Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread |

HAPPY FRY-day, Everyone! Hope you’ve enjoyed Tears for Fears this week.



7 Highlights You Missed From the Romney Video

By now you’ve probably heard about the secret video we published exposing a bunch of real talk from Mitt Romney as he dined with rich Republican donors. But the hour-plus footage, which left the Romney campaign reeling and provoked a full-blown eruption of “chaos on Bullshit Mountain”, is a real embarrassment of riches, as it were. Here are some telling moments that you may not have seen yet from Romney’s unvarnished Q&A behind closed doors at the $50,000-per-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton on May 17:  READ ON HERE


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79 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread |

  1. rikyrah says:

    September 21, 2012

    Democratic Donors Awaken as Romney Seeks New Cash
    Politico: “Mitt Romney was expected to use a billionaire-fueled fundraising juggernaut to crush President Barack Obama’s once vaunted small-donor army. But things haven’t gone according to plan.”

    “Headed into the home stretch of the 2012 presidential race, it is Obama who looks to have an edge, thanks to an awakening donor base, aggressive summer spending on ads and ground game, and a Romney hoarding strategy that left him with plenty of cash in the bank, but not much to show for it.”

    New York Times: “Mitt Romney entered the final months of the presidential campaign with a cash balance of just $35 million, racing to find new large donors and rally low-dollar contributors in August even while he raised tens of millions of dollars for the Republican Party.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    Church Official Pushes Mormon Voter Registration in Key Swing State

    By MATTHEW MOSK (@mattmosk) , BRIAN ROSS (@brianross) and LYNN PACKER

    Sept. 20, 2012

    In a provocative move within a religious organization that has sought to display strict political neutrality, an official of the Mormon church has disseminated a presentation across the key swing state of Nevada that urges members to vote and speak “with one voice” in the coming Presidential election that pits Mormon Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama.

    “Any Mormon would understand exactly what’s being said there,” said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth religion professor who has studied the church’s handling of Romney’s presidential bids. “This is very thinly coded language.”

    Mormon officials have permitted church leaders to encourage voting, but have stressed that it not be done in a partisan fashion. A senior church member emailed the presentation to Nevada “stake presidents” — similar to Catholic bishops — last month. The email was first reported last week by Jon Ralston, an independent Nevada journalist.

    The roughly 30-minute PowerPoint presentation appears to have two goals — to motivate Mormons in Nevada to register and vote in November, and to help them prepare for questions they may get as their church garners attention as a result of Romney’s bid. Three of the 20 slides that were shared with ABC News pointedly urge members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to remember the “importance of speaking with one voice.”

    One slide includes voter registration data for Clark County, a jurisdiction that includes Las Vegas, where Democrats outnumber Republicans. Other slides appear to convey the stakes in the upcoming campaign, including one that espouses the need to restore a “spiritually dead society” and another that quotes a member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles saying, “We are at war with the influences of Satan.” ABC News has only seen a portion of the presentation.

    Mormon officials told ABC News that the entreaty to “speak with one voice” conveys a desire to see church members provide consistent responses to questions from outsiders about church rituals and doctrine, and is not an entreaty to vote as a block.

    “The Church has always encouraged people to be a part of the political process and to register to vote,” said Dale Jones, a church spokesman. “However, we do not direct them on how to vote. We are politically neutral and do not support candidates or political platforms.”

  3. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Reid avoids prior claims, blasts Romney’s ‘accounting wizards’

    (CNN) – Sen. Harry Reid said nothing of his earlier claims that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes over a ten-year span in a Friday statement joining Democrats in responding to Romney’s release of tax-related documents on Friday.

    The Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader called Romney’s accounting “galling” and said the documentation “reveals that Mitt Romney manipulated one of the only two years of tax returns he’s seen fit to show the American people – and then only to ‘conform’ with his public statements.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    Obama and Paul Ryan go to war over Medicare

    By Greg Sargent

    Obama and Paul Ryan both addressed the American Association of Retired Persons today, framing one of the key battles that will unfold in the election’s home stretch. Obama’s argument was straightforward: My approach to bringing down the deficit and securing the future of entitlements is balanced and won’t ask seniors to foot the bill; my opponents’ approach is unbalanced and will ask for too much sacrifice from seniors — even as it would also cut taxes deeply for the rich.

