Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Tears For Fears Week!

Good Morning, Everyone. HAPPPY MUN-dane!

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41 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | Tears For Fears Week!

  1. Ametia says:

    Trade Case May Produce Few Results
    Published: September 17, 2012

    BEIJING — President Obama’s trade case against China on cars and auto parts will have little immediate impact on jobs and companies in the United States, but it is one of the few legal options available to the United States as China’s auto industry faces overcapacity problems and looks overseas to increase sales.

    In filing the case on Monday with the World Trade Organization, Mr. Obama is making a political gesture to Midwestern states coping with the pressure that Chinese exports are placing on the American auto industry. But actual effects are likely to be delayed and limited.

    World Trade Organization cases typically take a year and a half to resolve. And unlike antidumping and antisubsidy cases, which can result in steep tariffs on imports that stay in place for years, the trade organization cases often end with the losing country simply abandoning the offending policy.

    There can be a requirement that companies repay previous subsidies, but that is often difficult to enforce and can require further years of legal wrangling.

    The subsidies at issue are also small relative to the scale of Chinese exports, which may mean that China’s low wages, high investment rate and other advantages may have played a bigger role in the spectacular expansion of Chinese auto exports than government subsidies.

  2. Ametia says:

    This week the Romney campaign will try an extreme makeover with Latino voters in an attempt to cover up its candidate’s extremist positions on everything from education to immigration reform. But Obama for America has released a new video reminding voters why Romney’s extreme positions would be harmful to Latinos and wrong for the country:

    · Truth Team breaks down the clear choice on immigration:

    · Nevada Progressive: “No Se Puede, Republicanos.”

  3. Ametia says:

    Why Romney and Ryan are Going Down
    By Robert Reich

    Unemployment is still above 8 percent, job gains aren’t even keeping up with population growth, the economy is barely moving forward. And yet, according to most polls, the Romney-Ryan ticket is falling further and further behind. How can this be?

    Because Republicans are failing the central test of electability. Instead of putting together the largest possible coalition of voters, they’re relying largely on one slice of America — middle-aged white men — and alienating just about everyone else.

    Start with Hispanics, whose electoral heft keeps growing as they become an ever-larger portion of the electorate. Hispanics now favor President Obama over Romney-Ryan by a larger margin than they did six months ago.

    Why? In last February’s Republican primary debate Romney dubbed Arizona’s controversial immigration policy – that authorized police to demand proof of citizenship from anyone looking Hispanic — a “model law” for the rest of the nation.

    Romney then attacked GOP rival Texas Governor Rick Perry for supporting in-state tuition at the University of Texas for children of undocumented immigrants. And Romney advocates what he calls “self-deportation” – making life so difficult for undocumented immigrants and their families that they choose to leave.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Tea Party-backed group challenging voters in Ohio
    By Laura Conaway
    Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:48 PM EDT

    However big its effect becomes on the 2012 election, True the Vote began as a relatively small effort started and supported by a Tea Party chapter in Texas. The group’s stated mission is to train enough poll-watchers so a million volunteers are ready for November, enough to have at least one watcher in every precinct in America. A leader in True the Vote says the effect for voters should be “like driving and seeing the police following you.” Meanwhile, in the months leading up to the general election, True the Vote has been challenging voter registrations in individual states.

    True the Vote describes itself as mainly a grassroots effort. A couple weeks back, organizers of True the Vote sent their 2011 tax returns, from which we learned that the group got a few large contributions, but still took in only $136,957 that year. Though we still don’t know what True the Vote has taken in this year, a terrific report by the New York Times gives a glimpse of the outfit works. In swing-state Ohio, for instance, much depends on a True the Vote partner named the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. From the Times:

    [V]olunteers, known as the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, submitted challenges of 380 registered voters in Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati. One of the voters, Teresa Sharp, received a notice from her local Board of Elections stating that her family’s right to vote had been challenged and ordering her to attend a hearing on Sept. 10.

    “I’ve always voted,” said Ms. Sharp, who had even been a poll worker. “Never had any problem.”

