common Cause said Monday it had filed an IRS complaint accusing ALEC of masquerading as a public charity. ALEC is formed as a nonprofit that brings together lawmakers and private sector organizations to develop legislation and policy.

    ALEC says its work is not lobbying.

    Common Cause disagrees. “It tells the IRS in its tax returns that it does no lobbying, yet it exists to pass profit-driven legislation in statehouses all over the country that benefits its corporate members,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, in a statement. “ALEC is not entitled to abuse its charitable tax status to lobby for private corporate interests, and stick the bill to the American taxpayer.”

    Common Cause wants an IRS audit of ALEC’s work, penalties and the payment of back taxes.

  56. rikyrah says:

    5 Reasons Mitt Romney Is Doomed Against Barack Obama
    Key advantages held by Barack Obama will make the general election an uphill battle for Mitt Romney
    By Robert Schlesinger

    April 20, 2012 RSS Feed Print Mitt Romney has finally made the turn he has obviously been yearning to make for several months, from the primary campaign to the general election. He managed this with the post-Wisconsin acclamation of the political commentariat, ratified by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s acknowledgment of reality.

    But you can forgive Romney if he looks like the dog who finally caught the car he’s been chasing, only to be unceremoniously strapped to its roof. Five factors are lined up against him going into the fall: organization, money, President Obama’s message, the GOP primaries, and demographics.

    Boots on the ground. Team Romney has run what the Internet news site BuzzFeed describes as “pop-up campaigns,” ramping up for a specific primary but leaving little infrastructure behind. The Obama campaign, by contrast, has been building a durable and broad political machine, with almost 700 full-time employees, BuzzFeed reported as well as thousands of volunteers and 100 field offices, with at least one in each state. To put it another way, as the FiveThirtyEight blog reported this week, the Obama campaign has spent more money on staff salaries for people working outside of its Chicago headquarters than the Romney campaign has spent on staffers all told. The classic example, per BuzzFeed: “When Romney’s staff moved out of its office in Iowa after a virtual tie in the caucuses in January, the Obama campaign opened an office in Romney’s vacant headquarters.”

    Money in the bank. The Obama campaign has been raising it hand over fist, upward of $157 million through the end of February (the most recent data tabulated), more than twice the $74 million Romney has taken in. But the raw totals don’t tell the whole story. The Obama campaign sends out a steady stream of fundraising E-mails detailing the latest outrage by Romney or other GOPers and asking for a contribution of $3—a small amount, but one that gives donors a feeling of investment in the campaign, which increases the likelihood not only of subsequent contributions but also of their making the effort to cast a ballot in November

    Those small contributions add up quickly: 45 percent of the money collected by Obama’s campaign came from small-dollar donors (those contributing less than $200), according to the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute. By contrast, Romney got only 9 percent of his funds from small donors, and an astounding 66 percent from donors at the maximum legal limit. To put it another way, 40 percent of Romney’s donors had already given the maximum legal amount, as compared to 8 percent of Obama’s.

  57. rikyrah says:

    Obama to award Pat Summitt the Medal of Freedom

    The White House announced today that President Obama will award the Medal of Freedom to former Tennessee women’s basketball coach and Alzheimer’s cure advocate Pat Summitt.

    Summitt, whose 1,098 wins is tops in college basketball history, retired this week after 38 seasons in part because she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Coach Summitt is an inspiration, both as the all-time winningest NCAA coach, and as someone who is willing to speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer’s,” Obama said in a statement.

    The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” said the White House.

    The White House will announce other Medal of Freedom honorees later this year.

    Obama also said in his statement:

    “Pat’s gift has always been her ability to push those around her to new heights, and over the last 38 years, her unique approach has resulted in both unparalleled success on the court and unrivaled loyalty from those who know her and those whose lives she has touched.

    Pat’s coaching career may be over, but I’m confident that her work is far from finished. I look forward to awarding her this honor.”

