Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

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67 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Six year old plays violin for Michelle Obama

    June 7, 2012 1:58 PM

    During a surprise trip to Mom’s Apple Pie Company in Occoquan, Va. on Thursday, six year old Sydney Trapp played the violin for Michelle Obama. The First Lady told Trapp she was “awesome” and bought two pies- apple and sour cherry.;housing

  2. rikyrah says:



    They don’t want him to win. A lot of the fat cats were supporting Hillary last time around and the Wall Street folks went with POTUS. The Wall Street guys are gone and the Hillary folks don’t want this man to get a second term because he will then rank higher than Bill Clinton did. Hell, George H. W. Bush has more accomplishments than Bill Clinton! The IT bubble took off under him and gave him a halo and the divided government led to balanced budgets; he didn’t really accomplish that much on his own.

    Meanwhile, George H. W. Bush dealt with incredible foreign policy challenges with German unification, the emergence of Russia, the first Iraq war etc etc. He’d have been re-elected if the economy hadn’t stunk.

    I honestly can’t reel off what Clinton did.

    And everyone understands how George W. Bush destroyed this country and took us to two wars; that is crystal clear in folks mind. Then comes Katrina and attempting to privatize Social Security and then the collapse of the world economy happened under his watch.

    Then we have President Obama: brought us back from the brink of depression, ended the war in Iraq, ending the war in Afghanistan, killed OBL, new era of American foreign policy and cooperation, re-set relations with China, Libya, presided over the Arab Spring and went from losing 700k jobs a month when he came in to 29 months of consecutive job creation. And two Supreme Court Appointments.

    And that is his first term; in a second term (especially if he has a Dem house and senate) we will accomplishments that will fill the history books. He’s already accomplished legislatively what only LBJ and FDR can compare.

    I think there are some folks; they don’t want to see him eclipse the Clintons or have HRC having to kiss his ring if she runs in ’16. Meanwhile, the financial types HATE him. Then there are those who think this is in the bag and no worries; hopefully this Romney/RNC money thing coupled with WI spooked them into giving.

  3. rikyrah says:

    By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2012 7:05pm
    VIDEO: Brad on RT on Questions About Wisconsin’s Recall Election Results

    I was on cable/satellite news channel RT this afternoon discussing concerns about the Wisconsin Recall elections. Here’s the hit…

    For more details on some of the thoughts I offered above, in regard to questions about yesterdays results, please see my article last night on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s reported win, and my piece this morning on Democratic state Senate challenger John Lehman’s declaration of victory — both before any ballots have actually been examined to assure that the all-secret computer tallies were accurate in any way.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:49 PM ET, 06/07/2012
    Crossroads opens fire. Will Democrats respond?
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    While the presidential race has been pretty static lately and Republicans picked up a nice win in the Scott Walker recall — in which, as you know, Democrats were massively outspent — Senate campaigns have been trending towards the Democrats over the last few months. Now, the other shoe begins to drop: Karl Rove’s Crossroads is dumping $866,000 into contested Senate races in Indiana, New Mexico, and Montana.

    The good news for Democrats is that Indiana is even in play. Remember, if Richard Lugar had been re-nominated, everyone agreed that the race would be over. Instead, Democratic Member of the House Joe Donnally is a viable enough threat that this outside group believes it’s necessary to launch an attack. The other two races have Republicans looking for gains: Senator Jon Tester is one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, and Republicans have a strong candidate in Heather Wilson as they try to pick up an open seat in Democratic-leaning New Mexico.

    This all raises two questions. The first one is about the debate Greg’s been covering about how Democratic-aligned groups should be spending their money during this cycle: on “ground game” organizing or on advertising. One thing’s for sure; Republican-aligned ads are certainly going to be more visible than ever.

    The second question is simply whether Democrats will be able to compete at all. That’s not an issue in the presidential race; Barack Obama’s campaign is going to be very well-funded, and at any rate money is clearly less important in presidential general election campaigns than anywhere else in the electoral system.

    But at the Senate level, and even more at the House level, money can matter a lot — especially unopposed money. That’s why DCCC Chair Steve Israel is sounding the alarm right now by calling on Dem donors to get serious about funding the air wars, and not just on-the-ground organizing. I suspect that the overwhelming financial advantage for Scott Walker’s campaign was only somewhat effective in that contest, given the polarization of the state and the fairly heavy media coverage it received. But what we may see this fall are low-profile House and Senate races in which outside groups toss in enormous amounts of money that go virtually unopposed. That’s a recipe for money being decisive.

    That will be the case unless Democratic-aligned groups are able and ready to step up to counter it. Whether that will happen is probably the biggest and most important unknown of the 2012 cycle — and could help determine control of the House and Senate.

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Big Lies of Mitt Romney V: Obama Had A Super-Majority In Congress For Two Years

    A reader writes:

    This stood out to me in “The Lies of Mitt Romney III”:
    “we remember the president’s own party had a super majority in both houses for his first two years”
    I’m not sure how Romney defines a super majority, but my recollection was that the Dems only had a filibuster-proof majority (including two independents) from the time that Al Franken was finally seated (July 7, 2009) until the point that Teddy Kennedy passed away (August 25, 2009). That’s only seven weeks, not two years.

    And there was never a supermajority in the House as Romney claims. The balance at the start of the Congress was 257 – 178, which is a Democratic share of only 59 percent, not 67. So again, Romney simply lied. Obama never had a super majority in both Houses, let alone for two years. In the Senate, his super-majority lasted seven weeks.

    Please stay vigilant. Your eyes are as good as ours. Scan Romney’s statements for factual untruths – not embellishments or exaggerations, but empirically false statements. Update from a reader:

    Not to let Mitt Romney off the hook, because his “two years supermajority” claim is still blatantly false, but there was an interim Senator from Massachusetts who was, in fact, the 60th vote for healthcare reform after Ted Kennedy died. Paul Kirk served as interim Senator from Massachusetts from September 24, 2009 to February 4, 2010. Therefore, the Democrats had a Senate supermajority for seven weeks with Kennedy and nineteen weeks with Paul Kirk, for a total of 26 weeks, or half a year.

  6. rikyrah says:

    The Big Lies of Mitt Romney V: Obama Had A Super-Majority In Congress For Two Years, Ctd

    A reader writes:

    Good catch by your readers about Obama’s seven-week supermajority. But there’s another thing that irked me about this – what did Obama do during those seven weeks? He tried to get bipartisan consensus. This was the time of the “Gang of 6” and the courting of Chuck Grassley. He possibly could have tried to “ram things through”, but to the obvious frustration of lefties chose to continue to seek bipartisan agreement. For Romney and the Republicans to fault Obama for not being more partisan… I feel like this is a “Annals of Chutzpah” moment.

    It is. There are various scenarios to do with Kennedy’s and Byrd’s health, along with the Kirk replacement, that could be argued with. And you can find small periods in which Obama had a fleeting supermajority in the Senate – but still sought bipartisan support. Just remember that Romney claimed a supermajority in both houses for two years. Just untrue. And he clearly doesn’t care.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Romney Quietly Hires Consulting Firm With Sordid History Of Destroying Democratic Voter Registration Forms

    By Lee Fang posted Jun 6th 2012 at 8:00AM

    Nathan Sproul

    Republic Report has covered how political money can corrupt government by influencing the actions of elected representatives. But professional hacks can also disrupt democracy by interfering with the voting process itself.

    Late last year, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign began paying Nathan Sproul, a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms and manipulating ballot initiatives. Sproul, who changed his firm’s name from Sproul and Associates to Lincoln Strategies, has received over $70,000 from Romney’s campaign. Much of the campaign coverage has focused on the rhetoric of surrogates and the role of high-priced television advertisements. But if Sproul continues to play a role in the campaign, and if his previous work is any guide, his firm may have an impact on key swing states.

    ThinkProgress covered Sproul and his work for the coal industry. The post, which partially reprinted below, goes through his greatest hits, including evidence that his firm systematically suppressed Democratic overs on behalf of the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential team and deceiving voters during registration drives in 2006:

    – In Oregon and Nevada, Lincoln Strategies — then known as Sproul and Associates — was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms. The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work. [CNN, 10/14/04; KGW News, 10/13/04; East Valley Tribune, 09/07/06]

    – In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Lincoln Strategies — then known as Sproul and Associates — found their names absent from the voter registration rolls. [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/29/04]

    – During the 2006 midterm elections, Wal-Mart banned Lincoln Strategies for partisan voter registration efforts in Tennessee. The Republican National Committee had hired the firm. [Associated Press, 08/24/06]

    – In Arizona, Lincoln Strategies employed a variety of deceptive tactics — including systematically lying about the bill — to push a ballot initiative to eviscerate the state’s clean elections law. [Salon, 10/21/04]

    – Lincoln Strategies, then employed by the Republican Party, was behind efforts to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in states such as Arizona. [American Prospect, 06/25/04]

    Though Romney and his allies have decried supposed voter fraud by his opponents, they don’t have any evidence that people are illegally voting. Most accusations of Democratic voter fraud center on registration forms filled out by fake people — usually because signature gatherers are paid per-form — but these accusations do not include examples of these fake people actually attempting to vote. On the other hand, when a person goes to vote and learns their voter registration form was never turned in, they are denied their rights. Former Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), during a hearing on voter fraud, admitted that “the difference between ACORN and Sproul is that ACORN doesn’t throw away or change registration documents after they have been filled out.”

