Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Hall & Oates Week!

Happy FRY-day, Everyone. Enjoy your day, and please stop by and visit 3 Chics this weekend.

Today’s tune…SARA SMILE

REPOST

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2013 HISTORY

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About Ametia

I am a Spiritual traveler, a devoted wife, mother, sister, lover of dream study, reading, theater, music, dance, and thought-provoking discussions on love, life, humor and service.
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78 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Hall & Oates Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Kamikaze Party

    by BooMan
    Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 11:26:05 PM EST

    If you look at the demographic makeup of Mitt Romney’s inadequate coalition, you’ll notice that it includes the elderly who are on Social Security and use Medicare. You’ll notice that it includes business and finance leaders. These people are not going to like the Republican Party’s coming threat to destroy the stock market if they can’t destroy people’s retirement security. Getting the Republicans to go on that kind of suicide mission should involve a lot of work, but they seem to want to do it for free.
    There is an obvious cultural divide in this country that the Republicans use quite effectively. But if they want to truly minimize the effectiveness of that cultural divide, they could hardly do better than to go after white seniors’ earned benefits with a threat to wipe out white businessmen’s profits and white professionals’ 401(k)’s.

    It’s easy to imagine an erosion of GOP support among the white working class when the Democrats offer a white presidential candidate in 2016. Whether it’s Biden or Clinton or Cuomo or O’Malley or Warner, or whoever it is, those candidates won’t automatically be losing in Appalachia.

    I think the Republicans will have to do substantially better with white voters in 2016 if they want to compete, and I think there is almost no chance that they will. I think Wall Street will be with the Democrats, and I don’t think the GOP will retain their advantage with the elderly.

    The GOP is moving to oblivion with breathtaking speed. I can easily see Hillary Clinton winning in 2016 with a very similar electoral map to LBJ’s 1964 landslide.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/4/23265/04701#3

  2. rikyrah says:

    photo/1

  3. Harry Reid Would Back Obama If He Bucks GOP On Debt Ceiling: Source

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/harry-reid-obama-debt-ceiling_n_2410557.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has privately told other Democrats, including President Obama, that if the administration used its constitutional and executive authority to continue paying its debts in the face of House Republican opposition, he would support the approach, according to a source familiar with Reid’s message to the president.

    The simplest escape route out of the debt ceiling impasse is for the president to direct the Treasury to find a legal way to pay its debts. The Treasury then has a variety of options. One gaining particular attention relies on a law that allows the Treasury to mint a coin of unspecified value and deposit it with the Federal Reserve. Those funds could then be used legally to pay debts.

    “Reid has not dismissed any option,” said the source close to Reid.
    *******************

    Buck’em and fuck’em!

    • rikyrah says:

      I continue to believe the debt ceiling ‘negotiations’ will go something like this.

      President Obama: I want a clean debt ceiling bill.

      The GOP: We want huge cuts in ‘entitlements’

      President Obama: I want a clean debt ceiling bill.

      The GOP: We want huge cuts in ‘entitlements’.

      Other Democrats: Well….why don’t you give us a detailed list of these CUTS.

      The GOP: No, you should put forth the cuts first.

      Other Democrats: Um, no. It’s time for you to put up or shut up.

      President Obama: Here’s my deal. You run on your proposed CUTS for the 2014 elections… you know, like I ran on raising taxes for the 2%. If you win on them, I’ll talk to you in 2014. But, for this year – I want a clean debt ceiling bill.

      The GOP: We want huge cuts in ‘entiitlements’.

      President Obama: You know what I’ll sign… …don’t call me until it’s ready to come to my desk.

  4. The White House‏@whitehouse

    What’s in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012? Find out in the latest White House White Board: http://at.wh.gov/gywJZ

  5. rikyrah says:

    We Won’t Play

    by BooMan
    Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 05:51:38 PM EST

    I don’t know if he will ultimately vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as our next Secretary of Defense, but it doesn’t sound like Chuck Schumer is going to engage in any negotiations with the Republicans over the debt ceiling. Without the Senate being willing to even discuss the matter, the GOP appears checkmated. I can’t find the right metaphor for this situation. It’s like a teenager who plans to drive daddy’s car into a telephone pole but can’t get ahold of the keys. I anticipate a big tantrum

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/4/175138/6021

  6. rikyrah says:

    See, it’s stories like this that would make a Negro turn Black:

    ……………………………………

    .
    Inmate ordered retried in ’80 ‘waiting ever since’
    By By MICHAEL GRACZYK | Associated Press – 10 hrs ago.

