News & Notes May 3, 2012

“Just close your eyes” Tom Corbett opened his mouth again and tried to explain his insensitive comments about allowing the state to forcibly search women’s bodies before allowing abortions.

Corbett simply doesn’t comprehend that he can’t force women to change their minds any more than he can make them watch an ultrasound.

Another one bites the dust…  Newt finally canned his presidential campaign which is $4 million in debt.  What began as, essentially, a book tour went south when he only won two primaries.  Good-bye Newt.

mitt is meeting with Rick Santorum this week in Pittsburgh as our former (I just love saying that word about Rick!) Senator attempts to nail down some of his radical social positions for the fall campaign.  Good luck with that Rick.  Mitt has already shaken his Etch-A-Sketch and is moving towards the center.  Pinning him down on an issue is like wrestling a greased pig.

Newt isn’t exactly a Romney fan either:

In prison news the DEA left a man alone in solitary confinement for five days with no food or water.  He drank his urine to survive and is now suing for $20 million.

Reports say state prison staff at Rockview tortured and killed prisoner John Carter recently:

According to witness accounts, staff in riot gear filled his solitary confinement cell with an extraordinary quantity of OC chemical munitions, otherwise known as pepper-spray. Following the attack with pepper-spray, his cell door was opened and guards rushed him, assaulting Carter, who was reportedly unconscious, with electro-shock weapons and beating him.

This is horrific and the Governor should explain the use of pepper spray.

Arizona Minutemen member and Neo-Nazi T.J. Ready killed four people including a child yesterday.  The anti-immigration hysteria is out of control.  Demagogues like Lou Barletta who foment this have more blood on their hands this morning.

Philadelphia schools may not open come September.  Thank you Gov. Corbett.

Why not allow Texas to secede?  The sequel to Dumb and Dumber should be made there, any random citizens would do for the lead roles.  Bill Nye, the Science Guy was booed for saying the moon reflects the sun.  Oooh, don’t try and tell these morons facts…

The FBI provided a group affiliated with Occupy Cleveland fake explosives, showed them where to put them on a bridge then arrested them for domestic terrorism.  This, again, is classic entrapment.  The feds get to claim another coup and more people get railroaded to prison.  The fact these five people were part of Occupy may show frustration with the level of violence directed at peaceful, lawful protesters.  The militarization of police forces and the use of these tactics against Occupy protesters will, eventually, cause violent reactions and revolution.

HB 2150 passed the State House yesterday.  While closing the Delaware Loophole it also slashed corporate tax rates and created new loopholes.  If passed by the Senate (not likely) it would cut future revenues making it impossible to fund education, infrastructure and provide vital services for the neediest among us.

Video 101

It’s primary season and the GOP candidates have arrived in our fair state.  We’re a big place so it’s impossible for me to cover every event so if one’s near you feel welcome to shoot some pictures, talk to some people, and, of course, get it all on video.

Video has become a major part of The Pennsylvania Progressive over the years.  It’s far more powerful and compelling than just me sitting here at the keyboard.  It isn’t difficult to do a few interviews with wing nuts but there are some things you need to know before venturing out there so this is Video 101.

First of all you need to know where Mitt, Rick, Newt and Ron will be.  There are various methods for this, one is an open thread at PoliticsPA for their events.  You can also sign up at the candidates websites and follow your local news.  I’ll try and list the ones I know of.  Don’t worry about being on the right wing email lists, you can unsubscribe after the primary or use an email address that isn’t your primary one.

Next you need to follow a few rules.  If the event is on private property e.g. a business, private school or other such venue, you may be asked to leave.  If so do so without fuss.  If it is on public property you have a right to be there as long as you aren’t creating a disturbance.  Please be polite (it drives the Tea baggers nuts so it’s worth the effort).  Pennsylvania is a “two party state” for recordings so don’t start your video before getting permission.  Simply ask people waiting in line to enter the event if they have a few minutes to talk on camera.  This is all you have to do to satisfy the legal requirement.  Introduce yourself and ask them an open ended question.  I always begin with “what brings you here today?”  Other good queries are “what issues are most important to you?” or “what is it you like about (name the candidate at that event)?”

