28
Dec
11

rise and shine

Sea Life Park, Waimanalo, Hawaii

****

Am I the last person to see this?

Steve Benen: I not only cringed watching it, at times I really wanted to just look away.

(Me too).

****


335 Responses to “rise and shine”


  1. 1 ChristiMtl
    December 28, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Ohhhh lovely pictures! Thanks Chips…good morning everyone.

  2. 4 Ceb
    December 28, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Good morning, Chips!

    What beautiful photos to wake up to.

    Have a great day.

  3. 5 AJ
    December 28, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Second…does that count? 😉 Good morning, all, by the way…!

  4. 10 Linda
    December 28, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Good Morning !

    Who is that cutie in the back with the pigtails ?

    • 11 isonprize
      December 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Marty Nesbitt is holding her, so I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s his daughter. Just guessing though…

  5. 12 Proud Former White House Intern
    December 28, 2011 at 7:22 am

    This is adorable family fun in the sun. What an awesome birthday gift seeing the first family receive some much needed r&r! Good morning TOD family.

  6. December 28, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Good. I’m early enough to say good morning! That hardly ever happens. It looks like that pigtail cutie might belong to Marty Nesbitt, you think?

    Looks like they are all having fun. Let’s hope that keeps on keepin’ on and nothing distracts POTUS from vacation.

  7. 35 ChristiMtl
    December 28, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I can see on twitter that Chris Matthews is on MJ….I can just imagine what the conversation is all about…..yuck!

    • December 28, 2011 at 7:37 am

      Gooooooood Morning Chipssssss and the TOD Fam….sipping my coffee…munching on raisiin toast….

      in the last thread Donna wrote a post …giving us 4 points of engagement for 2012….worth reading….there is a lil something for everyone to do….

      have a splendiferousssssss day….

  8. 37 dotster3
    December 28, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Are Ed Rendell and Tweety on Romney’s campaign staff? Both are sickening on MJ, saying suburban voters are going to flock to Romney because he isn’t “scary” etc. etc. etc. Rendell was going on and on about it, with a smirk, as if he was still shilling for Hillary, vs. Obama, and Tweety was nodding and drooling and smiling in agreement. No need for Romney spokesmen, media doing a fine job for them for free!

    • 38 Linda
      December 28, 2011 at 7:33 am

      They just talk to each other….they are all in the same bubble.

    • December 28, 2011 at 7:48 am

      Fast Eddie didn’t have much of a reputation left at the end of his two-terms as governor and it looks as if he’s trying to burn his last remnants of good will. If he thinks he’ll be rewarded by a Romney administration for this toadying, he’s smoking something. He’ll simply be regarded as a hack, which is what he is. Someone in the Obama administration must have given him the cold shoulder on something because he’s way over the line and is losing allies by the minute. His “friend”, Bob Casey isn’t going to appreciate this backstabbing of the president. Would love to know how much money is flowing into the Rendell coffers from the Romney guys for Rendell’s betrayal of his party,

      • 40 L3
        December 28, 2011 at 7:56 am

        He was on NOW yesterday and when he prefaced his statement with the lie, “you know I am an unabashed supporter of the President…”, I turned the channel because I knew he was about to say something I wouldn’t like. He is so transparent. He thinks if he says he supports PBO that he can get away with criticizing him because we’ll all accept it as tough love or friendly advice.

        • 41 dotster3
          December 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

          He’s one of those “real dedicated” Obama supporters who always follow their vows of support with a big “but”—–and that’s where their truth lies—-in what follows the “but”——always a long list of grievances, which they have no qualms about airing and spreading at every opportunity.

          • 42 jacquelineoboomer
            December 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

            I accused Chuck Toad of always using the “but” after he’d say something good about the President – also sent the same message to Andrea Mitchell (last year, when I was still watching both of them). Both denied it, saying some idiotic thing like fair and balanced. Right – go work for Fox, you fair-and-balanced MSNBC hacks!

            Other than that mini rant, good morning, TOD family! Beautiful, cold, sunny day here in Illinois!

    • 43 ChristiMtl
      December 28, 2011 at 7:55 am

      He is a PUMA and he’ll always be a PUMA, like Joan Walsh….another regular on the pretend left leaning network owned by Comcast.

      This is the reason why he got that job. These PUMAS are not supporters of the President and never will. I can understand somewhat being disappointed if your candidate didn’t win, but when it’s the same party? And after 3 years? The same bitterness and resentment, …….It would be interesting to know what the real reason is……

      It’s not normal behavior……

      • 44 L3
        December 28, 2011 at 8:04 am

        They are blessed with the luxury of being able to afford to be vindictive. I am going to assume that both of them will do just fine if a Republican becomes president. Their hatred of PBO blinds them to the fact that the rest of us and the country will be screwed so long as they get their revenge.

        Joan had the nerve to try to talk down the recent good economic news on Ed last night, “Well, I’m not sure things are going as well as they seem or if they’ll be that good by the election.” These haters are unbelievable. With them, bad news is terrible news for PBO and good news is bad news for PBO.

      • 47 yfoot58
        December 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

        Christi…

        i often wonder about the same thing…what is up with all this …

      • 48 isonprize
        December 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

        ding ding ding ding!! Plus, there is a reason why we called him “fast Eddie” Bill Clinton is his buddie. Birds of a teather fliock together. Let’s just say there is a reason his wife divorced him pretty much as soon as his term for governonor was over…

      • 49 JoJothecat
        December 28, 2011 at 11:22 am

        Lefties on the teevee, radio and other media make their living complaining about something…anything. The only way they can get face time on teevee is to bash the president.

    • December 28, 2011 at 8:18 am

      Rovian politics. Ain’t nobody on Bucks County going to vote for Romney when they find out he wants to privatize SS.

      And they know that!

      • December 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

        You got it in one, Jovie. Rovian politics.

        • 52 Betsy
          December 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

          Thanks everyone for your helpful information, especially isonprize. Jacquelineoboomer, my daughter loves Philly and is planning to make a life there. She’s an aspiring musical theater artist (singer, actor and dancer) and hopes to make a living in regional theater. We’ve been to all her shows at her college there in Center City, and look forward to seeing her in her final show there in February. Then after May, it will be onto real life for her. At least she can stay on our health insurance until she gets a job that provides it, thanks to PBO, and she’s being given an extra 2 years of deferment on her student loans by the Obama Administration before she has to start paying them back. She is very thankful and plans to show that appreciation to vote for PBO in November. She also thinks he’s very cool and very intelligent and has great ideas for the future.

      • 54 Betsy
        December 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

        Jovie,
        Do you happen to know if Pennsylvania has any new voter ID laws my daughter should know about. She graduates from college in May, and has lived in Philly these past 3 and a half years. If you don’t know, how can I find out? She wants to vote for PBO and I want to make sure she complies. Thanks.

        • 55 isonprize
          December 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

          Betsy. She can check in at the Obama headquarters at 15th and Chestnut. (there is a Wendy’s on the corner, building entrance is on 15th street) They have all the details.

        • 57 57andFemale
          December 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

          Have her check. Their favorite voter suppression is for students. Anyone with a Republican governor and legislature should seriously check into what voter laws have been enacted.

    • December 28, 2011 at 8:48 am

      Ed can go screw himself. He’s obviously still not over being passed over for a job in the Admin………..bitter much? Ed Rendell and Tweety: two of the biggest wastes of space if I’ve ever seen any.

      • December 28, 2011 at 8:52 am

        Ever since Comcast bought msnbc right after the election…

      • 60 HZ
        December 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

        Good Morning Lisa. I am with you on this one. The time that Ed Rendell and Tweety spend talking about old times and what a great politician these old farts were and are is time wasted.

        The young and old alike who want to move forward with a very capable President that we already have in our presence is moving on as well.

        Ed and Tweety are two very insecure people who are still angry that they can’t roam around the WH. Plain and simple. HZ

      • 61 Obama Grandmama
        December 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm

        I still remember during the Primary Campaign in 2008 when then Gov Ed Rendell was telling Sen Obama he had to pay the Districts to have people go out and pass out fliers in their areas. That was how it was done for years (kickback) and sending out his own volunteers would not work. Hillary of course paid and BO did not. He just sent out the OFA volunteers. Gov Rendell seemed really mad about that at that time and never seemed to fully embrace PBO.

        • 62 isonprize
          December 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm

          OG, When Rendell was gov, and Michael Nutter was in his first term as mayor, they endorsed Hillary. And tried to enforce rules about city workers not working on campaigns. (which really does make sense, when you think about it.) But the beauty of it was, since candidate Obama had pretty much an all volunteer “staff” they couldn’t tell workers that they couldn’t volunteer!!! It was such a WIN!!!

  9. 63 Proud Former White House Intern
    December 28, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Ok I might ten minutes late on this topic but that is one weird video. I feel sorry for those people.

    • 64 lovingandlaughing
      December 28, 2011 at 7:59 am

      I am afraid to watch that video. I think it might give me nightmares!

      • 65 a4alice
        December 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

        I’m with you on that one L&L. Just looking at it I can feel the misery oozing from it. blech.

        On the other hand, ahhhhhh look it’s warm where they are they got their flip flops on and their t-shirts…. nice….. warm…..tropical……

        Mornin TOD

        • 66 Proud Former White House Intern
          December 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

          As a person that spent several years singing in the honors choir this video offends me but it is ok let them play because OFA is always on the job.

        • December 28, 2011 at 8:59 am

          The MSM will be all over the President wearing flip flops in public today.

          • 68 hopefruit2
            December 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

            and they are lurking here for pics I’m sure!

          • 69 HZ
            December 28, 2011 at 10:41 am

            Morning Jackie. Hope you are doing fine. Jackie, you are speaking truth, but remember none of them will NEVER look as relaxed and fine in a pair like our President. At least he is wearing them on his feet where they belong rather than in his mouth where Willard keeps a changing pair of all hues.

            Let them eat their hearts out. Our President is looking rather fine with those well exercised legs. That is what scare these old farts. Live with it guys.

            Love you , Jackie.HZ

            • 70 lovingandlaughing
              December 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

              HZ, that is too funny “at least he is wearing them on his feet where they belong rather than in his mouth where Willard keeps a changing pair of all hues.”

            • December 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

              You are too funny HZ. Our President looks good in anything.

              • 74 HZ
                December 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

                Yes, he does Jackie. Some men just can’t wear shorts, and flip flops at the same time. Plus the tee and the cap!! Come on now. Then to have his two beautiful daughters by his side. What more can you ask for except, our First Lady. This is what ticks these old farts off.

