Thursday Open Thread

Today, as we celebrate James Bond’s 50 birthday, we’ll focus on Timothy Dalton.

The Living Daylights (1987)

Licence to Kill (1989)

And, where would James Bond be without his Bond Girls.


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86 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    What Black America Owes the First Black President

    November 1, 2012 by Avis Jones DeWeever

    Being first is never easy. It brings with it the weight of generations of aspirations along with countless and often divergent dreams of what could be. Over the course of the last four years, President Obama has traversed this delicate and lonely path under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. He has faced down a worldwide financial collapse after inheriting an American economy in free-fall. Along the way he has led the nation to a measured yet persistent recovery, one that has in fact outperformed some of our closest European allies, counterparts whose policies his political foes have persistently sought to emulate. He has maintained what could only be described as a super-human level of dignity, strength, and thoughtful leadership within a political environment that has been nothing short of toxic, rife with vitriol, clear instances of race-based hate, and a carefully plotted unprecedented level of partisan stonewalling, relentless opposition, and plain old-fashioned disrespect. He has faced nothing less than a political perfect storm the likes of which experienced never before in the history of presidential politics.

    Yet, for a loud and persistent cadre of self-appointed authentically Black critics, his presidency has been cast as nothing short of an outright failure; if not for the nation, than certainly for Black America. They point to the President’s reluctance to articulate and implement a specifically race-based strategy for attacking things like the wide and stubbornly persistent gaps in poverty, unemployment, wealth, and criminal justice interactions which most certainly exist within the divergent experiences of white and Black America. And they ask the poignant question, after four years of a long-awaited Black Presidency, how could this be?

    Further, they seem compelled to attack Black intelligencia and their own narrowly defined notions of Black leadership — a notion that somehow displays a consistent and uncanny tendency to define Black leaders as male-only by design — and then question the effectiveness of that leadership or the motivations of that intelligencia if they fail to display an obsessive-compulsive public tendency to call the President out on what they have couched as nothing short of the abandonment of Black America. In short, they seem to suggest that those who are not openly critical of the first Black President, are somehow themselves, not Black enough, or at minimum, Black with a heavy dose of naiveté.

    As someone who has now for twenty years actively worked within the Washington, DC policy-arena, and doesn’t merely pontificate on theories of how politics should work, or seek to augment my income by peddling Obama-bashing books, or engage in corporately funded (at least in part) Obama-bashing tours, I can unabashedly state that in this socio-political environment, an explicitly stated Black-agenda would have torpedoed the Obama presidency faster than you can say, “Who sank my Battleship?”

    As we stand on the verge of this President’s true test of history, whether or not a Black President can win re-election in an increasingly racist country, we need to take seriously our responsibility on Election Day.

    As we face our choices, or God-forbid, struggle with the notion of whether or not to vote at all, at this stage in the game, we should ask ourselves not what our Black President can do for us, but instead, what can we do for our Black President?

    The stakes faced on November 6 are just too high to get caught in the trap of who does and who does not on a consistent basis brandish their Blackness card in gaudy fashion around their neck like some modern-day morphing of Mr. T and 2 Chainz.

    For the moment, it’s time to squash that foolishness.

  2. President Obama in Denver … introduction:

  3. Keep That Down


  4. Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe

    WASHINGTON — A senior Secret Service agent being formally investigated by the government for failing to disclose a long-standing relationship with a foreign citizen killed himself last week.

    People familiar with the matter say Rafael Prieto, a married father assigned to President Barack Obama’s security detail, acknowledged the affair after U.S. authorities began investigating. These people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto’s death or the investigation.

    The sources say Prieto’s relationship was revealed to Secret Service investigators by an agent who had been entangled in the Colombian prostitution scandal earlier this year. That agent was concerned that the Secret Service wasn’t enforcing its rules consistently.

    It is against Secret Service rules to have a relationship with a foreign citizen and not tell the agency.

  5. BREAKING: @CBSNews Correspondent John Miller reports investigation underway into apparent suicide of senior Secret Service official.

