catching up


President Barack Obama shows students from Johnson College Prep in Chicago, Ill., and their principal, Dr. Garland Thomas, a model of Samuel Morse’s telegraph in the Oval Office, during their visit to the White House, Oct. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Original video here



Poor Mitt:


Poor Jon:

Yahoo: …. In New Hampshire, where Huntsman moved his campaign headquarters a few weeks ago and where he spends most of his time, he’s polling at less than 5 percent.

New Hampshire residents aren’t even donating to his campaign. In the last quarter, Huntsman’s campaign reported just two donors in the entire state who gave a combined $1,000.




Mother Jones: This is a photo of a volunteer meeting for Elizabeth Warren, who is leading the race for the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts …. This looks more like the kind of crowd you’d see at presidential volunteer meeting late in the campaign than a rally for a Senate candidate 13 months before the general election. It sure looks like Warren has her base fired up:


Steve Benen: ….. These days, candidates have to realize that using stock photos is inviting trouble.

Just as Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), running for the Senate in Montana, who used a nice photo of “Montana’s seniors” in a taxpayer-financed mailing who aren’t from Montana:



More soon 😉

121 Responses to “catching up”

  1. 1 PoliticalJunkessa
    October 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    That pic from Elizabeth Warren’s meet is so exciting. I can’t wait for her campaign to get in gear!

    • 2 anniebella
      October 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      I honestly think Warren can beat Brown. And the Halloween video is nice, I saw the two white pumpkins.

    • October 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      I think Elizabeth Warren will give them a run for their money. Yep, I like her spunk, and get up and go 🙂

      • October 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

        If Romney isn’t the GOP candidate, I might even have this lean Warren. Because Pres. Obama will beat Perry 60-40 and Dems should hold all nine House seats, meaning Brown would need a lot of folks to split their ballots to vote for him – to vote Dem Pres, Dem House Rep and than Scott Brown for Senator. With Romney as the candidate it’s a “toss-up” at worst. Brown won’t have as big a financial advantage as he thought he would as his out of state money will find races they like better – before as the special election he was the only race that mattered country wide so money and out of state volunteers flooded in as he was the 60th vote at the time. Also he has a record to defend this time, and votes he’ll have to defend. I do worry that Warren is embracing this #OWS stuff a little too much – there was really no need to as their messages are largely the same anyways, and I worry that any violence out of OWS could then be pinned to her.

        With Setti Warren, Allen Khazei and Bob Massie all dropping out, for all intents and purposes the field has been cleared for her.

        • 5 Puddin'
          October 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm

          saintroscoe, I agree with you about the OWS business…I do believe that OWS was the “real deal” 40 some odd days ago, but here in Oakland it has taken on a whole different life force…it is not authentic/organic anymore…it has turned into a mess, a big hot mess and I mean that figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, our mayor has not made matters any better (she leaves alot to be desired).

      • 6 Puddin'
        October 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

        Elizabeth Warren is going to win…and all of those rude, crude, disrespectful repubs who treated her so badly and who did not/would not vote for her, are going to be SORRY!!!!

  2. 7 mtmarilyn
    October 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    That is a mailer from Rehberg I didn’t get. He is such a sleaze. Even though I really get upset with Tester there is no alternative! I will vote for Tester.

  3. 8 Ladyhawke
    October 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Rep. Paul Ryan Has No Idea What He’s Talking About – (Or, he’s an irredeemable liar. Your choice.)


    There is no better evidence of the Republican Party’s economic illiteracy than Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chair of the House Budget Committee. Ryan is supposed to be the serious, wonky Republican; the slide-rule-wielding budget expert that Republicans — and reporters — turn to when they want to pretend the party isn’t just a bunch of shrieking know-nothings. But Paul Ryan has no idea what he’s talking about. (Or, he’s an irredeemable liar. Your choice.)

    Remember back in the spring, when House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was the subject of a brief flurry of news reports on several of his more egregious economic falsehoods? Paul Ryan also made almost all of them. Ryan is wrong about whether the economy has grown and what caused recent deficits. He’s wrong about how U.S. taxation of businesses compares to that of other nations. He’s wrong about whether the Recovery Act created jobs. He’s wrong about whether Alice Rivlin supports his plan to replace Medicare with vouchers, wrong about whether his tax proposals are “just like” those supported by deficit commission Democrats, and wrong about whether Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized President Obama’s proposed defense cuts. He doesn’t even know whether he wants to accuse President Obama of “painful austerity, the kind you see in Europe” or of pursuing a “European-style cradle-to-the-grave social welfare state.”



    • 9 theo67
      October 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      He’s really no expert on budgets, and by having Ayn Rand as his hero, he has no credibility and really has no business running for public office.

