Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Wes Montgomery Week!

Happy HUMP day, Everyone! We hope you are enjoying Wes Montgomery week.



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67 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Wes Montgomery Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Entertaining While Black: Black Males in Popular Media
    By Darron.
    [Written with Brenda Juarez]

    Regardless of whether they believe them or not, most people in US society are well aware of the many visceral stereotypes and images surrounding Black males. These negative representations of Black males are readily visible and conveyed to the public through the news, film, music videos, reality television and other programming and forms of media—the black sidekick of a white protagonist, for example, the token black person, the comedic relief, the athlete, the over-sexed ladies’ man, the absentee father, and most damaging, the violent black man as drug-dealing criminal and gangster thug.

    These stereotypical one-dimensional characters in film negate the broader and deeper experience of Black life and the lives of Black men in particular. Reaching into people’s homes through the media, these negative images influence personal opinions, ideas and racial attitudes. As Dates and Barlow explain, “Images in the mass media are infused with color-coded positive and negative moralistic features. Once these symbols become familiar and accepted, they fuel misperceptions and perpetuate misunderstandings among the races.” Indeed, negative understandings of Black males are consistently used to justify the racial disparities they experience in exclusionary school discipline practices, underachievement in higher education, and rates of poverty, homicide, unemployment, and over involvement in the criminal system.

    Capturing our imagination as a society, film exemplifies how media images provide us with a reality of misrepresentations that guides societal perceptions of Black men. Take the 2001 film Training Day, for example. Denzel Washington’s role as Alonzo Harris provides one of the most enduring and threatening depictions of Black men as violent criminals. The criminality of Washington’s character is underscored by the contrast to the antithesis of his character, Ethan Hawke, who plays the role of good cop, a moral and righteous man.

  2. Ametia says:

    Romney Struggles To Distinguish His Economic Policies From Bush’s
    By Igor Volsky on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Mitt Romney couldn’t substantially distinguish his economic policies from former President George W. Bush’s during an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams on Wednesday, saying only that he would “take action to get America on track to have a balanced budget.” Bush increased the national debt by trillions of dollars.

    Rather than detailing specific differences with the former Republican president — whose deregulatory policies and massive tax cuts have been blamed for the nation’s current economic recession — Romney described his economic approach with his standard to his four-part talking points:

    WILLIAMS: And let’s talk about domestic– the economy before we wrap things up. The major planks of your job plan, lower taxes, both corporate and marginal rates, and reduce regulation. Explain how that would be different from what George W. Bush tried to push through?

    ROMNEY: Well, let me describe– actually, there are five things that I believe are necessary to get this economy going. One, take advantage of our energy resources, particularly natural gas, but also coal, oil, nuclear, renewables. That’s number one. A huge opportunity for us, and doing so is gonna bring manufacturing back, because low-cost, plentiful energy is key to manufacturing, in many industries.

    Read on:

  3. Ametia says:

    Romney’s ‘We Did Build This’ Events Feature Businesses Built With Government Subsidies And Contracts
    By Aviva Shen on Jul 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Today, the Romney campaign is hosting an entire series of campaign events based on President Obama’s misinterpreted comment about small businesses. While Obama’s full speech made a “no man is an island” argument, the Romney campaign has seized on the quote, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” as evidence of Obama’s disdain for small business owners.

    Romney, ignoring the fact that he has echoed this same sentiment on multiple occasions, organized 24 “We Did Build This” events in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Nevada. At each event, local business owners are speaking about their self-sufficiency in running a business and how government is hindering their growth.

    But, like the New Hampshire business owner showcased in Romney’s attack ad on the issue, many of these business owners have received significant support from the government, a ThinkProgress analysis finds.
    •Ball Office Products hosted the “We Did Build This” event in Richmond, Virginia. The company received a loan of $635,000 through the Small Business Administration in 2012, according to The company was also awarded a lucrative $52,525 contract with the General Services Administration just a year after its founding.
    •Midwest Tapes, a media distributor of Holland, Ohio, was showcased at a local event and received stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Midwest Tapes has been contracted by the Department of Defense since 2008, earning a cumulative $13,659.

    Read the rest here:

  4. rikyrah says:

    New GOP-Backed Voter ID Law Could Keep 43 Percent Of Philly Voters From Polls

    Ryan J. Reilly-July 25, 2012, 3:38 PM

    The voter ID law passed by the GOP-controlled legislature in Pennsylvania could keep nearly half of registered voters in heavily Democratic Philadelphia from casting a ballot, according to new state data.

    About 437,237 registered voters in Philly either lack a state-issued ID or have one that has expired before Nov. 6 of last year, which would make it invalid in the upcoming elections under Pennsylvania’s new law, according to state data obtained by the AFL-CIO. As first reported by Philadelphia City Paper, that number represents 43 percent of registered voters in the city, the highest in any county statewide.

    Yuri Beckelman of the AFL-CIO told TPM officials “did a double take” and when they obtained the data under Pennsylvania’s public information law. Previous data disclosed by the state, which didn’t include those with expired ID, indicated over 758,000 registered voters had no state-issued ID, while the new data (including those with expired IDs) raises that number to over 1.6 million, or 20 percent of state voters.

    When broken down by county, the percentage of Philadelphia voters who lack a current form of Pennsylvania-issued identification far outnumbers any other part of the state, though the percentage of voters without such ID tops 20 percent in counties like Lehigh, Allegeny, Delaware and Fayette.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 05:53 PM ET, 07/25/2012
    In power play, Senate Dems sneak middle class tax cuts past GOP

    By Greg Sargent

    In a surprising power play by Harry Reid, Democrats just managed the unthinkable: They passed an initiative through the United States Senate by a simple majority vote. The plan, which extends the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, will never get through the GOP-controlled House, but Dems will be able to use it to cast Republicans as opponents of middle class tax relief.

    The Senate voted just now by 51-48 to pass the Democratic plan to extend the Bush tax cuts on all income up to $250,000. That came just after the GOP plan to extend tax rates on all earners was defeated on a simple majority vote in the Senate.

    To be clear: Republicans opposed the Dem plan on the grounds that it excluded only income above $250,000 earned by two percent of taxpayers.

    This came after Mitch McConnell agreed this morning to majority votes on both plans, apparently because he didn’t think Harry Reid had enough votes to pass his. It’s a rare day that McConnell is outmaneuvered in the Senate. But this time, he was: Reid held on to even those vulnerable Dems in very tough races who held the line despite weeks of taunting from Republicans that supporting the Dem tax cut plan would allow GOPers to portray Dems as “tax hikers.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    McConnell’s Own Words on Senate Gridlock
    By Norman Ornstein
    Roll Call Contributing Writer
    July 25, 2012, Midnight

    Last Wednesday, I watched the Senate floor with fascination as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had an extended discussion about where blame lies for the Senate’s obstruction and near-gridlock. Reid, bless him, repeatedly referred to my new book with Thomas Mann, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” along with an edited excerpt that appeared in the Washington Post Outlook section.

