September 25, 2017

Thursday Open Thread: The Iron Elite – African Americans in Motorcycling History


Good Morning Obots!

I’ve known 2 “Pee Wee’s” in my life, and BOTH rode HARD.  Maybe its something in the name. LOL, I don’t know, but here’s another.

An influential leader of the Los Angeles biker community for more than 50 years, John Wesley McCollum, known to everyone as P. Wee, was present at the beginning of the urban biker scene in southern California. An early member of the seminal all-black Defiant Ones MC, P. Wee has lived the black biker experience almost since it started. A Navy veteran riding a 1941 Knucklehead out of San Diego, P. Wee gained a reputation as a lone wolf. A passage in Soul on Bikes: The East Bay Dragons MC and the Black Biker Set, the 2004 memoir by Dragons founder and president Tobie Gene Levingston, explains that P. Wee earned his name because he was a small guy on a big Harley chopper with high handlebars, and every time he pulled onto the L.A. set guys would look at him and shout, “Here comes P. Wee hanging off them handlebars,” and the name stuck.

“I considered myself a young man’s man, so a chopped bike was my way to go,” said P. Wee. “It showed off my chopper, my style, my being. You know – a little of what they call flashiness. “

P. Wee started riding with the Los Angeles-based Defiant Ones in 1957, and moved to L.A. and became a member in 1959. The club was going through a change in leadership, with some members objecting to being branded outlaws, Levingston recalls in Soul on Ice. The Defiant Ones rode choppers and dressed tough, and had a problem being labeled as one-percenters, or gangsters. That element, including P. Wee, broke away and became the Defiant Ones.

“I got to hang out with the boys up here in L.A.,” said P. Wee. “You see things going on in the streets that you like to do, ride around and have fun, play with the girls, crack a beer and whatever else.”

P. Wee became president of the Defiant Ones in 1964, and has served the club in that position several times over the years, drilling younger members on the club’s history and legacy. The club’s current roster includes P. Wee’s grandson, Andrew Thompson.

“I get a lot of respect because of my grandpa,” says Thompson with pride. “I just try to carry the legacy and stay positive with it. He got the people who were acting a mess to be good and calm down on the bullshit they was doing. He got awards for being a part of the community.” While one-percenters are prevalent in the motorcycle world, the biggest shock to anyone outside the circle is how community-driven most clubs are.

The Defiant Ones have always been a Harley-only club, and P. Wee is still an everyday rider, and runs a motorcycle shop.

“Best freedom I ever had was on my bike, man,” says P. Wee. “By the time I put it into fourth gear, I feel like I can take on the world.”

  • GreenLadyHere

    – – –357,000 JOBLESS CLAIMS FILED LAST WEEK. UNDER 400,00. – -GOOD NEWS. :>)

  • GreenLadyHere
  • rikyrah

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  • GreenLadyHere

    GOOD THURSDAY MORNTIN’ Miranda. ***BIG HUG** :>) – – –

    Couldn’t WAIT 2 C the FEATURED BIKER. :>) – –

    “Pee Wee” – —ONE of the – – -DEFIANT ONES! – – – -WHAT a POWERFUL NAME!! – – – –

    THAT’s how we RIDE 4 MR. PRESIDENT!! :>) – – – –

    THANK U – -Miranda!! – – -GR8 INSPIRING SERIES. :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda: – – — sanatorium -NEEDSTA – –GIVE IT UP! – —LOL – —

    – – Romney Grabs Lead in Pennsylvania
    Meanwhile, Santorum says ‘damn right’ we cling to guns, religion
    – – —

    – – –Bad news for Rick Santorum: Mitt Romney has taken the lead in Santorum’s own home state of Pennsylvania. Romney is at 42% support and Santorum at 37% in the latest Public Policy Poll, followed by Ron Paul with 9% and Newt Gingrich at 6%. That’s a gain of 17 points for Romney since last month—and a loss of 6 points for Santorum. Romney has even made gains in Santorum-leaning groups including evangelicals, tea partiers, and the “very conservative.” Many see Pennsylvania as make-or-break for Santorum.

    Just 36% of Republican voters in the state believe Santorum could realistically grab the nomination, and just 24% think he’s got the best chance to win in the fall against President Obama.

  • rikyrah

    Posted at 09:03 AM ET, 04/05/2012
    The Morning Plum: Is Paul Ryan the new Newt Gingrich?
    By Greg Sargent

    President Obama’s speech on Tuesday, and Mitt Romney’s answer to it yesterday, confirm beyond doubt that both sides are staking the election on the larger vision, priorities, and view of the proper role of government and the safety net that is reflected in the Paul Ryan budget. Which has many people asking: Can Obama and Dems use Ryan as a foil as effectively as Bill Clinton used Gingrich in his successful 1996 reelection campaign, which came only two years after a midterm shellacking rivaling 2010?

    Matt Miller has a nice column on the Obama campaign’s plan to rerun Clinton’s 1996 playbook:

    What was unveiled with Obama’s powerful speech is nothing less than a replay of Bill Clinton’s reelection argument in 1996. Back then, a colorless GOP leader named Bob Dole was successfully lashed to revolutionary Newt Gingrich’s budget, which Democrats argued would ravage Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment. Dole was morphed into Gingrich at least 125,000 times in negative ads (according to Gingrich’s later tally for me), killing Dole with independents and sullying Gingrich’s brand forever.
    Now Romney, who will start this fight with the highest negatives (over 50%) of any general-election contender in memory, confronts a political play that the president’s men invented and have been honing for 15 years.
    There are, of course, multiple reasons Ryan isn’t comparable to Gingrich. The latter cut a far higher and far more ascerbic profile than Ryan: Gingrich, striking the pose of a conservative populist rabble-rouser, had led the 1994 takeover of Congress, launching a series of stunts that turned him into a well known national figure who was named Time’s Man of the Year in 1995.

    Ryan, by contrast, is not nearly as well known, and is more a darling of conservative opinionmakers and Beltway inside-game players who have accorded Ryan an unearned designation as one of the most Fiscally Serious People in Washington. Ryan’s lower profile is perhaps best captured by those videos depicting him stalking the halls of Congress in a perpetual state of well-rehearsed deficit angst.

    But there are also parallels that could prove important. It’s often forgotten that a key ingredient to Clinton’s success was drawing a hard line on Medicare, which is again central to the presidential race 16 years later. Just as in 1996, education and the environment will also prove key to Obama’s argument that he’s the candidate of the future — a message Dems hope will resonate among women and upscale voters in states like Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina.

    More broadly, the GOP, and even presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, have ceded to Ryan a startling amount of influence over the party’s fiscal policies, worldview, ideology, priorities and direction — and the resultant vision could prove just as alienating to independents, moderates and women as Newt did.

    If Gingrich himself was a useful foil in 1996, Ryan’s vision for the country’s future will play that role this time around. And yet, despite the economic radicalism of the Romney-Ryan vision, Republicans remain equally convinced Ryan is a plus for them. The fact that both sides are doubling down so hard on Ryan is yet another sign that this election represents perhaps the starkest clash of ideological visions we’ve seen in a presidential race in recent memory

  • rikyrah

    Mitt Romney Doubles Down On Medicare Distortions
    Sahil Kapur- April 5, 2012, 6:14 AM

    Mitt Romney made a series of claims Wednesday that distort President Obama’s positions on Medicare, an indication that he’s sticking with an earlier, misleading line of attack as he gets closer to winning the Republican nomination for president.

    “I’d be willing to consider the president’s plan, but he doesn’t have one. That’s right: In over three years, he has failed to enact or even propose a serious plan to solve our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a speech to the Newspaper Association of America in Washington, D.C. “Instead, he has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it. He is the only president to ever cut $500 billion from Medicare. And, as a result, more than half of doctors say they will cut back on treating seniors.”

    Romney attacked Obama for lacking a comprehensive plan to make Medicare’s long-term cost growth sustainable, while also claiming that the savings he wrung from the program, via the health care law, were unacceptable. It’s a partial contradiction based on a key distortion. Obama does, in fact, have a plan to rein in Medicare spending — one that Romney actually acknowledged later in the same speech.

    The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created by the Affordable Care Act, would consist of 15 Senate-confirmed experts with the authority to cut Medicare payments to providers if costs exceed a certain level. (Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan, the author of the GOP plan, agree on what that level ought to be.) The approach sustains Medicare’s structure as a government-run insurance plan that directly pays medical bills for the elderly.

