Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | “Summertime” Tunes

Hello 3 Chics Commnunity, friends, & Lurkers! Hope your Memorial Day weekend was peaceful and fun. We’re featuring tunes with a “SUMMER” theme this week to kick off the official start of summer. Today’s featured artist Fantasia singing “Summertime.”

Wiki: Fantasia Monique Barrino (born June 30, 1984),[1] commonly known simply as Fantasia, is an American R&B singer and actress. She rose to fame as the winner of the third season of the reality television series American Idol in 2004. Following her victory, she released her debut single, “I Believe”, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequently, she released her debut album, Free Yourself, which went on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA and garnered Barrino three Grammy nominations in 2006.

In 2006, she released her second album, Fantasia, which featured the single “When I See U” which topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for eight weeks. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA and received three Grammy nominations in 2008. She then played the part of Celie in the Broadway musical The Color Purple, for which she won a 2007 Theatre World Award. Her third studio album, Back to Me, was released worldwide on August 24, 2010 and features the single “Bittersweet,” which peaked in the top ten on the R&B chart. The single won her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. As of February 2012, Barrino has sold 2,842,000 albums and 1,425,000 tracks in the United States.[2]

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75 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | “Summertime” Tunes

  1. Ametia says:


  2. rikyrah says:

    Only 244 of McCotter’s 1,830 submitted signatures were valid; official calls it ‘unprecedented’ fraud
    12:17 PM, May 29, 2012

    The uphill slog of a write-in congressional campaign begins today for U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia.

    “It’s going to be very difficult,” he said in an interview with the Free Press this morning. “But the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) supports it. The state party supports it and the people in the district support it.”

    It’s not a position that McCotter wants to be in. But his campaign failed to file enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. A congressional candidate must submit at least 1,000 and not more than 2,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

    The Secretary of State’s website said McCotter’s campaign initially submitted 2,000 signatures.

    Somebody either panicked or it was sabotage,” McCotter said. “This was not a case of somebody who didn’t live in the district. My gut tells me that we got lied to by someone we trusted.”

    The Secretary of State has said that one of the problems with the petitions were duplicate signatures and when those are found, both signatures are ruled invalid. Some of the petition sheets also were photocopied and turned in.

    Bureau of Elections Director Christopher Thomas said this morning that elections officials found an “unprecedented level” of obvious fraud, including dozens of identical petition sheets that had been photocopied.

    Signatures on photocopied petitions are automatically disallowed, he said; all pages must be original.

    There were also photocopies of petition sheets that appear to have been lifted from another document, possibly signatures collected during an earlier campaign, Thomas said.

    In all, the bureau estimated that all but 244 of the 1,830 purported petition signatures were invalid, he said.

    The matter has been turned over the to state Attorney General’s office for investigation to see if any fraud or criminal activities occurred in the gathering or submission of petitions.

    “There are irregularities that need to be investigated,” McCotter said. “We relied on people who had done it before for us. But somebody did something that they shouldn’t have.”

    McCotter is not underestimating the difficulty of a write-in campaign for the Aug. 7 primary when turnout is lower than a general election.

  3. rikyrah says:

    The People’s View

    Barack Obama’s betrayal of the progressive program
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Posted by rootless_e at 12:31 PM

    Six months after the Presidential inauguration in 2009 a not untypical progressive named Marie Marchand wrote in Common Dreams that “I want my money back” (from the Obama campaign):

    I gave $20 a week for seven months, plus $60 every once in a while for a t-shirt and sticker. I gave of my modest purse joyfully. Once I add that all up, it makes a grand total of… $106 billion?! Wait a minute, I thought I was supporting change I could believe in, not more of the same bloodshed and war! […] I expect the Republicans to throw money at the Military Industrial Complex. Yet, from the Democrats, I was promised a different direction (like OUT of the Middle East). Regrettably, there has been miniscule change. There is still nothing to believe in.

    Senator Obama’s campaign proposals on the Middle East included proposals to “to ramp up the American military effort,” in Afghanistan and “remove one or two brigades a month from Iraq.” – exactly what he did.
    But Ms. Marchand’s angry “I was promised a different direction” is a typical complaint of the unhappy progressives. Complaints were on all issues – including the President’s failure to support single payer health reform something he had not advocated either. In fact, we can take a look at Dennis Kucinich’s platform in the primary elections to get a good idea of what the progressives seem to have expected (and remember Kucinich never polled at more than 7% among Democrats). The obvious question is why these “progressives” expected someone who ran as a moderate to become a hard line battler for the Kucinich agenda that was unambiguously rejected by Democratic primary voters and that had no chance of Congressional approval. Part of it has to do with the odd tendency of some “progressive” activists to imagine that they speak for all Democrats or even for 99% of the population. The Obama campaign received donations from three million people – why would it be that the donations from a progressive activist would determine policy more than the donations of many centrist or conservative or pragmatic Democrats? Obviously Kucinich Democrats are a small minority in the Democratic Party. But Ms. Marchand was likely also influenced by a deceptive line of attack by leftists who had always opposed the Obama campaign, a line of attack that dominated the progressive blogs and media and that was strongly amplified by the mainstream media. That attack has been carefully designed to try to break up the Democratic coalition and I want to look at that attack so we can see how the same people will act as they try to help the Republicans win the next election.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Marco Rubio blows off voter ID laws that target young voters, the elderly, low income voters, Latinos: “What’s the big deal?”
    Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 11:44 am by GottaLaff

    Indulge me for a minute, because I’m going to quote myself. As I said in The GOP plan is working: New voter registration laws could hurt President Obama, the people suffering the worst consequences of the Voter I.D. laws are most often low income voters, the elderly, the ill who can’t leave home, young voters, minorities, and of course, anyone without transportation (or to put it another way, lean Democratic). And to those who say, “Well, there are always absentee ballots,” some states are now requiring Voter I.D. to qualify for those, too.

    But Voter I.D. demands are just part of the increasing list of conditions that Republicans are imposing that will disenfranchise voters. There are also voter-registration drive limits, early-voting restrictions, and fewer precincts which means more people waiting in longer lines.

    But back to the Voter I.D. laws… Charging for picture I.D.s is tantamount to charging a poll tax. Making them inaccessible is outright voter suppression. And voter fraud (as opposed to election fraud) is virtually non-existent.

    Via CNN, the always-sensitive, caring Marco Rubio had this to say about the Voter I.D. laws:

    During a campaign stop last month with Romney in Pennsylvania, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Cuban-American Republican, blew off what he sees as overhyped concerns about showing photo IDs.

    People have to show IDs for everything from boarding a flight to renting sports equipment, Rubio reasoned, so why not voting.

    “What’s the big deal? What is the big deal?” Rubio asked.

    What’s the big deal? Well, preventing millions of Americans from voting is a pretty damn big deal.

  5. rikyrah says:

    the entire FLOTUS ON THE VIEW

  6. rikyrah says:

    :42 PM EDT, Tuesday May 29, 2012
    Poll: McCaskill In Tight Senate Race In Missouri

    Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is locked in a tight race against the three Republican candidates vying to challenge her, according to a new survey by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling.

    The new survey has McCaskill tied with former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman at 44 percent each; McCaskill leads businessman John Brunner 46 percent to 44 percent; and Rep. Todd Akin edges out McCaskill 44 percent to 44 percent. The survey of 602 registered voters was conducted from May 24-27, and has a 4 percent margin of error.

    The poll also shows McCaskill with only a 40 percent approval rating, and 50 percent disapproval. PPP President Dean Debnam writes: “Once Republicans are unified around their nominee she could find herself as the underdog.”

    The TPM Poll Average shows McCaskill barely leading Steelman, 43.7 percent to 42.3 percent.

  7. rikyrah says:

    4:21 PM EDT, Tuesday May 29, 2012
    Wolf Blitzer To Trump: ‘You’re Starting To Sound A Little Ridiculous’

    Donald Trump called into CNN Tuesday hours before he was scheduled to hold a fundraiser with Mitt Romney. The topic of Trump’s continued birtherism was the focus of the testy interview. From a rush transcript:

    BLITZER: Donald, you’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you.

    TRUMP: You are, Wolf. Let me tell you something, I think you sound ridiculous, and if you’d ask me a question and let me answer it.

    BLITZER: Here’s the question, did the conspiracy start in 1961 where the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Advertiser contemporaneously published announcements that he was born in Hawaii?

    TRUMP: Many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefit because of getting so-called born in this country. Many people did it. It was something done by many people even though they weren’t born in the country. You know and I know it.

  8. rikyrah says:

    What The Pushback On Obama’s Spending Claim Ignores

    May 29, 2012, 4:20 PM

    On the campaign trail, President Obama has touted recent data that dispels the notion that he has embarked on a spending binge — and his Republican opponents, citing various fact-checks, are aggressively pushing back.

    Part of the pushback, it turns out, inadvertently proves Obama’s larger point.

    “Federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any president in almost 60 years,” Obama said last Thursday at a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa. Citing a MarketWatch study, White House spokesman Jay Carney called the notion of an Obama spending spree “BS.”

    Fact-checkers pounced — including The Associated Press, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal editorial board — issuing rebuttals that conservatives and Republicans have cited as evidence that Obama’s claims are wrong.

    “President Obama continues to repeat false and discredited talking points about his prolific spending record to distract from the record debt that he is passing on to future generations,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Mitt Romney, told TPM. “As a president who broke his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, Barack Obama has no credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.”

    Much of the pushback focuses on the growth of federal spending as a share of the economy under Obama. Under this benchmark, spending appears to have skyrocketed. But the metric is flawed because revenues have fallen during Obama’s tenure due to a huge economic contraction that began before he took office. That standard, in effect, blames him for the downturn.

    The fact-checks did find some questionable premises from MarketWatch. For one, it effectively treated the paybacks from President Bush’s one-time bailouts of the financial sector, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as spending cuts under Obama. The outlets also argued that baseline changes in the president’s budget tweak the spending figures in friendly ways.

    Tallying that up, the Wall Street Journal editorial board concluded: “To anyone who really knows the numbers, Mr. Obama’s spending has increased by closer to 5% a year,” as opposed to the 1.4 percent in the MarketWatch numbers. The Republican National Committee touted the Journal’s figure in its rebuttal of Obama’s point.

    The problem with that is 5 percent is still low by historical standards. That’s especially true of modern Republican presidents: President George W. Bush’s two terms saw spending increases of 7.3 and 8.1 percent, respectively; President George H.W. Bush’s figure was 5.4 percent and President Ronald Reagan’s were 8.7 and 4.9 percent. (Spending increases under President Bill Clinton were under 4 percent.)

    RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told TPM, “The overarching point is that almost every outlet disagrees with Carney’s spin on spending.”

    Ultimately, Obama may have exaggerated his ostensible frugality, but even according to the figures Republicans cite, his spending is still low by the standards of modern presidents. The firestorm of criticism Obama receives on the debt often papers over that fact.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:41 PM ET, 05/29/2012
    The Dems’ closing argument against Scott Walker
    By Greg Sargent

    With exactly a week to go until the election on whether to recall Scott Walker, the Democrats have settled on their closing argument: Vote Walker out because his serial dishonesty about his true ideological agenda has torn the state in half.

    Dems are pointing to a new episode to buttress their case in the closing days, one in which three Democratic members of the house of Representative are suggesting that Walker may have lied to Congress.

    As you know, video recently surfaced of a private conversation between Walker and a Wisconsin billionaire, in which Walker vowed a “divide and conquer” strategy against unions, as his “first step.”

    Now, in a development that’s attracted surprisingly little national press attention, Dem Reps. Elijah Cummings, Gerry Connolly, and Chris Murphy — all members of the House oversight committee — are pointing out that the “divide and conquer” quote seems to contradict testimony Walker gave before their committee in August of 2011.

    Dems point out that in that testimony, Rep. Connolly asked Walker whether he had even had any conversation in which he had alluded to his “actions in Wisconsin and using them to punish members of the opposition party and their donor base.” Walker’s response: “No.”

    “Do you now wish to withdraw your sworn testimony?” the three Dem members have asked Walker in a letter.

