October 24, 2014

Sunday Open Thread: Jazz Brunch

Good morning Obots!

Anita Baker performs the classic “Summertime” live.

m4s0n501
  • GreenLadyHere
  • GreenLadyHere

    - – -GOOD SUNDAY MORNTIN’ – ALEXANDER2. ***BIG HUG** :>) - – –

    – – — -Joinin’ U with another INSPIRING song from the “STYLISTIC” –Ms. DIVA ANITA. :>)- -THANK U 4 brangin’ her. :>)

    – –B BLESSED – as ENJOY YOUR DAY. :>)- –

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- — – THIS was posted on my FACEBOOK. :>)- –AMAZIN’ PICS– -:>)

    – – – -30 Pictures Of President Obama’s Rain-Soaked Campaign Speech- – –

    – — Posted the video yesterday.- –while STARIN’ at his- – -DRENCHED self. LOL. – – –

    – – – ***-FOCUS! FOCUS!!*** LOL.

    – –THANK U 4 ALL that U have done- — -MR. PRESIDENT. – –U R- –da BEST!! :>)

    • Aquagranny911

      I love this! Thanks for sharing. The adorable doll with the blue flower barrette in her hair was too cute! I bet that was her favorite thing she wanted to wear to meet the President.

      You might get a laugh from this. Hubby & I were discussing Mittster & oldest Granddaughter, soon to be 8 years, pipes in with: “He’s a “bastart” I am like: “say what?” She says: ” A bastart, a really bad man”

      I don’t know where she got that but Hubby & I were laughing so hard in agreement we didn’t speak to her about bad language. It really wasn’t a swear, anyway exactly.

      ♥ BIG Hugs and be blessed! You & your family are in my thoughts every day.

      • GreenLadyHere

        Dear Aquagranny911!. **BIG HUG*** :>)

        LOL. Thank U 4 da LAFF. MUCH NEEDED 2-day. :>)

        – — -HUGS 2 the “wee one”. – – -:>)

        Bless U- -aquagranny. :>)

    • GN

      Those pics are terrific; thanks for the link GLH.

  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    • Aquagranny911

      Rikyrah, how is your Sis doing? I missed any updates. I’ve had the grandkiddos all week so haven’t been able to keep up. I have been sending her healing.

      • rikyrah

        she’s still in the hospital, but getting stronger, IMO. Looks a lot better than when she got there.

        • Aquagranny911

          Great news, thanks! I will keep praying for her full recovery. My Sis means the world to me & I know how worried I would be if she got sick. Keep standing strong, Kiddo.

  • rikyrah

    Email Of The Day

    A reader quotes our dissenter:

    I worry about blowback now, even as I deilght in hearing O cooly say that Romney has some ‘splainin to do. I still don’t like the ads, and I think the intimation that there was anything criminal in those SEC filings is way over the top.

    This is the kind of hand-wringing that makes the Democratic coalition unable to govern effectively. This is politics, not a peer-reviewed research essay. Is Obama’s insinuation not 100% above board? Sure. But it’s a half-truth that’s in the service of a much larger and more important truth: that Romney is the very epitome of financial sector’s arrogance and lack of accountability which is largely responsible for destroying the US economy, and the American middle class, while preserving the gains of the rich at any cost. You can worry about Obama’s fidelity to detail all you want. The guy isn’t a journalist; he’s a politician, and the argument he’s making against Romney does reveal Romney’s true core as another arrogant Master of the Universe who takes it for granted that he lives by a separate set of rules from everyone else. If Obama has to exaggerate and oversimplify to get there, then so be it.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/email-of-the-day.html

    • GN

      OMG re: the bolded section. It’s like the default is to go after PBO no matter how egregious the behavior on the other side of the aisle has become. Newsflash: perhaps those ads aren’t facing blowback because perhaps Mitt did something sleazy in terms of his investment fund having funny papers. And perhaps if any one of us did the same, and then tried to run for POTUS, we’d be taken to the damn woodshed too.

      For once, can people simply follow PBO’s lead and stop always trying to find something negative to focus on. My goodness. I agree with the rebuttal, but wouldn’t even go as far as to call the ad a half-truth. An investment fund with funny papers is nuts.

    • Ebogan63

      Shit like the bolded section is why we lose elections.

      • creolechild

        Yup…pretty much. What would possess anyone who has commonsense to defend Lurch. He has offered no credible policies or plans to move this country forward. NONE!

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2—- – LOL. THEY R da JOKESTERS. – – STRIKE BACK with WHAT??- -LOL- –

    – – – -Republican governors want Mitt Romney to hit back- – —

    – – -Republican governors gathered here this weekend gently nudged Mitt Romney to wage a more aggressive campaign, urging the GOP standard bearer to share more about his background and draw a sharper contrast between his vision and that of President Barack Obama.

    In a series of interviews, the chief executives said they’d like to hear their presidential nominee rebut Obama’s criticism about Bain Capital, the company Romney formerly led, by explaining what the venture-capital firm did while offering a more forward-leaning recitation of what he’d do in the White House.

    – – -SNIP- —
    Other GOP governors, however, channeled the increasingly common complaint among conservatives when it comes to Romney, contending that he needed to go beyond mere criticism of Obama and detail his own plans for the presidency.

    THERE IS MORE.

    NOTICE that THEY did NOT put forth a resolution of SUPPORT. LOL.. THEY CAIN’T!!- –LOL.

    That NOMINATION in August will b a JOKE! LOL

    – — GOTTA BRANG HIM DOWN- – -B4 HIS NOMINATION.

    • GN

      Yes, please, Gov. Romney: please detail your own plans for the presidency, particularly the economic ones and the agreement with the Ryan .budget Absolutely. I hope that he takes that advice.

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- — -SPEAK TRUTH!!- —

    — -The Real Motivation Behind Repealing ObamaCare is Racism- –

    —-One thing I like to do is to go to conservative sites and read their diatribe. The latest site I “Liked” on Facebook is the Heritage Foundation. Emblazoned on their page is this logo:

    They, like every other conservative are demanding the Congress to repeal this socialist medical care! Funny thing, this idea sounds like: Hertiage Care. As a matter of fact, the Obama Care was based upon the Heritage Foundation’s health plan as an answer to Hillary Care (Public Option) and placed in their bill, an individual mandate.

