Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Pointer Sisters Week!

Happy FRY-day, Everyone. We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s featured artists The Pointer Sisters.





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41 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Pointer Sisters Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Jon Huntsman Sr. Calls On Romney To Release His Tax Returns
    Source: TPM

    Jon Huntsman Sr. called on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns Friday, complaining that the Republican nominee was not being “fair” with voters.

    “I feel very badly that Mitt won’t release his taxes and won’t be fair with the American people,” Huntsman told the Washington Post. He said Romney “ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate.”

    Huntsman, father of Romney’s primary rival Jon Huntsman Jr., served as Romney’s 2008 finance chair. Some speculated that he might be the source for Harry Reid’s unsubstantiated claim that Romney paid no taxes for 10 years, based on the Utah billionaire’s past close relationship with Romney and his son’s more recent antagonistic one. Huntsman, while echoing Reid’s call for Romney to release his returns, denied to the Post that he was the source, calling the allegation “absolutely false.”

    Like Reid, Huntsman noted that Romney’s own father, George Romney, started the modern tradition of releasing tax returns for presidential candidates.


    Read more:

  2. Ametia says:


    CNN has joined Time Magazine and suspended Fareed Zakaria following his admission of plagiarism.

    “We have reviewed Fareed Zakaria’s TIME column, for which he has apologized,” CNN said in a written statement. “He wrote a shorter blog post on on the same issue which included similar unattributed excerpts. That blog post has been removed and CNN has suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.”

    Time Magazine suspended Zakaria earlier this afternoon after he admitted to plagiarizing an April article about the National Rifle Association by New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore.

    “TIME accepts Fareed’s apology, but what he did violates our own standards for our columnists, which is that their work must not only be factual but original; their views must not only be their own but their words as well,” Ali Zelenko, Time’s SVP of Communications, said in a statement. “As a result, we are suspending Fareed’s column for a month, pending further review.”

    Read more:

  3. Ametia says:

    August 9, 2012, 6:04 pm6 Comments
    Romney’s Bus Tour Gets Some Unwanted Company

    Mitt Romney is about to get some unwanted company on his upcoming bus tour across several swing states.

    The Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday that it will stage its own four-day bus tour alongside the Romney campaign’s trip through Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. The tour, called “Romney Economics: The Middle Class Under the Bus Tour,” will begin on Friday with a news conference in Alexandria, Va.

    Organizers said they would criticize Mr. Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts and his proposals for middle-class taxes. Democrats began a similar bus tour in June when Mr. Romney visited six swing states.

    “Throughout Mitt Romney’s career, middle-class families have frequently found themselves thrown under the bus as a result of his failed record and top-down economic policies,” the committee said in a news release.

  4. Ametia says:

    And Papa can go have a seat on the JOHN, with his Bullshit about Obamacare.

    Boston Globe reports: Papa John’s founder’s disingenuous complaint about Obamacare “If Obamacare succeeds in getting the big chains to at least offer a decent health benefit, everyone will be better off: Mom and Pop will have a more level playing field; the chains will be able to utilize their market clout to drive down health-insurance costs; and taxpayers won’t be obliged to cover free care for workers whose employers should properly provide it.”

    Sam Stein tweets: @samsteinhp How Papa John’s stock has fared in the burdensome Obama years

  5. Ametia says:

    Mitt’s having FITS over not releasing his tax returns

    Fire Dog Lake reports, “Americans Overwhelmingly Think Romney Should Release More Tax Returns:”

    Think Progress reports on the Republican pushback: “RNC Chairman Reince Priebus compared the overwhelming majority of Americans — including a growing number of Republicans — calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns to birthers, who sill claim that President Obama was born in Kenya.”

    Tax expert Daniel Shaviro writes “Even in 1994, no competent tax lawyer could in good faith have believed that Son-of-BOSS worked (although this may not have been obvious to anyone who was not a tax expert), and while I still don’t know enough to fully judge his true role in all this, I would say that, if he was actively involved and competently advised, it would, in my view, have shown disgusting and immoral behavior on his part.”

    And Angry Bear explores how Mitt Romney is still hiding his tax history:

  6. rikyrah says:

    How The Right Robbed Romney Of His Running Room

    Brian Beutler- August 10, 2012, 5:58 AM

    Mitt Romney wants to boast about his signature policy achievement — universal health care in Massachusetts — but the right won’t let him.

