Friday Open Thread | Democratic Mayors Week!

Happy FRY-day, Everyone. Today’s featured mayor is Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Wiki: Michael Anthony Nutter (born June 29, 1957) is the 98th and current Mayor of Philadelphia. He is the third African-American to hold the position. Elected on November 6, 2007 he was re-elected to a second term on November 8, 2011.[7] He is a previous member of the Philadelphia City Council from the 4th district, and has served as the 52nd Ward Democratic Leader since 1990.

Nutter grew up in West Philadelphia. He attended elementary school at Transfiguration of Our Lord Catholic Elementary School and later[8][9] St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in North Philadelphia. He then went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nutter, then-leader of the 52nd ward of Philadelphia, initially challenged Democratic incumbent Ann Land for a seat on the Philadelphia City Council in 1987.[10] Though ultimately unsuccessful in his initial bid, Nutter defeated Land in a rematch four years later.[10][11] His district included Wynnefield, Overbrook, Roxborough, Manayunk, East Falls and parts of North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and Mount Airy.

In February 2003, Nutter was elected chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Board at the urging of then Senator (now imprisoned) Vincent Fumo.[1]

Michael Nutter – Mayor of Philadelphia Church Speech Sunday

Mayor Nutter Rocks the “Mike”

Mayor Michael Nutter hold Press Conference in protest of Mitt Romney’s visit to Phill

2012 Summer Conference – Mayor Michael Nutter

Mayor Michael Nutter at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

Wonder what Field Negro has to say about Mayor Nutter.

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77 Responses to Friday Open Thread | Democratic Mayors Week!

  1. Exclusive: Penn State Reportedly Rejected Rick Santorum’s Papers

    Pennsylvania State University has reportedly rejected a donation from former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who tells National Review Online that he tried to donate his papers to the university, but the powers-that-be in Happy Valley turned them down.

    “I don’t know where they are now,” Santorum tells NRO. “Off in a warehouse or something. They didn’t want ’em.” Penn State officials have not responded to a request for comment, but the university’s library lists “papers of alumni” as one of its major collecting areas.

    The Penn State library system holds collections and papers that touch on a variety of controversial individuals and subjects, including a collection of posters that document student opposition to the Vietnam War; a special collection classified as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History, which contains the personal papers of a number of individuals; and the personal papers of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

  2. Justice Department Examining Ways To Make Voting Easier, Heeding President’s Call To ‘Fix’ Long Lines

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is already exploring ways to “fix” the long lines and confusion voters faced when going to the polls this year, after President Barack Obama’s election-night acknowledgement that voting procedures need to be improved.

    “You shouldn’t have to vote and by the time you get to the front of the line, know who won the election. It’s not exactly America at its finest,” Tom Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said at the George Washington University Law Review symposium on Friday afternoon.

  3. BREAKING: Judge Issues Injunction Over Contraception Mandate

    A federal judge Friday night sided with a Christian publishing company in a lawsuit against the requirement included in Obamacare to provide co-pay free contraception to employees. US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton issued a temporary stay on the rule. The company, Tyndale House Publishers, sued to be exempt from providing any contraception it equated with abortion, including Plan B and intrauterine devices (neither is actually an abortifacient). While this has become a pet issue of the religious right, in actuality, religious institutions are exempt from contributing to contraception cost. Instead, insurance companies must provide birth control free of charge to employees of such institutions — a requirement that a majority of Americans support.

  4. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Statement on Governor Rick Scott’s Interference with Election Results in Florida

    DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on Governor Rick Scott’s interference with the election results in Florida’s 18th congressional district.

    “In a clear effort to overturn an election result after having lost at the ballot box, Allen West has now run to Governor Rick Scott to needlessly interfere with and politicize a non-partisan election process.

    “All votes in this election were counted fairly and accurately, and Allen West has lost beyond the mandatory recount range. Having Governor Scott intervene is outrageous and inappropriate. After disenfranchising Florida voters by cutting down early voting days and creating extraordinarily long lines at the polls, Governor Scott is now trying to blatantly overturn an election result he disagreed with and undermine Gertrude Walker, a three-decade veteran of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office. Governor Scott needs to remove himself from this process immediately.”

  5. Ametia says:

    The NEW sheriff comes to MAINE!

  6. Ametia says:

    SMGDH @ that Cupp chick.