    When Reid began to read an extended excerpt, McConnell interrupted him, saying he could barely contain his laughter, since, he said, “I know Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann. They are ultra, ultra liberals.”

    First, I want to thank McConnell and urge him to denounce me whenever he gets an opportunity, and to condemn my book with Mann — all I ask is that he mention the title; if he wants to note that it is available in fine bookstores everywhere, and online and makes a great holiday gift, that would be icing on the cake. Second, I want to say something about the idea that I am an “ultra, ultra liberal.” Senator McConnell, I know Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is a friend of mine. And I am no Bernie Sanders.


    How to sort all this out? How about using McConnell’s own words from the past three years as a start. Here are four statements:

    “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President [Barack] Obama to be a one-term president.” — October 2010

    “I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have ownership of a bad economy. … If we go into default, he will say that Republicans are making the economy worse and try to convince the public — maybe with some merit, if people stop getting their Social Security checks and military families start getting letters saying service people overseas don’t get paid. It’s an argument he could have a good chance of winning, and all of the sudden we have co-ownership of a bad economy. … That is very bad positioning going into an election.” — July 13, 2010, said right before the potential default, after months of fruitless negotiation.

    “I think some of our Members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage worth ransoming.” — Said right after the deal was made.

    “We worked very hard to keep our fingerprints off of these proposals. Because we thought — correctly, I think — that the only way the American people would know that a great debate was going on was if the measures were not bipartisan. When you hang the ‘bipartisan’ tag on something, the perception is that differences have been worked out, and there’s a broad agreement that that’s the way forward.” — Said to the Atlantic in December 2010, after the midterms, explaining why Republicans from the start were not going to cooperate with or compromise with any of the Obama proposals.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:24 PM ET, 07/25/2012
    Battle of the century: Norm Ornstein versus Mitch McConnell

    By Jonathan Bernstein

    Last week, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell got into an argument on the Senate floor about which party has been primarily responsible for Senate gridlock. Reid cited Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann, the two centrist, non-partisan political scientists who blame Republicans for unprecedented obstruction in their current book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks .

    McConnell didn’t have much of a substantive response, but instead went ad hominem, calling them “ultra, ultra liberal.”

    Well, today Ornstein fired back in his Roll Call column.

    Ornstein deployed a half-dozen or so quotations from McConnell himself in which the Minority Leader bragged about how his goal since January 2009 has been gridlock and the denial of a second term for Obama. Ornstein also detailed all the ways McConnell has ground the workings of the Senate to a halt.

    Which is really what you need to know as far as responsibility for gridlock is concerned. Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, one party wanted to get things done and the other didn’t. One party, especially in the current Congress, wanted to cut deals and find workable compromises, while the other party has been against compromise on principle — and what they believe is politically necessity.

    Remember: Republican Senator Bob Bennett wasn’t denied renomination because he was actually liberal on issues. He was defeated by Tea Party Republicans because he was open to cutting deals. Right now in Texas, a high-priced Senate primary is about to result in a win for a previously obscure conservative over the Texas Lieutenant Governor on basically one issue: the willingness to compromise with Democrats.

    The answer to this is clear: As Ornstein says, gridlock in the Senate is happening, with record numbers of filibusters and unprecedented other forms of obstruction, for really only one reason: because Mitch McConnell and the Republicans want gridlock.

    Verdict? TKO, Norm Ornstein.

  8. rikyrah says:

    UPDATE: Romney camp asks Va. to probe voter forms

    By: Wesley P. Hester | Richmond Times-Dispatch
    Published: July 25, 2012
    Updated: July 25, 2012 – 4:04 PM

    The Voter Participation Center, the organization whose mailings are under scrutiny, fired back this afternoon at the Romney campaign.

    In a letter to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, it charged that what it called attempts by the Romney campaign to block voter registration efforts in Virginia “may rise to the level of interference with legitimate voter registration efforts contrary to applicable state and federal laws.”

    The organization asked Cuccinelli to refuse the Romney campaign’s request to investigate what it called “completely lawful efforts by the VPC to register Virginians.”

    “The Romney campaign’s request for a probe into over 15 thousand returned legal and state-approved registration application forms is part of a blatant and ongoing partisan effort to keep people from voting, “ said VPC founder and president Page Gardner.

    (This has been a breaking news update.)

    Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, says the State Board of Elections would have to initiate a request for an investigation.

    “Our job right now is to advise our client, the SBE, as they work to ensure the law is complied with and that the voter registration process is not compromised,” he said.

    “With regard to an investigation, any type of investigation on the part of our office would have to be initiated by a request from SBE. The SBE has not made such a request.”

    Justin Riemer deputy secretary of the State Board of Elections, said the state board has not officially received the letter from the Romney campaign, but has obtained a copy. The three-member state board will determine whether to seek an investigation.

    “We’re looking at it and working with the attorney general’s office to address the concerns they’ve raised,” he said, referring to the Romney camp.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:29 PM ET, 07/25/2012
    Romney’s Bain case crumbles a bit more

    By Greg Sargent

    The Associated Press reports this morning that Mitt Romney “stayed in regular contact” with his partners at Bain in the months after the 1999 date that he has given as the time he left the company. The story also claims he “continued to oversee his partnership stakes even as he disengaged from the firm, personally signing or approving a series of corporate and legal documents through the spring of 2001.”

    The story doesn’t move the ball too much, but it adds to the information that complicates his case that he bears no responsibility for any of the controversial Bain deals that took place during that period — and that he played “no role whatsoever” with the firm., which has been among the toughest critics of Obama’s efforts to tie Romney to those Bain years, took a look at the latest revelations, and offered a mixed verdict. director Brooks Jackson had this to say to TPM:

    “None of this shows he actually did what the Obama camp claims he did,” Jackson said, referring to ads that say Romney shipped jobs overseas. “Where is the evidence that Romney had any part in managing these companies that Bain acquired or invested in after 1999? There isn’t any. There is none.”

    As for whether Romney is ultimately responsible for decisions made while he was still head of Bain, Brooks says that’s not his business.

    “Look, if someone wants to argue that Romney had moral responsibility for decisions someone else made while he retained corporate titles, fine. We’ll leave judgments about moral responsibility to others.”

    As it happens, that is the argument that many Dems are making. Again: There are two separate questions here. The first is: Is there any evidence that Romney had a direct managerial role in the controversial deals in question? The second question is: Even if the answer to the first question is No, is it nonetheless fair to hold Romney partly responsible for — or associate him with — Bain’s activities during a period in which he was listed as the company’s CEO and chairman, particularly now that more evidence has emerged that he retained some kind of relationship with the company?

  10. rikyrah says:

    Whaddya Know? Medicaid Saves Lives

    By John Cole July 25th, 2012

    This news should be met with a resounding “NO SHIT”:

    Into the maelstrom of debate over whether Medicaid should cover more people comes a new study by Harvard researchers who found that when states expanded their Medicaid programs and gave more poor people health insurance, fewer people died.