    This matter seems to be taken seriously by some local Wisconsin media. Reporters pressed Walker on the allegations, but he declined to address them in substantive terms, brushing them off as “political.” Meanwhile, the AP has reported that a Walker spokesman isn’t saying whether he’d be responding to the three Dems.

    It seems pretty clear that if Walker is going to respond, he’ll do so after the recall election, which is set for next Tuesday. But whether he does or not, this latest episode highlights what has become central to the Wisconsin recall fight: The core question of whether Walker’s reforms represented a good faith effort to solve Wisconsin’s budget problems, or whether Walker has always committed to an ideological agenda that he concealed from voters, and whether his dishonesty about that agenda is to blame for unleashing the political turmoil that has badly divided the state.

    That later argument, of course, has become the Dems’ closing argument against Walker. For a sense of how this argument is playing, check out the anti-Walker ad just released by the Greater Wisconsin Committee:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Rick Scott Will Now Purge Florida Further into Madness
    By Charles P. Pierce at 12:31PM

    You may recall the 2000 presidential election. Huge and loud? Lots of ill-feeling and incivility abroad in the land? Produced someone who finally got James Buchanan into a photo finish for Worst President Ever? It became a big honking deal at least in part because the Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris (R-Max Factor), contracted with an Atlanta company to “purge” the state’s voter rolls of convicted felons and, coincidentally, of anyone with a name that was similar to that of a convicted felon. This is how we ended up with pastors from Miami being barred at the voting booth because they had the same first name as some car thief from Lakeland. I, myself, decided against voting illegally in Florida that year for fear I’d be confused with Charlie Manson.

    Old dog, as the saying goes, still hunts.

    This time, of course, it’s Governor Rick “Bat Boy” Scott doing all this, and not a presidential candidate’s little brother, and it’s about illegal immigrants and not about convicted felons, and one Secretary of State already has resigned. In related news, Republicans continue their assault on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which, as we can plainly see by the governor’s actions in Florida, is a superannuated relic of a bygone era.

    Read more:

  11. rikyrah says:

    A different kind of political correctness
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 3:48 PM EDT.

    Paul Krugman picks up on a trend that’s quietly becoming more common: “right-wing political correctness.” As Krugman explained it, the goal is “to make it impossible to talk, and possibly even think, about ideas that challenge the established order.”

    Thus, even talking about “the wealthy” brings angry denunciations; we’re supposed to call them “job creators.” Even talking about inequality is “class warfare.”

    And then there’s the teaching of history. Eric Rauchway has a great post about attacks on the history curriculum, in which even talking about “immigration and ethnicity” or “environmental history” becomes part of a left-wing conspiracy. As he says, he’ll name his new course “US History: The Awesomeness of Awesome Americans.” That, after all, seems to be the only safe kind of thing to say.

    Looking back at political correctness and its impact on the public discourse, it’s probably safe to those on the left were far more heavily invested in the cause — the point was to make language more respectful and tolerant of diversity, while discouraging use of bigoted slurs.

    But Krugman has a point when he says there’s new strand of political correctness that urges Americans not to avoid saying things that might hurt conservatives’ feelings, but to choose the phrasing that the right prefers. Even the “fat cat” label apparently makes the very wealthy feel put upon, so we’re not supposed to say it.

    Mitt Romney has gone so far as to say we’re allowed to mention economic inequality, but the discussions must be limited to “quiet rooms” — where, presumably, rich people won’t be offended.

    Perhaps the most dramatic example of conservative political correctness came about three years ago.


    A few months into the Obama presidency, the Department of Homeland Security released reports about ideological extremists, alerting officials to potentially violent groups and organizations. Republicans and conservative activists were apoplectic — even though the report was commissioned by the Bush administration, mainstream conservatives decided concerns about violent radicals attacking Americans may have been referencing them. Analysis of domestic threats was ultimately curtailed as a result.

    It seemed hard to imagine 20 years ago that political correctness would shift like this, but here we are.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    May 28, 2012 1:50 PM

    Testing the Limits

    By Ed Kilgore

    Now and then the snails-eye-view of daily coverage of the presidential contest is punctuated by the Big Thumbsucker, the panoramic view that attempts to explain the big picture with more or less perspective and precision.

    The latest BT treatment available is by John Heilemann at New York, which is based on extensive discussion with the Obama campaign staff and its allies in the poiltical and fundraising worlds. Its interest, if not its usefulness in understanding exactly what is going on in ObamaWorld, flows from its mirror-like reflections of the various anxieties the president’s team is willing to express. Will the economic numbers hold up or improve through November? What if Romney stops making gaffes that reinforce the Democratic message? What if Republican efforts to depress turnout about Obama’s young-and-minority “base” succeed, even marginally? What if some single event narrows the path to victory (e.g., a backlash against the president’s support for same-sex marriage takes North Carolina and Iowa off the table?).

    But the main fear that is expressed in Heilemann’s piece is about money, and particularly the vast advantage Republicans are building in Super-PAC funds.

    Axelrod is endeavoring not to panic. “We don’t know yet how big a problem it will be,” he says. “We’re actually about to test the limits of what money can do in politics, because there’s gonna be so much of it concentrated in so few states. The real question is, at what point is so much too much?”

    By “testing the limits,” Axelrod is not simply talking about how big the money advantage to grow to be, but whether it will overwhelm or reinforce the general assumption that paid television advertising has a limited impact on presidential contests, particularly those where the target of the ad is a universally-known incumbent. And he may also be alluding to the message-coordination problem Republicans could face if the people running super-PACs decide the Romney campaign isn’t pursuing the most fruitful attack lines on Obama, reflecting the deeper lack of trust that conservative activists have in their candidate and his team.

    The most useful part of Heilemann’s piece is this nice summary of how the 2012 Obama strategy differs from that of 2008:

    In the campaign prior, any mention of Wright caused a collective coronary in Chicago; this time, it provokes high-fives. In the campaign prior, Team Obama boldly bid to expand the map; this time, it is playing defense. In the campaign prior, the candidate himself sought support from the widest possible universe of voters; this time, instead of trying to broaden his coalition, he is laboring to deepen it. Indeed, 2012 is shaping up to be an election that looks more like 2004 than 2008: a race propelled by the mobilization of party fundamentalists rather than the courtship of the center.

    Conservative media and some MSMers will, of course, try to describe this scenario as one of a failed president seeking to distract voters from his responsibility for his record. Indeed, the title and subtitle assigned to Heilemann’s piece (for which I do not blame the author)—“Hope: The Sequel; for Obama & co; this time it’s all about fear”—perfectly represents what you will hear day after day about the deflation of the high spirits of 2008. At some point, we will be reminded of the famous “Mean Jimmy” segment of the 1980 presidential race when Carter sought to raise awareness of Reagan’s many radical issue positions over the years.

    The reality is that the vast investment of the GOP and the conservative movement in the destruction of Barack Obama—and everything he represents—is approaching a potential payoff point, and it’s reasonable to expect them to double down—rhetorically and financially. The campaign will indeed “test the limits” of how far the conservative noise and money machine is willing to go, and how much power the incumbent has to push back or turn the tables. Anyone without deep malice towards Obama must surely understand he cannot and should not run a happy-talk campaign that simply boasts about his accompllishments and pretends the opposition is composed of good-hearted folk who are potential partners in governing. While the overall dynamics of the campaign do resemble 2004, it’s probably going to make that contest look like a pleasant exchange of views or a sporting contest where everybody dresses their wounds and gets ready for the next game or season. This one is for keeps.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A reputation Romney can’t afford to earn
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 2:50 PM EDT.

    The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson picks up today on a thesis that will probably seem familiar to Maddow Blog readers, but that carries a significance that can’t be overstated.

    There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there’s Mitt Romney.

    Every political campaign exaggerates and dissembles. This practice may not be admirable — it’s surely one reason so many Americans are disenchanted with politics — but it’s something we’ve all come to expect. Candidates claim the right to make any boast or accusation as long as there’s a kernel of veracity in there somewhere.

    Even by this lax standard, Romney too often fails. Not to put too fine a point on it, he lies. Quite a bit.

    Robinson offers ample evidence to support the argument, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist deserves a lot of credit for using the “l” word that many of his colleagues shy away from.

    But to reiterate a point from April, what’s especially notable about columns like these are their existence — Romney’s frequent and unnerving dishonesty is starting to get noticed in ways that had gone largely overlooked for months. In other words, concerns about the ease with which the presumptive Republican nominee misleads the public are going mainstream.

    This matters. We’re at the point in a presidential campaign at which media “narratives” start to stick. Romney can live with mockery of his out-of-touch patrician elitism; he can tolerate talk of his role in orchestrating mass layoffs; he embraces his lack of leadership experience; and he’s confident he can overcome talk of his flip-flopping and cowardice.

    But if political observers start to see Romney as a man who frequently lies to advance his ambitions, it’s a character flaw that’s awfully tough to live down.


    As Rachel explained in March, “Some dishonesty in national American politics is frankly routine. It’s too bad, but it’s true. Romney-style dishonesty is a sight to behold. It’s different. He’s bending the curve.”

    Or as Robinson’s column concluded, Romney “seems to believe voters are too dumb to discover what the facts really are — or too jaded to care.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    May 29, 2012 10:53 AM

    Mother of All Earmarks

    By Ed Kilgore

    As Mike Allen of Politico explains today, the Romney campaign and American Crossroads are undertaking a sustained attack (uncoordinated, of course, since coordination would be illegal) on the Obama administration’s economy policies

    Mitt Romney’s campaign events and the firepower of American Crossroads will both focus this week on President Barack Obama’s jobs record as a way to fight off charges about the Republican candidate’s private-sector experience, with a Romney aide attacking the stimulus as “the mother of all earmarks….”
    A senior campaign aide said Romney will argue that Obama has actually subtracted jobs: “Were these investments the best return on tax dollars, or given for ideological reasons, to donors, for political reasons? He spent $800 billion of everybody’s money. How’d it work out?”
    “It was the mother of all earmarks, not a jobs plan,” the aide said. “By wasting all of this money, you had the worst of all worlds: It destroyed confidence in the economy and makes people less likely to borrow money. Dodd-Frank has been a disaster for the economy. Where are the steady hands? Who’s in charge of energy? Where’s the strong, confident voice on the economy?”

    At WaPo’s Plum Line, Greg Sargent makes the point that this offensive presents an almost impenetrable pack of lies:

    So Romney will now go back to claiming Obama subtracted jobs. But there’s a new twist: Romney will claim that the effect of the stimulus has been to destroy jobs. As it has in the past, the Romney camp will justify this by pointing to a bogus metric — the net jobs lost on Obama’ watch. That includes the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost before the stimulus went into effect. Really: The Romney camp’s claim is that we can calculate that the stimulus destroyed jobs overall with a metric that factors in all the jobs destroyed before the stimulus took effect. That’s not an exaggeration. It really is the Romney campaign’s position. It’s time to ask Romney himself to justify it.
    The Romney camp will also begin claiming that Obama has “never created a job.” Will anyone ask Romney about the two dozen straight months of private sector job creation we’ve seen?

    And that’s just the half of it, since the Romney campaign is also basing its attacks on the “confidence fairy” (Obama has killed jobs just by being a Democrat; Romney will generate them by his very aura, which makes other rich people feel like goin’ out and creatin’ them some jobs!), and on the phony premise that “the stimulus” (designed in no small part in response to Republican demands for more tax cuts and less direct public-sector spending) represented some sort of grand left-wing “industrial policy” instead of a demand-boosting effort to accelerate federal spending on projects and priorities already in the works.

    It’s beginning to become apparent that Team Mitt will throw vast amounts of chum into the water to avoid the fundamental reality that its candidate’s own Economic Plan is basically deregulation plus the Ryan Budget. Perhaps if Romney is going to traipse around the country mocking individual federally-funded projects, someone should follow him around pointing out what the Ryan Budget would do to the same locales. It would not look pretty.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:40 PM ET, 05/29/2012
    The next big battle in the war over women, ctd.
    By Greg Sargent

    I noted here some time ago that the next big battle in the war over women will be over the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would make it easier in various ways to challenge employers who engage in gender-based pay discrimination. Harry Reid has now promised a vote on the measure during the week of June 4th.

