Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | U2 Week!

Happy MUN-dane, Everyone. Here are a few videos to pass on:

Wiki: U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards, and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2’s early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group’s musical pursuits, they have maintained a sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge’s timbrally varied guitar sounds and Bono’s expressive vocals. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.

U2 formed at Mount Temple Comprehensive School when the members were teenagers with limited musical proficiency. Within four years, they signed with Island Records and released their debut album Boy. By the mid-1980s, they became a top international act. They were more successful as live performers than they were at selling records, until their breakthrough 1987 album The Joshua Tree,[1] which, according to Rolling Stone, elevated the band’s stature “from heroes to superstars”.[2] Reacting to musical stagnation and late-1980s criticism of their earnest image and musical direction, the group reinvented themselves with their 1991 hit album Achtung Baby and the accompanying Zoo TV Tour. U2 integrated dance, industrial, and alternative rock influences into their sound and performances, and embraced a more ironic and self-deprecating image. Similar experimentation continued for the remainder of the 1990s with mixed levels of success. U2 regained critical and commercial favour after their 2000 record All That You Can’t Leave Behind. On it and the group’s subsequent releases, they adopted a more conventional sound while maintaining influences from their earlier musical explorations.


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65 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread | U2 Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    A new ‘Gang of Six’ looks for sequester ‘balance’
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    When it comes to debt reduction, President Obama’s favorite word is “balance” — he’s ready to compromise, but there won’t be a deal unless both sides make concessions.

    As of yesterday, in something of a minor breakthrough, a bipartisan group of senators began using the same word.

    A new group of six Senators committed Monday to working on a “balanced” package to avert the year-end budget cuts required by sequestration.

    Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) led the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

    “Failure to act to address the debt would result in sequestration taking effect in January 2013 with significant detrimental impact on our fragile economic recovery,” the Senators wrote. … “We are committed to working together to help forge a balanced bipartisan deficit reduction package to avoid damage to our national security, important domestic priorities, and our economy.”

    The choice of words was important because both sides recognize that a “balanced” approach to debt reduction necessarily means a deal that includes new revenue, which Republicans have consistently opposed.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Shifting focus again, this time to China
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:34 PM EDT.

    The Romney campaign, apparently aware of the fact that it’s currently losing, is still trying to find a winning message. As of this morning, Team Romney will now shift its attention to Asia.

    “I think it’s clear that the message on China has resonated not only with the voters, but you can tell with the response from the Obama campaign,” Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said. “They went up with an ad in response to it on China and on top of that, the administration filed a case.”

    To that end, Romney unveiled this new spot this morning, focusing on China.

    For the record, Gillespie may be having some delusions of grandeur about the administration’s actions — it’s true that officials filed a WTO complaint against China after Romney launched an attack ad, but the timing appears entirely coincidental given that the Obama administration filed a series of similar WTO complaints against China, over the course of four years, that had nothing to do Romney rhetoric. Indeed, as Rachel recently explained, the Obama administration has been “confrontational toward China in a way that no modern administration has ever been.”

    But if this is really going to be a driving focus of the Romney message going forward, let’s dig a little deeper.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Whistling past Dixie

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:35 PM EDT.

    It’s widely assumed that President Obama is not only struggling with white, working class voters, but he’s going to lose this demographic badly to Mitt Romney in November. But John Sides reports today on a key detail that casts the conventional wisdom in a new light (via Kevin Drum).

    From Sides’ piece:

    A new survey and report from the Public Religion and Research Institute — entitled “Beyond God and Guns” — is a valuable corrective to so many stereotypes of the white working class. Particularly noteworthy in this report are the large and important differences within the white working class — by age, region, gender, and party, to name a few. For example, consider this:

    “In mid-August, Romney held a commanding 40-point lead over Obama among white working-class voters in the South (62% vs. 22%). However, neither candidate held a statistically significant lead among white working-class voters in the West (46% Romney vs. 41% Obama), Northeast (42% Romney vs. 38% Obama), or the Midwest (36% Romney vs. 44% Obama).”

    The key takeaway here isn’t just that it’s a mistake to look at working-class whites as a monolithic bloc, but also that it’s a mistake to overlook how distinct the South is from other regions.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Ryan doesn’t call them ‘death panels’ but…
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:36 PM EDT.

    It seems hard to believe, but even now there are folks on the right concerned about “death panels.” The subject came up at a Paul Ryan event at the University of Central Florida over the weekend.

    QUESTION: We love you Paul. But I’m getting long in years. Will you address the death panels that we’re going to have?

