Monday Open Thread | Elton John Week

Good Morning. We’re going to have some fun this week with a music legend: Elton John.

Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

In his four-decade career John has sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time.[1] His single “Candle in the Wind 1997″ has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and is the best selling single in the history of the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100.[2][3] He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won six Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.[4]

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.[5] Having been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996, John received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998.[6] John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.[7][8]

Early life

When John began to seriously consider a career in music, his father, who served as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force, tried to steer him toward a more conventional career, such as banking.[18] John has stated that his wild stage costumes and performances were his way of letting go after such a restrictive childhood.[20] Both of John’s parents were musically inclined, his father having been a trumpet player with the Bob Millar Band, a semi-professional big band that played at military dances.[20] The Dwights were keen record buyers, exposing John to the popular singers and musicians of the day, and John remembers being immediately hooked on rock and roll when his mother brought home records by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley & His Comets in 1956.[18][19]

John started playing the piano at the age of 3, and within a year, his mother heard him picking out Winifred Atwell’s “The Skater’s Waltz” by ear.[18][19] After performing at parties and family gatherings, at the age of 7 he took up formal piano lessons. He showed musical aptitude at school, including the ability to compose melodies, and gained some notoriety by playing like Jerry Lee Lewis at school functions. At the age of 11, he won a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. According to one of his instructors, John promptly played back, like a “gramophone record”, a four-page piece by Handel that he heard for the first time.[19]

For the next five years he attended Saturday classes at the Academy in central London, and has stated that he enjoyed playing Chopin and Bach and singing in the choir during Saturday classes, but that he was not otherwise a diligent classical student.[19] “I kind of resented going to the Academy”, he says. “I was one of those children who could just about get away without practising and still pass, scrape through the grades.”[19] He even claims that he would sometimes skip classes and just ride around on the Tube.[19] However, several instructors have testified that he was a “model student”, and during the last few years he was taking lessons from a private tutor in addition to his classes at the Academy.[19]

………………………..

Debut album to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1969–1973)

When John transitioned to solo performance, he started wearing increasingly flamboyant clothing onstage, including this hat and domino mask
On the advice of music publisher Steve Brown, John and Taupin started writing more complex songs for John to record for DJM. The first was the single “I’ve Been Loving You” (1968), produced by Caleb Quaye, former Bluesology guitarist. In 1969, with Quaye, drummer Roger Pope, and bassist Tony Murray, John recorded another single, “Lady Samantha”, and an album, Empty Sky.

For their follow-up album, Elton John, John and Taupin enlisted Gus Dudgeon as producer and Paul Buckmaster as musical arranger. Elton John was released in April 1970 on DJM Records/Pye Records in the UK and Uni Records in the USA, and established the formula for subsequent albums; gospel-chorded rockers and poignant ballads. The first single from the album, “Border Song”, made into the US Top 100, peaking at Number 92. The second single “Your Song” made the US Top Ten, peaking at number eight and becoming John’s first hit single as a singer. The album soon became his first hit album, reaching number four on the Billboard 200 album chart.[34]

Earliest surviving performance video of Elton

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46 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Elton John Week

  1. Wanna know my favorite Thanksgiving cartoon? Yep, it’s snoopy fighting with the lawn chair.
    Get him, snoopy! :)

    Like

  2. Whiterose buddy, SG2 misses you! Crying and blowing nose If you’re reading or where-ever you may be…I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Two hugging smileys

    Like

  3. Texas women’s health clinics prepare direct appeal to feds for funding: http://goo.gl/MI7tt

    Like

  4. Congress To Investigate CIA Talking Points On Benghazi

    http://rolandmartinreports.com/blog/2012/11/congress-to-investigate-cia-talking-points-on-benghazi/

    Amid ongoing criticism from Republicans over comments U.N. ambassador Susan Rice made about recent violence in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for an investigation into a set of talking points the CIA gave out to Rice and others following the attacks, which she said would help clear up discrepancies between what intelligence leaders knew about the attack and what U.S. officials were being instructed to divulge publicly.

    Feinstein, speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” defended Rice against the accusations that she had deliberately misled the American people – as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has previously suggested – and decried what she called the “politicization of a public statement that was put out by the entire intelligence committee.