    Republic Report reviewed disclosures from the Federal Elections Commission. Sproul’s Lincoln Strategy Group has received about $71,391 in payments for “field consulting” and “rent & utilities” by the Romney for President Inc. committee from November 30th through March 2nd of this year.

    Lincoln Strategy Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

  8. rikyrah says:

    The Attack on Pensions and The End of the American Dream
    June 07,2012

    Republicans: No shame in leaving the elderly vulnerable to the stock market

    By Bob Cesca: The debt and deficit are evidently making American voters more insane and more self-defeating than they usually are. Conservatives, conservative financiers, anti-Obama zealots and a ridiculously complicit press corp have tapped into an easily-fooled, low-information population of Americans and convinced them that budgetary issues are way, way, way more dangerous than they really are.

    Consequently, voters are helping to destroy the last remaining sliver of the American dream: pensions for government workers.

    Not only did Wisconsin voters re-elect Scott Walker this week, hammering the final nail in coffin for government workers there. But in San Jose and San Diego, California, voters passed anti-pension ballot initiatives with landslide margins.

    In San Jose, nearly 70% of voters Tuesday approved a plan that gives workers the choice between increasing their pension contribution to 13% of their pay, currently 5% to 11%, or switching to a lower-cost plan with reduced benefits. It also steeply cuts benefits for new hires and tightens rules for disability retirements.

    In San Diego, where pension cuts already have been implemented, voters opted to eliminate pensions for new workers. By a 66% to 34% margin, voters Tuesday endorsed Proposition B, which provides newly hired city employees with a 401(k) program, but preserves traditional pensions for new police officers.

    And Democratic governor Jerry Brown supports this crapola even though courts have repeatedly ruled in favor of what is right: you simply cannot take away someone’s pension if you’ve already promised it.

    The other side of the anti-government-worker issue is that voters have adopted this notion that public sector employees are Borg drones who shuffle aimlessly through their cubes and then plug their heads into a glowy, Spencer Gifts circle thing at night. On the contrary, these are real Americans, with real families, real mortgages, real financial burdens and who work hard all day. They’re your neighbors. Your friends down the street. Yes, our tax dollars help to pay their salaries, whether they work at the state, local or federal levels. But our tax dollars also pay for a lot of things that are far worse than a fair wage for a decent job. Start with white phosphorous bombs and go down a list that includes subsidies for Big Oil, defense contracts for outfits like Blackwater and a lot of scary covert things we don’t even know about.

    And sorry, 401(k) plans just don’t cut it. Ask anyone who were due to retire 2008 or 2009. Do we really want our future financial security determined by spazzy white guys in Lower Manhattan?

    We really don’t effing know which end is up anymore. The climate is kicking our asses, campaign finance is kicking our asses, the economy is an ongoing struggle, and what are voters doing? Taking pensions away from people who earned them — the last piece of what used to make America great. The ability to raise a family on one salary, the ability to own a car outright, to own an affordable house, to have enough money to put your kids through college and to have a goddamn pension waiting for you when you retire.

    Corporations have already killed pensions for private sector workers, and now conservatives are going after the last institution that seems to give a rip about providing a decent retirement for the people who dedicate their lives to making it function properly: government jobs.

    You’d think that the conservative half of this country would love to preserve the ideal of the post-war era — they’re so utterly obsessed with 1950s Americana they practically orgasm at the sight of a white picket fence. (Something tells me they simply prefer the “white” part of the 1950s, and not much else.)

    All of that is gone. Why? Because people hate deficits. Why? Because they’ve been told that government should be run like a business.

    In fact, government should never be run like a business. Ever. Because it’s not a business. Businesses exist to create profit. Government should never run a profit. Businesses come and go all the time. Government should be around forever. Without it, there’s no America. It’s We The People, after all. Government exists to do things that businesses simply can’t do. Fight wars, for example. Government can run high deficits and debt unlike businesses because, for one, government can print money. Businesses are run by a small group of people who decide who else controls the business. Government is composed of people hired and fired by the people.

    So this idea of running a government like a business is total nonsense — obviously invented by doofs like Mitt Romney who are clueless (or pretend to be clueless) about the role of government in society. It’s these types of people who are a real threat to America. They’re the ones who’d like to drown government in a bathtub and let the wealthiest one percent and increasingly fewer competitive businesses run our lives. When that happens, the idea of We The People dies and is replaced by one or two global corporations and one or two families. All in cahoots to turn a profit without regard to why government exists in the first place.

    Eliminating pensions and replacing them with 401(k) plans susceptible to the whims of the stock market is yet another step in that direction. All that’s left is Social Security and Medicare, and look out. They’re next on the non-reality based chopping block.

  9. Ametia says:

    Two fatally shot, two wounded at DeKalb funeral
    By Alexis Stevens and Christopher Seward
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    5:35 p.m. Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Moments after a preacher delivered a message on the value of life, four people were shot, two of them fatally, at a DeKalb County funeral Thursday, according to police.

    Authorities said three people were taken into custody.

    The shootings occurred at Victory for the World Church on North Hairston Road near Stone Mountain, where a 1 p.m. funeral for homicide victim Ryan Devon Guider of Decatur was nearing its end, according to DeKalb County police.

    “We were ready to go to the burial, and I heard pow pow pow pow,” mourner Regina Sharp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I thank God I made it out alive.”

    Investigators believe there is a connection between the shootings at the funeral and Guider’s slaying on May 26.

    DeKalb Public Safety Director William Miller said police believe the man accused of killing Guider, Marcus D. Ventress, showed up in the church’s parking lot with a gun, fired several shots into the air and other people in the parking lot may have shot and killed him.

    Relying on witnesses’ account, Miller said two people involved in an altercation were shot. “One was killed on the scene, the other was transported to a local area hospital by our emergency rescue staff [and] that person died in route to the hospital,” he said.

    “The indication from some of the witnesses was they did see him [Ventress] here,” Miller said. “So we’re relying on witness statements that they saw this young man here who was responsible for Mr. Guider’s death in the first place. ”

    The scene at the church was chaotic. Police, fire and other emergency vehicles flooded the area, and North Hairston Road in front of the church was blocked in both directions.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Boehner strays from GOP talking points on Eurozone
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 3:53 PM EDT

    .Major political players, including the two major-party presidential candidates, rarely get asked about the European debt crisis, which is a shame — the health of our fragile domestic recovery is linked closely with the fate of the Eurozone.

    With that in mind, I was glad to see House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) field some questions about the subject today. More importantly, consider what he said in response.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday offered a pessimistic view on the debt crisis in Europe, saying, “I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.” […]

    “The problems in Europe are serious,” Boehner replied. “Their recession is affecting our economic growth today, and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”

    Now, Boehner’s larger point was that he wants to see policymakers act on looming tax and spending deadlines before the elections, rather than a six-week crash session in the lame-duck session, which he sees as an insurance policy of sorts against Europe-driven instability. Expediency is hardly an unreasonable goal, though the Speaker may not realize it’s his own caucus’ intransigence that makes any progress all but impossible.

    But take another look at Boehner’s thoughts on the relevance of the European crisis: “Their recession is affecting our economic growth today.”

    Really? That’s true, of course, but since when do Republicans admit that? According to the GOP script, President Obama’s communist/Kenyan/fascist/vampire anti-business radicalism is responsible for all that ails America’s economy. If Europe is undermining U.S. growth, as Boehner believes, then Obama isn’t to blame for sluggish growth, at least not entirely.

    Maybe Boehner will have to walk this back?


    Incidentally, Boehner’s right that Europe’s crises are affecting our economy, but what he may not realize is that European austerity measures — the kind of policies Boehner’s party intends to impose on Americans — are making matters worse.

    It’s a development that Democrats are apparently slowly picking up on.

    In American politics, being European is bad again. But these days, President Obama and the Democrats, not the Republicans, are holding up their allies across the Atlantic as the poster children for bad policies.

    In a new line of attack, top Democrats are arguing that Mitt Romney and the Republicans, with their focus on spending cuts, are following Europe’s austerity-first example, to dismal effect so far: Greece over the edge; Italy, Spain, Portugal on the edge; Britain in recession; and the United States suffering through a needlessly weak recovery because of government cuts.

    Former President Bill Clinton offered the clearest version of the case on Monday night, when, introducing Mr. Obama at a fund-raiser in New York, he listed the steps that Mr. Obama had taken to spur the economy, and then asked: “Why aren’t things roaring along now? Because Europe is in trouble and because the Republican Congress has adopted the European economic policy.”

    Mr. Clinton added, “Who would have thought, after years and years, even decades, in which the Republican right attacked ‘old Europe,’ that they would embrace the economic policies of the euro zone — austerity and unemployment now at all costs.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    June 07, 2012 11:48 AM

    A Small Masterpiece of Spin and Revisionist History

    By Ed Kilgore

    If you have a detached appreciation for the dark propagandistic arts of spin and revisionist history, then sit down, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or if later in the day, perhaps something stronger), and read this post from WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin, who manages to write a couple of real howlers in every sentence. Aside from the absurd concern-trollery of the entire piece—why does Jennifer Rubin care if Barack Obama is “killing the Democratic Party” anyway?—which is a sure sign of insecurity, you’ve got the ridiculous idea that independents and Democrats are fleeing from Obama in hordes because he’s not for the XL pipeline and the Bowles Commission report (most Democrats think Obama’s too friendly to both), the stubbornly stupid idea that Bill Clinton secretly agrees with Republicans more than with Obama, and the palpably false idea that conservatives revolted against George W. Bush’s leadership for even a moment before his promotion of their own favorite policies and attitudes (especially his prosecution of a war and occupation in Iraq that made Rubin’s neocon friends describe him as a world-historical hero, a swaggering Texas colossus standing tall astride a grateful, freedom-loving planet) sent his approval ratings right into the toilet.