    It’s no secret that Romney has an uneasy alliance with the conservative base. But the movement’s reaction when he nodded at Romneycare wasn’t an isolated freakout about the one issue they disagree on. It was a warning to Romney that he veers from orthodoxy at his peril.

    When it became clear that Romney would be the GOP nominee, the right, suspicious of his moderate past, undertook an effort to rob him of his governing agency. That’s included constraining his options on everything from tax policy to his vice presidential pick. The clamor when he claimed credit for Romneycare exemplifies what happens when he bucks those constraints.

    “We are not auditioning for fearless leader,” Grover Norquist told conservatives at the CPAC convention in February. “We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.”

    Norquist went on: “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Real Reason Mitt Romney Is Losing and Will Lose:

    If he were a better man, Mitt Romney would have one of those dark mornings of the soul. He would wake up after a bender on virgin appletinis (known as “apple juice in a fancy glass” to the rest of us), unshaven, viciously moussed hair disheveled, and stagger into the bathroom in only his magic underwear. He’d tiredly root around for his penis and take a sputtering leak, as befits a man of his years. Then he’d look in the mirror, trying to remember what he did the previous night. He’d think about all the conflicting promises he made to donors, all the people he pretended to like. As he stared deeper into his bloodshot, sinking eyes, no longer assisted by copious amounts of highlighter, he might think about the past, think about how he made his money, how he spent it, how he didn’t care about all the people who fell by the wayside in his march to demonstrate that he was the king of profiting from the ruins of others, a fancy junkyard salesman who occasionally repurposed the heaps of metal into a working mousetrap, but was just as likely to merely polish the garbage and sell it. Yes, if Mitt Romney were another kind of man, an honestly self-reflective man, he might stare in the mirror, think about why most predictions were that he would lose the election that he had spent over half a decade running for, ponder the situation he found himself in, question his very existence, and conclude, “I am really a dick.”

    As people begin to write pre-mortem postmortems of Mitt Romney’s campaign, you’re going to see many question why and how, how in the world, indeed, could a candidate of Romney’s vintage be losing. There will be conservatives who are smug about Romney having never been a true crazy right-winger. There will be conservatives who try to throw him a life preserver, like bald demon Reihad Salam at CNN, whose “Why Mitt Romney Is Losing” editorial is full of floaties. For instance, Salam posits a fantasy Romney, one who actually comes up with plans to, say, regulate banks once the weak Dodd-Frank bill is burned by some fantasy Congress. On the left, Charles Blow in the New York Times says of the one-term governor’s strategy of just plain, fucking lying about what Barack Obama is doing, “Romney has to find a line of attack that works because there is a creeping feeling beginning to overtake part of the electorate that his candidacy is in trouble. The problem is that these sorts of desperate, baseless attacks only amplify the sense of panic.”

    But there’s one overriding reason that Romney’s candidacy was doomed: he is a completely unlikeable prick. And, unlike the fake self-aware Romney above, he doesn’t give a shit that he’s an unlikeable prick. In the world he existed in before running for president, one can be admired for dealing with others as an unfeeling asshole. That might be how cutthroat investment schemers work, but Romney is fast learning that people are not corporations. We give a damn who we’re dealing with and who’s fucking us over, and anyone who isn’t so deluded by swallowing the Rush Limbaugh chowder on Obama or just being plain racist can see that Mitt Romney is not only not someone you’d want to have a beer with, but he’s someone who, given the right circumstances and the right bar, you’d want to punch in the nose for being such a self-righteous cock.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    kay Says:

    I would just like to mention that all the while there has been a national media campaign and national campaign strategists there has also been an absolute army of organizers working in-county talking to individual voters. Paid people, although they aren’t paid all that much. That’s been going on since at least March, completely under pundit-radar.

    Romney has made no such effort. He is just now putting people on the ground. I think that fits with his entire world-view, where managers and money people matter, and lower-level workers don’t contribute to the success of any enterprise in any way, where he thinks he can just drop ads on swing states from 30,000 feet and thus control the narrative and he dismisses the importance of actually hiring people to camp in these counties and speak with voters face to face.

    If he thinks he can hire a big batch of temps to helicopter into these swing state counties after the convention, and he seems to, that all by itself says something about how he values WORK and WORKERS, and, not incidentally, VOTERS.

    That’s a management style, and it’s one we’re all too familiar with, where people at the top are valued; “geniuses”, and people at the bottom are interchangeable, last-minute, an after-thought.