    “She was within the context of that statement,” said Feinstein, of the talking points to which Rice was referring. “And for this, she has been pilloried for two months. I don’t understand it. It has to stop.”

    Like

  5. rikyrah says:

    Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM PST.

    Pelosi: Taxes must go up for wealthy

    by Joan McCarter

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi couldn’t be more clear: The Bush tax cuts for the rich have to expire.

    When ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Pelosi in an interview whether she would accept a deal that did not include tax rate hikes for the rich, the House’s top Democrat had a short answer: “No.”
    “The president made it very clear in his campaign that there is not enough—there are not enough resources,” Pelosi said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.

    “Just to close loopholes is far too little money … If it’s going to bring in revenue, the president has been very clear that the higher income people have to pay their fair share.”
    Despite that, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is trying to pretend otherwise, telling Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer that Pelosi and President Obama aren’t on the same page on the budget.

    “What I hear you saying is that the president is not in lock-step with Nancy Pelosi when it comes to tax rates versus revenue meaning and suggesting that he may go along with your deal as opposed to raising tax rates. Do you see that as a possibility?” Hemmer asked.
    “I see that as a possibility. I think elections are over. Let’s sit down and find a bipartisan way that we can solve this problem, not go to a fiscal cliff while at the same time have a pro-growth agenda where we grow jobs,” McCarthy said.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/19/1163115/-Pelosi-Taxes-must-go-up-for-nbsp-wealthy

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  6. rikyrah says:

    Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:30 AM PST.

    Why are Republicans calling for more tax revenue but not higher tax rates?

    by Jed Lewison

    Former Bush and Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard this morning:

    Mitt Romney’s top economic adviser continued his post-election about-face on Monday, pushing for raising more tax revenue from the rich as a way to start paying down the federal deficit.
    “Obviously, we would be better in my view if we didn’t raise taxes on anyone and we did everything on the spending side,” Glenn Hubbard, the dean of Columbia’s business school, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We just had an election. We’re going to have to have some compromise. And I think step one is figure out how to raise some revenue without killing the economy.”
    So is this The Great Republican Capitulation? Nope, because there’s a caveat—the same caveat that both John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have attached to their stated willingness to raise tax revenue:

    Hubbard said revenue should only come in the form of eliminating deductions, not by increasing tax rates, as President Barack Obama has suggested.
    In other words, as David Dayen noted last week, Hubbard and others like him aren’t actually calling for higher taxes—in fact, they are calling for keeping the Bush tax cuts in place. Yes, they are adding lots of fluff about being interested in raising revenue through tax reform, but when guys whose entire economic ideology is built around the concept that cutting taxes creates economic growth start talking about higher tax revenue, your bullshit detector should start flashing.
    The reason that these guys are trying to sound reasonable is that they hope they can convince Democrats to extend all Bush tax cuts—including for income over $250,000—in exchange for a promise to include additional revenue in tax reform. If Democrats made the mistake of believing them, these Republicans would certainly renege on their offer as soon as the Bush tax cuts got extended.

    The fact that this is their strategy isn’t a big secret. As conservative pundit Byron York put it last week, conservatives are “pretty nervous” about taxes. They oppose tax hikes but don’t want to “find themselves in the position of defending tax cuts for the highest income brackets.”

    Republicans are in a weak position on taxes and they know it—the last thing they want to do after losing the election is to choose between holding middle-class taxes hostage and accepting a rate hike on the top 2 percent. And the reason that they are trying to sound reasonable on taxes without actually agreeing to increase them is that their only shot of avoiding that choice is to somehow convince Democrats that they’ve finally seen the light and will accept additional tax revenue as part of tax reform. But given that the GOP’s biggest condition is that Democrats extend the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, only a fool wouldn’t be able to see through the Republican’s latest gambit.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/19/1163121/-Why-are-Republicans-calling-for-more-tax-revenue-but-not-higher-tax-rates

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  7. rikyrah says:

    Nate Silver‏@fivethirtyeight
    Obama leads Romney by 3.1% nationally as further votes trickle in. Possible that could grow to ~3.5% once more CA/NY votes counted.

