Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | African-American Architects Week!




Today’s featured Architect is MAX BOND.

J. Max Bond, Jr., New York Visionary

In addition to his many accomplishments, J. Max Bond, Jr. will be long remembered for his role in developing plans for the National 9/11 Museum in New York City.

Wiki:  J. Max Bond Jr. (1935[1] – February 18, 2009) was one of a small number of prominent African-American architects.[2]

He developed an interest in architecture based on experiences ranging from viewing a staircase at a dormitory at the Tuskegee Institute to views of North African construction styles on a visit to Tunisia. Bond was educated at Harvard University, where he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in 1955 and earned a master’s degree three years later. He ignored advice from a Harvard faculty member to give up the professional pursuit of architecture due to his race, overcoming barriers in what was at the time a white profession.[2]

He started his professional career in France with André Wogenscky. He moved back to New York City, working at the firms of Gruzen & Partners and at Pedersen & Tilney. He moved to Ghana in the mid-1960, where he designed several government buildings, including the Bolgatanga Regional Library in an area near the border with Burkina Faso, which consisted of four buildings shaded by a common roof that was designed to provide natural ventilation and obviate the need for air conditioning.[2]

Back in the United States, he served as head of the Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem. In 1970, together with Donald P. Ryder, he founded the architectural firm of Bond Ryder & Associates which was responsible for the design of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as Harlem‘s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.[2]

The firm was merged with Davis, Brody & Associates after Ryder’s retirement in 1990. Bond became a partner at the newly-combined firm of Davis Brody Bond, bringing over nine architects to join the nearly 100 at Davis, Brody, which had been best known for its work at Manhattan residential developments at Riverbend Houses, Waterside Plaza and Zeckendorf Towers.[3] Bond was responsible for the museum component at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site at the time of his death.[2]

Bond served as chairman of the architecture division at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning from 1980 to 1984. He was dean from 1985 to 1992 at the City College of New York School of Architecture and Environmental Studies. He served as a member of the New York City Planning Commission from 1980 to 1986.[2]

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51 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | African-American Architects Week!

  1. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
    blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Many thanks

  2. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Good News

    The NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac swing state polls must come as a relief in Chicago. The leads in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania are solid – and very dangerous for Romney. But more salient is the following, it seems to me:

    Support for President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year is 58 – 37 percent in Florida, 60 – 37 percent in Ohio and 62 – 34 percent in Pennsylvania, the survey by Quinnipiac/CBS/The Times finds

    The key in the debates will be for Obama to focus on shared sacrifice to cut the debt and on Romney’s plan to exempt the super-rich from any sacrifice at all, and balance the budget entirely on the backs of the poor and old and sick. The truth is: the Ayn Rand position on the debt is way out of the mainstream and yet Romney is stuck with it. Combined with the Obama camp’s successful definition of him as a money-grubbing, penny-pinching one percenter, it could conceivably decide the election – as, of course, it should. The plans of both men to tackle the debt should be front and center – and Obama’s is the fairer, more logical, more effective and more conservative of the two

  3. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow is doing a Willard tax segment this evening…hee hee hee

  4. rikyrah says:

    The App War

    Yesterday both campaigns released smartphone apps but for very different purposes. Obama’s app is all-in-one campaign tool, while Romney’s app promises people (once they become MyMitt members) an exclusive sneak peek at Mitt’s VP choice. Alex Fitzpatrick compares the two:

    Whereas Romney’s app is useful mostly to the campaign, Obama’s app empowers that side’s supporters to be more effective at reaching their goals. Obama campaign staff and volunteers no longer have to print hundreds of sheets of addresses and turf maps when going door-to-door, only to spend hours digitizing their work later that evening. Instead, they can receive and transmit their day’s work via the new app. Obama’s app also uses a supporter’s location data to show how Obama’s policies have affected the user’s immediate area, and it takes a page from digitally-savvy NGOs (non-government organizations) by providing voters with a mechanism to report potential voting abuses on Election Day, which could become an issue this year as several states are adopting stricter voting laws

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Ongoing Mission to Shame Obama Out of Mentioning the OBL Raid
    By David Weigel
    Posted Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, at 9:27 AM ET

    On Sunday night, the Daily Caller went live with an excerpt from Richard Miniter’s upcoming national security book. The scoop: “At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission.” The source: An un-named administration official. The reaction: Lots of people pointing out that the single source contradicts plenty of reportage on the mission.

    But you can’t look at this story on its own. Operation: Fickle President is the third aggressive attempt to re-shape the “gutsy call” story.

    April 26. Operation: CYA. Time magazine runs a well-sourced story about the OBL raid, one year later, with newly released documents from the commanders.’s Ben Shapiro focuses on a line in a memo from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta: “The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands.” Shapiro reads this as Obama preparing to “blame the troops” if the raid went pear-shaped — which it almost did, as a helicopter was damaged on the descent. MISSION STATUS: Ongoing success. The “CYA” theory was picked up by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey almost immediately. You can still hear references to the theory that, somehow, the commander-in-chief would have dodged responsibility for failed raid by saying the troops screwed up.