    I don’t know how much the organizers influenced the swing state numbers but Obama hired them so he must think that the lowest level worker is essential to any success he may have. That’s a management style, too, and it’s much different than Mitt Romney’s.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 09:31 AM PDT

    Top Romney aide whines that Mitt’s the victim of big bad Barack Obama
    *by Jed Lewison

    Top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom says President Obama is being too mean to Mitt:

    Mitt Romney’s senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said President Barack Obama has “lost his credibility” with a series of attacks on his Republican rival.
    “When you start running ads accusing you opponent of killing people, then you have lost your credibility,” Fehrnstrom told reporters at a briefing at campaign headquarters today.
    “I don’t think a world champion limbo dancer could get any lower than the Obama campaign right now,” he added.

    It’s obvious that Fehrnstrom isn’t really outraged. Instead, he’s scared. He’s not indignant—he’s freaked out. Fehrnstrom is doing his best to turn two of Mitt Romney’s biggest liabilities—his tax return secrecy and his ruthless pursuit of his own self-interest—into assets. He wants people to think of Mitt Romney as the helpless victim of the Obama machine, but it’s not going to work, because these are both problems Mitt Romney created.

    When it comes to Romney’s tax returns, Fehrnstrom can whine all he wants about Harry Reid, but the bottom line is that Romney is the one who is refusing to come clean. Romney is the one who could answer all the questions by releasing his tax returns. It’s entirely in his hand. And as long as Romney keeps on hiding the tax returns, the speculation about what he’s trying to keep secret will continue to grow. The notion that this is somehow Obama’s fault is totally absurd.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Last Stand for White Conservatism
    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 10th, 2012 at 12:27:08 PM EST

    Brian Beutler says that conservatives won’t let Mitt be Mitt, while Ron Brownstein points out that Romney can break the record for winning white support and still lose the election. Somehow, those two things kind of melded in my mind.

    Beutler is referring specifically to the collective conservative freak-out that occurred when Romney spokeswomen Andrea Saul simply pointed out that, thanks to RomneyCare, no one in Massachusetts misses out on cancer treatment just because they lose their job. In a more general sense, Beutler is talking about the right’s desire to constrain and control Romney, reducing him to nothing more than an auto-pen that will sign their legislation.

    Brownstein delves into the demographics of the country and comes to a surprising conclusion:

    Polls at the time found that whites gave from 56 percent to 61 percent of their votes to Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George H.W. Bush in 1988. For each of those men, those crushing margins among whites translated into an electoral landslide. Each won at least 426 Electoral College votes and cruised in the popular vote.

    Yet this year, Romney could win as much as 60 percent of the white vote (or, amazingly, even slightly more) and still lose. The reason is the electorate’s changing composition. When Reagan was first elected in 1980, whites cast about 90 percent of the votes; even in Bush’s 1988 victory, whites represented 85 percent of all votes and minorities just 15 percent.

    But by 2008, after two decades of steady growth, minorities cast 26 percent of all votes. One recent analysis found they represent 29 percent of eligible voters for 2012. Even if the minority vote share remains flat at 26 percent, should Obama hold his 80 percent of it, he can win a national majority with slightly less than 40 percent of whites.

    The fact that Romney could roughly equal the towering performances of Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush among whites and still fall short ought to alert Republicans about the dangers of an electoral strategy so dependent on those voters alone. “If Republicans are going to be competitive at the presidential level over the next 10-20 years they have to do better among nonwhite voters, especially Asians and Hispanics,” says GOP pollster Whit Ayres. “[If you] basically win a landslide among whites and still lose, the handwriting is on the wall.”


  11. rikyrah says:

    Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM PDT

    So, Mitt Romney wants a debate over whether health insurance saves lives? Bring it on.
    *by Jed Lewison

    If you haven’t seen the ad that has got Romney so angry, it was released earlier this week by the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA. It tells the story of Joe Soptic, who in 2001 lost his job at a steel plant owned by Bain. When Romney’s firm shut down the factory, every worker lost his job and health insurance, but Romney and Bain made millions. Soptic’s wife was able to get insurance from her own job, but she soon lost that as well, and in 2006, she died of cancer 22 days after it was discovered during a visit to the emergency room.

    According to Romney’s campaign, to tell this story is to accuse Mitt Romney of murder. But that’s absurd. Mitt Romney is not directly responsible for the death of Soptic’s wife and nobody says he is.