  4. October 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Elizabeth Warren for President 2016!!!!!!

    • 11 utaustinliberal
      October 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      I hope she wins the Dem primary and cleans Scott Brown’s clock. For her first volunteer meeting to have drawn such a well spring of support is quite wonderful to say the least. I say Governor Martin O’Malley/Elzabeth Warren 2016 or Warren/O’Malley 2016. Either way works for me.

  5. 13 Bill
    October 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Chris Matthews, pumping his upcoming book on JFK, said tonight that President Obama has much to learn from JFK. I cannot think of one thing that President Obama can learn from JFK. I let Chris know my feelings by email. Chris may like to hear the opinions of others on this comparison.

    • October 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      Yeah, I heard him say that, pissedme off, like what??????

    • 15 utaustinliberal
      October 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      Chris was good tonight. He just had to ruin it with that bit of unsolicited armchair quarterbacking during his “Let Me Finish” segment. In my opinion, JFK could have learned a whole lot about foreign policy from President Obama.

      For twitterers his twitter handle is @hardball_chris

    • 16 Mel
      October 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Chris Matthews is full of it this are diferent complex times PBO is a leader of the 21 st century
      I liked JFK. moraly by far PBO is the better person. In my opinion no body can match PBO.moraly
      intellectualy. and physically so to CM PBO has nothing to learn from JFK. is the past.

    • October 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      ” I cannot think of one thing that President Obama can learn from JFK”
      ——— how to conduct affairs with bombshell blonde actresses and not get neutered by his wife?
      ps- love the whole Camelot thing, but seriously, what the frack is Tweety thinking?

      • 18 SueBee
        October 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm

        that let me finish segment, made me really angry..It was unnecessary

        • 19 Sue in Minnesota
          October 29, 2011 at 1:48 am

          Way off topic, are you a SueBee Honey? That was my Dad’s nickname for me when I was a little girl, a hundred years ago 😉

      • October 28, 2011 at 10:07 pm

        A lot of the Camelot mythology about JFK came after Dallas. While he was president, he made a lot of rooky mistakes and was often roundly criticized. And remember, he barely squeaked into the presidency thanks to some wheeling and dealing in Chicago. For many people, the appearance of the glamorous young Kennedys came as a breath of fresh air after a succession of old guys and frumpy women as presidents and first ladies. And he had a charismatic quality that made him very attractive and charming–especially to women voters. But he was so blatant in his flagrant womanizing and so careless of the risk he posed to his marriage and his job that I have to wonder about his lack of control. In today’s world, none of his adulteries would be hidden and he would be the subject of constant scandal. Plus if you listen to his speeches and conversations today, he sounds stiff and ever so slightly pompous and elitist. I loved the guy at the time (although I loved his brother more), but I never realized how much his was jeopardizing with his voracious sexual appetite. Our president is a man who is comfortable in his own skin and in his marriage. He would never risk his family and his presidency to satisfy his appetites (hello, Bill). While he is one of the most brilliant presidents in history, he never talks down to people and has not a trace of pompousness.

        • 22 Walking_on_ Sunshine
          October 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

          I wish I could condense this brilliant comment down to 140 characters and tweet it to Chris Matthews.

        • 23 Puddin'
          October 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm

          Right on, right on, right, on!

        • 24 nathkatun7
          October 29, 2011 at 1:55 am

          Very Well said Jackie! I loved JFK and still do. Like you, I came to love his brothers more (RFK and Teddy Kennedy). But I still think BHO is one of the best Presidents. JFK never faced an ugly determined opposition intent on making him a one term President. In fact once JFK was elected President, people who didn’t vote for him, like John Wayne, pledged to support him. Richard Nixon was not continually invited on T.V. shows to bash President Kennedy. Contrast that with the way President Obama has been treated by the people he defeated. From day one John McCain has been the darling of Sunday news talk shows. And so has McCain’s VP selection, Sarah Palin Guess what: their entire mission has been to bash and undermine President Obama, with the full support from the so called mainstream media.

    • 25 anniebella
      October 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      I’m going to email Matthews right now. Cause I didn’t like it when I heard it.

    • 26 desertflower
      October 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      I was dozing on the couch, heard him say that, and practically jumped OFF the couch! What a putz.

    • 32 Puddin'
      October 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      You too…Bill, I sent Tweety an email also…when said that last sentence, my head almost exploded. At first I wasn’t going to send the email, but the more I thought about how he is always saying, President Obama can/should learn something from so and so, I had to tell him what I thought about his comparisons…first it was FORMER President Clinton, then it was Chris Christe (yeah, right OMG) and now JFK….

    • 34 Walking_on_ Sunshine
      October 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm

      will tweet Matthews on this. It’s ridiculous.

