Archive for leadership

Fox Biz: Weekly Jobless Claims Slide to Lowest Level Since ‘07 + Bonus #BlameObama News!

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fox biz

The only way I know how to stop all of you nag-nag-naggers to stop bugging TPC to post more reporting from the most reliable name in news-- Fox-- is to post more reporting from Fox. So here you go, via an email alert from the one source you can trust: Fox. Fox Biz to be exact. They always come through for us, rain or shine, and today it's a ray of shine:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to 300,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 332,000 the week prior. The reading was the lowest since May 2007. Economists expected claims to fall to 320,000 from an initially reported 326,000.

But wait! There's more! This news comes from a Gallup email alert:

After hitting a low point at the end of President Barack Obama's first term, U.S. leadership ratings worldwide rallied in 2013 as he began his second.

Waitwhat? President Obama's worldwide popularity is rising? But... but... Republicans have been relentlessly mocking the decline in his global approval numbers and called him "feckless"! (Which is kind of funny considering they also call him a dictator.)

What must this all mean? Could it be that they're *gasp!* wrong? (Again. Like they are about just about everything.)

Gallup:

Global Image of U.S. Leadership Rebounds

Median approval rating of 45% in Asia is highest on record.

Not to say there aren't challenges and that everything is hunky-dory, but per Gallup, "the image of the leadership of the U.S. showed signs of rebounding in 2013."

President Obama must have dictated that poll.

UPDATE, via another Fox Biz email alert:

The Treasury Department reports the federal budget deficit fell to $37 billion in March from $107 billion in the same month last year. The fiscal 2014 deficit is running at $413 billion, down from the $600 billion gap the year prior.

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Evidently GOP Gives Up On Jesus So They Settle For Boehner

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JesusInCongressw384h259

Oh goy, I mean, oh boy. Now look what's happened to little Johnny Boehner and his sandbox playmates! They can't seem to get along so they're looking for some adult supervision. A new leader. Who are they looking to? Why the big guy himself. No, not God. He wouldn't touch Congress with a ten foot pole. But close, His son -- or at least to those who believe he's the Lord's son. Good luck getting unanimous consent on that one.

For further updates on the GOP's quest to replace the Speaker, here's what a longtime Boehner ally had to say to Robert Costa at the Washington Post:

“Right now, Jesus himself couldn't be the speaker and get 218 Republicans behind something, so I think Speaker Boehner is trying his best to come up with a plan that can get close to that,” said Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi (R-Ohio), a longtime Boehner ally. “Whatever we move, there will be critics everywhere, but at the end of the day we still have to govern.”

Looks like dysfunction is the best description of the shambles the Republicans have left the House in while they take our money and go out and play. It's a shame. I bet there are at least a few of the kids on the block who would like to get something done. But when you think about Rep. Tiberi's words, the members of congress are worried about critics and not doing what's best for the country.

It's certainly at times like this you'd wish they'd ask themselves, WWJD? He certainly wouldn't behave like the GOP and worry about critics. He'd do what was right for his followers. And that's something the GOP has a hard time wrapping their hollow heads around.

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The Headless Horseman Of The GOP's Sleepy Hollow(head)

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headless Tea Party horseman

When it comes to the government shutdown (again) over Obamacare, the Democrats are so lucky to have Reince Preibus speaking for the opposition. He's so ineffective in making a case, mealy-mouthed about the last shutdown, caught in a lie on national TV, and now THE poster child for the defective Tea Party fool.

Of course, it's a lot easier to look stupid when you face a tough-minded, resolute thinker like Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But she didn't pick the opposition, the Republicans did. Chairman P. beached their ship last general election, he's sure to hit the same sandbar next time around with the type of thinking like he displayed on CNN this past Sunday.

When people say a fish stinks from the head down, so do political parties. Here's the "head" of the Republican party. Take a sniff. Warning, you won't like the stench.

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Mitch McConnell Caught Humming Charlie Chaplin's 'Smile'

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Charlie Chaplin

There may be some of you who weren't aware that the soulful, wistful song, "Smile" was actually written by the entertainment genius, Charlie Chaplin. The lyrics go:

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky
you'll get by.

If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through
For you.

Rumors are that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been feeling melancholy of late, and in the wee hours of the night, he's been heard coming out of his office, tearful, humming the song. He senses his days are numbered. That's looking more an more likely.

The ever-dour face of Mitch McConnell always appears as if he ate something which didn't agree with him. It could be his conscience with a side of ego. Despite all of the recent problems of leadership, he was spotted with what could be considered a new expression beyond his etched in stone scowl. Some ever think it's so much of a departure they're questioning if it could actually be a smile. You be the judge.

Mitch McConnell

I have a different  take on his expression. It's not a smile. It's actually a gasp for air. He's taking a real hit by his Tea Party competitor, Matt Bevin. Even the Senate Conservatives Fund has backed Bevin over Mitch. And he's not alone. The conservative wing of his party in Kentucky have had enough of the grump on the stump and decided to filet him and turn this chicken over to Colonel Sanders.

