Serendipity Soul | Friday Open Thread |

Good Morning, Everyone :) Today’s Soul Treat is from Luther Vandross -‘ A House is Not a Home’

Willard lied yesterday – of course, he did..he opened his mouth.But, he used a whiteboard as a prop.

Here is the Obama Campaign’s response:

Yes, folks, Obama’s GOING THERE

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69 Responses to Serendipity Soul | Friday Open Thread |

  1. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:18 PM ET, 08/17/2012
    Who built that?

    By Greg Sargent

    The Post has a big story up fleshing out more details about Paul Ryan’s history of soliciting federal funds for his district, despite the Romney camp’s efforts to present Ryan’s addition to the GOP ticket as proof of its single-minded determination to eliminate the deficit

    Ryan helped his home town secure $2.8 million in transportation funds for a new city transit center, as well as funding for a local airport’s runway extension and an environmental study for a local harbor. This comes after revelations yesterday that Ryan wrote letters in 2009 seeking stimulus funds for conservation groups in his district, despite criticizing the stimulus as Big Government waste run amok.

    In one sense, as Ryan’s spokesman says, it’s not contradictory for Ryan to secure stimulus funds for his district despite opposing the overall package. Ryan was right to push for funding for his district from a measure that had already become law. That’s his job.

    The problem arises from the sharp ideological difference Mitt Romney and Ryan claim they have with Obama over government intervention in the economy. Romney and Ryan have repeatedly suggested Obama thinks only government deserves the credit for economic success government helps facilitate, demeaning the role that private sector individual initiative and hard work play. But Obama sees government as a partner with the private sector in facilitating economic development. Whatever Ryan actually thinks, his actions suggest — at least when it comes to his own district — he doesn’t disagree.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Mitt’s plot to confuse you

    His goal isn’t to win over voters on Medicare. It’s to make them throw up their hands in frustration
    By Steve Kornacki

    What’s most noteworthy about the new Medicare-themed ad that the Obama campaign unveiled today is its defensive tone. The spot opens by referring back to a Romney ad that claims the president “robbed” $716 billion to pay for the new healthcare reform law, then contrasts AARP’s favorable assessment of Obama’s actions on Medicare with its ominous take on what Paul Ryan has proposed.

    There’s a lot going on here, and that might be problematic for Obama.

    Medicare is a supremely popular program, and attempts to cut or alter it dramatically always poll terribly. The hope for the Obama team is to replicate the success that Bill Clinton and Democrats enjoyed in 1996, when they positioned themselves as the last line of defense between Medicare and the Republicans who would (in the famous words of Newt Gingrich) let it “wither on the vine.”

    But the issue is more complicated in this year’s campaign, because of the Medicare changes that Obama made through the Affordable Care Act. That the law cuts spending by $716 billion over 10 years is true, but the reductions do not affect benefits; instead, they’re aimed at hospital reimbursement rates and the excessively costly Medicare Advantage private insurance program, with smaller cuts for home healthcare providers and others. What’s more, Ryan’s own Medicare plan, which House Republicans almost unanimously endorsed (and which Romney has indicated he would have signed as president), upholds all of these cuts. But Ryan says he’s now running on the Romney plan, not his own, and the Romney plan (such as it is) calls for wiping out the Medicare cuts.

  3. rikyrah says:

    August 17, 2012, 3:41 pm

    For Selfish Seniors Only


    Among the many falsehoods in the Romney campaign’s new Medicare ad is this remarkable line pitched to the elderly: “The money you paid in for guaranteed health care is going into a massive new government program that’s not for you.”

    Those three words “not for you,” encapsulate the Republican Party’s approach to that “massive” program, the Affordable Care Act, as a wedge issue. It’s not enough to say that President Obama took $716 billion out of Medicare, because Paul Ryan’s budget did the same thing. The point is that those billions are being spent on the wrong people, those unnamed others who inevitably lurk just outside of Republican ads.

    The implication is that Obamacare is for the poor, the uninsured, blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, anyone but the upstanding older Americans that the Romney-Ryan ticket is suddenly very afraid of losing. “It’s not for you.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    Does tax return issue still hurt Romney?

    Posted by
    CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

    Washington (CNN) – A top Mitt Romney strategist insisted Friday the debate over whether the GOP contender should release more of his tax information has “stopped hurting.” But a new report from a recent Wisconsin focus group comes to a different conclusion – suggesting his refusal to shed more light on his finances raises trust issues with pivotal voters.

    But veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart’s take on his latest Annenberg Center focus group suggest there are still potential downsides for Governor Romney. Hart’s discussion was with 12 suburban women in the Milwaukee area; eight of the 12 were undecided voters, the others split evenly between President Obama and Governor Romney.


    On the tax issue, Romney’s refusal to release more information “creates a sense of suspicion and doubt,” Hart wrote. “For most of these women the question is, ‘what is he hiding, why is he not more forthcoming?”

