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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,722

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Excellent new ad by Elizabeth Warren's campaign...

She needs more ads like this pounding the message that a vote for Brown is a vote for GOP obstructionism, and she needs it said by other people, specifically Mass voters, besides herself.

Did Sen. Scot Brown just cut his political throat?

Could his all or nothing approach to the Bush tax cuts be his downfall?

Scott Brown: 'Crystal Clear' No On Saving Just Middle Class Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Warren's Senate campaign is pouncing on fresh statements by Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) that he's a "crystal clear" vote against the Democrats' plan to preserve the Bush-era tax cuts just on income under $250,000.

Brown voted against the Senate Democrats' bill in July.

Brown has insisted he would vote only for extending the Bush tax cuts in their entirety, including those for the 2 percent of Americans earning more than $250,000. But Boston radio host Jim Braude still brought it up on Friday on his "Jim & Margery" radio show, asking if Brown would reconsider at the last second if saving the tax breaks, which expire at the end of the year, for the other 98 percent of Americans were the only option available. Brown reaffirmed his opposition in no uncertain terms.


The timing works well for the Warren campaign, as Brown's comments came on the same day that Warren is rolling out a new television ad featuring local boxing trainer Art Ramalho accusing Brown of being for the big corporations.

Let's hope so.

Melissa Harris-Perry spanks Rightwing Grima Wormtongue about what real risk is

I'm sure glad I have Tivo so that I could catch MHP's show today. The Grima Wormtongue in this show is Monica Mehta. Haven't seen her before, but talk about someone who lives in a bubble, and she's another example of a robotic right wing mouthpiece spreading idiotic and false memes who has no or very little facts to support her claims. She definitely has no compassion for human beings.

From a DailyKos diary on this subject...

Melissa Harris-Perry, putting risk into perspective
...Her panel included Monica Mehta, the apparent conservative defender, and they were talking about how Americans generally support welfare type programs until the term 'welfare' is used, and how it has been connected specifically with a false image of lazy and undeserving black folks. That piece of Republican BS was referenced by a book studying the issue, with data going back 20 years; yeah, basically Newt Gingrich in Congress-era BS, and it hasn't been forgotten.

It was when Monica Mehta defended the risk-taking of conservatives -- the rich investors, the business owners, the 'job creators' -- that MHP really let her have it. Melissa's point was that the risks taken by the rich, who enjoy multiple layers of protection, do not even compare to the risks taken by the poor who are just trying to not get shot in a bad neighborhood, who try to find a decent school for their kids. Considering the case of Mitt Romney in particular, whose company never seemed to risk or lose anything, I can understand why Melissa got pissed. How dare this conservative twit compare things like investments, often insured and bailed out by conservative governments, to the risk of getting shot and killed or the risk of getting no good education and no future?

Monica Mehta got spanked, rhetorically, and rightly so. Her nervous giggles after the fact said it all. Yeah, you came to the wrong place to talk to the wrong lady about risk.

Video: MHP--Nothing is Riskier than being poor

The Facts Behind The Dancing Horse [Rafalca]

The Facts Behind The Dancing Horse
Though I enjoy watching equestrian events, I don’t go out of my way to find them. It was a pleasant surprise this morning to find coverage of the individual dressage event on MSNBC. It also turned into one of those mornings when I wanted to take the entire American media to the woodshed for a good whipping.


When Mrs. Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it was recommended that she try dressage as a therapy. She went to trainer Jan Ebering for that purpose. Dressage involves a great deal of muscle control on the part of the rider. Commands are conveyed to the horse through minute pressures applied through the feet, calves and thighs of the rider, as well as tiny adjustments in the reins. It is a very good way to exercise fine motor control, as opposed to the gross motor exercise of most physical fitness programs. The event commentators used the term “remission” to describe Mrs. Romney’s condition, but a more accurate version might be that she has the form of MS called “benign” – the least damaging of the four forms and the one with the longest periods of stability between bouts of deterioration.


