Monday Reads

Good Morning!

There’s nothing too exciting going on right now so I’m going to link to a few interesting things that showed up the last few days.  I suppose every one’s focused on the Olympics and the last of their summer vacations.

The NYT had an interesting op-ed up called “Why Can’t We End Poverty?” that’s worth reading.  So, why do we continue to lose the war on poverty?

Four reasons: An astonishing number of people work at low-wage jobs. Plus, many more households are headed now by a single parent, making it difficult for them to earn a living income from the jobs that are typically available. The near disappearance of cash assistance for low-income mothers and children — i.e., welfare — in much of the country plays a contributing role, too. And persistent issues of race and gender mean higher poverty among minorities and families headed by single mothers.

The first thing needed if we’re to get people out of poverty is more jobs that pay decent wages. There aren’t enough of these in our current economy. The need for good jobs extends far beyond the current crisis; we’ll need a full-employment policy and a bigger investment in 21st-century education and skill development strategies if we’re to have any hope of breaking out of the current economic malaise.

This isn’t a problem specific to the current moment. We’ve been drowning in a flood of low-wage jobs for the last 40 years. Most of the income of people in poverty comes from work. According to the most recent data available from the Census Bureau, 104 million people — a third of the population — have annual incomes below twice the poverty line, less than $38,000 for a family of three. They struggle to make ends meet every month.

Half the jobs in the nation pay less than $34,000 a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. A quarter pay below the poverty line for a family of four, less than $23,000 annually. Families that can send another adult to work have done better, but single mothers (and fathers) don’t have that option. Poverty among families with children headed by single mothers exceeds 40 percent.

Wages for those who work on jobs in the bottom half have been stuck since 1973, increasing just 7 percent.

The WP had an rather large feature on the continuing numbers that show people really don’t like Romney while Obama’s likeables still hold despite the economy and other problems.

GOP strategists within and outside the Romney campaign insist that the former Massachusetts governor still has plenty of time to acquaint the American people with his softer side, and that, given all the problems the country faces, personality will not be the deciding factor this election year.

Those assumptions show in Romney’s advertising. The standard playbook for challengers is to launch their campaigns with a round of biographical ads. Romney’s first spots after securing the nomination focused on what he would do on “Day One” of his presidency.

“Personal qualities are taking a back seat,” Newhouse said. “What voters are asking us is, ‘What’s he going to do? How is he going to be different? How is he going to lead us out of this mess?’ ”

Sounding a bit like a sympathetic psychotherapist, a recent Republican National Committee ad acknowledged Americans’ affection for Obama and offered them permission to move on.

“He tried. You tried,” the announcer said. “It’s okay to make a change.”

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has tried to take advantage of a void that Romney has created by his failure thus far to fill in the picture of himself.

It has pounded him with ads that depict him as heartless, privileged and secretive. In an exercise of jujitsu, Obama’s attacks focus on the very aspect of Romney’s résumé that he has highlighted as his greatest strength: his business career.

“Who has owned the Mitt Romney biography? It’s been the Obama campaign that has defined Mitt Romney,” said Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican strategist who helped run GOP nominee John McCain’s campaign in 2008. “A lot of criticism people make is that Mitt Romney hasn’t revealed a lot of himself in terms of who he is.”

 Some Democratic lawmakers intend to introduce legislation to make it more difficult to buy  ammunition on line according  to The Hill.

Two Democratic lawmakers on Monday will announce new legislation to regulate the online and mail-order sale of ammunition.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.) said the new law would make the sale of ammunition “safer for law-abiding Americans who are sick and tired of the ease with which criminals can now anonymously stockpile for mass murder,” in a statement released Saturday.

The lawmakers cite the recent movie massacre in Aurora, Colo. for spurring their bill.

“The shooter who killed 12 and injured 58 in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater this month had purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammunition anonymously on the Internet shortly before going on his killing spree, according to law enforcement officials,” the statement reads. “The shooter used a civilian version of the military’s M-16 rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, a shotgun and two .40-caliber semi-automatic handguns commonly used by police officers.”

Lautenberg and McCarthy, who will unveil their new proposal at New York’s City Hall say they intend to “make it harder for criminals to anonymously stockpile ammunition through the Internet.”

Lautenberg and McCarthy are two high profile advocates of gun control legislation, but they face an uphill struggle in Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said last week that he does not intend to bring gun control legislation to the floor and President Obama has been reluctant to press lawmakers to act on the issue in an election year.

Democratic senators though have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity magazines by some consumers. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) defended it last Thursday as a “reasonable” gun control measure.

