The polls will be closing soon. All the experts are predicting a win for Romney. The only question is how big a win it will be.
Next up will be the Nevada caucuses on Saturday, February 4th.
During his Google+ hangout Pres. Obama tells a woman that her husband shouldn’t be unemployed from the growth he has seen in the economy. Obama said he finds it “interesting” because he is getting “the word” that someone in her husband’s job field “should be able to find something right away.”
Obama offered to do something if she would just send him her husband’s resume.
The woman wants to know why Obama is extending visas for foreigners when there is tons of demand for American jobs by Americans.
“I don’t know what your husband’s speciality [is], but I can tell you that there is a huge demand around the country for engineers,” Obama told the woman.
“I understand that,” she responded. “But how am — given the list that you’re getting, I mean we’re not getting that. You said in the State of the Union address for business leaders to ask what can they do to bring jobs back to America
I think we should all send our resumes to Obama and say “Find me a JOB!”
It’s finally happened: somebody’s managed to penetrate David Brooks’s neutronium denial shield and impress upon him that the American economy isn’t so hot for the proles at the Applebee’s salad bar, and all that manages to come tumbling out is that Both Sides Do It.
Here’s a dose of reality for Zandar – the proles can’t afford Applebee’s.
One would think that the Occupy movement and San Francisco were made for each other. Perhaps at one time they were, but a new Survey USA poll shows that even the City by the Bay has its limits. The poll of 500 adults in the San Francisco area — surely the most progressive-friendly poll sample ever taken — shows that almost half of those who supported the Occupy movement in general now have changed their minds.
The topline results break down thusly:
Supported/Still do: 32%
Supported/Now oppose: 26%
Opposed/Now support: 3%
Opposed/Still do: 31%
Not sure: 8%
According to this poll, Occupy support in the Bay area would have been 58/34 at one point. Now it’s 35/57, which is a flip of 46 points in the gap. Combining support and opposition numbers, Democrat support for Occupy is now 40/56, and even among self-professed liberals, where 27% have switched to opposition, it’s only 52/35. Among San Francisco adults. Note too that the movement has not gained converts in anything like the numbers they are alienating, which means that the longer they go, the weaker they are getting politically.
I admit it. It was all my fault.
It’s no secret that I was never an OWS supporter. I am generally cynical about protest movements in general, but this one triggered all kinds of alarm bells from the beginning. While not all my suspicions have proven correct, none of them have been proven wrong.
I lost some friends to the Koolaid. One thing I warned them about was that the tactics, rhetoric and “visuals” of the protesters would alienate the people they were trying to win over. They didn’t listen to me. They mocked me and called me names.
It turns out I was correct.
So I admit it. It’s my fault. I was right.
I wonder if they’ll ever forgive me?
Remember in 2008 after the financial crisis hit and it was considered raaaaaaycist to criticize Freddie Mac’s part in it? You may recall this from Dakinat’s coverage of it at The Confluence in the fall of 2008. Remember how fast the prog factions supporting Obama tried to smack her down, saying that The Confluence was stoking racism?
Well, now that Freddie Mac can be used against white, conservative politicians (Gingrich, and increasingly Romney), it’s no longer racist. It went through the Democratic laundry machine and came out sparkling clean. Not a hint of racist smell at all! Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane and recall the details, so the about-face is all that much more dramatic, shall we?
It all started with Dakinat’s post called Back to the Roots of the Problem. The post was originally published at The Confluence, but has since been flushed down the memory hole there. Luckily, Dakinat preserved a copy at her own blog, Sky Dancing. Thanks in no small part to her, the narrative of Freddie Mac’s reckless practices began to make its way into the news cycle, at which point Barney Frank was appointed the dog to bark this idea out of the yard. Racism was his bark of choice. Here’s coverage of his comments circa September of 2008:
Frank said Monday that Republican criticism of Democrats over the nation’s housing crisis is a veiled attacked on the poor that’s racially motivated….
“They get to take things out on poor people,” Frank said to a mortgage foreclosure symposium in Boston. “Let’s be honest: The fact that some of the poor people are black doesn’t hurt them either, from their standpoint. This is an effort, I believe, to appeal to a kind of anger in people.”
Frank’s comments are in response to widespread criticism of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-backed mortgage-bundling giants that played fast and loose with both risk and their bookkeeping.