    At the hearing, she said she asked, “Why are you all harassing me?” She said she believed it was because “either they don’t want Obama in there or the fact that I’m black.”

    The Times notes that the Ohio Voter Integrity Project ended up taking back its challenge and apologizing to the family. So that was one, but Ohio Voter Integrity Project is challenging many, many registrations. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that True the Vote claims to have identified 730,000 suspect registrations in Ohio, 68,000 of them in local Hamilton County. As the Cincinnati paper reports it, the success rate on those challenges has not been high. The Ohio Voter Integrity Project filed papers as a “social welfare” nonprofit in April, which means we might be able to see tax returns from the project at some point, but probably not right away

  5. rikyrah says:

    Voter-ID laws about more than just competing opinions
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:58 PM EDT

    When it comes to the political system and democratic process, one of the most important stories of the year is the wave of voter-suppression tactics imposed by Republican policymakers across the country. The most pernicious and hard-to-defend trend is the spate of voter-ID laws, creating a new and unnecessary burden on voters.

    The New York Times ran a story on this last week, noting what “both sides” have argued. Republicans, of course, said the laws are necessary to combat fraud, while Democrats insisted this thinly-veiled disenfranchisement scheme is an unsubtle ploy to rig the elections in the GOP’s favor by disproportionately affecting traditional Democratic constituencies.

    The Times’ piece did not, however, get around to mentioning the only critical detail surrounding the entire controversy: the fact that documented instances of in-person voter fraud are extraordinarily rare. You are, quite literally, far more likely to get struck by lightning than find a legitimate example of fraud that would have been prevented by voter-ID.

    So, why in the world did the paper of record publish a fairly long article on the subject without telling readers the most important fact of the larger debate? Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor, asked those involved with the piece.

    “There’s a lot of reasonable disagreement on both sides,” [Times national editor, Sam Sifton] said. One side says there’s not significant voter fraud; the other side says there’s not significant voter suppression. “It’s not our job to litigate it in the paper,” Mr. Sifton said. “We need to state what each side says.”

    [Ethan Bronner, who wrote the article] agreed. “Both sides have become very angry and very suspicious about the other,” he said. “The purpose of this story was to step back and look at both sides, to lay it out.” While he agreed that there was “no known evidence of in-person voter fraud,” and that could have been included in this story, “I don’t think that’s the core issue here.”

    That sound you hear is me banging my head against my desk.

    Look, he-said/she-said reporting is routine, and I realize good reporters are often cautious about taking sides. But there’s an objective truth in a story like this, and there’s nothing wrong with media professionals providing that truth to the public. Reality does not actually have a liberal bias, and there’s no reason for the Times to pass along competing arguments while encouraging its readers to go elsewhere to discover which argument is accurate.


    Kevin Drum had a good sharp piece on this over the weekend.

    I don’t have a problem with giving both sides some air time, but by far the main focus of the voter access battle is stringent photo ID laws — and the only real justification for stringent photo ID laws is that it stops in-person voter fraud. (That is, the kind of fraud where people show up in person at a polling place and pretend to be someone they aren’t. Even in theory, photo ID laws can’t stop any other kind of fraud.) This means that the existence of in-person voter fraud is exactly the core issue. If you don’t address the truth of that claim, you simply haven’t done a good job of informing your readership.

    And apparently Bonner knows this. He agrees that there’s no known evidence of in-person voter fraud. So why on earth would he not make that clear in a story about voter ID laws? This wouldn’t require him to take a stand on the laws themselves, only to point out to readers in his own voice that in-person voter fraud basically doesn’t exist. They can then draw their own conclusions about whether voter ID laws are a good idea anyway and what the motivation for them is.

