Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Michael Jackson Week!



Presiddent Obama & Vice President Biden delivering a royal SMACKDOWN on Romney

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44 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Michael Jackson Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Romney once touted mandate he now deems unconstitutional

    Posted by
    CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta

    Sterling, Virginia (CNN) – The conventional wisdom in Washington is that the Supreme Court will hand President Barack Obama some kind of defeat to his health care law that could damage his re-election chances. But what’s the political prognosis for Mitt Romney?

    “My guess is that they are not sleeping very well at the White House tonight,” Romney quipped at an event one day before the Supreme Court’s expected ruling.

  2. Ametia says:

    Justice Antonin Scalia needs to resign from the Supreme Court.
    E.J. Dionne Jr.

    He’d have a lot of things to do. He’s a fine public speaker and teacher. He’d be a heck of a columnist and blogger. But he really seems to aspire to being a politician — and that’s the problem.
    So often, Scalia has chosen to ignore the obligation of a Supreme Court justice to be, and appear to be, impartial. He’s turned “judicial restraint” into an oxymoronic phrase. But what he did this week, when the court announced its decision on the Arizona immigration law, should be the end of the line.
    Not content with issuing a fiery written dissent, Scalia offered a bench statement questioning President Obama’s decision to allow some immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to stay. Obama’s move had nothing to do with the case in question. Scalia just wanted you to know where he stood.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Fear of fragging

    By DougJ June 27th, 2012

    A couple things I’ve noticed recently about the presidential campaign: (1) Romney doesn’t want to talk about issues like immigration at all and (2) the media narrative has shifted from “Romney will move to the center in the general” to “Romney will govern from the center even though he campaigned from the far right in both the primaries and the general”. Clearly, Romney can’t “tack to the center” even on issues where it would be politically advantageous for him to do so. Why? The answer is obvious, but Jonathan Bernstein is one of the first to spell it out:

    So why doesn’t Mitt Romney advance any policy ideas, anyway? In particular, why doesn’t he advance some ideas — on the economy preferably, but any issue would do — to shield himself from the obvious attack that he’s a more-of-the-same return to the still-unpopular George W. Bush?


    So why doesn’t Romney differentiate himself from Bush? It’s pretty simple, and it gets back to what drives much of the Romney program: fear of conservatives.


    And for general election swing voters, Romney is following the same path: substituting attitude such as a vague support for jobs for issues — and taking the hits from the occasional reporter who cares about such things — and hoping that it’s enough. It has a down side; it’s getting him a reputation in the press for ducking issues, and it makes it easier to paint him as Mitt W. Romney — but given his constraints, it’s a rational strategy. Expect plenty more of it.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Obama Effect – Theatrical Trailer, Starring Katt Williams, Charles S. Dutton

  5. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s ‘Crony Capitalism’: Bain’s Big Government Subsidies

    Ari Berman on January 13, 2012 – 11:30 AM ET

    In recent days Mitt Romney has strenuously defended his tenure at Bain Capital, lauding his former employer as a classic success story of free-market capitalism and lambasting his opponents on the left and right for practicing the “bitter politics of envy.”

    In his New Hampshire primary speech, Romney claimed that “President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial” and “turn America into a European-style entitlement society.” In Romney’s telling, Obama relies on government for his solutions, while Mitt draws his inspiration from the power of the free market. There are winners and losers in the free market, this argument goes, and it’s not the government’s job to determine who they are. At a recent debate, Romney said that government “by and large…gets in the way of creating jobs.”

    But a closer look at Bain’s record under Romney reveals that the company relied on the very government subsidies that Romney and Tea Party conservatives routinely denounce as “crony capitalism.” The Los Angeles Times ran a big story yesterday about Bain’s investment in Steel Dynamics, which received $37 million in subsidies and grants to build a new plant in DeKalb County, Indiana. An analyst at the Cato Institute called it “corporate welfare.”

    Romney has recently pointed to Steel Dynamics as one of his success stories at Bain, including in a new ad, which contributed to the 100,000 net jobs he’s claimed to have created at the firm (an incorrect figure he’s subsequently had to walk back). He never mentions that government subsidies played a major role in ensuring that success.

    Phil Mattera, research director for Good Jobs First, provides a few more examples of the government subsidies Bain received during Romney’s tenure at his blog, Dirt Diggers Digest.