    Asked what he would do secure Medicare’s future, Obama argued that the health law was already beginning to answer that question — by focusing on reducing health care costs, rather than seniors’ benefits — and contrasted that with Paul Ryan’s approach:

    “The other side’s approach to saving Medicare…is to turn Medicare into a voucher program, and essentially transfer that cost onto seniors….he said, we’re gonna have traditional Medicare stand side by side with a voucher program. And no current beneficiaries will be affected. The problem is that insurance companies, once they’re getting vouchers, they’re really good at recruiting the healthier, younger Medicare recipients, and leaving out the older, sicker recipients. And over time what happens is — because there are older, sicker folks in the traditional Medicare plan, premiums start going up…And the entire infrastructure of traditional Medicare ends up collapsing. Which means that all seniors at some point end up being at the mercy of the insurance companies .”

    Paul Ryan gave a speech that sounded a bit more like a political rally. He slammed Obama for failing at bipartisan outreach, told far more personal stories, and called again for repeal of Obamacare, which elicited boos. Repeal, of course, would reverse the work the law is doing in extending Medicare benefits to some seniors. Ryan’s case for his plan:

    “Our plan empowers future seniors to choose the coverage that works best for them from a list of plans that required to offer at least the same level of benefits as traditional Medicare. This financial support system is designed to guarantee that seniors can always afford Medicare coverage, no exceptions. If a senior wants to choose the traditional Medicare plan, then she will have that right… we will make no changes fort hose in or near retirement. And for my generation, we can make this program solvent by slightly raising the retirement age over time and slowing the growth of benefits for those with higher incomes.”

    Ryan’s political challenge is to minimize the degree to which his plan would undermine the fundamental promise at Medicare’s core, and to downplay the ideological nature of his crusade to alter entitlements, a task that got a bit tougher with revelations that he described Social Security as “collectivist” in 2005. The Romney/Ryan strategy throughout has been to obscure the true nature of their differences with Obama over how to secure Medicare’s future. But today, the basic difference was there for all to see: Obamacare is about saving the program by reducing medical costs; Ryan would reduce costs through private sector competition, he claims, but also would raise the retirement age and would reduce benefits.

    Polls suggest that seniors are more supportive of Ryan and Romney than they are of Obama. But this battle isn’t just about seniors; it’s about the future retirement of all other Americans, and about the set of priorities and view of government’s proper role in guaranteeing economic security during that retirement that should guide big upcoming choices. On these subjects, there are big and fundamental differences that can’t be obscured.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:36 PM ET, 09/21/2012
    Expert: Romney may have paid less in taxes over 20 years than it appears

    By Greg Sargent

    So Mitt Romney is releasing his 2011 tax returns. The top line is that the Romneys’ effective tax rate last year was 14.1 percent.

    The Romney campaign also released new info on how much he paid from the years 1990-2009, claiming: “Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.”

    That 20 percent figure sounds a lot better than 13 or 14 percent, right? Well, here’s the problem: It all turns on how that 20 percent figure was calculated.

    Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, tells me there are two ways to calculate it. First, the campaign could simply have averaged the rates against each other — treating the rates themselves as a collection of individual numbers — to calculate the overall average rate.

    The second way to calculate it would be to add up all the income Romney earned over the 20 years, add up the total amount he paid in taxes during that period, and calculate the overall average rate paid that way.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Ryan’s chilly reception from the AARP

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:38 PM EDT.

    Just a few months after becoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hosted a town-hall meeting in his district, and fielded a question about taxes. When the far-right lawmaker argued the wealthy are already taxed enough, his own constituents booed him.

    Now his party’s vice presidential nominee, Paul today traveled to New Orleans to address a national AARP event, where the boos were much louder and more sustained. Barbara Morrill posted this clip.