    That’s in stark contrast to the Republican plan, backed by Romney, which would begin phasing out Medicare and replacing it with a market exchange where seniors shop between subsidized private insurance plans and a public option.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – — -EVOLUTION in the 21st Century —–

    – – –Trayvon Martin case: George Zimmerman’s evolving narrative[The Reid Report] – —

    – – —With slight variations, George Zimmerman’s family members and his media adviser have told a story that paints Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot by Zimmerman while walking home from a local 7-Eleven with candy and iced tea, as the aggressor in their fateful confrontation on February 26th.

    The differences are subtle, but potentially important, particularly if a case against Mr. Zimmerman ever goes to trial.

    Story 1: The confrontation at the SUV

    Zimmerman called police from his vehicle on the night of February 26th, dialing a non-emergency number that presumably, he got by being a neighborhood watch captain (the number is not 911, but you can look it up online on the Sanford police department’s website.) Based on his call, he was following Martin in the car for a time, and then got out and followed him on foot. You can hear heavy breathing as Zimmerman continues to pursue Martin, though the dispatcher says “we don’t need you to do that.”

    In an April 3rd Reuters story, Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, recalls what he says the lead homicide detective in the case, Investigator Chris Serino, told him about the shooting (emphasis added):

    – -SKIP – –

    Story 2: The confrontation on foot, and what Zimmerman reportedly told police

    Zimmerman himself gave a slightly different account according to an Orlando Sentinel story dated March 26th, which appears to have been gleaned via leaks from Sanford police. In that account, there is no confrontation at the SUV, and the first words exchanged between Zimmerman and Martin take place at the point of their fatal confrontation, on a walkway between two rows of townhome back yards:

    On Feb. 26, when Zimmerman first spotted Trayvon, he called police and reported a suspicious person, describing Trayvon as black, acting strangely and perhaps on drugs.

    Zimmerman got out of his SUV to follow Trayvon on foot. When a dispatch employee asked Zimmerman if he was following the 17-year-old, Zimmerman said yes. The dispatcher told Zimmerman he did not need to do that.

    There is about a one-minute gap during which police say they’re not sure what happened.



    • rikyrah

      ‘evolving story’

      um, trying to cover lies

  • Rhoda

    Good Morning, POU.

    I saw this linked at Booman’s site; the real reason Olympia Snowe didn’t run again. Hint, it’s not because of gridlock or bad President Obama not calling her.

    Last August, while Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, was in the midst of an intensive round of fundraising for her 2012 reelection bid, a four-year-old civil lawsuit alleging fraud by an education company in which she and her husband are heavily invested became public.

    Nationally, most of the coverage of Snowe’s decision to drop her reelection bid has focused on the centrist Republican’s frustration with the polarized politics on Capitol Hill. But in Maine, a few newspapers have speculated that her husband’s legal entanglements had a role in Snowe’s sudden and surprising decision, which left her with more than $3 million in her campaign coffers and her party without a Senate candidate less than three weeks before the filing deadline for Maine’s June 12 primary.

    According to the senator’s most recent financial disclosure form, she and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan Jr., have investments worth between $2 million and $10 million in Education Management Corp., a Pittsburgh-based company that operates for-profit higher education institutions. McKernan is chairman of the board of directors of the company, now embroiled in a lawsuit in which the federal goverment, 11 states and the District of Columbia are seeking to recover a portion of the $11 billion in federal student aid that the education firm has received since July 2003.

    Originally filed in April 2007 by a pair of whistleblowers, the lawsuit alleges that the company violated a federal law that prohibits schools from paying admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit and enroll. Those numbers can affect a school’s revenues because more students mean a school is potentially eligible for more federal aid dollars. The whistleblowers alleged, and provided documents indicating, that they were paid bounties for the number of students they enrolled.

    The Justice Department’s decision to intervene on Aug. 8 made the lawsuit, which had been under seal, public. In its complaint, Justice alleged that Education Management Corp. submitted “knowingly false, misrepresented, and/or improper certifications” to the Education Department, stating that it did not offer enrollment incentives to its admissions officers. Without those certifications, students enrolling at the the company’s schools, which include Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University, would not be eligible for federal financial aid. The complaint names Snowe’s husband, noting that in December 2006, while he was the company’s chief executive officer, McKernan personally signed certifications that Education Management Corp.’s schools complied with the ban on offering compensation to admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit.

    Education Management Corp. has asked that the case be dismissed. In a press release issued after the suit was announced, Bonnie Campbell, spokesperson for the company’s legal team and a former attorney general of Iowa and Justice Dept. official, described the suit as “flat-out wrong.” Campbell stated that the company’s compensation policies for admissions officers were based on a number of factors, not solely the number of students they recruited, and had been developed with the aid of outside consultants to ensure they complied with federal law.

    According to the company’s most recent proxy statement, McKernan, who was briefly named as a defendant in the suit but removed, owns more than 835,000 shares in the company, worth more than $14.9 million at current prices. That was up from the 128,000 shares he owned when he became CEO in 2003. He joined the company in 1999, and stepped down from the CEO position in February 2007.

    A report from New America Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch noted that Education Management Corp. in the words of its founder, Robert Knutson, was “oriented to the needs of [its] students” until 2006, when a group of private equity investors led by Goldman Sachs acquired the company. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that McKernan was involved in the acquisition talks, receiving the first contact about an acquisition and serving on a special committee to advise the board on the progress of talks. Goldman Sachs retained McKernan, but did away with the rest of the management, according to the Higher Ed Watch Report. The new management greatly increased enrollment at Education Management Corporation’s schools, doubling it to 160,000 students.

    The company’s most recent annual report filed with the SEC shows that 74.3 percent of the company’s revenues–some $2.6 billion–came from programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, which requires recipients to certify that they don’t offer incentives to admissions officers based on the number of students they enroll.

    When news of the lawsuit was released, political opponents of Snowe’s raised the issue, the Lewiston (Me.) Sun Journal reported. Scott D’Amboise, a Republican challenging her in the Senate primary, called on her to resign, while Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Shripal Shah charged that Snowe and her husband may have personally profited while defrauding low income students.

    At the time, Snowe dismissed the charges, citing the care the company took in developing its compensation policies. Her office did not respond to requests for comment.

    • Aquagranny911

      How the mighty are felled! Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving goatfigger. Sorry, Olympia you may run but you can’t hide from Karma.

  • rikyrah

    anyone going to watch Scandal with Kerry Washington tonight on ABC?

    • Rhoda

      I’m looking forward to it; I have it on the DVR. Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix gave it a great review, especially Kerry. He said she was a star who hadn’t had an opportunity to shine; and she definitely shines on the show. Made me happy to read; hope the show attracts a lot of viewers.

  • rikyrah

    The GOP’s rejection of the Reagan legacy
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 5, 2012 9:10 AM EDT.
    Associated Press

    President Obama covered quite a bit of ground in his speech at the Associated Press luncheon the other day, but one of his arguments stirred some interesting discussion: “Ronald Reagan … could not get through a Republican primary today.”

    The president’s likely GOP rival made the opposite case yesterday.

    Mitt Romney is disputing President Obama’s assertion that Ronald Reagan couldn’t win a primary in today’s Republican Party, adding that he could do it in part by going after Obama economic policies.

    “I actually think Ronald Reagan would win handily in a primary and frankly in all the primaries,” Romney told a group of newspaper editors [Wednesday].

    It hasn’t generated a lot of attention, but Obama’s not the only one arguing that contemporary Republicans would reject the man the RNC labeled “Ronaldus Magnus.” About a year ago, a House Republican went so far as to dismiss Reagan as a “moderate, former liberal” who “would never be elected today.” Mike Huckabee said around the same time, “Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible, time being nominated in this atmosphere of the Republican Party.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had a nearly identical take in 2010, arguing Reagan “would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”

    So, who’s right? Romney or Obama, Huckabee, and Graham? It’s obviously speculative, but I don’t think this is a close call.

    Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times, and he supported the precursor to the Buffett Rule. In his first term, Reagan raised taxes when unemployment was nearing 11% — imagine trying this today — and proceeded to raise taxes seven out of the eight years he was in office. It’s a fact the right finds terribly inconvenient, but “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.

    Reagan gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants, expanded the size of the federal government, tripled the deficit and added trillions to the debt, bailed out domestic industries, and called for a world without nuclear weapons. Reagan also met with our most hated enemy without preconditions, criticized Israel, and illegally funneled arms to Iran.

    And then there’s his gubernatorial record.


