Friday Open Thread

Good Morning, Everyone. I hope you have a drama-free day.

“Sexual Healing”

Assigned to CBS’ Columbia subsidiary, Gaye worked on his first post-Motown album titled Midnight Love. The first single, “Sexual Healing”, was released in September 1982, and became a huge hit, reaching number-one on the R&B chart, where it stayed for ten weeks. The success later translated to the top ten on the pop chart in January 1983, while the record reached international success, reaching the top spot in New Zealand and Canada and reaching the top-10 in the United Kingdom, later selling over two million copies, becoming Gaye’s most successful single to date. The video for the song was shot at Ostend’s Casino-Kursaal.[75] “Sexual Healing” won Gaye his first two Grammy Awards including Best Male Vocal Performance, in February 1983, and also won Gaye an American Music Award in the soul/R&B category. It was called by People magazine “America’s hottest musical turn-on since Olivia Newton John demanded we get “Physical”.

In February 1983, Gaye performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the NBA All-Star Game, held at The Forum in Inglewood, California, accompanied by Gordon Banks who played the studio tape from stands.[77] .

Only performer that could make women want to throw their panties after hearing the Star Spangles Banner – LOL

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52 Responses to Friday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 10/12/2012
    The GOP’s neat trick on Obama ‘polarization’

    By Jamelle Bouie

    This isn’t a big surprise, but as the election moves closer, views of President Obama have become even more polarized. So far in October, according to Gallup, 90 percent of Democrats approve of Obama versus 8 percent of Republicans. This 82-point gap in partisan approval is the largest ever recorded by Gallup: at this point in 2004, 12 percent of Democrats approved of George W. Bush (an 80-point gap). In 1996, 23 percent of Republicans approved of Clinton, and in 1992, 11 percent of Democrats approved of George H.W. Bush.

    The intense polarization of the Obama era is one reason that Mitt Romney has been able to build traction with the claim that Obama has spurned bipartisanship and hasn’t worked with Republicans. He hit that mark when criticizing the Affordable Care Act in last week’s presidential debate:

    “So entirely on a partisan basis, instead of bringing America together and having a discussion on this important topic, you pushed through something that you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thought was the best answer and drove it through…

    “I think something this big, this important has to be done on a bipartisan basis. And we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties.”

    And Paul Ryan made a similar claim in last night’s vice presidential debate, accusing the administration of excluding Republicans from the decision making process:

    “Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, where 87 percent of the legislators he served, which were Democrats. He didn’t demonize them. He didn’t demagogue them. He met with those party leaders every week. He reached across the aisle. He didn’t compromise principles.”

    With few exceptions, this narrative has gone unchallenged for most of the year, despite the fact that it bears little relationship to reality. Close political observers know that congressional Republicans began the Obama presidency with a deliberate strategy of categorial opposition. As Robert Draper details in his recent book, GOP leaders had no intention of cooperating with the president on any of his major initatives. From inauguration onwards, their plan was to “Show united and unyielding opposition to the president’s economic policies.”

    As political strategy goes, this was incredibly smart. Voters don’t know much about legislation, and their views are shaped by the responses of political elites. Because the entire Republican Party denounced stimulus or health care reform as “radical” and “too partisan,” voters understood those laws as outside the mainstream, even as they agreed with the actual provisions. The Republican strategy of complete opposition is part of what made the Obama agenda — or large parts of it — unpopular.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Colorado online voter registration, up in smoke
    By Laura Conaway
    Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:47 PM EDT

    On Tuesday, the last day of voter registration in Colorado, the state elections website got four times its normal traffic, enough to swamp the servers and crash the page. Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler says the site got 162,713 visits that day, with 36,206 people either registering to vote or updating their registrations.

    What could have motivated so many Coloradans to become voters at the last minute? Gessler credits a campaign by the state to get more people to sign up. By why so many in the last few days, and especially on October 9? Consider this report, from the advocates of legalizing marijuana at NORML, dated October 9, the last day of registration:

    The University of Denver has just released a new poll of likely Colorado voters and the results are encouraging for marijuana law reform advocates. With just under a month until election day, Colorado’s Amendment 64, which aims to regulate marijuana like alcohol, is still enjoying a ten point lead in the polls.

