Tuesday Open Thread | Diana Ross Week

Good Morning. Let’s reflect some more on Diana Ross.

Diana-Ross-ILoveYou

Early solo career: 1970–1981

After her obligations with the Supremes were fulfilled with Jean Terrell set as the Supremes’ new lead vocalist, Ross signed a new contract as a solo artist in March 1970. Two months later, Motown released her eponymous solo debut, which included the hits, “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the latter song becoming her first number-one single as a solo artist on the pop and R&B charts, also becoming an international hit reaching the UK top ten, and winning Ross her first Grammy nomination. Ross followed this with a second solo album, Everything Is Everything, which was also released in 1970, and included the number-one UK ballad, “I’m Still Waiting.” The album, however, failed to reach the same success as Ross’ debut. Reunited with Ashford & Simpson, Ross fared better with her third album, Surrender, released in 1971, which included her hit cover of the Four Tops’ “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” and “Remember Me.”

To continue that album’s momentum, Ross performed in her first solo TV special, Diana! This was a ratings success. Due to her commitments to working on her first major film and her duet recording with Marvin Gaye, Ross only released one solo recording in 1972. She reemerged in 1973 with “Touch Me in the Morning,” which became her first single to reach number-one in three years. The album of the same name became Ross’s first non-soundtrack studio album to reach the top ten, peaking at #5. Later that year, the Diana & Marvin album, her duet album with Gaye, was released, and spawned five hit singles, including three released in the United States and two in Europe, gaining an international hit with their cover of The Stylistics’ “You Are Everything.” In 1973, Ross began giving out concerts overseas where she immediately sold out at every concert venue she performed at. That year, Ross became the first entertainer in Japan’s history to receive an invitation to the Imperial Palace for a private audience with the Empress Nagako, wife of Emperor Hirohito.[10] Ross’s next solo album, 1974′s Last Time I Saw Him featured the successful title track, but it was not as successful as Touch Me in the Morning. Ross left off 1975 for another film, returning in 1976 with another eponymous album, which saw Ross gain a dance audience after the release of the disco-tinged song, “Love Hangover,” which returned the singer to number-one. (Will Smith later sampled the hook of “Love Hangover” for his chart selection “Freakin’ It.”)

Ross’s follow-up albums, 1977′s Baby It’s Me and 1978′s Ross, however, both faltered on the charts, mainly due to lack of promotion and a period of growing tension between Ross and Gordy, stemming from an incident in 1975 after Ross struck him after the two engaged in an argument on the set of Ross’s film, Mahogany. In 1977, Ross starred in her own one-woman show at Broadway, titled An Evening with Diana Ross. Her performance later resulted in her winning a Tony Award. A television special of this show was later aired to much success. In 1979, Ross achieved her first gold-selling album in three years with The Boss, the first album since Surrender to be formally produced by Ashford & Simpson, who had by then left Motown to have a successful singing career. Initially, Ross had been set to work on an album with Rick James; James would later confirm that the song, “I’m a Sucker for Your Love” was originally a duet between Ross and James, but James changed his mind after Motown only wanted him to produce a couple tracks. James passed on the song and some others on Teena Marie’s debut album. The recording and release of The Boss further deteriorated Ross’s relationship with Berry Gordy, as he had not approved of the producers and refused to receive credit as executive producer, hinting at Ross’s own desire to leave Motown.

——————————————————————————–

After catching the group Chic at a concert where she attended with her daughters, Ross advised to the leaders of the band, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to work with them in New York on her next album. They agreed and, in 1980, Ross released the Diana album. The album became her highest-charting solo album and her most successful, featuring hits including the number-one hit, “Upside Down,” her first song to reach the top position in four years. Another song, “I’m Coming Out,” became equally successful; its hook would later be sampled for “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.” Diana would become Ross’s final studio album under her Motown contract. She would later work on four songs to complete her contractual obligations for the compilation album, To Love Again, which would be released in May 1981. Though Ross had sought to leave Motown in 1980 shortly after the release of Diana, she discovered, just as she was planning to leave Motown, that she only had up to $150,000 in her name despite helping Motown to earn millions of dollars with her recordings in the twenty years she had been signed to the label. Upon learning she was a free agent, several labels offered deals. Eventually, Ross would settle on a $20 million deal with RCA Records. Before signing, however, Berry Gordy called her begging her to not leave Motown. Ross asked if Gordy could match the $20 million that RCA had offered her. When Gordy told her that he could not match it, Ross told him she was planning to leave the company. Ross signed with RCA on May 20, 1981, and her $20 million deal in 1981 became then the most lucrative contract of any recording artist at the time. After leaving, Ross achieved her sixth and final number-one hit with Lionel Richie on the ballad “Endless Love” around the same time Ross left the label.

 

 

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59 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Diana Ross Week

  1. Ametia says:

    NRA targets Obama’s kids in a scathing new ad
    Sarah Muller, @digimuller
    10:17 pm on 01/15/2013

    The National Rifle Association is getting personal. In a new web video the gun lobby calls President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for using the Secret Service to protect his two children, Sasha, age 11, and Malia, age 14.