  5. Ametia says:

    The Bank Of Canada Removed An ‘Asian-Looking’ Woman From Planned $100 Notes After Complaints

    The Bank of Canada removed an “Asian-looking” woman from the designs for new polymor $100 bills after focus groups complained.

    The bills were brought into circulation last year but the strange decision was only revealed after Canadian Press news agency obtained a copy of 2009 report commissioned by the bank.

    “Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian”, the report read, referring to the fact that the bill show a woman scientist peering into a microscope. “Some believe that it presents a stereotype of Asians excelling in technology and/or the sciences. Others feel that an Asian should not be the only ethnicity represented on the banknotes. Other ethnicities should also be shown.”

    While the woman originally featured on the $100 bill wasn’t intended to be “Asian-looking”, the Bank of Canada decided to change her to “neutral” look that did not indicate any ethnic group (the new image is below):

    Read more:

  6. rikyrah says:

    Hans von Spakovsky Helped Rick Scott’s Office With Voter Purge Media Push

    Ryan J. Reilly- August 17, 2012, 2:00 PM

    Hans von Spakovsky, the controversial Bush administration official who writes in support of restrictive voting laws, worked with the office of Gov. Rick Scott on the rollout of Florida’s voting list purge, according to documents shared with TPM.

    Emails show that Scott’s communications staff planned to offer von Spakovsky up to local radio station as an expert on Florida’s effort to purge their voting lists back in June. While the purge targeted non-citizens, the state was using faulty data that included numerous legitimate voters.

    Scott staffer Brian Burgess, in an email titled “Help In Florida!” told von Spakovsky he’d be “especially grateful if [he’d] be willing to work with my team [to] coordinate with you and the Heritage Foundation media relations folks to help get you booked on talk radio and TV here and nationally if possible.” The emails were obtained by the voting rights group Project Vote through a public information request.

    Another Scott staffer, Karen Smith, emailed her colleagues saying that von Spakovsky told her he was “happy to help.” Using her Gmail address, Smith confirmed to von Spakovsky that she was going to contact radio hosts and recommend him as an expert on election law issues.

  7. Ametia says:

    Paul Ryan has record of pushing for and earmarking federal funds for his district

    Five months ago, Rep. Paul Ryan reached out to the Transportation Department, urging that it look favorably upon his home town’s request for $3.8 million, which would help build a new city transit center.

    That was the same project that four years ago received $735,000 in federal funds through an earmark Ryan (R-Wis.) had secured

    The Republican vice presidential candidate has often used the powers of his office over his 13 years in Congress to seek federal funds for his Wisconsin district, sometimes from existing pools of money and other times in ways that would increase federal spending. His success has meant funding for projects ranging from a runway extension at a local airport to an environmental study of the Kenosha Harbor.

    There’s nothing illegal or even unusual about what Ryan has done — in fact, it’s the essence of what many congressmen do and what many of their constituents expect. But it complicates the image that Ryan, and now the Romney campaign, have sought to project of a man who is single-mindedly focused on sharply cutting the federal budget and erasing the nation’s deficit.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:18 PM ET, 08/17/2012
    Running from Ryan and his Medicare plan
    By Greg Sargent

    Republicans continue to assert that the selection of Paul Ryan as Veep candidate — and the argument over Medicare it has triggered — is good politically for them, even in down-ticket races. They say they can win the Medicare war by pressing the claim that Obama has “raided” Medicare to pay for his health care law — converting this fight into another battle over the hated Obamacare.

    Here’s one way to look at this claim. How are Republican candidates in closely contested House races handling the Ryan plan? Most House Republican incumbents, of course, are already on record voting for it. But how are House candidates reacting to it?

    Dems point out that as least five GOP candidates have either come out against — or refused to take a position on — Ryan’s proposal:

    • rikyrah says:

      Posted at 01:46 PM ET, 08/17/2012
      Romney advisers confirm it: We’re running a `just trust me’ campaign
      By Greg Sargent

      I noted here yesterday that Mitt Romney is running a “just trust me” campaign, in which his lack of specificity and transparency extends far beyond just his tax returns, to his bundlers and to large swaths of his policy proposals. Intriguingly enough, Romney advisers have now come right out and confirmed the thinking behind this strategy.

      In a development that Dems are pouncing on right now, Romney advisers spelled it all out in interviews with Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei:

      Advisers say the campaign has no plans to pivot from its previous view that diving into details during a general-election race would be suicidal.
      The Romney strategy is simple: Hammer away at Obama for proposing cuts to Medicare and promise, in vague, aspirational ways, to protect the program for future retirees — but don’t get pulled into a public discussion of the most unpopular parts of the Ryan plan.
      “The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you’re communicating direction to the American people,” a Romney adviser said. “Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 08/17/2012
    Yes, this campaign is negative and nasty — and that’s a good thing
    By Jamelle Bouie

    This week has been marked by constant calls for civility. Mitt Romney took the first step, demanding that President Obama end his campaign of “hate” and “division.” Since then, reporters have noted the negative rhetoric of both sides, and pundits have denounced the lack of substantive debate.