    GS Industries. In 1996 American Iron Reduction LLC, a joint venture of GS Industries (which had been taken private by Bain in 1993) and Birmingham Steel, sought some $20 million in tax breaks in connection with its plan to build a plant in Louisiana’s St. James Parish (Baton Rouge Advocate, April 6, 1996). As the United Steelworkers union noted recently, GS Industries later applied for a federal loan guarantee, but before the deal could be implemented the company went bankrupt.

    Sealy. A year after the 1997 buyout of this leading mattress company by Bain and other private equity firms, Sealy received $600,000 from state and local authorities in North Carolina to move its corporate offices, a research center and a manufacturing plant from Ohio (Greensboro News & Record, March 31, 1998). In 2004 Bain and its partners sold Sealy to another private equity group.

    GT Bicycles. In 1997 GT, then owned by Bain and other investors, decided to move its manufacturing operations to an enterprise zone in Santa Ana, California. Being in the zone gave the company, which was later purchased by Schwinn, special tax credits relating to hiring and the purchase of equipment (Orange County Register, July 9, 1999).

    These subsidies didn’t always provide the return states and localities were looking for. Seven hundred and fifty workers lost their jobs, for example, after Bain took over GS Industries. “They walked out of here with millions,” said one former steelworker. “They left us with nothing.”

    • Ametia says:

      Mitt Romney, who called Arizona’s immigration law a “model for the nation” & promised to veto the DREAM Act, seems to be the one decisive Republican voice on immigration.

  6. Ametia says:


    Romney to seek Washington Post retraction
    6/27/12 1:04 PM EDT

    Mitt Romney campaign representatives will meet with The Washington Post today to seek a formal retraction of its June 21 report that Bain Capital invested in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs, POLITICO has learned.

    The representatives will meet with executive editor Marcus Brauchli and other senior Post staff at 2 p.m. today at the Post’s offices in Washington.

    The group intends to argue that the Post’s allegations against Bain Capital and the firms in question are either incomplete or inaccurate, sources familiar with the meeting say. Specifically, the group will argue that the Post misinterpreted the SEC filings it examined for its report and failed to adequately account for the support these firms gave to U.S. exports or U.S. businesses through foreign hiring. The campaign raised similar objections to the story prior to its publication.

    (UPDATE: The Washington Post will not redact outsourcing story)

    • Ametia says:

      By DYLAN BYERS |
      6/27/12 3:33 PM EDT

      The Washington Post will not retract their June 21 report about Bain Capital’s investments in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs, POLITICO has learned.

      “We are very confident in our reporting,” Washington Post spokesperson Kris Coratti told POLITICO following a meeting between the Post’s executive editor Marcus Brauchli and Mitt Romney campaign representatives, who had sought a retraction from the paper.

      The Romney campaign would not discuss the meeting. “It was an off the record private meeting so I don’t have anything for you on that,” campaign press secretary Andrea Saul told POLITICO.

      UPDATE: Here are the Romney campaign’s complaints against the Washington Post story.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    June 27, 2012 11:57 AM
    The Fever Spreads

    By Ed Kilgore

    As the House gets ready for the contempt-of-Congress vote aimed at the Attorney General tomorrow, the conflict gets more and more remote from the original concerns over the “Fast and Furious” operation.

    The National Rifle Association, always happy to strike out at the “jack-booted government thugs” of the ATF, at Eric Holder, and at Barack Obama, has now officially come out for the contempt-of-Congress resolution as a key vote that will affect their ratings of candidates. This move is already getting the attention of House Democrats in vulnerable districts (e.g., Utah’s Jim Matheson). I mean, who wants to take on the NRA when all you have to do to avoid that is to support full disclosure of information that’s being hidden for no obvious reason, right? In any event, this development will scramble a previously clear media perception that the whole brouhaha is strictly partisan politics.

    Meanwhile, the maestro of the whole show, Darrell Issa, continues to ever-more-aggressively pursue the nutso idea that Fast and Furious was a botched operation to boost support for broad gun control measures (measures, of course, that no one in the Obama administration has shown any signs of offering). Now that reliable contributor to the Noise Machine, Investor’s Business Daily, has endorsed the “gun control theory,” so we are off to the races.