    The ad, posted to the NRA’s Stand and Fight website, criticizes Obama for opposing the NRA’s proposal of increasing the number of armed guards in schools as a way to prevent shootings like the Sandy Hook massacre.

    “Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” asks the voiceover on the ad. “Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?” It continues, “Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. Protection for their kids and gun-free zones for ours.”

    The video does not show pictures of the president’s daughters, using instead images of outspoken gun control advocates such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden.

    The ad served as a preemptive strike against President Obama, who plans to unveil his high anticipated proposals to reduce gun violence on Wednesday. Along with school security, mental health and the entertainment industry, the president is also expected to recommend universal background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines and some sort of assault weapons ban.

    http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/15/a-new-low-nra-targets-obamas-kids-in-scathing-new-ad/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    HOLD THE FUCK UP!!!

    The NRA used SASHA AND MALIA in an ad?

    Like

  3. rikyrah says:

    Rev. Al cracks me up…talking to this CAC about them voting against Sandy Aid….Rev. Al couldn’t help himself…his facial expressions give him away…..he was so like ‘ W-T-F’ talking to this guy tonight..LOL

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  4. rikyrah says:

    Tracy Thorne-Begland’s long trip to the bench
    By Steve Benen

    Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:24 PM EST

    Remember Tracy Thorne-Begland? Nearly a year ago, Thorne-Begland, a state prosecutor, a father, and a former Top Gun fighter pilot, was a state judicial nominee in Virginia. His nomination enjoyed bipartisan sponsorship, but it was defeated anyway — Thorne-Begland is gay and several Republicans said that made him biased and unqualified for the state bench.

    This year, the decorated Navy veteran fared far better.

    The Virginia House and Senate elected interim Judge Tracy Thorne-Begland to a full term on the Richmond Manchester General District Court today, giving legislative approval to the state’ s first openly gay judge after rejecting him last year.

    The Republican-controlled House voted first, approving him 66-28 with one abstention, and was followed by a Senate vote of 28-0. Twelve social conservatives in the Senate did not vote.

    That last line was of particular interest. Ben Tribbett reported that 12 Republicans in the state Senate “walked out” rather than vote on Thorne-Begland’s confirmation. “You read that correctly,” Tribbett added. “A majority of the Virginia Senate GOP — 12 of 20 Senators — walked out rather than vote for a gay judge.”

    That said, Thorne-Begland’s nomination, which should have been approved last year, is now complete.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/15/16529186-tracy-thorne-beglands-long-trip-to-the-bench?lite

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Today at 9:36 AM

    Bush Speechwriter Michael Gerson Exposes Obama’s Sinister Being-Reasonable Ploy
    By Jonathan Chait

    The Obama presidency has been an agonizing time for those few remaining moderate Republicans. They fully oppose their party’s extremism, but the gravitational loyalty of partisan attachment prevents them from confronting it head-on. The most common coping mechanism is to imagine a moderate future for the party that always lies just around the corner, merely awaiting the latest promising Republican to flesh out a few details.

    A more interested approach is displayed in the work of Michael Gerson, a former Bush administration speechwriter and a key figure in the development of the “compassionate conservatism” slogan. Gerson’s method of reconciling his party loyalty and disdain for the party’s stance is to blame it all on Obama. Today’s Gerson column is fascinating on a purely psychological level.

    The topic is the fiscal showdown between Obama and the House Republicans. Gerson argues that the House cannot responsibly threaten not to lift the debt ceiling and that the reasonable compromise would be to reform the tax code in a way that raises revenue while also trimming spending on retirement programs. (He endorsed the latter view more fully a week ago.) That is also Obama’s position, but Republicans in the House reject it.

    Gerson sees this standoff as confirmation of Obama’s cynicism. Obama, he writes, “knows that Republicans are forced by the momentum of their ideology to take positions on spending that he can easily demagogue.” They’re forced by ideology. There’s nothing they can do about it! The ideology has momentum. Republicans are merely along for the ride.

    Having absolved the GOP for any role in its own extremist posture, Gerson proceeds to lay out the president’s dastardly scheme:

    [Force] the GOP to surrender on the debt limit, with nothing in return. Require Republicans to accept new taxes in exchange for any real spending reductions. If they agree, their caucus is fractured (again). And if they refuse (which they are likely to do), paint them as obstructionists and extremists who are willing to destroy the economy/the nation’s credit rating/the military for their own ideological purposes

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/01/obamas-sinister-being-reasonable-ploy-exposed.html

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  6. rikyrah says:

    We Will Need to Get Shrill

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 15th, 2013 at 03:45:59 PM EST

    I assume that because the Republicans can steal most of the Electoral College votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, that they will at least try to do so. Virginia, Florida and Ohio, I think they will leave alone. Let me explain what I am talking about.
    As far as I know, there are 48 states that award their Electoral College votes on a winner-take-all basis. Maine and Nebraska give their 2 senate votes to the statewide winner, too, but they award the rest of their delegates to the winner of each congressional district. In 2008, Barack Obama lost Nebraska rather badly, but he won the congressional district containing Omaha, and he was awarded one delegate from the state.