    But “civility” and “substance” aren’t synonyms for each other. You can have a civil debate about trivial things, or an acrimonious one about vital issues. Believe it or not, we are engaged in the latter. And that’s a good thing.

    Neither Romney nor Obama is exaggerating when they say that this election is about the fundamental direction of the country. Despite his moderate demeanor, Romney’s plan for the next four years is a genuinely radical departure from the status quo. Major, across the board tax cuts. Large cuts to non-defense discretionary spending, meant to reduce the scope of the federal government’s obligations. A far reaching “voucher system” for education, which diverts tax dollars to accountability-free private schools, and robs both traditional and charter schools of the resources needed to compete and improve. A smaller Medicaid program that would serve millions fewer people, and deprive seniors, children and the disabled of needed care. New, harsh restrictions on reproductive rights, and judicial picks who would look for ways to turn back the clock on worker protections, anti-discrimination laws, and corporate regulations. And, of course, a complete overhaul of Medicare that would end its promise of guaranteed health care for seniors, and move it to a system where — ultimately — you get the care you can pay for.–and-thats-a-good-thing/2012/08/17/37b671fc-e873-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_blog.html

  10. rikyrah says:

    Found this comment at Balloon JUice:

    Linda Featheringill Says:


    Ann Romney:

    Angry white woman.

    This illustrates one of the main differences [I think] between white and black in this country. Ann behaves like a complete bitch and no one assumes I am a crazy bitch just because I have fair skin like Ann’s. People are willing to judge me on my individual merits.

    Black women? Well .

  11. rikyrah says:

    August 16, 2012
    Some of the best spin ever
    This, from Michael Medved, is some of the best spin I’ve ever read–and it’s instructive:

    If Obama says he’s not to blame for the state of the country, then he’s conceded weakness and impotence, and if he tries to echo the public desire for new directions, then he acknowledges that his controversial policies of the last four years never worked as intended.

    That’s Medved’s argument for the non-inevitability of Obama’s reelection, boiled down to one sentence. But notice how he’s pre-shackled the argument:

    “[B]lame for the state of the country.” Does he acknowledge the creation 4 million private-sector jobs? A positive and far higher GDP? A rescued auto industry? A booming stock market? Greater access to healthcare? The end of a needless and costly war? Naturally, no. Yet those are just a few accomplished factors in the “new directions” he references in the second clause as seemingly unattainable and simply beyond Obama’s abilities. Now that’s slick.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Romney Trips David Simon’s Wire
    By Rod Dreher • August 17, 2012, 7:12 AM

    I’m not blaming Romney for taking advantage of every legal avenue to reducing his tax burden. I would do the same if I were in his shoes. In fact, we have a financial adviser who helps us minimize our tax burden every year. Because of my book deal, I’m making a significantly higher salary this year than usual — not in the same universe as Romney’s annual income, though, and even after the best tax advice, I’m paying a far greater percentage of my income to the government than he is. I hate it, but you know, this is a good problem to have. I wish I had this problem every year.

    What Simon is getting at is Romney is an extremely rich man who pays significantly less of a percentage of his income in taxes than millions of people who make far less than he does, and he still seems to think he deserves a cookie. I’m sick and tired of him and his wife whining about how people are so mean to them about their taxes:

  13. Ametia says:


    Admiral William McRaven, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Gives President Obama Proper Credit For Osama Bin Laden Raid



  14. Ametia says:

    .Presented With Letters, Ryan Admits Requesting Stimulus Cash
    By Gregory J. Krieg | ABC OTUS News – 18 hrs ago.

    After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.

    As recently as Wednesday in Ohio, Mitt Romney’s running mate told ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, he did not.

    “I never asked for stimulus,” Ryan said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”

    Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.

    “I’m not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money. I did not request any stimulus money,” the congressman answered.

    But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.

    “The Olympics may be over but Paul Ryan could have gotten a gold medal in hypocrisy,” a senior administration official told ABC’s Jake Tapper. “As someone who spends all day every day railing against government spending, but then secretly seeks millions in funds for pet projects, he is as Washington as it gets.”

    In 2009, Ryan wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis asking for stimulus money to cover costs on two energy conservation projects in his home state of Wisconsin. In the letter, Ryan said the funds would help create jobs and reduce “energy consumption” in the state. At least one of the companies received the requested cash.–abc-news-politics.html

  15. Reblogged this on cadesertvoice and commented:
    Mitt Romney has been lying all his life. Why should we expect him to tell the truth now? Here is the truth on Obamacare and Medicare, which Romney/Ryan want to privatize and gamble with.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Incoherence on Obama’s auto rescue
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:33 PM EDT.13

    It’s been about three years since NBC News’ First Read said, “As the GM bailout goes, so goes the Obama presidency.” And at this point, it’s fair to say President Obama’s rescue of the American auto industry has been a great success. It was a gamble — not only with the backbone of American manufacturing, but his presidency’s ability to use the power of government to repair a private industry facing collapse — but it paid off.

