Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread |

Happy MUN-dane, Everyone! This week’s 3 Chics featured artist is Terence Trent D’Arby.

Wiki:  Sananda Francesco Maitreya (born Terence Trent Howard, March 15, 1962), better known by his former stage name Terence Trent D’Arby, is an American singer-songwriter who came to fame with his album Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, released in July 1987, which included the singles “Wishing Well” and “Sign Your Name“. The album has sold over 14 million copies.

Fame as Terence Trent D’Arby

Maitreya’s debut solo album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, released in July 1987, is his best-known commercial work.[2] The album, which produced hits like “If You Let Me Stay”, “Wishing Well“, “Dance Little Sister”, and “Sign Your Name“, sold over a million copies in the first three days of its release, and its sales have totalled over 14 million.[citation needed] The album also earned him a Grammy Award in March 1988 in the category Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male. In that same year, he earned a Soul Train Award nomination for Best New Artist.

His follow-up was the album Neither Fish Nor Flesh (1989).[2]

It took four more years and a move to Los Angeles until his next project, Symphony or Damn (1993) was released. The record contained the singles “Delicate” and “She Kissed Me”. It peaked at #4 on the UK Albums Chart.[2]

In 1995, Maitreya released Vibrator which was followed by a very successful world tour.[2]

During the 1990s, the relations between him and his record label Columbia Records became strained, eventually leading to his departure in 1996. He moved to Java Records for one year, during which he recorded Terence Trent D’Arby’s Solar Return, which was not released. In 2000, he bought back the rights to his unreleased album and left the record company as well as his management team, Lippman Entertainment.[citation needed]

In 1999, Maitreya collaborated with INXS to replace his friend, the late vocalist Michael Hutchence, so the band could play at the opening of facilities for the Sydney Olympics.

This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread |

  1. Ametia says:


    June 18, 2012, 5:23 pm
    Rubio Is Likely to Shelve Efforts on Bipartisan Immigration Bill


    Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said on Monday that President Obama’s executive action to suspend deportation of illegal immigrants brought to the country as children will likely put his search for bipartisan legislation on ice for now.

    But, Mr. Rubio, a Republican, said in an interview, Congress still must act on a permanent solution for such undocumented workers.

    As recently as Thursday, Mr. Rubio said he was taking input from people interested in trying to shape a version of the Dream Act that could achieve bipartisan support. The original Dream Act envisioned giving young illegal immigrants brought to the country as children a pathway to citizenship, through college, work, the military or community service. But the bill fell repeatedly to a Republican-led filibuster, and even its Republican co-author, Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, had dropped off it as the politics of immigration polarized.

    Mr. Rubio was trying to move forward on a more modest version that would grant such immigrants temporary legal status and work permits, but not a path to citizenship. That is basically what Mr. Obama did on his own.

    Democratic senators said Mr. Obama had no alternative to his executive action, which suspends deportations and offers two-year, renewable work permits to qualified illegal immigrants.

    Mr. Rubio disagreed. His action will further polarize the issue and ensure that Republicans will not sign on to a compromise.

    “These are very compelling personal stories,” he said. “These are young people, many of them brought to this country when they were very young. They had no choice in the matter and now they have no way to achieve legal status.”

    But, he added, “by injecting the issue of constitutionality into it, by ignoring the Congress,” Mr. Obama on Friday made it that much harder to find a long-term solution.

  2. Ametia says:

    June 18, 2012, 7:12 pm
    Much-Debated Scholarship Program for D.C. Students Is Renewed

    The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program will at least live on another year.

    Speaker John A. Boehner and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman announced on Monday that they had reached an agreement with the Department of Education to renew the scholarships. The much debated program gives low-income students a route out of District of Columbia public schools and pays their way into private and parochial institutions.

    “For eight years, this scholarship program has empowered low-income parents to choose the best learning environment for their children,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “Thousands of families have taken advantage of this scholarship program to give their children an opportunity to succeed in life, and there’s strong evidence that it’s both effective and cost-effective.”

  3. Ametia says:


    SCHULTZ: The President’s new policy on young, undocumented immigrants is making things even worse for the GOP. They don’t know which way to turn. Watch how Mitt Romney, and how many times Mitt Romney avoided a direct question about the policy on CBS yesterday.

    SCHEIFFER in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW: Would you repeal this order if you became president?

    ROMNEY in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW: Let’s step back and look at the issue. First of all, we have to secure the border. I don’t know why he feels stopgap measures are the right way to go.

    SCHIEFFER: What would you do about it?

    ROMNEY: As you know, he was President for the last three and a half years, did nothing on immigration.

    SCHIEFFER: Would you repeal this?

    ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution.

    SCHIEFFER: Would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or repeal it?

    ROMNEY: We’ll look at that setting as we reach that.

    SCHULTZ: This is a far cry from the direct answer Mitt Romney gave about the DREAM Act on the campaign trail.

    ROMNEY: The question is if I were elected and congress were to pass the dream act, would I veto it? And the answer is yes.

    SCHULTZ: This underscores the absolute absence of a core of Mitt Romney. Who is this man who wants to be President? He refuses to take a stand on the tough issues time and time again. Romney is trying to walk, I guess you could say a fine line, between the majority of Americans and the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. Now, it must be pointed out, some of the most outspoken voices from the right wing have come out in support of the President’s new policy.

    BILL O’REILLY: How can you blame kids when they’re dragged to the USA from wherever? If you’re a fair person, you can’t.

    WILLIAM KRISTOL: I think it’s a sensible policy. It would be much better if that were the law of the land.

    GEORGE WILL: Romney has a big hole to dig out because if he gets under, say, the 31% of Hispanic voters McCain got, he’s going to lose.

    SCHULTZ: So here we are, Romney has to serve masters, he has to please a general audience but he also has to bow to the Tea Party leaders in Congress like Steve King, who said this today: “I’m prepared to bring a suit and seek a court order to stop implementation of this policy.” Loose cannon Congressman Allen West of Florida also put Romney in a pretty tight stop. West said this morning that Romney’s reaction to the new policy was this: “I feel a little dejected because I think it goes back to what my mother taught me. A man must stand for something or else he’ll fall for everything.” Now, the Republicans also have to deal with these Tea Partiers going on television and making the situation even worse.

  4. Ametia says:

    Tweety Bird is laying it down on Mittens the wanna be NEOCON. And how each presidential Rethug in office like to start a war. He’s one SCARY MOFO, WHO WILL DO EVERYTHNG, AND ANYTHING HE’S TOLD.


  5. Ametia says:

    Obama picks John Kerry to play Romney in mock debate rehearsals
    By Philip Rucker and Dan Balz, Monday, June 18, 2:18 PM

    President Obama has tapped Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, to play Republican Mitt Romney in mock debate rehearsals, Obama campaign officials and the senator’s office confirmed Monday.

    Kerry will help Obama prepare for among the most consequential events of his reelection campaign — the three fall debates against Romney. As the senior senator from Massachusetts, Kerry has studied Romney’s career and campaign style for nearly two decades and has first-hand knowledge of his record as governor.

    Kerry has long been considered one of the Democratic Party’s most skilled debaters, and his performances in more than 25 debates in the 2004 race earned plaudits. Some credited his strong debates against President George W. Bush with tightening the race in the closing weeks of the 2004 campaign.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:47 PM ET, 06/18/2012
    If SCOTUS kills Obamacare, will Americans even know what was lost?

    By Greg Sargent

    There’s been some chatter today about the new Pew poll finding that Americans won’t be happy with any of the possible Supreme Court rulings on Obamacare. A plurality of 48 percent won’t be happy if the entire law is tossed out; 51 percent will not be happy if just the mandate is struck down; and the same majority will not be happy if the law is upheld.

    But now that repeal is a very real possibility, this finding may be the most dispiriting one of all:

    Many Americans do not have a clear understanding of what’s in the health care law. About one-in-five (18%) say they understand the law very well and 49% say they understand it somewhat well; nearly a third (31%) say they understand it not too well or not at all well.

    In broad terms, the poll finds that the percentage who will be unhappy if the mandate is tossed out is highest among those who say they know the law well, and lowest among those who don’t. It’s not easy to say what this means, because of the way the polling questions are constructed, but it seems possible that the lack of understanding of the mandate’s basic function within the legislation is one key cause of unhappiness with the provision or with the overall law.

    After all, multiple polls have also shown overwhelming support for the provision that the mandate is designed to enable — the ban on discrimination against people with preexisting conditions. But the mandate is unpopular. Dems never successfully persuaded the public that it is necessary to sustain the preexisting conditions piece. More broadly, fewer than one in five say they understand the law very well. And the 49 percent who say they understand it “somewhat well” may be overstated, too.