    Before we get to the booing, let’s not brush past the substance. Ryan said repealing the Affordable Care Act would lead to “a stronger Medicare,” but that’s both wrong and nonsensical. For one thing, “Obamacare” expands health care benefits for seniors, closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and making routine preventive care available without copays. If Ryan successfully kills the law, that means immediately taking away benefits current and future retirees now enjoy.

    For another, by finding significant cost savings in the Medicare system, Obama’s health care law strengthened Medicare’s finances and prolonged its financial health. Every independent analysis has found the Romney/Ryan plan does the exact opposite, pushing Medicare closer to insolvency. That’s not opinion; it’s arithmetic.

    And while we’re at it, Ryan attacked Democrats’ Medicare savings in his speech, assuming his audience isn’t smart enough to know his own budget plan adopted the identical savings. Ryan also buried the needle on the Irony-O-Meter by complaining that President Obama hasn’t “moved an inch” to compromise with Republicans, when it’s Ryan and the GOP who’ve refused to budge.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Donna NoShock@NoShock

    HaHaHa Romney just go home. Arizona: Romney 48%, Obama 45% (Purple Strategies) If PBO is this close in AZ its over…

  8. Ametia says:

    Girl on Fire release date 11-27-12

  9. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Pres Obama signed an executive order on Friday, directing the Veterans Admin. to hire 1,600 new mental health professionals.

  10. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Ed Schultz ‏@edshow

    By his own standards, Romney’s tax returns disqualify him from being president. Who should replace him on #GOP ticket?

  11. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Ann Romney’s plane makes emergency landing

    Ann Romney’s plane made an emergency landing in Colorado on Friday after the cabin apparently filled with smoke, according to Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan opposes Social Security, too
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:13 AM EDT.

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee, will be in New Orleans today, speaking at an annual AARP gathering. It might be an awkward setting for the far-right lawmaker — Ryan, of course, is perhaps best known for his budget plan that eliminates Medicare, replacing it with a privatized voucher system.

    And while I’m sure Ryan will offer a spirited defense, and may even come up with a coherent explanation as to why he’s outraged by the Medicare cuts in the Affordable Care Act that he also incorporated into his own budget plan, there’s another issue that’s worth some consideration.

    BuzzFeed posted this audio clip today, noting Ryan’s remarks to an Ayn Rand group in 2005, in which he endorsed a Randian vision on entitlements.

    “Social Security right now is a collectivist system, it’s a welfare transfer system,” Ryan said.

    Ryan continued, describing attempts by Republicans to privatize, laughing at using the word “personalizing” instead.

    Ryan says “if we actually accomplish this goal of personalizing Social Security, think of what we will accomplish.” He adds “every worker, every laborer in America will not only be a laborer but a capitalist. They will be an owner of society, they will be an owner and a participant of our free enterprise system, of our capitalist system.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan booed at AARP

    In his remarks to the AARP Friday, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was booed loudly when he said the “first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare.”

  14. rikyrah says:

    Worst. Surrogates. Ever.
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:56 PM EDT.

    In mid-May, when Herman Cain endorsed Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, he said he’d travel the nation as a surrogate for the Romney campaign. Cain added at the time he’d already spent the spring traveling on Romney’s behalf, but now he’d make “a big deal out of it.”

    Romney may want to reconsider Cain’s role on the team.

    Herman Cain, the one-time frontrunner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, offered reporters in Florida Thursday some speculation on what could have been if he had remained in the race.

    According to the Gainesville Sun, Cain said he would have a “substantial lead” over President Barack Obama if he were the Republican nominee instead of Mitt Romney.

    “The reason is quite simple: I have some depth to my ideas,” he said.

    I knew the Romney campaign had the worst surrogates ever, but this is ridiculous.

  15. rikyrah says:

    The struggle to define President Obama
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:53 AM EDT.

    Four years later, to his critics, he’s still a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

    I’ve met consultants who’ve stressed the importance of a “message matrix” — a four-square chart in which a campaign decides (1) how they’ll define their opponent; (2) how they’ll define themselves; (3) how their opponent will define them; and (4) and how their opponent will define themselves. It’s Campaign Management 101.

