Wednesday Open Thread | Country Music Week

Troyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962), best known as Garth Brooks, is an American country music artist who helped make country music a worldwide phenomenon.[1][2][3] His eponymous first album was released in 1989 and peaked at number 2 in the US country album chart while climbing to number 13 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Brooks’ integration of rock elements into his recordings and live performances has earned him immense popularity. This progressive approach allowed him to dominate the country single and album charts while quickly crossing over into the mainstream pop arena, exposing country music to a larger audience.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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86 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Country Music Week

  1. Ametia says:

    Did anyone see Rock Center with Brian Williams & PBO? That was one hour of TV worth watching tonight. Thank you, NBC!

  2. Ametia says:


  3. rikyrah says:

    Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Poster Child for GOP’s Problems
    By Isa-Lee Wolf | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Tue, May 1, 2012

    COMMENTARY | Elisabeth Hasslebeck is everything that’s wrong with Republicans. Discussing Osama bin Laden’s death on the May 1 episode of “The View,” with unmasked glee, she giggled and said, “I think of all the people who voted for Obama, right? Wearing tie-dyed t-shirts with peace signs and protesting are now choking on their Ben & Jerry’s ice cream basically because their president blows the brains out of somebody and is now deemed, as the New York Times had it this weekend, as ‘Warrior in Chief.’ I think he’s done a great job in terms of military experience right now, but they are eating their words.”

    Quick question. Which words? That we wanted to shower bin Laden with peace, love and understanding? Darn, I missed that meeting.

    Nonetheless, thanks, Elisabeth, for illustrating it so clearly. Not your point; your point is ludicrous and defies logic or relationship to reality. No, thanks for a clean example of the current Republican knack for taking anything with a hint of liberal, dehumanizing it, debasing it, and then claiming it proves your point.

    I also think you’ve confused voting for Obama with being an extra in the musical “Hair,” but that’s a different issue completely.

    Through careful planning and great use of military resources, our president tracked and eliminated our most wanted fugitive. He ordered the kill. Yet you minimized, as Joy Behar pointed out, what would have been touted as a massive Republican victory, if only a Republican accomplished it, as “blowing the brains out of somebody.”

    It wasn’t just somebody, Elisabeth. He was the excuse for not one, but two wars. It was the man who killed the most Americans on our own soil since the Civil War. It was the man who, periodically, released tapes vowing to do it again.

    You don’t think his elimination, without martyrdom, without reprisal, is worthy of the title “Warrior in Chief”? Your buddy George W. Bush couldn’t do it. Mitt Romney said in 2007 that he wouldn’t bother going to such lengths, a position he’s now reversed.

    It’s difficult to try to toe the company line with this president. The Republican tactic over the past three-and-a-bit years has been to find fault with everything the president does. Supported payroll tax cuts in 2001? He wants them? Hate them now. Individual insurance mandate for Obamacare? It’s evil. Except when Republicans called for it. Take out Osama bin Laden?

    Hmm, that’s a tricky one.

    Well, the best you can do is denounce him for counting it among his presidential accomplishments, and claim that the mere mention of it is “politicizing” the operation he successfully lead. Good job, Elisabeth.

    Despite constant roadblocks, Barack Obama still does his job. One of the things he did, and we elected him to do, fully, consciously, and without thought to our choice of ice-cream, is keep our country safe. What did he need to do to facilitate that goal? Eliminate bin Laden.

    Maybe the centrists and independents the Republicans so sorely need would be more inclined to pay attention to the GOP if their members didn’t pretend that every action from Obama – even when it aligns with Republican values – is in direct opposition to both their ideology and the country’s interests. Insulting those swing voters by implying they’re clichéd “dirty hippies” merely for voting for the president really can’t help. While polls don’t track the percentage of “dirty hippies” voting for a candidate, they do track moderates; 60 percent of moderates voted for Obama in 2008.

    And one more thanks, Elisabeth, for demonstrating so well why they should do it again.

  4. rikyrah says:


  5. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow’s opening segment is on a Black doctor from Mississippi who was ousted at the state of Mississippi Board of Health by the new Lt. Governor.. He said that he wanted someone ‘qualified’.

    Doctor Brotha was Tufts and Harvard Educated and did a stint at Johns Hopkins.

    But, the CAC said he wasn’t ‘qualified’.

  6. Ametia says:

    Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Would Keep 93-Year-Old Who Marched With Martin Luther King From Voting | TPM

    If there’s a contest for most sympathetic plaintiff in a lawsuit opposing a state voter ID law, Pennsylvania’s Viviette Applewhite wins. The 93-year-old has voted in almost every election since 1960. Her daughter was a public servant. She has five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren. She’s a widow. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Macon, Georgia during the civil rights movement and traveled to Atlanta to hear him preach. Under Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, Applewhite wouldn’t be able to vote. Applewhite is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, the Advancement Project, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) and the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP on behalf of ten Pennsylvania voters.

    The suit charges that that state’s voter ID law, signed on March 14 by Gov. Thomas Corbett, violates the Pennsylvania Constitution (Pennsylvania isn’t covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, so federal authorities couldn’t intervene). They want the court to issue an injunction stopping enforcement before the November election.

    Applewood doesn’t drive and her purse containing her identification card was stolen. She’s been unable to obtain an identification card since because officials can’t track down her birth certificate.

  7. Ametia says:

    Political ad?

  8. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney you’re a RACIST! DAMN!

  9. The Secret Service suspends screening at 1 in 5 major presidential, VP events:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Romney vows to do ‘the opposite’
    By Steve Benen – Wed May 2, 2012 2:43 PM EDT.

    The opposite of progress is regress.

    Mitt Romney shared a straightforward summary of his guiding economic principle at a campaign stop earlier today

    Kicking off his Virginia campaign, Republican Mitt Romney said Wednesday he’ll do “the opposite” of what President Barack Obama has done to help the economy. His wife, Ann, chipped in by appealing to women voters in a key region of a state both candidates will fight over until November’s election.

    “What I would do? People ask me, ‘What would you to get the economy going’? and I say, ‘well look at what the president’s done, and do the opposite,'” Romney told a group gathered at a warehouse in Northern Virginia.

    I’m not sure if Romney’s really thought this one through. Or maybe he has, and he assumes voters won’t think this one through.

    Four years ago, the economy is shrinking; now it’s growing. Four years ago, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs; now it’s gaining jobs. Four years ago, the unemployment rate was going up; now it’s going down. Four years ago, the stock market was crashing; now it’s reaching new heights. Four years ago, the deficit was getting bigger; now it’s getting smaller. Four years ago, the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse; now it’s thriving.

    Is Romney sure he wants to look at the Obama administration’s policies and do the opposite?

    In this case, the opposite would, as a practical matter, mean European-style austerity measures, taking capital out of the economy, dramatically scaling back public investments, and prioritizing debt reduction over growth.

    Incidentally, Euro Zone unemployment rates have reached record highs, and the austerity agenda has pushed the UK, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovenia into recessions. They’ve all done “the opposite” of the Obama administration, and they all plan to stay the course.

    We’ve seen the grand experiment in response to the 2008 global crash, and the results are unambiguous.

    And yet, there’s Mitt Romney, expecting voters to make him president so he can take “the opposite” steps that have helped get the U.S. economy at least pointing in the right direction again.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Wife Of NC Amendment One Supporter: Husband Wrote Bill To Preserve ‘Caucasian Race’
    Tom Kludt- May 2, 2012, 2:00 PM

    The wife of a sponsor of North Carolina’s Amendment One, a proposed change to the state’s constitution that would ensure legal recognition only for marriage between a man and a woman, reportedly offered an eyebrow-raising explanation for her husband’s support of the measure.

    Jodie Brunstetter, the wife of state Sen. Peter Brunstetter (R), has found herself embroiled in controversy after suggesting that her husband’s role in writing the bill — which passed the Republican-controlled general assembly last fall — was racially motivated.

