Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Pointer Sisters Week!

Happy MUN-DANE, Everyone! This week’s featured artist are The Pointer Sisters.

WIKI:  The Pointer Sisters are an American R&B recording act from Oakland, California that achieved mainstream success during the 1970s and 1980s. Spanning over three decades, their repertoire has included such diverse genres as pop, disco, jazz, bebop, blues, soul, funk, dance, country and rock.

The group had its early origins when sisters June and Bonnie Pointer began performing in clubs in 1969 as “Pointers, a Pair”. The line-up grew to a trio when sister Anita Pointer joined them. They scored a record deal with Atlantic Records and released several unsuccessful singles. The trio grew to a quartet when sister Ruth joined in December 1972. They then signed with Blue Thumb Records, recorded their debut album, and began seeing more success. The group achieved its greatest commercial success as a trio during the 1980s consisting of the line-up of June, Ruth, and Anita. Bonnie had left the group in 1978 to commence a solo career with only modest success.

The height of their success

Over the next few years they achieved their greatest commercial success and continued to demonstrate their versatility. In 1980 the soulful pop single, “He’s So Shy“, reached number three on the charts, and the following year a slow, sultry ballad, “Slow Hand“, reached number two. The follow-up, “Should I Do It” was classic girl-group. Perry switched distribution of Planet to RCA in 1982. The first release from this new union was “American Music”, a patriotic-themed. modernised take on the girl-group sound while “I’m So Excited” was an influential, exuberant dance track. All these singles were significant hits in the US and were also successful in Australia, where all but “American Music” reached the Top 20.

I’m So Excited


Candy Crowley, your SUPER DELUX MATAG can’t spin Romney’s dirty little secrets; not with Gibby Gibbs!

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66 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Pointer Sisters Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Trying to see where Rachel is going with her segment on Harry Reid tonight.

  2. Ametia says:

    Stop it MSNBC with that caption on TRMS “A Domestic terrorist type situation” MICHALE WADE PAGE WAS A DOMESTIC TERRORIST. PERIOD.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Report: Adelson Pressured Romney To Back Release Of Israeli Spy

    Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is asking Mitt Romney to support the release of an Israeli spy, reports the Daily Beast. Adelson is a major Romney backer. A Republican donor and several associates of both men told the Daily Beast that Adelson wants Romney to promise to release Jonathan Pollard, who is serving life in prison. Romney has rebuffed the request, according to the report.

    From the Beast:

    Romney has rejected the request so far, telling Adelson he would have to review the relevant intelligence material accessible to him as president before granting Pollard clemency, said the sources, who are relaying accounts of conversations from both Adelson and Romney. Romney “could not consider the Pollard situation because he doesn’t have access to the classified information,” one source said.

  4. rikyrah says:

    President Obama in Conneticut:

    Pres. Obama: “Mr. Romney wants you to pay for tax cuts for him. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. It’s Romney Hood!”

    bwa ha ha ah ha

  5. rikyrah says:

    Republicans point to Axelrod as Reid-Romney feud deepens
    Posted by
    CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash

    Washington (CNN) – Republicans on Monday stepped up attempts to undermine Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s unsubstantiated allegations that Mitt Romney went 10 years without paying taxes, saying Reid and other Democrats’ accusations are being orchestrated by President Barack Obama’s campaign – specifically his senior campaign adviser David Axelrod.

    To that end, Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer noted that Axelrod visited Senate Democrats for their weekly lunch last Tuesday. Later that afternoon the Huffington Post story published with Reid’s allegations about the presumptive GOP nominee not paying any taxes.

    You’ve got to wonder if the so-called source is Axelrod himself,” Spicer told CNN. “Hours after meeting with Axelrod, Reid comes out and makes baseless accusations?”

  6. Ametia says:

    On Hardball, Mark ‘DICK” Halperin says Romney won’t release his tax returns, because HE’S PRIVATE.

    WHAT.THE.FUCK? What a water-carrying toady. GTF out of the presidential race, Mitt, cause your life is going to be scoured from corner to corner.

    • rikyrah says:

      say it again, Ametia.


      and, if Candidate Barack Obama had said such a thing…

      well, we know what would have happened.

      • Ametia says:

        Teh corporate media puppets are trying to cover for THIS MOFO. I’m getting on Twitter by the end of the week, and will be POUNDING the shit out of these fools.

  7. Ametia says:

    Fire destroys Missouri mosque in second blaze at the Islamic center in 5 weeks; no injuries
    By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, August 6, 5:45 PMAP

    JOPLIN, Mo. — Investigators say it will take a few days to determine if the fire that destroyed a southwest Missouri mosque was arson.

    Michael Kaste, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City office, said Monday that the agency is taking the investigation into the fire at the Islamic Society of Joplin very seriously. He says the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms together have about 30 investigators working to determine the cause.

    No injuries were reported.

    Jasper County officials say patrols at the mosque had been stepped up since a July 4 fire at the mosque was determined to be arson. The FBI has released a video of a man appearing to set the July 4 fire and is offering a $15,000 reward in that case.

    Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  8. rikyrah says:

    First Signs of Trouble for GOP
    by BooMan
    Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 02:31:32 PM EST

    If 2012 is going to be a wave election (either way) we will begin to get some signs of it before too much longer. Both sides still have very large arrows in their respective quivers, so we can’t assume that small signs today won’t be reversed or overwhelmed by future events. Still, we are reaching the point where data is meaningful and there are two things I saw today that seemed like they might be the first omens of a blowout.

    The first came in an interesting article from Steve Singiser from Daily Kos Elections. Mr. Singiser explained what we can learn from partisan (or internal) polling. We know these polls are unreliable, but we also know that politicians don’t release polls that show them doing badly. If one party’s politicians are releasing lots of internal polls, and the other party’s politicians are not responding, that’s a sign of a coming wave.

    In 2010, sixty-one percent of released internal polls were issued by Republicans. So far, this year, fifty-eight percent of released internal polls have been issued by Democrats.

