Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you’re enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    August 19, 2012

    Republican Congressman Proposes National Security Role for Uterus
    Posted by Andy Borowitz

    ST. LOUIS (The Borowitz Report)—Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin doubled down on his controversial remarks about the female body today, proposing a prominent national security role for the uterus.

    “From what I understand, there’s nothing that the uterus doesn’t know,” Rep. Akin told a reporter on KTVI-TV. “It’s almost like Spiderman’s spidey sense, if you will, except the tingling goes on down in the lady parts.”

    Rep. Akin said that given the uterus’s extraordinary powers of detection, the female reproductive system should be America’s secret weapon in the war on terror.

    “If we posted a uterus at every airport and a bunch of them along the border, I would just love to see an evildoer get past defenses like that,” he said. “Not gonna happen, folks. Nothing fools a uterus.”

    Read more

  2. Ametia says:

    Adviser says Romney to release 2011 tax return by October 15

    WASHINGTON | Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:12pm IST

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. presidential challenger Mitt Romney plans to make public his 2011 tax return by October 15, a senior campaign adviser said on Sunday, as President Barack Obama’s re-election team pressed its criticism of Romney’s decision not to disclose more about his personal taxes.

    Romney, a former private equity executive who is one of the richest men ever to run for president, has come under pressure for months from the Obama campaign to release more years of tax returns.

    He has released his 2010 tax return and estimates for 2011 but does not plan to reveal more years of returns. In April, he requested an extension from the Internal Revenue Service to file his 2011 tax forms, while estimating his tax liability at $3.2 million for last year.

    Ed Gillespie, a senior Romney adviser, indicated the former Massachusetts governor would release the 2011 return by October 15, about three weeks before the November 6 election, but refused to say exactly when.

    “Look, October 15 is the deadline for the IRS on an extension. We have said as soon as they’re ready we’re going to release them. And I believe they’ll be ready before that,” Gillespie told the “Fox News Sunday” program.

    “They’re being finalized. There’s a lot of forms that have to come in from other entities that the governor doesn’t have control over,” Gillespie added.

    He said Americans will have “ample information” about Romney’s taxes with the disclosure of the 2010 return and the planned release of the 2011 return.

    The Obama campaign and its Democratic allies have targeted Romney’s wealth and refusal to release more tax returns in ads that paint him as out of touch with ordinary Americans. Romney has an estimated net worth of up to $250 million.

  3. Ametia says:

    Editorial -NYT
    Truth and Lies About Medicare
    Published: August 18, 2012

    Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

    Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for -supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.

    The likelihood that they would stand by that irresponsible pledge after the election is close to zero. And the likelihood that they would be better able than Democrats to preserve Medicare for the future (through a risky voucher system that may not work well for many beneficiaries) is not much better. THE ALLEGED “RAID ON MEDICARE” A Republican attack ad says that the reform law has “cut” $716 billion from Medicare, with the money used to expand coverage to low-
    income people who are currently uninsured. “So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you,” the ad warns.

    What the Republicans fail to say is that the budget resolutions crafted by Paul Ryan and approved by the Republican-controlled House retained virtually the same cut in Medicare. <b.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Destroy the $716 Billion Lie

    by BooMan
    Sun Aug 19th, 2012 at 08:48:14 AM EST

    The 716 billion dollar lie is the central line of defense. It’s like the Republicans’ Maginot Line. If the lie can be breached with the blitz of truth, the GOP’s argument will fall faster than France before Guderain’s tanks. Oh, wait. I’m casting us as the Nazis in this instance. That won’t do.
    But you get my point, right?

    In 2010, the Republicans ran political advertising against Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, claiming that they had cut $500 billion from Medicare. That was pretty rich considering that the Democrats had actually tried and failed to expand Medicare eligibility. The charge was (and still is) a lie. But that doesn’t mean that the ads were not effective. They were very effective, which is why the Republicans think they can deceive the people again this time around.

    The $500 billion number changed to $716 billion on July 24th, 2012, when Speaker Boehner received a letter from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in response to his request on the cost of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, the CBO wrote this:

    Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period. Federal spending for Medicaid and CHIP would increase by about $25 billion from repealing the noncoverage provisions of the ACA, and direct spending for other programs would decrease by about $30 billion, CBO estimates.

    Let’s go over this slowly. The Republicans have been telling the American people that ObamaCare is expensive and will bankrupt the country. But when they asked the CBO what would happen if they repealed ObamaCare, they discovered that it would result in an additional $716 billion in Medicare costs. Overall, the CBO estimated that the cost of repeal would be $109 billion over the next ten years. So, the truth is that ObamaCare saves us money.