Open ended questions are designed to get the person speaking.  If they’re carrying outrageous, racist or misspelled signs (very common at these events) be sure to get those on video or take pictures.  As they spout their Faux News or Limbaugh talking points its fun to point out facts.  These make their eyes glaze over which is always fun to watch.  At some point they become baffled and will turn away.  At that point find a new moron to talk with.

In 2008 we began having trouble finding enough lunatics willing to talk on camera because we exposed them so well.  Don’t give up someone will always be willing to speak with you.  The folks around them will chip in as your interview proceeds.  Include them as much as possible, you never know what pearls will escape from their lips.

I used a Flip camera for years, they’re easy to operate, take good video and can be held with one hand.  Mine finally gave up the ghost and I have a Sony Bloggie now.  You can use any camera which takes video however, even your smart phone.  Upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video or other website and share it with us.  You can, if you’re a registered user, post it here in the diary section.  If its good I’ll front page it.

This election season is a golden chance to get out there with our wits and cameras and expose these idiots for what they are.  We can illustrate how selfish they are and show the extremes of their rhetoric.  In PA here we have lots of outright racists who aren’t bashful about exhibiting their prejudices.  Let’s get it all on tape.

The Late Great Commonwealth: Catching Up to the Republican Primary

by Walter  Brasch

It’s the beginning of April, and that means I just finished celebrating New Year’s Eve, and will soon begin shopping for Valentine’s gifts. In a month or two, I may even get around to toasting St. Patrick.

It’s not procrastination, it’s just that I’m a Pennsylvanian, and the state encourages me to be behind the times. At one time, Pennsylvania was first in just about everything–and then Ben Franklin died. Since then, we’ve been first in ridiculous license plate slogans.

When other states, including those settled by Puritans, got rid of their “blue laws,” Pennsylvania still bans the sale of cars on Sundays. By archaic practices, it still allows municipal governments and school districts to raise taxes and create more buildings without giving the people the right of a vote, common in most states. It is also the only state that still taxes people for income, property, and their occupation. Forty-nine other states have ruled pigeon shoots to be animal cruelty; we proudly proclaim our state as the last bastion of the right to “bear arms and blast birds.” And, we don’t allow Independents to vote in our primaries.

Iowa, with anomalies known as a straw poll and a caucus, is the first major battleground in presidential races, having usurped New Hampshire, which thought having the official primary was a birthright dating to when granite first showed up in the state. Nevertheless, whether Iowa or New Hampshire, Americans understand that the people need something to break them out of their Winter funk when snow covers what will eventually become cornfields in Iowa and the ski lifts of New Hampshire will no longer be inoperable because of blizzards.

With nothing else to do in January, the media schussed into the Hawkeye State-just as soon as they could find enough chauffeurs to drive them to wherever Iowa is. With megawatt lights and dimly-lit minds, they infiltrated the state so that the voters not only had their own individualized politicians, they also had their own puppy-dog reporters prancing brightly behind them to the coffee shop, factory, and bathroom.

Surrounded by the media who smugly said they were only telling the public what they needed to know to defend and preserve democracy-and millions in advertising revenue-the candidates played to the press, attacking each other rather than attacking the issues. In neatly-packaged seven-second sound bites, politicians and the media sliced, diced, and crunched the campaign to fit onto a 21-inch screen.

Because of an inner need to believe they matter, the media predict who will win the nomination, changing their predictions as quickly as a fashionista changes shoes. For what seemed to be decades, the ink-stained bandwagon has pulled voters and campaign dollars, and left Pennsylvania voters waiting at the altar for candidates who don’t care anymore, abandoned by the media who have found other “stories of the month.”

For all practical purposes, the Pennsylvania primaries, with large slates of uncontested local and state races, is about as useless as a Department of Ethnic Studies at Bob Jones University. By the time the 2000 primary rolled into Pennsylvania, Al Gore and George W. Bush each had 65 percent of the delegate vote needed for their parties’ nomination. In 2004, Bush and John Kerry had already locked up the nominations. In 2008, Pennsylvania became a pivotal state for the Democrats for the first time since 1976, with Hillary Clinton defeating Barack Obama before losing the nomination by June. For the Republicans, it was “business as usual,” with John McCain having already sewn up the nomination.