    The second sign of a wave election I saw today came from the extensive polling of Democracy Corps. Their introductory note tells the story

  9. rikyrah says:

    6 Aug 2012 12:17 PM

    Romney’s Undecided Voter Problem
    by Patrick Appel

    Could cost him the election:

    Approximately half of undecided voters have an unfavorable impression of Romney, while his favorability ratings are mired in the teens. That’s an average net-favorable rating of -33, which is all the more remarkable considering that about one-third of voters didn’t offer an opinion of Romney at all. Put differently, Romney is disliked by an astonishing 75 percent of undecided voters who have formulated an opinion of the Republican nominee

    Last week, Larry Bartels and Lynn Vavreck took a close look at Republicans still making up their minds:

    Undecided Republicans are twice as likely as other Republicans to say they favor gay marriage (40 percent), twice as likely to express positive or neutral attitudes toward African-Americans (31 percent), and only half as likely to deny the existence of global warming (23 percent). Only 42 percent favor repealing Obamacare (compared with 78 percent of other Republicans). These are the sorts of Republicans most likely to have been alienated by Romney’s dogged appeals to “the base” during the Republican primaries. Whether he can moderate his image enough to win them back without exacerbating the common complaint that he “says what he thinks people want to hear” remains to be seen.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 08/06/2012
    Which candidates’ ideas would actually ease the economic crisis?
    By Greg Sargent

    The Chicago Booth School of Business regularly surveys a group of dozens of economists on pressing public policy questions of the moment. The group says it assembled this group to be geographically and ideologically diverse and to reflect a range of opinion in the economics profession.

    I have sent the dozens of members of this group a question: Which candidate’s economic ideas are more likely to ease the unemployment crisis and speed the recovery in the next few years, and why?

    The goal here is twofold: First, to see if we can establish whether there’s a consensus view among economists as to which candidate’s ideas would be more likely to help solve the most pressing national crisis of the moment. Second, to generate more discussion around this fundamental comparative question, which should be at the center of the presidential race, but oddly isn’t the subject of nearly enough reporting or analysis, particularly given that the race is supposed to be all about the economy.

    The responses have only just begun trickling in — I will be posting more as I get them — and the first few favor Obama.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:55 PM ET, 08/06/2012
    Why 2012 is not 1980
    By Greg Sargent

    With Obama maintaining a small but persistent lead in national polls — and a seemingly larger one in key swing states — the Romney campaign has taken to comparing this race to the 1980 campaign, in which Jimmy Carter held a lead until voters swung sharply to Ronald Reagan in the final stretch. “Romney aides believe strongly that this race will play out like the 1980 campaign,” Byron York wrote recently.

    This race will all but certainly tighten this fall, and it remains a toss up. But the comparison to 1980 struck me as flawed. I checked in with former Reagan adviser Ed Rollins, who worked communications on that campaign, and he agrees — there are very significant differences that make a last minute swing far less likely.

    Reason one: Obama is a better and more likable politician than Jimmy Carter was, and Romney has not proven himself to be Ronald Reagan.

    “There’s no question that on his best day, he’s not a Ronald Reagan,” Rollins said of Romney. “Traditionally incumbents don’t do as well in debates as challengers for the simple reason that challengers have to stand on the stage and look like an equal. Romney can do that, but Obama is good. He’s likeable. Carter was never likeable.

  12. rikyrah says:

    ‘We’ve got to get this guy elected in the U.S. Senate’
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 9:16 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney was in Indiana over the weekend, a traditionally-Republican state that President Obama carried in 2008, but which seems very likely to flip from “blue” to “red” in 2012. Romney didn’t talk to Hoosiers because he’s afraid of losing the state, so much as he stopped by to pick up more money for his extremely well-financed campaign.

    But perhaps more interesting than where Romney campaigned is whom he campaigned with.


    For those who’ve forgotten, Mourdock has positioned himself as one of the most extreme statewide candidates in the country. Two weeks ago, the guy equated the successful rescue of the American automotive industry with slavery. On health care, Mourdock has said he’s entirely comfortable with employers denying coverage to employees with cancer in order to “keep their health care costs down.” On entitlements, he supports deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare, both of which he considers unconstitutional.

    After defeating Lugar in a GOP primary in May, Mourdock told multiple news outlets, “I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

    Romney seems to think putting Mourdock in the Senate will “get things changed.” I suppose that’s true at a certain level, but maybe the political world should spend some time defining “things” and “change” between now and Election Day.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A closer look at Romney’s real-estate problem
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 1:20 PM EDT.

    One of Mitt Romney’s mansions seems to have generated quite a bit more attention than the others. The beachfront home in La Jolla, Calif., was bound to raise more eyebrows — it’s the one Romney is quadrupling in size, adding a car elevator and a “subterranean mansion.”

    But the L.A. Times has a fresh look at the story today, noting some details I hadn’t seen before (thanks to reader R.P. for the tip).


    Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee for president whose wealth is estimated at $250 million, has rejected calls from Democrats and Republicans to release his income tax returns prior to 2010. But San Diego County assessor records shed light on one sliver of the couple’s personal taxes during that time: a months-long effort to reduce their annual property tax bill.

    Now, it’s jarring enough that someone who hasn’t earned a paycheck in a decade can pay cash for a $12 million beachfront mansion. It’s also odd that Romney hired a lobbyist for his house.

    But in this story, we learn that Romney desperately wanted local officials to believe his home had lost nearly half its value a mere seven months after he bought it. Why? So he could pay less in taxes.

    As it turns out, the local assessors weren’t going for it, and the Romneys had to settle for a more modest reduction. But did the candidate really have to fight to lower his property-tax bill after he’d already paid cash for a car-elevator mansion?

  14. rikyrah says:

    Charts: Just How Small Is the Super-PAC Gazillionaire Club?
    A mere 47 people are responsible for more than half of all super-PAC cash.
    —By Andy Kroll and Tasneem Raja

    | Fri Aug. 3, 2012 3:30 AM PDT44.

    The 2012 elections are on track to be the nastiest in recent memory. By the tail end of primary season, in May, 70 percent of all presidential campaign ads were negative, up from a mere 9 percent at the same point in 2008. The culprits for this spike in attack ads were super-PACs and shadowy nonprofits, which together dominate the growing universe of outside political groups poised to spend billions of dollars this election season.

    Now a new report from the liberal think tank Demos and the nonpartisan US Public Interest Research Group has revealed how what has been called a “tsunami of slime” is funded by a tiny cadre of wealthy donors.

    Just 1,082 donors—a group small enough to fit inside a single high school gymnasium—accounted for 94 percent of all individual donations to super-PACs from January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Those 1,082 donors amount to just 0.00035 percent of the US population.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Everybody Hates Mitt
    Paul Waldman
    August 6, 2012
    This time, it’s personal.

    A new e-book from Glenn Thrush and the folks at Politico contains this interesting tidbit concerning Barack Obama’s feelings about Mitt Romney:


    A brief digression: as John McCain taught America, you can be a war hero and also be a jerk; the latter doesn’t subtract from the former. But McCain is the one politician who is always defined by the most admirable thing he ever did, even though it happened four decades ago, while most politicians are defined by the worst thing they ever did. In any case, assuming Thrush’s reporting is accurate, it’s interesting to see the famously cool and detached Barack Obama actually displaying emotions.