    In California, Reagan increased spending, raised taxes, helped create the nation’s first state-based emissions standards, signed an abortion-rights bill, and expanded the nation’s largest state-based Medicaid program (socialized medicine).

    Reagan “could not get through a Republican primary today”? Reagan could not get through a Republican primary without being laughed off the stage today.

    Why does this matter? For one thing, it’s at least interesting to appreciate the fact that Republicans have a religious-like reverence for Reagan, they have no use for his approach to governance.

    For another, it should tell the American mainstream something important when the GOP moves so far to the ideological extreme that it’s no longer the Party of Reagan.

  • rikyrah

    Associated Press Ignores Obama On Drawing False Equivalences On Health Care
    Brian Beutler April 4, 2012, 12:23 PM

    One of the key moments of President Obama’s Tuesday speech before an Associated Press luncheon came at the end, when he urged reporters not to cast partisan disagreements about the key issues of the day — health care, the environment, the role of the federal government — as a product of equal intransigence on both sides. Republicans, he noted, have abandoned their previous support for Obama initiatives — from transportation funding, to cap and trade, to the health care reforms that comprise ‘Obamacare’ — many of which emerged as conservative alternatives to more liberal policies.

    His hosts weren’t listening — and as a result they’ve made Obama’s points about Republicans and the media for him.

    “[I]f Republicans have moved to the right on health care, it’s also true that Obama has moved to the left,” reads an AP wrap on the Obama speech. “He strenuously opposed a mandate forcing people to obtain health insurance until he won office and changed his mind.”

    It’s true that Obama campaigned against an individual mandate in 2008, only to embrace it — however reluctantly — after he became president. But to say that constitutes a move to the left betrays a lack of understanding about the origins and purpose of the individual mandate, and of Obama’s broader evolution on health care reform.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda- – – –RESPECTFULLY: – —

    – — –Whitney Houston death report details drug signs, last day —-

    — -RIHEP – – -DEAR LADY♥

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – — Good NEWS – – –RE – -INDEPENDENTS – —

    – – —Independents are abandoning Romney (or not) – – – –

    — – –New numbers from a USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 swing states suggests that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is quickly losing support among independent voters — a voting bloc considered the crown jewel of the 2012 election.

    Romney’s number in Gallup polling has dropped 10 points among independents since last fall, while President Obama’s number is up by nearly that same amount during the same time frame.

    Romney’s struggles among independents are due almost entirely to the fact that independent women, who were voting for him over Obama by 5 points last fall, now favor the Democratic incumbent by a 51 percent-to-37 percent margin.

    — SKIP—–

    Annnnd 4 the record:

    ——White House says Obama wasn’t intimidating Supreme Court: The White House clarified Wednesday that Obama was not trying to intimidate the Supreme Court when he said this week that it would be unusual for the court to overturn a congressional law.

  • Miranda

    Congrats Detroit!

    Detroit is a fitting site for new Twitter office

    DETROIT – When Twitter, the world’s most popular social networking site, announced on Wednesday that it will open an office in downtown Detroit, it was heralded as proof of the city’s continued rebirth. However, it can also be seen as fitting that, since a majority of Twitter users are African-American, that they open an office in the city with one of the highest percentages of blacks.

    “We plan to scale our presence in Detroit in order to meet local demand for Twitter’s Promoted Products,” Twitter spokesman Robert Weeks said. Weeks told the Detroit News that a number of Twitter’s Detroit employees will work with the Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler as well as local advertising agencies.

    more here

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda- – –ATTACKS on BLACKS – –CONTINUE in SCOTUS Decisions – — –

    – — Supreme Court strip search decision may disproportionately impact black men – – –

    – —- In a close 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people who are arrested even for minor offenses may be strip searched before they are admitted to jail, even if there is no reasonable suspicion they are in possession of drugs, weapons or other contraband. And the case is expected to have implications for black men who are disproportionately stopped by the police.

    The case, Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, involved Albert Florence — a black man and a car dealership finance director — who was arrested by a New Jersey state trooper for a warrant on an unpaid fine. Florence had actually paid the fine.

    Over the course of two days, Florence was taken to two jails. In the first jail he was ordered to strip in a shower with a delousing agent, open his mouth and lift his tongue, and lift his genitals. He was subjected to a similarly invasive strip search in the second facility, in the presence of other inmates.

    Other plaintiffs in the case were arrested for minor offenses such as walking a dog without a leash, trespassing during an antiwar demonstration and were strip searched.


    And the case is expected to have implications for black men who are disproportionately stopped by the police.– – – –

  • rikyrah

    Mitt Romney is a Pathological Liar
    Posted on 04/04/2012 at 3:30 pm by JM Ashby

    The ease at which Mitt Romney shoots pure dishonesty out of his eyesockets is a sight to behold.

    Romney responded to the speech President Obama gave to the Associated Press Luncheon yesterday, and while his usual line of attack relies on telling pure lies, his new strategy also relies on –you guessed it– telling pure lies.

    The entire response was filled with astonishing dishonesty, but this gem in particular is so ridiculous and childish I can’t even read it with a straight face

    I’d be willing to consider the President’s plan, but he doesn’t have one. That’s right. In over three years, he has failed to enact or even propose a serious plan to solve our entitlement crisis.

    Instead, he has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it.

    To say the president doesn’t have a plan is to ignore the fact that he was the first to debut a plan.

    Before even the first temporary extension of government funding which prevented a government shutdown in the early spring of 2011, President Obama outlined a comprehensive budgetary road-map which was not entirely dissimilar from the plan he favored during the debt-ceiling debacle or that he spoke of as recently as Monday.

    Not long after the president originally debuted a plan to turn the economy and the country’s finances around, Paul Ryan debuted the Path to Poverty Path to Prosperity, which is basically the same plan Ryan trumpeted last week. The same plan Mitt Romney is now latching onto to as if it were his own.

    And it’s not a serious plan. In fact, I’m not sure if you can even call it a “plan” unless you view it from the perspective of Pinky and the Brain.

    I have no doubt Mitt Romney and the Republicans will continue to claim the president “has no plan” from now until November, but this must have left even Republicans scratching their heads in bewilderment.

    • caribbeanobserver

      ‘Etchy -sketchy- stretchy the truth’ is so phoney I always feel embarassed to watch him. What is up with the way he holds his body anyway? Yep, his whole phoniness is held in his high shoulders,or something…watch and see. My guess is that he is never relaxed, simply tense from being so superficial. Tell me again, why does this guy want or need to be President so badly? Is he bored with his millions and thinks that being a President will be a great new hobby..or something?

    • Town

      Mitt Romney is a sociopath, even more so than Palin.

      • rikyrah

        yes, he is.

        he’d literally sell his mama for a block of votes.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – – — -MR. PRESIDENT waxes PROFOUND – – -AGAIN :>) – – —

    – —Quote of the Morning – – –

    – – — “I think that there is often times the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally. So as all of you are doing your reporting, I think it’s important to remember that the positions I’m taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions. What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party.” President Obama

    Ashby posted the whole speech yesterday, but wow. How many times have we had this exact same conversation here?

    — – —NAILED IT!! :>) – – –THANK U- -MR> PRESIDENT. :>)

  • rikyrah

    Why So Glum?
    by BooMan
    Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 09:26:02 PM EST

    Paul Waldman is wise to provide all the appropriate caveats, but Joe Scarborough’s remarks on his MSNBC program this morning are fascinating anyway:

    “Nobody thinks Romney’s going to win. Let’s just be honest. Can we just say this for everybody at home? Let me just say this for everybody at home. The Republican establishment — I’ve yet to meet a single person in the Republican establishment that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election this year. They won’t say it on TV because they’ve got to go on TV and they don’t want people writing them nasty emails. I obviously don’t care. But I have yet to meet anybody in the Republican establishment that worked for George W. Bush, that works in the Republican congress, that worked for Ronald Reagan that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election.”

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think Scarborough was making this up. Of course, Scarborough is living in Manhattan now, and if you spend enough time there you can find it hard to believe that a typical Republican can be elected to anything, ever. Still, it’s an odd moment in time for Republicans to be feeling so down on themselves. Romney has broken through. He has a clear path to a clean win of the nomination. All the ducks are nearly in a row. Why the pessimism?

    I think it’s because of a lot of things. Mitt Romney had a big victory in Maryland last night, but he still failed to crack fifty percent. Wisconsin was closer than the polls were predicting. Gingrich and Santorum may have terrified the Republican Establishment, but they really can’t fall in love with Romney. They have buyer’s remorse and the thing isn’t even mathematically wrapped up yet. They’re all doing their duty and trying to push Santorum out of the race, but their hearts aren’t in it. They feel like they won the Booby Prize.