    Jerry Hartfield was still a young man when an uncle visited him in prison to tell him that his murder conviction had been overturned and he would get a new trial.

    Not long afterward, he was moved off of death row.

    “A sergeant told me to pack my stuff and I wouldn’t return. I’ve been waiting ever since for that new trial,” Hartfield, now 56, said during a recent interview at the prison near Gatesville where he’s serving life for the 1976 robbery and killing of a Bay City bus station worker. He says he’s innocent.

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Hartfield’s murder conviction in 1980 because it found a potential juror improperly was dismissed for expressing reservations about the death penalty. The state tried twice but failed to get the court to re-examine that ruling, and on March 15, 1983 — 11 days after the court’s second rejection — then-Gov. Mark White commuted Hartfield’s sentence to life in prison.

    At that point, with Hartfield off death row and back in the general prison population, the case became dormant.

    “Nothing got filed. They had me thinking my case was on appeal for 27 years,” said Hartfield, who is described in court documents as an illiterate fifth-grade dropout with an IQ of 51, but who says he has since learned to read and has become a devout Christian.

    A federal judge in Houston recently ruled that Hartfield’s conviction and sentence ceased to exist when the appeals court overturned them — meaning there was no sentence for White to commute. But Hartfield isn’t likely to go free or be retried soon because the state has challenged a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision favorable to Hartfield, arguing he missed a one-year window in which to appeal aspects of his case.

    A 5th Circuit panel of the New Orleans court agreed with the district court in an October ruling, but last month it made a rare, formal request to the Texas appeals court asking it to confirm its decades-old decision to overturn Hartfield’s conviction.

    Hartfield’s current attorney, Kenneth R. Hawk II, recently described the case as a “one-in-a-million” situation in which an inmate has been stuck in the prison system for more than three decades because no one seems to know what to do with him.

    “When you see it, it’s kind of breathtaking,” he said. “It was tough story for him so far and it’s not over yet. … The bottom line is the commutation came after a mandate was issued. It wasn’t valid and it’s time for him to get a new trial.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/inmate-ordered-retried-80-waiting-ever-since-192257674.html

  7. Ametia says:

    I could slap the shit out of Ed Schultz. Already stirring the pot about POTUS putting the “Big 3 on the table during debt ceiling event. Loathe these people.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Anyone else interested in seeing Deception on MOnday?

    Synopsis:
    When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised. The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged… and now dead at the age of 32. But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso, “Avatar”), things don’t add up with this suspicious dynasty. Convinced the troubled girl’s death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth. Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good, “Think Like a Man”). Twenty years ago she was Vivian’s best friend and practically grew up inside the Bowers’ home. And when she appears at Vivian’s funeral, the family re-embraces her and no one is the wiser. Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian’s life was very much in danger. At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew. She’s about to see once again just how the other half lives… and dies.

    Also starring are Victor Garber (“Alias”), Tate Donovan (“Damages”), Katherine LaNasa (“Alfie”) and Ella Rae Peck (“Gossip Girl”). “Deception” comes from executive producer/writer Liz Heldens (“Friday Night Lights”) and director Peter Horton (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Dirty Sexy Money”). The series is from Universal Television and BermanBraun.

    http://www.nbc.com/deception/

  9. Chuck Hagel To Be Nominated As Secretary Of Defense: Reports

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/chuck-hagel-defense_n_2411434.html

    Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will in all likelihood be nominated as secretary of Defense by President Barack Obama, according to reports from Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast and NBC News.

    The Daily Beast and NBC News say the nomination will likely come Monday or Tuesday. NBC News said the decision had not been finalized.

    Other top candidates had included former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

    Hagel had come under intense criticism from pro-Israel interest groups for past comments. Drawing particular fire was a quote from his 2008 book, wherein he said, “I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a United States senator.” He added, “I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I’ll do that.”

    • “I support Israel, but my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States, not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I’ll do that.”

      _____________________

      And what’s wrong with his statement? His first interest IS to take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States! Period! Folks, don’t get it twisted!

  10. Indian women with bamboo sticks. They protect other women.

    Indian women without bamboo sticks. They protect other women.