    Back on Planet Earth, Fortune muddied the waters today with a long investigative report by Katherine Eban suggesting that “Fast and Furious” was not actually a “gun walking” operation at all, and that Issa’s entire investigation is based on the fruits of internal ATF factionalism and grudge-settling, now compounded by CYA defensive measures from higher-ups in the Justice Department.
    Quite simply, there’s a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn….

    How Fast and Furious reached the headlines is a strange and unsettling saga, one that reveals a lot about politics and media today. It’s a story that starts with a grudge, specifically [ATF agent] Dodson’s anger at [Dodson supervisor and “Fast and Furious” overseer] Voth. After the terrible murder of agent Terry, Dodson made complaints that were then amplified, first by right-wing bloggers, then by CBS. Rep. Issa and other politicians then seized those elements to score points against the Obama administration, which, for its part, has capitulated in an apparent effort to avoid a rhetorical battle over gun control in the run-up to the presidential election

  8. rikyrah says:

    A moral difference on health care
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:09 AM EDT.

    Over the last several weeks, there have been competing reports about what, if anything, congressional Republicans will do if the Supreme Court kills the Affordable Care Act. Some reports suggest GOP policymakers, fearing a public backlash, will grudgingly extend some popular consumer protections currently in “Obamacare.” Other reports suggest Republicans will simply do nothing.

    As of this morning, the latter camp appears to be winning. Politico, citing a “shift” in the GOP strategy, reports today that Republicans won’t lift a finger to help families hurt by the demise of the law — no coverage for young adults; no protections for those with pre-existing conditions; no help for seniors struggling to pay for prescription medication.

    If families suffer as a result of the likely high court decision, well, maybe Republicans will think about doing something next year, maybe not.

    And this brings us to a big-picture question that received some intermittent attention in 2009, but which hasn’t generated much attention since: do Americans have a right to medical care? As Jon Chait explained this week, it’s a moral question the parties answer differently.

    Several reporters have recently filed dispatches showing in human terms what sort of conditions we would be perpetuating in the event that five Republican Supreme Court Justices, or a potential Republican-run government next year, partially or completely nullify the Affordable Care Act. A man will watch the tumor in his leg grow to the size of a melon, and his wife will sew special pants to fit the growing bulge, because he has no insurance. A woman will hobble around for four years on an untreated broken ankle she can’t have repaired. People will line up in their cars and spend the night in a parking lot queuing for a rare free health clinic.

    Maybe these stories sound like cheap emotional manipulation. They are actually a clarifying tool to cut through the rhetorical fog surrounding the health-care debate and define the question in the most precise terms.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Politics trumps public health (again)
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:57 PM EDT.

    We talked the other day about South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) vetoing an HPV vaccine bill, despite bipartisan support in the state legislature, despite the fact that she’d co-sponsored the bill when she was a lawmaker, and despite the fact that the proposal would save lives by preventing cervical cancer. If you missed it, Rachel’s segment on this is well worth your time.

    I bring this up again because South Carolina lawmakers had a chance to override Haley’s veto, and made an effort yesterday to do so. Regrettably for everyone involved, the measure came up short.
    The South Carolina House failed Tuesday to override Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto of a bill intended to provide information on and access to a free vaccine that prevents a sexually transmitted, cancer-causing virus.

    The House’s 54-47 vote killed the bill, which called for informational brochures on the vaccine for human papillomavirus, known as HPV, to be provided to parents of sixth-graders. Parents could choose to have their seventh-graders receive the vaccine. The bill specifies those provisions depend on funding. A two-thirds majority was needed for the override.

    The vaccine wouldn’t have been mandatory, and any parent who wanted to opt out their kids would have been free to do so, but it didn’t matter.

    As mistermix vented in frustration, “[A] state with a teen pregnancy rate higher than the national average [pdf] won’t need to worry about any of those sluts thinking they can have unprotected sex without the risk of getting HPV.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    ‘Vague, general or downright evasive’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:28 PM EDT.

    For those of us who’ve marveled for months at Mitt Romney’s reluctance to take firm positions on major issues, it’s heartening to see so many others start to notice the same problem.

    Politico reported this week, “Vague, general or downright evasive policy prescriptions on some of the most important issues facing the country are becoming the rule for Romney.” MSNBC’s own Joe Scarborough told viewers this week the Romney campaign’s “goal is to not let people know what he believes on one issue after another.” Chris Cillizza noted yesterday that Romney “continues to decline to outline specific policies or take firm positions,” adding, “How sustainable is this?”