    Even if you credit the endlessly repeated, self-serving Republican axiom that the man long-time “centrists” like me consider maybe a bit too “centrist” has in fact “jerk[ed] his party to the left,” there’s this little matter of his high popularity among self-described “moderate Democrats” (he has an 81% job approval rating among them at present according to Gallup), and the additional fact that most of the intra-party grumbling about Obama always has been and continues to be from the Left. These are well-known facts that I cannot imagine Rubin does not understand. Yet we have this amazing conclusion:

    [L]iberal elites might want to reconsider tying themselves too tightly to Obama’s mast. They have already become quite whiny and sacrificed a good deal of intellectual rigor in trying to defend every misstep as brilliant and every loss as a win.
    They should take a page from the conservative playbook from the second Bush term. Then, conservatives stuck by their principles, criticized him where appropriate and maintained their integrity.

    So convoluted is Rubin’s writing that I’m not sure whether she’s saying “liberals” should criticize the leftist president from the left and “kill” the Democratic Party even faster, or stick to “their principles” by following Clinton’s non-existent or secret lead and demanding that Obama okay a total commitment to fossil fuel dependence world without end and get crazy excited about “entitlement reform.” Maybe she’s just saying Democrats should emulate the gutless opportunism exhibited by some conservatives towards Bush when he became persona non grata with non-conservatives after 2005, and pretend we never liked Obama to begin with. In any event, Ms. Rubin, Democrats can do without your advice.

  12. Ametia says:

    Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid! I love it when PBO slaps that podium after he speaks. Just did it again in Nevada. LOL

  13. Ametia says:


    If the Wisconsin recall is truly second in importance only to the presidential race, as many media outlets have trumpeted lately, then why have those same outlets so badly neglected one of that election’s most salient aspects?

    “As millions of dollars in dark right-wing money pour into the state to preserve Gov. Scott Walker from his progressive opposition, it seems relevant that he and many top aides are under investigation in a campaign finance and corruption scandal that has been growing for two years.”

    Yet the national media have largely ignored the fascinating details of that probe — which has already resulted in indictments, convictions and cooperation agreements implicating more than a dozen Walker aides and donors. Only readers of the local newspapers in Madison or Milwaukee would know, for instance, law enforcement documents have emerged in court during the past few days suggesting that Walker stonewalled the investigation in its initial phase.

    The typical reference to the scandal in the national media notes that Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic opponent, is seeking to “stoke suspicions” regarding the investigation, “in which former Walker aides stand accused of allegedly misappropriating campaign funds.”


  14. Ametia says:

    Obama discusses student loans
    President Obama talks about the student loan debate and other issues when he addresses supporters in Las Vegas.



    Will post full video & pics later.

  15. Ametia says:


  16. Ametia says:

    Jun 7, 2012 8:37am
    Money Grab (The Note)

    By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone) and AMY WALTER (@amyewalter)

    •COLD, HARD CAMPAIGN CASH: The Obama campaign announced this morning that it raised $60 million in May – that’s up from just over $43 million last month. In a tweet, President Obama noted that “98% of the donations the campaign received in May were less than $250, and the average donation was $54.94.” But with the president on another Golden State fundraising swing this week, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the pace of his pursuit of campaign cash becomes a bigger issue for his opponents.

    •BATTLEGROUND VIRGINIA. Quinnipiac University released a new poll today showing President Obama leading Mitt Romney 47 percent to 42 percent in Virginia, which will be a critical state in November: As ABC’s Rick Klein pointed out in Wednesday’s Top Line, Mitt Romney almost has to win Virginia to win the presidency in 2012. VIDEO: “Virginia Is For Voters”

    •NOTE IT!: As ABC News Political Director Amy Walter observes, Bill Clinton may think the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital aren’t working, but results from focus groups of female swing voters suggests otherwise.
    •VEEP BEAT: In today’s veepstakes roundup, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio pens a strongly-worded Op-Ed on the situation in Syria: “By not pursuing a policy that takes bolder steps to stop Assad and assist the more pro-Western opposition leaders, we prolong this conflict and allow Syria to hurtle toward becoming a radicalized, failed state,” Rubio writes in today’s Wall Street Journal.

  17. rikyrah says:

    An urgent plea to political reporters
    Let’s all stop pretending imaginary “gaffes” are real
    By Alex Pareene

    Let’s all agree to just not pretend the president made an “oral sex joke” at his gay fundraiser last night, because that’s stupid. It’s stupid, and most of the people with jobs as political reporters are at least literate, and understand that this thing did not happen. So don’t repeat it, or even write that “some say” they thought it maybe happened. This would’ve been fodder for one 200-word Wonkette post back in 2006, maybe. “Funny pool report says crowd tittered at unintentional double entendre” is not actually the sort of thing that the INSIDERS and political junkies who read Politico should concern themselves with. (And let’s also agree to stop just adding question marks to headlines when the headline without a question mark is not supported by the content of the story, maybe?)

  18. rikyrah says:

    2:01 PM EDT, Thursday June 7, 2012
    Rendell: Hillary Would Have Had ‘A Lot More Executive Experience’

    Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who supported Hillary Clinton Supporter during the 2008 primary, said on Thursday that Clinton would have been more effective in getting her proposals through Congress. “I think she would have come in with a lot more executive experience,” Rendell said on CBS’s “This Morning. ” I think the president was hurt by being a legislator only.”

    For example, health care and the stimulus. Two bills that I think did good things for the American people, too much of it was left up to the Congress. He sort of said, ‘Here’s my concept, you guys flesh it out.’ I think Hillary Clinton would have sent them a bill and said, ‘Here’s what I want.’

    As was often noted in 2009, however, was that Obama’s approach to passing health care reform was in part a response to Clinton’s failed attempt to pass reform in 1993, when she took a direct approach like the one Rendell described.

  19. rikyrah says:

    You Can’t Blame Apathy
    Posted on 06/06/2012 at 4:00 pm by JM Ashby

    Voter turnout in Wisconsin was extremely high yesterday. Some precincts saw turnout as high as 80 percent while others saw turnout above 110 percent. The surge in same-day registrations lead to some precincts actually running out of voter registration materials. And based on my own anecdotes, I would call that unprecedented turnout, because in my former home of Kentucky voter turnout of 30 percent would be a fever pitch, turnout of 17 percent would be the norm, and turnout below 10 percent wouldn’t be unheard of.

    You can’t blame apathy for yesterday’s loss, but you can blame ineffective messaging and, as Bob puts it, being “out hustled.”

    39 percent of self-identified union members voted for Governor Scott Walker yesterday. The man who infamously told his billionaire donors he was going to “divide and conquer” the citizenry weeks before taking a months-long piss on public unions. And you know what? It worked. By singling out public unions instead of all unions, he successfully pitted one group of workers against the other.

    You may assume that all unionized voters are a monolith and that they would naturally band together when one or the other is under assault, and I suspect Democratic messaging in part relies on that being the case, but that’s not the world we live in. And I can tell you based on my own experience with members of my extended family, who are members of private employee unions in Wisconsin who supported Scott Walker, that they aren’t.

    From their ill-informed perspective, public employees are spoiled. And if that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same message repeated, Ad nauseam, since the 1980s. It’s not something they heard on Fox News. They don’t watch Fox News. It’s something that is now deeply entrenched in the public mind, and we aren’t going to change that by assuming they know better. We have to convince voters that we have their best interests at heart. Because no matter how terrible the GOP becomes or how much damage they do to society, their bottomless piles of cash and an irresponsible 4th estate shrouds their culpability.

    It wasn’t all bad news in Wisconsin last night. Former Racine Senator John Lehman successfully defeated Republican incumbent Van Wanggaard, who took Lehmans job during the Tea Party flood of 2010. This victory will restore a Democratic majority to the Wisconsin state senate. And while that’s not the governorship, it is the next best thing. A Democratic majority in the state senate will prevent Scott Walker and his loyal henchmen from ramrodding nefarious legislation without concession.

    The other good news is that Scott Walker seems destined to receive the Blagojevich treatment in the not-too-distant future, and this time next year we may very well be discussing Governor Kleefisch, who is currently serving as Lieutenant Governor.

    The really bad news is not that Democrats were unsuccessful in recalling Governor Walker, it’s that Wisconsin still has the worst record of job creation in the nation right now. The really bad news is that the state cut nearly a billion dollars from education, over a billion from Medicaid, and passed new corporate tax-cuts that have done nothing to either solve the state’s budget holes or create jobs. That’s the real tragedy in Wisconsin, and we can’t let one defeat cause us to lose sight of what it is we’re fighting.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The modern health care industry in the US
    By Kay June 7th, 2012

    I’d like to bring this debate back to reality a little:

    Jenky said the Catholic Church is under attack by the U.S. government….Thundered the prelate, “Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.”

