Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning, Everyone. Enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend.

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40 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Looking, Very Closely, for Voter Fraud

    Conservative Groups Focus on Registration in Swing States


    Published: September 16, 2012

    It might as well be Harry Potter’s invisible Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.

    The bus has been repeatedly cited by True the Vote, a national group focused on voter fraud. Catherine Engelbrecht, the group’s leader, told a gathering in July about buses carrying dozens of voters showing up at polling places during the recent Wisconsin recall election.

    “Magically, all of them needed to register and vote at the same time,” Ms. Engelbrecht said. “Do you think maybe they registered falsely under false pretenses? Probably so.”

    Weeks later, another True the Vote representative told a meeting of conservative women about a bus seen at a San Diego polling place in 2010 offloading people “who did not appear to be from this country.”

    Officials in both San Diego and Wisconsin said they had no evidence that the buses were real. “It’s so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a picture and no one is able to get a license plate,” said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin agency that oversees elections. In some versions the bus is from an Indian reservation; in others it is full of voters from Chicago or Detroit. “Pick your minority group,” he said.

    The buses are part of the election fraud gospel according to True the Vote, which is mobilizing a small army of volunteers to combat what it sees as a force out to subvert elections. Ms. Engelbrecht’s July speech in Montana was titled “Voter Fraud: The Plot to Undermine American Democracy.”

    True the Vote’s plan is to scrutinize the validity of voter registration rolls and voters who appear at the polls. Among those in their cross hairs: noncitizens who are registered to vote, those without proper identification, others who may be registered twice, and dead people. In Ohio and Indiana, True the Vote recently filed lawsuits to force officials to clean up voter rolls.

    Efforts to tighten voter requirements have become a major issue in the presidential election. Over the last few years, many states have passed voter identification laws, and many of those are being challenged in court.

    Now, a network of conservative groups is waging an aggressive campaign on the ground. In a report this month, the liberal-leaning organizations Common Cause and Demos cited True the Vote as the central player in this effort, which it called a threat to the fundamental right to vote.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Five ways President Obama has strengthened our national security

    September 15, 2012

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    When President Obama took office, America was engaged in two wars and faced terrorist threats at home and abroad directed by Osama bin Laden. Since day one, the President has refocused our priorities on addressing the most serious threats facing our country and on rebuilding our standing in the world.

    Take a look at just five ways that President Obama has bolstered our national security.
    Taking the fight to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden: Shortly after taking office, President Obama directed the CIA to make the death or capture of Osama bin Laden its top priority. Now, more than two-thirds of al-Qaeda’s top leaders have been eliminated under the President and bin Laden has been brought to justice. Over the past three and a half years, we’ve eliminated more of al-Qaeda’s top leadership than we did over the previous eight years. In 2011, the Secretary of Defense announced we are “within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda.”

    Responsibly ended the war in Iraq: As a candidate, then-Senator Obama promised he’d end the war in Iraq. On December 18, 2011—after almost 9 years—the last convoy of U.S. troops left Iraq and the war came to an end. Speaking at Fort Bragg, the President told the troops, “On behalf of a grateful nation, I’m proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree: Welcome home.”

    Outlined a plan to end the war in Afghanistan: President Obama has announced a plan for Afghan Security Forces to assume full responsibility for the security of their country and to end the war by the end of 2014. The President plans to reinvest half of our spending on overseas operations to rebuild here at home and the other half to pay down the deficit.

    Put in place the toughest sanctions Iran has ever faced: Under the President, the U.S. “has already put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on the Iranian government, including new measures targeting, for the first time, Iran’s entire financial system.” He also secured global cooperation, including from Russia and China, to impose the most comprehensive and biting international sanctions the Iranian government has ever faced—affecting its nuclear activities, ballistic missile program, and, for the first time, its conventional military.

    Reducing the threat of nuclear weapons: As promised, the President worked with Russia to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and global stockpiles of vulnerable nuclear material. By signing the New START Treaty, Russia and the U.S. agreed to reduce the number of strategic arms deployed in both countries and Russia agreed to allow inspections of its nuclear arsenal to resume.

  3. Ametia says:


    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he is asking city lawyers to file an injunction to immediately end the teachers strike.

    His announcement came shortly after a Chicago Teachers Union committee opted not to end the week-old teachers strike, despite a tentative deal being reached days earlier.