    Today, the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh highlighted the same problem.
    When Mitt Romney ran for governor in 2002, he campaigned like the management consultant he had once been, digging deep into issues and proposing thoughtful plans based on his analysis of the facts. It was a winning performance.

    A decade later, however, it’s as if an anti-matter Mitt is running for president. This Romney takes regular refuge in vague answers and foggy formulations. And not just on caught-by-surprise matters such as President Obama’s new policy not to deport certain young illegal immigrants.

    Rather, the vagueness extends to the heart of the Republican candidate’s core proposals.

    There’s a running list of issues Romney is afraid to take a firm position on, and it keeps getting longer.

    The next question, of course, is why Romney does this.


    The candidate has already admitted that if he talks in detail about what he’d do if elected, voters might not like it, so he prefers to keep the specifics under wraps. The GOP nominee, in other words, is taking the coward’s way out.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:07 PM ET, 06/27/2012
    One more time: The GOP wouldn’t replace Obamacare with anything

    By Jamelle Bouie and Greg Sargent

    With the repeal of Obamacare tomorrow a real possibility, the House Democratic leadership plans to distribute this card to Dem members and other outside allies — a visual representation of the fact that Republicans have no plan to replace any of Obamacare’s key provisions with anything:

    After all, House Republicans have now basically admitted that they have no intention to replace Obamacare anytime soon:

    [R]epublicans will be in no rush to pass any health care legislation besides a straight repeal measure after the Supreme Court rules. They’re going to let legislation slowly wind its way through committees and get debated, dissected and amended. If the entire law or part of the law is upheld, the House GOP would vote for repeal, of course — they already have.

    This includes the most popular parts of the law, including measures that cover people with pre-existing conditions, allow young adults under 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance, and close the gap in Medicare drug coverage. At most, reports Politico, Republicans have promised a process — they won’t “ram” the law through:

    [A]t this point, Republicans aren’t exactly feeling any urgency to do anything proactive if the Supreme Court knocks down any or all of the law. The reasoning behind the go-slow approach is to show a contrast with Democrats, whom they accused of writing a 2,000-page bill in Democratic leaders’ offices and jamming it through Congress, launching nationwide protests while ensuring the political demise of many House Democrats in the 2010 elections.

    It’s unfortunate that Politico uncritically repeats the myth that this was an unprecedented abuse of legislative power. The Affordable Care Act was forced through Congress in the same way that all legislation is; the designated committees crafted the bill, the opposition was given plenty of time to offer objections (see Six, Gang of), and in the Senate, the majority gathered 50 plus one votes to pass the bill, as well as 60 votes to break a filibuster. The grassroots backlash — which was generated by the Republican base — had more to do with the bill’s very existence, and not the process of its passage.

    Conservatives have long been opposed to universal coverage — they see access to health care as a privilege, not a right. Republican support for the individual mandate was a response to the perception that they had to provide an alternative. But now that liberals have adopted that alternative as their own, conservatives have abandoned the pretense of concern.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 06/27/2012
    Next stop for liberals after SCOTUS: Medicare for All?

    By Greg Sargent

    If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare tomorrow, how should Dems and liberals respond?

    Rep. Peter Welch’s suggestion: They should mount a concerted push for Medicare for All — and run hard on it in this fall’s elections.

    Of course, even Dems did manage to unify behind such a message — which is unthinkable — Medicare for All could never get through this Congress or the next. But Welch says Dems should do it, anyway — to stake out a very clear position in the wake of Obamacare’s demise, and to draw a very clear contrast with Republicans on an issue where they’re already viewed with skepticism by voters.

    “If the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare, we have to have a substantive policy and political response — in my view, that’s Medicare for All,” Welch said. “Medicare is very popular. People understand it.”

    It’s becoming clearer that Republicans will offer no meaningful alternative to Obamacare’s most important provisions if they’re struck down. Welch suggested using Medicare for All to highlight this fact — and to sharpen the contrast with the GOP embrace of Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, which will be a big issue this fall.

    “If we have repeal by the Supreme Court, we’re back to ground zero — the Reublican goal of a health care system that’s in the iron grip of the insurance companies,” Welch said. “Our question has to be very much in your face to Mr. Boehner — where’s your Plan A?”

