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Current location: New Orleans, LA
Member since: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 1,744
Current location: New Orleans, LA
Member since: Fri Jul 20, 2012, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 1,744
by Wendy Fontaine, Writer, Mother and Graduate Student, posted on The Huffington Post, 10/17/2012 8:35 am
I was annoyed during most of last night's presidential debate, but when Mitt Romney insinuated that single-parent families are to blame for gun violence in America, my blood pressure shot through the roof.
I'm a single mother. A proud one. And Romney's remarks are ignorant, insulting and based on stereotypes that degrade the hard work single parents do every day.
When a member of the audience at Tuesday night's debate asked what each candidate would do to keep assault weapons off the streets, Romney launched a baseless diatribe about making sure we have more two-parent families in this country, therefore equating gun violence with single parenthood.
May I remind him that the shooter in the assault on Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the alleged shooter in the Colorado movie theater attack were both single men with no children? Can I point out that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the boys who massacred their classmates at Columbine High School in 1999, had parents who were married? Can anyone show me one instance of a single mother caught packing an AK-47 in her diaper bag?
This is not the first time we've heard a Republican candidate for president blaming solo parents for society's ills. Last March, it was Rick Santorum, who said on the record that single mothers were ruining the fabric of our country by "breeding more criminals."
Well, my little "criminal" just turned six-years-old. Her name is Angie, and she's learning how to count money and tell time. She was student of the month at her school and the top reader in the library's summer reading program. She's becoming a pretty good soccer player, too. Last week, she scored two goals in one game.
I've been a single mother to her since she was two-years-old -- not because I had her before I was married but because her father, after twelve years of marriage, decided he was in love with someone else and wanted a divorce. It happens. Life goes on.
Things get pretty hectic around our house, but Angie and I still find time to bake, read and do crafts together. That's what single parents do. We don't plot ways to break the law or riot in the streets with our pistols and semi-automatics (as a matter of fact, I had to Google "types of guns" just to write this). No, what we do is get our children off to school on time. We help them with their homework. We go to our jobs and our night classes, to our kids' parent-teacher conferences and band practices. And we watch presidential debates so we'll know who to vote for, who will have our best interests in mind.
I'm sick of the cliche that single parents, especially mothers, are lazy, society-sucking welfare cases, and that their children are growing up to be delinquents. The truth is 79 percent of single mothers and 92 percent of single fathers have jobs. Many live off low incomes, but most receive no public assistance. More than half are raising only one child. The majority of us are responsible people, and we are raising our children to be responsible, to be kind, to value education and pursue their talents. To assume otherwise is to feed the stereotype, to perpetuate the myth.
Ask President Obama. His own mother was a single mom, and she raised him to become president.
Perhaps Romney apologized for his ridiculous comments regarding single parents and gun violence in his closing remarks last night. I missed the tail end of the debate, after all. I had to turn off the television and put my daughter to bed -- because that's what real single parents do.
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Oct 17, 2012, 11:30 AM (5 replies)
Quick voteWho do you think fared better in the second presidential debate?
Total votes: 32189
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Wed Oct 17, 2012, 10:49 AM (6 replies)
DU the CNN poll . . . scroll down and it's on the right.
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 10:45 PM (7 replies)
Not a good sign!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 08:56 PM (1 replies)
My prediction for tonight's debate (transcript included):
Creepy Crawley: Blah, blah, blah the first question from our first 'undecided' voter (winks at Robme).
'Undecided' Voter #1: Both candidates, please explain what you will do to get Amurkins back to work, and Mr. Romney, please address the President's failed economic policies in detail.
Robme: Lie, lie, lie, lie (pauses for condescending smile), lie, lie, lie, lie, (points at POTUS while smirking), lie, lie, lie (for another 4 minutes), and let me close by lying some more.
POTUS: Mr. Romney, that's not what you said 2 weeks ago at . . .
Creepy: I'm sorry Mr. President, but your 5 minutes are up.
