Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Jazz Week!

Happy HUMP day, Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying Jazz week.

Wiki:  Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century,[3] Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.

His father, Dr. Miles Henry Davis, was a dentist. In 1927 the family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois. They also owned a substantial ranch in northern Arkansas, where Davis learned to ride horses as a boy.

Davis’ mother, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis, wanted her son to learn the piano; she was a capable blues pianist but kept this fact hidden from her son. His musical studies began at 13, when his father gave him a trumpet and arranged lessons with local musician Elwood Buchanan. Davis later suggested that his father’s instrument choice was made largely to irk his wife, who disliked the trumpet’s sound. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato; he was reported to have slapped Davis’ knuckles every time he started using heavy vibrato.[4] Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. He once remarked on its importance to him, saying, “I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much bass. Just right in the middle. If I can’t get that sound I can’t play anything.”[5] Clark Terry was another important early influence.[citation needed]

By age 16, Davis was a member of the music society and playing professionally when not at school. At 17, he spent a year playing in Eddie Randle’s band, the Blue Devils. During this time, Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band, then passing through town, but Davis’ mother insisted that he finish his final year of high school. He graduated from East St. Louis Lincoln High School in 1944.

In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band visited East St. Louis. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were members of the band, and Davis was brought in on third trumpet for a couple of weeks because the regular player, Buddy Anderson, was out sick. Even after this experience, once Eckstine’s band left town, Davis’ parents were still keen for him to continue formal academic studies.

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82 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Jazz Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Tonight: First Lady Michelle Obama On Food Network’s ‘Restaurant: Impossible’

    Let’s Move! campaign and school gardening spotlighted…
    First Lady Michelle Obama will just be finishing up a White House dinner this evening honoring Israel’s President Shimon Peres when Food Network premieres an episode of Restaurant: Impossible that spotlights her Let’s Move! campaign and school gardening. Hosted by British chef Robert Irvine, the outing was filmed last March. Click here for a full post about the show.(Above: Mrs. Obama with Irvine)

    Tune in at 10:00 PM ET/9:00 central.

    Irvine helped rebuild the Anacostia-area headquarters of DC non-profit Horton’s Kids, and also filmed a gardening segment with Mrs. Obama at nearby Kipp Academy, a public charter school. Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden, a family farm in Huron, Ohio, makes a guest appearance during the gardening segment. The White House spotlighted the farm during the State Dinner for China in January of 2011, noting that the chefs had used vegetables and micro greens for the “quintessentially American” menu.

  2. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney’s Health Care Plan Would Not Prohibit Discrimination Based On Pre-Existing Conditions
    Sam Stein
    Posted: 06/13/2012 6:05 pm Updated: 06/13/2012 6:29 pm

    WASHINGTON — In a speech in Orlando on Tuesday, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney outlined once again what he would do to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law, which he has pledged to throw out if elected. In a follow-up statement to The Huffington Post, his campaign clarified that he would not tackle one of the central issues contained in the Affordable Care Act — the prohibition of discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

    The approach Romney described centers around proposals to return much of the decision-making to the states while allowing for greater portability of coverage. He has long disavowed federalizing the individual mandate that he passed while governor of Massachusetts, which requires the uninsured to purchase coverage or face a penalty. And so attention has turned to the most closely related provision, a ban on discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions.

  3. Ametia says:

    Jerry Sandusky trial: Victim 10 says ex-coach told him ‘I’d never see my family again’ – UPDATE
    Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 12:09 PM

    Another alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky says the former Penn State University assistant football coach pinned him down and performed oral sex on him, then told him he’d never see his family again if he told anyone.

    The man identified as “Victim 10” by prosecutors told the jury at Sandusky’s sex abuse trial today in Bellefonte, Pa., that the two were wrestling in the basement of Sandusky’s State College, Pa., home when the ex-coach got on top of him, pulled his shorts down and began performing a sex act.

    The man, now 25, had been in foster care at the time of the alleged assault. He says Sandusky then told him “I’d never see my family again” if he told anyone what happened.

    Under cross-examination, the man testified he was the camp roommate of another Sandusky accuser.

    Later, Sandusky offered a more conciliatory tone.

    “He apologized for saying that,” the witness said. “He told me he didn’t mean it and that he loved me.”

    I heard Sandusky’s attorney is going to make Sandusky the victim in this filthy mess. SMGDH

  4. rikyrah says:

    June 13, 2012 2:42 PM

    Likely Voters and GOTV

    By Ed Kilgore

    In the midst of all the triumphalist talk we’re now hearing from Republicans about the trajectory of the presidential race, you will often hear references to polls showing Obama ahead being tainted because they include registered, not “likely,” voters. Indeed, that’s the standard argument for paying attention to Rasmussen polls that otherwise look pretty plainly like pro-Republican outliers: Raz deploys a “likely voter screen” way out from elections, generally considered a bad idea by public opinion experts.

    But other than supplying an excuse for placing a thumb on the scale for every Republican candidate running for offices from president to dogcatcher, what do we really know about likelihood to vote? TNR’s Nate Cohn has a useful primer on the subject, and about what the Obama campaign is doing to boost its own constituencies’ likelihood to vote:

    The difference between likely and registered voter polls is largely attributable to changes in the racial/ethnic composition of the electorate, with young and non-white voters constituting a smaller share of likely voters than registered voters. Gallup’s tracking poll shows that 81 percent of white voters say they will “definitely vote,” compared with just 71 percent of non-white voters. Similarly, Gallup finds that 88 percent of Republicans say they will definitely vote, more than the 82 percent of Democrats who respond similarly. Just 58 percent of 18-29 year old voters say they will definitely vote—a number unchanged since April, when 59 percent said they would definitely vote. Armed with data from two Monmouth University polls, Harry Enten has similar findings.
    While these numbers might be sobering for Democrats, the heart of the campaign season is still months away and likely voter polls in June might not provide a good indication of the eventual electorate. Even over the last month, Gallup’s weekly tracking poll has shown Hispanic voters becoming more energized, with 66 percent of Hispanics saying they will “definitely” vote, up from 58 percent in April. No other demographic group has shown similar movement….
    [T]he likely voter models suggest that the Obama campaign can’t count on repeating their historic performance with non-white voters. In this context, the Obama campaign’s decision to invest enormous sums in a sophisticated ground operation is unsurprising. In addition to potentially prodding Obama supporters who currently seem unlikely to vote, a strong ground operation can help take advantage of demographic changes by adding newly registered voters who can help compensate for diminished enthusiasm and lower turnout rates among Obama ‘08 supporters. While it’s hard to say whether Obama’s vaunted ground operation will replicate ‘08 turnout among young and non-white voters, there’s no question that the Obama campaign is willing to invest the money necessary to find out.

    The bottom line is that the whole point to GOTV investments is to boost “likely voter” rates. Different elements of the electorate have different historical rates, but they don’t come down from Mount Sinai on stone tablets. That’s why most pollsters don’t bother deploying a screen right now, and why they are right to wait until much closer to November to begin making assumptions about the shape of the electorate.

  5. Ametia says:


    Romney Touts Presidential Salary Plan That Was Literally A Saturday Night Live Skit

    Romney Touts Presidential Salary Plan That Was Literally A Saturday Night Live Skit
    By Ian Millhiser on Jun 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    In an interview with conservative radio host Neal Boortz, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney floated an unusual profit-making opportunity for himself if he becomes president — paying himself a higher salary if he performs well in the White House. In Romney’s words, “I do believe in linking my incentives and my commitment to the accomplishment of specific goals . . . . I wish we had that happen throughout government — where people recognized they are not going to get rewarded in substantial ways unless they are able to achieve the objectives that they were elected to carry out.”

