Serendipty SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | African-American Architects Week!


Today’s featured Architect is Robert Robinson Taylor.

Wiki:  Robert Robinson Taylor (June 8, 1868 – 1942) was an American architect; by some accounts the first accredited African American Architect in the United States.

Taylor enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1888, the first African American student at MIT, and was associated with Tuskegee University once called Tuskegee Institute, designing most of the buildings on campus completed prior to 1932, and even serving as second-in-command to Tuskegee’s founder and first President, Dr. Booker T. Washington. He died while attending services at the Tuskegee Chapel, a building he considered his finest achievement.  Robert Taylor was the Great Grandfather of Valerie Jarrett, Senior White House advisor to President Barack Hussein Obama.

You can view more photos , videos on the life of Robert Taylor here.and here. 

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54 Responses to Serendipty SOUL | Thursday Open Thread | African-American Architects Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Rachel’s ’bout to DROP a BOMB tomorrow night. Says she’s got a “TAPE.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Now, folks are just clowning Willard on the tax returns. Folks are going all in on the ‘ I don’t know if he beats his wife’ accusation.

    Lawrence O just said in the first minute of his show:


    bwa ha ha ha ha ha

    there’s no way to answer these type of questions…UNLESS HE RELEASES THE TAX RETURNS.

    hee hee hee

  3. Ametia says:

    Last summer, the House of Representatives set aside arduous debt ceiling negotiations to focus on a longstanding congressional pastime: renaming post offices.

    Today, just days before legislators will head home or back to the campaign trail for the August recess, the United States Postal Service will default — for the first time in history — on a $5.5 billion payment meant to fund future retirees’ benefits.

    During the 112th Congress, the House has introduced 60 bills to rename post offices. In fact, of the 151 laws produced by this Congress, 17 percent have been to rename post offices. But not one bill geared towards salvaging the Postal Service has reached the floor, and the USPS desperately needs Congressional action to stay solvent.

  4. Ametia says:

    OLYMPIC RESULT: Michael Phelps wins gold in the 200-meter individual medley; fellow American Ryan Lochte takes the silver.

    Phelps is the first man to win an individual swimming event in three consecutive Olympics. It is his record 20th lifetime medal and his 16th gold.

    Follow the Olympics at— as well as on CNN TV

  5. Ametia says:


    If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, Taxpayers With Children And Income Below 200,000 Would Receive An Average Tax Increase Of $2,041.[Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform, p. 18-

    If Romney’s Tax Plan Was Paid For, The Top 0.1% Would Receive An Average Tax Cut Of $246,652.[Tax Policy Center, On The Distributional Effects Of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform,p.19.

  6. Ametia says:

    Why Republicans need lower-income voters in 2012
    Posted by Aaron Blake at 10:34 AM ET, 08/02/2012
    The Washington Post

    We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog in recent weeks detailing the fact that a handful of wealthy donors have changed the presidential election game by sending millions of dollars to GOP-leaning super PACs and outside groups.

    Those commercials have helped Mitt Romney even the score in the 2012 ad game.

    But while the rich are certainly keeping Romney in the game early in the presidential race, he will rely on plenty of less-well-off voters if he is to win the presidential race this year.

    Case in point: the chart below, which is based on data from Sentier Research and shows various measures of income in three sets of states — red states, blue states and swing states.

    Snip: The reason the lower-income vote is so key is that it’s such a large portion of the population — 33 percent. The wealthiest of voters, on the other hand, comprise a sliver of the overall electorate.

    Those wealthy voters are great for Republicans when it comes to funding super PACs, but winning elections requires wooing many middle- and lower-middle-class voters.

    That’s why we’ve seen so much “fair share” talk from Team Obama. Time will tell about whether it worked.

  7. Pingback: Today’s Links | Nubian Stylez

  8. Ametia says:

    Ann Romney Horse Rafalca Stumbles In Dressage, Gay Rider Carl Hester In First
    By Patricia Nell Warren – Contributor,

    Jan Ebeling and Rafalca are 13th, and Britain’s Hester shines brightest, on Day 1

    Follow @sbnation on Twitter, and Like on Facebook.