    The study, published online Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, comes as states are deciding whether to expand Medicaid by 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s health care law. The Supreme Court ruling on the law last month effectively gave states the option of accepting or rejecting an expansion of Medicaid that had been expected to add 17 million people to the program’s rolls.

    Medicaid expansions are controversial, not just because they cost states money, but also because some critics, primarily conservatives, contend the program does not improve the health of recipients and may even be associated with worse health. Attempts to research that issue have encountered the vexing problem of how to compare people who sign up for Medicaid with those who are eligible but remain uninsured. People who choose to enroll may be sicker, or they may be healthier and simply be more motivated to see doctors.

    The ability of Republicans to convince themselves of whatever they want is quite impressive. On what universe would having health coverage cause worse health?

  11. Ametia says:

    Pennsylvania voter ID case opens in state court
    By Robert Barnes, Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 11:36 AMThe Washington Post

    The first round of the 2012 election is being waged in courtrooms across the country, and those challenging a wave of tough voter identification laws are finding state courts a more hospitable environment than the traditional civil rights venue of the federal courthouse.

    Perhaps the most important challenge got underway Wednesday in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where opponents of a new law requiring IDs told a state judge that the commonwealth’s constitution forbids such a restriction.

    “Under the case law and the express terms of the Pennsylvania Constitution, it is doubtful that there is any governmental interest that can justify depriving voters of their constitutional right,” said a brief filed on behalf of 10 individuals and groups such as the NAACP and League of Women Voters.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Ni-CLANG! events…
    By Dennis G. July 25th, 2012

    When Mitt Romney says “American Exceptionalism” what he means is “White Male Exceptionalism”. By October, he’ll openly campaign as ‘The Great White Hope’. Already his whisper strategy of all-dog-whistles-all-the-time is moving from the shadows to become the centerpiece of run for the white House.

    The event cited above and his code talking speech to the VFW yesterday will seem tame when we look back on them in the fall. Mittens and his wingnutopia minions will be bringing the crazy. We should enjoy the quite of summer while we can.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:55 AM PDT.

    AP concludes Romney’s Bain role continued past his claimed departure

    Yet another news organization rejects Mitt Romney’s claim to have ended all involvement with Bain Capital after February 11, 1999:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he had no active role in Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, after he exited in February 1999 to take over Salt Lake City’s Winter Olympics bid. But according to Bain associates and others familiar with Romney’s actions at the time, he stayed in regular contact with his partners over the following months, tending to his partnership interests and negotiating his separation from the company.
    With AP joining the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler among the fact-checkers who are now refuting Romney’s Bain departure claim, Romney is going to have a more difficult time ignoring questions about the soft underbully of his tenure at the firm.
    Of the 10 most profitable deals that Romney struck while at Bain, four ended up with companies in bankruptcy and workers being laid off. Those four companies represented more than $500 million in profit to Bain—nearly 40 percent of the profits from their top 10 deals—and they illustrate Romney’s ruthless “heads I win, tails you lose” business philosophy. Instead of defending his role in those deals, Romney has argued that he wasn’t responsible for them because he had already left for the Olympics.

    For much of the campaign, Romney has been able to get away with that explanation, but reporting by Mother Jones, Talking Points Memo, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and others have debunked his excuse. And now that AP has joined the debunkers, it’s safe to assume Mitt Romney is feeling some additional pressure to come up with another excuse to avoid taking responsibility for his actions. Retroactively, if possible.

    10:00 AM PT: Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt has released a statement on the AP story:

    “Governor Romney has stated flatly that he left Bain Capital in 1999, but an Associated Press report today makes clear he did not leave when he says he did. Not only did he remain CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board, but he continued to attend meetings with his partners. Additionally, he personally signed off on financial documents, including one for DDI, a company that went bankrupt and laid off workers after Bain loaded it up with debt. Mitt Romney’s explanations about his continued involvement at Bain have shifted all over the place. But what hasn’t changed is his unwillingness to take any responsibility for the American jobs that were outsourced and lost under his leadership, both before and after 1999.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    July 25, 2012
    Mitt Romney, a vacuous mass of a man

    Mitt Romney is so diabolically vague or self-canceling about some things … many things … OK, everything … even members of his own party haven’t a clue as to where he actually stands on pretty much anything.

    The deficit? He’ll cut it by slashing more revenue–the GOP’s now traditional fiscal-policy-by-paradox–as well as unspecified programs and mysterious expenditures. Education? Better individual learning through classroom congestion, courtesy foreign pedagogic experiments. Energy? More domestic production, which, though already in place, is desperately needed. Health care? Something identical to RomneyCare/ObamaCare, only nothing at all like RomneyCare/ObamaCare.

    Job creation? Silly question–Mitt Romney was in the private sector for 25 years, so there’s your obvious answer. Huh? But it is obvious; it’s obvious that’s the only answer Romney’s partisan allies have got. It’s not much, in fact it is nothing, but that’s something–the paradoxes roll on.

    Ah, but surely in the manly arena of foreign policy the GOP nominee stands tall, bold, outspoken and explicit. No equivocation here, for here is the GOP’s strong suit–especially given the comparative horrors of non-neocon muddledness, Democratic weakness and Obamian cowardice. Yes, here the Vietnam-era draft-dodging chickenhawk–the GOP’s now traditional rugged-Ramboism-by-paradox–would hawk up some excess testosterone on, say, the crisis in Syria, and let, say, assembled VFWers have at it.

  15. rikyrah says:

    July 25, 2012
    Ever lower
    Yep, lower. Ever lower. Reports the Daily Telegraph:

    In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one [adviser] suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.

    “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.

    Let me just say it for you malicious crackers, since you quite obviously would like to say it yourselves but are too characteristically cowardly to put it in plain, ‘Anglo-Saxon’ American English: “President Obama is a spook, a darkie, a ‘colored’ man, a shiftless nigger who, were he not president of the United States, would be stealing hubcaps and raping white women.”

    There, now isn’t that better? You know, more than a few in your target electoral market are way too friggin’ stupid to understand anything even remotely approaching subtlety. So this should help.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Truth is Dead
    by BooMan
    Wed Jul 25th, 2012 at 12:55:44 PM EST

    When I joked about the truth dying, I wasn’t entirely unserious. As I discussed yesterday, and as Steve Benen discusses today, the Affordable Care Act has been scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) several times, and it always comes back with a report saying that the bill will reduce the budget deficit. Their latest report (pdf), released yesterday, says that ObamaCare will now cost $84 billion less over the next decade than anticipated thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Medicaid expansion, which will cost about 3 million people access to health care. The CBO released a second report yesterday that scored a recently-passed House bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. They said that bill would cost the government $109 billion over the next decade. Please understand that repealing ObamaCare would not only cost $109 billion; it would also eliminate the cost savings of the bill which can now be calculated as $294 billion between now and 2023.
    The net effect of repealing ObamaCare would be to lose $294 billion in savings and to add $109 in costs, resulting in the loss of $403 billion to the treasury. Keep in mind that the direct costs of the Iraq War were about $700 billion. We are talking about a lot of money here. The Republicans’ bill repealing ObamaCare would, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, not only cost us in excess of $400 billion, it would deny health care coverage to 30 million Americans. And the GOP has no plan, none, to provide any relief to those 30 million Americans.

