Reporting from a campaign event in Rosemont, Illinois, Felicia Sonmez (of the Washington Post) tweeted this odd attack from Mitt Romney on Obama?s private sector experience:
?It?s hard to create a job if you never had one,? Romney says of Obama.
There are a few things going on here, all of them wrong. First is the assumption, common in Romney?s rhetoric, that private sector experience is a necessary part of understanding job growth. But that?s not true at all. The tools and skills that make a successful businessperson are only somewhat related to the tools and skills that make a successful lawmaker or chief executive. Just because you?ve run a successful firm doesn?t mean that you?ll have a sound understanding of macroeconomic forces. To wit, the policy preferences of businesspeople during the recession?cut spending and lower the deficit?are the exact opposite of what the economy needs right now.
Beyond the conceptual error, it?s also true that Romney is running with the lie that Barack Obama never worked in the private sector. I know that conservatives hate community organizing, but it isn?t a government job. Likewise, Obama spent his immediate post-college years working in a publishing firm, and before entering politics he taught law at the University of Chicago?a private institution. And then, of course, there?s the fact that being president is a job?and a terrible one at that. Now, if Romney meant to disparage the lack of profit seeking in Obama?s career, then he would be right. But, for my part, I?m a little disturbed by the notion that work only counts if it makes money for someone.
There?s one other thing that bothers me about Romney?s comment. Newt Gingrich gained a lot of mileage out of the declaration that Obama was a ?food stamp president,? which instantly conjurs the image of dependent African Americans and ?welfare queens,? despite the fact that it?s false?if there?s anything responsible for the larger number of Americans who use food stamps, it?s the Great Recession. My gut tells me that Romney?s attack??It?s hard to create a job if you never had one??comes from a similar place, with the same implicit message: Barack Obama, the first black president, goes from government job to government job without working like you and I do.
Whether or not this was Romney?s intent is irrelevant; for four years, race-baiting has been the norm for conservative attacks on Obama. Rush Limbaugh thrived on it, Glenn Beck lived off it and the late Andrew Breitbart built an online empire with it, with the Derrick Bell controversy as the most recent in a line of attacks on ?radical? black people. Hell, it wasn?t long ago that Rick Santorum told an audience that he didn?t ?want to make black people?s lives better by giving them somebody else?s money,? and it?s no coincidence that the push for voter ID laws is strongest where there are large African American populations.
Sure, Romney may not have meant his attack as a racial dog whistle, but in this world at this time, that?s exactly what it is.
Everett Ward, a resident of Raleigh and the former Executive Director of the NC Democratic Party welcomes visitors from around the world and says, "I feel as if I'm inviting them into our home and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure their stay is extremely comfortable and enjoyable." He asks everyone to help Convention visitors experience North Carolina in a way that will make bring southern hospitality to life during this event in the life of The Tar Heel State.
This video is part of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee Carolina Stories Series. For more Carolina Stories, visit http://charlottein2012.com/
It blew me away to discover this week that Americans used public transportation in the 1940s at levels more than twice as high as today. Those are absolute numbers, not per capita. When you consider that the U.S. population then was less than half of[...]
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Jon Stewart is on a roll. [...]
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The American Postal Worker Union is launching a national ad buy that will appear on NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, designed to raise awareness about the easy solution to the current funding problems that the United States Postal Service is facing. As previously reported, there is literally no legitimate reason for the funding shortfall. Conservatives in Congress and elsewhere are purposefully trying to hurt the Postal Service so they can privatize it:
The problem lies elsewhere: the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, and do so within a decade, an obligation no other public agency or private firm faces. The roughly $5.5 billion annual payments since 2007 ? $21 billion total ? are the difference between a positive and negative ledger.
APWU is not taking the assault on their livelihood lightly, they are going on the offensive to let the American public know the reality behind what is being done to undercut the USPS.
Says APWU President Cliff Guffey:
"The ads are intended to build public awareness and support for congressional efforts to resolve the Postal Service?s financial crisis without cutting pay, reducing benefits, eliminating collective bargaining rights or slashing service."