    That’s a lot of accusations, but I’ve been looking into the current reality of Catholic health care systems in the US, so I’ll just say I have some questions on the one thing he mentioned and that’s health care. As I have noted here several times, the truth is that Catholic health care systems are merging with secular entities (both non-profit and for-profit) all over the country. These mergers raise big questions about access to reproductive health care, but they also should be mentioned within the political debate over the HHS rule on contraception and large employers because mergers are relevant to that debate.

    To do that, I’ll show you two articles. One focuses on a wholly Catholic health care system merger and a change in for-profit/tax status, and the other focuses on a Catholic health care system/secular system merger and the concerns about limiting access to those health care services that are forbidden under the religious rules. Both of these issues are huge, right now, in the real world. You’d never know it from listening to the bishops.

    This is the for-profit merger idea, where they’re merging and transforming a non-profit Catholic health care entity into a for-profit health care business. Does anything change re: the religious exemptions if we’re now talking about a for-profit hospital? Should the debate on this change?

  21. rikyrah says:

    Romney is a Pot Scold
    by BooMan
    Thu Jun 7th, 2012 at 12:47:42 PM EST

    I don’t care about Mitt Romney’s big house in La Jolla or his plans to make it much bigger and install a car elevator. He has 18 grandkids, so he needs a lot of space, including for cars. I get that. However, I can’t get with a man who does stuff like this:

    Mr. Romney and his wife take regular walks around La Jolla, exchanging pleasantries with fellow strollers and occasionally enforcing the law. A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.
    The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that “your neighbors have complained,” Mr. Quint recalled. “He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.”

    I used to live in Venice Beach, which is a grittier lower-class beach community. But you don’t go up to somebody smoking a joint at the beach and scold them. It’s part of the culture. If any ordinary citizen complained to the cops about someone smoking weed on the beach, they’d be laughed out of town. I mean, if it were on Romney’s property, that would be different.

    I agree with his gay neighbor, Randy Clark, who said, “It’s odd that this is where Romney picked a place — it’s so progressive.” Go live somewhere where people aren’t living the beach life. This is Southern California, for chrissakes.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Things in Politico That Make Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze, Cheesehead Edition
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 1:00PM

    In a moment of weakness, I clicked onto the Wisconsin “winners and losers” wrap put together by Politico, which, by all available evidence, is now being put together in the pool house of one of the Romney residences.

    Most of it was fairly predictable — Scott Walker strong, unions weak, Democrats sad, Barack Obama a’scared, Mitt Romney smash (!), Paul Krugman dumb. It does take some first-class Romneybot 2.0 beat-sweetening to conclude that Wisconsin is “exponentially more in play” for November while clumsily eliding the extensive exit-poll data from last night that fairly screamed otherwise. Apparently, the Democrats are in trouble this fall, but Barack Obama isn’t. Oh.

    (I mean, honestly, it took three people to write this? Was one of them in charge of prepositions?)

    But you have to stick with the piece right to the end to get the real payoff….

    Walker himself crushed it, fundraising-wise, spending $30 million to survive. But so did conservative groups such as the Koch-brothers backed Americans for Prosperity, American Majority Action, Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, FreedomWorks and others who directed nearly $20 million to Walker’s cause. Conservatives are hardly alone. From the left, groups like the AFL-CIO, Democratic Governors Association, Human Rights Campaign, and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent roughly $15.5 million.

    Yes, conservatives were “hardly alone” in what they spent in Wisconsin, in much the same way that a Kodiak bear is “hardly alone” if I stand next to it. Please shoot me now.

    Read more:

  23. rikyrah says:

    .Sink or swim
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 1:39 PM EDT.

    We talked last week about North Carolina Republicans, who have a new solution to rising sea levels, caused by global warming: scrap the scientific evidence pointing to rising sea levels. It seems the story is starting to generate some additional attention.

    Let’s call it the GOP’s “See No Evil” strategy (or is that “Sea No Evil”?). Under a Republican plan, officials along the coast could ignore scientific models showing rising sea levels, relying instead on a historic model of how far the sea has risen over the last year.

    As a result, while a state-appointed science panel warns sea levels will rise 39 inches over the next century, some North Carolina Republicans want the state to prepare for only 8 inches, since that’s what happened over the last century.

    This is not only awful science and dangerous policy, it was also the subject of Stephen Colbert “The Word” segment this week.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 06/07/2012
    New Obama ad: I have a jobs plan, and Congress should pass it now
    By Greg Sargent

    This new ad from the Obama campaign is set to start running in nine swing states — and it’s backed by a “significant” buy, I’m told, though we still don’t know what kind of money is really behind it:

    “Our businesses have created almost 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but we’re still not creating them as fast as we want,” the ad says. “The President’s jobs plan would put teachers, firefighters, police officers and construction workers back to work. Right now. And it’s paid for by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. But Congress refuses to act. Tell Congress we can’t wait.”

    The political context here is that Mitt Romney has debuted a new message of late, telling Americans that Obama doesn’t have any jobs plan — even as he continues to slam Obama for blaming Congress for … not passing the jobs plan he supposedly lacks.

    Romney is operating from the calculation that swing voters will hold Obama solely responsible for the state of the economy, and won’t factor in the basic history of the last three years into their decisionmaking, leaving Romney free to claim whatever he wants about what’s been happening. There’s plenty of evidence that he may be right in this calculation — particularly with the anemic jobs numbers we’ve been seeing.

    This new ad doesn’t directly name Republicans for blocking Obama’s jobs plan, only faulting “Congress” for failing to act on it. Perhaps the campaign is trying a new tack — reminding voters that Obama does in fact have a jobs plan, without tainting it with an overtly partisan message.

  25. rikyrah says:

    In new attack, Romney ‘just making stuff up’
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 12:30 PM EDT.

    As a growing number of Democrats raise the “sabotage question” — the charge that Republicans might be deliberately hurting the American economy to advance an election agenda — Mitt Romney argued at a campaign event in Texas that it was actually President Obama who chose to slow the recovery.

    In this case, Romney is citing a book from Noam Scheiber, “The Escape Artists,” on how Obama and his economic team confronted the Great Recession in 2009 and 2010.

    As Romney sees it, “there was discussion about the fact that Obamacare would slow down the economic recovery in this country.” He added that the administration “knew” the health care reform package would hurt the economy, “but they concluded that we would all forget how long the recovery took once it had happened, so they decided to go ahead.”

    We know precisely why Romney makes claims like these. With Democrats arguing that Republicans are perhaps holding back the economy on purpose, Romney suddenly sees value in arguing, in effect, “No, no, it’s Obama who slowed the recovery on purpose.” The public isn’t sure who to believe, and before long, the “sabotage” picture becomes muddled, with each side leveling similar claims. The accuracy (or lack thereof) gets lost.

    But we also know that Romney’s lying.


    Asked about the claims, Schieber himself explained this morning, “That is false, in a variety of ways. I don’t believe that it’s substantively true.”

    Jon Chait added that Romney is “just making stuff up.”

    First, and most importantly, at no point did anybody in the Obama administration ever believe that passing the Affordable Care Act would “slow down the recovery.” Nothing close to that is ever described. Romney presents the book as revealing that Obama believed health care reform, through its big gummint regulations, would harm the recovery, but cackling that he wanted to pass it out of some belief that Americans wouldn’t notice mass economic suffering. This bears no relationship to anything the book says.

    In the book, Noam Scheiber asked Larry Summers if he believed that the decision to pass health care reform cost Obama the chance to pass a second stimulus, and thus came at the cost of a faster recovery. Summers answered that he did not think the health care law prevented a second stimulus, but that even if that were the case, he would have supported it anyway.

    Not only is it false for Romney to say Obama “knowingly slowed down our recovery,” it’s not even true that Obama knowingly passed up a chance to accelerate the recovery. The notion that anybody in the administration believed that the health care law would actually slow down the recovery is complete fiction. It does not appear in the book anywhere and it’s pretty obviously untrue.

    So, once again, we have yet another example of Romney telling blatant lie. And the question, once again, is whether he’ll be called out for his mendacity, and whether voters and/or the media will care

  26. rikyrah says:

    EXCLUSIVE: GOP Election Supervisor Rebukes Gov. Scott, Refuses To Continue Voter Purge
    By Josh Israel on Jun 7, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Though Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)’s administration has now said it will not follow the Department of Justice’s order to end its voter roll purge, a Republican county elections supervisor’s spokeswoman told ThinkProgress she will not resume the purge effort.

    Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark (R) released a statement Friday saying that her office would not continue the purge:

    The accuracy of the voter registration database is of the utmost importance and we will continue our efforts to ensure the information is current. However, we will not use unreliable data.

    When asked whether the Scott administration’s decision to defy the Department of Justice order changed anything, Clark spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock told ThinkProgress “No. Ms. Clark’s position remains as stated [on Friday].”

    Pinellas County had initially purged 14 voters who the state suspected might not be citizens, but reinstated them when it became clear that Scott administration’s list of “sure-fire non-citizens” was riddled with a gigantic number of errors and the DOJ announced that the purge violated both the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act.

    Whitlock noted that Clark and other Florida elections supervisors had questioned “not only the accuracy of the information, but also the timing after learning that the state had the list of voters more than a year prior to distributing it.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments over at POU:


    Seriously, sorry for so many posts but it’s just amazing to watch the MSM sometimes.

