October 20, 2017

Thursday Open Thread: The Black Madonna and Child


We continue our look at The Black Madonna and Child


Black Madonna of Częstochowa
Częstochowa, Poland


From Wikipedia:

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa (Polish: Czarna Madonna or Matka Boska Częstochowska, Latin: Imago thaumaturga Beatae Virginis Mariae Immaculatae Conceptae, in Claro Monte) is a revered icon of the Virgin Mary housed at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland.

The icon

The origins of the icon and the date of its composition are still hotly contested among scholars. The difficulty in dating the icon stems from the fact that the original image was painted over, after being badly damaged by Hussite raiders in 1430. Medieval restorers unfamiliar with the encaustic method found that the paints they applied to the damaged areas “simply sloughed off the image” according to the medieval chronicler Risinius, and their solution was to erase the original image and to repaint it on the original panel, which was believed to be holy because of its legendary origin as a table top from the home of the Holy Family. The painting displays a traditional composition well known in the icons of Eastern Orthodoxy. The Virgin Mary is shown as the “Hodegetria” (“One Who Shows the Way”). In it the Virgin directs attention away from herself, gesturing with her right hand toward Jesus as the source of salvation. In turn, the child extends his right hand toward the viewer in blessing while holding a book of gospels in his left hand. The icon shows the Madonna in fleur de lys robes.


Lucan tradition

The icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa has been intimately associated with Poland for the past six hundred years. Its history prior to its arrival in Poland is shrouded in numerous legends which trace the icon’s origin to St. Luke who painted it on a cedar table top from the house of the Holy Family.[1][2]

Arrival in Częstochowa

One of the oldest documents from Jasna Góra states that the picture travelled from Jerusalem, via Constantinople and Belz,[2] to finally reach Częstochowa in August 1382 by Władysław Opolczyk, Duke of Opole.[citation needed] However more recent Ukrainian sources state that it was taken by Władysław Opolski from the Castle of Belz, when the town was incorporated into the Polish kingdom and that earlier in its history it was brought to Belz with much ceremony and honors by Knyaz Lev I of Galicia.[3] The golden fleur-de-lis painted on the Virgin’s blue veil parallel the azure, semee de lis, or of the French royal coat of arms and the most likely explanation for their presence is that icon had been present in Hungary during the reign of either Charles I of Hungary and/or Louis the Great, the Hungarian kings of the Anjou dynasty, who probably had the fleur-de-lis of their family’s coat of arms painted on the icon. This would suggest that the icon was probably originally brought to Jasna Gora by the Pauline monks from their founding monastery in Hungary.

Coronation as Queen and Protectress of Poland

The Black Madonna is credited with miraculously saving the monastery of Jasna Góra (English: Bright Mount) from a 17th century Swedish invasion,[2] The Deluge.

The Siege of Jasna Góra took place in the winter of 1655 during the Second Northern War / The Deluge — as the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is known. The Swedes were attempting to capture the Jasna Góra monastery in Częstochowa. Their month-long siege however, was ineffective, as a small force consisting of monks from the Jasna Gora monastery led by their Prior and supported by local volunteers, mostly from the szlachta (Polish nobility), fought off the numerically superior Germans mercenaries, saved their sacred icon, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa and, according to some accounts, turned the course of the war.

This event led King John II Casimir Vasa to “crown” Our Lady of Częstochowa (“the Black Madonna“) as Queen and Protector of Poland in the cathedral of Lwów on April 1, 1656.

Legends about the Madonna’s appearance

Another legend concerning the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is that the presence of the holy painting saved its church from being destroyed in a fire, but not before the flames darkened the fleshtone pigments.[citation needed]

The legend concerning the two scars on the Black Madonna’s right cheek is that the Hussites stormed the Pauline monastery in 1430, plundering the sanctuary. Among the items stolen was the icon. After putting it in their wagon, the Hussites tried to get away but their horses refused to move. They threw the portrait down to the ground and one of the plunderers drew his sword upon the image and inflicted two deep strikes. When the robber tried to inflict a third strike, he fell to the ground and squirmed in agony until his death. Despite past attempts to repair these scars, they [who? when?] had difficulty in covering up those slashes (as they found out that the painting was painted with tempera infused with diluted wax). In commemoration of the attack, two slashes on her right cheek were made by a pen. [when? by whom?] [1]

Another legend states that, as the robber struck the painting twice, the face of the Virgin Mary started to bleed; in a panic, the scared Hussites retreated and left the painting.[citation needed]

Present day

Because of the Black Madonna, Częstochowa is regarded as the most popular shrine in Poland, with many Polish Catholics making a pilgrimage there every year. Often, people will line up on the side of the road to hand provisions to the pilgrims as those who walk the distance to Częstochowa walk the entire day and have little means to get things for themselves.[who?]

  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  • rikyrah

    Jobless claims improve again, near four-year low
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:36 AM EST

    The Christmas holiday made collecting data on initial unemployment claims a little tricky, but the new report from the Department of Labor nevertheless exceeded expectations and pointed to good news.

    U.S. applications for new unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 350,000 in the week ended Dec. 22, but the decline may have been exaggerated by the Christmas holiday. The federal government was closed Monday and Tuesday and many states also closed for both days. As a result, the Labor Department had to use estimates to gauge the level of jobless claims for 19 states, including California and Texas, because of paperwork delays. Rarely does the government need to use estimates for more than one or two states in any week. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 362,000 from an original reading of 361,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected claims to total 361,000


    • conlakappa

      And an explanation of the “ZOMG retail sales are down!!!” frenzy yesterday has arisen…

      My CBS affiliate is starting in on the no enthusiasm about the inauguration vibe. There are only 600,000-800,000 people expected, which is “far lower” than the 1.8M here last time. The reporter claimed that there are still rooms available and that they are at about the same rate as before. That means to me they are overpriced. She did note that last time was the historic election of the first black President, which had me thinking then why is this a story. Oh, right, back to our regularly scheduled narrative about people just not being that into President Obama./eyeroll

      • Admiral_Komack

        Haters gotta hate.

      • Ebogan63


        That’s the only number I care about. Next.