On the congressional front, APWU supports a package of amendments to the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) that would prevent the closures and other service cutbacks. The bill is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate soon.
AWPU members can take action to support the campaign. Others can call 202-224-3121 and tell their senators to support the amendments that would stop layoffs and office closures.
I’m officially sick of this subject, but some details matter.
Sean Hannity served up the quote from Mitt Romney, which the National Journal reported:
In an appearance on the Sean Hannity radio show, Romney said, ?Frankly, what Bill Maher said, and I finally read the transcripts, I was offended, outraged that a person would say that on TV and would not have been called on the carpet before now and not apologized for it. To have the Obama campaign retain a million dollars from Bill Maher, it is simply outrageous. I don?t condone that kind of language and particularly in a public setting, a TV setting.? It?s just gone way beyond the pale.?
I’d ask where Mr. Romney got “the transcripts,” but that’s too fact oriented for this discussion.
Rush Limbaugh is a misogynist, which he proves repeatedly by smearing feminists, independent and professional women, using “femininazi,” “reporterette” and “babe” repeatedly on his show. He also enjoys punching down at female private citizens, which is what cowards do. For that Missouri is going to honor him with a bust in the state capitol.
Bill Maher is a foul-mouthed comedian who slams public women with vile words that are offensive and usually reserved for conservatives. It’s tasteless, but I don’t find the “c” word funny. I’m not offended by it either, though I’m a tiny minority. At least Maher isn’t threatened by strong, professional women, which Limbaugh clearly is. Comics are held to different cultural standards and have been since Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. We can argue if they shouldn’t be, but Maher also isn’t on public airwaves or on Armed Forces radio.
Unlike Rush Limbaugh, Maher doesn’t support taking women’s freedoms away either. Limbaugh has no problem with the hypocrisy of calling himself a conservative then supporting the state forcing women to have ultrasounds, then making them look at it. That’s far more obscene to me than the “c” word said by a comedian. Hey, but that’s me. I’m picky about my freedom, which Rush, Hannity and Mitt Romney want to take away.
Sticks and stones, words can’t hurt me, but the state forcing me to endure a procedure no man would tolerate does great harm and humiliation.
Rush Limbaugh is unconcerned. Bill Maher wouldn’t support this crap in a million years.
And there is no reason the pro-Obama Super PAC should give Bill Maher his money back.
What about the obscene amount of money from venture capitalists that Romney has taken who are the same people who sold the American people out?
Right, that’s not considered obscene.
What about outright lies used to smear women, even when civility is employed? That’s the currency of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing radio gasbags.
When someone lies about you on the air or defames your character, as Limbaugh and Hannity do to women, as well as Pres. Obama, regularly, shouldn’t that be addressed too?
I guess not, because whoppers has become political currency, especially from the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh.
We need a new definition for what’s truly obscene.
A group working under the Anonymous banner has release Anonymosus-OS, a derivative of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution optimized for doing Anonymous-style stuff, with a bunch of "security testing" tools included in the distro. Given recent revelations about the infected version of the Low-Orbit Ion Cannon, it would be prudent to manually verify all the package checksums before using this.Having worked in Internet security for over 20 years, this does not surprise me.
I've been wanting to write a food post, and this is it. Yes, "Pink Slime" (my capitals) is an actual food product, or at least an additive. Consider:
? It's productized beef scrap, and as bad as the name implies.
? Its source is the lowest of the low beef by-products, the last to be salvaged. Ammonia-treated. Dog food fodder.
? And the food-industrial complex, via their retainers in the USDA, are using poor children in the lunch program as forced (by poverty) consumers for this stuff.
Poverty; see, it works just like unemployment ? keeps the supply-side economy humming.
All of this information comes thanks to a small aggregator blog that's well worth checking out, anotheroldwoman. (By the way, that picture up there? That's the Cuisinart version, not the factory product. Just saying.)
