Wednesday Open Thread

Good Morning, Everyone :)

I hope everyone had a terrific Christmas.

Chipsticks from The Obama Diary, has been making videos commemorating each month of 2012.

Here are January and February 2012.

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44 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. George H.W. Bush Condition Worsens, Former President In Intensive Care Unit.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/26/george-h-w-bush-condition-_n_2367164.html#comments

    ______________

    Prayers for Mr. Bush!

  2. Ametia says:

    JUST IN: Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announces he will appoint Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to fill the Senate seat of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye

    Hawaii’s new Democratic senator is Brian Schatz. Read up America. kitv.com/news/hawaii/Sc… bigstory.ap.org/article/hawaii…

    • rikyrah says:

      Scott Conroy @RealClearScott
      If Abercrombie had appointed Hanabusa, Dems would’ve had a very tough race to keep her House seat. Schatz not a total shock.

  3. Ametia says:

    Did anyone watch Politics Nation this evening? Rev. Al held his 2nd Annual Revvie Awards. Richard Wolfe gave FLOTUS her props. He spoke on our First Lady’s influential status and popularity, and all the good she is doing to help spread the word and advocate for health and combating OBESITY.

    WE LOVE OUR FLOTUS!

  4. Ametia says:

    The Kennedy Center Honors is being televised tonight at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Aren’t Misguided and Misinformed;They’re Ideological Saboteurs

    By: Rmuse
    Dec. 26th, 2012

    Throughout the historical record, there are innumerable instances of individuals and groups guilty of treacherous action to defeat, or hinder, an endeavor through deliberate acts of subversion. In most cases, saboteurs are ideologically motivated to create injury out of hatred for their target, and Americans have seen the level of damage conservatives are willing to cause this nation for no other reason than advancing their extremist vision of a libertarian-controlled America. It is simplistic to think teabaggers and Republicans are misguided and misinformed about the damage their policies, if enacted, will cause the nation, because as ideological saboteurs, they know what will result if their policies are enacted and it is just one reason they are enemies of the state.

    The recent failure of House Speaker John Boehner to garner support for his people-killing Plan B to avoid Republican’s fiscal cliff revealed that despite how injurious Plan B was to the nation and its people, it did not create enough damage to satisfy Boehner’s ideological caucus. The irony in Boehner’s failure is that the rebellion is the product of the GOP’s decades-long allegiance to Grover Norquist’s anti-government agenda and adherence to Reagan-conservative’s mantra that the United States government is inherently evil and the people’s enemy. The rebellious group’s stated goal is to let the economy go over the fiscal cliff to “see what happens” and hold firm to their pledge to never raise taxes on any American. The ideological insanity in their desire to see the economy fall off the cliff guarantees every American’s tax rate will increase, and therein is just one instance of how ideologues’ anxious to sabotage the government are implicitly sabotaging themselves and their cause.

    The elation at the prospect of sending the economy into recession and damaging the government after Republicans failed to support Boehner’s plan was typical of America-hating libertarians, and exposed their ideological purity and pathological hatred of the United States government. After 25 years of anti-government rhetoric, Republicans created a phalanx of legislators who are a direct threat to the economy, which could slip back into another Republican recession if the GOP prevents Congress from governing, and it defines them as a serious threat to democracy. The tragedy is their excitement at subverting the economy and preventing progress the American people clearly desire and voted for in the election just over a month ago.

    http://www.politicususa.com/house-republicans-misguided-misinformedtheyre-ideological-saboteurs.html

  6. rikyrah says:

    Geithner rings debt-limit alarm
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:51 PM EST.

    If you have a car, you’re probably aware of that light on your dashboard that lets you know when you’re nearly out of gas. It’s not a time to panic, of course, but rather it’s a time to realize action is needed — the car isn’t about to stop running, but you’re running low and need to do something routine before there’s a real problem.

    Tim Geithner’s letter to Congress today is a bit like that light on the dash.