    The mayor contended in his statement that the strike is illegal because “it is over issues that are deemed by state law to be non-strikable, and it endangers the health and safety of our children.”

  4. Ametia says:

    Bloomberg: Romney’s Tax Cuts May Be a Hard Sell With Voters “Mitt Romney has proposed huge tax cuts that principally benefit the wealthy, while refusing to say how he’d pay for them by closing unspecified loopholes.This lacks credibility and may become one of the rare tax-cut promises that is a political loser.On Medicare, Romney and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, have put forth a plan that ultimately would turn the federal health-insurance program for the elderly into a premium support, orvoucher, program.”

    • Ametia says:

      Challenged on Medicare, G.O.P. Loses Ground
      Published: September 15, 2012

      ORLANDO, Fla. — Maria Rubin is one of the coveted independent voters in this swing state — so independent that she will not say whether she is voting for President Obama or Mitt Romney. She does share her age (63) and, more quickly, her opinion on Medicare: “I’m not in favor of changing it, or eliminating it.”
      Her attitude speaks directly to one of the biggest challenges facing the Republican ticket this year: countering the Democrats’ longstanding advantage as the party more trusted to deal with Medicare.

      In the 2010 Congressional races, successful Republicans believed that they had finally found a way to do that, by linking the program’s future to Mr. Obama’s unpopular health insurance overhaul and accusing Democrats of cutting Medicare to pay for it. This summer Mr. Romney resumed the offensive, eventually joined by his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan.

      Initially, polls suggested that the Republican strategy was working. Democrats fretted that Mr. Romney would win the retiree-heavy Florida and increase his support nationwide among older voters, who lean Republican anyway. David Winston, a Republican pollster, wrote a month ago of “a structural shift in the issue” that left the parties in “a dead heat” and Mr. Obama unable to mount an effective response.

  5. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney’s confession
    By Editorial Board,

    FOR SEVERAL weeks, we’ve been asking Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to explain how he can cut taxes, as promised, without adding to the nation’s debt, as also promised. Now he’s effectively let the cat out of the bag: He can’t.

    Mr. Romney’s tax plan calls for reducing income tax rates by 20 percent. The top bracket would go from 35 percent to 28 percent. He has said that he can do this in a revenue-neutral way by eliminating loopholes. While the rich might pay more, he has said, the middle class would pay less.

  6. rikyrah says:

    I spoke with an ‘undecided’ voter today, and God bless you all for keeping it together, because I was about to explode. I can almost deal with the ones voting GOP than I can anyone who says they’re undecided.

    I told her I wasn’t undecided because:

    1. even though Mama has passed away, I still know enough Seniors on Medicare, and I don’t want them to get a voucher.
    2. I told her I didn’t have 2 grand to give in taxes so that Willard can pay less than 1% in taxes.

    then, I was hit with the ‘ Well, I don’t know if they will actually do it’.

    I was like, ‘ W-T-F? They’ve already voted on the Ryan Budget plan, not once, but TWICE. they are telling you what they plan to do.

    FACT: they plan on throwing Grandma and Grandpa out of the nursing home.
    they are planning to throw millions off the Medicaid rolls.

    I did get to break it down for her, that, although in terms of NUMBERS of people on Medicaid, in terms of PERCENTAGE OF MEDICAID DOLLARS –the top two grabbers of Medicaid dollars – percentage wise are SENIORS IN NURSING HOMES, and THE DISABLED.

    I know that she’s been without insurance until this new job, so I was like, Look, the GOP already voted to KILL PLANNED PARENTHOOD – you know, the place where women like you, get access to safe female-centered medical care. They already did that, and Willard vowed to do it as President.

    Pointed out Eddie Munster Ryan’s positions on redefining rape, that he’s the sponsor of the NATIONAL Personhood Amendment, as well the NATIONAL FORCED ULTRASOUND bill for women seeking an abortion.

    I was very clear – they want to shred the social safety net, so that Willard can pay less than 1% in taxes.

    Then she brought up the deficit, and I was like, seriously? Paul Ryan, who voted for every fucking thing that exploded the deficit, and whose budget isn’t concerned with the deficit – it’s purpose is to destroy the safety net, and give more tax breaks to the rich.

