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



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63 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Tears For Fears Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    They have to go all in. They have no choice.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Posted by Liberal Librarian at 6:09 PM

    What a week it has been.

    Those of us on this side of the divide have always believed that the caricature we paint of Republicans was closer to the truth than not. But, at least in public statements, up until, say, 2008, Republicans were always able to dissemble their true motives to enough of an extent and to enough of the electorate as to remain politically viable. This was aided, of course, by a media culture which is ingrained to parrot Republican and conservative talking points, both because of media consolidation beneath massive multinational corporations, and because our media gravitates towards those with power.

    Something cracked once the black guy with the foreign name won the Presidency, though. We’ve seen it. The Right descended into a swamp of conspiracy and paranoia not seen in this country since the days of the Know-Nothings of the mid-19th century, with their dark tales of Papists violating pure white Protestant American virgins. Or since the heyday of the KKK in the 1920s, which reacted to a country awash in immigrants and African Americans moving out of the South and into the industrial North. Had Hilary Clinton won in 2008, she would have been subjected to some abuse; but I doubt it would have reached anywhere near the insane intensity which has gripped the Right since Barack Obama put his hand on Thomas Jefferson’s bible and took the oath of office.
    A Democratic landscape

    The state-by-state polls this fall make it clear: The 2008 presidential election was no anomaly. The Upper South and interior West are now competitive terrain and will be in future White House races. That means Democrats have more margin for error than Republicans when it comes to cobbling together 270 electoral votes.

    “The map has changed to give any Democrat the better grip on the electorate,” said van Lohuizen.

    As more voters, both transients from other states and immigrants, have poured into states like Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina, political demographics in these places have been transformed. It’s the new Democratic coalition there and in traditional swing states that is bolstering Obama

    But, it’s all they have. The GOP has reached the terminal phase of epistemic closure. It sees nothing outside its own delusions; it does not treat with the world in any realistic way. Why are Romney and his surrogates doubling down on his dismissal of “parasites”? Because it’s what they believe. Enough of the Tea Party will think “Oh, they mean those people. I take no government handouts” as they cash their Social Security checks, refinance their homes with a federally backed mortgage, or fill out paperwork for their parents’ Medicare.

    However, even that segment of the population is shrinking, however. And from the reaction to Romney’s comments, more than a majority of the country is appalled by their heartlessness and disdain.

    It will take much work to wrench this country into the 21st century. This election, though important, will not be the end of the struggle. It will take conscientiousness and diligence to undo decades of pernicious Republican philosophy. But the party is at a breaking point. It will either pull back from the abyss—which I don’t see happening, as it’s too far gone—or shatter into its constituent parts. The next decade will be both the hardest for the country since the Civil War, and perhaps the most exhilarating. Something new is being born. There’s no other time in which I’d rather live.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Pnthrgrlgail @Mama4Obama1 Oh my RT .@robertcostaNRO

    Breaking: Romney campaign borrowed $20m in August, now $11m in debt

  3. rikyrah says:

    Mark Murray @mmurraypolitics

    On traits, Obama leads on good commander-in-chief (45%-38%), dealing with women’s issues (54%-26%), looking out for middle class (53%-34%)

  4. rikyrah says:

    The first question to Romney on the complete video at Mother Jones is about foreign policy. Questioner seems to be saying that Obama may find himself in a foreign policy crisis as Carter did in 1980, and if so Romney could be able to take advantage of Obama’s weakness. Romney responds that indeed if some kind of disaster like the Iran hostage crisis does arise then he will do his best to seize on it:

    And yet in that election, the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we had hostages in Iran, I mean that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, that’s, that was the focus, so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I’m afraid today if you simply got Iran agree to stand down from nuclear weapons they’d go wholly…you know, but…By the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.

  5. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice:

    mai naem Says:

    Mitt’s secret communications with Barack Obama:

    Mitt: All is going according to plan

    Barack: Good, good job. Gotta tell you making that secret tape and sending it to Jimmy Carter’s grandson – that’s a master stroke

    Mitt: Well, he’s unemployed. Thought I could get him a job and make you look good by getting one person off the dole.

    Barack: Excellent.. I’ll have that pardon for your offshore accounts ready to go for you, by Thanksgiving. Press won’t be paying attention then.

  6. rikyrah says:

    From Charles Pierce:

    I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.

