Wednesday Open Thread

nichelle nichols

Good Morning.

Today’s trailblazer is Nichelle Nichols.

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Nichelle Nichols (born Grace Dell Nichols; December 28, 1932) is an American actress, singer and voice artist. She sang with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before turning to acting. Her most famous role is that of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series, as well as the succeeding motion pictures, where her character was eventually promoted in Starfleet to the rank of commander. Her Star Trek character was groundbreaking in U.S society at the time, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. personally praised her work on the show and asked her to remain when she was considering leaving the series.[1][2]

Star Trek

It was in Star Trek that Nichols gained popular recognition by being one of the first black women featured in a major television series not portraying a servant; her prominent supporting role as a bridge officer was unprecedented. During the first year of the series, Nichols was tempted to leave the show, as she wanted to pursue a Broadway career; however, a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., changed her mind. She has said that King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series. He said she “could not give up” because she was playing a vital role model for black children and young women across the country, as well as for other children who would see African Americans appearing as equals.[1][2][7] It is also often reported that Dr. King added that “Once that door is opened by someone, no one else can close it again.”

 

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Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison has cited Nichols’s role of Lieutenant Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut and Whoopi Goldberg has also spoken of Nichols’s influence.[8] Goldberg asked for a role on Star Trek: The Next Generation,[9] and the character of Guinan was specially created, while Jemison appeared in an episode of the series.

In her role as Lieutenant Uhura, Nichols famously kissed white actor William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in the November 22, 1968, Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”. The episode is popularly cited as the first example of an inter-racial kiss on United States television.[10][11][12]

The Shatner-Nichols kiss was seen as groundbreaking, even though the kiss was portrayed as having been forced by alien telekinesis. There was some praise and some protest. In her 1994 autobiography, Beyond Uhura, Star Trek and Other Memories, on page 197 Nichols cites a letter from one white Southerner who wrote: “I am totally opposed to the mixing of the races. However, any time a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful dame in his arms that looks like Uhura, he ain’t gonna fight it.” During the Comedy Central roast of Shatner on August 20, 2006, Nichols jokingly referred to the groundbreaking moment and said, “Let’s make TV history again … and you can kiss my black ass!”

Despite the cancellation of the series in 1969, Star Trek lived on in other ways, and continued to play a part in Nichols’s life. She again provided the voice of Uhura in Star Trek: The Animated Series; in one episode, “The Lorelei Signal”, Uhura assumes command of the Enterprise. Nichols noted in her autobiography her frustration over this never occurring in the original series. Also, Nichols has co-starred in six Star Trek motion pictures, the last one being Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

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NASA work

After the cancellation of Star Trek, Nichols volunteered her time in a special project with NASA to recruit minority and female personnel for the space agency, which proved to be a success.[13] She began this work by making an affiliation between NASA and a company which she helped to run, Women in Motion.[14][15][16][17][18][19]

Those recruited include Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, and United States Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew successful missions during the Space Shuttle program before their deaths in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986. Recruits also included Charles Bolden, the current NASA administrator, and Lori Garver, the current Deputy Administrator.[19]

An enthusiastic advocate of space exploration, Nichols has served since the mid-1980s on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a nonprofit, educational space advocacy organization founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun.[17]

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50 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    Duke students rally against anti-Asian frat party

    By M. Alex Johnson, staff writer, NBC News

    Students at Duke University in Durham, N.C., gathered Wednesday to protest anti-Asian prejudice after a fraternity hosted a “racist rager” party last week replete with literature that lampooned Asian students.

    More than 800 people signed up to attend the rally on a Facebook page published by the university’s Asian American Alliance. The alliance later closed the page to public comment, saying national attention had made it an inappropriate forum “for a productive discussion of how to improve our campus.”

    “Something is deeply wrong with Duke. Something is deeply wrong with our community,” a representative of the association said at the gathering Wednesday afternoon. “… This protest is about the destructive prejudice that must be uprooted from every corner of Duke to make this place an inclusive and safe place for all.”

