Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you’re enjoying the day with family and friends.

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33 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:


  2. rikyrah says:

    It’s Working

    By John Cole July 8th, 2012

    This is good news:
    In a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of swing states, an overwhelming majority of voters remember seeing campaign ads over the past month; most voters in other states say they haven’t. In the battlegrounds, one in 12 say the commercials have changed their minds about President Obama or Republican Mitt Romney — a difference on the margins, but one that could prove crucial in a close race.

    At this point, Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney.

    “We gave them new information,” says Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. “Romney had been out there claiming success as governor,” but Democratic ads have prompted voters to “take a look at his record” on job creation and as head of the private-equity firm Bain Capital. Messina also credits a $25 million buy for a positive ad “about the challenges the president inherited and what we had to do to move this country forward.”

    To be sure, Obama’s ads have done more to win back Democrats than to win over independents or Republicans: Thirteen percent of Democrats say their minds have been changed by ads, compared with 9% of independents and 3% of Republicans.

    Keep beating Romney over the head with Bain, offshoring, overseas bank accounts, until Mark Halperin breaks down and cries or calls the President a dick again.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Bill Kristol: Romney camp has reason to ‘worry’

    By Meghashyam Mali – 07/08/12 04:04 PM ET

    Political analyst Bill Kristol on Sunday added to conservative criticism of Mitt Romney’s campaign, saying it was a troubling sign that Obama was still ahead in the polls despite a still weak economy.

    “President Obama has had three disappointing months, but he’s holding his own,” said Kristol on Fox News Sunday, citing polls which show him even with or leading Romney despite a series of weak jobs reports. “If I were in the Romney campaign that would worry me.”

    Kristol, the founder and editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, said that the Romney campaign had failed to convince voters they had a viable plan to revive the economy.

    He pointed to a Fox News poll showing Romney performing worse than Obama on the economy, which voters rank as the most important issue this election.

    “I think the Fox News poll actually has the key to what the problem is for the Mitt Romney campaign. Do you think Barack Obama has a clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 41; no 53. It’s not great for an incumbent president. The economy is slow. And you are only at 41-53,” said Kristol.

    “Do you think his challenger, Gov. Romney, has a clear plan for improving the economy or not? Yes, 27; No, 55,” he continued.

    “I don’t think you can beat an incumbent president, even if the economy is slow, if 27 percent of the voters think you as the challenger don’t have a clear plan for improving the economy,” Kristol said.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Durbin: Romney is ‘ObamaCare daddy’

    By Bernie Becker – 07/08/12 11:18 AM ET

    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday that the presumptive GOP nominee for president, Mitt Romney, was the “daddy” of the Democrats’ 2010 healthcare reform law.

    “Let’s get down to the bottom line here: Mitt Romney is the ObamaCare daddy,” Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    “He gave birth to this baby up in Massachusetts, and now he doesn’t recognize it, and can’t pick out any strains in the hereditary chain there that look like anything he did in Massachusetts.”

    President Obama and other top Democrats have long said that the healthcare reform bill that Romney helped implement while Massachusetts governor was a model for their own national overhaul.

    Romney has said that he wants to repeal the 2010 law, calling it bad policy and saying what works in individual states doesn’t necessarily get the job done at the national level.

    But the former governor’s campaign was also hurt by its uneven response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the individual mandate at the heart of the federal healthcare law was a tax.

    With the Massachusetts law also featuring a mandate, a top Romney aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, initially said that Romney agreed with Democrats who called the mandate a penalty.

  5. rikyrah says:

    This Week in God
    By Steve Benen
    Sat Jul 7, 2012 10:05 AM EDT

    First up from the God Machine this week is the end of the extraordinary Nuns On The Bus tour, which wrapped up in Washington this week, after a series of well-received events in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. Suzy Khimm reported this week on the culmination of the successful tour.