Florida is busy purging it’s voter roll again.  Molly Ball at the Atlantic wonders if this could possibly turn the state over to Romney even though polls are showing Obama ahead.

A quick recap of the purge story thus far: The Florida secretary of state, who oversees elections and is appointed by the governor, initially drafted a list of some 180,000 potential illegal voters based on the state driver’s license database. Some legal immigrants can get driver’s licenses in the state, including those on student or work visas and those in the process of naturalization; the state sought to match those names with the names of voters.

The secretary’s office whittled that list down to about 2,600 names that it considered most suspect and sent those to the respective county supervisors to check. Right away, problems began to crop up. In Broward County, for example, one of the voters who got a letter telling him he’d have to prove his citizenship to continue voting was 91-year-old Bill Internicola, a Brooklyn-born World War II veteran living in a retirement community who’d been voting in Florida for 18 years. But the effort also did turn up more than 100 noncitizens who’d been illegally registered to vote.

The secretary of state’s office maintains that it always realized the driver’s license list was insufficient for the purpose of vetting voter registrations. Instead, it began asking the feds for access to a database — the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements system, known as SAVE — used to check the eligibility of applicants for federal benefits. When the Department of Justice sued Florida to stop the initial purge effort, Florida sued back to force the Department of Homeland Security to let it use the SAVE database.

Earlier this month, a resolution was reached when Homeland Security agreed to give the secretary of state’s office access to the SAVE database. At the moment, the secretary’s office is working with Homeland Security on the terms of the agreement, with hopes of signing a memorandum in the coming days, according to Chris Cate, the spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

“We’re going to use the SAVE database to verify information we’ve received indicating someone is a noncitizen,” Cate said. “If we receive information that someone on the voter rolls is a noncitizen, we’ll use the SAVE database to validate whether or not that’s true, and then we’ll provide that information to the [county election] supervisors to complete the statutory removal process.”

Cate said a new list of potential noncitizen voters would be created from the most current information contained in the driver’s license database. The main problem with the initial driver’s license list, he said, was that it captured people who had become naturalized citizens since they last renewed their licenses. But running the names through the SAVE database, which is updated through the last 72 hours, will keep those people from being purged, he said.

For now, though, this process is still hypothetical, and the purge is in limbo.

Evidently the Big Dawg will play a big role at the DNC convention in September. I guess all is forgiven.

President Bill Clinton will play a prominent role at the Democratic National convention this summer, several Obama campaign and party officials say.

The former president will formally nominate President Barack Obama for re-election. And he will use a prime-time speech to argue that Obama has the strongest economic vision for the country’s future, the officials say.

Clinton will speak on Sept. 5. That means both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will speak on Sept. 6, the final night of the convention, before a crowd of about 70,000 people at an outdoor stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Interestingly enough, Dubya will be a no show at the RNC convention.  Here’s some one I wish we could have arrested and hear less from.  Dick Cheney calls Palin’s pick as VP a “mistake”.  Ya think?

Cheney would not comment on what he told Romney and Myers, but he was harsh in his assessment of McCain’s decision to pick Palin.

“That one,” Cheney said, “I don’t think was well handled.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

Cheney believes Sarah Palin failed that test.

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

Okay, that’s about all the political news I can stomach for the day.

We went over a million views on the WordPress counter yesterday  in case you missed the mention yesterday.  What’s on your reading and blogging list?

35 Comments on “Monday Reads”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Just in case anyone missed Bill Moyers latest show, here’s a story & link from Alternet: It was such a touching, thoughtful & informative show. Moyers interviewed Vietnam veteran Karl Marlantes about his experiences during and after his service in the war and his new book, What It Is Like to Go to War. It’s an important conversation, especially now. I can only hope that someone will read and explain the book to Mitt Romney.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Mitt’s been out there as a candidate for POTUS since 1995. His failure than to “light up” the electorate is as relevant now as it was then.

    To suggest that people are “still getting to know him” is not true: they have seen that he is capable of turning on a dime on any position and is quite capable of “playing” to whatever audience he stands before by refusing to be “pinned down”. That is Mitt in a nutshell.

    No one is capable of accurately descibing Mitt because there is nothing there to work with. Just another candidate without a core, willing to sell his soul for the opportunity to be elected to high office who will genuflect to the most far out wing of his party without apology. He can’t even be described as a “media creation” because he doesn’t appeal there either.

    Mitt is “unlikable” because he is. He leaves most heads spinning because there seems to be nothing he will not say or do to grab a vote. Had it not been for the slate of some pretty radical challengers he faced during the primaries, Mitt would have slipped back into obscurity without much effort.

