Hotspyer - Breaking News from around the web Breaking news from around the web Tue, 24 Jan 2012 20:29:19 +0000 en hourly 1 Midday open thread Tue, 24 Jan 2012 20:29:19 +0000 admin
  • Today’s comic is Animation: Mitt vs #OWS (Actual Audio) by Scott Bateman:
  • We’ll be liveblogging the president’s State of the Union address tonight, starting at 6 PM PT.
  • Michelle Obama is bringing a special guest:

    Billionaire Warren Buffett’s longtime secretary will be joining first lady Michelle Obama in her box at tonight’s State of the Union, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer announced on Twitter.

    Debbie Bosanek, who has worked for Buffett for nearly two decades, has become a symbol in the White House’s fight over the tax code and economic fairness. Obama is expected to renew his push for the so-called “Buffett rule” that would bring investment taxation levels into line with income taxation levels — and ensure that upper income earners pay rates as high as middle-class Americans.

  • Netroots Nation needs your help in developing and organizing the sessions (panels, trainings and screening series sessions) you want to see at Netroots Nation this June 7-10 in Providence. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31. Guidelines and the submission form are here.
  • This is a public service announcement from Twitter for a certain senator named Chuck Grassley, whose account was hacked yesterday:

    Twitter spokesman Adam Sharp said in an email that the company typically suggests that Congressional offices use “strong” passwords with “at least 10 characters that include upper and lower case characters, numbers and symbols.”

    In other words, Mr. I-Want-To-Regulate-The-Internet, you might want to consider something stronger than chuck123. Moron.

  • No one could have predicted this would happen:

    The owner of a small Jewish publication in Atlanta is resigning over a column he wrote suggesting Israel might consider a hit on President Barack Obama.

  • Priorities:

    Abandoning any pretense that they’re focused on job creation, Colorado Republicans have clarified their priorities for the new legislative session: guns rights. Specifically, they are doing their best to ensure that citizens have the unfettered ability to carry guns anywhere — including into elementary, middle, and high schools[.]

  • Fun fact: It was actually Newt and Marianne Gingrich who started the War on Christmas back in 1995 with their official “Seasons Greetings” Christmas holiday ornament.
  • If I were a 15-year-old girl who was awakened by the sound of her mother having sex, I might be annoyed, but I probably wouldn’t call the cops and ask to be placed in a shelter. Probably.
  • FUBAR:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs has found scores of misplaced headstones and at least eight cases of people buried in the wrong places at several military cemeteries across the country.

    The review by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration follows the revelation of widespread burial problems at Arlington National Cemetery, which touched off congressional inquiries and a criminal investigation.

  • Steve Benen of Washington Monthly is heading to MSNBC.
  • Ah, the marvels of modern science:

    Men in need of penis reconstruction could soon enjoy the benefits of a special ingredient: stem cells. A new study in rats shows that lacing a penis graft with adult stem cells yields better healing and sexual function than using the graft alone. The finding may point the way to improved treatments for a variety of human penile impairments.

  • Daily Kos

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    [video] Today Now! Provides Grieving Widower With Miniature Therapy Horse Tue, 24 Jan 2012 20:05:25 +0000 admin Jim and Tracy partner with the "Bridles of Hope" charity to replace the wife Don Groton lost to a drunk driver with a beautiful miniature horse.

    The Onion

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    [video] Today Now! Provides Grieving Widower With Miniature Therapy Horse Tue, 24 Jan 2012 20:05:25 +0000 admin Jim and Tracy partner with the "Bridles of Hope" charity to replace the wife Don Groton lost to a drunk driver with a beautiful miniature horse.

    The Onion

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    GOP already snarling over State of the Union. John Boehner calls Obama ‘almost un-American’ Tue, 24 Jan 2012 20:03:13 +0000 admin

    (Caricature by DonkeyHotey)

    If their policy proposals, blockading of policy proposals and viewpoint that bipartisanship means total agreement with them hadn’t been so damaging to the country, the latest pronouncements of Republican leaders about tonight’s State of the Union address could be consigned to the ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha bin. Their efforts, however, have been too pernicious to laugh at, despite what huge targets for mockery they as political leaders are.

    Ever since the party’s shadow chieftain Rush Limbaugh made his pre-inaugural announcement that he wanted incoming President Barack Obama to fail, the GOP has been doing just about everything in its power to make that vision happen. They have caused great harm but they have not wholly succeeded. The president has managed to get a fair number of initiatives past their stubborn opposition, diluted, to be sure, but in many cases headed in the right direction or at least holding onto already won ground. But the Republicans have jacked things up pretty well with their ultra-partisan actions, which, sadly, way too many Democrats have not fought hard enough against. And now those same Republicans are complaining that the president is in “campaign mode.”

