Monday Open Thread

Political Intelligence

President Obama’s reelection campaign is reloading what it considers a powerful weapon against Republican challenger Mitt Romney: the disgruntled voice of someone who worked with Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Eleven Massachusetts Democrats who overlapped with Romney between 2003 and 2007 will visit nine swing states this week in a foray timed to the first presidential debate on Wednesday in Denver. Since June, the Obama campaign has deployed more than two dozen current and former elected officials from Massachusetts to 11 states, where they have hosted more than 100 events.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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58 Responses to Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:


  2. Ametia says:

    Ok; I’ve finally checked out today’s thread NEW video. HELLOOOOOOO!

    Great job, SG2. You rocked another great presentation and I love the music. Thanks!

  3. Ametia says:

    LOL Lawrence O is going ALL IN on Lil Eddie & nem on their tax blankout

  4. rikyrah says:

    Kris Broughton ‏@BrownManATL
    Right about now, @ScottBrown looks like Richard Gere in American Gigolo when he finally faces the fact that he is just a prostitute.

  5. Ametia says:

    Manufacturing in U.S. Expands Unexpectedly as Orders Rise
    By Michelle Jamrisko – Oct 1, 2012 12:24 PM CT

    Manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in September after three months of contraction, reflecting stronger orders that ease concern the U.S. economy will slow further.
    The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 51.5 last month from 49.6 in August, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Readings above 50 show expansion, and the September measure exceeded the most optimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

    Stocks extended gains after the figures showed American factories are holding up in contrast to their counterparts in Europe and Asia. Sustained strength in motor vehicle sales and a rebound in demand for home construction materials are helping cushion manufacturers from weaker exports and cutbacks in business investment.

    “Housing is definitely supporting,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. “The economy still seems to be expanding, even if modestly, and that should keep overall manufacturing growing.” Still, “it’s hard to see things materially accelerating from here.”

    The median forecast in the Bloomberg survey was 49.7, and estimates from the 76 economists surveyed ranged from 48 to 51.2. A reading above 42.6 generally indicates an expansion in the overall economy, the ISM said. The gauge averaged 55.2 in 2011 and 57.3 a year earlier.

  6. Ametia says:

    The Blowout Scenario Following a Possible Obama Landslide
    by Michael Tomasky Oct 1, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    Heading into the debates, an Obama victory on Election Day is looking likely. But what if he doesn’t just win, but wins huge? Michael Tomasky on the consequences of a landslide

    Personally, I still think it will be fairly close. And—warning; “to be sure” sentence coming!—to be sure, Mitt Romney could still win. But let’s have some fun. Let’s spend one column imagining that this thing is a blowout. A massacree, as Arlo Guthrie put it; an Agincourt, a replay of those boring ’80s Super Bowls, a Jordin Sparks versus Sanjaya Mulakar kind of situation. What would happen? After we finish laughing malevolently and gloating sometime in December, would it change things in the actual world? You bet it would. I can see four changes, and they’d all be pretty great.

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Truth About the Poll-Skewing Theory

    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 11:36:35 AM EST

    I hope all of you understand why the Republicans suddenly came up with a pseudoscientific theory that all the public polling firms are skewed toward Obama and that Romney is going to win convincingly. They didn’t launch this theory during the summer. They launched it about a week before the first voters started going to the polls in places like Iowa. They launched it just before most states cut off new voter registrations.
    Here’s the deal. Nate Silver, the country’s preeminent statistical interpreter of polls, says that Mitt Romney would have a 1.9% chance of winning if the election were held today. In truth, a small part of the election is being held today. Voters are already voting. If the people on the right began to absorb the hopelessness of Romney’s cause, they would have no motivation to register to vote. They would have no motivation to register other people to vote. It’s just a psychological fact that people are less likely to go vote for a sure loser. People will begin to digest the fact that Obama is getting a second term, and their activism and enthusiasm will wither on the vine.

    It’s also a psychological fact that people are way more motivated to vote for president than they are for Senate and House races. When people find better things to do on election day than vote for Mitt Romney, they also fail to vote for all the other Republicans on the ballot.

    Both sides know this. It’s why the Democrats are throwing these polling numbers so aggressively in the Republicans’ faces. We’re trying to demoralize them. And the reason the right is feeding their base these lies about the polls is because they are trying to prevent their base from being demoralized. But this isn’t an example of “both sides do it.” The Democrats are telling the truth. The president has an eleven-point lead in the swing states, and has reached an untouchable 52% in those contests. Mitt Romney is getting his ass kicked. This isn’t hype or hyperbole. The Republicans, however, are just lying to their base.

    Lying to their base has become an essential tool in their voter turnout strategy. Unlike in the debates, where the game is to lower expectations for your candidate so that they can exceed them, the goal with the polls is to increase expectations so that field workers will keep their morale up and apathy and resignation won’t set in.

    The poll skewing theory really isn’t even about the presidential race, which is, barring a miracle, already lost. It’s about preventing Romney’s campaign from collapsing so badly that he has severely negative coattails in House and Senate races.