  7. Ametia says:

    Hostess Brands closing for good
    By Chris Isidore and James O’Toole @CNNMoney November 16, 2012: 1:12 PM ET

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Hostess Brands — the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, Drake’s Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread — announced Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations, blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract imposed on them.
    The closing will result in Hostess’ nearly 18,500 workers losing their jobs as the company shuts 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, as well as 570 outlet stores. The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union represents around 5,000 Hostess employees.

  8. rikyrah says:

    GOP governors invite more federal control over health care

    By Steve Benen

    Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:18 PM EST.


    Getty Images

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced today he won’t create a state-based health care exchange.

    In the timeline for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, today is a fairly important day.

    After two years of political battles and a Supreme Court case, many if not most states are expected to tell the federal government Friday if they’re willing carry out a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

    At issue is the creation of new health insurance markets, where millions of middle-class households and small businesses will shop for private coverage. The so-called exchanges will open for business Jan. 1, 2014, and most of their customers will be eligible for government subsidies to help pay premiums. The exchanges will also steer low-income people into expanded Medicaid programs, if states choose to broaden their safety net coverage.

    In some cases, governors decided to gamble that President Obama would lose his re-election bid, and when he didn’t, they sought an extension on the deadline. The White House has been happy to accommodate, handing out extensions on today’s deadline to any state that asks for one.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    November 16, 2012 9:59 AM
    Two Signs 2012 Mattered To the Fiscal Negotiations

    By Ed Kilgore

    There’s been an awful lot of talk about the impact of the 2012 elections on the ongoing fiscal negotiations in Washington in terms of the additional leverage the president either has or doesn’t have, or in the enhanced ability congressional Republicans either have or don’t have to depart from hard-core conservative ideology, particularly on taxes.

    But it’s sometimes forgotten that the election—not just the outcome, but the experience of contesting it, and the resources built up to win it—had an effect on other political forces with a deep interest in the fiscal negotiations, and we’re already seeing them mobilize, viz. this report from HuffPost’s Sam Stein:

    A coalition of top labor organizations is launching a major ad campaign targeting House Republicans and a group of Senate Democrats centered on pushing them toward a progressive resolution to the so-called fiscal cliff, The Huffington Post has learned.

    The American Federation Of State, County and Municipal Employees, the National Education Association and the Service Employees International Union are teaming up on the project. It will include a “six-figure buy” with an “opening salvo of ads” focused on protecting health care, education and Social Security in any deficit or debt reduction deal, according to a labor source. The unions have argued that any final deal should instead lean more on higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

    Copies of the ads were not immediately available. But a source familiar with the campaign says they will air in Virginia, Missouri and Colorado, among other states. The Democratic senators in those states — Mark Warner of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado — have all already voted to extend the Bush-era tax cuts only for income below $250,000. But they also considered to be among the likelier suspects to cut a deal with Republican lawmakers on a measure that would include more dramatic entitlement reforms.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 11/16/2012
    Republicans disagree with Romney’s language, not his policies
    By Jamelle Bouie

    ABC News has released the full audio of Mitt Romney’s call to donors, where he attributed his loss to President Obama’s willingness to give “gifts” to supporters. As with the 47 percent comments, his remarks sound worse when heard in full context.

    “What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote, and that strategy worked.”

    Romney also commented on Latino voters in particular:

    “In order to get Hispanic voters, what the president did we would be very reluctant to do, which is one, provide amnesty for those that are here illegally, and number two put in place Obamacare, which basically is ten thousand dollars a family. It’s a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and, guess what, they’ll vote for you.

    There are two things worth noting. First, there’s no doubt that Romney is speaking about the nonwhite members of Obama’s coalition — with all the ugliness that entails. But none of this is incongruent with Romney’s campaign for president. Throughout the summer, and well into the fall, Romney argued that Obama was “gutting” welfare reform and “giving out checks” in order to “shore up his base.” Moreover, he repeatedly criticized Obama for giving out “free stuff,” echoing the “makers and takers” rhetoric of the Republican Party writ large.

    Indeed, this is why Bobby Jindal’s criticism of Romney rings hollow. For the current GOP, including its governors, Romney’s position — that the government shouldn’t provide access to health care — is completely anodyne. It’s why Jindal and other GOP governors have opted not to create state exchanges for the Affordable Care Act, or agree to the law’s Medicaid expansion.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Violence Against Women Act’s uncertain fate
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:35 PM EST.