      • GN

        I wouldn’t be surprised if there were fewer people than in 2008, but I booked a hotel for relatives months ago, and the prices were definitely jacked up already, and the hotel said in October that they were sold out. So what if the term two inauguration is less splashy and less of an event? Why would that be seen as a problem, much less a big story?

        • conlakappa

          This is what I’m saying. The slot usually in the morning news for feel-good stories about pets and/or children is now one for random trash-talking about the President. I think one hotel in like Luray was asked and it has rooms or the multi-thousand-dollars-nightly rooms at the Willard, Mayflower, or Hay-Adams are still available. Anything close to the action has been sold out for months, heck, I’d even say a year. The inauguration is going to have one-fifth of the number of official parties yet only one-half to one-third of the people are expected? Um, yeah, what a downturn of personal appeal! My childhood friend who bogarted her way into my mother’s house/our volunteer time in 2009 called my mother three weeks ago about coming again from NJ. She’s as good an indicator for me as anything else I hear.

          • GN

            The slot usually in the morning news for feel-good stories about pets and/or children is now one for random trash-talking about the President.

            That’s truly a shame. And they don’t get it–just because this will be less splashy, doesn’t mean that people are any less proud of the POTUS or were any less committed to seeing him reelected. The beltway press is always so out of touch.

          • conlakappa

            I wouldn’t even call these clowns the beltway press though, of course, they are technically within the beltway. Four years later and it is still jarring to hear their back-biting comments about the President and First Lady. Mind you, this is the same station that broadcasts Lesli “Is Gabby Douglas’s hair a legitimate topic of discussion” Foster so, you know, not exactly Einstein’s intellectual heirs-apparent.

  • rikyrah

    Hawaii’s Schatz headed to U.S. Senate
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:59 AM EST

    When legendary Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) of Hawaii died last week, it was a great loss to the nation, but it was also a loss for the Senate Democratic caucus — with key votes coming up, Dems found their majority shrinking from 53 seats to 52. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) reached out to Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie with a simple message: hurry up and pick a successor “with due haste.”

    Yesterday, he did.

    Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie named his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, to fill the Senate seat left vacant following the death of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D).

    Abercrombie, a Democrat, chose Schatz from a list of three finalists forwarded to him by the state Democratic party. Inouye, who served almost 50 full years in the Senate, died on Dec. 17.

    “No one can fill Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s shoes, but together, we can all try to follow in his footsteps,” Schatz said in a press conference in Hawaii.


    Not well known outside of Hawaii, the senator-designate arrives in Washington as something of a blank slate, but some key details on his resume nevertheless jump out. Schatz was, for example, the chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party and a top official in the 2008 Obama campaign in Hawaii. In fact, Schatz appears likely to be a very loyal ally to the president going forward — he specifically emphasized last night that he’s “looking forward to supporting his agenda in the Senate.”


  • rikyrah

    While our President cut short his vacation with his family…

    these mofos here…

    these mofos here..


    House GOP in no rush to return
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:10 PM EST.

    President Obama has cut short his vacation plans and will leave Hawaii tonight in order to return to Washington. The point, obviously, is to participate in more fiscal talks in the hopes of avoiding looming deadlines, just five days away.

    But just because Obama is heading back to DC doesn’t mean Congress is prepared to do the same.

    According to House Republican leadership aides, House GOP leaders have not yet called their members back to Washington D.C., and WILL NOT be in session tomorrow for legislative business. According to one GOP aide, “It’s up to Senate Democrats to act right now.”

    During the House Republican conference meeting late Thursday night, leadership told the conference that they would be given 48 hours before being called back to D.C. after Christmas. According to aides, leadership has not given that notice yet.


    • Kennymack1971

      Just trifling… And the MSM will not hold them accountable.

      • Town

        It’s Obama’s fault for going on vacation to that foreign country Hawaii in the first place. Obviously he went there to clear up his birth certificate. He should go on vacation to Six Flags in Landover like all the other black people who spend their welfare money on T-Bone Steaks and Cadillacs.

        • conlakappa

          And lobster, lawsy, don’t forget the lobster.

          Perfect optics then: the President spends every day until January 1 visiting veterans and soldiers, whose benefits are subject to the whimsy of Congress; with dairy farmers, whose livelihood is threatened by Orange an’em ignoring the ag bill; and with middle-class families and anyone else who is being marginalized because the miscreants, reprobates, and lickspittles won’t show up for work. Stay drunk classy, Johnny Orange, stay classy.

      • jds09

        And PBO gets to say “I’m ready to work, where’s the Republicans?” Just. Too. Easy. lol

    • nellcote

      It’s up to Senate Democrats to act right now.”
      The Senate already passed a bill raising taxes above 250K. The house should vote on that.

  • rikyrah

    Five ways your health care will change in 2013

    Posted by Sarah Kliff on December 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    The Affordable Care Act’s biggest year is, without a doubt, 2014: That’s when the federal subsidies to purchase health insurance roll out. It’s also when penalties for not buying coverage kick in.

    But many of the big changes will start gradually in 2013. They range from increasing payments to Medicaid doctors to upping Medicare taxes to the exchanges’ very first open-enrollment period. Here’s a quick guide to what will happen in health care in the next year.

    1. Health-care cost growth will slow to a new low. The United States is expected to spend a $2.9 trillion on health care in 2013, according to actuaries at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That would be 3.8 percent more than then $2.8 trillion that CMS estimates we spent in 2012.

    That 3.8 percent growth rate, if it actually happens, would be the slowest health-care growth in decades. That has little to do with the Affordable Care Act, the CMS actuaries explain, and a lot more to do with slow income growth. “Consumers are expected to remain sensitive to rising health costs, particularly given continued low projected income growth,” they write. “In this environment, consumers are likely to continue to be judicious in their use of health-care services.”


  • rikyrah

    The 4 Fiscal Cliff Deals That Are Still Possible

    With less than a week to go before going over the fiscal cliff becomes the reality that common wisdom said absolutely could not happen, there are only a handful of ways this is going to go down.

    1. The Big Deal. This isn’t going to happen. Never mind that the political support doesn’t exist to do the combined comprehensive tax and Medicaid/ Medicare/Social Security reform that is the basic definition of a big budget deal. Even if that political support did exist there simply isn’t enough time left to get it done before January 1 and 2. I’m mentioning it here just to dismiss the notion out-of-hand before someone asks about it. Chance of happening: 0%.