POTUS: But I have 4 minutes and 55 seconds left . . .
Creepy: Not on my show, pal. NEXT!!! (smiles coquettishly at Robme).
'Undecided' Voter #2: Both candidates, please explain your positions on contraception and abortion, and specifically, Mr. Obama, tell us why you like to kill babies.
POTUS: Well, first let me say that, while I personally believe . . .
Creepy: TIME!!! Your response, Mr. Romney.
POTUS: Wait a minute, Ms. Creepy . . .
Creepy: Keep it up and I'll turn your mic off! (Blows Robme a kiss). Your turn, Mr. Romney, and please feel free to take all the time you need since the President keeps interrupting.
Robme: Although the President DOES indeed like to kill babies, let me assure you . . .lie, lie, lie, flip-flop, flop-flip, (does back handspring), lie, lie, lie and (10 minutes later) let me leave you with one additional lie.
'Undecided' Voter #3: Mr. Romney, why do you let the Democrats continue to take credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden, when it's very clear from many reports on Fox News that you and Mr. Ryan, at your own personal expense, orchestrated the entire operation that raided the Bin Laden compound, and that you personally fired the shot that took him out?
Robme: You are absolutely correct and lie, lie, lie, (blinks madly like crackhead), lie, lie, lie, (sweats profusely), lie, lie, lie, (consults the cheat sheet he smuggled into the hall in his magic underwear), lie, lie, lie, and let me finish by saying that I love poor people, and our military heroes, and social security grandmas, and the trees that are the right height, and God bless Kolob, I mean America!
Creepy: Mr. Romney, we are going to forego any more questions from the audience, shut off the President's mic, and let you use the remaining time to talk about the President's failed policies, while I lick your feet.
At this point the President walks across the stage, takes Creepy's mic, walks to Robme, shoves said mic down his throat, takes Robme's mic, turns to the audience and proceeds to explain his ideas to move the country forward.
Creepy continues to lick Robme's feet, Robme starts talking out of the other side of his mouth, Biden walks on stage, pummels Robme repeatedly about the face and neck to shut his lie-hole, while the President continues to lay fact upon fact on the audience and explain why his policies are better than those of Robme-Lyin Ryan.
MSNBC pundits in post-debate meltdown: WTF is wrong with the President? We're going to lose this election! The sky is falling! I am a traitorous dickhead! Blah, blah, blah . . .
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 07:48 PM (8 replies)
by John Nichols, posted on TheNation.com on October 16, 2012
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the veteran Democratic leader who mentored a young Barack Obama and remains one of the president’s closest allies, was not planning to be at Obama’s side for today’s final round of debate preparation.
Rather, Durban was headed back home to Illinois for a meeting with workers at the Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, where 170 employees are slated to lose their jobs to outsourcing before the end of the year.
Sensata, which for decades has produced state-of-the-art sensors and controls for Ford and General Motors, is precisely the sort of high-tech operation that a country looking to compete in the global economy of the twenty-first century would want to maintain as a domestic manufacturer. So why are the jobs moving to China?
Because Bain Capital owns the company, and Bain is committed to the industrial development of Chinese provinces—not to states like Illinois. That’s not what most Americans would identify as a smart choice for the nation’s future—let alone “economic patriotism.”
But that is how Bain, which got its operating ethos from former CEO Mitt Romney, operates. Romney still profits mightily from his Bain connection—as The New York Times and numerous business journals have well documented—and he remains closely tied to current Bain executives. So if anyone could get Bain to rethink the outsourcing of the Sensata jobs, it’s Mitt Romney.
At least, that’s what Illinoisans think.
In July, the Freeport City Council voted unanimously to ask Romney to come to Freeport, meet the workers and intervene with Bain on their behalf. Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp even offered to host a debate between Romney and President Obama at the local historic site where Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas once debated.
In September, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn visited Freeport and issued a similar call.
Now, on the day of the critical second debate between the presidential candidates (in Hempostead, New York, rather than Freeport), Durbin is headed to the community workers have dubbed “Bainport.”
