Day: November 19, 2011

Video: UC Davis Police Casually Pepper Spray Sitting Protesters

When it gets down to having to use

Violence, then you are playing the

System’s game. The establishm­ent

Will irritate you – pull your beard,

Flick your face – to make you fight.

Because once they’ve got you violent,

Then they know how to handle you.

The only thing they don’t know how

To handle is non-violen­ce and humor.

-John Lennon

Mother Jones

Here’s your blood pressure raiser of the day: Campus police casually pepper spray a group of Occupy Davis students who are sitting on the ground in protest after refusing to remove their tents from the quad. It’s not Kent State or anything, but it’s sure as hell an outrageous overreaction. Don’t watch unless you have a fairly strong stomach for casual brutality.

Santorum: Americans Should Suffer

The Crazies are at it again…

So, let me see if I understand Santorum on this issue…it’s ok to coddle the rich and give them all sorts of “welfare for the rich” benefits, but poor people must suffer in the “Christian tradition”.

Think Progress

During a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa Friday afternoon, Rick Santorum argued that Americans receive too many government benefits and ought to “suffer” in the Christian tradition.

If “you’re lower income, you can qualify for Medicaid, you can qualify for food stamps, you can qualify for housing assistance,” Santorum complained, before adding, “suffering is part of life and it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life.”

However, almost all states have curtailed their aid programs, just as the economic downturn is expanding the pool of eligible applicants.

Watch it:

Clarence Thomas Assailed For Alleged Ethical Lapses By More House Dems

It’s about time that more than just liberal bloggers and Anthony Weiner are noticing Justice Clarence Thomas’ ethics issues…

The Huffington Post

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) is turning up the heat on Justice Clarence Thomas based on new information that builds upon previous reports of his alleged ethical lapses.

In late September, Slaughter had sent a letter to the Judicial Conference of the United States to request official action on Thomas’ multiyear failure to disclose his wife’s income from various conservative think tanks and activist organizations. The Judicial Conference is the principal policy-making and administrative body for the federal court system.

On Friday, Slaughter submitted a new letter, this time addressed to Chief Justice John Roberts in his capacity as the presiding officer of the Judicial Conference, to update and clarify the September letter.

At issue is the fact that Thomas repeatedly checked a box titled “none” on annual financial disclosure forms in response to a question about the sources of spousal income. Yet during those years, his wife, Virginia Thomas, worked for the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation and for the Tea Party lobbying group Liberty Central, which she helped found.

The first letter asserted that Thomas’ nondisclosures persisted “[t]hroughout his entire tenure of the Supreme Court,” which began in 1991. It was fair to infer from his “high level of legal training and experience,” Slaughter wrote, that the justice’s failure presented the type of “willful” behavior that federal law requires the Judicial Conference to refer to the Department of Justice for investigation.

Friday’s letter, however, states that Thomas actually did report the sources of his wife’s income until 1997, therefore heightening the inference that the justice had not “misunderstood the reporting instructions,” as he asserted in January when he filed seven pages of addenda correcting his omissions over a six-year period. Citing information obtained by the left-leaning watchdog groups Common Cause and Alliance for Justice, Slaughter wrote that “Justice Thomas accurately filed his financial disclosure forms, including his wife’s employment, for as many as 10 years beginning in 1987 when he was Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

Continue reading here…

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Did Obama Really Call Americans ‘Lazy’?

After President Obama suggested that U.S. companies and bureaucrats have been "a little bit lazy" trying to woo foreign investment, Rick Perry accuses Obama of calling the whole country slothful. Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

It’s amazing how at least 30% of the United States population will believe Rick Perry’s commercial and/or Mitt Romney’s proclamation that President Obama called Americans lazy.

They won’t listen pundits and fact checkers who say that Obama was not talking about the American people.  They’re looking for every excuse possible to believe the worst about the POTUS.

The Week

Best Opinion:  Outside the Beltway, Knoxville News, Slate

Republicans are pouncing on President Obama’s recent remark that America has been “a little bit lazy” in pursuing foreign investment over the last couple decades. “We’ve kind of taken for granted,” the president said, that “people will want to come here, and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business to America.” GOP presidential hopefuls sprang into action: Mitt Romney said the comment shows Obama is out of touch, while Rick Perry released an ad accusing the president of calling the whole country slothful. “Can you believe that?” Perry said. “That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy?” Obama surrogate Bill Burton insisted that Republicans are twisting the president’s meaning so badly that it’s “laughable.” Did Obama call Americans lazy or not?

Of course not: Claiming that Obama was calling Americans lazy is about as misleading and deceptive as anything we’ve seen in this pathetic GOP nomination fight, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. Obama essentially said that “we as a country, businesses and government, have been complacent in promoting investment in America abroad.” There are plenty of reasons to oppose Obama, but deliberately making it appear that he said something he didn’t is “stupid and sophomoric.”
“Republicans say Obama called Americans ‘lazy,’ except he didn’t”

Obama’s meaning was clear enough: Obama’s “lazy” comment was part of a pattern, says Greg Johnson in the Knoxville (Tenn.)  NewsSentinal. Recently, he said America had gotten “a little bit soft.” If Obama really believed in American industry, he would have said U.S. companies are “far from lazy,” and pointed out that they had tripled overseas sales over the last couple of decades. Once again, his choice of words shows his “ill-concealed contempt for American businesses and American workers.”
“Obama’s ‘lazy’ comment insulting”

We can argue about what he thinks, but not what he said: “If you want to psychoanalyze the president — and who doesn’t?” — you’re free to argue that the mere use of the word “lazy” reveals contempt for Americans, says David Weigel at Slate. But if the issue is what Obama actually said, then Perry and other Republicans are taking the president’s words “completely out of context.” “The ‘lazy’ people in this reference are bureaucrats, not average Americans.”
“No, President Obama didn’t ‘call Americans lazy’”

On the Road with the President – West Wing Week 11-18-11

The White House

This week, U.S. President Obama embarked on a nine-day Asia Pacific tour focused on creating opportunities for American businesses and entrepreneurs in some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Before leaving, he marked veterans day by visiting servicemen and women aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego and attending the Carrier Classic. Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at the President’s trip that included stops in: Hawaii where he hosted the APEC conference; Australia where he announced a strategic military agreement with the Australian Prime Minister; and Indonesia where he attended the East Asia Summit, a first for an American President.

Politico’s: The Week In One-Liners

The week’s top political quotes …

“Got all this stuff twirling around in my head.” — GOP presidential candidateHerman Cain struggling to answer a question about Libya.

“I’m too old to be a princess.” — House Minority Nancy Pelosi dismissing  Cain’s nickname for her.

“Hang him from the highest tree and I’ll bring the rope if he’s guilty of what’s been alleged.” — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin weighing in on the Penn State scandal.

“They were flirting with me.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reminiscing  about when he was encouraged to run for president.

“There is a decency that emanates from him, despite all of the accounts.” Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson complimenting former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

“But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades.” — President Barack Obama commenting on U.S. efforts to boost foreign investment.

“That’s pathetic.” — Republican White House hopeful Rick Perry responding to Obama’s remark.

“Frankly, I thought the ‘Gingrich Group’ were his wives.” – Rep. Barney Frank  tweaking the former House Speaker, who has been married three times.