    2. The Kick-the-Can-Down-the-Road. Yes, I know how sickeningly commonplace this continually repeated phrase has become, but it is still a fiscal cliff possibility. In fact, the procedurally (but not the politically) easiest thing to do at this point would be to extend all the existing tax cuts until, say, six months or a year from now, and delay the spending cuts to the same date, that is (no screaming, please), to kick the can down the road. This might even be doable with a voice vote in both houses. Chance of happening. Chance of happening: 5%.


  • rikyrah

    Why Did Dick Armey Leave FreedomWorks?

    Posted on 12/26/2012 at 2:00 pm by JM Ashby

    Because he’s batshit crazy.

    The partnership came to a crashing end when Armey marched into FreedomWorks’s office Sept. 4 with his wife, Susan, executive assistant Jean Campbell and the unidentified man with the gun at his waist — who promptly escorted Kibbe and Brandon out of the building.

    “This was two weeks after there had been a shooting at the Family Research Council,” said one junior staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’ ”


    Armey appeared out of touch and unsure of how FreedomWorks operated when he took over that Tuesday morning, according to interviews with more than a dozen employees on both sides who witnessed the takeover. Sitting in a glass-walled conference room visible to much of the staff, he placed three young female employees on administrative leave, then reversed himself when they burst into tears; his wife lamented aloud that maybe they had “jumped the gun.”

    Dick Armey literally staged an armed coup, and it failed. After it failed, he was paid to leave so he would not have an opportunity to run the organization into the ground. And if he was using an armed guard to escort people out of their jobs, someone could have been killed.


    • conlakappa

      He was the invisible hand in the attempted putsch against The Newter in 1994. I guess his only learned lesson was to come armed the next time.

    • nellcote

      And they’re still calling themselves a “grass roots” group. LOL

  • Admiral_Komack

    “Oh, I can get 8 million?”
    “All-righty, then!”

    Grifters gotta grift.

  • GreenLadyHere

    – —

    —- — -☻The Kwanzaa principle of Kujichagulia focuses on self-identity and self-determination. To define ourselves, to name ourselves, speak for ourselves and create for ourselves.
    The second principle is a commitment to building our lives in our own images and interests. If we, as a people, are to achieve our goals we must take the responsibility for that achievement upon ourselves, for self-determination is the essence of freedom.

    — — -☻Statement from the President and the First Lady on Kwanzaa
    – – – – – -Michelle and I extend our warm thoughts and best wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the first day of the week-long celebration of African-American history and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

    — –☻THIS: – -Is the ESSENCE of the CHRISTIAN BELIEF: – -The Virgin Mary is shown as the “Hodegetria” (“One Who Shows the Way”).In it the Virgin directs attention away from herself, gesturing with her right hand toward Jesus as the source of salvation. AMEN


    – —-B BLESSED 2-DAY.♥ – – –

  • creolechild

    Good morning POU!

    Grist List’s best genius kids of 2012

    Particular obsessions inevitably emerge as we try to bring you the coolest sustainability-related stories from around the internet. One of those, for whatever reason, is genius kids and teens. You guys love them! And with good reason, because they give us hope for the future (or anyway, I presume they give you hope for the future, because you are a decent person; they just make me feel horribly jealous and old). Here are your favorite prodigies from the past year.

    The fifth-grade girl who discovered a new energy-storing molecule[….]
    The Omaha teen who donated her ungrateful friends’ fruit to the hungry[….]
    The 10-year-old girl who made Jamba Juice stop using styrofoam[….]
    The girl who inspired IBM to make a light-up crosswalk[….]
    The high schooler who made her prom dress out of soda tabs[….]
    The kid who built his own tiny home so he could move out of his parents’ house[….]
    The teenage girls from Nigeria who built a urine-powered generator[….]
    The 13-year-old genius from Sierra Leone[….]
    The 9-year-old whose blog forced her school to change lunch[….]

    Read more: http://grist.org/list/grist-lists-best-genius-kids-of-2012/

    H/T Jess Zimmerman

    • GreenLadyHere

      Good Kwanzaa MornTin’ creolechild. ***BIG HUG*** :>)

      ALWAYS love 2 C outstanding CHIL’REN. :>)—-

      – —-Whitney Houston – Greatest Love Of All Live – –***tears**

      – —- –I believe the children are our future
      Teach them well and let them lead the way
      Show them all the beauty they possess inside
      Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
      Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
      – -AMEN

      THANK U. :>)– Good 2 C U.- -:>) – —

      • creolechild

        Hello GLH! Sending big hugs your way…

        • GreenLadyHere

          creolechild- – -***SMILES at-choo*** :>)

  • creolechild

    Ford to invest $773 million in the U.S. to create 2,350 new jobs and save 3,240 existing jobs

    US auto giant Ford said Thursday it will invest $773 million to expand factories across its home state of Michigan, generating 2,350 new jobs, part of a plan to add 12,000 jobs by 2015.[….] The investment will help save an additional 3,240 jobs, it said.[….] “These investments, many of which are already under way, will ensure our southeast Michigan manufacturing facilities can support our aggressive growth plans.”

    Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/27/ford-to-invest-773-million-in-the-u-s-to-create-2350-new-jobs-and-save-3240-existing-jobs/

    H/T Agence France-Presse

  • Miranda
  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- – — –RE the New Senator from Hawaii: — –

    – —Six Things To Know About Brian Schatz, Hawaii’s Newest Senator – —

    – – —Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Wednesday that he had appointed fellow Democrat — and his lieutenant governor — Brian Schatz to the Senate seat held for the past half-century by Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died Dec. 17 at 88.

    Here are six things to know about Senator-designate Schatz.

    – –1. Many Elections- —
    Schatz has said he will be running in the special election to be held in 2014 to determine who finishes Inouye’s term, which lasts through 2016. If he were to win that election, he then would have to run again in 2016 if he wished to serve a full term, as he said he would today.

    In his comments at Abercrombie’s Wednesday news conference, Schatz noted of his appointment, “It means the first step on a very long road.”

