Friday, May 27, 2011

A Heartfelt Moment From A Black Father

hat tip-Miranda

from Daddy Dialectic:

This is a heartfelt discussion from a Black father. It touched me deeply.

Saturday, May 14, 2011
A Day at the Park
Posted by Shawn Taylor
1. I’m unsure why, but I get asked—quite often—about the hardest part of being a father. The people who ask me this are almost all younger cats who are about to become fathers or are there already. That question is a Pandora’s Box. Being a father is hard in a million different ways: Balancing fatherhood with partnership; being able to do the things that I love to do on a consistent basis (for example, writing—I’m writing this at 3am, while everyone is asleep and I have a moment to myself); the loss of money; having to send your child to childcare because both parents have to work to afford all the additional costs. Working all day, coming home at night and only seeing your child for forty-five minutes before their bedtime—in these ways and more, daddyhood is hard as hell. But none of this (yes, even the money problems) even comes close to the raging difficulty of being a father of color.

2. Being tattooed, visually Black (I’m half Jamaican and half Puerto Rican), over six feet tall and muscular, holding a little ethnically-ambiguous toddler makes many people double, triple, quadruple take—and also, for some odd reason, loosens tongues, mostly of white folks, and creates an environment of familiarity. And yet they still manage to see me wrong: In my daughter’s twenty-two months of living, I have been labeled ‘uncle,’ ‘babysitter,’ ‘guardian,’ ‘cousin,’ but never father. I can’t tell you just how crushing a blow this is. I LOVE being a father and I think that I am becoming a better one by the day, but to have one of my greatest joys discounted is painful.

3. Do we really live in a society that is still stuck in the lie that Black men cannot be fathers? Well…I must admit that I was on that same shit for a while. When my partner told me she was pregnant, I had fears that, at the moment of birth, a Greyhound ticket would appear in my hands and I’d leave my partner and new child to fend for themselves. I thought I’d become an absent father sleeper agent—the baby’s first cry would activate me and my mission would be to get as far away from mother and baby as possible. Because, throughout my whole childhood, I never once had a friend or met anyone (of color) whose father lived with them, or in some cases, even knew who their fathers were. There is a generation of brothers and sisters born after Viet Nam and before the release of Ghostbusters that are a tribe of fatherless children. My own father, I saw the bastard five times in my life.

4. People mistaking me for everything but being a father almost invariably happens at the playground. While the mothers (rarely do I see fathers at the playgrounds—but it could be where I choose to let my daughter play) are sitting in groups, either texter-bating or focusing intently on some new piece of thousand dollar baby gadget—I’m in the sand, on the structure, kicking the ball. I’m playing with my kid. Over at this park in El Cerrito, California, I was teaching my daughter how to hang from one of the monkey bars. She is a ridiculously daring kid and will try anything, as long as it is dangerous. This kindly older woman (dressed up like a fashion model to go the park) smiled at me and said, “My uncle used to do the same thing for me. He always let me do the things that my father would never let me do.” She drew out the “never” as if I was tossing my daughter over an open lion’s mouth. I told this woman that I was an only child, that my kid didn’t have any uncles, and that I was her father. She glanced between my daughter and me several times, and finally said, “Noooooo.” Wow.

Read the rest of this beautiful piece at the link above.

10 Myths About Medicaid

I have been posting as much as I could about how the GOP wants to kill Medicare and Medicaid. While the Medicare intent has been obvious, and there has been focus on the reaction to the attempt to kill Medicare, MEDICAID has not gotten the attention that it should.

I believe this is because, in so much of the simple-minded MSM, they still believe the GOP utter LIE that the typical Medicaid user is an illegal immigrant with her 3 Anchor Babies, or a poor Black woman with her 3 children by 3 different Baby Daddies.

I have been trying to point out that although, percentage wise of patients on Medicaid, ARE poor mothers and children..

In terms PERCENTAGE of MEDICAID DOLLARS, there is not one, but TWO groups that outstrips poor mothers and children:

Group 1 - Senior Citizens in Nursing Homes.

I keep on saying this over and over, but the Democrats need to hire folks to hang out on the weekends in front of nursing homes, and inform ' family' members, that if, the GOP has their way, THEY will have to come up with the cost of the nursing home. Ask them the simple question - DO YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THIS?

If not, then you have no business voting GOP.

Group 2 - The Disabled

I think it's a good thing that we, as a country, decided that the disabled in our society deserve healthcare and other services that Medicaid provide.

I tell the story of a family friend who had a disabled family member. She just died a couple of years ago, in her 80's. She lived with family her entire life, and Medicaid helped with certain services for her. I think that's the way it should be, and that just because people are disabled does not mean that they aren't deserving of medical care and services. I think the disabled community is more on top of it, and understand what the GOP is threatening, and are mobilizing.

If you know someone who has a family member in a nursing home, or is disabled, more than likely, they use MEDICAID.

We need to PROTECT MEDICAID, from the Lord of the Flies mentality that permeates the GOP.


The Kaiser Family Foundation has just published - The 10 Myths About Medicaid.

Myth 1—Medicaid is an antiquated program and needs to be modernized.

❏ FACT: Medicaid has demonstrated throughout its history that it is an innovative program and evolves with the changing American health care system.

Ever since the original passage of Medicaid, the waiver process has allowed states to experiment with new concepts of benefit design, eligibility, and delivery systems.

After evaluating these demonstrations, innovations can be adopted as standard options that don’t require a waiver from the federal government.

Managed care is an example of an innovation that became a standard option-about 60 percent of beneficiaries are in managed care. A current innovation that several states are experimenting with is moving long-term care services towards a home and community based setting.

Additionally, Medicaid’s structure has allowed it to expand and readily adapt to emerging issues in the American health system like the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GOP Liars on Medicare- Their Latest FRAUD

from The Plum Line:

John Boehner: Only Dems have voted to cut Medicare
By Greg Sargent

John Boehner made some comments to reporters today about the results in New York’s 26th Congressional district, and the quote that’s getting most of the attention is his claim that Medicare played only a “small part” of the Dem victory on Tuesday night.

But I think this Boehner quote, buried in Dave Weigel’s report on today’s presser, is the more interesting one:

The only people in Washington, DC who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats,” said Boehner, “when they voted to cut $500 billion in Medicare during Obamacare.”

Only Dems “voted to cut Medicare”? Of course, House Republicans did vote to pass the Ryan budget back in April; only four House Republicans voted against it. The only way for Boehner’s claim to be true is if the Ryan plan doesn’t cut Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Ryan plan cuts the amount of Medicare spending on seniors in relation to overall health care costs. It also reduces the amount of annual Medicare spending as a share of GDP. For it to be true that only Dems have voted to cut Medicare, neither of those would have to count as cuts.