    This is not a new proposal, however. It was actually proposed in 1992 by billionaire presidential candidate Ross Perot — or at least by someone pretending to be Perot. In a 1992 Saturday Night Live skit, Perot impersonator Dana Carvey outlined something very similar to the Romney plan for presidential compensation:

    watch the skit here:

  6. Ametia says:

    Sheldon Adelson is giving $10 million to Mitt Romney super PAC
    Posted by Rachel Weiner and Chris Cillizza at 12:00 PM ET, 06/13/2012

    Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped prop up House speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential primary campaign for months, is now using his massive wealth to help former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

    According to two sources familiar with the donation, Adelson is giving $10 million to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Under Federal Election Commission law, Restore Our Future is free to accept donations of unlimited amounts from single donors but must reveal the identity of those givers.

    It’s the biggest single donation ever made to the group.

    Restore Our Future, which is run by a handful of former Romney aides and confidantes, raised and spent more than $41 million during the Republican presidential primary season — money spent largely on negative television ads that went after the likes of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

    During the primary, Adelson and his family gave more than $20 million to a super PAC supporting Gingrich. But even then, sources close to the billionaire said he was comfortable with Romney as the eventual nominee.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012
    Not So Fast And Absolutely Furious
    Posted by Zandar
    The impeachment of President Obama by proxy through the GOP assault on Attorney General Eric Holder just got deadly serious.
    CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

    This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” investigation.

    The Justice Department has maintained it has cooperated fully with the congressional investigation, turning over tens of thousands of documents and having Holder testify to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

    However, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says the Justice Department has refused to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents. Those include materials created after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department wrote a letter to Congress saying no gunwalking had occurred. The Justice Department later retracted the denial.

    “The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics,” Issa wrote in an announcement of the vote to be released shortly. It will reveal the vote is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.

    Issa goes on to say that by releasing these documents, he’ll stand down. But on a party line, the vote would pass and then go to the full House, and after that would pass and go to the US Attorney’s office in DC where presumably, Holder would be served with the Contempt of Congress charge officially. The GOP is clearly thinking that if things get that far and this being an election year, Holder would have to step aside.

    Not that I think he should. “Nakedly and brazenly political” doesn’t begin to describe things here. If we’re seriously getting to the point where Issa will hold the AG in contempt for the answers he’s getting not being the ones he wants to hear, Congress is broken far beyond the 9% approval rating failure. Should the House pass a contempt resolution, they would have to sue Holder. It would be a disaster across the board.

    We’ll see how this shakes out, but this seems like extortion to me. Issa’s playing hardball here and he’s risking serious “partisan witch hunt” blowback. Then again, they despise Obama so much it doesn’t matter to them.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Birther Kreep closing in on Peed for judgeship
    By Laura Conaway – Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:49 PM EDT.

    California is getting closer to having a birther for a judge.

    In the funny-names rodeo that is judicial race between Garland Peed and Gary Kreep, leading birther attorney Kreep emerged with a edge of 56 votes after the first round of vote-counting last week, with 135,000 absentee votes left to count. Kreep then fell behind by 601 votes as counting continued. The two are competing for a Superior Court judgeship in San Diego County.

    Now, with 17,700 remaining, Kreep has close the gap again — to 79 votes. With his chances looking better, Kreep found himself on local KPBS talking about his birther views and the birther lawsuit he filed. From KPBS:

    If Kreep is elected, he does not think his position on these issues will affect his credibility.

    “Representing clients has nothing to do with handing out justice,” he said. “Judges make law every day, and judges need to be open minded.”

    “If I am elected, my role as a judge is to uphold the United States Constitution, then the California Constitution, then the laws of the state,” he said. “My personal views really have nothing to do with how I rule on cases, I have to follow the law, that’s what I’m required to do.”

    “My world view is based on the Bible, is based on the Constitution,” he added. “If you read the Founding Fathers’ documents, they based the Constitution on the Bible, you look at the Declaration of Independence, they’re not talking about some esoteric thing, they’re talking about God.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    June 12, 2012
    Romney is doing what has never been done–here
    I’m not trying to be strident or outrageous, but it has come to this. In at least the spirit of mid-20th-century totalitarian propaganda techniques, the Romney campaign is all in.

    We suspected as much when they unabashedly and later unapologetically lifted an Obama video from the 2008 campaign, in which the Democratic candidate repeated (attribution, clipped) the Republican candidate’s self-troubled admission. The really stunning dimension of that Romney ad wasn’t its naked misrepresentation–this is, after all, politics–but the Romney campaign’s absolute refusal to concede its absolute untruth.

    When pressed on the ad’s scurrility, Romney’s campaign spokesmen and Romney himself would just grin their wicked, knowing little grins–the black-hearted grin of the grifter, of the political thug, of the frustrated, unaccomplished novelist. George W. Bush reinvented Reality; now Mitt Romney will reinvent Truth–it is whatever Mitt Romney says it is, although it’s even more repugnantly opportunistic than that; it is, plainly, whatever 50.1 percent of the electorate is willing to believe.

    To truly be a first-rate propagandist of world-class scurrility, however, one must repeat one’s naked transgressions against both reality and truth. You know, just to show the bleeding-heart bastards and media watchdogs and goo-goo types that one not only intends to play rough, but without any sign of correction or contrition or rehabilitation. Ever.

    In short, bullying thugs double-down, which is precisely what the Romney campaign has done in this sickening ad, which purports a shocking presidential reversal on the merits of government employment. Here I’ll just leave the ad’s description at that; the ad itself is too preposterous to bother with elaboration.

    Doubtless the ad is aimed strictly at lowest-information voters. No one who has read a newspaper or watched any news in the last few months could absorb it without experiencing utter incredulity. And the more knowledgeable among us might be tempted to say–as I said above–well, this is, after all, politics. Everybody does it.

    Yet there is something qualitatively different here. No one has ever “done it” like the Romney campaign; even throughout the heretofore most vicious presidential campaigns of, say, 1800 or 1828 or 1860, there were at least some elements of truthful reality in the wildest charges of monarchism or militarism and adulterous bigamy or violently unwanted government encroachment.

    But this is new. What the Romney campaign’s doing is staggeringly, venomously fresh. No one has ever done it before–not in America, anyway.

  10. rikyrah says:

    June 12, 2012
    The irony of Jeb Bush

    “Hardball” just featured a segment in which Jeb Bush’s recent remarks–takedowns, actually–on the current and future condition of the GOP were discussed by host Chris Matthews and guests Michael Steele and Ron Reagan with a certain mystification. In brief: What’s up with this?

    To me it seems all too clear, there’s nothing mystifying about it. Jeb Bush is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, which is bound to be an open nomination after Mitt Romney gets his butt kicked this November; an event Mr. Bush altogether anticipates–indeed, is counting on. Bush envisions a return to political normalcy, to paraphrase another GOPer of bygone stature, and Jeb Bush is both pushing that transformation along and hoping to capitalize on it, to seize it, at just the right moment.

    The irony. His brother destroyed the Grand Old Party. He may save it.

    • Ametia says:

      I don’t care if Jeb Bush turned three shades of BLACK, I don’t ever want to see another Bush in the Oval Officeas POTUS.

  11. rikyrah says:

    June 13, 2012
    ‘Bright flight’

    The GOP seems to have less of an immigration problem than an emigration problem, which I would characterize as “bright flight.” Much as middle-class whites took flight from inner cities’ “color problem” in the postwar era and well beyond, both chronologically and geographically, intelligent Republicans are fleeing their party, philosophically and formally, at what appears to be an accelerating rate. (Just to be clear, I am in no way equating the latter’s intelligence with the former’s bigotry.)

