Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Libya - How Come the GOP Doesn't Include the PRESIDENT When Discussing It?


With all the comments from the GOP about the happenings in Libya, there is a common theme:


From TPM.com:
Barack Who? GOP 2012 Candidates Respond To Qaddafi’s Fall By Writing Obama Out Of History
Thomas Lane | August 22, 2011, 6:33PM

The main GOP presidential candidates' responses to events in Libya were strikingly diverse. However, one factor they had in common was the lack of any mention of one person: the President who actually committed US forces to the conflict.

The exception to this was former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. "Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing," he wrote. "But this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph."

That was in line with a rather churlish press release put out Sunday night by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which bemoaned that Qaddafi's fall took "so long" because a certain someone wouldn't "employ the full weight of our airpower."

Still, at least this line of approach gave Obama a look-in. For the other candidates (repeating their tactics after the death of bin Laden) the President may as well have not existed.

Ashford & Simpson Mix

~Nickolas Ashford (1941-2011)~

'California Soul' was recorded earlier by The 5th Dimension and Marvin Gaye & T. Terrell, but Marlena Shaw owns it.

See an interview with Ashford & Simpson from 2009.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Well, well well...look who wants to ' talk' about Ohio's SB/5 NOW?

The latest from Ohio.

From TPM.com:
Kasich: Let’s Make A Deal On My Anti-Union Bill — And Call Off The Repeal Referendum
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday offered a deal to the state's public employee unions: Let's compromise on my law stripping away your collective bargaining rights -- and withdraw the referendum where you could get it repealed.

The Columbus Dispatch reports on Kasich's press conference, at which he was also joined by top Republican legislative leaders:

Kasich said avoiding a fight is in "best interest of everyone, including public employee unions." He asked the unions to "set aside political agendas and past offenses."

The governor said the offer stems from him being a "believer in talking," and not out of "a fear we are going to lose." Kasich asked for a delegation of 10 public employee union leaders to talk with state officials.

The law has not actually taken effect, but was put on hold by the petition process that triggered the referendum for this November. A recent Quinnipiac poll from this past July showed that repealing the bill had a lead of either slightly under or over 20 points, depending on the wording of the question.

According to the Dispatch, the possible deal from Kasich's side would include a modified binding arbitration system, the right to strike for non-public safety employees, and the likely restoration of "fair share" payments to unions by non-union employees that the law would have eliminated, among other issues that would be put on the table. A main fiscal austerity part of the bill, requiring increased contributions by public employees to their health care and pensions, would have to be agreed to in some form.

We Are Ohio, the lead organization behind the repeal referendum, put out a statement in response -- saying no to a deal, and that Kasich and fellow Republicans should repeal the law in its entirety if they want to avoid the referendum. Key quote:

Today We Are Ohio once again stood firmly with the 1.3 million Ohioans who signed petitions to repeal SB 5 by telling the extreme politicians who passed it, to repeal it. Following a press conference held by Governor Kasich, Speaker Batchelder and Senate President Niehaus, We Are Ohio issued the following statement:

"We're glad that Governor Kasich and the other politicians who passed SB 5 are finally admitting this is a flawed bill," said Melissa Fazekas, spokeswoman for We Are Ohio. "Just like the bill was flawed this approach to a compromise is flawed as well. Our message is clear. These same politicians who passed this law could repeal it and not thwart the will of the people. They should either repeal the entire bill or support our efforts and encourage a no vote on Issue 2."

So now, that the law is polling over TWENTY POINTS DOWN IN THE POLLS, the Rethugs wannna talk?


Let me remind you of how they passed this nonsense in the first place.

They actually had to THROW A REPUBLICAN OFF THE COMMITTEE that disagreed with them, and stack the committee with other Rethugs.

They were all big and bad in passing this bill.

Now, they can let DUE PROCESS take effect.

Let the voters of Ohio have their say.

How serious is the Governor?

He told the PRESS, before he called any of the Union Leaders.

THAT should tell you anything you need to know about the ' sincerity' of the Governor.

I wouldn't care if he actually did get the Rethugs together to repeal the bill.

F--- THAT.

Go forth with the repeal by the voters and set that IN STONE.

You think that if they were, say, 5% points down, they'd be talking this nonsense?


See, the margin for disgust on this bill is beyond the margin that they can election fraud, which is what scares them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Issues: 8.16.11: Problems with Perry

Blogs and reporters are learning that covering Rick Perry (pictured) will be fun, entertaining and interesting. As a Texan and long-time subscriber of Texas Monthly I remember this article from February of 2010 asking if Rick Perry would be a presidential candidate. More recently, here's a story about Perry as the Great Campaigner.

