On the first Friday of each month, the U.S. Department of Labor announces job numbers and unemployment figures for the previous month. During the early months of 2012, the figures looked particularly good for the Obama Administration and Democrats. Jobs were growing at over 250,000 per month and unemployment was dropping from the 9% threshold [...]Related posts:
Now that Mitt Romney has informed us that President Obama's pastoral influences are fair game this election, folks are taking a look at Mitt Romney's religious mentors as well.And with no further ado, I give you Brigham Young. (And I checked the quotes on Google, they're real.)On polygamy:"Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that...
Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.Leading Off:
? CO-06: Sometimes it's just amazing when Republicans reveal what lies truly deep in their hearts?amazing not because of the crazy shit they believe, but because they simply cannot censor themselves. Sophomore GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, at a fundraiser last weekend, completely unprompted:
"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."He not only goes birther, but he also questions the president's patriotism in one fell swoop. Coffman immediately knew he'd said the quiet part loud as soon as he was called on it by local TV station 9News, because he claimed he "misspoke" and said he apologizes?but then tried to rationalize his way out of this mess by adding, "I don't believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism." Mmhm.
As you may know, Colorado's 6th Congressional District was made significantly bluer in redistricting, going from a seat John McCain won by a 53-46 margin to one Barack Obama won, 54-45. That's made Coffman extremely vulnerable this year, yet he's still acting as though he's running in the district that repeatedly elected Tom Tancredo to Congress. And it means this screw-up is a huge gift to Democrats, who I'm sure will make great use of it on behalf of Coffman's opponent, state Rep. Joe Miklosi. I love it when Republicans tell us what they really believe.
Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice?s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice
Today in 1983: President Reagan sticks his thumbs in his ears and wiggles his fingers, and says to the gathered White House News Photographers, "I've been waiting years to do this." Our celebration of this moment continues below:
The Lester and Charlie Review want your opinion.
Watertiger has the ultimate Mitt Romney Quote-of-the-Day.
We Are The Dog understands the strategy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Bonus Track: William K. Wolfrum Chronicles compares and contrasts various fictional millionaires and billionaires with the all too real Mitt Romney.
A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches on current issues that may be of interest.[...]
Read The Full Article:
Visual source: Newseum
Wealth doesn't preclude stupid strategy, and the revelation that billionaire Joe Ricketts seriously entertained and possibly gave initial approval to a vile albeit strategically inane plan to dredge up old race-based attacks against President Obama demonstrates that even (often?) rich people with money to burn who fancy themselves brilliant political strategists...well, aren't.
Mr. Ricketts wanted to dominate the election cycle with $10 million. Instead, his plan was repudiated by Republican candidate Mitt Romney, his family's attempt to secure millions in taxpayer funds to renovate Wrigley Field is under attack, Cubs fans have even more to be disappointed about this season, and while two of his children sat in on the pitch meeting, the other two (one of whom sits on Obama's finance committee) have the type of mortified horror etched on their face that a fifteen year old might have when his mother yells out "I love you" while dropping him off right in front of the school door, in front of the coolest kids in school.
As for Mr. Ricketts's plan to be a major, narrative-driving player in national politics? Maybe next election cycle, Mr. Ricketts. Maybe next election cycle.
On to the punditry...
George Sunick at PolicyMic:
This work of genius ? titled ?The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good? ? intends to portray Barack Hussein Obama as a ?metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.?David Haugh at The Chicago Tribune:
It makes sense. Barack Hussein Obama is clearly a metrosexual, perhaps even a homosexual; after all, I just read in Newsweek that he?s our first gay president. If he wasn?t, why would he support gay rights? It just doesn?t make sense. I?m not sure about the Lincoln part because Barack Hussein Obama doesn?t wear a hat or have a beard. He does want to tear this nation apart though, so I guess that?s enough. And he?s is obviously black, since he?s from Kenya.
The plan also will attempt to associate Barack Hussein Obama with his old pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. This is very important ? since Barack Hussein Obama has disavowed Wright?s statements and hasn?t enacted any policies that are in line with Wright?s ?black liberation theology,? people have forgotten that Barack Hussein Obama is absolutely going to try to corrupt America by enacting policies that are in line with Wright?s black liberation theology! I don?t know about you, but Barack Hussein Obama?s not fooling me.
