Who is the most influential radio show host in Black America? Black Radio has always been a very powerful voice in modern Black America. In the past it has been a source of information and a galvanizing force when it came to the civil rights movement. Who do you think is the most influential radio [...]
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Do you trust these guys to decide your future?
The coalition of progressive activists in the American Dream Coalition have made sure that jobs are on the agenda for members of Congress this August. They pick good targets.
Two Super Congress Republican members, Rep. Fred Upton (MI) and Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) found themselves confronting angry constituents at home this week, being pressured on tax increases and job creation. In hard-hit Michigan, Upton conceded that he'd be open to tax "reform" that closed some loopholes, but that didn't go far enough for many attendees at his town meeting.
During his 45-minute appearance at the Coover Center, Upton was continually interrupted by people in the audience. Most shouted comments and questions about growing jobs in Michigan and what Upton plans to do.
About 20 people who appeared to be in an organized group sometimes broke into chants. They declined to identify who they were with, with one woman telling a photographer her name is "I am jobs."
At one point, as Upton was talking about reducing the cost of Medicare and ensuring its solvency, a man shouted, "Where are the jobs on your chart?"
A woman stood up and started yelling at Upton, and the group begain chanting "bring back jobs."
They did force Upton to speak on jobs, to talk about his efforts to get an Indiana-based company to increase production in Michigan, but as for a national jobs program, according to this report, Upton didn't have answers.
Toomey's constituents apparently had far less success in getting a response out of their senator on jobs. In fact, they couldn't even get a meeting with him.
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey's stock has been rising rapidly in Washington, as the freshman was named last week to the crucial 12-member "super committee" that will try to resolve the nation's growing debt crisis.
But his stock hit rock bottom today with Shawn Wygant of Forest Hills, who was recently laid off from Pittsburgh-based Sodexo Co., plus about 20 other members of liberal and union groups who gathered in a steady rain outside his office here.
"We want Pat Toomey to meet with the people who voted him in, but the only ones he meets with are big business owners," Mr. Wygant said. "I lost my job and my health insurance but Pat Toomey doesn't worry about that. We want to have a town hall meeting with him by early September so we can get more jobs."
Another laid-off worker, Dan Haney of Philadelphia, said he's been traveling to Toomey offices in Eastern Pennsylvania, and "He said he'd meet with us who lost our jobs but he won't give us a time and a place. He campaigned on bringing jobs to people but we haven't seen it yet. Rich people pay little or no taxes and it's sickening."
However, the protesters are on a different page than Mr. Toomey. Just after being named to the super committee last week, he said that major tax hikes "are not going to be part" of the effort to reduce the nation's $14 trillion deficit. He said he was looking toward reductions in "entitlement programs," such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which are among the biggest items in the federal budget.
There is, however, a bipartisan message coalescing in the Super Congress. Tax "reform" in the form of closing loopholes. Clyburn says that's the only revenue hike on the table, and even Toomey says "all kinds of deductions and write-offs and special-interest loopholes" need to be eliminated.
But he doesn't have anything to say about jobs.
Union members, MoveOn members, and other participants in the American Dream Movement have been showing up at congressional offices and town halls and letting their representatives know they want action on jobs?as Scott Brown found out when the crowd seen above showed up outside one of his high-dollar fundraisers.
In Rep. Lou Barletta's Pennsylvania district, for instance:
Simko and a small group of unemployed people participated in a protest on a rainy Public Square on Monday about the job crisis, one of a series of rallies over the last week aimed at Republican legislators.
The group targeted U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, saying it wants to ask him where the jobs are? They set up a tent on Public Square and said they will wait for the Republican congressman there every day this week from 10 a.m. to noon to meet with them. They held signs with messages such as "2 things R hard to find: jobs and Lou!"
Other House members who have faced jobs protests from their constituents include Elton Gallegly (R-CA), whose seat is seriously endangered by redistricting; Jeff Denham (R-CA), who also faces some electoral map questions following redistricting; Chip Cravaack (R-MN), who faces questions about his commitment to his district since his family moved to New Hampshire for his wife's job, something that can't be helped by refusing to hold a town hall in the largest city in his district; Andy Harris (R-MD); and more.
With the economy stalled, President Obama is not very popular in Ohio right now but his saving grace may be that the American people strongly dislike the entire Republican presidential field.[...]
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Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have promoted the claim that Vice President Joe Biden referred to Tea Party activists as "terrorists." However, that anonymously sourced claim has been explicitly denied by Biden.
