Wednesday, July 6, 2011

“Sausage or pepperoni? Can’t I have it both ways? After all, I am black and white.”

Mitt Romney again mixes messages about President Obama and the economy

“Heck, ever since Obama took office, I can’t afford a tie. And I’m rich!”

Fourth of July parades are serious business for presidential candidates

One race, two starting points

Michele Bachmann’s Iowa strategy: Mike Huckabee 2.0

Marcus Bachmann, campaign spouse

Former Tim Pawlenty Colleagues, Mentors Don’t Recognize The Man Running For President

Mitt Romney raises $18 million in second quarter

Newt Gingrich raises $2M, reveals significant debt

Gov. Rick Perry Breaks With His Former Patron, George W. Bush

AND – BACK ON MESSAGE – After briefly saying last Thursday that he hadn’t blamed President Obama for making the economy worse, Mitt Romney returned to the regularly scheduled messaging in Amherst: “Speaking at the annual July Fourth parade here on Monday, Mr. Romney told a crowd of supporters and passersby, ‘the recession is deeper because of our president,’ adding, ‘it’s seen an anemic recovery because of our president’ … [T]hen he went ahead and said it, that the president ‘made the recession worse.'” By the way: Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that when the candidate said he hadn’t claimed the economy was worse, he was “responding to the reporter’s comment about the stock market. If the Democrats are waiting for Mitt Romney to ease up on his criticism of President Obama’s economic record, it’s simply not going to happen.” http://nyti.ms/kHuUOY

–WSJ A1, “Pawlenty’s Homespun Tale,” by Neil King Jr., in South St. Paul, Minn.: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty brings a biographical peculiarity to his quest for the White House. Were he to win, he’d be the first president who had never lived outside his home state. In fact, Mr. Pawlenty has lived his entire life within a radius of 20 miles, a stark contrast to his more peripatetic Republican rivals and the current president. On the stump, Mr. Pawlenty uses that as a prime selling point. He is the working-class everyman, the son of a truck driver from a hardscrabble town who can win over swing voters in pivotal industrial states. … [But r]ecent polls suggest it would be hard for him to beat Mr. Obama in Minnesota.” No wonder he’s so damn B.O.R.I.N.G.!

 In South Carolina, a GOP proving ground, the terrain shifts

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann campaigns in Lexington, S.C. (Tim Dominick, The State / July 5, 2011)

“So ladies, does this town have a good jewelry store?”

NEWS

Nikki Haley’s rise raises tensions back home

“Sir, I said I’ll give you change when I open the register again.”

 CBS Changing Its Morning Routine

President Obama on CBS with Early Show co-anchor Erica Hill (left) and CBS News correspondent Harry Smith (right). As God is my witness, I had no idea CBS still had a morning news show and I’ll bet dollars to donuts, most of America doesn’t either.

Time in House Could Be Short for Republican Newcomers I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Obama calls the GOP’s bluff

Health care reform ‘repeal and replace’ plans grind to a halt

David Brooks, “The Mother of All No-Brainers: Is the G.O.P. smart enough to seize the obvious”: “If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases. If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right.” http://nyti.ms/k1waqv

BILL CLINTON agreed to a last-minute appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival (he was in town to meet with Clinton Foundation donors), and held forth for just over an hour last evening in an onstage interview with Ron Brownstein, then hung around for 30 minutes to sign programs and kibitz. He didn’t even wait for people to greet him, but lunged for Playbook, who was hanging back to give others a chance. The trim, ruddy former president wore crisp white slacks, a tan jacket and a white golf shirt. The front two rows included Justice Stephen Breyer, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Chris and Kathleen Matthews, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Hank and Wendy Paulson, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Also in the house: Doug Band. Clinton spoke to a tent jammed with 800 people, and an overflow room held another 200 (including Walter Isaacson, who sportingly went over to keep them company). Excerpts:

Handicapping the current GOP 2012 field : “I’m always reluctant to say the strongest candidates, because I’m afraid I’ll kill ’em, and I don’t have the right to do that. [audience chuckles] But, y’know, I like the governors: I like Huntsman and Romney. Romney’s a MUCH better candidate than he was last time, because he’s not apologizing for signing the health-care bill. He’s got another creative way of saying we oughta repeal Obamacare, but that’s prob’ly the price of gettin’ the nomination. Huntsman hasn’t said what he’s for yet, but I just kinda like him. [laughter] He LOOKS authentic – he looks like a real guy. [laughter] I mean, a real human being. I like his family, I like his kind of iconoclastic way. And he was a pretty good governor.