    At the same time I never underestimate the will of the voters who gave us two terms of George W. Bush.

    And with a party apparatus working mightily to discredit voting rights in some states, it is quite possible that Mitt could win by default.

    • dakinikat says:

      Frankly,the more I get to know him, the worse my opinion becomes of him.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Ditto to that. Before watching the debates and his campaign stumps and commericals I thought he was basically benign, but no more. RMoney’s total capitulation to the christo-rightwing-teabots and his bend over to the Plutocracy demonstrates he’s nothing but a maleable puppet. I see him as potentially even more dangerous than GWB.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    From Haretz:

    Much has been written about the warm personal relationship between the two friends, ex-governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. Today it has become clear that the two are more than just friends. Romney apparently accepts instructions from Netanyahu who succeeded in getting him to cancel a scheduled and meticulously planned meeting with MK Shelly Yacimovich, the leader of the Labor party.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Romney went into a meeting with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem. Minutes before the meeting, the candidate’s staff contacted Herzog to inform him that the meeting had regrettably been cancelled, “for reasons of protocol.” Herzog and Yacimovich have no doubts: Netanyahu, or his people, didn’t approve of the Yacimovich meeting and pressured Romney to cancel it – and succeeded.

      Herzog was dumbfounded to hear of the cancellation on two hours’ notice. He said that Romney was “intentionally misguided by political elements that were unsettled by the steady strengthening of Yacimovich and her transformation into the only alternative to the prime minister.” Circles close to Yacimovich said it clearly: “This is the crude hand of Netanyahu and his people against the background of the disagreement between him and Yacimovich over the economic measures his government is about to adopt.”

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Here’s Mitt “blazing” another trail on his goodwill tour with Sheldon Adelson sitting right next to him:

    Do we have any doubts left in handing the ship of state over to this fool?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Brilliant! He’s going to end up getting us into a war before he even wins the nomination.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Study: NBC is more likely to show men’s events or women in sports with minimal clothing.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      What is this man thinking? What signal is he sending out to other mideast countries with this blather?

      He and his advisers must be the stupidest people on earth that they won’t think these remarks will not catch up with him during the debates.

      • dakinikat says:

        Neocons … all of them. The only one he is missing is Wolfowitcz

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Wolfowitz was on CNN yesterday saying much the same thing.

        Mitt is being “advised” by the likes of Dan Senor, John Bolton, and a few other neo cons who served under W. That in itself should be enough to raise hackles.

        But his latest comments are for the Evangelicals who believe that the End Times will take place in Israel as “The Rapture” and send us non believers into the fires of hell. (Not sure if this also includes Mormons but what the heck, a vote is a vote.)

        Mitt is on his channeling of Eddie Haskell over there

    • northwestrain says:

      From yesterday:
      It would seem that Evangelical Christians and Mormons held very similar beliefs in regard to the “end Times”.

      We believe that the last dispensation has begun (the preparation period for Christ’s return), that the gathering of Israel has begun, that Christ will again rule on the earth and that Satan will be bond for Christ’s millenial reign and then be loosed for a season. The work Joseph Smith has been given to do has been done–namely restore the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth, restoring the priesthood and turning the heart of the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers, lest He (Christ) should come and smite the earth with a curse. 

      Pasted from

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    The mideast is always just one step away from total regional conflagration and Mittens is over there lighting the match.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Romney praises Israel’s universal health care system, which includes an individual mandate.

  8. Pat Johnson says:

    What we have learned so far on Mitt’s “goodwill trip”:

    It’s okay to criticize Great Britain but never,ever criticize Israel. No matter what.

    Let’s see what “surprises” he has in store for Poland.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    The man who will ride Ann Romney’s horse in the Olympics says that anyone on a “normal budget” could participate in dressage.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Raw Story:

      An analysis by estimated that it costs on average $28,800 to shelter a dressage horse annually, or more than half the roughly $52,000 median household income nationwide from 2006-2010. That figure does not include the costs of feeding, clothing and transporting a dressage horse either, which bring the total ownership costs to around $55,000.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    I suggest you run a contest labeled: “I’m voting for Mitt Romney because…..”

    A few reasons:
    a) He likes tall trees.
    b) His love of animals.
    c) I hate Obama.
    d) The courage of his convictions.
    e) His “diplomacy”.
    f) Smarmy people are human too.
    g) He is not Obama.
    h) His truthtelling.
    i) I loathe Obama
    j) He cares about me.
    k) He is not a Muslim, commie, Socialist subversive.
    l) I despise Obama.
    m) He is good enough for Donald Trump.
    o) He is a “job creator” no matter what anybody says.
    p) Anybody but Obama no matter what.
    q) His towering intellect.
    r) He loves America.
    s) His singing.
    t) He will make me rich too.
    u) I detest Obama.
    v) He looks the part.
    w) Obama stinks.
    x) He loves women, gays, the poor and the elderly.
    y) He knows how to party.
    z) I love his stutter.

