Saturday, October 29, 2011

Has President Obama Lost His Youngest Supporters?

President Obama's American Jobs Act

In 2008, young voters, college students, and first time voters came to the polls in record numbers to cast their vote for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. But, somehow those voters have lost their enthusiasm about politics in general and the current President in particular.  The question is "will they support Barack Obama's reelection"?  Better yet, "will these disenchanted first time voters even return to the polls in the next election"?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Radical Pastor Eyes White House Run

Radical pastor Terry Jones got his first fifteen minutes of fame when he called for a "burn-a-Koran" day on the nineth anniversary of 9/11. When he withdrew his original plans only to set fire to the Muslim's holy book in March, riots occured around the world, as well as other violence and deaths. Not bad for an unknown pastor of a flock of 100.

Now Pastor Jones is running for President under his " Stand Up For America Now " platform.  His conservative 7 point agenda includes deporting "all illegals", reducing military spending, balancing the budget and cutting corporate taxes. Jones authored a hate-mongering book, with the provocative title of “Islam is of the Devil”. He hopes to gain funding for his campaign from like-minded individuals, asking them to “financially support us as we continue our stand against radical Islam”.

Katerina Azarova, notes the following:
And for all his radical, controversial statements, his platform is not all that different from what the Republicans are running with. Whether that will eventually benefit the pastor and his burning passion, or the GOP, remains to be seen.
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Thousands of Detroit Students Waiting For Books

Students from Woodward Academy on August 8, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)

The 2011-2012 Detroit Public School year started on Sept. 6, with thousands of homes and streets all over the city adorned with signs that had the two-word slogan "I'm In" everywhere. Nearly two months into the school year, the one thing that is not in a lot of Detroit Schools right now are books.
"I know there is a shortage and there is an order and they are still sharing books," said Andrew Hayes, whose son is a third-grader at Fisher Magnet Elementary on the city's east side. "There are a lot of frustrated parents. They want the kids to have what they are supposed to have. At the beginning of the year, we were told that every student would have the textbooks. It's seven weeks into school."

Teachers at Cass Technical High School -- the city's largest high school -- say that they are short nearly 2,400 textbooks in all grade levels. According to the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the deficiencies range across all subjects including English, chemistry, geometry, Spanish, and U.S. history.

I read Jay Scott Smith's full story in the Grio, then looked at the bright eager faces in the photo by Wire Image.  These students deserve more. I felt so disappointed in the state of education in our country today. We need to do something and do something fast if we are to compete in the global economy of today. It's our choice.
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Once Again, Boehner Says NO!

(photo by Joshua Roberts - BLOOMBERG)   

I've never agreed with anything House Speaker John Boehner(R-Ohio) ever said until today. He said "“I do think it’s time for everybody to get serious about this,” . He was talking about the work of the the bipartisan 12-member panel "Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction", better  known as the "Supercommittee".

Beyond his statement about "getting serious", Boehner rejected a Democratic proposal to trim the country’s debt by $3 trillion through an equal mix of new revenue and spending cuts. I disagree with Republicans vowing to refuse any plan that increases taxes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

President Obama Announces Student Loan Relief

President Barack Obama greets the crowd before his speech about managing student debt during an event at the University of Colorado Denver Downtown Campus in Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon)

 President Obama announced a plan that seeks to lessen the burden of paying back student loans.  According to a paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as reported on by USA Today, total outstanding student debt has passed $1 trillion, more than the nation’s credit card debt, and average indebtedness for students is rising. Student loans are the second largest source of household debt.

Speaking at the University of Colorado Denver, the president recalled his struggles with student loan debt, saying that he and his wife, Michelle, together owed more than $120,000 in law school debt that took nearly a decade to pay off. 

"I've been in your shoes. We did not come from a wealthy family," the president said to cheers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

NPR Host Michele Norris Steps Aside

 NPR Host Michele Norris
National Public Radio's Michele Norris will temporarily leave her current position at week's end. Norris has co-hosted "All Things Considered" for almost ten years, alongside Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. Not only will Norris temporarily step down from her ATC hosting duties, she will refrain from involvement in any NPR political coverage due to her husband's appointment to the Barack Obama 2012 presidential re-election campaign.