    It’s a reminder that politicians, even presidents, are human beings. If someone was going around the country every day telling anyone who would listen that you sucked at your job, and not only that, you also don’t really understand or believe in America, you’d have to be the Dalai Lama not to decide that that person is, down to his very core, an asshole.

    Of course, Mitt Romney is a special case. As Kevin Drum says, “something about the presidency seems to have brought out the worst in him. His ambition is so naked, his beliefs so malleable, his pandering so relentless, and his scruples so obviously expendable, that everyone who spars with him comes away feeling like they need to take a shower.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The More They See of Him…
    by Michael Tomasky Aug 6, 2012 10:23 AM EDT

    This is not broadly remarked upon, but have you noticed that Romney’s favorability ratings, after heading the right direction in spring and early summer, are going southward again? This CNN survey from last week is representative of the stuff I’ve seen:

    According to the Pew Research Center survey, 37% of respondents said they hold a favorable view of the presumptive GOP nominee, compared to 41% in June.

    In its findings, Pew noted that July marked the sixth consecutive month in a row in which more people held an unfavorable view of Romney than a favorable view.

    The poll shows that the former Massachusetts governor’s rating significantly improved between March and June, when other GOP contenders dropped out of the race and the Republican base united around Romney.

    Since then, however, the candidate has struggled to maintain his image, according to the poll, as he battles head-to-head against President Barack Obama’s fully-loaded re-election campaign.

    Remember: In the spring, when he was locked in his mud-match with Rick Santorum and pandering to the right and outspending poor Rick seven to one in all those states, he was viewed rather poorly. Then all the experts said, well, now that that’s over, and he can move toward the center and he’s not in a daily pissing match, views will of him will improve.

    And they did. Until…until what? We don’t know for sure, but I doubt it’s anything specific. I think it’s just general exposure, and people just don’t like the guy.

  17. rikyrah says:

    : Republicans Are ‘ A Bunch Of Cowards’ For Ignoring Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republicans are still trading shots at one another over the issue of Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns. It’s hard to believe this fight hasn’t even lasted a week yet.

    David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff, said in an interview with Politico Sunday night that Republicans were “cowards” for avoiding the issue. Here’s Krone:

    “They’re a bunch of cowards, and they’re avoiding the issue. Lindsey Graham, Reince Priebus — they’re a bunch of henchmen for Romney, and they’re all reading off the same talking points. They couldn’t hold a candle to Harry Reid.”

    Krone added: “What Harry Reid said is the fact of what he was told. To turn it around, all their childish rants this weekend about calling Reid a ‘liar’ and all that, it just shows you how scared they are that Harry Reid was telling the truth.”

    Read more:

  18. rikyrah says:

    Why Does Mitt Romney Want To Restrict Voting Rights For More Than 900,000 Ohio Veterans?
    By Guest Blogger on Aug 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Our guest blogger is Jon Soltz (@jonsoltz) is a two-tour Iraq veteran and Chairman of

    When I read stories this weekend that said the Obama campaign was suing to restrict the voting rights of military in Ohio, my blood got boiling. Of course, Think Progress has already documented that story, inflamed by the Romney campaign, is patently false. In fact, the Obama campaign was suing to block an Ohio law which restricts a very successful early voting program in the state. The President’s campaign was trying to keep expanded voting rights in place for everyone, military included. So, why am I still so disturbed?

    Because Mitt Romney, by supporting the Ohio law that would do away with three days of early voting for all but those covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act (‘UOCAVA’), is supporting the restriction of voting rights for as many as 913,000 Ohio veterans. This includes military retirees with over 20 years of service and multiple deployments. In short, Mitt Romney supports efforts to make voting more difficult for the very people who have put their lives on the line after swearing an oath to uphold our Constitution and democracy.

    Once you leave the military, you are no longer covered by UOCAVA. Your voting rights are the same as any civilian. That means the early voting law which Mitt Romney wants to undo, provided hundreds of thousands of Ohio veterans with more of an opportunity to vote. By all accounts, Ohio voters liked and used the early voting law. In 2008, nearly one-third of all ballots was cast under the early voting measures, surely many of them veterans.

    Interestingly, the press reported that 15 military and veterans’ groups supported Romney’s position. Yet on Friday, the Obama Campaign actually signed a brief to the court that backed the petition of those groups – welcoming them into the case, because the Obama campaign says it wants to ensure that military voters aren’t kept from early voting. Now that we know the truth, I hope those groups will come out and fully support the President’s campaign, in court. Because if they don’t, the change in law will hurt so many who have served in uniform.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Watch Their Harry Reid is a Liar Strategy Crash and Burn

    Republicans are learning the hard way that calling Harry Reid a liar is a strategy that is blowing up in their faces.

    Our adventure begins with Sen. Lindsey Graham repeating the GOP talking point that Harry Reid is a liar.

    Sen. Graham and the rest of the Republican Party didn’t know it, but their strategy was about to backfire. After Graham’s segment, the Obama campaign’s Robert Gibbs hit CNN and made the Republicans pay.

    Lindsey Graham spent 60 seconds calling Harry Reid a liar. Robert Gibbs spent 4:20 answering Candy Crowley’s questions about Harry Reid by talking about Mitt Romney’s foreign bank accounts and his tax returns.

    Every time that Republicans call Harry Reid a liar, they are keeping Mitt Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns in the news. The size of the transcripts for Graham and Gibbs tell the story.

    Republicans are actually making things worse for Mitt Romney by calling Harry Reid a liar. When Republicans talk about Harry Reid, they are also talking about Romney’s tax returns, and Mitt Romney has put his party in a no win position.

    There are a dozen different ways that Republicans could address Reid’s accusations, and they have chosen the worst option. The liar, liar pants on fire strategy is only effective if it can be proven that Reid is lying. Since Romney won’t provide the proof, Republicans have given the Democrats the gift of an endless loop of conversation about Romney’s tax returns.

  20. rikyrah says:

    .Romney Persona Non Grata in Italy for Bain’s Deal Skirting Taxes

    Mitt Romney skipped Italy on his swing through Europe. That was probably prudent.

    .That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day. Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid.

    Bain funneled profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate strategy for avoiding income taxes in other European countries, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now has a total market value less than what it paid Bain and other investors for the directory business.

