rise and shine

Reuters: New claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low last week, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining momentum.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said, the lowest since late February. That was below economists’ expectations for a fall to 395,000.

The report, coming on the heels of data last week showing a rise in hiring and a sharp drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in November, pointed to some healing in a sector that has been the Achilles heel of the economy’s recovery.

More here


Morning everyone 😉

I’m 24 hours behind the news, sorry I didn’t get to catch up yesterday. Hoping to resume normal-ish service today, give me a little while and I’ll get there!

219 Responses to “rise and shine”

  1. December 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Good morning, Chips! Thank you and so glad to see you!

  2. 4 lovingandlaughing
    December 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Everyone missed you Chips! Glad to see you are back!

  3. 18 desertflower
    December 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

    morning, Chips and TOD’S…..glad to have you back….we were getting worried 🙂

    • December 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

      Morning desertflower, glad to be back, missed you crazy people!

      Has HZ been around the last couple of days? I haven’t seen her commenting for a while. HZ, if you’re out there, I hope all’s good?

  4. 24 Linda
    December 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Good Morning….this is just sad..

    Conservatives angry about Obama kids’ “Japanese” lunch menu on Pearl Harbor anniversary.


    I wonder what poor slob has the assignment to monitor the lunch menu at Sidwell Friends. Can I suggest whoever it is learns the difference between Chinese and Japanese food.

    • December 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

      I remember many years ago having to deal with a controversy because our university dining hall served rice on December 7th. Just rank RW stupidity. It’s food, people!

      • 26 Cindy Sweatt
        December 8, 2011 at 11:27 am

        This story just scares the hell out of me. Are they stalking the Presidents children? Who was that close that they could take the picture? I just got the shivers.

    • 27 meabloom
      December 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

      Yeah this is DUMB! I believe I only saw maybe one Japanese dish. And as Meta said “It’s food, people.” For them to get angry over school kids lunch menu is rather childish.

    • 31 anniebella
      December 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

      So Linda, we know we are dealing with a bunch of crazy idiots, and I am not kidding when I say that. So according to these idiots President Obama told the school to serve that Japanese food for lunch on Dec. 7th. If we are still angry then we need to get rid of everything Japanese, starting with their cars. That is why this mess is so ridiculous. But what else would I expect from crazy ass right wing radical conservatives. That’s what happen when you listen to Fox, Limbaugh, and all those other nuts on radio to much. If you had a brains they start killing any and every common sense brain cell you once had.

    • 32 JoJothecat
      December 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Japan is our allies now so what’s the problem? We won, they lost and some people still are not happy. Some people will complain about ANYTHING! I bet some of those people drive japanese cars, did they stay home yesterday? I drove my japanese car and no one said a thing to me.

    • December 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

      I brought this comment hear because I thought it was best comment over there. Of course there some sane comments along with the wackos, but I really liked this one:


      If the conservatives REALLY wanted to be respectful, consistent, and fair on this issue, and on this day, they should all have NOT driven their Toyota’s, Nissan’s, Mazda’s, Acura’s, Infiniti’s, Honda’s, and Lexus’ today, and walked to work instead; they should have kept ALL of their Mitsubishi appliances, air conditioners, and furnaces turned off out of respect; they should have unplugged ALL of their Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sanyo, and Toshiba televisions; they should have refrained from using their Nikon, Pentex, or Canon cameras or camcorders, and pulled the power on their Sharp, Canon, and other Japanese computer monitors and printers. Cell phones? Shouldn’t have used them, most are made in Japan. A day of silence! But did they do any of that? OF COURSE NOT! No, instead, they picked on the (basically Chinese, not Japanese) lunch menu of two young girls whose father just happens to be The President. Stay classy, GOP!!

    • 34 Lovepolitics2008
      December 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Ha ha ha I can’t be angry over this one because it’s so ridiculous ha ha ha…

      Repubs, tell me… Do you think americans should ban british food on Independance Day?

    • 35 edp4bho
      December 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

      So why don’t we all go get some teryaki and soba noodles for lunch or dinner today? In fact, those noodles would taste good with my broiled salmon. Thanks for the dinner tip Linda 😀 Conservatives have perpetually wet pants.

    • 36 nospin
      December 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

      Loved George’s response. (also posted in the previous thread)


      If the conservatives REALLY wanted to be respectful, consistent, and fair on this issue, and on this day, they should all have NOT driven their Toyota’s, Nissan’s, Mazda’s, Acura’s, Infiniti’s, Honda’s, and Lexus’ today, and walked to work instead; they should have kept ALL of their Mitsubishi appliances, air conditioners, and furnaces turned off out of respect; they should have unplugged ALL of their Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sanyo, and Toshiba televisions; they should have refrained from using their Nikon, Pentex, or Canon cameras or camcorders, and pulled the power on their Sharp, Canon, and other Japanese computer monitors and printers. Cell phones? Shouldn’t have used them, most are made in Japan. A day of silence! But did they do any of that? OF COURSE NOT! No, instead, they picked on the (basically Chinese, not Japanese) lunch menu of two young girls whose father just happens to be The President. Stay classy, GOP!!

  5. 37 anameti
    December 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Good morning Chips. Glad to have you back.

  6. 38 LOL
    December 8, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Morning Chip…Morning Everyone…and what a beautiful (albeit COLD) morning.

  7. 40 Fred
    December 8, 2011 at 8:49 am

    good morning TOD family.Nice to have ya back Chip 😉

    If I may;I would appreciate if my TOD family could say a prayer for my mom who had knee replacement surgery yesterday afternoon.I left her sobbing last night.It wasn’t pretty 😦 😦

    I’ll leave again in about 30-45 minutes to spend the day with her and won’t be back until 6-7 pm.I need to talk to the doctor again because she might be away for rehab for 2 weeks and I have to deal with taking care of a 24 year old brother who won’t pick up after himself;clean or cook 🙄

    tiny rant over.

    Have a good day TOD family and talk to you soon

    love you all


    • 41 a4alice
      December 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

      take care Fred. good word put in! 🙂

    • 42 MTmarilyn
      December 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

      We will remember both of you in our prayers!

    • 45 conlakappa
      December 8, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Best wishes to your mother. Perhaps this two-week break will allow you to train him on what he needs to be doing? Your mother will not be at 100% when she returns and will need all the help she can get!

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Best wishes to your Mom, Fred – hopefully when she gets over the surgery she’ll have a new lease of life, we’ll be thinking of her. Take care.

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Fred, all positive thoughts for healing coming your way. Please take good care.

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

      Knee replacement surgery is a piece of cake now-a-days. Don’t worry. She’ll be fine and after 2 weeks, it will be her pleasure to walk freely again.

    • 49 Roberta in MN
      December 8, 2011 at 9:24 am

      Take care of yourself Fred, our thoughts and prayers for you and your Mom. Hold your breath and count to 10 🙂 on your brother, they can be idiots at times.

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

      Lord The Almighty, I pray for Fred’s mom and his Family right now. Lord I pray that you uplift his Mom, and Lord I pray that you will Inspire and encourage her, that brighter days are ahead, In your Holy name, Amen.

    • 53 desertflower
      December 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

      Hope your mom is ok….as far as your brother,….um. WTH?