And rightly so.
What’s happening in Freeport is a small piece of a big story: that of outsourcing technology jobs—the high-tech positions that should be powering America’s economic renewal—from the United States to China. And that issue ought to be on the agenda for Tuesday’s debate.
As Paul Gaulrapp, a thirty-three-year employee at the factory that was once honorably operated by Honeywell, says: “It’s time to draw a line in the sand on the outsourcing of good, American jobs.”
Moderator Candy Crowley, a savvy CNN correspondent who cannot be unaware of the Freeport fight, should raise the issue.
If she does not, President Obama can and should put it in the mix. Obama does not need to abandon his medium-cool persona to define the direction of tonight’s debate. He just has to raise the right issues. He can do that by putting a human face on the issue of outsourcing—and Bain Capitalism.
Few stories are more instructive with regard to America’s outsourcing crisis—Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing says the US has lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, overwhelmingly to China, as 50,000 factories have closed—than that of the Sensata workers in Freeport. And none does more to highlight the Republican presidential nominee’s record of promoting job growth… in China.
Indeed, as the United Steelworkers union illustrates with a dramatic new video on the outsourcing fight: “Mitt Romney and Bain Capital are profiting by selling out American workers shipping US jobs to China.”
Romney should be confronted on this issue. He should have to answer questions and provide explanations. But he won’t do that in Freeport. Indeed, he has studiously avoided the town—even when a June bus trip across southern Wisconsin put him in close proximity to the northern Illinois community.
Mitt Romney’s “Every Town Counts” bus tour scrupulously avoided towns where Romney’s Bain Capital continues to put the hurt on American workers.
When Romney stopped in Paul Ryan’s Janesville, Wisconsin, and then traveled to Dubuque, Iowa, on Monday, June 18, he was just up the road from Freeport.
But Romney did not stop in Freeport, a town that like Janesville and Dubuque has been hard hit by trade and fiscal policies that encourage corporations to shutter US factories and ship jobs overseas—and that has been even harder hit by speculators who buy up factories, strip the assets and close them.
On the day Romney was busing across the region, Sensata workers gathered in front of the factory with handmade signs that read:
“Romney! Stop Bain Outsourcing to China”
“Mitt Romney Save Our Jobs”
“Romney: Instead of talking about JOBS, just don’t ship MINE to China”
The workers had every reason to be upset with Bain—and with Romney.
Their plant has always been innovative and productive. It was owned for decades by Texas Instruments, and then by Honeywell, before being sold in 2010 to Sensata Technologies Holding, N.V, a firm based in the Netherlands but majority-owned by Bain Capital.
The workers at the plant pleaded with Romney to make a slight detour on his bus trip and take a look at the devastation being caused by Bain’s machinations at a plant where many of them had been employed for more than thirty years.
Even then, the plant’s operations were rapidly shrinking as crews removed safety equipment from machines that were being prepared for shipment from Illinois to China.
“This used to be a very high-volume plant and now it’s pretty much a ghost town… and by the end of the year it will be a ghost town”, Sensata employee Cheryl Randecker told local reporters.
Had Romney come to Freeport, he would have heard how much Bain’s approach has harmed not just the Sensata workers but Freeport and counties along the Illinois-Wisconsin stateline that have suffered more than their share of plant closings.
“Sensata is moving forward with the process of relocating jobs from their operations in Freeport to China,” explains John Blum, the chairman of the Stephenson County Board.
In addition to the “significant human toll on the more than 140 families that will be affected by this loss of jobs and financial security,” says Blum, “The loss of these jobs will have a tremendous impact on our regional economy.”
That’s a story Mitt Romney definitely does not want to focus attention on.
So his bus didn’t stop in Freeport.
Romney will not go near Freeport.
But that does not mean he can or should be able to avoid the issues raised Bain’s outsourcing of the Sensata jobs.