    • Charlie Kaye‏@CharlieKayeCBS

      More USSS. Prieto has been assigned to the President’s security detail. He had been suspended for unreported contact with a foreign national

      • Charlie Kaye‏@CharlieKayeCBS

        More USSS. The body of Rafael Prieto, an assistant Special Agent in Charge, was discovered in an auto in a garage in Washington on Saturday

  6. Statement from President Obama on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Endorsement

    “I’m honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.

    “While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time – that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. Just as importantly, we agree that whether we are Democrats, Republicans, or independents, there is only one way to solve these challenges and move forward as a nation – together. I look forward to thanking him in person – but for now, he has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger.”

  7. Go the F*** to Sleep’ author Adam Mansbach wants the American people to wake the “eff” up politically

  8. Poll: Obama Re-Emerges As Favorite In Wisconsin, Opens Up 8-Point Lead–politics.html

    After watching his double-digit leads in Wisconsin vanish following the first debate earlier this month, President Barack Obama has re-asserted himself as the favorite in the Badger State, a poll released Wednesday shows.

    The latest Marquette University Law School Poll shows Obama crossing the 50 percent threshold to open up an 8-point lead over Mitt Romney in Wisconsin, 51 percent to 43 percent. It caps what has been a roller coaster month-and-a-half for the president in Marquette’s polling.

    • Ametia says:

      Wisconsonites aren’t crazy. They know what Scott Walker and Co have done to the state, and they know what Lil Eddie Munster Ryan’s all about too.

  9. Former Bain Capital managing director said of Romney’s tenure: “We had a scheme where the rich got richer.”

  10. Will “experimental” software patches affect the Ohio vote?

    Why did the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office, in an end run around Ohio election law, have “experimental” software patches installed on vote counting tabulators in up to 39 Ohio counties? Voting rights activists are concerned that these uncertified and untested software patches may alter the election results.

    During the 2004 presidential election, the Free Press reported that election officials observed technicians from the ES&S voting machine company and Triad computer maintenance company installing uncertified and untested software patches on voting machines in 44 Ohio counties prior to the election. Software patches are usually installed to “update” or change existing software. These software patch updates were considered suspect by election protection activists, in light of all the voting machine anomalies found during the 2004 election in Ohio.

    The Free Press has learned that Election Systems and Solutions (ES&S) installed the software patches that will affect 4,041,056 registered voters, including those in metropolitan Columbus and Cleveland

  11. Romney Pays Dearly for Making the Fatal Mistake of Lying about Corporations

    The Denver Post joined the line up of papers attacking Mitt Romney’s blatant dishonesty in the ad where he claims that Jeep is moving jobs to China and the radio ad in which the Republican candidate claims Obama saved GM for the Chinese. There’s an entire line up of papers that have taken a hard line against Romney’s Jeep and GM lies.

    When Romney used his usual tactic of making harmful things up in a chaotic attempt to make himself look better, he made a fatal mistake in taking aim at corporations. Here’s a round up.

    The Denver Post begins with, “Nothing smells like desperation more than the falsehoods and half-truths coming out of the Romney campaign about Chrysler purportedly moving Jeep manufacturing jobs to China. The episode has been shameful.” And it gets worse. They denounce Romney for his refusal to let facts get in the way and call him out on basically not liking that Obama was making inroads in Ohio because of his auto bailout, “But why let the facts get in the way when you can exploit a poorly written news story for political gain in a must-win state?”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:34 PM ET, 11/01/2012
    For Romney to win, the state polls have to be very, very wrong
    By Greg Sargent

    Conservatives are taking heart today from a very interesting piece by Reid Wilson that explains some of the disparities between Republican and Democratic internal polling. Yet Wilson’s reporting also confirms something about the race that shouldn’t really give the right all that much comfort: The public polling overwhelmingly tracks with the Dem reading of the electorate, and not with the Republican reading of it.

    Wilson explains that questions about how diverse the electorate will be this time around are driving the differences between the GOP and Dem internal polling. Both sides agree that the African American vote will make up roughly the same share of the electorate as in 2008. They differ when it come to Latinos and young voters. Republicans think Latino turnout will be down, thanks to the economy and Obama’s failure to secure immigration reform. They think fewer young voters will turn out and/or that fewer will vote for Obama this time. Republicans think the electorate will be older and whiter. Dems believe the electorate will continue to grow younger and more diverse.