Mrs. Romney does not train Rafalca to compete or ride her in competition. Her riding of this or any other horse that Ebering trains was for her benefit, not the horse’s. Using a competition horse for therapy poses some risks to the horse. Competition training involves teaching the horse to respond properly to very slight commands. Allowing an amateur to ride the horse risks confusing it with clumsy commands. Where race horses peak before the age of four, dressage horses aren’t ready for competition until they are usually over 10 years old. The horses at the Olympics are between 14 and 19 years old. There is a point in dressage training where the only person who mounts that horse is the person who will ride it in competition. They must work as a flawless team to reach competition level.

The facts behind Ann Romney and the horse are not what the media has portrayed. Mrs. Romney did not use the horse for therapy, she used the expertise of Jan Ebering. She does not “own” the horse, she is a shareholder in the horse. Unlike racehorses, who have a long-shot potential of making back the investment, equestrian horses are money pits. Even the Olympic honorarium of $25,000 for a gold medalist doesn’t come close to the cost of keeping up the horse. From a business perspective, a dressage horse is a tax deduction, in Rafalca’s case, a $78,000 a year tax deduction on a quarter-share. It’s a net-loss investment, what the rest of us refer to as a “tax write-off.”


Woody Guthrie's 100th Birthday Anniversary

On July 14, 2012, is the anniversary of one of America's most famous folk singers, Woody Guthrie. There will be a music festival celebrating this man and his work by Arlo Guthrie & The Guthrie Family in Central Park, NYC.

Woody Guthrie 1912-2012

Hey, maybe OWS should be there singing "This Land is Your Land".

I hope it gets televised. I loved Woody's ballads and songs.

This Land is Your Land
Original 1944 lyrics
Woody Guthrie

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.

I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Other confirmed verses of the song...

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn't say nothing;
This land was made for you and me.

Woody has a variant that I heard Arlo sing on a album I have.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

The original manuscript also has the verses below:

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

In the squares of the city, In the shadow of a steeple;
By the relief office, I'd seen my people.
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking,
Is this land made for you and me?

I do think that this song should be the battle hymn against "rigged " trade agreements, which allow multinational corporations to sue our governments -- federal, state, and local -- because of laws on the books that protect our rights and health but cut into corporate profits. Think of the "dolphin-safe" tuna label that led a Mexican tuna company to sue the USA because they use nets, which capture and kill dolphins along with tuna. There are a bunch more examples, and I'm sure Woody would be furiously singing against this attack on our laws that are designed to protect us and other life forms.

Romney Campaign Bus Circling, Honking At Obama Supporters

ConservativeRomney Campaign Bus Circling, Honking At Obama Supporters

Romney’s campaign bus — adorned with the words “Conservative. Businessman. Leader” today repeatedly honked at and took several laps around a group of Obama supporters before a campaign speech to be given by President Obama in Cleveland today, according to a tweet by CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller.

Romney even moved his speech up to precede Obama’s speech. Obama is set to address the event at 1:45 p.m. ET, while Romney moved his planned 1:50 p.m. speech up to 1:30 p.m., getting a head start on the president.

This isn’t the first time the Romney team has antagonized Obama campaign events. In Massachusetts last month, Romney supporters greeted Obama senior adviser David Axelrod at a campaign event by shouting and blowing bubbles at those in attendance.


Josh Marshall's advice...
Anger Management

Today is the day of the dueling mega-speeches on the presidential campaign trail. And reporters waiting around the venue of President Obama’s event were greeted by a Romney campaign bus circling the venue and volubly honking its horn, something you’d expect a rival wrestling team to do to disrupt the other team’s pep talk. On its face it seems somewhere between juvenile and just weird. But this is actually a core part of the Romney camp’s election strategy.

... A few weeks ago the Romney camp sent staffers to disrupt a press conference that Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod held in Boston to trash Romney. And that came just after the Romney camp darkly hinted that the Obama team had been conspiring to disrupt or block the event it held in front of the shuttered doors of Solyndra.

It all sounds kind of weird and erratic. But it’s not. Or at least it’s not accidental.

