Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you are enjoying time with family and friends.

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54 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Romney candidacy has resurrected last days prophecy of Mormon saving the Constitution

  2. Ametia says:

    Romney’s plan would slow the recovery and cost us jobs

    July 27, 2012


    Governor Romney also opposes this jobs plan, saying it was like “throwing a cup of gasoline on embers.” But independent economists disagree—and they say that Mitt Romney’s plan would slow our recovery and cost us jobs. Romney himself acknowledges that spending cuts will damage the recovery. As economist Jeff Liebman has written, based on Romney’s own statements, his plan would cost over 1 million jobs next year.

    Romney’s plan for the economy—including tax cuts weighted towards the wealthy and rolling back Wall Street reform—would do nothing to create jobs today, and instead would return us to the failed policies that dug this ditch in the first place.

  3. rikyrah says:

    July 29, 2012

    Wastin’ time with Westen

    Dr. Drew Westen is back, bubbling with indignation and fluttering with the old familiar vapors and again slaying the Enlightenment with his Rousseau-like Romanticism. Oh dear, if only President Obama were endowed with Westen’s boundless courage and penetrating intuition and almost total ignorance of politics, we’d be well on the road to utopia–Hope/Crosby-style, that is.

    You no doubt remember Westen, an insufferable progressive ideologue who a year ago caused such a liberating stir in the deflated groins of lesser progressive ideologues; a psychology professor who, in addition to political ignorance, piled historical and literary pretensions–“the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise”–into his “controversial” NY Times piece, “What Happened to Obama?”

    That singular effort by Westen earned him what others had labored entire careers to achieve: a slot in the New Republic’s annual list of “Over-Rated Thinkers”:

  4. rikyrah says:

    George Knapp, Investigative Reporter

    Investigation into Trashed Voter Registrations

    Federal, state, and local officials are gathering information about allegations of voter registration fraud that were first raised Channel 8 Eyewitness News.

    An employee of a private voter registration firm alleges that his bosses trashed registration forms filled out by Democratic voters because they only wanted to sign up Republican voters.

    The allegations have set off a political firestorm stretching from Las Vegas to Washington D.C., and beyond.

  5. Ametia says:

    REPOST Reminder; the 2002 is another one of Mitt Romney’s claimed achievements.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Anti-Obama Super PAC Gets A Friendly Fox News Rollout

    July 27, 2012 4:35 PM EDT

    Fox News and Fox Business are doing their part to help a newly launched super PAC, Special Operations for America (SOFA), carry out its mission of defeating President Obama. Fox hosted the group’s chairman this week on three separate occasions and helped promote the PAC’s website.

    The group, chaired by Republican Montana State Senator and former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke, officially launched on July 18. SOFA states that it “will advocate for the election of Mitt Romney and like-minded candidates” and it “stands against the core threats to National Security created and unchecked by the Obama administration. SOFA will strike to ensure that veterans and our families receive the care and benefits their sacrifice has earned.” SOFA reportedly hopes to air ads in swing states on veterans issues.

    SOFA does not list any information about its advisory board on its website as of this posting, but its Twitter account states that Paul E. Vallely is a SOFA board member. Vallely, a Fox News contributor from 2001-2007, has lent support to crazy birther theories. Vallely told birther hub WorldNetDaily last year: “His actual birth certificate has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there, Kapiolani hospital there, if it in fact did exist. … We’ve had three CIA agents, retired, and some of their analytical associates look at it, and all came to the same conclusion, that even the long-form was a forged document.”

    Zinke started this week with a friendly appearance on the July 23 edition of Fox & Friends, during which co-host Steve Doocy asked Zinke to “give us a preview” of his argument that President Obama needs to be defeated. Zinke was also asked to respond to a quote from the Obama campaign attacking Mitt Romney and defending the president’s record on veterans issues. During the interview, Zinke plugged the super PAC’s website.

    Lou Dobbs conducted a softball interview with Zinke on the July 26 edition of his Fox Business program Lou Dobbs Tonight. Dobbs began the interview by saying: “He says President Obama is jeopardizing the safety of our troops and national security for political gain. Strong charges, senator. We are thrilled you’re here. And that strong charge is being supported from some quarters. Why do you make it?” At the conclusion of the interview, Dobbs promoted the super PAC’s website: “For more information, as the commander said, log onto”

    Fox News host Sean Hannity also promoted SOFA on July 26. Hannity began the interview by noting that the group “is aimed at ensuring that Barack Obama is a one-term president”:

  7. rikyrah says:

    In Israel, Romney declares Jerusalem to be capital
    By KASIE HUNT | Associated Press – 1 hr 12 mins ago.

    Standing on Israeli soil, U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish state and said the United States has “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” to block Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.

    “Make no mistake, the ayatollahs in Iran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object and who will look the other way,” he said. “We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel.”

    The presidential election hovered over the speech. The Old City formed a made-for-television backdrop behind Romney, while some of his campaign donors listened in the audience.