Limbaugh: "Biden Did Call" The Tea Party "Terrorists."From The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Tea party guy was offprompter. Anyway, I'm going to have totranslate all this. Ryan Rhodes said I would like to understand why your vicepresident is calling us terrorists. Obama:OK, I'll explain it right now, he didn't call you guys terrorists. And ofcourse, he definitely lied because Biden did. It would be great if CBS News would release Biden's own denial so that wecan hear that. But Biden did call them terrorists. I mean, hell, the whole Democrat Party was calling them terrorists. [Premiere Radio Networks, TheRush Limbaugh Show, 8/16/11]
Hannity: "By All Accounts," The Terrorist "Statement WasMade By Biden." From Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: All right. This just infrom Iowa, President Obama got in a heated debate back and forth with a TeaParty activists demanding to know what a town hall whether or not VicePresident Biden had called members of the Tea Party terrorists, during the debtceiling debate. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When you went tohim privately and said, look, your Vice President call the Tea Partyterrorists, what did he said?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, he justdenied it. And he said the vice president didn't make any of those assertions.And so, if he doesn't want to even admit what was on TV nationally, all overthe place. Then how can you even have a conversation, but then he decided tosay, well, we can't have a conversation because you are saying that I calledyou terrorists. I mean, you know, the fact is, it demonstrates the deep divide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, by all accounts thatstatement was made by Biden. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/15/11, accessed viaNexis]
CBS: Biden Explicitly Denied Allegation, Calling It"Absolutely Not True." From CBS News:
Vice President Joe Biden tells CBSNews that published reports that he compared Tea Party-linked lawmakers to"terrorists" during a closed-door meeting Monday are "absolutelynot true."
"I did not use the terrorismword," Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor ScottPelley.
Biden told Pelley he let lawmakers"vent" about the deal, which includes spending cuts but may notinclude revenue increases. (Some liberal House Democrats have vowed not to backthe deal.) But he says he did not assert that he agreed with the terrorismcomparison.
"What happened was there weresome people who said they felt like they were being held hostage byterrorists," he said. "I never said that they were terrorists orweren't terrorists, I just let them vent."
Added Biden: "I said even ifthat were the case, what's been happening when you now have taken and paid thedebt and move that down so we can now discuss, the nuclear weapon's been takenout of anyone's hands." [CBSNews.com, 8/1/11]
Politico Attributed Claim About Biden To Anonymous "SourcesIn The Room." From Politico:
Vice President Joe Biden joinedHouse Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them ofhaving "acted like terrorists" in the fight over raising the nation's debtlimit, according to several sources in the room.
Biden was agreeing with a line ofargument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door DemocraticCaucus meeting.
"We have negotiated withterrorists," an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. "This smallgroup of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money."
Biden, driven by his Democraticallies' misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: "They have acted liketerrorists." [Politico, 8/1/11]
You may wonder why a Democratic site like this one would publish the GOP delegate count. There are two reasons: first, we're serious about conventions, it's news, and we like doing it. The second reason, especially for all you snark lovers out there (you know who you are) we just can't help ourselves around this cast of characters.
Let's begin today with Kim Lehman, Rick Santorum's first pledged delegate. But first, a word about Spawn of Satan. When polled against President Obama just in Pennsylvania, Spawn was down by 2 in April, but 10 in July. That spread will continue to increase. Face it, we here know him best.
Kim is from Iowa, where she is an RNC member, one of the founders of the Republican National Conservative Caucus member, ex-President of Iowa Right to Life, and a board member and Development Director of the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute. I am not making this up. Kim was censured by the Iowa Republican Committee in 2008 for accusing (and printing and disseminating false information about) a Republican Congressional candidate of being pro-choice.
Here are Rick and Kim giving praise to one another:
“I am blessed to be able to endorse a candidate like Rick Santorum for President,” said Kim Lehman. “Rick Santorum’s record of accomplishment proves that he is more than someone who says that he believes in conservative principals, he is someone willing to fight for them – all of them, including the seriously daunting social and economic issues. Rick won’t apologize for America being great, and he will defend Israel. He didn’t shy away from taking on the partial birth abortion ban or welfare reform and he’s certainly not going to shy away from getting this country back on track. Rick Santorum is grounded and able to lead on the national stage. I look forward to working with him and his campaign in preparation for the caucus in February.”
“I am honored to have Kim’s endorsement,” said Senator Santorum. “Kim’s passion and reputation of standing tall for conservative principles reaches far beyond the borders of Iowa. I am excited about the opportunity to formally work with Kim to spread our message of freedom and faith in the American people.”