  6. 35 Mel
    October 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Poor Mtten mr floper I hope he is the nominne PBO is going to a lot/s of fun with this guy, and
    Elizabelth warren is doing very well I/am sure PBO asked her to run for the Senate since the
    assholes in Washington refused to appoint her to her new office PBO and Elezabeth are good
    friends since Harvard, but I remember the PL blaming PBO and accusing him for trowing her
    under the bus, what a load of B.S, that was.

    • 36 cuphalffull
      October 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      I think the trashing of Elizabeth Warren has already started from a few on the left. You knew it would happen once she was no longer an imaginary candidate but a flesh and blood one. It didn’t take very long.

      • October 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

        I think most thinking individuals know that firebaggers are pretty much the same as teabaggers. Both groups live in lala land.

      • October 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

        She was a registered Republican into her 40’s which is a big deal for some already. Of course it’s not an issue when allowing Cenk, Ed, Ariana, Greenwald and the like to being their defacto voice – but nobody will ever claim the nutroots is consistent.

      • 40 Sue in Minnesota
        October 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

        Purists will always become disillusioned and disappointed……they demand perfection which is not humanly possible. Can the Frustrati ever acknowledge that they are but a portion of many diverse voices that all have a right to be heard. My way or the highway is deadend thinking.

        I believe Elizabeth Warren can win back the seat for the Democrats, that she will be a very valuable addition to the Democratic caucus, and will be an excellent representative for MA. I also like the idea of more women being elected to these legislative positions.

    • October 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      I think Elizabeth Is a sincere and realistic Person, she’ll put something on their minds to think about, but then, we must hope that they CAN think 🙄

  7. 42 m
    October 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I love seeing the large group of Elizabeth Warren supporters!

    Such a sweet clip of the White House getting ready for the trick or treaters. Thanks for including that Chips!

  8. October 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    OMG, that Herb Cain video is simply hullarious.

  9. 47 Ladyhawke
    October 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Republicans don’t care about GOVERNING, they care about being in power.



    Here’s a great comment on Steve Benen’s post

    Peter C on October 28, 2011 9:31 AM:

    It’s an old trick: accuse your rival of your worst fault BEFORE your rival mentions it. Then, when you are rightly accused of the fault, it sounds like a petty ‘he does it too’ quibble.

    This House of Representatives has never had any interest in enacting legislation. All it has permitted to be brought to the floor have been super-partisan bills doomed to die in the Senate. Nothing that the House has done had any point OTHER THAN solidifying the social conservatives in the Republican base. It has ALL been aimed at elections and not at governing.

    Republicans don’t care about GOVERNING, they care about being in power. When they get in power, they spend their time changing the rules to make it easier for them to stay in power (pointless restrictions to voting for Democratic constituencies and attempts to crush Democratic power centers like unions). They don’t believe in protecting or serving the public; the public is not their constituency. They spend their time snorting coke with the companies they are supposed to be regulating. They start pointless wars and give massive no-bid contracts to their cronies who ‘lose’ pallets of cash (ooopsie!). They tear down financial regulatory walls and look the other way when banks play roulette with the nations mortgages. They stack the courts with ideologues who confer personhood on corporations and equate money with speech, so that we suffer with networks officially permitted to lie with first-amendment impunity while bullhorns are banned for street protests. They empty the treasury through tax cuts to the 1% with the aim of trading the safety net for a ‘super-value’ coupon. They ‘drill, baby, drill!’ and call efforts to recoup clean up money from the resulting massive oil spill a ‘shakedown’.



  10. 49 utaustinliberal
    October 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Welcome back Chips. Great ‘catching up’ material. Question: Ireland has a possible new President, Michael Higgins succeeding President Mary McAleese. What’s your take on Higgins? I know he’s a sociolgist and a poet, is very left wing, espouses socialism principles (no problem by me) and is very anti-U.S. foreign policy platforms in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, should I be yelling congratulations to you and the people of Ireland, since he won the majority vote or should I hold off?

    • October 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Hiya UT – wow, you’re amazing, you know what’s going on all over the world!

      I’m thrilled really that Higgins has won, he was my Irish political hero when I was growing up, a true liberal and a decent man. I think the only close-to-brave thing I ever did in my life was wade through a vile mob of abuse-hurling Fianna Fail supporters (Fianna Fail are the corrupt-to-the-core party who single-handledly destroyed the Irish economy before being trashed in the last election) outside the Irish parliament to shake hands with a terrified looking Higgins when he walked out the gates. He’d just won his seat back in that election, about 20 years ago, but was hated by Fianna Fail because he was so liberal. I’ll never forget the look on his face, he assumed I was part of the mob and was going to attack him – but I shook his hand and congratulated him on winning his seat, and the poor fella nearly cried with relief! I remember the mob fell quiet, they didn’t know quite what to do, even they reckoned spitting insults at a young one might be over the top!

      So, it’s kind of crazy to think, 20 or so years later, that the same fella is about to become President – although the role, to be honest, is completely powerless, it’s really just an ambassadorial job.