    POLITICO headlines the news of Romney out raising POTUS by saying BOOM, lol. Then goes on to say how this caps a disappointing week for liberals, okay. Disappointing?

    Let’s look at the facts on the ground; WI is going blue this fall, PA is going blue this fall, OH and VA are going blue this fall. POTUS has multiple paths to 270 and Mitt Romney’s own team came out with a powerpoint that can (best case scenario with all their cash) get him to 260. But POTUS had a bad week. Then again, as PEW points out, every week for POTUS is a bad week. And when it’s not, they got to try to create one. (Which was what the blowjob “joke” story was; an attempt to kill the support of women for POTUS which has led to his lock on states Romney needs like VA.)

    I swear, China has nothing on the control Republicans have of the MSM. A great example is TPM which used to be a decent slightly left of center blog; now it’s trying to become POLITICO lite.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Bolton celebrates diplomatic ‘failure’ with Iran
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 11:27 AM EDT.

    Though John Bolton’s credibility as a prominent voice on foreign policy was shredded years ago, the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. is back — Mitt Romney has brought Bolton as a leading campaign surrogate and advisor.

    With that in mind, Bolton raised a few eyebrows this week with a Washington Times op-ed, celebrating the temporary halt to diplomatic talks with Iran. “Fortunately,” he wrote, “the recently concluded Baghdad talks between Iran and the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany (P-5+1) produced no substantive agreement.”

    Time’s Joe Klein, generally a mild-mannered political observer, described Bolton yesterday as a “nutjob,” and characterized his op-ed as “a cut below his usual tripe.”

    For one thing, any sane, sentient human being wants these talks to succeed, so that Iran makes it excessively plain, in an irrevocable and transparent fashion, that it will not pursue nuclear weapons…. For another thing, if Bolton knew anything — I mean the tiniest smidgeon — about these negotiations, he’d understand that what happened in Baghdad was a sign of success, not failure. The Iranians were hoping that empty gestures would be enough to split the international alliance–that the Russians and Chinese were desperate for an excuse to jump ship. Guess what? The Russians and Chinese held firm. No concessions were made. The Iranians have had to go back to the drawing board. […]

    The idea that Mitt Romney would associate himself with this thoughtless goofball is as feckless as his embrace of Donald Trump, and considerably more dangerous. Romney has taken flak, rightly, from Republican realists for his overly aggressive, ill-informed foreign policy statements. He is making a fool of himself on the issues most central to the commander-in-chief function of the presidency. He needs to ditch John Bolton, and fast.

    That last part is of particular interest. Bolton demanding a U.S. invasion of Iran is about as predictable as the sunrise. The fact, however, that this shameless warmonger has the ear of the Republicans’ presidential nominee makes his warmongering much harder to dismiss.


    Indeed, the Obama campaign released a statement from Michele Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the highest-ranking female in Pentagon history, who was also unimpressed with Bolton’s screed.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Face it, Black American Enthusiasm for President Obama is Dead

    As we gear up for the 2012 Presidential election, it’s interesting to see how the White House works to explain the fact that it’s been MIA for the black community. The last three years have been a relative wasteland when it comes to political and economic progress for African Americans, and even the most ardent Obama supporters are growing tired. They want to defend him at any cost, but he’s made it remarkably difficult.

    Policies and action that have come forth to help the gay community, women, immigrants and other groups have flown over the head of black America, like Jay-Z performing in a city where black people can’t afford to buy tickets. But similar to the Jay-Z concert, some of us love Obama anyway, standing outside the arena hoping to catch a glimpse of our hero as he gets inside his limousine. Our job is to lift the throne and watch it, but we dare not ask the throne to give anything back to us.

    When Cornel West lashes out at Obama, the president’s supporters still get angry at West, mostly out of habit. They go after West with principled ferocity, calling him nasty names and attempting to undermine his relevance as a scholar. By asking the president to do something for black America, Cornel has committed the mortal sin of bothering President Obama while he has more important things to do, like taking care of white people. Some get angry at West because they believe that he is wrong. But with each passing day, Obama supporters are getting angry at Cornel West because deep down, they know he might be right.

    Many former Obama enthusiasts are disappointed in Barack for giving them no ammunition to use for the battle. They grow weary of grabbing onto any morsel of hope that allows them to win heated debates on Facebook, email or around the water cooler. For some, defending President Obama is like demanding a better grade for your child when you know that your baby has been lazy in class. A picture on the cover of Essence Magazine doesn’t have the power that it once had when African Americans are losing their jobs, their homes and their freedom at a record pace.

    The Obama enthusiast is virtually dead. The number of black people running around with Obama t-shirts, putting signs in their front yard, and putting his picture on the wall next to Martin Luther King and Jesus has plummeted. Obama is not the iconic figure that he once was, no longer a rock star. Far fewer African Americans are begging the Obama campaign to let them join the team and we’re all too broke to give money. People like Obama, they respect him, and they are damn sure that he’s better than the Republicans. That’s about all they can say at this point.

  30. rikyrah says:

    In case you missed the memo: Obama has been fighting for black America
    by Rev. Al Sharpton | June 7, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    It’s easy to sit back and criticize. Pretty much anyone, anywhere with access to a computer can spew his/her thoughts on the day’s issues, or worse yet, create hysteria where none exists. When it comes to this president, we’ve watched an unfair number of attacks launched against him from the moment he decided to run for office and throughout his time at the helm. But while vitriol from the right is expected, it’s the petty denigration from supposed progressives and those seeking to make a name for themselves that is the most troubling and disappointing. The latest installment: a piece titled ‘Still Waiting For Our First Black President‘. I can’t think of anything more insulting.

    In 2008, we made history. Traditionally marginalized groups stood in line for hours in many cases just to cast a vote and participate in the process. And yes, we elected our first African American President. For people to claim that President Obama’s dedication to the black community is somehow in question, is not only an affront to our Commander-in-Chief’s personal integrity, but also an outright misrepresentation for what he has truly achieved while in office. Despite facing consistent hurdles virtually every step of the way – including conservative members of the House that have attempted to halt his every move – the President has created immense change, much to the benefit of the Black community. And it’s time we start recognizing it.

    First and foremost, let’s start with the economy. Inheriting some of the worst conditions since the Great Depression, President Obama’s commitment to passing a stimulus package did in fact avert further financial catastrophe as many economists have highlighted. As the first in the line of fire, people of color were and are directly impacted by his efforts to salvage jobs, housing and this economy. While many, like current Republican frontrunner Willard Mitt Romney, would have liked to see Detroit go bankrupt, the president insisted on saving the auto industry, once called ‘an engine for the African-American middle class’. Today, Detroit is seeing a resurgence, and GM and Chrysler are making record profits while hiring thousands of new workers across the country — many of them African-American.

    President Obama’s signature legislation, healthcare reform, was the first successful step in rectifying our fractured system. Creating drastic change that will allow millions of uninsured to receive health coverage (including some 7 million African-Americans) the president not only understands the importance of establishing change within health care, but he has ardently fought opposition every step of the way. Even at the possible cost of his own re-election, President Obama has remained steadfast in his resolve to reform health care so that millions no longer have to choose between feeding their families and going to see a doctor. Let’s not forget all the town hall interruptions, the yelling, the obstruction, the Tea Party and now the Supreme Court that may in fact strike down all of the president’s work to assist Americans unable to pay for health coverage.

    Attempts to argue that the President has done little to nothing with regards to the criminal justice system — another area of significant concern within the Black community – are unfounded. Recognizing the unjust sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine possession, the president signed the Fair Sentencing Act that for the first time altered this unjust racial discrepancy. As studies show, Whites, who were more likely to be arrested on powder cocaine offenses, received much lighter sentences, while Blacks received mandatory tough sentences for crack cocaine offenses. Reducing this blatant disparity between crack and powder cocaine possession from a 100-to-1 ratio to 18-to-1, the President is the first to pass this sort of legislation that directly acknowledges and challenges inequities within the justice system.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Case closed: the stimulus worked
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 10:43 AM EDT.

    Among Republicans, it’s taken as a given that President Obama’s Recovery Act — a.k.a., the “stimulus” — was a failed Keynesian experiment. Among many voters, it’s also widely assumed that the effort to get the economy back on track simply did not work.

    Among those who know what they’re talking about, however, there is no real doubt that the stimulus was a success. Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, reminded Congress of this inconvenient truth yesterday.

    Did the stimulus work? Certainly not according to Republicans, who regularly blast President Obama’s “failed” economic policies on the campaign trail. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called the $787 billion package of temporary tax cuts and spending hikes “the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history.”

    But on Wednesday, under questioning from skeptical Republicans, the director of the nonpartisan (and widely respected) Congressional Budget Office was emphatic about the value of the 2009 stimulus. And, he said, the vast majority of economists agree.