    That’s a legit argument to have, and we won’t know who’s right until Election Day. But Wilson adds this absolutely crucial point:

    What concerns Republicans most is the fact that media polls seem to track more closely with Democratic internals than with the GOP’s numbers.
    This perfectly captures the state of play right now, which is that the consensus of averages of all the state polling is far more in sync with the Democratic reading of the electorate than with the Republican reading of the electorate . And there are five days left.

  13. Ametia says:


  14. Ametia says:


  15. Jeff Gauvin‏@JeffersonObama

    DAMN YOU OBAMA!! U.S. new home sales hit highest in 2 1/2 years. Sales rise 27.1% in the past year #p2

  16. Texas county returning alleged shakedown cash

    DALLAS — Authorities in a Texas county where a drug enforcement program was allegedly used to shake down black and Latino highway travelers are returning more than $100,000 taken during the traffic stops.

    The stops in Tenaha, which often resulted in people being forced to hand over cash without any charges being filed, have led to multiple lawsuits and two federal criminal investigations.

    District Attorney Kenneth Florence said Shelby County has dismissed all of its pending forfeiture cases, even those without a connection to Tenaha, in what he described as an effort to turn the page after an agreement was reached in August to settle a class action lawsuit stemming from the stops.

    “I just don’t think you could get anything done with any of those cases,” said Florence, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in August and is running for the post in next week’s election. “They are all tainted, so to speak.”

  17. Ametia says:


    Our American endorsement
    Which one?
    America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill

    OUR years ago, The Economist endorsed Barack Obama for the White House with enthusiasm. So did millions of voters. Next week Americans will trudge to the polls far less hopefully. So (in spirit at least) will this London-based newspaper. Having endured a miserably negative campaign, the world’s most powerful country now has a much more difficult decision to make than it faced four years ago.

    That is in large part because of the woeful nature of Mr Obama’s campaign. A man who once personified hope and centrism set a new low by unleashing attacks on Mitt Romney even before the first Republican primary. Yet elections are about choosing somebody to run a country. And this choice turns on two questions: how good a president has Mr Obama been, especially on the main issues of the economy and foreign policy? And can America really trust the ever-changing Mitt Romney to do a better job? On that basis, the Democrat narrowly deserves to be re-elected.

    Read on:

  18. Comforter-in-Chief. Must be nice to be held so gently by the President of the United States!

  19. Shelby County Must Accept Library Cards as Voter ID Immediately

    (Nashville) The Tennessee Supreme Court has ordered the Secretary of State and the State Coordinator of Elections to immediately direct the Shelby County Election Commission to accept city-issued library cards as valid photo identification at the polls.

    The state previously told the Shelby County Election Commission to allow voters using library cards to vote on provisional ballots after an Appeals Court ruling allowing the library cards to be used as ID.

    But attorneys for the City of Memphis asked the Supreme Court to treat those voters like any others, allowing them to cast standard ballots.

  20. Ametia says:

    OMG My brain can’t take it

  21. Ametia says:

    Oh please let one of these MOFOs roll up in my polling district, PLEASE

    Poll watchers could bring “chaos” in Ohio and elsewhere, national expert says
    Source: The Columbus Dispatch

    Forget all that concern about provisional ballots, improperly denied absentee ballot applications and the like.

    What is really the biggest wild card for next week’s presidential election in Ohio and elsewhere?

    Citizen poll watchers.

    So says Doug Chapin of the University of Minnesota, a widely acclaimed expert in how elections are conducted.

    “I think the biggest thing to watch next Tuesday is the impact of citizen poll watchers, including but not limited to those affiliated with Houston-based True the Vote,” he said yesterday on his Election Academy blog.

    True the Vote and its affiliated Ohio organization, the Voter Integrity Project, have signed up as observers at polling places Tuesday in various precincts across the state.