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  8. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 11/19/2012
    Nov 19, 2012 05:04 PM EST

    TheWashingtonPost
    What the Twinkie’s demise tells us
    By Greg Sargent

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/what-the-twinkies-demise-tells-us/2012/11/19/7df187a6-3265-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_blog.html

    As you may have heard, the Twinkie may soon be no more — Hostess, the maker of the iconic snack, is closing its plants and letting around 18,000 workers go, after the bakers’ union announced a national strike.

    The company is blaming the union, and much of the insta-Twitter-reaction from the right seems to agree. But more careful commentatary tells a more complex tale, one that you’d think unions and workers would want to tell.

    As the New Yorker’s James Suroweicki explains, the company had hoped to use bankruptcy as a way to slash workers’ wages and benefits, leading the union to go on strike. The company says this is forcing it to go out of business, and blames union greed for its demise. But Surowiecki notes that the company had been losing money and market share for years, and that its core problem was not high wages or pensions; it’s that the market for its products changed, and the company failed to keep pace.

    As Surowiecki points out, workers are getting scapegoated for company failings — a familiar refrain. And labor needs to push back on the larger idea that it’s unreasonable for workers to demand pensions and other guarantors of economic security:

    It was once taken for granted that an industrial worker who worked for a big company for many years would get a solid middle-class lifestlye, and would be taken care of in retirement. Today, that concept seems to many like a relic. Just as Wonder Bread does.

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  9. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:51 PM ET, 11/19/2012
    Why Dems shouldn’t blink in battle over tax hikes on rich
    By Greg Sargent
    If the “fiscal cliff” talks grind on towards the January 1st deadline with no clear resolution, here’s what you can expect. Republicans will call for all the Bush tax cuts, including those on the rich, to be extended temporarily. CNBC commentators and others will warn that Dems opposing a temporary extension are irresponsibly risking fiscal cliff armageddon and threatening to tank the recovery. Spooked moderate Dems may be tempted to agree.

    Don’t do it. In reality, a temporary fiscal cliff solution — including a temporary extension of the high end tax cuts — is one of the worst things we can do for the economy.

    That’s what Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in an interview with me today. Zandi has privately counseled Senate Dems that a temporary postponement of a resolution will put the recovery at risk.

    “Temporarily extending the tax cuts would be a mistake,” Zandi told me. “Business people and investors will not engage and hire more aggressively until policy makers provide a narrative with regard to how we’re going to address our problems. If we simply extend everything and kick the can, it will exacerbate all the uncertainty and we’ll be stuck going nowhere.”

    Zandi said that a temporary fix would actually be more likely to rattle the markets. “If we kick the can, at some point we’re going to downgrade,” he said, in a reference to our credit rating. “You’re going to create more instability almost by definition in the financial markets.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line

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  10. rikyrah says:

    The story behind the Twinkies’ maker’s demise
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:50 AM EST.

    For conservatives, the demise of Hostess Brands, perhaps best known for making Twinkies, is a story about union workers going on strike and forcing a business to close its doors forever.

    For those concerned with the facts, a very different picture emerges. Forbes’ Helaine Olen had a good piece on this the other day.

    Hostess has been sold at least three times since the 1980s, racking up debt and shedding profitable assets along the way with each successive merger. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and again in 2011. Little thought was given to the line of products, which, frankly, began to seem a bit dated in the age of the gourmet cupcake. (100 calorie Twinkie Bites? When was the last time you entered Magnolia Bakery and asked about the calorie count?)

    As if all this were not enough, Hostess Brands’ management gave themselves several raises, all the while complaining that the workers who actually produced the products that made the firm what money it did earn were grossly overpaid relative to the company’s increasingly dismal financial position.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/19/15280973-the-story-behind-the-twinkies-makers-demise?lite

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  11. rikyrah says:

    GOP Shouldn’t Be Optimistic

    by BooMan
    Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 10:00:35 AM EST

    If you have ever flushed a bug down the toilet, you know that the bug never had a chance. The power of the water overwhelmed their ability to cling to the bowl and crawl their way out. But, if you have ever tried to flush a bug down the bathroom sink, you may have discovered that the power of the faucet was inadequate to the job. If the Republican Party is the bug, the question is, are they in the toilet or are they in the sink?
    It’s interesting that Chris Cillizza attributes the Republicans’ bad Election Night almost exclusively to demographic change and a bad turnout operation. I think he should consider that talking about “legitimate” rape and 47% of the people being parasites could have had an impact. The lack of any positive message beyond tax cuts was kind of a problem. The hostility to blacks and Latinos and gays and college women who use contraception? Possibly not helpful. Thoroughly alienating the academic and scientific communities? Not exactly a vote-getter.