    • 54 Betsy
      December 8, 2011 at 9:43 am

      Fred, I had my knee replacement surgery a year and a half ago and am doing really well. But at the beginning it was hell. Make sure she takes her pain medication regularly, and that she does her physiotherapy religiously. I took my pain meds about an hour before my physio, and that helped me get through it. Then over a 4 month period, the physiotherapy made my knee better and better. After 6 weeks, I went back to work (I’m a teacher) and I got better slowly by using a cane all the time for 4 months total. My husband massaged my leg every night before bed and every morning before I went to work. I now walk without a limp and most people do not know that I have any problems with my knee. The first 2 weeks are the worst, but doing the exercises and taking the pain meds helped a lot. How my husband helped me was to encourage me to do the exercises I got from the physical therapists. I hope this helps you a little.

    • 56 JoJothecat
      December 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Prayers that your mom will be fine with you by her side calming her fears.

    • December 8, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Fred – hang in there, we will all be thnking of you. When you need a moment of sanity, come on over to the blog, we will “give you some love”.

    • December 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Best wishes to you & your mother Fred.. I wish her a very speedy and full recovery.

    • 59 Lovepolitics2008
      December 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

      I’ll keep your mom in my prayers, Fred.

    • 60 Obama Grandmama
      December 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Yowser! Now I am scared! I am scheduled to have a total knee replacement in March.

      I am in a nightmare right now since my 87 yr. old Mom who lives next door with my brother is in final stage Lung Cancer but being treated with the chemo pill Tarceva. I help each day and we are combatting side-effects with many other prescribed medications. I have not cancelled my own surgery since my knee gets worse each day. I have almost no cartilege left.

      My biggest problem is trying to figure out how to get along after the surgery. My brother will be caring for Mom alone at that time. I have not thought about the pain or crying. The people that have had the surgery done I have talked to have been very glad they did it. I will be praying for your mom.

  8. December 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

    More good news!

    INITIAL JOBLESS CLAIMS PLUNGE TO 381K (Analysts expected 395K)


  9. 62 Ladyhawke
    December 8, 2011 at 8:50 am


    Fundamentally Hilarious


    In New York magazine, the clever Dan Amira captures the essence of Newt Gingrich‘s windbaggery–the self-promoting adverb that makes the speaker look like an intellectual. Profoundly, deeply, frankly are frequently padders of Newt’s rhetoric, but by far Newt’s favorite word–the crutch without which he cannot walk a thought past his lips–is fundamentally. Examining Gingrich’s speeches since 2007, Amira found 418 unique uses of fundamental or fundamentally.



    • 63 ChristiMtl
      December 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

      The intellectual…the historian Newt Gingrich……

      The guy is a corrupt buffoon and he’s dumb as a rock, no matter how many times he says ”fundamental or fundamentally”.

      Anyone who would even suggest that John Bolton would be a great Secretary of States is crazy.

  10. 65 a4alice
    December 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Just checking in to say hi. I’ve been kinda busy lately, I think what with Christmas, OFA, & work sheesh! I don’t know how UT does it probably because she’s young! 🙂

    Everybody have a great day hope you all are enjoying the Holiday Season!!! Hey Chipstah! Merry Christmas to ye.

    Ho ho ho

  11. 67 debbyeOh
    December 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Good morning Miss Chips and TOD family! Glad you’re back, Super Chips, it’s gonna be a good day today! 🙂

  12. 68 FiredUpInCA
    December 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

    (Reuters) – The gay half-sister of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich slammed his position on gay rights on Wednesday and said she will support President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in the 2012 election.

    Candace Gingrich-Jones, a gay rights activist, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that she and her older half-brother, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, were “mutually respectful” but disagree on gay rights.

    “He is definitely on the wrong side of history when it comes to those issues,” Gingrich-Jones said.

    She said she would “work really, really hard to make sure that President Obama is re-elected next year no matter who the Republican candidate is.”


    • December 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

      Good for her! It must be a trial having a family member like Newt. All those family dinners having to put up with his endless bloviating. I wonder how many gobs of mashed potatoes she flung in his direction when they were younger.

    • 70 conlakappa
      December 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Hasn’t she been with her partner longer than he’s been with any of his wives? And, no, I’m not counting total spousal years! She was considered part of making a nearby town rainbow friendly a few years back.

    • 71 Keith in C-bus, Ohio
      December 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      hmmm……………imagine that. A gay person that is a relative of prominent GOPer Newter and she supports PBO and recognizes his accomplishments on Gay rights. Dan Choi, Rachel Madcow, and all the gay Emoprogs should take note. 😉

    • December 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm

      Good! She highlights how dumbass whiners like Aravosis are.

  13. December 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Hiya Chips! So glad you’re back!

  14. 74 symmetry11
    December 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Good morning all

    Jobless claims at 9-month low last week http://reut.rs/sFffOL

  15. December 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Good morning Chips and TODers. Glad you are back Chips. You were sorely missed! After this week, I am hoping I can spend more time here and contribute more. Work has been crazy busy for two months!

  16. 78 MTmarilyn
    December 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Good morning Chips! Now I know I can check in during the day and see what is going on. We need the baby whisperer when you are gone. Thanks for posting the video. I feel better already. Have a great day everyone!

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Morning Marilyn, morning everyone! Just getting a bit of work out of the way and I’ll do a monster update then!

      • 80 Keith in C-bus, Ohio
        December 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

        Good afternoon Chips. You worried us yester day. We are so SPOILED. LOL! We are like your little flock. Glad to see you are alright. We must understand you obviously have a life outside of TOD. Much luv. 😉

  17. 81 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  18. 82 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Poll: Elizabeth Warren soars 7 up over Scott Brown
    UMass-Lowell, Herald poll shows attack ads harm both
    By Joe Battenfeld
    Thursday, December 8, 2011 – Updated 13 minutes ago

    Democrat Elizabeth Warren has opened up a lead against Republican incumbent Scott Brown for the first time in their U.S. Senate showdown, but a barrage of attack ads appears to have damaged Warren and Brown’s standing among Massachusetts voters, a new University of Massachusetts at Lowell/Boston Herald poll shows.

    Warren leads Brown by a 49-42 percent margin, outside the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points. That number includes voters who say they are “leaning” for either candidate. But even without the “leaners,” Warren still leads by a 46-41 percent margin, barely within the margin of error.


  19. December 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

    TIRED of the same old MSM reporting on the election?

    This is an article worth reading. It’s about a new project, a collaboration between The Guardian and NYU’s Studio 20 program in journalism. Here’s a snip:

    The Citizens Agenda: making election coverage more useful.

    Meanwhile, we have another idea. We want to go right at the problem of an exhausted master narrative. It’s time to attempt a replacement – or replacements. So that is what Guardian US and NYU’s Studio 20 program in journalism are going to do in 2012, using some of what we learned from OffTheBus and also from The Guardian’s own experiments in pro-am and crowdsourced journalism. The alternative to who’s going to win in the game of getting elected? is, we think, a “citizens agenda” approach to campaign coverage. It starts with a question: what do voters want the candidates to be discussing as they compete with each other in 2012? If we can get enough people to answer to that question, we’ll have an alternative to election coverage as usual.


