Thursday Open Thread | Midnight Soul

Midnight Soul + Atlantic Starr was a 1980s R&B band. Among their biggest hits were “Always” and “Secret Lovers.”

The group was started in 1976, in Greenburgh, New York, by trumpeter Duke Jones (who left the band prior to their first recordings), along with drummer Porter Carroll Jr., bassist Clifford Archer, percussionist and flutist Joseph Phillips, Sheldon Tucker (Guitar; parted ways with the band before the first recordings), and three brothers: David Lewis (vocals/guitar), Wayne Lewis (keyboards and vocals), and Jonathan Lewis (percussion and trombone). The band’s membership eventually stabilized around Carroll, Archer, Phillips, the three Lewis brothers, lead singer Sharon Bryant (who was later replaced by Barbara Weathers), trumpeter William Sudderth, and saxophonist Damon Rentie (who was later replaced by Koran Daniels).

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A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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97 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Midnight Soul

  1. rikyrah says:

    ‘Scandal’ Fans: Guilty by Association?

    On social media, black women are being called hypocrites for loving ABC’s home-wrecking heroine.
    By: Kellee Terrell|Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    However, since the ABC show’s debut last spring, it’s obvious that Pope and her “scandalous” behavior have polarized some of us. For some black folks, myself included, Pope is a breath of fresh air, a character who is flawed, like all human beings, but nuanced and complicated — a rarity in black female representation. For others, Pope is a hypersexualized “whore” who compromises herself for men — the norm in black female representation.

    But lately I’ve noticed a bothersome trend: Whether on Twitter, Facebook threads or memes being circulated to spark conversation, it’s now the character of black women who watch the show, not Olivia Pope, that is coming into question.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Another incident included a Facebook friend who asked his married female friends who “romanticize” the relationship between Pope and Fitz if they would do the same if it were their husband. His question sparked a heated debate in which one hostile married black woman insinuated that anyone who was vocally passionate about liking the show was probably “single and bitter and doesn’t respect the sanctity of marriage.”

    Since when did what we watch automatically mirror who we are or what we believe? The two are not always mutually exclusive.

    I can love Claire Danes’ character Carrie Mathison on Homeland, but that doesn’t mean I agree with her morally bankrupt choices. I can adore Michael C. Hall’s title character on Dexter, but in no way does that mean I co-sign on to being a serial killer. I can even swoon over reruns of The Wire’s Idris Elba as Stringer Bell, the finest drug kingpin ever to grace the small screen; it doesn’t mean I think that selling drugs is OK.

    Yet conveniently, the rules change when a black female character is involved. Now, because Pope’s behavior is deemed questionable and problematic — much of what makes up current award-winning roles — all of a sudden an indictment is handed down on our collective character for consuming these images.

    Meanwhile, no one else has to live up to that same high moral standard.
    ……………………………………………….

    Part of this nonsense plays into the old sport of pathologizing and demonizing black women. Remember the awful “Black Marriage Negotiations” and that entire “Black women are single because there is something wrong with us” conversation? Proving that we are immoral and/or unworthy never really goes away; it just reincarnates itself into different arguments within different topics.

    But something else is going on.

    Perhaps this hostility toward us (and Pope) is less about the fact that she is sleeping with a married man and more about the fact that black female fans are cooing over this affair she is having with a white man. Perhaps we are being punished for recognizing that while “black love” is beautiful, it’s not the only love allotted to black women.

    Granted, it’s more complicated than that. Even in 2013, the very thought of sexual desire between white men and black women still invokes a sense of “master and slave” and the dangers of the white male gaze. But Olivia and Fitz’s relationship doesn’t read as Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson (despite Olivia’s reference to the infamous couple in one episode).

    .http://www.theroot.com/views/scandal-fans-guilty-association?page=0,0

    It’s not even giving us Monster’s Ball. Not even close.

    Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    What’s Behind Africa’s Growing Popularity?

    By: Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond | Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond writes in Ebony that Africa is experiencing something of a resurgence because, with economic woes in Europe, South America and North America, some are turning to the continent in search of fame and fortune. Is history repeating itself?

    Discovery Channel’s “Jungle Gold” reality series depicts “rookie American gold miners” seeking their fortunes in “the dangerous and gold-rich jungles of Ghana” after losing everything in the 2008 real estate crash. The Washington Post recently noted a wave of Portuguese citizens heading to Mozambique, quoting one Portuguese official as saying, “Everyone is feeling the pinch of the economic crisis, and Mozambique offers a lot of opportunities … People think this is El Dorado.”

    The fashion industry is also taking serious interest in not only the styles popular on the continent, but in creating strategic business alliances as well. In 2012, for the first time Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sponsored African Fashion International’s annual event in South Africa. Likewise, Vogue Italia co-sponsored the inaugural Ghana Fashion and Design Week. Editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani reportedly “initiated distribution of African fashion products through shops in Europe and America as well as through QVC” as a UN Goodwill Ambassador of Fashion 4 Development.

    Under Sozzani L’Uomo Vogue dedicated its June 2012 issue to the continent, the cover line assuming responsibility for “Rebranding Africa.” Sozzani explained in a Huffington Post piece about the issue: “Africa needs to rebuild a new image, far removed from the one the media usually convey reporting on wars and famines that, although actually occurring, are not the only side to show.”

    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/whats-behind-africas-growing-popularity

    Like

  3. Obama for America holding conference on next steps

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/01/10/former-obama-campaign-holding-conference-on-next-steps/?wprss=rss_social-politics-rss&Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

    Former Obama for America staff and volunteers will hold a “Campaign Legacy Conference” in Washington and on the Web during inauguration weekend to determine what’s next for the powerful organization they developed during two presidential runs.

    Former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina announced the conference Thursday in an e-mail to supporters:

    Issues like immigration, climate change, and gun violence will be debated over these next four years, and President Obama is ready to take them on — but he needs us by his side. Our goal is to help him get things done, but also to help change how things get done in Washington in the first place.

    Over inauguration weekend, you’ll have a chance to participate in a discussion about how we’ll work together to support our president and address the issues we all care about. Some volunteers and staff will be gathering in Washington, D.C., and will be joined online by thousands more supporters nationwide for the Obama Campaign Legacy Conference, where we’ll firm up the structure and leadership of the new organization.

    Almost as soon as Obama’s last political campaign ended, questions were raised about how OFA would use their sophisticated grass-roots infrastructure, massive voter database and other resources. The campaign has thus far resisted appeals from other Democrats who would like access to it for future candidates’ benefit.

