Saturday Reads

Good Morning news junkies! I’m filling in for WonktheVote today. She is taking a little break from blogging, so Dakinikat, Minkoff Minx, and I are going to take turns doing the Saturday Reads for a little while. So what’s in the news today? Let’s see…

After his blow-up-the-economy plan passed the House yesterday, John Boehner gave a very defensive-sounding speech to justify his treasonous behavior.

A defiant House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) late Friday defended his debt-ceiling plan by saying it is the only viable plan on paper so far….

“I’ve offered ideas, I’ve negotiated,” Boehner said in closing debate on his bill. “Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do is criticize what I put out there.

“I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the president of the United States,” Boehner continued to grumbling among Democrats. “Hey, I put revenues on the table in order to try to come to an agreement in order to avert us being where we are. But a lot of people in this town can never say yes.”

He also defended including the ridiculous balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in his bill.

“It’s time for this to happen,” he said. “It enjoys support from both houses of this Congress, and it enjoys bipartisan and widespread support across our country.”

No. It doesn’t, Mr. Speaker.

A short time later the Senate put Boehner’s bill out of its misery.
Now what?

Despite a day of frenzied legislative maneuvering and another attempt by President Obama to rally public opinion behind some kind of compromise, the two parties made no visible progress in finding common ground, leaving Washington, Wall Street and much of the nation watching the clock toward a deadline of midnight Tuesday.

Reid has made some changes in his plan, hoping to appeal to Senate Republicans. The NYT didn’t elaborate on what these changes are. At Huffpo, Michael McAuliff and Sam Stein say Reid’s plan is now a lot like Mitch McConnell’s. But whatever its contents, Republicans in the House plan to hold a “symbolic vote” on it today in order to “send a message” that whatever the Senate agrees on will not pass the House.

These people are playing with fire. It’s looking like they’re not going to meet the August 2 deadline either.

The seemingly unbridgeable impasse between the two parties as the deadline for raising the nation’s debt limit approaches has Tom Daschle losing sleep, as he never did when he was a Senate Democratic leader in the mid-1990s and Congressional Republicans forced government shutdowns rather than compromise on spending cuts.

“That was nothing compared to this. That was a shutdown of the government; this could be, really, a shutdown of the entire economy,” Mr. Daschle said. “You can’t be too hyperbolic about the ramifications of all this.”

Democrats and Republicans with legislative experience agree that even if both sides decided Saturday to raise the $14.3 trillion borrowing ceiling and to reduce future annual deficits, it would be extremely difficult for the compromise measure to wend its way through Congress before Tuesday’s deadline, given Congressional legislative procedures.

But all signs point to August 2 passing with no budget bill. As we all know, President Obama could end the struggle at any time with an executive order, but then he’d have to put off gutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for a little bit longer. He can’t allow that, now can he?

Stay tuned…

There has been a disturbing string of sexual assaults on women in Ann Arbor, Michigan over the past two weeks. the assaults have taken place near the University of Michigan campus. There have been six attacks, two of which were rapes. In the others, women were grabbed and fondled, but managed to escape.

Two different composite sketches of the suspect have been developed. Police aren’t sure if there is just one perpetrator two. The FBI is now involved in the investigation.

The agency will be assisting Ann Arbor police at the city’s request, said FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold. She did not provide any details about the agency’s role.

The six attacks occurred between July 15 and 26, and between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The victims were traumatized, said police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush.

Ann Arbor Police Chief Barnett Jones said he did not know if the attacks were linked. He warned in a letter to university staff, faculty and students that there was a “predator or predators operating in our community.”

Emily Zinn and her boyfriend were sleeping when one of the rapes took place right outside their apartment.

…an 18-year-old woman was pulled behind a wall outside Zinn’s bedroom window and raped on July 18.

She first noticed something was wrong when she and her boyfriend, Matt McAnelly, 24, a University of Michigan graduate student, heard the girl sobbing outside about 12:45 a.m.

“We heard a girl crying and ‘Help me, help me,’ ” Zinn said. “She was saying, ‘He left, I’m alone,’ so we didn’t really know what was happening.”

The couple heard nothing while the girl was being attacked.