A Republican needs 1,144 delegate votes to get the nomination. Mitt Romney, America’s best runner-up, has 568; two-term senator Rick Santorum, recovering from a blistering loss to a moderate Democrat in Pennsylvania’s 2006 Senate campaign, has 273; Ron Paul, who may or may not be a Republican, has 50. Newt Gingrich has 135 delegates; however, this week he announced he downsized his staff and campaign, and is layin’ low-except, of course, for the times he can get free TV time to lambaste Romney and Santorum who are engaged in a vicious personal battle that has bubbled out of the TV ad cauldron.

The April 3 primaries will add a maximum of 98 delegates. And that brings Super Northeast Tuesday, April 24. The Republican leftovers and their never-ending TV ads will blitz Pennsylvania, which might even become relevant.

Even if Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island-and Pennsylvania with 72 of the 231 delegate votes-go for Romney, it won’t be enough to get him the nomination. However, it will be enough to cause major financial backers to pull their support for Santorum and what’s left of the Gingrich campaign, leaving Romney to flip-flop into the Republican nomination convention, Aug. 27, in Tampa, Fla.-which seems to be the Republicans’ destiny.

[Dr. Brasch has covered political campaigns for more than three decades. His latest book is the critically-acclaimed fast-paced mystery Before the First Snow, available at and his publisher, Greeley & Stone.]Within the next week, another nine states voted.


Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.

Latest Book: Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution



Campaign 2012

Being a presidential election year I’ve decided to start a new column focusing on that election.  This way these items will be separate from the daily News & Notes.

A sneak peek at the new short film on Obama being released Thursday:

The Affordable Care Act is about a year old and you can discover how it is saving you money with these neat tool:

Two Governors, Bob McDonnell (VA) and Martin O’Malley (MD) tangled on ultrasound bills:

Obama’s UAW Speech

Mitt, Newt and Rick campaigned through Michigan in spite of their past positions to kill the American auto industry.  I have to give them credit because that took a lot of balls.  None of them has a ghost of a chance of winning the state in November and Mitt and Rick wound up splitting the state’s delegates.  That’s ironic since they both wanted to split auto workers lives asunder.

President Obama went to the UAW convention and was greeted enthusiastically after his actions saved millions of jobs in or related to the industry.

The text of the speech is below the fold.  

THE PRESIDENT:  How’s it going, UAW?  (Applause.)  It is good to be with some autoworkers today!  (Applause.)  All right. Everybody have a seat, get comfortable.  Go ahead and get comfortable.  I’m going to talk for a little bit.  (Applause.)

First of all, I want to say thank you to one of the finest leaders that we have in labor — Bob King.  Give it up for Bob.  (Applause.)  I want to thank the International Executive Board and all of you for having me here today.  It is a great honor.  I brought along somebody who is proving to be one of the finest Secretaries of Transportation in our history — Ray LaHood is in the house.  Give Ray a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  

It is always an honor to spend time with folks who represent the working men and women of America.  (Applause.)  It’s unions like yours that fought for jobs and opportunity for generations of American workers.  It’s unions like yours that helped build the arsenal of democracy that defeated fascism and won World War II.  It’s unions like yours that forged the American middle class — that great engine of prosperity, the greatest that the world has ever known.

So you guys helped to write the American story.  And today, you’re busy writing a proud new chapter.  You are reminding us that no matter how tough times get, Americans are tougher.  (Applause.)  No matter how many punches we take, we don’t give up.  We get up.  We fight back.  We move forward.  We come out the other side stronger than before.  That’s what you’ve shown us.  (Applause.)  You’re showing us what’s possible in America.  So I’m here to tell you one thing today:  You make me proud.  (Applause.)  You make me proud.

Take a minute and think about what you and the workers and the families that you represent have fought through.  A few years ago, nearly one in five autoworkers were handed a pink slip — one in five.  Four hundred thousand jobs across this industry vanished the year before I took office.  And then as the financial crisis hit with its full force, America faced a hard and once unimaginable reality, that two of the Big 3 automakers  — GM and Chrysler — were on the brink of liquidation.

    The heartbeat of American manufacturing was flat-lining and we had to make a choice.  With the economy in complete free fall there were no private investors or companies out there willing to take a chance on the auto industry.  Nobody was lining up to give you guys loans.  Anyone in the financial sector can tell you that.