    So why would the Heritage Foundation want to repeal the Affordable Care Act? To be blunt? Because Obama is black. Yes, I said it. Obama is a black and the leader of the Democratic Party. But, according to a lawyer who was on the Sirius Left show Mark Thompson: Make It Plain, the caller said that institutionalized racism does not exist.

    If that were true, then why were there Republicans supporting this in the past? According to Fox News:

    – – – -SNIP- –
    – -Yes, the ACA may not be perfect, as it was drafted by a conservative group, but why isn’t the Heritage Foundation stepping up to the plate and say: We created Obama Care and we are proud and that Obama, “stole our idea”. Well, maybe because there is a black person in the WHITE House and and as Mitch McConnell said: Make Obama a One Term President: http://www.youtube.com…

    So suffice to say, racism is playing a part in Obama’s career in office.
    THERE IS MORE.

    – – – -***fist bump*** 2 da max. :>)

    • Jeremy

      One small problem. Hillary Care was not a Public option and contained no public option. It was based on the existing system and has many similarities and some differences to ACA. Some liberals need to get there facts straight first.

      • Jeremy

        Oh actually I made a mistake. I read it so fast and thought that it said Hillary Care was a public option bill but it said that the mandate was an alternative to Hillary Care and the Public Option. LOL ! I guess I need to get my facts straight first.

        Good post and right on about the racism.

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2—- YA KNOW—I was wonderin’ WHYCOME McAncient has become – -relatively quiet.- – Seems as iff some DOTS needed 2 B connected.- –

    – – -Why is McCain Better Than the People?

    – – -I am going to address this to the American people, whether they be conservatives or liberals or something in between. Back in April, the Washington Post reported that Mitt Romney had turned over twenty-three years of tax returns to John McCain’s vice-presidential team. It’s easy to do the math here. If you subtract twenty-three from 2008, you get 1985. Mitt Romney created Bain Capital in 1984, and 1985 was the first tax return that reflected his new job. It’s obvious that Romney turned over every record that pertained to Bain Capital. Now, why did he do that? And why did McCain’s team ask him to do that?

    Romney turned the records for Bain Capital over to McCain because he is ambitious and he wanted to be selected as McCain’s running mate, and he knew McCain would never consider him for the job if he didn’t provide the records that had been requested. McCain wanted the records from Bain Capital because he wanted to know whether Mitt Romney had any vulnerabilities that might embarrass him and potentially cost him the chance to win the election and become president.

    – — SNIP- – –
    What makes John McCain more important than the voters? He looked at those twenty-three years of tax returns and thought Sarah Palin, a person he met once and barely knew, would be a better more responsible choice. If Romney won’t let us make up our own minds about his tax returns, maybe we should just defer to McCain’s judgment then. We’ll assume that Romney is worse than Palin.

    THERE IS MORE.

    Confession: I was NOT aware of this information. Sooo NOW- –“shrub”- –
    INQUIRIN’ MINDS WANNA KNOW- —WHAT DO U KNOW!??- —

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- —–A POWERFUL VOICE 4 MR. PRESIDENT—- :>)

    – — –Stephanie Cutter ‏@stefcutter

    .@BarackObama is fighting to help families like the McLaughlins: http://OFA.BO/oT8oAj- – –

    C how POSITIVELY HE interacts with people. :>)

    – – – –V- – –

    – -THIS!!- —

    – –He is soo- –OUT-OF-TOUCH!! geesh!

  • aleth

    I am amazed at the gymnastics these liberals [looking at you chris hayes] will go excuse mitt romney or ron paul. I bet if the President said oh my signature in on SEC filings but i had nothing to do with it, that answer will satisfy these assholes.

    It is amazing to see … but I predicted same days ago, it is their MO.

    They cover for the same elite they claim to dislike. What they dislike more is a black man calling the shots and determining what conversations they will be forced into having.

    Next up, Ann Romney tears
    Next up, CNN voter roundtable to say the President is to mean and blowback

    Next up, lets discuss both sides do it hosted by Chris Hayes with a rant from Grenwald.

    They are so predictable

    So how does Romney explain outsourcing to china in 1998.

    And if I recall the trade agreements Obama negiotiated where done to give US workers more right and bargaining power.

    Predictable as shit

    • Aquagranny911

      Chris Hayes is a whining little weasel & I wish Greenwald would put a sock in it and stay in Brazil!

      • creolechild

        For someone who no longer lives in this country, gg has an awful lot to say about shit! If he’s so concerned about the state of affairs (which I know he isn’t cuz Deaniac was always handing him his azz), he would have moved back here a long time ago to champion his “pet hustles”…umm..I mean “gripes” errrr…”causes?” to help find solutions to whatever has his boxers in a twist.

        I don’t watch GE’s MSNBC or cable news shows. They’re hazardous to your health AND your IQ level. As for Chris Hayes, I’ve heard the name before (usually associated with unflattering criticism of his show) but other other than that I pretty much don’t know or care about his opinions on ….anything.

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      Chris Hayes dropped the ball with Ed Conard. Dedrick Muhammed, who was a guest on the panel, did a better job calling out Conard’s bs.

    • MonieTalks

      Mitt’s signature doesn’t mean much to the PL……. but university police pepper-spraying OWS protestors and municipal police cracking down elsewhere is a federal conspiracy orchestrated by PBO?! GTFOH.

      I told you the selective outrage is innate for some, for reasons we all know.

    • itgurl_29

      I was quite perplexed when everyone one was hyping this Chris Hayes interview on twitter yesterday. I was like, really? Chris Hayes is a hack to lives to attack liberals and any progress we make. Of course he was going to cover for Mitt. This is the same dude who said POTUS was “spiking the ball” with his OBL killing.