    May 1. Operation: Swift Boat. Veterans for a Strong America, a heretofore sleepy group, puts up a pulse-pounding web ad accusing the president of “spiking the football.” (That was the cliche Republicans had started using to gripe about the White House running its own video about the OBL raid.) Its chairman tells Michael Hastings that more is coming. “I’ve been talking to operators in the community,” he says. “There is palatable discontent.” MISSION STATUS: Uncertain. VfaSA swore to run more ads but hasn’t gone live with them.

    It’s a series of stories, not one scoop, and the goal is to bring the president back down from Olympus on national security.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s Attack On Romney Enters Phase II
    By Elias Isquith August 1st, 2012

    As a few rather clever journalists (Jonathan Chait and Greg Sargent come immediately to mind) have long foretold, the President’s reelection campaign has begun “Phase II” of its anti-Romney strategy.

    Phase I was to highlight Romney’s politically problematic career at Bain, as well as his opaque finances and tax filings. The goal: Lodge in undecided voters’ minds a portrayal of Romney as hyper-wealthy, detached, and consummately self-interested. Above all else, Chicago hoped low-information voters would see in Romney an unreflective beneficiary of a system whose inequities and hypocrisies would only worsen under his stewardship.

    To sum it up by repurposing one of Reagan’s most celebrated lines, Romney’s not the solution — he’s the problem.

    But Phase I lacks most of its electoral potency unless it’s linked together with Phase II: Depicting the “Path to Prosperity” (a.k.a. Paul Ryan’s budget) as the public policy manifestation of The Romney Problem, turning the Ryan budget into the Romney-Ryan budget. Quite reasonably, Obama and other Democrats will argue that a vote for Republicans is a vote for making the “Path to Prosperity” a reality. Yet as it’s always been, this de facto shadow budget remains extremely unpopular. Considering that much of the plan’s real cuts remain TBD, it’s only likely to grow more so with further public scrutiny. (Romney would no doubt prefer we discuss it in quiet rooms.)

  7. rikyrah says:

    August 01, 2012 10:00 AM

    A Big “No!” In Georgia

    By Ed Kilgore

    Though it was overshadowed nationally by the Texas Senate runoff, Georgia held its primary elections yesterday. But the elected-official campaigns (including two highly competitive GOP congressional primaries which produced runoffs) were almost entirely eclipsed—and were in some cases affected—by a complex set of regional transportation sales tax referenda that mostly went down to resounding defeat.

    The so-called TSPLOST (for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) referenda were the unwanted child of a state desperately in need of transportation money (particularly in the famously gridlocked metro Atlanta area) and a Republican-controlled legislature unwilling to increase taxes for any purpose (other than maybe to raise income tax rates for poor people, as it did in 2011). In a scheme engineered by former Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, the legislature authorized twelve regional votes to self-impose a temporary penny sales tax dedicated to a list of specific transportation projects agreed to by local elected officials.

    Even though the “Yes on TSPLOST” campaign was backed by current GOP Gov. Nathan Deal and other GOP leaders, and by most prominent Georgia Democrats (most notably Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and former Gov. Roy Barnes), not to mention virtually every business group in the state (who paid for a lavish and virtually unopposed $8 million ad budget) it went down to flaming defeat in nine of the 12 regions, including Atlanta, where it lost by a 63-37 margin. The regions encompassing the mid-sized cities of Augusta and Columbus did narrowly approve TSPLOST, but it was mostly just a disaster.

    The results in Atlanta exhibited a rare liberal/Tea Party coalition, with the Tea Folk opposing the referendum vociferously (some on grounds that it would foster the communistic idea of “planning”, and some on the quasi-racial grounds that expansion of rail service would boost crime in the suburbs) while the Sierra Club and the NAACP rejected it late in the campaign for diametrically opposed reasons (not enough emphasis on rail and/or the regressive nature of sales taxes).

    The net effect of the referenda beyond very bad publicity for Atlanta will be to give Gov. Deal a lot of centralized control over transportation projects in the state. But more generally, it showed the continuing price Republican pols in many parts of the country are paying for their relationship with the Tea Folk, whom they alternately pander to and then ignore. You can’t endlessly demagogue about taxes and Big Government and the urban “looters” seeking to despoil virtuous middle-class suburbanites and then turn around and expect said suburbanites to support sensible regional transportation policies. The TSPLOST vote gave Georgia Tea Folk the opportunity to simultaneously stick it to cowardly GOP leaders, the minority-dominated City of Atlanta, and untrustworthy business leaders (who should have been out there creating jobs instead of asking for tax dollars), and they took it with both hands.

  8. rikyrah says:

    July 31, 2012
    The Kristol con
    Bill Kristol is awestruck by Romney’s “eloquent and powerful” Warsaw speech:

    It’s striking that in these remarks, Romney chooses to speak not as a “citizen of the world” but as a citizen of the free world. He suggests that American exceptionalism isn’t a basis for some sort of arrogant disdain for the rest of the world, but rather provides the grounds for a duty to stand with others around the world fighting for freedom.