    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced Wednesday that the U.S. Government will hit its borrowing limit on December 31 if Congress doesn’t act.

    The announcement adds pressure on lawmakers to resolve many of the nation’s fiscal challenges by the end of the year or go over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a set of spending cuts and tax increases that will fall into place automatically if Democrats and Republicans can’t reach agreement.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/

  7. rikyrah says:

    House GOP in no rush to return
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:10 PM EST.

    President Obama has cut short his vacation plans and will leave Hawaii tonight in order to return to Washington. The point, obviously, is to participate in more fiscal talks in the hopes of avoiding looming deadlines, just five days away.

    But just because Obama is heading back to DC doesn’t mean Congress is prepared to do the same.

    According to House Republican leadership aides, House GOP leaders have not yet called their members back to Washington D.C., and WILL NOT be in session tomorrow for legislative business. According to one GOP aide, “It’s up to Senate Democrats to act right now.”

    During the House Republican conference meeting late Thursday night, leadership told the conference that they would be given 48 hours before being called back to D.C. after Christmas. According to aides, leadership has not given that notice yet.

    Look, it’s Wednesday. The last conceivable day to reach some kind of resolution is Monday. If House GOP leaders intend to give the caucus 48-hour notice, that leaves a very small-and-shrinking window. Even if the White House and Congress were to work something out tomorrow — that’s extremely unlikely, but just for the sake of conversation — the soonest the House would even consider voting would be Saturday.

    As for this notion that it’s “up to Senate Democrats to act,” I’ve been hearing this a lot today and it seems more and more peculiar every time. Senate Democrats can pass a perfectly sensible package tomorrow, filled with popular proposals that enjoy broad support from the American mainstream, and which would earn the president’s signature. But if it can’t overcome a GOP filibuster and pass the right-wing House, it won’t matter — and Senate Democrats aren’t in a position to accurately guess what Republicans might find tolerable.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/26/16170604-house-gop-in-no-rush-to-return?lite

  8. rikyrah says:

    Dem establishment gearing up Massachusetts special election
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:00 PM EST

    For Democrats, John Kerry’s nomination to be the next Secretary of State has pluses and minuses. On the one hand, President Obama will get a spectacularly qualified cabinet official who’ll be confirmed with overwhelming, bipartisan support. The nation will benefit from Kerry’s service.

    On the other, Democrats need every vote on Capitol Hill they can get, and it doesn’t help if the White House takes leading lawmakers away from their caucuses. After all, the last time there was a special election to fill a Senate vacancy in Massachusetts, it didn’t work out too well for the party.

    But this time, the White House has at least recognized the issue up front, vowing not to take the race in the traditionally-blue Bay State for granted.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/26/16169612-dem-establishment-gearing-up-massachusetts-special-election?lite

  9. rikyrah says:

    .
    Student food banks fight hunger on campus
    By By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER | Associated Press – Mon, Dec 24, 2012.

    University of Missouri junior Simone McGautha works three campus jobs and has accumulated $11,000 in student loans as she seeks to become the first in her family with a college degree. So when McGautha learned about a new campus food pantry for needy students, the 19-year-old was happy to have the help.

    “I use every bit of money I have for basic needs,” the Kansas City native said. “I don’t have family putting money in my bank account. If somebody wants to help, why not?”

    The student-run Tiger Pantry is among a growing number of programs at university campuses. Organizers say it’s both a response to a weak economy and a sign of the latest trend in student activism.

    The pantry, which opened in early October, is within easy walking distance of the University of Missouri’s campus in Columbia. It has given free food to nearly 150 people and their families, and an additional 100 people have expressed an interest. Food recipients include nearly three dozen graduate students and a similar number of university employees, as well as a handful of professors.