    Read more:—poll-chaos.html

  22. Ametia says:

    Have a stadium full-o-seats, Jeb Bush. Your father was an utter failure as POTUS. THE END

    • Ametia says:

      Mitt Romney never had teh numbers, and only won the Republican primary by throwing $$$ for dirty ads against his opponnents. He’s losing now. And ven after a campaign of COMPLETE LIES, which the media has been complicit in covering up, prettying them up with words like “untruths, “falsehoods,” “not factual,” “blatant dishonesty.” & “misinformation.” These are all Frank Luntz cutesy phrases.

      How about LIES. & Mitt Romney is a LIAR. Of course that would have been to easy for folks like Chuck Todd, Mark Halperin and CO. The media in America are CRIMINAL in their actions of throwing out propaganda and drama to make profit. Fuck them all.

  23. Ametia says:

    On Being Republican in 2012

    By Thomas Magstadt

    To be a Republican nowadays you have to believe concurrently that:

    1. Jesus loves you, but shares your deep hatred of homosexuals, gay marriage, gun control advocates, conservationists, animal rights activists, and Barack Obama.

    2. “Support our troops” means backing old white men who have no qualms about sending other people’s kids to die in wars we can’t win in countries whose people hate us for being there.

    3. The best way to restore growth and prosperity to the US economy is to fire your workers and outsource everything possible to Asia.

    4. Venture capitalists who makes millions of dollars slicing and dicing companies and loading the unlucky ones with so much debt that they have to declare bankruptcy and cease operations cannot possibly continue to create jobs unless they get huge tax breaks and pay at an average rate of 14% or less; otherwise, they won’t be “incentivized” to go on making millions while transacting important business on the golf course.

    5. Being a lesbian, petty thief, or drug addict is a sign of moral degeneracy unless you’re the daughter of a conservative politician, investment banker, or extreme right-wing radio host. Then it’s either laudable or an illness for which the appropriate remedy is prayer, not punishment.

    Read on:

  24. Ametia says:

    Nancy Keenan, the President of NARAL, makes the case that a Romney presidency would threaten women’s reproductive rights:

  25. Ametia says:


    It’s been eight days since Mitt Romney first made his false and desperate claim about Jeep production moving to China. It wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now— but it’s a claim the Romney campaign keeps making, despite the fact-checkers, the media, and the auto companies themselves calling them out. Today, newspapers in the Buckeye State published scathing editorials that slam Mitt Romney for deliberately attempting to deceive and mislead Ohioans about the auto industry.

    · The Youngstown Vindicator: “Romney’s GM and Chrysler ads are an insult to Ohioans.”

    · Toldeo Blade says Romney is “con­duct­ing an ex­er­cise in de­cep­tion about auto-in­dus­try is­sues that is re­mark­able even by the stan­dards of his cam­paign,” and adds that “Mr. Rom­ney’s own words make clear he is no friend of the auto in­dus­try.”

    The New York Times agrees: “It takes an especially dishonest candidate to simply turn up the volume on a lie and keep repeating it.”

    · Jared Bernstein on why Romney’s ads are “particularly ridiculous”:

    In case you missed it: “Obama’s résumé of accomplishments is broad and deep, running the gamut from economic to social to foreign policy.” Jonathan Chait makes the case for why President Obama is a great president:

  26. Ametia says:

    What Obama’s accomplished
    By Lauren on October 31, 2012 Forward

  27. O’Reilly: Obama doesn’t like Americans because blacks have ‘grievance against whites’

    With less than a week to go before election day, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is suggesting that the president of the United States doesn’t like half of the country because African Americans have a “grievance against whites.”

    Conservative radio host Dennis Miller explained to O’Reilly on Thursday that President Barack Obama had “squandered” the public’s affection for him after the last election.

    Miller opined that Obama and President Richard Nixon were the only two presidents in his lifetime “who seemed to actively dislike half the population of the country.”

    “I look at Barack Obama and think, you know, I don’t sense he likes half this country,” Miller said. “And I think that’s coming back to bite him in the tookus.”