    I defy anyone to locate any powerfully eloquent significance reflected in Kristol’s platitudinous muddle.

    Mitt Romney boldly refuses to speak as a citizen of Kazakhstan, but with free peoples he hangs his hat. Goosebumps, huh? What’s more, only the ruthlessly tortured concept of “American exceptionalism” allows Romney to heroically “stand with others around the world fighting for freedom.”

    And here we get to Kristol’s real objective: the labored protection of neoconservatism’s exclusive appropriation of human freedom in American foreign policy. Forget Franklin Roosevelt’s historic internationalism on behalf of human freedom, as well as Harry Truman’s and John Kennedy’s and Lyndon Johnson’s (as twisted as it was) and Jimmy Carter’s and Bill Clinton’s and now Barack Obama’s.

    The only internationalism that counts as humanly splendid and truly freedom-seeking, contends Kristol, is that beheld by Republican neoconservatives, even if the neocons did vapidly botch freedom-loving internationalism through unprovoked slaughter and trillions in fiscal waste.

    Now that’s some powerful material. Mighty powerful

  9. rikyrah says:

    July 31, 2012
    Mitt’s got it bad, and that ain’t good
    Steve Kornacki issues a once-legitimate but now-receding caveat:

    [F]or all of the attention Romney’s trip has attracted, most voters still aren’t paying attention – and for those who are, the story will be overtaken by something else next week, and something else the week after, and so on, until it’s a distant (at best) memory.

    By “something else” Kornacki means something non-gaffish. A new jobs report, a fresh GDP, a euro meltdown, an Iranian crisis, “something” like that, something that will overwhelm Mitt Romney’s impressively accumulated record of jawdropping blunders.

    Early on, I feared that as the case. He’s just warming up, I thought, it’s been four years, he’s rusty, he’ll get better. But at some indefinite, indistinct, vague and shadowy point during the GOP primary season it became thunderingly clear that Mitt Romney is a man of boundless, inevitable oafishness: he stumbled from his wife’s “couple of Cadillacs” to right-heighted trees to human corporations to $10,000 bets to not hiring illegals (when politically inconvenient) to being “[un]sure about these cookies.”

    My guess? We’ll actually witness an exponential pickup in the pace of Romney’s gaffes, for the simple reason that the more self-conscious he becomes in tapping them down, the more aggressively they’ll pop up. I don’t know why. It’s just human nature for the most intense self-intentions to go preposterously awry. And Mitt Romney’s got ’em bad.

  10. rikyrah says:

    If at first you fail to make the GOP base happy, try and try again
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:24 PM EDT.

    Mitt Romney made his ignominious trip abroad just a little worse the other day, appearing at an Israeli fundraiser where he argued Palestinians have a weaker economy because of its “culture.” As part of a walk-back, Romney aides assured us he thinks Mexicans and Ecuadorians are inferior, too.

    Yesterday, the Republican candidate was a little more forceful in his backpedaling, insisting that he “did not speak about the Palestinian culture” and doesn’t “intend” to include this in his campaign’s message. This was apparently intended to put the matter to rest, but there were a couple of problems. For one thing, the transcript of Romney’s remarks in Jerusalem proved this new claim isn’t true.

    For another, the Republican base liked the original line, because they believes Palestinian culture really is disgraceful. By walking back his borderline-racist comments, Romney was cutting off his own defenders at the knees.

    So, last night, feeling the need to further clean up his own mess, Romney once again returned to the subject, publishing a piece at National Review that doubled down on the original cultural argument that Romney falsely claimed he never made. The headline read, “Culture does matter

  11. rikyrah says:

    August 01, 2012 12:32 PM

    Any Way You Slice It, Romney’s Tax Plan Is Regressive
    By Ed Kilgore

    It’s more than likely that Mitt Romney will be able to bob and weave and make it to the November finish line without ever being forced to seriously defend his oft-repeated claim that his package of tax proposals would not reduce the share of the federal tax burden on high-income people. But a new analysis from the Brookings/Urban Institute’s Tax Policy Center shows that it’s nonetheless an indefensible claim.

    Matt Yglesias provides the big-picture gloss on the study and its implications:

    “Revenue-neutral tax reform” is the holy grail of tax wonkery. The idea is to eliminate distorting tax deductions, and use the revenue raised to lower distorting headline rates. In the end the government has the same amount of money and the economy can grow faster. But there’s actually substantial ambiguity around what constitutes a distorting tax deduction.
    The 1986 tax reform compromise worked out between Ronald Reagan and congressional Democrats, for example, equalized the tax treatment of investment income and labor income and considered that part of base-broadening. Since 1986, however, we’ve gone back to giving a strong tax preference to investment income and Mitt Romney’s version of tax reform involves keeping those preferences in place. As a new Tax Policy Center analysis shows, with that constraint in place the kind of revenue-neutral tax reform Romney is talking about becomes strongly regressive.