    For the record, the new poll (pdf) shows Colorado’s current referendum to legalize pot is up 50 percent to 40 percent, with 10 percent undecided. It was released on Sunday, which is about when folks in Colorado say the system for online voter registration started going fritzy from heavy traffic.

    Any connection between the ballot issue for legalizing pot and the rush to register is, of course, purely speculative. Far more concrete is the news that Gessler expects results this week on his challenges to the registrations of 2,400 people. His last purge led to kicking 14 people off the rolls, after he challenged the voting rights of nearly 4,000 people.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Ohio counties challenge Husted over early voting
    By Laura Conaway
    Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:08 PM EDT

    Daran Carlin Weber of Mahoning County, Ohio, got the flyer above from the county Board of Elections in the mail yesterday. It tells Ohio voters that in-person, early voting goes through November 2, and that “Hours vary by county.” November 2 is the Friday before Election Day, or three days sooner than allowed by a federal court in a ruling last week.

    You can find the same information on the state elections site. Ohio’s top elections official, Secretary of State Jon Husted, is appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Lately a champion of uniformity, Husted previously allowed fewer days for voting in Democratic counties than in Republican ones. He then decided to impose a shortened window for early voting on all counties.

    With the court ruling that counties can offer voting on the last weekend — days that proved popular last time with African-American voters — some counties are again trying to offer them. The hitch is that the boards of elections include two Democrats and two Republicans. Especially in Democratic counties, Republicans have tended to vote against expanding voting, leaving the board deadlocked. Secretary of State Husted gets to break the tie.

    This time around, the challenge to Husted is playing out differently. Lucas County, which went for Barack Obama last time, deadlocked on early voting this week. Lefty Ohio blog Plunderbund reports that Licking County, which went for Obama, decided to allow more voting. One place that went for John McCain, Delaware County, is now deadlocked. Another McCain county, Butler, voted for more days in a meeting that sounds like kind of a mess, with Republicans walking out and Democrats insisting there was a quorum.

  4. Ametia says:


  5. Breaking: Shot fired at Obama campaign headquarters in Denver

    Police say someone fired a shot at the Obama campaign’s Denver headquarters Friday afternoon.

    No one was injured, though people were inside the offices when the incident occurred, said Denver police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez.

    “It looks like it was one shot that was fired into the structure,” she said.
    The incident happened at about 3 p.m. at the campaign’s offices on West Ninth Avenue near Acoma Street, Lopez said.

  6. rikyrah says:

    October 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Ok, this will be an acquired taste, but on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, one of Tom’s longtime “sidekicks” is J Anthony Brown a long time comedian and comedy club owner in LA I believe. Anyway, J has this bit called “J Anthony Brown Murders The Hit”, in which he takes a popular song and changes the lyrics to reflect a newsworthy story in urban media and elsewhere.
    This morning song, was based on Alicia Keyes new single “This Girl Is On Fire”. J Anthony Brown’s version, “Mitt Romney’s A Liar”. Give it a listen!

  7. rikyrah says:

    GOP Rep. Promises To ‘Reverse This Trend Of Public Ownership Of Lands’
    By Scott Keyes and Adam Peck on Oct 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
    DENVER, Colorado — A key western congressman declared late last week that Mitt Romney supports his push to “reverse this trend of public ownership of lands.”

    In a speech to the Colorado Conservative Political Action Conference, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) criticized Teddy Roosevelt’s “big ideas of big forests and big national parks,” which primarily exist in the West. Pearce told the audience that, if elected, Mitt Romney will help turn back public lands to the states or private entities.

    PEARCE: America, each state, the public lands were given back to the states after they were chartered. But in the West, starting with Teddy Roosevelt who had the big ideas of big forests and big national parks, they held that land. And so the next chart shows you the effect on us in the West. Just understand this is the education. The red is of course bad. We’re starved in the West for education funds because of policies that Mitt Romney sat and listened to Rob Bishop and myself explain when it came to Hobbs. He knows that if we want to reverse the trend, we’ll reverse this trend of public ownership of lands starving education

  8. rikyrah says:

    Joe Biden’s vice-presidential debate reactions in gifsThe best facial expressions of Joe Biden. In gifs. (You’re welcome.) And we’ve got the debate in words here

  9. Ametia says:

    Heads EXPLODING. Love it

  10. Ametia says:

    Octavia Spencer is writing a children’s book about a ninja detective
    By Jen Chaney

    Having already won an Academy Award for baking the world’s grossest pie for Bryce Dallas Howard in “The Help,” Octavia Spencer is expanding her talents to the realm of children’s book publishing.

    Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it plans to publish a two-part series for middle-schoolers, written by Spencer. The first book, scheduled to come out next year, has an amazing title: “Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit.”

    What is a ninja detective? Is it, like, a modern Nancy Drew wearing all black and potentially using nunchakus to solve the mystery of the hidden staircase? Actually, kind of.

    The news release describes the book’s protagonist as a 12-year-old “Brooklyn vigilante with a Tae Kwon Do black belt” who moves to Tennessee with her dad after her mother dies, then gets sucked into a mystery involving the town’s missing time capsule. In the same release, Spencer also cites Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown as major influences on her work. It all sounds potentially delightful.

    Also, if it’s not too late to suggest other potential influences: maybe Spencer can sneak in a little bit of “The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang”? Perhaps?

    Man, if she can blend female ninja detectives, taekwondo, time capsules and the Black Hand Gang, that would be pretty awesome.

  11. Ametia says:

    VP Debate 2012: The Real Paul Ryan Is Bad for America
    By Charles P. Pierce
    at 12:43AM

    or the second time in as many presidential elections, Joseph Biden got to debate a young, attractive Republican candidate who was demonstrably less qualified to to be president than I am to be chairman of the World Bank. Joseph Biden is a very lucky man. The Great Political Matchmaker in the Sky keeps handing him people who are trying — and failing — to fight above their weight class, and he keeps blowing through what can now legitimately be called the Bum of the Quadrennium Club.

    There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death, was hurled into a pit, doused with quicklime, buried without ceremony, and the ground above it salted and strewn with garlic so that it never rises again. On foreign policy, Ryan occasionally rose, gasping, to the level of obvious neophyte. (He was more lost in Afghanistan than the Russian army ever was.) On domestic policy, his alleged wheelhouse, he was vague, untruthful, and he walked right into a haymaker he should have seen coming from a mile off, when he started bloviating about Biden’s role in the “failed” stimulus program, only to have Biden slap him around with Ryan’s own requests for stimulus money for his home district back in Wisconsin. He also made it quite clear that a Romney-Ryan White House will do everything it can to eliminate a woman’s right to choose. This should make for some fine television commercials over the next few weeks.

    (A brief note here about Martha Raddatz, who’s an old pal from our baby journo days in Boston. She did a fine job holding feet to the fire until her last three questions. She asked the two men to define their Catholicism only through the issue of abortion, which is not only insulting, but also limited a more interesting line of inquiry, given the open opposition of the Catholic bishops to the zombie-eyed granny-starving that is the hallmark of Ryan’s career. And that closing if-you-were-a-tree question was simply embarrassing.)
    Read more:

  12. rikyrah says:

    What Last Night’s Debate Tells us About How Team Romney Sees Women

    What I take away from the Biden-Ryan debate last night is this: Team Obama is willing to stand up for women and to make their position unequivocally clear. Moreover, tested time and again, they stand by it.

    What you get from Team Romney is all over the place. Romney is busy clarifying clarifications, Tuesday saying he knows of no abortion legislation that is part of his agenda, and on Wednesday announcing that he will defund Planned Parenthood.[….]

    What Americans need to remember is that in Team Romney we have a conservative Mormon and a conservative Catholic allied to conservative Protestants, none of whom are much interested in what the U.S. Constitution says about anything. Once upon a time, America was a safe haven for those who did not want to be told how to live their lives according to the dictates of one religion or another. That time is rapidly passing.[….]

  13. Ametia says:

    Biden: I accept Catholic Church’s pro-life view, but won’t impose it on others
    Asked how their Catholic faith informs their positions on abortion, Rep. Paul Ryan said he is pro-life “not simply because of my Catholic faith,” but also because of “reason and science;” Vice President Joe Biden said he personally accepts the Church’s view that life begins at inception, but added, “I refuse to impose that on others.

  14. Ametia says:

    On abortion, Paul Ryan articulates position different from earlier one

    By David A. Fahrenthold, Friday, October 12, 12:42 AM

    An exchange at the end of Thursday night’s vice-presi­den­tial debate illustrated the complex — and, at times, difficult-to-reconcile — positions taken by the Republican ticket on the issue of abortion.

