These congressional generic numbers are really starting to look bleak for the Dems. See full numbers here. United States - Business and Economy - United States Congress - Republican - Barack Obama[...]
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This is a horrible story out of South Carolina. (No, not Lindsey Graham yapping off about amending the 14th Amendment.) Two infants drown in a car while strapped into their child seats, and a mother leaving the scene of the tragedy to.. ahem, ahem, call the police.
"The two were recovered from the North Edisto River after the car was found near a rural boat landing, Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams said.
County Coroner Samuetta Marshall identified them as 18-month-old Ja'van T. Duley and 2-year-old Devean C. Duley, both of Orangeburg. She would not speculate on a cause of death until autopsies are completed Tuesday.
The boys' mother, whose name was not immediately released, was being held Monday on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, Williams said.
He said the Highway Patrol was notified about 6:15 a.m. Monday about an accident and a woman who needed help getting her children out of the car.
The children were still strapped in their child seats when divers found them and recovered their bodies about 45 minutes after being called to the scene.
"Early in the investigation, the state patrol felt there was not enough indicators to substantiate that there was an automobile accident," Williams said. "We are looking into all possibilities as to what happened."
The woman, who did not have a cell phone, had walked some distance down the country road by the boat landing and flagged down a passing motorist to call the Highway Patrol..." [Story]
Wow! I guess lightening can strike the same place twice. Didn't something similar happen to another South Carolina woman a few years back? I am reserving judgement until I get more from the po po. But right about now it ain't looking good for Mommy.
And, speaking of Mommy: One of my fellow field hands from Ohio will have to tell me what's so great about the cheeseburgers in Buckeye country.
"A Toledo teen is behind bars for allegedly stabbing his mother over a cheeseburger.
The altercation happened at 425 West Bancroft around 1 a.m. Friday morning.
Aaron Dean, 18, is accused of stabbing his mother over the burger.
Detectives say the teen's mom came home with food for herself. Her son apparently got upset because she didn't bring him a cheeseburger.
Police say he choked her, grabbed a butcher knife, and stabbed her in the right arm before running away.
We talked with Vergie Dean, Aaron's mom, today. She told us she grabbed a cheeseburger from Rally's and headed home.
She says her 6'3" 300-pound son got upset because she didn't bring one for him. "He was like 'Where's my food at?' and I'm like 'I'm not gonna give you anything' so he smacked my sandwich and he pushed me or something and it escalated from there."
Aaron allegedly grabbed and choked her. "He had me in the corner. I took a knife and I stabbed him in his finger. He ran in his room and grabbed a big ole butcher knife. He came back and was like 'You cut me, you cut me.' He was standing right there. He just took the knife and stuck it in my arm. "
Detectives took the butcher knife as evidence.
They say Aaron Dean took off after the stabbing. He was arrested a block from his home, on Prescott Street. "
WTF is wrong with you Negroes? You stab your mama over a cheeseburger? Negro you weigh 300 damn pounds! Looks to me like your mama has given you plenty of cheeseburgers in her day. And why wasn't your ass fixing your own meal? You are 18 years old! Your poor mama was probably too busy to fix you a meal because she was out trying to work to feed your big ass.
But let me stop, apparently the boy suffers from some mental issues, so I am going to leave him alone.
"His mother blames her son's behavior on his mental illness. "He's a paranoid schizophrenic and he ain't been taking his medicine for one because he flips off. He be good sometime, then he get bad."
OK, my bad....but wait...
"Police charged the teen with felonious assault, false information, and drug abuse.
His mother says her son would rather buy drugs than food. "So to keep him from going in the streets to do the bad things, I give him money everyday."
She says she doesn't want him to stay in jail. "It's not a good place for him there. He need to go to a mental hospital somewhere so he can get his head right.."
Yes, and where they can feed his ass. [Story]
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China is expected to surpass Japan this year as the world's second-largest economy, an unprecedented position for a still-developing country and one that has brought strains as well as triumphs.
Second-quarter GDP figures from Japan reported Monday morning show that its economic output, at $1.288 trillion, fell short of the $1.339 trillion China reported for the three months ended in June.