    I also think that Establishment Republicans are a little ashamed of what the party has become. It’s not just Olympia Snowe who’s ready to quit in disgust. They can see what Romney has had to do to win this thing, and they don’t feel good about it. And then there’s another group, the true believers, who think Romney’s a soulless hack and a phony conservative, and they hate having to pretend otherwise. I think both groups agree, though, that Romney isn’t going to win because he doesn’t deserve to win. Among political sophisticates, some feel like if he isn’t Ronald Reagan then what’s the point? And the others know what kind of dishonest game they’ve been running on Obama; they know the cards the president was dealt (and who dealt them), and they know he’s done an admirable job under the circumstances. They think Obama is going to win because he has a good record to run on and Romney has bupkis. They also are clear-sighted enough to recognize that the president and his political team are top-flight pros.

    So, is Romney going to turn this all around somehow? Can he just pull Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio out of a hat and change everyone’s perceptions? I don’t know. The one thing I can say to make Republicans feel better about their chances is to remind them that the people who will decide this election don’t know who Joe Scarborough is and wouldn’t give a shit about his opinion even if they did.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – —SKY NEWS – -ADMITS 2 HACKING into e-mails

  • Miranda

    Wow….no shame whatsoever…this is the kind of government the GOP wants.

    Republican Donor Simmons Seeks Rule to Fill Texas Dump

    Harold Simmons built a West Texas dump for radioactive waste that is bigger than 1,000 football fields and he can’t fill it.

    To turn it into a profitable enterprise, the Texas billionaire hired lobbyists to urge the Obama administration to expand the types of nuclear waste, including depleted uranium, the dump can accept and award his company disposal contracts. If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission changes the rule, it could open access to a market worth billions. The deadline for a decision is in 2014.
    Simmons now is spending money in a new way that could improve his business prospects: He’s invested $15.9 million this election cycle in various groups to help elect Republicans, who advocate easing regulations on the nuclear industry.

    more here

    • nellcote

      Oh sure, loosen the rules on radioactive dumps. What could possibly go wrong!

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – –JOBS! – – –JOBS! – – –JOBS! – – – — –

    – — – –Obama to sign JOBS Act, then screen classic film — —

    —–President Barack Obama will sign the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act on Thursday.

    The JOBS legislation includes key initiatives that Obama proposed last year to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs.

    The signing will take place in the Rose Garden.

    –In the evening, the president will host a screening of the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the White House family theater. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the American classic, which will air Saturday night on the USA Network with an introductory message from the president.

    Later Thursday evening, Obama will attend two campaign events in Washington.

    – – -THANK U – –MR. PRESIDENT! A CAMPAIGN PROMISE –continuing 2 B – –FULFILLED! :>)

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda- —-Started 2 post an article about CASES SIMILAR 2 TRAYVON’s. BUT THIS COMMENT- – – -that’s WHAT we’re talkin’ ’bout!! —

    – – – –Whats really telling about these incidents all across the United States is either the lack of respect for black folks,or downright fear of black folks.We don’t get to read about whites being shot 51 times.
    We seldom read about some white teen shot dead by some wannabe Rambo and not be arrested.
    lack of respect for our folks gotta stop..Remember we helped build this fu*******g country.Our folks worked centuries and didn’t get paid..We have shed our damn blood for this country…And we ain’t goin nowhere…….


    – – — -THANK U! – —-

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – – -WATCH the DESCENDING LINE – — – -Woo! Hoo! – – —

    – —At The Chart Of The Matter – —

    — – —Steve Benen kindly presents compelling evidence to squish “the stimulus failed, this President failed” nonsense on jobs and unemployment:

    Despite last week’s annual revisions, the same metrics still apply: when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.

    And with that, here’s the chart—which reflects the revised, seasonably-adjusted data—showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007. (Remember, unlike the monthly jobs chart, a lower number is good news.) For context, I’ve added an arrow to show the point at which President Obama’s Recovery Act began spending money.

    Stimulus happens, unemployment claims go down, and they’ve been decreasing steadily now for 3 years.


    – — 4 MORE YEARS ! —“4 —-#44″[@AG :>)] – – – –

  • GreenLadyHere


    – —Obama doing better in Nevada – – –

    – —–Nevada, more than any other state, symbolizes how much the Presidential race has changed over the last six months.

    In October Barack Obama was unpopular there, with a 44/53 approval rating. That was the story in our Nevada polling through most of last year. In July Obama was at 47/50 and in April he was at 45/52.

    Mitt Romney, on the other hand, polled much better with voters in Nevada than he did in most of the rest of the country. His favorability on our last poll there was narrowly positive at 45/44, and he managed to tie Obama at 46% in a state where the President won by 12 points in 2008. PPP’s other polls in the state in 2011 showed a similarly close Obama/Romney race- a 1 point lead for Obama in July, a 3 point lead for Romney in April, and a 1 point lead for Obama in January.

    THI – —>That’s not the case anymore. Over the last 5 months Obama’s approval numbers have recovered, Romney’s favorability numbers have taken a strong turn in the wrong direction, and Obama’s opened up an 8 point lead in the state at 51-43.

    Obama’s 44/53 approval rating in the state has now flipped to positive territory at 50/46. Most notably what was a 42/53 breakdown with independents is now 55/40. He’s seen smaller improvements with Democrats (from a 78% approval rating to 82%) and with Republicans (from a 6% approval to 12%).

    – – – -GR8 NEWS!! – – —4 MORE YEARS!! :>) – —

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – – – -COMEDIC TRUTH —LOL – – —

    – — –Cartoons of the Day- It’s Not Over – – –

    — -RE-THUGS R PITIFUL!! LOL – — –

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – —-Missed this – – -SAD NEWS — – –***head bow**

    – – —Alvin Boutte Sr. dies; helped bankroll MLK’s civil rights efforts – – —

    – – —-Alvin Boutte Sr., who led the nation’s largest Black-owned bank and helped bankroll the civil rights efforts of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has died.

    Boutte died Sunday at his Hazel Crest home. He was 82.

    Born in Lake Charles, La., Boutte earned a pharmacist’s degree at Xavier University of Louisiana. He then became part of the migration that brought African-Americans to Chicago and other northern cities to seek opportunity denied them in the South.

    But unlike many transplants, Boutte was educated, he had served as an officer in the U.S. Army, he was alert to business opportunity and success, and he was ambitious.

    He got his start in business by owning and operating a Chicago drugstore.

    The drugstore expanded to a chain and Boutte became acquainted with Black business leaders, including George Johnson, who sold Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen hair-care products.

    –THIS – – – ->Together, they helped found Independence Bank, which grew to be the nation’s largest minority-owned bank. Eventually, Independence Bank acquired Drexel National Bank, the first time a “Black” bank had acquired a healthy “white” bank.

    Independence Bank issued loans to King that helped keep the civil rights movement alive.



  • Miranda

    Emily Friedman‏@EmilyABCy
    Harvard alum Romney says Obama may have spent too much time at Harvard


  • GN

    Shelby Steele, please have a seat:

    Shelby Steele: The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin

    Two tragedies are apparent in the Trayvon Martin case. The first is obvious: A teenager—unarmed and committing no crime—was shot dead. Dressed in a “hoodie,” a costume of menace, he crossed paths with a man on the hunt for precisely such clichés of menace. Added to this—and here is the rub—was the fact of his dark skin.

    The rest of this “piece” is just his usual sound and fury, taking swipes at prominent black leaders and expressing his contempt for African Americans and white liberals. It’s a miracle of projection: Steele is one of the biggest race-baiters around (this is how he’s made his living for years and years), and did not hesitate to interject into this child’s murder with his bullshit. God, he can have a stadium full of seats. Prayers to Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin and the rest of Trayvon’s fam, having to put up with their son smeared by race hustlers like Shelby Steele.

    • GN
      • nellcote

        Is it just me or does the WSJ seem to be going all in on being Fox News in print lately? I know it’s gone downhill since Rupert bought it but it just seems to be doubling down now.

        • GN

          I agree. Their editorial page has long been known as over the top, but this is now ridiculous.

        • Miranda

          It is not just you. It was bad, but not bad as its been recently. In the last year it has really gone full blown right wing talking points.

        • rikyrah

          the editorial page was always that crazy. it only spread to the ‘ news’ pages when Rupert bought it.

    • Miranda

      This Sambo has no shame.

