Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread |

Growing up, my classmates and I started every day with a ritual: We’d stand up, put our right hand over our hearts, and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

To me, that gesture was a promise. A promise to be involved and engaged in this country’s future. A promise to work for liberty and justice — and for affordable education, health care, and equality — for all.

That’s why all across the country, people like you and I are proudly writing down our reasons for getting involved, and then taking the pledge — to vote.

This election will have consequences for everyone. Rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, Asian American, gay or straight, every American has something to lose — and something to gain — from what happens this November. As Americans, we’re in this together, for one and for all.

So let your friends and family know you care, and make sure they have all the information they need to make their voices heard in this election.

Share this image, forward this email, and spread the word:–Jessica Alba

Had to repost this video of Nancy Smash.


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82 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread |

  1. rikyrah says:

    A new, silly shiny object
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    The Romney campaign was going to spend invest considerable time and energy in a 1998 clip in which Barack Obama said he believes in some redistribution of resources, while at the same time fostering competition and innovation in the marketplace.

    But that’s so two days ago. Now there’s a new, silly shiny object Team Romney says “will become a major part of his campaign’s message.” Jed Lewison had a good item yesterday featuring this clip from Mitt Romney on the stump in Florida.

    Yes, as far as Romney’s concerned, the president “threw in the white flag of surrender,” Romney, unlike Obama, intends to “change Washington … from the inside.”

    Remember, the president’s quote was about mobilizing the electorate to change politics from the grassroots up, using the power of regular folks to pressure policymakers to do the right thing. This is Romney’s new manufactured outrage.

    Let’s count the ways in which this entire line of attack is absurd.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Black women rally against voter ID laws

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Deidra Reese isn’t waiting for people to come to her to find out whether they are registered to vote.

    With iPad in hand, Reese is going to community centers, homes and churches in nine Ohio cities, looking up registrations to make sure voters have proper ID and everything else they need to cast ballots on Election Day.

    “We are not going to give back one single inch. We have fought too long and too hard,” said Reese, 45, coordinator of the Columbus-based Ohio Unity Coalition, an affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

    Reese is part of a cadre of black women engaged in a revived wave of voting rights advocacy four years after the historic election of the nation’s first black president. Provoked by voting law changes in various states, they have decided to help voters navigate the system – a fitting role, they say, given that black women had the highest turnout of any group of voters in 2008.

    “We’ve forgotten our mothers went to three jobs, picked us up from school, put the macaroni and cheese on the table, got up and got somebody registered to vote,” said actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, 1 of several women who participated in a strategy session this week during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual legislative conference in the nation’s capital. Ralph is married to Pennsylvania state Sen. Vincent Hughes.

    The political and financial power of black women is 1 of the themes of this year’s 4-day event. It will culminate Saturday with a keynote speech from 1 of the most visible black women in America, first lady Michelle Obama.

    “It’s time for us to lead the way because we voted in greater numbers than any other gender and race group last election, and we got to do the same this year,” said Elsie Scott, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

    Turnout among women of all races is generally higher than for men. In 2008, about 69% of eligible black female voters went to the polls, an increase of 5.1%age points over 2004, according to a study of census data on 2008 voters by the Pew Hispanic Center. That compares with 66.1% of white women.

    African-American women, who number about 20 million in the U.S., have long been the largest group of Democratic voters in the country, said David Bositis, senior research associate with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

  3. rikyrah says:

    September 21, 2012

    Joe Biden Was Most-Watched Convention Speaker
    New York Daily News: “Nielsen has finished compiling the ratings from all the networks that covered the conventions, right down to C-Span, and a higher percentage of the total TV universe tuned in to Biden than to anyone else. Specifically, Nielsen figures show Biden was watched by 14.7% of the 289.7 million people who live in U.S. television homes. That’s about 43.6 million people.”

    In contrast, President Obama was second with 13.7%, or about 39.7 million, while Mitt Romney was third with 12.5%, or 36.2 million.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s Son
    Signed ‘Abortion’ Clause
    In Surrogate Birth Contract

    TMZ has learned Mitt Romney’s son Tagg — who had twins this year through a surrogate — signed an agreement that gave the surrogate, as well as Tagg and his wife, the right to abort the fetuses in non-life threatening situations … and Mitt Romney covered some of the expenses connected with the arrangement … and it may boil down to an incredibly stupid mistake.

    The twin boys — David Mitt and William Ryder — were born on May 4, 2012. We’ve learned Tagg and his wife Jen, along with the surrogate and her husband, signed a Gestational Carrier Agreement dated July 28, 2011. Paragraph 13 of the agreement reads as follows:

    “If in the opinion of the treating physician or her independent obstetrician there is potential physical harm to the surrogate, the decision to abort or not abort is to be made by the surrogate.”

    Translation: Tagg and Jen gave the surrogate the right to abort the fetuses even if her life wasn’t in danger. All the surrogate has to show is “potential physical harm,” which could be something like preeclampsia — a type of high blood pressure that could damage the mother’s liver, kidney or brain, but is not necessarily life-threatening.

    Paragraph 13 goes on:

    “In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents. In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents’ decision.”

    And there’s another relevant provision in Paragraph 13:

    “Any decision to abort because of potential harm to the child, or to reduce the number of fetuses, is to be made by the intended parents.”

    Read more:

  5. rikyrah says:

    Doghouse Riley, with the shorter:

    … Let’s just say it plainly: Mitt Romney is not smart enough to be President of the United States. Paul Ryan is not smart enough to be Vice President of the United States. And that’s taking into consideration the last pair the Republican party and its Court subsidiary foisted on us. And it’s taking into consideration the fact that both men are professional liars, and likely personally dishonest into the bargain. There’s lying, and then there’s lying in such a way that you register enough contempt for the listener to not be bothered with good lies.