    Do you think it has anything to do with grievance?” O’Reilly wondered. “Because in some African-American communities there is a grievance against whites who aren’t sympathetic to their cause. And that may be driving a little bit of it. So there are some African Americans who believe the reason that they’re not prospering as a community, alright, is because society hasn’t done enough, and the reason society hasn’t done enough is because of rich white guys.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    FOUND at TOD:

    October 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    This was comment that was posted under the NPR video of the little that was crying because she was tired of “Bronco Bamma” and Mitt “Romeney”:

    I am a nanny and the other day one of the girls I was watching started tearing up after some presidential program geared for kids finished. The little girl comes up to me and starts balling saying “Mitt Romney scares me!” her sister then proceeded to chase her around the house yelling “Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney!” It was really sad but pretty hilarious at the same time… I tried my best to hold in my laughter

  29. Ametia says:

    Latest Swing State Polls

    Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:

    Colorado: Romney 50%, Obama 47% (Rasmussen)

    Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 47% (Newsmax/Zogby)

    Iowa: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

    Michigan: Obama 53%, Romney 45% (Public Policy Polling)

    Nevada: Obama 50%, Romney 46% (SurveyUSA)

    New Hampshire: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

    Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 44% (Newsmax/Zogby)

    Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Public Policy Polling)

    Virginia: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (Newsmax/Zogby)

    Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

    Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

  30. President Obama featured in Jet while he was at Harvard.

  31. rikyrah says:

    You Don’t Win By Losing

    by BooMan
    Wed Oct 31st, 2012 at 01:05:20 PM EST

    Any liberal, progressive, or Democrat who is spending the last week before Election Day discussing the merits of a third party, or actually trying to make a case that a Romney presidency will do more to advance progressive causes, should probably be euthanized purely out of mercy. If you are a liberal who wants to sell books or gain page views or higher ratings for your television or radio program, a Romney presidency will help you out. Otherwise, everything you believe in and fight for will be set back, put at risk, or utterly destroyed.
    If you don’t understand what is at stake at the Supreme Court, you probably don’t understand much else about American politics, either. But the entire premise of this argument is that the Democrats will learn certain lessons from defeat and that this will lead to a reinvigorated defense of civil liberties and an assertion of economic populism that is sorely lacking on the present-day left.

    There is no precedent for believing this will actually happen. The whole New Democrat/Blue Dog phenomenon arose out of the ashes of the Mondale and Dukakis defeats. The only time the Democrats responded to defeat by moving left was in 1972, and we know how that turned out.

    A Romney administration would roll back the expansion of Medicaid and access to health care for 30 million people. It would result in a rightward shift in the courts that would make voting much harder and would do severe damage to women’s rights. But even if that were all somehow worth it, we have foreign policy to consider. We have competency to consider, the importance of which the current operations of FEMA compared to their performance under Bush should highlight. And, ultimately, we’d have to win the argument within the Democratic Party about why Obama lost. It couldn’t be because of the weak economy or because of the Citizens United ruling, or because Republican governors and secretaries of state and legislatures suppressed the vote, or because of racism, or because Romney got away with a campaign of lies. No, it would have to be agreed that the president lost because he was too aggressive in the pursuit of terrorists and he didn’t do enough to alleviate the foreclosure crisis, and some other combination of populist and anti-militarist reasoning.

    The chances of winning that argument would be hampered by the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to support it. It would be further hampered by the fact that the Democrats would be more finance-challenged than ever and therefore less inclined to embrace economic populism.

    If progressives want to change the Democratic Party, they should look across the aisle at the Tea Party. Obviously, the Tea Party should not be emulated in full. But their decision to fight in the primaries is the correct one. You do not further your cause by empowering your enemies.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Coming Up Short While Winning