    Indeed, just this morning, the Dayton Daily News reported on the tremendous rebound we’re witnessing in Ohio’s auto industry. Though the Buckeye State struggled throughout the Bush era, Ohio has now added thousands of manufacturing jobs under Obama.

    Paul Ryan, however, has a very different kind of story to tell.

    “I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open,” Ryan said in Ohio Thursday, describing the shuttered GM factory in Janesville, Wis. “One more broken promise.”

    Ryan blamed rising gas prices under Obama for the closing. He echoed the complaint in an interview with a local ABC affiliate, suggesting it showed that Obama’s auto rescue was a sham.

    “It didn’t help Janesville,” he said. “They shut our plant down. It didn’t help Kenosha. I represent there; they shut down the Chrysler plant.”

    Even for Paul Ryan, this is just bizarre. Putting aside how foolish it is to blame Obama for higher gas prices, the Janesville plant he’s referring to closed in 2008 — when Ryan’s pal George W. Bush was president. Unless Obama has a time machine, blaming him for a plant closed before he took office is pretty silly.

  17. rikyrah says:


    Charles Pierce: The president is angry. The president is an angry man. The president is black. The president is an angry black man …. That is the four-point plan on “the economy” on which Willard Romney apparently intends to run for president for a while…..

    “If you look at the ads that have been described and the divisiveness based on income, age, ethnicity and so-forth, it’s designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger and this is not in my view what the American people want to see,” Romney said.

    Ethnicity? And so forth…. If he blows that dog-whistle any louder, Seamus may return from that great roof-rack in the sky.

    This should surprise absolutely nobody, because, if there’s one thing candidate Romney has demonstrated, it is that he really is quite a remarkable liar…. Asking a Republican presidential candidate to abandon race-baiting entirely is to ask for an awful lot of 13-second Republican stump speeches. Asking Willard Romney to do it is to assume that there is muck so foul that he will not immerse himself in it to be president….

    …. There was nothing Romney wouldn’t do in business to make a buck. Why should we be surprised that he campaigns the same way? ….

    …. Since you can count on Rafalca’s hooves the number of times in his life that Willard Romney has been in a fair fight, it’s no great shock to discover that, since he can’t fight hard, he’ll fight dirty, because winning is not something you earn. Winning is something you inherit…..

  18. rikyrah says:

    David Simon: Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.


    Am I supposed to congratulate this man? Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

    Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college. If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter. Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

    I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly: Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent. I swear. And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail. But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits. I’m just not that kind of guy.


    This republic is just about over, isn’t it?

  19. rikyrah says:

    What Romney considers ‘suicidal’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:09 PM EDT

    In theory, Mitt Romney has already taken all kinds of steps that seem incredibly risky. He’s endorsed a plan to end Medicare; his tax plan appears to raise taxes on all of the middle class; and he’s eager to take affordable health care away from millions of working families.

    But don’t Team Romney doesn’t consider any of this politically “suicidal.” What are they truly afraid of? Policy specifics.

    Advisers say the campaign has no plans to pivot from its previous view that diving into details during a general-election race would be suicidal. […]

    “The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you’re communicating direction to the American people,” a Romney adviser said. “Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up.”

    We’ve heard quite a bit from Romney and his surrogates lately about how eager they are to have a substantive, policy-focused debate. And while that sounds delightful, they neglected to mention the asterisk — the substantive, policy-focused debate has to steer clear of any and all details.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Nice-Guy Failure Or Evil Mastermind? RNC, Romney Split On Obama Messaging

    Pema Levy & Evan McMorris-Santoro- August 16, 2012, 5:36 AM 8433Depending on which Republican you ask, President Obama is either a power-hungry politician who will spew any lie to keep his iron grip on the Oval Office, or just a nice guy who is in over his head.

    In the battle to tear down a president who remains personally popular with much of the electorate, a split is emerging in the GOP effort to define the president: Mitt Romney and his campaign have cast Obama as a Machiavellian mastermind, trying to dupe the country into supporting his socialistic plot. The second tack, taken by the Republican National Committee, is to portray Obama as a bumbling failure, a likable guy who just doesn’t have the skills to live up to his promises.

    Both tactics are on full display this week, putting the party apparatus and its nominee at odds.

    In Ohio Tuesday and again on CBS Wednesday morning, Romney amplified a central theme of his campaign: that Obama wants to fracture the country and cobble together enough of the broken pieces to eke out a second win. With incendiary gusto, Romney took that attack all the way up to 11.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Federal Court Rules Florida’s Shortening Of Early Voting Discriminates Against Blacks

    Ryan J. Reilly- August 17, 2012, 6:10 AM

    A panel of federal judges ruled late Thursday that a Florida law that limits the number of early voting days cannot be implemented in several counties because it would have an adverse impact on minority turnout.