    “If we argue for Medicare for All, it would reinforce our commitment to Medicare and highlight the Republican plan to turn it iinto a voucher system and unravel it,” Welch continued.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 06/27/2012
    In Obama’s DREAM move, no major political downside

    By Greg Sargent

    The political upside of Obama’s announcement that he’s ending deportation of DREAM-eligible youth is obvious, given the importance of the Latino vote in key southwestern battlegrounds. Is there any political downside?

    Some speculated that Obama’s announcement could play badly among blue collar whites and perhaps even independents in key swing states. But new data from Quinnipiac suggests the move is mostly a wash even among those voters.

    The toplines of today’s Quinnipiac polls show Obama leading in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. But dig deeper into the crosstabs and you find:

    * In Florida, non-college whites support the policy, 45-44, and 59 percent of them say it will make no difference in their vote. Florida independents support the policy, 62-30.

    * In Ohio, non-college whites tilt against the policy, but only by a slim margin, 47-43, and 55 percent of them say it will make no difference in their vote. Ohio independents support the policy, 54-39.

    * In Pennsylvania, the margin among blue collar whites against the policy is a bit higher, at 48-43, but even here, 56 percent of them say it will make no difference to their vote. Pennsylvnia independents support the policy, 51-41.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Fast And Not So Furious Scandal

    Katherine Eban issues an epic debunking of the Fox News-hyped story:

    Quite simply, there’s a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

    Indeed, a six-month Fortune investigation reveals that the public case alleging that Voth and his colleagues walked guns is replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies. Fortune reviewed more than 2,000 pages of confidential ATF documents and interviewed 39 people, including seven law-enforcement agents with direct knowledge of the case.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Bain Of This Campaign, Ctd

    A lot of hand-wringers have pooh-poohed the Obama campaign’s relentless focus on Mitt Romney as a vulture capitalist/out-sourcer-in-chief/suit-who-fired-your-dad etc. I find this strange since it’s obvious that Romney’s private sector experience as a man who made a fortune off private equity is relevant. Romney has made it a central piece of his appeal. And when pieces like the Washington Post’s recent expose reveal an enthusiasm for out-sourcing jobs abroad to help profit margins, Obama would be guilty of electoral malpractice if he didn’t jump on them. And so we have the ad above and others now showing in the swing states of Ohio, Virginia and Iowa.

    And guess what? In so far as we can judge the impact of these anti-Bain ads in the swing states, they appear to be working, especially with the white working class voters Romney desperately needs. Here’s the data from the latest NBC/WSJ poll:
    The president’s advantage widens in the states typically considered up for grabs — Obama leads by 8 points (50 percent to 42 percent) in a combined sample of voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    “Also in these swing states, Romney’s favorability numbers have dropped, possibly reflecting the toll the negative Obama TV advertisements are having on the former Massachusetts governor in these battlegrounds,” MSNBC’s FirstRead blog wrote. Those attacks include a sustained critique of Romney’s time at Bain Capital, the private equity firm that he co-founded.

    The last month has, on the surface, been dreadful for the Obama campaign, and tomorrow’s possible destruction of the ACA by SCOTUS would be the icing on a toxic cake. But, in fact:

    The swing state results led Republican pollster Bill McInturff to conclude that “it’s been more of a problematic month from May to June for Romney” (McInturff conducts the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll along with Democrat Peter Hart)

  16. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 07:59 AM ET, 06/27/2012
    The Morning Plum: The race to define Mitt Romney

    By Greg Sargent

    The most important number in the new NBC/WSJ poll may be this one:

    How much would you say you know about Mitt Romney and what he stands for — a lot, a fair amount, just some, or very little?

    Know a lot: 20

    Know a fair amount: 46

    Know just some: 22

    Know very little: 12

    Only one-fifth of Americans say they know Romney very well, and it’s save to assume the 46 percent who say they know a fair amount may be overstated. This is what the Obama campaign’s attack on Romney’s Bain years is about — it’s a race to define Romney before he can define himself. Romney is asking voters to see him as an energetic figure who has done exceptionally well for himself and is now poised to use the skills he acquired in the private sector to break the country out of its rut. Where Obama has proven weak and ineffective, Romney can jolt the economy to life and can break the stalemate in Congress.