    To put it simply, you can’t simultaneously reduce income tax rates across the board while further reducing taxation on investment income (not to mention abolishing taxation of inheritances) and then find anything like enough high-income “tax loopholes” to maintain the wealthiest Americans’ current share of the overall federal tax burden. And that is a problem separate from the virtual certainty that Romney’s tax proposals would enormously expand the federal budget deficit, and/or that the kind of effort (cf., the Ryan Budget) to reduce deficits he has shown he would support would have a devastating effect on the financial bottom line for low-to-moderate income Americans.

  12. rikyrah says:

    The Con-Game is Exposed
    by BooMan
    Wed Aug 1st, 2012 at 01:21:12 PM EST

    I got the following over at Benen’s place:

    President Obama will be in Mansfield, Ohio, today, and according to remarks prepared for delivery, he’s going to take full advantage of the new revelations:
    “[T]he centerpiece of my opponent’s entire economic plan is a new, $5 trillion tax cut. A lot of this tax cut would go to the wealthiest 1% of all households. Folks making more than $3 million a year — the top one-tenth of one percent — would get a tax cut worth almost a quarter of a million dollars. A quarter of a million dollars.

    “But it gets worse. Under my opponent’s plan, guess who gets the bill for these $250,000 tax cuts? You do. And you don’t have to take my word for it.

    “Just today, an independent, non-partisan organization ran all the numbers. And they found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, he’d have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on to pay for your home, or your health care, or send your kids to college. That means the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000.

    “But here’s the thing – he’s not asking you to contribute more to pay down the deficit, or to invest in our kids’ education. He’s asking you to pay more so that people like him can get a tax cut.”

    The simple way of looking at this is that Romney proposes to create a very large tax break for super rich people, and he promises that this won’t increase the deficit. So, the only way to make that happen is to eliminate tax credits used by middle class people. Or, I should say that the only way to try to do it is to go after middle class tax credits. It turns out that it’s not possible to accomplish what Romney is suggesting

  13. rikyrah says:

    August 01, 2012
    The Clockwork Orange party

    Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, which along with FreedomWorks, Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck supported Texan Ted Cruz’s candidacy, had this to say about the future United States senator:

    Ted Cruz won because he clearly articulated the pro-growth message that Republican voters across the country have responded to.

    Anybody know what in hell Chris Chocola is talking about? Nationwide, Republican pols and especially tea-party agitators have clearly articulated the message of austerity–the grinding, contractionary Hooverism of New World Europe and the Old World Republican House which is sabotaging the public treasury’s future, thwarting a safe infrastructure, plaguing millions of idle hands, terrorizing state and local governments, and casting Dickensian grief on widows and orphans.

  14. rikyrah says:

    August 01, 2012
    It’ll be Obama by a nose/mile
    Says a new Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS News poll:

    Obama holds an advantage of 6 percentage points [among likely voters] over Mr. Romney in Florida and Ohio. The president is stronger in Pennsylvania, leading by 11 percentage points….
    Most paths to victory that the campaigns are pursuing include winning at least two of the states.

    For all my ridicule of the American electorate’s recurrent drifts into exasperating cluelessness, my confidence in Obama’s reelection is, and always has been, unshakable. His persistent “edge” in most battleground states has settled into what might better be called a permanent lead. It’s been that consistent; indeed, that reliable.

    Why? Doubtless “his empathy and personal appeal,” as the Times notes, have material weight. Yet just as weighty, I suspect, are the electorate’s 1948-like distrust of the obstructionist, crisis-creating and crisis-prolonging GOP and the ordinary American voter’s accelerating abhorrence of the Romney wrecking crew.

  15. rikyrah says:

    August 01, 2012
    No doesn’t always mean no
    How does a Republican pol distance himself from the Kenyan-loathing lunatics while deeply French kissing them? Iowa’s Steven King supplies the answer:

    It would have been awfully hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of Barack Obama being born in Hawaii and get that into our public libraries and that microfiche they keep of all the newspapers published. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some other explanations on how they might’ve announced that by telegram from Kenya. The list goes on. But drilling into that now, even if we could get a definitive answer and even if it turned out that Barack Obama was conclusively not born in America, I don’t think we could get that case sold between now and November.

    What’s most intriguing about this, ahem, controversy is that the question of Obama’s having been “born in America” is but philosophical child’s play compared to the question of what fucking planet his inquisitors are living on.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/01/2012
    Romney’s new auto-bailout ad swings and misses
    By Jennifer Rubin

    The latest Mitt Romney bailout ad is, well, odd. Here it is:

    Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/01/2012 TheWashingtonPost Romney’s new auto-bailout ad swings and misses
    By Jennifer Rubin
    The latest Mitt Romney bailout ad is, well, odd. Here it is:

    I get it. It’s a clever turn-about-is-fair-play on the anti-Bain ads. But do Republicans actually believe that GM didn’t need to reduce costs and capacity? The problem with the GM bailout was that the UAW got preferential treatment and, critics suspect, the selection of dealerships and plants for closure became political. This was crony capitalism.