    She said I gave her a lot to think about. …I was like, I hope so.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL I just have to LOL I just spent the last 2 hours with a girlfriend of mine, and we both had the same conversation. We have been phone banking and canvasing. I’m not surprised at the utter IGNORANCE of some Americans, though. If anyone watched the RNC & DNC, it was clear as crystal that the media has been downright negligent in their duties in reporting the FACTS.

      She and I have spent the last few days putting out the facts of these 2 campaigns. We try to rise above the race issue, but when it comes down to it, their arguments about PBO’s policies JUST DON’T ADD UP. Bottom line: It’s ok as loing as the black guys not in charge. SAD really…

  7. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Snoop Dogg Endorses Obama

    Snoop Dogg / Snoop Lion has offered an official endorsement of President Barack Obama, laying out his arguments in concise, not entirely illogical fashion.

    At the Toronto International Film Festival, he made the case for giving Obama four more years in an expletive-filled, absurd, yet compelling manner.

    “We need to give Obama four more years,” he said. “Bush f*%ked up for eight years, so you gotta at least give him eight years. He cleaned half the $h!t up in four years.”

    Snoop continued his defense of our 44th President, metaphorically accusing Bush of leaving the White House in shambles and handing Obama a real fixer-upper.

    “It ain’t like y’all gave him a clean house. You gave him a house where the TV didn’t work, the toilet was stuffed up. Everything was wrong with the house.”

    “So he had to come in and get y’all thing together.”

    Dogg-Lion then pivoted to the Obama administration’s success in killing Osama bin Laden, the world’s most notorious terrorist, in a covert raid last year.

    “And then he went and knocked down our most hated, our most wanted. The one who had our terror warning on red or orange or whatever color it was.”

    “He went and found him. The one Bush couldn’t seem to find, the one who seemed to fly away on the day of 9/11 … he went and found him. Remember that?”

    “Don’t forget about that. Now everybody is peaceful and able to move around and have a good time. It’s because he made that happen. So please don’t forget that.”

    “So give him four [more] years to get this thing together and finish this deal out. You heard what [Bill] Clinton said? You loved Bill Clinton, didn’t ya?”

    Snoop dogg doing it in his own way! LOL! I ain’t mad at him. Tell it!

  8. rikyrah says:

    Gregory Declares Bibi King of the Jews

    Josh Marshall-September 16, 2012, 12:10 PM3183
    Okay, not quite that bad. But not a good moment.

    On Meet the Press this morning David Gregory referred to Benjamin Netanyahu as “Leaders of the Jews” and in his role as ‘leader of the Jewish People” asked for his verdict on President Obama. “You are the leader of the Jewish people,” Gregory told Netanyahu.

    Helping matters somewhat, Gregory went on Twitter a short time ago and clarified that it would have been “better to say he’s leader of jewish state.” To which I would say, yes, much better. In fact, probably best to say, he’s leader or Prime Minister of Israel.

  9. rikyrah says:

    ABC’s Jake Tapper Gets Busted Pushing Bogus Republican Libya Talking Points

    By: Jason Easley


    What Jake Tapper did was a prototypical Fox News style interview. He took partisan talking points and used them as the foundation for his questions. That’s how conservative media bias works. When Republican talking points are converted into facts, and the media asks loaded partisan questions, they are infecting the viewers with a built in partisan bias.

    As the Romney campaign slips into a death spiral, Jake Tapper’s other motivation was to help Mitt Romney. It is no secret that mainstream media desperately wants to ignore the mounting evidence of the likely November result, and keep this election as close as possible. There are still billions of dollars in political ads and ratings derived revenue out there. The corporate media’s mission is to try to keep the American people interested in what could become a one sided election for as long as possible.

    Jake Tapper’s questions were loaded with the word “seems.” He wasn’t asking anything based on fact. He echoing the Republican mantra that feelings trump facts. Questions based on Jake Tapper’s feelings belong on Fox News style propaganda outlet, not on a supposedly neutral Sunday morning public affairs program.

  10. Ametia says:

    Obamacare: A look at the numbers

    New numbers reveal how Obamacare is working to help Americans get and keep affordable health insurance.

    The Census Bureau has reported that—after years of increases—the number of uninsured Americans fell from 16.3 percent to 15.7 percent. In fact, the percentage of people with private health insurance remained constant for the first time in 10 years. Experts believe this progress was driven in part by the provision in the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their family’s health insurance plan—one of the first pieces of Obamacare to go into effect.