    Romney’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital was matter-of-fact and in keeping with claims made by Israeli governments for decades, even though the United States, like other nations, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Cannes 2012: Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr. Circle Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’ (Exclusive)

    Lee Daniels’ White House historical drama The Butler — toplining Forest Whitaker — is taking shape, with IM Global coming aboard to sell international rights.

    A number of new names have surfaced in connection to the project, including Matthew McConaughey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and Alan Rickman. Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack and Jane Fonda already are aboard. CAA packged the film and is representing North American rights.

    Laura Ziskin Productions and Cassian Elwes are producing The Butler, which is based on Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article about Eugene Allen, a black man who worked in the White House for eight presidents, beginning in 1952. Hilary Schor also is a producer on the film.

    Allen, who will be played by Whitaker, had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history were being made — from the civil rights movement and Vietnam War to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

    Haygood’s story was published Nov. 7, 2008, just after the election of President Obama. Allen and his wife of 65 years marveled that a black man could be president. But on Election Day, Allen cast his vote alone; his wife had died the day before. Winfrey will play Allen’s wife in The Butler.

    Danny Strong and Daniels wrote the script. Many of the roles might be cameos.

    The Butler would mark Winfrey’s first appearance in a live-action movie since Beloved, the Jonathan Demme-directed drama adapted from a Toni Morrison book.

  9. rikyrah says:

    ON THE SET: Lenny Kravtiz, Oprah Winfrey & Cuba Gooding Jr. FILMING “The Butler”

  10. Ametia says:

    Romney: I’m no foreign policy wimp

    Sitting down with CBS News’ Jan Crawford on Sunday, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney defended himself against a new “Newsweek” cover calling him a “wimp,” and said a nuclear Iran is “the single greatest national security threat that America faces.”

    The fact that this MOFO has to defend his not being a wimp says it ALL.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Over 100 US House Democrats Propose Raising Minimum Wage To $9.80 An Hour

    By: Ray MedeirosJuly 28th, 2012

    Do you hear it? I do, it’s the shrieks of horror by the House GOP, Boehner and Cantor! How dare the Democrats raise the pay of our lowest paid workers! $9.80 will most definitely kill businesses, they will most likely say.

    Considering, minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour at the federal level, that equals to only $15,000 a year, if you work full time, every single week of the year.

    This will bring a huge boost to the economy, over 2/3rds of minimum wage workers are employed for a large corporation who are currently sitting on over a trillion dollars.

    The bill, named the Fair Minimum Wage Act, HR 6211 will bring federal minimum wage up to $9.80 an hour over three years. It will also increase wages for waiters and waitresses, whose pay has been stuck at $2.13 an hour for TWENTY YEARS. The pay for waiters and waitresses will increase by eighty five cents a year until it hits 70% of the regular minimum wage of $9.80.

    Most minimum wage workers are teens, so the effect on the economy will be extraordinary with them. Teens do not have mortgages, bills etc. They spend every last dime, every week in the local economy. They go to movies, shop and eat out every weekend.

  12. Ametia says:

    Iran has a right to defend itself too, Mitt Romney. Would you advocate for your 5 SONS TO GO FIGHT IN WARS?;contentBody

  13. rikyrah says:

    this is absolutely crazy. he’s fucking insane.


    Scalia Says Rocket Launchers Are Protected Under the Second Amendment

    By: Jason EasleyJuly 29th, 2012

    In an opinion that is sure to delight potential terrorists everywhere, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told Fox News Sunday that he believes all held held weapons including rocket launchers are protected under the Second Amendment.

    WALLACE: What about… a weapon that can fire a hundred shots in a minute?

    SCALIA: We’ll see. Obviously the Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried — it’s to keep and “bear,” so it doesn’t apply to cannons — but I suppose here are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided.

    WALLACE: How do you decide that if you’re a textualist?

    SCALIA: Very carefully.

    Even more chilling than rocket launchers is that Scalia’s theoretical idea of hand held would also cover a small nuclear device that could fit in a briefcase, or any other mass casualty inflicting weapon that a person could carry. The idea that a rocket launcher could be protected under the Second Amendment is a very extreme view of the Founders’ intentions.

    • Ametia says:

      yep posted the video down thread. Scalia being on Fox says it all, He’s promoting a book, like the rest of the GRIFTING MOFOS in this presidential election season. FUCK HIM!

  14. Ametia says:


    In jam, Romney tries not to make new Iran policy

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Mitt Romney tried to pull back Sunday from an adviser’s suggestion that he favored new American aggression on Iran, distancing himself from comments that the U.S. presidential candidate would “respect” an Israeli decision for unilateral military action to prevent Tehran from gaining nuclear capability.

    Hours after the aide previewed Romney’s upcoming foreign policy speech in Jerusalem, Romney backpedaled and said, “I’ll use my own words and that is I respect the right of Israel to defend itself and we stand with Israel. We’re two nations that come together in peace and that want to see Iran being dissuaded from its nuclear folly.”

    The address by the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama was promoted as the centerpiece of a weeklong trip abroad designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials and highlight his ability to lead on the world stage. But the mixed signals on Iran could undermine that goal.