“Bachmann’s been a better candidate than I THOUGHT she’d be, and I don’t agree with her on nearly anything. But she’s got a very compelling personal story which appeals to a lot of people.”

Best argument President Obama can give to the country in 2012 if the economy doesn’t significantly accelerate: “I think that the president will be reelected – I’ve always thought so. [heavy applause] I think, first of all, he can talk about what he DID do. He took steps which avoided a depression. He saved the automobile industry — by not just bailing them out, but by requiring a serious restructuring. … When he took office, we had 2 percent of the global market for the electric batteries that will power the next generation of all-electric cars and hybrid vehicles. And on Jan. 1 of this year, we had 20 percent of the global market. …

“It’s not like he doesn’t have a story to tell. I also think he’s done a good job in trying to harmonize America’s differences, trying to widen the circle of opportunity. I think he’s got a good record on gay rights. I think he’s got a good record on trying to promote diversity in a positive way. … I think that he’s gonna have a lot to say about America’s role in the world. He’s been very tough in fighting terrorists. Long before Mr. bin Laden was dispatched, we had redeployed and had more drone attacks on terrorists, where they were really a problem for us – the Pakistan-Afghanistan almost borderless region, and in Iraq. So I think he’ll have a good record on national security. I think he’ll have a lot of things to point to on the economy. And I think his work in education has been laudable. … He’ll be able to paint quite a [pretty] picture.”

On what President Obama’s posture should be on a debt deal if Republicans hold to their view that no new taxes can be included : “Well, look, there are some spending cuts [Republicans] agree on, … and apparently they run it by a fair number of people in the Democratic caucuses … He could take those, and an extension of the debt ceiling for six or eight months. But if they’re really going to reach a mega-deal, you cannot reach a mega-deal without doing something like what the Bowles-Simpson committee recommended. … I don’t see how you can do this by Aug. 2. I’ll say something I would change: When I was president, we raised the corporate income-tax rates on corporations that made over $10 million [a year]. It made sense when I did it. It doesn’t make sense anymore – we’ve got an uncompetitive rate. We tax at 35 percent of income, although we only take about 23 percent. So, we SHOULD cut the rate to 25 percent, or whatever’s competitive, and eliminate a lot of the deductions so that we still get a FAIR amount, and there’s not so much variance in what the corporations pay. But how can they do that by Aug. 2? That wouldn’t be blinking [in wording of question], if he agreed to do that.

“But I don’t think you can agree to some mega-deal on their terms. … If they get closer, I believe they will agree on a more modest package of cuts. And the Republicans, if I were in their position, I’d say, ‘OK, this only counts for six months’ or eight months, or whatever. ‘But we don’t want to let the American people’s credit go under, let our credit get downgraded, let interest rates get up, and slow down the recovery. That’s not a blinking. But if they insist on the mega-settlement – with no new revenues from any source, not approved in advance by Grover Norquist – You’re laughing, but he was quoted in the paper the other day saying he gave Republican senators PERMISSION … on getting rid of the ethanol subsidies. I thought, ‘My GOD, what has this country come to when one person has to give you permission to do what’s best for the country’.”

Responding to a question from Jane Harman on reducing “toxic partisanship”: “You have to do it in little ways. Believe it or not, I thought the golf game was a good idea. I called Joe Biden, who’s the best golfer in the foursome [Obama and Boehner won], and carded an 89, and I said, ‘Joe, I don’t mind if you go to funerals. I don’t mind if have to do go to budget [talks]. But, you know, no vice president should have to throw a golf game to make America a better place.’ [laughter] And he proceeded to swear to me he didn’t throw it.”

“WHITE HOUSE KIDS STAND TALL ” — ChiTrib (A1 tease, story on p. 6): “Obama daughters are handling spotlight with grace and poise,” by Katherine Skiba: “For the first time in about a decade, the country has a first teen. Malia, who is almost as tall as her 5-foot-11-inch mother, earns high marks for a gaffe-free White House debut. So does little sister Sasha, 10 … [T]he girls are polite [and] poised … They’re being taught compassion with visits to soup kitchens. … The first lady brought the girls, with their grandmother and two first cousins, on a weeklong trip to Africa last month. Cameras recorded almost every step, but behind closed doors, the girls and their cousins met privately in Botswana with children orphaned or left vulnerable by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. … “Malia will be in eighth grade and Sasha in fifth grade at … Sidwell Friends School … In the coming school year, they’ll be on the same Upper School campus in Washington for the first time; earlier Sasha attended Sidwell’s Lower School in suburban Maryland. ‘Grandma will be happy because there’s one (school) drop-off,’ the first lady told children visiting the East Room this year for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. … Sasha celebrated her birthday, June 10, by heading to Georgetown Cupcake with friends to bake … Anita McBride, who was chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, commended the Obamas for striking a balance between the public and the private with respect to the girls. … Michelle Obama, appearing on ABC’s ‘The View,’ said she was on the road recently and Malia called and said: ‘Ma, I need to talk to you.’ The two spoke, about makeup, until 10:30 p.m.” http://trib.in/iH7YOR 