    “It’s immoral!” [Sister Diane Donohue, an] 81-year-old Catholic nun said of [Paul Ryan’s] fiscal plan, as the crowd gathered on Capitol Hill erupted in cheers. Another nun, Sister Simone Campbell, denounced the proposed cuts to food stamps, child care, and other programs for the needy. “That’s not Christian,” said Campbell, who leads a Catholic social justice lobby called NETWORK. […]

    The nuns were concluding a two-week bus tour through nine swing states to protest the Ryan budget proposal, contending that it undermined Catholic teachings to serve the poor and vulnerable. Their rally on Monday outside the United Methodist Church’s D.C. offices was peppered with prayers, gospel songs, and Bible verses (Isaiah 58:7: “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless.”)

    But the Catholic nuns also understand that Kumbaya moments aren’t enough to change votes in Washington: They have a full-fledged lobbying campaign, complete with a 53-page “faithful budget” that outlines their own fiscal priorities in considerable detail, backed by an interfaith coalition of social justice groups.

    There can be no doubt that the nuns have been noticed on Capitol Hill. Indeed, Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a resolution this week, coinciding with the end of the tour, honoring nuns. They said in a statement that the resolution “recognizes the Catholic Sisters’ fulfillment of their vital missions to teach our children, care for the sick, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, lead major institutions, demand corporate responsibility and fight for policies that promote human dignity.”

    The priorities of the Nuns On The Bus are non-partisan, but given their proposed policies — a rejection of austerity, coupled with higher taxes on the wealthy — Republicans, especially the right-wing chairman of the House Budget Committee who inspired the tour in the first place, are generally dismissive of their pleas.

    When Democrats disagree with Catholic leaders on contraception, it’s billed as proof of a war on faith. When Republicans disagree with Catholic leaders on social justice, it’s proof that the right is fiscally responsible.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Sun Jul 08, 2012 at 09:30 AM PDT.

    The successful drowning of local and state government+*

    by shanikka

    In 2001, a gentleman by the name of Grover Norquist (the titular head of Americans for Tax Reform) once (in)famously quipped that his quarter-century goal, which he described as “reasonable,” was to “get government down to the size where [conservatives could] drown it in the bathtub.” In furtherance of that (ig)noble goal, ATF sponsors and, to date, nearly 500 legislators holding federal office in the United States, have signed the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” This pledge commits them to refuse under all circumstances to vote for any tax increase of any kind unless it is offset by an equal tax cut. Ever.

    Since Norquist let us all in on his destitute government wet dream in 2001, folks have at least tried to be vigilant in documenting the shrinking boundaries of the federal government’s fisc. Unfortunately, by focusing on the feds, we missed the Norquist ball soaring over our heads into the net, scoring (if something dramatic does not change pretty damned soon) the game-winning goal of drowning “the government”—by destroying the ability of state and local governments to provide for their citizenry.
    Few, however, have noticed.

    (Continue reading below the fold)

    Three years ago, when the first celebratory news about the “end of the recession” was being touted by pundit and blogger alike, this quiet little news from a quiet little Alabama county (actually, the state’s largest county) called Jefferson might have caught your eye:

    It is hardly unusual these days for a government building to forgo a fresh paint job or regular lawn care to cut costs. But last week, the director of the Jefferson County public nursing home was told that the county could no longer afford to bury indigent patients.
    Across town at the juvenile detention center, the man in charge was trying to figure out how to feed the 28 children in his custody when the entire cafeteria staff is let go. […]

    In July, the county asked Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, to declare a state of emergency. Mr. Riley declined, delicately explaining that his authority extended to tornadoes but not to tsunamis of red ink.
    Fast forward three years—to find the name “Jefferson County, Alabama” on the short list of municipal bankrupts. And to find the name “The Honorable Governor Robert Bentley” of the great state of Alabama (the state that ranks dead last in terms of state and local tax revenue collections) on the roster of those who signed ATF’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” Don’t let the media spin fool you: While pundits have been happy to chalk up Jefferson County’s bankruptcy to malfeasance relating to public works, those who actually pay attention to what goes on in Alabama (Alabamians) are quite honest about the impact of basement level public (tax) revenues on the ability of Jefferson County to provide even basic services on an ongoing basis.
    Basic services like burying our dead elders when there is no family who can afford to pay.