  11. Ametia says:

    The Hollywood America Deserves
    ENTERTAINMENTJAN 4 2013, 10:54 AM ET
    Coates

    One of the rather frequent responses I get when posting the stories of people like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or Robert Smalls is that their story deserves to be a movie. A biopic is seen by a lot of us as the ultimate testimonial to a person’s life. Moreover, movies have the unique power to reach and influence millions of people. Finally, movies offer the possibility of all the imagery and input we hold when thinking of, say, Harriet Tubman to be made manifest before the world. I think this impulse is basically correct. It is especially correct given that Hollywood doesn’t just ignore slavery and the Civil War but turns out revisionist dreck like Gods and Generals.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/01/the-hollywood-america-deserves/266835/

  12. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s popular vote totals put him in small club
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Jan 4, 2013 1:18 PM EST.

    The 2012 presidential election has obviously come and gone, but before we move on entirely, there’s a little tidbit of statistical trivia that struck me as interesting — and chart worthy.

    Bloomberg reports today that, thanks to some provisional ballots that have now been counted in New York City, President Obama’s popular-vote total is up to 51.06%. That wouldn’t be especially interesting, were it not for the fact that Obama is the first presidential candidate since Dwight Eisenhower to top 51% twice.

    In fact, in American history, this is a feat that’s only been pulled off by six presidents: Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and now, Barack Obama

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/04/16352089-obamas-popular-vote-totals-put-him-in-small-club?lite

  13. rikyrah says:

    Giving Jefferson A Pass

    Henry Wiencek is unimpressed with Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Jon Meacham’s latest foray into history:

    The shadow of the Peculiar Institution looms over this book and, I suspect, is the main reason why Meacham so persistently emphasizes Jefferson’s political “realism” and his refusal to move farther and faster than the law or the public mood allowed. Meacham has no problem with bold presidential moves such as the Louisiana Purchase, which as Meacham admits, was illegal (the Constitution did not provide for its acquisition) and Jefferson’s naval action against the Barbary pirates, which he pursued without Congressional approval (he secured it retroactively). But slavery is always a special case. Slavery was just one of “the complexities of life.” Sally Hemings was not enslaved by Jefferson but by “geography and culture.” When the political issue is slavery, the man who elsewhere seizes control and imposes his will, immediately gives up: “Wounded by the defeats of his progressive efforts on slavery, Jefferson was finally to retreat to a more conventional position.” Meacham does not let Jefferson entirely off the hook, but his rebuke is gentle.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/

    • Ametia says:

      Uuuuuuuuuuuugh, hate it when these white men try to dress up slavery. Slavery was anything but the “complexies of life.” And to even put pen to paper and write such absurdity of geograhpy and culture being the cause of Sally Heming’s slavery and not that of Jefferson…. I could just…

  14. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2013 12:53 PM
    House GOPers Fighting For Your Medicare

    So according to Sam Baker of The Hill, House GOPers paused briefly from their 24-7 campaign to insist the president and congressional Democrats propose cuts in entitlement benefits if they want the debt limit to be increased any time soon in order to throw a big monkey-wrench into the one existing effort to hold down Medicare costs:

    House Republicans signaled Thursday they will not follow rules in President Obama’s healthcare law that were designed to speed Medicare cuts through Congress.

    The House is set to vote Thursday afternoon on rules for the 113th Congress. The rules package says the House won’t comply with fast-track procedures for the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a controversial cost-cutting board Republicans have long resisted.

    The rules package signals that Republicans might not bring up Medicare cuts recommended by the IPAB — blocking part of a politically controversial law, and resisting Medicare spending cuts.

    The rules could be challenged in court, because they seek to override a law that Congress passed, but unless that happens, the House can likely abide by the rules it adopts Thursday

    Amazing, but not that surprising. Having medagogued the IPAB—which Sarah Palin notoriously labeled a “death panel”—and the health care cost savings it was charged with securing not just by Obamacare but by earlier Republican legislation, it figures House Republicans would make this the first step to obstruct implementation of ACA, despite the massive hypocrisy involved.

    What’s really maddening is that IPAB—following the overall thrust of Obamacare—is designed to secure savings not just for Medicare but for the entire health care system by encouraging better medicine, not reductions in health coverage for seniors. It seems Republicans are only interested in health care cost containment measures or “entitlement reform” if it comes at the expense of beneficiaries.

    I know the White House is probably touchy about IPAB given its phony reputation as a heath care rationer, but they need to raise holy hell about this, and yes, go to court to stop it. We will never get hold of health care costs at any level if we continue to pretend the only choices are an endless cost spiral or constantly reduced benefits.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

  15. rikyrah says:

    January 04, 2013 1:19 PM
    Final 2012 Results

    David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, who has been obsessively following late returns, provisional ballot rulings, and other adjustments, has issued his final tally of the 2012 presidential election popular vote: Obama 65,899,557 (51.06%), Romney 60,931,959 (47.21%).