    I should emphasize appears (it’s the ineradicable skeptic in me). Perhaps it has merely become fashionable for the independently conservative-minded to go public with their loss of faith by hammering their political theses in explosions of alienation on their pious brethren’s doors. I can’t say, for sure. This particular flight is less amenable to precise quantification than, say, the 1960s’ variety. Nonetheless something is happening; it is an observable, empirical, and utterly delightful phenomenon.

    The latest émigré is one Michael Stafford, a lawyer, Delawarean and now former officer of his state party. “Today … I am a registered Republican no longer,” he announced yesterday, having had quite enough of the GOP’s “dangerous and virulent form of political rabies,” “Its fevered hallucinations involv[ing] threats from imaginary communists and socialists,” evil conspiracy theories about climate change, “notorious birther[ism],” and “indefensible” economic policies.

    For Stafford, the final straw: “few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them…. Perhaps, one day, a reformed and responsible Republican Party will reemerge.” Stafford is Jeb Bush’s base; small for now, but snowballing.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Cafe Owner After Hosting Romney Event: “I felt like it was a mocking”

    Dianne Bauer opened up her cafe to Mitt Romney and his campaign for a small round table discussion Friday morning before his speech at Bayliss Park.

    This isn’t the first politician that has asked Bauer to use the Main Street Cafe in downtown Council Bluffs.

    “With Rick Perry he made a point of stopping in the kitchen before he ever went to the other side to address the public and the media to thank us and introduce himself to us,” said Bauer. “That’s what I thought we would get here, just normal. This was all out, like you’d think Obama was here.”

    Bauer’s issues with the campaigns staffers started the night before when they started staging the cafe for the event.

    She described many of their demeanors as “arrogant”.

    She says her cafe was not treated with the respect it deserved.

    “Stuff got broke. My table cloths they just got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room,”

    She says the boom truck she allowed the campaign to borrow to gain access to the roof now has an 8-inch gauge in it that she’ll have to take the time to repair.

    The campaign told her to send them an itemized list of anything that was broken, and they would pay for it, but Bauer says that won’t fix everything.

    “My dad’s picture, an emblem my dad gave me, it got broke. Those aren’t things you can replace,”

    Bauer says she never even got to meet the candidate she closed half of her restaurant down for.

    “Every time we tried to go out or look, secret service was right there,” she said.

    She was complaining about the event to a friend when reporters overheard her and posted about it online.

    That’s when Romney called Bauer himself. She says he explained that it was just a misunderstanding that she did not get to meet him, but the phone call didn’t smooth things over for her.

    “He responded ‘well, I’m sorry your table cloths got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room’ and I took it as mocking,” she said. “We’re the ones he’s wanting to get the votes from, you’d think we would have been treated better.”

    She says the whole experience left her wondering.

    “With how he treated me, is that how he’s going to treat others? You know, if he gets in office is he going to be that way to us little people?”

    But one thing is for sure, she won’t be letting any more politicians through her cafe doors.

    KPTM did reach out to the Romney campaign spokesperson for Iowa, but emails stopped coming after telling him what the story was about.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Senator Cornyn, Eric Holder Is Not Your Nigger

    I have had enough of all these holier than thou cracker-ass cracker Republicans who think the Attorney General of the motherfucking United States of America has nothing better to do than come to Congress every week like he has been summoned to the motherfucking principal’s office for another round of in-school suspension.

    Eric Holder is not your nigger.

    Three years of this professional level of assholery from you and the rest of the right wing crackheads who call themselves Senator and Congresscritter has damned the future of your grandchildren, Senator Cornyn, but you and the rest of the “send the nigger lawyer packing by any means necessary” peanut gallery you pal around with can’t see that.

    Eric Holder is not your nigger.

    He is not going to play the role of the servile coon you and your ilk fantasize about, not going to bow or scrape or say “yassa Boss”, and he damn sure isn’t going to smile in your face and tell you what you want to hear. This man has testified NINE MOTHERFUCKING TIMES ON THE SAME MOTHERFUCKING TOPIC and you chump change, “wish this were Whitewater” motherfuckers want to act like Holder is holding out on you?

    Eric Holder is not your nigger.

    He is a grown ass man who has probably forgotten more shit than you and the top five members of your staff combined can remember, but you wouldn’t know that, because you can’t believe that even now black people who rise to the top in America have to know their shit backwards and forwards. Unfortunately for you, the shit he knows backwards and forwards is the law of the land, the same one you have to obey like everybody else. So what is this about, really? Because from where I sit, and white folks with good sense sit, and every Latino in the country who is not motherfucking Cuban sits, this looks like you can’t make the president do what you want, so you will abuse your subpoena authority with the next ranking black man in the Obama administration.

    Eric Holder is not your nigger.

    If a bomb were to drop on the headquarters of the RNC and the bubonic plague devoured you and all your wrong wing GOP Know Nothings in the Senate and the House tomorrow it would be too late, because you and your ilk have fucked your grandchildren and your great grandchildren’s futures as surely as if you and your co conspirators were all named Jerry Sandusky.

    How dare you and your compatriots paralyze our nation in the name of political retribution and then proclaim that you are the only ones who are equipped to save the republic? The entire country is going to pay for these last three years of Republican obstructionism OF EVEN NORMAL EVERYDAY GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS for decades to come. Eric Holder is the nation’s top cop. He has more important things to do than come down to Congress every month to indulge your white supremacy fetish.

    If you don’t get anything else from this missive, Senator Cornyn, or whichever member of your lily-livered staff reads this, all you need to remember is one motherfucking fact – Eric Holder is not your nigger.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS! “Unfortunately for you, the shit he knows backwards and forwards is the law of the land, the same one you have to obey like everybody else. So what is this about, really? Because from where I sit, and white folks with good sense sit, and every Latino in the country who is not motherfucking Cuban sits, this looks like you can’t make the president do what you want, so you will abuse your subpoena authority with the next ranking black man in the Obama administration.

      ATTORNEY Eric Holder Is Not Your Nigger!

  14. rikyrah says:

    Senator John Cornyn demands AG Holder resign, Holder gives epic smack-down response

    Yesterday, during his ninth appearance before Congress regarding the “Fast and Furious” debacle (read more about that HERE), Senator John Cornyn, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Attorney General Eric Holder to resign, saying he hoped President Obama would replace him…

    So after Coryn’s bit, Holder’s responds

    Holder: With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it’s almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy, but, I’ll simply leave it at that…

    If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I’m the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called “Wide Receiver” and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, “walked” in that instance.

    I’m also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I’m also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn’t happen ever again.

    So I don’t have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that in fact is not the case.

    And in terms of, you know, what is it that we have turned over to Congress in this regard, let’s put something on the record here. … We have collected data from 240 custodians, we have processed millions of electronic records, looked at over 140,000 documents, turned over 7,600 pages. Over the course of 46 separate productions, we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed.

    And I’ve also said…to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns… I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters … and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making. And that is the kind of thing that, you know, you and and your side, I guess, have the ability to do if that’s what you want to do. It is the kind of thing that I think turns people off about Washington. While we have very serious problems, we still have this political gamesmanship.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Real Reagan
    by BooMan
    Wed Jun 13th, 2012 at 11:07:13 AM EST

    A lot of ink has been spilled lately, on both sides of the aisle, on the subject of Ronald Reagan and his proper place on the ideological spectrum. Liberals like to point out his many heresies against conservatism. Moderate Republicans, feeling unwelcome in the modern GOP, like to do the same. Conservative Republicans tend to simply ignore the details of his record in favor of exalting him as the ideal political leader. Even as the Bushes are being pushed out of the conservative movement (and, therefore, the Republican Party), Reagan remains above reproach.
    My theory on this is that Reagan was the first conservative to fight his way from the kiddie table to the big table with all the adults. Prior to his ascent in 1980, conservatives weren’t taken seriously and didn’t get any respect. By the standards of the time, Reagan’s presidency was unprecedented in its conservatism. But for his entire presidency he had to deal with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives and for the last two years he had to deal with a Democratically-controlled Senate, too. If he had enjoyed a more sympathetic and cooperative Congress, his record would be much more conservative than it is. What Reagan did for conservatism, more than anything else, was place conservatives in positions of authority where they could for the first time have real influence. A good example of how this paid off later on is Antonin Scalia’s record on the Supreme Court. But there are many other examples.