    In the meantime OFA is conducting a survey to supporters for feedback on the next steps and used the e-mail list to send updates on the fiscal cliff negotiations and inauguration activities.

    CNN reported Wednesday that campaign officials were examining their options for how to restructure the organization to help support the administration’s goals. Possibilities included converting it to a 501c4 or a super PAC. The report said Messina will remain at the helm of the organization.

    Like

  4. rikyrah says:

    Person of Interest is off the chain tonight…I”m loving it.

    Like

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Liberal Elite’s Obama Derangement Syndrome: Social Security Edition

    Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 12:25 PM

    A couple of weekends ago, Daniel Marans of Social Security Works, a group ostensibly working to “protect” Social Security, and I had a debate on Take Action Radio’s Take Action News with David Shuster (Marans is also Executive Producer of the show) on Social Security, mainly focusing on Chained CPI. You can see the debate clips here (part 1) and here (part 2). He and I will be on again at 1:45 pm ET this Saturday.

    Marans has penned an op-ed in Professional Left’s favorite corporate-sold link gatherer, the AOL-Huffington Post. In his piece, Daniel Marans goes back and re-litigates the issues we debated, and tries to tell me why I’m wrong. I’ll go through the most important points, but let’s start at the Professional alarmists’ bold, new idea on the ‘tactics’ we need to follow to fix Social Security’s long term funding shortfall: wait till there’s a Republican president, perhaps in the mold of Ronald Regan.

    But as I said during the debate, Spandan’s assumptions were alarmist. Social Security has faced far more imminent shortfalls in the past, notably in 1983, and Congress has never failed to act to close them.
    This is a little funny at least, since Daniel fails to note that as I said during the debate, what Congress and President Reagan, back in 1983, did to “act to close” the “imminent shortfalls” was something he and his organization would flatly consider a benefit cut, namely raising the Social Security retirement age. Yes, why don’t we wait till there is a Republican president to fix Social Security? The fact that the most ardent self-proclaimed defenders of Social Security have to point to this deal in 1983 as the example of why we should wait now to implement reforms in the program should tell anyone honestly following the debate that they have no real argument.

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/01/professional-lefts-bold-new-tactical.html

    Like

  6. rikyrah says:

    MADEA @MabeISimmons

    A Black man kills, he’s a menace to society. A Foreign man kills, he’s a terrorist. But a White man kills, he’s psychologically unstable.

    Like

  7. rikyrah says:

    Obama nominates Lew for Treasury
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:15 PM EST

    And so it came as no surprise when the president introduced Lew this afternoon as his choice to replace Tim Geithner at the Treasury Department.
    ………………………………………………………
    That said, it’s worth considering why, exactly, the GOP has come to dislike Lew so much that some Senate Republicans started announcing their opposition to his nomination before he was even introduced.

    The answer, it appears, is that GOP leaders see him as too competent and knowledgeable, which has gotten in the way of Republican plans.

    The New York Times had a fascinating piece last year on the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis negotiations, and House Speaker John Boehner’s frustrations that Lew had a “detailed knowledge of the budget” that “outpaced anyone else’s in the room.” It got to the point that Boehner kept trying to get Lew out of the room, in the hopes that it’d be easier to strike a GOP-friendly deal.

    Matt Yglesias explained last April:

    Any time Lew, the math guy, was out of the room [the Republican proposal] could look like a promising approach. But if the math guy kept saying the central tenet of the proposal was founded on bad math, then actually no progress was being made. So for a time Boehner got the math guy out of the room and it looked like progress was getting made. But clearly the president of the United States isn’t going to agree to a budget deal without running it by his budget director and, indeed, it turned out that “the framework negotiated by Obama, Daley, and Geithner — and laid out in the Republicans’ offer sheet — unsettled the stomachs of some White House aides” one of whom I’m going to guess was Lew. As Bai tells it, as soon as the deal exited that room it immediately started deflating.

    So, Republicans hate Lew the same way a con man hates the guy who knows how a con works.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/10/16450460-obama-nominates-lew-for-treasury

    Like

  8. Practice inauguration parade will close downtown D.C. streets Sunday

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/01/10/practice-inauguration-parade-will-close-downtown-d-c-streets-sunday/?wprss=rss_social-local-headlines&Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

    The presidential inauguration is going to close quite a few D.C. streets on Jan. 21. But preparations for that day are going to be felt this weekend, when an inaugural practice parade on Sunday will restrict parking and shut down several downtown streets.

    The following streets will be closed from 6:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday:
    ■Constitution Avenue from 1st Street NE to 6th Street NW
    ■Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd Street NW to 15th Street NW as well as Pennsylvania Avenue from 17th Street NW to 19th Street NW
    ■15th Street between I (Eye) Street NW and Independence Avenue SW
    ■Streets that cross Pennsylvania Avenue along the parade route will close temporarily between 7 a.m. and noon.

    Parking also will be severely limited due to the event. The following blocks (which largely overlap with the street closures) will have no parking from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday:
    ■Constitution Avenue from 1st Street NE to 6th Street NW
    ■Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd Street NW to 15th Street NW as well as Pennsylvania Avenue from 17th Street NW to 19th Street NW
    ■15th Street between I (Eye) Street NW and Independence Avenue SW

    Like

  9. rikyrah says:

    Ben Cisco @BenCisco

    To everyone freaking out about the Obama “women problem”: PUT. THE .PIPE. DOWN. The Village is playing you. AGAIN. #ThisIsWhatTheyDo

    Like

  10. rikyrah says:

    fabulous comment by Camille:

    Camille

    There’s so much galling about all this fake outrage and manufactured controversy about the lack of diversity in President Obama’s “inner circle” of “trusted advisers”.

    Not the least of which is that most of the same noisemakers including the women amongst them, were the the most vicious attackers of Susan Rice who in my opinion was exceedingly qualified and more than capable to be Sec. of State.

    We all remember Dana Milbank’s well-timed hit job amongst others commissioned by the PUMA’s that accused Susan Rice of being everything under the sun especally “brash and undiplomatic”. Notice that her qualifications were never questioned, just her “attitude”.

    Chris Matthews and Jonathan Alter even had the temerity to publicly declare that it was “time for a man again” in that position because there had been “three women in a row”. According to them Kerry their white guy brought “gravitas” to the position and as the lead Cabinet secretary, the white guys were not going to “look up to” that black woman.

    But even more important in all of this latest incarnation of the insanity that has beset the little insecure white men in America and the media?

    The fact that these are the very same assholes who in concert with some of their “friends of convenience” that work for President Obama, have for the past 4 years done everything in their power to destroy and topple Valerie Jarrett from her place as the President’s closest and most trusted adviser.