    Back in April, the Senate approved the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. Though all 31 opponents were Republican men, the measure enjoyed at least some bipartisan support, and hopes were high that VAWA would be extended before it expires at the end of the year.

    Sahil Kapur reports that there’s far less reason for optimism now.

    House GOP leaders aren’t yielding to a bipartisan coalition of Senate leaders demanding they extend the protections of the Violence Against Women Act — an anti-domestic abuse bill that was first passed with broad support in 1994 but hit a brick wall of Republican opposition earlier this year.

    “Nothing has changed,” a senior GOP aide told TPM.

    Republicans lost badly in the 2012 elections, thanks in large part to the largest gender gap in modern times, but if that changed GOP attitudes towards legislation affecting women, the party is hiding it well.

  12. Republican poll worker complains about high turnout among ‘People Of Color’

    On Thursday, the head of the Maine Republican Party found himself on the wrong side of controversy after he questioned the legitimacy of “dozens” of black people voting at the polls on Election Day. “Nobody in town knows anyone who’s black,” Charlie Webster — who has since apologized for his comments — declared.

    Such faulty logic is more widespread throughout the Republican party, it seems. Racial justice news site ColorLines published a video the day after the election of a self-identified Republican poll worker in Colorado who can be heard phoning in his concerns that “a very high concentration of people of color” were turning out in his precinct, and that such turnout was suspicious because he normally sees fewer minorities “at the mall”:

    • Ametia says:

      Everyone of the videos of these RACISTS fools need to be played on a continuous loop before the SCOTUS, when they take up the VOTING RIGHTS ACT, SECTION 5.

  13. Barbara Bush on Obama’s reelection: “People spoke. Move on, get on with it”

  14. Arne Duncan Implies He Will Remain Obama’s Education Secretary For Second Term

    After a week of speculation about the composition of President Barack Obama’s second-term cabinet, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan implied in a Friday speech that he intends to stay in his position.

  15. Coast Guard: Despite reports, no confirmed deaths in oil rig fire, 11 people brought to hospitals – @WWLTV live video

  16. How To Run a Killer Presidential Campaign
    The president’s campaign manager explains how the Obama campaign did it.

  17. Eliot Spitzer urges the Supreme Court to protect the Voting Rights Act of 1965

  18. President Obama Announces 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference

    WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, December 5, President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. The conference will provide leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This will be the fourth White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country. Additional details about the conference will be released at a later date.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Benghazi Is Not A Scandal

    Matt Steinglass delivers a reality check:
    At the most fundamental level, the reason it is absurd to suspect the existence of a “cover-up” over the Benghazi attack is that such a cover-up could not have had any conceivable goal. Back to the beginning: the underlying accusation about Benghazi is that the Obama administration deliberately mischaracterised the terrorist attack there as having grown out of a spontaneous demonstration because that would be less politically damaging. Such a cover-up would have made no sense because the attack would not have been less politically damaging had it grown out of a spontaneous demonstration. The attack on the Benghazi compound would not have been any less politically difficult for the administration if it had grown out of a riot, nor would any normal voter have expected it to be less politically damaging, nor would any normal campaign strategist have expected any normal voter to have expected it to be less politically damaging.

    Translation: you’re sane. They’re crazy. Remind yourselves of that. At most, it seems to me, this involves a government failure to anticipate this kind of attack in Benghazi and some ass-covering after the fact from those on the ground responsible for such things. The attack was a tragedy. Governments – all the way down to security at consulates – make mistakes, miss things, and suffer the consequences. And the truth is that our intelligence in that region – once completely dependent on Qaddafi and other tyrants – is very weak. It’s all electronic and from on high. We need to develop more human intelligence on the ground to guard against these incidents that have always occurred and always will in troubled countries in the midst of revolutions. That’s what we need to learn from this.

    But that’s not the debate the current GOP wants to have. Because they are not actually interested in government so much as in politics. And rather than figure out why they have strayed so far from sanity, and lost the support of an entire generation, they wallow in paranoia and conspiracy.

