Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you enjoy today, and join in the discussion here at 3CHICS.

Tonight is the President’s acceptance speech in Charlotte.

Here’s the one from Denver.

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24 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread

  1. SouthernGirl2 says:

    TPM: Secret Service investigating DNC delegate who said she’d “kill” Romney:

  2. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:44 AM ET, 09/06/2012 TheWashingtonPost
    The Morning Plum: Bill Clinton’s speech and the ideological clash over government
    By Greg Sargent

    As many have noted already, the key to the success of Bill Clinton’s speech last night was its policy specificity and the substantive nature of its rebuttal of all the main GOP arguments against Obama. But it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Clinton drew a very sharp big-picture of the contrast of larger visions on display in this campaign. E.J. Dionne:

    That Clinton, the cheerful political educator, played such a central role at this conclave reflected the extent to which it should be seen as a three-day tutorial designed not only to defend President Obama’s economic stewardship but also to advance a view of government for which, over the past 40 years, Democrats have often apologized…with Republicans putting forward the most emphatically pro-business, anti-government agenda since the Gilded Age, Democrats feel an urgency to assert the state’s positive role. ..
    He joined Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer running for the Senate in Massachusetts, in presenting government Wednesday not as an officious meddler in people’s lives but as an ally of families determined to help their children rise. Government, Warren said, “gave the little guys a better chance to compete by preventing the big guys from rigging the markets.”
    And there lay the other stark contrast between the Tampa Republicans and the Charlotte Democrats. Building their convention around an out-of-context quotation from Obama, Republicans offered a counter-theme, “We built it.” But the message of Tampa often came off more as: “We own it.” Working people and the dignity of labor receded into the shadows cast by the investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

  3. Ametia says:

    Clinton Fact Check: It Takes Some Brass To Attack A Guy For Doing What You Did:

    Clinton Fact Check: The claim that Obama weakened welfare work requirement is just not true:

    Clinton Fact Check: President Obama’s Plan Passes The Arithmetic Test, It Passes The Values

  4. rikyrah says:

    GOP Hatchet Man Throws in Towel

    by BooMan
    Thu Sep 6th, 2012 at 11:22:37 AM EST

    Whatever else you might want to say about Bill Clinton’s speech, it broke the spirit of CNN contributor Alex Castellanos. Here is his immediate on-air response to Clinton’s performance:

    CASTELLANOS: I would recommend to my friend Paul [Begala] here, tonight when everybody leaves, lock the doors. You don’t have to come back tomorrow. This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably re-elected Barack Obama. Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party once, it was going too far left, he came in, the New Democrats took it to the center. He did it again tonight.

    In case you are unfamiliar with Castellanos’ body of work, he is most famous for creating the most blatantly racist political ad of the last several decades. This was the white hands ad used by Jesse Helms during his 1990 reelection campaign.

    Near the end of the 1990 U.S. Senate race in North Carolina, Castellanos produced an advertisement for incumbent Republican Senator Jesse Helms, who was then trailing Democratic challenger and Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, an African-American. The ad shows the hands of a white man crumpling a job application rejection notice as a narrator intones, “You needed that job. But they had to give it to a minority.” The ad then references Gantt’s supposed support for racial quotas and Helms’s opposition. No other part of the actor’s body is shown.

    Castellanos also made the infamous “Rats” commercial that ran during the 2000 presidential election. He’s a career Republican hatchet man. He also worked for Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign. It’s not surprising that Castellanos would believe that Romney is finished. But he gets paid a lot of money not to be honest about such things.

    Part of Romney’s problem is that his own party’s spokespeople do not believe he will win and therefore have no fear of kneecapping him in public. They know that there will be no opportunity cost.

  5. Ametia says:

    Clinton Fact Check: Obama Has Created 4.5 Million Jobs, Congressional Republicans Zero:

    Clinton Fact Check: We Are Better Off Because President Obama Fought For Health Care Reform:

  6. rikyrah says:

    Romney on Cusp of Defeat

    by BooMan
    Thu Sep 6th, 2012 at 12:41:58 PM EST

    After I saw it reported that Romney and his associated Super PACs are pulling out of Michigan and Pennsylvania, I had to go look up when McCain gave up on Michigan in 2008. I remembered the decision because Sarah Palin responded by going deeply off-message.