    • GN

      This is why I love POU because it’s a foregone conclusion that the PL is trifling; the only debate is about the degree of triflingness. Regressives will always have friends in these purity idiots. Raise your hand if you’re surprised that the same people who have “courageously” attacked the PBO administration for years “from the left” are somehow unable to effectively challenge Mitten’s bullshit.

  • Aquagranny911

    Hola POU family.

    I don’t know if someone already posted this & ordinarily I would not post a link to the dark side but Sis sent me this & I think it’s worth the read….

    More on the Mittster….

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/14/1109807/-Mitt-meet-EDGAR-Hammer-meet-nail

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- —- LOL. SAY WHA’?- – — –

    – – -Gillespie On Romney’s Leave Of Absence: ‘It Was Not Part Time’- – –

    – —Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said that documents saying Mitt Romney was said to be taking a part-time leave of absence from Bain Capital to run the Olympics do not describe the reality of what happened on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

    “You know there may have been a thought at the time that it could be part time. It was not part time,” Gillespie said. “The Olympics was in a shambles.”

    Gillespie also referenced who he said was a former Bain employee and Democrat who ran for the Senate in Massachusetts as saying Romney was absent from Bain. “[He] said, ‘he wasn’t there, he wasn’t engaged in the day-to-day activities,’” Gillespie said.
    THERE IS MORE.

    — Sooo- — -Maybe he 4-got this:- -But at least three times since then,(1999)- – Bain listed Romney as the company’s “controlling person,” as well as its “sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president.” And one of those documents — as late as February 2001 — lists Romney’s “principal occupation” as Bain’s managing director.

    – — – -OPEN- –MOUTH- — ->LIES!! geesh!

    • creolechild

      All ‘retiring retroactively’ means is that, yes, he was what he’s now denying but we’re going to change the date to fit the lies that he’s telling.

  • creolechild

    Good morning, POU! Here’s some good news for Oakland:

    For the past three and a half years, the Obama Administration has remained committed to investing in our maritime ports in order to modernize their infrastructure, keep goods moving freely and efficiently, and create jobs. In fact, for the first time in decades, this President has put maritime transportation on an equal footing with other ways of moving the goods that fuel our economy.

    And DOT has demonstrated this commitment through all four rounds of our TIGER program with more than $339 million in grants to support 24 port projects. One such project is the Port of Oakland, which I had the opportunity to visit with California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday. A $15 million TIGER grant from DOT will help boost rail access and capacity at this leading trade gateway.

    ~snip~

    Read more: http://fastlane.dot.gov/2012/07/port-of-oakland.html

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      Someone should send this to Davey D’s Sole Patrol arse.

      • Worldwatcher7

        He doesn’t strike me as much of a reader, but once he learns of this I’m sure he’ll find some reason to protest it.

      • Ebogan63

        Sep, he too busy worryin’ bout weed to care.

        • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

          That explains whole helluva lot, doesn’t it?

      • creolechild

        Sepia, who is Davey D?

        • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

          A Bay Area radio hip-hop DJ who spreads half-asses/false information about PBO, and is always trying to challenge PBO’s blackness.

    • GreenLadyHere

      GOOD SUNDAY MORNTIN’ creolechild. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

      Thank U 4 this article. :>)

      Errytime I consult the WHdotgov- – -it is OBVIOUS that MR. PRESIDENT has been PROVIDING LEADERSHIP in such a BROAD manner!. :>)

      – — -National Maritime Day Proclamation 2009 by the President of the United States of America- – –

      – – -Americans have long looked to the sea as a source of security and prosperity. Bounded by two oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, and criss-crossed by a myriad of inland waterways, America’s destiny as a maritime nation was a story foretold.

      – – –SNIP- —
      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2009, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance by honoring the service of merchant mariners and by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.

      – -HE! IS! AMAZING!! :>)- -WORKIN’ HARD 4- — WE DA PEOPLE!- –

      Good 2 C U – -creolechiild. :>)

      • creolechild

        ((((Good morning, GLH.)))) Have a peace-filled day.

        • GreenLadyHere

          creolechild. THANK U sooo MUCH. :>) — SMILES. :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- – – –LOL.- – – -COMEDIC TRUTH- –[Luvin' the CONTRASTS.]

    – — -LOL. – -[Luvin' the CONTRASTS.]

  • creolechild

    Judges Seem Ready To Mess With Texas’ Voter ID Law

    A panel of three federal judges in D.C. posed skeptical questions on Friday about Texas’ voter ID law during closing arguments in a trial about whether the measure is discriminatory….The judge pointed out that people who live more than 100 miles from a courtroom aren’t even allowed to be subpoenaed because it is “unduly burdensome”….The panel of judges were also highly critical of how Texas handled discovery during the case, pointing out that they did not request federal records about what Texas residents had forms of federal identification, such as passports. (Texas was making the case that many individuals who did not have a Texas drivers license might have a federal form of ID.)

    ~snip~

    J. Gerald Hebert, a well-known civil rights lawyer representing those intervening in the case, argued during his closing that the threat of voter fraud was “merely a pretext, a cloak” for a voter suppression effort and that Texas’ effort had been “tinged with race from day one.” He asked the court make an affirmative finding that the law was enacted with a discriminatory purpose.

    Read more: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/texas_voter_id_trial_closing_arguments.php?ref=fpb

    H/T Ryan J. Reilly

  • rikyrah

    Comment of the Day: Mitt Romney Can ‘Partake in the Finest Selection of Horse Penises’

    If you don’t think Mittens is out of touch with African-American voters, then etfp has something you ought to read:

    From a black man to Mitt Romney: Fuck you.
    Black people don’t want free shit, you out of touch Dr. Reed Richards hair having motherfucker.

    We want the same shit that your white constituency wants: Opportunity, good schools, safe streets, JOBS, a house that doesn’t fucking double and triple in interest rate while the value plummets, a place to shit with a door on it and the ability to not be denied coverage when we have a medical problem. We’re no different than anybody else but you wouldn’t know that because the only black person you probably know personally you just happen to be running against him for president.