    Now, go crank up your Google Machine and see how many times the Republicans, including their presidential candidate, have said that ObamaCare is too expensive, is a budget buster, is unfair to our children who will have to pay for it, etc. It’s a mantra with these folks.

    The CBO is not just non-partisan. The Republicans currently control the House of Representatives. There is no way for the Democrats to use the CBO as some partisan tool to create the numbers they want.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Foreign Policy Debut

    The speech could have been written by wingnut bloggers. The aggressive chest-thumping, the contempt for the president, and the lack of any actual engagement with a complicated, dangerous world where specific and hard choices have to be made: all made this seem like a campaign rally for Christianists and neocons, rather than a guide to the future.

    Does Romney really believe, for example, that strong, public rhetorical support from the White House would have helped the Green Movement rather than, as the Greens insisted, hurt them? Does he seriously want to increase defense spending massively, while cutting taxes on the wealthy and cutting the debt? Would he intervene in Syria? Would he have extended our stay in Iraq; and does he want to stay in Afghanistan after 2104? I have no idea from this speech. All I know is that everything Obama has done has been a failure; that he deserves an “F” in foreign policy; and that Russia is our global foe and Iran our darkest threat. But one also senses, as Drezner does, that most of it is cynical domestic base politics:

    After the speech, Chuck Todd tweeted that “The Romney VFW speech felt like it was aimed at GOP voters, not swing voters.” I’d agree. Foreign policy doesn’t matter that much to swing voters, but rhetoric like this is a great way to appeal to and energize the base.


    You want a reprise of Bush-Cheney in foreign policy, but with more direct management by Netanyahu? You know what to do.

  18. Ametia says:

    Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:19 AM PDT.

    And the winner of the Olympic gold medal in outsourcing and financial secrecy is … Mitt Romney
    by Jed Lewison

    As Mitt Romney would say, you’ll be “completely guffawing” and/or “laughing uproariously” after watching the latest Priorities USA ad congratulating him on his victory:

  19. Ametia says:

    Eclectablog: What Would Mitt Romney Do Differently Than George W. Bush?:

  20. Ametia says:

    Jul 25, 8:19 AM EDT
    FACT CHECK: Romney-Bain contacts outlasted exit

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he had no active role in Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, after he exited in February 1999 to take over Salt Lake City’s Winter Olympics bid. But according to Bain associates and others familiar with Romney’s actions at the time, he stayed in regular contact with his partners over the following months, tending to his partnership interests and negotiating his separation from the company.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Among competing jobs plans, it’s not even close
    By Steve Benen – Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:35 AM EDT.

    Whenever some guy like me rudely points out that House Republicans haven’t passed any meaningful jobs legislation in this Congress, GOP leaders’ offices are quick to respond. “Oh yeah?” the typical message begins, “You’re ignoring the more than 30 jobs bills we passed but those rascally Senate Democrats refuse to consider.”

    Republicans are quite serious about this. In fact, about a month ago, as President Obama was set to deliver a big speech on the economy, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared in a video alongside a table with piles of GOP jobs bills — as if to prove how much he and his caucus take the issue seriously.

    There is, however, a problem. As Erin Mershon reported yesterday, the Republican job bills don’t actually create jobs.

    The GOP jobs package, which currently includes 32 bills, represents Republicans’ hallmark legislative accomplishment over the past two years. In the months ahead of the election, they will lean on it as proof of two things: that they are not the do-nothing obstructionists that Democrats paint them as, and that they are working hard to address the 8.2 percent unemployment rate.

    But there’s a problem with their jobs bills: They don’t create jobs. At least, they won’t any time soon.

    In interviews conducted by The Huffington Post with five economists, most said the GOP jobs package would have no meaningful impact on job creation in the near term. Some said it was not likely to do much in the long term, either.

  22. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at TOD:

    redbird45 (@redbird45)
    July 25, 2012 at 11:10 am
    When i saw this post. I felt i had to write something. I am a African American single mother of 3 boys. Unemployed. I have recently seen all 3 of my sons graduate this year. My oldest for North eastern university with a d degree education, my middle son from high school and my youngest from middle school. Do to the president efforts on extending unemployment i was able to afford all of the expenses for these events. I also benefit from the increase in Pell grants for my middle son to attend college. He will be attending Lane College in Jackson Tennesse. A HBCU that Pres Obama increased federal grants for HBCU . The cost of the college is 17,000 a year. he receieved half of that in grants and a 3000 scholarship for football. I just learned that his fathers job have a grant program for employees that have first time college student for a 1000 dollars. President Obama Pell grant fight and contributions to HBCU my son would not have the opportunity to attend. As a Parent im in such appreciation for what President Obama has done. So when i here any one say, what has he done i smile and say. He has helped my family . I am so blessed and appreciate the policy he implemented to help families. Please Seek the help he has provided you will find that this President really has the back of the poor and middle class. I just had to share my story. I will have the honor of taking my son to college in August!

    • Ametia says:

      An Excellent sharing of an American family doing all they can to assure their children can succeed!

    • johnnie stallings says:

      friend and mother redbird you should take pictures videos dvds and send them to every news outlet especially msnbc Lawrence O’donnel, Al sharpton Robin Roberts etc.Take
      them to Obama campaign office in your town. Please !!!! it might cost time and a few dollars but it will help his campaign.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 07/25/2012
    Is Michigan a swing state?
    By Jamelle Bouie

    Two polls released today show a wildly divergent picture of the presidential race in Michigan. On one end is a poll conducted by Mitchell Research & Communications, which shows a dead-heat in the traditionally Democratic state. According to Mitchell, Obama holds a one point lead over Romney among likely voters, 45 percent to 44 percent. This is a decline from earlier in the summer, when Obama won 47 percent of the vote, although the margin is the same.

    On the other end is the latest survey from Public Policy Polling, which shows Obama in excellent shape among the state’s voters, with a 14 point lead over Romney, 53 percent to 39 percent. The key point is that Obama has essentially maintained his coalition from 2008; he wins 48 percent of white voters—with 59 percent support among young whites — and 89 percent of African Americans.

    Mitchell Research hasn’t released their cross-tabs, but given their picture of a close race, my guess is that they would show Obama with weak support among white voters, and particularly the working-class whites that gave Obama their heavy support in the previous election. Indeed, the key question for anyone looking at Michigan is whether Obama has maintained his white support. If polls from similar states are any indication — Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin — Obama is in decent shape. He wins 49 percent of whites in Wisconsin, 42 percent in Ohio, and 54 percent in Minnesota (his Ohio lead, 3 points according to PPP, is held up by overwhelming African American support). However, if those totals begin to decline, then you’ll likely see similar movement in Michigan. In which case, the state could become a toss-up.