    Legally, there is no reason that all 50 states couldn’t do the same thing. But most state governments have no incentive to water down the power of their state or to allow the weaker party to gain any share of their delegates. For example, Democrats in California and Republicans in Texas would never go for this kind of reform because it would only weaken their candidate for president. But if the traditionally weaker party can gain control of the legislature of a state while controlling the governor’s mansion, they can capture electoral votes that they are unlikely to win any other way. That condition is now met in the states mentioned above.

    The key is, the whole thing backfires on you if your presidential candidate actually wins the state. I think the Republicans probably believe that they still have a shot at winning Florida, Virginia and Ohio outright, so they won’t want to tinker with the Electoral College there, but I think they probably see Wisconsin and definitely see Michigan and Pennsylvania as lost causes.

    Just doing Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would give the next Republican nominee a likely boost of about 27 electoral votes. It’s the rough equivalent of stealing Florida. If they did this in all the states where they have the technical power to do it, they’d gain 64 votes, which coincidentally is exactly the number Mitt Romney would have needed to get to 270 and win the presidency. And, no, there are no states where we could reciprocate.

    Obviously, the optics of doing this in just a few states where it is transparently designed to confer an uneven advantage to the Republicans would be at least as bad as the trillion dollar coin. But why would the Republicans care? If they don’t pull a stunt like this, they’ll have to actually abandon their unpopular conservative delusions and become a moderate, inclusive party. Fuck that.

    And it’s not illegal

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/15/143143/181

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  7. rikyrah says:

    USA Today: Q&A: Myrlie Evers-Williams on the inauguration

    Q: Did you ever imagine as you worked with your husband Medgar Evers on civil rights that one day there would be a black president?

    A: Of course, we all knew, we hoped, we worked, we prayed that one day there would be a man or a woman of African-American descent who would become the president of the United States of America. That has been a dream come true but if we look at the politics leading up to particularly his second term, there were blocks that came during this time of getting people to register and to vote that are reminiscent of some of those actions that took place 50 years ago to keep people of my race and others away from the polls.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/01/14/myrlie-evers-williams-inauguration-invocation-obama/1834107/

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  8. rikyrah says:

    The Momentum of Their Ideology

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 15th, 2013 at 07:23:01 PM EST

    Hey, indeedy. Steve Benen and Jon Chait have a laugh at Michael Gerson’s expense. Because, Gerson actually wrote this:

    Gerson sees this [budget] standoff as confirmation of Obama’s cynicism. Obama, he writes, “knows that Republicans are forced by the momentum of their ideology to take positions on spending that he can easily demagogue.” They’re forced by ideology. There’s nothing they can do about it! The ideology has momentum. Republicans are merely along for the ride.

    “The momentum of their ideology” will now join “catapulting the propaganda” in the pantheon of awesomely-coined terms Republicans use to explain their own evil/insanity. Just like defining themselves outside the “reality-based community,” the phrase does more work than originally intended.

    But, you know what? What have I been telling you for years now? The Republicans’ strength in unity becomes a weakness when it comes time to get flexible. If I know that you will never fold a pair of jacks, eventually I will own all your money. It’s really that simple. The GOP telegraphs their positions, digs in, and never suspects the flanking maneuver. That’s on defense. On offense, they walk straight forward without ever sending out forward observers to look out for ambushes. If you know exactly what they will or won’t do (at least on a few crucial issues) you can set them up months or even years in advance. And they are so propelled by the momentum of their ideology, that it’s almost not fair to mow them down. Almost.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/15/19231/2273

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  9. US House approves $50.7 billion measure for Superstorm Sandy victims; vote sends measure to Senate

    http://apne.ws/XC3NRx

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  10. rikyrah says:

    W-T-F???

    ………………
    Tuesday, Jan 15, 2013 06:45 AM CST
    This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it

    Gene Rosen sheltered six kids during the Sandy Hook massacre. Now he’s become a target of conspiracy theorists
    By Alex Seitz-Wald

    “I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?”

    “The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said. So much so that a friend shields him from most of it by doing daily sweeps of the Web so Rosen doesn’t have to. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who took the complaint seriously but said police probably can’t do anything at the moment; he plans to do the same with the FBI.

    What did Rosen do to deserve this? One month ago, he found six little children and a bus driver at the end of the driveway of his home in Newtown, Conn. “We can’t go back to school,” one little boy told Rosen. “Our teacher is dead.” He brought them inside and gave them food and juice and toys. He called their parents. He sat with them and listened to their shocked accounts of what had happened just down the street inside Sandy Hook Elementary, close enough that Rosen heard the gunshots.

    In the hours and days that followed, Rosen did a lot of media interviews. “I wanted to speak about the bravery of the children, and it kind of helped me work through this,” he told Salon in an interview. “I guess I kind of opened myself up to this.”