  20. rikyrah says:

    How Obama Affects the Courts of Appeal

    by BooMan
    Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:29:19 PM EST

    One of the major reasons that it was important that Barack Obama win a second term was because there is a 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that could easily have moved to 6-3 or even 7-2, with catastrophic consequences on a whole host of issues, prominently including women’s rights. But the Supreme Court only hears a small minority of federal cases. Most issues are decided at the level of the U.S. Courts of Appeal. And the balance of power on those courts is extremely consequential. Here’s a look at the present state of play on the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeal. I provide you with the number of judges on each panel who were appointed by a Republican (GOP) president and a Democratic (Dem) president, and also tell you how many vacancies there are on each panel. Take a close look.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit- 5 GOP, 5 Dem, 2 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit- 3 GOP, 2 Dem, 1 vacancy.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit- 5 GOP, 8 Dems, 0 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit- 6 GOP, 7 Dem, 1 vacancy.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit- 5 GOP, 9 Dem, 1 Clinton/Bush appointee, 0 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit- 10 GOP, 5 Dem, 2 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit- 10 GOP, 6 Dem, 0 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit- 7 GOP, 3 Dem, 1 vacancy.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit- 9 GOP, 2 Dem, 0 vacancies, 0 Obama appointees.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit- 9 GOP, 19 Dem, 1 vacancy (vacant since 2004).
    United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit- 6 GOP, 4 Dem, 2 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit- 4 GOP, 6 Dem, 2 vacancies.
    United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit- 5 GOP, 3 Dem, 3 vacancies, 0 Obama appointees.

    The Federal Circuit Court hears cases related to trade and patents, as well as cases pertaining to veterans’ issues. Its partisan slant was decided by the election last week.

    The First Circuit, which covers Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, will see its Republican slant wiped out.

    The Democratic slant of the Third Circuit, which covers Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was protected.

    The Tenth Circuit, which covers Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, could become balanced.

    The Democratic slant of the 11th District, which covers Alabama, Georgia and Florida, was protected.

    Most importantly, the hard Republican lean of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will be reversed instead of being dramatically bolstered.

    We will also see some incremental progress on the 5th and 7th Circuits.

    When all is said and done, the GOP will dominate only the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Circuits. You can do your own math to determine how dramatically different this is from what would have been if Mitt Romney had won the election.

    Progressives tend to ignore this element of American political life because we are not trying to use the courts to change our society. We did that in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Since then, packing the courts has been a conservative project. And we stopped them just short of their goal of a conservative majority for overturning Roe v. Wade and total domination of the Federal Courts of Appeal.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The desperate search for a legitimate Obama scandal
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:23 AM EST.

    There are very few developments the political world cherishes more than a White House scandal. They invariably include months of endless drama and intrigue. Congressional scandals are nice, as far as they go, but they’re a poor substitute.

    And as Paul Waldman explained well yesterday, the bizarre Republican rhetoric surrounding the politics of the Benghazi attack reinforce a larger truth: President Obama hasn’t had a legitimate scandal yet, and it’s making his detractors antsy

    If you’re looking at the Republican harumphing over Benghazi and asking yourself, “Why are we supposed to be so mad about this again?” you’re not alone. Let’s review: There was an attack on our consulate that killed four Americans, including our ambassador. Amid confusing and contradictory reports from the ground, President Obama waited too long to utter the magic incantation, “Terrorism, terrorists, terror!” that would have … well, it would have done something, but it turns out that he did say “terror,” so never mind that. But that’s not the real scandal! The real scandal is that Susan Rice went on television soon after and amid all kinds of “based on the best information we have”s and “we’ll have to see”s, said one thing that turned out not to be the case: that after the protests in Cairo, there was some kind of copycat protest in Benghazi, which was then “hijacked” by extremist elements using heavy weapons to stage an attack.

    A sane person might say, OK, she was obviously given some incorrect information at that time, but it’s not a particularly meaningful deception. As people have been pointing out for weeks now, it’s not as though not using the word “terror” or saying there was a protest before the attack gave the White House some enormous political advantage. If you’re going to have a cover-up, there has to be something you’re covering up.

  22. The Associated Press‏@AP

    BREAKING: Coast Guard: 4 people flown to hospital, 2 may be missing in Gulf oil rig explosion off La.

  23. Democrat to GOP in Benghazi Hearing ‘If you want to know who is responsible in this town, buy yourself a mirror!’

  24. dannie22 says:

    any1 going to the inauguration?