Once final numbers for all of 2010 are compiled, many economists expect China to overtake Japan as the world's second-largest national economy in U.S. dollar terms. The gap between China's $5 trillion economy and the U.S.'s nearly $15 trillion output remains very large, and even at current growth rates?which may not be sustained?it would take China a decade or more to match the No. 1 U.S.A decade. As if that's a long time for something that significant.
There has been much online chatter, bordering on excitement, among our online brothers and sisters of the Left regarding the New Republic cover story by John Judis, "The Unnecessary Fall: A counter-history of the Obama presidency" (unfortunately available free only to subscribers).
I think these early grafs summarize the basic proposition:
Politicians, such as Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan, who found a way of using populism?s appeal during downturns have enjoyed success, while those who have spurned it have suffered accordingly. If, in circumstances like the present one, you don?t develop a populist politics, your adversaries will use populism to define you as an enemy of the people. That?s what Carter discovered during the stagflation of the late ?70s. And that?s what has happened in the last 20 months of the Great Recession to Barack Obama and to the Democratic Party he leads.
Obama took office with widespread popular support, even among Republicans, and some of his first efforts, including the $800 billion stimulus, initially enjoyed strong public favor. But that wide appeal began to dissipate by the late spring of 2009. Disillusion with Obama fueled the November defeat of Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia. By January 2010, it was a crucial factor in Republican Scott Brown?s astonishing victory over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts.
In the postmortem debate over these defeats, some Democrats have blamed Obama?s dogged pursuit of health care reform while the economy was hemorrhaging jobs. That may have been a factor, but the real damage was done earlier. What doomed Obama politically was the way he dealt with the financial crisis in the first six months of his presidency. In an atmosphere primed for a populist backlash, he allowed the right wing to define the terms.
Dear Professor Warren:
After careful consideration, we've decided we would sooner eat poison than let you anywhere near the CFPB.
Have a nice life.
A Senior White House Official
A QUICK NOTE ON "NOMINATABILITY"
The most conspicuous response I got to my previous post, titled "Of course Elizabeth Warren would be confirmable as CFPB head. The real question: Is she nominatable?," was a tweetback to Howie's tweet of the title from someone I formerly had big-time respect for, chiding us for going the way of Sarah Palin into making up words. Which successfully compounded insult with ignorance -- of the English language, and of course what is actually so buffoonish about Princess Sarah's linguistic blundering.
First off, I wonder how many dictionaries the writer consulted in declaring "nominatable" a made-up word. Personally, I would have proceeded very cautiously, because -- just like "confirmable," which by astounding coincidence appeared cheek by jowl with it -- it's a word formed according to an absolutely fundamental and familiar process of English coinage: adding "able" to a verb that indicates a process capable of being accomplished. Yes, a bit of levity was intended, also as a way of calling attention to the concept of nominatability, a word that is surely understandable to any reader of English, and for which there actually is no "official" word.
Poor Princess Sarah, when she was caught "refudiating," had been fed a fact that she was totally unequipped to argue: that writers frequently make up words, not least Shakespeare. Alas for the princess, "refudiate" wasn't any kind of neoloigism, it was simply a blunder by someone with an alarmingly shaky familiarity with the language. I would argue that "nominatable," by contrast, whether or not it conveyed a bit of fun as well as extra meaning to readers, was created in one of the most time-honored modes of word coinage. That is, assuming it truly doesn't exist in any dictionary.
Contrast Obama?s attempt to develop a politics to justify his economic program with what Reagan did in 1982. Faced with steadily rising unemployment, which went from 8.6 percent in January to 10.4 percent in November, Reagan and his political staff, which included James Baker, Mike Deaver, and Ed Rollins, forged a strategy early that year calling for voters to ?stay the course? and blaming the current economic troubles on Democratic profligacy. ?We are clearing away the economic wreckage that was dumped in our laps,? Reagan declared.#
Democrats accused them of playing ?the blame game,? but the strategy, followed to the letter by the White House for ten months, worked. The Republicans were predicted to lose as many as 50 House seats, but they lost only 26 and broke even in the Senate.