    This is the Republican party. It’s the Republican party since 1980, the Republican party since the time it lied its way past Watergate, lied its way past Vietnam and Civil Rights, and decided that lying was the key to a shining future. This is the party which has believed, since the Ascension of St. Ronnie, that advertising plus money was not only more powerful than the truth, it was better than the truth. Even smart Republicans have to see, now, what that’s got them. Assuming there are any.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Did you see Tweety’s last comment about that GOP thug from PA who said that anyone Black who didn’t get their Voter ID was just ‘lazy’ like Willard said.

    to quote Tweety:

    there’s been too much silence from White people on this issue. Black people saw it from the start

    • Ametia says:

      I heard him. We have ALWAYS been able to decode these mofos, and there is a history in America that SOME white folks try to deny, slavery, racism, poll taxes, counting beans in jars, etc. they think it’s perfectly ok to require voter ID.

      I had lunch with a co-worker/Obama supporter yesterday. 52, white female born in California. She had no clue about the history of Blacks and voting. Thought it was ok to ask for voter ID, until I schooled her that these laws are made to intimidate, suppress, and deny Americans, mainly the poor, elderly, and blacks the right to vote. Just utterly clueless, ignorance, and yes, some unconscious racism. SMGDH

  7. Ametia says:

    Miss Ann in Iowa today:

    Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring. This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

  8. Ametia says:

    Joy Reid and Karen Finney are taking Romney’s spray on tan and his flailing campaign to task.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Sam Stein @samsteinhp

    Obama has $88,777,411.73 cash on hand compared to $50,434,404 for Romney, per August report

    • Ametia says:

      You called this one, rikyrah. Romney’s staffers are robbing him blind, and look what he’s getting in return. His campaign is a Sheer DEBACLE.

  10. rikyrah says:

    utaustinliberal @utaustinliberal

    This is big. This is HUGE. RT @chucktodd: In CO, Obama hits 73% among Hispanics.

  11. rikyrah says:

    New Mexico Gov. Requires Women Seeking Childcare Assistance To Prove They Were ‘Forcibly Raped’

    By Tara Culp-Ressler on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    After Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) asserted his belief that “legitimate rape” doesn’t often lead to pregnancy, Republican lawmakers were quick to attempt to configure his radical stance on women’s health as an outlier in their party. However, increasing numbers of GOP politicians’ language about the nature of sexual assault actually echoes Akin’s — including New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), whose state’s policies use language that effectively narrows the definition of rape.

    Not only did Martinez refer to “forcible rape” in an announcement instating April as New Mexico’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month — as if some kinds of sexual assault need to be qualified as more or less “legitimate” than others — but, as RH Reality Check reports, the term also appears in the state’s proposed changes to its official applications for childcare assistance. If the proposed changes take effect, women in New Mexico will be required to prove that their sexual assault qualified as “forcible rape” if they are seeking childcare assistance for a child that resulted from rape:

    If adopted, this policy will have numerous implications. It establishes in state law a narrow definition of rape that can and will be applied in other areas of law and policy. It puts a heavy burden on women who have been raped and are now struggling economically to support a child or children to prove the manner in which they were raped and to meet a test set up by the state to exclude many women in need of childcare assistance who would otherwise qualify.

    It would force women who have left violent domestic partnerships, who were date-raped, who were impregnated as a result of incest, or through other “non-forcible” but nonetheless equally violent and denigrating means of sexual violation to first re-engage with their abusers to seek child support, putting control of their lives back into the hands of someone by whom they were violated in the most profound sense of the term.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Gabby Douglas to appear on ‘Vampire Diaries’

    by Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter | September 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    Mystic Falls is about to get hit with Olympic fever. Gold medal gymnast — and self-proclaimed The Vampire Diaries fanatic – Gabrielle Douglas will make a guest appearance in the seventh episode of season four of the CW drama, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The episode is slated to air Nov. 29.

    Nina Dobrev hinted at Douglas’ Atlanta visit on Tuesday evening, when she tweeted: “@gabrielledoug is coming to The Vampire Diaries set tomorrow! Cant wait to meet and work with you girl! Dont forget to bring your bling! .” She followed it up Wednesday morning by writing to her 2.75 million followers: “First thought at 530am when I woke up this morning : “What to wear when meeting an Olympian Gold Medallist [sic]?”

    Details of Douglas’ cameo were unavailable, but the casting should not come as a surprise.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Scott Brown Mum On Romney While Warren Praises Obama During Debate |

    Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) didn’t mention GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during Thursday night’s debate against challenger Elizabeth Warren. Warren, on the other hand, reiterated her endorsement of President Obama at least three separate times, but Brown — who recently distanced himself from Romney’s claim that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent upon government” — wouldn’t say the GOP presidential candidate’s name. Instead, he praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I think Secretary Clinton is doing a great job,” he said. “I’ve told her that and I think she’s really a bright star in that administration. And I appreciate all of her hard work, especially with what’s been happening in Libya and throughout that region. She’s a tireless worker.” Watch it:

  14. rikyrah says:

    September 20, 2012, 3:21 pm
    Obama Hits Romney Over 47 Percent Remark

    4:17 p.m. | Updated CORAL GABLES, Fla. – President Obama took aim at Mitt Romney for his closed-door observation that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government handouts, do not pay income taxes, and will inevitably vote for Mr. Obama.

    “When you express an attitude that half the country considers itself victims, that somehow they want to be dependent on government,” Mr. Obama said, “my thinking is, maybe you haven’t gotten around a lot.”