    I think it’s fair to say that Reagan wasn’t as mean-spirited as later conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, or Eric Cantor. He wasn’t hateful like Republican mouthpieces Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. But he was more conservative than his record. And he had some idiosyncrasies, too, like his aversion to nuclear weapons and his relaxed attitude about undocumented Mexican workers, that didn’t mesh with conservative orthodoxy.

    Those type of issues present a more compelling argument that Reagan wouldn’t be welcome in the modern GOP than his willingness to compromise on taxes and social policy with a Democratic Congress.

    Personally, I think Reagan would be concerned about the tone of the modern GOP more than with their radical vision for smaller government. In many respects, I think the present-day radicals are carrying forth a program that Reagan self-consciously started. On the other hand, I don’t think he would approve of the way the GOP has taken obstruction to the point that it threatens the economic reputation of the country. I believe he would have considered it the Republicans’ responsibility to work with the president, just as Tip O’Neill’s Democrats worked with him to shore up Social Security, do immigration reform, and to rewrite the tax code.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012


    James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps has been conducting focus groups of swing voters in swing states; a new report from the firm says that voters in the focus groups don’t really see signs of an economic recovery, which means they’re struggling to decide whether to vote for Obama again.

    That’s a message the Obama campaign needs to hear. But the concern trolls who’ve told Obama that he should never bring up Bain Capital, and that he should have rushed into the loving embrace of Simpson and Bowles, need to listen up as well.

    First, on those allegedly awful, unseemly Bain attacks:

    In the sustained flood of advertising, the one thing that stands out is how strong the reactions to Mitt Romney are– particularly in Ohio — where he has been defined as hurting workers in his work at Bain….

    Romney is damaged heading into this race….

    Respondents immediately volunteer that Romney is rich, out of touch, and in the pocket for Wall Street and big finance. That was true before we introduced any information — reflecting the outside advertising on Bain that was airing at the time of the groups in Ohio.

    [Romney will enact] policies that keep himself and his class where they are. There’s a certain – I think there’s a certain level when you get so high up the business where you’re making so much money that you don’t need where you just lose some of your humanity and you just don’t care. (Non-college-educated woman, Columbus, OH)….

    There’s quote after quote like this, all about Romney’s wealth. And these focus-groupers aren’t MSNBC-watching, coast-dwelling Ivy Leaguers — they’re people struggling to stay in the middle class in Pennsylvania and Ohio, many of them not college educated. They’re responding to … class warfare.

    And when Carville and Greenberg lay more class warfare on them, they get angrier:

    We gave respondents a fact sheet about Mitt Romney and asked them to indicate which items were most significant for them, both positive and negative. The top six responses were all negative and all focused on Mitt Romney’s personal wealth, Wall Street connections, and cavalier attitude toward those less fortunate. The single most important issue for these voters was that Romney holds millions in an offshore account.

    Oh, and all those Simpson-Bowles cuts that people like Tom Friedman think Obama should have embraced a couple of years ago, and should try to embrace now, because it would guarantee his election?

  17. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 06/13/2012
    Yup: Romney’s plan would indeed cut billions from cops, firefighters and teachers
    By Greg Sargent

    Yesterday Mitt Romney claimed that it was “ completely absurd” of the Obama campaign to argue that he favors cutbacks in cops, firefighters and teachers. “The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen,” Romney said, adding that they were paid by states and localities.

    What’s getting lost in the back and forth here is that Romney’s actual economic plan would, in fact, cut billions of dollars in federal money that goes to cops, firefighters, and teachers — perhaps more than $10 billion a year, in fact.

    This is the conclusion of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which analyzed Romney’s plan through the prism of the debate over public workers at my request.

    As Michael McAuliff reported yesterday, despite Romney’s claim, the federal government does give billions of dollars to states and localities through programs like Title 1, the COPS program, FEMA and others — which pay for first responders and teachers.

    Romney’s plan calls for huge federal spending cuts, though it isn’t specific about which programs would get cut. But a reasonable set of assumptions for analyzing it shows Romney’s plan would cut deeply into those billions.

    I asked the CBPP — which is liberal leaning but nonpartisan — to take a look at how Romney’s plan would impact federal money to teachers and first responders. Romney has called for a cap of federal spending at 20 percent of GDP while increasing defense spending to 4 percent of GDP. CBPP has concluded that this would, of necessity, require cuts of at least 29 percent in non-defense spending other than Social Security in 2016, and deeper cuts in later years.

    How would that impact cops, firefighters, and teachers?

    It isn’t easy to calculate this, for two reasons. First, Romney’s plan doesn’t specify cuts. And second, of all the federal cash that does go to programs that pay first responders and teachers, you can’t be certain how much goes directly into their pockets.

    But CBPP analyst Richard Kogan took a stab at trying to figure it out. Kogan estimates, a total of around $40 billion per year goes to the aforementioned federal programs funding those jobs. If you apply that 29 percent cut the Romney plan necessitates, evenly across the board, Kogan calculates, that comes to nearly $12 billion in cuts to those programs.

    How many jobs are we talking about? Unknown.

    Again, this is a rough calculation — one that’s necessitated by the fact that Romney’s plan doesn’t specify cuts. But the simple fact is that Romney’s plans would almost certainly cut deeply in those areas. If it didn’t, it would have to cut even more deeply elsewhere, such as Medicare, veterans benefits or the FBI.

    All of which is to say that this isn’t just an academic disagreement or a matter of political positioning or rhetoric. It is a real world contrast. A reasonable analysis suggests that Romney’s plan really would cut very deeply into federal money funding jobs of cops, firefighters, and teachers. Obama’s plan would add billions for those jobs.

  18. rikyrah says:

    What Keeps The Romneyites Up At Nights

    Here’s a question: if Barack Obama had to go through a brutal process of defending the doctrines, sermons and ideology of a church he merely attended, why is Mitt Romney exempted from explaining the doctrines and statements and ideology of a church he was an actual leading official in? I’ve been doing my best to read up on Romney’s life and career and the more you read, the more you agree with one of his fellow worshippers who told the New York Times that Mormonism is

    at the center of who he really is, if you scrape everything else off.

    You could argue, as I do, that politics and religion are separate spheres and that a candidate’s faith should not be a major issue for anyone. But Romney is running as the leader of a party whose modern incarnation is defined by an insistence that religion and politics are inseparable, and Romney’s runner-up memorably described president Kennedy’s strict affirmation of political secularism as puke-worthy. So there really is no solid defense against an examination of Romney’s faith and how it formed him – or questioning some of his faith’s stranger doctrines. The media thus far have trod gingerly around the subject for good reason. Anti-Mormon bigotry, like racism, has been part of this country for a long while and in many ways, an election between a black man and a Mormon is a stupendous achievement for toleration in America.

