Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

HAPPY MUN-dane, Everybody. 3 Chics hopes you all survive GOP/BIRTHER/HATER/RACISTS Week in Tampa Florida.

The Late Great Geroge Carlin telling the raw, bitter, ironic truths about politics, life, and stuff.

And if you haven’t catched the latest HBO series from Aaron Sorkin here’s NEWSROOM…


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82 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Obama adds Sioux City stop to weekend campaign visit to Iowa
    Source: Omaha World Herald-AP

    DES MOINES (AP) — President Barack Obama has added a stop in Sioux City to his Iowa travel plans this week.

    Obama will hold an event Tuesday at Iowa State University in Ames, then will return to the state Saturday.

    The Democrat had previously announced a visit Saturday to Des Moines, and on Monday a campaign official confirmed that Obama has added the stop in Sioux City.

    The events follow Obama’s three-day bus tour of the state earlier in August.

    FULL story at link.

    Read more:

  2. rikyrah says:

    Team Romney White-Vote Push: ‘This Is the Last Time Anyone Will Try to Do This’
    By Jonathan Chait

    A Republican strategist said something interesting and revealing on Friday, though it largely escaped attention in the howling gusts of punditry over Mitt Romney’s birth certificate crack and a potential convention-altering hurricane. The subject was a Ron Brownstein story outlining the demographic hit rates each party requires to win in November. To squeak out a majority, Mitt Romney probably needs to win at least 61 percent of the white vote — a figure exceeding what George H.W. Bush commanded over Michael Dukakis in 1988. The Republican strategist told Brownstein, “This is the last time anyone will try to do this” — “this” being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election.

    I wrote a long story last February arguing that the Republican Party had grown intensely conscious of both the inescapable gravity of the long-term relative decline of the white population, and the short-term window of opportunity opened for the party by the economic crisis. I think we’re continuing to see the GOP operate under an integrated political and policy strategy constructed on this premise. This is their last, best chance to win an election in the party’s current demographic and ideological form. Future generations of GOP politicians will have to appeal to nonwhite voters who hold far more liberal views about the role of government than does the party’s current base.

    The “2012 or never” hypothesis helps explain why a series of Republican candidates, first in the House and most recently at the presidential candidate level, have taken the politically risky step of openly declaring themselves for Paul Ryan’s radical blueprint. Romney’s campaign has been floating word of late that it sees a potential presidency as following the mold of James K. Polk — fulfilling dramatic policy change, and leaving after a single term. “Multiple senior Romney advisers assured me that they had had conversations with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryan’s controversial budget and entitlement reforms,” reports the Huffington Post’s Jonathan Ward. “Romney, they said, was willing to count the cost politically in order to achieve it.” David Leonhardt floats a similar sketch, plausibly outlining how Romney could transform the shape of American government by using a Senate procedure that circumvents the filibuster to quickly lock in large regressive tax cuts and repeal of health insurance subsidies to tens of millions of Americans.

    Blowing up the welfare state and affecting the largest upward redistribution of wealth in American history is a politically tricky project (hence Romney’s belief that he may need to forego a second term). Hence the Romney campaign’s clear plan to suture off its slowly declining but still potent base. Romney’s political-policy theme is an unmistakable appeal to identity politics. On Medicare, Romney is putting himself forward as the candidate who will outspend Obama, at least when it comes to benefits for people 55 years old and up. Romney will restore the $700 billion in Medicare budget cuts imposed by Obama to its rightful owners — people who are currently old.

    He will cut subsidies to the non-elderly people who would get insurance through Obamacare — a program that, Romney’s ads remind older voters, is “NOT FOR YOU.” Romney’s repeated ads on welfare, blaring the brazen lie that Obama has repealed the welfare work requirement, hammer home the same theme. The purpose is to portray Obama as diverting resources from us to them.

    In their heart of hearts, Romney and Ryan would probably prefer a more sweeping, across-the-board assault on the welfare state. But the immense popularity of the largest, middle-class social insurance programs like Medicare and Social Security force them into the divide-and-conquer gambit. They can promise to hold their disproportionately old, white base harmless and impose the entire brunt of their ambitious downsizing of government on young, poor, and disproportionately nonwhite Democratic constituencies.

    There’s no moral or policy rationale for Romney’s proposal to increase social safety net spending on current retirees while cutting Pell Grants, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, and food stamps to shreds. The nonwhite share of the electorate is increasing fast enough that the political math of this sort of gambit will grow completely impossible — there will simply be, from the right-wing perspective, too many of them and not enough us. But there may be just enough us to pull out one more win, and thus the Republican determination to make such a win as consequential as possible.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Romney Cribs from the GOP’s Willie Horton Playbook

    The ugliest presidential campaign I ever hope to see was the one George H.W. Bush waged against Michael Dukakis in 1988. Poppy Bush governed like a (relative) moderate, but in 1988 he campaigned like a hard-right bigot, relentlessly attacking Dukakis over an assault-rape committed by the convicted murderer Willie Horton, a very scary-looking African American, during a prison furlough (under a program created by Dukakis’s Republican predecessor as Massachusetts governor). Say what you will about 41’s son and eventual successor, George W. Bush—as a campaigner, Dubya never stooped anywhere near so low, on this or any other issue. Bush père’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater, publicly compared Horton to Jesse Jackson (with whom Dukakis was photographed after a meeting to consider Jackson as a possible running mate), and an unnamed Bush aide told former TNR writer Sidney Blumenthal, “Willie Horton has star quality. Willie’s going to be politically furloughed to terrorize again. It’s a wonderful mix of liberalism and a big black rapist.”

    Thomas Edsall, who provided some of the best reporting on the Bush campaign’s racial mudslinging in 1988, says it’s happening again in 2012:

    On television and the Internet … the Romney campaign is clearly determined “to make this about” race, in the tradition of the notorious 1988 Republican Willie Horton ad … and Jesse Helms’s equally infamous “White Hands” commercial, which depicted a white job applicant who “needed that job” but was rejected because “they had to give it to a minority.”

    The main media consultant for the “independent” pro-Romney super PAC Restore Out Future, Edsall notes, is Larry McCarthy, who crafted the most vile Willie Horton ad of 1988.

    Edsall sees the Romney campaign using race in two ways. Most overtly, the Romney campaign is accusing President Obama by of gutting welfare reform by dropping the work requirement—a gross distortion of an unexceptional waiver Obama granted several states allowing them to experiment with alternative ways to meet the work requirement. Two of the five governors requesting the waivers were Republicans, and among those who have denounced the workfare accusation as flat-out untrue is the Republican former congressman and current talk-show host Joe Scarborough. The second way Edsall sees the Romney campaign using race is more subtle. According to Edsall, Romney is conveying a racially-charged message in accusing Obama of taking money away from (mainly white recipients of) Medicare to fund (majority non-white recipients of) Obamacare.

  4. rikyrah says:

    August 27, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Voucherizing Medicare

    So there it is: the draft Republican platform says of Medicare and Medicaid,

    The first step is to move the two programs away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model.

    That means that instead of Medicare as we know it, which pays your medical bills, you’d get a lump sum which you can apply to private insurance — they’ll yell when we call it a voucher, but that’s what it is.

    No doubt I and others will have much more to say about this, but let’s just ask the question: why is this “fiscally sound”?