    All Republican bleating about how much the federal government is supposedly paying for all our needs to the detriment of America aside, the vast majority of services to the American people are provided at the state and local level. And paid for with funds (fees and taxes) generated at the state and local level. Yet increasingly, cities, counties and states find themselves with no money to pay for those local and state services. This fiscal crisis is not just because federal money is drying up. It is because state and local money is drying up too. States facing increasing costs in the face of decreasing local revenue and decreasing federal assistance have been forced to balance their budgets (as is required by law in 49 states) by slashing the services they provide.

    It’s unclear whether this is an accident—or by design.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Top Romney Surrogate Applauds Romney For Not Laying Out Specific Policies

    By Adam Peck on Jul 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    On Face the Nation Sunday morning, former Mississippi Governor and Romney campaign surrogate Haley Barbour (R) defended the presumptive Republican nominee from criticism over his refusal to outline any specific policy proposals by trying to spin it as a smart political move:

    At the end of the day, Mitt Romney also has to give people something to vote for. I think that is more a matter of timing. I think right now, Romney is smart to wait before he starts laying out proposals after proposals. But he ultimately will

    Voters have been waiting a long time for Mitt Romney to take clear positions on any number of policies. In just the last few weeks, the Romney campaign has failed to provide any specifics on foreign policy, veterans issues, immigration policy, and how he would pay for his trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich.

    Complicating matters further, Romney has a long track record of disavowing many policies he has previously supported, making it especially difficult for voters to accurately judge a potential Romney presidency.

  8. Ametia says:

    National Press Secretary Ben LaBolt that raises important questions about Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts in foreign tax havens, including his mysterious corporation in Bermuda, his funds in the Cayman Islands, and the Swiss bank account he opened. Mitt Romney could be the first President in history to stash millions offshore so the American people deserve an explanation as to why he chose to invest in other countries known as tax havens rather than the United States. But they haven’t heard one from him because Romney refuses to follow precedent and release his tax returns.


  9. rikyrah says:

    PA City Defies Court Order; Reduces Police Officers, Firefighters’ Pay To Minimum Wage

    By Travis Waldron on Jul 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Ignoring a federal judge’s injunction, Scranton, Pennsylvania moved ahead with its plan to reduce the pay of city workers to the federal minimum wage starting Friday. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty claims the city is broke and that the minimum wage payments are all it can possibly pay, the Scranton Times Tribune reports:

    Amid Scranton’s ever-deepening financial crisis, Mayor Chris Doherty said his administration is going forward with a plan to unilaterally slash the pay of 398 workers to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour with today’s payroll, insisting it is all the city can afford.

    That will likely earn administration officials an appointment with Judge Michael Barrasse, who granted the city’s police, fire and public works unions a special injunction temporarily barring the administration from imposing the pay cuts after a brief hearing Thursday.

    Many of those workers are police officers, firefighters, and other public safety workers, industries that have been slammed by contractions in state and local budgets since the Great Recession. Congressional Republicans repeatedly blocked efforts to extend aid to the states that would have helped shore up their budgets and keep these workers on payroll. In the case of Scranton, such aid may have helped the city actually pay its workers a living wage instead of a federal minimum that hasn’t been raised since 2006 and has less buying power than it had in 1968.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Political Memo

    On Tricky Terrain of Class, Contrasting Paths


    Published: July 7, 2012

    The complex and fraught politics of wealth and class, undercurrents all along in the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney, are surfacing in increasingly visible ways in the presidential campaign, presenting big risks and opportunities to both sides.

    The contrasting images of the week could hardly have been more evocative.

    There was Mr. Obama on Thursday at a carefully scouted location, the Kozy Corners diner in Oak Harbor, Ohio, downing a burger and fries and chatting with a group of working-class voters about pinochle and trips to Disney World. The next day, as he continued a campaign swing, he reminisced about a Greyhound-and-train trip he took around the country with his grandmother when he was 11, staying at Howard Johnson and getting a thrill from leaping into the motel pool and fetching ice from the ice machine.

    And there was Mitt Romney on Thursday, roaring across Lake Winnipesaukee on a powerboat large enough to hold two dozen members of his family who had gathered for a weeklong vacation at his estate in New Hampshire. On Sunday, Mr. Romney will raise money among wealthy Republicans in the Hamptons, with his final stop a $75,000-per-couple dinner at the home of David Koch, the billionaire industrialist, who with his brother Charles has been among the leading patrons of the conservative movement.