    I’m tired of these piece of shit Republicans talking DOWN and whitesplaining to people of color AS IF they had it hard all their lives. NO Mitt Romney, you never had to worry about the price of milk ever in your fucking life. You were raised with a silver spoon in your mouth and your father probably owned a silver spoon factory.

    If you were really in touch, you’d talk about JOBS because we have a 14% unemployment rate in the black community but your party couldn’t pass a fart through cotton much less a fucking jobs bill. You’d talk about the safety net but we all know that you and Rand Paul are looking to take a pair of comically large shears to that motherfucker.

    Instead you walk in front of the NAACP and talk PAST them and your message hits your goddamn racist, sexist, homophobic, bible thumping, hate ridden, against their own interest base that ignores when we spend half a million on cruise missiles but complain when they see somebody cashing an unemployment check that happens to own an iPhone. FUCK YOU.

    http://jezebel.com/5925651/comment-of-the-day-mitt-romney-can-partake-in-the-finest-selection-of-horse-penises

    • Aquagranny911

      Dang! That was a totally righteous rant! Thanks for sharing.

    • Gc

      I loved this comment. I’d musically accompany it with Queen Aretha’s Respect.

      Is this poster EDFPHO who posts here?

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- — — LOL. Tryin’ this again:- – Mr. PRESIDENT – – -apologizes- — – SORTA- – -LOL—

    – –RonSupportsYou ‏@RonSupportsYou

    RT @Nicolucci1899 Mitt demands Obama apologize for what his campaign said about Bain. Obama: “I’m sorry you lied.”

    • Admiral_Komack

      Willard: “The President should apologize to ME!”

      President Obama: “Nigger, please!”

      • GreenLadyHere

        HEEY Admiral. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

        – — ***fist bump****- – – -TRUTH!! LOL- —

        Good 2 C U Admiral. :>)

  • creolechild

    Republican intransigence on economic policy has been a key contributor to the sluggish recovery. As early as 2009, Republican fear-mongering over spending and their readiness to filibuster in the Senate helped convince the White House economic team that an $800 billion stimulus was the most they could hope to get through Congress.

    Reporting has since revealed that the team thought the country actually needed a stimulus on the order of $1.2 to $1.8 trillion. The economy’s path over the next three years proved them right. Here are the top five ways the Republicans have sabotaged the economic recovery since:

    ~snip~

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/156321/5_ways_republicans_have_sabotaged_job_growth/

    H/T Jeff Spross

  • MonieTalks

    That ad…

    Think about this.

    PBO, in this ad, prett much says, you Rethugs have been questioning my patriotism ever since 2008 with flag pin foolishness.They claim he went on an apology tour. They even misconstrued the FLOTUS’s word and said she wasn’t proud of her country. Romney even said PBO, the constitutional lawyer, does not understand America.

    And so Mitt makes “Believe in America” his slogan, specifically for the GOPTEA to salivate.

    And yet in this ad, foreign tax havens and outsourcing nations are featured one after the other, with Mitt’s horrible singing in the background. Does Mitt Romney really believes in America? That is what this ad asks.

    • rikyrah

      I love it.

      I loved listening to Jim Clyburn ask ‘ how can we trust that he has AMERICA’S best interests at heart?’

      last week.

      LOVE IT

    • Aquagranny911

      “PBO ain’t gray out for nothing….” And PBO doesn’t use that Grecian stuff or shoe polish on his hair either, Mitty. What you see is what you get & our Prez is tough to his very core so BITE THE BIG CACTUS, Mitt! Take your whining, lying ass out of the USA to visit your money. Nobody is playing with you anymore!

    • GN

      PBO is simply telling the truth and cutting through the bullshit. Slapping a flag pin on the lapel while housing money away from US tax consequences, tying yellow ribbons around trees while cheerleading wars which send our people (and people in other countries) into hell for no reason. Talking junk about “family values” while not giving even half a damn about cutting health and food benefits for children off, injecting shame into poverty and calling people leeches. I don’t blame President Obama for choosing to use a moment of Mitten’s shameless pandering to just cut through all of it and have a reality check. PBO is an excellent leader who should command way more respect and trust than he currently gets.

      • nellcote

        flag pins and yellow ribbon magnets made in China…

    • GreenLadyHere

      Good Sunday MornTin’ MonieTalks. ***BIG HUG**:>)

      THIS: –>And so Mitt makes “Believe in America” his slogan, specifically for the GOPTEA to salivate.

      Annnd- – -he has this sociopathic/PATHETIC – HABIT of – –“COPYIN'” — Mr. President.
      His ONLY ORIGINAL THOUGHTS R when – – -HE LIES!!!- —

      Annnd — -he is ONLY MARGINALLY interested in America.

      EVIDENCE: – — BERMUDA- — CAYMANS- – — SWISS- – -HAH!

      – -GOTTA TAKE HIM DOWN- – -B4- -HIS NOMINATION!!- –

      – — -It’s WORKIN’. – – -HAH!- –

      Good THOUGHTS- -MonieTalks. B Blessed. U/FAM.

  • creolechild

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a motion seeking to lead a proposed class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) involving the activities of a U.K. trader known as the “London Whale.” The suit was filed on behalf of the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System, the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. Ohio pension funds lost more than $27.5 million due to the alleged fraud.

    ~snip~

    Ohio is seeking to lead a class action initiated by Louisiana. Public pension funds in Oregon and Arkansas as well as a Swedish national pension fund are seeking to join the Louisiana lawsuit, the Ohio statement said.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-14/ohio-files-motion-seeking-to-lead-jpmorgan-whale-fraud-suit.html

    H/T Dan Hart

  • GreenLadyHere

    AlEXANDER2- – – – -Mr. Rahm has his issues.- – — BUT- -he came out swangin’- on THIS- — —

    – – – -Emanuel: Romney made Bain tenure his ‘calling card,’ should ‘stop whining’- – –

    – – – –Former Obama White House chief-of-staff-turned Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended criticisms of Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, saying the GOP candidate had made his work there a “calling card” of his campaign and should “stop whining.”