    Several counties in Florida are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain areas with a history of racial discrimination to have changes to their election laws and procedures precleared by either a federal court or the Justice Department.

    The three judge panel ruled that minorities “will be disproportionately affected by the changes in early voting procedures because they disproportionately use early in-person voting.”

    “In sum, Florida is left with nothing to rebut either the testimony of the defendants’ witnesses or the common-sense judgment that a dramatic reduction in the form of voting that is disproportionately used by African-Americans would make it materially more difficult for some minority voters to cast a ballot than under the benchmark law,” the court ruled.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The America Paul Ryan Forgot: A Vision of Freedom, by Way of Free Government, by Way of the Morrill Act
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 10:58AM

    A week ago, one day after the Republican party committed itself wholly to a certain vision of America, I went up through the winding roads into the mountains here to gather with some people and talk about another one — an older one, a vision of a country of the unbound imagination in which the concept of a political commonwealth was both binding and limitless, a vision of a less selfish country, and one in which the notion of a political commonwealth was neither a punchline for a television spot nor, worse, something we all no longer could afford. I came up through the mountains to talk once again about the Morrill Act, which is 150 years old this year. There was a symposium held in the town of his birth and in which he is buried, in a family crypt at the top of a hill.

    Justin S. Morrill was a blacksmith’s son who became a well-to-do shopkeeper in this place and, later, a representative in Congress and a U.S. senator from Vermont. He was a man who believed in public spaces, and he was instrumental in the development of the National Mall, the Smithsonian Institute, the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, including Statuary Hall, and the completion of the Washington Monument. One of the king ironies about the Capitol is that each state is allowed to place two statues of prominent citizens in Statuary Hall, and Justin Morrill is not one of the people chosen by Vermont to be memorialized in the public space he helped create. His monuments are elsewhere. His monuments are at Iowa State University in Ames, and at Auburn in Alabama. They are at the Universities of Oklahoma, and Illinois, and Idaho, and Hawaii. They are at Michigan State, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Montana State, North Carolina State, and New Mexico State. They are at Cornell, and Purdue, and MIT. His monuments are the generations of people who passed through these places as well. The farmer’s child who became a biologist. The miller’s child who became an engineer. The lumberjack’s grandchild who became a theoretical physicist. And the farmer’s great-grandchild who simply became a better farmer.

    In July 2, 1862, with the Civil War going very badly, President Abraham Lincoln signed the first of the Morrill Acts, which set up a system of land-grant colleges throughout what was left of the United States. Under the terms of the act, each state not presently in rebellion received 30,000 acres of federal land from which it was required to create a public institution of higher learning. (The Act first had been proposed by Morrill in 1859, but had been vetoed by President James Buchanan.) The Morrill Act was a commitment by the country — dead in the middle of the greatest crisis in its history, but, ultimately, a product of that crisis as surely as the rifled musket was, as we shall see — to the idea that higher learning was something that the citizens of the country owed to each other. In the time of the greatest peril to the idea that the country was created by We, The People (and not We, The States), at a time in which what Lincoln would come to call “a nation so conceived” was perilously close to dissolving into its squabbling component parts, the Morrill Act was a public statement of belief that something more solid would come out of the bloody carnage that resulted from the historic national denial of what the country truly was.

    Read more:

  23. rikyrah says:

    .The face of the ‘war on voting’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:52 AM EDT

    When it comes to Pennsylvania Republicans’ voter-suppression tactics, perhaps the most notable victim is Viviette Applewhite, whom we were introduced to several months ago.

    Applewhite, a 93-year-old widow in Pennsylvania, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil-rights movement, has voted in nearly every election for the last-half century. This year, however, her own state told her she wouldn’t be allowed to cast a ballot because Republicans created a voter-ID law to combat voter fraud that doesn’t exist. Applewhite might have had a shot at participating in her own democracy, but purse was stolen, and she no longer has the materials she never needed to vote before.

    She worked with the ACLU to challenge the law, and yesterday, Pennsylvania caved — but just for Applewhite.

    The day after a judge upheld Pennsylvania’s new voter identification law, the lead plaintiff in the suit seeking to block the law went to a PennDot office and was issued the photo ID card she needs to vote.

    Nothing has changed since Viviette Applewhite, 93, testified in July. The law stands. She still doesn’t have a driver’s license or Social Security card. The name on her birth certificate is still different from the name on her other documents — all of which, under the law, should have barred her from getting her photo ID.

    But at precisely 1:16 p.m. Thursday, she got it anyway

  24. Ametia says:

    Sen. Tom Harkin points out, Romney and Ryan would “raise seniors’ health costs by thousands of dollars while leaving millions of seniors across the country to the whims of insurance companies.”

  25. Ametia says:

    4 Ways Paul Ryan’s Budget Would Devastate The Poor
    By Igor Volsky and Pat Garofalo on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

    National media attention has focused on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) drastic restructuring of the Medicare program, detailing the Vice Presidential candidate’s efforts to transform the current benefit guarantee into a “premium support” program for future enrollees.