    * * *
    Obama has affirmed the right of Israel to defend itself, while also warning of the consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran. “Already, there is too much loose talk of war,” Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March. “Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in and to sustain the broad international coalition we have built.”

    Read more:

  15. rikyrah says:

    Love Classic Republican Foreign Policy? Vote For Obama

    Pundits and, for that matter, the Obama campaign were right to ding Mitt Romney’s foreign policy address Tuesday for banging the table instead of putting anything substantive on it. But what could Romney do? Obama has given him almost nothing to work with. Foreign affairs won’t decide the 2012 election, but, if it did, President Obama would win walking away.

    Replying to Romney’s speech, Robert Gibbs, an Obama adviser, said this: “It’s widely accepted that President Obama has an exceptionally strong record on national security issues, and I think, quite frankly, Mitt Romney is having a hard time making an argument against President Obama on these issues.” It pains me, as a supposedly crankily skeptical journalist, to agree with a partisan spin doctor, but here goes: Gibbs is right.

    I never drank the Obama Kool-Aid in 2008. The then-candidate’s promise of “a new kind of politics,” I wrote in National Journal at the time, “borders on chicanery.” Replace partisanship with pragmatism? Set aside ideology to take the best solutions from both parties and ease the country out of its mess? Fat chance, I said. Well, for the record, I hereby eat half a crow. Whatever you may think of Obama’s domestic and economic records (which we can debate some other time), on foreign policy he has delivered the post-partisan, pragmatic, and generally successful policy he promised.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Entire U.S. Men’s Basketball Team Hugged Michelle Obama After Easily Winning First Game At The Olympics

    The Team USA men’s basketball team had no problem with France today in their opening match of the Olympics, cruising to a 98-71 win. But the most eyebrow-raising highlight of the match may have come after the game when each member of the team, including coaches, walked over and gave Michelle Obama a hug. The group was led by LeBron James, who gave the First Lady a kiss and a rather large bear hug.

    Here’s the video…

    Read more:

    • rikyrah says:

      love this quote:

      Love this:

      “Seeing some of the most famous athletes in the world line up for embraces with Mrs. Obama, dressed casually in a grey sweater, was a surreal sight. There were kisses of cheeks, and little-kid smiles from superstars. It was almost as if she was the mother of a son’s little-league team, ready to give all of the players frozen treats after a game.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 06:13 PM PDT.

    Why this lifelong Republican left the GOP

    2008 Presidential Elections. The year my closed mind opened. The year the national party decided they knew better than the rank and file of the party. The year that began the ultimate betrayal of party values. The year the GOP braintrust decided to pick a virtual unknown and proven intellectually void candidate for Vice President. 2008 was the year I cast my first vote for a Democratic Candidate for office, President Barack Obama.

    I sat watching the news and thought “Who”? What’s a Sarah Palin? Then she spoke. I saw pictures of her hunting from a helicopter. Then the Couric interview, “What newspapers do you read?” Then her foreign policy, “I can see Russia from my house”. And the conservative machine and its cult like followers began supporting this absolutely unqualified person. I couldn’t lower my intelligence or abandon my personal ethics to the level of accepting a Sarah Palin for anything other than a party cheerleader. They wanted to put this person one heartbeat away from the presidency.

    Let’s go back in time. December 2003 my father was coming to the end of a battle with lung cancer. By Christmas the disease and the medications took their toll. I stopped to see him one day just after New Year 2004, my father a lifelong employee for a major defense contractor who knew times were good when the US was at war, said to me “You have to make sure Bush gets reelected”. Just a couple of days later dad slipped into a coma and peacefully passed away.

    I considered what he said to be his last request. When I voted in November, against my better judgement I voted for GWB a second time. My disenchantment with my party had already begun thanks to the questionable invasion of Iraq bolstered by the reports of false intelligence from a “Chicken Hawk” Bush administration. Add to that the Cheney-Haliburton stories and American kids dying in the desert and the disillusionment kept growing.

    2008 brought the long overdue crash of the economy that spanked America and the world just before the election. Republicans, who have forever decried government regulation refuse to admit their hands off approach to banks, Wall Street, loans and credit had anything to do with the predicament America found itself in. We taxpayers began bailing out the economy that by the way, crashed under George W. Bush. The bailout continued under new President Obama. Saved was the American Banking System. Saved was the American Auto Industry. Avoided was a second Great Depression. Basic stability was brought to the American economy by President Obama and a Democratic Congress, despite the Republicans.

    Enter America’s new terrorist organization, the Tea Party. An offensive group of self appointed conservatives who took the right wing over the edge and scared republican politicians into leaving moderate positions and not working together with the other side for a better America. The Tea Party politician is an American citizens nightmare. They are obstructionist hard liners looking to set back progress and civil rights a hundred years. Their stands on immigration, minorities, government programs and lying about the birth and religious background of the president, show the racist beliefs they hold dear. But as they scream about welfare for the poor, nothing but the sound of crickets when it comes to corporate welfare.