    According to the alternative Yes! Weekly, which picked up the remarks from freelance journalist and activist Chad Nance, Jodie Brunstetter told a poll worker in Winston-Salem, N.C. Monday that the reason her husband “wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce.”

    Nance had been volunteering for a group opposed to Amendment One while also serving as a campaign manager for Matt Newton, a U.S. House candidate in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional district. After a dispute with the candidate over his decision to make Jodie Brunstetter’s remarks public, Nance resigned from Newton’s campaign.

    Nance ultimately approached Jodie Brunstetter for clarification and he chronicled the exchange on video. Throughout the conversation, she offers often-convoluted responses to Nance’s questions and even admits to invoking race in her original remarks, although she insists that they were taken out of context. Yes! Weekly has obtained and published the transcript:

    We are looking at the history of the United States and it is already law about what marriage is. Between a man and a woman. And we are looking at how America has been a great country. That’s why people are coming here. And people who founded the United states wrote a Constitution and it has been what has preserved this society. And we were just talking about lots of different things which the gentleman was turning around.


    You didn’t tell that one lady that it was to preserve the Caucasian race because they were becoming a minority?




    She’s lying?


    No. It’s just that same sex marriages are not having children.


    Yeam but you didn’t say anything about Caucasians, white people, preserving them that’s why it was written?


    No I’m afraid they have made it a racial issue when it is not.


    She didn’t say it was a racial issue. She said that you had said that part of the reason it had been sponsored and written was to preserve the white race.

    (a moment later) … you didn’t say anything about Caucasians?


    I probably said the word.


    You didn’t tell her anything about Caucasians?


  12. rikyrah says:

    Wed May 02, 2012 at 07:29 AM PDT.

    Mitt Romney supports pay equity in principle. Does he support the Paycheck Fairness Act?+*

    Senate Democrats are trying to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to take the next big step past the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Senate Republicans blocked it in 2010 despite a 58-vote majority in favor at the time. What could make congressional Republicans change their mind? Well, there’s this little thing called a presidential election, and their party’s presumptive nominee has said that he is favor of pay equity—in principle.
    If Mitt Romney said he supported the Paycheck Fairness Act, might that flip some Republican votes? Greg Sargent argues that it might, and it would certainly put Republicans who care about winning the presidency in a tough spot if Romney embraced fair pay as a way to make the case to women that he would represent them and their economic concerns. But I’m with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: It’s not going to happen.

    “It speaks volumes that Romney can’t say whether or not he would have signed [Lily Ledbetter] into law,” Wasserman Schultz said on the call. “And so I feel quite certain that he also opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act.”

    “That bill is not law, because Republicans blocked it,” she continued. “Republicans have absolutely no interest in ensuring pay equity in this country … Romney would turn back the clock and leave us stagnant and stifled.”

    Republicans blocked this law once, and Mitt Romney—he’s a Republican. And he’s no kind of leader. Not only does he not want to see women have a better chance at fair pay, he would never take the political risk of trying to get Senate Republicans to do something they don’t want to do.
    But if Romney is going to go around the country making claims about Barack Obama having been bad for women economically, he really needs to tell us where he stands on this. Pay equity in principle is all very well, but where does Mitt Romney stand when it comes to making the principle reality? Does he stand with women and against discrimination, or does he stand with employers looking to save a buck by discriminating against women and with Senate Republicans fighting the War on Women?

  13. rikyrah says:

    May 02, 2012 9:07 AM

    Trump Card Played

    By Ed Kilgore

    I don’t know if the president’s trip to Afghanistan, the “security agreement” he signed, or the speech he made that was beamed back home, will be remembered much at all in accounts of the Obama presidency or of the Afghan war. A lot obviously depends on what happens next in Afghanistan, and there are dozens of things that can go badly wrong.

    But the trip and speech did put an end, at least temporarily, to a pretty intensive campaign by Republicans to circumscribe the president’s ability to take credit for military or even foreign policy successes, which have been important in holding up his job approval ratings. Here’s how Salon’s Steve Koracki explained the gambit as “making Mitt look small”:

    After Obama authorized a campaign video that suggested Romney wouldn’t have given the go ahead for the mission that killed the al-Qaeda leader, Romney and an army of Republican leaders and commentators cranked up the righteous indignation, blasting Obama for politicizing what should have been a nationally unifying commemoration. When their outrage was amplified by neutral and even some decidedly non-Republican media voices, it seemed possible that Obama really had gone too far and that a backlash might be brewing.

    And so it was that Romney decided to spend Tuesday, the exact anniversary of the bin Laden raid, with Rudy Giuliani, who a decade after 9/11 is still routinely referred to by the press as “America’s mayor.” The two men – bitter enemies until very recently – showed up at a New York City firehouse for a pizza delivery photo op, then took turns shaming Obama….
    But as the Mitt-and-Rudy show playing out, word was spreading that Obama had quietly left the country and arrived in Afghanistan….

    [Obama delivered] was a dramatic, eloquent speech on an emotional day, witnessed live by tens of millions of Americans who are ready to put the war in the rearview mirror. Whatever political benefit Romney reaped from his appearance with Giuliani – and from the past few days of wailing by the GOP – evaporated on the spot. Romney seemed to recognize it, too.
    “I am pleased that President Obama has returned to Afghanistan,” he said in a statement released after the speech. “Our troops and the American people deserve to hear from our President about what is at stake in this war.”

    To put it another way, Obama’s ultimate response to demands that he not “exploit for political purposes” his role as commander-in-chief was to say “Watch this!” and then reappear on television screens live from Kabul. Presidents can make news however and whenever they want, and when they are performing legitimate national security functions, no one dares question their right to do so even if it’s in the middle of a reelection campaign. Team Romney might want to remember that next time it starts one of these kerfuffles over the president being too “political.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    May 02, 2012 1:43 PM

    The Smearing of Elizabeth Warren

    By Ed Kilgore

    Until today, I was only vaguely aware that Scott Brown’s campaign and its allies were trying to make a big deal out of Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s past self-identification (and once, her identification by Harvard Law School) as a “Native American.” It mainly caught my attention because, like Warren (and for that matter, like many white people I’ve known from North Georgia or Oklahoma), I have a Cherokee ancestor, a great-great-grandmother as it happpens, though I’ve never self-identified myself that way.

    Then I ran across a Boston Herald (the original source of the whole story) column by a certain Howie Carr that shows exactly how ugly and overtly racial this attack-line has become. It’s not, in fact, really about Elizabeth Warren, but about an increasingly aggressive effort on the Right to invent a nightmare-world where incompetent women and minorities are lording it over the poor afflicted white male.

    Keep in mind that there is not a shred of evidence that Warren ever benefitted in any way from her self-identification; indeed, every university who’s hired her in the course of her very distinguished academic career has indicated they weren’t even aware of it, and certainly didn’t make it a factor in employing her.

    That doesn’t deter Carr from asserting that “Pocohantas” Warren “parlayed the racial-spoils racket all the way to a tenured position at Harvard Law,” or that her case “shows just how morally and intellectually bankrupt ‘affirmative action’ is.” For good measure, he lurches into an equally unsubstantiated claim that President Obama got a “free pass to Columbia and Harvard Law” because of his race.

    Look, I can understand how people can legitimately question this or that aspect of academic affirmative action policies, but this seething hatred against any woman or minority member who has won a measure of success in a system where white men still massively, overwhelmingly run the country is just bizarre. Anyone looking at Barack Obama or Elizabeth Warren and immediately seeing the beneficiary of a “spoils racket” is just deranged beyond redemption—or perhaps, in Carr’s case, just cynical beyond belief.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Romney: Too Risky For National Security
    Larison gets it right:

    The gap between the ambitious and aggressive nature of Romney’s proposed foreign policy and the preparation and knowledge needed to conduct such a foreign policy is huge. It should also tell us something that most of the least prepared presidents had the most grandiose and ambitious visions for U.S. foreign policy, and in those cases the U.S. suffered greatly for their misguided and excessive vision and their lack of preparation.