    But Romney/Ryan’s most devastating changes would impact programs that serve society’s most vulnerable citizens. American who rely on Medicaid, food stamps and Pell grants won’t be afforded the luxury of retaining their existing benefits, should Romney and Ryan implement their plans; these programs would experience immediate reductions if the Ryan budget becomes law (via CBPP):
    read on

  26. rikyrah says:

    Akin’s stand against school lunches
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:26 AM EDT.

    When I saw reports yesterday that Democrats were slamming Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) for opposing school lunches, I assumed Dems had dug up some embarrassing vote the U.S. Senate candidate cast years ago.

    But as it turns out, that’s not quite right. Akin voiced his position just this week.

    Missouri’s two U.S. Senate candidates tangled Thursday over whether taxpayers should subsidize school lunches for more than 34 million students across the country.

    U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate, said he opposes federal spending for the National School Lunch Program, which provides cash and surplus food for nearly 650,000 school lunches in Missouri each day.

    “Is it something the federal government should do?” Akin said. “I answer is no. … I think the federal government should be out of the education business.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    FT investigation: Romney link to union suppression ruling UPDATED!

    Last edited Thu Aug 16, 2012, 10:15 PM USA/ET – Edit history (1)

    Financial Times – August 16, 2012 8:58 pm

    Romney link to union suppression ruling

    By Robin Harding in Washington

    A company controlled by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital ran an unlawful campaign to suppress a potential union in the 1980s, according to US court and federal agency documents.

    Key Airlines, an early investment for the private equity firm founded by a young Mitt Romney and two associates, broke the law by attempting to coerce and then dismiss two pilots who tried to organise a union. Two months after a union vote failed, Bain agreed to sell Key Airlines at a large profit.

    “The anti-union activities in this case are not merely unfair labour practices as Key argues, but blatant, grievous, wilful, deliberate and repeated violations of the Railway Labour Act,” Roger Foley, federal judge for the District of Nevada, wrote in 1992, in a case brought by two Key pilots.

    The case illustrates an episode in Mr Romney’s business career and raises questions about how it has prepared him to manage the US economy.

    Key Airlines was a small charter carrier with a military contract to ferry personnel to bases in the Nevada desert. The union effort was suppressed under Bain’s ownership in 1985 and 1986 although a court judgment against the company and its management – including Bain Capital founding partner T Coleman Andrews III – did not come until 1992. The judgment was later qualified by a subsequent court ruling in 1994, together with an agreement to settle an appeal.

    According to regulatory filings, Mr Romney was a director of Key Airlines and had a personal shareholding in the airline. Neither Mr Romney nor Bain Capital were named or cited in the federal court ruling in Nevada.

    Mr Romney’s campaign referred to a statement on its website supporting the right of workers to join – or not join – a union: “To exercise that right freely, workers must have access to all the relevant facts they need to make an informed decision. This means hearing from both the union about the potential benefits and from management about potential costs.”

    “Despite unemployment over 8 per cent for more than three years, President Obama continues to put the interests of labour bosses ahead of the interests of Americans looking for work,” added Michele Davis, a spokeswoman for the campaign. “By contrast, Governor Romney has grown companies and created jobs, in the private sector and as Governor of Massachusetts, and will get America working again.”

    Key Airlines was initially acquired in 1983 by investors including partners of the Bain & Company management consultancy. When Bain Capital was set up in 1984, according to a prospectus aimed at marketing funds managed by Bain, one of its first investments was a $2m injection into Key.

    In the autumn of 1985, 21 pilots at Key planned to form their own union, citing safety concerns. Management said that the campaign was actually motivated by low pay.

    According to the court ruling, Key held coercive meetings with pilots; said management would leave and the company lose contracts; and told pilots that salaries, bonuses and benefits could be frozen. Federal labour law forbids an airline “to interfere in any way with the organisation of its employees”.

    Two union organisers – Olen Rae Goodwin and Lawrence Schlang, a former naval aviator – were instructed to sign resignation letters, according to a separate report by the National Mediation Board, which oversees union elections in the sector. The report described the company’s excuse for this dismissal as “little more than pretext”. When a union election was finally held only two pilots voted “yes”.

  28. Ametia says:

    Obama Campaign Strikes Back Against Former Navy SEALs

    Politically speaking, Navy SEALs aren’t the safest targets to rail against in a presidential race, but the Obama campaign isn’t hesitating to take down a group of former SEALs who’ve criticized the president’s national security decisions.

    On Thursday morning, campaign officials waged a full court press against the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, a group of former U.S. Special Forces and intelligence officials accusing President Obama of leaking vital national security secrets and taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. When the group launched its anti-Obama media campaign Wednesday, consisting of TV ads and a 22-minute film, it wasn’t clear if Obama officials would avoid a potentially messy confrontation or refute the military veterans publicly. But now the campaign has made clear it views the attacks in the same light as the 2004 John Kerry “Swift Boat” attack ads, which, however misleading, were painfully effective.