Some commentators have noted Reagan?s popularity was even lower than Obama?s. But, on key economic questions, he did much better than Obama and the Democrats are currently performing?and voters expressed far greater patience with Reagan?s program. According to polls, even as the unemployment rate climbed, a narrow plurality still expressed confidence that Reagan?s program would help the economy. On the eve of the election, with the unemployment rate at a postwar high, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 60 percent of likely voters thought Reagan?s economic program would eventually help the country. That?s a sign of a successful political operation. If Obama could command those numbers, Democrats could seriously limit their losses in November. But Obama has not been able to develop a narrative that could convince people to trust him and the Democrats.
Krugman takes on Social Security and the Catfood Commission today:
ocial Security has been running surpluses for the last quarter-century, banking those surpluses in a special account, the so-called trust fund. The program won’t have to turn to Congress for help or cut benefits until or unless the trust fund is exhausted, which the program’s actuaries don’t expect to happen until 2037 — and there’s a significant chance, according to their estimates, that that day will never come.
Meanwhile, an aging population will eventually (over the course of the next 20 years) cause the cost of paying Social Security benefits to rise from its current 4.8 percent of G.D.P. to about 6 percent of G.D.P. To give you some perspective, that’s a significantly smaller increase than the rise in defense spending since 2001, which Washington certainly didn’t consider a crisis, or even a reason to rethink some of the Bush tax cuts.
So where do claims of crisis come from? To a large extent they rely on bad-faith accounting. In particular, they rely on an exercise in three-card monte in which the surpluses Social Security has been running for a quarter-century don’t count — because hey, the program doesn’t have any independent existence; it’s just part of the general federal budget — while future Social Security deficits are unacceptable — because hey, the program has to stand on its own.
It would be easy to dismiss this bait-and-switch as obvious nonsense, except for one thing: many influential people — including Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the president’s deficit commission — are peddling this nonsense.
The major problem is that in the entire 75 years of its existence, there's been a seriously committed conservative effort to undermine it. At this point, Alan Simpson could actually be convinced of the nonsense and arguing, in his own mind, in good faith. Or he could be a craven liar, which is probably just as likely. It's, as Krugman says, it's an ideological battle for them: "its success undermines their claim that government is always the problem, never the solution."
Thus, arguing from reality with its well-known liberal bias won't work. What will work is bashing politicians over the head with the fact that 85% of Americans oppose cutting Social Security to pay off the deficit. There's a reason the Democrats are running ads on the GOP's efforts to gut Social Security. Dems will need to remember that factoid when the Catfood Commission comes out with its recommendations this fall. Any cuts to Social Security on the Democrats' watch will destroy them politically.
Frames are beginning to take clear shape for the midterms, and yes, Social Security will be under attack. While Republicans won't necessarily push privatization, they'll try to make points with the usual fear tactics about how the "Social Security Crisis" will bankrupt the country. Paul Krugman has some things to say about that.
The math is wrong and so is their attitude
Social Security?s attackers claim that they?re concerned about the program?s financial future. But their math doesn?t add up, and their hostility isn?t really about dollars and cents. Instead, it?s about ideology and posturing. And underneath it all is ignorance of or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans.
So where do claims of crisis come from? To a large extent they rely on bad-faith accounting. In particular, they rely on an exercise in three-card monte in which the surpluses Social Security has been running for a quarter-century don?t count ? because hey, the program doesn?t have any independent existence; it?s just part of the general federal budget ? while future Social Security deficits are unacceptable ? because hey, the program has to stand on its own.
What's really going on here?
What?s really going on here? Conservatives hate Social Security for ideological reasons: its success undermines their claim that government is always the problem, never the solution. But they receive crucial support from Washington insiders, for whom a declared willingness to cut Social Security has long served as a badge of fiscal seriousness, never mind the arithmetic.
There's much more to Krugman's article, all worthy of attention. Bottom line is easy: Social Security should not be on the table. At all.
