Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Lizz Wright Week!

Happy MUN-dane, Everyone!  This week’s featured artist is Ms. Lizz Wright.

WIKI: Lizz Wright (born January 22, 1980) is an American jazz/R&B singer and composer.

Wright was born in the small town of Hahira in the US state of Georgia; one of three children and the daughter of a minister and the musical director[1] of their Church. She started singing gospel music and playing piano in church as a child, and also became interested in jazz and blues. She attended Houston County High School, where she was heavily involved in choral singing, receiving the National Choral Award. She went on to Georgia State University in Atlanta to study singing.[1] Since then she has studied at The New School in New York,[citation needed] and in Vancouver. She currently resides outside Hendersonville, North Carolina.


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65 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Lizz Wright Week!

  1. SouthernGirl2 says:

    15 Percent of Ohio GOPers Say Romney Deserves Credit for Bin Laden Raid

    In what some (one guy on Twitter) have called “a stroke of comic genius,” Public Policy Polling decided to ask Ohio Republicans who they thought “deserved more credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. In what some (my colleague Tim Murphy) have called “the greatest thing ever,” a full 15 percent of Ohio Republicans surveyed said Romney deserved more credit than the president. Another 47 percent said they were “unsure.” This led to all sorts of funny quips on Twitter:

    It’s just too much…

  2. rikyrah says:

    Foreign Policy Could Sink Mitt

    After reviewing public opinion, Drezner entertains the idea that “maybe, just maybe, foreign policy will matter a little bit during this election” and “not in a way that helps Mitt Romney”:

    If the economy doesn’t produce the national poll movements that the Romney campaign wants, they’ll have to shift to secondary issues. For the last forty years, the GOP has been able to go to foreign policy and national security. If Romney does that this time, however, he’ll alienate the very independents he needs to win.

    Could Romney/Ryan simply retool their foreign policy message for the general election to allay the concerns of independents and undecideds? No, I don’t think they can. For one thing, it’s simply too late to rebrand. For another, when cornered on these questions they seem to like doubling down on past statements. Finally, I get the sense that one reason Romney sounds so hawkish is because the campaign thinks it’s a cheap way to appeal to the GOP base. Deviating from that script to woo the undecideds will only fuel suspicion of Romney’s conservative bona fides

  3. rikyrah says:

    The Horserace From 10,000 Feet

    Marc Ambinder, who has a new blog over at The Week, sizes up the next two months:

    The election may hinge on whether Americans look at Mitt Romney and see someone who isn’t a caricature. The GOP convention was not the disaster that pundits made it out to be, but neither was it an unalloyed success. Romney had a free swing at the bat, and by dodging specifics, asked Americans to define him based on the type of man that he was, rather than the type of president he will be. Both are important, of course, but the latter is arguably easier for Romney to carry, because his campaign fumbled the biographical angle from the start.

    Romney’s attack today is that Barack Obama has no plan to turn the economy around and was given a four year chance to do it. But while Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy and tell pollsters they like Romney’s ideas better, they don’t know what those ideas are, because Romney hasn’t really told them. And the Democrats did a pretty decent job defining them in the breach last week. The major danger for Romney: He enters the debate season with voters growing more suspicious of his (undefined) policy proposals while simultaneously not having a good idea of who the guy is in his maw.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Republican Convention, Worst Ever

    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 10th, 2012 at 02:19:47 PM EST

    I remember watching the 1992 Republican Convention in my parents’ living room. I was back on the East Coast for a summer visit, and I was completely horrified by what I witnessed. The whole thing was deplorable, but what I mainly remember twenty years later is Pat Buchanan’s frightening culture war speech and the crowd’s enthusiastic hee-haw response. The Texas delegation was front and center, wearing ten-gallon hats and celebrating their hatred of multiculturalism (indeed, biodiversity) with an ardor that made my blood run cold. I figured I wasn’t alone. Pat Buchanan scared the crap out of people with that speech and did wonders for Bill Clinton’s campaign. But, even then, Bush got a bit of a bounce out of his convention. Not so, for Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney received a negative bounce, which is unprecedented. Barely over a third (36%) of the people who watched the convention reported that it made them more likely to vote for Romney/Ryan, while just under a half (46%) said it made them less likely to vote for them.
    You can chalk that up to a variety of factors, but the most important one was that Paul Ryan gave a terrible speech that was immediately flagged by the media as being totally dishonest. That’s not how you make a first impression.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Boat Romney Has Capsized

    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 10th, 2012 at 07:25:10 PM EST

    Anyone else getting the first whiffs of panic on the Republican side? Odd thing, though. I’m seeing plenty of resignation, too. I mean, I don’t think Ohio Governor John Kasich really gives two craps whether Romney wins or loses, and he really should be a little more concerned. But then I remember that George Will wrote off Romney’s chances at the beginning of March. It’s been somewhat mysterious to me why Romney was holding steady in spite of the fact that his own party seems totally indifferent to his fate. When this election is over, I think I will make a concerted effort to see what held Romney up for so long. But you heard it here first, and you didn’t hear it much anywhere else. The GOP spent all of last year systematically trying out every available alternative to Mitt Romney. They hated him. And, yet, they couldn’t figure out a way to reject him. The rest of us will take care of that. The only question is how much we can walk away with. What is nailed down, and what is just going to float away when the ship goes under? I want to pick up seats in the Senate, and I want the House.

  6. rikyrah says:

    September 10, 2012 4:40 PM
    The Vetting! The Vetting!

    By Ed Kilgore

    I noted earlier today some signs of panic from the GOP ranks based on multiple tracking-poll evidence that Obama had gained a net benefit from the Convention Fortnight.

    Now there’s a fresh non-tracking poll out, from CNN/ORC, that shows Obama pulling out to a 52/46 lead among likely voters, the universe that normally provides a few extra points for GOP candidates.

    You can stare at the numbers yourself, but there’s virtually no good news for Mittville in this survey, which shows Obama building a big advantage in personal favorability (57/42 versus 48/47), and Democrats expressing more enthusiasm about voting (and far more “positive” voting for their candidate) than Republicans.

    Again, this is one poll eight weeks from the Big Day, and even though Nate Cohn of TNR argues that from a historical perspective this is an especially important moment in the cycle, there hasn’t been a lot of normalcy in recent political developments.