    Speaking at a town-hall meeting here sponsored by the Univision cable network, Mr. Obama said that in his travels around the country, he was convinced that “the American people are the hardest-working people there are. Their problem is not that they’re not working hard enough or that they don’t want to work, or they’re being taxed too little, or that they just want to loaf around and gather government checks.”

    “People want a hand up,” Mr. Obama said, “not a handout.”

    Mr. Obama’s comments were his most extensive, and barbed, response to Mr. Romney’s comments, which were videotaped at a Republican fund-raiser in May in Florida. The president acknowledged that some people abused government largess, but he noted that “there are a bunch of millionaires who aren’t paying taxes.”

  15. Ametia says:

    Can let Mitt have all the fun with the tanning products!

  16. Ametia says:

    arry Reid Calls Off Votes To Prevent Scott Brown From Ditching Debate With Elizabeth Warren

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid interrupted proceedings on the Senate floor to announce there would be no more votes Thursday afternoon, delaying action on pressing issues like funding the government.

    Why? Because he thinks Republicans were fixing the schedule to allow Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) to use evening votes as an excuse to get out of a debate with Elizabeth Warren.

    “Madam president, I’m so sorry. We have no more votes today,” Reid said. “No more votes today. It’s obvious to me what’s going on. I’ve been to a few of these rodeos. It is obvious there is a big stall taking place. One of the senators who doesn’t want to debate tonight won’t be in a debate. While he can’t use the Senate as an excuse, there will be no more votes today.”

    Reid’s maneuver came moments after the Boston Globe quoted Brown saying he’d skip the debates if called on for Senate business. His move came as a surprise to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who appeared on the floor shortly after Reid to request evening votes proceed as scheduled. Reid objected.

    Read more:

  17. Ametia says:

    Does Mitt Romney Even Want to Be President?
    Leslie Savan on September 20, 2012 – 12:10 PM ET

    That’s not just a rhetorical question: In Mitt Romney’s heart of hearts, maybe all he really wanted was the Republican nomination.

    Every time Romney gets an opportunity to reset the narrative of the election, he makes some psychologically revealing mistake. Giving Clint Eastwood his spotlight, rattling a rubber saber over a tweet from the US embassy in Cairo while it was under attack, writing off half of all American voters as moochers—you only have to tilt your head to see each of these “gaffes” as a cry for help. And Republicans themselves are grumbling about Romney’s skimpy schedule of public events, where real voters might take his measure and enthusiasm for a ground campaign could be generated.

    “There’s not really a campaign here,” one Republican close to GOP fundraisers complained to Real Clear Politics. “He’s getting ready for the debates, and he’s out fundraising. You’ve got enough money!” Lindsey Graham and Peggy Noonan have also bemoaned his semi-AWOL schedule.

    I can think of three good reasons Mitt might be psychologically satisfied with attaining the GOP nomination alone: avenging his father, legitimizing his religion and, well, winning the Republican nomination is generally very good for business.

    Read on:

  18. Ametia says:

    4 Pinocchios for a truncated, 14-year-old Obama clip
    Posted by Glenn Kessler at 11:05 AM ET, 09/20/2012

    Just as we have not been very impressed about many of the Obama campaign’s claims about Mitt Romney’s business career many years ago, we were not initially that impressed with the Romney campaign’s effort to dredge up a 14-year-old quote to demonstrate that President Obama wants to “redistribute wealth.” The clip was so old — he was just a state senator — and the context was rather unclear. Also, it appeared as if the YouTube version was clipped in mid-thought.
    But now NBC News has obtained the rest of Obama’s comments, and it is clear his remarks were taken completely out of context. Obama is not talking about redistributing wealth at all — instead, he speaks about competition, the market place and innovation in an effort to improve government services in Chicago.

  19. rikyrah says:

    September 20, 2012 12:59 PM

    Limiting the Franchise To “Responsible People”

    By Ed Kilgore

    At TAP today, Jamelle Bouie nails a point I’ve been kicking around for a while: the connection between the GOP’s voter-supression drive and the very common conservative belief, reified by Mitt Romney in his Boca Moment, that “dependent” people are subverting democracy:

    If you want a sense of what motivates the politicans and activists who push for voter identification laws, look no further than this quote from Pennsylvania State Representative Darryl Metcalfe:

    “I don’t believe any legitimate voter that actually wants to exercise that right and takes on the according responsibility that goes with that right to secure their photo ID will be disenfranchised. As Mitt Romney said, 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that.”

    As always, it’s worth noting the extent to which the “47%” meme has penetrated the right-wing consciousness. It’s why Romney immediately doubled-down on the statement; he’s echoing many conservatives when he says that Obama’s supporters are people who won’t “take responsibility for their lives.”

    When it comes to Metcalf, he alludes to another view that has taken hold on the Right. Namely, that democracy requires independence from government benefits, and that self-governance is threatened when too many are “dependent” on federal aid. This isn’t a fringe belief; it was echoed by anchors on Bloomberg—who worried that the 47% will somehow subvert democracy by voting their financial preferences—and has its roots in the founding of the country.

  20. rikyrah says:

    T-Paw’s Move is a Teaching Moment

    by BooMan
    Thu Sep 20th, 2012 at 10:14:04 AM EST

    Tim Pawlenty was supposed to be different. He was going to be the architect of a new Republican Party that focused less on the needs of the country club and more on the needs of the kind of people who shop at Sam’s Club. Then, when he began his run for president, he introduced a tax plan that “offered the bottom 20 percent an average of $23 and the top 1 percent an average of $260,000.” In June 2011, while his campaign was very much still alive, Pawlenty was asked, “What is your truth message to Wall Street?” He responded:

    “It will be, ‘Get your snout out of the trough just like everybody else.’ If I am president, we will not have any more bailouts, carveouts, handouts or special deals. We will reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. We will get rid of all the deductions, credits, or exemptions, and you will compete not based on your connections to a congressman, but connections whether you can convince consumers if you have a good product.”