Goodbye England (and FLOTUS), and Hello G-8 Summit

The President said goodbye to the First Lady and then went onto the G-8 Summit.

U.S. President Barack Obama says goodbye to First Lady Michelle Obama before he boards Air Force One at London's Stansted Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2011. President Barack Obama, having made his case for the historic and vital role of shared U.S. and European intervention around the world, will press allies for further commitments in the Middle East and North Africa during two days of meetings in France.
----AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The Linguistic Problem With Cornell West's Attack on The President



It took me a minute to put my finger on exactly why Cornell West’s comments about President Obama disturbed me so much; but I think I’ve figured it out. It’s not so much what West said or even that he said it. It’s HOW he said it-- carelessly and cavalierly flouts black speech codes.

We know the history of and the necessity for encoded black speech. Early one we knew that to survive we had to “wear the mask,” Early on we knew that to survive we had to possess a “double consciousness. “ And early on we knew that to survive we had to construct, perfect, and deploy coded speech to communicate within, over, under, around, and through an ever-pervasive and destructive whiteness.

Black coded speech, signifying speech, served a double purpose: direct discourse to deceive whiteness, and indirect discourse – a black linguistic dog whistle, if you will, to convey the actual intent. Black speech codes covered the gamut from Negro Spirituals to acts of Uncle Tom-ing; yet, however seemingly disparate the tactic, the goal was the same, to prevent whiteness from invading black linguistic space, a space necessary for self-preservation and racial advancement.

Thus, to ensure that such a goal would come about, black speech never let its guard down in the presence of Whiteness, because it knew that not only would its linguistic space be violated, but that its codes would be broken and appropriated , morphed into
something unrecognizable and unable to be reclaimed.

Which is why I find West’s comments so puzzling. West’s proffers a presidential critique, which is all well and good. But, it’s a critique that has as its subject a black speaker and as its object, a black man, so one would think that black speaker would employ black speech codes because black speaker understands how his words regarding black object might be misappropriated. But black speaker does no such thing. Instead black speaker puts forth commentary unaided by no protective black speech codes and a dog whistle that Whiteness hears, amplifies, and utilizes for its own agenda.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The President and First Lady Host The Queen

hat tips-The Obama Diary, The Only Adult in the Room

The President and First Lady hosted a dinner for Queen Elizabeth II.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Winfield House, the residence of the Ambassador of the United States of America, in Regent's Park, on May 25, 2011 in London, England. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle are in the UK for a two day State Visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Last night they attended a state banquet at Buckingham Palace and today's events include talks at Downing Street and the President will address both houses of Parliament at Westminster Hall.
-----Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images

President Obama Addresses the British Parliament

hat tip-The Only Adult In The Room

President Obama Addresses the British Parliament

Transcript of the President's Speech at Westminster Hall

My Lord Chancellor, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Prime Minister, my lords, and members of the House of Commons:

I have known few greater honors than the opportunity to address the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster Hall. I am told that the last three speakers here have been the Pope, Her Majesty the Queen, and Nelson Mandela — which is either a very high bar or the beginning of a very funny joke. (Laughter.)

I come here today to reaffirm one of the oldest, one of the strongest alliances the world has ever known. It’s long been said that the United States and the United Kingdom share a special relationship. And since we also share an especially active press corps, that relationship is often analyzed and overanalyzed for the slightest hint of stress or strain.

Of course, all relationships have their ups and downs. Admittedly, ours got off on the wrong foot with a small scrape about tea and taxes. (Laughter.) There may also have been some hurt feelings when the White House was set on fire during the War of 1812. (Laughter.) But fortunately, it’s been smooth sailing ever since.

The reason for this close friendship doesn’t just have to do with our shared history, our shared heritage; our ties of language and culture; or even the strong partnership between our governments. Our relationship is special because of the values and beliefs that have united our people through the ages.

Centuries ago, when kings, emperors, and warlords reigned over much of the world, it was the English who first spelled out the rights and liberties of man in the Magna Carta. It was here, in this very hall, where the rule of law first developed, courts were established, disputes were settled, and citizens came to petition their leaders.

Over time, the people of this nation waged a long and sometimes bloody struggle to expand and secure their freedom from the crown. Propelled by the ideals of the Enlightenment, they would ultimately forge an English Bill of Rights, and invest the power to govern in an elected parliament that’s gathered here today.

What began on this island would inspire millions throughout the continent of Europe and across the world. But perhaps no one drew greater inspiration from these notions of freedom than your rabble-rousing colonists on the other side of the Atlantic. As Winston Churchill said, the “…Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.”

The Senate GOP Joins Its House Brethren In Voting to KILL MEDICARE


Senate Republicans Vote Overwhelmingly To End Medicare

The GOP continued its bloody walk into the Medicare buzzsaw Wednesday, when 40 out of 47 Senate Republicans voted in support of the House GOP budget, and its plan to phase out and privatize the popular entitlement program.

The test vote failed by a vote of 57-40. But the roll call illustrates that Medicare privatization -- along with deep cuts to Medicaid and other social services -- remains the consensus position of the GOP despite the growing political backlash against them.

Voting with all of the Democrats against debating the plan were Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) -- both 2012 incumbents -- along with Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against it because it wasn't radical enough.

So, let's make it plain for those that are confused.

The Senate Republicans just went along with their House counterparts in voting to END MEDICARE.

As I said before, spread the word. This vote was to END MEDICARE. Ask every Senior Citizen that you know, do they have an extra $500/month lying around....and that's just for starters.

The State Visit to England Continues

hat tips-The Obama Diary, SouthernGirl2

POTUS and FLOTUS continue their State Visit to England.

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives at Britain's parliament, in Westminster Hall in London May 25, 2011.
---REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell/POOL

The Public Gets a Chance to Tell the GOP what they think of their plan to END MEDICARE...from NY State..


Democrat Kathy Hochul Wins Upset In NY-26, Medicare Vote Key To Victory

Republicans are going to have plenty of questions about their plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program tomorrow morning after Democrats romped to an improbable victory in a special election focused almost entirely on the issue.

Democrat Kathy Hochul lead 48-43 with over 83% of the votes counted and her victory looks to be a strong one -- the Associated Press called the race within an hour of the polls closing. Corwin underperformed in key GOP counties while Hochul's margins in Democratic areas were in line with the party's high water mark in the district from 2006, a wave year that swept the Republicans out of the majority in the House and Senate. The district is normally a safe seat for Republicans and has never elected a Democrat.