    The White House said in a statement:

    In addition to accomplishing an outstanding career as the all-time winningest leader among all NCAA basketball coaches, Coach Summitt has taken Tennessee to more Final Four appearances than any other coach and has the second best record of NCAA Championships in basketball.

    She has received numerous awards, including being named Naismith Women’s Collegiate Coach of the Century. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the signing of Title IX, Summitt’s remarkable career reflects her rightful place in history as an unparalleled figure in women’s team sports.

    Off the court, Pat’s work as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer’s through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund is truly inspirational. The Pat Summitt Foundation will make grants to nonprofits to provide education and awareness, support to patients and families, and research to prevent, cure and ultimately eradicate early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

    Coach Summitt was notified last week of the President’s decision to award her with the Nation’s highest civilian honor for her contributions both on and off the court. The remainder of the honorees selected by the President will be announced over the coming weeks and the awards will be presented at a White House ceremony later this year.

  58. rikyrah says:

    Huntsman compares GOP to China’s government
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:45 AM EDT.

    Eight months ago, we saw one of the more memorable moments of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. At the time, there were eight candidates participating in a debate, and they were asked whether they’d accept a debt-reduction deal in which Democrats would give up $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. Each GOP candidate said they’d reject that deal.

    That was in August. Now, Jon Huntsman looks back at the incident with regret.

    Huntsman said he regrets his decision to oppose a 10-to-1 spending cuts to tax increase deal to cut the deficit at the Iowa debate lamenting: “if you can only do certain things over again in life.”

    “What went through my head was if I veer at all from my pledge not to raise any taxes…then I’m going to have to do a lot of explaining,” he explained. “What was going through my mind was ‘don’t I just want to get through this?'”

    That decision, Huntsman said, “has caused me a lot of heartburn.”

    Indeed, it looks like the former Utah governor appears to be quite unhappy about a lot of things just a few months after ending his presidential campaign. Huntsman appeared in New York last night at an event at the 92nd Street Y, and reflected on a wide variety of recent developments, including being disinvited from a Florida fundraiser in March after he publicly called for a third party.

    “This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script,” he said.

    As a rule, prominent Republicans who hope to have a future in electoral politics don’t compare their party to the Chinese government. It’s a reminder that Huntsman, who was considered a fairly conservative governor of one of the nation’s most conservative states, simply doesn’t recognize his own party anymore as the GOP moves further and further to the right.

  59. rikyrah says:

    Rubio’s Pitch To Latinos Is More Messaging Than Substance

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
    Pema Levy- April 22, 2012, 5:48 PM

    Senator Marco Rubio may have a toned down version of the DREAM Act he hopes to sell to both his own party and Latino voters, but he is not holding back when it comes to talking about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Even if his party doesn’t have a solution for undocumented immigrants, he said, the least they can do is not paint them as evil-doers.

    “It does matter how you talk about the issue,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an interview that aired Sunday morning, before launching into a speech about migrant workers in Florida. “It starts by recognizing that the vast majority of people who are in this country illegally didn’t come here to steal from the American government.”

    As a Cuban-American and rising star in the GOP, the freshman senator has taken on — or had foisted upon him — the role of liaison between the Republican Party and the Hispanic community. With polls showing Hispanic voters backing President Obama 67 percent to 27 percent, that’s a tough needle to thread. While Congressional Republicans have forcefully blocked a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Rubio has a compromise: Even without a policy solution, you can still talk about them compassionately. The problem, according to Rubio, is in the messaging.

    Without explicitly calling out his own party, Rubio was clear that at the very least, politicians should speak more compassionately about immigration. “You have to have immigration laws and they have to be enforced,” Rubio said. “That doesn’t mean that because you support the laws that you don’t recognize the humanitarian aspects of the immigration problem.”

    From here, Rubio described the plight of one so-called “Dreamer” from his home state.