    Hands up who wants a return to Cheneyesque foreign policy? Fanaticism and incompetence don’t always go together. But they do here.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 05/02/2012
    Gay GOPer asks: Why didn’t Romney stand up to right’s attacks on Richard Grenell?
    By Greg Sargent

    As the fallout over the resignation of Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy adviser continues today, much of the commentary is centered on the question of whether Romney’s aides pushed Grenell out in response to the uproar among social conservatives over the appointment. Romney aides are putting out the word that they did no such thing, and that they didn’t keep Grenell under wraps in any way.

    But let’s say we accept this to be true. There’s still another question that hasn’t been answered: Why didn’t Romney or his campaign stand up more forcefully to the attacks as they were happening?

    This, more than the question of whether or not Grenell was pushed out, is what is really galling even to would-be allies of Romney, such as the gay Republican group GOPround.

    “The Romney campaign should have spoken up publicly in defense of Rick against the attacks over the past two weeks,” GOProud’s executive director Jimmy LaSalvia said in an interview with me just now.

    “This was an opportunity to send an important message that Mitt Romney wants everybody to get behind him and to support his camapign,” LaSalvia continued. “They let that opportunity pass.”

    Many liberals and Democrats are pointing to Grenell’s departure episode as proof that Romney — who has been insisting he would have had the fortitude and strength to order the Bin Laden raid — is a weak leader who is afraid to stand up to the extreme elements in his own party. The Romney campaign has been insisting in response that he was not pushed out. And Romney’s spokesman did say in a statement yesterday that the campaign is “disappointed” that Grenell resigned, because of his “superior qualifications,” which could have been interpreted as a shot at his social conservative critics.

    But whatever you think of Grenell, the problem for gay Republicans like GOProud remains that the Romney campaign didn’t meaningfullly stand up to the attacks while they were going on. As Jennifer Rubin notes, prominent social conservatives were not privately asked to quiet the storm on the right. Romney’s aides may be right on the question of whether Grenell was or wasn’t asked to leave, but it’s hard to see how that changes the broader story here, or makes this whole affair any less of a referendum on Romney’s leadership or willingness to take on extreme voices within his own party.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Three Senate Candidates
    by BooMan
    Wed May 2nd, 2012 at 12:06:06 PM EST

    It’s hard to say what kind of senator Richard Carmona would be. But I think he has a good chance to beat Rep. Jeff Flake and become the junior senator from Arizona. Mr. Carmona served as Surgeon General under George W. Bush, and he was recruited by Republicans to run against both Gov. Janet Napolitano and Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obviously, the Republicans saw a lot of things to admire in Carmona, but he rewarded them by being highly critical of the Bush administration’s anti-scientific attitude in testimony before Congress. And then he says stuff like this:

    “You know, having walked in those shoes of being hungry and being homeless — the indignities of not getting health care, or waiting in the public hospital, hoping somebody will care for you; going to sleep with a toothache because you can’t go to the dentist,” he said. “I think it was, in retrospect, almost a gift of experience to me that sensitized me to the complexity of the world that we inherit today.”
    I want a senator who understands people’s struggles first-hand. And Carmona certainly meets that criteria.

    We have a better idea about how Bob Kerrey would perform in the Senate because he’s been there before, serving Nebraska from 1989 to 2001. He’s a totally unorthodox guy. He’s stood up to the NRA, voted against DOMA, voted against welfare reform, and led the successful fight against the flag-burning amendment. That’s not what you would expect from a Nebraska politician. But he also voted to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act and was weak on the environment. In private life, he’s clashed with unions during a disastrous run as president of The New School in Manhattan, and served on the pathetic 9/11 Commission, where he mainly spent his time blasting the Clinton administration for not getting bin-Laden in the 1990’s. On foreign policy, he’s always been a major hawk. He also flirted with becoming a major lobbyist, almost becoming the head of the Motion Picture Association of America before Sen. Chris Dodd took the job. Most people consider him a major underdog in his race for the senate this year, but Kerrey has always been a creative and combative campaigner. He will be loaded with cash and he won’t back down from any fight. I would never bet against him. The one thing I can say about him is that he’s pretty fearless. It might be a result of leaving one his lower legs in Vietnam.

    In North Dakota, Heidi Heitkamp is running to replace the retiring chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad. Heitkamp was once a lawyer for the EPA. She has served as State Tax Commissioner and Attorney General in her home state, and since 2003 she has been the director of Dakota Gas.

    The plant uses lignite coal to produce synthetic natural gas utilizing the coal gasification process. The plant processes 16 thousand tons of coal daily. The synthetic natural gas is piped to the Northern Border Pipeline which supplies homes and businesses in the eastern part of the United States. The Dakota Gasification Company is a subsidiary of the Basin Electric Power Cooperative which is located in Bismarck, North Dakota.
    As you might know, North Dakota is rapidly becoming the Saudi Arabia of the United States. Energy jobs are abundant and the state has the lowest unemployment rate in the country (3.0%). On Heitkamp’s website, she is notably silent on any of the social issues that divide the country. She mainly talks about her record as Attorney General and her advocacy for the energy industry. Maybe that’s helping her, because she’s been leading in the polls since she announced she was running.

    How would these three politicians change the U.S. Senate? It’s hard to say. Carmona would be considerably to the left of the retiring Republican Jon Kyl, as well as the libertarian Mormon Jeff Flake. But I have no idea how he would vote on a wide range of issues. Bob Kerrey would be more outspoken and hawkish than Ben Nelson. He’d probably be about the same on financial and agricultural issues. But he’d be much more liberal on social issues. Depending on what’s most important to you, he be better or worse than Nelson, but substantially better than his likely opponent, Jon Bruning. As for Heidi Heitkamp? I don’t even know if she’s pro-choice. She would probably resemble Sen. Mary Landrieu or Sen. Joe Manchin, but I don’t really know. She could fit in a with a more liberal group of Northern women from the Midwest, including Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, (hopefully) Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. The one thing I’m kind of sure about is that she won’t be a big help on climate change.

    I’ll look at other senate candidates in the days ahead.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012
    Obama campaign takes control

    Following Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, most pundits hailed James Carville as a genius for setting up the infamous War Room as a rapid response against Republican attacks. Twenty years later, I’m starting to see signs that the Obama 2012 campaign is upping the ante and taking things to the next level. They’re not simply responding to Republican attacks, they’re controlling the narrative and putting the Romney campaign on the defensive.

    It all started back when Romney made the colossal mistake of joining the Republican’s “war on women” (before he started etch-a-sketching himself from the primaries) by joining in the fray with waffling support of Senator Blunt’s bill to allow employers to deny contraception coverage and affirmed his goal about ending Planned Parenthood.

    As all that was swirling, the Obama campaign rolled out their efforts to highlight the Buffett Rule right around “tax day.” Romney was forced to react and chose to call it a gimmick, even though as we saw, Ronald Reagan had supported just such a measure.

    And before they had a chance to catch their breath on that one, President Obama started in with the HUGE rallies on campuses talking about the need to extend the low interest rates on college loans. Even though it contradicted what he’d said earlier, Romney was forced to agree.

    Both of these issues (Buffett Rule and interest on college loans) were accompanied by Congressional votes where Republican legislators were also forced to take a position.

    Then came Obama’s “coolness” highlighted by his appearances on Jimmy Fallon’s show and the White House Correspondent’s dinner. Romney was forced to react by giving up on the “likability” factor.

    And then, to coincide with the anniversary of the raid against Osama bin Laden, last night we saw the President’s surprise trip to Afghanistan, complete with the signing of an agreement about ending that war and a speech to the nation during prime time. While Romney is left to deliver pizzas to a NY fire station with more waffling on whether or not he would have gone after the mastermind of 9/11.