    RYAN: The death panels, well! That’s not the word I’d choose to use to describe it. It’s actually called. It’s actually called, so in Medicare, what I refer to as this board of 15 bureaucrats. It’s called the Independent Payment Advisory Board. It sounds fairly innocuous.

    At which point, Ryan goes to argue that IPAB isn’t actually innocuous.

    In terms of rhetoric, when Ryan says he’s not comfortable with the words “death panel,” I’m glad, but it’s worth remembering that this isn’t about semantics; it’s about policy. Those who talk about “death panels” aren’t just using the wrong language, they’re getting the substance wrong, too.

    Asked whether “death panels” are real, the correct answer is, “Of course not.” For Ryan, the answer effectively boils down to, “Sort of, but let’s call them something else.”

    Since IPAB questions still come up from time to time, let’s do what Ryan did not — set the record straight.

  5. rikyrah says:

    President Obama: The Democrats’ Ronald Reagan
    Sep 24, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

    With his first term behind him, Obama is poised to be as significant a president as Reagan—tackling the deficit, spearheading immigration reform, and jolting the GOP back to sanity.

    As the fall has turned crisper, a second term for Barack Obama has gotten likelier. This may, of course, change: the debates, the Middle East, the unemployment numbers could still blow up the race. At this point in 2004, one recalls, George W. Bush was about to see a near eight-point lead shrivel to a one-state nail-biter by Election Day. But one thing that has so far, in my view, been underestimated is the potential impact of a solid Obama win, and perhaps a Democratic retention of the Senate and some progress in the House. This is now a perfectly plausible outcome. It would also be a transformational moment in modern American politics.

  6. Ametia says:


  7. Ametia says:


  8. rikyrah says:

    whiny ass titty baby

    Public Financing Opponent Mitt Romney Complains About Busy Fundraising Schedule

    On Sunday, Mitt Romney told reporters on his campaign plane that while he wishes he could spend more time in swing states, he has had to focus on fundraising because President Obama has raised so much money. Though Romney has consistently opted-out of the obsolete presidential public financing — and his own vice presidential nominee repeatedly voted to kill it — he blamed Obama’s unwillingness to abide by its limits.

    ROMNEY: I’d far rather be spending my time out in the key swing states campaigning, door-to-door if necessary, but at rallies and various meetings. But fundraising is a part of politics when your opponent decides not to live by the federal spending limits.

  9. Ametia says:

    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012

    Let them go to the emergency room.

    This is just sad. Here, on Sixty Minutes, is the pioneer of the template for Obamacare, the man who actually put into effect a plan in Massachusetts that aims at making health care accessible and affordable. Now he is forced to deny there was a problem that he previously helped solve. It’s sad because Romney knows better. He knows that emergency room care is no substitute for preventive care. He knows that it costs far more to deal with problems in an emergency room than in a doctor’s office. He knows that hospital bills for the uninsured are several times higher than the amounts billed to those who have insurance, and that these bills can have devastating effects on families.

    Yet because his party refused to participate in designing a solution to these problems, Romney is now forced to defend our broken, cumbersome, expensive, patchwork system of health care. He has to walk away from a problem that he once had a hand in trying to solve.

    Read more:

  10. Ametia says:


    Want an inside look at the campaign as we enter the final stretch?
    Join Campaign Manager Jim Messina and National Field Director
    Jeremy Bird for a special livestream program, and find out how
    you can use Dashboard to make your impact in the last weeks of
    this election.

    When: Monday, September 24th
    8:30 p.m. ET


  11. Ametia says:

    Cognitive Dissidence has a great post on the weekend of politics in the Badger State:

  12. Ametia says:

    Romney Invests In “Number One Geopolitical Foe” Russia
    Mitt Romney dabbled in Russian stocks, buying and then selling shares in a Russian gas company in advance of election season.

    Mitt Romney acquired and sold shares last year in the politically powerful Russian gas giant Gazprom. Ann and Mitt Romney’s family trust return, released Friday, shows Romney sold his Gazprom stock at a loss last September in advance of election season.
    Romney’s 2011 trust — managed, he says, without his input — also shows in its return hundreds of dropped shares of a Russian internet firm, Yandex, sold at a loss in August of 2011. Yandex operates the largest search engine in the country.
    Romney’s financials for 2011 show dropped investments in over 1000 shares of Gazprom and Yandex combined.
    Romney has been fiercely hawkish toward Russia while on the campaign trail. The GOP nominee told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in March that Russia is America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Again in July, Romney told Blitzer that “in terms of geopolitics….Russia is the number one adversary.”