    It was a vivid manifestation of calculations made by both camps.

    Mr. Obama and his allies are testing the proposition that they can avoid tripping over the line into a full-tilt attack on the wealthy and still make an aggressive case that Mr. Romney’s success came at the expense of American workers and that the Republican Party is doing the bidding of its wealthy benefactors.

    Mr. Romney’s bet is that with the economy failing to gain steam and Americans deeply concerned that the nation is on the wrong track, voters will not really care if he jets across a lake on a water scooter during his vacation and once had a Swiss bank account as long as he can credibly promise to spur job creation and economic growth.

    Implicit and explicit efforts by the president and his inner circle to advance the argument that Mr. Romney is an out-of-touch and rapacious capitalist, in the Romney team’s view, will be seen by voters as a transparent and hypocritical attempt by a group of Democrats, millionaires themselves, to divert attention from Mr. Obama’s failure to preside over more job creation.

    “I don’t think what they’re talking about is relevant to people’s lives,” said Stuart Stevens, the chief strategist for Mr. Romney’s campaign. “This race is about the economy and Barack Obama’s responsibility for the economy.”

    Presidential campaigns are never just about policies or even personalities. They tend to turn as much as anything on values, and the values in this case go to central questions about the psyche of the American electorate in 2012.

    In an era of populist backlashes against the 1 percent and increased concern about the economic and social ramifications of income inequality, will the long-held assumption that the United States is an aspirational society that admires rather than resents success hold true? At a time when individual billionaires and moneyed interests can play an outsize and often shadowy role in shaping politics and policy, do political leaders have less incentive to put the needs of the poor and the middle class ahead of the agendas of their benefactors?

    Those questions provide a particular opportunity for Mr. Obama, who is eager to raise the stakes in the election and make it something more than a march through four more months of unemployment and job creation reports.

    Without explicitly invoking Mr. Romney’s wealth as a reason to oppose him, Democrats have sought to portray him as the embodiment of a kind of capitalism that works only for the megarich.

    “Mitt Romney made over $100 million by shutting down our plant and devastated our lives,” a worker from a factory closed by Bain Capital, Mr. Romney’s private equity firm, says in an advertisement by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama “super PAC.”

    That leaves Mr. Obama free to make the more elevated pitch that his policies would give a fair shot to the middle class, while suggesting that Mr. Romney would put the nation on a path back to the policies that brought about widening inequality, stagnant wages and corporate malfeasance.

    “The viability of the middle class is not a class issue,” said David Axelrod, the Obama campaign’s senior adviser. “It’s an American issue.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Groups Shield Political Gifts of Businesses


    Published: July 7, 2012

    American Electric Power, one of the country’s largest utilities, gave $1 million last November to the Founding Fund, a new tax-exempt group that intends to raise most of its money from corporations and push for limited government.

    The giant insurer Aetna directed more than $3 million last year to the American Action Network, a Republican-leaning nonprofit organization that has spent millions of dollars attacking lawmakers who voted for President Obama’s health care bill — even as Aetna’s president publicly voiced support for the legislation.

    Other corporations, including Prudential Financial, Dow Chemical and the drugmaker Merck, have poured millions of dollars more into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a tax-exempt trade group that has pledged to spend at least $50 million on political advertising this election cycle.

    Two years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the door for corporate spending on elections, relatively little money has flowed from company treasuries into “super PACs,” which can accept unlimited contributions but must also disclose donors. Instead, there is growing evidence that large corporations are trying to influence campaigns by donating money to tax-exempt organizations that can spend millions of dollars without being subject to the disclosure requirements that apply to candidates, parties and PACs.

    The secrecy shrouding these groups makes a full accounting of corporate influence on the electoral process impossible. But glimpses of their donors emerged in a New York Times review of corporate governance reports, tax returns of nonprofit organizations and regulatory filings by insurers and labor unions.

    The review found that corporate donations — many of them previously unreported — went to groups large and small, dedicated to shaping public policy on the state and national levels. From a redistricting fight in Minnesota to the sprawling battleground of the 2012 presidential and Congressional elections, corporations are opening their wallets and altering the political world.