    “Mitt Romney said Bain Capital is his calling card for why he should be president. He doesn’t talk about Massachusetts as governor. He doesn’t talk about any other piece,” said Emanuel on ABC’s “This Week.” “He says, ‘I created jobs at Bain Capital.’”

    – – – -SNIP- —
    The debate intensified last week after the Obama campaign raised questions over when exactly Romney left Bain. Romney has said he left in 1999 to oversee preparations for the Salt Lake City Olympics, but Securities and Exchange Commission filings show him listed as Bain’s CEO beyond that time. Democrats hope to tie Romney to layoffs by companies owned by Bain after 1999.

    Emanuel on Sunday pointed to those SEC documents, which he said raised questions about how Romney would perform if elected president.

    “You can’t — as president of the United States you can’t have a sign on your desk that says, “Gone fishing.” You can’t put that on that desk. It’s basically the buck stops there,” he said. “You can’t say to the SEC, ‘I was the CEO, chairman and president, but I’m not responsible. I’m not accountable.’ That’s what he likes you to think.”
    THERE IS MORE.

    • Aquagranny911

      Take it to him, Rahm!!!

    • GN

      He’s exactly right. Perfectly said, Rahm!

      • creolechild

        President Obama always steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for the decisions that he makes. That is a such rarity in modern-day politics! What’s even more striking to me, is that when I look at how many of these governmental institutions have been re-vamped brought up to speed on policy issues, transparency, utilizing 21st century mediums to interact with the public, and ensuring that these institutions–from the bottom up–are running more efficiently, eliminating waste and fraud, I simply cannot understand how people can say that PBO hasn’t “changed” anything. The ground is shifting underneath them but they’re so busy nit-picking that they don’t even notice.

        PBO is going to leave one hell of a legacy, and hard shoes to fill; when his second term in the Oval Office ends.

        • Aquagranny911

          This is just a little personal share. Hubby worked for the gov until he retired last Fall. He often complained in the past about the “useless paper work” he had to do for “some Washington puke to pile on his desk” instead of being “in the field doing my real job”

          Ever since PBO, paperwork was consistently reduced, streamlined, made cogent & manageable so he & his crew could spend their time actually doing their jobs.

          I’m sure this saved $$$.

  • creolechild

    NOW, this IS PRICELESS but I can guarantee you that they won’t be making any commercials about this!

    Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and some of the biggest U.S. banks agreed to a settlement of at least $6.05 billion in a price-fixing case brought by retailers over credit-card swipe fees. The total value of the settlement is $7.25 billion to a class of about 7 million merchants in the U.S. that accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards and debit cards, a law firm for the merchants, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP, said in a statement.

    Visa said its share of the settlement filed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, was about $4.4 billion. Visa said the proposed settlement payments, including costs incurred by MasterCard Inc. and card-issuing banks, would be about $6.6 billion. That amount would include about $525 million for individual claims.

    ~snip~

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-13/visa-mastercard-settle-merchants-antitrust-swipe-fee-suit.html

    H/T Christie Smythe and Dakin Campbell

    • Miranda

      The media will be quiet as church mice over this.

  • itgurl_29
    • Miranda

      Indeed it is.

  • creolechild

    WHOOT! Thank you, again, President Obama.

    Turning the Unemployment Program into a Reemployment Program

    The Obama Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways to turn the unemployment system into a reemployment system….Today, I had the privilege to announce guidance to states interested in developing demonstration projects to help their unemployed obtain jobs faster and more efficiently. These demonstrations are a key component in the first major overhaul of the Unemployment Insurance system in decades.

    Through this initiative, 10 states will have the opportunity to develop new and creative ways to help recipients of UI funds get back to work faster. These states will design programs that help the unemployed get back to work, while lowering costs and ensuring that all participants receive the same worker protections.

    The Labor Department is preparing to announce more guidance in the coming months that further improve the functionality of the UI system. These reforms will provide states with more flexibility to respond to changes in the economy, provide employers tools to avoid layoffs, help the unemployed get back into the workforce faster and even expand opportunities for the unemployed to start their own businesses.

    Read more: http://social.dol.gov/blog/turning-the-unemployment-program-into-a-reemployment-program/

    H/T Secretary Hilda Solis

  • rikyrah

    Romney’s Strategy is His Only Strategy

    by BooMan
    Sun Jul 15th, 2012 at 11:04:58 AM EST

    Much like the necessity of defending Sarah Palin destroyed every minimum standard of truth and decency that remained in the Republican Party, Mitt Romney’s utterly vacuous campaign is turning the nation’s Republican governors into blathering idiots. I don’t know what I’d say in their place, but that’s sort of the point, What can you say? If you offer some advice like maybe Romney could release his tax returns and put this controversy to bed, you’re forced to walk it back the next day. If you say that Romney should spell out his economic plans, you ignore that his economic plans poll so badly that the Democrats have decided that no one will believe them if they talk about them.

    If you suggest that Romney humanize himself by talking more about his personal life, you ignore that Romney is basically a straight-laced Clark Griswold who does weird things like strap a dog crate to the roof of his station wagon before he sets off on a lengthy vacation. If you tell him to defend his work at Bain Capital, you aren’t taking account of the fact that he’s had twenty years to try to do that as a candidate and has never succeeded.

    One after another, the Republican governors assembled for their annual meeting in Virginia, told reporters that Romney needs to do this or that differently. But all of their advice was bad. Romney doesn’t talk about his personal life because he isn’t likable. He doesn’t talk about Bain Capital because no one likes a vulture capitalist and it only invites his opposition to pile on. He doesn’t talk about his economic plans because they’re less popular than a case of herpes.

    Romney’s current strategy is the only strategy that makes any sense. Don’t discuss anything except the president and the economy. Go 100% negative. Do everything you can to make the election about the incumbent and not about you. Never talk about yourself. Never talk about your plans, except in the most generalized platitudes. And hope a perfect storm hits at just the right time in November and you win because you’re the only plausible alternative on the ballot.

