Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Blockbuster Movie Soundtrack Week!

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Wiki:  Ghostbusters is a 1984 American supernatural sci-fi comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as three eccentric parapsychologists in New York City, who start a ghost catching business. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis co-star as a potential client and her neighbor, respectively. It was released in the United States on June 8, 1984 and made US$238,632,124 in the United States.[2] The American Film Institute ranked Ghostbusters 28th in its AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list of film comedies.

The film was followed by a sequel, Ghostbusters II in 1989, and two animated television series, The Real Ghostbusters (later renamed Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters) and Extreme Ghostbusters. As of February 2012, a third feature film remains in development hell.

Ghostbusters II is a 1989 science fiction comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters and follows the further adventures of a group of parapsychologists and their organization which combats paranormal activities. The film was a box office success despite mixed reviews.

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60 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | Blockbuster Movie Soundtrack Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Posted at 08:13 AM ET, 05/16/2012
    Aaron Sorkin to pen Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic
    By Sarah Anne Hughes

    Aaron Sorkin is officially tapped to write the screenplay for Sony Pictures’s biopic about Steve Jobs, the studio announced Tuesday.

    The film will be based on Walter Issacson’s biography of the Apple co-founder, who died in October after a battle with cancer. No, this is not the Steve Jobs project starring the now bearded, turtleneck sporting Ashton Kutcher.

  2. Ametia says:



  3. rikyrah says:

    HEADLINE: Rahm Emanuel ‘livid,’ not returning calls from Ricketts family.

    // Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not returning calls from the Ricketts family and is “livid” over a New York Times report that Joe Ricketts commissioned a proposal for a multimillion-dollar ad campaign linking President Obama to the president’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, according to an Emanuel aide. Joe Ricketts’s children, which include Obama bundler Laura Ricketts, bought the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and have been in talks with the city about renovating the team’s 98-year-old stadium, Wrigley Field.

    The aide also said Emanuel, who is Obama’s former chief of staff, has cut off communication with the family.
    “The Ricketts have tried to contact the mayor, but he’s said that he does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon,” the aide said.

  4. rikyrah says:

    tweet about Willard:
    Richard Wolffe
    @richardwolffedc I’m not familiar with what I stand for, but I stand for it, whatever it is

  5. Ametia says:

    Allison Kilkenny: Chicago Is in Lockdown for This Weekend’s NATO Summit

    With multiple protests and marches planned for this weekend and the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago, the city is gearing up. In this episode of Nation Conversations, Nation blogger Allison Kilkenny joins executive editor Richard Kim to explain the protesters’ goals and plans. She also delves into how in Chicago, Tampa and Charlotte, city governments are taking extreme measures out of proportion with the threat posed by planned protests.

    Be sure to follow Kilkenny’s coverage of events in Chicago this weekend on her blog.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Mike Coffman didn’t ‘misspeak’
    By Steve Benen – Thu May 17, 2012 2:43 PM EDT.

    Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) delivered some pretty stunning remarks at a fundraiser over the weekend, and unfortunately for him, the NBC affiliate in Denver obtained a copy of his speech.

    Around the 3:20 mark, Coffman, the two-term Republican congressman, says of the president:

    “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”

    Asked for an explanation, the congressman issued a statement that “I misspoke and I apologize.”

    That doesn’t work. Sure, everyone misspeaks from time to time, especially in public affairs. Someone might accidentally say Iraq, when they meant Iran. Someone meant to say 47, but they said 57. They’re just verbal slipups, and they’re hardly worth getting excited about.

    But it’s not an example of “misspeaking” when someone says, “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.” It’s not like this just slipped out accidentally.

    Coffman added in his written explanation, “I don’t believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism. His policies reflect a philosophy that America is but one nation among many equals.”

    For the record, Obama has emphasized his support for the principles of “American exceptionalism” rather explicitly, a fact more than a few observers acknowledged, even on the right.

  7. Ametia says:


  8. rikyrah says:

    Biden To Ohio Workers: Romney Doesn’t ‘Get Who We Are’
    Pema Levy- May 16, 2012, 3:28 PM

    Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it. That’s the message Vice President Joe Biden drilled in to a crowd in eastern Ohio Wednesday, playing up his working-class roots.

    “They don’t get us. They don’t get who we are,” Biden bellowed. “My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams.”

    “Absolutely,” a man in the audience volunteered.

    In a passionate speech at M7 Technologies, an advanced manufacturing facility in Youngstown, Biden used his own working-class roots — his family dealt with job losses and uncertainty, he said — to connect with a crowd in one of the most economically hard-hit areas in the country.

    Biden hit the basic points of the campaign’s economic message as well. Manufacturing is growing at its fastest rate since the 1990s, including 40,000 new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Biden said. He contrasted that with examples of factories closing after they were acquired by Bain Capital, the private equity firm Mitt Romney ran.

    “In the 1990s, there was a steel mill in Kansas City, Mo. It had been in business since 1888,” Biden said, according to prepared remarks. “Then Romney and his partners bought the company. Eight years later it went bankrupt.” While the workers lost their jobs, “Romney and his partners walked away with at least $12 million,” Biden said.

    “Romney and his friends believe in helping those at the very top and let everyone else fend for themselves,” Biden said. That approach, Biden said, represented a return to the same philosophy that devastated Ohio during the Bush administration.

    But Biden bracketed the standard stump speech with his own personal story. His father once came to his bedside to explain that he had lost his job and would have to head to Wilmington, Del., to look for more work, Biden said. He invoked the image of a parent heading up the stairs to his children’s bedrooms to relay the bad news.