    In 2011 my state GOP had local town committees look at the way in which republican candidates for office were selected. For decades candidates were selected at a caucus in the town in which I live. One night the Republican Town Committee met in a meeting that was barely advertised and eliminated the selection caucus. Instead the town committee would pick the candidates to be voted on by the party faithful at election. The state GOP response to complaints was “Well why would you want to serve on a committee if not to pick candidates you wanted”. Thus, the local GOP disenfranchised its own party faithful. It took away the party faithfuls voice, it took away the right to vote.

    That action by my own party was my final straw. Just 8 months earlier in September of 2010 my daughter called me on the phone to tell me her husband, my son in law was killed by a roadside IED in Afghanistan. My son in law died protecting the rights of Americans. He died fighting for American ideals. America is not Republican or Democratic, Independent or Libertarian. Our way of life, our ideals, our freedoms fought and died for by men and women of courage for the last 236 years.

    My local Republican Town Committee soiled and sullied the memories of the brave men and women who have fought and died for our country and continue fighting an dying for us today. Just weeks after their hidden vote this group of self appointed, self annointed, arrogant legends in their own minds had the unmitigated gall to honor those whose memory they spat on when they took away their own party members right to vote.

    I saw problems before 2008, but then I saw devastation in the selection of someone as unqualified as Sarah Palin to run for Vice President. Her selection was a slap in the face to educated, intelligent Americans of every party. The fact that Sarah Palin was picked over current GOP Candidate Mitt Romney speaks volumes about his qualifications (but that’s another story). The taking away of voting rights from members of the republican party was encouraged within the party at the state GOP level and most likely at the national level.

    We now see disenfranchisement of voters is a campaign strategy countrywide by the GOP and its state committees. Any group that takes away the rights of its own members obviously has no problem taking away the rights of the other side too.

  18. Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:

      So Justice Scalia; if an American wanted to take up a hand held rocket rocket launcher and aim it under you black robe; it would be just dandy, because the FOUNDERS said so?

      This nut has NO business sitting on our Supreme Court.

  19. Ametia says:

    Gibbs: Romney embarrassed the U.S. in London

    CNN) – Robert Gibbs, senior adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, argued Sunday that Mitt Romney’s recent trip to London was an embarrassment.

    “Mitt Romney wondered aloud whether London was ready for the Olympics, and I think it’s clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world,” Gibbs said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    – Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

    The presumptive Republican nominee received an onslaught of negative headlines in the British press this week after he appeared to question London’s “disconcerting” problems in gearing up for the Olympic Games.

    Speaking with NBC News on Wednesday, Romney, who headed the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, said at the time it was too early to tell if the London organizers were ready for the start of the competitions.

    “You know it’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” Romney said. “There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging.”

    In the days that followed, Romney did not repeat his criticism but offered praise for the country.

    Gibbs wasted no time Sunday morning going after Romney over the comment.

    “To go overseas, stand in the country of our strongest ally–and the Olympics that they’ve been preparing years for–and question whether or not they’re ready, does make you wonder whether or not he’s ready to be commander in chief,” the former White House press secretary said, later adding, “I thought it was embarrassing for our country.”

    Kevin Madden, a senior adviser to Romney’s campaign, countered Gibbs’ assertions on the same program, saying a “gaffe or YouTube moment” won’t make or break the election.

    “I think the headlines that come out of London on one day are not going to be as important as the overall view that people take when it comes to our economic prosperity here at home, and then our safety and security around the globe,” Madden said.

    Hitting back, Gibbs piled on: “I would probably give that answer too if I hadn’t flown to London and embarrassed myself in front of our strongest ally in the world.”

    Romney on Saturday departed the United Kingdom for Israel, where he’s meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, along with delivering a major foreign policy speech.

    Dan Senor, Romney’s foreign policy adviser, told the traveling press corps Sunday morning that if Israel decided to strike Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program after exhausting all diplomatic options, Romney would “respect” the Jewish state’s decision.

    Asked Sunday if the president held the same position, Gibbs said Israel “of course” has a right to defend itself.

    “The president’s position, which he’s been clear about for more than three and a half years, is obviously any country–and Israel certainly does–have the right to defend itself and defend its citizens. We have never taken any option off the table in dealing with the nuclear program in Iran,” Gibbs said.

    He pointed to the president’s signing of a bill Friday designed to increase security ties with the Jewish state.

    “This president has had the strongest commitment of any U.S. president to Israel’s security,” Gibbs said.

    Madden, however, said the president’s actions in handling the U.S.-Israel relationship have been lagging since he took office.

    “I think that there are many folks up on Capitol Hill who’ve worked with this administration that believe that and wish that the president had been stronger, that he had moved quicker, that he had done so with a much more collaborative fashion up on Capitol Hill,” Madden said.


    Comments (91 comments)

    Gibbs: Romney embarrassed the U.S. in London

  20. Ametia says:

    Genetically modified foods have been shown to cause harm to humans, animals, and the environmental, and despite growing opposition, more and more foods continue to be genetically altered. It’s important to note that steering clear from these foods completely may be difficult, and you should merely try finding other sources than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured the crops aren’t GMO. Even better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and grow them yourself. Until then, here are the top 10 worst GMO foods for your “do not eat” GMO foods list.