    The bill probably won’t pass; it ran into a wall of GOP opposition in 2010. But I’m told Dems will move to make it an issue in multiple Senate races.

    An aide to Senator Claire McCaskill tells me that her reelection campaign will make an “aggressive push” to get McCaskill’s GOP rivals, who are battling each other in a primary, to “explain why they’re opposed to paycheck fairness.” Two of the three have spoken out against federal wage-setting laws.

    This will also figure in the battle between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown. A Massachusetts Democratic Party official tells me Dems will work to highlight Brown’s vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2010 as proof that he doesn’t really have the middle class’s interests at heart. “We’re going to make the point that this isn’t just about women; it’s about middle class families, too,” the official says, adding that when women suffer pay discrimination, “two income households all get shortchanged.”

    In Virginia, Dems are hitting GOP Senate candidate George Allen for refusing to take a position on the measure. In Nevada, Dem Senate candidate Shelley Berkley is criticizing Senator Dean Heller for voting against Paycheck Fairness and against the Lily Ledbetter Act, arguing: “It’s hard to believe that we’re talking about equal work and pay in 2012.”

    With the Paycheck Fairness Act gaining a higher profile, the question will be how much longer Mitt Romney can avoid taking a position on it. The interesting wrinkle here is that Romney recently endorsed the concept of pay equity in general when he was questioned about Lily Ledbetter. But he hasn’t said whether he would have signed Lily Ledbetter, and he hasn’t taken a position on Paycheck Fairness, even though it will now be voted on in the Senate.

    What’s particularly noteworthy about Romney’s reticence is that he has repeatedly argued that women won’t allow Obama and/or Dems to distract them from their economic woes by focusing on social issues, and that their economic circumstances will ultimately dictate their votes. But here is an issue that is all about women’s economic circumstances. It’s for this reason that Dems hope to highlight the GOP stance on Paycheck Fairness as a way to persuade women that Republicans are hostile to their economic interests — and to make the broader case that when it comes to women’s rights, the GOP remains trapped in the past in ways that hit them in the pocketbook — as part of their push to widen the gender gap for 2012.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Debt-Ceiling Deja Vu Could Sink Economy

    Europe is crumbling. China is slowing. The Federal Reserve is dithering. Yet the biggest threat to the emerging U.S. economic recovery may be Congress.

    John Boehner, the leader of the House Republicans, has promised yet another fight with the White House over the debt ceiling — the limit Congress has placed on the amount the federal government can borrow.

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because we suffered through an identical performance last summer. Our analysis of that episode leads to a troubling conclusion: It almost derailed the recovery, and this time could be a lot worse.

    Sometime around the end of this year, the federal government will bump up against its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit, as a direct result of spending and tax laws enacted by Congress. To raise the limit, legislators must pass a separate law. In principle, the extra level of approval can serve as a useful mechanism, forcing Congress to debate its priorities. But refusing to raise the limit wouldn’t free the government of its existing spending obligations. Rather, it would leave the government with no choice but to default on its debts.

    In other words, congressional Republicans are taking the government’s creditworthiness hostage when they threaten not to increase the debt ceiling. Politically advantageous as this may be, it is terrible economics. To understand why, let us consider the economic effects of last year’s debt-ceiling debate. If we know our history, perhaps we will not be doomed to repeat it.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Romney vs Obama On Job Creation
    If you don’t blame Obama or Romney for their first years in office, before their own policies had had time to take effect, the result is this:

    Obama has created a net 3.635 million jobs. Applying the same rules to Romney’s numbers through the same time period—that is, through April of his fourth year in office, 2006—we credit Romney with 64,500 jobs. So he grew jobs by 1.9 percent. Obama’s job-growth rate is 2.35 percent.

    But Romney wants to blame all the job losses in 2009 on Obama – and the stimulus! And he will. Because he can.

  18. Ametia says:

    How the “Job Creators” REALLY Spend Their Money

    By Paul Buchheit

    In his “Gospel of Wealth,” Andrew Carnegie argued that average Americans should welcome the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, because the “superior wisdom, experience, and ability” of the rich would ensure benefits for all of us. More recently, Edward Conard, the author of “Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong, said: “As a society, we’re not offering our talented few large enough rewards. We’re underpaying our ‘risk takers.'”

    Does wealthy America have a point, that giving them all the money will ensure it’s disbursed properly, and that it will create jobs and stimulate small business investment while ultimately benefiting society? Big business CEOs certainly think so, claiming in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that an increase in the capital gains tax would reduce investment “when we need capital formation here in America to create jobs and expand our economy.”

    They don’t cite evidence for their claims, because the evidence proves them wrong. Here are the facts:

    1. The Very Rich Don’t Like Making Risky Investments

    Marketwatch estimates that over 90% of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), the stock market, and real estate. According to economist Richard Wolff, about half of the assets of the richest 1% are held in unincorporated business equity (personal business accounts). The Wall Street Journal notes that over three-quarters of individuals worth over $20 million are invested in hedge funds.

    Angel investing (capital provided by affluent individuals for business start-ups) accounted for less than 1% of the investable assets of high net worth individuals in North America in 2011.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Donald Trump Lets Loose With Birther Rant After Romney Reaffirms Support

    Benjy Sarlin- May 29, 2012, 11:03 AM

    Mitt Romney made clear this week he won’t cut ties with Donald Trump, who is hosting a fundraiser for the candidate in Las Vegas on Tuesday, despite the real estate mogul’s claims the president was born in Kenya. Trump returned the favor by launching into yet another screeching birther diatribe on CNBC the morning of the event.

    “I never really changed — nothing’s changed my mind,” Trump told CNBC, reassuring that his birtherism is as rock solid as it was last year when he briefly led Republican primary polling. “And by the way, you know, you have a huge group of people. I walk down the street and people are screaming, ‘Please don’t give that up.’ Look, a publisher came out last week and had a statement about Obama given to them by Obama when he was doing a book as a young man a number of years ago in the ’90s: ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia.’


    While Romney and his aides have insisted that the candidate believes Obama was born in the United States and that the issue is a sideshow, Trump made clear that it remains paramount in his mind.

    “I’ve been known as being a very smart guy for a long time,” he said. “I don’t consider myself birther or not birther, but there are some major questions here that the press doesn’t want to cover. Now, if that were somebody else they’d be covering it and they’d be throwing people out of office, but they don’t want to cover it.”

    Romney told reporters on Monday that he has no regrets about his close association with Trump.

    “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said, according to CNN. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Flamin’ Hot Fries
    By Zandar May 29th, 2012

    Methinks the Mexican drug cartels might have bit off more than they can chew with their latest target.
    Mexican drug cartels are not strictly drug cartels. One of their fastest growing markets is extortion of private citizens and businesses. Don’t pay, and you can be threatened — or worse. But largely, the cartels target small businesses and individuals, and stay away from the larger industries. Now several arson attacks over the weekend against a Mexican snack chip subsidiary might be the first time the cartels have targeted a multi-national corporation.

    That corporation would PepsiCo. According to press reports, masked men attacked five warehouses and vehicle lots on Friday and Saturday nights belonging to the U.S. snack and soft drink giant. More specifically, PepsiCo’s Mexican subsidiary: Sabritas. Dozens of yellow delivery trucks — which transport Sabritas chips and Fritos, Cheetos and Ruffles (among other brands) for the Mexican market — were burned. The good news: no one was injured or killed. At least one member of the Knights Templar cartel was reportedly arrested. Video has also emerged of firefighters battling the blazing trucks and the European Pressphoto Agency released images of Sabritas’ smiley-face mascot illuminated by the flames.

    “What we cannot allow is for this kind of isolated case to become generalized,” Gerardo Gutierrez, president of Mexico’s Business Coordinating Council, told the Associated Press. “The authorities have to take forceful action.”

    Now the rumor is that the Mexican government is running surveillance operations on the cartels out of the ubiquitous Sabritas trucks (which everyone even remotely involved is categorically denying). And the Knights Templar are a bunch of dangerous lunatics even for a Mexican drug cartel. But I’m thinking screwing with a major multinational corporation is not going to end well strategically for these guys.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Romney Spox: ‘Democrats’ Behind Trump Talk

    Mitt Romney is personally holding a joint fundraiser with Donald Trump Tuesday night in Las Vegas, but his campaign is blaming Democrats for making an issue out of Trump’s days-long birther screed.

    “The Democrats can talk about Donald Trump all they want – Mitt Romney is going to talk about jobs,” a spokesman told CNN, adding that Romney believes Obama was born in the United States.

    Trump publicly challanged Romney to embrace birthers on Tuesday, warning on Twitter that repudiating the movement could cost Republicans the election.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Republican Resigns From National Labor Relations Board Over Leaks To Ex-Romney Aide
    Ryan J. Reilly- May 29, 2012, 9:45 AM

    Terence Flynn has resigned his position on the National Labor Relations Board following an Inspector General report which found he improperly leaked internal information to two former members of the board who are now working in the private sector, one of whom worked for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

    Flynn’s case has been referred to the Justice Department and to the Office of Special Counsel, which investigates possible violations of the Hatch Act (a law banning federal employees from engaging in certain types of partisan political activity).

    The Inspector General report did not say that Flynn took any actions to benefit the Romney campaign. The leaks were made to Peter Schaumber, who had been co-chairman of Romney’s labor advisory committee and left the campaign in December after the Inspector General investigation began, according to the New York Times.

    The report found that Flynn helped Schaumber write an opinion column on one of the board’s decisions. The Inspector General report called it an an “abuse of [Flynn’s] discretion.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    saw this on another blog:

    Just saw this on twitter.

    Carole Troll‏@Thejazzchick
    Heard on Madison per CBC:Congressional RW so hates the 1st family they would not allocate funds to fix plumbing in WH residence. #PBO paid.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Leaving Norquist’s ‘pledge’ unsigned
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 1:32 PM EDT.

    For quite a while now, Republican candidates, especially those running for Congress, have been expected to sign “the pledge” — a promise to Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform that they will not support raising any tax on anyone by any amount for any reason. If tax credits or deductions are to be eliminated, those who sign the pledge are expected to match them with tax cuts of equal value.

    It’s been remarkably successful, with 236 of 242 House Republicans having signed the pledge. But in 2012, Norquist’s influence appears to be waning.

    Of the 25 candidates this year promoted by the National Republican Congressional Committee as “Young Guns” and “Contenders” — the top rungs of a program that highlights promising candidates who are challenging Democrats or running in open seats — at least a third have indicated they do not plan to sign the pledge authored by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.

    Two of the seven candidates promoted by the NRCC as the “Young Gun Vanguard” — candidates competing in open seats that are considered Republican-leaning — also have declined to sign.

    It’d be an overstatement to characterize the pledge as a project that’s failing. After all, Mitt Romney has already signed his name to Norquist’s pledge. What’s more, some of the candidates who’ve refused thus far may yet be pressured into giving Norquist what he wants.

    But at least for now, GOP candidates are balking at the pledge in numbers unseen in a long while.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t necessarily see this as evidence of moderation. On the contrary, many, if not all, of those who are rejecting Norquist’s project appear to be very much in line with his party’s anti-tax orthodoxy. They’re balking, not because they intend to support tax increases, but because some are open to trading away tax credits, some don’t like taking orders from D.C. lobbying groups, and some are just anti-pledge in general.

    Whatever the motivation, policymaking means having to consider competing solutions — and ruling out ideas before even taking office, as nearly every Republican on Capitol Hill has already done, can’t and won’t work.

  25. rikyrah says:

    TRENDING: Obama campaign: Why doesn’t Romney push back against Trump ‘birther’ questions?

    President Barack Obama’s campaign is highlighting what they call Mitt Romney’s “refusal” to condemn Donald Trump’s continued highlighting of the “birther” conspiracy.

    The release of a new video by the president’s re-election team Tuesday morning comes a few hours after Romney appeared to downplay Trump’s comments, and a few hours before Romney teams up with Trump at the business magnate and reality TV star’s hotel in Las Vegas for a fundraiser for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    Asked on his charter plane Monday night whether Trump’s questioning of Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney said he was grateful for all his supporters.

    “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

    Romney has said in the past that he firmly believes Obama was born in Hawaii, and is thus constitutionally eligible to be president.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Trump can’t help himself
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 12:35 PM EDT.