This monster (or monsters) must be stopped ASAP.

Is the U.S. on the verge of a revolution?

On last night’s The Big Picture with progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann, author Neil Howe discussed how he and William Strauss came to accurately predict today’s political crisis in their 1997 book “The Fourth Turning,” and offered speculation as to what might happen next….

Speaking of the generational differences between today’s new guard and the retiring baby boomers, Howe said that cultural forces have essentially forced this crisis, with “culture warriors” and “values voters” in direct contention with “gen x” for control of the national budget.

“Are we on the verge of another ‘fourth turning’ — another major crash leading to a world war and a world-wide depression?” Hartmann asked.

“No,” Howe said. “I hope it won’t be bad. I hope the destructive will be avoided to the furthest extent possible and the constructive, which always comes out of a fourth turning… will be maximized.”

Watch it:


A judge has ordered the release of Richard Nixon’s grand jury testimony about the Watergate scandal.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted a request by historian Stanley Kutler, who has written several books about Nixon and Watergate, and others to unseal the testimony given on June 23 and 24 in 1975.

Nixon was questioned about the political scandal during the 1970s that resulted from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington….

Lamberth ruled in the 15-page opinion that the special circumstances, especially the undisputed historical interest in Nixon’s testimony, far outweighed the need to keep the records secret. Grand jury proceedings typically remain secret.

The Obama administration opposed the release of Nixon’s testimony. It figures, doesn’t it?

Finally, here’s a fascinating bit of historical revisionism from George W. Bush.

In a rare interview with the National Geographic Channel, Bush reflects on what was going through his mind at the most dramatic moment of his presidency when he was informed that a second passenger jet had hit New York’s World Trade Center.

Bush was visiting a Florida classroom and the incident, which was caught on TV film, and has often been used by critics to ridicule his apparently blank face.

But Bush claims he deliberately decided to stay in his seat so as not to alarm the children and to “project a sense of calm.”

“I had been in enough crises to know that the first thing a leader has to do is to project calm,” he added.

I wonder what “crises” he’s talking about? Just about the only thing he did as Governor of Texas was execute people. Let’s watch Bush’s demeanor on 9/11/2001 and see how well he projected “a sense of calm.”


Here’s what one of the children who was in the classroom that day had to say about it:

“The president he just sat there, and his face — he just went dead,” says Jaimie, who was among the second graders in the classroom where President Bush learned of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Jamie’s one of the kids featured in Nickelodeon’s Linda Ellerbee news special, “What Happened?: The story of September 11, 2001,” which debuts Sept. 1.

That’s all the news I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about?

30 Comments on “Saturday Reads”

  1. Branjor says:

    If I had been in Bush’s shoes on 9/11/01 I would have said “Excuse me, children, I have to go to work” and calmly got up and left. I would have done that immediately after hearing the news, not waiting.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I doubt if it would have upset the kids any more than seeing that strange expression on his face. I think at the time, one of the kids said they thought he might have wet his pants. LOL

    • foxyladi14 says:

      I would have messed my britches 😆

  2. The Rock says:

    Good morning all! Nice roundup, BB. We are still a bit busy so my reading list will be short….

    I guess Twitter isnt the place to take a debate…

    I guess Belafonte has woken up…

    I saw a few more, but BB got to them before I did 😀

    Have a great day all!!

    Hillary 2012

  3. paper doll says:

    Thanks for the round up!

    But Bush claims he deliberately decided to stay in his seat so as not to alarm the children and to “project a sense of calm.”

    To me he projected he knew what was happening …. . He whispered to Andy Card” is it the terrorists?” Amazing deduction there Mr. Bush!

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Had Bush not ignored that memo about bin Laden in first place perhaps this tragedy could have been avoided. He did not look “presidential” to me, nor did he look like he was maintaining a “calm demeanor” that morning but appeared shellshocked at the news that we had been attacked.

    This was the same guy, not unlike Obama, who thought once he had gained the title of POTUS that was all that was required of him to lead. It was supposed to be “smooth sailing” for this entitled “legacy” since this is how most of his life up until then had proceeded. For the first time in his life he had been handed an “oh oh moment” and had no idea of how to react.