    Obama’s 3.85% margin is a bit above half of his 2008 margin (7.2%), and well above George W. Bush’s 2.4% margin in 2004. And get this: Obama has now twice posted a higher percentage of the popular vote than any Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon Johnson.

    Since Republican operatives and pundits spent a goodly part of the election cycle suggesting this would be a replay of 1980, it should be noted that Obama squeaked past Carter’s percentage of the vote that year by more than 10 points. His numbers were pretty close to Ronald Reagan’s in 1980 (actually exceeding St. Ronald’s 50.7%), but I don’t think that’s what GOPers had in mind in raising the analogy.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

    • Ametia says:

      WHELP! Looks like Romney’s goal of race-baiting with the white guys REALLY did not pay off for him, huh?

      BWA HA HA HA HA

      On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM, 3CHICSPOLITICO

  16. rikyrah says:

    A Short-Sighted Fool

    by BooMan
    Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 11:54:47 AM EST

    It has only been sitting for one day and already the 113th Congress is a complete disaster. Citing a Republican polling firm’s December findings, Speaker Boehner told his caucus this morning that 72% of the public believes that the government should cut spending by more than whatever amount they add to the debt ceiling. In other words, Speaker Boehner committed himself to holding the debt ceiling hostage despite the president’s adamant refusal to negotiate over the issue.
    We all know that you can get a poll to tell you whatever you want it to tell you. If we asked people to cut government spending by $1.2 trillion dollars (the rough amount of the next debt ceiling hike), they would not like their choices and would determine that we need more revenue. There is no way that 72% of the people would still think it was a good idea to cut spending that much. A poll taken in December is almost meaningless because the president will have his inaugural speech and his State of the Union speech to make his case for never negotiating on the debt ceiling again. He’ll have all of Wall Street on his side. He’ll have every reputable economist on his side. He’ll have Bill Clinton on his side. He’ll have a unified Democratic Party on his side. And he already has the good will of the people.

    Speaker Boehner seems incapable of thinking more than one step ahead. He ought to ask himself how he plans on winning this showdown with the rest of the universe. He could, for example, pass a bill that raises the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion and cuts spending by more than that. And he could hand that to the Senate and dare them not to pass it. Except, he could never get his caucus to vote for the cuts to Medicare that such a bill would require. But, let’s say he could pass it. He’d be threatening everyone’s Medicare on one side and the global economy and the nation’s credit rating on the other. And he’d be doing it in the context of a simultaneous hostage situation on the sequester that threatens every powerful interest group in the country, including the Pentagon. And, all this, without the slightest whiff of a mandate from the people.

    Mr. Boehner was barely reelected as Speaker. He has no margin for error. If ever anyone was waddling into the threshing blades*, it’s John Boehner.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/4/115447/1973#13

  17. rikyrah says:

    The debt ceiling isn’t Obama’s problem. It’s the GOP’s problem.

    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Obama and Dems have vowed not to negotiate with the GOP over the debt ceiling. This morning, I asked what “not negotiating” would look like in the real world, and whether it’s even possible. But another question may be even more relevant: Do Republicans really have the leverage in the debt ceiling fight they think they have?

    Some Republicans are now coming out and acknowledging that the GOP may not be in a strong position in the debt ceiling battle, after all. Here’s Newt Gingrich, on Morning Joe today, telling Republicans that a debt ceiling fight is a “loser” for them:

    “They’ve got to find, in the House, a totally new strategy. Everybody’s now talking about, ‘Oh, here comes the debt ceiling.’ I think that’s, frankly, a dead loser. Because in the end, you know it’s gonna happen. The whole national financial system is going to come in to Washington and on television, and say: ‘Oh my God, this will be a gigantic heart attack, the entire economy of the world will collapse. You guys will be held responsible.’ And they’ll cave.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/01/04/the-debt-ceiling-isnt-obamas-problem-its-the-gops-problem/

  18. Joe Biden swore Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy into the Senate yesterday, but did he also swear in his infant son at the same time

    Joe Biden swore Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy into the Senate yesterday, but did he also swear in his infant son at the same time?

  19. Ametia says:

    Have You Ever Wondered What Compells Your Conservative Relatives to Vote the Way They Do?