                I have been around a long time, but I have never seen a President looking this trim, active and just plain good and decent fine President. Giving credit where credit is due. Loving being alive during this Presidency. Love you all back so very much. You all lift my spirit and Chips is the best. Thanks so much.HZ

      • December 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

        Watch the video. It’s a great diet tool. After you watch it, you won’t want breakfast.

        • 77 lovingandlaughing
          December 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

          well, that is a good point after all the fudge and cookies and brownies i’ve been eating this holiday season! funny!

    • December 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

      I thought the same thing. Ouch. I bet half of them wind up voting for Obama after this debacle. The other half will just wait for 2016.

  10. 79 conlakappa
    December 28, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Let them enjoy themselves now while Team O isn’t engaged in heavy campaigning/barn storming. They will both look like the callow dolts they are when the election is over, it’s a wider margin than before, and the suburban voters (? why not just say white, if that’s what they mean? Save a keystroke or something) turned out for the President in the same numbers +1 because their children voted the same way. It will give me grist for the mill when I am among such folks on Sunday. They question my strong belief in re-election while I question their flakiness/belief in a mythical R candidate who would have to have been formed from the scraps that are the good bits of the clown car inhabitants.

  11. 80 mtmarilyn
    December 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Good morning Chips and TOD family! What beautiful pictures to wake up too. So glad to see they are having a good time. They all need the time for fun and laughter. Next year is going to be hard faught. When will they rerun to DC?

  12. 81 halo
    December 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

    RENDELL IS A CLINTON SHILL! FUCK HIM FOR SAYING OBAMA ISN”T “COMPETENT!”

    • December 28, 2011 at 9:27 am

      This whole complaint of PBO not being competent really seems to be a Karl Rove kind of thing. Our president is far more competent than any we’ve had in decades. It’s also amazing that all of these Hillary Clinton supporters can’t get over the 20087 primaries–especially since Hillary Clinton herself has been one of his strongest allies. I’d say she’s right up there after Joe Biden.

    • December 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

      It’s only Rendell. Nobody cares. Everybody knows he’s been crying sourgrapes since 2009. When The President wins re-election folks like Rendell are headed for obscurity.

    • 86 anniebella
      December 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Did that bastard Rendell really say that? He has some nerve, with friends like these who need enemies? This is the very reason why POTUS and FLOTUS doesn’t associate with that political crowd, the Obamas have their friends they know they can count on.

  13. 88 dotster3
    December 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

    In the odd news of the day dept., former Sen. Arlen Spector is now a comedian on the comedy club circuit???? What???
    http://globegazette.com/news/national/arlen-specter-gets-laughs-at-philly-comedy-club/article_aa80f83c-f5f9-56b6-9865-f41b5f59df11.html

  14. December 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

    You all notice, it is a slow news day whenever the President is on vacation?
    The MSM is so obsessed with the President, that when he goes on vacation, they don’t know what to do with themselves.

    • 92 Bill
      December 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Jovie, you are so correct. Your point is the reason I do not understand why the press is favoring Willard who would bore the MSM and everyone else to death if he were president. As Gail Collins asked yesterday, do we want to hang out with Romney for the next four years?

      • 93 hopefruit2
        December 28, 2011 at 9:08 am

        I don’t know whether the MSM favors Romney for President per se, as much as they favor him to be the GOP nominee to keep the elections as close as possible. There are specific individuals in the media punditry circuit who may favor a generic white male candidate but I think they are bored with Romney and will probably find fault with him once he becomes the nominee and they realize that he will NOT help their ratings if he does get elected.

      • 95 lovingandlaughing
        December 28, 2011 at 10:52 am

        The answer to that question is a huge Noooooooooooooooooo! There certainly would never in all possibility be a “Willard Dairy” with millions and millions of hits!

    • December 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      ‘when he goes on vacation, they don’t know what to do with themselves.’

      You know, that might be the very reason they gripe so much about his vacations! Too lazy to research pertinent issues etc, they choose instead to harass the President with GOP nonsense and criticize his initiatives without doing background investigating. That makes so much sense as a description of their MO, Jovie.

  15. 99 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

    and, what beautiful pics of POTUS and his girls.

    • 100 hopefruit2
      December 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

      Morning rikyrah, Chips and TOD family!

      My President is happiest when he’s with FLOTUS and/or his girls.

      • December 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

        Please excuse my manners, Chips. Good Morning to you Chips. I know better. I saw something and rushed over to Twitter to speak my ‘early’ mind. That is the one that makes trouble.

        However, I had to say, ‘Good Morning to my Chipsticks and my TOD Family. I hope that all is well with our family today. It is a beautiful day out here as well.

        Let us be thankful and get to work. I am going to be good, but Chips that second photo is just lovely. I love seeing POB smiling with his girls. He is so happy when he is with his ladies, Malia, Sasha and ofcourse, our First Lady. Relax, Mr. President. We will hold down the clowns for you. Enjoy you vacation!!!!! HZ

  16. 102 dotster3
    December 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Kinda laughed at PBO’s statement re. Nelson retiring—–‘Michelle and I commend him for his service and wish him well’. Nothing more to be said—-thanks–(for nothing)—-bye bye.

    • 103 Ceb
      December 28, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Talk about damned with faint praise; this says it all about what PBO thinks about Nelson. Ouch!

    • December 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

      If you have nothing nice to say….LOL. Nelson was a real pain in the ass.

    • 107 Obama Grandmama
      December 28, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      Lawrence O’Donnell mentioned Ben Nelson’s retirement announcement yesterday saying it would be hard to get a Democrat voted in his place in NE. He said inspite of his DINO status he voted some 80+% with the Dems while a Rep would only be 8% with the Dems. I was surprised to hear the 80% figure included but thought that did not reflect the watering down effect required to even get his vote in the first place. Also have heard the PL radio commentators talk of getting a real progressive in there running instead of a moderate. If the area is very Republican wouldn’t that just mean a big loss instead of a closer race?

      • December 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

        The PL never lift a finger to actually get someone elected. They just bark orders from the sidelines, and then wait for someone else to make it happen. Then, they withdraw their support from whomever makes it in there, giving them enough ammunition to attack the person as not doing anything worthwhile or progressive enough. Alternatively, they praise the loudmouths who make a lot of noise, make good TV, but achieve nothing – like Feingold, Sanders, Weiner, Grayson – loud, but utterly ineffective.

      • December 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm

        A progressive or moderate Democrat could make it a clear choice. In 2010 Blanche Lincoln, a Blue Dog, was up for reelection in Arkansas. Her numbers were terrible, but she was supported by the DNC because she was the incumbent. She ran against Democrat Lt. Gov. Bill Halter who was actually a moderate/progressive and had better polling numbers against the GOP candidate John Boozman. Blanche had to have a runoff in the primary against Halter because it was close and only beat him about 4 pt in the primary. She was trounced by Boozman as the polls had been showing all along.

        The message for 2010 for me is that when people want a real Tea Party conservative they will vote for one. Blue Dogs that try to act like Tea Party were voted out for the most part. The Democrats need to show there is a clear choice, whether they are truly moderate or not, they need to show there is a true choice and not act like Tea Party lite. A true progressive like Russ Feingold in WI didn’t make it, but I think a strong, honest moderate Democrat might pull it off, and could certainly help the Democratic party in that state. I’m in Indiana and the Democratic party in this state has been on it’s knees. It’s not just a matter of winning, it’s building the base and educating voters at the same time.

  17. 110 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011
    Moving Forward At Your Own Perry-il, Part 13
    Posted by Zandar

    I’m not 100% sure I have the gist of things here, but it looks to me that Rick Perry is trying to energize his all but dead campaign for President by saying “Vote for me, I’ll remove the checks and balances on the Oval Office!”

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s latest campaign advertisement in Iowa calls for a part-time Congress and knocks four fellow GOP presidential hopefuls who’ve served there.

    “If Washington’s the problem, why trust a congressman to fix it? Among them, they’ve spent 63 years in Congress, leaving us with debt, earmarks, and bailouts. Congressmen get $174,000 a year and you get the bill,” an announcer in the 30-second ad says.

    A recent Gallup poll found that more Americans are dissatisfied with Congress than ever before. The governing body is now set to end 2011 with the lowest one-time approval rating in its history: 11 percent. Their annual average for 2011 came to a whopping 17 percent, which is also the lowest ever recorded.

    “Gov. Perry is the only Washington outsider in this race. He has never served in Washington or been an establishment favorite,” Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan explained in a statement.

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2011/12/moving-forward-at-your-own-perry-il.html

  18. 111 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011
    Capitalism: Working As Intended
    Posted by Zandar

    Chris Hayes mentioned this Steve Waldman post at Interfluidity on banking, capitalism, and the game theory behind why proper investment, the lifeblood of any capitalist system, requires good ol’ fashioned lying to really work well:

    Like so many good con-men, bankers make themselves believed by persuading each and every investor individually that, although someone might lose if stuff happens, it will be someone else. You’re in on the con. If something goes wrong, each and every investor is assured, there will be a bagholder, but it won’t be you. Bankers assure us of this in a bunch of different ways. First and foremost, they offer an ironclad, moneyback guarantee. You can have your money back any time you want, on demand. At the first hint of a problem, you’ll be able to get out. They tell that to everyone, without blushing at all. Second, they point to all the other people standing in front of you to take the hit if anything goes wrong. It will be the bank shareholders, or it will be the government, or bondholders, the “bank holding company”, the “stabilization fund”, whatever. There are so many deep pockets guaranteeing our bank! There will always be someone out there to take the loss. We’re not sure exactly who, but it will not be you! They tell this to everyone as well. Without blushing.

    And instinctively, we understand that capitalism is a zero-sum game: as Guy sang it in the theme from New Jack City, “Somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose.” We get that. We don’t want to actually believe that, as Doug J and Charles Pierce remind us. But we instinctively get that.

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2011/12/capitalism-working-as-intended.html

  19. 112 hopefruit2
    December 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

  20. 114 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Political AnimalBlog
    December 27, 2011 3:40 PM
    The ‘progressive’ question Romney won’t answer
    By Steve Benen

    A couple of weeks ago, a pretty damaging video of Mitt Romney in 2002 started making the rounds. At the time, the then-gubernatorial candidate told a local news station, “I think people recognize that I’m not a partisan Republican, that I’m someone who is moderate. My views are progressive.”