    We’ll never know whether health insurance would have saved Soptic’s life, but at least it would have given her a better chance. And although Mitt Romney isn’t the only reason she didn’t have insurance, he was CEO and sole-owner of Bain Capital when Soptic lost the insurance that could have covered her.

    Romney’s campaign has pointed out that if Soptic had lived in Massachusetts, his wife would have gotten coverage there, thanks to Romneycare. But now Mitt Romney opposes extending Romneycare throughout the nation. He wants to repeal Obamacare, which would deny the security of health insurance to the Joe Soptics of the future, and the only reason he’s taken that position is to preserve his political viability within the Republican Party.

    So not only did Mitt Romney play a role in Soptic losing health insurance coverage, he now opposes the law that would make make sure that no American ever again will be forced to go without coverage. Thanks to Obamacare, every single American will have access to affordable health insurance starting in 2014. Mitt Romney wants to take that away.

  12. rikyrah says:

    August 10, 2012
    The GOP’s spiral of Big Lies
    American Prospect’s Paul Waldman joins the progressively palsied chorus of ‘Big Lie’-watchers:

    I cannot recall a single presidential campaign ad in the history of American politics that lied more blatantly than [Romney’s welfare ad]…. [T]hey decided that they don’t even have to pretend to be telling the truth anymore.

    For sure, this Romney obscenity isn’t his first. For at least a year he’s been prattling with virtual impunity about President Obama’s shameful apologies to the world and about Obama’s unprecedented debt and his zero job creation and his “massive defense cuts”–and if I itemized every lie the campaign would be over before I was finished. So I’ll stop. Besides, a recreation of Romney’s propagandistic crimes is a needless exercise; anyone reading this site already knows them, and even Romney’s base accepts that he’s a degenerate liar, which of course engenders what little love they do have for him.

    It also nearly goes without saying that Romney’s rolling deployment of the Big Lie is scarcely anything new in politics. If one is made of sturdy enough stuff, one may choose to recall the GOP’s 2010 congressional assault, which wallowed in the counterfeit hysteria of “death panels”; or the 2008 Palinesque Obama-as-terrorist maneuver; or, regressing a bit farther, W., Dick & Co.’s “mushroom clouds”; or one could roam still farther back, from the National Sozialistische Partei’s innovative work in ruthless propaganda to the profitably brutal Crusades. All were founded on hideous, and quite big, lies.

  13. rikyrah says:

    August 10, 2012
    Fox is forced to write news

    My only disappointment in Fox News’ latest poll is that it surveyed registered, and not likely, voters. Nonetheless the poll’s results are still a delight to read, and what’s more, Fox News’ coverage of the poll’s results positively exalt one to intoxicated heights of snickering ecstasy:

    Mitt Romney has had a tough couple of weeks on the campaign trail — and it shows in the latest Fox News poll….

    The president would take 49 percent of the vote compared to Romney’s 40 percent in a head-to-head matchup if the election were held today….

    The Obama campaign has spent heavily on advertising attacking Romney’s time at Bain Capital and his tax returns. And it appears to be working.

    You think?

    Nine points–that’s a virtually unbeatable number when translated into an electoral-college count. Most head-to-head polling statistics from a nationwide perspective are insultingly useless–It’s Obama up by two! It’s Romney down by one!–but generally any national lead in the 8-10+ point range reflects a sufficiently uniform advantage in requisite battleground states to spell a certain electoral-count victory for the (+) guy and utter doom for the (-).

  14. rikyrah says:

    The difference between tax returns and college transcripts
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:31 PM EDT.

    A national CNN poll released yesterday asked respondents whether Mitt Romney should release more tax returns. The results weren’t close: 63% of respondents said he should disclose more, while only 36% said he shouldn’t. (Among independents, it was a two-to-one margin.)

    This morning, however, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus described the issue as “ridiculous.” Why? Well, he didn’t get around to explaining why, exactly. He just doesn’t want to spend “any more time talking about this issue.”

    But as Igor Volsky noted, Priebus did add one related thought on the matter.


    Putting aside the fact that the country is in vastly better shape than it was four years ago — people do remember the fall of 2008, right? — Reince Priebus thinks questions about Romney’s secret tax returns are as legitimate as questions about Obama’s college transcripts?