  6. rikyrah says:

    There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney says in one clip. “All right — there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

    Here’s a link to the rest of the vids:

  7. rikyrah says:

    September 17, 2012

    Mitt “rolls out” the new Mitt, which will look a lot like …

    Politico reports in a popularly demanded sequel to yesterday’s Titanic coverage that Mitt Romney “is rolling out a new and broader strategy to make the election a referendum on ‘status quo versus change.’ ”

    No explicit word yet on which Romney supports. Half his discombobulated staff likes the status quo, half prefers change, and the other half hasn’t yet realized that they’re running a nationally covered presidential campaign. Meanwhile, Romney advocates both.

    [T]he economy is likely to remain “the dominant focus” of the campaign. But ads and speeches will focus on a wider array of issues, including foreign policy, the threat from China, debt and the tone in Washington.

    This means that if you’re dissatisfied with the recovering economy, a universally praised foreign policy, current pushbacks against China, a rational debt-reduction proposal and President Obama’s congenitally moderate “tone,” then Mitt Romney–and God of course–has a plan for you.

    However we can’t yet call Romney’s “new” one an actual “change” from whatever the hell it is that Romney’s been hustling. We suspect his message will remain as chaotic as ever; and in that case, nothing new.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Life is Hard Outside the Hothouse
    By mistermix September 17th, 2012

    I’ve got a busy week so I probably won’t be posting for a few days, but I want to leave you with one thought that’s probably obvious to Balloon Juice readers, but doesn’t seem to make the disarray stories: the Romney campaign is what you get when your incubator is Fox News.

    Romney and his advisors are all used to a media environment of puffball questions and solemn nods over the stupidest of talking points. His opposition in the primaries was almost entirely people who were auditioning for a contract with Roger Ailes. When you marinate in an environment where reactionary rhetoric has no consequences, you’re going to think that the right thing to do when an Ambassador may have been killed is to make up lies in an effort to blame Obama hours before the bodies have even been identified. When you are used to a world of unquestioning icon veneration and hero worship, you expect that Clint Eastwood can do magic without a prepared speech. And if you live in a world driven by sloganeering, you can become convinced that a campaign can be run on completely non-specific “plans”, and you think that making up the details as you go along is a not only practical, but is actually a good idea.

    If you need any more evidence that MSNBC or the Daily Kos or whatever other liberal demon Fox believes controls the Democratic Party isn’t really in charge, look no further than the Obama campaign. They aren’t acting like a bunch of hothouse flowers, wilting the first time the real world intrudes on their sunny, warm fantasy world. They’ve been living in a 5 year shitstorm, and that’s part of the reason why they don’t fuck up on a regular basis.

  9. rikyrah says:

    September 17, 2012 10:20 AM

    By Ed Kilgore

    So this morning there’s all kinds of speculation about Mitt Romney once again “rebooting” his campaign to respond to complaints about his lack of policy specificity. But there’s a fundamental misunderstand that often creates confusion about Romney’s “plans.” In the real world, he, his running-mate, and pretty much the entire GOP is committed to “plans” contained in the Ryan Budget. When the Romney campaign, however, talks about its “plan” it’s the “five-point-plan for jobs and growth,” which is wildly less specific and actually pretty misleading.

    Here’s Mitchell Landsberg’s brief summary of the “five-point plan” for the LA Times:

    * Achieve North American energy independence by increasing access to domestic fossil fuels, streamlining regulations and the permitting process, drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and approving the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada. “No. 1, we’re going to take advantage of our energy, and that’s going to create millions of jobs.”

    * Improve education and job training, in part by increasing school choice and changing the way teachers are hired and evaluated. “We’ve got fix our schools…. It’s time for us to put the kids and the pts and the teachers first, and the teachers union behind.”

    * Curtail unfair trade practices, especially those of China. “I will call China a currency manipulator and stop them in their tracks from killing American jobs.”

    * Cut the federal deficit by reducing federal spending below 20% of GDP. “You’re not going to get entrepreneurs to go out and start an enterprise … unless they realize we’re not headed to Greece.”

    * Champion small business by cutting taxes and regulations, and by overturning Obamacare. “We need small business to grow. … Small businesses have been crushed these past four years.”