    I mean, Jesus, you mean you people didn’t notice? Back during the primaries, you didn’t catch on to what I was saying? I offered to bet Rick Perry ten thousand clams, right there on stage. Bluffed him over the top because that tangled-tongued sodbuster knew that I could have bought his hometown of Drought Stricken Gulch, or whatever the hell it was, for half that amount. I bought Pawlenty out of the process before those hayshakers in Iowa had finished farting out the rest of their corn dogs from the state fair. Newt tried me on about the Bain stuff, but do you think I was even listening? In fact, do you think I listen to anyone? I don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t… speak… Money, and I don’t have to, because, well:

    I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.

    I’m the end product, baby. This is where your party’s been heading for 30 years. Who do you think bankrolled Reagan? People who spoke Money, that’s who. You put a party together made up of snakehandlers, and economic alchemists, and neocon grifters, and get a whole bunch of people like me, people who speak Money, to foot all the bills, and who do you think is going to end up on top? Sooner or later, you all have to pay the piper, and the piper is me. I am always the piper, because I always get paid, because, well:

    I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.

    Got a little secret for you all. I don’t care if I win. I never did. Oh, I want the job because I’m entitled to it. It’s the inexorable next step in my golden existence. But it’s not like I actually wanted to do the job. It was a prize, something to hang over one of my mantlepieces or another. But, you know what happens the day after I lose to Obama? A whole bunch of you start typing your resumes, and writing your essays about how I fked the whole thing up six ways from Sunday, and Whither The Conservative Movement? and all that malarkey. Maybe I take some folks from Congress down with me, and they all go to the Fox studios and run around the set of Hannity’s program until the music stops, and one of them doesn’t find a chair, and that one has to go home and do morning drive in East Jesus, Florida.

    Read more:

  7. rikyrah says:

    VIDEO: Bain Capital owns Sensata Technologies. Watch soon-to-be ex-Sensata workers respond to leaked Romney video.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 2:00 pm by GottaLaff

    We will be completely out of a job.”

    “Who’s gonna hire me?”

    “They’re abusing these people.”

    “It’s really slave labor is what it is.”

    Mitt’s “fingerprints are all over everything that company does.”

    “He’s out of touch with 99% of the people…”

    “If you want know what the Romney economy is why don’t you look up Sensata…”

    Remember Sensata? If not, read this post: Bain owned company outsourcing Illinois jobs to China; employees want Mitt Romney to intervene.

    To add insult to injury, those soon-to-be-ex-employees have to train their own Chinese replacements. Yes, that’s right, their jobs are being shipped to China by the end of this year.

    In the above video, Sensata workers watched the Romney secret video about how “Chinese factory workers” just couldn’t tear themselves away from their fine working conditions.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Soledad O’Brien grills Romney aide: Your campaign is ‘just a hot mess’

    Romney adviser Bay Buchanan on Tuesday declared that the release of leaked campaign videos showing the Republican presidential nominee writing off 47 percent of the country as “dependant” and “entitled” was just a “bump in the road.”

    In an edited video published by Mother Jones on Monday, Mitt Romney had told wealthy donors that almost half of the country “pay no income tax” and were going to vote for President Barack Obama.

    “My job is is not to worry about those people,” Romney asserted. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

    On Tuesday, Buchanan had the unenviable task of trying to do damage control while being grilled by CNN host Soledad O’Brien.

    “As a candidate, he can’t worry about those he can’t get,” Buchanan explained, adding that the media should be focusing on “one out of every six Americans are in poverty today and that 47 million are taking food stamps in order to take care of themselves and their families.”

    “Listen, I fully understand the strategy is to turn to the ‘real problem’ and talk about something else, but I’m going to keep you on this,” O’Brien said. “He says 47 percent of Americans pay no tax. That’s not correct. … Forty-seven percent of those people who pay no income tax — look at that chart there — 61 percent of those folks, they’re paying payroll tax, money is coming out of their paycheck. It’s being described as the myth of sort of the deadbeat nation.”

    O’Brien continued by reading a satirical op-ed titled “Thurston Howell Romney” that was written by conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks: “The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.”

    “So essentially, didn’t Mitt Romney in these leaked tapes bash his own voters?” O’Brien wondered. “Those are the people who are voting for Mitt Romney.”