    The rally was planned after Kappa Sigma fraternity — which was allowed to return to campus last year after having dissolved in 2002 amid a misconduct investigation — threw a theme party Friday at which attendees dressed up in stereotypical Asian costumes, the campus newspaper, The Chronicle, reported.

    ——————————————————————————–

    The event was promoted through flyers and email messages that included stereotyped Asian spellings like “herro” and “peopre” and images of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. It was promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #RacistRager.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/06/16871238-duke-students-rally-against-anti-asian-frat-party?lite

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  2. Native American Man Shouts At Anti-Illegal Immigration Protesters: ‘You’re All F**king Illegal!’

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/native-american-man-shouts-at-anti-illegal-immigration-protesters-youre-all-fking-illegal/

    ******************************

    Twitter

    Crying with Laughter

    Like

  3. Why Are Howard Kurtz And Lauren Ashburn Highlighting ‘Michelle Obama’s Big Butt?’

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/why-are-howard-kurtz-and-lauren-ashburn-highlighting-michelle-obama%e2%80%99s-big-butt/

    The suspension of Alabama high school coach Bob Grisham for disparaging First Lady Michelle Obama‘s “fat butt” prompted The Washington Post reporter Krissah Thompson to pen a short essay about a pattern of attacks on Mrs. Obama’s posterior by white men, and their cultural significance. The Daily Download’s Lauren Ashburn and WaPo‘s own Howard Kurtz got in on the act, questioning, not the piggish high school coach, but The Washington Post, asking “Why Is Wash. Post Highlighting Michelle Obama’s Big Butt?”

    The crux of Kurtz’s criticism was that Krissah Thompson’s piece was only ostensibly a critique of the attacks on the First Lady, and was really just “an excuse to write about the First Lady’s backside.”

    In their brief video commentary, Ashburn defended the piece as newsworthy, while Kurtz derided Thompson’s reference to the “historical antecedents” of these attacks on Mrs. Obama, sarcastically asking “This is sociology?”

    Howie notes that “the Post is not accusing the First Lady of having a big butt, it is talking about those who are commenting on the First Lady having a big butt,” but… if you read Thompson’s excellent piece, you’ll notice that nowhere does she accept the premise that Michelle Obama has a “big butt,” whereas Kurtz does so twice in that sentence, and elsewhere in his commentary, and in the headline. He’s criticizing Krissah Thompson for highlighting something she never even mentions, while highlighting it himself, repeatedly.

    *********************

    I’ll be got damn! This is despicable. No way would these mofos be sitting on national tv discussing Laura Bush’s behind. How fking dare you. STFU about our First Lady, Howard Kurtz & Lauren Ashburn.

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  4. Ametia says:

    I’m looking forward to the POTUS’ SOTU address next week.

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  5. rikyrah says:

    Going Postal On The Mofo

    By Zandar February 6th, 2013

    Last call for Saturday mail, folks.

    The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays, but continue delivering packages six days a week.

    In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the service is expected to say the cut, beginning in August, would mean a cost saving of about $2 billion annually.

    The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010. The delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet use.

    Let’s recall why the USPS is struggling: because Republicans in Congress forced the agency to pay their retiree health care costs decades down the road up front in 2006, then refused to give them the money to do that. As a result, the USPS made massive workforce cuts and forced thousands into early retirement, which of course means the USPS has to pay those health care benefits up front, putting them into a death spiral.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/02/06/going-postal-on-the-mofo/#comment-4199119

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  6. rikyrah says:

    Choosing the self-inflicted wound

    By Steve Benen

    -

    The U.S. economy shrank in the final three months of 2012, and we know exactly why: government spending cuts took capital out of the system and caused a slight contraction. Similarly, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported yesterday that economic growth will be weaker than it should be in 2013 because of “fiscal tightening,” including “scheduled automatic reductions in federal spending.”

    The conversation on Capitol Hill is so ridiculous, it no longer resembles reality in any meaningful way. Congressional Republicans insist they want to improve the strength of the recovery. How? By cutting spending that undermines the strength of the recovery.

    In related news, Republicans also believe no exercise and excessive eating is an effective weight-loss method.