The Romney camp has made a straightforward calculation that it can make up with appeals to the conservative id the ground it can’t ever make up convincing anyone that Romney is really a right-wing ideologue.

...this is simply another illustration of the “bitch slap” politics which rumbles beneath so much of presidential politics... But the animus against President Obama isn’t just tied to his positions. There’s a deeply rooted sense on the right that Obama has been protected, coddled — that no one has really taken it to him in a down and dirty way. This is what’s behind the talk that he never got ‘vetted’ back in 2008. And if you remember back in the primary debates, there was a recurring theme of which contender was the guy who could really bring the full primal scream mojo to Obama at the debates. Not so much even which guy could beat Obama but which would have the cajones ... to hit him with the full socialist-African-terrorist-lovin’-debt-meister smackdown that would somehow just leave a shattered Obama grasping blindly for his teleprompter.

The Romney folks know that pretty much nobody — not the Republican base or really anyone else — is going to be convinced that the candidate is a down-the-line conservative. But he can appeal to them by playing the bad ass card, getting in Obama’s grill, disrespecting him. Not in highly public ways and not the candidate himself — that could be damaging. But in slightly out of the way ways, the sort of stuff that really committed political types do see.

In other words, expect to see a lot more of this. And in purely practical terms, if it can be segregated from the stuff the broad middle of the electorate sees, it’s smart politics.

As I said in another thread, some Obama supporters need to make some signs like, "Democrats, cleaning up Republican messes since 1933", "Obama, 4 More Years!" and "You're needed at a Romney event. He's missing his audience!" and do a Tienanmenn Square" in front of the Romney bus or surround the Romneybots and chant "Democrats, cleaning up Republican messes since 1933", "Obama, 4 More Years!"

What do you think?

Is Connecticut turning into Wisconsin?

from My Left Nutmeg...

Teachers Rally in Hartford, CT
At a rally on Tuesday in Hartford, CT organized by the Connecticut Education Association (CEA)

over 1,000 teachers showed support for legislative leaders challenging Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed education reforms.

It's really unusual when a Speaker of the House stands up against a Governor. But then, he wants to get re-elected.

In 1978 over 200 BEA members got on buses to show their support for education. However, they were not going to a rally, they were going to jail for defying a judge's order. They were able to pave the way for collective bargaining for teachers with their civil disobedience.

Today, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT) is trying to end collective bargaining, and he will stop at nothing in an attempt to takeover the state's public school system.



Teachers Rally At Capitol Still Unhappy With Malloy's Plan

About 1,000 teachers from across the state were bused to the Capitol Tuesday to express their displeasure with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's education reform bill, which was modified in March by the legislature's Education Committee.

Many were still bitter about Malloy's opening day remarks about tenure when he said, "in today's system basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years. Do that, and tenure is yours."

"It wasn't the best way to open a wide-ranging discussion on education reform," Jason Poppa, a teacher from Bridgeport, said. "But the remark is typical. Teachers are being vilified nationally."

And just like with Walker in WI, Malloy's approval ratings are taking a hit thanks to his education "reform" position.
From Jon Pelto's blog...

Malloy’s Job Approval Rating Drops 7 Percent in a Month http://jonathanpelto.com/2012/04/25/when-in-doubt-just-say-it-doesnt-matter/
With today’s Quinnipiac Poll reporting that only 37% of the voters approve of the way Governor Malloy is doing his job and only 38% approve of the way he is handling education policy, Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s mouthpiece and spin-master, is absolutely right to say;

“We have tried to be consistent in not saying much about polls because…what’s there to say? Polls come and go, numbers go up and down. The Governor always does what he thinks is best for the state and the right thing to do.” – Occhiogrosso 4-25-12


...after what is probably close to $1 million in television and radio ads supporting the Governor’s “Education Reform” proposal, ads that repeatedly complimented him by name, it is pretty telling that his job performance rating has dropped 7 percent in the last 30 days (from 44% positive to 37% positive).