FLOTUS AT THE BALLPARK

The first lady took to the infield accompanied by several children from military families at the Nationals-Cubs game in Washington on Tuesday. Though Obama didn’t throw out the first pitch, she congratulated the 15-year-old boy who did, giving him a hug afterwards. The evening game was dedicated to her Joining Forces initiative to increase support for military families. Wearing a black and white printed tank, cropped pants and sneakers, FLOTUS posed for pictures with the kids and Nats second baseman Danny Espinosa.

Penis Size Study: Finger Length Ratio Indicator Of Penis Size

Ann Coulter

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Somewhere, somehow, someone has to come up with a plan that eliminates or at least seriously negates the outsized – my opinion – importance of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary because neither of these relatively small and demographically homogenous states, particularly the virtually all-white New Hampshire, reflect the diverse nation that America is today.

What the hell is a Thaddeus McCotter and why is it running for president?

I received an email from the Hollywood Bowl yesterday reminding me that Gladys Knight, along with special guest James Ingram, will be performing there on the 27th of this month. What really caught my eye was that the ad referred to Knight as the “Empress of Soul”. I guess I missed the coronation. (I’m a big Gladys fan so don’t send me any crazy-a** emails). Yes I’m talking to you MA.

A source tells me that Hugh Hefner was so distraught over the recent cancellation of his wedding to a woman young enough to be his great-granddaughter, that a Playboy Mansion staffer found him sitting on his Rascal scooter in a closed garage with the engine running.

Frank McCourt just doesn’t seem to get it. He has tarnished and devalued the Dodger brand so much that even if he’s able to prevail in bankruptcy court and retain ownership of the team, fans will continue to stay away from Dodger Stadium in droves. I never thought I would see the day that the Los Angeles Dodgers would have to sell discount tickets ($4!) to get a full house on the 4th of July. I mean, this isn’t Kansas City or Pittsburgh!

How to tell when you’ve not burned the proverbial bridge but napalmed it – When Giants quarterback Eli Manning was asked during a recent airing of The Dan Patrick Show about the prospects of having either wide receiver Plaxico Burress or running back Tiki Barber rejoin the club, he responded, “Plaxico would probably be welcomed back a little quicker.”

Neither of them attended teammate Chris Bosh’s recent 4-day bachelor party in Vegas, but it appears that LeBron James and D-Wade, along with their significant others, have no problem spending time together off-court according to this people.com item – Gabrielle Union partied with beau Dwyane Wade at Aura Nightclub at the Bahamas’s Atlantis Paradise Island Resort during a holiday weekend getaway. The two were joined by Wade’s Miami Heat teammate LeBron James and his girlfriend Savannah Brinson, and the group sipped cocktails and enjoyed an intimate night in the club’s VIP room. If I’m Bosh, this would make me go, “Hmmm” after I sobered up. 

MY MORNING TOOLS

Lawn chair, LA Times, yellow hi-liter to mark articles and items that catch my eye, red pen for doing the crossword puzzle and last but surely not least, my Obama Victory 2012 coffee mug.

COACH OF THE YEAR?

IN THE BLEACHERS

FINALLY

Just because you may think that Casey Anthony killed her daughter Caylee and that her mother, father and brother lied on the stand and that the jury “blew” the verdict doesn’t mean that justice wasn’t served. Justice, in and of itself, was served because a person was charged, tried and judged by a jury of her peers. That is the essence of our criminal justice system.

Does that mean we have to be happy with the verdict? Of course not. No one in their right mind thinks that Casey Anthony, at the very least, didn’t have something to do with the death of her child. However, the burden of proof was on the prosecution to prove that she was guilty of the charges she was tried for while all her defense team needed to do was to create a “reasonable doubt” in the jury’s minds. And apparently, the jurors believed the defense’s scenario more than the prosecution’s.

Our legal system is far from perfect, but it is the best in the world. Does a defendant’s race, skin color and financial status make a difference? You bet it does. But, unless and until someone comes up with something better to replace it, it’s all we’ve got.

 

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