    When it comes to challenging President Obama, Republicans may have skipped the class.

    I saw a conservative the other day complaining that Obama is “just another politician,” who’s such an extreme liberal, he’s unlike any politician in American history. The fact that both claims can’t be true was an easily overlooked detail.

    I mention this because yesterday offered another classic example of the right’s incoherence on the subject.

    Barack Obama figured out who Mitt Romney was in March, but the same can’t be said the other way around. […]

    Is Obama a radical leftist working to turn America into a socialist welfare society? Or is a well-meaning incompetent, incapable of bringing change to Washington?

    Judging by Romney’s messaging this week the answer is they still aren’t sure

    • Ametia says:

      One thing they know for sure is that there’s a negro up in the White House, and they’re still scratching their heads in bewilderment as to HOW IT CAME TO BE.

  16. Ametia says:

    epublican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has released his full 2011 federal income tax returns, fulfilling a commitment he made earlier this year.

    Brad Walt, the trustee of the Romney’s blind trust, said the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in 2011 taxes on $13,696,951 in income. He said the Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.

    Also in the release, Walt said that during the 20-year period between 1990-2009, the Romneys paid an average federal tax rate of 20.2%.

    In January, Romney released a summary of his 2011 taxes. In it, he and his wife, Ann, originally said they filed a joint 1040 reporting a joint income of $21 million and a tax bill of $3.2 million.

  17. SouthernGirl2 says:

    The Nation ‏@thenation

    BREAKING: Romney campaign announces that the Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.

  18. SouthernGirl2 says:

    wusa9 reporting that 6,000 people gathered for President Obama rally in Woodbridge, VA

  19. Ametia says:

    Romney’s Perfect Example of the Republican Strategy of Economic Sabotage
    By Brian Dockstader

    For a long time — basically ever since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell infamously stated that the Republican Party’s #1 goal was to defeat President Obama — it has been plainly obvious that the Republican Party was committed to a strategy of economic sabotage to further their political ambitions.
    The rationale is simple: The worse the state of the economy, the higher the unemployment rate, the worse President Obama’s chances for reelection become. Thus their sabotage strategy: Make sure the economy doesn’t recover. Make sure the unemployment rate stays high. Oppose all attempts to create jobs. Kill jobs that have already been created. Turn the public against Obama. Win back the White House and Congress.

  20. Ametia says:

    BOOO BOOOO BOOOO Lil Eddie Munster Ryan!

  21. SouthernGirl2 says:

  22. rikyrah says:

    A conspiracy theory shrivels in the sun

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:15 AM EDT.

    Associated Press

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Attorney General Eric Holder

    Given the attention focused on the presidential race, it was easy to miss the report from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General on the “Fast and Furious” controversy. The 471-page document, based on 100,000 documents and more than 130 interviews, is the definitive take on what transpired.

    And what did the IG find? That the operation was “seriously flawed and supervised irresponsibly” by federal officials in Arizona, but also that Attorney General Eric Holder knew nothing of the botched effort, and there was no White House involvement.

    And while that’s important, Kevin Drum raises an important point about the bigger picture.

    For over a year, it’s been an article of faith on the right that Fast & Furious was a carefully constructed scheme directed by the White House to trash the Second Amendment and build support for more gun control laws. It wasn’t. Neither the White House nor Eric Holder had any idea what was going on. It was just a local operation that was badly botched. This makes Fast & Furious officially yet another lunatic conservative conspiracy theory that has bitten the dust in the cold light of reality.

  23. rikyrah says:


    a hat tip for a swaggarific pic of POTUS yesterday at THe Obama Diary – it’s the pic of him handing his jacket off to an aide. he just looked fabulous and totally POTUS SWAG

  24. Ametia says:

    Romney’s class warfare

    By Eugene Robinson, Published: September 20

    Now, at least, there can be no doubt about who is waging class warfare in this presidential campaign. Mitt Romney would pit the winners against the “victims,” the smug-and-rich against the down-on-their-luck, the wealthy tax avoiders against those too poor to owe income tax. He sees nearly half of all Americans as chumps who sit around waiting for a handout.