      • GN

        He truly is despicable.

    • rikyrah

      Nigger, please

    • GreenLadyHere

      GN- – – -***BIG HUG** :>)


      ——-Shelby- –is a MEGA PILE of—–GODZILLA EXCREMENT!!!——

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – – —GOOD NEWS!! – –EXODUS from ALEC!! – – – – –

    – —PepsiCo Ends Partnership With Right-Wing Front Group ALEC — —

    — – – –PepsiCo, the world’s second largest beverage company, has ended its partnership with ALEC, the controversial right-wing group that lobbies for voter suppression efforts. Pepsi’s move, which actually came in January but was first reported this morning by NPR, may also have had a role in compelling Coca-Cola to drop its support for ALEC.

    Yesterday, progressive advocacy group Color of Change announced a boycott effort targeting several other corporations that are still members of the group, which for years has partnered with elected officials at a state level to draft and pass controversial, far-right legislation. Just a few hours later, Coke announced that they too are severing ties with the ALEC. As NPR reported today:

    It’s part of a much broader campaign to spotlight companies that sell products to a public that might object to hard-line conservative policies such as stand your ground laws or requirements that voters show a photo ID at the polls.

    Some civil rights groups say voter ID laws are discriminatory and suppress minority voter turnout.

    “The clear and simple message was that you can’t come for black folks’ money by day and try to take away our vote by night,” said Rashad Robinson, director of ColorOfChange.

    – – – –Lookin’ 4-ward 4 MORE 2 FOLLOW – – – – – –

    • nellcote

      Excellent! ColorOfChange is actually making a difference!

  • GreenLadyHere


    – – – – –Voter Suppression 101
    How Conservatives Are Conspiring to Disenfranchise Millions of Americans
    — –

    – – –The right to vote is under attack all across our country. Conservative legislators are introducing and passing legislation that creates new barriers for those registering to vote, shortens the early voting period, imposes new requirements for already-registered voters, and rigs the Electoral College in select states. Conservatives fabricate reasons to enact these laws—voter fraud is exceedingly rare—in their efforts to disenfranchise as many potential voters among certain groups, such as college students, low-income voters, and minorities, as possible. Rather than modernizing our democracy to ensure that all citizens have access to the ballot box, these laws hinder voting rights in a manner not seen since the era of Jim Crow laws enacted in the South to disenfranchise blacks after Reconstruction in the late 1800s.

    Talk about turning back the clock! At its best, America has utilized the federal legislative process to augment voting rights. Constitutional amendments such as the 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th have steadily improved the system by which our elections take place while expanding the pool of Americans eligible to participate. Yet in 2011, more than 30 state legislatures considered legislation to make it harder for citizens to vote, with over a dozen of those states succeeding in passing these bills. Anti-voting legislation appears to be continuing unabated so far in 2012.

    Unfortunately, the rapid spread of these proposals in states as different as Florida and Wisconsin is not occurring by accident. Instead, many of these laws are being drafted and spread through corporate-backed entities such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, as uncovered in a previous Center for American Progress investigative report.

    • Aquagranny911

      GLH, lots of us are fighting back in every way we can to keep our voters voting. We will not stop or stand down until every voter has access to the ballot box.

      This is a fight we have to win. NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!

    • Aquagranny911

      GLH, lots of us are fighting back in every way we can to keep our voters voting. We will not stop or stand down until every voter has access to the ballot box.

      This is a fight we have to win. NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!

  • Miranda

    She GETS IT.


    (transcript is included on youtube)

    • crazycanuck

      Bravo, and Bravo to her Parents

    • Aquagranny911

      Powerful words from such a young voice that gives me hope for a better future. Our young people do seem to be “getting it” and are not afraid to raise a real dialogue. Blessings on her head & the house that raised her up.

    • Ebogan63

      Good on her, and the parents that raised her.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda – –COKE SAYS – – –ME 2!! – -:>) – — –

    – —BREAKING: Progressive Movement Compels Coca-Cola To Pull Support From ALEC Over Voter Suppression Efforts

    – – – –Prompted by a petition campaign by the progressive advocacy group Color of Change, Coca-Cola has pulled its support from ALEC, a right-wing corporate-funded front group which has been pushing voter restriction efforts around the country. The company released this statement moments ago:

    The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.

    Impressively, Coke’s retreat came just five hours after Color of Change announced its petition, which read: “ALEC has pushed voter ID laws which disenfranchise large numbers of Black voters. Along with the NRA, ALEC also pushed a bill based on Florida’s ‘shoot first’ law – which has shielded Trayvon Martin’s killer from justice – into two dozen states across the country.”

    Sorry! — -Gotta “bounce” :>) ***HUGS**

  • Miranda

    Arizona said f y’all! They the craziest mofo state! Git back Alabama, step aside Texas….Arizona not playing..they want the title.

    Arizona “tea party” members are pushing through legislation to quash government-funded efforts to reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency in cities, counties and the state.

    Opponents of Senate Bill 1507, sponsored by Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, say the bill would shut down any government-led environmental initiative, such as Energize Phoenix, a $25 million, stimulus-funded project to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses along the light-rail corridors in central Phoenix.

    Critics also say the bill is based on a tea-party conspiracy theory about a 1992 United Nations declaration.

    I first read this on wonkette

    original article

    • Aquagranny911

      If we ever get an earth quake here in AZ I hope it starts in Sun City & the fissure swallows that whole place. So many there are just plain evil. I don’t care that I said that because it is true. If we want to talk about the dead voting, I wonder how many there are mummified but still mobile enough to punch “R” at the polls.

      When November comes we got to drown the votes of those blue haired little goatfiggers with a million votes!

  • rikyrah

    RNC chairman reflects on women, caterpillars
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 5, 2012 10:02 AM EDT.

    There’s ample evidence that the Republican policy campaign known as the “war on women” has taken a toll on the GOP’s standing with more than half the electorate. Republican leaders, however, still seem unsure how to talk about their problem.

    The leaders of the two political parties clashed over the role of gender in U.S. elections, with the Democrat saying her opponents have been “shockingly out of touch” on women’s issues and the Republican saying Democrats and the media have created a phony conflict.

    “If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend. “It’s a fiction.”

    This is becoming a popular defense — denial. War on women? What war on women? Democrats and the media just made this whole story up. It’s what South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) argued this week, and it’s the line Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the only woman in the Republican leadership in either chamber, adopted two weeks ago.

    It’s also wrong.

    As we’ve reported on the show many times, the effort on the part of GOP policymakers at the federal and state level to undermine women’s health care is as severe as anything we’ve seen from a major party in many years. Unlike the war on caterpillars, Republican efforts are real.

    I’ll spare you the full list of every bill in every state, but the policy offensive is, well, offensive. Restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; abortion taxes; abortion waiting periods; forcing women to tell their employers why they want birth control, going after prenatal care, possible abortion permission slips … this is no minor policy initiative.

    For the chairman of the Republican National Committee to dismiss concerns as “fiction” only adds insult to injury.

  • GN

    Racists are in full-on party mode in Florida, thrilled with Zimmerman, twitter: “Someone spray painted ‘Long Live Zimmerman’ on the black cultural center building”

  • Miranda

    Newt Gingrich health care think tank files bankruptcy

    Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    The Center for Health Transformation , which has offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and St. Louis, plans to liquidate its assets, according to a filing Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta.
    The center listed estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million dollars and 50 to 90 creditors. Click here for the think tank’s website.

    Political observers said the negative publicity surrounding the bankruptcy spells the end of the former U.S. House speaker and Georgia congressman’s campaign.
    “This ends his campaign. He’ll now be completely on the defensive about this,” said Emory University political science professor Merle Black.

    “Much like his presidential campaign, even the receipt of millions of dollars could not keep Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank afloat,” said Charles S. Bullock III, political science professor at The University of Georgia . “While health-care costs have bankrupted many without insurance, Gingrich may be the first to go broke studying health-care delivery.”

    more here

    • MsKitty

      Nothing sadder than when a con goes tits up.

      • Admiral_Komack

        …but enough about Sarah Palin…

  • rikyrah

    Fraudulent Fears of a Second Term
    His detractors forget that even if he were a crazed leftist, Obama has limited powers.
    Steve Chapman | April 2, 2012

    Whenever you hear about a psychic being arrested, the natural question is: Why didn’t she see that coming? Conservatives who raise dire alarms about what will happen in Barack Obama’s second term face a similar problem. They need him to lose so their predictions will not be exposed as products of raging paranoia.