While Perry is a three-termer he benefited in 2002 from his opponent, Tony Sanchez, being an exceptionally weak candidate. In 2006, he won with just 39% of the vote. In 2010 against a quality candidate he managed a quality victory with 55% of the vote. See his electoral history here.

Concerning Perry's performance, you can learn about Texas's economic performance, whether Perry solved Texas's budgetary crises with "sleight-of-hand", how Perry benefited from Big Energy, Perry's record on the environment, Medicaid, and why Texas has the highest percentage of residents uninsured. Paul Krugman (NYT) is unimpressed with Perry's economic record.

As far as Perry's main GOP competition goes, Michele Bachmann was apparently for federal pork projects for her district before she was against federal pork spending for everyone else's congressional districts. Beth Reinhard of The Atlantic says we shouldn't worry too much about Bachmann, that the real race is Romney v. Perry.

Not sure who Obama would rather run against, but I'm betting they'd prefer Bachmann or Perry as it would be easier to focus on a few of their wilder quotes like this comparing printing more money as treasonous. They will definitely accuse Perry as being a "carbon copy of the failed policies of the past." No doubt he'll attack Romney's character and business background.

Does Ames matter?
Joshua Tucker writes that the Iowa Straw poll maybe doesn't actually matter. Nate Silver (NYT) disagrees.

While it's not a state, D.C. wins the title of "state" that is most economically confident.

Perhaps the most tweeted story of yesterday is Warren Buffett's op-ed (NYT) asking for Congress to stop "coddling the super-rich," especially given how average wages are falling.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What President Obama Faces

found this in the comments section at Washington Monthly:

from TOM:

How does Obama break the iron unity of the GOP opposition to assemble a governing majority in the US Congress? ...

Obama acts entirely within the tradition of mainstream African American political strategy and tactics. The epitome of that tradition was the non-violence of the Civil Rights Movement, but goes back much further in time. It recognizes the inequality of power between whites and blacks. Number one: maintain your dignity. Number two: call your adversaries to the highest principles they hold. Number three: Seize the moral high ground and Number four: Win by winning over your adversaries, by revealing the contradiction between their own ideals and their actions. It is one way that a oppressed people struggle.

Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said “There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults. That is what people expect us to do and that is why we have entered into public service.” That is the moral high ground.

Honestly, I have been reminded more than once in the last few months of those brave college students sitting in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter, back in the day. Obama sits at that table, like they did at the counter. Boehner and McConnell and Cantor clown around, mugging for the camera, competing to ritually humiliate Obama, to dump ketchup on his head.

I don’t think those students got their sandwiches the first day, but they won in the end.

Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him. Even some Republicans are getting disgusted with their Washington leaders. Obama is not telling us about lack of seriousness of the Congressional GOP; he is showing us the vivid contrast between what we expect of our leaders and their behavior. The last two and half years have been a revelation of the essential conflicts in our society and politics.

If white progressives understood much about the politics of the African American struggle in the United States, we would see Obama in the context of that struggle and understand him better. And you don’t have to be African American to know something about the history of the African American struggle. The books and the testimony is there. It’s not all freedom songs. But you have to be convinced that it is something that can teach you something you don’t already know.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why I have no interest in seeing ' The Help'

I have absolutely no interest in seeing 'The Help'.

Professor Melissa Harris-Perry did a 'review' on Lawrence O'Donnell's show.

She also has a blistering Twitter Feed telling it like it is in 140 characters or less. Please Read.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

London Riots. (The BBC will never replay this. Send it out)

Darcus Howe, a West Indian Writer and Broadcaster with a voice about the riots. Speaking about the mistreatment of youths by police leading to an up-roar and the ignorance of both police and the governement. Intelligent black male. SEND THIS TO EVERYONE!

(Also, did anyone notice that the interviewer tried to make him ignorant... Complete back-fire I must say)

The Firm Created for the sole purpose of giving Mitt Romney 1 MILLION DOLLARS - thank you, Citizens United

This is what Citizens United hath wrought. The Democrats SHOULD HAVE, when they had both Houses of Congress, did as the President requested and passed a DISCLOSURE LAW.

Simple thing - you give political money, you must declare yourself and how much. But, they listened to those lowlife weasel Blue Dogs, who never found a principle they would stand for it meant helping the common good.

For all we know, Al Qeda is giving money to Mittens.