    The guts of the Ryan Budget is in items 4 and 5, obviously, but is described pretty generally. You don’t hear any talk about “entitlement reform” or about a health care system that will radically reduce access to public or private insurance or about devolving the entire social safety net to the states with radically reduced funding. And in terms of emphasis, Romney’s talking a lot more about the less significant parts of his “plan,” notably all the very noisy China-bashing.

    So when conservatives (or for that matter, MSM critics) complain about Romney never offering any policy “specifics,” and he says he is too being specific, or is about to become specific, it’s this “five-point plan” he’s talking about. And while this formulation avoids the toxic political vulnerability of the Ryan Budget, it’s not going to make “the base”—which wants an in-your-face, controversial domestic policy debate—very happy.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 09/17/2012
    Conservatives begin to ask: Is Romney’s theory of race deeply flawed?
    By Greg Sargent

    Matt Lewis, writing on the Daily Caller Web site, has a post with this startling title: “The bad economy won’t elect Mitt Romney.” He says:

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is not “doomed,” but it is in is in deep trouble. As I’ve learned, some people don’t want to hear this — but ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
    There are many factors, but the most costly error might have been the mistaken notion that a bad economy would automatically make it impossible for Barack Obama to win…Overcoming this false premise is just one of the problems that must be faced.
    Erick Erickson similarly asks whether the Romney camp is facing up to the depth of its troubles.

    As you know, I agree with Lewis on this; I’ve repeatedly argued that there are a number of reasons to question the basic driving assumption he identifies. This race could still tip either way, but if Romney does lose, this will be a key reason why.

    If you doubt Lewis’s point that this is the strategic premise of Romney’s campaign, look no further than the recent Romney campaign memo for confirmation. “The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as the ultimate downfall of the Obama Presidency,” it said. Given the economy, Obama simply can’t win. Voters have decided he’s a complete failure; it’s only a matter of time until they come to their senses and support Mitt. Period, full stop.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Romney Developed Bad Habits
    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 17th, 2012 at 01:07:44 PM EST

    My theory on the Romney campaign is that they developed bad habits during the primaries that they found it impossible to kick when the general election season started. I don’t mean the record they compiled, because that created a different set of problems. The Etch A Sketch issue was particularly hard for a candidate known for changing his positions over time. What I am talking about is a strategy of caution. Now we can put a face on it:

    Inside the Romney campaign, [Stuart] Stevens has preached a gospel of caution and consistency: Keep the candidate tightly focused on a bad economy and a worse president. In an interview last year with Robert Draper for The New York Times Magazine, Stevens explained his theory of the case this way: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback “Michael Vick’s not a real good pocket guy … So don’t tell him he can’t roll out. Try to make him the best rollout guy that’s ever played.”
    A growing number of conservatives are blaming Stevens for advocating a campaign of caution, one that puts all the emphasis not on how good Romney could be but how bad Obama is.

    That excerpt refers to the general election campaign, but it is basically the strategy that Romney used to win the primaries. Although Romney chose a couple of areas, like immigration, where he was willing to stake out turf on the far-right, his main goal during the primaries was simply to avoid offending anyone. He had the name recognition and the money, and he was the most plausible candidate for the presidency among a platoon of misfits. All he had to do is avoid alienating the base of the party and maintain decent press coverage, and he’d win by default.
    It was basically the four-corner offense used by North Carolina’s legendary basketball coach Dean Smith. Get the lead and then play keep-away with the ball. The tactic was so effective (and boring) that college basketball instituted a shot clock to eliminate it.
    Maybe it is because the Romney campaign lives in a right-wing media bubble, but they seem to have calculated that the same strategy would work against the incumbent president. The idea is to deny your opponent any ammunition. Don’t give him your tax returns. Don’t lay out any specifics in your plans. Keep the ball away and talk about the economy.