Hochul's message focused relentlessly on the Paul Ryan budget, which she highlighted in ads, public statements, and debates at every opportunity. Her attacks on its cuts to Medicare benefits and its tax cuts for the wealthy proved impossible for Corwin to overcome, who tried her best to defend the GOP budget cuts before eventually giving in and falsely accusing Hochul of seeking similar cuts while muddying her own position on the plan.

National Democrats are giddy over the results, crowing that they'll use the same formula in swing districts across the country in 2012.

"Today, the Republican plan to end Medicare cost Republicans $3.4 million and a seat in Congress. And this is only the first seat.

"We served notice to the Republicans that we will fight them anywhere in America when it comes to defending and strengthening Medicare," DCCC chair Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said in a statement. "Even in one of the most Republican districts, seniors and independent voters rejected the Republican plan to end Medicare."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

More from the State Visit to England

hat tip-The Obama Diary

The President and First Lady are still in England.

In 'They Are Who We Thought They Were' News....LET the GOP truly express themselves with regards to MEDICARE

When people show you who they are BELIEVE IT.

For all your SUCKERS out there who voted for the GOP in November 2010, because you believed the LIES they told about this President....well, THIS is who you voted for. Bottom line, Seniors ----they'd throw your asses to the wolves in a NANOSECOND.

hat tip-The Washington Monthly:

from The Huffington Post:

Rob Woodall On Medicare: 'When Do I Decide I'm Going To Take Care Of Me?'

Rep. Rob Woodall, a Georgia Republican, made a vigorous ideological defense of ending Medicare as it currently exists, telling seniors at a local town hall that they ought not look to the government to provide health care for the elderly just because their private employer doesn't offer health benefits for retirees.

A Woodall constituent raised a practical obstacle to obtaining coverage in the private market within the confines of an employer-based health insurance system: What happens when you retire?

"The private corporation that I retired from does not give medical benefits to retirees," the woman told the congressman in video captured a local Patch reporter in Dacula, Ga.

"Hear yourself, ma'am. Hear yourself," Woodall told the woman. "You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, 'When do I decide I'm going to take care of me?'"

Large portions of the crowd responded enthusiastically to the congressman's barb, with some giving him a standing ovation, underscoring the fierce divisions within the electorate.


William Robert Woodall III, who goes by "Rob," doesn't appear to have been referring literally to himself, but rather speaking figuratively. It's a good thing, because financial records show the 41-year-old congressman has done very little to take care of himself in his retirement. Woodall's 2009 financial disclosure forms, filed with the House of Representatives, show that his two largest IRAs have between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of assets, hardly the type of nest egg that would be able to cover the health care costs associated with aging absent government health care.

Woodall was chief of staff to former Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.), a job taxpayers shelled out more than $100,000 a year for in 2002, rising to more than $150,000 in 2009, plus gold-plated health and retirement benefits. Woodall, who has taken his former boss's seat, now makes $174,000 a year with generous benefits.

Another woman at the Woodall town hall told the congressman that it was unrealistic to think that the market would provide affordable policies to the elderly.

"When you become a senior, you will not be created equal when they take away your Medicare," she said.

Another woman told the congressman that Medicare provides peace of mind to her children, who would be on the hook for her care otherwise, much as they were before the social safety net was stitched together.

"I'm fine with my Medicare, and my children and my grand children -- my children especially -- would have a lot of heartburn if they know that I'm not on Medicare, because that voucher is not going to go very far,” said the woman.

Woodall suggested that the woman concerned about vouchers might find the type of health care system she and her children approve of in Canada or another industrialized nation.

"If you want a socialized health care program, there are lots of places to find that," he said. "But, for your children's sake, I beg you: There aren't many places to find the freedom to succeed by the sweat of your brow like we have here.”

So, HIS behind hasn't financially planned for his future, but expects TAXPAYERS to make his golden years bearable.....the rest of you Seniors can go F-yourselves, according to this clown.

The political ads just write themselves with this bunch.

Here's the video

More of the President and First Lady in England

The President and First Lady continue their visit in England

US President Barack Obama (2nd-R) and First Lady Michelle Obama (2nd-L) are accompanied by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as they visit an exhibition at the Portrait Gallery inside Buckingham Palace in London, on May 24, 2011. US President Barack Obama Tuesday basked in the lavish royal pageantry of a state visit to Britain, given an extra dash of glamour by a brief encounter with Prince William and his new bride Catherine. The president and his wife Michelle were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II and a 41-gun salute in the gardens of Buckingham Palace at the start of a two-day visit that will mix pomp with serious diplomacy.
----JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama walks with the Dean of Westminster the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall as he visits Westminster Abbey

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The President and First Lady Come to England

hat tips- The Obama Diary, SouthernGirl2

(L-R) U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose with Queen Elizabeth II and the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace in London May 24, 2011. Obama is on a four-nation European visit to Ireland, England, France and Poland.
----REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Monday, May 23, 2011

The President and First Lady Continue Their Journey in Ireland

hat tip-The Obama Diary :

The President and First Lady continue their journey in Ireland to the maternal ancestral home in Moneygall.

An image of U.S. President Barack Obama is displayed over the crowd awaiting his arrival to address them at College Green in Dublin May 23, 2011. Obama, starting a four-nation tour of Europe in Ireland on Monday, said he wanted to encourage bilateral trade and would do all he could to help the country's economic recovery.
----- REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama's speech in College Green Dublin

President Barack Obama paid a visit to the small Irish village where his great-great-great grandfather once lived and worked as a shoemaker, an improbable and memorable pilgrimage for America's first black president into his Irish past.

The GOP 2012 Strategy - America, you are at a crossroads

As we watch more and more GOP candidates declare that they are NOT going to run in 2012; then see the GOP double down on the Paul 'LETS KILL MEDICARE AND MEDICAID' Ryan budget, plus flirt with the possible default of the United States, with the debt ceiling....

Sometimes, the posters here write things that are just profound to their core.

Voter Suppression 2012: Wisconsin and Florida Editions

hat tips-BlackSista, The Reid Report, 3CHICSPOLITICO:

I've been telling you about the concerted, nationwide attempts at VOTER SUPPRESSION, just in time for the 2012 Election. We will point out what has happened in Wisconsin and Florida.


From The Black Sista:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

You can’t script a scene like that with Senator Fred Risser being cut off by Senate President Ellis (Risser’s one of the longest serving legislators in the country). It looks like a scene from the floor of the Reichstag in the early 1930s. It makes Mr. Smith Goes to Washington look like a fantasy. And it has the whiff again of where’s your papers, boy? that President Obama eventually overcame.