From MSNBC.com:

Firm gives $1 million to pro-Romney group, then dissolves
By Michael Isikoff
National investigative correspondent

A mystery company that pumped $1 million into a political committee backing Mitt Romney has been dissolved just months after it was formed, leaving few clues as to who was behind one of the biggest contributions yet of the 2012 presidential campaign.

The existence of the million-dollar donation — as gleaned from campaign and corporate records obtained by NBC News — provides a vivid example of how secret campaign cash is being funneled in ever more circuitous ways into the political system.

The company, W Spann LLC, was formed in March by a Boston lawyer who specializes in estate tax planning for “high net worth individuals,” according to corporate records and the lawyer’s bio on her firm’s website.

The corporate records provide no information about the owner of the firm, its address or its type of business.

Six weeks later, W Spann LLC made its million-dollar donation to Restore Our Future — a new so-called “super PAC” started by a group of former Romney political aides to boost the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential bid. It listed its address as being in a midtown Manhattan office building that has no record of such a tenant.

The Boston lawyer, Cameron Casey, dissolved the company on July 12 — two weeks before Restore Our Future made its first campaign filing of the year reporting the donation from the now-nonexistent company, the corporate records show.

“I don’t see how you can do this,” said Lawrence Noble, the former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission, when asked about the contribution from the now defunct company.

If the only purpose of W Spann’s formation was to contribute to the pro-Romney group, “There is a real issue of it being just a subterfuge” and that could raise a "serious" legal issue, Noble said. Even if that is not the case, he added, “What you have here is a roadmap for how people can hide their identities” when making political contributions.

Casey, the Boston lawyer, did not respond to requests for comment. Tim Larimer, a spokesman for her law firm, Ropes & Gray, said he couldn’t discuss who was behind W Spann LLC or any other matters relating to the campaign contribution. “The firm won’t be making any comment on this matter at this time,” he said in an email.

'Not something we normally ask'
Restore Our Future also declined to answer any questions about the W Spann LLC donation, one of only a handful of seven-figure donations the group has received this year.

"That’s not something that we normally ask a contributor for (and nor does any other political organization that I'm aware of),” Charles Spies, the committee’s campaign treasurer, said in an email response to a query about the owners of the firm and the limited information on its corporate registration. … “Restore Our Future has fully complied with, and will continue to comply with, all FEC disclosure requirements.”

Rachel Maddow did a piece on this.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

UPDATE: Donor Revealed As Bain Executive

Mystery solved! The person who donated $1 million to a pro-Romney group through a barely existent company, W Spann LLC, has outed himself after campaign watchdogs demanded a federal investigation.

Ed Conrad, a former executive at Bain Capital, which Romney co-founded, told Politico on Friday that he had funneled the money to Super PAC Restore Our Future on the advice of his lawyers.

"I am the individual who formed and funded W Spann LLC," he said in a statement. "I authorized W Spann LLC's contribution to Restore Our Future PAC.I did so after consulting prominent legal counsel regarding the transaction, and based on my understanding that the contribution would comply with applicable laws. To address questions raised by the media concerning the contribution, I will request that Restore Our Future PAC amend its public reports to disclose me as the donor associated with this contribution."


Rachel Maddow had a follow-up piece on it last night.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The President Speaks on the Credit Rating, and two good pieces about Standard and Poors and their iffy math

President Obama took to the mic this afternoon to address the dreaded S&P downgrade.

"On Friday, we learned that the United States received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies — not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt if we make good decisions, but because after witnessing a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, they doubted our political system’s ability to act."

He dismissed S&P decision to drop the country’s credit rating down a notch to AA and blamed the downgrade on political gridlock in Washington.

"Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America," Obama said in his press conference. "No matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a triple-A country."


Lawrence O'Donnell on Standard & Poors - it was something to behold.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow also did a pretty good piece on it, explaining how Republican brinksmanship and threats to allow the U.S. to default on its debt led to the downgrade by Standard and Poor's.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, August 08, 2011

The United States Credit Rating Downgraded for the first time in history

This is the TEA PARTY DOWNGRADE, and is the responsibility of those economic terrorists and the GOP Leaders who collaborated and coddled them.

Go Senator Kerry!

Sen. John Kerry(D-MA) on The 'Tea Party S&P Downgrade'

From We Are Respectable Negroes:

The Debits of Whiteness: Of the Tea Party GOP's Racism and the S & P's Credit Downgrade of the United States

from S&P:

More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any time soon.