    Mr. Cillizza provides us four reasons to believe that the Republicans aren’t in as bad shape as we might suspect. The first reason is that the GOP has a crop of “superstars” who are all coming of political age at the same time. The second reason is that (if the people who are projected to be superstars don’t pan out) the GOP may have some hidden gems in the historically-high 30 governor’s mansions they now control.

    There is no question that the GOP has some fresh faces who will present a much more attractive slate of presidential candidates in 2016 than we saw in 2012. But let’s not get too excited. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could become a forceful advocate for a new kind Republicanism that has more appeal to Northerners, but physical and ideological liabilities make him no more likely than Rudy Giuliani to win the GOP’s nomination. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal doesn’t set anyone’s heart aflutter. He reminds most people of the character Kenneth on 30 Rock. As for Latino candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, they all have a lot of appeal, just not to the nativist base of the Republican Party. And I can hardly believe that Mr. Cillizza mentions Indiana Gov.-Elect Mike Pence as an up-and-comer. The man is as dumb as a post.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/11/19/10035/086

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Geithner: Time to scrap the debt ceiling
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:46 PM EST.

    Have you ever heard the theatrical saying, “If there’s a gun on the stage, it has to go off”? I think about the adage often when thinking about the debt ceiling.

    Between 1939 and 2010, Congress raised the debt limit 89 times. It was an easy, routine bit of legislative paperwork — the issue came up 89 times, and in 89 instances, Congress passed a clean bill. Even during the Bush presidency, Republicans raised the debt ceiling, without strings or preconditions, seven times. The current GOP leadership in Washington — John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, et all — has voted to raise the debt limit 19 times. Bush’s former budget director said this “ought to be treated as the housekeeping matter it is.”

    For 71 years, in other words, the gun on the stage sat untouched by both parties

    In 2011, congressional Republicans, for the first time in American history, decided to pick up the gun, load it, and wave it around. Never before had an entire major-party caucus threatened the full faith and credit of the United States, and the man-made crisis that ensued was brutal, both for our economy, our political health, and our standing on the global stage.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/19/15282854-geithner-time-to-scrap-the-debt-ceiling?lite

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  13. rikyrah says:

    Stupid Republicans

    by BooMan
    Mon Nov 19th, 2012 at 12:59:57 PM EST

    The Daily Caller doesn’t understand why a reporter would ask Sen. Marco Rubio if he knows the age of the Earth. They also don’t know why it could possibly matter what a politician, even a potential president, thinks about the age of the Earth. For the record, Sen. Rubio says that he isn’t a scientist and that theologians disagree about the matter so he has no opinion. Could be that the Earth was created last week, or perhaps several months ago.
    The thing to do if you can’t remember the age of the planet is to use a search engine. You will immediately find your answer. This also works for discovering the atomic mass of Zinc, the diameter of Jupiter, or figuring out which day follows Tuesday. Perhaps you have forgotten the capital of Malawi or who played Chachi on Happy Days. Google or Bing can help you remember.

    Marco Rubio just visited Iowa which is not something your average Cuban-American Floridian does unless he or she is planning on running for president. Why does it matter that Rubio doesn’t know or care how the old the Earth is?

    Because it means he is either an idiot or a con man.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/11/19/125957/61

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  14. President Obama Wears Batik Shirt In Cambodia, Looks Awesome

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/19/obama-batik-shirt-cambodia-_n_2159343.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003&ir=Politics

    President Obama isn’t exactly an adventurous dresser — think black suits, dad jeans and the rare leather jacket.

    But every so often, POTUS loosens up and tries some funkier styles in the name of diplomacy. Exhibit A: That Time In Indonesia. Exhibit B: today’s visit to Cambodia, where the president hung out with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other world leaders. There to attend the East Asia Summit, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to ever visit Cambodia… which also makes him the first sitting U.S. president to don a batik shirt in Cambodia.