      I’ve been less a fan of his in more recent years, once he and his Labour (Irish spelling!) party got in to power in a coalition they were a disappointment, but he still has a great liberal track record. It’s hard to believe now, but until 1996 Ireland was one of only two countries in Europe that had a ban on divorce (Malta was the other), and he was a big part of the campaign, against huge opposition from the Catholic church, to change that.

      And any politician who was opposed by the Irish Catholic church was/is a friend of mine!

      He’ll do a good job as a President, delighted for him. A good day for Ireland 🙂

      • 51 utaustinliberal
        October 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm

        Okey dokey. Thanks for your take Chips. Congratulations on your new President. It might be just an ambassadorial job, but it is a huge accomplishment when any industrialized nation has free and fair elections and the citizens have the right to choose a leader who is the face of their country. Hope our Irish friends knock back a pint or more of Guiness ( or wine, or margarita, or champagne, or a yager bomb, or yager meister, or whatever floats their boat) and celebrate this peaceful transition of power. Once again: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • October 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm

        Wow, Chips, that was a brave thing to do–wading through a hostile crowd. I’ve never had that much physical courage. I take my hat off to you.

      • 53 nathkatun7
        October 29, 2011 at 2:20 am

        Ms. Chipsticks: I am delighted to read you take on Michael Higgins. I really like him because, as you say, he is truly “a decent man.” Although he wont wield a great deal of political power in Ireland, I think he will still be a major symbol of Irish decency. Many of us in the U. S. are ignorant of the outstanding role Ireland has played in promoting international peace.

        All the best for Ireland.


  11. 54 jacquelineoboomer
    October 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Funny in a sickening way to hear “the spitter” Chris Matthews reading the article aloud that calls Romney a “recidivist reviser.” Too many uses of the S sound in one sentence, if one is prone to spitting.

    Am I bad?

  12. October 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    wow chips, thx for that Hardball clip on Rubio. You can tell that Rep Guitterez was seething and I just bet off the record, he had some harsh terms for Sen Rubio.

  13. 57 dotster3
    October 28, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    WH welcomes trick and treaters tomorrow afternoon. Anyone know how they choose the lucky little kiddos? Televised? President Obama is the keynote speaker tomorrow night for an Italian American group. The hits keep on rollin’.

  14. October 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Awww man, I wanna trick or treat at the White House…Awww!

  15. October 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Ed interviewed all 4 people the Prez had dinner with.
    Be sure to catch the repeat!

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      I am awaiting moderation… Anyways, please upload eds interview with all 4 people the Prez had dinner with.
      It was Great!

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      Hiya Jovie, sorry you ending up in pending, were you using a different email to log in? Thanks a million for the Ed tip-off just uploading the video now. Having MAJOR Firefox problems tonight so it’s been a battle to update everything 😦

  16. October 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Biden Campaigns for Obama in Florida

    Orlando, Florida
    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Vice President Joe Biden was the keynote speaker at tonight’s 2011 Florida Democratic Party Convention’s opening dinner in Orlando, Florida.

    Biden talked about the Obama Administration’s record and criticized Republicans in Congress for failing to act on the President’s American Jobs Act and other measures: “This ain’t your father’s Republican Party,” the Vice President said.

    Florida is getting some action this week……….


  17. October 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Martin Bashir has a stinging comment for Boner and Can’tor
    For 174,000 a year, what has your congressman done ?


  18. October 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing that the government provide $1.25 billion to settle discrimination claims by black farmers against the Agriculture Department.

    The White House said the money would be included in the president’s 2010 budget request to be unveiled Thursday.

    Obama had taken criticism earlier this year from black farmers and lawmakers who said the federal government was neglecting the need for more money to fund claims under a decade-old class-action lawsuit against the government.

    In a statement, Obama said the proposed settlement funds would “close this chapter” in the agency’s history and allow it to move on.

    “My hope is that the farmers and their families who were denied access to USDA loans and programs will be made whole and will have the chance to rebuild their lives and their businesses,” he said.


    Am I in time out again? Lol!

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      The reason I posted this is congress already approved this last year and the final decision by a federal judge was yesterday.
      Those farmers will be paid shortly.
      About time!

      • 73 desertflower
        October 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

        I was wondering why you posted that! With furrowed brows, and a WTH? Glad to see they will finally be paid.Long overdue.

    • 74 defytheodds
      October 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

      On Thursday in Washington D.C, U.S. District judge Paul Friedman awarded $1.25 billion in damages to thousands of African-American farmers who claimed racial discrimination by the U.S. Agricultural Department…

      President Barack Obama came out with a statement that praised the Judge’s decision and said: “This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African-American farmers and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on.”….

      The black farmers are expected to receive their compensation packages within a year, with each case to be separately reviewed. It is one of the biggest settlements reached based on terms of racial bias in the nation’s history, an effect some have attributed to the influence to America’s first ever African-American president.