    I may be a little off base but I kind of think most of the troubles we have been faced with over the last 35+ yrs came about because of Watergate and the forced resignation of a Republican president who blatantly broke laws. The Right wing rose up in defiance and has been “active” in its desire to “get even” ever since.

    Eight years of Reagan, followed by eight years of the Right trying to topple Clinton, then eight years of Bush/Rove’s attempts to turn this nation into a permanent one party institution has led to the last few years of intransgency nicknamed the Party of No. Thus the Tea Party and where we are today.

    A little simplistic maybe but there are some events that cannot be overlooked. In some ways we are still fighting the Civil War from generations past.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Not so simplistic. I think it goes back further though. If JFK hadn’t been murdered, Nixon probably never would have been President, and we would have gotten out of Vietnam, since Kennedy had already signed the order to withdraw the advisers before he was killed.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Morning all, take a look at this:
    WAMC: Primary for the President? (2011-07-29)

    On July 22nd, Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on the progressive Thom Hartmann radio program and told one of the listeners that he believes President Barack Obama should face a primary challenger……

    Vermont Democratic Party Executive Director Jesse Bragg strongly disagrees with the Senator’s sentiments……

    Vermont State Senator Phillip Baruth is a Democrat who was an Obama delegate in Denver and even earlier helped form Vermonters for Obama to convince him to run for President. Now, in his Vermont Daily Briefing Blog, Baruth writes that Senator Sanders is right. He says President Obama is governing as a moderate Republican……

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      And one more, Clarence Page: Black voters’ blues –

      West, a leading endorser of Obama in 2008, has turned critic, going so far in recent months as to label the president a “black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs.” Smiley similarly complains that Obama talks a lot about the middle class but does too little for the nation’s poor, even though “the new poor are the former middle class.”

      Nevertheless, Smiley and West give voice to some of the understandable impatience I have heard in such black community forums as barbershops, hair salons and radio shows.

      It is an impatience revealed in a new ABC/Washington Post poll (conducted July 14-17) that finds “the number of African-Americans who believe the president’s actions have helped the economy has dropped from 77 percent in October to just over half of those surveyed.”

      Why the drop? Probably for many of the same reasons that self-described liberal Democrats who “strongly support” Obama’s record on jobs plunged 22 points in the ABC/Post poll — to 31 percent from 53 percent last year.

      When Obama’s popularity among blacks — who gave him 96 percent of their vote in 2008 — is catching a cold, it is a sign that the rest of his base is coming down with pneumonia.

      The overwhelming issue is still “the economy, stupid,” as Bill Clinton’s team used to say in his 1992 presidential campaign. These days the economy is not getting better fast enough to please anyone except perhaps those who make money off of home foreclosures.

      • At one time I was more progressive. At this time the only thing I have that is progressive is a sick feeling in my stomach. Our time moves more regressive my the minute.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Ralph Nader is pulling together a committee to do just that. He feels that Obama will just continue to govern with his eye toward the GOP agenda unless he faces some competition.

      We cannot relive 2008 but this has to serve as a strong message to the DNC that you cannot hand pick someone based on nothing but color and a smooth delivery and expect that this counts for “experience”. They “made history” alright with this loser holding the reins as he sits there and allows this nation to be overtaken by radicals, fundies, and corporations while Democratic principles are sliced and diced in the interim.

      I have a strong suspicion that the Dems in congress would welcome a primary challenge since Obama has more or less repeatedly thrown them to the wolves and left them on their own while he basks in the overture to “Hail to the Chief”.

      Though many of us voiced our concerns about Obama from the beginning, I doubt that even we never saw it playing out this badly. He stands for nothing and it shows.

      All he has managed to do is “throw toys into the playpen” and encouraged the players to fend for themselves. This is not leadership but a complete disregard for the needs of the public by placing us more and more at risk at facing a radical agenda that will only tear this nation further asunder.