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  15. Ametia says:

    Susan Rice
    Benghazi-gate gets even more ludicrous
    Nov 15th 2012, 14:18 by M.S.

    REPUBLICAN senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham devoted an appearance at the Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday to vowing to filibuster if Susan Rice, the current UN ambassador, is nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. They’re apparently ticked off over her statements on talk shows on September 15th about the Benghazi attacks. Barack Obama got pretty incensed about this at his press conference later in the day, and Kevin Drum argues he was right to be incensed. As Mr Drum says, everything Ms Rice said on September 15th was in fact the judgment at that moment of American intelligence agencies, and she relayed that judgment accurately.

    The only thing that was even arguably wrong in those intelligence assessments was the claim that there had been a copycat protest over those anti-Muslim YouTube videos in Benghazi; intelligence agencies didn’t start calling this into question until some time later. “Berating Rice, who had nothing to do with Benghazi aside from representing the administration on these talk shows, is nuts,” Mr Drum writes. “The intelligence community was wrong about one relatively unimportant fact, and Rice passed along that mistake. That’s it. There’s no coverup, no conspiracy, no incompetence, no scandal.”

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/11/susan-rice?fsrc=scn%2Fob

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  16. Ametia says:

    NOVEMBER 16, 2012
    Alito Defends ‘Citizens’ in Speech to Federalist Society

    Justice Samuel Alito defended the 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on Thursday night, jabbing at critics of the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion but also admitting the success of their public relations campaign.

    Alito said arguments can be made for overturning Citizens United, but not the popular one that boils down to one line: Corporations shouldn’t get free speech rights like a person.

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2012/11/alito-defends-citizens-in-speech-to-federalist-society.html

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  17. Ametia says:

    I’m sure Cenk is still stewing about his leaving MSNBC.

    Like

  18. rikyrah says:

    Calling Down The Brimstone
    By Zandar November 19th, 2012

    This is probably the most bizarre and ghoulish part of the Christian evangelical culture in the US: hoping not just for political defeat but for the complete destruction of the country in order to teach a lesson. Take Franklin Graham, for instance. His Obama Derangement Syndrome is full-blown:

    Maybe God will have to bring our nation down to our knees—to where you just have a complete economic collapse. And maybe at that point, maybe people will again begin to call upon the name of almighty God.

    This goes back to what I’ve been saying now is the chief goal of the GOP at this point: to relentlessly punish the coalition that President Obama built in order to try to split it, to force it to break through applied Stockholm Syndrome. Graham’s words go right into this. It serves the GOP’s purpose: “our kind” will be spared, “those people” will be punished. From Mitt Romney’s “gifts” comments all the way on down, the GOP is now looking to knock the blocks out from under the Democratic Big Tent platform. They’re targeting the Voting Rights Act, going after contraception and Planned Parenthood funding, still dragging their feet on immigration and marriage equality. They know that if the Dems get proper credit for those, the Republicans are done.

    Before it was about sabotaging the country to win. Now it’s about sabotaging the country for revenge.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/11/19/calling-down-the-brimstone/

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  19. rikyrah says:

    McCain wants vacant Secretary of State’s office
    By Steve Benen – Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:07 AM EST.

    Making his 20th Sunday show appearance since the start of the year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CBS’s Bob Schieffer yesterday he wants Susan Rice to tell a national television audience she was “wrong” to convey the collective judgment of the intelligence community about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

    Why should Rice do this? I haven’t the foggiest idea, but it seems to make sense to McCain, whose smear campaign long ago stopped being rational.

    But that’s not all he said.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, at the very end of the “Face the Nation” interview, McCain concluded:

    “Under the present circumstances, until we find out all the information as to what happened, I don’t think you could want to support any nominee right now because this is — this is very, very serious, and it has even larger implications than the deaths of four Americans.

    “It really goes to the heart of this ‘light footprint’ policy that this administration has been pursuing. And all of the failures throughout Middle East that are now — the chickens are now coming home to roost.”

    Got that? As far as McCain is concerned, he not only wants to block a possible Rice nomination, he’ll also oppose “any” Secretary of State nominee until he’s prepared to bring this tantrum to a close.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/19/15279325-mccain-wants-vacant-secretary-of-states-office?lite

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  20. rikyrah says:

    The Story Behind the Most Viral Photo Ever
    Nov 19, 2012 4:45 AM EST

    The image that came to symbolize Obama’s reelection was chosen on the spur of the moment by an exhausted campaign staffer. Brian Ries on how the most viral photo ever came to be.