      Thanks Jovie

  19. 75 Me4obama
    October 28, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Please watch Ed show interview with the four donors who ate dinner with the President. The segment made me cry.

    • 76 Ladyhawke
      October 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Wasn’t that wonderful. I really enjoyed the segment. What a thrill that must have been to have dinner with our amazing President Obama.

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      Me4o….I just watched it…I got emotional myself..He’s exactly what we expecting him to be and much more…I know now that the retired teacher was extremely nervous sitting next to PBO..based on what she said today on Ed’s show, she wanted to say so much more, they all loved ..loved him as you can tell. The guy in the blue shirt..seemed emotional that PBO asked about his mother…PBO really got personal with them..learned about them prior to dinner. Noticed they also said, how upbeat He was..didn’t like dwelling on negatives…
      I swear I love him even more….He answered all their questions…and much more. They were all glad they voted for him in 2008:-)

      May God continue to Bless this Wonderful Good Man.

      • 78 anniebella
        October 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

        That was so nice seeing the four people who had dinner with the President, and the wonderful things they said about him. The first guy talk about the President talking about the time he goes upstairs to spend with Michelle and the girls, having dinner, doing homework, just relaxing, that was so nice. It was so wonderful. Guys we know we have a special President. We have a special First Family. May the good Lord bless them all.

  20. October 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Huntsman HATES asking for money, hates fundraising. You basically have to be shameless about it – and he can’t do it to save his life. Why he’s not fundraising in NH is because he’d basically have to be asking for donations face to face with folks – which he finds even more degrading. He made a huge miscalculation running this year – even if it’s about 2016, finishing so poorly now will greatly hurt him in 2016. He’s probably going to finish 4th in New Hampshire and then drop out.

  21. 83 ber6964
    October 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Badlip Reading left puddles on my chair, darn can’t stop laughing……………………help!!!!!

  22. October 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Rachel Maddow put the spotlight on some old time war-mongers tonight. Wolfawitz, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld were highlighted, with facts, as no nothings and liars. Loved it. Folks need to remember what they have said in the past, before they write books.

    • 85 Ladyhawke
      October 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      That was great. I am totally with Rachel. The media is constantly dragging out the Bush administration folks from the mothballs and asking them to opine on the Obama administration. It drives me crazy. They got us into this mess. What’s the point of asking for their opinion on anything. They have no credibility at all.

  23. October 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    LOL I wonder if our Utaustin saw this new billboard…”GOP IS THE NEW BLACK” the signs definitely have people talking. One sign in particular that hangs over Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in East Austin is drawing mixed reviews from residents there. It says: Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. But this is a controversial claim that has never been substantiated.

    Conservative group Raging Elephants delivered what they call “a gut shot to socialists” when they unveiled three new billboards in Austin, Texas touting that the “GOP is the new black.”

    The ads were released to encourage more black voters to embrace the Republican party. Raging Elephants contends that many African-Americans share conservative viewpoints on a number of social issues such as abortion and marriage and should vote that way.


    • October 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      The only way black votes will migrate to the repug party is if PBO became possessed by Beelzebub and turned repug.

    • October 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      republicons are so dumbo they think all they need is a stupid sign. to attract Black voters..who, imv, are the smartest ones around now as voting block because they overwhelming support our President. No matter much whine oozes from smiley and west.

    • 89 JD
      October 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Dr. King had a policy throughout his public career to make no political endorsements (although it was pretty clear he prefered LBJ to Goldwater) and never indicated any party affiliation. His father, MLK Sr., came from a Republican background but that changed when JFK got involved in helping Dr. King get out of jail during the 1960 campaign.

  24. October 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    ‘There was nothing we asked him last night that he didn’t have a handle on.’

    If you haven’t yet watched the Ed show segment, PLEASE go and watch it! It is riddled with positives/compliments from the diners who had dinner with the President.

    Our President just needs to meet ‘the people’ as he’s doing on his bus tour for voters to see, and hear, who he really is. Once that happens, the FOX News propaganda doesn’t stand a chance at defeating him.

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      By the way Desertflower, our friend was initially nervous but PBO put them all at ease right away. 😉

      • 92 desertflower
        October 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

        Good news! She looked absolutely terrified.I am so glad to hear that they all had a delightful dinner together…good food, good people, good conversation. Doesn’t get any better than that!

  25. October 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    The Ideological Fantasies of Inequality Deniers

    Rising income inequality, like climate change, is an ideologically inconvenient issue for conservatives. They would prefer not to discuss it altogether. If forced to discuss it, they will generally either deny its existence or simply carry on as if it doesn’t exist.