    Because Romney’s rivals are either incompetent or broke — or I suppose in some cases, both — the revelation didn’t really go anywhere. But some Republicans heard about it anyway, and on Fox News this morning, Romney’s press secretary, Andrea Saul, was asked about the 2002 quote. She replied:


    Anyone that wants to know how Governor Romney would govern — they need to look no further than his record in Massachusetts. Everything he did was as a conservative.”

    The Fox host followed up, asking, “If he’s as conservative as you say, then why did he call himself a ‘moderate’ and ‘progressive’?” Saul added:

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_12/the_progressive_question_romne034348.php

  21. 120 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Apparently, the Economy Isn’t Going to Hell in a Handbasket
    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 3:06 PM

    This is what the President’s opponents were afraid of:

    An improving job outlook helped the Consumer Confidence Index soar to the highest level since April and near a post-recession peak, according to a monthly survey by The Conference Board.

    The second straight monthly surge coincided with a decent holiday shopping season for retailers, though stores had to heavily discount to attract shoppers. […]

    The Conference Board, a private research group, said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose almost 10 points to 64.5 in December, up from a revised 55.2 in November. Analysts had expected 59. The level is close to the post-recession high of 72, reached in February.

    Combine that with the news from earlier in December that according to the Household survey (as opposed to the employer survey), 1.28 million jobs were created in the last four months along with a lower cost of financing the US debt (we are drawing more bids for every dollar sold in bonds and treasuries than ever thanks to investors flocking to US treasuries as the safest investment), and the economy might indeed not be heeding the dire warnings of the Republican party and falling off a cliff due to the infamous “spending problem.”

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/12/apparently-economy-isnt-going-to-hell.html

  22. 121 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2011 at 9:14 am

    THANK YOU CHIPS FOR THE AWESOME PIX OF PBO AND FAMILY…HAVING SUCH A WONDERFULLY,WELL DESERVED AND RELAXING TIME. I LIKE THE ISLAND SNOW ON PBO’S T-SHIRT!…:) THEY ALL LOOK SO HAPPY! BYE,BYE…STINKY DC!

  23. December 28, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Welcome Home Michael Anderson.

    This video is heartwarming.

  24. 126 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:17 am

    President Obama Plays The GOP Yet Again
    by Zandar

    Republicans are preparing to go into full OUTRAGE MODE over the Obama Administration’s request to the Treasury to raise the debt ceiling another $1.2 trillion. The debt ceiling deal worked out earlier this year gives the Republicans a chance to pass a resolution of disapproval, but the President would have to sign the resolution after it somehow passed a Democratically-controlled Senate in order to stop the debt ceiling hike. In other words, there’s nothing the Republicans can really do other than complain loudly.

    Except President Obama has outfoxed the elephants once again: the GOP may not even get the chance to do that much, because they’re on winter break until January 17. Brian Beutler explains:


    The key issue is the 15-day deadline Congress has to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the President’s request to raise the debt ceiling. The timing of the administration’s planned certification implies that the 15 days would be up before Congress returns in January from its holiday recess. Whether this was an accident or not, we’re told that the calendar issue created a behind-the-scenes mess — with Republicans threatening to return early from recess — and that the administration is trying to figure out a way to keep it from spilling out into the public.

    I’ve reached out to the administration for further guidance on both questions. It’s still unclear whether this was a hardball political move, a dumb mistake, or just a misunderstanding — or what, if anything, can be done to avoid a public clash with the GOP over the timing.

    If you ask me, President Obama’s got them by the short hairs. Again.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/12/28/president-obama-plays-the-gop-yet-again/

    • December 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

      It’s not a mistake – that much you can be sure of. It’s putting Boehner between a rock and a hard place here – his far right teabaggers will want to be called back early to vote on it, but his more moderate members will know it’s pointless and want to keep their vacation intact. Also if they’re called back early it will be much bigger news and the GOP will be called back to block raising the debt ceiling again – which many folks I believe are very tired of that hostage taking debacle, the down grade etc that caused Congress to plummet in polling the first time around. The conversation has changed since that bit of gotcha politics was forced into the agreement by McConnell and Boehner in early August – they thought this would be a tough move for Pres. Obama and Dems – how the GOP would be able to vote against raising it and be seen as the more fiscally responsible while the Dems and specifically Pres. Obama alone would have to raise it. Now it could just as easily be framed as “the extremist House GOP caucus doesn’t want to pay America’s bills”.

      Not to mention it will have to play out in the Republican Presidential primary – you know Bachmann will be against any raise, but what will Romney do/say? If the House GOP are called back early to vote and thus make a big deal out of it, it will certainly become a question all presidential candidates will have to go on record with – either saying it has to be raised in which the GOP House is painted as more extreme or saying they wouldn’t raise it at which point it’s a big attack issue come the general should Romney come out against raising it now. Also the timing of the issue now means it will be in play as an issue for Iowa and NH especially.

      Also worth pointing out is the State of the Union in late January where Pres. Obama will have 25M+ viewers where he can explain what the debt ceiling is and how it’s acccrued debt and not new spending and how irresponsible it would be not to raise it.

  25. 129 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

    JUST TO MAKE SURE I HAVE A BETTER DAY…I AM NOT WATCHING THAT VIDEO!..:)

  26. 130 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:21 am

    The Lie Matters: Unearthed Gingrich Divorce Doc Reveals The GOP’s 2012 Problem

    In small Georgia towns, they know you better than they do in big cities.

    This is Newt Gingrich’s problem (in addition to not qualifying for the ballot in Virginia and the new video showing him arguing passionately for the public mandate), because in Carrollton, Georgia, they remember Newt all too well. Specifically, a CNN reporter named Alan Duke who grew up in Carrollton and began his career covering politics in Carrollton — including Newt’s first campaign for office, knows Newt Gingrich and the town all too well for the Gingrich campaign. And that’s how the previously reported “sealed” first Gingrich divorce pleadings were unearthed last Thursday and reported early this morning on CNN.

    It turns out that Gingrich’s first divorce pleadings had been hidden from the public for years, ostensibly locked away in a Carroll County court clerk’s drawer by a now retired county clerk for security reasons (as an aside, small southern towns also tend to protect their own from the glaring eyes of outsiders).

    Small towns keep secrets but they also function with surprising swiftness when the parties inquiring know the people who know the secrets. Thus, seemingly at the request of the reporter who grew up in Carrollton, the current clerk picked up the phone and called the retired clerk who told him where to find the secured Gingrich divorce pleadings.

    This unearthed file tells a story in black and white that is quite different from the story the Gingrich campaign is selling about his first divorce. The Gingrich campaign tells us that Jackie Gingrich wanted this divorce.

    http://www.politicususa.com/en/gingrich-divorce-truth

  27. 131 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Rick Perry Sues Virginia Republicans Over Ballot Access

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who along with Newt Gingrich didn’t submit the required number of signatures to petition to make it onto the Virginia Republican presidential primary ballot, is taking the fight for ballot access to federal court.

    In a release sent late Tuesday, Perry’s campaign announced it has filed suit against the Republican Party of Virginia and the state board of elections in the Eastern District of Virginia over what the campaign claims is a ballot access statute that “limits the rights of voters to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

    The Perry suit claims Virginia’s entire statutory scheme for getting on the presidential primary ballot is constitutionally flawed, but it zeros in on the state’s ban on the use of out-of-state petition circulators to gather signatures. Perry argues that the requirement that petition circulators be either registered voters in Virginia or eligible to vote in Virginia is what prevented him from gathering the necessary number of signatures.

    “Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election,” Perry spokesperson Ray Sullivan said in a statement. “We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot, and we hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support.”

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/rick-perry-sues-virginia-republicans-over-ballot-access.php?ref=fpb

  28. 140 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Dec 27
    Mitt Romney: The Real Austerity Candidate
    By Charles P. Pierce at 12:17PM

    Over the holidays, Willard Romney has been seeking once again to define himself, a job that is very similar to that undertaken by the people who renovate old country homes. The first thing you have to do is to tear down the accumulated improvements and renovations of the past 40 or 50 years, and get back down to the basic intent of the original architects. (Maybe changing the solarium into a replica of the Jungle Room at Graceland back in ’62 wasn’t the smartest move in the world.) So, basically, Willard is taking the sledge and the pry-bar to everything he’s done politically since he bum-rushed his way into the governor’s chair in Massachusetts to reveal the original moral architecture of Willard Romney, International Man of Privilege.

    And, yeah, it turns out he’s pretty much a smug, arrogant, and, yes, entitled rich kid who divides the world mentally into two kinds of people — himself and The Help. Lately, he’s been sounding a new theme in his campaign to be our national CFO. He’s railing against what he calls President Obama’s attempts to turn the United States into “an entitlement society.” (This charge, of course, coming as it does from a guy whose gifts as a liar are as rudimentary as his skills as a demagogue, is utterly false, but let’s all be big-boy pundits and pretend for a while that truth isn’t necessarily ever the point.) What is important is how easily Romney has managed to slide into the essential character of the most rabid evening-drive radio morons on your dial. Willard Romney has never known a day of peril in his life. He grew up with a silver spoon lodged so deeply in his gums that he had his baby teeth until he was 25. He did his Mormon mission in Provence, for the love of god. He moved onto a lucrative career in predatory capital. If, as was said, George W. Bush was born on third base and thought he hit a triple, then Willard Romney was born in the dugout with four runs in, nobody out, and the bases loaded.

    Comes now this pure piece of manufactured product, this vacant replicant of American plutocracy, to lecture a country in the middle of a fragile recovery from an economic disaster brought on by the other soulless replicants on the topics of our vanishing work ethic, and the great moral cleansing power of onrushing poverty. And, because he cares less about the country he’s planning to lead than he does about the next nickel he can squeeze out of it, he’s doing so with rhetoric that owes more to George Wallace than it does to George Romney, who was a decent Republican in the days before greasy-beaked vultures like his spalpeen hijacked the party. (Which is pretty much what E.J. Dionne was saying recently.) Willard is working the old poor-people-are-robbing-you-blind melodeon again while his real targets are anyone who receives any kind of federal government assistance of any kind whatsoever. And don’t fall for the old “states do it better” dodge. Willard knows full good and well that the states can’t carry this kind of load, either, and that the costs will just get passed down to lower and lower levels of government until nobody can pay for anything, and the programs that he’d like to see eliminated because it will help him get elected simply disappear.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/mitt-romney-anti-entitlement-strategy-6626268#ixzz1hq67fUoB

  29. December 28, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Good Morning TOD family

    So far, this is one Clinton I don’t mind watching….