    All of this requires planning and forethought on the part of the President and his team. You begin to wonder whether or not they’ve mapped out the next 6 months of this election in the same way. If so, I think we’ll continue to see the Romney campaign flat-footed trying to constantly figure out how to respond.

    I’d say its time to put away that old trope about Democrats always being the victim of superior messaging/campaigning by Republicans. Once again, the team of Obama/Plouffe are showing us how its done!

    Posted by Smartypants at 8:12 AM

  19. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan’s bold stand against spending cuts
    By Steve Benen – Wed May 2, 2012 12:36 PM EDT.

    For some, fiscal responsibility is a laughing matter.
    We know that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) frequently argues that a “debt crisis” threatens to destroy civilization as we know it. We also know he doesn’t mean it.

    It’s a fairly straightforward case, actually. Not only does Ryan’s budget plan rely on deficit financing to pay for more tax cuts in the coming decades, the right-wing lawmaker is also suddenly against spending cuts, too.

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has introduced legislation to replace $1.2 trillion in across-the-board discretionary spending cuts required by last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling.

    The effort is a bid to prevent $600 billion in defense cuts that both parties argue would reduce U.S. national security. The defense cuts were supposed to pressure a supercommittee of lawmakers to find alternative cuts in the budget, but that panel failed to come up with a plan.

    Ryan’s Sequester Replacement Act, H.R. 4966, would eliminate language in last year’s Budget Control Act that requires the cuts, known as the “sequester.”

    I suspect for many of you, words like “sequester,” “triggers,” and “supercommittee” immediately make your eyes glaze over. But Ryan’s bill says a great deal about Republican lawmakers’ approach to fiscal responsibility.

    Let’s consider a quick review of how we got to this point, because, looking at this step by step, makes clear who’s being responsible and who’s not.

  20. rikyrah says:

    another one bitchslapped by reality.

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Republican Missouri House member has publicly announced he’s gay and is calling on GOP leaders to end legislation that would limit discussion of sexual orientation in public schools.

    Rep. Zachary Wyatt held a Capitol news conference Wednesday at which he said he was disclosing his sexual orientation for the first time. Wyatt and several other lawmakers denounced a bill that would prohibit teaching, extracurricular activities or materials that discuss sexual orientation unless they relate to the scientific facts about human reproduction.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Romney: Still Good at Firing, Bad at Being Human

    By Charles P. Pierce


    First of all, it’s hard to know who is more pathetic here, the Romney campaign for its unique capacity to be both ruthless and feckless, or the fact that there still are gay people who are amazed when a Republican politician — particularly a Republican politician whom the Christianists already believe is part of a cult — suddenly bows to the whims of the Bible-bangers and sells a gay person out. I mean, not that Grenell was any bargain; reporters covering the United Nations have been quite openly saying that, in his days working for Bolton, Grenell was notable for his ability to deal in barefaced non-facts, and his Twitter account was a farrago of slander and half-baked wingnut nonsense. (Matt Bai a liberal?) But the Romney people decided on a cynicism double-back-flip-with-a-twist, allying themselves with the notably-wrong-about-everything wingnut foreign policy community and reassuring gay people and credulous reporters that Romney is really “moving back toward the middle” — and failed to stick the landing. As the candidate once said, he does love firing people. And he’s good at it.


  22. rikyrah says:

    Popular health care protections on GOP chopping block
    By Steve Benen – Wed May 2, 2012 9:18 AM EDT

    .A national New York Times/CBS News poll recently asked respondents whether they approve of a specific provision in the Affordable Care Act: protections for those with pre-existing conditions. It was the single most popular element of “Obamacare” — a whopping 85% approve of the measure.

    Keep in mind, these days, 85% of Americans don’t agree on much of anything, but they all like this.

    Wait until Tom Price is writing health care policy in 2013.

    That may not matter. Many Republican policymakers, if they succeed in destroying the entirely of the Affordable Care Act, have every intention of ending these wildly popular protections. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a member of the House GOP leadership and a point man for the party on health policy, said this week the provision is “a terrible idea.”

    This matters because a Republican White House, working with a Republican Congress, will roll back the clock on health care reform, pursuing a “repeal and replace” strategy. What would the GOP would replace Obamacare with, exactly? Sahil Kapur reported yesterday:

    The pre-existing conditions rule is broadly popular with the public, even among Republicans. But the policy will collapse unless healthy people also enter the insurance pool, spreading costs and defraying risks — that’s the purpose of the less popular individual mandate and subsidies that are also a part of “Obamacare.” […]

    That’s why Republicans are struggling to come up with an alternative they can broadly support: To date, “Obamacare” remains the most comprehensive free-market approach to tackling the free-rider problem while giving Americans a financial stake in their health care.

    The GOP is committed to killing the Affordable Care Act, despite its similarities to previous Republican proposals, despite its reliance on a free-market approach, and despite the popularity of its specific provisions. This leaves Republicans in an unpleasant spot: they’ve sworn to eliminate every letter of the reform law, but they know Americans won’t like their alternative.

    Protections for those with pre-existing conditions, for example, will disappear. Republicans also oppose the Obamacare provision that requires coverage for young adults up to age 26. Contraception access, obviously, will be curtailed for millions, as will coverage for low-income children. Medicare’s prescription drug “donut hole” will return, too.

  23. Ametia says:

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012
    White Criminals of the Week: Arm Yourselves! White Terrorists Attempt to Blow Up Cleveland Bridge! White Barbarians Hide in Bunkers, Others Booby-trap Public Parks!

    Go check out Chauncey’s piece here:

  24. Ametia says:

    Alec Baldwin says he’s not running for NYC mayor

    May 1: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell sits down with NBC’s 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin to discuss the Republican Party of today, the Supreme Court and the possibilities of a run for office

  25. rikyrah says:

    this is pitiful. she was still a gay Republican yesterday.

    guess better late then never to be bitchslapped by reality.


    GOP: No Gays Allowed, Ctd

    Another writes:

    I just read your post and decided that was the last straw. I am a gay Republican supporting Mitt until today.

    I just sent his campaign an email requesting they remove my name from their call list because of Ric Grenell’s resignation. I will not contribute nor will I vote for a candidate that allows this type of witch hunt to happen in his campaign. This was a moment when a good person stands up and says enough but Mitt decided he could not be that person.

    Up until this point, I have not really bought into your Christianist rhetoric and the take over of the Republican party… forgive me, I am late to the game. But because I live in North Carolina and because my partner is about to have our first child, I face my own moment.

  26. Stephanie Cutter: Get the facts on Mitt Romney, Big Oil, and the Koch Brothers

  27. rikyrah says:

    Becoming Obama
    When Barack Obama met Genevieve Cook in 1983 at a Christmas party in New York’s East Village, it was the start of his most serious romance yet. But as the 22-year-old Columbia grad began to shape his future, he was also struggling with his identity: American or international? Black or white? Drawing on conversations with both Cook and the president, David Maraniss, in an adaptation from his new Obama biography, has the untold story of the couple’s time together.

    Related: David Maraniss discusses his biography of President Barack Obama—and his reaction to Genevieve Cook’s diaries being used—in a Q&A.

    Barack Obama transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University in 1981, his junior year. Although he left Los Angeles with enough ambitious propulsion to carry him into a more active period, he instead receded into the most existentialist stretch of his life. As he put it himself dec­ades later during an interview in the Oval Office, “I was leading a very ascetic existence, way too serious for my own good.” In most outward ways, compared with what had come before, his life in New York was a minimalist one, without the sprawling cast of characters that had surrounded him at Oxy and in Hawaii and Indonesia. He felt no attachment to Columbia or to the first jobs he landed after graduation. But it would be a misreading to say that he was tamping down his ambitions during that period. Just the opposite, in fact. If anything, his sense of destiny deepened. He was conducting an intense debate with himself over his past, pres­ent, and future, an internal struggle that he shared with only a few close friends, including his girlfriends, Alex McNear and Genevieve Cook, who kept a lasting rec­ord, one in letters, the other in her journal.