    This gets to one of the quirks of this election. If Romney wins, it won’t be because he replicated George W. Bush’s 2004 performance. Because of demographic changes, and Obama’s high support among nonwhites, there’s a strong chance he’ll hold states like Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada, even in the event of a loss. By contrast, Obama has lost substantial support among working-class whites, and they are the prime demographic for appeals from the Romney campaign.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:09 AM ET, 07/25/2012
    The Morning Plum: Driving up Mitt Romney’s negatives
    By Greg Sargent

    Are the Bain attacks working, or are they a bust? Steve Kornacki made a smart point about this yesterday, noting that it’s “possible that Bain will mean nothing to most voters and still end up succeeding as a strategy.”

    What Kornacki means is that the broader Obama strategy of attacking Romney over the offshoring and layoffs — combined with the attacks on Romney’s own offshore accounts and refusal to release his tax returns — could end up eroding Romney’s image, even if voters don’t necessarily reach a firm conclusion about the meaning of the Bain years. This is certainly how Dem strategists view the purpose of the Bain attacks.

    As I’ve been saying, we won’t know whether this strategy is working until the fall, when undecided voters begin making up their minds based on impressions built up over months. But the new NBC/WSJ poll, which finds Obama leading Romney 49-43, has some suggestive findings:

    — Romney’s favorable/unfavorable rating is upside down at 35-40.

    — A majority, 52 percent, say they don’t identify with Romney’s “background and set of values,” versus 42 percent who do.

    — 43 percent say they’ve seen, heard, or read something in the past few weeks that gives them a more negative impression of Romney

  25. rikyrah says:

    Going With Klan Rhetoric Now?
    by BooMan
    Wed Jul 25th, 2012 at 10:13:18 AM EST

    As a rule, I do not believe anything I read in the U.K. Telegraph because I consider it the least reliable “mainstream” paper in the English language. Less reliable even than the Washington Times. The Telegraph is often a witting conduit of misinformation. So, I can’t say that I automatically believe that a Romney adviser told one of their reporters that our president doesn’t understand our shared Anglo-Saxon heritage with Britain. In my experience, the disinformation disseminated by the Telegraph has uniformly been in the service of helping the Republican Party and their war efforts, but their standards are so low that I can’t dismiss the possibility that they’ve timed this article to Romney’s arrival in England in order to sell papers.

    However, it’s quite possible that a Romney adviser actually did say this about the president. In that case, it’s a concern because that kind of language hearkens back to the rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan. The following is an excerpt from a 1964 KKK leaflet that was created in 1964 shortly before the murders of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney.

    That rhetoric is already disturbingly familiar to anyone who listens closely to the modern Republican Party’s rhetoric about taxes and entitlements and social welfare. The constant questioning of the president’s birth certificate makes more sense when you see the lineage of those types of arguments. After reading the leaflet above, how do John Sununu’s comments sound to you?

    “[The president] has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.”

    Romney followed that up by saying that the president’s policies are “extraordinarily foreign.” And now we have an adviser who is purported to have said that Obama doesn’t understand Anglo-Saxon heritage.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Stimulus: Government Spending On The Military Will Create More Jobs
    By Ben Armbruster on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

    A top foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney told the National Journal that funding for social programs should be cut in order to stave off the looming military spending sequester. While Romney often says that “government doesn’t create jobs,” John Lehman, a special adviser to Romney and co-chair of his campaign’s Defense Working Group, admitted that more government spending will lead to more jobs, but claimed that investing in the military will generate more employment than spending on other domestic priorities:

    “If you want to reduce the impact of government cuts on creating jobs, you should be looking more at entitlements” than military spending, John Lehman – an investment banker, a former secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, and a special adviser and co-chair of Romney’s Defense Working Group – said in an interview. […] Defense cuts particularly hurt the economy, Lehman said in an interview, because defense spending creates more jobs and growth per dollar than entitlements, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

    “If your objective was to maximize jobs, you’d cut entitlements five times more than defense,” Lehman said, citing the fiscal multiplier and advocating the opposite distribution of spending reductions than agreed under the current package.

    Conservatives have been arguing for quite some time that funding for programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should be cut in order to preserve the Pentagon’s bloated budget. John Bolton, another top Romney adviser, has even said that social programs should be cut in order to increase military spending.

  27. rikyrah says:

    EXCLUSIVE: Romney Bundler A Registered Foreign Agent For Hong Kong
    By Josh Israel on Jul 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Newly released lobbyist bundler disclosure records filed by the Mitt Romney campaign show that Tom Loeffler raised at least $17,500 in bundled contributions for the campaign over the first six months of 2012. Loeffler, a former Republican U.S. Representative from Texas and a lobbyist at Akin Gump represents a wide array domestic clients including USAA, NextgenID, and the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice. But a ThinkProgress review of Foreign Agent Registration Act reveals that Loeffler registered in February as a registered agent for a foreign government: the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

    The agreement — signed by Loeffler — stipulated that, from February 13 through June 30, 2012, he would “protect, promote, assist and develop Hong King’s economic and trade interests in the United States of America” by working with Congress and the executive branch. In exchange, the HKTDC agreed to pay Akin Gum $35,775 per month. The Romney bundling all took place during the time Loeffler was under this initial contract, though it is unclear whether the contract was renewed at the end of June.

    Loeffler has a long history of raising money for Republican presidential candidates. In 2008, Loeffler stepped down from his position as a national finance co-chair for John McCain’s campaign when Newsweek discovered that he had lobbied on behalf of Saudi Arabia. But Romney’s campaign has welcomed him back into the campaign fundraising fold.

    Romney’s campaign, while being highly critical of China and the Obama administration’s approach to it, has organized campaign fundraising events in Hong Kong for U.S. citizens living there. He has also come under fire for apparently profiting from Bain investments in a company that provides surveillance cameras for the Chinese government to spy on its own citizens.

  28. rikyrah says:

    About those defense cuts…
    By Steve Benen – Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:35 AM EDT.

    Since I posted the full video of President Obama’s speech the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday, it’s only fair that I also post Mitt Romney’s speech to the same convention.

    We talked yesterday about some of the more important flaws in the Republican’s remarks, and Heather Hurlburt documented some pretty dramatic lies Romney told during the speech, but there was another excerpt I wanted to highlight.

    Consider this excerpt, which struck me as important

    A healthy American economy is what underwrites American power. When growth is missing, government revenue falls, social spending rises, and many in Washington look to cut defense spending as an easy out. That includes our current president.

    “Today, we are just months away from an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with a trillion dollars in cuts, severely shrink our force structure, and impair our ability to meet and deter threats. Don’t bother trying to find a serious military rationale behind any of this, unless that rationale is wishful thinking. Strategy is not driving President Obama’s massive defense cuts. In fact, his own Secretary of Defense warned that these reductions would be ‘devastating.’ And he is right.”

