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To: Sam who wrote (184067)2/29/2012 10:18:48 PM
From: Sam
of 257119
 
Some people think that the Blunt amendment was what finally pushed enough buttons for Snowe to say "Sayanora."

GOP divided on birth control?
By Greg Sargent
Posted at 01:20 PM ET, 02/29/2012 washingtonpost.com 

So Senate Dems are set to force a high-profile vote tomorrow on the controversial Blunt amendment, which would allow employers and insurers to deny coverage for health care services they deem morally objectionable. Dems have been hammering GOPers on it for weeks, and hope to use it against them in this year’s Senate races, to peel off independents and win over women, both key swing constituencies.

One thing to watch: How many Republicans will defect and vote No?

A spokesman for Senator Susan Collins confirms to me she’s still undecided — with less than 24 hours until tomorrow’s vote.

On MSBNC just now, Senator Olympia Snowe confirmed she’ll oppose the measure, echoing the Dem argument against it: “It’s much broader than I could support.” Snowe announced yesterday that she’s retiring out of frustration over “partisanship,” which has led to some (unconfirmed) speculation among Democratic aides that the Blunt amendment is one reason why.

Senator Dean Heller’s campaign has said he hasn’t yet taken a position. Senator Lisa Murkowski appears to be undecided, but the quote she gave to the New York Times suggests she’s pretty irked over having to deal with this right now. “I don’t know where we are going with this issue,” she said. “We’ve got way too much else to be doing.”

Murkowski’s spokesperson didn’t return an email asking how she would vote tomorrow.

The stakes are high, both in individual races and nationally. If there are GOP defections, it could create complications for Senator Scott Brown, who’s facing a stiff challenge in Massachusetts, where contraception has become a major issue. Brown has sometimes joined the Maine Senators in breaking with his party. If they break this time, and he votes for the measure, as expected, it could compromise his carefully-cultivated reputation for independence, which is crucial in the Massachusetts Senate race.

For their part, Republicans insist that this issue will play in their favor in states like Nebraska, Montana, Missouri and North Dakota.

More broadly, GOP fractures on the issue could make it easier for Democrats to press birth control as a wedge; one poll found that even 50 percent of Republicans support Obama’s birth control coverage mandate. So keep an eye on GOP voting on this tomorrow. It’s key.

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To: Sam who wrote (184070)2/29/2012 10:33:01 PM
From: Sam
of 257119
 
Romney is forcing himself to be look like a complete doofus in order to please the RW base. And in doing so, he has become that doofus.

Romney says he now owns guns, but won't 'tell you where they are'
By Justin Sink - 02/29/12 04:39 PM ET
thehill.com 

Mitt Romney waded back into the debate over gun control Wednesday, telling a man at a town-hall meeting that he would defend the Second Amendment because he was a gun owner — but added he wasn't "going to tell you where they are."

"I have guns myself. I'm not going to tell you where they are," Romney said at an event in Columbus, Ohio, according to ABC News.

The comment raised eyebrows, particularly after a moment in the last presidential campaign when Romney made a similar claim. He was forced to retract the earlier remark when an interviewer pointed out that, in fact, his son owned the guns.

It's unclear whether Romney has purchased a firearm himself since then.



On the campaign trail, Romney has insisted he is a strong proponent of gun rights, but has faced repeated questioning from conservatives who are skeptical over his record. The issue first gained traction during the former governor's last bid for the Republican nomination, when Mike Huckabee challenged Mitt Romney on the issue."He still believes in the Brady bill and in a ban on the so-called assault weapons," Huckabee told OneNewsNow in 2008. "[He's] calling himself a lifelong hunter when it turned out he never had a hunting license nor owned a gun."

Romney was widely lampooned during that cycle when a video was circulated in which he claimed to hunt "small varmints."


Those charges were repeated by Newt Gingrich's campaign, which launched a website earlier this month mocking Romney's stance on the Second Amendment.

Tim Macy, the vice chairman of Gun Owners of America, has also hammered Romney on the issue earlier this week, penning an open letter questioning why Romney had not yet filled out a questionnaire from the organization.

"We sent you a questionnaire not once, not twice but three times now. What did you send back? A form letter stating you are pro-Second Amendment — with absolutely nothing to back up this laughable claim," Macy wrote. "As Governor, you were proudly anti-Second Amendment, but as you have with most issues, you have now changed your stripes to spots."

During Romney's time as governor of Massachusetts, he supported federal and state gun laws that restricted the sale of assault weapons and imposed waiting periods on firearm purchases. He has subsequently argued that he did so because the bills provided additional protections for gun owners and loosened other regulations to which hunters had objected.

But Romney has insisted that he supports gun rights, telling the crowd in Columbus that he was unpersuaded by the augments of those who would restrict gun sales.

"We have a right in this country to bear arms, and I know that there are people who think that somehow that should change and they keep looking for laws for a way to stop awful things from happening,” said Romney. “And there are awful things that happen, but there already are laws that are designed to protect people and unfortunately people violate the laws. So trying to find more laws to change bad behavior isn’t the answer, the answer is to find that bad behavior — the people who are inclined to bad behavior.

"My own view is let's protect the Second Amendment, let’s protect the right of Americans to bear arms whether for hunting, for sportsmen, for personal protection, for whatever legal purpose someone might have,” added Romney.

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To: JohnM who wrote (184053)2/29/2012 10:41:05 PM
From: Win Smith
of 257119
 
Limbaugh is such a compleat blithering idiot. I guess it's totally appropriate that everybody in the current idiotic incarnation of the Republican party has to kowtow to him.