    The “this” in question is becoming a prime target of the burgeoning Sandy Hook truther movement, which — like its precursor that denied the veracity of the 9/11 terror attacks — alleges that the entire shooting was a hoax of some kind. There were conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting from Day One, but the movement has exploded into public view the past two weeks, and a Google Trends search suggests it’s just now picking up steam. It’s also beginning to earn the backing of presumably credible sources like a professor and a reporter.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/this_man_helped_save_six_children_is_now_getting_harassed_for_it/

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    • The gun loving nuts have targeted this man because they know sweeping gun control laws are coming. These soulless infidels are claiming the Sandy Hook killings are a hoax. It’s reprehensible! They are looking for someone to harass and found Gene Rosen.

      Like

  11. rikyrah says:

    RNC backs radical electoral-vote schemes
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:55 PM EST.

    The Republican National Committee is restricted by a 30-year consent decree from targeting racial and ethnic minorities in its efforts to end fraudulent voting. Calling the anti-intimidation decree “antiquated,” RNC lawyers asked the Supreme Court to lift the order, but yesterday, the justices turned down the appeal without comment.

    The RNC, however, is not without other offensive ideas

    National Committee believes Wisconsin and other battleground states should change the way they allocate their Electoral College votes, but he said he is not inserting himself into how states decide to proceed.

    “It’s not my decision that can come from the RNC, that’s for sure,” said Reince Priebus, the RNC’s chairman.

    Gov. Scott Walker recently said he was intrigued by the notion of Wisconsin divvying up its electoral votes by congressional district, but that he had not made up his mind on whether to back the idea.

    We’ve discussed this before, but for those just joining us, Republicans in a variety of states — including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio — have raised the prospect of changing the way their states’ electoral votes are allocated in presidential elections. Instead of winner-take-all contests in which the candidate who wins the most votes in the state then wins that state’s electoral haul, some in the GOP want district-by-district races.

    That way, in a state like Wisconsin, President Obama can beat Mitt Romney by over 200,000 popular votes, but when it came time for the electoral college, Obama and Romney would split Wisconsin’s electoral votes, five to five. Expand this to the national level and Obama would have finished 2012 with 5 million more popular votes than Romney, but Obama still would have lost the election thanks to gerrymandered districts.

    ——————————————————————————–

    As Rachel explained on the show last month, Republicans “are talking about crossing a Rubicon that has never been crossed before.” GOP officials, with the national party’s blessing, are looking for ways to rig presidential elections in Republicans’ favor, and have settled on this scheme as a possible solution to the problem of American voters preferring Democratic candidates.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/15/16527252-rnc-backs-radical-electoral-vote-schemes?lite.

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Polls show strong support for new gun laws

    By Steve Benen

    Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:59 AM EST

    The White House is set to release a series of recommendations from Vice President Biden’s task force on gun violence, which will no doubt face intense criticism from groups like the NRA and their allies. But two new polls suggest that a month after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, there’s a growing public appetite for meaningful gun reform.

    A Pew Research Center report released late yesterday found a majority of Americans support a wide variety of new measures, some by enormous margins. For example, 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, while 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns.

    It’s worth emphasizing that in our current political climate, 80% of Americans don’t agree on much, but they at least agree on measures like these.

    What’s more, two-thirds of Americans (67%) favor creating a federal database to track gun sales. In a bit of a surprise, nearly as many people (64%) support having more armed security in schools, boosted by large numbers of self-identified Republicans backing the idea.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/15/16523822-polls-show-strong-support-for-new-gun-laws?lite

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  13. rikyrah says:

    Impeachment is not a toy, redux
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:37 AM EST.

    Rep. Steve Stockman (R) of Texas served one term in the 1990s, during which he ran into a little trouble in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, when his “links to anti-government militia groups” became problematic.

    Sixteen years later, the right-wing lawmaker is back on Capitol Hill, and this time, he’s prepared to impeach President Obama if the White House uses executive orders to shape gun policy

    …………………………………

    The Texas congressman added that “the president’s actions” — which, remember, have not happened — are a direct attack on Americans that place all of us in danger.” Stockman added, “If the president is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist.”

    Let’s look at this from a few different angles. First, I’d recommend Rep. Stockman consider decaf.

    Second, using executive orders on gun policy is not an impeachable offense. On the contrary, Republican presidents have acted on gun policy through executive orders, too, and there are plenty of legal options available to the president that are entirely consistent with constitutional limits and powers. No sane person is talking about “suspending constitutional rights.”

    And third, impeachment is not a partisan toy.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/15/16525007-impeachment-is-not-a-toy-redux?lite

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  14. rikyrah says:

    That’s not what ‘thoughtful’ means
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:40 AM EST.

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a far-right Republican from Tennessee, spoke to MSNBC’s Chris Jansing about the Republican debt-ceiling crisis yesterday, and the congresswoman said a couple of things that stood out for me

    For thing, Blackburn kept using one word over and over again: Republicans want to be “thoughtful in what is done.” The GOP leadership team will “move forward on this with a very thoughtful plan.” Congress should “be very thoughtful,” and the process “requires thoughtfulness.”