    Aug 2, 2012 – NBC devoted a prime-time interview on Tuesday to U.S. Olympic dressage rider Jan Ebeling, with the host breathlessly describing his Oldenberg mare Rafalca as “the most talked about horse” at the Games. NBC failed to clarify that the buzz was not about about the mare’s chances to medal in dressage, it was about her connection to U.S. Presidential campaign politics, through being co-owned by Ann Romney.

    All of us at Outsports have been breathlessly waiting to see the two openly gay dressage riders at the Games — Edward Gal of the Netherlands and Carl Hester of Great Britain — go up against Ebeling and Rafalca. We find the competition situation deliciously ironic, since the Romney campaign puts a political spin on this horse, with the two gay riders’ romantic relationships being something that Mitt Romney’s policies don’t approve of.

  9. Ametia says:

    Ann Romney’s horse fails to win dressage but avoids offending British
    Sam Jones, Thursday 2 August 2012 11.49 EDT

    Rafalca, owned by Mrs Mitt Romney, was impeccably behaved and well received by Olympic equestrians in Greenwich

    Short of mocking Shetland ponies over their lack of stature or laying into zebras for their failure to make a significant contribution to the world of equine culture, Ann Romney’s horse Rafalca was always going to struggle to match the sheer incredulity that her husband managed to provoke on his recent overseas trip.

    And in the event – the event in question being the individual dressage – the 15-year-old bay Oldenburg mare acquitted herself rather well. True, she and her rider, Jan Ebeling, may have been left well behind by Britain’s Carl Hester, Germany’s Dorothee Schneider and Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak but, by Romney standards, her performance was a positive triumph.

    Never for a second during her seven-minute performance did a hoof stray dangerously mouthwards, nor did she do anything at all to offend or upset the host nation. From the moment she entered the Greenwich Park equestrian arena at 12.15 on Thursday afternoon, the most famous political horse since Caligula toyed with making a consul of Incitatus seemed in her element.

    She bowed her neatly plaited head on cue, trotted diagonally across the sand, did the jogging-on-the-spot thing, the skipping thing, the rhythmic boogying thing, the controlled trotting thing: in short, Rafalca did everything that the occasion and the peculiar rules of the dressage demanded of her.

  10. rikyrah says:

    When a candidate’s numbers don’t add up
    By Steve Benen – Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:24 AM EDT.

    We’ll know more about the electoral impact as time progresses, but yesterday’s independent analysis of Mitt Romney’s tax plan changed the nature of the debate. Researchers at the Brookings Institution and the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center delivered the equivalent of an electoral bombshell: the Republican’s proposal cuts taxes on the rich and pays for it by raising taxes on the middle class.

    It took less than a day for President Obama’s campaign team to turn the revelations into an ad.
    The tagline is brutal: “Mitt Romney’s middle class tax increase: He pays less, you pay more.” According to a campaign source, the spot will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada.

    Not surprisingly, the Romney campaign is not pleased, and spent of yesterday afternoon attacking the report. Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said Americans should question the results because the Tax Policy Center scholars who conducted the research are “liberal.”

    There are a few problems with this. First, this isn’t an argument. Second, the Romney campaign has previously said the Tax Policy Center is “objective” and “non-partisan.” And third, one of the co-authors of the report is a Bush administration veteran.

  11. Ametia says:


    August 2, 2012 (Thursday): Aspen, Colorado (CNN) –

    Despite laws barring coordination between federal campaigns and outside groups, Karl Rove and (Paid Romney Adviser)Ed Gillespie are hosting a joint closed-door political briefing with leading Republican donors Thursday.

    According to Republicans familiar with the schedule, the two operatives are headlining a lunchtime political briefing for top donors at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Aspen, a posh, closed-press affair where GOP governors mingle with some of their biggest financial backers.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Impossible Math

    In what should be a devastating moment for any campaign, a new report (pdf) from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center yesterday exposed the upshot of Romney’s tax plan:

    “It is not mathematically possible to design a revenue-neutral plan that preserves current incentives for savings and investment and that does not result in a net tax cut for high-income taxpayers and a net tax increase for lower- and/or middle-income taxpayers,” the study concludes. Even if tax breaks “are eliminated in a way designed to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible, there would still be a shift in the tax burden of roughly $86 billion [a year] from those making over $200,000 to those making less” than that. What would that mean for the average tax bill? Millionaires would get an $87,000 tax cut, the study says. But for 95 percent of the population, taxes would go up by about 1.2 percent, an average of $500 a year.