    Bear in mind that health expenses will still have to be mainly paid for by some kind of insurance; that’s in the nature of medical care, with its high but unpredictable cost. So what we’re doing here is replacing government insurance with a program that gives people money to buy private insurance — that is, adding an extra layer of middlemen. Why would this save money? I guess the answer is supposed to be the magic of the marketplace — but we have the experience of Medicare Advantage, plus studies of Medicaid versus private insurance, plus the raw fact that America relies more on private insurance than any other nation and also has by far the highest costs. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in the record suggests that this will do anything other than make health care less efficient.

    And for those demanding documentation, it’s coming; too busy today.

    So where are the savings? The answer is, it’s basically a way to deny health care to people while denying that you’re doing so. You don’t say, “we won’t pay for this care”, you just hand people a voucher and let them discover that it won’t buy adequate insurance. It’s health-care rationing — but by money instead of deliberate choice.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Stockholm Syndrome..

    Michael Steele’s shinning, grinning and cooning ass on tv for mofos that didn’t even invite him to the convention.


  6. rikyrah says:


    Surrogate Message Points:

    2012 Republican National Convention – A Better Future

    Top Line Message Points:

    · For four days, we will drive stories that will set the coming election in context — both thematically and through compelling, real-life examples and through powerful, dynamic speakers.

    o Overall Theme: A Better Future

    § Monday — We Can Do Better

    § Tuesday — We Built It

    § Wednesday — We Can Change It

    § Thursday – We Believe in America

    · The Republican Convention gives us an opportunity to present the American people with a clear contrast between the failed policies of Barack Obama and Governor Romney’s vision for a better future.

    · The American people demand and deserve better, and we cannot allow President Obama to continue to run away from, or distract the American people from, his failed policies. The President’s failures have resulted in:

    o High unemployment

    o Lower take-home pay

    o The weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression.

  7. rikyrah says:


    Two thoughts about Ryan and Romney that have been buzzing around in my brain lately. The first is Ryan’s response to the Akin matter, specifically his own name being on legislation built around the distinction between rape and “forcible rape”. It was a legitimate question – “Should abortions be available to women who have been raped?” – and it gave us a revealing answer:

    Ryan: “I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”

    KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano: “You sponsored legislation that has the language ‘forcible rape,'” Delano noted. “What is forcible rape as opposed…”

    Ryan: “Rape is rape. Rape is rape, period. End of story.”

    Delano: “So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?”

    Ryan: “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”

    Notice how he didn’t answer the question – on a matter he regards as one of conscience. Ryan is proud of a pro-life record that split hairs on rape and yet in the same answer says we shouldn’t split hairs on rape. When challenged, he simply reiterates his new line. I’m inclined to believe in Ryan’s sincerity on ending all abortion, but if he cannot back up his own previous positions or even explain why he has changed them, he is not a breath of fresh air; he is a halitosis-ridden belch. When it comes to risking political capital over a matter of moral principle, Ryan morphed immediately into Romney, an opportunist. Not a good sign – but not unexpected in an alleged deficit hawk who torpedoed the only, serious bipartisan chance for real reform in Bowles-Simpson.

    Then Romney. I have no problem with his being rich – hugely rich in ways that ultimately cannot even be spent in one lifetime. Good for him. But if I earned $25 million a year for doing nothing, I don’t think I’d be still ruthlessly, fanatically ensuring that no unnecessary taxes were paid on any single cent of it. It takes an army of accountants to do what Romney did: maximize to the most comprehensive degree a fortune of over $250 million to make sure it doesn’t in any way go to the public purse.

    Getting rich is one thing – and is nothing to be ashamed of, if achieved by honest hard work. But how you treat that money also matters. Romney has been very generous toward his church – and deserves huge credit for it. But the tax minimization? For someone who has more money than God? It’s not a virtue in my book. It’s greed.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Boehner: Minorities Won’t Turn Out for Obama

    By Elspeth Reeve, The Atlantic Wire

    Updated: August 27, 2012 | 4:19 p.m.
    August 27, 2012 | 3:35 p.m.

    CORRECTION: The original headline on this story mistated Boehner’s remarks about black and Latino voters. He suggested blacks and Latinos won’t show up and vote for either presidential candidate.

    House Speaker John Boehner is the most prominent Republican to admit, out loud, that his party’s strategy for winning in November isn’t looking for ways that the GOP can win over some black and Latino voters; rather, it is betting they won’t vote at all. Boehner wasn’t talking about voter ID laws, which are being pushed by Republicans and criticized as disenfranchising minority and poor voters, but he did tell a luncheon hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Tampa on Monday that the Republican Party was counting on apathy from the Latinos and blacks who are choosing Democrats over Republicans by record margins in recent polls. As Talking Point Memo’s Benjy Sarlin reports, Boehner said:

    “This election is about economics…. These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate, but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”

    Perhaps he meant that those groups would vote third-party, but it doesn’t seem all that likely. Less prominent Republicans have made essentially the same case in other terms. Doug Priesse, chair of the Franklin County, Ohio, Republican Party, indicated restrictions on early-voting hours and voter ID laws were meant to keep blacks from voting. In an e-mail sent earlier this month to The Columbus Dispatch’s Darrel Rowland, Priesse said:

    “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine…. Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

    • Ametia says:

      SHORT: Boehner is setting the stage for VOTER SUPPRESSION., and trying to give it cover, by saying Black and Latinos won’t vote for Obama. These sick MOFOs really want to start a race riot, don’t they?

  9. Ametia says:

    The U.S. Justice Department has announced that it will monitor primary elections in Arizona’s Maricopa County.

    The department said Monday that federal observers will be dispatched Tuesday to make sure that Maricopa County follows the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. That law prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.

    Observers will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations.

    Maricopa County officials, especially Sheriff Joe Arpaio, have come under fire for the treatment of Latino residents.

    Read more:

  10. rikyrah says:

    Pennsylvania Senate Candidate: Daughter’s Out-Of-Wedlock Pregnancy ‘Similar’ To Rape

    Eric Kleefeld-August 27, 2012, 3:26 PM

    Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith is the latest Republican to bungle a response to Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial comment about rape and pregnancy.

    “What that congressman said I do not agree with at all. He should have never said anything like that,” Smith told reporters Monday, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, during a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg Monday — referring to Akin’s suggestion that women’s bodies can block a pregnancy from rape.

    “I lived something similar to that with my own family,” Smith said. He then described his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy — from consensual sex.

    “She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views but fortunately for me … she chose the way I thought. Now don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t rape.”

    Smith affirmed that he believed his daughter’s pregnancy from consensual sex was similar to a rape. “Put yourself in a father’s position, yes, I mean it is similar.”

  11. Ametia says:

    Former SC Gov. Sanford engaged
    By Mario Trujillo – 08/27/12 10:33 AM ET

    Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) is engaged to his Argentine girlfriend — the same woman who made news three years ago when it was revealed that Sanford visited her in the South American country while he was in office.

    In 2009, it was discovered that Sanford visited Maria Belen Chapur in Argentina, having told his staff he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail. The South Carolina Legislature subsequently censured Sanford after learning that state funds were used in some of his travel to that country.

    Sanford confirmed the engagement to CNN in a statement. The news was first reported by an Argentine publication. Sanford and his former wife divorced in 2010.