    And yet. There must be a way to tell a story about Romney’s Mormonism that is illustrative and helpful in understanding a man we could put in the Oval Office rather than bigoted. In my view, this should be a priority for Romney, and he should soon give a speech, like Obama’s bright shining moment after the Jeremiah Wright onslaught. But I fear he won’t, because any day he is talking aout Mormonism rather than the economy is a lost day. But if Romney thinks Mormonism will somehow not be a factor in this election, he’s deluding himself. A new paper suggests a surge in anti-Mormon sentiment in the past few years, and a very stable and resilient anti-Mormon bias among evangelicals – who didn’t give Romney a single majority in any of the primary states. Money quote from Buzzfeed’s summary:

  19. Ametia says:

    What Jamie Dimon’s hearing should focus on

    The New Republic) When Jamie Dimon testifies in the Senate on Wednesday about JP Morgan’s $3 billion trading loss, the focus will almost certainly be on the speculative aspect of the trade. After all, the financial reform bill Congress passed in 2010 — specifically, the provision known as the Volcker Rule — was supposed to stop banks from making risky bets with their own money, at least if they benefit from government support. And JP Morgan gets lots of government support.
    But as Roger Lowenstein pointed out in a recent Bloomberg column, the congressional scrutiny would be more properly trained on the conventional part of the JP Morgan trade — the part that was garden-variety hedging, which the Volcker Rule allows, and whose praises mega-bankers never tire of singing.
    The JP Morgan trade worked roughly as follows: The company made billions of dollars in loans to companies in Europe. Then, to hedge against the risk that those loans went bad — you may have heard that Europe is a dicey place to do business these days — JP Morgan bought insurance through a kind of derivative known as a credit default swap (CDS). The CDS would pay JP Morgan a pile of cash if the loans (actually, an index that tracked the performance of those loans) started taking on water.
    That was the first part of the trade. The second part came once JP Morgan decided Europe wasn’t such a scary place after all. At that point it started selling insurance to all the bed-wetters still nervous about Europe (suckers!). This of course left the bank with lots of exposure to the continent, and, well, that turned out to be a lousy idea in the end.

  20. Ametia says:


    CNN anchor John King’s program, John King, USA will end its run in the cable news network’s 6 p.m. slot. King will be replaced at the end of June with The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer which will expand from two to three hours.

    King will stay with CNN to cover the 2012 presidential election and will remain the network’s “Top campaign correspondent,” according to a CNN spokesperson. According to the New York Times, King will finish out the month and then transition to covering the campaign full time.

    “John King, USA” was started in the spring of 2010 as a showcase for Mr. King and for CNN’s political news-gathering. It struggled to pick up a loyal audience, mirroring CNN’s problems across the board in relatively quiet news periods. The news channel is under pressure from its parent company, Time Warner, to improve its programming and ratings.

  21. Ametia says:

    Romney’s $25 Billion Voucher Plan Puts Public Schools at Risk

    For Mitt Romney, the love that dare not speak its name is “vouchers.” Two weeks after he delivered a major address on education policy in which he never mentioned the V word, the New York Times detailed Romney’s proposal to divert $25 billion in taxpayer dollars to religious, private and for-profit schools. But voters don’t have to imagine what that plan, an old GOP twofer designed to subsidize Christian institutions while bludgeoning Democratic-friendly teachers unions, will do to American public education. As the frightening results in states like Louisiana, Indiana, Georgia and Arizona show, the Republican voucher dream is fast becoming America’s nightmare present.

    Governor Romney has been an advocate of so-called “school choice” since his first run for the White House. In 2007, Romney suggested American parents should not only be encouraged to abandon the public schools; they should be rewarded for it with a tax break for home schooling their kids:

    “I also believe parents who are teaching their kids at home, homeschoolers, deserve a break, and I’ve asked for a tax credit to help parents in their homes with the cost of being an at-home teacher.”

  22. Ametia says:

    Romney Mocks Stimulus For Saving Jobs
    Posted on 06/12/2012 at 3:35 pm by JM Ashby

    Mitt Romney really hates the stimulus but he loves holding fundraisers at the homes of men who benefited from the stimulus.

    Mitt Romney spent this morning in Florida trashing the stimulus, saying the Obama administration “borrowed almost a trillion dollars but used it to protect government.”

    But just hours after the speech, Romney boarded a plane to Tennessee to fundraise with a beneficiary of Obama’s stimulus funds.

    Romney will spend Tuesday night at a $10,000-a-head fundraiser at the house of Orrin H Ingram II, Chairman of the Ingram Barge Company — which received $130,000 in federal stimulus money. Ingram Barge Company is a private company, not a government entity

  23. Ametia says:

    Here’s Great piece in the NY Times: Andrew Rosenthal “Underlying Mr. Romney’s comments is the assumption that government employment is not really employment at all, and also that public-sector workers are somehow in a different category from all other taxpayers

  24. Ametia says:

    Don’t Think We Need Firefighters? We Need Firefighters.
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 3:01PM

    I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but, contra Willard Romney, I think both Colorado and New Mexico could use some more firefighters right now.

    That is certainly the opinion of the Colorado congressional delegation, which has dispatched a letter to the federal government appealing for more help. The delegation includes Rep. Scott Tipton (R -3d CD), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-4th CD), Rep, Mike (Stuck In A Groove) Coffman (R-6th CD).

    (As it happens, Gardner’s district is the one most directly affected by the wildfires.)

    Needless to say, but we’ll say it anyway, all three of these folks voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would cut the daylights out of things like federal firefighting programs, which already are pretty imperiled. Here, for example, is Tipton praising the Ryan budget, and here’s Gardner doing the same. Meanwhile, some folks came to talk to Coffman about it, and he was unavailable. Undoubtedly, he was off somewhere, standing by a statement, until the squirrels came and covered him with leaves. Small government, you see, is the way we will all get our golden unicorns.

    Read more:

  25. Ametia says:

    Annie-Rose Strasser
    Think Progress / News Analysis
    Published: Wednesday 13 June 2012

    Pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson announced today that they are dropping their membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

    Johnson and Johnson has been facing mounting pressure following a push from Color of Change and other progressive groups to leave the conservative agenda-setting group.

    ALEC is responsible for crafting voter suppression legislation that has been used in state houses across the country, and the “Stand Your Ground” law that originally protected Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. Johnson and Johnson is the latest in a huge wave of groups leaving ALEC.

    Other groups that have dropped ALEC include: Walmart,, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft,Wendy’s, Mars, Inc., Arizona Public Service, the National Board for Professional Teaching StandardsScantron, The National Association of Charter School Authorizers, Kaplan, Procter & Gamble, Yum! Brands, five Pennsylvania legislators, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Reed Elsevier,American Traffic Solutions, Intuit, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  26. rikyrah says:

    EXCLUSIVE: GOP Election Supervisor Blasts Florida’s Lawsuit Against Feds, Won’t Restart Purge Regardless Of Outcome
    By Josh Israel on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Even if Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) administration prevails in its new lawsuit against the Obama administration, his efforts to purge voters before November’s election still faces a major obstacle — the county elections supervisors, including 30 Republicans, who have the ultimate authority over the voting rolls.

    Republican Ann McFall, county supervisor of elections for Volusia County, told ThinkProgress that the lawsuit does not have her support and she will not resume purging voters before the elections, regardless of the suit’s outcome:

    No I do not support the lawsuit. It is [about] helping the Governor and Secretary of State improve their image. I am not doing any further voter purge until after Nov 2012.

    After every one of Flordia’s 67 Democratic, Republican, and Independent county elections supervisors joined together last week to stop Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) error-riddled and likely illegal attempt to remove what his administration said were non-citizen voters from the voter rolls, Scott is pursuing a new tactic in his voter suppression campaign. Yesterday, he announced he will sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to get more accurate immigration data than the wildly-inaccurate earlier list his administration had originally claimed contained “sure-fire” non-citizens. A DHS representative told the Orlando Sentinel last week that even their list would not provide Florida with an accurate picture of who is and is not a U.S. citizen.

    McFall’s fellow Republican Jerry Holland, supervisor of elections for Duval County, told ThinkProgress that he does support the Scott administration’s lawsuit. But even he did not commit to resuming the purge, saying he would do “what ever the law requires and permits.”

    Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher (D) told ThinkProgress that she too opposes the lawsuit and would only begin a purge based on it if the courts rule that doing so would not violate the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act, or the Voting Rights Act.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Kevin Drum

    Times Have Changed, It’s Okay to Lie

    .Last month David Corn noted that Mitt Romney was claiming that “government” would control half the economy once Obamacare was up and running. He’s still saying it, and today Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post gives it a score of four Pinocchios and says Romney should drop it. “No amount of tweaking will get it right,” he says.

    That’s true: this particular claim is untweakable. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom twists himself in knots trying to justify it, but it doesn’t do any good. There’s just no way to pretend there’s any real basis for Romney’s claim.

    It also doesn’t matter. Politicians have increasingly discovered over the past couple of decades that even on a national stage you can lie pretty blatantly and pay no price since the mainstream media, trapped in its culture of objectivity, won’t really call you on it, limiting themselves to fact checking pieces like Kessler’s buried on an inside page. And because virtually nobody except political junkies ever sees this stuff, it doesn’t hurt their campaigns at all.

    This discovery — that you can tell almost any lie without paying a price — is, in some sense, an example of national politics becoming a lot more like local politics. Blatant lying has always been routine in local races that don’t get a lot of press coverage, but the brighter media spotlight kept at least a bit of a lid on it in higher-profile races. However, with the splintering of the mainstream national media in recent years and the rise of the web and social media, national politics is local again. And being called on your lies by the occasional earnest fact checker now matters about as much as it does when a local columnist for a weekly newspaper calls you on it.

    It takes a while for people to realize that norms have changed and to take advantage of it. Lots of politicians are probably still reluctant to lie too brazenly because they’re still working under the old rules, where the national media might call you on it and it might actually make a difference. The smart ones have figured out that this isn’t how it works anymore. Romney’s one of the smart ones.

  28. rikyrah says:

    President Obama’s mythical black voter problem — in three charts

    A new North Carolina poll conducted by the automated pollster (and Democratic affiliated) Public Policy Polling has set the political world on its head — suggested that not only has former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made up significant ground on President Obama in the swing state but that the incumbent is losing roughly one in every five black voters in the Tarheel State.

    Here’s the problem: There’s no evidence — outside of this single PPP poll — that Obama is suffering any significant erosion among African American voters.

    The story of Obama’s continued — and sustained — strength in the black community can be told in three charts, all of which examine Washington Post-ABC News polling conducted over the first three-plus years of Obama’s presidency. (HUGE thanks to the Post polling team for building out these charts; do yourself a favor and follow them on Twitter @postpolls.)

    The first chart details President Obama’s job approval rating among African Americans — by quarter — since coming into office. While there have been slight dips over the years, his approval rating has never gone below 85 percent and currently stands at 90 percent, just six percent lower than in Obama’s first three months on office.–in-three-charts/2012/06/13/gJQAiFe3ZV_blog.html

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 06/13/2012
    Anatomy of a phony Romney talking point
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    Let’s take a closer look at a new, ridiculous Mitt Romney talking point: that Barack Obama is out of touch because he doesn’t understand how the Affordable Care Act is (supposedly) destroying small businesses. It’s worth diving inside these things sometimes to see just how easily they can be constructed from less than nothing, and how the press can magnify that nonsense if they aren’t careful.

    First, here’s what Romney said, as reported without any fact-checking at all by Michael Barbaro over at the New York Times.

    “[Obama] said he didn’t understand that Obamacare was hurting small business,” Mr. Romney said. “You have to scratch your head about that.”

    So what’s it all about?

    Barack Obama did a series of interviews with local TV this week. One of the broadcasters, from KTIV-TV in Iowa, relayed to the president a story that a local company had closed “as a direct result” of health care reform. That’s the point that Obama looked totally puzzled, and said that it was “gonna be hard to explain” given that the Affordable Care Act hasn’t done anything to small businesses so far (although Obama neglected to mention that ACA has, in fact, given small businesses tax credits if they do offer health coverage).

    But I’m leaving something out — something also left out of not only Romney’s speech, but also the Times story about it. If you click through and read the KTIV story, you’ll see that the jobs weren’t lost at all; they were moved from Iowa to Wisconsin. The reporter told this to Obama in the interview, which is, I think, the reason that Obama’s reaction was basically: “Huh?”

    Never mind that it’s highly unlikely that any factory has closed down because the company is given the option to receive tax credits if they offer health care. Never mind, even, the unlikely possibility that real-life companies are reacting to false rumors about what horrors Obamacare might unleash on them in the future by shedding jobs now. What we have here is a claim that a company relocated from Iowa to Wisconsin because of unspecified “direct” effects of the health law. Obama is puzzled because the story he’s been told can’t possibly be true.

    Oh, it’s possible that the company in question claimed that Obamacare was responsible. But I’ll put heavy, heavy money on the proposition that this move was made for simple, boring business reasons that had nothing at all to do with anything coming out of Washington.

    (For more debunking of the rest of Mitt Romney’s talking point, including the Luntz poll he’s trotting out and why you shouldn’t trust it, see the excellent ABC News factcheck by Shushannah Walshe and Devin Dwyer that Greg linked to earlier today).

    You know that Mitt Romney isn’t going to drop the story just because it’s been reported to be phony. But maybe next time the New York Times, at least, will be a little more careful about explaining which stuff the candidates say is true and which is nonsense.

  30. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney thinks we should cut jobs for teachers, firefighters, and police officers. Join people across the country in sharing stories about why that’s not good for the economy or our communities.New from the Obama Campaign:

  31. Ametia says:

    7 Plutocrats That Bankrolled the GOP Primary — and What They Want in Return
    June 9, 2012
    Our elections have replaced horse racing as the sport of the nation’s most obscenely wealthy.

    Leave it to Bill Moyers, one of America’s most useful citizens, to sum up our country’s present political plight in a succinct metaphor: “Our elections have replaced horse racing as the sport of kings. These kings are multibillionaire, corporate moguls who by divine right–not of God, but [of the SuprCitizens United decision–are now buying politicians like so much pricey horseflesh.”

    Pricey, indeed. In its disgraceful, democracy-crushing judicial edict of January 2010, the Court took the big advantage that America’s corporate elite already had in politics–and super-sized it. This is the first presidential election to be run under the rigged rules invented by the Court’s five-man corporatist majority, and even though voting day is months away, we can already see the results of the thuggish power they bestowed on the moneyed few.
    Supreme Court’s.–_and_what_they_want_in_return/?page=entire

  32. rikyrah says:

    Rogers not invited to Kenwood wedding that includes Obamas
    June 13, 2012 12:34AM

    The president is going.

    The first lady is going.

    First daughters Sasha and Malia will be there.

    But Desiree Rogers, the first African-American to become the White House Social Secretary, has been dissed.

    ◆Translation: Rogers has not been invited to the backyard Kenwood wedding this weekend for the daughter of the ultimate White House insider/Rogers’ former “closer-than-glue” best friend, White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.

    “It’s so sad. Desiree and Valerie were once so close; family close,” said a friend of Rogers, who is now CEO of Johnson Publishing — one of the nation’s most prominent African-American Media companies.

    Rogers, who saw her White House career careen into disarray for being “too glamorous” and promoting her version of “The Obama Brand” during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, has once again run into a sharp elbow.

    “Desiree is not going and has not been invited,” said a top Sneed source.

    Apparently Desiree Rogers’ brand is no longer sought.

    Is that lack of brand recognition coming from Jarrett or did the nudge come from Michelle Obama, who felt there could be only one diva in the White House?

    Sneed is told it was Valerie Jarrett who was given marching orders by Michelle to get Rogers to resign; White House strategist David Axelrod also wanted her gone.