    Romney is a nice guy, Biden said, but “he doesn’t get what’s at the core of all this. It’s about people’s dignity.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Bloomberg News
    Romney Ropes Off Media to Avoid Making Unscripted Gaffes
    By Julie Hirschfeld Davis on May 17, 2012

    Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is clamping down on unrehearsed comments by the presumed Republican nominee, tightening control of his message to limit gaffes as he courts a broader swath of the electorate that will decide the November election.

    Aides to the former Massachusetts governor, who has created political headaches for himself with unscripted comments, have taken to barring reporters from asking questions as he greets voters and blocking the media from even observing the chats.

  10. rikyrah says:

    RIP, Donna Summer

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 05/17/2012
    GOP struggles to banish ghost of Jeremiah Wright
    By Greg Sargent

    In a statement, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades repudiates the plan being hatched by GOP operatives for an ad campaign tying Obama to Reverend Wright:

    “Unlike the Obama campaign, Gov. Romney is running a campaign based on jobs and the economy, and we encourage everyone else to do the same. President Obama’s team said they would ‘kill Romney,’ and, just last week, David Axelrod referred to individuals opposing the president as ‘contract killers.’ It’s clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination. We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so.”
    And that’s good. The problem, though, is that it turns out that Romney himself attacked Obama over Wright on Sean Hannity’s show on February 7th of this year, during the GOP primary. A Democrat sends over audio, which is at the end of the post.

    Hannity played Romney a quote in which Obama said: “Given the increasing diversity of America’s populations, the dangers of sectarianism are greater than ever. Whatever we once were we are no longer a Christian nation.” Romney responded, in part:

    “Without question, the legal code in this country is based upon Judeo-Christian values and teachings, Biblical teachings, and for the president not to understand that a wide array of religions and a conviction that Judeo-Christian philosophy is an integral part of our foundation is really an extraordinary thing. I think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard, not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths but instead from those who would like America to be more secular. And I’m not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less Christian nation.”
    The point here, as evidenced by Romney’s repudiation today of the GOP plan to revive Wright, is that leading Republicans know it’s not acceptable to play the race card as overtly as this. As Adam Serwer notes today, it’s basically as crass an exercise in race-baiting as portraying Obama as the “type of black man they cross the street to avoid,” and Republican leaders know this is a nonstarter, morally and politically.

    At the same time, large swaths of the GOP base, and even of the conservative commentariat, are heavily invested in a deeply paranoid view of Obama that goes far beyond whether Obama sat in the pews and nodded along with Wright’s anti-American venom.

    GOP leaders are very careful to declare Wright off limits, but leading Republican officials and opinionmakers have fed this broader and deeper strain of anti-Obama paranoia for literally years now, in all sorts of ways. By hinting that Obama doesn’t really wish the country well. Or by suggesting that he’s overly sympatheic towards America’s enemies. Or by failing to forcefully condemn birtherism. Or by declaring that they take Obama at his word when he says he’s a Christian. Or by hinting that he’s hostile towards faith and religion.

    The quote above from Romney to Hannity captures this well. The problem isn’t just the invocation of Wright; it’s the broader message on display — that Obama harbors a secret desire to secularize the country. The invocation of Wright is just a symptom of the larger problem here.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:06 PM ET, 05/17/2012 The latest `repeal and replace’ bait-and-switch
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    The ongoing saga of the “replace” portion of repeal-and-replace has moved forward again. You’ll recall that Republicans campaigned on the idea that after they got rid of the dreaded “Obamacare” they would immediately move to replace it with Republican health care reform. But then they ignored that pledge for the next fifteen months. Then, last week, one key GOP Member of the House said that replace was dead.

    This week, Republicans have yet another strategy in place. They have now leaked to Politico that a health care replacement will be unveiled soon after the Supreme Court acts, really truly for sure this time.

    As Woody said, “Fool me once, Doctor Crain.”

    The problem is that the new Republican “solution” consists of, apparently, keeping all the popular things in the Affordable Care Act, and getting rid of the unpopular bits. So we’re promised that the Republicans will support having people with pre-existing conditions get health care without that pesky individual mandate that makes it a workable policy. They will support closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole without the taxes or Medicare Advantage spending cuts to pay for it.

    The unpopular bits were there for a reason; without them, the policy just doesn’t work.

    I can think of three interpretations of the Politico story.

    One is that the Republicans are floating this idea in the full knowledge that it will never go anywhere. They intend to pass these “replace” bits (apparently this would be done not in the form of a big bill, but several smaller ones) knowing that as long as Democrats have a Senate majority and Barack Obama is in the White House, there’s no chance that any of it will become law. If they win control of the Senate in November, “replace” would then simply be allowed to quietly fade away.

    The second possibility is that Republicans really do hope to pass dessert-only set of policies — even if they know they’re unworkable. That was, after all, basically how they operated in the George W. Bush era.

    Or, perhaps, the most obvious solution is that this is exactly as serious as every previous claim that “replace” was just around the corner. In other words, they’re just hoodwinking Politico. Indeed, Rep. Paul Ryan told the Washington Examiner today that Republicans would not submit actual legislation but would instead offer their own competing “vision” of health reform.

    I have no idea which one is the truth, although my money would be on yet another bait-and-switch. The real moral of this latest turn in the story, however, is this: After all this time Republicans are still no closer to developing an alternative to Obama’s health law — one that would increase coverage and hold down costs — than they were were when the law passed in the first place. Perhaps more to the point, they’re still not willing to admit that they don’t have any alternative, and likely never will.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Likely Barred From Re-Entering U.S.