    Palin told Fox News’ Carl Cameron that she disagreed with the McCain campaign’s decision to pull its advertising and staffers out of Michigan, effectively ceding the state to Barack Obama.
    “I fired off a quick email and said, ‘Oh, come on. You know, do we have to? Do we have to call it there?'” Palin said.

    The date that article was published? October 3, 2008.

    So, Romney is conceding Michigan a full month earlier than McCain conceded it. Is that a sign that I am right that this election will not be closer than the 2008 election? I think it could be.

    It should be remembered that McCain was financially strapped in a way that Romney and his billionaire backers simply are not. Romney (and Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers) has much more money to throw around. He can afford to waste it on long shots. McCain could not.

    As for Pennsylvania, McCain never gave up because he couldn’t have possibly won the election without carrying the Keystone State.

    By pulling out of Pennsylvania and Michigan so early, Romney has lost any margin of error. He can only win now by the narrowest of margins. He is literally on the cusp of defeat.

  7. rikyrah says:

    September 06, 2012

    Obama, Clinton, and future presidential rankings

    The sublime irony of today’s prevailing discussions of President Obama’s “rescue”–just in the nick of time–by President Clinton is an obvious one, perhaps too obvious to qualify as true “irony,” but which I’ll qualify anyway. And the irony is this:

    In roughly 10 years, Obama, I would wager, will be ranked by presidential historians as “near great,” while Clinton will retain his ranking of “average.” In 50 years, Obama well may achieve “great” status, joining the likes of Franklin Roosevelt; Clinton, however, will remain average, as average as Taft.

    Some of Obama’s “greatness” will emerge from the deliberate and determined: healthcare reform, for example, was, until Obama, a mere presidential aspiration for a century–now it’s the groundwork for achieving true universal coverage and a vital overhaul of America’s insanely expensive healthcare system. Dramatic improvements in that system will take years to materialize and be recognized by historians, however, just as the long-term benefits of Obama’s deliverance of the auto industry or pulling us from the brink of another Great Depression will settle in the historical mind only over time, lots of time.

    And Obama, almost certainly, still has another term to go, one in which he also may well preside over the total disintegration of the nearly two-century-old Republican Party.

  8. Ametia says:

    And tweets from the night:

    @LauraClawsonCindy Hewitt, laid off by Bain: “While we watched our jobs disappear, they ultimately walked away with more than $240 million.”

    @michaelrostonCristina Saralegui’s speech is going to blow up on Spanish-language media and social media in ways we don’t even understand

    @shannynmooreSister Simone made me cry. She is walking her talk – and it is awe inspiring. #dnc2012

    @JoshDornerKamala Harris attacking Romney for infamous “hit the bottom” comment about the housing market.#dnc2012

    @JoeSudbayBenita is first undocumented person to ever speak at a national convention. Mitt Romney wants her to self deport.

    @TheDemocratsFormer CarMax CEO: “Mitt Romney just doesn’t get it. That’s why I’m voting to extend @BarackObama’s management contract.”

    @LauraClawsonCindy Hewitt, laid off by Bain: “While we watched our jobs disappear, they ultimately walked away with more than $240 million.”

  9. rikyrah says:

    The welfare lie makes a furious comeback
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 6, 2012 11:20 AM EDT.

    On Tuesday, I was pleased to report the Romney/Ryan welfare lie, which falsely accuses President Obama of “gutting” existing welfare law and “dropping work requirements,” had suddenly disappeared. After weeks of constant repetition, the Republicans’ ridiculous, racially-charged attack had vanished.

    Regrettably, it appears I spoke too soon. Paul Ryan, reinforcing his “Lyin’ Ryan” moniker, brought the lie back yesterday in Iowa, and a few hours later, Romney himself pushed the lie after being prompted by Fox News’ Carl Cameron.

    Cameron predicted that former President Clinton would take Romney “to task” over the bogus welfare claim, and asked the Republican to preemptively “react

  10. rikyrah says:

    Federal judge orders Ohio’s Husted back to court

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 6, 2012 12:34 PM EDT.