    But in anticipating a possible intensification of the GOP panic attack, particularly if the CNN poll is echoed by others this week, I am beginning to wonder if the answer to my question about the origin of Republican jitters might just be a fear of a fresh resurgence of movement-conservative demands that Romney junk his cautious, economy-based approach (to the extent he has been allowed to pursue it) and get down and dirty with a culture-based “vetting” of Obama the Kenyan anti-colonialist Alinskyite baby-killing Christ-hater.

    There is zero evidence “the vetting” would work, but if Team Mitt looks to be heading into a ditch, you’d best believe the wingnutosphere will begin raising a deafening cry for a big change of direction, particularly since said wingnutosphere still doesn’t trust Romney to be the kind of president they crave, and so seeks every excuse for forcing him to bend the knee.

    So as you watch the polls roll out, recall that good news for Obama is bad news for Mitt not just because he’s trailing, but because he could soon lose control of his own campaign strategy and message.

  7. rikyrah says:

    How Obamacare is pressuring Romney

    With overall support for Obamacare middling at best, you might think that it would be hurting Obama and helping Romney.

    Yet it appears that Obamacare (i.e., the Affordable Care Act, the ACA) is putting pressure on Romney.

    A key reason is that Obamacare created a new normal in who’s covered.

    The law requires insurance companies to take all comers. People with pre-existing conditions cannot be excluded, a provision called “guaranteed issue.”

    This is a very popular part of the law. Typically two-thirds of Americans support it. In November 2011, when the ACA was less popular than it is now, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 67% saw this provision favorably, with 47% very favorable.

    Thus, when Romney went on Meet the Press yesterday, he said he supported “a number of things in Obamacare,” including a provision enabling people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance.

    Since then, his campaign has clarified that he doesn’t support this, at least not in the way that it works under Obamacare. Rather, he says insurance companies should have to cover people with pre-existing conditions but only if they have continuous coverage.

    If you lose your insurance because you have lost your job or your employer dropped it and you have a pre-existing condition, under Romney’s proposed policy, no insurance company would have to sell it to you. Romney’s language implied something more but his plan would decrease access to insurance granted under the ACA.

    Obamacare is indeed pressuring Romney

  8. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 04:27 PM ET, 09/10/2012
    More on that Obama convention bounce

    By Greg Sargent

    The new CNN poll will turn a lot of heads, because it finds Obama up six points over Mitt Romney, 52-46, among likely voters, a sample that’s supposed to be more favorable to Republicans. That’s up from a 48-48 tie just before the convention. What’s more, the poll was taken Sept. 7-9, which means two of the three days of polling were conducted after Friday, the day the weak jobs numbers came out.

    The CNN poll mirrors Gallup’s findings: Romney is only leading among white voters by 55-42; Romney may need to crack 60 percent among them to win, while Obama’s target is 40 percent. Romney does hold a sizable lead among independents, 54-40.

    A few other key findings. The poll finds that Obama has taken a tiny lead over Romney among likely voters, 50-49, on who would better handle the economy. While that is a statistical tie, Romney led Obama on this question in previous CNN polling.

    On Medicare, Obama is more trusted than Romney among likely voters by 54-43. That’s another jump; previous CNN polling showed it far closer. Bill Clinton’s speech, of course, focused heavily on debunking Romney’s core attack line that Obama is looting Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and on emphasizing that Obama and Dems strengthened the program.

    Obama holds a clear lead, 51-41, on who “has an optimistic vision for the country’s future,” and a sizable edge, 45-39, on who “has a clear plan for solving the country’s problems” — both shifts from the last CNN poll, which showed Romney had an edge on both. Both parties, of course, focused their conventions on making the case that their candidate was the one with the clearer affirmative case for where to take the country.

    On which candidate is in touch with the problems facing the middle class, Obama leads by 57-37. On which is in touch with the problems facing women, that’s 59-34. These topics, too, were focused on by both conventions.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Romney and Mainstream Media Try to Silence Nate Silver’s Obama Victory Projections

    By: Sarah Jones
    September 10th, 2012

    The Romney campaign sent out a rather breathless memo this morning warning the press to not get too worked up about the latest polling. Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse admonished the press that, “While some voters will feel a bit of a sugar-high from the conventions, the basic structure of the race has not changed significantly.”

    Yes, that sugar high y’all are on is going to crash down when you focus back on the economy, where Mitt Romney will win with his unspecified solutions and promises that he will create exactly the number of jobs analysts say will be created if we continue on the path we’re on right now. That there is some protein for You People.

    Nate Silver is being warned by the press to not conclude anything about the convention bounces until “there is more data.” Somehow Nate Silver managed to respond to these “suggestions” with sanguine calmness, though I found myself wondering when exactly the media thinks is a good time to report on convention bounces. Perhaps in November? To be fair, it seems they are bothered that Silver sees a projectile upward for Obama that grows until Nov 6, but he explains that this is analysis is based on more than the post convention bounce and could, of course, change.

    I’ve been picking up some sentiment from analysts and journalists in my Twitter feed recently, who correctly note that polling around the party conventions can be volatile. They suggest that we ought to wait for more data before concluding very much about the bounces that the conventions have produced….

    Saying “wait for more data” sort of misses the point. What about the data that we have on hand already? Is it compelling enough to suggest that there has been some change in condition of the race? Or isn’t it?

    Here’s what all of the fuss is about — Nate Silver’s current Nov 6 forecast:

    Isn’t that the nature of forecasts and polling? Of course they can change. Anything can happen. Furthermore, attempted Democratic voter suppression can and will happen.

    But if the Romney campaign is relying on Mitt Romney winning on the economy, it would behoove them to come up with an actual plan now instead of telling voters that they will “debate that in Congress.” That’s not exactly how our democracy is supposed to work.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Central Figure in Election-Rigging Scandal Goes Missing as FBI Probes Republican Rep.
    By David

    A political strategist is thought to be on the lam after she failed to show up for an interview with prosecutors about a campaign scandal involving Rep. David Rivera (R-FL).

    Authorities last week raided Ana Alliegro’s apartment and seized her computer and cell phone. She was scheduled to speak to prosecutors on Thursday, but now not even her lawyer knows where she is, according to The Miami Herald.

    Prosecutors believe that Alliegro may be involved in shadow campaign, in which Justin Lamar Sternad ran as a Democrat “ringer” in the 26th District primary in order to help defeat fellow Democrat Joe Garcia. Authorities are probing Rivera, the Republican incumbent, to find out if he was behind the scheme as effort to weaken or defeat Garcia before they faced off in the general election.