The debate got so heated that even our friends at Hot Air were reporting on this at the time:
Barney Frank’s latest defense of Congress over the financial meltdown could be predicted based on the success of Barack Obama’s campaign in using the same defense. According to Rep. Frank, any attempt to pin the blame for the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the activities of both, as well as Congressional policy that fueled it, is now officially racist. Frank says conservatives want to blame minorities for the collapse:
Frank charged that conservatives aim to shift blame for the market meltdown away from Wall Street and toward minority-lending laws like the federal Community Reinvestment Act.
“The bizarre notion that the Community Reinvestment Act . . . somehow is the cause of the whole problem, (conservatives) don’t mind that,” the lawmaker said. “They’re aware that the affordable-housing goals of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and) the Community Reinvestment Act (aim to help) poor people. And let’s be honest, the fact that some poor people are black doesn’t hurt either from their standpoint.”
Let’s keep score. Criticizing Obama means we’re racists. Criticizing Congress means we’re racists. Getting angry at Congress for pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into buying bad loans and infecting the entire financial system with essentially fraudulent paper — at a cost of up to $700 billion in taxpayer money and potentially trillions in lost investments — means we’re racists.
That’s the back story. Clearly criticizing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae was just racist code for not wanting poor black people to have homes (end snark).
Now we’re three years into Obama’s presidency and my how things have changed. Here’s Pro Publica, in a joint effort with progressive media mainstay NPR reporting on the fact that Freddie Mac has a serious conflict of interest that is leading to–wait for it–cash-strapped poor people paying far more for their mortgages than those outside the Freddie/ Fannie portal. And they are actually waging bets that they can make this work (through their own policies, of course!), betting once again AGAINST the interests of everyday Americans:
Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.
Freddie began increasing these bets dramatically in late 2010, the same time that the company was making it harder for homeowners to get out of such high-interest mortgages.
The report is rather damning:
“We were actually shocked they did this,” says Scott Simon, who as the head of the giant bond fund PIMCO’s mortgage-backed securities team is one of the world’s biggest mortgage bond traders. “It seemed so out of line with their mission.”
The trades “put them squarely against the homeowner,” he says.
Those homeowners have a lot at stake, too. Many of them could cut their interest payments by thousands of dollars a year.
Go, read the whole thing. Freddie Mac (and Fannie Mae) has been an immoral disaster for a long time, and now this tax-payer owned organization is in charge of making sure struggling families can’t refinance their mortgage so that Freddie’s bets pay off.
Now THAT’S racism, considering the volume of people of color a) struggling financially, and b) in the Freddie Mac holding pen. But that’s not how this story is designed to play out. It’s designed to play out as a way to label the likes of Gingrich and Romney as racists, even though the Freddie Mac machine was built by Democrats to serve Democratic constituencies and to enrich the pockets of friends of Democrats. They own this albatross, but they will hang it around the GOP’s neck.
A new InsiderAdvantage poll conducted Sunday night of likely Republican voters in the state of Florida shows a significant surge for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The poll has former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading with 36 percent of voters, followed by Gingrich at 31 percent.
The Sunday results of 646 likely GOP voters are as follows:
Romney 36 percent
Gingrich 31 percent
Santorum 12 percent
Paul 12 percent
Other/Undecided 9 percent
“The race will be tighter than expected,” Matt Towery, chief pollster of InsiderAdvantage told Newsmax.
Towery noted that his poll showed a surge for Romney on Wednesday, with him leading Gingrich by 8 points. The InsiderAdvantage poll was among the first to show Romney’s resurgence after his dismal showing in the S. Carolina primary.
The InsiderAdvantage poll was also the first to show Gingrich’s rise in S. Carolina and accurately forecast his win there.
“The trend is favoring Gingrich,” Towery said, noting that while Romney’s lead was still outside the margin of error of 3.8 percent, “It’s not by much.”
Towery said Gingrich is doing “substantially better” with men than Romney, 38 to 28, but the former House Speaker still faces a “gender gap,” as women are still favoring Romney.
“Men are moving in droves to Gingrich and away from Romney,” Towery said.
If Newt pulls out a win in Florida the fit will hit the Shan.
This is starting to remind me of the movie Jeepers Creepers, where the “good guys” were so stupid I began to root for the monster.
“Hey sis, I think that guy was dumping dead bodies into a pipe. Let’s go back and check.”