    When Romney disclosed those views at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., this year, he and his audience had no idea they were being surreptitiously recorded. Romney obviously believed he was among friends who shared his worldview, which I would translate as: “We must stop coddling the servants.

    I am not exaggerating. Thanks to whoever leaked the recording to Mother Jones magazine, we know what Romney really thinks about the nation he seeks to lead:

    “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that — that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they’re 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. And they will vote for this president no matter what. . . . These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Latest Fundraising Picture Shows Strong Month For Obama

    But Obama outraised Romney, especially when you look at the campaign committees themselves. Donors gave nearly $71 million to Obama for America in August, while Romney for President raised only $27 million.

  26. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM
    Swing-state poll: Obama lead grows

  27. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Limbaugh: Penises Now ’10 Percent Smaller’ and Shrinking Because of ‘Feminazis’



    Just yours, Rush!

  28. SouthernGirl2 says:

    President Obama speaking to AARP :

  29. SouthernGirl2 says:

  30. SouthernGirl2 says:

    The Associated Press ‏@AP
    BREAKING: House Ethics Committee: Rep. Maxine Waters will not be charged with ethics violations.
    Go Maxine!

  31. rikyrah says:

    September 20, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Things Mitt Romney Can’t Do

    Karl Rove has a piece today explaining the deep trouble Mitt Romney is in. Of course, that’s not he puts it — it’s an effort to buck up Republicans, not discourage them. But here’s what Rove says:

    In the two weeks before the presidential debates begin, Mr. Romney must define more clearly what he would do as president. In spelling out his five-point plan for the middle class, he’ll have to deepen awareness of how each element would help families in concrete, practical ways, and offer optimism for renewed prosperity.

    Let’s look at that plan, shall we? It’s:

    1. Energy independence, presumably through weakened environmental regulation
    2. School choice
    3. Trade agreements, plus implicit China-bashing
    4. Deficit reduction, not explained how
    5. Lower taxes on small businesses (but actually just on the rich), and repealing health reform

    First of all, this isn’t a “plan for the middle class”. And do you see anything in there that can “help families in concrete, practical ways”? I don’t. Even if you believed that the Romney plan would yield prosperity, the benefits to middle-class families would come through trickle-down — and assertions that Bush-style policies are just what we need aren’t going to give Romney the boost he wants.

  32. rikyrah says:

    In the Heart of Romney World, No Retreat, No Surrender

    The talk at the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign headquarters in Boston is of skewed polls, media bias, a bad economy, and a fading Obama bounce.
    By Beth Reinhard

    Updated: September 20, 2012 | 4:12 p.m.
    September 20, 2012 | 3:03 p.m.

    It’s heads down and status quo at the beige, three-story building that is Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters, despite the “navel-gazing, handwringing and bedwetting” — as one consultant dismissively put it — consuming some Republicans this week.

    That’s the campaign’s story, and staffers are sticking to it.

    “We expected all along for this race to be close, to be tight and to be hard fought, and that’s exactly what you’re seeing,” said Romney spokesman Danny Diaz. “At the end of the day, Obama is not going to be able to convince people that he should be rehired.”

    But polls showing slightly more optimism about the economy and President Obama’s leadership, as well as a string of missteps by the Romney campaign, have set many Republicans outside this city on edge. In the last week alone, Romney has battled firestorms lit by his remarks describing 47 percent of the country as government freeloaders, reports of campaign infighting, his hair-trigger response to anti-American violence in Egypt and Libya, and a convention most memorable for Clint Eastwood’s bizarre comedy routine.

    Veteran campaign hands say Romney sorely needs to flesh out his vision for the country and specific policy details on how he gets there.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:35 PM ET, 09/20/2012

    What working class whites really think about dependency and redistribution
    By Greg Sargent

    It’s been widely observed that Mitt Romney’s attacks on Obama over Medicare, welfare, dependency and “redistribution” are about driving up Romney’s share of working class white support. Romney — who may need two thirds of that vote to win — is arguing that Obama isn’t really looking out for their interests and wants to redistribute their hard-earned money and medical benefits to those other people.