    So we could have kept giving billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars to automakers without demanding the real changes or accountability in return that were needed — that was one option. But that wouldn’t have solved anything in the long term.  Sooner or later we would have run out of money.  We could have just kicked the problem down the road.  The other option was to do absolutely nothing and let these companies fail.  And you will recall there were some politicians who said we should do that.


THE PRESIDENT:  Some even said we should “let Detroit go bankrupt.”


THE PRESIDENT:  You remember that?  (Applause.)  You know.  (Laughter.)  Think about what that choice would have meant for this country, if we had turned our backs on you, if America had thrown in the towel, if GM and Chrysler had gone under.  The suppliers, the distributors that get their business from these companies, they would have died off.  Then even Ford could have gone down as well.  Production shut down.  Factories shuttered.  Once-proud companies chopped up and sold off for scraps.  And all of you, the men and women who built these companies with your own hands, would have been hung out to dry.

    More than one million Americans across the country would have lost their jobs in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  In communities across the Midwest, it would have been another Great Depression.  And then think about all the people who depend on you.  Not just your families, but the schoolteachers, the small business owners, the server in the diner who knows your order, the bartender who’s waiting for you to get off.  (Laughter.)  That’s right.  (Applause.)  Their livelihoods were at stake as well.

And you know what was else at stake?  How many of you who’ve worked the assembly line had a father or a grandfather or a mother who worked on that same line?  (Applause.)  How many of you have sons and daughters who said, you know, Mom, Dad, I’d like to work at the plant, too?  (Applause.)

These jobs are worth more than just a paycheck.  They’re a source of pride.  They’re a ticket to a middle-class life that make it possible for you to own a home and raise kids and maybe send them — yes — to college.  (Applause.)  Give you a chance to retire with some dignity and some respect.  These companies are worth more than just the cars they build.  They’re a symbol of American innovation and know-how.  They’re the source of our manufacturing might.  If that’s not worth fighting for, what’s worth fighting for?  (Applause.)

So, no, we were not going to take a knee and do nothing.  We were not going to give up on your jobs and your families and your communities.  So in exchange for help, we demanded responsibility.  We said to the auto industry, you’re going to have to truly change, not just pretend like you’re changing.  And thanks to outstanding leadership like Bob King, we were able to get labor and management to settle their differences.  (Applause.)

We got the industry to retool and restructure, and everybody involved made sacrifices.  Everybody had some skin in the game.  And it wasn’t popular.  And it wasn’t what I ran for President to do.  That wasn’t originally what I thought I was going to be doing as President.  (Laughter.)  But you know what, I did run to make the tough calls and do the right things — no matter what the politics were.  (Applause.)

And I want you to know, you know why I knew this rescue would succeed?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  How did you do it?  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You want to know?  It wasn’t because of anything the government did.  It wasn’t just because of anything management did.  It was because I believed in you.  I placed my bet on the American worker.  (Applause.)  And I’ll make that bet any day of the week.  (Applause.)

And now, three years later — three years later, that bet is paying off — not just paying off for you, it’s paying off for America.  Three years later, the American auto industry is back. (Applause.)  GM is back on top as the number-one automaker in the world  — (applause) — highest profits in its 100-year history. Chrysler is growing faster in America than any other car company. (Applause.)  Ford is investing billions in American plants, American factories — plans to bring thousands of jobs back to America.  (Applause.)

All told, the entire industry has added more than 200,000 new jobs over the past two and a half years — 200,000 new jobs. And here’s the best part — you’re not just building cars again; you’re building better cars.  (Applause.)

After three decades of inaction, we’re gradually putting in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history for our cars and pickups.  That means the cars you build will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade — almost double what they get today.  (Applause.)  That means folks, every time they fill up, they’re going to be saving money.  They’ll have to fill up every two weeks instead of every week.  That saves the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time. That means we’ll cut our oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day.  That means we have to import less oil while we’re selling more cars all around the world.  (Applause.)

Thanks to the bipartisan trade agreement I signed into law  — with you in mind, working with you — there will soon be new cars in the streets of South Korea imported from Detroit and from Toledo and from Chicago.  (Applause.)