    “Yes, we are engaged, and I’m both happy and excited for what that means,” Sanford said in the statement to CNN. “I have long expressed my feelings for her; she’s a wonderful person. My closest friends have met and love her, and I look forward to introducing her to still many more that have yet to do so.”

  12. Ametia says:

    August 26, 2012
    Paul Ryan’s Social Extremism

    Mitt Romney, who will be officially nominated this week as the Republican nominee for president, appears to trim his social convictions to the party’s prevailing winds. There is no doubt, however, about where the party’s vice-presidential candidate stands. A long history of social extremism makes Paul Ryan an emblem of the Republican tack to the far right.
    Mr. Romney’s choice of Mr. Ryan carried some risks, considering Mr. Ryan’s advocacy of overhauling Medicare, but it has sent the strongest signal of solidarity to those who have made the party unrecognizable to moderates. Strident conservatives had been uneasy with Mr. Romney, but it is the rest of the country that should be nervous about conservatives’ now-enthusiastic acceptance of the Republican ticket.

    Mr. Ryan is best known as the face of Republican budget-cutting, though his ideology runs much deeper. For years, he has been a reliable vote against workplace equity for women, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to file wage-discrimination lawsuits, and two similar measures.

    The full outpouring of hard-right enthusiasm is based, to a large degree, on Mr. Ryan’s sweeping opposition to abortion rights. He has long wanted to ban access to abortion even in the case of rape, the ideology espoused in this year’s Republican platform. (Mr. Romney favors a rape exception.) Mr. Ryan also co-sponsored, along with Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, a bill that would have narrowed the definition of rape to reduce the number of poor women who can get an abortion through Medicaid.

    Besides that, he has co-sponsored more than three dozen anti-abortion bills, including measures that would require women to get an ultrasound first, bar abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia and end federal spending for family planning programs. Though he urged Mr. Akin to end his Senate race last week over an offensive remark about “legitimate rape,” Mr. Ryan has actually co-sponsored more of these measures than Mr. Akin.

  13. Ametia says:

    Welcome to the Republican National Metaphor
    By LOLGOP on August 27, 2012

    Which night does Mitt tell everyone they’re fired?

    A storm descending, everything in disarray and a persistent effort to appear as if everything isn’t crumbling around them—welcome to the Republican National Metaphor.

    It might be nice to imagine hurricane menacing this week’s Republican Convention as a sign from Mother Nature about the danger of denying science or a rebuke from God for those who use His name to moralize hypocritically. But the fact is planning a convention in late summer on the Gulf Coast is just an example of terrible planning.

    But is it planning a convention on the Gulf Coast during hurricane season any worse planning than picking Mitt RomneyCare to run against ObamaCare.

  14. Ametia says:

    The RNC lays an egg
    by: Michael Bersin
    Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 12:38:55 PM CDT

    Romney advisers believe he’s viewed as “stiff, aloof, and distant”
    and that the GOP convention will be “a chance for a fresh start”

    their plan includes mad men “slick packaging” and a “theatrical,” Hollywood-style reinvention.]

    Narrator: In a world where thousands of jobs were destroyed by his corporate takeovers.

    Worker: One day we had a job, the next day we didn’t.

    Narrator: From a state where his economic record was a failure, he faces an election where the stakes couldn’t be higher.

    Mitt Romney (r): This a battle for the soul of America.

    Narrator: And he’s tried it all.

    Mitt Romney (r): I love this state. It seems right here, the trees are the right height.

    Corporations are people, my friend.

    I stand by whatever I said, whatever it was.

    Narrator: But nothing is working.

    Pundit: Mitt Romney’s favorability rating is about half President Obama’s.

    Second Pundit: fifty percent of Americans view Mitt Romney unfavorably.

    Narrator: His only hope is a convention reinvention.

    And an etch-a-sketch of epic proportions will be shaken to its core.

    Mitt Romney (r): I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake.

    Narrator: On August 30th Mitt Romney stars in The Do-over. critics have called his previous work “wildly misleading”, “four pinocchios”, “pants on fire”.

    Rated N, for not gonna work.


  15. Ametia says:

    Coming Soon to a Convention in Florida
    August 27, 2012
    By Chris Prevatt

    Thousands of jobs destroyed by his corporate takeovers…his record marred by economic failure in Massachusetts…his embrace of the most extreme positions of his party…women, Hispanic Americans, seniors, students and middle-class families jolting awake to his devastating policies. Heading into the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney faces unfavorability ratings through the roof in an election where the stakes couldn’t be higher. He’s hired Hollywood producers and Madison Avenue mad men to reinvent himself. He’s tried it all, but nothing is working…

    On Sunday, Obama for America presented Americans with an epic cinematic preview of Mitt Romney’s “convention re-invention” – the Do-Over moment that voters have grown to expect – because they’ve seen this movie before. Romney’s previous work has been panned as misleading and false by independent critics, so his only option is to shake the Etch-a-Sketch and try once again to convince the country that his plan to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires on the backs of the middle class is a blockbuster.

  16. Ametia says:


  17. rikyrah says:

    Convention: Lies and Dog Whistles
    by Michael Tomasky Aug 27, 2012 7:34 AM EDT

    GOP: A party dedicated to five ideas, all reprehensible.

    Comments (49)

    Well, here we go. The week has begun in Tampa, report Adele Stan and Peter Montgomery, with Ralph Reed, that great Christian casino gambling enthusiast, rallying the troops, advocating that the fall election be dedicated to “the Lord.” This invocation comes in advance of what promises to be a toxic waste dump of hate and lies and race-baiting for the next four days.

    Tom Edsall said it without quite saying it this morning in the Times, that this Romney-Ryan campaign is becoming among the most racist we’ve ever seen. The two key lies so far are totally about race–that Obama is soft on welfare recipients, and that he’s “robbing” $716 billion from Medicare (77 percent of recipients are white) to “pay for Obamacare” (that is, to extend health care to black and brown people who don’t deserve it, havent earned it, etc.).

    Commenter Omegadon asked last week: “Michael: Is there any element of the GOP that you don’t consider loathesome?” I’ve been thinking about this over the weekend. Having trouble coming up with much.

    Let me answer this way. I may not have much good to say about today’s conservatism and Republican Party, but I do have criticisms of Democrats and contemporary liberalism. As I’ve written many times over the years, they are too fixated on rights without enough corresponding emphasis on responsibility. But when I say responsibility I mean civic responsibility (behavior in the public sphere) more than personal responsibility (behavior in the private sphere). That is, I mean citizens behaving in a way that nurtures and sustains the common good.

    Honest conservatism can be valuable. It can provide that counter-balance. But we don’t have honest conservatism today. We have a radical party that is dedicated in essence to three propositions: the financial liberation of the top 2 percent; the need to start more wars as the way to exercise moral authority in the world; and the peddling of oogedy-boogedy nonsense that’s a step or two removed from bloodletting and alchemy.

    Actually, now that I think about it, it’s dedicated to two other propositions, too: the idea that Democrats aren’t Americans who have different and worse ideas but are in fact un-American, which leads to this politics as perpetual warfare business; and the idea that black people shouldn’t really have the right to vote in the same way white people do.

  18. rikyrah says:

    August 27, 2012, 12:43 am190 Comments
    Making the Election About Race

    The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor.