    Campaign sources and finance records indicated that Rivera may have funneled $46,000 in secret money to Sternad’s campaign — often in cash-filled envelopes. Both Rivera and Sternad have denied working together.

    “I still have not heard from my client. I have no idea where she is,” attorney Mauricio Padilla told the Herald. “I have not talked to Ana since Wednesday.”

    Alliegro, who describes herself as a “conservative bad girl,” has not posted anything to her Twitter account since this cryptic message last Monday: “Somebody hacked ur twitter. This is going out to ur followers. Happens all the x..hope ur well:-)”

    No missing persons report had been filed as of Saturday.

    Rivera, a friend and former roommate of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), had faced accusations of domestic violence during his 2010 campaign for Congress. Rivera had also been accused in 2002 of using his car to hit a Liberty Mailing Services truck and force it off the road as it was carrying flyers that read, “Reject Domestic Violence — Reject David Rivera.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Dems: Romney Purposely ‘Misled’ On Pre-Existing Conditions

    Pema Levy-September 10, 2012, 4:54 PM

    Democrats are accusing Mitt Romney of purposefully misleading on the issue of pre-existing conditions in order to win over undecided voters.

    “Mitt Romney literally went on ‘Meet The Press’ and misled the American people,” Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the DNC, said on a conference call with reporters Monday. “He acted as if he supports something that he clearly does not.”

    Romney said Sunday that he intends to keep parts of ‘Obamacare,’ and cited the law’s rule forbidding discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions as an example.

    “I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform,” Romney said. “Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”

    Romney said his Massachusetts health care law, considered the template for the Affordable Care Act, dealt with pre-existing conditions.

  12. rikyrah says:

    CNN Poll: After watching #RNC2012 36% of voters are more likely to vote for Romney. 46% are less likely to vote for him

  13. rikyrah says:

    Romney: It’s My ‘Preference’ That The Supreme Court Reverse Roe V. Wade
    Pema Levy – 12:03 PM EDT, Sunday September 9, 2012

    Mitt Romney was diplomatic in his response to questions about abortion and Roe v. Wade in an interview on “Meet the Press” Sunday, saying he is pro-life and prefers that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe. Democrats made their pro-choice position a centerpiece of their convention in Charlotte earlier this week.

    “I recognize there are two lives involved: the mom and the unborn child,” Romney said. “And I believe that people of good conscience have chosen different paths in this regard. But I am pro-life and will intend, if I’m president of the United States, to encourage pro-life policies.”

    Romney declined to say he would “fight” for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, saying instead it was up to the Supreme Court.

    Well, I don’t actually make the decision the Supreme Court makes and so they’ll have to make their own decision. But, for instance, I’ll reverse the president’s decision on using U.S. funds to pay for abortion outside this country. I don’t think also the taxpayers here should have to pay for abortion in this country.

    Those things I think are consistent with my pro-life position. And I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution. And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe V. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.

  14. rikyrah says:

    The Ryan Sinkhole

    Interviews I conducted with New Hampshire voters last month reveal the political liabilities of telling potential Republican voters exactly what the Romney-Ryan ticket intends to cut. Two voters, both Republicans, told me they could not bring themselves to vote for their party this year because the Ryan budget cuts spending for veterans’ benefits.

    In an interview days after Romney announced on a Saturday that he had picked Ryan, George Lemieux said, “Based on what Romney did this weekend, I would not vote for him.” Lemieux, a 67-year-old Vietnam War veteran who spent 26 years in the Army, declared that “Ryan wants to decimate Medicare; he wants to decimate the V.A. I have a brother who is dependent on V.A. disability, and he wants to cut it out entirely.”

    “The Ryan budget will kill everybody,” said Aura-Lee Nicodemus, another woman I met, who works at the V.A. Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. and is active in the advocacy organization, Disabled American Veterans. “I’m a registered Republican and I can’t vote for Romney. His actions speak louder than words.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    Obama Campaign: Husted Has Created ‘Confusion’ On Ohio Early Voting

    Obama campaign asked a federal judge Monday to reject Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s request for a stay of a decision that forces him to reinstate early voting during the three day period before the general elections. Husted backed down from an order that would have prevented counties from planning early voting during that period but requested that U.S. District Judge Peter Economus’ decision be put on hold until an appeals court ruled on the issue.[….]

  16. rikyrah says:

    found this superb comment at POU:


    LOL at the corrupt Clinton/DLC/PUMA crowd.

    They are all creeping out from the sewers where they’ve all been holed up together with their corporate Republican buddies endlessly plotting and planning on how to undermine and sabotage President Obama.

    Now they are brazenly strategizing in public, before our very eyes, thinking they get to decide yet again who and how 2016 plays out.


    Insultingly casting President Obama’s re-election and the 2012 elections – the most important election in our lifetime – through the singular prism of its usefulness the Clintons and how it can be exploited to elevate Hillary and by extension bring them all back into relevance and out of the wilderness.

    Suddenly we are endlessly bombarded with the amusing type casting of the Clintons as heroes infallible and the cure for all that ails us!

    Conveniently forgetting and hoping we all do too, that many of the problems we face today, that which President Obama is cleaning up in spite of unprecedented obstruction, is courtesy of the Clinton duo.

    But we are to take the PR folks at their word and believe that they think that the newly revised and updated versions of the Clintons – courtesy of one speech by him and for her, carefully scripted images of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State under the tightest of settings with zero spontaneous moments or interactions with the general public and only carefully choreographed and negotiated diplomatic meet and greets – all under the careful management of the opportunistic and perpetually self-serving Clinton acolytes, telegraphs ability and automatically translates into a successful presidency in all our minds.

    Never mind all we witnessed in 2008 and the fact that neither Hillary nor her husband could ever have survived or emerged from what President Obama has been subjected to these past 4 years, with half the dignity, integrity, calm, decency and accomplishments President Obama has. And he did it all practically without any help or support, no pay to play acolytes, and in the face of unprecedented hostility and obstruction not only from a rabid opposition, but the Clintons themselves courtesy of their allies and worse, a mockery of the worst excuse for a media who were only too keen cohorts and willing partners to the rabid opposition.

