Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Funk & Soul!



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63 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Funk & Soul!

  1. Ametia says:

    NBC is calling it for Walker? WTF?!!!! What happened to TOO CLOSE TO CALL?

    I don’t buy these results. They just reported folks are still in line waiting to vote. And the media is blaming PBO for not going to WI in 5…4..3..2..1 NOW! John Heilman is saying it’s not looking good for PBO. GO TO HELL!

    • Ametia says:

      How the fuck are you going to blame PBO for Wisconsin voters voting for shitheads like Walker? That state is getting who they voted for.

  2. Ametia says:

    Howard Fineman & Joan Walsh on Ed. *sigh*

  3. Ametia says:

    WI State Senator Lena Taylor is reporting tha ReTHUG robo calls are telling voters if they signed the recall petition, they don’t have to vote today. SMGDH

  4. Ametia says:

    Lena Taylor is an ON.FIRE.SISTAH. Love her.

  5. rikyrah says:

    I’m writing this before the polls close in Wisconsin. I will not be staying up to report what happened in Wisconsin. I’ll get back here tomorrow morning. I would like to thank the people in Wisconsin who stood up to the GOP tyranny that began in 2011. When they first began to protest, I wondered what would happen. When the protests grew, I cheered them on. When the protests continued, day after day, week after week, it was stunning to watch what was happening in Wisconsin only on certain outlets, because, for the most part, the MSM absolutely ignored the story in Wisconsin. There they were, getting tens of thousands of people to protest, out in the streets, and for most of the MSM, it was like it wasn’t even happening, which was a ‘ wow’ moment for me. I want to thank Rachel Maddow for being on this story from the very beginning and Ed Schultz for joining her. I want to thank the Wisconsin 14 for leaving the state to stop the GOP tyranny. However this turns out, I want to thank those in Wisconsin who did a yoeman’s job fighting for democracy.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s (Non) Military Record Faces New Scrutiny
    Published: June 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM ET

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — On a stage crowded with war heroes, Mitt Romney recently praised the sacrifice “of the great men and women of every generation who serve in our armed services.”

    It is a sacrifice the Republican presidential candidate did not make.

    Though an early supporter of the Vietnam War, Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a “minister of religion” in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused. The country was cutting troop levels by the time he became eligible for the draft, and his lottery number was not called.

    President Barack Obama, Romney’s opponent in this year’s campaign, did not serve in the military either. The Democrat, 50, was a child during the Vietnam conflict and did not enlist when he was older.

    But because Romney, now 65, was of draft age during Vietnam, his military background — or, rather, his lack of one — is facing new scrutiny as he courts veterans and makes his case to the nation to be commander in chief. He’s also intensified his criticism lately of Obama’s plans to scale back the nation’s military commitments abroad, suggesting that Romney would pursue an aggressive foreign policy as president that could involve U.S. troops.

    A look at Romney’s relationship with Vietnam offers a window into a 1960s world that allowed him to avoid combat as fighting peaked. His story also demonstrates his commitment to the Mormon Church, which he rarely discusses publicly but which helped shape his life.

    Romney’s recollection of his Vietnam-era decisions has evolved in the decades since, particularly as his presidential ambitions became clear.

    He said in 2007 — his first White House bid under way — that he had “longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam.” But his actions, Selective Service records and previous statements show little interest in joining a conflict that ultimately claimed more than 58,000 American lives.

    Still, he repeatedly cites his commitment to public service and the nation’s military while campaigning for president.

    “Greatness in a people, I believe, is measured by the extent to which they will give themselves to something bigger than themselves,” Romney said in San Diego last week to a Memorial Day crowd of thousands, flush with military veterans of all ages.

  7. rikyrah says:

    June 05, 2012 2:59 PM
    Political Analysis of the Day

    By Ryan Cooper

    I hope readers aren’t annoyed by my relative lack of blogging on the ups-and-downs of the campaign. Ever since 2008 I have found it increasingly hard to pay close attention to the political minutiae of gaffes, attacks, counterattacks, and polls, partly because I think it’s dramatically over-covered, partly just general preference, and partly because a large fraction of the people who are paid for that kind of coverage are lousy at it.

    However, there is a space for quality political analysis, especially for those can capture the grand sweep of things in an interesting way. One of Josh Marshall’s readers has a very good sample of that today, making the point that if Republicans seem to be winning now, Democrats are actively losing just as much

    You know enough political history to recall that Roosevelt generation of Democrats hung the name of Herbert Hoover around the necks of their political opponents for a generation after 1932. Reagan-era Republicans did the same, for a shorter period of time and less dramatically, with the name of Jimmy Carter after 1980. It’s not the Republicans’ fault — or the product of any Republican “strategy” — that the President who was more unpopular for longer than any President since the invention of modern opinion polling was allowed to vanish without a trace by January 22, 2009.

    George W. Bush’s invisibility, and the profoundly Bush-like Mitt Romney’s lack of any public identity as a “Bush Republican,” were the product of Democratic choices. So was the inadequate stimulus package at the beginning of 2009 that ensured a crushing recession that began under a Republican administration would not draw an effective government response under a Democratic administration. So was the disappearance from memory of the politicized, demoralized Justice Department of Alberto Gonzales, and the inept, crony-laden FEMA leadership that had let New Orleans drown.

    The ill repute George W. Bush had earned for the Republicans was what made Barack Obama President: not his “story,” not the “hope and change” schtick, not that community organizer business, and not his army of self-consciously self-admiring campaign consultants. That’s the political asset Obama and the Democrats cast away, by choice, right from the beginning.

    Though the political efficacy of this kind of messaging is unclear, it is still astonishing that the Democrats have allowed George W. Bush to be erased from the national discourse. I really hope they’re got something planned to address this.

    Substantively, the response I would expect is that the Democrats did all they could. They only had 60 votes in the Senate for a short time, and Republicans filibustered and dragged down everything they could.

    But this just speaks to the Democrats’ larger lack of vision and commitment. Anyone with a lick of sense could have seen the consequence of failing to go huge on stimulus—namely, discrediting the whole idea, and getting crushed in 2010 for failing to fix the economy. Furthermore anyone who had been awake for the last generation would have known that Republicans weren’t going to compromise, they were going to obstruct.

    In Master of the Senate, Robert Caro talks about how Lyndon Johnson, through a lot of deft maneuvers and force of personality, upended the rules of the Senate to give more power to the party leadership (i.e., himself), which allowed the Senate to work for the first time basically in a century. If the Democrats in 2009 had any guts, they would have realized the implication of their situation and taken that lesson to heart. Right at the start of the congressional session they could have killed the filibuster, streamlined the Senate rules, especially removing a lot of the horrible anonymous “holds” and so forth, and then rammed through their agenda on a party-line vote, especially including a stimulus appropriate to the situation.