    You can chalk this up to a failure of messaging by Dems, or to their failure to include provisions the public clearly liked (see option, public) or to the right’s very successful sowing of confusion about the law, or a combination of all of those. Or perhaps, as Alex MacGillis writes today, the decision to have the major provisions kick in four years after passage has meant that Americans didn’t get to experience the law’s benefits firsthand, meaning that “its promises have not been clearly conveyed to the people it is designed to help.”

    Whatever the reason, if the Supreme Court does strike down the law, it could recede into history even as millions and millions of Americans never learn what was actually in it — let alone how it might have benefitted them.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Ann Romney’s Permanent Vacation from Reality

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 4:15PM

    Remember all those stories about how Ann Romney was Willard’s “secret weapon” in his campaign to gull The Help into assisting him in his quest to be the president? Well, they were a crock, as is almost daily demonstrated. She’s as much of a walking parody as he is….

    Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said Monday that she doubted she and her husband would vacation overseas as frequently as the Obamas if her husband were elected… “I doubt that,” Romney replied. “Our vacations and our happiness come from being with our children and our grandchildren.” First Lady Michelle Obama has drawn some criticism from conservative radio hosts for her international travel, including a trip to Spain where she lunched with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

    Leave aside the following two obvious points: 1) Michelle Obama draws “some criticism from conservative radio hosts” just for being alive — I mean, seriously, AP, this is newsworthy exactly how? — and 2) suddenly, visits with heads of state qualify as vacation time when taken by this particular First Lady. The real point of the paragraph is that only the Romney money is allowed to vacation overseas. And then, of course, it gets worse:

    Ann Romney didn’t rule out vacationing at all, noting the Romney family has their “own places for that.”

    In fact, three of them, including the one in California where Mitt bravely chases away the local stoners.

    For the love of Baal, why don’t they drop the pretense and just move to Versailles?

    Read more:

  8. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    June 18, 2012 1:25 PM

    Trust or Obey?

    By Ed Kilgore

    Yesterday Greg Sargent drew attention to Mitt Romney’s bland admission (in an interview with Bob Schieffer) that he wouldn’t be disclosing anything about how he’d pay for the large new tax cuts he’s proposed until after the election. Given his record of mendacity, that’s hardly reassuring.

    But there’s another aspect to Romney’s positioning on taxes that’s worth emphasizing: he keeps making it clear he will defer to Congress (presumably Republicans in Congress) in determining how he will structure his tax-cut proposal, and particularly the “loophole closing” measures that will supposedly make it possible not only to cut rates for everybody, but to ensure that tax cuts will not “reduce the burden paid by the wealthiest.”

    That’s interesting, since I haven’t heard any congressional leaders make this promise to ensure that “tax reform” does not change the tax burden of the wealthy. Paul Ryan, who seems to view progressive taxes and “welfare spending” as deeply immoral looting, sure hasn’t made this pledge. Nor have the conservatives so exercised about the “lucky ducky” poor who don’t have net income tax liability, or who conveniently tend to exclude payroll and state and local taxes in assessing the overall tax burden.

    This question may be largely academic, since Romney’s general promise not to reduce the tax burden on the wealthy is, as James Kwak demonstrated at The Atlantic back in February, is almost certainly mathematically impossible, given the specific rate-cutting promises he’s made that benefit the top tier. But his “I’ll have to work it out with Congress” disclaimers provide him with a perennial excuse for reneging on the tax burden pledge, aside from letting him disguise his intentions until such time as he is in office with a GOP majority ready to “work with him” to implement the Ryan Budget. Anyone who thinks Mitt can be trusted to do anything other than obey the conservative fiscal counter-revolutionaries who have agreed to support his candidacy isn’t paying much attention to the dynamics of the Romney candidacy.

  9. rikyrah says:

    GOP Senate Candidate Says Businesses Should Be Allowed To Deny Health Insurance To Cancer Patients
    By Scott Keyes on Jun 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party favorite who ousted Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) in Indiana’s Republican Senate primary last month, told a local Indiana newspaper that, contra Obamacare’s protections, employers ought to be able to deny health insurance to people with cancer.

    During a freewheeling interview with the News and Tribune, Mourdock said health care will be the “biggest issue” this election. The Indiana Republican, who opposes the Affordable Care Act, argued that businesses should be permitted to deny coverage to employees with cancer “if they want to keep their health care costs down.” “Does that employer have the right to do it?” Mourdock asked. “I would say yes they do”

    From the interview:

    Of particular interest to the candidate is a mandate that requires an employer to pay for certain services they may be morally opposed to — such as birth control — which Mourdock said he opposes.

    Mourdock’s example was an employer who decided to cover everything but cancer.

    “Does that employer have the right to do it? I would say yes they do if they want to keep their health care costs down but it also means it’s less likely you’re going to want to work here. If that employer wants to get the best employees coming in the door he’s going to offer the best insurance possible.”

    Among Obamacare’s most popular provisions are protections for people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions to make sure they can’t be denied health insurance (beginning in 2014). In Mourdock’s America, businesses would continue to have the right to deny insurance for 1 in 7 Americans because of a pre-existing condition.

    If Mourdock ultimately wins his election in November, don’t expect him to compromise on his opposition to businesses being required to insure cancer patients. The day after Mourdock won the Republican nomination, he announced on MSNBC that “bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    the new-fangled Kneegrow Artur Davis was on Wolf BLitzer, slamming the President.

    these self-hating mofos are hard to watch

  11. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Still Has No Position On Obama’s Immigration Bombshell

    Benjy Sarlin- June 18, 2012, 11:53 AM

    Thanks to President Obama’s dramatic new policy halting deportation for young illegal immigrations, Mitt Romney’s immigration hawks may be finally coming home to roost. Or they may quickly evolve into immigration doves. Nobody yet knows, since Romney has dodged the issue since Obama’s Friday announcement.

    Romney’s position on Obama’s move should be obvious. There was no ambiguity about his immigration position during the primaries, when he aligned himself with far-right immigration adviser Kris Kobach and pledged to veto the DREAM Act, the stalled legislation that prompted Obama to act unilaterally last week. Romney proposed that by taking away illegal immigrants’ comforts and ability to work within the United States, they would “self deport.” Not only did Romney oppose the federal DREAM Act, he lit into Rick Perry for signing a watered-down state-level version in Texas, which provided in-state tuition to young illegal immigrants, a much less important benefit than the temporary legal status provided by Obama’s order.

    “My friend Gov. Perry said that if you don’t agree with his position on giving that in-state tuition to illegals that you don’t have a heart,” Romney said last September. “I think if you’re opposed to illegal immigration it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heart. It means you have a heart and a brain.”

    But rather than flatly decrying the White House’s new policy as a reward for illegal behavior, as he did throughout the primaries, Romney has yet to explain what he’d do instead or even whether he’d reverse Obama’s orders.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 06/18/2012
    Can Dems go on offense on health care?
    By Greg Sargent

    So how much of an impact would a Supreme Court decision against the Affordable Care Act have on the health care debate in this fall’s elections? The answer may prove to be: Not much.

    I’m not one of those who thinks a Supreme Court decision against health reform will carry any hidden silver linings for Dems. It could reinforce the narrative that Obama and Dems allowed health care to distract them from the economy, with nothing to show for it.

    But it is worth pointing out that even if the law is struck down, the basic parameters of the health care debate itself will remain pretty much the same in the context of the presidential and Congressional campaigns.

    And there may even be space for Dems to go on offense on the issue, even if a decision against Obamacare does carry clear negatives.

    Case in point: This new ad from Heidi Heitkamp, the former North Dakota attorney general who’s now the Democratic candidate for Senate. This may be the first ad of the cycle in which a Democrat is not only aggressively defending the health law, but using it to attack the GOP opponent, in this case GOP Rep. Rick Berg:

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 06/18/2012
    GOP strategist: Republicans were `caught with their pants down’ on immigration
    By Greg Sargent

    Republicans need to be very careful about how they respond to Obama’s new immigration announcement, because Americans view the issue as one about fundamental fairness. If the GOP loses the Latino vote in the same way it has lost blacks, it won’t be able to win future presidential elections.

    So claims GOP strategist Ed Rollins in an interview with me about Obama’s new policy blocking deportations of DREAM-eligible youth.

    “They should not have been caught with their pants down,” Rollins said of Republicans, adding that they were caught “flat-footed” by the announcement. “They needed to be better prepared.”

    “The hardest thing [for Republicans] about the immigration debate is that it’s a question of fairness,” continued Rollins, who was chief strategist for Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign and ran Ronald Reagan’s reelection effort in 1984. “A lot of people know a lot of good people who came into this country illegally and are trying to buy into the American Dream.”

    “If we ever lose the Hispanic vote the way we’ve lost the African American vote, there’s no way we’ll win in presidential politics,” Rollins concluded.