  25. Eric Liu’s “After the White Establishment” is a (White) Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: “The Emerging Coalition of Color Needs to Recommit to Americanness Itself”

    It’s not just that a president was elected against the express wishes of a majority of white Americans; after all, that happened twice with Bill Clinton. It’s that we chose to keep a black man in the Oval Office. And the “we” who did that included more nonwhites than ever recorded in an American electorate.

    But the question now is what we do — and who “we” are. Whites in America, like Americans in the world, may still have more power in absolute terms than anyone else. But they have less power than they used to (like Americans in the world). This moment in history, and its accelerating demographic shift, could give us zero-sum politics fueled by white status anxiety. Or it could give us the opportunity to at last detach Americanness from whiteness…

  26. The rejection of Obamacare’s free Medicaid money by red states is really going to help Democratic candidates:

  27. Obama to meet with civil rights leaders to discuss fiscal cliff

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is meeting with 13 heads of civil rights organizations and other advocacy groups to seek input on negotiations with Congress to avert automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts on Jan. 1.

    Among those who will join Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Friday at the White House are the NAACP’s Ben Jealous, Barry Rand of AARP, civil rights activist Al Sharpton, Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza and Marc Morial of the National Urban League.

  28. Texas Dem: Rick Perry should be drug tested

  29. Chris Redfern says Obama the first Dem in 75 years to get two majority wins for president in Ohio:

    Barack Obama is “only the second Democrat in the last 75 years to win Ohio twice with more than 50 percent of the vote.

  30. rikyrah says:

    When the Nerds Go Marching In
    By Alexis C. Madrigal
    .Nov 16 2012, 7:00 AM

    President Obama’s reelection campaign brought 40 engineers into their ranks to build the technology they needed to get the president reelected. This is the very human story of how they helped out, even if they never fit in.


    The Obama campaign’s technologists were tense and tired. It was game day and everything was going wrong.

    Josh Thayer, the lead engineer of Narwhal, had just been informed that they’d lost another one of the services powering their software. That was bad: Narwhal was the code name for the data platform that underpinned the campaign and let it track voters and volunteers. If it broke, so would everything else.

    They were talking with people at Amazon Web Services, but all they knew was that they had packet loss. Earlier that day, they lost their databases, their East Coast servers, and their memcache clusters. Thayer was ready to kill Nick Hatch, a DevOps engineer who was the official bearer of bad news. Another of their vendors, StallionDB, was fixing databases, but needed to rebuild the replicas. It was going to take time, Hatch said. They didn’t have time.

    They’d been working 14-hour days, six or seven days a week, trying to reelect the president, and now everything had been broken at just the wrong time. It was like someone had written a Murphy’s Law algorithm and deployed it at scale.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky:

    What is going on with John McCain? Maybe he just despises Barack Obama so completely that he almost can’t help himself. That’s one option. Another is that he has decided for whatever reason to finish his Senate career as a full-out tea partier. A third is that he’s just a nasty man, which is pretty widely known to be true in Washington.

    Hard to say. But this jihad of his against Susan Rice really is about the nastiest thing we’ve ever seen him do. Rice had nothing to do with security at the Benghazi consulate. Nothing….

    …. in 2005, McCain and Graham fiercely defended Condi Rice from Democratic attacks of “lying,” arguing she had been misled by intelligence. “I can only conclude we’re doing this for no other reason than because of lingering bitterness at the outcome of the elections,” McCain complained when Condi Rice’s nomination came to a vote.

    Amazing. The man needs an intervention. Isn’t there anyone who loves him who can tell him what he’s doing to what remains of his reputation?

  32. rikyrah says:

    Why Don’t You Go My Way

    By mistermix November 16th, 2012

    They’re still counting votes in Arizona, with a whopping 103,000 provisional ballots yet to be “verified” (Did a Mexican vote this? Throw it away!) in Maricopa county. Even though the provisional ballots are, unsurprisingly, breaking for Democrats, it looks like Sheriff Joe and the ginger prince are going to win. But Ron Barber, who won the special for Gabby Giffords’ seat, who was trailing on election night, is now ahead by 923 votes on the strength of provisional ballots. He’ll probably continue to gain as the 27,000 remaining provisional ballots in Pima County are counted.

