Barney Frank on pundits' love affair with the Ryan budget: Here's the deal. They don't want to consider themselves to be siding with the Democrats. It's important for their self-image that they be seen as centrist. The problem is the Republican Party has[...]
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Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected. ? mo via Twitter
On Rosengate, point goes to Mitt Romney.
The First Lady tweeted so.
We have the first unforced error of 2012 presidential season by a Democratic operative that weighs in Mitt Romney’s favor and it came just a couple of days after Santorum exited. That it’s on the subject of women makes it rougher.
Before Mitt Romney’s gafferiffic primary performances, women tilted his way. Now that number has swung 19 points, giving Obama a huge lead with femmes.
That First Lady Michelle Obama weighed in on Twitter reveals just how badly Obama reelect feels Rosen’s comments hurt their message, not only with women, but with coveted independents.
It also gives people like Jennifer Rubin a way to exploit more Republican talking points like “faux ‘war on women.’”
Rubin ignores policies that actually do hurt women, with Rosen’s comments setting it up.
Republicans being more concerned about trial lawyers than equal pay for women, which caused them to vote against the Lily Ledbetter Act en masse, is a real issue, as is the Ryan budget that would obliterate Medicare’s primary role as an assured safety net, which older women rely on significantly.
Mitt Romney’s campaign was tripped up yesterday by a simple question by Sam Stein on the candidate’s position on Ledbetter. But as much as Rachel Maddow wants her audience to think that matters, to the wider public it’s minutia.
Partisan shows make loyal party members feel warm and comfy, but they aren’t reality.
The comment of disrespect by Rosen is ripe for Republicans to use again and again to not only categorize Democrats, but allows Republicans to slither out of their policy decisions that do hurt women by pointing to the comment to reveal disrespect by Democrats for women who make different choices.
This is the type of thing that can wash over a slick candidate like Mitt Romney and inoculate him on policy, because Democratic arrogance on women’s vote ignores that women in November will vote on economics, not birth control.
Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health care reform, Romneycare, is six years old today and the Obama campaign has marked the occasion with a very special Happy Birthday video:
To anyone so foolish as to have persuaded himself otherwise, the past three weeks have been a reminder that Barack Obama is at best a slight favorite for re-election by a narrow margin.
Rick Santorum?s exit on Wednesday from a Republican primary race that already was settled means that the de facto nominee of the party, former governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, has time for damage control that would have been too late three months from now. The odds are even or better that by June, the United States Supreme Court will overturn the president?s signal domestic accomplishment, the reform of the country?s health-care system. The second-degree murder case in Florida involving a self-designated vigilante who stalked an unarmed 17-year-old African American despite explicit instructions otherwise from police will be the most racially charged since the O.J. Simpson trial a decade and a half ago, except in this instance?if polling is to be believed?white rather than black Americans appear stubbornly impervious to the circumstances. The General Services Administration is embroiled in a stupefying Hangover 3 scandal involving a million-dollar weekend in Las Vegas, providing a vivid metaphor for an administration vulnerable to charges of excessive spending. Deaf to entreaties, North Korea steadfastly prepares to launch a nuclear missile, and the oppression of the Syrian people by that country?s ruling regime becomes more murderous even as it appears to slip further beyond the president?s influence. Of most immediate political note, a jobs report last Friday speaks to the precariousness of an economic recovery that voters believe is fragile and happening to someone else, if they believe it?s real at all. Fox News may have exhibited its usual glee about anything that looks like bad national tidings during the Obama presidency, but no one disagreed that the glass was half empty.
In the last two months, as the Republican nomination race deteriorated, and eight months after the nadir of Obama?s presidency that was the debt-ceiling debacle (a word that?s come to follow ?debt ceiling? as naturally as ?merry? precedes ?Christmas?), Obama suddenly started looking unbeatable. With another eight months before the election, this may yet prove as illusory. One of the Republican lines on Obama is that he has no record to run on, and compared with other Republican lines regarding a war on religion, the conversion of the nation to European socialism, and a Kenyan Candidate conspiracy by which a Muslim baby smuggled into the country was raised to become president of the United States 50 years later, the no-record argument can only sound reasonable. But of course Obama has a record, and hardly a disreputable one. It encompasses the prevention of an economic Chernobyl by which the world?s entire financial system verged on meltdown, the passage of the first major regulatory reform of Wall Street in 30 years, the salvation of the auto industry and the creation of more jobs in three years than during the previous administration?s eight, the signing of a law codifying equal pay for equal work for women and the passage of the first major health-care reform since Medicare, the end of torture as an American policy and the sure-footed conduct of foreign affairs including the end of one war, the winding down of another, and the decimation of a foreign organization that murdered three thousand Americans and threatened to murder more. Half a century from now, historians will look back and conclude this resembles a solid B-plus presidency at a time when anything better may be a thing of the past.