    According to Harold Ford, Chris Matthews, Ed Rendell and the rest of the Clinton/DLC crowd – having been given permission to take their heads out of the Clinton butthole – the outcome of the crucial 2012 elections we face in less than 2 months is strictly being manipulated and engineered by them solely for its usefulness and relevance with regard to how it singularly services and meets the needs, desires and ambitions of the Clintons – with specific and targeted calculations as to how and to what extent it positions and guarantees a Hillary run and win in 2016.

    President Obama and the future of America and and Americans be damned! In their opinion Americans can suffer and if necessary, our country permanently damaged and potentially derailed while they assess and manipulate suitable conditions to crown Hillary and help fulfill her dream of being the first woman president.

    They always over play their hands and predictably stay prioritizing their selfish ambitions aided by their delusions, and always potentially, to the detriment of we the people.

    Only as they always do, they once again keep completely discounting us.

    • Ametia says:

      NAILED IT.

      Looking@ Ed Rendell and “James Skeletor” Carville I saw them in Charlotte. They were selling books, getting their hustle on. These MOFOs couldn’t be more transparent.

      And if these PUMA fools think we have forgotten the 2008 Clinton dogwhistling, they don’t know us very well. Fuck all of them. I would never vote for another Clinton for president, EVER.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Garrett Haake‏@GarrettNBCNews

    Romney again says as POTUS he will honor pledge of allegiance. Q to the campaign – is he implying that the current president does not?

  18. Ametia says:

    Umm, Mitt; get a life, dude.

  19. Ametia says:

    Scott Van Duzer, the Obama hugger: Shop facing boycott

    “People are saying a lot of bad things and boycotting my restaurant,” Scott Van Duzer, 46, told POLITICO. “There’s no middle line anymore, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now.”

    The owner of Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Restaurant in Fort Pierce, Fla., said that both Democrats and Republicans are welcome in his store. But he also said he thinks Mitt Romney’s running mate Rep. Paul Ryan — whose sculpted abs are thanks to intense P90X training sessions — would lose to the president in a workout battle.


    Van Duzer’s June bike-trek was part of his Van Duzer Foundation, and helped raise awareness for blood donation shortages. Founded in 2008 to support a local firefighter whose house burned down, the foundation has since raised more than $600,000, Van Duzer said. Van Duzer said he rode with a few kids from the Boys and Girls Club and met with U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin to discuss blood shortages.

    Obama told The New York Times that Van Duzer’s effort in promoting blood donations was part of the reason the campaign decided to visit his pizza shop.

    Read more:

  20. Ametia says:

    A new survey indicates President Barack Obama moved up 4 points after the Democratic convention and now has a 6-point advantage over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

    According to the CNN/ORC International Poll, 52% of likely voters nationwide back the president, compared with 46% for Romney. Just before the Democratic convention, Obama was tied with Romney 48%-48%.

    Post-convention bounces have often proven to be temporary in past elections.

    “Some voters will feel a bit of a sugar high,” a memorandum from Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse said. “The basic structure of the race has not changed significantly.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Despite pleas, missing SC boy falls by wayside
    By MEG KINNARD | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago.

    Despite detectives’ pleas to national media, the disappearance of an 18-month-old black boy with the wide smile has yet to grab the widespread attention given to other missing children’s cases. Some advocates say the reason why may be as simple as the toddler’s gender — and his race.

    From the still-unsolved slaying of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey more than 15 years ago to the disappearance and killing of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, the public has watched with rapt attention as many cases involving young children unfolded, often over many months. Yet Amir Jennings, the little boy who hasn’t been seen since he was captured on surveillance video with his mother in South Carolina nearly a year ago, has registered as scarcely a blip on the nation’s consciousness.

    “Media has always leaned toward the cute little kids,” said Monica Caison of the Wilmington, N.C.-based CUE Center for Missing Persons. “And unfortunately, a lot of times they think cute little kids are white.”

    Amir’s mother, Zinah Jennings, was convicted Friday on a charge related to his disappearance and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The 23-year-old woman has been jailed since December, and police arrested her after she told them false, misleading stories about the boy’s whereabouts. Jennings has maintained that she left the boy somewhere safe, but prosecution witnesses said the young mother claimed she was stressed and pondered selling or giving away the boy.

    Jennings’ mother says she last saw her wide-eyed, giggly grandson early on the morning of Nov. 28, 2011. He went to a bank with his mother the next day but has not been seen since. A store owner has testified she saw the boy and his mother a month later, but prosecutors challenged that assertion, and there was no surveillance video to back up the claim.

    In the months since he disappeared, Amir’s grandmother has celebrated his second birthday. His mother has given birth to a second child. And the national spotlight that initially shone on the case has waned.

    One of the reasons could be as simple as Amir being a boy. While federal officials say the numbers of the missing are roughly split when it comes to gender, Caison said pedophiles tend to seek out girls, while missing boys often are taken by a parent or other relative.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Spectre Of Dubya

    Beinart hears the moaning skeleton in Romney’s closet:

    Mitt Romney is not a great candidate; Barack Obama is a better one. But without the Bush legacy, Romney would be leading this race. His problem is that except among staunch conservatives, Bush has so hurt the GOP’s brand that Romney doesn’t look like the fresh economic fix-it man that Republicans want to portray him as. Instead, it’s all too easy for Democrats to paint him as George W. Bush the 3rd, just as they painted John McCain as George W. Bush the 2nd.

    Romney has tried to handle the Bush legacy the same way McCain did: by ignoring it. When Republicans convened in late August in Tampa, as in Minneapolis in 2008, Bush was not there. But in campaigns, ignoring your weaknesses rarely makes them go away. While at their convention Republicans tried to pretend that the Bush presidency never happened, the Obama campaign handed Bill Clinton the microphone and allowed him to define the race as Obama-Clinton versus Romney-Bush. The GOP, in Clinton’s narrative, creates economic messes. Democrats clean them up.