  5. rikyrah says:

    GOP Senate Candidate Suggests The Voting Rights Act Of 1965 Should Be Overturned

    Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP’s candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, suggested in an interview that it was time to “look at or overturn” the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Asked directly if seminal federal civil rights legislation that prohibits discriminatory voting proceedures needed to be modified or scrapped, Akin said that states — not the federal government — should set voting rules. According to Akin, elections “have historically always been a state thing” and that’s a “good principle.”

    Fired Up Missouri has the video from St. Louis Fox 2:

    Here’s how Fox 2 previewed the story on Twitter:


    Todd Akin: Federal Voting Right Laws Outdated #FOX2Now #STL

    17 Aug 12 Reply

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits the states from implementing voting procedures that “discriminate on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group.” The law built on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.”

    Akin has a reputation for extreme views on a variety of topics.

    Fox 2 is scheduled to release more of their interview with Akin on Sunday.


    Akin issues a statement to Fox 2: “Congressman Todd Akin believes that the right to vote is fundamental to our country. He supports laws that protect these rights and did not say that he was opposed to the ‘civil rights and voting rights’ laws. Akin has, and always will, support the right to vote.”

  6. rikyrah says:

    If you read nothing else today, read this: notes from GOPer who fled the ‘cult’

    August 18, 2012 · Posted in 2012, Politics, Republicans

    Stop me if you’ve read this before… I don’t know how I missed it when it was originally published, in September of last year (though maybe it was because it was scarcely mentioned in the media. I find almost no commentary about it online.) I’m not entirely surprised that the author, Mike Lofgren, wasn’t booked all over TV to talk about his 28 years as a staffer on the Republican House and Senate budget and other committees, often dealing with national security and defense issues, according to those D.C. journos who are very familiar with him. Lofgren’s critique of his own party, the Democrats and the media itself, is as thorough as it is devastating.

    In short, Lofgren says the modern, post-Eisenhower GOP has morphed into a cult, led by plutocrats and their elected, media and faux intellectual minions, who have crafted an elaborate, continual ruse to serve the rich at all costs – even the cost of the country itself. And he explains how that cult recruited, and retains lower income, low information white Americans, and why they are pushing headlong to stop non-white/Christian/straight Americans from voting at all. (Hint: its partly Democrats’ fault for letting them do it unassailed.)

    The piece is incredibly prophetic, touching on the very issues we are debating right now: Medicare, voter ID laws, and the Ayn Randism mixed with religious fundamentalism that defines the “modern” GOP. It is, to put it plainly, a must read. The author is clearly a Republican, and is no fan of Obama or Democrats. But his diagnosis of his own party’s pathologies, and his explanation of why he quit the business, is stunning and spot on.

    A clip:

    To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

    It was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. A couple of months ago, I retired; but I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis. Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages.

    The debt ceiling extension is not the only example of this sort of political terrorism. Republicans were willing to lay off 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, 70,000 private construction workers and let FAA safety inspectors work without pay, in fact, forcing them to pay for their own work-related travel – how prudent is that? – in order to strong arm some union-busting provisions into the FAA reauthorization.

    Lofgren also dings the media:

    A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

    A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

    The media are also complicit in this phenomenon. Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable “hard news” segment and a rabidly ideological talk radio and cable TV political propaganda arm, the “respectable” media have been terrified of any criticism for perceived bias. Hence, they hew to the practice of false evenhandedness. Paul Krugman has skewered this tactic as being the “centrist cop-out.” “I joked long ago,” he says, “that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read ‘Views Differ on Shape of Planet.’”

    He hits the issue of voter disenfranchisement,too. As you read this, recall that Karl Rove engineered the firing of nearly a dozen U.S. attorneys during the Bush years, for one reason: they refused to gin up phony cases of voter fraud:

    Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. But if this technique falls short of producing Karl Rove’s dream of 30 years of unchallengeable one-party rule (as all such techniques always fall short of achieving the angry and embittered true believer’s New Jerusalem), there are other even less savory techniques upon which to fall back. Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students.

    This legislative assault is moving in a diametrically opposed direction to 200 years of American history, when the arrow of progress pointed toward more political participation by more citizens. Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don’t want those people voting.