    “The Republicans are resorting to ‘Swift Boat’ tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told Reuters’ Mark Hosenball last night. Taking a direct shot at the leaders of OPSEC, an Obama campaign official lambasted the group’s accusations about national security leaks this morning. “No one in this group is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have,” said the official, speaking on background, “and it’s clear they’ve resorted to making things up for purely political reasons.”

    Additionally, as The Los Angeles Times’ Ken Dilanian notes today, a number of OPSEC leaders identify as Republicans, such as Fred Rustmann, who worked for the CIA for 23 years before retiring in 1990, Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL and chairman of OPSEC, and Chad Kolton, an OPSEC member and former flack in the Bush administration At this point, the effectiveness of the OPSEC attacks rely almost exclusively on the identity of who’s leveling the attacks (former Navy SEALs) rather than the merit of the attacks, which are pretty flimsy at this point. Still, the jury’s out on whether it’s a fight worth picking.,0,2590161.story

  29. Ametia says:


  30. Ametia says:

    Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan puts Mitt Romney into flip-flop mode
    By David Horsey

    August 17, 2012, 5:00 a.m.
    After watching the verbal contortions Mitt Romney has put himself through in the last week when speaking about Paul Ryan’s budget plan, it has become impossible to take seriously anything he has to say.

    The soon-to-be presidential nominee of the Republican Party has praised Ryan’s plan as a commendable product of the “intellectual leader” of Congress. But, after naming Ryan as his running mate and being hit by a torrent of questions about the harsh particulars of Ryan’s budget, Romney and his surrogates quickly put distance between his own budget plan and that of his new political partner.

    Yet, almost simultaneously, to keep the party’s conservative base from thinking he was shying away from Ryan’s fiscal rigor, Romney contradicted himself by describing his own plan as essentially the same as Ryan’s, apart from a few minor details.

    And then, when the Romney campaign began running ads slamming the Obama administration for $716 billion in cuts to Medicare funding, observers pointed out that Ryan’s plan takes a similar amount out of Medicare. President Obama hit back on the campaign trail, insisting his cuts come at the expense of insurance companies and service providers while the costs of Ryan’s voucher alternative come out of the pockets of Medicare recipients,0,7318201.story

  31. Ametia says:

    Exposing Romney’s Lies

    •No Medicare benefits were or will be cut under Obamacare
    •Under Obamacare, Medicare’s life was extended by 8 years
    •Medicare beneficiaries are enjoying more benefits than ever
    •The Romney-endorsed Ryan Plan would “essentially end Medicare”
    •Obamacare removes $700 billion worth of wasteful spending from Medicare

  32. Ametia says:

    Wisconsin Catholic Group Prays For Paul Ryan To ‘Reconnect With The Compassion For The Poor’
    By Aviva Shen posted from ThinkProgress Election on Aug 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

    A group of Catholics from Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) home state have launched, a website asking people to pray for the vice presidential candidate to change his position on his plan for the federal budget. This group, which includes Franciscan friars, joins in the growing protests from Catholic clergy concerned about the impact Ryan’s deep cuts in social programs will have on vulnerable members of society.

    The group cites the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which in April sent a public letter to the House saying the Ryan budget would hurt poor families, seniors, and the unemployed. The website explains that the Ryan budget flies in the face of Catholic social teachings:

    Paul Ryan is a sincere Catholic and a brother in Christ, and we ask him to reconnect with the compassion for the poor and vulnerable that is rooted in our consciences and articulated by the Catholic Church.

    The US Catholic bishops wrote a series of letters about the House budget proposed by Rep. Ryan, saying that his cuts “will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment. These cuts are unjustified and wrong.”

  33. Ametia says:

    Thank you DU!

  34. Ametia says:


    t’s been 142 days since Mitt Romney was asked to release his tax returns. What is he hiding?

    More offshore accounts? Another Swiss Bank account? Even more profits from outsourcing jobs?

    Mitt Romney is running for President and voters deserve to know the truth about his finances. Demand Romney release his tax returns today.<b.

  35. Ametia says:

    Obama better for world economy: poll
    LONDON | Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:22am EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) – Twice as many business executives around the world say the global economy will prosper better if incumbent President Barack Obama wins the next election than if his Republican challenger Mitt Romney does, a poll showed on Friday.

    Democrat Obama was chosen by 42.7 percent in the 1,700 respondent poll, compared with 20.5 percent for Romney. The rest said “neither”.

    The result was different among respondents in the United States, where a slim majority thought Romney would be better for their businesses than Obama.

    Obama maintains a seven-point lead over Romney among registered voters in the race for the November 6 presidential election, despite the fact Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last week.