    This is becoming a more and more common refrain. Over the weekend George Will argued (link fixed) that if Romney drops below the 31 percent of Latinos John McCain won in 2008, “he’s going to lose.”

    All of this raises a question: Will conservative hard-liners on immigration grant Mitt Romney the maneuvering room he needs to try to navigate the issue in a way that doesn’t cost him the election? On Friday Romney expressed general sympathy with Marco Rubio’s view of the issue, and on CBS yesterday, Romney refused to say that he would repeal Obama’s new policy.

    But as Kevin Drum notes, conservative leaders have not responded with the thunderous denunciations you’d expect, and GOP process criticism seems somewhat pro forma. Maybe Rollins’ view that the GOP is at risk of putting itself at a serious long term disadvantage in presidential elections is even sinking in with the hardliners.

    After all, the conservative and Republican response to Obama’s announcement that he now supports gay marriage was relatively muted, too, with some Republicans even suggesting that criticizing his position too loudly risked stereotyping the party as intolerant among swing and young voters. Perhaps demographic realities — and the accompanying political ones — are becoming harder and harder to ignore.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 09:24 AM PDT.

    Ann Romney promises not to be all hoity-toity like those family-hating Obamas

    Ann Romney is sort of a very awful person. So it’s easy to see why she and Mitt are a match made in heaven. She’s just as clueless as Mitt (We had to struggle to get by on nothing more than my husband’s enormous inheritance), just as unprincipled (I love being attacked as a mother because we can exploit the heck out of it), and, just like her husbandbot, she’s got a bit of mean streak in her:
    Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said Monday that she doubted that she and her husband would vacation overseas as frequently as the Obamas if her husband were to win election.
    Romney was responding to a question from WJR Detroit’s Frank Beckmann, who asked Romney if her family would be vacationing as frequently as the Obamas.

    “I doubt that,” Romney replied. “Our vacations and our happiness come from being with our children and our grandchildren.”

    Okay. We all know that Republicans (and Cokie Roberts) are geographically challenged because U.S. Americans don’t have enough maps, everywhere like such as. And that whether Hawaii is part of Kenya or these United States is a matter of some dispute among the dropped-repeatedly-on-their-heads crowd. But even by examining the list of fancy-shmancy Obama vacations wingers feverishly pass amongst themselves to prove something something something, you can see just how many elaborate and overseas their travels have been:

    The Obama Vacation List
    — President’s Day 2012, Michelle and the first daughters in Aspen, Colorado to ski.
    — Christmas 2011, the first family in Hawaii for an extended vacation.
    — Summer 2011, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for the annual beach break.
    — June 2011, the first lady, her mother and daughters traveled to South Africa and Botswana.
    — President’s Day 2011, the first lady and first daughters travel to Vail to ski.
    — Christmas 2010, in Hawaii.
    — August 2010, the first family traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla., for some sun and fun at the beach.
    — August 2010, Obama spent the weekend alone in Chicago for his 49th birthday bash.
    — August 2010, the first lady and daughter Sasha traveled to Spain for a mother-daughter vacation.
    — August 2010, summer vacation again at Martha’s Vineyard.
    — July 2010, the first family went to Mount Desert Island, Maine.
    — May 2010, the first family had a four-day trip to Chicago.
    — March 2010, first lady and daughter spend Spring Break in New York City.
    — Christmas 2009, Hawaii again for the annual break.
    — August 2009, at Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon for a short vacation.
    — August 2009, their first summer vacation as first family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

    Yes, we know that Republicans are about as good at counting as they are at geography, but certainly those readers who aren’t governor of Texas can see that the grand tally of actual overseas Obama vacations is a whopping two. As in, one and then one more and that’s it. The bulk of the family’s travels were to exotic overseas locations like Chicago and and the Grand Canyon and, yes, the president’s home state of Hawaii (still part of the United States).
    Repeating the absurd Republican talking point that Obama and his family are always jet-setting off to fabulous places instead of working 27 hours a day to fix the economy and protect lightbulb freedom doesn’t make Ann Romney an awful person, however; it just makes her a Republican.

    But suggesting that she won’t be taking those same exotic Florida vacations (unlike the Obamas) because she loves her children (unlike the Obamas)? That is some low-class passive-aggressive Olympic horseshit.

    Our vacations and our happiness come from being with our children and our grandchildren

    Does that mean the Obamas don’t love being with their children? That spending time with their daughters doesn’t bring them happiness? Even though the children (and often, Michelle’s mother) have been included in pretty much all of their vacations? Is Ann actually trying to say that if the Obamas enjoyed spending time with their family the way Ann does, they wouldn’t need to take vacations? Vacations are for family-haters?
    Well, no. Not quite:

  15. rikyrah says:

    18 Jun 2012 02:42 PM
    What The WaPo Wouldn’t Run

    That scene is a free, makeshift dental clinic for the uninsured. It was mobbed – as it would be in a developing country. Except it’s right here in Tennessee, where many of the working poor are uninsured, and where the state is perfectly happy to keep it that way. For these strapped, working class folk, Obama’s demonized healthcare reform is a godsend. Pity almost none of them in this part of deepest red America have heard of what it could do for them:

    It was hard to find visitors to the clinic who would not benefit directly from the law. Barbara Hickey, 54, is a diabetic who lost her insurance five years ago when her husband was injured at his job making fiberglass pipes. She gets discounted diabetic medication from a charity, but came to the clinic to ask a doctor about blood in her urine.

    Under the law, she would qualify for Medicaid. Her eyebrows shot up as the law was described to her. “If they put that law into effect, a lot of people won’t need disability,” she said. “A lot of people go onto disability because they can’t afford health insurance.”

    Tom Boughan, 58, came to the clinic for glasses and dental work, with a sci-fi novel to pass the time. He’s been without coverage since being laid off from his industrial painting job last year, which means he’s paying $400 every few months for blood work for a thyroid problem.

    This piece was supposed to run on the front page of the Washington Post. They turned it down on the grounds that it was too supportive of Obamacare. It’s worth remembering before we all go into a Beltway frenzy about SCOTUS and the ACA – that this issue affects people’s lives in the most graphic and direct way imaginable. It becomes the difference between living with chronic illnesses, or being healthy. It can be the difference between a short life and a long one.

    I’ve evolved on this issue. In general, I find a huge amount to admire in America’s private health care system and wouldn’t want to alter its essential private structure. But its simply staggering inefficiencies, massive costs, and failure to provide health to the working poor persuaded me of the need for reform. And at some deep level, when I consult my conscience, I find denying people healthcare different than denying them a job or a mortgage or a car or an iPhone, or any other material goods. Without your health, you can enjoy none of this.

    I remember my instant, sustained reaction when my friends became sick and died for so many grueling years. It was inconceivable for me then that these people should be left to suffer and die in a country as wealthy as we are. If that’s true of my friends, it must also be true of those I have never known, whose bodies are no different than mine, whose pain is no less acute, whose lives are no less sacred. You can call this the Golden Rule if you want. Or Christian principles.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Monday, June 18, 2012
    Short And Sweet: Romney’s Two Faces Shine
    Posted by Bon Tindle

    Romney refuses to actually go on record to say he’d overturn Obama’s immigration order, but sits in the corner sniping and taking swipes at it. What bravado!

    This man is a coward, a two-faced chickenshit who will say what it takes to satisfy his short-term need. He doesn’t give a damn about anything but his legacy, and he’s too blind and stupid to see his legacy will be that of a lame duck who was blindsided by his own ignorance.

    I’m starting to think he has no convictions. No principles allow you to sell them out for your own happiness, that’s why they are principles. If you don’t honor them when it matters, you’re just… well, you’re Mitt Romney. Even Mitt doesn’t want to be Mitt. He wants to be Obama, but without the pesky responsibility of making the hard choices and taking responsibility for them.

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Cheney In Mitt Romney

    It’s increasingly clear that his foreign policy will be, as Bill Clinton put it, the old neocon stuff on steroids. Here, for example, is his view that a war against Iran need have no Congressional authorization:

    I can assure you if I’m President, the Iranians will have no question but that I would be willing to take military action, if necessary, to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I– I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m President, that we need to have war powers approval or a special authorization for military force. The President has that capacity now.

    Remember that this was Cheney’s position vis-a-vis Iraq. Bush over-ruled him. Romney is to the neocon right of George W. Bush in foreign affairs. Then this:

    We cannot survive a course of action [that] would include a nuclear Iran.

    Survive? So how did we survive a contained nuclear Soviet Union and a contained nuclear Communist China? And yet this comparatively puny, creaking, theo-fascist regime threatens America’s very survival? Well: no one can say we haven’t been warned.