    The dirty little secret is that the fiscal status quo is working quite well, at least insofar as it’s achieving its intended goals — policymakers have cut spending and raised revenue, which is supposed to reduce the deficit, and which is reducing the deficit. Indeed, the fiscal difficulties Republicans created during the Bush/Cheney era have been largely resolved, with deficits that are projected to keep shrinking and debt levels that are stabilizing.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/06/16869010-choosing-the-self-inflicted-wound?lite

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  7. rikyrah says:

    Well, sure, we could also try that

    By Kay February 6th, 2013

    In the run-up to the 2012 election, I was attending meetings on voter protection. I’ve been doing voter protection in this county since 2006, so the Obama campaign and Ohio Democratic Party training sessions were a review and update for me (and for most of the other people in the room as well). At one of the last pre-election gatherings, however, there was a very young lawyer who spoke up and said he didn’t understand the written materials and he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do in a real-life situation. A lawyer who had been a GOTV volunteer in Florida in the 2000 election came and spoke to us that day and his story was just chilling. He gets a call that something “hinky” is going on with balloting in Palm Beach County and then it all went to hell from there. The dramatic re-enactment of Bush versus Gore from the visitor may have been what alarmed the poorly-prepared Ohio lawyer.

    Anyway, an older man responded to the young lawyer’s concerns. He just looked at him and growled “blow the doors off and we won’t have to worry about any of this shit.” By “blow the doors off” he meant “turn out voters.” And that happened. I don’t know that we blew the doors off but Democrats turned out. It’s my belief that the coordinated GOP campaign to suppress Democratic voters DROVE turnout, to some extent. I have never seen such broad concern about voter suppression among “our” voters. I heard it everywhere I went. Concern wasn’t limited to those groups who have a history of being disenfranchised, as it has been in the past. I heard it from 65 year old white guys who have voted in the same precinct their entire adult lives. They were worried about it. That was new in 2012. We’ve always had a noisy, extremely litigious faction who care about voting rights, but we didn’t have broad buy-in, not here, anyway.

    Which brings me to this challenge to the VRA:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2013/02/06/well-sure-we-could-also-try-that/

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  8. rikyrah says:

    Crossroads invites rivals, starts to backpedal

    By Steve Benen

    We learned over the weekend the Karl Rove’s attack operation, American Crossroads, is launching a project called the Conservative Victory Project, intended to help discourage the Republican Party’s right-wing from nominating unelectable loons who lose general-election races.

    In particular, Crossroads president Steven Law noted his concerns about Iowa’s 2014 Senate race. “We’re concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem,” Law said. “This is an example of candidate discipline and how it would play in a general election. All of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.”

    Compare that to what Law told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd yesterday.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Todd noted that Steve King managed to win re-election against a credible Democrat in 2012. “Sure,” Law said, after noting the money Crossroads has already invested in Tea Party candidates. “And we put $400,000 into that race, actually, in support of him this last go around.”

    Jed Lewison picked up on the shift: “A few days ago, Law was basically calling Steve King an unelectable nut job, saying that he was “concerned” about King because of ‘King’s Todd Akin problem’ and the fact that ‘all of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.’ And now Law defends himself to conservatives by saying that his group actually spent $400,000 to try to elect King and refuses to repeat any of his pointed criticisms of King, instead saying he was trying to make a generic argument about how things a candidate has said or might say ought to be a factor in deciding who to support.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/06/16869386-crossroads-invites-rivals-starts-to-backpedal?lite

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  9. rikyrah says:

    Arkansas senator now OK with just listening through your belly

    As the Arkansas legislature continues moving toward a ban on most abortions, the sponsor of the state Senate version says he is willing to drop that part about the vaginal probe. From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

    An Arkansas senator proposing to ban most abortions in the state says he’s changing his bill to prohibit the procedure only if a fetal heartbeat is detected using an abdominal ultrasound.

    Senator Jason Rapert’s original legislation, passed by his chamber last week, would put abortion off-limits for most women before they even knew they were pregnant. You would have needed an ultrasound by vaginal probe in order to determine which very few women were eligible to exercise their constitutional rights. “Can you imagine what kind of feeling that would cause when inserted into a woman?” Democratic Senator Stephanie Flowers asked him last week during the debate. “No,” Rapert said.