    The Obama camp, meanwhile, hopes to cement an image of Romney as the rich guy who has done fabuously well for himself and now thinks running the country would make a diverting — and easy — next move. Romney, in this telling, is the guy who got obscenely rich while the floor fell out from under the middle class. Why would that equip him to create jobs or fight for you? This guy has never really been on your side.

    Or, as Jonathan Chait put it, the Obama team wants to “define his motives and perspective: a rich man who sees the world from the perspective of the CEO suite and blithely assumes what is good for people like himself is good for everybody.”

    The NBC/WSJ poll also tested the efficacy of the attacks on Bain:

    Has what you have seen, read, or heard about Mitt Romney’s previous business experience managing a firm that specializes in buying, restructuring, and selling companies made you feel more positive or more negative about him, not made much difference in your opinion or do you not know enough about this to have an opinion at this time?

  17. rikyrah says:

    Voting shouldn’t require a credit report

    By Steve Benen

    Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:49 PM EDT.

    Getty Images

    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R)

    Once someone is convicted of a felony, they lose their voting rights, even after their sentence is complete. In some states, it’s a little easier to reclaim one’s voting rights; in other states, not so much.

    Take Iowa, for example.

    Gov. Terry Branstad (R) has made Iowa “one of the most difficult states in the nation for felons to vote,” thanks to a rather ridiculous executive order. While Branstad’s predecessor, Democrat Tom Vilsack, created a system whereby felons automatically regained their voting rights once they were discharged from state supervision, Branstad made the process vastly more difficult.

    Ex-felons, for example, have to complete a lengthy questionnaire that includes the address of the judge who handled the conviction, pay a filing fee, and submit a full credit report. (If you file a summary of your credit report, the application to restore your rights will be rejected.)

    Ed Kilgore’s reaction is the right one.

    A credit report to regain the right to vote? That’s about the most revealing reflection of latter-day Republican values I’ve seen in a while…. There’s not a question in my mind that these people would reinstitute poll taxes if the courts and Grover Norquist would let them.

    Ed’s post also noted a quote from Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State, Matt Schultz, who said he supports Branstad’s restrictions, because they “send a message to Iowa’s voters that their voting privilege is sacred and will not be compromised.”

    Perhaps now would be a good time to remind GOP officials that in our system of government, we’re not supposed to treat voting rights as a “privilege.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Genuine Support vs. Support by Default
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:31 AM EDT.

    The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is chock full of interesting data, and though there are results both sides will be glad to see, on balance, the news is better for President Obama than Mitt Romney.

    In a head-to-head match-up, Obama’s lead is only three points nationwide, 47% to 44%, which is largely unchanged from the last few months. But among voters in battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin — Obama’s lead is eight points, 50% to 42%.

    Just as importantly, Romney’s favorable numbers are dropping: the number of voters with a favorable impression of the Republican is down to just 33% nationwide, and 30% in swing states.

    Of particular interest to me, though, was a question pollsters don’t often ask: are you voting for your preferred candidate or against the rival candidate? I put a chart together noting Obama’s edge on this question:
    It’s really not close. While nearly three out of four Obama backers are motivated by their support for the president (what I call “genuine support”), more than half of Romney’s backers are driven by their opposition to Obama (what I call “support by default”). In other words, even those who intend to vote for Romney for president don’t really like him; they’re just prepared to settle for him because he’s not the other guy. The Republican isn’t inspiring admiration; he’s counting on the incumbent inspiring hatred.

    In recent elections, this hasn’t been a recipe for success.

  19. Ametia says:

    Joe Willimas speaks about Politico Suspension with Bill Press on Current TV

    Joseph Williams speaks about his recent suspension from Politico on Full Court Press. Williams tells Bill that Big Journalism, Andrew Breitbart’s organization, and the Daily Caller are deliberately targeting him after his recent comments where Williams said Mitt Romney was “comfortable” with “white folks.” Williams says the words “white folks” set people off like a “match to a tinder keg” among certain segments of people.


  20. Ametia says:

    What’s the Deal with Health Care? 10 Questions & Answers
    Jun 26, 2012 6:02 PM EDT

    At 10 a.m. on Thursday, the Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act. It’s actually a pretty big deal. Here’s why.