  15. rikyrah says:

    Romney Claims Obama Has ‘Already Taken Over’ The Energy Industry
    By Rebecca Leber on Aug 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Mitt Romney spent his first full week back from Europe attacking President Obama for policies he has supported in the past.

    On Tuesday, the campaign accused Obama of gutting welfare, even though the administration had merely granted governors the kind of flexibility Romney himself had requested in 2005. On Thursday, Romney ignored his own record of mandating all health organizations in Massachusetts to offer women the morning after pill and portrayed an Obamacare measure that requires insurers to offer women birth control as a war on religion. And on Friday, the campaign capped off the week by incredulously arguing that Obama had “already taken over” the energy industry.

    This latest distortion touts a soundbite from Obama’s campaign speech about the auto industry turnaround, falsely suggesting that the president seeks to bail out every industry with government funds. In a press release, Romney claimed that Obama has already started the process with the energy sector.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Pick a smear and stick with it
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:30 PM EDT.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, Newsweek ran a cover story on Mitt Romney and “The Wimp Factor.” So last night, John Sununu engaged in a little projection.

    Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, known for his candor, took a jab at former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s book, “A Nation of Wusses,” and launched an attack line at President Barack Obama.

    “Obama hasn’t passed a budget in four years, he’s a wuss,” Sununu, a Republican, said Thursday on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “Obama has rejected the recommendation of his own Simpson-Bowles, on a budget package, he’s a wuss. He wants to lead from behind, he’s a wuss.”

    It’s always heartening to see Team Romney raise the level of the public discourse. We’ve gone from “Obamalogna” to “wuss” in just a couple of days. How inspiring.

    As a factual matter, this is an odd line of criticism. As we’ve discussed before, Romney’s afraid to offend conservatives; he’s afraid to push back against extremist rhetoric; he’s afraid of the religious right; and he’s afraid of Limbaugh. He’s afraid to release his tax returns because he thinks Democrats might be mean to him; he’s afraid to disclose his bundlers because he worries sunlight may scare his wealthy benefactors away; and he’s afraid to take a firm position on key issues because he thinks he’d lose.

  17. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    Lahru Says:

    I remember reading back before Obama won the election someone from Chicago was quoted. “He’s a very smart politician, so good in fact that he’ll cut his opponent off at the knees and make them belive they were born short”

  18. Ametia says:

    Where are you, Rikyrah?

    Murdering Joe “Obama doesn’t know how Washington works.”

    Paul Ryan is he ready for the job of VP?

  19. rikyrah says:

    With one’s health on the line
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:51 AM EDT.

    The New York Times ran a powerful“Life, Interrupted” column yesterday from Suleika Jaouad, a 24-year-old writer, offering readers a look at the health care system from a patient’s perspective.
    Like a lot of other young people, I never thought about health insurance until I got sick. I was 22, and my adult life was just beginning. But less than a year after walking across the stage at my college graduation, I received an unexpected diagnosis — acute myeloid leukemia — and with it came a flurry of consultations, tests and appointments. From early on, my doctors told me I would need chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

    But before the shock of the news could settle in — before I could consider where and how I would be treated — I did what most Americans must do when beset with a medical crisis: I called my insurance provider.

    Before I made that first phone call, I confess I didn’t know exactly what the word “premium” meant. And “co-pay” sounded to me like what happens when friends split the bill at dinner. Certainly, the term “lifetime limit” had no meaning to me yet…. Now, I was facing cancer — and I was beginning to get worried about coverage from an insurance plan I knew virtually nothing about.

    Jaouad not only had to focus on her medical treatments, she had to learn quite a bit about her coverage — which she currently has thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s provision that extends protections to young adults until they’re 26, and which shielded her from crushing medical bills she couldn’t afford.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Which way the wind is blowing
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:12 AM EDT.

    We discussed a side issue last week in the 2012 presidential campaign, which may have an impact in some key battleground states: wind power.

    While the wind production tax credit obviously won’t carry the kind of weight as jobs, economic growth, or health care, it’s become an interesting point of contention between President Obama and Mitt Romney in states like Iowa and Colorado, where even Republican policymakers believe the GOP presidential hopeful is being short-sighted.

    Obama was in Colorado yesterday, speaking not far from a wind turbine manufacturing plant, driving the point home.


    The estimable Michael Grunwald had a great item on this earlier today.