    His and Michelle’s professional conscience and the trusted keeper and minder of their moral compass and north star and why they committed to this entirely very difficult and heavy toll taking mission in the first place.

    Valerie Jarrett has been unendingly viciously attacked, maligned, slandered and her life threatened because the white men within and outside the White House simply can’t stand that she not only has the President and Mrs Obama’s implicit trust and ear, but is unyieldingly protective and loyal and will give her life for them.

    Valerie Jarrett is that rare gift God gives a deserving President and First Lady especially ones who have been subjected to the most hostile and malicious attacks and sabotage from not just the ignorant racists, but from the media, the republican opposition and sadly from Democrats and the various strains of “liberal” leaning voices and leadership.

    Every time I look and see Valerie Jarrett, I feel so much better. I know that she always looks out not just for the President, but Mrs Obama.

    For Valerie Jarrett, it has ALWAYS been about the Obamas – both of them: their professional successes, but even more importantly, the health and protection of their very beings and their relationship as a couple – and their marriage. She has NEVER made it about herself – a rarity in the mad, mad, pea-cocking world of politics and power.

    Cannot say the same for others. For no matter how reasonable, committed and well-intentioned they might seem at first, most if not all, just want that access and closeness to the President and his ear so that they can exploit and leverage that for their own purposes.

    Which is why most of them will leak things to the media to try to get their way with and strong arm the President – and many of them are gathering materials for their many tell all books when this is all over.

    The measure of who should be ones most trusted and closest adviser is entirely epitomized by the brilliant, dignified and amazing Valerie Jarrett.

    She has such integrity and loyalty, does no self-promotion, takes no credit for accomplishments, honors, prioritizes and fiercely guards the President AND First Lady, and does not and will never leak stuff.

    And one thing’s for sure, Valerie Jarrett unlike so many who now or once surrounded the President and Mrs Obama, will NEVER write or collaborate on a tell-all book or leverage information and years of access to the President and First Lady for personal gain, elevation, money or relevance. She will NEVER hurt or compromise the integrity and being of the President and First Lady. Never.

    President Obama would be a fool to ever let Valerie Jarrett out of his professional sight. She is and remains the singularly most selflessly devoted person he has on his staff. And that is guaranteed never to change.

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Very astute comment, and I couldn’t agree more. Ask Desiree Rodgers how it worked out for her Still love it that FLOTUS & POTUS don’t mingle with the D.C. KIDDIE BITCHES.

      Like

  11. rikyrah says:

    S Africa: rising new consumers to start spending?
    Jan 8, 2013 4:53pm by Irene Madongo

    The growth of South Africa’s black middle class has been a dynamic boost for the economy, attracting local and foreign investment, and now the country’s consumer landscape could shift forward as another new emerging consumer segment takes shape in the lower social ranks.

    According to Annabel Bishop, chief economist for the Investec Group in South Africa, and author of the report Investec SA’s Macro Economic Outlook 2013-17, people in South Africa’s lower class could progressively rise from being dependent on welfare and earning nothing to having a rise in income, forming a new consumer class.

    “You have a situation where households in the lower income levels are dependent on social welfare and in the long term improvements in education should allow many to move out of unemployment into formal sector employment, and eventually become financially independent from the state,” Bishop explains, “[This] means obviously that their income levels will rise significantly, and compared to where they are now, which is nothing, and from that point of view then they would obviously create a new segment, a new consumer spending market.”

    “They are not there yet, but they are starting to come about,” she explains.

    “By 2017 there are going to be a lot more people who are earning more money that will grow that emerging consumer class.”

    http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/01/08/sa-new-consumer-class-new-spending/#axzz2HPZKHhWd

    Like

  12. Ametia says:

    What goes into planning the 57th Presidential Inauguration?

    Some of the numbers may surprise you. Take a look, then share with your friends – don’t worry, we won’t hang on to any of the email addresses you provide.

    https://donate.2013pic.org/page/share/by-the-numbers?source=pic13_20130110_sk_full&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obama&utm_campaign=pic13_20130110_sk_full

    Like

  13. Ametia says:

    Haven’t watched Maddow since she pulled that Todd Akin-Mourdock-Hagel bullshit. Boycotting that bitch.

    Like

  14. Coretta Scott King and her daughter, Yolanda, in 1958

    Coretta Scott King and her daughter, Yolanda, in 1958

    Like

  15. NRA ‘disappointed’ with Biden meeting, says administration has agenda to attack Second Amendment –

    tmplivewire http://bit.ly/SmNYjM

    ___________________

    It means the NRA can no longer sell it’s bs story anymore. GTFOOH NRA!

    Like

    • Ametia says:

      Cry me a fuckin’ river. I’m sure those 20 kids in Newtown’s parents are beyond disappointment that a murdering 22 year old angry white male killed their childrern.

      Like

  16. rikyrah says:

    Today at 9:11 AM

    Debt Ceiling Hostage Enablers
    By Jonathan Chait

    The House Republicans’ averred position of making the occasion of a debt ceiling hike into a high-stakes negotiation is a new and dangerous turn in American politics. Fortunately for them, it is not being treated as such.

    Consider recent columns by Ross Douthat, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Megan McArdle. All are right-of-center columnists but not reliable Republican water carriers. If the GOP were to receive signals that it is going beyond the pale and risking an extreme backlash among elites, these sort of writers would be the canary in the coal mine. Instead, they are sending the opposite message.

    Douthat and McArdle do disavow debt ceiling hostage-taking. But, in pox-on-both-houses, assert that the prospective response of minting platinum coins is just as bad. (McArdle: “Silly loopholes are exploited for bargaining power, and the resulting stalemates are generally solved with a temporary patch that solves the immediate problem by creating a bigger one down the road.” Douthat: “One party behaves irresponsibly, the other side counters with a wave of irresponsibility of its own.”) And so, if Republicans do refuse to raise the debt ceiling, they can assume that the result will not be a wave of abhorrence directed at them but instead a diffuse disgust at Washington in general, perhaps accompanied by more calls for third parties, as happened the last time Republicans flirted with financial disaster in 2011.

    It’s true that, as a matter of procedure, the platinum coin gambit is just as much of a boundary-pushing exercise as debt ceiling hostage-taking, technically legal but violating the spirit of the law. But one is an exercise in boundary pushing that deliberately creates the risk of economic chaos in order to advance partisan ends. The other gambit is an effort to forestall economic chaos. Surely there are important differences between pushing the legal line to create a weapon and pushing the legal line to defuse one. And yes, both McArdle and Douthat argue that Republicans might retaliate by taking even crazier and more dangerous positions, but that again does not make defensive measures against destructive threats anything like an equivalent to threats themselves.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/01/debt-ceiling-hostage-enablers.html

    Like

  17. rikyrah says:

    Karl Rove accidentally unmasks the GOP’s debt ceiling ruse
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I know you’re tired of hearing that the Republicans’ position on the debt ceiling is incoherent and that their claims of leverage are greatly exaggerated. But now we have none other than Karl Rove confirming all of this for us.