    The Republicans would have howled bloody murder, and the DC press would have taken to the fainting couches, but by November 2010 no voter would have remembered and the Democrats would still be in power. That’s the key point out there, for future political movements. Policy has real consequences, and the way to win (during a recession, at least) is to actually fix things and make government work for people. If your stimulus is limited by having to get Olympia Snowe’s approval, then you write her out of the equation.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Scenes from a Recall Poll, Pt. 2: 5225 W. Vliet Street
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 4:13PM

    Brenda Lewison was concerned. She was supervising a polling place located in what should be the very beating heart of the effort to replace Scott Walker. The polling place itself was inside the headquarters of the Milwaukee Public Schools. Down the block was the headquarters of the Milwaukee teachers union. Neither public schools nor the people who teach in them had fared well since Walker took over in 2011, and more than a few of the people who worked in both buildings had been out in front of the state capitol when the storm came 16 months earlier. And Tom Barrett himself voted only one district over that very morning. And Brenda was worried about running out of ballots. Not for Ward 202, but for Ward 203.

    “This is what I did,” she told the guy from the election board, who was sitting on a window sill, while an observer from the state Democratic party looked on. “I took the turnout from 2008 and 2010 and I averaged them, and I ordered 1100 ballots for 203. They sent me 700. And I’m also thinking that my own estimate was low. So, I sent something I thought was low, and they didn’t even send me that many. The rest of them are back in the warehouse. Now, I’m thinking there’s going to be a rush at about five o’clock when people get out of work, and they’re telling me to call them when I get down to 100 ballots left. I’m going to call them when I have 200 ballots left, just to make sure there’s enough time for them to get here.”

    Sometimes, I swear, given the way it runs its elections, the World’s Greatest Democracy could elect Mr. Ed to something before anyone noticed.

    And it all falls on people like Brenda, especially on a day like this, the culminating election of a superheated political contest that shows no signs of abating no matter who winds up winning. In addition to that, when Walker and the Republican legislature pushed through a voter-ID law, Brenda had to be trained in enforcing that, only to have all the work go for naught when a judge ruled in March that the law was unconstitutional. “It wasn’t that bad,” she said. “We just went back to the way it was before.” With some adjustments. Earlier that morning, Brenda had to turn away a young woman who’d presented a proof-of-residence on her iPhone because the state requires a hard paper copy for that purpose. The young woman went home to get a copy of the lease on her apartment. “That’s tough on young people,” Brenda had said. “Most young people don’t do anything on paper.”

    “The legislature made a list of the kind of ID’s that were acceptable,” she said. “Then, of course, that became useless because the law got stopped. So then they made a list of what kinds of proof-of-residence were acceptable.”

    The people kept coming. The pile of ballots grew smaller and smaller. Brenda kept her eye on it.

    It was 11:30 a.m., and 525 people had voted.

    Read more:

  9. rikyrah says:

    Beyond the Money, the Great Wisconsin Recall Election of 2012 Has Been the Fight Our Democracy Deserves
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 7:54AM

    The money has been the great gravitational force not only of the campaign to dismount governor Scott Walker itself, but also of the narrative that has surrounded it. Down the stretch, as he has found his feet and began to narrow the gap between himself and the incumbent, Barrett has made a weapon out of the amount of money that Walker has received from various out-of-state billionnaires and assorted conservative sugar daddies, even chaffing Walker’s loyalty to the hometown Brewers because Joe Ricketts, the batshit plutocrat who is the patriarch of the current ownership of the Chicago Cubs, had kicked in a couple of hundred thousand dollars to Walker campaign.

    “I know that Governor Walker wants to make this a national race,” Barrett said at his final rally here on Monday night. “This is, and should be, about the values of Wisconsin, not about his national ambitions, not about his wanting to be the poster boy for the Tea Party. I don’t want this state to be the experimental dish for the right wing. That’s why people look at this and say, ‘This is wrong. Why is this governor raising 60 or 70 percent of his money from out-of-state? Why does he have his own criminal defense fund?’ It just doesn’t add up.”

    The more I watch things out here, from Madison to Milwaukee and the restaurants to the courtrooms, I realize that the money — as stupefying in its amounts as it undoubtedly is — is also a great distraction. The easy narrative is that this election has been about “the air war and the ground war.” (I swear, another week, and Ed Schultz was going to start sounding like Rommel.) That it was about “owning the airwaves” against “boots on the ground.” But what I’ve come to realize is that, from the first moment the first protester stepped onto the lawn of the capitol in Madison 16 months ago until the polls close tonight, the Great Wisconsin Recall has been an extended argument against narcotic centrism and anesthetic civility. This has been a brawl, from start to finish. The local papers are full of stories about families that have divided up over the recall, about divorces that have been sought because a Walker husband found that having a Barrett wife — or, to be fair, vice versa — amounted to an irreconcilable difference. The money and the boots on the ground are only the media through which the two campaigns have carried on an angry and divisive debate. And, for all Barrett’s talk about ending the “civil war” that he says Walker started, the anger and divisiveness were perfectly appropriate, and I thank god for them. For once, anyway, all the talk about how Americans don’t care about politics, how disengaged and removed from our obligations to the political commonwealth we’ve become, have been refuted for the moment by what’s gone on in Wisconsin.

    What we have here is a fight, out in the open, without nuance or euphemism, between two ideas of what self-government should look like, who it should serve, and how, and how wide the parameters of participation will be. That is serious business. It ought to be contested fiercely and to the last and without cosmetic conciliation. Scott Walker made a firm stand against public-employee unions, and did so in a way that ran contrary to a proud tradition of progressive politics in a state that takes those politics very, very seriously. The only bust in the state capitol building here is of Senator Robert LaFollette, Sr., Fightin’ Bob, of whom John Dos Passos wrote, in The 42nd Parallel:

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: I know that Governor Walker wants to make this a national race,” Barrett said at his final rally here on Monday night. “This is, and should be, about the values of Wisconsin, not about his national ambitions, not about his wanting to be the poster boy for the Tea Party. I don’t want this state to be the experimental dish for the right wing. That’s why people look at this and say, ‘This is wrong. Why is this governor raising 60 or 70 percent of his money from out-of-state? Why does he have his own criminal defense fund?’ It just doesn’t add up.”<b.

      Which is why the whiny titty babies need to STFU about PBO going to WI. *looking2EDSCHULTZ&JOANWALSH. STFU!

  10. Ametia says:

    Ummm why is the media MUM on the WI RECALL? Because the MAJORITY of voters are voting for Tom Barrett, huh?

    • rikyrah says:


      they have NEVER covered this story in any detail. they have gone out of their way to NOT cover this story, from the beginning.

      • Ametia says:

        So TRUE, rikyrah. There was a VIRTUAL BLACKOUT when the protesters stormed the Capital. We know whose side the MEDIA is rooting for.

  11. Ametia says:

    Madison City Clerk predicting turnout in Madison of over 100 percent (meaning large numbers of people are voting and registering at the polls).

    BREAKING: Madison, Wisconsin Turnout Over 100%!


  12. Ametia says:

    The white pundits are creaming themselves over Bill Clinton today, I see.

    • Ametia says:


      Too bad ya’ll don’t get it that PBO’s a very self-assured man who is not threatened by Clinton’s self-inflated ego..