    Is Romney saying that in a “managed bankruptcy” these dealershiips wouldn’t have closed? If he is saying these guys got hit because the politically-connected UAW got sppecial treatment, that would make sense. The ad doesn’t say that.

    In short, I don’t get the point of the ad. It seems to be written for the Obama campaign team and not the voters. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being Reagan’s “Morning in America,” this is a 2. Maybe a 1.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s middle-class tax hike
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 1, 2012 12:53 PM EDT.

    A new independent analysis (pdf) of Mitt Romney’s tax plan should, in theory, dramatically change the nature of the election-year debate over tax policy. In short, Romney’s proposal is built around a middle-class tax hike, the proceeds of which would go to give wealthy “job creators” a very generous tax cut.

    Mitt Romney’s plan to overhaul the tax code would produce cuts for the richest 5 percent of Americans — and bigger bills for everybody else, according to an independent analysis set for release Wednesday.

    The study was conducted by researchers at the Brookings Institution and the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, who seem to bend over backward to be fair to the Republican presidential candidate. To cover the cost of his plan — which would reduce tax rates by 20 percent, repeal the estate tax and eliminate taxes on investment income for middle-class taxpayers — the researchers assume that Romney would go after breaks for the richest taxpayers first.

    They even look at what would happen if Republicans’ dreams for tax reform came true and the proposal generated significant revenue through economic growth.

    This isn’t a hack-job published using worst-case scenarios; it’s the opposite. The Brookings Institution and Tax Policy Center made every assumption in Romney’s favor, giving him the benefit of the doubt as much as possible.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 08/01/2012
    Can Obama persuade middle class families that Romney would raise their taxes?
    By Greg Sargent

    The new study of Mitt Romney’s tax plan by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center is getting a lot of media traction this morning, mainly because it finds that it would cut taxes dramatically on the richest five percent while raising them on everyone else.

    But there’s a specific finding buried in the report that, over time, may loom large in Campaign 2012: Romney’s tax plan would result in a $2,000 tax increase on middle class families.

    As Lori Montgomery put it this morning, the study, which was conducted with the Brookings Institution, seemed to “bend over backwards to be fair to the Republican presidential candidate.” Here’s what this means. Romney has not said which loopholes and deductions he would close to offset the cost of his 20 percent across the board tax cut, which would disproportionately benefit the wealthiest taxpayers

  19. rikyrah says:

    Ted Cruz’s Deceptive Triumph
    Abby Rapoport
    August 1, 2012
    Yes, it’s a new era in Texas politics—but not the one everybody seems to think.

    Just about every national pundit has the same take on Ted Cruz’s victory in Texas’s Senate primary: Another Tea Party triumph! It’s just like Florida in 2010, where “moderate” Governor Charlie Crist lost to insurgent Marco Rubio, or Indiana earlier this year, where “moderate” Senator Richard Lugar was dethroned by Tea Partier Richard Mourdock. The establishment loses again, and the new wave of the GOP continues its takeover of the party.

    On the surface, it sounds convincing. In the runoff for the U.S. Senate nomination, Cruz, running as a hard-core conservative, did upset David Dewhurst, who’s been lieutenant governor—an unusually powerful position in Texas—for almost a decade. At the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll summed up the almost-universal spin on the result: “Following the big-government excess of the Bush years, the Republican party was in desperate need of change,” he writes. “The Tea Party has helped deliver it, and a victory in Bush’s home state would go a long way to making that change permanent.”

    The only problem with that interpretation is that it’s dead wrong, based on a profound ignorance of the real dynamics of Republican politics in the Lone Star State. The election does indeed mark the beginning of a new regime in Texas politics. It’s just not a Tea Party regime.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Cruz cruises in Texas, sends right-wing message
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    When Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) launched his U.S. Senate campaign, he immediately became the man to beat. Indeed, it really wasn’t supposed to be close.

    As Lou Dubose told Rachel on the show last night, “How do you defeat a former CIA officer, Air Force pilot, 14 years elected office in the state, and he’s a genuine conservative who once advocated executing juveniles?” The deep-pocketed Dewhurst also enjoyed the backing of three-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and the state GOP establishment.

    When the primary was held in May, Dewhurst won by double digits, but came short of the 50% threshold, leading to a runoff against former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz. And last night, after the dust settled, Dewhurst had lost to Cruz by nearly 14 points.

  21. Ametia says:

    Aug 1, 5:50 AM EDT
    Romney gaffes contrast with Obama in ’08

    Obama received rock star treatment from international media and world leaders as he traveled from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the glittering chancelleries of Europe.

    Nevertheless, comparisons were inevitable and much of it was less than favorable to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

    “The designated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wanted to demonstrate foreign policy expertise and diplomatic skills with his trip to Britain, Israel and Poland,” the Swiss newspaper Tages-Zeitung said Tuesday. “Today, on the last day of the tour, he must be made to admit that he clearly missed this target.”

  22. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney is committed to repealing Roe v. Wade, and has said he would “get rid of ” Planned Parenthood. He has been endorsed by candidates and lawmakers across the country who are equally committed to moving us backwards.