  9. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney’s shocking dismissal brings into question whether he could represent all Americans as president when he so willingly disparages half of them. Not only do the vast majority of these Americans pay a significant percentage of their income in taxes—whether they are federal payroll taxes, property taxes, sales taxes or other state and local taxes—but they often pay an even higher share of their income in these taxes than wealthier families. In fact, well over half—61%—are workers who actually pay federal payroll taxes, which can include military families, cops, firefighters, and teachers. And an overwhelming majority of the Americans Romney dismisses are seniors, working families, students, or people with disabilities.

    Here are a few examples of Americans who—according to Mitt Romney—don’t pay enough in taxes:

    U.S. soldiers in combat
    U.S. soldiers’ pay while in a combat zone is not subject to federal income tax.

    A firefighter with the average wage of $45,000 with a stay-at-home spouse and two kids.

    U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeants
    An Air Force military police staff sergeant with 8 years of service—who earns basic pay of $34,723—with a spouse earning $10,000 through part-time work and at least two kids.

    A steelworker making the average wage of $45,000 with a stay-at-home spouse and two kids.

    Security Guards
    A security guard making the average wage of $23,900 married to a bank teller making an average wage of $24,500, with three kids.

    High School Teachers
    A high school teacher making the average wage of $54,000 who is the primary source of income and has at least three kids.

    Police Officers
    A New Mexico patrolman with a starting salary of $39,000 married to a part-time child care worker with at least two kids.

    Clergy Members
    A clergy member whose income of $44,140 is the primary source of income in a family with a spouse and two kids.

  10. Ametia says:

    Sep 18, 2012 2:28pm
    Biden: Romney’s Words ‘Speak For Themselves’

    TTUMWA, Iowa – Vice President Joe Biden had little to say Tuesday about the recently surfaced videos which show GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney saying 47 percent of the country will vote for President Obama because they believe they are “victims” and are “dependent upon government.”
    When asked by reporters what he thought about the video and comments, Biden said, “I’ll let his words speak for themselves.”

    A reporter asked Biden when he saw the video, but the press was ushered away from the ropeline at that time by Biden’s staff.
    The vice president made no mention of Romney’s controversial comments during his event at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, which was attended by 476, people according to the Ottumwa deputy fire chief.

    The video of Romney candidly speaking at a fundraiser first surfaced Monday evening after Mother Jones magazine posted the leaked videos in which Romney said 47 percent of voters will vote for Obama “no matter what” because they are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”

  11. Ametia says:

    LIL Eddie Munster is continuing the WELFARE QUEEN bullshit

  12. Ametia says:

    GOP Civil War Is Coming as Mitt Romney Campaign Flails in Video’s Wake

    The video carping about government moochers may well have sealed it. Mitt Romney is going down, and the fight already is on for the future of the Republican Party. The battle will be bitter—and prolonged, says Robert Shrum.

    by Robert Shrum | September 18, 2012 7:32 AM EDT

    There is a civil war gathering in the Republican Party. It looks more and more like a dispirited and disappointed collection of factions, preparing to lay blame for a lost presidential election and to do battle to shape a new direction for the Grand Old Party.

    Last week the view hardened that the Republican nominee was in close to terminal trouble. Having lost the summer as he let the Obama campaign define him, having lost the conventions when he let Clint Eastwood step all over his acceptance speech, Mitt Romney spectacularly lost his head on Sept. 11 during the mob attack on U.S. diplomats in Egypt and Libya. He came across as a low-life opportunist rushing to exploit a national tragedy in order to score political points and then doubling down on this venal dumbness with a smirking and contentious press conference. This week he may well have finished the job, with a video leaking of him referring to 47 percent of the electorate as government moochers.

    Romney’s advisers have taken to bashing the press for covering the bad news, a near-certain sign of a losing campaign, as is the simultaneous effort to quarrel with the methodology of polls showing him trailing in the battleground states with almost no way of reaching 270 electoral votes. The surveys were largely in the field before Romney’s graceless and craven charge that the Obama administration sympathized with those who murdered the nation’s ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. More polls are on the way, and for Mitt the Knife, with his self-inflicted wounds, most of the numbers won’t be pretty.

  13. Ametia says:

    Isn’t Mitt Romney a Member of the 47 Percent?

    John Nichols on September 18, 2012 – 10:30 AM ET
    Mitt Romney, a son of privilege who used family connections and family advantages to accumulate a “vulture capitalist” fortune, and who now collects multimillion-dollar checks for doing absolutely nothing, claims to have identified 47 percent of Americans “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.”

    Most of these people, Romney gripes, “pay no income tax.”