The plan also focuses on Barack Hussein Obama?s wasteful spending and how harmful it is to the country. It?s so important that this ad campaign is projected to cost over $10 million dollars. Now that is money well spent. For that you can thank Joe Ricketts, the aforementioned conservative billionaire. Ricketts exemplifies the best aspects of American innovation and tradition; he?s doing his part to make America better by waging a shock and awe campaign against America?s enemies ? Barack Hussein Obama and the rest of those dirty socialists who support gay rights, government spending and fiscal regulations ? and subjugating them to his own economic preference through his own personal army ? the Republican Party.
No Cubs fan wants to hear about a "Ricketts Plan,'' unless it involves improving the bullpen and the bunting. [...] Wrigley usually represents a no-stress, non-partisan zone, a place where you praise Castro and everybody knows you're talking about the shortstop, not the dictator. A place smack dab in the middle of a Cubbie-blue state but where Obama still will get criticized for being a Sox fan, if his name comes up at all.Alex Koppelman at The New Yorker:
But before Friday's first pitch, sorry, sadly I will wonder if fans from the North and South sides are debating starting rotations or presidential politics. I bet people sitting in the decaying stadium will discuss how the perception of the "Ricketts Plan,'' dramatically altered the reality of who pays for Wrigley renovations. I will look for the first "Rahm v. Tom'' T-shirt.
Perhaps, in a strange way, the controversy will unify Cubs and Sox fans by forcing them to cling to a common belief; that baseball is better in Chicago when the only party that matters is the one in the bleachers.
The theory that Americans would reject Obama if they really knew about Jeremiah Wright rests on the idea that we don?t know about him, because the liberal press didn?t tell us. But we do, because they did.Keith Boykin at BET:
In May of 2008, after Wright became a major issue in the campaign for a second time (the first was two months earlier) by making a series of public appearances, Pew conducted a survey in which it asked respondents about Wright and the media?s coverage of him. In all, eighty-four per cent of those polled said they?d heard about the remarks had made?sixty-two per cent said they?d heard ?a lot,? twenty-two per cent ?a little.? Only fifteen per cent said they hadn?t heard anything at all. Obama won anyway.
And, as Adam Serwer points out, despite accusations that the media protected Obama by under-covering Wright, even in 2008 the vast majority of respondents felt differently. Twenty-six per cent thought the press had given the right amount of attention to Wright; fifty-nine per cent thought there had been too much coverage of his comments.
Even though the plan isn?t going forward, the proposal itself shows they're out of touch with reality. First, they talk about "literate" Black people as if that's a rare occurrence. Second, they think Elder will persuade people. And third, they want to attack the president for being a "metrosexual." Really? [...]Alex Roarty at National Journal:
And how did Mitt Romney respond to the news? When asked whether Wright is off limits in the 2012 presidential campaign, Romney said he hadn't "read the papers yet," according to Los Angeles Times reporter Maeve Reston. Perhaps that should come as no surprise since the presumptive GOP nominee has already tried to link Obama to Wright, as he did in a radio interview with talk show host Sean Hannity in February.
And though the official Wright ad campaign will never see the light of day, the racist undertone will persist through November. This is not about winning independents. This is part of a dog-whistle campaign to reach out to those crazy conservatives who think Obama is a radical socialist Muslim Kenyan with no birth certificate and no right to be president.
Romney can breathe a sigh of relief: The proposed advertisement has been scuttled after eliciting swift, sharp backlash. But the close call still highlights a potentially ominous lesson for all political candidates in 2012: In the post-Citizens United era of loosened campaign finance regulations, candidates are at the mercy of well-heeled outside groups.Brian Naylor at NPR:
Those organizations? prodigious financial resources can be enormously beneficial, but because candidates can?t legally coordinate with them, they risk having their message hijacked and campaigns hurt by well-meaning allies. Just as easily as a multi-million dollar ad purchase can buy a candidate victory, it can also torpedo their entire effort.
?Billionaires may think they have best interest of candidate in mind, but they may not know a whole lot about winning elections and how to persuade voters,? said Rick Tyler, who worked on the super PAC supportive of former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. ?And that can be dangerous for the candidate.?
The Nebraska native recalled his first job, as a third-grader, helping the janitor of a local courthouse. The job, he said, made his parents proud. "And I felt proud of myself, cleaning bathrooms, emptying wastebaskets and sweeping floors because I had a job where I got paid. So that has always been the main focus of my life and my energies ? to make money. And it's a lot of fun to make money."Melissa Harris and Rick Pearson at The Chicago Tribune:
He has long railed against government spending on pork-barrel projects, an irony given the Cubs ownership is trying to work out a deal with City Hall that would involve using $150 million in city amusement taxes to leverage a $300 million renovation of the National League's oldest ballpark. [...]Jake Tapper at ABC News:
The Rickettses made a point of saying family members have diverse political views. Laura Ricketts, a major fundraiser for Obama and a Cubs co-owner, said she hoped the "misunderstanding" about her father's political efforts "will have no impact on the Cubs, which is completely unrelated. My father is not involved with the Cubs whatsoever. My hope is it won't have an impact, but we'll see."