    Moderator Martha Raddatz asked Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the GOP vice-presidential nominee, how a Mitt Romney administration would handle that issue: “Should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?”

    Ryan replied: “We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision.” He seemed to mean the U.S. Supreme Court, which legalized abortion with its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Instead, Ryan said, the issue should be settled by elected officials, and “the democratic process.”

    But just days before, Romney had told Iowa’s Des Moines Register that — if elected — he did not anticipate pushing anti-abortion measures. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney said.

    Romney’s campaign then issued a statement walking back the candidate’s words: “Gov. Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

  15. rikyrah says:

    No wonder Romney/Ryan pretends there’s no war in Afghanistan
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:26 AM EDT.

    For much of the campaign, Mitt Romney seemed to forget that United States is still fighting a war in Afghanistan, culminating in his convention speech which inexplicably ignored the war and American troops altogether.

    Last night, we were reminded of why the Republican ticket says so little about the conflict: they haven’t the foggiest idea what they’re talking about. In reference to Paul Ryan, Charles P. Pierce wrote overnight, “He was more lost in Afghanistan than the Russian army ever was.”

  16. Ametia says:

    Baby, I’m hot just like an oven… I need some lovin.. Rikyrah, you rocked it out this week with Mr. Marvin Gaye. Thanks a bunch.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Joltin’ Joe hasn’t gone away after all
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    It was early on in last night’s vice presidential debate — indeed, it was after Paul Ryan’s very first answer — that Joe Biden went on the offensive.

    BIDEN: With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.

    RADDATZ: And why is that so?

    BIDEN: Because not a single thing he said is accurate.

    And it was at that moment when it became clear that this week’s debate would not be anything like last week’s debate.

    Perhaps the clearest indication of who won and lost came quickly on the heels of the event itself: the Democratic post-debate message was that Joe Biden scored a clear win; the Republican message was that Joe Biden was too mean to Paul Ryan. The former is a boast of success; the latter is an excuse for failure

    • Ametia says:

      Americans WON last night, because they got to hear the TRUTH from VP Biden, while they watch Lil Eddie Ryan sip water all night. His brain became dehydrated with the total smackdown of TRUTH. It was much to much for him.

  18. rikyrah says:

    NYT Editorial: Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate was one of the best and meatiest political conversations in many years …. Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. would not sit still for a parade of misleading and often blatantly untruthful descriptions of the state of the economy and the Republican prescriptions for it…

    Mr. Ryan, as always, refused to acknowledge the improvement in the economy ….ignoring the steady reduction in the national jobless rate, which dipped to 7.8 percent last month.

    …. Mr. Biden repeatedly pointed out that Mr. Romney had firmly opposed the federal bailout of the auto industry, which turned out to be the single biggest act of job creation in the last four years. Mr. Ryan responded weakly that Mr. Romney was a “car guy” …

    …. he showed Mr. Ryan’s hypocrisy on the subject by pointing out that the congressman had asked for stimulus money for his state of Wisconsin, just as other Republicans did even as they vilified the program.

    Mr. Ryan’s performance on foreign affairs and military issues was at best disingenuous and at worst bumbling….

  19. rikyrah says:

    Charles Pierce:

    For the second time in as many presidential elections, Joseph Biden got to debate a young, attractive Republican candidate who was demonstrably less qualified to to be president than I am to be chairman of the World Bank…

    There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death….

    …. the battering that Biden gave Ryan brought something into sharp relief …. for his entire political career up to that point, on critical economic issues, Paul Ryan was an extremist even by the standards of the modern Republican party, which are considerably high indeed.

    …. the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions …. was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney’s judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.

    You know what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?


  20. rikyrah says:

    Vice President Biden:

    “You probably detected my frustration with their attitude about the American people. My friend [Paul Ryan] says that 30% of the American people are takers, Romney [says] 47% of the people won’t take responsibility. He’s talking about my mother and father. He’s talking about the places I grew up in, my neighbors in Scranton, he’s talking about the people who built this country.

    “All they’re looking for … is an even shot. Whenever you give them the shot, they’ve done it. They’ve done it. Whenever you’ve leveled the playing field, they’ve been able to move. They want a little bit of a peace of mind, and the President and I are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they in fact have a clear shot, and they have peace of mind—until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.’ That’s what this is all about.”

  21. rikyrah says:

    ‘You don’t read the statistics’
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:38 AM EDT.