The problem for Barack Obama is that he wasn?t elected to compile a record. The problem is that this was a presidency of mythic dimensions before it began, for the obvious reason that 150 years ago this particular occupant of the Oval Office would have been in chains on an auction block somewhere along the Mississippi River. Obama was elected to deliver us from not only an ominous present but a past that continually fell short of the American promise his election finally would fulfill. He was bound to disappoint us because we were bound to disappoint ourselves, because the public Barack Obama is a collaboration between someone who shares that name and the rest of us?both supporters and detractors?who forged our own ideas of what he embodied. This is how it?s possible that, even as evidence supports none of these premises, the country can believe he?s at once a secularist and a radical Muslim, a corporate sell-out who wakes every morning humming the Internationale. However bracing it might be for the moment, however relieved Democrats may understandably be, however much a Republican Party of such manifest bad faith has given him no choice, the new bare-fisted, more partisan Obama leaves us feeling as though we?ve woken from a dream. Obama?s was a mandate not of policy or even philosophy but of persona, the kind of ?cult of personality? that Maoists and Stalinists used to tediously drone on about even as they indulged in such cults more than anyone. It was a mandate born of a political identity that interwove more psychic threads of the country than that of any president in the country?s history. Now the price of the president?s resurgence is disillusion even for those who admire him but may wonder how they would have felt if George W. Bush had made the comments about the Supreme Court that Obama did last week, comments that indicated either a constitutional cluelessness or a brazenly intimidating intent.
In other words, on one level Obama is the failure that some openly wanted him to be before he walked into the White House, and he never could have been anything else. Now his re-election depends on his ability to slap the electorate hard enough to snap it out of its depressed and frightened torpor without the electorate slapping back, which always is the instinct of anyone slapped. The president has to divorce the electorate from the majesty of what he represented without breaking the spell that brought him so far so fast. That Romney currently appears to be the weakest party nominee since Michael Dukakis assures nothing, even taking into account his poor standing with women, some of which may be salvageable, and his poor standing with Hispanics that is beyond salvaging. If events overwhelm Barack Obama, or if economic fear and insecurity should wax anew rather than continue to wane, however slowly, the independents who will decide the election won?t care about the descent of the jobless rate by incremental percentage points or about the fact that Romney is the phoniest politician of our lifetime; they won?t care about the car elevator or the dog on the roof or whether Romney is part of the one percent or the point zero zero zero one percent. The populace will opt for the cold mechanical opportunist who can fix a country that?s abandoned its grandest vision, which the object of that vision could never fulfill.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz first came on DWT's radar some years ago when, as chair of the DCCC's Red to Blue program, she publicly set out to sabotage the Democrats running against 3 right-wing Republican allies of her political benefactors, the stunningly corrupt sugar barons, the Fanjul brothers. It was a breathtaking overreach, even for Wasserman Schultz and the uproar from the donor community was so intense that, after much stalling, the DCCC was eventually forced to kick her out of the job and tell her to pipe down with her support for her Republican pals. Americans, having short memories, next ran into her when she was, unfathomably, appointed head of the DNC. Another stepping stone in her malevolent quest to be the first Jewish Speaker of the House (formerly her mentor Rahm Emanuel's quest as well).
More recently we've been writing about Wasserman Schultz's hypocritical whining about the Republican War Against Women and the Republican War Against Gays, while she supports Democrats who vote with the Republicans on their wars against women and gays. It's this kind of grotesque hypocrisy and Machiavellian politics that have come to define Wasserman Schultz as one of the most dangerous and deceitful political figures in America-- on either side of the aisle. Today our friends at Cuéntame sent us the above video of their campaign to force Wasserman Schultz to stop backing the predatory private prison system's campaign against immigrants. "Why," they ask, "is FL Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz siding with the Corrections Corporation of America and not her constituents in Southwest Ranches? 99% of her constituents DO NOT want a new for-profit immigrant detention center!"
They're calling on Wasserman Schultz to withdraw her endorsement of a private prison project in her district that the residents don't want and that flies in the face of human decency. The Corrections Corporation of America has only donated to 17 candidates for the House this year, 12 hideously right wing Republicans, like Steve Womack (AR), Kevin McCarthy (CA), John Culberson (TX) and Marsha Blackburn (TN) and 5 Democrats, one being-- no surprise here-- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as corrupt as always.
The Obama Administration announced a change in the priorities for detentions and deportations, to focus on real national security concerns, not on separating parents from their children or deporting DREAMers who are only seeking a better future.
It is time for ICE to stop the immigrant money making machine and tell CCA to go away from Southwest Ranches.