    The underlying facts, like the facts of climate change, are stark. Over the last few decades, income growth for most Americans has slowed to a crawl, while income for the very rich has exploded. That’s a reversal of the three decades following World War II, when all income groups got richer, with the poor and middle class rising at a faster rate than the rich. Crucially, the Congressional Budget Office’s new analysis shows that changes in government policy over this period have made inequality worse. (In CBO-speak: “The equalizing effect of transfers and taxes on household income was smaller in 2007 than it had been in 1979.”)

    We’re not having a debate about how to reverse or even stop the growth of inequality. Nobody has a real plan to do that. The Democratic plan is to slightly arrest the growth of inequality by hiking taxes on the rich a few percentage points, so as to minimize the need to cut the social safety net. The Republican plan is to slash taxes for the rich and programs for the poor, thereby massively increasing inequality.

    That is a hard position to defend in the context of exploding inequality, and conservatives would rather not defend it. Instead the right’s response has been to persistently deny or ignore the facts. Rick Perry, pressed by a reporter to explain why he was proposing a tax plan that would widen income inequality further, replied, “I don’t care about that.” The Wall Street Journal editorial page today dismissed the Tax Policy Center, whose calculations persistently show the ways in which various Republican tax proposals would widen inequality, as “liberal.” It didn’t even pretend to dispute the substance of the calculations. Eric Cantor gave a speech about income inequality centering on stories about how his grandmother worked hard and pulled herself up by the bootstraps in the old days. It was a nice speech if you like stories about plucky grandmothers. It failed to grasp the central dilemma, which is that it was a lot easier for poor people to move up sixty years ago, when tax rates on the rich happened to be far higher, than it is today.

    Ah, but here comes Paul Ryan, fawned over in the media as “the GOP’s strongest policy wonk,” to take the issue head on in a speech before the Heritage Foundation, hyped in advance by conservatives as a definitive statement of right-wing thought. Ryan’s speech is the portrait of a mind in the grips of an ideological fantasy, refusing to confront inconvenient facts.

    Ryan establishes the tone of his argument by accusing President Obama of attacking “straw men,” and then proceeds to build a series of his own straw men, beginning in the very same sentence:

    [Obama] is going from town to town, impugning the motives of Republicans, setting up straw men and scapegoats, and engaging in intellectually lazy arguments, as he tries to build support for punitive tax hikes on job creators. … he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment. …

    Also according to the President’s logic, spending restraint is incompatible with a strong, well-functioning safety net.

    Right, so Obama favors “punitive” tax rates, he promotes resentment of the rich, and he opposes any spending restraint whatsoever. Ryan produces no evidence to support these statements, because none exists. In reality, Obama never attacks the rich, he constantly insists that he respects economic success and merely wants to lessen the burden of budget cuts on the most vulnerable, and he agreed to reduce spending by more than a trillion dollars just this last summer. Ryan repeatedly accuses Obama of favoring “equality of outcome,” which is absurd.

    Here is the closest Ryan comes to addressing Obama’s actual argument, which is that requiring somewhat higher taxes on the rich will reduce the scale of cuts required on programs for the poor and middle class:

    The President has been talking a lot about math lately. He’s been saying that “If we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit… the math says… we’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor.” This is really a stunning assertion from the President. When you look at the actual math, you quickly realize that the way out of this mess is to combine economic growth with reasonable, responsible spending restraint. Yet neither of these things factors into the President’s zero-sum logic.


    It’s a compelling vision. Unfortunately, Ryan’s understanding of reality is a complete inversion of actual reality. “Equality of opportunity” bears no relation to the reality of the American economy or any economy. Parents can benefit their children by giving them money, better schools, better home environments, tutoring, camp, and other advantages. Opportunity is overwhelmingly unequal. One result is that rich kids perform far better in school than poor kids. But that is not the only result. Poor kids who beat the odds and get high test scores are less likely to complete college than rich kids with middling or even low test scores. Poor kids who beat those odds and graduate from college are still less likely to grow up to be rich than rich kids who did not graduate from college. I’m not sure if there’s a perfect solution, but pretty sure Ryan’s plan to slash Pell Grants is not going to help.

    Ryan’s decision to cite Europe as a place where people can’t move beyond their birth station is especially unfortunate. In fact, social mobility in Europe is higher than in the United States, a fact even Rick Santorum has acknowledged.

    The way to understand Ryan is that he’s deeply influenced by the theories of Ayn Rand, who believed that the root of all evil lay in attempts to alter the wealth distribution created by the free marketplace. Rand may have been a deranged cult leader, but she did live at a time when the fear of the poor devouring the rich had an actual real-world basis. She escaped communist Russia for the United States, Franklin Roosevelt — while not a reprise of the communists, as she mistakenly believed — really did denounce the rich and impose confiscatory tax rates. The world of Rand’s imagination bore a slight resemblance to the world she inhabited, but it bears no resemblance to the contemporary United States.