    You want a return to Cheneyism in foreign policy? You know what to do.

  18. rikyrah says:

    It ain’t over
    By Metrosexual Black AbeJ June 18th, 2012

    I think we can still get some mileage out of the access-to-contraception issue that blew up, as the kids say, a few months ago. This hasn’t got much attention, but Romney just doubled down on the Catholic Bishops’ (I won’t say, Catholic Church, as some of you taught me) side of the issue:

    “The decision by the Obama Administration to attack our first Freedom, religious freedom is one in which, I think a lot of people were shocked to see. Cardinal Dolan in New York City who was the Chairman of the Catholic Council of Bishops was surprised to see the President turn and take a different course than one he had promised during the campaign. A course, which says to the Catholic Church that they would be required to violate their own.”

    In a shitty economy, the more we can discuss what racist, misogynist lunatics the Republicans have become, the better. I wish a motherfucker would start a new battle in the “culture wars”.

  19. rikyrah says:

    This is your second and final notice
    By Kay June 18th, 2012

    When ALEC was exposed we found out that giant corporate entities and their affliated charitable foundations won’t be seen with conservatives in public. Turns out, no corporation wants to be publicly associated with voter suppression and extraordinary legal protections for irresponsible and/or crazed gun owners, although promoting those things was (apparently) fine as long as no one knew about it.

    This very public rejection by the business interests they love was humiliating for the conservative movement, so they lashed out and issued some threats:

    “We’re putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we’ll kick it up a notch somewhere else,” Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement. “You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory.”
    Corporate CEOs who “cower in the face of liberal boycott threats need to understand that the left never gives up,” Ridenour said. “If these corporations do not reverse course and immediately grow enough of a backbone to say no when the left tells them what to do, conservatives may as well consider them part of the organized left. It doesn’t matter if corporate executives have free-market sentiments hidden deep inside them if they continually surrender to the left’s Trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand after demand in public.”

    You were on notice, Leftists.

    Thought we’d check in and see how the Stand With ALEC campaign is coming:

    Two months after it was first announced, the “I Stand With ALEC” website supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has finally gone live—and it is underwhelming.

    For the past year, ALEC has been under intense public scrutiny, starting in July 2011 when the Center for Media and Democracy launched Since then, Common Cause has filed complaints with the IRS challenging ALEC’s charitable status, groups like People for the American Way and Progress Now! have helped produce reports about ALEC’s influence in individual states, Color of Change has been privately and publicly urging corporations to leave ALEC because of the ALEC agenda’s negative impact on the African American community, and labor unions and shareholder groups have put increasing pressure on publicly traded companies to drop their ALEC membership. CMD has continued its investigation of ALEC, its operations, and its members through reporting on, and documented ALEC’s role in ratifying as a “model” bill the Stand Your Ground law cited initially to protect Trayvon Martin’s killer from arrest or prosecution.

    In response to growing public pressure, nineteen corporations have distanced themselves from ALEC, including longtime ALEC Board members like Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson. For many, the term “ALEC” has become synonymous with corporate corruption of the democratic process.

    With ALEC and its agenda exposed, the group has tried replying with a public relations blitz—by hiring PR megafirm Edelman, purporting to disband the task force responsible for its controversial crime, gun, and voting legislation (which may be just a PR stunt), and trying to re-brand itself with easily rebuttable claims that “elected state legislators fully control[ling] ALEC’s model legislation process.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    Scalia’s ‘intellect and integrity’
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:50 PM EDT.

    While we wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, there’s increasing speculation about how Justice Antonin Scalia will rule. The answer now appears rather obvious, with the far-right jurist starting to show his cards.

    Before we get to that, though, consider a little history. I often think about this op-ed Harvard Law scholar Laurence Tribe wrote last year, arguing that proponents of the law have nothing to fear — of course a high court majority will uphold the law, because it’s such a “clear” and “open and shut” case. Tribe practically chided folks like me for questioning whether conservative justices would be responsible in this case — Scalia may be conservative, but to think he’d ignore the law is “to insult both his intellect and his integrity.”

    A year later, as Sahil Kapur reports, Scalia’s intellect and integrity are looking a lot shakier.

    Now, within days of the historic ruling, Scalia is releasing a new book in which he finds fault with a Roosevelt-era Supreme Court decision that forms a critical part of the legal undergirding for the health care reform law. For Scalia, that’s a dramatic turnaround, because he has previously embraced the premise of that decision in an opinion he authored in 2005 that supporters of the health care law have frequently cited.

    In Scalia’s new book, a 500-page disquisition on statutory construction being published this week, he says the landmark 1942 ruling Wickard v. Filburn — which has served as the lynchpin of the federal government’s broad authority to regulate interstate economic activities under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause — was improperly decided.

    According to an advance review in the New York Times, Scalia writes that Wickard “expanded the Commerce Clause beyond all reason” by deciding that “a farmer’s cultivation of wheat for his own consumption affected interstate commerce and thus could be regulated under the Commerce Clause.”

    When did Scalia reach this conclusion? Well, quite recently, actually. Indeed, the far-right justice seemed to change his mind about the Commerce Clause right around the time he was looking for a way to rule against the health care law.

  21. rikyrah says:

    MoveOn Protestors Scare Romney Away From His Own Event–UPDATED WITH VIDEO
    By Nicole Belle

    Is what’s sauce for the goose also sauce for the gander? In RomneyWorld, not so much:

    Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s “Every Town Counts” bus tour made a slight detour from its planned route through eastern Pennsylvania after over 100 protestors affiliated with the Obama campaign and showed up at a gas station where he was scheduled to stop.

    Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and an Obama supporter, also showed up at the scheduled stop – a Wawa gas station in Quakertown. The Romney campaign had sent advance staff to the location, but as the number of protestors grew, they decided to find a quieter location.

    Ah, remember the good ol’ days of campaign decorum? You know, when a candidate could send a bus to his rival’s speeches to drive donuts in the parking lot, honking? Oh, wait.

    Just because they’re from MoveOn doesn’t make them affiliated with the actual campaign, though it’s nice of CBS to conflate the two. It’s telling that President Obama went ahead and delivered his speech, unfazed by the frat boy antics of official campaign workers. But have some protestors (Freedom of Speech, what a quaint notion) and Romney goes running.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Pawlenty Walks Back Romney’s Promise To Veto The DREAM Act
    By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Following President Obama’s announcement on Friday that immigration officials would stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible students, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized Obama for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but has repeatedly refused to say if he would repeal the measure.

    On Monday morning, Romney surrogate Tim Pawlenty tried to create additional breathing room for the former Massachusetts governor. During an appearance on CNN’s Starting Point, Pawlenty sought to dismiss Romney’s promise to veto DREAM, suggesting that he may ultimately sign the measure if elected president:

    SOLEDAD O’BRIEN (HOST): As I’m sure you know, Mitt Romney said that if he were elected he would veto the DREAM Act, right?

    PAWLENTY: There are a lot of things labeled the DREAM Act, Soledad, so we have to be careful. What Governor Romney has said is when it comes to Senator Rubio’s ideas about the DREAM Act that he would be open to that. That legislation hasn’t been put in final form yet but he said he would consider it or at least look at it. He has said in other settings and times he would be willing to allow a pathway to legal status for children no are in this situation. For example, if they serve in the military and are honorably discharged. As it relates to the issue of children and through no fault of their own are under that circumstance, he said I’m open to try to explore or consider a permanent solution and I think these a reasonable gesture on his part.

    In reality, Romney was far more dismissive of efforts to help undocumented students during the GOP presidential primary. “For those who come here illegally, the idea of giving them in-state tuition credits or other special benefits I find to be contrary to the idea of a nation of law,” Romney told a crowd in Iowa in December and flatly promised to veto DREAM.

    His views shifted in April, however, when he expressed support for the DREAM Act, saying the Republicans need to propose a GOP version of the bill and other initiatives to win support from Hispanic voters.

    But given Obama’s announcement last week, that GOP alternative — which is supposedly being drafted by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and is remarkably similar to the White House policy — may fail to materialize, leaving Romney floundering for a position on the issue.

    • Ametia says:

      Olympics row over horse ‘cruelty’

      YouTube footage of controversial dressage technique provokes storm of protest and threats to boycott 2012 event in London

      An international row over allegedly “cruel” training methods is threatening to engulf the elite world of top-class equestrian sport ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

      The controversy over what is being called “the blue-tongue scandal” has led the British Horse Society to demand an urgent inquiry into the practices being used on some of the world’s most expensive competition horses.

      Tens of thousands of people have signed online petitions or sent letters of protest to the sport’s governing body, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), based in Switzerland. There is also talk on social networking websites of a boycott of the 2012 Olympic equestrian event in south London, at which some 23,000 spectators are expected.