  13. Ametia says:

    Scout Willis arrested: Demi Moore & Bruce Willis’ daughter, 20, busted with beer at Union Square

    Court papers show the Brown University student gave cops a fake ID, then her real one

    By Janon Fisher , Shayna Jacobs AND Tracy Connor / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Scout Willis, the 20-year-old daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, was busted for allegedly drinking a beer in the Union Square subway station and giving cops a fake ID.

    The Brown University student was released without bail Tuesday and ordered to return to Manhattan Criminal Court on July 31.

    The celebrity spawn was nabbed just before 7 p.m. Monday by a transit cop who spotted her with an 8-ounce “Pakistani beer,” according to court papers.

    She gave the officer a New York ID card with the name Katherine Kelly, but the cop didn’t fall for it, the complaint said.

    After she was questioned further, Willis brought out her real California ID.

    “My name is Scout Willis,” she told the officer, according to the criminal complaint. “The first ID isn’t mine. My friend gave it to me. I don’t know Katherine Kelly.”

    The aspiring singer was charged with criminal impersonation and breaking the open container law, both misdemeanors.

    Scout Willis’ lawyer, Stacey Richman, said she didn’t have any details about what her client was drinking, but denied the police were misled.

    “She was honest about who she was. She is a very proper, very impressive, smart young woman,” Richman said. “She presented her

  14. rikyrah says:

  15. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 06/05/2012
    Waukesha official: Like last time, scandal-plagued election clerk `will not be involved’
    By Greg Sargent

    Those of you who are following the Wisconsin recalls probably remember the name Kathy Nickolaus. She’s the scandal-plagued Republican county clerk of Waukesha County — a Scott Walker stronghold — who earned national scrutiny after she suddenly found thousands of votes that had disappeared through “human error” — helping Republicans win last year’s nationally watched state Supreme Court race.

    Now the Wisconsin media and some Wisconites are asking if she’ll be involved in vote counting again tonight — and they’re asking who, exactly, is running this election in Waukesha County, where vote totals could be crucial to a Walker victory.

    I just got off the phone with the Waukesha county executive’s office, where an official assured me she won’t be involved in vote counting this time around.

    “She has agreed to step aside and she has assigned duties to the deputy clerk,” Shawn Lundie, the chief of staff in the county executive’s office, tells me. “She will not be involved in the vote counting this evening.”

    The problem, though, is that similar assurances were given a month ago, during the Wisconsin recall primaries on May 8th. But even though Nickolaus had recused herself, she surprised some observers when she was spotted in her office reviewing election returns, according to local reports.

    I pressed the county executive’s chief of staff a bit further on what’s going to happen tonight. Lundie told me that she could very well be in the office, as is her right under Wisconsin law.

    When I asked if there were any assurance that Nickolaus would not be involved in vote counting, Lundie replied: “The assurance is Kathy’s word that she has delegated responsibility.”

    This is no small matter. Even the pro-Walker Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board has called on Nickolaus to step down, in order to ensure that Wisconsinites can have “confidence” in tonight’s results.

    If Walker wins tonight, as many predict, it may well come via late returns from Waukesha county. And if the race is close enough to merit a recount, as some have predicted, there could be some intense battling over those late returns. And so, whether Nickolaus is involved in any way in vote counting tonight will be closely watched by many parties, and not just labor and Dems.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Reichstag fire next time
    By Metrosexual Black AbeJ June 5th, 2012

    Steve M catches Ezra Klein in flagrante contrario with some counterintuitive Slate-style stuff about how president Romney will be Keynesian because he wants to turn the economy around. It’s not unpossible that a right-winger will use Keynesian economics—after all, people who believe in homeopathy use conventional medicine sometimes when they’re desperate, old-school-loving DJs will play Madonna to get people on the floor, etc.—but I think it’s unlikely, since it won’t be centrist 80s Romney who runs the country, but post-Bushpocalyptic Cassius Cantor. I think Steve M gets it about right:

    I think we’re likely to get shock-doctrine economics—yes, tax cuts, but also (as Romney has promised) the Paul Ryan budget and Cut, Cap and Balance, which, by making balanced budgets mandatory and imposing a ceiling on government spending as a percentage of GDP, will literally make Keynesian deficit spending in a recession illegal. I think they’ll try to gut Social Security and Medicare for those under 55. I think we may get a national right-to-work law.

    Suppose for the sake of argument that our national debt has become a huge problem. How did it become a problem? Because of the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq War, and the recession (which, whatever its root causes, came about under Bush).

    Suppose for the sake of argument that future spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security has become a huge problem. How did it become a problem? Because of massive increases in the cost of medical care, which has been exacerbated by Republican obstruction of national health care policy (the US spends about 50% more on medical care as a proportion of GDP than other western countries)

    If Romney wins, and uses the so-called debt crisis to end collective bargaining rights, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as we know them, it will be nothing less than another Reichstag fire.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

  17. rikyrah says:

    June 05, 2012
    Romney, extortion, and democracy

    In reference to Ezra Klein’s provocative piece, “The Keynesian Case for Romney,” Andrew Sullivan writes that “voters risk handing over the entire government to the most radical Republican party in decades if they elect Romney alongside a GOP House and Senate.”

    True, although I’d object that that last clause–“alongside a GOP House and Senate”–is no requisite for the utter hijacking of American government that a Romney victory alone would complete.

    Should Romney succeed in unseating President Obama, the GOP will be vindicated in its scurrilous belief that abject obstructionism and wholesale extortion are unbeatable weapons in defeating presidential progress–and congressional majorities, the party will further observe, are nice but unnecessary. All the GOP needs is one of two chambers, or merely 41 members in the upper, to either have its way or to totally shut down the opposition’s.

    Alternatively, the GOP doesn’t need the White House to accomplish extortionist control, yet a Romney presidency would, for the party, be a crowning asset and, above all else, confirm that American voters are gullible enough to swallow any insult to electoral intelligence that the GOP cares to toss out.

    Klein concludes on an inescapable note: “Even if you agree with Romney’s policies, it may be that voting for Obama, and delivering a landslide against the GOP’s economic brinksmanship, is the only way to end the dangerous appeal of strategic gridlock going forward.”

    Such is the twist of Klein’s piece. One could reasonably argue that Romney might actually be the better choice for a short-term recovery, but on the other hand a Romney win or powerful GOP remnant could spell the end of a functioning two-party system; in effect, the end of representative democracy. We would become (remain) instead a nation “governed” by brutish extortion, and little else.

  18. rikyrah says:

    GOP candidate’s Facebook post mocks Michelle Obama

    Kimberly Small, Republicans’ choice for state representative in the West Side/Northwest Side 10th district, has some postings on her Facebook page that might cause controversy with her would-be constituents.

    One is a picture of First Lady Michelle Obama wearing a short skirt to the Children’s Choice Awards with a caption that says she is dressed like a “hoochie mama.” The Urban dictionary defines the phrase as a loose woman.

    The second is a joke about President Barack Obama throwing his wife into a baseball field when he misunderstands a request to throw out the “first pitch.”