    It turns out the state can still monitor a lot of pregnancies from the outside of your body, so Rapert’s going that route instead. Meanwhile, as you can see from the image, the senator who had been locally famous for his fiddling has become now famous in a whole new way as Fiddling Rapert. (H/t Arkansas Times.)

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/06/16869313-arkansas-senator-now-ok-with-just-listening-through-your-belly?lite

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  10. rikyrah says:

    In defense of the GOP’s “cosmetic” makeover

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on February 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Since November, a steady stream of Republicans have offered a “reform” agenda for the GOP. In speeches and interviews, up-and-coming Republicans like Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan have urged the party to craft solutions and build new appeal to ordinary Americans.

    Of course, neither figure has proposed actual reform, or a departure from the arch-conservative policies that defined Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency. With the possible exception of immigration, they’ve pushed new rhetoric for the same policies, in an attempt to navigate between real political constraints (the GOP base) and a real need for change.

    Yesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined the fray with a policy speech that presented existing GOP policies on education, immigration, and entitlements, but placed them under a new “make life easier” banner, as if it somehow made a difference.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/06/in-defense-of-the-gops-cosmetic-makeover/

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  11. rikyrah says:

    The end of an error
    By Steve Benen

    Though plenty of Republican pundits fared poorly in 2012, Dick Morris seemed to struggle more than most. You’ll recall that the Republican strategist guaranteed a Romney landslide, then later conceded he said things on the air he didn’t really believe as part of a larger partisan agenda. It wasn’t long after Election Day that even Fox News decided to bench him.

    That was two months ago. Now, Morris is a man without a network home.

    The Fox News Channel has declined to renew its contract with Dick Morris, a spokeswoman for the channel confirmed on Tuesday, three months after Mr. Morris was widely derided for predicting a landslide victory for Mitt Romney in the Nov. 6 presidential election.

    Media Matters published a related report today, highlighting Morris’ 15 years of “countless ethical violations, inaccurate electoral predictions, and offensive, false, and dishonest comments.”

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/06/16871360-the-end-of-an-error?lite

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  12. rikyrah says:

    Go Ahead and Fight Each Other

    by BooMan
    Wed Feb 6th, 2013 at 01:12:09 PM EST

    Do you know anything about Steve Deace? Simply put, he’s nuts. But he’s taking on Karl Rove in today’s Politico, which is noteworthy only because he’s far from alone in being highly displeased with Turdblossom.

    Karl Rove was once known as the “architect” but now a more appropriate nickname might be “demolition man.” Give Rove credit for one thing. He knows how to coalesce the conservative movement. He was the master strategist credited with getting the movement on one page to propel George W. Bush to eight years in the White House. But conservative dissatisfaction with Bush’s big government policies grew, and then eventually boiled over in the Obama years to what we now know as the tea party movement.
    Now Rove has succeeded in uniting the conservative grassroots yet again, but this time by becoming the face of the loathed Republican Party establishment. Rove’s prominent and annoying display on Fox News as the Republican ruling class’ mouthpiece and his new effort aimed at defeating the tea party makes him the point man for destroying the very conservative movement that made him a national name in politics in the first place.

    There is now an out-in-the-open civil war within the Republican Party, and most of the grassroots patriots I talk to are just fine with that. The GOP establishment is so hated by its own base that increasingly more and more of its grassroots have decided they might be better off with Democrats in charge rather than Rove’s kind of milquetoast, John Boehner-type of Republican. In an all-out fight for freedom and liberty these types of Republicans have proven to be about as useful as lipstick on a pig.

    The main thing is that the GOP is distracted by a growing civil war. It’s now more important for a lot of activists on the right to attack the Establishment (Rove, McConnell, Boehner) than the president or the Democrats.