    If the truth gets out, that’s exactly what will happen. Therefore, it’s time to wage another all-out war against the truth.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Romney Losing Donors to GOP House, Senate Candidates

    By Charlie Gasparino

    Charlie Breaks It

    Published October 01, 2012

    The Romney campaign is experiencing what some officials believe could be the beginning of a mass exodus of big money donors diverting their cash away from the Republican presidential hopeful and toward Republican candidates for the House and Senate races more likely to win in November, the FOX Business Network has learned.

    The trend isn’t at the acute stage, at least not yet, said one person with direct knowledge of the matter. This person, a major player in Romney’s New York fundraising circles, confirmed to FOX Business that a few New York donors have backed away from financial commitments to the Romney campaign and instead said they will spend their money to help the Republicans hold on to the House of Representatives, and pick up seats in the Senate.

    But another person with direct knowledge of the matter says the trend, though nascent, is more geographically broad based, and reflects an increasing degree of anxiety both with what they believe is the tentative nature of the Romney campaign, and recent poll numbers that show President Obama with a lead, particularly in key battleground states, that some Republican contributors are starting to believe is insurmountable.

    “This isn’t just a New York trend,” this person said. “It’s beginning to occur all over the place.”

    A Romney campaign spokeswoman didn’t return calls for comment.

    Some of Romney’s New York donors, particularly from the financial industry, have been openly critical of the campaign’s approach, arguing that Romney should be spending more time forcefully attacking President Obama on the economy and his foreign policy, according to people with knowledge of the matter. They’ve also accused the campaign of muzzling his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan on the campaign trail, something Ryan has personally denied when asked.

    Read more:

  9. rikyrah says:

    Why Obama Is Leading in Swing States
    By Ronald Brownstein

    Updated: October 1, 2012 | 2:20 p.m.
    October 1, 2012 | 1:03 p.m.

    Across most of the presidential battleground states, particularly in the Midwest, President Obama’s lead rests on a surprisingly strong performance among blue-collar white women who usually tilt toward the GOP.

    A National Journal analysis of recent polling results across 11 states considered battlegrounds shows that in most of them, Obama is running considerably better than he is nationally among white women without a college education. Obama’s gains with these so-called “waitress moms” are especially pronounced in heartland battlegrounds like Iowa

    Combined with his continued support among other elements of his “coalition of the ascendant,” including young people, minorities, and college-educated women, these advances among blue-collar women have been enough to propel Obama to the lead over Republican Mitt Romney in the most recent public surveys in all 11 states (albeit in some cases within the polls’ margins of error).

    Democrats say blue-collar women have been the principal, and most receptive, target for their extended ad barrage portraying Romney as a plutocrat who is blind, if not indifferent, to the struggles of average families.

    “Advertising matters, and a lot of the advertising is aimed at that group,” said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, who is advising the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA. “That’s certainly been our No. 1 priority.”

    Garin earlier this year described the movement of blue-collar women in battleground states toward Obama as “the demographic development of the summer” and the Obama campaign has tracked the same shift. A Republican strategist familiar with the Romney campaign’s thinking agreed that Obama’s improving position among these economically strained, often culturally conservative women has keyed his rise in most battleground states. “The sheer weight of their advertising, and the shows they targeted that advertising on, it is [aimed at] lower-income, white, working women,” the GOP strategist said. “They are being pounded with this stuff.”

  10. Ametia says:

    Starting tomorrow, voters in Ohio can begin early voting.

    The First Lady will be in the Buckeye State encouraging Ohioans to get to the polls:

  11. Ametia says:

    There are thousands of debate watch parties happening across the country on Wednesday evening—find one near you:

  12. Ametia says:

    Job loss, bankruptcies, and outsourcing—here’s ten things you need to know about Romney’s business record:

    Fewer jobs and more debt—here’s ten things you need to know about Romney’s Massachusetts record:

  13. Ametia says:

    Suzy Khimm on why Ryan’s message to voters regarding Romney’s “mathematically impossible” seems to be nothing more than, “Trust us—the math adds up.”

  14. Ametia says:

    Madeleine Albright: Mitt Romney Is ‘So Two-Dimensional,’ Has ‘Nothing Going On’
    Source: HuffPo

    Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Sunday, calling him “two-dimensional.”

    “He is so two-dimensional. I mean, up close and personal, there’s just nothing going on,” Albright told the crowd at a Women for Obama rally in Columbus, Ohio, according to NBC News.

    Albright went on to say “it’s unclear” what Romney “really believes in,” and noted she was not impressed with his remarks during the recent Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Republicans are ‘Unskewing’ Reality to Match Their Self-Deception

    Posted on 10/01/2012 at 7:12 am by Bob Cesca

    My Monday column unskews the Unskewed Polls website and how Republicans are desperate for polls that match their fictitious view of the president.

    Last week, when the conservative British commentator Stuart Varney said on Fox News Channel that every poll, including the Fox News poll presumably, doesn’t “feel right” and dismissed the “mathematical gobbledegook” used to ascertain the respective results, it all made sense to me.

    Conservatives are liars. To themselves more than anyone else.