    Student organizers modeled the program on a similar effort at the University of Arkansas known as the Full Circle Food Pantry. As a sanctioned organization, the Tiger Pantry receives some money from student fees but primarily relies on donated food. Students can drop off donations in large bins around campus, and the local food pantry provided 2,500 pounds of food to help the Tiger Pantry get started.

    The University of Mississippi and Auburn University are also starting campus food pantries, joining schools such as Central Florida, Georgia, Iowa State, Oregon State and West Virginia. The University of California Los Angeles deploys “economic crisis response” teams that assist students struggling to pay bills and rent or who live on the streets.

    Campus organizers estimate at least 20 schools have similar programs, with even more interested in joining the effort.

    At the Tiger Pantry, users are limited to monthly visits, and the amount of their bounty depends on family size. But they don’t have to prove that they’re struggling financially.

    http://news.yahoo.com/student-food-banks-fight-hunger-campus-193801896.html

  10. Janet Jackson, Billionaire Boyfriend Wissam Al Mana Engaged, Planning Spring Wedding

    Janet

    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/janet-jackson-billionaire-boyfriend-wissam-al-mana-engaged-planning-on-spring-wedding-20122612

    What has Janet Jackson’s boyfriend done for her lately?

    A source tells Us Weekly that Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana “gave her a huge, expensive ring” earlier this year.

    “She’s afraid it will get lost, so she keeps it locked up!”

    The luxury-brand mogul, 37, will spare no expense on his nuptials to Miss Jackson, set for spring in Qatar.

    The affair “will cost millions,” reveals a second Jackson insider. “He is flying in all of Janet’s friends and family on private jets.” (Quick refresher: The L.A.-based singer has seven siblings and more than 20 nieces and nephews.)

  11. Police: NBC asked to use high-capacity clip

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/police-nbc-asked-for-high-capacity-clip/2012/12/26/4c8f77da-4f76-11e2-8b49-64675006147f_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

    NBC News asked D.C. police for permission to use a high-capacity ammunition clip as a prop on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” show, a request District authorities said Wednesday they denied.

    But host David Gregory appears to have used one anyway — and then displayed it on national television. Now D.C. police say they’re investigating whether the District’s gun laws were violated in the incident.

    In the Sunday morning show, Gregory conducted a lengthy interview with National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre about issues related to the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn. In the segment, which is posted on the MSNBC Web site, Gregory uses what appears to be a magazine as a prop as he poses a question to LaPierre.

  12. ABC’s Sam Donaldson To Tea Party: ‘It’s Not Your Country Anymore – It’s Our Country

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/abcs-sam-donaldson-to-tea-party-its-not-your-country-anymore-its-our-country/

  13. rikyrah says:

    Look beyond the Capitol for the next speaker

    Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.”
    By Norman J. Ornstein,

    Published: December 25

    On Jan. 3, the 113th House will fulfill its express constitutional duty to choose its speaker. The result may well be the reelection of Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). But events of the past week have cast some doubt on that.

    The vote will be taken by the new House, which has 233 Republicans, 200 Democrats and two vacancies. If 17 Republicans vote for someone other than Boehner, and he falls short of an absolute majority of all the votes cast, the House will be thrown into turmoil — no elected speaker, and the prospect of additional ballots and a whole lot of intrigue before the new speaker is chosen and sworn in.

    Every sentient American knows why Boehner is having a restless holiday season: His make-or-break effort to get his colleagues to vote for his Plan B — to give him leverage in his negotiation over the “fiscal cliff” with President Obama — broke, as Republicans balked at supporting their leader. With no Plan B, no alternative Plan C and a conservative base angry and frustrated, it is perhaps not surprising that a group of conservatives has reportedly hatched a plan to oust the speaker.