    We have a case here in Florida of a young woman who came when she was 4 years old. Here name is Daniela Pelaez. She’s the valedictorian of her high school this year. She has a 6.8 GPA. She has been admitted to Dartmouth as a — to study molecular biology. And she has a deportation order. And the vast majority of Americans would tell you it just doesn’t feel right to deport a valedictorian who is here in an undocumented status through no fault of her own.In addition, Rubio encouraged his party to put a more positive spin on their own immigration preferences. “Here’s been my suggestion,” Rubio said. “Other than only just talking about what we’re against, you have to talk about what you’re for. And what I have said consistently is that the Republican Party is and must become and continue to be the pro-legal immigration party. We have to make very clear we support legal immigration.” To which Crowley responded: “I think everybody supports legal immigration.”

    Conversely, Rubio, who is in the process of authoring a watered down version of the DREAM Act, sounds a lot more harsh when trying to explain that his own bill is in sync with what Mitt Romney and other Republicans are saying.

    Trying to reconcile his bill with Romney’s position on the campaign trail that he would veto the DREAM Act, Rubio tried to explain why his DREAM Act — which would grant temporary legal residency to some undocumented with no guarantee of eventual citizenship — wasn’t at odds with his party’s presumptive nominee. Perhaps that’s an impossible task since his own bill seems to do what Romney explicitly opposed by letting Dreamers stay in the country for a while at least. “They wouldn’t be getting any preferential treatment,” Rubio said, on attaining citizenship.

    In other words, they’d be given legal status and eventually have to apply for permanent residency through the regular channels, an often lengthy process with no guarantee of a favorable outcome. “They could renew [the visas],” Rubio said, “but that’s — you can never turn that into residency and then citizenship.”

  60. rikyrah says:

    How the Culture Wars are Turning on the GOP
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 |
    Posted by Deaniac83 at 12:13 PM

    The “mommy wars” aren’t going Mitt Romney’s way.

    American women favor Barack Obama by a 14-point margin over Mitt Romney, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday, despite the recent partisan “Mommy Wars” flap over the role of women in society.

    Fifty-one percent of registered women voters support the Democratic president, according to the poll, compared with 37 percent who favor Romney…
    A CNN poll has the President up by 16 points, 55% to 37% among women.

    You don’t say. Insincere politicization of motherhood, and then bragging about how your wife got an “early birthday present” after a CNN employee said the wrong thing about stay-at-home moms isn’t helping Mitt Romney? I am shocked.

    The Reuters/Ipsos poll’s crosstabs have more bad news for Romney – President Obama leads with women on all issues, including those ever illusive “family values.”

    In a potentially troubling sign for Romney as he tries to overcome the traditional gender gap, in which women generally favor Democratic candidates over Republicans, more women voters rated Obama stronger on every issue.

    Forty-six percent of women said Obama was better on jobs and the economy, picked by a majority of women as their top issue, while 40 percent picked Romney. Fifty-two percent rated Obama as stronger on healthcare, while only 32 percent said Romney was stronger.

    Despite Republicans’ efforts to portray themselves as the party of the family, Obama even had a big edge on family values among women, with 51 percent picking him as better on that issue compared with 36 percent for Romney.
    On family values, Romney loses even among men by 5 points. This is something to notice. Is the wheels on “family values” finally turning? Has the Republicans’ longstanding policies of promoting God, guns, abortion and gays backfiring? I think it is, and I think there are two things responsible for it.

  61. rikyrah says:

    Deaniac does a video essay:

    TPV Video-cast: Romney’s Real Silver Spoon Problem is His Vision

  62. rikyrah says:

    Great snippet from Lawrence O’Donnell about the ridiculousness of the Romney Cookie-gate insult.

    In Lawrence’s words, ‘ who does that?’

  63. rikyrah says:

    The Amnesia Candidate
    Published: April 22, 2012

    Just how stupid does Mitt Romney think we are? If you’ve been following his campaign from the beginning, that’s a question you have probably asked many times.

    But the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right — but not in the way he intended.

    First of all, many reporters quickly noted a point that Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obama for his predecessor’s policy failure?

    Yes, it does. Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration’s policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don’t remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.