But after Thursday's events, the tax incentives that were under consideration are likely "off the table right now," according to an Emanuel aide.
The Super PAC he is funding has stated its intent to spend at least $10 million on its activities. Last month, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ricketts sold 521,988 share of common stock in the company for $20.04 Per Share ? worth $10.46 million.
So does it bother TD Ameritrade that he appears to be cashing in TD Ameritrade stock to run this campaign?
?We have many shareholders and we can?t legislate what people do with their money,? Hillyer said. [...] ?His political activities are not those of the company,? Hillyer said again.
The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and awaited arrival of law enforcement, or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each person’s concern. – Sanford Police Department Report, page 27 (verbatim)
IF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN had not decided to enter the situation, but instead let the professionals do their jobs, perhaps one teen wouldn’t have been shot dead, and a man wouldn’t have ruined his life. Because no matter the outcome, Zimmerman’s life will never be what it might have been.
The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman… if Zimmerman had… or conversely if [Zimmerman] had… ..
The Sanford Police Report puts the blame squarely on the decisions made by George Zimmerman on the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin dead.
It is quite a document dump by the prosecution.
“Investigation reveals that Martin was in fact running generally in the direction of where he was staying as a guest in the neighborhood.”
The autopsy by the Volusia County Medical Examiner on Trayvon Martin showed traces of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Many things can be said about marijuana, but I’ve never known anyone, seen anyone or personally experienced, pot inducing aggression; sleepiness, perhaps, craving all sorts of snacks, absolutely, but aggressive behavior, no. Of course, that won’t stop the squealing.
The report tells a story that is at times confusing to read and devastating at others.
One investigator wrote:
“… I was also informed that statements made by Zimmerman at the scene were corroborated by several witnesses, and led to the possibility of this shooting having been self defense. Written statements were obtained by…”
One person interviewed recalled “the black male was mounted on the white or Hispanic male and throwing punches ‘MMA (mixed martial arts) style’…” The person goes on to say “a guy… on the bottom getting hit was yelling help…”
A few pages later:
“… I reviewed the 911 calls… [redacted] [redacted] in the background I could clearly hear a male’s voice either yelling “Help” or “Help me”, fourteen (14) times in an approximately 38 second time span. The voice was determined to be that of George Zimmerman, who was apparently yelling for help as he was being battered by Trayvon Martin.”
One anonymous call by a female who refused to give any identifying information told an Inv. Perkins that “George Zimmerman has racist ideologies, and that he is perfectly capable of instigating a confrontation that could have escalated to the point of Zimmerman having to use deadly force.” This means nothing, because it’s anonymous and could be anyone, including someone with a grudge against Zimmerman.
One woman saw “two men chasing each other, a fistfight between the two men..” then she heard the gunshot.
In one telephonic interview one person was “adamant that there was no physical fighting at the time when the gunshot rang out.”
One woman interviewed said she “heard someone crying” before the gunshot rang out. “When asked to best describe the crying or the sobbing she heard, she stated it was coming from a young person, and the tone was that of fear, and/or complaining.”
In another part of the report:
“I asked Mr. Martin if the voice calling for help was that of his son. Mr. Martin, clearly emotionally impacted by the recording, quietly responded, ‘no.’”
According to reports, including the New York Times, not only was Zimmerman’s vehicle not impounded on the night of the shooting, but the Sanford police didn’t cover the crime scene, so blood evidence could not be recovered.
Some time prior to the fatal shooting George Zimmerman had been prescribed both Temazepam, which is prescribed for anxiety and insomnia, as well as Aderall, but we’ll never know what was in his system the night he decided to do the job better left to professionals.
¶ The police did not test Mr. Zimmerman for alcohol or drug use that night, and one witness said the lead investigator quickly jumped to a conclusion that it was Mr. Zimmerman, and not Mr. Martin, who cried for help during the struggle. [New York Times]
At this point it's probably too late for any option other than default. Angela Merkel has repeatedly missed critical timing moments for little more than political posturing at home, so her latest compromise position is frustrating to say the least. During the previous rescue attempts she forced Greece to accept lousy terms and harsh austerity, policies which most knew would destroy the Greek...
Many people would sooner die than think;
In fact, they do so.
Born May 18, 1872
Read The Full Article: