Campaigns will often talk a good game about expanding the map and how they can win a state that doesn't look like a good prospect, but if you really want to know what states each side thinks the election will hinge on check to see if they put their money[...]
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Scott Brown has a little JPMorgan Chase problem:
All of which smells slightly fishy to the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with six government agencies, seeking to find out whether Brown was involved in helping JPMorgan Chase with its lobbying.
In a news release, the party said that Mr. Brown?s re-election campaign had received at least 30 contributions in February from employees of JPMorgan and the company?s federal political action committee. The New York Times reported last week that JPMorgan executives had met with Federal Reserve officials that month to express concerns about the restrictions on banks? proprietary trading?known as Volcker Rule?that were called for in the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.Brown's defense in all of this, when he's not trying to change the subject, is that he voted for Dodd-Frank. But he only voted for the bill after having negotiated a big loophole in the Volcker Rule provision allowing big banks to continue to invest money in risky hedge funds and private equity firms.
The Times reported that the company had lobbied over months for loose restrictions that would allow banks to make big bets in their portfolios, including some of the types of trading that led to the $2 billion loss that JPMorgan reported last week. (According to people with knowledge of the losses, that figure is now reported to be at least $3 billion.)
At the time, HuffPo's Shahien Nasiripour wrote about one possible, prescient, scenario explaining how this small change would allow banks to place bets with billions of dollars more than was envisioned by the original Volcker rule proposal.
Using JPMorgan Chase, the nation's second-largest bank by assets with more than $2.1 trillion, as an example, the bank would be able to invest an additional 40 percent of its cash, or an extra $1.1 billion for a total of $4 billion, in the activities that Volcker wanted to prohibit banks from engaging in, according to the firm's latest annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.JPMorgan Chase has a lot of reasons to reward Scott Brown that we know about. Hopefully this request from the Democrats in Massachusetts will shed some more light on just how much more there is to the picture.
Help counter JPMorgan Chase, just a little. Please contribute $3 to Elizabeth Warren on Orange to Blue.
When it comes time to score Mitt Romney's first general election ad, the independent arbitrators will rank it as a "negative" spot.As you can see above, the ad features upbeat music and tries hard?perhaps too hard?to sound as though it's being positive, but of the three core promises Romney makes for day one of his imaginary administration, two are clear attacks on President Obama: first on the Keystone XL pipeline (which Obama has not ruled out eventually approving) and second on Obamacare. The third pledge?lower taxes on the wealthy, who Romney calls "job creators"?isn't offered as a contrast, however, so you could grade that as a positive message. On the other hand, while promising to double down on the Bush tax cuts might not count as an attack ... it does qualify is pretty damn stupid. Maybe Romney should stick to the attacks. It worked for him during the primary.
The ad, released on Friday morning and set to air in key swing states, outlines the specific policies that Romney would pursue in the Oval Office, from lowering taxes to signing off on the Keystone pipeline. Discussing the spot while on the trail Thursday, Romney declared that, "it will be a positive ad about the things I would do if I were president."
But the ad also includes several sharp contrasts with the president. And because it mentions Obama by name, when it comes time for grading, it will not get the positive label Romney suggested.
Greg Sargent highlights this portion from an interview Mitt Romney did with Town Hall this morning:
?I think it?s very hard to tell exactly what the president would do, other than by looking at his record in his first three and a half or four years. And we can see where he took the nation in these years. It?s a massive expansion of federal spending, an expansion of the reach of the federal government, and there?s no question in my mind but that his Supreme Court nominees and his policies would be designed toward expanding the role of government in our lives. And frankly, America?s economy runs on freedom. And he has been attacking economic freedom from the first day he came into office.?
Sargent sees this as an attempt to downplay the severity of the economic crisis, and pin the blame for economic stagnation on Obama?s policies. That sounds right, given the extent to which Romney?s general election strategy is predicated on inducing amnesia in the voting public.
This also serves to highlight a point I?ve made over the last week; there?s almost nothing Romney can say that can tarnish his aura of skill and competence. On Tuesday, Romney gave a speech decrying debt, despite the fact that his economic plan would add an additional $6 trillion in debt, on top of what?s projected under current policies. Today, he decries the stimulus?without giving a single idea of what he would have done?and declares that the economy runs on freedom.
Even the most charitable interpretation?that Romney is making a case for free-enterprise?falls apart when you recognize the degree to which government has been an important part of shaping our economy from the beginning. It?s the kind of rhetoric that would have been (rightfully) mocked if uttered by someone like Michele Bachmann, but goes unremarked on when adopted by Romney.
Why? It?s an honest question, because I?m at a loss.
The Gold Report: Clear Harbor Asset Management actively invests in resource equities, and it’s doing so during one of the most bearish periods ever for resource equities, particularly for small-cap resource equities. Some institutions are leaving the space altogether while others are reducing their exposure. What are your plans?
Aaron Kennon: While the resource benchmarks have all suffered significantly over the last several years, Clear Harbor’s natural resources strategy has returned more than 58% since inception 27 months ago. This compares to an approximately 4% return by our benchmark, which is … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: An Extraordinary Time to Be in the Driver’s Seat: Aaron Kennon
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This week, Senate Republicans brought to the Senate floor a series of budget proposals ? each one more dangerous than the previous. The common themes in this ?race to the bottom?? ? slashing funding for education and other critical priorities, letting student loan interest rates rise, ending Medicare as we know it, and repealing the landmark Affordable Care Act ? all to ensure more tax breaks for the wealthiest.
Our nation is at a crossroads, having to choose between two starkly different visions for our future. We can ensure everyone a fair shot, make the investments necessary for economic growth, and stand up for the middle class and our most vulnerable populations. Or, we can continue to allow those who can most afford to pay their fair share to avoid doing so.