    The conservative self-deception has fooled many of them into believing the president is less popular than he is, that Mitt Romney is more electable than he is, and that the economy is worse than it really is. Rewind through the last four years and recall the syllabus of non-reality-based attacks on the president. He’ll destroy the nation. He’s a secret Muslim. He’s lazy and shiftless. He’s a socialist. He’s a Nazi. He’s somehow a Nazi-communist-socialist. He’s the only politician who uses Teleprompters. He’s solely responsible for the national debt, which somehow didn’t exist prior to January 20, 2009. He’s pushed “failed economic policies” “down the throats” of the American people. He’s responsible for the biggest tax increase in the universe. He gutted welfare reform. He stole from Medicare. He’s an unpopular, idiot “man-child” lightweight failure who’s apologizing for America and bribing poor black people with free Obama Phones.

    None of that is true, except to conservatives who, above race and every other nearsighted justification for their anti-Obama apoplexy, are simply terrified that center-left policies might actually work.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Re-Electing A Black President

    Touré believes Obama’s re-election would do more for racial integration than his election did:

    In 2008, Obama had to overcome racial bias that a recent study by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in economics, suggests may have cost him as many as 3 to 5 percentage points in the election. Obama had to be extraordinary, which reminds me of something my mother told me when I was a boy: that being black meant I had to be twice as good to get ahead. Obama more than just good; in many ways, he was the embodiment of that staple of film and literature, the magical Negro

    Which was and is a problem. My view is that many people, especially liberals, under-rated the willingness of Americans to elect a black president. I didn’t. But my mistake was in under-rating the willingness of some Americans to be governed by the first black president. Feeling good about yourself for not being racist in a symbolic act is a different thing than accepting the legitimacy of a black president in making decisions that affect your life. And that’s why I agree with Touré that the re-election is actually a far more significant thing than the original moment. 2012 is more transformative than 2008. Here’s why:

    [That Obama now seems favored to win] suggest something very interesting about this country in terms of racial progress. [It shows] American voters embracing a non-magical black man. The magical Negro concept arose from a need to rectify supposed black inferiority with the undeniability of black wisdom by suggesting that wisdom is so alien that its origins cannot be explained by normal scientific methods.

    While some may think it complimentary to be considered “magical,” it is infantilizing and offensive because it suggests black excellence is so shocking it can only come from a source that is supernatural. To accept a black leader who is extraordinary yet so human that he cannot be magical is an entirely different prospect than electing a black superhero. Anyone would vote for a superhero who lived up to my mom’s standard of having to be twice as good. But for it to embrace a nonmagical black person who cannot promise anything but hope, intelligence, sweat and experience, now that comes closer to equality. Equality is freedom from having to be twice as good to get ahead.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 10/01/2012
    Mitt Romney’s weakness on foreign policy
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney has published an Op ed in the Wall Street Journal that lays out his critique of Obama on foreign policy. Romney accuses Obama of an international approach that “lacks resolve,” says Obama is pursuing “devastating” defense cuts, says he has not projected enough strength towards Iran and claims he has let down Israel as an ally.

    Ed Kilgore marvels at Romney’s odd decision to “make foreign policy a major focus of his campaign at this sensitive moment of the presidential contest.” Indeed, though the events in Libya and Egypt certainly raise legitimate questions about Obama’s overall approach to the region, and about why the White House initially mischaracterized them, it’s worth appreciating the degree to which Romney comes to the foreign policy debate from a position of real political weakness.

    The new Post poll finds:

    * Obama holds a 14 point edge over Romney on who is more trusted to handle terrorism, 53-39. Among independents it’s 51-43; among moderates it’s 62-32.

    * Obama holds a 10 point edge on which candidate would do a better job handling an unexpected major crisis, 52-42. Among independents, that’s 51-43; among moderates it’s 60-33.

    * Obama holds a five point edge on who is trusted to handle international affairs, 49-44. However, this represents some slippage, and Romney leads among independents by this metric, 48-43. But Obama is still ahead overall.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Trust to do a better job handling terrorism: Obama 53% / Romney 39% (ABC/Washington Post Poll, 9/26-29)

    • Ametia says:

      And thus the war cries from teh neocons on Lybia and such.

      On Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM, 3CHICSPOLITICO wrote:

      > ** > rikyrah commented: “@pollreport: Trust to do a better job handling > terrorism: Obama 53% / Romney 39% (ABC/Washington Post Poll, 9/26-29) >” >

  19. rikyrah says:

    About that Lyme Disease mailing…
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Oct 1, 2012 11:15 AM EDT.

    Last week, a lot of political observers were scratching their heads after reports that the Romney campaign is sending direct mail to Virginia voters on, of all things, Lyme Disease. It looked like evidence of campaign micro-targeting reaching new levels of sophistication.

    At first blush, the mailing doesn’t even make any sense. Romney/Ryan promises to combat Lyme Disease though “improved synergy”? What does that even mean? And what happens to those who contract the illness, but lack basic coverage after Romney/Ryan destroys the Affordable Care Act?