And if his own party hasn't all but deserted him, what about his stout adversary on the other side -- Alison Lundergan Grimes? She's not just running against him as a Democrat, she's leading him in the polls after the dyspeptic Senate minority leader has shown his true color -- yellow. He's afraid to do what's best for his state. And to cover up for that, his democratic opponent, should he somehow beat Bevin for the right to face off for the senate seat, has an internet commercial campaign that sums off the efforts of Mitch McGrumpy. And Lundergan Grimes is winning where it counts so very much -- she's leading McConnell in the very important fundraising contest.

McConnell is on track to become the first sitting Senate Minority Leader to lose reelection since Tom Daschle, nearly ten years ago and you have to go back 60 years to find the time before that. At least Daschle lost because of a personal scandal (failure to accurately report and pay income taxes). McConnell looks to lose because he was just a plain outright obstructionist.

So Kentucky is unfolding to become an exciting place to monitor in 2014. History just might be made. No sitting senate leader of either party has failed to make it through a primary. Mitch is looking to set that record. If he can out-maneuver Bevin, he's got his hands full with Alison Ludergan Grimes. His chances there are even less optimistic. In the end, we'll see who's left standing, and who has a smile on their face.

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U.S. Forefathers, Put Down Your iPads And Turn Over In Your Graves

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Dummy

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) is certainly no dummy -- I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

He's recently made some very astute observations about the state of American politics,  invoking the vaunted name of our forefathers and framers of our Constitution to make his point. He has pointed out that recent executive actions by President Obama, including a plan to extend high-speed Internet connections to virtually every school in the nation, demonstrate a "blatant" attempt to subvert the will of the American people.

Maybe he's overstating the obvious. Of course that demon Obama is subverting the will of the people. He's pushed through legislation for health care, he's pulled out every trick in the book to keep voting rights for all of those lazy, undesirables who are flocking in droves to change the outcome of local and national elections. He's even backed equal rights for gays and equal pay for women. Traitor!

Contitutional abuse

How dare he consistently abuse his Constitutionally granted powers to plot against the will of the people with such disregard for the national legislature?

Fortunately for us, The Hill has captured some of the details of the presidents subterfuge in a recent article.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) said recent executive actions by President Obama, including a plan to extend high-speed Internet connections to virtually every school in the nation, demonstrate a "blatant" attempt to subvert the will of the American people.

Imagine that. Who does this Black guy in the White House think he is, wanting to open up the world to children of all colors and nationalities with communications to the outside world? It's enough they know what is going on in their own town of Podunk. How dare he share the world with children who are so, so vulnerable. It's just not... American.

The White House, did respond to this allegation of unilateral actions, within the powers act of government.

But White House spokesperson John Earnest did acknowledge that Obama has pursued policy objectives independently because "we have seen a little dysfunction in Congress."

"You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would be a pretty noncontroversial topic, particularly when it's something that could be accomplished through a relatively modest investment," Earnest said. "Unfortunately, we haven't seen a lot of action in Congress, so the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done. We're not going to wait for Congress to act."

A little dysfunction? You think? Earnest is just being overly... earnest.

Forty votes to repeal Obamacare? Refusal to vote on everything from gun control to immigration? Food stamps for the needy to enacting restrictions on women's reproductive rights? Dysfunction? Whoa there, Congressman Grimm. Aren't you being a bit... grimm(sp)?  You're one of those causing the problem.

Congressman Grimm

You're a founding member of the Overstating the Obvious Party -- the reason the president is having to act this way. What he's doing is called decision making, acting in the best interest of this country. But what would you know about that? You're too preoccupied with shutting down of the government in the futile efforts of trying to stop Obamacare before it's even kicked in.

I bet you go to the grocery store, buy a steak and then when you get to the car, return inside and demand your money back claiming the filet was too tough or it was tasteless. You haven't even tried it yet and you're passing judgement. Stupid or just plain ignorant? Pick your label.

Am I being tough on you, congressman? I'll let your own words speak for you.

"He has an agenda and he's going to do whatever he has to do to pass that agenda, regardless of the Constitution," Grimm said. "I mean, I think our founding fathers are turning over in the graves right now because he's just so blatant in his— the administrators, the people he puts in charge of these agencies are bold and brazen about saying, 'yes, we're going to make an end run around Congress.'"

Well, I'm sure you have a point, but we'd call it ignorance. The president has a responsibility to make decisions based on the best interest of this country. I'm sure the founding fathers which you invoke, if they put down their iPhone, iPads, Playstation III's and other electronic devices long enough, would be turning over in their graves, but for a different reason. They'd be ashamed of themselves for having created such a porous Constitution that allows for right-wing whack-jobs like you from being eligible to hold public office. Right now Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, and Thomas Jefferson are probably kicking themselves that they didn't add to the eligibility requirements for holding public office some sort of sanity clause. -- and no, by sanity clause I don't mean another term for jolly old St. Nick.

Santa Claus

When you are as ignorant a man as you indicate you are with your words, perhaps what you say shouldn't be held against you. But I'm not an elected official. I'm just one of the "We, the people," so I'm exercising my rights to freedom of speech. And you have yours as well.