    Even if it’s not working well enough to win, do anything else will immediately backfire. So, stick to the strategy.

    This is what happens when a party becomes insane and then nominates someone with an indefensible history, personality, and platform.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/7/15/11458/1661

    • creolechild

      Here’s where I diagree with this article.

      Don’t discuss anything except the president and the economy. Go 100% negative. Do everything you can to make the election about the incumbent and not about you. Never talk about yourself. Never talk about your plans, except in the most generalized platitudes.

      That’s EXACTLY what Romney’s been doing! Look at how it’s working out for him. There are now more questions than evah…stonewalling the talkingheads only works for so long before they get vicious. Ask Sarah…

  • GN
    • Miranda

      Bullseye – as always.

  • Rhoda

    Good Sunday, POU!

    I haven’t watched any of the shows today, but I did just see this little thing on Politico about how Romney’s team used Scheiffer attacking Axelrod in a quickie ad and Scheiffer was shocked and said on air he wasn’t a part of the Romney team and he wasn’t taking sides, lol. But he was, he just was made to look the part w/the Romney teams quick trigger. He wouldn’t have said boo if this ad came out on Monday.

    But, it doesn’t matter.

    The reason the MSM are scrambling and the Republicans are at a loss and Mittens is on vacation while POTUS campaigns in the rain is simple: they don’t know what’s coming next. They don’t know what POTUS and his team have in the oppo file on Mittens and they don’t know what lie to tell because they’ve already been caught out in one lie. And all the money in the world can’t do anything about the FACTS of the matter.

    Which is why these SEC filings are a dagger to the heart. Mittens left a paper trail; he can’t say BOO about his signature and the fact it says he was the Chairman, sole stockholder, and President of Bain Capital. All he can say is basically; I wasn’t doing my job and I retroactively resigned so I can’t be blamed for shit after 1999. Good. Try selling that shit sandwich.

    The Romney campaign doesn’t know what’s coming next; and that is what scares them the most and why Romney was using such convoluted and legalistic language in his interviews Friday and why they don’t have a clue where to go because Mittens has been pulling borderline illegal shit for years and he’s FINALLY running against someone whose looking to call him out. A kid who impersonates a police officer and grows into a man whose likely paid ZERO in taxes; that’s not a guy that is going to get elected President of the United States.

    I wish Ted Kennedy were here to see this; he’d have some CHOICE comments I’m sure.

    • trose1

      Exactly. His name is on the document. Either he lied on SEC documents or he is lying to the American people. Very simple question.

      • http://winthemarket.com/the-spontaneous-healing-plan/ woody45

        He better take the second one and just prepare himself for the shellacking in November.

    • rikyrah

      question that is so simple:

      if you weren’t heading Bain Capital at the time, Mr. Romney, WHO WAS?

      AND WHY WASN’T THEIR NAME ON THE PAPERS TO THE SEC?

      so, who committed the FRAUD TO THE SEC – YOU OR THAT OTHER PERSON?

      • isonprize

        And nobody is going to go to jail for you, Myth.

        NOBODY,

  • GreenLadyHere

    ALEXANDER2- — -I CAIN’T STAND- – -“CREEPY CRAWLEY”!!!- –

    She’s trynta – -GO IN ON Mr. Axelrod. BUT he’s HOLDIN’ IT DOWN!! HAH!

    She’s SUCH a – – -RE-THUG!!– –SAAAAA-LAP.

  • cosine

    Re: Hayes, Greenwald et al just ooze smarm. Hyper talky, I’m the smartest one in my grad seminar circa early 1990s. Their pitch is so dated and self-promoting. Haven’t had an original idea in 20 years – and I’m being generous.

    Perhaps they should look at the Prof. Obama’s Constitutional Law III Exam, Autumn 1996: “6 Read each question carefully and think before you write. Please do not feel obliged to make use of the 15 page maximum in formulating your answers. The exam can be answered magnificently in half that number.”

    This exam also shows the kinds of questions and topics widely taught and examined in the 90s across disciplines, but if you look at the two exam questions (highly recommend!), who is solving these questions? And who’s still just talking and cashing in?
    http://graphics.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/2008OBAMA_LAW/conlaw3.obama.1996.fall.pdf

    • isonprize

      Okay, so when I was in undergrad, we bitched about 3 hour finals.

      Is a 6 hour final common in law school? DAMN.

  • Miranda

    Shoq Value ‏@Shoq
    BREAKING! Hidden camera catches Obama team reacting to latest @mittRomney nitwittery. http://j.mp/PYQdYG ^@AngryBlackLady #p2

    https://p.twimg.com/Ax0jD5JCMAAiVIJ.jpg

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    Stephanie Cutter is a G. That is all.

    Cutter: Romney is ‘not going to get apology’
    By Jordy Yager – 07/15/12 11:49 AM ET

    The Obama campaign on Sunday said it would not apologize to Mitt Romney for remarks made suggesting he may have committed a felony.

    “He’s not going to get an apology,” said Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter , who made the controversial comments, during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.

    Cutter said Romney should “stop whining” about the attacks from the Obama campaign which have targeted him over his work at private equity firm Bain Capital and his offshore financial holdings.

    “It’s interesting, just a few months ago in the Republican primary, Mitt Romney said to his opponents, who he was crushing at the time, ‘stop whining,’ she said. “And I think that’s a good message for the Romney campaign. Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, why don’t you just put the facts out there and let people decide, rather than trying to hide them.”

    MORE: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/237955-cutter-romney-is-not-going-to-get-an-apology?utm_campaign=hillballotbox&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    The reason why The Hill thinks Team Obama not apologizing to Mittens is “controversial” was eloquently broken down like a fraction in the BJ comment Rikyrah posted in yesterday’s thread: http://pragmaticobotsunite.com/saturday-afternoon-thread-mitts-having-some-growing-bains/#comment-587946577

    • Ebogan63

      Shorter Stef Cuttter: Apologize? GTFOHWTSBS!!!