Norris sent a email to the staff:
"Given the nature of Broderick's position with the campaign and the impact that it will most certainly have on our family life, I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections."
"This has all happened very quickly, but working closely with NPR management, we've been able to make a plan that serves the show, honors the integrity of our news organization and is best for me professionally and personally. "

Norris did the same thing in 2004 when Johnson worked with John Kerry's campaign, but not in 2008 when he was an "unpaid adviser to Obama camp.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

GOP Says "NO" to Obama's Jobs Bill

Have you ever wondered why there's so much confusion about the politics of creating jobs and reducing federal spending?

President Obama is asking Congress to pass his American Jobs Act, but the GOP has been successful in using political manuvering to stop him cold. It looks like the Party of "NO" strikes again, stalling the economic recovery and frustrating 14 million unemployed Americans without possing any meaningful alternative.

Take a minute to answer the following questions with a single True or False. Then see where the American public lines up on these issues. You may find it interesting to see what your beliefs are as they relate to "creating jobs" and federal spending.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Warren Buffet-How to Fix Congress

I got this interesting email and decided to share it.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.
 Here is “A Congressional Reform Act of 2011" which would be effective immediately when passed.

 1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they're out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

Friday, October 21, 2011

AZ Gov Jan Brewer's Law Suit Dismissed

AZ Governor Jan Brewer

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge Friday dismissed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's lawsuit that accuses the Obama administration of failing to enforce immigration laws or maintain control of her state's border with Mexico.
The dismissal by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton comes in a counter-lawsuit filed by Brewer as part of the Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law.
The Republican governor was seeking a court order that would require the federal government to take extra steps, such as more border fencing, to protect Arizona until the border is controlled.

President Obama Ending Iraq War

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. As a candidate for president, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end, for the sake of our national security, and to strengthen American leadership around the world. After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.

...So today, I can report that as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over.

...Here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecomings. Across America, our servicemen and -women will be reunited with their families. Today, I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.

...This December will be a time to reflect on all that we've been through in this war.

...So to sum up, the United States is moving forward from a position of strength. The long war in Iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward. And our troops are finally coming home. As they do, fewer deployments and more time training will help keep our military the very best in the world.

And we welcome home our newest veterans, we'll never stop working to give them and their families the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned.

This includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation, creating opportunity and jobs in this country, because after a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own, an America that sees its economic strength restored, just as we've restored our leadership around the globe.

Thank you very much.

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Disgraced Governor Mark Sanford Joins Fox News

Jim Rutenberg, The Caucus blog, reports the following:

Former Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina may have not have been able to run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination after his 2009 cheating scandal, but he will at least get to talk about the campaign on national television – as a paid contributor on Fox News, the Caucus has learned.

A network spokeswoman confirmed that Mr. Sanford, once considered a potential Republican presidential contender, has signed on with the network. While he is certain to appear prominently at the debate Fox News is holding in South Carolina in January, he will appear well before that and will stay on with Fox even beyond the general election.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anita Hill shares a vision of economic inequality in America

After delivering a speech at a conference marking the twentieth anniversary of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, Brandeis University professor, Anita Hill, gives an interview on the topic of discrimination based on gender, at Georgetown University Law School on Capitol Hill Thursday, October 6, 2011. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Read a few of the excerpts of Anita Hill's subject remarks:
"Americans," says Professor Hill, "are in need of a 21st Century vision of our country."
It says something about us as a nation when we spend nearly a trillion dollars to save the hides of Wall Street bankers who made billions betting against the housing boom they themselves created. It says something about us when we allow predatory lenders to take advantage of the least of these -- the poor, elderly and disproportionately people of color. It says something about us when we keep sending people to Washington whose only agenda is keeping their jobs when the unemployment rate continues to soar.

Owning and keeping a home has become increasingly difficult for people of color and single women. Specifically, African-American wealth, driven mostly by the housing market crash and scourge of foreclosures, has all but evaporated. Today, the black middle class is all but non-existent. Most of our wealth was tied up in the homes sold on the courthouse steps.