But when you use it to pass along crazy conspiracy theories, I'm almost a bit glad that the schools don't yet have the Internet, or they might be promoting your silly conspiracy theories and accept them instead of the truth.

The New York Republican also argued that Obama had only himself to blame for Congress's inability to pass legislation.

In rape cases, they call this "blaming the victim."

"Leadership is about leading. The president hasn't led!" Grimm said, saying "a real leader" rises above partisanship.

Isn't that the very point you're making, Obama is rising above partisanship?

Grimm also suggested that the president might intentionally be alienating members of Congress so he could unilaterally implement his policy agenda.

Now your borrowing from the stop and frisk adage, guilty of leading while Black.

"I really do believe because of political reasons, it's more advantageous for the president to keep us divided so that he can make these end runs and use these administrators and the people he puts in charge to just go around the Congress to do an agenda that he knows ultimately the people are not going to support," Grimm said.

So it's politics that to blame, not the people who are in it. Interesting argument. And doing the "end around play" is for an agenda that the people are not going to support? Really? That's the best you can do? You and your party are trying to push through a voucher system for students. Well, according to a recent independent poll conducted on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers:

...polling firm Hart Research Associates, surveyed 1,000 parents this month and found that most would rather see their neighborhood schools strengthened and given more resources than have options to enroll their children elsewhere.

Strengthened -- meaning additional resources -- not vouchers.

You say a leader should lead. You claim Obama is making unilateral choices to overcome the bottleneck. Then you accuse him of not being a leader. How confused can one man be?

Do you ever listen to the words you utter? Make up your mind. Using your argument, Obama is exactly a leader. And you, sir, on the other hand, could be considered a tyrant for obstructing Congress. Instead of tearing things down, why don't you build them up? What do you have against educating our children? Offer a plan, not sticks of dynamite to detonate what's left of our fragile democracy. Stop attacking Obama for trying to give kids an education so they can make themselves more valuable and productive members of our society.

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Weiner/Filner -- Sex Addicts or Just Nuts About Their Nuts?

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Sex Addiction

Lately America can't seem to get enough sex. Maybe they can get enough of their own, but they can't shake off the fixation of the publicly made details of the concurrent sex scandals of Anthony Weiner and Bob Filner.

For a long time, people hid behind a label. They were sex addicts. And we all agree something that you are addicted to, opium, pain pills, alcohol are illnesses. Treatable in most cases. So many people have copped out to that excuse for their bad behavior or even crimes, but they were given a pass. They were sick.

Then comes a new study, just within the past two weeks that suggests that there really isn't such a thing as sex addition. Well if there isn't an illness, then maybe there's another excuse. These self-professed abusers are really just acting out and they will continue to do so, even with help.

Weiner-filner

Take Weiner. He claims he receive professional help for his addition, then continued to offend. Now Filner is voluntarily going for two weeks of therapy. (Two weeks?) He expects to be cured of his unseemly demeanor.

But how can you be cured from what doesn't exist? Here's how Linton puts it in her reporting for The Political Beast:

To start with, sex addiction, formerly known as hypersexual disorder, is not labeled as a disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM. The phrase “sexual addiction” first showed up in the DSM in 1980, but was removed in 1994 due to lack of research.

Last week scientists from UCLA published a study positing that sex addiction may not be similar to alcohol and drug addiction. Using 52 adults (13 women, 39 men), the scientists used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the participants’ brain responses. Addicts have been found to have an increase in their P300 responses, or the brain waves in the first 300 milliseconds, when shown an image of their drug of choice. P300 has generally been used as a marker of addiction in the brain, so the UCLA scientists showed the participants pornographic images and measured their P300 responses—and the response found was related to high how their level of desire was but not the three measures of hypersexuality.

Okay, I agree. Scientific mumbo-jumbo. But what is really the point is that we all seem to hide behind labels. Johnny shouldn't be punished because he's ill, he suffering from "XYZ" and therefore should be shown some latitude. Or Sally's not responsible, it was the booze that took over.

I buy all that. And I also buy this particular study (as small as it is) is more sh*t than horse. I think you can become addicted to anything, chocolate, flowers, games, music -- but they're still addictions. The question to  me isn't whether the particular deficiency is an addiction or an illness. It's whether or not there's really a cure. And if not, then a person's abilities to keep it in check are what we need to look at.

Does Weiner appear to you like he's found a solution? How about Bob Filner who's still living in denial. We have votes and a responsibility goes along with them. Let's consider illness as an illness. And addiction as an addiction. But let's be wise and let time, not someone's convenient stay in a clinic, determine whether they've earned our trust.

Also keep in mind that mental illness comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. Someone doesn't have to be publicly declared sick to be sick. Just look at Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Bob McDonnell, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, the entire cast of Fox & Friends and Joe Scarborough just to name a few. The AMA says 7 out of 10 people suffer from some sort of mental disorder. Next time you see a group shot of Congress, see if you can pick out the ones who aren't nuts. And don't forget, one of your choices is, "None of the above."

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Video- Peggy Noonan Blames Obama For Congressional Inaction On Guns After Previously Downplaying GOP Obstruction

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The word "tool" was invented for Noonan. Via.

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