The Tea Party GOP got what they wanted. Their game of economic terrorism has resulted in one more step towards economic calamity for the American people. The austerity recession is here, if not already fully arrived.

The other shoe has fallen as well: although America's AAA credit rating made it through two world wars and a Great Depression intact, it could not survive the country's first black President. The Tea Party GOP can sit in the corner, smugly smiling now, as they prepare to carve up Barack Obama just a whee bit more as the 2012 election approaches.

Let us be frank and state the obvious...a reality that so many in the mainstream media are loathe to admit: The Tea Party GOP and its highwayman want to destroy President Obama because he is a Democrat. But, they despise him because he is Black.

The intransigence and obstructionism that the President experienced at every turn, especially as seen in what is almost always a routine decision to raise the debt ceiling limit, has been--pardon the pun--deeply colored by the bugaboo that is white racism.

My claim is not one that is lacking in nuance, where it is "only" white racial resentment and hostility that drives Right-wing, Tea Party GOP opposition to Barack Obama. In a moment of extreme political polarization ideology is made to trump all. The Right-wing rage machine has made compromise, normal politics, and reasonable discourse all but impossible. Race, as the third rail in American political and social life intersects all of those variables. Thus, White racism is a sweetener of sorts that amplifies an already high stakes game of political poker and brinkmanship.

Read the rest at the link above.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

This is what a GOP Jobs Program Looks Like, aka how the GOP is endangering air travel right now

Rachel Maddow does a piece on the FAA Shutdown, and how this is about UNION RIGHTS. The GOP has thrown thousands of people out of work. This is the GOP Jobs Program - right here, in your face.

And, of course, an FAA Partial Shutdown doesn't effect Airline Safety?


and Delta Airlines and their ANTI-UNION STANCE is in the middle of this

From Washington Monthly:

August 03, 2011 9:20 AM
The costs of the FAA fiasco
By Steve Benen

Just to follow up on yesterday’s item, there was a flurry of activity in the Senate yesterday in the hopes that a partial FAA shutdown could be averted, but in the end, the Republican scheme prevailed. It won’t be resolved until September, at the earliest.

A last-minute Obama administration effort to get the Senate to accept a funding extension that would have returned 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees and about 70,000 others to work failed Tuesday as Congress headed home until September

The House Republicans’ stunt will cost the government $1.2 billion. It will also lay off 70,000 construction workers in the middle of the construction season, which isn’t exactly what this economy needs right now.

Americans who fly this summer will see no notable difference as a consequence of the 4,000 furloughs and layoffs of airport construction workers and support personnel. In addition to airport renovation and expansion projects, the furloughs put a halt to work on a complex navigation system that is seen as the future of the aviation system.

All because Republicans want to make it harder for airline industry workers to unionize.

President Obama referred to the mess as “another Washington-inflicted wound on America.”

Alas, there have been a lot of those lately.

our poster coop talks about Democrats and Messaging.

Well, the DNC needs to take money from their bank account and do some political ads in every district affected by these layoffs.

GET some of the workers on camera, talking about not having employment in the middle of CONSTRUCTION SEASON.

Call this what it is - this IS A GOP JOBS PLAN. This is what they think about it.

They should run this EVERY DAMN DAY THAT CONGRESS IS ON VACATION, with the end being the telephone number of the local Congressman.

EVERY Democrat who goes on any tv show should bring up these LAYOFFS and the right-wing assault on WORKERS is costing this country.

THIS is a message for 2012.

And, the President is incorrect: This is NOT a ' Washington-inflicted wound'. This is a REPUBLICAN -inflicted wound.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY, Mr. President.

Today is President Barack Obama's 50th Birthday.

Good wishes for today.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sounds from Mixcloud

Busy week (& month) coming up. May be AWOL for a bit.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Millions of Hostages Win Release After Ransom is Paid

American hostages have finally won release from Republican hostage takers... in the boldest and biggest hostage standoff in history. The ringleaders, Eric Cantor & John Boehner, got just about everything they demanded. They would not guarantee that this wouldn't happen again. In fact, the hostage takers have now been emboldened to use their extreme measures in the future.

And while America continues to drown in her own vomit... I still can't find a decent job.

Most Americans found themselves this past week asking... what in the world is going on... what just happened here?