  13. Ametia says:

    A tale of two records on China: President Obama vs. Mitt Romney
    August 17, 2012

    President Obama believes that when the playing field is level, American businesses and workers will always be able to compete and succeed against every other country on Earth. That’s why when it comes to protecting American workers, the President has never hesitated to take concrete actions to stand up to China on unfair trade policies:

    After finding that a surge of tire imports had disrupted the U.S. domestic market, President Obama imposed strict tariffs on Chinese-made tires to safeguard the American industry from Chinese competition. Since then, we’ve added more than 1,000 American jobs in the tire industry.
    President Obama is not afraid to fight back when he sees unfair trade practices hurting American workers—that’s why his administration has filed seven trade complaints against China in its first three and a half years, bringing cases at twice the rate of the Bush administration.

    Read on

  14. Ametia says:

    Romney Budget Proposals Would Necessitate Very Large Cuts in Medicaid, Education, Health Research and Other Programs

    By Richard Kogan and Paul N. Van de Water
    Updated September 24, 2012


    Governor Mitt Romney’s proposals to cap total federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and boost defense spending to 4 percent of GDP would require very large cuts in other programs, both entitlements and discretionary programs.
    This update of an earlier analysis is based on updated economic and budget projections that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued this summer and additional information that the Romney campaign has provided on his budget proposals. The resulting estimates of the required budget cuts are somewhat smaller than the ones we released on May 21, but they are still very deep.
    For the most part, Governor Romney has not outlined cuts in specific programs. But if policy­makers repealed health reform (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) and exempted Social Security from cuts, as Romney has suggested, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and all other entitlement and discretionary programs by the same percentage to meet Romney’s overall spending cap and defense spending target, then they would have to cut non-defense programs other than Social Security by 22 percent in 2016 and 34 percent in 2022 (see Figure 1). If they exempted Medicare from cuts for this period, the cuts in other programs would have to be even more dramatic — 32 percent in 2016 and 53 percent in 2022.

    Read on

  15. rikyrah says:

    Pennsylvania, the reality

    By Kay September 24th, 2012

    Really interesting political analysis of Pennsylvania. The writer uses actual census data and interviews real people rather than relying on his memory or political clichés about the state:

    On June 30, 2011, an enthusiastic Mitt Romney arrived here in the heart of the Lehigh Valley determined to make Pennsylvania a presidential battleground state.
    A key assumption underpinned Romney’s appearance in Allentown — that theworking class whites who once dominated this great industrial center would back the Republican nominee.
    Both the Obama and Romney campaigns made significant investments in advertising in Pennsylvania. The pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, and two conservative PACs, Crossroads GPS and Americans For Prosperity, have together spent a total of $9.7 million; the Obama campaign and its allied super PAC, Priorities USA Action, have spent $8 million.
    By the end of August, however, ad buying stopped. The Romney campaign effectively conceded the state.
    From 1998 to 2011, the number of registered Republicans in Lehigh County fell from 75,099 to 73,857, while Democrats shot up from 78,002 to 107,594.
    From 2000 to 2010, Lehigh County went from 83.2 percent non-Hispanic white to 70.7; from 3.6 percent African American to 7.7 percent; and, most significantly, from 10.2 percent Hispanic to 19.5 percent. The political consequences of recent population trends have been dramatic.

    He sees brown people. They’re included!

  16. Ametia says:

    Returns and reform: How Romney’s tax plan helps the wealthy at the expense of the middle class
    September 22, 2012

    Defying a precedent set by presidential candidates before him, Mitt Romney has only released two years of tax returns. Many unanswered questions remain, but what Americans have learned is that Romney continues to pay a tax rate “far lower than the rate most Americans pay.” One of the major reasons Romney is able to “amass a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars while paying a lower rate than people of lesser means” is because—by continuing to profit from Bain investments—he still benefits from the carried interest tax loophole, a form of compensation for wealthy private-equity executives.

    Rather than working to reform the tax code so that all Americans pay a fair share, Romney wants to keep rewarding millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. Just take a look at his tax plan:

    Give multi-millionaires a $250,000 tax cut: The wealthiest 0.1% of Americans, those making over about $3 million each year, would see an average tax cut of about $250,000 under Romney’s plan—even if Romney were to eliminate every tax break, except those for savings and investments, that they take.