    But it turns out, there’s more to it than that. Laura Helmuth explained over the weekend that there are niche conspiracy theorists on this issue in Virginia, and in classic dog-whistle fashion, Romney’s appealing to them by speaking their language.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Eric Holder And His Bitchin’ ‘Fro Were Once An Angry Black Man

    By: TBogg Monday October 1, 2012 1:08 am

    Another hot scoop from Tucker Carlson’s White Citizens Council Newsletter & Pennysaver!

    It seems that bland inoffensive corporate lawyer Eric Holder was once an obstreperous and, dare I say it: a uppity young buck who once tried to mau-mau Columbia University into creating a place for black students to meet and plot how they would intimidate white people attempting to vote in future 2008 America. As part of their master plan for the Negrofication of America, these black students would make white America guilt-elect a secret Kenyan Muslim as President who would then appoint Holder as the new Attorney General, giving him the power to just blow the whole intimidation thing off. Also, back at Columbia? Holder maybe had guns or was armed with a spear or something. I think nunchucks were kind of popular around then. Yes. Yes they were. We’ll say that Holder had nunchucks; he was ‘nunchuked up’ as was the custom of the time.

    As a freshman at Columbia University in 1970, future Attorney General Eric Holder participated in a five-day occupation of an abandoned Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) headquarters with a group of black students later described by the university’s Black Students’ Organization as “armed,” The Daily Caller has learned.

    Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has not responded to questions from The Daily Caller about whether Holder himself was armed — and if so, with what sort of weapon.

    You are being vetted Barack Obama Eric Holder!

    The details of the student-led occupation, including the claim that the raiders were “armed,” come from a deleted Web page of the Black Students’ Organization (BSO) at Columbia, a successor group to the SAAS. Contemporary newspaper accounts in The Columbia Daily Spectator, a student newspaper, did not mention weapons.

    Holder, now the United States’ highest-ranking law enforcement official, has given conflicting accounts of this episode during college commencement addresses at Columbia, but both the BSO’s website and the Daily Spectator have published facts that conflict with his version of events.

    Apparently, in a speech, Holder once said he participated in the ROTC occupation when he was a senior BUT IT REALLY HAPPENED WHEN HE WAS A FRESHMAN which can only mean that Holder is LYING ABOUT EVERYTHING and has actually been packing heat since 1970 and up until recently when he disarmed himself and gave all of his guns for free to the Mexicans because Eric Holder is a complicated man and no one understands him but his woman.

    Can you dig it?

    Anyway nobody was ever prosecuted for taking over the ROTC building probably because nobody was really actually armed and, besides, it was the 70′s and everyone was stoned all of the time on the marijuana cigarettes and Annie Green Springs Peach Crisp wine and we spent all of our time watching The Flip Wilson Show on TV and laughing at stuff that wasn’t really funny.

  21. Ametia says:

    What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days?
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 9:13AM

    Welcome back to our weekly survey of the state of Our National Dialogue, which is what Mendelsohn would have come up with if he’d written Concerto for Piano and Bolt Cutter.
    Before we begin the general survey, we should congratulate Dancin’ Master Dave Gregory for his ability to frame almost the perfect Russert-esque bogus gotcha session to White House advisor David Plouffe on Sunday’s Meet the Press. There was the phony above-it-all god’s eye view — apparently, it is inaccurate to say the president is on call “24/7” if the president happens to be appearing on The View — and then there mention of the “call” to fire U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice without mentioning that “the call” is coming from crackpot New York congressman and former terrorist sympathizer Peter King, and finally, there is the barbered quote serving as the big reveal….

    Read more:

  22. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama “Injects Race Into Politics,” Fox News Says

    By News Hounds, Sat, September 29, 2012

    Never mind all the race baiting of the Obama’s that goes on at Fox News. When Michelle Obama brings up the fact that slaves helped build the White House that she now calls home, Fox News calls the O’Reilly Factor segment discussing those comments, “Michelle Obama injects race into politics.” Even though nobody in the discussion felt that she said anything inappropriate or untoward.

    Michelle Obama made those comments at the Congressional Black Caucus. On the September 25 O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly noted that the point of Obama’s remarks was that all African Americans “should be proud of their country because a black man has been elected president.” But, O’Reilly added, “Some object to using slavery to make political points.”

    Yeah, and some object to seeing a young woman like Sandra Fluke constantly demonized on Fox News simply because they disagree with her political beliefs – but that doesn’t seem to concern the FNC producers one little itsy bitsy.

    If anybody would bite at this story, it would be Monica Crowley, Fox’s chief conspiracy theorist. But even she gave Michelle Obama a pass.

    So what was the point of discussing her remarks in this context if not to raise the question, not just about her integrity but to suggest that she’s a race hustler?

  23. Crowd estimate at Obama rally in Vegas is 11,200

  24. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan’s too busy for details
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Oct 1, 2012 9:50 AM EDT.

    When Paul Ryan was added to Mitt Romney’s ticket in August, many assumed the campaign would get an immediate infusion of wonky substance. After all, we were told, the right-wing House Budget Committee chairman has a unique expertise in policy minutiae. Finally, the Romney campaign would start filling in the details of its vague agenda.