    “Where Am I Going?”
    It is exponentially easier to look back at a life than to live it forward. In retrospect it becomes apparent that New York was crucial to Obama. If he had not quite found his place yet, he was learning in which directions not to go and how to avoid turns that would lead him off the path and into traps from which it would be hard to escape. Even when he was uncertain about much else, Obama seemed hyper-alert to avoiding a future he did not want.

    At age 20, Obama was a man of the world. He had never been to south-central Kansas or western Kenya, the homelands of his ancestors, yet his divided heritage from Africa and the American heartland had defined him from the beginning. He could not be of one place, rooted and provincial. From his years living in Indonesia, where he was fully immersed in Javanese schools and culture; from his adolescence in Hawaii, where he was in the polyglot sea of hapa and haole, Asians and islanders; from his mother’s long-term commitment to development work overseas; from his friendship with Pakistani students at Occidental and his extended visit to their country—from all of these he had experienced far more global diversity than the average college junior. He knew the ways of different cultures better than he knew himself.

    • Ametia says:

      Dear Alex & Genevieve,


      Michelle & Barack

    • rikyrah says:

      this is from TOWN.


      But why is it an issue with Obama and the white lady with a diary.

      Because Obama rejected the white women in favor of the lithe black queen with a bubbly butt.

      Barack Obama got that lady singing this:

      I’m Sprung…(I’m sprung)
      Dawg He Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you
      I’m Sprung…(I’m Sprung)
      Dawg Hhe Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you

      You Do [7x]

      I’m Sprung…(I’m sprung)
      Dawg He Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you
      I’m Sprung…(I’m Sprung)
      Dawg He Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you

      You Do [4x]
      Do [15x]

      [Verse 1]
      He got me eatin’ Indonesian dishes
      Anythang he want for some kisses
      I’m cookin for him when he gets hungry
      All he doin is actin like he don’t want me
      He cuttin off all my homies
      Even all my other ronnies
      I ain’t even his main lady
      See I been thinking ’bout it lately
      Man he really don’t deserve me
      All he be doin’ is hurt me
      So I gotta get away from him…
      But now I’m leaving quickly
      Before he come and try to get me…
      And I’m takin everythang with me…
      Well it all come down to him…

      I’m Sprung…(I’m sprung)
      Dawg he Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you
      I’m Sprung…(I’m Sprung)
      Dawg he Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you

      You Do [4x]
      Do [15x]

      [Verse 2]
      So we went our separate ways…
      It’s been a couple of days…
      But now I’m doin what I want to
      With nobody tellin me what I’m gonna do
      And I’m feeling so free…
      With nobody but me…
      Now I can handle all my business
      All my girls can I get a witness
      But I’m feelin kinda lonely
      On top of that I’m kinda horny
      And I gotta get back to him…
      Now I’m leavin quickly…
      Before he come and try to get me…
      And I’m takin everythang with me…
      Well it all come down to him…

      I’m Sprung…(I’m sprung)
      Dawg he Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you
      I’m Sprung…(I’m Sprung)
      Dawg he Got Me…
      Got me doin things I’ll never do If u ain’t been I’m tellin you

      You Do [4x]
      Do [15x]

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 05/02/2012 TheWashingtonPost It’s not easy being a Wall Street gazillionaire these days
    By Greg Sargent

    Nick Confessore of the New York Times has a big story in the forthcoming Sunday magazine about Obama’s sour relations with Wall Street and the impact it’s having on fundraising.

    Buried in the story is an extraordinary anecdote: Wall Streeters are so upset about Obama’s harsh populist rhetoric that they privattely called on him to make amends with a big speech — like his oration on race — designed to heal the wounds of class warfare in this country.

    Obama campaign manager Jim Messina recently met with a group of Wall Street donors, and they gave him an earful:

    For the next hour, the donors relayed to Messina what their friends had been saying. They felt unfairly demonized for being wealthy. They felt scapegoated for the recession…
    One of the guests raised his hand; he knew how to solve the problem. The president had won plaudits for his speech on race during the last campaign, the guest noted. It was a soaring address that acknowledged white resentment and urged national unity. What if Obama gave a similarly healing speech about class and inequality? What if he urged an end to attacks on the rich? Around the table, some people shook their heads in disbelief….
    “This administration has a more contemptuous view of big money and of Wall Street than any administration in 40 years,” [one] donor said. “And it shows.”
    Where to begin? Wall Street excess helped lead to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, inflicting untold economic suffering on millions and millions of Americans. In both rhetorical and substantive terms, the Obama administration’s response was by any reasonable measure moderate and restrained. Indeed, Obama clearly viewed himself as a buffer between Wall Street and rising populist passion, telling a group of bankers in April of 2009: “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

    Despite all the wailing, Obama’s subsequent Wall Street reform bill simply was not a threat to the established order of things in any meaningful sense. His call for a Buffett Rule and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts would do nothing to halt growing inequality, which has been exacerbated by trends that have been underway for decades, and are only about spreading the sacrifice necessary to close the deficit, and about funding measures to create jobs for working and middle class Americans who continue to suffer, even as Wall Street is now reaping huge profits. In speech after speech after speech, Obama affirms that there’s no begrudging the wealthy their success.

    Yet despite all this, many Wall Streeters have responded with an extraordinary outburst of resentment, grievance, and self pity. They’ve shoveled enormous sums of money in the direction of the party whose main driving objective is to roll back everything in the way of new oversight Obama and Dems have put into place in response to the worst meltdown in decades.

    One wonders if there is anything Obama could say to make these people happy, short of declaring that rampant inequality is a good thing, in that it affirms the talent and industriousness of the deserving super rich. It certainly seems clear that they won’t be satisfied until he stops mentioning it at all.

  29. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney mum on how to regulate big banks
    May 02, 2012|By Matt Viser and Tracy Jan

    WASHINGTON – Republican Mitt Romney is pledging, if he is elected president, to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, a position favored by donors on Wall Street who have sent millions the candidate’s way. But he is nearly silent on how – without the regulation – he would prevent Wall Street from once again engaging in the risky practices that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.

    The gap in Romney’s platform – made more notable as, at every turn, he criticizes President Obama’s handling of the post-meltdown economy – has puzzled some economic specialists.

    “He’s asking for permission to govern the country – but he’s saying do away with the government’s response to the Wall Street crisis,’’ said Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University. “I’m no fan of Dodd-Frank, but I am a fan of the notion that we have to do something. He ought to be throwing out some replacements, some proposals of what he would do different.’’

  30. rikyrah says:

    The consequences of the GOP’s voting restrictions
    By Steve Benen – Wed May 2, 2012 10:41 AM EDT.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has heard the complaints about his party’s “war on voting,” and he doesn’t like it. “For centuries our electoral process is based on one person, one vote, and for anyone to politicize the issue reeks of desperation and represents the worst in modern politics,” Priebus said.

    Let that quote linger in your mind for a moment. Republicans have imposed a series of new restrictions, blocking Americans’ access to their own democratic process — voter-ID laws, limits on voter-registration drives, closing early-voting windows, creating fewer precincts and longer lines — as part of a not-so-subtle effort to undercut Democratic support.

    And if you’re bothered by this, you’re “politicizing” the issue of voting restrictions. Wow.

    Tell you what, Mr. Priebus. Why don’t you tell Viviette Applewhite she “reeks of desperation.”

    Applewhite, a 93-year-old widow in Pennsylvania, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil-rights movement, has voted in nearly every election for the last-half century.

    She will not, however, be allowed to cast a ballot this year because Pennsylvania Republicans have created a voter-ID law — and after her purse was stolen, Applewhite doesn’t have the proper materials she never needed to vote before. She’s now working with the state ACLU to challenge the state’s voting restrictions.

    Remember, as far as the Republican National Committee is concerned, this grandmother is “politicizing” voting by challenging the state’s efforts to stop her from participating in an election.