He should be asked a simple question in tonight’s debate, and on the campaign trail going forward:
"Is talk about renewing the American economy credible coming from a man who continues to profit from the plant closings, the layoffs and the outsourcing practices that are crude byproducts of Bain Capitalism?"
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:41 PM (0 replies)
By Adele M. Stan, posted on AlterNet, October 16, 2012
It was hardly love at first sight. But once the Koch brothers threw in behind Mitt Romney, they brought the full force of their political machine.
In the beginning, way back during the G.O.P. presidential primary, Charles and David Koch, the billionaire funders of the Republican right, didn’t seem all that keen on Willard Mitt Romney as he made his bid for the party’s presidential nomination. But now they’re all in behind the Mittster, as evidenced by, as AlterNet reported , the vaguely threatening letter Koch Industries sent to its U.S. employees and retirees, auguring bad things if the wrong guy happened to get (re)elected.
But this was not love at first sight. First, there was that troublesome Massachusetts health-care program -- you know, the one with the individual mandate? -- that bore Romney’s signature. Then there was his inability to move the very base that the Koch brothers had built through Americans For Prosperity and its foundation, the astroturfing organizations founded by the brothers, who own Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States.
It hasn’t even been a year since Romney addressed an Americans For Prosperity Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., and was received with faint applause by a crowd that went wild for pizza magnate Herman Cain. But ‘round about April, something changed. Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator with interesting ideas about human sexuality, was making life difficult for Romney by showing a knack for winning primaries despite a lack of money and general weirdness.
Romney’s chances for winning the primary in the Midwest Province of Kochistan -- otherwise known as Wisconsin -- were looking iffy. At that point, it seems, the Kochs apparently decided they’d better get behind a candidate who might actually have a shot at beating President Barack Obama. After all, by helping Cain stay in the race as long as they had, via his frequent speaking gigs at Americans For Prosperity events and a campaign staff drawn from AFP’s Wisconsin chapter, they had successfully pushed Romney to adopt an anti-tax position that the Kochs found palatable. So, at last, Romney found the Koch love he so desperately needed.
Here are five indications that Romney is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers’ political enterprises.
1. Papering Koch Industries employees with voter guides and dark predictions. Earlier this month, Koch Industries President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Robertson sent a letter to employees and retirees of Koch Industries urging them to vote with the following scary observation:
If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation and other ills.
Hmmm...wonder who they mean to be maligning right there. Robertson’s missive is actually a cover letter for a packet of materials that helpfully includes a list of candidates running in the recipient’s state who are endorsed by Koch Industries. All are Republicans, and Mitt Romney tops the list.
Also included in the packet is an op-ed penned by David Koch, a handful of essays by Charles Koch from the company publication, Discovery, and an article from the right-wing Investors Business Daily.
To view the Koch voter guide for its Virginia employees and retirees, as well as Robertson’s letter, click here.
2. Wisconsin primary endorsements from the Koch machine. In the weeks leading up to the Wisconsin primary, things were looking bleak for Mitt Romney. Wisconsin’s right-wingers, it seemed, really, really liked Rick Santorum, but the Kochs were apparently not so enthusiastic about the Pennsylvania senator best known for the phrase “man on dog.” And then Romney experienced a change in fortunes, thanks to the endorsements of a string of Wisconsin politicians whose careers were nurtured by the Wisconsin chapter of Americans For Prosperity. Of all of the institutions that he and his brother have funded in the “public policy arena,” David Koch said at an AFP gathering during the Republican National Convention, “the institution I feel the most closely attached to, and the most proud of, is Americans For Prosperity,”
Most prominent among the group of Koch-approved Wisconsin pols who found a sudden love for Romney was Rep. Paul Ryan, who is now Romney’s running mate. In the final days of the Wisconsin primary, Romney was hardly ever seen without Ryan by his side.
In the end, Romney won Wisconsin by a mere 4 points, despite outspending Santorum by four-to-one, effectively ending Santorum’s bid for the nomination. Had Romney not had the endorsements of the AFP crowd, he very well may have lost Wisconsin to Santorum.