J.E. Dyer at Hot Air:
No, taxes shouldn’t be a “fairness” issue
What are we, six years old? Taxes should pay for the costs of government. That’s what we have taxes for.
The proper purpose of taxes is not to establish a condition of “fairness.” It’s to pay for government: a legislature, executive, military, police, firefighting, courts, schools. But for 100 years now, the percentage-based income tax has been shifting public dialogue on taxes steadily away from their proper purpose, and toward increasingly juvenile arguments over “fairness,” as if the tax code is like Mom, telling Makayla to share the toys and be patient because Brendan is little.
If we let taxation be about “fairness,” rather than paying for the cost of government, the two big problems we have are defining “fairness,” and defining the role of government in promoting it. Those questions will never be settled to the satisfaction of all.
It might seem that the first question – “what is fair?” – is the more contentious one. We discuss it incessantly, after all. But the more fundamental question is actually what government should be doing about fairness. The freighted nature of our discussions about fairness is largely relieved if we assign a limited, utilitarian role to government. It doesn’t much matter what other people think is “fair,” in a lengthy list of situations, if they can’t harness the power of the armed state to enforce it on their fellow men.
Thus, I reject the whole idea that government needs to keep an eye on the citizens’ incomes, and worry about “fairness” as if the numbers are a meaningful indicator of it. For much of American history, no government at any level actually knew how much income individual citizens had. That was not a problem. It didn’t need correction. We could do away with virtually our entire tax code, if we did away with the modern idea that government needs to know what our incomes are.
The article starts out okay but you can see where this is going – an argument against the progressive income tax and in favor of a flat tax and/or national sales tax, two chimeras of modern right-wing politics.
Nobody likes paying taxes. It’s easy to convince people they are taxed too much, and fairness will always be an issue because nobody wants to pay more than their fair share (or see someone else pay less.) There will always be plenty of people on both sides of the political spectrum who object to paying taxes for things they don’t thing government ought to be doing.
Dyer conflates the issue of how taxes should be spent with how they should be raised.
There is an urban legend about the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton. When asked why he robbed banks Sutton allegedly answered “Because that’s where the money is.”
If we look only at the question of who should pay taxes, the answer is simple – the people who can afford to pay them.
We could pass a law that says every man, woman and child in the nation has to pay a flat $5,000 per year in taxes, but how many would be able to pay? People living below the poverty line cannot afford to pay taxes. Neither can most children or the disabled. The elderly may have income but most of them are living off retirement savings, investments and pensions.
There are lots of working poor that can afford to pay a little bit in taxes, but less than their “equal” share. Then there are the people in the middle class who can carry their own weight. Last but not least there are the rich and the super-rich.
That’s where the money is.
Compare the graph above to the article below:
You can find pretty much every species of poll in Florida right now.
Though the numbers were here and there, the outcome was the same everywhere.
Unless there is a major glitch, Mitt Romney will beat Newt Gingrich.
For the past few days we’ve seen numerous polls stating that Romney is extending his lead over Gingrich in Florida. But at the same time nationwide polls show that Romney’s popularity is going down like the Costa Concordia.
Former President George H. W. Bush and his son Jeb made an unannounced visit to the White House on Friday, meeting in the Oval Office with President Obama.
The White House released a photo of the meeting via Twitter Friday evening, with the elder Bush shown sitting in a wheelchair. The former president and the former Florida governor were in Washington for the annual Alfalfa dinner, an exclusive black-tie event. The meeting had not been on the president’s official schedule.
You know how it is – when relatives drop by unexpectedly you have to make time for them.
Just how rich is Mitt Romney? Add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you’re in Romney territory.
He would be among the richest presidents in American history if elected — probably in the top four.
He couldn’t top George Washington who, with nearly 60,000 acres and more than 300 slaves, is considered the big daddy of presidential wealth. After that, it gets complicated, depending how you rate Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, Herbert Hoover’s millions from mining or John F. Kennedy’s share of the vast family fortune, as well as the finer points of factors like inflation adjustment.
But it’s safe to say the Roosevelts had nothing on Romney, and the Bushes are nowhere close.
The former Massachusetts governor has disclosed only the broad outlines of his wealth, putting it somewhere from $190 million to $250 million. That easily could make him 50 times richer than Obama, who falls in the still-impressive-to-most-of-us range of $2.2 million to $7.5 million.