    So today’s report on white working class Americans from the Public Religion Research Institute is a must read. It defines them as ”non-Hispanic white Americans without a four-year college degree who hold non-salaried jobs, and make up one third (36 percent of all Americans,” and it sheds light on what all this stuff is all about.

    On “dependency,” the study finds that large numbers of working class whites (46 percent) have received Social Security or disability payments over the last two years; more than a fifth have received food stamps; 19% have received unemployment.

    Yet the study also finds that three quarters of working class whites believe poor people have become too dependent on government assistance. There’s obviously overlap there, which bears out what some have already pointed out — many of these voters simply won’t think Romney’s comments about the freeloading 47 percent, or about government “dependency” in general, are about them.

    But the findings on “redistribution” are also revealing. White working class voters want to soak the rich, and they agree with key aspects of Obama’s views about capitalism and inequality.

    Nearly two thirds of working class whites want to hike taxes on those over $1 million. More than half say one of our biggest problems is that we “don’t give everyone an equal chance in life.” Seventy-eight percent of them blame America’s economic problems on corporations moving jobs overseas and 69 percent on Wall Street making risky decisions.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:17 PM ET, 09/20/2012
    Romney is losing the argument over the economy
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney and Republicans have long assumed Barack Obama simply can’t win reelection, given the state of the economy. Yet Obama is currently winning, anyway. Why? Perhaps the unexpected dynamics driving this race can be summed up in two sentences:

    1) More Americans are concluding that for all their disappointment, the economy will improve in an Obama second term; and

    2) Romney has failed to persuade people that he would improve the economy any faster than it will improve under Obama.

    If this explains why Obama is leading, then the Romney campaign’s big question — “are you better off than you were four years ago?” — simply isn’t the dominant frame voters are adopting to choose the next president. Indeed, there is now a great deal of polling that suggests this to be the case. Taken together, the picture is striking:

    * In this week’s Fox News swing state polls, Obama holds an advantage on the question of who would improve the economy and jobs in Ohio (50-43), in Virginia (49-44), and in Florida (49-46).

  35. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 09/21/2012
    The Morning Plum: Why Obama is winning
    By Greg Sargent

    A new National Journal/Heartland Monitor Poll out this morning finds Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by 50-43 among likely voters. The poll probes voter attitudes towards the economy in a very interesting way that really explains why Obama may be winning re-election.

    The key takeaway is the poll’s confirmation that Romney’s theory of the race — which is built on the “are you better off” question — seems to be flawed, as I’ve repeated far too often. Ron Brownstein explains:

    The survey also shows why it may be difficult for Republicans to center the election on the famous Ronald Reagan question to voters that the party highlighted at its national convention last month: Are you better off than you were four years ago?
    That question divides likely voters almost exactly in thirds: in the poll, 31 percent say they are better off than four years ago, while 34 percent say they are worse off and 34 percent say they are about the same. Romney, predictably, wins more than four-fifths of voters who say they are worse off; the president, equally unsurprisingly, attracts almost nine in 10 of those who consider themselves better off.
    Crucially, though, Obama holds a commanding 57 percent to 34 percent advantage among those who say their finances are unchanged. One reason for that critical tilt in his direction: Voters who say their finances are unchanged also say, by a resounding 53 percent to 33 percent margin, that they believe the country has been better off over these past four years because Obama, rather than another candidate, won in 2008. Overall, 48 percent say they believe the country is better off because Obama won in 2008, while 41 percent say the nation would be in a stronger position today if another candidate had won.