    Chelsea Clinton Reports on Miracle Worker for Kids in Rural Arkansas

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/12/chelsea-clinton-reports-on-miracle.html

    The woman featured in this story is making such a difference in the lives of young people.

    • 147 57andFemale
      December 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

      Chelsea the hedge fund manager? No,l I don’t think she had to open a clinic in Costa Rica after college, but hedge fund manager? Seriously?

      I am heartened to see that she has a progressive soul and is using her powerful name for good.

    • 148 Obama Grandmama
      December 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      During the 2008 Primary I remember when Hillary told the story of when she and Chelsea had to run for their lives when debarking the flight with bullets flying around them. It was proven to be a lie with videos of herself and Chelsea being presented on the airstrip with flowers by a group of children. Maybe it was in Bosnia. Anyhow, I remember prior to the video being released Hillary having Chelsea back up her story. I was appalled when the truth came out that she had engaged her daughter in covering up for her and wondered at the time if Chelsea would value truth or not in her own life?

  30. 149 Linda
    December 28, 2011 at 9:40 am

    2011 The Year of the Recall !

    150+ Recall Elections… 17 States… 84 Officials Ousted

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-spivak-recall-20111227,0,894634.story

    Next year may be an even bigger one for recalls. Nationally, there are more than 100 active recall petitions seeking signatures, and 22 have already been scheduled in 2012. Most notably, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is likely to be only the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall vote.

  31. December 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

    If it is chilly where you live this story will be especially poignant

    600,000 Homes Weatherized Ahead of Schedule

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/12/600000-homes-weatherized-ahead-of.html

  32. December 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

    My pug, jenny, just because I made her get off the couch, sneaked up to my room and made a mess on my bed today.

    Vengeful bitch.

  33. 154 debbyeOh
    December 28, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Good morning TOD fam…I loved the beautiful pics of our President and his very lovely daughters! I’m in the doldrums today. Not sure why: post-holiday blues or just tired of all the coverage of all those GOP losers. Man, I can’t wait until one of those clowns are picked so we can know who exactly we’re fighting! I’ll come back later to see some more pics and check with you great guys later…maybe my mood will improve later. 😦

    • 155 desertflower
      December 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

      Maybe you need to go for a walk in the fresh air 🙂 Do something that you can get so involved in , that it takes your mind completely off whatever is bothering you now…..or put some great music on….and dance like nobody’s watching!

  34. 156 Julie
    December 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Well I for one would relish the notion of Mittens getting the nom. Come on over to Michigan mittens, so we can thank you properly for your “support”of the American auto industry. I will personally get out there to give that wretched man a very special hello.

    In sunnier news, love the pics of the Obama’s enjoying vacation! Loved all the comments too! I agree with you guys about Matthews, what an ass.

    Julier

  35. December 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

    This next story is very powerful, be sure and watch the video. The mother of a Iraq veteran credits meditation with saving her son’s life. Good to see folks looking for “non-traditional” techniques to help with PTSD

    Teaching veterans to meditate

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/12/teaching-veterans-to-meditate.html

  36. 158 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    December 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

    MY GOSH…THOSE GIRLS ARE GROWING UP SO FAST…CAN’T KEEP UP. I WONDER IF THEY’VE BEEN DIGGING IN TO THAT HAWAIIAN ICE YET! FRANKLY…THERE IS SOME YELLOW SNOW IN MY BACKYARD BUT IT’S NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION! GEE…THANKS NOAH!..:)))))))

  37. 160 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

    As if we needed to be reminded of the harm and ineptness…..and shear selfishness of House Republicans. A list!

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/a-year-of-living-dangerously—-a-look-back-at-the-gops-2011-strategy-and-its-consequences.php?ref=fpa

  38. 163 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

    From TPM: Yeah, If it’s Romney…these folks will be coming out of the woodwork! And rightfully so!

    Bain Layoff Victim Attacks Romney
    Rudy Johnson, a labor organizer who was laid off in 1992 by Ampad, a company run by Bain Capital under Mitt Romney, took to the press this week to condemn Romney’s business record. In an interview with ABC News, Johnson recounted the horror of downsizing at his Marion, Indiana factory.

    “It was really one of the worst things I think I’ve had to deal with, because people … were at my desk crying, ‘What do I do? I don’t have a good college education… I just wanted to get to retirement,’” Johnson said. “Families were devastated. In some cases, the husband and the wife both worked there. They lost all their income. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

    Johnson also told his story during Romney’s 1994 Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy, which Romney ended up losing. Expect to see plenty of tales like his come general election season.

  39. 169 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Emily’s List has created a scorecard of where GOP candidates stand on women’s issues. It’s NOT PRETTY! What a surprise…

    http://emilyslist.org/scorecard/

  40. 172 PoliticalJunkessa
    December 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Look at those gorgeous girls! Nice to be so well loved ♥ ♥ ♥ .

    • 173 lovingandlaughing
      December 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

      I know I was thinking the same. They are so loved by their parents and they know it…how lucky is that? They happen to have two of the coolest parents on earth as well. What blessed girls.

      • 174 vitaminlover
        December 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

        Yes, landl, they do know that they are loved by their parents. Malia can’t fake that smile. And the hand-holding is as natural for them as breathing. Yes they are very well blessed.

  41. 175 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/12/28/395498/rick-perry-oppose-abortion-rape-incest/

    Perry joined Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum at the screening of The Gift Of Life, a pro-life film produced by Citizens United, in Iowa last month. Though the 61 year-old Texas Governor had long supported allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest before yesterday, Perry said the movie prompted a change of heart and he now opposed abortions without exceptions for rape or incest.

    • 176 Dudette
      December 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

      I bet Rick Perry can’t spell “p-a-n-d-e-r”.

    • 177 jacquelineoboomer
      December 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      Yeah, right, Perry – unless it’s your family member who’s a victim of rape or incest. Oh, and, by the way – if you’re making all of your life decisions based on seeing films, please don’t share any of it with us.

    • December 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      These right wingers are always so keen to tout their love of life. But, in the next breath, they pledge to make life harder for those who choose life. They want to cut social programs that would help young parents or single mothers to care for their kids. They want to end hunger programs that help to provide good meals for less-fortunate children. They want to end homeless programs, Medicaid, unemployment assistance. They want to stop the First Lady from ending food deserts in poorer or remote areas, and educating parents on better food choices for their children. They don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood, which can provide birth control to prevent unplanned pregnancies, and also provide health services for women. They want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would give certainty of health care to millions of these single, young and/or poor families, and help them care for their children. The don’t want sex education in schools.

      So, it’s all fine and dandy for them to denounce abortion, as though anyone in the world supports abortion, rather than the right of a woman to choose what to do with her own body. It’s another thing altogether to provide a number of options for a woman and/or couple that make it easier for them to make that choice – whether it be keeping the baby, or giving it up for adoption, or choosing an abortion.

      It might also be more credible if these same “Christians” weren’t touting “choose life” in one breath, and then screaming for endless wars in the next breath.

  42. 179 Linda
    December 28, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Teehee.

    HP has a ” Live Updates ” thread going for NEXT WEEKS IOWA CAUCUS already. Does TeaNN have their COUNTDOWN clock set up already too.

    This country has become absurd.

    • 180 dotster3
      December 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

      I am so bored with most of the political discourse presently, so tired and nauseated by all the focus on the horrible, soulless (that is a great adjective for Romney) crazy Repub candidates. So much pointless hullabaloo—promoting this one and then that one and then that one and then this one again!—-in their desperate search for someone who can stand on the same stage with Obama. Tiring and irritating, and I think a poll showed a great majority of the public is ready to wrap it up also.

  43. 181 lovingandlaughing
    December 28, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Well, I just finally gathered up enough strength and I decided to watch the newt supporters singing video and to my surprise it has been removed from Youtube! Guess I missed it.

  44. 192 bjw2
    December 28, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I saw the viideo before it was removed and have to say, that was the worst campaign ad for a candidate in the history of campaign ads!!!

    • 193 lovingandlaughing
      December 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Wow bjw2, that is some endorsement: “the worst campaign ad for a candidate in the history of campaign ads!” Now I am sorta sorry I missed it. Surely it’ll resurface, right?

    • 194 defytheodds
      December 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      I agree-the worst…, the video was unoriginal, very corny, and fake. It looked like something Willard would do.

  45. 195 Dudette
    December 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Well, well, well… it appears Mitt has ramped up the delusion factor in his speeches. Check out some of the crap he had the nerve to spew in his “closing argument” speech, insulting both the President and VP.
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/romney-pivots-attacks-biden-during-closing-argument-speech-to-iowans/

    I can’t wait to see this jerk’s ass get handed to him in the general election, if indeed, the Repugs are desperate enough to nominate him.

    • 196 defytheodds
      December 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      I don’t think Willard wants to mess with Joe. And, I’ll bet Willard 10k that our VP will win this battle.

    • 197 isonprize
      December 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Joey will eat Mitt for lunch. EWWW,, strike that. I like Joey too much. Let’s just say that nobody messes with Joey. NOBODY.

  46. December 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Good Morning, Chips & TODville! I was trying to make it in before noon, but got caught ‘in traffic’. 😉 Hope you are all having a lovely day. THANKS for the family pics, Chips Chica. I can always count on you to start the day with a bang!

    Hope YOU are also having a lovely vacation. Any barefoot or bathing suit pictures of your vacation to share? 😆

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    For what it’s (not) worth (i.e just for reference), take a look at this

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16348046

    • December 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      So, this character supports completely scrapping corporate income tax? So, the full weight of running businesses in the US will be carried by the workers who make and buy the products? The workers will pay for the roads and rail that carry the products, the laws that ensure the rights of the product owners, the police who keep the cities safe, the schools that educate the workers and the corporations will just reel in the products. They won’t contribute a penny to educating their staff, providing their health care, securing their well-being in their senior years? If anything would drive people to buy from local, small businesses – this should be it.

  47. December 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Time to check in on our TOD family members. Fred came to my mind as I was looking over my little book. Keep Fred in our thoughts today.

    Fred, I pray that your mom is healing and that you are doing fine through it all. You have much love coming from your TOD Family here. Our POTUS would want us to reach out to each other as well.