Let’s face it, it’s the poll tax come north. This is voter suppression. And this time, it will disenfranchise not only black Democratic voters, but poor people, the elderly (some of whom–lord help us all–voted these Republican idiots into office), and students who still carry driver’s licenses from out of state but who are resident here in Wisconsin while they attend UW. (The Republicans particularly voice contempt for the Madison campus as though it is the equivalent of UC Berkeley during the Sixties. Both campuses are much quieter these days yall, though the tradition of activism remains here and there. The same contempt is displayed when they talk directly or indirectly (in codes) about Milwaukee, with its large African American community.) Along with Latinos and immigrants and new citizens, all of these groups vote, and many vote consistently Democratic. That’s why Walker, the Fitzgeralds and the rest of their claque were so insistent about instituting this uncalled-for legislation. And it’s not just happening in Wisconsin. It’s happening in all of the 28 states where Republicans control the governor’s chair and the legislature.

Before I go into the story, I just want to say that I have seen nothing yet of a grassroots movement that would counteract the effects of yet another Walker-Fitzgerald-inspired imposition on Wisconsin. A movement that would go into the hinterlands–to the hunters-fishermen-flag-waving areas–as well as the cities–to the hip-hop nation as well as the students–and help educate these groups about what to expect and how to fight it. A movement that would even help and encourage those to get a state ID card ($28.00 at your local DMV) and become legal. People needed to get started yesterday because this will impact the upcoming recalls. And not everyone has a computer in order to get the word. This needs to be a house-to-house, face-to-face movement in all communities and neighborhoods in order to counter misinformation and voter suppression. Since the Republicans cannot sustain a majority in fact, they will try to legislate it (or manufacture it) into existence.

The President and the 51st State

Why don't you caption this pic:

US President Barack Obama (R) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 20, 2011.
---JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

I've made no bones about how I feel about the 51st state and America's seemingly blind allegiance to it, which gets us nowhere with the rest of the world.

I do think Andrew Sullivan gets it right about what's at stake here, and what the President is trying to do.

21 May 2011 02:32 PM
The Bibi-Barack Chess Game

Rick Hertzberg offers us a graceful, if pessimistic, guide. Money quote:

The President wants to make peace and presumably knows that it won’t happen without a huge and politically brutal American effort. Such an effort would probably provoke the Israel lobby (a better name for which would be the Likud lobby) into an all-out fight against his reĆ«lection. Netanyahu may not be personally and psychologically capable of making the necessary concessions. In any case he couldn’t make them without bringing down his own government, which relies on the extreme revanchist right for its survival, and forming a new coalition with opposition parties like the center-left/center-right Kadima. The rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas, though probably a precondition for an eventual settlement, makes it harder for the Palestinian side to make their own necessary concessions, at least in the short term. Meanwhile, this week’s mass marches along the borders suggest that the Arab Spring has finally come knocking at Israel’s door.

It has indeed been a remarkable week, and as the blog has shown, one that took me by surprise. I saw nothing that new in the president's speech on Israel-Palestine - just a minimal request directed to both sides based on a settlement everyone knows is the only equitable one, and that has been the cornerstone of US policy for a very long time. But the rank hysteria that immediately sprang from Jerusalem and quickly enveloped the far-right-wing-media-industrial-complex, revealed far more plainly than before that the gulf between Israel and the rest of the world is simply vast.

It appears that the maximum Netanyahu would allow in any two state solution are some kind of autonomous bantustans in the West Bank, surrounded by Israeli military and security forces and buffered at the Jordan border with IDF troops. Forget about Jerusalem and the right of return. If this is Israel's bottom line, there will be no peace, and there should be no peace, because of the rank injustice of this non-solution. More to the point, Netanyahu is no longer on the Israeli fringe. As we've tried to document in our series of posts "An Epidemic Of Not Watching", there is very solid and wide support in Israel for such a maximalist position, and in America, this is what most of the American Jewish Establishment has fatefully backed.

The President and First Lady Go To Ireland

hat tips -The Obama Diary, The Only Adult in the Room

The President and First Lady are visiting Ireland.

U.S. President Barack Obama reacts to the heavy wind blowing as he and First Lady Michelle Obama disembark from Air Force One as they arrive at Dublin Airport to begin a 24-hour visit to the Republic of Ireland, in Dublin, Monday, May 23, 2011. Ireland has always offered warm welcomes to U.S. presidents since John F. Kennedy became the first to visit in 1963. More than 40 million Americans have Irish ancestors. The two countries today enjoy exceptional ties of culture and commerce, a crucial relationship for Ireland because of its current battle to avoid national bankruptcy.
-----AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The President's Speech on the Middle East

Watch President Obama's Full Speech on Mideast Policy

Alvin Brown is Jacksonville, Florida's next mayor and why this is will heat up 2012 even more

hat tips-Liza and The Reid Report


Holland: No way for Mike Hogan to catch Alvin Brown
With 50 votes to go, Democrat leading by 1,700 votes
Posted: May 18, 2011 - 2:10pm

By The Times-Union

Unless something that has never happened before happens, Alvin Brown is Jacksonville's next mayor.

Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland just said that Brown leads Republican Mike Hogan by 1,700 votes with fewer than 50 to be counted, making it "outside the realm" of a recount. That would mean Brown is the first Democrat to be elected mayor in the city in a generation and the first African-American mayor, ever.

Holland said by state statute he can't officially certify the results until 5 p.m. Thursday. That's when the 12 voters who cast disputed provisional ballots need to have shown their identification to the elections office, Holland said.

At 2:40 p.m., after the first group of provisional ballots were counted, Brown's 603-vote lead over Hogan had dropped slightly, to 585.

Hogan won 60 percent of the precincts, with an average margin of 62 percent to 38 percent. However, Brown's margin of victory in the precincts he won was 76 percent to 24 percent. More than 190,000 votes were cast.

Brown spoke to the public and media at about 4 p.m. at the Lakewood Winn-Dixie, and earlier in the day the Hogan campaign sent this email out:

"Judy and I are so grateful to all of you for your love and support as we await the final results from the Supervisor of Elections. We want every legal vote to count and trust that the process and officials in place will ensure that democracy is served."

I've been bringing to you many reports on the happenings in Florida. They have a literal crook for a Governor, and at every turn, he's doing something shady. The Florida GOP legally just put themselves up for sale, and they have voted on a bill whose main goal is Voter Suppression. It's on the Governor's desk, and he hasn't signed it yet- because the Florida Democratic Party, including it's Democratic Senator, has told the Governor that if he signs it, the Justice Department will be brought into it. Florida is one of the states under the jurisdiction of the Voting Rights Act, and if the Feds are brought into it, it could open up a can of worms that the GOP doesn't want. But, make no mistake, those latest voting laws are done to VOTER SUPPRESS the Democratic Party turnout in 2012.