    In Italy, the deals have spurred at least three books, separate legal and regulatory probes and newspaper columns alleging investors made a fortune at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Boston-based Bain wasn’t a subject of the inquiries, which didn’t result in any charges

    • Ametia says:

      Here’s Romney shopping for his TAX RETURNS

      Mitt Romney goes grocery shopping. A pool of reporters and photographers grab a glimpse of Romney as he runs errands Aug. 6 in Wolfeboro, N.H.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Featured Postprevious | next The ‘Missing Evidence’ In Romney’s Tax Records
    August 6th, 2012 12:32 am

    Harry Reid has provoked outrage among liberals as well as conservatives, who seem to believe he has violated propriety by repeating gossip about Mitt Romney’s taxes. The Senate leader says someone connected with Romney told him that the Republican candidate paid no income taxes for a period of ten years. Offended by Reid’s audacity, commentators on the right have indicted him for “McCarthyism” while others on the left have accused him of inventing the whole story.

    Evidently the chief complaint against Reid — aside from aggressiveness unbecoming a Democrat — is that he cited “an extremely credible source” who he has so far declined to name. Some journalists have gone so far as to suggest that Reid must be lying because he won’t identify the source.

    Despite all this righteous tut-tutting among the great and the good, in newspapers and magazines as well as on television, Reid’s critics simply have no way of knowing whether he is telling the truth or not. From the beginning, Reid himself admitted forthrightly that he has no way of being absolutely certain whether what he was told is factual or not, although he believes the person who said it was being truthful.

    • Ametia says:

      Screw the journalist and CNN’sCandy Crowley in particular, who nearly STROKED out over Robert Gibb’s comments yesterday on State of The Union.


  22. rikyrah says:

    August 06, 2012 10:22 AM

    The Straw That Broke Obama’s Back

    By Ed Kilgore

    If you need a good chuckle this morning, and I suspect you might, take a look at Jennifer Rubin’s WaPo blog, which is devoted, as it often is, to breathtaking pronouncements that American Jews are on the brink of abandoning Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, which will in turn trigger that president’s and that party’s final, much-deserved, plow-and-salt-the-earch destruction, forever and ever, amen. Rubin is often, perhaps even mostly, wrong, but almost never in doubt.

    What makes today’s installment hilarious is that Rubin triumphantly cites as the unmistakable sign of impending disaster for Obama among Jews the defection of Marty Peretz, “maybe Obama’s most vocal Zionist backer in 2008.”

    I don’t remember exactly when Marty turned on Obama, but it couldn’t have been much more than fifteen minutes after the Inauguration. By 2010, he was saying things like this:

    Just about every principle of President Obama’s foreign policy has been exposed as, at best, stupid and, at worst, treacherous.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Reed, religious right find benefactors for 2012 plans
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 11:20 AM EDT.

    When we consider the Koch brothers’ investments in the 2012 race, we tend to think of Americans for Prosperity and the massive amount of money going into attack ads targeting President Obama.

    But there’s more to Charles and David Koch’s efforts than just inundating voters with television commercials. Bloomberg News reported last week, for example, the Republican billionaires are working on initiatives related to voter turnout, phone banks, voter registration, and party building.

    What’s more, the Huffington Post reported over the weekend that the Kochs have also taken an interest in the religious right movement.

    A conservative group led by longtime political activist Ralph Reed has budgeted $10 million for a major 2012 election push to turn out the religious right and block a second term for President Barack Obama, a top executive with his organization told the Huffington Post.

    The Faith and Freedom Coalition’s effort, which will include voter registration drives at NASCAR races in Florida, Virginia and other key swing states, is part of a much broader attempt to reactivate millions of socially conservative voters to not only defeat Obama but help some favorite conservative congressional candidates.

    Reed’s group isn’t alone — Concerned Women for America and the Pennsylvania-based Let Freedom Ring are engaged in their own election-year efforts — but it’s the highest profile outfit with the most ambitious election-year plans.

    Though the report didn’t say exactly how much money the religious right is getting for the 2012 endeavors — it appears to be in the tens-of-millions-of-dollars range — but Huffington reported the money is coming from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, John Templeton Jr., and “organizations that receive funding from the billionaire Koch brothers.”

    The report coincided with new reports on Mitt Romney’s private meetings with religious right leaders, including James Dobson.

    The religious right, as a movement, clearly lacks the influence and power it used to enjoy, but when Reed has a $10 million election-year plan, wealthy benefactors extending support, and Romney kissing his ring, it suggests Christian conservatives remain politically-relevant players.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Why I support President Obama
    Last edited Sun Jul 15, 2012, 10:58 PM USA/ET – Edit history (12)

    A longtime conservative friend replied on my facebook post about being a strong supporter of president Obama. She said, “I am asking in a completely civil manner why are you supporting this man?”

    This was my reply:

    The Reasons I Support Barack Obama –

    I support President Obama because he represents many of the ideals I believe in; fairness, compassion, service, (authentic) family values, patriotism, compromise and love of country not bound by slogans or political idealism. He is smart enough to realize things are not perfect in our country and we aren’t number one just because we are the U. S. of A. He is realistic enough to understand that dealing with the complex issues facing this country is much more difficult than a Toby Keith song, a right (or left) wing pundit or a magnetic ribbon would lead one to believe.

    I support him because he has faced constant, unrelenting, mean-spirited, dishonest criticism since before he took office and every day since. His patriotism has been questioned by every member of the right wing echo chamber especially FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh, every single day he has served. He has been called a socialist, communist, Nazi, Marxist, traitor, foreign, un-American, liar, magic negro, halfrican and worse. He has suffered innumerable lies about his ideology, religion, family and even his place of birth. No other president in the history of this country has faced such unfounded open hostility and disrespect. No other president has ever been called a liar by a member of congress during a State of the Union, no other president has had to show his birth certificate…repeatedly.

    I support him because he has done many things republicans insist they do well and he has done them better; during his administration, and as a direct result of his risky order, special forces, under his command, killed Osama bin Laden the man directly responsible for the 911 attacks (the man that Bush swore, and failed miserably, to get, “Dead or alive”). He ended the war in Iraq and is winding down the war in Afghanistan, two of the longest running wars in American history both started by his predecessor at the cost of a trillion or more dollars and the lives of over 6000 U.S. troops. Under his administration, more Al Qaeda terrorists have been killed by drone attacks and covert U.S. operations in 3 1/2 years than the Bush administration killed in twice that time. There hasn’t been another terrorist attack on American soil since he took office. He helped to end the reign of terror of a homicidal dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, in Libya and did it without losing a single American life. He has increased border security and the number of illegal aliens crossing into the United States has dropped to historic lows, in fact immigration from Mexico is actually at a negative number with more Mexicans going back home than coming into the U.S. Cyber attacks against Iran that probably set their nuclear program back several years and gained us useful actionable intelligence were implemented during his administration, probably by the CIA or some other nefarious black ops unit. But for all his foreign policy success he receives nothing but derision and backhanded compliments from his opponents. He works twice as hard, is three times as successful and receives none of the credit. Hell, if George W. Bush had done any of the things on this list they would be carving his face into Mount Rushmore, naming Airports and Highways after him and his stupid sneering mug would be on the $50 bill already.