    Towards the end of last night’s debate, Martha Raddatz asked the candidates, “If you are elected, what could you both give to this country as a man, as a human being, that no one else could?” The very first word out of Paul Ryan’s mouth was, “Honesty.”

    It was an unfortunate choice of characteristics. When the congressman realizes this or not, the “Lyin’ Ryan” moniker was never intended to be ironic.

    Of particular interest to me, though, was the congressman’s take on the economy. Ryan noted the economic difficulties in Scranton, Pennsylvania — where Vice President Biden was born — and the fact that the unemployment rate has gone up there in recent years. “That’s how it’s going all around America,” Ryan said.

    Biden pounced, explaining, “You don’t read the statistics. That’s not how [the unemployment rate is] going. It’s going down,” but Ryan made his pitch anyway.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Ryan: Romney And I Support Social Security Privatization
    Sahil Kapur-October 11, 2012, 10:35 PM

    In the vice presidential debate Thursday night, Paul Ryan seemed to indicate that a Romney-Ryan administration would support the idea of giving younger Americans the option to move their Social Security benefits into private retirement accounts.

    The Wisconsin congressman and House Budget Committee chairman talked up the concept when asked about his and Romney’s backing of President George W. Bush’s failed Social Security privatization plan.

    “For younger people,” Ryan said. “What we said then and what I’ve always agreed is, let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the Social Security system. That’s not what Mitt Romney’s proposing. We say no changes for anybody 55 and above.

    “And then the changes we talk about for younger people like myself is don’t increase benefit for the wealthy people as fast as anybody else, slowly raise the retirement age over time,” he said. “It wouldn’t get to the age of 70 until the year 2103, according to the actuaries.”

    Ryan championed plans in 2004 and 2010 that would shift Social Security funds into the private market. Participants would be permitted to invest one-third of their Social Security taxes in stocks and bonds. Although the plans contained mechanisms to protect payouts to beneficiaries against market fluctuations, nonpartisan studies found that it could destabilize the program’s solvency in the long-term. Bush tried and failed to enact a altered version of the plan at the beginning of his second term.

  23. rikyrah says:

    How Paul Ryan And His Supporters Profit From The Private Insurance Industry

    By Sy Mukherjee on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Paul Ryan and his GOP colleagues have always had the private insurance industry’s back, long advocating for health care policies — such as Ryan’s proposed budget that would turn Medicare into a voucher program — that boost insurance companies’ profits at the expense of American consumers.

    According to a new Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF) and Health Care for American Now (HCAN) analysis, insurers are returning the favor to the tune of $14 million in campaign contributions to Ryan and fellow Republican supporters of his “premium support” plan.

    The report also reveals that Ryan’s running mate, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, has received close to $2.7 million from the private insurance industry.

    All told, the study finds that eight out of the top ten recipients of insurance industry cash during the 2012 election cycle — including every member of the House GOP leadership — are supporters of the Ryan plan.

    Ryan himself has pulled in more cash from private insurance employees and their families than he has from any other businesses — totaling $815,328 over the course of his political career.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Warren/Brown III: The Night of Nonsense Liberation

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 8:06AM

    Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Wednesday night was the third debate up here in Massachusetts between incumbent Senator Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. They debated for an hour. They debated health-care policy. They debated taxes and spending and The Deficit. They debated issues important to women, including abortion and contraception and equal pay for equal work. They debated levels of military spending. They did not spend once blessed second talking about what may or may not have been on Elizabeth Warren’s job applications 30 years ago, and they did not descend into an utter waste of time like they did here a week and a half ago sitting down across from David Gregory. Even Brown seemed to realize this debate was serious business, because he passed on his one and only opportunity to cook up the Native-American nothingburger once more. And for this serious business America has to thank a guy named Jim Madigan who works at WGBY-TV in Springfield, Massachusetts. Almost by himself, on Wednesday night, one man kept a race very important to the balance of power in this country from descending into nasty, racially-grating burlesque for the balance of this campaign. I don’t think I’m overstating the case at all when I say that, based on their relative performances moderating debates up here, Jim Madigan should be replacing the Dancin’ Master this Sunday on Meet The Press.

    (Even with Madigan’s work keeping things on an even keel, the crowd in Springfield was just rowdy enough to give the debate a little tang. Some crazed woman kept yelling, “NO!” at Warren while Brown got a resounding bazoo when he tried to claim credit for being “the deciding vote” in the committee that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was Warren’s creation from the jump.)