    Just hours before joining Mitt Romney at a campaign fundraising event in Nevada, Donald Trump decided to spend even more time spewing nonsense about his favorite conspiracy theory.

    A lot of people are questioning his birth certificate,” Trump said of President Obama on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “They’re questioning the authenticity of his birth certificate. I’ve been known as being a very smart guy for a long time. I don’t consider myself birther or not birther, but there are some major questions here and the press doesn’t want to cover it.”

    Well, if the reality-show host, who’s gone bankrupt four times, has been known for being a very smart guy for a long time, I suppose that settles it.

    Mitt Romney not only gave this clown a prominent role in his presidential campaign, he still refuses to distance himself from Trump, even as the guy’s ridiculous antics intensify. Why? Because according to Romney, he needs to “get 50.1% or more” of the vote, and if that means palling around buffoons, so be it. Decency is a luxury the multi-millionaire apparently cannot afford.

    Leaders — those with character and courage, who command respect — are supposed to know better. But Romney has a list of priorities, and demonstrating leadership isn’t on it.


    Incidentally, Igor Volsky noted that in October, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) partnered with right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress, Romney demanded that Perry “repudiate” him. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a leading Romney surrogate, added that for a national candidate to stand with a offensive character was “beneath the office of president of the United States.”

    One wonders if Romney thinks he’ll look presidential in Las Vegas tonight.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Dining With Birtherism
    by BooMan
    Tue May 29th, 2012 at 10:40:16 AM EST

    This birther thing started a long time ago. It’s really quite deranged. You should check out this late October 2008 piece from Pam Gellar’s place that attempts to prove that Barack Obama’s real father was Malcolm X. And if you don’t believe that literally, they ask you to at least admit it figuratively.
    Its dishonesty is quite striking. They appear to think the average gestation time of a human being is eleven months and think the word ‘autumn’ is synonymous with the word ‘August,’ just to give two obvious examples of the sleight of hand they like to use.

    The article helps explain, unintentionally, why these birther stories arose and why they won’t die. After all, it’s a very odd allegation these people are making. Ann Dunham began classes at the University of Hawaii in late September 1960. By early December, she was pregnant. She married Obama’s father on February 2nd, which is about when you would expect if it took her a couple of months to realize she was pregnant. Obama was born on August 4th, 1961. And Ms. Dunham took her new baby home to Washington state, where her parents lived, and enrolled in classes there that fall. Meanwhile, Obama’s father graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1962 and left for Harvard. The family was never reunited.

    So, that’s a sad little story, particularly for the time in which it took place. But it had a pretty happy ending, no? That little boy grew up to be a U.S. Senator and president of the United States. What a country!!

    Whatever you might say about the circumstances of Obama’s birth, there isn’t any room for him to have been conceived or born in Kenya. Contemporaneous newspapers have announcements of his birth. The state has issued two separate records of his birth certificate and vouched for their authenticity. There’s simply no reason to doubt the facts here.

    But the point isn’t that Obama was really born in Kenya any more than the point is that Malcolm X is the president’s true father. It’s supposed to be figuratively true even if it isn’t literally true.

    Now, Pam Gellar is a hateful bigoted idiot. But the same thing is true of Donald Trump. He’s saying the same types of things about the president. And, yet, this doesn’t prevent him from joining up with Mitt Romney to raise money for the Republican’s campaign.

    Trump will join Romney and former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for a campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening. Romney’s campaign also is raffling a chance to have dinner with Trump for supporters who donate $3 to the campaign.
    “I want you: Dine with the Donald,” a campaign flier proclaims, along with a drawing of Trump in the pose of Uncle Sam.

    The campaign offers: “Airport transportation in the Trump vehicle; Stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York; Tour the Celebrity Apprentice Boardroom; Dine with Donald Trump and Mitt Romney.”

  28. Ametia says:

    Another missed opportunity to lead
    By Steve Benen
    Tue May 29, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney will join Donald Trump tonight in Las Vegas for a fundraiser, just a few days after the reality-show host reiterated his support for the ridiculous “birther” conspiracy theory. Asked by reporters yesterday whether Trump’s ugly, borderline-racist antics gives him pause, Romney seemed unconcerned.

    “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

    That’s not much of a response. By Romney’s reasoning, decency is irrelevant — he should partner with anyone, no matter how vile, so long as it furthers his ambitions and gets him more votes.

    The Obama campaign released a new video this morning, contrasting Romney’s response to supporters’ extremism with John McCain’s

  29. Ametia says:


    Posted at 08:54 AM ET, 05/29/2012
    The Morning Plum: Stop letting Mitt Romney off easy
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney wants the presidential election to be all about Barack Obama. If the press doesn’t start asking Romney some difficult questions about the core arguments upon which his entire presidential candidacy is based, he may very well get his way.

    Case in point: Check out Mike Allen’s preview this morning of the Romney campaign’s next attack on the President’s economic record…

    A senior aide tells us Mitt Romney plans to begin hitting specific stimulus projects as he travels, arguing that President Obama has actually subtracted jobs:
    “Were these investments the best return on tax dollars, or given for ideological reasons, to donors, for political reasons? He spent $800 billion of everybody’s money. How’d it work out? It was the mother of all earmarks, not a jobs plan. By wasting all of this money, you had the worst of all worlds: It destroyed confidence in the economy, and makes people less likely to borrow money. Dodd-Frank has been a disaster for the economy. Where are the steady hands? Who’s in charge of energy? Where’s the strong, confident voice on the economy?”

    So Romney will now go back to claiming Obama subtracted jobs. But there’s a new twist: Romney will claim that the effect of the stimulus has been to destroy jobs. As it has in the past, the Romney camp will justify this by pointing to a bogus metric — the net jobs lost on Obama’ watch. That includes the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost before the stimulus went into effect. Really: The Romney camp’s claim is that we can calculate that the stimulus destroyed jobs overall with a metric that factors in all the jobs destroyed before the stimulus took effect. That’s not an exaggeration. It really is the Romney campaign’s position. It’s time to ask Romney himself to justify it.

  30. Ametia says:

    Romney’s pants on fire
    By Eugene Robinson, Published: May 28

    There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there’s Mitt Romney.

    Every political campaign exaggerates and dissembles. This practice may not be admirable — it’s surely one reason so many Americans are disenchanted with politics — but it’s something we’ve all come to expect. Candidates claim the right to make any boast or accusation as long as there’s a kernel of veracity in there somewhere.

    Even by this lax standard, Romney too often fails. Not to put too fine a point on it, he lies. Quite a bit.

    “Since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history,” Romney claims on his campaign Web site. This is utterly false. The truth is that spending has slowed markedly under Obama.

    An analysis published last week by MarketWatch, a financial news Web site owned by Dow Jones & Co., compared the yearly growth of federal spending under presidents going back to Ronald Reagan. Citing figures from the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, MarketWatch concluded that “there has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.”

    Quite the contrary: Spending has increased at a yearly rate of only 1.4 percent during Obama’s tenure, even if you include some stimulus spending (in the 2009 fiscal year) that technically should be attributed to President George W. Bush. This is by far the smallest — I repeat, smallest — increase in spending of any recent president. (The Washington Post’s Fact Checker concluded the spending increase figure should have been 3.3 percent.)

    In Bush’s first term, by contrast, federal spending increased at an annual rate of 7.3 percent; in his second term, the annual rise averaged 8.1 percent. Reagan comes next, in terms of profligacy, followed by George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and finally Obama, the thriftiest of them all.

    The MarketWatch analysis was re-analyzed by the nonpartisan watchdogs at Politifact who found it “Mostly True” — adding the qualifier because some of the restraint in spending under Obama “was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans.” Duly noted, and if Romney wants to claim credit for the GOP, he’s free to do so. But he’s not free to say that “federal spending has accelerated” under Obama, because any way you look at it, that’s a lie.

    Another example: Obama “went around the Middle East and apologized for America,” Romney said in March. “You know, instead of apologizing for America he should have stood up and said that as the president of the United States we all take credit for the greatness of this country.” That’s two lies for the price of one. Obama did not, in fact, go around the Middle East, or anywhere else, apologizing for America. And he did, on many occasions, trumpet American greatness and exceptionalism.

    Romney offers few specifics, but the conservative Heritage Foundation published a list of “Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies” — not one of which is an apology at all.

    One alleged instance is a speech Obama gave to the Turkish parliament in 2009, in which he said the United States “is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history . . . [and] still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.” If the folks at Heritage and at the Romney campaign don’t know that this is a simple statement of fact, they really ought to get out more.

    Romney does single out the following Obama statement from a 2009 interview: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Romney says this acknowledgment — that others might have as much national pride as we do — means Obama doesn’t really believe in American exceptionalism at all.

    But in the same interview, Obama went on to say he was “enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world,” and to tout U.S. economic and military might as well as the nation’s “exceptional” democratic values. So he should be accused of chest-thumping, not groveling.

    I could go on and on, from Romney’s laughable charge that Obama is guilty of “appeasement” (ask Osama bin Laden) to claims of his job-creating prowess at Bain Capital. He seems to believe voters are too dumb to discover what the facts really are — or too jaded to care.

    On both counts, I disagree.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Dean Heller gets lost in translation
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 11:30 AM EDT.

    It’s become quite common for candidates to publish two versions of their campaign website — one in English and one in Spanish — especially in states with large Latino populations. It’s not surprising, then, Nevada’s appointed senator, Republican Dean Heller, maintains a site in each language.

    What is surprising is that Heller and his campaign team are trying to pull a fast one, putting out one message on immigration policy in English, and a more forgiving message in Spanish. The Las Vegas Sun reported today:

    The Heller campaign … has set up a Spanish-language website, It is not as robust as the English-language version but does have a summary statement about the candidate.

    On both sites, information can be found on Heller’s stance on immigration, including similar sections that address the convoluted immigration system…. Yet, only the English-language site addresses Heller’s stance on border security and illegal immigration.

    “Businesses who knowingly hire illegal immigrants should be held accountable,” the English site states. “Dean also believes border patrol must also have the resources necessary to end the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States and opposes amnesty for those who enter America illegally.”

    Many years ago, before the advent of modern media and communications, it was fairly common for candidates to play fast and loose like this, delivering a message to voters in one area, then traveling to a new area and delivering the opposite message. More often than not, voters were none the wiser.

    Heller is putting a new twist on an old trick, offering one aggressive message in English, while quietly offering a more moderate and accommodating message in Spanish.

    Wait, it gets worse

    Heller, through his statements and votes in Congress, has consistently supported limiting or eliminating the ability to conduct government business in any language other than English. Heller has sponsored legislation to limit election ballots to English-only, to mandate that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid only be filled out in English and to make English the official national language. Heller also supported a bill to end birthright citizenship.

    On his Spanish-language website, however, his statement indicated concern over Nevada students whose first language is not English.

    “No doubt, education is the path to success. Many children in Nevada have the double challenge of getting a good education while still learning to become proficient in English,” the site says in Spanish. “Dean has worked for many years to develop quality education, which offers families and communities the resources they need to serve their children.”

    Heller apparently assumed no one who speaks both languages would stop to read both sites.


  32. rikyrah says:

    Tilting the playing field in Florida
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 10:40 AM EDT.

    It’s hardly a secret that Florida, home to 29 up-for-grabs electoral votes, will be one of the key 2012 battlegrounds. It’s the nation’s largest swing state, and whoever wins Florida will have an inside track to winning the White House.

    Republicans in the Sunshine State, however, aren’t taking any chances, and are already taking steps to tilt the playing field.

    Ari Berman has already documented many of the new voting restrictions approved by GOP policymakers over the last couple of years, including cracking down on voter-registration drives and limiting the number of days available for early voting.

    But Florida Republicans, led by Gov. Rick Scott (R), aren’t quite done yet. In the newest push, the state, just six months before the election, is trying to purge non-citizens from the voting rolls, but in the process, has cast far too wide a net.