    Chait underscores a key point:

    [T]he study embraces implausibly friendly assumptions as to how Romney would go about [raising revenue from deleted deductions]. It assumes he would ruthlessly purge the tax code of breaks for the rich, even highly popular ones like the charitable deduction. It further assumes that, in order to wring every last penny out of the rich, Romney would cut off all deductions immediately for every dollar in income over $200,000 a year.

    And yet the net result is still in the end a redistribution of resources from the poor and middle class to the very rich

  13. rikyrah says:

    Romney Hasn’t Done His Homework

    MITT ROMNEY’S latest controversial remark, about the role of culture in explaining why some countries are rich and powerful while others are poor and weak, has attracted much comment. I was especially interested in his remark because he misrepresented my views and, in contrasting them with another scholar’s arguments, oversimplified the issue.

    It is not true that my book “Guns, Germs and Steel,” as Mr. Romney described it in a speech in Jerusalem, “basically says the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there. There is iron ore on the land and so forth.”

    That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it. My focus was mostly on biological features, like plant and animal species, and among physical characteristics, the ones I mentioned were continents’ sizes and shapes and relative isolation. I said nothing about iron ore, which is so widespread that its distribution has had little effect on the different successes of different peoples. (As I learned this week, Mr. Romney also mischaracterized my book in his memoir, “No Apology: Believe in America.”)

  14. Ametia says:

    Red Bone Girls,’ ‘Chocolate Legs,’ and Eric Benet’s Color-Complex Payday
    by Akiba Solomon
    Thursday, August 2 2012, 10:06 AM EST

    promote “The One,” his first independent album. He is selling tank tops that exploit skin color division among black women. For $19.95 plus tax and shipping costs, his fans can choose a top that bears the name of his latest single, “Red Bone Girl,” or an older effort, “Chocolate Legs.” The limited edition shirts appear side by side on his website alongside bright red “BRAND NEW!” stamps.

    Clearly, there is nothing “BRAND NEW!” about using skin color to create or sustain buzz. Last year we saw a “Light Skin vs. Dark Skin” club night in Columbus, Ohio. Atlanta-based direct-to-DVD filmmakers Nico Woods and Rod Hollimon earned a spot in the ratchetness hall of fame when they dropped “The Truth About Light Skin Vs. Dark Skin: Ignorance or Orchestrated?” in 2009. And then there’s the #teamlightskin and #teamdarkskin Twitter memes, which don’t generate revenue but certainly pay participants in the currency of attention.

  15. Ametia says:


  16. Ametia says:


    Kevin Drum: Mitt Romney’s Plan to Screw the Middle Class:

    Steve Benen: When a Candidate’s Numbers Don’t Add Up:

    Jobs Anger: Romney Wants to Raise Your Taxes:

  17. Ametia says:

    Nine takeaways on Romney’s tax plan
    By Ezra Klein , Updated: August 2, 2012

    1) The Tax Policy Center bent over backwards to make Romney’s promises add up. They assumed a Romney administration wouldn’t cut a dollar of tax preferences for anyone making less than $200,000 until they had cut every dollar of tax preferences for everyone making over $200,000. They left all preferences for savings and investment untouched, as Romney has promised. They even tested the plan under a model developed, in part, by Greg Mankiw, one of Romney’s economic advisers, that promises “implausibly large growth effects” from tax cuts. The fact that they couldn’t make Romney’s numbers work even when they stacked all these scenarios on top of one another shows just how impossible Romney’s promises are.

    2) The reason Romney’s plan doesn’t work is very simple. The size of the tax cut he’s proposing for the rich is larger than all of the tax expenditures that go to the rich put together. As such, it is mathematically impossible for him to keep his promise to make sure the top one percent keeps paying the same or more.

    3) This is going to be a huge problem for the Romney campaign. The Romney team has tried to paper over the fact that its policy promises don’t add up by withholding the crucial details that independent analysts need to do the math. But now independent analysts are filling in those details for them (the Tax Policy Center’s look at Romney’s tax plan should be read in tandem with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities effort to flesh out his spending promises). And, ultimately, that’s worse, as actors with more credibility than the Romney campaign are showing what the Romney campaign was trying to hide.