    Seven weeks later, how’s that working out?

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Ryan sat down with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, and the host asked about the cost of the proposed Romney-Ryan tax cuts. Ryan denied independent estimates of a $5 trillion price tag, but refused to answer several questions about his own estimate.

    Eventually, Wallace grudgingly conceded, “I have to point out, you haven’t given me the math.” Ryan responded, “No, but you, well, I don’t have the time, it would take me too long to go through all the math.”

    I see. So, Ryan wants you to believe a Romney-Ryan administration can slash tax rates, increase defense spending, increase entitlement spending, and reduce the deficit — all at the same time — and it’ll all be paid for in a revenue-neutral way

  25. rikyrah says:

    A visit to a local Republican Party Headquarters reveals some interesting twists

    By: Dennis SSeptember 30th, 2012

    I live in an Upstate South Carolina area that is so republican-bound that the party could run a Pomeranian and get it elected as long as he or she barked to the right. The Democrats, reluctant (well, terrified) to utter a peep of opposition in public and in most private places as well, still follow the lead of a one-time female congressperson whose idea of opposition is to treat Republicans like best buds and get herself elected to the presidency of the local Rotary Club.

    Ergo, a grand total of two brave Democratic souls (excluding a couple of incumbents) have offered themselves up for office for the next general election, November 6th. One is a clone of the lady I just mentioned though presumably lacking the goal of being president of any service club that I know of and the other is an African-American graduate of Johns Hopkins, who, as you can imagine, already has two strikes against him in South Carolina. Both fine people. Both all but invisible. Both facing 70%-30% defeats in their respective races. 7 of 8 House Republicans are returning to the state capital with no Democratic opposition.

    So what’s a party of such dominance to do? Their candidates can turn into petrified wood when it comes to campaigning and still prevail by double digits. Why bother? I did wonder what the party was selling so I decided to take a ride to their headquarters located at the far end of a well-manicured little strip mall. I wandered the relatively small public space in search of candidate literature and anything else I could find reflecting the extreme states’-rights product being peddled to the locals.


    There was also an available copy of a 14-page newspaper, The Times Examiner, “Independent Conservative Voice of the Palmetto State.” It was dated June 6, 2012. It’s lead story featured the tired retread of all those Democratic commies in congress; the assertion of Florida Congressman Allen West. And, by God, West names those pinko bastards (and bitches). They’re all apparently members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; progressive being synonymous with communist as any wing-nut will tell you.
    How do we know these progressives are communists? West spells it out. How he found out, I’ll never know. A congressional communist can be readily recognized because – The CPC advocates “universal access to affordable health care, living wage laws, the rights for labor to organize labor unions and engage in collective bargaining, legalization of same-sex marriage, US participation in international treaties such as the climate change Kyoto Accords, strict finance reform laws, a crackdown on corporate welfare and influence – well, you get the idea. The article emphasizes that none of the CPC members come from South Carolina. Hey, I could have told you that! Page 2 lists the names and states of all the members.

  26. rikyrah says:

    September 30, 2012

    Obama’s Corleone strategy

    Ezra Klein, on “Why Obama abandoned audacity”:

    There’s a reason they’re playing down the audacity of their first term and deemphasizing the policies that they think would do the most to help in a second. The American people, their research shows, are tired of audacity and skeptical of big ideas. They’re willing to believe Obama has done about the best job he could have been expected to do given the collapse of the global economy and the intransigence of the Republicans. But if they’re going to believe that, they’re also not willing to believe that he’s got all the answers now, or that his next big idea is the one that will really turn all this around.

    One also nevers tampers with a lead. And one leaves emphatically untampered a lead against a self-contracting schmendrick like Romney, who always seems to find a way to further darken an already bleak situation.

    That’s the politically practical approach, which, as far as it goes–and which, during the final days of a winning presidential campaign, is as far as it should go–is good enough. Conceptually, though, it reveals how successful the congressional, tea party nihilists have been.

    As Klein notes, Obama’s latest battleground-states campaign ad says nothing about the American Jobs Act or “protecting the Affordable Care Act until it begins insuring people in 2014.” Why? We all know why. These two perfectly sensible, perfectly responsible, indeed perfectly essential government acts have been scandalized by right-wing extremists to the intimidated point of “the best is better left unsaid.” (Here, Romney well knows how Obama feels.) All talk of societal “progress”–except the kind that can be measured in job creation and GDP–has become politically unfashionable. And that’s an enormous electoral swing to crass materialistic conservatism.

    And that’s an Obama-worthy challenge of FDR-like audacity for a second term: to reinspire Americans to see beyond the kind of atomistic selfishness the right has glorified and to instead commit to a unified, national purpose. For now, though, Obama must be more Corleone-like: “I’m gonna wait, after the ‘Baptism’ … And then I meet the Don McConnell and the Eric Cantors, all the heads of the familial, far-right fanatics.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    October 01, 2012

    “Their Struggle”

    Have you seen this? “An Open Letter to the Biased News Media.” It’s one of those raunchy peep shows starring some of the right’s most flagrantly self-promoting flim-flammers–Media Reasearch Center’s Brent Bozell, FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, professional ranters Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, et al.–that you must see to believe. It’s that bad.