    The FT poll was conducted before Romney picked Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate at the weekend, a move that could dramatically shift the election debate between two sharply contrasting views of government spending and debt.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Tax Policy Center responds to ‘garbage’ comment
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:42 AM EDT.5

    The Tax Policy Center, a respected nonpartisan group, made Mitt Romney’s life a little more difficult two weeks ago, publishing a detailed analysis of the Republican’s tax plan. The findings were brutal: sticking to Romney’s own parameters, the Republican intends to raise taxes on 95% of the country in order to finance tax breaks for the rich.

    Note, the policy analysts “bent over backwards to literally give Romney every possible benefit of the doubt” and worked under the dubious assumption that more Republican tax cuts will stimulate the economy. The results were still a disaster.

    Romney condemned the nonpartisan analysis this week as “garbage.” Yesterday, the Tax Policy Center published its response, explaining that the facts are stubborn, even if Romney doesn’t like them.

    • Ametia says:

      So Mitt Romney thinks he can trash AMERICAN institutions for their hard-earned research. He may have freedom of speech, but he is anything but a true AMERICAN PATRIOT. Romney’s the filthiest of LIARS & a TAX CHEAT.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Stimulus problem adds to Paul Ryan’s woes
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:00 AM EDT

    We talked on Tuesday about Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan having a stimulus problem: publicly, he claims to abhor President Obama’s Recovery Act, but privately, he sought Recovery Act funds for his district and said they’d boost the economy.

    Last night, Rachel took the story much further, noting among other things that Ryan has been caught lying about the issue — more than once.

    Again, let’s not forget what makes this story important. It’s not just a simple matter of a congressman opposing the stimulus, but then seeking investments for his constituents once the money was on the table and was going to be spent anyway. Appearances of hypocrisy are perhaps the least important part of the story.

    Rather, the controversy matters for two important reasons. First, the revelations undermine the basis for Ryan’s philosophical/ideological objections — the Republican insists government spending can’t create jobs and doesn’t boost economic growth, but in his letters to the Obama administration, Ryan said government spending in his district can create jobs and does boost economic growth.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Douglas returns to Hampton Roads
    First time home since London Olympics
    Updated: Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 11:21 PM EDT
    Published : Thursday, 16 Aug 2012, 5:42 PM EDT

    Jane AlvarezWertz
    NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Hampton Roads’ golden girl Gabby Douglas arrived in Norfolk Thursday evening to a large crowd of fans and supporters.

    Douglas tweeted her takeoff from New York City , and posted a photo of her landing at the Norfolk International Airport around 7 p.m. In one tweet she posted, “Wow a warm welcome from # VABeach Thanks soo much for all your support love you guys!!”

    Photos: Gabby Douglas returns home

    Douglas expressed her excitement to be back in Virginia to when she got off the plane.

    “Thanks for your love and support. It means so much,” Douglas said.

    She’s only staying in Virginia Beach for one day, and already has a jam-packed schedule.

    “I want to see my dogs,” Douglas said. “I haven’t seen them in a long time. I just want to visit family and friends and go to the beach and do some shopping. I’m just happy to be home. I haven’t been home in two years. I forgot what Virginia looked like!”

    The Virginia Beach native has been on a whirlwind press tour since her return to the states from the London Summer Olympics, making appearances on The Tonight Show, NBC’s Today Show and America’s Got Talent to name a few.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Ametia and Everyone:)

    Ametia, sending you positive thoughts.

  40. Ametia says:

    August 17, 2012

    Matt Rhoades
    585 Commercial Street
    Boston, Massachusetts 02109

    Dear Matt:

    I am writing to ask again that the Governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures. Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more–neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.

    This request for the release of five years, covering the complete returns for 2007-2012, is surely not unreasonable. Other Presidential candidates have released more, including the Governor’s father who provided 12 years of returns. In the Governor’s case, a five year release would appropriately span all the years that he has been a candidate for President. It would also help answer outstanding questions raised by the one return he has released to date, such as the range in the effective rates paid, the foreign accounts maintained, the foreign investments made, and the types of tax shelters used.

    To provide these five years, the Governor would have to release only three more sets of returns in addition to the 2010 return he has released and the 2011 return he has pledged to provide. And, I repeat, the Governor and his campaign can expect in return that we will refrain from questioning whether he has released enough or pressing for more.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Jim Messina

    Obama for America Campaign Manager

    • rikyrah says:




      OH hell fucking yes, he’s on that amnesty list.


      • Ametia says:

        YEP, and the Obama camp knows it too!

        Aug 17, 2012
        Romney declines Obama deal on tax return releases

        President Obama’s campaign offered Mitt Romney a deal today: Release five years of tax returns, and we’ll stop demanding more.

        Romney’s campaign refused, calling the Obama request a political ploy designed to distract voters.

        “It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades wrote in a response to Obama counterpart Jim Messina.

        In an earlier missive to the Republican camp, Messina wrote: “Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide.

        “So,” Messina added, “I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: If the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more — neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.”

        Replied Rhoades to Messina: “If Governor Romney’s tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for President Obama to discuss them over the next 81 days.”

        In a reference to the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, Rhoades also told Messina: “See you in Denver.”

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