      The furore began when a video of a dressage horse ridden using a technique called rollkur – the practice of drawing the horse’s neck round in a deep curve so its nose almost touches its chest – was posted on YouTube. It showed Swedish rider Patrik Kittel at October’s World Cup dressage qualifiers at Odense in Denmark warming up his horse, Watermill Scandic, for a sustained period of time in the position, also known as hyperflexion. The horse’s tongue appears to loll out and go blue. Kittel has since received death threats.

  23. Ametia says:

    Why don’t men like to go to doctors?
    17 June 2012 Last updated at 12:26 ET

    Help Medical centres are going out into the community to persuade more men to consult their doctor.

    Clinics are springing up in DIY centres, factories and offices to encourage men, who are traditionally more reluctant to seek help, to get themselves checked out.
    John Maguire reports.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Faith, Freedom, and Pandering
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:35 PM EDT

    .It didn’t generate much attention, but disgraced Republican lobbyist Ralph Reed hosted a pretty big religious right gathering over the weekend, through his Faith & Freedom Coalition. Mitt Romney wasn’t there in person — he was busy avoiding critics on his bus tour — but he appeared via video, and was introduced by his son, Josh, who did appear at the event.

    There are a few angles to this to consider. The first is the fact that Romney still feels the need to pander to the religious right — the former governor has spent years telling Christian conservatives what they want to hear, but now that he’s the GOP nominee, it’s tempting to think Romney might start trying to broaden his appeal. Apparently, the Republican does not yet feel as if he’s locked up the movement’s support.

    The second is what Romney ended up actually saying. Attendees heard the GOP candidate once again condemn President Obama’s position on contraception access, before passing along an anecdote from none other than Rick Santorum.

    For those of you who can’t watch clips online, Romney noted a Brookings study that Santorum loves, examining the best predictors of happiness and financial success.

    “[T]hree criteria were really quite amazing. Number one was whether someone had the chance to be married. Did they become married? Number two was whether they graduated from high school and number three was whether they ever got a job, ever one time took a job if they did those three things, the likelihood of them falling into poverty was only 2 percent — 2 percent. On the other hand, if they missed those three things, the likelihood of them falling into poverty was 76 percent, three-quarters of our people. And so, if you want to fight poverty, family is one of the elements that’s most critical.”

    I don’t imagine Romney quoting Santorum to this crowd was an accident. For that matter, it was interesting to hear the candidate talk about giving people a “chance to be married,” which is a “chance” Romney wants to deny to same-sex couples, presumably condemning them to a life of poverty.

    And finally, there’s one last question: since when did GOP leaders agree to let Ralph Reed out of the penalty box?


    Reed, of course, became a disgraced lobbyist caught up in the Abramoff scandal, who’s now managed to position himself again as a right-wing GOP powerhouse, able to get Romney to pander to him and his group. How’d Reed pull that off?

    Well, Reed waited. He simply allowed time to elapse, confident that Republican officials, conservative activists, and the media would simply forget about his scandals and remember his organizing successes.

    This has worked remarkably well, but there’s still value in remembering his sleazy misdeeds. Remember this one, from June 2006?

  25. Ametia says:

    POTUS is attending the G-20 this week. Stay tuned for pics and vids!

  26. Ametia says:

    Become a political ad sleuth in Wisconsin

    One of the things I’ve long wondered about all those shady third-party political action groups that have sprung up in the wake of Citizens United is where exactly they get their funding from. It’s no secret billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson have spent millions of dollars to help further the conservative cause nationally (not to mention here in Wisconsin), but who else wants to buy our votes?

    If you’re as curious as I am about where all that money is coming from for those outside groups, the folks at the Free Press, the Sunlight Foundation and the New America Foundation want you to become a political ad sleuth here in Wisconsin.

  27. Ametia says:

    Mitch McConnel is using the Frist Amendment to excuse the filhy use BILLIONS of dollars to buy ELECTIONS. You can take your fucking Founders nonsense and shove up your turtle-faced nose.

  28. Ametia says:

    Spanish version here:

  29. Ametia says:

    Frank Rich: Nuke ’Em
    Why negative advertisements are powerful, essential, and sometimes (see “Daisy”) even artistic.
    By Frank Rich
    Published Jun 17, 2012

    Barack Obama has made his mistakes as a politician and as a president, but here is one thing he indisputably did right: pummel Mitt Romney with a volley of attack ads once Romney sewed up the Republican nomination. Obama was playing by the rules, honoring historical precedent in both parties, and pursuing the one must-do task before him in an election year (winning). And yet from the blowback that erupted once his Bain ad hit the fan�from his own camp, from the pious arbiters of Beltway manners, and, of course, from his adversaries�you’d think Romney was an innocent civilian under assault by a drone.

    What was everyone so shocked about? As far back as August 2011, Obama’s political hit men were signaling the inevitable to Politico: The president, �resigned to running for reelection in a glum nation,� had little choice �but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.� The Bain ad that Obama ran last month was no surprise either: It followed the template of those used by Ted Kennedy against Romney in the Massachusetts Senate race of 1994. (The ads helped: Kennedy won by seventeen points.) If anything, Obama’s variation on the theme is less nasty than Newt Gingrich’s Bain-bashing ad during the GOP primaries.


  30. rikyrah says:

    I cannot repeat enough how much of a BULLET WE DODGED with this clown.

    Rielle Hunter Reveals John Edwards’ Multiple Mistresses in Tell-All
    By RUSSELL GOLDMAN | ABC OTUS News – 4 hrs ago

    Rielle Hunter was John Edwards’ last mistress, but not his first or only one, she claims in a revealing tell-all memoir obtained by ABC News.

    In the bombshell book, “What Really Happened” set to hit stores on June 26, Hunter reveals that Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate, had affairs with at least two other women dating back 20 years, and did not reveal the truth about his former relationships until 2011, two years after Hunter appeared before a grand jury.

    The release of the book, which she wrote in an effort to explain her relationship with Edwards to their daughter, coincides with an exclusive interview with ABC’s Chris Cuomo, which will air this Friday, June 22.

    Ironically, when Edwards first met Hunter in 2006 he lied to her about having more mistresses — not fewer — and only revealed the truth about his relationships years later, when he was set to be tried for using donations from wealthy political supporters to cover up his illicit affair and the daughter he had with Hunter.

    Edwards last month was acquitted on one count of violating campaign finance rules and a federal judge declared a mistrial on five other criminal counts after the jury came back deadlocked. The Justice Department will not retry the case

    In the book, Hunter is vague about the current status of her relationship with Edwards, but suggests that they remain romantically involved and he is a presence in daughter Frances Quinn Hunter’s life.

    In the upcoming “20/20” interview, Hunter will reveal the current status of her relationship with Edwards.

    “I really have no idea what will happen with us. The jury is still out. But I can honestly say that the ending is of no concern to me anymore. The love is here. And as sappy as it may sound, I love living in love,” she writes.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    June 18, 2012 11:35 AM
    By Ed Kilgore

    Ezra Klein has written a long piece for New Yorker that looks at the power of pure partisanship in U.S. politics through the example of the rapid and categorical rejection of an individual health care mandate by the conservatives and Republicans who invented it, and embraced it until very recently. For the most part, Ezra attributes this to the very human habit of “motivated reasoning,” in which group loyalties guide how we process information about this or that development or option.
    It’s all very interesting, but what I found most striking about Ezra’s article was its reminder of how very rapidly the idea spread that the individual mandate might be unconstitutional, from the cranky to the partisan and eventually, it seems, right into the Supreme Court:
    On March 23, 2010, the day that President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, fourteen state attorneys general filed suit against the law’s requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance, on the ground that it was unconstitutional. It was hard to find a law professor in the country who took them seriously. “The argument about constitutionality is, if not frivolous, close to it,” Sanford Levinson, a University of Texas law-school professor, told the McClatchy newspapers….
    Orin Kerr, a George Washington University professor who had clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, said, “There is a less than one-per-cent chance that the courts will invalidate the individual mandate.” Today, as the Supreme Court prepares to hand down its decision on the law, Kerr puts the chance that it will overturn the mandate—almost certainly on a party-line vote—at closer to “fifty-fifty….”