    Sahil Kapur- May 17, 2012, 9:01 AM

    Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship just in time to avoid a large tax payment essentially means he will not be able to re-enter the United States again, immigration experts tell TPM.

    “There’s a specific provision of immigration law that says that a former citizen who officially renounces citizenship, and is determined to have renounced it for the purpose of avoiding taxation, is excludable,” said Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “So he would not be able to return to the United States if he’s found to have renounced for tax purposes.”

    The provision of law isn’t usually enforced, added Williams, “however, this guy is so high profile that this is probably going to be the test case.”

    Saverin’s only path back to living in the U.S., experts contend, would involve persuading the authorities that his decision was not about avoiding taxes — an argument the 30-year-old billionaire is apparently angling to make.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Town and Country
    Barry Yeoman
    May 15, 2012
    On North Carolina’s Amendment One, the fault line was not racial—it was urban-rural.

    In the week since North Carolina voters adopted a constitutional amendment banning recognition of any “domestic legal union” other than heterosexual marriage, a consensus has formed among journalists about African-American complicity. According to this narrative, black voters let their Protestant traditionalism trump any sense of fairness toward lesbians and gay men—and became the critical voting bloc that gave Amendment 1 its landslide victory. Although the language has been cool this time around, it nonetheless has echoes of the widespread vilification of black voters after California passed the similar Proposition 8 in 2008.

    “Citing deeply held religious objections to homosexuality, African-Americans, many of whom are evangelical Christians, have consistently voted for state bans on gay marriage, most recently in North Carolina,” reported NPR. The Charlotte Observer declared that “many conservatives and African-Americans set political differences aside to vote along spiritual lines.” An Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist reported overwhelming support for the measure among black voters and speculated that “perhaps they think being sold into bondage simply because of skin color commands a greater grievance than not being able to get married on account of the body type to which you are naturally attracted.” The Wilmington Journal, a black newspaper on the North Carolina coast, reported that, for African-American voters, “religious convictions won out.”

    With President Obama declaring his personal support for same-sex marriage the following day, North Carolina’s vote became the springboard for a national conversation on African Americans, gay rights, and the 2012 presidential race. “I wonder if this will not create a crisis of conscience for some black voters, especially religious voters, especially older voters, who were supportive of Obama before and now have to say, ‘What is most important to me, do I need the brother to be re-elected and what we talk about on Sunday aside?'” author and cultural critic Toure said on MSNBC’s The Last Word. “Or I got my God, my Bible, my minister and we`ve been talking about this for years, and I need to focus on that and maybe I`ll stay home.”

    There’s a problem with this story line: It ignores the actual results of the election, which show that the fault line in North Carolina was not racial at all, but rather urban-rural.

    It’s impossible to calculate exactly how black voters came down on Amendment 1, because there was no exit polling and voting precincts are rarely single-race. What is clear is that urban voters opposed the amendment; rural ones supported it; and that division cut cleanly across the color line.

    In each of North Carolina’s five largest cities, voters in majority-black precincts rejected the measure: Charlotte (52 percent), Raleigh (51 percent), Greensboro (54 percent), Winston-Salem (55 percent), and Durham (65 percent). Durham’s results were dramatic: Not a single majority-black precinct supported the amendment. Several crushed it by margins of 3-to-1 and even 4-to-1.

  15. rikyrah says:

    House GOP leader: ‘My goal is to end Fulton County’
    9:55 am May 17, 2012, by jgalloway

    When the Legislature passed new maps for the state House and Senate last year, Republicans gave themselves extra slices of certain counties.

    Earlier this month, House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Milton bluntly explained the merits of the tactic to a group of north Fulton voters. From Neighbor Newspapers:

    In January, according to Jones, there will be a north Fulton majority in both the House delegation and the Senate delegation.

    Which means, “we can cut Fulton County down to size until we get Milton County,” she said.

    “My goal is that we reduce the thumbprint … of Fulton County on your lives and your pocketbooks such that in a very few years, Atlanta and south Fulton will not fight us on recreating Milton County because Fulton County will be insignificant,” she said. “We will begin that process next year.”

    Jones said she actually thinks splitting Fulton into three counties would be in the best interest of all citizens.

    “My goal is not to re-create Milton County. My goal is to end Fulton County and bring government closer to the people,” she said. “But it will take convincing.”

    Jones’ comments, reported last week, are only now circulating within the city of Atlanta. They explain the motives behind HB 1052, which would have given the power to appoint two of three Fulton County representatives on the MARTA board to municipalities in north Fulton, said state Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta.

    “The strategy is to chip away at any power that Fulton County has. One of the greatest powers the county has is the appointment of representatives to the MARTA board,” Taylor said.

    Taylor has invited Jones to a town hall meeting in his neck of the woods – on any Saturday in the next two months — “so that my consituents and others not in north Fulton may have the benefit of your views.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    WATCH: Strategist Behind Proposed Reverend Wright Attack Ad Has Long History Of Race-Baiting
    By Annie-Rose Strasser on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

    group of GOP strategists is planning to pull out all the stops — including racism — in its campaign strategy to defeat President Obama, the New York Times reported today.

    The Times obtained a proposal, crafted by race-baiting GOP media consultant Fred Davis, that says the group will go after Obama for his relationship to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor who has come under fire for controversial race-related comments.

    Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) steered clear of these attacks during the 2008 election — even suspending a staffer who tweeted out a Wright video — much to the chagrin of Davis and his associates, who include Chicago Cubs owner/ TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.