    Tim Pawlenty is the only man who managed to be on both John McCain and Mitt Romney’s short list for running mate. Until this morning, he was co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign. He would undoubtedly be offered a top position in a Romney administration, but today he decided to jump ship.

    Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will take over one of K Street’s most prestigious jobs as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable.
    The group announced Thursday morning that the former GOP candidate for president would replace longtime CEO Steve Bartlett. Pawlenty will step down as co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to take the position.

    “Tim’s leadership, vision and ability to find common ground make him the right choice to represent the broad membership of the Financial Services Roundtable,” said Tim Wilson, the group’s chairman and CEO of Allstate.

    “He is exactly the kind of leader we need to continue to improve our industry’s reputation, advocate firm-but-fair regulation and help maintain our global leadership of the financial markets.”

    In his new job as a top lobbyist for Wall Street, he will be the one making connections to congressmen and women, and he won’t be seeking to take away Wall Street’s “deductions, credits, or exemptions.” But, of course, he was never going to do those things as president, either. That was all a pretense.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Nobody Likes Mitt Romney

    by BooMan
    Thu Sep 20th, 2012 at 12:33:36 PM EST

    Pew Research Center is just one polling outfit, and a bit of a pro-Obama outlier, at that. But, according to their research, Mitt Romney is the only candidate from either party to have a net-negative favorability rating in September in any election going back to at least 1988. As a cautionary tale, however, the last time the Democrat had a comparable advantage in favorability in September was in 2000, and we know how that turned out. Al Gore managed to squander his likability in the debates, and the election grew close enough to steal.
    That’s probably Romney’s only hope in this situation, but he’s starting from a worse position than George W. Bush, and these numbers were compiled before the 47 percent controversy erupted.

    Romney has many problems that George W. Bush didn’t share, including a party that is scurrying away from him like his name were Todd Akin. On the other hand, Romney is a more accomplished debater than George W. Bush, so he can hold out hope to do well in the debates on his own merits, rather than just dreaming that Obama sighs and rolls his eyes a lot.

    The Republicans go about winning elections quite a bit differently than the Democrats. They don’t rely so much on a ground game and field offices. When Obama and Biden go into a community and hold a rally, they mine for names and organizers, and that’s really the main benefit of the event. Romney should be doing the same thing, but he’s spending as much time fundraising as he is holding events, and that could be in part because he gets no benefit from campaign events. If people don’t like you, appearing in their community doesn’t help. Still, attracting at least modestly-sized crowds should help a campaign identify enthusiastic voters who will be willing to work for the campaign, and it also helps you tighten up your voter-contact lists since you can cross-off a bunch of names that you now know will be voting for you without any nudges.

    As far as I can tell, Romney’s strategy has been to load up on cash and deluge the airwaves with ads at the end of the campaign. I don’t really think he’s been forced into this strategy, either. It seems to have been the plan all along. It’s definitely a hail-mary strategy. It doesn’t invest people in the campaign. It doesn’t build a grassroots organization. It annoys people who are exposed to way too much political advertising. And it doesn’t work very well when you’ve allowed the key messenger, the candidate, to be discredited in the interim. Not only do people not like Mitt Romney, they don’t believe him. Amazingly, Bill Clinton now has a near-infinite advantage over Romney in credibility.

    The Republicans’ big money advantage concerns me a lot when it comes to Senate and House races, but it causes me no heartburn in the presidential race. At this point, I pretty much want Romney to run ads because I think they’ll probably work against him.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The Fight’s Not Over. Run Up The Score On The Bastards!

    By Soonergrunt September 20th, 2012

    Betty Cracker’s piece earlier, taken with Tom Levenson’s piece below are the kinds of things to warm my day. They give me good feelings about the election coming up. Obama looks to win, and win big. I heard on NPR this morning that he was up by eight points over Romney on average in current national polling, an advantage that none of the last three winning presidents enjoyed over their opponents at this stage of the election.

    That’s great. It’s also not enough. I don’t want the President to win. I want him to utterly destroy the republican candidate and his Eddie Munster in a cheap suit-looking succubus incubus as viable political candidates forever. To paraphrase Anne-Laurie from earlier today, throw the bastard an anvil. I want to see six more seats in the US Senate (but I’ll settle for three in this tough year) and I want to see Nancy Pelosi wield the Speaker’s gavel again, but I’d call it a win if we send 15 freshman teabaggers home with their balls in their hands.

    I want to run up the motherfucking score.

  23. Ametia says:

    It Takes One to Know One

    As I watched a video of Mitt Romney scolding moochers suffering from a culture of dependency, I thought of American soldiers I’ve met in Afghanistan and Iraq. They don’t pay federal income tax while they’re in combat zones, and they rely on government benefits when they come back.

    Even if they return unscathed, most will never pay lofty sums in federal income taxes. No, all they offer our nation is their lives, while receiving government benefits — such as a $100,000 “death gratuity” to their wives or husbands when killed.

    Maybe I’m being unfair, for I’m sure that when Romney complained in that video about freeloaders, he didn’t mean soldiers. But the 47 percent (more accurately, 46 percent) of American families whom he scorned because they don’t pay federal income taxes includes many other modestly paid workers or retirees who have contributed far more meaningfully to America than some who can shell out $50,000 to attend a fund-raiser like the one where Romney spoke in May.

    What about the underpaid kindergarten teacher in an inner-city school? What about young police officers and firefighters? What about social workers struggling to help abused children?