  14. Ametia says:

    Who doesn’t pay taxes, in eight charts
    Posted by Brad Plumer on September 18, 2012 at 11:34 am
    A leaked fundraising video caused a stir Monday when it showed Mitt Romney taking a rather caustic view of Obama supporters.
    In particular, Romney bemoaned the fact that nearly half the country doesn’t pay income taxes: “These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
    So why don’t many Americans pay income taxes? And what taxes do they pay? Let’s try to do a comprehensive breakdown in — yes — charts:
    1) About 46.4 percent of U.S. households didn’t pay income taxes in 2011. Mitt Romney’s right about that.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Chris Rocks Twitter feed:

    4 years ago John McCain thought Sarah Palin was a better VP candidate than Mitt Romney. You have to admire McCain’s political instincts

  16. rikyrah says:

    Randy Newman is crazy


    • rikyrah says:


      George Washington was a white man
      Adams and Jefferson too
      Abe Lincoln was a white man, probably
      And William McKinley the whitest of them all
      Was shot down by an immigrant in Buffalo
      And a star fell out of heaven

      I’m dreaming of a white President
      Just like the ones we’ve always had
      A real live white man
      Who knows the score
      How to handle money or start a war
      Wouldn’t even have to tell me what we were fighting for
      He’d be the right man
      If he were a

      I’m dreaming of a white President
      Someone whom we can understand
      Someone who knows where we’re coming from
      And that the law of the jungle is not the law of this land

      In deepest darkest Africa nineteen three
      A little boy says, “Daddy, I just discovered relativity.
      A big eclipse is coming
      And I’ll prove it. Wait and see!”

      “You better eclipse yourself outta here, son
      And find yourself a tree
      There’s a lion in the front yard
      And he knows he won’t catch me.”

      How many little Albert Einsteins
      Cut down in their prime?
      How many little Ronald Reagans
      Gobbled up before their time?

      I don’t believe in evolution
      But it does occur to me,
      What if little William Howard Taft had to face a lion
      Or God forbid, climb a tree?
      Where would this country be?

      I’m dreaming of a white President
      Buh buh buh buh
      ‘Cause things have never been this bad
      So he won’t run the hundred in ten seconds flat
      So he won’t have a pretty jump shot
      Or be an Olympic acrobat
      So he won’t know much about global warming
      Is that really where you’re at?
      He won’t be the brightest, perhaps
      But he’ll be the whitest
      And I’ll vote for that

      Whiter than this?
      Whiter than this?
      Whiter than this?
      Whiter than this?
      Oh yeah

    • Ametia says:

      This is HILARIOUS!

  17. rikyrah says:

    Why Romney’s Secret Speech Will Matter

    by BooMan
    Mon Sep 17th, 2012 at 10:41:42 PM EST

    There are so many ways I could approach Mitt Romney’s recently revealed secret speech. People will snark it to death. We can have hours of fun with this thing. If we’re feeling really mischievous, we can even torture it a little bit before we kill it, like a cat playing with a shrew. But I want to be serious for a moment. Will it matter?
    The first thing that came to mind when I read the transcript was Obama’s famous comments about people clinging to their guns and their religion. Those comments were also made at a private fundraiser. And I thought to myself that the “clinging” comments must not have hurt too badly because Obama went on to win the nomination and the presidency. But when I thought a little harder, I changed my mind. Obama had already won the nomination from a statistical point of view by the time the “clinging” comments became public. By the time November came along, not only were those comments old news, but the financial sector had collapsed. Obama overcame those comments but they still exacted a price. Even today, I’d argue that people wouldn’t so readily buy the idea that Obama has a secret plan to take away their guns if he hadn’t secretly expressed a degree of disdain for gun owners. And people might not so readily suspect that he isn’t a Christian if he hadn’t secretly disparaged people who cling to their religion.

    In any case, I believe that Obama’s comments hurt him and that he is still paying a small price for them. People don’t like to be psychoanalyzed by egghead Harvard lawyers and they don’t like to be disrespected. And that’s precisely why Romney’s comments will hurt him. And I suspect the damage will be greater in this case for several reasons.

    First, as indelicate as Obama’s comments were, he was trying to explain to the Napa Valley Chablis Set why people in the Rust Belt feel alienated and pissed off. He was trying to induce empathy, not disdain. His intent, as opposed to his effect, was absolutely not to talk down to or make fun of the religious gun owners of Pennsylvania. He was saying that their communities have been destroyed by deindustrialization. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was saying that everyone who voted for Obama in 2008 is just looking for a handout from the government and refuses to take any personal responsibility for their own lives. He was talking down to and making fun of the 53% of the people who put Obama in office.