    And that narrative is persuasive, if you accept Clinton’s lift from the first Bush. I think Clinton got Americans remembering again. And, when it comes to the debt-building, war-mongering GOP, shuddering.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:59 PM ET, 09/10/2012
    Romney: Obama gets no credit for stopping our economic slide
    By Greg Sargent

    Sam Stein flags a remarkable interview that Mitt Romney gave to a Virginia television station, in which he suggested President Obama gets no credit for pulling the country out of the recession. His interviewer pointed out that the economy was in total free fall when Obama took office, and asked whether things are not better today. Romney replied:

    “There has never been a recession that went on forever. There has never been a depression that went on forever. A recession occurs, the economy goes down, and then comes after recession, the recovery. That’s happened since the beginning of time. The president wants to say, well, he stopped the recession from going further. Well, frankly, the recession came to an end and we are waiting for the president to get us to where he said he’d get us, which is 5.4 percent unemployment. And he hasn’t been able to do it because of the policies he’s put in place.”
    As Stein notes, this is noteworthy in that it’s “more explicit than usual in its unwillingness to give the president any due for slowing the rate of job loss that he inherited.”

    What this confirms, yet again, is that the Romney campaign’s theory of the race is that undecided and swing voters either have concluded, or can be persuaded to conclude, that Obama’s presidency has been a total, unmitigated failure. If this is what you believe, then of course you wouldn’t think you need to offer a meaningfully specific set of alternative policies for the middle class.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:04 AM ET, 09/10/2012
    The Morning Plum: Obama’s convention bounce
    By Greg Sargent

    One of the big questions heading into the weekend was whether Friday’s weak jobs report would detract from whatever bounce Obama was set to get after last week’s Democratic National Convention. It’s not fully clear yet how the jobs numbers will impact the race, but if Gallup tracking data is to be believed, the early returns suggest that Obama is enjoying a post-convention bounce that has yet to be impacted by them.

    On Sunday, Gallup showed Obama leading Mitt Romney by five points, after steadily widening his lead from the 47-46 the race had been stuck at for weeks. Of the seven polling days (Sept. 2-8) that went into Gallup’s horse race tracking, four of them were taken on days after viewers saw a convention speech. Two of them — Friday and Saturday — came after Obama’s speech and after the Friday-morning release of the jobs numbers (though in fairness it might have taken a day for the unemployment news to sink in).

    Gallup sends over more data that sheds more light on his bounce:

  25. rikyrah says:

    ‘Specifics’ and ‘principles’ are not the same thing
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:38 AM EDT.

    When it comes to its budget pitch to voters, Romney/Ryan has quite a vision: they’ll slash taxes, increase defense spending, increase entitlement spending, and balance the budget — all while protecting the home-mortgage-interest deduction, the health care deduction, and the charitable-contribution deduction. How? By closing unnamed tax loopholes.

    There’s growing impatience over the campaign’s refusal to offer any kind of substance or details, to the point that even some Fox News hosts not named Shep Smith are getting irritated on the air.

    On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Romney went so far as to try to redefine what the word “specifics” means.

    David Gregory specifically asked for “specifics” to explain how Romney “gets to this math.” The Republican replied, “Well, the specifics are these which is, those principles I described are the heart of my policy.”

    In other words, in Mitt Romney’s mind, specific policy details and broad statements about generalized goals are the same thing. When Gregory asked the candidate to name a single tax loophole he intends to close, Romney would not.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Electing An Introvert

    In an interview scanning the entire electoral season, John Heilemann draws a key contrast between Obama and Bill Clinton:

    JH: Obama is an unusual politician. There are very few people in American politics who achieve something — not to mention the Presidency — in which the following two conditions are true: one, they don’t like people. And two, they don’t like politics.

    KC: Obama doesn’t like people?

    JH: I don’t think he doesn’t like people. I know he doesn’t like people. He’s not an extrovert; he’s an introvert. I’ve known the guy since 1988. He’s not someone who has a wide circle of friends. He’s not a backslapper and he’s not an arm-twister. He’s a more or less solitary figure who has extraordinary communicative capacities. He’s incredibly intelligent, but he’s not a guy who’s ever had a Bill Clinton-like network around him. He’s not the guy up late at night working the speed dial calling mayors, calling governors, calling CEOs.

    People say about Obama that it’s a mistake that he hasn’t reached out more to Republicans on Capitol Hill. I say that may be a mistake, but he also hasn’t reached out to Democrats on Capitol Hill. If you walk around [the convention] and button-hole any Democratic Senator you find on the street and ask them how many times they have received a call [from the President] to talk about politics, to talk about legislative strategy, I guarantee you won’t find a lot of people who have gotten one phone call in the last two and a half years. And many of them have never been called.

    I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t know what the root of that is. People have theories about it. But I know in practice he is a guy who likes to operate with a very tight circle around him, trusts very few people easily or entirely. He ran his campaign that way in 2008, he runs his White House that way, and he’s running his campaign that way in 2012.

    This is the gist of MoDo’s frustration with the man. But it also helps explain my own visceral affinity for him. I’m an introvert with good communications skills. I took one long look at a political career and realized I simply don’t have the social skill-set for it.

    • Ametia says:

      John H. can go straight to HELL

      This is exactly why PBO stays winning. He doesn’t mix with the jackals in the Beltway, who like to booze it up, gossip, and RUNTELLDAT!

  27. rikyrah says:

    Romney still struggling with Afghanistan neglect
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:30 AM EDT.

    In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney ignored the war in Afghanistan as if it doesn’t exist, and failed to even mention veterans. He was, as the AP noted, “the first Republican since 1952 to accept his party’s nomination without mentioning war.”

    On Friday, after the most favorable setup imaginable on Fox News, Romney tried once again to explain the neglect away.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Romney told Bret Baier, “When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important, and I described in my speech my commitment to a strong military, unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. I didn’t use the word ‘troops,’ I used the word ‘military.’ I think they refer to the same thing.”

    This isn’t much of a defense. In a time of war, those who intend to be Commander in Chief have unique responsibilities. Understanding the difference between the military as an institution and servicemen and women as individuals matters, as does the ongoing conflict Romney is ignoring.

    Indeed, I’m struck by the notion that candidates are expected to “talk about the things you think are important” at their convention. By this reasoning, does Romney believe the war in Afghanistan doesn’t qualify as “important”?

  28. rikyrah says:

    The company he keeps
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:35 PM EDT.

    It didn’t generate much attention, but over the weekend, Mitt Romney had a private meeting in Virginia with radical TV preacher Pat Robertson. This strikes me as the sort of encounter that warrants some follow-up — why did the Republican presidential hopeful agree to chat with a fringe figure who, among other thing, blamed the 9/11 attacks on Americans?

    Just as interesting, though, was Romney’s encounter with Rep. Steve King (R) in Iowa on Friday afternoon, which also seemed to get lost in the shuffle.

    The Democratic National Committee put together this clip after Romney, unprompted, declared, “I’m looking here at Steve King. He needs to be your congressman again. I want him as my partner in Washington!”

    Is that so.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Ohio towns challenge state over fracking
    By Laura Conaway
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:42 PM EDT

    Ohio’s economy is a little better off than the rest of the nation’s, to the delight of President Obama, the denial of Mitt Romney and the pride of Republican Governor John Kasich.

    As the New York Times reports, a portion of Ohio’s recovery has come directly from the boom in fracking. And then there’s the question of who gets to regulate fracking, with its risk of contaminating your well or rattling your house with earthquakes. In Ohio lately, cities and towns are asking for say. The industry is not having it. From the Columbus Dispatch:

    “This issue has been debated at the General Assembly, and they wisely concluded that oil and gas regulation is a complex, technical issue and should be regulated by people who are experts in oil and gas,” said Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.

    “I have yet to meet a local official who understands … well-construction issues and all the other complexities associated with drilling. City councils are very good at what they do, but they do not have that expertise.”

    I’m not sure if the gas guy means that state legislators are experts in oil and gas, which seems on the whole not so plausible, or if he means administrators with the state should be in charge. If it’s the latter, then it’s worth remembering that in Youngstown, in particular, when state administrators said a wastewater injection well caused earthquakes, the company involved didn’t like that, either.


    Every week now in Ohio, you’ll find a new story about a town wanting some control over fracking — whether it’s the ban being considered in Youngstown, or the prohibition on injection wells passed in big Cincinnati and tiny Niles. You’ll also find the story of folks like Julia Fuhrman Davis in Beaver Township, who want a vote on “home rule” status so they could pass some kind of anything to regulate the industry that has moved into their backyards, even if local ordinances don’t count for much. From the Youngstown Vindicator:

  30. rikyrah says:

    Obama is right where he wants to be
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:01 PM EDT.

    A month ago, there was a fair amount of bravado in Republican circles, with many in the GOP cautiously optimistic the presidential race. The swagger is now gone — Politico quoted “top advisers to Mitt Romney” who conceded that President Obama is the favorite. The same piece said internal Republican polls show Ohio “clearly” leaning in the president’s favor.

    Now that the dust has settled on both major-party conventions, we can also take a look at two full weeks’ worth of Gallup tracking data.

    That straight, boring line on the left half of the chart? That’s the period around the Republican convention — which showed no bounce for Romney at all. As things currently stand, Gallup shows Obama up by five, which is hardly an insurmountable lead, but is the larger advantage either candidate has enjoyed in the last 11 weeks. Other polls are pointing in a similar direction.

  31. rikyrah says:

    The Ryan Sinkhole


    Unlike the Republican platform, which has mostly been ignored outside of the abortion issue, the Paul Ryan budget is the core document of the 2012 campaign. It is the most explicit expression of the Republican agenda, endorsed by the party’s presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, and backed by decisive majorities of House and Senate Republicans.

    That much is known. What people have not been talking about enough is that the Ryan budget contains an $897 billion sinkhole: massive but unexplained cuts in such discretionary domestic programs as education, food and drug inspection, workplace safety, environmental protection and law enforcement.

    The scope of the cuts – stunning in their breadth — is hidden. To find the numbers, turn to page 16 of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget – Fiscal Year 2013. In Table 2, Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution Discretionary Spending, in the far right hand column, you’ll see the nearly $897 billion figure, which appears on the line marked “BA” for Budget Authority under Allowances (920) as $896,884 (because these figures are listed in millions of dollars).

    According to the House Budget Committee, of which Ryan is the chairman:

    The federal budget is divided into approximately 20 categories known as budget functions. These functions include all spending for a given topic, regardless of the federal agency that oversees the individual federal program. Both the president’s budget, submitted annually, and Congress’ budget resolution, passed annually, comprise these approximately 20 functions.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Trying (and failing) to Etch A Sketch on health care
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:03 AM EDT.

    Since the very first day of his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney has promised voters he’ll repeal the Affordable Care Act. How much of the law would he destroy? As of earlier this year, all of it — Romney endorsed what he described as “complete repeal.”

    Yesterday, kicking off a near-comical display of ineptitude, Romney tried to adopt a new position on health care.

    “I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform,” Romney told David Gregory. “Of course, there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.”

    Soon after, the Romney campaign changed its mind, quietly letting National Review know that Romney doesn’t actually intend to extend coverage to those with pre-existing conditions; he actually expects the free market to work its magic.

    And soon after that, the Romney campaign changed its mind again, telling BuzzFeed that Romney “will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    September 10, 2012 11:30 AM
    Panic Attack

    By Ed Kilgore

    As Nate Silver noted over the weekend, four major national tracking polls (Gallup, Ipsos, RAND, and—yes—Rasmussen) all showed Obama making significant gains against Mitt Romney during and immediately after the Democratic Convention.

    Although the “bounce” was relatively modest, and as Nate and everyone else have been careful to observe, it could quickly fade, a bit of a panic attack seems to have set in amongst the more aggressive Mitt-Can’t-Lose spinners of the conservative chattering classes. In a pretty amazing pot-calls-kettle-black gesture, Jay Cost questioned Nate’s objectivity. His counter-attack went after the straw man of “Obama winning the summer” instead of the more limited claim that Obama’s gotten the better of the convention battles, and his case for Romney’s strength in state polls depends on excluding the “partisan” PPP surveys but not the “non-partisan” Rasmussen numbers.

    Well, whatever; Jay’s staked his rep on confidently predicting a Romney victory every minute of the cycle, so none of this is surprising. More telling, perhaps, is that the Romney campaign hurried out a memo to the troops from their own polling director that is about one-third spin, one-third boasting about the GOP’s money and ground-game (first time I’ve heard them claim an advantage in this area, though the memo actually just compares Mitt’s GOTV resources to McCain’s), and one-third empty assertions that Mitt Will Win Because Mitt Is Good For America.

    You can assess this furious denial of a problem as you wish. But what continues to amaze me is the palpable fear and loathing of Republicans towards any adverse public opinion findings, which seem to reflect a sort of self-hypnosis wherein admitting the possibility of an Obama victory will somehow affect the results. Sure, there are some Democrats who think Obama’s going to run away with it all, but not that many; most seem to expect a cliff-hanger, and those who don’t are pretty much keeping their over-confidence to themselves. With a few honorable exceptions (e.g., Sean Trende), though, Team Mitt and its echo-chamber are acting as though defeat is almost literally impossible. It makes you wonder if they’ll be willing to accept defeat on November 6, if it happens. I’m afraid some will be out there the next day, still spinning madly, and that, of course, will be a recipe for a contested election, either in the courts (if it’s very close) or among conservative activists who will be eager to believe Obama has stolen the presidency again!