    To highlight this, the Obama campaign has launched an interactive map to highlight the way Mitt Romney’s candidates and lawmakers have attacked women’s rights:

  23. Ametia says:

    Jezebel: Here’s How to Score Copay-Free Birth Control, Coming This Week to a Pharmacy Near You

  24. Ametia says:

    Think Progress: Eight More Ways Women Will Benefit Under Obamacare:

  25. Ametia says:

    Wall Street Journal: “A new study to be released on Wednesday suggests thatMitt Romney‘s tax plan would benefit the rich and hurt the poor and middle class, no matter how current blanks in the plan are filled in.” Study: Romney Tax Plan Hits Middle Class:

  26. Ametia says:

    A new study out today says Romney’s tax plan would produce cuts for the richest 5 percent of Americans — and bigger bills for everybody else.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Chutzpah, thy name is Mitt
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 1, 2012 10:57 AM EDT.

    After reporting on President Obama’s auto-industry rescue for a few years, I thought I’d heard just about every Republican argument. Mitt Romney, however, has a new attack that I, must admit, I didn’t see coming.

    In this new commercial, we’re introduced to Al Zarzour, who owned a car dealership in Lyndhurst, Ohio. When the Obama administration intervened, some dealerships were closed as part of the restructuring, and Zarzour’s was apparently one of them.

    In other words, according to the attack ad, Obama rescued the American auto industry and saved millions of jobs, but some dealerships were scuttled, which means the policy was bad … or something. (That every dealership would have been closed had the president failed to act is apparently irrelevant.)

    But the galling aspect of this is Romney’s unmitigated chutzpah. The Republican initially condemned Obama’s rescue policy. Then Romney changed his mind and took credit for Obama’s rescue policy. Now, the former governor is back to condemning the policy he recently tried to say was his idea all along.

    Even by Romney standards, this is twisted, and more than a little ridiculous. It’s almost as if he assumes voters are such hopeless fools, Americans will believe literally anything.


    Obama for America spokesperson Frank Benenati said this morning, “Let’s get this straight — the very person who argued for the US auto industry to go bankrupt, something that would have caused more than a million jobs lost and utter economic devastation in the Midwest, is now trying to attack the President on how it was handled? This ad in Ohio is a new low for the Romney campaign.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:01 AM ET, 08/01/2012
    The Morning Plum:
    On women’s health, a clear contrast between Obama and GOP
    By James Downie

    Today marks a major milestone for the Obama health care law and, more importantly, women’s health. As the Center for American Progress outlines, “a regulation goes into effect that will phase in guaranteed coverage for a range of preventive services for women with no cost sharing, such as co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance.” Services covered include contraceptive methods and counseling, counseling for STDs, domestic violence screening and counseling, HPV and HIV tests and annual well-woman visits. 47 million women will be able to access these services now.

    And while a Democratic White House is allowing women to access these basic parts of health care, what are Republicans doing for women?

    The House of Representatives voted down a bill on Tuesday night that would have prohibited women in Washington, D.C. from getting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases involving rape or incest.
    The bill received 220-154 votes, but because the Republicans brought it up under a suspension of House rules, it did not receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

    Yes, even in cases of rape or incest.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 08/01/2012
    Top two percenters to Congress: Raise our taxes. Please.
    By Greg Sargent

    With the House set to vote today on dueling plans for the Bush tax cuts, a group of approximately 100 wealthy progressives — all of whom say they are in the top two percent of earners — have signed a letter calling on Congress to raise their taxes immediately.

    Notably, the wealthy signatories make the case for higher taxes on themselves by supporting Obama’s “didn’t build that” case, arguing that the role of a smoothly functioning society in enabling their wealth more than justifies the demand that they chip in a bit more to ensure that it continues to provide opportunities to others.

    The letter — which was organized by the liberal group Voices for Progress — was sent yesterday to lawmakers on the Hill, including the Congressional leadership in both parties. It will be released today at an event at which labor unions and liberal groups will announce a new mobilizing drive behind the Obama/Dem plan to end tax cuts for the top two percent.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Can We Retake the House?
    by BooMan
    Wed Aug 1st, 2012 at 10:50:11 AM EST

    I see that Roll Call currently believes that the Democrats will pick up about eight seats in the House of Representatives, which is far short of the twenty-five they need to retake the House. I have not done my independent race-by-race analysis for this cycle yet, but my instincts tell me that they are a bit bearish on the Dems’ chances. The Republican Party is beginning to show multiple signs of internal stress. For example, one of Speaker Boehner’s closest friends, Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), abruptly announced his retirement this week, citing a toxic environment for independent-minded thinking within the GOP caucus. In another example, Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Robert Dold (R-IL) confronted Eric Cantor on the House floor last night to complain about their vote on a bill that would in some circumstances force victims of rape and incest in the District of Columbia to carry their pregnancies to term even if the health of the mother is as risk.

    Those events came on the heels of the harsh comments Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) leveled at his party.