    Which leads to the second problem. Elsewhere in the speech, Mitt Romney makes the point that the only undecided people in the country are people who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and are disappointed. They still like Barack Obama. They don’t necessarily regret voting for him. And they are seriously considering voting for him again. That is why, Mitt Romney explains to his audience, it doesn’t do him any good to attack Obama personally or repeat a bunch of Tea Party lines about birth certificates or Marxism or whatever. If he tries to make people feel stupid for voting for Obama, they’ll just get defensive. If he’s attacks him unfairly, they’ll just get protective. Romney bases this opinion on careful research about undecided voters.

    And the problem is that these are precisely the people who he just insulted. It’s true that he tried a create a special carve-out for the people who voted for Obama and are not sure that they want to do so again. But there are still two problems. First, he insulted all Obama voters, whether he wants to gift retroactive immunities or not. Second, he insulted undecided voters, too.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Pennsylvania Supreme Court sends voter ID bill back for review

    By Laura Conaway

    Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:01 PM EDT.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has just now sent the state’s new voter ID law back to a lower court for review. Under the law passed by the new Republican majority this year, as many as 1 million Pennsylvanians have been expected not to be able to vote in November.

    State officials assured the court that everything would be fine and that voters would get the IDs they need. The court was not having it. From the ruling (pdf):

    Overall, we are confronted with an ambitious effort on the part of the General Assembly to bring the new identification procedure into effect with in a relatively short timeframe and an implementation process which has by no means been seamless in light of the serious operational constraints faced by the executive branch. Given this state of affairs, we are not satisfied with a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials, even though we have no doubt they are proceeding in good faith.

    Since the law went into effect, a couple of high-profile Pennsylvanians without the required documents have managed to get IDs anyway. One state official advised voters in need to ask clerks at the DMV for leniency. With the 4-2 vote today, Pennsylvania’s high court is saying that a patchwork, beg-your-way-through system is not good enough. The Supreme Court sent the matter back to the lower Commonwealth Court for a review of whether the ID cards voters will need are in fact reaching the public in time. The ruling is not an injunction — the justices are looking for more information before they make a final decision. The Philadelphia Inquirer says it’s not clear how today’s ruling will affect the law’s standing for the November election. Dave Weigel calls it a win for Democrats, implicitly, and explicitly. for the voting-rights groups that challenged the law.

    After the jump, a little more from the ruling.


    Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court recognized the burden of the voter ID law on vulnerable groups of voters. From the ruling:

    While there is a debate over the number of affected voters, given the substantial overlap between voter rolls and PennDOT’s existing ID driver/cardholder database, it is readily understood that a minority of the population is affected by the access issue. Nevertheless, there is little disagreement with Appellants’ observation that the population involved includes members of some of the most vulnerable segments of our society (the elderly, disabled members of our community, and the financially disadvantaged).

    The court has posted the full ruling, along with a dissenting statement and a dissenting opinion (all pdfs). Please point out parts that strike you as interesting in the comments.

  19. Ametia says:

    Former Pres. Jimmy Carter Congratulates Grandson on Unearthing Romney Video
    Source: Daily Kos/MSNBC

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the guy who takes such glee in denigrating the legacy of former President Jimmy Carter, has his political career ended by the literal legacy of Jimmy Carter?

    At 7:16 am this morning, we heard from former President Carter: After emailing his grandfather the magazine’s story about the tape — under the subject, “Huge campaign news,” and calling it “my biggest story yet” — the former president wrote back at 7:16 am Tuesday: “James: This is extraordinary. Congratulations! Papa.”

    Jimmy Carter, probably the best ex-President who has ever graced our country, has served as a punching bag and punch line for Republicans for the last twenty years. Because he dared to tell the truth to Americans about the economic malaise that we were living through in the late 70’s, none of which was particularly his doing, and because he lost the 1980 election to a Republican icon, a man so bereft of personal character as to inform on his colleagues in the film industry and even enlist J. Edgar Hoover to spy on his own family, he has had to endure a constant stream of vituperation and smearing during the latter part of his extraordinary life.

    The young Mr Carter is well aware of the opprobrium foisted on his grandfather’s shoulders by the same people who nearly destroyed the US Economy and deliberately sabotaged our current President’s attempts to resuscitate it.