    We’ve also learned that Obamacare is helping lower health care costs for families across the country. The Department of Health and Human Services reported that consumers saved more than $2 billion on their premiums with the help of two provisions in the health care law: more than $1 billion in rebates from insurance companies that overcharged them, and $1 billion because regulators cracked down on insurance companies who tried to increase rates without justification. The Kaiser Family Foundation released a study showing that premiums for employer-based coverage increased at historically low rates in 2011, and that employees’ share of premiums actually remained flat. All of these signs suggest that Obamacare is working to shift power away from insurance companies to the consumer and to keep premiums lower for families and businesses

  11. Ametia says:

    The choice on supporting America’s middle-class and low-income families
    September 12, 2012

    Obama for America National Policy Director James Kvaal lays out the clear difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney when it comes to supporting middle-class and low-income families:

    Over the past four years, President Obama has been dedicated to strengthening the middle class and making sure everyone who is willing to work has the opportunity to climb out of poverty into the middle class.

    New median income data released by the Census Bureau today shows that incomes continued to decline in 2011—but the data doesn’t reflect that the economy continues to grow and create jobs. Over the past 12 months, median incomes have increased by over $1100, ac,cording to a private forecaster both campaigns have cited. Businesses have created almost 2 million jobs in that time, and 4.6 million jobs over the last two and a half years. And to help families, the President signed a payroll tax cut that put $1,000 back in the pocket of the typical American family this year.

  12. rikyrah says:


    he just won’t stop.

    he can’t help himself.


    Is Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett the One Who Keeps Barack from Dealing with Black Issues?

    September 16, 2012
    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Some have said that the Republican Party has been the primary obstructionist that keeps President Barack Obama from dealing with African American issues. Even those who acknowledge that the president hasn’t said a word about black suffering are quick to find whatever excuse they can for inaction on the part of the White House. Rather than earning the black vote by presenting a healthy track record of effort on behalf of the black community, black people are simply being told to “keep the faith” (note the religious reference) and to “have Barack’s back,” (note the hood slang reference). It’s as if we’re being told to “stop snitching” on the White House, while Obama Administration officials sit back and laugh at how stupid we are for not asking for anything in return for unprecedented political loyalty


    A recent New York Times article seems to imply that the bottleneck on getting to the heart of African American issues is not the Republican Party or the president himself. Instead, some say that Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett has done all she can to keep the president from dealing with African Americans directly, and instead has been working through Al Sharpton, an unwavering Obama surrogate, who admitted in a 60 Minutes interview that he would never criticize the president, even if he isn’t doing his job effectively. Sharpton’s political motto may as well be, “Yes, things are horrible for black people, and the Democrats aren’t going to do a damn thing about it, but I really need you to keep voting for my boss.”

    Jarrett has been called an elitist by some, and doesn’t have a strong track record on fighting for poor blacks. For example, many noted that the president and Valerie came home for the expensive wedding of Valerie’s Harvard-educated daughter and said nothing about the black boys being killed right down the street on the South Side of Chicago. Shortly thereafter, however, the president hopped on a jet to console the victims of the Batman shooting in Colorado…..after all, their lives are more important.

  13. rikyrah says:

    False Equivalence in the New York Times Voting Rights Story
    By Andrew Cohen
    Sep 16 2012, 11:05 AM ET

    Just a short Sunday post here to make a few points about the current kerfuffle over a recent The New York Times’ piece on voting rights and voter fraud. The piece was posted last Sunday, led the paper Monday morning, and immediately generated reader criticism because it seemed (and seemed to me as well) to offer a significant degree of “false equivalence” between the factual and legal positions taken by the folks who support restrictive new voting laws and the factual and legal positions taken by the folks who are challenging those laws.

    Because of this reaction, the voting rights piece became a subject of the paper’s “Public Editor” column which appears in today’s paper. “It ought to go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway,” wrote Margaret Sullivan, the paper’s new ombudswoman. “Journalists need to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers know what to believe, to help them make their way through complicated and contentious subjects.” Amen. But by that earnest standard the Times’ piece on voting rights failed.

    I agree with much of what Kevin Drum has written on the topic over at Mother Jones. He focused as much on the defensive reactions of the reporter and editor on the story as he did on the story itself. For example, Times’ national editor Sam Sifton was quoted, in today’s piece, as saying: “There’s a lot of reasonable disagreement on both sides… It’s not our job to litigate it in the paper. We need to state what each side says.” That’s absolutely right as far as it goes. But like the original piece itself it’s not nearly enough. Since Sifton used the word “litigate” I’ll start there, with some of the recent litigation that has surrounded the new laws.