    It’s a relief.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2013/2/6/13129/19346#10

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  13. rikyrah says:

    Defining the ‘extremes’ in the immigration debate

    By Steve Benen

    At the surface, there’s ample reason for optimism on comprehensive immigration reform. President Obama is investing considerable political capital into the issue; the public strongly supports the reform efforts; a bipartisan bill is already progressing in the Senate; and every Republican strategist and consultant is warning the party not to further alienate the fastest-growing voting constituency in the country.

    Even House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) recently declared, “This issue has been around far too long. A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

    All House Republicans have to do now is be half-way reasonable and reform should become a reality. What could go wrong?

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/06/16868677-defining-the-extremes-in-the-immigration-debate?lite

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  14. Wayne LaPierre’s mental illness (#NervousDisorder ) granted him a draft deferment.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022302951#post1

    Wayne LaPierre- nervous disorder

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  15. Ametia says:

    The Boy Scouts of America has decided to delay its vote on a proposal to allow local troops to decide whether to allow openly gay members and leaders. The organization said it needs more time to get input from its members. The vote will now be held in May.

    “After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the Scouts said in a statement.

    Until a vote is taken, it appears the organization will continue its ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders.

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  16. Ametia says:

    Obama marks 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade
    Posted by Felicia Sonmez on February 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    President Obama on Tuesday night delivered a video message to the NARAL Pro-Choice America annual dinner in which he thanked pro-abortion-rights activists for their work and marked the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

    “We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her right to reproductive freedom, because we know that we are better off as a nation when women are treated fairly and equally in every aspect in life, whether it’s the salary you earn or the health decisions you make,” Obama said in the 90-second video to supporters gathered in a ballroom of the Hilton Hotel.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/02/05/in-video-message-to-naral-dinner-obama-marks-40th-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade/

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  17. Oh no!

    Postal Service to say goodbye to mail delivery on Saturdays

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/postal-service-say-goodbye-mail-delivery-saturdays-1B8262819#/business/

    It’s been debated for months and months, but on Wednesday the United States Postal Service finally will announce it’s not going to deliver first-class mail on Saturdays anymore.

    The postal service’s announcement, planned for about 10 a.m. EST, is expected to say that packages, mail-order medicine, and express mail will continue to be delivered on Saturday, but not letters, bills, cards, and catalogs. Post offices which are now open on Saturdays will continue to be open on Saturdays.

    The move is meant to save the financially struggling agency about $2 billion annually as it wrestles with the rising popularity of email and social media eating away at its core business of delivering mail, and with the climbing costs of providing health benefits to its workers.

    Like

  18. rikyrah says:

    The consequences of scrapping recess appointments

    By Steve Benen
    The federal confirmation process seems pretty straightforward: the executive branch nominates officials to fill judicial and administrative vacancies; the Senate offers its advice and consent. Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds, especially in an era in which a Senate minority can overrule a Senate majority by abusing filibuster rules.

    The executive, in theory, has a workaround called recess appointments. In fact, Article II, Sec. 2, of the Constitution says, “The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” Note that it says, “the recess,” not “a recess.”

    In the early days of the country, framers saw recesses that could last months and wanted presidents to be able to fill key positions temporarily in emergency situations without the Senate’s consent. There’s a lengthy break following the final adjournment for the legislative session, and this is generally considered “the recess.” The provision was not about giving presidents the authority to circumvent Congress when the White House felt like it.

    As you might imagine, this has long been a point of contention between the branches, with presidents defining “recess” however they saw fit. More than a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt once made recess appointments when the Senate was off for an afternoon.

    In the Obama era, congressional Republicans have decided they won’t just block nominees through filibusters, making it impossible for some agencies to function, but also that there will no longer be any recesses at all, so the president’s constitutional power to make recess appointments has effectively been eliminated.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/02/05/16854765-the-consequences-of-scrapping-recess-appointments?lite

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  19. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: On immigration, Dems hold the middle ground, and Republicans don’t

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 6, 2013 at 9:05 am

    In recent days, Republicans have begun to spin misleading impressions of the two parties’ positions in the immigration debate. They are casting the Dem embrace of a path to citizenship as “extreme” — as the polar opposite of mass deportation — in a bid to suggest that the GOP is the one open to the compromising middle ground. That middle ground is defined by Republicans as lying somewhere between an unconditional path to citizenship and nothing but beefing up enforcement and security.