    In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 80 percent of economic experts agreed that, because of the stimulus, the U.S. unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been otherwise.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    June 06, 2012 4:21 PM

    Why Does the GOP Want to Raise Taxes on the Poor?
    By Ryan Cooper

    Citing the widely-repeated meme on the right that 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax (not to be confused with taxes in general), James Kwak has two theories:

    The first is that the modern Republican Party is funded by the very rich… The result is that the parties’ platforms now reflect the wishes of their major funders, not their median voters. This is why Republican presidential candidates spent the primary season competing to offer the most generous tax breaks to the rich—while Paul Ryan’s budget slashes Medicare, a program supported by the Tea Party rank and file. For the rich people who call the shots, it’s simply in their interest to lower taxes on the rich and raise them on the poor. End of story…
    The other, even-more-disturbing explanation, is that Republicans see the rich as worthy members of society (the “producers”) and the poor as a drain on society (the “takers”). In this warped moral universe, it isn’t enough that someone with a gross income of $10 million takes home $8.1 million while someone with a gross income of $20,000 takes home $19,000.* That’s called “punishing success,” so we should really increase taxes on the poor person so we can “reward success” by letting the rich person take home even more. This is why today’s conservatives have gone beyond the typical libertarian and supply-side arguments for lower taxes on the rich, and the campaign to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich has taken on such self-righteous tones.

    The most trafficked post ever on my own site continues to be this Graph of Doom look at the Newt Gingrich’s tax plan back when he was still running. It was stunning then and now how much the Republican primary candidates were tripping over each other to demonstrate how much they would give back to the ultra-rich. (See here for a full comparison of all the candidates.)

    But, as Kwak says, they really seem to be invested in this Randian stuff. It should also be a reminder how badly Republicans are likely to govern. There on the ups now not because of any actual argument, but because of 1) the continuing unemployment crisis and 2) their skill at organizing. Their actual policy ideas would be laughable if they didn’t have an actual chance of becoming law.

    There’s a halfway plausible argument that Romney would prefer to go big on Keynesian stimulus, like Nixon did, but when it comes to domestic policy a determined Congress holds the whip hand. Be warned.

  33. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney needs to tell his campaign staff to “SHOP AROUND” for better education and spelling skills

    Romney Campaign Misspells Reagan

  34. rikyrah says:

    What the Media is Missing: The Pivot to Romney’s MA Record is NOT a “Switch” from his Bain Record
    Monday, June 04, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 12:09 PM

    This morning, the President’s campaign is out with a new ad, pounding away at Mitt Romney’s dismal jobs record in Massachusetts in economic boom time:

    The $10 million swing-state ad buy, and the Obama campaign’s recent focus on Mitt Romney’s record in Massachusetts is being associated in the beltway media with a switch of sorts from the focus on Romney’s profit-on-the-backs-of-killed-jobs record at Bain, because some prominent Democrats have spoken out against going after private equity. This paragraph from the Washington Post’s report on the ad story is typical of the media response:

    The move comes after even some fellow Democrats balked at the president’s attack on Mr. Romney’s record as an equity investor. The Obama campaign on Monday released an ad called “Heard It Before” that focuses on Mr. Romney’s pledge to use his business experience to create jobs in Massachusetts.Except for a couple of things: First, the President never attacked Mitt Romney because he was a private equity investor. In fact, time and again, the president and his team have made it clear that private equity plays a vital role in our economy, and there is nothing illegal with what they do. The President attacked Mitt Romney’s ridiculous claim that his work in private equity was about job creation rather than profit generation – including, when needed, at the expense of jobs. Romney’s claim of being a job creator due to his private equity experience is so preposterous that even his former Bain colleagues called him on it.

    I would as a rhetorical question here as to why the media insists on following the Mitt Romney talking point frame the President’s campaign is attacking private equity rather than Romney’s claim of what the point of private equity is. But I think we all know the answer to that.

    Secondly, and much more importantly, the President’s campaign is not pulling away from dismantling Mitt Romney’s sorry claim to be a job creator at Bain. The new pivot to Massachusetts record is in fact a planned sequence, so far as I can see. The pivot to Romney’s MA record is simply the evidence Obama campaign is offering to their theory that Mitt Romney’s record with private equity (and vulture capitalism) did not prepare him to be a good governor, and it did not prepare him to be a good president. Let me see if I can’t lay out the sequence to make it easier to understand:

  35. rikyrah says:

    6/5/12 at 10:32 PM
    Scott Walker Survives in Wisconsin

    But with a narrow victory over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker will keep his job, at least for two more years, for two main reasons. First, he outspent his opponent eight to one, a staggering margin that is almost impossible to overcome. Second, large chunks of the swing vote bought into his procedural case against the recount, which is certainly not crazy. Exit polls showed the electorate favoring President Obama over Mitt Romney by a double-digit margin, suggesting the fundamental orientation of the state’s electorate has not changed much since 2008.

    The Obama-Romney exit poll finding is probably the most surprising data point to emerge from the mess in Wisconsin. Obama has maintained strong support among minorities, and fairly strong support among college-educated white voters, but his standing with white voters lacking a college degree has fallen even below its low 2008 levels. If there’s any region where Romney ought to be making inroads, it’s upper Midwest states, where Obama still relies on blue-collar voters. Michigan and, to a lesser degree, Ohio ought to be exceptions, owing to the special circumstances of the auto bailout. Wisconsin and Iowa are ground zero for states likely to fall to Romney. Tonight’s exit polls suggest he’s much farther away than many of us believed.

    But Walker’s win will certainly provide a blueprint for fellow Republicans. When they gain a majority, they can quickly move to not just wrest concessions from public sector unions but completely destroy them, which in turn eliminates one of the strongest sources of political organization for the Democratic Party. And whatever backlash develops, it’s probably not enough to outweigh the political benefit. Walker has pioneered a tactic that will likely become a staple of Republican governance. Fortune favors the bold.

  36. Ametia says:

    Angela Merkel’s fireside chat
    By Matt Miller, Published: June 6
    Can Angela Merkel give a good fireside chat? The fate of Europe may depend on it.

    On one level it seems surreal that even an epic mistake involving an abstract concept like “money” — a tool, like the euro, meant to facilitate exchange and serve as a store of value — can now inflict immense suffering on millions. Life’s savings lost, jobs scarce, firms shuttered, the prospects of a generation darkened. All through a storm not of their own making.

  37. rikyrah says:

    How Wisconsin Could Reset The Electoral College Map
    By Ronald Brownstein
    June 6, 2012 | 2:25 p.m.

    Scott Walker’s solid victory in Tuesday night’s Wisconsin recall election will likely increase the pressure on President Obama to maximize his progress on what could be called the “Colorado path” to 270 Electoral College votes.

    From a national perspective, Wisconsin’s most important message may be that Democrats continue to face enormous difficulty among blue-collar whites, but don’t yet face fatal defection from the cornerstones of their modern coalition, minorities, young people and white-collar whites, especially women. Walker’s survival adds more evidence that Obama and other Democrats face huge headwinds this November in states where those blue-collar whites dominate the electorate, as they do in Wisconsin. And that will increase the pressure on the president (and his party, in Congressional races) to maximize their gains this fall in states, like Colorado and Virginia, where an upscale-downscale coalition of white-collar whites and minorities can fashion a majority.

    In Walker’s 2010 victory, the Republican ran better among both non-college and college-educated whites than John McCain did against Obama in 2010. But the biggest shift away from the Democrats came among Wisconsin’s blue collar whites. In 2008, Obama carried 52 percent of Wisconsin whites without a college degree, one of his best showings anywhere. But in 2010, Tom Barrett, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee who lost the rematch to Walker last night, drew just 40 percent of them. Walker won a commanding 58 percent of non-college whites, up substantially from McCain’s 47 percent two years earlier.

    Walker’s surge was emblematic of the movement toward the GOP among working-class whites virtually everywhere in 2010: the GOP captured 63 percent of them in House races nationwide, according to the exit polls. On Tuesday, Walker suggested that red wave among blue-collar voters has not receded-and may not yet even have crested. According to exit poll results posted on CNN, Walker expanded his share of Wisconsin’s non-college white vote to 61 percent and pushed down Barrett to 39 percent. Barrett drew a respectable 44 percent of non-college white women (compared to 55 percent for Walker), but faced a full-on stampede from working class white men. A head turning 67 percent of white men without a college degree backed Walker; just 33 percent of them supported Barrett.

    But Barrett had more success in holding other segments of the electorate recently more receptive to Democrats. According to the exit poll, he held a 52 percent majority of voters under 30 (though Walker carried a majority of young whites, his advantage with them was much smaller than his edge with older whites). Analysis by ABC’s Gary Langer showed that Barrett also held 79 percent of all non-white voters (compared to just 20 percent for Walker). And Barrett split college whites almost evenly, winning 49 percent of them to 50 percent for Walker. The Democrat performed credibly among college-educated white men (at 43 percent to Walker’s 56 percent) and maintained a solid advantage among college-educated white women (winning 55 percent to Walker’s 45 percent.)

    With one exception, Barrett’s performance with each of those groups was similar to Obama’s national showing among them in 2008. Obama that year won a cumulative 80 percent of non-white voters (compared to Barrett’s 79), 42 percent of college-educated white men (compared to Barrett’s 43), and 52 percent of college-educated white women (compared to Barrett’s 55). The exception was whites under 30, who gave Obama a 54 percent majority of their 2008 votes, but tilted slightly toward Walker in Wisconsin last night.

    In other words, what I’ve called the “coalition of the ascendant” that elected Obama in 2008 largely held together for Barrett in 2011. If non-college whites, college-educated whites, and minorities all voted the same way they did in Wisconsin Tuesday night, but were present in the proportions they are likely to constitute in the November election, Obama would win nationally by about the same margin he did last time.