    “I don’t think they were offensive,” Small said. “I don’t approve of the way the first lady was dressed and I think I’m entitled to have an opinion. I think it’s great that she attended Kids Choice Awards. I don’t think it’s appropriate that she dressed like a kid.”

    Small emphasized she did not create either humor posting, she just copied jokes floating around the Internet onto her page.

    “I’m not creative enough, nor smart enough nor funny enough,” Small said. “I didn’t say anything about her being a ‘hoochie mama’ — the picture said that.”

  19. rikyrah says:

    The Romney emails we weren’t supposed to see
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 5, 2012 1:15 PM EDT.

    Shortly before departing the governor’s office, Mitt Romney oversaw the purchase of 17 state-issued hard drives, and wiped clean computers and servers that contained electronic copies of emails in the governor’s office. Why? For one reason: to purge his administration’s email records.

    Romney later admitted the move was intended to hide official correspondence from the public and keep potentially-embarrassing information under wraps in advance of his presidential campaign. (Yes, this is the same Romney who often speaks about “transparency” in government.)

    The email purge was largely successful, but not completely — some of the emails from one member of Romney’s cabinet survived, and the Wall Street Journal used a public-records request to obtain the correspondence between the cabinet secretary and other top Romney officials.

    The most interesting revelations relate to Romney’s efforts to pass his health care reform law.

    [A] small cache of emails survived, including some that have never publicly surfaced surrounding Mr. Romney’s efforts to pass his now-controversial health-care law. The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it.

    Mr. Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy health insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today’s GOP — including publicly shaming companies that didn’t provide enough health insurance to employees.

    At the time, it turns out, Democrats weren’t on board with an individual mandate, but Romney and his aides championed the provision. His health secretary wrote in early 2006, “We must have an individual mandate for any plan to work.”

    In fact, Romney personally drafted an op-ed making the case for a mandate. “Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian,” the governor wrote, adding, “An uninsured libertarian might counter that he could refuse the free care, but under law, that is impossible — and inhumane.”

    This from a GOP presidential candidate who now pretends to believe the mandate is an authoritarian, unconstitutional nightmare.

  20. rikyrah says:

    ‘Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process’
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 5, 2012 10:11 AM EDT.

    Last fall, campaigning in Nevada, Mitt Romney took a curious line on housing policy, which Democrats were quick to seize on.

    The Republican said at the time, “[D]on’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course, and hit the bottom.” In states like Arizona, Florida, and Nevada, where so many families are underwater, Romney’s line on foreclosures is likely to be problematic.

    Perhaps this will be an Etch A Sketch issue for the former governor? No, apparently not. Bloomberg News talked to Lanhee Chen, Romney’s policy director, who echoed the candidate’s sentiments

    Romney … doesn’t intend to offer targeted relief for the 11.5 million American homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, Chen said, suggesting that such actions are temporary fixes insufficient to stabilize the housing market.

    “Governor Romney has indicated that there are some steps we ought to take to ensure that we’re growing our economy,” Chen said. “But on the housing market specifically, I do think we have to resist the temptation for short-term approaches.”

  21. Ametia says:


  22. Ametia says:

    It looks like Voter Purging is happening in Texas as Well! 300,000 voters are getting this!
    Watch out for voter registration cancellation
    By Lise Olsen

    Updated 06:22 a.m., Monday, June 4, 2012

    Walter Pinkston, a Friendswood retiree and faithful Harris County voter, got a letter in late March asking his family to confirm that he was dead – which he was not – and warning that he was about to be purged from Texas voter rolls.

    Retired Houston Baptist University Professor Trilla Pando received a similar notice of her death from voter registration officials in 2010.

    Even Sylvia Garcia, a former Harris County commissioner, got suspended – not because anyone thought she was dead – but because county officials questioned the validity of a P.O. Box the Houston native had used on her voting card for years.

    More than 300,000 valid voters were notified they could be removed from Texas rolls from November 2008 to November 2010 – often because they were mistaken for someone else or failed to receive or respond to generic form letters, according to Houston Chronicle interviews and analysis of voter registration data.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Willard…you wrote…


    NOBODY is going to let you forget.


    Romney still stumbling on auto rescue
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 5, 2012 12:33 PM EDT.

    Mitt Romney probably doesn’t want my advice, but I might suggest he stop talking about the auto-industry rescue altogether. It just keeps getting him into trouble.

    A month ago, after three years of condemning President Obama’s successful policy, Mr. Let Detroit Go Bankrupt declared, “I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back.” In the Republican’s mind, Obama did the wrong thing, except it worked, at which point it became an example of Romney doing the right thing.

    Yesterday, Romney talked to the Detroit News and tried to explain his position all over again

    Romney said the Democrats are “distorting” his record on the auto bailout, whose government-imposed conditions included filing bankruptcy.

    “If they needed help coming out of bankruptcy and government support, that was fine, but I was not in favor of the government writing billions of dollars in checks prior to them going into bankruptcy,” he said.

    So, as of yesterday, Romney’s position on the auto rescue is … well, no one’s really sure.

    In 2009, the former Massachusetts governor predicted that we could “kiss the American automotive industry goodbye” if Obama’s policy moved forward. At the time, Romney called the administration’s plan “tragic” and “a very sad circumstance for this country.” He wrote another piece in which he said Obama’s plan “would make GM the living dead.”

    All of this looks pretty ridiculous in hindsight. But putting that aside, what kind of policy would Romney have preferred? After yesterday’s comments, the picture is even less clear than it was a month ago.

    The Republican has repeatedly argued that GM and Chrysler should have relied on private funding to restructure and get back on their feet. That, of course, was impossible. In early 2009, the credit markets were frozen and there was no private funding available. (When a company called Bain Capital was approached, it refused to invest.)

    And so it appears that Romney is shifting once again, not only taking credit for a policy he attacked, but also saying taxpayer support “was fine,” after arguing for three years it wasn’t fine.

    The new twist is that Romney is on board with public support after, but not before, bankruptcy, but that doesn’t make sense, either — GM and Chrysler would have never survived the bankruptcy process without federal intervention.

    Romney could simply try the truth — he should admit, “I was wrong” — but that seems to be the only position he hasn’t tried yet.

  24. Ametia says:

    U.S. Appeals Court Declines to Revisit California Gay Marriage Ban, Clears Way for Potential SCOTUS

    Last edited Tue Jun 5, 2012, 01:02 PM USA/ET – Edit history (1)

    California gay marriage case looks headed to Supreme Court

    By Peter Henderson and Dan Levine
    SAN FRANCISCO | Tue Jun 5, 2012 12:56pm EDT

    (Reuters) – The ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the Supreme Court to consider California’s gay marriage ban, declining an appeal to revisit the case.

    Supporters of the 2008 ban have lost two rounds in federal court but have made clear they will appeal to the Supreme Court and hope for a favorable response from the conservative court.

    Read more:

  25. Ametia says:

    A message from Lilly Ledbetter
    Governor Romney,

    It’s time to speak up.

    I’m writing to ask you to stand up to your fellow Republicans, show you’re worthy of the leadership you’re asking the American people to entrust you with, and let us know where you stand on legislation that will help finally make pay equity a reality.