    Boehner is a decent man, and a natural legislator, who is caught in a trap. Republican culture since Boehner’s predecessor, Dennis Hastert, has demanded that legislation brought to the House floor have the pledge of support from a majority of the majority — in other words, that House Republicans act in unison, or close to it, before there is any effort to garner Democratic votes, and that no bill go forward unless and until it has support from a substantial majority of Republicans. It has been clear from the outset of the debate over the U.S. fiscal dilemma that, given the imperative of the no-tax pledge endorsed by 90 percent of House Republicans, no compromise would be achievable without the support of at least as many House Democrats as Republicans, and probably more.

    Boehner’s dilemma is worsened by the fact that 50 or more House Republicans come from districts that are homogeneous echo chambers, made that way through redistricting and the “Big Sort” that has like-minded people living in close proximity to one another. None of them is threatened in a general election; all could be unseated in a contested primary.

    With the Club for Growth and others putting million-dollar bounties on the heads of apostates who vote for any taxes, and with the conservative wind machine of talk radio having its effect, these lawmakers are immune from broader public pressure, the impact of a large election outcome or persuasion by their party leaders. For Boehner, fulfilling his constitutional responsibility as speaker of the House means getting the House to work its will, even if his party does not go along — but doing so imperils his speakership.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/if-boehner-goes-look-outside-washington-for-a-new-speaker/2012/12/25/10bffa0e-4dfa-11e2-950a-7863a013264b_story.html

  14. rikyrah says:

    Why Democrats insist on upper-income tax hikes

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on December 26, 2012 at 9:45 am

    A week from now, the United States will probably “go over” the “fiscal cliff,” and begin to implement a series of tax increases and spending cuts that will — over the course of the year — take a large bite out of economic growth. A deal to avoid the cliff is still possible, but unlikely; Republicans remain opposed to upper-income tax increases, regardless of size, and even if they come with cuts to entitlement spending.

    On Monday, I wrote that this opposition is rooted in a fundamentally different view of how to create economic growth in a recession. Republicans believe that federal spending is driving the debt that, in their view, is holding back the economy. Until Washington gets its “spending under control,” conservatives have all but promised to shoot down any tax increases.

    It’s also worth looking at the other side. Yes, we know that Democrats view the current economic climate as demand-driven, but that doesn’t explain their insistence on upper-income tax hikes, despite the fact that — all things equal — it’s probably better to keep the tax cuts and wait for further economic growth before ending them.

    The key thing to remember, however, is that Democrats — and liberals, in particular — care about economic inequality as much as they do growth. And as explained in The Post this morning, it’s this concern with inequality that has driven Democrats to rethink their approach on the Bush tax cuts.

    Democrats say they have reconsidered their opposition to the Bush tax cuts for several reasons. The cuts were written into law from 2001 to 2003 after a decade in which most Americans saw robust income growth. Over the past decade, by contrast, median wages have declined, after adjusting for inflation, amid a weak economy.

    The Post focuses its attention on Democratic support for permanently extending the middle-income Bush tax cuts, which is seen — by Democrats — as a way to put money in the pockets of ordinary people and account, in a small way, for the stagnant wages of the past decade. Higher upper-income taxes are the flip-side of this.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/26/why-democrats-insist-on-upper-income-tax-hikes/

  15. rikyrah says:

    GOP obstinacy may force milk price spike
    By Steve Benen

    Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:45 AM EST

    With 2012 very nearly over, it’s deeply unfortunate that there’s still a lengthy list of bills that need to be approved before the calendar turns over. The tax and spending measures related to ongoing fiscal talks are getting the bulk of the attention, but some important policies, including the Violence Against Women Act, are also awaiting action.

    And then there’s the pending farm bill, which, like everything else, has stalled in the face of Republican opposition. Assuming the GOP refuses to act, there will be real consequences for millions of American consumers, and it’s likely much of the public doesn’t realize what’s coming.

    Forget the fiscal crisis and the automatic budget cuts. Come Jan. 1, there is a threat that milk prices could rise to $6 to $8 a gallon if Congress does not pass a new farm bill that amends farm policy dating back to the Truman presidency.