    The state was found to be using a flawed process to pinpoint noncitizens on the voter rolls by relying on an outdated driver’s license database. Some of the people on an initial list of 2,700 possible noncitizens sent to county election supervisors were either naturalized citizens or were born in the United States. […]

    The push to crack down on the way Floridians vote, and how they register to vote, is viewed by some as an effort to single out Democratic voters, many of them black and Hispanic. Florida has been accused in past elections of unfairly trying to remove from the rolls former felons who are eligible to vote.

    The new scrub of registered voters is no different, said Howard Simon, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. “It’s a purging process that is based on what the state already acknowledges to be inaccurate information,” Mr. Simon said. “It really raises questions as to whether or not this is yet another partisan effort to scrub the voting rolls. We know it’s inaccurate because people from as far away as Pensacola to Miami have come forward to say, ‘I am a U.S. citizen. I am eligible to vote.’ “

    That’s not at all an exaggeration.


    Judd Legum has been all over this story for the last several days, including this report yesterday on the GOP’s “sloppy, chaotic and possibly illegal plan,” which ties together some key threads.

    According to data obtained by ThinkProgress, in Miami-Dade county alone, 1638 people were flagged by the state as “non-citizens.” Already, 359 people on the list have provided the county with proof of citizenship and 26 people were identified as U.S. citizens directly by the county. The remaining 1200 have simply not responded to the letter informing them of their purported ineligibility. Similar problems have been identified inPolk County and Broward County. […]

    A study by the Miami Herald found that “Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters are the most likely to be targeted in a state hunt to remove thousands of noncitizens from Florida’s voting rolls.” For example, Hispanics comprise 58 percent of the list but just 13 percent of eligible voters. Conversely, “Whites and Republicans are disproportionately the least-likely to face the threat of removal.” […]

    “It will happen,” Mary Cooney, a spokeswoman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, told ThinkProgress. On or about June 9, anyone who hasn’t responded to the ominous and legalistic letter informing them of their purported ineligibility will be removed from the rolls. Some eligible voters won’t have been able to respond by that time due to travel, work obligations, family obligations or confusion as to the purpose of the letter. Some will forget to open it. Others may have moved.

  33. rikyrah says:

    ‘The dog that caught the car’
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

    .Sometime very soon, the Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality, possibly killing the law. What’s more, even if a court majority sides with the administration, Republican policymakers may very well have a chance to eliminate “Obamacare” altogether early next year.

    And that creates a conundrum for the GOP. After screaming bloody murder about the law for three years, Republicans have successfully convinced many Americans to oppose health care reform. At the same time, much of the country has grown to like, want, and expect many of the law’s protections.

    What will Republicans do about this? They have no earthly idea. For example, ThinkProgress caught up with Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) the other day, and despite his fierce opposition to the law, he’s fully on board with many of the law’s key provisions.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, West expressed his support for allowing young adults to stay on their family’s plan until they’re 26, protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, and closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole. In other words, this right-wing opponent of Obamacare is comfortable keeping the most popular parts of Obamacare, despite already having voted to kill these benefits, and despite the policy measures that interconnect the popular and unpopular provisions.

    What’s more, it’s not just West — Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who’s also voted to eliminate the entire law, also said protections for young adults should remain in place.

    For three years, Republican policymakers thought it was simply enough to whine incessantly about health care reform and how much they hated President Obama’s reform package. Now, it’s slowly dawning on them that the larger questions need answers.

    As a Republican health care aide told Sahil Kapur, “I do think some Republicans are finally starting to realize they could be the dog that caught the car.”


    There’s no easy way out of this. “Repeal and replace” is already dead, and the Republican base has demanded, in no uncertain terms, that every letter of the Affordable Care Act has to go. No matter how effective the policies are, no matter how popular they might be, no matter what the consequences might be of repeal, conservatives will tolerate nothing less than the old, dysfunctional health care system. No exceptions.

    Just two weeks ago, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) adopted the same line, telling reporters, “We voted to fully repeal the president’s healthcare law as one of our first acts as a new House majority, and our plan remains to repeal the law in its entirety. Anything short of that is unacceptable.”

    So, for Washington’s most powerful GOP official, the only “acceptable” outcome is one in which tens of millions of Americans lose their health care coverage, seniors pay higher prescription drug costs, small businesses lose their tax breaks, and the deficit goes up by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

    In 2009, Republicans said they agreed with 80% of Obamacare. In 2012, it’s down to zero.

    What’s unclear at this point is what happens if and when the dog actually catches the car. The American mainstream wants many of the law’s benefits to stay in place; the GOP base expects all of the law’s benefits to disappear. No one knows what’ll happen, but as a rule, Republicans don’t ignore their base often.

    • Ametia says:

      TEE HEE HEE. Posted this video last night

      LOOK FOR THE SCOTUS TO UPHOLD THE HCR BILL AKA ACA. These fools aren’t crazy, and know that ACA is good , because their constituency KNOWS THEY NEED IT!

  34. rikyrah says:

    40,000 Voter Records Erased?
    Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 9:23 AM CDT
    Published : Monday, 28 May 2012, 8:35 PM CDT

    Norma Lester with the Shelby County Election Commission says the commission chair requested an investigation into recent allegations of thousands of county voter histories being purged, according to a letter FOX 13 obtained.

    Blogger Bev Harris with Black Box Voting originally said her research showed that 488 lifelong voters, mainly African American and democratic voters, were missing in the Shelby County registry. People on this list include political figures like Darrick Harris and Edmund Ford.

    “There’s 600,000 voters on the Shelby County voter list and for it just to happen to African Americans in one particular district who vote democrat is certainly not just random chance,” says Harris.

    Harris says after continuing her research, she found that not just 488 but 13,000 voter histories have been erased from the Shelby County voter registry.

    “The ones I found, the 500 voters, are at least still on the list, although their histories have been erased, which can be a preparation for purging. But, there are over 10,000 voters in Cohen’s district and they have simply been evaporated from the list all together,” added Harris.

    Congressman Steve Cohen says the missing records go even deeper. The Congressman announced on Sunday that he’s contacted U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about 40,000 missing voter histories, which Cohen says is the precursor to purging. He says he noticed the discrepancy in Dec. 2011 when he pulled records from Aug. 2010 for his election mailings.

    Shelby County Democratic Chairman Van Turner says, “I applaud Congressman Cohen for calling an investigation because I think that what’s going on is something that affects all voters, all citizens and we need to do what we can to protect the franchise.”

    Lester says in a letter that the investigation will look into why only African-American and democratic voter histories were deleted. The letter also states it will further look into, if it was indeed an error, why was it not county-wide instead of inner city.

    She ardently added that despite the missing histories, no voters were purged from the list and there should be no problems for voters wishing to cast ballots in upcoming elections.

    Turner adds that he trusts that the commission will figure out what happened to those missing voter records, “The system is something that’s always being revamped. It’s something that’s always occurring down there because we have elections so frequently.”

    “There’s several thousand discrepancies and we really need to get to the bottom of it to make sure people can vote,” says Harris.,000-voter-records-erased%3F-rpt-20120528

  35. rikyrah says:

    Cornel West’s Obsession With Obama
    By: Michael H. Cottman | Posted: May 29, 2012

    Is Cornel West being petty, or does he really think that black Americans will be better off if President Obama loses his bid for the White House in November? author Michael H. Cottman asks in an analysis of the professor’s comments at BlackAmericaWeb.

    Cornel West is obsessed with criticizing President Barack Obama.

    Every few months West rolls out new material to beat-up on Obama whenever he has an opportunity to meet with the media.

    In a recent interview with the Financial Times, West insists that it’s Obama who is fanatical.

    “I think at this point he’s obsessed with being on Mount Rushmore, he wants to be a great figure in the pantheon of American presidents,” West, the outspoken Princeton University professor, told the Financial Times. “If you’re thinking about Mount Rushmore, you’re thinking about your legacy, your legacy, your legacy. Puh-lease.”

    When asked to critique Obama’s first term in office, West said Obama is “much much better than Mitt Romney” but he remained critical of Obama.

    “Mitt Romney is a catastrophic response to a catastrophe, whereas Obama is a disastrous response to a catastrophe,” West said. “Is disaster better than catastrophe? Yes it is. I wish we had a third candidate who could actually do something, but we don’t at the moment.”

    West was also tough on the president’s foreign policy.

    “The Obama administration is involved in some very ugly killing of innocent people,” West said.

    West was once one of Obama’s most steadfast supporters, but he has turned on Obama over the years and some black Democrats accuse West of being disrespectful toward the president.

    It’s unclear why West feels so compelled to lash out at Obama and why he needs to evaluate Obama through the media. Some of his criticism has been bitter — and downright hateful.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Give ’em hell, Barry
    By E.J. Dionne Jr.,
    Published: May 27
    The Washington Post

    Progressives have yearned for President Obama to follow Harry Truman’s strategy from the 1948 campaign by giving his Republican opponents hell. Now that Obama is doing just that, his critics say he’s not looking presidential.

    As a longtime advocate of the Truman approach (and a fan of Give ’Em Hell Harry and his way of doing politics), I think Obama is doing the right thing. Critics of the battling style miss what Obama needs to get done in this campaign and also ignore the extent to which so many of his foes refuse to treat him in a presidential way. Far better for him to be a fully engaged fighter with passion for what he’s saying than a distant, regal figure pretending that the other side is playing by a dainty set of rules.

    But if 1948 is to be the model, what can we learn from Truman’s experience, and how does that election relate to the one we’re having in 2012?

    The similarities are important. Truman in 1946, like Obama in 2010 (and, for that matter, Bill Clinton in 1994), suffered a severe setback in midterm elections that substantially strengthened the hands of his congressional adversaries. Truman’s opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, was a Northeastern Republican governor who, like Mitt Romney, was not a favorite of the most conservative wing of his party. But unlike Romney, Dewey was a genuine moderate trying hard not be ensnared in the agenda of the GOP Congress.

    For Truman, tying the “do-nothing” Republican Congress around Dewey’s neck was essential to reminding the many New Dealers in the electorate of the identity of FDR’s true heir. Dewey spent the whole campaign in a box. If he danced away from congressional Republicans, he looked unprincipled. If he embraced them, he put himself right where Truman wanted him.

    To the extent that Romney can be tied to an unpopular Republican House and an obstructionist minority in the Senate, their unpopularity will rub off on him. But unlike Dewey, Romney has largely endorsed his congressional colleagues’ agenda. Obama’s task is to argue that whatever moderate sounds Romney made during his career in Massachusetts politics, these are irrelevant to how he would govern with the GOP likely to be in the congressional saddle. Obama wants to paint Romney as someone who would be a pawn of a runaway right-wing Congress, thus challenging both Romney’s strength of conviction and his ideology. As Truman did with Dewey, Obama wants to offer Romney the unpalatable choice of offending his party or offending swing voters.

  37. rikyrah says:

    29 The Wisconsin Recall Is About One Thing: No More Him
    By Charles P. Pierce at 10:39AM

    The effort to fire Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, has become the great gravitational center of American politics, drawing into itself almost every serious issues before the nation — up to and including the question: “National Democrats: Point-Shavers or Simply Feckless?” — and all manner of free-floating debris as well.

    A lot happened over the holiday weekend, including the first debate between Walker and his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, who is a very nice fellow, but who doesn’t yet seem to realize exactly what kind of a fight he’s in. In Friday’s debate, he kept banging on Walker’s responsibility for “the civil war” in the state, as though the primary goal of this whole business has been to get people to be nice to each other again. This is, of course, not remotely the case. The primary goal of this whole business has been to rid Wisconsin of Scott Walker, and of the corporate pirates and mountebanks to whom he is prepared to sell the rest of the state. The reason there’s a recall at all is not that Wisconsinites wanted more civility. It’s that they wanted less of Scott Walker. This never was going to be a polite process, and by delegitimizing the emotions that propelled last winter’s political revolt, Barrett concedes too much to Walker, whose basic campaign argument, after all, has been that the recall is a lot of fuss and bother that’s keeping him from doing the people’s business and, oh, by the way, as soon as he wins on June 5, he’s going to change the rules so it never happens again, because the voters are a damned impediment to democracy. No matter how much he argues for the status quo, Barrett’s rhetoric helps Walker cast chloroforming the recall process a bipartisan issue. Which Walker did with alacrity….