THIS election is going to put the GOP in overdrive about voter suppression.

Jacksonville is a RED town.


NO way that it could be mistaken for some liberal bastion in Florida...

and a Black Democrat just won the Mayor's seat.

Don't think that this isn't being noticed by the national GOP.

Alvin Brown and Family

GOP 2012 Voter Suppression New Hampshire Edition

hat tip-ThinkProgress:

Even Before NH Voter ID Bill Becomes Law, Illegal Signs Appear At Polling Stations To Disenfranchise Voters

New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien (R) took to the House floor this morning to defend Senate Bill 129, which would require voters to show photo identification in order to vote. But even before the bill became law, a sign was hanging on the door of a polling station in O’Brien’s own district, demanding that voters show ID before they could vote. The progressive blog Blue Hampshire first reported the placement of the signs, which were hanging outside polling places for the special election to replace state Rep. Robert Mead (R):

Signs posted at the New Boston Elementary School, one of the five polling locations in the district, this morning read, “Per pending legislation you will be required to produce a photo ID in order to receive a ballot.” They were removed at the request of the New Hampshire Attorney General, but not before voters on their way into the polls turned saw them and turned around.

“Law abiding New Hampshire citizens were discouraged from voting this morning as a direct result of Speaker’s O’Brien terrible piece of legislation, SB129,” said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “Just moments before O’Brien defended this reckless bill in Concord, voters in his own district were walking away from the polls without having cast a vote.”

ThinkProgress has documented recent efforts by legislators in as many as 22 states, including South Carolina, Florida, and Wisconsin, to disenfranchise voters through voter identification laws and other methods. Republicans often justify these proposals by spreading fear about widespread voter fraud, but voter fraud is, in fact, extremely rare. For instance, in Kentucky, which is holding statewide primary elections today, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that the state’s voting fraud hotline has not received a single call.

I keep on publishing articles on GOP VOTER SUPPRESSION, because it's a serious issue.


The GOP KNOWS that they can't win elections LEGALLY, so they do what they always do - they try to RIG THE GAME.

Keeping it close is the name of the game. If you keep it close, then you can STEAL IT. The reason they were unable to do it in 2008, was because it WAS NOT CLOSE. Because folks CAME OUT TO VOTE.

THAT is why the GOP plan, from state to state, is to LIMIT THE NUMBER OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY VOTERS.


That is their plan, and it's obvious.

The issue of VOTER FRAUD is a NON-ISSUE.


It's a made up issue so that the GOP can pass these discriminatory, anti small ' d' democratic laws.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The President gave the Commencement Address at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis

The President gave the Commencement Address at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis.

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address for Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee May 16, 2011.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the Commencement Address at Spelman College yesterday

hat tip-The Obama Diary:

First Lady Michelle Obama gave the Commencement Address at Spelman College yesterday.

First lady Michelle Obama delivers the commencement address to graduates of Spelman College on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga. First Lady Obama also received an honorary degree.
---AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the commencement address to graduates of Spelman College on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga. First lady Obama also received an honorary degree.
----AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser

Atlanta - Phylicia Rashad receives her honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from President Beverly Daniel Tatum, left, during Spelman's graduation at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park Sunday, May 15, 2011. Rashad is best known to millions of television viewers for her role as Claire Huxable on The Cosby Show.
----Vino Wong

110515 Atlanta - Debbie Allen waves at the crowd during Spelman's graduation at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park Sunday, May 15, 2011. Allen was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.
This is Spelman's 124th Commencement Ceremony with more than 550 graduates. Sisters Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad receive honorary degrees and Teach for America CEO Wendy Kopp receives the National Community Service Award. ----Vino Wong

Atlanta - First Lady Michelle Obama receives her honorary degree of Doctor of Law from college President Beverly Daniel Tatum during Spelman's graduation at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park Sunday, May 15, 2011. This is Spelman's 124th Commencement Ceremony with more than 550 graduates.
----Vino Wong

First Lady Michelle Obama thanks the graduates after she delivered the commencement address during the Spelman College graduation on Sunday, May 15, 2011, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Ga.
----AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser

Spelman Benediction For the Ladies....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Newt Gingrich is “Mr. Covey” in Frederick Douglass’ story

Another gem from zizi2:

Gingrich is “Mr. Covey” in Frederick Douglass’ story
Posted by Zizi2 on May 13th, 2011

Aha! I knew that he reminded me of a very familiar slimy character. Newt Gingrich is a replica of Mr. Edward Covey, the pathetic slave breaker in Frederick Douglass’ autobiography. Like Covey, Gingrich is a has-been deluded about his relevance to society. Like Covey, Gingrich is a sadist. Like Covey, Gingrich is a hypocrite and ethically challenged on all fronts. But unlike Covey, Newtie is not gonna be nobody’s slave breaker here. Oh no. Not gonna happen in these United States, in this or any other lifetime!

Newt can scream all the Obama-is-a-Kenyan-anticolonialist-Mau-mau-sympathiser-so –outside-our –comprehension-conman-destroyer-of-America-as-it-has-been-for-the-last-400 years…..blah blah blah all he wants, but he cannot bring PBO down. Neither will he even have the chance to debate the President on any stage, real or imagined.

Douglass fights Covey

Here’s a little historical/literary refresher for those not very familiar with who Covey was: In Chapter X of his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave”, Frederick Douglass recounts the lowest point of his life as a slave, when he was sent to Edward Covey by his master Thomas to be “broken”, because he was considered incorrigible. Covey was a down-on-his-luck white overseer who owned no real slave estate of his own, but fancied himself a mean whip-cracker who could bring any slave to his knees. As Douglass recounts about Covey:

He seldom approached the spot where we were at work openly, if he could do it secretly. He always aimed at taking us by surprise. Such was his cunning, that, we used to call him, among ourselves, “the snake.”

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Republicans Welch on Deal Made With President Obama on Taxes and Unemployment Insurance

hat tip-Digby:

The President acted in good faith with the cretins known as The Republicans. Remember, the President agreed to the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy, because, in exchange, he got the extension of Unemployment Benefits as part of the deal.

Of course, the GOP now wants to welch on the deal.

From Off the Charts:

“Forward Funding” for Unemployment Insurance? Hardly
May 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Republican Orrin Hatch have introduced a bill that, they say, would improve the unemployment insurance (UI) system by “forward funding” federal UI payments to states. That sounds good and, in fact, “forward funding” is a worthy goal, as explained below. But, their bill actually would let states take federal funds that are supposed to help the long-term unemployed and use them for other purposes. That not only would hurt some of the most vulnerable Americans but also would slow the economic recovery.