    The citizens agenda is a simple concept, and our approach is fairly straightforward: we aim to identify and articulate the citizens agenda, and to help set up The Guardian for its general election coverage by experimenting with citizens agenda features and approaches. Studio 20 students will work alongside The Guardian’s journalists in brainstorming, designing and managing features on guardiannews.com through early May 2012. Together we will arrive at the picture of how people want journalists to cover the election through a number of traditional and non-traditional methods, including sampling science, internet polling, web forms, social media, old fashioned reporting, discussions and debates, experimental features, plus staff and user-generated content. Starting in late January, when students are back in session and the primaries are presumably winding down, we will launch our first features. Between February and May we will iterate and edit our approach.

    Working parallel to The Guardian’s project will be local newsrooms doing essentially the same thing, but for statewide and local elections. The Media News and Journal Register companies, under the joint management of Digital First Media, plan to develop the citizens agenda approach in their own election coverage, collaborating with The Guardian on the best ways to discern what voters want the campaign to be about.


    #citizensagenda is the hashtag on twitter and @jayrosen_nyu is the guy tweeting about it.

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:26 am

      Cue rw poutraged howls on how ‘foreign media’ is influencing amurikan elections. Just like putin today whining on about hillary inciting russians against him,

      • 85 ChristiMtl
        December 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

        It’s a very good point amk, they won’t be happy….yea it’s a lot better having the RW media influence the elections with their propaganda and lies.

    • 86 Betsy
      December 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Great idea. I’m interested to see what they come up with.

      • December 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

        Any attempt to have an alternative to the craptastic MSM is going in the right direction. If citizens can drive the content of the campaign, that will be HUGE.

    • December 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

      This sounds like a project we need to participate in. I can feel the “CALL TO ACTION” posts rolling off my fngers. Thanks for letting us know about this Meta. I look forward to hearing more.

      • December 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

        THANK YOU. It’s in its start-up stages but it could prove to be something very, very promising if enough people get involved. We already know how horrible our MSM is going to be so I’m looking forward to seeing what develops.

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

      I was reading the other day that The Guardian is this big ole Anti-American British rag. Why would we support any effort from them?

    • 91 nospin
      December 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      I welcome any alternative that is focused on a fact based approach dealing with actual issues vs. the crap that is forced on us today.

      The US media is going to cry foul on this one but they caused it on themselves.

  20. 92 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Report: 274 Troops’ Ashes Dumped In VA Landfill

    The Washington Post reports that at least 274 U.S. troops’ partial remains were dumped in a Virginia landfill. That number is much higher than the military had acknowledged.


  21. 93 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Senate Dems To Boehner: Don’t Even Think About Jamming Us On Payroll Tax Cut

    Senate Democrats are winning the political fight over the payroll tax cut. But Republicans still control the House and that gives them plenty of agency. Some reports suggest they might pass partisan legislation to extend the payroll tax cut, loaded full of GOP goodies, and then adjourn for the holidays, leaving Democrats holding the ball. (They’ve tried this before.)

    Democratic leaders are fully aware of this and say they’re not fazed. They’re warning House Republicans not convince themselves they can get away with it.

    “There’s some talk that Speaker Boehner next Wednesday will throw us some kind of proposal and go home,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at a Wednesday press availability. “Don’t go home, Speaker Boehner, because we’re going to be here, and we’ll be embarrassed before the American people if you do.”

    Before the press conference, Democratic leaders met with President Obama and they say he’s prepared to drop his own holiday plans to bully pulpit Republicans into playing ball.


  22. December 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Washington Monthly – Political Animal
    By Steve Benen

    Sharp Improvement in Unemployment Claims


  23. December 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Oh boy! The ECB says it will not buy anymore bonds, ensuring the probable collapse for the euro.
    Get ready folks, it may get like 08 again.

    You gotta figure their is bigger forces at play here?

    • 96 prettyfoot58
      December 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      yanno…soemthing about this whole thing stinks……just as France and Germany were prepared to deal with the crisis that gave some confidence to the stock market…S & P comes out with their downgrading threat….and of course that made the markets jittery…

      now we have this…
      i am not very knowledgeable about this…but my gut feeling is that ..
      i think that there are some forces that do not want to see a recovery….

      someone once said that if you wanted to know who controlled things…just follow the money…..

  24. 97 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Schumer: GOP Message Machine Can’t Save Them From Tax Debacle
    Brian Beutler- December 7, 2011, 2:26 PM

    Elaborating on a premise that should be familiar to TPM readers, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told reporters Wednesday that the political terrain has shifted so much over the last several months that the GOP’s playbook isn’t working — and it has them badly wrongfooted.

    “You have to follow the broad movements underground that affect our politics,” he said. “And it’s happening. And they seem to be just stuck on the wrong side of issue after issue after issue. They’re very good at messaging. They’re very good, you know, they have some media people who just follow their line….but the weight of the issues and the place where America is at is so overwhelming that’s no longer enough to sustain them.”

    In other words the plates have shifted. And the GOP’s having a tough time messaging their way out of the box they’ve put themselves in now that the country’s clamoring for fairness for the middle class even if it means higher taxes on wealthy people. Dems ultimate goal is to break the GOP’s will on that score.

    “We’ve had four Republicans now talk about taxes on incomes of over a million dollars. If you don’t keep at it you’re not going to change their view and the purpose is that the public comes to our side on this issue and they feel it.”


    • 98 ChristiMtl
      December 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

      ”They’re very good at messaging”………

      It’s not very difficult when the only thing you do is repeat the same talking points over and over again and you have the corrupt RW media on your side.

      Frank Luntz must be working overtime these days to find new talking points.
      Pathetic fools.

      • 99 FiredUpInCA
        December 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

        I agree. The GOP are disciplined parrots. But look what happens on the very rare occasions when their message is publicly challenged, they become incoherent or unhinged. I’m thinking of the once-in-a-blue-moon moment when a business reporter asked a GOP representative how come no jobs have been created after a decade of tax breaks but jobs grew under Clinton’s tax rate.

        Then there’s Joe Walsh’s famous meltdown: “Don’t blame the banks … that pisses me off” before telling the calm constituent that he was going to ask him to leave if he didn’t stop talking.”


        The list goes on, Romney, Palin, Cain are all typical of the GOP. They expect media assistance in getting their message out. The GOP in actuality is actually lazy in their messaging. They haven’t had to come up with a new pitch in 30 years. It’s the media that is disciplined. They rigidly internalize GOP talking points and disseminate the GOP’s storylines generated at right wing think tanks.

        Problem is, as Chuck Schumer says, living in that bubble has made them completely unprepared for the rage exemplified in the Occupy movement.

        Thirty years of never having to think has made the GOP as clueless as debit card fee-charging Bank of America as to how offensive their policies and points-of-view are to the vast majority of people.

  25. 101 Me4obama (@Me4obama)
    December 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    GoodMorning Chips, nice to see you back. Hello TOD Family.

  26. December 8, 2011 at 9:18 am

    The Senate meets at 9:30 a.m. and will spend the first hour on the controversial nomination of Richard Cordray to be the director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Democrats plan a 10:30 a.m. cloture vote on the motion to proceed to Cordray’s nomination.