    Rove’s latest column rips into Obama for supposedly mischaracterizing the GOP position on the debt limit. He quotes Obama saying: “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.” And here’s how Rove responds to Obama:

    The experience didn’t leave Mr. Obama with greater humility. Instead, this New Year’s Day he tartly said, “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.” Who is suggesting we don’t? Not House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, or any other Republican leader. Quite the opposite. They want to cover the cost of the existing debt while cutting spending to prevent a fiscal catastrophe.

    Mr. Obama’s use of straw-man arguments to misrepresent the GOP’s position became tiresome long ago. He does this in part because he can get away with it, thanks to a compliant press corps. His reliance on the tactic may also spring from his recognition that he has a weak case and cannot win the argument otherwise.

    Who is suggesting we don’t pay our debts? Not Boehner, McConnell, or any other GOP leaders.

    There you have it. Rove acknowledges flat out that Boehner, McConnell, and other Republican leaders do recognize that they will have to raise the debt ceiling. They just, you know, want to raise it while reaching a broader deal to cut spending. The game here is absurdly transparent: You mustn’t claim Republicans are crazy enough to destroy the economy to get their way, because they don’t want to do that at all — but you still must play along with the idea that the need to raise the debt ceiling (which they acknowledge must happen) still somehow gives them leverage to get the cuts they want.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/01/10/karl-rove-accidentally-unmasks-the-gops-debt-ceiling-ruse/

    Like

  18. rikyrah says:

    did you all know that BroomHilda from Django has her own doll?

    :blink:
    :blink:

    Like

  19. rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka@NerdyWonka

    Pres. Obama on Jack Lew: “he’s a low key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than cameras.”

    Like

  20. rikyrah says:

    Jerry Brown predicts California budget surplus by end of next year

    January 10, 2013 | 10:27am

    After years of red ink, Gov. Jerry Brown said on Thursday that California’s $96.7-billion general fund is now poised to end next year with a surplus, thanks to years of deep budget cuts and billions in new taxes approved by voters last year.

    “We achieved the position we’re in because of tough cuts … and then the people voted for taxes,” he said. “We broke the logjam by going to the people.”

    Schools will be the big winner in the governor’s new spending plan, receiving $56.2 billion in state funds, an increase by $2.7 billion over the last year. That funding is set to jump to more than $66 billion by 2016.

    The budget also dedicated an additional $350 million to the state’s public insurance program, Medi-Cal, to help implement President Obama’s healthcare law.

    Brown’s budget predicts only the second budget surplus in the last decade, with an $851-million surplus projected at the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year — if all his proposals are approved by lawmakers.

    With Democrats firmly in control of both legislative houses and the governor’s office, and without what had become familiar multibillion-dollar deficits, this year’s announcement lacked the anxiety and urgency that had surrounded past budget unveilings.

    Instead of railing against proposed reductions in popular programs, activists are now girding for long policy battles based on the ideas put forward by the governor on Thursday.

    Those fights will play out in the Legislature over the coming months. While they include sweeping changes in how Sacramento spends its money, those skirmishes, too, will lack the drama over cuts to schools and health services that have dominated Capitol discourse for the better part of the last decade.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/california-politics/2013/01/california-budget-jerry-brown-surplus.html

    Like

  21. Ametia says:

    Biden cites broad agreement on ‘universal background checks’ for gun buyers
    Source: Washington Post

    Vice President Biden said Thursday he sees an emerging consensus around “universal background checks” for all gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines as he completes the Obama administration’s broad study of ways to curb the nation’s gun violence.

    Biden, who said he would present his working group’s policy recommendations to President Obama by Tuesday, suggested that universal background checks and a high-capacity magazine ban would be part of the administration’s agenda.

    Biden made the remarks as he opened a meeting with hunters and sportsmen, one of a series Thursday that also includes a gathering with gun owners’ groups, notably the National Rifle Association. It was not immediately clear how those participants would react to such recommendations.
    “There is an emerging set of recommendations — not coming from me but coming from the groups we’ve met,” Biden said. “There is a surprising, so far, a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks. These recommendations were not only about “closing the gun show loophole,” he said, “but total universal background checks, including private sales.” He said the focus would be on how to “strengthen those background checks.”

    Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-cites-broad-agreement-on-universal-background-checks-for-gun-sales/2013/01/10/2369cc6c-5b4b-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

    Like

  22. Ametia says:

    Thursday, January 10, 2013
    But It’s Not About Race
    Posted by Zandar

    President Obama is pretty magical, not only can he sell record guns and ammo, he can triple the membership of the Klan in Virginia just by being President. Nobody seems to know why, though…

    Residents in Richmond, Virginia have reported seeing more recruitment flyers from the Ku Klux Klan, in part of what one Klan member told WTVR-TV is a push for a membership surge fueled by opposition to President Barack Obama.

    “Since Obama’s first term our numbers have doubled,” said the hooded man, who identified himself as a “Grand Dragon,” a leader of the state network. “And now that we’re headed to a second term it’s going to triple, this is going to be the biggest resurgence of the Klan since 1915.”

    Think Progress reported that hate group membership is on the rise around the country, with racial animus against Obama cited as a reason.

    However, the Klansmen told the station they see their group as the “white separatist” equivalent to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples.

    “Everyone thinks that we’re a hate group,” he said. “We’re not a hate group, we don’t hate anyone, and we want to see good things come to our race.”

    http://zandarvts.blogspot.com/2013/01/but-its-not-about-race.html

    Like

  23. Ametia says:

    Reclaiming Women’s Stories of the Segregated South
    By Katherine van Wormer

    Before The Help was well known three of us, David W. Jackson III, Charletta Sudduth, and I, were gathering the real stories of women who worked for white families in the segregated South. Now our book, The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South is out from LSU Press.

    http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2013/01/09/women-segregated-south/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+racismreview%2FnYnz+%28racismreview.com%29

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  24. rikyrah says:

    I have loved this week’s series, SG2. thank you

    Like

  25. rikyrah says:

    PETER MAER@petermaercbs

    Pres. Obama signs bill restoring lifetime Secret Service protection to former presidents, their spouses and young children.