Furthermore, only 4 in 10 voters support his education plan.

His negative rating on both job performance and on his education policies are particularly high among women – who, as Occhiogrosso and every political observer knows – is the most significant voting bloc in electoral politics.


Just who is Gov. Malloy listening to on his education "reform" policy? Is he taking a tactic from the Republican Governor's playbook?
If he is, it's good to see it backfire on him, just as it is on the Rethugican Governors.

While the education issue and the bashing of the teacher's union is similar to what is happening in WI, CT still has a long way to go before it looks like CT. Although Gov. Malloy might personally be having his own WI moment. The Democratic controlled state Legislature is more likely to side with the teacher's unions. It will be interesting to see what happens to Malloy's education "reform" bill.

The Titanic goes down in about 20 minutes, 100 years ago...

Thoughts, comments?

Walker gets support of Milwaukee police and firefighter unions

Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Madison -- Two unions that were largely spared from Gov. Scott Walker's curbs on collective bargaining endorsed him Monday.

Walker is facing a recall this summer because of his successful plan to all but eliminate collective bargaining for most public workers. Walker's plan mostly left alone police officers and firefighters, and the unions representing Milwaukee cops and Milwaukee firefighters renewed their support for him Monday. The two were some of the only unions to endorse Walker when he initially ran in November 2010.

“Governor Walker has a strong record of supporting public safety with an unwavering commitment to first responders,” said a statement from Michael Crivello, president of the Milwaukee Police Association. “Today, we are proud to announce our support for Governor Walker’s reelection.”

The Walker campaign released a similar statement from Dave Seager, president of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association.


Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/145814335.html

Weren't both the Firefighters and police officers marching with the teachers a year ago against Walker's attack on collective bargaining rights?

The endorsement of Walker by these 2 unions is another reason why unions are on the decline. The Rethugs know how to divide and conquer.

Was Geno Auriema playing psy-ops against the Irish before their Feb. 27 showdown with the Irish or

was he being a jerk or did he misunderstand what had happened after UCONN's semifinal loss in the National championships to ND last year?

The blog that started the controversy, Harford Courant's John Altavilla...

Becca Bruszewski--The Truth Lies In Between

I totally believe Becca Bruszewski’s contention, told to Curt Rallo of the South Bend Tribune on Tuesday, that she did not say or do the things she is accused of in relation to verbally dissing UConn after Notre Dame’s win over the Huskies at the Final Four last season.

I also totally believe UConn’s contention something was said that did not sit well with the team or the coaching staff, and because of it, there are some hard feelings among the Huskies.

In all matters such as this, the truth lies somewhere in between Sacramento and Storrs.

I think the most important piece of information in this entire matter was not what was said, or even who said it, but that Geno Auriemma felt it offensive enough to ask Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw about it at the Big East meetings in May, according to Rallo’s story.

Why would Geno unnecessarily confront McGraw, who he considers a friend and gifted coach, about something such as this if he felt it didn’t happen or didn’t actually hear it himself?

Geno can be spontaneous, and sometimes he says things he wishes he hadn’t, but I do not believe he would purposely antagonize her and her program. He probably just wanted an explanation. And if he got one, it may not have been what he was looking for because just last week on his CPTV television show he made reference to something that happened between the teams.

When a coach says something like that, on television, the media naturally follows the path.

Also, a sports information director in the Big East, with no axe to grind and no association with either school, admitted Monday hearing of the incident long before the blogs or Doris Burke’s mention of it on ESPN became public.

Also, a UConn player, when asked if the Bruszewski story was true, and who was in the locker room at the time and would have heard it, who I have a good relationship with, said she couldn’t remember. This is code for “none of your business.” Keeping in the family, folks.


The South Bend Tribune responds

Notre Dame womens basketball--Bruszewski denies report

What has been a classic and classy rivalry in college women's basketball has taken an ugly turn in the past week.

A blog by the Hartford Courant’s Connecticut women’s beat writer, John Altavilla, has helped heat things up.