    Be kind to yourself today, Fred. ((((((((((((((((Healing Hugs))))))))))))))))))HZ

  48. 202 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Romney’s Electability
    by BooMan
    Wed Dec 28th, 2011 at 09:24:25 AM EST

    I think John Hawkins does a pretty good job of explaining why Mitt Romney’s electability is a myth. Yet, with one dubious exception, he doesn’t explain why any of the other candidates would be better suited to win a general election against the President of the United States. That lone exception is Hawkins’ assertion that Romney will underperform in the South in a way that Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich would not. He bases this on Romney’s performance in the primaries in 2008, and on his Mormon religion. I’d argue that the primary results are terrible indicators of general election outcomes. As for the Mormon religion, I don’t know how many evangelical Christians would be more concerned about giving it a giant boost in credibility than they are about Roe v. Wade or gay marriage. I suppose there are some people in that category, but there are a lot of factors that go into choosing a political team. If people are concerned about Romney’s religion, they’d also be concerned about Perry’s competence and Newt’s mental stability and temperament and history of infidelity and…on and on and on.

    Mitt Romney’s greatest asset is that he doesn’t frighten anyone. He doesn’t breath fire. When he throws bombs, they sizzle and fizzle like wet firecrackers. He doesn’t have much of a temper. He’s trained to knock on your door and talk to you about the merits of the Book of Mormon. To do that effectively, you have to eliminate the slightest hint of danger from your persona, and Romney has succeeded. He’s a salesman, and he will adjust his pitch to his customer. In this sense, he’s almost an ideal candidate to throw up against the president. His happy, healthy face masks the sociopathic and irrational movement he seeks to lead. His lack of principles and willingness to turn with the wind make him hard to pin down. He’s slippery.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/comments/2011/12/28/92425/813/0/

    • 203 yfoot58
      December 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Rikyah…..

      as you say……..

      He’s a salesman, and he will adjust his pitch to his customer. In this sense, he’s almost an ideal candidate to throw up against the president. His happy, healthy face masks the sociopathic and irrational movement he seeks to lead. His lack of principles and willingness to turn with the wind make him hard to pin down. He’s slippery.

      THIS IS THE REASON THAT WE CANNOT UNDERESTIMATE…ROMNEY….

    • 204 Cha
      December 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      So who taught mitt romney to be a vicious, lying, nasty, insulting sociopath who throws a $ 10,000 bet around?

      I think he’s a scary as shit and the fact that some call him “one of the sane ones” and “not scary” is the most frightening of all!

    • December 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      I don’t know that I agree with this. I see the desperation on Romney’s face, and the evil lurking in his sunken eyes. He scares me to death, because he has already proven that he has no real moral core. He’s willing to do anything, say anything for power. He doesn’t see people as living people, as evidenced by his “corporations are people, my friend” nonsense, and the cold shoulder he gave the woman on the plane when he was trying to do a photo op. He cannot be trusted. And yet he wants 300 million people’s lives to be in his hands – and seven billion more to bear the consequences of his decisions. There’s nothing scarier.

  49. December 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    In an email to supporters, Gary Johnson’s campaign officially announced that Johnson is leaving his bid for the Republican presidential nomination to seek the Libertarian nomination. In the email, Johnson expressed frustration at how he was treated by the RNC:

    Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. Other candidates with no national name identification like Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman were allowed to participate in the debates… My appeals to the Republican National Chairman for basic fairness were ignored.

    TPM-

  50. December 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Congress Actually Ends Taxpayer Funding Of Ethanol Subsidies
    By John Voelcker

    When the U.S. Congress adjourned for the holidays on Friday, December 23, its departure sealed the fate of subsidized ethanol production. During its session, the Congress did not renew a tax break for U.S. production of corn-based ethanol that had become increasingly unpopular across a wide area of the political spectrum.

    The tax credit amounted to 45 cents per gallon of ethanol that was blended into gasoline. It had been in place since 1980. As The Detroit News reported the next day, by some estimates, total subsidies to the ethanol industry may have reached $45 billion over that period. That is several times the total loans, grants, and tax credits provided thus far to the U.S. electric-car industry.

    ~snip~

    http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/congress-actually-ends-taxpayer-funding-of-ethanol-subsidies.php?ref=fpblg

    h/t Green Car Reports

    • December 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      GOOD! Those corn subsidies for ethanol really hurt the poor in Mexico who depend on corn as a basic part of their diets. Prices for masa and tortillas skyrocketed and there were scarcities because exporting corn for fuel was more profitable and any corn imports cost more.

  51. 210 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I usually would never give a link to Townhall, but I thought this analysis of Willard was actually on the money.

    I no more believe in Willard’s ‘ ELECTABILITY’ than I did Hillary Clinton’s in 2007. And, like Hillary, if you get rid of ‘electability’, ain’t no reason to go with Willard.

    …………………………………………………………………..

    7 Reasons Why Mitt Romney’s Electability Is A Myth

    Mitt Romney was a moderate governor in Massachusetts with an unimpressive record of governance. He left office with an approval rating in the thirties and his signature achievement, Romneycare, was a Hurricane Katrina style disaster for the state. Since that’s the case, it’s fair to ask what a Republican who’s not conservative and can’t even carry his own state brings to the table for GOP primary voters. The answer is always the same: Mitt Romney is supposed to be “the most electable” candidate. This is a baffling argument because many people just seem to assume it’s true, despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary.
    1) People just don’t like Mitt: The entire GOP primary process so far has consisted of Republican voters desperately trying to find an alternative to Mitt Romney. Doesn’t it say something that GOP primary voters have, at one time or another, preferred Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and now even Ron Paul (In Iowa) to Mitt Romney?

    To some people, this is a plus. They think that if conservatives don’t like Mitt Romney, that means moderates will like him. This misunderstands how the process of attracting independent voters works in a presidential race. While it’s true the swayable moderates don’t want to support a candidate they view as an extremist, they also don’t just automatically gravitate towards the most “moderate” candidate. To the contrary, independent voters tend to be moved by the excitement of the candidate’s base (See John McCain vs. Barack Obama for an example of how this works). This is how a very conservative candidate like Ronald Reagan could win landslide victories. He avoided being labeled an extremist as Goldwater was; yet his supporters were incredibly enthusiastic and moderates responded to it.

    Let’s be perfectly honest: Mitt Romney excites no one except for Mormons, political consultants, and Jennifer Rubin. To everybody else on the right, Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama would be a “lesser of two evils” election where we’d grudgingly back Mitt because we wouldn’t lose as badly with him in the White House as we would with Obama. That’s not the sort of thing that gets people fired up to make phone calls, canvass neighborhoods, or even put up “I heart Mitt” signs in their yards.

    2) He’s a proven political loser: There’s a reason Mitt Romney has been able to say that he’s “not a career politician.” It’s because he’s not very good at politics. He lost to Ted Kennedy in 1994. Although he did win the governorship of Massachusetts in 2002, he did it without cracking 50% of the vote. Worse yet, he left office as the 48th most popular governor in America and would have lost if he had run again in 2006. Then, to top that off, he failed to capture the GOP nomination in 2008. This time around, despite having almost every advantage over what many people consider to be a weak field of candidates, Romney is still desperately struggling. Choosing Romney as the GOP nominee after running up that sort of track record would be like promoting a first baseman hitting .225 in AAA to the majors.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/12/27/7_reasons_why_mitt_romneys_electability_is_a_myth/page/full/

  52. December 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Syria ‘releases 755 people’ detained in uprising, state TV says
    December 28, 2011 10:01

    Syria has released 755 people detained during the uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report on Syrian state TV. The state TV news report said the freed prisoners had been involved “in recent incidents” but “did not have Syrian blood on their hands,” the BBC said, citing the report. The United Nations estimates that more than 14,000 people are in detention and 5,000 have been killed as a result of the state’s crackdown since March. Human rights activists believe as many as 40,000 people are being held.

    ~snip~

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111228/syria-news-prisoner-release-protesters-detained

  53. December 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Perry bills Texas taxpayers over $1 million while touring country
    By Stephen C. Webster| Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Running for president can be expensive. Thankfully, the taxpayers are here to foot the bill. Okay, that’s not exactly true, especially for private citizens hoping to land a new job in public office. But it does seem to be at least partially true for Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who billed taxpayers over $1 million in the last months of 2011 for travel, lodging, food and security costs accrued during his out-of-state campaign trips, according to an examination of financial disclosures published by The Texas Tribune. The Tribune also noted that the Texas Department of Public Safety has spent more on Perry’s travels from Sept. to Dec. of 2011 than it did during all the other months of 2011 combined.

    ~snip~

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/27/perry-bills-texas-taxpayers-over-1-million-while-touring-country/

  54. December 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    The Fight Over Keystone XL Now Has A 60-Day Deadline — Is This Good or Bad?
    By Brad Johnson| December 26, 2011

    Attached to the payroll tax deal was a provision forcing President Obama to decide within 60 days whether or not to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, before its route is even finalized. The deadline runs out on February 21, 2012. The State Department has made it clear it can’t do a proper review of the pipeline, especially considering that TransCanada has agreed to change the pipeline’s pathway in Nebraska but hasn’t even finalized the new route. With the new rush to approve TransCanada’s tar sands pipeline, let’s review some key facts that should underlie any analysis of the proposed 1700-mile project from Alberta to Texas:

    ~snip~

    http://www.alternet.org/environment/153570/the_fight_over_keystone_xl_now_has_a_60-day_deadline_–_is_this_good_or_bad?page=entire

  55. December 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Eight States Raise Minimum Wage for New Year
    by: Dick Meister| Wednesday 28 December 2011

    Finally there’s some good news for the millions of Americans who must to live on pay at or close to the legal minimum wage. Eight states are raising their minimum wage on January First, in line with state laws requiring the minimum to keep pace with inflation. The raises to come are modest by any measurement. But any increase must be welcomed as desperately needed and hopefully as a major start toward increasing the minimum wage everywhere to a level that will provide a decent living to all working Americans.

    ~snip~

    http://www.truth-out.org/eight-states-raise-minimum-wage-new-year/1325085353

  56. December 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    BOSTON, MA, December 28, 2011 – In a major legal victory today for Cape Wind, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in two decisions unanimously upheld the long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Cape Wind and National Grid.

    “This decision provides a big boost for creating up to 1,000 jobs and providing Massachusetts with cleaner air, greater energy independence and a leadership position in offshore wind power,” said Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind.