    Michelle Obama, wearing a red-and-white patterned dress, stands with her back to the camera. Her arms are wrapped around her husband, whose face is relaxed, his eyes closed, the hints of a smile lingering on the edges of his lips. “Four more years,” reads the text accompanying the photograph, which was posted on the Obama campaign’s Facebook and Twitter accounts around 11:15 p.m. on election night—just as it became clear the president had won a second term.
    That photo, taken by a campaign photographer just a few days into the job in mid-August, has broken all sorts of Internet records. With more than 816,000 retweets as of Sunday, it’s the most shared picture in the history of Twitter, beating out entries from Justin Bieber and the fast-food chain Wendy’s. It’s also the most-liked photograph ever to be shared on Facebook, amassing almost 4.5 million “likes” since Election Day. And it’s sure to be the photo most everyone with an Internet connection will remember seeing as they heard that Barack Obama—for better or for worse—would reside for four more years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    The photographer, Scout Tufankjian, says it captures the Obamas’ “deep love and respect for one another.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/19/the-story-behind-the-most-viral-photo-ever.html

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  21. rikyrah says:

    The Price is wrong
    By Steve Benen – Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:42 AM EST.

    In the two weeks since the elections, there’s been a subtle shift in Republican rhetoric when it comes to debt reduction and tax policy. Whereas the GOP line in recent years has focused solely on spending cuts, the post-election debate has a new premise: we’re not debating whether there will be new revenue; we’re debating where that revenue will come from.

    While it’s a welcome change, it’s important to realize that the new Republican line is still very far to the right, and completely divorced from any sensible understanding of budget and/or economic policy.

    Consider, for example, what House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) told CNN yesterday. The far-right lawmaker began by saying “a real solution includes both revenue increases and spending reductions,” which sounded encouraging, until he explained the fine print.

    Tax revenue, which means broadening the base, lowering the rates, closing the loopholes, limiting the deductions, limiting the credits, and making certain that we identify the appropriate spending reductions so that we have, indeed, a balanced approach. [...]

    “Well, again, we would be happy to look at [increased tax rates] if it solved the problem. The problem is, it doesn’t solve the problem. We want a real solution, which means increasing tax revenue through pro- growth policies…. Tax increases to chase ever higher spending is a fool’s errand. What we need to do is have that balanced approach that we’ve all been talking about, which, again, is increasing revenues through a process of tax reform, and then spending reductions.”

    Price twice used the phrase “balanced approach,” which is identical to President Obama’s preferred language, but the two clearly don’t mean the same thing.

    In Price’s mind, if tax rates go up on the wealthy, and the Treasury starts collecting more money, the Treasury will actually start collecting less money. Why? Because asking “job creators” to pay Clinton-era tax rates will be so awful for the economy, Price’s argument goes, there will be fewer wealthy people with less wealth paying less in taxes.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/19/15278925-the-price-is-wrong?lite

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  22. rikyrah says:

    .GOP subjects Romney to Lord of the Flies treatment
    By Steve Benen – Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:01 AM EST.

    In theory, there’s nothing stopping Mitt Romney from seeking elected office again. He has vast wealth, high name recognition, and an eagerness to serve, and came relatively close to winning the presidency a few weeks ago.

    But at this point, Romney would be lucky to get his own allies to return his phone calls. The failed candidate caused a stir last week when he told donors President Obama won re-election because he bribed women and minorities with “big gifts,” such as health care and education. Several prominent figures on the right denounced the comments, but on the Sunday shows, Republicans piled on.

    Mitt Romney, who just two weeks ago was the Republican Party’s standard-bearer, seen by many as the all-but-elected president of the United States, has turned into a punching bag for fellow Republicans looking to distance themselves from his controversial “gifts” remark. [...]

    Whether it’s an instance of politicians smelling blood in the water as the party, following Romney’s defeat, finds itself without a figurehead, or genuine outrage, a number of Republicans have eagerly castigated their former nominee.