    Rick Santorum says the defeat of Obama is imperative “so that future generations do not say about America, ‘When men were free.'” After Obama was heard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have “more flexibility” on missile defense after he’s re-elected, House Speaker John Boehner accused Obama of planning dangerous “unilateral concessions.”

    Former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen laid out “the top ten disasters that would befall America if Obama were re-elected”—notably defense cuts so huge that “America will no longer be a superpower.”

    But no one can match National Rifle Association official Wayne LaPierre, who in February warned that Obama’s plan is “get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms freedom.”

    Oh, really? I usually agree with the NRA on gun issues, but when it comes to predicting the future, the organization is more useless than a Ouija board.

    In 2008, it told gun owners Obama would “ban use of firearms for home defense,” “pass federal laws eliminating your right-to-carry” and “mandate a government-issued license to purchase a firearm.” Wrong, wrong and wrong again. In fact, the president has been so respectful of Second Amendment rights that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave him an “F.”

    LaPierre’s fantasy of a second-term plot is no more believable than the first-term version. Obama, after all, didn’t know at the beginning whether he would be re-elected—and still doesn’t. If he wanted to eviscerate Second Amendment rights, wouldn’t he have done it immediately? Wait four years, and the chance to pry our guns out of our cold, dead hands might be lost forever.

    The critics seem to think that after this year, Obama will be free to liberate his inner radical and turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea. This scenario glosses over the president’s cautious temperament and aversion to liberal crusading, which often cause Rachel Maddow to grind her teeth.

    The doomsayers also assume that someone shrewd, unthreatening and adaptable enough to become the first black president would, at the age of 51, metamorphose into Huey Newton. It’s about as plausible as Santorum undergoing a sex change or Newt Gingrich taking a vow of silence.

  • rikyrah

    Why Do Reporters Think Mitt Romney Is a Moderate?
    Paul Waldman
    April 4, 2012
    They keep saying it, but they don’t know whether it’s true.

    I’m sorry, but I refuse to let this one go, even if I have to repeat myself. Time’s Alex Altman writes, “A very conservative party is on the verge of nominating a relative moderate whom nobody is very excited about, largely because none of his rivals managed to cobble together a professional operation.” I beg you, Alex, and every other reporter covering the campaign: If you’re going to assert that Mitt Romney is a “relative moderate,” you have to give us some evidence for that assertion. Because without mind-reading, we have to way to know whether it’s true.

    What we do know is that when he ran in two races in the extremely liberal state of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney was a moderate. Then when he ran in two races to be the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney was and is extremely conservative. There is simply no reason—none—to believe, let alone to assert as though it were an undisputed fact, that the first incarnation of Romney was the “real” one and the current incarnation of Romney is the fake one.

    Every single issue position that might mark Mitt Romney as a “relative moderate” is something he has cast off, whether it’s being pro-choice, or pro-gay rights, or not hating on immigrants. If you’re going to say he’s a relative moderate, you have to explain how the Massachusetts Romney was an expression of his true beliefs, and the national Romney is the product of cynical calculation, and how you know this to be the case.

    It might be the case. But it is just as likely that the Massachusetts Romney was the fake one, and the current Romney is the sincere one. Or that neither one is real, because Romney simply has no actual beliefs about these issues. (I leave aside the possibility that they’re both real, and he underwent some genuine change of heart on most every issue after deciding to run for president. Because no one’s crazy enough to believe that.) So please, reporters: if you suspect that Mitt Romney is really a moderate, then say it’s a suspicion. But don’t treat it like a fact.

    • caribbeanobserver

      Reporters don’t think…they too are ‘stretchy the truth’ propagandists

  • Miranda

    Jon Huntsman’s Daughter Says Her Dad Will Not Campaign For Mitt In The General

    File this under awkward: Jon Huntsman, who endorsed Mitt Romney after dropping out of the presidential race in January, is “not a surrogate for Romney” and will not be campaigning for him, according to his daughter, Abby Livingston.

    ABC News has the quote from Livingston:

    “My dad is not a surrogate for Romney and will not be out stumping for him in the general,” she said in an email. “He is enjoying private life.”

  • Miranda

    Obama administration heeds judges’ health care order

    The letter affirmed the government’s stance that federal courts indeed have the authority to decide the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — and any other law Congress passes.

    “The power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute,” said the letter, signed by Attorney General Eric Holder.

    It added that the Justice Department “has not in this litigation, nor in any other litigation of which I am aware, ever asked this or any other court to reconsider or limit long-established precedent concerning judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation.”

    Referring to comments by Obama that set off the imbroglio, the letter concluded: “The President’s remarks were fully consistent with the principles described herein.”

    “The President’s remarks were fully consistent with the principles described herein.”

    loosely translated: Kiss my black ass, two times.

    • Ebogan63

      Saw also that Holder sent that judge a copy of the Marbury v. Madison decision in the letter *dead*

    • Ebogan63

      Saw also that Holder sent that judge a copy of the Marbury v. Madison decision in the letter *dead*

  • Loving the motorcycling series! My mom and I used to see the motorcycle races — Blackjacks Motorcycle Club, ( an all Black motorcycle club) in Southern Indiana. I’ve had a love for bikes ever since. 🙂 I used to ride a 650 Suzuki Savage with belt drive. Never got a Harley, though. One day…..

  • GN

    Brilliant comment by liberal librarian in response to an equally brilliant essay by deaniac:

    As the middle classes in India and China buy cars and drive and use up oil resources, the price of gas will not come down. I remember when I started driving in 1989 that gas was at less than a dollar a gallon. Those days are gone, never to come back. What PBO did was position the auto industry to thrive in a time of $3 to $4 gas. No one can afford gas guzzlers. Obama is the best friend Detroit has ever had.

  • rikyrah

    The delicate dance of running for VP
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 5, 2012 10:50 AM EDT.

    Three words: running mates matter.
    Every presidential campaign cycle, at about this time, a large group of officials struggle with a problem. They want to be their party’s vice presidential nominee, but they don’t want to look like they want to be their party’s vice presidential nominee. It’s fine to want the gig, but lobbying for the VP slot is considered inappropriate, and undermines one’s chances.

    Dropping off resumes at the frontrunner’s HQ isn’t really an option, but neither is just sitting back and hoping for the best. Chris Cillizza summarized the delicate dance earlier in the week.

    The worst thing you can do when it comes to the vice presidential sweepstakes is to make clear to the nominee — and the media who covers the nominee — that you badly want to be picked.

    Campaigning for the job reeks of unbridled political ambition and rightly raises concerns from the presidential nominee that you would put your own career betterment ahead of helping him get elected. […]

    For the serious contenders for the vice presidential nomination … silence is the best policy. Don’t volunteer your interest in the job. When asked directly about it, deny interest.

    But even that task can be tricky. There are all kinds of standard, acceptable responses from those who want to be considered while giving the appearance of detachment: “I’m happy with the job I already have”; “I’m not interested in the vice presidency”; “I’m confident I won’t be chosen for the ticket”; “I have no intention of being the running mate”; etc. The key is to be non-committal — express passive disinterest while leaving the door open.

    There are some who find it difficult to walk this line. Virginia Gov. Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell (R) generally appears a little too eager to be chosen — he can’t seek re-election and will have nothing to do in 2014 — and has talked publicly about how he’d be honored to be considered. (He might as well walk around with a “Pick Me” sign around his neck.) Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have also said they’re open, but no one seems to care.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) have arguably gone too far in the other direction — both have said recently, on the record, that they would turn down a VP offer if they were invitated to join the ticket. As Dave Weigel noted, there’s at least one good example of a running mate having said the same thing before accepting the nominee’s offer, but in general, those who want to be in the mix avoid phrases like “I’m not going to accept it” — the line Rubio took.

    As Mitt Romney solidifies his role as the 2012 GOP nominee, and running-mate speculation becomes the new fun hobby for the political world, there are a couple of other angles to keep in mind.


    First, if Romney starts to look like a candidate likely to lose, expect likely 2016 candidates to avoid a spot on this year’s ticket. Running mates from failed presidential campaigns often fail to get their party’s nomination four years later: just ask Sarah Palin, John Edwards, and Joe Lieberman.

  • rikyrah

    Romney’s misguided bashing of his alma mater
    By Steve Benen – Thu Apr 5, 2012 12:35 PM EDT

    .Just last night, Rachel explained Mitt Romney’s habit of identifying his perceived weaknesses, and then assigning those weaknesses to President Obama. The segment was not short on examples.