    It reads like Joseph Goebbels with a head injury–a drooling, dissociative screed whose only propagandistic benefit goes to those who’ve been publicly diagnosing the right’s marked uptick in some rather worrisome neuroses. It’s beyond peculiar. It’s even beyond frighteningly nuts. It is, as noted, exceptionally bad, but it’s also just plain funny.

    The NY Times’ David Carr does an efficient job of knifing Bozell Inc.’s claims of orchestrated media bias, yet it’s the open letter’s claims themselves that are so amusing; claims, for instance, that the mainstream media’s “deliberate and unmistakable leftist agenda” includes “Painting conservative ideas as extreme, while refusing to report the disastrous consequences of liberal programs enacted since 2008.”

    Which would be, maybe, Heritage Foundation’s ObamaCare, a.k.a. RomneyCare? Or perhaps the president’s numerous tax cuts? Or stimulus and infrastructure proposals that conservative Republicans routinely supported until Obama proposed them? Let’s accede to calling the auto bailout a “liberal program.” Was it really “disastrous”?

    Here’s my favorite: “Pouncing on real and perceived missteps by conservatives, portraying them as bumbling incompetents, while suppressing embarrassing and incendiary remarks made by Vice President Joe Biden to prevent him from becoming a liability.” Yes, you know, like the media suppressed Biden’s “chains” remarks. In the diabolically cleverest of ways. By airing and reprinting them over and over and over and over.

  28. rikyrah says:

    October 01, 2012 9:22 AMNo Daylight

    By Ed Kilgore


    Since Mitt Romney has decided, for reasons that are a bit obscure, to make foreign policy a major focus of his campaign at this sensitive moment of the presidential contest, it’s time once again to note a rather jarring contradiction nestled in the center of his and his party’s policies and rhetoric. It’s nicely presented once again in a Wall Street Journal op-ed signed by the Republican nominee himself.

    It begins with the usual “American exceptionalism” rap: the world is safe if the United States not only walks tall, but walks alone in its status as the source of all virtue and power:

    Since World War II, America has been the leader of the Free World. We’re unique in having earned that role not through conquest but through promoting human rights, free markets and the rule of law. We ally ourselves with like-minded countries, expand prosperity through trade and keep the peace by maintaining a military second to none.

    But Obama doesn’t get it, and isn’t maintaining our towering-colossus position:

    President Obama has allowed our leadership to atrophy. Our economy is stuck in a “recovery” that barely deserves the name. Our national debt has risen to record levels. Our military, tested by a decade of war, is facing devastating cuts thanks to the budgetary games played by the White House. Finally, our values have been misapplied—and misunderstood—by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries.

    But what is the supreme example of Obama’s “weakness” and refusal to keep the United States the world’s sole supremely sovereign super-power? Refusing to outsource our Middle Eastern policy to Bibi Netanyahu:

    The president began his term with the explicit policy of creating “daylight” between our two countries. He recently downgraded Israel from being our “closest ally” in the Middle East to being only “one of our closest allies.” It’s a diplomatic message that will be received clearly by Israel and its adversaries alike. He dismissed Israel’s concerns about Iran as mere “noise” that he prefers to “block out.” And at a time when Israel needs America to stand with it, he declined to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    In this period of uncertainty, we need to apply a coherent strategy of supporting our partners in the Middle East—that is, both governments and individuals who share our values.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Jim Crow Marches North

    by BooMan
    Mon Oct 1st, 2012 at 08:58:51 AM EST

    It sounds like the judge dealing with the Pennsylvania Jim Crow law is going to do something stupid. Rather than place a broad injunction against enforcement of the law, he’s going to basically render it toothless. Under the law, if you cannot produce a valid state-approved photo identification, you can still cast a provisional ballot. Then you have six days to produce a valid photo ID. If you don’t, your provisional ballot will be tossed. It sounds like the judge realizes that the six-day window will wrongfully disenfranchise tens of thousands of (mostly) Democrats, so he’s probably going to say that provisional ballots should be counted.
    This is stupid. It will dissuade people from voting, it will cause confusion, and it will skew the election night results in an extreme Republican direction. There is no reason to make people cast provisional ballots if their votes are automatically going to be counted. A ruling like this is still an attempt to sway the result of the election, including the perception of who won on election night.

    Yet, it might be good enough to pass muster with the state’s Supreme Court.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 08:47 AM ET, 10/01/2012
    The Morning Plum: Mitt Romney’s challenge at the debate
    By Greg Sargent
    Matthew Dowd wrote the other day that Mitt Romney’s main challenge in this week’s debate is to establish the three Cs: Competence, compassion, and connection. Romney needs to reverse public perceptions of himself as completely disconnected from, and even disdainful towards, the economic experiences of working and middle class Americans — an image he played to perfection on the videotape capturing his remarks about the freeloading 47 percent.