You really can tell a lot about people from the company they keep. Back in 2009, Spawn was considering running for president. As we reported then, this was his thought process:
During his address to the Catholic Leadership Conference in Orlando, Santorum also asked the invite-only crowd for their prayers in helping him decide whether to pursue a candidacy.
Rick Santorum, a Dan Quayle for our time. Here are a few Spawn quotes, no doubt all in line with Kim's beiiefs:
- “The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong.”
- “In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might confess that both of them really don’t need to, or at least may not need to work as much as they do… And for some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home.”
- "You probably have learned this in your career, I’m still learning that you don’t make jokes using Hitler.”
- "Candidly, I believe most corporations actually don't mind big government."
- "Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"
And in case you've forgotten, Spawn of Satan was the Senator who sponsored, with NO co-sponsors, a bill (that mercifully died in a matter of days) prohibited the National Weather Service from disseminating ANY data about the weather (like the forecast) if there was a private entity that would or could provide such data. You read that right folks, he wanted to use taxpayer dollars to do things like collect data, make forecasts and long range predictions and then NOT TELL ANYONE. OH RICK! I know you won't last long in this race, but boy oh boy oh chef-Boy-Ar-Dee are you fun to watch.
It is, of course, an article of wingnut faith that Fannie and Freddie crashed the economy by helping undeserving black and brown people get mortgages (Wall Street didn't have a thing to do with it). So if Obama actually implements such a proposal, it will trigger yet another wave of right-wing outrage:
President Obama has directed a small team of advisers to develop a proposal that would keep the government playing a major role in the nation?s mortgage market, extending a federal loan subsidy for most home buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.
The decision follows the advice of his senior economic and housing advisers, who favor maintaining the government?s role as an insurer of mortgages for most borrowers. The approach could even preserve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants owned by the government, although under different names and with significant new constraints, said people knowledgeable about the discussions.
A decision to preserve a major government role would mark a big milestone in the effort to craft a new housing policy from the wreckage of the mortgage meltdown and could mean a larger part for Fannie and Freddie than administration officials had signaled.
In a statement, the White House said it is premature to say that senior officials have agreed on any of the three main options outlined earlier this year in an administration white paper on reforming the housing finance system.
?It is simply false that there has been a decision to move forward with any particular option,? said Matt Vogel, a White House spokesman. ?All three options remain under active consideration and we are deepening our analysis around how each would potentially be implemented. No recommendation has been made to the president by his economic advisers.?
But progressive economist Dean Baker hates the idea:
It would be difficult to find an economic rationale for this policy other than subsidizing the financial industry. The government can and does directly subsidize the purchase of homes through the mortgage interest deduction. This can be made more generous and better targeted toward low and moderate income families by capping it and converting it into a tax credit (e.g. all homeowners can deduct 15 percent of the interest paid on mortgages of $300,000 or less from their taxes).
There is no obvious reason to have an additional subsidy through the system of mortgage finance. Analysis by Mark Zandi showed that the subsidy provided by a government guarantee would largely translate into higher home prices. This would leave monthly mortgage payments virtually unaffected. The diversion of capital from elsewhere in the economy would mean slower economic growth and would kill jobs for auto workers, steel workers and other workers in the manufacturing sector.
Google recently introduced a new feature -- "Editors' Picks" -- that lets news sites have some more personalized real estate on Google News. Our Editors' Picks is a hand-picked list of what we think are the best TPM stories -- updated to the minute.[...]
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A new DNC web ad:
Why do the oil companies always have to immediately dismiss these events and try to cover up the information? Is it asking too much of our political leadership to demand accountability?
The flow of oil from the worst spill in UK waters in the past decade, at one of Shell's North Sea platforms, has been "greatly reduced" but not yet stopped completely, the government said on Monday.
Stuart Housden, director of RSPB Scotland, said: "We know oil of any amount, if in the wrong place, at the wrong time, can have a devastating impact on marine life. Currently thousands of young auks ? razorbills, puffins and guillemots ? are flightless and dispersing widely in the North Sea during late summer. So they could be at serious risk if contaminated by this spill."
Greenpeace criticised Shell for not being sufficiently open about the progress of the spill, which was first discovered on Wednesday but not announced publicly by the company until Friday.
Shell said on Monday that it could not quantify the volume of oil spilled so far, but put it at 1,300 barrels, with a residual leak of about 5 barrels a day that has still to be stopped. Last year's BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico was estimated to be spilling up to 70,000 barrels a day. Shell said it could not predict when the leak would be halted completely.