    If cloture fails (as it may, given GOP opposition to Cordray and the bureau itself), the Senate will consider a motion to proceed to the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, S. 1944. That bill is the revamped Democratic proposal to extend payroll taxes.

    The House meets at 9 a.m. to take up H.R. 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. Republicans have complained all year about the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending plan to regulate dust kicked up on farms, but the EPA has since said it would not put out the rule.


  27. 103 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Quinnipiac: Romney, Gingrich Show Strength Against Obama

    Kyle Leighton- December 8, 2011, 8:35 AM

    Quinnipiac University released a trio of polls on traditional swing states Thursday that challenge the long held belief that former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is the more electable presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2012. Polling of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida shows that Romney still does slightly better against Obama than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has shot to the top of the polls nationally and in the first primary states, but the gap is closing.

    In Florida, Romney bests Obama 45 – 42, while Obama tops Gingrich 46 – 44. In Ohio it’s Romney over Obama 43 – 42 with a Gingrich—Obama matchup the same. In Pennsylvania the two Republicans fare differently, with Obama moving past Romney 46 – 43 and by Gingrich 48 – 40. Gingrich is also up by 13 points in a trial heat of the Florida Republican primary, which is set to take place on January 31st.

    “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is no longer just the flavor of the month since his boomlet has now stretched from November into December and voting begins in Iowa in less than four weeks,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said in a release. “The suspension of Herman Cain’s campaign is unlikely to hurt Gingrich and might help him vis-a-vis Romney by reducing the number of candidates courting Tea Party voters.”


    • 104 Betsy
      December 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

      How the hell can Ohio be preferring Republicans over President Obama at this time? I’d love to see the questions they’re asking people. Florida, after their abysmal governor, seems destined to vote against their own self interest. However, the President has not started campaigning in earnest yet. I don’t know why TPM is so enamored of polls that show PBO behind the likes of Gingrich and Romney. I try not to be influenced by this, but it does get to me from time to time.

    • December 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Chris Matthews said on Hardball recently that Obama had given up on Pennsylvania and Ohio and way instead making a play for Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, etc. He said it in a critical manner. I thought NO WAY. That is not Obama’s style AT ALL! And he’ll win!

  28. 107 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:21 am

    December 08, 2011 9:05 AM

    Sharp improvement in unemployment claims
    By Steve Benen

    We generally look to the first Friday of every month for new unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but every Thursday morning, the Department of Labor releases a report on initial unemployment claims.

    And this morning, the news is very good.

    The number of people filing for state unemployment benefits for the first time fell 23,000 to the lowest level since late February, the government said Thursday.

    The Labor Department said claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 last week. The level of initial claims in the week ended Nov. 26 was revised up by 2,000 to 404,000.

    The consensus expectations were for a slight drop, which makes the sharp drop that much more encouraging.

    As a general rule, national job creation is improving when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold.


  29. December 8, 2011 at 9:21 am

    The pro-Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA is up with a new ad that uses Ronald Reagan’s own words against GOP contenders. Former W.H. deputy press secretary Bill Burton explained the ad on CBS’ “The Early Show,” taking what seemed like a thinly veiled shot at the Mitt Romney campaign’s latest ad.

    “We don’t have to lie to make our points. What we can do is be very straightforward and still win,” Burton said.


  30. December 8, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Republicans less enthusiastic about voting, turnout advantage they had last year may be waning.

    Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport posits that the closing of the enthusiasm gap — from 13 points to 5 — “could reflect the intensive and bruising battle” for the GOP presidential nomination and “the rapid rise and fall of various candidates” therein. But if enthusiasm among Republicans continues to decrease, it could have effects beyond the presidential election, potentially threatening the GOP’s ability to take control of the Senate and maintain or increase its majority in the House.



  31. 110 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 9:22 am

    CNN/TIME Polls: Gingrich Skyrockets In First Four Primary States
    Kyle Leighton- December 7, 2011, 4:40 PM

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken a double digit lead in the national Republican primary since the fall of businessman Herman Cain. But he’s also moved to the front of the pack in the first primary states, and is even closing on former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, the longtime stronghold of the former Massachusetts Governor.

    The new CNN/TIME polls show Gingrich with a 13 point lead among Iowa GOP caucus-goers and a 23 point lead in both the South Carolina and Florida primaries. In New Hampshire, where Romney has averaged more than forty points of support throughout the campaign, Romney gets 35 percent to Newt’s 26.

    In Iowa and New Hampshire, the first three finishers are the same: Gingrich at the top, Romney more than ten points behind, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) with exactly the same level of support in both states — 17 percent. In South Carolina and Florida, it’s essentially a two man race (barely). Gingrich soars in Florida with 48 percent followed by Romney at 25, and in South Carolina Gingrich hits 43 percent to Romney’s 20.


  32. 112 FiredUpInCA
    December 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Wow. Anyone residing in the UK, please stay safe:

    “That is some crazy strong wind! “@BBCNews: Highest wind gust in#scotstorm 151mph at Cairngorm Summit, @metoffice says #ukstorm”

    “Police are about to take the extraordinary step of advising all schools in west central Scotland to close tomorrow (Thursday).” #ukstorm
    14 hours ago

    “Lothian & Borders Police now advising no journeys by vehicle or on foot. Stay indoors!” #ukstorm #scotstorm

  33. 113 CTGirl
    December 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Watch out Newt, the attacks are coming!

    The attack on Newt begins: In the last 24 hours, Mitt Romney’s campaign has started its attack — though in a subtle way so far — against Newt Gingrich. First, it launched its latest TV advertisement with Romney saying what he mentioned at the November CNBC debate: “I’ve been married to the same woman for 25 — excuse me, I’ll get in trouble — for 42 years.” (Hmmm, with whom could he be trying to make a contrast?) Then last night in West Des Moines, IA, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was stumping for Romney, an undecided GOP voter asked the governor to say something she might not know about Romney to help influence her vote. Christie answered by observing how Romney interacted with Christie’s children. He added, “This is a guy who is a father and a husband and loves his wife and his kids.” And Christie concluded, “When you look at candidates say, ‘Is this the kind of person who’s always going to make me proud in the Oval Office and never have to worry will embarrass America? That I’ll never have to worry will do something that will just make me ashamed?’ [Romney] just won’t.” (Hmmm, who could possibly embarrass the country?)


    • 114 Debz
      December 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Good morning every one. I have to comment on christie’s nonsense. My husband and many other men are husbands and fathers who love their families, doesn’t make them qualified to be POTUS.

    • December 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Gov Christie sounds like a stupid person who’s been living under a rock. Lying sociopaths don’t make him ashamed?

  34. 116 Roberta in MN
    December 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Good morning all TODers, is there anyone that has the clip of Jay Carney with Tweety, it’s not on the MSNBC Hardball website for replay. Woulod be nice to see the take down, I just can’t watch MSNBC anymore. 🙂

    • December 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

      I saw that segment. Something Jay said led me to believe that Tweety had received a call from Jay at some point. They somewhat discussed PBO’s speech and I heard Jay say to Tweety, “see I told you to watch the speech”. I was offended when Tweety asked Jay if PBO was head of the Democratic party? Jay said yes and was very absolute in his answer. I only watched that portion of Tweety because Jay was on there. I turned the channel after that. I think Tweety has been begging for attention from PBO.