3. The $50,000-a-head Romney fundraiser at David Koch’s summer home. After he locked up the Republican nomination with the help of the Americans For Prosperity, Romney enjoyed the hospitality of David Koch at the multibillionaire’s weekend home in Southampton, N.Y., where the smart set summers. According to a report in the New York Post, Koch introduced Romney with a riff on Greece’s debt problem, with the suggestion that things in America were headed in that direction.
During the fundraiser, MoveOn.org hosted a lively party outside the gates of the Koch estate, and commissioned a small plane to fly overhead bearing a banner that read, “Romney Has a Koch Problem.”
Inside the gates, the Post reported, Romney told the assembled moguls: “I understand there is a plane out there saying Mitt Romney has ‘a Koch problem.’ I don’t look at it as a problem; I look at it as an asset.”
During the event, according to the Post , Romney and Koch had a tete-a-tete:
Koch was given a private audience with Romney before the event started, heading upstairs with their wives for a personal meeting for 30 minutes before “descending back down like two world leaders with their first ladies,” quipped one attendee.
Wonder what they discussed? Maybe a little blue-skying on potential running-mates?
4. The Ryan pick. If you were choosing a running mate in order to reassure elderly voters, who tend to skew Republican, that you were the most trustworthy leader into which to place the country’s future, Paul Ryan, the guy who wants to fundamentally end Medicare and Social Security , probably wouldn’t be your pick. Unless somebody -- somebody whose support you desperately need -- made you.
(Even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich denounced the Ryan budget plan as “right wing social engineering” -- before he walked it back.)
When Romney announced Ryan as his vice presidential pick, I wrote: “Looks like the Koch brothers are going to have to throw a whole lot of money at this thing to make it work for them. But we know they've got plenty of that.”
Now, I don’t know that David Koch made Mitt Romney pick Paul Ryan as his running mate, but I suspect that Ryan wasn’t a name that Romney came up with on his own.
You see, it's not just money for his own campaign that Romney needs from the Kochs. He needs the engagement of Americans For Proserity to turn out the vote for him on the ground, an aspect of campaigning for which the Obama campaign is seen to have a great advantage. You'll recall that AFP proved its ground-game prowess in the 2010 congressional elections, and in the Walker recall election in Wisconsin.
Ryan’s political career -- really, the only career he has ever known -- is virtually a product of the Koch machine . Until Americans For Prosperity began building its Wisconsin infrastructure, Ryan was a little-known congressman who got elected at a tender age. But after the entrance of AFP to his state, the Ayn Rand acolyte ’s fortunes grew exponentially, leading to him ultimately winning the chairmanship of the House Budget Committee at the tender age of 40.
As AlterNet documented, in 2008, the Wisconsin AFP chapter gave Ryan its Defending the American Dream award -- presented to him by a callow county executive named Scott Walker.
5. Scott Walker’s advice taken. No sooner had Romney named Paul Ryan as his number two than he started running from his running mate. Maybe it was Ryan’s roundly-denounced l ie-laden speech to the Republican National Convention, or the way Ryan was being hounded by the Nuns on the Bus. But in mid-September, a month after he named Ryan as his running mate, when Romney’s poll numbers were slipping, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker -- who survived his recall election with a lot of help from Americans For Prosperity -- took to the airwaves to lay down the law.
Romney, Walker said, in successive appearances on talk radio and Fox News Sunday, needed to to stop running from Ryan and campaign with him. Walker’s Fox News Sunday interview took place on September 23; on September 25, Romney and Ryan went on the road together for a bus tour of Ohio.
As arranged marriages go, Paul Ryan came with quite a dowry; the inlaws apparently expect to see it used to good effect.
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:01 PM (1 replies)
The 25 funniest tweets about the VP debate, By Brandon Griggs, CNN, Fri October 12, 2012
(CNN) -- When he wasn't laughing, Joe Biden sounded like a belligerent old man.