    “If all people do is go down there [to DC] and join a team, and the team is invested in winning and you have something that looks very similar to the shirts and the skins, there’s not a lot of value there,” he told The Syracuse Post-Standard editorial board on Monday, according to the paper. He called his Democratic friends “much more congenial” than Republican ones. He then went on to warn that House Republicans are becoming “incapable of governing” by habitually deferring to “extremes.”

  31. rikyrah says:


    Brazil drug dealers: ‘Stop buying crack’

    Traffickers say they have stopped selling crack cocaine in two slums, citing destructive behaviour of users.

    Under a footbridge, when night falls and it’s pitch black, the only light that emanates is from flames given off from a few cigarette lighters and a couple candles.

    On the dirt floor trash is scattered about, including condoms and plastic water cups with holes punched in the bottom to be used as rudimentary pipes; the pungent stench of urine hangs in the air.

    It’s filthy, but nobody seems to notice. The couple dozen people here on the ground are all too fixated on taking their next hit of crack cocaine.

    This scene plays out inside the Antares slum – or favela as it is known in Brazil – in the industrial outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

    There are men, women, and even children, all using.

    Paulo, a middle-aged man and father of three young children, is hunched over and inhaling a hit.

    “I use crack every day, almost every hour,” he said without hesitation. “This is a drug you fall in love with the first time you use it.”

    The Antares favela is under the command of dozens of machine gun wielding young men from a faction of the Comando Vermelho drug gang.

    It’s generally considered a no-go area for police.

    A night-time visit inside the drug den in the slum reveals a troubling scene but points to a larger picture of how crack has become a security and public health epidemic in Brazil, spreading to all corners of the country and infiltrating all economic classes.

    But since a rock of crack can be purchased for only R$5 (less than $3 USD), the most desperate and downtrodden users tend to congregate by the hundreds in and around Rio’s favelas, where it can be easily purchased.

    Unprecedented move

    That is partially why, in an unprecedented move, some drug traffickers have unilaterally decided to stop selling crack in the favelas they control.

    In both Mandela and Jacarezinho favelas – combined home to more than 100,000 residents – crack can no longer be purchased. Two drug bosses, who control each favela, gave the orders to halt sales.

    A dirt road bordering Mandela favela that previously was known to be one of Rio’s largest concentrations of users (known as “cracolanidias” in Brazil) is where hundreds of users and sellers would congregate day and night.

    The road is now clear of any signs of users or sellers.

    “I am not going to lie to you, there is a lot of profit to be made on crack,” said Rodrigo, a top trafficker in Mandela who used to manage all the crack operations, told Al Jazeera. He asked that his real name not be used. “But crack also brought destruction in our community as well, so we’re not selling it anymore. Addicts were robbing homes, killing each other for nothing inside the community. We wanted to avoid all that, so we stopped selling it.”

  32. Ametia says:

    EXCERPTS: President Obama’s Remarks at a Grassroots Event in Mansfield, Ohio

    “And yet, the centerpiece of my opponent’s entire economic plan is a new, $5 trillion tax cut. A lot of this tax cut would go to the wealthiest 1% of all households. Folks making more than $3 million a year – the top one-tenth of one percent – would get a tax cut worth almost a quarter of a million dollars. A quarter of a million dollars.

    “But it gets worse. Under my opponent’s plan, guess who gets the bill for these $250,000 tax cuts? You do. And you don’t have to take my word for it.

    “Just today, an independent, non-partisan organization ran all the numbers. And they found that if Governor Romney wants to keep his word and pay for his plan, he’d have to cut tax breaks that middle-class families depend on to pay for your home, or your health care, or send your kids to college. That means the average middle-class family with children would be hit with a tax increase of more than $2,000 .

  33. rikyrah says:

    Take Three: Mitt Romney Now Says He Stands By Palestinian ‘Culture’ Comments
    Benjy Sarlin- July 31, 2012, 9:51 PM

    On Sunday, Mitt Romney boldly declared that Israel’s economic superiority over the Palestinians was due to its culture. On Tuesday morning, he dismissed any notion that he had even discussed Palestinian culture. On Tuesday night, Romney reversed himself yet again, in an op-ed entitled “Culture Does Matter.”

    “During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it,” Romney wrote in the National Review. “In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy. But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture?”

    In an interview earlier the very same day with FOX News, Romney told interviewer Carl Cameron that he “did not speak about the Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy” and that he “certainly [doesn’t] intend to address that during my campaign.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    Rep. King Goes Birther: Suggests Obama’s Parents Telegrammed Fake Hawaii Birth Announcement From Kenya
    By Scott Keyes on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Try as they may, Republicans just can’t seem to kick their birther habit.

    The latest GOPer to dabble in the ridiculous fantasy that President Obama wasn’t actually born in the United States: Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

    During a tele-townhall meeting late last week, King was asked about his views on whether President Obama is a natural-born American citizen. The Iowa Congressman noted that his staff had investigated the matter and found birth announcements in the two Hawaii newspapers the week after Obama’s birth. However, King went on to float the absurd notion that his parents “might’ve announced that by telegram from Kenya.”