    Like

  26. Ametia says:

    Virginia Governor Says Restore Voting Rights for Nonviolent Felon Offenders
    by Brentin Mock, Thursday, January 10 2013, 11:38 AM EST

    Yesterday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced in his 2013 State of the Commonwealth speech that he supports Republican-sponsored bills to automatically restore civil rights — including voting rights — for nonviolent felony offenders. Virginia is one of three states that permanently bars felony offenders from voting or running for office even after they’ve already served time in prison and any probation/parole sentence. The governor alone can restore those rights and only after a cumbersome process that includes a two-year wait for nonviolent offenders or a five-year wait for violent offenders. There are roughly 350,000 Virginians, most of then African Americans, disenfranchised due to this law.

    Gov. McDonnell is now saying the wait is over for nonviolent offenders — or at least that it should be. Automatic rights restoration will only happen with an amendment to the state’s constitution, which can only be done by the state legislature. According to The Washington Post, Republicans in that legislature gave Gov. McDonnell’s appeal a lukewarm response, and those who head the committees responsible for creating such legislation oppose automatic rights restoration.

    However, McDonnell was clear about his support for it, saying:

    “While we have significantly improved and fast-tracked the restoration of civil rights process, it’s still an executive process. As a nation that believes in redemption and second chances, we must provide a clear path for willing individuals to be productive members of society once they have served their sentences and paid their fines and restitution. It is time for Virginia to join most of the other states and make the restoration of civil rights an automatic process for non-violent offenders.”

    http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/01/virginia_governor_says_restore_voting_rights_for_nonviolent_felon_offenders.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+racewireblog+%28ColorLines%29

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    Ethan Klapper✔
    @ethanklapper

    Obama just signed a bill that grants him lifetime Secret Service protection

    Like

  28. Ametia says:

    OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
    The Debt Ceiling’s Escape Hatch

    THE fiscal cliff may have been avoided, but an even higher-stakes political standoff — this time, over the federal debt ceiling — is just around the bend.

    Congressional Republicans have said they will demand immense cuts to popular government programs in exchange for agreeing to raise the nation’s authorized borrowing limit of $16.4 trillion. The Treasury Department briefly nudged against that ceiling on Dec. 31, but used “extraordinary” financial measures to buy more time. If nothing is done, the government will soon be unable to pay all of its bills in a timely manner. This unprecedented event would profoundly damage the government’s credit rating and send the financial system into a tailspin.

    So far, President Obama isn’t giving in. As he rightly said last week, he “will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/opinion/an-escape-hatch-for-the-debt-ceiling.html?_r=0

    Like

  29. CEO Threatens To ‘Start Killing People’ Over Possible Obama Gun Policy

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/james-yeager-start-killing-people-obama-gun-policy_n_2448751.html#comments

    One CEO says he’s willing to go to outrageous lengths to protect his right to use a gun.

    James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a Tennessee company that trains people in weapon and tactical skills, claimed in a video posted on YouTube and Facebook that he would “start killing people” if President Barack Obama decides to take executive action to pass further gun control policies, Raw Story reports.

    In a frenetic address to the camera, Yeager puts a call out to other gun rights advocates to “load your damn mags” and “get ready to fight” in what he claims will turn into a “civil war” if gun control measures in the country get any stricter.

    JavaScript required to play Unhinged Tactical Response CEO Threatens to ‘Start Killing People’ Over Obama’s Gun Control Video Cafe.

    Like

  30. rikyrah says:

    Rachel LaBruyere‏@raylab

    speechless. RT @fshakir: RT @danirwin: CNN just interrupted Biden’s press conference on gun control to report another school shooting

    Like

  31. Ametia says:

    Pop stardom trumps plan B
    By Jess Righthand
    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Emeli Sande

    You may not know Emeli Sand by name, but if you’ve been listening to Rihanna or Alicia Keys lately, there’s a good chance you know her work.

    Sand wrote the bonus track “Half of Me” on Rihanna’s 2012 album, “Unapologetic,” and co-wrote three songs on Keys’s latest, “Girl on Fire.” In addition to those big-name collaborations, the 25-year-old Scottish singer has a best-selling debut album, “Our Version of Events,” in the United Kingdom. She kicks off her first U.S. tour this week, bringing her powerhouse vocals and piano-driven songwriting to the Howard Theatre on Monday.

    For years, Sand pursued music on the side. The singer studied neuroscience at the University of Glasgow for nearly five years, often commuting to London on weekends to perform.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/music-events/emeli-sande,1235298/critic-review.html?wpisrc=nl_gogthu

    Like

  32. rikyrah says:

    January 09, 2013 4:22 PM

    Return of the Town Hall Wars
    TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro files a report on a town hall meeting on gun violence held by California’s centrist Democratic congressman Mike Thompson:

    On Tuesday night, Thompson hosted the first of three gun violence town halls in his northern California district. As they vowed to do, gun control opponents showed up in force to make their case against new regulations. But, according to local reports of the meeting, they were met with equally impassioned gun control proponents. It’s a preview of what might happen after the White House and Thompson reveal their post-Newtown legislative proposals: opposition to gun control is likely to be met by vocal support for new gun regulations that is just as loud.

    McMorris-Santoro notes this brings back memories of the equally impassioned by largely one-sided participation in town hall meetings during congressional consideration of the Affordable Care Act.

    I’m not sure if it’s safe to assume citizens favoring gun regulations will be as well-represented in town halls in North Georgia as opposed to Northern California. But there’s a difference in context that should make progressives welcome rather than fear such events.

    The ACA, after all, was a new and complex piece of legislation that was easier to demagogue against than to explain. All the shouting may have influenced some well-intentioned people it needed more scrutiny or even a fresh congressional start.

    In the case of gun regulations, pretty much everybody in the country has heard the arguments on both sides for years and seen the same sad news stories of various massacres. If Second Amendment absolutists want to flood town hall meetings and shriek about conspiracies to take away their hunting rifles or their right to stockpile military weapons in case they decide it’s time to start shooting cops and members of the armed forces to stop shut acts of tyranny as Obamacare—well, let ‘em have at it. I do not think the case for gun-nuttery gets any stronger from discussion, at whatever volume.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

    Like

  33. rikyrah says:

    January 09, 2013 5:12 PM

    Splits in the Gun Club

    Why is the White House apparently so bullish on actually making progress on gun regulation? Aroused citizens not willing to let the gun lobby push them around any more are part of the new picture. But a more tangible factor is the prospect of splitting the Second Amendment club between the people who just want firearms for hunting or home security, and those who want assault rifles (often, according to their own rhetoric, in case violent insurrection against the U.S. government becomes necessary).