    Top 10 Worst GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List

    1. CORN ; This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.

    READ ON:

  21. Ametia says:

    Saturday, July 28, 2012
    Black Americans Know Quite a Bit More Than Mitt Romney About That “Special” Anglo-American Relationship


    Romney and the Tea Party GOP’s efforts to use racially coded speech, dog whistles, and naked racism to mobilize white voters against Barack Obama work only to the degree that the target audience can locate the president relative to the African American community. Thus, hostility to black folks, stereotypes about them, and other negative sentiment, is transferred on to Barack Obama.

    In all, the real America/American exceptionalism talk (both are intimates) that Romney and other Right-wing populists have deployed is a exclusionary one.

    “American exceptionalism” is code for white American exceptionalism.

    “Real America” is code for white America.

    Of course, this ignores the presence of black Americans and other people of color in a multicultural, pluralist democracy. It also quite literally white washes away our unique contributions to America’s civic, cultural, social, and political life. Nevertheless, it is a comforting lie and fiction for the White Right. To those loyal to the Tea Party GOP, a noble white America is a necessary lie upon which their particular brand of reactionary white conservatism is dependent for life and fuel.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Is Mitt Romney a wimp? That’s our cover this week, which asks if the former Massachusetts governor—who’s dodging the press, hiding his tax returns, and fearing the base—is too insecure to be president.

  23. Ametia says:

    Claire McCaskill trails GOP candidates in Senate race, poll shows
    Last edited Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:57 AM USA/ET
    STL Post-dispatch

    McCaskill, the first-term incumbent Democratic senator, trails all three of her likely Republican challengers, according to a new Post-Dispatch/News 4 poll. She would lose to GOP frontrunner John Brunner by 11 percentage points if they were matched up today, the poll found. She would fall to Sarah Steelman or Todd Akin as well, though by smaller margins.

    Further, her “unfavorable” rating is higher than her “favorable,” and some of her worst numbers are among all-important independent voters.

    The poll of 625 registered Missouri voters suggests a key source of McCaskill’s problems is her support of President Barack Obama. The Democratic president — who almost won Missouri in 2008, and once considered the state a 2012 tossup — now has a 51 percent negative rating here and a 9-point deficit against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the poll.

    “A lot of people are going to hold her accountable for her close ties to the president,” said pollster J. Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, which conducted the poll.

    Read more:

  24. rikyrah says:

    Never Enough War For Mr. Campbell Brown

    By John Cole July 29th, 2012

    Neocon hack Dan Senor, who is best known for bungling the Iraqi occupation under Bush, bangs the war drum:

    One of Mitt Romney’s top foreign policy advisors said Sunday that as president, Romney would respect Israel’s right to strike Iran to unilaterally prevent that nation from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

    Dan Senor told reporters that Western nations partnering with Israel should “do everything we can” to stop Iran from developing weapons capability.

    “And if Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability the governor would respect that decision.”

    I do so love being an Israeli client state.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Rise of the Smart Grid

    Obama’s plan for a state-of-the-art electrical grid is gaining power bit by digital bit

    By Michael Grunwald | July 26, 2012

    Washington, America’s power center, recently experienced life without power—the kind that gets generated, not the kind that gets wielded. After a nasty storm knocked out the Beltway’s electricity for days during a heat wave, power brokers of the political type complained: Didn’t President Obama promise a smarter, more reliable grid?

    Yes, he did. And the blackout notwithstanding, the grid is slowly improving. In fact, its story is a nice parable about change in the Obama era. On the trail in 2008, Obama had big dreams for a digital smart grid that would self-monitor and self-heal, minimizing costly outages by diagnosing problems electronically and rerouting power around them. He envisioned a national network of high-voltage transmission lines that would connect windy and sunny areas to cities, as well as smart meters and other high-tech gizmos that would give us real-time feedback and control over our energy use. He basically wanted to merge the grid with the Internet so we could adjust our air conditioners with our iPhones when we were out of the house, program our appliances to save us energy and money and sell power from solar panels and electric cars back to our utilities.

    After the election, Obama wanted his economic stimulus package to include some iconic, futuristic legacy projects to advance his long-term agenda. The smart grid seemed perfect, a modern moon mission, a 21st century version of the interstates. He suggested pouring in $100 billion. “Let’s just build it!” he told his transition team. His aides explained that that wasn’t possible or even desirable. Utilities own the grid, and they could pay to upgrade it themselves. But it would take decades to convert an analog grid to digital and string high-voltage wires nationwide. Ultimately, Obama settled for $11 billion in seed money. “There was this sense of frustration,” his former budget director Peter Orszag recalled when I interviewed him for my forthcoming book on the -stimulus, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. “Here’s the first African–American President, the economy has fallen off a cliff, history is calling, and -really? I can’t just do a smart grid?”