    2. Unexpected Entrance
    Schatz is coming to the Senate over the explicit wishes of Inouye, who asked that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be appointed to hold the seat Inouye had held since 1963.
    – – -SNIP- —
    Abercrombie, however, said at Wednesday’s news conference that while Inouye’s “views and his wishes were taken into account fully,” his decision was based on his view of “the overall best interests of the party … the state and the nation.”
    – – —SNIP —
    6. Global Warming
    In addition to addressing native Hawaiian recognition, Schatz gave one public policy priority: “For me personally, I believe global climate change is real, and it is the most urgent challenge of our generation.”
    – — —

    – —- -BEST wishes. . .:>) – —

    • goldenstar

      Good Morning GLH,

      Well, I did some research on your question from last night regarding this appointment. The Governor and Rep. Hanabusa do not have the best personal relationship which could have affected the appointment.

      Hawai’i has a very interesting political scene:

      Hirono has a great voting record but problematic political personality. Tulsi Gabbard and her father were homophobic Repubs and changed parties.

      • GreenLadyHere

        Good Kwanzaa Morntin’ GOLDenstar. ***BIG HUG*** :>)


        – — –The Governor and Rep. Hanabusa do not have the best personal relationship which could have affected the appointment.– –

        HIS rationale- —. . .LEAVE her on a COMMITTEE. . – – evoked an – –IMMEDIATE- –***side eye***. :>)- —
        – —. . . but also heaped praise on Hanabusa, and said one of the reasons he didn’t choose her was because of her highly prized seat on the House Armed Services Committee.

        THANK U!- -THANK U!- – 1000 LIKES -:>) – — – – —– – —-Betcha there will B more. :>)

        – — Good 2 C U. GOLDenstar. :>) Have a good day. :>)

  • creolechild

    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Hovers Near Strongest Since March 2008

    Consumer confidence in the U.S. held near a four-year high last week as Americans grew less pessimistic about the economy.[….] Americans’ views of the state of the economy climbed to minus 58.5, the second-highest level since March 2008, from minus 59.8 the prior week. The personal finances gauge rose to minus 0.5 from minus 0.8.[….]

    [….] Employment gains may be helping boost consumers’ perceptions that the economy is improving. Payrolls increased by 146,000 workers in November, the most since August. Employment rose at a similar pace this month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before next week’s figures from the Labor Department. Sentiment among part-time workers improved in the Bloomberg survey to a five-month high, today’s report showed.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-27/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-hovers-near-strongest-since-march-2008.html

    H/T Michelle Jamrisko

    • nellcote

      Hurricane Sandy seems not to have had an impact on employment.

  • Miranda

    GOP Approval Ratings Plummet After ‘Plan B’ Fiasco
    Brett LoGiurato|Dec. 26, 2012, 9:38 AM|5,371|12

    Americans’ previous bright outlook on leaders resolving the year-end fiscal cliff has plunged in recent days, and a new Gallup poll suggests that they place most of their early blame on Republican leaders in Congress.

    Only 26 percent of voters approve of the job Congressional Republicans are doing in handling fiscal cliff negotiations, down 3 percent from a week ago. At the same time, President Barack Obama’s approval rating on the fiscal cliff has soared from 48 percent a week ago to 54 percent today.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-vs-boehner-approval-rating-on-fiscal-cliff-plan-b-2012-12#ixzz2GGTSV91z

  • creolechild

    Child obesity in low-income families falls modestly, CDC data shows

    A new study shows a modest decline in childhood obesity rates among low-income households. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that obese children declined to 14.9 percent in 2010, down from 15.2 percent in 2003. The study looked at 27 million children, using data measuring their height and weight along with family income data.[….]

    [….] Researchers are encouraged by the data but note that it is a modest decline. Reasons for the decrease were not given but greater awareness about diet and health among poorer people could be a factor. School exercise programs and cafeterias offering healthier food are also likely causes.[….]

    Read more: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/121226/child-obesity-low-income-families-falls-modestly-cdc-data-shows

    H/T Alexander Besant

    • conlakappa

      For me, it doesn’t feel like any decline is a modest one, given that childhood obesity was on an upward trajectory. I can understand cautious optimism but also see a real reason to celebrate!

      • goldenstar

        And a victory to FLOTUS and her campaign!

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- —–REALLY?– –What gave him the FIRST CLUE? – – – -LOL — –

    – —-Top GOP Pollster Says NRA Doesn’t Get It– —

    – —-A top Republican pollsters says the NRA is out of touch with public opinion.
    – – -SNIP- – –
    “Frank Luntz, a top Republican strategist and pollster, said Wednesday that the National Rifle Association’s recent calls for armed guards to be stationed at every school in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre suggested the organization isn’t listening to public opinion on the issue,” said Huffington Post. “’The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools, and they’re not asking for a security official or someone else,’ Luntz said on CBS’s ‘This Morning,’ responding to a proposal first floated by top NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre during a press conference last week.”

    “‘I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think that they understand,’ Luntz continued. ‘Most Americans would protect the Second Amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun, not every gun should be available at anytime, anywhere, for anyone. That at gun shows, you should not be able to buy something there and then without any kind of check whatsoever.

    – — —He’s GOT IT!!- — — -OUT! —OF! TOUCH!- –Hmmmm. . .WHERE have we heard THIS B4??- – –

    – — **cough –TWITT- -cough – -RE-THUCKERS –cough****- – –

    • goldenstar

      Not sure what to make of this. He’s the one who comes up with all the Republican messaging and euphemisms: not to be trusted but not sure what he’s really up to…

      • GreenLadyHere

        GOLDenstar- – -***fist bump****- — -Wonder WHO HE MAD at?? – -LOL- — THIS SMELLS. :>)

      • jds09

        Luntz may be realizing that operatives like him have killed the golden goose (the Republican Party and its’ many paydays) and its attempting to revive it. lol

      • conlakappa

        I think it’s a case of him trying to get them to get it yet failing at it, which must be tough for a message-maker like him. Yeah, I know we weep copious tears over his befuddlement.

      • nellcote

        I wonder how serious Murdoch is about gun control. It’s not reflected on Fox but he may be working around the edges with messaging from people like Luntz.

  • creolechild

    Chicken farmers replace antibiotics with oregano oil

    [….] Oregano oil may be a natural solution to protecting chickens from germs without antibiotics, and also probably making them taste like pizza. Belle and Evans Farms in Pennsylvania has been using oregano oil to keep its chickens healthy for about three years now.[….] The stuff seems to work, not just on Sechler’s farm but in at least one clinical trial.In 1999, Bayer did a study comparing oregano oil’s effectiveness to Bayer’s products for controlling E. coli in piglets. Oregano oil outperformed the Bayer products in all four test groups.