Personally, I don't think anybody who seeks favors and answers from an invisible sky wizard should be allowed to build anything, anywhere, ever. Or drive. Or vote. But until that blessed day comes, all the freakazoids are equally brainless and dangerous, so there's no point in discriminating.
Not that the lack of a point is stopping northern Kentuckians from shitting themselves over a planned
house of worship terrorist training center in their very idio-christo midst.
What happens when vile opportunistic bigots like Sarah Palin, Frank Gaffney, Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity fan the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry and paranoia? It spreads. Fast.
And it's hit Florence, KY:FLORENCE - The announcement that a mosque is being planned near Mall Road in Florence has drawn a strong reaction from some in the community.
Florence city officials say they have gotten several calls about the proposed worship center and a flier is being distributed in the city's neighborhoods.
There is also a website run by a Boone County resident that posts anti-Islamic messages and encourages people to "Stop the Mosque."
Oh, and here's the lovely site. There, you can learn about how Islam should be abolished in America and how they already occupy the White House.
The site takes comments. Ahem.
Until then, bigots, good luck with embracing the communist takeover of private property in defense of religious tyranny. You're making Newt Gingrich proud.
Florence is located in Boone County, location of the Creationist Museum. I'm embarassed to admit that I'm from the same area, but I never questioned Christians' right to build that ridiculous ode to an anti-science and anti-commonsense agenda.
As plans to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City become political fodder for the fall elections on a national scale, it's become shorthand to imply that all 9/11 families oppose the erection of the mosque two blocks from the site where terrorists downed the World Trade Center nearly nine years ago.
But in fact, no cohesive position has emerged from the thousands of 9/11 families who have been politically influential on many issues in the past. One group which has opposed war has come out strongly in favor of the mosque project, known as Cordoba House. Others have avoided even addressing the issue.
"There is no simple, singular 9/11 group who really should or could speak for all 9/11 family members," said Donna Marsh O'Connor of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a coalition of more than 250 families which recently endorsed the mosque. Since the endorsement, the membership numbers have grown, she said.
Yeah, she's lying.
The most cursory googling shows that she's been advocating a string of right-wing positions going back over the last decade. Indeed, she's the cofounder with Liz Cheney of Keeping America Safe.
Also very worth noting is that none of the 9/11 Families groups who actually seem to be membership organizations made up of families of the victims seem to have taken positions on the mosque issue at all. I looked at the websites of several such organizations. And they each contain 'about' pages with some information about the organization, its membership and in most cases boards of directors. The website of Burlingame's group, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, contains no such information. But it's statement of purpose does give some sense of viewpoint: "The war against sharia is a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity."
There's been a lot of pointless bickering lately about a Mosque being built near where Nine Eleven happened. Exactly what is a "safe distance" to put a Mosque away from a place so that it doesn't have some imaginary effect on it? I'd prefer a ban on ALL religious buildings being built within 1,000 miles of a place where ANY MEMBER of ANY SPECIFIC religious organization did some harm unto society.
This is the advantage of being a non-religious person. We just look at situations like this and scratch our heads, then we move on and try to figure out how to make life less terrible in ways that can actually help.
I like his ban. It would instantly free up a lot of real estate for productive use.
The motions panel's order is succinct:
Appellants’ motion for a stay of the district court’s order of August 4, 2010 pending appeal is GRANTED. The court sua sponte orders that this appeal be expedited pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 2. The provisions of Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2(a) (pertaining to grants of time extensions) shall not apply to this appeal. This appeal shall be calendared during the week of December 6, 2010, at The James R. Browning Courthouse in San Francisco, California.
The previously established briefing schedule is vacated. The opening brief is now due September 17, 2010. The answering brief is due October 18, 2010. The reply brief is due November 1, 2010. In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. See Arizonans For Official English v. Arizona, 520 U.S. 43, 66 (1997).
[Pleadings regarding the stay are posted here.]