    Last week, a federal judge ordered Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) to leave the state’s early-voting window open for all of the state’s eligible voters, overturning a Republican law approved last year. Husted’s next step should have been, obviously, establishing expanded hours for early voting and setting a statewide schedule.

    But Husted had other ideas. On Tuesday, the Republican official, who helps oversee Ohio’s elections process, said he intended to ignore the court ruling until after an appeal.

    I’m not an attorney, but it’s my understanding that federal courts get a little peeved when someone tries to ignore their decisions.

  11. Ametia says:

    Some great coverage from yesterday:

    Blue NC: Tuesday Photoblog:
    David Dayen: Bill Clinton Manages to Trust Americans to listen to 46 minutes of Policy:

    Crooks and Liars: Sandra Fluke: It’s time to choose:

    Blue Jersey: Arithmatic:

    Daily Banter:Bill Clinton’s math lesson for the DNC: Why Obama adds up to a good president:

    Cognitive Dissidence: Compare and Contrast – former president edition:

    Blue Mass Group: Elizabeth Warren – We Are All In This Together:

    Blue Oregon: Postcard from Charlotte: Wednesday? Wow.

    Jed Lewison: 2012 Democratic convention: The Big Dog brings down the house

    Democratic Diva: What I Love About the Democratic Convention:

  12. rikyrah says:

    found this fabulous comment at POU:


    I gotta say, whether or not you like former President William Jefferson Clinton, you have got to admit, that his nomination speech was masterful. In 48 minutes, he took the Romney/Ryan lies on the debt/deficit, Medicare/Medicaid, welfare and laid em out straight with concise and cogent fact. He didn’t just discredit the Republicans in the last three in a half years or eight years previously, he basically took out the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, H.W. Bush, and W. Bush Administrations job stats while backing up the Kennedy, Johnson, Carter(YES EVEN HIM), Clinton and now Barack Obama job stats. You know the Republicans are having strokes this morning trying to figure out how in the hell to spin this one. The tweets and the message from the Romney/Ryan team this morning are telling. The first one they sent directly last night after the speech everyone knows was prewritten before any knowledge of the speech and the tweet from this morning by them shows that they HAVE. NOTHING.

    The dumbest thing, the ABSOLUTE DUMBEST THING, that the Romney team and the Republicans tried to pull, was this all too cute effort to try and say that there was split tensions between the Obama/Clinton camps and that those tensions still are their today. They, as they always do, rewrote the history of the Clinton years, telling voters that the Republican Party of yesteryear, the same party of Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, were really ready and eager to work for the 42nd President of the United States all through his eight years in office.

    They tried to say that Bill Clinton’s views then were in line with the Republican views held today. They tried to say that Bill Clinton had were kindred spirits with Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, more so than with Democratic President Barack Obama. Like President Clinton said, these folks have a lot of brass.

    The same party, that like with President Obama, fought him tooth and nail on legislation while in the minority, using procedural votes and hold tricks to hold up any legislation from passing. Saying that he and his wife were both akin to liars, thieves, and murderers. Vociferously fighting against claims of legitimacy of his resounding electoral victory. Twice. Then, when Republicans regained the majority and both houses of congress in 40 years, shut down the government twice to try and force President Clinton to back down, led witch hunt investigations from things like the Vince Foster suicide, Whitewater, and the White House Travel Office.

    Then, they impeached the President of the United States for lying about something any sane man would do in front of cameras, receiving oral sex from another woman. Yes, it was dirty, wrong, and immoral because of what it probably did to Hillary. But, it wasn’t something to remove a person from office for.

    These same Republicans, nearly 12 years after he left office, now think the public is stupid enough not to remember ANY of that. I was 9 years old when the Lewinsky thing happened, I REMEMBER THAT and so do many in my age group. If I and they remember that, then most of America remembers that. Now, Bill Clinton is an egocentric, borderline narcissistic man with a lust for power and dominance. He is also very sly and very slick. And what he did to Paul Ryan last year may have angered many then, but it seems now to be the best damn setup anyone could have ever devised. Whether you like him or not, Bill Clinton is still a Democrat. And he set that turd up like he set up Newt Gingrich when he was cheating on his second wife with his third wife and made him leave office.