To hear Mitt Romney tell it, we should simply let the housing market hit rock bottom. And if you aren't wealthy or don't have a job, blame yourself, says Herman Cain. The market crash was three years ago, he quipped.

Today's public discourse is a sad stage of affairs, inhabited by a bevy of bad actors who have never known a day without bread -- in their mouths or their pockets. None seem to know the reality of a pink slip or a foreclosure notice. Cutting Pell Grants, and other means of access to opportunity, seems right and reasonable because they've never had to apply for one. It's telling when we elect people who are so willing to demonize poor, working class people while celebrating the top one percent. I am a capitalist to my core, but as Elizabeth Warren said, "nobody got rich on their own."
Read the full text at the Grio.

CNN Nevada GOP Debate

Yesterday CNN presented yet another GOP Debate of the Republican Presidential Candidates in Las Vegas. Most commentators say Mitt Romney, once again, came out on top. Herman Cain quickly found himself being pummeled even as his rivals preceded their punches with words of praise, and his “read my plan” defense was strikingly weak. But after those opening moments, writes The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, it was Mitt Romney who took over the event with a series of toe-to-toe exchanges in which he stood his ground and refused to be talked over.

After listening to the verbal battle, I still didn't find a plan of action to help the middle class or to improve the economy.  I heard negative remarks about the current administration, but no clear path for change.  I heard the standard GOP cries against "big" government, regulation, and spending, but no clear plan as to how each candidate would govern. I heard no realistic approach to Immigration issues.  I heard commitment to repealing "Obamacare", but no plan for what would replace it or how each candidate would approach the health care issues.

Every time I listen to Republicans reply (or not) when asked about major issues that face America, I understand why they could never get my vote.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ron Paul's " Plan to Restore America"

Representative Ron Paul on Monday unveiled an aggressive budget plan that would greatly shrink the federal government that he is seeking to run, eliminating the agency that oversees airport security, the departments of energy and education — and three others — while cutting all war financing.
Providing a stark vision of what a libertarian takeover of the White House would look like, the plan would slash the federal budget by $1 trillion in a single year and, Mr. Paul said, bring the budget into balance within three.
The federal workforce would be cut by 10 percent across the board. Aid to foreign nations would stop flowing altogether. And, reflecting the way Mr. Paul would shrink the very job he seeks, the president’s annual salary would be reduced to $39,336 from $400,000.

GOP Works on Anti-abortion Agenda, not Jobs

Dr. Beverly McMillan, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, left, thanks supporters at a prayer rally in Jackson, Miss., for their support on efforts to get a proposed "personhood" constitutional amendment offered to voters, on June 6, 2011. The amendment offers a definition of a person not now found in the Mississippi Constitution.

Republicans are not about getting Americans jobs.  They really are about their Pro-Life agenda.

A national effort to put abortion bans into state constitutions is looking for its first victory next month in Mississippi, where voters are being asked to approve an amendment declaring that life begins when a human egg is fertilized.

Supporters hope the so-called personhood initiative will succeed in a Bible Belt state that already has some of the nation's toughest abortion regulations and only a single clinic where the procedures are performed.

A War of Voting: Could Redistricting and Voting Law Changes Help Republicans Win in 2012?

I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention to what the GOP establishment in concert with corporate interests have been doing; that negatively affects minority voters. After watching a segment on The Rachel Maddow Show which dealt with what’s happening in Denver and how it negatively affects minority voters I figured it would be a good idea to share the following information about as 5 million Americans who may lose the ability to vote in 2012.

The following is the summary of a report conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice, on the impact of new voting laws passed across the country.

Over the past century, our nation expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation. In 2011, however, that momentum abruptly shifted.
State governments across the country enacted an array of new laws making it harder to register or to vote. Some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification, often of a type that as many as one in ten voters do not have. Other states have cut back on early voting, a hugely popular innovation used by millions of Americans. Two states reversed earlier reforms and once again disenfranchised millions who have past criminal convictions but who are now taxpaying members of the community. Still others made it much more difficult for citizens to register to vote, a prerequisite for voting.