    4) Evidence the Romney campaign does not have a good counterargument, part one: If they thought releasing more details would make the plan look better rather than worse, they would have released them rather than letting outside organizations fill in the blanks. It’s essentially the same theory as refusing to release the tax returns. But now the Romney campaign is receiving pressure — including from conservatives — to release those details, which they know they can’t do. And unlike on the tax returns, no one can say that the details of Romney’s plans for governing the country are irrelevant to this campaign.

  18. Ametia says:

    Who is fighting for middle class tax cuts?
    President Obama vs. Mitt Romney

    Click here enter your income and calculate your taxes using both plans.

  19. Ametia says:

    President Barack Obama talks on the phone with members of the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team during a phone call from Air Force One, Aug. 1, 2012. The President called the women to congratulate them on their gold medal in the team competition. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  20. Ametia says:

    Today’s Schedule for President Obama

    All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

    10:15 AM: The President and The Vice President receive The Presidential Daily Briefing

    11:00 AM: The Vice President meets with Attorney General Eric Holder

    11:05 AM: The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews

    11:20 AM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Orlando, Florida

    1:15 PM: The President arrives Orlando, Florida

    2:40 PM: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event

    4:30 PM: The President delivers remarks to the BlogHer Conference

    5:20 PM: The President departs Orlando, Florida en route Virginia

    7:15 PM: The President arrives Virginia

    7:50 PM: The President delivers remarks at a campaign event

    8:50 PM: The President departs Leesburg, Virginia en route the White House

    9:00 PM: The President arrives the White House

  21. Ametia says:


    Kofi Annan has resigned as U.N. and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says.

    Get complete coverage of breaking news on, CNN TV and CNN Mobile.

  22. Ametia says:

    Thursday, August 2, 2012
    Harry Plotter And The Prisoner Of Rafalca
    Posted by Zandar

    I’ve stayed away from the story earlier this week involving Senate majority leader Harry Reid going after Mitt Romney, saying that he was told by a former Bain Capital executive that Romney refuses to release his tax returns because has paid roughly zero federal taxes for ten years through various tax games. It smacks of unsourced nonsense and frankly I don’t believe even Romney’s that stupid.

    But now Harry Reid is repeating the claim, and the Romney camp’s response to it makes me think that Reid is telling the truth.

    On Wednesday, Reid stuck to his story, and broadened it.

    “I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. “I have had a number of people tell me that.”

    Asked to elaborate on his sources, Reid declined. “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me.”
    “I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”

    A Romney spokesman said Reid’s charge was baseless and below the belt.

    “This is further proof that the president’s campaign is willing to say whatever it takes to distract from his economic record, no matter how baseless, unfounded or demonstrably false their attacks are,” spokesman Mason Harrison said. “President (Barack) Obama condemned these kinds of negative attacks in 2008, but like many of the promises he made back then, they have turned out to be just more words.”

  23. Ametia says:

    August 02, 2012
    Reid Doubles Down on Romney Tax Charge

    Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) not only stuck by his story of a Bain Capital investor claiming Mitt Romney paid no taxes at all for 10 years, he broadened it in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other reporters.

    Said Reid: “I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination. I have had a number of people tell me that.”

    When asked to identify his sources, Reid declined: “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me. I don’t think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”

  24. Ametia says:


  25. rikyrah says:

    ‘Culture,’ Prosperity, and Political IQ
    By James Fallows
    Aug 1 2012, 10:04 AM ET

    How does this apply to Mitt Romney’s already-much-discussed comments that “culture” explains Israel’s success in business, the comparative failure of the Palestinians, and the cross-border differences between Mexico and the United States? (Original comments here; followup column by Romney here.) My points:


    Cultural references as symptoms of tin ear. Political talent includes the ability to tell your immediate audience things it wants to hear — without offending people beyond that audience, who in today’s panopticon age will inevitably hear anything troublesome you say. At its crass extreme, this is the “dog whistle” — sending a coded signal that the general public will miss but only a select group of listeners will recognize and respond to. Less crassly, it is a skill both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton demonstrated in managing to appeal to some groups without alienating too many others. Barack Obama took such heat for his “people get bitter” comments four years ago because they violated this rule. For him it was a rare exception.