    Ads that accuse President Obama of gutting the work requirements enacted in the 1996 welfare reform legislation present the first theme. Ads alleging that Obama has taken $716 billion from Medicare — a program serving an overwhelmingly white constituency — in order to provide health coverage to the heavily black and Hispanic poor deliver the second. The ads are meant to work together, to mutually reinforce each other’s claims.

    The announcer in one of the Romney campaign’s TV ads focusing on welfare tells viewers:

    In 1996, President Clinton and a bipartisan Congress helped end welfare as we know it by requiring work for welfare. But on July 12, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping the work requirement. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you a welfare check. And welfare-to-work goes back to being plain old welfare. Mitt Romney will restore the work requirement because it works.

  19. rikyrah says:

    GOP Details Huge Medicare Change In Leaked Platform

    Sahil Kapur-August 27, 2012, 1:22 PM
    In a leaked party platform circulating on the eve of their convention, Republicans reveal in candid detail how they intend to transform Medicare.

    The platform, snagged by Politico on Friday afternoon after the Republican National Committee accidentally posted it to its website before taking it down, is scheduled to be approved at the convention early this week.

    The text details the privatization policy that GOP lawmakers have supported for years, and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are selling as necessary to “save” Medicare. But in an unusual twist, it addresses the specific aspect of the proposal that makes it a departure from what Americans know as “Medicare.”

    “The first step is to move the two programs [Medicare and Medicaid] away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model,” the draft platform reads. “While retaining the option of traditional Medicare in competition with private plans, we call for a transition to a premium-support model for Medicare, with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice. This model will include private health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection, to ensure the continuation of doctor-patient relationships.”

    The esoteric language gets to the heart of the change that ends the basic structure of Medicare. Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has been a government-run insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly per their needs (i.e. “defined benefit”). Republicans want to turn it into a partially privatized system that pays seniors a fixed amount to buy their own health insurance (i.e. “defined contribution”).


    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that the plan will raise seniors’ out-of-pocket medical expenses by thousands of dollars, a fact Democrats hasten to point out. The draft Republican platform claims that the competition among private insurance plans will lead to major cost savings, though little evidence exists to support this argument.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Republican Strategy: The Niggerization of the Democratic Party:
    Let’s cut through the bullshit here, much like Chris Matthews did on Morning Starbucks with Joe today. The GOP strategy right now is simple: The Democratic Party is a bunch of niggers, with a nigger leading them. Do you want to be a nigger lover or, even worse, a nigger yourself?

    See, it’s not enough that Mitt Romney and his filthy minions marginalize the President by turning him into an angry black foreigner through idiotic jokes, heh-heh. No, they have to turn one of the coolest, mellowest men of any race and transform him into the vicious, rage-filled child of Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon. They have to go after his likability, his perceived strength, as Rove would want, and make us look at Barack Obama and only see the seething native, waiting to spear the poor, misunderstood colonizers and take their money to give to the rest of the Hottentots.

    But they need to go further. It’s not enough to make it seem like Democrats follow a cannibal bastard. Instead, the strategy has become to make simply being a Democrat associated with the dirty, poverty, hands-out part of humanity. The niggers, if you will. Romney told USA Today (motto: “Every once in a while, news gets in here”), regarding the waivers on welfare reform, that the President was just trying to “shore up his base” by, in essence, sending the word that the niggers won’t have to work for that welfare check and can keep stealing from the rest of us. Even if the truth is the exact opposite, Romney keeps repeating it and flogging that lie like it’s a … well, you know.

    With recent polls showing that the GOP couldn’t get a black vote even if Romney took Rihanna as a sister-wife and the Hispanic vote limited mostly to a few Cuban-Americans, apparently they’ve more or less said, “Oh, fuck it” and not only played the race card but an entire race hand. That’s the game now. How many whites, especially white males, feel so uncomfortable in a room with non-whites that they would vote for whatever white guys are running against Obama?

    Once again, it demonstrates how little the Republicans have to actually campaign on. And how many parts of the nation they have alienated. But there’s something else going on here, and it gets back to that notion that’s part of that fucking idiotic documentary that Dinesh D’Souza shat out about Obama trying to get vengeance against the colonizers for his father.

    With this being an incredibly white ticket of an incredibly white political party (90% of Republicans are white), what the GOP is doing in this election is to make a last stand for the innate good of the white male, the white patriarchy, if you will, as knowing best how everyone should behave. When they say, as Romney has, that they are what’s best for women and non-whites, the not-so-subtle message is the same as every pasty European who ever confronted the natives after walking off a boat: “We may want to strip you of all your natural resources and enslave you, but you can put your trust in us. As long as you don’t try to stop us, we won’t hurt you.”

    In other words, it’s not the rage of Barack Obama that’s driving this election. It’s the rage of the white colonizers who are afraid of losing any of their power over the colonized.

  21. rikyrah says:

    August 27, 2012 2:23 PM

    Obama’s Base

    In the toxic little game the Romney/Ryan campaign is playing with its welfare attack line, the standard tactic when pressed on the mendacity of the claim is to shift to the alleged motive for the completely fabricated “gutting” of welfare reform. No less a personality than Mitt Romney himself offered it up in an interview with USAToday:

    Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to “shore up his base” for the election.

    TNR’s Tim Noah provides a translation, if any is needed:

    President Obama doesn’t represent you; he represents a lot of people on welfare. And you know what they look like.

    Tim mocks Romney spox Andrea Saul for suggesting Mitt’s talking not about welfare recipients, but about “President Obama’s liberal base … the people who believe the same way he does: that government is the solution to everything.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 08/27/2012
    Why the weak economy hasn’t (yet) doomed Obama
    By Greg Sargent

    Why isn’t Mitt Romney winning by now, given the painful sluggishness of the recovery, upside-down right-track-wrong-track numbers, and Obama’s high disapproval on the economy?

    For many analysts, that’s the key question. Charlie Cook has decided Romney is not leading because he failed to develop a positive vision of himself. Sean Trende, meanwhile, says the answer is that the economy isn’t as bad as it was in 1980, or even in 2008.

    Here’s my own unscientific answer. It’s grounded in a nuance I believe is central to the Obama campaign’s understanding of the race: The distinction between whether voters have decided Obama has failed, or whether they have decided he has merely disappointed them by falling short of expectations, an outcome these voters have come to see as understandable, given the circumstances.

    • rikyrah says:

      why it hasn’t doomed Obama:
      1. folks actually remember the Bush years
      2. there is an actual group that gets that this economy would be doing better without Republican obstructionism
      3. Willard was the wrong messenger, because he epitomizes everything that went wrong with the US Economy in the past 30 years.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The wrong GOP messenger on race
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:17 PM EDT.

    OK, which strategic genius in the Republican Party thought it’d be a good idea to have Haley Barbour out in front talking about politics and race?

    Former] Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, one of his party’s elder statesmen and leading strategists, today accused Democrats of playing the “race card” in accusing Republicans of making race a subtext of the campaign.

    Democrats have argued heatedly that Mitt Romney’s unexpected new focus on welfare policy, his reference to President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and his embrace of Donald Trump — who campaigned on the latter subject — represent thinly-coded appeals to working-class white resentment of a black president.

    “Name a campaign in the last 25 years where the Dems didn’t play the race card,” Barbour told BuzzFeed. “Surprise!”