    [….] Sechler pointed out that animals can’t stay healthy if all you do is give them oregano oil.[….] Farm workers have to disinfect and clean constantly as well to keep infection at bay. Still, farmers are optimistic about this new development in animal health. Country View Family Farms in Pennsylvania, which raises pigs, is going to try out oregano oil with its livestock.[….]

    Read more: http://grist.org/list/chicken-farmers-replace-antibiotics-with-oregano-oil/

    H/T Sarah Miller

    • nellcote

      This deserves more research!

  • creolechild

    Caregivers Can Get Paid: How to get financial help for taking care of Mom, Dad

    [….] Most states offer programs that use a Medicaid waiver to allow direct federal payments to family caregivers for their services. But this means, in most cases, that only care recipients whose income is low enough for Medicaid status qualify. In New York and California, for example, the care recipient must apply for and be granted admission to a personal assistance program.

    The number of hours of care covered will be determined by a caseworker. The care recipient is then in charge of recruiting, hiring, training and firing the personal assistant. Payment comes directly from the state. Eligibility rules and program setup vary by state; for more information on services in your area, contact the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services.[….]

    Read more: http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-10-2010/lfm_get_paid_as_a_family_caregiver.html

    H/T Cynthia Ramnarace

  • creolechild

    Seattle mayor calls for city’s pension funds to dump oil stocks

    Student groups at 192 colleges and universities are calling on their schools’ endowments to sell off stocks in fossil-fuel companies, inspired by a 350.org campaign that we’ve reported on before. Now that campaign is spreading from campus to city hall, as Climate Progress reports:

    Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is now calling on his city to strip fossil fuels from its two main pension funds. According to the city’s finance director, Seattle has $17.6 million invested in Chevron and ExxonMobil, as well as smaller investments in other oil and gas companies. Mayor McGinn sent a letter to the city’s pension fund managers on Friday calling for them to move their money elsewhere.[….]

    Read more: http://grist.org/news/seattle-mayor-calls-for-citys-pension-funds-to-dump-oil-stocks/

    H/T Lisa Hymas

    • nellcote

      They should divest from any gun companies and be loud about it.

  • creolechild

    Post-Christmas Recycling Saves Outdated IPods From Dump

    After two decades in the software business with companies such as Oracle Corp. (ORCL) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), James Kao grew disillusioned by the waste created when people ditched the latest technology dreamed up by his industry.

    Angered that old computers, televisions and other gadgets from U.S. consumers were ending up in landfills in China, Africa and other parts of the world, Kao decided to do something. He started Green Citizen, a company that collects and disposes old electronics in the San Francisco Bay area, tracking everything to ensure the gadgets are recycled back into raw material, or refurbished and resold.[….]

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-26/post-christmas-recycling-saves-outdated-ipods-from-dump.html

    H/T Adam Satariano

  • Miranda

    EPA administrator Lisa Jackson resigns, might run for N.J. governor

    Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, announced today she will step down, fueling speculation that the former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection could run for governor.

    Her resignation is effective after President Obama’s State of the Union address next month.

    “I will leave the EPA confident the ship is sailing in the right direction, and ready in my own life for new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference,” Jackson said in a statement.

    more here

    • goldenstar

      If the report has credence, this is very very interesting….

      • conlakappa

        I see it getting ugly really quickly if she is running against Christie. Look for his supporters to unironically make weight jokes about her. This is why I don’t go there–it opens the door to the other side doing such and they’ll put a whole lot more malice and venom into it.

    • TyrenM.

      I’d rather see her taking on Krispie Kream (sorry Conlakappa) than Booker. I know she’d be down. Booker, can’t truss it.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- – –ACTUALLY- — MR. PRESIDENT is LEADING the WAY!!- – —

    – – —On ‘fiscal cliff,’ Obama and senators returning to Washington for one last attempt at deal– –

    —–With historic tax increases set to hit virtually every American in five days, President Obama and members of the Senate are headed back to Washington on Thursday to take one last shot at a deal to protect taxpayers and the gathering economic recovery.

    If anything, hope for success appeared to have dimmed over the Christmas holiday. The Republican-controlled House last week abdicated responsibility for resolving the crisis, leaving all eyes on the Senate. But senior aides in both parties said Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have not met or even spoken since leaving town for the weekend.

    One small sign of progress came from House GOP leaders, who vowed Wednesday to call the House into session and stage a vote on anything the Democratic-controlled Senate approved.

    – – –But Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other top Republicans also demanded that Senate leaders take up a bill approved by the House months ago that would preserve expiring tax cuts for the wealthy as well as the middle class.– -[BAIT annnd SWITCH!!- — -NEVAMIND- –LIE!!]

    – — -COMMENT:- — –SnarkyDevil
    A majority of Americans now see the Republican Party in a negative light..
    It’s time to get rid of the Republican Party.

    Sign the petition at whitehouse.gov…. http://wh.gov/QGpi

    The sooner we rid ourselves of this treacherous group, the better Americans will fair in the future….


  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- — – GEESH!- – -He is SOooo- – BEYOND USELESS!!!- —

    – —Boehner to Senate: You Figure It Out– – –

    – – — – Legislators in Washington don’t look terribly motivated to avoid fiscal calamity. There were precious few signs of progress in fiscal cliff negotiations yesterday, with both sides mainly making political statements blaming each other. Here’s the latest:

    John Boehner, unable to pass even his own “Plan B,” is now calling on the Senate to solve the problem. “The House will take action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act,” he said, according to the New York Times.
    But Harry Reid points out that the Senate has already passed a bill that would prevent tax increases on all households making less than $250,000. “The Senate has already rejected House Republicans’ Tea Party bills,” he said, calling on Republicans to “drop their knee-jerk obstruction.”