    Perhaps because the proceedings were liberated from the nonsense, Warren by far had the best night on stage she has had throughout the entire campaign. She was sharp and relaxed and relentlessly on-point, making quite clear that, for all of his professed bipartisanship, Brown has been Republican enough to sign onto Grover Norquist’s suicidal no-taxes-of-any-kind pledge, something Brown didn’t have to do, and something for which he absolutely has no answer. When Senator McDreamy tried to wriggle away from it, promising out into the cheap seats that he wasn’t going to “raise taxes on anyone here in Massachusetts,” Warren riposted that, “I think I just heard Senator Brown say he’d signed a pledge to work for Grover Norquist but not for the people of Massachusetts.” And, when the subject turned to women’s issues, Warren had a moment that, I suspect, people around the Commonwealth (God save it!) are going to be seeing once or twice in television commercials:

    “He had one chance to vote for equal pay for equal work, and he voted no,” she said. “He had one chance to vote to mandate that health-insurance companies cover contraception, and he voted no. And he had one chance to vote to put a pro-choice woman on the Supreme Court, and he voted no.”

    She was even quick enough (finally) to turn Brown’s endlessly cited statistics from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Republican hack hatchery for decades, against him. When he again brought up the NFIB’s estimate on how many jobs “her” economic plans would cost, she replied, “First of all, that report doesn’t even mention my name. It doesn’t even mention the president’s name, and the NFIB is a group that’s endorsed a lot of Republicans and that once referred to Ted Kennedy as ‘Public Enemy No. 1.'” Very rarely do you hear the network of wingnut welfare called out so clearly. And the most remarkable moment came early on, when, in a discussion of the Affrodable Care Act, which Brown flatly says he’ll vote to repeal, he trotted out the “$700 billion in Medicare cuts” lie, and Warren slapped it down much more effectively than the president did in Denver last week, and linked Brown to Willard Romney in the process.

    Read more:

  25. rikyrah says:


    However, you know who really likes his job, and would like very much to keep it because he likes it so much?

    Joe Biden, that’s who.

    Joe Biden is not riven with self-doubt. Joe Biden is not exhausted by the hurly-burly of politics. Joe Biden is not burdened by the weight of events and laid low by the constant battle against know-nothing obstructionism. Joe Biden is not going to take the stage tonight and find himself wishing he were anywhere else. I mean, god be good to him, as my gran’ used to say, but Joe Biden actually likes all these silly performance pieces in which we insist he be engaged in order to stay vice-president. He revels in them. He would do ten of them a day, if he could. When I consider Joe Biden, and I look at the enthusiasm with which he throws himself into the various cataracts and torrents of hogwash that constitute our politics these days, I find myself looking at him the way I look at people who sky-dive or drive in demolition derbies. I have no idea why they do what they do, and I have absolutely no intention of doing it myself, ever, but, goddamn, do those people look like they’re having fun.

    So tonight, when Biden takes the stage to debate Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin, it is very unlikely that the debate will hinge on whether either man really wants to be there. Biden eats these kinds of things on toast, and Ryan is as ambitious as Satan. What the debate will test, however, is whether or not the zombie-eyed granny-starver can summon up — or, more accurately, reconstruct — the persona that was built for him through the years by dozens of credulous Beltway hacks who looked at a youthful Republican who wore shoes and didn’t talk about how Jesus rode to work on a diplodocus, who instead immersed himself in pie charts and flow sheets and, in doing so, had created for everyone a believable simulacrum of a Smart Person. Then, of course, he published a couple of “budgets” that, judging by the general reaction to them, were written in bubonic bacilli. That was the first whack at the image. Then the president called him out face-to-face, and Ryan has yet to stop meeping about that. Hell, no less than N. Leroy Gingrich, definer of civilization’s rules and leader (perhaps) of the civilizing forces, referred to Ryan’s entire economic oeuvre as “thinly-veiled social Darwinism,” which it plainly is, although Gingrich later had to walk that one back, alas.