  17. Ametia says:

    For those interested in candidate transparency, the good news is, Mitt Romney agreed to release his 2011 tax returns on Friday afternoon. The bad news is, 2011 isn’t one of the important years in need of scrutiny. The worse news is, this limited disclosure actually raises as many questions as it answers.

    Why do Romney’s returns identify the United States as a “foreign country”? (Imagine if Obama’s tax returns made this mistake.) Why is Romney investing so heavily in the nation’s “number one geopolitical foe”? Of the 813 pages, why do two-thirds relate to overseas investments?

    The Obama campaign remained on the offensive over the returns over the weekend, releasing this video.

  18. Ametia says:

    Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns fuels speculation about what he could be hiding
    September 22, 2012

    Just prior to running for president in 1967, Mitt Romney’s father decided to release 12 years of tax returns, setting a precedent that continues to this day. Giving voters less information, Gov. George Romney said, “could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

    Mitt Romney’s refusal to disclose more than two years of tax returns goes against both decades of precedent and the wishes of the American people. The two years of returns that he has released reveal a Swiss bank account, investments in companies based overseas, and the extensive use of offshore tax havens and complex loopholes only available to the super-rich.

    Here’s what we know:

    Romney pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families. Romney paid a tax rate of 13.9% in 2010 and 14.1% in 2011—less than many middle-class Americans. Although Romney makes millions more than firefighters, teachers and cops, many pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.

    READ ON:

  19. Ametia says:

    On Romney: Never before has a man had so much to gain from reading his own book,” says Gawker:

  20. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney Rebukes the Premise Behind Romneycare
    —By Adam Serwer| Mon Sep. 24, 2012 7:40 AM PDT

    itt Romney isn’t just downplaying his signature accomplishment as governor of Massachusetts, he’s developed a sudden amnesia about the policy problems that lead him to implementing it.

    During a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, CBS’ Scott Pelley asked Romney: “Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the fifty million Americans who don’t have it today?”

    Romney responded: “Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people—we—if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.” Romney later repeats usual refrain that what worked for Massachusetts won’t necessarily work everywhere else.

    As Maddowblog’s Steve Benen points out though the “emergency room care” line is a go-to talking point for conservatives, this kind of last-resort care raises costs for everyone else and simply doesn’t provide the kind of treatment that really sick people need. Romney knows this—at least he did.

    As Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post note, Romney recognized this as recently as 2010, when he said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “It doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility.”

    This isn’t just a minor point: It’s one of the major reasons both the Massachusetts health insurance law and the Affordable Care Act include an individual mandate. In Romney’s memoir, No Apology, he calls the realization that emergency room care substantially raises costs an “epiphany.” From page 171 (italics original, bolded mine):

  21. rikyrah says:

    Contraception access remains a GOP target
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:24 AM EDT.

    About a month ago, in one of several culture-war television ads, the Romney campaign went after President Obama over contraception access. After asking which candidate “shares your values,” the Republican spot said the contraception issue represents a “war on religion.”

    We haven’t heard too much about this since — Team Romney continues to experiment with different issues and messages — but access to birth control remains an important focus.

    GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sees no place for the Obama Administration’s contraception mandate.

    At a Saturday campaign event in Orlando, Fla., the Associated Press reports that Ryan was asked about whether he would press Vice President and fellow Catholic Joe Biden on his views in relation to the 2012 Democratic Party platform.

    Ryan’s answer turned straight to the piece of Obamacare providing birth control access. He vowed to remove that requirement for insurance providers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, on “day one.”

    “It will be gone,” Ryan told onlookers at the University of Central Florida. “I can guarantee you that.”

    Let’s not lose sight of the policy on the table. Under federal law, insurance companies must now make preventive care available without copays. It was up to the Obama administration to establish what counts as “preventive care,” and officials chose a variety of common-sense policies, including mammograms, HIV screenings, immunizations, and contraception.

  22. Ametia says:

    Coffee & bagels on the house ladies; ENJOY!

  23. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Romney to Teacher: I Didn’t Ask You A Question

  24. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s struggles among blue collar whites: If you want to understand what the above ad is all about, read Tom Edsall’s piece on Romney’s difficulties with those voters. Edsall references last week’s Public Religion Research Institute study of these voters, which shows Romney winning among them by a sizable margin, but he makes the excellent point that this is because his margin among them in the south is huge; elsewhere, blue collar whites are much more divided:

    Romney’s relatively poor showing among working class whites outside the South supports the argument that the Republican nominee is having a hard time connecting with some of the voters he needs to win. His problems reinforce the privately voiced fears of Republican operatives, as well as the openly voiced criticisms of the Romney campaign by primary opponents like Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

    The hope harbored by Republican political professionals — that Obama was sufficiently unpopular among non-college whites to make up for Romney’s shortcomings — has failed to take concrete form. The trouble Romney finds himself in today also suggests that the barrage of early advertising by the Obama campaign and allied groups attacking Bain Capital has proven to be a successful tactic, at least so far.