    I suppose this was inevitable. As Romney, feeling as if he has no choice, begins to incorporate racially-charged attacks into his campaign plan, it was only a matter of time before his allies started this style of pushback.

    • Ametia says:

      Let’s NOT mince words here. Mitt Romney belongs to a religion that were not accepting BLACK people as equal in their eyes to be priesst. Who in the HELL would want to belong to any organization that did not even look at you as human, but EVIL, until they REWROTE their doctrine in 1978, claiming God had a change of heart. SMGDH

  24. rikyrah says:

    Why the race is no longer about the economy
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:34 PM EDT.

    A curious thing happened earlier this month. For over a year, Mitt Romney and his campaign team ignored just about every issue in order to remain focused solely on jobs and the economy, demonstrating real message discipline, and rejecting everything else as a “distraction.”

    There’s a larger strategy beneath the racially-charged lie.

    And then, the message changed. Jobs and the economy were out; welfare and contraception were in. Soon after, imaginary cuts to the Medicare trust fund were added to the GOP mix. As of last week, Romney even wants to talk about birth certificates.

    The entire month of August has seen something no one expected: Romney has dropped the economy as his central focus. Did the Republican suddenly become undisciplined? On the contrary, Team Romney shifted gears because it felt a change in message was necessary.

    The strategic shift in the campaign message that has been unfolding in recent weeks reflects a conclusion among Mr. Romney’s advisers that disappointment with Mr. Obama’s economic stewardship is not sufficient to propel Mr. Romney to victory on its own.

    Republican strategists said that many middle-class voters had proved reluctant to give up entirely on Mr. Obama, and that they still needed to be convinced that Mr. Romney would look out for their interests…. Mr. Romney’s chances hinge to a large degree on running up his advantage among white voters in swing states who show deep strains of opposition to Mr. Obama but do not yet trust Mr. Romney to look out for their interests, Republican strategists say.

    The assumption has always been that in order for Romney to win, he’d have to exploit public frustration over the tepid recovery. But those assumptions are changing — the economy is important, but it’s not enough. The fact that economy is slowly improving, coupled with Romney’s controversial private-sector background and failures in Massachusetts, has pushed the GOP ticket to look elsewhere for messages that will drive the campaign.

    That’s harder than it might seem. Romney doesn’t want to push immigration, because he’s struggling enough with Latino voters. He can’t attack on health care, because Romney created the blueprint for Obama’s reform law. He can’t push national security, because the president has too many successes and Romney has struggled badly to learn the basics.

    And so, the culture war — most notably racially-charged welfare attacks that resonate with some white voters — started to look pretty good. It’s almost certainly what led Romney to pander to racists with his birther joke on Friday, and connected welfare to the Democratic “base” yesterday.

  25. rikyrah says:

    from Charles Pierce about Tweety this morning:

    All the catz ‘n kittenz down by the Bay are quivery and twittery because Chris Matthews, on whose last nerve Willard Romney seems to jump with hobnailed boots, got all up in the slick, smug little grill of obvious anagram Reince Priebus this morning on Morning Joe’s Playhouse over the obvious racial air-raid sirens that have echoed through Republican politics only since about half-past 1964, and which have grown especially loud these past few weeks as Willard Romney made his little fun-fun about birth certificates last week, and his campaign released an ad falsely accusing the president of “gutting welfare reform,” which was an achievement of President Bill Clinton who, you may recall, was a big favorite of the Republican party back in the early to late 1990’s.

    If you can tear yourself away from the attempts of the hosts to tut-tut-my-good-man the whole thing to death — and poor Tom Brokaw, who freaking covered the civil-rights movement and knows good and well which party latched on to the wrong side of those events and rode them to glory, looks as though he might have a stroke — listen carefully to what Matthews says. He links the birther joke to the welfare commercials, which any thinking analyst would do, since they came hard, one upon the other, and since that was the only hymn in the modern Republican hymnal Romney had not yet sung to the approval of the choir — he’d warmed up on the melody when he was ripping up Rick Perry on the issue of immigration — his campaign was bound to get around to it eventually. Priebus dismisses the birther comment as “an attempt at levity,” and chides Matthews for failing to have a sense of humor….

    “We’ve gotten to a point in politics where any moment of levity is frowned upon by guys like you…It’s a moment of levity. Everybody gets it.”

    Somehow, the truthless welfare commercials, which are the really deafening sirens in the current moment, disappeared from the dialogue and never come up again. There was yet another blow-up later when Priebus smirked about the president’s alleged “European” policies, and Matthews went up the wall again, calling what Priebus said “insane,” while Mika Brzezinski suggested that everyone “work on tone.” She has her work cut out for her down here, I’ll tell you that.

    I am at somewhat of a loss to criticize Matthews here. That he has a class-based animus toward Romney is undeniable; Romney could breed a class-based animus in the Rothschild family. But Matthews is old enough to remember wealthy white Republicans, most of whom came from families that made things, and did not make their pile moving other people’s money around the Caymans and other people’s jobs to China, and who, for all their hidebound principles, nonetheless helped finance organizations like the NAACP, and who marched with them, too. He’s revolted by what has happened to American conservatism and, if he’s late to the game of calling it for what it is, he’s at least historian enough to link its current manifestations with their historical origins. What we have in this campaign is a joining of old Republican money with the modern American financial universe, and its power applied to advance ideas straight out of the swamps of the Wallace campaign 50 years ago. It is an unholy mess, and it is precisely the unholy mess over which Reince Priebus wants to preside, and if Mika wants the tone to change, maybe she should start there.

    Read more:

  26. rikyrah says:

    Gabby Douglas tells Oprah about bullying, being called ‘slave’ by fellow gymnast

    by theGrio | August 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    In her highly-anticipated sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey on Oprah’s Next Chapter, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas spoke candidly about the bullying, taunts and racism she endured from her fellow gymnasts on her historic rise to the top.

    She says that the she experienced the most disrespect at her hometown gym in Virginia, where she alleges that another girl once quipped that Douglas was her “slave.”

    “I definitely felt isolated. I felt, why am I deserving this?” said Douglas. “Is it because I’m black? Like, those thoughts would go through my mind.”

    The unpleasant atmosphere in Virginia forced Douglas to relocate to Iowa, where her career really began to take off.

    The 16-year-old two-time Gold medalist became the first African-American gymnast to ever win all-around gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:21 AM ET, 08/27/2012
    In final stretch, Mitt Romney channels Lee Atwater
    By Jamelle Bouie

    For the last month, the Romney campaign has been running with a new strategy: blatant appeals to racial resentment. The welfare ads, which falsely accuse President Obama of “gutting” welfare reform, were the first sign of this shift. It continued in subtler form with attacks on Obamacare — accusing Obama of taking from Medicare recipients and giving the revenues to his supporters — and became explicit again with last Friday’s “joke” about the president’s birth certificate.

    At this point, in fact, Romney has stopped trying to hide the extent to which he wants to “otherize” Obama as a president for nonwhites. In an interview with USA Today this weekend, he defended the welfare ads by accusing Obama of offering waivers as a political calculation designed to “shore up his base.”