Scientists found that men who either drank two pints of beer or two glasses of wine before solving brain teasers not only got more questions right, they also were quicker in delivering correct answers, compared to men who answered the questions sober.
While the latest findings go against the traditional beliefs that alcohol impairs analytical thinking and rational thoughts, lead author Professor Jennifer Wiley of the University of Illinois at Chicago discovered that alcohol may enhance creativity problem solving by reducing the mind?s working memory capacity, which is the ability to concentrate on something in particular.
?Working memory capacity is considered the ability to control one?s attention,? Wiley told the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS). ?It?s the ability to remember one thing while you?re thinking about something else.?
A student drag show went off as planned at the Catholic University of San Diego last night, despite some student protests and the opposition of wealthy alum and donor Charles LiMandri. LiMandri had organized a petition with more than 7,000 names against the show and told a local NBC affiliate, “I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. Although not everything is taken literally it does say men should dress as men, women should dress as women.” Both supporters and opponents demonstrated at the event, but the school supported the student organized effort.
“A lawyer is suing the Nigerian government over an anti-gay bill which, if passed, would put LGBT people at risk of violence and arrest,” Gay Star News reports. The measure, which has passed the Senate and is now being considered by the House, “punishes those in a same-sex partnership with 14 years? imprisonment and anyone ?aiding or abetting? such unions with 10 years in prison.” The suit alleges that the measure violates the country’s constitution.
To go by the polls, the high point of public understanding of climate science was 2006 to 2008. That’s no surprise, since that period saw a peak in media reporting on climate science, starting in 2006 with An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary of Al Gore’s PowerPoint presentation on climate science, and continuing in 2007 with the 4 scientific assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Disputes on the science were kept to a minimum in the 2008 election since both major candidates — Barack Obama and John McCain — understood and articulated both climate science and the need for action. It wasn’t until after Obama was elected with progressive majorities in both houses of Congress and the prospects for climate action became real that the anti-science disinformation campaign kicked into overdrive.
Ironically, or tragically, just as the anti-science disinformation campaign was ramping up, the advocates of climate action decided to downplay climate in their pitch for action, as the Washington Post?s Ezra Klein explained it in his June 2010 article, ?Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming??
And the media’s coverage of climate science utterly collapsed (see “Silence of the Lambs 2: Media Herd?s Newspaper Coverage of Climate Change Drops Sharply ? Again“). Indeed evening news coverage dropped from over 386 minutes of coverage in 2007 to 32 minutes (!) last year:
Because of this collapse in media coverage, Gallup’s polling questions that begin “from what you’ve read or heard” is not an ideal way to find out what the public actually knows, as leading social scientists explained to me last year (see “Experts Debunk Polls that Claim Sharp Drop in Number of Americans Who Understand Global Warming Is Happening“).
Many polls indicate a rebound in public understanding of climate science — see “Public Opinion Stunner: More Americans Understand World is Warming ? Thanks to Rick Perry, Reports Reuters.” Krosnick attributes some of the rebound to the coverage of climate during the GOP presidential contest.
Brookings — and the public itself — puts the rebound on the amazing spate of extreme weather. As Climate Progress reported in late February, Americans are attributing their increased belief in global warming to their (correct) perception that the planet is warming and the weather is getting more extreme. Roughly half of people who believe in global warming said that these were the primary influence:
Gallup, for whatever reason, has decided to downplay the continuing, albeit small, rise in public understanding, as evidenced in their headline “In U.S., Global Warming Views Steady Despite Warm Winter.” But in fact
I’d love to see them redo the poll right now.
We see a similar jump in the public’s understanding of the scientific consensus about global warming:
This is all the more remarkable because the President and the media are hardly talking about the subject — though it is certainly there was a fair amount of media blowback from Rick Perry?s disinformation about the scientific consensus, in part because fellow Republican Jon Huntsman took him on (see ?Perry?s Climate Lies Win 4 Pinocchios?).
And this move is also remarkable because the Tea Party crowd, largely conservative Republicans, generally get their news from sources that have continued spreading nonstop disinformation. Gallup’s figures suggest that the polling numbers for Republicans have hardly budget, which means most of the movement is due to shifts in the views of independents and progressives.
Certainly the partisan divide is large, as Gallup reports:
But again this is mostly the Tea Party crowd, especially conservative Republican males, and that’s what makes climate change a wedge issue:
The Connecticut house voted 86-62 yesterday to repeal the death penalty in that state, at least in future cases. The bill already passed the state senate and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) is expected to sign it. Unfortunately, the bill does not benefit the eleven men who are currently on death row in Connecticut and, unlike most states, the governor of Connecticut does not have the authority to commute these men’s sentences to life in prison.