    GOP officials pretend to believe their voting restrictions are necessary to address fraud, which appears to exist solely in their imaginations. Measures like voter-ID laws remain a solution in search of a problem.

  31. Ametia says:

    <b.Romney’s former Bain partner and top donor is in the NY Times Magazine this weekend, trying to make the case for an unequal society:

    The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy
    Published: May 1, 2012

    Ever since the financial crisis started, we’ve heard plenty from the 1 percent. We’ve heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants. They typically repeat platitudes about investment, risk-taking and job creation with the veiled contempt that the nation doesn’t understand their contribution. You get the sense that they’re afraid to say what they really believe. What do the superrich say when the cameras aren’t there?

  32. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:08 AM ET, 05/02/2012
    The Morning Plum: Touting Bin Laden killing not so risky after all?
    By Greg Sargent

    As I noted here the other day, the vast majority of the commentary about the battle over Bin Laden’s death has focused only on whether Obama is taking a grave political risk in touting the killing. Few if any commentators bothered asking whether Mitt Romney and Republicans are also taking a risk in downplaying the significance of Obama’s ordering of the mission and getting drawn into the argument over it.

    But today, a handful of observers are now raising the latter possibility — and interestingly, they lean to the right.

    Former Bush adviser Mark McKinnon, for instance, says Republicans have fallen into the trap the Obama campaign laid for them:

    I say to Republicans: take an aspirin. Applaud Obama’s significant foreign- policy achievement. Get some credit for being honest and then take that credibility and turn the argument back to the economy, where the turf is much friendlier.
    Because here’s the lesson. When Democrats went crazy about our 9/11 ad in 2004, all they did was bring more attention to the message we were trying to communicate. Which is precisely the trap Republicans are falling into today.
    Meanwhile, Ross Douthat notes that the battle over Bin Laden shows that Obama is winning the political fight over national security, leaving the GOP incoherent and unable to resort effectively to the usual chest-thumping at a time of extreme public war-weariness.

    One other sign these writers may be right: After initially claiming that “even Jimmy Carter” would have ordered the mission, yesterday Romney seemed to tone down his rhetoric a bit, claiming he respects and admires Obama and all others involved in planning it.

    If they are right, the larger question this dust-up raises — still unanswered — is whether Obama’s counterterrorism successes, public exhaustion with American involvement abroad, and the resultant GOP confusion on national security have scrambled the landscape enough to end, or at least severly diminish, the GOP’s dominance on the issue, real or presumed

  33. Ametia says:


  34. Ametia says:

    This can’t be posted ENOUGH.

  35. Ametia says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama: “I am humbled and inspired”

    Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Warrior Games. More than 200 veterans and service members are participating in the third annual Warrior Games, hosted by the United States Olympic Committee with the support of the Department of Defense. The event enables men and women who suffered injuries during a tour of duty to compete in a variety of athletic events – from archery to cycling – and takes place through May 5th, 2012. The First Lady welcomed the group, saying, ” we have folks from the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Air Force and the Marine Corps. Just breathtaking is all I have to say. And I am humbled and inspired.”

    I want that dress!

  36. President Barack Obama greets hospital personnel in the ICU at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. The President presented ten Purple Hearts, three in the ICU. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  37. Ametia says:

    Justice Department Unveils New Details In Missoula Civil Rights Investigation

    MISSOULA, Mont. — The US Department of Justice has unveiled new details about its civil rights investigation into Missoula police, prosecutors and the University of Montana.
    The two-prong investigation is focused on allegations of a pattern of gender discrimination in relation to reported sex assaults
    NBC Montana reporters attended a news conference with top-level US Attorneys from the department’s civil rights department, Montana’s US Attorney, Missoula’s Mayor, Police Chief and the President of the University of Montana.

    The Justice Department reports over 80 alleged rapes in Missoula over the last three years, with at least 11 in an 18 month period involving University of Montana students.
    “The allegations that the University of Montana, the local police department and the County Attorney’s Office failed to adequately address sexual assaults are very disturbing,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
    Officials say the federal investigation will look at sexual assaults alleged by all women in Missoula, not just students.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Virginia Poll: Obama Opens An 8-Point Lead
    Kyle Leighton May 1, 2012, 1:58 PM

    From swing state to firewall?

    A new poll of Virginia shows President Obama opening up an 8-point lead in the state, after two polls earlier in April showed likely Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with small leads. Now the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Obama with a 51 percent to 43 percent lead over Romney, as the numbers reveal a large gender gap among women and a GOP base not yet rallying behind the presumptive nominee.

    Below the top-line results, President Obama’s approval rating has improved slightly in PPP’s last poll of the state, taken in December. Obama’s rating now stands at 50 percent to 46 percent, up from the previous 48 percent to 47 percent split. Romney has improved as well, as 38 percent of Virginia registered voters now see his favorably, against 52 percent who see him in a negative light, up from this December rating of 33 percent to 52 percent.

    Beyond that, the two numbers that jump out are the split among women voters and how those Virginians who voted for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the 2008 presidential election. Obama and Romney split men evenly, but the president sees 55 percent support from women, while Romney only gets 38 percent. The split seems to be a result of the nationwide gender gap that appeared clearly in polling after the Obama administration instituted new federal rules requiring health insurers to provide contraception to women free of charge. Republicans fought back against the rules, claiming they violated religious freedom by requiring insurers like the Catholic Church to provide something that went against its religious tenets.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Top GOPer: Ban On Pre-Existing Conditions Discrimination ‘A Terrible Idea’
    Sahil Kapur May 1, 2012, 1:42 PM

    Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the No. 5 House Republican, says he opposes one of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions — a ban on the insurance company practice of discriminating against people with pre-existing medical conditions.

    “It’s a terrible idea,” he told Politico.

    The remarks reflect a major conundrum for Republicans who, a year and a half after winning back the House, still have no idea how to replace “Obamacare” and are divided over how best to repeal it.

    A big complicating factor for the GOP is that scores of rank-and-file members want to repeal the law wholesale, without preserving the well-polling policies. That exposes them to specific questions about the merits of the law’s keys provisions, and gets members like Price, and the rest of the party, into trouble.

    A Price aide told TPM in an email that “we can achieve coverage through broader pooling mechanisms, even for those with pre-existing conditions, and tax credits. This should be viewed in the context of Obamacare, which is what we are talking about replacing. In the context of Obamacare, ideas like guaranteed issue and community rating work only if the individual mandate is in place.”

    The pre-existing conditions rule is broadly popular with the public, even among Republicans. But the policy will collapse unless healthy people also enter the insurance pool, spreading costs and defraying risks — that’s the purpose of the less popular individual mandate and subsidies that are also a part of “Obamacare.”

    Price’s alternative plan would provide consumers tax breaks to make insurance more affordable, and would create subsidized high-risk pools to accommodate the sick and needy. It’s an idea Republicans commonly point to. But it would entrench the very adverse-selection problem that the “Obamacare” mandate resolves. Enrollees would be sick and in need of extensive care, driving up premiums and costs without the counterweight that young and healthy people would provide.

    That’s why Republicans are struggling to come up with an alternative they can broadly support: To date, “Obamacare” remains the most comprehensive free-market approach to tackling the free-rider problem while giving Americans a financial stake in their health care.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Obama Jabs Romney on Outsourcing and Swiss Bank Accounts
    Jamelle Bouie
    May 1, 2012

    Step one in the Obama campaign’s attempt to portray their opponent as a heartless corporate raider.

    Barack Obama won’t officially kick off his reelection until this weekend—with dual rallies in Ohio and Virginia—but that hasn’t stopped his campaign from beginning its negative attack on Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Yesterday, the campaign questioned Romney’s ability to make critical military decisions, and today, it goes after his ability to make smart economic decisions, with an ad that will air in Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia:

    The point—which harkens back to Rick Perry’s attack on Romney for “vulture capitalism”—is that Romney’s brand of capitalism empowers corporations at the expense of ordinary people, and that Romney himself is so detached from average lives that he doesn’t realize it. The implicit contrast is that Obama will stand up for the economic interests of ordinary people. As Greg Sargent points out, this is “designed to sow doubts among swing voters about whether a President Romney would truly have the economic security of middle class Americans at heart.”