    Lost in the political standoff between the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans over the budget is a virtually forgotten impasse over a farm bill that covers billions of dollars in agriculture programs. Without last-minute Congressional action, the government would have to follow an antiquated 1949 farm law that would force Washington to buy milk at wildly inflated prices, creating higher prices in the dairy case. Milk now costs an average of $3.65 a gallon.

    Higher prices would be based on what dairy farm production costs were in 1949, when milk production was almost all done by hand. Because of adjustments for inflation and other technical formulas, the government would be forced by law to buy milk at roughly twice the current market prices to maintain a stable milk market.

    The market, however, wouldn’t be stable at all.

    ——————————————————————————–

    The most likely scenario would be farmers moving to sell dairy products to the government at the inflated prices, which in turn would limit consumer supply and cause huge price spikes on the commercial market. It’s also likely companies that use dairy products would look to imported milk from overseas.

    So, what’s the problem? The Senate version of the farm bill passed with relative ease over the summer, but House Republicans haven’t even brought a competing proposal to the floor for a vote. GOP leaders haven’t made specific demands, but the proposal Republicans supported in committee included sharp spending cuts to measures such as nutrition assistance programs, in the hopes of making millions of low-income Americans ineligible for food stamps.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/26/16166879-gop-obstinacy-may-force-milk-price-spike?lite

  16. rikyrah says:

    Jobs and innovation, leaving the station
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:51 PM EST.

    There’s no reason the United States can’t once again lead the world in transportation innovation, except for the political opposition that forces us further behind countries like China.

    China began service Wednesday morning on the world’s longest high-speed rail line, covering a distance in eight hours that is about equal to that from New York to Key West, Florida, or from London across Europe to Belgrade.

    Bullet trains traveling 300 kilometers an hour, or 186 miles an hour, began regular service between Beijing and Guangzhou, the main metropolis in southeastern China. Older trains still in service on a parallel rail line take 21 hours; Amtrak trains from New York to Miami, a shorter distance, still take nearly 30 hours.

    Completion of the Beijing-Guangzhou route is the latest sign that China has resumed rapid construction on one of the world’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects, a network of four north-south routes and four east-west routes that span the country

    Keep in mind, this isn’t just about bragging rights. China has invested heavily in transportation infrastructure, including this remarkable network of high-speed trains, and the result has greatly benefited the nation’s economy and created “as many as 100,000″ jobs.

    China has also, incidentally, helped integrate regional economies, linking cities and provinces in new and efficient ways, which in turn is expected to strengthen China’s manufacturing and exporting centers.

    And then there’s the U.S., where the Obama administration has repeatedly argued that high-speed rail boosts economic development, creates jobs, fosters innovation, relieves crowded roads, and even reduces emissions, and where Republicans say investing in infrastructure costs money — and spending is, you know, bad.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Remember, GOP opposition to similar projects is so strong that in some instances, we’ve seen Republican governors — including Florida’s Rick Scott and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker — turn down high-speed-rail funds from Washington, just on principle, regardless of the economic benefits to their state.

    What’s more, while our international rivals take the lead in transportation innovation — it’s easy to win a race when your competitor stops trying — we’re still struggling to address cracks in our outdated infrastructure.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/26/16168228-jobs-and-innovation-leaving-the-station?lite

  17. rikyrah says:

    Targeting high-capacity clips
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:15 PM EST.

    Many Democratic lawmakers want to consider new laws restricting high-volume magazines, many of which currently allow gun owners to fire 30 rounds without reloading. Some Republicans agree, as does the American mainstream. What’s more, limits on the size of clips are entirely constitutional.

    Any chance this might be the sort of common-sense proposal the NRA can live with? Apparently not.