    At best, Romney means Obama’s “base” is made up of welfare recipients. And the latest report from Pew Research provides insight into why the Romney campaign has adopted the Lee Atwater playbook for winning elections. Just five years ago, party identification among white voters was near parity — 46 percent identified as Republican, 44 percent as Democrat. Now, Republicans have a twelve point advantage among white voters, 52 percent to 40 percent. Overall, the GOP has become incredibly homogenous — 87 precent of self-identified Republicans are white, compared to just 61 percent of self-identified Democrats.

    • Ametia says:

      Mitt Romney will FAIL at his attempts at RACE-BAITING. The folks who vote for whites, simply because they’re white will vote for Romney. same as with McCain. Romney CANNOT WIN without WOMEN, HISPANICS AND ZERO BLACKS, except for Condi Rice, Arthur Davis, and Herman Cain.

      And if Mitt Romney thinks he and the GOP are going to STEAL this election by voter suppression and intimidation, they’d better think again.

  28. Ametia says:

    “The IRS estimates that 17 percent of taxes owed were not paid, leaving an underpayment of $450 billion.”
    By Paul Buchheit

    Conservatives force the deficit issue, ignoring job creation, and insisting that tax increases on the rich wouldn’t generate enough revenue to balance the budget. They’re way off. But it takes a little arithmetic to put it all together. In the following analysis, data has been taken from a variety of sources, some of which may overlap or slightly disagree, but all of which lead to the conclusion that withheld revenue, not excessive spending, is the problem.

    1. Individual and small business tax avoidance costs us $450 billion.

    The IRS estimates that 17 percent of taxes owed were not paid, leaving an underpayment of $450 billion. In way of confirmation, an independent review of IRS data reveals that the richest 10 percent of Americans paid less than 19% on $3.8 trillion of income in 2006, nearly $450 billion short of a more legitimate 30% tax rate. It has also been estimated that two-thirds of the annual $1.3 trillion in “tax expenditures” (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes) goes to the top quintile of taxpayers. Based on IRS apportionments, this calculates out to more than $450 billion for the richest 10 percent of Americans.

  29. Ametia says:

    Bain, Romney have mixed record of profits, jobs and layoffs in North Carolina
    John Frank | The (Raleigh) News & Observer


    Over a 10-year period, the firm pumped huge sums into at least five companies based in the state and many other corporations with significant operations here. Bain’s investments in just the North Carolina-based companies totaled about $1 billion and affected roughly 5,000 employees in the state and thousands more elsewhere.


    Charley Bratton co-founded the Internet services company in 1993. But with Bain primed to purchase the company, he left. “The (original) focus was to lift businesses across North Carolina … but I don’t think that had any driving force for Bain,” he said.


    “He’s a vulture – or has been as a business person,” said Bratton, a registered Republican. “His goal as a business person was to grow his wealth, grow wealth for his stockholders … and he did that in a manner that was absolutely ruthless.”

    Read more here:

  30. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Birther Joke, Ctd

    A reader writes:

    I am just so tired of these racist attacks on President Obama. Mitt Romney’s father, George, was born in Mexico. There are serious questions about whether George’s parents were U.S. citizens. Mitt could be called an “anchor baby.” George’s citizenship was questioned when he was considering his own run for the presidency, yet not nearly as much as Obama’s today.

    Well, he was white. Another:

    I know Romney’s not racist, but he basically said, “No one’s ever accused ME of being a foreigner! So vote for me!” He’s not even accusing Obama of being a foreigner. He’s basically saying it’s simply bad enough to have a funny name and black skin, because that’s going to make some very nice Americans think you’re a foreigner, and that’s enough of a problem. And who wants a president like this anyway?

    It’s also likely to empower fringe jokers such as these:

    President Barack Obama is a socialist, was raised by communists, and wasn’t born in the United States, according to the former Navy SEAL who founded the group Special Operations Speaks (SOS), which aims to portray Obama as anti-military in this election season.

    Earlier this week, a different group of former Navy SEALS calling themselves the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund rolled out its campaign to criticize Obama for leaking national security information and taking what it believes as undue credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. That group claims to be non-political. But the founder of SOS, a similar group with the same mission and the same tactics, says he has no problem admitting that he is against Obama’s politics, personality, and believes that America’s current president is lying about his origins.

    “I have to admit that I’m a Birther,” said SOS founder Larry Bailey, a retired 27-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, in an interview. “If there were a jury of 12 good men and women and the evidence were placed before them, there would be absolutely no question Barack Obama was not born where he said he was and is not who he says he is.”

  31. rikyrah says:

    Romneycare no longer a forbidden subject
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:32 AM EDT.

    Earlier this month, Mitt Romney’s chief spokesperson, Andrea Saul, gave the right a heart attack when she suggested on Fox News that struggling families nationwide would benefit greatly if only they lived under Romneycare at the national level — implicitly endorsing the implementation of Obamacare.

    Conservatives were livid, and the campaign was left confused and unsure what to say next.

    As of yesterday, however, Team Romney seems to have settled on a new message, embracing the saw law the candidate ignored for the last two years.

    Asked about Todd Akin and the Republican Party’s far-right line on women’s health, Romney said, “[W]ith regards to women’s health care, look, I’m the guy that was able to get health care for all of the women and men in my state…. I’m very proud of what we did and the fact that we helped women and men and children in our state.”

    This is just fascinating. Romney has a problem when it comes to the gender gap, so all of a sudden, “Romneycare,” which has been a forbidden topic throughout the race, is seen as a possible solution. Left unsaid, of course, is Romney telling those on the right to keep their mouths shut because, well, he’s running for president for Pete’s sake.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Romney connects welfare to Obama’s ‘base’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:54 AM EDT.

    About two weeks ago, Mitt Romney suggested attack ads rejected by “the various fact-checkers” shouldn’t be on the air. Last week, confronted with evidence that the various fact-checkers consider his welfare smear against President Obama to be an obvious lie, Romney changed his mind — if there’s scrutiny that points to his dishonesty, the scrutiny must be biased.

    In an interview yesterday with USA Today, Romney’s defense of the indefensible took another turn.

    Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to “shore up his base” for the election.

    This is a quote in need of some follow-up. Obviously, there’s the shameless, transparent lie itself, in which Romney continues to falsely accuse the president of weakening the work requirement in welfare law — a racially-charged accusation that has literally no basis in reality.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Why reproductive rights have the GOP on the defensive
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:16 AM EDT.

    Late last week, the RNC’s Sean Spicer ran into some trouble when asked about rape and incest exemptions in his party’s national platform. He argued that the platform doesn’t explicitly say there can’t be exemptions, so who knows, maybe they exist.

    As Tricia noted earlier, Virginia Gov. Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell (R) was asked a similar question on ABC yesterday, and gave a similar answer. When George Stephanopoulos brought up the platform and its support for a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, McDonnell, who oversaw the platform process, said, “The details certainly are left to Congress and, ultimately, to the states and the people on how they ratify such an amendment.”

    As a factual matter, McDonnell and Spicer are simply wrong. The Republican platform demands a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions, regardless of, to use Paul Ryan’s phrase, “the method of conception.”

    But why are McDonnell and Spicer lying about this? I have a hunch I know the answer.