    How has this happened in just two years?
    First, congressional Republicans made the argument against the mandate a Republican position. Then it became a standard conservative-media position. “That legitimized the argument in a way we haven’t really seen before,” Kerr said. “We haven’t seen the media pick up a legal argument and make the argument mainstream by virtue of media coverage.” Finally, he says, “there were two conservative district judges who agreed with the argument, largely echoing the Republican position and the media coverage. And, once you had all that, it really became a ballgame.
    I would add to this history the fact that few analysts thought there was any chance the Court would risk overturning the long line of previous decisions underlying Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, stretching back to the 1930s. But a couple of years of Tea Party-inspired “constitutional conservatism” encouraging a radical form of originalism clearly undermined the legitimacy of what had long been considered unassailable precedents. And so here we are.
    Now perhaps the Supremes will surprise us all and uphold the mandate and banish the queasy sense I have that the bottom has dropped out and conservative radicalism, in Congress, in the think tanks, and even in the Courts, has no practical limit barring overwhelming electoral defeat. But the speed as much as the depth of the wave of amnesia—or “motivated reasoning,” if you wish—that has reversed so many prior positions on the Respectable Right will remain shocking even if it subsides on the Supreme Court steps.

  32. rikyrah says:

    June 18, 2012 9:43 AM
    By Ed Kilgore

    In deploring the complexity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, many critics have entirely ignored the complexity (and extraordinary irrationality) of the health care status quo ante. If you have any doubts about that, check out Alex MacGillis’ snapshot for TNR of people attending a subsidized care clinic for the uninsured in Tennessee. It’s a reminder that “the uninsured” represent a vast hodgepodge of bad luck, particularly those losing employer-based coverage and/or living in states with tightly limited Medicaid eligibility. Many suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes that could be significantly ameliorated with regular care they cannot currently afford. For many the current “system” is no system at all, but a series of occasional (and often preventable) medical catastrophes that finally merit treatment:

    [T]he safety net in southeastern Tennessee is a patchwork. The main hospital in the area, Southern Tennessee Medical Center in Winchester, receives federal funding to reimburse it for some of the uncompensated care it provides. Hospital CEO Phil Young says it would be better for those patients to arrive with coverage, not least because their conditions would get attention before becoming acute. “It would certainly help us from a funding perspective,” Young said.
    In 2008, several local physicians tackled the area’s lack of options for the uninsured by setting up a tiny clinic in a vacant Winchester school building. Nine doctors volunteered a total of about 900 hours last year, seeing people without insurance. But its capacity is limited – just two exam rooms plus a small office with boxes of donated medication. Appointments are booked for the next two months.
    Dr. Thomas Smith, who helped set up the clinic, considered it a temporary fix. “We hope we are planned obsolescence,” he said. Smith is ambivalent about the law. But he acknowledges that things need to change in Tennessee: “The current situation is not sustainable.”

    The current situation” will get a lot worse if “ObamaCare” is struck down, and far, far worse if Mitt Romney is elected president and Republicans succeed in implementing his and Paul Ryan’s proposal for a Medicaid block grant with sharply reduced federal funding, not to mention their “market-based reforms” that will gut state insurance regulation. Read about the kind of people MacGillis is writing about, and ask yourself exactly how much they will benefit from the exhilarating freedom to shop for health insurance in the individual market-place. It would be a joke if were not so profoundly unfunny.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Death to the Cult of Bowles-Simpson
    by BooMan
    Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 11:11:03 AM EST

    The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Bowles-Simpson) was only necessary because neither party can unilaterally makes the kind of radical budgeting decisions necessary to bring our budget into balance. There are two reasons for this. First, the parties both enjoy enough power to block a plan imposed by the other side, which makes compromise necessary. Second, neither party can take 100% of the political fallout from massive budget cuts/tax increases and survive. Both parties need the other party to take tough unpopular decisions so that the blame is shared. So, the entire premise of the Bowles-Simpson endeavor was that both sides would make concessions that infuriate their respective bases and the wider public. The Democrats cautiously took steps in that direction but discovered that the Republicans would not accept any kind of revenue increases. Yes, the Simpson-Bowles plan technically had revenue enhancements, but the GOP wouldn’t sign off on those enhancements. People seem to forget that the Commission did not approve any plan. What they delivered was a plan that they themselves had rejected.
    That, in turn, led to the SuperCommittee which ran into the exact same problem. Despite onerous cuts, especially to defense spending, that were supposed to assure some kind of deal would be reached, the Republicans would not agree to any new revenues and so the SuperCommittee failed, too.

    And, yet, we still have this Cult of the Bowles-Simpson committee out there. Whether it’s Jamie Dimon testifying before Congress or Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post, there seems to be a collective amnesia that the GOP never signed off on Bowles-Simpson. They continue to behave as if it is reasonable to expect the president of the United States to embrace the opposing party’s vision of America as his own.

    It’s ruining this country, and I am tired of hearing idiots pine for Bowles-Simpson.

  34. rikyrah says:

    McCain needs a new hobby
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:30 AM EDT.

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with policymakers trying to eliminate wasteful spending, but as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) helps demonstrate, the endeavor only works when they find actual waste.

    In 2009, for example, McCain used Twitter to highlight what he considered “the top 10 pork barrel projects” in the Recovery Act, which McCain described as his idea of “a lot of fun.” Some cursory research found that most of McCain’s examples weren’t wasteful at all.

    In one classic example, McCain blasted “$650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi,” asking, “How does one manage a beaver?” Hilarious. In reality, $650,000 in stimulus funds hired workers to disrupt beaver dams, which in turn prevented significant flood damage to farms, timber lands, roadways, and other infrastructure in the area. The Arizonan neglected to do his homework, and ended up blasting a worthwhile project for no reason.

    In 2010, McCain did it again, releasing another list of wasteful projects, and once more McCain’s examples fell apart.

    McCain is still at it, this time highlighting examples of spending he doesn’t like in the Farm Bill pending in the Senate. But as Alex Pareene explained, McCain isn’t “developing any sort of larger objection to the bill’s priorities or major components,” rather, “McCain just decided to single out the things in the bill that sound the silliest, if you are a cranky old man who doesn’t like to have to think about stuff too hard.”

  35. rikyrah says:

    I absolutely love the brilliance of our President.

    Marco Rubio knows his grifting ass had no intentions of putting forth anything serious. He was just gonna pretend, so that Willard could pretend. Now that the President has taken away his pretending and made it government policy, HE and Willard are stuck. Nothing is stopping his ass from putting it into the framework of LAW, and convincing GOP Senators to go along with it , but that was never the point, was it, Marco?

    I’m LMAO at this, because the President outwitted these mofos once again.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Noun, Verb, Lie
    Posted on 06/18/2012 at 7:11 am by Bob Cesca

    Here’s more of Romney lying about his tax reform plan ob CBS’s Face the Nation:

    “One of the absolute requirements of any tax reform that I have in mind is that people who are the high end, whether you call them the 1 percent, 2 percent, half a percent, the people at the high end will still pay the same share of the tax burden they’re paying now. I’m not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest.”

    That’s a lie. First, a reminder: Romney is in the 1 percent — of the 1 percent. Second, there’s this bit of analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice we ran a couple weeks ago:

    Romney wants to lower current tax rates for everyone by 20 percent. This benefits the wealthy most: Dropping the highest bracket from 35 percent to 28 percent, for example, yields a much bigger savings for those at the top than lowering the 15 percent bracket to 12 percent brings for taxpayers in that group.

    Unless Romney just yesterday revised his tax plan, he lied about it on national television.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Ten-to-one still isn’t good enough for Romney
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:13 AM EDT

    .Arguably the most important moment of the Republican presidential nominating process wasn’t a gaffe or an attack — it was a question that didn’t even require anyone to say anything at all.

    At a debate for the eight GOP candidates in mid-August, Fox News’ Bret Baier asked the Republican field whether they could accept a debt-reduction deal in which they received $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. All eight candidates said such a compromise simply wouldn’t be good enough.

    Looking back, Jon Huntsman regrets the incident. As of yesterday, Mitt Romney doesn’t.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked about this on “Face the Nation” yesterday, and Romney was as obstinate as he was last summer, even when talking about a 10-to-1 compromise in his favor.

    “I do feel that way. Government is big and getting larger…. The only solution to taming an out-of-control spending government is to cut spending and my policies reduce the rate of spending.”

    It’s important to appreciate just how ridiculous this is.


    Let’s note for context that in March 2011 — just last year — Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee released a report on deficit reduction. In it, House GOP officials outlined their ideal cuts-to-revenue ratio, and concluded that “successful” attempts to cut the deficit meet a specific goal: “85% spending cuts and 15% revenue increases.” Roughly speaking, that’s about a 5-to-1 ratio in Republicans’ favor — and this is what GOP officials characterized as their ideal just a year ago.

    Romney, however, is far to the right of where House Republicans were in 2011 — we’ve gone from a Republican standard demanding a 5-to-1 deal in their favor to rejecting a 10-to-1 deal in their favor.

    The larger message to the electorate was hard to miss: Romney has no intention of compromising.