    To borrow an Inigo Montoya line, Blackburn keeps using that word, but I do not think it means what she thinks it means.

    Not to put too fine a point on this, but there’s nothing “thoughtful” about a hostage crisis. Blackburn and her colleagues are threatening to hurt Americans on purpose unless their still-undefined demands are met, and though GOP focus groups may responded well to the word “thoughtful,” it doesn’t change the fact that Republicans’ tactics fall well outside the norms of the American political tradition.

    Blackburn’s rhetorical strategy seems to be, “If I keep saying we’re being ‘thoughtful,’ maybe the public won’t notice how completely insane the hostage strategy really is.”

    But even putting rhetoric aside, there’s a related substantive problem.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/15/16524361-thats-not-what-thoughtful-means?lite

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  15. rikyrah says:

    Debt ceiling endgame comes into view
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    This is a great catch by Jed Lewison. On MSNBC this morning, Rep. Greg Walden — a member of the House GOP leadership — would not directly answer when asked if the House would allow a vote on a debt ceiling hike without a majority of Republicans supporting it. If so, it could very well pass the House, mostly with Democratic support.

    Little by little, you can see the outlines of a possible endgame coming into view. To be sure, things could still go very wrong for Dems, but there is a potential outcome favoring them that is looking more likely: Republicans quietly allow the debt ceiling to get detached from the other talks, while voting against raising it themselves.

    There are two ways this could work. The first is that Senate Dems could put up the so called “McConnell provision” — the measure supported last year by the Senate GOP leader that would effectively transfer authority over the debt ceiling to the President — for a vote. Yesterday Obama asked Congress to give him this authority.

    As you’ll recall, last year Mitch McConnell asked Harry Reid to hold a straight up or down vote on this provision, to bluff Dems, but was forced to filibuster his own proposal when it became clear that Dems had the unity to pass it. If Dems put this up for a vote again — and they should — virtually the whole strengthened Dem majority would likely support it. If McConnell filibusters again it’s possible Dems could get the 60 votes needed to overcome it.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/01/15/debt-ceiling-endgame-comes-into-view/

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  16. Ametia says:

    Lance Armstrong’s Discordant Redemption Song
    Dave Zirin on January 14, 2013 – 11:41 AM ET

    his week Lance Armstrong, our most famous cyclist/cancer survivor/suspected Performance Enhancing Drug user, aims to do something more daunting than ride a bike up the face of the Pyrenees. He is attempting to ride Oprah’s couch back into the good grace of public opinion. On Monday night, Armstrong will, after fifteen years of strenuous, Sherman-esque denials, “come clean” and admit to imbibing illegal “performance enhancers” during his record-setting career. This will not go well—and not only because the broadcast will have already been leaked, dissected and thoroughly flambéed before it airs Thursday night.

    If Armstrong were only trying to win back the public support he’s lost since the United States Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles, that could prove challenging enough. But he is attempting the public relations of equivalent of riding his bike through the eye of a needle. Armstrong needs to demonstrate to USADA that he is now, according to reports, on a “path to redemption”. This interview is meant to encourage USADA to lift their lifetime ban on Armstrong’s competitive career and allow him to enter triathlons as well as other events under USADA’s umbrella.

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/172196/lance-armstrongs-discordant-redemption-song?rel=emailNation#

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  17. rikyrah says:

    Why gun politics are no longer dangerous for Democrats
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 15, 2013 at 11:34 am

    All signs are that President Obama intends to include an assault weapons ban in the package of gun reforms he’s set to release this week. This provision is widely thought to have little chance of getting through Congress; even Harry Reid has expressed skepticism that it can pass the Senate, and red state Dem Senators are said to be leery of it.

    It’s unclear why Dems need to worry about the politics of the ban, however. That’s because new polling shows that opposition to the assault weapons ban is driven almost entirely by non-college males, a constituency the Democratic Party continues to rely upon less and less. Meanwhile, the constituencies that form the pillars of the emerging Democratic coalition — minorities, young Americans and college educated whites, particularly women — support the ban, in come cases overwhelmingly.

    This underscores the ways in which gun control politics are changing — and why Dems no longer need to fear the issue.

    The new polling comes from the Post/ABC News survey out last night. The toplines show that Americans support an assault weapons ban by 58-39. I asked the Post polling team for a detailed demographic breakdown:

    * White non-college men are by far the least supportive, at 43-55.

    * Meanwhile, white college educated men support a ban, 57-41. White college educated women are even more supportive, 73-25.

    * Nonwhites overall are also very supportive, at 63-33.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/01/15/why-gun-politics-are-no-longer-dangerous-for-democrats/

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  18. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Conservatives surrendering in debt ceiling fight?
    Posted by Greg Sargent on January 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

    The obsession with the platinum coin has distracted media figures from what is a far more important story: The slow realization sinking in among Republicans and conservatives that they are losing the debt ceiling fight.