    January 3, 2013 |
    By the time you’re reading this, the 2012 election will have been decided, and we’ll all have had our fill of the partisan rancor that’s become commonplace in politics. Perhaps you yourself have had the experience of getting lost in an argument in which you became exasperated that people on the other side couldn’t see what was so obvious, despite your best efforts to reason with them.

    When caught in the stalemate of a political debate, the advice of Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion and a social psychologist in the New York University Stern School of Business, is to save our breath–or at least recognize that what we think we’re arguing about isn’t really what we’re arguing about. Haidt believes that most political debates, at least the way they’re usually conducted, are useless because the underlying issues aren’t what they appear to be on the surface. Politics, he says, is ultimately about our stance on fundamental moral beliefs and group loyalties–things that aren’t usually influenced by facts, figures, or rational policy debate. In the interview that follows, he offers a perspective on why we vote the way that we do that differs from what you’re likely to read about in our mainstream election-season coverage.

    —— http://www.alternet.org/print/culture/have-you-ever-wondered-what-compells-your-conservative-relatives-vote-way-they-do

  20. Ametia says:

    Gabby Giffords To Visit With Families of Newtown Shooting Victims
    Friday, 04 Jan 2013 09:38 AM
    By Michael Mullins

    Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, the former congresswoman from Arizona who was critically wounded two years ago in a deadly shooting in her district, is planning a private visit Friday with families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

    The meeting will take place in a residence and will not be open to the news media, according to NBCConnecticut.com. Giffords will be accompanied by her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly.

    On Dec. 14, the day of the school shooting that left 26 dead, 20 of them children, Giffords posted a plea for gun control on her Facebook page:

    “As we mourn, we must sound a call for our leaders to stand up and do what is right. This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws — and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait.”

    Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/giffords-newtown-shooting-visit/2013/01/04/id/470052#ixzz2H1qgRj6t

  21. Ametia says:

    Was channel surfing last night and stumbled across this story

  22. rikyrah says:

    Club for Growth will punish members voting for Sandy flood aid

    By Erik Wasson – 01/04/13 09:57 AM ET

    The conservative Club for Growth said Friday that it will punish House members who voted for a flood insurance measure aimed at helping pay for Hurricane Sandy’s damage

    The Club will “key-vote” the measure, using it to compile an annual rating for each lawmaker.

    The House on Thursday morning approved the $9.7-billion increase in funding for the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill passed easily in a bipartisan 354-67 vote.

    It needed a two-thirds vote of the House for approval since it was coming under suspension of rules procedures.

    “Congress should not allow the federal government to be involved in the flood insurance industry in the first place, let alone expand the National Flood Insurance Program’s authority,” a statement from the Club’s Andy Roth said.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/appropriations/275593-club-for-growth-will-punish-members-supporting-sandy-flood-aid#ixzz2H1hFqjIG

  23. rikyrah says:

    Krauthammer (Kind of) Gets It

    by BooMan
    Fri Jan 4th, 2013 at 10:22:36 AM EST

    Walter Mondale’s old speechwriter Charles Krauthammer basically gets what Obama is up to, even if he casts everything in his typically hyper-partisan way.

    Upon losing the House in 2010, the leveler took cover for the next two years. He wasn’t going to advance his real agenda through the Republican House anyway, and he needed to win reelection.
    Now he’s won. The old Obama is back. He must not be underestimated. He has deftly leveraged his class-war-themed election victory (a) to secure a source of funding (albeit still small) for the bloated welfare state, (b) to carry out an admirably candid bit of income redistribution and (c) to fracture the one remaining institutional obstacle to the rest of his ideological agenda.

    Not bad for two months’ work.

    It seems strange to cast this as some sinister and hidden plot. Democrats do not want to dismantle the New Deal, and it must be financed. From that perspective, the Republicans actually didn’t do too badly in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Obama only received half of the revenues he was seeking, and what he was seeking was grossly inadequate to finance the continued upkeep of our New Deal and Great Society programs. The Beast is still being starved.