    Before President Obama took office, the U.S. had 25 gigawatts of wind power, and the government’s “base case” energy forecast expected 40 GW by 2030. Well, it’s not quite 2030 yet, but we’ve already got 50 GW of wind. We’ve also got about 5 GW of solar, which isn’t much, but is over six times more than we had before Obama. Mitt Romney has suggested that wind and solar are “imaginary” sources of energy, but they can now power 15 million homes, and their industries employ more than 300,000 Americans. That’s real.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The standards for ’embarrassment’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:41 AM EDT.

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Mitt Romney said Thursday that President Obama and his allies should be embarrassed over a controversial ad from a super-PAC supporting the president that links the death of a cancer patient to the GOP contender’s tenure at Bain Capital.

    “You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad,” Romney said on Bill Bennett’s radio show. “They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact-checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they’re wrong, and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them.”

    But the ad was released the same day as Romney’s welfare smear, which was as dishonest a national ad you’ll see in this campaign cycle or any other. Paul Waldman wrote this week, “I’ve been paying very, very close attention to political ads for a long time. In my former career as an academic I did a lot of research on political ads. I’ve watched literally every single presidential general election campaign ad ever aired since the first ones in 1952…. But I cannot recall a single presidential campaign ad in the history of American politics that lied more blatantly than this one.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    When the truth is deemed ‘half-true’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:30 AM EDT.

    The Obama campaign released an ad with an easily supportable claim this week. “You work hard, stretch every penny,” the voiceover says. “But chances are, you pay a higher tax rate than him: Mitt Romney made $20 million in 2010, but paid only 14 percent in taxes — probably less than you.”

    What’s wrong with this? Nothing. Romney freely admits he made $20 million in 2010, and acknowledges he took advantage of various loopholes that allowed him to pay only 14 percent on his millions. Is this “probably less than you”? Absolutely — the vast majority of working people pay a rate higher than 14 percent. (Team Obama even included the word “probably” just to cover its bases.)

    So, the Obama campaign made a claim, it’s is fully supported by the facts, and the Romney campaign never questioned the accuracy of the claim. What’s the problem? PolitiFact concluded the accurate claim is only “half-true.”

    There are two main ways to make this calculation, and they lead to opposite conclusions. While we believe that including payroll taxes in the calculation offers a more accurate picture of what the American public pays the IRS, it’s also true that the Obama ad didn’t specify which measurement it was using, and in fact used a figure for Romney — 14 percent — that was based on income taxes alone. On balance, then, we rate the claim Half True

    Let me get this straight. Obama says Romney paid 14 percent in taxes. Romney says Romney paid 14 percent in taxes. PolitiFact says the most “accurate picture” of what Americans pay in taxes would show that Romney paid 14 percent in taxes, less than most American workers.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Lolo Jones hasn’t seen any hooking up in Olympic Village, still wants to meet Tim Tebow
    by SteveDel

    If the Olympic Village is truly as sex-infested as everyone claims it is, it’s probably safe to assume Lolo Jones doesn’t partake in the festivities. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few months, you are well aware that Jones is one of the world’s most famous virgins. At 30 years of age, she says keeping her viriginity has been harder than training for the Olympics but is something she takes pride in. However, Jones insists she is not the only one not doing any fooling around in the Olympic Village.

    While she could be just covering for them, Lolo said she has not seen any hooking up going on between her track and field teammates and others in the Village.

    “I’m in a suite with seven girls, and I guess we don’t have any sluts on the team,” Jones said, according to USA TODAY Sports. “I haven’t seen any hookups. I’m sure it’s going on, though, but I haven’t heard any juicy details yet.”

    Fair enough. If you believe Hope Solo, it’s definitely going on and there are definitely plenty of juicy details. Ryan Lochte said something similar to Lolo about not knowing of any crazy sex stories, but there is a reason it becomes big news when unauthorized batches of condoms make their way into the dorms. Sex in the Olympic Village is a big business. Just ask Durex — the official condom of the London Olympics.

    With the Olympics coming to a close, Lolo also reiterated that she would still like to meet Tim Tebow.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 05:39 PM ET, 08/09/2012
    Romney’s historically poor performance with Latinos
    By Jamelle Bouie

    That Romney has a problem with Latino voters is well known. But the depth of this problem remains an open question. Can he match John McCain’s support — the Arizona senator won 31 percent of Latinos in 2008 — or is he stuck in the mid–20s, as is true in most recent surveys?