    Romney violated this rule at just about every stop on his foreign trip. He told an American TV interviewer that the Brits might not be ready for the Olympics — and of course the Brits heard and took offense. He told the audience at an Israeli fund-raiser that the Palestinians had cultural barriers to success, but of course many people outside that room heard what he said. He extended the comparison to cross-border differences between the U.S. and Mexico, which are real. But resting the explanation for that difference on culture — rather than on rule of law, accountability, land-ownership patterns, and so on — can be tricky when it is heard by the many U.S. citizens who are proud of the American system but also of their Latino cultural identity.

    Here is the point I am building to. Three months before the election, it is fair to wonder about Mitt Romney’s basic skill level as a politician. I am not talking policy and substance, which I will do later. I’m talking about the counterpart to what coaches call “overall athleticism,” “court vision,” “ball sense,” even “football IQ.” In politics this includes an ability to read audiences, to self-edit and self-correct in real time, and to sense effortlessly how your words will sound to people on the other end. Right after Sarah Palin’s pick four years ago I guessed that she was going to have trouble with the surprisingly onerous demands of a national campaign. Now I am struck that we’re still seeing indications of limits on Romney’s “political IQ.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 06:25 PM ET, 08/01/2012
    Happy Hour Roundup
    By Greg Sargent

    * This afternoon, the House voted down the Democratic plan to extend the Bush tax cuts on all income under $250,000, including that of “job creators” and “small business” people who make more than that.

    A striking 19 Democrats defected and voted against this plan, apparently out of fear of being labeled tax hikers. The defections illlustrate Nancy Pelosi’s difficulties in keeping the caucus together on this issue, and help explain — whatever you think of the substance of it — why she proposed raising the threshold to $1 million.

    Whlie today’s vote was expected, the question now is whether Dems can use this vote — combined with the expected passage of the Republican plan to extend all the cuts tomorrow — to clarify the difference in priorities between the parties.

    House Republicans have gone on record with this vote stating that they are not willing to extend low tax rates on income under $250,000 unless low rates are also extended on incomes above that, which are earned by one out of every 50 taxpayers. Republicans will argue that the vast majority of Dems voting for the Dem plan today shows they are addicted to raising taxes, and that Republicans are the ones who want low taxes for everybody. We’ll see who wins the argument.

  27. rikyrah says:

    August 01, 2012 4:10 PM

    Cruz the Intellectual

    By Ed Kilgore

    In a brief profile of Texas Republican Senate nominee Ted Cruz, the New York Times’ Eric Eckholm quoted several Cruz fans calling him an “intellectual force,” and Jonathan Bernstein quite properly called him out for failing to supply any other evidence that the man is some sort of genius. But in suggesting that such descriptions of Cruz ought to include examples of the “conservative ideas” the Texan has originated (or might in the future), Jonathan makes me wonder what, exactly, passes for “ideas” among “movement conservatives” these days.

    The essence, after all, of contemporary U.S. conservatism is the immutability of principles of good government. Many conservatives practice what Chesterton called “the democracy of the dead”—the accumulated human experience of many centuries. Others are “market fundamentalists” who identify human progress and prosperity with the struggle for the minimum feasible quantity of collective action, which they often identify with the governing philosophy of America’s Founders. Another and probably more prevalent brand of “constitutional conservatives” think of principles like absolute property rights, American Exceptionalism, and a conservative-Christian approach to cultural issues as part of a divine design that more recent Americans have betrayed to their everlasting peril.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Controversy Ahead Of House Hearing On GOP’s ‘English Only’ Bill
    Ryan J. Reilly- August 2, 2012, 6:19 AM

    Republican witness at today’s House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on legislation making English the official language of the United States is from an organization with ties to racism.

    Dr. Rosalie Porter, chairwoman of the board of ProEnglish, is testifying in support of the “English Language Unity Act of 2011” before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution on Thursday morning.