    Davis’s proposal makes clear that no holds will be barred this time around, and that Rev. Wright will be prominently featured. According to the article, the group is seeking as “a spokesman an ‘extremely literate conservative African-American’ who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a ‘metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.’”

    Davis, it turns out, has a long history of making ads that evoke racism, xenophobia, or general aversions to anything “other” or “different.” Here are his top three ads in that vein:

    Alabama’s English-Only Governor: Fred Davis helped with Tim James’s gubernatorial bid, during which he ran this dog-whistle xenophobic, racist ad.

  17. Ametia says:

    May 16, 2012 09:25 PM
    Paul Volcker’s Prescient Advice for Jamie Dimon
    By Heather

    Shortly after Jamie Dimon’s appearance on Fox last month, PBS’s Bill Moyers had former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and head of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Paul Volcker, whose namesake is the Volcker rule that Wall Street has been lobbying so hard to water down or get rid of, as his guest.

    In light of the recent debacle at JPMorgan Chase where Dimon’s company lost at least $2 billion on high risk derivatives trading, his advice for Dimon during this interview is downright prescient; If you want to participate in proprietary trading, give up your banking license.

    Paul Volcker on the Volcker Rule:

  18. rikyrah says:

    Donna Summer has passed away at the age of 63 from cancer.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Conservative, Religion
    National Review Trades Black Clergymen
    By Oliver Willis May 16,2012

    Conservatives are looking very hard for actual evidence to back up the storyline they’ve concocted that Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage will hurt him in some statistically significant way with black voters.

    As National Review’s Noah Glyn writes here, they’ve already lost one example with Rev. Emmett Burns, a Maryland pastor who first said he would stay home in 2012 after Obama’s decision. Already Burns has changed his mind, noting that while he disagrees with Obama’s position, he will support his re-election.

    So what does Glyn do? Find another black clergyman! He cites the example of Reverend Dwight McKissic of Cornerstrone Baptist Church who tells National Review just the kind of claptrap they want to hear: “The moral impact of this decision is equal to the military impact of al-Qaeda when they attacked the Twin Towers on 9/11.”

    The article goes on to cite McKissic as if he were just a man of the cloth upset with Obama.

    Except he sounds a little crazy if you dig in just a little. In 2005 McKissic blamed New Orleans’ sin for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, claiming that “New Orleans flaunts sin in a way that no other places do” and that “There are 10 abortion clinics in Louisiana; five of those are in New Orleans. They have a Southern Decadence parade every year and they call it gay pride.”

    As a result, McKissic claimed, “When you study Scripture, it’s not out of the boundaries of God to punish a nation for sin and because of sin. When I look at our country, at what’s happening, and what’s happening in New Orleans in particular, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility.”

    Just the kind of crazy talk you might expect from someone offering up a juicy anti-Obama quote to National Review.

  20. Ametia says:

    Census: Minority babies are now majority in United States
    By Carol Morello and Ted Mellnik, Published: May 16

    For the first time in U.S. history, most of the nation’s babies are members of minority groups, according to new census figures that signal the dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority.

    Population estimates show that 50.4 percent of children younger than 1 last year were Hispanic, black, Asian American or in other minority groups. That’s almost a full percentage point higher than the 49.5 percent of minority babies counted when the decennial census was taken in April 2010. Census Bureau demographers said the tipping point came three months later, in July.
    The latest estimates, which gauge changes since the last census, are a reflection of an immigration wave that began four decades ago. The transformation of the country’s racial and ethnic makeup has gathered steam as the white population grows collectively older, especially compared with Hispanics.

    The census has forecast that non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered in the United States by 2042, and social scientists consider that current status among infants a harbinger of the change.

    “This is a watershed moment,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University who specializes in family issues. “It shows us how multicultural we’ve become.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    ‘Fuzzy Jobs Math’
    By Steve Benen – Thu May 17, 2012 9:28 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney’s campaign team told reporters earlier yesterday there would be no questions for the candidate at any point during the day. As it turns out, that wasn’t quite true — the presumptive Republican nominee was willing to answer plenty of questions from conservative blogger and radio host Ed Morrissey.

    Of particular interest yesterday was Romney responding to criticisms of his controversial work at Bain Capital, where he orchestrated leveraged buyouts, flipping companies quickly for large profits, at the expense of thousands of workers who were considered collateral damage. Romney tried to turn around talk about the mass layoffs he engineered.

    In reference to his private-sector background — which, apparently, is the only aspect of Romney’s experiences that are supposed to matter in 2012 — Romney claimed:

    “We were able to help create over 100,000 jobs…. On the president’s watch, about 100,000 jobs were lost in the auto industry and auto dealers and auto manufacturers, so he’s hardly one to point a finger.”

    The Nation’s Ari Berman argued that Romney is guilty of “fuzzy jobs math,” and Ari’s absolutely right. The closer one looks at this, the more delusional Romney’s argument appears.

    First, President Obama’s rescue of the American automotive industry (over Romney’s objections) is largely the opposite of Bain Capital’s vulture-capitalist tactics. The comparison is silly. But even if we put that aside, Obama’s rescue policy saved over 1 million jobs and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, auto industry employment has increased by over 100,000 jobs since Obama took office in January 2009. Romney has this backwards.

    Second, Romney keeps moving the goal posts on his Bain-era job totals. Asked about the jobs he created in the private sector, Romney has gone from “10,000 jobs,” to “tens of thousands of jobs,” to “over 100,000 new jobs,” then back to “tens of thousands jobs,” then down to “thousands of jobs,” then up to “some 120,000 jobs” (using an amusing standard), and now back down to “over 100,000 jobs.”