    At this point, we could note the irony of the Republican presidential hopeful condemning spending cuts, arguing that it would hurt the economy if Washington spent fewer tax dollars, but let’s put that aside and focus on a more glaring problem: Romney thinks the automatic defense cuts are “President Obama’s massive defense cuts.” They’re not.

    The Republican presidential candidate is actually condemning defense cuts offered by his congressional Republican allies.


    Why did Obama’s “own Secretary of Defense” warn that “these reductions would be ‘devastating'”? Because they weren’t his boss’ idea.

    As we discussed last week, there are deep, automatic defense cuts set to kick in at the end of the year. But the history matters: as part of last year’s debt-ceiling deal, policymakers accepted over $1 trillion in cuts that would be implemented if the so-called super-committee failed. Democrats weren’t completely willing to roll over — they wanted to create an incentive for Republicans to work in good faith

    Republicans agreed: if the committee failed, the GOP would accept defense cuts and Dems would accept non-defense domestic cuts. The committee, of course, flopped, which put us on the clock for the automatic reductions (the “sequester”) that Republicans contributed to the very process they insisted upon.

    Romney believes these cuts would undermine the military during a time of war. That’s not a crazy position, and the Obama administration tends to agree. But when Romney tells voters the cuts are Obama’s idea, he’s either lying or ignorant. There’s no other option


  29. rikyrah says:

    WSJ Columnist Asks If Women Saved In Colorado Shooting Were “Worthy

    Conservative Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto asked if the women who were saved by their boyfriends in the Colorado theater massacre were “worthy.”

    On his Twitter account Taranto posted: “I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    The lessons of the UK’s double-dip recession
    By Steve Benen – Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:00 AM EDT.
    Associated Press

    David Cameron’s economy still isn’t pointing in the right direction.
    Mitt Romney arrived in London early this morning, as part of a multi-day international excursion. Perhaps, while he’s across the pond, the Republican presidential hopeful can take a look at the problems plaguing the British economy

    The U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank the most since 2009 in the second quarter as record rainfall and an extra public holiday hurt output, increasing pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to abandon the government’s biggest budget squeeze since World War II.

    Gross domestic product fell 0.7 percent from the first quarter, when it dropped 0.3 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. Economists forecast a 0.2 percent decline, according to the median of 36 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Construction plunged 5.2 percent, production fell 1.3 percent and services declined 0.1 percent.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Poll: New Yorkers Love Cuomo, But Not His Presidential Prospects

    A new poll released Wednesday shows that New York voters overwhelmingly approve of the job their first-term governor is doing, but they’re not quite ready to see him make a move to the White House.

    In the latest poll from Quinnipiac University, 73 percent of Empire State voters approve of the job Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is doing, while only 16 percent disapprove. Elected in a landslide in 2010, Cuomo has boasted sky high approval ratings throughout his first two years in office. The PollTracker Average shows that Cuomo’s approval rating has been well above the 50 percent threshold for the better portion of his first term.

    Still, New York voters aren’t sure if they’re ready to see Cuomo, widely pegged as a rising star in the Democratic Party, launch a presidential bid. Only 36 percent of New York voters say they want Cuomo to run for president in 2016, while 39 percent say he shouldn’t run. Additionally, the poll shows that voters think New York senator and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Cuomo, 54 percent to 30 percent

  32. rikyrah says:

    Romney ‘Advisor’: Mitt Will Bring a White Man’s Touch

    Josh Marshall- July 24, 2012, 9:36 PM

    A racial subtext certainly isn’t foreign to the Romney campaign’s critique of Barack Obama. But putting it so front and center may raise a few eyebrows.

    What the London Daily Telegraph calls one of Romney’s “advisors” told the paper that Romney was better positioned to understand and respect the ‘special relationship’ between the US and Great Britain than President Obama, whose father was from Kenya.

    Said the advisor: “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

    It’s all of a piece with the constant refrains that Obama is an outsider to whatever is essential about the American experience of simply being an American. But it’s getting closer to the surface. And I suspect we’ll hear much more of it — from ‘advisors’ if not from Romney himself — during the trip abroad.

    Late Update: It’s interesting as a side note that the Telegraph suggested the Romney aide’s remarks “may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity.” To which one might respond, ya think? The Telegraph does write from 90s era, unreconstructed Tory kind of viewpoint. Or maybe 1930s unreconstructed Tory kind of viewpoint. And casting this as a matter of ‘sensitivity’ seems part and parcel with that.

  33. rikyrah says:

    July 24, 2012 3:14 PM
    The GOP’s Idea of “Seizing the Center”

    By Ed Kilgore

    Yesterday I mentioned that Scott Brown had brought the mendacious twisting of Elizabeth Warren’s famous rap about the interdependence of public and private efforts in making capitalism work full circle by tying Barack Obama’s paraphrasing of that rap back to the original. Today we learn that conservatives are admiring Brown’s ad for a slightly different reason: its contribution to the big and very important lie that Obama and Warren are out of the American mainstream represented by Democratic and Republican presidents of the past. The Weekly Standard’s Daniel Halper explains:
    Republican operatives in Washington are praising Scott Brown’s latest campaign ad. The ad, a contrast spot being run by the Republican Massachusetts senator, shows that Brown’s Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, is to the left on economic issues of John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan….

    Instead of being in the mainstream, Warren, along with President Barack Obama, is shown to be an opponent of free enterprise. The ad is called, “Let America Be America Again.”

    “Devastating,” says one Republican operative. “Long—but does a really good job of showing how radical the Obama/Warren view of the economy really is


    There’s nothing at all novel about this tactic: if you can’t “seize the center” in American politics via policy initiatives, you push the other party out by calling it “extremist.” It’s a particularly essential tactic if you are yourselves extremists.

  34. rikyrah says:

    America Ain’t in Decline; It’s Broken

    by BooMan
    Tue Jul 24th, 2012 at 11:25:57 PM EST

    I don’t know what Frank Rich is talking about. America is not in decline. The problem is that people don’t go to Sally Quinn’s house to fraternize anymore. The problem is even deeper than than that, though. I mean Sally Quinn was never any Marietta Peabody Tree. Ms. Quinn is practically trailer-trash in comparison. The right kind of people used to run this joint. That is no longer true.
    But don’t think it all started with the Kenyan-Hawiian interloper in the Oval Office. Back in 1998, Sally Quinn collected the grievances the Beltway crowd had accumulated about the no-class redneck president from Arkansas:

    1. THIS IS THEIR HOME. This is where they spend their lives, raise their families, participate in community activities, take pride in their surroundings. They feel Washington has been brought into disrepute by the actions of the president. “It’s much more personal here,” says pollster Geoff Garin. “This is an affront to their world. It affects the dignity of the place where they live and work. . . . Clinton’s behavior is unacceptable. If they did this at the local Elks Club hall in some other community it would be a big cause for concern.”
    “He came in here and he trashed the place,” says Washington Post columnist David Broder, “and it’s not his place.”