    You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn’t look, think, or talk like the GOP base. This must account, at least to some degree, for their extraordinarily vitriolic hatred of President Obama. I have joked in the past that the main administration policy that Republicans object to is Obama’s policy of being black.[2] Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some “other,” who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear. …

    …I do not mean to place too much emphasis on racial animus in the GOP. While it surely exists, it is also a fact that Republicans think that no Democratic president could conceivably be legitimate. Republicans also regarded Bill Clinton as somehow, in some manner, twice fraudulently elected (well do I remember the elaborate conspiracy theories that Republicans traded among themselves). Had it been Hillary Clinton, rather than Barack Obama, who had been elected in 2008, I am certain we would now be hearing, in lieu of the birther myths, conspiracy theories about Vince Foster’s alleged murder.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Bill Maher Says What the Media Won’t: Voter ID Laws Are Racist

    By: Jason EasleyAugust 18th, 2012

    Bill Maher has the guts to say what the mainstream media won’t: Voter ID laws are nothing more than a racist attempt to suppress the votes of African-Americans.

    Here is the video:

    Maher said,

    Now, I know it doesn’t seem like showing picture ID should be such a big deal, but it turns out one in ten Americans who used to be able to vote could not this time under these new laws. See Republicans love America and cherish it’s ideals, so they asked themselves what is it we have that many Democratic leaning inner city voters don’t have? I know. We have photo ID. Our drivers’ licenses and many of them don’t because they’re too poor to own a car. It reminds of the drug war where conservatives said let’s find something minorities do a lot, like smoke weed, and make it illegal, and one of the punishments is you lose your vote…

    Listen, America has had a lot of tricky racist laws. It’s part of the adventure of living here. That’s what makes it dangerous and fun, like everyone being armed. It’s like a theme park at Halloween. Hey, if you don’t want to be chased with a chainsaw, move to Canada.

    But what makes the voter ID law special is that they propose to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. We have empirical data proving that essentially no is showing up at the polls and impersonating a legally registered voter. Runaway slave laws were racist and wrong, but at least occasionally there was a runaway slave. But in person voter fraud is a crime that doesn’t happen. Since 2000, there have been ten cases of it. Ten. Out of 146 million voters. More people go into the voting booth and get hit by lightning while being attacked by sharks than commit this crime.


    Because people tend to commit crimes to do things they want to. We’re Americans, we don’t want to vote. That’s not how the criminal mind works…But don’t ever accuse a Republican of racism. They just happened to come up with a legal technicality that if applied nationally would mean one in four black people can’t vote. It’s like if you wanted to suppress the white vote so you made a law that you couldn’t vote unless you’ve seen every Tyler Perry movie.

    So I say fair is fair. If Republicans can make it harder for minorities to vote with their tricky ID laws, then we get to make it harder for teabaggers to vote by bringing back the literacy test. You can ask me for a picture ID, and I’ll ask you to count to twenty without taking off your shoes.

    Maher also listed his three literacy test questions for tea partiers.

    Very little of the discussion about voter ID laws in the mainstream media actually focuses on who these laws are targeting. The media has helped push the Republican argument by assuming that these laws target all people equally, when they are designed to target minorities, poor people, and Democratic voters.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Gets His Medicare Lies Straight From Koch Funded TV Ads

    By: Jason Easley

    The GOP’s so called policy wonk showed the true depth of his intellect today by repeating the Koch Brothers talking points on Medicare to seniors.

    According to Fox News, Ryan said, “Here is what the president won’t tell you about his Medicare plan—about Obamacare. The president raids 716 billion dollars from the Medicare program to pay for the Obamacare program. What’s more? In addition to that, he puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors. You want to know what Medicare is saying about this? From Medicare officials themselves, 1 out of 6 of our hospitals and our nursing homes will go out of business as a result of this. Four million seniors are projected to lose their Medicare advantage plans that they enjoy and they chose today under this Obamacare plan. What’s worse is the president’s campaign calls this an achievement. Do you think raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare is an achievement? Do you think empowering a board of bureaucrats to cut Medicare an achievement? Neither do I.”

    If you live in Ohio, Florida, Montana or Michigan that line about the 15 bureaucrats should sound familiar, and here’s why. A group called the 60 Plus Association, which bills itself as the conservative alternative to the AARP funded this ad starring Pat Boone.

    The ad made the claim that, the 15 member IAPB board is “a Medicare IRS with the power to cut Medicare to pay for new government programs.” This is the same claim that Paul Ryan made, and PolitiFact Ohio has rated it a pants on fire lie.

    PolitiFact Ohio explained what the board really does, “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act creates the 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board to suggest ways to limit Medicare’s spending growth. It can be overruled by Congress. Its appointments will be done in public. It will not make decisions on individual cases. The board can reduce how much the government pays health care providers for services, reduce payments to hospitals with very high rates of readmissions or recommend innovations that cut wasteful spending. It may not raise premiums for Medicare beneficiaries or increase deductibles, co-insurance or co-payments. The IPAB also cannot change who is eligible for Medicare, restrict benefits or make recommendations that would raise revenue.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone:)

Leave a Reply