    President Obama and his campaign team did the most genius thing last night. They know that the Republican Party does not have a person that can be seen in most Americans eyes as a straight shooter when it comes to policy matters. The only one I could even see doing that is now resting in eternal peace in Simi Valley, California right now. In this regard, the Republicans know they have a deficit in trust and respect, which is why they are trying so hard to destroy President Obama. Because that party knows that if there are TWO trusted Democratic Presidents that really tell it like it is and can back it up because of their records in office, Republicans would lose a generation of power. And they know it. I’m calling it right now, Barack Obama will win a second term because Romney and Ryan are so out of their league.

  13. rikyrah says:

    A parade of blue-collar workers and business executives tried to undercut Mitt Romney’s business experience Wednesday, casting him as an executive “without a moral compass.”

    Three former employees who worked for companies controlled by Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney helped start, spoke on the second night of the Democratic Party’s national convention. They painted the Republican presidential nominee as a man who sought profits at all cost.

    “I don’t think Mitt Romney is a bad man,” said Randy Johnson, who once worked for an Indiana company Bain acquired. “What I fault him for is making money without a moral compass. I fault him for putting profits ahead of working people like me.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    It takes two to cooperate
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Sep 6, 2012 10:40 AM EDT

    About an hour after the Democratic convention had wrapped up for the evening, Mitt Romney’s campaign issued a statement responding to the day’s most notable speech.

    “Bill Clinton worked with Republicans, balanced the budget, and after four years he could say you were better off,” Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said. “Barack Obama hasn’t worked across the aisle — he’s barely worked with other Democrats — and has the worst economic record of any president in modern history.”

    In a series of strange tweets, Newt Gingrich pushed a similar line this morning, saying Clinton “worked with the GOP, Obama didn’t.”

    That would be the same Clinton who congressional Republicans impeached and tried to drive from office.

    But putting that aside for a moment, there is a fair amount of interest right now in the larger question: President Obama desperately wanted to work with both parties to advance the nation’s common interests, and that hasn’t come to fruition. The Washington Post ran a 5,000-word piece the other day, making the not-so-bold case that both sides share responsibility.

    There’s ample evidence to the contrary. Indeed, I’m not sure if Republicans noticed, but Clinton himself spoke at some length last night about GOP obstructionism.

    “[W]e all know that he also tried to work with congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction and new jobs. And that didn’t work out so well. But it could have been because, as the Senate Republican leader said in a remarkable moment of candor two full years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work; it was to put the president out of work. Well, wait a minute. Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to keep President Obama on the job.”

  15. SouthernGirl2 says:

    NBC’s Tom Brokaw hospitalized after TV appearance

    NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw was taken to a Charlotte, N.C., hospital Thursday morning after appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    The network says Brokaw felt “light-headed” on the set of the news-talk program, which has been originating this week from Charlotte. “Out of an abundance of caution,” he was taken to a Charlotte-area hospital, which was not identified. NBC said he was being evaluated and “is in good spirits.”

    The 72-year-old Brokaw has been keeping a busy schedule of on-air appearances at the Republican National Convention last week and, this week, at the Democratic Convention.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Making Medicaid matter

    By Steve Benen

    Thu Sep 6, 2012 9:15 AM EDT.


    Much of the 2012 policy debate, such as it is, has focused on Medicare, and with good reason — the Romney-Ryan plan to replace the Medicare system with a voucher plan is important and with scrutinizing in detail.

    But in his convention speech last night, Bill Clinton not only stressed Medicare, he also delivered a forceful reminder about the importance of Medicaid and what would happen to the program under Republican rule.

    “Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won’t be laughing when I finish telling you this: they also want to block-grant Medicaid, and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years.

    “Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids. But that’s not all. A lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.

    “It’s going to end [Medicaid] as we know it. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s Syndrome or autism or other severe conditions.

    And honestly, let’s think about it, if that happens, I don’t know what those families are going to do. So I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to do everything I can to see that it doesn’t happen. We can’t let it happen.”

    The future of Medicare is obviously important and should be a central issue in the presidential race, but as Matt Yglesias noted, “Medicaid is the one where much more is at stake on the ballot.”