    Where the Romney campaign can (correctly) hit back is in the Obama administration’s willingness to tolerate years-long unemployment, and it’s reticence when it comes to the Federal Reserve. Obama has shied away from both pressing greater action, and appointing people to the Federal Reserve board who would pursue aggressive, anti-joblessness measures. Of course, this isn’t to say that a President Romney would have done any better; there’s no evidence to say that the former Massachusetts governor would be less cautious, or less captive to overconcern with inflation.

    Therein lies the advantage of running against an incumbent with a sluggish economy. Even if things are measurably better from four years ago, they’re still not good, and the only thing you have to do is point that out. Whether or not your plan would actually help is a different question entirely. On the other side, to succeed in his reelection bid, Obama will have to emphasize the extent to which his economic stewardship has been good (or more accurately, sufficient), and the degree to which Romney’s plans would make things worse.

  41. rikyrah says:

    The Opportunity Society
    Paul Waldman
    May 1, 2012
    What real opportunity looks like.

    Whenever the subject of inequality comes up, conservatives usually say the same thing: Barack Obama wants equality of outcome, while we want equality of opportunity. The first part is ridiculously disingenuous, of course—no one could honestly argue that Obama’s major goals, like raising income taxes from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, would bring us to some kind of pure socialistic society where everyone has precisely the same income and no one is wealthier than anyone else. But the second part is, I think, offered sincerely. Conservatives not only seek a world where everyone has the same opportunities, most of them think that’s pretty much what we have already, so major changes aren’t necessary, except in the area of getting government off your back. After all, this is America, where any kid, no matter where he comes from, can achieve whatever he wants if he’s willing to work hard. Right? Which brings me to the story of Tagg Romney.

    Today’s New York Times has a story about the private equity firm Tagg and the chief fundraiser from his dad’s 2008 presidential run started after that campaign ended, called Solamere Capital. They didn’t do anything illegal or unethical, so it isn’t an exposé of wrongdoing or a potential problem for the current Romney campaign, just a somewhat interesting tale about how “that familiar path from politics to profit” works. But here’s the portion that jumps out. Though neither of the two original founders had any experience in private equity, using their contacts among people who had donated to the Romney campaign they quickly found investors who gave them $244 million to play with:

    Solamere’s founders dispute any notion that they have cashed in on their political connections, arguing that Solamere, like any fund, has had to persuade investors on its merits.

    “No one we went to as an investor said, ‘Oh, your dad is Mitt Romney, I’m going to give you $10 million,” Tagg Romney said, noting that his father’s political future was uncertain when the firm began. He added, “Our relationships with people got us in the door, but that did not get us investors.”

    Even so, Mitt Romney was the featured speaker at Solamere’s first investor conference in Deer Valley in January 2010. Mr. Romney, who made his fortune in private equity at Bain Capital, also gave early strategic advice.

    Does Tagg Romney actually believe that his dad had nothing to do with his successful entry into the private equity game, and the millions he has made and will continue to make are the result only of his own merit? That his life is radically different from those of the millions of people struggling to get by only because they don’t work as hard as he does, or have his gumption and entrepreneurial spirit? Maybe he does. That may strike you and me as utterly insane, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    I’m not privy to the private conversations among folks like Tagg, but in public anyway, it seems that conservatives have become particularly vehement in defending inequality since the meltdown of 2008, insisting that in America, there is no such thing as privilege, money comes only from merit, wealth is a sign of virtue, and if we raise taxes a smidge on those at the top of the income ladder, we’re only “punishing success.” Repeat that to yourself and others often enough, and you can easily come to believe that we really do have equality of opportunity. But true equality of opportunity is actually nearly as radical an idea as equality of outcome. True equality of opportunity would mean that every public school would be equally good, for instance. But of course they aren’t—people with means move to towns with good schools precisely so they can give their kids more opportunity than other kids get.

  42. rikyrah says:

    May 01, 2012 3:26 PM

    Fallows Barbecues Romney on Carter Slur
    By Ed Kilgore

    In his reaction to reminders of his 2007 statement suggesting a pursuit of Osama bin Laden was a waste of time and money, Mitt Romney suggested the decision to pull the trigger on the operation was such a no-brainer that “even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”

    This got the attention of Washington Monthly alumnus (and former Carter speechwriter) James Fallows, who took Mitt to the woodshed in a column for The Atlantic:

    Jimmy Carter is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who spent ten years in the uniformed service of his country. As far as I can tell, this is ten years more than the cumulative service of all members of the Romney clan. Obviously you don’t have to be a veteran to have judgments about military policy or criticisms of others’ views. But when it comes to casual slurs about someone else’s strength or resolve, you want to be careful, as a guy on the sidelines, sounding this way about people who have served.

    Jimmy Carter did indeed make a gutsy go/no-go call. It turned out to be a tactical, strategic, and political disaster. You can read the blow-by-blow in Mark Bowden’s retrospective of “The Desert One Debacle.” With another helicopter, the mission to rescue U.S. diplomats then captive in Teheran might well have succeeded — and Carter is known still to believe that if the raid had succeeded, he would probably have been re-elected. Full discussion another time, but I think he’s right. (Even with the fiasco, and a miserable “stagflation” economy, the 1980 presidential race was very close until the very end.)

    But here’s the main point about Carter. Deciding to go ahead with that raid was a close call. Carter’s own Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, had opposed the raid and handed in his resignation even before the results were known. And it was a daring call — a choice in favor of a risky possible solution to a festering problem, knowing that if it went wrong there would be bad consequences all around, including for Carter himself. So if you say “even Jimmy Carter” to mean “even a wimp,” as Romney clearly did, you’re showing that you don’t know the first thing about the choice he really made.

    Since Romney in particular and Republicans generally keep trying to make this election a rerun of 1980, they’d probably do well to get their facts a little straighter about Jimmy Carter (and while they are at it, about Ronald Reagan the serial tax-hiker).

    UPDATE: At Ten Miles Square, Mark Kleiman also gives Romney a good roasting:

    The only reason I can think of for Romney to say what he said is that the statement, as he made it, is obviously false, and Romney is addicted to lying. We know what Jimmy Carter would have done, because we know what he actually did do, under parallel circumstances: allow himself to be talked into going in without enough resources, risking having to scrub the mission if three out of eight helicopters failed (compared to a predicted two out of eight). Obama, by contrast, personally insisted on what turned out to be the essential extra chopper going into Abbotabad.

    Moreover, of course, while making the final call was indeed dramatic, the key moves that Obama took – and Bush didn’t take – involved putting in motion the machinery that got us to the place where the final call was there to be made. Obama got bin Laden because Obama wanted to get bin Laden. There’s no evidence on the record that any of the Republicans – Bush, McCain, or Romney – shared that desire.

  43. rikyrah says:

    HOW can we believe Willard would have gotten OSAMA…

    when his chicken ass can’t even stand up to the right-wing to keep on a friggin’ spokesman.

    someone on another blog called Willard a ‘Pansy-ass’…

    and, ICAM.

    Conservatives force Grenell’s ouster
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 1, 2012 3:48 PM EDT.Just two weeks ago, the Romney campaign hired Richard Grenell to serve as the Republican’s spokesperson on foreign policy. And while this isn’t ordinarily a high-profile position, the decision proved to be problematic for a couple of reasons.

    From the left, Grenell proved to be controversial because of a series of social-media messages that targeted women in politics and media with sexist language. From the right, Grenell was criticized for being gay, which some religious right activists found outrageous because, well, they just don’t like gay people.

    Today, Jennifer Rubin reports that Grenell has been “hounded from the Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives,” just two weeks after joining Team Romney.

    Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment. […]

    The ongoing pressure from social conservatives over his appointment and the reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman while controversy swirled left Grenell essentially with no job.

    The larger significance of this is what it tells us about Romney’s relative weakness in the face of pressure from his base. The former governor hired a qualified former Bush administration official; the right said gay people are bad people; so Romney quickly accepted his own staffer’s resignation, despite the fact that the aide had done nothing wrong on the job. Romney was comfortable with Grenell’s misogynistic tweets before getting the job, but uncomfortable with anti-gay animus from the right after Grenell was already on the job.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Some folks be just crazy.



    Today in Hyperbole: President Obama the Klan Punisher
    By Kent Jones – Tue May 1, 2012 7:16 PM EDT.

    The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has a new and typically innovative theory about the motivations of President Obama. To wit (with our own annotations):

    “And I believe I understand now what Barack Obama is about.1 And it is intentional, it is not ineptitude on his part,2 it is intentional and his mission in life is to punish the United States for being a racist country.3 That’s what drives him, it’s what animates him, it’s what energizes every single thing he does4 to punish this country, to cut it down to size, to wound it, to hurt it, to damage it, to diminish it in order to punish the United States for being a racist country.5

    To Barack Obama, the entire United States of America is one big, giant Ku Klux Klan6 and the Constitution, for Barack Obama, is the membership charter for this giant Ku Klux Klan7 … And I honestly believe8 that this is how Barack Obama sees the United States of America; one big, giant Ku Klux Klan meeting9 and it’s his job to punish the Ku Klux Klan, which is the United States of America in his worldview.”10

    1 — i.e. I’ve spent weeks thinking up something even less reality-based than my previous crack-pottery.
    2 — Not ineptitude? Bryan Fischer, I’m starting to question your commitment to this cause…
    3 — A country so racist, that it would elect someone named Barack Hussein Obama to be its president. Possibly twice.
    4 — Drives, animates, energizes—Roget’s Thesaurus salutes your use of active synonymous verbs, sir!
    5 — Look at what he wears. Look at his family. Listen to how he speaks. Clearly Barack Obama is a rage-filled instrument of pure vengeance.
    6 — This info will come as a HUGE surprise to the millions of non white male protestants who live in this country. Bit of a membership shocker for the Klan, too, I suspect.
    7 — He must have learned that in one of those radical liberal civics madrassas used to indoctrinate Hawaiian kids.
    8 — When people say, “I honestly believe” — they honestly don’t.
    9 —Does he mean a big giant meeting of the Klan or a meeting of big giant Klansmen? Giant Klansmen—now there’s a Marvel comics villain. Avengers Assemble!
    10 —And how does he punish the Klan? By passing health care and killing Osama bin Laden. BAM! Want some more? Huh? Huh….?

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Obviosuly, dude has been off his meds for a loooooooooooooong time. But this is the thinking of the racist, fearful white man. They are so afraid Black folks are going to turn on them for all their their hateful thoughts & deeds. It’s always about them. When all BLACK folks ever wanted and needed was the same damn things in life they want and need; to breathe the air, clean food, water, education, a roof over their heads. You know, things like basic HUMAN needs.

      BUT RACIST WHITE FOLKS cannot or will NOT see BLACKS or other POC as HUMANS.

    • What a stupid mofo! He needs smacking across the face with that ignoramus bs. I hope he goes to hell early.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Stephen King’s advice: ‘Tax Me for F@%&’s Sake’
    By Steve Benen – Wed May 2, 2012 8:33 AM EDT.

    A couple of months ago, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was asked about wealthy people like Warren Buffett who believe they should pay more in taxes for the nation’s benefit. The Republican governor said they should “shut up” and rely on a voluntary system in which the rich pay more to the treasury, but only if they want to.

    And while Christie added, “I’m tired of hearing about it,” Stephen King responded this week, “I’m not tired of talking about it.” The best-selling author, whose success has made him very wealthy, argued in colorful terms, “Tax me for f@%&’s sake.”

    It’s true that some rich folks put at least some of their tax savings into charitable contributions…. What charitable 1 percenters can’t do is assume responsibility — America’s national responsibilities: the care of its sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts. Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny. That kind of salvation does not come from Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Ballmer saying, “OK, I’ll write a $2 million bonus check to the IRS.” That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry.

    What of those wealthy Republicans who insist they shouldn’t apologize for their riches? King isn’t impressed with this argument, either.

    What some of us want … is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America….. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that — sorry, kiddies — you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay — not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay — in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.

  46. rikyrah says:

    ‘Bigotry on the ballot’ in North Carolina
    By Steve Benen – Wed May 2, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    State measures to prohibit same-sex marriage have been quite common in recent years, and tend to do quite well when put to voters. But for Republicans in North Carolina, a simple ban on marriage equality apparently isn’t good enough.

    Instead, voters in North Carolina are considering whether to add something called Amendment One to the state constitution, which would go significantly further than the more routine anti-gay measures we’ve become accustomed to seeing. The New York Times editorial board said “bigotry is on the ballot.”

    In their zeal, lawmakers got careless with the wording of the measure…. It would constitutionally prohibit recognition not just of same-sex marriages, but of other legal arrangements like civil unions and domestic partnerships. That could harm all unmarried couples, imperiling some children’s health insurance benefits, along with child custody arrangements and safeguards against domestic violence.

    The campaign against the amendment is being spearheaded by a coalition of civic, religious, business and civil rights leaders and groups.

  47. rikyrah says:

    .Metro Atlanta / State News 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2012
    Investigators search for clues in Tyler Perry fire

    By Alexis Stevens and Marcus K. Garner

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Firefighters remained at Tyler Perry Studios in southwest Atlanta early Wednesday, watching for hot spots and trying to determine what caused a spectacular blaze that damaged one of the complex’s buildings.

    “The fire’s out, but the cause remains under investigation,” Capt. Jolyon Bundrige with the Atlanta Fire Department told the AJC just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

    About midnight, Bundrige said that several fire units were still on the scene, “conducting a damage assessment, including salvage and overhaul.” At least one fire truck remained at the studios at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

    Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to one building in the center of the 30-acre complex owned by Atlanta filmmaker Perry, Bundrige said.

    The first report of a fire came in at 8:41 p.m., and before it was over, more than 100 firefighters had responded to a blaze that quickly escalated to four alarms.

    The fascia of the affected building collapsed, but its structural integrity was not compromised, Bundrige said. No injuries were reported.

    Though the flames were extinguished within an hour, many firefighters remained for several hours putting out hot spots. Several units were still there around midnight conducting a damage assessment, including salvage and overhaul.

    Perry was at his Continental Colony Parkway complex Tuesday night and spoke with Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, but did not talk to reporters gathered nearby, Bundrige said. Employees leaving the studio grounds after the fire told reporters they were instructed not to speak to the media.

    Efforts were being made to reach a spokesman for the studio.

  48. Ametia says:

    Social Security statements online
    By Stephen Ohlemacher, Wednesday, May 2, 6:01 AM

    The Social Security Administration is now providing workers with online statements of the estimated benefits they will get when they retire, replacing the paper ones the agency used to mail out.

    Until last year, the agency mailed yearly statements that showed the benefits a worker would collect if he or she retired at age 62, age 66 or age 70. It stopped the mailings to save an estimated $70 million a year.

  49. Ametia says:

    Senators want USPS to wait on closings
    By Ed O’Keefe, Wednesday, May 2, 6:01 AM

    Four senators are pushing the U.S. Postal Service to hold off on closing post offices and distribution centers until after Congress passes long-awaited legislation to revamp the struggling mail carrier.

    The Postal Service, eager to implement a three-year, $22 billion cost-cutting plan, expects to resume closing thousands of post offices and hundreds of distribution centers May 15. It had agreed to wait until that date so Congress could pass a bill overhauling the agency’s finances and delivery network.

  50. Ametia says:

    Happu HUMP day, Everyone! :-)

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