    Ryan cannot process the realities of this world because they are so at odds with the imagined world of his ideology. After his speech, he was asked about the CBO’s report on inequality, and he brushed it off, falling back on Rand-esque lingo the virtuous rich (“takers”) and parasitic poor (“makers”):


  26. 94 Dia
    October 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks ChipSticks for this wonderful site. It kept me informed when I went back home to Liberia last month. The internet (in Liberia) is a bit slow but I was able to read and keep up with all things Obama. Thanks so much for all you do here!!!!

    OT: Praying that Prez Ellen J Sirleaf is re-elected next month.

  27. October 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    After Lying About His Wealth on National TV, Michael Moore Admits He’s A One Percenter

    By Noel Sheppard | October 28, 2011 | 14:40

    Michael Moore is an opportunist and a big lier…He’s out there bashing PBO and how disappointing and saddened he is, hinting that PBO may be a one termer..

    It really is something when a man lies to cover up his lies.

    After all, in 2005, Peter Schweizer in his book “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy” included a copy of Moore’s schedule D from one of his tax filings showing that the schlockumentarian at one point owned almost 2,000 shares of Boeing, nearly 1,000 shares of Sonoco, more than 4,000 shares of Best Foods, more than 3,000 shares of Eli Lilly, more than 8,000 shares of Bank One, and more than 2,000 shares of Halliburton.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/10/28/after-lying-about-his-wealth-national-tv-tuesday-michael-moore-admits#ixzz1c8QP3IPo

  28. 102 desertflower
    October 28, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Newsbusters..”.Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias” Just saying…not an offshoot of Newsmax is it? I posted this story on a different thread that I found at MSNBC site…I don’t know how many “clicks” we all want to give the blatant liberal haters:)

  29. October 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Politics aside, and just looking at the strategy…

    My family once engineered the rise of an incredibly obscure flower into a billion-dollar-a-year industry (no, we didn’t see a net profit — Dad was more the “do it for the sake of doing it” sort).

    One of the keys? Dad screened thousands of varieties (called cultivars), and extensively tested across North America’s weather zones.

    This had two effects. One, he was able to publish his data, selecting some award-winning cultivars, and thus *created*his*own*news.* In a content-hungry medium, this was extremely powerful, as most publications would give serious coverage to each major plant type it handled every few years or so. Hence, he would steadily get multipage articles and front-cover promotion, even from leading gardening magazines. (It helped that he could write and edit the articles himself, with the family’s help.)

    Two, Dad’s work brought to light a lot of gems amidst the dross, and provided some objective data in field so cluttered with opinion that facts could be almost impossible to find. He also pointed out which plants were most effective for landscaping, and which you might want to plant next to your door to be duly admired for its exquisite blossoms. (Yes, there was still some subjective assessment involved, though backed up by photographs.)

    Another key was persuading the North Carolina Department of Transportation that just planting a few rapidly multiplying landscape flowers could save them a bundle on mowing. Thus creating a larger state DOT demand that altered the “facts on the ground” across the country.

    What’s the analogy?

    President Obama is creating his own news. People who have been following his Administration have been aware that he has been issuing executive actions and orders since he was sworn in. But now he is rolling them out publicly as a program every week, at least until the end of the year. And they don’t appear to be “small initiatives,” certainly to the people affected by them. So he creates his own news, highlights what he considers to be important actions, and draws the attention of people who can use these resources.

    This won’t last forever, but it doesn’t have to. First, realize he can give a speech with every action he announces — sometimes out in the country, sometimes from the White House. Combine these executive actions with the American Jobs Act votes, successes like the fall of Qaddafi and the death of bin Laden, and the impact of seeing the troops come home from Iraq in time for the holidays.

    The President is shaping his political environment and driving the larger narrative. And whatever you may think of his work, trying to warp this narrative too blatantly, day-to-day, is just going to kill your credibility. Which affects the larger context as well.

    • 105 EDP4BHO
      October 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm

      You’re deep, Ralph. And might I add, brilliant in your delivery. Keep it coming 😀

    • 106 desertflower
      October 28, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      Ralph, that was a wonderful and spot on analogy.Thanks so much for that perfect insight…you, my friend, are absolutely right.

    • October 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm

      Love the story of your father and how you weave it into a similarity to PBO’s long-term strategy. I think he’s moving brilliantly. I can see why people who don’t follow this WH very closely get frustrated because his achievements are so fast and furious and so blatantly ignored by the press, you’d be hard pressed to know about them. And when they’re not being ignored they’re being distorted and dissed. But I’ve seen him work so many situations to his great advantage and have no doubt that his plans for this campaign are going to be astonishing.