    This split might, morever, be manifested in the defection of gun retailers from the gun lobby, as TNR’s Bill Scher explains:

    [T]he White House’s emerging strategy, according to the Washington Post, includes this possible gambit: “rallying support from Wal-Mart and other gun retailers for measures that would benefit their businesses….”

    Would Walmart go for it? It’s plausible. Unlike edgy gun shows that serve niche markets, Walmart needs to maintain an image with broad appeal, beyond those who dream of assembling a militia in their backyard. This is why Walmart previously partnered with Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns to establish security guidelines for hiring, training staff, and conducting sales that goes beyond what’s required by law. It’s also why Walmart will participate in Thursday’s session of Vice President Joe Biden’s gun control task force, a decision the company made just hours after suffering criticism for saying it had a scheduling conflict. If the choice today is between Barack Obama or Wayne LaPierre, it’s no contest

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

    Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    January 10, 2013 9:43 AMDefense Hawks Swoop
    John Boehner should probably stop doing interviews.

    His reported talk with the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that was published Monday under the provocative title “The Education of John Boehner” (an illusion, I am confident, to William Greider’s famous “The Education of David Stockman” piece in late 1981 that nearly got Stockman fired as Reagan’s budget director) is continuing to cause him problems. Intended, presumably, to convey a sadder-but-wiser-and-tougher sense of his negotiating posture on fiscal issues after the “fiscal cliff” deal, the story got lots of attention for Boehner’s assertion that “the tax issue is resolved,” and some for his depiction of the stark differences between himself and the president on every basic fiscal and economic issue.

    But the part of the story that’s biting him in the butt right now involves the spending sequestration that was recently delayed for two months, and that had been widely considered a leverage point for the White House with Republicans, given their frantic desire to spare the Pentagon any cuts. The Hill’s Russell Berman and Jeremy Herb explain:

    In his interview with The Wall Street Journal, Boehner said that during the late stages of the fiscal-cliff negotiations, it was the White House — and not Republican leaders — that demanded a delay in the $109 billion in scheduled 2013 cuts evenly split between defense and domestic discretionary programs. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Vice President Biden ultimately agreed to push the sequester back by two months, partially offsetting it with other spending cuts and leaving $85 billion in remaining 2013 cuts in place.

    The Speaker suggested the sequester was a stronger leverage point for Republicans than the upcoming deadline to raise the debt ceiling, for which he is insisting on spending cuts and reforms that exceed the amount in new borrowing authority for the Treasury. Therefore, the willingness of Republicans to allow the sequester to take effect is “as much leverage as we’re going to get,” Boehner told the Journal

    Negotiating 101 tells you that you don’t make that kind of assertion unless you’ve got your ducks in a row and know you won’t be undercut by the people you claim to be speaking for. It seems Boehner did not do any of those things

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

    Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    Swiss bank Wegelin to close after guilty plea

    Wegelin & Co, the oldest Swiss private bank, said on Thursday it would shut its doors permanently after more than 2 1/2 centuries, following its guilty plea to charges of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes through secret accounts. The plea, in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, marks the death knell for one of Switzerland’s most storied banks, whose original European clients pre-date the American Revolution.

    It is also potentially a major turning point in a battle by U.S. authorities against Swiss bank secrecy. A major question was left hanging by the plea: Has the bank turned over, or does it plan to disclose, names of American clients to U.S. authorities? That is a key demand in a broad U.S. investigation of tax evasion through Swiss banks.[....]

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/04/us-swissbank-wegelin-idUSBRE9020O020130104

    Like

  36. Ametia says:

    Most Antagonistic’ Toward Israel? That Would Be Ronald Reagan’s Defense Secretary
    By Joe Conason

    When Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina warned on national television over the weekend that Chuck Hagel “would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of Israel in our nation’s history,” either his memory served him very poorly — or he was simply lying to smear his former Senate colleague. For whatever Hagel’s perspective on Mideast policy may be, it would be absurd to compare him with the Secretary of Defense whose hardline hostility toward Israel became notorious during the Reagan administration.

    That would be the late Caspar W. Weinberger, of course.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/print/35743

    Like

  37. Ametia says:

    REPOSTING- Don’t let the mofos divide and conquer us.

    Like

  38. Ametia says:

    Who’s doing the VETTING HERE?

    Louis Giglio, the anti-LGBT pastor who had been announced to perform the benediction at President Obama’s second inauguration, has been removed from the program, ABC News’s Jonathan Karl reported Thursday.

    The move came after ThinkProgress reported Wednesday that in the 1990s, Giglio had given a lengthy sermon in which he advocated for dangerous “ex-gay” therapy for gay and lesbian people, referenced a biblical passage often interpreted to require gay people be executed, and impelled Christians to “firmly respond to the aggressive agenda” and prevent the “homosexual lifestyle” from becoming accepted in society.

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/01/10/1429501/anti-gay-pastor-removed-from-inaugural-program/

    Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    Ryan picks up where he left off
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:30 AM EST

    For much of the political establishment, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is a fiscal wonk preoccupied with lowering the deficit he helped increase during the Bush/Cheney era.

    But for those more familiar with his record, Ryan is, and has always been, a fierce culture warrior.

    In recent years, Ryan fought against contraception access; he worked with Todd Akin to redefine rape; he said the government should force women impregnated by rape or incest to carry their pregnancies to term; he co-sponsored a “Personhood” measure that would ban in-vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control; and he twice voted for a constitutional amendment to prevent marriage equality.

    As the new Congress gets underway, the far-right Wisconsinite appears to be picking up where he left off.

    Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization.

    Ryan, who reportedly has 2016 presidential ambitions, had to de-emphasize his opposition to abortion without exceptions during the 2012 election to align his position with presidential candidate Mitt Romney. But this year, Ryan has been tapped as a keynote speaker for the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List’s sixth annual Campaign for Life Gala, and he is re-upping his support for the most extreme anti-abortion legislation in the country.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/10/16448528-ryan-picks-up-where-he-left-off?lite

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    In a city with no sick leave

    By Laura Conaway
    Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:49 AM EST

    Remember when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a law overturning Milwaukee’s mandatory sick leave? That was 2011. This is report now from that city, where they are suffering through a severe flu epidemic:

    Emergency departments at Milwaukee-area hospitals have been forced at times over the last 10 days to divert ambulances elsewhere because a surge in patients with flu-like illnesses is approaching the 2009 swine flu pandemic, health officials said Wednesday

    Milwaukee voters passed the sick-leave ordinance with a referendum in 2008. It required companies to give their workers five to 10 paid sick days, depending on the size of the company. The federal government recommends staying home if you’ve got the flu, both for your own sake and for that of your co-workers. That’s now a harder to do in Milwaukee than city voters wanted it to be. For the low-wage workers who are less likely to get benefits like sick time, it could mean a choice between public health and keeping their families afloat.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/10/16448203-in-a-city-with-no-sick-leave?lite

    Like

  41. Closer than close, well
    Closer than most
    I just see so much in you
    And I want a better view
    I want to look deeper into you, yeah

    Like

  42. rikyrah says:

    Business leaders back Obama, not GOP, on debt ceiling
    By Steve Benen

    Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:09 AM EST

    If you only listen to rhetoric out of DC, you might think Republicans and the business community are the closest of allies. It’s the GOP, the argument goes, standing up for America’s private sector against those rascally Democrats and their big government, “anti-business” agenda.