If you worried about electing a Wall Street puppet, vote for Romney and cut out the middleman.
Santorum daughter admitted to hospital
The three-year-old daughter of Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has been admitted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the candidate has cancelled his Sunday morning campaign events to be at her side.
Santorum campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said Saturday night that the former Pennsylvania senator and his wife, Karen, were with Bella at CHOP. Gidley said Santorum planned to return to campaigning as soon as possible in Florida, where the Republican primary is Tuesday.
Bella Santorum has Trisomy 18, a genetic condition in which a child has a third copy of material from chromosome 18, instead of the usual two, causing a wide array of physical and mental problems.
Bella was not expected to survive until her first birthday – half of infants with Trisomy 18 do not survive their first week, according the National Institutes of Health. Some children have lived to their teenage years, but with significant medical and developmental issues.
The Santorums have been frequent visitors to CHOP with their daughter, and concerns over Isabella’s health have canceled previous Santorum campaign events.
During his campaign, Santorum and his wife have spoken openly about the challenges and rewards of raising a child with such a condition.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Santorum family.
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In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad
In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.
However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.
Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.
More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.
“If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, a group that advises the United States Labor Department. “But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.”
Apple typically asks suppliers to specify how much every part costs, how many workers are needed and the size of their salaries. Executives want to know every financial detail. Afterward, Apple calculates how much it will pay for a part. Most suppliers are allowed only the slimmest of profits.
So suppliers often try to cut corners, replace expensive chemicals with less costly alternatives, or push their employees to work faster and longer, according to people at those companies.
“The only way you make money working for Apple is figuring out how to do things more efficiently or cheaper,” said an executive at one company that helped bring the iPad to market. “And then they’ll come back the next year, and force a 10 percent price cut.”
In January 2010, workers at a Chinese factory owned by Wintek, an Apple manufacturing partner, went on strike over a variety of issues, including widespread rumors that workers were being exposed to toxins. Investigations by news organizations revealed that over a hundred employees had been injured by n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause nerve damage and paralysis.
Employees said they had been ordered to use n-hexane to clean iPhone screens because it evaporated almost three times as fast as rubbing alcohol. Faster evaporation meant workers could clean more screens each minute.
Apple commented on the Wintek injuries a year later. In its supplier responsibility report, Apple said it had “required Wintek to stop using n-hexane” and that “Apple has verified that all affected workers have been treated successfully, and we continue to monitor their medical reports until full recuperation.” Apple also said it required Wintek to fix the ventilation system.
That same month, a New York Times reporter interviewed a dozen injured Wintek workers who said they had never been contacted by Apple or its intermediaries, and that Wintek had pressured them to resign and take cash settlements that would absolve the company of liability. After those interviews, Wintek pledged to provide more compensation to the injured workers and Apple sent a representative to speak with some of them.
Six months later, trade publications reported that Apple significantly cut prices paid to Wintek.
“You can set all the rules you want, but they’re meaningless if you don’t give suppliers enough profit to treat workers well,” said one former Apple executive with firsthand knowledge of the supplier responsibility group. “If you squeeze margins, you’re forcing them to cut safety.”
“You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories, or you can reinvent the product every year, and make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards,” said a current Apple executive.
“And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.”
There’s more at the link.
Keep this in mind the next time you see some whiny-boo-hoo occupier bitching about how unfair their life is on a shiny new iPhone.
We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.
We will look back on this week and realize that something changed. I have given numerous interviews wherein I espoused the benefits of thorough vetting during aggressive contested primary elections, but this week’s tactics aren’t what I meant. Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary. Let me make clear that I have no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign. As I said at the first Tea Party convention two years ago, I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.
But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.
I spoke up before the South Carolina primary to urge voters there to keep this primary going because I have great concern about the GOP establishment trying to anoint a candidate without the blessing of the grassroots and all the needed energy and resources we as commonsense constitutional conservatives could bring to the general election in order to defeat President Obama. Now, I respect Governor Romney and his success. But there are serious concerns about his record and whether as a politician he consistently applied conservative principles and how this impacts the agenda moving forward. The questions need answers now. That is why this primary should not be rushed to an end. We need to vet this. Pundits in the Beltway are gleefully proclaiming that this primary race is over after Florida, despite 46 states still not having chimed in. Well, perhaps it’s possible that it will come to a speedy end in just four days; but with these questions left unanswered, it will not have come to a satisfactory conclusion. Without this necessary vetting process, the unanswered question of Governor Romney’s conservative bona fides and the unanswered and false attacks on Newt Gingrich will hang in the air to demoralize many in the electorate. The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up. And, trust me, during the general election, Governor Romney’s statements and record in the private sector will be relentlessly parsed over by the opposition in excruciating detail to frighten off swing voters. This is why we need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney’s chief rival.