    “Absolutely, the law should be changed. I think Democrats and Republican alike understand that spending $16 or $17 million dollars on another election is a waste of money. But it’s the law now… And I think you’ll see both Democrats and Republicans, not just in the legislature but voters across the state, want to see it changed.”

    To his credit, Barrett was not shy about whacking Walker around with the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, but, once again, when the topic of organized labor and collective bargaining came up, in an election that would not be taking place at all without the active and noisy participation of Wisconsin’s unions, Barrett rather turtled.

    Barrett said he would stand up for workers but wouldn’t buckle to the unions that had sought to elect former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk — the candidate that the mayor defeated in the May 8 primary. “Let’s face it. I was not their first choice,” Barrett said of the unions. “The real test of leadership is whether you can say no to your friends.”

    No, goddammit. The actual real test of leadership is whether or not you can look the million-odd people who signed the recall petitions, and the thousands who stood out in the snow and the cold to provide the impetus to gather those signatures, honestly in the eye and give them what they wanted, which is a state of which Scott Walker is no longer the governor. The idea that the Democratic candidate for governor in a recall election that would not exist without the organized effort of organized labor, and a recall election that is likely to be decided purely by who can get the most people to the polls, which is something unions still know how to do, would boast in a debate that he can “say no” to his “friends” in the labor movement makes me believe firmly in the notion that most Democratic politicians can be mugged by voice mail.

    Other folks are stirred up as well. Walker regularly tells his stump audiences that Barrett wants to make the entire state into Milwaukee, a trope which you don’t exactly need the Enigma machine to decode, saying at one point, “We don’t want to be like Milwaukee. We want to be like Wisconsin.” This set Milwaukee’s Common Council somewhat ablaze, and council president Willie Hines dropped a letter to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel questioning the wisdom of implying that the state’s largest city isn’t really “like” the state:

    His divisive rhetoric has alienated the majority of every minority group that calls Milwaukee home: African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, the LGBT community and others. He’s insulting the millions who choose to live, work or play in Wisconsin’s urban center and economic engine, choosing to divide Wisconsin rather than unite us. One can conclude that Walker’s real agenda is to “divide and conquer” our state by giving those outside of Milwaukee the impression that we are different from them. If this governor is willing to throw Wisconsin’s biggest city under the bus, which city is next? La Crosse? Wausau? Hurley?

    Read more:

  38. rikyrah says:

    Something Else Stupid Willard Romney Just Said
    By Charles P. Pierce at 9:23AM

    When Willard Romney talks about the economy, or about business in general, you get the feeling that he at least has some notion of what he’s talking about. The vocabulary he uses seems fairly well suited to the purpose and all the words are in the right order.

    But get Romney started on foreign policy and/or the military and the English language goes on a drunken holiday to the moon.

    On Memorial Day, campaigning with John (Anything For A Camera These Days) McCain, this is what he said:

    “There are two courses we could follow in dangerous world,” Romney said. “The first is the course of Europe… and the other is the course of America.”

    The course of America?

    Apparently, Europe went all to hell when Willard stopped living in France.

    Read more:

  39. Ametia says:

    May 29, 2012 3:25 PM EDTShare
    Embed Code for President Obama and The First Lady Honor Recipients of the 2011 Medal of Freedom:

  40. Ametia says:

    Your weekly dose of Chauncy Devega

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012
    Does President Obama Look “Presidential?” Considering the Problem of Unconscious White Racial Bias in the 2012 Race

    An elephant has squatted down in Andrew Roberts’ living room and he chooses to look away, pretending that nothing has happened, continuing to serve Melba toast and caviar while the room fills up with the rank stink of pachyderm feces. I do not have Vicks Vapor Rub in my noise. Thus, I cannot pretend that something does not stink around here.

    Time to get our rhythm back. I hope your holiday was restful. Mine was interesting. I was reminded of the fact that I am a “civilian” and not a bad man (I knew that, but having it reinforced was useful), I saw Men in Black 3 and Bernie (both are good fun, the former had some particularly pleasant surprises), and many comment worthy news items came and went without an intervention because Memorial Day weekend is not generally a time when folks spend much time online.

    As such, we are going to do some catching up this week. I have an obligatory comment on the “white working class men who hate Obama” meme, as well as some more begging to do for our collective effort to raise funds in order to buy some slavery artifacts on EBAY (we can do better folks, much better). I have learned one thing from my virgin foray into fund-raising: repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition is how one gets the change out of pockets.

  41. Ametia says:


  42. rikyrah says:

    said it before……

    they couldn’t nail the President as the ANGRY BLACK MAN…

    now, he’s the ‘ MEAN BLACK MAN’.


    Like HOW DARE President Obama actually go out and take the fight to Willard. how dare he.


    Hints of Racism as the Mainstream Media Questions Obama’s Aggressiveness
    By: Jason EasleyMay 27, 2012

    The mainstream media is subtly helping to further a racist stereotype by acting shocked and even a little afraid by the aggressiveness of Obama’s reelection campaign.

    Here is the video from Face The Nation:

    BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning, again. And welcome to FACE THE NATION and what better time to talk a little politics. Top advisors to both candidates are with us here this morning. We’re going to start with Robert Gibbs who’s the senior advisor to the Obama campaign. Then, we’ll hear from Ed Gillespie, senior advisor to the Romney campaign.

    Mister Gibbs, last week, several Democrats weighed in, and expressed really some dismay with a tone that the Obama campaign’s attack ads have taken, particularly the ones attacking Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, we played a little of it in the beginning of the broadcast, but the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday the campaign would actually become more aggressive with these attacks. They seem to be buying more time to run these ads. Have you done some polling? What– why– why– why do- why so aggressive so soon?

    ROBERT GIBBS (Obama Campaign Senior Advisor): Well, Bob, I don’t think you need polling to understand why people have a visceral reaction to Mitt Romney’s time as head of Bain Capital and let’s be clear, this is the central and only point that Mitt Romney brings up that in the words of his campaign would make him an economic savior for this country. You saw that tape with some steel workers whose plant in Kansas City was loaded up with debt, jammed into bankruptcy, Mitt Romney and his investors walked away with tens of millions of dollars and, look, they were very good at that, making money for themselves and for the investors, but what Bain Capital never did was focus on job creation. That’s not what Bain Capital does. It loads up companies with debt. It takes money out of those companies and pays those investors. It’s not about job creation, and that’s what Mitt run– Mitt Romney is running on. And look, we– we’ve– we’ve seen this experiment in Massachusetts. He did the same thing when he ran in 2002 in Massachusetts and took that state’s job creation numbers to forty-seventh in the country. So we have seen this experiment, we have seen it in Massachusetts quite frankly, we saw it in 2007 and 2008 where we turned our economy over to speculators and it crashed on the middle class.

    Bob Schieffer’s loaded question appears to have been based on a couple of false premises. Schieffer seemed surprised that the Obama campaign would be aggressive at all, because according to the book of great conservative myths that our media lives by Democrats are supposed to be passive, peace-loving hippies avoiding conflict because they don’t have the guts to put up a fight.

    Schieffer was discussing Obama’s Bain ads, but his question centered on aggressiveness, as if it was a bad thing that the president was being aggressive in his attacks. Ol’ Bob seemed perplexed that Obama would launch into Bain so soon, but if Schieffer would think about it, he might realize that what the Obama campaign is doing is using Bain to define Romney before Romney has a chance to define himself. This campaign isn’t going to be about Bain, but Romney’s time at Bain is the opening chapter of what I suspect will be a much deeper narrative from the Obama camp.

    The Face The Nation host seemed to be hung up on the fact that nation’s first black president would be aggressive in his reelection campaign. Could it be because in some parts of the country there are still white Americans who see aggressiveness by an African-American as threatening?

    Whether intended or not, Schieffer’s question highlighted the subtle racial subtext that is constantly present in the media coverage of Obama: It’s okay to have a black president as long as he isn’t too aggressive or threatening.

    President Obama, like other African-Americans, has been battling this stereotype for his entire life. When Mitt Romney is aggressive he is a go getter capitalist, who symbolizes the American Dream. When Barack Obama is aggressive, the media recoils in fear and asks why.

    It has been three and a half years, but the media still can’t shake the constant shadow that is their fear of a black president, and questions like Bob Schieffer’s subconsciously disseminate that fear to millions of white voters across America.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Can’t Extinguish the Firestorm Created by Their War On Women
    By: Rmuse

    Human beings, at least some human beings, have always felt the need to keep one group or another under their domination either out of fear or religious authority. Today, even though women have made great strides to claim equality they have fought gallantly for, they face a concerted effort by conservatives and their onward Christian soldiers to assign them subservient roles in society, and it is being perpetrated by Republicans in the states, Congress, and their presumptive presidential candidate, Willard Romney. The conservative’s voice of power and influence, Rush Limbaugh, has done his share to demean women, and one might think that since the outrage and push back after his vile remarks aimed at Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, that Republicans would step back, give pause, and reconsider the repercussions Limbaugh’s remarks might have for them, but they forge ahead relentlessly to send women back to the kitchen and birthing table to serve their husbands, or in the minds of Republicans; their masters.

    When Limbaugh made his misogynistic comments about Sandra Fluke, Willard Romney said “it’s not the language I would use,” but of note is that Romney never said it was not the sentiment I share. It was a telling moment for America’s women and it should alert them that a Romney presidency, coupled with Republican legislators’ agenda, will begin a great movement to subject women to third-class status in a patriarchal society. Rush Limbaugh may not serve in any government capacity, but he does serve as the voice of Republicans’ attitudes toward America’s women.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Grassroots vs. Astroturf
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 8:45 AM EDT.

    When it comes to environmental activism, the competing sides have two very different strengths: clean air and clean water advocates have grassroots support and motivated activists, while industry groups have cash.

    As a result, the former has grassroots support; the latter has astroturf.

    This isn’t exactly new. A few years ago, the American Petroleum Institute urged oil industry employees to pose as regular ol’ “citizens” who oppose climate change legislation. Around the same time, a D.C. lobbying firm, working for the coal industry, sent bogus letters to Democratic lawmakers in opposition to a cap-and-trade bill.

    In these cases, the industry and its lobbyists couldn’t rally real support, so they faked it, using their financial resources to perpetrate a fraud. It’s textbook astroturfing.

    And it’s not going away. The Environmental Protection Agency has hosted some public hearings, soliciting feedback on the agency’s proposed carbon-pollution safeguards. The Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago and the Sierra Club discovered that the coal industry went so far last week as to put an ad on Craigslist, offering people money to go to an EPA hearing, pretending to be pro-coal activists. The ad read:

    Looking for people THIS THURSDAY, MAY 24 who want to make a couple of dollars for a few hours of your time.

    All you need to do is wear a t-shirt in support of an energy project for two hours during the public meeting. We will be departing the Tinely Park convention center at 8:15 am for the meeting and we will be back by 1:30 pm. For your time we will pay you $50 cash and provide you lunch once we return to the convention center.

    One side of the fight has earned dedicated supporters; one side has to buy what it can’t earn and hope no one notices the difference.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Another missed opportunity to lead
    By Steve Benen – Tue May 29, 2012 8:00 AM EDT

    .Mitt Romney will join Donald Trump tonight in Las Vegas for a fundraiser, just a few days after the reality-show host reiterated his support for the ridiculous “birther” conspiracy theory. Asked by reporters yesterday whether Trump’s ugly, borderline-racist antics gives him pause, Romney seemed unconcerned.

    “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

    That’s not much of a response. By Romney’s reasoning, decency is irrelevant — he should partner with anyone, no matter how vile, so long as it furthers his ambitions and gets him more votes.

    The Obama campaign released a new video this morning, contrasting Romney’s response to supporters’ extremism with John McCain’s.

    There seem to be two broad angles to a story like this. The first is who Romney chooses to associate with. The Republican campaign says it rejects the conspiracy theory, but wants to benefit from ties to the conspiracy theorist.

    Similarly, Romney aides insist their candidate shouldn’t be held responsible for Trump’s beliefs, but (a) the GOP campaign made the exact opposite case a month ago; and (b) when the former governor makes an appearance like this, it necessarily extends Romney’s imprimatur to the man he chooses to partner with. Indeed, Trump isn’t just some random supporter; he’s a leading campaign surrogate, so his political tantrums are necessarily tied to the candidate that made him a key player on his team.