    I don’t claim to understand Arizona’s voter suppression ritual in full, because part of that provisional ballot count is some even lesser form of ballot called a “conditional provisional” ballot where the voter must come back to show ID:

    Wednesday was the last day for people to present proper ID at county offices so that their “conditional provisional” ballot could be counted. That’s a ballot cast by someone lacking the necessary identification under state law.
    “We had 1,035 conditional provisional ballots and 55 voters came in with proper identification,” [Maricopa County Spokesperson] Reed explained.

    Almost 1,000 voters disenfranchised is a good start, but Arizona Republicans clearly have a lot of work to do.

  33. rikyrah says:

    ‘Spontaneously inspired’
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:09 AM EST.

    Five days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Susan Rice appeared on “Face the Nation” to give the public an update on the available information. She explained that it was too early to draw “definitive conclusions,” but the “best information we have to date” suggested the violence “began spontaneously … as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo” in response to the anti-Islam internet video.

    The ambassador then added, “But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons.” Asked about a possible al Qaeda role, Rice said this was unclear, explaining, “I think this is one of the things we’ll have to determine.”

    For John McCain and other increasingly-hysterical Obama administration critics, Rice was lying and her use of the word “spontaneous” is itself an outrageous scandal. It’s not altogether clear why this is causing far-right apoplexy, but this is where we find ourselves at this point.

    In an interesting twist, CBS News obtained the CIA talking points given to Rice in preparation of her interview

  34. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s inadvertent, insincere good idea
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    Failed Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney caused a bit of a stir this week when he told donors President Obama won re-election because he bribed women and minorities with “big gifts,” such as health care and education. As Rachel noted on the show last night, even many on the right found his comments unhelpful.

    As it turns out, that’s not all Romney said.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, the Republican went on to tell supporters: “What I would do if I were a Democrat running four years from now, I’d say, ‘You know what, dental care will be included in Obamcare.’ … And Republicans will say, ‘No, that’s going to cost a trillion dollars,’ and the Democrats will say, ‘That’s fine, you know, we’ll pay it.'”

    Putting aside the fact that access to affordable dental care wouldn’t cost $1 trillion, Romney’s suggestions actually sounds quite reasonable. Sure, he meant it sarcastically, and this was hardly a sincere policy idea, but if we ignore motivations, what’s wrong with the idea of including dental care in a national health care system in which Americans have access to medical attention they need?

    Dental care need not be considered some superfluous luxury. Good teeth are important to digestion; healthy gums prevent heart disease; and poor dental health can lead to chronic pain. In extreme cases, untreated dental problems can be literally fatal. If you go to an area hosting a free clinic, and you see the thousands of struggling, uninsured people lining up before dawn in the hopes of seeing a physician, you’ll find many of them are looking for dental care.

    Romney presented this as a ridiculous idea, as if the notion of helping families in need see a dentist is so absurd, the very suggestion is laughable. To my ear, Romney accidentally presented one of his most sensible ideas in a long while.

  35. rikyrah says:

    November 15, 2012

    Romney Gets the Last Gaffe

    Posted by Alex Koppelman

    In his defense, it must be incredibly difficult for someone like Mitt Romney to fail.

    He has, really, only ever done it twice before: once in 1994, when he challenged Ted Kennedy—and no matter how tough someone finds defeat, surely he can forgive himself for losing to the brother of J.F.K. and R.F.K.—and once in 2008. Now, having lost in what he knows must be his final shot at the ultimate achievement, he has to find a reason why. And surely he can’t blame himself, or the campaign he ran and the staff members he hired, despite its and their obvious deficiencies: who could, looking back at that record of success? So he casts about, looking for some other explanation, and he lands on one: “gifts” that, to sway voters, the Obama Administration handed out to the President’s key demographic groups—“especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community, and young people.”

    “With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college-loan interest, was a big gift,” he reportedly said during a conference call with his campaign’s national finance committee held this Wednesday afternoon. According to the New York Times’s Ashley Parker, he went on to explain:

    Read more:

  36. rikyrah says:

    The Tarnish of the Electoral College

    Published: November 15, 2012

    From the late-1960s through the ’80s, Republicans were convinced that they had a permanent lock on the Electoral College. The Sun Belt was rising, traditionally Democratic states were losing population, and Republicans won five of six presidential elections beginning in 1968. Democrats complained that this archaic system was a terrible and undemocratic way to choose the country’s executive. They were right, but they were ignored.