    As a policy matter, if a 10-to-1 cuts-to-revenue ratio is considered far too liberal for the Republican Party in the 21st century, we can say with certainty the GOP is obviously not serious about debt reduction. We can also say with certainty that the Republicans’ presidential nominee doesn’t have the foggiest idea how to shape a coherent approach to fiscal sanity.

  38. rikyrah says:

    McConnell makes the case for secret donations
    By Steve Benen – Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:44 AM EDT.

    For decades, when Republicans made the case against campaign-finance reform, they invariably touted disclosure as the panacea that made restrictions unnecessary. As Fred Hiatt explained, “Republicans always dangled this apple in the most alluring way. Political money will find a path, they would insist. Give up! Give in! We will post every donation on the Web, instantly! We will give you transparency! Sunshine! Accountability! What could be more democratic?”

    Except, of course, that the right never really meant it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a staunch opponent of campaign-finance reform, spoke at the American Enterprise Institute the other day and condemned the Obama administration’s efforts to “silence” political speech.

    “It is critically important for all conservatives — and indeed all Americans — to stand up and unite in defense of the freedom to organize around the causes we believe in, and against any effort that would constrain our ability to do so,” McConnell told AEI.

    And what are the “efforts” that have McConnell so outraged? The senator “cited a Democratic proposal to require corporations and unions to disclose their spending on political advertising.”

    Yes, in Mitch McConnell’s mind, the DISCLOSE Act is “nothing less than an effort by the government itself to expose its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies.”

    As far as the Senate Minority Leader is concerned, there’s nothing wrong with wealthy interests buying American elections — the real scandal is a proposal to let American voters know who’s doing the buying.


    In reality, the DISCLOSE Act (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) is a fairly modest proposal. In the wake of the Citizens United ruling, Democrats thought it made sense to require corporations, unions, and other interest groups that pay for campaign ads to identify themselves, allowing the public to know who’s saying what.

    It wasn’t even a partisan initiative, at least not completely — in the House, the proposal even had a Republican co-sponsor.

    It would have become law in 2010 were it not for a Republican filibuster. When the bill reached the floor, it had 59 supporters and 39 opponents, which in the broken Senate, means the legislation failed. Proponents only needed one GOP vote, but every Republican in the chamber, including alleged “moderates” like Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) refused to give the bill an up-or-down vote.

    But McConnell is still afraid the bill might make a comeback, and has taken a firm stand in support of front groups that keep donations secret. This, as far as the Minority Leader is concerned, makes him a champion of the First Amendment.

    Because nothing says “freedom” like secret billionaires quietly buying elections out of public view.

  39. Ametia says:

    Katrina levees rejected for National Register
    By Kevin McGill, Monday, June 18, 7:30 AM

    NEW ORLEANS — Two sites where levees breached during Hurricane Katrina and led to catastrophic flooding in New Orleans will not be listed on the National Register of Historic Places alongside notable landmarks such as Civil War battlefields and presidential birthplaces, the National Park Service said.

    The Park Service rejected a proposal from the advocacy group ­Levees.Org, which has been pushing for almost two years to have the sites listed on the register, arguing that the breaches reflected the worst civil engineering disaster in the nation’s history.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Marco Rubio’s DREAM plans foiled: Roll Call notes that Obama’s immigration announcement completely undercut Rubio’s plan to release his own DREAM Act in order to minimize the damage the GOP’s immigration positions are doing to the party among Latinos. If Dems can continue to block GOP efforts to win over Latinos, it could have sigificant long term implications for the GOP, since the Latino share of the vote will only grow in the years ahead.

    * Rubio reevaluating DREAM strategy: A Rubio spokesman concedes that Obama’s move makes it less likely that the GOP DREAM Act will move forward this year, and says Rubio and his advisers will now “reevaluate our legislative strategy,” yet another sign of how much Obama’s annoumcement scramble the politics of immigration.

    * Romney outreach to Latinos focuses on economy: The Romney campaign releases a new Spanish-language ad renewing the pitch for Latinos. That this release would come right at the moment when he’s struggling to articulate his position on immigration underscores again that his only hope of reducing the damage among these voters lies in emphasizing their economic struggles.

  41. rikyrah says:

    June 17, 2012 10:58 AM
    The Fleeting Chris Christie Moment

    By Elon Green

    Per Mike Allen, the great Peter Boyer has a new story this week:

    NEWSWEEK cover, “HAS CHRIS CHRISTIE BLOWN IT? … Has Chris Christie passed his sell-by date? He showed the GOP how to win in 2012. Now he’s bogged down in Jersey.”

    That’s not even the half of it. Last night, the New York Times dropped an explosive story about New Jersey’s halfway houses. They have, to put it mildly, been a huge failure:

    Since 2005, roughly 5,100 inmates have escaped from the state’s privately run halfway houses, including at least 1,300 in the 29 months since Governor Christie took office, according to an analysis by The Times.

    According to the Times, “At least 85 inmates are currently at large, according to state records.”

    The story contains at least one moment of levity:

    …the Corrections Department emphasized that inmates who fled halfway houses should be referred to as “walkaways” to distinguish them from inmates who escape prisons.
    The term “walkaway,” though, does not exist in state law.

    The story is long, deeply reported and air-tight. It should be read in its entirety. If the story gets widely cited, Christie’s value as a Romney surrogate will be significantly diminished.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Romney tightens embrace of Paul Ryan: Romney is set to campaign with Paul Ryan today, and Janet Hook has an interesting look at one of the surprises of this presidential race: Rather than distancing himself from unpopular House Republicans and their agenda, Romney has only tightened his embrace of them.

    Dems are particularly pleased this morning by this quote from GOP Rep. Jim Jordan about Romney: “He’s our guy.”

    Many observers expected Romney to work hard to achieve separation from the House GOP, but the real story turned out to be the degree to which Romney’s and Ryan’s broad economic visions are in sync with one another.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:08 AM ET, 06/18/2012
    The Morning Plum: Details, details

    By Greg Sargent

    On CBS yesterday, Mitt Romney attacked Obama’s new policy on immigration, but he refused to say whether he would repeal that policy or what he would do instead over the long term. Philip Rucker and Dan Balz have a nice piece this morning pointing this out, but more to the point, they highlight the degree to which Romney has built his entire campaign on attacking Obama’s policies while refusing to detail what he would do instead:

    Romney’s struggle to offer a clear alternative on the immigration issue was a fresh reminder of one of the challenges he faces, which is to go beyond his steady criticism of the president with a more detailed description of the policies he would implement to replace what Obama has done.

    Immigration is a problem particularly because of conservative stances Romney took during the Republican primary campaign that now could cause him difficulty in appealing to Hispanic voters in the general election. But even regarding the biggest issue of the campaign — the economy — there are many unanswered questions as to what he would do….

    At the rally here in Newark, Romney revved up a couple of thousand supporters by promising to “shock the world with how our economy’s coming back,” but in a speech that clocked at just nine minutes, offered only broad outlines and few specifics.

    Romney has been very good at avoiding pressure from the media to be more specific on a number of core questions that are at the heart of this campaign. He has faced little media heat for refusing to explain how he would pay for his massive tax cuts for the rich — and even made it clear during yesterday’s interview that he sees no need to answer that question in detail for the duration of the campaign.

    Romney’s campaign regularly says he is offering an approach to the economy that hasn’t been tried before. But he has not been pressed hard to explain how, exactly, his policies would differ from those of George W. Bush — or indeed why we should expect those policies to produce runaway growth and shared prosperity when that didn’t happen last time around.

    More broadly, it’s almost never remarked upon at all, but Romney doesn’t have a plan to fix the economic crisis — at least in the sense that he’d be proposing the same things he is now if the economy were doing great — despite the fact that this presidential race is all about what to do about the economic crisis.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Romney stuck in a box on immigration
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    President Obama’s announcement on immigration policy clearly has sweeping implications. The substance of the measure, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of families, is what matters most, but it’s an election year and moves like these affect the electoral landscape in a big way — especially for the president’s opponent.

    While Obama’s willingness to implement the goals of the DREAM Act is likely to boost his support among Latino voters, Republican Mitt Romney has found himself in a far more uncomfortable position. This was evident on yesterday’s “Face the Nation” — a rare non-Fox appearance for Romney — where he didn’t want to talk about the president’s move.

    Four times CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked whether Romney, if elected, would keep Obama’s new policy in place and four times Romney refused to give a straight answer.

    We know exactly why the former governor is feeling reticent. During the Republican presidential primaries, Romney moved sharply to the right on immigration policy, alienating the fastest-growing voting constituency in the country. Romney has already said he’s an opponent of the DREAM Act; he’s palling around with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; he endorses a “self-deportation” agenda; he’s critical of bilingualism; and his casual dismissals of “amnesty” and “illegals” are a staple of his campaign rhetoric. It’s why Romney has successfully alienated Latino voters to such a remarkable degree — he’s arguably the most anti-immigrant major party nominee in a generation.