    • GreenLadyHere

      Sepia- – — – - ***hands THIS da RE-THUGS anem***- :>)

      – — -Ms CUTter- -“CUTS!!”- —–THAT! IS!- ALL!:>)- —

    • Rhoda

      Stephanie Cutter is AWESOME. Love team Obama; they’ve been slicing and dicing the Romney team and MSM all week.

    • Tafr

      I love how they call her comments controversial. Why is telling the truth controversial? The only controversial aspect of this Bain mess is the many lies that Mittens has told. Mittens is controversial not Cutter for speaking the damn truth.

      • Miranda

        THIS.

  • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

    The Romney camp stay losing. Thanks to Ed Gillespie, #Retroactively is trending number one on Twitter!

    Romney Adviser: Romney Not Responsible For Bain Because He ‘Retired Retroactively’
    By Adam Peck on Jul 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Ed Gillespie, a senior campaign advisor for Mitt Romney, appeared on Meet the Press this morning to answer questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, and unveiled a new excuse for why Romney should not be held responsible for the company’s actions during a time in which he remained CEO and president:

    GREGORY: He was still financially linked to Bain. And of course, a lot his fortune is due to his time with Bain. Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?

    GILLESPIE: He actually retired retroactively at that point. He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain.

    MORE: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/07/15/517751/romney-adviser-romney-not-responsible-for-bain-because-he-retired-retroactively/

    • Rhoda

      LOL.

      These folks are so so SAD.

      • Miranda

        And he was supposed to be the one to replace Eric Ferhnstrom who was a treasure trove of gaffes! LMAO

    • Miranda

      _______________________________thanks for the new ads Ed!

    • rikyrah

      retired retroactively?

      good luck explaining that.

    • creolechild

      There ain’t no ‘retiring retroactively’ in business!

    • nellcote

      Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?
      ===
      Ed, answer the damn question!

  • Rhoda

    Wow, when you’ve lost George Will and Matt Dowd (ran Bush’s campaigns) is saying you’re not clean on the tax issue and there’s clearly something dirty there you KNOW Romney’s lost this thing.

    Karl Rove is crying.

    OH SHIT: George Will repeated Gibbs Romney v. Palin as VP attack. And Dowd took rikyrah’s karma line, lmao!

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/07/george-will-matthew-dowd-blast-romney-for-not-releasing-tax-returns/

    • rikyrah

      Karma….

      BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

      hilarious.

    • aleth

      Fuck Dowd– Obama does not have a failed policy.

      He is one of the most successful President since FDR. His opinion does not make it fact.

      We need to call this bullshit media created narrative they use in order to cover for Rmoney. These are the same people who complain that Obama is not getting his message out on how successful his policies have been, and tax cuts etc.

      They can’t have it both ways.

      Fuck em

      • Rhoda

        aleth – I totally agree with you.

        But when you’re winning, it’s good to take a moment to LOL at how well it’s all going IMO.

        George Will and Matt Dowd are pissed off, they are pissed the fuck off because this is going to affect down ballot Congressional races, they are pissed off because this affects the narrative going into the convention, and they’re pissed the fuck off because it’s a problem money can’t fix.

        They’re Republicans; they’re default position is the President failed. And they honestly think it; because they’re blind fucks who supported GWB and I think they actually like the President on a personal level. So, the partisan bias doesn’t piss me off here b/c they’re not journalists. Will is a conservative columnist and Dowd is a Republican party hack; they’re not objective and yet they’re talking MASSIVE shit about their party’s nominee.

        When Mittens loses; the civil war that shoulda happened in ’08 between evangelicals and corporate Republicans is going to break out, be massive (ETA you could see it in the comments btwn Matlin and Dowd and Will), and freak the Independents into voting Democrat in 2014 IMO. And every Republican political operative knows the fight that’s coming and it’s going to be BRUTAL for the party and might affect 2016; which is why these men are angry.

        I’m just saying; take a moment to enjoy it. Because it’s July 15th and there will be down moments in this campaign; but I’m more sure than ever that POTUS is going to win and I have a lot of hope he’s going to drag the Congressional Democrats across the finish line so they retake the House and keep the senate.

        JMHO

        • nellcote

          They’re pissed because they have to defend an asshole like Rmoney just 4 years after they had to defend Palin. You’d be pissed too!

          • Aquagranny911

            I think plenty of the Repug brass would like to drown Mitty like a rat in a bucket of water but they are stuck with him so they will let him run.

            Their focus will be on Congress, saving their seats & trying to get some more. This is where we STOP THEM COLD!!!

    • http://winthemarket.com/the-spontaneous-healing-plan/ woody45

      You can add Bill Kristol to that list as well.

  • rikyrah

    OK,

    What did Axe say to Carbs Crowley?

  • GreenLadyHere

    Dear POU FAM♥. Gotta “bounce”- – -Spending time with family.- –we covet your prayers. AMEN.

    • goldenstar

      GLH,

      Am holding you and your family in the Light for the highest good.

  • rikyrah

    Political Animal
    Blog
    July 15, 2012 11:22 AM

    Boston Globe to Romney: You’re So Bain

    By Adele Stan

    Instead of issuing the “correction” that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee-apparent, has requested of the Boston Globe, the Globe yesterday doubled down on its reporting regarding Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital during a period, 1999 – 2002, when Romney claims he had already “retired” from the company. Particularly damning is a quote from Romney’s own attorney during a state Ballot Law Commission hearing convened to determine whether Romney had standing to run for governor in 2002, after having spent the previous three years in Utah, managing the Olympics. From the July 14 Globe story:

    “He succeeded in that three-year period in restoring confidence in the Olympic Games, closing that disastrous deficit and staging one of the most successful Olympic Games ever to occur on US soil,” said Peter L. Ebb from Ropes & Gray.

    “Now while all that was going on, very much in the public eye, what happened to his private and public ties to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? And the answer is they continued unabated just as they had.”

    The Romney campaign declined to comment on the record about whether the business trips and board meetings were related to Bain Capital obligations.