    The whole enterprise is deeply misleading. This New York Times headline and lede today capture the game well:

    House G.O.P. Open to Residency for Illegal Immigrants

    House Republicans on Tuesday staked out what they cast as a middle-ground option in the debate over immigration, pushing an approach that could include legal residency but not a path to citizenship — as their Democratic counterparts favor — for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

    Now, it’s true that in being open to some sort of legal status, Republicans have moved a bit. But that’s only a reflection of how extreme their original position — that any sort of legal status of any kind constitutes unacceptable “amnesty” — really was. The current openness to legal status does not constitute “middle ground.” By any reasonable measure, their position remains marginal, while the Dem position squarely occupies that “middle ground.”

    That’s because the Democratic position — one that, in fairness, is shared by GOP Senators like John McCain and Marco Rubio, but not the vast majority of Republicans in the House — is a compromise position, in the sense that it calls for a mix of what both sides want, i.e, beefed up enforcement on one side, and citizenship on the other. And the Dem vision calls for citizenship to be accompanied by penalties and conditions, too.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/06/the-morning-plum-on-immigration-dems-hold-the-middle-ground-and-gop-doesnt/

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  20. rikyrah says:

    Rhetorical gimmickry on immigration

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    One of the rhetorical gimmicks most frequently employed by Republicans in the tax debate is to falsely present the Democratic position as only calling for tax hikes, when in fact Dems have long supported a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. The game here is to present the Dem and GOP positions (the Republican position being that we must fix our fiscal problems only through spending cuts) as polar opposites, when in fact Dems, broadly speaking, inhabit the compromising middle ground in the debate — the one supported by majorities of Americans — and Republicans don’t.

    Now we’re seeing this same trick popping up in the immigration debate. This exchange at today’s immigration hearing between San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is worth noting, because it’s a hint of where this is heading:

    “I want to give you an opportunity to answer the question of the day,” Goodlatte said, “and that is this: Are there options we should consider between the extremes of mass deportation and a pathway to citizenship for those not lawfully present in the United States?”

    Castro said he doesn’t see a pathway to citizenship as “an extreme option,” pointing out that Congress has previously chosen that option and arguing that it has worked.

    “I would disagree with that characterization of that as the extreme,” Castro said. “The extreme I would say just to fill that out, would be open borders. Nobody agrees with open borders. Everyone agrees that we need to secure our border.”

    In this telling, the two “extremes” in the debate are mass deportation and a pathway to citizenship. But of course, supporting a pathway to citizenship is not an extreme position at all. A recent Associated Press poll found that it’s supported by more than six in 10 Americans. Other polls from the Post, CNN, and Politico also found sizable majorities supportive of the same.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/05/bob-goodlattes-definition-of-extreme/

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  21. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! uhura, my IDOL. Nichelle Nichols was my inspiration, and the prime reason I came to it through an episode of Star Trek. Have been a fan ever since.

    I’d say Star Trek BOLDLY went there with the choice of Nichols as Uhura.

    Like

  22. rikyrah says:

    GOP’s “makeover” is purely cosmetic

    Posted by Greg Sargent on February 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Eric Cantor is set to give a big speech today offering a new direction for the Republican Party. It’s expected to be mostly rhetorical in nature and to avoid any ideological moderation of the party’s core positions.

    It’s fitting, then, that literally moments before this alleged “rebranding” speech, GOP leaders have given three public statements that underscore the party’s inability, or unwillingness, to budge in a meaningful way on three of the most pressing ideological battles of the moment: Taxes, immigration, and guns.

    First, taxes. The news just broke that President Obama will ask for a temporary deferment of the sequester this afternoon, to avoid deep spending cuts that could cripple the recovery. Obama wants a mix of new revenues and cuts to be part of any long term solution, but here’s Boehner’s response:

    “President Obama first proposed the sequester and insisted it become law. Republicans have twice voted to replace these arbitrary cuts with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years.”