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reviewed the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) decision to approve the PPA between Cape Wind and National Grid and found that:

    “In sum, our review of the record indicates that there was clearly sufficient evidence of which the department could base its conclusion that the special benefits of PPA-1 exceeded those of other renewable energy resources, and we uphold the department’s conclusion that approval of the contract was in the public interest.”

    http://www.capewind.org/news1231.htm

  57. December 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Mubarak trial resumes in Cairo after a 3-month hiatus
    Talia Ralph| December 28, 2011 11:42

    Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who is on trial for conspiring to kill as many as 840 civilian protesters during the uprising that brought him down, returned to court on Wednesday. Mubarak’s trial resumed after a 3-month hiatus, and the ousted president’s health appeared to be in the same condition as earlier in the trial. The New York Times reported that Mubarak was flown in by helicopter and wheeled into the courtroom on a gurney, surrounded by guards, covered in a thick green blanket.

    ~snip~

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/111228/mubarak-trial-resumes

  58. December 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    China vows currency moves after U.S. criticism
    By Agence France-Presse| Wednesday, December 28, 2011

    China on Wednesday pledged to make its exchange rate more “flexible”, a day after the United States said the yuan was undervalued, though it declined to name Beijing a currency manipulator. “China will continue to increase the flexibility of the renminbi (yuan) exchange rate,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

    But in stronger remarks, China’s state news agency urged the United States to put an end to a “meaningless quarrel” over its yuan currency. The US Treasury said Tuesday that China’s yuan is still significantly undervalued, although it refrained from saying Beijing manipulates the currency, which could lead to retaliatory action by Congress.

    ~snip~

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/28/china-vows-currency-moves-after-u-s-criticism/

    • December 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      I’m so sick of Congress butting it’s nose into things it doesn’t understand, instead of focusing on the stuff it’s supposed to work on. Why don’t they pay attention to passing the American Jobs Act, instead of sanctioning Iran or alienating China. Both of these actions have significant consequences and they both cut the President’s options down considerably – in addition to minimizing America’s influence internationally when countries are forced to choose between their interests and backing the bluster of the US. Congress has basically eliminated any diplomatic options with Iran with this latest stunt, as they were warned about this by the Administration before they voted. Now, China and Russia are more likely to side with Iran, in addition to other countries, when it comes to sanctions. What will this latest potential action over China do, if Congress decides to butt their noses in?

  59. December 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Ok, it’s evident! MSNBC democratic strategists have been told to stick up for Romney.
    10x, maybe just a coincidence, but, everytime?
    Something is up, when democrats on tv stick up for Mittens

    That is all!

  60. December 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    10 Ultra-Rich Congresspeople Who ‘Represent’ Some of the Most Financially Screwed Districts
    By Sarah Jaffe| December 27, 2011

    The hard times that most Americans continue to experience don’t seem to be making an impact on their representatives in Washington. Now a new report might shed some light on why. According to a Washington Post story this week, “Between 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House more than doubled, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars, excluding home equity.”

    But the real comparison isn’t between members of Congress. It’s looking at these ultra-wealthy politicians in comparison to the folks they represent. So here, we present 10 of the richest members of Congress, men and women whose wealth utterly dwarfs that of their constituents. While these aren’t the 10 richest according to the raw numbers, they’re the ones whose districts are largely still suffering the consequences of the slow economy.

    ~snip~

    http://www.alternet.org/story/153583/10_ultra-rich_congresspeople_who_%27represent%27_some_of_the_most_financially_screwed_districts/

  61. 228 dotster3
    December 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    With all the garbage talk from the Repub candidates, I think we deserve another look at the Ia. caucus victory speech from 3 yrs. ago by a more worthy politician, someone of substance and character for a change:

  62. December 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    ATF Head Could Recommend Terminations, Suspensions Following Fast And Furious IG Report
    Ryan J. Reilly December 27, 2011, 1:40 PM

    B. Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney the Obama administration put in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the wake of the Fast and Furious scandal, told the Los Angeles Times that he would be making some termination or suspension recommendations to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Respon[s]ibility once an Inspector General report is issued on the botched anti-gun trafficking program.

    The newspaper also obtained the House Oversight Committee’s deposition of former acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who told investigators that agents, field supervisors and his top commanders were to blame for not telling him that ATF let guns “walk” across the border to Mexico. Jones, the new ATF head, seemed to suggest in an interview that Melson was more at fault than he indicated to investigators.

    “Anybody, including Mr. Melson, who waits for things to happen or waits for information to come to them, that is something I personally am not a believer in,” Jones told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m a believer in management by walking around. If you’re not hearing it, you seek it out. And there are a lot of ways to do that other than sitting in your corner office waiting for memos to come in.”

    ~snip~

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/atf_head_could_recommend_terminations_suspensions_following_fast_and_furious_ig_report.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

    • December 28, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Anything about fast and furious is bad
      News for the President and a distraction.
      Even though this President did not know about this, the Republicans feel this us his watergate.
      Also, if I am not mistaken, it was Bush officials that implemented this strategy?

      • 233 desertflower
        December 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

        I think they wrote the book on gun walking. Now they try to pretend ignorance.

        http://mediamatters.org/research/201111010025

        • December 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm

          Jovie, I posted the article because I appreciate the fact that despite the GOP’s efforts to place the blame on President Obama and Eric Holder, with no “credible” evidence to support their claims, the President has not allowed this to prevent him from taking action to determine what went wrong, who is accountable, and ensuring that it never happens again–which is why he appointed B. Todd Jones to oversee ATF.

          The truth is being uncovered…that is what matters! And it in no way damages the President, except in the minds of those who are eager to blame him for any and everything– facts be damned!~

      • 235 Linda
        December 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        My nephew was a Border Patrol Agent in AZ during that…..he says it was all Bush when that was going on.

        Now he works for DHI ( part of DHS) as an ICE agent in the Federal Criminal Investigations Unit . He won’t even tell his father ( my brother ) what goes on….

        • 236 desertflower
          December 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

          Tough job. Is he in AZ? Wonder his take on our inept/ lawbreaking Arpiao? I hope he goes down in a ball of flames.

          • 237 Linda
            December 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

            No….was there for 6 years…then went for ICE training somewhere here in Georgia…Now he is back in Western New York which is great for him and his family because that is where his in-laws and his father are

            He is stationed on Grand Island which is close to the Canadian Border.

            Thanks for asking.

  63. December 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Iran threatens to stop Gulf oil flow if West sets new sanctions
    Lillian Rizzo| December 27, 2011 13:36

    Iran issued a threat on Tuesday that it would stop the flow of oil from the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil transit point, if the West still attempts to impose an embargo on Iranian petroleum exports, Reuters reported. The warning was issued by Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi as Iran’s naval forces were in the middle of a 10-day war games exercise in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, The New York Times reported.

    “If Iran oil is banned not a single drop of oil will pass through Hormuz Strait,” Rahimi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency at a conference in Tehran, The Times reported. “We are not interested in any hostility,” he was quoted as saying. “Our motto is friendship and brotherhood, but Westerners are not willing to abandon their plots.”

    ~snip~

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111227/iran-threatens-stop-gulf-oil-flow-if-west-sets-new-sanction

    • December 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

      So, if gas prices spike because of this and recovery stalls, you got to wonder why Republicans put the sanctions in the defense bill?
      Answer- again- to subtly sabotague the economy!

      • 241 desertflower
        December 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

        Saudi’s already said that they are willing to crank up supply if Strait is closed. Personally, I would love to see Iran close the Strait, have Saudi Arabia increase oil production, and leave Iran sitting there waiting for something that will never come…which is, the Naval stand off over the Strait of Hormuz….too bad that this Iranian govt is so awful…it hurts the country’s people, who don’t deserve the crippling effects of these sanctions.

      • 244 desertflower
        December 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/12/2011122715516459511.html

        ndustry sources said on Tuesday that top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC states were ready to replace Iranian oil if further sanctions halt Iranian crude exports to Europe.

        Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi had said that Saudi Arabia had promised not to replace Iranian crude if sanctions were imposed.

        “No promise was made to Iran, its very unlikely that Saudi Arabia would not fill a demand gap if sanctions are placed,” an industry source familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency.

      • December 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

        That bill passed Congress with only ten votes against it. If gas prices go up, and the US loses its international influence when China and Russia (and other countries) side with Iran, then the blame will be distributed to Dems and GOP. Just one more instance of Dems in Congress stabbing the President in the back. He warned them.

    • December 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      And it would lead to war. Iran can’t be that stupid. US would send a destroyer or two up the strait and demand passage – what does Iran do? The war machine is already pushing for a war with Iran – they’d love nothing more than Iran to do something like this.

      • December 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        This was a good segment. I watch MSNBC once a week now, just to immunize myself for the elections. I watched this segment last night. The only thing I didn’t agree with was her ending, where she said her producer told them all to study up on Iran, because that will be the most important story in 2012. Well, if the GOP and their drumbeat for war gets its way in distracting the media and creating a false story, then Iran will be the big story. But the truth is that Iran isn’t the big story. As the President told George Clooney, the big story is Pakistan. Pakistan is the one that is surrounded with Al Queda and the Taliban. Pakistan is the one that doesn’t have a solid grasp on their own politics and has been itching for war with India. Pakistan is the one that has not secured its nuclear weapons, which are surrounded by the very characters who caused 9/11 and would eagerly sell those weapons to the highest bidder. And Pakistan is the place where Bin Ladin was residing without threat of discovery for the past few years, just down the road from their version of West Point.

        The media may fall for the GOP trap of making Iran the center of all activity, when they really aren’t a serious threat,because the media is easily distracted. But the real threat is in Pakistan.

    • 253 defytheodds
      December 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Creolechild, thanks for the video, it sounds like they’re doing some very good things for their Neighborhood.

  64. December 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Perry says, that the President should honor our Troops with a ticker-tape Parade in NYC.

    Really?

    But but but how do we get the tax payers money for it and…

  65. December 28, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Halperin says mittens is Teflon!

    Seriously?

  66. December 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Affordable Care Act update

    • 265 desertflower
      December 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      I read that story yesterday…and believe that I may have posted the link here last night….glad to see that DA is spreading the news! Good that it is in such a widely distributed paper..more views. They could get the same info on the WH.gov or Healthcare.gov site…but people that normally think they are against this healthcare, would never go there to find out about it. This info gets it in their faces…I expect more than a few readers of that story DIDN’T KNOW what good things this healthcare law has done and will continue to do, for the American people.

  67. December 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Shell spills 13,000 gallons while drilling near Deepwater Horizon site
    By Ben Raines, Press-Register| Published: Monday, December 19, 2011, 4:02 PM

    Shell International spilled 13,000 gallons of oil and drilling fluids into the Gulf on Sunday while drilling an exploratory well near the site of last year’s Deepwater Horizon accident, according to a federal report on the spill. The area where the well was being drilled is about 20 miles from the site of the BP oil spill. That rig is owned and operated by Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig.