  38. rikyrah says:

    June 07, 2012 9:22 AM


    By Ed Kilgore

    Good to see that while I was so distracted the last week, some things didn’t change. Mitt Romney, for example, is still pursuing his maddening concern-troll tactic of identifying himself with Democrats allegedly unhappy or disappointed with this or that aspect of the Obama presidency. In fact, it’s gotten very weird: he’s taken to citing my TNR colleague Noam Scheiber’s recent book on the Obama White House and the economy as part of his argument that the president sacrificed unemployed Americans to his mad socialist scheme to implement a national health care reform initiative modeled largely on Mitt’s work in Massachusetts.

    Now Noam’s naturally having mixed feelings; there’s nothing quite like getting quoted by a presidential candidate to boost those book sales. But he’s made the rather important point that his book suggests Obama may have made a risky choice by devoting attention to health reform that might better have been spent pursuing economic policies Romney has called disastrous:

    [I]t’s worth noting that Romney and I have radically different prescriptions for how Obama might have spent his time had he bagged on health care. I argue that Obama should have focused monomaniacally on getting more stimulus; Romney argues that the stimulus was at best wasteful and at worst counterproductive.

    So Romney is engaging in a triple deception here: he’s still pretending to think Obama’s approach to health reform is a horrific departure from what right-thinking policymakers would prescribe, and now he’s pretending Obama’s pursuit of health reform prevented him from consummating an economic recovery plan he pretends to consider a job-killing disaster.

    The real distraction underway, of course, is Mitt’s own determined effort to avoid discussing his own current “ideas” for both health care (a reversal of reform and the implementation of a “market-based approach” that would eliminate affordable health insurance for upwards of 50 million Americans) and the economy (a combo platter of the worse policies of George W. Bush and Herbert Hoover). But it’s oddly comforting to know that in this turbulent world Mitt Romney can be counted on to remain as crooked as a dog’s hind leg in talking about the actual choices voters will face this November.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:13 AM ET, 06/07/2012
    The Morning Plum:
    Can Dems use Europe’s woes against GOP?
    By Greg Sargent

    Europe is about to become central to the 2012 campaign. Only this time, it will be Democrats who are using “European” as an epithet against Republicans.

    Bill Clinton got things going the other day by claiming a vote for Mitt Romney and Republicans is a vote for “European economic policy.” Top Democrats now say they will amplify this line of attack:

    “We have a laboratory experiment going on for what the Republicans want to do here, and that’s Europe,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. “Particularly England, because they had the equivalent of a Democratic government, and Cameron comes in with austerity, and now they’re in a recession.”
    Mr. Obama, Mr. Schumer said, “can point to England as what could happen if the Republicans win.”

    The reason this is interesting — and could prove important — is that it provides an opening for Dems to seriously engage the argument over the real relationship between government spending and the economy. In some key ways, Dems have ceded this argument for too long to the GOP, and have even used formulations and imagery that have reinforced conservative frames about how cutting government can spur growth.

    So if Dems are going to use Europe to broaden the argument against austerity, perhaps they’ll need to make a case for what government can do for the economy in a more concerted and direct way. It’s not an easy argument to make, given the public’s experience of the last few years and the understandable skepticism that has resulted about government’s role in creating jobs. But it’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:26 PM ET, 06/06/2012
    Into the fun house we go
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney, on the campaign trail, bashes Obama for not having a jobs plan:

    “[W]ith America in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, he hasn’t put forth a plan to get us working again,” Romney said Tuesday. “Now I know we’re getting close to an election so he’ll come out with one soon, but three and a half years later, we’re waiting.”

    Of course, as Jed Lewison notes, Obama proposed the American Jobs Act, much of which Republicans blocked, and continues to demand that Congress pass various components of it, such as investing in the nation’s infrastruture and sending federal aid to the states to staunch government job loss.

    Jed is right to point out the absurdity of this, but it gets worse. In the very same appearance, Romney went on to slam Obama for blaming Congress for our economic woes:

    “[h]e blames Congress, he goes after Congress, but we remember the president’s own party had a super majority in both houses for his first two years, so you can hardly blame Congress for the faults that he’s put in place himself, and so he’s casting about looking for someone to blame and just hasn’t been able to find anybody — whether it’s the ATM machines or the tsunami or Europe.”

    And what is Obama blaming Congress for, exactly? Why, for not passing … his jobs plan, which Romney says Obama lacks. So Obama is at fault for not having a jobs plan, and is simultaneously at fault for urging Congress to pass his jobs plan, which proves he’s passing the buck.

    And there you have it. This is a candidate who is proceeding from total confidence that swing voters will hold the president alone entirely responsible for the state of the economy, and will not factor in the basics of recent history or the GOP’s role in blocking Obama’s suggested policies to fix it as they make their decision this fall, even though those policies were broadly supported by the public. Romney’s calculation: Voters will not care if Obama had a job plan that was blocked by the opposition; voters only care about results; not being able to get your plan passed despite determined opposition is tantamount to not having a plan or not acting at all; it’s time to elect someone who will be able to get something done.

    And you know what? Romney may be right.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:45 PM ET, 06/06/2012
    Dems and labor grapple with Walker victory
    By Greg Sargent

    Scott Walker’s win yesterday is jumpstarting a conversation in Democratic and labor circles about how they should revamp their approach to better cope with the realities of the new ad spending landscape, which were driven home with unusual force yesterday.

    One question being asked today: Should labor and Dems rethink their assumption that much outside money is best spent on ground organizing, rather than going toe-to-toe with the right on the air?

    After all, until the returns came in showing Walker had won, it seemed clear that the ground operation labor and Dems had mounted was stellar. Yet it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the big ad spending advantage enjoyed by the right.

    But as you may recall, big donors are the left are putting together a plan to channel much of their money into grassroots organizing, voter registration, and boosting Democratic turnout.

    On a conference call today, AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka also suggested that a major rethink of strategy was not necessary. Trumka did say more money would need to be raised by labor for air wars in upcoming battles, but he said that wouldn’t be the focus.

    “Is our emphasis going to be raising money and doing ads? No,” Trumka said. “Our emphasis will be on educating and mobilizing workers on the union and non-union levels.”

    I asked Trumka if yesterday’s results bode badly for the strategy of outside groups to focus on organizing, which risks ceding the airwaves to the right, which is expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars this year. Trumka demurred. “This is a unique circumstance,” he said. “It’s a recall election. It’s only been done twice in history.”

    One top Democrat I spoke to earlier today, however, argued that the message of yesterday’s loss is that arguments are won on the air, and that organizing — while hugely important, of course — can’t change that basic fact about our politics today.

  42. rikyrah says:

    The jobs agenda slips down the memory hole
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 9:17 AM EDT.

    Many of us have become painfully accustomed to Mitt Romney making claims that aren’t true, but once in a while, his most egregious falsehoods strike a nerve. This week in Texas, for example, the Republican presidential nominee told a whopper that Andrew Sullivan called “a classic of total disingenuous crap.”

    “[W]ith America in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, [President Obama] hasn’t put forth a plan to get us working again,” Romney said Tuesday. “Now I know we’re getting close to an election so he’ll come out with one soon, but three and a half years later, we’re waiting.”

    Plenty of fine folks have noted the absurdity of the argument, but I’d like to echo their sentiments. When Romney says things like this, he’s obviously lying. There’s no gray area; it’s not a claim that’s partially true; it’s simply 100% false. It’s not even a close call.

    Obama put forward a plan to get us working again in 2009 — it’s known as the Recovery Act, or the “stimulus,” and it was extremely effective in turning the economy around (more on this later this morning). In 2011, as the recovery slowed, Obama put forward another plan — it was called the American Jobs Act and independent economists said the proposal would have created as many as 2 million jobs this year.

    Senate Republicans killed the jobs bill with a filibuster, while House Republicans refused to bring it to the floor for a vote, despite polls showing broad bipartisan support for the provisions in Obama’s plan.

    What’s more, while the American Jobs Act was unveiled in September, Obama has continued to present ideas for job creation, including his State of the Union address and his economic “to-do list” for Congress. He reminded policymakers about his plans on Friday and again on Saturday.

    “Three and a half years later, we’re waiting”? Romney must know that’s not true.


    The GOP candidate can’t feign ignorance and say his bogus argument in Texas is the result of confusion; Romney has given detailed critiques of the president’s jobs plans. He’s even endorsed some of the ideas in Obama’s proposals.

    Romney doesn’t have to like Obama’s jobs plans, but he shouldn’t get away with brazenly lying about their existence.

  43. rikyrah says:

    As a Black person, with our community’s history with the law enforcement, I find Willard’s time impersonating a State Trooper to be disturbing. As a community, we have enough trouble with the law profiling us at will. Now, some spoiled punk ass is cruising the streets to see how he can bother citizens?

  44. rikyrah says:

    Failures From Occupy to Wisconsin: An Inconvenient Truth for the Purist Left
    Wednesday, June 06, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 2:19 PM

    The beating that the Left took last night in Wisconsin can’t be sugar-coated. Scott Walker survived his recall election by a good seven point margin, and all but one of the other Republicans did as well.

    From the perspective of the Left media (though I find it a little amusing to see the same Left media outlets that took money from Scott Walker complaining about this), the blame for the loss is being put squarely on the shoulder of Citizens United and Walker’s 8-to-1 money advantage, and there is no doubt that cash coming through the Citizens-United-opened the floodgates is drowning our democracy. Nonetheless, hanging it all on Citizens United ignores a crucial cause for this defacing loss: the ideologue Left themselves.