    First of all, if John Boehner believes that we can achieve substantial deficit reduction with spending cuts alone, then perhaps he should specify those cuts

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/05/gops-makeover-is-purely-cosmetic/

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  23. rikyrah says:

    Obama’s voting reform push is doomed (because it would mean more Dem votes)

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on February 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    During his election night speech, President Obama promised to “do something about” voting problems, and the Times reports that he is expected to propose a new effort to making voting easier. That’s good — because if anything defined Election Day 2012, it was the lines.

    In Virginia, Florida, Washington D.C., and other areas, hundreds of thousands of voters stood in line for hours to cast their ballots. Anecdotally, it seemed that these voters were disproportionately black and Latino. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirms the hunch. According to the New York Times, MIT political scientist Charles Stewart III found that “blacks and Hispanics waited nearly twice as long in line to vote on average than whites.”

    Likewise, a separate study, from Ohio State University and the Orlando Sentinel, found that more than 200,000 Florida voters “gave up in frustration” without voting. “Around the state,” writes the Sentinel, “nearly 2 million registered voters live in precincts that stayed open at least 90 minutes past the scheduled 7 p.m. closing time.” Of those voters, more than 560,000 lived in precincts that stayed open three extra hours or longer.

    It should be said that this wasn’t an accident. Since 2010, Republican legislatures around the country — and particularly in swing states — have passed laws meant to reduce in-person voter fraud. Of course, there’s a wealth of information to show that this fraud is extremely rare, if not nonexistent. Rather than stop fraud, the practical effect of these laws was to erect large barriers around the franchise — voters had to contend with stricter identification requirements, fewer opportunities for early and absentee voting, and shorter deadlines for voter registration. Florida, for example, shortened its early voting by nearly half, from 14 days of early voting to eight.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/02/05/obamas-voting-reform-push-is-doomed-because-it-would-mean-more-dem-votes/

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  24. rikyrah says:

    American Crossroads Goes After Ashley Judd With $10,000 Ad Campaign (VIDEO)
    Tom Kludt – 8:48 AM EST, Wednesday February 6, 2013

    The conservative super PAC American Crossroads on Wednesday rolled out an attack ad preemptively aimed at Ashley Judd, who is reportedly mulling a U.S. Senate bid against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) next year in Kentucky.

    Behind $10,000 in digital advertising starting today, the Karl Rove-backed group will run the ad in Kentucky in two weeks. The ad — a parody of a would-be campaign spot for Judd — mocks the actress and activist for her allegiance to President Barack Obama and for previously referring to Tennessee as her home. American Crossroads detailed the campaign in an email sent out Wednesday morning

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/american-crossroads-goes-after-ashley-judd-with-10

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  25. rikyrah says:

    TPM: When President Obama won in November the electorate also rendered a verdict on the priorities of the two major political parties. Democrats, most voters believe, are more concerned with the plight of the middle class than Republicans, who ran on a platform of actually lowering income taxes on wealthy Americans.

    In the intervening months, Republican operatives have become practitioners of a new kind of alchemy, attempting with little success to convince voters that the right’s long-standing agenda is actually an array of policies that coincidentally meets the needs of the middle class.

    Enter House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who’s hit upon a new plan. If you can’t turn lead into gold, go out and buy some gold paint.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/republicans-cantor-sequester.php?ref=fpa

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  26. rikyrah says:

    ThinkProgress: During the November 2012 election, Black and Hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis. New York Times graphs summarizing the analysis show that white voters waited an average of 12.7 minutes, while Black and Hispanic voters waited an average of 20.2 minutes

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/05/1542061/blacks-hispanics-waited-almost-twice-as-long-to-vote-as-whites-in-2012/

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  27. rikyrah says:

    Rev. Al pointing out that Cantor stole from the President’s Speech

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  28. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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  29. jamalA says:

    Big fan, she has lived a life staying above the fray. Although there was that brief moment that looked like forced controvesy to admitted a affair with William Shatner. Looking side-eyed, seriously he was “James T. Kirk” while her character ” Uhuru” was one of the baddest girls in the world, please !

    Interesting, If you remember the “Seperated at Birth” meme; MSNBC’s Tamara Hall and her younger self could do one.

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