    • ANonOMouse says:


      We’ve heard all of those during our pillow fights with ratfuckers, haven’t we Pat?

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Over and over again.

        The biggest laugh was when Gingrich was leading in the polls and the “contortions” that followed in an attempt to “clean him up for company” were hilarious.

    • dakinikat says:

      and don’t forget! He’s got tax deductions for expensive horses that are like 8 times more a year than any one gets for a kid!

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Michigan Attorney Geoffrey Fieger on Mitt Romney.

  12. pdgrey says:

    You’ve got to read Charles Pierce today if only for the sentence “On the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, however, I found further proof that the entire elite political journalism apparatus of this country is in conspiracy to make me shave my eyeballs with a lemon zester.”

    Read more:

  13. Meanwhile, the Romney press corp are experiencing: Fox News Host: Covering Romney’s International Trip Feels Like Being In ‘A Modified Petting Zoo’ | ThinkProgress

    Journalists following the Romney campaign on the road have voiced some gripes with how they are being treated. They have been asked to submit quotes for approval, barred from asking questions on the rope line, and were temporarily barred from entering a fundraiser to which they’d been promised entry (after media outrage, the campaign reversed its decision).

    Now, Fox News’ conservative host Greta Van Susteren has joined the chorus of journalists complaining about treatment from the Romney campaign. As she follows the campaign through Poland today, Van Susteren posted to her blog saying that the press has had no access to the candidate, and that she feels like she is in a petting zoo:

    There has been no press access to Governor Romney since we landed in Poland. We (press) are in a holding pattern (I can’t help but feel a bit like the press is a modified petting zoo since we are trapped in a bus while Polish citizens take pictures of us.) Under the headline “Governor Romney won’t like this” we saw a big sign in the crowd for Rep Ron Paul.

  14. northwestrain says:

    More on Mitt Romney – Mormon – Israel connection.

    Yesterday I wrote about the goal of some Fundamentalist cults/sects was to do whatever possible to bring on The End Times.

    Many of the American Fundamentalists churches evolved during an era called the “Great Awakening”.

    As part of Evangelical’s warped religious views they are compelled to convert Jews to their particular brand of “Christian”. So Jews are “God’s children” but yet they need to be converted to God’s new favorite cult.

    Ironically 40% of potential voters do NOT know Romney is a Mormon.

    As a Mormon — Romney probably would do everything in his power to help along “End Times”.

    Check out this article in the link for quotes from Romney about his personal views — for example: ”
    “I come to this place, therefore, with a sense of profound humility, as I look around here at great people who’ve accomplished a great thing, and also a sense of spiritual connection, acknowledging the hand of providence in establishing this place and making it a Holy City,” Romney said at a breakfast on Monday.

    Ideologically, Mormons, perhaps even more than other Christian faiths, feel connected to Israel. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said during a 2007 trip to the country that “Jerusalem … constitutes the scene, the setting and the circumference of our religious heritage,” in part because the Book of Mormon teaches that the Tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, two of the 12 tribes of Israel, migrated to the United States and are the ancestors of many Mormons. (There is also a belief that the Native Americans were descended from Israelites.)”

    BB has posted about the Native American and Mormon’s belief about the lost tribe of Israel.

    The Church of Latter-Day Saints’ ties to Israel are almost as old as the church itself. Early Mormon leaders such as Orson Hyde campaigned to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem — in part because he believed it would usher in the second coming of Christ. Additionally, the church supported the creation of the state of Israel, and Brigham Young University established a campus in Jerusalem in the 1980s.
    Current LDS members have described Israel as a “second home” and say they “feel a special closeness” to the country.

  15. Fredster says:

    Hey dk: Check out this blog and wants probably going to happen to SE LA hospital in Mandeville. Sounds about right when lil Bobby and Greenstein are involved.

    • dakinikat says:

      I have a psychiatry resident living next to me. She put a yard sign up that says Save SE LA Hospital It’s where she’s doing her residency through Tulane. Jindal’s ripping through every one’s budget and unemployment is way up. He’s blaming it on Obama’s short drilling moratorium and not his massive cuts in spending. He just wants to be acceptable to the national republican party folks and tea partiers so he can move on up and out. He doesn’t give two shits about this state.