    But this isn’t just about Romney’s personal image as an arrogant plutocrat. It’s also about what people believe about Romney’s policy proposals and the views and priorities that drive them. The 47 percent tape is devastating because it reinforces people’s beliefs about whose interests a Romney presidency would really protect.

    If Romney is going to change those perceptions during the debates, the new Post/ABC News poll suggests he faces some serious challenges.

    Obama still holds an overwhelming advantage on who understands people’s economic problems, 52-39. Sixty-six percent say Obama does more to favor the middle class than the wealthy, while 57 percent say Romney would do more to favor the rich. Only 35 percent say Romney would favor the middle class.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Inexplicably renewing the OBL debate
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Oct 1, 2012 9:15 AM EDT.

    Romney campaign chairman John Sununu talked to the New York Times’ Andrew Goldman, who asked whether Sununu felt there was too much “football spiking over Osama bin Laden” at the Democratic convention. The Republican replied:

    “The president is trying to take credit for following the strategy and the tactics put into place by George W. Bush. At some point the president is going to have to explain why he was timid on the first two or three opportunities that we had. Thank goodness Hillary Clinton was there was to convince him to do the right thing.

    Moments later, Sununu conceded, “I have no idea what happened in that White House,” after just having said he knew what happened in the White House.

    I continue to find this entire line of attack deeply strange. For one thing, Sununu is relying on an odd anti-Obama book that has struggled badly to stand up to scrutiny.

    For another, Obama wasn’t “timid on the first two or three opportunities.” On the contrary, it was Donald Rumsfeld who called off missions to get bin Laden he considered too risky.

    Perhaps most importantly, Obama wasn’t “following the strategy and the tactics put into place by George W. Bush,” he did the exact opposite. Whereas the Bush/Cheney administration made a conscious, deliberate decision to deemphasize capturing the al Qaeda leader, Obama chose to shift the emphasis back: “[F]rom early in his administration Obama was focused on killing Osama Bin Laden and that he was involved in the process throughout. In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to ‘provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice’ Osama Bin Laden. By August 2010 intelligence officials had identified the suspicious compound where Osama lived.”

  32. edward lazarus says:

    Just think about it, folks! With Romney as our president, and that bloody gang of neocons left over from the Bush debacle that have risen, like a layer of foul gas, around his amateurish campaign, we can wreak the same senseless destruction of Iran, Syria, and any others foolish enough to stand in the way.
    We can engage Hezbollah, and then who knows what comes next?
    If John Bolton, destined to become a mover and shaker in a Romney administration, sees something move suspiciously in Nebraska, we’ll soon be bombing our own breadbasket.
    The GOP thirsts for war. They see it as a way to hold onto power. Their expertise is, after all, spreading fear and anxiety. And they see war as a money maker. They have your young son/daughter or mine to fight for their causes. Because, sure as hell, a President Romney will NOT allow any of his sons near a battlefield. Now, their wives? That’s another story.
    The ONLY sensible choice is; OBAMA/BIDEN!

  33. rikyrah says:

    Chris Christie strays far from Romney script
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Oct 1, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    From time to time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has proven to be an unreliable surrogate for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Christie’s keynote address at the Republican National Convention, for example, largely ignored Romney’s entire candidacy. It doesn’t help that the Garden State governor is apparently planning his own presidential campaign for 2016.

    Team Romney, however, continues to dispatch Christie as a high-profile surrogate, including several Sunday-show appearances yesterday, where Christie seemed to ignore the Romney script entirely

    For example, in recent weeks, Romney and his aides have been trying to lower expectations surrounding the first presidential candidate debate. Christie, however, did the exact opposite, insisting Romney “shines” in debates, will do “extraordinarily well” this week, and by Thursday morning, “this whole race is going to be turned upside down.”

    The Romney camp has also argued that the polls released by major news organizations are skewed against Romney to benefit President Obama. Yesterday, Christie said the opposite, explaining, “[D]o I think there’s a concerted effort to skew the polls against Governor Romney? No.”

  34. rikyrah says:

    More about that GOP Voter Fraud:

    What the GOP Knew about Nathan Sproul

    In the developing Republican voter fraud scandal, one thing seemed surprising. After the fraud became apparent, the Republicans were quick to point out that they had been scammed by the company and take corrective action. That struck me as contrary to the Republican history of election theft, and I could not help but wonder just what the Republican Party knew about this company and its owner, Nathan Sproul.
    …Nathan Sproul, the infamous voter suppression operative from 2004, accused of running an operation in several states that destroyed voter registration forms signed by Democrats, had been secretly paid by Republicans this year on another multimillion-dollar contract for voter registration in swing states.

    Sproul—who managed an $8 million voter outreach program for Republicans in 2004—is accused of having his workers destroy voter registration forms turned in by Democrats in Nevada and Oregon that year. Similar tactics were reported in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and West Virginia. They’re also accused of other hijinx, from gathering signatures to place Ralph Nader on the ballot to deceiving people in voter registration drives at Walmart. CBS News has reported on faxes they received showing Sproul’s firm misrepresenting themselves as the left-leaning America Votes! group.