    I support him because he has fought like hell to drag America into the twenty first century. He pushed for and won a health care plan which, though not perfect, is the first of it’s kind in our nation (and we are the last modern industrialized nation to provide basic healthcare coverage to it’s citizens…We’re Number Last!). The Affordable Health Care Act will insure 35 million more American citizens will have access to health care. He has made it possible for friends of mine to put their adult, but unemployed, children back on their policies so they don’t have to worry about financial ruin over some unforeseen illness or accident. He has stopped insurance companies from denying coverage to friends of mine whose children have down syndrome simply because they define a birth defect as a “pre-existing condition.” Republicans know that as more of this plan is implemented over the next 2 years, Americans will see that contrary to what they have been told, “Obamacare” will help them make sure they have affordable coverage for their families and that they can’t be cut off because of an expensive illness or denied simply because they are bad for billion dollar company’s bottom line. My parents and other senior citizens will save money on their life saving prescription drugs. The Tea Party claims of socialism and death panels will look more foolish in hindsight than they do to rational people now and the republican brand will be tarnished forever.

    I support him because he made another risky political decision to come out in support of gay marriage. He ended the horrible “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which discriminated and terminated the patriotic service of thousands of soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen when our country desperately needed them most. He has come out in support of gay Americans like no other serving President before him and has ended federal support of the asinine Defense of Marriage Act. He has brought gay rights to the forefront of American history and his stance has already had a dramatically positive affect on the national attitude towards gay marriage, especially in the black community. This man has made it possible for some of my gay friends who have served proudly in combat for years to now serve honestly as well. Maybe someday they will be able to legally marry the person they love.

    I support him because he has faced this unrelenting bitterness and undeserved hate with grace and honor, compassion and humility. His speeches still have the power to inspire and move me like no other politician in my lifetime. He renews my sense of pride in our country. I don’t wince when he speaks to foreign leaders, I am instead filled with admiration and proudly say, “That’s my president.” He engages his opponents with tact, respect and facts. His is not a world of “with us or against us” rather a world of optimism and hope that we can work together through our differences to make this country better.

    I support him because he has aged 10 years in 3 because the job he faces every day has pressures and stress that the we will never come close to comprehending.

    I support him because he truly connects with people. You can see it in the crowds that gather to watch him speak and even in the faces of infants thrust into his arms. He comes from an imperfect but loving family, not unfamiliar to many, but in spite of the circumstances of his life (or maybe because of them), he went much farther than could possibly be imagined; a bi-racial child born in the sixties and raised by a single mom and his grandparents. A boy who struggled to fit in because of his racial and geographical diversity. A young man who beat the odds and attended one of the best universities this country has and became an intellectual leader under its tutelage. A man who chose service over monetary success and then beat the odds again by becoming a state, then United States Senator, then President.

    But most of all I support “this man” because he is my…he is our President. I believe in what he is trying to do and I see how much unfair opposition he faces every day for it. I respect him as our president but I respect him more and honor him as a man making sacrifices only a few can imagine. I am inspired by his patience. I am impressed by his fortitude and I am humbled by his service. He gives me hope for this beaten down, broke ass, bigoted country that I love and proudly served and when people ask if we can beat the odds and make this country a better, fairer more decent place to live for all Americans, he still makes me think, “Yes we can!”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Puzzling Answer
    By Mark Halperin | August 3, 2012

    In my follow-up question to Mitt Romney at his Friday press conference, he seemed within the space of one reply to give a hyper-partisan response in one breath and a broad call for bipartisanship in the next.

    Asked about how long it would take a President Romney to get major tax reform through Congress, the candidate said:

    “The length of time for tax reform if I became president is dependent, in part, upon whether we elect Republicans in the Senate and the House, and by what number. And so I can’t give you a precise prediction of how long it would take to put in place a full tax reform program until we have those individuals in place…”

    That seems like an extraordinary statement for a man who has criticized the incumbent for pushing through an agenda with Democratic-only votes. Romney is basically suggesting that the more members of his party win in November, the easier time he will have muscling through his kind of tax reform. It flies in the face of the notion that major tax reform, like all landmark legislation, requires a bipartisan compromise, both for passage and implementation.

    Read more:

  26. rikyrah says:

    Right-Wing Plan for Defeating Obama: Gin Up the Hate
    Stuck with a lackluster candidate, Tea Partiers focus their rage on the president.
    August 6, 2012 |

    Politics is an ugly business, the saying goes, and one aspect of that ugliness are the votes a devoted activist must cast for a candidate he doesn’t much like. Take candidate Mitt Romney, for instance. But if the big-money donors of the right have anything to say about, those right-wing voters will be turning out for Mitt Romney on election day.

    At a conference staged by David Koch’s Americans For Prosperity Foundation, Tea Party activists from around the country gathered in Washington, D.C. last weekend to hear famous right-wingers harangue President Barack Obama, and to learn what part they can play in securing the president’s defeat. This year, the anti-Obama rhetoric was typically sharp, while mentions of the Republican presidential candidate were few and far between.

    As Stephen Moore, columnist and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, told a roomful of activists at a breakout session: “I’m not here to promote Mitt Romney; I think he’s fine — I don’t think he’s the world’s greatest, most charismatic candidate…But I do think that this is such a critical, critical election…And none of us want to wake up on November 5th and think that we didn’t do everything that we could to make sure that the community organizer goes back to community organizing.”

    It was a sentiment echoed by activists from around the country. Ken Aschenbrenner, a petrochemical salesman, rode a bus up from North Carolina, which is often described as a battleground state. I noted that the conference attendees didn’t seem to be enthusiastic about Romney.

    “No, they’re not,” he said. “And I’ll be honest: he was not my first choice during the primary. However, he is who we have now, and we have to stand behind him. This election is not about electing Mitt Romney; it’s about getting President Obama out and saving our country — and recapturing our country.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:11 AM ET, 08/06/2012
    The Morning Plum: The Romney campaign’s disgraceful falsehood about military voting
    By James Downie

    Willfully misleading attacks from Mitt Romney and his campaign aren’t new: “You didn’t build that” and “Obama’s apology tour” and so on have been a staple for the Romney camp. But the latest from the Romney camp just may be their lowest attack yet:

    Despite a spate of headlines out of Ohio that push back on the notion that President Obama’s campaign is trying to strip military members of voting rights in the upcoming election, Mitt Romney’s campaign is drilling down on the claim.