  6. Oh, I am all atwitter. Obama would like a bipartisany, reasonable compromise by Tuesday. Thank you.

    Hope he has better luck with this video than he did with his tweets

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    BB, love the Calvin and Hobbs…That Ellerbee series is something I will have to watch. Thank you for bringing it up, I had not heard about it. My kids were 3 and 4 when they saw the towers fall on TV. Even at that young age they understood the gravity of what they saw. Maybe it was because their father was actually living and experiencing first hand the hell we only saw on TV. I have always wondered what was going through those children’s minds, when they found out what had happened as he sat there…suspended in some kind of stupor.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Did they know their dad was there? That must have been terrifying for them — and you!

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yes, when we lived in Manhattan…on Hanover Square downtown, we would walk the couple blocks to meet their dad at the WTC plaza. They knew that he worked there. It was the worst 10 hours of my life, not know if my husband was alive or dead until he walked into the door at 7:30 that night.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    Since the radical Right believes we need nothing more than “prayer” to lift us out of this mess I am planning on spending the rest of the weekend on my knees “praying” for a DC miracle.

    Simplistic solutions to complex problems offered by idiots lacking a brain.

    And you just have to love that Joe Walsh who is standing firm in his role as a Tea Party congressman not wishing to see his kids and grandkids yoked with debt.

    The same Tea Party congressman who owes his wife and children over $117,000 in child support but who loaned his campaign $35,000 and managed to squeeze in two different European vacations with his girlfriend! Priorities and family values take a bow!

    The GOP. You gotta love ’em!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yup. I posted about Walsh a few days ago. I can’t believe the cable networks are having him on–or that the Tea Party Repubs want him to represent them.

  9. Boo Radly says:

    Someone placed a huge bet against the US handling of the debt crisis…..I know Dak saw something like this coming..a One Billion Dollar bet, hm, who could that be?.

    Inside trader knows how the out come will go? Do we have a global court to handle this? Did Bu$h face any accountability for an illegal war and the disappearance of 2.3 trillion dollars in 2006? We had a seamless continuation of Bu$h policies and even the same crew. Bipartisan my arse. WH press man states yesterday, ‘the people have spoken and they want comprise’?????? What a clueless statement.

    Will this finally shut the stupids up who think they can “worm” Obushma’s actions, explain away his direct path to destroying this country? Nope – stupid is as stupid does. Who would have thought…………. millions of us who can still comprehend the difference between words and actions!

    Michelle told us why they had the audacity to run with no qualifications long ago, “we are only doing this once; after this, we will be too rich”. Those words were so telling to me. It was baked in the cake and, yes, my former “D” party leaders knew it. So did Hillary and she gave it her best shot.

    Just my opinion, certainly could be wrong. The hair on the back of my neck has been standing up since the selection Bush II and the last 11 years has proven prologue. The words “Bush III” describing BO came so early and so easy to me.

    Blatant greed is in every facet of government, every agency. It is appalling. The only reason this country is still functioning – decent citizens have been trying to mop up the crap – take up the slack. Everything the media presents is based/biased on – greed or sex. We are a nation of liars and thugs for the most part. And, uneducated to boot – our youth have no idea what a human value is. At least not one that promotes healthy attitudes. You don’t sell your body, you don’t hate less fortunate, if your religion foists death to others – it’s not a religion and your not much of a human being. Our government clearly does not value lives over profit.

    Loved Shirling Newberry’s post on BO – ‘cept I see BO as a liar, insane and nothing more than a paid-for greedy puppet. He will only do what he was hired to do and, apparently all the political pundits will just stew and fret. Sure hasn’t done anything to halt the descent of our nation.

    Eleven years of totally bizarre behavior, lies and distortion nationally in scope(24/7) really can mess with one. Yep, I’ve left the reservation.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    Notice who we haven’t heard from?

    Mittens, Bachmann, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Santorum have all been rather mute over the last few days. Palin, in her usual style, issued another stupid response via Facebook but none of them have been visible over the last few days as the nation totters towards the edge.

    Their prior statements have shown them aligned with the House majority but not one of them has seized the microphone to state their opinions.

    They all agree in unison: the rich must be spared in favor of mythical “job creation”. A treasure trove of dolts.

  11. Woman Voter says:

    I hope Wonk returns soon… really enjoy her Saturday pick me ups when there is so much bad news these days. Thanks for the round up BB, you are a trooper… 🙂