    by BooMan
    Thu Nov 1st, 2012 at 09:09:39 AM EST

    As the pollsters begin to report their final numbers they can no longer put influencing the election over accurately predicting it. That is because Election Day is the only day when these pollsters are accountable. The worse they do on Election Day, the fewer clients they will get and the less influence they will have in the next cycle. So, as if by magic, the Republican outlier polls will begin the “show” a surge for the president and the result can already be seen. The corporate pundits have called the race. A week ago is was “too close to call” and “incredibly close,” but today it is “baked in the cake” and there is “no way” for Romney to win. Absolutely nothing changed. Hurricane Sandy may have shut down the campaign rhetoric for a couple of days but it didn’t suddenly persuade millions of Americans to change their minds about who they intend to vote for. Obama was winning all along, from beginning to end, with never a single day when he would have or could have lost this election. The only real question was whether he could decisively win the argument and expand on his 2008 victory. If I had to guess, right now, I’d say that Obama will come up short of 2008. He will not win Indiana and he will probably fall a point short of 53% of the vote.

    It’s a shame because, prior to the first debate where Obama let Romney stand with him on an equal footing, the trajectory was for a blowout election with Arizona coming into view and Missouri not far behind. Romney was staggered and flailing for two straight months and could have been knocked out. Obama let him off the ropes and the price is probably going to be control of the House of Representatives. And that means more dysfunction for two more years. Of course, the president doesn’t deserve all the blame for that. The districts are gerrymandered and corporate money is unlimited and unaccountable, the media isn’t an effective referee, and there are a lot of very gullible and misinformed people in this (and every other) country.

    And, who knows? I could be wrong. Maybe we will win back the House.

  33. rikyrah says:


    Our new Virginia poll for @HCAN finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 49-46:…

  34. rikyrah says:

    New Obama ad stars Colin Powell
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Nov 1, 2012 9:10 AM EDT.

    Last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell threw his support to President Obama, offering strong praise for the president’s record, while raising questions about Mitt Romney’s judgment. Yesterday, Powell’s endorsement was used as the basis for a radio ad launched by the Obama campaign.

    Overnight, Team Obama went a little further, turning Powell’s on-air comments into a television ad.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, the ad shows Powell endorsing the president and explaining:

    “When he took over, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. And I saw, over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community. Housing is starting to pick up. The president saved the auto industry. The actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. So I think we ought to keep on the track that we’re on.”

    The use of that last phrase was especially interesting. For quite a while, polls have shown a large percentage of Americans saying the nation is on the “wrong track.” For the Obama campaign to include Powell’s hope that we “keep on the track that we’re on” suggests the president’s team believes there’s been a shift in public attitudes, and there’s less of a public appetite for dramatic change.

    This ad will air, by the way, in 10 states — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Note that Pennsylvania and Michigan are not on the list, but Minnesota is.

  35. rikyrah says:

    With FEMA’s fate on the line
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Nov 1, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    With this week’s deadly storm as a backdrop, there’s been a fair amount in Mitt Romney’s plans for FEMA’s future. Just last year, the Republican said he intends to effectively close FEMA’s doors, turning over authority for emergency response to states and the private sector.

    At a public event on Tuesday, Romney was asked 11 times by reporters whether he’d keep FEMA intact if elected president, and 11 times, the candidate ignored the question. It took a while, but yesterday, his campaign issued a written statement with the Republican’s position.

    “I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Romney said in a statement supplied by his campaign Wednesday. “As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters

    At a minimum, this is preferable to the candidate blowing off the question altogether. But the written statement from aides — why Romney wouldn’t say this out loud is unclear — leaves key questions unanswered.

    For example, why is it that Romney now believes FEMA should get “the funding it needs,” but last year, he said “we cannot afford” to fully fund the agency? Other than the calendar, what’s changed

  36. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Secrecy: Did He Get Away With It?

    In January, in a South Carolina debate just before that state’s primary, Newt Gingrich hit Mitt Romney hard for releasing barely any of his tax returns: “Look, he’s got to decide and the people of South Carolina have to decide. But if there’s anything in there that is going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination. And if there’s nothing in there, why not release it?” The audience applauded, and when Gingrich proceeded to trounce Romney at the polls the following Saturday, voters told me that Romney’s secrecy about his tax returns was part of their decision—they didn’t necessarily care what tax rate Romney paid, but they didn’t like his declaration that it wasn’t any of their business.