    How does the campaign deal with people who point out the awkward reality that all of the “Obama” job losses took place before any Obama policies had taken effect? The fallback argument — which was rolled out when reporters asked about the factory closure — is that even though Mr. Obama inherited a deeply troubled economy, he should have fixed it by now. That factory is still closed, said a Romney adviser, because of the failure of Obama policies “to really get this economy going again.”

    Actually, that factory would probably still be closed even if the economy had done better — drywall is mainly used in new houses, and while the economy may be coming back, the Bush-era housing bubble isn’t.

    But Mr. Romney’s poor choice of a factory for his photo-op aside, I guess accusing Mr. Obama of not doing enough to promote recovery is a better argument than blaming him for the effects of Bush policies. However, it’s not much better, since Mr. Romney is essentially advocating a return to those very same Bush policies. And he’s hoping that you don’t remember how badly those policies worked.

  64. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s secrets
    By Jae C. Hong, Updated: Monday, April 23, 5:37 AM

    MITT ROMNEY’S contemptuous attitude toward the importance of public disclosure is increasingly troubling. Whether it involves the details of his personal finances or the identity of his big fundraisers, the presumptive Republican is setting a new, low bar for transparency — one that does not augur well for how the Romney White House would conduct itself if he were elected.

    First is the matter of tax returns. Mr. Romney’s campaign, belatedly and under pressure, released a single year’s worth of tax information in January along with a summary for the 2011 return. Now, with a Friday afternoon release conveniently timed for minimum news coverage a week ago, it announced that the candidate had filed for an extension. “Sometime in the next six months, and prior to the election, Gov. Romney will file and release the 2011 return when there is sufficient information to provide an accurate return,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.

    The campaign insisted that Mr. Romney was delaying because some of the companies in which he had invested had yet to report their earnings. This explanation would be a lot more palatable if Mr. Romney had demonstrated any inclination to live up to the standards of most previous presidential candidates — including, most notably, his own father, George Romney, who released a dozen years of returns when he ran for president in 1968.

    Mitt Romney turned over more than two decades of returns when he was vetted as a possible vice presidential running mate for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. A few presidential candidates, including Mr. McCain, have been this stingy with their tax records, but the information is particularly relevant in Mr. Romney’s case because of the size of his fortune and the low share of income he paid in taxes for the year that was released.

    Then there is the mystery of Mr. Romney’s bundlers. Candidates such as Mr. McCain, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, among others, voluntarily did the right thing and revealed the identity of these major fundraisers. Mr. Romney, despite the undeniable importance of these individuals, has declined to follow that practice.

  65. Ametia says:

    Jon Huntsman Trashes GOP, Expresses Campaign Regrets

    Former Republican candidate Jon Huntsman took a battle axe to his own party, comparing it to China’s Communist Party and criticizing it’s standard bearer in a wide-ranging interview at the 92nd Street Y Sunday night.

    Recounting his first experience on the presidential debate stage in Iowa last August, Huntsman says he was struck by the question “Is this the best we could do?”

    Huntsman, the former Utah governor and once President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to China, expressed disappointment that the Republican Party disinvited him from a Florida fundraiser in March after he publicly called for a third party.

    “This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script,” he said.

    Huntsman said he regrets his decision to oppose a 10-to-1 spending cuts to tax increase deal to cut the deficit at the Iowa debate lamenting: “if you can only do certain things over again in life.”

    “What went through my head was if I veer at all from my pledge not to raise any taxes…then I’m going to have to do a lot of explaining,” he explained. “What was going through my mind was ‘don’t I just want to get through this?'”

  66. Ametia says:

    8:40: President Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

    9:45: PBO delivers remarks

  67. rikyrah says:

    Media Favored Romney Over Obama During GOP Primaries: Study
    by Howard Kurtz Apr 23, 2012 12:01 AM EDT

    Forget liberal bias. A new study reveals that the press covered Romney twice as favorably as Obama during the primaries—and declared the GOP race over weeks ago, reports Howard Kurtz. Plus, Peter Beinart on the Democrats anti-Mormom problem.