    Yet, Krauthammer is correct about what Obama accomplished. He’s right that the American people are behind Obama and that Obama is only doing what he said he would do during the campaign…which he won. He’s also wrong to focus so heavily on tax rates and revenues. Most of Obama’s upcoming agenda has nothing to do with tax rates and revenues. He wants comprehensive immigration reform and an assault weapons ban and infrastructure spending and education reform and work on climate change. Yes, tax reform in on the agenda, too, but that is only one part of what Obama hopes to accomplish. Fracturing the “one remaining institutional obstacle to the rest of his ideological agenda” was an absolute prerequisite for him if he is going to get anything done. That was the point I made repeatedly in the run-up to the fiscal cliff. It is why I saw a deal passed with mostly Democratic votes (in the House) to be worth much more than it might look like on paper. That fracture must be maintained.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/4/102236/3013

  24. House Passes Sandy Aid

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/hurricane-sandy-aid_n_2409538.html

    The House of Representatives passed $9.7 billion in aid for Hurricane Sandy victims by a 354-67 vote on Friday. All no votes came from Republicans. The Senate is expected to pass the measure later Friday and send it to President Barack Obama.

  25. I hate these people. I really do. This is a comment left on an article at Buzzfeed.

    Why The Next President Will Probably Be Black Too

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/why-the-next-president-will-probably-be-black-too

    Matt Galo said:

    Corey Booker is inexperienced and won’t even run against Christie because he know he will lose.

    Michele Obama hate white people. That has been documented many times. And why are there always little African American kids at White House press events and not white children?
    _______________________

    SG2

    You are one ignoramus racist clown! Where were all the little African American children when Reagan, Bush, & Clinton were president? Were you complaining about not seeing African American children at the White House press events back then? Suck it up and take your medicine b/c the White House is the People’s House and little African American children are most welcomed there. Catch fire you bitter racist bigot!

  26. Ametia says:

    Friday, January 4, 2013
    What Republicans want us to forget

    SMARTYPANTS

    Yesterday Senator McConnell published an op-ed that attempts to take direct aim at the President’s consistent call for balance when dealing with the federal deficit. McConnell writes:
    Predictably, the President is already claiming that his tax hike on the “rich” isn’t enough. I have news for him: the moment that he and virtually every elected Democrat in Washington signed off on the terms of the current arrangement, it was the last word on taxes. That debate is over. Now the conversation turns to cutting spending on the government programs that are the real source of the nation’s fiscal imbalance.

    Read the rest here:

    http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-republicans-want-us-to-forget.html

  27. India women are angry

    “Protests have been taking place every day since the brutal gang rape with protesters expressing anger over attitudes to women in India and calling for changes to the laws on violence against women.

    The woman and a male friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area of Delhi, intending to travel to Dwarka in the south-west of the city.

    Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars, then thrown out of the moving bus into the street.

    On Tuesday, police sources said the driver of the bus had tried to run her over after throwing her out, but she was saved by her friend, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20886253

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Doctors have announced that a young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in India’s capital, New Delhi, has died at their Singapore hospital.

    A statement by Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where the 23-year-old victim was being treated said she “died peacefully” early on Saturday.

    “We are very sad to report that the patient passed away peacefully at 4.45am [local time] on December 29, 2012,” Kelvin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said in a statement.

    “Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days,” Loh continued.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/12/20121228215753910399.html

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The brutality of the assault provoked widespread anger and demonstrations across India, focused largely on the police, politicians and senior officials, by protesters demanding better policing and harsher punishment for rapists.

    Indian police have arrested six people in connection with the attack.

    Women’s rights campaigners claim many rapes and other sexual crimes in India go unreported with offenders rarely punished, and have called on the government to offer better protection for women.

    The Indian government announced on Friday it is to publish the names, photographs and addresses of thousands of convicted sex offenders in an attempt to head off growing anger at what has been seen as a inadequate response by leaders to the problem of sexual violence.

    The controversial measure, announced by the minister of state for home affairs, RPN Singh, is to start in Delhi, which has been the focus of the protests following the attack.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/28/indian-gang-rape-dies-singapore

  28. rikyrah says:

    The Real Saint Christie

    Posted on 01/04/2013 at 8:20 am by Bob Cesca

    Charlie Pierce on Chris Christie:

    The fact is that he’s still the same guy he always was. Somebody who would pull the wings off flies if he thought it meant 15 minutes on CNN. Someone who almost never picks on anyone his own size. Someone who kicks down, always. Someone who was OK with federal storm relief, but ostentatiously refused federal money for another tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York. He’s still the same megalomaniac who stunned the party in Tampa by giving a keynote address at the Republican National Convention in which he barely mentioned the nominee. He’s the guy who put the bully in the bully pulpit. And he has not changed, any more than Washington has. Be advised. The aurora’s rising behind him.