And today — I talked about this at the State of the Union, we are doing it today — I am creating a Trade Enforcement Unit that will bring the full resources of the federal government to bear on investigations, and we’re going to counter any unfair trading practices around the world, including by countries like China.  (Applause.)  America has the best workers in the world.  When the playing field is level, nobody will beat us.  And we’re going to make sure that playing field is level.  (Applause.)

Because America always wins when the playing field is level. And because everyone came together and worked together, the most high-tech, fuel-efficient, good-looking cars in the world are once again designed and engineered and forged and built — not in Europe, not in Asia — right here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

I’ve seen it myself.  I’ve seen it myself.  I’ve seen it at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant in Detroit, where a new shift of more than 1,000 workers came on two years ago, another 1,000 slated to come on next year.  I’ve seen it in my hometown at Ford’s Chicago Assembly — (applause) — where workers are building a new Explorer and selling it to dozens of countries around the world.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I’m buying one, too.

THE PRESIDENT:  There you go.  (Laughter.)

I’ve seen it at GM’s Lordstown plant in Ohio — (applause)  — where workers got their jobs back to build the Chevy Cobalt, and at GM’s Hamtramck plant in Detroit — (applause) — where I got to get inside a brand-new Chevy Volt fresh off the line — even though Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it.  (Laughter.) But I liked sitting in it.  (Laughter.)  It was nice.  I’ll bet it drives real good.  (Laughter.)  And five years from now when I’m not President anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself.  (Applause.)  Yes, that’s right.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  I know our bet was a good one because I had seen it pay off firsthand.  But here’s the thing.  You don’t have to take my word for it.  Ask the Chrysler workers near Kokomo — (applause) — who were brought on to make sure the newest high-tech transmissions and fuel-efficient engines are made in America.  Or ask the GM workers in Spring Hill, Tennessee, whose jobs were saved from being sent abroad.  (Applause.)  Ask the Ford workers in Kansas City coming on to make the F-150 — America’s best-selling truck, a more fuel-efficient truck.  (Applause.)  And you ask all the suppliers who are expanding and hiring, and the communities that rely on them, if America’s investment in you was a good bet.  They’ll tell you the right answer.  

And who knows, maybe the naysayers would finally come around and say that standing by America’s workers was the right thing to do.  (Applause.)  Because, I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these folks completely try to rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet.  (Applause.)  The same folks who said, if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.”  Now they’re saying, we were right all along.  (Laughter.)

Or you’ve got folks saying, well, the real problem is — what we really disagreed with was the workers, they all made out like bandits — that saving the auto industry was just about paying back the unions.  Really?  (Laughter.)  I mean, even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you know what.  (Laughter.)

About 700,000 retirees had to make sacrifices on their health care benefits that they had earned.  A lot of you saw hours reduced, or pay or wages scaled back.  You gave up some of your rights as workers.  Promises were made to you over the years that you gave up for the sake and survival of this industry — its workers, their families.  You want to talk about sacrifice?  You made sacrifices.  (Applause.)  This wasn’t an easy thing to do.

Let me tell you, I keep on hearing these same folks talk about values all the time.  You want to talk about values?  Hard work — that’s a value.  (Applause.)  Looking out for one another — that’s a value.  The idea that we’re all in it together, and I’m my brother’s keeper and sister’s keeper — that’s a value.  (Applause.)

They’re out there talking about you like you’re some special interest that needs to be beaten down.  Since when are hardworking men and women who are putting in a hard day’s work every day — since when are they special interests?  Since when is the idea that we look out for one another a bad thing?

I remember my old friend, Ted Kennedy — he used to say, what is it about working men and women they find so offensive?  (Laughter.)  This notion that we should have let the auto industry die, that we should pursue anti-worker policies in the hopes that unions like yours will buckle and unravel — that’s part of that same old “you are on your own” philosophy that says we should just leave everybody to fend for themselves; let the most powerful do whatever they please.  They think the best way to boost the economy is to roll back the reforms we put into place to prevent another crisis, to let Wall Street write the rules again.