“Forward funding” refers to the practice of putting aside enough money in state UI trust funds in good times to pay for the benefits needed in hard times. The families that receive UI benefits then boost the economy by spending the money when consumer demand is weak. As we explained in a recent report, Congress needs to enact legislation to give states a framework to restore forward-funding before the next recession. Without such legislation, most states likely will enter the next recession without the money needed to pay benefits. Senate Bill 386, introduced earlier this year, provides the sort of framework that states need.

The Camp-Hatch proposal would do something very different, and damaging. It would break a deal the President and Congressional leaders negotiated late last year in which lawmakers extended jobless benefits for one year for the long-term unemployed—those out of work for more than 26 weeks. That assistance is especially important for the long-term unemployed because states’ unemployment benefits typically end after 26 weeks, but — with the job market still very weak — more than 4 in 10 unemployed workers are not able to find jobs within that time.

Under their bill, Camp and Hatch would let states use this money, which was supposed to pay benefits to the long-term unemployed, in various other ways, including to pay down loans they took from the federal government or to pay benefits to those unemployed for fewer than 26 weeks. Most of the Camp-Hatch options for state spending would weaken the recovery by taking money out of the pockets of people who would spend it quickly to meet their basic needs.

Rep. Paul "VOUCHERCARE" Ryan now thinks he's gonna take on the AARP

from DailyKos:

Paul Ryan's PAC: AARP is a 'left-leaning pressure group'
by Joan McCarter
Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:20 AM PDT.

The GOP seems hell-bent on losing all the support from seniors they gained back in 2010, with their specious attacks on the Affordable Care Act and Medicare.

Now Rep. Paul Ryan's PAC is doubling down on the attacks on the AARP initiated by Reps. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Charles Boustany (R-La.) to sic the IRS on the organization. Ryan's PAC is making a direct attack.

Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) political group went on the attack Monday against AARP, calling one of the most powerful lobbies a "left-leaning pressure group...."

"Last week, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), a left-leaning pressure group with significant business interests in the insurance industry, launched a national ad campaign that intentionally misleads seniors about the Medicare debate," wrote Pat Shortridge, a senior adviser to Ryan's PAC, in an email to supporters....

"Unfortunately, Washington’s special interest groups, like the AARP, have decided to play politics," Shortridge wrote. "We either need them to have a serious conversation or get out of the way."

Why Attacking Common Is So Offensive

from Coates on the Common brouhaha:

I Feel Like A Black Republican
May 11 2011, 1:00 PM ET

David White picks up on the Common piece and expounds a bit:

You know, normally something this stupid wouldn't bother me, but this story really gets under my skin. If they can try to paint Common as a 'dangerous black man,' what black man is immune?

If they think Common is vile, then I know they have no use for my black ass.

Common is beyond the pale, Michelle Obama hates whitey, Eric Holder is protecting the New Black Panther Party, Shirley Sherrod is discriminating against white farmers, Barack Obama is giving reparations to black people?

Conservatives, do you realize how stupid this sounds to black people? (and I know that black people aren't the audience for that kind of talk, there's no need to point that out to me.)

Seriously, you can't find less-threatening black people. And fundamentally, I doubt if they even think Common's that bad. He's a convenient target for a bit of demagoguing, which is even more repugnant.

At least when Lee Atwater used the "Let's dredge up the 'dangerous black man' feelings for a cheap political hit" ploy, he'd choose an actually dangerous black man.

I mean, look, politically, I'm pretty liberal, so it's not like I'd ever be a regular Republican voter anyway. But shit like this is what prevents me from even getting to the point where I'd give their policies a fair hearing. And I know there are some Republicans and conservatives here, and I say that you have no chance of getting any kind of support from black voters as long as the leaders of your party are pulling these kinds of stunts.

I think that first paragraph captures a lot of what I meant when I asked "Who will they accept? This is different from "Who will they agree with?" I think Liz Cheney's attacks on Eric Holder were disgusting and erroneous, but they were also pretty run of the mill for American politics.

I think "Obamacare" is disparaging, but it's also the sort of term that people who disagree with you generally coin. I think "pull the plug on gradma" was a lie, but it was the exact sort of lie that I could imagine being employed against President Hillary Clinton.

David is pointing to something else, something which I tried to get at in my Malcolm piece. Throughout the 80s and 90s, there were a lot of black folks on the public stage who many of us loved, but never really held up as role models or hoped would be "accepted."

You can understand why, say, Mike Tyson, Chuck D, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, OJ Simpson, NWA, or Snoop Dogg might be polarizing. A lot of these folks were polarizing even within the black community. You didn't really expect these people to be received as your ambassadors.

But Common is the dude in the Gap ad. His mother is a teacher. Shirley Sherrod is a victim of white supremacist terrorism, who lectures black people on seeing their own prejudice. Eric Holder went to Stuyvesant. Michelle Obama's mother was a homemaker. Her parents forfeited a full athletic scholarship to send Michelle Obama's brother to Princeton. They used to watch the Brady Bunch together.

If Common is disturbing, Shirley Sherrod wants to discriminate against white people, MIchelle Obama is obsessed with Whitey, and Barack Obama has a hatred of white people, then the rest of us are in real trouble. When you talk about "nonthreatening" this really is the best we've got.

Thank you David and Coates.

But, I thought the GOP was all Big and, they're crying to the President about Medicare? G-T-F-O-H

but but but but but



They thought they'd just be able to ram it through.

uh huh

Ain't nobody forgiving, and come November 2012, STILL...nobody would have forgot.

The DNC is preparing the Political Ads as I type.

From Talking Points

GOP Freshmen On Medicare Attacks: Let's Let Bygones Be Bygones
Brian Beutler | May 11, 2011, 11:11AM

House Republican freshmen admit that their so-called "MediScare" attacks on Democrats helped them win a big majority in 2010. Democrats had voted for the health care law, which included $500 billion in "cuts" to Medicare -- primarily slashing overpayments to private insurers -- and Republican challengers never let them forget it.

Now, they say, it's time to let bygones be bygones.

Nearly a dozen House Republican freshmen held a press conference outside the Capitol Tuesday morning to "wipe the slate clean," and "hit the reset button."
"Yeah, I mean there's been -- again, this is a both-sides issue," said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) when asked if GOP candidates and the NRCC had engaged in 'MediScare' tactics last year. "To say that one side is blameless in trying to use issues to win votes is just dishonest."

On Tuesday, Kinzinger and 41 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to rein in Democratic attacks on GOP members who voted for the House budget, which includes a plan to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program.


They called Barack Obama everything but a child of GOD during the 2010 elections, and think he should ' rein in Democratic attacks'?