First Lady to Attend World Series Opener

First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, greet people outside the home of Army Sgt. Johnny Agbi's home during a Joining Forcers initiative event, Monday, Oct. 17, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are scheduled to attend the World Series opener in St. Louis on Wednesday night to honor military veterans.
Major League Baseball announced Monday that it has dedicated Game 1 between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals to veterans and their families.

The first lady and Dr. Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will participate in a pregame ceremony at Busch Stadium as part of MLB's Welcome Back Veterans program and Obama's Joining Forces initiative.

Pew Study: Media Not in Love With Obama

According to a new Pew Research Center survey of media over the past five months, President Obama gets far worse coverage than any of his 2012 Republican would-be rivals.
The center surveyed stories in 1,500 news outlets and found that stories in them about President Obama were consistently negative, by a four-to-one margin. Only nine percent of the news coverage in those outlets over the last five months was positive; 34 percent was negative.
The tone of Obama’s coverage on blogs, while still overwhelmingly negative, was slightly better for the president, with 14 percent rated as positive and 36 percent rated negative.
According to the survey, Republican presidential contenders have found a more mixed media reception.

SCOTUS Reviewing Stolen Valor Act

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review whether a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about receiving a military honor violates free speech rights. The Stolen Valor Act was passed by Congress in 2006. The law makes it a federal crime for people to claim falsely, either in writing or aloud, that they have been awarded the Medal of Honor, a Silver Star, Purple Heart or any other military medal. The court said Monday it will rule on the constitutionality of the law.

A sharply divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled this year that the Stolen Valor Act passed overwhelmingly by Congress was unconstitutional. The chief judge of the circuit, Alex Kozinski, said it would be “terrifying” to permit the government to decide which sorts of lies could be prosecuted.

The case is U.S. v. Alvarez, 11-210.  Arguments will take place early next year.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Belafonte: "Obama Lacks Moral Courage and Wisdom"

Actor Hill Harper, left, listens as singer/actor Harry Belafonte speaks at the "Artists and Activism" panel session at the 102nd NAACP Annual Convention in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 27, 2011.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Singer and activist Harry Belafonte says President Barack Obama and his "mission" have failed because of a lack of moral courage and vision.
The president is "not a stand-alone," Belafonte said Thursday. Regarding the debt-ceiling crisis, Belafonte said he would ask Congress, the president and other U.S. institutions of power "what happened to moral truth" and moral courage.

Belafonte made his remarks to the Television Critics Association while discussing "Sing Your Song," a documentary about him airing this fall on HBO. The 84-year-old singer, known as the King of Calypso, has pushed for political and social change since the U.S. civil rights movement.

He hopes the documentary will illuminate a time when Americans faced problems and found the resources to face them, Belafonte said. "Sing Your Song" debuts Oct. 17.

Source: Associated Press
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Republicans Wage War On Women's Rights

Joe Pitts (R-PA)

There's a new Republican-sponsored abortion bill in the House that would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life.

The bill, known currently as H.R. 358 or the "Protect Life Act," would amend the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage. Much of its language is modeled on the so-called Stupak Amendment, an anti-abortion provision pro-life Democrats attempted to insert into the reform law during the health care debate last year. But critics say a new language inserted into the bill just this week would go far beyond Stupak, allowing hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.

The sponsor of H.R. 358, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) is a vocal member of the House's anti-abortion wing. A member of the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus and a co-sponsor of H.R 3 -- the bill that added "forcible rape" to the lexicon this week -- Pitts is no stranger to the abortion debate.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement by its president Nancy Keenan opposing the bill, said it was the House's seventh anti-abortion vote this year. Others have included attempts to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and funding for the Title X family planning program, a ban on Washington D.C. using its own funds to cover abortion services and a ban on teaching health centers using federal money to teach abortion procedures.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

E. J. Dionne: GOP's Do Nothing Approach

Here's an excerpt from E. J. Dionne's opinion post of October 12 in the Washington Post:

So let’s see: The solution to large-scale abuses of the financial system, a breakdown of the private sector, extreme economic inequality and the failure of companies and individuals to invest and create jobs is — well, to give even more money and power to very wealthy people, to disable government and to trust those who got us into the mess to get us out of it.
That’s a brief summary of the news from the Republican Party this week. It’s what Republican candidates said during the Post-Bloomberg debate Tuesday night, and it’s the signal Senate Republicans sent in voting as a bloc against President Obama’s jobs bill. Don’t just do something, stand there.