They think the best way to help families afford health care is to roll back the reforms we passed that’s already lowering costs for millions of Americans.  (Applause.)  They want to go back to the days when insurance companies could deny your coverage or jack up your rates whenever and however they pleased. They think we should keep cutting taxes for those at the very top, for people like me, even though we don’t need it, just so they can keep paying lower tax rates than their secretaries.

Well, let me tell you something.  Not to put too fine a point on it — they’re wrong.  (Laughter.)  They are wrong.  (Applause.)  That’s the philosophy that got us into this mess.  We can’t afford to go back to it.  Not now.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.  We’ve got a long way to go before everybody who wants a good job can get a good job.  We’ve got a long way to go before middle-class Americans fully regain that sense of security that’s been slipping away since long before this recession hit.  But you know what, we’ve got something to show — all of you show what’s possible when we pull together.

Over the last two years, our businesses have added about 3.7 million new jobs.  Manufacturing is coming back for the first time since the 1990s.  Companies are bringing jobs back from overseas.  (Applause.)  The economy is getting stronger.  The recovery is speeding up.  Now is the time to keep our foot on the gas, not put on the brakes.  And I’m not going to settle

for a country where just a few do really well and everybody else is struggling to get by.  (Applause.)

We’re fighting for an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, where everybody does their fair share, where everybody plays by the same set of rules.  We’re not going to go back to an economy that’s all about outsourcing and bad debt and phony profits.  We’re fighting for an economy that’s built to last, that’s built on things like education and energy and manufacturing.  Making things, not just buying things — making things that the rest of the world wants to buy.  And restoring the values that made this country great:  hard work and fair play, the chance to make it if you really try, the responsibility to reach back and help somebody else make it, too — not just you.  That’s who we are.  That’s what we believe in.   (Applause.)

    I was telling you I visited Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant in Detroit about a year and a half ago.  Now, the day I visited, some of the employees had won the lottery.  Not kidding.  They had won the lottery.  Now, you might think that after that they’d all be kicking back and retiring.  (Laughter.)  And no one would fault them for that.  Building cars is tough work.  But that’s not what they did.  The guy who bought —

    AUDIENCE MEMBER:  What did they do?

    THE PRESIDENT:  Funny you ask.  (Laughter.)  The guy who bought the winning ticket, he was a proud UAW member who worked on the line.  So he used some of his winnings to buy his wife the car that he builds because he’s really proud of his work.  (Applause.)  Then he bought brand new American flags for his hometown because he’s proud of his country.  (Applause.)  And he and the other winners are still clocking in at that plant today, because they’re proud of the part they and their coworkers play in America’s comeback.

See, that’s what America is about.  America is not just looking out for yourself.  It’s not just about greed.  It’s not just about trying to climb to the very top and keep everybody else down.  When our assembly lines grind to a halt, we work together and we get them going again.  When somebody else falters, we try to give them a hand up, because we know we’re all in it together.

I got my start standing with working folks who’d lost their jobs, folks who had lost their hope because the steel plants had closed down.  I didn’t like the idea that they didn’t have anybody fighting for them.  The same reason I got into this business is the same reason I’m here today.  I’m driven by that same belief that everybody — everybody — should deserve a chance.  (Applause.)

So I promise you this:  As long as you’ve got an ounce of fight left in you, I’ll have a ton of fight left in me.  (Applause.)  We’re going to keep on fighting to make our economy stronger; to put our friends and neighbors back to work faster; to give our children even more opportunity; to make sure that the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.   (Applause.)

Thank you, UAW.  I love you.  God bless you.  God bless the work you do.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)


Daily National Breifing 2/17

  AmericanLP covers all the top headlines in politics on both sides of the aisle in this morning’s news brief. Major headlines yesterday once again pointed to a rebounding economy. New applications for unemployment hit a 4-year low. Also, the DNC released a new ad, which you can view at the 1:15 mark, highlighting the diverging ideologies between the Obama administration’s decision to save the auto industry and Mitt Romney’s 2008 Op-Ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”. The bailout was unequivocally a successful administrative decision for President Obama, and coupling this with the rate for unemployment applications falling, and last week’s news that the overall unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent, we have public opinion of the President quickly on the rise. 44% of Americans, according to a Pew Research Center poll believe economic conditions will be better in 2013 than this year. This coincides with a CNN poll yesterday showing the President’s approval rating is back to 50% for the first time in 8 months. The administration, and the Obama re-election campaign, have really begun hammering home the jobs numbers, focusing not on the unemployment rate so much, as that number is still unfortunately high, but rightly talking about how bad things were when Obama came into office (750,000 jobs hemorrhaging from the economy per month) to how his policies have vastly turned this country around (250,000 jobs added in January; a 1 million point swing) and have created the most manufacturing jobs since the 1990’s.