Congress will continue to debate these issues, as deep cuts scheduled to go into effect in January 2013 approach. We need to tell Congress that balancing the budget should not be done by slashing education and programs that serve our most vulnerable. Tell Congress that we need a balanced approach that asks those most able to do so to pay their fair share.
Take Action Today: Tell Congress to make the right choice for America?s future ? protect children, working families, and seniors and ensure everyone pays his or her fair share.
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GEORGETOWN OFA PHONE BANKING
Saturday, May 19 10AM-4PMSteelworkers Union Hall 1515 Butts StreetCome and make calls for South Carolina and North CarolinaStop by and make calls to re-elect our PresidentFor more information call Carrie Dennison 240-5092
Covenant Missionary Baptist Church1414 Winyah St Georgetown
Covenant Missionary Baptist Church is hosting a Candidates forum May 19, 2012 at 5PM. We are inviting all Candidates to come out and be a part of this forum. Each candidate will be introduced and you will have 3 minutes to speak. After which community members will have an opportunity to ask questions.
Once the forum ends candidates will have an opportunity to speak one on one with those in attendance.
Candidates are asked to contact Sis. Lena McDonald Green at 843-359-7378 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org confirm your attendance.
Where: Covenant Missionary Baptist Church When: May 19, 2012 Time: 5PM
Refreshments will be served
Thanking you in advanceRev. James B. Lewis Sr., Organizing Pastor
PER GEORGETOWN COUNTY VOTER REGISTRATION OFFICE
In-house voting at the Voter Registration Office is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 21.
Absentee ballots are printed and have been mailed to the county election offices. Ballots will be mailed to all that have requested to vote absentee. If you wish to vote absentee and have not requested a ballot, call the voter registration office at 545-3339.
DISTRICT 7 CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES DEBATE
Monday, June 4, 7PM
Bethel AME Church Glisson Center 401 Broad Street Georgetown
Debate sponsored by the Georgetown County Democratic party, Coastal Observer and
The Georgetown Times newspapers. If you want to submit questions, send to the email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
All five democratic candidates are participating.
This an opportunity to hear all our democratic candidates for the 7th Congressional District.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR WORKSHOP
Saturday, June 9 11AM-12PM Waccamaw Library Pawleys Island
Jim Watkins will conduct a workshop on effective points to use in writing a letterto the editor.
To sign up for the workshop email Jim at email@example.com
Calling all Georgetown County Democrats!
The time is now to start that journey to Victory in November! We have an opportunity to elect a Democrat in the new 7th Congressional District to work with President Obama (a must win) and democrats are filing to run for almost every position on the ballot. Let's volunteer today to work for our democratic candidates so we can celebrate in November.
"Change is made from the bottom up not from the top down. Not in Washington but the streets of America."President Barack Obama
To volunteer contact the party at 240-3396.
Questions or suggestion, contact Nancy Kolman at 240-3396
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A Virginia lawmaker who recently led the fight to block an openly gay man from becoming a judge General District Court judge in Richmond insisted on Thursday that the move had nothing to do with nominee's sexual orientation, but he was concerned about "bias" in cases between "a homosexual and heterosexual."
During an interview on CNN with Republican Virginia state delegate Robert Marshall, host Brooke Baldwin compared the struggle for LGBT rights to discrimination against African Americans and asked the lawmaker why he voted to block Richmond prosecutor Tracy Thorne-Begland from becoming a judge in a misdemeanor court.
"Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks never took an oath of office that they broke," Marshall explained, claiming that Thorne-Begland lied about his sexuality to join that military in the late 1980s.
"Sodomy is not a civil right. It's not the same as a civil rights movement," Marshall insisted.
"You bring up sodomy," the shocked CNN host noted. "Is the reason why you voted against him because he's gay, pure and simple?"
"Sorry, you're mischaracterizing that," Marshall replied. "I said sodomy is not a civil right, and there's an effort by homosexual lobbyists to equate the two. That's wrong. It's a pattern of behavior."
"From what I understand, this would have been a misdemeanor court," Baldwin countered. "In fact, one of your own Republican colleagues there in the House sponsoring his nomination, sponsoring Thorne-Beglan's nomination said this -- quote -- 'It is without question that Thorne-Beglan is extremely qualified.' The type of issues, social issues that would touch upon someone's constitutional interpretation, these things do not even come up in district court. Still, you feel that he would be unqualified to sit on that bench?"
"We don't accept everybody who is nominated. Moreover, he would preside -- he could preside as a district judge for a marriage of two guys if he wanted to, in violation of the law," Marshall opined. "Moreover, if you have a bar-room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual, I'm concerned about possible bias."
"Why would a homosexual - why would a gay person be more likely to be biased in the bar room example than say, you would?" CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill wondered. "I mean, to be quite frank, I would be more concerned you would be biased against the gay or lesbian person in that case."
"I wouldn't apply to be a judge," Marshall explained. "I am an advocate."
"But you are writing law," Baldwin pointed out.
"That's my job," the lawmaker quipped. "When I was in public school, we all went through a ritual. I know you may find it strange, that said keep us from temptation. This was because we said the Lord's Prayer. Nobody - nobody should go where they'll be tempted. That includes me, that includes you, that includes a prospective judge."
In its 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that so-called sodomy laws in Texas and 13 other states, including Virginia, were unconstitutional.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that there was "no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual."
But Section § 18.2-361 of Virginia Code, which bans sodomy, has never been repealed.
"If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony," the law states.
Last year, the Supreme Court was asked to hear the case of a North Carolina man, William S. MacDonald, who was convicted of sodomy in Virginia in 2005 for oral sex.
Marshall is currently battling former Sen. George Allen and tea party activist Jamie Radtke for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
"I've got strong beliefs, I can't change them like a coat," he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week.