    I’m writing you directly because so far, your leadership has been so lacking that it appears those closest to you don’t know where you stand, either.

    In April, your advisers were asked whether you support the law that bears my name and empowers women to fight back when we’re cheated out of equal pay. They responded with silence.

    In May, the Washington Times asked your campaign five times whether you support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that goes further to ensure equal pay for equal work. Again, silence.

    Now, in June, as Washington Republicans continue to oppose this common-sense law, you continue to hide.

    Your campaign will say only that you support the concept of pay equity, but that you wouldn’t change any laws to actually enforce it. That’s like saying you’re for staying dry but wouldn’t use an umbrella in a rainstorm. Women are getting soaked, Governor Romney, and staying silent when a solution is at hand isn’t leadership—it’s an insult and a cop-out.

    If the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a step in the right direction, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a giant leap forward. The first gave us recourse to sue no matter when we learn that we’ve been paid unfairly—a right we often didn’t have until President Obama made it the first bill he signed. The second will make it easier for women to learn if they’re being discriminated against in the first place. It gives businesses incentives to do what’s right and protects workers from being fired for sharing information about their pay. It closes loopholes and makes discrimination harder to hide, which makes it harder to commit.

    You talk often about your unique understanding of the economy. I’m troubled, though, that you don’t seem to understand the consequences of pay inequality. It’s not just about a paycheck and it’s not just a women’s issue—it’s a family issue. Women make just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, which adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost earnings over years of hard work. More women are becoming breadwinners in their families, and unjustly lower wages mean we have less to spend in our communities to support the economy. The overtime pay, Social Security, and pensions we earn are based on our wages, so unfair pay today hurts us now and weakens our retirement security later. I learned that lesson the hard way.

    It’s 2012. Women are not worth less than men, and no one should get paid less for doing the same job just because she is a woman.

    Will you stand up for women, stand up to your fellow Republicans and stand on the right side of history? Will you finally say aloud that you support efforts to stop pay discrimination before it starts? We’re listening.


    Lilly Ledbetter

  26. Ametia says:

    CNN breaking!

    Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi, killed by drone strike in Pakistan, a U.S. official says.

  27. Ametia says:

    GOP Spokesman Resigns After Suggesting We ‘Hurl Some Acid At’ Female Democratic Senators
    by Meenal Vamburkar | 4:24 pm, June 4th, 2012

    Jay Townsend, a campaign spokesman for Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth, made headlines after posting a comment on Facebook in which he suggesting we “hurl some acid” at female Democratic senators. Townsend apologized on Sunday, and today, he resigned.

    RELATED: GOP Congresswoman’s Spokesman: ‘Hurl Some Acid At Those Female Democratic Senators’

    Said Hayworth in a statement Monday:

    Jay Townsend has offered, and I have accepted, his resignation from his position with my campaign. Now let’s return to talking about issues that really matter to families: job creation, spending restraint and economic development.

  28. rikyrah says:

    I know that it’s politically incorrect to laugh at this, but I LOL when I read this.

    I swear, they don’t want to pull straws anymore to become No. 2.


    Another Number Two Drops
    By mistermix June 5th, 2012

    Got him, again.

    One of al-Qaida’s top strategists, Abu Yahya al-Libi, may have been killed in a drone strike in north-west Pakistan, according to intelligence officials.[…]

    Some US officials describe Libi, whose real name is Mohamed Hassan Qaid, as number two to leader Ayman al Zawahri, the former Egyptian doctor who took over al-Qaida after Bin Laden’s death.

  29. rikyrah says:

    President Obama on the cover of Essence:

  30. rikyrah says:

    What Are You, People? On Dope?
    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:14:23 PM EST

    Did you ever see the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Do you remember the scene where Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) crashes his friend’s older brother’s car into a pallet of cinder blocks? After they both survey the devastating damage to the front-end of the car, Spicoli announces confidently, “Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.”
    The GOP might be getting a kick out of learning that our current president used to act a lot like Jeff Spicoli in high school, but right now it’s Mitt Romney that reminds me of him. The Republicans drove the economy into a pallet of cinder blocks and now they’re offering us the exact same tools they used to wreck it as a way to fix it.

    I mean, at its most basic, “Dudes on ‘ludes should not drive.” We tried the Reagan way and wound up with a giant debt, a Savings and Loan crisis, and a nasty recession. We tried the Bush the Lesser way and wound up with the biggest goddamned disaster since James Buchanan was president, and the worst economy since Herbert Hoover. We got an even bigger recession, an even bigger banking crisis, and much more debt.

    And where did the government’s “ultimate set of tools” go when it came time to fix New Orleans. We had Republicans out there saying that the city should just be abandoned.

    The truth is, the Republicans’ toolbox never changes. It comes down to, leave greed alone to do its magic, less government revenue equals less government debt, and a whole bunch of lies and divisive language to confuse everyone.

    Don’t let anyone try to convince you that elections don’t matter. In 2000, if we had nominated Bill Bradley and John McCain, we would have had less money in politics. In 2004, a Kerry win would have tilted the Supreme Court to the left instead of giving us Citizens United and unlimited corporate cash in our elections. Do you know how fucked up the Middle East and Central Asia would be right now if Sarah Palin and John McCain had been running our government over the last three and a half years?

    Mitt Romney’s out there saying that he has a pro-business plan that will cause full employment, like we have no memory banks and it’s some kind of guarantee.

    Businessman Romney: It says one hundred percent guaranteed, you moron!
    Barack Obama: Mister, if you don’t shut up I’m gonna kick one hundred percent of your ass!

    That’s how this needs to go down.

  31. Ametia says:

    Risne Penis is a pathological LIAR

  32. Ametia says:

    Failure to support Fair Housing Act leads to subsidized segregation: Locked Out, Part 1
    A storm of outrage erupted last year over reports that African Americans and Latinos faced discrimination in Portland’s rental market.

    How could landlords so frequently violate fair-housing protections? Why weren’t they being punished? Legislators called for action, a state agency investigated and Portland Commissioner Nick Fish unveiled a housing plan aimed at making things right.

    But the episode only hinted at far more serious problems.

    An investigation by The Oregonian has found that leaders across the metro area and beyond are failing to fulfill a fundamental goal of the nation’s 44-year-old Fair Housing Act: to give everyone, regardless of color, a fair shot at living in a decent neighborhood.

    Taxpayer money meant to help break down segregation and poverty is instead reinforcing it. Agencies and governments are subsidizing housing in the poorest neighborhoods and commonly in areas with above-average minority concentrations. Poor people and people of color are being pushed from desirable areas such as Portland’s inner east side. They are all but banished from high-end communities such as Lake Oswego.

    Portland prides itself on being progressive — on pursuing fairness, on welcoming diversity. Yet two generations after Congress approved the Fair Housing Act, a bedrock achievement of the civil rights era pushed through in the days after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, The Oregonian’s analysis shows the city and its suburbs are harboring a form of institutionalized racial inequity.

  33. rikyrah says:

    June 04, 2012
    The impossibility of honest debate

    Dionne asks, “Can we at least reach consensus on the sort of debate between now and November that could help us solve some of our problems?”

    He answers, “I’ll let you in on the outcome in advance: Ideology quickly gets in the way of even this modest effort.”

    In other words, “No.” But the economy of a simple “no” might preclude a manifold exploration of how GOP ideology “gets in the way”–or, again in other words, “obstructs.” And disingenuously, at that.

    Dionne insists on reaching out, on publicly tempering what almost certainly is his absolute certainty about the absolute fraud that is the modern Republican Party. For instance he poses this: “[A] challenge to conservatives: If cutting taxes is really more important to you than fiscal balance, why not just say so? Why pretend that balance matters when your real goal is a sharp reduction in the size of government?”

    The fundamental difficulty with that challenge is that it assumes that an honest question put to conservatives might someday be met with an honest answer. (Has Dionne seen a Mitt Romney or Reince Priebus or John Boehner or Eric Cantor or Mitch McConnell interview lately?)

    But the challenge’s insurmountable difficulty is that it also implies–purely for argument’s sake, I gather–that “fiscal balance” is in some way “important” to conservatives, even though fiscal imbalance is conservatives’ deadliest weapon in their nihilistic assault on civilized government. Indeed, fiscal balance is neither “more important” than tax cuts nor even modestly “important,” and we’ve roughly 40 years of empirical evidence of such ruthless, pitiless pseudoconservatism.

    Can we ever get the pseudoconservatives to admit it? See “fundamental difficulty,” above.

    But Dionne knows this. I know it; you know it; Romney, Priebus, Boehner, Cantor and McConnell know it; the GOP base knows it; the Beltway press knows it (shhh, quiet please, fairness and balance in progress); and for damn sure the entirety of the center-left knows it.

    Still, urges Dionne, “let’s have it out … [for] if we don’t use this campaign at least to define the problems we face, we will end up wasting the $2 billion or so this campaign will cost, and a lot of time.”

    And that’s where he loses me. “Have it out” with slick sophists who won’t even concede their professed conservatism isn’t genuinely conservative?

    I just don’t see how any level of authentic debate can occur with those who are so pathologically disingenuous.

  34. rikyrah says:

    June 04, 2012
    Where Obama went wrong

    Every time I read a Dowdian screed grounded in the argument that President Obama “has never felt the need to explain or sell his signature pieces of legislation … or stanch the flow of false information from the other side,” I am compelled by the essential truth of the argument, and thus of the screed, yet I’m also reminded of the argument’s far deeper but obscured indictment of the American electorate.

    It’s true. For about three years President Obama governed. Before he was elected president, he campaigned. But when he was elected, he governed; doubtless an old-fashioned idea of the presidency, but, reckless radical Kenyan socialist that he is, as president he governed nevertheless. He thought the electorate would notice.

    Obama also thought the electorate was bound to notice that his chief opposition (from the right–not left–just to clarify) was a politically dishonorable syndicate of ill-tempered nincompoops who lusted not for a better America, but for raw power.

    As we now know, both thoughts, or beliefs, were misplaced. The electorate–not all of it, obviously, but an unhealthy enough of it–regarded Obama’s concentration on competent governance over a Bush-like concentration on perpetual propaganda as a presidential manifestation of aloofness and arrogance. This particularly influential electorate also managed to miss the beastly conspicuousness of congressional tea partiers’ anarchic, nihilistic bloodlust and power-thirst.

    In short, President Obama gave this electorate too much credit. He believed they could distinguish centralities from peripherals, the essentials from the frivolous, and the way forward from the path backward. He was outstandingly wrong, although such a misreading is a common defect of intellectual presidents.

    At any rate, now that he’s back to the emotional fireworks of campaigning, rather than indulging all that dull governing, perhaps the screed-prone children will love him again.

  35. rikyrah says:

    I would like to thank everyone who sent prayers up for my friend. His tumor is not cancerous. I was so happy when he called me yesterday and told me.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Mann, Ornstein get some airtime
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 4, 2012 5:15 PM EDT.

    After all the complaining I’ve done about the media ignoring Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein of late, it’s only fair to note that the two respected political scientists finally got some must-see airtime on a Sunday show over the weekend. The fine folks at “Up With Chris Hayes” welcomed the scholars to the show yesterday for three — count em’, one, two, three — segments on the program.

    For those looking for a quick refresher, Mann and Ornstein — celebrated and respected figures of the Washington establishment — recently argued in an impressive op-ed, “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.” It’s part of a thesis explored in their new book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Seems,” and by all appearances, it’s the kind of argument that should spur some debate within the political establishment. By and large, the opposite has happened.

    For Mann and Ornstein, blaming “both sides” for what ails Washington is no longer accurate, and only exacerbates the problems posed by the radicalization of today’s Republican Party. “When one party moves this far from the mainstream,” they argued, “it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.”

    Mann and Ornstein added in print, “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

    It’s the kind of provocative argument that warrants serious national debate, but which has instead been met with silence from the establishment.


    On the air with Chris yesterday, the two were able to elaborate on the thesis, and the segments are definitely worth your time.

    Remember, Mann and Ornstein aren’t just two random political scientists with a striking book and op-ed. Mann and Ornstein enjoy almost unparalleled credibility with the Beltway establishment, and are generally accepted as centrist observers, not ideologues or partisan bomb-throwers. For years, these two have been cited constantly as objective experts.

    That is, until they decided to drop the “both sides are always to blame” canard, at which point, their phones stopped ringing. It’s as if these two broke an unwritten rule, and the Sunday shows that used to keep Mann and Ornstein on speed dial decided their respected insights were no longer welcome.

    I fear this will serve as an example that sends a message to the larger political world: no matter how credible you are, if you accurately hold Republicans responsible for their misconduct, without blaming Democrats with equal force, you’ll be shunned.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Romney Video Hits Obama’s Record With Latinos

    The Romney campaign is pushing the message that President Obama has hurt the Latino community, disputing the Obama campaign’s premise that the country is on the right track again. “Really?” asks a new web video the campaign released Tuesday, quoting an Obama ad that says “we know that we are on the right path.” The video pits excerpts from Obama’s Spanish media ads with statistics about poverty among Latinos. The video doesn’t mention Mitt Romney

  38. rikyrah says:

    Florida Voter Purge In Limbo As County Officials Await State Response To DOJ
    Ryan J. Reilly- June 5, 2012, 4:55 AM

    An association of Florida elections supervisors has recommended that members hold off on purging voter rolls until the state settles its dispute with the Justice Department over whether the action is legal.

    Based “upon the previous issues that have been presented concerning the list, as well as the fact that the Department has indicated its intent to take further actions to review its list to determine its validity,” Ron Labasky of Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections wrote in a memo that his recommendation was that Supervisors of Elections “cease any further action until the issues were raised by the Department of Justice are resolved between the parties or by a Court.”

    DOJ asked Florida to say by Wednesday whether they would cease trying to purge their voter list. Justice Department officials contended that federal law doesn’t allow voters to be removed from the polls within 90 days of an election and that changes to the process Florida uses to remove voters must be cleared under the Voting Rights Act.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    June 04, 2012 4:59 PM

    Kochs Pays Palin To Sing Requiem for Breitbart
    By Ed Kilgore

    It’s the sort of thing that gives the heebie-jeebies to anyone fearful of The Crazy getting crazier and more powerful: the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity’s big annual clambake for the right-wing New Media types, featuring keynote speaker Sarah Palin and what amounts to a giant Requium Mass for Andrew Breitbart. Here’s a snippets from Kenneth Vogel’s preview of the creepy event

    The conservative blogosphere has yet to move past the death of patron saint Andrew Breitbart, but it will get a major jolt this month from an equally provocative hero: Sarah Palin.
    The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee has committed to delivering the keynote address at Right Online, the annual gathering of conservative bloggers and online activists organized by the Koch-backed non-profit group Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
    This year’s meeting is focused on higher-level tactics and strategies than past year’s editions of Right Online, which sometimes had the feel of a crash course on blogging 101. The Vegas conference features training on video exposes to be conducted by guerrilla video journalist James O’Keefe, a session on polling featuring conservative’s favorite pollster Scott Rasmussen and a session moderated by columnist Michelle Malkin entitled “How to Use Facebook & Twitter to Win,” which will include instruction on using social media to drive narratives.

    Palin, of course, is considered a “pioneer” of right-wing social media because she’s been able to put tossed-off communications up on Facebook—everything from her infamous “death panel” smear of ObamaCare to her easy-breezy-don’t-leave-your-armchair candidate endorsements—and get big results from her hordes of followers as well as the MSM.

    There’s no question Palin’s been effective using Facebook, but the Vogel piece and some of the quotes from her fans in the wingnutosphere make it sound like she’s some sort of technological genius. If she is, then so is Kim Kardashian with her four million Twitter followers, or whatever the number is. Any celebrity with a large and credulous audience can have a big impact via social media. For Palin, it mainly means she doesn’t have to bother with documenting her many wild assertions, or take any potentially hostile questions.

    But in any event, attendees of Right Online will get to view their favorite pol get all hagiographical about their favorite “guerilla” operative, while La Pasionara of the Permafrost pads her bank account with an undisclosed quanity of Koch lucre:

  40. rikyrah says:

    Obama campaign pushes against double standard
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 5, 2012 8:35 AM EDT.

    For the last few months, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has had quite a bit of success driving the major political discussions of the day. Team Romney says Hilary Rosen’s comments matter, so for a short while, the political world obsesses over Hilary Rosen. They say Cory Booker’s comments matter, so for a short while, the political world obsesses over Cory Booker. They say Solyndra matters, so for a short while, the political world obsesses over Solyndra.

    This week, President Obama’s campaign wants to know if they can work the refs, too.

    Obama campaign pushes against double standard
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 5, 2012 8:35 AM EDT.For the last few months, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has had quite a bit of success driving the major political discussions of the day. Team Romney says Hilary Rosen’s comments matter, so for a short while, the political world obsesses over Hilary Rosen. They say Cory Booker’s comments matter, so for a short while, the political world obsesses over Cory Booker. They say Solyndra matters, so for a short while, the political world obsesses over Solyndra.

    This week, President Obama’s campaign wants to know if they can work the refs, too.

    At issue is a development we discussed yesterday: the Romney camp prefers a double standard when it comes to the candidates’ records on jobs. When evaluating Romney’s one term as governor, his campaign argues, what matters is that the governor inherited a recession. The state showed marginal improvements after four years, they now argue, moving from an economy that was losing jobs into one that was adding jobs. Can Obama use the identical standard? Of course not.

    In one of the most jaw-dropping quotes of the year, Ed Gillespie went so far as to argue on Sunday that Romney’s entire first year as governor shouldn’t count. Asked about the fact that Massachusetts ranked 47th in job creation during Romney’s tenure, Gillespie complained, “[Democrats are] averaging out over the four years. So, they are bringing down the gains of his fourth year in office, which shows the real impact of his policies, and diluting it with the first year in office.”

    What’s breathtaking about this, of course, is the double standard. It matters that Romney inherited a recession, but it doesn’t matter that Obama inherited the worst global crisis since the Great Depression. It matters that Massachusetts was adding jobs after Romney’s one term, but it doesn’t matter that America is adding jobs after Obama’s one term. Romney’s first year doesn’t count, but Obama’s first year does count. Creating averages based on four-year totals is wrong when it’s applied to Romney, but necessary when it’s applied to Obama.

    Even by the standards of the Romney campaign, this is as shameless as it is ridiculous.

    For Obama’s team, the apparent goal is to find a way to make the media care.


    The effort began in earnest yesterday.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Sunday, June 3, 2012
    Last Call
    Posted by Zandar

    If you want to know what we’re up against on the right, we’ll I’ve been detailing that for months now: Citizens United and SCOTUS allowing unlimited millions if not billions into politics, GOP voter suppression in red states disenfranchising minority voters, the war on women’s reproductive rights as well as their economic ones, the assault on college-age Americans leaving them high and dry, and deliberate sabotage of the economy in order to regain political power.

    If you want to know what we’re up against on the left however, read the Smirking Chimp website these days and ask yourself why they’re always doing fundraisers so they can bring you authors like Mike Whitney and articles like this on why Barack Obama is doomed.

    No, Mr. President, Europe is not to blame and neither is congress. You, Barack Obama, are 100 percent responsible for the high unemployment and the dismal condition of the US economy. If you had been paying attention to business and listening to the zillions of competent economists (Stiglitz, Krugman, Reich, Thoma, Weisbrot, Galbraith, Baker, Roubini, etc. etc) who’ve repeated ad naseam that we needed more fiscal stimulus (and financial regulation “with teeth”) then we wouldn’t be in this mess today. But, now, because of your lackadaisical sit-on-your-duff-and-do-nothing attitude, the economy is headed back into the shitter which will pave the way for a Romney victory and 8 more years of trickle down, starve the beast, corporate welfare and warmongering. Thanks alot, Barry.

    Whitney’s tirade is typical of the “firebaggers” or “emoprogs” or “puritopians” these days, the folks who have no intention of voting for Barack Obama this November out of a sense of personal betrayal and unconstrained fury.

    The bottom line is that Obama hasn’t done a damn thing to fix the economy or put the country back to work. He thought he’d done “just enough” to finesse his way through the election and win another 4 years, but that’s not the way it’s working out. Now it looks like Obama will be a “one termer” who’ll return to Chicago sometime in late January 2013 to join the “lecture circuit” and work on a multi-million dollar book deal. And the rest of us will be stuck with vulture capitalist, Mitt Romney.


    It’s not, of course. But Whitney and many like him, furious that Barack Obama hasn’t been able to fix anything because of the existence of the other branches of the government, ignoring the real betrayal of Senate “centrists” and Blue Dogs in the House, and ignoring the lessons of 2010’s election debacle which handed the House to the GOP assuring the last two years would be awful for 90% of America, have a narrative to sell.