    The problem is that the campaign message has been empty, and the candidate has looked hollow. People formed negative impressions of Romney because of his lack of disclosure and specificity. It looked slippery and dishonest. He obviously has something to hide. He isn’t being frank with people.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin’s Wife Thinks the GOP is Raping Him by Abandoning Him

    By Imani Gandy (ABL) September 17th, 2012

    As if Mitt Romney wasn’t already going to have a bad week, Rep. Akin was summarily tossed into the RomneyShambles news cycle pyre by his wife, Lulli Akin, who claimed that the GOP’s abandonment of her husband was akin to the British raping American colonist’s daughters and wives… or something. It’s tyranny!

    Rep. Todd Akin’s wife, Lulli Akin, says the Republican Party’s attempts to push her husband out of the Missouri Senate race — over his false assertion that women who are raped rarely get pregnant — are like rape itself.

    She also believes the GOP’s abandonment is on par with the tyranny that launched the American Revolution.

    Lulli Akin said that efforts to push her husband out of the race threaten to replace elections “by the people and for the people” with “tyranny, a top-down approach.” She added, “Party bosses dictating who is allowed to advance through the party and make all the decisions—it’s just like 1776 in that way.”

    She cited colonists who “rose up and said, ‘Not in my home, you don’t come and rape my daughters and my … wife. But that is where we are again. There has been a freedom of elections, not tyranny of selections since way back. Why are we going to roll over and let them steamroll us, be it Democrats or Republicans or whomever?”

  13. rikyrah says:

    When rationalizations turn desperate
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Hoping to exploit Middle East unrest for partisan gain, Republican policymakers hit the Sunday shows yesterday to blame President Obama for last week’s developments. Unfortunately for the right, their talking points are very hard to take seriously.

    On “Face the Nation,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), making his 17th Sunday show appearance of the year, said violent protests broke out in the region last week because the U.S. has a policy of “disengagement.” And why does McCain think that? Because “we’re leaving Iraq. We’re leaving Afghanistan.”

    No serious person could believe this. For one thing, as ongoing drone strikes help demonstrate, the Obama administration is heavily engaged in the region. For another, by McCain’s rationale, the only way for the U.S. to remain truly engaged is to deploy tens of thousands of U.S. troops into perpetual wars, which is both wrong and dangerous. And how this explains last week’s riots is anybody’s guess.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Obama will be able to lose Kansas, fair and square
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:19 PM EDT.

    Just to close the circle on a post from last week, it’s worth noting that the birther effort in Kansas won’t keep President Obama off the state’s ballot after all.

    A board of three elected Republican officials decided to allow President Barack Obama to remain on the Kansas ballot during a brief meeting on Monday, despite the protest of California lawyer/dentist Orly Taitz, arguably the nation’s most infamous “birther.”

    The unanimous vote brought a swift end to a saga which began Thursday evening when the Kansas Objections Board considered a complaint from a state resident seeking to exclude Obama from the ballot.

    The original complaint had been filed by a local conspiracy theorist named Joe Montgomery, who withdrew his objection late Friday.

  15. rikyrah says:

    ‘It revealed him as completely craven’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:15 PM EDT.

    Mitt Romney’s handling of the deadly unrest in the Middle East caused considerable criticism last week, but the story isn’t quite over yet.

    On Friday, Richard Williamson, a top Romney foreign policy adviser, insisted that anti-American protests wouldn’t happen in the Middle East and North Africa if Romney were president — because Muslim demonstrators would have too much “respect” for “American resolve.” This morning, the Obama campaign called the comments “absolutely outrageous.”

    I’m hard pressed to disagree. Indeed, though Romney’s scurrilous remarks last week generated a something of a firestorm, it’s arguably premature to say the damage has been done and it’s time to move on. Nick Kristof’s column over the weekend was brutal: “Diplomacy is a minefield, and Mitt Romney spent the last week blowing up his foreign policy credentials to be president. He raised doubts about his capacity to deal with global crises, and we were left hoping that if that 3 a.m. call ever went to him, he’d have set up call forwarding. The essential problem is that every time Romney touches foreign policy, he breaks things.”


  16. rikyrah says:

    Seven weeks out, Romney oversees campaign in disarray

    By Steve Benen

    Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:48 AM EDT.


    Getty Images

    With the presidential election seven weeks from tomorrow, it’s clear that Mitt Romney is not yet where he wants to be. President Obama appears to have an advantage — though his lead is hardly insurmountable — and there’s growing pessimism on the right.

    Making matters considerably worse, however, is the evidence that Team Romney is itself in disarray. It’s hard enough to defeat a well-liked incumbent with a lengthy record of accomplishments, but doing so with a campaign operation divided against itself makes Romney’s challenge that much more difficult.

    While “talk of infighting within the Romney headquarters” has been “percolating for months,” we’ve clearly entered a new stage. Politico published a lengthy piece last night filled with unnamed aides pointing fingers and casting blame — for Romney’s muddled message, ineffective ads, disjointed convention, and useless speeches.

    The number of Republican insiders and campaign staffers who seemed eager to dish to Politico about their dissatisfaction only reinforced the scope of the underlying problem.

    It gets worse. Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei also report that Team Romney, just 50 days before the election, is going to “abruptly” shift its strategy, after Romney advisers concluded “they had to make a painful course correction.”

  17. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Rodeo Clown Tells Spectators Horribly Racist Michelle Obama Joke

    Mike Hayhurst, a professional rodeo clown and barrelman from Barstow, California, may have thought he was just clowning around when he told Saturday’s crowd at the 17th annual Creston Classic Rodeo a vehemently racist joke involving First Lady Michelle Obama, but the rodeo’s board members aren’t laughing.

    “We probably won’t be using his services in the future,” Creston Classic Rodeo board member Mike Barrett told the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

    Hayhurst, whose website promises “good clean family comedy always,” shocked spectators when he informed them on the rodeo’s PA system that Playboy had offered Mitt Romney’s wife Ann $250,000 “to pose in the magazine.”

    But shock soon turned to horror when Hayhurst went on to say that “the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them.”

    “I was really appalled and the people around me were really appalled,” one spectator told the Tribune. “He was acting like we were buying into his bigotry and we weren’t.”

    Hayhurst was unavailable for comment following the incident as he was in the hospital, possibly due to injuries he sustain during the rodeo when he was tossed around by a bull.

    • SouthernGirl2 says:

      He needs the taste smacked out of his mouth!

      • SouthernGirl2 says:

        Hayhurst was unavailable for comment following the incident as he was in the hospital, possibly due to injuries he sustain during the rodeo when he was tossed around by a bull.

        When evil gets to rockin; Karma comes a knockin!

  18. SouthernGirl2 says:

    GOP Congressman Blows Up At CNN Host: ‘I Don’t Care What Fact Check Says,’ Obama Apologizes For America!

  19. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:54 AM ET, 09/17/2012
    The Morning Plum: Is Romney finally set to get specific? Nope.
    By Greg Sargent

    The Romney campaign spent the weekend dealing with press accounts about internal infighting and discord amid mounting questions about its fundamental strategic direction. As one longtime Romney friend put it, his campaign still has yet to “come up with a compelling, policy-backed argument for credible change.”

    So the Romney camp is now vowing a strategic shift that would place renewed emphasis on the specifics of his plans and vision for where he wants to take the country. Aides are promising new speeches and commercials more clearly spelling out his policy proposals.

    Exhibit A: The Romney camp is out with a new ad that’s entirely focused on his plans, with no mention of Obama. The ad features a close-up of Romney calling for getting tough with China, cutting the deficit, and slashing regulations. “My plan,” says Romney, is to “have tax policies, regulations, and healthcare policies that help small business. We put those in place, we’ll add 12 million new jobs in four years.”

    Thirty-second ads are hardly the place for extreme policy specificity. But come on — in the real world, there is unlikely to be any genuine strategic shift in the direction of specificity. This ad just rehashes the five point, one-page plan for the middle class that Romney released in early August, the last time he was being faulted for insufficient detail. The ad’s claim that his plan would create 12 million jobs has already been challenged: Moody’s Analytics has already forecast that the economy will create 12 million jobs over the next four years, with or without any Romney proposals.

  20. rikyrah says:

    What passes for GOP moderation
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:30 AM EDT.

    Sen. Scott Brown (R) is in a tough re-election fight in Massachusetts, where he’s making every effort to present himself as a “moderate.” Occasionally, however, that proves to be harder than it sounds.

    Take tax policy, for example. The Democratic position is straightforward and rather popular: keep the lower tax rates in place for all income up to $250,000. Republicans say that’s a non-starter: unless Democrats agree to lower rates for the wealthy, the GOP will allow the tax breaks to expire for everyone.

    Is Brown prepared to go along with his party’s uncompromising stance? The answer is “crystal clear.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 09/17/2012
    Romney is running as a conservative ideologue
    By Jamelle Bouie

    Earlier this year, I wrote a cover story for The American Prospect where I disputed the idea that Mitt Romney would govern as a moderate if elected president, even if he ran to the center against President Obama. Romney will almost always face pressure and mistrust from the right-flank of the Republican Party. And because those voters and activists are key to his political success, he’ll do everything he can to satisfy their demands. Satisfying the right-wing of the Republican Party is not a particularly good way of passing broad-based, pragmatic policy.

    Underlying the piece, however, was a general assumption — that conservatives would let Romney run a non-ideological campaign that leaned on his time as governor of Massachusetts. Movement conservatism is still a hard sell for the general public, and if voters are looking for anyone, it’s someone who can fix the economy — not a right-wing crusader.

    As it turns out, this was a terrible assumption. If there is any one thing that has defined Mitt Romney’s campaign for the White House, it’s that he’s running the campaign of a conservative ideologue. It didn’t start that way; he began the summer by hitting Obama on the economy. But as Democrats turned up the heat on Bain Capital — and neutralized his advantage as an economic manager — Romney turned right to fill the gap.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Poor David Frum…so frustrating trying to pretend like your party still has sense.

    (1) This AM’s Politico story about Stuart Stevens being to blame for Romney campaign’s troubles utterly misses the point.
    (2)The Romney campaign has a messaging problem because it has a policy problem.
    (3) The policy problem is that the Romney campaign offers nothing but bad news to hardpressed Americans and the broader middle class.
    (4) How do you message: I’m doing away w Medicaid over the next 10 yrs, Medicare after that, to finance a cut in the top rate of tax to 28%?
    (5) I don’t care if you hire the people who produce the ATT ads that make my wife cry, there’s no lipsticking that pig.
    (6) The problem isn’t the campaign leadership; it’s the party’s followership
    (7) Over course of campaign, Romney has changed from a pragmatic, capable manager into a dog-whistling culture warrior.
    (8) Candidate cd have and shd have resisted that pressure – but it’s rich for ppl who demanded the change to complain about consequences.
    (9) I thought Stevens’ – drafted Tampa speech did good job of humanizing the man, Mitt Romney
    (10) But voters do care about the q: what will this presidency do for me? And “dick you over” is not a winning answer

  23. rikyrah says:

    In case you didn’t see it, Politico is running an article about ‘ what’s going wrong’ with the Romney campaign.

    Here’s the thing:

    why isn’t he winning?

    these clowns are hilarious.

    they didn’t notice that Willard didn’t win the GOP Nomination by pushing WHY HE would be a good candidate. He won because he was up against amateurs and grifters, and he drowned them in money.

    these idiots, going up against the best political team in a generation, actually bought into the bullshyt that they’ve been feeding the rubes since 2008.

    the facts are, the only basis Willard had for running for President is what he was a rich White man.

    once the Prudential Building dismantled that..

    Willard didn’t have a plan B.

    They never had a Plan B.

    stupid muthafuckas.

    keep on asking that delusional shyt until November 6, 2012.

    NOBODY is playing with you mofos.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Ametia, would you like for me to do the Tuesday Open Thread, just in case you don’t get your power back?

  25. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    • Ametia says:


      Referring to all Arabs and Muslims as “unrestrained savagery” based on what a rabble of ultra-conservative, uneducated morons who have nothing better to do is ridiculous. Collectively, there have been tens of thousand protesters/rioters out of 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide. The majority of us don’t give a crap about this “movie” (which was shit, by the way).