GOP Candidates Threaten to Skip Nevada Caucus

Several Republican presidential hopefuls are trying to push Nevada into pulling back on its mid-January caucus date, siding with New Hampshire in its showdown with other states over scheduling early primaries and caucuses.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said Wednesday he is prepared to schedule the first in the nation primary in early December to avoid squeezing between Iowa's caucuses, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 3, and Nevada's caucuses on Jan. 14.
On Thursday, the campaigns of Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann all said they would boycott Nevada unless its caucus date is changed. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul said while they respect New Hampshire's role, they will compete everywhere. Herman Cain's campaign did not immediately respond to inquiries.
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Republicans Kill Obama's Jobs Bill

United against Barack Obama, Senate Republicans voted Tuesday night to kill the jobs package the president had spent weeks campaigning for across the country, a stinging loss at the hands of lawmakers opposed to stimulus-style spending and a tax increase on the very wealthy.
The $447 billion plan died on a 50-49 tally that garnered a majority of the 100-member Senate but fell well short of the 60 votes needed to keep the bill alive. The tally had been 51-48, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., switched his vote to “nay” so that he could force a future revote.

Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana — both up for re-election next year in states where Obama figures to lose — broke with their party on Tuesday night’s vote. Every Republican present opposed the plan.

The demise of Obama’s jobs package was expected, despite his campaign-style efforts to swing the public behind it. The White House and leaders in Congress were already moving on to alternative ways to address the nation’s painful 9.1 percent unemployment, including breaking the legislation into smaller, more digestible pieces and approving long-stalled trade bills.
“Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight,” Obama said in a statement after the vote. “Because with so many Americans out of work and so many families struggling, we can’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
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American Economists Win Nobel Prize

Two Americans were awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in economics on Monday for their research into the cause-and-effect relationship between economic policy and the broader economy as a whole.
The two men, Thomas Sargent of New York University and Christopher Sims of Princeton University, carried out their research independently in the 1970s and ‘80s, but their work “is highly relevant today as world governments and central banks seek ways to steer their economies away from another recession,” the Associated Press reports.

More about Herman Cain

As of right now, polls show that Herman Cain is in the lead for the Republican presidential race.  Here's a few points about him that go unmentioned.

Cain has been married for 43 years to Gloria Cain (née Etchison), who is a homemaker along with stints as a teacher and a librarian. The couple have two children and three grandchildren. Cain is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta, which he joined at the age of 10. The church is part of the National Baptist Convention, USA. A sometimes gospel vocalist, Cain performed on the 13-track album Sunday Morning released by Selah Sound Production & Melodic Praise Records in 1996.

Disclosures filed during his campaign in 2011 categorized Cain's wealth as of that time as $2.9-to-$6.6 million, with Cain's income for both 2010 and 2011 combined being $1.1 to $2.1 million.

In 2006, Cain was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in his colon and metastases to his liver and given a 30 percent chance of survival. Cain underwent surgery and chemotherapy following the diagnosis, and has since reported that he is in remission.

Cain received the 1996 Horatio Alger Award and has received honorary degrees from Creighton University, Johnson & Wales University, Morehouse College, University of Nebraska, New York City Technical College, Purdue University, Suffolk University, and Tougaloo College.

Source: Wikipedia

Understanding Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan

Politician are know to play fast and loose with the truth.  What's troubling to me is that many Americans take misinformation for fact.  Often times, statements are vague and without sufficient detail to measure the truth of their statements. Take a look at Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan.

Cain’s plan seems to have struck a chord with some voters because it appears easy to understand, particularly compared with the current tax code and its mish-mash of different rates, deductions, credits and loopholes.

Basically, Cain’s plan would replace the existing laws on income taxes, payroll taxes and corporate taxes with flat tax rates of 9 percent -- a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent national sales tax and a 9 percent corporate tax.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Obama, the Loner President?