    Latinos are an under-polled demographic, so the usual caveats apply, but a new analysis from Univision shows Romney with historically terrible support among Hispanic voters. Averaging the results of 10 surveys, beginning last fall, Univision found President Obama with 66.7 percent support among Latinos — almost identical to his 2008 performance — and Romney with 22.9 percent support. For comparison’s sake, here is how other Republican presidential candidates have performed with Latinos over the last 30 years:

    John McCain: 31 percent in 2008.
    George W. Bush: 44 percent in 2004, 35 percent in 2000.
    Bob Dole: 21 percent in 1996.
    George H.W. Bush: 25 percent in 1992, 30 percent in 1988.
    Ronald Reagan: 34 percent in 1984, 37 percent in 1980.

    According to the most recent poll of Latino voters — from NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and Telemundo — if the election were held today, Romney would take 23 percent of the Latino vote, the smallest total for any Republican candidate since Dole.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The balance trap

    by N.L.

    FOR all the scrutiny journalists heap upon others, it is remarkable how little attention we pay to our own craft…

    One of those external critics is Barack Obama. Unsurprisingly, the New York Times reports that the president is frustrated by the fourth estate. But Mr Obama has a point. According to the Times, he has complained about the press’s focus on political point-scoring and, more interestingly, of “false balance”, or how reporters give equal weight to both sides of an argument even when one side is factually incorrect.

    The problem of balance is neatly explained by a British hack, Nick Davies, who wrote a seminal (and underrated) book on falsehood, distortion and propaganda in journalism called “Flat Earth News”. Mr Davies does a bit of teaching, and he has his students imagine that they are asked to write a report on what the weather will be like tomorrow. They interview a woman in one room who says it will be sunny. Then they interview a man in another room who says it’s going to rain. Your job, as a journalist, is not to simply write up what you have been told, he says. Your job is to look out the window.

    Writing a “balanced” version of this story would produce an article that reads “he says it will rain” but “she says it won’t”. You have all these quotes fluttering around like “butterflies in a jar”, going nowhere. But there is a bigger danger lurking. What if the man who says it is going to rain is lying? What if he is an umbrella salesman? Your options are to either make a judgment about the truth, or print what you have been told. But if you balance an article when you know that all the evidence points to a sunny day tomorrow, then you are participating in a denial of truth.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Ry Cooder: ‘Mitt Romney is a dangerous man, a cruel man’
    The veteran guitarist on his new album of protest songs, Election Special, and how the Republican party is out to destroy America and Barack Obama’s presidency

    …… Question: Is Mitt Romney the least worst candidate to have emerged from the Republican ranks?

    I don’t agree with that. Romney is as bad as anyone can be. He’s a dangerous man. He’s a cruel man. He’s a perfect creation for what the Republican party is all about. And that is to say, a rapacious capitalist. Anyone who ran Bain Capital is not your friend. All they’re going to do is rape and pillage the land. That’s what he did at Bain Capital and that’s what he’s going to continue to do. Plus he can go around and in this guise of being a good buisnessman, which he’s not …. and this face – with the big grin and everything – is jovial, but hollow. And it’s outrageous if you analyse what he’s saying, because he’ll say one thing and do the opposite. And the media gives him a lot of attention. You know the story of the Olympics at Salt Lake City? Then he goes over to Great Britain and bad mouths the Olympics over there … But he’s carrying an entourage of donors and he’s putting on a dog and pony show for them. It takes a bit of study. People are so desperate over here now. They don’t have the time to research and go back over the history of this guy. And everybody knows that. So what I’m trying to do with these little songs I write is say: let’s look at this a different way. I don’t write books and give speeches but with a four-minute song you can use allegory and other means to suggest a different point of view.

    It’s like looking around the corner, and that’s what songs are good at sometimes. They hit you with a new thought – assuming that people will listen. For instance, I like that idea that the Koch brothers made a deal with Satan down at the crossroads. And that’s useful because everyone understands what crossroads are all about – some of these songs call up and quote other songs. You’ve heard some of this material before, some of these lyric ideas, little inserts.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Wednesday, August 08, 2012
    Arrogance and Apathy

    Romney has been in campaign mode for many years now, so how is it possible for him to be blind-sided by expectations that he release several years of his tax returns? Why should it appear as if he was caught off guard and not ready with a clever retort, quickly putting it to rest?