    Read more:

  26. Ametia says:

    The Romney-Ryan Plan to Obliterate Medicaid
    —By Kevin Drum
    Fri Oct. 12, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

    Barrels of ink have been spilled over Medicare during this year’s campaign. There’s nothing wrong with that: Obama and Romney have fundamentally different approaches to Medicare and they deserve attention. Romney, for example, wants to increase the eligibility age to 67 and convert Medicare into a voucher system that relies primarily on competition between private firms to rein in costs. That’s a big change. At the same time, the actual differences in what the two candidates would spend on Medicare is fairly modest. This is more a fight over means than ends.

    The same can’t be said for Medicaid. Romney wants radical changes here too, promising to “block grant” Medicaid if he’s elected. This means the program would be turned over entirely to the states. The federal government would continue to provide a share of funding, but that funding would go straight into state coffers, and states could decide how to spend it. So the question is: Once released from federal regulations, what would states do with their Medicaid money?

    Romney’s plan represents a massive change in our commitment to providing decent medical care for those who can least afford it.

    Some states would probably try some genuinely interesting experiments, though it’s unlikely we’ll ever discover any magic bullets for reining in health care costs on a state level. But lots of states, especially poor states in the South, don’t have much interest in experimenting. They just want to slash eligibility for Medicaid. Given the freedom to do it, they’d adopt what Ed Kilgore calls the “Mississippi model,” cutting off coverage for a family of three earning anything over $8,200. For all the talk of fresh thinking and new solutions, what they really want to do is simple: They want to stop spending money on poor people.

    Read on

  27. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, rikyrah & Everyone! :-) Happy FRY-day.

  28. rikyrah says:

    … Republicans love to mock Joe Biden for being an idiot. Hell, even most Democrats wouldn’t put Biden in the top twenty intellects of the party. Paul Ryan, though, is admired by many Republican politicians as the brains of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney chose to elevate Ryan to the VP slot because Romney needed a serious Republican thinker to codify his weak control over the base. Republicans think of Ryan (and Ryan likes to think of himself) as the serious numbers guy, the guy who comes up with the plans that other Republicans follow. He’s generally considered to be the smartest Republican in a national office today.

    And Joe Biden creamed Paul Ryan. He laughed in Ryan’s face and left him speechless. He shook Ryan’s ideas until they fell apart like the crepe paper and chicken wire that they truly are. (It’s important to note that Martha Raddatz’s fine moderation held Ryan to the truth, too. Republicans are surely going to target Raddatz in the next few days, as they do all “uppity” women, but Raddatz should be proud of the fact that she reminded America what a great debate moderator is supposed to do.) Biden clearly stated his beliefs as a Democrat. He argued that America cares about Americans, and he fact-checked Ryan at every turn. (I was particularly moved by Biden’s personal opposition as a Catholic to abortion, but his commitment to the fact that, as an elected official, it’s not his job to impose his will on the American people.) Biden out-argued, out-spoke, and out-thought the smartest man the Republicans have to offer, and he did so armed with the courage of his convictions.

  29. rikyrah says:

    European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize

    27-nation bloc has ‘for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights,’ committee chairman says

    The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to promote peace and democracy in Europe, in the midst of the union’s biggest crisis since its creation in the 1950s.

    The prize was awarded to the 27-nation bloc because it had “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe,” Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.

    The committee praised the EU not only for rebuilding after World War II, but also for its role in spreading stability to former communist countries after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

    “The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace,” Jagland said.

    The EU rose from the ashes of World War II, born of the conviction that ever closer economic ties would make sure that century-old enemies never turned on each other again.

    The idea began to take on a more defined shape when, on May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and the Federal Republic of Germany pool their coal and steel resources in a new organization that other European countries could join.

  30. rikyrah says:

    I Loved the Debate

    by BooMan
    Thu Oct 11th, 2012 at 11:12:42 PM EST

    Joe Biden spent a third of the night eviscerating Romney and Ryan and a third of the night laughing at their lies and stupidity.

    I’m a Democrat. I’m a Mid-Atlantic guy. I love Joe Biden.

    I loved the debate. It was so satisfying to see the Republicans get taken on in pure Mid-Atlantic style. No respect where it isn’t earned. Open scoffing at nonsense. In my opinion, Biden was not only masterful, but he represented me and my values perfectly. I especially loved his extreme aggressiveness on supporting getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and not starting wars in Iran and Syria.

    I thought he kicked ass. But I honestly have no idea how his disrespect went over with the undecided voters. Romney was richly rewarded for aggressiveness. Will Biden get the same benefit?

  31. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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