    Back then, it seemed only a matter of time before Romney would buckle to pressure and release a critical mass of returns—if not the 12 years worth that his father released when he ran for president, then at least, say, five or six. But here we are, with just five days until the election, and Romney has released no more than the two years he agreed to release back during the primaries. This has left voters in near-total darkness about basic questions about his very recent past. As tax experts have noted, there are any number of reasons why Romney doesn’t want to release more of his taxes—it’s possible he participated in an IRS amnesty program for secret foreign bank accounts; it’s more possible he gamed the system to avoid taxes on his huge retirement account and his sons’ $100 million trust fund, or that he paid very, very low rates these past couple years as a result of a tax code that favors people like him whose income is mainly taxed as capital gains. (In releasing his belated 2011 returns in September, Romney asserted, without providing any evidence, that he had not paid an effective rate lower than 13 percent during the past decade.) Just this week, Bloomberg News offered a new shred of insight, into the way that Romney used the Mormon church to shelter some of his investment gains from taxes. But the fact is, barring some future leak, we’re simply not going to find out what was so worrisome in Romney’s taxes from only a few years ago.

    Not only that, Romney has—unlike candidates Barack Obama, George W. Bush and John McCain—refused to identify his “bundlers,”the hundreds of people who have each raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for him. This has, among other things, spared him the sort of stories that Obama’s had to contend with, looking at the unsavory connections and interests of his fundraisers. And, of course, Romney has provided exceedingly scant detail on basic elements of his platform, such as how he proposes to replace the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank law, both of which he says he will do away with, and how he plans to make up the revenue lost from cutting tax rates by 20 percent across the board. The candidate has not answered any questions from reporters in the past three weeks.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Liberty to Lie


    This election may go down in history as the moment when truth and lies lost their honor and stigma, respectively.

    Mitt Romney has demonstrated an uncanny, unflinching willingness to say anything and everything to win this election. And that person, the unprincipled prince of untruths, is running roughly even with or slightly ahead of the president in the national polls.

    What does this say about our country? What does it say about the value of virtue?

    The list of Romney’s out-and-out lies (and yes, there is no other more polite word for them) is too long to recount here. So let’s just take one of the most recent ones: the utterly false claim that General Motors and Chrysler shipped, or planned to ship, American auto jobs to China.

    First, let’s take on the Chrysler claim.

  38. rikyrah says:

    UAW Files Charges Against Romney
    on his Auto Bail-out Profiteering
    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Broke ethics law hiding millions, say good government groups
    by Greg Palast
    Toledo, Ohio

    For Mitt Romney, it’s one scary Halloween. The Presidential candidate has just learned that tomorrow afternoon he will charged with violating the federal Ethics in Government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bail-out.

    At a press conference in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, will announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called “blind” trust.

  39. rikyrah says:

    10/31/12 at 10:17 AM
    The Case for Obama: Why He Is a Great President. Yes, Great.
    By Jonathan Chait

    I decided to support Barack Obama pretty early in the Democratic primary, around spring of 2007. But unlike so many of his supporters, I never experienced a kind of emotional response to his candidacy. I never felt his election would change everything about American politics or government, that it would lead us out of the darkness. Nothing Obama did or said ever made me well up with tears.

    Possibly for that same reason, I have never felt even a bit of the crushing sense of disappointment that at various times has enveloped so many Obama voters. I supported Obama because I judged him to have a keen analytical mind, grasping both the possibilities and the limits of activist government, and possessed of excellent communicative talents. I thought he would nudge government policy in an incrementally better direction. I consider his presidency an overwhelming success.

    I can understand why somebody who never shared Obama’s goals would vote against his reelection. If you think the tax code already punishes the rich too heavily, that it’s not government’s role to subsidize health insurance for those who can’t obtain it, that the military shouldn’t have to let gays serve openly, and so on, then Obama’s presidency has been a disaster, but you probably didn’t vote for him last time. For anybody who voted for Obama in 2008 and had even the vaguest sense of his platform, the notion that he has fallen short of some plausible performance threshold seems to me unfathomable.