    • 122 ChristiMtl
      December 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

      I saw on twitter something about him losing a bet with his staff…. he asked Jay if the President was the head of the Democratic Party…or something?

      Chris Matthews is not all there, there’s something wrong with him.

      He is so on my boycott list.
      Not watching this buffoon anymore, he has insulted the President way too often.

      • December 8, 2011 at 9:56 am

        Yes, he said that right after the interview. I did not understand what he meant by that. You are right. He has lost his mind. I was happy to see all of the advisers on tv yesterday, including Plouffe on Lawrence and Gene Sperling, economic adviser on Rachel. They should do that a lot more. Valerie Jarrett was also on Andrew Mitchell.

      • 124 anniebella
        December 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

        I told you Chris Matthews had some mental issues he need to deal with.

        • 125 Obama Grandmama
          December 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

          You can’t help think that if Chris Matthews’ moods and support swing so much politically in such short periods of time that the rest of his life must be affected also. Maybe there is some medical issue that needs to be looked into by him. He is my age so he should take advantage of the now free physical he can get through Medicare to check it out. I wonder if his employer can insist on a physical to know if he is schitzophrenic or something? I don’t like people losing their jobs due to medical situations but he is in a job that is so influential. Maybe he needs to step down into a lesser role or retire.

  35. December 8, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Another lie by Richard Shelby. He said because the Dodd/frank bill did not catch the problems with corzines company MF global, then we should just scrap the whole thing.
    Only problem is, the volcker rule just ce online and was not fully implemented.
    Therefore, Shelby is lying, again.

    Lots of lies out there, folks!

  36. 129 CTGirl
    December 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Testing…my posts are not showing up.

  37. 134 nmblusky
    December 8, 2011 at 9:57 am

    we miss you. Glad to see you come back again..

  38. 135 derbingle
    December 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

    You know for at least eight months news services like Reuters always have to write something like this: “suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining momentum”.

    They just can’t bring themselves to admit we are not sliding into a 2nd recession and The President gets the credit.

  39. 136 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 10:06 am

    December 08, 2011 9:30 AM

    Romney acknowledges ‘exaggeration’ on health care
    By Steve Benen

    Before this year, Mitt Romney was only too pleased to tout his health care reform law in Massachusetts as the basis for a national plan. He said he thinks his measure is “a good model for the nation”; he argued “we’ll end up with a nation that’s taken a mandate approach”; and he boasted that his plan “allows every citizen in America to get health insurance.”

    All of this, however, was before 2011. Yesterday, in an interview with the editorial board of the Washington Examiner, Byron York pressed the former governor on this point.

    YORK: But you wouldn’t recommend that any state adopt the plan that was adopted in Massachusetts in its entirety?

    ROMNEY: In its entirety, no. But there are principles that I think that are helpful and instructive for the states to learn from and I think that there are other states that have picked up some portion of what we did. [emphasis added]

    Imagine what the political world — specifically, campaign reporters — would do if John Kerry or Al Gore called their own rhetoric about their key policy priority an “exaggeration.” Voters would never hear the end of it.


  40. 137 LOL
    December 8, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Ruh OH

    RedState’s Erickson Endorses ‘None Of The Above’

    RedState founder and commentator Erick Erickson endorsed Mitt Romney in the last nomination cycle, however, in a post today he acknowledges he’s lost faith in him for a while now: “I can’t get back on that train and I am frankly stunned so many never got off that train.”

    So who does get Erickson’s influential endorsement? He has kind words to say about Bachmann, Perry, and even some about Gingrich. But ultimately he goes with “none of the above.”

    Source http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/updates/2545

  41. 138 creolechild
    December 8, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Payroll tax cut: No vacation for Senate until there’s a deal
    December 7, 2011 16:34

    US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that the Senate won’t break for the holidays until Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement on extending the payroll tax cut. “We’re not going to leave town until it’s complete,” Reid said at a press conference today in Washington, DC, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. “We can do it the easy way or we can do it the hard way.” Reid also said that President Barack Obama won’t fly to Hawaii for vacation until Congress deals with the payroll tax holiday, Politico reported. Obama is currently scheduled to leave Washington, DC, on Dec. 17.

    Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters after the press conference that Obama might ask the House to return to Washington if they adjourned without a payroll tax cut agreement, Politico reported. “What the president made clear was … that the House would leave at its peril, its political peril, and they will face the embarrassment of trying to explain why they’re taking the holiday off while working families across America are going to see their taxes increase,” Durbin said.


    h/t Samantha Stainburn

  42. December 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Pew has more detail about the treatment of PBO and Repub candidates separated out into categories of twitter, MSM and blogs:


  43. December 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Good morning, TOD!~

    US and Chinese military officials meet in Beijing
    December 7, 2011 12:26

    Top Chinese and US defense officials met in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss reducing the risk of confrontation, hoping to seek greater cooperation and trust, The New York Times reported. The 12th round of US-China Defense Consultative Talks come after recent friction between the countries over arms sales to Taiwan and an increased armed forces presence on China’s border, the Associated Press reported. It also comes after a year of Chinese military expansion, with a new aircraft carrier and carrier jet, a new stealth fighter jet and other advanced weapons were introduced, The Times reported.

    But the decision to proceed with the talks appears to show China is placing a new importance on regular correspondence between the countries, caught in the midst of a rivalry, the AP reported. “We attach great value to this platform to enhance communication, to expand common ground, to promote mutual understanding, to manage and control risks and to avoid miscalculation, this maintaining the stability of our military-to-military relationship,” Gen. Ma Xiaotian, the People’s Liberation Army’s deputy chief of staff, said, the AP reported.



    h/t Lillian Rizzo

  44. 143 dotster3
    December 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Debbie Knox from WISH-TV, Indy, arrives at WH and is excited about Obama interview today. This is such a great plan—-going to the local media. They so appreciate it, and the reports tend to be more factual, minus the slant and cynicism:


  45. December 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

    On twitter:

    President to Honor Troops Returning from Iraq at Fort Bragg; Attend 112th Army-Navy Football Game

  46. 149 lamh35
    December 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

    So remember during ’08 campaign when ABC hosted a debate with George Snufff & Charlie Gibson & George got questions handed to him from Sean Hannitu? Maybe the TOD twitter fan should start tweeting Diane Sawyer & George Snuff with questions that should be asked of the GOP candidates in Saturday’s debate

  47. 151 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

    December 08, 2011 10:00 AM

    It wasn’t ‘a Nancy Pelosi-driven effort’
    By Steve Benen

    Before being driven from Congress in disgrace in 1998, ousted by members of his own party, Newt Gingrich had some fairly serious ethics troubles. In fact, Gingrich was found to have violated House ethics rules, and became the first Speaker in American history to face both a reprimand and a substantial financial ethics fine from his own chamber.

    Asked about this on Fox News this week, Gingrich said the investigation was “very partisan” and “related more to the politics of the Democratic Party than to ethics.” He added, “[T]his was “a Nancy Pelosi-driven effort.”