    The second is that this is a test of Romney’s capacity for leadership, and he’s failing.


    It’s well within Romney’s power to denounce Trump’s idiocy and ally himself with more respectable figures — he might even benefit politically if he did, earning new respect by standing on principle. That, however, would take some courage, which is a character trait the Republican candidate is lacking.

    In other words, cowardice is once again getting the better of Mitt Romney, just as it did two weeks ago on gay adoptions.

    The cowardice was also on display when the right disapproved of Richard Grenell. And when Rush Limbaugh went after Sandra Fluke. And when the campaign was asked for Romney’s position on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. And when Romney wouldn’t state his views on the Violence Against Women Act or a watered-down version of the DREAM Act. And on and on.

    Romney has been presented with several opportunities to show he’s capable of leadership, but he’s so afraid of what conservatives might say, he just doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing.

    No Profile in Courage Award for you, Mitt.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s America

    What if Mitt Romney was actually elected President, how might America be transformed?

    Based on the statements he has made and his pandering allegiance to the right wing extremists in his party, one can reasonably extrapolate out what policies and laws Romney would support and approve.

    To begin, it is conceivable that the GOP could retain the House and win over the Senate. It’s also conceivable that having seen how effective their use of the filibuster was against Obama, Senate Republicans could pass rules limiting the use of it by Democrats.

    In such an admittedly hypothetical scenario, the damage to the American society and democracy we have come to know could be severe and long term, with numerous permanent aspects.

    The End of Medicare as an Entitlement

    The Ryan Plan, which Romney heartily supports, transforms Medicare from being an entitlement into a partial subsidy for buying health insurance. Thus, Americans would no longer be entitled to health insurance when they grew older. This would have a profound and devastating impact on tens of millions of seniors and society in general.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Did ALEC Give Walker 3.4 Million for the Recall Election?
    Created on Monday, 28 May 2012 21:51

    In March 2012, One Wisconsin Now released a report showing Governor Scott Walker had spent more time out of the state of Wisconsin than in the state working for the citizens. One Wisconsin Now pointed out Walker used approximately 600 hours of personal time from August 2011 to January 2012. So what was Scott Walker doing?

    We had a look at Walker’s expense report filed with the Government Accountability Board and found some eye-popping expenses. One of the expenses threw up a flag when we saw payments to Doner Fundraising, Inc, in the amounts of $145,824.73, $64,171.51, $51,306.40, $20,000.00, $61,344.20 between October 2011 and May 2012 for a grand total of $342,645. The thing to keep in mind here is that fundraiser’s typically get a 10% commission on their haul, so Doner Fundraising raked in $3,426,450 for Scott Walker.

    Incidentally, Doner Fundraising Inc is based in Austin Texas, a state Walker has been to a number of times since taking office. The company, at last glance, does not have a website to reference, but the company is owned by one Katherine (Kate) Doner. According a number of online references to the business, Kate Doner is the who’s who in fundraising in Texas and has a reputation of bringing in the big money.

    Kate Doner was principal staff for the the State Policy Network; SPN is a professional service organization for the “state-based free market think tank movement.” SPN was a “Chairman” level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Conference, with a required sponsorship level of $50,000 in 2010. ALEC is also an Associate Member of State Policy Network, as of Aug. 11, 2011. The mission of SPN, according to its May 2006 newsletter, is “to provide strategic assistance to independent research organizations devoted to discovering and developing market-oriented solutions to state and local public policy issues.”

    It’s no secret that much of the legislation Scott Walker forced upon Wisconsinites was designed by ALEC, but it now appears they are paying Walker for his services. Walker’s jaunts around the USA seem to align with stops to give speeches in states with SPN think tanks. Has ALEC changed from paying “Scholarships” to political donations for speeches? It would answer the question of why so many out of state companies have such an interest in Wisconsin politics.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Wisconsin update
    By Kay
    May 29th, 2012

    There’s more numbers available for campaign spending in the Wisconsin recall, but before I get to that, I wanted to return to the spin aspect and show you this from way back in 2011:

    What if the public polls predicting a sizable labor win in the Ohio battle over collective bargaining are just flat-out wrong? An internal memo from a key labor-backed group in the state is flatly warning that the polls are “flawed” and that a big win for labor is not even “remotely possible.” It adds that the right’s messaging has “worked,” and that there’s good reason to suspect that a “massive amount of voter confusion remains,” suggesting the fight could still go either way.
    “Those predicting a blowout for our side are basing their analysis on flawed public polling samples,” reads the memo, which was circulated to labor and political operatives involved in the fight by Brian Rothenberg, the executive director of Progress Ohio, which is partly bankrolled by labor. It was forwarded my way by a source.

    Kasich’s anti-union law was defeated, 61 to 39. Frantic spin deliberately leaked from one side or the other or inadvertently leaked concern-memo by Progress Ohio? I don’t know. Polling on referendums in Ohio had been a poor predictor of results prior to Issue Two, so that part is true.

    This is the best I could find on actual spending on ads in Wisconsin:

    Walker, Republican Party committees, independent tea party groups and other grassroots fiscal conservative organizations have spent around $8.65 million to run ads in the recall campaign, from November through last week, according to data from Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, a company that tracks and estimates the costs of campaign ads running on the air.
    That’s a considerable amount more than the $5.10 million that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic challenger, Democratic Party committees and independent progressive groups have spent to run commercials.
    “There is intense amount of advertising in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race that is chasing a minute amount of undecided voters. Attitudes are polarized and hardened in the Badger State, but with the contest so close, candidates and their allies have no choice but to go ‘all in’. That said, there probably are not a lot of moveable voters at this point,” Kenneth Goldstein, CNN’s consultant on TV advertising and Kantar Media/CMAG president, said.

    On a related note, There are new rules that may help non-professionals (lowly voters, even!) follow the money in federal races. Recall that within the campaign industrial complex there are (of course) both buyers and sellers. If this is an arms race and we have very little real information on the buyers, we may be able to find out more by looking at the records of the arms dealers, online:

  49. rikyrah says:

    Obama Rebukes the Republican Warmonger Doctrine of Unjustified War
    By: Jason Easley

    While honoring the sacrifices of the fallen, President Obama took the time to make it specifically clear that he will never subscribed to the Bush Doctrine of endless unjustified war.

    Especially for those who’ve lost a loved one, this chapter will remain open long after the guns have fallen silent. Today, with the war in Iraq finally over, it is fitting to pay tribute to the sacrifice that spanned that conflict.

    In March of 2003, on the first day of the invasion, one of our helicopters crashed near the Iraqi border with Kuwait. On it were four Marines: Major Jay Aubin; Captain Ryan Beaupre; Corporal Brian Kennedy; and Staff Sergeant Kendall Waters-Bey. Together, they became the first American casualties of the Iraq war. Their families and friends barely had time to register the beginning of the conflict before being forced to confront its awesome costs.

    Eight years, seven months and 25 days later, Army Specialist David Hickman was on patrol in Baghdad. That’s when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. He became the last of nearly 4,500 American patriots to give their lives in Iraq. A month after David’s death — the days before the last American troops, including David, were scheduled to come home — I met with the Hickman family at Fort Bragg. Right now, the Hickmans are beginning a very difficult journey that so many of your families have traveled before them — a journey that even more families will take in the months and years ahead.

    To the families here today, I repeat what I said to the Hickmans: I cannot begin to fully understand your loss. As a father, I cannot begin to imagine what it’s like to hear that knock on the door and learn that your worst fears have come true. But as Commander-In-Chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm’s way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make. I can promise you I will never do so unless it’s absolutely necessary, and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation.

    And as a country, all of us can and should ask ourselves how we can help you shoulder a burden that nobody should have to bear alone. As we honor your mothers and fathers, your sons and daughters, we have given — who have given their last full measure of devotion to this country, we have to ask ourselves how can we support you and your families and give you some strength?

    One thing we can do is remember these heroes as you remember them — not just as a rank, or a number, or a name on a headstone, but as Americans, often far too young, who were guided by a deep and abiding love for their families, for each other, and for this country.

    Beyond the now standard presidential Memorial Day message honoring the fallen, there was a statement of principle. Throughout his presidency, Obama has rejected the Bush Doctrine in both words and deeds. There has been no talk of an “Axis of Evil,” or “fighting them there so that we don’t have to fight them here.” President Obama has very clearly separated the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan from the hunt for al-Qaeda, and his administration’s anti-terrorism efforts.

  50. rikyrah says:

    By mistermix May 29th, 2012Timothy Lee, a former Cato scholar, catches a clue:

    In 2008, I wrote a paper for the Cato Institute questioning the need for network neutrality regulations; I argued that the Internet’s decentralized architecture made it inherently resistant to mischief by broadband incumbents. While I’m still skeptical about the wisdom of network neutrality regulations, I’ve become more concerned about the state of the broadband market in the four years since writing that paper.[…]

    What changed my thinking was less the theoretical arguments set out in that piece than it was a sequence of developments in the telecom marketplace, all of which forced me to reexamine my own assumptions about the state of US broadband. […]

    He goes on to point out what’s been pretty obvious since well before 2008: the phone and cable monopolies control delivery of Internet to households, and if their infrastructure doesn’t support fast Internet service, they won’t make it any faster if they can get away with it. It takes a serious devotion to confabulation to see a free market and good intentions when your own lying eyes see nothing but a duopoly and the desire to milk every penny out of the customer.

    Here’s a case in point: Comcast, which is subject to net neutrality rules, is nevertheless prioritizing traffic on its own Xfinity video streaming service over traffic from services like Netflix and Hulu. That traffic goes on a “separate lane” from other Internet traffic, and, more importantly, it doesn’t count against the Comcast subscriber’s monthly cap. That’s exactly what net neutrality advocates warned against in 2008, and what our man from Cato poo-poohed, and Cato is still working to weaken the FCC’s enforcement powers to stop Comcast from exploiting its monopoly.

    I’m glad Lee is finally learning that we have a problem with our Internet infrastructure, but in the time since he wrote that piece for Cato, we’ve been slowly losing ground to other countries (we’re 8th or 15th in the world in broadband penetration, depending on how you interpret the numbers) and the cable monopolies have been devising ever more clever ways to retain the profits they’re losing from cord cutters, no thanks to believers in free market fairytales like him.

  51. rikyrah says:

    The Fever Might Break
    by BooMan
    Mon May 28th, 2012 at 10:49:53 PM EST

    There are a lot of interesting aspects to John Helleman’s big piece on the Obama campaign. I want to focus on one of them. Let me throw out a blockquote to get us started.

    Back in December, [Obama Campaign Manager, Jim] Messina laid out publicly the ways that advantage gives Obama an upper hand when it comes to the Electoral College: four mathematical scenarios by which he could get to 270 while underperforming 2008. (A fifth scenario involved him expanding the playing field, about which more in a moment.) The safe presumption underlying each is that Obama holds the nineteen states plus the District of Columbia that John Kerry won in 2004—which, recall, did not include Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, or Virginia, all of which Obama carried in 2008, giving the president a base of 246 electoral votes. There’s the western path: Obama holds Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa for a total of 272. There’s the midwestern path: Obama holds Ohio and Iowa (270). There’s the southern path: Obama holds North Carolina and Virginia (274). And there’s the Florida path, in which Obama simply again takes the Sunshine State (275).
    I ask Messina if all four avenues are still open. “Absolutely,” he replies.

    I apologize if that just made your eyes glaze over…I didn’t write it. What I want to do here is to kind of step back from the current election season and take more of a bird’s-eye view of national politics. We are all familiar with the story of the 2000 election, where Al Gore won the popular vote and was stymied by a variety of factors in Florida (e.g., voter roll purges, bad ballot design in Palm Beach County, and the intervention of the Supreme Court to halt a recount). The 2004 election reprised some of these same problems, notably in Ohio. What people probably don’t focus on enough is how close Kerry came to winning the election even while losing the popular vote by a far larger margin than Bush had lost it four years earlier. Bush won (or stole) two national elections but he did it with the bare minimum of Electoral College votes (271 votes in 2000, 286 votes in 2004). If Kerry had won Ohio, he would have been president.