  33. Ametia says:

    Over the past hundred years, as union membership declined, the share of wealth of the top 10% skyrocketed.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Northern Virginia Edge Could Be Pivotal for Obama
    By Scott Conroy – June 13, 2012

    For President Obama’s organizational machine in Virginia, Tuesday’s jam-packed statewide schedule was typical.

    There was a voter registration drive outside a Bonnie Raitt concert in Charlottesville, an afternoon phone bank at the Hopewell library just south of Richmond, and a volunteer recruitment meeting at a private home in this distant suburb of Washington, D.C.

    All told, the Obama campaign listed on its website 62 separate events throughout the Commonwealth that day.

    Recent weeks have seen regular openings of new Obama field offices across Virginia (there are now 15), and the dozens of paid staffers working out of the campaign headquarters in Richmond and elsewhere around the state have become increasingly visible.

    In what both sides regard as one of the election’s three or four most critical swing states, Obama has opened up a slim yet significant three-point lead in the latest RCP average of Virginia polls. Though he shows strength in other regions of the state, the president largely has the expansive D.C. suburbs to thank for that advantage.

    In Fairfax, the Old Dominion’s most populous county, Obama bested John McCain by 61 percent to 39 percent in his seven-point Virginia victory in 2008. While he may not have to win the county by that wide a margin this time around, he is counting on Northern Virginia’s increasing diversity and its large federal workforce to provide a critical edge once again.

    “The economic influence of the federal government is probably outsized here,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s suburban 11th District, where residents are among the wealthiest in the nation. “We [also] look a lot more like the face of the country as a whole than ever before, and what’s interesting about that is it tends to favor Democratic candidates.”

    Anyone passing through Northern Virginia over the last few years has noticed an increase in Asian and Hispanic restaurants and other minority-owned businesses that compete for space with the McMansions. Also apparent is the tangled web of freeways that connect — and symbolize — the sprawl that keeps extending farther and farther beyond the nation’s capital.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Former Giffords aide Ron Barber wins special election for her seat
    Posted by Aaron Blake at 12:40 AM ET, 06/13/2012

    Democrat Ron Barber, a former aide to Gabrielle Giffords who was injured in the shooting that nearly took the ex-Arizona congresswoman’s life, won the special election to replace her on Tuesday.

    With 66 percent of precincts reporting, Barber led Republican Jesse Kelly 53 percent to 45 percent. The AP has called the race for Barber.

    The contest was the last congressional special election before November’s general election, leaving both sides to mine the results for clues about what might work in November and who might have momentum on their side.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Obama campaign’s rough patch concerns some Democrats
    By Karen Tumulty, Published: June 12
    The Washington Post

    Is it time for Democrats to panic?

    That’s what a growing number of party loyalists are wondering, amid a rough couple of weeks in which President Obama and his political operation have been buffeted by bad economic news, their own gaffes and signs that the presumed Republican nominee is gaining strength.

    Obama’s team insists that it is unfazed by the recent bumps in the political road.

    By November, “it’s going to be about: Who do I trust more in [his] approach to the debt? Who do I trust more to create middle-class jobs? Who do I trust more to create an energy future? Who do I trust more as it relates to Afghanistan?” said David Plouffe, who served as Obama’s campaign manager four years ago and is managing political strategy in the White House this time around.

    “That’s what’s going to decide the election, not the contretemps of the moment,” he said in an interview. “We’re very cognizant of that.”

    That kind of unflappability is a hallmark of the Obama political operation — and was a crucial ingredient in its success in 2008. But some Democratic veterans are wondering whether the reelection campaign, run by the same tight-knit group that led it four years ago, is equipped for what lies ahead.

    “The bad thing is, there is no new thinking in that circle,” said one longtime operative in Democratic presidential campaigns who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

    Eight other prominent Democratic strategists interviewed shared that view, describing Obama’s team as resistant to advice and assistance from those who are not part of its core. All of them spoke on the condition of anonymity as well.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:57 AM ET, 06/13/2012
    The Morning Plum:
    Can Obama turn focus on to Romney?
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s becoming clearer and clearer that one of the primary challenges facing Obama’s reelection campaign is figuring out a way to turn the focus on to Mitt Romney. The GOP challenger seems to be enjoying a presumption of economic competence from swing voters that suggests one of two possibilities.

    Either voters are already very open to the premise of Romney’s candidacy, i.e., that his corporate experience can be applied to turning around a whole country, or frustration with the current pace of the recovery is so severe that voters are willing to entertain any alternative without focusing too closely on the details.

    Today’s new Post polling drives home the depth of Obama’s challenge on this front. It finds that Obama and Romney are roughly tied when it comes to positive views of their economic plans — while more view Obama’s negatively.

    The poll shows that 43 percent of voters view Obama’s economic plans favorably, versus 40 percent who say the same about Romney’s. Meanwhile, negative views of Obama’s plans are slightly more solidified; 51 percent view Obama’s plans unfavorably versus 46 percent who view Romney’s unfavorably.

    The same dynamic is present among independents. The two men are roughly tied, with 38 percent viewing Obama’s plans favorably and 35 percent saying the same about Romney’s. But far more view Obama’s plans unfavorably (54) than say the same about Romney’s (47).

    The question is whether these numbers reflect anything more than a referendum on the current state of the economy. But here’s the bad news for Obama: Even if these numbers don’t represent voter impressions of the two men’s actual plans, swing voters may very well cast their vote as a referendum on the status quo, as opposed to making a choice between two sets of policies, values, and visions for the future, as the Obama team hopes they will.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Video: 15 seconds of Michigan democracy
    By Laura Conaway – Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:02 AM EDT.

    Michigan Republicans passed three bills yesterday to make voting harder. In particular, the legislation makes it harder to run a voter-registration drive.

    As has been their custom this year, House Republicans passed the legislation under immediate effect over the objections of the minority Democrats. That means the legislation could become law this year instead of waiting until 2013. Using immediate effect, Republicans could make it harder to vote in the November election. Under the state Constitution, immediate effect requires a two-thirds super-majority — in the House, that’s 73 votes.

    Democratic Representative Jeff Irwin forwarded the cellphone video above from one of the votes, on Senate Bill 0754. As you can see from the House website, it passed with 66 votes, well shy of 73.

    In the video, Irwin says, you can see Democrats trying three different ways to get recognized for a roll call vote on the motion for immediate effect, which would make Republicans prove they have enough votes. The state Constitution requires a roll call vote, if requested by one-fifth of the members present (22 if everyone’s there). In the video, the Democratic floor leader is standing at the podium in a purple jacket with her hand raised, asking to be recognized. Several members of the Democratic caucus are standing with their hands raised. And off to the side, another Democrat — I think the woman in the rose-colored jacket — is trying to hand the Republican Speaker a letter from the caucus requesting a roll call vote.

    Seconds later, purporting to have counted 73 yes votes in a room that passed the measure with only 66, the Speaker gavels in immediate effect. The legislation now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

    Also today in Michigan, the House is expected to vote on sweeping anti-abortion legislation. We’ll keep you posted.

  39. rikyrah says:

    June 13, 2012 06:00 AM
    Mittens Doesn’t Seem To Understand Why We Have A Problem With Pre-Existing Conditions
    By Susie Madrak

    This is where having a one-percenter running for president really begins to show the differences. Willard is saying he would replace Obamacare with a law that would make sure those with preexisting conditions can still get coverage. He’s apparently unaware we already have such a law (HIPAA), which permits you to lose or change jobs without jeopardizing your ability to maintain coverage, because he’s never lived in that world and seems to have paid little or no attention to how the rest of us live.