    Ask yourself: how did Scott Walker and radicals like him come to power in the first place? This is how:

    Elections have consequences. The consequence by the name of Scott Walker (and others like him) is intricately the effect of people like Ed Schultz actively disengaging Democratic voters in 2010. As we found out last night, voters aren’t particularly fond of helping you because you don’t like lying in the bed you made for yourself in the middle of a term.

    While Citizens United is harmful, exit polling indicates that most of the money spent on ads since Democrats had a nominee was wasted, as 90% of voters made up their minds before May 1. The recall election in Wisconsin was from the beginning a failure of convincing voters that this is an extraordinary circumstance that requires a governor to be recalled – even in the midst of the signature gathering drive, not a failure due to money disadvantage on the Democratic side.

    Which brings us to the next inconvenient truth: voters don’t take recall votes lightly, and they, by and large, do not believe that public officials, once elected, should be recalled from office simply for policies they disagree with (that’s what regular elections and re-elections are for). In fact, 60% of WI voters believe that recalls are only appropriate for official misconduct, and an additional 10% believe that it’s never appropriate. Here’s how those votes broke down (Barrett on the right, Walker on the left).

    • Ametia says:

      Glad TPV did this post. I don’t have the patience to point out to BIG EDDIE SCHULTZ that he and his ilk need to have a seat and STFU about PBO not going to WI.


  45. rikyrah says:

    John Travolta Had a Six-Year Fling with His Former Pilot
    Candace Bagwell, Black America Web
    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Media sources reveal that actor John Travolta had a six-year fling with his former pilot Doug Gotterba.

    Travolta’s ex-secretary Joan Edwards claims that she became aware of this relationship while she worked for the actor.

    “That’s how I met Doug. We both worked for John at the same time. Doug is a wonderful guy and we are still good friends. He told me that John was gay and they had a sexual relationship,” Edwards said.

    Gotterba’s ex-boyfriend also reported that the pilot was very open about his fling with Travolta during their relationship.

    “Doug said John was constantly grabbing at his genital area, but he put up with John’s sexual advances because working for him was ‘lucrative,’ ” Gotterba’s ex-boyfriend said.

    Gotterba has not acknowledged the romantic relationship with Travolta. However, he did admit that he worked for him during the 1980s.

    Gotterba’s ex-boyfriend says that the relationship between Travolta and the pilot ended when Gotterba could no longer put up with the actor’s body odor and weight gain.

    “John became very heavy between movies. Doug recalled him ‘huge’ and said it turned him off,” Gotterba’s ex-boyfriend said.

    Travolta is currently being sued for making unsolicited sexual advances to two male massage therapists.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama speaks on new book ‘American Grown,’ encourages us to reconnect with family and community

    A peek inside the White House kitchen garden

    It is always a privilege to be invited to the White House to cover a story, but rare are those occasions when the first lady of the United States invites a handful of female journalists to dine privately with her on fresh-from-the-beehive honey and granny smith apples at picnic tables decorated with yellow checkered gingham, sitting on the South Lawn behind the White House.

    TheGrio was the only African-American news site to be invited to such an outing yesterday with first lady Michelle Obama, along with some of the nation’s leading health and female-focused web sites. Mrs. Obama looked wonderful in a linen, light blue and white French twill dress, her hair almost shoulder length now, gently parted on the side, her arms more fabulous than ever. Her presence was gentle and welcoming as we gathered to discuss her new book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America.

    The new book, published by Random House, is more than just your typical “coffee table” book. It is the first lady’s debut book as an author, making her now the second member of the Obama family to become a published writer. (Her husband, President Obama, is an award winning New York Times bestselling author.) When asked how her husband felt about the finished product, Michelle said, “He is really proud. He was surprised at how substantive the book was in addition to all of the wonderful pictures. He felt it was very readable.”

    As for her daughters, Malia and Sasha, Mrs. Obama said they probably had the most impact on how she shaped the book, because the girls like picture-based books that capture their attention. “They were the first after me to see the book. And I knew it was good, because, first of all, the design of it as a coffee table book is really inspired by them. We have a lot of coffee table books, because they can’t watch a lot of TV. So if we have downtime and we’re sitting in a spot where there are books — they love to go through these. And it’s usually the pictures that draw them in. So I took that cue and thought, ‘We need to make it colorful, we need to make it something that a kid would pick up and thumb through and think, wow, this is kind of good.’ So when I gave them the book, it happened. You saw Malia going, ‘Oh, this is nice, Mom, it’s a good book.’ And then ten minutes later, she still had it, and she was still thumbing through it, and then she started reading it.”

    But this book is so much more than just a tome with vivid color pictures and images of gardens, featuring first lady Obama with Americans from every corner of our land. In American Grown, Mrs. Obama invites you inside the White House kitchen garden and shares the inspiring story of its creation, from the first planting to the latest harvest. Readers get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at every season of the garden’s growth, with striking original photographs that bring its story to life. There are unique recipes created by White House chefs, made with ingredients freshly picked from the White House garden originally, but that you can make at home. The helpful text also instructs readers through tips from the White House garden team regarding how to plant your own backyard, school or community plot.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Young and Black Voters Turn Out in Wisconsin Despite Suppression Efforts

    It may not feel like there’s anything positive to make out of the unsuccessful bid to recall Gov. Scott Walker in yesterday’s Wisconsin elections, but there were hints of optimism. Young voters and African-American voters did more than their part to show up, according to exit polls and early reports, despite significant efforts to confuse and challenge them from groups that profess to be fighting voter fraud.

    In Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s seven-point loss to Walker, voters aged 18-29 increased their slice of the electorate from 15 percent in 2010 to 16 percent yesterday. Black voters came out mob-deep. John Nichols, who’s been covering Wisconsin inside-out for The Nation, reported, “Turnout was up dramatically, so much so that on election day election clerks had to be shifted to predominantly African-American wards.”

    This was mainly true in Racine and Milwaukee, where young people and people of color have seen enough murder and lack of educational and economic opportunity to drive them to the polls, recall or not.

    “We had several hundred youth out there showing that they are invested in their future, that they do understand the politics of today and that if folks are willing to listen to us we can help create meaningful change,” said the deputy director of the League of Young Voters, Carey Jenkins, who simply goes by “C. J.” He noted that in the last six weeks, League youth knocked on over 110,000 doors. “It felt like 2008 all over again.” A Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinal graph shows the shift in youth votes between 2010 and 2012:

  48. rikyrah says:

    Florida’s Scott defends voter purge scheme
    By Steve Benen – Thu Jun 7, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Following up on Rachel’s segment last night, the Justice Department demanded last week that Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) halt its voter-purge efforts, arguing that process has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act and violated the National Voter Registration Act. Yesterday, the Scott administration responded.

    Gov. Rick Scott’s election’s chief on Wednesday defiantly refused a federal demand to stop purging non-citizens from Florida’s voter rolls, intensifying an election-year confrontation with President Barack Obama’s administration as each side accuses the other of breaking federal law.

    In a sharply worded letter, Scott’s administration claimed the Department of Justice doesn’t understand two federal voting laws at the heart of the dispute and was protecting potentially illegal voters more than legal ones.

    Florida also accused another federal agency, the Department of Homeland Security, of violating the law by denying Florida access to a federal citizenship database.

    MSNBC published the Scott administration’s response here.

    So, where do things stand as of this morning? The Justice Department believes the Republican voter purge in Florida is violating the law. Rick Scott and his team don’t care what the Justice Department believes, effectively dared federal officials to take the matter to court, and said the Obama administration is violating the law by refusing to help with the voter purge.

    Remember, at issue here is the Florida GOP’s effort to purge non-citizens from the voting rolls — an effort that has relied on bad data and had the effect of targeting thousands of eligible citizens. Scott says the voter-suppression scheme, launched just five months before the election, is necessary to prevent voter fraud, but not only has he cast far too wide a net, voter fraud is practically a myth in the state.

    There is, however, a catch. They’re called Florida’s county election supervisors.


    As Rachel explained last night:

    “Here is a wild card, though: Rick Scott’s administration can’t actually directly kick voters off the rolls. They’re not in charge of the rolls. All they can do is send purge lists to the counties, to county election supervisors, and tell the people who work at the county level that they’re supposed to kick people off the rolls.

    “It is up to the county, to the county officials, to actually do the purging, because they’re responsible for elections in their counties. And lately the county officials in Florida are not much in a mood for what the state is telling them to do. On Friday, local elections officials in Florida announced that they would be discontinuing the state directed voter purge, because they found the state’s data to be flawed. Oh, and also, there was that whole thing where the Justice Department said what the state’s doing is illegal.

    “The president of the state’s association of supervisors of elections told the Palm Bach Post on Friday that the Justice Department’s letter and mistakes that the county elections officials had found in the state’s purge list, frankly, made the purge undoable: ‘There are just too many variables with this entire process at this time for supervisors to continue.’

    “Rick Scott can thumb his nose at the Justice Department, but he cannot force local elections officials in Florida to carry out his voter purge.”

    Finally, it’s also worth noting that Rick Scott’s voter-suppression efforts included harsh new restrictions on voter-registration drives. Last week, a federal judge struck down those restrictions, and as a result, the League of Women Voters has renewed its election-year efforts.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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