    This is a line that may satisfy some Republican audiences, but it’s not even close to being true. Kate Conway had a good piece on this, highlighting the history that Gingrich would prefer to forget.

    The problem with Gingrich’s attempt to dismiss the ethics episode as nothing more than a partisan attack on a standup Republican leader is that both the Ethics Committee and the subcommittee responsible for the investigation were bipartisan — and chaired by Republicans. Then-Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT), head of the Ethics Committee at the time, believed strongly that Gingrich’s actions justified the panel’s recommendation. […]

    When the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted to go ahead with the reprimand and fine, it broke down 395 in favor to 28 against. […]


  48. December 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Mail bomb sent to CEO of Deutsche Bank

    A letter bomb was mailed to the head of Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, investigators said Thursday. The package was intercepted before it could be delivered to chief executive Josef Ackermann, according to prosecutors in the western state of Hesse, where Deutsche Bank has its headquarters. It was found to contain flammable powder and shrapnel that could “certainly have been dangerous” had it exploded, a police spokesman told Der Spiegel magazine. No one has claimed responsibility for the mail bomb. Occupy protesters camped out in Germany’s financial hub of Frankfurt condemned the act, telling Reuters that they had “other ways of protesting.”



    h/t Jessica Phelan

  49. 153 ChristiMtl
    December 8, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Anyone is familiar with that guy? Timothy Egan from the NY times, the name doesn’t ring a bell for me.

    The whole Barack Obama-Teddy Roosevelt thing

    The Times’ usually excellent Timothy Egan rolls out the commonplace:

    ”Though Obama gave a good speech … he is no Teddy Roosevelt.”

    ”It’s a shame that Obama, in channeling T.R. from a long ago summer’s evening, could not reach for anything more stirring”

    ”No one from our times is even a distant candidate for Mount Rushmore.”

    • December 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

      WHAT????? They just can’t give PBO the props he deserves. I did not hear PBO say anything about him being Teddy Roosevelt.

      • 155 ChristiMtl
        December 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

        I checked his tweeter feed to see if he was having some push backs. The first name I saw, retweeting his article…Arianna Huffington…figures!.

        President Obama is so ahead of everybody, so unique and brilliant that they have to compare him to past presidents to tear him down, they have a very selective memory of the past.

        President Obama never said he was Teddy Roosevelt……….

        • 156 nathkatun7
          December 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm

          Was Timothy Egan present when Teddy Roosevelt gave his speech? If not how can he be sure that TR was “more stirring” than President Obama? Yet another person channeling mythology! Why not analyze the content of the two speeches instead of trying to claim that President Obama is “no Teddy Roosevelt” as if he personally witnessed both events? By the way, to say that President Obama “is no Teddy Roosevelt” is really silly; it also reveals intellectual laziness. I can also easily say that Teddy Roosevelt was no Abraham Lincoln! And Timothy Eagan is no Anthony Lewis!

          The last time I checked I don’t recall voting for all these dead presidents that President Obama is constantly being compared to for the purpose of denigrating him.

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

      Presidents are more and more romanticized as time goes by. Clinton is a liberal lion now it seems. Also Roosevelt’s speech now would be a done day story, instead of percolating around the country by news paper stories over months.

  50. December 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

    TORONTO, Canada — The Canadian government is pitching a controversial oil-sands pipeline through the United States as the “ethical” choice for energy consumption. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil sands bitumen, a thick form of crude oil, from the Canadian province of Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries in the United States. The Canadian government and the oil industry herald it instead as the source for “ethical oil.”

    Environmentalists see the ethical debate differently. They argue the Keystone pipeline would exponentially increase ecological devastation in the wilderness of northern Alberta, where bitumen deposits cover an area the size of Florida.

    Harper calls its construction a “complete no-brainer.” And his environment minister, Peter Kent, has been busy pushing the “ethical oil” argument. But the government has been characteristically silent about a new report that calculates the cost of climate change to Canada at $5 billion a year by 2020, and between $21 billion and $43 billion annually by 2050.

    The report, written by a group of business leaders and researchers appointed by the federal government, outlines the dramatic effects that a warmer climate will have on the forest industry, coastal flooding and on the health of Canadians. It estimates that hotter temperatures and poorer air quality will account for 1.3 percent of all deaths in Canada’s major cities by 2050.

    What are the ethics of that?



    h/t Sandro Contento

    • 161 Betsy
      December 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

      According to my family in Canada, Stephen Harper is a complete idiot, a major conservative along the lines of today’s Republicans, and were it not for the fact that the other party’s did not have good leaders, he would not have made it. Now they’re stuck with him for 4 years and are worried what he will do to the country.

      • 162 ChristiMtl
        December 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

        I’m very embarrassed about having this RW idiot as our prime minister.

        I didn’t vote for him that’s for sure,……

      • December 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

        Jack Layton was a damn good leader, but the NDP’s name is mud. Liberals had Ignatief, who lived outside Canada foe 25 years before he returned to run and Canada never really accepted him for that. Canada has one right party and four left of center parties, so it splits the left vote four ways and allows Harper Conservatives to get a majority with 40% of the Pop vote.

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:12 am

      Canada probably wants climate change because 70% of the country is arctic-like tundra. Climate warms and arctic northern passage opens to shipping too.

  51. 165 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Eric Cantor Crushes Insider Trading Bill
    by BooMan
    Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 10:23:45 AM EST

    I can’t imagine why House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wouldn’t want Congress to pass rules that ban congresspeople from trading on insider information. Remember this?

    Putting his money where his mouth is? Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip in the House of Representatives, bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds—and perhaps on inflation in the future.

    Maybe Cantor’s habit of self-enrichment explains why he did this:

    Politico reports that Chairman Bachus made as much as five figures in a single day on some of his trades. Feeling the heat, he wants to pass a reform bill. But Cantor wants no part of it, so it isn’t going to happen.


  52. December 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Good morning, Chips,
    We missed you yesterday. Please get some rest before you “blast us out of the water” with your dynamic work. I know that you will out do yourself…….On second thought, I think I will get some rest.(lol). I truly appreciate you and this blog and all the wonderful people here.
    To Fred, thank you for your kind words and I had to go out and I was out very late to respond. I know that you sign off early and I just want to encourage you with a Scripture for the challenges that you are facing with your Mother and brother. Colossians 3:12-17. “We are strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience.”
    More than anything, I pray for patience for you. All is well in the spirit realm. You just have to believe it and walk in your faith. There is so many positive people here who loves you and pray that you will meet every challenge with God’s grace.

  53. December 8, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Senate is voting on cordray!

  54. December 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Benjamin Netanyahu calls early elections, sparks outrage
    December 7, 2011 10:41

    JERUSALEM — In what is being widely viewed as a move to shore himself up in preparation for possible early elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised his Likud party cohorts by announcing primary elections for Jan. 31.

    The man taken most publicly by surprise is deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development Silvan Shalom, who had been planning to mount a primary challenge and who has, by this fiat, been left with no time. Sources close to Shalom said he is investigating legal challenges to the change of date for the primary elections. As party chairman, Netanyahu is empowered to call primary elections as he sees fit; nonetheless, party regulations call for primary voting six months before the general election.



    h/t Noga Tarnopolsky

    • 169 Lovepolitics2008
      December 8, 2011 at 11:22 am

      I’m not familiar with domestic politics in Israel. But if the challenger(s) to Netanyahu is (are) less radical(s) , I hope that Netanyahu’s stunt will backfire on him.