I wouldn't want you to miss Scott Wilson's Washington Post article "Obama, the Loner President",  published Oct. 7:

Beyond the economy, the wars and the polls, President Obama has a problem: people.
This president endures with little joy the small talk and back-slapping of retail politics, rarely spends more than a few minutes on a rope line, refuses to coddle even his biggest donors. His relationship with Democrats on Capitol Hill is frosty, to be generous. Personal lobbying on behalf of legislation? He prefers to leave that to Vice President Biden, an old-school political charmer.
Obama’s circle of close advisers is as small as the cluster of personal friends that predates his presidency. There is no entourage, no Friends of Barack to explain or defend a politician who has confounded many supporters with his cool personality and penchant for compromise.
Obama is, in short, a political loner who prefers policy over the people who make politics in this country work.

"He likes politics," said a Washington veteran who supports Obama, "but like a campaign manager likes politics, not a candidate." The former draws energy from science and strategy, the latter from contact with people.

Which raises an odd question: Is it possible to be America's most popular politician and not be very good at American politics?

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Lawrence O'Donell Interviews Herman Cain

Lawrence O'Donnell ignited a controversy on Friday after his contentious interview with GOP presidential contender Herman Cain. Several portions of the lengthy conversation aroused anger, but the one that drew the most fire was the section in which O'Donnell questioned Cain about his participation in the civil rights movement. O'Donnell asked Cain if he regretted "sitting on the sidelines" while other black Americans were protesting in the movement -- a notion that Cain heatedly rejected.

After the interview, O'Donnell was castigated from many corners. The Atlantic called his questions "offensive," the Washington Post mocked him, and Rush Limbaugh devoted a lengthy monologue to him, calling him a liberal "plantation master."

Cain himself spoke about the interview on Friday, calling O'Donnell's questions "absurd."

Aftermath of O'Donnell's interview with Herman Cain

On Friday, O'Donnell did not back down from his aggressive questioning of Herman Cain. He hosted MSNBC's Al Sharpton and Melissa Harris-Perry and Goldie Taylor from to discuss the interview.

Sharpton defended O'Donnell, saying that Cain had contradicted himself during the interview and that O'Donnell was merely trying to elicit facts from him. "I don't see where anything was out of order other than the inconsistencies of Mr. Cain," he said.

Harris-Perry, though, said that she found herself "squirming with discomfort" watching the interview. "We have to be so careful when we are not facing the lyncher's noose...about even the implication that those who did not participate were cowards," she said. She also said she could never remember anyone asking a white politician the same kinds of questions about the Civil Rights movement.

O'Donnell said that he had gotten a lot of positive and negative feedback. He insisted that he "wasn't trying to instruct anyone on how to handle themselves" during the Civil Rights movement, but was only trying to highlight the fact that "history" had come to Cain's "doorstep," and wanted to know why Cain had made the choices he did.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NJ Gov Chris Christie Won't Run in 2012

After much media coverage of a  possible White House bid, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put the speculation to rest.  He will not run for the office of President of the United States in the 2012 election.

“It just doesn’t feel right,” Christie said.

“What I always thought was the right decision remains the right decision,” Christie told reporters in a press conference in New Jersey. “Now is not my time.”

Christie admitted he reconsidered his earlier decision not to run because of increasing pressure from well-heeled Republican donors not happy with the current slate of GOP candidates.

“I felt an obligation to seriously consider what people were asking me to do. For me, the answer was never anything but no,” he said. “It never felt right to me.”

His announcement came one day before former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she would not run. Republican insiders say the field is set. It includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
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Palin Won't Run for President

ABC News’ Polson Kanneth reports:
Sarah Palin will not run for president. She made the announcement in a letter to supporters Wednesday night.
Palin’s letter read in part:
October 5, 2011 Wasilla, Alaska After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States.

... I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office – from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency.

...I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.
Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.
In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.

This announcement ends months of speculation on "will she or won’t she" with regard to her plans to run for the highest office in the United States. Her announcement came one day after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would not run. Republican insiders say the field is set. It includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

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