    KING: We went down into the Library of Congress and we found a microfiche there of two newspapers in Hawaii each of which had published the birth of Barack Obama. It would have been awfully hard to fraudulently file the birth notice of Barack Obama being born in Hawaii and get that into our public libraries and that microfiche they keep of all the newspapers published. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some other explanations on how they might’ve announced that by telegram from Kenya. The list goes on. But drilling into that now, even if we could get a definitive answer and even if it turned out that Barack Obama was conclusively not born in America, I don’t think we could get that case sold between now and November.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow’s opening segment last night was excellent on all the benefits of Obamacare. if you can find it, Ametia, you should post it

  36. rikyrah says:

    (CBS News) President Obama leads Mitt Romney among likely voters in Ohio and Florida – and has a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania – according to a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released this morning.

    The poll, conducted from July 24-30, shows Mr. Obama leading his presumptive Republican challenger 53 percent to 42 percent in Pennsylvania. The 11-point lead results largely from independents, who favor the president by 22 points, and women, who favor the president by 24 points.

    Mr. Obama holds a six-point lead in Ohio, 50 percent to 44 percent, a state where he holds a campaign event later today. His lead here is also due in large part to women, who back him by a 21-point margin. Romney leads by ten points among Ohio men, and seven points among Ohio whites.

    In Florida, Mr. Obama also holds a six point lead, 51 percent to 45 percent. He holds a small lead among both men and women and a 19-point lead among Hispanics, while Romney leads by double-digits among whites and voters age 65 and above.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Harry Reid Stirs the Pot
    by BooMan
    Tue Jul 31st, 2012 at 10:05:05 PM EST

    Harry Reid is stirring up some serious shit with his assertion that he received a phone call from a Bain Capital investor who told him that Mitt Romney didn’t pay any income taxes for ten years. Yet, personally, I prefer his quote about how his internal polling shows that he is in good shape to maintain his position as Majority Leader unless Citizens United sweeps all his power away:

    “We feel comfortable in the Senate,” he said. “Where the problem is, is this: Because of the Citizens United decision, Karl Rove and the Republicans are looking forward to a breakfast the day after the election. They are going to assemble 17 angry old white men for breakfast, some of them will slobber in their food, some will have scrambled eggs, some will have oatmeal, their teeth are gone. But these 17 angry old white men will say, ‘Hey, we just bought America. Wasn’t so bad. We still have a whole lot of money left.'”
    “So that’s the only problem we have with our candidates,” Reid concluded, suggesting that virtually everything, his leadership position included, could be swept away by outside cash.

    Harry Reid was born poor. His father was a miner. His mother was a laundress. They had no indoor plumbing or telephone. He once choked a man who tried to bribe him. And he was an amateur boxer.

    Sometimes, I kind of like the guy.

  38. Ametia says:

    Published: August 1, 2012
    The Latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS Poll


  39. Ametia says:

    U.S. women are simply flawless en route to dominant Olympic gold in team competition
    By Sally Jenkins, Published: July 31The Washington Post

    LONDON — Not one of them stumbled, not one of them slipped. If you were lucky enough to witness the U.S. women gymnasts win their Olympic team gold medals, the main sensation you walked away with was the noise of their sure feet hitting the mats after those soaring aerials and catapults, followed by your own amazed exhalations. These women nailed landings like they were hammering spikes: Wham, boom, gasp.

    You want to see complete, gorgeous dominance? You want to watch a set of indelible American characters open a can of something on the rest of world? You’ll have to look down around your kneecaps because none of them is taller than 5 feet 2, but believe me when I tell you that this U.S. team was toweringly, historically great. Their performance to win the team Olympic gold at North Greenwich Arena might stand up throughout the London Games as the staunchest exhibit of American team strength on the premises.

  40. Ametia says:

    New Polls Show Obama Has Edge in 3 Battleground States
    Published: August 1, 2012

    President Obama is struggling to persuade voters that he deserves to win re-election based on his handling of the economy, but his empathy and personal appeal give him an edge over Mitt Romney in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, according to Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News polls.

    The contours of a deeply competitive presidential race, with three months remaining until the election, are highlighted in the new surveys of likely voters in the three battleground states. Mr. Romney drew fairly even with Mr. Obama when voters were asked about managing the nation’s financial situation, but his candidacy remains tested by concerns over his business background and his reluctance to release more of his tax returns.

    The polls in the three states, all of which Mr. Obama carried in 2008, offer a window into challenges and opportunities for both candidates as August begins and they prepare for their nominating conventions and the general election fight. Most paths to victory that the campaigns are pursuing include winning at least two of the states.

    While independent voters break strongly for Mr. Obama in Pennsylvania, a state that Mr. Romney has been trying to make more competitive, they are closely split in Florida and Ohio. Of the coalition that Mr. Obama built to win the White House, independent voters remain a hurdle, with a little more than half in Florida and Ohio saying they disapprove of his job performance.

  41. Ametia says:

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

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