    Why? Because the Romney-Ryan plan, with a position they’re not at all bashful about, would block-grant Medicaid, leaving states with fewer resources, and leaving the poor and disabled in even more jeopardy.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Clinton delivers a tour de force
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 6, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    Months ago, Mitt Romney and his campaign team adopted a curious strategy. Hoping to undermine President Obama, Republicans would elevate former President Clinton, giving him unrivaled credibility and stature, as a way of positioning him as the good Democrat, as compared to that rascally Obama.

    As was clear last night in Charlotte, Romney’s plan was a spectacularly bad idea.

    I suspect the only person in the arena who didn’t enjoy the Big Dog’s tour de force was the one trying to operate the teleprompter — Clinton had a prepared text, but he largely ignored it. The speech was nearly twice as long as it was intended to be, and long portions of it were entirely extemporaneous, which only made it more impressive.

    What made Clinton’s speech so exceptional? First, for all the assumptions that the public will not tolerate and has no appetite for substance, Clinton proved the cynics wrong — his remarks were incredibly policy focused, not only in heralding Obama’s underappreciated achievements, but also in taking the GOP vision apart, one issue at a time. The former president is in a league of his own when it comes to making wonky details accessible and easy to understand.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Jobless claims improve, exceed expectations
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 6, 2012 8:40 AM EDT.

    After a month in which initial unemployment claims appeared stuck at too high a level, a new report from the Department of Labor this morning offered even better news than expected.

    First-time claims for state unemployment benefits declined by the largest amount in more than a month in the latest week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of initial claims in the week ending Sept. 1 fell 12,000 to 365,000. The consensus forecast of Wall Street economists was for claims to fall a slight 1,000 to 373,000

    To reiterate the point I make every Thursday morning, it’s worth remembering that week-to-week results can vary widely, and it’s best not to read too much significance into any one report.

    In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are being created rather quickly. We’ve only managed to dip below the 370,000 threshold seven times in the last 22 weeks, but the more encouraging news is that we’ve been below 370,000 in six of the last nine weeks.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Bain Ad Means Obama Wins Ohio, GOP Strategist Says

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Frank Luntz, one of the Republican Party’s shrewdest media strategists, predicted that President Barack Obama will win Ohio based on one ad.

    In the spot, workers from a closed factory recount on camera their story. Their company, controlled by Bain Capital, asked them to built a wooden stage for a major — and the workers assumed — positive announcement. But after the stage had been built and the officials arrived, they told the assembled crowd that they were going to have to close the facility.

    “We built our own scaffold,” a worker says.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Medicare as We Know It Includes Medicaid

    By mistermix September 6th, 2012

    This was a key part of Clinton’s speech and he hammered it home with a great delivery:

    Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won’t be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids.

    But that’s not all. A lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid. It’s going to end Medicare as we know it. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions.

    And, honestly, just think about it. If that happens, I don’t know what those families are going to do. So I know what I’m going to do: I’m going to do everything I can to see that it doesn’t happen. We can’t let it happen. We can’t.

    Ezra Klein wonders if Clinton meant “end Medicaid as we know it”. I think he meant what he said. For poor and middle-class Americans, going to the nursing home means a quick exhaustion of your resources and a transition to Medicaid. So it’s fair to say that “Medicare as we know it” includes Medicaid. Clinton knows that if his message gets across, instead of the Romney attack on Medicaid as an unfair advantage for the poors and the browns, the Romney/Ryan Medicaid cuts are political poison

  21. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce: ….. Willard Romney was out there somewhere and he was being utterly eviscerated by Floyd The Barber. And the only people who look more ridiculous than he does the morning after are all those media brainiacs who were saying how smart the Republicans were being in “driving a wedge” between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. There is a reason you should be careful what you wish for.

    Quoth the man we can all agree upon:

    One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation. He appointed Republican secretaries of defense, the army and transportation. He appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008, and trusted him to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act. And Joe Biden did a great job with both. He appointed cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries. Heck, he even appointed Hillary.

    ….. then he pauses just long enough to let the zombie-eyed granny-starver have an elbow to take home with him to Janesville.

    …… If Clinton had “undermined” Obama any more effectively, Obama might be emperor by now.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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