  55. 170 Titti
    December 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Putin is losing it – accuses the US over protests in Russia http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16084743

  56. 173 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Rick Perry And The Politics Of Resentment
    Andrew correctly calls out the bigotry of Rick Perry who evidently thinks frowning upon lynching and beatings of gays qualifies as a “special right.”

    Perry is a nasty bigot on this. The United States has long opposed the persecution of minorities in other countries; and the appalling threats against gay people across the planet must surely count among them. We are talking here about jailing people for being gay, executing them, burying them under walls and lynching. Maybe the man who hunted at Niggerhead is untroubled by these events. Few others will be.

    It’s worth checking out the video Andrew links to. What strikes me is the sense of being under siege, a constant theme in conservative politics. It is as if itself is against them. And they know it. The line “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian” stands out. Who is ashamed of this? This is a predominantly Christian country, and one of the most religious in the West. People don’t “admit” their Christianity here. They proclaim it–as the president has done repeatedly.


  57. 176 LOL
    December 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

    How much of a bitch move is Romney making? I mean, crikey, we are not even in the heat of election season yet and you have SURROGATES attacking Gingrich. Grow a pair…Who is running for President?

  58. December 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

    As it should be…let’s see how they like having it done to them!~

    Georgia Democrat proposes drug testing for lawmakers
    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Democratic Georgia state Rep. Scott Holcomb has introduced legislation to the General Assembly that would require lawmakers to pass a drug test before taking office. The usual bill was filed last week in response to a proposal to drug test welfare applicants, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    “This bill is really very simple,” Holcomb said in a statement. “If the General Assembly is going to pass laws requiring struggling, jobless Georgians to pay for drug tests as a precondition to receiving state benefits, then members of the General Assembly should lead by example and take the tests first.” Random tests would also be mandated by the bill, which lawmakers would be required to pay for with their personal funds.



    h/t Eric W. Dolan

  59. December 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Good Morning TOD family.

    Chips, so glad you have you back. We missed you!!

    We also appreciate that sometimes you gotta leave us because you have a life. This is good. We don’t want you to get “blog burn out”.

    Virtual Hugs

  60. December 8, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Yet another disgraceful shrub’s neocon govt fuck up.

    “Incinerated partial remains of at least 274 troops were reportedly dumped at landfill between 2004-08 by the largest military mortuary in the US.

    The Washington Post report was based on data from Dover Air Force Base, the main entry port for US war dead.

    The newspaper first broke the story last month, but it was not known how many remains were dumped at landfill.

    Families, who had agreed for the remains to be disposed of respectfully, were unaware of the practice.

    Pentagon officials did not authorise the procedure, which was reported by whistleblowers.

    Air Force officials, who have denied a cover-up, said last month they could not estimate the precise number of casualties’ remains sent to the Virginia landfill.”


  61. December 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Another encouraging story from an OFA volunteer, one of those young people the President has lost support with (snark)

    Student Loan Reform: Building a New National Future

    Casey seems like a great guy and he strongly support our President.

    I applaud President Obama for taking the initiative and using his executive authority to provide some assistance to struggling Americans. I only hope that there were more politicians with that kind of political courage.”


  62. December 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Breath-taking stupidity on display here…

    Republicans urge covert ops against Iran, SyriaRepublican

    US presidential candidates have redoubled their public calls for “covert” operations against Iran and Syria, including sabotage, assassination and aid to opposition forces. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who has led the calls for secret war, told a gathering of party activists on Wednesday he would use “covert capability” to bring about “regime replacement” in Tehran.

    “They only have one very, very large refinery. I would be focused on how to covertly sabotage it every day,” he told the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group highly critical of President Barack Obama’s handling of ties to Israel. Gingrich said US policy towards Syria must be to “replace” President Bashar al-Assad and “do everything we can, indirectly and covertly — but without American forces — to help” the opposition topple his government.


    • December 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Really no different than then candidate Obama saying that he’d go into Pakistan to get bin Laden really and McCain ridiculing him for saying that publicly. Basically these Republican candidates need to show how hard ass they are to appeal to the MIC and chickenhawk voters who get off on war porn.

  63. December 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Great video of a PBO Florida appearance, I especially like the comments of the students.

  64. December 8, 2011 at 10:55 am

    TWEET FROM MARK KNOLLER : Our favorite douche.

    At WH Holiday Reception last night, a reporter asked Pres Obama how he liked the BBQ from “We B Smokin’ in Osawatomie, Kansas on Tuesday.

    “You had BBQ?” a surprised Mrs Obama chimed in. Pres Obama seemed momentarily flustered.

    “You didn’t tell me you had BBQ,” said the First Lady.

    Pres Obama explained to his wife that reporters were miffed that they didn’t get any BBQ.

    Mrs. Obama would have known about the BBQ drop-by if she read the WH press pool reports – or followed certain Twitter sites.

  65. 191 dotster3
    December 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I know this isn’t at the top of anyone’s priority list, but I think every citizen should be troubled by Blago’s exceptionally long sentence of 14 years which was handed down yesterday. I see some who say they didn’t vote for him and didn’t like him personally are starting to admit that the punishment was “outrageous” and “excessive”. No human being should be used to “send a message” and pay for the sins of every corrupt politician who came before him, no matter how much he and his antics are disliked. This is the reason the judge used for the long sentence. As many noted, if he had raped someone, he would have received a lighter sentence. Blago was convicted of TRYING to commit a nonviolent crime. It is disturbing to me that personal animosity was at the root of this case and sentence, not justice.

    • 192 LOL
      December 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

      I think it was egregious. 14 years for being stupid. I hate activist judges on both sides. As you said yesterday, not being able to see his kids till he is 67 is more than ridiculous. Will his lawyers appeal? I hope so. There is something fundamentally wrong with our justice system when a man can molest young children and not be prosecuted due to statute of limitations but a father, although not a very bright guy, can be sentenced to 14 years for a crime that didn’t even come to fruition.

      • 193 Britt
        December 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

        The Justice system in the U.S. is messed up. His lawyers said he will appeal the sentence, and Blago will have to start serving his time in February.

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

      I also thought it was too long. I thought maybe 4-5 years but 14? that’s outrageous.

    • 195 vero804
      December 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

      I agree…the 14 years on its face seems excessive.

      However, he really didn’t help himself very much. The Michael Jackson judge was similar in his “wanting to send a message” sentence as well. When you have a high-profile case, you are setting yourself up for this when you act out too much and raise the profile of things. He was too flippant and didn’t show “remorse” even for the fact that what he was trying to do was unseemly. I’m not too sad for him, I think he could’ve helped himself out had he not helped turn the entire legal proceeding into a joke with his outrageous in court and out of court statements and behavior.

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:35 am

      I don’t know, there is no public trust anymore in politicians because of folks like Blago. Is it too long, sure, but I’d say half would have been more than deserved. I’m sure his lawyer will appeal. I do agree that he was scapegoated because he was pretty unlikable and cocky(going on reality show for example) and it’s egregious that he gets this time to serve while Bush and Cheney are out walking the street. Some folks are too big to jail, Blago didn’t have the politicial clout I guess. It was also a very public case in that he was trying to sell the President-elect’s seat.