Paul Ryan sipped from a cup and looked like a beleaguered altar boy.
Fair or not, those were just two characterizations of Thursday's vice presidential debate on Twitter, where a Greek chorus of jokesters kept up a witty commentary throughout the 90-minute throwdown. As with any live TV event in the social media age, the people of Twitter let no gaffe or verbal tic go unnoticed.
GuyEndoreKaiser -- "Tonight's debate is scheduled for ninety minutes, but Paul Ryan is already claiming he can finish in fifty something".
Ana Marie Cox -- "I actually happen to have "malarkey" in the drinking game! Oh geez..."
Bill Maher @billmaher "Hello 9 1 1? There s an old man beating a child on my tv"
Morgan Murphy -- "Biden's teeth are so white they're voting for Romney". #VPDebate
Patton Oswalt -- "Ryan is a nervous Walmart manager. Biden is an irate customer with the receipt, the warranty & he's friends w/ the store owner". #debate
Indecision -- "Joe Biden would very much like for Paul Ryan to get off his lawn." #vpdebate
kelly oxford @kellyoxford "While Ryan speaks, Biden looks like he's trying to order a drink at the bar and the bartender is ignoring him". #vpdebate
Paul and Storm -- "You can't make Joe Biden look bad. He is your favorite uncle. He pulls quarters from behind your ears." #VPDebate
Seth Masket -- "Actually, this is like if Aaron Sorkin wrote an exchange between the Skipper and Gilligan". #vpdebate
Joe Mande @JoeMande "Whoever is tickling Biden's feet needs to stop it". #VPDebate
Paul Ryan Gosling -- "Hey girl, I'm not taking nervous sips of water, I'm drinking every time Biden laughs at me". #vpdebate
Jose Antonio Vargas -- "Before this #VPDebate, @JoeBiden had a Venti macchiato and two cans of Red Bull".
James Garrett -- "I kind of feel like Joe Biden is Kanye and Paul Ryan is Taylor Swift". #VPDebate
Peter Schultz@pete_schultz "This is like Alex and Mr. Keaton in season 30 of Family Ties" #VPDebate
National Review -- "Wait, is Biden yelling at Martha Raddatz right now? I thought he was debating Paul Ryan..."#VPDebate
Brent Black -- "I HAVE HAD A CHILD IN THE SHAPE OF A BEAN PLEASE INTERRUPT ME "#VPDebate
more at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/12/tech/social-media/funniest-vp-debate-tweets/index.html?hpt=hp_bn5
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Oct 12, 2012, 11:34 AM (3 replies)
Who do you think fared better in the vice presidential debate?
Biden 61% 17,778 votes
Ryan 39% 11,157 votes
Total votes: 28,935
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Fri Oct 12, 2012, 11:22 AM (3 replies)
So let me see if I've got this straight:
CONGRESSMAN Ryan, now that you're on the big boy stage and you're afraid of the negative connotations that go along with the word 'Congress', you want to be called 'mister'? You've spent your entire adult life in DC, most of it as a CONGRESSMAN, sucking on the gubment teat the entire time, CONGRESSMAN Ryan.
You're actively running for reelection for CONGRESS in your home state, for crying out loud! And you want us to forget your title?!? It's blatantly obvious to everyone that you're trying to run from your record as a repuke CONGRESSMAN. Do you think we're really going to let this slide, CONGRESSMAN Ryan?
I hope Joe slips at least once and calls you 'CONGRESSMAN'. What can they do to him, put him in time out? rMoney was allowed to bring a cheat sheet, exceed his allotted time, interrupt both the POTUS and the moderator, and lie out of his ass.
Please, Joe, just once I want to hear the words "CONGRESSMAN Ryan, that is a LIE"!!!
You EARNED the title 'CONGRESSMAN', so fucking OWN it, you coward!
Posted by fleur-de-lisa | Thu Oct 11, 2012, 07:39 PM (4 replies)