    Boehner hasn’t called House members back to Washington yet, so though a session is scheduled for 2pm, it’ll likely recess immediately. Senators are set to return this evening, but will have no proposal to consider.
    THERE IS MORE.- – —-

    – – – -COMMENT:- – GeorgeL
    Boehner is just trying to push his responsibilities off onto the Senate because he can’t even control the members of his own party in the House of Representatives. His beloved House Republicans are strangling him with the fiscal purse strings. If Boehner does fall in January, I fail to see anyone else who can do any better in the Republican/Tea Party controlled House. The Republicans are plainly out of control.
    – – –TRUTH!!!

  • creolechild

    Unemployment claims fall by 12,000

    US jobless claims fell by 12,000 last week, according to government data released Thursday. Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week ending December 22 dropped to 350,000 from the previous week’s revised 362,000, the Labor Department said.

    The four-week moving average was 356,750, a decrease of 11,250 from the prior week’s revised average of 368,000. This week’s results were better than expected; analysts had expected claims to go up.


    H/T Agence France-Presse

  • creolechild

    Hmmm….well this certainly is a unique method of getting their attention.(lol!)

    Florida homeowners foreclose on deadbeat banks

    Vigilante homeowners in Florida are turning the tables on banks by foreclosing on them over unpaid homeowner fees, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. Although banks are typically the ones foreclosing on homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages, those same banks sometimes fail to pay the homeowners fees that come with holding those properties after foreclosure, reported CNN.

    And when banks fail to pony up, associations have hit back by imposing liens on those properties. If they still fail to pay, associations pursue foreclosures against the banks — a reversal of the process that banks typically pursue against homeowners.[….]

    Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/27/florida-homeowners-foreclose-on-deadbeat-banks/

    H/T Samantha Kimmey

  • Miranda

    wow….reality is a bitch for these folks.

    Tea Party Leader: Romney Was ‘The Worst Candidate In History’
    Tom Kludt – 11:47 AM EST, Thursday December 27, 2012

    Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips on Thursday disputed that President Obama claimed a mandate in November’s election, arguing that his re-election victory came over “the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney.”

    “You know, Obama ran on the fact he was going to raise taxes, the Republicans put up the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney, yet Obama allegedly has this mandate,” Phillips said during an appearance on MSNBC. “Well, why did Republicans keep the House if Obama has this great mandate? People don’t want their taxes going up. What people do want is spending cuts.”


    • GN

      Because House districts are gerrymandered, Mr. Phillips. A gift to the far right from the professional left in 2010. He concedes that President Obama ran on raising taxes on the rich, and won. Sounds like a mandate to me.

    • GN

      Because House districts are gerrymandered, Mr. Phillips. A gift to the far right from the professional left in 2010. He concedes that President Obama ran on raising taxes on the rich, and won. Sounds like a mandate to me.

      • BoomerGal

        Sounds like one to me, too.

        • jds09

          As a friend said to me over the holiday, “they just cannot imagine a world where they are not on top.”

    • conlakappa

      Mr. Phillips was free to pony up his ducats just like anyone else who wanted to offer a better candidate. He could always have run himself. Free country and all.

    • Yeah, but you supported Romney anyway during the election didn’t you?

      Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.

      • conlakappa

        And would have been front and center in the inauguration box, hosting any number of “Liberty Balls” during inauguration weekend, and $25 breakfasts in tents for the rabble as they chart the next steps for the tea party. But,yeah, Mr. Phillips, join the ranks of those treating Miffed like a $5 toothless Hunts Point hooker. You aren’t even original at that.

        • Miranda

          LMAO @ “Liberty Balls”

          You know them well! It would be that or “Freedom Balls” LOL

        • isonprize

          like a $5 toothless Hunts Point hooker.


  • GN

    Watching Scandal on netflix, I see why everyone here raves about this show! And that it’s based on a real life sister doing the damn thing makes it even more terrific to watch. Can’t wait until netflix gets the next season.

    • BoomerGal

      It is definitely fascinating to say the least. Beats the hell out of Atlanta House wives.

  • Miranda

    There are a bunch of lists of “People Who Need To Go Away in 2013” floating around and I would like to start the list with Chris Brown and Rihanna – please………just go.

    • Alma98

      Add the Koch bros to that list for me Miranda.

    • GreenLadyHere

      miranda- – —Please add 2 da- —U CAN – “MISS ME- -in 2013 LIST:

      – —–ALLA da TEA-THUCKERS!!! annnd da “RAFALCAs” dat dey ROAD- -in ON!!- —-

      – —Much THANX! :>)- – —

      • conlakappa

        We still haven’t seen Rafalca post placed-12th-at-the-Olympics day, have we?

        • GreenLadyHere

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

          – –Uhhh- -RESPECTFULLY- – U will NOT believe HOW MANY sources- -“WEASEL-WORDED” around which place he held at the end.- —ONLY 1 source – -TOLD da TRUTH!!:- –geesh!!! LOL

          – ——The U.S. finished sixth, and Rafalca, ridden by Jan Ebeling, ended in 28th place and out of contention for individual medals.

          BUT it don’t matta.—–He’s a LOSER!. Needsta CONSIDER- —DROPPIN’ that FAMILY!! LOL- –

          Good 2 C U -conlakappa. :>)

          • conlakappa

            28th?! Dang. I heard 12th but maybe that was in one run/race/dance/whatever it is called. How many event compete? It cannot be many more than 28.

          • GreenLadyHere

            LOL- —conlakappa- — -I almost added that ONLY 28 competed! LOL—

            BUT- — -no references. LOL- —

            – -NEVAMIND! :>)- –

            —**passes U da “POU FAM♥ popcorn**- —Let’s watch. –:>) —

            —-RAFALCA- – Doin’ Da – “DOUGIE”– – -LOL — J/K

        • Miranda

          I think Rafalca is now glue.

    • isonprize

      Breezy and riri were on the list that I saw. Just triflin’

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia——-GEESH!- – – HEADING:- — – -How 2 WIN FRIENDS!!- — NOT!- –

    — – –
    Putin to Bar U.S. Adoptions of Russian Children
    – – –

    – —Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he “would sign into law a ban on adoptions of Russian children by American citizens, retaliating against an American law that punishes Russians accused of violating human rights and dealing a potentially grave setback to bilateral relations,” the New York Times reports.