    We’ve already heard from Newt Gingrich and the Wall Street Journal edit board that the threat of default puts the GOP in a terrible political position. John Boehner has admitted that the debt ceiling is not the party’s primary source of leverage in the fiscal talks. Mitch McConnell has refused to say whether he stands behind Boehner’s continued insistence (despite his acknowledgment of weak leverage) that any debt ceiling hike shouldn’t happen without spending cuts of the same magnitude.

    Today, in another step forward, the National Review calls on Republicans to take the threat of default off the table:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/01/15/the-morning-plum-conservatives-surrendering-in-debt-ceiling-fight/

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  19. rikyrah says:

    January 15, 2013

    What’s Really Behind the Hagel Fight
    Aaron David Miller points out that the bumpy nomination and confirmation process for Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary isn’t really about Hagel himself.

    “This is really a fight about Barack Obama. It is being driven by three somewhat overlapping constituencies — a pro-Israel community that doesn’t trust the president, a Republican party and a neoconservative elite struggling unsuccessfully to define its own foreign policy identity, and finally, a party in opposition that

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2013/01/15/whats_really_behind_the_hagel_fight.html

    Like

  20. rikyrah says:

    REMINDER:

    The Real Husbands of Hollywood premieres tonight at 10 pm EST on BET.

    I think it’s gonna be hilarious.

    Like

  21. rikyrah says:

    Ted Yoho, the Least Experienced House Freshman, Has a Secret Weapon: His 24-Year-Old Chief of Staff

    Kat Cammack went from having one Capitol Hill internship to running Rep. Ted Yoho’s office.

    Kat Cammack had just come from meeting a big donor in Jacksonville, Florida, and was now in a house with boarded-up windows, rusty frying pans, and what appeared to be human feces on the torn-up couch.

    “It was like a redneck party gone wrong,” she told me over a greasy-spoon breakfast on Capitol Hill. “At that point I was ready for someone to sneak up on me and take me out. I was just thinking, ‘If I die, I die; it is what it is.’”

    Cammack, the blond former pageant girl, just one year removed from being the head cheerleader at her university, was at this house to deliver a Ted Yoho-for-Congress sign. Fortunately for her, the man living there wanted nothing more than to express support for her boss and regale her with stories of his life as a carny and sing her a little opera (she said he had a very nice voice). It was just another day in the life of the only staffer on the Yoho campaign.

    In the end, the work paid off. Yoho—who had had no political experience but had been a large-animal veterinarian for 30 years—managed an improbable victory over 12-term Republican incumbent Cliff Stearns. With the election over, Cammack has gone from campaign manager to chief of staff.

    Oh, and she’s only 24 years old.

    Let’s put this into perspective: The only other political experience Cammack has is an internship in the office of Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., office and some volunteer work here and there for other campaigns, all while she was attending Metro State University in Colorado. There are ways to balance out inexperience in congressional offices. A guy with no political experience can hire a Hill vet to help guide him through his first years, or a longtime lawmaker can hire a young chief of staff to inject some new ideas into a stagnating office. Yoho’s office decided to just double down on the inexperience.

    http://nationaljournal.com/congress/ted-yoho-the-least-experienced-house-freshman-has-a-secret-weapon-his-24-year-old-chief-of-staff-20130115

    Like

  22. rikyrah says:

    Coulter: ‘Not a gun problem,’ U.S. has ‘demographic problem’ with non-whites

    Ann Coulter is insisting that guns don’t kill people, non-white people kill people.

    The conservative columnist on Monday told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the country had a “demographic problem” because “white populations” in the U.S. and Belgium had the same low murder rate.

    “As you know, I just got back from England,” Coulter explained. “On the gun crimes, we keep hearing how low they are in Europe and, ‘Oh, they’re so low and they have no guns.’ If you compare white populations, we have the same murder rate as Belgium.”

    “So, perhaps, it’s not a gun problem, it is a demographic problem, which liberals are the one are pushing, pushing, pushing, ‘Let’s add more [African-American mass murderer] Colin Fergusons and more whoever the [Muslim] guy was who shot up Fort Hood.’ Why are they coming in to begin with?”

    Coulter suggested that if President Barack Obama decided to use an executive order to ban high-capacity magazines then the next Republican president should respond by banning “abortionists and abortion clinics.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/15/coulter-not-a-gun-problem-u-s-has-demographic-problem-with-non-whites/#.UPWCFsWlDjg

    Like

  23. rikyrah says:

    Listen to David Frum

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 15th, 2013 at 09:29:19 AM EST