    Today, however, the list got a little longer. Romney, perhaps concerned about being perceived as an Ivy League elitist, targeted Obama’s time at Harvard.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Romney said, “We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps. Or maybe just not enough time actually working in the real world. I think to create jobs in the private sector it helps to have had a job in the private sector.”

    First, Obama has worked in the real world. Second, the private sector has created about 4 million jobs in the last three years.

    But the part of this that stands out, of course, is the notion that Obama — unlike Romney — “spent too much time at Harvard.”

    I get the whole “I’m rubber, you’re glue” strategy. I even understand that anti-intellectualism goes a long way with Republican voters. But this incessant talk about Harvard is a bit much.


    For one thing, Romney has two post-graduate degrees from Harvard, and he has three sons with post-graduate degrees from Harvard. Obama spent too much time there?

    For another, Romney routinely points to members of the Harvard faculty as a major influence on his political views.

    While we’re at it, let’s also not forget that many of Romney’s top policy aides are either Harvard alums, Harvard professors, or both. (If he’s going to talk about how awful it is to get advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge,” as he has many times in reference to Obama, it’d help if Romney weren’t getting advice from the Harvard faculty lounge.)

    And finally, in case these ties weren’t quite enough, Romney is also enjoying the generous financial support of members of the Harvard faculty lounge.

    There has to be an easier way for the former Massachusetts governor and Harvard alum to pretend to be a normal person.

  • rikyrah

    How Weak Is Romney?

    Ezra Klein sticks up for Mitt:

    For the last, oh, six years, Mitt Romney has been running in Republican presidential primaries. Those are, arguably, the elections he’s least suited to win, for all the reasons listed above. But now he’s about to get a shot at a general election. And while the promises he’s made and the positions he’s taken will surely make it more difficult for him to swing to the center, he’ll nevertheless be able to run a very different kind of campaign going forward. Maybe he’ll be better at it. And it’s easy to imagine his greatest weakness in the primary — the fact that conservatives believe he’s a secret centrist — becoming his greatest strength in the general.

    I’m not buying. Romney’s strength as a candidate is his aw-shucks, all-American voice and affect, which helps smoothe the rough contours of his platform, which will – by a mile – be further to the right than any candidate who has ever run for the presidency in modern times. His embrace of the Ryan budget confirms this. He can’t backtrack on that now, or the already ornery base will explode. The mellifluous, paternal tone works best when he’s persuading liberals he’s not that radical. But the fall campaign will require him to be very harshly negative toward a president a lot of people still like, and arguing for even more tax cuts for the wealthy like himself.

    And Romney will be painted – probably brutally – as a plutocrat’s plutocrat. I suspect his perfect fit was, actually, Massachusetts, when he could run as a reformist Republican outsider but legislate universal healthcare in a monolithically Democratic state. Hey, I’d have voted for him as a check on the Democratic machine in that state and as a moderate able to nudge the state to the right – as he did, in my view, because the individual mandate is a conservative proposal at its core.

    Joe Klein, as often, is on the same page as I am:

    [Romney] seems a figure from the Great Depression, a combination of Daddy Warbucks and Old Man Potter. He celebrates creative destruction at a time when the destruction has been a bit too creative. He talks a lot about firing people. He just can’t help himself. In Wisconsin, he talked about his father firing people in Michigan. After he won the Wisconsin primary, Romney wandered incomprehensibly into the steel-plant closings on the South Side of Chicago in the 1970s. The President, he said, became a community organizer because “he saw free enterprise as the villain and government as the solution.” The man simply does not understand that most people do not see plant closings as progress.

    Along the same lines, Charles Blow doubts Romney will out-campaign Obama:

    Obama can be scintillating on the campaign trail. Romney has shown himself to be nearly catatonic. Obama is such an impressive speaker that it sometimes feels as if he’s trying too hard to prove something; Romney is such an awkward speaker that it often feels as if he’s hiding something. But when framing a vision, even magniloquence beats ineloquence.

    And look how many completely unforced errors Romney has made so far – all confirming his image as a mega-rich Wall Streeter with an inability to connect to many voters. It’s also worth noting that Romney didn’t run for re-election as governor. In every campaign since, he has lost. This time, every other candidate lost first.

  • rikyrah

    Romney Knows What Women Want: More Ann

    Pema Levy April 5, 2012, 9:24 AM

    Mitt Romney heard through the grapevine that women are excited about his candidacy.

    For at least the third time this week, Romney explained why he’ll win over women voters, despite a poll released late Sunday showing him suffering an almost 20-point gender gap in key swing states, by saying his wife talks to women for him. Ann “reports to me” on what women care about, he said.

    His female surrogates on the campaign trail — including New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — have taken the same tack. Rather than making assurances that Romney relates directly to women voters, they too admit that he uses Ann as a sort-of female translator, deciphering their concerns and relaying them to the candidate. Instead of supplementing his own pitch to women, Romney seems to use his female surrogates to remove himself from the equation entirely.

    On “Morning Joe” Wednesday, Ayotte said that women care most about the economy.

    What I think will resonate, first of all, and I spent quite a bit of time with Mitt on the bus. And by the way, all of his, you know, daughter-in-laws and the women in his wife I think are going to be very, very strong for him, and he will very much relate to women.She continued:

    I think Ann is probably his No. 1 adviser. And she is the secret weapon. She’s terrific. Great with people. And I’m sure that during the general election, as we ramp up, you’re going to see a lot more of her. She really relates to people. … He has great daughters in law, and a real strong family. And that I think will appeal to women voters. This is a great family guy.Haley, too, backed Romney’s claim that women care about jobs and the economy, and will rally to Romney’s side because of his economic pitch.

    “Women don’t care about contraception,” Haley said on “The View” Tuesday. “They care about jobs and their families.” That’s not necessarily true — as The Atlantic’s Molly Ball noted:

    The swing-state poll found women’s No. 1 issue to be health care, while men’s was the national debt and deficit. The Romney campaign has recently been deploying Romney’s charming wife Ann to do women’s outreach; her pitch revolves around how concerned women are about the deficit. But according to this poll, that’s not really the case — the deficit was fourth among women’s chief concerns.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda- — -Three REACTIONS:- — ☻-O.K..- — – -We ASSURE U of OUR RESPECT.- – –☻- –U STILL BETTA – – -“DO THE RIGHT THING!!”; – -☻***whispering- – -U NEEDTA STOP tellin’ me what 2 do!! Jus’ – -DO YOUR JOB- — -WITHOUT PREJUDICE**** ***tsk** ***eye roll***

    – – – – –Eric Holder assures judge of administration’s respect– —

    – – – – –In a letter written at the request of a federal appellate judge, Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday offered assurances that the Obama administration respects the decisions that courts make.

    The attorney general wrote the letter after appeals court judge Jerry Smith in Texas asked for reassurances that the Justice Department recognizes judicial authority. Smith made the request after President Barack Obama said this week that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn a major law passed by Congress like the health care overhaul whose constitutionality it is now considering.

    On Tuesday, the judge had said he wanted a letter of at least three pages that makes specific references to the president’s statements.

    “The longstanding, historical position of the United States regarding judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation has not changed,” Holder wrote.

    “The department has not in this litigation, nor in any other litigation of which I am aware, ever asked this or any other court to reconsider or limit long-established precedent concerning judicial review,” Holder added. He said “the president’s remarks were fully consistent with the principles” the attorney general outlined in the letter.– – –

    P.S.- – —I will not talk in class.
    – — – – — I will not talk in class
    – – — — – I will not talk in class. LOL.

  • rikyrah

    Posted at 11:57 AM ET, 04/05/2012
    Romney’s efforts to paint Obama as radical are a flop
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney frequently opines that President Obama favors “equal outcomes,” argues that Obama regularly apologizes for America, claims Obama bows to our enemies, and insists that Obama is trying to transform America into a “government-centered society” that’s more European than American in identity. Such comments, of course, are designed to paint Obama’s worldview as deeply radical, out of step with basic American values and at odds with our way of life.

    What makes these comments even sillier is that in many of the areas where Romney discerns Obama’s radical tendencies, the two men are actually in total agreement. Indeed, they frequently use identical language to describe their views.

    This fact has been completely obscured by the profound policy disagreements that do persist between them. Their solutions on taxes, economic growth, and many other issues are vastly different.