    One would hope that this latest report would convince the Washington Post’s ace fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, to reconsider the three “Pinocchios” he awarded the Obama campaign for asserting that Romney either remained involved with Bain during the period for which he claims he did not, or he lied to a federal agency — in this case, the Security and Exchange Commission, for filings in which he was listed as CEO and sole shareholder in Bain during the period under question.

    Kessler began his post this way:

    There is a journalistic convention that appears to place great weight on “SEC documents.” But these are public filings by companies, which usually means there are not great secrets hidden in them. The Fact Checker, in an earlier life covering Wall Street, spent many hours looking for jewels in SEC filings.

    Translation: Journalists take too seriously the information on documents filed with the federal government by corporations.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_07/boston_globe_to_romney_youre_s038592.php

  • Alma98

    Good afternoon everyone and happy anniversary to my hubby.

    • Miranda

      • Alma98

        Aww how nice thanks Miranda here’s what I played for him, we can be silly sometimes lol.

        • Aquagranny911

          Cute! You are too funny!

        • cosine

          Yabba dabba doooo!!!

    • Rhoda

      Congratulations to you both Alma, have a great day w/him!

      • Alma98

        Thank you Rhoda.

    • MonieTalks

      Happy anniversary to you both Alma!

      • Alma98

        Thanks Monie we plan on having a relaxing day and making our own crab boil for dinner.

        • MonieTalks

          Girl, throw some oysters in the mix…wink, wink!

          LOL..let me stop!

          • Alma98

            LOL! you’re worst than my daughter hahaha!

    • creolechild

      Happy anniversay to you and yours, Alma.

    • Aquagranny911

      Happy Anniversary, Sweetie to both you & your Hubby! I hope you have some special plans to honor your day ♥

      • Alma98

        Thank you AG we plan to relax and enjoy the day.

    • cosine

      Happy Anniversary Alma98! Have a great day with your husband:)

      • Alma98

        Thank you.

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      Happy Anniversary!

      • Alma98

        Thanks Sepia.

    • Ebogan63

      Happy Anniversary, and a hearty hurrah from one veteran family to another!

      • Alma98

        Thank you Ebogan.

    • MsKitty

      Happy anniversary!

      • Alma98

        Thank you.

  • Miranda

    ICYMI from yesterday’s afternoon thread, Nellcotte posted this and I find it hysterical. At first I thought it as all satire – but nope – its real.

    http://www.rumproast.com/index.php/site/comments/one_more_time_mitt_flair/

    • Rhoda

      I am just amazed: the entitlement and the vanity that it would take to have these pins made is staggering. LOL, the We love you MItt one KILLS me. That man is seeking something I can’t name; but it’s kinda scary to behold the hole that is at the core of his being. He’s got a beautiful family, more money than generations of his family will ever need, and it isn’t enough. I mean, damn. That is tragic. If I didn’t hate the son of a bitch; I’d feel sorry for him.

      • creolechild

        Romney has all the charisma and personality of Lurch, from the Addams Family, with whom he also bears a striking resemblance.

        • Alma98

          Thank you.

        • creolechild

          Lurch

          • Alma98

            LOL

        • MsKitty

          But Lurch could rock the harpsichord like no one’s business, so he at least had that going for him.

    • Alma98

      They are so corny and white-bread, I apologize if I offend any white-bread folks reading the blog lol.

    • http://pragmaticobotsunite.blogspot.com/ Sepia

      So the 2002 Olympic pins were made in China, huh? No wonder Mitt didn’t want to give an opinion about the 2012 uniforms. The pot can’t talk about the kettle.

  • Miranda

    DAYUM!

    Now, if you don’t like a lot of cussing…this aint the one for you!

    From a black man to mitt romney:

    http://ethefp.tumblr.com/post/27263618600/from-a-black-man-to-mitt-romney-fuck-you-black

    • Rhoda

      That was excellent. Thanks for the link.

    • Alma98

      I just read and printed it out to pass around, it is a righteous rant indeed. Everything he said we say here at P.O.U. on a daily basis.

  • Alma98

    Hey Monie I wanted to tell you & AG about this crazy rumor my husband heard at work about Obamacare. The gist is this: because of ACA Obama is raising active and veteran military personnel premiums to pay for uninsured people. My husband of course set this person straight on the matter. I don’t know where it came from but I got a feeling some republican is behind it.

    • Aquagranny911

      We have not heard one word about that & I am sure the goatfigging Repugs are behind it. Hubby & I are both on Medicare with Tricare for our supplement. We have both been reassured that we will continue to get our meds through Tricare as usual. Hubby gets his BP meds for free & I only pay a small co-pay for my asthma inhaler & meds.

      I call big BS on this caca. PBO cares about all the military, both active & retired. He is not going to place any further burden on people who are already under paid & sometimes under served for their health care.

      I am so sick of the disgusting lies about ACA!

      • Alma98

        Believe it or not this idiot even put it up on his facebook that’s how my husband found out. He keeps tabs on the teapublicans at work so he can shut down their b.s..

        • Aquagranny911

          Good on your Hubby!!!

        • creolechild

          Apparently, the WH receives emails on a regular basis related to Tri-Care. Here’s information that your husband can add to his database but I doubt that it’ll stop the craziness.

          There are reports out there that new taxes will be imposed on TRICARE. That is not true either. There are no new taxes. No cuts in benefits. If you hear a politician telling voters that health reform will hurt TRICARE, don’t believe him.

          If you rely on TRICARE, you have nothing to worry about.

          http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/01/13/reality-check-tricare-and-our-veterans-have-nothing-worry-about-health-reform

          • Alma98

            Thank you.

  • Miranda

    Afternoon thread is up!

  • MonieTalks

    Karma is a truly a bitch.

    Team Romney, just this past week, starting selling “vintage” items like T-shirts and buttons ( I guess to harken back to the good ol days)

    And now his own spokesman gave the most incredulous answer and claimed he retired “retroactively.”

    Karma pissed like a mug at Mitt…LOL!

    I wonder who is going to photoshop this foolishness first.