    “This is a company town,” says retired senator Howard Baker, once Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff. “We’re up close and personal. The White House is the center around which our city revolves.”

    Bill Galston, former deputy domestic policy adviser to Clinton and now a professor at the University of Maryland, says of the scandal that “most people in Washington believe that most people in Washington are honorable and are trying to do the right thing. The basic thought is that to concede that this is normal and that everybody does it is to undermine a lifetime commitment to honorable public service.”

    “Everybody doesn’t do it,” says Jerry Rafshoon, Jimmy Carter’s former communications director. “The president himself has said it was wrong.”

    Yes, you see, President Clinton came to town and he trashed the place. What was his pedigree, anyway? Why do the Democrats keep nominating people whose fathers were no-account deadbeats? Remember when people went to Groton?

    If America has a problem it is that it has evolved to a point where the political natures of the two major parties are not able to co-exist in a functional way. Our system works when party loyalty is weak. But, right now, party loyalty is strong. No one can govern in an ideologically rigid system where you need 60% of the Senate to move legislation and no party has anywhere near 60% control.

    There are only two ways out. Either the parties will become more fluid, or one party must be crushed underfoot.

  35. rikyrah says:

    The U.S. loses $280 billion a year in taxes from off shore accounts
    offshore accounts
    July 22, 2012
    By: Robert Bowen

    A new report released Sunday estimates that the United States Treasury loses $280 billion a year in tax revenue from wealthy Americans and companies keeping their money in off shore bank accounts in tax havens. The report estimated between $21 trillion and $32 trillion is held in these offshore accounts.

    The Tax Justice Network report says this means that the income inequality in the U.S. if far worse than economists suspected.

    The research was carried out by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co. He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks

    The U.S. taxpayer is not the only victim of this practice, it impacts developing countries as well depriving them of revenue that could go a long way toward alleviating their national fiscal problems, the report’s authors suggest. The research estimates that since the 1970s, the richest citizens of these 139 countries had amassed $7.3 to $9.3 trillion of “unrecorded offshore wealth” by 2010.

  36. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at TOD:

    July 25, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hi all,
    The Burton ad is great and the reason Morning Joke is trashing it is because it’s going to derail The Romney family plan to hijack the high energy American patriotism thats going to be going on because of the Olympics. The Romneys want to co opt that feeling – through the idiot’s ties to the Olympics and Ann’s dressage horse. Burton is cutting that off at the knees – or at least the talk generated by the ad is going to show Romney as less than a patriot – certainly not the intention of the Romney team for the next two weeks. Get ready for the battle of the Olympic themed photo ops and bet Michele comes through big time and steals the show. send Burton some love.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:57 PM ET, 07/24/2012
    Awakening voters’ curiosity about Romney’s tax returns and Bain years
    By Greg Sargent

    Pew Research asks Americans if they want to know more about Mitt Romney’s resume, tax returns, and identity, and comes back with this:

    When it comes to specific details of Romney’s background and experience, 41% of voters say they would like to learn more about Romney’s record as governor, 36% would like to learn more about his tax returns, while 35% want to know more about his record as chief executive of Bain Capital. Far fewer want to hear more about Romney’s wealth (21%), his family and upbringing (19%) or his religious beliefs (16%).

    Also, 37 percent of independents want to know more about the Bain years, and 35 percent of indys want to know more about his tax returns

  38. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    July 24, 2012 5:17 PM

    The Christie Complex

    By Ed Kilgore

    His name isn’t often mentioned anymore near the top of Romney veep lists, but Chris Christie has already been slotted as Keynote Speaker (whatever that term means in an era where conventions often sport multiple “keynotes” and usually just one rheotrical note) at the 2012 Republican Convention, which is likely a relief to the authors of a new biography of the New Jersey governor. As reviewed in the July/August issue of the Washington Monthly by NewsBeast reporter Laura Collarusso, Chris Christie: His Rise To Power (by veteran New Jersey reporters Bob Ingle and Michael Symons) is honestly critical enough to command a reading from anyone interested in the fiery pol, but laudatory enough to hit the best-seller lists if lightening strikes in Tampa.

    You should read the whole review, but what struck me most about it is that Christie is a guy who has negotiated the difficult shoals of New Jersey and GOP politics by combining relatively sane (if sometimes dishonest) policies with the attack-dog attitude beloved of his party’s base. But even though he thrills conservative crowds from coast to coast—and will probably do the same at the Convention—he’s probably hit his ceiling in electoral politics, where litmus tests become absolute. Colarusso’s brisk summary of his heresies is illustrative:

  39. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney was, again, “not involved in decision-making”

    By Kay July 25th, 2012

    I’m amazed they’re going to get away with this again:

    Mitt Romney promised “complete transparency” when he took charge of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics, a pledge that included access to his own correspondence and plans for an extensive public archive of documents related to the Games.
    But some who worked with Romney describe a close-to-the-vest chief executive unwilling to share so much as a budget with a state board responsible for spending oversight. Archivists now say most key records about the Games’ internal workings were destroyed under the supervision of a staff member shortly after the flame was extinguished at Olympic Cauldron Park, after Romney had returned to Massachusetts.

    “Transparency? There was none with [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] when he was there,” said Kenneth Bullock, a committee member who represented the Utah League of Cities and Towns. “Their transparency became a black hole. It was nonexistent.”

    According to Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul, “Mitt Romney resigned from SLOC in early 2002 to run for governor of Massachusetts and was not involved in the decision-making regarding the final disposition of records.”

    You know, the truth is no one knows how Mitt Romney managed the Olympics, because they destroyed all the records. Now that it’s become clear that Romney was less than truthful about his role at Bain (despite the claims of the various fact-check franchises that rushed to his rescue before waiting for the facts to come out) I think his claims about the Olympics deserve scrutiny.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Whores Hustling

    By mistermix July 25th, 2012

    Here are some libertarians protecting freedom:

    In the brief, TechFreedom, The Competitive Enterprise Institute, The Free State Foundation, and the Cato Institute argue that the last year’s FCC net neutrality order “Preserving the Open Internet” (PDF), which took effect in November 2011, violates the First and Fifth Amendments, and that the FCC lacks jurisdictional authority to implement such a rule.

    Specifically, the groups say that compelling private companies to “speak,” by requiring them to carry all traffic across their networks, instead of allowing them to discriminate as they see fit, violates the principle of freedom of speech.

    The papers are full of stories of oligopoly ISPs being waterboarded and beaten with rubber batons to get them to carry Netflix traffic. And we all remember the mass lock ups that preceded the implementation of BGP. I’m glad that Cato and other respected, independent Libertarian think tanks are leading the charge to protect these downtrodden members of society.

  41. rikyrah says:

    CBO: Obamacare still cuts deficit
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:30 AM EDT.

    One of the more common complaints from critics of the Affordable Care Act is that it’s too expensive. In particular, congressional Republicans, who occasionally pretend to care about the deficit and debt, argue that the health care reform law is fiscally irresponsible.