    While a report Shell filed Monday morning with the National Response Center states that the company spilled 7,560 gallons of oil and 5,829 gallons of synthetic drilling fluids, company spokesperson Kelly op de Weegh said late Monday afternoon that no oil was spilled.

    ~snip~

    http://blog.al.com/live/2011/12/shell_spills_7000_gallons_of_o.html

  68. December 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Forget bulky panels on your roof – could the future of solar power be a coat of ‘solar paint’?
    By Rob Waugh| Last updated at 6:05 PM on 22nd December 2011

    Researchers have developed a ‘solar paint’ that could one day replace solar cells and make renewable energy much cheaper. The paste, which is made of hi-tech ‘quantum dots’, can be put onto any surface and produce electricity from the sun. The dots are semiconducting crystals which are between two and 10 nanometres in diameter and are mixed into dye that looks like normal paint.

    In tests they were just one per cent efficient, less than one 10th the efficiency of a standard solar cell, but the researchers are convinced that rate will improve in the future.

    ~snip~

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2077659/Forget-bulky-panels-roof–future-solar-power-solar-paint.html#ixzz1hrDScqSr

  69. December 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will run against fellow Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur next year.

    He will file the paperwork on Wednesday afternoon, he announced.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/201519-kucinich-files-for-run-against-kaptur

    I HOPE Kaptur kicks his ass!

    • 269 defytheodds
      December 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      I HOPE so, too. The winner of the heavily Democratic district may face Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher (R), better known as Joe the Plumber, in the general election… Even though it would be funny to see DK debate Joe the Plumber. But we don’t have time for that nonsense b/c the Dems need to take back the House!

  70. December 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Ron Paul’s campaign for the first time is directly attacking Mitt Romney with campaign ads. 

    The Paul campaign’s new ad in Iowa and New Hampshire features a picture of Romney with “flip-flopper” stamped over it, as well as one of Newt Gingrich stamped “hypocrite.”

    The ads come as a new poll shows Paul retaining a lead in Iowa less than a week before the state’s GOP caucus. Romney is a close second place.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/201493-paul-goes-after-romney-for-first-time-in-new-ad

    • 272 defytheodds
      December 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      At the end of the video it says: “…he is guided by faith and principle; Ron Paul, the one we been looking for.” What a joke— he is guided by faith and principle—Lord help us!

  71. December 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Ok, the republicans are starting to tear each other up, I suspect by the weekend it will be all out war, as it’s anybody’s to take.

    Just a thought!

  72. December 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), in an interview published Monday, predicted that President Obama would narrowly win reelection next year but that Republicans would capture the Senate.

    “If I had to predict, I would project that the president would narrowly win reelection, the House would stay the way it is and the Senate would go Republican,” said Yoder, in an interview with the Kansas City Star. 

    Yoder, a freshman Republican lawmaker, explained earlier in the interview that the GOP presidential candidates are “battered and bruised” from the debates, which he described as “relentless.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/201419-gop-rep-predicts-narrow-obama-victory

    More likely a tie in the senate with Biden being the tie breaker!

    • 276 Obama Grandmama
      December 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Last night Lawrence O’Donnell talked about Ben Nelson’s not running in NE and tied it to the other Dems not running and how we could lose the Senate. I know WE need the Senate and the House with another term for PBO. If we have neither the HOUSE or SENATE how can we protect all of the good legislation that is just getting started namely ACA from PBO’s first term? I know losing the presidency would take down all that has happened so far but if we don’t control either of the branches of Congress it could be that we get nothing new through either.

  73. 277 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Report: President Obama Will Address Democratic Caucus-Goers In Iowa
    President Obama will address Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa next week via video/web, reports Politico’s Glenn Thrush over Twitter.

  74. 278 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    We Don’t Need More Centrists
    by BooMan
    Wed Dec 28th, 2011 at 12:23:52 PM EST

    John Avlon is acting like a dummy. He identifies a real problem, but he doesn’t understand its cause nor does he have any solution. Let’s look at his opening:


    The Blue Dog pack is thinning. Centrist Democrats saw their ranks cut in half after the 2010 midterm elections. Now, with Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s announcement that he will not seek reelection, an endangered species warning is appropriate. This is bad news for Democrats and, more important, the nation.

    There was a time when divided government did not mean dysfunctional government. The presence of conservative Democrats and progressive Republicans helped ensure that cross-aisle coalitions could be formed to find solutions on the most pressing issues…

    Right at the start we have to confront something that isn’t all that critical. Do we know what Mr. Avlon means by “Centrist Democrats”? When he goes on to call them “conservative Democrats,” does that help us at all? I know this is semantic nitpicking, but it pays to be precise with language. Ben Nelson is conservative on most issues. His career in the Senate has been more conservative than, say, Arlen Specter’s or Lincoln Chafee’s. He and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are both anti-choice, but most people wouldn’t describe Casey as a conservative Democrat. Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo is anti-choice but no one would call her a Centrist Democrat. Avlon uses another term: Blue Dog Democrat. He considers them to be conservative and centrist, too.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2011/12/28/12237/777

  75. December 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    A CNN Iowa poll out at 4 is the big story over at tea-nn.

    Of course, their will be yellow italics Breaking news. Followed by some frivolous music to get us all excited. Oh, and did i Mention the all important best political team panel?

  76. 285 Don
    December 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Don’t let those pictures of President Obama and his family walking around in flip flops and snacking on shaved ice fool you. Now comes word that President Obama will address the Democratic Caucus-goers next week in Iowa. Remember the Correspondence Dinner from earlier this year in which President Obama was sitting back and laughing at jokes after giving the order to bust a cap in Bin Laden’s ass. You just know that President Obama is somewhere on the big island sitting around with his crew in shorts and flip flops planning something real proper.

    • 286 halo
      December 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      DAVID PLOUFFE! GENIUS!

    • 287 Cha
      December 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Actually we don’t call the “flip flops” over here. The Locals have called them “slippahs”..like forever and I made myself convert. It’s much nicer anyway..don’t have to be reminded of willard the rat.

      Yes, I have no doubt that President Obama has a LOT more going on than meets the eye on Oa’hu..thanks for the reminder, Don.

      I remember the first time he went to Hawai’i as Prez and wore slippahs.. another board was going crazy that as President he would do that. Obviously having no clue on proper Island wear.

  77. 288 rikyrah
    December 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I believe he’s gonna work me into the ground
    by Sarah Proud and Tall

    Gnoot has a post up about his proposal to prepare kids from poor families for the low paying, menial jobs they will often be forced to take after leaving school by giving them low paying, menial jobs while they are at school.

    Wouldn’t it be great if New York City schools served their students as well as they serve some of their custodians?

    Students—especially those from very poor families—would be better served if they had the opportunity to earn money part-time at school by doing some of the tasks custodians are now performing so expensively.

    Dozens of poor students could have part-time, paying jobs for the $100,000 a year New York schools pay some custodians. For that amount, more than 30 children could work just two hours each school day and each take home $3,000 a year by the time they are 12 or 13 years old.

    Some of this work could be clerical; other tasks could be janitorial, such as cleaning the cafeteria, or emptying the trash, or vacuuming the classrooms. These are similar to the chores many parents require their kids to do at home, and it would allow 12- and 13- year olds to make money they desperately need. Giving children the opportunity to earn money would help teach work habits, and letting them do so in their schools would build a stronger commitment to that community.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/12/28/i-believe-hes-gonna-work-me-into-the-ground/

  78. 289 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    https://twitter.com/#!/neoblaque/status/152023108587487232 Who would YOU TRUST with your child? Priceless.

  79. 292 defytheodds
    December 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Arizona Schools’ Ethnic Studies Program Ruled Illegal

    The judge said such teaching promotes activism against white people, promotes racial resentment and advocates ethnic solidarity.

    Judge Lewis Kowal’s ruling marked a defeat for the Tucson Unified School District, which appealed the findings issued in June by Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.

    Huppenthal, a Republican, had voted in favor of the ethnic studies law as a state senator before becoming the state’s schools chief.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/28/arizona-schools-ethnic-st_n_1172360.html

          • 296 desertflower
            December 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

            From the NewTimes article:

            I’ve just finished reading the Cambium report on Tucson Unified School District’s much-maligned Mexican American Studies Department. It’s a shocker.

            Know why? Because the report itself concludes that “no observable evidence was present to suggest that any classroom within Tucson Unified School District is in direct violation of the law [Arizona Revised Statutes] 15-112(A).”

            This completely contradicts Arizona Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal’s determination that TUSD’s MASD program is in violation of the law and has 60 days to change its ways or face a potential cutoff of 10 percent of its state funds.

            The statute, passed by the Legislature in 2010, and written by former Superintendent and current Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, prohibits classes that promote the overthrow of the United States Government, promote resentment toward a certain race or class, are designed for pupils of a particular ethnicity, or advocate ethnic solidarity.

            Huppenthal alleged that the MASD classes violate all but the first provision. However, the audit conducted by Texas-based Cambium Learning, Inc. (which was commissioned by Huppenthal himself) found that none of the four prongs of the law were violated by any of the various literature, history, government or art courses that MASD offers.

            In addition, the audit, which is overwhelmingly positive, depicts courses that are popular with students and the community, and, more importantly, effective.

            “High school juniors taking a MASD course are more likely to pass the reading and writing portion of the AIMS subject tests if they had previously failed those subtests in their sophomore year. Consequently, high school seniors enrolled in a MASD course are more likely to graduate than their peers.”

            Anywhere from five to 11 percent more likely, the data indicates.

            And for this, the study lauds the program.

            “[Student] achievement is due to the sense of pride that develops through their accomplishments with highly effective teachers,” the report states at one point.

            The study does offer some criticism and recommendations, and it does identify certain texts that should go through a review process, but it doesn’t recommend scrapping the program, as Horne wanted done. This, as he left the Superintendent’s office for the AG’s throne.

            Rather, it recommends keeping the classes as core courses, as long as its recommendations are instituted. These were: effective curriculum management, open communication between MASD and TUSD, and between both of those parties and the Department of Education.

  80. December 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Florida has the smallest and lowest-paid workforce of any state in the country.

    It’s a trend that will continue in 2012.