    Not just the usual, expected sniping that can be expected from either party ahead of the State of the Union address in an election year. A good deal more serrated than that. Here’s John Boehner, the Speaker of the House:

    “This is a president who said I’m not going to be a divider, I’m going to be a uniter, and running on the policies of division and envy is—to me it’s almost un-American,” said Boehner.

    This is ramped up from Boehner’s usual nonsense, but it’s nothing new from the harder-core tea party crowd and the cabal of haters who have, since before he even stepped into the Oval Office, been speaking language that describes Barack Obama as “other,” backing up that insinuation with bogus and incendiary claims about his birth place, his religion and his loyalty. He’s repeatedly been called a “socialist,” which sets off face-palms and guffaws among people who really are socialists every time they hear this nonsense about a guy who appointed Tim Geithner and Larry Summers to the highest economic posts in his administration.

    It’s obvious what some of these well-placed critics would really like to say about Obama’s “otherness.” But for most of them, even the neo-Confederates and other revisionists among them, there’s certain language that even they won’t dare express in public. With exceptions.  

    One of them, Doug Lamborn, the Republican Representative from Colorado’s 5th District, called Obama a “tar baby” during the debt debate. Even though he apologized for the “misunderstanding,” you would think that Lamborn would be eager to show up for tonight’s speech, pushing himself to the front of the line of Congresspeople waiting to shake hands with the president when he makes his entrance. That would give him a chance to make amends in person.

    Instead, Lamborn has decided to double-down and not show up at all:

    “Congressman Lamborn is doing this to send a clear message that he does not support the policies of Barack Obama, that they have hurt our country,” said Lamborn’s spokeswoman, Catherine Mortensen, in an e-mail.

    Mortenson said that the congressman “believes the President is in full campaign mode and will use the address as an opportunity to bash his political opponents.”

    Meanwhile, Boehner and others are pretending Obama invented the class war:

    Mr. Boehner denounced Democrats who he said were trying to win elections this year by using “the politics of envy, the politics of dividing our country.”

    The speaker said he expected the president’s speech to be “a rerun of what we have seen before,” including proposals for more spending, higher taxes and more regulation.

    For decades, the Republicans (together with some Democratic allies and unopposed by milquetoasts) have cranked up the class war, trashing unions, transferring wealth upward, undermining regulations and complaining that all their past efforts in this regard haven’t gone nearly far enough, something they will remedy if they can regain the presidency and the Senate and maintain their control over the House of Representatives. They are eternally in “campaign mode.” That’s the class war. It is they who have divided and exacerbated existing divisions. For those who oppose them, it’s not a war of envy, it’s not bashing, it’s self-defense. And we need a heckuva lot more of it.

    Daily Kos

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    Romney’s mountain of wealth could cast loud echo Tue, 24 Jan 2012 19:56:22 +0000 admin Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at National Gypsum Company in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Mitt Romney’s newly released tax returns represent an extraordinary accounting of the household finances and far-reaching corporate investments of one of the richest U.S. presidential candidates in generations, with an annual income that tops $ 20 million.

    Politics News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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    On day of Mitt Romney’s tax release, poll finds widespread support for raising taxes on the 1% Tue, 24 Jan 2012 19:35:58 +0000 admin Mitt Romney

    Four in ten Republicans want to raise Mitt Romney’s taxes. If elected, Romney would lower them.

    Among the 99.9 percent of us who don’t get more than $ 20 million a year without working and have Cayman Islands and Swiss bank accounts, the idea that people in the 0.1 percent, like Mitt Romney, should pay more than 14 percent taxes is pretty popular, a New York Times/CBS News poll finds:

    A little more than half say the tax rate they pay is about right, while about 4 in 10 say they pay more than their fair share. Nearly 7 in 10 Democrats say wealthy Americans pay less than their fair share in taxes, while Republicans are divided.

    About 4 in 10 Republicans say that the rich pay less than their fair share, and about the same number say the amount wealthy people pay is about right. Nearly 2 in 10 Republicans say the rich pay more than their fair share.

    And 58 percent of independents also say the rich are not contributing their fair share to the nation’s coffers.