  34. Ametia says:

    Monday, Aug 27, 2012 07:29 AM CDT
    Where the gender gap was born

    The origins of the GOP’s war on women can be traced back to the summer of 1980
    By Steve Kornacki

    The importance of women to Barack Obama’s reelection hopes is no secret. The president consistently trails Mitt Romney among male voters, but so far that deficit is more than wiped out by his strength with females – which explains why the Obama team is redoubling its efforts to turn women against Romney and the GOP brand.

    The proximate reason for this is the behavior of Republicans, who have placed a new level of rhetorical and legislative importance on reproductive issues in the past few years.

    The shock value of Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment a week ago made it an instant national story, but the controversy also focused attention on the lack of a rape exception in the anti-abortion platform language Republicans will ratify in Tampa this week. This came a few months after the congressional GOP picked a fight with Obama over the administration’s efforts to mandate contraception coverage, and after Gov. Bob McDonnell and his fellow Virginia Republicans were forced to abandon a plan to compel women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before having an abortion. (Instead, McDonnell signed a bill that mandates a non-invasive ultrasound.) There’s also been a proliferation of “personhood” amendments at the state level, along with numerous other Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion. All of this has allowed Democrats to accuse the GOP of pursuing a “war on women.”

    To understand the roots of the gender politics of 2012, though, you need to go back more than three decades, to the summer of 1980.

  35. Ametia says:

    War on Women Postponed Until Tuesday
    Posted by Andy Borowitz

    TAMPA (The Borowitz Report)—The Republican National Committee issued a statement today indicating that due to Hurricane Isaac, the War on Women would be postponed until Tuesday.

    Billy Coldane, who traveled from Bullitt County, Kentucky to attend the War on Women, was just one of many Republicans who said they were “disgusted” by the Party’s decision.

    “The Party is saying they’re doing this because of an ‘act of God,’ but postponing the War on Women is the exact opposite of what God would want,” he said. “Sometimes I wonder if Republicans are really serious about defeating women.”

    He worried that postponing the War on Women “because of a little 100-m.p.h. wind” might be seen by the Party’s enemies as a sign of weakness: “There’s rotten weather every December and you don’t see Obama postponing the War on Christmas.”

    Read more

    Read more

  36. Ametia says:

    Over 1/4 million views and counting! love it!

  37. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:51 AM ET, 08/27/2012
    The Morning Plum: Romney’s challenge at the GOP convention
    By Greg Sargent

    With the GOP convention kicking off today, the new Post poll neatly illustrates the main challenges Mitt Romney faces as he makes his opening bid to reintroduce himself to the American people on more favorable terms. The poll finds Romney and Obama locked in a statistical tie, with Romney leading 47-46 among registered voters nationally (Obama leads among all adults, 49-42.).

    While Romney holds an edge on the generic question of who would do a better job handling the economy (50-43), Obama holds a significant advantage on a range of other questions — gaps Romney simply must begin to close in Tampa:

    * Obama leads on who is more trusted on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, 52-38.

    * Obama leads on who is more trusted to address women’s issues, 51-35.

    * Obama leads on who seems like the more friendly and likeable person, 61-27.

    * Obama is seen as doing more to favor the middle class than the wealthy, 61-24, versus numbers on the same question that are completely upside down for Romney, 30-60.

    * Obama leads on who better understands the economic problems people in this country are having, 47-40

    • Ametia says:

      This question: While Romney holds an edge on the generic question of who would do a better job handling the economy (50-43), Obama holds a significant advantage on a range of other questions gaps Romney simply must begin to close in Tampa:

      The poll has to show this 50-43. We can’t have that negro showing any signs of HANDLING AMERICA’S FINANCES, now can we?

  38. rikyrah says:

    What Paul Ryan has in common with Marie Antoinette

    Well surprise, surprise!

    It turns out that Paul Ryan isn’t really the salt of the earth, son of toil, dude-out-of-a-Springsteen-song-type he is so fond he is so fond of portraying himself as. I know. Shocking, right?

    As the L.A. Times headline reports “Despite working-class image, Ryan comes from family of wealth.” The story definitely deliver the goods. For instance:

    In the year after his father’s death, Ryan’s maternal grandmother set up the Ryan-Hutter Investment Partnership, which remains an important part of Ryan’s finances with assets of up to half a million dollars, according to the congressman’s 2011 financial disclosure statement. Ryan continues as the general partner running the entity for the family.
    Court records indicate Ryan’s father left a probate estate of $428,000, though the number of assets existing outside the will or the probate remains unknown. Ryan was to receive $50,000 when he turned 30.
    In addition to the Ryan-Hutter Investment Partnership, Ryan also benefits from another family entity, Ryan Limited Partnership, which was established in March 1995 by an aunt. Ryan’s share of that is worth up to $500,000. Ryan makes no investment decisions in either partnership, the campaign spokesman said.

  39. rikyrah says:

    August 27, 2012 9:10 AM
    Romney and His Race Card—“What Are You Going To Do About It?
    By Ed Kilgore

    Regular readers of Political Animal should find this analysis of Mitt Romney’s stretch-run strategy and message, as articulated by Thomas Edsall in the New York Times, very familiar:

    The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor.
    Ads that accuse President Obama of gutting the work requirements enacted in the 1996 welfare reform legislation present the first theme. Ads alleging that Obama has taken $716 billion from Medicare — a program serving an overwhelmingly white constituency — in order to provide health coverage to the heavily black and Hispanic poor deliver the second. The ads are meant to work together, to mutually reinforce each other’s claims.

    Edsall, as you may recall, has been suggesting for a good while that this is the sort of politics the Tea Party Movement is all about.

    So that’s the most important sense in which the Romney campaign has finally surrendered unconditionally to the Right: not simply accepting its political positions or promising to make its priorities his own, or placing on his ticket their favorite politician—but also adopting its meta-message about the kind of people Obama represents (those people) and the kind of people who are suffering from his redistributionist ways.

    It’s clear by now that the Romney campaign is going to shrug off the almost universal denunciation of his welfare ads (and to only a lesser extent, his Medicare ads that show a white senior frowning as the narrator says ObamaCare is “not for you”) as a pack of despicable, race-baiting lies—or use the so’s-your-old-man argument that Obama’s campaign tactics justify his own. If nothing else, his wizards probably figured out some time ago that the “welfare” crap offered a rare opportunity to hit notes equally effective with “the base” and the non-college educated white voters who make up a high percentage of this election’s “swing.” Add in the thick armor conservatives have built for themselves against any accusations of racism—now, almost by definition, they believe only liberals are racists, and only white people are targets of racism—and it was probably an easy call for Team Mitt, particularly since truthfulness is not a factor at all.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Chris Matthews Confronts RNC Chairman: ‘Obama Being A Foreigner Is The Thing Your Party Has Been Pushing’
    By Igor Volsky on Aug 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Chris Matthews tore into RNC Chairman Reince Priebus during an appearance on Morning Joe on Monday, accusing the Romney campaign of “playing that little ethnic card” in its false attacks against welfare reform and jokes about birtherism. “Obama being a foreigner is the thing your party has been pushing. [Campaign co-chair John] Sununu pushed it, everyone is pushing it in your party,” Matthews declared.