Citing an unnamed UConn source, Altavilla reported that former Notre Dame player Becca Bruszewski opened the door to the Huskies’ locker room after the Irish beat UConn in the Final Four last April and yelled inside, “It must suck to be you.”

Altavilla’s blog was published prior to Monday’s showdown between No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Connecticut, a game the Irish won, 72-59.

Earlier in the week, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma took a shot at Notre Dame for its 120-44 victory against Pittsburgh earlier in the season, claiming the Irish were shooting 3’s late in the game, trying to run up the score.

According to Altavilla’s blog, Auriemma made a “cryptic reference’’ to the incident on his TV show earlier in the week.

Bruszewski, a senior last season who is now playing professional basketball in Finland, told The Tribune in a telephone interview on Tuesday that she did not open the Huskies’ locker room door and shout that at the UConn players.

“I’m getting called out for this,’’ she said in phone conversation Tuesday. “The fact that hurts the most, they’re saying that I barged into another team’s locker room. The fact that when I ran by, nobody but the UConn coaching staff was outside the door, with a security officer. I don’t know how they fabricated this. I don’t know where it came from. I’m going to deny it until it’s over with, because it’s not true.”

According to Bruszewski, she made comments to a teammate about the pain of losing with the Connecticut coaching staff within earshot, but that it was not intended as a slight to the Huskies.

“We celebrated with our team on the court and hugged a lot of people,” Bruszewski said of the aftermath of Notre Dame’s stunning victory over the favored Huskies in the Final Four in Indianapolis. “As we ran back through the tunnel, I was not by myself. I was with my team. I never stopped, I never talked to anyone from Connecticut, I never touched any doors. I never slowed down and walked. I never saw any UConn players, because they were all in their locker room.

“But outside the door was the entire coaching staff and their security, because at the Final Four, and even home games, everyone has security at their locker rooms. I did not make eye contact with them, I did not say anything to them. As I walked by, my words were, ‘Oh, man, that sucks. It could have been us.’ It was a realization that this great team, their season was over. Two days later, I realized that same sort of defeat.”

Bruszewski is fuming at the attack on her character.


Irish coach Muffet McGraw said Auriemma told her about the incident at the Big East meetings in May. His version coincided with the version in Altavilla’s blog, that Bruszewski opened the locker room door and yelled at the UConn players.

“When Geno told me about this in May, we hadn’t heard anything about it,” McGraw said. “I was appalled when I heard this. When we got back to campus, we met with our players and said, ‘Here’s what Geno said.’ They had no idea. They were appalled and thought that it couldn’t be. We talked to Becca and she denied it. She said that she never went in their locker room.”

Notre Dame women’s basketball sports information director Chris Masters said security was tight for the Final Four, and that NCAA representatives were stationed outside and inside of every locker room.

“There were NCAA observers right there,” Masters said. “If this happened, we would have gotten disciplined. There would have been a letter of reprimand. That never happened.”

McGraw wondered about the timing of the leak to the media by the unnamed UConn source, when her team was playing at Connecticut for Notre Dame’s first outright Big East crown.

“This may have been embellished,” McGraw said. “To come up now, a year later, (Auriemma) may have been trying to motivate his team. Something could have been said at some point, but Becca swears that she did not go in their locker room.

“I don’t want to turn it into a back-and-forth thing. It’s not worth it. Geno and I actually get along very well. I do feel like this year has been hard on him, I guess.”

My personal opinion is that this incident didn't hit the public airwaves before UCONN's January battle with ND in South Bend, so it's a non-factor that would only make the ND fans in South Bend more riled up if he used it then. I think Geno was playing psy-ops against ND hoping to distract them from their game plan as well as trying to motivate his team and riling up the UCONN fans in the game that decided the 2012 Big East Regular championships. It failed because Muffet said that she didn't read any pre-game news and I bet the ND players didn't either so that they would remain focused at defeating UCONN at home.

But Geno sure has angered the ND fans, whom I'm sure will give him the Bronx cheer when he visits South Bend next time.
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