  34. rikyrah says:

    best post title EVAH:


    September 10, 2012 8:44 AM
    Mendacity Is Romney’s Pre-Existing Condition
    By Ed Kilgore


    Political Animal


    September 10, 2012 8:44 AMMendacity Is Romney’s Pre-Existing Condition

    By Ed Kilgore


    On Meet the Press yesterday, Mitt Romney offered another phantom move on health care, implying that he’d keep such elements of the Affordable Care Act as the ban on exclusions for pre-existing conditions and an extension of the time during which a child can be kept on parental policies. In other words, he’d keep the popular stuff (no word yet, however, on the Medicare “doughnut hole,” the 80/20 rule that is already generating insurance rebates, and free preventive care, even though these provisions are already taking effect).

    To the surprise of no one who has been following Romney’s astonishingly twisted path on health care policy, staff were soon dispatched to “clarify” what Mitt meant, and it’s sure not what he implied on MTP: he’s confident the markets will offer policies covering young adults under their parents’ plans, and he’ll ensure some kind of coverage to people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t let their coverage lapse (a slice of the population largely covered under existing law); if his past statements are any indication, this will wind up meaning that such folk would be covered under the kind of crappy state risk pool plans that already provide poor coverage at crazy high prices.

    So once again, Mitt makes a reasonable sounding statement in front of a large audience, knowing he won’t be forced to disclose any details or actually make sense, and only later do we find out that it’s all smoke.

    The maddening thing, of course, is that Mitt Romney knows better than anyone in America that you can’t provide universal and affordable coverage to people with pre-existing conditions without a much broader risk pool, which is precisely why he supported the imposition of an individual mandate in Massachusetts. Since a very important part of his devil’s bargain with the GOP is to forget everything he’s ever known about health policy, it’s not surprising he feigns ignorance about how private health insurance actually operates. But this is one area of public policy where absolutely no one from Left to Right has any reason to believe a word he is saying.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Snoop Dogg: Give Obama four more years

    Rap icon Snoop Dogg gave an expletive-filled endorsement for another four years of President Barack Obama on Friday, saying the US leader needs more time to put the White House in order.

    Former President George W. Bush “f—–d up for eight years so you at least gotta give (Obama) eight years. He cleaned up half the s— in four years realistically,” the rapper said.

    “It ain’t like you gave him a clean house. Y’all gave him a house with a TV that didn’t work, the toilet was stuffed up; everything was wrong with the house.”

  36. Ametia says:

    7,967 grassroots events
    By Mary Hough on September 9, 2012

    Read about it here:

  37. Ametia says:

    The August fundraising numbers show that the Obama campaign outraised the Romney campaign $114 million to $111 million. The average donation to the Obama campaign was $58, and 98 percent of those who donated gave $250 or less. Campaign manager Jim Messina issued the following statement:

    “The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did substantially in the month of August. Fueled by contributions from more than 1.1 million Americans donating an average of $58 — more than 317,000 who had never contributed to the campaign before — we raised a total of more than $114 million. That is a critical downpayment on the organization we are building across the country — the largest grassroots campaign in history.”

    Some numbers to know:

    · Over $114m raised between OFA and DNC

    · 1,170,000 people donated to the campaign during August

    · Including August, a total of 3,142,457 people have donated to the campaign since April 2011.

    · 317,954 people who gave to the campaign in August were supporting the Obama organization for the very first time.

    · 97.77% of donations in August were $250 or less, for an average of $58.31.

  38. Ametia says:

    Paul Ryan also tried to criticize President Obama for the very same defense cuts he voted for in 2011—watch him try to defend his hypocrisy:

    Even though he said previously that he would repeal every piece of Obamacare and “kill it dead” on his first day in office, Romney claimed yesterday that he would retain certain popular provisions of Obamacare, including the guarantee that insurance companies cannot discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. Hours later, his campaign quietly reversed course, telling the National Review that he actually opposes those provisions.

    · ThinkProgress cuts through the doublespeak:

    · Steve Benen on Romney’s failed attempt to etch-a-sketch on health care:

    · 89 million. That’s how many Americans would be left out of Romney’s preexisting conditions plan, according to a recent report:

  39. Ametia says:


  40. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan took to the airwaves Sunday morning and once again refused to provide any specifics about their plans for the country. Obama for America has released a new video highlighting their evasiveness:

    · The New York Times breaks down Romney’s impossible tax math:

    · On Meet the Press, Governor Romney claimed that there are five studies that show his tax plans are possible without imposing a tax hike on middle class families—Truth Team debunks each one:

  41. rikyrah says:

    A GOP ticket divided against itself
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:18 AM EDT.

    On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Mitt Romney said he intends to “maintain defense spending at the current level of the GDP,” a claim that’s deeply misleading given his plan to increase defense spending by nearly $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

    But as part of the same response, Romney also said, “This sequestration idea of the White House, which is cutting our defense, I think is an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction.” When David Gregory noted the sequester is part of a deal reached with Republican leaders, Romney threw them under the bus, saying GOP leaders made “a big mistake.”

    Maybe now would be a good time to note that one of the Republican officials Mitt Romney believes made “a big mistake” is a guy by the name of Paul Ryan — his running mate, who called the sequester deal “a victory” last year.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Romney the Culture Warrior
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:41 AM EDT

    Remember when Mitt Romney said the economy was the only issue that matters in the presidential race? When he wouldn’t get distracted by trivia and would instead remained focused solely on jobs and economic growth?

    Well, forget it. Team Romney decided that approach just wasn’t going to get him elected. It’s why, in recent weeks, we’ve seen the Republican nominee embrace the welfare lie and contraception access as important elements of his campaign.