    One lesson is the narcissism of many in today’s affluent class. They manage to feel victimized by the tax code — even as they sometimes enjoy a lower rate than their secretaries and ride corporate jets acquired with the help of tax loopholes.

  24. Ametia says:


    Steve Benen on how Romney muddled his message on health care—again:

    · When asked what advice he would give a child who was gay and wanted to get married, Romney replied, “My kids are all married”:

    One of Romney’s latest ads features coal workers who were forced to attend his rally. According to Politico, they are now “fuming”:

  25. Ametia says:

    Romney sidesteps specifics on his immigration reform
    By Jonathan Easley – 09/19/12 07:59 PM ET

    Mitt Romney on Wednesday ripped President Obama for not pursuing permanent immigration reform, but declined to provide specifics on how he would do so if he’s elected in November.

    Speaking to a crowd of Republicans at a Univision forum at the University of Miami in Florida, Romney was pressed on how he would act once Obama’s deferred action mandate expires early next year.

    “My view is that we should put in place a permanent solution,” Romney said. “The president… put in place something he called a stopgap measure…[Hispanics] deserve a permanent solution.”

  26. Ametia says:

    “Weak,” “stupid,” “incompetent”: Republicans across the party spectrum—“from libertarians to conservative bloggers to pillars of the GOP establishment”—have been relentlessly slamming their presidential candidate over the past two weeks. Politico has a comprehensive rundown:

  27. Ametia says:

    Romney’s “47 percent” remarks damage his image with voters: Reuters/Ipsos poll
    By Patricia Zengerle
    WASHINGTON | Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:32am EDT

    (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s dismissal of almost half the U.S. electorate in a secretly recorded video has hurt his image, although it may not determine how people vote on November 6.

    A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed that more than two in five registered voters, or 43 percent, viewed Romney less favorably after an excerpt of the video was shown to them online.

    In the video, Romney portrayed Democratic President Barack Obama’s supporters – which he said was 47 percent of the electorate – as people who live off government handouts and do not “care for their lives.”

    Nearly six in ten, or 59 percent, in the poll said they felt Romney unfairly dismissed almost half of Americans as victims in his remarks made to donors in May at a private event at a luxury home in Florida.

    “This isn’t great for Romney,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark, who called the video an image problem for the Republican.

  28. rikyrah says:

    A unique lack of popularity
    By Steve Benen – Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:22 AM EDT.

    Rachel noted last night that the Romney campaign, to the exasperation of many Republicans, has kept a pretty low profile lately, preferring private fundraisers to swing-state events. This morning, however, Politico reports that’s going to change: Team Romney’s new “rescue plan” includes showing more of the candidate, “in ads, speeches and campaign appearances.”

    To be sure, that would be a change of pace. But the downside to the strategy is that voters just don’t seem to like Romney very much, and giving him more of a spotlight may prove counter-productive.

    A new, national Pew Research Center poll, released yesterday, offers all kinds of bad news for the Republican campaign. For example, President Obama now leads Romney by eight points, 51% to 43%, among likely voters. It’s the biggest lead any candidate has had at this stage in the race since 1996.

    But it’s that chart that amazes me. Romney’s favorable/unfavorable rating is still underwater — and it may be worse now, given that the “47 percent” controversy erupted after the poll was conducted — which is very rare for a national candidate this close to the election.

    From the Pew report: “A review of Pew Research Center and Gallup favorability ratings from September finds that Romney is the only presidential candidate over the past seven election cycles to be viewed more unfavorably than favorably.”

    At a certain level, factors like favorable/unfavorable ratings may seem irrelevant. After all, presidential races aren’t personality contests.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 05:03 PM ET, 09/19/2012
    TheWashingtonPost Barack Obama, the handout president
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney has claimed his attack on the freeloading 47 percent was not elegantly stated, and Paul Ryan has noted that it was “inarticulate,” but the Romney campaign is sticking with the same basic message: Obama is the handout president.

    Major figures on the right want this. Dave Weigel flags some remarkable quotes from Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity urging Romney to double down on the freeloading 47 percent message. Here’s O’Reilly:

    “What on earth is the controversy? If I’m Governor Romney, I run with this all day long…Romney should be pointing a finger, a finger at President Obama, saying he wants a welfare state, the President does. And he’s well on the way to creating one.”
    Hannity hailed Romney’s videotaped remarks as “one of his sharpest critiques yet of President Obama and the entitlement society he enables.” Meanwhile, Mary Matalin said this of Romney’s attack on Obama’s supporters: “There are makers and takers; there are producers and parasites…why should he apologize?”

  30. rikyrah says:

    Sponsor Of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Defends Romney, Says ‘Lazy’ People Also Shouldn’t Vote
    By Aviva Shen on Sep 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    As Pennsylvania’s strict voter ID law returns to the lower court for reconsideration, its original sponsor, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA), told KDKA Radio Wednesday morning that his law will only disenfranchise “lazy” people, like the ones Mitt Romney was talking about in the leaked video of a private fundraiser.

    When asked about the voter ID law’s disenfranchisement of the 750,000 Pennsylvanians who cannot get IDs, Metcalfe cited Romney’s offhand dismissal of the 47% of the country who will never “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” as proof that those people don’t deserve the right to vote:

  31. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:08 AM ET, 09/20/2012
    The Morning Plum: Romney goes all in on `Obama never vetted’ fantasy
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s way too early to count out Mitt Romney. But as more polls show Obama with a clear lead, a difficult dynamic is taking hold for Romney: The more apparent it becomes he’s losing, the more pressure he comes under from the right to “get tougher” with Obama, i.e., to attack an Obama that largely resides in the Fox/Limbaugh GOP base’s imagination. And that may only make things worse, since it may not resonate with swing voters and may muddle efforts to more clearly articulate the alternative Romney is offering to the middle class.

    The decision by the Romney campaign to go all in on thoroughly unremarkable remarks Obama made in 1998 about “redistribution” neatly reflects this. Here we have one of the most perfect expressions yet of the right wing mythology that Obama’s presidency is only possible because his actual worldview was never thoroughly “vetted,” and that any day now, Americans will finally wake up to his true instincts, beliefs, and intentions towards America. After all, these remarks were made 14 years ago. Yet the Romney campaign appears to think voters who have watched this president in office for four years can be persuaded that this shows Obama is inflicting a “foreign” worldview on America, and that this is the primary source of our problems.

    But is this really going to sound like anything more than white noise to key undecided voters? David Firestone gets this right:

    Unmentioned is the entirely obvious fact that the government has long redistributed wealth, and that the country expects it to do so. That’s the point of a progressive income tax, which has been in effect for nearly a century. Government takes money from those who have it and uses it for the common good, whether that involves building roads or submarines, or handing some of it over to those who are desperate. In that sense, even a flat tax would redistribute wealth somewhat, although far less efficiently. Social Security and Medicare, though considered “insurance” programs, actually take money from one generation and hand it to another….
    The problem for Republicans is that many voters — even those who are disappointed in Mr. Obama — realize by now that the president is no radical. He believes in a muscular use of government, which he advocates fairly eloquently in that 14-year-old tape. But since when is that a “foreign concept,” as Mr. Romney described it on Fox? It is an entirely American tradition, one that only became anathema to the Republican party when its base marched rightward to the swamps a few years ago. As of this week, in case there was any doubt, Mr. Romney has joined his party there

  32. Ametia says:

    Hi Ladies. Join me:

  33. SouthernGirl2 says:

  34. rikyrah says:

    Author: J. Christian Watts
    The Help… for Real

    Life imitates Art as much as the reverse. Sometimes tragically, as with Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor and 9-11, sometimes heroically, as with Will from Aaron’s Sorkin’s Newsroom and Chris Mathews courageous challenge of RNC Chair Reince Priebus, sometimes hysterically, as with the real life version of, “The Help,” that is currently playing out on the airwaves and blog pages of the internet.
    While no one is absolutely positive, as of the writing of this piece, who videotaped Mitt Romney’s hateful, idiotic, hyper-privileged speech the several months ago subsequently leaked it. The meme running around the blogosphere and MSNBC last night was that the source was part of the wait staff serving the fat cats at the $50,000 a plate gabfest. While I am unsure if it is true, I am seriously hoping that it is.

    Let me set the stage. Corporate raider and Man of the Few, Mitt Romney, was hitting his stride when asked about winning the election. I won’t quote and reprint what Mitt said verbatim, I’ve included all seventy minutes of his speech in the links below. However, the general argument Mitt advanced to his billion-dollar boy’s club audience was that “Makers” and “Takers” populate the US.

    In myth-making Mitt’s world, the “Makers” are all that is good and holy in the land, they make the money, they are the “job” creators, and while the “Makers”, rarely seem to do the pesky things like serve in the military and fight and die for their country, never sacrifice income to work in non-profits, or teach or become cops, nurses, firefighters, the “Makers” are the ones who are the “real” Americans. They are the ones that matter. The “Takers,” they are the lazy, the shiftless, the black, and brown, the pathetic entitled victims who want to take take take while sitting on their rears.

    And, while Mitt spoke to his audience, the “Makers,” sitting in rapt attention, the “Takers” served them their dinner. The “Takers” cleaned up their spilled food, parked their cars, called them their cabs, and drove those cabs, policed their streets, taught their kids, and basically made the society, that they enjoy so much as “Makers,” function.

    Mitt forgot about the Help. He forgot that walking through that house were maids and nanny’s and wait staff, and cooks. He forgot that the guy parking his car while he works he way through school, or the guy who works three jobs because Bain outsourced his union gig to China is probably cleaning up the mess made by the entitled spoiled brats at Mark Leder’s home. Whoops.

  35. SouthernGirl2 says:

    The Raw Story ‏@RawStory

    Tim Pawlenty calls it quits as co-chair of the Romney campaign:

  36. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    September 20, 2012 8:57 A
    “Makers:” The Tiny Band of Heroes

    By Ed Kilgore

    Paul Krugman made a point late yesterday that really ought to be emphasized: in describing 47% of the U.S. population as hopelessly dependent “takers” during his Boca Moment, Mitt Romney was actually being pretty generous as compared to now-routine GOP rhetoric on economic life:

    Ask yourself: when was the last time a Republican leader made a point of praising hard-working, ordinary families — as opposed to “job creators”? Think about what happened on Labor Day: on a day dedicated to celebrating workers, House majority leader Eric Cantor sent out a tweet praising … business owners:

    “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.”

    This all makes sense in the Ayn Rand intellectual universe, where a handful of heroically greedy entrepreneurs are responsible for all that is good. And if you live in that universe, your dividing line between makers and takers isn’t drawn at the point where people make enough to pay income taxes; everyone who isn’t John Galt should be grateful for what the Galts do, and we’re all takers by asking those heroes to pay any taxes at all

    Think about it. A large percentage of GOP economic policy thinking is based on the assumption that minimizing business costs is the alpha and omega of growth and competitiveness. Not only taxes and regulations, but also wages and benefits, need to be kept as low as possible. The whole idea of “human capital” being a national asset worth cultivating—a universally accepted notion in the 1990s—has all but been lost on the right.

    Accordingly, if you don’t fall into the charmed circle of “job creators;” if you don’t own your own business, or have enough wealth to make significant capital investments; then your job, it appears, is to bear down, shut up, and do what you can to make life easier for your bosses. Abandon that union; stop asking for pay increases; gracefully accept that shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pensions, or from any pension to none; pay your taxes and stop worrying about the tax rates paid by your superiors—you’re lucky they pay them at all, given the fact you already owe them your daily bread, everything you own, and your very life.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republicans kill veterans’ jobs bill
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:01 PM EDT.

    With a major national election just seven weeks away, senators would have to be out of their minds to reject a jobs bill for U.S. military veterans, right?

    Apparently not.

    Veterans won’t be getting a new, billion-dollar jobs program, not from this Senate. Republicans on Wednesday afternoon blocked a vote on the Veterans Job Corps Bill after Jeff Sessions of Alabama raised a point of order — he said the bill violated a cap on spending agreed to by Congress last year.

    The bill’s sponsor, Patty Murray of Washington, said that shouldn’t matter, since the bill’s cost was fully offset by new revenues. She said Mr. Sessions and his party colleagues had been furiously generating excuses to oppose the bill, and were now exploiting a technicality to deny thousands of veterans a shot at getting hired as police officers, firefighters and parks workers, among other things.

    As proposals go, this should have been a no-brainer. The Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), sought to lower unemployment among military veterans, giving grants to federal, state, and local agencies, which in turn would hire veterans — giving priority to those who served on or after 9/11 — to work as first-responders and in conservation jobs at national parks.

    The bill was fully paid for, and entirely bipartisan — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) had his own set of ideas for the bill, and Murray incorporated all of them into her legislation.

    And yet, all but five Senate Republicans voted to kill it anyway, 48 days before a national election. Even Burr sided with his party to defeat the bill, and it was filled with his provisions.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Muddling the message on health care (again)
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    Mitt Romney was in Miami last night for a couple of events, including an interview on Univision, where a viewer asked about the Affordable Care Act. As Igor Volsky noted, the Republican’s response was a break from his usual rhetoric.


    There’s a few interesting angles here, but let’s start with the most politically salient: Romney’s now comfortable with having inspired “Obamacare,” the law he hates and intends to destroy? When did that happen? Were conservatives aware of this?

    Notice that remarkable line Romney mentioned in passing: during the primary, the Romney campaign “thought it might not be helpful” if Republicans realized his health care policy inspired Obama’s policy. But the implication is that now that the primaries are over, and GOP voters were fooled, Romney doesn’t mind acknowledging at least part of reality.

    Is the Republican base on board with this? If recent history is any guide, a Romney aide will be along any minute to say the candidate doesn’t believe what he said, but at least for now, this seems like a rather striking development.

    But wait, there’s more.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Fox Polls: Obama Leads In Ohio, Virginia, And Florida
    Kyle Leighton – 6:45 PM EDT, Wednesday September 19, 2012

    President Obama leads in the crucial swing states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida, according to new state polling of likely voters from Fox News. Obama leads Republican nominee Mitt Romney by the same margin in Ohio and Virginia, 49 percent to 42 percent, and has a 49 percent to 44 percent edge over Romney in Florida. From their report:

    “Obama is nearly matching his 2008 support in these key states while Romney is under-performing compared to Republican John McCain,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News poll with Republican pollster Daron Shaw.

    “And a significant enthusiasm deficit among Romney backers suggests he will have headwinds as he seeks to close the gap with the president and turn out his voters.”

  40. rikyrah says:

    Breaking News✔

    Latest initial weekly US unemployment benefit applications dip to 382,000 – @AP

  41. rikyrah says:

    EJ Dionne:

    The most incisive reaction to Mitt Romney’s disparaging comments about 47 percent of us came from a conservative friend who e-mailed: “If I were you, I’d wonder why Romney hates America so much.”

    A bit strong, perhaps. But the more you think about what Romney said, the more you wonder how he really feels about the country he wants to lead.

    What kind of nation are we if nearly half of us are lazy, self-indulgent moochers who will never be persuaded to mend our ways? “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said, thus writing off a huge share of our citizenry.

    From his perch high atop the class structure, Romney offered an analysis of political motivations that even Marxists would regard as excessively materialistic. He speaks as if hardworking parents who seek government help to provide health care for their kids are irresponsible, that students who get government aid to attend community colleges are not trying to “care for their lives.” Has he never spoken with busboys and waitresses, hospital workers and janitors who make too little to pay income taxes but work their hearts out to “take personal responsibility”?

  42. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky: …..

    One of the things that really gets me is hearing people say things like, “I voted for Obama because I hoped he’d be able to unite the country, and he hasn’t, and I’m very disappointed by that.” ….. this is like blaming Sharon Tate for failing to make peace with Charles Manson. The Republicans operate from a mindset of wanting to crush and destroy the Democrats, and I bring this up today because the debate over the “freeloading” 47 percent is as good an exhibit as exists with which to make the case…..

    ….. it’s Obama’s fault that the tone in Washington hasn’t changed? It may have been idealistic and naive of him to promise it, but at least he tried, and I’ll take idealistic and naive over dishonest and cynical. It’s a sad thing to say, but the country will be united only when the liars and cynics see that their tactics no longer work.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Romney Embraces ‘Grandfather Of Obamacare’ Title: ‘I’ll Take It’

    By Igor Volsky on Sep 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Mitt Romney pledged to repeal Obamacare in its entirety on Wednesday evening, but joked that he would be happy to be known as the grandfather of the federal law. “Now and then the president says I’m the grandfather of Obamacare. I don’t think he meant that as a compliment, but I’ll take it,” Romney said at a Univision forum, adding, “this was during my primary we thought it might not be helpful.” Watch it:

    Romney went on to praise the success of reform in Massachusetts, noting that almost every child now has access to health insurance. The former governor recently raised the ire of conservatives for saying, during an appearance on Meet The Press, that he would maintain some parts of the federal law. He steered clear of that tonight.