    Now the demographic pendulum is swinging toward the Democrats. Young voters, Hispanics and a more active African-American electorate added states like Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Virginia to President Obama’s winning coalition in the past two elections, and suddenly Republicans are the ones complaining about a broken system.

    They’re right, too, just as the Democrats were a generation ago. The Electoral College remains a deeply defective political mechanism no matter whom it benefits, and it needs to be abolished.

    We say that in full knowledge that the college may be tilting toward the kinds of candidates we tend to support and provided a far more decisive margin for Mr. Obama earlier this month than his showing in the popular vote. The idea that a voting method might convey benefits to one side or another, in fact, is one of the strongest arguments against it.

    There should be no structural bias in the presidential election system, even if population swings might oscillate over a long period of decades. If Democrats win a string of elections, it should be because their policies and their candidates appeal to a majority of the country’s voters, not because supporters are clustered in enough states to get to 270 electoral votes. Republicans should broaden their base beyond a shrinking proportion of white voters not simply to win back Colorado, but because a more centrist outlook would be good for the country.

    The problems with the Electoral College — born in appeasement to slave states — have been on display for two centuries; this page called it a “cumbrous and useless piece of old governmental machinery” in 1936, when Alf Landon won 36 percent of the popular vote against Franklin Roosevelt but received only 8 of the 538 electoral votes.

  37. rikyrah says:

    What Benghazi Is about: Scandal Envy

    Paul Waldman

    November 15, 2012

    Republicans are livid that Obama hasn’t had his major scandal yet.

    If you’re looking at the Republican harumphing over Benghazi and asking yourself, “Why are we supposed to be so mad about this again?” you’re not alone. Let’s review: There was an attack on our consulate that killed four Americans, including our ambassador. Amid confusing and contradictory reports from the ground, President Obama waited too long to utter the magic incantation, “Terrorism, terrorists, terror!” that would have … well, it would have done something, but it turns out that he did say “terror,” so never mind that. But that’s not the real scandal! The real scandal is that Susan Rice went on television soon after and amid all kinds of “based on the best information we have”s and “we’ll have to see”s, said one thing that turned out not to be the case: that after the protests in Cairo, there was some kind of copycat protest in Benghazi, which was then “hijacked” by extremist elements using heavy weapons to stage an attack.


    But now, some Republicans, particularly John McCain and Lindsay Graham, are essentially saying that this horrifying cover-up was quite possibly the greatest crime in the history of the United States government, and if we’re going to get to the bottom of it nothing short of a select committee—a “Watergate-style committee,” as it is being referred to by reporters—will do. Who knows what it might uncover? Were there CIA whistleblowers whose bodies are now lying at the bottom of the Potomac? Was David Petraeus being blackmailed? Are William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright involved? Did Susan Rice fly to Tripoli, have a steamy liaison with a clone of Ayman al-Zawahiri created in a secret underground laboratory, then go to Benghazi where she personally killed Ambassador Chris Stevens with a hat pin? We won’t know unless we spin this out into a multi-week story!

    So what’s going on here? I can sum it up in two words: scandal envy. Republicans are indescribably frustrated by the fact that Barack Obama, whom they regard as both illegitimate and corrupt, went through an entire term without a major scandal. They tried with “Fast and Furious,” but that turned out to be small potatoes. They tried with Solyndra, but that didn’t produce the criminality they hoped for either. Obama even managed to dole out three-quarters of a trillion dollars in stimulus money without any graft or double-dealing to be found. Nixon had Watergate, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Clinton had Lewinsky, and Barack Obama has gotten off scott-free. This is making them absolutely livid, and they’re going to keep trying to gin up a scandal, even if there’s no there there. Benghazi may not be an actual scandal, but it’s all they have handy.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Maine GOP leader falls, keeps digging
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:30 AM EST

    We talked yesterday about Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster, who believes he found evidence of “voter fraud” last week — “dozens of black people” voted in rural areas, he said, which he sees as problematic because “nobody” in those towns “knows anyone who’s black.” Webster said he’d launch a vote-caging scheme to prove these voters were casting illegal ballots.