    The article cited in the quote, from Buzzfeed, points out that while fraternal military groups are opposing the Obama campaign’s lawsuit, the groups “make no suggestion that the Democrats’ suit would restrict Ohio soldiers’ votes.” Their objection is purely “that the Obama move might set a precedent that giving soldiers special consideration is unconstitutional.” Despite the plain text of the various motions, the Romney camp is calling the Obama lawsuit “despicable” and an “outrage.” Not only are Republicans misleading voters, but they’re using our soldiers to do so.

    Such a disgraceful maneuver is just the latest sign that the Romney campaign has an increasingly weak hand. Yes, their fundraising remains strong, and Obama’s behind in cash on hand, but otherwise the fundamentals of the race look very bad for the former governor. As Dan Balz pointed out yesterday, hispoor performance in July “has only raised the stakes for what the presumptive Republican presidential nominee needs to do in August.” And as Peggy Noonan wrote over the weekend, the cliche that the race doesn’t matter until after Labor Day is no longer true: truly undecided voters are only four to five percent of the electorate already, and voters who might change their minds make up only a little over ten percent.

  28. Ametia says:

    US Atorney General James Santelle is speaking on the DOMESTIC TERRORIST


  29. Ametia says:

    Even In Florida Swing County, Minds Seem Made Up
    by Steve Inskeep-NPR

    Let’s take a picture of America in the latter months of an election year. We want to sense what’s on this country’s mind. So Morning Edition begins a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we’ll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.
    We begin in the swing state of Florida, in hotly contested Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa. The county voted for Republican George W. Bush in 2004, then for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008.

    Here, First and Main are two gravel roads that meet in a trailer park in a suburban area called Lutz. The trailers have grown over the years, residents say, into full-sized homes — some have permanent rooms or carports attached.

    Just down the street from First and Main, we encounter kids standing on a waist-high pile of gravel, along with their mother, Katrina Bordwell — and a story about change in Florida.



  30. rikyrah says:

    Does Romney camp really think Pennsylvania is in play?

    Real Clear Politics’ Scott Conroy has a nice look from inside the Romney campaign at this question, and the answer seems to be Yes. Two key takeaways: First, Note that one of the paths to 270 the Romney camp envisions requires picking off a state where Obama envisions a sizeable lead. Second, they won’t say so on the record, but the story reveals that Romney supporters are banking on the state’s voter ID law to help put him over the top. — gs

  31. rikyrah says:


    Willard’s taxes are important for a whole lot of reasons, the main one being – he’s running for President, and doesn’t think the RULES APPLY TO HIM.


    Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns Are Irrelevant to the Presidential Race
    by Peter Beinart Aug 6, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    Even if Harry Reid is correct and Romney evaded paying taxes, Democrats’ obsession with the issue diverts attention from the real debate—the difference between his politics and Obama’s, says Peter Beinart.

    Harry Reid isn’t the problem. Yes, the Senate majority leader shouldn’t go around accusing Mitt Romney of paying no taxes unless he can provide proof. But let’s assume that he’s right: that Romney legally evaded paying taxes and parked vast sums in offshore accounts. It still doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant to Romney’s fitness to be president.

    Romney broke the law, he’s a criminal. If, however, as the Democrats charge, he legally gamed the tax code in order to pay as little money as possible, he’s a typical American. Ask yourself this question: when tax time comes around do you a) ask yourself what’s fair to pay given your circumstances and the country’s needs; b) try to figure out how to pay as little as possible, often with the help of an accountant. If the answer is b, you and Romney basically did the same thing. Sure, he had better accountants and thus likely saved himself more money. But you both put your own self-interest ahead of the country’s, which is what most people do most of the time.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Romney gets caught lying about Obama, military voters
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 10:34 AM EDT.

    After spending the last several months paying attention to Mitt Romney’s habitual dishonesty at a granular level, I’ve become largely inured to his more routine, casual lies. Some of the deliberate falsehoods are just too common to get upset about.

    But once in a while, Romney tells a lie so blatant and offensive that it raises questions anew about the candidate’s character and what standards of decency he’s prepared to abandon to advance his ambitions.

    As Rachel explained on the show on Thursday, voting rights in Ohio have been a mess in recent cycles, and new voter-suppression tactics imposed by state Republican lawmakers are inviting “chaos” at the polls this fall. Of particular interest is a state policy that restricts early-voting rights: active-duty troops can vote up to three days before Election Day, but no one else.

  33. rikyrah says:

    ‘This is not the 1950s’
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 9:36 AM EDT.

    How important is reproductive rights and women’s health to President Obama’s re-election campaign? For the third time in less than a month, the Democratic campaign has released a television ad on the issue, putting women’s rights up front and center.

    In this new spot, viewers are introduced to two women, one of whom says, “This is not the 1950s. Contraception is so important to women. It’s about a woman being able to make decisions.” The other explained, “I think Mitt Romney’s really out of touch with the average woman’s health issues…. I don’t remember anyone as extreme as Romney.”

    The spot also shows Romney twice saying he intends to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood.

    To reiterate a point from last week, it’s fascinating to see Obama’s team focus so heavily on women’s health — an issue that, as recently as the spring, Republicans thought they might leverage as a culture-war wedge against the president.

    Will the 2012 race be defined by the culture war? Almost certainly not. But there are still plenty of voters who care deeply about social issues, and who were outraged by the “war on women” agenda pushed by GOP officials for much of the year. Obama and his team clearly believe they have the upper hand on reproductive rights this year, and the fact that Democrats are on the offensive speaks volumes about the efficacy (or lack thereof) of the right’s anti-choice, anti-contraception, anti-Planned Parenthood agenda of late.

    According to the Obama campaign, this new ad began airing in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. over the weekend.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Do Simpson-Bowles fans know what’s in it?
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 9:00 AM EDT.
    Associated Press

    Putting aside whether his ideas have merit, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) at least has a specific set of goals. He talked to CNN yesterday and presented his vision quite clearly: Graham is (a) outraged by proposed cuts to defense spending; (b) open to new government revenue but not through tax increases; and (c) convinced letting Bush-era tax rates expire is “stupid.”

    With that in mind, this exchange between Graham and Candy Crowley stood out for me.

    CROWLEY: So just quickly, yes or no, if the Democrats stay where they are and if the president stays where he is, would you be willing to say, fine, if we can’t reach a deal, taxes go up on everyone?

    GRAHAM: I’m willing to do the Bowles-Simpson plan. Not one person who has looked at this in a bipartisan way said you need to raise tax rates.

    This fascinates me because I have a strong hunch Lindsey Graham supports a deficit-reduction plan he hasn’t read.