G-T-F-O-H with THAT bullshyt.

The Democrat's response?

"We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs," the letter reads.

To preempt the press conference, the DCCC responded to the letter with a long list of NRCC and candidate attack ads and statements from the 2010 election -- all of them targeting Democrats for cutting Medicare, all on behalf of GOP candidates who are now hoping for a truce on Medicare attacks.

They can send letters to the President until Jesus returns. ...but, the ads are still gonna run in November 2012.

Monday, May 09, 2011

President Obama and America’s Erectile Dysfunction

cross-posted from W.E.E. See You with zizi's permission

President Obama and America’s Erectile Dysfunction
Posted by Zizi2 on May 08th, 2011

Who knew that to be considered a “full blooded American” all President Obama had to do was pump a hefty dose of Viagra into America’s collective manhood, and unleash our inner Rambos? Truly sad and fascinating all at once! In a split second PBO went from being the target of Trump’s “Negro, show your papers” to Bill Maher’s “Black Ninja gangsta” and now to Glenn Greenwald’s accusation that PBO is a perpetrator of extra-judicial killings. Jon Stewart gave it visual punch with his map of America with a 45 degree erect Florida beefed up with weighty gonads.

As a cultural critic, tracking the racial narrative geography of the birth certificate brouhaha, and soaking up the language that poured out of the public domain on this past week’s news of Osama bin Laden’s demise, has been a veritable journey through America’s existential fears—the perceived loss of virility. Hollywoood has nothing on the breathless media circus that gushed over the details of the operation carried out by Navy SEALS Team 6. In short, President Obama seemed to have suddenly “redeemed himself” in the eyes of many skeptics overnight. Or has he? What changed about this man? What is it with Bill Maher and his obsession with the President Obama’s manhood?

To those labeled “Obamabots” (and I am unequivocally one), Bill Maher’s and Maureen Dowd’s sudden realization that President Obama is one “Black Ninja gangsta” or “cool hand Luke” is downright juvenile. Not that we cannot all enjoy this moment of national catharsis and tempered joy. After the birth certificate and “how did he get into Harvard and Columbia” nonsense dragged many of us PBO supporters to a new psychological low; a painful low which Baratunde Thurston captured poignantly in his Youtube video last week, certainly the surprising news of the successful Osama bin Laden mission was more than cathartic. The strategic, tactical and stealth brilliance of the whole mission, a culmination of one of President Obama’s earliest campaign promises was nothing short of an adrenaline booster. No one could be faulted from screaming giddily or saying a sober prayer for a painful American chapter closed. No question about it.

Video: Bill Maher calls Pres. Obama “black Ninja Gangsta”

But what is galling is the professional skeptics’ and ankle-biters’ 180 degree whiplash turn from calling this President a “wimp”, “sissy” “Obambi” now to calling him “Don Corleone”, “Black ninja gangsta” or “badass.” And this reveals the fundamental racial psychosis in this country. To wit, Black males cannot ever be considered as three dimensional complex rational human beings. They can only be pigeon-holed into two categories – dumb or dangerous.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell's interview with Dr. Condi Rice...make your own judgements


Things got a little testy in the interview. Judge for yourself.

The Last Word with Rachel Maddow Reacting to the Rice interview

President Obama on Death of Osama bin Laden (SPOOF)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Please don't go to sleep on the massive attempts at VOTER SUPPRESSION IN FLORIDA

hat tips-The Reid Report, DailyKos

I've been writing about the numerous attempts at VOTER SUPPRESSION by the GOP just in time for the 2012 election. No state is more obvious about it than FLORIDA.

There is absolutely a concerted effort by the new GOP thug Governor and GOP-led legislature to pretty much LEGISLATE THE VOTER SUPPRESSION OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY VOTERS.

Rachel Maddow gives you a great background on Florida and what happened between 2004, when George Bush won the state, and 2008, when Barack Obama won the state handily. And, all the legal maneuvers of the GOP to undo/block every method the Democratic Party used in 2008 to get Democratic Party voters to the polls. Maddow has been doing a yoeman's job, almost single-handedly pointing out the attempts at Voter Suppression spread over a multi-state strategy. It's a very instructive piece; I wonder if those in the DNC are paying attention:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I wrote in a previous post how the new Criminal who happens to be Governor in Florida reversed what former Governor Charlie Crist had done with regards to restoring voting rights for ex-felons. He stripped those ex-felons of their voting rights. Considering that the prison population in Florida looks like the prison population in the rest of the country, what color of voters do you think this recent reversal mostly affects?

POTUS, Bin Laden, the Photos &......GOP Manhood

The President has decided NOT to release the photos of Osama Bin Laden. Good for him. We killed him; did the DNA test on him, he's dead, that's the end of it.

So, why are so many GOPers 'insisting ' that the President release the photos of Bin Laden?

I could go into a long treatise about why, but I think I'll leave the explanation to our poster coop10, who dropped this knowledge yesterday, and all I could say when I read it was AMEN.

So, why are some GOPers saying that the President should release the photos?:



Let's not get it twisted. It's not about the photo of Bin Laden. It's about exerting power over President Obama. "Boy, since you got Bin Laden on your own without our (Obama-haters of all stripes) input, you bedda damn well put them pictures out."

What President Obama did, ladies and gentlemen was to emasculate the white man, and they are furious about his doing so. If they can force his hands on those photos, then they can maintain their control over him and the narrative. But he trumped them this time with the mother of all trumps --the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

But what do white men do? They minimize, denigrate, doubt, deride, scorn,and equivocate.

"Obama hesitated."

"He didn't give Bush credit."

"He just signed off on the mission."

"He didn't release the photos. "

"We don't know if he's really dead."

That a black man with the name of Barack Hussein Obama achieved the ultimate white male fantasy --killing America's number one enemy--is unforgivable to white men. Obama's achievement rendered the white man impotent, and so they try to reclaim their power --by demanding the pictures...."Give me those pictures, boy."But the President of the United States, Barack Obama, won't give them the chance to assume their white machismo. Instead, he says that we don't do trophies. We don't do heads on spikes. We don't do drunken frat boy stunts.

The black president is rewriting the rules on manhood and American-ness, and the white boys can't stand it. But after the slap down of Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, the release of his birth certificate and the killing of Bin Laden, President Obama stands as a man among boys-- white boys -- so they better grow up, in a hurry.

Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship...the GOP Deserts Paul "VOUCHERCARE" Ryan


it seems as if the GOP isn't as big and bad as they pretended to be when they passed the Paul Ryan "DESTROY MEDICARE AND MEDICAID" 2012 Budget.

Now.....they're deserting him, leaving him on the branch alone.