[I]sn't it odd to think that a majority of the voters could pass a law, and then just because the governor and the attorney general don't like it, no one gets to stand up for it on appeal? Especially after they've been allowed to do so at trial? It's an outcome that allows a court challenge to trump voter preferences in a way that just seems undemocratic and out of joint... [T]o deny the Prop 8 proponents standing would be to get to the heart of the case for gay marriage, because it would show that "their interests"—the interests of the gay-marriage opponents—weren't harmed by Walker's decision. "That is, they lose nothing as a result of gay marriage being legal." It sounds great rhetorically. But it's declaring victory before actually winning on the merits. And to win because your opponent wasn't even allowed to fight is not at all like winning after he fought to the death and you creamed him. Or like winning because he saw your far superior strength, and forfeited.
We're right on the merits, and at least some aspects of Judge Walker's opinion will obtain at least five votes from the Supremes. Don't be afraid.
Finally: yes, the LGBT plaintiffs could now appeal this decision granting the stay to the Supreme Court of the United States, where Justice Kennedy would be initially hearing it. I wouldn't expect it.
Ugh. Why is it so difficult to find Democrats not eager to bow to the craven fear-mongering of Republican rivals? TPM:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has now spoken out on the Muslim community center in New York -- saying that while the organizers are free to construct the project, it should be moved somewhere else.
"The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else," said a statement from Reid spokesman Jim Manley. "If the Republicans are being sincere, they would help us pass this long overdue bill to help the first responders whose health and livelihoods have been devastated because of their bravery on 911, rather than continuing to block this much-needed legislation."
Fer cryin' out loud. Reid is running scared because of rival Sharron Angle's taunts that Reid is Obama's waterboy by the lizard brains who want to equate all Muslims with terrorism and 9/11.
"As the Majority Leader, Harry Reid is usually President Obama's mouthpiece in the U.S. Senate, and yet he remains silent on this issue. Reid has a responsibility to stand up and say no to the mosque at Ground Zero or once again side with President Obama---this time against the families of 9/11 victims. America is waiting."
And of course, he caves. Saying that they have a First Amendment right to build it isn't that revolutionary a stance to take. One would hope that the Majority Leader of the Senate has at least a cursory understanding of the Constitution (which is, by the way, more than we can say for Angle). But to say that they should move it is to play into the irrational hatred and bigotry of the lowest common denominator and something for which Reid should be wholly ashamed. Greg Sargent:
Despite Reid's reaffirmation of this right, his response is still weak and indefensible. And it leaves the President hanging after he took a big risk to do the right thing. Obama did not explicitly endorse the decision to build the center. But Obama did say that if the group does proceed with that decision, we must respect that decision, in accordance with American values.
Reid is not willing to say that. Rather, he's saying, in effect, that even if he supports the group's right to build the center, he's not willing to respect the decision to do so. That's unacceptable, and leaves Obama isolated at a very sensitive moment.
What's more, it's unclear why coming out against the plan in the manner Reid did is even good politics for Democrats at this point. Reid basically threw the whole Dem caucus under the bus: With the Senate leader at odds with the president, the media will press every Senate Dem to declare which side they're on.
Dumb, Harry. On every level. Even Republican advisers like Mark McKinnon think that pursuing this is a loser for Republicans. Why do you need to be a loser too?
Want to tell Harry that he needs to smarten up? Contact him here.
The brilliant young writer, Eli Clifton, from Lobelog interviews Yossi Alpher -- an Israeli with decades of intelligence experience in the IDF and the Mossad.
Bottom line: Jeff Goldberg's ATLANTIC piece about the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran is so much spin.
Last time (Iraq) it was Goldberg who was doing the spinning. This time he got spun.
The Israelis who spoke to him told him what he wanted to hear and what they wanted him to put out to the particular crowd (that includes me) who pays more attention to the exceedingly parochial former IDF prison warden than his writing merits.
Clifton's interview with Alpher is, in addition to smacking down Goldberg, a strong piece on the whole Iran/Israel nuclear issue. Lesson: you don't read Jeff Goldberg to find out what's happening. You read him to find out what the Israeli right and AIPAC want to happen.
In other words, read him. What his friends want, they usually get. And it affects us all.