    Mitt Romney is looking at a similar map. There’s a path to victory for him, to be sure, but it’s a path that can do no more than just barely get him over the hump. The Republicans are on the cusp of losing viability as a national party. To be more specific, they cannot afford much more slippage or they may not have a plausible case to make that they can win the presidency. There are signs, yet to be confirmed, that a few former swing states are moving out of their reach. Michigan and Pennsylvania look that way.

    Almost all of Romney’s 270 scenarios revolve around a strategy outlined by Karl Rove and dubbed “3-2-1,” in which the GOP reclaims three of the traditionally red states snatched away by Obama (Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia), wins the two perennial mega swing states (Florida and Ohio), and then snags one more from among those up for grabs.

    A senior Obama campaign official scoffs at the notion that Romney could pull off such a feat. “To get there,” he says, “they’ve got to take away either Pennsylvania or Michigan, and they can’t do either one of them. Michigan is a motherfucking joke, to think they can do that, because of what he’s done on the auto stuff. And in Pennsylvania, we have a 900,000-person registration advantage. John Kerry had 250,000; we had 900,000 more Democrats than Republicans on the first day.”

    The Republicans’ weakness with Latino voters is pushing New Mexico out of the swing state category and is threatening to do the same in Nevada, Colorado, and Virginia. Personally, I think Obama’s mixed-race heritage is giving the Republicans a false sense of confidence. If Obama were white, I don’t think any of the 2008 swing-statees other than Indiana would be in play. And his national numbers would look much better. We can see this in the Obama campaign’s disdain for national polling.

    [Jim Messina] earned a reputation as a very nice guy who would merrily club you with a truncheon if you crossed him. In addition to not caring about Romney’s candidate skills, he doesn’t give a whit about national polling, in which Obama’s numbers are dragged down by his horrific performance in the Deep South and Appalachia—but is obsessed with the president’s standing in the battleground states, where Obama has “a distinct advantage,” he says, “and everybody, including Mitt Romney, knows it.”

    Another thing ‘everyone knows’ is that the president is more unpopular in Appalachia and the Deep South because of his complexion. This keeps his overall approval numbers down. But it masks Republican weakness. Put a white Democrat like, say, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia on the top of the ticket, and suddenly the Democrats’ numbers in Appalachia and the Deep South go up quite a bit, causing their national numbers to go up, and putting more swing states out of play.

    Any president who had to run for reelection in a period of high unemployment would face a serious challenge. But no one is suggesting that Obama could possibly fare worse than John Kerry, barring unforeseen events. The Democrats seem to have consolidated a steady bloc of support that is just shy of what is needed to win the presidency. I think this is precisely why the Republicans are acting so aggressively to suppress the vote. You should think of them as like a person who is clinging to a demographic ledge by their fingernails. I think this will be the last presidential election they could potentially win for a little while.

  52. rikyrah says:

    Romney is Gonna Get It
    by BooMan
    Mon May 28th, 2012 at 07:36:35 PM EST

    John Helleman:

    Though the Obamans certainly hit John McCain hard four years ago—running more negative ads than any campaign in history—what they intend to do to Romney is more savage. They will pummel him for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition. “We’re gonna say, ‘Let’s be clear what he would do as president,’ ” Plouffe explains. “Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”

    The Obama effort at disqualifying Romney will go beyond painting him as excessively conservative, however. It will aim to cast him as an avatar of revanchism. “He’s the fifties, he is retro, he is backward, and we are forward—that’s the basic construct,” says a top Obama strategist. “If you’re a woman, you’re Hispanic, you’re young, or you’ve gotten left out, you look at Romney and say, ‘This fucking guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been part of that.’ ”

    Not to mention he thinks corporations are people, doesn’t worry about poor people cuz they have a safety net, and keeps his money in Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts. Not to mention that he does weird and vaguely sociopathic things like holding down a gay kid and cutting his hair or strapping his dog to the roof of his car for a 12-hour drive on the interstate. Not to mention that he has flip-flop-flipped on almost every issue under the sun and actually tried to “take a lot of credit” for the auto bailout he opposed to anyone who would listen.

    When it comes to Mitt Romney, there is so much negative to say that there almost isn’t enough time between now and the election to say it all. I mean, this is a guy who employed undocumented Mexicans for years to do his landscaping and then decided his immigration policy would be to make their lives so miserable that they’d just leave on their own. Is that classy, or what?

  53. rikyrah says:

    Christopher Monckton: The Man Who Lies About His Credentials Question’s Obama’s
    By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonMay 29, 2012

    What do you get when you take a man who lies about being a climate specialist, who knows nothing at all about climate science, and introduce him to Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the topic of Presisdent Obama’s birth certificate? You get a man who lies about Obama’s birth certificate and knows nothing at all about Obama’s birth.

    If you want to know how little Monckton knows about climate science, consider this fact reported by, that “Monckton also cites the Cambrian Period as proof plants love carbon dioxide, although it was a time period where there were no land plants.”

    Monckton is as much a climate scientist as David Barton is a historian.

    Hmmm, no wonder then that WND lauds the very existence of Christopher Monckton, “a former policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher” who “told Americans it’s time to put their faith in another man who wears the star, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

    Christopher Monckton tells many lies about his own credentials so its no surprise that he has jumped on Joe Arpaio’s birther bandwagon. Says WND contributor and former pastor Drew Zahn:

    The U.K.’s Lord Christopher Monckton, known internationally for his climate-change skepticism, is calling on those still skeptical about Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president to put their money where their mouth is and back Arpaio’s ongoing Cold Case Posse investigation into the current occupant of the Oval Office.

    Apparently, as of “only three months ago” – a fact which will leave none of us shocked, I’m sure – ”Lord Monckton had never really looked into the issue of Obama’s eligibility and had never even heard of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”

  54. Ametia says:

    The Fever Might Break
    by BooMan
    Mon May 28th, 2012 at 10:49:53 PM EST

    There are a lot of interesting aspects to John Helleman’s big piece on the Obama campaign. I want to focus on one of them. Let me throw out a blockquote to get us started.

    Back in December, [Obama Campaign Manager, Jim] Messina laid out publicly the ways that advantage gives Obama an upper hand when it comes to the Electoral College: four mathematical scenarios by which he could get to 270 while underperforming 2008. (A fifth scenario involved him expanding the playing field, about which more in a moment.) The safe presumption underlying each is that Obama holds the nineteen states plus the District of Columbia that John Kerry won in 2004—which, recall, did not include Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, or Virginia, all of which Obama carried in 2008, giving the president a base of 246 electoral votes. There’s the western path: Obama holds Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa for a total of 272. There’s the midwestern path: Obama holds Ohio and Iowa (270). There’s the southern path: Obama holds North Carolina and Virginia (274). And there’s the Florida path, in which Obama simply again takes the Sunshine State (275).

    I ask Messina if all four avenues are still open. “Absolutely,” he replies.

  55. rikyrah says:

    May 27, 2012
    Hold that praise for George Will

    This morning, on ABC’s “This Week,” George Will professed consternation about why Mitt Romney pals around with that “bloviating ignoramus,” Donald Trump. So National Journal’s Ron Brownstein explained the facts of conservative life to George:

    Mitt Romney throughout the entire primary season has shown very little willingness to confront the right. And there is a big portion of the conservative base of the party that does believe that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. And Romney has just seemed to be spooked throughout the whole process at the thought that the right will mobilize against him.

    What we’ll see and hear for the next few news cycles is the commentariat’s praise of George Will’s conservative independence and high-minded criticism of his own party’s presidential nominee. And it will all be horseshit, for George Will has yet to honestly reproach the millions of ignoramuses who comprise contemporary conservatism and have made it the absolute philosophical joke that it is.

    If Mr. Will should ever get around to that level of honesty, then I’ll gain respect for him. Till then, he’s just another enabler of pseudoconservative madness.

  56. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      Voter: Romney’s a LIAR & A BIRTHER


      • Ametia says:

        .Romney won’t repudiate Trump on birther issue
        By STEVE PEOPLES | Associated Press – 15 hrs ago.

        SAN DIEGO (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney isn’t taking a position on supporter Donald Trump’s return to the controversy over where President Barack Obama was born.

        Romney said Monday evening that while he doesn’t agree with all the people who support him, he appreciates their help to get him at least 50.1 percent of the vote in November.

        Romney’s comments come about 24 hours before appearing at fundraiser in Las Vegas that Trump is hosting.

        Earlier this week Trump again stated that Obama was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. That view has been debunked repeatedly. Obama released his long-form birth certificate in April 2011 showing he was born in Hawaii while Trump weighed entering the Republican primary race.

  57. rikyrah says:

    May 28, 2012
    The ‘ignorance’ that George Will should really worry about
    Paul Krugman:
    [T]he modern American right doesn’t care about deficits, and never did. All that talk about debt was just an excuse for attacking Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and food stamps.

    It’s worse than that, as Krugman knows, but he had to economize toward column’s end.

    The worst-kept, indeed impossible-to-keep “conservative” secret is that the American right, since Reagan, has cared very much about deficits. It has cared about, caused and coddled them. The American right loves deficits, which were so easy and fun to procreate: just demagogue a litany of unfunded tax cuts, and demagogue an unfunded defense sprawl, and demagogue some unfunded wars, and hell, for good measure, even demagogue a lavish and unfunded expansion of the preexisting welfare state; and then, finally–and here’s the right’s really fun part–blame the entire, red-inked fiscal mess on big-spending, big-government liberals, to which a grotesquely sizable portion of the electorate will nod in sorry agreement, because of its propagandistic familiarity.

    All of this is well known, of course; or at least the extent of its public comprehension is proportionate to the “informed” slice of our democracy–a slice that every small-r republican citizen works to expand.

    But there’s a problem with that civic formula.

    The indefatigably ignorant of the right, like the overworked poor of the left, will always be with us; and yet the ignorant, very unlike the poor, possess an outsized enthusiasm for voting, which, naturally, keeps in public office a disproportionate percentage of knowing, and utterly disingenuous, ignoramuses– who will never, never concede their disingenuity.

    And there, then, is the real problem. One cannot negotiate with elected officials whose existential justification is grounded entirely in scheming misrepresentation and nihilistic disingenuity. We all, every small-r republican one of us, are desperately hanging on until 2013, when suddenly–or so we hope–a resurrecting age of reason and passable compromise and political detente will dawn. I have every confidence that President Obama will still be President Obama. But no matter what the ideological makeup of Congress, its rules and traditions will favor the re-ascendance of the schemingly nihilistic, who will by nature persist in blowing everything up.

    Hence it may be less precise to say that “the modern American right doesn’t care about deficits” than to say, simply, that the modern American right doesn’t care about America.

  58. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, May 27, 2012
    Joan Walsh slams Mitt Romney: “Leave no Obama-hater behind”

    Donald Trump is a person you do not really want to be associated with. He turned into an Obama-birther last year, only to be humiliated when President Obama swiftly presented his long-form birth certificate, and was then even further humiliated when afterwards Obama himself roasted Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

    Notably, Donald Trump’s big friend Sarah Palin fully supported him in his “Birther activities” last year, asking in public whether “there’s something there that the president doesn’t want people to see on that birth certificate.” Well, Sarah Palin obviously spoke from experience as she successfully managed to cover up Trig Palin’s real parentage, whose birth certificate she stubbornly hides from prying eyes.

    Just as everything that Sarah Palin touches has the unbreakable habit to into a big ugly mess (the infamous “Palin curse”), it is possible that Donald Trump could deliver a curse of his own – to his new BFF Mitt Romney. After all, as the “Daily Beast” now reveals, he continues to cuddle up to Mitt Romney, and also continues to say very silly things. This looks like a winning combination, but only for the Democrats, I believe:

  59. rikyrah says:

    Memorial Day was started by former slaves |

    According to Professor David Blight of Yale University, the first Memorial Day took place on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, after a group of African-Americans, mostly former slaves, gave 257 Union soldiers a proper burial. The black community in Charleston then consecrated the new cemetary with “an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people,” led by 3,000 black school children. It was initially called “Decoration Day.”

  60. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

  61. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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