I don’t give a shyt about how many Frank Luntz phrases that they use…

Seniors understand

End Medicare…Replace with Vouchercare

The GOP couldn’t get past that.


Boehner: 'Political Realities' Make Medicare Privatization Difficult

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is the latest GOP leader to acknowledge that his party's plan to privatize Medicare -- which passed the House as part of the Republican budget -- will hit a wall in the White House and Senate.

Responding Thursday to the news that one of his most powerful chairmen, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) of the House Ways and Means Committee, will not push ahead with the Medicare plan, Boehner told reporters, "My interpretation of what Mr. Camp [said] was a recognition of the political realities that we face. While Republicans control the House, the Democrats control the Senate and they control the White House."

Boehner insisted the GOP hasn't abandoned the plan, and isn't prepared to take anything other than tax increases off the table. But with multiple top Republicans now acknowledging that budget negotiations will focus on other areas of potential agreement, it seems understood that the plan is basically dead.

So, Orange Julius is saying that it might be needing, what, 'some retooling'?

Yeah, good luck with that.

But, TPM already points out the problems for ALLLLL the House Republicans, save 4:

There's just two problems with that, if you're a House Republican:
1.) The plan is still very unpopular, and 2.) There's over a 97 percent chance that you already voted for it.

Yes, the 2012 DNC Ads are being written as I type for those GOP House Members.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

On The Death of Osama Bin Laden

On May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed in an American military raid in Pakistan. Here is Obama's announcement. Below are my initial thoughts. I'll avoid the political speculation for another day. It is too premature for talk like that because that is inherently divisive. For Americans not old enough to remember V-E day on May 7, 1945 and V-J day on September 2, 1945, this is the closest they have had to celebrating an actual military victory. Conflicts in Korea and Vietnam ended with quite unsatisfactory thuds. America and her allies were resoundingly victorious in the first Persian Gulf War, but we were merely freeing Kuwait; Americans did not feel the violent brunt of an attack in 1990/91.
This is different. It is rather eerie to celebrate the death of anyone, but exceptions must be made and this definitely calls for an exception. Bin Laden was a horrible ogre whose death signals justice to the friends, family and countrymen of his thousands of innocent victims.
My hope is that Americans remain dignified in this moment of joy.
Terrorism against America and her allies will not end tonight. The way of life that we love - and that others hate - will not change. Enmity toward America remains. May this moment serve as reflection for the thousands of American and allied service members and the untold number of civilians killed and wounded that their sacrifice was not in vain.
Just as importantly, let this night serve as a powerful signal to those that oppose America and her friends that we are at our best not starting wars, but finishing them.

Issues: May 4, 2011: bin Laden, Iran, Gas, GOP's budget, Cities w/Jobs, & Divorce

Most of the Western world continues to celebrate the death of bin Laden, many in Pakistan vow revenge. See this slideshow. The president's approval ratings went up 11%, but if you're an Obama supporter, don't get too excited. Not to be a Debbie Downer but these rally effect approval rating hikes tend toward the ephemeral.

Remember the hike the first Bush received after repelling Iraq from Kuwait? His approval ratings reached an all-time high, but he failed to win reelection when voters blamed him for a stagnant economy. This is why there is a sense of "foreboding" (NYT) in the polls despite personal satisfaction with Obama.
Joshua Tucker believes this might be "a bit of a game-changer."
I've heard lots of calls from liberals that now is the time to get out of Afghanistan because the wars cost too much. How much? Read here. I disagree. Now is the time to double-down on non-military foreign aid. It's important to remind the Middle East that we're than just about hunting down terrorists. We want economic and democratic opportunity everywhere for everyone. This chart show U.S. aid in the Middle East.

Violence, in the case of bin Laden's death, can actually be a good, however, in the case of Syria, violence, as it typically is, is quite bad. Follow that? One outcome is the Iranians have shut up. They know they are next in Spring Revolutions.

In related news, George W. Bush's declination to Obama invitation to appear with him at Ground Zero should not go unnoticed. I appreciate the fact that the former president has stayed out of the limelight. It shows grace that he's not seeking to hog the limelight. Obama gave the order to get bin Laden after serious debate, but what president would want to be known as the one that let bin Laden escape.

In unrelated news, this chart breaks down the cost of gas. No, most of it is not in taxes. The economy is what most Americans care most about and the GOP, if it loses big in 2012, according to Anson Kaye, will have to blame their proposed and enacted budget cuts. For those whom the economy is not so hot, you might want to consider relocating to these cities where the economy is hot. Whether or not you think the economy is hot or not largely depends on how much money you make.

What do Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Maine have in common? They are high divorce, low-education states.

Understand the ORGANIZED, COORDINATED efforts by the GOP to shill the destruction of Medicare with VOUCHERCARE

Rachel Maddow has been one of the few in the media to keep, as part of her focus about the Paul Ryan VOUCHERCARE issue, her eyes on the MONEY and FOCUS behind the GOP.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Ed Schultz also has on a guy from Mother Jones, who discusses the GOP phony think tank phenomenon that is behind so much of the nightmare legislation that you see cropping up now. The point of them is to undermine the Middle Class.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

But but but.....I thought the GOP was all 'big and bad'

West has been one flapping his mouth since before he was elected, and now he's can't be bothered to answer questions from constituents?

from The Huffington Post:

GOP Town Halls: Reps Forced To Screen Questions, Duck Out Of Meetings In Secret

The wave of town hall protests targeting House Republicans, and aided by labor and progressive groups, is forcing lawmakers to put restrictions on the forum’s traditionally open structure.

On Tuesday night, Rep. Allen West’s office (R-Fl.) reportedly screened questioners during his town hall event by requiring individuals to fill out index cards which were then vetted by his staff.

This was, the Boward County Sun Sentinel noted, different from “his usual practice at previous town hall meetings, where West took questions from people who lined up at microphones.”

"Is this the type of transparency Alan West promised when he ran for office?" emailed one labor source, whose members and retirees have been attending town halls.

The source, who pointed out the West news, declined to go on the record but didn’t shy away from touting the role played by his and other organizations in causing discomfort for West and others. The labor union, the source said, had been sending members to other West town halls (though not the one Tuesday night), “to ask pointed questions of their members where they stand on privatizing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security versus ending spending on tax cuts for the richest 2% of all Americans.”

Sunday, May 01, 2011


it feels odd to even type that, but that's what the reports are saying.

The President's Statement:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Media Alert:President and Mrs. Obama on Oprah

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey. It airs Monday, May 2nd.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are pictured with Oprah Winfrey during a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show at Harpo Studios in Chicago, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. ----AP Photo/Charles Dharapak