    Read more:

  20. Ametia says:

    Five Looming Curses of Privatization
    By Paul Buchheit

    With the breakdown of the private financial industry, and with the decision by corporations to stop meeting their tax responsibilities, and with the dramatic surge in tax haven abuse, less tax revenue is available to state and local governments. Deprived of funding, governments are forced to consider privatization schemes to balance their budgets. But any such scheme comes with adversity and pain.

    The futility of diverting public funds into the hands of profitseekers has been well-documented. Here are a few of the gathering curses of privatization.

    1. Public treasures sold off for short-term budget needs

    In his 2006 budget President Bush proposed auctioning off 300,000 acres of national forest in 41 states. This followed attempts by both the Reagan Administration and Clinton-era Republicans to privatize public land.

    Now, with continuing budget shortfalls, the Cato Institute and other libertarian groups are pressing for property deals, with the justification that land should be “allocated to the highest-value use,” presumably making it available to the highest bidder for consumption purposes.

    That brings us to Paul Ryan’s dubiously-named Path to Prosperity, which proposes to sell millions of acres of “unneeded federal land” and billions of dollars worth of federal assets. He’s starting in his own backyard: the state of Wisconsin is considering the sale of DNR land for some ready cash. The Path to Prosperity is based in part on Republican Jason Chaffetz’ “Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2011,” which would unload millions of acres of land in America’s west. Worse yet is Rep. Cliff Stearns’ perplexing recommendation to “sell off some of our national parks.” Mitt Romney also chimed in, admitting that he didn’t know “what the purpose is” of public lands.

    2. Infrastructure decaying in the hands of profit-seekers

    David Cay Johnston describes the deteriorating state of America’s infrastructure, with grids and pipelines neglected by monopolistic industries that cut costs rather than provide maintenance. Meanwhile, they achieve profit margins of over 50%, eight times the corporate average.

    The government agencies that are usually blamed for the crumbling infrastructure are often staffed with regulators from the industries they’re expected to monitor. If and when accidents happen, the companies responsible can plead hardship and demand rate increases from the public.

    It’s getting worse as corporations become fewer and more powerful. Almost every American adult can relate to the monopolistic phone and Internet industry that controls our public airwaves. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, South Korea has Internet speeds up to 200 times faster than the average speed in the U.S., at about half the cost. Free-market enterprise is simply not working in the U.S. telecommunications industry.
    READ ON:

  21. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:09 AM ET, 09/18/2012
    The Morning Plum: Why Romney’s radical theory of the freeloading 47 percent matters
    By Greg Sargent

    What do Mitt Romney’s comments on that leaked video — in which he derided what we might call “the freeloading 47 percent” — tell us about what he really believes, and how he would govern?

    Romney seemed to be saying that all of those who rely on federal benefits, or who don’t pay income taxes, “believe that they are victims,” think government “has a responsibility to care for them,” and will never be convinced that they should “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

    It isn’t easy to parse what Romney said, because he seemed to be conflating three different categories: Those who don’t pay income taxes; those who rely on federal benefits; and the 47 percent who are locked in for Obama. But ultimately, when you cut through the noise, what Romney was really saying is that any kind of dependence on government is evidence of weakness and that those who are not paying income taxes are freeloading moochers off of those who do.

    I don’t know if Romney believes this or not. But the fact that he’s claiming to believe this is what matters. He is adhering to a view of the social contract and government’s role in combatting the vagaries of fortune that is deeply unbalanced and out of step with mainstream American opinion. As Jim Tankersley points out, polling shows that a majority of independents endorse the idea that government should guarantee everyone a “food and a bed,” which is to say, they support the idea that government has a valid role in safeguarding Americans from the free market and the whims of bad luck. Multiple other polls have found overwhelming public support for keeping major elements of the safety net intact, and pluralities have even been supportive of the idea that government has a valid role guaranteeing health care for all Americans.

  22. rikyrah says:

    A ‘kick-the-ball-down-the-field’ style of leadership
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:57 AM EDT.

    On the show last night, Mother Jones’ David Corn told Rachel yesterday’s revelations from the secretly-recorded Mitt Romney fundraiser weren’t the end of the story. This morning, it was time for the second shoe to drop.

    At the private fundraiser held May 17 [Romney] discussed various foreign policy positions, sharing views that he does not express in public, including his belief that peace in the Middle East is not possible and a Palestinian state is not feasible.