    As we said on the podcast, if the 2016 election was today, Christie could basically walk into the Oval Office. But before his coronation, be aware that he’ll absolutely move farther to the right during the campaign just like McCain, and he’s already far-right on reproductive rights, gun control and taxes/spending. You can absolutely expect that some of your liberal friends will fall in love with him because, well, liberals do that. Warn them that he’s not our friend, regardless of his tough talk against the Republicans recently.

    http://bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2013/01/the-real-saint-christie.html

  29. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka@NerdyWonka

    GM tripled sales of Chevy Volt in 2012 & became the 1st American company to sell over 1M cars w/an over 30MPG rating. thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/0…

  30. rikyrah says:

    Political hostage taking should never be normalized

    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jan 3, 2013 4:42 PM EST.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) freely admits, without a hint of shame or regret, that he intends to hold the debt ceiling hostage until Democrats accept deep cuts in social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare. Indeed, McConnell yesterday urged Democrats to act quickly, “rather than waiting until the last minute.”

    That’s right, Mitch McConnell isn’t just planning to hold the nation’s economy hostage, he’s already complaining about the speed with which Democrats will pay the ransom.

    It’s not just McConnell, of course. Every member of the congressional Republican leadership in both chambers is saying the same thing: President Obama may not want to negotiate over the debt ceiling, but as far as the GOP is concerned, the president doesn’t have “any choice.”

    How many Republicans are standing up to say this is wrong and that their party shouldn’t deliberately put the global economy at risk? So far, zero.

    As the process picks up and the fight grows more intense, there’s quite a bit to be afraid of, but one of the things I worry about at this stage is a false sense of routinization — much of the political world has already started to look at debt-ceiling fights as routine, which is the exact opposite of reality. It’s a manufactured crisis — and a legitimate national scandal — that was largely unthinkable before 2011, which the GOP hopes to normalize with the media’s help.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/03/16330009-political-hostage-taking-should-never-be-normalized?lite

  31. rikyrah says:

    Jeh Johnson’s full address to the Oxford Union
    By Will Femia

    Fri Jan 4, 2013 12:47 AM EST

    In tonight’s interview with outgoing Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson, several references were made, particularly in the first half, to Johnson’s address to the Oxford Union on November 30th. At the time there were some rights restrictions on the video, but it looks like now the Oxford Union has shared the entire address though their YouTube account, so here it is.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/04/16337665-jeh-johnsons-full-address-to-the-oxford-union?lite

  32. Ametia says:

    SEASON 3 OF DOWNTON ABBEY SUNDAY JAN 6. YEAH!

    PARADE MAGAZINE interview
    January 03, 2013

    ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Reflects on his Award-Winning Series, Dan Stevens Comments on the Future of his Character

    Read on: http://www.parade.com/celebrity/celebrity-parade/2013/01/03-downton-abbey.html

  33. Ametia says:

    Powerful Tea Party Group’s Internal Docs Leak

    FreedomWorks bills itself as a grassroots outfit, but it’s bankrolled mostly by big-money donors.

    MOTHER JONES—By Andy Kroll | Fri Jan. 4, 2013 3:02 AM PST

    FreedomWorks, the national conservative group that helped launch the tea party movement, sells itself as a genuine grassroots operation, and for years, it has battled accusations of “astroturfing”—posing as a populist organization while doing the bidding of big-money donors. Yet internal documents obtained by Mother Jones show that FreedomWorks has indeed become dependent on wealthy individual donors to finance its growing operation.

    Last month, the Washington Post reported that Richard Stephenson, a reclusive millionaire banker and FreedomWorks board member, and members of his family in October funneled $12 million through two newly created Tennessee corporations to FreedomWorks’ super-PAC, which used these funds to support tea party candidates in November’s elections. The revelation that a corporate bigwig Stephenson, who founded the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and chairs its board, was responsible for more than half of the FreedomWorks super-PAC’s haul in 2012 undercuts the group’s grassroots image and hands ammunition to critics who say FreedomWorks does the bidding of rich conservative donors.

    Read on

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/freedomworks-rich-donors-armey-kibbe-super-pac

  34. rikyrah says:

    Come at the Speaker, you best not miss
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jan 4, 2013 8:00 AM EST

    If you check out far-right blogs, you might have noticed the scuttlebutt this week about the attempted “coup” against House Speaker John Boehner. Several conservative sites in recent days suggested there was a meaningful, behind-the-scenes effort underway among House Republicans, and Boehner’s hold on his gavel was loosening.

    We now know, however, that those reports were wrong. There was a little drama, and Boehner won a second term as Speaker by a narrow margin, but his GOP detractors fell short of forcing his ouster.