    ProEnglish is headed by executive director Robert Vandervoort, who came under fire for hosting a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this year featuring Peter Brimelow of the website VDARE, an organization labeled as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The panel also featured a speech from then-National Review editor John Derbyshire, who would later be fired from the magazine for writing a racist article in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:04 AM ET, 08/02/2012
    The Morning Plum: The Fed punts — again
    By James Downie

    The fundamentals of the economy remain anemic: unemployment is still above 8 percent, GDP growth is stuck at 1.5 percent and a whole host of indicators suggest that the recovery has weakened. With Republicans blocking White House attempts to improve the economy, the best hope for workers lies with the Federal Reserve.

    After a two-day meeting, though, officials at the Federal Reserve announced that while they know the economy’s getting worse, they won’t do anything about it yet

  30. rikyrah says:

    Really? Gabby Douglas Wins A Gold Medal and People Are Criticizing Her Hair?
    August 1, 2012 by Clutch

    Gabby Douglas has achieved what most people only dream of, winning a gold medal at the young age of 16. And all some people can focus on is her hair. Twitter comments came pouring in yesterday with criticism about her gelled-up ponytail, hair clips and frizzy edges. Here is a sampling via Jezebel:

    “Gabby Douglas needs to tame the beady beads in the back of her hair.”

    “on another note, Gabby Douglas gotta do something with this hair! these clips and that brown gel residue ain’t it.”

    “lmfao Gabby Douglas shouldn’t be the standout in these commercials until she get her hair done.”

    Really? Gabby represented our country at the Olympic games and won the highest honor in her sport, all before her 17th birthday, and we’re focusing on edges.

    Is our culture really that superficial and mean? Gabby shouldn’t have to worry about edges that might frizz up as she competes on the world stage and brings home first place. Her priority isn’t the hair salon; it’s living out her dreams, which she has done successfully. How many of her hair critics can say that?

  31. rikyrah says:

    The Expiration Date of the Modern GOP
    by BooMan
    Wed Aug 1st, 2012 at 11:13:14 PM EST

    A Daily Kos diarist did a pretty cool demographic analysis of Texas this week and discovered that the Lone Star State is going to be a purple swing state by 2024 and will have a Democratic lean by 2028 at the latest. You can play with the Electoral College calculator to see what this means. But, trust me, is spells certain doom for the current incarnation of the Republican Party. My interpretation of this information is that we can put an expiration date on the current madness we are witnessing. Like milk gone bad, the electorate will no longer consider drinking what the GOP is offering by sometime in the next decade.

    I’ve been looking at the current Electoral College map and reading Nate Silver’s analysis, and I see New Mexico and Nevada already moving away from swing-state status, with Colorado nearing that condition. As far as I can tell, Mitt Romney has a chance to outperform John McCain by taking back North Carolina and Indiana, with an outside chance of winning Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, too. That still leaves him 14 electoral votes short of a tie, but it appears to be his upside potential at the moment. Short of an ill-timed catastrophe, it appears that the modern GOP is already incapable of winning a national election. But eight or twelve years from now, they’ll be incapable of making a plausible argument to a potential financial contributor that they have any chance of winning a presidential election.

    I don’t think the Republican Party will stay the same. But we shouldn’t forget that the GOP failed to control the House from 1955-1995 and failed to control the Senate from 1955-1981. They are capable of existing in a minority status without adapting for astonishingly long periods of time.

    The difference here is that we are not talking about Congress; we are talking about the White House. Once Texas becomes a Dem-leaning state sometime between 2024 and 2028, the current incarnation of the GOP will have no shot at sitting in the Oval Office.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Meet Mitt Romney’s Immigration Advisers
    By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Aug 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Of all the GOP candidates, Mitt Romney staked out the most extreme immigration positions during the Republican primary. He said his immigration plan would be to make undocumented immigrants “self-deport,” and he vowed to veto the DREAM Act. Since he effectively locked up the nomination, however, Romney tried to distance himself from his earlier hardline stances, and a Republican Party official even tried to claim that Romney is “still deciding what his position on immigration is.”

    But Romney is still losing among Latino voters by an enormous (and widening) margin. While Romney has tried to moderate his immigration views from the primary to the general election, his immigration advisers and supporters still include extremely anti-immigrant officials.