    The South Carolina senator may have forgotten, but there’s a reason it’s called the “Simpson-Bowles plan” instead of the “Simpson-Bowles commission plan” — Republicans on the panel hated the recommendations and refused to sign on to the proposal. Why? Because among other things, it raised taxes — even more than President Obama’s debt-reduction plan — and slashed defense spending. It also allowed all of the Bush-era tax breaks to expire on time at the end of 2012.

    Indeed, Matt Yglesias asked a good question a while back: “Do Simpson-Bowles fans know what’s in it?”

    Lindsey Graham, that need not be a rhetorical question.

    Simpson-Bowles raises taxes, allows Bush-era tax rates to expire, and cuts Pentagon funding — three measures Graham considers unacceptable. Though Crowley didn’t ask it, my follow-up question for the Republican senator is, “Really?”

  35. rikyrah says:

    President X- Will Americans really elect a man in hiding?

    AdLib On August – 2 – 2012

    Along the way, many people have remarked that Mitt Romney looks like he came direct from Central Casting to play a President. Though they were talking about Romney’s appearance, they may have also nailed the entire Mitt Romney candidacy, that of the performance of someone who is an actor (albeit a poor one in a community theater production of “Wicked”), playing the role of someone he isn’t…namely, a viable candidate.

    It is unashamed gall that Mitt Romney and his campaign display in concocting one asinine excuse after the other as to why he is justified in withholding critical information about himself from the public. Clearly, the subtext here is that they are willing to take the damage from appearing as defiant and secretive than what would be worse, letting the public know who Mitt Romney really is.

    The key excuse Romney gives for cloaking so much of who he is and what he would do as President is that the Democrats and voters would “use it against him”. So the twisted logic is, “By hiding who I am from Americans, I can do all the specific things I never told you I would do once elected President.”

    There are some generic boasts he’s made about what he will do but killing “Obamacare”, bloating up the military, removing all regulations on polluters, and Wall Street and cutting taxes on the wealthy are just touching the expected Right Wing bases and highly questionable about being able to accomplish whether Democrats would retain the Senate majority or filibuster if they become the minority.

    The simple logic is of course, if Romney was planning on doing things that the majority of voters would approve of, he would tell them. The few generalities we do know about his plans all have to do with making the wealthy wealthier and more independently powerful at the expense of the rest of Americans. He only blathers on about moronic, pie in the sky magic tricks he will perform, creating millions of jobs, making everyone wealthy, saving education, reducing the deficit, discovering bacon that actually makes you lose weight, all without the details that would be necessary to accomplish many of these sometimes conflicting miracles.

    And as to how he sees things as a human being, that is classified information that he obviously feels would not help his chances in winning.

    Not that Romney’s primary directive is a mystery, he is an egocentric, greedy man who simply wants to possess the presidency and hasn’t hesitated to flip, flop, lie, pander and contradict himself in the most blatant ways to get there. A democratic campaign to him is a necessary evil (democracy is such an annoyance to people accustomed to being able to buy everything they want when they want it) that an Entitled One like himself must stoop to and view as an insult, openly showing spite towards the process of explaining to voters what he wants to do…as if they have any right to know that! He wants to be President and that should be all he needs to tell them! Okay, he’ll promise them ponies and free hamburgers for life if it gets him elected but insisting that he tells the public who he really is and what he really would do as President is an intrusion on his privacy.

  36. Ametia says:

    Usain Bolt defends Olympic 100-meter crown in breathtaking fashion

    LONDON — As the cameras flashed and the night sky lit up, Usain Bolt sprinted by his competitors. He kept running, screeching past the history books, lapping the sport’s icons and leaving the bar-stool debates in his dust. It really didn’t matter what numbers appeared on the stopwatch at the conclusion of one of the memorable races in Olympic history, and it didn’t matter that 80,000 witnesses spilled into the London streets in stunned amazement.

    The Unbelievable Usain Bolt Show at these Olympics was never intended to be a one-night engagement.

  37. Ametia says:

    August 5, 2012 7:00 PM
    Is sugar toxic?

    (CBS News) If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin.

    The following script is from “Sugar” which originally aired on April 1, 2012 and was rebroadcast on August 5, 2012. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta and Sumi Aggarwal, producers.;contentBody

  38. Ametia says:

    7 Climate Change Diseases to Ruin Your Monday
    Climate change is creating favorable conditions for several (unpronounceable, gross) diseases.

    —By James West
    | Mon Aug. 6, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

    From the known and treatable (Lyme disease) to the unpronounceable and potentially deadly (Cryptococcus gattii), climate change is giving gross diseases a leg up, clearing their way onward to the United States.

    Increased rainfall, warmer temperatures, dying reefs, and hotter oceans are handing illnesses that afflict humans—algal, fungal, mosquito-borne, tick-borne—a chance to spread, meaning diseases previously unheard in the US of are now emerging.

    George Luber an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the deadly fungal infection C. gattii, once considered limited to places like Papua New Guinea and Australia, “popped out of nowhere” when it first moved to Vancouver Island around the early 2000s. Scientists were alarmed by its readiness to set up shop in a new climate, well outside its comfort zone. If subtropical C. gattii could settle down in just any backyard, what was next?

    “You’ve got to be prepared, otherwise it will catch you off guard,” said Luber, a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Climate change will drive extreme events leading to the potential for multiple system failures…to upend all of the protections we have in place.”

    Read on, it’s HEALTHY for YOU!

  39. rikyrah says:

    Romney vs. Reid, Round II
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 6, 2012 8:22 AM EDT

    .Late last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed he’d heard from a Bain Capital investor that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid income taxes for 10 years. Republicans were livid — Reid wouldn’t identify a source, admitted he couldn’t substantiate the claim; and wouldn’t even say if he knew the rumor to be true.

    On the Sunday shows, the discussion focused on little else. For Romney, this wasn’t necessarily good news.

    On the one hand, GOP voices were on the offensive, condemning Reid for passing along second-hand innuendo. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus went so far as to call the Senate Majority Leader a “dirty liar.”

    And on the other hand, we saw Democrats also on the offensive, asking why Romney doesn’t just release his tax returns.

    In this clip, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) told CBS, “Mr. Romney could give us the proof that he has paid taxes consistently. The fact is, Bob, Mitt Romney wants the American people to trust him with the presidency, but he won’t trust us with his tax returns. All he has to do is release his tax returns. The question that I think is this: why is Mitt Romney refusing to give us his tax returns? The people want to know why he has his tax returns, Bob, he gave them to John McCain for, I think, 23 years. Why is he now, since he’s seeking the presidency, saying to the American people, ‘you don’t deserve to see my tax returns’? That’s a legitimate question in the minds of the American people.”

    Strickland was one of many to make the same case. Indeed, it wasn’t just Democrats — former Reagan/Bush campaign chairman and Republican strategist Ed Rollins told Fox Romney should disclose more. “Two years is not enough, obviously,” Rollins said.