    But when it comes to Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage, the caricature is turned on its head. In this crisis, GOP leaders couldn’t care less what the nation’s “job creators” want or believe, and it’s the business community rallying behind President Obama.

    Greg Sargent flagged a terrific example yesterday.

    The powerful Financial Services Roundtable — which is headed by former GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and represents nearly 100 of the largest financial service firms in the country — is set to increase pressure on Congress to raise the debt limit, warning that failure to do so will make the markets go “haywire.”

    “We are in favor of raising it, and we will be encouraging policy makers to increase it,” Scott Talbott, the senior vice president for public policy for the Financial Services Roundtable, told me today. He added that the group was gearing up to communicate the demand for action to Congress, an effort that could include sending letters to every member.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/10/16448014-business-leaders-back-obama-not-gop-on-debt-ceiling?lite

    Like

  43. rikyrah says:

    Glen Johnson‏@globeglen

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Will use wife’s family Bible for private swearing-in on Jan. 20 at the White House…

    Like

  44. rikyrah says:

    This Diversity Charge is Bunk

    by BooMan
    Thu Jan 10th, 2013 at 09:51:39 AM EST

    This is just wankilicious (from Chuck Todd’s shop):

    The second-term cabinet shuffle has been an unforced error so far. (The reason why the White House is receiving criticism for a lack of diversity is that it has nominated three consecutive white men for cabinet posts — John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and today Jack Lew — but without a high-profile woman or minority thrown into the mix. And that doesn’t include John Brennan at CIA and a likely white male to be the next White House chief of staff.) Indeed, you could argue that the Romney folks thought a lot more about staffing a Romney administration over the next four years than Team Obama did about a second-term administration. In fairness to the White House, its top officials were so focused on the fiscal-cliff talks in the past two months. What’s more, this kind of disorganization isn’t unusual for a second term, especially after winning a hard-fought race for re-election. And finally, it’s a process story. At the end of the day, it’s likely that Obama’s second-term cabinet will have plenty of diversity and top-notch names. But the process hasn’t been pretty. Question for the White House: Why didn’t it have a second-term transition director? Someone whose full-time job was to keep an eye on the optics of how and when to announce, on the leaks etc.

    I’ll concede that there has been so sloppiness surrounding the announcement of nominees for the new cabinet, but let’s look at this diversity charge. So far, the administration has replaced a white man at Defense with a white man at defense. They’ve replaced a white Christian man at Treasury with an Orthodox Jew who faithfully observes the Sabbath (he sure as shit don’t fucking roll). He’s (for now) retained Eric Holder, a black man, as his Attorney General. He’s retained Eric Shinseki, of Japanese ancestry, as head of Veteran’s Affairs. He’s retained Kathleen Sebelius as head of Health & Human Services. The single appointment that can be described as getting less diverse is John Kerry’s replacement of Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. Yet, if you think about it, Kerry and Clinton share something different in common. They are the two most prominent members of the Democratic Party who have never been president. Kerry, like Clinton, was selected for his stature, not his gender or race.

    It could wind up that Obama’s second term cabinet is considerably less diverse than his first. Considering that, in addition to those mentioned above, his first term cabinet included an Asian-American at Energy, Latinos at Labor and Interior, blacks as EPA administrator and as U.S. Trade Representative, and women at Commerce and Homeland Security, it would be hard to get more diverse.

    Under the circumstances, it is totally premature to characterize the diversity of the new cabinet, but it’s also a contextually-challenged charge. If the most diverse cabinet in history gets a little less diverse, that isn’t exactly surprising. The thing is, based on the appointments that have already been announced, it really hasn’t become less diverse at all.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/10/95139/7638

    Like

  45. TheObamaDiary.com‏@TheObamaDiary

    ‘In 2010 Joe Williams was first AA editor hired at Politico after outcry over lack of diversity’, he ‘left’ last year http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/180097/where-joe-williams-departure-leaves-politicos-newsroom-diversity/

    Like

  46. Ametia says:

    Obama To Officially Nominate Lew For Treasury Today
    Source: TPM

    President Barack Obama will formally nominate chief of staff Jacob Lew to serve as the next secretary of treasury at a 1:30 p.m. ET event today, the White House announced. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be in attendance at the event, which will take place at the East Room of the White House.

    In the announcement, the White House stressed Lew’s track record in “tackling some of the toughest domestic and international economic challenges facing our nation in decades.”

    The announcement:

    Jack Lew will bring an impressive record of service in both the public and private sectors for over three decades and economic expertise to this important role, and his deep knowledge of domestic and international economic issues will enable him to take on the challenges facing our economy at home and abroad on day one. Throughout his career, Jack Lew has proven a successful and effective advocate for middle class families who can build bipartisan consensus to implement proven economic policies.

    As White House Chief of Staff, Jack Lew led the President’s team in tackling some of the toughest domestic and international economic challenges facing our nation in decades. That included strengthening our nation’s recovery from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression to dealing with serious fiscal matters and challenges in the global economy. He also led the Office of Management and Budget under President Clinton and President Obama, negotiating a historic agreement with Congress during the Clinton administration to balance the federal budget and leading the negotiations of the bipartisan Budget Control Act in 2011, which brought discretionary spending to historically low levels.

    -snip-

    Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/obama-to-officially-nominate-lew-for-treasury-today?ref=fp

    Like

  47. Ametia says:

    The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced Thursday morning.

    The nominees for best picture are “Argo,” “Django Unchained,” “Life of Pi,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Les Miserables,” “Amour” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

    The nominees for best actor are Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”), Denzel Washington (“Flight”), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) and Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”).

    The nominees for best actress are Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) and Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”).

    The nominees for best supporting actor are Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”), Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”), Alan Arkin (“Argo”) and Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”).