    The argument has never made any sense — every independent budget analysis has shown that “Obamacare” is not only fully paid for, it also reduces the deficit.

    Of course, that was before the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. What does the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office have to say about the ACA now? As it turns out, the law still reduces the deficit, and Republican repeal efforts would worsen U.S. finances.

    The Congressional Budget Office just published a newly updated estimate of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on the budget. The estimate largely tells us what we already knew: The law, when fully implemented, will dramatically reduce the number of Americans without health insurance. It will also reduce the deficit.

    This last part remains a big deal, if only because so many conservatives — and, yes, so many members of the public — refuse to believe it. Over and over again, you hear people saying that Obamacare will run up the deficit. The CBO, which is our most reliable guide on such matters, begs to differ. […]

    And that’s just in the short- to medium-term. If the program’s efforts at re-engineering the health care system really work, then all spending on health care — from the federal government, corporations, and individuals alike — will stop rising so quickly, freeing up more money for other purposes (like, for example, raises to employees).

  42. rikyrah says:

    ‘We’re all in this together’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    On late Monday, President Obama’s re-election campaign released a widely-discussed, minute-long ad, in which the president spoke directly to the camera and presented the larger themes of the 2012 race. Late yesterday, the Obama team released something of a follow-up

    For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the transcript of the 30-second spot, most of which again shows the president speaking to the camera

    “Those ads taking my words about small business out of context – they’re flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses. Every day, hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run. And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has — by investing in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology.

    “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message because I believe we’re all in this together.

    I’ve heard some Dems respond favorably to the ad, applauding the fact that Obama’s pushing back — in a direct, high-profile way — against Mitt Romney’s absurd new argument. There’s probably something to be said for that.

    But campaign observers shouldn’t miss the larger significance: if Obama and his team quickly put together a new television ad responding “those ads” that took his comments out of context, it means the president and his team believe voters have probably seen “those ads” and are afraid voters believe the ridiculous lie.


    In other words, Republicans, by manufacturing a controversy out of garbage, have put Obama’s campaign on the defensive, after they had been on the offensive over Romney’s tax returns and business dealings.

    The president has a message he’s eager to share at this point in the race, and “what I meant was” isn’t part of it. Romney’s line of attack is unambiguously stupid, and it treats Americans as if we’re idiots, but it seems to make Team Obama nervous, at least a little.

    This new spot is set to run in Iowa, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, starting today.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Hiding in Plain Sight


    Published: July 24, 2012

    If I closed my eyes, and added a creepy monotone, I could have been listening to Dick Cheney.

    The Republican speaker at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev., was slashing the president with jingoistic jingles: Obama is ashamed of America, an apologist sapping the greatness of a country that is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, a weakling marring the American Century by gutting the military and the economy. And, on top of that, the Obama White House doesn’t know how to keep stuff secret.

    Prodded by conservatives to attack the president more aggressively, the ever malleable Mitt Romney obliged Tuesday at the V.F.W., spouting chest-thumping clichés about putting “resolve in our might.” That resolve evidently doesn’t include Mitt, who passed on Vietnam, or his five strapping sons, none of whom have volunteered for the volunteer military.

    It was at the V.F.W. convention in 2002 when Cheney, who got five deferments from Vietnam, set the gold standard for mindless belligerence, pushing pre-emptive action in Iraq. “Simply stated,” he said, “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” The Arab street, he knew, would erupt in joy when we invaded.

    In his speech, Romney demanded that any Obama administration leakers of classified information be found and punished because “the time for stonewalling is over,” “Americans are entitled to know” and Americans deserve “a full and prompt accounting of the facts.”

    After the speech, Eric Edelman, a Romney campaign adviser, chimed in on ferreting out Obama leakers in a press release; unfortunately, BuzzFeed soon pointed out that Edelman “was implicated in the country’s last major national security leak investigation — the outing of C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame” when he served under former Cheney aide Scooter Libby in W.’s administration.

    Romney is so secretive that he’s beginning to make the über-clandestine Cheney look like The Bachelorette.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Release The Returns! Ctd

    Adam Clymer encourages Romney to release his returns already:

    The subject may come and go in the summer, but it won’t go away. Someday, in the debates with Obama if not before, Romney is going to be questioned more intensely than he has been so far, and what will he say when asked, “Have you ever paid federal income taxes as low as 1 percent of your income? Five percent? What’s the lowest you ever paid?

    He’ll say it’s none of our business. Which makes his candidacy an almost defiant defense of the privilege of the super-wealthy. The 0.01 percent don’t have to abide by the same rules as everyone else. Romney has lived his life by that maxim. It’s internalized. One question in this election is whether Americans really want that social and economic inequality to be put on steroids or whether they want to see it mitigated a touch

  45. rikyrah says:

    What happens if GOP’s voter suppression works?

    By Harold Meyerson, Published: July 24
    The Washington Post

    Suppose Mitt Romney ekes out a victory in November by a margin smaller than the number of young and minority voters who couldn’t cast ballots because the photo-identification laws enacted by Republican governors and legislators kept them from the polls. What should Democrats do then? What would Republicans do? And how would other nations respond?

    As suppositions go, this one isn’t actually far-fetched. No one in the Romney camp expects a blowout; if he does prevail, every poll suggests it will be by the skin of his teeth. Numerous states under Republican control have passed strict voter identification laws. Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee and Georgia require specific kinds of ID; the laws in Michigan, Florida, South Dakota, Idaho and Louisiana are only slightly more flexible. Wisconsin’s law was struck down by a state court.

    Instances of voter fraud are almost nonexistent, but the right-wing media’s harping on the issue has given Republican politicians cover to push these laws through statehouse after statehouse. The laws’ intent, however, is entirely political: By creating restrictions that disproportionately impact minorities, they’re supposed to bolster Republican prospects. Ticking off Republican achievements in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, their legislative leader, Mike Turzai, extolled in a talk last month that “voter ID . . . is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

  46. Ametia says:

    New Orleans agrees to major police reforms
    By Associated Press, Published: July 24The Washington Post

    NEW ORLEANS — A court-supervised agreement announced Tuesday to overhaul the New Orleans Police Department will require the troubled agency to implement the most far-reaching police reforms ever negotiated by the Justice Department.

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) in announcing the signing of a federal consent decree designed to clean up a police force that has been plagued by decades of corruption and mismanagement. The department came under renewed scrutiny following a string of police shootings in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

  47. rikyrah says:

    A letter that George Romney received in 1964 (when Romney was governor of Michigan) from a Mormon apostle named Delbert L. Stapley. The letter encouraged Romney to reconsider his pro-civil right position. In the months after receiving this letter, George Romney stepped up his support for civil rights.

  48. rikyrah says:

    Secrets & LIES: Romney’s Olympics Records Destroyed

  49. rikyrah says:

    Priorities USA Action: “Romney’s Gold”

  50. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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