    The frustration only mounted after the stimulus passed. The grid money got snarled in bureaucratic morasses, and the initial investments in smart meters actually inspired a backlash—partly because of unfounded fears about radiation and partly because smart meters aren’t that helpful when the grid remains dumb. And their main up-front benefit was their ability to replace human meter readers, an inconvenient stimulus message.

    But behind the scenes, Obama’s billions are gradually upgrading the grid. Utilities now receive updates on transmission lines 30 times a second instead of every two seconds. They are also expanding transmission, even though electricity use has yet to recover to prerecession levels. “You wouldn’t expect the industry to be building new wires left and right, but there’s a huge amount of activity,” says Peter Fox-Penner of the Brattle Group. Meanwhile, stimulus investments in sensors, auto-mated substations, “synchrophasors” and other unsexy electrical equipment are helping diagnose, pinpoint and solve problems before we even notice them so utilities no longer have to deploy battalions of trucks to troubleshoot entire neighborhoods. “People don’t see it, but it’s happening,” Fox-Penner says.

    Read more:

  26. rikyrah says:

    A throwback to poll taxes

    By Editorial Board, Published: July 28

    THE U.S. DISTRICT Court is soon to rule on Texas’s new voter ID law. Ostensibly to combat voter fraud — the existence of which has yet to be demonstrated — the law would require every voter to present a government-issued photo ID at the poll. After a week of arguments this month, the question before the panel of federal judges is whether this law — one of many to emerge in the wake of 2010’s Republican legislative resurgence — places an undue burden on minorities.

    Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, jurisdictions such as Texas with a history of suppressing minority voting must prove that any new requirements don’t “have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.” In March, the Justice Department denied the Lone Star State the necessary clearance for this new law, arguing that it would disproportionately affect Hispanic voters. Texas officials appealed. To preserve the access of all citizens to the right to vote — certainly among the most sacrosanct in our democracy — the District Court should follow the Justice Department’s lead and strike down this highly suspect and unnecessary law.

    Should the judges rule in favor of this photo ID requirement, their decision will essentially legitimize a politically motivated attempt to institutionalize disenfranchisement in other states besides Texas. Eleven states have passed voter ID laws since the Republican legislative victories in 2010, and nine of them — including Texas — have Republican governors. It’s no secret that President Obama’s popularity among minority voters contributed significantly to his 2008 victory. According to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, this recent spate of laws would affect these voters the most.

    Although the official justification for voter ID laws remains the precaution against voter fraud, it’s funny how this apparent threat to the fabric of our democracy — so pervasive that it somehow eluded even a federal investigation — has become a widespread concern only in the past two years. As if there were ever any doubt as to the real impetus, Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai said it best. The Keystone State’s photo-ID requirement, he said, “is going to allow [Mitt] Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

    As the Supreme Court maintained in a 2008 ruling that upheld a similar law in Indiana, states have a “valid interest” in making sure voters are who they say they are. But there’s no significant evidence to the contrary. In any case, if the goal of these laws was genuinely to protect that interest, they’d include adequate provisions accounting for the considerable financial and transportation burdens they’re sure to place on many voters.

    Until they do, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is right: These laws are the 21st-century century equivalent of poll taxes.

  27. rikyrah says:

    The Republican Attack on Your Right to Vote is Being Ignored

    By LOLGOP on July 29, 2012in GOPocrisy

    If you have to stop people from voting to win, your ideas suck.

    Two startling admissions by Republican officials in the past few months have been noted and then allowed to fade into the torrent of information fed at us each and every day. We cannot let this undeniable proof that our democracy is being subverted be allowed to slip into our browsing history like a nipslip or hilarious Bill Murray sighting. This is one instance when the power of the Internet to share and reshare information must be utilized to spread what the media won’t or can’t.

    I’ll risk injecting all the gravity I have to say a simple fact: your right to vote is at stake in the 2012 election.

    The GOP plot to disenfranchise voters has been exposed for what it is: an attempt to subvert our democratic republic and install those who will serve those who fund the Republican Party. The sacred right to vote, the most crucial civil right, must be defended.

    Look at the evidence. It comes directly from the mouths of Republicans.

    Republicans have admitted they’re after your fight to vote. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) was listing the state GOP’s accomplishments. The kicker:

    “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

    Following this, the Party admitted there wasn’t one case of voter fraud they could name, the alleged impetus for the Voter ID law. This week the Republican governor admitted he didn’t even know which IDs are acceptable under the law.

    The only purpose for this law is to stop Democrats from voting. We have to thank the GOP in Pennsylvania for making that clear.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Romney cancels on Yacimovich after meeting with Netanyahu

    Circles close to former opposition leader Yacimovich say meeting cancelled over disagreements surrounding the economic measures the Netanyahu government is about to adopt.

    By Yossi Verter | Jul.29, 2012 | 3:57 PM

    Much has been written about the warm personal relationship between the two friends, ex-governor Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. Today it has become clear that the two are more than just friends. Romney apparently accepts instructions from Netanyahu who succeeded in getting him to cancel a scheduled and meticulously planned meeting with MK Shelly Yacimovich, the leader of the Labor party.