    What’s happening at the Supreme Court on Thursday?

    This Thursday, the Supreme Court will aim to answer several questions about President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Before we get to what those questions are, let’s back up a little. What, exactly, is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, anyway?

    The PPACA, also known as Obamacare, is President Obama’s signature policy that was passed by a majority Democratic Congress in 2010. At around 2,700 pages with some 450 provisions—it is one dense piece of legislation and, as such, extremely confusing and intimidating to tackle. Bottom line, though, is that it’s intended to get more Americans insured, and make insurance more affordable. A lot of people (mostly Democrats) like it well enough, others (mostly Republicans) kind of hate it, and some (mostly average Americans) just don’t know what to think.

    If it was already passed in 2010, why are we still debating it?

    Though the law passed through Congress, not everyone was excited about it. So 26 states, lead by Florida, filed a series of appeals against the law to the Supreme Court challenging, specifically, “the individual mandate,” which threatens a financial penalty for most citizens who do not purchase health insurance by 2014. For a more detailed explanation of how Obamacare landed on the Supreme Court steps, click through The Washington Post’s interactive guide to states that have already determined the law unconstitutional.

  21. Ametia says:

    June 26, 2012
    That’s Just Nino: Scalia’s Arizona Dissent
    Posted by Jeffrey Toobin

    The last days of a Supreme Court term rarely show off the Justices to great advantage. Like other mortals, they have put off doing their hardest work, so only the most controversial cases remain. They are tired. They are frustrated. By a vote of 6-3, they need haircuts. (Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan appear recently barbered; Stephen Breyer is bald.) But none of the usual end-of-year excuses explain the behavior in court yesterday of Antonin Scalia.

    The Court issued a mixed verdict on the Arizona immigration law known as S.B. 1070. For a 5-3 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion invalidated three provisions of the law as invasions of federal prerogatives; it also upheld the most controversial part of the law, the so-called “show us your papers” section. The decision was clearly a compromise, which drew the votes of such ideological opposites as Ginsburg and Chief Justice John Roberts; it also prompted both Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama to claim victory. One might criticize such a result as tepid or inconsistent, but the chorus of endorsers does suggest a reasonable accommodation of various views.

    Read more

  22. rikyrah says:


    Poll: Strengthened By Immigration Policy, Obama Leads Romney In Ohio, Pennsylvania And Florida

    Tom Kludt-June 27, 2012, 8:32 AM

    Earning high marks from voters for his new immigration policy, President Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida in a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday.

    The president’s largest lead is in Ohio, where he tops Romney, 47 percent to 38 percent. Obama is strengthened in the Buckeye State by advantages over Romney among both women and independent voters. Women widely prefer Obama over the presumptive Republican nominee, 50 percent to 35 percent, and the president holds a solid lead with independents, 45 percent to 36 percent. Ohio voters also say that Obama would do a better job than Romney on the economy by a 5-point margin, 47 percent to 42 percent.

    In Pennsylvania — where Democrats have carried the last five presidential elections — Obama leads Romney, 45 percent to 39 percent. Much like in Ohio, the president is bolstered in Pennsylvania by an edge with women voters, 48 percent to 36 percent. But Pennsylvania voters are evenly split on the question of who would do a better job on the economy.

    Obama’s smallest lead in the poll is in Florida, where he edges Romney, 45 percent to 41 percent. But Latino voters in the Sunshine State overwhelmingly back the president, 56 percent to 32 percent. That amounts to a considerable bump for Obama among the burgeoning voting bloc since Quinnipiac’s June 21 poll of Florida, which showed the president leading Romney by 10-points among Latino voters in the state. Obama’s gains with Florida Latinos suggests that his directive to halt the deportation of some undocumented immigrants is bearing political fruit.

    In fact, majorities in each of the three states surveyed by Quinnipiac support Obama’s new immigration policy, which he unveiled earlier this month. The president also has the upper hand over Romney in all three states on the question of which candidate would do a better job on immigration.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Romney backer supports Obama agenda
    By Steve Benen

    Mitt Romney campaigned yesterday in southwest Virginia, speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 people gathered outside a company called Carter Machinery. That, in and of itself, wouldn’t be especially noteworthy, were it not for some of the interesting details about the company and the views of its CEO.