As I said in my speech in Iowa last September, the challenge of this election is not simply to replace President Obama. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with. It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country. We truly need sudden and relentless reform in Washington to defend our republic, though it’s becoming clearer that the old guard wants anything but that. That is why we should all be concerned by the tactics employed by the establishment this week. We will not save our country by becoming like the left. And I question whether the GOP establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008. Many of these same characters sat on their thumbs in ‘08 and let Obama escape unvetted. Oddly, they’re now using every available microscope and endoscope – along with rewriting history – in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party’s primary. So, one must ask, who are they really running against?
- Sarah Palin
One of the things that was so disturbing about 2008 was the lengths the Democratic party leaders were willing to go to to ensure that their pre-chosen candidate “won” the primaries. You would think in this modern era that the role of the party would be to ensure a fair and open process so that the party voters could choose the person they want to be the nominee.
The reality is that neither party’s leadership believes in democracy. They want Soviet-style sham elections.
This is not to say that the leaders of the two parties should have no input or influence. But they should not control the outcome. Right now we are facing the likelihood of a rigged election where both candidates are Wall Street favorites.
I am no fan of Newt Gingrich but I am a fan of principles. The GOP establishment should take their collective thumb off the scale and let the voters decide.
From What Future for Occupy Wall Street? by Michael Greenberg:
When I asked Amin and Katie what Occupy Wall Street’s ultimate goal was, they said, “A government accountable to the people, freed up from corporate influence.” It seemed that this pointed to a simple, single demand, something that many in the movement had been seeking since September: a campaign finance law that would ban private contributions and restrict candidates to the use of public money. Several detailed proposals for such a law already existed, including one from Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig that, though imperfect, would attack, in Lessig’s words, “the root, the thing that feeds the other ills, and the thing that we must kill first.”
As I spoke, I could sense the impatience of my listeners. I wasn’t getting the point. Any such demand would turn them into supplicants; its very utterance implied a surrender to the state that went against Occupy Wall Street’s principles. Katie maintained that Occupy Wall Street didn’t yet have “a broad enough base” to make such a demand with any reasonable expectation that it could be met. And Amin said, “It doesn’t matter what particular laws you pass. We’re not about laws.” They saw themselves as a counterculture; and to continue to survive as such they had to remain uncontaminated by the culture they opposed.
But in what capacity would they survive? During the time they held Zuccotti Park, the movement had been able to expand on its own terms. The park had been an ongoing, live-action, twenty-four-hours-a-day spectacle, a model village—or a state within the state, as protesters preferred to think of it—like the exhibits of the future one used to visit at the World’s Fair. People would come off the street, from Idaho or Europe, get drawn into a debate, become involved.
Organizers described Occupy Wall Street as “a way of being,” of “sharing your life together in assembly.” To participate fully in its process of “horizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified-consensus-based” democracy, you had to make the movement a central part of your existence. For many, this posed an insurmountable problem. A social worker and single mother with little free time told me that she had given up trying to join Occupy Wall Street because she couldn’t figure out how to do so “without hanging out with them all the time.” The ambitions of the core group of activists were more cultural than political, in the sense that they sought to influence the way people think about their lives. “Ours is a transformational movement,” Amin told me with a solemn air. Transformation had to occur face to face; what it offered, especially to the young, was an antidote to the empty gaze of the screen.
In meetings and elsewhere, this Tolstoyan experience of undergoing a personal crisis of meaning, both political and of the soul, seemed deeply shared. Apart from Amin, I’ve met an architect, a film editor, an advertising consultant, an unemployed stock trader, a spattering of lawyers, and people with various other jobs who, after joining OWS, found themselves psychologically unable to go about their lives as before. For weeks last fall, gatherings on the eastern steps of Zuccotti Park had the aura of a revivalist meeting.