      He’ll go to a Club Fed more than likely, or in the very least be in protective custody – he’s not going into general pop which the judge might have factored in to the lengthy ruling.

      Let’s see what Tom Delay gets when sentenced. I’m tired of this “all’s fair in love, war and politics” feeling that seems to be pretty pervasive in politics.

  66. 198 Linda
    December 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

    WASHINGTON – Michele Bachmann’s weak poll numbers may be showing up in slow sales of her memoir, Core of Conviction. In the two weeks since the book was released, it’s sold just 3,000 copies despite a media blitz and numerous book-signing events by Bachmann.

    Those numbers come from Nielsen BookScan, which gets the information directly from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and most other retailers. The company estimates its sales numbers capture 75 percent of the book market although it currently does not get information from discount retailers Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club.

    As of 5 PM ET on Wednesday, the book ranked 4,200 on Amazon’s bestseller list, although it ranked 62 on the site’s political bestseller list.

    The Nielsen figures also don’t include bulk purchases made by political campaigns and outside groups. In the run-up to the book launch, Bachmann’s campaign was offering donors an autographed copy of the book for $75.

    A representative of the book’s publisher, Sentinel Press, declined to comment about the sales figures, citing a long-standing policy.


    Why is she being paid with taxpayer money to be on a book tour ????

  67. December 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Walmart spends big to help anti-environment candidates
    7 Dec 2011 8:08 PM

    Over the last decade, Walmart has emerged as one of the country’s largest funders of political campaigns. Its dollars skew heavily in favor of candidates who routinely vote against the environment. Since the company launched its sustainability campaign in 2005, 40 percent of the $3.9 million it has given to members of Congress went to those who have lifetime scores of 20 or less on the League of Conservation Voters’ National Environmental Scorecard — meaning they vote against the environment 80-100 percent of the time. Another 19 percent went to those who vote against the environment 50-79 percent of the time.

    Walmart’s largest donations have gone to some of the nation’s most powerful climate-change deniers. Since 2005, Walmart’s PAC has given $25,000 to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (“the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical”); $30,000 to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (“there isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth”); and $29,500 to Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. (“you can look back at some of the previous times when there was no industrialization, you had these different ages, ice ages, and things warming”).



    h/t Stacy Mitchell and Grist

  68. December 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Cordray fails 53 to 45, with 1 present.


  69. December 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    53-45 filibuster! Now, onto the next filibuster the tax cut deal.
    Right after senator lee gives a speech demanding a balanced budget amendment. Ugh. Congress is broken!

  70. December 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Sow seeds, not greed: Farmers gather on Wall Street
    6 Dec 2011 7:00 PM

    It’s been a long time since farmers congregated in downtown Manhattan — around 350 years, to be exact. The folks who populate Wall Street and rural America don’t cross paths much these days. It’s easy to forget that Wall Street used to be rural America; in 1644, the area contained so many cows that the Dutch colonists had to erect a cattle guard to keep them from straying. Livestock farmers literally established the boundaries of Wall Street. That all changed this past Sunday, though, when a group of farmers from around the country marched to Zuccotti Park accompanied by their allies: food justice activists, community gardeners, and other advocates for a more equitable, ecologically sound, re-localized food system.

    Speakers included: Karen Washington, urban farmer and the founder of City Farms Markets, who grew up just blocks away from the community garden; Mike Callicrate, a Colorado rancher and a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the world’s largest beef packer; Severine von Tscharner Fleming, the filmmaker behind Greenhorns and a farmer who’s worked tirelessly to promote the young farmer movement; Jalal Sabur, a founding member of the Freedom Food Alliance, which unites black urban communities with black rural farmers; renowned permaculture expert Andrew Faust; Jim Goodman, a Wisconsin dairy farmer who organized a “tractorcade” to Madison earlier this year to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation; and Jim Gerritsen, a Maine organic farmer who is president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Monsanto.*



    h/t Kerry Trueman

  71. December 8, 2011 at 11:13 am


    PBO to make a statement about Cordray 11:30AM EST

  72. December 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I think the congress has to recess at end of year, even if it is for a few hours(they cannot keep it open to blockk recess appt).
    Apparently, Teddy Roosevelt did a recess appt at that time.
    I wonder if the President will try this with Cordray?

  73. 210 rikyrah
    December 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

    House Passes Bill To Grant Congress Veto Power Over White House Rules
    A bill that would give the controlling party of either chamber of Congress veto power over any major new regulation passed the House of Representatives Wednesday.

    The measure, dubbed the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny — or REINS — Act, would require Congress to sign off on any new rule estimated to cost more than $100 million. It passed 241 to 184, with a handful of Democrats crossing the aisle.

    The REINS Act is only the latest of a slew of bills aimed at peeling back regulations, which House Republicans have pushed for in the name of cutting red tape and freeing up businesses. The GOP sees the regulations as overbearing rulemaking by unelected bureaucrats.

    “Who do the regulators answer to? No one,” said Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) in debate on the House floor.


  74. 214 Linda
    December 8, 2011 at 11:19 am

    “Title 18, Part I, Chapter 29, Section 599 of the U.S. Code:

    “Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointmen­t, or the use of his influence or support for the appointmen­t of any person to any public or private position or employment­, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”


    Did Newt break the law by saying he would offer Bolton a job yesterday ?

    • December 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Probably not in that Bolton didn’t even know about it and never talked to Newt about it. The quoted law seems to be saying he couldn’t trade a promise for Sec State for Bolton to then come out and endorse him. There was really no deal made, just Newt spouting off.

  75. 217 Slimjim
    December 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hi can someone tell me or post a link to where I can read up on when this 60 vote requirement in the senate was instituted. Thanks

  76. December 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Emboldened By Our Silence, GOP Tyrants Are Coming For The Children
    Written by: Rmuse
    December 8, 2011

    For decades, Republicans assailed the poor and minorities with impunity and although there were, and still are, some decent Americans who spoke out about the injustice perpetrated by Republicans, there was a stunning silence from most of America; most of America that claims Christianity as their religion.

    For the past three years, one man has had the courage to speak out against Republican inequities and for his valiant efforts, he has been labeled a Socialist, Communist, Nazi, and any other demeaning label the Republican propaganda machine could devise.

    On Tuesday, President Obama made a stand for the people, and if the good American people (an oxymoron) had banded together and spoke out against Republican policies put in play during Reagan’s presidency, this country may have avoided the economic disaster the Bush-Republicans caused with unnecessary wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and deregulation frenzy.

    Republicans know no bounds in assailing the American people and it is refreshing to see the populist opposition to Republican tyranny. However, it is shameful that it took an assault on the middle class to provoke the brilliant uprising against corporate greed and conservative policies that created the income inequality destroying American democracy.

    If this country manages to survive Republicans’ thirty year economic and social tyranny, it will be because the people finally found some courage and spoke out. This country’s last line of defense against Republican tyranny is the people’s voices and votes, and now that the President has articulated what good Americans should have said thirty years ago, there is no reason anyone should remain silent.



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