    – —-WAY-ELL. THIS oughta HURT US!- — NOT!- —

    • conlakappa

      I think it does hurt ordinary Americans trying to get access to children, some of whom have been in process for years. Yes, there are any number of adoptable children in the U.S. but that’s a fuller discussion. It hurts the children, who are still being warehoused in orphanages. Unless there is a massive campaign to make adoption there more attractive [i.e. with a financial incentive, akin to what we have in the U.S. foster care system; again, up for a fuller discussion], there is going to be one scary, maladjusted subset of a Russian generation.

      Whatever the political nonsense going on, the Russian adoption system was messed up, with corruption and misrepresentation to adoptive families. It was appropriate to reform the system rather than cut off the pipeline to prospective American parents. This feels like lose-lose-lose to me.

      • malletgirl02

        I was thinking along the same lines when I heard the news. Instead of banning American adoptions, the Russian government needs to fix its orphanage system.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- — LOL- —NOW that he has EVOLVED- – –HE TRYNTA B a BULLY!!-– —-HAH!- – –

    – – – –Mitch McConnell Threatens to Kill Unemployment Benefits for 2 Million Unless He Gets Spending Cuts– – –

    – — — —Sen. Mitch McConnell has returned from Christmas, and is threatening to kill unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans unless he gets spending cuts.

    The AP reported, “For the Senate to act would require a commitment from McConnell not to demand a 60-vote margin to consider the legislation on the Senate floor. McConnell’s office says it’s too early to make such an assessment because Obama’s plan is unclear on whether extended benefits for the unemployed would be paid for with cuts in other programs or on how it would deal with an expiring estate tax, among other issues.”

    Through their own behavior, Republicans are revealing that their concern over the fiscal cliff is a total sham. Every year since 2010 midterm elections, congressional Republicans have demanded spending cuts in exchange for any unemployment benefits extension. At every opportunity, House and Senate Republicans threaten the economic survival of the unemployed. The fact that they have failed has not stopped Mitch McConnell from continuing to make unreasonable demands that are never going to happen.

    Boehner and the House Republicans have lost their seat at the table, so it appears that they are trying to negotiate through McConnell.

    McConnell’s demand has little to do with the deficit, and everything to do with ideology. Republicans view unemployment benefits as the cause of unemployment. People like McConnell believe that unemployment insurance takes away the incentive to work by making the unemployed lazy and dependent on government. (These people have obviously never tried to subsist on an unemployment check.)

    — — – -Guess he hasn’t HEARD:- –

    – —-“YOUR ARMS R 2 SHORT 2 BOX WITH GOD!!!”– — -HAH!!

  • Alma98

    Afternoon all!

  • creolechild

    Obama’s Record Destroys the Republicans’ Big Spending Democrat Propaganda

    [….] One of the reasons many conservatives oppose any deal to avoid the fiscal cliff is to let domestic spending cuts in the Republican sequestration begin in 2013, and it has been a two-year claim of Republican leadership that America is broke and that to save the economy, the President’s “out-of-control” spending has to be halted immediately.

    The problem with that argument is it is patently false. Under President Obama’s leadership, government spending is at its lowest levels since Ronald Reagan’s administration, and in fact, the President’s spending is the lowest since the Eisenhower Administration. However, those are easily verified facts and if there is one thing Republicans avoid like plague, it is easily verified facts.[….]

    Read more: http://www.politicususa.com/obamas-record-destroys-republicans-big-spending-democrat-propaganda.html

    H/T Rmuse

    • nellcote

      However, those are easily verified facts and if there is one thing Republicans avoid like plague, it is easily verified facts.[….]

      The Village Media seems to be ignorant on that point too.

    • nellcote

      However, those are easily verified facts and if there is one thing Republicans avoid like plague, it is easily verified facts.[….]

      The Village Media seems to be ignorant on that point too.

  • creolechild

    Nicely done, Smartypants! You can’t go wrong posting a slideshow that captures in its essence the spirit and compassion of PBO and also features a classic jam by Earth, Wind, & Fire…

    Be Ever Wonderful

    As a rule, I’ve avoided joining the chorus of people who always have advice for President Obama. That’s not because I think he’s perfect. It has more to do with the fact that I feel like I have so much to learn from him. So I have a hard time imagining myself being in the position of giving him advice.

    But I’m going to break that tradition today in much the same way that Alice Walker did just after he was first elected President.

    More than anything, I value a person who knows their heart and has the strength to share it with others. And so today my advice to the President is to “be ever wonderful…stay as you are.”[….]

    Read more: http://www.immasmartypants.blogspot.com/

  • Alma98

    Man! What is it about Thanksgiving & Christmas that just wears you out. I don’t feel like doing a damn thing, but I have to go to the supermarket. I can’t take another day of holiday food. lol

    • Miranda

      LOL, one of my friends just asked if anyone wanted to do PF Chang’s tonight because we are all sick of turkey, dressing and greens.

      • Alma98

        I hear ya I don’t wanna see ribs, turkey or ham not even on a sandwich. gah!

        • TyrenM

          I had to unlike that one Alma. I likes my ribs. I made ribs xmas eve, uncle made ribs and primerib xmas. It’s Thursday, and guess what I’m eatin tonight? Heart doctor might not like me, but I’ll work it off next year lol.

          • Alma98


          • rikyrah


  • GreenLadyHere

    Sepia- —-Mr. Harry – –WEIGHS IN:- –:>) — –

    —–Harry Reid: We’re headed for cliff and it’s GOP’s fault

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/reid-were-headed-for-cliff-and-its-gops-fault-85532.html#ixzz2GHOLOEgd
    – – —

    – — — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid bluntly predicted the country was most likely headed over the fiscal cliff as he began to pointedly blame Republicans in the face of massive tax hikes and spending cuts poised to affect Americans from coast to coast.

    As he opened up a rare holiday week session, Reid said Thursday it “looks like” the country is headed over the fiscal cliff without a bipartisan deal that can be enacted before 2013 begins.

    “New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and for decades and decades, the American people have watched the ball drop in Times Square,” Reid said. “But this year, Mr. President, the American people are waiting for the ball to drop, but it’s not going to be a good drop. Because Americans’ taxes are approaching the wrong direction. Come the first of this year, Americans will have less income than they have today.”
    – —–SNIP- – –
    – —
    In his scathing remarks, Reid accused Boehner of worrying about his hold as speaker of the House by refusing to schedule a vote on a Democratic proposal to extend Bush-era tax rates for those who earn less than $250,000, allowing the tax rates to increase for the top 2 percent of wage earners.