    But before the political world moves on, it’s worth pausing to consider the merit of the rumors from recent days — was there an attempted coup or not? As it turns out, there was. It just wasn’t an especially good one

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/04/16347141-come-at-the-speaker-you-best-not-miss

  35. rikyrah says:

    House Republicans remain determined to ignore women

    Posted by James Downie on January 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    2012 was a rough year for the Republican Party’s relationship with women. From Missouri Senate nominee Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments to the party’s efforts to cut funding for preventative care (particularly important for women seeking cancer screenings and the like) to Rep. Darrell Issa’s all-male panel on contraception mandates and religious liberty — and the subsequent attacks from Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing voices on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, whom Issa had barred from the hearing — the GOP repeatedly showed a less-than-impressive concern for women’s rights. Not surprisingly, the 2012 presidential election saw the gender gap increase from 12 percentage points in 2008 to 18 percentage points, as President Obama maintained his support among women. One would think, then, that Republicans might pause before yet again insulting half of the country. But this week showed that House Republicans, at least, remain oblivious, as they let the landmark Violence Against Women Act expire.

    First passed in 1994 (and drafted by then-Sen. Joe Biden), the Violence Against Women Act has helped law enforcement investigate and prosecute domestic and sexual abuse and increased the resources available to victims of those crimes. The bill was passed (and renewed in 2000 and 2005) with bipartisan support. This past April, the Senate passed the bill 68-31; though all 31 votes against were from Republicans, a number of very conservative senators supported the bill, including Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who co-wrote the bill with liberal stalwart Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

    But House Republicans objected to the reauthorization’s expanded protections for LGBT, illegal immigrant and Native American victims of sexual assault. That the GOP would prioritize discriminating against illegal immigrants and LGBT people over fighting domestic and sexual abuse is outrageous yet, sadly, not that surprising, given the power of anti-gay and anti-immigrant voices in the party. But perhaps even more damning is their opposition to the Native American protections. The expansion would give tribal courts jurisdiction over domestic violence committed by non-Native Americans against Native American women. As The Nation’s Greg Kauffman writes:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/01/03/house-republicans-block-violence-against-women-act-remain-determined-to-ignore-women/

    ……………………………

    I said it before, and I mean it…

    there are no Black or Brown people around those reservations to do those rapes..

    so, who the hell do you think is raping those Native American women…

    and thus, why the Native American women are not being protected….

    yeah,. I said it…and I mean it.

  36. Ametia says:

    U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs in December; unemployment rate at 7.8 percent
    The U.S. economy added jobs 155,000 in December, the Labor Department said Friday morning.

    The Labor Department said the unemployment rate stayed at 7.8 percent last month. November’s rate was revised higher from an initially reported 7.7 percent.

    Read more at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/us-hiring-shows-signs-of-strength-even-as-white-house-congress-battle-over-budget/2013/01/03/9d559d84-5615-11e2-89de-76c1c54b1418_story.html

  37. rikyrah says:

    The White House calls Utah’s Obamacare bluff

    Posted by Sarah Kliff on January 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    For months now, Utah has put the White House in a sticky spot on Obamacare.

    Unlike most Republican-governed states, Utah has been eager to run a health insurance exchange. In fact, it already has one: When the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Utah was one of two states running a marketplace where consumers could compare and purchase coverage (Massachusetts was the other).

    Unlike most Democratic-governed states, though, Utah did not want to set up the kind of exchange that that the health-care law envisioned. The state has favored a bare-bones approach: It only sells to small businesses and covers 7,646 Utah residents. Where some states are hiring dozens of staff, the Utah exchange, known as Avenue H, usually has two or three employees. It does not interface with the state’s Medicaid program like the federal law envisions, nor does it provide expansive consumer assistance services.

    Utah initially told the Obama administration that this is how the Utah exchange works now, and will work in the future.

    “Please instruct the Department of Health and Human Services to certify the current Utah version of an exchange as compliant with the Affordable Care Act,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wrote in a Dec. 10 letter to President Obama. “You have supported giving flexibility for states. Certifying our current exchange will give us that flexibility.”

    That strong statement had many health policy observers expecting that the White House would turn down Utah’s application to run an exchange, given that the program they operate now is not compliant with the Affordable Care.

    Thursday afternoon, however, the opposite happened: The Obama administration approved Utah’s application to run an exchange. So did the White House cave? Not really. Rather, Utah decided to run its exchange more in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/03/the-white-house-calls-utahs-obamacare-bluff/

  38. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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