    During the bruising Republican primaries, there was one candidate whose coverage was more relentlessly negative than the rest. In fact, he did not enjoy a single week where positive treatment by the media outweighed the negative.

    His name is Barack Obama.

    That is among the findings of a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Washington nonprofit that examined 52 key newspaper, television, radio, and Web outlets.

    “Day in and day out, he was criticized by the entire Republican field on a variety of policies,” Mark Jurkowitz, the group’s associate director, says of Obama. “And he was inextricably linked to events that generated negative coverage”—including rising gas prices, the ailing economy, and the renewed debate over his health care law.

    In short, while the president was being hammered on both fronts, his message was somewhat drowned out by the volume of news coverage surrounding the GOP candidates.

    Not that the Republicans were faring all that well with the press. Mitt Romney’s news coverage “vacillated between mixed and unflattering,” depending on whether he was winning primaries, the report says. “He was constantly dealing with this meme of not being able to close the deal,” Jurkowitz says.

    Overall, it was no contest. From Jan. 2 through April 15, Romney’s coverage was 39 percent positive, 32 percent negative, and 29 percent neutral, the researchers found. Obama’s coverage was 18 percent positive, 34 percent negative, and 34 percent neutral. That means Romney’s depiction by the media was more than twice as positive as the president’s. So much for liberal bias.

  68. rikyrah says:

    A tale of two scandals
    By Steve Benen – Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    The Sunday shows featured quite a bit of discussion yesterday on two ongoing controversies: the Secret Service’s Colombian prostitution scandal and the General Services Administration’s lavish conference spending. What I found interesting, though, was how differently Republican guests treated the two subjects.

    On the GSA matter, Republicans, like Democrats, are outraged, but unlike Dems, GOP officials are eager to push the blame up the ladder. Despite the fact that it was the Obama administration that launched the investigation that uncovered the wrongdoing, and despite the fact that GSA’s reckless conference spending began during the Bush era, Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) are eager to pin the blame for the GSA’s mismanagement on President Obama.

    GOP talk about the Secret Service, however, was very different on the Sunday shows. NBC’s “Meet the Press,” for example, featured interviews with two lawmakers — Republican Pete King of New York and Republican Darrell Issa of California — both of whom said largely the same thing: Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan shouldn’t be held responsible for what transpired.

    Issa, for example, called the prostitution scandal an “aberration,” while King said he has “full confidence” in the Secret Service’s leadership. Even Mitt Romney said on Friday that he blames those “at the top” for the GSA controversy, but when it comes to the Secret Service, “it was not a matter of the senior leadership of the organization.”

    Why are Republicans so eager to see heads roll at the GSA but not the Secret Service? One could probably make the argument that the right disapproves of prostitution, but is far more outraged by wasteful government spending.

    I wonder, though, if GOP support for the Secret Service the director has something to do his background: Sullivan was appointed by President George W. Bush and then retained by President Obama.

  69. Ametia says:

    Zimmerman released from jail on $150,000 bond in Martin shooting

    George Zimmerman, who is awaiting trial on second-degree murder charges for the fatal Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin in a gated community near Orlando, has been released from a Florida jail on $150,000 bond.

    The neighborhood watch volunteer left the Seminole County jail around midnight Sunday.

    Read more at:
    Or visit

  70. Ametia says:

    How to beat Citizens United
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: April 22

    We are about to have the worst presidential campaign money can buy. The Supreme Court’s dreadful Citizens United decision and a somnolent Federal Election Commission will allow hundreds of millions of dollars from a small number of very wealthy people and interests to inundate our airwaves with often vicious advertisements for which no candidate will be accountable.

    One would like to think that the court will eventually admit the folly of its 2010 ruling and reverse it. But we can’t wait that long. And out of this dreary landscape, hope is blossoming in the state of New York. There’s irony here, since New York is where a lot of the big national money is coming from. No matter. The state is considering a campaign finance law that would repair some of the Citizens United damage, and in a way the Supreme Court wouldn’t be able to touch.

  71. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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