    Currently serving as Kansas’ secretary of state, Kobach is the author of harmful state and local anti-immigrant ordinances like those in Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina. He wrote the vast majority of them as senior counselor to the restrictionist Immigration Reform Law Institute and as a private consultant. He has insisted that Romney wants SB 1070 as a national model, and he doesn’t expect Romney to soften the extreme immigration positions he took during the GOP primary. And following President Obama’s directive to halt deportations for up to 1.4 million young undocumented immigrants, Kobach called the policy “illegal.” Kobach advised Romney’s 2008 campaign on immigration and homeland security, and he returned to that role for the 2012 election after he endorsed the GOP presidential candidate in January. In April, Romney tried to distance himself from Kobach while softening his immigration positions, saying he was a “supporter,” not an “adviser” before conceding that Kobach was still an “informal adviser.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Exxonistan: The future of Afghanistan?
    By Naima Lynch – Wed Aug 1, 2012 6:00 PM EDT.

    U.S. and NATO forces are slated to leave Afghanistan in 2014, and the future beyond that is anything but certain. What everyone can agree on, however, is that the Afghan government needs money. A lot of it. Not only to replace the rapidly dwindling international donations, but to compete with the revenue from the opium trade which created the Afghan “narco-state.” The U.S. has directed considerable resources in an effort to break the grip of the opium industry. Still, it’s a formidable economic mainstay that has proven very difficult to replace. Afghanistan and the U.S. are desperate for a viable alternative. Like poor countries the world over, Afghanistan’s most easily monetized asset is its own physical self – its natural resources: enter multinational corporations.

    The trajectory from war and crisis to economic meltdown and ultimately to the unrelenting onslaught of foreign corporations with their sights set on a country’s natural resources is a familiar one. For those who have observed the resource exploitation of countries like Indonesia, Chile, Russia, Argentina, Venezuela and more, the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) 2011 report which touted Afghanistan’s mineral resources as having “the potential to completely transform the nation’s economy,” presents good reason to be nervous. That same year, the USGS estimated that the Amu Darya Basin along Afghanistan’s Northern border may have “volumes of undiscovered, technically recoverable, conventional petroleum resources.” The Afghan government has signaled that it is open for business. The question now is whether the international community has gained the expertise required to avoid the “resource curse,” whereby a country is drained of its natural resources while incurring significant humanitarian, economic and environmental damage, without seeing any monetary benefit.


    China’s Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) was the first company to win a mineral mining contract with Afghanistan, and by many accounts, they’re not off to a great start. The terms of the contract itself are troubling, as Dr. Cheryl Bernard points out in The Daily Beast:

  34. rikyrah says:

    Rachel Maddow talks about Mitt Romney’s vague responses when asked about his taxes throughout the years and questions how much of his current proposed tax plan would only help himself. James Roosevelt, Jr., the top lawyer for the Massachusetts Democratic Party when tax returns were a problem for Romney while running for governor, joins the discussion to explain how Romney tried to “retroactively rewrite history” about his tax returns ten years ago.

    This segment was excellent:

  35. Ametia says:

    Capitalism, not culture, drives economies
    By Fareed Zakaria, Published: August 1
    The Washington Post

    Mitt Romney has explained that his comments abroad were simply truth-telling. “I tend to tell people what I actually believe,” he said. With regard to one much-debated comment — on the cultural differences between Israelis and Palestinians — many agree with him. The Wall Street Journal editorial page and columnists including Marc A. Thiessen and John Podhoretz all applauded. Podhoretz wrote: “Anyone who publicizes his remark is helping Romney win the election.”

    “Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said at a fundraiser in Israel, comparing the country’s economic vitality to Palestinian poverty. Certainly there is a pedigree for this idea. Romney cited David Landes, an economics historian. He could have cited Max Weber, the great German scholar who first made this claim 100 years ago in his book “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” which argued that Protestant values were the most important fuel for economic progress.

  36. Ametia says:

    House votes to extend tax cuts at all income levels
    By Rosalind S. Helderman and Lori Montgomery,
    Published: August 1The Washington Post

    The Republican-led House voted Wednesday to extend an array of expiring tax cuts for households at all income levels through 2013, a pre-election statement of unyielding opposition to higher taxes for any American.

    The 256 to 171 vote to preserve tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush administration fell largely along party lines. It came after the House rejected a Democratic alternative, on a similarly partisan 257 to 170 vote, that would have allowed the cuts to expire on taxable income over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples filing jointly.

  37. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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