    So he’s offering to fix something that doesn’t need fixing. The problem is not keeping the coverage: The problem is the cost of the coverage, which insurers are free to jack into the stratosphere on the basis of your preexisting condition. “What’s the big deal, can’t you just write a check?” Just another example of what it’s like to live on Mt. Olympus:

    While the Affordable Care Act would prevent insurers from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition beginning in 2014, Romney’s provision is far more limited — and would only protect Americans who already have coverage.

    As The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn has pointed out, the federal government already forbids insurers from denying coverage to the continuously covered through the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But the measure has been seen as a failure because “there is no limit on what insurers can charge under HIPAA” and the law does “little to regulate the content of coverage, leaving the door open to insurers to offer bare-bones policies. In addition, HIPAA notice requirements are weak, making it hard for people to know about this protection.”

    Romney could offer to bolster the existing law, but given his general laissez-faire approach to health care and opposition to “government interference” in the private sector, it’s unlikely that he would want to impose new regulations on insurers. Without a mandate for everyone to purchase coverage, the protection would also attract sicker people who need care and increase premiums for all enrollees. In other words, it’s a poor solution that will leave millions still searching for coverage.

  40. rikyrah says:

    found this tweet:

    @Fedup_Mom @rolandsmartin

    If WI was a repudiation of PBO was AZ a validation of him and/or repudiation of Jan Brewer?! You know so damn much right?!

  41. Ametia says:

    Graham breaks free from Norquist pledge?
    By Sarah Muller
    Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:27 PM EDT

    Cracks are beginning to show in Grover Norquist’s once rock-solid hold over the GOP on taxes. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged his members of his party to consider eliminating tax deductions and be more flexible in the interest of paying down the country’s mountain of debt.

    “When you eliminate a deduction, it’s OK with me to use some of that money to get us out of debt. That’s where I disagree with the pledge,” Graham said in an interview with ABC News on Tuesday. Paging Norquist on the set…

    “When you talk about eliminating deductions and tax credits for the few, at the expense of the many, I think over time the Republican Party’s position is going to shift. It needs to, quite frankly, because we are $16 trillion in debt,” he said.


    Graham expects equal flexibility from Democrats on entitlement reform. “I’m willing to move my party, or try to, on the tax issue. I need someone on the Democratic side being willing to move their party on structural changes to entitlements.”

    Graham’s position is a baby step towards independence from Norquist and he’s one of a small club of Republicans currently in office, like Senator Tom Coburn and Congressman Frank Wolf, who are standing up to Norquist’s organization, Americans for Tax Reform. Retired Republicans like Alan Simpson and Jeb Bush have spoken out, although Bush recently conceded that would probably make him unable to get elected given the current climate of the Republican party.

    Lawrence O’Donnell previously pegged Norquist as “the most powerful man in American who does not sleep in the White House” over his pledge holding thousands of GOP leaders — including the likes of Graham and presidential nominee Mitt Romney — at the mercy of Americans for Tax Reform. They agreed to oppose all tax increases unless they are met with a matching dollar-for-dollar tax cut. If this eye-for-an-eye oath sounds like it was crafted in the 7th grade — bingo! — it actually was.

  42. rikyrah says:

    for all the GOP bull about ‘ OPPORTUNITY SOCIETY’

    found this tweet:


    But if you don’t have access to capital/wealth, how can you have equal opportunity as someone born into a wealthy family?

  43. Ametia says:

    Here’s your weekly dose of Chauncey Devega!

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012
    The Rampart Dilemma: Social Scientists in Search of Parsimonious Racism on Google and in The New York Times

    Once more, we have empirical evidence which suggests that racism is a social fact, as opposed to an illusory and/or imagined opinion.

    The last few weeks have offered a nice bounty of data in this regard. Brown University’s Michael Tesler demonstrated that white racial animus is a powerful indicator of how respondents view policy in regards to President Obama: in seemingly neutral and benign examples, white folks who possess high levels of anti-black animus “flip” their opinions on matters of policy when the President is mentioned. This week, The New York Times has doubled down by highlighting the promising research by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz which supports the claim that (now) President Obama’s “blackness” cost him support among white voters during the 2008 campaign.

    Apparently, the much discussed Bradley effect is not a poltergeist. The core thesis, that white racism hurts black candidates, and that white people lie about their vote choice when queried, remains largely intact.

    READ ON;

  44. Ametia says:

    What Mitt Romney is Hiding
    By LOLGOP on June 13, 2012

    If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for Mitt Romney

    Some late Friday afternoon, probably in late July or early August, Mitt Romney will release his tax return for 2011. Though he’s been running for President for nearly a decade, he filed for an extension that is already months past the deadline most Americans abide by. He’s clearly taking all the time he can to make sure that it is released when it has the least possible impact.

    Why? Mitt’s tax rate—under 15%–isn’t just lower than many bus drivers, it’s a perfect reminder of the ridiculousness of the Bush tax breaks for hedge fund managers that Mitt wants to extend and double down on.…


  45. Ametia says:


  46. Ametia says:

    Brentin Mock, lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch, an investigative partnership between The Nation and Colorlines, is blogging daily at on nationwide threats to democracy in the lead-up to the election.

    Listen here to Brentin describe how True the Vote intimidates people of color from voting:,11s6a,2fe,9w18,7bw9,1xe7,39fk

  47. rikyrah says:

    Michael Eric Dyson vs. Russell Simmons on Gwyneth Paltrow and Nigger (I hate ‘ the N Word – it is what it is- NIGGER)

  48. rikyrah says:

    The polls are finally showing it: folks are realizing that the GOP is committing ECONOMIC TREASON against this country.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at POU:


    Every American should be insanely worried about a Romney win.

    Mitt Romney in his desperate obsession to fly on Air Force One and Anne’s dream to be idle but adored first lady, has made innumerable pacts with the devil and every one of satan’s sons, daughters, in-laws and cohorts.
    A scary collection of crazy megalomaniacs and the most insane and destructive egos.

    This is a recipe not only for disaster but certain destruction for this country and the world because there is just no way this weak, narcissitic weasel can juggle or deliver on the competing agendas of and election promises to his many wealthy dubious and egomaniacal benefactors.

    Mitt Romney will never be able to simultaneously massage the many overblown egos that make up his base or meet the varying, divergent and competing demands and agendas of the Dick Cheneys, Donald Trumps, Sheldon Adelsons, David and Charles Kochs, Jamie Dimons, Rush Limbaughs, David Dukes, the Mormon church etc.

    And if just one of these benefactors ever feels neglected, slighted or overlooked, there will be hell to pay.

    America and its middle class and poor will be the losers and at the receiving end when these fellas decide to teach Mitt Romney a lesson or two.

    Mitt Romney won’t care by then because he and Anne would already have what they’ve aspired to: the highest office in the land – and flying on Air force One.

    It is evident that Mitt Romney will be content with just one term. He just wants to be president even if for one day.

    • Ametia says:

      .ALL.OF.THIS: "It is evident that Mitt Romney will be content with just one term. He just wants to be president even if for one day."

  50. rikyrah says:

    Dear Mitt Romney…

    Mitt Romney thinks we should cut jobs for teachers, firefighters, and police officers. Join people across the country in sharing stories about why that’s not good for the economy or our communities.

  51. rikyrah says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell has on his show the tax writing guy that brings up all the good questions about Willard’s tax returns….no, Willard, nobody’s forgotten about your tax returns.

  52. rikyrah says:

    beginning the day with Mr. Davis…..sweet….

  53. rikyrah says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell feels as I do…when it comes to the Vatican vs. American Nuns…our money’s on the American Nuns.

  54. Ametia says:

    Ron Barber hold on to AZ Gabbie Giffords seat!

  55. Ametia says:

    The First Lady just joined Pinterest! Her page is here:

    Her page features a special Father’s Day board, with a tribute to the President as well as her own father, Fraser Robinson. It also features a link to sign a Father’s Day card for the President:

  56. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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