    I continue to think the right’s underlying point about Reid has merit, even if they cede the high ground with ridiculous rhetoric like Priebus’. Whether I like the candidate in question or not, expecting presidential hopefuls to respond to every unsubstantiated rumor just isn’t fair. (If Mitch McConnell announced this morning, “I heard from a secret source that Barack Obama once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die,” I don’t think the president would have a responsibility to prove otherwise.)

    But I also think Romney has to release his tax returns.


    The underlying GOP strategy here makes sense — if they can discredit Reid’s accusation, they hope it will effectively end the demands for more disclosure. But that’s silly. The need for scrutiny of Romney’s tax returns was obvious long before Reid piped up last week, and is based on a series of legitimate questions, including controversies surrounding Romney’s Bain background, offshore finances, controversial investments, unanswered questions about his individual retirement account that somehow ended up with more than $100 million, and claims about his business that contradict SEC filings.

    What’s more, we know the Republican candidate was willing to turn over 23 years of tax returns to John McCain’s campaign team four years ago, but for reasons he can’t explain, Romney doesn’t want American voters to see what McCain saw.

    And taking a step back, by even engaging Reid, and watching Romney punch down at the senator, Republicans are only helping keep the larger story alive — Romney’s secret tax returns remain the campaign story on the front burner, taking the focus away from everything else the GOP wants to talk about.

    Put it this way: both sides were on the offensive over the weekend, but only one side is smiling.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 05, 2012 10:48 AM

    Today in Mitt-Romney-Lies-Like-a-Rug

    By Kathleen Geier

    Via Think Progress, Mitt Romney, on his Facebook page, is claiming that President Obama is running to the courts to prevent members of the military from voting in Ohio. Saith the Mittster:

    President Obama’s lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state’s early voting period is an outrage. The brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I’m entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I’ll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them.

    But as Think Progress’s Judd Legum points out, this is a big fat lie. Earlier this year, the Republican Ohio state legislature, in keeping with nation-wide Republican efforts to restrict ballot access, eliminated early voting in the state, except for members of the military. (Gee, I can’t imagine why they might have made an exception for the military, of all groups! Can you?) The Obama administration filed a lawsuit to restore early voting for all voters; its suit does not in any way attempt to restrict military early voting. Even Fox News, of all sources, acknowledges this.

    I’m certain that Romney, or whatever staffer wrote the Facebook post for him, knows very well what the truth is here. But I think the point, strategically, is to muddy the waters, so far as ballot access and voter fraud issues are concerned. It is, after all, Republicans who are ideologically and operationally committed to massive voter suppression efforts. Especially when elections are close, as I believe the 2012 presidential election is likely to be, those efforts can make all the difference.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Sabotaging the Economy
    by BooMan
    Mon Aug 6th, 2012 at 08:47:46 AM EST

    If any of your friends or family think the Republicans’ obstinate and irrational ways are not screwing up the economy, they should consider this. Morgan Stanley surveyed businesses in July and found that 40% of them are slowing their hiring and investments because of the uncertainty created by “the fiscal cliff.” And, if you don’t think that the fiscal cliff is a Republican creation, you need to find a neutral source of news.

    In April 2010, the Nation Commission on Financial Responsibility and Reform held its first meeting. Better known as the Simpson-Bowles or Bowles-Simpson Committee, it was tasked with finding a bipartisan combination of spending cuts and new revenues sufficient to substantially reduce our structural deficit. However, in order to actually pass a proposal on to Congress, they needed a supermajority to agree to the plan. They failed to get a supermajority for a simple reason. The Republicans refused to consider a reasonable compromise that would involve a balanced approach. They would not agree to anything that violated their pledge to Grover Norquist not to ever raise taxes. As soon as the panel was announced, the left dubbed it the Catfood Commission. They dubbed it that because they assumed, correctly, that the Democrats would be willing to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security that would harm elderly people on fixed incomes. What the left didn’t know is that the Republicans would never offer a deal fair enough to give the Democrats the cover they would need to sign off on cuts that hurt old people. People still talk about the Bowles-Simpson plan as something the president should have embraced, but they forget that the plan didn’t actually pass.

    That set up a new round of obstruction when the Republicans swept to big victories in the 2010 midterm elections. Speaker John Boehner began negotiating a “Grand Bargain” with the president that would do something similar to what the Bowles-Simpson plan envisioned. But Boehner soon discovered that he couldn’t deliver the votes to make good on his compromises. He was undercut by his deputy, Eric Cantor, and he had to tell the president that the deal was off. The problem? The GOP would not compromise on revenues. As a result, the government was on the verge of defaulting on its debts.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    August 05, 2012 12:14 PM

    For-profit colleges: the subprime mortgage industry, 2012 version

    By Kathleen Geier

    Earlier this week, Tamar Lewin of the New York Times published an excellent story about a congressional report that was released earlier this week about for-profit colleges. I didn’t see this report, authored by a committee headed by Senator Tom Harkin, covered in any of the blogs I regularly visit so I wanted to be sure I wrote about it a little here. For-profit colleges are an increasingly significant and fast-growing segment of the higher education field, and this is a cause for alarm. These schools are bottom-feeding, malevolent institutions. Here’s what Senator Harkin told The Times about the committee’s investigation:

    In this report, you will find overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal student outcomes, taxpayer dollars spent on marketing and pocketed as profit, and regulatory evasion and manipulation … [snip] These practices are not the exception — they are the norm. They are systemic throughout the industry, with very few individual exceptions.

    Here are some more of the details cited in the article:

    — Students at for-profit colleges are charged, on average, four times a much for tuition as are students at public colleges and universities.

    — 80% of the revenue of for-profit colleges comes courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer — i.e., the federal government.

    — They use really sleazy and deceptive business practices to attract students. Lewin reports:

  43. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans Don’t All Claim Their Tea Party Ties
    By Albert R. Hunt Aug 5, 2012 10:01 AM CT

    Sean Duffy and Chip Cravaack are the emblematic politicians of the 2010 congressional elections: Tea Party-backed Republicans who won in heavily Democratic districts and succeeded two of the most powerful figures in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Duffy, a sports commentator and former district attorney, won the Wisconsin seat held for 40 years by the Democrat David Obey, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who retired. Cravaack, a Navy veteran and commercial-airline pilot, narrowly defeated House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar, the longest-serving House member from Minnesota.

    .These upsets reflected the energy of the Tea Party in 2010. Duffy’s campaign was fueled by his opposition to President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, which Obey helped craft; Cravaack was powered by his rejection of Obama’s health-care proposal, which Oberstar strongly backed.

  44. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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