    David Gregory presented Wayne LaPierre with a compelling quote from Larry Alan Burns, federal district judge of San Diego who he sentenced Jared Loughner. Burns, a gun owner and NRA supporter, was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, so it stood out when he wrote:
    “Bystanders got to Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner and subdued him only after he emptied one 30 round magazine and was trying to load another. Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, chose his primary weapon as a semi-automatic rifle with 30-round magazines. And we don’t even bother to call the 100-rounder that James Holmes is accused of emptying in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater a magazine, it’s a drum. How is this not an argument for regulating the number of rounds a gun can fire? I get it. Someone bent on mass murder, who has only a ten-round magazine or a revolver at his disposal probably is not going to abandon his plan and instead try to talk his problems out. But we might be able to take the ‘mass’ out of ‘mass shooting,’ or at least make the perpetrator’s job a bit harder.”

    But LaPierre refuses to even consider the possibility that smaller clips might — might — save American lives.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/26/16167467-targeting-high-capacity-clips?lite

  18. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

  19. rikyrah says:

    Obama eyes smaller, not-so-grand bargain
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:00 AM EST.

    With just five days to go before a series of sweeping fiscal deadlines, policymakers in Washington are no closer to a resolution. Congress left town last Thursday; President Obama departed Friday; and there have been “no talks” between party leaders or between the White House and GOP officials since Friday.

    But before leaving for a holiday weekend with his family, the president spoke briefly to reporters, and hinted at a new way out of the current mess.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, this was the part of Obama’s comments that struck me as the most noteworthy:

    “In the next few days, I’ve asked leaders of Congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class Americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. That’s an achievable goal. That can get done in 10 days.

    “Once this legislation is agreed to, I expect Democrats and Republicans to get back to Washington and have it pass both chambers. And I will immediately sign that legislation into law, before January 1st of next year. It’s that simple.”

    Well, it certainly sounds simple, but given the extremism of House Republicans, and Senate Republicans’ willingness to filibuster literally every measure of any consequence, it’s best to temper expectations.

    But take a closer look at the kind of proposal the president sketched out here. For over a month, Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have tried to negotiate the terms of a significant debt-reduction package — not quite as sweeping as the $4 trillion offer the president pushed, and Republicans rejected, in 2011, but a $2.4 trillion effort, which is still enormous.

    As of Friday, it sounded like Obama had all but given up on those ambitions, and is now eyeing a much smaller agreement.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/26/16164231-obama-eyes-smaller-not-so-grand-bargain?lite

  20. Sweet blog Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Met with Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Paul Ryan on immigration reform

    http://bit.ly/Vdto0M
    ___________________
    Lowdown dirty dog!

  21. rikyrah says:

    More Meta in Future

    by BooMan
    Wed Dec 26th, 2012 at 11:37:36 AM EST

    I’ve been thinking, and I anticipate that next year my writing will be a lot more focused on meta-issues. I’ve been really goal-oriented for such a long time that I have developed a lot of impatience with meta. But we’re in such a different environment now as a country. We avoided catastrophe, as least in the short term, and we’ve stabilized the ship, at least for now.
    The problem is that we’re stuck. We can talk about it in mechanical terms…divided government…gerrymander…filibuster…

    We can talk about the legal aspects…Citizens United…Super PACs…corporations are people, my friend…

    But I think we need to talk about the social problem. And that’s a challenge because being a social scold is normally the purview of conservatives.

    Then I think that we’ve gotten to the point where it’s the conservatives who need to be scolded. They’ve just gone off on a national bender where all elements of truth and authenticity and respect for talent and genuine meritocracy and fundamental decency have been subsumed into a calorie-free diet of sell-out art and entertainment (of which politics can no longer even aspire to be more).

    There’s a moral element to progressivism, which is mainly compassion for the unfortunate and a bias in favor of equality. We don’t want people going hungry or dying needlessly, and we don’t see income inequality of the type we see today as compatible with austerity programs for the poor. Are we broke? Okay, let’s raise taxes on the rich.

    But this is only a conventional kind of moralism that you can find at any time in any country, really. We need to figure out what this country is really all about. What it should be all about.