There's a transcript of Fluke's testimony at whatthefolly.com  . In a quick read, I didn't see anything at all about her personal situation. And Limbaugh clearly has not the least little clue about how birth control pills work. So he just made a bunch of crap up. What a guy. Maybe the Republicans could draft him to be their candidate.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (184072)2/29/2012 10:42:06 PM
From: epicure
of 257119
 
Maybe he can be their birth control Czar- or you could just call him king of the ovaries...

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From: Sam2/29/2012 10:43:53 PM
of 257119
 
We all know how concerned Romney and the Republicans are about the deficit.


Romney's new tax proposals add $3.4 trillion to deficit
By Bernie Becker - 02/29/12 07:14 PM ET
thehill.com 

Mitt Romney’s new bolder tax plan also comes with a bigger price tag: More than $3 trillion, according to a new nonpartisan analysis.

Romney proposed slashing all individual tax rates by 20 percent and scrapping the alternative minimum tax last week, following charges from conservative commentators and his rivals for the GOP nomination that his original economic plan was milquetoast.

The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center said Wednesday that those two changes would tack an extra $3.4 trillion on to budget deficits over the next 10 years, compared to a world where the Bush-era tax rates were extended.

The tax cuts would add more to the deficit if those rates expired, as they are scheduled to do at year’s end.

The former Massachusetts governor has said that economic growth sparked by the tax cuts and the elimination of tax preferences would help ensure that his proposals don’t pile on more debt.

But, as Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center noted, Romney has yet to specify which tax breaks he would like to see removed from the code. Gleckman also noted that his group’s analysis did not try to calculate how much economic growth would rise out of Romney’s plan.

“I suspect they would boost growth, but nobody has a credible way to measure by how much,” Gleckman wrote about the proposed tax cuts. “And despite the fervent wishes of tax cutters everywhere, there is simply no evidence that tax cuts ever generate enough growth to pay for themselves.” Romney added the two new tax proposals on top of the 59-point economic plan released last year, a framework that also called for reducing the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent and protecting offshore corporate profits from U.S. taxation.

The GOP presidential candidate also wants to get rid of all taxes on capital gains and dividends for those making under $200,000 a year, and permanently abolish the estate tax.

Under Romney’s new plan, the top individual rate, now 35 percent, would slide down to 28 percent – exactly where it was after President Reagan and Congress overhauled the tax code in 1986. Those in the lowest tax bracket would owe 8 percent, instead of the current 10 percent.

The Tax Policy Center did add some caveats to its new analysis, noting that it had not done a revenue estimate for the full Romney plan and looked at just the AMT and individual tax rate proposals.

Earlier this year, the center examined Romney’s original tax plan and found that it would add to deficits over a decade as well, though not as much as rivals like Newt Gingrich would.

The Tax Policy Center has also said that the tax plan from Rick Santorum, who finished twice to Romney in both the Michigan and Arizona primaries, would likely also add trillions of dollars to the deficit as well.

Like Romney, Santorum would reduce the top individual rate to 28 percent. But the former Pennsylvania senator would take the corporate rate down to 17.5 percent, and zero out the rate for manufacturers.

Some conservatives have not embraced Santorum’s plan either, expressing concern incentives for manufacturing would create further distortions in the tax code.

Santorum has also called for tripling the deduction for dependent children.

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To: T L Comiskey who wrote (184058)2/29/2012 11:00:32 PM
From: Win Smith
of 257119
 

Sagan was a user and advocate of marijuana. Under the pseudonym "Mr. X", he contributed an essay about smoking cannabis to the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered. [59] [60] The essay explained that marijuana use had helped to inspire some of Sagan's works and enhance sensual and intellectual experiences. After Sagan's death, his friend Lester Grinspoondisclosed this information to Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson. The publishing of the biography, Carl Sagan: A Life, in 1999 brought media attention to this aspect of Sagan's life. [61] [62] [63] Not long after his death, widow Ann Druyan had gone on to preside over the board of directors of NORML, a foundation dedicated to reforming cannabis laws. [64] en.wikipedia.org 

That particular essay can be read at forum.grasscity.com  . It contains this entertaining little tidbit illustrating, apparently, a concurrent sensual/intellectual experience enhancement of Sagan's

I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for. I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves. It was a point obvious in a way, but rarely talked about. I drew the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down. One idea led to another, and at the end of about an hour of extremely hard work I found I had written eleven short essays on a wide range of social, political, philosophical, and human biological topics. Because of problems of space, I can't go into the details of these essays, but from all external signs, such as public reactions and expert commentary, they seem to contain valid insights. I have used them in university commencement addresses, public lectures, and in my books.

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To: epicure who wrote (184073)2/29/2012 11:10:42 PM
From: Win Smith
of 257119
 
Well, in honor of Limbaugh' leadership role in the lunatic Republican party, I'd nominate him for King of Hearts:



Limbaugh in that pose would be a truly frightening sight, though, and King of Heartless would be a far more appropriate title for the fat guy.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (184076)2/29/2012 11:25:50 PM
From: epicure
of 257119
 
I really liked that movie

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To: epicure who wrote (184077)2/29/2012 11:52:07 PM
From: Win Smith
of 257119
 
Me too, I feel sort of bad for associating it with Limbaugh. The movie was kind and touching, sort of the exact opposite of mean-spirited and revolting Rush.

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To: John Vosilla who wrote (184040)3/1/2012 1:57:00 AM
From: bentway
of 257119
 
All the young people I see today are hunched over a smartphone texting!

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