    Some of the biggest recipients of corporate money are organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, the federal designation for “social welfare” groups dedicated to advancing broad community interests. Because they are not technically political organizations, they do not have to register with or disclose their donors to the Federal Election Commission, potentially shielding corporate contributors from shareholders or others unhappy with their political positions.

    “Companies want to be able to quietly push for their political agendas without being held accountable for it by their customers,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has filed complaints against issue groups. “I think the 501(c)(4)’s are likely to outweigh super PAC spending, because so many donors want to remain anonymous.”

    Because social welfare groups are prohibited from devoting themselves primarily to political activity, many spend the bulk of their money on issue advertisements that purport to be educational, not political, in nature. In May, for example, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a group co-founded by the Republican strategist Karl Rove, began a $25 million advertising campaign, carefully shaped with focus groups of undecided voters, that attacks Mr. Obama for increasing the federal deficit and urges him to cut spending.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Black Swimmers Increasing Diversity of the U.S. Team


    Published: July 1, 2012

    OMAHA — Swimming in the United States has never appeared more diverse, but not everybody in the sport’s fan base is out in front of this trend. Marcus Jordan, a basketball player at the University of Central Florida and one of Michael Jordan’s sons, was in a hotel lobby on Saturday night, having traveled here for the United States Olympic trials to cheer for a high school friend, Conor Dwyer, and Dwyer’s training partner, Ryan Lochte.

    Four people came up to me and asked me for my autograph,” Jordan said. “They thought I was Cullen Jones.”

    Sunday night, the real Cullen Jones stood up. He qualified for his second individual event in the London Games with a victory in the 50-meter freestyle. Jones, 28, was timed in 21.59, to finish one-hundredth of a second ahead of Anthony Ervin, who shared the gold medal with Gary Hall Jr. at the 2000 Olympics, retired in 2003 and resumed training last year.

    With his runner-up finish, Ervin, whose father is of African-American and American Indian descent, became the third black member of the 2012 United States Olympic team: Lia Neal, a 17-year-old from Brooklyn, finished fourth in the 100-meter freestyle on Saturday night to earn a spot on the women’s 400 freestyle relay. The United States has never had more than a single team member of African-American descent and never had a single one before Ervin in 2000.

    “It’s amazing,” said Jones, who is the face of United States Swimming’s Make a Splash program, intended to teach children water safety. “Three swimmers with African-American roots on a U.S. Olympic team is far beyond what I could have ever imagined.”

    Jones, of Irvington, N.J., has taken a fraternal interest in Neal, who has three older brothers. “We’ve spoken on several accounts,” she said. “All I can remember is what he said before the 100 free. It was really helpful.”

    Neal was so excited to make her first Olympic team at her second trials that she did not sleep much Saturday night, and it showed during the Sunday morning preliminaries of the 50 freestyle. She was one of the last off the blocks in her heat of the 50 freestyle and was timed in 25.67 seconds.

  13. Ametia says:


  14. rikyrah says:

    06 Jul 2012: Ezra Klein Gets “Serious”

    Ezra Klein has an interesting article about the jobs plans of Obama and Romney. But as usually, he is maddeningly “even handed” in a case that is not even.

    He claims that each have four main items. First, he gives Romney’s:
    1.Expand domestic energy production
    2.Trade agreements with Latin America
    3.Trade policies with China
    4.Cut corporate taxes
    Klein points out that all of these are long term plans that will not help the economy anytime soon. But he claims they are all good ideas. They aren’t. Expanding energy production is a bad idea that will create very few jobs; NAFTA has not worked out as advertised (except for the rich) so why would we think it would be great to expand it (most Washington columnists have a religious faith in “free trade”); and cutting the corporate tax rate is going to do nothing for an economy that lacks demand, but it will increase inequality.

    Working out the problems with China is a big deal. China keeps its currency value set too low and as a result, American products are unfairly expensive when sold in China. The Obama administration has gone head to head with China many times over the last three and a half years. But the problems remain. Romney has never explained what he’s going to do that is so different. Instead, he complains that Obama has been soft. Romney’s swagger on this issue—along with his total lack of backbone when standing up to his own party—inspires absolutely no confidence.