    But Romney also hoped to shake the Etch A Sketch on the issue, expressing tacit support for Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) still-non-existent, watered-down version of the DREAM Act. Obama has made this shift vastly more difficult, if not impossible.


    Steve Kornacki explained the other day:

    The assumption has been that Romney would ultimately line up with a modified Dream Act proposal being drawn up by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. This was problematic for Obama, since immigration groups have been signaling their openness to Rubio’s basic framework — allow work permits, but not a path to full citizenship. So there was a potential for Rubio to roll out his plan, Romney to endorse it, and for momentum to quickly build behind it — making Obama seem like a weak leader and helping the GOP’s image with Hispanic voters.

    But with his action [Friday], Obama has essentially made Rubio’s pending proposal official government policy. Obama looks like the strong leader here, and he also just blocked the path to the middle that his opponent was eying.

    And that leaves Romney with a dilemma he’d prefer to avoid. On the one hand, if the Republican doesn’t improve his standing with Latino voters, at least a little, he’s going to find it very difficult to win in November. On the other, his party’s base has strongly condemned Obama’s move and expects the GOP nominee to side with them against the Democratic president.

    As Greg Sargent put it, “Romney will likely be pressed to say whether he supports the new initiative, which means making a choice between the Kobach camp and the Rubio camp.” As of yesterday, Romney refused to choose one over the other — which is an untenable position that won’t last.

  45. rikyrah says:

    Obama Adviser Tells Worried Dems To Quit ‘Hand Wringing’

    Pema Levy-June 17, 2012, 3:01 PM

    Democratic strategists have been raising red flags about the Obama campaign’s messaging recently, worrying that Obama is spending too much time explaining why the economy has improved over the past three and a half years and not enough time talking about the next four years.

    But the Obama campaign seems loath to take their advice, or at the very least, acknowledge publicly that they need to adjust their message.

    Appearing on several Sunday talk shows, senior White House adviser David Plouffe doubled down on the president’s message: After eight years of Republican rule culminating in the financial crisis, the nation is now on the right track to recovery.

    Democrats’ concerns have been on display over the last week.

    “I’m worried that when the White House or the campaign talks about the progress that’s being made, people take that as a signal that they think that things are fine and people don’t feel they ought to believe that,” Democratic strategist James Carville said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

    Carville is the co-author of a memo, along with Democratic pollsters Stan Greenberg and Erica Siefert, which uses findings from focus groups to argue that the president needs to articulate a vision moving forward with “minimal discussion of the recovery and jobs created and maximal empathy for the challenges people face.”

    Democratic pollster Peter Hart conducted two focus groups and came up with a similar finding. “[The public] need a sense of a vision, they need a sense of hope,” Hart wrote, “they need to be able to see that it’s not just the old Obama giving them the charisma and the cool.”

    But the Obama team isn’t fazed. On “Fox News Sunday,” Plouffe argued that Carville and his chorus of Democrats are wrong.

    “Those other Democrats are not paying attention to what the president is saying,” Plouffe told host Chris Wallace. “Which is every day, not just in what he says but what he does, he understands our economy is not as strong as it needs to be, that this didn’t happen overnight, it’s going to take us a long time to recover, there’s a lot of people out there hurting. So we are making progress and we need to make a lot more.”

    Plouffe’s retort did exactly what the critics warn the campaign not to do: focus on the president’s economic record for his first term, rather than what he would do in a second term.

    On “Meet The Press,” Plouffe denied that Democrats were panicking after a few rough weeks and poor economic news. But he called on Democrats to quit the “hand wringing” and focus on winning the election. What Democrats and any other supporters of the president need to do, Plouffe said, “is work like heck to win this election. That’s where we need our energy focused. Not on kind of some of the hand wringing that sometimes occurs in our party.”

  46. rikyrah says:

    President Obama Maintains His Dignity When Faced With Racist and Bigoted Attacks
    By: RmuseJune 17, 2012

    One of the more difficult exercises for human beings is respecting another person regardless of their race, religion, or world view. For the past three years, since the rise of conservative extremism, the lack of respect among a large segment of the population for other Americans has revealed a level of contempt and hatred that is normally reserved for a hated enemy, and it informs the inherent inhumanity that is eating away at society. However, conservatives are following the lead of the political heroes who have shown nothing but contempt for the American people and especially the first African American President.

    On Friday a reporter interrupted President Obama’s speech announcing that children of undocumented immigrants would not be deported, and it is a stark reminder that the opposition to the President is not his political ideology, but his race. One might even excuse the reporter’s disrespectful interruption as an isolated incident, but throughout this President’s tenure, everyone from low-class teabaggers to bigoted religious sycophants to sitting legislators have treated him like a third class citizen instead of the President of the United States.

    The disrespect began in earnest when Republicans acted as if they won the 2008 general election and it continues unabated because the white racist element cannot fathom, or accept, that the American people elected an African American man to lead the country. President Obama ran, and has governed, as a Centrist who has been friendly to business, Wall Street, and especially Republicans as he has attempted bipartisanship on every one of his legislative agendas. Indeed, many of the President’s policies were once held by Republicans, and yet to show their opposition they obstructed, voted against, and used fallacious propaganda to convince the American people that the President is an interloper who illegally inhabits the position they think is reserved for a white Christian male.

    What is stunning, is that despite the President’s policies that are staples of Republican ideology such as reducing taxes, slashing government spending, and maintaining a strong military, conservatives have used every means to delegitimize and denigrate the President. Republicans have not countered claims that the President was born in Kenya, is a Muslim, or a fascist dictator, and in fact have perpetuated the fallacious claims with their silence and tacit approval of every conspiracy theory and nut-case that comes along. The Republican candidate for president, Willard Romney, has taken every opportunity to convince voters that the President is lazy, over his head, and not a real American. The only reason Willard did not join in attacking the President’s past association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is because he is mortified of Americans looking closely at his offshoot pseudo-Christian religion.

    What is incredible, no, phenomenal, is that President Obama has maintained dignity in the face of racist and bigoted attacks on his character and Republican assaults on his administration as a Socialist takeover when a normal man would lash out with vindictive retribution. Despite the obstruction to every single one of his policies to get the economy up and running and Americans working again, President Obama has taken the high road and attempted to work with Republicans to help all Americans and it is testament to his character and devotion to fulfilling his oath of office.

    • Ametia says:

      Unlike the POTUS, Mitt Romney is given a pass on his EXTREME AGENDA= Bush REDUX, just because…. you know he ONLY WANTS ONE TERM JUST TO BE PRESIDENT.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Prominent Hispanic Media Figure Cristina Saralegui Endorses Obama

    Cristina Saralegui, a fixture in Hispanic media often called the “Hispanic Oprah,” endorsed President Obama Monday. This is the first time the Miami-based talk show host has waded into a presidential race, but she said the election was too important and that she felt she had to speak up since Hispanics may “very well decide the next election.”

    “I will do everything I can from now until November to ensure that President Obama is re-elected; there’s simply too much at stake,” Saralegui said in a statement. “President Obama, I was very fortunate to live the American dream and I know that only you will make it possible for millions more to do the same. You’ve had our back, and now, with utmost respect and admiration, I have yours.”

    “Cristina is one of the most trusted names in the Hispanic community and we’re honored to have Cristina be a spokesperson for the campaign, speaking directly to Hispanic voters about the President’s accomplishments,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement.

    The Obama campaign released video endorsement from Saralegui in both English and Spanish.

  48. rikyrah says:

    A Circumstance Beyond Our Control

    By mistermix June 18th, 2012

    We all missed this on Friday (via):
    Maricopa County Sheriff Office deputies arrested a 6-year-old suspected illegal immigrant Friday, the day President Barack Obama softened the country’s deportation policy toward young illegal immigrants.

    Joe doesn’t understand irony:

    “I suspect that this is politics to get the Hispanic vote,” Arpaio said. “It’s sad to use the kids as a political tool to get a certain segment of our society’s vote.”

    Looking at Arizona voter registration statistics [pdf], it looks like it will be a long time before Maricopa County flips to the Democrats, but, overall, there’s only about 150K (~5%) between the Democrats and the Republicans (plus Libertarians) statewide. The Hispanic population in that state grew 46.3% in the past decade. The math here isn’t hard, but the Republicans in Arizona seem to be happy to let an 80 year-old birther who likes to arrest children be their public face. I wonder if Jeff Flake, or “Mr. Amnesty” as his Republican primary opponent calls him, has the mother of all pivot/etch-a-sketch strategies that will simultaneously win a Republican primary and erase the public’s memory that he’s on the same line as Phoenix’ version of Bull Connor.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

Leave a Reply