    This isn’t true, and the constantly-changing figure has become laughable.


    Finally, there’s generally-overlooked detail: Bain Capital was never in the job-creating business.

    Romney’s making a fundamental mistake by even trying to argue that his private-sector experience had anything to do with employment. Bain Capital never tried to create jobs; it simply wasn’t the point of the firm’s work. The goal was to generate wealth for Romney’s investors, not create jobs. And as Romney often found, the way to maximize profit was to frequently engage in mass layoffs.

    What matters far more is Romney’s term as governor, when he had an opportunity to apply all he knows about using public office to put people to work. Unfortunately, Massachusetts’ job creation record during Romney’s term was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states.

    This is the record that has the most relevance in the presidential race. It’s also the record Romney prefers to ignore.

  22. rikyrah says:

    May 17, 2012
    Bring it on
    One could give a lot of deep thought for a very long time to creating the absolute dumbest ad campaign against President Obama this fall, but one could never outdo in rank imbecility what some strategic boyz from the GOP hood, in cahoots with Joe Ricketts, TD Ameritrade’s founder and a Chicago Cubs owner, have come up with.

    It’s so dumb, it reminds me of those goofy CIA anti-Castro plots from the early 1960s, or perhaps some really inventive sort of an Ollie North credit default swap between Middle East and Latin American terrorists. It’s so dumb, only the rancid bile that bubbles from diseased minds suffering horribly from Obama Derangement Syndrome could conceive of such a thing.

    And it’s so extraordinarily dumb, they’ll probably do it.

    What’s “it”? To “jolt” the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. in four months, by doing “exactly what John McCain would not let us do,”say these Mad Men–by running $10 million in TV ads “linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.”; by buying “full-page newspaper advertisements featuring a comment Mr. Wright made”; by renting “outdoor advertisements”; and, get this, by flying “huge aerial banners … over the convention site for four hours one afternoon.”

    Wait. Not really Ollie North stuff. More like Jack Lemmon’s character of Professor Fate, in “The Great Race,” right?

  23. rikyrah says:

    May 16, 2012 2:03 PM


    By Ed Kilgore

    Facebook Twitter Digg Reddit StumbleUpon Delicious

    So today we learn from Politico’s Ken Vogel that the people behind the three biggest pro-Democratic Super-PACs (the Senate-focused Majority PAC, the House Majority PAC, and the presidentially-oriented Priorities USA Action) are planning a gigantic, coordinated blowout fundraising effort at the Democratic National Convention. In a collective lapse of imagination, they are calling it “Super-O-Rama.”

    Gotta say, folks, this news bears the aroma of desperation, or at least procrastination. Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS has just committed to buying $25 million in ads during the next month, matching the Obama campaign’s ad blitz. Not to be intimidated, Democratic Super-PACs are talking about raising some serious jack in September. In case it’s slipped anyone’s mind, the election is in November, and I suspect an awful lot of ad time will be off the table by September.

    Timing aside, I can see the logic of using the convention for a fundraising blitz. The event offers a unique concentration of political and non-political celebrity talent—sort of like the anterooms off the House and Senate floors, only with some of the lobbyists replaced by media stars. I mean, where else can you get half the Senate Democratic Caucus to take turns rattling the cup with five or six Oscar-winners?

    But the bad news is that the Super-PACs will be competing for the attention of big money people with an awful lot of other events. Virtually every organization even vaguely connected to Democratic politics will throw parties and/or briefings; most convention attendees spend half their time attending these events and the other half wrangling invites and gossiping about it all (or so I’ve heard—I typically work 18-hour days at the convention, trapped in a speech rehearsal room or in some rabbit-warren of a script-writing cubicle, hoping against hope that I can swipe lunch off some politician’s food cart). The very features of a convention that make it an ideal place for money and star-power to come together also make it a logistical nightmare.

    But hey, I guess it’s good the money-hustlers have some idea of how they will get within shouting distance of conservative money this year. Obviously Democrats will be less dependent on Super-PACs than the GOP, having an incumbent president and also a much stronger small-donor base, not to mention superior ground resources. But it would be helpful to ensure that Democratic Super-PACs aren’t in a position of “competing” with Rove and company by dominating the critical 2:00-3:00 a.m. time slot.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s air kiss to Bill Clinton
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: May 16
    The Washington Post

    Mitt Romney was against Bill Clinton before he was for him.

    There was Romney, campaigning Tuesday in Iowa, praising the nation’s previous Democratic president and casting him as far superior to the current incumbent.

    “Almost a generation ago, Bill Clinton announced that the era of big government was over,” Romney declared. “Clinton was signaling to his own party that Democrats should no longer try to govern by proposing a new program for every problem.” President Obama, he said, “tucked away the Clinton doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas.”

    So you might assume that Romney likes Clinton. But that would be wrong. Scrambling during the GOP primaries this year to explain why he had voted in the 1992 Massachusetts Democratic presidential primary for the late Sen. Paul Tsongas, Romney invoked that old GOP standby: Clinton hatred.

    “In my state of Massachusetts, you could register as an independent and go vote in [whichever] primary happens to be very interesting,” Romney averred. “And any chance I got to vote against Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, I took.”

    Now, strictly speaking, I suppose that Romney can praise Clinton now while once having voted against him. Or he can claim that, while he prefers Clinton to Obama, he preferred Tsongas to Clinton. That so much of what Romney says requires such careful parsing suggests how little he feels bound by anything he has said in the past. For Romney, every day is a blank slate. Consistency, he seems to think, is the hobgoblin of losing campaigns.