    So I don’t understand where Klein is coming from when he claims that these are all good ideas. I think he’s just trying to look Serious. This is especially true when you look at Obama’s four items:
    1.Increase infrastructure investment
    2.Hire more state and local workers
    3.Double payroll tax cut
    4.Add tax cuts for businesses that hire


    I’ve seen this time and again over the years. Serious Political Watchers are rarely willing to call out Republicans on the ridiculousness of their proposals. And this only encourages more ridiculous proposals. Romney’s jobs plan should not be treated as a serious proposal. If Obama’s plan was primarily to provide welfare to the poor (which would do more to create jobs than Romney’s plan), Klein would not treat it as a serious proposal. But when Romney’s plan is primarily a give away to the rich, Klein considers it Very Serious, but “long term.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    Outside groups switch election tactics to keep their donors secret

    By Alexander Bolton – 07/08/12 06:00 AM ET

    Outside groups are going to extra lengths to keep their donors secret, worrying that public disclosure could open up their supporters to harassment.

    Bob Biersack, senior fellow at the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks outside group spending in federal elections, says that groups will change their election strategy to keep donor names protected.

    There’s been very little electioneering communication since that Van Hollen decision came out,” Biersack said in reference to a recent court decision that may require groups funding issue ads to disclose their donors.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a dominant force in Senate battleground states, has signaled it will switch from issue ads to independent expenditures to keep its donors secret.

    The Chamber has poured millions of dollars into issue ads but in the wake of the court ruling has put money into independent expenditures, which allows it to better protect donors’ identities.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in May denied a motion to stay a lower court ruling requiring outside groups engaging in electioneering communication to disclose their donors, handing proponents of campaign finance reform a major victory.

    Issue ads, or electioneering communications, as they are also called, usually praise or condemn a candidate but stop short of asking viewers to vote for or against the candidate.

    The Chamber spent $95,000 on an independent expenditure at the end of June to support Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the Utah GOP primary, according to a database compiled by the Federal Election Commission. According to the FEC database, it was the first large independent expenditure the Chamber has made this year.

    Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs, signaled at a recent breakfast that his group planned to change tactics in the wake of the ruling requiring the FEC to write stronger regulations for issue ads.

    Josten noted that while the court ruling addressed “electioneering communications”, it said nothing about “independent expenditures”.

    “We’re not going to pull back from anything we’re doing. It’s full steam ahead. The only thing that may switch is you’re forced to do express advocacy using the magic words ‘vote for,’ ‘vote against’ as opposed to highlighting a given member’s legislative record,” Josten said at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

    Independent expenditures, which must be reported to the FEC, include advertisements that explicitly ask voters to vote for or against a particular candidate. Such expenditures do not require groups to disclose their donors, said Biersack, who worked three decades at the FEC.

    “This demonstrates to what degree groups want to remain behind a cloak of anonymity. They feel what they’re doing can’t stand up to public scrutiny or the blowback will be too great,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director of the Campaign Legal Center, a group that promotes greater disclosure of campaign fundraising.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Right’s Warped Racism: The Firing of Joe Williams
    By: Sarah JonesJuly 7th, 2012

    Yet another win for the right wing in their war on reality. This one came in their success at getting Joe Williams fired from Politico for saying on the Martin Bashir show that Mitt Romney was very comfortable around white people.

    Joe fired back in a column for the Grio this week, which is a must read, because he points out how the right wing targeted him and destroyed him for speaking his mind. Don’t tread on me seems to uniquely apply to certain kinds of white people.

    Here’s Joe outraging the world by speaking the truth:

    After a relentless witch hunt against Williams, including combing through his Twitter account and Googling him for proof of Williams’ “racism” against white people, the Right wing made themselves heard, and his statement was deemed by his bosses at Politico as “unacceptable”:

    Politico editors Jim VandeHei and John Harris called the statement “unacceptable” in a memo to staff. It “fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way,” they wrote.

    Really? So reality is now “unfair”? Lots of things aren’t fair. It’s not “fair” that minorities are underrepresented in the media. It’s not “fair” that women are losing their rights in America. It’s not “fair” that Eric Holder was found in contempt for something there was no proof of him doing. It’s not “fair” that Mitt Romney was born to his rich father and others were not. None of those things are fair, but they are all reality. As the right wing likes to tell us, “get over it.”