    Obama’s résumé of accomplishments is broad and deep, running the gamut from economic to social to foreign policy. The general thrust of his reforms, especially in economic policy, has been a combination of politically radical and ideologically moderate. The combination has confused liberals into thinking of Obamaism as a series of sad half-measures, and conservatives to deem it socialism, but the truth is neither. Obama’s agenda has generally hewed to the consensus of mainstream economists and policy experts. What makes the agenda radical is that, historically, vast realms of policy had been shaped by special interests for their own benefit. Plans to rationalize those things, to write laws that make sense, molder on think-tank shelves for years, even generations. They are often boring. But then Obama, in a frenetic burst of activity, made many of them happen all at once.


    It is noteworthy that four of the best decisions that Obama made during his presidency ran against the advice of much of his own administration. Numerous Democrats in Congress and the White House urged him to throw in the towel on health-care reform, but he was one of very few voices in his administration determined to see it through. Many of his own advisers, both economists steeped in free-market models and advisers anxious about a bailout-weary public, argued against his decision to extend credit to, and restructure, the auto industry. On Libya, Obama’s staff presented him with options either to posture ineffectually or do nothing; he alone forced them to draw up an option that would prevent a massacre. And Obama overruled some cautious advisers and decided to kill Osama bin Laden.

    The latter three decisions are all highly popular now, but all of them carried the risk of inflicting a mortal political wound, like Bill Clinton’s health-care failure and Jimmy Carter’s attempted raid into Iran. (George W. Bush, presented with a similar option, did not strike bin Laden.) In making these calls, Obama displayed judgment and nerve.

    A year ago, I wrote about the pervasive disillusionment felt by Obama’s supporters. It is a sentiment that has shadowed every Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt, and even Roosevelt provoked long bouts of agony and disillusionment among his supporters. All were seen by many Democrats at the time as failures, weaklings, or unprincipled deal-makers. It’s true that all of them, including Obama, have made terrible errors. What this tells us, though, is that we need some realistic baseline against which to measure them.

    Obama can boast a record of accomplishment that bests any president since Roosevelt, and has fewer demerits on his record than any of them, including Roosevelt. The only president that comes close in gross positive accomplishment is Lyndon Johnson, whose successes were overwhelmed by his failures to such a degree that he abandoned his reelection campaign. The immediacy of the political moment can — and usually does — blind us. (In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the wide and even bipartisan sentiment prevailed that George W. Bush was exactly the right sort of person we would want to have as president at that moment.)


    What can be said without equivocation is that Obama has proven himself morally, intellectually, temperamentally, and strategically. In my lifetime, or my parents’, he is easily the best president. On his own terms, and not merely as a contrast to an unacceptable alternative, he overwhelmingly deserves reelection.

  40. Coalition of Unions, Community Groups to File Ethics Complaint Against Romney for Failure to Disclose Profits He Gained in Auto Bailout

    Mitt Romney is said to have profited by more than $15 million from the auto industry bailout, and a coalition of community, labor and good-government organizations is now calling on the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to investigate the Republican Party presidential candidate for non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act and compel him to either disclose his investments or divest them.

  41. Ametia says:


  42. Ametia says:

    Posted at 06:46 PM ET, 10/31/2012
    Oct 31, 2012 10:46 PM EDT

    Obama and Christie: What bipartisanship looks like
    By Jonathan Capehart

    A wave of nostalgia washed over me this afternoon as I watched President Obama and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) tour the devastation unleashed on the Jersey shore by Hurricane Sandy. I thought back to the distant past when Democrats and Republicans could have their disagreements over policy but come together when the national interest demanded it.

    The governor had nice words for the president. “I want to thank the president for coming here today,” Christie said. “It’s really important to have the president of the United States acknowledge all the suffering that’s going on here in New Jersey and I appreciate it very much.”

    And Obama had equal praise for Christie. “I want to just let you know that your governor is working overtime to make sure that as soon as possible everybody can get back to normal,” he said.

  43. Ametia says:


  44. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-) Bond is BAD.

  45. Breaking:US initial jobless claims fell 9,000 last week to 363,000 – @BloombergNews

  46. Good Morning, everyone!

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