    Josh Marshall said the GOP pushback amounted to “Lord of the Flies” treatment, which seems like an apt comparison.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/19/15278270-gop-subjects-romney-to-lord-of-the-flies-treatment?lite

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  23. rikyrah says:

    November 17, 2012
    An ugly, but liberating, intolerance
    The LA Times’ Doyle McManus takes stock of the nation’s gerrymandered bugHouse:
    [The] Republican caucus [is] more conservative, more Southern, more rural and seemingly less inclined than ever to compromise with a Democratic president and a Democratic-run Senate….

    There will be fewer Republicans in the House next year, but they look even less likely to bend than the current crop.

    The impasse could reach intolerable proportions. Over the next two years there’ll be budgets to be passed, debt ceilings to be raised, appropriations to be authorized and thousands of other rudimentary tasks of basic governance to be executed. Yet foremost in the minds of Republican House members will be plumbing whatever reckless depths are necessary to avoid being primaried by even wackier right-wing fanatics.

    If we’ve learned anything about this “current crop” as well as the next it’s that they’re profoundly undemocratic, indifferent to empirical reality and monstrously smug. Neither President Obama’s first popular election nor second means anything but a target to these pseudoconservative thugs, while an enlarged Democratic Senate and superior national turnout for House Democratic candidates mean even less. Because state legislatures’ tortuously gerrymandered districts have entrenched these House GOPers, their constitutional right, or so they believe, to wrench political gain from self-induced crisis after self-induced crisis is as inalienable as it is compelled.

    It’s not yet possible to sketch what the nation’s final intolerance of the GOP will look like, but it’s likely to be ugly. Very ugly.

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/2012/11/an-ugly-but-liberating-intolerance.html

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  24. rikyrah says:

    November 18, 2012
    The WSJ’s cutting-edge paranoia

    It finally occurred to the Wall Street Journal editorial board that Susan Rice isn’t running for the White House in 2016. Ambassador Rice has built a fine career that is GOP-worthy in every respect for some vintage McCarthyite slashing, but absent any discernible political aspirations on her part, what’s the point in destroying her over Benghazi?

    It has also occurred to the WSJ that President Obama won’t be running in 2016, either. The children at Fox News, the drug-addled Rush Limbaugh, the lobotomized Jen Rubin, the psychotic Glenn Beck and all the other far-right agitators aren’t as deeply strategic and analytically complex as the WSJ editorial board, thus the former couldn’t know what has dawned on the latter: politically, Obama-as-principal-target ain’t the GOP’s future, not, anyway, in regard to the GOP’s Benghazi Illusion.

    As for former CIA director David Petraeus? Sure, he’s changed his story to Congress and once flooded its zone with misleading memos which were vacant the necessary disclaimers and disclosures–in other words, he might be the Benghazi Illusion itself. But he’s the Hero of Iraq, a reputation which must be GOP-defended at all costs and from all angles; he’s the man with the star–several of them, actually–a bit smudged, perhaps, but boys will be boys; and besides, he’s a Republican, therefore some “further digging” into his doings, says the WSJ, might be in congressional order (but not really, for Petraeus is “an easy scapegoat”).

    No, observes the WSJ, this is Hillary Clinton’s “bailiwick”–from consulate security to U.S. policy on Libya to U.S. policy on Syria to guns in the hands of al Qaeda to RPGs in the arms of Islamist extremists to, pretty much, the whole Middle East thing. It’s all her doing, it’s all Hillary’s failings, it’s all Mrs. Clinton’s responsibility–because, as the WSJ finally gets around to noting, she has “[set] her sights on a 2016 Presidential run.”

    In time, the slow kids–the Foxists and the Limbaughs and the Becks–will catch up; they’ll realize, as the WSJ has, that in the right-wing mind a transfer of political accountability must take place. Obama is old news. Everything bad–and everything is bad–is now Hillary’s fault.

    http://pmcarpenter.blogs.com/p_m_carpenters_commentary/

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  25. rikyrah says:

    John Nichols ‏@NicholsUprising
    Obama’s vote-total – 63.5M and rising – is now the highest ever for a president seeking reelection. @thenation @WeGotEd @edshow

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  26. Jimmy Carter On Israeli Apartheid

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  27. Obama speech at University of Yangon

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  28. Good morning, everyone!

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