    The Times’ piece did not mention, for example, the fact that Pennsylvania conceded during its voter ID trial that there was no in-person voter fraud in the state and that none was expected in the 2012 election. The state did so by means of a stipulation. Nor did the Times’ piece mention the testimony of a Republican lawmaker in the South Carolina case (which still is pending in federal court in Washington) who told a federal panel of judges that there was no evidence of in-person voting fraud in South Carolina and that the new law enacted there wouldn’t stop the sort of voter fraud that is occurring.

    From a political perspective, there may be a level of “equivalence” in the number of people who either support or oppose these laws. Clearly the issue has become sharply partisan. But from a legal perspective, at least so far, it has been a rout in favor of those who believe the new laws would unlawfully disenfranchise registered voters. In other words, there is no “equivalence” in the way judges so far have evaluated these laws. So another troublesome aspect of the initial report was the implication it gave that more than one court has recently endorsed the restrictive voting laws. For example, from a high graph in last week’s piece:

  14. rikyrah says:

    Meet The Donors Behind The Clarion Fund’s Islamophobic Documentary ‘The Third Jihad’

    By Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton on Jan 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    The New York Times reports today on how the New York Police Department and the producers behind a controversial film are stonewalling on why the movie was screened to NYPD officers. The Times reports:

    In January 2011, when news broke that the department had used the film in training, a top police official denied it, then said it had been mistakenly screened “a couple of times” for a few officers.

    A year later, police documents obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Law reveal a different reality: “The Third Jihad,” which includes an interview with Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, was shown, according to internal police reports, “on a continuous loop” for between three months and one year of training.

    During that time, at least 1,489 police officers, from lieutenants to detectives to patrol officers, saw the film.

    The film, the Third Jihad, was created by the shadowy Clarion Fund, which did not return the Times’ requests for comment.

    Coupling today’s Times report, ThinkProgress is releasing a list of grants [PDF] directed to the Clarion Fund. The document, which discloses that Manhattan attorney Allen I. Gross contributed $100,000 to the Clarion Fund in 2007, is the most comprehensive mapping of Clarion’s donor base to date.

  15. Ametia says:

    Teachers Union Vote to end Strike Sunday afternoon
    By Hal Dardick, Bill Ruthhart, and Noreen A. Ahmed-Ullah
    Tribune reporters

    1:17 a.m. CDT, September 16, 2012

    Thousands of teachers from Chicago and beyond rallied at a Near West Side park Saturday as lawyers labored into the night at a Loop office to turn a framework for a new contract into finer points that can become a deal.

    Parents can expect to wait until Sunday afternoon or later to find out whether their children will return to class Monday morning after missing a week of school because of the Chicago Teachers Union strike. Hundreds of union leaders are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Sunday for a potential vote that could end the walkout.

    While attorneys talked terms in private, the Saturday afternoon rally was filled with symbolism. Out-of-state teachers traveled to Union Park in solidarity with a city teachers union that has attracted national attention as organized labor looks for lessons in a fight with cash-strapped government.,0,5740852.story

  16. Ametia says:

    Poll: Elizabeth Warren opens 6-point edge on Scott Brown in Massachusetts Senate race

    SPRINGFIELD — With 50 days left until Massachusetts voters decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate for the next six years, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren has pulled ahead of Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, according to a new poll.

    The survey of Bay State voters conducted Sept. 6-13 by the Western New England Polling Institute through a partnership with The Republican and, shows Warren leading over Brown, 50 to 44 percent, among likely voters.

    The gap among registered voters is even larger, according to the survey, which concluded Warren leads 53 to 41 percent. The poll of 545 registered voters has a 4.2 percent margin of error, while the sample of 444 likely voters has a 4.6 percent margin of error.

    Tim Vercellotti, professor of political science and director of the Polling Institute at Western New England University, said Warren’s lead comes in part from the fact that she’s shored up support among Democrats to 89 percent, while losing only six percent of her party’s support to Brown.

  17. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    • SouthernGirl2 says:

      Morning Ametia & Rikyrah!

      As Mythe would say…up in here…up in here…there’s CHURCH up in here. Love, Love it! It blesses my soul. Thank you!

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