    He’s now in hot water because his firm was caught turning in faked voter registration forms in Palm Beach County and nine other counties in Florida.

    Within a day of The Nation’s reporting the story, officials with the national Republican Party cut ties with Sproul, whose firm has already received $3.1 million for work in Virginia, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Colorado. Although the payments were made by state party committees, its now clear that the Romney campaign and the national GOP coordinated the effort.

    But here’s confirmation of another wrinkle in the story—the Los Angeles Times reports that Republicans were so concerned with the many scandals surrounding Sproul and his previous work, they indeed asked him to set up a shell corporation to hide the payments. Here’s what Matea Gold and her colleagues reported today: “But his reputation is such that when Sproul was tapped by the RNC to do field work this year, officials requested that he set up a new firm to avoid being publicly linked to the past allegations.” The shell is called “Strategic Allied Consulting,” but Sproul’s real firm carries the name “Sproul and Associates” and “Lincoln Strategy Group.”… [emphasis added]

  35. rikyrah says:

    Ann Romney Delivers Mitt Romney His Very Own ‘Brainwashing’ Moment

    by Tommy Christopher | 3:36 pm, September 30th, 2012

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has refused to follow in father George Romney‘s footsteps when it comes to releasing his tax returns, but if the Beltway media are paying any attention, he may just have repeated his father’s campaign implosion. George Romney’s 1968 presidential campaign was fatally wounded when the elder Romney told an interviewer he’d been “brainwashed” into supporting the Vietnam War, while Mitt Romney suffered an attack on his own gray matter this week from an unlikely, but trusted, source: prospective First Lady Ann Romney.

    Then-Michigan Governor George Romney torpedoed his own candidacy for the Republican nomination for president when, in an interview with Detroit’s Lou Gordon, he offhandedly said he had “had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get” while on a 1965 trip to Vietnam, a reference to the sales job the generals and U.S. diplomats had done on him:

  36. rikyrah says:

    Todd Akin in a ditch, still digging
    by Steve Benen
    Mon Oct 1, 2012 8:35 AM EDT.

    Rep. Todd Akin, the right-wing U.S. Senate candidate in Missouri, made matters worse for himself last week when he complained about Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D) capacity to be “ladylike.” It led the usually understated Chris Cillizza to marvel at Akin’s “devastatingly bad candidacy.”

    It can, however, get worse.

    In this undated clip, we see Akin fielding a question from a voter who asked about the congressman’s vote against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. “Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?” the audience member asked.

    Ordinarily, the standard line from far-right officials is that women aren’t paid less than men, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Akin, however, seemed to suggest wage discrimination simply isn’t a problem for government to address.

    “I believe in free enterprise,” Akin said. “I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay. I think it’s about freedom. If someone wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that’s fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.”

  37. Ametia says:

    Elizabeth Warren holds slight lead over Scott Brown in Boston Globe poll
    Posted by Sean Sullivan on September 30, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren holds a slight lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in a new Boston Globe poll released Sunday, as nearly one-in-five voters remain up for grabs with about five weeks left until Election Day.

    Warren leads Brown 43 percent to 38 percent in the survey. Eighteen percent remain undecided about the two candidates, suggesting it’s still very much worth it for both to focus on the uncommitted portion of the electorate. The Globe’s May poll showed Brown up by two.

    Brown has adopted a more aggressive campaign posture in recent weeks. At his first debate with Warren earlier this month, he immediately went on offense against the Democrat over her claim to Native American heritage, and later launched television ads on the subject.

    Warren also has stepped up her offensive game. She recently launched her first TV ad that directly goes after Brown’s record and tied Brown to national Republicans at the debate. The same day Brown released his ad about Warren’s Native American advantage, Warren quickly released a rebuttal spot reiterating that she never sought nor received special treatment because of her heritage in her professional career.

    The Globe poll is the latest survey to show positive news for Warren. After a summer in which Brown appeared to seize much of the momentum, Warren has pulled ahead slightly in recent polling, owing to increased support from Democratic voters and supporters of President Obama. But the race remains close

  38. Ametia says:

    (Advantage to Obama) Republicans End Swing-State Voter Sign-Up After Firing Company

    Source: Bloomberg

    The Republican National Committee ended efforts to sign up new voters before the deadline in key states for the presidential race because of questions raised over registration applications tied to the party.

    Republican parties in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia — all states that both campaigns view as competitive — fired Glen Allen, Virginia-based Strategic Allied Consulting, the company in charge of registrations, said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. The national committee also canceled its contract with the company, its only vendor signing up new voters, Kukowski said.

    The five states have registration deadlines from Oct. 6 to Oct. 15. Stopping efforts before then could hurt Republican nominee Mitt Romney in his bid to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama, said Lance deHaven-Smith, a Florida State University political science professor in Tallahassee.

    “In any swing state that’s going to be significant because these elections are so close,” deHaven-Smith said. “This gives an advantage to Obama.”

    Read more:

  39. Ametia says:

    good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    today’s meme: Bill Clinton good; President Obama can’t work with Republicans like Bill!

    Let’s get out the vote, folks.

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