    In his recommended budget to the Legislature, Scott wants to eliminate another 4,500 full-time jobs — about two-thirds of which are now occupied by real people. He’s also not proposing any pay increase for state workers, who haven’t had an across-the-board pay raise in five years.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/legislature/gov-rick-scotts-shrinking-florida-government-workforce/1206948

    When the President campaigns down here, tie the Republicsn nominee to Scott! winning!

    • 298 desertflower
      December 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      I believe this. My family lives there….Dad’s retired, but that lifelong Republican dad of mine has had it! HATES the Gov! Has seen first hand the great damage that he has done to that state.
      My brother sounded downright downtrodden when I talked to him on Christmas. Said the state of the city that he lived on was miserable. People out of work, homes boarded up or foreclosed on….just awful economics, and a gov that has no intention of changing his ways. This keeps up, people aren’t going to retire there. Tax base will dry up…and then what?

  81. 300 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    WOW! Does this mean that Newt is smarter than a fifth grader?

    Mitt Romney: Relative To President Obama, I Like Ron Paul
    Newt Gingrich told CNN recently he wouldn’t vote for Ron Paul if Paul was the GOP nominee. Mitt Romney took the opposite tack when asked what he would do if Paul wins it all in the primary race, and accused Gingrich of flip-flopping.

    “I’ve said, Speaker Gingrich has said, that anyone on the debate stage would be better than the incumbent,” Romney told reporters after an Iowa campaign stop. “I continue to say that.”

    Romney noted he and Paul, the current frontrunner in Iowa polling, “disagree” on many topics. But Romney said that wouldn’t stop him from pulling the lever for Paul in a general election battle.

    “Relative to President obama i like Ron Paul,” Romney said.

    • 301 Linda
      December 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Mitt…”Say Anything” Romney.. What a phoney.

    • 302 defytheodds
      December 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      One day Willard “Rat” Romney will have to explain his statement: “Relative to President obama i like Ron Paul.” Now, that all the racist, homophobia, anti-semitic, etc dirty that have come out on RP.

    • December 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      I wish there was a real media. Someone should have asked him, “what is it about Ron Paul that he would be voting for? Ending the illegality of drugs? Destroying the departments of education, commerce, defense, etc.Closing down all military bases around the world?”. For Romney to say that the world that Ron Paul promises is better than a President who has incorporated many left and right policies into his agenda, draws questions as to his judgement. And demonstrates again that Romney has no core.

  82. 305 Linda
    December 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Federal Judge Orders Sheriff Arpaio To Stop Arresting People Simply Because He Thinks They Are Undocumented | Less than two weeks after the Department of Justice found widespread lawlessness and abuse of Latinos by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies, an Arizona federal judge ordered Arpaio to end one of his most abusive practices — detaining and arresting people who have committed no crime merely because his office suspects them of being undocumented. The court also certified this lawsuit against Arpaio as a class action, thereby empowering any Latino stopped or detained by Arpaio’s office since 2007 or at any point in the future to enforce the court order.

    • December 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      And he campaigned for Perry this morning in Iowa, making this gaffe:

      Hello Buckeyes!

      Buckeyes? How about hawkeyes?

      That is what you get when you have the least liked Sheriff speak for you in Iowa. Lol!

      • 307 desertflower
        December 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm

        Shit for brains. I detest that man.

      • 308 Linda
        December 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm

        And the lawyer for the dead veteran blasted him for going to Iowa too. The man is so far out of touch it is scarey.

        • 309 desertflower
          December 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

          And the lawyer was right to do so. Joe never met a media event that he didn’t LOVE! Doesn’t matter that he has 40,000 felony arrest warrants on his desk, that he is under fire for 400+ child abuse cases that were never looked into… and a few murders in his jails….NAH! He’ll go to Iowa, campaign with the loser, get his nasty ass on TV again…and let everyone know he’s the Toughest Sheriff in America! YAHOO! He needs to go to jail….that’s where he REALLY needs to be!

  83. 310 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Romney: ‘Big Bird Is Going To Have Advertisements’
    At a campaign stop in Iowa Wednesday, Mitt Romney reiterated his promise to cut the National Endowment for the Arts as well as PBS funding and other programs as part of his plan to balance the budget.

    “No, we’re not going to kill Big Bird,” Romney, who said he personally “love[s]” PBS, told the town hall at a diner in Clinton, IA. “But Big Bird is going to have to have advertisements.”

  84. December 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    The president of the company developing the Cape Wind project said today that he hoped that the controversial offshore wind farm could begin generating power within a year, now that the company has received a favorable decision in the state’s highest court.

    “Today is a really big day for Cape Wind, but it’s an even bigger day for clean energy in Massachusetts,” said Jim Gordon, whose company hopes to build a field of whirling wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. “This moves the project forward.”

    Gordon commented after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court gave its blessing to a novel power purchase agreement between Cape Wind and National Grid that was approved by the state Department of Public Utilities.

    In a 34-page ruling written by Justice Margot Botfsford, the high court unanimously rejected every argument advanced by critics of the wind farm.

    http://mobile.boston.com/art/35/Boston/metrodesk/2011/12/sjc-upholds-dpu-ruling-approving-sale-cape-wind-power-national-grid/IVPatY8v4ga2zzZ0HQHTjK/index

    In a year? Wow!

  85. December 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    SSomeone made a comment about Gary Johnson switching to the Libertarian Party and I think that’s a very good thing. The Koch brothers father founded the John Birch society. Ailes is a libertarian. A lot of the people funding and driving the GOP are libertarians. I think it would be good for tea Party members and their ilk to switch to the Libertarian party and make it clear that they are not really Republicans. That might be an awakening for the low information Fox News watching crowd. It would bring it out in the open more clearly. Limbaugh and others have been working for years to engender mistrust of the government. Now people would have to understand that they count on government to monitor e-coli in their lettuce, build roads, and for so many other reasons. It would make things clearer.

    And it would split the GOP votes.

    • 313 desertflower
      December 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues I would say, that UNLIKE Ron Paul, Mr. Johnson is a true Libertarian, and SHOULD be a more viable candidate for those that are inclined to vote that way. Ron Paul is an embarrassment and NOT A LIBERTARIAN at all….after all, the signed that awful Personhood Pledge. No more needs to be said about him being a Libertarian after that stunt.

  86. 315 Don
    December 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    So rootin’ tootin’ Rick Perry is blasting President Obama for not having a parade for the returning Troops.
    When you can’t deliver to the citizenry purpose and direction you give them “Bread and Circuses,” just as Commodus did in “Gladiator.” What is it with Republicans and their need to play the patriotism card whenever it’s convenient for them. You want to honor the Troops, Ricky? You can start by making sure they get all the medical and financial help they and their family will need to get back to a normal life, or whatever semblance of a normal life they had before this unnecessary war. Rick Perry, you are an asshole, an asshole of gigantic proportions. You might be the stupidest and most dangerous Politician to ever seek the Presidency. President Bush had some likeability, he had his faults. I don’t think President Bush was a mean and angry man, I just think he was in over his head. But you Rick Perry you are mean, angry, and stupid. What Governor would forget the name of a government agency he wants to abolish? What Governor would suggest succession from the United States of America as a solution to any problem? Rick Perry you are morally bankrupt, your ideas have the strength of toilet paper, which incidentally I think you use to write those ideas down on. So when your sorry spectacle of a campaign is over you can go back to Texas and clear all the brush you want to at beautiful and tranquil “Niggerhead Ranch” y’all come back now, ya hear.

    • 316 anniebella
      December 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      We all know that Rick Perry and the GOP are full of alot of B.S., because they were against the President bringing the troops home, now they came to be upset because no parade was thrown for them. Rick Perry make you wonder how the hell did he win in Texas? Or is the folks in Texas are crazy. They elected that Perry how many times? It leaves you wondering what the heck is going on in Texas?

  87. 317 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    No matter HOW hard they try to paint Latinos as stupid enough to vote against their own best interests!

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/12/28/president-obama-retains-hispanic-support/

    In a hypothetical general election match-up against Mitt Romney, a new Pew Research poll finds President Obama wins the Latino vote by a 68% to 23% margin.

  88. 318 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    i would invite ANY of you to comment on what this guy has to say about PBO. Seriously????????

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/12/28/2011/

    • 319 Linda
      December 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Well…this is how he identifies himself on his twitter account and I agree.

      MARTY WEINSTEIN
      @LUCKYMW MYSTIC
      Gainfully unemployed big mouth, searching for truth in all the wrong places

      It is just his opinion…who cares. Jonathon Alter says ” Leadership is NOT defined by whether YOU AGREE with what the President says …it is defined by what the President does that he said he will do.”

    • 331 Sara
      December 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Okay, here’s my reply: In my opinion, the U.S. currently has the greatest President since at least FDR; we do not ‘suffer from a void of leadership’. The White House is the most transparent that I have ever seen and our President has espoused the same beliefs and message his entire life; I do not find him to be ‘an enigma’. I feel more secure in these turbulent times because he is ‘the rock of stability’; you would rather have McCain/Palin in the White House Situation room during the Arab Spring uprisings. This President most certainly does ‘spur a new sense of confidence’, as well as of gratitude and hope. The U.S. government and economy are behemoth giant ships on the global seas; it’s awfully hard to turn those vessels around with one little tugboat, even if it does fly the Presidential seal. Maybe you could offer a little assistance instead of scorning the President’s accomplishments. You think these are ‘meager’? What’s the best you would expect from any Republican candidate? Are you seriously paying attention?

  89. 332 desertflower
    December 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    UUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….

    http://crooksandliars.com/jamie/expected-low-turnout-iowa

    We are one week from the Iowa caucuses and things don’t look good for the GOP:

    If I were running the Iowa Republican Party, I would be seeking to vastly increase the turnout at the Jan. 3 caucuses. After all, those who turn out can be recruited to help in future Iowa Republican campaigns. I would be especially interested in attracting new young voters; the median age of 2008 caucusgoers was nudging up toward 60.

    Yet despite polls showing that Republicans are enthusiastic about the coming campaign and determined to defeat Barack Obama, Iowa Republican insiders are predicting that turnout will not exceed and may not even reach the 119,000 of 2008, when Republicans were dispirited about their party’s chances. Puzzling.

    • 333 hopefruit2
      December 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      I never believed for a second the MSM propaganda about so-called Republican enthusiasm. The fact that every other week they have a new flavor-of-the-month for candidate suggests that voters are largely undecided and dissatisfied about the current field.

  90. 335 Linda
    December 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Grr. Ed Rendell in on Rev Al….dang….


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