      • 108 bonkers
        October 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm

        Amazing comment, Ralph! meta: yes, I keep thinking about that too. Of course Stanley Ann’s son knows exactly how Repubs and the MegaMedia will treat everything, so given how great of strategist he is, I cannot WAIT to see what kinds of traps he’s currently baiting them with. That’s one nice thing about having an opponent so stupidly consistent and unified…they’re so predictable that it’s amazingly easy to trap them with a long-range plan.

        It’s going to be a thrill to watch President Barack Hussein Obama take these clowns down…once again.

  30. October 28, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Here’s a slight change in topic – Smartypants offers points to ponder about one of the President’s key stake holders – AG Eric Holder


    While stirred up controversies like the one about the New Black Panther Party didn’t pan out for them, Republicans have nevertheless been on the hunt for something that would take down AG Holder. At this point, they think they’ve found that something in a controversy that the MSM and progressive blogs are pretty completely ignoring…the Arizona ATF’s Fast and Furious operation. As the Daily Caller notes today, eight Republican House members have now called for Holder’s resignation.

    While they’ve not yet grown this thing into a full-fledged scandal, I have every confidence that they’ll keep trying. As the article from the NYT says, these folks see AG Holder as a threat to some things that are very important issues to them – terrorism cases, federal enforcement of civil rights, and immigration laws.

    In the tab up at the top of this blog** titled “DOJ Watch,” I’ve been documenting some of the things Holder and the DOJ have been doing with regards to these issues. The list is long, including tackling police brutality, prosecuting the police murders on the Danzinger Bridge following Katrina, negotiating a settlement between the Dept. of …….”

    ** http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2011/10/who-will-have-attorney-general-holders.html#comments

    • 110 desertflower
      October 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      I saw that earlier. I thought that she was spot on with that post…a must read. Glad you posted that here.

  31. October 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Ambulance chaser Michael Moore is all over the local news tonight because he’s in Oakland sticking his face in front of all the cameras. He was supposed to speak to the protestors for 5 minutes but they wound up giving him 45 minutes. He was mobbed by the media hanging on his every word. It just turns my stomach when I think about the way John Lewis was treated. And sorry to be rude but Moore looks like he hasn’t had a bath in a week and he’s dressed like a complete slob. UGH.

    • October 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      And truly, he is just co-opting the OWS to get his footage and material for his next documentary. But when it comes out, I won’t be one of those going to a theater to see it.

      He is just as rich as the people on Wall Street, and perhaps richer than some. I could be wrong, but I have yet to hear about him doing anything publicly to help Michiganders. Thousands of teachers stand to lose their jobs, but I guess that is not a lucrative platform.

      He is an opportunist and he is disingenuous. I just learned from Tien Le on twitter that he won’t even pay union wages to people who work on his films.

      I have tweeted him about his opportunism and his trying to co-opt that group. He tried to do the same thing with Troy Davis.

      • October 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm

        I pounded him on twitter today, too. I have a very close friend who is a sound designer for major motion film. He worked as a sound effects editor on Sicko and Moore was a maniac to work for. I really don’t understand what he’s trying to accomplish. He has a ton of money and fame.

      • October 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

        President Obama helped Michiganders with the Auto-Bailout..do you think he got a “thank you” from Michael Moore? Or another lie from his disingenuous head?

    • 115 QuietObserver
      October 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      I literally cringed when I heard Moore was in my home city. Ambulance chaser is right. I am so irritated by the sudden national interest in mettleing in the local government of this city, especially since it has been ignored/caricatured for so many years/decades. Unemployment, crime, schools being closed, unfair housing practices…I ain’t seen nary an occupier lift a finger to help or even raise awareness of any of these issues in the past, or even now. A lot of these protesters have admitted that they’re not even from the Bay Area! The face of Occupy Oakland does not represent the residents of Oakland. It’s as if they’re pushing the real residents out of the picture in favor of the “pop” version of Oakland’s activist base. But now Oakland is the PL’s new pet project, and they’re hoping that using the birthplace of the Black Panthers as the romanticized backdrop of their movement will boost their own sense of self-importance.

      • 116 bonkers
        October 29, 2011 at 12:01 am

        You’re doing great with the “observer” part, but not doing so hot with the “quiet” part, and thank god for that! Great comment.

      • 118 Puddin'
        October 29, 2011 at 12:42 am

        Hey “home girl”…I am with you, I can’t stand it that person is here in Oakland. Your comment is spot on…this Oakland OWS has turned into a mess, a hot mess. I told a friend of mine the other day, that most of those people down there are not even from Oakland…some of them don’t even have a clue as to why they are there. One of the young men said something about wanting the war in Iraq over…WTH has he been?

  32. 120 AnitaW
    October 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Scott Brown should be very afraid of Elizabeth Warren. And, I’m guessing based on the attacks she is receiving that this is in fact the case.

  33. 121 m
    October 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    The Ed Show footage with the four American’s who had dinner with the President was marvelous to watch! You can truly see how impressed they all were with their gracious host/President!

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