    “John Boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than keeping the nation on a firm financial footing,” Reid said. “It’s obvious what’s going on. He’s waiting until Jan. 3 to get reelected to speaker because he has so many people over there that won’t follow what he wants.”

    – — -***Hands out- –BIG BAND AIDS!!*** LOL

  • Miranda


    The ratchet level with this is nuclear. This is absolutely disgusting. Oxygen should be ashamed!

    SMDH! Rapper Shawty Lo And His 10 Baby Mamas To Star In Oxygen Reality Show

    The cable network has announced the production of a new one-hour special, “All My Babies’ Mamas,” which features the day-to-day drama-filled shenanigans of Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo (pictured), his 10 baby mamas and their army of 11 children, reports TV By the Numbers.

    more here

    • Alma98


    • TyrenM

      Your girl Oprah, always uplifting the Black Race. [Before u beat me up, does she still own Oxygen? If not, nevermind.]

      • Alma98

        She sold it.

    • rikyrah


  • GreenLadyHere
  • rikyrah

    I could maybe understand this if Barack Obama had grown up in Jersey…but, he GREW UP IN HAWAII.

    W-T-F wouldn’t he know about his Senator?


    Can’t We Speak Well of the Dead?

    by BooMan
    Thu Dec 27th, 2012 at 10:41:57 AM EST

    It’s hard to get lower than concern trolling the literal accuracy of a eulogy. Maybe some ethics professor can chime in with a theory on the propriety of hyperbolic praise on the occasion of someone’s death. A few days ago, the president delivered a eulogy at the funeral of Sen. Daniel Inouye in which he said that he had first learned what a senator was while watching the Watergate hearings during a family vacation in the summer of 1973. He also said that he took special notice of Sen. Inouye because of his non-white appearance, the respect he commanded, and because his mother told him that he was their senator. He went on to say that Sen. Inouye was perhaps his earliest political inspiration.

    In response, Patrick Brennan of National Review, decided to pore through Obama’s published writings to see if he had ever called Sen. Inouye an inspiration in the past. Maybe the president was exaggerating!!!

    I know it’s the slow news season, but when you have to work this hard to criticize the president maybe you just don’t have any good criticisms to make.


    • Town

      Just like GOP women nationwide were just convinced Oprah Winfrey only supported Barack Obama* because he was black, not because um…he was her Senator?

      *I’m convinced Oprah only contributed to Obama b/c she had Tavisitis and thought she was gonna be hanging in the White House as if she was de facto First Lady, not Michelle.

  • rikyrah

    The irresponsible Republican Party

    Posted by Jonathan Bernstein on December 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

    It’s worth noting, again, the irresponsible behavior of the Republicans with regard to the fiscal crisis.

    At its core, this is not about a tea party mindset that refuses all compromises based on either misguided principle or fear of primaries. That’s happening, as Steve Kornacki explains this morning, but it’s not the core problem. Nor is it about a House speaker too afraid of losing his job that he becomes too cowardly to put pressure on members of his conference or to pass something without the crazies of his conference. It’s not even, really, about a party refusing to accept the election returns or having a fanatical devotion to low tax rates no matter what. All those things are true, but they aren’t the worst of it.

    Back up from the day-to-day and really look at it, and what you’ll see is a situation in which Republicans insist on superficially popular deficit reduction without being willing to support any of the means of getting deficit reduction — and having demonstrated repeatedly that if Democrats propose any specific deficit-reduction measures, they’ll be quick to attack.

    The truth is that we probably wouldn’t have any major problem if Republicans were willing to propose actual policies that would achieve the deficit-reduction goal they insist is essential. For better or worse, Barack Obama and the Democrats appear willing to cut a deal, even if it involves accepting spending cuts that Democratic voters and activists hate. Obama and the Democrats are also, obviously, willing to propose and strongly support tax increases.

    What Obama and the Democrats are not willing to do — and should not be willing to do — is to propose and take the blame for the specific spending cuts that would be needed for deficit reduction of the size that Republicans insist on.


  • Miranda

    Afternoon thread is up!

  • rikyrah

    Boehner, unable to lead, waits for Senate rescue

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:26 AM EST

    House Speaker John Boehner had a strategy: strike a deal with President Obama on looming fiscal deadlines, get it passed, and look like a competent policymaker capable of governing. That plan fell apart last week when Boehner’s own allies forced him to scrap the negotiations.

    So, the Speaker came up with a new strategy: pass a plainly ridiculous “Plan B,” send it to the Senate, dare Democrats to defeat it, and avoid blame when everything fell apart. That, too, crashed and burned when Boehner couldn’t convince Republicans to have his back.

    Left with no “Plan C,” it’s come to this: hope the Senate can figure something out.

    After a high-level telephone conference call, House Republican leaders called on the Senate to act but opened the door to bringing to the House floor any last-minute legislation the Senate could produce.

    “The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass, but the Senate first must act,” said the statement issued on behalf of Speaker John A. Boehner and his three top lieutenants

    If you’re thinking, “Wait, this doesn’t make any sense,” you’re not alone. For one thing, the Senate already acted, passing a bill to freeze lower rates on income up to $250,000, and the House GOP leadership is choosing not to take up the Senate version. For another, there’s a Democratic majority in the Senate — are Harry Reid and his caucus expected to just guess what kind of plan can generate some modicum of Republican support?


  • rikyrah

    Quote of the Day
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:00 PM EST.

    I often wonder if congressional Republicans believe their own talking points, or if they no longer care about credibility (via Kevin Drum).

    “The president made a strategic miscalculation and overreached,” said one GOP aide granted anonymity to discuss party strategy. “He could have worked to reach a fair agreement, but instead he picked a fight, poisoned the well, and now we are likely to have a rather unproductive next four years. The decision he made only hurts himself.”

    It’s unclear whether the GOP aide was able to say this with a straight face or not.

    Let’s quickly recap the fiscal process in case anyone is confused. President Obama presented a platform to the nation in 2012, and was rewarded with 332 electoral votes, during the same election cycle in which Democrats added seats in both the House and Senate. After the election, the president proposed — get this — implementing his agenda, which enjoys broad public support.