  44. rikyrah says:

    found in this in the comments at POU:


    “We are going to look back at this as the week he got his act together, or the beginning of the end,” said a top Republican who works closely with the campaign

    — Rmoney campaign

    This is what you call a rich white man priviledge.. the ability to always start new with fresh excuses with the aid of the press

  45. rikyrah says:

    President Obama, First Lady to Appear Together on ‘The View’

    President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will appear on ABC’s “The View” Tuesday for their first joint interview on the daytime TV talk circuit, the show’s producers announced today.

    The first couple will together take questions on their relationship, family life inside the White House and the 2012 presidential race from the program’s five female hosts, the network said in a statement. The interview is scheduled to tape Monday, Sept. 24, in New York City.

    The Obamas have each appeared individually on “The View.” Michelle Obama most recently visited the show in mid-August. President Obama sat for a solo interview in July 2010, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit a daytime TV talk show.

  46. Ametia says:

    Obamas to make 1st joint appearance on ‘The View’
    Source: AP

    NEW YORK — President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, will make their first joint appearance on the daytime show “The View” next week.

    The show says the Democratic president and first lady will tape an episode Monday to air Tuesday. Obama’s appearance in July 2010 was the show’s most-watched episode ever.

    GOP challenger Mitt Romney might not be far behind. Romney said in private remarks to donors made public this week that going on “The View” is high risk because of the sharp-tongued female hosts, only one of whom is a conservative.

    That conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, said Wednesday that she had reached out to Romney, and the campaign said he’d love to come on the show in October.


    Read more:

  47. Ametia says:

    Does Romney dislike America?
    By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published: September 19The Washington Post

    The most incisive reaction to Mitt Romney’s disparaging comments about 47 percent of us came from a conservative friend who e-mailed: “If I were you, I’d wonder why Romney hates America so much.”

    A bit strong, perhaps. But the more you think about what Romney said, the more you wonder how he really feels about the country he wants to lead.

    What kind of nation are we if nearly half of us are lazy, self-indulgent moochers who will never be persuaded to mend our ways? “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said, thus writing off a huge share of our citizenry.

    From his perch high atop the class structure, Romney offered an analysis of political motivations that even Marxists would regard as excessively materialistic. He speaks as if hardworking parents who seek government help to provide health care for their kids are irresponsible, that students who get government aid to attend community colleges are not trying to “care for their lives.” Has he never spoken with busboys and waitresses, hospital workers and janitors who make too little to pay income taxes but work their hearts out to “take personal responsibility”?

  48. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Ametia, SG2 and Everyone :)

  49. Ametia says:

    Stephanie Cutter OFA Deputy Campaign Manager:

    “Tonight, Mitt Romney continued to demonstrate why Hispanic Americans don’t trust him. Whether it’s raising taxes on the middle class to pay for another millionaire tax cut, repealing Obamacare and leaving as many as 9 million Hispanic Americans without health insurance or doubling down on asking immigrants to self-deport, Mitt Romney is wrong on issues of importance to the Hispanic community. On critical issues, he continued to refuse to answer any of the tough questions or provide any specifics on what he’d do as President. We are just two weeks away from the first presidential debate, where the American people will demand more than vague answers and empty platitudes. It’s time for Mitt Romney to come clean and get specific about his policies.”

    FACT CHECK: Romney-Ryan Plan Would Be “Largest Redistribution Of Income” From Bottom To Top In Modern History. At the Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum this evening, Mitt Romney said he doesn’t want to “take from some to give to others” and that he opposes redistribution. But according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Romney-Ryan plan would likely “produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history.” To pay for his $250,000 tax cut for multi-millionaires, Mitt Romney will have to cut deductions like those for mortgage interest, children and charitable contributions, amounting to a $2,000 tax increase for middle class families with children.

    FACT CHECK: Mitt Romney Wrote Off Nearly Half Of the American People. At the Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum this evening, Mitt Romney said his campaign was about 100 percent of the American people. But he shockingly declared behind closed doors to a group of wealthy donors that nearly half of the American people—including seniors, veterans, and middle class families—view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, paid no federal income taxes, and unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives.

    FACT CHECK: Romney Doubles Down On Self-Deportation. At the Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum this evening, Mitt Romney said he wanted a long-term solution to our illegal immigration problem and that he’s “not going to be rounding people up.” But the only solution Mitt Romney has proposed for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country is for them to self-deport, and on Univision tonight he even doubled down on this “plan.”

    FACT CHECK: Romney Would Make Deep Cuts To Education, Including Pell Grants. At the Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum tonight, Mitt Romney paid lip service to education. But despite what Romney said, the deep cuts in the Ryan Budget would hit Pell Grants. If applied across the board, his plan would cut Pell Grants that millions of young Americans rely on by about $1,000. And when Romney was Governor, fees soared at Massachusetts colleges and universities by 63 percent, and the Adams Scholarship he touted only covered 7 percent of education costs at the state’s flagship university.

    FACT CHECK: Romney Could Raise Taxes On As Many As 30 Million Small Businesses At the Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum this evening, Mitt Romney said he’d champion small businesses. But in order to pay for his $5 trillion in tax cuts skewed toward millionaires and billionaires, Romney could raise taxes on as many as 30 million small business owners. On the other hand, President Obama has cut taxes on small business owners 18 times.

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