    Another way of articulating David Frum’s point might be to say to the Republicans and their base that (in the fight over the budget) they can destroy the economy but they cannot win. They were able to force a deal in 2011 for two reasons. They had won a mandate from the voters in the 2010 midterms and the president was worried about being reelected and was willing to cave in order to protect the economy. This time around, they have no mandate, having lost the elections even worse than the results imply. And the president, while still protective of the economy, doesn’t have to worry that a recession will cost him his job. The last time the Republicans shut down the government, in 1995, they had a mandate and they still lost the political fight very badly. They also had a clean slate, having not controlled the House of Representatives for 40 years at the time. If they do it again, things will go very badly for them, even in many of their seemingly safe seats.
    I am not even talking about the debt ceiling and defaulting on our debts. That would be armageddon for the party, and I doubt Speaker Boehner would allow it. I am talking about refusing to appropriate the funds needed to keep people’s Social Security checks flowing and our National Parks open. David Frum is correct. The time to force major cuts to government programs is when the economy is healthy, unemployment is low, and after the Republicans have had a good election cycle. Until then, this kind of strategy is a suicide mission. It’s terrorism.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/15/92919/2924

    Like

  24. Sasha & Airforce One

    Sasha & Airforce One

    Like

  25. Ametia says:

    Alright ladies, if I get Inaugural ball tickets, WHICH ONE?

    Inaugural Style: Hail to the Chic

    http://dcscout.washingtonpost.com/post/40610798718/inaugural-style-hail-to-the-chic

    Like

  26. Ametia says:

    How to Divide and Conquer
    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 15th, 2013 at 10:59:32 AM EST

    I hesitate to even say this out loud because I don’t want to clue the Republicans into what is happening. But, they are about to see their Speaker break his promise not to put any more bills on the floor that don’t enjoy the support of the majority of his caucus or that haven’t gone through the normal committee process. He is going to do it to raise the debt ceiling. If his caucus would listen to reason, Boehner wouldn’t have to renege on his pledges, but they won’t listen to reason.
    For the administration, their demand is simple: a clean bill with no negotiations. But they would prefer it to pass with a minority of Republican votes because it drives the wedge further into the House GOP, destroys their unity and, thereby, their effectiveness. And it conditions them to act in a divided fashion, which is a requirement for passing anything on guns, climate, or immigration, as well as for any acceptable tax reform or overall budget deal.

    It pays to go back and look at how the Republicans geared up to oppose Obama’s presidency before his inauguration. Back in March 2010, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reflected on how well his plan had worked so far

    Read on: http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/15/105932/890

    Like

  27. This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/this_man_helped_save_six_children_is_now_getting_harassed_for_it/

    “I don’t know what to do,” sighed Gene Rosen. “I’m getting hang up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid’?” Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the “emotional Jewish guy,” and dozens of blog posts and videos “exposing” him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: “How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?”

    “The quantity of the material is overwhelming,” he said. So much so that a friend shields him from most of it by doing daily sweeps of the web so Rosen doesn’t have to. His wife is worried for their safety. He’s logged every email and every call, and consulted with a retired state police officer, who took the complaint seriously but said police probably can’t do anything at the moment, and he plans to do the same with the FBI

    Like

  28. Ametia says:

    Just have to say; that is ONE RIGHTEOUS AFRO, Lady Di.

    Like

  29. Ametia says:

    Don’t get it TWISTED folks, the crabs are scratching the sides of the barrel to exert their POWER and contue MOVING THE GOALPOST for the BLACK PRESIDENT.

    Presidents Bush and Clinton Also Used Executive Orders to Reform Gun Laws

    By: Sarah JonesJan. 15th, 2013more from Sarah Jones

    epublicans are threatening to impeach Obama over executive action on gun control, but many presidents have issued executive orders on gun control, including George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

    First Larry Pratt went impeachment nuts and then yesterday, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) threatened that he would file articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama if he uses the power of his office to address gun control.

    Stockman, who must not be familiar with the Constitution or history, claimed an executive order would be “unconstitutional” and “infringe on our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.” Stockman seems to get his news from the Daily Caller, Drudge and Fox News, because he believes, “If the president is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist.”

    President Obama hinted he might use executive action to address gun violence in his presser Monday. And then, Monday night Rep. Jackie Speier told Chris Matthews of MSNBC, “Vice President Joe Biden indicated there were some 19 areas he was able to identify that the president could take action on through executive order. He didn’t go into detail on what they might be, but suffice it to say, there will be some considered that will not require Congressional action.

    http://www.politicususa.com/presidents-bush-clinton-executive-orders-reform-gun-laws.html

    Like

  30. Ametia says:

    Hypocrite Republicans Ignored Decades of Debt Until Obama Became President
    By: RmuseJan. 15th, 2013more from Rmuse

    The act of replacing a high-priority action with a task of lower priority, or doing something of no importance at all and thus putting off important tasks to a later time is procrastination. The real issue, and problem with procrastinators, is ignoring the urgency of a high-priority task and in America, Republicans never place a high-priority on spending and the national debt until there is a Democrat in the White House that has been a regular occurrence dating back to the Reagan era. The priority for the last two Democratic presidents has been cleaning up the fiscal mess left by their Republican predecessors, and invariably, Republicans complicate matters by threatening to shut down the government to confound the Democratic president’s clean-up efforts and punish the people for electing a Democrat in the first place.

    http://www.politicususa.com/procrastinating-debt-decades-republicans-claim-time-waste.html

    Like

  31. Ametia says:

    ‘The Atlantic’ Pulls Scientology ‘Sponsor Content’ After Online Uproar
    9:56 PM PST 1/14/2013 by Andy Lewis

    The paid advertorial touted the accomplishments of Scientology and Church leader David Miscavige but drew withering online criticism.