Switching over, AmericanLP discusses the latest from the GOP presidential campaign. Mitt Romney, on the verge of losing his front runner status in some polls, gave a speech Thursday in which he addressed the concerns of entrepreneurs looking for funding to start their own business. In a swipe at the Solyndra controversy, Romney excoriated the benefits of government funding a start-up business and instead suggested entrepreneurs should apply to venture capitalists, angels, or their parents for funding. A statement such as this is on par with Romney’s “$10,000 bet” and once again reinforces the notion that Romney is so fiscally out-of-touch with the general American public (the average salary for Americans is $26,000/year; Romney makes $57,000/day) that it’s hard to fathom how he’ll win the nomination. Romney was born to the kind of wealth where if he wanted to start his own company, he could go to his parents for the capital to get the project off the ground. However, most Americans cannot. Most Americans struggle to pay their own bills, and many are helping their parents through retirement after the recession. It seems every time Romney opens his mouth, he further ostracizes himself from the general American public. Maybe that’s why he chose to drop out of the CNN Georgia debate scheduled in a couple weeks. Rick Santorum also declined the invitation; his motivations for doing so are less clear. With less money and generally one of the candidates who performs well in these debates, it doesn’t really play to Santorum’s strengths not to participate. But Santorum was not immune to the ‘tax return release’ scrutiny either. Santorum released 4 years of his tax returns and they paint a startling contrast to much of what Santorum has been saying on the campaign trail. Posturing himself as a threat to big government, Santorum has actually made $3.6M in lobbying fees since losing his re-election bid for the U.S. Senate. Try as he might, Santorum seems just as much a “Washington Insider” as Newt Gingrich.

A new segment on AmericanLP, “News From The 14th Century,” highlights the ridiculous spectacle yesterday from Congress where Darrell Issa barred a woman from testifying on a birth control hearing in response to the contraception controversy. Republicans, for all their talk of individual freedom, want to deny women access to birth control, even though 98% of Catholic women say they have used some form of contraceptive in their life. Issa, instead of allowing one woman to testify, decided to fill the panel with men and priests. Clearly, they’ll have a deeper understanding of contraception than any woman might…

These are just a few of the highlights from this morning’s briefing. Watch the whole video for more news in politics from around the country. ~ Jason Owen with TJ Walker

Santorum Spreads Through Midwest

Following his early withdrawal from Florida Rick Santorum spread the Midwest yesterday like…well, like the sludge farmers spread on their fields.  Of course we all know what sludge really is and from where it comes.  oops, I think I just used the wrong spelling for that last word.

The former Pennsylvania Senator, ousted in part because he lived in Virginia, won all three states last night driving the GOP presidential field into gridlock.  Rick has now won four states compared with Mitt’s three (NH, SC and Florida).  This race is anything but over and liberals are hoping it continues to go because the four contenders keep saying such terrible things driving independent voters screaming for sanctuary.

Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri voted yesterday and the man who lost his Senate by 18 points seemed invincible.  Hold onto your sperm because nothing is safe if Santorum gets momentum.  The Opus Dei Catholic cult member wants to replace democracy with a theocracy where his Big Brother government will enter your bedroom and dictate what sexual practices you and your wife (sorry, no LGBT sex would be allowed) can conduct.  Your sperm would have more rights than you under President Santorum.  He believes any wasted sperm is a crime against god.  Wasted means sperm not used to impregnate a woman and create a pregnancy.  Birth control, contraception, masturbation, oral sex, anal sex and anything else would be a violation of scripture and a crime.

Why would any sane and rational American vote for such an agenda?  Good question folks.  it reminds me where that sludge comes from and what’s in it.