    Sites like Smirking Chimp and Fire Dog Lake set themselves up as the opposition to the powers that be from the left. They got donations. They gained political power in DC circles. Then something awful happened to them.

    A Democrat was elected President. Suddenly their donations dried up. So they simply changed targets from Bush to Obama. It became a nice niche to have, and others joined the fight, picking up the model. They consider 2010’s loss of 60+ House seats and 7 Senate seats as a personal success that they are happy to take credit for in order to “teach Obama and his supporters a lesson.”

    If you recognize the outright fanaticism of fever-bright “purity” at all costs layered over cynical manipulation to maintain status and power as representatives of the “party’s true base”, that’s because it’s the exact tactics that the Tea Party used to great success in 2009 and 2010 in cowing and purging the GOP of moderates, all while taking in oodles of cash for wingnut writers and websites.

    The tactic isn’t quite as successful on the Democratic side, but it’s still a burgeoning cottage industry on the left. And make no mistake, they plan to continue to blame Obama for a long, long time. But you’ll of course donate to their righteous cause to stop Mitt Romney in 2016, won’t you? Or his successor in 2020? That’s at least eight years of fighting the “good fight” by playing to lose, you know.

    The reality is at this point in the game there are several “liberals and progressives” who are deeply invested in Barack Obama’s defeat in November, financially, politically, professionally and personally. The only tool they have to generate page views and money is outrage, and that has to be directed at the President no matter what he does. The folks on the “left” who are now bound and determined to see the President defeated in November are trapped in a hell of their own making. And they profit the most by being the lords of that hell when we are all forced to join them under another Republican rule.

    Only this time around, eight years of Romney would pretty much destroy the country, assure a Supreme Court that would be arch-conservative for decades, and would dismantle the safety net under hundreds of million of Americans for good, all but ending our 236-year experiment with representative democracy.

    They’re strangely okay with that, however. That should tell you something.

  42. rikyrah says:

    June 04, 2012 5:30 PM

    Barton’s Inversion
    By Ed Kilgore

    If you pay much attention to the religion-and-politics beat, you are probably familiar with the infamous name of David Barton, the “historian” who has had enormous success in supplying talking points for the ever-growing ranks of American conservatives who are convinced that “separation of church and state” is a nefarious “myth” that perverts the Founders’ design for a Christian nation.

    I’ve been fascinated by Barton and his infernal work as someone who still has trouble grasping that the Southern Baptist denomination in which I was raised has briskly moved in the course of my lifetime from a traditional position on church-state separation indistinguishable from that of the American Civil Liberties Union to one that is violently hostile to any limits on theocracy. Barton and his acolytes—very much including the conservative evangelicals whose very strength in this country is a testament to the Jeffersonian principle of state agnosticism about religion—have very nearly inverted the traditional understanding of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, and it’s no surprise that Barton’s latest project is claiming Jefferson himself for his ideology.

    So it was with great interest that I read Paul Harvey’s review at Relgiion Dispatches of a new book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President, by two evangelical critics of Barton who take apart his profanement of Jefferson’s teachings and set the record straight:

    The authors are professed evangelical Christians who teach at Grove City College, a school whose mission statement rejects “secularism and relativism” and promotes intellectual and social development “consistent with a commitment to Christian truth, morals, and freedom….”
    They find without fail that [Barton’s] claims fall into one of the following categories: 1) complete falsehoods (there are plenty of those); 2) misleading falsehoods (such as the story about wanting Christian imagery on the national seal—true, but on the other side of the seal, had Jefferson gotten his wish, would have been a pagan story); 3) true, but entirely irrelevant and ultimately misleading statements (such as signing documents with “the Year of our Lord,” which he did because pre-packaged treaty forms had that language, and had about as much meaning as signing “Dear” in our salutations in letters to complete strangers); 4) statements with a “kernel” of truth but blown so far out of proportion as to end up being false (such as Jefferson wanting federal funding for Indian missions, when in fact the titles of the bills simply took on the name of already existing religious societies; 5) baffling assertions that are so far out of the realm of reality as to be neither “true” nor “false,” but simply bizarre (such as Barton’s defense of Jefferson’s views on race, which were disturbingly ugly even by the standards of his era).

  43. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012
    The Handmaid’s Tale And Other Future Non-Fiction
    Posted by Zandar

    If you want to know what a Mitt Romney presidency with appointments to SCOTUS would mean with a GOP House and Senate, you have to look no further than GOP Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida.

    Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) unwilling admitted to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Friday afternoon that he believed women who receive abortions should face criminal charges. “I think the punishment should certainly be very serious,” he said. “It should be more than a civil case. It should be something very serious”:

    MATTHEWS: So it should be a criminal matter for the woman as well as the doctor?
    STEARNS: I think so. You are killing an embryo and in some cases you are killing an embryo that is four or five months into gestation

    My good friend at ABLC, AsiangrrlMN, talked about the defeated PRENDA act the House tried and failed to pass last week, that would have criminalized abortions “based on gender preferences”. ABL talked about it too and why the act was utter nonsense.

    But that’s the future of America if these guys win in November, period. Might want to keep that in mind.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Paycheck Fairness Act faces Senate vote
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 5, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    After weeks of wrangling, the Paycheck Fairness Act will finally reach the Senate floor today, where it’s likely to face strong opposition from Republicans. Democratic supporters, however, are investing quite a bit of energy into the proposal.

    Yesterday, for example, the White House organized a conference call on the legislation, and President Obama made a surprise appearance, touting not only his support for the bill, but also explaining its significance.

    Mitt Romney, meanwhile, true to form, refuses to take a position on the bill. When we asked the Romney campaign for its stance, a spokesperson said the Republican candidate supports the concept of equal pay for equal work, but despite repeated requests, Romney’s aide would not whether he supports or opposes the proposal.

    No Profile in Courage Award for you, gov.

    So, does the bill have any chance at all? The last time the Paycheck Fairness Act reached the Senate floor, two years ago, it garnered 58 votes, which, thanks to the way the modern Senate operates, means the bill failed. The chamber’s GOP “moderates” — Scott Brown, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe — all joined the filibuster that killed the bill.

    Two years later, the Democratic majority has shrunk considerably, but hope springs eternal.

    On one conference call, the bill’s chief sponsor Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said she’s hopeful Republicans will peel away and help break a filibuster, but declined to say whether any GOP votes had been locked down.

    “I’m not at liberty to go into that,” Mikulski said.

    Mikulski will need to find seven Republicans willing to give the bill an up-or-down vote, which appears to be a very tall order given how far the GOP Senate caucus has moved to the right.


    For those unfamiliar with the substance behind the legislation, the bill would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.

    The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which we discussed with Ledbetter herself last night, was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure.

    With women still only making 77 cents for every dollar men earn in similar jobs, the question may soon become why so many Republicans, including their presidential candidate, seem indifferent to the problem.

    Postscript: As a simple matter of election-year strategy, I have no idea why every Senate Republican doesn’t simply vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act and then let the GOP-led House kill it.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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