  36. rikyrah says:

    LOVED Tears for Fears this week, Ametia.

    thank you

  37. rikyrah says:


    A Late Night Mini-Rant

    by BooMan
    Fri Sep 21st, 2012 at 12:40:51 AM EST

    I hate to bring the candidates’ wives into the whole campaign. I mean, I know that that they are out there campaigning and are therefore fair-game, but I never said a bad word about Laura Bush is the eight years that she spent in the White House. I don’t believe in that, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. But Ann Romney wants Republicans to leave her husband ALOOOONE, and I think it is pathetic. Ann Romney, by her own admission, has never worked a day in her life, and her husband hasn’t worked a day since he left his job as governor of Massachusetts seven years ago. She doesn’t get to tell anyone about hard work. She needs to STFU.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Veronica Degraffenreid, elections liaison for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, talks with Rachel Maddow about the burden on the election boards in her state to address the frivolous claims of dead voters on the rolls by a tea party group called the Voter Integrity Project.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Turning the enthusiasm gap on its head
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:35 AM EDT.

    Chris Cillizza noted yesterday that for much of 2012, “Republicans have enjoyed an enthusiasm edge — largely attributed to the fact that they are the party without control of the White House and whose base is animated by a deep-seeded distaste for the current president.”

    Quite right. Rank-and-file GOP voters were underwhelmed by their presidential choices during the Republican nominating process, and their comfort level with Mitt Romney has lagged throughout 2012. But their blinding hatred of President Obama has nevertheless given the party an advantage when it comes to voter enthusiasm.

    At least it used to.

    Gallup released a poll yesterday on voter enthusiasm in swing states, and I put together this chart based on the results. On the left, you’ll notice Gallup data from late June, which found Republicans with an edge when it came to those who considered themselves “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting in this year’s presidential election.

    On the right, you’ll see the latest figures, based on a poll that wrapped up earlier this week. The good news for Republicans is that GOP voters are more enthusiastic now than they were in June. The bad news for Republicans is that swing-state Democratic voters are much more enthusiastic, and have surged past their rivals.

  40. rikyrah says:


    Obamacare is still a MASSIVE tax cut for the middle class. Know the facts –> #icymi

  41. rikyrah says:

    Charles P. Pierce: ….

    He gets beaten like a drum for dismissing half the country he’s allegedly asking to vote for him – including the old, the lame, the blind, the crippled, and everyone who got that way during a war ……. So, when some enterprising citizen journalists dig up and barber a 14-year-old quote from the president, Willard not only makes it his own, but he attaches it to a previously barbered quote that he and his party played with like dogs with a rubber bone throughout what is reckoned to be the most utterly truthless political convention of the modern era. And he does so full in the hope that the national media by and large will declare two-tie, all-tie, thereby getting him past the fact that he sounded like Scrooge before the spirits came to call…..

    …. “Redistribution” is a magic word that transforms Your government benefits into something to be protected from Those People who want to take them from you. It turns Your Medicare into Their welfare check and, therefore, they mooch while you earn. Moreover, it can fashion a candidate’s rampant plutocratic buffoonery into a simple political debate. Abracarafalca!

  42. rikyrah says:

    The Guardian:

    The Australian treasurer, Wayne Swan, in an unusually blunt criticism of US politics weeks before the presidential election, said “cranks and crazies” had taken over the Republicans and posed the biggest threat to the world’s largest economy.

    Swan, one of few world leaders able to boast his country had avoided recession during the global financial crisis, also labelled the Tea Party wing of the Republicans as “extreme”.

    “Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican party,” Swan said in a speech to a conference in Sydney.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman:

    By now everyone knows how Mitt Romney washed his hands of almost half the country …. But here’s the question: Should we imagine that Mr. Romney and his party would think better of the 47 percent on learning that the great majority of them actually are or were hard workers, who very much have taken personal responsibility for their lives? And the answer is no.

    For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” aka employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families….

    Am I exaggerating? Consider the Twitter message sent out by Eric Cantor on Labor Day ….. “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yes, on a day set aside to honor workers, all Mr. Cantor could bring himself to do was praise their bosses.

    ….. what people are now calling the Boca Moment wasn’t some trivial gaffe. It was a window into the true attitudes of what has become a party of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy, a party that considers the rest of us unworthy of even a pretense of respect.

  44. rikyrah says:


    thank you for posting that Tweety video. it was on point.

  45. 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.

  46. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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