    But in many ways, their expressed views on things like free enterprise, health care, Iran, and American exceptionalism are borderline identical:

    * Free enterprise: Romney regularly attacks Obama for being hostile towards capitalism, but in fact, they both describe free enterprise in virtually identical terms. Romney yesterday described it as “one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known.” This is an idea Romney alludes to frequently. But it’s also an idea Obama alludes to frequently. Obama recently described free enterprise as the “greatest force for economic progress in human history,” and this is a formulation Obama has used on many other occasions.

    * American exceptionalism: Romney frequently points to our free enterprise system as proof that America is an exceptional nation, a view he also regularly claims Obama doesn’t agree with. But Obama also regularly points to free market capitalism as a sign of American exceptionalism. In early 2011, before Romney’s attacks were underway in earnest, Obama described our “free enterprise system” as the reason for “what America does better than anyone else,” which is to “spark the creativity and imagination of our people.”

  • rikyrah

    Posted at 01:47 PM ET, 04/05/2012


    Dems will keep up pressure on GOP over Buffett Rule
    By Greg Sargent

    On a conference call just now, Senator Chuck Schumer confirmed it: Senate Democrats will continue bringing up the Buffett Rule again and again in an effort to put Republicans on the spot, and he vowed Dems would press the issue until Republican opposition cracks.

    Tellingly, Schumer also noted that Mitt Romney personally benefits from the current tax code that the Buffett rule would undo — and that this would make it politically harder for GOPers to maintain opposition. This confirms what I’d been saying: The Buffett Rule is partly about forcing Republicans to take a stand on whether the likely GOP nominee — who is worth $250 million — should pay lower tax rates than many middle class taxpayers do.

    Sheldon Whitehouse’s Buffett Rule proposal is set for a vote on April 16th, but Schumer said this is just the beginning.

    “If we come up short of the 60 votes needed, we’re going to keep pushing this isue all year,” said Schumer, who’s also the Dem messaging chief. “It’s an emerging contrast with Republicans. We think the very wealthy should share in more of the sacrifice.”

    Schumer noted that Romney benefits from low tax rates, and predicted Republicans — and Romney — would struggle to defend them.

    “Democrats, independents, and Republicans are for implementing the Buffett Rule,” Schumer said. “Romney has benefitted from a low tax rate. Republicans will continue with cries of class warfare, but they are falling on deaf ears, because it’s the middle cass t’s under assault. If and when Romney becomes nominee they’re going to have to move in our direction more quickly than people think.”

    • Finally I’m starting to get the impression that Dems don’t want to just beat Republicans in November take back the House and hold on to the Senate.

      They want to crush these people. Good!!

  • rikyrah

    April 05, 2012 1:15 PM
    Caterpillar Wars
    By Ed Kilgore

    You never know how these things are going to turn out, but I get the feeling that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ comparison of Democratic claims of a GOP “war on women” to a hypothetical “war on caterpillars” could be an iconic moment in the 2012 election cycle. No, it won’t necessarily change any votes right away, but it is likely to become a convenient symbol of the cavalier attitude the GOP has towards “women’s issues.”

    More immediately, Priebus’ remarks are an illustration of how completely Republicans have tied themselves into knots on cultural issues. To hear him today, GOPers never, ever talk about anything but the economy and the fiscal situation. Not two months ago, of course, they were tripping over each other to scream about the administration’s contraception coverage mandate as a central campaign issue—nay, a veritable “war on religion.” Did we all just imagine that, or were all the militant words somehow an invention of Democrats or the MSM? And are all the continuing Republican efforts at the state level to restrict abortion rights and harass women—er, excuse me, caterpillars—with hoops they must jump through to exercise those rights somehow a fiction?

    What’s really going on, of course, is that Republicans want to divide up the electorate and offer different messages to different segments of voters. If you are, say, a Catholic Democrat or independent who leans left on economic issues but is ambivalent about abortion and/or defensive towards the prerogatives of your church, then by God this election is about the “war on religion.” But if the close association of the GOP with theocrats gives you the willies, then all this culture-talk is an invention of the Democrat Party and the MSM, because Republicans never, ever think about anything but jobs, jobs, jobs, budget, budget, budget, and freedom, freedom, freedom.

    There’s nothing particularly novel about utilizing targeted and sometimes conflicting messages to different audiences, but it would be nice if GOPers stopped squealing like little piggies every time they get called on it, and projecting their dishonesty onto everyone else. Maybe the reaction of “caterpillars” to Priebus’ fable will teach them a valuable lesson.

  • rikyrah

    April 05, 2012 10:49 AM
    War On War On Voting
    By Ed Kilgore

    This does seem to be the week for a serious pushback against ongoing conservative voter suppression efforts. The pressure on corporations (already successful with beverage giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Co) to abandon support for ALEC is one sign. There’s a large new study from the Center for American Progress on how, where and why the Right is pushing anti-voting-rights laws and practices. And one of the premier jounalists working on voting rights issues, The Nation’s Ari Berman, has torn into the Fox News effort to turn a kerfuffle involving primary ballot petitions in Indiana into a sort of retroactive excuse for that state’s (and others’) voter ID law.

    As some of you may recall, I wrote about this last matter a couple of days ago, having noticed that right-wing blogs were heavily promoting the “Indiana Election Fraud” story originated by Fox. But as Ari notes, Fox itself made sure the “scandal” got attention, treating it as “breaking news” of sufficient importance to interrupt coverage of the president’s critique of the Ryan budget.

    That’s how badly conservatives lust for “proof” of voting fraud to justify their restrictions on voting rights—so badly, in fact, that they ignore the inconvenient detail that the Indiana case had nothing to do with actual voting, and would in no way have been prevented by Indiana’s (or anyone else’s) voter ID law.

    As Ari Berman sums it up:

    The real story in 2012 is how the myth of voter fraud has been advanced by Republicans to justify new voting restrictions in more than a dozen states, which could disenfranchise up to 5 million voters on Election Day, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. That’s a whole lot of casualties in response to a few bad actors.

    But it does look like this will no longer be an issue of immense importance to conservatives, but of little interest to progressives. Sometimes just paying attention can do a world of good.

  • rikyrah

    Play it as it lays
    By DougJ, Head of Infidelity April 5th, 2012

    Generally speaking I could give a fuck about which rich assholes are allowed to join other rich assholes’ clubs, but this is pretty ridiculous:

    Augusta has maintained an all-male membership policy during its 80-year history, and Chairman Billy Payne declined to answer a question about the policy during a news conference Wednesday.

    The issue flared up again after Ginni Rometty was named Chief Executive Officer of IBM, a longtime sponsor of the tournament whose previous chief executives have been admitted to Augusta National.

    It’s a good issue for Democrats (Obama is coming out in support of having Augusta admit women), especially if they can bait Republicans into mounting an over-the-top impassioned defense of sexism (again) here.

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda- — BWAHAHAHA- – – –2 MUCH Tiffany- –I guess!- —

    – — –Gingrich group files for bankruptcy– – –

    – – – –Oh noes! Newton Leroy Gingrich Inc. has gone all bankrupt on us! Damn you, Tiffany’s! Damn you… everything else!

    Via First Read:

    In a Chapter 7 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia, The Gingrich Group LLC, doing business as the Center for Health Transformation, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.

    The vast majority of Gingrich’s net worth is tied up in the Gingrich Group. Gingrich is worth overall between $7.1 million and $31 million, according to his financial disclosure. He lists a promissory note from Gingrich Group as being worth between $5 million and $25 million. Gingrich was chairman of the group until May of last year, when he announced he was running for president.

    – — Can YA take a couple of those RANGS back 2 Tiffany?? — LOL.

    • Admiral_Komack

      In a related story, a spokesperson for Tiffany’s replied, “But why you mad, tho?”

  • GreenLadyHere

    Miranda- — BWAHAHAHA- – – –2 MUCH Tiffany- –I guess!- —

    – — –Gingrich group files for bankruptcy– – –

    – – – –Oh noes! Newton Leroy Gingrich Inc. has gone all bankrupt on us! Damn you, Tiffany’s! Damn you… everything else!

    Via First Read:

    In a Chapter 7 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia, The Gingrich Group LLC, doing business as the Center for Health Transformation, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.

    The vast majority of Gingrich’s net worth is tied up in the Gingrich Group. Gingrich is worth overall between $7.1 million and $31 million, according to his financial disclosure. He lists a promissory note from Gingrich Group as being worth between $5 million and $25 million. Gingrich was chairman of the group until May of last year, when he announced he was running for president.

    – — Can YA take a couple of those RANGS back 2 Tiffany?? — LOL.

  • Miranda

    Afternoon thread is up!

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