    I think it comes down to AAA, arrogance and assumed apathy. The former being Romney’s sheer arrogance when it comes to most things in life. He’s accustomed to not being told what to do or forced into doing that which he chooses not to go along with. In his mind, he’s borderline-royalty so when it comes to running for president, he (and his team) apparently believed he could just take a pass when it came to releasing prior tax returns — a norm applying only to lesser candidates (including his father).

    It truly is astonishing that he, and even more so his advisers, felt he could skate through a presidential campaign refusing to release years of tax returns. The very fact he assumed this wouldn’t be a problem speaks volumes about the extent to which he is utterly removed from everyday reality. Is this what we want in a president, a Walter Mitty-ish sense of clueless detachment? Yikes. He makes GW Sr. at the grocery scanner look like a hipster dude.

    As for the assumed apathy, I also believe Romney coldly calculated that after the inevitable initial dust-up by the media, calls for releasing the tax returns would drop-off fairly rapidly. Reporters in the MSM would move on and the public would soon follow. Team Romney likely felt it would be a small bump on the road to the White House, thanks to the short attention span of the media and the unfortunate apathy assumed in most voters.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Kevin Drum is Flailing
    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 10th, 2012 at 12:42:25 AM EST

    I guess I am just confused by Kevin Drum’s moral compass. He’s basically telling us that we need to seriously guard against abandoning a healthy respect for the importance of the truth. I get that part of it. But the context is an accusation made by Harry Reid that he has a very credible source that called him unsolicited and told him that Romney doesn’t want to release his tax returns because he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years. Kevin Drum seems absolutely certain that no one ever made this phone call to Harry Reid. I have no idea why he is so certain. But Mr. Drum seems to have no compunction whatsoever about accusing Harry Reid of lying, even though he doesn’t have any sources to cite backing up his claim that Reid is lying.

    I think this is very strange. Most media observers who have criticized Reid have argued that he shouldn’t make such brash accusations based on nothing more than a single source who isn’t willing to go on the record. That’s applying a reasonable journalist’s standard to a politician, which is dubious to begin with, but at least it is an honest opinion. The idea is that it is wrong to accuse Romney of something so serious without more corroborative evidence. So, using that standard, how the hell does Kevin Drum think it is okay to question Harry Reid’s integrity without one single piece of evidence to back him up. He is completely guilty of doing exactly what he accuses of Harry Reid of doing, which is making an accusation without any real evidence to back it up.

    And Kevin is trying to bail himself out by attacking one critic who went too far in excusing deceitfulness. That’s bullshit. You can’t take your worst critic and use them as a magic wand to exorcise all your more serious critics.

    Kevin Drum has absolutely no basis for questioning Harry Reid’s integrity, but he has done so with gusto. Harry Reid didn’t just say that Romney is lying about his tax returns. He asserted that he learned that from a credible source. Drum doesn’t even claim to have a source.

    So, if Mr. Drum is right about Reid, Drum can call someone a liar with absolutely nothing to back him up but Reid can’t call someone a liar with absolutely nothing to back him up.

    I don’t get it. I don’t get it at all.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Va. Beach mural honors Olympian Gabby Douglas

    By Stacy Parker
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © August 10, 2012

    You know the face.

    Young, bright, beaming with that “I’m bringing home two gold medals” smile.

    It belongs to Gabby Douglas. And two local artists are doing their part to make sure the same face that will adorn Corn Flakes boxes this fall will be a fixture at home.

    Brothers Todd and Eric Lindbergh have spent the past four days tending to every detail of her mug, meticulously painting the lines of her mouth, the arc of her eyes and the curves of her ears. The artists have created a tribute mural on an exterior wall at AJ Gator’s Sports Bar & Grill, 3908 Holland Road.

    “We wanted to do something with a positive message,” Todd Lindbergh said.

    As Douglas wowed the world with her gymnastics prowess at the Olympic Games in London, Virginia Beach laid claim to its hometown hero. Locals continue to give a shout-out to the first American gymnast to win the team gold and the all-around gold in the same Olympics. She’s also the first female African American to win the top individual prize.

    After three days of dodging sun-blazed mornings and afternoon rains, Todd Lindbergh took a step back from the nearly finished Gabby wall Wednesday. A car approached the AJ Gator’s parking lot near Windsor Oaks Boulevard.

    A young woman shouted, “Thank you for painting that; it’s so beautiful.”

  30. Ametia says:


  31. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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