    There is more here than casual flip-flopping. Romney says he likes Clinton’s view of government better than Obama’s. And it’s true that government’s share of the economy grew under Obama because he inherited a downturn and baby boomers got older.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP backs radical Ryan plan
    By Steve Benen – Thu May 17, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    The Senate Republican leadership, all of which backed the Paul Ryan budget plan.
    It was “budget bonanza” day in the U.S. Senate yesterday, with the chamber taking up several budget bills with the express purpose of defeating all of them. It was, at a certain level, inane political theater, which Capitol Hill reporters were inclined to ignore.

    I’m not unsympathetic to the indifference. Watching senators go through the motions yesterday certainly seemed like a petty “game” in which the parties tried to score cheap points off of one another. We even got another round of press releases about the 1,000+ days since the Senate approved a budget (a talking point that isn’t really true).

    But before the political world blows off yesterday’s developments altogether, there was one vote that actually warrants some attention. As Joan McCarter explained:

    Wednesday], except for a couple of hypocrites worried about reelection, Senate Republicans joined their House brethren and voted to end Medicare as we know it. The only really interesting vote was on Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, the one that the House passed and that Mitt Romney has endorsed. It failed 58-41.

    Five Republicans (Scott Brown [MA], Susan Collins [ME], Dean Heller [NV], Rand Paul [KY] and Olympia Snowe [ME]) rejected that bill

  26. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s Bill Clinton strategy
    By REID J. EPSTEIN | 5/17/12 4:35 AM EDT
    Mitt Romney has turned into Bill Clinton’s biggest booster.

    Seeking to attract Democrats and independents who supported the last Democratic president, Romney has taken to lavishing praise at every turn on Clinton’s boom-era ’90s policies while contrasting them unfavorably with President Barack Obama’s old-school, Big Government ways

    The tactic is designed to drive a wedge between the group of Democrats who supported Obama during the epic 2008 primary battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton: the white, working-class voters who hold the key to many swing states, like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

    It’s also a simple way for Romneyland to poke a stick in the eye of Team Obama, using one of its most prominent surrogates but a man who has had a complicated personal history with Obama.

    According to 2008 exit polls, Obama won self-described moderates by 21 points but lost white voters who made less than $50,000 by 4 percentage points. The same group of Bill Clinton Democrats could be Obama’s Achilles’ heel in 2012 as he fights to win them back. Romney is leading among white, working-class men in polls — though the president is leading among women — while POLITICO’s latest battleground poll showed Romney leading by 10 points among independents.

    Republican strategists argue that Romney’s sudden affinity for Clinton comes at an opportune moment for the likely GOP presidential nominee. The Republican has a chance to argue that Obama is more liberal than some voters on key issues like same-sex marriage, deficit spending and health care reform. Laying claim to the Clinton legacy also allows Romney to move to the center after being forced to tack right in the GOP primary.

    Read more:

  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 05/16/2012
    Obama camp: Romney benefitting from mass ignorance about Bain years
    By Greg Sargent

    As I’ve been noting here, a key danger for Obama is that swing voters appear open to the basic premise of Mitt Romney’s candidacy: that his experience turning around troubled companies has left him well equipped to turn around an entire country and its economy.

    A recent Gallup poll found that 55% say the economy would get better over the next four years if Romney were elected, compared with 46% who say it would improve if Obama were re-elected — suggesting voters already may equate Romney’s business success with the economic competence they seem to want in a president.

    On a conference call with reporters just now, I asked Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter to respond to these numbers — and asked whether they are worrisome to the Obama team. Cutter acknowledged that the campaign has more work to do to persuade voters to see Romney’s business experience on the Obama campaign’s terms.

    “I think what that shows is that nobody has a good understanding of what Romney’s economics are or what Romney’s business experience really was,” Cutter said, adding that in a “rare moment of candor” Romney recently admitted that his experience was “about wealth creation.”

    “What we’re doing today and what we’re doing all week is explaining that wealth creation came at a great cost to middle class communities,” Cutter continued.

    Cutter added that Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts — which ranked 47th in job creation — would be central to the case against Romney’s economic vision and ideas, along with his record as a “corporate buyout specialist.”

    “Over time, people will become aware of these things,” Cutter said. “To the extent that Bain was introduced in the Republican primary, consistently Mitt Romney lost the middle class vote. They were introduced to what his business experience really meant for middle class families.”

    The key takeaway here: The Obama campaign is fully aware of the danger that voters are open to accepting Romney’s version of the meaning of his Bain years, and that they may grant Romney the presumption of economic competence; that highlighting his Bain record is absolutely central to undermining that aura of competence; and that the Obama team knows that winning this argument is going to take time and is pivotal to the race.

    By the way: Romney is again back to making the claim that he created over 100,000 jobs at Bain. Romney has veered wildly back and forth on the number of jobs he “created” at the company, sometimes downgrading it to “thousands,” and other times putting it at 10,000. After Post fact checker Glenn Kessler pronounced the 100,000 number “untenable,” it seemed to disappear for awhile, but now the 100,000 figure appears to be back from the dead.

  28. rikyrah says:

    May 16, 2012 5:12 PM

    Kiss My Frame, Genuflect To My Spin

    By Ed Kilgore

    The roiling dispute over Georgetown University’s speaking invitation to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius—a Catholic, BTW—was for a good while typical of the longstanding Cold War over the intellectual independent of Catholic colleges. Yes, the conservative Cardinal Newman Society got attention by circulating a petition demanding that Georgetown rescind the invitation, but the Society is forever fulminating about half the speaking invitations Catholic colleges issue. It’s what they do.