    The Atlantic has removed from its website a paid “sponsor content” story touting Scientology after other news organizations and bloggers raised questions about the piece.

    In the paid advertorial posted Jan. 14 on theatlantic.com, the Church of Scientology promoted its accomplishments in 2012, including the opening of 12 flagship “Ideal” Scientology Churches around the globe. It also lavished praise on church leader David Miscavige and was replete with photos of him and the new church buildings. The posting came in advance of the Jan. 17 publication of New Yorker writer Lawrence’s Wright’s new history of the religion, Going Clear.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/atlantic-drops-scientology-sponsor-content-412586

    Like

  32. Ametia says:

    Loving this series on Ms. Ross. Thanks Rikyrah!

    Like

  33. Ametia says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.!

    Like

  34. rikyrah says:

    Open Thread: Growing Up, Getting Wiser

    By Anne Laurie January 15th, 2013

    About Justice Sotomayor’s book:

    … The occasion for the chat was the publication of Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, “My Beloved World,” this week. It is steeped in vivid memories of New York City, and it is an exceptionally frank account of the challenges that she faced during her ascent from a public housing project to the court’s marble palace on First Street.

    Justice Sotomayor turns out to be a writer of depth and literary flair, a surprise to readers of her judicial prose. (“I am a lawyer’s judge,” she said on hearing the observation. “I write very technically.”)…

    She acknowledged that she entered the Ivy League through “a special door” and that her adjustment was rough. “I felt like an alien landing in a different universe,” she said of her arrival at Princeton…

    She was part of a vanguard not always welcomed by the old order. In the book, she recalled letters in The Daily Princetonian “lamenting the presence on campus of ‘affirmative action students,’ each of whom had presumably displaced a far more deserving affluent white male and could rightly be expected to crash into the gutter built of her own unrealistic aspirations.”

    “There were vultures circling, ready to dive when we stumbled,” she wrote.

    She did not stumble. On graduating, she was awarded the Pyne Prize, the university’s highest undergraduate award, presented for a combination of academic success and extracurricular work….

    After her second year at law school, Justice Sotomayor spent a summer working at a prominent New York City law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. The vast majority of summer associates at big law firms in those days received offers for full-time jobs, but she did not. She called the experience “a kick in the teeth.”…

    Asked why she chose to discuss the matter, she said: “If I write a book where all I’ve ever experienced is success, people won’t take a positive lesson from it. In being candid, I have to own up to my own failures, both in my marriage and in my work environment.”…

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/01/15/open-thread-growing-up-getting-wiser/

    Like

  35. rikyrah says:

    Lew is a Different Kind of Pick

    by BooMan
    Tue Jan 15th, 2013 at 12:30:32 AM EST

    I think the last Secretary of the Treasury who had never been either a banker or a CEO/President (before Tim Geithner) was James Baker. Before Baker, you have to go back to John Connally (the guy in the car with Jackie and JFK). Feel free to look up all the bios of all the Treasury secretaries who have served this country in its entire history. I’m not an expert on this history and I don’t know a lot about most of them.
    I do know, however, that it’s been pretty much a requirement that anyone serving as the Secretary of Treasury have experience either in the financial services industry or as the head of a large corporation. Geithner slid by that requirement because being head of the New York Federal Reserve was close enough.

    Jack Lew had a year and a half stint at CitiGroup, which hardly qualifies him as an experienced banker, but does check the box.

    I’m not wedded to the idea that the Treasury Department should be run by CEOs and bankers instead of economists or progressive reformers, but I do find it tiresome when people act like Jack Lew is just more of the same. He’s actually quite a bit different. Geithner was a complete creature of Wall Street. Baker and Connelly really owed their positions to being the patrons of more powerful politicians: Connelly (LBJ) and Baker (Poppy Bush). Jack Lew isn’t anyone’s wingman. He barely got his feet wet on Wall Street. He’s a wonk. You might call him an expert.

    It’s not like I am excited about Jack Lew for Treasury. But he doesn’t fit the mold.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/1/15/03032/5753

    Like

  36. rikyrah says:

    Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    and Thank you.

    Like

  37. Ametia says:

    Republicans’ destructive game of chicken
    By Eugene Robinson,
    Jan 15, 2013 12:39 AM EST

    The Washington Post Published: January 14

    President Obama is set to begin his second term at a moment when the question is not what great things our nation can achieve but whether our government, in Obama’s words, can “stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis.”

    The jury is out, but continued dysfunction seems the most likely scenario. Obama’s news conference Monday — his last scheduled encounter with White House reporters before Inauguration Day — was a tutorial in low expectations.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-republicans-destructive-game-of-chicken/2013/01/14/92452362-5e92-11e2-9940-6fc488f3fecd_story.html

    Like

  38. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    Like

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