    Here is how things developed: A month ago, when Yacimovich was still the leader of the opposition, Dan Senor, Romney’s key foreign policy adviser, approached Labor Knesset faction head Yitzhak (Buzi) Herzog with a request, in Romney’s name, to meet the then-head of the Israeli opposition during his scheduled Israeli visit. A meeting with the opposition leader is also required as a matter of protocol; when then-senator Barack Obama visited Israel on the eve of the 2008 U.S. elections, he met with Benjamin Netanyahu.

    The two bureaus, Romney’s and Yacimovich’s, began coordinating the meeting, where and how long it would be along with a joint statement to the press. But a week ago, after Kadima head MK Shaul Mofaz left the government, Yacimovich ceased to be opposition leader. Herzog took the initiative and informed the Romney staff of the change in Yacimovich’s status, and requested that the meeting be cancelled.

    Romney’s staff would have none of it. They told Herzog that they were au courant with happenings on the Israeli political scene, knew that Mofaz was now opposition leader (Romney will also meet with him), and insisted on holding the Yacimovich meeting as planned.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Has Nothing

    by BooMan
    Sat Jul 28th, 2012 at 10:47:07 PM EST

    Harry Porter says pretty much what I have been saying. Which is, Romney has nothing to say. He doesn’t want to talk about his religion. He doesn’t want to be associated with the company that made him rich. He doesn’t want to talk about his record as governor of Massachusetts, which involved the third-worst job creation in the nation, an assault weapons ban, and the template for ObamaCare. He doesn’t want to talk about the Olympics. He doesn’t want to talk in any detail about the Paul Ryan budget he has endorsed. He doesn’t want to talk about his Ivy League education. He doesn’t want to be associated in any way with his wife’s horse. He doesn’t want to talk about his tax returns or his offshore bank accounts. He doesn’t want to talk about his time at prep school. He doesn’t want to talk about his plans to build a car elevator in his garage. He doesn’t want to talk about the time he strapped his dog to the top of his station wagon. He doesn’t want to talk about where he differs from George W. Bush. He doesn’t want to take a stand on anything. He doesn’t want to talk about why he’s changed his position on almost every issue under the sun, including abortion.

    Mitt Romney is willing to criticize the president, including with fictitious allegations and grossly inaccurate mischaracterizations. But he has nothing to say for himself in his own defense or even in his own favor. He doesn’t even want to talk to the press.

    Mitt Romney has nothing. He has absolutely nothing.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Posted: Sun, Jul. 29, 2012, 5:15 AM

    Latest voter-ID data add confusion

    Many more may have IDs as review questions Pa. numbers.

    The Corbett administration, accused of underestimating the number of Pennsylvanians who lack proper identification to vote in November, has recently provided flawed figures that may wildly overstate the problem and further muddle the impact of the new voter-ID law.

    The Department of State announced July 3 that as many as 758,000 voters did not have Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ID, the most common credential they will need to cast ballots in November under the state’s new voter-ID law. That’s 9.2 percent of the electorate.

    The department cautioned at the time that some people on the list might actually have driver’s licenses or other PennDot ID. A person using different first names on voter registration and a driver’s license, for instance, would likely turn up as needing ID, said the department’s chief spokesman, Ron Ruman.

    In fact, an Inquirer review of the state’s data suggests there are so many false hits – showing many people without PennDot ID even though they have had it for decades – that the list has little value informing the debate over voter ID, or even identifying who may need help getting credentials to vote.

    Former Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode is on the list as not having PennDot ID. He has had a Pennsylvania driver’s license for 50 years.

    Goode’s son City Councilman W. Wilson Jr. is also on the list. So are four of his Council colleagues – Dennis O’Brien, Brian O’Neill, Maria Quiñones Sánchez, and Marian Tasco. All have licenses.

    In addition to the stated problem with people who use different first names on different documents, it appears the state’s computers had problems distinguishing names containing spaces, like Mary Ellen, or Van Dyke; names with hyphens, like Olivia Newton-John; and names that computers sometimes spell with spaces, like Mc Dougall.

    In Philadelphia alone, more than 10,000 people whose names begin with “Mc” were listed as not having PennDot ID. They included state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, a driver whose name is spelled Mc Caffery on the city’s voter rolls.

    Names with apostrophes, like O’Brien and O’Neill, were especially troublesome because PennDot’s computer system doesn’t use apostrophes, according to David Burgess, a Department of State deputy secretary in charge of computer operations.

    The Inquirer tested the state’s list by making random calls to registered voters in Philadelphia who were at least 80 years old. The demographic was chosen to gauge the impact of the law on would-be voters who might have the most difficulty getting to PennDot license centers to obtain photo ID.

    A team of Inquirer reporters placed calls to 325 of those older voters listed as lacking PennDot ID. Out of 101 people interviewed, 76 said they already had PennDot identification, despite being on the state’s list. That’s 75 percent.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Netanyahu: Obama’s Sanctions Haven’t Stopped Iran By “One Iota”

    With Romney by his side, the Israeli Prime Minster deals a blow to President Barack Obama, saying sanctions aren’t stopping Iran from pursuing a bomb.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that sanctions against Iran — largely pushed by President Barack Obama — have failed to stop that country’s nuclear program.