    But now Washington archbishop Daniel Cardinal Wuerl has taken up the cudgels against Georgetown for its temerity in inviting Sebelius to speak, and on quite interesting grounds: he objects to how Georgetown’s administration is framing the issue of Sebelius’ fitness to speak, as WaPo’s Michelle Boorstein reports

    On Tuesday, the archdiocese of Washington, led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, criticized Georgetown President John J. DeGioia for remarks he issued a day earlier — apparently to address the controversy — saying DeGioia had mischaracterized the issue as being about birth control. As the region’s top Catholic official, Wuerl is responsible for making sure Catholic institutions, including Georgetown, follow church teachings.
    DeGioia “does not address the real issue for concern — the selection of a featured speaker whose actions as a public official present the most direct challenge to religious liberty in recent history,” reads the statement from the archdiocese, which covers the District and suburban Maryland.

    So the Cardinal’s main objection isn’t to the underlying logic of the Jesuit school’s case for including a high-ranking Catholic public official in the circle of discussion at its public policy school, but to Georgetown’s challenge to the Bishops’ spin on their conflict with the Obama administration. Obviously, if Georgetown’s leadership bought the idea that the mild-mannered HHS Secretary was truly a tyrant, treasonously seeking to crush the religious rights of her co-religionists, they probably woudn’t want her on campus. But that’s the point on which they are asked—nay, commanded—to bend the knee.

    Sure looks like the Bishops are a mite defensive—maybe even vulnerable—in their conviction that Catholics are going to accept the idea that insurance regulations are a deadly threat to the continued existence of a two-thousand-year-old faith.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:28 AM ET, 05/17/2012
    The Morning Plum: Reverend Wright is back!
    By Greg Sargent

    Let’s get right to the read of the morning: A group of high profile GOP operatives, bankrolled by a conservative billionaire, is hatching a plan to run millions of dollars worth of ads tying “Barack Hussein Obama” to that old standby, Jeremiah Wright. The operative theory here is that Romney should not repeat the mistake John McCain made in ruling this attack line off limits.

    The New York Times reports:

    “The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
    The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”
    How will the group rebut those “race-baiting” charges? Easy: By hiring “an extremely literate conservative African American” spokesperson to make the case that Obama misled the nation by falsely portraying himself as a “metrosexual black Abe Lincoln.”

    This is yet another version of the fantasy that won’t die, which is that Obama was elected president because he somehow wasn’t thoroughly vetted, and that one of these days the American people will finally have a grand revelatory moment about Obama’s secret black radicalism and the elaborate ruse he has been perpetrating for literally years now to keep his true nature and agenda cleverly disguised.

    It isn’t going to happen. This version of Obama is dramatically at odds with mainstream voter perceptions of the man, and only appeals to a very small minority that never wanted to accept Obama’s persona at face value in any case. Most Americans have formed their perceptions of Obama’s character, values and story — he’s been in the White House for more than three years — and whether or not they reelect him, those perceptions aren’t going to change.

    It’s likely that there will be some pressure on the Romney campaign today to condemn this planned campaign. Stay tuned

  30. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012
    Meet Pete, Austerian Elite
    Posted by Zandar

    If you’ve not heard the name of Wall Street tycoon Peter J. Peterson, you’ve seen the ads his foundation has put out. If America has a king of the Austerians, it’s this guy.

    Peter Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire who has been calling for cuts to Social Security and other government programs for years, is hosting a “fiscal summit” Tuesday that brings together Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former President Bill Clinton, Rep. Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, Tom Brokaw and Politico’s John Harris, among a host of other elites who will gather at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

    Now, how can a guy like Peterson have that much pull with Clinton, Paul Ryan, Orange Julius, and the Village press? Real simple: He’s spent close to a half a billion dollars in 4 years in order to convince Democrats, Republicans and the Village that it’s time to end government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

    According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts. Peterson’s millions have done next to nothing to change public opinion: In survey after survey, Americans reject the idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare. A recent national tour organized by AmericaSpeaks and largely funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation was met by audiences who rebuffed his proposals.

    But Peterson has been able to drive a major shift in elite consensus about government spending, with talk of “grand bargains” that would slash entitlements, cut corporate tax rates and end personal tax breaks, such as the mortgage deduction, that benefit the middle class.

    That’s right, much like the Koch Brothers, Peterson is putting his fortune where his ideas are, and those ideas are that the majority of the tax burden in this country has to fall on the middle class while the rich are spared. The idea of our “spending crisis” and “debt crisis” in the Village press comes directly from Pete Peterson hosting summits like this and spending hundreds of millions of dollars of his own personal fortune in order to talk America’s lawmakers into throwing the middle class and the poor under the bus.

    Peterson is in this debate for the long haul: He’s even working on children. Earlier this month, Columbia University’s Teachers College released a new curriculum about the federal budget and fiscal policy that will be distributed free to every high school in the country. “Understanding Fiscal Responsibility” was introduced at a ceremony featuring Peter Orszag, a former Obama administration official who left to join Citigroup. The Peterson Foundation has already given $1.6 million of a promised $2.4 million for the curriculum.

    The first two lessons are titled “Social Security and the National Debt” and “Medicare and the National Debt.” The curriculum wants teens to ask, “How high a value do we place on guaranteeing quality health care to the elderly?”

    Another effort to persuade America’s youth about the shakiness of the entitlement programs is a joint venture between the Peterson Foundation and mtvU, the campus-based network created by MTV Networks, called Indebted. Peterson has already shelled out nearly $2 million to fund this effort to convince college students that Social Security won’t be there for them, so therefore it should be slashed now — a self-fulfilling policy prescription if ever there was one.