    What part of what Williams said is unacceptable? He didn’t call Romney a racist. He said Romney was very comfortable around white people. Given Romney’s own behavior — his infamous lack of compassion for others, his inability to empathize with those who were not raised with a silver spoon in their mouth, and his awkward encounters with minorities, not to mention his policies — it seems a fair assessment.

    Joe Williams walked us through how he lost his job:

    As soon as the words escaped my lips, live on national television, I suspected I might have a problem. I’d used the phrase trying to explain why Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spent so much time chatting with Fox News, why he’s kept the mainstream press at bay, and why he seemed so awkward and stiff around minorities…

    By now, my cautionary tale is familiar: after saying Romney, a millionaire businessman, is more comfortable with around people like him was like waving a red cape waving in front of a charging bull — namely, Big Media, an arm of the late Andrew Breitbart’s online empire, and DC Caller, a web site scandal sheet run by Tucker Carlson. After rummaging through some 3,000 tweets, they cherry-picked ones designed to prove their flimsy case: that I was biased against Romney, a racist against whites and a representative of my employer’s slant against conservatives.

    You only need to tune into CNN to hear a “mainstream” outlet perpetuate racism courtesy of their “conservative” hires who were clearly brought on to give voice to this ironically dubbed “underrepresented” voice. That is deemed being “fair”. So, giving a voice to racists is free speech and balanced journalism, but letting a black person speak their truth is not.

    Politico is no doubt aiming higher than the tea-chasing CNN, and yet their knee-jerk cave is troubling, particularly in light of the fact that the outlets that targeted Joe Williams are behind birtherism and other clearly racist attacks. How is this “fair”?

    This cultural bias regarding who determines what is “fair” and not “fair” is in and of itself racist and teeming with privilege.

    • rikyrah says:

      Brilliant comment by Camille over at POU:


      In the end, as has now happened to Joe Williams, every single celebrity, politician and media personality of color should understand that their silence and in many instances, their complicity as President Obama has been viciously and maliciously attacked, demeaned and denigrated, will not spare them – they too will all ultimately suffer the same fate and be subjected to the same or worse – It is only a matter of when.

      As they have stood by and silently watched and in many instances joined in – mostly to reassure and suck up to the racist culprits – to curry favor and to secure their mostly undeserved media spotlight – they have only succeeded in further weakening and permanently diminishing themselves – ceding whatever dignity or respect they ever possessed.

      The vicious attacks on President Obama have never really been simply just about him. He represents to his attackers their worst nightmare: an all around impeccable and superior man – of color – who made it to the highest office of the land. The best of black America.

      If you stand by and let them destroy the best of you as represented by President Barack Obama, they will ultimately decimate the least of you.

      The racist attackers of the President loathe and disdain their enablers of color even more – but as long as they serve their purpose as convinient black faces vouching for, providing cover and making ridiculous excuses for racist assholes like Donald Trump, they get to keep their high dollar contracts. But only for a little while.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: most of these folks better pray President Obama gets re-elected because their relevance or semblance of it, totally hinges on having him in the White House.

      Most celebrities of color will also find their already racist industry further emboldened to even more flagrantly marginalize and publicly demean. They are already stepping up the disrespect and disregard.

      There will never be a need for a black pundit giving his perspective on anything in a fictional Romney administration – nor for that matter, any other administration beyond this unique one.

      But then again, not even white “progressives” understand that there won’t be a need for or even a medium for prattling liberals pontificating or having televised round table discussions about anything in a fictional Romney administration.

      The days of a liberal or “progressive” media perspective are long over and will certainly not be happening during any subsequent Republican administrations. And so-called “progressives” actively helped make this possible.

      But once they are done serving their purpose of helping to demonize President Obama, stripping support and suppressing enthusiasm and votes, they will be dispensed with. And quickly too.

      The joke will be on them then.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: So, giving a voice to racists is free speech and balanced journalism, but letting a black person speak their truth is not.

      AND THIS: This cultural bias regarding who determines what is “fair” and not “fair” is in and of itself racist and teeming with privilege.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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