Obama & Co. were taken to the cleaners once again. I have grown to accept the fact that Obama has few (if any) smart, competent advisers. Because someone should have told him to rally the troops much earlier... not 7 days before a deadline to default. The original debt ceiling proposal (a routine vote over much of the last century) was voted down back in May. Even before that, the Republicans telegraphed their plans to everyone...making it clear what their intentions were. They had been planning this stunt for a year. The debt limit itself was actually reached in June. The U.S. Treasury has managed this long by creating liquidity and finding extra funds. The point is... this was no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. A surprise to the average American? Yes.. because they are fixated on Reality TV and American Idol. But for those who read the paper daily...and keep up with government... this was no surprise. So why in the world was the White House behaving as if they were caught flat footed.... yet again? I have mentioned the poor strategy & PR within the White House before... and it seems to keep rearing its head again and again. And as long as this problem persists... we will get the same results. Whispers from the White House suggest that Obama just didn't believe that the Republicans would be this evil... that they would hold the Country hostage to protect private jet owners. Yes Mr. President.. they are really that evil. Time and time again Obama & Co. seems to demonstrate a lack of imagination regarding just how tacky and low the Republican Tea Party could be. Was Obama being naive again?

President Obama should have taken his case to the people much earlier... 5, 6, 7 weeks before... telling the public exactly what the Republicans were planning to do. That would have forced the Republicans to confirm or deny and would have put them on the defensive. He should have told Americans the truth about what could happen to their benefits, and to the economy as a whole. Once people would have been informed about the potential hardships...and that we have never been held hostage quite like this before... that would have put tremendous pressure on Republicans. Obama could have effectively isolated the Republicans and forced them into a corner by preempting their plans. Obama (had he acted earlier) could have made it much harder for Republicans to go through with their plan.

But like so many other times before... the Obama Administration was not proactive. Instead... they reacted to whatever the Republicans wanted to lull them into. The White House actually believed that the Republicans planned to negotiate in good faith... when in reality..the Republicans were just dragging the President along... trying to get as close to the deadline as possible. They had no intention of coming up with a deal before the last 3 days or so. They were following their plan.

I don't know what it is about Obama & Co. and Democratic strategists... but something has to change. They always seem to react...(and even then...often too late). They are rarely proactive when it comes to their strategy for dealing with Republicans... even when they know the Republican playbook...and even when the Republicans announce their plans.

Will Obama be prepared for the next fight? The next fight will likely be the Affordable Care Act...(Healthcare Reform). Republicans plan to defund certain pieces of the legislation as a way of killing it.

We will go from one problem to another with this Congress. In fact... the reprieve will be short. There will be another budget fight in September...and a government shut down (while not likely) is possible. It isn't likely because the Republicans are actually afraid to go through with it. They remember what happened after their effort to shut down the government in 1995. They came away as the bad guys. But this Republican caucus is much more extreme. So these fights are not over... they are only getting started.

Meanwhile the world is watching...amazed at the level of dysfunction within the U.S. system. Global bond holders & investors may now have second thoughts about U.S. Treasuries... so damage has been done. The world is questioning the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency (have been for a while... but especially now). Not only that... but now the credit rating for the Country could be under review. The economy...already weak, has been wounded yet again. The Dow Jones has fallen over 500 points (or about 4%) over the past week. All because the Republicans resorted to draconian measures... blaming Obama for the debt... most of which was racked up under the previous 4 Presidents (but they were white). More from the New York Times. Now the Republican Tea Party wants the debt problem solved instantly...which will cause more problems. Cutting spending too drastically will be a drag on an already slow economy. As if that wasn't enough... the political uncertainty & instability (caused by Tea Party nuts) will cause consumers and business owners to sit on their money. These Tea Party extremists didn't say a word when Bush put the Country into two wars...paying for them with emergency supplemental appropriations (outside of the standard budget process...adding to the deficit but hiding the cost).

It will be frustrating to watch Obama & Co. stumble from one debacle to another.... (including manufactured crisis) appearing unprepared..and surprised.  They will be reactive instead of proactive... allowing the Republicans to get the biggest deal that they can get. But unfortunately, this has been the m/o for Obama & Co. since 2009. The latest ploy was simply the most public example of a strategy deficit that has been a drag on the Obama Administration for quite some time.

Bootsy Collins Sampler

Never been a huge fan of Bootsy - I tend to prefer the sounds of Stanley Clarke, Paul Jackson, Marcus Miller, Ron Carter, Christian McBride, & Ronnie Baker (I lean towards the Jazz bassists). I could probably throw Larry Graham in there too. But Bootsy is the preeminent bassist when it comes to Funk. His impact on music and the bass is undeniable. When you ask who the great modern bassists are... there is a reason why his name is often in the top 3, 5, or certainly the top 10.