    So yeah, stuff like this makes Peterson one of the most dangerous guys in America, a billionaire trying to buy trillions in government spending cuts so that they can be given directly to the the richest Americans in tax cuts and loopholes. Pete Peterson is literally quite rich enough to buy our government.

    And he’s been doing it for the last five years. Think about that. And now with Citizens United, he can buy the Congress he needs to make his twisted fantasies of millions of Americans losing their safety nets to make him billions come true.

    Ain’t America great?

  31. rikyrah says:

    12-Year Old Child Reveals One of the Best Kept Secrets in the World
    12-year old exposes the immorality of the global banking system and why sound money is essential to freedom and stopping the spread of misery on this planet

  32. rikyrah says:

    Ad War Update
    Rove’s group is opening a $25 million campaign with the following spot, running in ten states that went for Obama in 2008:

    Maggie Haberman offers context:

    Crossroads is matching the Obama campaign’s announced plans for $25 million in TV time over a similar period — providing Mitt Romney with needed air cover as he tries to husband resources. … It’s a 60-second ad — a new twist on the old theme of using a television as illustration, this one uses an iPad — and focuses on pledges Obama has made in his term, saying he broke them. “We need solutions, not just promises,” is the phrase the ad wraps up. It will run through the end of May. … The fact that Crossroads — which is a third of the way to its goal of raising $300 million on the cycle — is able to quickly match the Obama campaign is a reminder of why Democrats are so focused on outside groups, which they haven’t come close to rivaling.

  33. rikyrah says:

    16 May 2012 07:25 PM
    The Bain Card, Ctd
    A reader writes:

    A note on the recent Obama campaign ad. As I see it, the real problem is not that Bain ultimately shut down GST. Absent those lucky duckies on the wingnut welfare circuit, no one’s guaranteed permanent employment. The problem is that, in doing so, they reneged on a series of financial promises made to GST’s then-employees and retirees: their pensions and health care benefits. These pensions and benefits were part of the employees’ compensation – earned over many years on the job. Romney, in order to maximize Bain’s short-term profit on the deal, broke those promises. That is a fundamental breach of the social contract between employer and worker. Moreover, it is simply a loathsome way to do business.

    You know, it’s interesting, as an attorney, I spend a lot of time reading the libertarians over at the Volokh Conspiracy. To a man, they purport to believe in the sanctity of contract rights. During the auto bailout, they raged and gnashed their teeth when various bondholders were forced to take losses by the big unions and their lackeys in the administration. Remarkably, they never have anything to say when a worker gets screwed out of earned pension benefits or health care coverage. It’s as if the contract rights of labor are somehow illegitimate or second-class compared to the inviolate rights of the One Percent.

  34. rikyrah says:

    RNC, Romney campaign will erect new organization to bypass state GOP
    By Jon Ralston

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | 2:41 p.m.

    Fed up with an inept and self-destructive GOP apparatus in Nevada, the Republican National Committee and the Mitt Romney campaign have decided to erect a “shadow state party” in this critical swing state, sources confirmed today.

    “They are still bogged down in the minutiae of whether Romney will be the presumptive nominee,” scoffed a GOP strategist familiar with the details of the restructuring. “We don’t have time for that when the Obama campaign already is in full campaign mode. We have no use for them (the state GOP).”

    The lack of faith in the Republican Party here intensified with the botched February caucus, metastasized after the Ron Paul takeover in Sparks and reached its zenith with Tuesday evening’s call for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to resign by a divided Clark County GOP

    Priebus was described to me as “disappointed with the censuring,” which probably means his blood pressure went high enough to give an elephant a stroke. So Priebus, in concert with the Romney folks here, have decided to turn the so-called Team Nevada office on Tropicana into the de facto Republican Party.

    “The goal is for us to be running get out the vote, running phone programs, voter ID, voter contact, everything through the Team Nevada headquarters,” the strategist told me. That is, everything the party is supposed to do, except the GOP here can’t raise money and has the inmates running the asylum.

    He continued: “The RNC has said it is willing to do everything possible as the state party appears not to be willing to work with us, so we will do it without them.”

    The plan would be to transfer money directly to Team Nevada and/or funnel some through the Washoe Republican Party, run by the respected Dave Buell, who is well-liked by the RNC and Romney folks.

    To distill, the GOP insider said, “Essentially we’re setting up a shadow state party.”

  35. rikyrah says:

    JPMorgan’s Trading Loss Is Said to Rise at Least 50%
    The trading losses suffered by JPMorgan Chase have surged in recent days, surpassing the bank’s initial $2 billion estimate by at least $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the losses.

    When Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief executive, announced the losses last Thursday, he indicated they could double within the next few quarters. But that process has been compressed into four trading days as hedge funds and other investors take advantage of JPMorgan’s distress, fueling faster deterioration in the underlying credit market positions held by the bank.

    A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment, although Mr. Dimon has said the total paper trading losses will be volatile depending on day-to-day market fluctuations.

  36. rikyrah says:

    G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Weighs Hard-Line Attack on Obama
    Published: May 17, 2012

    A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from.

    Timed to upend the Democratic National Convention in September, the plan would “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do,” the strategists wrote.

    The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.

    “The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.

    The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”

    The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”

    A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone. It is titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”

    The proposal was presented last week in Chicago to associates and family members of Mr. Ricketts, who is also the patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia, talks about how House Republicans are bullying her district into radical anti-abortion laws it can’t vote against, after attempting to undermine the Violence Against Women Act.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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