    As I noted here last week, that study shows that these voters will probably be receptive to some Romney arguments about dependency, but there’s also a strong strain of economic populism and skepticism about unfettered capitalism that could make it tough for Romney to produce the numbers among them he needs.

  25. SouthernGirl2 says:

    Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm

    TPM Electoral Scoreboard moves to Obama: 322, Romney: 191 as Colorado moves from Toss Up to Leans Obama

  26. Ametia says:

    President Obama: The Democrats’ Ronald Reagan
    Sep 24, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

    With his first term behind him, Obama is poised to be as significant a president as Reagan—tackling the deficit, spearheading immigration reform, and jolting the GOP back to sanity.

    by Andrew Sullivan | September 24, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

    As the fall has turned crisper, a second term for Barack Obama has gotten likelier. This may, of course, change: the debates, the Middle East, the unemployment numbers could still blow up the race. At this point in 2004, one recalls, George W. Bush was about to see a near eight-point lead shrivel to a one-state nail-biter by Election Day. But one thing that has so far, in my view, been underestimated is the potential impact of a solid Obama win, and perhaps a Democratic retention of the Senate and some progress in the House. This is now a perfectly plausible outcome. It would also be a transformational moment in modern American politics.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:01 AM ET, 09/24/2012
    The Morning Plum: Romney following Axelrod’s script to the letter
    By Greg Sargent

    For a year now, Obama advisers have believed that Mitt Romney’s pedigree, business background, lower tax rates, offshore accounts and silver-foot-in-mouth tendencies present exactly the wrong profile to run up the vote totals he needs among blue collar whites to win the presidency, potentially enabling Obama to survive a terrible economy. Back when Romney was still locked in a battle with Rick Perry, Obama advisers were telling people about their plans to paint Romney as a corporate predator who prioritizes profits over jobs and communities, is out of touch with what ordinary folks are going through, thinks keeping taxes low on the rich is the answer to everyone’s problems, and keeps his own rates low via murky international financial dealings.

    What’s remarkable is how closely Romney himself has voluntarily hewed to the script produced for him.

    On Friday, Romney released his 2011 tax returns, but only revealed an average rate paid from 1990-2009. Even some Republican strategists are questioning this move, as well as his broader refusal not to come clean earlier, claiming it allows Dems to continue raising questions about Romney’s offshore accounts and about what he may be hiding about his own low rate. Romney’s dismissive comments about the freeloading 47 percent were perfectly tailored to the narrative the Obama camp has been spinning. And now the Obama campaign is out with a brutal new ad in Ohio, which has a big population of blue collar whites, weaving those strands together:

  28. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s emergency-room argument never dies
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:49 AM EDT.

    CBS’s “60 Minutes” ran fairly long interviews last night with both President Obama and Mitt Romney, and the latter made some news with answers on tax policy. While they’re likely to have a political impact, substantively, the Republican’s answers on health care were even more striking.

    Following up on Friday’s release of 2011 tax returns, Scott Pelley asked whether it’s fair that Romney pays a lower federal income tax rate than “the guy who makes $50,000.” The Republican conceded it’s a “low rate,” but nevertheless said it’s fair — the reduced rate is the “right way to encourage economic growth — to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.”

    This is no small admission. The multi-millionaire candidate pays a lower tax rate than most of the middle class — and the rate would have been even lower had Romney not artificially inflated it purely for political reasons — and if elected, he’ll fight to keep it that way.

    But this exchange on health care struck me as every bit as interesting.

    Pelley: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?

    Romney: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people — we — if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.

    Pelley: That’s the most expensive way to do it.

    Romney: Well the–

    Pelley: In an emergency room.

    When it comes to health care policy, this might be one of the more important moments of the presidential race. Romney doesn’t believe the United States has a responsibility to provide health care coverage to its own citizens — the Republican Party is the only major political party in any democracy on the planet to hold this position — but he does see emergency rooms as an avenue for caring for the uninsured.

    And as a policy matter, that’s deeply absurd.