? What is "pink slime?" ABC News (my emphasis and some reparagraphing everywhere):
Gerald Zirnstein grinds his own hamburger these days. Why? Because this former United States Department of Agriculture scientist and, now, whistleblower, knows that 70 percent of the ground beef we buy at the supermarket contains something he calls ?pink slime.? ...The beauty isn't just in the salvage operation. There's genius in the political operation ? by which I mean the labeling:
According to [USDA scientist] Custer, the product is not really beef, but ?a salvage product? ... made by gathering waste trimmings [beef "waste" is everything you think it is], simmering them at low heat so the fat separates easily from the muscle, and spinning the trimmings using a centrifuge to complete the separation. Next, the mixture is sent through pipes where it is sprayed with ammonia gas to kill bacteria ... [then packaged] into bricks [and] frozen and shipped to grocery stores and meat packers, where it is added to most ground beef.
The ?pink slime? [additive] does not have to appear on the label because, over objections of its own scientists, USDA officials with links to the beef industry labeled it meat. ?The under secretary said, ?it?s pink, therefore it?s meat,?? Custer told ABC News.? About those USDA retainers I mentioned above. Think I'm joking? The Food Bigs really do own their own USDA. ABC again:
[T]he woman who made the decision to OK the mix is a former undersecretary of agriculture, Joann Smith. ... [I]n 1993, BPI?s principal major supplier appointed her to its board of directors, where she made at least $1.2 million over 17 years.BPI is Beef Products Inc., manufacturers of Pink Slime. They made "hundred of millions of dollars" from the stuff, all thanks to Ms. Smith. Again, it's nice to own your own USDA.
The USDA, however, says the additive is safe to eat. The department is so satisfied with the stuff that it plans to buy 7 million pounds of ground beef containing ?pink slime? in coming months for the national school lunch program, the Daily reported on Monday. And that?s created a whole new stink?Then adds her own comment:
And why would the USDA be so satisfied with the stuff?? Well, school nutrition programs are chronically underfunded?it?s only kids who eat the stuff, mostly poor kids whose parents have no political power?so frugality is important.Can't argue with that. "'Lean beef trimmings' for thee; the fat of the land for me and my friends." The old old story.
Filmmaker Lee Hirsch talked with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts yesterday about his new documentary Bully, which has been given an “R” rating by the MPAA for the language it portrays. Calling the judgment “odd,” “heartbreaking,” and “infuriating,” Hirsch pointed out that “if you take out the language, you further minimize the experience that kids deal with when they’re bullied.” High school student Katy Butler has collected over 300,000 signatures ? including at least 27 members of Congress ? on her Change.org petition to overturn the “R” rating. Watch Hirsh’s interview:
Earlier this year, Texas Lt. Gov. and Senate candidate David Dewhurst (R) told ThinkProgress that he thinks that it is unconstitutional for the Department of Justice to enforce the Voting Rights Act by preventing Texas’ racially discriminatory Voter ID law from taking effect. At a forum featuring Dewhurst’s fellow GOP candidates last night, the Republicans would-be senators lined up to join Dewhurst’s opposition to this landmark law
It’s time to do away with the nearly 50-year-old federal rule that let U.S. officials block a new state law requiring Texans to show photo ID to vote.
That’s what Republicans candidates running to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate said during a forum Thursday night.
They called for repeal of the Voting Rights Act provision that requires Texas and other Southern states with histories of discrimination to receive pre-clearance when changing election laws.
“Right now, Texas is subjected to different standards than much of the country,” former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz said during the forum, hosted by the Dallas Bar Association. “I think we need to be fighting to ensure the law is colorblind and fair to everyone.”
It’s a strange definition of “fair to everyone” that says we should allow laws that enable a state to systematically disenfranchise minority voters. DOJ recently blocked Texas’ illegal Voter ID law because, like all Voter ID laws, it disproportionately disenfranchises minority voters. As DOJ determined, “a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5 percent, and potentially 120.0 percent, more likely than a non-Hispanic registered voter to lack” the identification required to vote under Texas’ law.
The GOP candidates’ lockstep opposition to voting rights comes at the same time that the state’s Republican leadership argued that the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional in a federal court in DC. Significantly, the Voting Rights Act was last reauthorized in 2006, after it passed the House 390-33 and the Senate 98-0 and was signed into law by President George W. Bush.