The people that organized OWS set it up to be ineffective. They weren’t going to make the same mistake the original Tea Party leaders did and make a creature that would turn on them. They wanted a toothless organization that would distract and dissipate left-wing energies. They got it.
The rationalizations the leaders of OWS came up with for their lack of goals became OWS’ reason for being.
So get your beads and bells on and gather round the punch bowl.
Brewer, Obama exchange tense words over book, immigration at airport
The following is a White House pool report filed shortly after President Barack Obama’s arrival in Chandler, Arizona:
“President Obama arrived in Phoenix at 3:15 pm local time, finding the chilly weather of Iowa giving way to sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60s.
He stepped off Air Force One at 3:28 pm and was greeted by Gov. Jan Brewer. She handed him a handwritten letter in an envelope and they spoke intensely for a few minutes. At one point, she pointed her finger at him.
Afterwards, (I) spoke with the governor.
“He was a little disturbed about my book, Scorpions for Breakfast,” Brewer said. “I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt. So.”
Asked what aspect of the book disturbed him, Brewer said: “That he didn’t feel that I had treated him cordially. I said I was sorry he felt that way but I didn’t get my sentence finished. Anyway, we’re glad he’s here. I’ll regroup.”
It was clear from the moment they greeted one another that this would not be a run-of-the-mill encounter between the president and a local official. At one point, she was pointing her finger at him and at another, they were talking at the same time, seemingly over each other.
He appeared to walk away from her while they were still talking, and she confirmed that by saying she didn’t finish her sentence.
When Brewer spoke with your pooler, the AP and an NBC producer for several minutes afterwards, she appeared a bit flustered and taken aback by the conversation. Asked if she was, that’s when Brewer said, “I’ll regroup.”
I don’t believe this. Obama behaving like a snotty prick? Especially to a woman? That would be so out-of-character.
Via Hot Air:
So what does Nancy know? Not this by Byron York, apparently:
Nothing happened with the Justice Department and the FBI, but the IRS began an investigation that would stretch over three years. Unlike many in Congress — and journalists, too — IRS investigators obtained tapes and transcripts of each session during the two years the course was taught at Kennesaw State College in Georgia, as well as videotapes of the third year of the course, taught at nearby Reinhardt College. IRS officials examined every word Gingrich spoke in every class; before investigating the financing and administration of the course, they first sought to determine whether it was in fact educational and whether it served to the political benefit of Gingrich, his political organization, GOPAC, or the Republican Party as a whole. They then carefully examined the role of the Progress and Freedom Foundation and how it related to Gingrich’s political network.
In the end, in 1999, the IRS released a densely written, highly detailed 74-page report. The course was, in fact, educational, the IRS said. “The overwhelming number of positions advocated in the course were very broad in nature and often more applicable to individual behavior or behavioral changes in society as a whole than to any ‘political’ action,” investigators wrote. “For example, the lecture on quality was much more directly applicable to individual behavior than political action and would be difficult to attempt to categorize in political terms. Another example is the lecture on personal strength where again the focus was on individual behavior. In fact, this lecture placed some focus on the personal strength of individual Democrats who likely would not agree with Mr. Gingrich on his political views expressed in forums outside his Renewing American Civilization course teaching. Even in the lectures that had a partial focus on broadly defined changes in political activity, such as less government and government regulation, there was also a strong emphasis on changes in personal behavior and non-political changes in society as a whole.”
The IRS also checked out the evaluations written by students who completed the course. The overwhelming majority of students, according to the report, believed that Gingrich knew his material, was an interesting speaker, and was open to alternate points of view. None seemed to perceive a particular political message. “Most students,” the IRS noted, “said that they would apply the course material to improve their own lives in such areas as family, friendships, career, and citizenship.”
The IRS concluded the course simply was not political. “The central problem in arguing that the Progress and Freedom Foundation provided more than incidental private benefit to Mr. Gingrich, GOPAC, and other Republican entities,” the IRS wrote, “was that the content of the ‘Renewing American Civilization’ course was educational…and not biased toward any of those who were supposed to be benefited.”
The bottom line: Gingrich acted properly and violated no laws. There was no tax fraud scheme. Of course, by that time, Gingrich was out of office, widely presumed to be guilty of something, and his career in politics was (seemingly) over.
Yeah, it’s a wingnut site. But if you have better facts let’s see ‘em.