    Romney spoke of “the Palestinians” as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: “I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way.”

    Romney was indicating he did not believe in the peace process and, as president, would aim to postpone significant action: “[S]o what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem … and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”

  23. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 09/18/2012
    This race is not a toss up. Romney is losing.
    By Jamelle Bouie

    For the last few months, major mistakes by Mitt Romney have been accompanied by this warning from journalists, pundits and commentators — Romney could still win. The massive furor around Romney’s fundraiser remarks has been accompanied by patient reminders that the race is still anyone’s game.

    This made sense before the conventions, when the candidates were positioning to the fall, and catering to a smaller group of voters. But now that the conventions are behind us, and most voters are paying attention to the campaigns, it’s harder to make this argument.

    For starters, the post-convention period has made it clear that this election is not a toss-up. Even with his (small) bounce from the GOP convention, Romney was not able to overtake President Obama’s polling lead. In fact, Romney has never led in a polling average — he’s been behind by roughly 2 points since April, when he clinched the Republican nomination. And while it’s tempting to dismiss Obama’s convention bounce as a temporary spike, we’re at the point where it should have dissipated. If the race were going to revert to its pre-convention status quo, we would see it in the polls. As it stands, Obama’s bounce looks like a permanent bump; he’s now at 48.5% in the Real Clear Politics average and 49% in the Talking Points Memo average — within striking distance of 50.1%. Romney, on the other hand, is stuck at 45% support.

    • Ametia says:

      So true. And the media muppets can stop spinning this idiot’s bumbling lies, and disdain for the working class like a Maytag. Sstick a fork in this fucker. HE.IS.DONE.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Carter Family Gets Payback

    James Carter IV, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, told NBC News that starting late last month he tracked down the source who took the secret Mitt Romney video and then in a series of messages encouraged him to release the full tape to Mother Jones magazine.

    Carter “also confirmed there is a personal side to the backstory of the campaign video: he was especially motivated, he said, because of Romney’s frequent attacks on the presidency of his grandfather.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s contempt for the ’47 percent’
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Just 24 hours ago, Mitt Romney was already in a rough spot. With the presidential election seven weeks away, he was coming off a bad week in which he cravenly tried to exploit the deaths of Americans abroad for partisan gain, watched President Obama solidify his lead in the polls, and found his aides sniping at one another in the press.

    By mid-morning yesterday, Team Romney was determined to get back on track, signaling shifts in strategy, a new ad campaign, and a renewed focus. Nothing to worry about, hand-wringing Republicans, campaign aides said, everything is just fine.

    And then Mother Jones’ David Corn reported that Romney trashed half the country in a secretly-taped fundraiser, and fleshed out additional details with Rachel last night.

    In case you haven’t seen the damaging quote itself, Romney, talking casually to some wealthy supporters, presented this argument:

    The Romney campaign does not deny the legitimacy of the video or the accuracy of the quote.

    Presidential candidates can get away with quite a bit during a campaign, but when a multi-millionaire talks trash about half the country while hobnobbing with other multi-millionaires, it’s safe to say that candidate has a rather dramatic problem on his hands. Indeed, keep in mind, this wasn’t a gaffe or an accident — this was Romney speaking his mind in ways we don’t usually see.

  26. SouthernGirl2 says:

    obama swagger Pictures, Images and Photos

  27. rikyrah says:

    ‘Not elegantly stated’
    By Steve Benen – Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:45 AM EDT

    By late yesterday afternoon, the Romney campaign was in the middle of a political firestorm, stemming from secretly-recorded comments the candidate made a fundraiser. In the video, Romney is seen expressing contempt for nearly the half the country, chastising the elderly and the working families who don’t pay federal income taxes for considering themselves “victims” who fail to “take personal responsibility.”

    Late last night, the Republican candidate delivered a brief statement, hoping to quell the controversy (this is a slightly longer version of the clip Tricia posted earlier).

    For those who can’t watch clips online, the full transcript of his comments is available, but the key part of the statement is the fact that Romney simply endorsed everything seen in the clip. He conceded his recorded comments were “not elegantly stated,” and were delivered “off the cuff,” but nevertheless recommitted himself to the underlying sentiment.

    As a reporter asked, “Governor, are all of the things you said in the video things you believe? Are those core convictions?” Romney walked off the stage.

    Also note, Romney argued that this kind of rhetoric is routine, suggesting the argument is something is talks about “a good deal in rallies and speeches and so forth.” That’s not quite right — I’ve read the transcripts of hundreds of Romney speeches and addresses, and I’ve never heard express divisive contempt for nearly the half the country.

    It’s true that the argument isn’t unique — plenty on the right talk like this all the time — it’s just not something Romney personally repeats in public. As Dave Weigel put it, “This is Tea Party rhetoric churned into something new and stupid.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Another Shoe Drops

    David Corn has posted more videos. Corn comments on the one above, which is about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

    In public, Romney has not declared the peace process pointless or dismissed the two-state solution. In July, when the Israeli newspaper Haaretz asked Romney if he supports a two-state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state, he replied, “I believe in a two-state solution which suggests there will be two states, including a Jewish state.” Yet Romney’s remarks to these funders—this was one of his longest answers at the fundraiser—suggest he might be hiding his true beliefs regarding Israel and the peace process and that on this subject he is out of sync with the predominant view in foreign policy circles that has existed for decades

  29. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s donors and their shameful dependency on government
    By Kay September 18th, 2012

    Meet Marc Leder, Mitt Romney’s host:

    To his critics, he represents everything that’s wrong with this setup. In recent years, a large number of the companies that Sun Capital has acquired have run into serious trouble, eliminated jobs or both. Since 2008, some 25 of its companies — roughly one of every five it owns — have filed for bankruptcy.
    Among the losers was Friendly’s, the restaurant chain known for its Jim Dandy sundaes and Fribble shakes. (Sun Capital was accused by a federal agency of pushing Friendly’s into bankruptcy last year to avoid paying pensions to the chain’s employees; Sun disputes that contention.)

    Here’s one of the 47% that Mitt Romney demeans and insults when begging for money:

    FOR more than 28 years, Helen Smolak worked at the Friendly’s in Denham, Mass. Day in and day out, she served Big Beef Burgers and Fribbles, collected tips and made a decent living.
    All that changed one evening last October. That was when Ms. Smolak’s supervisor called to tell her the restaurant was shutting down — immediately.
    “It was my family. That was my home,” said Ms. Smolak, 56. “Friendly’s always came first. I was supposed to retire with these people and with this company.”
    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that helps safeguard corporate pensions, wasn’t so sure. It accused Sun Capital in bankruptcy court filings of using the bankruptcy to shift Friendly’s pension burden onto the agency.

  30. rikyrah says:

    NYT: …. Mr. Romney is absolutely correct that about half of American households do not pay federal income tax. (He is also tapping into a now long-running vein of conservative anger at those households.) But he is missing some crucial context on why they do not pay federal income tax.

    The nonpartisan and highly respected Tax Policy Center derived the 47 percent number and published an excellent analysis of it last summer.

    It found that about half of the households that do not pay federal income tax do not pay it because they are simply too poor…. The other half consists of households taking advantage of tax credits and other provisions, mostly support for senior citizens and low-income working families.

    Put bluntly, these are not households shirking their tax liabilities. The pool consists mostly of the poor, of relatively low-income working families and of old people.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: Mitt Tells Voters in Video to Drop Dead …. Sure it was a dumb move for Romney to denounce half of America. But he was just channeling today’s GOP.

    …. Can he really believe this? It’s incomprehensible. And yet it’s not. This is the story conservatives have been telling themselves over and over in the Tea Party age … An inevitable consequence, I suppose, of campaigning among these people for all these years. You marinate a cherry in cheap whiskey long enough, the stink attaches.

    …. It’s hard to judge the impact of this comment just yet ….. I would expect we’ll see “Obama voter — and I’m not a victim” and “I pay a higher tax rate than you, Governor!” signs at rallies by tomorrow. Indeed, the average person pays more in mere payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare (15.3 percent) than Romney paid in total taxes for the year he released his returns (13.9 percent).

    I suspect an impact that’s fairly big. People on the right will blame the media. But the real culprit is the words themselves. They slander millions of hard-working Americans ….. When Romney is licking his wounds on Nov. 7, that party and movement will fire all its arrows at him. He’ll deserve a lot of them. But they will have buried him with the ignorance and rage they demanded he adopt. His chief crime will have been his weakness in failing to confront them.

  32. Ametia says:

    LMBAO look at Mitten’s hair in that video above. Maybe Ann should’ve pulled a Piper Palin on him, before he went before the camera last night.

  33. Ametia says:

    Clint; you should sit Mittens& the GOPBAGGERS down in a high chair and tell him this:

  34. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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