    Even before the campaign event, it was interesting to learn that Carter Machinery benefited greatly from President Obama’s Recovery Act — the same law that Romney attacked during his speech. For that matter, as our pal James Carter noted, the company’s owner has also touted Obama administration economic policies as having benefited his business.

    But that’s not all Carter Machinery CEO James Parker said. In local media, Parker criticized Obama for failing to get the highway bill passed, but Obama strongly supports the highway bill — it’s been blocked by Republicans. It led Greg Sargent to give Parker a call.

    Parker favors heavy government spending on infrastructure, which he sees as a valid means of creating jobs, favors paying for such spending with a gas tax, sees the federal stimulus spending in his area as a plus, and favors government investment in alternative energy. […]

    “I believe that there’s got to be an economic plan to take care of our roads and our bridges,” Parker said. “Half a trillion over five years — over all of the United States.” Parker disagreed with Obama’s proposal to pay for his own infrastructure plan with a surtax on the wealthy, but he did say he favors a “gas tax” to pay for it.

    “You have to have tax revenues to make it happen,” he said of his hope for a massive infrastructure plan.

    So, let me get this straight. A prominent Romney backer in Virginia believes Obama’s right about investing in domestic infrastructure, wants Obama’s highway bill to pass, wants to raise taxes, sees Obama’s stimulus paying dividends in his area, and agrees with Obama on investing in alternative energy.

    In fairness, Parker has plenty of criticisms for the president, too, but if prominent Romney backers from private industry see value in Obama’s economic agenda, it makes it just a little more difficult for the Republican to characterize the president’s vision as “anti-business.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Rev. Al about that Pennsylvania GOPer and voter suppression.

  25. Ametia says:

    REPOST… Love this man… Bashir

  26. Ametia says:


    This why we need to NUKE these MOFOs.


  27. Ametia says:

    Longtime lawmakers Charles Rangel, Orrin Hatch win primaries
    By Paul Kane, Published: June 26

    Sen. Orrin G. Hatch and Rep. Charles B. Rangel, two longtime lawmakers who saw their careers imperiled by the shifting political winds, cruised to primary victories Tuesday night despite stiff challenges from younger upstarts.

    Hatch, a conservative Utah Republican, and Rangel, a liberal New York Democrat, have nearly eight decades of incumbency between them. But both lawmakers faced their toughest primary challenges ever this year, becoming the latest examples of longtime politicians struggling to adjust to a new political reality.

    Hatch, a six-term senator, ran what many GOP strategists considered a strong campaign against a tea-party-backed opponent, providing a possible road map for other Republican incumbents facing similar primary challenges in the coming years. The race was another example of an ideological divide that has framed the debate about the future of the GOP for much of the past year.

    Rangel, a 42-year member of the House and former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, was tripped up by ethics rules that were stricter in recent years than when he began his career in Congress, and colleagues rebuked him on the House floor 18 months ago. It was the chamber’s first censure of a member in nearly three decades.


  28. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney is on the defensive.
    Obama campaign’s Bain attacks could force Romney to reshuffle veep list
    By Christian Heinze – 06/27/12 05:00 AM ET

    President Obama’s campaign has narrowed its attack on Romney’s experience at Bain Capital into one provocative charge — that Romney personally profited from the outsourcing of American jobs — and argues the presumptive GOP nominee would oversee a similar migration of jobs if elected president.

    In the last week alone, Obama’s campaign has called Romney a “corporate raider,” warned voters that the former Massachusetts governor would be an “outsourcer in chief” and derisively dubbed Bain Capital and Romney “outsourcing pioneers.”

    Clearly, the Obama campaign smells opportunity, and every indication is that it’ll continue to pound Romney on the issue of outsourcing and Bain Capital.

    If this does, indeed, represent the new normal in Obama’s argument against Romney, it might reconfigure the GOP nominee’s calculus for picking a vice presidential running mate.

    The Midwest and its perpetual angst over outsourced jobs would become ground zero in the presidential race, thus creating the demand for a running mate who could connect with Rust Belt residents and provide a counterbalance to Romney’s image as a wealthy executive — much as Vice President Biden is seen as a blue-collar offset to Obama’s professorial image.

    Within the confines of this increasingly likely race, some vice-presidential prospects find their hopes rising and others falling.

  29. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone; Happy HUMP day! :-)

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