    The nominees for best supporting actress are Sally Field (“Lincoln”), Amy Adams (“The Master”), Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”) and Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”).

    The nominees for best director are Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”), David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), Michael Haneke (“Amour”) and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).

    Like

  48. rikyrah says:

    NRA’s public standing takes a hit
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jan 9, 2013 2:49 PM EST.

    Following up on Laura’s piece, the National Rifle Association isn’t just sending creepy fundraising appeals; it’s also alienating more and more of the American mainstream. A new survey from Public Policy Polling offers some bad news for the conservative group.

    PPP found that the organization now has a negative favorability rating, which is a reversal from a poll conducted the week before Wayne LaPierre’s bizarre press conference on the massacre in Newtown, Conn.

    The NRA’s agenda isn’t exactly winning people over, either — 41% of poll respondents support the effort to deploy armed guards to schools nationwide, while 50% oppose the idea. (Most Democrats and independents reject the proposal, while most Republicans endorse it.) The notion of arming school teachers is backed by only 27% of the public, and even most gun owners do not favor the idea.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/09/16433296-nras-public-standing-takes-a-hit?lite

    Like

  49. rikyrah says:

    New Mexico to expand Medicaid program

    By By Barry Massey on January 09, 2013

    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez says New Mexico will follow provisions of a federal health care law to expand the state’s Medicaid program to potentially provide medical services to 170,000 low-income adults.

    New Mexico will join at least 15 other states and the District of Columbia in broadening eligibility for the health care program under terms of a health care overhaul championed by President Barack Obama.

    Martinez made the announcement Wednesday during a speech in Albuquerque.

    About a fourth of New Mexico’s population currently receives health care through Medicaid, but the program mostly covers uninsured children in low-income families along with the disabled and some extremely low-income adults.

    The expansion in 2014 will make adults eligible with incomes of about $26,000 for a family of three or $15,400 for an individual.

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-01-09/new-mexico-to-expand-medicaid-program

    Like

  50. rikyrah says:

    I truly believe this is the way to go – start the divest in gun manufacturerers, the way that it was done with divest in South Africa.

    You can have all the Second Amendment you want, but if folks pull their money, things will change.

    ………………..

    NYT: One of America’s largest pension funds began on Wednesday to divest itself of firearms holdings, a response to the schoolhouse shooting in Newtown, Conn., that other pension funds could follow.

    The California State Teachers Retirement System, known as Calstrs, voted unanimously to begin its formal divestment process. The vote occurred at a public meeting where teachers said they did not want their retirement nest eggs placed with companies like the Freedom Group, the maker of the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle that authorities say Adam Lanza used to kill 20 first graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook elementary school on Dec. 14.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/business/california-teachers-fund-to-divest-of-gun-stock.html

    Like

  51. rikyrah says:

    NYT: With the selection of a new national security team deeply suspicious of the wisdom of American military interventions around the world, President Obama appears to have ended, at least for the moment, many of the internal administration debates that played out in the Situation Room over the past four years.

    He has sided, without quite saying so, with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s view – argued, for the most part, in the confines of the White House — that caution, covert action and a modest American military footprint around the world fit the geopolitical moment….

    Gone for the second term are the powerful personalities, and more hawkish voices, that pressed Mr. Obama to pursue the surge in Afghanistan in 2009… The new team will include two Vietnam veterans, Senator John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, who bear the scars of a war that ended when the president was a teenager

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/politics/obama-nominees-in-step-on-light-footprint.html?ref=politics&_r=0

    Like

  52. rikyrah says:

    From The Washington Post:

    Bibles used by King, Lincoln to be part of Obama’s second inauguration

    By Michelle Boorstein,
    Jan 10, 2013 05:01 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: January 9
    Martin Luther King Jr. carried a black leather King James Bible on his journeys as a young pastor starting out in Montgomery, Ala. He turned to this “traveling Bible” for inspiration, his family says, as he fought for freedom and equality.

    President Obama will put his hand over King’s well-worn Bible at his public swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, the holiday celebrating the birthday of the slain civil rights leader. King’s Bible will be stacked with the burgundy velvet and gilded Bible used by President Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration.

    Obama chose the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration in 2009, making him the first president to do so since it was initially used in 1861. President Harry S. Truman also used two Bibles, as did Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon.

    The announcement about the Bibles, to be made publicly Thursday, is part of the slow unspooling of inaugural details that fascinates lovers of ceremonial Americana.

    Presidential inaugurations have become more filled with rites, and such decisions are especially weighty now at a time when the White House is aware that Americans are struggling to come together.

    King’s family said in a statement that he would be “deeply moved” to see Obama use the traveling Bible on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, “and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term.”

    Like

  53. Ametia says:

    Reframing the Gun Debate
    By CHARLES M. BLOW
    Published: January 9, 2013

    This time things are different.

    SNIP

    First, let’s fix some of the terminology: stop calling groups like the National Rifle Association a “gun rights” group. These are anti-regulation, pro-proliferation groups. They prey on public fears — of the “bad guys with guns,” of a Second Amendment rollback, of an ever imminent apocalypse — while helping gun makers line their pockets.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/opinion/blow-reframing-the-gun-debate.html?hp&_r=0

    Like

  54. rikyrah says:

    Joe Scarborough Goes Off On Mika Brzezinski After She Asserts He’s ‘Being Chauvinistic’

    by Meenal Vamburkar | 7:09 am, January 10th, 2013

    The Morning Joe family got heated and a bit awkward this morning during a discussion about the lack of diversity in President Obama‘s inner circle. As Joe Scarborough pointed to the lack of outrage and the Republican/Democrat double standard, Mika Brzezinski vehemently disagreed — and told him he was being “chauvinistic.” Scarborough… didn’t take it well. At one literally snapping his fingers at his co-host.

    The issue of diversity took up the entire segment, but started to grow contentious when the BBC’s Katty Kay sought to downplay the lack of diversity in Obama’s cabinet while noting that Mitt Romney‘s “binders full of women” comment resonated because it reinforced the “1950s” attitude some perceived him having toward women.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/joe-scarborough-goes-off-on-mika-brzezinski-after-she-asserts-hes-being-chauvinistic/

    Like

  55. rikyrah says:

    OK…

    I can’t be the only one here who watched Best Funerals Ever. to be honest, my mouth was open most of the episode…I couldn’t stop shaking my head…

    and for all the publicity about the Chili’s guy, that wasn’t even the craziest thing that was done for a funeral in the episode. Taking the urn to the State Fair was to me.

    Like

  56. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    Like

  57. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    Like

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