    Yesterday, the Maine Republican talked to TPM, and after falling in a ditch, Webster just kept digging.

    Webster said he wasn’t racist and that he had several black friends.

    “There’s nothing about me that would be discriminatory. I know black people. I play basketball every Sunday with a black guy. He’s a great friend of mine. Nobody would ever accuse me of suggesting anything,” he said.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Evening “I mostly love my job” Open Thread

    By Soonergrunt November 15th, 2012

    I just haven’t had much to say the last few days. I’ve been Acting PC-Support Lead-my supervisor’s job-while he steps up to Acting Facility CIO while the FCIO is detailed up to Region.

    My boss’ job sucks. It sucks even more without the his pay. I spend a tremendous amount of time on the phone dealing with vendors, some of whom are trying very hard to weasel out of their responsibilities, dealing with irate users, who usually have no legitimate reason to be irate, and with other leads and managers, as well as my coworkers whom I am ostensibly leading. I could probably grow into the position and I think I would be pretty decent at it if it ever opens for advancement, but I gotta say that the likelihood that I would strangle myself with a mouse cord is probably about 50/50 in the first year. On the other hand, I went to a staff meeting and it was an eye opener. EVERYTHING was about “how can we improve our service to our Veterans and improve our value to the Taxpayer?” And “what is your department doing to improve our service to our Veterans?” After many years of going to various meetings as a Soldier and as a civilian, in private sector, in contracting, and now as a civil servant, I never thought I’d say this about a staff meeting, but I left that meeting with a better feeling about my organization and my place in it.

    I still get up every morning and say to myself “hey, I get to go to work today!” It’s a damn site better than my last job where I would lie in bed in the mornings and say “oh, I have to go to work today.” And when you consider that the only things Rmoney ever said about the VA was that he wanted to privatize it and put Vets on vouchers, back before he realized that nobody liked his policy positions, I was a little nervous about the potential for a Rmoney presidency. Yes, I said here on multiple occasions that I thought President Obama was going to win and win big, but I’ve never lost money underestimating my fellow human beings capability and especially, my fellow Americans’ capability to do the exactly dumbest thing they could do to themselves given the chance. So I am gratified that I’m going to have a job for a while, and especially that I and other Vets will get the proper care and service that is the VA’s mission to provide.

    Thank you all, so much, for being such great bosses.

  40. rikyrah says:

    loved this series

  41. Ametia says:

    Chrysler to Spend $238 Million, Add 1,250 Jobs in Michigan

    (Reuters) Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, said on Thursday it will invest $238 million to boost engine and truck production in Michigan and add up to 1,250 jobs to meet new demand.

  42. Ametia says:

    The David Petraeus Scandal, Explained

    Who knew what and when? Why did Jill Kelley ask for diplomatic protection? And: Shirtless FBI agent…exposed! (UPDATED)
    ■The “shirtless” PHOTO: The fabled shot of the FBI agent emerges

    ■FBI agent Humphries reportedly tipped off “a friend” who went to GOP lawmaker

    ■”Shirtless FBI agent” identified: counterterrorism veteran Frederick Humphries

    ■Investigators find “substantial classified information” on Paula Broadwell’s computer
    ■National security? Jill Kelley requests diplomatic protection, dabbles in diplomacy

    ■Kelley’s twin Natalie Khawam’s alleged romance with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist


  43. Ametia says:

    The Republicans still don’t get it
    By Eugene Robinson,
    Nov 16, 2012 01:10 AM EST

    I know it’s early, but I have a sinking feeling the Republican Party is taking all the wrong lessons from last week’s election. Short term, that’s a boon for Democrats. Long term, it’s a problem for the country.

    The GOP should be listening to reasonable voices such as that of Newt Gingrich. Yes, I used the words “reasonable” and “Gingrich” in the same sentence. He has occasional moments of lucidity, and one came on the “Today” show when he said Republicans “need to stop, take a deep breath and learn.”

    I was wrong last week, as was virtually every major Republican analyst,” Gingrich said. “And so, you have to stop and say to yourself, ‘If I was that far off, what do I need to learn to better understand America?’”

    The voices the party should ignore include those claiming that House Republicans, by retaining their majority, won some sort of mandate to continue pushing a radical conservative agenda. And yes, Gingrich has made this argument as well. The fog lifts, the fog descends.

  44. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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