  29. rikyrah says:

    This Week in God
    By Steve Benen
    Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:20 AM EDT.

    First up from the God Machine is a new video from President Obama, who released a message this week to “people of faith,” coming at least in part in response to attacks from the the right against his faith and his commitment to religious liberty.

    I know faith is often used as a wedge in our politics, and with a new election year comes new attacks [but] the American people should know this: In a changing world, my commitment to protecting religious liberty is and always will be unwavering,” Obama said. He also spoke directly about his own “Christian faith, which has guided me through my presidency and in my life.”

    But of particular interest, was the way in which the president connected his policy record to his faith, by stressing “shared moral obligations.”

    “When we took action to rescue the auto industry, we stood with workers, families, and communities that would have suffered had we allowed our auto companies to go bankrupt — because a good job isn’t just about a paycheck; it’s about the dignity that work brings.

    “On health care reform, we stood with the mother who no longer has to worry about whether her child will be able to get care because of a pre-existing condition.

    “On issues like education, poverty, and immigration, I’m standing on the side of human dignity and a belief in the inherent worth* of human beings.”

    The thematic significance is part of a larger Obama goal: expanding the scope of what counts as “moral” issues, away from sex and reproductive health, and towards a larger universe of issues involving what benefits families and communities. It’s why, as far as the president is concerned, he can and should stress health care and the auto rescue when it comes to connecting with people of faith — because he defines “shared moral obligations” more broadly than his critics do

  30. rikyrah says:

    Rupert Cornwell (UK Independent): Has there ever been as inept a recent presidential candidate as Mitt Romney? By comparison Al Gore and John Kerry, both mocked in their day as wooden and robotic, were models of empathy, nimbleness and lightness of touch. The Romney campaign, moreover, is supposed be the tightest-run of ships. Instead it – or more exactly its standard-bearer – generates gaffes by the boatload.

    ….. for Mitt Romney this time, there may be no recovery. The candidate wants to depict himself as a problem-solving businessman, seeking to improve life for everyone. Instead he has merely reinforced the stereotypical image put about by his opponents that he is a country-club elitist, a Darwinian capitalist who neither understands nor cares one whit about the problems faced by ordinary, less fortunate citizens.

    …. It is hard to see now how he rights the ship… The astonishing thing is that he should know better. Mr Romney went through the presidential campaign meat-grinder in 2008, yet he still makes the same mistakes …. Messrs Gore and Kerry were losers. Candidate Romney, barring a massive improvement in these final weeks, looks set to join them.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney is optimistic about optimism. In fact, it’s pretty much all he’s got. And that fact should make you very pessimistic about his chances of leading an economic recovery.

    As many people have noticed, Mr. Romney’s five-point “economic plan” is very nearly substance-free. It vaguely suggests that he will pursue the same goals Republicans always pursue — weaker environmental protection, lower taxes on the wealthy. But it offers neither specifics nor any indication why returning to George W. Bush’s policies would cure a slump that began on Mr. Bush’s watch.

    In his Boca Raton meeting with donors, however, Mr. Romney revealed his real plan, which is to rely on magic. “My own view is,” he declared, “if we win on November 6, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back, and we’ll see — without actually doing anything — we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.”

    Are you feeling reassured?

  32. rikyrah says:

    Washington Post: …. The notion that Obama has skipped his intelligence briefings was promoted by a right-leaning research group called the Government Accountability Institute….

    ….. Ultimately, what matters is what a president does with the information he receives from the CIA. Republican critics may find fault with Obama’s handling of foreign policy. But this attack ad turns a question of process — how does the president handle his intelligence brief? —into a misguided attack because Obama has chosen to receive his information in a different manner than his predecessor.

    As it turns out, no president does it the exact same way. Under the standards of this ad, Republican icon Ronald Reagan skipped his intelligence briefings 99 percent of the time.

  33. rikyrah says:

    NYT: Mitt Romney has just come off a couple of rough news weeks in his quest for the presidency, but if Clyde Tennyson, 62, of Hampton, Va., is as typical of the baby boom generation as polling data seem to suggest, there is more bad news to come.

    Mr. Tennyson voted for Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election….. This time, he says he’s voting for President Obama, a shift that a sizable number of his fellow boomers are making, according to recent polling data.

    …. What is moving the baby boom voters? It may be Medicare … Lark McDonald, 51, who owns a small business in the Denver area, says he voted for Mr. McCain last time, and usually votes a straight Republican ticket, but is leaning toward Mr. Obama. He worries that the Republicans are moving too far right, he said, but he is also concerned they will dismantle the Obama health care program and make major changes in Medicare…..