    Over the weekend, Businessman Mitt Romney further transformed into Culture Warrior Mitt Romney, using the Pledge of Allegiance as some kind of political weapon and obliquely embracing a strange right-wing conspiracy theory at a rally in Virginia.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Can I Rant?

    by BooMan
    Sun Sep 9th, 2012 at 07:54:25 PM EST

    Here are two headlines from today’s Think Progress that ought to crack you up: Paul Ryan: I Didn’t Vote For The Defense Cuts I Voted For and Romney Says His Plan To Cut Taxes On The Rich Doesn’t Actually Cut Taxes On The Rich. If you bother investigating, you’ll discover some of the most egregious lying you are ever likely to see from any national candidates in your lifetime. You certainly have never seen anything like it so far in your life, and I don’t care how old you are. Even if you remember the Hoover Administration, you have never seen two candidates for the White House lie like this. It has never happened before. I can’t say it is likely to happen again in the next 225 years, either.
    It’s hard to say that one lie is bigger than the other, since both lies are big enough to blot out sunlight for a century or more. Mitt Romney actually said that his tax plan is revenue neutral for rich people but will help the middle class, which is the complete opposite of the truth. Paul Ryan simply lied about what he voted for and talked a bunch of meaningless gibberish.

    These men aren’t fit to serve in the White House. They aren’t even fit to run for office. They aren’t even fit to be interviewed on television. They should be thrown off every set they appear on for their audacious lack of respect for the truth, the voter, and the country.

  44. rikyrah says:

    September 09, 2012

    The right unravels

    Depression, despair, demoralization, palsied neurasthenia and now an acute goofiness beyond any known diagnostic framework are but a few of the delightful afflictions savaging the once-triumphalist right. These lads are quitters; they are whiners and apologists and self-pitying losers; they are, in a word, what Nixon so aptly, disdainfully called candy-asses.

    Consecutive national conventions producing a stagnant slump and then a bit of a bump and the blogospheric right slides into an epic funk. It seems they can only get a grip when don’t need to. If these boys had been in charge during the Battle of the Bulge, today we’d all be speaking with an Alsatian accent. I’ve just never seen anything quite like it: the instant resignation; the all-is-lost panic; the damn, this-thing’s-over, we’re-doomed bleating and sobbing; and worst of all, the indecent excuse-making.

    Power Line’s John Hinderaker, for example, suspects that Mitt Romney is going down only because perhaps “the country is closer to the point of no return than most of us believed.” And by that he means what right wingers have been brooding over as a Done Deal since the New Deal: the dreaded welfare state has finally bribed enough voters to keep itself afloat in perpetuity. (Irony of ironies, Republicans created the American welfare state and entrenched themselves politically with ever-expanding Civil War veterans pensions.)

  45. rikyrah says:

    September 09, 2012

    An utterly botched interview

    David Gregory is to hard-hitting journalism what Thomas Dewey was to mesmerizing charisma. This morning left me speechless. I sat and I watched but I couldn’t believe the unfolding amateurism of what I was hearing. I must have missed something. I’d wait for the transcript. I waited. It’s in. And I really did hear what I thought I heard:

    MR. ROMNEY: Of course, there are a number of things that I like in healthcare reform that I’m going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage….

    GREGORY: Well, that brings us to Medicare …

    That brings us to what?

  46. rikyrah says:

    Rand Paul’s puzzling incredulity
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    Unlike the federal response to every modern economic downturn, policymakers’ response to the Great Recession has featured one idea that’s been equal parts conservative and ridiculous: we’ve allowed the job market to deteriorate, on purpose, by allowing the public sector to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    As became clear on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, it’s a detail Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) neither knows nor understands.

    Hoping to challenge Paul Krugman, the Kentucky Republican asked incredulously, “Are you arguing that there are fewer government employees under Obama than they were under Bush?”

    Told that the facts are incontrovertible, Paul responded, “No, the size of government is enormous under President Obama.”

    It’s unsettling, to put it mildly, to see such conspicuous ignorance play out on national television. The truth really isn’t that hard to understand — state and local governments, strapped for cash, felt compelled to lay off legions of public-sector workers, including teachers, police officers, and firefighters. All told, since the economy bottomed out, America’s private sector has added 4.6 million jobs, while the nation’s public sector has shed 571,000 jobs. Since the start of the recession, we’ve lost more jobs in government than any other sector of the economy.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Ametia, SG2 and Everyone :)

  48. Ametia says:

    Op-Ed Columnist
    Obstruct and Exploit
    Published: September 9, 2012 239 Comments

    Does anyone remember the American Jobs Act? A year ago President Obama proposed boosting the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending increases, aimed in particular at sustaining state and local government employment. Independent analysts reacted favorably. For example, the consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers estimated that the act would add 1.3 million jobs by the end of 2012.

    There were good reasons for these positive assessments. Although you’d never know it from political debate, worldwide experience since the financial crisis struck in 2008 has overwhelmingly confirmed the proposition that fiscal policy “works,” that temporary increases in spending boost employment in a depressed economy (and that spending cuts increase unemployment). The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

    But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president’s policies have failed.

    Think of it as a two-part strategy. First, obstruct any and all efforts to strengthen the economy, then exploit the economy’s weakness for political gain. If this strategy sounds cynical, that’s because it is. Yet it’s the G.O.P.’s best chance for victory in November.

  49. Ametia says:

    Sep 10, 2012
    Obama edges Romney in August fundraising

    President Obama’s campaign raised $114 million in August, edging Mitt Romney’s haul of $111.6 million and ending the Republican’s three month winning streak in the money race.

    “The key to fighting back against the special interests writing limitless checks to support Mitt Romney is growing our donor base, and we did that substantially in the month of August,” said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign spokesman.

    The $114 million in August is a big spike for Obama, who had raised only $75 million in July.

    “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold solutions to our country’s problems,” said a joint statement from Romney’s national finance chairman Spencer Zwick and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. “That is why we are seeing such tremendous support from donors across the country.”

  50. Ametia says:

    Obama’s advantage, Romney’s openings
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: September 9The Washington Post

    Normally, a president presiding over 8 percent unemployment and a country that sees itself on the wrong track wouldn’t stand a chance. But then a candidate with Mitt Romney’s shortcomings, including his failure to ignite much enthusiasm within his own party, wouldn’t stand a chance, either.

    The combination of the two explains why this election remains close, but President Obama heads into the campaign’s last phase with some major advantages, starting, as Ronald Reagan did, with a rock solid base. These voters will support him no matter what the economic numbers say. Their commitment helps create an electoral map that also favors Obama, particularly with Ohio stubbornly retaining a tilt the president’s way.

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