    Speaking with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney at his side, Netanyahu said a “strong and credible military threat” was needed on top of the sanctions to get Iran to make a change.

    “I think it’s important to do everything in our power to prevent the Ayatollahs from possessing that capability,” Netanyahu said. “We have to be honest and say that all the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota. And that’s why I believe that we need a strong and credible military threat coupled with the sanctions to have a chance to change that situation.”

    Romney’s campaign outlined a nearly identical position earlier in the day, criticizing those who call the talk of military action irresponsible as making peace less likely.

    Obama has claimed to have put in place the “toughest sanctions yet” on Iran, but — at least according to Netanyahu — they haven’t worked.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Forget Romney’s gaffes – the real worry is he has got nothing to say

    Romney has stripped himself of reason, personality and sense in his bid to become the next US president

    How is it possible for a competent and fluent person such as Mitt Romney, a man who founded a successful private equity business, saved the Salt Lake Olympics, and was governor of a state, Massachusetts – turning round its finances and, in the process, showing glimmers of enlightenment in health and gun control – to make such a complete and utter Horlicks of his visit to London on the eve of the Olympics? All that is required of any foreign personage is to speed along the line of greeters, murmuring: “Jolly good show – carry on.”

    Instead of which, in an interview with CBS, the soon-to-be-crowned Republican candidate cast doubt about the security in London (old story); raised the possible strike of customs and immigration officers (becoming a dead story at that moment) and questioned whether the British public was fully behind the event. He displayed the sure touch of a Tourettes sufferer.

    The American sprinter Carl Lewis said: “Seriously, some Americans shouldn’t leave the country”, which is true of those who exhibit the sort of nationalist bombast that lies beneath Romney’s pronouncements on the world. The spectacular opening ceremony disproved everything he had to say on the London Olympics.

    I have a theory about his behaviour, which takes us beyond the minor embarrassments of last week and goes to the heart of his campaign. It is that Romney has stripped himself of reason, personality and sense in order to become the next president of the United States and that that is ultimately why he will fail to persuade the undecided voters to endorse him. Devilishly cunning new legislation in 19 key US states, designed to place obstacles between voters and the ballot boxes most likely to affect those who vote Democrat, may eventually swing it for the Republicans. But in a straight fight with Obama on the candidates’ weight, experience and merit of their convictions, he comes a distant second.

    This is as much about authenticity as politics. Romney is generally smooth in interview yet he leaves you counting your change. He glides past all the topics that most interest the world: his Mormon religion, his attitude to gun control after the Aurora shootings, his tax affairs and record in elected office as governor of Massachusetts.

    Instead, he burbles plausibly about the current economy, which is not, of course, to go too deeply into the reason why the economic collapse occurred – the greed and irresponsibility of his own trade of money shufflers.

    On the current economy, he says that it is simply a matter of freeing the entrepreneurial classes, getting more good jobs for middle-income Americans, extending trade with Latin America and making the most of the benefits of shale gas.

    Because he can’t or won’t talk about the things that interest Americans, they are unable to get to know him. But more important, he is mostly returning serve, which is a calamitous position for someone who is challenging the incumbent at this stage.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Temple Mount Tackiness
    By Jeffrey Goldberg
    Jul 29 2012, 8:48 AM ET24

    Today is Tisha b’Av, the ninth of Av, a Jewish day of fasting and mourning. It is on this day that the First and Second Temples were destroyed. The Western Wall, in Jerusalem, is a retaining wall of the Second Temple. It is, especially on this day, a locus of prayer and reflection. It is also, on this particular Tisha b’Av, the location of a very important photo opportunity for an American presidential candidate.

    How vulgar is this?


  34. Ametia says:

    Press Barred From Romney’s Israel Meeting
    July 28, 2012, 4:35 PM.

    By Sara Murray
    TEL AVIV, Israel–When Mitt Romney meets with high-dollar donors in Jerusalem on Monday, he will do so behind closed doors.

    Press will be barred from the Monday-morning event at the King David hotel, a Romney campaign aide said, a break with the campaign’s protocol of allowing a small contingent of press to cover finance events in public locales such as hotels.

    The Jerusalem fundraiser is expected to draw generous donors living in both the U.S. and Israel, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who recently gave $10 million to the super PAC that supports Mr. Romney.

    In the fundraiser as elsewhere on his trip here, Mr. Romney will also have to walk a careful line here between showcasing how he would elevate the U.S.-Israeli relationship without directly criticizing President Barack Obama, who has had a prickly relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Mr. Romney has pledged not to criticize the president while on foreign soil.

    For its part, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign was quick to note that Mr. Obama did not hold fundraisers on his visit to Israel as a candidate in 2008.

  35. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    Ms. Battle is a dleight and her LIVE performances are TRANSFORMATIVE. Thanks for featuring her this weekend.

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