    …. In the last election, Howard Litvack, 53, a finance manager of a car dealership in Franklin, Tenn., backed Ralph Nader, as a protest vote. This time, he says, he’s voting for Mr. Obama. “It’s more important this time to have my vote count,” he said. “There’s more at stake.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    Kristol rejects Romney’s entire campaign rationale
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol has few rivals in Republican media when it comes to influence and access, so when he strays far from the party line, it’s hard not to notice. And when he gives up entirely on his candidate’s central rationale, it’s evidence of a larger issue.

    In recent weeks, Kristol has been critical of Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” video, among other things, but on Fox News yesterday, the Republican media figure went considerably further.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Kristol argued, “I’ve thought this for months. If this election’s just about the last four years, that’s a muddy verdict. Bush was president during the financial meltdown. The Obama team has turned that around pretty well. The Clinton speech at the convention was very important in that way. How horrible was it four years ago? [Romney’s] got to make it a referendum on the choice about the next four years.”

    In fairness, it’s worth emphasizing that Kristol went on to criticize the White House over foreign policy and national security, and urged the Republican ticket to focus on these issues. That said, this doesn’t take away from the remarkable and unexpected argument the Weekly Standard editor presented, on Fox News no less.

    In effect, the Romney/Ryan message is: “Obama tried to improve the economy but failed.” And Kristol’s argument boils down to: “Actually, Obama succeeded, so look forward not back.”

    Six weeks before Election Day, one of the nation’s most influential Republican voices went on the Republicans’ favorite network and said the driving rationale behind the Republican presidential campaign is wrong. Romney has spent a year telling anyone who would listen that 2012 is a referendum on Obama’s performance over the last four years, and Bill Kristol is now arguing the exact opposite.


    Consider that quote again: “Bush was president during the financial meltdown. The Obama team has turned that around pretty well.” If I were to tell you, without any additional information, that this quote was repeated on one of the Sunday shows, would you think it came from an Obama surrogate or a Romney ally?

  35. rikyrah says:



    Iowa Politics

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    Romney tells Iowa voters he’ll ‘just have to come down hard’ on Obama in debates

    8:48 PM, Sep 23, 2012

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Iowans in a telephone conference call tonight that he’ll have to “come down hard” on President Obama in the upcoming debates about claims in campaign advertising.

    Romney’s campaign conducted the call-in “town hall,” which lasted just over 20 minutes. I listened to it because I received an automated call to my home phone, inviting me to join. Romney fielded questions about tax policy, Medicare and foreign policy. One questioner, who gave his name as “Stan from Sioux City,” complained about negative ads he’s seen.

    “One that particularly bothers me concerning you is, the opposition keeps saying you’re going to provide tax cuts for the millionaires but you’re going to cut off the Medicare and insurance costs and so forth for seniors to the point that it’s going to cost us a lot of money,” Stan said. “How can they run ads like that and what’s your response?”

    Romney thanked Stan for bringing the ads to his attention, as if he hadn’t heard about them.

    “So I appreciate, Stan, your making me aware of those ads. I know our team, our campaign team sees what he has out there but we may need to go out there and refute what he is saying,” Romney said, referring to President Obama.

    “Of course, I get the chance in the debate to do that as well. He’ll probably reiterate some of those arguments and those statements and I’ll just have to come down hard and say, ‘Mr. President, you know that’s not true.’ And you hope to see something better than that from the person who’s serving as president of the United States,…” Romney said.

  36. rikyrah says:

    found this at TOD:

    Soca Sweet
    September 24, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Paul Abrams of HuffPost is asking everyone to write to to enquire whether Romney got amnesty. He believes that if the campaign gets many letters they will be forced to answer the question. If he says no, then he can be asked to allow the IRS Commissioner to verify that this is true.

    • edward lazarus says:

      Asking this charlatan if he has ever received amnesty regarding payment, or non-payment of taxes can only be answered by either a “yes” or a “no”. So incredibly simple, yet a cowardly liar like Romney could spend a full hour with an explanation and you still would not have an answer.
      Perhaps the question should be asked of the inimitable little freak who is, for some strange reason, the Chairman of the Republican Nat’l. Committee, the guy with “specifics coming out of his eyeballs”, Mr. Rinsed Penis!
      Or ask that genius Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesliar for Mr. “Immagoddamnliartoo” Romney, who recently said…..even as Americans were dying in the Libyan Embassy attack….he referred to those dying Americans as “distractions,” and “shiny objects!”
      No one in this lineup of moronically mendacious malignant trash will offer a straight answer or anything that vaguely resembles truth.