      Scarborough’s conclusion is the same as if I watched Tea Party rally and concluded that America is full of fat, white uneducated people.

      Murdering Joey Scar is a rabble-rousing ISLAMOPHOBE.

  26. Ametia says:

    <bCLARENCE Thomas concedes that ‘we the people’ didn’t include blacks
    By Robert Barnes, Published: September 16

    It is true, Justice Clarence Thomas acknowledged the other night, that the “we the people” extolled in the Constitution 225 years ago did not include people who looked like him.

    But the Declaration of Independence did, he contended, and that was something that a black kid growing up in Savannah, Ga., was told early on.

    “There was always this underlying belief that we were entitled to be a full participant in ‘we the people,’ ” Thomas told a crowd at the National Archives last week.

    “That’s the way we grew up. It was the way the nuns, who were all immigrants, would explain it to us — that we were entitled, as citizens of this country, to be full participants. There was never any doubt that we were inherently equal. It said so in the Declaration of Independence.”

    Thomas submitted to about an hour of extremely gentle questioning from Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar at an event called “The Constitution Turns 225,” co-sponsored by the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center and the conservative Federalist Society.

    It was a packed house, drawn perhaps by the chance to see the “silent justice” speak. That’s far more myth than reality, of course.

  27. Ametia 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.

  28. Ametia says:

    House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action
    By Josh Israel

    House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced Friday that after next week, the House will stand in recess until November 13. His plan for a nearly two month vacation will undoubtedly allow more time for campaigning, but will leave several vital bills awaiting action.

    Among the important legislation the House will likely not address before the November elections:

    1. Violence Against Women Act re-authorization. Though a bipartisan Senate majority passed the a strong re-authorization bill in April, the Republican House leadership refused to allow a vote on the Senate version of the bill. The House passed a watered down version on a mostly-party lines vote, leaving victims to wait for House action.

    2. The American Jobs Act. Republicans have been blocking President Obama’s jobs legislation for more than a year. Though House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) promised in 2010 that a GOP Congress would focus on job creation, he has blocked this bill’s immediate infrastructure investments, tax credits for working Americans and employers, and aid to state and local governments to prevent further layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public safety officials.

    3. Tax cuts for working families. In July, the Senate passed a bill extending tax-cuts for the first $250,000 in annual income. The Republican House leadership has refused to consider the bill, holding it hostage to their demands for a full extension of Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires.

    4. Veterans Job Corps Act. The Senate is currently considering bipartisan legislation to help America’s veterans find jobs. The Air Force Times reports that the Republican House has “shown no interest” in the legislation to support those who served the country.

    5. Sequestration. A spokesman for Boehner said earlier this week that stopping budget cuts he voted for last August “topped our July agenda and remains atop our agenda for September.” While House Republicans have complained about the imminent spending reductions and passed a bill that would require President Obama to find offsets for spending cuts they don’t like, Republican Leader Canter could not name a single compromise he was willing to make to get a deal.

    6. Farm Bill. Despite strong support for a 5-year farm bill from even conservative groups like the Farm Bureau Association — the House leadership has not scheduled a vote on the bill. The current law expires September 30. Without passage, 90 percent of the work of the Department of Agriculture could be defunded.

    7. Wind tax credit. The Senate may act next week to renew an expiring wind energy tax credit. Despite bipartisan support — including from original author Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Examiner notes that the House is unlikely to pass the renewal. Despite GOP calls for energy independence, the expiration has threatened the wind energy industry and already led to job cuts.

    These, in addition to drought assistance, postal service reform, addressing the Estate Tax, cyber security legislation, fixes for Medicare reimbursement rates and the Alternative Minimum Tax, and all 12 of the FY 2013 Appropriations Bills remain unaddressed.

  29. Ametia says:

    Hellooooo! Our neighborhood has NO POWER. LOL I’m working with this waking dream.

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