    Are we the indispensable country which must intervene in Syria to avoid an Islamist takeover or to prevent a genocide? Much of the world acts as if we are, even though we know that the moment we committed ourselves we would be the imperial oppressor now mired in another Asian quagmire.

    The whole country has been adrift since the Soviet Union fell, taking a break only to have some kind of collective freak-out/demand for blood and security in the aftermath of 9/11.

    Meanwhile, everything in media is more fragmented, less influential, less lucrative, less nutritious, more common and less aspirational. We’re left celebrating the irony of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert because we’re smart enough to know everything is bullshit but clueless about what this portends for the future.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/12/26/113736/76

  22. William Spengler’s Note Before Killing Webster Firefighters: ‘Do What I Like Doing Best, Killing People’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/25/william-spengler-set-trap_n_2362433.html#comments

    WEBSTER, N.Y. — An ex-con killed two firefighters with the same caliber and make military-style rifle used in the Connecticut school massacre after typing a note pledging to burn down his neighborhood and “do what I like doing best, killing people,” police said Tuesday as another body, believed to be the gunman’s missing sister, was found.

    William Spengler, 62, who served 17 years in prison for manslaughter in the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, set his house afire before dawn Christmas Eve before taking a revolver, a shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle to a sniper position outside, Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.

    The death toll rose to three as police revealed that a body believed to be the killer’s 67-year-old sister, Cheryl Spengler, was found in his fire-ravaged home.

    Authorities say he sprayed bullets at the first responders, killing two firefighters and injuring two others who remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition, awake and alert and expected to survive. He then killed himself as seven houses burned on a sliver of land along Lake Ontario.

    • A place in hell awaits Wayne LaPierre. No way will God ignore what he has done. Sowing and reaping is a law. No one can make a living off the pain and suffering of others and think a just God will not judge. LaPierre will be judged according to the law of God.

  23. Parents of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman cope with aftermath of killing

    http://www.modbee.com/2012/12/26/2509209/parents-of-trayvon-martin-george.html

    MIAMI — The last time she was on TV with her face obscured by shadows, George Zimmerman’s mother explained, that her son’s roots are Afro-Peruvian.

    In the 10 months since her teenage son was killed, Trayvon Martin’s mom became a nationally known activist who mostly sleeps in hotels as she bounces from one speaking engagement to another talking about self-defense laws.

    “As a mother, this is a job,” said Sybrina Fulton, whose son Trayvon became a household name after Zimmerman shot and killed him in a townhouse complex in Sanford. “It is a position I never wanted.”

    Both women want to set the record straight about their sons. Each blames the other’s boy for the tragedy. One lives in hiding; the other spent the year under the glare of cameras.

    Their deep divide on the killing that rattled America underscores the sharp contrasts that mark the case that became one of the highest profile news events of 2012. Hundreds of thousands of people, from Seattle to Miami, Sanford to Manhattan, took to the streets to demand an arrest in the weeks following the Feb. 26 death of a black teenager at the hands of a Hispanic neighborhood-watch volunteer.

  24. Hey Rikyrah!

    The video you posted of the dad’s reaction to getting a ticket to the game has gone viral. Good stuff! Get your kleenex ready, 3Chics. It will bring tears to your eyes. What a joy to see!

    • rikyrah says:

      Both Mama and Daddy were huge sports fans. looking at this, I was reminded of Daddy.

      • Same here, Rikyrah. It doesn’t get any better than making your daddy happy! The dad also reminded me of my dad in being so proud of the hat. Just like my daddy, he was thankful for the simple things. My daddy would be so happy if you gave him a handkerchief. The son making his daddy so happy is what the spirit of giving is all about. I love this stuff.

      • rikyrah says:

        you’re so right, SG2. I was first moved to tears by the genuine appreciation he had for the hat….he thought it was terrific.

    • Ametia says:

      Ok; just seeing this clip. tears….. I mis my pop.

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