  37. rikyrah says:


    @MittRomney’s healthcare plan for roughly 50M Americans without health insurance? Go to the ER you 47% moochers.

  38. rikyrah says:

    here’s voter fraud in action.

    • Ametia says:

      The GOP can’t win with the batshit craziness of their party, and this includes Mittens. so the goal is to cheat, steal, purge, suppress voters. NOT.GONNA.HAPPEN.

  39. rikyrah says:

    great comment over at TOD:

    September 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    My favorite zinger to Kroft by PBO on that nonsense foreign policy question (paraphrasing): I said we’d end the war in Iraq, we did. I said we’d go after AQ, OBL is gone. If Gov Romney is suggesting that we start another war, then he should say so.


    • edward lazarus says:

      I find it both fascinating and frustrating that, amid all the clamor about “voter fraud,” that is spinning around the new REPUBLICAN introduced laws to deliberately suppress the Democratic vote that a HUGE case of voter fraud has arisen…..but gets almost no media recognition.
      Four aides to REPUBLICAN CONGRESS-RAT Thaddeus McCotter….also REPUBLICANS….have been indicted for VOTER FRAUD!
      You may recall, McCotter, an idiot of epic proportions, recently pretended to run for president on the REPUBLICAN ticket.

  40. rikyrah says:

    another gem from Camille:


    So Mitt Romney had a fundraiser in La Jolla California yesterday at which he reiterated Ann’s sentiment that it is *their turn*. Yes, Mitt Romney opened his mouth and said that the presidency is owed them because according to him “it is our turn”.
    And here we all thought that that was solely an Ann Romney original but come to find out that alas it is a family mantra. And they will all partake in the heartache of total loss too.

    The donors at the fundraiser included Jenny Craig (the founder of the crappy weight loss program) who is a rabid rightwinger (who knew?!) and the music writer/producer David Foster – the Canadian who has made money exploiting but pretending he liked black people including Oprah. Turns out he only likes black folks only as long as they directly benefit him and as long as they aren’t the super smart, infinitely brilliant, dignified, evolved, solid black guy who dared to ascend to the Presidency of the United States. (Crazycannuck, please have the mounties retrieve him asap!)

    Then now we are told that desperate Romney is calling in reinforcement from everywhere including tripling his pay day advance request from Satan.

    Ralph the fucking crook fake christian Reed we are told is willing (for 12 million dollars) to rally the evangelical vote on Romney’s behalf. And they insist he’s “really good at it”, even though we know that the racist piece of shit ain’t shit.

    And his so-called “evangelical” demographic are one and the same as the racist vote which Mitt already has locked up — and is way behind still.

    But Ralph Reed the crook tells Romney and friends that he’s got a $12 million dollar action plan to get out all the racists to vote and they are buying it.

    A fool and their money are soon parted – and Ralph the pig smiles all the way to the bank to stash away his loot.

    The joke is on all of them.

    And we Obamabots meanwhile keep moving forward. Never letting up and never ceding an inch or a vote!

  41. rikyrah says:

    Camille wrote a whole lotta truths in the comments last night at POU:


    President Obama was simply magnificent as usual! He was calm, genuine, brilliant, insight and almost mocking in the most respectful and sweetest nerdy way that only he could be without saying “Steve Croft, I see you from way out here; but you’ve got to wake up 2 months before to be even 20 steps behind me”.

    I am so in awe of this great man and his wife!

    That Ann Romney will fall to pieces at a simple hello – even after having been plotting alongside her husband Mitt for how to takeover the U.S presidency, is so telling. They can’t cut it!

    For over 4 years, Barack and Michelle Obama have been mercilessly attacked and demeaned without cause including by a complicit media – and yet the Obamas stay calm, focused, gracious, unshaken, smiling and still moving. They even take it a step further when asked about the attacks – they smile and extol the goodness of Americans. Yes even the fucking racists and those who will do them harm!

    It takes a whole lot of character and intrinsic decency and grace to still see good in those who have shown you nothing but hate.

    For the same reason Clint Eastwood will always be a bitter, petty, small racist motherfucker to President Obama’s greatness, big heart, dignity and decency.

  42. rikyrah says:


    I wish you could find the video of Willard saying that we have UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE…


  43. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Ametia, SG2

  44. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Eveeryone! :-)

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