    The Times highlights the partisan divide, but when you have nearly 7 in 10 Democrats, nearly 6 in 10 independents, and about 4 in 10 Republicans agreeing on something, I’d call it a position with significant bipartisan support. Additionally, about half the people surveyed thought that capital gains and dividends should be taxed the same as work, instead of at the much lower rate that allows non-working people like Mitt Romney to pay such low tax rates.

    Romney, meanwhile, is running for president so he can lower his own taxes while raising taxes on everyone making less than $ 40,000 a year and increasing the deficit. He sure does have his finger on the pulse of working America, doesn’t he?

    Daily Kos

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    Republican establishment REALLY doesn’t like Newt Gingrich Tue, 24 Jan 2012 19:09:16 +0000 admin Newt Gingrich

    The bane of the GOP establishment. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

    William Kristol:

    I’ve got to think Monday night’s debate further swelled the groundswell of support for Mitch Daniels. The liveliest part of the debate was at the beginning, when Mitt went after Newt—and Republicans all over America watched with fascinated horror at the thought that these are the two GOP frontrunners. The only spectacle in American politics more off-putting than Newt Gingrich in self-righteous defense mode is Mitt Romney in self-righteous attack mode.

    A “veteran” GOP leadership aide:

    Veteran Republican leadership aide Ron Bonjean said on the record what most of his colleagues would only tell CNN privately.

    “Most people on Capitol Hill and in Washington are very nervous about a Gingrich candidacy,” he said. “It sends a shiver down a lot of Republican spines.”

    “You can actually feel the nervousness from Republicans around town that Gingrich could actually bring the craziness back of his speakership from the 1990s. It’s everywhere.”

    “We are not at Defcon 5 yet, but we’ll see what happens in Florida,” said another one of the worried GOP strategists.

    If Gingrich does win, veteran GOP strategists tell CNN to expect pressure on Senate Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders to call key GOP donors and ask them not to contribute to Gingrich’s campaign.

    NJ Gov. Chris Christie:

    “Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time. Whether he’ll do it again in the future I don’t know, but Gov. Romney never has,” Christie said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    Steve Schmidt, former McCain advisor:

    [N]ot only are we not moving towards a coalescing of support by the Republican establishment for Newt Gingrich, we’re probably moving toward the declaration of war on Newt Gingrich by the Republican establishment. And if Newt Gingrich is able to win the Florida primary, you will see a panic and a meltdown of the Republican establishment that is beyond my ability to articulate in the English language.

    People will go crazy and you will have this five week period until the Super Tuesday states which is going to be as unpredictable, tumultuous as any period in modern American politics. It will be a remarkable thing to watch should that happen in Florida.

    Henry Barbour, nepotistic political hack:

    “I like having a Republican speaker of the House,” Barbour cracked, suggesting Gingrich would be a disaster as the GOP nominee. “He puts all our down-ticket candidates at risk.”

    Brit Hume, Ann Coulter, George Will:

    “Believe me, Republicans in Congress will be terrified to run with this man for fear that they will lose the House and the Senate,” said Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume. “They will begin to try to do what they can to defeat him.”

    Also on Fox, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said, “with Newt Gingrich, you throw out the baby and keep the bathwater.”

    And on “ABC This Week” Sunday, conservative columnist George Will remarked: “All across the country this morning, people are waking up who are running for office as Republicans, from dogcatcher to Senate, and they’re saying, ‘Good God, Newt Gingrich might be at the top of this ticket.”

    Go Newt!

    Daily Kos

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    Your Horoscopes – Week Of January 24, 2012 Tue, 24 Jan 2012 19:05:16 +0000 admin Aries Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 "cross your heart and hope to die" pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben. Taurus Your fear of pub…

    The Onion

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    Money talk dominating Romney, Gingrich contest Tue, 24 Jan 2012 18:56:24 +0000 admin Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at National Gypsum Company in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s fight for Florida and the states beyond stayed at a high boil Tuesday as Romney released tax returns showing annual income topping $ 20 million — including a now-closed Swiss bank account — and Gingrich insisted his high-paid consulting work for a mortgage giant that contributed to the housing crisis didn’t include lobbying.

    Politics News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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    Gallup: Gingrich still rising nationally Tue, 24 Jan 2012 18:42:39 +0000 admin Newt Gingrich continues to embrace the Occupy message against Mitt Romney, and it continues to pay dividends:

    Romney 27, Gingrich 31

    Non-wealth Republicans are hating on Romney. If there’s class warfare going on, it looks like we have lots of Republicans on our side.

    Daily Kos

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