Florida Votes

Mitt Romney snagged the few delegates remaining from Florida yesterday but his road to the GOP presidential nomination is not yet clear.  Newt Gingrich and his angry white man routine has garnered enough support from racists in South Carolina and elsewhere to be a potential problem.  Republicans have been searching for the anti-Mitt with no success thus far.  The candidate’s flip flopping on social issues combined with his Mormonism give pause to the Party base.  Newt challenged him successfully in SC by running an overtly racist campaign pandering to the South’s blatant racism.  

Florida is a different animal however because of all the snowbirds and senior citizens.  Interestingly no one in any of the debates there mentioned either Social Security or medicare, both key programs the GOP has sworn to abolish should they win in November.  Why the media refused to ask questions about such important programs in such an important state like Florida has many wondering about collusion with the conservative campaigns.  Given the number of senior citizens in the Sunshine State it does give me cause to wonder…

Rick Santorum gained but 13.4% of the vote compared with Mitt’s 46.4%, Newt’s 31.9% and Ron Paul’s miniscule 7%.  The former Pennsylvanian suffered from early withdrawal after pulling out early to deal with his youngest daughter’s medical issues.  Interestingly he lied to the media claiming she was at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) when in reality she was being treated in Virginia.  Is there nothing we can trust this man on?

Paul’s campaign is dead in the water though he has enough money to remain in the race and force his Party even further to the abyss of extremism at the convention.  His supporters are avid enough to contribute relentlessly.

Newt’s history of being the meanest, nastiest man in Washington is what keeps this contest interesting.  His campaign is reflecting th eman himself and his attacks on Romney are fueled with millions poured into the coffers of his super PAC by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.  The Zionist has pumped $10 million in so far and the effects of huge money is corrupting everything already.  Newt always was a pig but now he’s a whore.  When someone gives you $10 million they own you.  Mitt isn’t much better by taking huge sums himself funneled through his own PAC.  If anyone thinks there is no communication between the PAC’s and campaigns you’re fools.   The corruption ahead from the effect of these gigantic contributions will be mind boggling.  No one gives that much money without the expectation of something in return.

Democratic Super PAC Leader Gives Assessment on Role of Super PACS in 2012

Posted by AmericanLP in Press Release, Press Room

TJ Walker, founder of AmericanLP, a Democratic Super PAC, gave his assessment on the role his organization and other Democratic Super PACs have played in the 2012 campaign:

“We couldn’t be happier! Our goal all along has been to tarnish the Republican brand and to diminish the chances of the GOP’s only candidate who isn’t completely insane-Mitt Romney. Thus far, we have produced and run 5 negative ads targeted against Mitt Romney and his phony, plastic, non-conservative views. And we like to think that we have played at least a small role in helping Republican voters in the first three states commit mass political suicide by voting for Rick Santorum in Iowa and now Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. At this point, we couldn’t be happier if the Republicans nominated Rod Blagojevich as their Presidential standard bearer. The general perception among GOP insiders is that their party is in a state of chaos and that as weak as they might perceive Obama to be; you cannot beat an incumbent President with another candidate who is seen as widely detestable by majority of his own party. In other words, it is PANIC time at the GOP.”

News & Notes December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all of our loyal readers, commenters, diarists and fans.  It’s hard to believe another year has gone by.  There isn’t much news today so this will be short and sweet.

You can always tell candidates with poor field operations.  We found three yesterday when Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all failed to qualify for the primary ballot in Virginia.  Getting petition signatures requires volunteers, staff and organization.  Obviously none of these three have those essential qualities for a successful effort.

Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary was relieved of his duties for showing a picture of his penis to a court employee.  I’d like to know how anyone with $11,500 in traffic tickets can be a Traffic Court Judge?  Shouldn’t one have to prove some responsibility first?  

The Justice Department blocked South Carolina’s Voter ID law.  Labeling the law as racist the DOJ says it cannot be implemented because it is designed to keep Blacks from voting.

As Ron Paul gets viable questions surrounding his racist past are coming to the fore.  His old newsletters, from which he earned money, were filled with calls for white supremacy.  He posed for pictures with southern Klan leaders and allowed his name to be put on these screeds.  Yet he now attempts to disavow them.  I don’t believe in Santa Claus either.  People have been searching for these things and some have been found in archives.  Here’s one promotional letter which warned of the “coming race riots.”  How does he disavow writing this one?