    The MSNBC host criticized Mitt Romney’s birther joke, his consistant claims that Obama imported his domestic policies, and argued that the campaign has sought to foreignize the president. Priebus defended the party by claiming that Obama’s health and economic policies are European, but Matthews quickly dismissed the claim:

    PRIEBUS: But I think Obama’s policies have created a sense that for whatever reason, he’s looking to guidance [from Europe] as far as health care is concerned, as far as our spending is concerned …

    MATTHEWS: What? Where do you get this from? This is insane! You mean the Keynesian fiscal policy — you mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European? … What’s this got to do with Europe and this foreignization of the guy? You’re doing it now! Saying he’s influenced by foreign influences? You’re playing that card again. What’s this European thing of yours? What are you up to with this constant that he’s not really domestic?

    PRIEBUS: You don’t think the take-over of our health care system called Obamacare is a problem for most Americans?

    MATTHEWS: Let me tell you some history, sir. Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt pushed for that, Truman pushed for that, were they all under the influence of Europe? Where do you get this from?

    PRIEBUS: I’m not going to get into a shouting match with Chris, so you guys can just move on.

    MATTHEWS: Because you’re losing, that’s why.

    PRIEBUS: No, I’m not losing.

    The Romney campaign promoted the “foreigner” angle in July, when Sununu claimed that Obama “has no idea how the American system functions…because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia.” He later claimed, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” before apologizing for the remarks.

    During a rally in Pennsylvania, however, Romney doubled down, calling Obama’s policies “extraordinarily foreign.”

  41. rikyrah says:

    Life After the Olympics for Gabby Douglas

    Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber have been stars since winning the gold; touring all over the place, including the Empire State Building and the New York Stock Exchange; invited by the president over the phone.

    “Were enjoying every step of the way,” said Wieber, who with Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Aly Raisman gave the United States its first Olympic team title in women’s gymnastics since 1996.

    Douglas has been fully enjoying the experience, tweeting photos of her encounters with stars like Nicki Minaj, and Nick Cannon.

    “We’ve been having so much fun the past few days,” she said.

    But she’s waiting on a special invitation to guest star on “The Vampire Diaries,” her favorite show.

    Overall, the girls admit they weren’t quite prepared for all the attention they’ve been getting. They’ve enjoyed it though.

    According to the Associated Press, instead of making back-to-school plans for the fall, they’re gearing up for the 40-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions.

    “Not many 17-year-old girls get to do this, so I don’t feel like were missing much,” Wieber said.

    Douglas, who is home schooled and lives in Des Moines, Iowa, to be near her coaches most of the time, would just like to have time to do a little light gymnastics training in the interim before the tour – and maybe try a CrossFit conditioning workout that emphasizes endurance and cardio. “We all want to stay in shape,” she said.


    • Ametia says:

      Enjoyed watching Gabriele last night on Oprah. She prefers to be called “Gabriele.” She’s so smart and her personality just shines through.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Though two weekend polls showed mixed results for the president, Barack Obama reached an important mark in both an ABC/Washington Post poll released Sunday night and a CNN poll released Friday. His approval rating hit 50 percent in both of them.

    The 50-percent threshold is generally considered the point at which incumbents are safely re-elected. It’s the first time that Obama has hit the mark in the ABC/Post poll since April…

    …. the 50-percent approval mark is a significant one, as Gallup managing editor Jeffrey M. Jones explained recently:

    The 50% approval mark is significant because post-World War II incumbent presidents who have been above 50% job approval on Election Day were easily re-elected. Presidents with approval ratings below 50% have more uncertain re-election prospects….

  43. rikyrah says:

    Tweety called Willard ‘ The Orkin Man’?


  44. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney appears to trim his social convictions to the party’s prevailing winds. There is no doubt, however, about where the party’s vice-presidential candidate stands. A long history of social extremism makes Paul Ryan an emblem of the Republican tack to the far right.

    Mr. Romney’s choice of Mr. Ryan carried some risks, considering Mr. Ryan’s advocacy of overhauling Medicare, but it has sent the strongest signal of solidarity to those who have made the party unrecognizable to moderates. Strident conservatives had been uneasy with Mr. Romney, but it is the rest of the country that should be nervous about conservatives’ now-enthusiastic acceptance of the Republican ticket.

    ….. for years, he has been a reliable vote against workplace equity for women, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act …. he has co-sponsored more than three dozen anti-abortion bills…. his budget would end all government financing for Planned Parenthood while slashing spending on prenatal care and infant nutrition….

    Mr. Ryan’s record on gay rights is no less egregious. He supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and voted against the repeal of the military’s discriminatory don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy. In 2009, a decade after Matthew Shepard was murdered for being gay, Mr. Ryan voted against a bill named after Mr. Shepard that expands the federal hate crimes act to include brutality based on sexual orientation.

    …. Mr. Ryan is one of the most anti-gun-control candidates on a presidential ticket in many years, holding a grade of “A” from the National Rifle Association and opposing a background check requirement for purchases at gun shows.

  45. Ametia says:

    Michael Steele to RNC: Don’t blame me
    By Nia-Malika Henderson and Felicia Sonmez, Published: August 26The Washington Post

    TAMPA — As Republicans reshuffle their convention schedule ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac, a key question has emerged: Why pick a state in Hurricane Alley in peak hurricane season for an all-important nominating convention where visuals are everything?

    Among the chattering classes, cable TV pundits and Republicans alike, one meme has emerged: It’s Michael Steele’s fault.
    Steele, who helmed the Republican National Committee for two years before he was voted out in January 2011, said it was “ridiculous” to blame him for the selection of Tampa as the host city for Mitt Romney’s coronation.

    “These guys still want to pick over bones with me about the RNC — they didn’t like my style, but to blame the hurricane on me when they voted on it unanimously is amazing to me,” Steele said, noting that he doesn’t even have an invitation from the RNC to be in Tampa for the convention.

    “They sound like Barack Obama. Why is he always blaming Bush? Why are they always blaming me? Deal with it. The hand-wringing and fingerpointing is childish. They really need to grow up.”

    GTFOH Steele, you ought to know by now that the back guys gonna get blamed for errething1

  46. Ametia says:

    Some Acts Canceling on Republicans at GOP Convention
    1:18 PM PDT 8/26/2012 by Paul Bond

    TAMPA, Fla. — It’s raining and breezy here Sunday, but a much-discussed hurricane isn’t within 300 miles of the Republican National Convention. Still, organizers delayed official proceedings until Tuesday, citing safety of delegates.

    Entertainers, it appears, are a hardier bunch. Of the myriad concerts and film screenings scheduled, only a few — an outdoor appearance by Lynyrd Skynyrd set for Sunday at Liberty Plaza being the most notable — have been canceled thus far due to the threat of Hurricane Isaac.

    Liberty Plaza is a party zone a few blocks from where all the pomp and circumstance takes place at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Would-be partiers beware, though, many of the activities at Liberty Plaza are for VIP guests only.

    Liberty Plaza includes a temporary concert hall, a cigar tent and hospitality lounges. It’s sponsored by Citizens Helping Heroes, a charitable organization that supports U.S. military personnel and their families.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd had been scheduled Sunday to launch a series of concerts there that includes country crooner Trace Adkins on Tuesday and Kid Rock on Wednesday. A VIP-only show starring vintage rock band Journey caps the week off on Thursday. So far, the Tuesday-Thursday acts are still a go, but organizers decided to shut down all of Liberty Plaza on Sunday when it was decided Lynyrd Skynyrd wouldn’t perform.

  47. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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